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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

entry arrow1:59 PM | Meow

I'm a happy cat today. What started out as a shitty day yesterday ended up in a vast culmination of so much happiness, it's impossible to even begin to gauge how the universe can tease me just so. Waking to yesterday was like staring into a dark tomb I knew there was no escape from eventually descending: it promised only long hours, great stress, perfect unhappiness. There was a video to edit, posters to design and produce in the nick of time, event logistics to fulfill and follow, heavy things to transport between places, pressing engagements to attend. I texted my old high school best friend Jacqueline PiƱero-Torres: "I don't think I will be able to attend Felma's church wedding this afternoon at 3 p.m. Unless of course I can clone myself."

My schedule looked like the wrath of some deranged god. There was the whole morning scheduled for the video editing and the poster making. There was the early afternoon to prepare for Razceljan Salvarita's exhibit opening at 5 p.m. There was the matinee of the Loboc Children's Choir at 3 p.m. And Felma's wedding ceremony at Saint Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral at the same time. There was the wedding reception at the Negros Oriental Convention Center at 6 p.m. (And my old high school classmates were already sending me text messages: "We never see you anymore!" And so I had to be there at the reception if I couldn't be at the wedding itself.) There was also the Quizo concert at Silliman Hall at 6 p.m. (but this one I chose to erase from my schedule -- or else die). There was the Loboc Children's Choir gala at 8 p.m. And in-between, there were the countless things to do to make things flow. I had already conscripted the family driver to drive me between engagements, and to do the hard, physical work for me, so that made things at least a little bearable. And then to cap my misery, a fellow CAC member came up to me and said cattily, "I don't like Razcel's installation," and proceeded to grumble about it.

It made me so mad because the last thing I needed was a fellow cultural worker not getting the artistic vocabulary of what an avant-garde artist like Razcel was trying to do. The nerve! When I went home to change to formal clothes for the exhibit opening and the wedding reception later, I found all my black socks missing their pair. All of them. And I was reduced to wearing dark grey argyle socks. Argyle! That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I picked up a pile of papers I was working on for a project, and hurled it against a wall in my pad.

At least that made me feel good.

But you know what? Things have a way of finding calm. The exhibit opening turned out well, even if it was a little late. Razcel opened the exhibit with a performance of The Lord's Prayer -- in Aramaic -- complete with candles and firelight. Dessa Quesada-Palm beautifully sang a couple of Joey Ayala songs. The Ating Pamana, with Elizabeth Susan Vista-Suarez, sang a medley of songs as well. And then there were the paintings, the photographs, and the installations. Clay birds hanging from the ceiling of the Luce Foyer Gallery... Brown, dry leaves crunching beneath the feet of visitors...

And meeting my old high school classmates in Felma Labrador and Brian Uypitching's wedding reception -- which was done so elegantly in the halls of the Convention Center -- made me so happy. I never cease to be amazed by the ease with which we fall into the rhythms of old friendships. These are people I haven't seen in many years, and yet when I meet them again, it's as if the years in-between do not exist. I love settling into the comforts of the familiar warmth, the old sense of closeness, the old jokes, the reminiscences.

And the Loboc Children's Choir, under the guidance of Ma'am Alma Taldo, was divinely spectacular. They were soooooooo cute. One of the boys looked like Harry Potter. I wanted to pinch the cheek of every one of them, these cute kids with fantastic voices.

And then there were the accumulation of other happy things over the weekend: Arlene's birthday party in Gabby's Bistro; Pacquiao winning over De la Hoya; an intimate Sunday lunch with my mother, who never cease to amaze me with her exuberance; Ma'am Susan singing "This Night in December" during the Ating Pamana Christmas concert at Silliman Hall last Friday night; the Silliman Campus Choristers serenading the Loboc children on the Luce stage after the concert; seeing my best friend looking relaxed in ages...

And seeing my old teacher (and former department chair), the great Ceres Pioquinto, again after so many years. She is visiting from Germany, and seeing her in the Luce for the Loboc concert surprised me, and I ended up choking with unexpected happiness. I texted my friend (and fellow teacher) Chinky later on: "I had no idea I'd miss her this much. It made me realize how much I miss the kind of decisive and creative leadership she had."

My Christmas began this weekend. And I'm a happy cat. I've been meowing all day.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich