Thursday, September 30, 2010

descent into obscurity

“I think you don’t see yourself the way others see you.”

Those are the words of Edith Bouvier Beale or “Big Edie” to her daughter, “Little Edie.” The line, though speaks against truisms of self-assurance, actually works the opposite for the two characters. In fact, both live for themselves for the most part of their existence.

Such is their blindness by other people’s thoughts after a series of misfortunes—left by a lover, a husband, numerous bills, luxury lost—that the former socialites have ignored their mansion, Grey Gardens, decomposing with numerous cats and raccoons around them, only breathing with their dreams that someday the slippery nature of opulence will soon transpire in their lives again.

Michael Sucsy’s “Grey Gardens”, a movie I have just seen last night on television starring Drew Barrymore as Little Edie and Jessica Lange as Big Edie, is a kind of mosaic, a firsthand retelling of the Beales’s lives though the lens of two documentary filmmakers, Albert and David Maysles. (It’s like an hours-long “the making” of the 1975 documentary).

In a nutshell, it tells Little Edie wanting to be a stage performer, just as better as her mother, but Big Eddie and her husband keeps that away from her, suggesting that finding the right husband (which means “rich husband” in the time of Depression) is more important. This husband also has another family, and when he could no longer handle Big Eddie’s excessive lifestyle, throwing in one party after another, he left both mother and child. From here on, the once glamorous Beales’s descent into obscurity begins.

Aside from the admirable performances of the two key actors, “Grey Gardens” works for its point: love and passion can sometimes eat you up inside, leaving you hollow, that even in the midst of decay, the fantasy of the past is far more real and believable if you still believe in it, comfortable with it. The idea is poignant, if not distressing. This premise may be a bit too much but this could very well be the only means of enduring life’s oddities: to prevent assaults of whatever form, one must hold on to one’s self. And in here, the Beales hold on dearly.

The two characters may not be the perfect people to embody victims, what with the extravagant lives they once have, but it is this very absence of concrete conflict that makes the Beales story endearing. They have brought themselves down, care for no one but themselves, so in a way, it is fitting they find redemption in each other.

Yes, their quirks and eccentricities have gotten people’s attention, especially after the release of the Maysles documentary years later, but it is these very things that make them authentically human, affecting.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

of glee, charice, and third world spite

It may be a little bit late writing now about the very first appearance of Charice in the second season premiere of the pop-culture hogging television series, Glee? But what’s not to write? The show about high school oddballs resuscitating a glee club that is led by a Spanish teacher simply attracts anyone’s attention—it begs for one.

If that isn’t compelling enough, a storyline that may not be as seamless as we want it to be but remains truthful to the human psyche, there are the outrageous and amusing musical numbers. In these dreary times, this is the breather we need.

And for Filipino viewers, the inclusion of the little girl with a big voice, Charice, makes the show even more watchable. Why? The 18-year-old Filipina, who goes by the name of “Sunshine Corazon” in the series, embodies one the most enduring life stories in history: the rags-to-riches tale.

For someone who is shunned by her own homeland—losing in what is ironically a talent show to a lesser skilled fellow with smooth moves and good looks, only receiving a collective sigh and modest cheers in numerable performances—her bagging this upward shot to fame in another country is well-deserved. (Of course, you know the story, so there’s no need diving into details).

It is a shame, really, that it is only now that most people come to acknowledge her, even praise her for what she has achieved, but do these same people even regarded that she would get this kind of success before? No, I don’t think so. (People’s eyes are glued on Pacquiao).

If yes, she should have won that talent competition by a wide margin, she should have signed an album deal the minute she was done with the said competition, she should have sung in line with the supposedly talented cookie-cutter performers in variety shows and not behind them, and lastly, if not for third world spite and excessive superficiality, she should have disregarded the thought of going under the needle to “soften her jaw-line.”

