about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Monday, December 30, 2002

I just love this song.

Ika'y matutumba, ika'y masasawi
Mabibilangan ka ngunit babangon ka muli
Walang maniniwala, walang makikinig
Wala na raw pag-asa ang daigdig mong tagilid
Padadala ka ba sa agos o hindi? Hindi!

Patay na kung patay, mag-aalaman na
Lahat ibibigay dahil wala na 'tong atrasan
Bakit di na lang puso ang labanan?

Lumuha ka, kung hindi mo mapigilan ang tuwa
Matagal kang naghintay, kaibigan
Umawit ka, paabutin mo sa langit ang
tamis ng sandaling ibinigay...

Tagumpay, tagumpay
Alab ng puso, kailanma'y hindi sumuko

--- "Alab ng Puso," Rivermaya

Saturday, December 28, 2002

I am so bored.

Watched our little video project for JPRIZAL last term, Bukangliwayway ("Sunrise"). The little CD my friends gave me as a Christmas present included a thirty-minute collection of bloopers, as well, so at least I was genuinely laughing my pants out for a good hour or so.

The video is admittedly not professional in quality, and I admit our little "film" reeks of amateur moviemaking, but I don't give a damn. My classmates and I really had fun making it and watching it, and in retrospect we think the sacrifices we had to make for this little project of ours were worth it after all.

I don't think I can be an actor for film though. My eyes are just too jittery, unable to stay still.

One of the presents my baby gave me was Santana's latest CD "Shaman." I've been listening to it on my trusty PlayStation all day long. I'm so amazed at how well Carlos Santana and his musicians work well in session with diverse acts like Michelle Branch, Seal, Chad Kroeger and P.O.D.---they even have a track with tenor Placido Domingo, of all people. That's a measure of how great a band Santana is. Even their originals, like "Victory is Won," are simply delectable.

Thanks, love.

I miss you.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

I take back what I said three days ago: Christmas is just about as good as it can be.

In case I offended anyone for being late, here's my greetings: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas this year was okay, if a bit on the woozy side because of my lack of good sleep. The night of the 24th was at Caloocan with my mom's relatives, playing rounds and rounds of Bingo over money and Hershey's extra-creamy Symphony chocolate bars. Lucky birthday celebrant Uncle Cesar won eight bars.

The 25th had me extra-woozy. Slept a lousy six hours of rattled sleep when I had to wake up for lunch at the Richmonde Hotel with my dad's relatives, then off to White Plains Quezon City for gifts. The hotel's creme brulee was right on. Got too petered out trying to help my three little cousins assemble their dinosaur puzzles, some of them even having to be rebuilt after the rambunctious threesome played with them. Ugh. I liked it though.

As for the gifts: I am proud to announce that I've recouped most of what I lost in my life savings during the year; I got PhP7,000 worth of aguinaldo money. Hee. Bagged a wallet from my Lola Imelda; a VCD of our little film Bukangliwayway ("Sunrise") from my classmates; an unopenable picture frame from my godparents; a Nike shirt from my fave aunt, Tita Vik; new khaki cargo pants from my mom; and a polo shirt from my sister.

But the knockout of the year came from Pam: gave me four CDs, a Calvin and Hobbes compilation book, a GoldenEye 007 40th anniversary Swatch...and, as she says, more to come when I visit her again next week. Thanks, my darling. I missed you so much.

Well, thanks for everything and everyone who gave me gifts, in cash or in kind.

Went to Robinsons Place before going to Pam's today, as she wasn't home yet. Went to their arcade and I was pleasantly surprised to see a Drum Mania 4th Mix machine upstairs at PhP12 a pop. Yum...that's a lot cheaper than Timezone's price, although I'll have to get used to using a Japanese machine...

Been seeing a lot of "Japan domestic model" cars around Manila this month.

Two weeks ago I saw a white Nissan R32 Skyline GTS25 Type S around the village. Just last week I saw a really cute 1997 brown Mitsubishi Pajero Mini XR-II on the toll queue. And just this afternoon, of all JDM cars, I saw a heartbreaking Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII, in Ah Beng yellow, on the way home---PhP2.5 million worth of Mitsubishi's crowning glory.

That car auction "gray" market in Subic and Malinta may be highly controversial, but at least we're beginning to see more diverse cars on the roads than your generic EK/ES-series Civic, Sentra/Sunny or ZZ121-series Corolla Altis.

Still wishing for my ultimate in-my-dreams-only Christmas present: an EP3 Honda Civic Type R hatchback in Championship White and with red Recaros at the front. But I---not even any of my acquaintances---cannot afford the PhP2 million price tag.

How I wish I could teach the thousands of Filipino fakers out there, that stick "CIVIC TYPE-R" badges on their garden-variety sedans with reckless abandon, that the only genuine Civic Type Rs Honda makes are 3-DOOR HATCHBACKS and that the Accord Type R never made it to Asia because it was a Europe-only model. I could teach them fakers a thing or two on the streets...just let that glorious 215bhp K20A engine do the 9000rpm talk...

Oh well.


Sunday, December 22, 2002

Christmas is a spanking great time for 99% of people around the Christian world.

Not for me.

I feel lonely, empty, bored and out of whack. Worst of all, I'm broke.

Someone please invent some sort of machine so I can warp forward to school on January 6th.

Oh, wait a minute, I still need to have my car's wheels balanced.

Maybe there's something to look forward to this season after all, although it ain't anything "spanking great."

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Collected my course cards last Friday, and I report great news. I didn't flunk Accounting...no no no. I passed with a 1.5. Hahahaha.

My other majors went well, scoring from 2.5's to 3.5's, and I mustered enough oomph to bag myself a 2.9 GPA for this term. Not that bad, I must say. Like my classmate Deney told me, it feels like all the effort, the countless hours devoted to the course and whatnot were worth it in terms of the grades. Then again, she was ecstatic with what she got.

Am just glad I don't have to attend the god-awful regular adjustment proceedings on January 3 and 4...yikes.

I'm practically done with my Christmas shopping already, the last of which I did today at a surprisingly roomy SM Bicutan. Yes, I've rued the day it opened but it seems to be a more tolerable place to go to nowadays.

Particularly liked my little Beef Bowl meal with red radish at Yoshinoya, paired with green iced tea. Yum. I wouldn't mind eating there again, especially since they serve meals real cheap.

Am getting hungry as I think back to what I ate. Uh-oh.

Speaking of hunger, I've been getting a lot of it lately. Is it just me or is food at home really getting scarcer? I've had various occasions where I'd crave for simple foods---only to find that they aren't available.

And I thought Christmastime was supposed to be a feast. Where's the goddamned food? Or is this some sort of trick to make me lose weight I never gained anyway?

Been considering having my little blue car wheel-balanced after the festivities are over, preferably on a weekday. It's been a good year and a half since the Honda service mechanics recommended that. I wonder why they don't offer the balancing service there, though. I thought servicing via an official dealer network was supposed to be a complete thing?

Honda Philippines is especially idiosyncratic as they don't service cars which have been tinkered with by non-official mechanics. So what's the deal, huh?

My baby's been out practically the entire week, and we haven't even seen each other now that we're both free of scholarly responsibilities, even for the holidays.

I miss you.

The term's over and done, my girlfriend's busy with family and work, my wallet's filled with fleas and my car's due in for wheel balancing.

What's JM to do?

Burn his eyes out playing his unplayed RPGs on his PlayStation. Right now that's the only thing I can do.


Saturday, December 14, 2002

Had a night out with my friends at the Hard Rock Cafe in Glorietta 3. Getting there was a shitty experience.

Left home at 6 pm. The first few northbound kilometers on the South Luzon Expressway passed by okay, but when I got to Nichols everything just went haywire. My car was literally inches away from colliding or scratching other cars in the jam-packed three-lane highway, now accomodating five or six lanes of cars. (Only in the Philippines, folks.)

Tried evading the traffic going to EDSA by hanging a right to Don Bosco instead, but even there it was bad. Two lanes of cars, buses and whatnot were jostling to enter the cramped corner. At this point I could smell my clutch frying...definitely not good.

When I finally got to Ayala Avenue and parked my car, it was already 8 pm. Goddamnit. Just my luck to leave home on a payday Friday. AGAIN.

The party itself was okay, but I didn't seem to be enjoying myself. It had nothing to do with not drinking a shot of tequila (hey, I was driving...that's out of the question). It had nothing to do with the fact that I didn't dance, even though the famous show band South Border was making the crammed venue move.

I just felt tired and I missed my baby. As early as 10:30 pm I wanted to go home.

Hard Rock's "pig sandwich" was good, but I really wanted to share their mud pie with my baby.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Just to prove how sick I am of school right now: I have a final paper to do for Intro to Broadcasting (arguably the only major subject I'm sure to pass) that's due tomorrow at 3 pm, but I have absolutely no initiative to do it. I'm supposed to make a paper on putting up my own radio or TV station, present a vision-mission statement, make imaginary rate cards and other related stuff, like a logo.

It's supposed to be easy but I hardly have anything in mind right now.


Am back in procrastination mode.

Speaking of procrastination, I haven't bought any Christmas presents yet. Yikes.

I was almost late at my ACCOM2A finals, thanks to my sister having a bum gut just when we were supposed to leave. I left for school alone at 6:30 am, driving the big white Pregio at full-whack 110 km/h on the Skyway, to catch a 7 am test. I was too pressed for time that I forgot to notice how hard I was pressing on the gas. The autobox was stuck at third gear at 85 km/h...not good, not good, as I actually saw the malfunctioning fuel needle slip four fucking big notches towards "E".

