“The day I was born I was born free and that is my Privilege.”

“You’re facing the wall. Are you Pissing (Piscine)?”
August 8, 2008, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

An excerpt from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi


My name isn’t the end of the story about my name. When your name is BOb, no one asks you, “How do you spell that?” Not so with Piscine Molitor Patel.

Some thought it was P. Singh and that I was a Sikh, and they wondered why I wasn’t wearing a turban.

In my university days, I visited Montreal once with some friends. It fell to me to order pizzas one night. I couldn’;t bear to have yet another French speaker guffawing at my name, so when the man on the phone asked, “Can I’ave your name?” I said, “I am who I am.” Half an hour later, two pizzas arrived for “Ian Hoolihan.”

It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names. Witness Simon who is called Peter, Matthew also known as Levi, Nathaniel who is Bartholomew, Judas, not Iscariot, who took the name Thaddeus, Simeon who went by Niger, Saul who become Paul.

My Roman soldier stood in the schoolyard one morning when I was twelve. I had just arrived. He saw me and a flash of evil genius lit up his dull mind. He raised his arm, pointed at me and shouted, “It’s Pissing Patel!”

In a second everyone was laughing. It fell away as we filed into the class. I walked in last, wearing my crown of thorns.

The cruelty of children comes as news to no one. The words would waft across the yard to my ears, unprovoked, uncalled for: “Where’s Pissing? I’ve got to go.” Or: “You’re facing the wall. Are you Pissing?” Or something of the sort. I would freeze or, the contrary, pursue my activity, pretending not to have heard. The sound would disappear, but the hurt would linger, like the smell of piss long after it was evaporated.


It was near the end of the school year, a week after the finals, where we were just waiting for the teachers to give us their list of requirements for the clearance. Usually, a lessons-filled notebook, a result of endless copying from the manila papers taped on the blackboard end to end or what have you, will make the teacher stump his signature on your salvation paper. We had anticipated this tedium, so playing cards, when teachers were chatting about their personal lives, were played in the classroom. Others would entertain themselves on word games. Boys would be out eyeing for Venuses from other sections. I, on the other hand, inspired by an article that I’ve read in my brother’s old school publication that I found splayed on the bottom of my mother’s old lakasa, I began writing on the blackboard a few of my classmates names. One would be “Flordeliza Medalla – Honorable Name.” A friend, who was bored looking for three- or four-letter words, saw what I wrote and just laugh at my gag. He then picked up the chalk and started to throw his insanity on the board with his graphics.


I was Zhel to my strict-sassy research professor in college. College research was my first course with her, who also taught our other major subjects, so I was a new face in her class, At the first day of class, I silently sat at the back. She came a few minutes after and then looked at her students.  Most of them she was familiar of.  She noticed me and asked what my name is. I uttered in a polite, soft-voiced manner, Jel, which she heard as Zhel.

“No, ma’am, it’s Jel.”

“Zhel?” Now, the class chorused, Jel.

“Oh, Jel, sorry.”

And for a week, I was Zhel to my blockmates/classmates, to my orgmates in our tambayan.


I was Jen to a Chowking crew. She would ask, “May I know your name, ma’am?” which I kindly replied, Jel. She gave me my number and then asked me to wait for my take-out order on the side. Five minutes after, a crew went out calling for Jen to give her, her packed order. Nobody answered. Seven minutes, he came out again calling for Jen. Again, he was ignored. Ten minutes and my eyebrow could now be likened to Frida Kahlo’s. I approached a crew to follow up for my order.

“Ma’am, can I have your receipt.” I handed it over. “Oh, you must be Jen. Here it is.”

Oh, right, Jen. Yes, I’m Jen and I’m hungry. Give me that.


“Why would you write your name in two words? You should be using what was written on your birth certificate.” Ma’am Grama, my English teacher, once said to me in a way like I caused the guava to fall on the ground. It’s gravity, ma’am, or blame the fruit, not me. I am Laurice Jel, Laurice jel after I got tired of capitalizing the J in Jel. Then all of a sudden I became Lauricejel. I was baptized thrice then.

“Dream is Destiny.”
July 19, 2008, 8:42 am
Filed under: Backdrop, Liriko, Uncategorized

It slipped off my mind that we will see Ann play her last BPOlympics basketball match later this afternoon at the Meralco theater. Ayreen just texted me last night through my brother’s phone, which, by the way, my brother jokingly told me to read a message in his phone on a gesture of putting the phone in front of my face. How lovely of my brother! When we last met, Ann requested us to see her last game, Be there and take a picture of me playing. Come on, it’s my last game. I’ve invited you to watch me play since my first match and you never came, I remember her ranting to that effect.

