Oh glorious sleep, how I love thee.
One of the downsides of taking a long leave from work is subjecting your body clock to nocturnal abuse. Just like staying in another part of the world on a different time zone, by the time your body gets used to the whole thing, you find yourself back to the original daily grind. It is unhealthy but I cannot avoid it.
I woke up terribly late today, late enough to have lunch as my first meal of the day. My uncle whipped a very mean steamed yellow fin in coconut milk so while watching some random reality show, I consumed practically every morsel of cooked rice in the pot. Hindi naman ako natakam sa carbohydrates nyan.
♀ ♀ ♀
I promised my mother I will go with her to attend the novena in Baclaran so I did. I rarely promise because it has been an unwritten rule in the house to never make a promise of going to this and that church and bail out when you don’t want to anymore. Masama daw nangangako sa Diyos, kaya bihirang-bihira ako mangako. I am a semi-practicing Catholic, if there is such a term.
Anyway, it was a spiritually-relaxing hour and fifteen minutes after which we sped off to Greenbelt to meet with Lalaine and Rachel for the 7:00 p.m. showing of Iluminados Por El Fuego. We killed almost two hours by chatting about the Ilocos trip and eating at Cafe Bola while waiting for the screening time.
As we head to the 3rd floor, there was a frantic shout of, “Judieeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!” which I ignored at first because hello, I’m not the only Judie/Judy in the world. Then after some ear-splitting five seconds of “Judies”, I stopped, looked back and saw this very familar person literally running towards me.
Darnit, it was my college friend Ayah!
She hugged me and in a typical Ria Kushlani fashion asked me, “Hindi mo na ba ako natatandaan (Don’t you remember me anymore)????”
Anyway, I was shocked (you would be!), as i told her I didn’t hear the first, probably softer, “Judieeeee” when I passed by her table. I learned she was here for a while but will head back to Dubai in two days (she works for Emirates). Ayah’s still a knock out and I told her so. She’s so damn fit and sexy and her tan (from frolicking in the beaches of Spain) fits her very well. She asked me to say hi to everyone for her. So blockmates, Ayah says hi to all of you.
I have not recovered from the encounter after two hours. Believe me, it was close to traumatic. But it was a treat seeing her again. Pero pucha, akala ko I’m gonna have nightmares of that “Judieeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” buti na lang wala. Hahaha!!!
So, the movie. It was good but I was not totally impressed. It tells the story of two friends, Esteban and Vargas — and a third one, Juan, who will eventually die and would not be part of the present plot. Esteban receives a call about Vargas’ suicide attempt. While lying in the hospital ward, Esteban recounts their days as very young Argentinian conscripts selected to fight the Falklands War against the British forces, a good 25 years ago. I was never a fan of war movies but I appreciated the effort to present the dilemmas of underfed, underclothed, insufficiently armed soldiers fighting against huge foreign military forces. The battle scenes were dark (well, they occurred at night but it was, well, that dark) and dragged on for too long that the snores of a man in front of us heavily competed with the gunshots and bomb explosions. In the end, he woke up probably from the sound of his own snoring. It was funny.
In the face of expected defeat, the Argentinian army surrendered to the British forces. Esteban, barely wounded but terribly tired, did his best to find his friend Vargas to go back to mainland Argentina. Vargas was wounded in the leg, eventually got sick and was not able to fight with his comrades. While trooping back to the trucks as they retreat, Esteban found Vargas lying hopelessly in the mud along with fellow soldiers who were either dead or have resigned to die because they cannot move anymore from being wounded. Vargas asked Esteban to just leave him because he cannot move his legs and they hurt really bad. Esteban forcefully lifted his friend up and carried him back to the truck. Cue tears for that super kind of friendship. That’s probably a tip-of-the-iceberg meaning of Alfred McCoy in calling military men “closer than brothers”. Take note, Esteban did a good two minutes of shouting “Vargaaaaaaaaaaaas!!!!!!!!” that reminded me of my encounter with Ayah a few hours back. I just had to laugh at that.
Back to the present, Vargas died in the hospital and his wife, Marta, gave Esteban a medallion which Vargas was seen to have been wearing even during the days of the war. She asked him to bring it with him when he goes back to the island, something that apparently Esteban and Vargas planned on doing until the latter’s meltdown. The site was now a base under the British military. Esteban, on a tour of the war site which was now a restricted area of land mines, got to see and touch rusting remnants of their war equipments, a rubber sole of probably a friend’s shoe (Rach whispered Juan was wearing something like it before he died), and just right beside the barbed fence, he found the foxhole that he shared with Juan and Vargas. It was a hole big enough for three to sit or lie down. He went down the hole and as he reached for a familiar place, he found a plastic containing a yellowing picture of his family, Marta’s last letter to Vargas before he went to war, and a British timepiece owned by Juan (which became a joke among them three because he owns something of their enemy) that Esteban took to remember Juan as he died in his arms. As he touches each of the items, he burst into tears and it was the most poignant part of the film. Naiyak nga din ako eh. Ugh, hormones.
The last scene has Esteban sitting in the middle of a mass grave, in front of a cross bearing Juan Chamorro’s name on it. He lingered there as a ballad with radical lyrics played in the background. He placed Vargas’ medallion by the cross and the song kept on playing for another minute. Then fade out. =)
My mother enjoyed the movie but was depressed by the story. After we headed our different ways, Mom craved for dessert and dragged me to Häagen-Dazs. Something must be wrong with my mother. See, mother + not rushing to go home to catch her daily soaps + sinful dessert + sudden rush of late window shopping = ???
But this is a good kind of wrong, you know. Hahaha. So I will let it/her be.
We were home by 10 p.m. I immediately went online. I felt the need to pee and that’s when I realized it’s almost 4 in the morning. That should explain why I nursed a terrible headache for a great part of Thursday.
Five down, four days till doom.