Out of the matrix

I was able to escape from my virtual world last night when I attended this year’s alumni homecoming of the UP Journalism Club. I was not really planning to go anywhere outside our village last night–not after an eleven-hour sleep the whole day–since I’m broke and I almost ran out of clean clothes to wear already. My former editor and former colleagues in the Philippine Journalism Review, Prof. Teodoro V-lyn, and Barn, however, called me to ask if I’m attending. I said I’m not going there but changed my mind after a while.

So, I went to Balay Kalinaw and joined the other alumni, who, by the way, were very much outnumbered by the members. Sir Teodoro and V-lyn had gone by the time I arrived, but Barn–the Club’s tycoon, who now helps manage his family’s businesses in Lucena and elsewhere, Kit–an honest government employee and gimikera UP law student who was awarded most outstanding alumna that night, and Myla–a good-looking and dedicated mediaperson and Kapuso of GMA-7–were still there.

Once inside his handsome car, we asked Barn to treat us in Libis or Timog. (Oh, yes, your cyberboy whose dreams come in html format sometimes goes to gimiks, too!) After a relatively long bargaining, we finally managed to have Barn agree to pay a bottle of beer for each of us.

I suggested Sharkey’s (or is it Sharky’s? Damn, I forgot its name again!) The three of us–Kit, Barn, and I, had tapa for supper while Myla, I think, started on her beer. Barn got us a six-bottle bucket, so the four of us had to share the two other bottles.

It was a fun–happy happy joy joy–fun night. Lots of kuwento and teasing and jokes–mostly corny hirits from me, and some chismis, too.

Barn said he initially wanted to wear a RL shirt that night, but decided against it as the shirt displays a big United States flag. He said he feared I might give him dagger looks when I see the shirt. “But I’m not anti-American, I’m only pro-Filipino,” I told him, but added that it’s a good thing he didn’t wear it anyway, as he might go home with “NO TO WAR OF AGRESSION” markings on his shirt.

After trying very hard–to the point that I was having chest aches already–but failing to convince Barn to sponsor another bucket, (Bakit fafa, ang kuripot mo talaga, hehehe!) we decided to go the GMA-7 office to “surprise” John Ray, my co-scholar and college friend, who’s also a close friend of Barn. Myla and John Ray are co-workers, while Kit swore she had never known John Ray when we were still in Mass Comm–which is very strange since the latter is a very, very popular guy in the college.

So, we “surprised” John Ray, and other batchmates working in GMA-7 also showed up. There was Remir–the bright Ateneo high school guy, Bee-ar, who’s also from Journ Club, and Ping–an active member of the student movement when we were still in the university.

Some more kuwento, chismis, and lokohan, as well as another set of make-the-tycoon-treat-us again, to no avail. We eventually decided to call it a night.

I’m happy to be able to break away from the Matrix from time to time, especially when the Net, for all its connectivity, remains a Web of solitude and false hopes.

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By the way, here’s my Peyups.com column this week, a senti article about my Kalayaan dorm days in UP. 🙂