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There was a most unfortunate and badly timed blackout almost this time last night. I say unfortunate because I had scrimmaged vigorously with the lads in the late afternoon and had yet to take a proper shower.

I had written last night’s note to cool down before taking my shower, and had just finished writing the last line when the lights suddenly went out! My word!!! In this day and age…

We were once told in a public forum that power can get tripped due to a variety of reasons: some wayward palapâ ng niyog; a couple of the ubiquitous mayas deciding to perch on one of the wires; or something seemingly as harmless as raindrops.

It was too late for the mayas to be flirting with each other last night; and there was no more rain after the afternoon downpour. It had to be some palapâ

Whatever it was, I had no recourse but to delay my shower. I hasten to add that, in the modern day Filipino context, a shower does not necessarily refer to water being sprayed off an overhead pipe.

When I was an adolescent kid in this very same locality, and my family decided to avail of the city’s water service as a more economically viable alternative to pumping it from underground, a shower meant a shower in the truest sense of the word. As in, mabubutas ang bumbunan ‘pag sumirit ang tubig

These days, particularly in the daytime, I feel lucky when there is water dripping from the kitchen faucet. There is simply never enough water pressure to allow it to reach up to the shower head, which has become nothing but an adornment on the wall.

A shower, therefore, is more like buhos… The timbâ, it has to be said, has become as ubiquitous as the maya and is one’s salvation at the end of a hot and humid day.

When I could not bear the sticky feeling any longer, and not really knowing if and when the lights would come back on, I decided to go take that shower – este, buhos pala –anyway. Except that, last night, my timbâ was, regrettably, only half-full. Ah-ah… tipir na tipir ang pagbuhos… I think I left the bathroom madulas pa ako sa pumapaltok na hitô…

To be fair, the blackout lasted for no more than twenty minutes. Half an hour, at most. But I was feeling lazy already and did not want to go back to the bathroom.

‘Yae na…

[This story was first published on Facebook on 12 May 2009.]

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