Archive for March, 2008


Booked!

Something’s keeping me excited.  I was still in Capiz when I got a text message from my friend that they have already booked our plane ticket to Bacolod for our May 16-18 trip.  Sure enough, when I got back, there was our e-ticket sitting on my Gmail inbox.  Well, it was really just a formality since we have already paid the downpayment for our resort cottage way back in February, but at least the ticket is tangible now.  I still haven’t informed my boss about it, but again, moot point.  I got away with a four-day vacation leave, didn’t I? 😉  What’s a single day?  And the weekend after my birthday at that, hehe.

Oh, by the way, we’re going to Sugar Beach in Sipalay, Negros Occidental.  Way off the beaten track – that’s why it’s exciting! 😀  Stay tuned…

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As obvious from my previous post, I just spent a week in Capiz – a week which was spent reconnecting with the place and with relatives, as well as seeing it through the eyes of a first-time visitor.  The last one was a first for me since I have always been the one who knows the littlest about the place, never having lived there.  It was the first time that I brought a visitor with me, and I thoroughly enjoyed showing her around and sharing our clan’s Holy Week traditions with her.

I was very happy when it turned out that two other cousins, Dondon and Lala, also planed in from Manila.  In fact, we were on the same flight as Dondon’s fiancee.  However, we haven’t met before, so we couldn’t pick her out of the crowd.  We only got to talk to her when we finally landed at Roxas City.

Upon arriving at our house, we had a late lunch of shrimp and crab, a very yummy ‘welcome home’ tradition.  Afterwards, we attended Mass at the Sta. Monica Church.  Later in the evening, Tintin and I went on a Visita Iglesia with my cousins Dondon, Lala, Ritchelle, their friend JR (who’s studying to become a priest) and Me-Ann, Dondon’s fiancee.  It’s been a long while since I did my last Visita Iglesia.  Actually, the last one was also in Capiz when I was still in college, but that covered even farther places in the province.  Anyway, we went to these 8 churches in the following towns/barangays, respectively: Pontevedra; Bailan; Panitan; Luktugan, Roxas City; Carmelite Monastery in Lawa-an, Roxas City; Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Roxas City (the former seat of the Bishop); Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Roxas City; and finally back to Sta. Monica Church in Pan-ay.

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We also did the Stations of the Cross (2 stations per church).  Afterwards, we hung out for a while at the patio in front of Sta. Monica Church before going home.  It was a nice bonding time for me and my cousins.  It’s been a while since we’ve all been together like that.  I’m really looking forward to seeing them again at Don’s wedding sometime this year.

On Good Friday, we joined the procession, again my first time in so many years.  Unlike in our Parish here, the procession there starts right after the Adoration of the Cross, at around 5pm.  The main difference of the procession in Pan-ay is the Considerad, which leads the procession.  Little boys hold up decorated poles with items related to Jesus’ passion and death hanging from the top.  Some of the items are nails, a rooster (only a drawing of course), sponge, and crown of thorns.  The boys shout out the significance of the items in Spanish and Ilonggo throughout the procession.  Apparently it’s some sort of a rite of passage for a lot of young boys in our town.  My own dad and most other male relatives are alumni of the Considerad.

Me and Tin, tired but still smiling after the procession (hmm…is it really ok to be smiling after a Good Friday procession?) :

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Black Saturday was spent on the beach, but more on that in another post.  The first part of Easter Sunday was spent bringing Tintin to the airport for her flight back to Manila.  Then, we attended the 4pm Mass to celebrate Easter and my cousin’s 25th anniversary in the priesthood.  Afterwards, it was chow time!  And story time with the relatives of course.

The rest of our days were quite uneventful except for another party to celebrate the graduation of a niece (Kindergarten) and a nephew (Grade 6).  Both graduated in the top 3 of their respective classes.

During this trip, I realized that Capiz is becoming more and more like home to me.  It’s slowly transitioning from simply being a vacation place to a second home.  And that ‘can’t-wait-to-go-back-home-to-Manila’ feeling only hit me on the last day.  It has also become easier to come up to my relatives and join in the chatter even though I understand and speak very little of the dialect.   And of course, I never really had complaints about the food from the very beginning. 😉

All I can say right now is that I can’t wait to go back and I can’t wait to see some of them here in Manila.

Images from Capiz

Just back from my first vacation of the year.  I was so happy to finally get sand on my toes once more.  I had fun taking pictures at Baybay Beach in Roxas City, and was very lucky to come across children playing in the shoreline.  They were definitely not camera-shy and just let me take their photos til kingdom come.

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Words to follow…

First ray of summer

It hit me yesterday morning.  I was wearing thick jeans and a long-sleeved turtleneck shirt (and even carrying a shawl) because it’s so darn cold in the building, but the heat of the sun still managed to penetrate through, quite searing my skin.  No better clue than that – summer’s here.  It’s now a few minutes before five in the afternoon and the sun is still glowing a bright yellow, something that wasn’t even the case only a week ago.

