I was asked to do a story on the "Life of Correspondents," by the Philippine Journalism Review (PJR), but to my dismay, no one really wanted to talk to me about it. Bong told me to interview his bureau chief, instead; Esco did not want me to reveal which paper he was writing, Q was upset with his date and became very scarce, and except for Julie in far off Zamboanga city, everybody--from Nash to Jeoffrey to Grace---was silent.
I was lucky to find the gay-sha.
She set our interview inside the newly-opened Peace Café on Juna Subdivision where she was doing an interview with the café owner! Is it possible to interview somebody who is doing an interview? I asked.
But then, I realized this was how impossible the gay-sha was! After waiting for quite a time, while the gay-sha sipped her iced coffee, finished her ice cream, demolished her banana cake without even the courtesy of handing me a fork I could use to help him, peppered the café owner with questions before dismissing her, the gay-sha confronted me.
"So, what are you going to ask?" she asked.
"I don't know," I shrugged. "I don't want to ask anything."
The gay-sha sighed. "Maybe, you give me answers first, before I ask my questions," I continued. She sighed again. "This is an interview where the first question is, what is the question?!"
She understood that she was supposed to tell the story of our lives.
The gay-sha did not complain. In the news, Rep. Prospero Nograles was already voted as the new Speaker of the House and the Inquirer Mindanao Bureau was texting the gay-sha and me to gather the people's reaction about it. Nogie is from Davao, the political archenemy of Davao's tough-talking Dirty Harry. But the gay-sha stayed in her place, a picture of perfect calm. She knew how to act out her role, whether as interviewer or interviewee.
As she started to open her life, which was also our life, I had to wade through a forest of jargons to decode the language of the gay-sha. "You know what I mean," she'd say, "I don't believe in such fracka-fracka, do you understand?"
Of course, I did not understand. But I nodded. "I don't believe in such chuvanesque," she added. The gay-sha wanted to demolish the belief that there was no story worth dying for. "If no story was worth dying for, no story will get written in the first place. We might as well stop writing," the gay-sha raved. Like mad.