saturday, i woke to find myself, shirtless, plastered on the cold, tiled floor, armed with vague, unclear and incomplete recollections of what took place before i passed out a few hours after midnight, and asking no one in particular: “ano’ng ginagawa ko dito?” i had spit on my chest and red stuff -- which i later learned was chili sauce -- on my belly button. i stood up, found my balance, proceeded to the toilet, wet my handkerchief, and wiped the disgusting stuff out of my body. i slipped into my shirt and discovered that the goo on my chest was of my own doing, but the chili sauce was not.

i find it a little ironic that such bacchanalian rituals took place immediately after my batchmates heard mass to thank the Lord for the dramatic albeit uneventful climb to mariveles, but then again not only did we have reason to be thankful, we also had good reason to celebrate. not being a catholic, and not being religious to begin with, i decided to skip the homily and talked to jay about not being good examples of the faith. everyone seemed to agree that the homily was worth listening to, but as much as possible, i try to avoid taking part in religious traditions different from what i profess to practice. anyway, the party went on after we feasted on janet’s cooking. there was beef lasagna and tuna spaghetti. both winners. we had only a few beers but about 3 bottles of hard drinks. i had little to drink even as we played this love dice game and taboo (we lost to the girls!). but there i was again asking people these silly theoretical questions about who they find good-looking in the batch and among the members. a few heartthrobs are starting to surface. haha. they will never recover from all the teasing.

still very embarrassed, maida and i left JC’s house in guadalupe to head home. i felt absolutely sick and wanted to sleep till 5pm. but i was awakened by malvin’s call. he asked me if i was avoiding him, and if i was going to play badminton. the first question was preposterous, of course, but to the second question i was unsure what to say. i remember that “pagdadalaga” would be screened in UP film center so i was conflicted. i thought about my condition. worst hangover in the last year (since i started drinking beyond my threshold), and i needed to purge the alcohol out of my body. so off i went to west drive, with hands trembling, with my intestines forcing themselves out of my mouth, and with my entire disposition in peril.

after my first game, i break out in cold sweat. despite having taken a bath, i am still reeking of alcohol, which was a putrid mix of strong ice, london dry, ginebra san miguel premium, and tres cepas. i was supposed to head home when at around 5pm, alexis and ver suddenly show up. so i stay behind to play with them. the hangover was affecting my game. i hadn’t purged the alcohol in the bloodstream despite the exercise and the trips to the john. i wanted to puke, but it’s something that’s never happened to me ever before. i would’ve felt better, actually, if i had one huge vomit to clean the system of all that poison.

sunday morning and i was still feeling the ill effects of the alcohol. couldn’t sleep. was feeling bad that rock climbing in montalban had been called off because of the weather, and that we’d have a 12km run instead. i was steady for the first part of the run, but slowed down on the return. left ankle was starting to hurt a bit, but tried my best to think beyond pain, and finished fourth, at 76 minutes. if i keep this pace, and barring a side stitch, i should finish the 15k induction run in under an hour and a half.

since nothing else was planned for the rest of the day, i decided to join a few batchmates for lunch, which was followed by a few beers. being low-maintenance mountaineers, we just placed ground sheets on the floor of the sky gazebo, and downed a case of sanmig light. there was plenty of banter and teasing going, and we were developing another B2K5 badge: the batch scream, popularized and perfected by janet. the sound one should make ought to be hoarse and guttural, produced by the undulation of the throat. i can’t say i’ve aced it yet. oh well, there’s time to practice. frankly, i haven’t memorized the origins of “rectify”, “alam na”, and “enyeeaah”. i’ve joined a batch of monsters, i swear.
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