my dear friend joni celebrated his birthday in baguio so i took the chance to revisit the city of pines that's the current home of friends colyn and carl. my student maryann's wedding was scheduled the following day in nearby pangasinan so i thought everything fell into place neatly.
i make it a point to experience the chilly climate of the upland city once a year, and now that the temperature has dropped to a teeth-chattering 7 degrees, i regretted having brought a UP jacket only. it's just timing that before the twilight completely gave way to the cloak of evening in popular session road (photos below), i met a hot davao-born mestizo who invited me for a warm shower in his pad in quezon hill. some half hour later, i met carl and off we went to ambiong road in aurora hill, where joni's father's house is located.
it figured that the road snaked its path all the way to la trinidad, benguet, and the random numbers of the residences all the more added to the confusion. i said to carl when some drunk men swaggered along the ravines overlooking the citylights, "hindi ito ang tamang oras ng paglilimayon ng mga taga-poveda." the driving cabs were getting fewer and fewer, with the throbbing starlights seeming to mock us with "belat!" for being lost in translation.
good thing that joni found us out just before i started shouting my existential frustration in the middle of the road. in a while, we and other manila-based friends were all trembling in the howling cold amid the skyward posts of bayan park's pine trees, which reminded me of the vampire movie Twilight. the group (photos below) lit a bonfire before proceeding to a campy version of The Buzz. The unsuspecting straight couples served as guests while jobben and i, as hosts who invoked such unlikely sponsors as dagupan bangus, forme apparel and faces music gallery. the miss gay pageant didn't push through as expected because as jobben and joni would have it, my penetration into the circle of five will likely cause the other finalists to bungle the crucial question and answer portion. thinking of queer theory, popular culture, philosophy and other disciplines, i couldn't agree more.