February 27, 2010

Gamble

As the saying goes, be careful with what you wish for.

For the longest time I’ve been wishing for a little extra body weight. It was granted last December, when I effortlessly gained 5 pounds in less than a month – thanks to the steady supply of delicious brownies we get every Christmas time, and fresh seafoods at home.

It’s been two months since the brownies stopped. But despite the regular jog and workout, the weight gain continues, and I am 10 pounds (edit 3-1-2010: not kilos!) heavier now than I was before the Christmas season.

It may look small, but that figure is big enough to concern an ectomorph in his mid-thirties like myself.

The worst part is, all that added weight went to just one spot (groan!).

It’s good that my “chi” reserve (as Euge and I would call it) could probably sustain me for a few days without food. While El Nino poses a real threat to our food supply here, it’s my wardrobe that’s really beginning to suffer.

I have to get rid of the blubber surrounding my “chi” before the next office R-and-R, scheduled after the May 2010 national elections.

***

I was faced with a similar challenge over three years ago, when I have to look presentable in my wedding barong.

In the months leading to that big day, I assembled a program of punishment that will guarantee a reasonably fit Leo walking down the aisle.

But I wasn’t contented just sticking to my methods of madness. I had to have something more to motivate myself: a wager.

And so one was made: if I develop a six-pack abs, one of my officemates will have to do something (sorry, can’t reveal this one yet… still under embargo) in front of everyone. If I lose, I will have to kiss my wife a certain number of times on wedding day (don’t we just love statistics?).

Fair enough.

I lost. I managed to sprout maybe two and a half packs, but at least there was no unwanted bulge in my barong on that big day. That nasty pimple, however, completely caught me off-guard.

Oh well.

I think the kisses that went on that day were more than what the bet asked more.

***

In our last dinner date with Joan’s friends, one of her officemates shared how she dealt with her three-year old son’s “utosero” moment.

Scenario: Kid wakes up craving for french fries at 9:00 p.m, wakes up mother, mother leaves bed, goes to kitchen and cooks while kid waits comfortably in bed, mother serves french fries, kid changes mind and asked for fried chicken instead, mother cooks and serves it, kid changes mind again… and boom! Mother, in a performance that could put Judy Ann Santos to shame, cries and delivers a heart-wrenching speech, “Buti pa doon sa office, nakakaupo ako. Dito, hindi na ako nakakapagpahinga dahil utos kayo ng utos…!” Kid cries and hugs mother, “Mommy, tama na. Sorry na, mommy. Sige na, mommy, matulog na tayo…”

Wow.

At the end of the story, all I can think of was, “What if it didn’t work?”

The husband, who was seated next to us and was smiling the entire time Joan’s officemate was telling the story, provided the closing.

Closing scenario: As mother goes back to bed, father says, “The winner is… Mommy!”

***

Anthony Bourdain has the best description of how it is like to cross a street in Manila: “It’s all about timing and commitment.”

I could not agree more.

Pedestrians crossing an average street in Manila must time their move and stick to it to very end, leaving the rest to faith that oncoming motorists will respect that commitment and life itself, and let the pedestrians through.

Of course, things can go wrong and the little gamble could end up in injury or death. This incident is minimized by a simple pact between pedestrian and motorist – declaration of commitment. A raised hand or a flash of the headlight, coupled with mutual respect for each others’ welfare, and life goes on amid the chaos.

***

The concepts of declaration and the respect for it first made sense to me in high school. As far as I can remember, I tried to live them as well.

In that age of volatile emotions and developing characters, those concepts were crucial to order and camaraderie – especially as one goes through high school while attending to matters of the heart.

“Ang kay Juan ay kay Juan” was a simple way of putting it, assuming that Juan made the proper declaration, and that such declaration does not violate any prior declaration. It’s quite restrictive of freedom, but served well in minimizing both physical and emotional injuries haha!

***

Our high school batch has been slowly gathering up in fezbook.

Just the other day, I got reconnected with one who’s been out of hailing frequency (at least in mine) since our HS graduation. Hi Jov! ^^

Yet another FB wonder.