Iron Man Three

Photo: Malou B. Escalona, that sweet and generous and sexy lady my cousin Bong had the luck of marrying (such a marvelous blessing, huh), treated us to a grand opening day screening of Iron Man 3. So there we were, Audrey and Julia, Jean and Tish, Malou and I, with our cheesy pop corns, French Fries with dips, hotdogs and serenity teas (and C2), all eyes agape, lest we miss something in the transformation of Tony Starks from a self-indulgent billionaire/playboy/philanthropist to an Iron Man with a real heart. The prototype Mack 42 was destroyed in the end, as Tony was left with no option but to ask Jarvis to detonate it, because his nemesis (can't quite remember the name, but it was the true Mandarin) took him, Tony, to the next high level action. That's all you gonna get from this spoiler. Go watch it. THANKS Malou, it was a great fun night! I love sitting beside Audrey, she perceived the plot and varied characters quick and easy. :) Like I always say, when you want your children to learn many things, just take them to the movie theaters and give them some pop corn. :)

Malou, that sweet and generous and sexy lady my cousin Bong had the luck of marrying (such a marvelous blessing, huh), treated us to a grand opening day screening of Iron Man 3. So there we were, Audrey and Julia, Jean and Tish,Malou and I, with our cheesy pop corns, French Fries with dips, hotdogs and serenity teas (and C2), all eyes agape, lest we miss something in the transformation of Tony Starks from a self-indulgent billionaire/playboy/philanthropist to an Iron Man with a real heart. The prototype Mack 42 was destroyed in the end, as Tony was left with no option but to ask Jarvis to detonate it, because his nemesis (can’t quite remember the name, but it was the true Mandarin) took him, Tony, to the next high level action. That’s all you gonna get from this spoiler. Go watch it. THANKS Malou, it was a great fun night! I love sitting beside Audrey, she perceived the plot and varied characters quick and easy. ūüôā Like I always say, when you want your children to learn many things, just take them to the movie theaters and give them some pop corn. ūüôā

A Game of Shadows

In  desolation, I joined my sister, my nephew and my daughter in watching the Sherlock Holmes sequel entitled A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. John Watson.

Well, I had always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes, and somewhere in the past, I had read all the sleuthing short stories of that eccentric but empirically sly private investigator, penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, of course. I think my favorite was The Speckled Band, for I still remember the plot up to now. But A Game of Shadows?, well, now that I have seen the movie, it is full of shadows that perhaps anyone would probably enjoy more viewing than reading.

Shucks! That is just my way of saying that I probably couldn’t remember it because I didn’t understand it in the first place. But wow!, Guy Ritchie, the director, and the scriptwriters really made the story truly exciting and entertaining. I was surprised at the cinematic techniques utilized, like abrupt shifting from full velocity to freeze and then to slow motion and back to full speed again. Brilliant! I was almost asphyxiated by the high action I didn’t know when to gasp for air. Ha ha! Not to worry, I am still here.

Well, what is A Game of Shadows?

It is the master plan of a mad mathematician, the well respected Professor Moriarty, to sow anarchy by pitting nations against each other through sporadic bombings. But Holmes, with a keen sense of perceiving what is not ordinarily seen, saw the web and pinpointed Moriarty as the common denominator in the random acts of terrorism. In character, Holmes made himself a participant in the game, tugging his newly wed partner Dr. Watson in the exploit.  Employing several disguises, Holmes moved like a shadow, shifting , turning, enlarging, disappearing, and yet, was always there, never leaving. And he caught up with the game planner and literally engaged him in a game of chess. The shadows moved, and the knights and the bishops and the rooks were deployed.  The game became a battle of perception, who can outwit who!

In the end, Holmes and Moriarty fell into a deep abyss, and the waters below yielded no body.

Hay, I am a spoiler! Watch it. Guaranteed enjoyable!

When the assassin forgets he is a killer…

A bump on the head, sometimes that is all it takes for one to lose his memory… There might not be any serious cause of alarm to it, because memory gradually comes back, but not if one is an assassin.

Such is the case of Dr. Martin Harris, a biologist about to speak about the possibility of corn growth in a Berlin conference. He sets out to do his job and finds himself in the midst of the Unknown…. all because the assassin forgets he is a killer.

Starring Liam Neeson, an actor in my favorite list. Watch the Unknown, simply because you just have to know.

Move over Natalie Portman, THOR is mine!

