Token Pinoy

>> Saturday, November 17, 2007

I have never partied with a multi-racial, multi-national, multi-cultural group before so when Nasser invited me to join a bunch of Qatar Living regulars I was a bit hesitant but I knew I would never pass on the chance.

Nasser was already at the bar, an Indian band was playing songs that didn't quite fit Qatar--covers of animal sounding bands anthems like Scorpions, Eagles, and Def Leppard. After introductions I was sure Nasser didn't pick the place (one flawless Oprah impression did the trick!).

I thought I'd feel out of place but the group was as warm as a freshly baked pie. There was an American, a Canadian, a couple of French guys, a Greek, a couple of Flips, and Nasser, the only Qatari. A few other fellows came and went, at some point there was an Indian and two Iranians (yes, there are gays in Iran). When the other Flips hopped to the hipper bar I instantly became the token Pinoy.

As the token Pinoy I played my part well, I asked a lot of questions, although shyly at first, then I eased up and talked to my neighbors. As the token Pinoy, I tried to crack a punchline every now and then. As the token Pinoy, I drank faster than everyone else--I keep forgetting that the tagay system did not apply there.

When the night ended, Nasser was so wasted but decided that shaving and having been compared to a Persian (cat, that is), were all worth it. He asked me if I was alright because he thought I seemed 'different' from the 'blogger' that he read and the 'blogger' in person. I could've showed him the first two minutes of The WineKone's Launch Party Afterthoughts had it been on Youtube already. He asked me if I had fun. I said I did.

I did. And I found out that being the token Pinoy wasn't such a big deal after all. It was just like having Nasser as the token Qatari, or Erin as the token Canadian, etc. In the end we were just a bunch of guys that probably didn't have anything in common except for a unified mission of having a good time.

By the next weekend, I was already working my way up as part of the regular cast and meeting other regulars as well, including a token Indian, a token Australian, a token Moroccan, a token Brazilian, a token...OUT


Old Haunts

>> Thursday, November 1, 2007

It was a little over 3PM when we got to the cemetery, all ten of us, dressed in black and searching for a place to do a photo shoot. It was almost the end of the semester and the last of the Major subjects before some of us would go on to internship. Van's Advance Advertising group--composed entirely of our barkada--was named Witches and Wizards and we're doing the shoot for their company profile. Why I wasn't part of the group was because of my own idea. Our instructor wanted 9 members per group. I suggested we draw lots. My suggestion bit me.

By that time at the cemetery, we were already inseparable. People either loved or hated us but we didn't care. We made so much noise in Masscom, upped the department's standards (we believe that, but don't take my word for it) and shook the competition between ourselves and our classmates. Each of us had our own abilities to contribute to our growing group. Our backgrounds made us unique but our group moved as one.

Counterclockwise from right to left: Jasbabe the Diva, Anthony the Performer, Ruby Jane the Beauty, Jap the Writer, Haguia the Brain, Arnold the DJ, Gio the Rockstar, Carole the VJ, Van the Model, and Mae Ann the Politician.

Our group broke stereotypes at school, we aspired for innovation in our work and never settled for anything less. What was impossible was achievable as long as we helped each other. It was almost hard to believe that a group of friends could be intelligent, talented, creative, popular, beautiful, spiritual and still know how to party.

It wasn't always fun. We had our share of fights, misunderstandings, debates, stand-offs and cold bouts but we'd always kiss and make-up no matter how short or long it took.

A year after the cemetery pictorial, our group grew bigger as more people joined us--Bien the Diplomat, Don the Partymeister, and Derf the Joker but he's a TV personality now so all respect should be given to him. There are several other people but the ones I mentioned are essentially the heart and soul of our barkada, our second family, at least that's how I saw it.

One blog post is not enough to summarize our group's colorful history so I'll just end it with a video from the Jologs archives. We are not dead but in this season of remembrance the departed are not the only ones worth remembering.OUT




Abre Los Ojos

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Thirtysomething educator who holds the secret to the meaning of life. =P

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