Friday, January 11, 2008

hardtalk with the cuzz

had a rather fun filled evening last night when i brought my cousin and his cousin, ian (my long childhood friend) out. it was pretty much an impromptu thing since neither of us really planned for anything.

my cousin flew in the day before to surprise my grandma on her 87th birthday. i had to pick him up from the airport and "stash" him for an entire day. no one really knew he was here except for a chosen few. needless to say, the surprise went pretty well, even if i wasn't present to see my grandmother's reaction (on the moment of the reveal, i had to run an errand for my aunt since they got the wrong numbered candle from the bakery for the cake).

since he'll be around for a good 3 weeks, i took it as my duty to help him pass the time. i went over to see him and after dilly dallying for a couple of minutes, we finally decided to go to TriNoMa, quezon city's newest mall. Ayala corp decided to give retail megacompany SM a run for its money by building right beside it a new mall that threatens to compete with the monopoly SM had for itself for the past decade in the QC area. trinoma, which stands for TRIangle NOrth of MAkati is a sprawling expanse of retail space that carries trendy brands and designer labels that definitely out-shines SM by leaps and bounds. by also having the MRT station in the mall, trinoma has first dibs of the people getting on and off the train, a sure fire pool of potential shoppers just eager to burn some cash!

having competition is always good for the consumer. SM to be honest has slackened quite a bit in the past few years with regards to its facilities and its products. why bother improving an already set landmark if there really isn't any threat of loosing one's market... that is, until ayala stepped into the picture. with the construction of trinoma on the way, SM had to ensure that its hold on the QC shopping public remains solid. hence, they built "the block", the newest addition to the campus of a space SM owns in the area. literally a block that looks like a block, THE BLOCK was designed to compete with ayala for the more discerning consumer trinoma was targeting, SM catering more for the masses. to try to offer more selections to the masses, ayala opens "the landmark", just juxtaposed with the hipper trinoma. so now, the battle of the malls wages on. SM with its cosmo-chic BLOCK and trendy trinoma with its LANDMARK. time will only tell who will reign supreme.

but that's not really what this blog is about.... my apologies for the side track.

after having walked rather aimlessly in the mall and having my cousin get for himself a book and some astringent, we decided to cap our day off with a hearty meal. after much deliberation and ian almost walking into a window, thinking it was a door, we decided that we wud skip the plethora of food choices trinoma was offering and instead, head off to tomas morato to eat at omasake, my little japanese place where i go to to indulge.

the last time i was here was almost 2 years ago for my despedida when i was flying off to dubai. i love eating here for it's designer sushi which to my taste is the best in the metro, if not, THE WORLD!!! my cousin, whom i had brought here before agrees. i'll write a review about this place next time since i can feel i am already side tracking. needless to say, we stuffed ourselves like pigs out of hiatus and it will be a long while till i eye another sushi again.

we ended dinner quite late and with ian gesturing that he was done for the day, we decided to call it a day as well. i dropped off ian at his place and was heading off to drop off my cousin when i had the sudden urge to have some good old fashion chat, something that i miss doing with my cousin. so, we decided to prolong our time by a bit more and headed to the nearest starbucks.

stories and coffee, now that is a great combination. now i understand all those cheesy nescafe commercials i keep seeing on TV. too bad i'm drinking starbucks. we chatted about a lot of things, from our concerns about life being adults, about work, about our fears, gossip, church and other spiritual stuff, and of course, my recent admission of being gay. it feels really great to be able to sit down and talk quite casually to someone about serious topics without feeling rather vulnerable. most often, even when it's with may family or close friends, such topics are never really fully discussed because of fear. fear of being judged, fear of being ridiculed, fear of being exposed. but when i am with my cousin, things come out quite effortlessly. none of that fear exists and things, despite how serious it may be, somehow doesn't feel so overwhelming.

we have been close for the longest time. as far as i can remember, me and my cuz have been tight. he grew up in canada, i in manila. there was a time where we didn't see each other nor really communicated with each other for 7 full years, yet on the day we saw each other again, it was like the 7 years never happened. we would support each other despite our situational limitations through emails or even just having dead silence on the other end of the phone line. any form of connection, how petty it may be felt sufficient. such is the power i guess of the bond we have. such is the blessing i also have in the person of my cousin.

we live parallel lives, despite our age difference as well as our situations. this i guess also explains why we feel close. one talking about his problems felt also like the other talking about his. same views, similar opinions and identical principles have made this tandem hard to beat. of course there would be singular incidences wherein the other cannot relate, for example him having a GF and me being gay, but those don't really matter so much. it just adds more stories to the moments like this one where we sit down, unwind and just talk to our hearts delight.

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