Friday, October 27, 2006

the widow in yellow

I admit it. I'm easily start struck. Gary V. comes to our table for a quick 'hey ordinary mortal, im acknowledging your presence' chitchat and I cannot put one coherent thought together. I see piolo from a distance and I turn to mush. I can't even begin to imagine what an encounter with ate shawie will do to me. Yup, I'm a mega fan - always will be by virtue of the fact that I always have been.

However, there is another group of personalities that never fail to leave me in awe - politicians. I know, i know - I can't be serious right? well, I am. I know it's hard to believe that in a world like ours and at a time like now where every public official and their spouses are judged corrupt without due process, I still hold them in high esteem. I guess its because deeply buried under my jaded, suspicious mind is the naive little girl who grew up believing that politicians are primarily public servants. Servants of the people who have sacrificed private life and corporate pay to make sure that we live in a system that works for the majority. I like that I have a government that looks out for me and makes sure I'm treated fairly.

Given my job and who i work for, I've had my fair close encounters with politicians. And given who I am, I've had my fair share of stupid conversations with them. I take full responsibility for the stupid, they can take credit for the conversations.

Anyway, one figure that never fails to make me stare is former President Corazon Aquino. She doesn't walk in with a lot of fanfare, no fireworks, no cheerleaders. And, since shes always in yellow and the biggest smile, she brings the sunshine with her anywhere she goes. And calm - she brings that with her too. An aura of serenity that will not break in battle.

I wonder about her sometimes. About how she went through what she did and come out smiling in yellow.

She was married to a man she had to share with a country. Was she ever tempted to make him choose? Her or his politics… Their children or the millions who saw him as their messiah…

And when he eventually made his choice, did she feel defeated a little?

And when she lost him so publicly, was she given a chance to mourn privately? Not to mourn for the hero but for the man she shared her bed with. Not to cry for the martyr but for the man who made her laugh.

And now, 23 years after she was widowed, is she still in mourning? When she watches the clips of her husband lying dead on the tarmac, does she still feel the hurt of losing him all over again?

She was left to fend for herself, for her family and, eventually, for her country under the watchful eye of a public that was as eager to see her fail as they were to see her succeed. She was forced into a foreign arena by the promise and the memory of her dead husband where she had to single-handedly 'restore a democracy' and 'rebuild a nation'. Big tasks for a "housewife" but she did her best and she pulled it off.... somewhat.

And My God she must be a good mother. I have long since decided that Great mothers do not necessarily produce the best children. Great mothers are great mothers because they can still bring themselves to accept, defend and love the worst in their children.

I really think she's a good woman. I really really wish her all the happiness in the world.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


WARNING: Blog content is highly disgusting and mildly exaggerated to allow for the dramatics--- i am, after all, me. Reader's discretion is advised. Also, reader's imagination is encouraged to take the route taken by "caught on tape" shows for maximum enjoyment.

Voice over:
When maite alvarez went to bed at 2:30 in the morning on saturday, October the 14th, she thought she had plenty of sleep ahead of her. The week prior was toxic but the week that was coming was downright venomous and a restful, quiet sunday was her only break in between.

Little did she know that that particular sunday morning was not going to be as easy as the Commodores said sundays ought to be.

Maite Alvarez:
I woke up at 6:30 in the morning because my stomach was grumbling and there was this intense pain that I had never felt before. It felt like the devil himself was poking my insides with his pitchfork and all i could do was lie on my bed and cringe in sorrow.

Voice over:

But that was not all she could do. Gathering every morsel of strength she had, maite stood up and dragged herself to the bathroom where she unleashed what was to be only the first of 86 trips to the toilet.

Maite Alvarez:
The first one wasnt so bad. It was a relief really. You have to understand that I woke up feeling like there was a rave party in my stomach and everyone i know and their mother showed up and showed up drunk. The trip to the banyo turned the rave into a more relaxed cocktail party. I felt better after that.

Voice over:
But barely an hour after she felt better, maite started to feel worse.

