24 04 2015

I never gave it much thought because I just went ahead and did it—freefall.

I continue to fall further.  I have no fear until I have gotten so far too deep into the plunge.  I have come to realize that while the fall is everything that I could ever have hoped for, I will eventually reach the bottom.  And when I do, I will be shattered.  And by then, there won’t be any chance of healing.

But what scares me most was not the full stop.  It is that big realization of how far I am willing to go for someone.

One great fall.  The one great fall.

But Remnants

12 12 2014

I fell in love and hard.
In a way even I could not begin to fathom.
With depth that defies fathoms.
But something happened and it shattered my being..  and changed everything, tipped the balance and spilled some ounces of love out.

Despite all that and then some, I still love you in ways still indescribable and still immeasurable.

Can you just imagine how much that love when it first started really was? Bet you can’t.

But you chose to test and disrespect that love. And it hurts no one else but me and you. Me because I’m only human. And you because deep within you, you know no one can love you as much.


29 11 2014

They say if you can’t be alone, you’re not supposed to be in a relationship because you’ll just confuse wanting to be with someone with fixing loneliness.  See, I like being alone.  And the past few weeks have reminded me how much I love being alone.  But I long for you.

I have done everything I could to amuse myself and I have been amused.  But when I laugh out loud, I think of you.

When I am working and listening to Iggy Azalea, all of a sudden, my playlist gets shuffled and I hear Falling.

I wish you wouldn’t be so goddamn stubborn and just come back to me.

But then again, I can’t really force someone who is no longer interested to come back.  Love isn’t enough, darling.

So I guess some songs will have to be removed from the playlist and I just need to get busier.


10 11 2014







to realize….





oh hell, definitely not.


no one


no one

has ever




the -est of things


and with




you made me












see you in another lifetime.





another 9.



Video Scandals

2 08 2014

I can understand being brazen and daring—and maybe adventurous when it comes to sexual encounters. But to be so reckless that after some time it pops out of nowhere? That’s called being uber-irresponsible.

Best Fit—Not!

2 08 2014

~ I’ve always looked at challenges as opportunities to learn but I also understand and acknowledge that some things simply suit others better than they do me.

And Then Some

23 10 2013

It all boils down to loving freely and embracing everything that comes with it.  
It’s all about meeting halfway.

It’s all about giving your all without expecting anything in return.

But I do expect something and every now and then, the pain of knowing you are not deemed deserving of such gets unbearable. 

Some wants are too powerful they become real needs.

#12 Spells Bull’s Eye

11 10 2013

Reposting this from Marc and Angel Hack Life.  

It’s easy to make your relationships more complicated than they are.  Here are twelve simple reminders to help you keep them on course.

  1. All successful relationships require some work. – They don’t just happen, or maintain themselves.  They exist and thrive when the parties involved take the risk of sharing what it is that’s going on in their minds and hearts.  Open communication and honesty is the key. 
  2. Most of the time you get what you put in. – If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you’d like to feel understood, try being more understanding.  It’s a simple practice that works.
  3. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot in someone’s life. – Never force someone to make a space in their life for you, because if they know your worth, they will create one for you.
  4. There is a purpose for everyone you meet. – Some people will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you; but most importantly some will bring out the best in you.  Learn to see and accept the differences between these people, and carry on accordingly.
  5. We all change, and that’s okay. – Our needs change with time.  When someone says, “You’ve changed,” it’s not always a bad thing.  Sometimes itjust means you stopped living your life their way.  Don’t apologize for it.  Instead, be open and sincere, explain how you feel, and keep doing what you know in your heart is right.
  6. You are in full control of your own happiness. – If your relationship with yourself isn’t working, don’t expect your other relationships to be any different.  Nobody else in this world can make you happy.  It’s something you have to do on your own.  And you have to create your own happiness first before you can share it with someone else.  If you feel that it’s your partner’s fault, think again, and look within yourself to find out what piece is missing.  Your partner can never ‘complete’ you because you are already whole.  The longing for completion that you feel inside comes from being out of touch with who you are. 
  7. Forgiving others helps YOU. – Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
  8. You can’t change people; they can only change themselves. – Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example.  If there’s a specific behavior someone you love has that you’re hoping disappears over time, it probably won’t.  If you really need them to change something, be honest and put all the cards on the table so this person knows what you need them to do.
  9. Heated arguments are a waste of time. – The less time you spend arguing with the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.  And if you happen to find yourself arguing with someone you love, don’t let your anger get the best of you.  Give yourself some time to calm down and then gently discuss the situation.  
  10. You are better off without some people. – When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you. If someone continuously mistreats you or pushes you in the wrong direction, have enough respect for yourself to walk away from them. It may hurt for a little while, but it’ll be ok. You’ll be ok, and far better off in the long run.
  11. Small gestures of kindness go a long way. – Honor your important relationships in some way every chance you get.  Every day you have the opportunity to make your relationship sweeter and deeper by making small gestures to show your appreciation and affection.  Remember, making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  Your kindness and gratitude matters.
  12. Even the best relationships don’t last forever. – People don’t live forever.  Appreciate what you have, who loves you and who cares for you.  You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they are no longer beside you.  And remember, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.


6 10 2013

Today marks the 175th day since I last held your hand.  Not a day passes when I do not count the ticking of the clock.  But I have made progress.  It’s been over 2 weeks since I last gazed at your Facebook profile picture.  There’s hope for me after all.  

In time, even when my heart protests, I will get over you.  I will. 

But tonight, I remember what seems like just yesterday.  And my heart sheds torrents.

Coming Out of a Slump

2 10 2013

The past few weeks have been life-draining to say the least.  I quit smoking at a time when things were going from miserable to completely unbearable.  Not really a good time to give up an addiction that led me to believe it helped me de-stress.  But I had to because it was a symbolic gesture—doing something extremely difficult but for the ultimate good not just for the people around me but for myself.  

But typical of me, not even my inner circle could really see my pain in actuality.  Surprising maybe to people who have seen bare my deepest and darkest of emotions but not to those who are not exposed to those.  To them, I was just going through a challenging time but was handling it quite well.  To some degree, I was.  But deep inside, a bloody heart and torn spirit are struggling to keep everything together.  

It is time to come out of a slump and I recognize that.  Despite the heartbreak and the daily humdrum at the workplace, life has been really good to me.  Things still get done and the sun still rises in the east.  I have lost some weight and have dropped 2 sizes.  I am in good shape and getting better each day.  It is embarrassing to continue moping when the world has moved forward and has even showered me with more blessings than what I thought I deserved. 

It is time to appreciate what has been there before me all along, learn from my mistakes, get my groove back, and let nature take its course. 

I Just Can’t

25 09 2013

It is heartbreaking.  An understatement.
You just don’t know how painful it is to be loved by somebody who refuses to make me a real part of her life. Because you have never been rejected the way you have rejected me over and over again.  Because I asked for more.

I miss you.  It is a major struggle not to reach out to you.
Every day, I look at our WhatsApp exchange and look at you.  You log in every now and then.
But never to talk to me anymore.  And it always breaks my heart a little more each time.

This Time Last Year

24 09 2013

I just woke up and proceeded to spend the day online with my girl.  

I remember wearing the orange top she gave and holding the chocolate cake I got for her a full 12 hours earlier.  Close to 8,000 miles apart but celebrating one special day together.  

Today was a little bit different.  I started the day earlier than usual so I could drop by the church, light a candle, and whisper a prayer for her.  Went to work afterwards and sobbed when a friend mentioned her name.  

Here’s hoping for a better year for her.  Here’s to new beginnings and new dreams.  Here’s to grasping the truth and knowing what we really want in life.  

I know what I want but I have come to accept that not everything we want, we get.


11 09 2013

It was one lazy evening spent drinking with friends.  TV was just playing in the background.   All of a sudden, CNN flashed some breaking news about one airplane crashing into one of the World Trade Center towers. And then another one crashed into the other tower.  Whatever degree of drunkenness I had that evening dissipated as I sat down transfixed on the TV.

Devastated was an understatement of how I felt.

2,996 deaths.

Have we become so enamored with power that we could easily kill another just to keep it?  Can we no longer take not being agreed with? Have we become so desensitized that another person’s life to us no longer carries as much value?

It’s been 12 years today but we are in no way closer to achieving peace than we were back then.  I am not in the US but remembering the events that unfolded from that day on still breaks my heart.  I am in the Philippines where war has lost its novelty.  I hail from the south where bombs explode and it only makes the local news.  It is sad that our wars are mostly internal.  Today, people in Zamboanga City fear for tomorrow.  At any given time,  someone could die and it could them. For what? Brothers fighting brothers for reasons all feudal but dressed differently.  Does it justify anything?


As nothing makes sense to me and as hope changed its name to chance, I can only whisper a prayer to my God.  Let there be peace on Earth.  And let it indeed begin with me.

Sasha… I Miss You.

16 11 2012

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” 
― Josh Billings

My dog died today.  I’m not even sure what she died of.  
All I know is that the pain of losing her is so piercing.  
It sears the deepest part of me, I can’t explain.
I never thought I’d feel this much pain. 

Now, no one loves me more than she loves herself.  And that’s a major loss.  😦

So today, I was thankful for the distraction that work afforded me.  
Now that I’m alone again, a floodgate of uncontrollable tears is my only refuge.

I miss her.  I didn’t even get to see her when I went home.  

2 in a Row

15 11 2012

It’s so difficult to lose the ones you love.

No matter how, whatever the circumstances. 

I’m on a roll… a girlfriend, now a dog. 

Devastated… beyond words.

Goodbye, Sasha.

15 11 2012

Goodbye, Sasha.

I will miss you.
You will always be my best roomie.
My one and only super best friend.
No one will ever come close. 😦

I’m sorry I left you… I’m really, really sorry.


10 11 2012

My life is on the line
Every time I cross the street.

But walking out the door,
Getting on an airplane, or a bus, or a taxi
Affords me the same peril.

It’s all about inches
And gasps of breath.

That nagging feeling of being at risk
When crossing the street is cerebral.

I use my head.
My eyes.
My ears.
My senses.

Yet it only takes a fraction of a second,
An iota of distraction
Or a misstep–to get my full attention;
Give my heart a jolt;
Set my spirit on fire;
Bring me to life.

The more I have become attuned to the world,
The more self-preserving I get,
The more balanced life becomes.

Finding my center becomes a little bit difficult.

I need a nice ass-kick
Or a slap
To get back on track.



10 08 2012

I’m not good enough.
I’m not patient enough.
I’m not loving enough.

That’s why I’ll never be loved with complete surrender.
I will never be crushed by the tightness of your embrace because you’re too scared to break bones.
I will never be pushed beyond my limits because you’re too scared to draw blood.

And this is after I have lain spread-eagle in front of you… naked and bursting with passion… with complete acquiescence.

It’s not about me.  So why am I so hurt?  Why do I feel short-changed?

Because you do not see me when you deal with yourself.  You see me as someone you seek refuge in and with.  But never as one with you.

It’s still not there.

And I can no longer wait.

Because somewhere out there, there could be another who would give all that she’s got and hasn’t for me.  And to her, I will dig deeper and find something to give back. After I’ve wrung myself dry for you, I will find it in me to find something else and more for the person who will go the distance for me.

Because that person deserves more.

I am greedy.

I am selfish.

I am impatient.

Because I’m willing to give more.

Because I’m willing to give myself up completely.

Because I’m willing to wait for what truly lies ahead.

I’m sorry you’re hurt.

I’m sorry you’re broken.

But you refuse to heal. And you refuse to see beyond the darkness in your past.

You refuse to just embrace life and love.

You want to remain in the bleakness of yesterday.

It’s painful.

Need to Be Bold

19 03 2012

At this point, I know I’m already just being silly.  I got hurt, I hurt her, we fought, we broke up, we shattered each other’s dreams. But how do you let go of something that you are convinced is meant to be?

I messed up.  In ways I cannot quantify.  I have my reasons.  Most of them, are my own mistakes.  But when you love someone, couldn’t you also understand that she needs to go through something the way you do? Some of them mistakes, are not mine, but they were major roadblocks that made the already-scared and hesitant me stop and slack off some more. On hindsight, I should have fought on and pushed forward.  But how could I have done that when I felt betrayed and hurt?

Now I reap what I planted. I did not deserve the small things I wanted because I wasn’t able to do anything about what she wanted.  And I couldn’t tell her, I didn’t feel compelled to do anything when I was still struggling with my own personal issues of forgiveness.  I was grieving too!  But she need not hear all those anymore.  It was painful seeing her go through having to rehash every single detail.  I forgave her and for that, I should have moved faster.  But I just couldn’t. At that time, I just couldn’t.

I want her back in my life.  But I also need to feel valued enough.  And most importantly, I need to know that she trusts me enough to give me time to sort out what I need to sort out.

But this is my truth… it’s all over.  And while her messages every day make me smile and feel warm, I know I should no longer misread it as her wanting me still or back.  She told me before she’ll always love me but being in a relationship with me was not something she looked forward to.  We pushed it and it ended on an ugly note, yet again.  I wanted to tell her I still want to do it but I know she’s no longer really interested in that.  She just wants to love me but keep me at a distance. A safe distance.  And that’s not for me.

It’s really over.  And as I’ve said many times over, I should move on.

But my entire being still wants to be with her… So God, please intervene…


13 03 2012

This Italian word became a global byword because of the movie Eat, Pray, Love.  In English, it means “cross over” or “Let’s cross over”.

In our lives, sometimes we just have to move forward and embrace new beginnings.  Every day, something beautiful bursts forth. But we keep holding on to the past.

The term—well, its English counterpart—is also used to refer to ghosts who supposedly do not go into the next dimensions (depending on their religion, I reckon. :P) because of unfinished business here on earth.  So they don’t “cross over” yet.

I’m at the stage where I want to pass through.  But a huge part of me just wishes a huge and important part of my past crosses over with me.

If only throwing away the baggage of pride and misplaced tenacity is also that easy, the world would have been a better place. *sigh*

Still You

11 03 2012

I really, really, really miss her.

Why is it that despite everything, my heart still beats only for her?  That even when I say I hate her and I’m bitter, I still love her?  That even when she broke my being to pieces, everything in me still screams her name?  That even when she no longer cares, I still do?

When I touch my lips, it’s hers I remember.

When I look around me, it’s her I feel.

When I need comfort, it’s her I yearn for.

When I feel really good about the smallest of things, it’s her I want to share it with.

When I close my eyes, it’s her face I see.

Love dies eventually.  Broken hearts mend.  But until then… I continue to grieve.

Hugo–A Heartwarming Tribute to the Glorious Past of Cinema

5 03 2012

The film Hugo transported me 15some years back–back in my very first Film Art class in college with heart-jolting snapshots of the Lumiere brothers’ Workers Leaving a Factory and Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (A Train Arrives in the Station), Edwin Porter’s The Great Train Robbery, D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance,  Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad, German filmmaker Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and of course, Fairlyland and A Trip to the Moon by French filmmaker and illusionist, George Melies–one of the central characters in the movie–among many others that I cannot name but vaguely recognize.

Melies, one of the trailblazers in movie special effects, was portrayed by Ben Kingsley.  No one could’ve played the role better.  The film unrolls the story of how one boy’s tenacity to fix an automaton, a tangible reminder of his father’s presence, paved the way for the rightful recognition of one forgotten filmmaker’s contributions to the world of entertainment and dreams.

I had no idea what Hugo was all about except that it’s about a boy who lived in the walls of a rail station. An ex-girlfriend reintroduced me to my love of cinema when we’d watch movies online together. One of her annual traditions is to watch Oscar-nominated films. Hugo was this year’s runaway with quite a number of nominations and awards. I skipped it at first because I had the impression that it was just another Polar Express not that it wasn’t a good movie.

Needless to say, I loved it. It swerved me into one of the greatest Martin Scorsese’s films of all time. Not one of his trademark storylines or styles but obviously one created and crafted for the love of cinema.  It slightly resembles Tim Burton’s treatments, one that Johnny Depp must have seen, which is why he co-produced it.  It pays homage to the glorious but humble beginnings of the industry, one that could get buried in oblivion if none is done. There are undertones of a plea to preserve and a warning that all could indeed be lost.  Truly, Scorsese has outdone himself with this.  His passion for moviemaking is not only very clear in Hugo, it laced every frame of the film.

Written by John Logan basing on the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick,  this poignant yet pragmatic movie is a must-watch for film lovers and passive viewers alike.  It subtly gives everyone a sneak peek of the golden path of cinema and encourages us to be more appreciative of the lunar milestones that the industry has achieved through the years. Hugo could very well go down in history as one of the greatest films ever made.

Yet Another Shoutout for Inequality

26 02 2012

So apparently, women in the US would have gotten their blanket protection against violence if not for the introduction of the LGBT and immigration clauses?

Let me just get this right… does this mean women are protected so long as they’re not gay, and have the right papers to prove their citizenship.  Nice.



26 02 2012

Relationships are not competitions.  You don’t keep scores.  You’re supposed to be on the same team.

Taking Risks

26 02 2012

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.  He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.

– Leo F. Buscaglia

What are you willing to risk?

I am usually a daredevil–never physically though.  I plunge headfirst into things without really thinking much about it knowing fully well that it could result to a failure, a broken heart, or a major defeat.  But it also promises equally the chance of success, a better future, a beautiful relationship, or a major victory.

But when I hesitate to do something, I know something is not in place.  For months, I have put off one important thing.  Knowing fully well what it’s for and what it’ll get me.  I am all for it but I’ve kept on putting it off.

I guess at the back of my head I know that when things have changed and when I do not feel like it’s worth jumping headfirst for anymore, it’s not worth the risk.  Wanting something so bad means knowing you’re getting something out of it too.  Perhaps when you no longer get that something, there really isn’t any point in doing anything.

And that’s my cryptic Sunday message for myself.  🙂

It’s Time

22 02 2012

I usually process things around me fast.  I’m too self-aware for my own good.  But it took me quite a while to just accept defeat.

I already lost her.  And I could no longer get her back.  Because she doesn’t want to be with me anymore.  She’s convinced that she’s indeed better off without me.  She’s too hurt to even care.

Can’t say I blame her. Our track record isn’t exactly immaculate.  I’m definitely not one she’d want to get back with.

Despite myself, I want her back in my life.  For a million and one reasons, I love her.  But I have to let her go.

There was a time when I did many things to win her back.  Begged her, sent her messages even when she ignored me, stayed with her even when all she said she could give was friendship until we got back together.  But perhaps that wasn’t really what she needed.  She’s a good person and she deserves someone better.  Sadly, I’m not that person for her because she doesn’t find it in her to want to bring me back.

I saw a path with her and even when I didn’t know where it was headed, I took it anyway.  But loving someone doesn’t mean suffocating that person with my love.  Love is supposed to be given freely.  She doesn’t want to give me the small things that I need and I couldn’t give her the small things that she needs.  No one’s budging.  So it’s time to just go.

I’m back to closing cycles.

I love you, M.  My heart will forever sing songs of love for you.  This is my last stop.  Because no one will come close to you.  You were and will always be my only exception.

Goodbye, ma belle fleur.

Shutting Down

21 02 2012

Contrary to popular belief, people can be like gadgets.  We have our own switches.  And when things get too overwhelming, we shut down.

The sad part is that when other people shut down on us, we emulate that and do the same.

So what happens next?  Nothing.  Except for a vicious cycle that simply refuses to end.  Because we let it.


21 02 2012

What am I still doing here?

You obviously don’t want me around.

You probably did not even notice my absence.

But I stay here and look at you with longing, fighting sleep and holding on… the way I do with my last cigarette drag…


20 02 2012

With you, I never had to play it solo.

