@Abe

Our dear friends, Joy and Rommel, are here in Manila. One just came from the province, and the other is on a vacation mode after months in the high seas. As friendly rule dictates, we just have to meet and catch up on so many things, even if the stories are recycled. Trust me, we just don’t get tired of laughing at the same old funny anecdotes and punchline from things past.

We meet at Trinoma around dinner time. We decided to eat at Abe, with my moral persuasion, because the crispy pata is just to die-for! And I want to eat it again. So off we go to the restaurant.

Good thing, the restaurant is not full compared to other dining establishments nearby where people just overflow to the brim. It makes the occasion special, and laid back. Perfect for story telling and a fistful of laughs. Check some wonderful pictures below. I don’t have to elaborate further how special the night is. Just notice our smiles.

Compelling

The back story of Little Bee has this as its gist.

WE DON’T WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS BOOK. IT IS TRULY SPECIAL STORY AND WE DON’T WANT TO SPOIL IT. NEVERTHELESS, YOU NEED TO KNOW ENOUGH TO BUY IT, SO WE WILL JUST SAY THIS.

And because I don’t want to spoil your fun when you read it, I will just tell you the inspiration for the novel by Chris Cleave.

“In 2001, an Angolan man named Manuel Bravo fled to England and claimed asylum on the grounds that he and his family would be persecuted and killed if they were returned to Angola. He lived in a state of uncertainty for four years pending decision on his application. Then, without warning, in September 2005 Manuel Bravo and his thirteen-year-old son were seized in a dawn raid and interned at an Immigration Removal Centre in southern England. They were told that they would be forcibly deported to Angola the next morning. That night, Manuel Bravo took his own life by hanging himself in a stairwell. His son was awakened in his cell and told the news. What had happened was that Manuel Bravo, aware of a rule under which unaccompanied minors cannot be deported from the UK, had taken his own life in order to save the life of this son. His last words to his child were: “Be brave. Work hard. Do well at school.”

Unifying sport

INVICTUS do not tell you about the life story of Mandela (you can read his autobiography for that). It is about rugby, the sport, which unifies a country fresh from the breakdown of apartheid, and the fresh leadership of a black leader. Nominated for Best Actor (Freeman) and Best Supporting Actor (Damon) at the Oscars, the film is akin to Pacquiao and boxing in the Philippines. Go catch the movie.

Serendipity

While passing the time waiting for a friend at Fully Booked – High Street yesterday, I chanced upon this book here which I have been looking for a long time!

I even ask for help from friends abroad to look for a copy for me. There it is, stack in the right corner of the “New Arrival” section just next to Up In The Air.

Talking about good things happening right smack at my face. Nice. I have to grab it.

Have to.