Maite Alvarez:
I was in the middle of my business for the second time when i suddenly felt light headed. It was as if by expelling my toxins, I was expelling my very soul. I knew I needed help and I knew I had to move fast to get it. So I WASHED UP and stood up to go to my bedroom. As I was drying up, I felt like all the wind was being sucked out of me. Everything became hazy and I knew that I was going to faint already. So I panicked. I rushed out of my room and walked towards the dining area where i hoped to find somebody who could help me. Luckily, my father was on his way to the garden when he saw me struggling to walk from my room. I called out faintly 'papa' before i finally gave in to the darkness and collapsed.

Voice over:

Maite was in and out of consciousness for a little less than a minute, but it felt like two centuries to her.

Maite Alvarez:
It was like I was torn between going towards the voice of my father which was increasingly becoming more and more distant and going towards the light which was becoming more and more comforting. My father was panicking. He was asking one question after the other, hoping to get a clue on how to help me.

He was asking "Hija, what did you do last night?" "What's happening to you?" "What's wrong?"

To answer his questions, I blurted out the three words i thought would help the most;


Voice over:
The night before, maite and friend gigi dined on mussels and oysters. Ordinarily, the only result one expects from a meal of seashells is the wonderful memory of a fanstastic meal. But taken on an empty stomach, a meal of these same shelled sources of joy can mean DISASTER!

To make the situation worse, in her haste to get some help, maite forgot to do something that caused her much humiliation - she was not able to pull up her panties when she walked out of her room.

So there she was, laying unconscious on the floor, with her ass as bare as God intended it to be..... and her father worried sick beside her.

Maite Alvarez:

When I recovered my wits, i started to weigh which would have been worse - dying because of over eating or dying with my bum exposed.

Voice over:
And there it is, another story where what are seen as defenseless and harmless shellfish threaten a precious human life. A story we urge you to remember the next time you feast on this traitorous creatures that can cost you more than your dinner bill if and when good shells go bad.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Because carmen misses me

I really dont have time for this but i got this DESPERATE message from carmen last week to update my blog so she can still feel part of my life. Well here I am with lots of things to say and very little sense.

* I have to say that I have successfully stayed indifferent to my work despite the pressure. I've been functioning on a default worker mode. Like Adam Sandler on Click. Not one of my 2 gazillion balls have dropped. Yet. Either I'm that good or I'm that lucky. But I do have a feeling I will get fired in November. Why? because a few months ago, I was made a book publisher. I am NOT a book publisher.

* I seem to be surrounded by women who bathe in Be Delicious perfume. And I really have no one to blame but myself. My mother who has it because I gave her one. Jenni has it because we bought one together. and Ruth (my officemate) bought it because she smelled it from me. I used to think it smelled good but now I just hate it. Hate is a strong word but I am using it here. In fact, I'll use it again. I HATE THE SMELL OF BE DELICIOUS PERFUME. It's too much. Too sweet. Too invasive. It attacks my olfactory nerves, work its way up to my brain, and kills all good memories I have cherished with these women. It makes me want to run away from mama, jump out of Jenni's car and resign. Worst.

* I saw episode 2 of season 3 of greys anatomy last night. I WANT PATRICK DEMPSEY. I want to marry him and have his babies. He has that cocky, flirty vibe that turns to sensitive and intense in a second and I am buying it and stocking up.

* Ana is leaving for Madrid this saturday. Pressure.

* We were probably one of the last areas to get electricity back. It was funny how we were starting to get used to the darkness. By the light of a single candle, I could manuever my way around my cluttered room, brush my teeth, wash my face, put on my moisturizer and pick out my clothes for the next day. The other night, I entered my sisters room (where we temporarily relocated to sleep) when I got a text, my brother suddenly awoke, shielded his eyes from the bright that was coming from my phone, and yelled "ano ba? ang liwanag. patayin mo yan," as if I had just walked in with the sun. Funny.

* Rice vs. no rice. The battle that plays out every 1130 when I'm about to decide what to have for lunch. No rice has won more times but when rice wins, it wins big. I think I'm narrower. But I have been known to be delusional so I will not count on what I see.

* I want to get a dog. A big one. Like carolina. Should I? Should I?