Across the Universe

We're looking at the same moon.

We're looking at the same moon - differently.

You see it waxing.
I see it waning.

Let's wait for the full moon, yes.

A full moon is a full moon.

A full moon is all fools' moon.

Let's wait for the full moon, yes.

[ Fiona Apple's Across the Universe is perhaps one of the few songs I could listen on loop all day long. I fucking love it, I could cry. The Beatles is the best band ever, really. Their poetry is just, ugh, I wish I could write like this. "Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup, they slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe." It's so un-fuckin-fair.]


Camiguin Flash Trip

There's something mystical and enchanting about Camiguin. A visit on this island borne of fire never fails to fascinate me. It still has this virginal, mysterious and refreshing aura to it that draws us into its rugged, yet enticing arms.

And so, when LifestyleBohol's Sonieta, invited my to join the LB team in a Camiguin trip, without hesitation,  I jumped into chance of visiting the island again. This was a sponsored experience by the Bahay Bakasyunan Sa Camiguin, where we were to be billeted and be toured in the island provinces popular attractions.


The Wedding

Someone's waay off-color. Didn't read the memo, yah?

Happy times! It's Taweng's wedding day. Didn't get to know the husband much, but she's in good hands, yes!

We're in an ultra small city, right, but we all pretty much have separate lives basically. So, us, this particular group, this many, in one sitting, definitely called for an after-party. It's all about the booze bb.



Me, talking about the inefficiency of the first automated elections is needless really. I mean, too much has been said already. It was awful, awful, awful. They should make it truly automated next time, touch screen and shit. But put some sort of mechanism for a hard copy/print out that the voter can inspect before it's sealed. Because we are terribly skeptical that way, there has to be something that can be counted manually.

So we were lining up, waiting for our turn, intermittent rain showers on the side, muddy pathways all over, which got us really hungry, at least hungry for something, hungry to get the hell out of there - so we did, swore to get back and went off to some place where we can eat. 

Painit bisan arang inita jamo!

Enter Jojie's Painitan. At the new Tagbilaran City Square where the former Agora aka public market (where painitan's or native snack counters abounded) stood before it was razed in a huge fire back in the early 90's.

The food that we ordered - bingka, puto kutsinta, binignit, puto na bugas, the sikwate - were good like they should be. I mean that's local merienda fare, it makes sense to make them delicious, yeah? But the way the food were displayed in the istante killed the theme, IMHO. Oh well, you can't have it all.

I voted and survived!

Dirty fingers. That's suffrage for 'ya.

#halalan #bohol #elections2010

Today, we all leap into a ring of fire.

It's Election Day. My list, so far, populates only Risa Hontiveros, my senator, and Akbayan for Partylist.

I'm leaning towards yellow, I am, after all, wearing a yellow baller band right now etched with: The Filipino is worth dying for. I hesitate but I look at the other choices and wince. It seems that I have no other choice. And I stand by it.

I'm not impressed with NoyNoy particularly, never was. Mar slightly did at one point. But their platform: A Social Contract with the Filipino People and the people who's gonna be there to help ensure that as much of these will be accomplished in the next 6 years, that may have done it for me. We'll all make sure of that.

Today is just Election Day. Tomorrow and onwards, will be much much tougher days.


I'm Eating Red Meat Again!

Just had to let that out in the open. 

I actually swore in front of friends that once I get to the Philippines, man, am I chowing down on all the greasy pork and red meat what-not's that I could. True fact.

A little history: I've been depriving myself from red meat for almost 3 years running, just because. No mean feat for someone who isn't exactly a fan of vegetables, which means chicken, seafoods and more chicken.

There's no political, spiritual or some other profound basis for that red-meat-less choice, so I could pretty much revert back without remorse. Which I did, without hesitation. (Actually, I was forced to because at the fiesta, everything laid on the table was pork, I had little choice. So why the hell not.) There.

I'm eating pork, beef, mutton, red meat again. Big deal.

Making the Rounds

Taking it slow. The details are a bit fuzzy.

If you squint, you can see Cesar Montano, standing with the mic, in yellow - taking a break from his campaign at Tachy. "Gusto ko Bago" - that's his slogan for his gubernatorial campaign in Bohol. I could actually admire the guy (save for his kalandian or kaigaton) and just might vote for him.

Impromptu jamming session with Buboy and his campaign buddies.

Fat chance for him to win though. Trapo politics is entrenched deep in Bohol, which also mean ugly, fat politicians. Just saying.

Tanduay Ice is apparently the hot ladies' drink of the times. Indeed, it's a drink I could actually gulp down like water, but it sure kicks serious ass. This'll prolly be my drink of choice from now on.

From another event, my kid cousin's band When Hopes Fly High is playing. He's first from the left, on bass. Paramore-ish, but they got one badass song. Good start. These kids make me feel ooold. Speaking of old, I bumped into an old friend at this event (which is like unlikely, considering the age demographic of the audience here), couldn't say my hopes didn't fly high right then and there

That calls for a pulutan! Slimey, and supery oily pig cheeks! Yay!


