Sunday, September 16, 2012

Letters to Marge (Chapter 34): Stale Slice of a Fresh Sunday (082612)

Dearest Marge,

Whenever I finish writing you one of these, i feel great. I feel like i've left a little piece of my soul for your future consumption. Feels really great, but man... sometimes it's tough to kick off. Even if i've already lined up so many things to write about.

Oh well, enough with the excuses. Here goes another one...

This is actually quite delayed. These should have been posted exactly three Sundays ago. The very Sunday outlined herein in a photographic day-journal of sorts. Here goes...

After your mother turned me into her zombie-fied errand boy practically at the crack of dawn the very Sunday morning right after she shooed me out of the house late on a Saturday night in her quest for burritos, i finally found the presence of mind to document this early morning torture. Right here, while waiting at the drive-thru window for the breakfast i no longer remember was what.
Let's talk about early morning. A morning so early that even the street lights are still on.
This is an amusing time of day. Especially on Sundays. Because sooooper early mornings usually bring the unlikely convergence of two opposite kinds of people: on one corner, you have the party people who realize they have to stop partying because the sun is up and wants to kick their sad asses back home. And they usually either have a hang-over, or have just woken up and are still trying to figure out where the heck they already are.  On the other corner, you have the very "together" people who wake up early to do their chores like gardening, or go jogging or something. you know... the "good stuff."
It is only on very early mornings such as these that these odd creatures can converge. Middle fo the road people like your mom and i do not belong here. not in this early a morning. So just HOW early was it?

THIS early, dangit...
But i must hastily add, that your mother is currently preggers, so everything may be annoying but forgivable.

This bag holds the unholy contents of oddly-assembled matter that is disguised as food. I at least remember it containing an order of pancakes for you. I was too sleepy to make them for you that day.

This is much later. At a time for normal people. At a time when pregnant women have had their synthetic breakfasts, you have had your synthetic pancakes and i have had more sleep.
This is you enjoying some sea breeze by Manila Bay where we went to take your grandfather out to lunch.

The smiling man is your grandfather. The kid doing a Marilyn Monroe impression is you.

This is the view that day inside the restaurant known as "The Aristocrat."
This oddity is always full, they have been serving the same Chicken Barbeque for what i know to be all my life so far, and everything still still pretty much tastes the same.
And this is what i consider the cool part of Sundays. We get to go visit down town Manila, and i get to reminisce about old days, old food, visit old places, and sometimes imagine what Manila could have been and what it once was.

This is the view driving your grandfather back to middle Manila. To the left of the photograph is the historic Manila Bay. Go google it or something, kid. Buildings to the right are old buildings that used to hold some of the biggest and most important companies in Philippine business. Now they're mostly out in Makati or Bonifacio Global City.
But make no mistake, the very shoreline to the left is part of what made Manila the jewel of a city that it once was.

 Fast forward to the future. Or more accurately, the afternoon of that day.
We proceeded to drive all the way down South to see what was new down there. And boy, WAS there anything new!
It was actually quite amazing and it really did feel like nothing from the South that i knew from as recently as maybe eight or so years back.
First stop, ICE CREAM!!!
Hot pregnant lady behind you is your mother.

This is you hamming it up while aforementioned hot pregnant woman is off somewhere exercising consumer rights.
Bo's Coffee place. You went out to crap, i think...

This is Eli's Barbeque at Tagaytay where we ended the day. This place is owned by one of Daddy's best friends. Great food, great view of Taal Lake (too bad we came at night). We'll head back there soon!
(photo credit from I was already too tired to photograph the place and our food.
So there you have it, girl. One more journalized Sunday.
Cheers and catch you later.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Letters to Marge (Chapter 33): A Slice of Saturday (or is it still Friday night?)

me looking at the Army Navy
serving counter in a very
"Night Hawk-ish" moment.
Dear Marge,

Nope, no lectures today. Just a little drop by.

Your mother is currently pregnant with your sibling. Please note the ambiguously gendered noun. Oh my, doesnt the word "sibling" sound a wee bit cold? But no, we still dont know if the bean of jelly in your momma's belly is a boy or girl.

Anyways, i have been dispatched at a little past midnight to the nearest spot that sells taco, because your mother caught Robert de Niro's "Machete" on HBO.

