What rain and a platter of Bagnet can do

Situated in an obscure area of Tagaytay lies one of the best tasting bagnet and chicharon bulaklak this side of town. The food, the ride and cameraderie, gave us some enigmatic laughter and thought provoking question among Cruiserhead members Kuya Kim Atienza, Ely Buendia, Alvin Edrosalam, Bernie Ledesma and myself (Karlo Magpayo).

Char’s Garden Cafe was the perfect venue for such laughter that among friends whose penchant for good food comes with personal stories, insights, bike talk and once in awhile “utak sabaw” usapan. Char’s Garden is small and very quaint with enough parking for a few cars and bikes, what makes it appealing is definitely the food and ambiance, quite perfect to this moment.

Chomping down fat-filled bagnet with a fully charged platter of chichron bulaklak, we shared stories on tattoos to start. You see, most members of the group have some ink and it was Kuya Kim’s first time to have one a month back. The man himself is a devout believer on the faith and it was not surprising that to have scripture and symbolic christian art on him. I myself am looking for another ink session very soon but still lack that design that gives meaning to my life. As eyes peered towards our good friend and rock legend/music genius, “Ely bakit wala ka pa tattoo” considering, most musicians have one, Ely’s reply was brief with his signature smirk “wala pa ako naiisip na design na may true meaning”.

The rain pours harder this time, as we see our bikes under the wet conditions, comes the coffee refill we needed the most for warmth and coziness. Suggestions from Alvin and Bernie to Ely were all about the first song or first hit. But what came towards my feeble mind was “will Ely actually have (Pare Ko, El Bimbo, Spolarium) printed on his skin? or rather a big cartoon smile with teeth for his song With a Smile”.

Normally, breakfast rides for me on weekends is an opportunity for me to light a cigar which I truly look forward to. This day wasn’t that different as I chose a locally made cigar by Tabacalera, called 1881 Maduro. Midway, down my stogies and as the ash drew longer and bigger with the taste getting bolder – same with the topics being thrown in air on who is hotter, prettier amongst local celebrities (boys will be boys) we came to a conclusion that at least for me, Solenn Heussaff tops the charts including Marian Rivera. However, as blind sided as they come like under bone motorcycles on the street traverse public roads, Alvin asked

“Ano pipiliin nyo, magandang maganda na bakla o pangit na babae?”

Some questions are out of this world, this being another case but instead of silence we all jumped out of our seats giggling and laughing. Kim of course was silent, as the way he is and acts as our “ELDER BROTHER”, Bernie said, I definitely know what Rico would choose! (referring to Enrico Villanueva)

Either vote for me, will give me quite a depression as I blurted out! In his low tone again sayang si Anthony Bourdain noh” said Alvin. Sunod-sunod sila from Robin Williams, Kate Spade and now Anthony Bourdain.

Depression is real and somewhat hidden from the outside not even to close friends or family. I may not understand it fully but it I do pray that none of these folks in front of me suffers from this disease, unless they try to answer the question “sino pipiliin mo” and defend it to the brim.

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