Okay, okay, Natalie, don’t get me wrong, but THOR is mine. I had claimed him long ago, as my club gripping mighty god of thunder hero, all clad in nothing but a loincloth. True, I enjoyed Casper, Betty Boop, Gumby, Pop-eye, and Tom & Jerry, but THOR, he was my prince, all muscles and that ever titillating selfless heroism that makes him human, and thus, my prince…

One cannot imagine how excited I was as THOR came to my life, forty years after, via that silver screen. And I watched him lured by this girl Portman, you Natalie, all sweet and smart, Hmpf, please go back to Anakin, He is all yours.

Ha ha! I stayed for a second screening for my THOR, and my daughter who gladly put up with my childish whims, suddenly said, THOR is now my favorite mighty hero!  Whaaack! What was that again?

Now I realize that THOR has come to conquer all the damsels on earth, young and old! My THOR, my first lesson on mythology! No offense to all the Greek and Roman mythical gods and heroes, THOR was my only dashing mighty man!

Okay, okay Natalie, my daughter also said you look great by THOR’s side. I will not contest that even if I think it is a debatable claim. Shucks, my only consolation at this point is that I am keeping THOR in the deep recesses of my heart.

You Marvel makers, don’t you hurt him in anyway…

cOmPaTiBlE InCoMpAtIbLe dIfFeReNcEs

Once upon a time, a newly wed couple decided to buy pets. The master liked a three month old chocolate brown puppy with a cream patch on the right ear. He instantly called the puppy Choky Patch. The mistress fell in love with a three month old creamy white kitten with a brownish spot on the left ear. She called her kitty Creamy Patch.

Choky Patch and Creamy Patch were so happy to be chosen from amongst the hundreds of pets in the shoppe. And they walked proud when their new master and mistress ushered them out and into the nice car waiting for them. But the moment they realized that they would be together, both eyed each other in rage.

Choky Patch sat at the left rear seat of the car while Creamy Patch curled on the right rear end. When the master and the mistress left them for a while, the puppy barked and the kitty meowed.

Choky Patch insulted the kitty and said You lazy witch breed, my master’s mistress was wrong to get you!

But Creamy Patch retaliated Look who’s talking? You pretentious man’s best friend. As if I didn’t know you love to bite! You are a crazy breed.

Choky Patch and Creamy Patch snarled at each other till they turned into a dog and a cat. Eventually, the master and the mistress snarled at each other, too, because of their Choky and Creamy.

The master yelled You should have bought another puppy! Then we would not have been as messy!

But the mistress screamed Why? Who chases my kitty around the house but that insufferable dog! Had you bought a cat, we would have been at peace all this time. But see? Who’s barking so loud?

And the master stormed out. And the mistress slammed the door. And Choky Patch and Creamy Patch found themselves alone. Quiet and shocked.

Then they looked at each other, sad that they had been the cause of the quarrel of their master and their mistress. Choky approached Creamy and poked his snout on her. Creamy  responded with a poke, too. Then all of a sudden, they thought each other not bad at all. And they kissed and made up.

When the master returned, he saw ¬†Choky and Creamy ¬†lying side by side near the kitchen counter. He took some biscuits and poured it into Choky’s bowl. The two pets stood up and started eating the biscuits together. The master was amused and he called on the mistress to come to the kitchen. Still hurt, she came anyway and saw the two pets munching biscuits. So she poured some milk on Creamy’s bowl and the two pets helped themselves to the dairy without hissing at each other. And the mistress gave a cry of joy. Finally!, she said, and curled up next to her husband who was eying her with a naughty grin. Ha ha!, he laughed…

And they lived happily ever after.

NB: Remark – Fun! ¬†Grade – B. ¬†( Fr. Galdon doesn’t like dogs and cats probably) Circa 1985 ADMU

The Acquaintanceship

Here’s a beginning to a good love story.

CHARACTERS:   JAKE, 21 years old, a senior computer science major

LAURA, 20 years old, freshman

SCENE:¬† THE MAIN ENTRANCE OF THE RIZAL LIBRARY, ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY.¬† At center are the two final steps leading to the glass doors.¬† At right is a telephone booth with a big dilapidated cardboard sign OUT OF ORDER.¬† The sign on the entrance door read LIBRARY HOURS and ENTRANCE ONLY. At left is a big trash can.¬† Extreme left is a palmeira plant.¬† JAKE and LAURA enter.¬† Jake is a lanky guy with a fair complexion and a rather unruly hair.¬† He wears a little hairgel to keep the strands in place.¬† His clean white t-shirts has prints that read COMPUTER KID…THE BEST IN TOWN.¬† Laura is a petite but sexy girl with clean white complexion and a squared jet black hair that ends just below the shoulders.¬† She wears a loose V-back olive green blouse with a pale yellow balloon skirt combination.¬† She carries a large bag and a few library books.¬† they both sit on the steps, Jake slouching.

