Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Torpe Road Part 7

Pride is a good and a bad thing. For example, your school winning in a varsity game reaps self-respect and makes your parents proud of the thousands of pesos/dollars/baht that they have spent, giving you quality education and athletic students, plus the simple joy of still being with your long-time B.I. friends during highschool or even elementary. On the other hand if your school loses we would sometimes get into a riot and destroy public property and you'd humiliate the image of your school. That’s pride for you. It’s almost as potent as love. Go figure.

Like it or not, men have REALLY huge egos. That’s why we validate our existence with that Ferrari, iPad 2 and that Wolverine Statue purchase. We may regret it in the future, but at least we have something to make payabang sa mga barkada natin. The same also goes with bagging that chick of a girl-next-door, probisyana or a tattooed type. We have a lot to be proud of getting that girl based on pa-porma alone, but there is also the possibility for it to be broken in a million pieces if the said chick ay binasted ka sa mga dahilan na nakakasakit sa inyong pagkakalalake.This is what this girl did to me, which we will call Bacolod.

It was the year 2006. I’ve just graduated from College and want to look for work. Looking for job with a 5-digit salary, I’ve tried to apply at a Call Center. I know na medyo malayo sya sa pinag-aralan ko, pero one thing led to another. Besides, I don’t want to be that one guy na 8 buwan na naghahanap ng trabaho na related sa work nya at wala pa ring mahanap, or yung nakahanap nga ng ganung trabaho pero nasa isang environment na paulit-ulit ang tinutugtog na pambatang kanta at walang water dispenser sa pinagta-trabahuhan nila. Believe me, I know some people. Anyway, I’ve applied in 3 Call Centers but all of them gave me the boot. Either I gave bad answers on the interviews or I failed on the typing or written tests. I just persisted and in Call Center No. 4 I was able to get the job. It was a very rewarding experience.

So there I was, a call center agent. There are a lot of benefits and disadvantages of being one, as I later learned. For example, if you are a fresh graduate, being in a call center makes you marketable while trying to bag that “dream job” because some companies wanted employees with some work experience, and working in a call center does accomplish that. There’s also a lot of money that can be earned, the main reason that a lot of people work here. Just by talking to people over the phone, you can earn almost 40% more than regular bank employees. And sometimes companies give out incentives like gift certificates, additional money, gadgets and movie tickets to urge people to work harder. And because of that, often the work can be really stressful. Mapipilitan kang maki-usap sa Americans who are slow, abuse you verbally, make threats and, on rare occasions, make sexual remarks. There’s also the graveyard shift, where you work in the wee hours in the evening. Picture this: it’s 2am, half of the populace are sleeping and dreaming while you are in an office talking to an American instructing him/her how to open the computer/ explain how interest works/ dispute a suspicious transaction on the bill. And then after work you are forced to sleep na may araw na sumisinag sa bintana ng kwarto mo.Minsan mabi-bwiset ka pa dahil may nag-iingay sa kabilang bahay or me inaayos na kalsada. And of course there’s the theme of monotony. After 2-3 months masasanay ka agad, so it gets boring immediately. But, all work is like that. It’s just that a call center job has a quick learning curve.
I was already training to achieve an American accent or at least sound like a professional American English talker and learning the system that we would use on our computers to assist them when I met Bacolod.

Bacolod is of average height, morenang-morena and has long hair almost reaching to her lower part of her back. She has these mesmerizing eyes that I think that’s how I fell in love with her. Originally we were divided into 2 groups to be trained and she was in the other group. It was in the product knowledge classes, where we would become familiar with the workarounds of the caller’s problems, that I met her as well as a group of 3 friends that are downright maangas at matitinik sa tsiks, something that I lacked and benefited from their advice (which I will tell more later). We were like a dance crew: no one guy is recognized without the whole. There is Smooth Guy: he acts like the leader of our crew and he’s so smooth, kaya nyang pasagutin si Mother Teresa. Next is Bone Guy: he comes from Baguio and has a fetish for fashioning snake bones into accessories. He’s also a chickboy but he’s not that smooth. Me ka-sablayan din. Lastly, there’s Air Man 2: man, I don’t know why I always befriend the mayabang type. Medyo mayabang sya pero nasa lugar naman. He always wanted to include himself on conversations so we also call him Bidaman (laging bumibida) , a nod to that Anime series and toyline. We really bonded, thanks to alcohol and our common topic, which are girls. Heck, any guy group’s topic is girls.

