Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Seeing with fresh eyes

If not for Katrina Magallanes' prodding, I wouldn't have made time to explore my little corner of Manila, a city more popular for its pollution and crime than for its culture. I've been living in the city for more than a year now, but except for Divisoria and the Bay Area, I've never really explored it. I was a bit ashamed to tell Katrina this. After all, she knew more of my neighborhood than I did.

So I was excited for our scheduled date on November 2. With Katrina, trips become cultured, scholarly experiences—her ideas are grand and stimulating—and she has a tendency of treating me to delicious desserts.

Over lunch, I asked her where we were going.

She said she wanted to bring me to Solidaridad, a bookstore along P. Faura Street owned by the celebrated author F. Sionil Jose. It was delightfully charming. I saw rare titles, ranging from Philippine history to Nobel prize-winners. I would definitely come back to get the owner's autograph.

Kat then wanted to go sightseeing to Paco Park. Just the night before, I did a casual Google Map search, and I was dumbfounded to know that Paco Park is located very near my condominium—just a stone's throw away, literally. It was just too bad because the Park was closed—don't go there on Mondays and Tuesdays—but we managed to take beautiful pictures. We said we would definitely come back to see the free concerts.

I toured her in my place, but I didn't have the courage to actually let her in my unit: I'd be damned if she saw what a mess it was. So off we went to the rooftop, my favorite nook, a quiet place where I would read my books or have my quiet times in the late afternoon.

We went straight to Ayala Museum in Makati. Katrina has been egging me to go there for the longest time. My favorite was the Crossroads of Civilization, a vast collection of ancient gold ornaments retrieved from Surigao, Agusan, Leyte, and Camarines. The designs were intricate. I had never seen so much gold in my life.

Other than that, there were displays of the ancient jar and ceramics collection traded by Chinese and Vietnamese seafarers to our islands. We also viewed an art exhibit by a modern painter whose name I forgot—I'll have to ask Kat to fill in the details—but the details on his work were astounding.

To cap the day off, we had dinner at a techno-looking restaurant in Greenbelt where we talked about our old classmates. In Katrina's words, "They already have babies, while I haven't even had my first boyfriend." You'll find him, Kat, hopefully during law school.

Kat and I, we go a long way back. And, believe it or not, she used to be taller.

*  *  *

After that I had another dinner with old MBB friends, Wegs Pedroso and Dianne Deauna at Butter Diner, Araneta Center Complex. Wegs is adjusting and excelling in med school, while Di is having the time of her life doing research on fish.

Old photo taken when Dianne treated us with her first salary.
We traded books, like we always do, and I'm glad to say that I have four new titles to read. But first, I have to finish the books lent by Ate Liw Agbayani. I'm currently on Ann Pratchett's Bel Canto, a well-written work that makes me want to know more about opera.

(Thanks to Katrina for the photos).



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the "Gold of our Ancestors" still on exhibit at Ayala Museum? My super fave! I hope you caught that. =) Ate Milaine

Wed Nov 03, 02:55:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

Yes, I think that's the same gold collection, Ate Milaine! Super ganda nga po!

Wed Nov 03, 04:44:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Katrina Magallanes said...

Lance! I had fun fun fun! Next time ulit ha.. And btw, the artist's name is PJ Jalandoni. I love his works especially "Closer to God" and "Snobbish". Haha

Wed Nov 03, 08:18:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

Sa liwat, Kat! Oh, yes, PJ Jalandoni! Sayang wala ta ka-take pictures sa sulod.

Thu Nov 04, 09:01:00 AM GMT+8  

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