I've spent something like five hours now, trying to finish the novel by Salman Rushdie (gosh, have I been misspelling his name all this time?) in time for tomorrow's quiz. Amidst rain, amidst darkness, amidst smoke, and amidst family, I will succeed in doing so (times like these, I'm glad I'm a fast reader).
In the convoluted religion of my family, I am a Protestant who goes to Sunday School every Sunday morning at 11 am (father goes to church at 7:30, mother and sister at 9 am, and brother is a Catholic who only goes to church on "special occassions" such as Christmas and Lent).
I should have ranted about this several weeks ago but I guess it's only now that my patience has snapped. Our teacher, Tessa (do you know how many Tessa's there are in the Philippines?), has been the recent replacement for Sunday School teachers for college students are hard to find (everyone wants to teach kids). And well, I got fed up today because she's been repeating herself over and over for the past hour and a half, even mentioning the word "God" every five seconds or so.
Makes me wonder what adults think of us, errrr, adolescents (I was going to say teenagers but I'm already twenty). Intelligent conversation dropped down as her lecture was reduced to a monologue that is actually only fifteen minutes long at most that get's repeated several times. Well, she does have an improvement since in the previous weeks, the words "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" seemed taboo to her and she referred to them as "your special friends". There's also that look on her face whenever she refers to them.
Of course when I got back home, I returned to reading Rushdie (by the way, Satanic Verses, which he also wrote, is available at A Different Bookstore for those interested). Then it rained.
I have this strange phobia for storms. Not that I'm afraid of getting wet, or afraid to get swept away by the wind (which is a joke by people who've seen me, who have claimed the wind will just blow me away one day), or afraid that a shark will suddenly fall from the sky, but when it comes to the Philippine Network and storms, they don't go well together.
Judging from yesterday's power failures, most of which occured while it was raining, I expected the same to happen today. I hoped I would be proven wrong. But that wasn't the case.
Moreover, had to set the time of the VCR because of the ever so frequent blackouts. And despite the fact that my mobile phones only had one bar left in their battery meter, they lasted long enough to be charged when electricity came back (which really isn't an assurance the power failure won't happen again).
Some time after the storm, I was still in my room, doing nothing but read, when my nose smelled something. And then I coughed. Smoke and it was slowly engulfing me.
Got out of my room only to find out the house is nearly totally invaded by smoke since someone was burning either trash or leaves near our house. I went to the guest room (which is now vacant since uncle left us already) since that's the closest "air tight" room I know. But still, I did manage to smell smoke even from that room.
At this point, I realize that if someone were to drop poisonous gas in the village, hiding in my house would be a futile effort. We'd all die a slow death.
It's really hard to read when there's no light. Hopefully the power failures haven't struck during evenings. Yet.
Change of Plans
Apparently, the 184 page comic I'm planning to release by the end of the year got shafted since Elbert is afraid his work won't be seen in the 1/4 long bond size. Opted to go for 1/2 long bond but with the pages reduced by half. Will await quotations at how much this is going to cost me.
I've been getting text messages from people who's number isn't recorded in my phone book. Today is a welcome surprise though as I found out Becca is here and is visiting until August or September before she heads off abroad.
Of course the person I'm really eager to arrive here in the Philippines is Mia (it helps that she's cute!). She's one of the few people in PO that cares (freaked out, perhaps, but accepts me nonetheless). It's strange though that she's touring Japan with her PO friend that hates me (as to the reason, I don't know, since I've discovered a long time ago that if a girl is mad at you, well, you may never know the reason why). Then again, it's no surprise since I tend to bring out either the best in people, or the worst.
Then there's Vern whom I haven't seen but have been in correspondence with (errr, at least until my last email).
I Love the Philippines
I'm one of those people that loves this country, flawed as it is. It's just not the surrealistic atmosphere or the advantageous position I am in (I mean if I weren't well-off, I'd hate my life, no matter what country I'm in). I still beleive that there is hope for this nation (no matter how unlikely that chance is) and it's the place I've grown up, the place I'm familiar with.
One may not be consciously aware of it but Filipinos who travel abroad can't help but compare the place they're staying with where they came from, the Philippines. And it's land of piracy, cheap products, crazy traffic schemes, congested areas, and a nation of crammers, is something one takes to heart.
It's common to have the dream of leaving this place. But that's not the case with me. This is who I am, this is where I'm going to be.
Never mind the power failures. Or the storms. Or the heat. Or the corrupt officials. Or the poverty surrounding the country. Or the perpetual traffic. Or inefficient ISPs. Or the unsolved crimes. Or the pollution. Or the piracy. Or floods. Or the increasing rate of the peso to the dollar. Or the lack of a national language...