Rainy days and Mondays…always get me down.

Well, today IS a rainy Monday. And I’m not feeling too good…feverish, got a sore throat, cough, and a throbbing headache. I was not able to go and do my practicum today for grad school…which is a real pain.

However, a movie shown this morning on HBO helped me beat the doldrums. It was one of my favorites–the 2005 film adaptation of the musical, “The Producers.” Even if I watched it several times, I still laugh at the comical quips that come one after the other. I just love it. Thank you, Mel Brooks. He was, as one of the lines in the film go, “having a stroke…” “What?!” “Of GENIUS!”

Here are just some of the many hysterical lines in the film that made me forget my blues for awhile:

Max Bialystock (in prison):

I’m drowning here! I’m going down for the last time! I… I… I see my whole life flashing before my eyes! I see a weathered old farmhouse… With a white picket fence… I’m running through fields of alfalfa with my collie, Rex. No Rex, not on the alfalfa. And I see my mother… I see Mama, standing on the back porch… And I hear her calling out to me…”Alvin, don’t forget your chores! The wood needs a-cuttin’ and the cows need a-milkin’! Alviiiiin! Aaaaalviiiiiiiiiiiin!”… Wait a minute. My name’s not Alvin. That’s not my life. Someone else’s life is flashing before my eyes. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ABOUT? I’m not a hillbilly, I grew up in the Bronx!”

Leo Bloom (talking to Max):

I’M HYSTERICAL! I’M HYSTERICAL! (Bialystock splashes him with a glass of water) … I’M WET! I’M WET! I’M WET AND I’M HYSTERICAL! (Bialystock then slaps him) …I’M IN PAIN! I’M IN PAIN AND I’M WET AND I’M HYSTERICAL!”

Franz Liebkind (angry at the actors portraying Hitler):

The Führer vasn’t a mousy little mama’s boy! The Führer vas BUTCH!”

Carmen Ghia (answering the door):

Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss…. (Max tries to say: I–) Sssssssssssssssssssss?”

Franz Liebkind (being arrested):

I vas never a member of the Nazi Party! I only followed orders. I had nothing to do vith the var! I didn’t even know there vas a var. Ve lived at the back, near Svitzerland. All ve heard vas yodelling… yoodle le he hoo! Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo, Yodelay, Yodelay, Yodelay-WHO ARE YOU!?!”

Ulla:

Secretary-slash-receptionist? Okie-slash-dokie!”

Franz Liebkind:

AQAP! [pause] As quick (kvick) as possible!”

Carmen Ghia (on the phone):

Hello, the living room of renowned theatrical director Roger Debris, elegant of the eastside townhouse on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in June. Who may I say is calling? [Got angry] Listen, you broken down old queen, he was drunk, he was hot, you got lucky, don’t ever call here again! [Roger in other room: Who was that!?]
Wrong number!”

Ulla:

Ulla wake up at five A.M. every day. From five to seven, Ulla like to exercise. From seven to eight, Ulla like to take long shower. From eight to nine, Ulla like to have big Swedish breakfast. Many different herrings. From nine to eleven, Ulla like to practice her singing and her dancing. And at eleven, Ulla like to have sex. … What time should I get here? [Max and Leo: “Eleven”]”

Max:

Shut up! I’m having a rhetorical conversation!”

If you haven’t seen the movie-slash-musical, go and get one…AQAP!

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We stayed in Gumasa for a week (continuation from last post). Aside from a few people staying in the other resorts and some locals passing by, we had the beach all to ourselves most of the time.

What am I supposed to be? A sarimanok? Donning a colorful costume mask for Halloween.

WBC Lightweight Champion and Gensan’s favorite son, Manny Pacquiao, his family and entourage plus the mayor of Gumasa stayed for two days and one night as well. We celebrated Halloween Night parading in costumes around the beach. During daytime, we as usual whiled the time away by taking pictures, playing frisbee, nature strolling, eating and kulitan, building sandcastles, napping, and swimming.

Meron pa doon o! That’s not fish they’re catching…The Doc and son cleaning up the leaves and husks along the seashore.

Food was one of the perks from this trip. The fragrant local rice, asparagus from Bukidnon, and fresh Gensan tuna were superb! Plus fisherfolk plying their wares on the shore–freshly caught seafood from Sarangani Bay–was something we anticipated each day.

Puede pong magpapiktyur? Of course, your trip to Gensan is not complete without sighting a celebrity: Mrs. Jinky Pacquiao. Her famous hubby (surrounded by many bodyguards) was out fishing in the bay. Sayang!

