Yesterday was the longest time I ever stayed in Ayala, Makati when I sought advice from the Philippine American Education Foundation (PAEF). And I left the city floating with more uncertainties than ever.
Before, I would pass by Ayala to go to Taft or to Edsa, or to have beer in a convenience store, or to join a rally. This time, I was bum. So for hours I walked and sat and ate. First stop, the Philippine Stock Exchange fountain area in front of the Ayala Triangle Garden. Second, McDonald’s Madrigal for breakfast (that’s why I’m rapidly gaining weight, fastfood).
Then my appointment.
The group advising was scheduled at 2:30 and I was in Makati at 8 in the morning since I have nothing to do on Thursdays. When I finally found Ayala Life FGU building along Ayala Ave after Rufino and Paseo Ave (thanks, manong guard), I walked into the freezing PAEF office on the 10th floor at 11am and was greeted by a slightly surprised receptionist. Before she spoke, I said “yes, I’m early. I’m excited.” She laughed in delight and allowed me to sit on the couch and read the dailies. The dailies drained my energy.
There was news about Ampatuan being bored while watching the videoed retrieval of massacred bodies in Maguindanao; GMA and Erap’s candidacy being approved by COMELEC; more Pinoy bodies found in Haiti earthquake; Ivler’s getting well; Cebu governor’s supporting presidential candidate Gibo Teodoro during the Sinulog festival, and Kris Aquino’s having the burden of responsibility in you-know-what.
I left the building just before lunch break and walked all those leg-numbing kilometers to Glorietta just to have lunch in this Jollibee company-owned quasi-French pattiserrie, Delifrance. I enjoyed the company of me, watching other people eat by themselves. This is a universe of lonely people. (reminder: alone/lonely is not synonymous to sad)
When I walked the same up and down route (had there been no escalators in the underpasses I would’ve taken the bus), I was hungry again when I reached FGU and since I was an hour early, I ate an overpriced Bolognese which I can cook better. But I’ve forgotten all of these when I re-entered PAEF office and sat with the adviser who gave us a reality check that studying in the US is expensive and our dreams of getting into an Ivy League or a private university there should be counter-checked with Philippine reality.
And I remember the dailies once more.