Sunday, September 26, 2004

It was a busy, busy day today. Been a long time since I planned a full day all for myself which is good since I was able to pace everything resulting in an exhausting but fulfilled day. I went to my high school alma mater right after the Sunday service in Galleria planning to take some pictures I would use as a background to Wednesday's West Side strip. I wish it could always be like this but I'm still grateful the jokes and creativity keeps on flowing. I was supposed to go yesterday but a couple of things got in the way. I wish having the elements of the strip down pat, from the dialogue and location to deciding what the characters would be doing at the time to how the view would look like inside the panels comes naturally. But going back to my high school, I've been thinking about some reasons why I'm so attached to it even after all these years and I came up with three. First, I spent half of my life in that school and whatever experiences, whether good or bad, embarrassing or extremely good, I had in there made me who I am today; second, it was there that I've met one of the wackiest, most loyal, most enduring batchmates I have ever seen in my entire life. What surprises me the most about all this is that they will prove your first impressions wrong given a decade or so. Those who I thought had the easiest time in school (by way of academic subjects and such) doesn't seem to give our batch a second look after graduating while those who didn't care about the school or our batchmates are now part of those who try to ensure that we keep in constant contact with each other in keeping the friendship alive (including with those they bullied before). The third reason would be because of the religious background I got in that school. But no, I'm not religious. But the religious order of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) made sure that as long as we were in that school church would be part of our daily lives. So we had First Friday Masses, song practices, morning prayers during assembly, prayers before and after break time, prayers before starting an academic subject, class sponsored midweek masses, SDB brothers and priests joining us in our games during recess and lunch, and opening one chapel during these same times in case somebody wants to pray. Of course there's a certain percentage of the student population that resents these interruptions but it did wonders for me. Then again, I wasn't part of any of the stereotyped groups in school back then. I wasn't part of the bullies, I wasn't part of the nerds, I wasn't part of the pranksters, I wasn't part of the sporty, I wasn't part of those C.A.T. officers in training, or anything else. Most of the time I defied convention by going with one group that is composed of the respected and ignored. Some other times I would be just by myself and blended in the background. Some of these times I would either stay in the Library, sit in the sidelines watching people play basketball, or sit in the open chapel staring at the statues. It's inside these chapels that I see the only tangible form of fine artwork in the entire school. Remind me to tell you someday how I got started in art through the religious system.

After taking the needed pictures in school, I next went to Fully Booked in Powerplant Mall. I didn't get to browse that much the last time I went there so I thought I'd pass by and read a couple more books for a few hours. Population inside the bookstore was almost equally divided in half between adults and kids which is a really good thing. Kids need to start early in their reading and the way this bookstore and Powerbooks are doing their part in providing a carpeted area conducive to reading is something that's praise-worthy and should be emulated by others. I started for home around 5 pm to feed the dogs and to turn the garage light on. I also stopped by to rest up a bit before going out again to watch a movie. Well I did and I walked out of it halfway through. The movie in question is Exorcist: The Beginning. It wasn't because I thought the movie sucked to high heavens (although I wouldn't completely disagree with that view) but rather because of the unnerving sense that the movie's delving into a subject they don't completely understand. I've been through reading about the occult and almost experimented with powers I don't understand many years before I found God and I do know what it's like to be creeped out. I regretted my decision to watch that movie thinking that I could have watched that Kate Hudson starrer instead. I'll do watch it eventually and since I thought it's too early to go back home I went around the record stores (saw some 12" 80s new wave vinyl, some of it rare) and bought an oldie Filipino Christmas album. Playing songs from this album's become quite a tradition so it was all well and good that I was able to get my hands on one.

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