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The Saint's Weekend Miscellany

All sorrow comes from love and holding dear.

Meister Eckhart

I went on an "artist's date" last Saturday afternoon. Since there was time to pass until meeting up with my girlfriend in the evening, and because I figured a break from reading convuluted Hegel would do me some good, I set sail to Greenhills. I brought the new lyrical essays that the Poet gave me a few days ago, some index cards and money because--naturally--I would not have the strength to resist both Luk Yuen and Fully Booked.

Alone with my thoughts and lost in a bustling crowd, I also couldn't help but observe people. This is my guilty pleasure when I go out on artist's dates; and what should be a date with your self turns out a date with everyone and no one because I end up being with all. And because I had my cards handily available, I wrote down these following notes:

Luk Yuen, 4:15pm

Because it's the first day of September, which heralds the coming of the melancholy Christmas of December, Greenhills is suddenly bustling with busy shoppers even if the don't know why and won't even buy.

In Luk Yuen, my favorite congee place, they stopped serving "bicho-bicho"--the fried bread I like putting in my congee. When I asked the indifferent waiter why they stopped selling it, he answered: "Hindi ko po alam, sir. Matagal na kasing wala." As if it's being gone for a while is itself the reason why it's gone. Lesson: never ask waiters questions they cannot answer, e.g. why questions.

The four Indians across me had separate bills. This is why their country is going to be great (e.g. 10% GDP growth this year).

Lost Ericsson phone a customer retrieves from the manager. How to prove it was his?

The guard who sat me down, gave me a menu and called a waiter to tend to me. He deserves the tip.

A beautiful and young mother in capri shorts and a fashionable pink top. And her ugly daughter who looks older than her.

Two Chinese mothers with a bored teenager who was forced to go on a mommy's day out.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Promenade, 5:30pm

A beautiful young mestiza, about sixteen, fully made-up, with her boyfriend in a black long-sleeved shirt (this early!) behind her, holding her hand. No question he got a trophy girlfriend and he is undeserving of such a beauty. It further proves my theory that beautiful women end up with ugly men. I so want to be young and ugly.

Inside, a loud and obnoxious woman in her mind-30s talking to a guy who is selling her something. They chatter and talk loudly amidst the silence of a coffee shop where others were reading. They display a MacbookPro which they do not use but looks good just the same to redundantly affirm their hubris.

Those who are seriously studying at the back, with papers and photocopied books strewn all over the table and cold coffee bought three hours ago. There is even a cup from Starbucks.

At the entrance of Promenade, a woman bangs her head at the glass panel of a revolving door. A whole line of people, all waiting for their turn at the foreign object, see her intelligent act. No one laughs as all are nervous of that happening to them.


Come Sunday afternoon, the interior design company I work for had a simple office warming.

It was a gathering of a few people, perhaps the people who mattered to the small company, more of a gesture of gratitude instead of a self-referential display of success. I was honored to be invited, me being the least active among us four cousins, where most of my work was at the beginning (coming up with the name, identity and logo; marketing paraphernalia such as portfolios; creating a photograph archive of all our projects, etc.). Nonetheless, I felt part of something, of an endeavor and not merely a business. I was part of something which creates, not merely something which accumulates. And a good feeling, that. It tells me that all is not lost.

But since the office had just been completed, it was my turn to "work," i.e. take photographs of the space. So it was pleasure and business at the same time, which I did not mind at all, which I actually I preferred as I was to do something. The thing was, I decided not to bring a tripod; and since it was getting darker, it was more difficult for me to work my magic (e.g. I couldn't use manual all the time as my hand would shake). Just the same, at least some pictures went out well--out of a hundred fifty--even if, as you can see, they are a bit dark:









And the third--since everything comes in threes--a lesson from my father this morning: everything boils down to communicating with your loved ones and to hell with other people. Good advice, that.



  1. Anonymous9/04/2007

    the pictures here have a professional feel.


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