Melting in the dark

It's been raining hard lately, which isn't a surprise, considering it's August. Well, thankfully it isn't a surprise, considering it's August, and we've had unusually hot weather lately, and we really should be talking about this in terms of a heat wave, but the window's passed now, hasn't it?

However, you don't really know from the flat if it's raining or not. I don't know if it's the direction of the wind, or if it's the design of the building, but you don't see droplets of rain on the window glass. You can look outside and it'll just be gloomy, not knowing that it's on the verge of torrential outside.

But it's a huge window, and it's been raining hard lately, and lately, finally, you know if you should worry. For now - I say "for now" because there's construction beside the flat and this view will be obstructed in a couple of years or less - I can see as far out as Antipolo. I can see the side of Pasig I've only been in once, and I can see the queue of people lining up to see Raffy Tulfo. When one of those things disappear, you know it's raining hard. When all of those things disappear, you're stuck where you are, held hostage by what Shalla calls "the Mist".

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Lychee juice

I've never forgotten this exchange I had, perhaps fourteen years ago, with a classmate from college.

"You drink alcohol?" she asked.

"Oo!" I answered.

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Forty forever

Perhaps the problem lies in the thinking that being complimentary of something means being complimentary of everything about it. So, no, this isn't a puff piece. This isn't an analytical piece, even - I am too lazy for that now. I'm likely to ramble, even.

And yes, it's worth also noting that not everybody likes this show; that some people think this show is the problem with Philippine television; that it harbors some old-fashioned thinking, if not an old-fashioned sense of entertainment; that it exploits poverty for entertainment; that it launched the political careers of people who probably shouldn't have launched political careers. Some most likely just don't like it to the point of disgust.

Still, you have to give credit to Eat Bulaga! for lasting forty years - the closest thing Philippine television has to an icon, if only for sheer longevity. Like perhaps tens of millions of Filipinos, I don't know of a life without Eat Bulaga! It's always been there, at lunch time, on the television, six days a week, so much so that I may have taken it for granted. It's been around for so long it transcends the television network it's on (although, again, it's been on three - the rare example of an independent production on our airwaves). It's been around for so long I was shocked to realize that its three main hosts are close to their seventies.

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Brand values

Two nights ago I was daydreaming about what I would do if I won the lottery. Not necessarily those blockbuster jackpots; even the tens of millions of pesos ones will do. Maybe I can finally get the things I need for the flat, like a fridge.

Just hours later, Rodrigo Duterte would unilaterally ban the lottery, and all of the other gambling operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, citing massive corruption in the agency.

It certainly was swift. Yesterday I saw photos of police closing down lotto outlets. That seemed a bit drastic; you'd assume those kiosks who did nothing but the lotto - and I'm sure that's every kiosk - would close it down themselves, because, well, what else can they do? They may try to sell tickets but the system will be offline. Then again, drastic is the brand the president rides on. Decisive is the brand the president rides on.

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The window

"I'm here if you want to talk" is something I've heard a bunch of times before.

More often that not, though, it feels like I can't. It feels like, when I do, nobody will make the time for me. Well, perhaps they would, but half-heartedly. Oh, here he is again, whining about his problems. And I get that. Nobody wants to hear about other people's problems, not if you have your own to think about, and especially not if you have none to think about. You'll try your best to appease him and then, maybe after five minutes, you'll just leave the conversation, and hope he assumes you're busy, and understand.

Yeah, I do. That's why I write these things. The consequence is, I still look like a guy who just whines about his problems rather than get to work on them. But then, what really is my problem? I'm awake at half past one in the morning, uncomfortable, and in this quiet I realize that I feel alone. But you're in a relationship. And it's not a loveless one, no. But even if people insist you are loved, you will feel alone. It's not something I can explain. It's not something I think of all the time. But it's half past one, and I am awake when I shouldn't be, and I feel alone.

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