I really had fond memories of the group. There was one time when we were in the morning shift and after work we’ve decided to drink in Bone Guy’s apartment. We talked a lot of things, but things got censored when the girlfriend/wife of Air Man 2 and Smooth Guy, respectively, went to the place to maybe bantayan kami at baka gumawa kami ng kababalaghan, if you know what I mean. It was still a fun time and in the end we stayed up all night and slept for only 1-2 hours then went to work again. Luckily there was training that day so we were able to doze off. Those were the days…

Anyway, when I saw Bacolod for the first time I immediately fell in love with her. She had that impeccable charm na meron ang mga probinsyana. Sabi nga sa Bamboo song na “Probinsyana”

“Mahirap amuhin/ ang Probinsyana/pag napa-ibig/ wala kang duda...“

I was able to man up because I’m tired of being the torpe guy. I approached and talked to her during breaks and when we were seatmates. My friends easily saw that I had plans to court her and they were both a help and a pain in the ass. It’s like Highschool again as we were teased by my fellow trainees. It became hard because nailang sya but I still received support from my other trainees, especially my friends. I was able to show off my artistic side and explain to her in a way how artists think. Sadly, I wasn’t able to learn much about her other than that she is with her best friend here in Manila, nag-aral maging teacher, lives in Bacolod and naghanap ng trabaho na malaki ang kita so nag-apply sa call center, and as I have learned later on, meron ding pumo-porma sa kanya sa klase namin. I’ll tell you more about it later.

I remember my close friends during training said to me na bumili ako ng cake at single-stemmed rose at ibigay ko sa kanya para pan-dagdag pogi points. Yeah, baduy kung baduy,pero kumagat ako at naisipan ko din naman na okey na idea yun. Besides, I am easily influenced by people who are close to me. They’d suggest something or bring an idea, and I’d do it or weigh the options. That’s one of my weaknesses, but there are limitations. Like infomercials.Di talaga ako maniniwala sa mga iyon. Anyway, I had to go to Glorietta and bought a Red Ribbon Cake and an expensive rose that also comes along with a mini-water container to avoid the flower from wilting. I gave it to her the next day and she thanked for the gesture but parang naramdaman ko na di sya interesado sa ginawa ko . I did get a beso so to my Torpe mind okay na rin. I was really open to any ideas that Smooth Guy and Air Man 2 proposed to stage a fight near her seat para makita nya ang mangyayari and si Air Man 2 ang mag-aawat and then Smooth Guy would apologize to me para magmukha akong maangas sa kanya. We were supposed to execute the plan any time after we (or they) have suggested it, so long as we are near her and our kwentuhan would be perfect for an argument na hindi mukhang peke. We were able to do it but me katangahan akong ginawa; hinamon ko sya na magsuntukan sa loob ng Training room. Smooth Guy almost laughed but we were able to convince the people inside the room that we got into a heated spat. Was all the things I did worth it? Well, despite the teasing and the kind of a juvenile attempt to woo her, yes. But did she give a damn about it? Based on my observation, no. Her full attention was on another co-trainee na pumo-porma sa kanya. Hey, I’m all for a friendly competition. Heck, this is my first time where I had one. It was rather unfortunate that I wasn’t really prepared for something like this. Why?

The person who is wooing her is also a her.

Mega Ouch. Huli ko nang napansin na pinopormahan si Bacolod. The lesbian is a little chubby, has boy-cut hair, almost the same height as me and wears glasses. The funniest and bitter thing here is Bacolod seems to really like her. I don’t know, I guess that me pinag-samahan na sila sa unang training class at magaling sya sa panliligaw, probably because she knows what a girl thinks and wants. Nonetheless, I took the challenge and tried my best to make her choose me instead of her.

But alas. I was no match. I finally gave up when I tried to talk to her and she doesn’t seem to be interested in what I’m saying and one time when I walked her home she kept on asking her best friend about the lesbian and naramdaman ko na parang wala lang ako dun. It made a huge crack to my ego. My friends kept on teasing me, saying stuff like “Mas gusto nya kasi na umuwi sa kanila na di buntis” or “Ampota natalo ka ng babae p’re!!!”. It can really bring you down, but you have to move on.