When I finally did make it there, my lack of sleep struck me hard. I had problems solving my problem-solving questions, and my stockholders' equity didn't equate with the rest of the class. Looks like I'm in for a traumatizing experience.

I just don't want to think about it anymore.

For film class we were tasked to make a two-page paper on our favorite film viewed this term. Not wanting to think like everyone else favoring Schindler's List as favorite as it was the last film shown, I chose Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.

Turns out my hunch was right. Steven Spielberg's Polish Holocaust epic won 11 votes, easily becoming the favorite. In comparison, Kurosawa's rounin movie garnered three votes.

Both are great films, though, and I can't fault Spielberg...his film was my second favorite.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

In a rare occurrence, I remember a dream I had about a week ago. I was the same age I am now, but I grew up in a society 20 years back, in the height of the Marcos regime and martial law. I was a photojournalist of some sort which had just taken pictures of a really juicy story for the then-fledgling anti-Marcos newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and I found myself in a bank trying to withdraw money for some reason or other.

Suddenly the bank was held up.

The armed muggers told everyone to drop to the floor and began taking valuables from people. One of them saw the bulky-looking canvas shoulder bag I was toting, and got interested in its contents. Of course, this housed my trusty Nikon FM SLR camera.

He saw the camera and began to snatch it away from the bag. I remember having the strangest feeling of wanting it back because the camera was my dad's in the first place. On impulse I lunged forward, wrestling with the man and telling him to give me back the FM.

Then I heard a gunshot...and I was dead. I could barely feel the impact as it hit my head.

For some reason I couldn't accept this fate, so I jumped back in time to when I was wrestling with the mugger. Instead of receiving a hot dose of lead, I sidestepped and managed to wrestle the gun away from him aikido-style.

And that's when I woke up.

If lucid dreaming is an art, I don't seem to have mastered it yet.

When I think about this dream, I guess I got it because I got too spooked by the tales our resource person had in our interview.

For our Intro to Print course, we had to do an oral history of a Filipino journalist. Having met and listened to him before in a seminar for The LaSallian, I immediately thought of Jimmy S. Gomez, Associated Press staff reporter. The guy had so many tales of his stories, including those of his Abu Sayyaf interviews and his documented experiences with riots and tear gas inhalation.

Back in grade school I wanted to be a newsman.

Damn, I think now I know better.

We may have not gone to Robinsons Place or Glorietta. We may have not gone to Alda's or Cibo for a great lunch. We may have simply spent four hours watching video CDs, kissing and eating delivered pizza and pasta.

But I enjoyed every minute of it, and that's what matters.

I love you my baby.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Sheesh. I blog so infrequently.

Spent last Wednesday with my darling, highlighted by a delicious lunch banquet at Alda's, a quaint little "pizza kitchen and restaurant" along Adriatico St.

The place is supposedly a sacred one for couples: they say if your significant other takes you there to eat, it means he's serious about you. Aside from that "tradition," I could really see why Alda's is so popular, albeit not at the "jam-packed-standing-room-only" level. That little eatery is just too cozy to be besmirched by the trappings of large-scale commercialization. It really has this small town laid-back feel to it that's nowhere to be found in Pam's old favorite place, T. G. I. Friday's.

I loved sharing ultimate combo pizza, crabmeat fettucine and garlic bread with you, my baby. Needless to say, yes, I am serious about us. If I had things my way, I'd repeat December 4th over and over again. I love you.

Now with nothing but the radio on
We are dancing to a new emotion
We've got nothing but the radio on
And making love in slow motion

---Dave Koz, "Nothing But the Radio On"

Spent so much money on photo paper and film, and spent so much time in the darkroom, before realizing the whole point of having photo essays as projects for FOTOCAM. It's the preparation for VIDPROD (Video Production), a major subject I can't take unless I take FOTOCAM first, as it's its prerequisite course. If a photo essay can't stand alone without explanation, my future videos/films wouldn't be able to stand alone either.

As much as I hate slaving over enlargers and delinquent photo paper once more, I feel like redoing that vague 10-image photo essay I submitted today on desire. I feel like it's going to be for my own good once I get to VIDPROD next term.

Maybe I should seriously consider joining that photo contest Ruth asked me to join, even if it's for Ateneo...

Spent the better part of a Monday cooped up in the M216 enlarging room, churning out photo after flawed photo. I have enough flawed 5" x 7" photos to make postcards.

Just as practiced, my classmates set up a portable CD player in the darkroom and brought CDs to make the large complex a little more cozy. Was singing along with a lot of the songs absent-mindedly, trying to sneak in second-voice bass parts of my own creation just for kicks, when a new classmate of mine noticed.

"Who's singing the second-voice parts?"
"I did."
"Okey ah! You have a gift there."

Was rather dumbfounded. I never thought my penchant for putting unusual spins on singing pop songs was a gift anyone would appreciate.

Thanks, Jewel.

Art serves the laymen and bows to no master.

Am dead tired of school. I really want to rest. Good thing the break's almost here, and I've got only one final exam---Accounting 2A. It's going to be three fucking hours of early-morning torture in a stone-cold classroom on Thursday.

At least I think I have a fighting chance to pass ACCOM2A after all. I just hope my ability matches my own ego's expectations.

A while back, you posted about what you would do when you switched sexes and became a man.

If you did take that step across the sexes, I'd be honored to be your hypothetical girl.

I love you, Pam.

Thank you for four months of us.

Moo. :D

Wednesday, December 04, 2002


Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Been gone from blogging for a particularly long while. The sad part is, I don't even really know why.

November 29th was a nightmare for drivers like me going home to the south. It's actually a given since it's a Friday night and it's even a payday at that, the 30th being a national holiday. But I don't know what the hell the guys at Shoemart (SM) were thinking when they opened their new mall right smack at the mouth of the already traffic-ridden Bicutan interchange.

Scores of people were crossing the streets at any one time. It didn't help that traffic was bad across 5 kilometers...along the expressway. The traffic cops didn't seem to be doing their duty---hey, wait a tick...perhaps they're there to make sure that there's a traffic jam in the first place. All in all it wasn't a great place to be in, especially if you're trying to keep your car from being a gas guzzler (which I desperately am).

The next day, I invited neighborhood friends Paolo, Bong and Mac to come along with me to the brand-spanking new mall literally at our backyard. We thought we'd be in for a relatively quiet but boisterous affair, looking at shoes, games, CDs, pigging out and maybe enjoy a game or two of Percussion Freaks.


When we got there we were in for a shock. The cramped mall was literally crammed with people, most of them the sort that haven't even smelled a mall in the first place and are abusing the place. Where on earth can you find people in the food court not eating or doing anything except enjoy the air-conditioning?

There was a literal traffic jam of human flesh and blood crowding the newly opened mall, and we quickly got annoyed by the sheer amount of noise and confusion. Nasty thoughts began to pop in my head about blowing up a cherry bomb or two and turning the manic mall into a Bicutan bum rush. Hee.

We couldn't stand staying in there for more than two hours. Anyway I was glad that I was able to spend time with my old friends again, after such a long while.

I finally get a weekend off and what do I do?

Since I haven't been on Otakuboard for the longest time, I didn't have any idea when the supposedly Christmas EB would be...little did I know that it would fall on November 30th, Bonifacio Day. I didn't really have enough money to spend either, and I hated dipping into what's left of my measly savings account which value I managed to halve in the span of four months. Sigh.

Well then, what did I do?

Shackled myself to a PlayStation playing countless games of Gran Turismo 2 and Street Fighter Zero 3. Funny when I have absolutely no resources left, I'm just a gamer at heart.

Why the hell can't I post to my blog?! Is Blogger going haywire or something? Or is this a punishment for not blogging as regularly as my girlfriend does?

I remember the first day we met online. Was surprised to see a girl enjoy Percussion Freaks as much as I did. I even remember you bringing your musician ex-boyfriend to play, and even the time when you couldn't play because your foot was sore.

I remember the very first day we met offline. You were trying to get an interview with my school's reserve basketball players and their coach. Little did I know that we---two practical strangers---would hit it off so easily afterwards. We were laughing our asses out at the school canteen.

I remember our first real date after that. Nothing fancy, just a lunch date at Cibo. I even remember the way you were dressed. I remember how I ferried you to your office, looked around for parking, and spent the better part of an afternoon in your cubicle. Although I was shy and really quiet due to having nothing to say to anyone else, I enjoyed. That was even the day my car's battery conked out on me and you got your colleagues to push my car while I was starting it up.

I remember the afternoon I realized my feelings for you, neophyte that I was to love. I didn't doubt it, but I was wondering if you'd pull away because you were still recovering from an ex's misdemeanors, those which you shared with me over the phone countless nights. I remember how glad I was when you loved me too.

I remember all the happy moments, the "fights" we had, and all the times we made up and reaffirmed our feelings for each other.

Thank you so much for being with me all this time. It's practically been four months. I feel like it's been forever being with you, and I honestly wish you and I would last that long.

I love you.

Monday, November 25, 2002

I've done absolutely nothing today.

At least apart from shooting pictures from the most unusual places, buying photo paper, developing two rolls of film at the same time, and making my prints, sometimes in dismay and sometimes in glee.

Apart from that...yeah, absolutely nothing. Hee.

I never thought a fuddy-duddy like me could be so darned cute to my baby. It helps that she's so darn cute herself, too.

Can't resist being cute with you, my love...

