Losing Track of Time . . . .

As I grudgingly sit in one of those white-knuckle bus ride to Novaliches earlier today, at least the driver and conductor felt the need to play some music in their nightly plights of EDSA.

“..It’s three o’clock in the morning and it’s starting to get light . . “

Don’t get me wrong. I said “grudgingly” not because I am angry or anything, but rather, disappointed I had to leave Villamor earlier than I had anticipated. In one of those clean up and wash runs for the kitchen, my right index finger got hurt and I can’t scrape the large rice cooker pan clean enough. I guess I’m not that young anymore. I remember moving heavy tabletops, chairs and dinner stuff up and down Capitol Hills Golf Clubhouse years ago without my legs nor bones staging a protest, vehemently, I should add.

Still, time passes.

And being with the volunteers, with the smiles back in our faces at Villamor, time, really does fly. Like those Ospreys we saw lifting off like space ships from off the runway.

I’m distracted.

As we give out food prepared by volunteer cooks and chefs, sandwiches lovingly made by other volunteers at the tent, we have a good gig running – a coffee commando stand, the long table for hot meals, the kitchen all a buzz, the sandwich pantry busy like any bee hive , it had to wonder what will the survivors be doing in Camp Aguinaldo.  We tried to talk to some of the survivors as they wait patiently, although as of 4:30pm yesterday, the survivors were already in buses but were still waiting to be transported  for 3 hours already.

Imagine that.

In Tacloban Airstrip, they had to wait 3 days, or at least 48 hours to be on a flight to Manila. The flight is about an hour and a half, and at Villamor, they have to be grouped and processed, some for immediate medical attention, the rest mostly documentation and records, so give a an hour or so.

And I complain about a 3 hour bus ride to Magallanes just to switch buses bound for FTI to alight at Villamor.

But at the site, time passes, like rain drenching me when I was at Camp Aguinaldo meeting another volunteer who’s doing psychological support for the survivors – Ms. Tetchie of Gold’s Gym ,whom, by the time I got to ArtRelief at Villamor sent a group of young ones to help out – the rain poured and  fell and washed the streets I walked to EDSA.

The rain went quickly, and these weather mood swings seem to be the norm nowadays.

Arrived at the site, buzzing.

And I began to lose track of time.

Maybe because I lost my Casio watch while enjoying the camaraderie. It was a 10-year battery , and about to die on me. That was a long time to own a watch, even for me. Goodbye, old watch, hope the person who found you can use the time to appreciate, even with the dilapidated state.

Maybe because  doing volunteer work does wonders for the soul.  And if auras are visible to the naked eye, the whole setup will be glowing bright colors, should you see the faces cooking, stirring, slicing, chopping, packing food, giving out water, minding the discarded stuff , cleaning up and then messing the place again with a new set of food preparation. By 1am this morning, Oplan Hatid was back in form, adding to the radiance of people and smiles.

And I lose track of time.

Maybe because I really don’t have to.

Photo stolen from Juan Benedicto’s FB

Photo stolen from Teddy Arellano’s FB

[Apologies to Teddy Arellano and Juan Benedicto. Sorry guys, I gave up on photography long time ago, so I steal from Indios and you guys. Thank you!]

2012 In Review, Pt.2

Happy New Year WordPress

It has been a very hectic 2012. Not that it wasn’t fun. I really enjoy my work. As a matter of  fact, I don’t know if I have ever NOT enjoyed my job. There’s something new to learn everyday, and all my previous employment  and this one I have now, let’s me be myself and work with individuals that are so full of talent and creativity, I just have to step up to keep up. I am learning from my team as much as from my superiors, and gee whiz, I sure hope they learn something from me too.

So, where to start?

  • We have been battered by Hybrid Storms this past year. All those water and rain. And the flashfloods, the deaths. It’s sad and frightening that this could happen with all the communication technology available. TS Quinta is barely gone and we still have eight storms lined up. Hope we could get through this in one piece. I would hate to mention the political and governance aspect that contributed to the losses and deaths that were the aftermath of the tropical storms. But there could have been something done to reduce, if not prevent the damages, but . . . oh well, why spoil the mood?
  • My dreams of publishing my stories in graphic novel format got the restart it badly needed. All my previous sketches and drawings, concept art and the synopses. I have never felt that writing bug bite this intense before.
  • I guess 2012 is a bit more tumultous than previous years, with my wife suffering heavily, almost succumbing to the next level chemo-therapy for Osteoarthritis. But she’s a born fighter, and a fierce Probinsiyana, she could hack it with the rest of the world when it comes to being tough. We are still looking for alternative medicines and food supplements, and the kids ahve been very supportive.
  • There were deaths. In the family. Friends I haven’t seen for ages. Prominent personalities. Philippine Cinema. And in the news. Doing motion graphics and simulation drawings for the nightly news makes it hard for me not to be aware of  the recent shootings in Sandy Hook, and all those lost in the storms that visited us. I still don’t like guns. But consensus says we have a need for it. But when a guy shoots full auto and the target are non-combatants, it really makes it even harder to accept such ease. for want of a better word, to murder and kill.
  • I have  my own personal website now. I know I should have built one with WordPress for my portfolio, but I’m reserving this blog  for my graphic novel, so instead I put together something of a rag-tag site with Wix.com, and it looks cool!  Have to earn extra get the domain in 2013. How’s that for positivity, huh?
  • Social Networks seem to have some high points and low ones in 2012. Facebook still occupies the top spot, and Twitter is fast becoming the new venue for quick news and connectivity, and more so because mobile technology just upped the ante. And I thought laptops and netbooks are high tech, don’t look now but mobile phones and tablet are getting more memory, more connectivity and what computing power! never have I imagined that laptops could play second to mobile. And it has been the year when apps did create a stir.
  • Music. Now this is a constant.  Because music, like art, builds upon itself, and there is really no surprise that I have also began to collect all the music I have lost through the years. And found new ones! The Roxymorrons, Silent Sanctuary, Peso Movement, Slash N’ Burn,  to name a few, and I will see them live in 2013.
  • I haven’t shot anything at all in 2012. With a camera, I mean. I have long accepted tha fact that I am not a photographer, just a hack with some hits, and a whole load of misses. Still, I hope I could still purchase a proper DSLR. But the Indios, now there’s a passionate group of people who love the art to have planned and will publish a coffee table book in 2013. Just can’t participate. My photos are, in my opinion, not really worthy of printing at all. But things will get better this year.
  • The movies really made a killing at the box office.
  • TV5News made waves. And will be more formidable in 2013. Count on that.

I guess there’s so much to remember, and then there are some I need to get past and be done with. Blogs will be buzzing with their own lists,

My only wish and fervent hope is to avoid making all those mistakes, really bad ones, and be more creative.

And write more.

And play my 12-string, back from the luthier for some repairs and maintenance.

And one more thing:

I consider myself a real badass now that my 44th birthday is coming. So glad to have made it this far alive and still full of ideas and dreams.

Nowhere



Nowhere, originally uploaded by scrEaMingmANgo.

And this is me in my 40s.
Look, Ma! No clothes!