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Gearing up

jullie yap daza - medium rare

 

 

OUR “heirloom” Christmas orna­ments packed away, suddenly the living room looks so empty, al­most as bare as the calendar on the wall. (The year 2018 came and went, and still no win for Jess Arranza in his fight to save Uniwide owner Jim­my Gow from his money managers, whose “betrayal” cost him a R30 bil­lion retail chain that I used to pa­tronize for its December flea-market finds, such as porcelain and fake crystal from Bohemia.)

Life goes on, as the cliché goes, each of us gearing up for the ad­ventures ahead, intended and unin­tended.

Raul Sunico, international concert pianist who’s also a mathematician (music is math) and statistician, started the year by sequestering him­self in his man-cave. No socials, no phone calls. Whether he’s trying to be a monk contemplating the silence or an Olympian building up his stamina, the fact is that to prepare for his next concert he has to be a bit of both.

On Jan. 26 at CCP, he will reprise his superhuman performance of many years ago, when he played all four piano concertos of Rachmaninoff in one night. As I wrote then of that phenomenon, Raul climbed to the top of Everest and came down again, all in one day. Will the musicians in the original orchestra dare to be around for this repeat of Rach 1, 2, 3, 4?

For someone who had insisted he was “not interested” in becoming a senator, Bong Go’s facsimiles on bill­boards, posters, flyers are now every­where, even coin-size stickers stuck on every fruit that my cook bought in the palengke for the last meal of Dec. 31. Among Mr. Go’s TV spots, one shows a gum-chewing Digong as his photo bomber, for a change. Wonder why the candidate’s team has not created a jingle played to the beat of bongo drums.

This rice-eating nation has been expecting abundant harvests and cheap prices, ever since we learned to say “rice sufficiency.” Finally, we’ll be owning up to being rice-sufficient by importing millions of tons.

My friend doesn’t know whether to grit his teeth or knock out some­one’s teeth. His 18-year-old daugh­ter has just confessed she’s several months pregnant, which will make him a first-time grandfather in the first quarter of 2019. He vows, “I will strangle the guy” should he so much as come close enough to propose marriage at this stage of the young man’s life, i.e., careless and jobless. C’est la vie.

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