It seems to me that it is the majority of my fellow countrymen’s fault that Charice has made it big in the international scene. We disregarded and pushed her that she fell on her knees on American soil, until the universe conspired and made television icon Ellen Degeneres and then entertainment magnate Oprah Winfrey get her up on her feet.

Hah, the wheel has indeed turned!

Anyway, this is just something I have to share. Though many still think of the contrary, I believe this is not going to be another 15-minutes-kind-of-fame. With her undeniable talent, she will be staying. Even ahead of the rest who have once deemed her irrelevant.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

a new umbrella, among other things

The Weekly SillimanianFounders Issue
August 26, 2010

The rain clouds swelled that afternoon. My umbrella had just been turned inside-out, thanks to a strong gust of wind on my way to lunch yesterday. What a drag. For the remaining working hours on the thirty-eighth floor, I studied and verified details of a company’s major event until a realization came up: I never knew one corporate year felt that long.

The epiphany struck a chord. It could only mean that for most of the past 365 days, I had sulked in a cubicle that begged me to sit in a chair for protracted periods of time—or maybe because I had not been able to be in Dumaguete, and of course, Silliman University.

One year may not be a big deal for some, but it is for me. After graduation, I had committed to visit the city at least once a year for both reasonable and unreasonable excuses: catch up with dear acquaintances, tie loose ends (or feign good manners to people once or forever scorned), walk in the safe familiarity of the streets, cleanse the lungs off concrete dust, immerse in vibrant arts and culture like returning to the university’s national writers workshop among many other things.

This time, none of those happened. Yes, opportunities to momentarily get away from work did sprout but they were mere dots in the bigger picture of sanity and practicality. In the end, I had to be back in the office at 8:00 a.m., Mondays to Fridays. “NO ID, NO ENTRANCE” is now the least of my concerns when I have to face the reality of “NO ATTENDANCE, NO PAY.”

Was not visiting Dumaguete something I had to helplessly resign myself to? When each day dragged like a heavy foot, I found my graduation vow broken due to the demands of pedestrian living: the morning traffic, the evening traffic, the unpredictable weather, the next sweldo, the balance dues, the thinning hair.

Whereas in the past all I had been thinking of were my professors, my grades, my extracurricular activities’ extracurricular activities, my confidante’s idle talks, my allowance for my perennially starving Ben. I was now channeling the mind of a browbeaten man who needed to see where his tax money went.

But just as it seemed that the dregs of my ideals had been terribly stirred, I discovered them slowly descending into the bottom, finding peace. There must be more to this life than complaints.

Thankfully, I was right.

If not for the twelve full moons that had drifted along with me whenever I trudged back home from work, I wouldn’t be longing for the city of gentle people that badly and I wouldn’t be thinking of going back. Even though the stronghold of memories would always arrest me in many unexpected times, it allowed me to complete a mosaic of laughter and sorrow that provided a sharp contrast of color to our office building’s solid grey.

The separation is necessary. One must detach from the city in order to relive what makes the place so fascinating, so recognizable yet fresh in every boulevard sunrise. Through this sacrifice, love and longing continue for the city. And when the time to return comes, one will learn that every second of waiting was worth it.

For if there is one thing I will hate for Dumaguete to appear in my eyes, it is jaded familiarity.

Now, it is August. I will soon walk the hallways, the stretch of grass of my college, and see students fresh from the school year’s first midterm exams all giddy for the Founders celebration, unmindful of some teachers still deciphering the relevance of a rock concert and beauty pageant completing the week-long event’s lineup of activities. That’s a fact.

Yes, I can say it will be a homecoming of some sorts for me especially that I know a lot of people who have also weighed and decided the gravity of a much needed break. I am not sure if they have filed for a vacation leave or went AWOL, as I can recall someone doing the latter before, unstoppable despite the most urgent delivery date or deadline, but I guess it was simply the right moment. Trivial as this may read to workaholics or family men and women, but this is among the principles that make up the Silliman Spirit. (I hope the alumni can remember that aside from it being a white and red hibiscus flower). All’s for a good cause.

