Sunday, December 27, 2009

[Ge]N[er]ational Anthem

My brother, nephew and myself were singing along to this Fra Lippo Lippi song while we were in the car last Christmas evening. One thing I can say about my family is that music is one tie that binds us together. I dare you to show me another 8-year old who sings Fra Lippo Lippi.

Incidentally, this was the first song played by the band during our high school batch reunion last night. This goes to show how good music transcends generations...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In Bacolod

Just got here this afternoon after an almost 2 hour delay with my flight. Salamat, Zest Air...

This few days are going to be hectic with all the meetings to attend it might be awhile before I can once again attend to this blog. Currently piggy-backing on someone's wifi connection. Salamat, unrestricted wifi...

Friday, December 18, 2009

See You in Bacolod

This will be my final "vacation period". The next homecoming's going to be permanent but that'll still be in April...

Just want to give out my advance holiday greetings to everybody who will be visiting or straying onto my blog. Will do my best to post updates during the vacation season. Suffice to say that I'll be busy for the next few weeks. hehe

Tomorrow I'll be making my way to the airport for my flight.

Be safe everybody and see you all in Bacolod.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Playlist in My Head

Effect of the movies Inglourious Basterds and Paprika:

1. "Meditation Field" by Susumu Hirasawa

2. The "Parade Song" by Susumu Hirasawa

3. "Cat People (Putting out Fire)" by David Bowie. This is that scene in Inglourious Basterds.

Amazing [G]race

Today's adventure seemed to be a lost episode of The Amazing Race. I had contacted Grace a few days ago telling her if she would be amenable for a meeting. She was in Manila this weekend and I was happy that she obliged me. The problem was -- oh well, I'll let our [reconstructed, slightly altered for dramatic effect] text exchanges tell the tale. Here's last night's exchange:

Grace: let's meet December 14 (Monday) at 2 PM at UP Diliman. I have to buy some UP Shirts.

Ditch: don't you have a 5:15 flight that same afternoon? and aren't you in Laguna?

Grace: Just got here this Sunday afternoon. Will be in Tagaytay early morning to watch the sunrise and then have brunch. After that, will go straight to UP.

Ditch: [to myself: Tagaytay? sunrise? WTF?!] Are you sure you can make it within the time frame you plotted...early morning Monday traffic is really terrible...

Our text exchanges this morning (around 11 am) and early in the afternoon got freakier...

Grace: Mike, gud am! which is nearer to the airport? MOA or UP?

Ditch: Darling, you have such an abyssmal sense of proximity here in Manila. Why don't we meet in MOA na lang?

Grace: OK, can you buy me some shirts na lang?

Ditch: $%@#! I'm already in the jeepney. It'll take me 40+ minutes to get to MOA. Are you on your way...?

[an hour later]

Ditch: Arrived at MOA na. I'll be waiting for you at Mcdonald's beside the Hypermarket. It's the building with the turquoise colored tower thing...

Grace: I'm on the bus but it might take a while for it to leave.

Ditch: You really sure you'll make it in time?

Grace: Yup! Bus ride will take about an hour then I'll take a taxi ride which will take about 15 mins. See yah!

Ditch: OK. see you then.

At this time I was reciting the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, replacing the word "fear" with be stressed/get angry/strangle Grace. An hour or so passes. I will not be stressed, stress is the mind-killer...

Grace: Mike, I'm in the taxi na...

Ditch: I'm standing outside the Hypermarket. Don't bother getting out of the taxi. I'll join you and we'll have our chat at the terminal na lang ha?

Grace: I'm here na.

Ditch: Where the $%&* are you?!

The meeting that ensued was much more pleasant, I assure you.

NOTE: again, the cited text exchanges have been fictionalized for dramatic effect. Grace might contest some of the words used in the recreation but in my view those words best summed up my thoughts. If ever Grace decides to blog about her experience, I bet it would have a slightly different take and most assuredly would contain no expletives...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Die Hitler! Die!

Watching Inglorious Basterds brought back memories of watching war movies with my brother. He would always tell me to take count of the number of soldiers at the start of the film as they would eventually be whittled down during the course of the story. Needless to say, my subtraction skills were sharpened from watching war movies:

Okay, we have 10 members in the squad...

Now, two got blown to bits by a claymore mine -- 10 minus 2,that's eight...

One bleeds to death from being shot in the thigh, must be the less eight makes seven...

Standoff in a base or somewhere...five gets blown by mortar fire. Two remain standing...

The beauty about Inglorious Basterds is that it doesn't make pretensions to draw parallels with current issues, be an allegory of the struggle over good and evil, serve as an indictment or endorsement of any war, or even wax sentimental over the "good old days" (Band of Brothers often did this during the course of that series). It's a swashbuckling adventure. And it delivers.

In the sequence which shows Shosanna (aka Emmanuelle) in the projection room prior to the premiere of "Nation's Pride" (you'll get this if you watched the film), I thought the song playing was familiar - more particularly, the voice, which I was sure I have heard before. I bet Yunamayi that it was David Bowie (unfortunately she didn't call me on my bet). And sure enough, at the end credits -- David Bowie! Cat People!

One question: what happened to the remainder of the Basterds? I counted the the two German speaking Basterds in the pub and the two who went kamikaze in the cinema as casualties; Raines and Utivich survived, so where were the other four? Unless I missed a scene...wait -- I forgot to count them again during the baseball bat scene with Bear Jew and the Nazi officer...crap.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Time Team

I was introduced to this series during our previous lecture in World Archaeology with Prof. Valientes. Never realized that digging through dirt could be so dramatic and sexy...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hell Hath No Fury... a woman scorned. Most especially if said woman is descended from Vikings...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Almost Famous

Mama called up unexpectedly asking how I was doing. Turns out she saw a news report on a certain rally in UP Diliman that seemingly got out of hand.

"I passed by that rally this afternoon!" was my response to her.

I was making my way to the UP Press Bookstore at Balay Kalinaw in order to look at some books and I happened to come across the said rally. Mass demonstrations is nothing extraordinary here in UP but what surprised me was the very visible police presence.

So picture this: me walking nonchalantly through the crowd of protesters, silently praying that nothing untoward happens lest I become a casualty in the melee. And it would be easy to mistake me as one of the tibaks -- I was wearing the UP History Department shirt with cargo pants and sandals. I was like walking bait for the police itching to trounce any wayward tibak.

I was going: "Diyos ko...wag lang sanang magkagulo...paraanin niyo lang ako bago kayo magpatayan...Please lang..."

But my prayers were answered and I made my way through the masses without any incident. Thank goodness the crowd decided to up the ante much, much later.