Imelda Challenge

Carlos Celdran’s climactic tweets and news about Art Dubai profusely resonated to my conundrum. “I have to see Imelda,”                            I challenged myself. Minutes later Carlos announces in his Facebook account a barter tour. I conceded to the challenge,

“It’s meant to be.”


I phoned my guy friends. Nada. I textploded  my colleagues. Zero response. I phoned my ever-supportive-lady friend slash photographer slash partner-in-crime slash Yaya to come with me.  She said yes without a guess. The status of the challenge: Exclusively Dating.

‘3pm at the Gift Shop,’ made the date.  On the way to the site I cannot make heads or tails if this was really taking place. I waited for months just so the monotonous trimester schedule would break. This tour was opening my summer vacation perfectly but exciting events cause me to be delayed. Like a hungry pizza delivery customer, I hate late. But this challenge was way out of my league, says Fate. I was about forty minutes late. Just so great! “It’s Complicated,” announced the friendly update.

We fished our way up and down the ghostly interiors of CCP. Haplessly we planted each step so purposeful just for sheer experience; onto the inner chamber of the taciturn macabre centre have we found a legion of foreigners. I almost broke to the song, “This is it! I finally found…” until my olfactory senses suggested an antithetic confirmation; yes, the famous European Paputok.Challenge advisory: I prefer domestic partnership.


I snugly sat on the floor among the giggling crowd and listened to the zoetic Charles Celdran. Juju started kodaking the porenjers.  Just as the ambiance was getting cozier he decided to call, “Walk this way,” and danced all the way with a PA system on hand to the Tanghalang Nick Auditorium where Conspicuous Imelda Epoch was juxtaposed to Imperialism.  I am not new to the main auditorium; I always go there for a foodie call to nibble on culture but there was something different. His non-periphrastic dialogues rhapsodized to the freak of me; maybe because his massive clear folder almost slammed my face. Maybe it was not a mere political performance.  Perhaps he was just being real. Undoubtedly, I was losing the challenge.


The artist took us to the lobby of the Cultural Center and endowed me a heavy notion, ‘Democracy is not a one-size-fit-all form of government;’ this made me at war with my alter ego. In my mind, I was having a strident debate in the tune of Mariah Carey’s All By Myself. How melodiously democratic.


Tourists hopped into the jeepney bound to  PICC. While on board I noticed construction sites have been up around that area lately. I read a painted, “SLOW MEN WORKING,” on a ply wood as a caveat. I pondered. Down was the word lacking.


To fittingly tell you, I do not think this Imelda tour is all about Imelda. The tour is not about glamorizing Imelda and celebrating her landing in a Dictionary. I think it is about Me. It is about you and me being shaped by the Society and shaping the Society in reciprocal.


It is about you and me being shaped by the Society.


In reciprocal, it is about shaping our Society.


Equipped with Army Navy’s burritos, we had our version of his Sunset Alert. The sun that afternoon had a modest performance, like Carlos Celdran’s flight burgeoning like the final night fading into light.



 Challenge won.


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