Y’know, even back in Highschool I am intrigued and hated lesbians. Like, how they were able to hook up with a beautiful girl, how they look inappropriate with their trying-hard-to-speak-in-a-husky-voice, boy-cut hair and wearing-loose-clothing-to-conceal-their-breasts. During college the thought of “ Bakit sila ang pinili kaysa sa aming lalake?” kept popping on my head so you can see why I despise them. And the way na manlambing sila, ugh. Get a room. It’s bad enough that boyfriends and girlfriends cuddle na magpalit na ng mukha, eh sa kaparehas pa ng kasarian? But my perception with them changed over time when I befriended some lesbians at the office, so I was able to ask questions and understood their story. Nalaman ko na mga tao rin naman sila, may mga sariling pag-iisip at kagustuhan. When you think about it, our society is not that open to same-sex relationships so mas mahirap din sa kanila yung makahanap ng pag-ibig. As a result I dropped the hate, wala rin naming mangyayari sa akin kung puro lang galit ang nasa loob ko. And I made a vow not to hate lesbians…so long as they don’t pick yung nililigawan ko rin. Fate seemed to be okay with my deal.

Bacolod seems to be doing fine now, based from what I’ve seen on her Facebook page. She “broke up” with the lesbian, went back to her home province and is working as a call center agent in another company. You could say that what she went through was just a “phase” like what girls go through with their stay at dorms during college . Like that Katy Perry song:

“ I kissed a girl/ and I like it”

And the lesbian? Well, from what I know, she traveled to the U.S. maybe to look for work, but bumalik na dito at nakita ko pa sya one time when I am already out from work. For one brief moment gusto ko syang sapakin, maybe to just vent out. But it was just an idea. Malay mo, ako pa yung mapahiya sa ginawa ko.

But don’t feel bad with me (well, I hope you are) as all my efforts are not lost with Bacolod. It seems that I repeated history in a way that I saw her best friend…and I took another leap of faith.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Torpe Road Part 6

It’s like an end of your favorite TV show or your favorite rock band disbanding (or usually the vocalist getting greedy and wanting to do a solo career). It’s bittersweet and you need to move forward and try out new stuff. Like juggling, for instance.

It’s almost the end of the “Road” for me. As much as it is therapeutic and me becoming a celebrity in the strictest sense with my close friends and (maybe) people from Iceland, South Africa and China, it can be rather traumatic to think back on what I did. Sure, there’s the philosophy of trial and error but remembering what you did before can be painful. Heck, Present Me would smack my Past Me’s head so hard and shout “ TANGINA!!! BAKIT YAN ANG GINAWA MO???!!!”. But I guess even playboys have his bad day.

Which is what this post is all about. This is one of my greatest follies. My greatest sablay. I’m not particularly proud of what I did, but it just happened. I think I’
m selling it too much and I’m afraid I might not deliver. But enough of the hype, let’s get this going…

It’ll only be a few more years before I would graduate from College. We were already thinking of what our Thesis subject will be but also able to enjoy the benefits of being a College
student, like going to concerts and being in charge of your time. Because there are times that you’d have a 2-3 hour interval from your next class and you could use that time to either go to the mall or bisitahin yung pinopormahan mo sa dorm nya. And it was at that free time that I met this classmate of mine in a different way. She will be named Paranaque.

Paranaque is a bit tall, almost at 5’6. She had long, black hair and almost looks Chinese because of her singkit eyes. Another distinguishing attribute of Paranaque is her buck front teeth. She’s barkada with Las Pinas ( see Part 3) and is the usual Art student. You know the type: the one who prefers Tori Amos over Taylor Swift kind. I’ve been classmates with Paranaque ever since I enrolled in our University pero I only saw her as a friend and fellow classmate. It never dawned on me that she can be a potential girlfriend, not until Rivermaya came to our campus one pre-Christmas day.

It was our Annual University Christmas Celebration , and another way of ending the School year.We were treated to one free choice of food in famous fast food restaurants and eateries, seeing the whole campus grounds lit up in Christmas lights and a free concert. During that time Rivermaya was the one that will play for us, where Rico Blanco was still the vocalist. They played well, and even joked around about piracy; “… wag kayong bibili ng piratang CD namin, hiramin nyo na lang yung orig sa kaibigan mo at ipa-burn nyo na lang…” We’ve learned later on that whileRivermaya is waiting for their “set” they stayed in our College building since malapit lang yun sa stage. Paranaque and her friends was in our building that time and nakapagpa-kuha sila ng picture sa mga miyembro ng banda. She uploaded it on then-famous social network Friendster and I commented on it and even made a joke in reference to their hit song during that time “Liwanag sa Dilim” and changed it to “Liwanag sa Panty”. It was corny but we were able to make a connection. You could pretty much guess that at that exact moment I was able to make my “moves” on her…

