Wednesday, October 21, 2009

postcards from my fraggle rock




As a typical child of the 70’s and 80’s, I consider Jim Henson to be one of the most important figures of my childhood. We are a generation that grew up watching the Holy Trinity of Henson TV: Sesame Street, Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock.

Sesame Street introduced the beauty of stop motion animation to me. Muppet Show showed me the allure of being behind the scenes. Fraggle Rock bred an awareness and fascination for the existence of perspectives different from mine.

My favorite character is Red, she’s a very cool chick, but Uncle Traveling Matt *click here for his blog* turns out to have the deepest impact on me. He traveled the outer space and sent postcards to the store outside Fraggle Rock. An adventurer. Imagine that.

I started collecting postcards sometime in the mid-90’s. This was a direct tribute to Uncle Traveling Matt, and just traveling in general.

With postcards, I don’t mean e-cards. I mean physical ones.

I have a whole stack of them. I love receiving a postcard and reading the usual short little anecdote written on them. It’s like a photograph or video of the sender, and where the sender was, what the sender saw…only more intimate.

I love the lack of self-consciousness a relaxing holiday brings. All of these elements come together preserved and beautiful in its author’s hurry, written (by hand!) by a blessed soul whose senses have just been enriched by new experiences.

Two of my recent favorites are: the one from Nelz you see above, and one of Dennis’(an old flatmate) from Mallorca.

They both ran around Europe a couple of months back, and from many of their destinations, they mailed a postcard for me. I could trace their routes ona map if I so please from the dates on their postcards. It’s like being in a movie…*musical scoring goes here*

That rocks.

All together now: Eyelavettootheworld!

Monday, October 5, 2009

typhoon weekend



On the last Saturday of last month, oblivious to Ondoy, we followed Audrey’s schedule for her next round of shots. We made our monthly trip to Asian Hospital in Alabang that morning @ 10.

When we got to Magallanes, Jerome and I looked at each other, shrugged, and continued driving into Slex. We took a chance and gambled, braving the “crazy monsoon rain” pelting against Bertha, the old station wagon.

Turns out it was a good decision. Magallanes was one of the places submerged in man-height-deep water. We would’ve been trapped there, had we decided to turn back…flashflood and all.

Bertha is an automatic Volvo, courageously negotiating through a significant amount of thigh high water along SLEX.

Our hearts froze when the car stalled in a pool of knee deep muddy water about 20 meters from the toll gate entering Alabang. We had Audrey with the Yayas at the back, and the rain was remorseless. With a stubborn repetitive “Nonononononoo…” from me, Jerome was able to make faithful Bertha start again.

We knew there was no question of us driving back to Mandaluyong. Fuggedabuddit…We checked into the Condotel beside Asian Hospital. We called our families, made sure everyone’s fine and secure, as we tucked in for the night.

That night, we watched in horror at the devastation Ondoy wreaked.

Some of my coworkers lost pets, cars, another lost parts of his home. But many, remembered the most important thing: those are just things, and gave thanks for their and their family’s safety.

Out of the destruction made by Ondoy, rose heroes. The quick, resolute way many people extended help gives us hope. The Filipino is still innately kind and compassionate. NGO’s and Volunteers quickly got organized.

Nobody pays the government agencies any mind. Everyone just dismisses them as a bunch of…people from the government. Not as effective. Sad, really.

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