Go Go Go


It's taken a while but I am devastated that Elizabeth Taylor has passed away.

Celebitchy has a piece about how Elizabeth Taylor decided to show up late to her funeral. I was devastated by her death, not because of the death itself but because the world really has lost an icon.

I will never forget the first time I saw an Elizabeth Taylor film. I was 10 years old, and the old Cartoon Network here would convert to TNT at night. They would show old movies, grand ones that I never got to watch anywhere else at the time. God, I got my first dose of Audrey Hepburn there. If I remember right, it was Roman Holiday. That movie! Because of TNT, I rented Breakfast at Tiffany's from Video One and soon followed it with My Fair Lady. 

I thank God for TNT. As Nora Roberts says, it's simply different when people kiss in black and white. I'm spoiled that way. There's also something to be said for the beauty of the Silver Screen actors. I remember watching Streetcar at 14, not really understanding what was going on until I was much older. But GOD, that movie. And Marlon Brando! 

Of all the old time actresses, it was Elizabeth Taylor that captivated me in Cleopatra. Forget Audrey and the waif look. I went for this amazingly lush, purple eyed goddess. 

The movie was immense. It was horrifying. It was dreadful. It was fantastic. And don't you just love the way people talk in black and white? Who cares that critics bashed it? I LOVED this movie. I remember practicing how she enunciated her words. Ever notice how people enunciate in old movies? Nobody does it like they do anymore. 

Too bad I don't  have a copy of A Place in the Sun. I think I'll go collect her DVDs and have myself a movie marathon. With champagne.

So, Liz, I raise a toast to you. I hope you are with Richard, reunited and happy. I think you loved him the best, and the most. So I end this mini-tribute with a quote from him:

"She was unquestionably gorgeous. I can think of no other word to describe a combination of plentitude, frugality, abundance, tightness. She was lavish. She was a dark unyielding largesse. She was, in short, too bloody much."


This Year

  • I will finally learn to drive. I hate driving, but I will finally learn. To prove it, I got my student's license today.
  • I will learn how to bake bread, not the rocks that come out of the oven that are hard enough to bean people with.
  • I will inflate the tires of my bike and take it out for a spin. Never mind that the last time I did it I almost got hit by a cab.
  • I will learn how to cook something other than the 1,342 versions of pasta I usually cook.
  • I will enroll by June to get my Master's Degree in __________. I haven't decided yet.
  • I will finish the script for the comic Kitt and I are supposed to be doing. 
  • I will write more. I am writing more, but I will write more for me. 
  • I will finish the scrapbook I've been doing for a year now.
  • I will travel to somewhere besides Boracay, Sagada, La Union and Manila. Singapore, Vietnam or Thailand are on the list. (This is also good till next year.)
  • I will buy less shoes so I can save up to travel more. The pain...
  • I will try to be an adult, but it isn't that appealing, honestly.
  • I will write letters, not emails.
  • I will cross something off this list by the end of this month.
What about you guys? What are you planning to do this year?


Sagada: Taking in the Mountains

I must confess that I'm more of a beach girl. It has something to do with the fact that I live in a mountain town. I'd rather lie down by the beach and drink beer until I drown or until my arm falls off.

Sagada is a different story. The first time I went there I'd come straight from work, and slept through the freezing temps.The second time I hiked for four hours on a bum leg to a giant waterfall and swam my ass off. Imagine dunking your head into a vat of ice water. Delicious! As they say, the third time's the charm. This time we brought a guitar and drank Heineken by the bonfire, battling the wind and the cold with nothing more than determination and thick jackets.

Sagada is a 6 to 8 hour drive from my hometown of Baguio City. From the capital, it can take as long as 15 hours. Rest assured, the trip is worth it. You can take a bus or rent a van. The views along the way are spectacular. You almost forget you are in the Philippines. Or you realize how beautiful this country is, really. 

Town Proper
Once you enter Sagada, you are treated to the sight of a beautiful mountain town.  Don't expect a backwards barrio. It's homey, a little urban but surrounded by nature. A lot of foreigners have settled here over the years, drawn in by the panoramic mountain views, cool weather and laid back atmosphere. If you love to hike, bike and trip, there are different trails to take for different levels of fitness. I'm not the fittest person in the world, but it's nice to stretch your legs. I'm afraid of falling off the trails really, because it just gets to pretty you end up stunned.


Sagada, like most of the surrounding provinces, is famous for the terraces. This farming technique was perfected by the Cordillerians eons ago. It involves laboriously carving out steppes on mountainsides and a complicated irrigation system that allows them to grow all sorts of crops year round. It's best to visit Sagada during the early summer months, from February onwards because the terraces are at their most beautiful. All that green boggles the mind.

sometimes it just gets so pretty. Drive up from Sagada and you will find yourself Banawe, where the most famous rice terraces are.

If you ever find yourself in the Sagada area, don't forget to try out the yogurt. Take home a bag of their delicious coffee too. 

The Small Falls

These kids had the right idea for a hot morning

Next time I'm going traipsing in the caves--I'm prepared for the bat guano and prepared to battle my claustrophobia. 



Walking Our Streets

The neon makes your mouth look sweet. Raspberry-flavored. I like those nights when we stop by liquor stores to browse the aisles touching bottles as if they were long lost lovers. Light beer, grand marnier, tequila, chocolate liquer, amaretto, exotic names for the exotic places they bring us to.

We end up with gin and saltines, instant noodles and you stuff peanut butter into the bag while I buy cigarettes. I'm allergic, I say, with a vision in my head of a peanut butter mouth killing me with a kiss.

You replace it with liver pate.

Walking into the cool night with our hoods pulled up over our heads, we resemble monks of a certain order with bottles tinkling like tiny bells. They sound like wind chimes moving in light wind. I think of how they're supposed to chase ghosts away.

Smoke trails back after us like comet tails. We like to laugh while we walk so sometimes the tails puff out--they look surprised.

We all walk the same: slightly bent at the hip, hand in back pocket, smoking carelessly. Mitch's riot hair down his back, curls shiny in the street light. You smile sweetly at me, but put the Marlboro in your mouth and hold the liquor bags instead of my hand. Anna walks a little ahead, her head tilted up, her mouth a slash in the shadows.

We walk into the darker streets as the town falls into sleep. Dogs howl and Mitch howls right back, the sound oddly wolf-like. You shake the liquor bags and the wind chimes grow louder. Leave us evil spirits! Mitch screams.

The laughter makes the dogs bark even louder.

We sit in the grotto off the street. We had to climb over a couple of fences, Mitch gently lifting the bags for one of us to grab.

When we notice the statue of the Virgin Mary, her gaze turns malevolent. Anna bows and places a cup by the statue's feet. The nails on her mother of god feet are chipped and some joker has painted them with pink nail polish. Fuck that. You say.

We drink to the spirits and then for old friends.

We drink for each other and then for our dead.