After that I was already talking and made my trademark corny jokes to her. I was even able to get her landline number and we talked for hours. We talked about Anime and some of my barkada’s ka-sablay-an sa panliligaw. I was never the one to talk about that, but I guess it came involuntarily because puro dead air na sa telepono at wala na rin akong masyadong makuwento. Even then, my previous telephone conversations sa mga dati kong niligawan only helped so little with Paranaque. Nonetheless, I was able to learn a lot about her. She is a tomboy type and has also watched hentai, much to my amusement. She also is best friends with my ka-barkada na lalake but there was no competition. She also broke up with her long-time boyfriend because of him cheating on her. You know how it goes; you’d feel sorry for her but a little happy because it gives you a big window of an opportunity for her to become your girlfriend. It looks easy but it requires the utmost care. Because any minute she might get back with him. It’s like becoming a singer where you have to take care of your voice or else you won’t be able to go abroad ( well, let’s be realistic here anyway… )

Speaking of those kinds of singers, I’d like to go off-topic and talk about my experience with my past neighbors. Overlooking my room is the other house’s staircase and a room which is in my humblest judgment mga dalawang babae na nag-a-apply na Cultural Artist, or “japayuki”. Why such a claim? Because everyday in the afternoon for what seems to be almost 2 months they’d practice their vocal abilities with a guidance of a gay vocal coach. They can be pretty loud, so siesta is out of the question. I remember in my ka-bad trip-an I’d remark about their inability to sing. One song that stands out in their practice sets is the Jennifer Lopez’s song "Waiting for Tonight”. There’s a line in the song where they’d sing it like this:

…I want to stay in this forever/ I think of the days when the sun used to set/ On my empty heart, all alone in my bed/ TOW-SING and turning/ Emotions were strong/ I knew I had to hold on/ [CHORUS] Waiting for Tonight/ OOOOHHHHH .…

Wait, wait, wait, wha-aaatttt????

TOW-SING [tossing] and turning…

At first I thought that it was a mistake, but they’d sing that part like that every time. I was laughing my ass off and even shouted to them “ HUY MALI-MALI YAN!!!”. I never knew if the girls there were sexy or pwedeng pag-nasahan because I never saw them. There was one time where the room overlooking mine was their “changing room” and I chanced that one of them finished taking a bath and was about to dress up. Tamang-tama at nakapatay yung ilaw sa kwarto ko so sinulit ko na yung pagkakataon. I was on my knees, trying my best peeping tom style when she noticed someone looking at her. No cases were filed but the next day,

there was a curtain placed in the room. Nuts. The worst luck ever was that my room is also overlooking their bathroom… but you can’t see it since it is parallel to my window. Believe me, you can’t see anything. I tried. Thrice.

Moving forward, I was really trying my best to be a potential boyfriend to her. As usual, we were being teased by my classmates and one Professor about us being an item. One time, during our outdoor sketches, one of my classmates has a SLR camera with him and my professor egged us on having a photo of us. We obliged much to my professor’s amusement. My friend gave me a print of it and I showed it to my parents. My dad had the most bizarre reaction when he saw the photo. He was sitting on the edge of the bed and when he saw it binitawan nya yung litrato at nalaglag sa sahig. I don’t know if he’s joking or not but it seemed cruel. Well, a lot of my friends too objected to the idea sa pagliligaw ko sa kanya because she’s not the pretty type. That may be true in some sense but I was kinda desperate. And, who knows, Paranaque could be worth the risk. Heck, I skipped a class just so that I could watch my favorite show, The Drew Carey Show that evening. Was it worth the risk? Not really, but I enjoyed the guilty pleasure…

It was a few weeks after that Friendster occurrence when I asked her out to a movie date to Robinsons Ermita. She hesitated at first but she said yes. I was so happy but a few days after she approached me and:

Paranaque: (my name), bakit mo ko niyayang manuod ng sine?

Me: Wala lang, gusto ko lang.

Paranaque: Kasi, parang feeling ko nililigawan mo ko...

