I'm sorry because I will not be going to Mass today. I hope to be able to catch the tail end of the 2nd C3Con and maybe speak with some of my friends who may or may not show up. There are a million times when I've exhibited this weakness, probably a million more times when I've promised to make it up to you. Someday, I will.
Evil Dhex and His Ghay Shirt
When I took the MRT ride to the Megamall area, I was anxious. Not just because I was wearing what my sister teasingly referred to as a "faggy shirt" (think F4). What would I tell the friends who hadn't seen me in a year? How to properly answer the questions, "How have you been?" "What have you been doing?" I'd been to two previous anime/manga related conventions, and each time, I walked away eating my own bitterness. Would the third be the same?
I shouldn't have worried so much. I was, in secret agent movie parlance, "in and out" with a completed mission to boot.
I was met at the ticket booth by an old acquaintance-- one of the hands at the JC Palabay Enterprises Incorporated compound (CCCom HQ). He insisted, over my protestations, that I need not pay to get into the venue. I'm glad that at least some people can remember me fondly.
I caught up with Mark Navarro, who had taken over my old job at CCCom. Mixed emotions when I found out he'd stumbled on my blog and told my ex-officemates and some of our common friends to read it. When I had started writing about Culture Crash, I did expect that word of it would find its way to my old officemates, but I still wasn't prepared to find out exactly when that would happen. Well, the cat's been out of the bag for a while now. I left because I was neither content nor solvent. Some of this was due to my own failings as an employee; some of this due to my own failings as a person; some of this due to what I felt-- rightly or wrongly-- was how my colleagues viewed me. Some of this was because one can't battle failing grades and naggers at the same time. I had entertained thoughts about returning to work after the first C3Con-- I was MIA in Singapore, Thesis Land and by my Granddad's deathbed at the time they were working on Issue 11-- but then I'd decided not to inflict myself on these people any more than I already had.
The Ohld Ghang
I was happy for Elmer (Cat's Trail, One Day Isang Diwa)-- married to the woman he loves and with his foot still in comics, apparently. And still surrounded by nubile chick fans. Memer talaga, kahit kailan, chickie killer. Taga-Ilog (Pasig, Kubori Kikiam) had found himself a better bucket to put over his head. It was made of aluminum too!-- Niiice. Sadly, I could not see JIO (Solstice Butterfly) at the gathering; would've been great to trade dumbass jokes with him again. Tiga-Kanal (Kubori Kikiam) was there too, and all he did was tease me about my muscles and how fat I'd become. James-- well, James (One Day Isang Diwa) had his mom with him, despite her apparent leg injury. No doubt she was proud of her son's visions come to pass.
Abby Tifio (D'Koi Junkie) was there too. I wish I'd traded more than simple pleasantries with her, but there's still a boatload of things I need to keep to my chest: where I've been, where I'm going, what I'm going to do. (Kinda pointless, since all the lurid deatils are to be found in my blog!!! But please allow me my own absurdities...)
Saw Diwa's Eva Guy, erstwhile contributor of articles to CCCom; didn't see Diwa. I'd expected to run into more of my old UP Fine Arts friends, but I didn't. I was very glad to see Fine Arts alumnus Poli Polidario and some of the people from UP AME though. Did not run into Sammy nor into Kervin-- too bad.
The funky Yonzon family was present as well, hawking the new, sexy streetsmart English-fluent Darna under the Mango Comics banner. I became acquainted with the Yonzons at (where else?) the UP College of Fine Arts, though I got to know exactly what ah, "shared history" we have when I attended the first Tagaytay Film, Broadcast and Creative Workshop a year or two ago (Buboy Yonzon was a big part of it).
It was fun, running into pals and Alamat/QuestVentures stalwarts, Marco Dimaano (Angel Ace) and Carlo Vergara (One Night in Purgatory, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah), who also comented on my shirt. Upstart comic book artist Andrew "Buddha" Drilon was there too, snapping pictures. And I got to share a table with these guys and Red Robb-- oops, Comic Quest's own smiling Buddha, Vinnie Simbulan.
(Oh no. Name Dropping! I'm beginning to read like the society pages! Like... like... ARIEL URETA!!! SOMEBODY SHOOT ME NOW!!!)
It's amazing how nobody among the CCCom fans recognizes or remembers me. (It has been about a year. What did I expect?) And a good thing I didn't introduce myself too: I would've died in the middle of a handshake if someone were to ask me, "Evil Who?"