Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DINAGYANG in Nine Hours

The plan came in a whirlwind but it went very well. I mean the unfolding of the events from the port to the grandstand and back to the port was just too colorful to be translated in a painter’s canvas. It was something that I can remember with a grin longer that the ordinary. I am talking about my first Dinagyang in the neighboring city, Iloilo.

I tried to quantify the fleeting hours of feeling the festive beat and its 9. We arrived around 7:45am and departed at 4:45pm. All events were being wrapped in that very short span of time. How we were able to do that? I am not saying! (Imagine an impish smile).

When we arrived at the hotel for our breakfast, a large screen was already in place on the side probably for hotel guests who are tired to go out. Or they don’t want the sun to kiss on their cheeks. Or they don’t want people of all sorts brush elbows with them. I don’t really know. What I know is that we are not in any of those categories.

The program already commenced while we were wrapping up our full breakfast. I saw from the screen Jed Madela singing the Lupang Hinirang with microphone glitches. His voice was heard in the middle of the song. (What a crap!) Then off we went to the grandstand already jam-packed and watched the shrill-provoking, blood-pressure-rise-inducing performances of the 14 tribes. I could feel my shoulders moving along with the beating of the drums! There were politicians and celebrities within our sight – Franklin Drilon, Bong and Lani Mercado, Miguel Zubiri.

Dinagyang 2011 is indeed a masterful execution of the interplay of art, culture, and religiosity.

Now I’m looking forward to Dinagyang 2012 and make sure that it will be more than nine hours! Hala Bira!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Killing the Time Could Be Expensive

It was Wednesday, still cold outside, and I worked on a 3-11 shift. On days like these my sleep usually took longer; no cell phone alarm. That particular day took on a different path because I hadn’t taken my breakfast earlier on. It must be the weather. So I left the house around 1pm because I already could hear my growling, empty stomach. The kind that makes me suffer dizziness and mild headache!

For someone like me who chose not to cook, breakfast is either Jolibee or Chowking. It’s past 1pm when I arrived at the downtown area and while in transit my appetite dictated to eat pork chao fan with toppings - pork siomai and lumpia shanghai. Fyi, I am not Chinese. That combination is by the way what I call my classic order. I mean the kind that when I appear in front of the cashier, she will know my order in a spark and I’m left with saying “right” or an amiable smile, or a customary nod to mean yes. However, Chowking plazamart is under major renovation. I passed by the place thrice but the closed sign still welcomed my gaze. The fourth time that I did, I already gaped. So I thought of eating at Bobs Centroplex and gobbled pansit luglug or palabok. Remember I didn’t have breakfast.

After getting full and satisfied, I checked the time. Still early, I decided to roam around aimlessly and do what people call, killing the time. There is a furniture shop in the area and I was interested to buy a tall solo chair made of wood. I walked around. I explored. I saw none. So I shifted to looking for a bookshelf considering that mine is too small for my books. I inquired and the lady owner, quite nice and accommodating, told me to explore the second floor where their stocks are many. One bookshelf nailed my eyes, picture below, already loaded with my precious book collection. I just couldn't resist to not have it. The next thing I knew was I already took out my wallet and paid. And that’s the story of my killing the time one lazy Wednesday afternoon.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcoming Twenty Eleven

I should start with a greeting, Happy New Year Everyone!

Many are extremely baffled, yes extremely, how to kick off the new year with a bang! It’s glaring in the eyes. Last Wednesday, Dec. 29, I was scheduled to attend a meeting at BACIWA. The usual routine took place; I called Faith and waited outside the gate. The operator said the cab will arrive after 10 minutes. I waited for15 minutes. There was no sign of a moving object from a far so I gave up the waiting. The Gray Adventure will never probably meet my eyes. I walked the distance from Emerald Street to the highway, which is quite near. Now comes another episode of waiting. All cabs within my sight were occupied not until after 10 minutes of standing like a post on one side of the Shell Gasoline Station.

I still had work in the 30th and on my way home the next day, the streets were unbelievably jammed. The usual ride took longer than usual that I almost fell asleep. I even remarked to the driver, it's too early for the Masskara!

The 31st of December is full of magic. There is a strong force that brings everyone outside of their abode to do business of many sorts; buy gifts, buy food, party, shop, and so on. What’s in your list? Add to my list. Isn’t that magical? It is! We often say we are short of money but when it’s the 31st, we easily let go of our money, whether from savings, salary, borrowed, and worst, swiped from the credit cards. Now businessmen, join me in laughing out loud on that magical day! Your riches have just gone leaps and bounds!

The first day of 2011 was a perfect day for resting. It was cold and gloomy! People at FB were quite uneasy of the meaning it brings but I said, it’s meant to chain people in their beds! For the longest time that I was deprived of a10-hour sleep or more, thank God, I had it last January 01. I woke up past 1:00 in the afternoon and it felt good! I thought that watching movies and eating in between is a good treat. After all, the last movie I watched was The Prince of Persia! Stop rolling those two eyes!

So off I went to Robs and standing at the movies counter, I came up with a plan; to watch three movies in a row. The magic of three! I carefully examined the time that the movies will start and finish. Five minutes after doing the math, the movies in order should be Dalaw starring Kris Aquino and Diether Ocampo, then Rosario played by Jennylyn Mercado, and Tanging Ina by Aiai Delas Alas. I am not a movie critic so I won’t attempt to do it. Although I must say after watching all three, the time element being my sole basis of the order of the movies, coincided with how the audience should watch it and be entertained given that the three are of different genre.

First, I was afraid, I was petrified of the “Dalaw” done by Karylle to the main characters, Kris and Diether;
then brought back in time as the drama of one woman named Rosario unfolded; then laughed like no one is watching, the one that is characterized by rhythmic variety, vocal loudness, and lingering vibrato as Aiai and Eugene do their comedic antics.

The first day of 2011 was solitary, restful, gloomy but the kind that I love, and cold, just enough!

May 2011 be even better for all of us!