Sunday, May 28, 2006

Many Vested Plots

Sometimes I wonder just how funny things tend to fall into place.

Just like in the movies, I absolutely love it when I have no idea how the ending will turn out (and kudos to Mr. M. Night Shymalan who hasn't disappointed me yet). I'm one of those doofuses who turn off their brains when they go inside the theater and just wanna revel in all the eye candy. (which is why it pisses me off when people get too critical, but thats a whole other story...)

I know that just like in sports, there are winners, losers, and those in between in Life. Those stuck in thegray area are those who didn't really lose much, but felt like they didn't win anything either. So for me, it's all relative. You can be either a winner or loser in your head. It all depends on what you hold dear to your heart and what you consider to be expendable. With sports, it's too clear-cut, there are statistics, there are tallies. People watch, they don't even have to decide if you suck or not, because you can do that for them. There will be days when you are the pigeon and days when you are the statue. You can't please everybody. But you also know that you don't really have to please everybody. This is not a beauty pageant. You are not competing for something that is as abstract and subjective as hell. Thank God skill, hard work and determination still count for something. Otherwise my team wouldn't have won the superbowl. But we did. And therefore, we got declared winners. Simple? Yes. Very.

In Love, when you meet someone, hit it off, and then get into a relationship, can you be considered a winner? When you break up, is it considered your loss or his? When is there really a clear cut gain or loss when it comes to relationships? (at risk of sounding like a Carrie Bradshaw wannabe, I really havent figured this one out). For me, a gain is more of when I meet somebody, end up caring for him, going ga-ga over him, frustrated over him and living la vida loca with him in mind. It's all a wonderful crazy blur. I gain without ever expecting him to give the exact same thing in return. Because to have the chance to do that, experience that, make that part of your history, is a great opportunity in itself. Mushy, i know. But when I'm old and gray, I'll look back at all these supposedly imperfect times and think about all the horrible judgements I made, stupid stuff that I unbelieveably did, things that would make my parents shackle me int he basement for good if they found out, and it was those kinds of things that will make me happy in my twilight years. (Actually, I'm kinda happy about it now).

In the long run, my losses have turned out to be gains. Because I never mince with words, I have never felt like I have shortchanged someone of my emotions. Because my ego will never be an issue when it comes to relationships, I do not feel bad about past fights. Because I will do my damndest to keep a relationship afloat and exhaust all means to the point of looking like a fool, I have no regrets. Just memories of the hard, challenging process we like to call Love.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I think there's something sad about not being afraid of hospitals anymore.
It's sick to find comfort in surroundings like that.
The general assumption is that you only go to hospitals when there's something wrong with you or you don't want something wrong to happen to you.
But to continually induce situations that amp up the risk factor of you ending up in the emergency room is undeniably stupid (no matter how much fun you had in the process).

I've been to quite a number of hospitals in this lifetime, not all of these visits caused by sports.
Hospitals have this damp alcoholic smell. The lighting is off. The fellow patients are either pained, resisting pain or in a state of shock, same goes for their sympathetic but fatigued companions.
The hospital staff look either affected, disaffected or somewhat tired. Occasionally there will be a cute doctor or intern, but that still does not remove the fact that you are in an enclosed area where there is alot of pain going on.
And pain, is an idea I've become all too familiar with especially in the past few months.

In all honesty, it was fun being wheelchaired around for a change. because sometimes I get too tired to pretend I'm still strong. In a hospital, people genuinely want to help you out, not just for show. And I know i can be weak.
Sometimes, i can't tell if i'm in real honest-to-goodness pain or if I'm just acting up. But I guess dripping blood is a good indication. other than that, i can't tell either way. Sad, I told you.
I've also gotten used to being stared at alot when i'm there. Stares that either say "Well what happened to her?" or "Playing contact sports is just a stupid thing for a girl to do." I'm used to different doctors chatting me up to assess my sitaution and then tell me about their old playing days and how they miss being on the field. I am used to all their morbid attention by now.

The Cause:
We played our semis game last saturday despite the typhoon (and better judgement). My eye ended up connecting with someone's elbow (i think it was more of the other way around) and my shoulder popped. so despite wanting to finish the game (playing 2 hours actual game and two hours overtime, but still ending in a draw), i was scooted off to the nearby cardinal santos hospital for x-ray and examination.
So there I was, with lots of caked mud on my wet clothes and cleats, sitting in the x-ray room by myself wondering how the hell do i get myself into these kinds of situations?

Because it all boils down to me. I knew I was asking for it. and i'm still in denial about that.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Dreary, Dark, and decidedly damp.
That's how last night ended and today got started.
The dayi thought wouldn't come til end May got a little too excited and decided to (literally) rain on what's left of summer.

I wasn't able to pursue the set plan yesterday (which is why I'm leaving the previous post unfinished). But maybe it'll pull through this Sunday when crabby people aren't so crabby and everybody gets a decent night's rest.

yesterday, I was able to pass by my old ballet school. Actually, it's the same school, but different location. They've upgraded to a more elite mall, but my teacher still looks the same. I was transfixed to the point that the some of the students were probably wondering what the hell this scruffy looking girl was doing, staring at them while en pointe. I can't stay I miss my toe shoes days. There was always some sort of unspoken competition between you and your batchmates, especially if someone gets promoted to toe shoes earler. I remember everyone eagerly anticipating that day after class when our teacher would call you over and tell you that you can now go out and buy your first pair of toe shoes.

