Boracay: Third Time’s the Charm

I’ve been to Boracay a couple of times before, and each time I leave I always make a mental note to come back as soon as I can. Yet, for some weird reason I have never run out of excuses to delay (and eventually cancel) those travel plans.

As I was preparing for my third visit to this world-famous island, I began to realize — and finally admit to myself — that my reluctance is somehow predicated on the fact that I did not want to get too familiar with the place by coming here too often. I wanted to retain some of that sense of delight and discovery when I first beheld its white sandy beaches. If I had given in to my wishes and came as often as I wanted, I think Boracay would have quickly lost its appeal to me.

As we prepared to board the ferry boat to the island (from Caticlan), I started to feel better. Yes. I’m glad I came back. It was definitely high time I renewed acquaintance with Boracay. I was surprised to note that I actually missed the place — heck, even the sea air felt like a welcome nudge.

Another reason that made this trip a bit more special was that this time the whole family was coming. This was going to be a meaningful family get-together, a chance to reestablish and strengthen our bonds. We lost our father to cancer 4 years ago, and his absence has been sorely felt since then. Things have been so different without him. My mother, one of the most pragmatic people I know, has been uncharacteristically sentimental lately and is starting to show her age (lost weight and forgetfulness; we’re keeping our fingers crossed that she’ll stay with us for a long time). However, she is rather fond of this place because she has had many happy memories here with my father, siblings, and her grandkids.

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Movies Titles Containing the Word “Coffee”

Two of my main interests are coffee and movies. Although I haven’t been watching movies that much lately, my interest in them remains; and, of course, coffee is part of my daily routine, so there you go.

This is by no means a long list — I am basically focusing on those films whose titles contain the word “coffee” and have been released somewhat recently (and are listed and briefly described here in chronological order).

1. Chinese Coffee (2000)

Chinese Coffee is an indie film released during the 2000 Tribeca Film Festival, and then released officially in 2007. This was directed by Al Pacino, who also stars in the movie along with Jerry Orbach.

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Something Funny Happened at Seattle’s Best…

I needed a quiet place to finish a file (due in a few hours) so I dropped by at Seattle’s Best at MoA. It had a serene ambiance (far from the madding crowd), looked fairly quiet, and seemed like a nice spot to spend a few hours in.

After paying for my order, I settled at a table facing the walkway. Before long, I was deeply immersed in my work, and barely even looked up from my laptop screen. So, you can imagine my utter astonishment when this loud, jarring sound broke through.

It came from the direction of the main entrance, which faced the bay. Heads swiveled from all corners as startled patrons tried to focus on what caused the sound. After what seemed like a timeless pause, we saw — wait for it — that this sleepy-looking guy (in his 30s, I think) had walked (or rather, CRASHED) into Seattle’s Best glass door!

Apparently, the man did not realize that there was a glass wall separating Seattle’s Best from the outdoors and just walked in (or at least tried to) without breaking his stride. His momentum propelled him forward and the force of it made him bounce off the door and rattle the glass wall. For a moment there, he looked supremely alert and a look of utter astonishment settled on his face like a mask.

It was a scene right out of a comedy film or a cartoon feature. I could feel the laughter rippling through my throat, but I managed to gulp it back. Yes, it was pretty hilarious, but I also felt sympathy for the guy. If that had been me, I’d be probably hoping for the floor to swallow me up, and fervently wishing no one would remember my face while beating a hasty retreat from the scene.

Surprisingly, no one laughed. For a moment it seemed like we were all waiting for the first one to actually break the silence, but no one did! And despite the obvious pain he felt — as well as the slight damage to his dignity — the guy went on with his business. After claiming his coffee, he went out quietly.

Umm… it’s kind of crass for me to say this, but somebody did giggle uncontrollably the minute he was out of earshot. And before you start pointing fingers, nope it wasn’t me. By that time I had lost all my desire to laugh. (But I did laugh loudly when I got home and replayed the scene in my mind.)

Wordplay

I love wordplay — you know, things like puns and witty punch lines and classic comebacks that wrench wry smiles and spontaneous laughter out of you.

Being hopelessly inept at it only highlights the fact that I am inordinately impressed whenever I hear somebody press home a point with a succinct, hit-the-nail-on-its-head idiomatic phrase. In gatherings or social affairs, you won’t be hard-pressed to find the life of the party or the social wit — more often than not, it’s the individual who rolls off clever remarks at a drop of a hat, and who leaves the audience chuckling, nodding in agreement, and inwardly wondering if they’ve somehow missed the point.

I am forever waiting for that opportune moment when I, too, could be blessed with such smooth, rapier-like timing and say something slick like, “The eleventh pun always gets a laugh, even if no pun in ten (10) did.” Or at least a just tiny fraction of Piers Anthony’s fertile punny concoctions for his Xanth novels (e.g., Centaur AisleAir Apparent, the perennially late character Justin Thyme).

Although it pains me to say it, I have to admit I just don’t have it. More often than not I’d be hampered by slow mental processes (umm, slow on the uptake?), sloppy timing, inarticulateness, and occasionally, consideration for certain people. Usually, by the time some sleek repartee comes to mind, the moment to make my point has already passed and everybody else has jumped on to a new topic. If ever I blurt out anything remotely clever and funny at the same time, it’s more of an accident than by design.

Sometimes it makes me wish I had Adam Sandler’s remote control (remember the movie Click?) to make time stop while I reach for my dictionary or scroll down a handy “List of Witty Things to Say for Every Occasion”. That sure would make things simpler, except that it could spoil the momentum of things (spontaneity?).

I guess that’s one reason why I take refuge in writing. Collecting witticisms and devising ways in which they can be delivered with perfect timing and the right amount of careless panache isn’t all that hard when you have full control of the situation and the characters. Moreover, when it’s your story, you can always rewrite or dispatch certain characters if you think they’re getting too big for their britches. Or too incoherent… or something.

While I’m floundering around for a nice clincher to round off this brief note (*thinking hard*) umm… uh, okay, I give up. I haven’t thought of anything yet, but I’ll get back to you on that as soon as I’ve come up with something subtle or sublimely witty.