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Showing posts from April, 2000

Summer Scrooge

Summer Scrooge
By Walter Ang
April 27, 2000
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Usually, everyone's ecstatic over the arrival of the summer months. School's out and the beaches are all ripe for the picking. Everything's a rosy picture of fun and games, of swimming pools and ice cold lemonade. We must take it upon ourselves to burst everyone's bubble and expose the vile truth. The idea of having fun during the summer is one enormous delusion. Doesn't everybody realize what a humongous hassle summertime is?

First of all, you have the heat. The scorching, blazing sun beats down on us all day long. Admittedly, the heat wouldn't be so bad if it weren't living in a tropical country. It's just that the heat coupled with the intense humidity is an extremely deadly weapon. The moment you step out of your house, wham! You feel as if you've stepped into a solid wall of tepid water. No, actually, warm molasses is more like it.

Keeping it cool
So there you are, hot and stic…

Summer with Charles M. Schulz and the Peanuts Gang

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Summer with Charles
By Walter Ang
April 20, 2000
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Whenever Holy Week comes along, I always remember the one Holy Week when I got the measles. I was in elementary school when I caught the disease. I had to stay indoors for what seemed like an agonizing eternity. I was ready to climb the walls and bang my head with a shoe.

Thank goodness I had Snoopy and the Peanuts gang to keep me company. Without them, I might have gone absolutely bonkers.

One of my earliest encounters with Snoopy when I received two beautiful hard bound books from my aunt who lived in California. The books were huge and thick and smelled of "America."

One was a compilation of Charlie Brown's (mis)adventures in his favorite sport baseball, aptly entitled "Sandlot." The other was an anniversary book chronicling the history and highlights of Snoopy's long and illustrious career in newspaper comic strips, books, television, movies, and even Broadway.

The gang
I loved tho…

Arts Fest: A night out in Malate, in four acts

Arts Fest: A night out in four acts
By Walter Ang
April 13, 2000
Philippine Daily Inquirer

ACT ONE 
Setting: Batavia Cafe
Synopsis: We arrived a little early for Friday night's events in Malate so we placed ourselves in this Javanese inspired cafe. There was an arts fest sponsored by Absolut Vodka and the eve's affairs included a one-act play, poetry reading sessions, and performance artists milling the streets. The after-sunset hours were full of promise. Best of all, all of it was for free.

Budget-conscious individuals (read: cheapskates) that we were, we ate dinner at home and treated ourselves to dessert and coffee. The cafe was still empty, giving us some quiet time to shake off the day's tension and enoy the pandan sansrival.

The walls were lined with fantastic looking Thai theater masks of all sorts and shapes. They reminded us of that scene in the movie "King and I" where dancers performed a show for the King's guests. With the background music playing …

Exploring the Innards of Quiapo (and visiting Bahay Nakpil)

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Exploring the Innards of Quiapo 
By Walter Ang
April 6, 2000
Philippine Daily Inquirer

A few months ago, I decided on a whim to coerce one of my friends and risk a trip into the esoteric innards of Quiapo. I'd read about a theater group giving a free performance at some old house in Quiapo.

Several factors immediately came into play. First, the operative term being "free", who could turn down the opportunity? Second, I was bored out of my mind and was looking for something to do. Third, I'd never really paid any particular attention to the peculiarities of Quiapo before. I'd venture there occasionally on an errand of some sort, but never really relishing the character of the place. So here was a chance to go and maybe take a closer look.

Since the weather wasn't too bad, we decided to make the afternoon more interesting by walking to our destination. A walking trip in dirty, dusty downtown Manila? We must've been really bored, or really crazy.

We got off o…

Summer survival kit

Summer survival kit
By Walter Ang
April 6, 2000
Tsinoy.com

Summer's here! The sun is scorching hot and the temperature is rising fast. Living in this cosmopolitan city we call home becomes a challenge this time of the year. The summer sun brings with it a host of thing to look out for. The moment you step out of the house, you feel your skin begin to cook from the intense heat. Sometimes, airconditioners conk out from overheating and you're left with just a folding fan to keep you aerated. Throughout the day, you get more and more irritable from the torrid atmosphere. If you're not careful to keep your temper in line, you're liable to lash out at the wrong person at the wrong time for all the wrong reasons. You wouldn't want that to happen now, would you?

Fortunately, we can try to keep ourselves in check and maintain our cool. All we need to do is keep a few things handy. A sort of survival kit if you will. Before anything else, we'll need a container for all o…