The game is scheduled at past 6:00. My other friends are killing time somewhere while waiting for us to meet at the Galleria. I spent the earlier part of this day watching Across the Universe, a musical film by Julie Taymor. I’ve heard about it from a friend. Intrigued, I downloaded it .AVI. I’ve loved musicals, musical films, after I watched RENT, and I dream of being in the ensemble of RENT and singing SEASONS OF LOVE with all my heart. One great scene is La Vie Boheme and I like Angel and Collins’ rendition of I’ll Cover You.

With Across the Universe, it came to mind that song interpretation differs by context. As an example, Beatles’ I Want You Bad was used to depict Uncle Sam’s persuasion of his men to serve his country by being a part of the support force in Vietnam as well as to show Sadie and her partner’s affection toward each other. Another would be Sturgess’ and Anderson’s Strawberry Fields, now, I think of love and war hearing that song.

Fifteen minutes and I am off here.

Last Cinemanila, I’ve seen Julie Delpy’s self-produced, self-written film, Duox Jours A Paris, with an English title of Two Days in Paris, which she starred opposite Adam Goldberg and her real-life parents, as far as I remember. I like Delpy in Before Sunrise, Before Sunset opposite Ethan Hawke, but I guess reading its script would be far better than watching the film. Seeing her in Duox Jours A Paris made me like Delpy more as an actress.

It’s interesting to see her again acting her role in Richard Linklater’s, her director for Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Waking Life. It’s my first time to see it, though it’s a 2001 Linklater film. I searched for its script and I think it’s one film worth watching. Utorrent, work fast… please. 🙂

Here is an excerpt:


(Main character walks through the airport and telephones his friend – 322.0031. There’s a girl there, and he sees her.)

Hey man, it’s me. Um, I just got back into town. I thought maybe I could bum a ride off you or something, but that’s cool. I could probably just take a cab, something like that. Um — Yeah, I guess I’ll hang out with you later, something like that.


(A boat car drives up in front of the airport)

Ahoy there matey! You in for the long haul? You need a little hitch in your get-along, a little lift on down the line?

Oh, um, yeah, actually, I was waiting for a cab or something, but if you want to …

All right. Don’t miss the boat.

(He gets in.) Hey, thanks.

Not a problem. Anchors aweigh!

So what do you think of my little vessel? She’s what we call “see-worthy.” S-E-E. See with your eyes. I feel like my transport should be an extension of my personality. Voila. And this? This is like my little window to the world, and every minute it’s a different show. Now, I may not understand it. I may not even necessarily agree with it. But I’ll tell you what, I accept it and just sort of glide along. You want to keep things on an even keel I guess is what I’m saying. You want to go with the flow. The sea refuses no river. The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving. Saves on introductions and good-byes. The ride does not require an explanation. Just occupants. That’s where you guys come in. It’s like you come onto this planet with a crayon box. Now, you may get the 8-pack, you may get the 16-pack. But it’s all in what you do with the crayons, the colors that you’re given. And don’t worry about drawing within the lines or coloring outside the lines. I say color outside the lines. You know what I mean? Color right off the page. Don’t box me in. We’re in motion to the ocean. We are not landlocked, I’ll tell ya that. So where do you want out?

Uh, who, me? Am I first? Um, I don’t know. Really, anywhere is fine.

Well, just — just give me an address or something, okay?

Uh —

(The guy sitting next to him in the back seat speaks up) Tell you what, go up three more streets, take a right, go two more blocks, drop this guy off on the next corner.

Where’s that?

Well I don’t know either, but it’s somewhere, and it’s going to determine the course of the rest of your life. All ashore that’s going ashore. Ha ha ha ha ha. Toot, toot.


Now, I’m late.

Another excerpt from the same site:

(Two kids — a girl and a boy — playing a game of “frog”)

Um, pick a color.

B-L-U-E. Pick a number.


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Pick one more number.


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Pick another number.


Okay. “Dream is destiny.”

Got a Potion to Undo Things?
July 10, 2008, 12:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Waahh, Just learned that Lifehouse will be having a concert at the Araneta Coliseum at the end of this month after paying this month’s water bill at SM. Good Lord, I will not be able to watch that. Got no money to buy a ticket. Blame it to the good Samaritan who is in, I guess, an e-load business right now. I just want to enroll him in a You’ve Got Talent show for being sneaky and getting my phone and I on a How to Get Rid of Your Carelessness seminar. And now, I need to feed my piggy bank to buy me a new unit.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been singing You and Me most of the time these past few days. And I will sing it again.

You and me and all of the people
with nothing to do,
nothing to lose.
And it’s you and me and all of the people
and I don’t know why
I can’t keep my eyes off of you.

And I miss one of my best friends, Ayreen. She kindly came with me to see my Brandon last April. I cannot yell at her through text now to say that Lifehouse will be here!!! Miss yo, Taba. 🙂  And to end this post, Waaahhh!!

November 26, 2007, 10:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


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