brush with death
Thursday, March 02, 2006 @ 2:01 PM 17 comments

I got stranded on the elevator in between the 19th and 18th floor of the RCBC Plaza Tower where I now 'live', this morning. It was one of the longest 20 minutes of my life and in spite of the recent reports of people who got killed from lift crashes, I managed to stay calm with 5 older men along inside. The look of terror in their faces assured me that I was not the only one who knew about the reports. Every move we made inside the lift caused the whole thing to dangle which reminded us that we are floating in the air and any belt malfunction could be fatal. Damn it was so scary that not even the voice of the woman we buzzed convinced me that everything will be fine until I was back on the ground. I tried to stop it but while waiting for the rescue, I imagined those people with me inside their coffins and I was sure I would be inside one too, if that happened.

I thought it would be really sad that I haven't even been able to update this journal if I died any of these days so I decided to find time today in case something like that won't be a false alarm the next time.

Apparently, things have been really toxic for me. Since my father accepted the post as the new Barangay Police head in our place, we've decided that it's better for me to stay at the RCBC after work since no one will be there anymore to wake me up every morning if I still go home, my body clock has always been in a dysfunctional state in my own bed. I sleep at the quarters on the 18th Floor and every afternoon after school is the only time I get to have to see the house and my dogs and also to deliver my laundry and change or even catch a nap at times. Aside from the bitter fact that I am forced to bring a huge gym bag every day, making me look like an undergrown and overweight athlete, to fit all of my things, the new set up was actually easier for me since my school was only one bus ride away but my own house is becoming more and more of a stranger to me.

January 29 was my Ate Pot's birthday, the first time she celebrated it away from home. It must have been really hard, I know. My parents and I spent that day with another of our family members we haven't been able to see for a very long time, My half-siblings Albert and Arlene. I spent the whole afternoon playing with my two little beautiful nieces by Kuya Al who at an early age, both seemed to love the camera and they really look good in pictures! The visit was an invitation long overdue that we have only been able to grant and basing how my brother looked that day, I bet he was very happy to see Papa again with his kids.

Aubrey and Yvette, my cute little nieces.

My half-siblings, Albert and Arlene

With my parents, and Kuya Al's wife, Jane.


February is of course the love month, and it is not the first time that it passed while I'm single. I didn't actually feel bad about it but it's only annoying at times to be constantly reminded of what I'm missing right now. On the actual week of the Valentine's, everyone seemed to know nothing else to ask but "Who's your date?" so after I went to Bon's son's Christening (yes, he ended up with Rems), I asked one of the ninangs, and an erstwhile crush, Apple, former Ms. ME, out which turned out to be one of my biggest mistakes.

She brought along two of her friends, jeopardizing all of my plans for the night. The supposed all night trip to the Euro Star was relegated to a 2-hour pizza dinner for four. Though right before the dinner started, I knew already that I will never ask her out again, the abrupt change in plan was not what made it a mistake. A couple of nights after the dinner, Daren, a common friend and one of the girls she brought along, texted me that Apple is mad at me. The date (though we both refuse to call it that) came about after Apple and I made a deal. From my memory, I remember Christian, another common friend, telling me somewhat in a playful manner, that Apple is the kind of girl who won't go for a Mechanical Engineering guy because he said she already knew what kind of people we are. I asked her if it's true and she demanded me to tell her who said it, she said she won't tell anyway. After the dinner ended, she texted me (the only time we actually did talk to each other that night, it almost turned out to be my dinner with Daren, not her) again demanding the answer. I told her but didn't knew she would make the issue so big.

She confronted Christian, and of course, he denied it ever happened. Now Apple is accusing me of trying to destroy their friendship and wanted me to talk to them face-to-face. I already talked to Christian but he's adamant that he didn't say what I said he did. I defended that I told Apple even before we went out that he might not remember because it was not something we really sat down and talked about, it only came in passing.

