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, December 29, 2008

on arendt's "what is freedom?"

Freedom is listed in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraints in choice or action.” Since human beings are alive due to desires, constraints appear in opposition to choosing or acting on those desires. The need or impediment of not having to seek such desires is opposed by freedom, a reason why humans value freedom and dislike hindrances to freedom. Humans do not like the existence of constraints, impediments and burdens; when these are absent, there is a reason for rejoicing because they can say they are free.
This word captured Hannah Arendt’s imagination so much that she made the treatise “What is freedom?” proceeding to tackle points about it, one of which is "Courage liberates men from their worry about life for the freedom of the world. Courage is indispensable because in politics not life but the world is at stake." Her discussion of freedom finds tangents to this passage throughout her essay.
Arendt believed that freedom does not grow in the absence of restraining factors. It is a hard-shelled idea that resides in politics, that chaotic public life of people. She argued that freedom does not appear when one is left to one’s own. Instead, others are needed to criticize and judge no matter how cruelly if one must nurture individuality. Hence, this runs against the idea of fewer restraints, more liberty being held by liberal people. If freedom is to be understood in terms of being free from restraint, then it is one’s pursuing one’s desires without others interfering such a pursuit. If one is to assert one’s individuality, one should be left alone. The diverse lifestyles of people are a result of individualities being able to thrive in a tolerant atmosphere. These points caused Arendt to imply that the liberal people harboring such notions do not enjoy a true liberty.
This provides the point that somehow, there is a negative idea of liberty, true in Arendt’s argument that instead of being left alone, one must be in the company of others who will give an assessment of one, stinging if need be, in order for one’s individuality to grow paradoxically. It is not freedom from interference, for seeing the absence of restraint as the essence of freedom means interfering others do not hang around one, isolating one from public life. Since freedom is born and flourishes in politics, others’ interference is necessary, defeating the liberals’ concept of freedom as freedom from restraint.
It is enlightening to know that even among lovers of freedom, there can be those who may hold a belief that’s entirely different from those of others, such as Arendt’s belief as opposed to liberal people’s. It seems that one indeed needs to be critical about ideals like freedom for fear that one becomes blinded by this philosophy. The freedom to what one wants without others’ restraint appears as an irresponsible freedom, and in that case the “freedom from” already shifts to “freedom to,” cementing the concept that freedom is really a site of differing notions.
This point is related to the passage in that it takes away the concern of freedom from being centered on one’s life alone and refocusing it on the life of the entire world. If freedom becomes more public (thus, more political), one has encouraged oneself to get out of one’s comfort zone, mingling with others to check one another’s way of living so that they will evaluate whether the individual lives they live are socially healthy. If everybody just went on one’s way in a misguided notion that one can exist in isolation, the life of the entire world is doomed since there will be chaos soon enough, what with everyone doing one’s lot without care for or consideration of others whom one may already be violating whether consciously or unconsciously. An over-tolerant environment, as it is, generates anarchy because everyone gets to do one’s own thing without the public being able to check and balance it.
It is easy to see then that freedom is deemed by Arendt as being beyond the consideration of the will, as being interwoven in politics, breeding in a public space which Arendt defines as a “politically organized world” where one can pursue one’s individuality and where one learns freedom with one’s interaction with others. Arendt cites freedom in the action of man as being free to do such an action in that public space, an action that makes man break new grounds. It is in this public space that one is free to discuss, share and create one’s uniqueness. If man is encouraged into a groundbreaking action, man leaves his personal space and joins the public one where his individuality gets shaped by his interaction with other people. With the entire world participating in that public space interaction, the lives of people are not in danger of disintegrating due to the negative attitude of “to each his own.” Real freedom is always tied up with inter-action.
Since freedom is not exclusive to a single body, it works freely for public affairs because it is available to everybody. It must be noted that public affairs is never devoid of the inherent idea that it is a free-flowing dialogue beset with conflicts. The public space should be seen beyond the alluring image of a site of diverse and lush individualities, because it is a space where disagreements are welcomed for uniqueness in everyone to grow. Politics becomes the tool to generate solutions for an errant individuality, since one gets to be judged by others, not leaving one to judge himself because of the downright difficulty of judging oneself rightly. As it is, a twisted image of oneself can never make for a genuine freedom.
