a weekend of AMCI activities

last week was just too much for me since i was engulfed by too many activities in the space of less than a week. the monday after our climb, i was supposed to leave for isabela for a hearing. but since we had scheduled our post-climb in makati, i had to move my trip to as late as 11.30pm. and my hearing was scheduled at 8.30am the following day. post-climb was held at dencio’s in paseo, and as i had expected, i was “post-climbed” for abandoning barbs during the descent. like i told fab_ab, i have not the compassion nor the patience of a sweeper, and my thoughts were, well, there are no forks nor tricky trails on the way down, and she can take care of her own, and i already spent 4 hours assisting her, and my pack is about 3 times the weight of her pack, so i had to get down quick. i suppose one ought to feel bad about being lectured, but i didn’t. i just cannot be a sweeper.

after the post-climb dinner, i proceeded to victory liner, and took the last trip. ETA at ilagan was 8.30am, and my chief concern was keeping my barong wrinkle-free. i had placed it neatly folded in a ziplock. true enough, i reached ilagan at exactly 8.30am, and the first thing i did was to brush, wash up, gel my hair, and put on the barong. i showed up at the courtroom to find that the hearing had been postponed. for the nth time. all my trips to ilagan have been fruitless thus far, and i got the clerk of court’s number so i can text her before i leave. it’s a bitch to travel this long and not do anything. after i had pancit cabagan (yummy noodles unique to isabela), i left for manila on a florida bus. compared to victory liner, this was a lot cheaper and less freezing. i reached manila 10 hours later.

the following day we had the regular runs at salcedo village, and although this was supposed to be a cool down run, everyone was eager to finish it quickly. i think the folks at makati who were there might have thought there was a small commotion since we started with some heckling, particularly aimed at mr yagburn mike. i ran with mosscake for the most part, and he was surprised to find out that i’ve been reading his blog. i teased him about what he had written about the climb, and he said his life is becoming too much of an open book, or a publicly displayed nude sculpture. “i’m not carrie bradshaw,” he said, and i suggested that he change the settings on his blog so that only friends can read it. i hope he doesn’t delete the blog entirely.

during the post climb, some issues about the first TC were raised, and scribes took their turns to report. after that, the core acquaintance party committee ironed out the details of B2K5’s first event. i was seriously concerned that we might not deliver the goods come friday, but i have a really great batch, some of whom are very willing to pitch either time or money or booze to make the event a success. friday arrived, and i decided to work, so i only got to tierra pura’s social hall at around 6pm. by this time, everything was in order, and all we needed was food. one by one, people arrived, and so did drinks -- lots of drinks -- and food. we had 3 kegs of sanmig draft beer, more than 10 cases of beer in cans, a few boxes of gin, red wine, fundador, and fancy alcoholic beverages, and some home-made jailey’s courtesy of JC. noni donated the lechon. but what brought the house down -- or at least what brought some trainees and members down -- were the beer bong (damn you eugene and milo! hehe) and the jaggermeister. casualties: janet, joven, carlo, melay, rohan, jim, norman, kuya mar, and a few others who may have just disappeared (though not necessarily in that order). i was completely sober the entire time, and i hated it. was just too busy making sure that things were in order.

the party itself was an absolute blast. we had nice lights and nice music. DJ crystal took care of hosting the event. first time it’s been done by a professional, and she did a great job. ayee, carlo, and bojo joined forces for an acoustic performance, although their number was disturbed by a really drunk janet and a shirtless dennis and rhyan who danced in the middle with no care at all. after that, we had games (surprised the usually jaded AMCI folk didn’t find the bingo game too cheesy, although malvin swears i tailored the “has 2 kids” square after him), a raffle, and dancing on the really slippery floor which was inundated by beer. what a party it was, a bit wild, with some people losing themselves, at the dance floor or elsewhere, and it ran until the early morning. we only started to clean up at around 4am. janet slept in her car, and a few of us left for whistlestop in tomas morato. when we found out that it had closed, we moved to mcdo where i had a cup of hot choco. maida seems to have her share of fans.

despite having reached the house at around 6am, i still managed to send email to the batch to share my thoughts on the party. that same day, i was scheduled to show up at another party in makati. kuya mar had asked me to coordinate his birthday bash at digi. basically, coordinating meant inviting people and centralizing the orders. although the party started early, we had to leave at 12mn, not because we were being a bunch of cinderallas, but because we had training the following day: wall climbing at a mall in parañaque which had seen better days. in spite of the mall’s sorry state (the instructor itself described it as a jologs mall, but it makes the manuela crowd a bit upscale), the power-up facility there was tops, being the highest in the country so far. we were assigned one of the intermediate walls, and i was first to climb it. i was really afraid of my belayers. they were my same group at the climb.

after the climbing session, we had our lecture on ropemanship. the instructors talked funny, and jason and i were being grammar nazis (JC’s term). we were really sleepy all throughout, so we tried to find ways to keep ourselves awake. after our sessions, we had dinner at borakay (yes, with a K) sa parañaque, where barbs said the videoke was free. turned out it wasn’t, and she argued with the manager. funny how she quickly lost interest in holding the microphone when we were informed of the P5 tab per song (we had around 70). i failed to sing that many songs since i had a headache and was prostrate on the chairs for some time. even if i were well, barbs would’ve given me very little opportunity to sing anyway. then we moved from parañaque to makati to have coffee (cocoa for me) at mccafé.

and do you think it ends there? not really. monday had been declared a holiday, so i thought of doing some runs around UP to prepare for wednesday’s 8.4km. jenny wanted to run as well, so we did 2 rounds at the academic oval. i left the house at around 5pm, thinking the crowds protesting PGMA’s SONA would’ve thinned already, but i still got a bit delayed. then i proceeded to the santa ana race track for badminton. i had no plans of playing (merely providing some link between the members and the trainees) but ended up challenging mardel and janice (won that game), then later melay and rohan (lost that). it was my first time to actually hold a badminton racquet and to even play a serious game. i wasn’t even aware of the basics of the game.

after the game, we had dinner at hap chan. although it wasn’t part of the plan, we lasted till very early morning. after we dropped janice and JC (he made a last-minute appearance at hap chan), we proceeded to malate for 2 rounds of beer. i got home at around 5am, late enough for the bakeries to be actually open. i can’t even remember the last time i bought pan de sal.

maida was right on the button when she said AMCI is going to exhaust my earnings, and even my savings. life in AMCI is getting to be too expensive for a lowly government employee such as myself. sigh. must find a new raket.