The rain clouds would swell one afternoon this month. I know they would. I have seen it happen for four years almost becoming a habit. And by the thought of it alone, now that I will be back after a year of absence, I will need a new umbrella.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10th ateneo national writers workshop fellows

Alyza “Medical Poetry Specialist” Taguilaso and Noel “Tiger Woods” Fortun, you both really live up to how fabulous we are. Yes, I say “we” because your accomplishment is our accomplishment, right? In simpler words, before you guys leave for Naga, pa-burger naman! Anyway, I am just glad for this news:


The 10th Ateneo National Writers Workshop, organized by the Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Office of the President, Ateneo de Naga University (AdNU) will be held on October 24-28, 2010 at the AdNU Campus, Naga City.

Twelve fellows have been awarded fellowships. Six slots were exclusively given to writers from the Bicol Region and writing in the Bikol languages. Covered by the fellowship are the fellows’ board and lodging, a modest stipend, and the opportunity to learn from an esteemed panel of Atenean writers and critics. The fellows for this year’s workshop are:

For poetry in English: Alyza May Timbol Taguilaso (Quezon City); For poetry in Filipino: Noel T. Fortun (Las Piñas City), Maureen Gaddi dela Cruz (San Pedro, Laguna); For fiction in English: Glenn Diaz (Manila City), Michelle Abigail Tiu Tan (Quezon City); For fiction in Filipino: Arnold Matencio Valledor (Panganiban, Catanduanes); For poetry in Bikol: Gerry Rubio (Virac, Catanduanes), Adrian Remodo (Naga City, Camarines Sur), Eduardo Uy (Gubat, Sorsogon), Richard Madrilejos (Tabaco, Albay), Rodel Añosa (Ticao, Masbate); For fiction in Bikol: Jimple Borlagdan (Tabaco, Albay).

Panelists for this year's writers workshop would include prize-winning writers like Benilda S. Santos, Alvin B. Yapan, Marco AV. Lopez, Michael M. Coroza, Frank Peñones and Carlo Arejola to name a few. This year’s workshop is co-directed by Kristian Cordero and Yolando Jamendang, Jr.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

mario turns 25!

From a one-sided monochromatic cluster of pixels to a gravity-defying 3D plumber, Mario has indeed come a long, long way. Now 25 years old, the first true face of casual computer gaming shows no signs of slowing down.

Though I’ve never had the chance to play the recent Super Mario Galaxy 2 or Super Smash Bros. Brawl game in the Nintendo Wii (yeah, loser mii), I will still proclaim myself as a true Mario fan. Clearly, I can recall the first time I have laid my hands on the first Game Boy machine with a Super Mario Land cartridge years back, immediately immersed in a plethora of levels and power-ups, to save a princess from a toad. And Shigeru Miyamoto’s iconic theme music for the game still rings in my ears!

Even if I have encountered other interesting characters like Sonic the Hedgehog (SEGA), Crash Bandicoot (Playstation), Kirby and Wario (both from Nintendo), nothing beats the cheerful Italian plumber. The call “It’s a-me, Mario!” never fails to bring me back to that day in school wherein at the back of the classroom, far from the prying eyes of the teacher, I have to defeat Bowser with furrowed brows. (Children, I know, this is not a good example).

There’s more to come with the vast possibilities the Wii console has to offer for this undying franchise, but before we come jumping into the next pipe or onto the next planet, here’s one interesting link that traces the history of Mario. Yes, I love this plumber.

Monday, September 13, 2010

dreaded dengue

I just recently knew that a niece of mine in my home province had dengue fever. Thankfully, she is all well right now. Though the ordeal has passed, I cannot ignore that this illness has reached its high point.

In my little research to learn more about the disease, I find in an article in The Philippine Star (5 September 2010) that “From January 1 to Aug. 21, the DOH recorded 62,503 cases, 88.8 percent higher than the 33,102 cases recorded in the same period last year. Death toll has reached 465 this year and 350 last year.”

