Last night, I stayed up until 4 am at Coffee War, a tiny cafe in Kemang which ‘opens until whenever’, with some good friends. I’ve fallen in love with this place which strangely manages to attracts a wide range of patrons. Filmmakers, writers, actors, or slackers with battered laptops looking for free wi-fi to update their status on facebook. The other day, a bunch of philosophers were debating as fast as a speeding train, dropping names like Deleuze and Badiou more often than when two most loudmouth fuckers calling God when they fuck. That, plus the heat because of the broken air-conditioner, made me do ballet near their table like a walrus.
I went home and decided to work on my website which should’ve been updated three years ago. After struggling with flash and xml with little success, I decided to go to sleep, a little bit past my usual bedtime (5 a.m.).
I woke up at 10 a.m. to the sound of my sms alert. I read the tragic news. Alexis Tioseco and his girlfriend were shot dead by burglars who were robbing their house. Alexis was a film critic and lecturer living in Manila. I only met him twice but his intelligence and kind personality have made an impact on me, like he did on many others in every country he visited. It was a great loss. Alexis’ departure is another big tragedy for filmmaking community after the death of Yasmid Ahmad last month.
A friend wrote on my facebook wall commenting on Alexis’ death, how the lives of some great people ended in the hands of those who don’t even know what the gift of life is. Which is very true.
I went out of the house after working on my script. My iPod shuffled some unusually somber songs in my car. I made a stop to buy some blank DVDs in a shop. I wasn’t noticing people were running out of buildings. I was about to yell to the store salesman who was only standing still behind the counter when I asked if they had what I needed. Then I realized there was an earthquake.
It took me two hours to drive to Ratu Plaza which usually only took 15 minutes. The traffic was ten times crazier than usual. The atmosphere in the city was very strange today. It felt like one of those moments in movies when the worst thing is about to happen.
And here I am, at Coffee War again.