The Sunbaked King

This Is Why I Love Sunny Weather

I stare out the window from my desk and all I see are nasty clouds. Clouds the color of concrete, and threateningly pregnant with rain. At any time now, the clouds will break forth in messy rainbirth, and wash us innocents with gifts we did not ask for. We could have prepared for such showers had they not come so early into the summer, but they did. It’s a premature delivery, and the skies are laughing at our beach fantasies and boardshort dreams until tears flowed freely from their cumulonimbus eyes.

I understand why some people like this form of precipitation. It does feel good listening to the rain while you’re inside your room, cloaked in comfortable blankets and sipping some hot cup of chicken soup. It does look good from the inside, watching the droplets make their way from the heavens down to the ground, streaking with a purpose we could not see or comprehend. I understand the love for rain, only when you take yourself out of it.

This exclusivity has taken the fun out of everything. How can I enjoy a weather that forces me to stay in in order to enjoy it? Nowadays, everything looks and feels so dreary. The bleak mornings, the cold nights… this is definitely not my kind of weather. 

I just hope it’s a sunny Sunday tomorrow. Those days are best.

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Filed under: ...And Others

100 Words

heaven + ground + storm + archuleta + happening + rejection + pasok + flapjacks + forgotten + incredible + california + hermit + games + good + journey + taipan + cows + single + knight + kaban + sunday + boob + four + wall + aisle + august + tomb + chris + iphone + entry + history + sassy + wall-e + birthday + way + breakfast + clone + sumosam + study + darkness + competition + poem + jacques + death + coffee + eavesdropping + contented + corollary + catch + atenista + eagle + embers + other + recovery + melancholia + retreat + one + sidebar + thunder + q + hush + coat + waltz + letters + exam + know + family + musical + incomprehensible + leche + minutes + comeback + comeback + universe + blast + joke + brothers + yearend + series + 2008 + 2009 + goodbye + forgotten + sing + united + nations + avenue + honeymoon + american + hopeless + rest + idol + night + honors + honesty + hot + half-empty + hee + hope + 100 =

100 posts in 100 words.

I’ve gone a long way, and there’s no sign of stopping.

I will never tire of writing.

Filed under: ...And Others, Being Blue, Bibliomania, Cinema, Domesticated, Eros, Fiction, Yes?, Gadgetry, Gastronomy, Geekery, Helios, Mindlifting, Ra, Rat Race, Sunshine, Testimonial, The Couch Potato, Them, TV, Untamed, Utter Joy, Utter Sadness, Vanity, Yearend

Ha Ha Hee Hee Ha Ha Ho

Love me, hate me, say what you want about me.

– Britney Spears, If You Seek Amy

Got this idea from one of MakMak’s posts. The idea here is simple: listed below are ten life events, 9 of which are very, very real. The other one? A blatant lie, an outrageous fabrication. The guessing game is only half the fun; reading through the entries should already take you midway. Needless to say, I enjoyed this exercise immensely.

(The events are listed in chronological order.)

Episode 1 : Jeffrey. We once had neighbors in Zamboanga that were certified crooks and troublemakers. The sister once attempted to steal orchids from our garden; Mama saw her and grabbed her by the hair before she could get away. The brother, a kid named Jeffrey, had a punching bout with me. I lost that particular round because I went home crying. Sometime during the immediate future, I found myself faced with a wonderful opportunity: we were playing darts. With one swift stroke, I deliberately threw the dart at him, and it landed squarely on his disease-infected leg. I fake-apologized and got all fake-concerned, but deep inside, my inner devil was cheering.

Episode 2 : Promil Kid. I graduated Valedictorian soon after that. (Not that the Jeffrey incident had anything to do with it.) I was in Kindergarten then. My parents had to repeatedly stand up to pin my ribbons because there were so goddamn many of them. I was invited to be accelerated to Grade 1 sometime before that, though, but my parents refused, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Years later, they would be faced with the same decision with my younger brother, and they agreed this time around. I wonder why they changed gears?