Big Girl Panties

19 02 2012

I’m a strong person who takes the upper hand unknowingly just like that.  The romantic in me longs for a partner who can make me go weak in the knees and bow down.  A huge part of me just wants to submit to somebody who will take the wheel and drive.

I found one such person.  But I guess she has too many issues to even bother with my needs because hers outweigh mine.  She doesn’t believe it but I’ve always put hers in front of mine for as long as I could.  Epic fail for the most part but I’ve always tried.

I have a huge platter of issues myself.  But because I talk the loudest and kick the hardest, I seem to be the stronger of the two of us.  Sometimes, I feel like having a gentle touch or a soft whisper are not parts of my genetic makeup.

I am rough and harsh.  I can hurt people at the slightest turn.  But I’m also overly sensitive so it doesn’t really make sense.

I know I had to move on and long for someone to come along for whom I don’t have to cut my talons because she can already take care of herself.  But then again you don’t really want to hurt the one that you love and even if unintentionally you just do, you still wish you can control it.

So I guess I should just be alone.

And I hate the sound of that but sometimes, you just take it.  Big girl panties and all.

Small Things

19 02 2012

Perhaps it really was time to finally let go.

We tried far too many times to rebuild and take detours.  It just wasn’t working.  There were just far too many nonnegotiables.

She’s all about the big things and blanket statements.  Big things that seem to give license to not take care of small and seemingly menial acts.  Blank statements that give assurance of a smooth-sailing journey without the need to even talk about the stops, the bumps, and the one-offs.

I am, on the other hand, all about the small things.  My reason: if you can’t even take time to make sure you take care of the small stuff, how can you handle the big things?

For some reason, I can make allowances for the big stuff.  My capabilities to understand major pitfalls, shortcomings and oversights–even those that were not too unintentional–are quite expansive.  But the wick gets a tad too short when it comes to the small things.

I’m a physical and touchy-feely person.  A hug can solve pretty much most of the world’s biggest issues for me.  I’m also a hopeless romantic, whose notions of love and romance are pretty traditional contradicting my other libertarian and radical principles.  I’ve mentioned this somewhere in my blog but I can no longer remember where–women always love flowers and to me, along with hugs, they just do it for me.

Being in a long-distance relationship is awful.  When you’re close to 8,000 miles apart, it’s terrible.  So you make do with what you can do because you can’t possibly hang on to something for over 2 years despite the turbulence here and there if you don’t love each other.

In this day and age, relationships are supposed to be easier.  We have online gateways.  But what happens when there’s an earthquake?  Or when you are trying to cope with the loss of a family member where you cannot go on video call or are practically offline? You take the traditional route and make sure you can be within reach by phone.

On special occasions, you make do with “talking” through any means possible because it’s humanly impossible to go on a date to watch a movie or do anything physical together.  So what can you do?  I’m also a girl.  I want flowers too.  And I want to be the first person that she greets on Valentine’s Day, with the difference in timezones in mind.  And because we’re relatively new, I feel special when my partner remembers the starting date of our relationship month on month with me, especially if she picked the date.

Having to deal with the frustrations of not being together at the moment and then having to deal with things that are disregarded because they are not as important to the other person as they are to you is ultra-devastating.

Love will always be there.  Especially when the person you’ve given your heart to is your soulmate–one person that you just know was meant for you.  But being in a relationship with that person just doesn’t cut it.

I haven’t crossed 8,000 miles to see her.  And it’s my issue.  Every time I say I didn’t get this or that, I have to hand slap myself because I may not have gotten flowers but I haven’t gone out of my way to see her either.  I haven’t made that ultimate sacrifice yet. But for how long will I suck things up because I haven’t done anything?  Isn’t being in a relationship all about doing things for your partner without expecting anything in return?  Don’t you just go all out for the person that you love?  It’s paradoxical because you don’t want to be in a one-sided relationship.  At some point, you too have to be at the receiving end.  I guess it boils down to when you notice that you really don’t get anything because your partner clings on to the idea that she has already made that major investment to see you so she can overlook simple gestures, like making sure her phone can reach you when you most need her, and you feel bad about it, it’s all right to yelp.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Sure there are wonderful times.  But when the weight of the painful small oversights gets a little bit too much, you give in to your humanity and just say, I give up.

Nevertheless, I long for something… deep within me, I wish I’d wake up to see flowers at my doorstep.  Or a note saying, “Come home.”

But then again, I’ve always been just a dreamer.

Four Hours

28 03 2011

I watched the minutes pass by.

I felt every squeeze and slice.

I heard every spatter.

My heart was in bits just like that.

But I know I had it coming. I waited because I knew that sooner or later, she would just give up.

Not because she no longer loves me.

Not because she doesn’t want to be with me.

Because until now, she’s scared: of love, of life, of me.

I am a pain in the ass.

But then again, we already know that.

Despite such, I’ve made a conscious effort to tone the PITAness down. For her.

I’ve never really made such effort for anybody else. Just for her.

Because in life, we find people to love and people who love us back. They make us happy and we make them happy. But rarely do we find that one person who make us realize that fairy tales were inspired by real life stories and that while getting there would cost an arm and a leg and then some, happy endings MAY come true.

And she’s that. My one great love.

And I lost her.

So yeah… it’s been four hours now and the tears continue to flow.

The Rainy Day

27 12 2009

THE day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And for some reason, this captures my feelings today… amidst all the excitement… I am sad.

I tried cleaning up my phone’s inbox today and August 13, 2009 stared back at me—Papa’s third day in the ICU. I read every single message that followed… sent and received. It had me sending detailed updates to my sister in the US, complete with Papa’s lab results, latest vital stats and the last doctor’s orders. It also had generic messages that I sent to my other brothers and sister, and to my Papa’s siblings and relatives. It was like reliving each moment. And just like that, tears flowed like there’s no tomorrow.

Needless to say, I wasn’t able to finish what I was supposed to do, I wanted to keep them. Maybe I’m just masochistic that way but I wanted to hold on to the messages.

I think I’ll go to bed…

in retrospect…

17 12 2009

I haven’t blogged any for months. Perhaps I should have. It might’ve eased some of the stress that I have had to bear. But offline real life has gotten the better of me. So just to keep you up to date—we moved, my dad died, I fell in and out of love, we moved again. One of these days, I’ll give details. For now, this will be just another placeholder. 😉

Oh, and did I mention that I got hooked on Mafia Wars on Facebook? Seriously! Jeeez.


Pacman Pounds the Hitman

3 05 2009

The Hitman hit the canvas as Manny Pacquiao showed the world anew who the king of the ring really is. Man! It was one of the best fights I’ve ever seen. Gave new meaning to the phrase sweet and short.

I was a bit worried because I saw Ricky Hatton’s previous fights and let’s face it, Floyd Mayweather Sr.’s taunts can sometimes get under one’s skin. He has never been known for his modesty, sarcoidosis notwithstanding. And Hatton has been one solid bloke with a shining and shimmering boxing record.

But our Manny is no underdog. He has an outstanding record and he has hurt some of the best boxers in the land. When Manny came in wearing a smile, I was somehow appeased. He looked relaxed while Hatton looked so intense, sporting a glare reminiscent of the now familiar Jayke Joson’s look found in almost every Pacman photo op. I wondered if he was being smug about something.

Then it all began. When Hatton fell down after missing a left hook and getting a smashing right from Manny, I was excited but not too confident because it wasn’t the best of punches from the Filipino pride. But when he fell down the second time in the same round, I was a bit relaxed.

The second round came in a blur and what followed was yet another air-punching moment as Manny drove a left hook and Hatton on his butt and on his back eventually. It was awesome! I love the shot. I love the timing. The force was magnificent! But it cut the fight too soon. Darn! I wanted more! But it was great all the same. And I understood what Manny was so smug about. He handled it soooo well.

Manny kicked the Brit’s butt and the butts of all his fans, some of whom were waving the Philippine flag upside down in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. I am pretty sure they’ve a newfound respect for Manny Pacquaio now. Hatton’s fans still sang Hatton’s anthem even when Referee Joe Cortez proclaimed Floyd Mayweather Jr as the winner in the fight that used to be the only one where the Hitman lost. But when Pacquiao won earlier, they looked dumbfounded. Didn’t expect it, did you? And not that fast, huh?

I was just disgusted with Martin Nievera’s singing of the National Anthem. It was out of tune, out of sync and outta here. The National Historical Institute have yet another sermon to give. They should talk to both Nievera and Ney Dimaculangan (6 Cyclemind vocalist—the band’s the main Tanduay endorser, and Tanduay was the main sponsor of the Donaire fight that’s why). I mean, I don’t like it that our song is so rigid with rules and all that, unlike the freewheeling but more heartfelt Star Spangled Banner but it is our song and there is a specific way of how it should be sung.

I wonder if Ricky Hatton will do another Fatton after this fight.

Manny Pacquiao must be reeling. I know I am. He has once again done the Pinoys all over the world proud. Oh, and I hope the vultures who left Batasan for photo ops with the guy will now get back to work.

Way to go, Pacman! Next stop—Valero or Mayweather Jr.

Filipino, Filipino, Filipino ang lahi ko!

You Gotta Be Kidding!

30 03 2009

One of my brothers makes fun of my desire to own a goat.

Yep, G-O-A-T, that small horned animal that has been the poster animal for horndogs. You see, he has a small farm somewhere. And he has a few goats and whatnots. When I first said I wanted to raise a goat, he was very encouraging. He even reinforced what I already knew about them by saying that indeed they are low-maintenance animals with very high income potential. Food won’t be a problem so long as there’s available forage in their feeding area. If not, grass isn’t exactly that hard to come by. Birthing is uneventful so I won’t even have to stay up and wait for those babies to come out. So all I needed then were a place for the goat/s, food and goat/s!

When he noticed that I am dead serious about goat raising, he started talking about how one of his goats is so spoiled, it’d jump up the table when he eats, and that it bleats like there’s no tomorrow when ignored. My mom said it’d be too embarrassing because we live in a residential area, for crying out loud. You see, in the not so cosmopolitan parts of the Philippines, it is all right to have farm animals in your domain so long as no one in the neighborhood complains. Well, no carabao is seen sashaying in the village but there are backyard farms here and there.

A few days ago, I’ve been so worried because Sasha, my 11-month old female German Shepherd has not been eating very well and she’s very thin. I’ve been told that it’s normal. But we can never be so sure so I did my own research. Now, I stumbled upon a site that discusses the basics of goat raising, etc. Since I’ve been very interested in the topic, I decided to read on and educate myself.

And in a matter of less than an hour, I was so sure about goat raising. I will raise goats.


18 03 2009

A short-haired chocolate brown dachshund

One of my greatest pet peeves is hearing people mispronounce this particular breed of dog’s name. The Dachshund. It’s not dash-yand! It’s not das-shund! And it’s NOT dutch-hound for crying out loud!

I’m a true-blue dog lover. I have a purebred German Shepherd Dog named Sasha. She’s 11 months old. I also have 2 adult mongrels and 1 mongrel pup. Ever since I was a kid, I have always had a dog. My father wasn’t exactly into purebreds but we’ve always had dogs of mixed breed in the house.

Last year, I was invited (they didn’t have a choice! I was always in the vet clinic!) to join a local canine club. They needed an extra pair of hands to help organize their dog show, that’s why. I was bored and I wanted to see the dogs in the city gathered in one place so I readily agreed! I prepared the program, the certificates, the awards and what-nots. Baptism of fire! And all in less than one week! I also had to be the emcee. Now, I’m a behind-the-scenes person. I hate being in the spotlight, much less talking on a microphone, with people who don’t know me. Perhaps it’s because I get the kick out of laughing at people’s mistakes when they do the thing that I was supposed to do then. Well, don’t we all have guilty pleasures? It’s easier to see other people’s mistakes, right? Come on, admit it! Get real! LOL.

But I had a mission. I wanted to let people know how Dachshund is pronounced. I asked one of the vets in the clinic where I used to hang out how he pronounces Dachshund and he told me that he didn’t use it because people would always look at him funny every time he did. So he opted to just use the more popular way of pronouncing it—which is really not doing anybody any good!

Not a single doxie was pre-registered. But I was really hoping that on the day itself, there’d be walk-in registrants. To my utter dismay, none of them came.

So I hope I can still rectify whatever errors in pronunciation we have when it comes to this cute doggies by blogging all about it. We owe it to them. Really! As I said in one of my older posts, the best way to show respect is to pronounce one’s name correctly—or in this case, its breed’s name.

dachshund — dak sund; däks-ˌhu̇nd DAHKS-hund

It is an Anglicized German word. According to Merriam-Webster, it comes from the German words: Dachs (pronounced as Daks) and Hund (pronounced as Hund, like gunned, stunned). Dachs means badger. Hund means dog.

Spread the word! If people look at you funny and you are not comfortable in being the object of such, just say Doxie!

Bon Voyage, Kiko Part Deux

11 03 2009

Earlier today, Francis “Kiko” Magalona’s remains were cremated.  He is getting recognition here and there—now that he’s gone.  Too late, huh?  I’ve always followed the man’s life in awe.  I’ve been reading his blog and I’ve been telling my mom about his brilliantly designed shirts and about how cute his kids are, especially Arkin who has played young Dingdong Dantes in Dyesebel and Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang, and how amazing it is that people don’t even know that their first two kids are not biologically his but Pia’s alone because Kiko never treated them differently and how nationalistic and patriotic he has been.   And now, he’s gone.  Now, people are also reading his blog.  People are now wearing his shirt.  People now know that he has eight kids. He is also getting awards for his nationalism and love of country.  Más vale tarde que nunca.

In these cold summer nights, I offer you these three songs:

Three Stars And A Sun
Three stars and a sun, in one sky, so high,
I live and die and die will I for my
Motherland this is the land of my birth,
No purse is worth the price of this earth
Can we rise, can we all, hell no!,
Or should we all just take the fall?
Bless the man if his heart and his land are one
…3 stars & a sun!
3 stars & a sun! I’m ready to defend the 3 stars & a sun!
Omission to a mission, transport for the brain,
Packed w/ stacks of tracks built for a train,
I eat lead, but I never let it be said,
“He said, she said,” it makes me see red
‘Cuz I don’t take bullshit & I’m ‘a pack it and push it,
And hit you w/ the full clip
Switch to mode lock-‘n’-load in the land of Juan
…the 3 stars & a sun!
3 stars & a sun! I’m ready to defend the 3 stars & a sun!
Bahay kubo kahit munti, may pula,
Bughaw, dilaw, atsaka puti
There is a need to sow the seed,
Toil the soil and plod until your hands bleed
‘Cuz this land is sacred,
Many a battle have been fought with hatred
Don’t tell me that you understand,
It’s been 4 hundred years of tears
For the brown man,
Still and all the fight has just begun
…3 stars & a sun!
3 stars & a sun! I’m ready to defend the 3 stars & a sun!

Kaleidoscope World
So many faces, so many races
Different voices, different choices
Some are mad, while others laugh
Some live alone with no better half
Others grieve while others curse
And others mourn behind a big black hearse
Some are pure and some half-bred
Some are sober and some are wasted
Some are rich because of fate and
Some are poor with no food on their plate
Some stand out while others blend
Some are fat and stout while some are thin
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most
Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world
Some are great and some are few
Others lie while some tell the truth
Some say poems and some do sing
Others sing through their guitar strings
Some know it all while some act dumb
Let the bassline strum to the bang of the drum
Some can swim while some will sink
And some will find their minds and think
Others walk while others run
You can’t talk peace and have a gun
Some are hurt and start to cry
Don’t ask me how don’t ask me why
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most
Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

Cold Summer Nights
I keep on blaming my self
I should have eaten my pride
how can i convince you
its just a matter of time

many times i’ve hurt you
with my foolish ways oh girl
now i know i have to pay the price

is there a way for u to turn around,
turn around and come back baby
ohh baby cant u see

its been cold summer nights since we drifted apart
cold summer nights since you walked out that door
cold summer nights here on my own
coz i miss you baby, i need you here

cold summer nights girl, i really miss you
you rocked my world
i wanna touch you and kiss you
its my fault
i never called you at home
i’m on the phone, wishing you could call
i’m all alone
is there a way for you to turn around and
come back to me
i hope you understand
that i’m your man and together we can
kiss and make up
‘coz you know i cant stand

Repeat Chorus

Bon Voyage, Kiko

6 03 2009

I am still in a daze.

Francis Magalona is dead.

He succumbed to Acute Myelogenous Leukemia with Mixed Lineage at 12 noon today, as announced by Vic Sotto in Eat Bulaga.  He, together with the other hosts of the show, asked for a moment of silence to pray for the eternal repose of Kiko’s soul.

He had a close call in December when he had septic shock.  The cause of his death is still undisclosed.

Kiko/FrancisM is survived by his wife Pia Arroyo and their children—Unna, Nicolo, Francis Jr., Isabella, Maxene, Elmo, Arkin, and Clara.   I pray for the kids.  I hope Pia will remain strong.

Condolence to the Magalona family.

Bon voyage, Kiko, you will be sorely missed.

To Birit or Not to Birit

3 03 2009

This is long overdue but I never found the inspiration to finish my entry until now. I had been listening to Regine Velasquez’s Low Key album (I love it!) when I remembered about the draft that has been sitting in my blog for months.

I was never a huge Regine fan but I went to one of her concerts in the UP Theater in the late 90s.  It was sponsored by one of the orgs in the university and one of my dormmates who was a member of that org urged me to buy a ticket and watch it with them.  And boy, was I glad I did.  Not only can Regine hit those unbelievably high notes, she can really be very engaging.  She’s funny and she’s warm.  So while I still cringe every time I hear the last line of her I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing version, I still admire her big time.

During those times, Regine had the monopoly of the belting arena, with her vein-bursting songs and by hitting those sky-high notes in the local scene.  Watching her do it live leaves one’s mouth gaping and fly-hungry.  Yes, Dulce was already there.  So were Ivy Violan, Dessa, and all those ‘biriters’.   But Regine was different at that time.  She owned the stage and she carved her own niche in the music industry from that time on.  She was the star.  She was the queen.

Through the years, Regine has somehow matured.  While she still goes for those skyscraping notes, blame it on the arrangers, she has now slowly mastered the more melodic and easier-to-the-ears kind of music.  Her music now is cool and minty.  Low Key, the album, is amazing, for lack of better nomenclature.  Me likey!  On her TV performances, she still taps those high notes with her pipes but it’s not as eardrum shattering as it used to be.

Dulce, on the other hand, seemingly busts her vocal chords but not really.  I mean, way back in the late 80s and all through the early 90s, in singing competitions, almost always, Ako ang Nagwagi is a part of the repertoire. When Dulce sings, everybody listens, mouth agape and all.  I heard her sing a few months ago and boy, she can really SING!  There’s something special with the way she sings.  She definitely has a very wide vocal range because when she goes baritone, she really goes baritone!

Then came Lani Misalucha, Bituin Escalante, Sheryn Regis, etc.  These days, we have Charice Pempengco, Sarah Geronimo, Kyla, Rachel Ann Go, and all those singers who make a living by testing the malleability and the elasticity of their jugular veins.  Even young kids who try out for those songfests stretch those vocal chords to their limits.  People think that a good singer is measured by the pitch of his/her voice.  Singers who don’t do a Jennifer Hudson do not get that much applause these days.  Which is sad because they too sing really well.

Come to think of it, this is the same for music industries all across the globe.