( at that point I was speechless; I don’t know how to respond to that. )

Paranaque: (my name), kakagaling ko lang sa break-up, ayoko pa na tumanggap ng ligaw at gusto ko pa muna mag-focus sa pag-aaral…

Me: Ah ganun ba? Okey lang. Pero mag-date pa rin tayo . At least let me keep my word to you…

Paranaque: Sige…

Sonofabitch. Dalawang beses na akong binagsakan ng ganung linya. ( the first one was from New Zealand, see Part 1 ). Di ka rin talaga masasanay dun. I was shattered but I did continue our movie date. As an advice to my friends, we made a “dry run” to know where to take her to eat and how to commute to the Mall. Yan ang pagkakaibigan. Kahit di nila boto, tutulungan ka pa rin nila. We were supposed to meet in front of our College building at Saturday. When I went to our meeting place she was already there waiting for me. Late ako. Well, we took the FX and even I packed a note on my celfone some of the things I want to say to her to explain my side on bakit ko sya niligawan blah blah blah. Di ko sya nagamit at iniisip ko yung mga galaw ko. We ate at Sbarro, since I liked their food back then. After eating we talked a little about sa mga dapat gawin sa panliligaw. Pinagdiin nya na dapat wag akong ma-late. Ok lang na late ang babae, wag lang ang lalaki. I also noticed that while I was talking to her she kept on checking her celfone and texting someone. I never knew who it was but I guess it could be her best friend checking up on her or such. Nailang talaga ako dun, I kept thinking about the article I read from FHM before that on a first-time date when a girl is engrossed more on exchanging text messages than exchanging stories with you means that she’s texting her friends: “Dis date sux. I wana go home” or “Grabe ang boring kausap nito”. But still she was supportive and also recommended me to be firm sa panliligaw. Lakasan mo loob mo. We watched the movie Constantine.

It was a bad choice for a first-time movie date because it was a little creepy but the other choices were Tagalog movies. We did enjoy the movie and I escorted her to the FX terminal that would take her home. That evening I cried a little because I felt like the date was a big sablay, and that there would be no more chances of her being with me. But Thesis came so I was able to block out all of my emotions there.

A few weeks after that fiasco I later learned that her best friend na ka-barkada ko eh naging sila na. I was surprised about the news and at first I did not take it well. Bitter-bitter-an ako nun. I kept thinking “ tama ka nga pre, ampangit naman nya eh…” and “ loko pala sya eh, ayaw pa raw nya magka-BF tapos anong nangyari???” . I was not proud of that feeling but I had to move on. I had to accept that maybe she’s not that into me. We had some little friction pa before especially with our strong personalities. One of the good things about her relationship with my ka-barkada was she started to wear skirts and became more of a girl. We graduated and I found out that a few months after graduation, they broke up. We never knew why but I was able to find out when I was able to talk to her again over the telephone. That time I was looser and I don’t have to project an image to her. Turns out they broke up because of the usual thing men do to women. Alam nyo na yun. She also got back with her ex and they are still together after all these years. It was not something that I would approve of, I mean that’s what exes are, but what the hell. It’s her choice.

The biggest sablay that I was talking about before was when most of us have work and she texted me. Nakipag-kwentuhan sya sa akin and made a comment on my call center work. “Bakit di ka na lang mag-hanap ng trabaho na related sa pinag-aralan mo? Sayang din naman yun.”. I replied “ Ito muna yung nakuha ko eh. Darating naman tayo dyan…”. I was a little irritated about her text so I texted my best friend. Kinuwento ko yung sinabi nya sa akin at sinabi ko na epal sya. I sent it to my best friend and I was surprised that Paranaque forwarded the message to me.

I accidentally sent the message to her.

When I found out about my error I fell down on the floor and was cursing a lot. I just replied : "Well, you were not supposed to read that. ” and she never replied back. Her friends, mostly Las Pinas was texting me on how bad I am to tell her that. My barkada supported me in a manner of teaching me what to reply to her texts. Paranaque and I had a crack in our relationship and we never talked to each other.

It was only a few years that I was able to talk to her again when her mother passed away. She invited me to her wake but I had work that night so I wasn’t able to come. I was able to fix my mistake and all the bad blood was gone. She is still with her previous boyfriend, and is working at a graphic design company. We were able to meet again at a reunion and she looks happy with the choices that she made. I learned that you just have to be strong and remove all the bad energy that you may have sa panliligaw. That, and it’s best to use “codenames” sa pagte-text and to double-check who you are sending the message to.

art by Jerald Dorado, text by me

Monday, September 19, 2011

Picture Picture Picture

While waiting for my brain to get set for the next "Road" post, here's some crazy-ass pictures to amuse yourself. God bless the internet for pictures like this. And porn. And "free"music.

- hot wheels made this out of an April Fools prank that collectors actually like. there really is nothing inside but they placed weights on the packaging to simulate that there is a clear-version jet.
- more blasphemous toys from an internet shop that bought us the Allah action figure.