Episode 3 : Showbiz. We moved from Zamboanga to Davao around the early 90’s. During this time, Eat Bulaga ruled the boob tube. Shows like Little Miss Philippines and That’s My Boy catered to the kids, and they became so popular that they started holding auditions nationwide. I joined the Davao auditions of That’s My Boy. Contrary to rumors during college, I didn’t win (I came in 3rd), and I never made it to the finals in Manila. However, months later, we received an invitation from a popular local canned goods company to do a commercial. My parents didn’t allow it because we were new in town, and had yet to adjust. (Damn.)

Episode 4 : Prodigal Son. I wasn’t what you’d call an ideal son. I was pretty much a disappointment to my parents when I was younger (as parents, they would definitely deny that, haha). For instance, I squandered my yearbook money by spending it on Playstation games with my friends (X-Men and Sailor Moon were all the rage). I tried to replenish it by getting some money from our sari-sari store, but my Uncle found me out and blabbed me to my parents. My father, a recent Couples for Christ convert, did not do the usual kneel-on-mongo-seeds or belt-to-ass-spanking punishments of old, but made me place my hand on the Bible, and made me swear that I would never do it again.

Episode 5 : Camp Rock. In exchange for a brand new PC (Windows 95, 4 gigs of hard drive memory, yeah!), my father “asked” if I could join the Youth for Christ camp during the summer break. As a recently converted good child myself, and feeling a sense of immense gratitude for the computer, I agreed. That did not mean that I liked the idea. So for a few days, I had to meet with other kids of other CFC members, and do the religious thing with them. However, my silence during the entire thing got me a reputation I thought I’d never have (hence the silence): I was called “Stranger” and “Bato“, and not necessarily behind my back.

Episode 6 : Pink Sacristan. In continuation of my path to total reverence, I served as a sacristan in the Holy Spirit Adoration Convent near our house. The Convent was home to the Pink Sisters, a group of nuns whose faces we normally never see because they had our backs to us during Mass. But I found out (to my extreme humiliation), that nuns are still human, after all. Once, during an early morning mass, I left the priest’s side too early. The nuns looked up and realized what I had done, and they began to giggle. Silently and reverently, of course. But not one iota less embarrassing.

Episode 7 : Cruel Intentions. I had a psycho phase in high school, which pretty much rendered my religious conversion moot. During this time, I wondered how it would feel shooting people using a sniper (inspired by Stephen King’s character Todd Bowden in Apt Pupil); how it would feel making cocaine and getting tweaked (inspired by Josh Hartnett‘s role in The Faculty); and how it would feel just simply being deliciously evil (inspired by Sebastian Valmont, Cruel Intentions). I got so scared of the book I gave it away; got so into Josh’s character that I researched on homemade cocaine; and got so into Sebastian’s persona that I joined a school play with the same role. Talk about immersion.

Episode 8 : Lovestruck. Everything changed when Senior Year came. In Senior Year, everything is all about love. I once wrote a love letter to a friend that contained the cheesiest lines. The first stanza went this way: There is no Britney Spears / When a girl like you appears / Forget Christina Ricci / When you’re in front of me. Cheezay! I went on to write an essay about the same girl. I kept it to myself. Papa, however, snoopy little dad that he is, found the letter and sent it to Inquirer as an entry for the Youngblood column. We didn’t hear from them.

Episode 9: Lust, Caution. I flirted around by calling/texting my crushes in their cellphones, even if we weren’t close. I had a weekly Top Ten ranking of said crushes which I updated religiously. The criteria? Looks, Personality, Kerwin Bias, and Friend Factor. The Friend Factor is a consolidated ranking my closest friends gave to the people in the list. I think I allotted too much of my time to this nonsensical but exciting exercise that my grades dove alarmingly. Thank goodness graduation came and I did not have to suffer any more academic free fall.