I mean, I am in awe of those who can really belt out a difficult song and all but I respect those who can hit all those notes well, low as they may be, as well.  Perhaps, it’s best if we can appreciate all genres and kinds of music.  I mean, I have an eclectic taste.  I like the soothing variety, as well as the upbeat ones, even those that are headbang inducing and those that seem to signal the awakening of the dead.  It’s a pity that aspiring singers these days gear towards a single direction.  And it’s not exactly voice box-friendly.  It ain’t called belting for nothing, after all.

Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground

25 01 2009

I’m a sucker for really nice TV series music.  Here’s one from 13th episode of the second season of Private Practice.

It’s a song by Beth Rowley.   She is a British singer who was born in Peru.

If you had not’ve fallen
Then I would not have found you
Angel flying too close to the ground
But I patched up your broken wings
And hung around a while
Kept your spirits up and your fever down

I knew someday that you would fly away
Cause love’s the greatest healer to be found
So leave me if you need to, but I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground

If you had not’ve fallen,
than I would not’ve found you
Angel flying too close to the ground
I patched up your broken wings
And hung around a while
Kept your spirits up and your fever down

I know someday that you will fly away
Cause love’s the greatest healer to be found
So leave me if you need to, but I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground

So fly, fly on past the speed of sound
Ohh, rather see you up than see you down
So leave me if you need to and I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground

So leave me if you need to and I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground

A Grateful Nation

23 01 2009

“Please accept this flag on behalf of a grateful nation.”

I love Las Vegas, the TV series.  I hope they’ll have another run.  It’s a long shot but hey, a lot of things happen in Vegas.  I believe it deserves a million seasons to cover all the colorful things that happen in that very eventful golden land.  The Bold and the Beautiful has been there since time immemorial, so why shouldn’t Las Vegas be eternally airing? Yeah, yeah, it’s a soap but ya know what I mean.

Anyway, I was watching one of the episodes of Las Vegas where Det. Luis Perez dies in Iraq and the gang attends his memorial service.  With Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door playing in the background, the scene was very heavy.  He was in Iraq for just a week and off he went knockin’ on heaven’s door! Ok, so when the camera panned to focus the men in uniform fold the flag, the whole scene got heavier.  One of them handed it to his mother and uttered those words, I shed a tear (I know it comes as no surprise, I am silly, I cry at the movies and while watching even a not-so-tearjerker, so bite me! But this one’s really worth the tearduct exercise.).

I wonder how, in real life, a grieving widow or a girlfriend or the mother and father, the friends, or the young orphans in the US who has/have lost a childhood sweetheart or son or brother or sister or friend or parent feel upon hearing that line.  I’m sure it’s just as painful no matter how big the gratitude of the nation is. Watching a memorial service is always moving, and more so if it’s for soldiers who have honorably fought for peace (ironic, I know!) and freedom, and while it is very heartwarming to hear such big words, it makes me wonder if it was all worth it.  If this war’s worth it.

But regardless of everything, wherever we are in the world, it’s sad.  It’s really sad.  Yeah, my eyes are still wet.

Hail to the (New) Chief!

21 01 2009

I’m no Obama fan (if I get the time to really get down to it, I’ll prolly scribble a few lines as to why I’m not exactly jumping up and down my seat for the guy) but hey, today’s really something else.  It’s still a milestone and I’m all for equal opportunities so his victory demands a celebration.  It’s not just about him anyway.

President Elect Barack Hussein Obama took the presidential oath of office to become the 44th President of the United States of America, after pausing and stumbling on the first few words, and the first African-American to hold such position.  It brings to mind the final episode of one of my favorite TV series: The West Wing.

Pres. Obama is a celebrated speaker and writer and so people have been joyfully anticipating what he’s going to say in his inaugural address.  Credit must also go to the youngest presidential speechwriter ever, Jon Favreau who wrote his first draft of today’s speech in Starbucks  in D.C.    “Favs” is now my new fave!

Ok, this doesn’t exactly go up into the pantheon of rhetorical magnificence (I like his much longer speech in Philly after that hoopla on Rev. Wright’s outbursts) but the fact that it was delivered on that major turning point in the history of the US, and of the world, is greatness in itself.

I think I’ve used the word president far too many times.  But who cares!  It’s a day of goosebumps.

So, here goes:

Transcript of Pres. Obama’s inaugural address:

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.

They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Jumping to Conclusions — Part 2

11 01 2009

So the verdict’s out, at least from Valley Golf and Country Club.  Delfin Dela Paz expelled, young Pangandamans banned, and Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman Sr. suspended for two years.  Apparently, the management, after having conducted a thorough internal investigation found out that it was indeed Delfin Dela Paz who started the ruckus when he poked Nasser Jr. with his folded umbrella, one which was open when the heated argument started, by the way.

Ok, I’ve heard so many people side with the dela Pazes after having read Bambee dela Paz’s heartwrenching blog entry.  Can’t blame them.  Even Ms. Lea Salonga apologized for jumping to conclusions right away “in fanning the flames without objectivity and the open ear to hear all sides of the story.

I don’t want to discount the possibility that there were some powerplay in the process of the investigation.  There will be people who will think that way automatically.  The people involved in the scuffle will also try to save face to their public.

With this, a multitude of lawsuits will fly from one side to the other.  But I guess we can now leave it to the (i pray!) incorruptible justice system.  We can probably refocus now on more important issues at hand, such as the RH bill, perhaps?  Or the Cha-Cha?

Perhaps, the most important lesson here is that we should never be too quick to judge.  Whatever the race, religion, sociopolitical and economic status, every person deserves his/her day in court.

Another thing to consider is the fact that blogging is very powerful.  While we do have the freedom to express ourselves, it’s best to exercise caution when we talk about other people.  It’s so easy to get heady in hitting those keys.


8 01 2009

It’s been a million years since I last blogged.  I’m not sure if I have become more boring or what.  Not that I write with the idea of entertaining people in mind.  I talk to myself because I’m on my own most of the time and since that makes me sound crazier than I already am, I decided to just blog away every now and then.

I’m not a good blogger because I can’t keep my thoughts together.  I digress more often than I should and I find myself talking about something else in less than 5 seconds.  Which is exactly what I’m doing right now.

But rereading what I just wrote and what one guest said about me, I guess I overdid my hiatus.  Hehe.  Or maybe I gave myself more credit by thinking I wasn’t boring before my self-imposed break.  Oh well.  C’est la vie.

Men Should Act Like Men–How?

8 01 2009

The first time I caught a glimpse of the Colt45 ad, I did a double take.  A woman in a two-piece swimsuit is admired by the guys in the beach but one of their friends say she would’ve looked better had she chosen different colors or something like that.  And then his friends look at him funny and a big beer bottle lands on him from nowhere and I guess it’s safe to assume that he gets buried in the sand.

My niece, who saw my reaction and understood what I was thinking, told me there’s another one from Colt45, and that one was worse.  Indeed!

Four (not sure if there’s 4 of them) men are watching a game on TV when one of the guys’ phone rings, he goes out to take it and says he missed whoever is calling in a cooing manner.  And then the big beer bottle does its thing again.

Ok, let me think it over.  Who the hell came up with the concept?  Who, in this age of sexual revolution, gender sensitivity and call for equality, came up with an ad that makes people take a 360-degree turn? I know all about classical conditioning and the power of the media.  It may sound frivolous but it’s very powerful.  Reminds me so much of the Marlboro Man.  You know how its subtle depiction of a man–a cowboy romanticized–has influenced the smoking habits of millions of people?  I mean, it’s subtle but it’s there.  You can’t miss it.  And now this?

I have a close friend who is a kick-ass graphics guy.  He knows magenta, teal, burgundy, mauve and those other colors in between.  He can name them all better than I can.  And he can be the worst critic in the land when it comes to hairstyles, clothes and makeup.  I have news for you, he’s no softie.  But does that mean he’s not acting the way real men should?

As a woman, I would always want a guy who can say he loves me any time and be all cheesy every now and then.  I’m sure all women could relate to that “want”.  I’m not one of those who like to torment their men by asking them to say i-love-yous over the phone loud enough for their friends and family to hear to test if they’re “proud” of the feeling or if they honestly love them.  No, that’s overboard.  That’s so juvenile.

Colt45, the beer, is strong.  Well, for me, at least.  It’s the kind of beer that you can drink a lot of when nothing else is on stock, on one of those drinking sessions with friends, and get a really bad hangover the morning after.  I mean, I’m speaking for myself but I know quite a few who feel the same.

If it wants to sport a macho look, I get it.  But they could’ve done something better.  Why go this low?

Jumping to Conclusions

8 01 2009

I wonder why people jump to conclusions far too quickly.  I first read about the melee at a golf course in Antipolo that the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform Nasser Pangandaman figured in from a tabloid.  Yep, I read the tabloids because I like my news unsanitized.  There’s something about this kind of journalism that pumps my blood.  But that’s another story.

So, I read, well, more of scanned, the story.  I wasn’t particularly interested in people fighting in some fancy place when there are lots of more interesting stories to read about, like Hayden Kho’s  homemade porn story for one–err–well, yeah, and a lot more.  Indeed the news about a DAR bigwig’s son who happens to be a mayor of a town in Mindanao accused of mauling someone in a clubhouse was a tad too distracting–not the kind of distraction that one would most likely appreciate on a holiday where everything is splashed with a frenzy of eating, catching up and lazing away.

Where was I? Oh, the messy golf fight.  And I thought they only do those messy ones in clubs not entirely related to golf.  Oh well.  So, I scanned the story.  And I figured, yeah, the Pangandamans did it.  Why?  They’re powerful.  They had bodyguards.  They had guns.  They did it.  They’re Muslims after all.

Then I see Mr. Delfin dela Paz sporting a seemingly rehearsed agonized look on TV every newsflash or two.  I cringe.  There’s something about this guy and with what he has been saying that simply don’t add up.

Then I see another glimpse of Sec. Pangandaman and his son.  Glimpse.  Because they didn’t really stay that long in front of the cameras.  Something about them made me want to know the three sides of the story: that of the Dela Pazes, that of the Pangandamans, and the truth.

So I read Bambee dela Paz’s heartwrenching blog entry.

The mayor of Masiu City, Lanao del Sur talks with my dad. Things get heated up. Voices were raised. But never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever imagine that someone would pull out a punch.  Apparently not [sic]. He attacks my father. His flightmates, maybe 2 or 3 of them, rush to his aid and beat up my father. My 56-year-old father. My younger brother and I could not just watch. We rushed to break the fight. My younger brother pleads to the mayor to please stop it. To not hurt my dad. To just stop. His words still ring through my head…”Sorry na po, sorry na po…tama na…tama na po…” With his hands in front of his chest in a praying position. PLEADING. The mayor socks him in the face. My brother defended himself. My dad is still on the ground getting clobbered. My brother is the same way. I try to stop the fight, but all I can do is stop one person. There were 4 or 5 of them attacking now.

Pretty telenovelaisc huh.  It sounds very persuasive.  So true.  So real.

There’s something about too much drama that puts me off, really.

Now, the other side of the story. As the writer of the blog entry said,

I am posting the incident that happened at the south course of Valley Golf and Country Club that fateful day of December 26, 2008 between the families of Pangandaman and dela Paz. But this is not Delfin’s and his children’s side; I am retelling the details of the incident here on behalf of the Pangandamans.

Not a first-hand account.  Not really reliable but it provided a significant piece of the puzzle.

And now the so-called recap from the so-called independent investigators of the case.

Look, I’m guilty of jumping into conclusions because the Pangandamans are moneyed, in power and Muslims.  I have always been quick to object when people tend to generalize Muslims as evil, bad and ill-mannered.  I come from a place where they live peacefully as traders.  In grade school, I was friends with kids who taught me languages that amused my parents at home.  We may have drifted apart because we lost contact through the years but I have none in my memory lane that can support the idea that they are not good people.  I have learned to respect those who are different from I am. But whether we admit it or not, we have been marred by society’s prejudice.  And so every now and then, I unconsciously succumb to the same prejudiced thinking. I don’t want to justify it but we are not entirely blameworthy.  The exploits of the Abu Sayyaf, the September 11 bombings in the US and all others are not really helping, are they?  But trust me, it’s not something that I am proud of and every time I can, I try to work on it because deep inside me I know that they do not have the monopoly of being bad.

Having said that, I believe we have just judged the Pangandamans right away because of that.  I’m sure no one would admit so.  I would.  I’m sure in one of those unguarded moments, most of us have either uttered or thought of something about them being guilty because they are Muslims.  Because Muslims can be really fierce–as if non-Muslims don’t get ferocious and reckless in the heat of the moment as well.

I’m not saying that they are not guilty.  But knowing that they have guns, small ones and big ones, and the fact that they practically outnumbered the dela Pazes, I can only surmise that the restraint that they summoned at that time is way beyond commendable.  I mean, let’s face it.  If they wanted to hurt the dela Pazes, they could have done more damage than what has been reported.  And if they wanted to hurt the dela Pazes, why did Hussein, Nasser Pangandaman Sr.’s other son suffer serious injuries as well? They were obviously with their so-called goons.  So why didn’t they let them do the dirty work?  I was moved at the fact that he got involved in the scuffle when the older dela Paz poked his brother with an umbrella.

Come to think of it, the 14-year-old dela Paz hit Hussein with a driver.  If it were in defense, it wouldn’t have fractured the latter’s hand.  And this Bambee girl who has become an overnight sensation because of her tearjerker of a blog entry, didn’t she figure in the fight as well?  Yeah, she defended her dad but how come they never asked the people around them for help?  Or just pull her dad out with all her might?  Or shield him with her own body?  Come on, the normal first move for someone’s companion who has been allegedly mauled is to try to stop the fight, scream or even go between the assailant and the loved one.  Something simply does not add up.  And her story, albeit really poignant the first time you read it, has far too many holes in it.

I am annoyed at how the ages of the older dela Paz and his son are seemingly used to portray them as the underdog.  A 14-year old kid with a good swing is not entirely incapable of doing any damage.  We’ve heard of 8 year olds and 11 year olds who go on shooting frenzy and kill many of their friends in school in cold blood.  I have 8 nephews and nieces.  I know what kids younger than 14 can do.  My mom’s 71.  She still kicks my ass in a lot of things.  My dad, at 74, in his paralyzed condition can still make me feel bad about a million and one things.  And 5-10 years ago, he was still a “terror” in some ways.

But really, what did the golf course’s security people and management do?  I’m sure they didn’t expect such a ruckus to ensue but hey, in this day and age, anything can happen, like wives in their housedresses who storm in with knives from the other side of the fence, for instance.

It’s so easy to say that the Pangandamans have the moral ascendancy because they are public figures.  The same way we look disapprovingly at celebrities who do not smile at their fans after a long day of film shoot, or get annoyed at paparazzi.  The same way we look disapprovingly at clergymen who show some weaker human sides.  Just because they have certain labels and positions in public does not mean they have lost their humanity.  Of course hurting other people is bad, whether one is a public figure or not.  All I’m saying is, nobody’s perfect and as much as we want everybody to be close to perfection, there are certain reactions and stimuli that we simply can’t control all the time.

I want to know the truth.  I may lean towards the Pangandamans now but I still want to know what really happened.  And when the dust clears, I want to see the right thing done.

Yeah, I got hooked on this sappy melodrama as well.  And no, it doesn’t really affect me directly.  However, the idea that every now and then I jump into conclusions because of my own biases or whatnots bothers me a whole lot.  It tells me of the kind of influence my surroundings has on me.  And looking at it from a different angle, it really doesn’t look too nice.

Books, Conspiracy Theories and Cynics

19 06 2008

I always encourage my nephews and nieces and any kid that I get to talk to to read. I am pretty sure it’s the only sure route to a million and one destination. I have always been a voracious reader. There’s something about a book that makes me really happy. I’m talking about the good old book that feels really good to the hands. While I read electronic versions of Harry Potter and controversial pieces, there’s something really romantic about the hardcover books, or even the paperbacks. So where am I leading? Conspiracy theories that’s what. Reading far too many of them has somehow made me really cynical about life. Well, in some respects, I think it has also awakened the realist in me but let’s go back to conspiracy theories, assassinations, doubles, espionage, charades, staged events and whatchamacallits.

Still vague, huh?

Well, I’ve been following the Ces Drilon and company drama ever since it was just whispered in some small circles here and there. And with the media coverage that it’s been getting (hello! That’s Ces Drilon!), I couldn’t help but watch the events unfold. I must admit, I never really doubted its authenticity when it first rolled but I got really turned off by the unabashed politicking that squeezed the life out of the story. I was breathless when Angelo Valderama, the assistant camera guy, was released although I thought it was weird that they had to make people believe that it was him who was huddled in that car with the lady vice governor when it wasn’t him. The swagger of the two Isnajis was a major flipper. Their involvement, notwithstanding the fact that their proximity made it their game, really got me thinking about a lot of things. And then when Ces and Jimmy Encarnacion, her cameraman, were released with Jimmy wearing a Love ko Si Mayor pink shirt, I got all the more cut. Of all the shirts that he could have been made to borrow!

And now the rumor mills are at it again. People say it was a farce. That it was staged! Are we that low now?

And is Loren Legarda that big a negotiator for her to add the Drilon and Company kidnapping incident to her list of feats? Not to mention she did this last in the comforts of her office in Luzon? Well, she did have a few people down south to do the legwork for her. But still!

Look, I’m not pointing fingers at anybody. I’m sure you couldn’t fake grief. I feel for their families. Going through something like that is never a breeze. One thing’s for sure. Drilon said so herself. There’s something about the place where they were held captive that drives people to do what they do. The government really has to do something about it. On top of graft and corruption, rice crisis, inflation, gas madness and whatever the hell else.

Let this be a reminder to everyone of us.  Nothing is worth risking our lives for.  Nothing.  And definitely nothing is worth risking other people’s lives for.

Sick Speak

19 06 2008

I wanted to smother him with a pillow. My fingers were itching to grab one and push him down with it until he breathes no more. His anguished and most of the time angry screams have fueled that murderous rage in me.

But I couldn’t.

He, in his condition, managed to get drunk and hurled expletives my way because I had the nerve to throw away what was left of the local rhum.  He went on to say that I studied in UP only to achieve nothing in life.  He said I do not have greatness, something that UP people are thought to achieve as they go head on with the world.  And in my sleepless state with one client backing out on me when the bills are piling up, I gripped the corners of the bed mattress opposite his angrily.  I kept telling myself that it was the alcohol and the illness talking but he got to me.  In that very instance, I wished he would die an instantaneous death.  But there were no thunderbolts and he was still morosely glaring at me albeit in silence now.  So I pictured grabbing the pillow that reeked of dried urine so I could kill him with it.

But I didn’t.  I couldn’t.

Regardless of how frustrated I was or how extremely helpless I felt, I couldn’t bear to kill him. What was there to lose? It’s not like he still earns a living. He doesn’t feed me. He is no fun anymore. He can’t even be a great soundboard. And no he no longer gives his solid opinion on things. But I can’t. Couldn’t.  Wouldn’t.

Because despite everything, he’s still my father. He may not be a perfect dad there is and his shortcomings pretty much eat up all the good things that he etched in his life’s record book, he still biologically makes up a huge part of me, and well, politically, socially, emotionally and spiritually too, I suppose.

My father suffered from a major cerebrovascular accident three years ago. We lowly lifeforms call it a stroke. It paralyzed the right side of his body and severely affected his speech. I know of a lot of people who got over something like this. There are others who even taught their functioning body parts to do most of the job. Some practically rose from the ashes to become newer and better versions of themselves.

But not my Pa, my sweetpeas. Nah-uh.

