Friday, November 14, 2008

25 years and counting

It wasn't too long ago in the 90s when my eldest sister Eileen visited from the U.S. to celebrate her homecoming with her fellow high school jubilarians at St. Paul QC.  Half reluctantly, I accompanied her as an official videographer of their event and captured on VHS how women in their early forties acted in their teens again and enjoyed a big, hearty laugh in the process.

I will admit to having had a good chuckle myself, especially when Eileen and her troop of dancers stepped on stage and hustled to Gary V.'s HATAW NA. Apparently, my sis had successfully built a reputation as the batch's resident agogo dancer, and played that role to the hilt during their number, punctuating the routine with a full split on center stage while the others displayed their vogue poses around her. 

All right, so Eileen's baby brother is attending his high school homecoming in December this year, and I do not know if I'm going to have a hearty laugh at all during this event. I had my doubts when classmate Ramby invited me to some batch core group meetings last year---hmm, so much work for one night of making fun of ourselves. But heck, it's one night in 25 years, so I might as well give it the little I've got despite my already crazy schedule.

Last night, my classmates and I met up for a supposed night of poker and singing--one of several pocket activities building momentum to our batch event in December. Surprise--only 5 of us attended. But I fret not; many of us from 4A, I understand, are joining a wreath laying for our national hero at Rizal Park on November 29--nerds unite!  Tonight, after my seminar at work, I shall be heading to KATIPS for another of so many night outs with fellow AHS 83 alums. And let's not forget that gig on November 22 at STRUMMS on Jupiter street in Makati. Oh, how stressful....

But it feels like a good kind of stress. You see, in all these activities I am in the company of people I grew up with--the same bunch (albeit the the thinning hair and growing pot bellies) that have had a significant impact on who I have become. Add to this the friends I have recently rediscovered if not found for the first time in 25 years--Eric, Sio, Nicky, Martin, Alvin, Adel, Raul, Chito, Jojo, Bernie, Rudy--the number grows as we speak. O happy problem.

It's going to be a long 3 weeks before December 6. But it's been a longer 25 years. I feel the homecoming will do me good. And I'm counting on it.

Here's your video invite to our reunion.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A case of adult acne

In the 70s, my elder brother and roommate Jig would bug me occasionally by singing at the top of his lungs, songs from the Pinoy band, Hotdog. His particular favorite was PERS LAB. "'Di na makatulog, 'di pa makakain. Tagihawat sa ilong, pati na sa pisngi...," he would screech. Little did I know, I would be haunted for the rest of my life by that song but more so by this tagihawat business.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I should be dancing raw

In October of 2005 I was diagnosed with hypertension and was given a prescription of half a caplet of Teveten every day for the rest of my life.  My doctor also advised me to take up dancing ("Magdancing ka!"). Though I suppose she really meant I should increase my physical activity.

Oh well, little does my doctor know, I stopped taking my medication ever since I noticed a drop in my blood pressure last November. And though I have a standby prescription from Dra. Ginny (there are some extremely stressful days when my BP rises abnormally), I have not swallowed the pill recently. Credit that to some adjustments in my lifestyle. More fiber. Less fat. Less salt. More exercise. Multivitamins. Jimmy Buencamino suggests that I add to my list some relaxation activities, so maybe I should take up yoga. Or increase my prayer time.

My BP this morning was 110 over 71 (though slightly higher for most parts of the day). Beautiful. The regimen seems to be working. Maybe I should pass by the grocery later for some Nesvita. Why not? Leilah should know (She lost 30 lbs. this year). Check out the ad:

What's it all about?

The moment I turned forty in 2006, my outlook of the world seemed to change so drastically. The roles I play, the relationships I keep, and the decisions I make are now carried out with a perspective I had failed to entertain before. Will this choice prove detrimental to my health? Is this alliance even worth the effort? How much longer must I play the nice guy? Or as Rica likes to ponder, fat or non-fat?

I guess since I turned forty I have been keenly aware of the concept of limited time. Is this good or bad? I suppose, as my close friends and I are wont to respond, both (or as we jokingly say, baughth). And so to chronicle all these wonderful and not-so-wonderful changes happening within and about me, this blog.

In the mid-80s when I used to play in the band COLLAGE with dear friends Marlene del Rosario and Alvin Santos, our musical director Cesar Aguas introduced us to a song we were adding to our repertoire--A NIGHT IN TUNISIA. Recorded and popularized by Chaka Khan in 1981, the song is a vocalese rendition of the jazz classic by Dizzie Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Its lyrics go: A long time ago in the forties, Dizzie and Bird gave us this song. They called it A Night in Tunisia, and the melody still lingers on.

How I'd like to be that song.

Here's a recent performance of the tune by Chaka Khan during the North Sea Jazz Festival staged yearly in the Netherlands.