The freedom of action rests on the act and its unpredictability, that which breaks new grounds and always causes something new to the world because of the fragmented tradition. Courage is associated to the experience of freedom of action. This characteristic which can be experienced via inter-action is best seen happening in the public space. Arendt views this idea of action as the basic and characteristic manner of relating to the world. Action makes one experience freedom, create one’s own uniqueness and show the manner in which one is unique. This necessarily touches the subject of human plurality.
Arendt’s idea of freedom carries the concept that everyone has the inherent uniqueness and as visible in the public space, the world is characterized by human plurality. This way, the world is guaranteed of a sound mass of individuals who interact on a public level and in effect, are encouraged into freely cultivating their respective personalities. This many-sidedness shows that everyone has the ability to perform even the improbable, including overcoming restraints. This possibility of overcoming restraints must be realized before freedom can exist. In politics, one’s performance of the improbable is breaking grounds that did not exist as yet, and could not be known unless inferred from one’s intentions or motives. This brings to fore another idea of Arendt of freedom as an action "free from motive on one side, from its intended goal as a predictable effect on the other."
It is obvious that actions emerge from intentions and motives. Being able to transcend intentions and motives assures freedom. However, tied up to the passage in question, it cannot be done in private. This can only happen in politics where action goes beyond intentions and motives and generates the unexpected. Necessarily, acting for the benefit of a principle assures freedom, principle being tied up to the idea of politics. To be political is to participate in a self-disclosing manner in a public space. One’s self-disclosure manifests one’s willingness to grab the risk, and one has to have courage in order to do that. For Arendt, a hero is an individual whose story unfolds with him/her as focus rather than with him/her as someone who has attaained some form of greatness. Courage then is that which consists nobility because only when one takes the risks that one accepts the judgment of others for the sake of one’s cultivation of individuality. Taken collectively, one’s life is given less focus because the greater concern that’s the whole world of individualities is that which is ultimately created.
One’s simple disclosure, notwithstanding what is being disclosed, is not what it merely seems, for Arendt views this as requiring courage, given that nobody knows for certain the type of person to be disclosed or of the consequences of the disclosure. One becomes a hero not for one’s achievement but for one’s courage to expose oneself, to tell one’s story and, in effect, to be one with the world. It is this kind of risk that breaks new grounds, that creates individuality and that saves the world from the monotony of the everyday. The courage to attempt self-disclosure necessitates one’s plunging into speech and action and the success in doing so generates freedom. The more coward one is about risking disclosure, the greater the courage to be mustered, given the possibility that the reason for (the absence of) disclosure is actually shameful.
The means of disclosure, action, may only reveal who the disclosing agent is through that agent’s story. It does not matter if the person is actually heroic (therefore, inspiring) in terms of great deeds, for even cowards can be qualified to disclose. When people interact, they disclose even their sheerest humanities through their speech and actions, entailing courage in doing so. It is not limited to those who do great things that disclosure is associated, as Arendt sees the action occurring with the aim of pursuing the discloser’s worldly interest. For this interest to effect in disclosure, an audience must be present to judge and criticize the disclosure. As individuals really disclose the persons that they are, their courage in doing so makes them transcend their private space, going so far as the public space where the workshop of individualities is taking place.
The importance of public space, or of the interfering others in Arendt’s definition of freedom, is required because disclosure cannot happen without the visibility of a judging audience. Without the existence of that audience, the reactors to the disclosure, no disclosure will ever happen. This concept of freedom considers the functional work of public space as a guarantee of freedom. If privacy creates a space to hide in, public space exists where humans can relate with one another in order for participants to grow with individuality.
Individual expressions which are life’s experiments are liable to being judged publicly. The audience decides what disclosures are good and what are bad. Nonetheless, the freedom of acting one’s self-disclosure is a way of fulfilling the opportunities being opened by the world before one. With this freedom, people can participate in public, act in their public space, and shape their own destinies. The groundbreaking action is a revolution that springs something fresh, established from where that something old ends. The people’s true and sustained participation in politics is a brave unfurling of human action in fulfillment of collective freedom.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