LAURA.  Joaquin Vanguardia!  Your name sounds ancient.

JAKE.¬† It is. In fact the history profs usually associate me with the old newspaper La Vanguardia. The silly ones ask me if I’m a Roman vanguard.¬† Shiyaiks!¬† My only consolation is I get better attention.¬† Call me Jake. (pauses) And you?

LAURA.¬† I’m plain Laura.

JAKE.  Not Lala or

LAURA.  Noooooh!

JAKE.  Ooooops!  Did I say something offensive?

LAURA.  Nope.

JAKE.  Why the prolonged no?

LAURA.  No reason.

JAKE.¬† Okay.¬† I’ll let that pass for now. (pauses)¬† But you’re definitely not plain, Laura.

LAURA.  Thanks (smiles)

JAKE.¬† (softly)¬† Laura. (pauses) Laura Vergara. (normal voice) You’ve got a sexy name there, huh.¬† Suits you.

LAURA.  Thanks again.

JAKE.  Know what?

LAURA.  Not yet.

JAKE. Not yet what?

LAURA.  Know what.

JAKE.¬† Oh shocks, you’re fast, huh!

LAURA.  Just pacing you.

JAKE.  Whisssh!  And pretty smart, too.

LAURA.  You are flattering me.  My third thanks, anyway.

JAKE.¬† You’re welcome!

LAURA.  Well?

JAKE.  Well what?

LAURA.¬† What’s it I’ve got to know.

JAKE.  Ahaaa!  I was about tot tell you, before you so sweetly interrupted me, that this might yet be my best class this semester.

LAURA.  Proceed.

JAKE.¬† Here’s a story.¬† Not so credible but it happened to me just the same. (smiles) Would you like to listen?

LAURA.  At my own risk?

JAKE.¬† I’m afraid so.

LAURA.  I will cross my fingers.

JAKE.¬† Go ahead. (Laura crosses the fingers of her right hand and puts it behind her back.) (Jake seriously)¬† You see, I had to psychologiZe myself before enrolling on this subject.¬† Sort of meditation.¬† Very necessary.¬† Phobia for English classes.¬† Terrible.¬†¬† I was in grade 1.¬† Happy.¬† Angelic.¬† Innocent.¬† Carefree.¬† My teacher, Mrs. Concepcion, she called me one recitation day.¬† Asked me to describe an insect.¬† A spider.¬† Our lesson was adjectives.¬† But I couldn’t remember the words I memorized.¬† To save myself from embarasment, I took my lunch box to Mrs. Concepcion.¬† It has five spiders in it.¬† My friend and I hunted for spiders before class.¬† They crawled on Mrs. Concepcion’s arms.¬† She screamed.¬† The girls screamed,too.¬† Pandemonium was next.¬† Mrs. Concepcion danced around.¬† The boys laughed.¬† Belly and buttocks swung to and fro. (Laura laughs heartily)

LAURA.  Then?

JAKE.  We boys were having so much fun.  But when she rid herself of spiders, she scolded us.  Very bad.  Sent me to the principal.

LAURA.  Poor you.

JAKE.  Yes.  Poor me.  Demise of my cantankerousness.  My creative mind too.  Hated Language since then.  Turned to counting instead.  Counting spiders. (Both laughed out loud)

LAURA.  (Catching her breath) So Рso, how does our class becomes the best for you this sem?

JAKE.¬† Two reasons.¬† First.¬† Avoided English for three years.¬† Need to take it now ‘coz I wouldn’t graduate. I’m a straight A, computerwise.¬† Englishwise, the challenge is there.¬† I’m taking it.

LAURA.  Boastful.  And the second?

JAKE.¬†¬† I’m seating next to the most beautiful freshman in campus.

LAURA.  Touche!

JAKE.¬† I’ll be the envy of every male.

LAURA.¬† How could you be?¬† You’re the only senior in a freshman English class.

JAKE.  Cruel.

LAURA.¬† Can’t believe it.

JAKE.¬† Can’t believe what?

LAURA. That I’m enjoying you.¬† And I’ve only known you two hours.

JAKE.  Owwssss.  Come on.