On the downside…since it was a non-commercialized beach with a few amenities, the locals do whatever they can to clean up the organic wastes (e.g. leaves, coconut husks) that tend to pile up along the seashores. You’ll do fine if you don’t mind all that.

La curacha! I especially enjoyed the curacha or red frog crabs which I then learned were neither alimango nor alimasag. They cooked these with squash and creamy coc0nut milk.

Moreover, there was no signal for our cellphones during the time that we were there. We had to drive to the city in order to get a signal. There was no cable link as well…the only TV network available was GMA (being a Kapuso, I didn’t mind). But that’s expected for trips like these. You’re on vacation, that’s the point! If you’re the urban type who cannot live without checking his emails, receiving SMS messages, or throws a fit if you miss an episode of Grey’s Anatomy or Lost–then don’t plan on staying here for a long time (or don’t bother going at all but sayang–you’ll be missing out, sige ka!). The only trouble we encountered was that we didn’t receive an important SMS message from Cebu Pacific, informing us that our flight for home was changed. Oh, well…

Kainan naaa! Dining alfresco (left photo) by the beach before leaving for Manila. Grabeeh! This is the LIFE!!!

Lechon de leche and lumpiang shanghai (top right) being served for Christian’s birthday and The Doc’s family reunion. Kudos to the brave Rox who climbed on a chair and hung on for his dear life just to get this bird’s eye-view shot.

If you plan to visit Gumasa, bring with you lots of music in your Ipod, frisbee, beach volleyball, sand-castle building tools (a spoon and a cup will do!) and a kite (please leave the PSP behind–get some sun and work on those lethargic muscles instead), several really good books, a laptop (if you want to write your novel, songs or poetry), art supplies (if you’re into seascapes), sunblock and Off lotions…and cameras!

And oh, by the way, the sunsets at Gumasa Beach (below right) are not to be missed. When I was there, the setting of the sun was one of the things I looked forward to each day. That’s me in the header shot for this blog, enjoying the spectacular fiery Gumasa horizon at dusk.

There are other Gumasa lovers that attest to the beach’s many splendors. They compared Gumasa to Boracay–saying this was just like Boracay decades ago without the onslaught of commercialism or Gumasa is the Boracay of Mindanao. You can check out Androtan’s, Anafilibini’s and Danny’s testimonials. They can give you the contact numbers of the Gumasa resorts as well as directions on how to get there.

Go ahead…Gumasa awaits you!

Postscript:

Thanks to Rox, Pchie and Paula for some of the shots posted here. My gratitude also goes out to Doc’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. A, and relatives for their warmth and hospitality. Maraming salamat po! This is also in loving memory of Manang Senia (Doc and Rox’s childhood nanny at left) who shared some of her last happy days with all of us together during this trip…we miss you, Manang!

One year older again…oh, dear!

Can’t groan about that. It happens and so better live with it. And how can I possibly get upset when good friends at work “secretly” gave me a wonderful birthday surprise last June 13? Hey, I could hear you a mile away whispering about it behind my back, guys…hehe.

My birthday treat: squid pancit, yummy barbeque (courtesy of donna) marinated overnight in Mama Sita’s BBQ marinade sauce (ssshhh! that’s our secret ingredient!), my favorite elbow macaroni soup, ever-present country-style iced tea plus birthday cupcakes with pink candles.

The A Girls serving up the simple feast…

We love to eat pero ano ‘to? Busog na?…kain pa!

I’ve been working with the A Girls for a number of years. Some new, some old. Some have gone, others have stayed. But one thing that sets us apart from others are our camaraderie and support that know no bounds especially in these times. I’m proud to be a part of them… “A GIRL” FOREVER!!!

The A Girls also gave me a funny Warholesque shirt with the many faces of the late Rene Requiestas in front. Thanks!!! Whenever i look at it, I could actually hear Rene’s voice, saying, “Cheeta-eh! Ganda Lalake! Heeheehee…

They know I love wearing shirts and that I grew up as a child of the 80’s. Hmm, I would also prefer having a t-shirt showing beloved comedian Chiquito in front. I miss him…I wonder where i could get one? I googled him up today and none of the sites carry even a picture of him…WHY? I mean, c’mon…someone put up a site for Weng Weng, for crying out loud! Why not Chiquito?

Oh, well. Maybe those could be my next birthday wishes for next year…a Chiquito t-shirt plus due recognition for a late great Filipino comic.

Here’s to another great year for me, i hope! Cheers! Heeheeeheee!!