I gotta wonder if school's simply taken too much of my time lately. I have scarcely any time to go to Otakuboard, or update my blog, or report to The LaSallian for articles and work.

Hmmm...I'm still glad I have time to be with my darling, though. That's something I wouldn't allow omitting.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

It's been so long since I blogged, but if you've read my baby's blog, you probably have kept tabs with what essentially has happened with me these past few days.

Yes, I have been a major asshole to Pam. I could go into details, but ultimately I made her doubt her place in my life and the scheme of things. Every night, we'd be fighting over the phone, crying our eyes out with feelings of inadequacy, grief and loneliness. I hurt her so much with the things I kept from her, and no matter what I did, I couldn't even take the pain away even if I wanted to. I didn't know how.

Yet all that mattered to me was her.

In the span of our three months together, I have never felt so loved and so special. There had been problems along the way, yes, but we somehow hurdled them together and stayed with each other. She is the one woman whose happiness matters to me the most---I dare say, more than even the happiness I keep trying to give my parents to no avail. She is the only one I can stand to be with when I feel I am at my worst, because she knows and understands me so completely.

Pam, you're the only one I can see myself growing old with. You just suit me so well. I will never love anyone as much or as deeply as I have loved you. No matter what happens to us, I always will love you---because you're such a great person, friend and lover. Thank you for giving me the love you've never given anyone else these past three months, and I want to share our love as long as humanly possible.

I love you, Pam.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

There are so many things I'd like to write about that happened these past few days, but I don't have the time. Besides I'll be gone for the weekend; we'll be in Marilao, Bulacan to shoot our video project for JPRIZAL.

Love...thank you for accepting me for all my faults, for recognizing the strengths in me I never even knew I had...I fall deeper in love with you with each passing day...

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The COLPAN film negatives I shot last Friday evening got screwed by my clumsy loading inside the changing bags, so I had to buy film and photo paper, and reshoot my portraits yesterday. COLPAN 21 was out of stock, so I had to buy Kodak T-MAX 400 for a staggering PhP190 per roll, along with Kodabrome F3-grade paper for PhP310 (comparatively, not too bad a price).

I wish I didn't screw up loading my film negatives last Friday.

Even after nine minutes of developing in 1:1 solution of developer and water, T-MAX film has very bad contrast. No matter what I did with my brand-new LPL enlarger this morning, and all through the afternoon, I couldn't produce satisfactory 5" x 7" prints with the whitest whites and the blackest blacks. All my portraits had contrast problems, which had nothing to do with the way I shot my photos---some of them even without the intervention of my camera's meter (my batteries died on both shoots). I could only peer at my classmates' portraits with envy as they came out contrasty and sharp.

I'm glad I got to submit all 7 of my bad portraits and their test strips before 4:00 pm today, but I'm sorely irritated with the waste of photo paper T-MAX cost me. I started my FOTOCAM this term with with COLPAN, and I'll end it with COLPAN.

Now I see why my FOTOCAM classmates are all recent COLPAN converts. And at PhP45-75 a roll, plus PhP80 for Atlas developer, who wouldn't be?

Speaking of my FOTOCAM classmates, they lifted me out of my midday mopes with absolutely the wackiest behavior we've displayed while inside the M216 photo workshop. We were actually singing our hearts out with the cheesiest songs while printing, laughing all the time. At one point we even cooked up a plan to drive Eastman Kodak into bankruptcy.

Thanks guys. We've only just met, but it means a lot to me.

And speaking of moping, my darling was there with all-too-disconsolate me on the phone.

Love, we'll always get COLPAN film for my shoots. Thank you for everything. With you I am as human as I can possibly get, and I feel so liberated when I am with you.

For now, I don't want to smell the pungent scent of fixer. Give me a break.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Had an unusual breakfast this morning: french fries, onion rings and fried mushrooms from Outback Steakhouse. It's indicative of where my baby and I have been the other day.

Yes, Pam is back from Beijing. And yes, we had a date last night---this time in Alabang Town Center.

It just so happened there was a car exposition inside Corte de las Palmas, and one of the cars on show was the exact same car I bought for Pam in GT2: a raven-black Audi TT 1.8 quattro Coupe. (Okay, fine, I bought one in denim blue pearl-effect.) We were both bowled over with awe at how concept-car-like the damn thing was (read: stunning little details). Might not be a total hoot to drive, but it sure looks great...

Other notable cars in the expo were a red-and-white supercharged Mini Cooper S (never thought I'd see one here...it's so gorgeous), a black Porsche 911 Carrera, a couple of BMWs and a silver Mercedes-Benz/Brabus-tuned SLK. Oh, and I got to see the new Subaru Forester, too.

And to complement our joy at seeing them multi-million-peso automotive marvels, we bought lots of candy too. Wasn't too keen on the purple balloon that came free, though.

Went to the cinemas and bought tickets for Sweet Home Alabama. Since we had a lot of time to burn, we went over to Olympic World and Timezone. Played three games of Percussion Freaks 3rd Mix non-stop, and I was able to finish all nine songs I played. Grew a couple of blisters and sweated like a pig, but damn I felt good.

Had a nice strawberry milkshake before actually watching the movie.

Pam and I agreed: we didn't really like it. There were some funny moments but I was constantly wondering what kind of film Sweet Home Alabama was. I didn't know what it was trying to be until the closing credits rolled in, and that's bad.

It's also too bad that you only need to know the title of the movie to know what's going to happen.

After that, we ordered take-out from Outback before taking Pam back to Starbucks in Makati for her to get a cab home. While humming along at 80 km/h, she was feeding me morsels of food all the time.

I miss you, my baby. I love capping off three months' worth of love with such a perfect perfect date.

We did forget something, though. We didn't get to eat pistachio ice cream. But that's for next time. I love you, Pam.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Rain poured in buckets last night while I was driving my sister home. Trying to avoid the traffic on the expressway, I took the Skyway instead.

Set my pace at a humming 85 km/h (speed limit's 100) along the elevated stretch of the highway, more relaxed than I normally do. Perhaps the rain was worse than it usually was, or the Skyway's drainage wasn't working as well, because I could feel my steering wheel kick back abnormally against my steady hands at speed. I could actually feel my tires slipping; something that's never happened before even on rainy nights.

That gave me a little scare. After that I eased off a bit on the loud pedal and held my hands as firmly as possible on the little helm. No point in driving home ASAP when you can aquaplane and skid your tires into a flatspin over rainy tarmac.

Finally had a change of hair fashion in 19 years. I had an undercut.

Was actually having second thoughts about the whole thing, but my ears got so itchy from all the surplus uncut hair growing from my temples like weeds. I wanted to keep my long bangs without the hassle of mussing up my hair so often.

When I finally finished with the haircut my nape felt weird, having long hair but without any shorter hair under it. I suppose I'll get used to it though. The little inconvenience I pay to get hair that arranges itself back with only a flick of my head.

Look Ma, no combing.

Thanks, my baby. I love you. I wish I could be in Beijing with you and keep you warm...

Monday, November 04, 2002

As of this morning, Pam's already left for Beijing, China.

Forgetting to set my alarm clock, I bolt right out of bed anyway, seemingly simultaneously greeted by Pam's SMS message on my phone. At 5:15 am, she was already waiting at the airport for her boarding call, yet we were both worried as to why we couldn't use our mobile phones to actually call each other.

We texted right through the day as I sat through a JPRIZAL screening of Bayaning Third World, processed my All Saints' roll of film, took an Accounting quiz and printed my test strip and contact print. Then as I went online a while ago, my inbox had a list of bilin she left before she had to run off to the plane.

Love...even if you're in China's "northern capital" (that's what Beijing means...heheheh), I can still feel you here with me somehow. I love you so much. Please come back to me soon...

Passed my last Accounting quiz with a 40.5 out of 50. Not bad, not bad. I doubt it's going to be good enough for me to pass this term though.

Shit. Shitshitshit.

This morning, while we were at the M216 photo lab developing our rolls of film, the unthinkable happened. One by one, my classmates' rolls of Kodak film were coming out of their developing tanks with nothing but the faintest traces of pictures on the emulsion side.

So imagine my surprise when my COLPAN roll came out as dark and contrasty as it's always been, albeit suffering from a lot of crimps due to a bad time loading.

Turns out someone had inadvertently poured the reusable fixer solution into the tank of disposable D-76 Kodak developer, effectively weakening the action of the developer on the film by a factor of 20. My roll wasn't affected because COLPAN film used its own developer D-76 chemical.

That morning saw a lot of us rushing to Paco Park or the South Cemetery in Makati to hurriedly shoot frames of B&W film for tomorrow's photo essay. Shame. An innocent mistake cost so many students a lot of headaches.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Like most Filipinos on All Saints' Day, I went to my family's cemetery a few hours north to Baliwag, Bulacan province. It's been a while since I've last been there, and it's also been some time since I've seen my relatives on my father's side, too.

Dr. Forbes made sure we didn't leave for the cemeteries without anything to do. She told us she'd be asking for a photo essay of what All Saints' meant to me. Right. And I shot my roll of particularly slow ISO 100 film at late afternoon to early evening---without a tripod or flash. Interesting at the least, frustrating at the most.

I'm glad I was able to talk to Tita Vik again, though. We strolled through the cemetery grounds looking for anything particularly interesting. At first I had a central theme to my roll, depicting All Saints' Day celebration as a cruel joke of what it was supposed to be, but towards the end I simply took snapshots because of the godforsaken lighting conditions.

