Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The First Week of Summer, and Before It

A week ago, I came home for the summer vacation. It wasn't scorching hot at all last Wednesday, and the days leading up to Easter, unlike earlier around noontime when my head felt like it was about to burst. Honestly, I sort of envied the humongous - and I mean humongous - watermelons sitting in the shade at home. We got them at some side-of-the-highway fruit stall ten kilometers outside the city last Friday. One of them weighed 7kg, like what the, right? And we got them for less than a hundred apiece, while the Chinese-owned supermarkets in the pine tree-slaying, Chinese-owned malls sold those fruits for P100 for a half-piece. Crazy capitalists!

This is a watermelon.

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I was at the LTFRB (the government body for land transportation) the entire morning. I was supposed to have my year-old driver's license upgraded to a non-professional one (which differs from the professional type in that you're allowed to do public utility vehicles for the latter). Lo and behold, I got a 28/40 in the written exam! That means I was two points short of passing. You'd think someone who's spent the past year battling endless multiple choice exams would ace this one without so much as a flick of the wrist. But it's quite a long, looong, and complicated story, and I'll tell you my own theories about how that came to be when and if we meet. And don't even get me started on those exams, which are totally useless and a waste of time and paper to begin with (LTFRB eff you). Needless to say, it's just like that jolly Genetics exam we had last year that I "failed" as well.

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I like the Holy Week. On Good Friday, we'd do the Visita Iglesia (which is actually supposed to be done the night before). We'd hit some of the famous municipal churches in the province, taking the national highway to Antique. (This route was actually featured in The Philippine Star's Sunday magazine.) And then along the way, we'd end up buying food and stuff, which is how we got those monstrous watermelons. And I wonder how ironic it is that we indeed abstain on all sorts of animal flesh except seafood but end up having a seafood feast. And the Easter Vigil last Saturday was a disaster in the literacy arena. Only one of the five readers actually deserved to be there, and sometimes I wonder whether people who do the readings realize that when they make a fool of themselves up there, they're doing the entire community a disservice. Why on earth do they even accept the job in the first place?

The famous Molo Church, which is quite near our house.

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The cousins had their first get-together last Monday night. And we watched Moron 5 and the Crying Lady. And all I can say is this: Wenn Deramas, off with your head! Luis Manzano looked too affluent to be dumb, Billy Crawford was annoying, Marvin Agustin was even more annoying and unbelievable, DJ Durano did the worst acting job among the five, and Martin Escudero was one stunning lady. The screenplay was actually the worst part of it all; it was like someone just wanted to make a film on a whim and poisoned people to put it onscreen. The only good things there were (spoiler alert!) the fat lady who did the ropes in the end (she was the only one that caught me off guard and had me genuinely laughing for minutes), classic Jon Santos, and John Lapus in certain scenes. 

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I'm forty-five films into my Oscarthon. So far, Midnight in Paris is still in the lead.

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National Bookstore was having this huge sale last Sunday - 20% off everything, I think - which means I'm literate once more. Today I finished The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and now I think I may be borderline or almost autistic. Next up: A Thousand Splendid Suns and Life of Pi. Yep, that's how far behind I am.

Khaled Hosseini, author of Suns and The Kite Runner, is an internist as well. Inspiration.

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For the nth time: If you have the money and time, go to Onstage Greenbelt this weekend or the next and see Repertory Philippines' Jekyll and Hyde. Jett Pangan is a voice to be reckoned with. I WANT his singing voice, his range, his technique, for Christmas. I can now imagine him as Jean Valjean and The Phantom. Kalila Aguilos is as slutty and dirty (I don't mean sex-dirty) as Lucy can get; she does not have the best belt around, but perhaps it's why she's probably the best Lucy around, all earthy and internally battered. Next up for Ms. Aguilos: Sally Bowles in Cabaret, yes? Cris Villonco, always fine in acting, is somewhat disturbing in the way she (lazily) enunciates her lyrics. 

I'm not going to stop myself from being cliche, so allow me to say that Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo does it again. Direction is brilliant, choreography is crisp and masterful. She did it with Little Women, and now here is another priceless work of theater. And that ensemble is heaven-sent, truly (I must mention Mayen Bustamante-Cadd, who did a riot of a job as Lady Beaconsfield, and Teenee Chan and her pipes). Jekyll and Hyde runs Friday and Saturday at 8PM and Saturday and Sunday at 3:30PM, with a final 8PM performance on Sunday April 22.

The first big ensemble number, "Facade." This, and its Act II counterpart "Murder, Murder" are highlights of the show. And for this one, think of Les Mis' "At the End of the Day," only British. Also, note the ingenious set. Got this from Ms. Menchu's Facebook page.

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The first year of med school is over. I just have to say this: I have never learned so much in a single school year. Separate post for this. Good night.


Jim said...

Mmm. humongous watermelons. :))


Hello Jimnuendo. :D