I have no culture, in the way that people define the concept nowadays. So when Smoketh proclaimed that she had free tickets for a Repertory Philippines production of the “Wizard of Oz” in Makati I said yes. We don’t turn down things these days, specially if they are free. So that Saturday I ran to Greenbelt 1 and met Smoketh and Henj. I was pretty surprised that Greenbelt 1 is still there after all and pretty much intact the way I remember it years and years ago before the glittery new Greenbelts selling expensive things popped up. Minus the Triple V and Baskin Robbins. Such a dip into nostalgia, even if tangential, will not be complete if I don’t mention Quad, Park Square, Glicco’s, and Bun on the Run’s Chori Burger. We like to take comfort into these old things and places, they make us feel like we used to be alive, that we haven’t always been the nega zombies that we are right now. And for more, I’m using the pronoun WE when in fact I just mean I. There’s more comfort in hoping that there is sharedness in angst.
Back to the play. Smoketh and Henj were already eating in Tokyo Tokyo when I arrived, and I noticed that they were fashioning a new do. Apparently they have been in Makati for hours on end already, having undergone digitalized nano-tech driven hair curling. “So ginamitan ba kayo ng pink rollers?” I asked. “Hindi na uso yun.” Smoketh said. No longer uso as well, apparently, is Pagoda Coldwave Lotion.I asked them how much the curling cost, and wow those things cost a fortune. Before I could comment, sensing my aghastation (not a true word), Smoketh said, “Bakit magkano ba ang isang action figure mo?” This argument always ends any tendency to judge.
We walked around Greenbelt waiting for Smoketh’s sister who had the free tickets, and we noted the play would already start in a few minutes.
“Naku baka hindi na natin abutan yung Defying Gravity,” I said.
“Ibang play yun,” Smoketh replied.
“The last play I watched was…”
“Rama and Sita?”
Come to think of it, the last stage play I’ve seen was in 1998, a required stage play in Comm 3 in UP Diliman. Something about Lapu-Lapu or something else, starring Eugene Domingo back in the days.
The play was pretty interesting, with colorful costumes and songs and stuff. I would probably not be a stage play reviewer, because that’s the limit of how I could describe it. I fell asleep after ten minutes. It was obviously meant for kids, as the entire auditorium was packed with elementary kids and their parents. There were portions with audience participation where the actors would ask a question to the audience. I looked behind me at the boy who screamed the loudest “YEEEEEEEEEEES!” Beside him was his father, deep in slumber.
After the cast bowed and stuff the kids ran in front to have their picture taken with the cast. A 15 year-old girl scoffed at the idea of her sister doing that and delaying their egress. “Hoy you used to that as well noh,” her mom admonished.
And then I realize that I have my own standard of “culture”: a cultural activity is any activity that does not involve the hospital or Rob.