NATURE had to force certain activities onto our speciesâ€”because if we had the choice, we would not do them, ever. One of these things, of course, is sex. Sex is one of the most error-prone, disgusting, expensive, complex and effortful activities we could ever do.
Just think about itâ€”if we had another way to reproduce, if our hormones didnâ€™t override our frontal lobes, weâ€™d rather have rich dark chocolate cake, Taittinger champagne, and some juicy, lemon grass- and-charcoal-aroma-ed lechon manok instead of sex.
Look at the much misunderstood (emotionally) amoeba. Seemingly without provocation, it just ups and splits itself into two. We have no idea if this self-splitting is an excruciatingly painful process or not, but it sure beats having to go through the complex games of homo sapiens mating, i.e., Â pretending to actually listen to your hot date while sheâ€™s talking; while you wear shades to disguise the fact that your eyes and attention are at boobs level.
Imagine if we could multiply ourselves like amoeba: whenever we get lonely or have no one to play cards with, we just take a deep breath, squeeze our buns, and pop out another person from our side. Throwing a party would be so easy. Simon Cowell could dispense with auditions for his next hit boy band by simply hiring someone like Sam Tsui.
Now, even if saying Sam Tsuiâ€™s name really fast sounds like weâ€™re sneezing (â€śHave you the watched the YouTube videos of Sam Tsui?â€ť â€śGesundheit. Hereâ€™s a tissue.â€ť), the guy is an extremely talented vocalist with amoeba powers, as evidenced by his ah-mazing! YouTube video here, where he split himself several times: Â http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R12QVtuB0_Q
Anyway, I can think of one good reason why Nature forced sex upon us. Itâ€™s because Nature wanted to put mothers on this planet. Considering the 24/7 workload without pay or benefits, the pain involved in pushing a 9-pound organism out of yourself, who will soon be the teenaged spawn that will back-sass youâ€”no one would willingly become a mother. I wouldnâ€™t.
And yet, Nature is not Mother Nature for nothing: she knows what she is doing. Mothers are some of the greatest people in this world. My own mom is no exception.
When I was growing up, I couldnâ€™t ride a bike. She forbade me to learn it. This is because when I was a toddler, I rode on one of those kiddie trikesâ€”and promptly sped my way down our street right into a disgusting, muck-filled ditch. It traumatized my mom so much. Her logic was, if I had an accident on three-wheels, riding on two wheels could kill me. So, no bikes.
I donâ€™t blame her for reacting that way to my trike accident. I was born prematurely at six months and three weeks old, and basically would have died if not for an incubator and the attention of doctors and nurses. This made my mother worry about my physical well-being right then and henceforth. She just got used to worrying that I would either get sick or die.
My mother, who naturally wanted me to live, recited novenas to the Santo Nino (Child Jesus) of Tondo. She promised the Child Jesus that, should I live through my perilous infancy, she would take me to the Church of the Santo Nino de Tondo every year until I was 12 years old. And thatâ€™s what happened until my twelfth birthday.
And every birthday until I was twelve, I also had chicken blood rubbed in the shape of a cross on my forehead, on my knees, on the middle of my chest, and on the crooks of both arms. I can still smell the blood today.
Iâ€™m pushing forty already but Iâ€™m still vague about what the chicken blood rubbing was forâ€”obviously, it was no Christian ritual, despite the use of the cross symbol. My mom slaughtered the chicken herselfâ€”I shall spare you the detailsâ€”and from time to time, I still think wistfully of the twelve chickens that gave their lives on those birthdays of mine.
My mother did all the other things weâ€™d expect good mothers to do for their child, and I turned out pretty okayâ€”so I am thankful. The love she showered on me as a child is the main influence on how I parent my own kids today. But no, no more dead chickens for their sakes, unless weâ€™re going out for some KFC.
Happy Mothersâ€™ Day, Mommy. I love you.
The rains have come. This means not merely heavy traffic, floods, and the risk of leptospirosis for all of us. It also means that tinolang manok would be perfect for when we get home from the rain. Itâ€™s one of the favorite comfort foods of Pinoys, reminding us of home and our mothers.
Really rainy days, when weâ€™re staying at home for some reason, is also the best time to read or listen to music. I donâ€™t know why, but Karen Carpenterâ€™s voice seems always a perfect match for a rainy day. Check this song out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPmbT5XC-q0&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=AL94UKMTqg-9Chzc6NqpPREFNISyTKjTLf
Another album thatâ€™s good to listen to on rainy afternoons is â€śClassics in Black and White: The OPM Collectionâ€ť. This collection of piano renditions by Martin Avila is perfect for relaxation and nostalgia. The album puts together original Filipino music by George Canseco, Willy Cruz and others. I bought a copy of the album a few days after I heard it being played in a spa.
(I got my copy from Odysseyâ€”and it was the only copy left. Hopefully, you too will be able to get the album. It seems to be selling well, and for good reason. )
Somehow, â€śClassics in Black and White: The OPM Collectionâ€ť brings out an enchanting dimension to the music of the songs we grew up with in the 1970s to the 1980s. We realize that George Canseco was an absolute genius when it came to melodies.
We are amazed at how â€śEach Day With Youâ€ť sounds fresher without the over-the-top vocals of Martin Nieveraâ€”to be fair though, Martin makes over-the-top sound beautiful. Heâ€™s the only Filipino singer who gets away with it.
Hereâ€™s wishing all of you more loving moments with your mums, and lovely music to listen to during the rains.
(I know, I knowâ€”thatâ€™s a Miss Congeniality statement that I just typed. But I wanted to end this column on a positive note, instead of just crying out that the movie â€śThe Mommy Returnsâ€ť is one of the longest movies you will ever watchâ€”because itâ€™s a painful, slowly unfolding disaster from beginning to end, like a throbbing toothacheâ€”and you will wait in vain for a genuinely comedic moment; as in, all jokes feel like deflated balloons, and when you watch it with your wife and three kids, all of you will come home disappointed. So I wanted to end this column on a positive note. Okay? What? Oh no.)