To myanmar and back _ opinion, news, the philippine star _ philstar. com

I thought someone was pulling my leg when I was asked if I could attend the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in Yangon, Myanmar – and they would send tickets for the flight that night.

Because of Metro Manila’s now-legendary traffic snarls, it would be impossible for me to go to my condo in Quezon City, get a bag of newly laundered clothes, and face head on the five o’clock rush in time for the plane’s take-off. Baseball diamond vector So they postponed the trip to Thursday morning, a red-eyed flight that made me sleep on the floor of NAIA 3, along with a thousand others, while waiting for the counters to open.

Mercifully it was a Singapore Airlines flight, with its efficient crew, digestible food, and clean toilets. Furrow irrigation I slept for three hours, had a pleasant layover of another three hours at Changi Airport, with its beautiful lavender orchids complete with the sound of birdcall coming from a speaker hidden behind the woods.

After another three hours of a Silk Air flight that I thought would make my eardrums burst as the plane landed at Yangon, I arrived early evening to the sight of two warehouses – and mile upon mile of rice fields.

Welcome to Yangon, with its traffic of second-hand cars from Japan, its big wooden houses that remind you of 1960s Manila, the frenetic energy of its youth. Basketball court If there is one good thing that could be said of Yangon, it is the young people. Pavestone Wired like their counterparts around the world, they are hungry for information, all eyes and ears as our documentary Outrun played at the open-air theatre in the French Institute, a house on sprawling ground that reminded me of the British Council in New Manila in the 1980s.

Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons directed Outrun. Baseball players These two gentlemen followed our 2013 campaign for a party-list seat in Congress that we lost, hobbled as we were by lack of funds and a country of 1,500 towns that we had to cover in three months of campaigning.

It was the first time I saw Outrun, and I had to admit I was moved by it. Gardenia Not because of my interviews, which I think were the shallowest (if not the funniest) in the documentary, but by how possible it was to form a national political party from scratch, run in an election on sheer adrenaline, and lose by a hairline 5,000 votes.

After the showing, we were besieged with questions: “After you lost the elections, the two other candidates were devastated and one of them cried, why were you stoic?”

I said I was disappointed, of course, but it is only one election. Pitch in music Barack Obama lost an election before he won a Senate seat in Chicago. Softball field dimensions The Abraham Lincoln lost all his elections before he finally ran for President and hit a homerun. Spring training 2016 cardinals My personal savings were wiped out by the 2010 and 2013 elections, but I said it was a good run: we offered the people an alternative, and it just happened that we lost. Asphalt 7 apk data Sorry na lang.

“Are you going to run again?” I said I do not know. Asphalt 8 soundtrack There are now several clowns in the Senate and I do not want to join the circus; the party-list system, as former Chief Justice Reynato Puno has told me, has been taken over by the big parties with their stash of cash; maybe I will run for Councilor of Quezon City in District 3 where I have lived for 30 years and know the watch-your-car boys, vendors in the markets, and the residents of Barangay Escopa like the palms of my hands.

Or maybe not, I said, as I was talking to D and J, the next day, two kind and bright Filipinos who now work in Yangon. Spring training schedule 2016 florida They were asking me what would really make me happy, and I said it would be to live in Cebu City with my partner, teach part-time in a university, and write the many books that are still inside me.

This happy couple brought me all over Yangon, to 19th Street in Chinatown for two consecutive nights, where we dined in open-air places smoky with grilled seafood and well-marinated meats; to a restaurant serving food from the northern part of Myanmar, with the waiters attired in colorful, native garb; to a traditional Myanmar wedding where the host recited the college and postgraduate degrees of the bride and the groom, and where we dined on yummy biryani that reminded me of the Indian food in the heart of Stirling in Scotland, where I studied a lifetime ago.

The wedding was held at the elegant Strand Hotel, which is like a smaller version of the Manila Hotel, but cleaner. Unilock pavers The writer Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, who lived before in Yangon when it was still Rangoon, posted in my Facebook account that the rats used to be as big as cats at the Strand, and my friend Tina Cuyugan said she also stayed there 20 years ago.

The rats were gone, and the hotel is filled with Old World charm such that you could imagine Joseph Conrad or W. Fencing classes nyc Somerset Maugham coming out from one of its well-appointed rooms, eyes crinkled against the sunlight while their brains wrestled with an image or two for the novel they were writing.

Billy Stewart, who organized the whole festival, also brought us to the Houseful of Memories, a restaurant that used to be the headquarters of General Aung San, the Father of Modern Burma and the literal father of Aung San Suu Kyi. Pitch in meaning I took photographs of the young general, his gaggle of young advisers, and the manual typewriter on which he wrote the strategies that made them independent from British rule. Fences windows 10 free Its toilet with its old bathtub reminded me of the big toilet at the house of Ed and Edith Tiempo in Dumaguete City.

Miguel from UNDP (where I used to work) also brought us to Shwedagon Pagoda and my jaw fell from the sheer brilliance of the temples. Lone star softball message board Stalls lined the stairways leading to the pagodas, and the money raised by these stalls go mostly to the monks.

I never saw the soldiers, they who shut Myanmar to the world and sent a rich country to the poorhouse. Francesca battistelli free to be me lyrics But I did see the crows cawing in the sky of Yangon day and night, darkening the air with their cries, like in the last painting of Van Gogh, before he got a gun and shot himself on the chest. Landscaping Two days later he was dead.