the gapanese invasion is nigh!

"pinakamaganda ka nga sa buong kapuluan, pero latina na naman ang magwawagi ng korona at sash sa miss world! racism ba ito? lupasay!"

Monday, March 20, 2006

bulaklak ringtone vs. orapronobis

when i turned in my resignation letter saturday evening, there was no fanfare unlike what i expected. i could imagine my colleagues twisting at their seats home, raring to know whether there was much keening or smeared mascara, at least on my boss' part. being the paminta (straight-acting, fyi) that i am, i never wear makeup, but that didn't stop my boss from scolding me one morning when her temper yet again got the better of her, alluding to my female co-teachers who had the habit of checking their face powder and eyeliners immediately after punching in their time cards. back to the resignation episode, it took me an hour to have an audience with my boss, since a very inquisitive parent was anguishing over whether or not to send her boy to a study tour in beijing, or have him spend summer reviewing for college entrance tests. when the mother complained about how more than an hour passed without her noticing the boy almost deranged in eternal wait, i slipped into my boss' office and brandished my letter. in what i anticipated as a longish talk, she asked if i signed the paper and when i was positive, she let me go. i thought of fiona and wondered how my boss could whip this colleague into frenzy whenever the topic of leaving the company rent the office air with what seemed to me as verbal (and quasi-invective?) matches. after four years, i'm free to return to graduate school full-time or search for another employer or go freelance full-blast. let me discuss at length my stay at the office some other time, because the fanfare i was looking for appeared before me when i went to the rare screening of lino brocka's orapronobis at gateway cinema. i just can't tarry to confess what happened.
absurdities are my lot as a storyteller. whenever i'm with friends, i don't let them down by giving them the ironies or whatever they expect to hear. be it the old woman whose snores dominated the daybreak jeep or the strange mythological creatures that populated the philippine folklore or the pinay who would get a fantastic beating from latinas in global beauty competitions, i regal to them, complete with colors, textures, sounds, the imagery that must be invoked if only to cross the double removal of my folk realism-infused stories toward the philosophical reality. this time, i have to thank my date yuppie for providing the zest in what was otherwise an uneventful weekend. as it was, we were silently seated through the screening of brocka's bizarre film when one, two, three phones erupted with terrible ringtones. the first ringing pushed yuppie into scouring the owner to give him/her a rightful scolding. why not, the massacre of nine civilians by the vigilante cult was being shown onscreen; for the life of him, my date could not miss the gore of the shrieks and the angry armalites. the second ringing had him shouting across the room, telling no one in particular to "answer that phone, please?" that brief moment made yuppie miss the scampering of the village people toward the capital, if only to escape the sadistic ire of bembol roco's character, komander kontra. just when the screen showed komander kontra persuading gina alajar's ex-amazon character to join the orapronobis in order to control the wind, become bulletproof, acquire invisibility and other cult-associated peculiarities, the third ringing sent yuppie toward the erring owner to lecture on him/her phone etiquette inside the theater. the film was already disturbing in its nightmarish truth about post-edsa philippines (which calls to mind the present political plight of the country, virtual martial law state and all), but my date made me want to buy popcorn and use the bag to hide my head in.

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