My baby's leaving for China tomorrow for four days. Even worse, the forecast for Beijing reads 8-9 degrees Celsius for the length of her stay there, and 9 degrees is the coldest it's ever been here---at least in mountainous Baguio City.

Baby, I'll miss you. I wish I was there to keep you warm and cozy.

I don't understand what the fuss is all about with Audi's TT coupe/roadster. It looks good, yeah, and it looks like it came straight out of a car show in concept form, but it drives so horribly. Even its four-wheel-drive system doesn't help at all in navigating tight corners at speed, as it loses grip so easily it does a horrible combination of fishtailing and understeer.

This is one car whose donor chassis and engine---a "humble" S3 hatchback---is actually better than itself. Audi, grow up. Trash your TT, please.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Braved the atrocious midafternoon traffic along A.H. Lacson Ave. yesterday to go to my baby's place for the next installment of the Pam and JM Cooking Show.

She sliced mushrooms and potatoes while I grated cheese. Then she cooked the garlic, cheese, mushroom and potato mixture on low heat while stirring. We spooned the mixture into triangular dimsum wrappers, wrapping and sealing them before frying.

The result? Our vegetarian appetizer Deltas of Venus, the name inspired by my baby's birthday bash at Club S.EX.

I love making stuff with you, my baby. What's next on our menu?

More presents from Cebu filled my trunk that day: a red Adidas shirt, a khaki fisherman's hat, three apricot scented candles, more of Cebu's dried mangoes and a Lilo and Stitch sticker strip.

Thanks, my darling.

You guys still remember Erik? Turns out he got into an accident two days ago.

He was driving along the Katipunan flyover at 120 km/h (roughly 75 mph) when he tried overtaking a car immediately in front of him. Apparently he might have put too much weight into his steering, as his car (I believe it was an EK4 Honda Civic) spun off and struck the steel railing at the middle of the road. His front and rear bumpers were shorn off and a large part of his car's bodywork turned raisin-like in a matter of milliseconds. Bystanders thought the occupants of the red EK4 were dead. Worst of all, Erik had his ex-girlfriend in the front seat---who, I understand, was the source of all his misery, anger and rage a year ago.

Erik and his ex are still alive, but quite understandably shaken. Now he's trying to piece his life back together and re-evaluate things.

It's been a long time since the two of us had a decent time to talk and meet up again, largely because of my academic workload eating up any spare time I have and my lungs' intolerance for cigarette smoke. I was frankly shocked that something like this might happen to one of my friends, and it gave me a reason to value my friendships more. I am now aware that I should keep my ties alive, as anything---literally anything---can happen to them.

We at the Zen Clan miss you. You take care, dood.

Anger isn't worth losing your life over.

Car drivers who read my blog, heed my advice.

From personal experience, driving in the Philippines at 120 km/h is strictly for straight-line cruising along a wide, free road such as the Skyway...and I do mean STRAIGHT. Keep lane changing to an absolute minimum, and any braking should be done gradually and progressively. If it looks like you won't be able to stop in time, use engine braking but exercise extreme caution. This advice comes from a guy who's revved an AE101 1.6L Toyota Corolla to a honking 170 km/h, and I tell you it's scary to go anywhere but straight at that speed.

This weekend, or anytime you're free, check your wheel balances. Very important. You don't want your wheels to be weighted more at one side, because severe weight imbalance in your wheels will cause shanking to one side at high speed---and that's a recipe for a racing raisin, if you get my drift.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Snuck out of school after my last class today to visit Pam once more.

She prepared a little feast for me: chicken Hot Shots, rice, s'mores and our ice-cream pie. She brought out her VCD player and rolled a couple of episodes of Friends. We kissed, hugged and snuggled against each other in the kitchen, while trying to pry the newly toasted s'mores off the oven toaster rack with bread tongs.

Then I sang this song for her...I believe this is the Eraserheads' song "Fine Time":

I could drive you to the malls
Or stay home and watch TV
I don't care if we don't have lunch
Just as long as we have iced tea
I could take you to a film
Hunt for books and magazines
Is that new song out on sale?
I think that dress is kinda pale...

I hope we could spend more time together
A few hours is better than never
If we could only make it longer
A whole day would be fine, a whole day would be fine
A whole day would be fine, a whole day would be fine...


I love you, my baby. Napakasarap mong kasama.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Just had a wonderful day.

I mapped out the route to Pam's house using my mom's Manila road atlas this morning, after buying ingredients for s'mores. After my one and only class ended, I borrowed a couple of books and spun my engine towards the Sta. Cruz district.

When I finally parked in front of Pam's house, we didn't get around to making s'mores. We made banana-vanilla ice cream pie instead, crust and all. I got introduced to her beloved grandma and grand-uncle, and later on had lunch with them. She gave me so many gifts from her recent spelunking of Cebu City---dried mango strips, dried squid flakes, a shirt, a coconut-shell mask and a little diary.

When it was time for me to go, I drove her to work. For once I didn't mind being stuck in traffic along truck-infested Quirino Ave. We were kissing and hugging all the time, savoring the time we had on our hands.

I love you, my darling. You make me feel so alive. I could picture myself going to your house regularly, just being with you.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

I miss you...

Monday, October 21, 2002

I'm stumped, honestly. This new template I chose seems a lot more complicated than my blog's old one. I don't know where to insert my meager knowledge of HTML just so I can personalize my blog.


I'll attempt to fine-tune what I can do so, but expect my blog to look messed up.

I am sad. I don't know why things suddenly crop up and interfere with my plans, especially if it's with my baby. We meet only once a week and yet this is when people call on me the most...I guess it's probably because of that wonderful 90-minute respite called U-Break...

I don't want to attend any storyboard meetings. I don't want to attend any make-up classes. I just want to be with my darling again.

Friday, October 18, 2002

This week has been very tiring.

After my only class in the morning, I sped off to Mandaluyong City on Wednesday to get an interview with the assistant director of the program "On Air" for my Intro to Broadcasting subject. This was after I had to burn PhP3,000 the night before to avail myself of a tape voice recorder in desperation.

Getting there was rather tough because of the traffic (I hate swerve-happy buses), but actually parking my car was another challenge. Mandaluyong is not like Makati or Manila which have scores of lots for motorists to park their cars in for a fee. The building's basement parking was full. I managed to find parking on Reliance St., but it meant I had to walk some two kilometers back and forth from the lot to eat lunch at KFC and/or visit the Pioneer Highlands towers. This I did while I was being rained out at noontime.

When I finally did get inside the towers, the security guards still had to clear the equipment I brought in---my trusty camera, tripod, lenses and brand-spanking new recorder. And I even had to pay PhP3 for the forms I wrote on. Urgh.

Finally I was up the elevator to the offices of Ideal Minds Corp. to have an interview with Aleah Aliporo. I have to say the interview itself went very well. She was a willing subject and she symbolized how the innovative program was their "baby."

"On Air's" premise is that they provide you a minute to tape whatever you want to do, and they'll broadcast it on their half-hour show every Friday. If you get voted by the audience as the "pick of the week" you can win PhP5,000. So as it is, my prof and I think it turns the broadcasting concept upside-down in terms of ownership and opportunity.

I went back to school afterward, satisfied with my efforts. Thank you, Ms. Aliporo.

After my little adventure in Mandaluyong, I went into the school photo lab to print my first full-size picture. Not easy, considering that I was all alone in a room full of enlargers with nothing more than weak red "safelight" illuminating everything. It's rumored to be haunted by ghosts, too.

I'll have to get used to it, though. I can now say with all conviction that I love photography.

Thursday was the usual dizzying mix of majors subjects: Print, Broadcast and Film Intros. Our Print professor assigned us to help him with his Journalism and Information Technology survey. He had the questionnaire forms; all we had to do was visit the newspapers or the beats of the reporters themselves. We volunteered to "saturate" the Senate's beat reporters with his questionnaires. I wonder when we'll have the time to do it though.

Later that afternoon we watched "Singin' in the Rain" on DVD for Film class. Very wonderful movie. I can see why it's part of the top ten American films of the twentieth century.

And still later that night, I went to Pam's birthday party to make amends. I wasn't able to watch her band play, though, as I had to leave when the party was just starting. Damn early Friday classes.

I love you, my darling. I just want to be with you again. If I were to be particular about it, I want to watch "Singin' in the Rain" with you.

Which brings us to today. In Physical Education Tantan and I won a game of doubles badminton against our classmates. Had to scrape the skin off my knees though, but I'm cool.

Even more surprising was that I aced today's goodwill and bonus test in Accounting 2A. Not bad for someone who never studied a wink. Was divine providence at work here? I just hope it keeps up until tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow...shucks, I still have my Accounting midterms in the morning and a viewing of Akira Kurosawa's epic "Seven Samurai" in the afternoon.

I want to rest. But this week has been a blast.

Pam's in Cebu City right now, and she won't be back until Sunday.

Come back to me, my lady...please take care...I love you...

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

I'm so driven to defend myself in this argument, but I suppose I'm just adding insult to injury. I know I should never edit myself, but some things are better left unsaid. Even if I risk being labeled an inconsiderate asshole both ways, I would elect to still the sounds of silence.

"When emotion takes a great hold of anyone, it's very hard to make one believe otherwise. One can never expect to win against emotion." - Leia Medina
I can't believe my run of luck yesterday.

I flunked my second accounting quiz, I'm grilled to make up for TLS newswork I'm not supposed to be doing, and most of all Pam thinks I forgot her birthday.