Episode 10: Close Encounters of the First Kind. Years later, I would be going to a strip club for a bachelor’s party, and this is going to be the first time I’m going to see an aquarium full of women, ready to be chosen with the flick of a finger or a glance. This is also the first time I’m going to see a woman dancing around a pole in a see-through mesh shirt. Finally, this is also the first time I’m going to encounter, up close and personal, the female genitalia. Dun dun dun!

Filed under: ...And Others, Domesticated, Fiction, Yes?, Ra, Testimonial, Untamed

Avenue Q: A Guide to Living

Irreverent yet surprisingly inspirational, Avenue Q remains one of the best plays I’ve seen to date. I got introduced to its music long before I saw the play (which I saw around September last year), and immediately fell in love. Not only were the songs completely relatable, but they spoke frankly and honestly about human nature. If I were to suggest a guide to living harmoniously with other people and with yourself, the Avenue Q songs would be it. Throw away those self-help books; listening to these songs would empower you without transforming you into someone you’re not (i.e., kind and nice and nurturing and delightful– please, let us not delude ourselves).

Here are some valuable gems from the play.

On Happiness at the Misery of Others:

“Right now / you are down and out / and feeling really crappy. And when I see how sad you are / it sort of makes me… happy! Sorry Nicky, human nature / nothing I can do. It’s / schadenfreude / makin’ me feel glad that I’m not you.”

“D’ja ever clap when a waitress falls / and drops a tray of glasses? And ain’t it fun to watch figures skaters falling on their asses? Don’t you feel / all warm and cozy / watching people out in the rain? That’s schadenfreude / people taking pleasure in your pain!”

“Watching a vegetarian / being told she just ate chicken. Or watching a frat boy realize / just what he put his dick in. Being on an elevator / when somebody shouts / ‘Hold the door!’. ‘NO!’ Fuck you, lady / that’s what stairs are for!”

“Ooh, how about: straight A students getting Bs? Exes getting STDs! Waking doormen from their naps! Watching tourists reading maps! Football players getting tackled! CEOs getting shackled! Watching actors never reach the ending of their Oscar speech!”

“The world needs people like you and me / who’ve been knocked around by fate. Coz when people see us / they don’t wanna be us / and that makes them feel great! We provide a vital service / to society / you and me! Schadenfreude / making the world a better place / making the world a better place… to be.”

On College:

“I wish I could go back to college / Life was so simple back then.”

“I wish I could go back to college. In college you know who you are. You’d sit in the quad / and think, ‘Oh my God! / I am totally gonna go far!”

“How do I go back to college? I don’t know who I am anymore.”

On Racism:

“I think everyone’s a little bit racist / sometimes. Doesn’t mean we go around committing / hate crimes. Look around and you will find / no one’s really color blind. Maybe it’s a fact we all should face. Everyone makes judgments / based on race.”

“Everyone’s a little bit racist / today. So everyone’s a little bit racist / OK? Ethnic jokes may be uncouth / but you laugh because they’re based on truth. Don’t take them as personal attacks. Everyone enjoys them / so relax.”

“Everyone’s a little bit racist, alright? Alright! Bigotry has never been exclusively / white. If we all could just admit / that we are racist a little bit / even though we all know that it’s wrong. Maybe it would help us / get along.”

On Friendship and Love:

“There’s a fine, fine line / between a lover / and a friend. There’s a fine, fine line / between reality and pretend. And you never know ’til you reach the top / if it was worth the uphill climb. There’s a fine, fine line between love / and a waste of your time.”

“There’s a fine, fine line / between a fairy tale / and a lie. And there’s a fine, fine line / between ‘You’re wonderful’ and ‘Goodbye’. I guess if someone doesn’t love you back / it isn’t such a crime. But there’s a fine, fine line between love / and a waste of your time.”

 

Now tell me, doesn’t that make you feel good about yourself already?

