Thursday, August 26, 2004

comrades in expression

surviving the zeroes

Thanks to the magic of the internet (and Quay, the conduit in Dubai), I was able to touch base with an old college friend, Joey Alarilla and congratulate him: his work, "Surviving the Zeroes", won 3rd Prize in the essay category of this year's Palanca Awards.

Joey, online editor of, wrote about his daughter Sam and the first generation born during the Zero Years. The online newspaper will publish it soon, so watch for it.

Joey, Quay, Pauline, Dino, Lisa, Nikki and I (with Ponjun, below) were part of TINTA, a literary org that preferred to sing bits from Les Mis, play endless card and word and RPG games, read comics, argue, eat and fall in love.


Raul Roco Jr.'s exhibit of paintings opens on September 1st and runs until the end of that month. Entitled "Prisms" (and part of the larger "Six Solos" show), his mostly abstract collection is all about the hidden colors of light and the beauty of simplicity. The venue is the Pasig City Museum in Plaza Rizal, Pasig City.

The last time we got to talk was when Ponjun represented his father, then-presidential aspirant Raul Roco, at the launch for Siglo: Freedom. We chatted about art and writing (Ponjun is also a poet) and comic books (he has one of the most impressive Thor collections around).

But what I really remember him for is how, during college, we would skip classes and hie off for the casinos along Roxas Boulevard. There I struggled to master the secrets of Big/Small while Ponjun shook his head in disbelief.

Afterwards, I'd visit sporadically, never daring to play any of the card games (but if they had Magic: The Gathering then, I'd have given them a run for their money) but slowly creating my system for Big/Small. And sadly, reality proved the game's title correct - I lost big and won small.

And since I'm off on a tangent anyway, I've actually entertained the notion of designing a casino game and living from the royalties (or residuals?). Except that I suck at math and am more concerned about whether or not I can smoke while playing. The August 2004 issue of Playboy has an interesting article about just that.


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