That's what she said

Friday, October 22, 2004
6:24 PM

I miss my 196 class. In tribute, I'm posting the very first article i submitted.


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It used to be “the place to be”.


Growing up, I thought this commercial center was stuck in a time warp. Nay—that it was the time warp. It’s buildings were the oldest I’ve ever seen. After all, I was born way past the era of stand-alone theatres, which seem to populate the place. The street signs and stop lights were vintage as well. The signs were painted with huge fat letters while the stop lights were the cream ones instead of the black lights seen elsewhere. Visiting would always be a jolt to the senses. More noise, more smog, more dirt and more people in a hurry.

But the streets were lined with trees, which stand up to this day. And the wet market, Farmer’s Market, seemed dry enough for me. And everything led to the big white dome that stood in the middle. Grandiose, imposing. Long lines formed to its gates, people respectful of the power it held over everyone who saw it. I entered the Araneta Coliseum only once as a child. But still, whenever I see it, I realize, that I’m back in Cubao.

My grandfather’s office slash house was in the 8th avenue of the Araneta Center. My dad, who worked for his father, would take me to the office every so often and after work, we’d go around Cubao. I remember going to the Fiesta Carnival to enjoy the rides with my father. He was in his early twenties during my childhood, and still, technically, a child. So we would ride the oft-greasy bump cars or shoot hoops together. And then he would let me go on my favorite ride—a merry go round with no horses, but tea cups in their stead.

My lover and I once walked past the Fiesta Carnival. He had gone to it to as a child, and had similarly happy memories of the place with the eternally lightless entrance sign. Peering into the establishment, we realized how different the carnival was in reality from how we had immortalized it in our minds. It was poorly lit and garishly decorated. And the radio mercilessly played one novelty song after another. Yet we agreed that however rundown, we would want our hypothetical children to experience Fiesta Carnival—just like we did when we did not know any better.

But then there is no more Fiesta Carnival. Where it used to be now stands Shopwise—an airconditioned supermarket with bare cement floors and unimaginative interiors. White walls, red chairs, blue beams.

Gone are the blinking décor of the first carnival I ever went to, its teacup merry go round, primitive roller coaster and the manghuhula booth I always wanted, but never got to enter.

When I was in high school, I occasionally cut class. But instead of hanging around the Katipunan area as my schoolmates were wont to do, I would take two jeepney rides to Cubao. I loved to walk around the Marikina Shoe Expo. There were two narrow streets lined with stores that were lined with shoes. Of all kinds. Simple slip- ons for summer, generic office pumps in the colors of the nineties, wedding shoes that acquired twinkle from the excessive sequins sewed on them and my favorite of them all—black, leather, knee high boots.

Leather has always been, and will always be, erotic for me. And so there I’d be. You could just imagine—an adolescent with two streets full of shoes. It was an orgasmic experience.

Down the street from the shoe expo, and just beside Nena’s Special Bibingka, was C.O.D., one of the more famous department stores before Henry Sy’s hegemony. I’ve never actually been inside the mall, if I have I don’t remember. I always saw it as a dingy and depressing four floor establishment with nothing but old stock.

Yet I always looked forward to, and looked up at the puppet play that was staged every Chistmas on a makeshift stage mounted on C.O.D.’s façade. It would almost always be the Nativity scene—the wooden Mary holding the wooden infant.

But there is no more C.O.D. In its place is PureGold, another supermarket. And so there would now be no more makeshift stages and puppet plays to look forward to every Christmas.

Last week, before dropping me off at the jeepney terminal, my lover suggested that we stroll around Ali Mall first. I assented, reminding him that there was probably nothing we could see there anyway. It was built to commemorate the “Thrilla in Manila” boxing match, where Muhammad Ali brought down Joe Frasier, but aside from that, it was nothing else.

As soon, as we entered, irony hit me hard. The yellowed floors, the yellow light, the old mannequins, dated fashion stores, second hand book stores. They were remnants of my past as well. I walked along with my lover, his eyes twinkling in amusement. And I remembered how my mom used to tell me: “Your dad always took me to Ali Mall.” I held my lover’s hand as we passed by the bridal store that made my mother’s wedding gown. Flashback. Foreshadowing?

My mom always told me how back then, and to their generation, Cubao was the “happening” place. Sort of what Greenbelt is to the present batch of young adults. Whenever she says that, I almost am able to put my finger on that quality Cubao has. It is so passé, but it never seems to die. It’s just there. A relic to it’s own past greatness. Even now as two train lines already intersect at its heart. They say that this is the new beginning for Cubao. That finally, it will be jumpstarted into the new era that seems to have left it behind. The new constructions within the area seem to agree to that.

I say Cubao will always be my time warp.



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Wednesday, October 20, 2004
4:05 PM

cute quizzes!

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Which OS are You?


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Tuesday, October 19, 2004
7:02 PM

i really missed blogging. currently cooped up in the house. at least the sem's over!

watched House of Flying Daggers the other day. alone.

it rocked!

and i enjoyed watching the movie alone. i used to do that in the pre- love life days. i'd troop to the Robinson's Faura cinema during my long breaks and watch a random movie. I totally hated this Kirsten Dunst starter (Get Over It ata yun) which was a hopeless parody of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. I walked out. Hindi ko tinapos.

But i totally loved A Walk to Remember. I cried a lot during the movie. And i felt as if i could relate to the feeling of loss everyone had at the end. Which of course i couldn't. I've never had anyone die on me. And i've never had a normal heterosexual relationship before watching the movie.

Anyway, back to the movie.

It was marvelous. Visually stunning to the point that i forgot about its simplistic plot. Well, anyway, it was about love but i tell you, you don't come out of the cinema applauding the screenplay but the choreography and the cinematography. There were awesome fight scenes, some rewiews say they were protracted, i say bravo! The film had a bamboo grove fight scene like the one in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon but it didnt feel like an imitation.

You also will marvel at the lanscape which was backdrop for these fight scenes. The film's story takes place in autumn so the audience gets treated to shots of entire mountains colored orange, in contrast to lush green bamboo groves.

Just watch the movie ok? IF not for what i've said above, for the fact that it's a Zhang Zi Yi starrer and her love interest is truly drool worthy.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004
11:39 AM

how can you say if things are rocky?

is it if you feel unfulfilled? potentials are unreached. happily bored.

what if you feel cheated?

saka na ako magsusulat ng matino, kapag meron nang nagyaring konkreto.

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Monday, October 04, 2004
3:09 PM

im here at the Beltran News Room right now, waiting for my professor to arrive.

ika nga ni kate, buhay buntis ako ngayon, wala akong ma achieve dahil akin tulog lang ang drama ko. kain, tulog, drama.

*english*

the guy who hit on me last week (refer to lj) is sending me mixed signals right now. i am supposed to not care what happens right? but surprisingly, i do. maybe it's because he's a friend. and i don't want to lose a friendship just because of a freak instance like that. *_ _* we need to talk. i've been hunting you down for an "explanation session" but you're avoiding me. why?

and because i'm the one trying to patch things up (despite being the one on the receiving end of the offense), i feel so low. ako pa ang naghahabol. bwiset.

pat, drop it. he's not a big loss anyway. if ever you do lose him.



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What about me?

business reporter who hates math. ate to two biological siblings and numerous adopted ones. in love with ice cream and ampalaya (NOT taken together). soul at rest. badly in need of a trip to the beach.


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