December’s Bottle Fatigue


(This year’s labor season draws to an end, gives us pause to reflect, smile, radiantly nod to any and say, “Good tidings!” With pleasant disposition, Herald Express’s   Daily Laborer Column greets all and sundry, “Behold, all wrapped in swathing bands; a Gift for us, in a manger, laid!”)

Of  gladness or despondency of our Christmas season, part stems from our sensitiveness and part from our attitudes; part is accorded by nature, and part is, in large measure allocated by ourselves.

Oh, sure enough, favorable enjoyment we cannot always obtain and stubborn pain we often cannot banish.

All, in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR and nearby Region 1, worth their salt, cannot give to any garden the fragrance they want out from the wild sunflower that blossoms every December, for the wild sunflower was destined by the Maker, to be as beautiful and elegant, yet fragrance-less.

Nor will any slogan of philosophy enable us to withdraw our attention from hurt or disease.

But any negative adversity which presses on, not from the pressures of suffering, but the absence of enjoyment this Christmas, will always yield to the remedies of reason.

Ay, this Christmas, we cannot but commiserate with who are placed in a situation so gloomy and distressful and incapable as not to see other everyday beings more forlorn and miserable, from whom they might learn to rejoice in their own lot.

Say, some, CAR or Region 1 residents, pinched by December’s cold, may grumble about our affection for our regions weather, harking our imagination thinking about warm weather and so on; but if we turn our thoughts to others, discover, we will, to our tranquility, while throwing our cloaks about our shoulders, how much we owe to Providence.

No inconvenience is less superable by art or diligence than this understanding, and therefore none affords more proper exercise for this philosophical abstraction.

Yes, common tao   readers who identify with this uneducated column, this philosophical abstraction that affords proper exercise becomes quite swept under the table when the mind becomes unnaturally fatigued.

In war, when soldiers get immersed in long fighting, they experience battle fatigue. What, when a person slurps all contents of wine in a bottle and wants more? Perchance, we, daily laborers, may call it  bottle   fatigue.

Happened during Christmas, when Ah and his friends, Garcido Kinaw-es, Carlos Angi, and Berto Sandoval, residing in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) reluctantly attended a Christmas party where many of the attendees they weren’t acquainted with.  Attend, they must. For the host was their best friend and wouldn’t brook no for an answer.

So they went.  It being Christmas, bottle contents overflowed. . .

So, manifestation of what could have been diagnosed as simple “bangungot” under very ordinary circumstances were with us before we realized it. But, it was more serious than we thought, however.

Having sat last Friday in that Christmas party,   Garcido, muy pogi but loneliest heart in life, suddenly discovered he had this gift of something like Extra Sensory Perception (ESP).

Oho! Ah snickered at Garcido, “You got the intuition, seeing with the soul?”

Garcido, a lovelorn look in his eyes, disregarded Ah, stood up, went near a lovely lady he didn’t know, smiled, sat beside her, took the girl’s palm and said matter-of-factly, “Ading, you are so beautiful like the falling stars. I can feel it so in my ESP. Pray, can you be my falling star for a lifetime?”

Tickled pink a handsome hombre she didn’t know had guts to court her during a Christmas party, the young lady, giggled, giggled again, and covered her nose, smelling the reek of wine emanating from Garcido. But she coyly batted her eyelashes at him.

Carlos, nearby, pretended to be napping, but in fact eavesdropped at the two cooing sweet nothings to each other.  All of a sudden, he fell off his seat, painfully rubbed his butt, stood up and muttered, “ESP, kanu,” while making the sign of the cross, once, twice, thrice, several times.

Carlos looked at the two – the two didn’t give a hoot about him – then repeated his gestures.

Ah thought nothing of it, slobbered on his gin, then casually glanced at Berto. Berto was staring, not at the Christmas party-goers, but outside to a window of a building across the street.

Berto had a clouded look and kept muttering to himself, “Kahit naka duster man lang sana…kahit naka duster man lang sana…”

Ah looked out across the street of the building where Berto stared at and all he saw were gallivanting chickens on the ground.

Ah chided Berto that it was rather silly of him to imagine a chicken dressed in a duster when everybody knew for a fact that chickens wore feathers.

Then, of the window of that building across the street, the curtains moved, hazy silhouettes appeared. Berto suddenly got excited, half-shouting, “Ayon! Kahit naka duster man lang sana!  Kahit naka. . .

But all Ah could make out of the silhouettes were heads on bodies shaped like broilers. “Wala naman ako kita chicks, broilers o cull-broilers, pwede pa,” Ah cackled in glee.

Deep in the middle of the merrymaking, Garcido underwent a subtle transformation too disturbing to ignore.

While the pals were discussing the Christmas day’s event, Garcido would suddenly stop in mid-sentence and glare ferociously at his friends. Eyes blazing, he looked so feral he almost seemed to snarl. At other times, Garcido would drop on all fours and doing push-ups or dash into the comfort room to bath his face.

It was unnerving, to say the least. Carlos also developed the habit of staring at the sky.

Many bottles of intoxicating drinks, later, the unexplained malady had infected all  friends, in varying degrees, from mild to rabid. Garcido waxed poetic, like, “Lonely people make good friends; lonely people are like thermos bottles, warm inside but cold outside…”

Meanwhile, the women who attended the Christmas party took to going off by themselves in groups and discussing. . . but that is another story that will be divulged at the proper time and place with your proper $$$incentive, my friends.

Then, Ah, who kept silent almost all during the party, seemed to be now the hardest hit, going about in a daze affecting a goose step and talking to himself, “How are you today, Benguet cowboy?  Fine, my cowboy friend and thank you. Someday, cowboy friend, CAR will be the cowboy country in the Philippines. . .”

Also, Garcido, Carlos and Berto all suddenly became tight-lipped and refused to talk to each other, even as two beautiful women came over for a chat.

Then Carlos and Berto bickered about dandruff and nearly ended up pulling each other’s hairs.

Gurgling down their drinks, Garcido became pensive, Carlos, laconic and Berto, irrepressively happy. Then Garcido, became very cool, Carlo, grinning from ear-to-ear while Berto, went from valuable to euphoric.

As for Ah, drooping his head happily on the table and drowning in his saliva, merrily said,” Thesh nashing mush to – hic! Talk about – das right! Nashing – hic – mush to talk abo. . .”

All the best this Christmas!  Cap the bottle, when enough is enough! A friendly reminder from Daily Laborer.