Anyway, enough about ballet.
I was all over the city yesterday running various errands and thinking to myself that it must eb so hard to maintain your dignity while being impoverished here int he Philippines. Case in point:

1. The jeepneys, considered the main form of transportation, which theoretically exist for public CONVENIENCE, are anything but convenient. First off, the barkers practically harangue you into choosing their jeep, then the drivers order you into squishing yourself into a seat that is more of a seating space ideal for an 8 year-old child.
2. Now with the rains, its become a sort of micro hell whenever you commute because the jeeps all have these plastic covers that keep all the rain out and keep all the passengers body heat in! So imagine walking around half-wet, getting into a dank jeep, perspiring from your own body heat, your seatmates body heat and the heat of the engine!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Don't be so blase

Our hell week's almost done. Hurray! Hurray!
Which means I get a day off to go food-tripping with a balikbayan aunt/godmother in Quiapo, Manila tomorrow (which will prove to be mighty interesting as I have not been back there this year). It's relief for me because she's been getting antsy about not going around and I've been feeling guilty that in between work and the gym, I hardly have time for other important affairs including her (which kinda gives you an idea of how my sad sorry life goes). Anyway, here's whats on the happy-happy-but-not-joy-joy-cuz-of-the-heat agenda:

1. Take the LRT train to Recto from Gateway in Cubao. (a short 15 minute train ride which only gets slightly more interesting when your unwilling body gets mashed up against more lumpy alien bodies during rush hour.)
2. Walk the murky walkway from Isetann to the Quiapo church (while at the same time trying to look unaffected by the smoldering heat, godawful pollution and skeazy (but appraising) glances from the locals. I guess if you look just as tough and angry as the rest of them, they'll leave you alone. Otherwise, watch your back). The hodgepodge of wares being sold everywhere in Quiapo is an experience in itself and I can't wait to show her the studded carabao rings and other interesting paraphernalia we'll encounter along the way.
3. A compulsory visit to the Quiapo church (which I've passed by countless of times, but have have only gone in only once.) Surprisingly, it's not as scary as the movies portray it to be (swarming with pickpockets and other shady characters)
4. A short walk around Plaza Miranda (once bombed, never the same since)
5. Going down the underpass to get to the other side. Now the underpass is another point area. There's like a mini-mall with food stalls, shops and even a travel agency. How people can work and stay all day underneath one of the busiest, most probably also the dirtiest road in the city is beyond me. Or maybe they're just too busy to care. Just make sure we don't accidentally step on one of the numerous sleeping bodies we encounter on the stairs.
6. Welcome to the Black Market! If the Quiapo Church can be considered the Heart of Quiapo, then the black market (as me and my friends like to call it) refer to this as the Underbelly of Quiapo, full of chinese and muslim merchants

to be continued...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sweet sweet potatoes

I seem to keep forgetting to blog this year...
Not that i don't want to, that i can't. I just feel like there's nothing much to write about. I mean, who wants to hear me rave about rediscovering my love for kamote (a.k.a sweet potatoes) fries and oatmeal?
Everyday, about 3 blocks from my office, is a fried banana and kamote stand. They open at 11am and close as late at 8pm (who eats fries at that late hour, i wouldn't know). It's basically a struggle to decide not to buy any as midday snacks for the day. I love how the red sugar sticks to the thin slices. How hot it is and how warm it feels in my belly. I've become semi-familiar with the guy who cooks it and so, he's always trying to give me extra. Even giving me a a plate of peanuts while waiting for my order to be done (3-5pm is their crazy hour because messenger boys from all over arrive with dozens of orders. I prefer buying it myself. More walking mileage).

Not that I usually chat up people. I mean, I think of myself as pretty shy, I don't even stare at anybody when I'm out and that usually results into me bumping into people i don't know and not even recognizing them til they shake

The only other time this has happened was when my mom had to attend a summer banking program at harvard in massachusetts and dragged me along since it was summer. We stayed at this bed-and-breakfast in Boston and while she was out the entire day, i was left to wander around college town where I loved hanging out at the underground punk stores and vintage shops. Right beside this big branch of Au Bon Pain was this unobtrusive Middle Eastern deli. And although I'd gotten used to choosing my usual choice of either ham and cheese croissant or BLT, I decided to give it a try one day. The food wasn't bad. I'm not a big fan of meditteranean, but It was good. And getting to chat with somebody was a nice change too. I couldn't remember how I started chatting with them, but these two guys, the owners and brothers, who weren't so old but too old for me at that time (i think i just started college), were just really friendly and i told them about me being on vacation (which in hindsight was probably not a very smart thing to do considering I didn't know anybody else int he city and vice-versa). Anyway, I remembered they'd be really nice, giving extra soup or extra pita bread or cookies, especially the ones that came out imperfect. i didn't mind. free food tastes better anyway. And I actually thought that younger guy was pretty cute. Too bad I couldn't have stayed longer. And it sucks I haven't been back there in over a decade. Who knows what couldve happened. :)