Like most men, my father took this turning point of his life lying down, literally. If three years ago he cursed at his Creator, the world, everybody else and whoever was in the room, or cried and lamented at how this new chapter of his lifebook took a turn, I would have understood. But he didn’t. He took it with an eerily complete submission that those who know him pre-stroke would swear that it is an absolute 180-degree pivot. I wasn’t surprised though.  Delayed reaction, it may seem, but I can’t help but suspect that this is just an act of a scheming con artist because a year or so ago,  the old Pa seems to have resurfaced sans the mobility and the paralysis-free physique—the result was an  irreverent sick old man whose angst came in completely asshole proportions. The old cunning bastard is back—screaming and kicking, if only humanly possible for him.  Manipulative as hell, an emotional blackmailer extraordinaire. It’s hard to explain but despite all these, there’s something about Pa’s ways that still makes him difficult to unlove, to me at least.

Years before D-Day, he became somebody different. You see, my father used to be the typical macho, brusque, rugged, sly, shrewd, man-of-the-streets kind of guy. He’s the rebel without a cause poster boy. Well, it’s never always a case of “without a cause.” He comes from rather extremely complicated family not that it’s fair to blame it all on the family all the time but for lack of something better to justify it with, let’s just take that. Also, his childhood was a textbook case for shrinks.

I’m only human and while I don’t want to use it as an excuse, there are simply things that sometimes I don’t get to take the wheel of. I get pissed off when he screams in seemingly perfectly scheduled unholy hours past midnight. I get that murderous urge when he calls on residents of hell to take him out of his misery and whatever else unthinkable. But at the end of the day, he’s still my father. He played a huge part in my childhood, some of it really bad but some were actually happy moments and quite preparatory for when I had to face the real world (like, right now?). As I always tell my nephew every time we have one of those aunt-to-nephew heart to heart talks that only those who have an awesome aunt-to-nephew closeness like we have can ever have, one can only blame his/her parents for whatever rough-ups he/she has had in his/her lifetime for so long. Despite all the Freudian analyses about how our parents are the root of all evil (and then some) in our lives, I believe we have that thinking and discerning capacity that eventually lets us decide which route to take as we get a bit older.

So my father isn’t the model dad.  I’m no model daughter either.  I do love Papa not only because there’s so much about me that I can only thank him for but because not everything about him is his undoing and if I take it all out in him, my children, if I ever get to have my own kids somehow, might do the same to me and I don’t want that Not that one or the other matters because in this life, regardless of the kind of relationship that we have, he’s another human being and no matter how awful some people might have been in their lifetime, no one deserves to be disrespected.

I guess I can only pray.  For acceptance, for strength, for faith.  For my Ma to be stronger.  For her to live longer because I sure can’t face this alone.  It’s one of those moments when being unmarried is a curse—gives me no excuse to opt out.  I don’t go to church anymore for reasons that I have yet to precisely point a stubby finger on, but I do talk to God, and bless him, I believe he knows where I’m at where he’s concerned.  I guess in times like this, it helps to have something to cling on to.  Something.  Someone.

Instant Noodles

26 03 2008

(Published in the November 2000 issue of The Engineering Logscript,  the official student publication of the UP College of Engineering)

ibinenta ka sa halagang limang piso
sabay inilubog sa marami-raming kumukulong tubig
tatlong minuto kang pakukuluan
at kapag luto na, hahanguin
saka ilalagay ang mga pampalabok
na hitik na hitik sa mga kemikal
na balang araw ay papatay sa kanila
kung may pera pa, lalagyan ka ng isang itlog
at ilang mga gulay na napulot
sa maputik na kalsada ng Divisoria

ihahain ka sa apat na anak
at aasang mapapatalino mo at mapapalusog sila
accepted ka kasi ng DOH
at may sangkap-Pinoy, sabi ng pakete
hihigupin nila ang mainit mong sabaw
na wala nang lasa sa dami ng tubig
nanamnamin nila ang hibla mo
baka nga naman may naligaw
na totoong chicken o beef
matutulog sila at magkukunwaring busog
bukas, iisipin muli kung saan kukunin
ang ipambibili sa iyo
ano’ng timpla? ano’ng rekado?
anong brand ng instant noodles?

Nissin’s, Maggi, o Lucky Me?

ibinenta tayo sa dayuhan sa halagang mamiso
na naglulubog sa ekonomiya sa kumukulong mantika
minu-minuto kapag pinakukuluan
sa suweldong hilaw at madaling hanginin
bibilugin tayo ng mga pangakong mapalabok
habang sa trabaho’y niluluto sa init at kemikal
na balang-araw ay papatay sa atin
pinararami natin ang kanilang pera at pinalalaki ang itlog
at kapag gulay na ang mga katawan
itatapon tayo sa maputik na kalsada ng Divisoria

pagkatapos, ano ang ihahain sa apat na anak?
paano tatalino at lulusog sa kitang di sapat?
i-a-accept tayo ng DOH
na may sakit-Pinoy, sabi ng x-ray
nahigop na ang baga natin,
halos wala nang natitira at tinutubig
malapit nang namnamin ng uod
ang hibla ng buhay ng bawat isa
at gawing pagkain
ng mga chicken at beef
di tayo makatulog, ni magkunwaring busog
bukas, iisipin muli kung may kukunan pa ba
ng perang ipambibili
ano’ng ipantitimpla? ano’ng irerekado?
kahit na anong brand ng instant noodles.

lucky me nga ba?

When I get the time, I’ll try to write the English translations per line, not that I think that it’s a good idea.  I fear I might not do justice to it.  

Seymour Barros-Sanchez, Meyor to most, is an advocacy filmmaker.  His brother, Sig, is another esteemed filmmaker.  They come from a family of writers and well, wizards too, I’m pretty sure. These guys make me speak in a hushed tone.  What can I say, I’m a fan! I’ll probably make a fool of myself if I’m in their presence so it’s good that I’m not.  LOL.  See?  I’m talking gibberish here!

Meyor said this poem was published in The Engineering Logscript, the UP College of Engineering’s official student publication which he headed for two years. No one kept a copy of that issue and most UP Eng’g majors couldn’t seem to come up with a regular issue of their Logscript since they’re more concerned in dealing with dynamics of rigid bodies so he decided to retype the poem in full for archiving.  I think it’s a good idea.  It’s going to be a “collectors’ item” so I didn’t want to pass up on the chance of being able to post it here. 

Thanks, Meyor for letting me do so.

Not A Political Statement

22 03 2008

“Love is a human experience, not a political statement.”

Wow!  In this day and age, such profound words from an amazing and gorgeous young lady are a breath of fresh air.  There’s hope for this planet after all! 

Anne Hathaway IS something else.  She’s the recipient of this year’s HRC Ally for Equality Hero award. 

Pacman Bags It AGAIN!

16 03 2008

Manny Pacquiao is the new WBC super featherweight title holder.  According to him, “the business is over.”  The fight that was four years in the making was awesome.  It was a close call.  I thought the best case scenario was a draw because I’ve always been bad with Math but hey, it’s another reason to celebrate again! 

Pacman’s fight has always stopped the clock for the Filipinos.  No rally, no traffic jam, almost zero crime rate, a ceasefire between the rebel groups and the armed forces.  Celebrities flock to Vegas.  Phenomenal.  Even the politicians don’t mind looking like fools trying to raise whatever part of Manny’s body in the ring for photo op!  And they cross party lines for that.  God knows how much campaign money they earned from that bout.  I’m sure it was more than enough to ensure a win since Juan Manuel’s Marquez’s great strategy and play made bets soar to unthinkable proportions. 

Way to go, Pacman! 

After this welcome respite from all the woes that life has to offer, we can get back to business.  It’s only Pacman’s business with Marquez that’s over.  Not ours.  For now, let’s get ready to PARTY!

Coke Anyone? Juicy Tales from the Online Rumor Mill

15 03 2008

If you haven’t heard/read about it yet, then you must have been nursing a Jun Lozada fever still.  For some who have been fed up with all the heady (no pun intended) theatrics, the latest catfight online is a welcome distraction.  Beautiful release, Ms. MacLachlan? 

I’m talking about the whole Brian Gorell vs. Delfin Justiniano “DJ” Ocampo and the whole “Gucci Gang” hooplah that overpower the much hyped about Sergio-MariMar wedding, Lobo’s much-awaited transformation, Leo San Miguel’s not so surprising surprise, and the widely monitored Clinton-Obama race.  As Le Superstar Fabuleux Bryan put it, it’s “bigger than the Edison Chen scandal in Hong Kong.”  That’s quite something considering the last one’s really huge too!  I almost forgot Governor Spitzer’s major mishap!  Move over Ashley, we’ve got a new star.

I actually just stumbled upon it by accident.  A few clicks here and there later, it unfolded before my very eyes.  It’s sad for shallow gossipy me to have missed the Comments section of the now uber-popular resurrected blog but what I have read pretty much gave me a clearer picture of the whole hubbub.

Let me try to sum up the now much talked about scandal.  Brian Gorell, a man from Down Under, created a blog in (dis)honor of his ex-lover Delfin Justiniano “DJ” Ocampo Montano II.  He dissed the guy and his friends because the ex-boyfriend allegedly still owes him $70,000.  He said in his blog that he won’t stop until he gets his money back.  Now what’s shocking, other than the staggering amount of money, is that the blog talks bad about people move around in Manila’s party scene far more frequently than the rest of us mere mortals.  They, the Gucci Gang, according to the blog, are the young set of the Manila alta sociedad.  I’m sure you’ve heard of Celine Lopez (Philippine Star writer and daughter of former solons Albertito and Emily Relucio-Lopez), Marcel Crespo (Lopez’s ex-fiance and Mark Jimenez’s son), Wendy Puyat-Hotung (a swimwear designer), Tina Tinio (a L’Oréal executive) and Tim Yap (another party animal and entrepreneur).

Everyone loves a juicy tale.  Well, not in huge doses and snorts(!) but every now and then, we lurvvv it.  Schadenfreude after all, is a guilty pleasure.  But this one’s wild!  Not only does it talk nasty of a love affair gone sour, it also talks of the massive and reckless use of cocaine.  If it were to be taken in without question, it will definitely crush to pieces what remnants of reputation these people have left.

A few days ago, the blog was closed but it went live again sans the comments section because apparently it got nuked because of that.  Not that they can’t touch it now.  I mean anything is possible ’round here.  Hell hath no fury than a woman (and the like) scorned indeed but by golly, it gets really uglier by the minute!  Brian Gorell is HIV positive, by the way.  He said so himself.  He claims to have given up his farm in Australia and a lover of 20 or so years.  But he’s back there.  I am not sure how he’s getting on though.  I have one word for him.  Thailand.  The others?  I’m not really sure.  All I know is that they’re getting their share of the limelight one at a time.  And I’m sure they don’t like it this time.  I wonder if ABS-CBN will run this story if this blows.  Or PhilStar.  Tim Yap has been very visible in GMA but I don’t think he’s got that kind of power on the news and public affairs turf.  Gorell said the blog will close as soon as DJ Montano pays up.  I wonder when he’ll post the Western Union receipts.  That should somehow make a case.  This drama marathon is addictive in coke-like proportions!  LOL. 

Sniff.  Snort.  Aaah!

Before the blog closes again, you can check it out here.

Qué horor! Qué barbaridad!

Of Politics and Genealogy: US Edition

7 03 2008

My friend, Todd, never runs out of interesting genealogy-related posts. So I grabbed another interesting one. Everything after this sentence is taken from his blog.

US Presidential Family Trees

There is always a resurgence of genealogical interest every election season in the United States. In the past, genealogists believed that the presidential candidate with the most number of royal connections, ergo the “most royal” of all the aspirants, almost always wins the election.

Another angle to look at is the diversity of the family connections of a presidential candidate. This early on, using the references of online genealogical databases, let us examine who among Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain has the political, social, and royal pedigree.


Barack Obama, one of the two Democratic contenders for the presidency, is perhaps, among the three candidates, the most genealogically diversed. His bloodline consists of Luo (Kenyan), English, German, Irish, Welsh, and smattering of French and Dutch ancestries. His pedigree shows different groups of people spanning several generations from different places. (Click here to see his pedigree chart).

Obama’s Kenyan ancestry is sketchy, and is traced only through the male line. (Click here for a diagram of his Kenyan ancestry.) Much of his known family tree is through his maternal side, and it is here that we find many interesting relations to the senator.

Obama could count at least two royal ancestors: William I “the Lion”, King of Scotland, and Henry II of England. He is related to at least six US Presidents: Jimmy Carter (half 7th cousins three times removed), Harry Truman (7th cousins three times removed), the 2 George Bushes (10th cousins once and twice removed, respectively), Woodrow Wilson (husband of Obama’s 6th cousin five times removed), and James Madison (3rd cousin nine times removed). He is also a ninth cousin once removed of Vice-President Dick Cheney. He has several relative lawmakers and Supreme Court Justices, as well.

But Obama’s ancestry is not limited to political personalities. He is a 7th cousin four times removed of renowned artist Georgia O’Keefe, and his eighth cousin once removed, Elizabeth H. Richardson, was married to novelist Ernest M. Hemingway. Another relative is Gordon B. Hinkley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Theodore N. Vail, founder of AT&T, is a sixth cousin four times removed, while banker JP Morgan is a 7th cousin four times removed.

Other interesting relations of Senator Obama are actors: Margaux Hemingway, his 9th cousin; Superman Christopher Reeve, a 7th couin twice removed, and Katharine Hepburn, a 7th cousin thrice removed, and Brad Pitt is a 9th cousin. Even Justin Timberlake is Obama’s 11th cousin! A truly interesting approach to American politics.


Interestingly, Senator Clinton’s ancestry is also as colorful as Obama’s, though not as diverse as his. While Obama’s relatives include people from the arts, politics, banking and finance, business, the Mormon church, and even royalty, Clinton’s are more concentrated on two areas: politics and the arts. (Click here for Clinton’s pedigree chart)

Her political relatives include Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien of Canada. Other than these two popular Canadian politicians, most of Hillary’s more popular relatives are from the entertainment industry. Shania Twain is her 9th cousin three times removed, Celine Dion is her 10th cousin once removed, Alanis Morissette is her tenth cousin, while Madonna and Clinton are 10th cousins. Three very interesting notes on Hilary’s genealogy: her royal antecedents are supposed to be the Kings of Navarre, but there are no exact evidences for that; she is also a 10th cousin of Camila Shand, the Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Prince Charles; and, finally, actor Jon Voight is the husband of Marcheline Bertrand [and father of Angelina Jolie], Hillary’s 9th cousin once removed.


McCain’s antecedents are not as glamorous and diverse as Obama’s and Clinton’s. In fact,John McCain’s genealogy (for the time being) has only been traced to reveal two interesting people: one, to King William I “the Lion”, King of Scotland, who is McCain’s direct ancestor, and Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, who happens to be a sixth cousin of Senator John McCain. (Click here for McCain’s pedigree chart).

In a world where political victories and losses are not as easily predicted as surveys are paraded and believed to be, looking at a candidate’s ancestry sometimes tells us who among the candidates is the strongest.

It is interesting to note that Obama and McCain share a common descent from King William of Scotland, and that Obama and Clinton are relatives by affinity because Obama’s cousin, Brad Pitt, married Angelina Jolie, the daughter of Jon Voight, Hillary’s cousin.

The fight between Hillary and Obama will be long and hard, considering that both have strong royal bloodlines and, while Obama have many US Presidential relatives, Clinton’s two Canadian Prime Minister cousins Trudeau and Chretien are two of the modern times’ most influential. And, between them are [sic] a plethora of singers and actors and actresses, each of whom have made an impact to the world.

Whoever wins in the Democratic race will ultimately face McCain who, while not having as many famous relatives as Obama and Clinton, certainly has the right relationship to incumbent George W. Bush, as well as also a royal descent from William of Scotland. It would seem that this November would be a face-off between Obama and McCain, both of whom are related to the Bushes and both sharing a common descent from King William of Scotland.


This article is based on several online genealogies of the three candidates, the most comprehensive of which is

Is Romulo Neri Gay?

19 02 2008

God knows how many gay people I have in my posse.  Needless to say, I have always had high respect for people who have gotten out of the closet to be true to themselves and to others.  But I can only sympathize with those who find it hard to come to terms with their sexuality.  The Philippines is laden with misguided moralists and homophobes who blame whatever misfortune that befall on their families on their gay family members.  Talk about miseducation. 

As my college history professor said, the hardest thing to change in people is the mentality.  The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders while the World Health Organization reclassified it from being a mental illness to ego-dystonic homosexuality.  But people still pray that gay guys and girls will get well!!! Why, one actress even gave a testimony in her church about how their family was happy when her cousin recovered from homosexuality!  And this lady graduated from UP for crying out loud.  Well, I do know a lot of chauvinist and homophobic UP alumni.

Anyway, the senate hearings have hinted that there is (was?) a special friendship between former NEDA chair Romulo Neri and former Philforest president and ZTE scandal whistleblower Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr.  Former COMELEC Chair Benjamin Abalos also speculated on what kind of relationship the two had.  Now Senator Jamby Madrigal threatened to expose Neri’s personal secrets.  Could there be a homosexual undertone in all these? 

Regardless of whether Neri’s gay or not, no one has the right to condemn him or even maliciously high-hat him because of it.  Whatever happened to human rights?  Are they a special provision for extrajudicial killing victims?  Why am I not surprised?  This world, after all, is heavily tinted with the glass of double standards. 

Which leads me to wonder, could this be Malacañang’s hold over Neri? When there’s smoke, there’s fire but please spare me the drama. Spare the Filipinos the theatrics and the hystrionics that this gut-wrenching soap opera has spewed on a daily basis. We need to know the truth but can’t we have another Clarissa Ocampo or Emma Lim? And please, don’t let one’s sexual orientation and preference get the spotlight.

Castro Out, De Castro In?

19 02 2008

Now that Fidel Castro has “resigned” from being Cuba’s president due to intestinal woes, his brother who has been the interim president since 2006 is expected to get the official title.  The man in green fatigues has survived countless assassination attempts, the hostile stance of the US and many others.  His speeches have elicited a million and one mixed reactions all across the globe.  But throughout almost half a century of rule in Cuba, the man has stood the test of time. 

Now that the octagenarian has called it quits, the “moderately greedy” Filipino politicos are wishing that the Philippine president would do the same.  The veep seems to be enjoying the limelight as well, as parties are “welcoming” him left and right.  People are even pairing him up with vice presidentiables. 

Now that Castro’s out of the picture and our local political henchmen are calling for the president’s ouster, is it De Castro’s turn?  Hmmmm…. I’m not sure the shoe fits, really.  One thing’s certain, Willie Revillame will enjoy a good cigar or two if and when De Castro makes it. 

Black and White

18 02 2008

I am not pro-GMA. 

If it’s the TV station we’re talking about, then I’d say I am without batting an eyelash, which is impossible by the way because you can’t just bat ONE eyelash!  But really, I am not the president’s die-hard fan.  Let’s just say that I am for this country.  But I won’t claim expertise on what’s best for this country as so many people have already been holding the megaphone.  I guess my time with the mob is over.  I want to grow old real fast but I don’t think I’m getting that old yet so my hiatus is perhaps just that—a hiatus. 

Where does the right begin and where does wrong end?  Does the world really have to be just a choice between black and white?  I am trying  to stifle another bored yawn over what’s going on in our country.  As much as I hate to admit it, I guess I have become someone that I used to hate big time—apathetic.  Not pathetic, you dumbarse.  Well, perhaps partly. 

But really, I’m confused.  This country is so used to corruption.  Since time immemorial, politicians have stolen from us.  And no we don’t have the monopoly of a graft and corruption-infested soil.  Other places have it too.  And so people like me is no longer a rarity.  So there’s a new scandal, what’s new with it?  People steal anyway.  My mantra has become, he/she who steals the least without totally crippling the country is least despicable of the all.  It’s hard to tell, really.  So when it’s hard to tell, I try to just pick whoever’s in power so long as he/she’s not THAT stupid regardless of height or mole size. 