I am at an end. I never claimed to be perfect nor experienced. I know not what I should do. I am just a mosquito anyone can kill with a slap of the wrist, and to make it worse I am but new to my duty.

The first mistake seems enough to kill me.

A big thank you goes to my blockmate Leia. I hope she and Joseph last a long long time together. Don't forget your bet.

Friday, October 11, 2002

I'm rather sad I've missed posting at Otakuboard for so long already. It feels like I've somehow disappeared from the boards because of my focus on my major subjects.

The way things are going (i.e. school demanding my time), it looks like I won't be able to attend their sixth EB. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

It's been a really busy couple of days but I feel really good. FOTOCAM, especially, was a blast. In the span of two days I learned how to load, develop and prepare film negatives, and I also dabbled in a bit of enlarging and printing on photo paper.

Great. Just great. I can't wait to shoot more B&W pictures.

One caveat: Judging from supplies alone, photography is rather expensive.

The film is cheap (COLPAN 21 is PhP40-75), but it needs its own developer (PhP80), as the M216 photo lab is stocked with Kodak developers which are for Tri-X and T-Max films at PhP175-190 a roll. Photo paper from Kodak meanwhile is PhP285 for 25 pieces.

I wonder if I have to request for a raise in allowance. It's only Wednesday and I barely have enough money left for two days' lunches.

Took this test and was pleasantly surprised. Got 13 out of 16 right, just like my baby did. Must have been love working in the background...

Speaking of Pam, we didn't have our usual Wednesday date this week. She's too busy with school work and has had hardly enough time to sleep.

Baby, I want you to fall asleep beside me...I want to watch you sleep peacefully...without a care in the world...I love you that much...

Monday, October 07, 2002

My blog is now officially one year old. Been a great year, honestly. Because of my blog it's also been a year where I could look back at how I've grown and maybe gone rough around the edges a little.

I guess I deserve some credit or something, blogging this long and all, but I have so many things to do.

Chabeli was right: we've done nothing but school work these past few weeks. I could almost smell the veiled regret in her normal cheery self.

There's this rather sad, somber piano tune playing on what I think is Winamp Radio. Just when I picked up my headphones it suddenly began playing. Must be on one of the sites I have open right now.

Is that your blog, love?

I'd like to think I mastered the painful art of affixing my used film into the developing tank's spiral---in the darkness of a changing bag. Thank God.

Also used up the roll of black and white film Pam gave me for my FOTOCAM class. Took so many shots of the most unexpected things, and I hope I get to develop them properly. I'd like to do justice to my shots. I just hope I didn't ruin any of them with camera shake.

Produced my first two articles for The LaSallian, too. My second one was something on scalping and harassment.

Hope it gets published in its virgin state.

This has been a very productive term for me so far.

Tell me how I can be a better man, love. I find it rather disheartening at times how easily I get you hurt, and I believe it's because I'm not sensitive enough to what you're feeling, or what's on your mind. I'm so very sorry for the times I hurt you, and I didn't even know it.

I guess I now realize something I should do: I should just shut up and listen.

One more lesson I can't learn in any book, I guess.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

I'm feeling so crass and angry with my sister. I have to put up with driving her to school and back, her being unfriendly 99% of the time, and her offending comments towards me. With the state of things I'm just keeping my cool with the ungrateful wench.

She borrowed my PE shirt the other day because the maids forgot to let hers dry. Then she told me right after I fetched her from Kingswood that she forgot it at her friend's car right before I need it. Now very angry, I wanted to mash the Pregio's pedal to the floor and make her scream. She offered money to buy me a shirt tomorrow, but I have only one term of PE left and that ridiculous amount of money would be wasted.

I take in all her bullshit and even make the initiative of being a real brother to her, but all she does is pull away. I wanted to slap her so hard. I couldn't bring myself to do so, though. Little old abusable Mr. Convenient, that's what I am.

I've been wondering how my life would have turned out if Pam and I didn't make that step forward into this bond we enjoy today.

My friends and blockmates tell me they knew it all along, that she and I would be deliriously in love with each other. Looking back, and after considering what they said, I guess it was just a matter of when, exactly, I would fall in love with her. We think alike, we have differing but similar interests and we are always together in one way or another. She's my new best friend, as well...with her I can be an open book, replete with craziness, insanity and emotions I would have fearfully hidden from everyone else.

I'm still left in amazement at how we met, became friends and became the mushiest pair of cheesecake lovers our friends had ever seen.

I love you so much, my lady, and I want to prove it in so many ways...

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Pam's been sick for the past few days, I suspect probably due to fatigue. I feel so helpless as this bug began to happen right after we dated last Wednesday.

I only want to make you feel better, my lady. I'd do anything to make you more comfortable.

Had our advisor for The LaSallian for this morning's writing workshop. Was it even a workshop at all? My friends would probably agree that it was more of a lambasting tirade that lasted for a good 4 hours.

In a nutshell, our advisor Bombit Largoza criticized all the not-so-incremental mistakes and foibles that the staffers and even the editors were prone to doing, such as forgetting the logic of news articles and not being "dogged" enough to ask our interviewees those questions that might just strike a violent chord in them.

In the span of those 4 hours Bombit turned my perceptions of how a writer should operate upside-down. Honestly I don't know if I should be grateful or downright scared of all the expectations he places upon us, especially since The LaSallian is 40-odd years old already. His prevalent message was that of joining The LaSallian not simply because I needed to make employers see that I had a life aside from my studies. I should be in The LaSallian because I want to incur "critical thinking" within the student populace (all 11,000 of them) of De La Salle University.

I feel a heady rush, but my friends and I know we can't turn TLS around in the span of one month. Some of us were even thinking that may not happen in the span of one year.

Bombit's most important lesson for me was that I had to get rid of looking at the world as if it revolved around me and my bourgeois upbringing and surroundings. That's a bitter pill to swallow, I suppose.

Had the Student Publications Office Cup sports events in the afternoon. I played in mixed volleyball and we lost by a rather embarrasing margin, but we did make up for it by winning the basketball game against the yearbook Green & White.

I'm tired. Made so many lunging and diving receptions in that volleyball game which left me either rolling to a standstill or scraping my elbows and knees---and yet not one of those heroic efforts resulted in the ball landing inside the damned court.

Oh well.

Spammers beware. I will not entertain any unsolicited advice or "pass-to-X-number-of-people" chain-letter messages. If I do, they await an instant trip to my garbage bin.

If you got offended, then dammit, take it with a grain of salt. This isn't a matter of being nice or rude. This is all a matter of me saying "I DON'T WANT ANY MORE SPAM!" And goddamnit, if you think I'm being mean, it's not my problem anymore. People are never entitled to like what I have to say, are they?


I better ease off on my temper. Getting angry just drains me of my energy.

Friday, September 27, 2002

The people who send me spam e-mail are actually complaining that I've been quite mean.

Let's just put it this way: There are things I don't need to receive...

Sigh...is there no remotely civil way of telling spammers that I don't want what they give me? All the thoughts I have in reply mulling in my head are violent.

Will add to this post later.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Word of the week: Burn-out. Please don't ask why.

I mean it. DON'T ASK.

I'm pretty sure I have that fair handful of offline friends who read the trash I post on my blog, whether by force of habit or by sheer coincidence. Let me just take this opportunity to kindly request well-being friends from filling my mailbox with unsolicited advice, quotes or pass-to-X-number-of-people e-mail. There's one very good word for those sorts of things ending up in my mail: SPAM. I don't fucking need it, so stop shoving it down my throat.


I'm feeling rather evil today. Ain't it obvious.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Yesterday was so fucked-up.

I absolutely could not sleep. I was awake on an entire 6-hour stretch, eating up most of what should've been all-important sleep especially since I just recovered from exhaustion-induced fever. No matter what I did---read, listen to music, watch late-night TV, call Pam, eat breadsticks---I just could not sleep even at 4am.

I woke up from a horrible 90-minute dose of kip with a massive headache, which surprisingly dissipated while I was driving myself and my sister to school. It didn't manifest itself too much while I was in class too. Getting home, however, was another story. I actually felt my temperature rising while I was crankily navigating myself through flood and traffic-ridden streets, and it didn't help that my windshield and windows were constantly fogging up while I was on the Skyway. Imagine driving with that.

Sure enough I got home to a mercury column kissing the 38-degree mark. I was sick. AGAIN. So last night, I made it a point to sleep as early as possible since we had only one morning class. And right now, I'm home because I drove back ASAP and promised to fetch my sister instead.

I feel a lot better but I can't seem to get rid of my headache.

My Net connection isn't working! Damnit! How am I supposed to do research on German expressionism for my Film class' reaction paper due tomorrow?!

Thanks for the help, Pam. Was nice seeing you again, love.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Even after I've gotten a sitemeter by Pam's request, I've been very lenient and nonchalant with monitoring my blog's traffic. However, the last time I checked my counter's returns, I'm surprised at the number of hits I'm getting, for someone who admittedly doesn't post very often. You guys really do love me.

I'm still wondering if this amount of visits is due to people regularly coming and going through my blog so many times a day or it's due to a hundred people visiting every day of the week. But I'm happy both ways.
After some serious delays, I'm back.

While the whole world---er, America, rather---was grieving its year-long loss brought about by its very reckless political advancements last September 11, Pam and I had such a great date.

