Monday, November 10, 2008
I am sitting on my bunk as I am enjoying - or at least trying to - a chicken siopao with its insides drowning in cheap catsup. I am thankful though that I have something to heal my hunger, though I cannot really define its taste. I could not even taste the chicken! What mattered then was I have something to fill my rebelling stomach with. Suddenly, and surprisingly, I lost my appetite for the sweets I brought along with me for baon so I had to buy from the canteen whatever I think would taste good.
I glance at my watch and then hold out a deep breath. It's a long ride home and it will last me the rest of the night. I told myself, aside from eating, I have to keep myself busy to stop the boredom which is slowly setting in. People-watching does not interest me that much (okey, anymore) and suddenly, again, I lost my appetite for the fiction novel I brought along with me. Lying on my bed and staring blankly on nothingness (i.e. maglutok-lutok, as Jenda puts it ), with the subtle roar of the ship's engine on the background does not appeal to me and sleeping early would even be a tall order for a self-confessed insomniac.
It was a good thing my bed was stationed in front of the television. Then I started to notice people who were slowly starting to position themselves in front of the television. They even looked behind them as they position themselves in front of the tube, taking much care not to block anybody who's also watching what's on TV. What's on TV? You guessed it, the immortal telenovela.
The sight amazed me. We, yes, including myself, seemed to be drawn to a force we could not resist. Suddenly, strangers care for each other and exerted their own efforts to be considerate no to block the others' view (especially those from behind who found out a little too late that there was a TV on this corner of the ship), even if it meant that they shoud position themselves like contortionists while watching Isadora and Catherine trying to kill each other. (One thing I also noticed was that when characters in Pinoy telenovelas - or is it the same even in other foreign versions? - are aiming their guns at each other, they go around in a circle while saying their lines. Why do they have to do that?) But anyway, suddenly, varicose veins are out of the topic as of the moment. What's important is that we, yes, including myself, would not miss this critical turning point of the story.
A few runs and a few commercials after, that night's episode ended. And then we were off to another rollercoaster ride via the next telenovela/ teleserye/ sineserye/ Koreanovela/ Mexicanovela, whatever you call it - it's the same banana. Truly ours is a telenovela nation and one could not deny it, including myself.
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