That’s one alarming increase. Aedes aegypti, the kind of mosquito that carries the virus and transmits it to humans, is now widespread that all we can do right now is to prevent ourselves from any harm. The news report is enough precaution.

I don’t know when and where my niece gets the bite (mosquitoes breeding in flowers vases? rubber tires in the playground? roof gutters?) but I am certain that it is from a mosquito that has taken a bite from an ill person, someone who has dengue fever. It is an endless cycle.

For a little girl who has yet to see a lot of things, the experience is definitely not memorable. In fact, it is especially not for an acquaintance close to me: three members of her family are now admitted because of Dengue, in a row! That is why for everyone’s sake, here is a link on basic dengue information and ways to prevent it from propagating.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

another shameless plug

My fiction debut in the Philippines Free Press last month was something to be very jubilant about. After all, it is my first—at my age (just look at the list of this year’s Palanca winners and you will know)!

To see in print a work that you have toiled on for months is enough gratification, now let’s move on to other things, end of bliss. But one afternoon, I receive a text message from Jess. The short exchange of communication goes like this:

“Hi Jordan. Saw your story in Graphic.”
“Really?! What story?”
“Can’t remember the title… Dry Cleaning ba yon?”
“Anuvah! Cleanwipe Washing Services! Yey!”

And there it is. Two weeks later, after “Poetry in the Time of Influenza,” my other workshop piece has found its way to the pages of Philippines Graphic, one of the weekly magazines that still hold true to the publication of Filipino literature. I am happy! Here's a link of the online version of the magazine.

This cemented in my oftentimes low-spirited being, in slow and little ways, the idea that I can. There’s too much drama detailing how a teacher once asserted on my terrible future in front of the class or how someone I so respected in the familial circle of this discipline (unconsciously?) tried to put me down in public space, so I will simply applaud the art illustration of the fallen man in the story.

Because after countless times of dealing with people of different degrees of schizophrenia, I learn that there is no use brooding in anger and resentment, that the effortless (and best) form of retribution is a wink and a smile. Go sa kebs!

Now, all I have to do is to keep the ball rolling. Or bouncing. Or whatever.

Friday, September 03, 2010

60th carlos palanca memorial awards

Now, the winners of the 60th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (Palanca Awards) are out in the open. There are a lot of new names in the list [info taken from The Phillipine Star] and as a matter of fact, as stated in the same source, “more than half (54 percent) or 27 are former winners who have already won a Palanca before, while 46 percent or 23 are new winners. This year’s youngest winner was aged 12 while the oldest was 66.”

This is something to celebrate. New leaves are beginning to sprout, like Elena (who won 1st place no less!) and Jesus, people I have luckily imparted and shared knowledge with in workshops. I am proud of you, guys! Inuman na!

Here is the complete list of winners.

Dulang Pampelikula
1st – Kristoffer G. Brugada (Patikul)
2nd – Jerry B. Gracio (Magdamag)
3rd – No Winner

Dulang Ganap ang Haba
1st – No Winner
2nd – Liza C. Magtoto (Rated PG)
3rd – Christian R. Vallez (Kapeng Barako Club: Samahan ng mga Bitter)

Dulang May Isang Yugto
1st – Nicolas B. Pichay (Isang Araw sa Karnabal)
2nd – Floy C. Quintos (Suor Clara)
3rd – Allan B. Lopez (Higit Pa Dito)

Kabataan Sanaysay
1st – Christopher S. Rosales (Gulayan Klasrum)
2nd – Marianito L. Dio Jr. (Ang Aking Pangalan, Ang Aking Kababata at ang Mithing Tilamsik
para kay Third)
3rd – No Winner

1st – Carlos M. Piocos III (Guerra Cantos)
2nd -- Romulo P. Baquiran Jr. (Parokya)
3rd – Mark Anthony S. Angeles (Engkantado)

Tulang Pambata
1st – No Winner
2nd – No Winner
3rd – Will P. Ortiz (May Puso Ang Saging)

