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Love and EDSA


I am working again for an international public organization based at RCBC Plaza in Makati, and go to work via EDSA every day. I do not take the LRT because I don't want to join the hordes of people pushing their way into the narrow doors of the tincan trains. I also don't want to fall down, down the escalator like what happened this week at the MRT station in Ayala.

I take the bus -- a long, usually two-hour ride in a somewhat airconditioned contraption. If the bus is old, music just wafts through the bus. But if the bus is spanking new, why, you can even watch "The Tourist" with Angelina Jollie and Johnny Depp, which was what I did yesterday. And I do not have a white Porsche to drive because, paraphrasing the great wit Miriam Defensor Santiago, at least I am not lonely and I have a boyfriend in these cool days and nights.

Oh, the traffic I had learnt to take in stride. I read -- now I  finally have the time to read the thousands of books I had accumulated in a lifetime of graduate school. I prefer reading poetry books, because I can read the lines when the bus stops or slows down or crawls on EDSA. And I can  stop reading the book when the bus revs up again and moves. If the poems make me drowsy, I sleep the sleep of the just, like my seatmates and neighbors in the bus, mostly Makati-bound like me.

Or I spend my time reading the billboards.

One small, black-and-white billboard had Maricar Reyes talking about diamonds. Beautiful and wide-eyed, below her face runs the test: "Because I take love seriously."

A few hundred meters away is the big, black-and-white billboard of Hayden Kho. No longer naked but covered in expensive, white winter wear, Hayden is promoting his perfume made in Paris.

When a female friend sent me the alleged sex video of Maricar and Hayden last year, I only watched it for a few minutes. The couple was making love, not having sex. I could not bear to pry into the privacy of two lovers sensuously kissing each other's faces and lips and bodies. Their hands have a language of their won, caressing skin with tenderness and care. There was passion there, and intimacy. They were fully naked, but it was not porn. It was erotica.

Her billboard upheld the importance of being seriously in love.

His billboard said a stink can be held at bay by the spritz of a perfume made in Paris.

Their images are done in black and white because it is classic, and they wear white because it is prim and pure, even virginal. Whether their respective enterprises prosper I do not know. But they certainly know how to evoke the power of colors, of words, of images -- especially on an avenue choked black by diesel fumes.

And where was Katrina Halili? I saw her last at the airport a month ago, in the company of GMA 7 talents like Mark Herras. People stared at her, but all attention shifted to The Man, Manny Pacquiao, who was also boarding a plane bound for General Santos City, for his glitzy birthday celebration with wife Jinky and mother, the unsinkable one, Mommy Dionisia.

The traffic of life and love -- by bus, by plane, in our dreams -- never ceases.

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