Met at Starbucks. Had cinnamon goodies at Cinnzeo. Watched (and seriously enjoyed) S1M0NE. Kissed and hugged in the dark cinema, almost constantly. Went to Topshop to scope out happy socks, "funny undies" and a couple of coats Pam really really wanted. Ate late lunch at Friday's after a frustrated attempt to locate Haagen-Dazs in Robinsons Place for cookie dough ice cream. Bought and shared fruit yogurt instead. Bought magazines at National Bookstore. Bought and shared a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (and seriously enjoyed it, I might add), before sharing a cab back to school.

I was amazed we crammed so many things in one day.

I love you, my baby.

Going to Baguio for three days with only my family wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. Sure, the Camp John Hay Manor was picturesque, the atmosphere was chilly and clambering up and down a fog-filled-but-newly-reconstructed Marcos Highway in a 4WD Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero/Shogun was exhilarating. (Actually seeing the SUV's altimeter point to a 1400m elevation was a point of excitement, having it level at 0m for what seems like forever.) However my company and our itinerary was dour and unexciting. The most exciting thing we all did was watch the US Open on cable TV.

Kinda like driving 20 km/h in an unrestricted German autobahn. How dull and pointless can that get? Remind me never to even consider making the climb to Baguio with less than seven people.

My fifth term in DLSU has started and I'm scared. I get the impression that my major-subject professors are demanding as hell, seeing as they preferred to bombard us with announcements of their grandiose final projects right off the bat. It's as if they all had this agreement to scare us out of our courses, which isn't too farfetched since they all belong in only one department and handle only two classes.

My blockmates and I feel the alienation beginning to set in. Since we're two blocks of Communication Arts majors, the damned Academic Assistant made our majors classes in such a way that each block is split in half. I can't help but think about my other blockmates all the time.

De La Salle snapped its chance of a 14-win sweep of the UAAP basketball tournament, and it had to lose to Ateneo de Manila, of all universities. It even had to lose with an embarrassing deficit of around 15 points.

That's what we get for being cocky. MIKE CORTEZ, CAN YOU HEAR ME, DAMMIT?!

Never thought a simple PE session of badminton drills was all it took to totally deplete me of energy and send me to sick bay for the weekend. I guess I also abused my sleeping habits, too...but this schedule's hard on me as it is already, and my sister had to complicate things by making me come to school at 7am for her special religion class.

That's so inconsiderate of her, really. But I'll just shut up and let my blog do the talking.

In the meantime maybe I should seriously consider being a Sports Complex resident and jog laps to keep fit.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Went to school today to pick up my course cards once and for all.

Overall I was surprised I passed Accounting 1B and Intro to Philosophy, albeit with disappointingly low grades (1.0 and 1.5 respectively). Even more surprising was how close I got to getting a flat 3.0 GPA despite my low grades, because I grabbed a trio of 4.0's, a couple of 3.5's and a 3.0 on my remaining subjects.

As it stands, my GPA stands at 2.925, which isn't a long way behind last term's 3.05 GPA effort. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I'm having second thoughts on staying on as newswriter for The LaSallian. I haven't been writing any news articles nor have I been finding out any information on my assigned beats. Maybe I should move to Layout and arrange the news pages to make up for my lethargy. That's the best I can think of right now, as I think I no longer have the nose for news.

Ruth has changed the link to my blog, renaming it "cheesecake baker." Hmmmm.

I love you my baby...

Sunday, September 01, 2002

Had a really busy August 31st. In the morning we scheduled the fifth EB of Otakuboard in Greenbelt, which only around eight or nine of us attended. We got to meet a couple of newbies though, and they were pretty cool and sociable off the bat. By all means it should have been a pretty lousy EB, as Nicco didn't organize anything.

Paul: "What's the plan?"
Nicco: "The plan is, there is no plan."

I enjoyed it somehow, though. I liked this particular EB because I didn't feel any inhibition or feeling of being out of place, for some reason. We were all a bunch of jokers without any definite plans in mind. We split up rather early though.

After Otakuboard EB5, I went to Glorietta (not far away) and met up with my baby.

At first the happy-go-lucky nature of EB5 seemed to rub off on both of us as we didn't have anything in mind for our date. We simply strolled around, ate crostini and spinach dip at Cibo and later ate ice cream at Haagen-Dazs. Pam was squeezing me all the time, pinching my arms, playing with my hands, kissing my cheek. She even brought her little camera and was constantly taking pictures of me all the time---when I was eating, writing on my tickler, even when I was driving. I felt shortchanged because I didn't get to use my camera on her...I wanted to see her smile.

We made out in my car again. I think we both felt a little more urgent this time. We wanted each other so badly.

Don't worry love. My next term is very very forgiving on us...we have all the time on Wednesdays to date...

I actually fell asleep while talking with Pam because I was so tired. She thought it was cute listening to me breathe until our phones lost their signals.

Darling, you're cute too.

Received a surprise in my mail today. Angel invited me into this group blog of ours named after our barkada, the Zen Clan. Really cool.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Just because of my school's stupid online enrollment procedure and its equally stupid method of schedule adjustment, I had to waste this entire day waiting for my turn to add just one fucking measly subject. Gah. This is really not worth the three hours of sleep I had to contend with to get my ass in line at the Vice-Dean's office at 7:15am.

DLSU ought to review their entire process of making schedules and online adjustment. They better make online enrollment so that you can change your CAF if anything goes wrong, then set some date in advance when it becomes permanent. That way, "adjustment" wouldn't be necessary for a lot of people.

I'm fuming mad. I've been cheated out of my hard-earned place in the queue to the Vice-Dean's by thirty or so Lasallian assholes. I actually had to go to Robinson's Place and watch "Signs" with my three blockmates to pass the time because the people at the Vice-Dean's office are just too lazy to attend to all the students lined up outside, so they had to send 75 students like me packing at 9:00am to come back at 1:00pm. To top it all off, I was too preoccupied with the adjustment queue that I actually forgot to eat lunch.

Gah! Is this what we call a "world-class institution"? World-class, my ass.

To be fair, though, "Signs" was a pretty interesting and freaky flick. We found Joaquin Phoenix so funny.

Awww, my baby...all I wanna do is to make you smile and forget all the weird people in your life...

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Felt so drained after my two finals exams. Accounting 1B was three hours' worth of utter hell. It didn't help that I had my Politics and Governance finals just half an hour afterward, which would have been cool if I actually studied for it instead of focusing all my attention on stupid accounting.

I still feel the brain drain in my head while I'm casually surfing the Web and accessing some sites. It's that bad.

Stupid girl says she's not angry with me anymore and that she's okay now.

Damn it, she has the nerve to say that...as if she actually has the right to get angry in the first place. Why on earth should you be fucking angry? You didn't feel betrayed. You didn't feel abandoned. You didn't feel like your trust had been broken. You didn't even feel anything but weird, seeing as I slapped your accounting practice set books onto your table.

Don't you dare tell me you're not angry with me anymore, because you never had the right to. And you had to say this just when I was considering making up with you.

You treat me like dirt. I should've known that a fucking long time ago.

I want to be with my lady...now that my term's over, all I want to be is her lover...

Friday, August 23, 2002

I've had a ridiculously shitty day.

Flunked my second Philosophy quiz, and even if I grab top honors for that bonus-points quiz he gave us I'd still be in the doldrums by one freaking point.

Learned from Denise that college "friends" might just turn out to be grade-conscious vampires who can turn on you just to obtain a lousy extra five or so points. And I thought I actually meant something to her at least as a friend. If that's the case I'd rather not speak to you ever again.

Still being hounded by my as-yet-unfinished Accounting practice set, which, thanks to valiant efforts of photocopying and whatnot, everyone else was able to submit today. Sigh.

And yes, we did lose the basketball game today against UST...no, wait.

We won. Yes, DLSU won. I was ready to throw in the towel by the fourth quarter, actually, seeing that they had led by as much as 18 points and kept a consistent 10-point lead until the last quarter. I never thought we'd be able to make up a game where they had led almost every single minute. Then overtime came...and they made a believer out of me.

My heart goes out to UST because I was seated with them and they seemed so hungry for the win...and their superb playing and raucous cheering proved it. I had to wonder for a while whether or not DLSU was actually worth cheering for, since we rather lacked the spirit of school support, not to mention also had the slowest cheers.

Pam, Ruth and their wonderful friends (forgive me for not being able to post links to all your blogs) were there making fun of me after the game, telling me that I was an unlucky charm for their team since I was from DLSU and seated with them. But hey, you gotta admit I was taking pretty cool pictures of the UST Growling Tigers...in fact I downed an entire roll on them...my best film, even...

Here's to a DLSU-UST finals match.

Love, thanks for being here with me. I know I was impatient with you at the game, but I can never really stay angry with you for so long...I love you so much. Thanks for understanding and listening to all my problems. You mean so much to me.

At least my shitty day ended on some high note.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Took a couple of quizzes I got from Gabby's blog. Both were mildly hilarious.

You are 16% geek
OK, so maybe you ain't a geek. You do, at least, show a bit of interest in the world around you. Either that, or you have enough of a sense of humor to pick some of the sillier answers on the test. Regardless, you're probably a pretty nifty, well-rounded person who gets along fine with people and can chat with just about anyone without fear of looking stupid or foolish or overly concerned with minutiae. God, I hate you.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com

Here's the second one:

I am 21% evil.
Take the test :: koolplace.com

Hahahahaha. At least I'm smiling.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

"Cannot believe there was a time you thought you had been born to be a better friend than lover. You amaze me. You are so giving and so selfless and so sensitive to my needs. While as a friend you are wonderful, as a lover you are the closest there is to perfect. Am grateful I crossed the line with you. 'Us' might just be the best thing that ever happened to me. I love you, JM."

