Thursday, December 1, 2011

What if Rizal had been a La Sallite?

Today on a spur of the moment I had high tea at the Makati Shangri-la with my La Sallite friend M. We agreed to meet at 2 PM and we’d already both had lunch so we ordered desserts and drinks instead. And before talking shop, of course the conversation turned to Ateneo and La Salle. I don’t know why our conversations always take this turn as we’ve both left school ages ago, but that’s the way it is and, frankly, it's quite fun.


We talked about all kinds of Ateneo-La Salle things. Then M dropped the bomb: "If Rizal had been a La Sallite, he wouldn't have been shot."

In turn I almost dropped my tea cup. "So this Ateneo-La Salle thing goes as far as Jose Rizal now, does it?" I was very amused, and perhaps he was very well just trying to amuse me as he said it with a twinkle in his eye. Then he explained: "Just think. If Rizal had been a La Sallite, he would have been more practical and he would've skipped the country instead of dying for it. He was the brains of the Katipunan so it would have been much better for everyone if he had remained alive to strategize instead of dying so young as a martyr."

Interesting proposition from a non-Atenean.


M has three iPhones for some reason -- and I thought my other friend J with his two Blackberries was bad enough. I asked him: "Why on earth do you have three iPhones?" It was the first time I noticed that he had three phones.

He replied: "One of them broke down but I can't throw it away because all my data is in it. And the third one is a spare." I just couldn't resist another jab: "I have only two things to say. One, you really should've gone to Ateneo instead of La Salle. And two, you should really get yourself a Blackberry."

He smiled at me and showed me some very animated thing on his iPhone. Then he asked: "Do you have something like this on your Blackberry?" But I already had the answer: "Of course not. That's what my iPad is for. I use my Blackberry for work."


At about 4 PM, a chorale group came on to sing a medley of classics, pop and Christmas carols. A song played and he said to me: “This is my favorite song.” I didn't know it, but then again it's probably because he's a generation older than me.

Very coincidentally, the next song that came on was my favorite: "Love you more today than yesterday." What are the chances of that happening? It's an old song that's way past my time but I like it all the same. It was very nice to have a relaxed afternoon tea with M with our favorite songs playing in the background.


Of course, we also indulged in some Manila political gossip. "We should watch it," he finally said. "This is a public place and you never know who's listening." He's a pretty high-profile person, you see.

Then I went to take a call, and when I returned, to my surprise M was talking rather animatedly to the men at the next table.

He then introduced me and we talked niceties as if nothing was wrong; but I already knew what he was going to say the moment we were alone. As we left the lobby, he whispered: "Those men were there the entire time. You're really going to get me into hot water."

Apparently they'd recognized M and struck up a conversation with him as soon as I'd stood up from the table. M was more amused than worried, however, so his remark to me was more of a tease rather than a serious comment. We'd just exchanged harmless banter heard from other people, after all. But a little element of danger certainly made the afternoon more fun.

Just another afternoon in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


Travelife Magazine's
Oct-Nov 2011 Issue


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