ms. universe moments

(my apologies to non-filipino speaking readers. most of the dialogues are in filipino. please buy an english-filipino-gay lingo dictionary.)

sunday. beautiful, sunny sunday.
i had dinner with fabulous bff from another planet with a different timezone. her kingdom is from a far far away galaxy that you will need not just a passport and visa but certificates of good hygiene, mental stability and good moral character before you are allowed to enter the territory.
yes, that's how advance their civilization is compared to ours.
but since i am a princess from one of the oldest kingdoms in planet uranus, i am allowed to come in even without these documents.
while waiting for her to arrive (unlike the prompt me, she is always late. when i say late, i really mean late. like an hour or so. that's normal for her. she won't even apologize for it. but since she is my bff and i luv her, everything is forgiven. i just hope that at her funeral, she would arrive on time.), i made chika with my suking waiter g in my favourite restaurant in the middle kingdom (malate).
g was telling me that shamcey supsup has arrived from brazil. in case you have been living in the moon for the past century, the lady with a rare as a gem name represented the country in this year's ms. universe contest and was largely expected to take home the title.
unfortunately, she landed only on the fourth place (third runner up).
most filipinos, myself included, felt she should have won the crown or at least she should have been first runner up given her performance from the swimsuit competition to the q and a portion, where of the five finalists, she was the only one who answered the question in english without the benefit of an interpreter. kaya mo yan, ms. brazil? apparently, it did not count for much.
her fans were so frustrated by her "loss" that one of them even spread via internet a supposed statement from ophrah that quoted the teevee host as saying that shamcey should have won hands down given her smart answer without the aid of another person to translate the question and her answer.


after taking my order, g asked me a ms. universe question:
"if you were another person, would you befriend yourself?"
i was startled. i didn't know that behind g's "shallow" facade (he always talks about cute actors and models, latest gossips about movie stars, etc) lies a philosopher pala. wow! i was speechless and felt sorry for prejudging him. (prejudging daw oh. eh kelan ang final judgment. ching!)
"can i answer that later after dinner?" i pleaded. "medyo difficult eh."
g, an openly gay to certain customers, agreed.


after nearly two hours, a dozen cups of cappuccinos and the arrival of thirteen hunks, bff sashayed into the restaurant, poised, unhurried, as if she was shamcey descending from the staircase to claim her crown and scepter from the previous year's winner.
"hoy shapshap bakit ang tagal mo? tama na yang tsunami walk mo, natalo na yan," that's me, sounding like a fishwife. i was a bit mad. (bit lang naman.)
as if she did not hear me, bff gave me a kiss on the cheek and sat down. arranging her gown baka magusot and putting down her glittering crown on the table. it was a big table fit for six people.
"sorry ha, dumaan pa ko sa malakanyang to pay the president a courtesy call," bff said, smiling.
"gagah, sa airport ang courtesy call dahil papunta na si pinoy sa u.s. eh parating naman si shamcey."
"ay ganon ba? na-miss ko yan ah."
"sa bagal mong kumilos, ang dami dami mong na-miss."
"talaga? madaming fafables?"

"super many. parang may parada ng mr. world kanina dito. muntik na nga akong tumayo at magsayaw ng it's raining men. pinigilan ko lang sarili ko at baka mapagkamalan akong si sisa. mahirap na. madala pa ako sa bayan ni benhur. afraid! bawal ang mahalay na billboards dun. "
we both laughed.
g took bff's order. the two had beso beso galore.
"kumusta ang reyna ng malate?" bff told g.
"eto fresh na fresh after winning the crown," g said, channeling ms. angola, this year's ms. universe.
more laughter.
then g left, pirouetting like a true blue beauty queen.
"sis, may tanong si g. pang ms. universe?"
"ano?" an excited bff asked, sipping my cappuccino. i let her. we share everything anyway, except men. we have different tastes in boys. i go for the boy next door, clean cut types (mukhang mabango) and she goes for the err type, you know the laborers, drivers. you get the picture.