-godzilla is a gentleman...
- how to "apple up" your cheap laptop...

- the real voltron...

- i'll never look at toothbrushes the same way again...

- cool figurine...
- cute...

- till next time!!!!

- "the king"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Click Click Click

- got nothin' to do today, which is something I relish.

- wanted to buy some collectibles on my "Wish List" which I've posted on my Facebook page. Some of the items I want are:

- just took a cue from some fellow FB friends who also collect. I believe they post their most-sought -after items just so that other friends may have that said item and may want to sell it. Plus there's also a belief of mine that "if you wish/show it to others, it may come true..."

- I really appreciated a friend of mine who spread the word of my blog to his friends. I thought that it'd be right to also spread some of my peep's advocacy to you people who read this blog or just clicked at the upper-left portion of "Next Blog>>". Heck, I did twice or thrice.

- Very varied blog. Speaks in gay language sometimes and has a Vice Ganda sense of humor which I find very humorous. Sample dialogue: I always tell myself "How I wish I'm like them who knows how to play with words and entertain whoever gets to read it" (aside from asking, "San ba nakakabili ng creative juices, bibili ako ng 10 gallons ng mainom") =) Click here.

- Fellow officemate who has a special skill of "tracing" photographs and recoloring them to add some pizzazz (it's called vector design for boneheads) Click HERE

- my "smooth" friend's metal band. The vocalist screams a lot na medyo sabog (or it's just the closed place that they played. ) but I'm sure they would be able to tweak it once they would release an album. He even looks the part of a metal guitarist because of his long hair. Check their fan page HERE.

- If you like puns, offbeat humor and anything in between, check my colleague's blog HERE. Some of the post can be NSFW, BTW.

- my odd friend's art photos. If you want a commission or something done to your bedroom wall (he's into graffiti now ) contact him and thank me later. Oh, he's HERE.

- Lastly, my old friend's blog. Love his blog title ( i can write stuff other than source codes, y'know? ) and are mostly on his views of the day, technology talk and nostalgia. HERE he is.
- so that's it, pansit!!! Hopefully you guys would check it even for just a few minutes of your time. In closing, I want to be revered like this guy:

- or if not him, maybe him.
- "the king"

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Torpe Road Part 5

Distractions can be a big pain in the ass. It can hinder your goals ( like someone inviting you to an inuman after work where you should be at home finishing some stuff from the office ) and make you falter in making an important decision ( like if you want that last piece of pizza slice, then when you already decided that you DO want it… it’s already taken by someone else. ) Such is my scenario with making another “Road” post. I mean, Facebook can be really engrossing. That, and other entertaining websites, household chores, taking care of my “collectibles” and work got most of my time. I apologize to all.

There. Now that is already behind us, let’s keep moving!!! “The Torpe Road Traveler” needs to finish the story. Incidentally, that’d be me, of course, for those not in the know. And to answer all possible questions from new readers ( kung meron man nga ) this is a journal of all the women I’ve caroused and the lessons I learned from my foibles. Or in short, mga ka-sablay-an ko sa panliligaw. Well, let’s move on.

I’m still in college, enjoying the carefree lifestyle of a Fine Arts student. Honestly, all of the art that we did, I don’t know if you would classify that as “studying”, because it seemed easy. But I did learn something from those countless hours of sitting on the cold tile floor, sketching a human model in front of us. It was also easy to spot an “inspiration” on my class because there’s a fellow student that seemed like a “crush ng bayan” that I also tried to woo…pero parang iba ang gusto nya. She will be named Bulacan.

Bulacan is small, almost 5’3 in height. She has short hair and wore braces. She has brown complexion and likes normal girl things more than my girl classmates, y’know, being “iba-ang-trip-ko-kaysa-sa-ibang-kurso-sa-college-dahil-art-student-ako”. She’s with a different group from Las Pinas but they stayed in the same dormitory so they got into the best of friends. But more on that later.

I mentioned that Bulacan was a “crush ng bayanbecause madami ang nanligaw sa kanya. At isa ako dun sa pumila. I mean, she’s pretty and is very matured in thinking, which are what we as teenagers want, running solely on hormones. Looking back, we want a girl who understands our interests but does not really know it by heart. So that we can educate them to stroke our ego. Hehehe. Ngayon as a working-class male employee, we still want a very, very attractive girl and someone who can support us financially. Admit it, we all want to be slackers and just watch TV or dabble in hobbies. Like beer-brewing.

