Poetic justice

Seeing the rubble of what was once a monument to snootiness–I heard the old rich of Varsity Hills Subdivision cried their lungs out while the men of Quezon City’s demolition team snatched the CCTV cameras and hammer to the ground the gate and guard house that used to stand for the oppressiveness of the homeowners’ association–may just be one of the most gratifying feelings I have had in a while.

I did not witness the performative poetic justice served piping hot, but seeing the wreckage and the road free for both cars and pedestrians to use is enough. It’s like watching a Greek tragedy and being spared of witnessing the violence that has just transpired as one only sees the aftermath, only this time, the homeowners are not the tragic character–they are the vile villains in Mexican telenovelas of the 90s, unrepentant until the very end.

Catharsis for the audience is served just as well.

For the longest time, the wealthy of Varsity Hills Subdivision had been claiming the public road as theirs by enclosing it in gates they had constructed and placing their guards that are ordered to stop the people who do not look middle-class enough or who will not answer back in grammatically correct English.

While taking pictures, for this post, the entire drama is summed up by that woman riding a motorcycle who gave me that very meaningful smile that borders between victory and what can be said in Tagalog a “beh, buti nga!” In my language we call it “gaba”.

We need to witness dramatic scenes like this more often.


There’s something beautiful about a quiet morning spent with an ex-lover, having breakfast while talking about nothing of significance, only the usual drama of existence–hair color, a prospect of a debilitating illness, a trip to the vet, the challenge of having an almost-obese cat. And the only thing that disturbs the quiet is the noise made by a three-month old kitten playing with her plastic ball in the background.

While life is bound to be catastrophic at an indefinite time in the future, beautiful, quiet moments like this make our brief stay in this world worth the fight and boulder-pushing to the mountain top.

Tonight, due to nostalgia and some unexplained longing for home I left 16 years ago, behold a version of my mother’s chicken macaroni salad that’s free from any pretense (except that it’s made while Norah Jones was wailing jazzily in the background) and swimming in its unapologetically kitsch glorious dressing of condensed milk, cream, and mayonnaise. I can’t wait for it to set (overnight) and take some to work tomorrow.