3PM-ish | Booktrade @ Moonleaf Tea House in Maginhawa
- There weren’t a lot of books available for swapping but it didn’t matter because I intentionally didn’t bring any book to trade. I told one of the organizers, Jasmine, that I wanted my books ready whenever I want to revisit the stories. (I get emotionally attached even to non-living things.) So she offered the books available for purchasing each for only P100. There were a few books stacked on her desk, even lesser than those for swapping! I took home two classic books which story I have read in summary before (grade school) plus three free back issues of Status magazine. It’s been a while since I last leafed through glossies apart from those in beauty salons, can’t resist to check if my Pulp mags are rotting well.
- We had milktea of course and stayed but not long as we have clearly laid out our day’s wandering.
4PM-ish | Bookay-Ukay and 55 Tinta still in Maginhawa
- We. I was with my friend Grace. I left her at Bookay-Ukay (bargained books again!) and headed to the next door. 55 Tinta is a tattoo shop which I’m guessing is co-owned by Kamikazee front man, Jay Contreras. They have a number of tattoo artists and I spoke to one of them, Mark. I told him what I like, things I wanted to improve that I all learned from getting my first tatt. So I started asking about needles, kinds of inks and told him how I am very particular about the intensity of the color. I showed him a photo. “Eh Kana naman yan eh”. He’s telling me that I cannot achieve a tattoo quality like that on the photo because of my skin color. My inner self was furious. I have seen inked locals but the color was not compromised, still so loud and strong, but I didn’t ask. A tattoo artist’s talent is to consider only next to his sincerity. It was Jay’s vivid chest tattoo that brought me there in the first place.
- Grace sneaked, just in time, signalling me she’s bought a film camera. It’s a Bell + Howell BF35 like mine but now available P300 pesos with free film. She was the fourth girl I know who acquired a lomo cam since seeing it from me. I’m sneezing lomo and spreading it like a virus.
4:30PM | Crazy Katsu still in Maginhawa
- Early dinner prepping for a long travel to our final destination (for the day). Grace and I were craving for ramen, (which is around fifty percent of the time) and thought we might find it…well, there. As you know the dumb me, I was disappointed to know only katsus are served among the other few on the menu. I asked for the best-seller and confirmed my order even before the crew could answer.
- I have longed for talks like Grace and I had. Somewhere in our conversation we talked about not pursuing a degree in college where we thought our meek talents fit. We were both brainwashed by environment as young aspirants for a career that isn’t money-making. She, with creative writing and I, with visual arts. Why I mentioned the above, keep reading.
- We realized we can talk sense if and only if we’re without the rest of the barkada. Otherwise, we talk shit. Literally.
7:45PM | Virgin Labfest @ Cultural Center of the Philippines
- Totong Hilot, the chosen full-length play this year tells a story of an uncircumcised (unnecessary adjective) 10-year old boy and his unwavering desire to become a hilot like his grandfather, whom he thinks will pass on the skill to him, he being the eldest grandson. Discouraged by many, Toto was determined to follow his grandpa’s footsteps despite the recognition he gets of his talent in writing early discovered at school. As the story unfolds, Toto chose writing as a profession while his father pursued painting towards the end. We can recall that neither professions can make money, so as the dialogues on the play plead true.
- But there’s no stopping, okay. There’s nothing like a burning desire to fuel you up. I just want to say that that’s close to the kind of environment we grew up. The belief that choosing a course in college is the first step of the money-making scheme, next is to land a job you can practice your acquired degree and voila, you’re filthy rich. The only thing that could make you rich is by living your dream job, may not be monetary, but at least.
- Howie Severino, my favorite i-Witness documentarist, watched the play too. (I remember when BrewRATs in 99.5RT guested him the night I was sick and didn’t make it to the radio station for OJT. How I pitied myself while I listen to the radio and the buzzing of nebulizer that night at home.) I asked if I can take a photo of him, he said he can’t pose alone, I didn’t mind him. Sporting my Yashica, I took a snapshot like a paparazzi. He asked if I can introduce myself first, I plainly said my name and Grace’s. “I’m Howie”. Come on, you need not say a thing for us to identify you. In fact, just by the photojourn’s vest you’re wearing I can recognize you. He asked where we live and I couldn’t remember if I answered right. I was so struck but still couldn’t resist a small talk with him. I told him l always watch i-Witness, I mentioned his docu Lukayo. “Tagal na nun ah”. Oh no! Why did I even mention that? It was that docu he made that suspended i-Witness for two weeks, give or take. Lukayo is a feast, celebration, procession dominated by women each holding a replica of the male genitalia dancing their way to the church! And what’s even more absurd is that they’re welcomed by their parish priest with good grace. I was so embarrassed. I just wanted to convince him that I am a fan ever since the world begun. That I remember the docu even if it was shown many years ago and was never replayed or will never be replayed on TV for that case. So I swift-switched to saying that I love his Rizal docus too among many others. (They were recently replayed in celebration of Rizal’s birthday.) Whew. He seemed pleased. He turned to my camera, “You like shooting film? I used to have that too.” Ugh. I knew it, his eyes wouldn’t miss that. He is a photographer, himself, and still carries a camera around his neck. I can identify it as a Nikon Coolpix, the camouflage design. I was talking about Yashica Electro when I realized there were people crowding behind us. I can’t be selfish, it’s time to share the moment to more fans.