So there. Oh, order's done. Gotta run.

'catch you later.


random shots snapped while
avoiding a road accident.
(don't try this at home, kid)

P.S. your mother ordered a soft vegetarian taco, a tortilla soup (without the tortilla. Yeah...), and i got myself a bit of onion rings.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Letters to Marge (Chapter 32): Everything is (Almost) Worth Trying

Dear Marge,

I wrote the theme for this post before i wrote the Tears for Fears post. And it was initially titled "Life is Too Short." But given what i wrote in the previous post, it seemed a wee bit contradictory. But the point i'd like to make is still the same.

And it's as simple as this: when an opportunity comes your way to do something new, keep an open mind and always lean first towards trying for it before ultimately turning it down (if you have to).

Been there, there, there...
ooh, i have to go THERE...
and THERE... Done that, that,
that... no, not THAT, did that,
that, that... oh no, never THAT...
but THAT? hmm...
Check this old man out. Over the course of my colorful life, i have been or dipped into the following things (in the order that they just pop into my head): i've written articles and tech reviews for magazines (yes, real ones that got printed on real paper), joined painting contests in school, got forced into a swimming competition as a child, studied martial arts, went to the gym, played saxophone with a couple of bands, sang vocals in a band, sang in a church choir, was an altar boy, a published poet, an honor student (in kindergarten! So what? Still! Heh heh...), a high school drop-out, helped tend your grandmother's store, acted as cashier, went to the gym and got offered to join a body building competition waaay back (yeah! Believe it, girl!). i've emceed weddings and other events, i joined a TV game show once, auditioned for a job as a DJ (which i didnt get), was an amateur photographer (nowadays, everyone is!), served food and drinks (at your mother's little food place waaaaaaay back), attended to customers as a computer technician, worked as a landscape architect for two weeks (on site, too), worked as an interior designer for almost two years total, directed radio and print commercials, provided voice talent for radio and the occasional event, posed as a print ad talent, been my own company's messenger, your grandfather's weekend driver, tried to play basketball (had ONE good game in my entire life! yes, believe it!), i even once regularly toyed with the lights of a disco in a five-star hotel, i did minor carpentry and repairs at home (waaaaaay back), performed minor repairs and even part replacements on my first car (again, waaaaaaaaay back), acted as unofficial substitute guidance counsellor back in college, and so many more that will fill a very long list.

So through all that up there, i look back from time to time, find myself smiling, sometimes wincing, sometimes even angry. But ultimately, i will find myself smiling again at the color, music and noise in the memories of what has been my life so far.

And here's the clincher, in many of those above things, i totally sucked.

In a few, i didn't embarrass myself (which may actually mean that i may have embarrassed myself on some other things, but we can talk about those some other time), in a handful of those, i haven't given up trying to not suck. But there's a job that i didn't list up there where i may have sucked, i may done well sometimes, but most of all, i will never give up trying to always get better at. That "job" is being your dad, and being your mother's husband.

Again, I have never been perfect at any of those up there. But in every case, i either had fun or learned something new and/or useful. And guess what? I have no intention of ending that list. It will keep getting longer while i live, breathe, or manage to sneak away from your mother so i can try something she might find either embarrassing or suicidal.

But no, i'm not suicidal. Neither should you be.

But as you go on through life, try different things. Learn something new (sometimes not necessarily useful). Fill your life with color, music and noise.
Dad (is Crazy!*)

*your mom added the last two words herself.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Letters to Marge (Chapter 31): Meet Messrs. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, and the Time Machine called Music

Charming gentlemen who make
great music.
Dearest Margaret,

Hello there, little girl. Hmm... you would probably argue that by now you are a "big" girl because you are, after all, due to become a big sister very soon. Fine... Fine... But know you this,  even if you get more little brothers or sisters after this next guy, even when one day you fall in love, get married, and have kids of your own (yes, in THAT order dammit!!!), you will always be my "little girl."
Now read on...

my Maverick glow stick
of new wave devotion
Last night, your mom and i went to the Araneta Coliseum out in Cubao to catch a concert of two wonderful musicians and the rest of their band. These guys were Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, better known to 40-somethings and almost-40-somethings like me as "Tears for Fears." While there, i saw an acquaintance and client watching the show with her husband, and there was also my old boss and mentor, Kenneth Quintal. Remind me to tell you about him one of these days.

stupid phone camera...
And as i write this, i keep clearing my scratchy throat since i lost my voice screaming and cheering while they played and sang music that threw me back to that time when knowing a bunch of British pop songs that few people know about was cool, and having vinyl records imported from Hong Kong was even cooler. And the fewer people who knew those British songs, the better. No, i didn't own a lot of imported vinyl records, my dear cousin Jan did. I owned only that odd record or two he gave to me out of friendship. One of these days, ask me about him, too. His story is interesting as well.