This was a text message Pam sent me before I went off to sleep at 3 am. Honestly, I felt so touched. Whatever shades of drowsiness I was feeling back then I felt like pushing away. I wanted to call her one last time, just to tell her how I felt.

Not long ago, I remember posting on PEX about yearning for someone to love, someone who could love me in spite of my craziness. I feel like I've found her, really, and the bewildering part is, I didn't even know that she was with me all this time.

When I read this message on both my cell phone and her blog, I realized anew and with a greater passion that there would be no one else in my heart; no one else my lady would have to be worried about; frankly, no one else who'd matter in my life.

I love you, my lady. I'm yours.

People have been writing about me and Pam online. Even my friends at Otakuboard have noticed my blog and have been badgering me to spill details on our relationship. Hell, even my classmates are happy for me.

I know many of those who've written about our relationship know Pam better than they know me, but I'd like to use this opportunity to thank you all, in spite of my stranger status. All your well-wishing means a lot to me, too.

Am planning to watch the UST vs. DLSU basketball game on Thursday right after my class with my lady. I'm still not sure of how things might work since it's still a busy week, but I do hope things push through.

Ruth gave me a warning not to break Pammy's heart. Honestly, I feel scared of her.

I wouldn't do anything to break her heart, though...at least, not intentionally. Pam means too much to me. I wouldn't want her to be sad, because we make each other so happy...

Saturday, August 17, 2002

I just had a wonderful, wonderful date with my love last night.

I forgot the arduous ordeal of getting my little blue car to Glorietta 4 through Friday's horrendous traffic. I forgot my jitters before the date and my worries about how I'd act. I even forgot my relative hunger from skipping a real lunch. All I remembered was Pam beside me all the time, in three predominant locations: at Taters for dinner; while watching "About a Boy" at the cinemas, and in my car making out, giving me my first ever kiss.

I saw a side of myself I had never experienced anywhere else but in my dreams. In the dark, I was kissing her hands and fingers, stroking her hair, staring into her dark eyes. I would've slapped myself silly anywhere else, but with her it felt so so right, as if these were what I was meant to do for her. I found the full extent of her soul with me as we leaned our heads on each other. I felt her heart beating through the soft swell of her chest. Everything about my darling was soft, supple and gentle, and really worth protecting. I felt nothing but love and peace with her...

We made out in my car. It was so beautiful, feeling her drink my soul into hers...her lips so full and soft, our bodies melting into each other separated by the two seats. My first ever kiss ended with us yearning for more of the act she deemed more intimate than sex itself. She told me I was great with my lips...I told her I guess I've been watching too many romantic movies.

This isn't a movie anymore. This is real.

I love you, my princess.

[On a side note, "About a Boy" was a marvelous film, hugely funny and touching, but I have to admit I absorbed only around 70% of all the details. I got the gist of the story and their names, but don't tell me to enumerate the nitty-gritty of visual artifacts. I did love the soundtrack though. Badly Drawn Boy is a very good act. "Silent Sigh" is a double thumbs-up.]

I feel like overhauling my blog's look. Honestly it's beginning to look garish. If I only had any semblance of handling HTML the same way I could handle PageMaker or InDesign...

Maybe I should leave such drastic changes for until October 7th. That's when my blog turns one year old.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

You will never lose me, my love. I will never do anything to hurt you, not even if we're not a couple anymore.

You brought it up yourself: Are we friends who love each other or are we friends in love with each other?

The important thing is, we'll always be friends, my darling Pammy. Even if the relationship has to fail for some reason, the core of our co-existence will never disappear. I will never leave you, love. I guarantee you that I will always be as open with you as I already am with you as my lover.

Am looking at a very busy weekend.

Tomorrow, I have a movie-and-dinner date with Pam I have to schedule with my parents.

On Saturday, I have an acquaintance party to go to for The LaSallian. One I am frustrated to find out that, even after ditching an important Philosophy seminar, only two of us newswriters will attend. Sigh. I am annoyed.

On Sunday, I have to go to the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, to watch a play meant for the consumption of two subjects.

On top of that I have a final paper in Philosophy to write, a practice set for Accounting 1B to finish, a term paper for Literature 2 to type, and I have finals exams on the 26th to the end of the month.

The good thing is, though, this hellish term's finally going to be over. No more Dean's List status, but the term WILL end. I hope I don't fail anything in the process, especially that goddamn Intro to Philosophy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Was so listless today. I slowly felt like sleeping in my classes the whole day. Are relationships this taxing on one's sleeping habits? I just had to ask...

Pam, we're going to have to take our relationship slow and gentle. I don't want you to worry too much about me, because we'll have our days together. Right now, though, let's take it slow and gentle. You know how much I want to be with you, but schoolwork pulls me away. I don't want to distract you from work, either.

You know I love you so much...trust me, we'll have our quality time together.

Had the most terrifying drive of my entire life.

I don't know what kept my school from calling off classes until it was too damn late. As a result, every fucking street in Makati is flooded at least ankle-deep, and traffic's at its absolute worst. I had to drive through at least seven streets to get myself to the South Expressway, and what a drive it was.

My clutch foot was shaking and trembling in constant fear as I fought to blip both clutch and throttle alternately to keep my little Honda's engine above 3000 revs and avoid stalling. With nothing but murky brown floodwater and a gaggle of crawling cars constantly in front of me, I was wondering when I'd break any of my car's components: radiator, clutch plates, throttle, even the entire engine block. My ears were averse to the loud sloshing and slapping of dirty floodwater around my Honda's electric blue bodywork. Worst of all, I was in fear of the flood swallowing my car's ridiculously low and short hood, taking me, my sister and my blockmates Rachel and Zeri with it.

I finally got to the Expressway, relieved and cathartic. The brakes felt spongy awash with all that water in its discs, and the engine was getting pretty asthmatic at top gear, but I was just glad my blue City was still in one piece. Thank God, thank God for bringing me home.

I have you, a lover and a friend
You are everything I need
You are the song of the air I breathe
Without you, I wouldn't be the same
Please never go away
And if you go,
Then don't forget to take me with you...

You are my life's reward...

---Basia, "Reward"

Monday, August 12, 2002

That was so beautiful, Pam. What we had last night and this morning is something I'll never forget. I've even made sure I wouldn't ever forget...

I have never felt more loved in my entire life. Please do not think of yourself as my training wheels. For me, you are my ridden bike itself. No matter what happens to us, I'll always love you...you'll always haunt my heart, tugging at its strings gently yet firmly.

Make me feel again
Slide across my skin again
Let me uncover you
To rediscover you

And I will open up
If you promise to give in
On this perfect night
Let the two of us be one

We will be again another time
No matter what all the others say
And I will leave it all so far behind
Just to be with you today...

---Hoobastank, "To Be With You"

Sunday, August 11, 2002

I've had more midnight conversations with Pam ever since she told me she loved me. Turns out I wasn't looking for help on how to organize my lovelife with my crushes...the person I loved was talking to me all this time after all.

I'm not sure whether or not I can still defend what I posted before, about Pam and I not being anything more than friends. Truth be told, I think she's wonderful. She's the first person I've found with whom I can be so open, no inhibitions or fears whatsoever. With me, that counts a lot. I've been deluding myself into falling in love with women I knew I liked from the outset. Because I know I like them, though, that means I've been trying to show all the positive sides of me and not my faults. I can't live with that.

We're both afraid of what we've realized though. Pam is afraid that she's getting into a relationship in a time when she should be numbed by relationships of any kind, and yet here I am confusing her. As for my own fears, I'm not afraid of losing myself in her, but I'm afraid that my "one chance" with her had to be spent this way, in potentially my first relationship. I remember all that talk about not taking a first relationship seriously, but now that I'm here it's rather hard to follow my head.

We agreed that if ever we didn't delve into a relationship, we'd still be with each other. That's enough solace for me, actually. I'm just grateful to Pam for showing me what reciprocated love feels like...because I've had enough of giving my love to stone statues.

You know I love you. I just want to be with you. You're the only person I haven't felt a twinge of cynicism, cheesiness and doubt saying "I love you" to. I want to walk with you through the streets of Hong Kong. I want to hug you and kiss you on Victoria Peak. But if you don't share my optimism, I just want you to know I'll always be your friend.

Came across some stuff that might mean Pam and I are meant for each other.

Want To Know Which Element You Are?

You are Spirit!

Truly a rare breed, you're calm and thoughtful
but still know how to live life. Things are taken slowly but your large list of experiences (yours as well
as others) can help you adapt to new situations with little trouble or people being hurt. Unfortunately,
you're the most likely to ignore yourself over other people. Emotions rule you, and though you are quick
to kindness, your anger could scare the fiercest of creatures. Learn to relax a bit and live your own life.

Best Match: Fire, they'll pull you out of your shell and teach you plenty of things in life.

Worst Match: Water, they're too intent on their emotions to notice yours.

wasted a bunch of time making this test.

She took this test and got Fire. Was never one to take these seriously, but I guess this is an exception.

Friday, August 09, 2002

Had a blissful phone conversation with Pam at midnight. Now I realize what you really meant when you told me you loved me, and now I realize I love you too. You're the friend I wish I had a very long time ago. Thanks for helping me sort out my confounded lovelife.

The pact is on.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Seems like my last post about Pam's "I love you" confession has been receiving its fair share of readers...and respondents.

My best friend texted me while I was driving home from school. "Y r u so afraid of a commitmnt? U wnt get anywhere if u always prefer to be on d safe side...open up 2 her, she may b d best girl 4 u..."

