When I said that my life appeared to have the gas pedal stuck like the one on a Toyota Camry or Corolla (pun heavily intended), I was more correct in my observation than I could have ever imagined.

So when I received invites to two events on Saturday night during the past week, despite getting only two hours of shut-eye for that day, I put on my happy face and took on the gallivanting mindset.

Komikasi Inc. recently launched their Espresso weekly comics series, and I was there. And yes, I got goodies from Garnier and dibs on their pilot issue.

First, I took a taxi and rushed over to Mag:Net Cafe along Katipunan Avenue to attend the Espresso comic book launch of Komikasi Incorporated. While I was there for just over an hour (as I had arisen late with the event starting at 6:00 PM), I was able to meet up with former office mate Martin, who was one of the collaborators of the weekly free comics series. Yes, that’s right. Not quarterly, not monthly, but WEEKLY and FREE.

Having met with the mastermind (actually, publisher and creative genius Ria Lu), I found out the said comics series would debut on June 21 with limited release at major LRT1 and LRT2 stations, as well as select Comic Odyssey branches. To keep up with the weekly demand, various stories were already in deep development by their talent pool of artists. The launching was a blast with an amazing performance by a relatively unknown artist (who was also a friend of the mastermind), and giveaways from sponsor Garnier (a subsidiary of L’Oreal). And while I was unable to grab anything to eat as I arrived late for the event, I figured that I could more than make up for it at the second event I was to attend later on.

Interested parties may send their questions, comments and suggestions to espresso@komikasi.com.

But the most delightful surprise was meeting with elementary batch mate Niki and Teacher Andrew from my elementary days at Community of Learners. Niki was covering the event for the New Worlds Alliance, and Teacher Andrew proved a huge comics fan himself. After bidding adieu to our gracious hosts, we took the next cab to 70s Bistro along Anonas Road, Quezon City for the second event.

At 70s Bistro in Quezon City, former and current students of COLF were treated to a benefit bash courtesy of Teacher Marj Javier, who celebrated her 50th natal day. All proceeds would go to the non-profit Cancer Warriors Foundation.

Teacher Marj, our elementary Math teacher, was celebrating her 50th birthday at 70s Bistro located along Anonas Road, which also served as a fundraising event for the Cancer Warriors Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children suffering from the dreaded disease with treatment help and research. An impressive number of former and current Community of Learners students showed up for the event, which had live bands, lots of food and beer and even shirts being sold for a worthy cause. And that would just be the beginning of Round 2 of the weekend adventure, as more surprises lay in wait.

I also met up with a number of old classmates from those days, namely Anna, May-i, Karina and Louie, which resulted in stories of all and sundry being told in between bottles of beer, platters of sisig and pizza, and raucous cheers for the performers. They expressed delight at my presence, and surprise over my heftier frame. But it was a wonderful time to catch up, and it made me consider planning for a new batch reunion after having missed a previous one at my former alma mater.

I had planned to present an impromptu speech for her at the event, but confusion over the presentation order resulted in my being unable to share my little piece on stage. Instead, I managed to get the email of Teacher Jing and send a copy of the speech to her earlier today. Give or take a few sentences (and maybe a paragraph), I pretty much shared my impromptu thoughts in my intended way.

Later on, Niki and I headed to Araneta Center for a last round of beers since we were both in “storyteller” mode.  I ended up sharing the story of my chaotic love life, which earned brutal but well-meaning comments from him. At least he had the sense to call a spade as it was and nothing else, which I respected him greatly for.

We parted ways by 3:00 AM and I got home, exhausted and tipsy over the beer I had downed. I was soon in bed, and out like a light after being terribly short on sleep.

My friend Raymond roused me from my sleep around lunchtime when he rang my phone, reminding me of our planned meet-up at Trinoma later that day. I suddenly recalled that he had contacted me about it yesterday before I dozed off, and I had indeed agreed to the said day and time. So I yanked myself out of bed, got ready for the day and headed off to Trinoma for a Sunday with a friend I had not seen in some time.

We had a nice lunch of sizzling platter meals at the food court, followed by a viewing of The Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett) and Jackie Chan at neighboring SM City North-EDSA. Initially, we planned to watch it at Trinoma, but owing to all tickets for that day except the last full show being sold out, we hopped over to the other side of North Avenue and battled long lines to get tickets for an earlier screening.

The movie elicited riotous laughter from the audiences, especially with Jaden’s typical black American demeanor conflicting with traditional Chinese attitudes and norms, as well as Jackie Chan’s usual outlandish antics. Other than the movie being oddly titled “The Karate Kid” despite Jackie Chan teaching his young protegé kung-fu, as well as his being from Hong Kong (where Cantonese is the common dialect instead of Mandarin, used by more speakers all over China), the film itself was not too bad at all. The drama did drag on for the early half of the movie, but picked up nicely into the second half.  I consider it an “okay” film, but not one I’d be scrambling to watch again.

We then hung around at Starbucks sharing stories while having fun with his brand new iTouch and laptop. By 9:00 PM, we decided to head home and we parted ways from there.

And that was my latest epic weekend. Hoo-ah!

*****

The previous weekend (Sunday rather), I joined my sisters, cousins (and a boyfriend of my female cousin), stepsister, nieces and nephew on a trip to Enchanted Kingdom. We spent the day on rides, good food and plenty of stuff in between.

Before going wild at Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, we decided to ham it up for the camera first. Click!

I finally overcame my overwhelming fear of roller coasters by taking a ride on the Space Shuttle ride, and got a massive thrill in the process. Surprisingly, Anchors Away proved scarier but still sufficiently fun. I ended up soaking wet on the Log Jam and Rio Grande Rapids, while I was somewhat surprised by the effect I got on their underwhelming-looking roller coaster for the younger groups as well as the massive Ferris wheel. But I enjoyed myself the most on the bump cars, where I weaved and bumped my way to a fun time.

I even ended up winning a stuffed toy alien after I joined a contest at the arcade, which sadly ended up getting lost while I was on my way home from work just a few days later. Still, it dampened my mood only slightly and I did not regret missing the team building event held at my office mate’s hometown of Mariveles, Bataan over the same weekend.

The pictures from my cousin’s camera were finally posted earlier on Facebook and I had a wonderful time looking through the album. This has made me more determined to get a DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera to make my stories worth retelling over and over again.

Having reviewed my past weekends, I could only say that I have never been so busy having fun in such a long time. It has certainly been worth it. And if these are any indication, I may make the term “EPIC” terribly cliché before I know it. Already, with the next few weekends loaded with activities, I won’t be able to catch my breath anytime soon. Either way, I intend to make the most of it.

I was once told that I should not take life so seriously, for no one ever gets out of it alive. And so, the fun continues.

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