It was a lonely time, because your grandmother had to leave for something back then, your grandfather never really came to terms with that until much, much later, and your uncles had no idea what the heck was going on.

But it was also a simpler time. It was a time when i began meeting the people and building the friendships that kept me strong when i needed them, the people who would be my islands and shores in my long swim in the sometimes turbulent seas of my young life. It was a time when my weekends and summers were spent alone with an old notebook wherein i doodled odd-looking cars, imagined new video games, my own superheroes, and wrote poetry. It was a time when i looked around my then quiet life and told myself that i knew there was going to be much more than that.

And every so often in the background, i would pop in a cassette tape where i recorded Curt Smith crooning out "Welcome to your life, there's no turning back..." randomly followed by Roland Orzabal declaring " features form with a change in the weatherrrrr..." along with so many other lines that at that time seemed to me like slightly sensible British metaphysical rubbish. But they weren't, not by a long, long mile. These were songs that meant something deeper, and wanted to say something bigger. These were great songs. This was great music. This was a great band.

So yes, last night your mother and i saw a great band, Tears for Fears. I was young again, and the future was an infinite ocean waiting for me to dive in and find my own treasure. And while i was skirting the shores, Tears for Fears was one of the bands playing in the air.

I hope that as you grow older, you will learn to love music like i do. Songs will be capsules to times in your life where you have to look back to from time to time. The times when friendships began simply because you both liked the same book or the same TV show (in your case, probably the same website), or perhaps the same music. Let music make you look back to remind you that at one time, you either had more than what you have now, or perhaps you had less. But for better or worse, times definitely can and will change. If they have changed for the better, then that's great. If they have changed for the worse, then take comfort in the surety that things can change again for the better.

As you get older, you will join people like me who complain about how life is too short. But it really isn't. It's long enough to look back and be happy for what you've had, and definitely long enough to look forward to all the good and better things that can still lie ahead. And it's long enough to enjoy good music from bands like Tears for Fears.



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Letters to Marge (Chapter 30): So I'm Back...

Dear Margaret,

Yeah, so i'm back. Back here, from... i don't know. Been to too many places, actually. And no, we haven't really been apart in the "apart" sense of the word. But i'm back here at this little blog.
So here's the challenging part of coming back to blog for the nth time, after letting it gather cyber-dust for the nth time, waving off cyber cobwebs for the nth time. Hard to remember where you left off mentally. And no, it isnt as simple as reading back and taking it from there. Especially not since i dont have any delusions about what caliber of writer i am/am not.
But back i am, and there you are reading this (along with the 5 or something other people who actually bother with this pathetic blog).
So much to talk about... comics, movies, food, relatives, friends... and life in general, i guess.
Will i actually bother to write this time? I sure hope so. Thoughts cross my busy and twisted brain a lot. Some are too private for facebook and too long for twitter. And yes, probably too long for facebook as well. Anyways... so off we go once again, and give this little Broken Record another spin.
* * * * * *
It's another boring and lonely weekend up in the hills by myself again. Thank Heavens for Facetime on the iPad, and you for giving me your weekend rock star best.
I love you.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Maja and Cling Wrap (re-posted for fun)

(This was originally posted waaaaaay back in 2008 (or was it 2009?). i forgot to save the date. but that isn't important. pulled it down since it presented me as some lecherously dirty old man, but just republished this for the humor in it. )
*  *  *  *  *

Last I checked, the store still had a couple of those giant-sized rolls of cling wrap that we use to cover up furniture that's either been sold, or prepared for delivery…

I will need that cling wrap…

* * * * *
"...he must make sure that Her Petite-Perfectness was sitting in my chair when the whole thing happened..."