There was nothing he said that made me take back what I said. The two of us compromised that we should just let this thing pass and forget it happened since with only my memory against his word, we can never prove anything out. I messaged Apple that we need not do the face-to-face anymore since it is leading nowhere. I didn't care anymore because I wasn't planning to see her out again. I apologized to what happened to Christian and her (though they're ok now) but did not take back what I said up to the last minute. But she seemed to have already waged a war against me. She's blown this thing out of proportion and had other people involved now. The thing had lead to one issue to another, it's getting crazy. I stopped texting her now, also at Daren's suggestion but she still presses that if I'm really sincere in apologizing to her, I should talk to her in the face. Wtf?


Right after I learned that my parents will go to Baguio on the last weekend of February, I contacted the Silversoul and invited them for an all night movie marathon/pizza party over at my house. The glorious plan was drastically cancelled after the Philippine president declared the State of National Emergency (?). Papa decided to be left behind since we live at the core of the Fort Bonifacio. I had an option to either stay at the house with my father or go to Baguio with Mama and her Nurses' staff. The answer had been rhetorical. At the last minute before we left PGH in Manila morning of February 25, one of the slots in the van was left vacant after one of the staffers backed out. I called Julius up, who was pestering me the night before that he wanted to come, and told him the good news.

After more than a decade, it has been the first time again that I set foot in the Summer Capital of the Philippines. I don't actually remember how it looked then (I only see them in pictures now) but the place is still noteworthy just the same. I only recalled that it's colder there then than now (Global Warming). We tried to go to all the places Ranna messaged me the night before (she actually seemed more excited than I am). The Lion Head, The Palace, Mine's View (I bought a cowboy hat, a knitted bag matching Julius', strawberry wine for Darelle, and some delicacies), Botanical Garden, a convent which name I don't recall and the Burnham Park where coincidentally, the Flower Festival or the Panagbenga was being held, which we were only able to see on the next day.

We stayed at a faculty camphouse inside the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary that night. The place was really great. It's like we're no longer in the Philippines. There were pine trees and all green everywhere and surely I loved the weather! It's not everyday I could run in a sweatshirt outside and still feel my hands numbing in cold. Jules and I had a room for ourselves with two beds. We could only hope that we have taken the people we have wanted to come with us.

Did Ranna say Brokeback Mountain? (On the night we were at the camphouse, Ranna, taunting me, texted me this: "No two men can stay together, only once in a while. - Brokeback Mountain)

At the great Botanical Garden.

Our group went back to Burnham Park the next day where we caught a glimpse of the Flower festival. The floats were really good though we have only seen 5 out of the 21 participants. I enjoyed watching the young people who participated in the parade with drums and bugles and all. It was a very colorful extravaganza, purely Pinoy. We headed next to La Trinidad, Benguet where the Strawberry Farm is. The price tags of the strawberry wines there did not make my mother smile though, it costed less 30% of the wine we bought at the Mine's view Park. It was the first time I ever saw how strawberries are being planted and it was such a nice experience. At the tourist depot on the side of the farm I bought all my teammates in the office penis-figure keychains. I'm sure they all liked it. LOL. Before we left, I noticed the fog was just going down to the farm. It was a little late I guess, I really wanted to know how it feels like to talk when you see your breath smoking with air.

At the Burnham Park with Mama. One of the last floats of the
first day parade behind us.

The Flower Festival

The Strawberry Field

Picking strawberries.

Our last stop in Benguet was the Chinese Temple. We are with old people who were already too tired so we left right after we have taken pictures. On the way back down, we stopped over the infamous Lion Head, took pictures again and left. We proceeded to the Our Lady of Manaoag Church, the supposed first destination but the driver didn't know. We paid respect, did a last minute shopping on the corners of the church before finally heading back to the real world.

The Chinese Temple

With 'kaibigan'. (One of the nurses' kid who
kept calling me and Jules, his 'kaibigan')

At the Lion head on the way down.

The last stop which was supposed to be the first. Our Lady of Manaog church in Pampanga.

One professor of mine said that we should keep up with our social life no matter how busy we are. I didn't know that it also gives such a different feeling when we keep in touch with nature. It sends off a rejuvinating vibe and a refreshing feeling like it's an all new you. Maybe it's in the weather or the environment, but whatever it is it feels great. I knew I fell in love in Baguio when I was a kid and I think I fell in love with it again. Ttfn!

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