My next confusion steams from the size of the loot.  Ok.  So everybody steals.  Who steals the least is the lesser evil and so that’s the way it should be.  Yeah, so it’s ok to steal so long as it’s not as big as what others steal.  It’s ok to make mistakes so long as they’re not as bad as the ones the other guy made.  This has become our standards and in this grueling world, we can’t really blame people.  Sometimes, we just have to be happy with our small feats.  Yeah it’s not right.  But beggars can’t be choosers.  No one can afford to be choosy.  Yeah it helps to save some dignity inside and maintain ones moral standards but then again, who set those standards in the first place?  Tune in the the radio or turn that TV volume up.  That’s not what’s happening.  People have been hurling accusations against one another as if their lives, and not their political agenda, depended on it. He/she who sinneth not cast the first stone.  My god!  I’ve never seen this many hypocrites in my lifetime!  JDV has been going at it like the fly to the poop!  Is it just me or is eternal damnation really just around the bend?  What with wolves in sheep’s clothing parading here and there like there’s a huge offering coming up I’d be surprised if all of a sudden I’ll see the scene where Moses excitedly came down from the mountain with the tablets of ten commandments in his hand only to find his shenanigans of relatives worshipping an idol! The audacity of people to use the name of God to bring their cases to the streets!  And who are these prophets who act like they have never sinned or partaken of anything that came from under the table!

I am indeed very confused.  And what’s making it worse is the gripping feeling that has been eating me all this time.  I am scared.  I am so scared for this country that I fear waking up the following morning because it might be the day of the great catharsis and it may not be what we all want to see.  I am young by world’s standards and because I am so, I don’t want to spoil the fun by watching it just slip away when I have not yet filled the half-full glass in my hand. 

Will this end?  Will blood flow?  Will people die?  Will I die?  Who is telling the truth?  And how do we measure truth nowadays?  Is it something that our gut tells us?  Or has the standards change?  Is it signified by tears and melodrama?  If I knew the answers, I’d be able to sleep well.  And I’ll stop worrying about tomorrow. 

Tomorrow’s just another day.  Today’s a gift.  That’s why it’s called the present.  But I don’t want to get any more gifts if it’s just like this.  I want to have tomorrow.  But somehow that petrifies me more.

So what now…

Gordon for President

17 02 2008

Is it too early to campaign for the next president?  Yes?  Yeah, right!

There have been soooo many of them who have already been giving feelers here and there.  Some of them have even verbalized their “dreams” of leading this downtrodden land.  So why can’t I make my own declaration? I’m not the one running anyway. 

In a previous post, I have shortlisted my presidentiables.  I have already mentioned Richard “Dick” Gordon.  I also said that he will not win.  Why?  He’s not the typical KBL politician (Kasal or Weddings, Binyag or Baptisms and Dedications, Libing or Burial/Funerals).  He may be energetic but he’s not charismatic and patronizing.  But he’s one guy who delivers and whose tail doesn’t go between his legs when his decisions cross party lines.  For that, he’s on my good side.  Well, I think Subic speaks for him. 

Bayani Fernando, on the other hand, is my other living bet.  But I strongly believe that he’s better off as an operative.  While listening to the last episode of Hwang Jin-i (my back was to the TV set because I was beating a deadline), I heard the head Kisaeng say that the committee of dance teachers from all across old Korea chose the other dancer because she’s not as good as the lead of the story but because she sees and acknowledges another person’s talents and that the better dancer is needed by the country to continue dancing because she’s good at it.  Fernando is like that.  The country needs more people like him.  He may not be popular because of the effects of his actions on the surface but because of the longer-term effects of those actions, he has nailed it for me. 

So why Gordon?  Why not Mar Roxas?  Why not Kabayang Noli De Castro?  Why not JDV?  Why not Manny Villar?

Mar Roxas looks really good on paper.  His résumé is awesome.  Why, when he was just starting to make the waves in the Philippines back in the 90s, I was already been a fan!  In fact, when I chaired an event in our dorm in UP, I made it a point to really have him as our guest speaker.  He graciously accepted our invitation, I was ecstatic.  Now that I think about it, I hate it that digicams weren’t that popular then.  I remember that he smelled and looked really good!  He came late because he came from a session in the Congress that wrapped up really late.  Oh, and as a giggly college girl who had a huge crush on the guy, I blushed to my roots when he kissed me on the cheek.  Yeah!  It was just one of those besos that people exchange instead of handshakes but it sent me to cloud 9.  So Korina, my dear, una syang naging akin!  LOL.  But I will not vote for him.  Why?  He’s too politically motivated.  He has changed big time.  I’m pretty sure he’s a good person and that he has really good intentions for the country but the people around him are too strong for him.  I’m not discounting his ability to think for himself but let’s just say that with so many strong people around you, you can’t help but be swayed into doing things that you may not personally like without actually realizing that you’re doing it.  It’s too early for him too.  Perhaps, by the next presidential election after 2010, he’ll be ripe enough.  And perhaps by then, I’ll vote for him. 

Kabayang Noli is not a presidentiable.  I’m sorry but I really do think the shoes are too big for him. 

Why not JDV?  Well, in the 1998 presidential election, I was a NAMFREL volunteer.  The strongest contenders then were House Speaker Jose De Venecia, the late Raul Roco, and then Vice President Joseph Estrada.  I was not qualified to vote during that time because I turned 18 June of that year so there was really no chance that I could vote.  So what I did before that was get myself all-informed about who’s who in the race.  And I started my NAMFREL tradition.  I started volunteering on elections back in the 1995 elections when I was still in high school.  It was VOTECARE then.  It’s PPCRV now.  In 1998, it was NAMFREL for me and before our “shift” we were told to make sure that our flashlights were working and to be on our toes at all times as there were rumors that JDV was going to cause some power interruption to do some last minute “adjustments” and well, it didn’t happen and Erap won hands down.  I remember crying upon seeing the huge whiteboard outside the hall where we were stationed at in Ateneo.  JDV has never been someone that I liked.  I liked Ramon Mitra better when he was still the Speaker of the House and I liked him when he was running for presidency and even before that.  Marcelo Fernan was my favorite politico then.  Alongside Roco, Serge Osmeña and many others.  Recently, JDV has given me more reasons never to vote for him. 

How about Villar?  I must admit, he is possibly one of those who’s got almost everything needed to win a presidential election.  He’s got the money, the machinery and the popularity.  But does he have the balls to run this country, let alone the ability to dance decently?  I don’t think so.  Lest orange becomes a national color, I don’t think we want this guy.  I do love orange but well, I’m not sure about it becoming a good national color.  How about a coat of arms in orange?  Nah!!!

In this time of turmoil and unrest, perhaps, it’s best if we think of what we want in a leader and who out there deserves the key to the golden door that we call our country.  We don’t need someone who has the charisma to make ladies swoon and men bow.  We don’t need someone who can dole out all the time to the beggars that dear Philippines never seems to run out of.  We need someone who can govern conscientiously, be firm, be a good statesman, maintain decent foreign relations and steal just a little without getting caught.  Believe you me, no one will NOT steal.  So let’s hope for someone who will steal just a little and not truckloads of our nation’s treasure chest. 

I’ve made my pick.  That’s Richard Gordon.  He’s not winnable.  He’s an elitist.  But for now, I think I’ve found my man.  Dick’s my pick!

Scripted and Rehearsed!

17 02 2008

Lozada got me.

Well, at least on the day he came out and spoke to the press.

But the magic wore off. Perhaps his tears washed away what iota of credibility I gave him credit for. His hidden arrogance looms its ugly head every time he talks down on the government albeit cloaked by the frocks of the church. The long hours he spent in the senate hearing made his act corny and quite annoying, in fact. Yep, to me, it is all an act–orchestrated by people whose love for the country has been a mere facade to a bludgeoning and uncontrollable ambition.

Over dinner, my mom and I got into an uncomfortable tiff. The local news was airing and it was nauseatingly all about Lozada and at almost every juncture, I was spitting expletives, disagreement and ridicule—in that order. Midway, my mom just said, “You are so pro-Gloria.”

First off, that’s President Arroyo, not Mrs. Arroyo, Mr. Vice President. Second, I am not pro-Gloria. When I marched and crusaded against then President Estrada’s regime, I did not for even once think that ousting the man means putting the diminutive and pixie lady on the throne. Apparently, that’s the political reality. That’s the way the constitutional succession works. It was further upheld by a Supreme Court ruling. I will not even bother to argue with those who say otherwise.

When I was one with the thousands of people who kept vigil in the EDSA Shrine complex that fateful week in January a few years back, I was heeding the warning bells that pealed at the back of my head. Hailing a cab in the dark alley so late in the evening to go to Ortigas was pure adrenaline rush. I didn’t think twice. The No votes had it. That was more reason enough for me to go there. The rest is history.

Now, hang in there, I am not a lawyer—because it’s not something that I can get by being related to more lawyers than my one hand can count—but I have worked with more than enough of them to know which is legally sound and not. It does not take a legal genius, however, to know that pure hearsay and drama will never get you past the arraignment.

The president is not a paragon of virtue. Her family does not epitomize sainthood. Like any other politicos, they have their agenda. Like any other people in power, they have been caught in the web of corruption and crime. But calling for her ouster two years shy the end of her term is not only ludicrous but is also a major waste of time. The peso has never been this strong ever since the Asian currency crisis–Thanks to George Soros! While we do not enjoy the typical KBL (kasal/wedding, binyag/baptism, libing/burial) kind of politicism, our present government has managed to map out a stable plan to ensure a better life in the coming years. It’s not like it can happen overnight but if we do our share and abide by the rules, I’m sure we’ll get there in time. But that’s just me, giving myself a pep talk. When hunger strikes and the US recession looms over affording us a good view of what famine is all about, we can’t help but hurl profanities in the air in the hopes that it does get to the palace.

But my argument stays. If we oust the president now, Lee Kuan Yew would laugh his brains out and comment anew that the Philippines is indeed governed by mob rule. Perhaps he’s right when he said that the state of our country is what too much democracy does to a nation. If we oust the president now, who will take the wheel? I am pretty sure there are really good candidates out there but why not level the field and wait for the 2010 elections? If not, why don’t we call for a snap elections now? I am sure we have learned our mistakes. The basic rule of thumb should be followed: Stop, Look and Listen. Look before you leap. If we plunge head on into something, we must find a soft ground to land on, and not another rockbed.

The president may even be a rotten egg for all we know. But for as long as no court admissible evidence is shown to us that she has indeed dipped her hands into boiling water, then perhaps she deserves the time to finish her term. The president is not the best of the bunch. But for as long as it’s not yet harvest time, I think it’s best if we wait for other bunches to be right for the picking. Why limit ourselves to the bunch that we have right now? Yes the country can wait. Good things do not happen overnight but every now and then, we have to draw blood to achieve small victories so that in the long run, greater feats will be ours to cherish and enjoy.

As for Lozada, he has to stop acting like a victim. From wearing an oversized white shirt to claiming that he is impoverished to turning a new leaf via religious propaganda and wearing not just one scapular but TWO for crying out loud to crying spells of OA proportions, he has got to clean up his act and do things right. If he’s the true blue bringer of truth that he claims to be, he does not need the props and everything else. What is wrong with being a hardworking Filipino Chinese? Why try to elicity pity by saying he’s poor? When asked by former COMELEC Chair Benjamin Abalos how a poor man could afford to pay the WackWack clubshares, he haughtily said it was ONLY 400something thousand pesos and he could afford that! No wonder he somehow felt offended when Mike Defensor handed him 50thousand pesos. Who’s next? The highest bidder? Come on! I am not looking for a martyr whose character has no blemishes. I’m merely looking for one who is sincere in giving up his life for his country. And as I have said during the Trillanes folly, someone’s got to die for this country to really wake up from its stupor. And if Lozada is as hardball truth crusader as he portrays himself to be, he should let the angels of death take him so the world can rest and this country can finally move on.

Those Commonly Mispronounced Last Names

21 12 2007

Having worked as a publishing consultant for a Canadian-owned, Random House-affiliate publishing services providing company was the closest that I ever had to working for a call center.   Because we catered to mostly North American clients, we had to speak, well, at least passable American English.  Not having undergone any American accent training, I still felt that my English (and other Anglicized words)-speaking skills are somehow above average. 

I never liked trying to sound American by talking nasally.  I’d sound like someone with speech problems like some people I know.  Hehe.  So, I went into training and since I am not at all an idiot, I learned what I was supposed to learn within the period allotted for the process, far more quickly, I believe.  Our trainers were a bunch of characters.  But then again, trainees—and students for that matter—always make fun of their trainers and teachers. 

The first month was a lot of fun.  Our American department head gave us the permission to take 10-minute breaks in between 60-minute of straight serious work.  Those were on top of our lunch breaks and two 15-minute breaks.  That was pure heaven for smokers like us and for non-smokers who took the same breaks as we did to chat and talk about the “characters” in the office.  Since we were told to speak English at all times then, we did.  So breaks were a bunch of breaks indeed filled with funny anecdotes in English.  There were 9 of us in our batch.  We were supposed to be a part of the first batch of 12 but since the first three—who later became our supervisors—were taken in before the Christmas break and they needed hands on deck (not on the dick, you, you!) then, we were considered the 1 1/2 batch.  Hehe. 

So anyway, the main criterion for the beauty contest—er—for hiring us was our English speaking skills.  Our American department head conducted one on one interviews and if you pass his standards—meaning he understands the way you speak and you get to deliver the answers to his questions the way he wants to hear them—then you’re hired.  So we were super proud to have been hired into a position that promised at least a basic fee of twenty grand, well, not in dollars, but in pesos.  We were also given the chance to earn commissions.  It was a good deal!  I will keep mum about what went on after that in terms of monetary concerns because I don’t want to rouse the sleeping monsters here and there. 

The first day we went live—call potential clients—we got lost.  One of the major problems?  Pronunciation of last names.  Pronouncing places wasn’t much of a problem because somehow, I already knew how to properly most of them, like Tucson/TOO-sahn/in Arizona,  Cayce /KAY • see/ in South Carolina, Des Moines /dih-MOYN/ in Iowa, Leicester /LESS-tur/ in Massachusetts, Reading /RED-ing/ (not like READING from the base verb READ!) in Pennsylvannia and many others. 

Nope, we were not given any help in that department.  What I did was create my own pronunciation guide.  Well, it all boils down to etymology for some.  And if you really can’t pronounce it properly, it’s best to politely ask the owner of the name.  I once looked for a Miss Augusta Something only to find out that he’s a HE.  Some countries don’t go by the usual Filipino convention of names ending with (Mario) O or U for men and A (Maria) for women.  By the way, my parents names are Gregorio and Gregoria.  Talk about soulmates!  LOL. 

My research enabled me to learn some new things and to affirm those that I already knew.  I thought it would be nice to share the fruits of my research here.  How’s that?  Most of them are from Inoglo, and The Budget Fashionista.

I started with author’s names. 

Paulo Coelhopaw-LU ko-wel-YU (my own version based on the IPA guide)

Chuck Palahniukchuhk PALL-uh-nik

Ayn Randine rand

Roland Barthesroll-AH(NG) bart

J.R.R Tolkien“TOLL”-keen

Ivan Illichih-VAHN IH-lich

Jodi PicoultJOE-dee PEE-koe

Marcel Proustmar-SELL proost

Kathy ReichsKA-thee ryks

Jon Scieszkajahn SHESS-kuh

Fyodor Mikhailovich DostoevskyFYOE-dur mih-HY-loe-vich dahs-tuh-YEF-skee

J K Rowling—“rolling

Then artists:

Jan van Eyckyahn fuhn ike



Eugene Delacroixuu-ZHEHN deh-lah-krwah

Edgar DegasED-gar duh-GAH

Claude Monetkload moe-nay

Paul Gauguinpall go-GA

Jean-Auguste Ingreszhahn-o-gust angg

And what last name pronunciation guide would be complete without fashion designers?  So here’s a not-so-complete guide from The Budget Fashionista.  They’re divided into A-G, H-M, and N-Z

Giorgio Armani: Jor-ji-o Ar-ma-nee
Manolo Blahnik: Muh-no-low blah- nick
Andre Courreges: AN-Dre Courreges
Balenciaga: Bal-en-see-AH-gah
Bottega Veneta: Bo-TAY-ga Ve-NE-tah
Roberto Cavalli: RO-ber-to Ka-VA-lee
Chanel: Sha-nel
Chloé: KLO-ee
Comme des Garcons: KUM de Gar-SOHN
Christian Dior: KRE-shtaan DEE-or
Dolce and Gabbana: DOL-chay and Gab-BAH-nah
Ellen Tracy: EL-lin TRAY-see
Salvatore Ferragamo: Sal- va- tor Ferr-A-ga-mo
Gianfranco Ferre: Gee-an-fran-ko Ferr-ay
John Galliano: Gall-lee-a-no
Givenchy: Gee-von-she
Halston: Hall-stun
Hermes: Air-mez
Hugo Boss: He-you-go Bo-s
Imitation of Christ: Em-ma-ta-shun of Cry-st
Marc Jacobs: Ma-rk Jay-kob-s
Betsey Johnson: BET-see JON-sun
Calvin Klein: CAL-vin KLYIN
Donna Karan (DKNY): Don-NAH KA-ran
Michael Kors: My-kal Ko-ors
Karl Lagerfeld: Ka-ral La-ger-fell-d
Helmut Lang: Hell- Mut Lay-ng
Jeanne Lanvin: John La- vin
Ralph Lauren: LORE-in
Nanette Lepore: Na-net LA-pour
Christian Louboutin: KRI-shtaan Lu-bu-TAHN
Louis Vuitton: Lu-wee Vee-tuhhh
Catherine Malandrino: KATH-er-in Mal-an-DREE-no
Alexander McQueen: Al-ex-AHN-der Mac-KWEEN
Isaac Mizrahi: Eye-zak Miz-ra-hee
Issey Miyake: E-say Me-ya-kay
Zac Posen: Zak Poo-zen
Proenza Schouler: pro-en-za skool-er
Emilio Pucci: E-MEE-lee-o POH-chee
Tracy Reese: TRAY- cee Ree-s
Elsa Schiaparelli: EL-sa She-a-pa-REHL-lee
Anna Sui: AN-na SOO-ee
Gianni Versace: Gee-a-nee Verr-sha-chie
Diane Von Furstenberg: DY-an Von FUR-sten-berg
Vera Wang: Veer- ra Way-ng also has an audio pronunciation guide on how designers’ names and brands are pronounced.  Check it out here.  It contains the correct pronunciation guides of Balmain, Byblos, Ermenegildo Zegna, Jean Paul Gaultier, Les Copains, Yves Saint Laurent and many more.

As a largely English-speaking country, I believe that pronouncing these foreign names and last names—English and Anglicized—are not merely about sounding good or whatever but it means giving respect to people from other countries whose names are not that easy for us Filipinos to pronounce.  My name is constantly mispronounced and misspelled either and while I have gotten used to it, it still gets annoying sometimes.  So, I think learning how to pronounce these names properly is a way of giving respect to others.

I Miss Starbucks

18 12 2007

When Starbucks first opened in the Philippines, the caffeine-operated robot that I claim to be moi got ecstatic. I was in college then. And while cab fare alone from UP to Makati was enough to get me a Venti of my favorite frap, I didn’t mind, despite the fact that my monthly allowance from home required an austere lifestyle, I still couldn’t stop my Starbucks urges. And so there started my love affair with the specialty coffee biggie. Of course it didn’t take that long for Starbucks to mushroom all over the place. I used to hang out near La Salle Taft because I once had a boyfriend who lived somewhere thereabouts and because I lived in the dorm, we hung out in his place. So when the branch in Torre Lorenzo opened, I did somersaults!

