Saturday, February 14, 2009


I had a pretty interesting experience last night.

My brain was fried from a whole day’s worth of drawing and I thought I’d take it easy and head on to Cubao X’s Mogwai to watch One Giant Leap. It’s this music collaboration thingy I read in The Walking Man’s post. I figured it’d be one good way to spend a lonesome evening BY MYSELF before the dreaded pseudo-LOVE DAY called Valentine’s. (Ironically, salt was added to injury when I saw all of those people bearing flowers in the train.)

But on my way there, I decided to stop by Coffee Bean and Tea Leaves coffee shop. I still had half an hour to spare so I got myself a cup of Earl Grey and plunked my butt on one of their wicker chairs. I looked around and saw the usual crowd of shoppers resting their feet, a couple of early valentine lovers who were too eager to show to the whole wide world that they’re “in love” and a smattering of college-age kids.

At the table on my left was a couple of these kids from Ateneo Univerrity (I assumed they were, since they had on shirts emblazoned with their school’s logo) hunched beside a laptop doing, what I also assumed, their schoolwork. Kids like them are a usual site in these coffee shops or fastfood joints. Heck, during my college days, it was Wendy’s along Quezon Ave. which was our usual hangout of choice. There would be five or six of us who’ll order from their eat-all-you-can salad bar and we’ll stack one order with a mile high of greens and macaroni. That one huge order would feed all of us, allow us to do schoolwork the whole night and we’ll go to class the next day with mayo smeared on the side of our mouths. It was fun… and I also just digressed

Anyway, I got curious to what the two guys had on their laptop so I took a sideways, discreet look at the monitor. I couldn’t believe what I thought I saw that I had to stand up, make a beeline to the counter so I can pass by behind them and have a full view of their laptop. Lo and behold, I just grinned from ear-to-friggin’-ear when I saw what the laptop’s wallpaper was. It was an image of one of my paintings – Aling Emily the butcher! I stood behind them for a few more seconds staring at the image. It was a really nice, crisp shot of her. It was even a better picture than what I have in my files. I figured, they saw it hanging in Halo, they had a good quality digicam and took a picture of her. Dang! I was itching to ask them who took the shot.

But, I didn’t. I just let them be.

I took one last swig from my teacup and left the coffeshop. I then crossed the street to Taco Bell and celebrated by eating, guess what, a taco. I lingered in Cubao. Chatted with Hanzel at the Reading Room but never made it to the film viewing. I was simply… too happy. Happy enough that while I was going home in an extremely crowded train, a man carrying a bunch of roses had unkowingly stuck the whole bundle in my face. Normally, I’d be very annoyed that I might even raise a stern voice to the poor fellow for the inconsiderate handling of his load.

But I didn’t. I simply smiled, whiffed the fragrance of the blooms and silently I said "thank you".

Happy Valentine’s.



p.s. HEY KELLY! Here's my Valentine's gift for you man. :-) Just copy and paste the image above for your wallpaper. Well, heck, whoever wants that image of Elsa the Cat Lady plastered on their monitor... just click, copy and paste. Cheers!!


Bella Sinclair said...

Hey, just popped by to wish you a Happy Valentine's. You should see the big smile on my face. Honestly, I couldn't be happier if it were one of my own pictures on their screen. A HUGE congrats! Now that's a lotta love. :D

I am going to take lovely Elsa and her kitty, thank you.

palma tayona said...

thank you bella. a happy, happy valentine's day to you too!

and yeah... take it, take it! hehehe :-)

nutart said...

that's the best valentine gift the Universe gave you, Dan!!

As for that Wendy's nostalgia, I and friends (or sisters) would do that too---have a heaping salad bar between the four or five of us! May starving students pa ba nowadays? Andami kasi nuon sa times of them pa nga won pala an Emmy for the Simpsons (jess espanola---o, plugging!) No, I haven't had a Wendy's salad bar with him (heck, no) but he was the epitome of a struggling art student then!

Anonymous said...

@ nutart: it's actually more like, "wow, i am so flattered" sort of a feeling. it left a wide grin on my face that sort of hurt after quite some time.

oh yeah, i've heard of jess espanola. wow. that's so cool winning an emmy. am not so sure though if the wendy's is still there.

and yes, there are still those "struggling art students". you can spot them at cubao x, that's why i like that place. it's the last bastion of bohemia in the metro. you should visit it (at night) when you're here in the big city.

Anonymous said...

That's a nice experience. Kind of like the best kind of compliment-- one that you overhear without meaning to :) I was in Cubao X earlier to have dinner at Bellini's, I passed by a shop that had your name on the window... maybe they had your drawings up? I didn't have time to check... nor do I remember the shop's name... I said to my boyfriend, "Hey, that Palma Tayona left a comment on my blog a few days ago.." :P

Wala lang, felt like sharing :)

Anonymous said...

P.S. And happy valentine's to you, too :)

Anonymous said...

hi. we met briefly at the richmonde party. i admire your work, wow! hope you don't mind - i linked your site.

you don't eat vegetables (too)? :)

cubao-x. i live nearby but haven't had a chance to visit again since before it was cubao-x. would love too soon, maybe i'll see you there :)


Anonymous said...

@ reg: a few of my works (small ones) are still hanging at "that shop". it's really a restaurant serving veggie-based food.

and yeah, it was a pleasant experience. :-) Happy V.D. (belated)

Anonymous said...

@ jaybeecc: yeah, i remember you. you were one of those "i knew i met him but can't remember the name" sort of person. and you were with joel and party last night at the ccp. i was too busy laughing my head off with my companion. eventhough i have seen that play half a dozen times since they mounted it at the huseng batute, i still crack up at the hilarity of it.

and nope, i don't mind at all you linking my little plot of cyberland.