vatican redux, etc.
Carlo Vergara, Nikki Alfar, Marco Dimaano, Camille Portugal, Dino Yu
After gorging on chicken skin chicharon (courtesy of belated birthday boy Dino), we went for dinner at Countryside, that much-maligned (by me) inihaw and barbeque place along Katipunan. I actually like the place in terms of food (it's good and it's cheap), but you need to be in a certain mood to stand the ambience of the place (like when neither cleanliness nor a server familiar with the menu is a factor).
Since I am blessed with creative friends, we indulged in a little exercise. I took on the role of the Vatican, and asked ad agencies to pitch ideas for the new, hip, relevant, and dynamic Church. It was quite a blast, with gems including promo-type Offertories, taglines like "Gotta Get God", and Easter being a bigger holiday than Christmas (with gifts you would have given a person if you knew they were going to die in three days time) - zany, irreverent and quite recharging. It was more difficult for Zen Buddhism, with Nikki throwing in the towel with "But it will all be one, a hundred years hence."
We then took the conversation over to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Vin's fave caffeine watering hole (and they do serve a mean choco-malted concoction that I love), and talked scenarios about relationships, infidelity and things that can break love (I know, it was like a better-written episode of Thirtysomething). I like these occasional forays into matters of the heart and psyche because it never fails to illuminate aspects of the human heart to me - and attempting to understand human nature is quite important when I write. These talks are always good for eyebrow-raising, belly-laugh-inducing pseudo-confessions, all in good fun.
For me, the crux of any given evening out with friends is the conversation, moreso than whatever activity we're doing. Talk may be cheap, but at the same time, the words (and the people who speak them) are worth their weight in gold.