When I was a kid, I didn’t worry about wearing neckties. During my pre-school days, I had a ‘ready-to-wear’ necktie with a plastic holder and all I have to do is put it on my shirt. Eventually, I had to tie a necktie with the help of my dad when I was in fifth grade. I always asked the assistance of my dad (sometimes even my mom) whenever I had to tie a necktie until my senior year in high school.

In college, I had to attend formal gatherings (almost every girl was celebrating her debut throughout my four years in Manila) and I had to learn the complicated way of tying a necktie. Thanks to I was able to successfully put on a necktie every time I attend parties.

I had to master the art of tying a necktie since I am working in a corporate environment. After four months of tying a necktie six times a week, I believe I was able to acquire an ample amount of skill and technique. Although I tie the ‘Windsor Knot’ every morning, no knot is perfectly the same every time I do it.

When I opened my cabinet last Monday, I realized that I had a ton of neckties already – having all sorts of colors, designs and sizes. I bought a fancy necktie that is only an inch wide (Bench). I love the neckties my mom bought from Tieline. Some were from Marks and Spencer and the rest have plain colors (by Armando Caruso). While tying a knot one morning, I just remembered some lines from a local comedy film re-run on cable TV. It was all about the connection between love and tying a necktie (it sounds very corny at first but the said lines convey the truth):

Ang pag-ibig ay parang pagsusuot ng necktie. Sa una, magkakabuhol-buhol ka kasi di mo pa alam ang gagawin. Kaya minsan, kailangan ulitin ang pagtali dito. Pero habang tumatagal, ay natututunan mo ang pasikotsikot sa pagtatali ng necktie mo. Parang sa pagibig, habang tumatagal, lalo kang tumatatag, tumatalino.

Tying a necktie is not as simple as it looks. Try it!

Waiting for Love

After watching a few episodes of the American drama What About Brian, I can officially say that I am hooked. It took me sometime before I discovered this TV series aired every Tuesday at Star World. The show’s main character is Brian portrayed by Barry Watson whom I looked up to as Matt Camden in another series I love to watch – 7th Heaven.

The story revolves around 32-year-old Brian Davis who remains the only single guy in his group of friends. Although the setting is Los Angeles, any single guy from any part the world in mid-20’s or 30’s could easily put himself in the shoes of Brian. Typical love angle twists occur sporadically throughout an episode but what makes these twists unique is the sense of humor involved.

In terms of acting, Barry Watson improved a lot since his appearance in 7th Heaven. His realistic impression of his character adds to the convincing approach of the story. “Couple” problems are also tackled in most of the episodes. Among the two couples who are both friends of Brian, my favorite would be Dave (Rick Gomez) and Deena (Amanda Detmer).

One of the best episodes would be the time when Dave and Deena, after 13 years of marriage, encounters couple dilemma that lead to cheating. On the other hand, after marriage counseling and a dramatic scene during a wedding banquet, everything went well. At this point, I am excited about the future of newlyweds Adam Hillman (Matthew Davis) and Marjorie Seaver (Sarah Lancaster). Brian, on the other hand, survives the life of a bachelor despite the fact that everyone around him is happily engaged (much like myself).

In the US, What About Brian ended last March, 2007 yet I am patient to watch the coming episodes in local cable for the sake of brightening up my Tuesday television viewing. Like Brian, I think I’ll enjoy my friends’ love stories and in time, I’ll tell my own.

Puppets Tell All

Life in Avenue Q portrays the real world.

I almost missed watching the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q staged at the Carlos P. Romulo Theatre in Makati because of heavy traffic. Although my friend and I arrived about thirty minutes after the call time, we managed to catch up. Before the play, I was so irritated because of the Manila traffic I experienced and I thought of renouncing my citizenship right then and there. But during the musical, my mindset changed and I decided that I should remain a Filipino. I was astonished on how Felix Rivera, Rachel Alejandro and other Filipino members of the cast (including Aiza Siguerra) performed. I was carried away by their acts plus their voices were superb. I cried and laughed several times during the whole production. Manila’s version of Avenue Q is one big thing to be proud of.

The play is about Princeton, who moved into Avenue Q, mainly to find his purpose in life. Other characters, namely, Kate Monster, Gary, Christmas Eve, Nicky, and Rod were also living in the same community and their lives were portrayed as well. The actors/actresses held puppets similar to those in Sesame Street and the approach was in the same manner. The difference is that instead of counting numbers, spelling words or reciting the alphabet, issues on sex, racism, homosexuality, marriage, money, decision-making, and (most of all) love, were tackled. It became much like a ‘therapy’ for me. I was able to see myself in the situations where the characters were in.

All the songs were full of meaning, direct to the point and lively (much like in Sesame Street.) The voice quality of Felix (as Princeton and Nicky) and Rachel (as Kate and Lucy) were powerful and versatile. Both of them were able to change their tone whenever needed because of their dual roles. This is the so-called ‘repeat’ performance produced by Atlantis so the production was unquestionably lovable and was comparable to that in Broadway (as Boy Abunda mentioned during his interview with the main characters last December 22 on ANC’s Private Conversations).

I learned a lot of things in life because of this musical. The play made me realize that there is a ‘fine line between love and a waste of time,’ ‘fantasies come true,’ and interestingly, a new word – ‘Schadenfreude’ – meaning, happiness in the misfortune of others (I bought a green promotional t-shirt with that German word on it). If I were given the chance, I would watch Avenue Q ten more times. Thanks to, I can hear the songs over and over whenever I crave for laughter, reality and love.

I know someday, I’ll find my purpose in life. Avenue Q took me one step closer.