Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Aishite Imasu, 2004

++=part 1=++


After the postcard perfect Noche Buena, I vowed to spend Christmas day this time with my ever loving friendships. I hooked up with Highschool (in Chuayjai's words, Becky) peeps and at the same time, found new ones.

Bah. humbug!The day started out really slow. I had to accompany my famille in our yearly escapo sessions. Mom and Dad came up with this ingenious ploy to get away from home every Dec.25 to avoid them pesky inaanaks and their excess baggages. Its not really Scrooge mentality, but since they already have so many inaanaks that they can't even remember who they are anymore, what they are trying to avoid are those eager beavers who aren't even related to us by anything. I'd like to call them opportunistas but that would be too harsh. I mean, come on! Imagine this random child who'll come up our steps and greedily pan out his grimy hands like its my mom and dad's obligation to give him something. It turns out this little imp is a friend of a friend of a friend of the original inaaanak and he tagged along for the loot. Whatever you say, but to me, that's a world of irritation. Bah, humbug!

Anyway, for this year I want it really different, iniba ko ang gimik. We're done with the predictable dinner dates, or out of town ventures, partying and what nots. This year, with my famille and Becky friends, sinuportahan namin ang pelikulang Filipino.

Guess, who's not invited?As early as 8am, we headed out of the house. My dad, just barely dodging one little imp. I tried to use all my powers of persuasion to veer them towards Robinson's Place in Manila (because that's where me and the Becky's will meet up later in the afternoon). Maybe it was the sweltering heatwave that got to my dad's head (or the little imp that got away with some of the contents of his wallet), but suddenly there he goes again, erupting out of the blue, saying that the only reason why I wanted to go there was that I'm a selfish prick and that I had ulterior motives (which I had, but he made me sound really bad which, of course, I wasn't). We had a heated argument resulting in him almost asking me to step out of the car. My mom butted in, my sisters did too. My dad taking it out on my sister, my sister arguing back...And then all was quiet. Like nothing ever happened. Its a typical Daniel (yup, thats my last name) outing. Us, in "normal" mode.

We got to the mall a little bit too early, which prompted me to once again to use my divine powers of persuasion because my mom suggested that we head out for Mega Mall instead. Being pinned to the wall, my synapses fired off and I told them 'for old times sake, (gulps), lets visit Luneta'. Ah, Luneta. When I was a child and my parent's income was barely enough to get by, this used to be my playground.

Due to my dad missing out a turn at T.M. Kalaw, instead of the playground of yore, we stumbled upon this new place called the Boardwalk. (which, just to clarify, is different from the Baywalk, and is- ironically- made of cement and metal instead of, well, wooden boards!). Its this strip of land converted into a park, an extension probably. And there are these restos all around like (correct me if I'm wrong) Seaside Wharf, Palatagan, whatz-it-Japanese-name and the other establishments.

Theres tons of people here. Just stretching out on the open field, having a picnic, playing, having the time of their lives. Simple people, simple fun. I hated the fact that I became a bit of an airhead the moment this struck me. I felt I was out of place, that I was better than everybody else. I hate me during these fits.

My dad was still in his grumpy mood but he agreed to pose for a famille photo op. (Come on, its the bay and there are lotsa pretty stuff going on!) The tides changed when, out of the blue, like an oasis in the middle of a vast dessert, there it was. A tent. With sound systems blaring out.

An open air Karaoke.

Frankie, eat your heart out.Like a child who just saw toys in the window of a department store, my dad's face lighted up. He was born with a silver microphone lodged in his mouth. Its where I got the genes. But, as much as I love singing, I do not have his exhibitionist tendencies. Well, not yet. We decided to walk around while we waited for him to hit those notes.

Music calms the savage beasts, as they say. Dad was all brimming with joy after his showing off. This was of course all good for us. We have at least 5 hours till the effect wears off. He was literally, skipping merrily back to the van to drive us back to the mall.

We saw So Happy Together. Don't want to act all pretentious here and discuss the technical aspects of the film or how socially relevant it is. I just tell how I saw it. How it made me feel. How it affected my rudimentary sensibilities.

It's something you don't see in the usual fanfare of Filipino movies. It has a lot of cringe moments like everytime Kris Aquino goes into her squeeling rampage which makes my ears bleed. Or those completely unnecessary scenes involving the younger cast where I almost puked on the floor because of the brain dead sub-plots.

LookHowever, casting those aside, the movie also has its fair share of shining moments. Eric Quizon is truly in his element (if you know what I mean), and the story tries to span almost a lifetime of this indomitable friendship between the two lead actors, which, with all due respects, is a grand attempt . It shows snippets of a truly colorful life and the hilarious moments that are strewn along the way. And seeing and laughing with the movie with your famille on a balmy Christmas morning is an experience unto itself. Maybe I'll do this again next year.

---

A few moments later after the movie, I had to say goodbye to the folks. I just saw my friend among the throng of people. On, to the next half of the day!

-end of part 1

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