When I went home, a huge part of then overly huge moi missed Starbucks.

After a year or so, I moved to Cebu. And there, I reunited with the big S. Meetings, meet-ups, get-togethers and whatnots were always held in Starbucks in Ayala. I tried another coffee shop. But they couldn’t get the Coffee Crumble right and they don’t cancel orders the way Starbucks lets you.

After around 3 years, I moved again to where my parents have moved. Nope, we’re no gypsies. Not that I don’t suspect that we are. And I so miss Starbucks. It’s Christmastime once more and I’m sure Starbucks fans are busy filling their cards with stickers to get the much coveted Starbucks organizer. I guess I won’t be getting my 2008 copy. Sigh…

But more than anything else, I just miss Starbucks. There’s a coffeeshop near my place but I don’t think it’ll give me satisfy my cravings. I do not want to sound shallow and elitist but I just want to indulge myself with at least the idea of really missing Starbucks. I’m sure they have Crème Brûlée now as part of their Christmas specials. I can even smell it now. Sigh…

Oh well, guess I’ll just curl up in bed with a book to forget about things that I can’t have…I’ll just drink black coffee in my Starbucks mug. That would give me the illusion that I’m there.

Ok, nuff of this shit. I just miss it! Grrrrh!

And that my friends, is how the coffee crumbles…

My Latest Favorite Word (Phrase?): Oh, Position

17 12 2007

I’ve been busy bloghopping lately that I have been writing more comments than blog entries but it’s awesome because I get to see a lot of things that have been written by really brilliant people in this virtual city that we live in. 

There’s this nice blog entry that I share sentiments with.  Lemme post it…

The ‘Wala na bang iba?’ Manifesto

People who want change: hear us.
• We scoff at the actions of Trillanes and other stupid politicians, celebrities, church figures et al BUT we are not necessarily pro-GMA.
• You are making a big mistake if you assume so.
• We are also frustrated at how things are going but doubly so thanks to your bumbling idiocy. To the various oppositionists we say– hello? Can you see how funny you appear to us? Do you even know and hear us? Do you know that we just want to live a peaceful life here?
• By criticizing those who dont care, you fail to win us over.
• Making stupid Trillanic and Guingonic moves doesn’t help either.
• It also doesn’t help that there are too many opposition leaders but all with the collective IQ of a door knob. At least yung door knob may silbi.
• The more you squabble and bungle, the more GMA looks smarter than you. You don’t deserve to lead us if you can’t even lead yourselves.
• Ano pa nga ba ang pwede naming gawin? Sino mang ipapalit nyo ngayon all look puny compared to how GMA has handled the crisis you’ve been trying to stir since day one. Nung una, okay lang. Pero you guys have all proven your incompetence.
• What really miffs us is every time you disturb the peace, di naman kayo ang immediately affected eh. KAMI!
• So please– we won’t even ask you to get your act together. We’ll just wait. We advice na tumahimik din kayo at baka sakaling may lalabas na better leaders than all you selfish brats.

That was posted by Ben C. in Ang Tagal Naman.

As for my title, Durano, my latest favorite blogger coined the term Oh, Position.  In his comment in this same entry that I mentioned, he said, “The current anti-GMA politicos are salivating for Malacanang Palace. They can”t wait to get their slimy hands on the country’s coffers just like GMA. They are of the same breed! We should refer to them as Oh,Position! No one has credibility. You’re right, lets wait for someone new to rise above these scum. These politicians should all make like a fart and blow. After that stink, we can have some fresh air.–Durano, done!” Very well said, comrade! 

You should check his blog out. He’s got really nice whips and spits. 

Another blogger, JC Smith created an ID for Trillanes.  This one’s really funny.  Check it out at his blog

The Philippine Comedian made me laugh with his own Trillanes Fans Club entry

Gotta rest now.  I’ve been hopping around all day that my virtual feet hurt.  LOL.  This is better than getting the eBay fever.  Jeez, that one drained my piggy bank!

Of Politics and Genealogy

4 12 2007

I grabbed these two blog posts from my friend Todd’s blog.

The original titles of the two separate entries are: RP Politics: A Family Affair and Tangled Webs of Families and Intrigues respectively.

They’re a tad too long for those who do not have the patience to read stuff like this but instead of separating these entries, I decided to enter them as one, hence the length. I find this very interesting. I hope you will too.

RP Politics: A Family Affair

In 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines an independent and sovereign state and became this nation’s first president. A century plus three years later, his cousin, Gloria M. Arroyo, rose to the same position when Joseph Ejercito Estrada was toppled from power through the event known as People Power II. As it happened, Erap, too, was Gloria’s relative. In fact, in a complicated and Byzantine manner, almost all of our former leaders were related to one another, in one way or the other. Allow me to extrapolate.

Emilio Aguinaldo’s first cousin’s, General Baldomero Aguinaldo, great-grandson was Cesar E.A. Virata, the first and only Prime Minster of the Republic of the Philippines.

The Virata family, through marriage, is connected with the Acuña family. One Acuña married a scion of the Roxas family. The product of this marriage was former President Manuel A. Roxas, whose son Gerry Roxas was a former Senator and whose grandson, Mar Roxas III was a Trade and Industry secretary and currently a Senator of the Republic.

Also, due to his dalliance with Juanita McIlvain, former Miss Universe Margarita “Margie” Moran Floirendo just happens to be President Roxas’ granddaughter.

“President Manuel Roxas’ wife, Trinidad de Leon, was the daughter of former Senator Ceferino de Leon. Sen. De Leon’s brother, Jose, married Dona Narcisa “Sisang” Buencamino, one of the most successful movie magnates in her time. Narcisa’s first cousin’s son was Philip Buencamino, who married Nene Quezon, daughter of President Manuel Luis Quezon.

Further, another scion of the Roxas family was Margarita Roxas, whose marriage to Antonio de Ayala produced Trinidad de Ayala. Trinidad later married Jacobo Zobel and started the legendary Zobel De Ayala family.

Some of the minor branches of the Zobel de Ayala family married into the other aristocratic families of Manila. The Aranetas, Ayalas, Elizaldes, Prietos, and more. Through the Roxas family’s connection with the Aranetas, former Tourism Secretary and beauty queen Gemma Cruz-Araneta is also related to Pres. Roxas.

It must also be remembered that Gemma Cruz’s paternal great-grandmother was Dona Maria Rizal, the sister of our national hero, Jose P. Rizal.

Gemma Cruz’s mother, Carmen, remarried Mr. Angel Nakpil, the nephew of Julio Nakpil, composer of a version of the Philippine National Anthem, who in turn was the husband of Gregoria De Jesus, the “Muse of the Katipunan.”

Gregoria de Jesus was also the widow of Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio. Similarly, two of Gemma’s first cousins, Paz and Maria Cruz Banaad, married Bienvenido and Roberto Laurel, respectively, relatives of former Vice-President Salvador “Doy” Laurel, son of President Jose P. Laurel.

Two branches of the Araneta family further married presidential daughters; the first one being Juan Miguel Arroyo, whose second cousins are Aranetas. He married then Ms. Gloria M. Macapagal, daughter of President Diosdado Macapagal. Of course, GMA is now the country’s Chief Executive. The second to marry a presidential daughter was Greggy Araneta who married Irene Romualdez Marcos, the youngest child of President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos and Imelda Romualdez. The Araneta-Marcos marriage further stretches our already complicated family connections.

A maternal grandfather of Marcos, Don Fructuoso Edralin, was a cousin of Gen. Antonio Luna and his brother the Filipino national artist, Juan Luna. Juan Luna in turn married Paz Pardo de Tavera, of a rich and powerful Spanish-Filipino family.

Ferdinand Marcos’ grandfather’s sister, Crispina Marcos, married Hilario Valdez. Their daughter, Angela Valdez, married Ambassador Narciso Ramos, father of Fidel V. Ramos, also a President of the Republic. Narciso Ramos, after becoming a widower, married Alfonsita Lucero, whose father’s maternal family, the Birondos of Argao, Cebu, married into the Almendras family of Cebu and Davao.

Alfonsita’s fourth cousin, William Birondo, married Kukit Tecala, whose uncle, Pedro Tecala Sr., married Sofronia Almendras. Two of Sofronia’s siblings married into political families. Her brother, Paulo Almendras, married Elisea Durano, the daughter of Demetrio Durano and progenitor of the Durano family that has ruled Danao and Sogod, Cebu for many years. A prominent member of the Durano family is Ace Durano, a former representative and now Tourism Secretary.

Another cousin of Alfonsita, Dr. Procopio Lucero, Jr., married Gliseria Gullas, sister of politicians Jose and Eduardo Gullas.

Still another fourth cousin of Alfonsita is Hilario Davide, Sr., whose son is Hilario G. Davide, Jr., a former Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court.

A son of Paulo was former Senator Alejandro Almendras, whose marriage to a Bendigo of Davao City connected them to the ruling families of Davao: the Banggoys, Palma Gils, Lizadas, Nograleses and others. The current House of Representative Majority Leader is Prospero “Boy” Nograles from Davao City. Senator Almendras’ brother, Josefino, married Rosita Dimataga, the sister of Leonila Dimataga, who in turn was the wife of President Carlos P. Garcia.

One of Sofronia’s sisters was married to an Osmeña, thus linking them to the family of President Sergio Osmeña. Most of President Osmeña’s male descendants have become senator, governor, mayor, Representative, and councilor at various points in time and his family remains the premier political dynasty of Cebu: Tomas is the current mayor of Cebu City; other members of the family who held or are holding political offices are Jing-Jing, Emilio “Lito”, John, John-John, and many more.

President Osmeña’s half-sister was Doña Modesto Singson-Gaisano, the matriarch of the affluent Gaisano family of Cebu City. Modesta was a progeny of Don Pedro Gotiaoco, whose other descendants include Atty. Agusto Go, President of the University of Cebu and Honorary South Korean Consul; John Gokongwei, Jr., a great-grandson of Don Pedro Gotiaoco and the owner of Cebu Pacific, Robinson’s Mall, JG Summit, and many more; and the Sy-Gaisano family, who operate chains of shopping malls all over Visayas and Mindanao. A grandson of the brother of Don Pedro is Andrew Gotianun, who owns FILINVEST Group and East West Bank.

Imelda Romualdez’s marriage to Marcos also brought in many famous personalities. Imelda’s daughter, Imee, currently a member of the House of Representatives, married Tommy Manotoc, whose mother was related to a wife of Genny Lopez, whose own nephew Beaver married Jackie Estrada, daughter of Pres. Erap Estrada.

Her own niece, Marean Romualdez, daughter of her brother Gov. Alfredo Romualdez, married Thomas Pompidou, the grandson of the French President Georges Pompidou.

Imelda’s first cousin, Senator Danieling Romualdez, married Pacita Gueco of Tarlac. In an ironic twist of fate, Pacita Gueco happened to be the first cousin of the Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

Of course, the Aquinos themselves have allied with many political families, and a scion of the Aquino clan was Senator Eva Estrada Kalaw, one of the Philippines’ very first female senators.

Ninoy’s marriage to the heiress Corazon Cojuanco also allied his family to another political dynasty. Corazon Aquino, after her husband’s heroic death in 1983, later became the country’s first female Chief Executive. Her maternal family, the Sumulongs, have also produced several lawmakers. The Cojuangco family, on the other hand, owns one of the oldest-existing haciendas in the country today, and the Cojuangcos control many of the country’s business enterprises.

Two Cojuancos, sons of Cory’s cousins Ramon and Eduardo, respectively, married (sic) Rio Diaz (Charlie Cojuanco), sister of former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz and Gretchen Baretto (Tony Boy Cojuanco). Gretchen’s sisters are Claudine and Marjorie, themselves married to actors. Cory’s niece, equestrienne Mikee Cojuangco, married Dodot Jaworski, son of basketball legend and Sen. Robert Jaworski. Senator Jaworski, on the other hand, married Susan Bautista Revilla, daughter of Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr., whose son Bong Revilla was a former governor and Senator. This connection, no doubt, extends this family tree to most of the country’s movie personalities.

Clearly, this Byzantine illustration of family connection is proof of the intricacies of Philippine politics. In this short presentation we have already linked no less than 12 of our 14 Presidents, one Prime Minister, two former Miss Universe winners, several senators and many other personalities, political or otherwise. We have even connected our “Philippine Family Tree” to a former French President! Imagine what further research into the other family trees could reveal?

Philippine politics, undoubtedly, is a family affair.

Tangled Webs of Families and Intrigues

What do President Arroyo, Ping Lacson, Erap Estrada, Imelda Marcos, Danding Cojuangco, Ace Durano, and Nerissa Soon-Ruiz have in common other than all being involved in the Davide impeachment, one way or the other? Well, they all also happen to be related to each other, in one way or the other.

President Gloria Arroyo, alleged to be behind the Davide impeachment, is married to Mike Arroyo, of the infamous JOSE PIDAL CONTROVERSY, whose own grandfather, Jose Maria PIDAL Arroyo, married a Lacson, who also happens to be related to Senator Panfilo Lacson, whose KURATONG BALELENG case has been reoppened by Davide. Mike is similarly a second cousin of Aranetas, whose one member, Greggy, is married to Irene Marcos, daughter of Imelda Marcos, also having recently received a negative SC ruling on her SWISS ACCOUNTS. Irene’s sister, Imee, married Tommy Manotoc, whose mother is related also to the wife of Geny Lopez, whose family has recently also received a blow from the Supreme Court because of their MERALCO RULING. Another Lopez, Beaver, married Jackie Ejercito, daughter of deposed President Joseph Estrada, whose ouster was legalized by an SC ruling declaring GMA’s presidency constitutional in 2001. Meanwhile, Imelda’s first cousin, Danieling Romualdez, married Pacita Gueco, first cousin of Ninoy, whose marriage to Cory Cojuangco made related him to Danding Cojuangco, another recipient of a negative SC ruling, this time on the COCO LEVY FUNDS. He is similarly related to Rep. Teodoro, his own nephew. Imelda’s marriage to Ferdinand Marcos goes on to relate her to FVR, who was Marcos’ 2nd cousin. FVR’s stepmother’s, Alfonsita Birondo Lucero vda. de Ramos’s, fourth cousin William Birondo married an Almendras, who is in turn a cousin of Ace Durano, a signatory of the impeachment rap against Davide. Another fourth cousin of Alfonsita, James Lucero, married Nazarena Soon, the sister of Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, another impeachment signatory. It seems really astounding that all those involved in the Davide impeachment are related, but what’s more astonishing is that they are all also related to the man they are trying to persecute. How? Well, FVR’s stepmom is also the fourth cousin of the embattled Chief Justice, both coming from Don Agustin Cristobal Bayot of Argao, Cebu, who is both their great-great-great-grandfather.

Who says genealogy is boring?

Death Becomes Us

4 12 2007

For some reason, I wanted to see people die last week.  Perhaps, for a change.  For some time now, extrajudicial killings, missing people, assassinations, ambush killings, etc, have “ruled the airwaves” but these have not really moved the people to do something.  It takes at least one life to mobilize throngs of people to really do something.  Ninoy made it happen for us when he got himself killed.  I don’t want to sound so callous and cold but there are simply things in this country that have made me feel less and less for people who claim to be the agents of change.

I personally want a revolution.  I know that I will not see it in my lifetime.  A 360-degree turn will not happen overnight.  And with the people that we have on board right now, I’d rather stick my butt out for the pixie prexy than go for a blabbermouth of a young (tra)politician, a broadcast journalist turned crying lady turned turncoat lady, a presidential scion whose girlfriend would be his downfall, a businessman with two left feet donning tangerine and using a popular 80s acronym to describe sexy films as his tagline with a different twist or an evangelist that I voted for because I truly believed in him until he became a very sore loser. 

Well, there’s Dick Gordon who will never win until he becomes a Payumo.  I remember marching for Gordon a month after Erap was installed into the highest post of the land and we wore pins that screamed, Don’t Touch My Dick!  Of course, we failed.  Payumo still got the post and Gordon was still unpopular. 

I have another bet—and I know he will never win too!  Bayani Fernando.  I used to have another bet.  But Death got him first.  And I will never vote for his wife ever.  To do a “Cory” will never work this time—most especially when you’re not in yellow. 

We love people who will be there for us KBL: kasal, binyag, libing (wedding, baptism, funeral).  We want to line up in politician’s houses to ask for moolah for this and that.  We don’t want people who will do something to uplift our lives and standards of living.  Why?  Because that will take some time.  And we want solutions now.  And we want it with people who can dole out money anytime, all the time. 

But we, Filipinos, are lovers of soap opera.  We devour telenovelas the way we feast on lechon.  Had somebody died in Manila Pen last week after arrogantly declaring that they will die for their cause for the nth time, people would have gone out of their houses and make that much-needed change happen.  But an elementary psy-war sent the once-brave men with their tails between their legs to the ground and claiming police brutality afterwards.  For a now-senator and forever officer and gentleman, such lack of foresight, strategem and genuine fervor for change just prove to me that I made the right choice when I did not support the guy.  Now, Faeldon would have been something else.  That’s one force to reckon with. And I don’t think a teargas would send him crying for his Mama.   

Ok, let’s just say that two Ts brought them down: teargas and tank.  When I saw the tank force its bulk into the lobby of the Pen, I did not even think of anything else other than a realization that a tank could actually fit into the lobby if the doors were a bit wider and higher. 

I am not an elitist and never will I be one.  But I look down on rich people who say that they empathize with the poor and the masses.  HOW?!  These people do not even have any idea how it is to go broke with nothing and NOTHING in their pockets to even buy a stick of fishballs.  This is one of the reasons why regardless of what people say about Joker Arroyo, he will forever be on my good side.  The guy has lived in a posh subdivision in Makati, sent his daughter to Cambridge, took the beating for Mrs. Aquino while she was hiding under the bed when she had the biggest chance to revolutionize the country for allegedly being a leftist, and sat on the highest post of two major banks in the country.  But he never for once tried to portray an image of being a man of the masses.  His records would, however, prove that he has always been one.  Ask Joma.  My esteemed columnist, Conrado de Quiros, has criticized Joker for not jumping ship but does party affiliations affect one’s stance in major political issues?  In Joker’s case, it does not.  But people refuse to see that for lack of a bad guy to hate in the telenovela. 

SO going back on track, let me just say that I do want to see change.  But with the voting mentality of our people and the faulty electoral process in our land, I can’t blame my aunt who left her very good post as a municipal health officer to migrate to the Bahamas with her husband who used to be one of the busiest anaesthesiologists in Cebu. 

For as long as Ninoy’s “the Filipino is worth dying for” mantra remains a lip service for the copycats whose balls are not teargas-proof, I do not see a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel.  Let me see blood and hear bombs and guns instead of poetic speeches that most likely gives Kaka Balagtas a migraine in his grave and I will see at least C in change.  But for as long as D in death remains a letter, I do not think this country will go anywhere. 

For now, GMA is the best person to steer the wheel.  Who’s your bet?  The military junta?  The presidential appointed justices?  Give me a break!

And for these people, I dedicate this song…

Oh what a circus
Oh what a show
Argentina has gone to town
Over the death of an
Actress called Eva Peron
We’ve all gone crazy
Mourning all day and
Mourning all night
Falling over ourselves to
All of the misery right

Oh what an exit
That’s how to go
When they’re ringing
Your curtain down
Demand to be buried
Like Eva Peron
It’s quite a sunset
And good for the country
In a roundabout way
We’ve made the front page of
All the world’s papers today

But who is this Santa Evita?
Why all this howling
Hysterical sorrow?
What kind of goddess
Has lived among us?
How will we ever get by without her?

