July 29, 2014

So sometime in 2011, I painted this:

And I have no idea what it means, except it makes me grin, which is probably the point. (Said my subconscious.) Art nourishes us when we create things that make us laugh.

After The Storm

July 27, 2014

Blogging doesn't come naturally to me. I feel like my silence, prolonged and restless, is an extension of the introvert's reluctance to make small talk. A lot has happened since I last posted; the days have brought a relentless march of ideas, images and persons most dramatic. But how do I share them?

This, I guess: one by one.

*     *     *

Our neighborhood shuttle, really a small jeep, now boasts a sound system that plays the greatest hits from 7 AM to 8 PM. "1,200 songs," Kuya says proudly as he shows me the USB plugged under the passenger seat. So far, he's played Yano, Asin and some BisRock. Tonight is special: I catch the Journey part of his playlist, and with no one else on board, he cranks up the volume. Steve Perry sings of highways and streetlights and I can feel the bass beneath my feet. This is reassuring. The long week melts away.

*     *     *

After the storm, lots of people got sick. My dad was one of them. He lay on the sofa for four days weathering strange dreams and a bad stomach. On the fifth day, my family brought him to the hospital--first the Infirmary, then the National Kidney Institute (not because it was kidney-related, but because that's where they referred us). The hospital was full--lining the hallways were patients in wheelchairs and stretchers, and their caregivers with them--and with all rooms occupied, they gave my dad a bed in a ward with curtains for privacy.

Acute gastroenteritis, said the doctor. A common disease following a brownout, when food and water get contaminated. My dad received IV, looked a lot better, and after a little more than a day was discharged.

The hospital staff was brisk and cheerful amidst the chaos. To you I say: kudos!

A portrait of my dad. He's better now.

*     *     *

On July 16th, Typhoon Glenda rammed into the metro.

Two hours later:

Shreds of eucalyptus. A minty fragrance spread upon the street.
The creek filled with dirty white foam.
In UP: another casualty
Some were unperturbed.
*     *     *

Two days before the typhoon, my family got up at 3 AM to watch the World Cup Finals. Despite rooting for Germany from the beginning, I wanted Messi to win because, well, he's Messi. It wasn't to be. We shared our dejection over an early breakfast of fried egg and bacon.

A doodle I made in my friend Franchie's notebook

*     *     *

A bit more than a month before the World Cup, I began taking German classes. As with blog writing, recitation is not my strong point. However, this being a language class, I had to speak clearly and often. I think I recited more in three weeks of German than in the whole of my time at college. I'm now taking the second level and I'm still not used to it.

But I can say: ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch.

*     *     *

This post has been a mouthful, to me. Yet despite the difficulties, I think silence is a lot more painful than actual writing. I'm learning to speak so I'll share what I can.

Thanks in advance for listening.