best of 2008 book acquisitions

Following the route of revered authors Jessica Zafra and Edgar Samar, I am providing my personal list of best book acquisitions for this year (the last title I got was the Pulitzer-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz of the Dominican Republic). My sole deviation is that my choices were made depending on which shelf in my private library they belong to. Also, these titles did not necessarily get published this year.
From my North American section, I have Susan Sontag’s At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches. I am overwhelmed by the contents of this title because their topics range from literary to political to cultural criticism, as may be expected from the prodigiously knowledgeable author of the groundbreaking “Notes on Camp.”
From Mesoamerica and the Caribbean section, I have Stewart Brown’s Caribbean New Wave: Contemporary Short Stories. Like other anthologies from the West Indies, this one carries themes true to the Carib experience: postcolonial struggles, local superstition and the aftermath of diaspora.
From my South American section, I have Gudie Lawaetz’ Penguin Parallel Text: Spanish Short Stories. Save for one from Spain, all stories are by Latino literary giants like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortazar, among others.
From my European section, I have Michel Foucault’s The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception. Like Susan Sontag and Jorge Luis Borges, Michel Foucault was a voracious reader, manifested in his variety of critical productions including volumes of history of sexuality, of philosophy, of literature, of psychology and of political science.
From my African section, I have Naguib Mahfouz’ Three Novels of Ancient Egypt: Khufu’s Wisdom, Rhadopis of Nubia, Thebes at War. What do I say, this Egyptian Nobel laureate sustains my interest in the mystifying Egypt of old.
From my Asian section, I have Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s The Fugitive. Even as this novel belongs to Toer’s earliest works, the brilliance is so visible that I had no doubt the Indonesian writer should really have been a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature by virtue of his magnificent works like the Buru Quartet.
From my Pacific section, I have David Malouf’s Remembering Babylon. This Australian novel, which also figured in the Booker Prize, deals with two interrelated topics: colonialism and racism.
From my Philippine section, I have Jose Dalisay Jr.’s Soledad’s Sister. When this Man Asian-shortlisted novel was launched in UP, I had to delay my coming to class to have my copy signed by Sir Butch (shown in photo).

From the Gay section, I have Alan Hollinghurst’s The Folding Star. Ever since I came across this British gay novelist’s Booker-winning The Line of Beauty, I have found myself scouring for other masterpieces by him such as The Spell.
And from my Anthology section, I have Alberto Manguel’s Dark Arrows: Great Stories of Revenge. This book of short stories about a classic theme is an excellent source of ideas on wielding vengeance against my detractors, haha.

Friday, December 26, 2008

opinyon, pananampalataya at kalatas ng isang madre

Pinag-iba ni Gabriel Marcel ang opinyon mula sa pananampalataya dahil ang una ay paniniwala na may mahihita sa isang bagay samantalang ang pangalawa ay paniniwala sa isang bagay. Samakatuwid, ang magkaroon ng pananampalataya ay “paniniwala sa…” samantalang ang magkaroon ng opinyon ay “paniniwala na…”. Sa isang banda, ang opinyon ay isang bagay na hindi alam ng tao o hindi niya nakasanayan, kung kaya nga may pagkakataong maging palso ang basehan. Dahil sa panlabas nilang kaanyuan, ang opinyon ay pagtanggap lang na kulang sa pagmumuni. Sa kabilang banda, ang kabaliktaran ng opinyon ay may malalim na pagmumuni dahil may pagkilos sa desisyong na manatili sa paniniwala sa isang bagay anuman ang mangyari. Kaya nga, ang pananampalataya ay painiwalang may isang misteryoso at nagbabagong reyalidad. Ito ay ang paglalagay ng pananampalataya sa reyalidad na ito upang ang pagbabagong ito ay baguhin siya at ang kanyang pagiging tao.
Pananampalataya ang ipinakita ni Sister Lucia Yetruse dahil anumang trahedya ang nagyari sa kanya, patuloy siyang naniwala. May isang bagay na hindi niya inakalang karugtong pa ng pasakit niya sa mga nanggahasang mga sundalo—ang pagbubuntis—ngunit kahit na masalimuot at Malabo ang tinatahak niyang daan bilang magiging ina mula sa pagiging nobisyada, naniniwala pa rin siya sa bagay na sa Diyos lamang siya kasal. Dahil dito, naniniwala pa rin siya rito, patunay ang pakikipag-usap niya tanging sa Diyos at sa pagsuko ng lahat gaya ng nagging bokasyon niya. Sa pagdating ng matinding pagsubok sa kanya—una ang pagsamantala sa kanya at pangalawa ang pagbubunga ng pagtampalasan sa kanya—nakapagmuni siya na dapat niyang pasalamatan ang Diyos sa pagbigay nito ng pagsubok na makaisa ang iba pang mga biktima at maging tulay na kapayapaan sa pagitan ng mga nag-aaway na lahi sa kanyang bansa. Naging desisyon niyang ilaan sa Diyos anumang nangyari sa kanya at kumikilos siya rito sa pamamagitan ng pagtanggap sa pagiging ina ng magiging anak niya. Hindi man niya lubos maunawaan ang mga nagyari sa kanya, naniniwala siyang ang misteryong meron sa reyalidad ang siyang tumadhanang mangyari ang mga bagay-bagay, isang reyalidad na di hamak ang dunong sa mga oridnaryong taong tulad ni Sister Lucia. Nananampalataya siya na ang pagbabago sa buhay niya ay magbabanyuhay sa kanya at sa pagiging tao niya.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