Another friend told me he saw Pam's reply to my last post. He had a lot in mind he wanted to say, but he told me the general idea that she was "protecting her ego."

All I can say is: HUH?!

First of all, Pam and I are nothing more than friends. She's actually the first online acquaintance I've made. She and I may be close and we make each other the topic of our blogs every so often, but we're nothing more than friends. Pam was first to decline my casual offer of being her boyfriend a long time ago, saying that I'd have to make some pretty unreasonable changes to my life to accommodate her (e.g. she regularly stays up until 5 am, while I can't do the same thing because of health reasons).

Second, Pam already knows the girl I've been eyeing. It's a coincidence that both of them study in the same university. While I've been rather tentative about "making my move" on my crush (because of certain ascribed factors), she's actually been egging me on to go out and court her already.

Third, from what I know, Pam's had enough of relationships, at least for now. Read her blog. She personally told me over the phone that the last guy she'd been hoping to see was an asshole she just couldn't take anymore.

Fourth, all I said in my blog was that "love is a heavy and yet vague word." I've become afraid of the consequences of misinterpreting the very word when it's told to me by female friends. Pam said so herself: she never meant to say she wanted me in her life as her boyfriend. All I meant was that I thought love, as a word, has been grossly overused by a lot of people, and that I did not want to spoil an otherwise good friendship with a simple misinterpretation on my part (which I've done too many times). If Pam were to use "love" as freely as she did with me, I would best make do with an explanation, which I got from three sources: her blog, from herself and from my friends at Otakuboard.

After defending my own position, I feel like those showbiz personalities getting into rumors, scandals and controversies all the time. It's tiring.

Pam used to tell me her reasons for shunning guestbooks and comments on her blog. She told me that the moment one puts these on, the blog often becomes too centered about what the visitors think. I think she's right. I could care less about receiving my share of Net traffic and what people think of my scrawlings, just as long as I can stay true to myself. This is the only place I can even do that, goddamnit. This is the only place where I can openly bitch about what I feel without anyone getting hurt.

To cap off, here's a quote that should kick my would-be critics in their pants: "Never edit yourself."

Frankly, I've been denying myself that rule for too long.

Learned that my professor in Literature 2 held high regard for me. I was doing this report on the elements of poetry, scribbling on the board all the time I was talking. She said I lectured more like a professor and less like a student. My eyebrows arched up in reluctant affirmation and I asked her why. She told me she couldn't lecture and write on the blackboard at the same time even without her allergy to chalk dust.

I went home that Wednesday in high spirits. It's not everyday that I get complimented.

Been digging through my "Literary" folder and I saw half-baked and barely started short stories that were cooking in my imagination back when I was still in high school. That's one of my weaknesses, I suppose. I come up with great story ideas but I am bad at developing and closing them into full short stories.

There's this particular story I still feel the creative fires for, though. It's based on a story I read in Glamour magazine back in 1997, one where a petite New York stockbroker confessed to having had 240 blind dates. I really felt for the girl. I figured maybe I should write something about her life and give it some sense of closure.

Hah! I was one to talk. I was never a good closer in the first place. Maybe I can prove myself wrong this time though.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Finally got to talk to Pam once again, after what seems like a whole month of silence.

Our conversation on the phone was nothing special, just the usual chitchat we used to have before. Turns out we had missed each other through our bad phases---she was depressed over this sorry relationship with an equally pathetic guy, and I was once again heeding the little imp in my head telling me to kill myself. We were equally glad that we'd weathered our own personal storms.

Had to cut our midnight conversation short because I had class early today. She texted me after my call like she used to before. I didn't expect the text message to read what it read, though.

"Hope this doesn't weird you out...but I love you JM."

I honestly didn't know what to say at first. Not that I found Pam weird, mind you. It's not even the fact that a girl friend of mine told these things up front to me that's shocking.

It's just that I've had this knack for getting myself in trouble for reading too deeply into things like these. Besides, love is a heavy and yet vague word. I guess I slowly conditioned myself not to believe in love anymore, because I always become too afraid of the consequences. Or maybe I even learned sometime in my life how to throw away my real feelings just to be a more tolerable member of society. Worse, perhaps I'm just too naive, or even too afraid.

Pam, if you're reading this, please don't feel offended. It's just that I tend to take these things in the wrong way most of the time, and I invariably mess up. I miss you, I enjoy being and talking with you, and I appreciate your accepting me into your life, but please don't tell me you love me. At least, not just yet. I still have a can of worms in me you don't know about.

"Friendship is not about looking for gold or silver among the rocks of life...it is about seeing each other's coal through the fire until diamonds are formed."

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Went to the Enchanted Kingdom theme park yesterday with my classmates and friends for a "make-up class" for Physics. (That could've sounded like a really bad excuse, but it was supported by a school waiver.) Had an amazing head rush trying out the rides. Had an even bigger head rush from taking such cool pictures, too. Can't believe it's been seven years since I last visited the damn park. In a lot of ways I felt like a kid again today.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Had to attend this talk on illegal gambling yesterday at U-Break (Wednesdays, 1:00-2:30 pm, when everyone in DLSU is free from class). A supposed member of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's cabinet was going to give his points. I was curious enough anyway, so I up and went.

Ugh. The problems started when we had to get into the damn North Conservatory. The air-conditioned venue was never really meant to host such a large audience, as it is usually a full student hangout almost all the time. So many classes were required to attend the talk and all had to trudge in line to have their names and ID numbers listed down. With that volume of students, it’s expected that the Conservatory would be full. What I don’t understand is why the organizers never bothered to set up more chairs to seat all the students. Many of us had to sit on the marble floor, as all the provided seats (inadequate in the first place) were located only along the middle aisle. Hmmm…

To make things worse, the Cabinet member showed up really late. I already had an exhausted 30-minute nap and our guests still weren’t there. U-Break was quickly running out.

Finally our guests arrived…and what an entrance they made, escorted by Manila’s top police officers. Typical.

The city mayor spoke first. Turns out he didn’t have to speak too long for me to pick the contents of his mind. All he talked about were his accomplishments and how the smallest and most ridiculous violations, like peeing in public, had to be apprehended. He said so in this annoyingly loud voice, fit for campaigns but not fit for intellectual gatherings. Uh-huh. I don’t even see the point of his being there.

Next up was the head of the school’s system. I thought he’d cut the bullshit and get on with it, but no… All he had to do was to introduce Mr. Cabinet Member, yet he numbered all the guest’s accomplishments from time immemorial. Never have I heard an introduction worth 5 minutes. Just goes to show that even my school has its share of nitwits in its faculty. Wait a minute…was he really DLSU faculty or Mr. Cabinet Member’s campaign manager?

Finally the main event came on the podium—with 15 minutes of U-Break remaining. The organizers never seemed to think about the audience’s schedules. They never thought that MOST OF US HAD CLASSES AFTER U-BREAK. By this time I knew I wouldn’t listen to the guy anymore, whether he’s the secretary of local government or the secretary of my school’s president.

Turns out I was right. Nothing he said was new to my ears. With ten minutes to my Sociology class, I left.

I wonder how many other clowns like Mr. Mayor and Mr. Cabinet Member exist in Philippine government. It’s no wonder why so many Filipinos prefer to leave for other countries rather than stay here and endure the discomfort.

My new computer just froze on me a while ago, the exact freeze my old Pentium 2 used to drive me crazy with. I am scared. Don't tell me this means having to buy yet another computer.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

We held our Mexican-themed party today for our idiosyncratic PE class.

So many things were needed, actually: we planned about five games (some which didn't quite push through because of lack of time), brought an insane amount of food (considering how stringent DLSU is with bringing large amounts of food inside the premises) and got screwed by the awfully timed rainshowers. Because of that damn rain, we had trouble organizing how we'd get the food into the Sports Complex without the guards noticing...and that means using my mom's van. I actually arrived earlier than expected, not the other way around. I was expecting to come in last so I wouldn't have to wait for anyone else. Worse, actually transferring the food to my van meant that we'd have to brave the flooded canals of Taft Avenue.

I'm happy though...I guess we pulled off the party quite well despite all the troubles and a cut class in Philosophy. It was more of a food-driven party than the games-driven parties our other classmates had, since we taught them how to make chicken burritos and paella with shrimp and scallops. Had some games, too...had to make do with a simple palayok (earthen pot) instead of a genuine piƱata because of the price difference...had a sack-race type of game with a twist...those sorts of things.

I'm exhausted.

These stupid rains have caught me unawares. I was driving my sister home, honking along the Skyway at 70 km/h, when the sky suddenly darkens five shades of PANTONE gray. Every street I turned into had rollicking waves of muddy floodwater. The showers seemed tame, actually, but they were persistent enough to cut my forward visibility.

Thank goodness the Pregio van's a diesel. I would've freaked out otherwise.

While at the party, I brandished my old Nikon FM camera once again, after a long period of disuse. I took pictures of my constumed classmates eating, playing games, and basically having fun. While I was at it, I felt something missing in me. Taking pictures suddenly made me realize how much of a bore my life's been.

I always put off using my camera because of the most frivolous reasons---most notably that of not being "outside" of my usual daily grind. Nothing was picture-worthy if it was part of the everyday experience I get to repeat ad nauseam. I realize, though, that I have to make those picture-worthy moments happen, or at least keep a keen eye out for the unusual.

I guess this realization came just in time. I'll have my major subject in photography (FOTOCAM) next term. I can't afford to slack off, I suppose.