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.