Then and Now

Originally published in 2001, Then and Now: Bridging 50 Years in Silliman was featured in The Sillimanian Magazine, a special centennial Founder’s Day Issue of The Weekly Sillimanian.

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The Belle of the Furball

Some things get better as they age. Like wine. Or cheese. Or that very rare breed of man who will never be associated with dad bod and is known in some parts as a silver fox. (What’s up, Jeffrey Dean Morgan?)

Beauty and the Beast, viewed through the sober lens of adulthood and after too much adulting? Not one of them. Sure, the songs still resonate and the spectacle still astounds, because hey they accomplished this in 1991 when computers required a whole room to house them and cell phones were as big as bricks.

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For King and Country

Someone wasn’t just at Rio to hold the flag.

Anyone who knows me knows I only have one sport I reserve energy for – tennis. The glorious, solitary sport of kings, while ostensibly for gentlemen, is actually more of a gladiatorial contest of skill, mental fortitude, strength and endurance.

Anyone who also knows me would know this piece of news has thrilled me no end – Rafael Nadal, on a podium, winning, clutching a gold medal? My weekend has just gone from blah to awesome.

Rafael Nadal, Olympic gold medalist in singles, winner of two Wimbledon titles, two US Opens, one Australian Open and, most famously, an unprecedented nine French Open titles, just added  another Olympic gold medal to his bulging closet of  tennis trophies – this time in doubles. This makes him only one of two men who have an Olympic gold medal in both singles and doubles tennis. Clearly his absence at the 2012 London Olympics,  was a lingering sour note and he’s been making up for it in Rio this year. Each time you think Rafa’s done winning, he just goes and does it again. All things considered, this is a pretty stellar warm-up for the US Open at the end of this month, if he’s making an appearance.

Even a surface Nadal fan knows that he never plays half as well as he does when he’s called upon to represent Spain, and he’s at his best when he’s part of a team. (Ironic, since he’s made his name as a singles titlist). Doubles may not come as naturally to him as being alone on court, but the chemistry with doubles specialist Marc Lopez at this year’s Olympics  couldn’t seem to be denied.

After a disappointing, injury-plagued year and a half where he’s been forced to withdraw from the French Open and Wimbledon because of his wrist, winning again is probably the most positive thing that could happen to him.. Best of all, this win wasn’t for himself, it was for his country. Vamos Marc! Vamos Rafa!


A Moment on the Lips

The heart is highly overrated. It’s easy enough to assuage loneliness and homesickness in the age of Skype and Facetime, but the stomach isn’t as easy to please. Forget the heart, home is where the stomach is. My parents know this, which is why they welcome me with open arms and loads of fresh mangoes, cuchinta, bud-bud and puto each time I come home. Food figures heavily in our hearts.

Most days, I end up making my own home-cooked meals. Not fun when you’re used to buying it at a carinderia but a necessity when a piece of fried bangus is easily $6. A bag of malunggay leaves costs $2.50 + tax. It sucks because it’s mostly ice (they freeze the leaves in water) and I cry in the shower when I realize I’m ponying up $2.50 for a bag of leaves I used to pick off a tree in our backyard at home. But there’s only so long I can go without having Filipino food and if I have to cook it myself, I will. Needs must. Our neighbors are Filipino, and sometimes the hallway smells like chicken tinola. It’s all I can do to stop myself from knocking, bowl in hand.

They have plans to open a Jollibee in Toronto next year. Read More »