Skip to main content

Dream: A television studio tour

I dreamt that my mother, my eight-year-old niece Keona and I had stumbled upon an ABS-CBN tour. It was free, it would take only 30 minutes, and there was a man giving away large packs of butter coconut cookies. I accepted a pack, looked at the ingredients and said it wasn't vegan. But I took the pack with me anyway.

As we walked to the start of the line, the guides started calling out to all the tour participants: "Come on, run!" And so we ran, from one dark studio to another, through one dark hallway to another, seeing nothing of interest.

"No wonder this is free," I thought to myself. "This is the suckiest tour ever." The tour guides, all long-time ABS-CBN employees currently not working on shows, were tasked to handle tours by management as an effort to bring the station closer to the public.

Then they put us on a bus driven by a cameraman. He said we were going to the ABS-CBN village behind the compound. The station had built a village for shoot locations and also for temporary residences for all station employees and talents when they were working on projects.

As we drove around the village, which actually just had two streets, we passed by a TV reporter interviewing Boboy Garovillo and Ian Veneracion on the sidewalk. We also caught a glimpse of another actor, one whose name I could never recall, closing a house gate. He didn't look happy to be there, and I wondered if the celebrity sightings were staged for our tour.

Then we passed a Balinese-inspired house that had a sign that said, "Chat's Resort." It had a big yard and a pool. "I have been here before," I said to no one in particular. The memory was hazy, but I just knew it wasn't my first time in the place.

Then I remembered: Once upon a time, I worked for ABS-CBN and our team wanted to hold a "team-building activity." We went to Chat's Resort. We arrived so early that I had to buy coffee from the nearby café. I was even dressed for an outing -- neon sundress, beach shorts, flip-flops -- and I was convinced that Chat's Resort was in Batangas.

We parked in front of the café beside Chat's Resort. The driver told us we were going to walk around the village and instructed us to wait at the café for our guide for this leg of the tour.

The café, more like a canteen actually, was self-service, being run by another off-duty tech guy. One of the tour participants ordered two full meals for himself. As someone took his order, the tech guy chatted with me about the tour.

"Too bad Lucky and Bea just left," he said, "Bad timing. But Popoy is still around, and I think you will be interviewing Popoy."

Popoy who? I wanted to ask. Of course I had an idea, but I didn't want to break the spell! But --

The tour participant paid for his order and the cashier didn't have enough change. Instead, he offered the guy free hopia. The guy helped himself to seven pieces, but they could no longer fit his plate. So he handed me one.

I was biting into the hopia and thinking of what question to ask John Lloyd Cruz -- "Did you ever dream of being in a festival like Berlinale?" -- when I woke up.

Popular posts from this blog

The work for which all other work is but preparation

I've been thinking, off and on, of something I once read: The purpose of marriage is not happiness but holiness. Never having been a "good" Christian despite my many attempts, I couldn't understand this line of thinking. Having been raised Catholic, I understood "holiness" to have as one of its main ingredients suffering — and why even want to get married if to be successful at it means to suffer? But these words never left me, bobbing up every now and then from the flotsam and jetsam of my brain. Until, one day, it dawned on me what the statement meant for me. On that same day, I also realized that I do want the gift of marriage. In fact, that is my Christmas wish this year.  My view is not a biblical view, but I don't think it strays too far from it. To be holy is to be set apart from others, as God is, in his perfect goodness and righteousness, in his perfect love (yes, this is biblical; yes, I know I said I wasn't looking at it biblically).  The

Visita Iglesia

My mom and I went with my sister, her family, and the in-laws to their Visita Iglesia for the Holy Week. I'd never done this before, but I had such an interesting time, and I think I'd like to do this again next year. We didn't do the Stations of the Cross, though. We just prayed and lit candles. A lot of candles. Here's a list of the churches we visited. Recto The University Belt churches, all of which are within walking distance to each other. The path to all those churches were lined with vendors hawking all sorts of things, from food, like calamares (I'd never seen calamares being sold as street food before! Lucky U-Belt kids!), all-sorts-of-balls-and-the-like (chicken, squid, fish, kikiam , and kwek-kwek ), to bottled water and flavored beverages, to candles and religious paraphernalia. 1. The San Beda Church , which I loved for the gilt of gold on the statues and the ceiling, and because once a Bedan, always a Bedan, though I didn't go to San Beda

Dream: Disaster

Last night's dream. This is a long one. I was in a management class that suddenly became a cooking class. The teacher whipped up this Italian dish with pasta, meat and some mushrooms and vegetables. "Would anyone like to have this?" she asked us. Nobody replied. A bit miffed, she handed it to the student in front of her: me. The dish looked delicious, actually, so I stood up and went around the classroom to get everyone to try it. Some of my classmates feigned interest, and some didn't bother to hide their annoyance, but most got some of the food. The plate was soon empty, even for me, so I went back to my seat. The teacher, who'd been watching me serve her dish, asked, "Why do you have blood on the seat of your pants? Do you have your period?" Surprised, and suddenly anxious, I whispered, "I just finished my, um, girly thing, ma'am, but I'll go check. I might have just sat on something that looks like blood." I saw what looked like blo