"kung gusto mo raw maging kaibigan ang sarili mo?"
"oo nga eh. ano kaya nakain nitong si g kagabi aside from a reddish footlong hotdog sandwich?"
"ang hirap naman ng tanong. puedeng may interpreter?"
"ganito na lang sis. habang hinihintay natin ang ating order, sabihan tayo honestly. ano ang gusto at ayaw natin sa isa't-isa. that way, we will know how other people perceive us."
"ayoko nyan, baka magkapikunan tayo eh mag-away pa tayo. saka syempre hindi tayo objective."
"ganun?! so puro nega ang reviews mo sa akin. saka di ba sabi ko honest, so objective."
"hindi naman sa nega. kaso...." bff looked away. that's so her whenever confronted with a difficult task or question. either she would run away or evade the question.
"basta walang pikunan ha? friends pa rin tayo."
i got nervous. am i really that bad as a person?
"ok go," i said, masking my uncertainty. "let's limit them to ten. parang movie, pero may dagdag. ten things i hate about you and ten things i luv about you."
"walang personalan?
"gaga. this time it's personal."
"kahit masakit?"
"kahit sing sakit nang mawala ang virginity ko at mag pa raspa ako."
"ikaw muna sis," bff said, munching on the peanuts that g gave us.
"hate muna? or luv?"
"bahala ka."
i joined her in eating the peanuts. in fairness, kahit hindi ko feel ang mani, malutong sya at bagong luto.


after a few minutes, i asked bff, with raised eyebrows.
"well ms. philippines? do you need more time to answer that question? shall i dial a friend? call 911? call an interpreter? consult an encyclopedia? ask madam stella marquez to come over and dethrone you?"
"teka lang. wala akong maisip. bigla akong na blangko."
at this point, g has started putting our orders on the table. we ignored him.
"eto na. dyarannnnnnnn! ten things i luv about you sis."
"go!" i said, encouraging her.
"you are generous. like last birthday ko, you gifted me with an lv bag kahit fake at galing harrison plaza lang. at least lv di ba? pirated nga lang."
i laughed.
"hayaan mo sis, pag yaman ko, puro original na ang ibibigay ko sa yo. saka keri aunor mo naman. mukhang original na pag ikaw ang gumamit. may regal bearing ka kasi."
"iyan ang next na gusto ko sa yo. masyado kang honest."
we laughed.
she enumerated eight more.
"your turn."
i told bff the ten things i luv about her.
"mamaya na ang hate, kain muna tayo."
"ay ano ba yan. may pause muna bago ihain ang sentensya."
"para may energy tayo in case mag sabunutan tayo dito."
"good idea."
we ate, like two kargadors in the palengke. we finished six servings of steamed rice, a whole fried chicken, a big bowl of tinolang fish, two orders of adobo, a vegetable dish cooked the ilocano way, etc. for desserts we shared claude's dream and suman sa lehiya. no, we were not famished. that was our normal food intake especially when we are tensed.
"ano sir, may sagot ka na?" g asked me while he was cleaning up our table.
"sandali na lang. penge pang kape," i said.
"ako rin."

"ikaw na mag start sa hate portion sis," bff asked.
"wag na lang kaya?"
"oo nga."
"actually, wala namang chaka zaturnah sa yo sis. kung meron man, mas madami ka pa ring luvable traits. so forgiven yong mga small factory defects mo."
"chos! pero honestly, ikaw rin sis. kahit luka luka ka at masyadong mapag maganda at feeling mo mas maganda ka sa akin palagi, luvable ka talaga."
"may ganun?!"
we laughed again.
our nth cups of brewed coffee arrived.
"ano sir," g asked again. "do you have the answer?"
"eto na. humanda ka sa sagot ko g at talo si shamcey sa ganda nito."
"go!" my bff gestured for me to stand up and i did. she gave me an imaginary microphone which i accepted.
"first, let me greet manila a warm hello. mabuhay ang mga pilipino." pause for dramatic effect.
"would i befriend myself if i were a different person? my answer is a loud yes. nobody is perfect. we all have our defects as my bff here mentioned a while ago. but if you are really a true friend,  you will accept me for what i am, including my so-called imperfections. no censorhships. no echos that i luv you but please don't do this or that. take me for what i am and i'll take you for what you are. at face value or whatever currencies. after all, we cannot change a person. instead of focusing on her negative qualities, we should always highlight each other's positive attributes. that way, we can all live in peace and harmony. i thank you. magandang gabi, pilipinas!"

"bravooo!" g and bff said in unison.
"sana ikaw na lang sumali sa ms. universe," g said.
"gaga," bff interrupted. "hindi puede mga maton dun."
we all laughed, a bit louder this time.
luckily, we were seated outside of the restaurant and there were no other customers there because it was quite humid.


and that, ladies and gentlemen, was how i spent my luvly sunday evening.
what about you?


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