Maikling Kwento
1st – No Winner
2nd – Rommel B. Rodriguez (Toxic)
3rd – Thomas David F. Chavez (Sa Kabilang Lupalop ng Mahiwagang Kaharian)

Maikling Kwentong Pambata
1st – Christopher S. Rosales (Si Berting, ang Batang Uling)
2nd – Renerio R. Concepcion (Ang Kagilagilalas na Paglalakbay nina Mumo at Am-I)
3rd – Bernadette V. Neri (Parada ng mga Alingawngaw)

1st – Maria Clarissa N. Estuar (Ang Reyna ng mga Tumbong)
2nd – Ferdinand P. Jarin (D’Pol Pisigan Band)
3rd – Mark Gil M. Caparros (Sina Bunso at ang mga Batang Preso)

Full-length Play
1st – Jay Crisostomo IV (God of the Machine)
2nd – Jorshinelle Taleon-Sonza (The Encounter)
3rd – Lito Casaje (Shooting the Boys)

One-act Play
1st – No Winner
2nd – No Winner
3rd – Peter Solis Nery (The Wide Ionian Sea)

Short Story
1st – Ma. Elena L. Paulma (Three Kisses)
2nd – Ma. Rachelle Tesoro (Waiting for Rain)
3rd – Catherine Rose Galang Torres (Café Masala)

Short Story for Children
1st – Irene Carolina A. Sarmiento (Tabon Girl)
2nd – Hiyasmin Ledi C. Mattison (Little Bear Goes Home: A Love Story)
3rd – Grace D. Chong (I am an Apple)

1st – Merlie M. Alunan (Tales of the Spiderwoman)
2nd -- Rafael Antonio C. San Diego (My Name in Reverse)
3rd – Joel H. Vega (Latitudes and Other Poems)

Poetry for Children
1st – Duffie Alejandrino H. Osental (After the Storm and Other Poems)
2nd – Patricia Marie Grace S. Gomez (Poems from the Pantry and Prehistoric Times)
3rd – Ma. Celine Anastasia P. Socrates (Playgrounds)

1st – Miro Frances D. Capili (Vinyl)
2nd – Florianne Marie L. Jimenez (Postcards from Somewhere)
3rd – Corinna Esperanza A. Nuqui (Library)

Kabataan Essay
1st – Miro Frances D. Capili (The Nature of Nurture)
2nd -- Anton Raphael S. Cabalza (A Shot at Perfection)
3rd – Catherine D. Tan (Green at Heart)

Short Story – Cebuano
1st – Richel G. Dorotan (Si Tarzan)
2nd -- Jonecito R. Saguban (Tinuboang Sapatos)
3rd – Noel P. Tuazon (Patas)

Short Story – Iluko
1st – Sherma E. Benosa (Dagiti Pasugnod ni Angelo)
2nd – Ariel S. Tabag (Voice Tape)
3rd – Joel B. Manuel (Apo Bannual! Apo Bannual!)

Short Story – Hiligaynon
1st – Andy P. Perez (Bayuso)
2nd – Ferdinand L. Balino (Dumdumon Ko Ang Imo Guya)
3rd – Jesus C. Insilada, Ed. D. (Walingwaling)

founders found

Founders Found: We Need To Cheer Up (day 1)

Someone: “I think you have to stay here in the office
for a while, Jordan.”
Jordan: “Bahala ka diyan! I’m going home!”

Yes, I had to. When the plane landed on the Dumaguete airport, I went straight to the Weekly Sillimanian office and met one of the few staffers I recognized (most of them are barely in their teens; I don’t know them!), Budjai, whose sole responsibility for the next five days was to adopt me in their humble abode.

What followed? For someone with a sweet tooth, of course, it was Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries with my batch mates (yeah, small group). And because I didn’t want to waste time, I took the rest of the hours roaming around the campus, the Hibalag booth area, before cheering up at Macias for the annual Silliman University Cheering Competition. Ah, that was some starter.

