Back in 1998-1999 I had a poser poet phase, when I would try to write as many “poems” as I could and ask unsuspecting orgmates to write in my—euuw—poetry journal. I will spare you any patronizing comments—my poems are all pretentious crap. This journal, however, inadvertently gave birth to the annual Psych Soc literary folio, thanks to Kay Anonuevo. She had to interview me for some article she was writing, and part of the article was she would raid my stuff. In my bag she discovered, aside from illegal drugs and a batarang, the poetry journal. She then went on to push for me to create and edit a literary folio for our psych org, which became quite a hit that it became a yearly thing.
The literary folio was composed of short stories, essays, verses, and art work submitted by the members at the time, and if I remember correctly it was called Katarsis—you can’t get any obviouser than that, with the direct Filipino spelling for more UP Diliman effect. The project also made me mad with power—I changed the ending of FCC’s story from the girl having successfully crossed halfway across the world to meet the man of her dreams, to her plane crashing, ending any hopes of reconciliation. FCC never forgave me. My personal poetry journal now sits quietly in my closet, a total nidus of embarrassment. In the off chance that I become a famous literary figure this poetry journal would be unearthed after my death by an evil great grandson and be sold to some enterprising publisher who would milk what’s left of my, ahem, popularity.
For completion of poser-ness I also had a poser film buff phase circa 1999-2001, so it’s three full years of poser-hood. During the phase I would try to watch as many movies as I could, and at the time movies were just P40-P50 each, and with the “indies” still relatively novel. Usual areas of exploit were the UP Film Center (P20/movie), SM City, and the Glorietta Art Film cinema. Local outfits producing movies that tended to push the envelope would usually show them for free in the UP Film Center, but I still failed to watch Scorpio Nights 2. News was the crowd was so huge and crazy the theater doors broke down. I did get to watch, however, some great ones like Karnal, featuring the scene where Philip Salvador killed his evil dad. Mrs. Therese was beside me, and she shrieked like hell during the surprise murder scene—“Bakit hindi mo sinabi saking puputulan nya ng ulo?!?!” she caterwauled as blood sprayed out from dad’s severed carotids. I also got to watch Tuhog. Rodky didn’t want to watch it with me, so I watched alone. That’s the one with Klaudia Koronel as an incest-rape victim, and with Ina Raymundo playing her in a parody bold movie within a movie. And the hilarious and very quotable Paraiso Ni Efren, featuring the classic line, “Bakit pag totoo ba hindi masakit? So hindi ka masasaktan pag sinabi kong puta ka? Puta! Puta!” (or something like that).
I would watch something in the Glorietta Art Film cinema (which is a poser distinction in itself) almost every week without having any idea what the featured movie would be about, and at times I would inadvertently catch gems like Boys Don’t Cry which wasn’t in the general consciousness back then, but most of the time I would get to catch the really crappy ones. There was one about a family with a family problem or something. And another one with a series of weird, confusing, sexual liaisons. The crappiest of them all is “Chuck and Buck”. There were exactly 3 of us in the cinema. Apparently this was about two childhood friends who used to play a game that went something like this: “Chuck and Buck would suck and fuck.” They eventually grew old, and Chuck became a family man, but Buck became so fixated with this game that he started stalking Chuck so he could play the game again. I had dozed off for about a quarter of the film so I can’t remember if Chuck yielded and they sucked and fucked again, but I did catch the end, with Buck becoming a janitor of sorts in a ballet theater. Huh? Another bad “art film” I remember—The Pornographer, about a guy so discontented with the porn movies he watched that he started filming his own. For something about porn it was quite tepid. A week later it was already showing in Cinemax under a different title.
And then med school happened and there was no more time for poser-hood. Wait—frequenting expensive coffee shops with laptops on pretending to do something really important when in fact am just facebooking—the ultimate poser-hood.