LAURA.  True Jake, never had so much fun in a conversation.  You always funny?

JAKE.¬† Hmmm.¬† Tell me Laura.¬† Why haven’t you had much fun?

LAURA.  A well guarded secret.

JAKE.  Tell it to the vanguard.

LAURA.  (she eyes him)  Why you?

JAKE.¬† ‘Coz I can’t keep one.

LAURA.¬† If I tell you, you’ll tell the world.¬† If the world knows, I don’t have to keep it any longer.¬† I’d feel much better.

JAKE.  Exactly.

LAURA.¬† Okay.¬† I’ll tell you. (pauses)

JAKE.  You want me to cry now? (smiles)

LAURA.  Not yet.  (smiles too)

JAKE.  Will do, on cue.

LAURA.¬† Jake, I don’t know where I was conceived.

JAKE.  Neither do I.

LAURA.  Jake, please.

JAKE.¬† I’m sorry.

LAURA.¬† I don’t know where I was born.¬† (pauses)¬† All I know is tht my first home was a large one with a big family.¬†¬† I had 17 brothers and 21 sisters.¬† No dad.¬† No mom.¬† But there were people who took care of us.¬† Social workers.

JAKE.  Orphanage.

LAURA.  Yes.  And then one day, a handsome man came.  I was just about 6. He said his name was Robert Vergara.  I told him my name was Laura Vergara.  He said he was my father.  That is why we had the same names.  I was very happy.  Every child in the orphanage longed for a father or a mother.  And then he brought me home.  It was a huge marble house with strong wooden thresholds.  I was ecstatic.  I was finally in paradise.  And my new mama, she was gorgeous, or so I thought.  She spanked me when daddy was not looking.  And I have two sisters.  They were cold and mean.  I wanted to play with them in the beginning but they called me bastard.  Daughter of a whore.  Son of

JAKE.¬† That’s better than son of a nothing.

LAURA.  Never thought of it that way.

JAKE.¬† Only creative minds…

LAURA.¬† But you don’t have that.

JAKE.¬† Comes on occasions…

LAURA.¬† Oh Jake, didn’t know it was easy to unburden oneself.

JAKE.  Only if you relate it to the right person.

LAURA. Yes.  (pauses)  I did not fight, Jake.  I was little.  I could not win.  But father noticed.  I was a lively imp at the orphanage.    I became withdrawn.  Then I flunked first grade.  My half-sisters blessed me witha new nickname Рstupid Lala.

JAKE.¬† I see.¬† I’m sorry.

LAURA.¬† You didn’t know.¬† Actually I’ve come to like it.¬† Lala is musical.

JAKE. Whatever you say.

LAURA.¬† Father was alarmed when I failed again.¬† He accused mama of neglecting me.¬† They had a terrible fight.¬† I begged father to take me away from there.¬† And he brought me to a convent school.¬† The nuns were boring but I learned.¬† I excelled actually.¬† That is why I was granted the scholarship here.¬† My two sisters did not pass¬† the entrance exams.¬† Mama brought them to America in the hope that they enter college.¬† Father is with them but he’ll be back by Christmas.¬† He promised me.¬† The end.

JAKE.¬† Hey, hey, hey, you may be a scholar but you’re no story teller.¬† You capsulized a highly interesting human drama there.

LAURA.¬† I’m only playing it safe.

JAKE.  What do you mean?

LAURA.¬† Think I have forgotten that we’re supposed to write themes about each other?¬† If I had told you the nitty-gritty details, you’d get a good grade.¬† My life story is spicier than yours.¬† Who would want to read about crawling spiders?¬† Ergo an A for you?¬† No way.

JAKE.  You missed a point there.

LAURA.  Which is?

JAKE.¬† Just a couple of hours, Laura, and I’ve come to like you so much.¬† Instantly special.

LAURA.  You are so funny, Jake.

JAKE.¬† I am.¬† That is why I will only write about the melodic side of you.¬† Can’t share you to the world, Laura.¬† (pauses)¬† Tell me about the impish little Lala.

circa 1986  (5 December)

Isang Oras sa Hardin ng Donya Aurora

Sa tuwing ika-siyam ng umaga ng Sabado ay nakaupo lamang ako sa loob ng aking sasakyang L300.  Kung minsan ay nagbabasabasa ako ng mga balita o di kaya ay mga kuru-kuro sa paborito kong payahagang Philippine Daily Inquirer.  Kung minsan naman ay sinasagutan ko ang nakahiligang modern number puzzle na sudoku.  Masarap na pampalipas oras ito habang inaantay ko ang aking bunsong anak na si Patricia na nag-aaral ng piyano kay Propesor Augusto Espino.  Dito nakatira si Prop Agot, sa isa dito sa mga apartment sa Hardin ng Donya Aurora, sa loob ng UP Campus, Diliman.

