Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sa Totoo Lang, Thirty Something Na Po.

I am coming out of my closet. The showbiz closet, that is. Yes. I have a showbiz-related confession to make. I am not exactly a fan of Kris Aquino…her in all her GameKNBaTheBuzz DealorNoDeal (where I think Toni Gonzaga’s Meal or No Meal is so much more believably exciting) etc etc etc etc glory. The last time I watched her, i.e. in Sukob, my deep-seated animus of her sheer existence was just set in stone one final time. For the love of God, where was the acting in all the screaming and unconvincing fear? Geesh.

But our love-hate relationship is not what this blog entry is about. I just thought of her—albeit fleetingly—because, as I was channel surfing, I happened to chance by a local channel showing her shampoo commercial where she was cheekily disproving the fallacious (ahem) observation that she looks “twentysomething” because of her hair. Right. My pupils are dilating on my irises at her every syllable. Somebody give me that arrhae from Sukob and give it to her, and let her abruptly jump from a church belfry.

Well, that seemed to be a rather fierce prelude to my real story.

With that out of the way, lemme say, yes. I am now, officially, thirtysomething na po. And I stiffly blink at the “-something” suffix, but—as my ex Joyce vehemently chided me—I am really, yeah really, thirty ONE…because my 30th birthday is, technically, the “celebration” (celebration my ass) of my thirty years of existence…ergo, I am NOW thirty ONE. So, fine. Thirty ONE it is.

To celebrate my thirtieth—ahem, thirtyFIRST—birthday, I went to Bohol to unwind and grumble and intellectualize my existence: where have I really been thus far? The unlucky soul to have gone with me through this trip of cogitation and whining was my partner in crime and roommate Floyd. And, boy, did I feel OLD being with someone who’s actually three years my junior…and that kept making me think about that every few seconds. Great. Floyd, when you’re already checking the 30 – 35 tick box in the “Age” section of your application forms, see me…and watch me do the Bwahahaha Dance.

It was a fight between Palawan and Tagbilaran. I realized, since we weren’t staying more than four days, Palawan would be a wasted trip…because we won’t enjoy it to the fullest. So, with both Cebupacific e-ticket printout, two overnighter duffel bags and my cowboy hat in stow, we boarded the nice planes in the old NAIA domestic terminal (which, incidentally, was a terminal I have never used before) to go to Bohol. A delay of almost two hours and a lunch-less (try Dewberry biscuits and C2 Green Tea for lunch and tell me if you’d be Mr. Congeniality) flight later, we finally arrived in Bohol, with Eva waiting for us and waving her Matig-a Seaside Pension Inn placard.

I called my relatives a few hours prior to boarding the plane and told them I was en route to Tagbilaran. And since the last time I visited the family (my father’s side, that is), I was—what, an embryo?!)—about 5 years old or so, lemme tell you…practically the whole clan was shaken, stirred, and turned inside out: planning impromptu dinners, meetings, and more get-togethers. What a perfect opportunity to reconnect with my roots.

So in between get-togethers and drinking sessions and whirlwind dinners and habal-habal rides, we actually found time to visit David’s Salon (where gossip and glamour magazines date back to 2003, mind you, and haircuts cost a hundred bucks), buy Nike Free for P2900 (down from P4600), and blimp out on native cuisine that would cost about one THIRD of Metro Manila resto prices! And, oh, we did manage to see the Loboc Children’s Choir’s rehearsal room (unfortunately, they were in school when we got there), take snapshots of our Mini-Me’s—the tarsiers, and take a cruise at the Loboc River.
We also managed to check out the Blood Compact site in Bohol, see ancient churches (like the Baclayon Church), and commute to Chocolate Hills (where Floyd met a rather nasty accident: as it was the feast of St. John the Baptist, people had this crazy leisure pursuit of throwing water at buses passing by…with the water still inside the Goddamned water bottle! I was giggly when the gushing rain and the first few water bombs simultaneously happened…until I realized that Floyd was already hurt and I was, together with a handful of the passengers, already drenched with God-knows-the-source-of water). Most exciting of all, we got to kayak in the open sea (well, OK, just within the corded perimeter of the “safe kayak zone”)…and all for free, thanks to our golden voice, which managed to impress the brother of the owner of the resort where we were doing karaoke. ;-)

The vacation leave was cut short because I had to fly back to Manila and participate in the new workshop-talk that the company was launching. Bummer. So, since I was needed to help roll out this program, I scratched my scheduled full week vacation (er, forced) leave…and yes, had to work on my birthday, the 28th.

Before leaving the office, my roommate SMS’d me to please buy lechong manok for dinner, as his cousin from the US was visiting and was conveniently invited to dinner at our place. Perfect. I wasn’t in a guest-entertaining mood at the time because my phone was not working for the nth time and I had to bring it to my technician Reynon for one more shot at fixing it. Add to that, the rain just all of a sudden poured and traffic was horrible, not to mention my being drenched both with rainwater and sweat. How’s that for a comfy, pampered birthday evening? Needless to say, I was dying to go home, change and rest…sleep the freaking birthday off.

When I came about six feet from the condo elevator, I realized that our unit’s lights were off, and that there was—unless I just imagined it—some faint flicker of candles or something like it in the darkness. I just knew that something was up.

When I opened the main door, my roommate told me to just put my bag down, covered my eyes with his hands, and walked me to our room. I definitely knew something was up. When I opened my eyes (and the overhead lamp was lit), shouts of “Surprise!” pierced the earlier silent room—all coming from the loves of my life: Daniel, Floyd, Sheila and Grace…and with them a box of homemade lemon cheesecake with two foreboding numerical candles in dead center…3 AND 0. Yep. You saw the damned photo in my other blog called Thirty Eeeeks.

Oh, yes. I did well up. Big time. Thank God there was no camera at the moment!

There was spaghetti—my favorite semi-sweet Pinoy style tomatoes with red hotdogs, and tuna in olive oil—in huge stainless steel containers; the lechong manok that I bought from Andok’s earlier; more lemon cheesecake (the ones with no wax drips, that is) and revel bars, courtesy of TQ; and sodas everywhere. Whew. Food was good for a platoon…and yet, there were only five of us.

As if the surprise wasn’t over, I was told that there was more. Floyd opened my laptop and showed me their top secret video surprise: a mini-MTV and video greeting from precious people (Paolo and Patrick, Sheila and Grace, Jav, and Chris and Maita). I was deeply touched by the efforts. I must admit, it was a great surprise birthday party.

It was actually a two-in-one, since aside from my party, it also served as an impromptu housewarming for my buddies (we’ve been planning a damned housewarming since March 2005—yessss…FIVE—ever since I moved in (and now moved out of) my Santillan condo. Finally, a soft-housewarming. Don’t worry you guys, now that I have a new stove and a fully functional kitchen exhaust, we can, once and for all, do a real housewarming with cookout sessions. I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you. Being thirty ain’t too bad after all. Not when I know that there’s you guys loving me no matter what and who I become.

And, oh. Thirty is the NEW twenty…have I told you that? ;)

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Ano raw??! (Fourplay)

One million years later, I still haven't found time to actually sit down and compose a coherent blog entry. So, for now, let my snapshots (not of myself, you dingbat) entertain y'all.

1. Tell it really?

2. Quite what?????!

3. ...ang nota, pare. and pitutuy. ang ari. ang sandata. ang titi. demmit.

4. Don't you DARE throw a different brand of sanitary napkin...

5. Pucha. Blast from the Past ang title nito...!

6. I'd like to see you test this in Aisle #6, Ma'am... [thanks to Shy for this pic!]

7. Well, well, well...