In the total absence of things to talk about being in the current zombified state of hell-owship, Frichmond, Smoketh, and I started waxing nostalgic. They didn’t have any new, exciting tales of love and unhealthy sex to offer. Nobody was dating a loser–or dating anybody, period. They looked at me for anything to contribute, but truly even I had no stories to tell.
“I tried breaking open an ampule of chemo today. The ampule fell on the floor. Luckily it didn’t break. So I picked it up,” was the most exciting story I had, hence the desperation to rummage old stories.
“Let’s just try to imagine what Robinson’s Ermita looked like when it was still poorita before it transmogrified into Robinson’s Midtown,” one of us, whom we shall call Zombie 1 instead of their proper code names, said. “To start, where was Starbucks originally located?”
“A stone’s throw away from Friday’s, near the Pedro Gil entrance,” Zombie 2 said. There is no point discriminating among the zombies, as everyone was now properly zombified. “What restaurant was beside Starbucks?”
“Some restaurant. That area is cursed. It used to be….”
“And shortly thereafter it became….”
“That crap restaurant that serves expensive crap food, Oody’s,”
“Which is beside….”
Stay away, don’t throw stones at us, we did not coin that offensive term. Faggaro used to be a popular colloquialism for Robinson’s Ermita Figaro, because it used to be the tambayan of all sorts of mama san’s in drag surrounded by young, heavily-made up women in tiny skirts who would meet foreign elderly gentlemen. When Robinson’s was expanded and Figaro sort of underwent an image rehabilitation, however, the mall flesh trade ended (as far as we know).
Luckily before we fell into the boring trap of tracing all the establishments from Starbucks to Dymocks or Tower Records or Cinnzeo in the Padre Faura Wing, Frichmond went farther in the nostalgification exercise and time-warped to the year 2001. All three of us used to go to UP Diliman and one of the restaurants in Katipunan was called Ken Afford. I’m not sure if it’s still there, but Frichmond frequented the place back in college. One time after a full weekend in Mount Banahaw for a PI 100 class Frichmond and her friends went directly to Ken Afford for dinner. They’ve become so accustomed to screaming at each other in the mountains for two days that by the time they were in Ken Afford they were still screaming.
An old handsome mestizo guy behind them called their attention and nicely asked them to lower their voices. Mestizo gentleman looked familiar, but they couldn’t properly identify him. But he really did look quite familiar, like he was a Sampaguita Pictures actor but Frichmond couldn’t quite put her finger on it, and she was furtively glancing at him and she was asking her friends who were also quite puzzled who this guy was, maybe he just looked like an actor but really wasn’t, maybe…
Eventually there was no need to guess any further, as the old, more familiar woman beside him, eyebrows shooting through the orbit, finally spoke in true kontrabida fashion.
“Don’t you kids know you’re practically shouting?!?!” scolded Rosemarie Gil. Guy beside her is her husband, Eddie Mesa.
There was nothing else to talk about, so we tried to identify all the local actors and actress from the Rosemarie Gil-Eddie Mesa clan and it proved to be too confusing. We need emergent help. Calling Mark V!