Thursday, August 11, 2011

Plus One

Although I am still in the heavens, there are some earthly matters to take care of, and so I need to somehow come down from my clouds of bliss. To start with, there are the schedules to fix. The midterms exams are coming up and I need to calendar my trip to Manila to make the most of my time there. There are the plane tickets to book, and of course, the attire for the Ceremony. Well, the attire is being taken care of, as tomorrow, my good friend will join me in scouring the city for a suitable ensemble. One more question remains unanswered: who then should be my Palanca 'plus one?'

In laymen's term, the Palanca plus one is the special guest that would accompany an awardee to the ceremonies. Each awardee is given the privilege of bringing along only one guest for the awards night. My first Palanca experience was actually as a 'plus one' of a then significant other, who won an award a year or so ahead of me. When it was my turn to win, we were no longer exactly us. In the years that I have been joining the competition, I might have promised some 'then-significant' others to have the singular distinction of joining me in one of the most splendid night in the life of a writer like me. Too bad however, that the liaisons with these 'then-significant others' did not last us long enough to see me achieve this distinction.

My first 'plus one' was very very special in another way. As loyal denizens would know, I went with my 'almost-wife-sans-the-sex-and-marriage' super girl Charmita. We had a blast then and it was a most wonderful evening. I am not complaining but at a time like this, it is but natural for a sentimental poet to feel the pangs of longing for that special 'plus one' for the night. You know what I'm saying.

This year finds me un-partnered and very much single too, so there is no automatic 'plus one' to share this big triumph with. It would be a very very tricky thing to do to be asking someone from my writer's group to join me that night. Aside from the obvious expenses involved, I do not want to be accused of having 'favorites.' Besides, its not like we can just pick anyone just like that. Every Palanca Award Winner's circle of friends would understand the gravity of being asked to be an awardee's plus one. It's as if you have been shared that distinction of the win too. So now the dilemma. Who to ask to be my plus one?


Well you see, it might be plain fantasy or day dreaming, but you know, I also merely day dreamed and fantasized about my Palanca moment, but I must have done something right and someone up there must like me a lot to make it come true. So, you see? You can never can tell says Ara Mina. So let's see the viability. Here goes:

I was thinking, ever since the moment I first saw the raw talents of this person I wanted to ask him to be my plus one. Being a disciple of the arts himself, I know he would understand the immensity of the situation and would perhaps be honored to be my plus one. More so, when I saw him in one of the movies, I was convinced he had to be my next plus one. I have to take him to the Awards Night with me, and wearing this... exactly this!

Then again, maybe he won't be admitted to the Rigodon Ballroom because of strict implementation of the dress code, and I am afraid of the rumors that he is given to a little violence. So, ahmmm... maybe not. Maybe I need someone gentler.

So I thought maybe he should be my plus one. I do not watch much TV so I didn't know him from Adam. Not until recently when I saw him in a Cinemalaya entry. Well, probably, if I was in Eugene Domingo's place and I was asked for a role in a movie with him as producer, I would in fact say the same things:

"Full frontal nudity, check!"

"Death-defying stunts, check!"

"Sex scene with actual penetration, check na check!"

Maybe even if he asks me to swim in a septic tank, I would have been convinced by his sweet smile! And maybe, I would have even said this while floating in shit: "I'm just a boy, floating in front of another boy, asking him to loourve him in return!"

Well, I know he looks the part and the clothes would not be a problem, but you know, the Barong Tagalog is kinda dated. Something more 'cultural'. Maybe, he should be my guest. Yes, him!

Fine that's a long shot I know, and my little crush with him was not even enough to make me vote for him during the last elections. Not to mention the many envious baklitas in the Awards Night that might mob me should I be seen with the guys above. Well, I need some one to defend me. Alam mo na! Baka kalmutin ako ng mga lola nyo sa Palanca. They might bitch-slap me and scratch my delicate Ilonggo skin! I need a hero! So, ok fine! That settles it! He should be my Palanca plus one!

Pramis, wala na talaga akong choice! Baka sya na lang talaga! Napipilitan na talaga ako eh. Hehehe. Hayaan nyo na akong mangarap ano ba!

My my my! Who should it be then? Help me out guys!


All Photos grabbed from Google images

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

By popular demand

The batchoy boi is ecstatic! Once again, a parcel came in August!

Oh yes, indeed! I will be at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Hotel, Manila on September 1, 2011!

Yes, dear denizens. The Board of Judges for this year's Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards have found my entry meritorious enough to win the First Prize in the Filipino Poetry for Children category!

Oh yes, and I will be getting one of those ginormous 'plate-like' medals too! It's kinda ironic how, months before, even years before this happy day, I have always dreamed and fantasized of how it would feel to receive that Palanca 'pinggan' but when the letter finally came and I now actually stand to get one for myself, I seem to not believe I actually won one! I would jokingly tell my friends that my lone certificate from the Palanca Awards 2008 for my 3rd Prize win in the Hiligaynon Short Story category is already lonely on my wall and could use some company. Now, here it is - with a pinggan at that!

Much as I could not describe the incredible feeling the first time I won the Palanca, same goes with this one. It's true what they say that each award brings a thrill of its own. Perhaps I will never ever get used to this feeling - this exhilaration! Now before I get away with myself, let me get to the point of this blogpost. When I shared the news on my Facebook account, my ever supportive friends flooded me with congratulations and well wishes. This added to the sweetness of the triumph, even more than the award itself. One recurring request is for a copy of the winning piece. The entry is a collection of 10 poems for children. I am sure that it will appear on the Palanca website shortly, and since they have publishing consent, I'm afraid there will be 'technicalities' if I jump the gun and publish them online. So, to satisfy my loyal reading public and hordes of fans (Chos lang!) I'd like to give you the title poem of the collection. I believe it has already appeared in its unedited form somewhere in this blog, so let me repost it. Here goes:


Ako ang bida.

Ako ang pinakamaganda.

Bago lagi ang damit ko at sapatos.

Sa akin ay wala nang nakakaungos.

Ako ang bida.

Ako ang laging nangunguna.

Mga gamit ko ay mamahalin.

Wala nang tatalo sa akin.

Ako ang bida.

Kinaiinggitan ng iba,

Sikat at pinaguusapan,

Sa buong paaralan.

Liban na lang pag may miting ang PTA

O di kaya ay tuwing Family Day.

Dahil si Nanay, sa ibang bansa nagtatrabaho

Hayun, si Yaya, sinasapawan ang byuti ko.

Thank you so much to all my friends, family and supporters who believed, prayed, wished and hoped with me. This victory is as much yours as it is mine! I love you guys! Oh, and yes, see you in Manila and let he coffee flow! The Batchoy boils over!