On Lucena: The fun part of Lucena City in Quezon Province, when I was there Nov. 23, 2012, is the plaza full of jampacked food stalls in front of the provincial capitol. But I already had a burger at Mozart, one of the local burger stands a block away. There was a radio somewhere, tuned in to one of the provincial stations, 91.1 Campus Radio. The most interesting is the old-school stand alone movie theater, Benco, showing two films for the price of one, and that's even less than a regular feature. They are bold films, and I could imagine what's going on inside. I remember when I first went into a double-feature theater somewhere else. I was 13, playing high school hooky. Some stranger sat beside me. We were the only ones in that row. My heart pounding nervously, I felt a hand brush my knee, then it began to caress my thigh...
On the 1960s: I love the sixties though I was born in the 70s. I would have been in Woodstock, flashing the peace sign. Yeah, that's where it's at: on the road, like Jack Kerouac, on a psychedic colored van, tripping on Dylan and Spiral Staircase. Beatles and Monkees, of course! Hendrix, Marley, Peter, Paul and Mary too! The hippie movement is a revolution of consciousness, the declaration of independence of an entire generation. PEACE!
On Being Taken Hostage: I wonder what I would have done if I've been one of those gas plant workers taken hostage by terrorists in Algeria. Ruben Andrada, a Filipino engineer and one of the few survivors, tells his harrowing experience via phone patch to the radio show Ibayong Pinoy as I tuned in, Jan. 20, 2013 (I had just then texted a friend, saying I'm chillaxing for bed, "waiting for my sleepiness to reach a climax."). Andrada and the other hostages had been herded into vans, strapped with bombs, and were driven straight in the crossfire between the government soldiers and the terrorists. I'm not afraid to die, and I think I would have struggled to resist, knowing me. But one of the most important lessons I learned in my life is, in any situation, you really can't be sure of what you will do if it hasn't happened to you. Anything else is wishful thinking
On Senior Citizen Act Violations (2 of 2): Senior citizens deserve our highest respect for their lifetime of wisdom and their unparalleled contributions to our society and to our world. But the Philippine law mandating a 20% discount for senior citizens is being violated everyday, like in Master Siomai and other franchise food carts. Around the last week of November 2012, I boarded a Green Star bus with an Calamba-Alabang-Lawton via Skyway route. There it was: "No Student ID, No Senior Citizen ID, No 20% Discount." Just in case the passengers can't get the hint, it goes to the point: "No Senior Citizen and Student ID." Under that, to drive it home: "NO 20% DISCOUNT." Will the government sanction the bus owner? It depends on how high his connections are
On Student Rehearsals at The Luneta: I saw a lot of young students practising for their stage presentations at the giant Lapu Lapu monument at the Luneta when I passed by on Nov. 22, 2012, circling the park from the National Library to the Instituto Cervantes. I love children, and I got there videos to share the joy of seeing them in action, so full of innocence, enthusiasm and joy for living
On Kawayan Musika: I saw incredible musical artistry in front of the Manila Yatch Club on Nov. 11, 2012. I just came from the Cultural Center complex and was walking to Baywalk. I'm impressed by the originality: a duo on an improvised bamboo xylophone. I actually enjoyed the performance of the almost non-stop medley of famous pop songs. They are Kawayan Musika and their number is 0932-746-6572. I honestly believe they deserve international exposure, a showcase of world-class Filipino talent. It was one of the many things that made that special morning even more memorable. It's a beautiful Sunday, it's a beautiful day!
On True Love: I believe in love that will last a lifetime. I want that, deeply yearn for it, in my life: with both of us grown old but still loving each other with the same passion no matter what happens, like the unforgettable characters brought to life by Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda in the film classic On Golden Pond. "You're my knight in shining armor!" she tells her husband suffering from dementia. "And always will be!"
From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear
9:49 p.m., Saturday
A lot have happened lately, it seems a lifetime has been condensed in just a couple of days. I have this tendency to focus on the positive things so I try to avoid writing about the negative ones. But I want also to note events in my life that's significant. I notice, moreover, that everything turns out well in the end. Last week, the unthinkable has happened: my old reliable original vintage Nokia flip phone (which I call Volkswagen) finally malfunctioned. I went to my trusted technician friend in Baclaran. I met him when I was living in Parañaque in 2010.
We had a laugh because since then, they had moved into four different stalls and I had lived in four different places: Santa Ana in Manila, General Trias and Tanza in Cavite, and Vanguard in Moonwalk in Las Piñas. Before that, I even stayed in Gwapotel, a public transient dorm at the back of Manila Hotel: imagine a field of double bunks like the economy section of long-distance ships the size of 3 basketball courts. The things that happened to me there can also fill a volume.
So they have a new place, inside the mall connected to the LRT station, while I'm in Alabang, at least as I write this. I'm happy with my phone, don't really want another, and I'm even happier to know that I can afford to buy a new one anytime; knowing that is enough for me. I love photograhy so I bought a digicam 3 months ago, one of the few material things I've always wanted. The old reliable is now back in top form, and while there, I downloaded some songs into my digital voice recorder from CDR-King: it's the warranty replacement they issued when they found they couldn't fix (in 2 months instead of 3 weeks) the unit they sold me.
Anyway, my technician friend also runs a download thingee, and I got 21 songs for 2 pesos a pop. That was the first time I heard and really liked Every Morning by Sugar Ray.
The word "eclectic" doesn't even begin to describe it: from The Beatles' Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
to Gary Valenciano's Shout For Joy,
The Avaya phone at my work station lost its ethernet connection last Thursday so I asked to be transferred temporarily. I was assigned to a station where two supervisors already assured its okay. I prefer to be in that new area of the production floor, really, very positive vibes. End-shift the following morning, I heard that the "owner" of that station and one other girl (the noisiest and the most attention-seeking) were bitching about me, really below-the-belt stuff, because I used her station. It's not my first time to encounter back-fighters, and there are a lot of plastic people in this line of business. My only consolation is that I haven't done them any harm and their behavior is not a reflection of my character. My conscience is crystal-clear and that's all that matters.
I'm not insecure and my life is not empty; that's why I don't like gossip and office politics. I can't speak for other people.
I updated my blog 2Rivers earlier, after shift. I posted, among the 4 major stories and my diary for Jan 6, the letter-to-the-editor I sent to six national publications, about my negative experiences dealing with the police when I accompanied a friend to report a crime; he owns an Internet shop and one of his employees vanished, taking along all ten PCs. The greatest lesson I got while I was online came from the new video of my mentor Tony Robbins: What makes you rich is not money but your attitude towards it. I'll write a separate story on this
Climaxing on a musical note, as always (umabot sa sukdulan ang nota in Filipino), the Huggybear photo with the black varsity jacket with yellow stripes was taken in SM Dasmariñas mall when I got my cam, a sleek black Samsung ES91 on sale in Wellcom, November 2012. I was with a friend who lives there. Straight from my all-nighter shift in Alabang, we spent an hour in one of the local gyms, my friend being a body-builder and acting as my instructor.
Then we found a videokes-for-rent joint with private booths in the mall. Hitting the high notes and practicing the head tone I learned from Eric Arceneaux, I sang If I Believe by Patty Austin.
"...and the passing years will show
that you will always grow
ever more beautiful
in my eyes..."