#RPintheRP: A Travelogue

Day 5: Boys. Rhum. Poems.

QC NA SI ACOE!

For the remainder of my trip, I stayed at MPlace, a condominium right across Camelot Hotel in Quezon City. I booked it through AirBnB and my host was this wonderful woman named Wednesday who, for some reason, prefers to go by the more mundane Wendy.

 

Upon my arrival in QC, I quickly checked in and then rushed — sigh — back to DFA Aseana, this time armed with my trusted birth certificate.

Errands were run without much of a hitch (thank god), although there were a few rather interesting conversations that happened there:

 

Dear reader, you can imagine my relief when the passport issue was finally fixed. (Oh yeah I went to Jollibee too somewhere in the middle because #JollibeeIsLife) I was told to come back in seven days to pick up my passport.

I went back to the condo for a quick shower and then went to UP to meet my friend Joshua.

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UP Naming Mahal. I’m home ❤

I got off at the Oblation Statue (there was an event at Quezon Hall) and waited for Joshua. I miss this goddamn university; for everything it’s worth, this was my home for six years. I loved it, I hated it, but it was home.

When Joshua came, he toured me around UP. And I think I want to take this moment to start unpacking the concept of nostalgia. Memories — especially memories we hold on to fondly — over time get changed. Bitter memories tend to become worse, while memories we cling on to become almost saintly in retrospect.

Cutting to the chase — UP is hotter than I remember. My “built” memories of UP, of walking around the Academic Oval, were of shaded, cool walks. However, just a few minutes strolling, I could feel the heat of the 1pm sun on me and I started sweating heavily.

Memories we cling on to become almost saintly in retrospect.

***

Joshua — or Doumeki, as he was once known — showed me around the burned FC, Palma Hall (including the DUP Office, as well as the annex that CAL is now using), and a few other buildings before we made it to the UP Town Centre — a mall across the street that wasn’t there when I left.

I’m not going to discuss the principled merits of UP Town Centre, however, I would like to say that had this existed when I was a student I would probably not be hanging out here a lot. We walked around a bit and decided to eat at Rodic’s. Ah, Rodic’s tapsilog. Brings back so many…gastronomic memories.

***

I have, throughout the years, attempted to replicate Rodic’s famous shredded tapsilog. I did everything from marinating the meat, to shredding it as fine as possible, to experimenting with different levels of oil, heat, and salt, and to no avail. It is the unhackable recipe. If only I could sleep with someone to acquire it! Aaaah!

***

We ended up spending a long time at that diner reminiscing and I told him that it would be nice if I had my hair fixed. After all, the beautiful red dye has now faded to a dull orange and the perm just was not going to work with the humidity. I went to Bench Fix and — because both Doumeki and I are fans of the Witcher 3 — I got ashen hair like Ciri.

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Who is that boy with Ashen hair?

Even before I was going to the Philippines, my friend and classmate Vyxz has posted that she was organizing an open mic poetry reading through the Drunk Poetry Night in protest of Duterte. I was initially going to get a friend to read some of my poems; however, as I was already there, I might as well just do it on my own.

Doumeki and I took a Grab to Catch 272 in Kamuning for this event. We were to meet a few friends (including his boyfriend Lucas, Raffy, Precious, Corin, and Nick).

I ended up performing three poems: (1) Our Lord and Saviour President Dudirty (first performed in Throw Poetry Collective’s October Slam, where I won *ehem* first place), (2) the ending scene of “Sa Dakong Kawala: Mga Eksenang Binaon ng Alon”, and (3) an untitled sestina that I wrote for my friend Bogs’s performance piece.

I got…drunk. Well, I thought it was appropriate — it was the DRUNK Poetry Night. I was so excited to finally have my first taste of Red Horse (served by a hot bartender — is everyone in the Philippines hot?) at the same time I was nervous as hell to perform, especially as I was following THE Jimmy Abad.

Sidenote that the long-haired blonde guy in the below picture has a British accent and he performed Shakespeare. I kept teasing him that he was from Edinburg — mostly to show people that I know how to pronounce Edinburg — and because I was drunk.

 

I got really drunk — like wasted drunk — and everyone wanted to eat at McDonald’s before going home. Everyone went their separate ways afterwards but Nick slept over as we had early morning plans the next day to….

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