She had her moments
She had some style
The best show in town
Was the crowd
Outside the Casa Rosada crying
“Eva Peron”
But that’s all gone now
As soon as the smoke from the funeral clears
We’re all gonna see and how
She did nothing for years

You let down your people Evita
You were supposed to have been immortal
That’s all they wanted
Not much to ask for
But in the end you
Could not deliver

Sing you fools
But you got it wrong
Enjoy your prayers because
You haven’t got long
Your queen is dead
Your king is through
And she’s not coming back to you

Show business kept us all alive
Since seventeen october 1945
But the star has gone
The glamour’s worn thin
That’s a pretty bad state
For a state to be in

Instead of government
We had a stage
Instead of ideas
A prima donna’s rage
Instead of help we were
Given a crowd
She didn’t say much
But she said it loud

Sing you fools
But you got it wrong
Enjoy your prayers because
You haven’t got long
Your queen is dead
Your king is through
She’s not coming back to you

Don’t cry for me Argentina
For I am ordinary
And undeserving of such attention
Unless we all are
I think we all are
So share my glory
So share my coffin
So share my glory
So share my coffin

It’s our funeral too

OH WHAT A CIRCUS, from the musical “Evita”
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
(c) 1976 MCA Music Publ. ASCAP

The People Behind the News: Lessons on Responsibility and Self-Preservation

2 12 2007

As a journalist by scholarship, I feel for the people who were not given the kind of respect that they deserved.  But my highly esteemed mass communication guru said, perhaps the experience is something that we should all learn from—be careful. 

While media people get perks that ordinary citizens like us do not, there are some who use their huge IDs to get into the front seat of every major event in the world.  Some have even (mis)taken the ID for a shield.  I was very thankful that every single detail of the other day’s fiasco was covered.  But amidst all the clamour for the “manhandling” and the cuffing, I think some people deserved what they got. 

Jessica Soho rose to fame after she braved the crossfire in the series of coup d’etat in Cory Aquino’s regime.  Christiaan Amanpour got my respect for covering major turning points in our history by being in the center of all the literally and figuratively hard hitting news.  But there’s a limit to being a journalist.  And in situations where rules of engagement are aspired to be followed to the dot, a plea not to add more to the problem should be heeded.  Had the media people left when they were asked to leave or even just stay in a safer place, things would not have had turned really sour. 

As Spidey’s uncle wisely put it, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  I could not agree more.

Thrilla with Trillanes

2 12 2007

I’ve never been a fan of the guy.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t personally like GMA that much either.  But there are just things that you see when you think out of the box and look at the bigger picture.

While speculations are not admissible as hard evidence in the court of law, I think Filipinos believe that the president is more corrupt than any other leader in our country since time immemorial.  But one of the reasons why I love George Orwell is the last part of his book, Animal Farm.  That part where the other animals in the farm peeped into the house through the windows and watched the pigs and the human visitors at the dining table until they could no longer distinguish one from the other. 

In college, I participated in DGs (discussion groups) and EDs (educational discussions) about the Philippine society and the need for change.  I have memorized the “triangle” by heart and have finished the MKLRP and PSR—please look it up because talking about it at length would make me digress some more.  I joined mobs and vigils.  I had my fair share of being this close to getting cuffed for vandalism but there are things that bourgeoisie entails that paved the way for my enlightenment and eventual realization of what I truly need as a person and as a citizen of this country.  Perhaps, I blame it on the “animals” who led the move to overthrow the “humans” only to become what we crusaded against. 

Indeed aging makes you realize things.  Indeed experience teaches you a lot.  I was in EDSA 2 and that was one of the major highlights of my political life.  The spontaneity of the first few days and the last day have made it very memorable. 

There’s this coffee table book that shows huge pictures of People Power when the Marcos regime finally fell to the raging bulls of enlightened masses—working class and bourgeois alike, that never fails to make me teary-eyed.  It was like seeing a phoenix spring back to life from the ashes.  But it was Ninoy Aquino’s death that ignited that rage—this word always reminds me of Chikoy Pura of The Jerks—and it was death in general that moved mountains. 

Now, there’s this cub politician who thinks so highly of himself having come from an upper class family and having a decent-enough-looking face.  The man that people sent to the senate despite his incarceration thinking that he can still serve effectively behind bars.  It didn’t take that long before the prison cell became a Hotel California.  This reminds me of my Pol. Sci. 14 topic about ceremonial powers. 

Anyway, I do not discount Mr. Trillanes’ bravery and bravado but lack of foresight, maturity and cunning is something that a man of his stature reeks of.  He arrogantly proudly took to the streets and once again disrespected the judicial system of the land that he claims to love so much.  So much that he proudly declared that he is determined to die for it.   Looking back, I can still see the Magdalo guys who shared his bravado.  They proudly asserted their desire to die for the common good.  But what good came out of it?  The hotel that has been one of the major landmarks of the whole Metro Manila and of the Philippines has suffered a major physical and financial blow.  The media people were treated in ways reminiscent of the 70s and 80s.  The stock market felt a huge dent although the peso remained strong. 

What if?  The Magdalo guys except for Trillanes, Faeldon and Lim died in battle.  Would there have been an outcry?  Had they succeeded, would we have liked a military junta?  Had they succeeded, would we have been happier with Trillanes as our president?  Or whoever else?  Had the soldiers died and the takeover succeeded, would they have given back the losses that the establishments incurred?  Would they have been able to fully support the families of the dead personnel?  Trillanes is lucky.  He can afford to be unemployed.  But what about the others? 

The cinematic scenes that unfolded two days ago took up so much of my time and it ended with an ironic smile.  Some people simply do not learn. 

If someone died…oh well, that would have been SOMETHING!

Giggles and Flirtation

2 12 2007

I used to actively chat via mIRC when I started out in college.  I guess it was around the time when the now extremely popular IRC client took its babysteps too.  Then came ICQ (an oronym for I seek you) but I never really liked it for some reason.  It was around that time when I first created my Yahoomail and Eudoramail accounts.  Looking back, I can never really believe how far everything has gone.  During that time, sending SMS was limited to the rich kids.  But later on, mobile phones have become almost an extention to our body parts.  Even the families who could barely eat three square meals have at least one. 

When my father’s aide asked permission to buy a cellphone, I had a long talk with him.  I told him that while I don’t have anything to do with whatever he does with his life and his money, we definitely hope that buying a gadget that would test his priorities, would not affect his priorities.  He came here from a far-flung barrio where his father would beat him up if he couldn’t hand over a few coins to buy booze.  He came here because we need him as much as he needs us.  My father is paralyzed and because old men are the most hard-headed patients in the world, he has never recovered from his stroke.  He has become totally dependent to the not-so-young boy for even the simplest of things—from scratching his back to feeding him—to the messiest of them all, like wiping him clean after defecating, sponge-bathing him, and doing covert ops just so he could eat ice cream in the middle of the night when my mom specifically told him not to and so many other things.  My dad, even when he was in tiptop shape, has always been a handful.  That’s where I got most of my traits, I guess—his gene pool.  So anyway, we all know how it felt like when we first had our first ever mobile phone with SMS capabilities.  I kinda expected the changing of ringing tones, message alert tones, the horrendous volume, the non-stop-I’ll-trip-over-but-I-dont-care-just-so-long-as-i-can-finish-this-message thing, etc.  Because I am nocturnal, I get really hot-headed in the morning a few minutes before I sleep or when my sleep is interrupted during the day.  And because he had his message alert tone changed to some pop tune, the darn phone pumps up the volume non stop after lunch when everybody in the house is asleep for siesta, including him.  And because I’m a light sleeper–that depends actually on the kind of noise–I always get to be the one who hears the alert.  After three consecutive messages, I rush downstairs and try to find the darn phone and lo! and behold! it’s right near the landline phone in the living room.  So I looked for the owner of the loud phone.  And my, oh, my, the good boy is in deep slumber, with his mouth wide open as if waiting for manna from heaven to fall.  So there I was, fully awake after around just 3 hours of sleep after almost 36 hours of working.  In a very bad mood.  I make it a point never to do anything when I’m all angry and pissed.  And so I tried desperately to go back to sleep.  So sleep I did until around 7PM which made my head hurt real bad.  I don’t like sleeping till around that time because it always makes my head hurt like hell.  I went back to work and downed a whole pint of vanilla ice cream.  God, that was heavenly.

And so one day, I called him and asked him to sit down for another one of my attempts at diplomacy.  So I said…I understand how it is to have a new phone and to be new in the SMS arena but if could just put his phone in silent mode when he’s in Papa’s room, that would really be great.  Or he could leave his cellphone in his room so it won’t disturb anyone if he doesn’t want to change the alert tone. 

A few hours later, I heard the phone screaming mercilessly.  So I called him and asked him what’s going on.  He had the volume set to 5 so he could hear it even from Papa’s room.  Now, isn’t he wise!

So anyway, our houseboy has expanded his vocabulary, thanks to text education, to a few more English words.  He has also acted like a male dog in heat.  He has since become (and became) the boyfriend of almost all the housemaids in the subdivision and in the nearby bakery. 

Much to my mom’s utter disgust, of course.  But I try to tell her that I understand.  It’s so easy to flirt over the phone, online and even over the good old snail mail—pen pals anyone?  We all have different worlds and for people who do not have to think of anything else other than waking up and serving his bosses, I think he deserves whatever surge of lust or something like it that he’s been indulging to these days.  SO LONG AS IT DOES NOT AFFECT HIS WORK.  Well, there have been lapses but I think things have been addressed pretty clearly and I am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing bad will happen.  What is a little concession like that for days of peace and order!  If it makes him happy, then it causes a chain reaction.  Happy employees are more effectively productive and that means happier employer.

So, now, let’s go back to moi.  I once had a two-year relationship with a guy I met online way back in college.  Well, make that three.  The other two were merely sinfully wonderful and memorable flings so they don’t really count as relationships but just for the sake of statistics, let’s count them in.  There’s something about exchanging naughty and teasing comments with someone who’s not physically near you that makes things a whole lot more, er, tingly. 

When the cameras were integrated into mobile phones, my then boyfriend asked me to send him “sexy” pix and he returned the favor.  Since I was in a semi-long distance relationships, the ooohs and aaaahs over texts and later phone calls sufficed.  Then with the advent of more modern tech, um, simultaneous indulgence of self-help developed cult-like support online.  Sad to say, it has degenerated the nature of flirting and harmless chatting with strangers. 

I traverse the long and winding information superhighway every day and because of that people constantly ask me what cybersex is, or if I’ve met someone online who will whisk me off poverty in the Philippines to some sugar-coated gingerbread house in the land of milk and honey or somewhere far from this Pearl of the Orient.  Well, I can explain in a very clinical and academic way what cybersex is and how it is done but in terms of chatting with someone who will eventually become a special part of my life, the answer is a resounding, eeeeeenkkkkk! 

NO.  As a single (Asian) female, I do get into those moods when I feel like I really want to be with someone.  My former landlady tells me I’m on NPO for now—medical practitioners, go figure—and for someone who had been not on NPO for a collective and straight seven or so years, it’s quite hard.  They say you don’t crave for something that you haven’t really tried.  Well, I have and so I crave.  But despite being a cosmo girl who understood Carrie’s consternation at the prospect of losing her Manolos to a “shoe-napper”, I think my quick tumble in the hay days are over.  I am not into that anymore.  Well, if the opportunity presents itself, why not?  But I have made my circle so small that even I could not turn around that easily.  So what opportunity are we talking about?  I’m not complaining, mind you.  But the thing is, I meet people online.  From work, through blogs, through wherever.  And while I am a natural tease and flirt, being asked for a cam view and for something to start a few minutes after you even say hi, is a tad too weird for me.  After a long hiatus from chatting, I tried getting into one of those chatrooms in Yahoo and jeeez, people seem to talk in one language and all they ask and talk about is sex, cams and cums!  Whatever happened to friendship and getting to know you while we flirt occasionally without really meaning anything much?  It’s just me getting all cheeky and clenched butt. 

I remember one masseuse who’s a friend of my mom.  She’s quite talkative—a trait that I really do not appreciate while getting a massage.  But when conversations turn green, even in my half-awake, half-asleep state, my ears still perk up.  So anyway, she just got widowed and so she’s been the brunt of jokes about looking for an “American” (the word is enclosed in quotation marks because sometimes we have this penchant of calling all foreigners American) husband.  She said she tried chatting but she gets uncomfy when the guy that she chats up with shows his dick right out and asks her to show her boobs or slit in return.  So she makes up excuses about not having a cam and all that jazz while she and her relatives watch while the “American” on the other side of the internet touches himself till everything limps down and the guy excused himself so he can “dry off” and “clean up” that usually means going to the bathroom or grabbing a roll of toilet paper for some. 

While I do not want to sound prissy, this simply does not turn me on.  I don’t know.  I get turned on by witty conversations that are peppered with flirtations and naughty innuendos but being other than that, I can always get into the part and just type some “motivational” lines for the other party. 

Needless to say, I’m not on a serious quest to find someone who’ll treat me like a princess and not for anything else.  When I’m 30 and I’m still not “in a relationship” as Friendster puts it, I will panic.  But only for a moment.  I think I have a healthy enough self-esteem to know that it’s not being in a relationship that matters—it’s in having fun while we can in a way that we will have fun indeed.  Perhaps, I still have unresolved personal issues to take care of and I think I will not make a good partner until I iron out whatever ugly wrinkles there are in my shirt. 

I have recently been getting proofs how big a liar my ex-boyfriend is and his audacity of continuously denying so many things even when I know what the real score is have been such huge downers lately.  Well, there’s work.  It gets me down but not emotionally so occasional online flirtations with people that I don’t really know, help big time.  Well, I’m choosy.  I don’t like wimps and younger guys.  And I have very little time.  So when I do get into that kind of mood, I’ll go for knights (or badass chicks!) in rusty armors while I wear my French maid’s costume.  Don’t get me started on how to use the feather duster!  LOL. 

But well, I miss blogging and even if I’m not making any sense, I am quite happy that I have blabbered a thought too many somehow. 

Oh, and I’m not in THAT mood right now, with over 70 web pages to revise, I don’t think I can afford to let out even a lusty sigh.  So, a piu tardi! Molto grazie! Ciao! 

O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet GMA (No Blasphemy Intended)

2 12 2007

Conspiracy Theories — Pinoy Style

This entry is supposed to be posted the day the “executive clemency” was given to our country’s former prexy but I was not able to get down and really finish it so, I hope this entry will not cause any confusion to anybody who might stumble upon my blog. As if someone ever will.  LOL.

I am at a point where I have gone numb.  Over the past few days, I’ve been throwing possible conspiracy theories at my mom and she’s been rolling her eyes every time I do that.  Some are products of a seemingly cynical mind, some are figment of a very hopeful spirit.   

As one of those who felt vindicated when the guilty verdict was released by the two justice halls, the news of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s issuance of an executive clemency for former President Joseph Estrada is a tad too disheartening.  While I understand that human nature, especially that of the Filipino, makes us look kindly at older people, regardless of how guilty and legally-declared corrupt they may be, I feel that it’s too soon.  I, myself, would have wanted the former president pardoned and, well, forgiven—really.  But that’s just me.  And I figured that he should at least have stayed in the Bilibid Prison for some time, say, a year, or even six months.  And then he could be granted that clemency, but not this soon. 

So back to those controversies…

1) JDV/FVR vs. GMA — JDV used to be consistently a play-it-safe-traditional-politician.  He’s known for being an avid Lakas loyalist.  FVR, on the other hand, has always been a major player in most major turning points in the political arena in our country, way back in 1986 to the Edsa 2 success to the possible GMA ouster soon.  The two of them “adopted” the number one turncoat in our country, GMA in 1998.  When they coalesced, they became the team to beat.  Lately, GMA’s KAMPI has been having problems with LAKAS members especially in the LGU. 

a)  The Speakership of the House this year — Congressman Pablo Garcia, former governor of Cebu, is a known stalwart of GMA.  Cebu sealed GMA’s victory in the last presidential election—honestly?  You decide.  Members of Kampi made noise about nominating Garcia and for a moment, the usually nonchalant JDV appeared flustered.  But he won anyway. 

b) The ZTE Deal — Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Give me a politician who has never tinkered with his office’s budget.  I know Joker Arroyo cuts down on his office’s expenses and he is known to a few as the senator whose office has the largest savings every fiscal year.  He pays for his own travel expenses and other stuff.  Well, I’m a Joker Arroyo fan so I may be biased.  Many say that he may have gotten money from wherever and stashed it somewhere.  Well, I couldn’t care less about that anymore.  It boils down to my first sentence in this paragraph.   So anyway, as Miriam Santiago said during that infamous session where she walked out afterwards, it’s a case of half-truths and doublecrossers.  Joker also earlier remarked that it was a mere case of “commissioners.”

Now, one thing has baffled me greatly.  JDV seems to be making his son do the dirty work for him.  He feeds him with statements like the “screaming” GMA in a private meeting, etc.  I mean, they seem to be talking openly about these things.  GMA’s attitude towards JDV seems to be “unaffected” with JDV’s son’s accusations.  But every day, the young De Venecia detonates one bomb after the other and the opposition senators are giving him their time of day as if his accusations could actually alleviate the country’s poverty.   JDV has always been cunning.  But he’s not exactly the brainy and brawny type.  So that makes me think of someone who is–FVR.  According to Teodoro Agoncillo, Filipinos are by nature regionalistic (think Desperate Housewives, then think Wisteria Lane).  FVR and JDV both hail from Pangasinan and they have always been “tight”.  I mean if they’re still “ok” within their coalition, shouldn’t this issue have died down by now?  But the young JDV seems to be unstoppable.  He does not seem to want to give up to the point of now including GMA into the questionable ZTE deal.  I don’t get it.  If there’s really a case, why not take it to court or something?  The senators are not paid daily or per session so why are they letting this drag on day by day?  I mean, there’s Doble who keeps on changing his statements depending on his moodswings and they like talking to him as well but the ZTE deal seems to be a more interesting deal for them. 

c)  Cash Gifts — I have been “baptized” by political waters so I’m not new to cash being casually handed over, slipped under piles of forms submitted for registrations and whatnots, or slipped directly into pockets, or even of sacks of bills being brought in for “supporters and volunteers”, and so many other things that political parties are known to play around with.  Now, Gov. Panlilio, bless his heart, is a neophyte.  Despite all that he may be, he is still a priest who thinks that he can exorcise corruption in the government by taking his frock off and donning a government official’s casual garb.  Now, he get’s “baptized” and receives his first (or is it?) “bundle of joy”.  Not knowing what better way to deal with it, he pressed the button and said, Deal!  Happily, he went home to his constituents and said, ok, we have money, now let’s do create some waiting sheds (that’s me speculating, folks, but based on his earlier pronouncements).

Makes me wonder…could there be a plot to squash Arroyo somewhere?  Has she outlived her usefulness?  Or is she too smart to play marionette?

2)  GMA-ERAP — It all started with the pardon.  Then with ex-president Estrada calling GMA, Madam President.  Then the let’s-clap-our-hands-for-her-for-if-not-for-her-I-won’t-be-here-blah spiel in San Juan.  Then Erap’s I-will-support-her declaration.  Could it be that with GMA being the cunning woman that she is is reassessing her aces and chess move strategies?  Could she be thinking of using the knight instead of the rook? 