Anyway, I came last in line in trying to Bulacan. The first guy, whom I dub as “Art dude” tried his best by being with her and her group and also on drawing sessions. But him being skilled on everything art made him a bit weird for Bulacan to fall in love with. The second, “Air Man” is a friend of mine. He really became close with Bulacan and her group. I call him “Air Man” because he’s really full of it. Mayabang. I don’t know how I manage to tolerate him because his pagyayabang was so unkind and unfunny. He would insult the recent famous network games and would prefer to play a basketball game on PS2. He makes fun of music choices, people and even my favorite show at the time, Justice League cartoon as kid’s drawings. But we got along on some aspects like music and women.

I remember that he told me his “strategy” on Bulacan. They were all alone on one part of
our campus. They skipped a class and were talking and “Air Man” said “Bulacan, napapamahal ako sa yo. Di ito biro. Seryoso ako.” But in the end, she dumped him for the same lame reasons women dump men: studies and all that crap. And I believe that she prefers a guy from her hometown with lingering doubts. Third guy is my best friend in college, “Torpe 2”. He really messed up his “Game”. He was all clumsy, had our support but still got nothing. He even got a candid picture of her and planned to draw her a portrait and give it to her as a gift. Pero di na nya nagawa at grabe rin sya mag-procrastinate.

Which now brings to me. I was able to somehow make my “moves” on her because of a simple offer: since she spends her school days on a dormitory, she would go home to Bulacan on weekends or during the last day of school to meet her folks when she has the time. And she knew that I go home everyday via the LRT, or Light Railway Transit. So one day she approached me and:

Bulacan: ( my name ), di ba umuuwi ka from Monumento gamit ang LRT?

Me: Oo, bakit?

Bulacan: Sabay tayo mamaya, uuwi ako sa may amin

Me: Ah ok, sige.

In a way, she was the one who gave me the opportunity. It was a bit of luck. Now all I got to do is influence her mind to like me. But that didn’t work. But I did try. We would walk from our building to outside the University premises and take the jeepney to LRT, ride the LRT up to Monumento and accompany her on a makeshift FX terminal going to Bulacan. Our last class was in the early evening, so the LRT is packed because of people going home. Speaking of that blasted transportation, back then there were times that the LRT would have the air-conditioning on the fritz, so sobrang init sa loob. Para kang niluluto sa singaw ng mga kasama mo. So I used the power of observation to my advantage. When the LRT is approaching I would check the people inside first to see if they are fanning themselves, wiping their brow and anything that would say na naiinitan sila. It’s very useful. I sometimes wonder why people never use that in their everyday activities. Up to now I still do that, like checking the shadows and such for any sign of danger or anything that would be an advantage for me from other people.

Anyway, during that time I was with Bulacan I was able to talk to her. We talked about our subjects, what happened during the week, her so-called male “friend” from her hometown and the mind of men/women. The latter part was like a debate of sorts, but not like the almost-grueling kind with Las Pinas. In our “debate” I can always defend myself well. She always asks me about why men do this, why men do that, etc. I also ask her the same thing with her gender’s culture. I remember that she was saying that she was so confused about her feelings from her close friend and I replied with a burly voice:

Me: You women don’t know what you want. ( hand pointing to my chest ) We, we men know what we want…

I was really trying my best to keep my composure during that time because I felt that if I was smiling or acted like I was fooling around she would not believe what I was saying. I was able to hold it and somehow won the “debate”. Although there are times I would lose it when we would ride the LRT with the broken air-conditioning and I sweat a lot. I always sense that she perceives me as a very smart and mature, and hope that in the process of being with her when we are traveling together would make her forget that guy and be with me instead. Hey, stranger things have happened.

News traveled fast about our “pagsasama” and we got teased by our friends.“Air Man” kept on singing the then-famous song of singer/actress Nikki Gil’s “Sakayan ng Jeep” and changed it to “Sakayan ng FX” because that’s where we would part. In a way “Air Man n a way “Air Man” has already moved on with Bulacan and supports my pagpo-porma with Bulacan. Las Pinas (see last “Road” post ) also heard the news as well and she was the one who made me forget about her. It happened when we were talking on the phone at night.

Las Pinas: (my name), may gusto ka kay Bulacan noh?

