Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | October 27, 2007

33 Luftballons

Hast du etwas Zeit für mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont

I had to blindfold myself, the UP Cum Laude said.

And so I did, after a few mild protests. And while she fiddled with my keys to disengage the locks on my apartment door, I silently stood under a fluorescent light, wondering, of all things, who coined the word blindfold. I mean, sure, you folded a handkerchief, wrapped it around a person’s head so it covers his eyes and then knot it from behind so it stays on.

But of all the actions that led to one being temporarily blinded, why coin a word using the first action? Isn’t blindwrapped more apt? Or blindknotted? Blindtied?

Before I had any chance to come up with a legal brief, I heard her voice again, background-ed by the unmistakable sound of the apartment door yielding to the fiddling and twisting.

And then she opened my palm and thrust a pin into it.

“There are 33 balloons around your house. You will go around and pop them one by one. Inside these balloons are notes. All of those notes are especially for you,” she whispered.

“Are you ready?”

And off came the blindfold.

My eyes had to adjust to the light for a while. But when they did I was greeted by the sight of multicolored balloons taped to different spots inside the apartment. That’s how the title of this post came to be. The song was among the first things to pass my mind, right there along with:  “Why 33? What’s so significant about the number 33? Isn’t today the 20th?”

She just smirked. I gingerly poked at the first balloon, held back by the childhood fear of bursting balloons. Pop went the first balloon. Out flew the first note. It was the lyrics of a song that we both like. And in the interest of protecting ourselves from jologs taunts, the title of the song will remain anonymous.

On went the pricking. On went the popping. Some balloons had coupons inside them, redeemable at my behest. At my choice of time and place. Which makes me wonder what frame of mind was she in when she included this among the coupons:

Yes, I am seriously considering redeeming this in the office, where I can wink at officemates and tell them yes, sometimes girls can’t keep their hands off me and oh, isn’t it just such a curse to be such a hunk?

Anyway, I finally ran out of balloons to pop and I was giddy over some of the other coupons I earned when she said: “Wait, we’re not done yet.”

She whipped out a cake from the ref, plopped numbered candles on them and lit their wicks. She asked me to make a wish and then blow the flame out. I ticked off a few things in my head that I badly needed some fairy godmother to grant. But I’m not telling what because they might not come true. Although the things I wished for were somewhere between world peace and a numbered account in the Cayman Islands.

Just as I blew the candles out, a thought crossed my mind: Here she is with the No. 33 again. I mean, shouldn’t the candle reflect my age? Why did she pick a number that reflected the number of balloons she taped around my house?

Oh. I forgot to tell you. The occasion was my birthday. It was my nth birthday for those who need to know. And then I realized, in a split-second moment of introspection, I’ve been through a lot to get to a point where I have this wonderful product of the country’s budget-strapped State University planning out a birthday surprise for me.

It has not been the easiest of lives. Trust me. People who drew the unfortunate luck of having gotten close to me know that I’m sometimes an unbearable pain in the ass, but they have to just grit their teeth uncomplainingly through the friendships I share with them because they know of the things I went through.

I mean, first of all, there’s the obvious. It’s not easy for someone from the south to try and make it on his own here in Imperial Manila. The fact that I started out having a tongue caked in concrete did not help my social standing any.

I remember a time in high school when there was this girl I really liked and we started getting along really fine until, in a burst of amorous energy, I asked her to be my shuuutah. Yes. I pronounced it thus. She never spoke my name since that day without exploding into an uncontrollable fit of laughter.

Plus, there’s the fact that when you’re bisaya, you’re lumped together with all bisayas. It’s like Manila people can’t tell one bisaya from another. Mukhang bisaya yun o, Manilans love to say. WTF does mukhang bisaya mean?

I mean people from the south can tell the difference between Diego of Bubble Gang and Piolo Pascual. But Manilans? Take three people from Cebu, put them side-by-side and they’d mistake them for triplets. Eh mukhang bisaya lahat.

The upside is we can live a life of crime. After all, put us together in a police lineup and we will befuddle even the most attentive witnesses. Chief, mukhang bisaya lahat eh.