Kaaalis pa lamang ni Patricia daladala ang kanyang mga libro sa piyano.  May Hanon, may Czerny, may Bach, at ilang piyesa nina Gershwin at Brahms.  Inihahanda ko pa lamang ang aking antipara at ballpen ng bjglang bumulaga sa aking harapan ang may mga labin-limang batang squatter na galing sa kanilang lungga sa tapat ng Donya Aurora.

Nagsisigawan sila.  Malalakas ang mga boses nila kahit halos gatingting ang kanilang mga pangangatawan.  Mistulang mga kulang sa pansin ang kanilang mga kilos.  May pa siga-siga, may pakantiyaw-kantiyaw.  Mga haring kalye kung baga.  Matutunog ang kanilang mga pananalita.

GAGO  ka!  Tingnan mo lang mamaya.  Ikokotong kita. Bigkas ito ng isang kakalbuhing naka-brown na sando.   Siya yata ang lider ng grupo ng lima.  Pumuwesto sila sa may hagdang simento.

Anung kokotongan?  Ikaw ang kokotongan ko.  TARANTADO  ka.  Kala mo kaya ay kaya mo kami.  Humanda ka!

Medyo natakot ako sa mga murahan at bantaan ng mga bata.  Isinantabi ko ang aking antipara, ballpen at sudoku.  Kailangang mapagmasdan ko ang labanan ng mga paslit.

PUTANG-INA mo.  Ang tapang mong magsalita.  Dinadaan mo sa dami.  E lilima lang kami o.  PUTANG-INA mo.!

Medyo nakakakilabot yata ang pagmumurahan ng mga bata.  Sana ay pagagalitan ko para di na magmura ulit.  Ngunit di pa man ako nakakababa sa sasakyan ay parang rapido ng umulang tinig ang sunud-sunod na palitan ng mura.

TARANTADO.   Isang kotong ako.

Ako rin, isang kotong sa yo GAGO.

Ah PUTANG-INA, ako wala.

Di puwede yan.  Ako meron PUTANG-INA mo.

O sige, isa lang basta ha GAGO.

Basta ako wala, GAGO.

May turuan ng daliri ang kanilang salitaan.  May akmang mang-babraso.  Seryoso ang kanilang mga mukha.  Kinabahan ako.  Di na ako bumaba sa aking pagkakaluklok sa aking L3.

Biglang naghiwalay ang dalawang pangkat.  Yung lima ay tumambay sa kanilang hagdanan.  Yung sampu naman ay sa may exit na parking lot.  Ilang sandali pa ay nagsimula na ang giriian.  Parang sabong ng mga manok.

O-0-0-0-h-ayyy DUWAG.

Sinong duwag?  Yabang ng APOG mo.  GAGO.  Tingnan ko nga ang tapang ng PUTANG-INA mo.

Umaatras.  Umaaabante.  Gigiri.  Hihinto.  Tatakbo sa kanikanilang base.  Mananatili.  Aabante, gigiri.

AGAWAN BASE pala ang ginagawa nila.  Larong MORO-MORO na kapag nataya ka ay talo ang grupo mo.

Nakasingit ang isa mula sa grupo ng sampu.  Di namalayan ng grupo ng lima na nasa likod na pala ang isang kalaban.  Nakahawak ito sa hagdang base nila ng hindi natataya.

Sigawan.

KOTONG!  KOTONG!

Kantiyawan.

Ang yabang mo.  KOTONG ka ngayon.

Iniyuko ng batang naka-brown ang kanyang ulo at sunud-sunod na pumitik ang sampung kalaban niya sa kanyang ulo.  Mangiyak-ngiyak.

Yan lang iiyak ka na.  KOTONG lang yan ahh.

Nguni’t nagsalita ang pinakamaliit na bata sa grupo ng sampu.

OOOpppsss, di pala ako nangako ng kotong, sorrriiiii.

Iniyuko niya ang kanyang ulo para pitikin ng naka-brown.

O nakabawi ka na.  Patas na ang labanan.

Game ulit. Sabi ng isa.

Kukunin ko sana ang aking sudoku nguni’t naaninag ko na si Patricia.