Julia Clarete

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Philippine Connection - August 2, 2002 Friday

Marikina Miracle

I started the day by tagging along with Senn to the Marikina Public Market to witness first-hand the "Marikina Miracle" as envisioned and developed by now Metro Manila czar Bayani Fernando (BF). The hype stood to reason. The new Marikina was clean, orderly and disciplined. What used to be public sidewalks (eaten up by vendors forcing people to walk on public roads along side motor vehicles) have been cleaned up and given back the public. Main roads were widened and lane boundaries clearly defined and enforced. Corruption at the municipal level has stopped.

The new system reminded me of what I read about squeaky-clean Singapore. Better yet, with BF, there's an air of optimism about the do-ability of what has long been regarded with resignation as "that's how it is...nothing we can change about that" attitude. Or worse, an outright indifference to social aberrations that beg to be addressed. If I have one wish, it's to see BF assume presidency and duplicate on a national scale his Marikina Miracle.

Julia Clarete

After several failed attempts to hook-up with Julia Clarete since that night at City Jam (see July 10 entry), we finally managed to set a date to meet in the early afternoon for coffee and dessert. I scheduled to pick her up at her place. While inside her condo, I noticed small items that spoke volumes - surreal and spaced-out Heavy Metal mag (that I used to collect - nothing to do with heavy metal music), paintings by her (as a web designer, my canvass is a web browser), paintings about her and scarce sprinkling of artistic trinkets. In the process, I caught glimpses of me and of things I wanted to be...hmmm, definitely a good omen.

Café Breton was still closed so we settled for the neighboring Icing Café and headed to Café Provençal for some grub and a bottle of Rosé. Walking with her on public streets generated the typical "hey look, there's a TV star" gaze from people around. Too bad I haven't seen her on tv or movies yet. We finally settled at "10 Years After", a Goth-inspired bar playing New Wave music. DJ Martin certainly knew his stuff. 4 rounds of Cuba Libre by barkeep Ciloy left us unhinged. The conversation revealed her liberated headspace and unbridled verve. We talked like we were the only people around...danced like nobody's watching...and hugged like long lost friends. It's uncanny when connection like this happens.

What was originally planned as a polite afternoon coffee forayed into the night. There was so much to share and more to talk about. But just like anything that's too good to be true, I had to reluctantly cut the evening short to hook-up with TJ and his merry crew for some previously arranged partying at WhereElse. I couldn't come with Julia to meet with her friends at Bistro 70, a popular hangout playing live music as well. More of Julia Clarete »

Cloud 9

My eager anticipation (yes, despite my reluctance giving up my evening with Julia) to hammer with TJ, Gold and Pacoy was dampened by my tardiness and being mildly spaced-out. The bottle of Rosé and 4 shots of Cuba Libre were taking their toll...they were forgiving. After picking up Tina, we headed instead to Cloud 9 in elevated Antipolo. The city view was breathtaking within our open-air table. More booze, sizzling appetizers, good conversation and great company. What more can I ask for? Unfortunately I had to be the party pooper (again!). I had to be somewhere at 2AM so they had to cut Cloud 9 short to make me keep my earlier commitment...they were accommodating...what a crew! I missed out heavy myself... Tina's measured wit (that's equaled only by her charm and grace), TJ's bigger-than-life self appreciation (he-he-he...I mean that in a good way), Gold's lively "pagbabangka" and Pacoy's unruffled "cool".

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen events, my 2AM meeting never took place. So there I was, cutting short my evening with Julia, cutting short my night with the crew and ending up alone while everybody was still partying the night away...talk about a blue balls night.

--- TheLoneRider

Julia Clarette in Blogs of TheLoneRider

August 2, 2002

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