baliuag in more ways than one

After spending my Christmas in yet again a different place, Jonison’s, I shuttled to Bulacan to bring my gifts to my relatives. I brought along Filipino-associated statement shirts to be sent off to my Canadian clan, and then left for my obligatory town-trotting across the province. I visited Baliuag because a prospect said his mother hails from there (sidelights: my ex' mother, like Barok's father, traces his origins in Malolos, and an old flame is from Hagonoy). To familiarize myself with the town plaza, I took the following pictures:

I briefly visited a friend in Pulilan, noting that another friend Niño spent his Christmas there (as a barrio lass with the penchant for crying while planting rice, so he claims) and a student stayed there to guard her aunt’s resort. I could visit them, I thought. However, Niño must have been possessed by a melancholy-induced frenzy (naba-Baliuag, in gay parlance) that he pointed me to a non-existent fastfood opposite another non-existent oil company. I ended up hiking the neighboring towns of Plaridel (where I saw a gym with coffins inside, I swear!) and Guiguinto.
On my way to Manila, Jonison informed me that he saw my ex being interviewed in the Chika Minute segment of GMA-7’s 24 Oras. I asked Marvin to confirm if he indeed figured on TV regarding the current Metro Manila Film Festival. He said yes, teasing me with “Sumisikat mula nang magkahiwalay?” Ganun pala ha. TV Patrol World, I’m ready for my interview.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

take it! take it!

Cliché has it that Christmas is a season of gift-giving and while I am (in)famous for giving out books in my own way of fighting illiteracy (my ex pleaded that I refrain from giving him another book until he finishes the latest), I did receive gifts that may not be books, but my social circle gave in real consideration of my unique personality.
I received a UP bag from my student Criselda after she discovered that I was still using a laptop bag that’s worn out at the handle.

Jobert also gave a bag from the American company he used to work for. When Zazu saw the bag, he was teasing that he has not seen it among the latest product lines of Gap. I threatened to hit him with it.
Meanwhile, Laura gave me a caricature of the faculty members of the obscure college I am teaching in. Such a talented young lady.

Brent and Philip’s family gifted me with a whole box of imported chocolates (attention, Miss Daisy!) because I have a sweet tooth.
So did Lor who put the chocolates inside a mug with her long message written all over the box container. She also threw in a bottle of red wine, most likely for my ex (Lor knows I don’t drink), unaware that I am single for six weeks now.

Lor’s friend Aly gave a shirt of my favorite color and right size which she scoured during her US tour.
Jel, having hunted with the help of her cousin Kevin, gave statement shirts because I always wear one. She also threw in her father’s jacket, understandably marked with the House of the Senate seal.
Rhoda gifted me with a multicolored wallet from her overseas workplace because I have been without one since I lost two late last year.

Nina gave me lots from her Asian trips, from the liquid ointment for my frequent headaches, to chocolates that offer a natural high (and, therefore, a temporary albeit excellent romantic substitute, haha), to coin purses to replace my lost wallets with, to hugging figurines that will always remind me to believe in love.
My relatives in Canada gave lots, too, from clothes that fit me (finally, they found small-sized shirts and polos!) to food (bearing in mind that I possess a voracious appetite despite my slim body).
My sophomore advisory class gave me a personalized Christmas card that truly melted my heart. That’s enough to inspire me more in teaching my students.

