Thanks to the rehabilitation of the Alabang viaduct, I waited for an extra hour before we finally began our location survey. Yas knew her way - she was driving out of love for my thesis partners - but got lost after seeing scaffolding on what used to be a proud bit of infrastructure. The exits got rearranged, a fact that I very much knew. What else can I do?
I did get my childhood abilities to good use. Everybody in my family knows of that weird ability of mine - the ability to find my way around places I barely know. Get me a window seat, and I'll look out reading all the signs, and use them to everybody's advantage in the future. Since we decided to shoot in Cavite instead of somewhere up north, which would've jacked up our budget twice over, I acted as the navigator for considerably half of the journey, until we eventually asked a gasoline station attendant. I've never been to Indang, although later we'd realize Jason has.
He does have relatives there; his cousin Jeric eventually guided us to possible locations, until we quickly found one in an abandoned house along a rocky road. How we got to him, though, was a struggle - we did go around in circles. We asked five times, got a running joke set up, and probably wasted more of Yas' brake fluid. One time I was right, but nobody believed me, thinking we're going through a school; we'd only realize the truth when we went from the other side on a convoy. After the shapes we've formed, though, we went to business.
We settled for the abandoned house after deciding to add to our budget some construction materials and a calamansi tree. It is fairly spacious, and feels very rural, to the point that it reminded Yas of life back in India. The entire road trip, if we'd dare call it as such, left me without any sustenance for nine straight hours, except for a bottle of water, some tamarind candy that looks more like chicken feed, and air ingested after laughing over that other running joke about Cuyeg being the flirtiest flirt. I decided to have lunch - err, dinner - err, a meal with them at the Hap Chan branch at Harrison Plaza, which brought me further from home, only to find out that it was closed. The last option was the Mall of Asia, and we went back to tirades.
In a span of twenty minutes, we finished four viands and two bowls of fried rice. It's as fast as Cuyeg driving around 110 kilometers per hour along Coastal Road.
Yes, time did fly fast, except for the time when we got stuck in the traffic at Aguinaldo Highway, and I regretted leading them there. Nine hours of traveling with no destination in mind was pretty exhilarating, considering I'm a newbie in the field, and acted as the local, even. I just ended up discussing thesis proposals with Yas - why her budget is half as much as ours, for example - and the usual Cuyeg tirade, or the gem of every tirade, one about Burton. But nothing got that fact drilled down than the discussion everybody had on the location itself.
If plans push through, we're going to (finally) cast our main characters on Friday. At the start of February we'll start buying construction materials, and two weeks later we expect to actually start shooting. Cuyeg, being more conversant with what actually goes on during feature shoots, was the one telling Jason about what Sir Mariano told us during our first consultation for the production stage - the need for a test shoot, for time management, for getting a month for production and another for what happens after. It only hit me that we might finish on time, and - get ready - graduate on time.
Yesterday I got my photo package from Green and White. It's not as much as the others - they can afford the casual wallet shots - but it's pretty much a sign from heaven, that things are going to drastically change really soon. I haven't really started looking for a future, but I might as well should, although already college is being a crybaby with its requirements.
Sir Mariano's email, first thing into this term, is a very spooky reminder. "The world is waiting for you," he said. "Finish your project this term!"