Twenty-three

When I was a kid, I’d go to my grandmother every time I had a tooth that needed taking out. She was a nurse, my laughing grandma whose predilection for pornography, pretty pink dresses and perfectly-articulated cuss words made her the darling of the cousins. At various points of our lives, we’ve appeared at her yellow-lighted study—with the purple-and-magenta flowered couches—to show off wobbly teeth. She would tie a string around the tooth, tie the other end to an open closet door, then slam so hard that the wood would sometimes splinter. I always thought that was how everyone did dentistry.
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Aug 31, 2008 under General | no comment

The state of their nation

President Macapagal-Arroya made many promises. She said the country needed the VAT, and that the poor were being helped. She said that the population was being trumped by natural family planning. She said we must come together as a people.

The state of the nation, after all, depends on who is telling the story.

To Adonis, the burly freelance gaffer who came to Manila as a teenager, the day the President delivers the State of the Nation Address is the day traffic chokes the highways, along with the protesters who have nothing better to do. For him, the fools who fill the sidewalk with their placards should be pounding out a living instead of coming home hungry. Adonis did not finish third grade, he grew up hacking away at rice fields and jumped at the chance to deliver water to actors’ dressing rooms. Today, he carries lighting equipment for production companies and lives in a small, green-painted room with his sisters, their children and his tiny mother.
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Aug 9, 2008 under General, Politics | no comment