Petiks attacks

I’m coining this term to justify that space between productive hours in the office, when one should be slaving away to read proposals, chrun out comments, and what-have-you. Petiks attacks are involuntary, as what other forms of attacks are: heart attack, panic attack, epileptic attack. But this particular one doesn’t cause any biological harm or physical discomfort. In fact, it’s the opposite. It puts one in a state of immobility yet of unprecedented momentary bliss- disabling someone from toiling hard labor. It is a virtual escape from the burden of workload, a time for normalizing blood pressure and stress levels. It’s an opportunity to gather your wits, like that of a madman experiencing lucid intervals, which are few and far in between. Afterwhich, one is pushed back to one’s conscious state- a two-by-two meter asylum held padded with an assortment of paper and a sprinkling of clips.

***

I just realized it’s the bar season once again. I don’t know anyone who’s taking the bar, but this time of the month- and March, when the results are released- always reminds me of my aspiration before to become a legal beagle. I am not so sure how that drive eventually slowed down. It must be the long late nights one pours in over thick law books, and the infamous terror law professors that averted me from the idea, as well as the my present place in the world now. No regrets really in forgetting (or foregoing) about engaging in courtroom brawls and spitting arguments and counter-arguments.

Here’s another past article I wrote some time last year about the bar- a different kind of bar, that is.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Wholesome bar review

On the entire four weekends of next month, barristers, first-time takers and flunkers alike, will be trooping to DLSU to take the tortuous bar exam. To all the hopefuls who decided to spend at least four years of their lives to study again, clichés are all I have to offer: “Life is short.” “Time is gold.” “To err is human, to forgive, divine (more so yourself).” I think that’s enough evidence for a libel case. Seriously, I wish you luck. And more seriously, don’t fail “…imploring the aid of the Almighty Father…” as what is provided in the preamble of the Philippine Constitution. That’s all, your honor.

But this is not an article on the bar exams, or about the law, for that matter. This is going to be about this bar in Malate where we went to last Sabado night. To begin with, the place is a wholesome place, according to my low standards and distorted view of morality. Is there anything left wholesome in Malate?

And since I’m already on the topic of wholesome, let me take this chance to question the etymology of that word- wholesome, because I find it troublesome and likewise lonesome in its kind. “Wholesome” is an oxymoron compound word per se, with “whole” meaning “entire, complete, total” and “some” gives the connotation of “a little” or “a few” (more popular examples of oxymoron are military intelligence and honest politicians). How can something be “complete,” if it is just “a few”? Whoever decided to marry those two contrasting words is bothersome and, uh, not wholesome.

We were really just supposed to go to San Miguel Food Shop which is just within the Las Piñas area, but we are not called lakwatsero (footloose) for nothing. We headed to Pier One along Buendia, but it was already overloaded. So we ended up in this bar.

Let’s hide the bar under the name, kwatro-kanto, or 4K for short, since I don’t and won’t get paid for this plug. I intend no pun to PGMA’s administration. Four K is situated outside the yuppie bar haven that is in the Nakpil, Orosa, Remedios Circle area. From the outside, we could already here the strains of an Aegis song. The bar can accommodate a rough estimate of 150 people; the bar was that spacious. At first, I even thought I was in a restaurant! It mostly caters to typical Pinoy crowd, but specks of white can be seen amid the sea of brown.

I was enjoying the retro music, but was rattled when the band segued to a novelty song, which I later learned was entitled “Jumbo hotdog.” Lito Kamo is my prime suspect. What made it worse (or entertaining, depending really on your taste), was the crowd’s eagerness in singing ang dancing to the tune, and the singers who prepared a matching choreography. Another baffling instance was the way the people rose in unison from their chairs, as if ushered to the dance floor by a mystical hand when “Family Day Affairs” by Mary J. Blige was played. A tactless friend opined they did not have a JS Prom back in high school.

The patrons of 4K consist of some folks who were old enough to be my parents, or maybe just like the unassuming lad seated next to you in a jeep on the way to do his/her shopping in Berma in Baclaran. If you’re thinking that this is a second-tier bar, think again. These people can afford the expensive food and booze in the place (I’m using “these people” to exclude and discriminate our group for not being able to afford their prices, kwentuhan at tawanan ang pulutan namin). A barrel of SMB draft costs PhP390! Shaking the hands of “Jane,” (who looked like Jenny of the “G-girls”), a singer of one of the featured bands that night, was our mere consolation.

I was culture-shocked. And I thought I’ve met everyone in UPLB. I never thought a place like 4K existed; consider me a “poor elitist.” Enough oxymoron for the day!

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