I do hate the summer humidity, but something about summer still excites me.  I know I don’t get a summer break like students do, but this year I’m especially excited about it because I am actually going on two vacation trips for the season – beginning next week.  Come Thursday, I’ll be flying off for a week in Capiz with my dad and my friend, Tintin.  Tin and myself have made it our mission to embrace the provincial Holy Week by joining the processions and all the other activities.  I also hope the bell tower would be open to visitors even if it’s Holy Week so I can take Tintin up to see the biggest bell in Asia.  It’s at the Sta. Monica Church in Pan-ay, my dad’s hometown.  Black Saturday will be a quiet day on the beach.  I’m really looking forward to that since it will be a first for me.  Baybay Beach in Roxas City is very much different from say, Boracay, so I guess it’s a safe bet that it will be a quiet day.

I’ll definitely be blogging about our trip when we get back, but for now, I just want to say, “Welcome, summer!”

…to my old friend, who may never even get to read this but my wishes for continued happiness and contentment with your chosen path remain.   I never had the chance to tell you this, and I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance, but very surprised as I was with the turn of events, I am still very happy and proud of you.

Questions

Perhaps it had something to do with the Friendster message I got yesterday, but my last song syndrome this morning was our high school graduation song, Questions.  It’s a school tradition.  Every graduating batch has the same graduation song. I already lost my sheet music so I could no longer trace the composer/s. I’m quite sure that it wasn’t a Filipino, and no amount of Googling could lead me to any information about the song. So please, if anyone out there has a recording of the song, or even the sheet music, get in touch with me through this blog.

Here are the lyrics:

Someday soon, we will not be young

What will you and I have done

Will the world be a better place

Or will it remain just as its always been

 

Someday soon, when we’re not so young

Will we too have lost the chance

Or will we hear, hear them all exclaim

Yes the world has changed just coz we happened here

 

You and I are all we have to change the world

You and I that’s all it takes to change the world

 

You and I, do we share the dream

Can we really change it all

Time is short, everyday must count

Every moment counts

We will not be young for long

15 years

Got a Friendster message from Rica, our high school class president.  She was informing us of our homecoming to celebrate…15 years since high school graduation!  I never fully realized how much time has passed.   I’ve only ever been to one official homecoming at school and one class reunion – both when we were still in college.  A bit premature to be attending homecomings then, huh?   I already forgot what it was, but I think there was a special reason that we attended that homecoming.  It could’ve been the school’s diamond year, or something like that.  The class reunion – well, we just really wanted to see our classmates again.

So…15 years.  A lot has happened between 1993 and 2008, but somehow, whenever I’m with my high school friends, I feel like time has barely passed and that nothing much has changed.  Yet it is also around each other that we realize how much we’ve changed, or rather what has changed and what has stayed the same.  And I think this would even be highlighted if we attend the homecoming.  I don’t know if there’s some cosmic force involved, but since the beginning of the year, me and my friends have been having surprise encounters with our old classmates – which rarely happens.

I really don’t know the point of this post.  I guess I just can’t believe that we left high school half our lifetime ago already.

Characters

I am in a place in my life right now that is filled with CHARACTERS, not just ordinary people.  It’s great fodder for stories, but if the pattern continues, I just might shift gears and become a comedy writer!  The characters I encounter each day are great for sitcoms.   Even the girl who pushed me in the elevator, who so infuriated me a week ago, seemed funny to me once I calmed down.

I am currently surrounded by the following characters, some of whom are always guaranteed to elicit at least one loud laugh a day:  a grown man who looks, talks and acts so much like the typical boy that gets bullied at school and in the playground; the tech geek who always tends to mess up something or do odd things; the mysterious guy who’s forever wearing brown-tinted glasses and who we always catch at the foodcourt no matter what time of the day we go there; a guy who’s the epitome of ‘boy bastos’ but never really gets the girl and is not really the cool guy and smooth operator that he pretends to be; the petite girl who looks straight out of an anime; the sexy hunk who is so cool and seems so confident and unflappable no matter what; the sales agent who often has his bag with him no matter where he goes and looks so harassed, complete with untucked shirt, as though someone just had her way with him 😉 ; the food servers who are perpetually in slow motion, even when they talk.

Me and my officemates always have fun making up stories of different scenarios involving these personalities.  We come up with stories on why they look that way or why they have that kind of personality. It actually all started when we were tasked to make storyboards for ads to be placed on YouTube.  We needed inspiration and we realized that we didn’t need to look very far to find interesting characters who can have infinitely comedic storylines.  They’re all in one building.

Can’t wait to start on those storyboards…and I hope it gets the boss’ approval.