To continue with my steps along Duterterritory — till my socks smell like durian:

An army officer confronted me for taking photos of his men in formation along Magsaysay street. On the big “Araw ng Dabaw” celebration.

When asked from what setup I was shooting for, I said STFU.

He’d probably took it as some university name.

I cannot not return the compliments to a plain arrogance. Good thing he did not insist in knowing what the acronym stands for or I will be in real trouble.

It’s absurd to question people taking photos of a military parade. If he and his platoon are swallow to camera, then they should have just slipped into their malongs instead.

At the Kapitolyo grounds where a crowd enjoys a congregation of pigeons, a mother walked up to me, charging me for a fee for taking photos of her little daughter which I was not.

I was shooting at the birds, but her daughter keeps coming into view, seemingly all out for a pose. This is an old trick. A well-trained, well-coordinated mother-and-child raket I don’t fall for .

Gasgas na.

It would be easier if only she’d ask nicely.

Earlier on in Magsaysay Park, the ground shook. Strong as an early morning brew. A 5, I guess. The lamposts were swinging. Disrupts my walking. A stranger’s eye met mine: “Lumilindol!”

Then, sounds of distant screaming. A fresh reminder of how powerless we pitiful souls are.

O kay saklap ng buhay, as the song goes.

A jogger atop the amphitheater’s bleacher section doesn’t mind. The earth won’t crack open on this one.

What did cracked open was my leather Diadora I got off a shelf of a Makati mall only a year ago. Don’t they sell excellence in that district anymore?

The uppers parted with the sole. Through the split I can see my trotter smiling back at me.

For months I have struggled with its agonizing fit.

And now — just when it has come to terms with my feet — it gave in to the unmerciful street.

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