High School Never Ends. It haunts you, on and on. And on.

One of the first people (outside my family) I got to meet after I arrived home were my high school classmates. It just so happened that there was something goin' on the day after I arrived in Tagbilaran, the fiesta of Maribojoc, to be precise, and so, why the heck not?

People have been reconnecting via Facebook for a while and so when the opportunity to gather up came, that being, the coming home of the esteemed newly ordained Fr. Ferdie, the linchpin of the group, really - it was a series of get-together's that just kept on coming.

It was Maribojoc's patron saint's Feast Day. He's St. Vincent or Vicente, hence, the Inting-Inting Festival, we got a chance to watch at the tail-end before dinnertime.

Hello, pork.As promised, I broke my 2-year fast from red meat. I got out alive and mostly sane, right?

This, thanks to our most gracious host, Aning & her little one. (Aning's was only the 2nd house for some of us actually, who were already there in Maribojoc for lunch at Roxanne's.)

And then we were off to our second house for the night, Rey's. Nobody's turning down the second supper.

A few drinks here and there...

... and then some...

We think we've changed, we're now priests, doctors, architects, nurses, teachers, accountants, executives - we're all still the same.


This is me running away.

And running off to that bosom of assured uncertainty that is home.

That messy. A last look at the shrine of my life in Bahrain,

It's never enough. Packing a life into a meter-high balikbayan box.

Kuwait Airways via Kuwait via Bangkok. This is in BKK. Some 6 years ago, I flew in the same airline. That time, we were coming from Bangkok, on a class tour, and was completely distressed by the stressful looks of the OFW passengers that came from the Middle East. I have become that distressed and stressed out OFW.

We are home. Upon landing at the NAIA, nobody claps gleefully anymore.

The eagle has landed. No big deal.

While at the baggage carousel. And trying not to stress over my realization that I didn't label that one small box I hurriedly packed like an hour before I was leaving, I couldn't help but overhear a conversation between two Pinay OFWs, presumably domestic workers, on their difficulties at work and struggles just to get home, the usual DH tales of withheld salaries, extended contracts without their consent, suspicious employers. A statement that struck me: Mabuti pa 'tong mga lalaki na kabayan, mukhang walang ka-proble-problema sa trabaho o kapag uwian. Most possibly.

Overpriced goods at the airport. Check. Cheating taxi drivers. Check. Bustling and dirty streets even at night. Check. Welcome to Manila.

Welcome drinks. Shamelessly crashing at Edwin and Tey's because I'm thick-skinned that way.

Priceless. To look up at a mango tree with mango fruits dangling.

I had to attend to some personal errands, hence the stop in Manila.

This is freedom. I can take public transport again without fear.

Samalamig in Cubao. Where I just came from, it was hot and dry, here, it's hot and humid. This is worse. Good there's street drinks to quench our thirst.

First stop was to book my flight to Bohol. But seats left was way too expensive, it was cheaper to go via Cebu and then go by ferry to Tagbilaran. I had to go to the airport ticketing itself because all other offices were closed because it was a holiday that day.

I am still at awe at the greenery I see around, even at the airport. What a lovely sight.

Next stop was Recto for that dry seal. To get there, first a jeepney ride to Baclaran.

Just goin' with the flow. This is probably only my second time in this area.

Late lunch in the Jollibee near the LRT station because for the longest time I've been craving for a Jollibee meal.

LRT, only my second ride on this route. I was more used to the MRT.

Walkway towards Recto. Again goin' with the flow, this is my first time here.

Next stop, Quiapo. Uh, not to pray, but to visit my suking DVDhan.

Election season is so full-on. Exciting times.

About to ride LRT-2 from Recto-Cubao, but had to change mode of transport.

For this meal with Tey and Edwin at a Persian restaurant in West Ave. Hah. I thought I was back in the Philippines.

A little later, I was off to the airport for my early flight to Cebu. 'Love the free Wi-Fi. There was none in Kuwait and Bahrain.

Inside the PAL Airbus to Cebu.

Farewell, Manila.

Hello, Cebu!

At Pier 4. I decided to go on directly to the SuperCat ferry terminal and ride straight away to Tagbilaran. I could go back here anytime.

Last trip and I'm home.

Inside SuperCat. Two more hours.

At last, I see you, Tagbilaran.

So, I was waiting at the visitor arrival center for about ten minutes for Ryan and Reg to come pick me up, which was the last thing I wanted to do, wait. The waiting time, was about enough for a virtual recap of that somehow harrowing journey, like a vortex that sucked me in rapidly, and out, as quickly, suddenly everything struck to me as real, overwhelmingly so, that I made it back in one recognizable, seemingly  sane piece, that tears started to flow out of my sore and tired eyes, just in time, when they came to get me. No fucking way. Yes fucking way. I survived.

To cap off this adventure of venturing back to the motherland, the much-needed body massage. Oh yes, I am home.