Finally, Tim and Ma’s family gifted me with a card containing something that makes it possible for me to travel out of town for my much-deserved break (I’m recuperating from a heartbreak), without sacrificing my own presents for my parents and other people I care about.
Other friends like Rachel, Carl, Joyce, etc. mentioned that I will receive gifts from them first chance we meet (I’m excited to get Russia’s national souvenir, matrioshka doll!). The mere fact that they had me in mind while picking an appropriate gift is a present in itself. Thank you, Happy Holidays and may the reason for our Yuletide celebration bless you for your thoughtfulness.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

sophies' waterworld

i got an early morning call from my student assistant telling that we were about to leave for the scheduled party (again!) in a clubhouse in faraway montalban, rizal, a few minutes away from the famed avilon zoo. would this be a reunion of sort? haha. three students of mine just picked up the books to be gifted to sophomore english majors and off we went. apart from the despairing incident at the bank (in which i joined a long queue of atm patrons and when my turn to withdraw came, i tried to transact five times, to no avail and to the strong protestations of the manong and manang behind me), the swimming event proceeded smoothly, with i initiating an underwater game of tag. i enjoyed the sumptuous food and the rustic landscape, sophies!:)

Monday, December 22, 2008

the lantern king

Kneeling before Gapan’s Three Kings, I’m still,
A fervent wish from heart I supplicate;
Raring, I am beginning to fulfill
Lost promise for my life immaculate.
Once more my spirit stops its toil, I’m glad!
A lantern of sheer majesty is shown.
Cause I strove, like the Magi tracing God,
I found a mortal savior of my own!
Lo! No myrrh, gold, or frankincense I have;
Onto your feet I shall impress a kiss.
You are the king for whom I give my love
Ostensibly, so long as earth exists.
Let yourself cease the emptiness that hangs,
As only you deliver me from pangs.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

the nonstop party animal

scenes at jonison's christmas party in makati, right after partying in padi's. masayang-masaya ako. basta kasi!:)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

dancing topless atop the ledge...almost

we colleagues at the obscure college agreed to hold a christmas party at the academic affair's secretary's house but things went so favorable that we ended up spending more hours in the nearby padi's point. since i don't drink, i had no choice but to play the resident g.r.o. some guys there were interesting and one actually traded numbers with me, but the place was composed mostly of men that would remind urbanites of christmas ball goers in far-flung barrios. i had to concede to niño and rr, who have a thing for males of the hard labor kind. to make up for the colonial loss, i joined kenneth and jennifer in dancing on top of the ledge. i felt so confident that i wanted to peel away my shirt, but the thought of bulky bouncers hauling me out in the highway prevented me from going topless. only when the crowd went wilder over popular culture songs like those of salbakuta's and kamandag ng marikina's that we stopped wiggling to the music of rihanna. if "kabet" gets played, could "bawal na gamot" be far behind?

Friday, December 19, 2008

partyphiles from the obscure college

after the prelims, my students get their much-deserved break so how do they better celebrate the end of headsplitting exams than through simultaneous christmas parties?
here are photo-ops from said parties, from top to bottom: educ freshmen, educ sophies, and educ seniors. i miss on the third year's celebration but what the hey, they're here.:)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ati-atihan before the up lantern parade

before catching the lantern parade in the beloved pamantasan ng pilipinas, i went to the anak ng dyosa's place to visit the wake of his late grandmother. owing to the lack of eventful things, i.e. wailing relatives who scream rhetorical questions like "bakit mo kami iniwan?!" or gamblers who vulgarly argue over sakla and lucky nine, i, the host, the prinsesita ng dyosa, and my other students jacky and arvien settled for bingo playing. we had an agreement that losers will be streaked in the face with talcum powder (my original suggestion of charcoal fell on deaf ears). with the accompanying picture, do the math.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

