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Philippine Connection - July 24, 2002 Wednesday

Having missed yesterday's workout, I compensated - full body stretch, biceps, triceps and rope skipping.

Ding Corral

I headed out to petron Gas Station to meet my former PNOC boss, Ding Corral. Except for fewer and whiter hair, he looked almost the same. We had lunch at Kamayan and talked about what has happened to the rest of the PNOC crew, the current political situation and Texas cock fighting.

University of the Philippines

I was off to see my alma matter, University of the Philippines (UP). Once again, I was in my calm and placid self as I went back through time visiting the old and familiar landmarks:

I was outside looking in - like taking myself inside a movie but not interacting with the characters. I walked to my former building, B.A. and visited 2 of the organizations I was a member in. Junior Marketing Association (JMA) is still around but the Society of Emancipated Men (S.E.M.E.N.) unfortunately is not. I saw my favorite spot when I used to just hang the ledge of the building. I had to sit and hang again...maybe for the last time. I guess I've always been TheLoneRider....just didn't know it then.

I rode the Ikot jeep and stopped by the shopping center where I had a razor buzz for P60 (CAN$2) and a barber's 30-minute massage for P150 (CAN$5). Even as a child, I've always wondered how it felt to have a barber's massage - now I know. Even though it's not as scientific as my usual hour-long massage by registered massage therapists (in Canada) as a covered extended health benefit by my employer, there's still something unique and charmingly old-fashioned about a massage, barber style.


I couldn't believe whom I bumped into. Back during my university days, I'd hang every once in a while at UP Fine Arts and chill with a few hippies. Egay, a fine painter with hip-length hair, was one of them. And there he was right in front of me and I didn't even recognize him...good thing he recognized me. After all these years, he's still the same - still a hippie. He never sold out and has prospered in the process. He now sits on the board of the "Artist's Association of the Philippines" and has been doing Europe on an on-going basis, putting his work on exhibit and spreading the good word about the Philippine art scene.


I had ample time to get rested at home before heading out to Xymaca, a restaurant/bar along Timog, playing live Reggae music. The band that evening was "Reggae Mistress" where TJ's longtime friend, Jay, is playing keyboards. Jun Lupito, the country's premiere lead guitar player and Paul Zialcita, reputed to be the best local percussionist were likewise in the band. I was with TJ and we met up there with Gold and her friend, Tina. Tina had the reputation of having perfected the "hair fling" - and with her doing it, "may karapatan". She's petite, attractive, intelligent, quick witted and (sigh!) a smoker. It was a lot of fun having her around. Beer, Tequila (make that a Tequila body shot), good live Reggae, cool vibe and great company - firing on all cylinders. I was one happy camper.

--- TheLoneRider

July 24, 2002

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