One of our photographer colleagues, Jessie Casabar, has an ongoing exhibit this month of december, and we sit at the table nightly as we pound the beers in rapid to moderate succession -- me, mon acasio, joe galvez, reg hernandez, redgie cinco, a certain retired colonel of the Philippine Army, and ungas. Who's ungas? All of us actually, in our own god-given way, nyuk nyuk.... There's a common saying that goes, 'Yung wala doon, PULUTAN siya' (Whoever's not in the nightly quorum, he's APPETIZER) - meaning we roast the poor absent bastard to death in conversation. Until he's turning over in his literal grave (sorry FPJ) and he's six feet under as far as we're concerned. It's funny, but it's that spiritual attempt to still place the person in our midst for the evening, sort of like an abstract psychological punching bag for whoever wants to rant about any topic or individual or pet peeve of the day.
We were, in fact, talking about the next day's big event - the last day of Fernando Poe Jr's wake where Joe Galvez mentioned that at latest count, there were 800, count it - EIGHT HUNDRED journalists accredited to cover the last ride of the departed Philippine movie KING into the sunset, er, sunrise on early Wednesday morning. I mean, where are they going to put all of us?!? On a scaffolding overlooking the coffin and last rites? On bleachers inside Sto. Domingo Church so we photographers don't end up swordfighting each other with our equipment? FPJ would've laughed at that. Hell, the media contingent is bigger than the number of showbiz people paying their last respects to the guy.
The more I guzzled my beers last night, I was feeling my right knee starting to swell in PAIN. Oh shit, it's that uric acid acting up again. So if you don't see me at the church today, FPJ, just remember me as, well, pulutan. :)