recurringly breathless up in antipolo

my friend nina invited me to her NGO's christmas party up in antipolo hours after my calamitous attempt to catch alpha phi omega's oblation run in up diliman campus. she told me she hasn't seen the oblation run in years, either, and confessed that she hasn't gone to any up fair ever, not even during the undergrad. i asked if she would watch the lantern parade, and she lamented that that, too, shall come to pass unwatched.
when we reached her colleague's resthouse tucked in the woods of an underdeveloped village sitting atop the mountain, the paradisal place reminded me of pristine olongapo. i half expected bats or monkeys to swoop from tree to tree. when the cityscape we had just left behind came into view, we were breathless: the multicolored lights sparkled like precious gems in a black jewelry box. luz' residence, meanwhile, is a combination of the abode mentioned in isabel allende's "an act of vengeance" and that in professor jing hidalgo's "the art of understatement." the three-storey white house even had a library that was like mine: the books are arranged according to the geographical region to which the authors belong. as i picked up jorge luis borges' labyrinths from the shelf containing pablo neruda's, juan rulfo's, gabriel garcia marquez' and laura esquivel's works, a lovely young lasallian guy appeared and briefly took my breath away.
what transpired after the elegant dinner was the more interesting thing during the night. former senator leticia ramos-shahani, among other advocates of the feminist movement in the philippines, was there to thank and welcome isis' outgoing and incoming executive directors, respectively. the motif of the women's messages was, to me, amazing: women should not waver in their role in nationbuilding. hay, i love men, and i love women too!:)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a hair's breadth of catching the up oblation run

time and again, the annual oblation run by the alpha phi omega created a buzz of multimedia proportions that had me, rr, albert, the anak ng dyosa and the prinsesita ng dyosa rushing lunchtime toward the up diliman campus despite the grumbling of our stomachs, impatiently requiring us to fill them first before our eyes. after a million cabs that ignored our flailing arms in the middle of tandang sora, one promised to bring us to palma hall fast, but not fast enough to get us on time. by the moment we disembarked near the faculty center, some lucky girls were already walking away with their prized possessions of long-stemmed red roses, which the naked runners traditionally give away. i calculated that we must have been five minutes too late, so i just contented myself by staring at the numerous cute men around, since there was still a crowd gathered at the AS stairs raving about the spectacle. nothing compares to fusing political statement (the fraternity's bold tradition was originally aimed at making an anti-Marcos stand) and controversy (the bold statement is not only figurative but literal--how's that for the morality and national police?) anyhow, here are pictures of my companions' sweetness and defeat, hahaha.

Monday, December 15, 2008

welcome to the christian world, johannes!

for the second time around, i will be a compadre to my best friend irish, so i woke up early to travel to my home province of nueva ecija. her second son johannes proved to be as charming as his big brother jolo. he's the latest addition to my elongating list of godchildren. which reminds me: when do i come up with my list of people to give christmas gifts to?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"fans na fans mo ako, juday!" and other occurrences in posh trinoma

maalaala mo kaya's christmas episode featuring judy ann santos was already airing when i reached trinoma to bond with former colleagues. even as i joined my friends in the dining table, i couldn't get my eyes off the tv phone where the story of a poverty-stricken mother named anita was unfolding. my friends understand: they know that i am "fans na fans ni juday" so they let me spend a few moments of devastation as the widow decided to feed her children with pesticide-laced food. i felt glad that the episode did not disappoint as expected in such a way that people who received my promotion would not dare poison me because i made them watch a terrible show. truth to tell, the program succeeded yet again in airing a poignant episode about how desperate times can drive people to desperate measures.
i could have been an extra in that episode and acted with juday in the ricefields scene. weeks after i asked my friend ruel to let the two of us meet juday in the taping since he wrote the episode's script, the scriptwriting was transferred to shugo and when the taping was in the works, ruel and i were dead busy doing our respective duties to human civilization. i would soon learn from awestruck fans that juday's guesting was being heralded through the promising tv trailers.
after the heartwrenching boob tube engagement, i returned to earth and realized that my hong kong-based friend rhoda was in town for christmas. welcome back, dhang! thanks for the multicolored wallet; just seeing you home safe and sound was more than enough. this made me miss other friends like melanie, canifer, claudette, carl, kuning, celia, ad infinitum who have since joined the diaspora. i'm posting our picture here in case jopay fails to upload the digital photos (one of which jopay considers the best shot--and only half of my body was captured!) asap. please don't confuse the hairy creatures for my colleagues riza, rhoda, leah and jopay!
p.s. jopay sustains her capacity as the group's quotable quote machine aside from donna and leah. i caught her saying, "baka magsara na ang mall," pronouncing the last word "mol." she challenged me to tell her the correct pronunciation, saying "sige nga, sige nga!" but mmk's bottle of pesticide was still fresh in my mind, so i shut up.