Me: Bakit mo naman nasabi yun (at this point I was trying to be cool and try to lie out of it )

Las Pinas: Umamin ka na, alam ko na may gusto ka sa kanya…

Me: ( in my faintest voice ) Siguro…

Las Pinas: ‘Wag mo na ituloy, nakausap ko na sya nung wala kaming magawa sa dorm at nabanggit kita sa kanya na kung paano kung ikaw yung manligaw sa kanya, sabi nya parang kaibigan lang tingin nya sa ‘yo…

When I heard that from her I felt like nabagsakan ako ng mundo. Parang shet, basted nanaman ako. Wala na ba akong pag-asa?? Mga ganun But I also thought na baka niloloko lang ako ni Las Pinas dahil naseselos sya pero kapni-paniwala naman nun. Basta naniniwala naman ako sa kanya. It was that moment that I mentioned in my last “Road” post that I made a leap of faith and proposed that I and Las Pinas be together. After what I have heard I tried my best to still accompany her on our rides but Thesis came up so di na sya nakakauwi sa kanila masyado. So I traveled alone. It’s better that way. Yeah, I was “emo” before “emo” became famous.

Due to our “closeness” and as a way to make her less suspicious that I knew what she thought of me I accepted her invite to her birthday party in her hometown. Few actually went there because of how far the place is. A handful of my friends also came with me and we met up with her in a spot in North Luzon Expressway, or NLEX. She met us on her parent’s van and she was the one who drove it. I was impressed by her driving skills. The party? Not so much. I can’t

remember what we ate and entertainment was in the form of
watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I wasn’t much of a fan of Potter. But I did like the twist at the end. We were about to go home since it’s almost 5pm when her friends from her place went the
re and set up speakers and musical instruments to play live music. One of her friends that I saw was her close guy friend. He looks okay, looked like an average guy. From what I’ve heard, his family owns a palayan and if I’m not mistaken, is the guy that she was talking about who only texted 5 times/ day. SUN cellular and Unlimited Texting wasn’t still invented. Cheap bastard. Nung araw na yun parang sarap nyang sapakin lang.

Graduation came and she pulled off the weirdest action ever that up to now I still think about it pero di ko pa rin maintindihan. She chose not to have a picture taken wearing a toga and to attend the Graduation practices. Dun talaga ako na-weird-duhan sa kanya. Was it traumatic for her? Is she one of those people who doesn’t give a crap about Graduation? Up to now I still think about that and wonder what she was thinking. Maybe she’s the kind who is closer with her Elementary / High school friends. Ah well.

Years gone by and judging from what I’ve seen from her Friendster and Facebook profiles, she is already married with that guy friend, has a child, working as an Animator and sidelines as a Photographer for wedding events. I believe she set up her own Photo studio with her husband on her hometown. She hardly ever shows up on reunions and small gatherings, so I still believe in my current theory. I wish her well, and thank that brief time when I was traveling, I was happy, and not alone. Yes, there would be times that you didn’t get the girl, but you’re happy with what she gave you even if it’s not what you wanted. She taught me that.

art by Jerald Dorado, text by me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Write Now...

-rainy days are here again, although not sure if this is relevant to what I'm posting here.

-Aw, heck. most of what I would write here doesn't have a central theme, except for my "Torpe Road" series.

- I know, I know, I should already be finishing it by now, but I need some inspiration. Sometimes I feel like when I write that kind of post I need 110% of brain working, because not only do I need to make it witty, I also need to remember some events that are 5 years old.

- the saddest part is when I would post the "Road" entry here that is almost 4 pages long I feel it is under appreciated. *cue song "All By Myself" *

- it's like my Thesis defense back in college. I worked hard on the book supporting my Thesis painting but the professors/judges nary flipped the book and instead ranted on my painting. Ah well. Ganyan talaga buhay.

- don't worry, I'll start again in the near future , given some time and lots of Smart-C. (love that drink!!)

-emo stuff and shameful advertising aside, there's a lot on TV that I love to watch, like even though I'm old enough, I still get a kick out of watching animated cartoons, like Johnny Test and the new Bob's Burgers.

- having watched an episode of Hell's Kitchen as well, I'm surprised that Gordon Rameses isn't still dead from his potty mouth and insulting contestants.

-someone had a kick at the unearthed web pictures so I thought of doing another set. Here goes:

- don't know if this is true, but it feels like what the country China would do.

- this is pretty funny. Just shows that super-powered beings are no match on the arm of the Law.

- you think you got a BIGGER collection??? wala ka dito.

- someone's selling this 1982 Voltes V for 50,000php. check it here.

-one word. TITTIES. check her deviantart page here. (due to NSFW environment, you need to have an account to view the steamy pictures.)

-"the king"