[ August 25, 2010 ]

Founders Found: Not Your Big Spender (day 2)

I have already anticipated that I won’t be spending as much as five grand in this “six-days, five-nights” sojourn in Dumaguete but this is just staggering: on the second day of my stay, I have only spent P72.00, save for the occasional P7.50 tricycle ride to arrive at different key spots of activities in the city. Unbelievable. That amount could only bring me half of my destination when trying to reach Makati from where I live!

This is one of the many things I love about the city: the wise one could live for a day with a hundred pesos in his hands. It is true.

[ August 26, 2010 ]

Founders Found: All Ye Silly Men Reunite! (day 3)

This is the day when most of the familiar faces have arrived in the city, trying the catch up with what’s left of Silliman’s Founders Week celebration. Though I have expected other faces to show up, the number of people that comes in Qyosko (a restaurant and café with the best arroz balao, crispy adobo servings, coffee concoctions and cakes in the city!) for a quick lunch just shows how many of us are desperate to reconnect, talk and scream at each other at the top of our lungs.

That’s no joke. If by any chance you’d see us group together, better prepare with thick mufflers on the ears. I assume this is always the case: The longer we haven’t seen each other, the stronger the decibels of our voices.

[ August 27, 2010 ]

Founders Found: My Parada Sillimaniana (day 3)

Yes, I know, we are like a balding spot on the head with the number of our contingent in this annual parade of student organizations of Silliman University. The pictures speak for themselves. But who cares! I think this is the way the Weekly Sillimanian will forever follow. I have seen the same thing before, what with the last three years of my college life working as a writer-to-editor of this 107-year old weekly student publication.

But it is not in the numbers actually, it is in the fervor of getting into the crowd of colors of the parade, of reliving what it is like the first time I have leisurely walked around the campus by the sea, of enjoying the countless smiles, cheers and, of course, instances of having myself taken by eager shooting cameras, DSLR or not, with fellow photo-whores. And with the latter, the blaring afternoon sunlight is my one and only friend.

Remember, in photography, natural light is best? Good.

[ August 27, 2010 ]

Founders Found: This Time, The Bistro Is Ours (day 3)

Like what I have said in the previous album, in a nutshell, it is the end of silence once we are grouped together. Light may travel faster than sound but the sounds of our chatter during dinner at Gabby’s Bistro, one the most charming restaurants down Rovira Road in Bantayan, is one damn speeding mercurial bullet. It is that fast. Sabi nga ni Sara Geronimo sa isang TV commercial, “Ang bilis!”

(Maybe we just have to regain our energies back after the long Parada Sillimaniana walk.)

With our loud and cheerful presence, it’s like the place is our home. Well, who wouldn’t feel at home when you are in the lively communion of a long-awaited gathering? To simply put it, this is what I have been looking for a long time, and I am so happy I’ve found it on this day.

[ August 27, 2010 ]

Founders Found: Free Wi-Fi Karma At Escanyo (day 3)

“Be careful with what you throw up above,
it might fall back on your head.”

As is the case of many people in the remaining hours of the day (or night… or dawn of the following day…), it truly happens. Karma has a strange way of putting things in order, and for me, there’s no escaping the fact. But actually, it is something for the good: to maintain balance, one must succumb to a little bit of: a) sudden realization and reasoning, b) momentary aching, and lastly, c) overhyped closure.

In the end, we just have to raise our glasses of beer and salute to the cold sea breeze of Escanyo while bottles of Red Horse Grande continue to crowd the table. It may not be the most picturesque of scenes for some tying of loose ends but it is decent than not happening at all. What has happened has happened; let the dust be carried away into the far distance.

[ August 27, 2010 ]

Founders Found: Apo Island and the Underwater Dora (day 4)

“Uy, daghan kaayong Dora diri dapit o!”
“Unsay Dora?! Dory siguro!”

