Since I was scheduled to work half-day last Thursday, from Laguna, I went back to Makati for a quick, late lunch, it was about three in the afternoon, then proceeded to Katipunan with my friend to submit an application to Ateneo. From Ateneo, we then decided to take a jeepney to UP Diliman as we thought there were going to be plenty of jeepneys plying Katipunan. We were mistaken.
Drivers of public transportation these days prove to be more tenacious, recalcitrant is more apt, than their predecessors. This driver who parked his old, rickety, stainless but rusty made-to-order jeepney made us wait for more than what was comfortable; it was almost a quarter to five that time, and good sense told us that government offices in the Philippines close on the dot (closing time is the only time they are never late at). So we demanded he return the 14 pesos we paid, and we took a cab to UP.
We first went to the College of Arts and Letters then to Mass Communications after we almost got lost in the circuitous mini-avenues of the Diliman campus. The guys wearing those painfully neon yellow vests, who seemed to replicate themselves by the hundreds, were really courteous and adept at giving directions. But I swear they all look the same. I suspect they’re the pilot project of the biotechnology department or else nuclear physics center of UP.
At the College of Mass Communications, my friend had a brief chat with the college secretary who’s a friend of his. They haven’t seen each other for more than four years, so I expected a long and crisp catching up. Crisp it was, but long not at all. After less than 10 minutes of chat and the customary exchange of business cards, we bade goodbye but not before she handed us two white envelopes that contained the invitation for the Gawad Urian that was to be held several blocks away in Adarna Hall, formerly UP Film Center, that night.
But before that, the cunning weather got the better of both us. We were running out of cash so we had to scurry and searched the campus for ATMs. My memory told me that there’s supposed to be one right across the block adjacent UP shopping center, but my machine was nowhere to be found.
Lo and behold, there’s the guy in painful neon yellow vest again, but he seemed to have gained a lot of weight and doubled his previous body mass index from 20 forty-five minutes ago to forty-five. It did not bother us much though because he was in his usual courteous self and again gave us a very easy-to-follow direction.
When we reached the place, just somewhere at the back of the university shopping center outside the university accounting office, and after I withdrew my meager salary for the summer, I sighted this pretty but anorexic pussy cat (I even suspected she’s bulimic):
I went near her to take a picture of her, but this one was her only clear picture that my old phone was able to capture because she was simply gyrating, like a cat in heat, well she is a cat. In heat, that is. She circled my right leg, gave me that pleading look as if she wanted me to take her home.
“Gusto niya lang bigyan mo siya ng pagkain,” the guard at the accounting office said. He must be the anorexic pussy cat’s master.
So scheming of her.
Post script: We fell in line outside the Film Center amid the drizzle. According to the invitation, the program should start at six. But diva as all the stars in Philippine showbiz are, the program did not start till 7:15 because the nominees were not done donning their do and their dresses. (I abhor artless alliterations, but not as much as abhorrent artistas). Despite the heavy downpour outside, we hailed a cab to Quezon Ave MRT station and had a nice, warm dinner in the food court of Glorietta.
I enjoyed that evening.
For results of the 33rd Gawad Urian, follow this.