Anyway, things are far different now than they were when I celebrated my birthday, say, during my college years. Back then, I was fairly certain that I’d spend the rest of my life with an older woman. I don’t know about you guys but back then, older women epitomized a certain kind of vampness that the young ones just can’t seem to pull off.

Back in college, I carried an affair with someone five years older than me. It was like pulling out frozen meat from the ref and dunking it into a pan half-filled with blistering, heat-angered oil. Sizzling.

But then, back in college, a woman five years older than me would be a hormonally hot hospital nurse looking for exciting ways to pass idle time. Nowadays, a woman five years older than me? Put it this way, I’ve heard of a woman at that age who already has a two-year-old grandchild.

Gi atay.

At this age, the trend is to go younger. Although there is a great danger in looking out for younger dates. A friend once told me that at this age, you’re treading the thin gray line that separates playboys from DOMs.

But hey, whoa! No, I haven’t reached DOMness yet. At least, the uberhot UP Cum Laude doesn’t think so. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be going through lengths to prepare a surprise party for me. Okay so I’m getting defensive here but this is my blog so leave me be.

So, back to the surprise. It didn’t end with the balloons and the cake. There was the vintage skinny (wtf?!) jeans and the vintage shirt and the first person to connect the dots and say that these went to a vintage celebrator gets a smack in the kisser.  There was also more balloons, this time arranged in bouquet fashion tacked to which was a card that asked me out on a date.

Because she knows my fondness for seafood, she took me to the one place where she knew I’d be perfectly at home: Bubba Gump!

And yeah, I may be stupid, but I know what good shrimp is. And Bubba Gump? The shrimps were so good, their souls must’ve gone to shrimp heaven the moment they were cooked.

It was a little past midnight when we finally were homeward bound. There were two more surprises waiting for me. The first was a powerpoint presentation of the moments we had shared thus far, one capped by a video of her professing her undying love and devotion and the promise that she’d take a bullet for me anytime.

The second?

Let’s not get into that.

Let me put it this way: Frozen meat, blistering heat-angered oil. Sizzling.

And I hadn’t even used a coupon yet.

Hab’ ‘nen Luftballon gefunden
Denk’ an dich und lass’ ihn fliegen



  1. awww how sweet naman :P

  2. kung ako si jo uupakan kita sa sobrang incriminating ng post na to. hahhah gaaaaa you naughty naughty giiirl hahahaa :))

    anyway. happy birthday dude. if there’s someone who deserved a really niiiiice surprise, it’s got to be you :) glad you had it, gladder you’re happy and gay.

    okay, just happy then, fine. :* tsup. ayus.

  3. ga, wala ako magawa eh. mahirap upakan to at baka kung anu-ano pa sabihin sa mga susunod nyang entries. ahahaha! ;)

    and yes, i am a naughty naughty girl! that’s why i am ‘uberhot’ as the author said. you know i’ll do anything for this guy, don’t you?

    and you are very right when you said he deserved this kind of surprise. nothing but the best, kate. nothing.

  4. me? incriminating? reallY? but how?
    thanks kate, thanks. and, oh, don’t give up on the gay part just yet.

    joke lang po, UP Cum Laude :)

  5. itay! shuuuuutaaaaaaaaa! hahaha ang tanders ng term =p

  6. eh di pa uso sa cebu yung term na yun nun eh. something new ba. lagi ko binibigkas, mali pala. ahahahaha :D

  7. Gusto kong kumain sa Bubba Gump!!!
    San ba ‘yun?

  8. Tel: GB3
    Haz: Yeah, sweet. And spicy. Hahahahahaha!

  9. Uy bisaya! hanep sa bertdey partee ah!

    Belated Kiko! =)

  10. sweet naman… almost cried. belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY! too bad i missed it. i’m so happy for you! you deserve it all!

  11. Nie! Salamat, fellow bisaya. Siguro, akala nila magkamukha din tayo nung high school. Hahahahahaha! I wish. :)

    KAT PUSA! Thank you, thank you… Naalala ko tuloy last birthday ko. Ikaw yung isa sa mga naghirap magprepare ng surprise. Haaay. Isang sheet nalang ng scratch paper ko. Yoko pa ubusin. Ingat ka jan!

  12. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

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