If I could…

If I could be anywhere else today, I’d choose to be in a hammock in Boracay, the breeze kissing my face, the sound of the sea lulling me to sleep. I’d wake up to have calamansi cake and a tuna cheesemelt from Real Coffee, after which I shall look forward to an evening that begins with me in a cabana at Waling-Waling, enjoying the sunset and the sound of a man singing to a guitar, watching people walk by.

If I could choose to eat anything right now I would want some fresh plain yoghurt, mixed with a big, generous dollop of good honey. Right after that I would treat myself to a sentimental delight — buwad bolinaw fried crisp, mixed with mayonnaise, then sandwiched between two fat slices of white bread. My mom learned that from her eldest brother, Tito Manjo, and for some reason it seems almost exclusive to our family. I have yet to meet anyone who eats buwad bolinaw that way. Buwad bolinaw, by the way, is probably known as dilis here in Manila, but the smallest. It is best eaten immediately after being made into a sandwich, so you can fully enjoy the crisp. It is quite magical actually, the crunch in sharp contrast to the airy softness of the bread.

If I could go back to my childhood and choose to do one, no make that two more things to the many happy others I was able to do, I would first climb a tree and second try to win a medal in some sport. What is it like to have a sport you’re so good at, you actually win a medal? I do not know what that feels like. All the awards/medals I got were for academics. I would want to experience being part of a team, working towards the same goal, handling the pressure of the actual competition. Why climb a tree? Because. And maybe that would have brought me closer to my wish of being able to spend one afternoon of my life reading a book in a pretty little tree house.

If I did not have the life I have now, I would probably be working for Martha Stewart or wrapping beautiful gifts for a living. The latter especially would make me so happy that I would be young forever.

If I could change one thing about the dynamics of prayer and the relationship we each could have with God, I would like it to be like the olden times, when God spoke to His people in a clear, loud voice. That way I would not have to spend anxious time thinking if I should go this way or that, do this or that. There are times when the situation is so hazy that I honestly do not know if the course of action is what I want to do or what God wants me to do. It would be nice to know the difference for sure, because His way is always foolproof.

If I could have invented one little something, I would choose to invent the fortune cookie. I think it is so charming, a happy thought tucked within a cookie, and the one who thought of that must have been a very kind person to want to make even a stranger smile.

If I operated my own business I would like a bed and breakfast hotel that serves delicious home-cooked food! The whole place would be white, with wooden floors, and the only color would be from the soft furnishings I would use. The rooms would be scented softly with mint and lavender and all the sheets and linens would be by John Robshaw. The place would be so pretty and the service so warm and wonderful that guests would actually be so saddened to have to leave.

If I could drink something with every meal and not have to worry about getting fat I would choose Royal Tru Orange with lots of ice.

If I could watch a movie right now I would want to watch again, one after the other, The Age of Innocenceand Legends of the Fall; the former because the dialogue was so beautiful and romantic and the whole movie, as far as I can remember, pulsated with the longing that only unrequited love knows; it was bittersweet. And the latter, well, because Brad Pitt really bloomed into gorgeousness with that film.

If I could change one thing about David Beckham I would give him a different voice. He deserves a manly voice, instead of the squeaky, high-pitched one he has. But manly voice or not, he is a beautiful man.

If I could do all that I would, one way or another, but I am on a plane now, on a runway, and it is finally about to take off after being delayed for over an hour. My jacket is not keeping me warm enough and I have to take a little nap because before me a day of dusty roads and inaugurations and paperwork is set to unfold.


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