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'RANCHO' DIARIES

220 lbs ago..

I attended this wedding in Makati, not quite actually, our now-defunct choir was invited to be 'slaves' for a day. The task: to sing for a wedding mass.

As we were singing the song where the whole entourage enters, my eyes were fixed on one of the grooomsmen. It was Alfred Vargas. Yes, that yummy and tasty Alfred Vargas, whom at that time, was a very skinny boy from Ateneo de Manila.


Actually, hindi naman talaga ako nakatingin sa kanya at first. He caught my attention because he was looking at us, at yung eye-to-eye contact with matching mighty bond ang tipo eh, ayun..naganap na lang siya. Makalaglag-panty ang eksena.

150 lbs later..

Eto ako, after an eye examination, I decided to visit the best bookstore in town:

BOUND BOOKS
located at 105-A Castor Street corner T. Morato Ave., Quezon City

Yes mga dear, 150 pounds na ako ngayon.

Mabalik tayo sa talagang kwento ko.

I was browsing thru the internet upstairs when my friend Ayi called me.

"Hoy, bumaba ka, may 'RANCHO'"

Sige, go! Attack naman ako pababa. Medyo naistorbo pa nga ang pag-b-boy watching ko sa Friendster at Connexion.. (Hmmm..)

Bumaba ako and ZOOM!

Biglang bumalik ang nakaraan. Hindi naman nostalgic. Sabi ko nga sa sarili ko eh: "Powtang itu, may nostalgia pang nalalaman!" Hehehe, ayun.

Tumambad sa aking sight ang isang lalaking malaki ang katawan, may suot na blue polo shirt na Hollister in stripes and a pair of jeans. Hindi ko siya nakilala. Naramdaman ko na lang yung "old feeling" na parang kilala ko ito. Chumika muna ako sa friend kong cashier sa Bound, si Diding and my journalist friend Ayi.

"Blah blah blah blah.." sambit ko. Parang wala lang, kunyari wala wala lang ang sitwasyon pero carry lang.

So Ayi and I decided to go outside to smoke. Medyo nagkaroon ng konting plano on how to approach this guy. Tumingin ulit ako.

Shit. Si Alfred Vargas ito.

"Oo nga, siya nga" sabi ni Ayi.

"I can make a conversation kay Alfred, kaya ko yan."

After a few moments, pumasok ulit ako sa loob and opened the conversation with that hunk saying: "Anything in particular?"

Siyempre nakuha ko agad ang attention niya. Obviously, hindi na niya ako makikilala.

"Umm, wala lang, I was just trying to browse some of the books", Alfred said.

"Is this your first time at Bound?"

"Yes, napadaan lang yung car ko dito and.." sabi niya.

"Ahh..(sabay kilig ang peanuts) Ako pala si James, actually na meet na kita before."

"Really?! Saan? Ako pala si Alfred."

"Alfred..Is that your real name? (I'm really a loser at this point of time!)"

"Call me Alfie..(haaay, di ba sign yun na naging comfortable rin siya kahit papano.. WITH SHAKEHANDS pa). Paano mo ako na-meet?"

"Once sa isang wedding, nakikita rin kita sa Ateneo, madalas ka sa Philo Dept."

"Ahh, oo, lagi ako nandun. Atenista ka rin ba or been involved in..saan ka ba, sa theatre?"

"Nasa itsura ko ba ang pagiging Atenista? Hehehe, just kidding. Naging alipin lang ako ng mga Heswita dun before. Naging part din ako minsan ng 'Entablado'.."

"Yeah, yung Enta..blah blah blah" (andami na noh..)

Ayun, he browsed thru the books and said:

"May ma-re-recommend ka ba sa akin?"

"Well, medyo weird lang ans selections ko lately. Nahilig ako kay Jessica Zafra, more on comparative literature, tsaka novels that turned to movies."

"Talaga? Like what?" sabi niya.

"Umm, like The Pianist and Trainspotting"

"Yeah, Trainspotting, maganda yung flick na yun ah.." sabi ni Alfie.

After salestalking him for a few minutes (na nahaluan ng konting L.. actually, muntik ko na siyang dalhin sa Erotica section/shelves..) medyo napagusapan na namin ang history nung store at ang mga products na meron sa loob.

"Hey, may Filipiniana section over here" sabi ko sa kanya.

So funny, I instantly grabbed a book from one of the shelves. It was Joma Sison's book. Paano kasi he mentioned na he's looking for something political. Natawa na lang siya sa kagagahan ko. Good thing, medyo may inclination naman siya sa poetry, so I recommended a book. Its a collection of Philippine poems from 1500s to 1890s. Nostalgic di po ba? Hehehehehe

"Okay, ito na lang muna. How much lahat?" sabi ni Alfie.

Siyempre ako na ang nagkwenta. He also purchased a Ha Jin book and an old self-help book worth ten pesos.

"Seven hundred nine pesos lahat."

After giving his change, he waved goodbye and promised na babalik siya ulit.

"Balik kayo ha?" sabi ko.

"Sure, thanks James..."(fade..)

Siyet, sinambit ang name ko.

At naiwan akong tulala at nagmumuni-muni.

Sa pagbalik niya, sisiguraduhin kong anndito ulit ako sa bookstore.

(to be continued)






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