Unfortunately, some people fail to remember the right names of certain characters, icons or even celebrities. Take for example, Mr. Dither “Diet” Ocampo. You know Dither? Yes, the older brother of Wither and Thither. That’s the one.

Anyway, the expedition to Apo is one memorable sea escapade, a literal washer after our 9PM to 5AM binging at Escanyo. (We had to leave the city at 5:30AM of which no one actually accomplished). The journey is all worth it, from Dumaguete to Malatapay to the island, what with the wealth of otherworldly corals and sea life we have seen.

If just one of us had an underwater camera, the whole trip would be tremendously memorable. Who knows, I might be wrong, the bilingual Dora must really be swimming among us.

[ August 28, 2010 ]

Founders Found: If The Night Is Dark, What Are We? (day 4)

There comes a point when even the highest point of eagerness is trumped by exhaustion. The body just can’t handle. This is how some have felt after our day tour in Apo Island, especially that we didn’t treat sleep much as a friend in the previous days.

And speaking of Apo, I got my long-awaited color. I looked so pale (in my personal context) I had to embrace the sun and sand. But a few thought it was an ungracious gift. Showing up in one of the final nights of our vacation almost as dark as, well, the night, we fixed our minds on the bright side and thought of our mates’ faces at work when they see our golden burn.

[ August 28, 2010 ]

Founders Found: One Plate Isn’t Enough (day 5)

Extra rice is never unfashionable when one is in Dumaguete. It is understandable; you just have to. Almost anything that is edible in the city, whatever suits your taste, is pure heaven. What more, it doesn’t hurt the wallet! It seems to me that food, aside from the vibrant arts and culture that are well-appreciated by the community, is the common denominator that links the Negros islands.

Due to time constraints, or maybe our unconscious incursions to feast in very accessible spots, we missed out on a lot of things: the cheese bread at the college cafeteria, the sizzling bulalo of Royale Suites Inn, the apple shake of Chantily, and everything in the Sunday breakfast buffet of Le Chalet! There are a lot of new places too!

Oh well, this only gives us the reasonable excuse to come back next time… Now I am really craving for Neva’s Pork Parmigiana and Qyosko’s Cashew Caramel Crunch!

[ August 29, 2010 ]

Founders Found: We Are Normal, Never Fear (day 5)

Sometimes, there’s plenty of time in our hands, especially in Dumaguete when one can juggle three tasks in a minute. While people are just stirring and moving slowly in response to the nearing end of the Founders week celebration, some are clustering in the office of a student publication, in communion with anyone’s suggestions of posing this way, projecting that way.

Yes, this is normal. Do not be afraid. I guess this is simply how we define and emulate “natural” in times of yearning each other’s presence after a long while, especially that we are in familiar territory. Though the pictures do not look like it, we don’t bite. Promise.

[ August 29, 2010 ]

Founders Found: The Last Night Among Other Things (day 5)

It was hard to embrace the thought, but then again, it was harder to grapple it, wrestling the fact that on the following day, we would all go back to the seemingly endless cycle of “working for a living.” Even a few rounds in Minimik, karaoke songs in Country Gents, and a few more rounds at Escanyo (our usual crime scenes) couldn’t dilute the gloom of cloud over our heads.

The last night in Dumaguete only bears witness that no matter how far one has reached to, whatever places they might be, one has to return and reconnect to a place that is forever stranded within our hearts.

[ August 30, 2010 ]

Founders Found: Founders Lost (day 6)

Even good times have to end. We know this is coming. Six days and five nights of merrymaking have to lie low for the meantime because we have to return to several weeks of hunching in our seats for nine hours in a day.

But as what I have said, these separations are necessary. One must detach from the city in order to relive what makes the place so fascinating, so recognizable yet fresh in every boulevard sunrise. When the time to return comes, one will learn that every second of waiting is worth it. Dumaguete goes nowhere. All we have to do is come back at the right moment and say the words again: “We deserve this.”

Until the next trip! See you soon.

[ August 30, 2010 ]