See, I was told by my brother that the oh-so-perfect-even-without-a-cleavage Maja Salvador is scheduled to do a motorcade in Northern Luzon this June, including Baguio City. This is part of her duties as endorser of “Sisters Feminine Pads.” My bro said that there was some possibility (or he can supposedly “ask” on my behalf), for [my] Maja to make a stop at our store.

Naturally, I couldn’t contain myself.

But there was always the possibility that I wasn’t going to be uptown when that happened. So I came up with a solution for me to somehow experience the “Maja-ness,” should I be in Manila/Maverick when the grand event happened.

Should the glorious arrival of the “somebody-please-pick-up-my-jaw-from-floor-and-reattach-it-just-because-i-imagined-seeing-her” Maja Salvador truly come to pass, I have asked my brother to invite Her Gorgeousness for a brief chat at our fifth floor office. But he must make sure that Her Petite-Perfectness was sitting in my chair when the whole thing happened (for at least five minutes).
Then the very second that Her Tiny-Goddess-ness stands up from my chair, we will have office staff quickly wrap up the chair with clingy wrap to lock in the “Maja-ness.”

Upon my return to the Baguio office, I shall ask for time alone, then proceed to slowly and ceremoniously unwrap my chair, and break down in tears of joy.

* * * * *
Please do not be afraid. As of the moment, this whole thing is merely imagined.

‘Catch you later.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Letters to Marge (Chapter 29): Who are you?

Dearest Marge,

Who are you?

I took you to ballet class one sleepy saturday. And after shooing you into the studio, i proceeded to try and watch you and the entire class from behind through the breaks in the window blinds.

Call me an idiot for a dad, but for a couple of seconds, i couldn't tell which one was you. See, each and every one of you were in your cute pink ballerina uniforms and doing your damnedest best to follow your teacher. Except one kid standing in the front row who couldn't keep still and incessantly chatted with the other girl beside her. Yup, that was you, kid. A long time ago, i remember being told about another kid couldn't sit still. That kid still can't. Not even while waiting for his little girl go through ballet class.

At three and a half years old, it's still too soon to tell if you will grow up into which of the following: a general, a trooper, or what i've come to refer to as S.W.A.T.

No, we have no plans of drafting you into the military! Let me explain what i mean...

I believe that people are born hardwired as certain kinds of people.

As of this writing, there are over six billion people on the planet. That's six billion unique people with unique thoughts, unique sets of talents, unique habits, unique this and that and so on. So yes, despite the cutesy pink ballet uniforms, you are absolutely unique. When you grow up, you can choose to play on the strengths of your uniqueness, or you can choose to keep putting on uniforms, whether to become a nameless trooper in an army following orders or eventually becoming a general and giving them.

Or you may be a S.W.A.T. (my own lame version of this acronym is: Special Wants And Talents)

SWATs in the army are usually only called when their unique abilities and personalities are really needed. They do not necessarily conform to the regular regimen of the "everyday troopers." They are still soldiers and are part of the whole concept of defense and law enforcement, but on their operations, they make their own rules.

Your dad is a S.W.A.T.

It does not make me better or worse than generals (like your Uncle Pom), or troopers (like your Uncle Wilson). But it does make me "me."

Sometimes, i admire one of them for their command of people. Sometimes, i envy the other one for their simple outlook in life. But i have tried and found myself utterly uncomfortable in their skins. So i have settled into my own and have not looked back much. I still find myself wishing i was this or that, but i have found my life to be much more peaceful inside upon settling on the person i have decided to define myself to be.

The sooner you define yourself and stick to it, the sooner you will be at peace with your space in the infinite spectra of personality. It allows you to still stretch yourself and reach out, but at least your heart and mind will be anchored somewhere. So while you learn new things, meet new people, and see new places as you go on through life, all these things will enrich your life, without changing who you are.
'catch you later.


Test blog via mobile blogger

This is a test blog. Earth to blog, earth to blog...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Letters to Marge...

Due to popular demand...

(which is really just me demanding of myself.
I am after all, popular to myself.
If you do not find yourself popular with yourself, then you have some serious problems.
Anyways, enough about me.
But no, you're here. In my blog. this is about me.
Anyways, my letters to marge will only be found here:

Thank you all for reading. (All three of you... heh heh... Just kidding. There's four of you. No, there's more... No, wait... uhm... forget it...)

'catch you later.