The original “ballugers”

I once read a quote saying that real relationships are strengthened by time and distance and other factors, the same way the wind blows out candles yet scatters forest fires. I guess I can say my friendship with these five has passed the tests. In fact, for the first time this year, all six of us were present for a spontaneous dinner when other meticulously planned meet ups in the past 10 months have not materialized.

It’s not that they’re my only high school friends left. In fact, I am still in touch with 1/3 of our class and am confident that majority have not completely shut off their lives from me. But these five give justice to Rico Blanco’s belief, “kung ayaw may dahilan kung gusto palaging merong paraan“. We live on opposite ends, from Malate to Fairview (Nicks even lived in Canada for a year!) but we somehow manage to be together.

A few days ago, we had dinner at Max’s. It costed us more than we could but we don’t see each other much these days anyway so better celebrate with nice food. Bicol Express was interesting since the gataΒ (coconut milk) was just put on top of fried meat. Chicken was, as always, familiar hence comforting. After all, Max’s was “The house that fried chicken built”. I am in no position to judge the Pinakbet since I only ate squash. Their Boneless Bangus, I always love.

Also, we played the game where everyone stacks their phones on the table and the first person to pick up his before the bill arrives pays for dinner. We have planned for this game ever since we realized we were interacting with our gadgets more and conversing less. It was a piece of cake for me since I didn’t really have any special someone to send messages to but everybody doing it made the difference.

This activity should be big because (1) it’s a sign of respect and (2) no form of electronic communication beats face to face interaction (at least for me). Why long for someone/something who/that isn’t there when there’s actual, awesome people in front of you?

Before and after. We made sure we had our money’s worth.

In front of SM San Lazaro were these things I supposed were giant shopping bags. Unfortunately, there were only four of them so Nicky and I are out of the picture (literally).

We slept over at Cza’s place. Jov, who just saw the Phantom of the Opera at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, infected us with his post-Phantom syndrome so we watched the film up to the wee hours of the morning. I haven’t seen the film prior and I have yet to thank Jov for forcing us to watch.

The film is based on a musical that is in turn, based on a French novel. I already know the premise of the story since Jayson have talked about it a lot in high school. The Phantom is a physically challenged genius architect, illusionist and composer who lived in the depths of the opera house away from public view. He fell in love with Christine who of course didn’t reciprocate because her heart belonged to a returning childhood sweetheart named Raoul. The songs gave me goosebumps and I have yet to recover from LSS on “Think of me” and “All I ask of you”. The movie was long especially with our diminishing attention span but the extravagant production design made up for it.

Of course, my sympathy went to the Phantom. I always root for the guy-who-doesn’t-get-the-girl. And I really couldn’t blame him in his violent ways since it was the only path he knew. What do you expect after being tortured, shown to people branded as the devil’s child and living alone in the deepest recesses of a building?

Annnndddddddd I was “mindblown” when I found out Gerard Butler played the Phantom! Gerard Butler, the fearless and muscular King Leonidas of 300, the long term strategist and avenger of Law Abiding Citizen, the Jennifer Aniston-ex husband bounty hunter in, well, The Bounty Hunter, The relationship guru Mike Chadway of The Ugly Truth and more recently, the Shakespeare-speaking Volcian army commander Aufidius in Coriolanus! Ahhhh! It was the first time that I saw Butler clean shaven. If Jov had not told me, I wouldn’t have believed it (though at one point in the film I recognized his voice). He is not the best but someone so versatile deserves respect.

The next day the usual thing happened. Everyone promised they’d go home early but we still found ourselves lounging at Cza’s pad at 11 AM. Before heading home, we decided to grab lunch at some Carinderia I forgot the name of. Ah, home-cooked meals on a Sunday morning with friends.

Because it was too late for breakfast yet too early for lunch, the place was deserted. Plastic monoblock chairs, windows with half-curtains, ceiling fans, the vinegar-tissue-soysauce combo on the center of the tables. Just your typical carinderia!

(Clockwise from left) Menudo. Eggplant with egg. Something fish (sinugbang tilapia?, I forgot). Beef steak. Kare-kare. Plus 2 liters of ice cold Coca-cola.

Yay! I missed you ballugers! ‘Til we meet again. Hopefully, other friends would be able to join.


6 thoughts on “The original “ballugers”

  1. Favorite ko yung bangus! And eat your vegetables, young lady! :p

    Gerard Butler as the phantom is the sexxxxxx. Hanggang next week na lang sa CCP and wala akong pera to watch kahit yung pinakamura. /bitter

    1. fave ko rin bangus nila. and yes, I am weaning on vegetables. hehe. :]

      ako rin eh, simula nung napanuod ko movie gusto ko na makita yung play, sabi ni jov maganda raw production. pero wala rin akong pera. 😐 In time Gi, maafford din natin yan. haha.

    1. tas sabi nung friend ko yung 2k di mo na madistinguish facial expressions nila sa layo. hehe. anyway, in time makakapunta rin tayo ng new york :]

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