eighteen candles

friday, i was in a panic mode. i woke up at three in the morning and could no longer sleep. just when i thought i needed a good night sleep. i had several things to do that day, a hectic one, and at night, i had to go to my best friend's wedding. kidding. his birthday dinner. 

so i need all the rest to prepare for what looked like a loooong day ahead.
sadly, i had an insomnia attack. the worst one.

instead of making a big fuss out of it, i decided to watch teevee (cnn) and then read a book. sleep remained elusive. at six, looking like a zombie, i had breakfast, my first in a long long while. i am not a breakfast person, by the way. i would rather sleep some more than eat. that's why i gained so much weight. sad!

at ten, i answered a phone call. then emails. another phone call. then at one thirty, i ran to tower one to meet up a friend. famished, i ordered seafood linguine and iced tea while waiting for him.

at four, i went to the nearest mall to check emails again. i answered the urgent ones, ignored the others, deleted the spams, and had tea afterwards.

then it was five fifteen, time to ran again, this time to enterprise center to meet  birthday celebrant. at exactly five twenty one, i texted him saying that i was already at the lobby. he texted back that he would be a bit late because he had to finish some more errands at the office.

i decided to wait for him at tea republic and had another cup of tea. i know, i know i am starting to sound like the queen and her endless cups of tea. luvly! it's an antioxidant, what can else can i say?
at six, birthday boy arrived in a black and red checkered shirt (short-sleeved), well combed hair and jeans. looking as fresh as the day he stepped out of a details photo shoot.

in contrast, i looked haggard, tired and sleepy. i wanted to wear my new philippe altuzarra outfit and macqueen pumps but decided, at the last minute, to pick up a pink shirt, shorts and adidas shoes. i don't want to upstage the celebrant, my bestest friend in the world. chos!

we drove all the way to central bank to meet up the queen b, the mother of all mothers. then we headed to our dinner destination, a quaint seafood restaurant that was filled to capacity with japanese businessmen and their filipina girlfriends, balikbayans and their families, among others.

we ordered crabs cooked in a special sauce, steamed shrimps, sinigang na maya-maya, green mango and red tomato salad, adobong pusit and lots of rice. a feast fit for the queens!

while waiting for the food, we talked about everything under the moon: luvers past and present, people we lyk and hate, plans for christmas and new year, the numerous parties that we might attend and those that we planned to snub, the outfits that we would wear. well, you know the drill.

since the food arrived a bit late, we ate like there was no tomorrow. or as tito mon put it, as if we were kargadors at the pier. no offense meant to these hardworking fellows.

this time, we were quiet. our full attention was on the delicious food at the table.
a few minutes later, we stopped. there was still enough food to feed a battalion of hungry men, but we were already full.

after paying the bill, we went outside the restaurant and window shopped for dvds. yes, there were a lot of stalls outside selling pirated dvds. they have everything from the latest hollywood blockbuster to the famous korean, taiwanese and local telenovelas.

then we decided to have coffee, tea and dessert.

so off we went to malate -- cafe adriatico to be exact.

birthday friend had brewed coffee and suman sa lihiya, another one had a chocolate cake something to go with his coffee, and one more person ordered carrot cake and i had hot chocolate and a strange looking spongy cake with mangoes shaped like small balls on the side and floating in condensed milk. how appropriate!

as if we didn't eat a lot during dinner, the dessert was also wiped out in a few seconds.
"hindi kayo mga gutom ano?" one friend said.

we all laughed.

because our food craving has been satisfied, we turned our attention to the cute waiter who was, what else, taking our orders and delivering our food and drinks. he was tall, well built, chocolate brown skin or as erik luvs to say it -- every inch a man. tipong igagapos ka sa kama, bubugbugin bago ka paligayahin. i luv!

luckily, the waiter was game enough to trade banters with four gorgeous and ravenous fairies. "bakit masama kang tumingin sir," he asked one of us. "siguro may gusto ka sa akin." then he gave us his sweetest smile. hmmm... he even posed for a picture after taking ours.
click! click! click!


at exactly a minute past eleven, the always a killjoy old grand dame from quezon city -- the city of the stars or the middle earth -- called it a night. he was already sleepy and tired. hohum!

i decided to stay since i booked a session with adriatico's resident palm reader upstairs, who is simply known as madam. no first name. no last one either.

at first i was skeptical. she did not have a tarot card or a crystal ball and other tools of her trade. she also did not look like your typical fortune teller (long veil covering her head and face). she was dressed casually in jeans and loose long-sleeve shirt. her thick curly hair pinned at the  back.

there were also no ceremonies, no prayers. she simply lighted a white candle. then she asked me to open my right palm and to relax.

then she started reading the meaning of the lines on my palm. omfg! she was good. darn good. she was right in almost everything - my current predicaments, my personality, my plans (leche flan). she told me my fortune and i was satisfied.

after an hour, i left.

outside, the air was a bit chilly. reminding me that my most dreaded season is almost here.
at the cab back home, there was only one thought that crossed my sleepy mind -- get out of here soon!


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