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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Clark-Away, Jewel-Inspired

First and foremost, I would like to greet each and every one...


Yes, it's that day again when we singles are reminded how "boring" our lives can be. How we welcome the day without a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates coming to our doorsteps.

Yes, this is OUR DAY. A day when we need to congregate and frantically jump on the love wagon as we shout, "Hey! I'm single. Love me!"

Okay, back to normal blogging...



Last Saturday, the Kids TV team left the office at 2:30AM. I didn't sleep just to get to office on time. Why such unholy hour, you ask? That's because we were catching some balloons to take flight.

Hot Air Balloons to be precise.

We were doing a feature about an annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark Field, Pampanga Province. Clark Field is a former American air base.

You can tell that I was not getting enough sleep when this photo was taken, and I badly needed a haircut.

Also in the event were Army skydivers and a pair of cute English paragliders. My co-writer managed to get an e-mail address of this Brit hottie on the left and until now he refuses to share it.

Part of the shoot includes a demonstration of the Tinikling by two of our hosts. What was ironic is that while American and Canadian kids are beginning to appreciate the Tinikling, most of the Pinoy kids we asked have no idea what Tinikling is. I had to feed them the answers so they wouldn't be embarrassed once they see themselves on television.

By the afternoon we went to a popular "Halo-Halo sa Corazon". We were treated to platefuls of palabok noodle dish, dinuguan (pork blood stew), puto (rice bread), and halo-halo.

Halo-halo is roughly translated as "mixed sweet sludge," a concoction of spoonfuls upon spoonfuls of mixed sweetened fruits and beans topped with shaved ice and milk. In Pampanga, its version of the halo-halo only consists of five main ingredients: caramelized bananas, white beans, corn, candied coconut strings, and carabao milk curd.

During our afternoon shoot I asked my co-writer to take pictures of me while lounging at the air field.

It looks ridiculous, I know. But it's lovely. I mean, for once I felt like a mermaid.



Ever wonder how I got to write my latest play?

"Si Jewel At Ang Kanyang Dalawang..." is a revised version of my first theater script, "Ilusyonada." I always say that "Jewel" is "a semi-autobiography."

I wasn't kidding.

It was inspired from a significant chapter in my life: College Freshman Year (1997). It was when I met a person named Mike.

He's the guy in the middle. I'm seated at his right side.

Meeting him was both elating and agonizing. I was very happy whenever I would spark a conversation with him. I was also agonizing deep inside on what he thought about me. Was I a friend? His confidante? His karma? Or something else?

Those struggles in my head became the basis of writing a play entitled "Ilusyonada" (The Disillusioned), a gay guy battled by two opposing forces. My first attempt at playwrighting made me win third place at a collegiate literary competition.

Many years have passed. My relationship with Mike became one hell of a roller-coaster, and ended bittersweet (or somewhat). And when an opportunity for Artistang Artlets (my theater org) to stage a 25th anniversary presentation, I decided to update "Ilusyonada," added some scenes and revised the dialogue in such a way that the sensitivities of the Catholic priests running the University would not be offended.

Consider it as a form of closure. In a way, I am ending my hopes for Mike. I want my memories of him to be as faded as that faded photo. I am ready to start again. But how? I don't know.

In a week from now, a play of mine will be performed for the first time.

I am so excited.

If Mike watches it, he might laugh.



1) A bunch of shameless plugs. Watch "Si Jewel..." along with four other plays on "This Must Be LAAAAAB!" a 25th Anniversary Presentation of Artistang Artlets, the official theater guild of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, UST. February 21 to 23 at Rizal Conference Hall, St. Raymund Building, UST Manila. For more information, contact Richard Uy at +63917-5777490.

2) ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Musical is now perfoming! For playdates, contact Tanghalang Pilipino at (632) 832-3661 or (632) 832-1125.

3) Starting March 11, Kids TV will be seen on ABC 5. Hooray! From a Siberia Channel to No. 3 Station!

4) I just bought a nice shirt on E-bay. It has an image of the Shoe Lady Imelda Marcos fashioned a la Che Guevarra. Isn't it neat?

5) Take a visit of my tenant, JoiseyGirl, at her blog "Thought Bubbles". She's an American living in Scandinavia and she details the humor and life in her eyes. Lovely read, just click on the screencap at the sidebar.

5) Thank you, Mike, for everything.


Blogger Talamasca said...

That was long. But I was able to finish reading the entry... Hehe... Hmmm... Yeah... Being single isn't that boring... You just have to think that love is not everything... Hehe... Excuses... Wow... Clark... I heart that place! Did you go shopping there? :-) Oh, that's the story behind the play. Nice. Hope it would go well... Happy Hearts day!!! ;-)

Tue Feb 14, 09:05:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger Onotheo said...

I enjoy being single.
Happy Valentines Day!

Tue Feb 14, 09:27:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger Unknown said...

Aww, you're such a sweetie, I am sure that one day you will find your soulmate. I believe there is someone FOR everyone out there...until then, know that your blog fans love you!

Great pictures! LOVE the shirt-LOL!

Happy Valentine's Day to you hon, may peace and joy light your life.

Wed Feb 15, 04:33:00 AM GMT+8

Blogger Empress Maruja said...

TALAMASCA -- Yup, kinda long post. Is it too long? Please tell me. :) A lot of duty-free shops in Clark were actually closed with the surge of bulk markets (like Makro) and because the dollar is getting expensive here.

EUIAN -- Yeah, I enjoy being single too! No, I'm just kidding. Happy Single Awareness Day! Love your artwork still! You ought to be famous, I'm gonna repeat that for the nth time.

MARTI -- Oh, thanks! I do wish he doesn't come when I get old and wrinkly. I'm gonna wear the shirt on Monday. Can't wait for the reaction.

Wed Feb 15, 12:14:00 PM GMT+8

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful post with beautiful guys, pictures and of course our very own, Empress Maruja. Shit! I miss halo.halo. Why didnt you ask the email of those cuties?

Thu Feb 16, 02:22:00 AM GMT+8

Blogger Empress Maruja said...

CHAS -- I should have been the one who interviewed those guys. I actually suggested to my co-writer to get this guy's e-mail so we could "friendster" him (typically Filipino).

Thu Feb 16, 03:04:00 AM GMT+8


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