Filed under: ...And Others, Sunshine

Another “Four” Entry

After the sad and mad entries, a little bit of fun is in order. 🙂 [Thanks to JM for the tag. Ngayon lang nagkaoras, hehe.]

4 PLACES I GO TO OVER AND OVER

Aside from the office and the house:

Starbucks 6750, Ayala Avenue
 Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center
Glorietta Mall, Ayala Avenue
Seattle’s Best Coffee, Katipunan Avenue

I’m a Makati boy, except when I’m studying, in which case, Ateneo lures me back. (I’m also a coffee boy. Obviously.)

4 PLACES I’D LIKE TO GO TO OVER AND OVER

New category. Di ko matiis.

Eastwood City, Libis
The Fort, Taguig City
Metrowalk, Ortigas
Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan

My happy places. If only I had a car, I would frequent these places more.

 4 PEOPLE WHO EMAIL ME REGULARLY

Again, aside from those in the office:

Jeland
JM
Papa
Chris

Chris, sinama na kita. Prediction and order yan.

4 OF MY FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT

KFC
Jollibee
Bacolod Chicken Inasal/Mang Inasal/Chicken Bacolod and other permutations of the terms herein
Top Meal

Top Meal is the local carinderia near our house. It defeats McDonald’s in diversity, and even trumps it in taste. (Can you tell I’m not such a big fan of McDonald’s? There aren’t really that many options past breakfast, and the spaghetti they serve is a bland abomination.)

4 OF MY FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT WHEN I HAVE MORE MONEY THAN USUAL

 Okay, another new category. But there’s a difference between what you do and what you want to do, no?

Heaven and Eggs
Fish and Co.
Pepato
The Taipan

Now, back to regular programming.

4 PLACES I’D RATHER BE

This list is in order.

Norway + Sweden + Finland
 New Zealand
California, USA
Davao City, Philippines 

Norway is the most livable country in the world, so its Scandinavian neighbors are probably just as livable. New Zealand is famous for zorbing, an activity I’ve been wanting to try since I saw it on The Amazing Race. As for Davao… there’s no place like home, right?

4 TV SHOWS I COULD WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN

Friends
 Coupling UK
One Tree Hill
 The Amazing Race

I watched the first three shows in my dorm room in college, which make them memorable to watch again and again. (A little shout-out to Joey on the One Tree Hill tidbit! Debbie rocks.)

4 PEOPLE I THINK WILL RESPOND

Joey
Ella
Toj
Kenneth

You know the rules. 50-year celibacy penalty for non-compliance. I don’t mind being celibate, since I’m all for priesthood and all…

Filed under: ...And Others

Walang Pasok!

I’m sure all of you guys remember that Nescafe commercial where all these guys come out of their dorm rooms, look at one another, and shout, “Walang pasoooook!” The image resounded deeply during those days when I was but a wee college boy in the dorm, not because we love coffee in the morning (I only drink coffee when I study), but because the idea of having no classes is such a rarity it’s almost a threatened species.

In the corporate world, having no work is an endangered species, close to the brink of extinction.

Imagine my joy when I was informed that today was Manila Day, and that employees based in Manila will not have to go to work today. It’s a weird feeling. Usually, I only experience vacations in two forms: as 1) study leaves, and 2) long weekends. Study leaves are out of the question; my mind still works full time. As for long weekends… well, ever since the government began this habit of stringing holidays onto weekends, having no work started to have less of an impact. The transition felt too smooth, if you guys can dig it.

Back in college, the bliss of having no classes came from the abrupt nature of the entire deal. You’re all set to go to class when suddenly– BAM! Walang pasok pala. The joy you feel is the joy of having been saved. Because no matter how much you love going to class, no one can resist a break. The same with work. There’s a distinct abruptness when a holiday lands in the middle of the week. There’s a clear work– BAM!– no work delineation. 

I’m reading too much into this. I have way too much time in my hands. 

Enjoy the break, my colleagues from Manila! 🙂

Filed under: ...And Others