Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The old art house

It was nice being around the company of people spanning from almost a decade of living. Being dragged around, being introduced to a friend of a friend, a classmate of this and that and acquaintances of an acquaintance, while actually doing the same thing.

In this industry, it is both happy and sad to say that most of the times, the quantity and quality of people you knew matters. But in this same hypocritical system of socialization that I luckily found few people who never fail to put a happy ending on my fucked up days.

Who would have thought the days would come when old rivals become friends? When former competitions are just distant tales and old smirks would turn into a chorus of laughter?

As Jay, Eduard, Nina and I make our way inside the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, I noticed this gang of oldies talking animatedly in a mixture of Tagalog, English and Spanish. I urged my friends to sit in front of them and they willingly obliged. Turns out, most of them did cameo appearances in the film we’re about to watch.

The film tells a story of a once illustrious family and the spanning web of conflicts and secrets at its core. Celia, once the darling of Philippine opera, in her last attempt to rouse her comatose brother Gaspar and persuade her niece from selling the ancestral house, gathered all her friends from the old art house to once again sing operas and kundimans and relive their faded glorious past.

The film ended and proceeded to the usual chatters after where you go around and shake hands to congratulate different people and take pictures with some important people. There was National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, the real life soprano who played Celia, Miss Fides Cuyugan Asensio and actor Tony Mabesa. The usual mixture of Tagalog, English and few Spanish once again filled the ecstatic air. 

Not too far from them, I was still watching curiously the gang of oldies seated behind us inside the theater now engaging in exchange of banters with other groups of oldies. Others while aided by a cane still stand in a kind of strut, every wave of hands a reminder of aristocratic descent.

Soon, everyone started leaving. As we wait for our ride, my friends are still engulfed about the film and the people we came across by.

“Pag tanda natin, promise we’ll be like those gangs of oldies?” I blurted out of nowhere.

“But we don’t know how to speak Spanish! Enroll muna tayo sa Instituto Cervantes” Nina joked and everybody laughed. It was me who spoke again.

“Course not. ‘Pag tanda natin, we’ll also do meet ups. And then we’ll talk about the films and theater plays we watched, the competitions and productions we went to together, then we’ll sing once more the songs we sang in the old days. That would be nice, yes?”

“Tama! Bibirit pa rin ako ng I Will Survive kahit nasa wheelchair na ko.” It was Eduard’s time to break the ice.

“But you know DB, I think it was you who once said while we were all drunk at Coco’s house that night, you said we’ll be young forever.” Nina said.

“I said that?”

“Yeah you did!” Everybody agreed.

“I forgot.” I said, but I was lying. Truth is I remember that instance my friends are referring to.

“Tignan mo, ngayon pa lang para ka nang matanda. Memory gap! Haha.”

We can’t be young forever, I know that, though it’s always a comfort to believe that way. One day in the near future, we might be the next “gang of oldies” the youngsters will notice in a gathering like that, reliving the old days, laughing and talking about the golden moments of our prime. 

But for now, Nina is going on in a blow by blow account of her latest steamy “quicky” with their engineer in their office’s stock room, Eduard talks about watching Zombadings this coming weekend while Jay laments the fact that we don’t have free tickets for the coming all-star NBA exhibition game.

These stories, with the occasional puns and jeers and swearwords, I would still love to listen to them not only when ancient lines start appearing on my face and when standing still in a strut is only possible with the help of a cane, but I hope even when we finally left for the other side. Now that would be awesome, yes?

15 reaction(s):

Tantan Decena said...


My friends and I also talked about the idea of us being old. One of the lines, I remember "Masasabihan mo pa kaya ako ng I love you/I miss you 'pag may asawa ka na?"

Honestly, I don't want that moment to come.

^travis said...

so you watched Nino. was it any good?

Will said...

Sabi na ikaw yun e!

Nate said...

really nice post, DB.. really nice..

Leo said...

we missed Cinemalaya last weekend and we missed meeting you DB! haaaist. :(

friends for keeps! :) ang heart-warming ng kwentuhan niyo.

very nice.

Yehosue said...

I think I saw you last Saturday, and you saw me. Malakas ang pakiramdam ko ikaw iyon :) Isa ang Nino na matunog para sa best picture. Nakakatuwa ngang makita ang mga institusyon ng pelikulang Pilipino sa lugar kung saan nakakanlong ang yaman ng Kulturang sariling atin :)

Eternal Wanderer... said...

tita fides is such a riot act in a very showbiz-y kind of way.

you should watch her in oro, plata, mata - fabulousness! :D

bienvenido_lim said...

That scene, it is so bor-zhwa-zee.

the green breaker said...

I could only imagine that same fifty years later thought to be a happy place with my friends and family.

Nice post, DB. :)

Visual Velocity said...

Off-topic, hehe. Wala lang, you mentioned kasi Zombadings in your post. I'm debating with myself if it's worth watching this weekend. 11:45pm kasi yung screening time, and my house is in Fairview pa. Hanggang ngayon undecided pa rin ako, lol

Peter said...

I will be there at the NBA All-Stars' game. Hope to see you.

KikomaxXx said...

hoy ang bossing ang bata mo pa para magkamemory gap.. hehehe... still that kind of chats are nice and be remembered...

Mr. Brightside said...

It was my first time to watch Cinemalaya films. I watched Isda last Saturday and Ang Babae sa Septic Tank last Sunday. Good stuff.

Hope you enjoyed.

Nate said...

@DB: have you read ms. chuni's latest post? you should!! hahaha! :P

Mr. Brightside said...

Isda was interesting, crazy idea.. Yes! Manganak ka ba naman ng isda..haha.. I liked the message it portrayed... acceptance.

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank was hilarious and entertaining.


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