I personally feel that it’s too soon.  Filipinos are naturally forgiving and forgetful so I am not particularly surprised when the executive clemency was issued.  But I did not expect it to happen far too soon.  As an EDSA Dos attendee, I feel bad.  As if it was all for nothing.  But the people who have realigned and supported Erap for the sake of going against GMA are now making noise about the whole pardon thing! 

Look at these people.  They have called for GMA’s resignation, impeachment, etc., but they have always looked kindly on Erap.  Probably because we always have the heart for the underdogs and when Erap was still “in prison” he was an underdog compared to GMA.  But not anymore.  Those who are pro-Erap are celebrating and are somehow swayed by Erap’s let’s-clap-for-her call.  These leaves us with those who rode on Erap’s “poor state” to be in the limelight.  Now we see who’s who and who’s with whom.  Now, people are showing their fangs.  They want Erap thrown into jail and GMA with him.  I don’t get it.  Yes, the present president who has never batted an eyelash for so many parodies and name-calling against her, is taking the fall.  I’m not saying she’s perfect.  But for someone who’s been the object of so many impeachment campaigns and so many political and personal attacks, she has kept hold of the reins.  She must really be something.  Marcos fell after people finally realized what was going on and took to the streets.  And he’s really smart!  Not to mention over  five feet!  But this petite lady is a force to reckon with.  I do not like her personally.  But hey, we’ve, at one point in our lives, worked with someone we do not personally like and approve of effectively.  That team behind her, her image handlers and whatever they’re called is one kick-ass team.  Well, it all started with using the Nora Aunor look-alike come-hither and then that pose, remember her then senatorial campaign posters that ultimately catapulted her to the number one slot?  One thing I know for sure, she is a woman.  She reshuffles her cabinet members the way I rearrange our furniture.  And with Hilary Clinton taking the lead from Obama, who knows what could happen next with her association with the Clintons and all?  For people like me who work with people overseas and thus getting paid in dollars, the present state of the peso is not a laughing matter.  But it makes you pause for a moment and think that this is not something that is just for a show.  The peso has been stable for over a year now.  

I’m a positive thinker.  I learned never to entertain negative vibes.  So I always look at the brighter side of things.  I try, at least.  Now, GMA is very vocal about the call for unity and healing from Day One.  And I think she’s being consistent to that.  So while I am not jumping up and down my seat with the latest development with Erap, I would like to believe that this is indeed in line with her thrust. Well, let me say one more “Salut!” to her speech writers.  Anybody who has heard her speeches and SONAs would know what I am talking about.

Going back to my psychedelic imagination about conspiracies–couldn’t it be a ploy to strengthen her artillery since FVR and JDV seem to be dropping her?

I’m really just confused.  After all, I’m not a political analyst.  I am no longer an activist.  I don’t believe in just one ideology but I believe in cosmic justice and retribution.  Above all, I am an advocate of humanism.   Having volunteered for various UN and independent non-profit organizations, I have come to appreciate the little luxuries that I have and the small blessings that come my way.  After talking to a Burmese missionary around 5 years ago, I have come to appreciate the small liberties that we get to enjoy.  So I guess all I want in my life is to just to be able to walk freely and talk about what I feel with utmost candor.  And I guess I am enjoying all that.  But as a human being, I cannot be contented with just that.  I want more.  And I’m sure the rest of my countrymen wants more as well.  But do we really know what we want?  If GMA is ousted, who do we think is the best person to take her place now?  De Castro? Villar? JDV? Roxas? Escudero? Legarda? Aquino? Erap? Trillanes? The Chief Justice? 


Weeks after that fateful release of Erap, GMA had a close-door meeting with FVR and JDV and even if the younger JDV gave residual publicity somersaults, the ZTE issue and all the other things behind it seemed to have closed their doors as well. 

Die Hard 4.5–One More Spoof, Bisaya Edition

25 10 2007

Yet another spoof from the same funny Ozamiznon


May be offensive to some.  This is just a spoof and should not be taken as anything otherwise. 

This is in Cebuano and I believe I can’t do justice to it by translating it to any other language so…

Watch at your own risk.

Troy–Yet Another Spoof, Bisaya Edition

25 10 2007


May be offensive to some.  This is just a spoof and should not be taken as anything otherwise. 

This is in Cebuano and I believe I can’t do justice to it by translating it to any other language so…

Watch at your own risk.

Harry Potter–Bisaya Edition

25 10 2007

This is a Harry Potter spoof from a fellow Ozamiznon.  Way to go, Bai.  Hehehe.  LMAO gyud.


May be offensive to some.  This is just a spoof and should not be taken as anything otherwise. 

This is in Cebuano and I believe I can’t do justice to it by translating it to any other language so…

Watch at your own risk.

I’m a 2!

25 10 2007

I always thought that I was a 9 in Enneagram but I took around 4 tests in various online sites and I always get 2 so I guess I’m a 2!  Hmmm… 

Guess there’s some goodness in this bitchy person I call myself, after all.

My result from

You’re a Type 2 – The Humanitarian

Friends, family, and colleagues probably appreciate your caring and generous nature. They’re also apt to know that when they come to you with a problem, you’ll usually offer a shoulder to cry on and unparalleled compassion. As a Humanitarian, you’re likely to be seen as a loving and helpful person with a kind heart.

Being a member of this type puts you in good company. Mother Teresa, with her tireless devotion to aid the sick and destitute members of society, and Bishop Desmond Tutu, with his emphasis on nonviolent protest against racial injustices, are also Type 2s
This means that compared to the eight other Enneagram types, you have a strong sense of empathy for other people. In fact, you’re the kind of warm, sincere person who can be uniquely capable of seeing the good in others.

Something SPOOK-tacular!

24 10 2007

I’m helping my friends at KidsAhoy spread the word about their Halloween Party. cordially invites you to join them in a SPOOK-TACULAR “Ghost-hunting By the Ruins!” an Exclusive Halloween Experience!

Where: Patio of Casa Manila, Intramuros (front of San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila)
When: Oct. 28, 2007 SUNDAY
             Batch 1 : 5:00-7:00PM
             Batch 2 : 7:15-9:15PM

For kids of all ages, even the kid-at-heart! Walk-through our haunted trail, collect treats and encounter scary, weird and wacky characters along the way. At the end of your journey, enjoy a bloody drink, a ghastly feast of “intestines, hearts, eyeballs & fingers”, a spook-tacularly fun story and song around the campfire plus other games, activities and surprises!
*Kids: trick or treat & snacks included
*Adult: snacks included

Halloween costumes encouraged! Prize awaits the Winning Costume (Kids & Adults Categories)

You will be assigned a start time when you register. Times are assigned in the order as they are received so register
early! A maximum of 150 persons per batch will be strictly enforced. Kids under 7yrs old are required to enter with ONE
parent/adult companion (discounted rate of P250/adult)

Batch 1: 5:00pm (’til 7:00pm), ideal for all kids below 12yrs old
Batch 2: 7:15pm (’til 9:15pm), ideal for 13+yrs old and grown-ups




For details, contact KIDSAHOY@YAHOO.COM / 0920-5178127 / or visit

So, if you’re in the area, bring the whole family (invite all the kids you know too) and enjoy a one-of-a-kind SPOOK-Tacular Night!

Draft–A Stab at Fantasy Fiction

22 10 2007

A solitary figure is leaning against the moss-covered stone wall of the deserted lane leading to edge of the city. It is very late at night and only the moon that seems to be hiding behind the clouds is slightly illuminating the abandoned and muddy road. The dark blue cloak that he is wearing that is flapping in the wind and the heavy robe underneath that saw better times have done nothing to conceal his agitation and irritation. He shifts his weight from one foot to another as he listens anew to the sounds that he earlier picked up. Beneath his robes, his muscles tense as his sword-arm reached for the cold metal hilt of his blade as if it had a mind of its own. His hardened ebon eyes darted carefully from the far end of the road for any sign of movement to the other end and back. He cursed beneath his breath at the vulnerability of his situation. True to character, his patience grew thin.  

“The old fool really has a way of driving me to the edge.  The harlot should be thrown into the pits of hell without any more ado.” 

The note delivered to him earlier in the day was unmistakably from Nèohar. It had not revealed much save that he agreed to meet him in his house.  There was nothing unusual about the letter except that it contained encrypted instructions on which route he should take.  He does not like unfamiliar territories especially those in the outskirts of the city that reminds him of how Nèohar, who was then in the prime of his youth, saved him from the gods of death in the life-forsaken streets of Ìhbian a few decades ago.  The Fates looked at him unkindly.  But Nèohar, ah, Nèohar.   The thought of the old man brought a faint hint of a smile to his hard face that is marred and etched with all the years that saw nothing but bloodshed and betrayal, and to the cynical and piercing eyes that longed to see a new day.  There are very few people that he trusts now.  

“I would not have come if not for the Order… Surely, what had befallen the realm must be much worse than what it already is…” he continues to talk to himself.  Besides, he can never let tragedy strike Nèohar, regardless of how inescapable it is.  Only the old man knows of his even darker past but has continued to look at him with favor.  Casting another cursory look at the alley that he just left, he walked fast to the opposite side of the road and went inside a small passageway looked like any ordinary door.  Darting a quick glance to his right and then to his left, he starts to walk again so fast that his feet did not seem to touch the pavement.    


In his study, Nèohar shivered as a sudden surge of fear hissing with coldness in the dark humid night creeps up his spine.   

“Òhrudin… Òhrudin… please hurry.” he said in a voice that sounded almost like a whimper, as if the warm breeze would deliver the plea to the intended.  He stood up and walked around the room that has seen far too many of these clandestine meetings.  He touched the gold trimmings that adorn the corners of the small chest that sits on his table.  He opened its lid and caressed the rolls of parchment that sat quietly under the velvety linings that hid them from view.  He lifted the miniature strongbox that held far greater treasures than the whole kingdom ever did.  He gently removed his sword from its scabbard and watched as the moon caressed its blade with its light.  He placed it on his table and sat down.  He clasped his hands together, held the box to his chest and waited.  


Òhrudin stepped out of the shadows and took several strides toward Nèohar from behind the heavy curtains near the window.   

“Òhrudin?  Is that you?” Nèohar asked.  

“Hush!  Do not tell me that your eyes begin to fail you, my old friend.” he replied and hugged Nèohar. “We do not have time to spare.  We have to leave at once.  With greed playing its aces, no one is left to be trusted.  Not even me.  But we must depart for…” 

“I know my friend.  But I have to do something first.  In time you will understand.  But for now, do something for me.  I need you to hide this and bring this to the place where things will be made right.  The hands of the great clock are not slowing down and it will not wait for you.  So, leave now.”   

Òhrudin saw something move in the darkness and his hand on its own accord clutched the haft of his sword.  On instinct he had assumed a defensive stance, placing himself between his friend and their hidden foe.  He had crouched in front of Neohar and in one graceful move, unsheathed his finely-crafted sword. He intensely peered into the dark as he tried to sense the other’s presence. He was now sure he saw… no, felt movement at the bushes beside the far end of the road. Had he imagined it? It was so quick… so quiet… but his instinct told him otherwise. In situations such as these, it has always been instinct that has saved him time and again. It was this he trusted. It is this that he leans on to now. He suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder.    

“What must happen must happen.  What I am asking you is far greater than my safety.  So please leave now.  Take that to where it truly belongs so that destiny will freely spread its wings in flight.” Nèohar told him in a tone that the old man never used on him before.   

“But…” Òhrudin tried to reason with Nèohar.

“Do as I had said.  Proceed to where I told you to go… look for him… all will be explained… before it is too late…Farewell…my friend…” 


 The shadow moved with the slight breeze.  Any moment now, the moon would take a quick respite behind the clouds.  Timing was essential.  The assassin couldn’t afford to let the old man gain an upper hand.  Timing was the key.  Surprise would be the greatest advantage.  The shadow slithered up the west wall to scour the place for any sign of movement.  With the silent confidence of someone highly seasoned in the art of war, the assassin stepped quietly from the shadows, in a black robe that would have contrasted starkly with the pale moonlight. Without so much as an inadvertent crunch of the pavement, the assassin made it into the chambers of Nèohar.  And the waiting begins. 


Angered at how fate could be so cruel as to put his dear friend in such a perilous position, Òhrudin stormed out of Nèohar’s study.  Such was fitting for someone like himself but not for one like Nèohar. He wanted to scream and plunge his cold blade deep into the dark of the night.  But he knew that the Order would not be pleased by any reckless move from him.  He clutched the box tightly and stealthily took the route that he earlier used.   


Nèohar was ready.  He held his breath as the shadow shifted almost imperceptibly, tightening up like a predator tensing before the strike, and then coalescing into the menacing shape of a viper.  In the stillness of the night, no more than a strangled cry reverberated in silence as the long dagger was plunged into the exposed side of victim’s neck and wrenched it from side to side without as much as a bat of an eyelash. With ferocity that only a trained assassin could muster, the assailant twisted the neck that heralded a merciless death where only the night was the lone witness.

This is just a teaser.  The actual manuscript is still in the works.

Free Fallin’

22 10 2007

A pingback today brought me back to good ‘ol dormdays in UP.  There’s this band, The Bridge, whose members (there were just three of them then, I’m not really sure if they’ve added a few more to their team) are the type who would make any “girl” giggle—brooding look, silent, very talented, seemingly shy, lanky, unshaven, in jeans, husky, husky voice!—you get the picture, girls!  Well, they didn’t have that much of a following but in our dorm and theirs, they were already celebs in their own right.  One of my closest friends had a huge crush on one of their lead vocalist that there were moments when we really stalked the guy! Then I developed a huge crush on his cousin, who was also a major role player in their band.  In UP Fair ’98, they gave an undies-snapping rendition of Change the World by Eric Clapton.  They figured in so many other gigs in UP and in the small but popular bars near UP (70s Bistro, Freedom Cafe, Ora Cafe–those were their names then).  Their favorite song, or so we thought, because they used to sing it a lot, was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Free Fallin’ and man, what a song.  I mean we, women, are drawn to bad guys who are full of angst and a soft spot somewhere.  So, check this out:

“Free Fallin'”
Free Fallin

By Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne
Copyright © 1989 Gone Gator Music (ASCAP)/ SBK April Music Inc. (ASCAP)
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

She’s a good girl, loves her mama
loves Jesus and America too
She’s a good girl, crazy ’bout Elvis
loves horses and her boyfriend too

It’s a long day livin’ in Reseda
there’s a freeway runnin’ through the yard
and I’m a bad boy, ’cause I don’t even miss her
I’m a bad boy for breakin’ her heart

And I’m free, I’m free fallin’

All the vampires walkin’ through the valley
move west down Ventura Blvd.
And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows
All the good girls are home with broken hearts

(Repeat Chorus)

I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I wanna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for awhile

(Repeat Chorus)

Yadda Yadda

22 10 2007

You know what jumpstarts my otherwise mundane daily routine to make it totally different from my now caffeine-operated robot of a self?  Reading something really good online.  And the extra spice?  When it’s for me. 

I’m not talking about romantic or even semi-romantic stuff.  I’m just talking about e-mails, notes, comments—anything.  I probably don’t get much attention in that department these days save for follow-up for deadlines, questions about agenda, queries about the new concept, etc—nada for the life underneath this gorgeous robot. 

So when I read something so simple yet so finely chiseled, I am blown away and it makes me happy and giddy and more inspired to work.  In the few months that I have reared my head into the blogging neighborhood, I’ve met a few interesting characters—some are very nice and friendly, others are purely vicious and bitchy (typical of us, girls), some are naughty and nice, and some are downright snob.  It’s a free world so there’s nothing to get really hyped up about.  In a world where cliques reign, a non-conformist and sociopath like me, likes to stay away from the maddening crowd and to keep everything under the street—the way the Beast did in the old Beauty and the Beast TV series with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. 

So to all those who have made my day, thank you.  Hope to see you more often, in my inbox, in my blog, in my cosmic path, anywhere.

On Racial Slur and Political Satire

22 10 2007

I saved talking about the Desperate Housewives until all the noise and strong surge of emotions have ebbed down partly because of procrastination and of pure laziness.

Well, like most women who have watched Oprah, I have become a fan.  Not only because I have good vibes about her but because she empowers women and encourages us to take control of our lives.  She’s the woman that I want to be.  She’s in a happy relationship even if  she’s not married.  She is suuuuuuppppperrrrr rich.  She doesn’t have so many hang-ups.  She’s true to herself and she never hesitates to own up her mistakes.  She worked her ass off to get to where she is now and have made dreams come true for so many people around the world.  She’s also like any other woman, or girl—she wants to look good, lose weight, look good, be heard, look good, talk about other people, look good—you get the picture.  So, everytime her show’s not on hiatus, I make it a point to catch every episode on TV.   I laughed and cried over so many things in her show.  It is also through Oprah that I learned about Desperate Housewives.  There was this one episode where she did a “scene” for the TV series.  Of course it wasn’t part of the storyline or of the aired episodes.  It was more like a mock episode. 

When I watched the first episode, I immediately became an avid follower of the show.  The show’s funny and it depicts the lives of women whose issues have never really been talked about much in public.  Like Bree, for instance, she is a typical OCD case.  She looks immaculate at all times, throws the best organized parties and events, aces at good manners, cleans every nook and cranny of their house, does all chores from keeping the utensils sparklingly clean to baking cakes to fixing any broken stuff in the house. Think Stepford Wives.  But deep inside is a woman who craves nothing more than a simple thank you.  She’s the broken soul behind the facade of being the perfect wife and mother in a seemingly perfect family. There’s Lynette who gave up a successful career in the corporate world to become a full-fledged high-strung, stressed-out mom of four hard-to-handle boys.  There’s Gabrielle whose oozing sex appeal has made Eva Longoria, the actress who plays the part of Gabrielle Solis, the most-searched celebrity in Google at some point.  She’s the former model who married for money but soon realized that 3-carat diamond pendants will never compensate for the absence of marital bliss.  So she turns to their young gardener, John.  Who could forget those sensual scenes with John and the episode where she had to make a quick dash from a party to mow the lawn just so John, a minor, won’t get fired.  And then, there’s Susan, a divorced mom, who acts like she’s the daughter.  She’s Lizzie Maguire, um, three decades after.  She has the penchant for making verbal and actual faux pas here and there, and attracts disaster the way honey attracts bees.  Of them all, she seems to be the poorest, the usually misinformed, the most naive and the poster girl for inferiority complex.  She trips, gets locked out of her own house naked, accidentally burns a neighbor’s house down and a whole lot more.  You get the picture. 

Then there’s Edie.  The woman that women love to hate and men love.  She’s the slutty neighbor who is into real estate.  She was originally a minor character in the series but later on went up the ladder to become one of the now five-lead cast.  And of course, who will miss Mary Alice Young.  The woman who killed herself in the first season but “lived on” to narrate the story of the people in Wisteria Lane, as if she’s just there, privy to all the secrets in the lives of the housewives who were her friends when she was still alive and who have remained loyal to her even after all the skeletons have been dragged out of the closet. 

Another controversial TV show is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  Now, there’s a guy that I truly admire.  He hates George W. Bush’s guts, or should I say, butt?  He was accused of being a John Kerry buttwipe, that’s why.  LOL.  But anyway, the show is a political satire and like any other political satirist, he goes overboard about people, events, and many others but mostly on George W. Bush.  I love to laugh.  Ask my mom.  I’m a happy person, or so I tell myself everyday.  🙂  I will never forget the much-talked about televised “heated” exchange that he had with the anchors of the now defunk Crossfire.  My respect for the guy went up a million notches higher.  I have always had a soft [G-]spot for guys with ATTITUDE and those who are funny in a non-slapstick kinda way.  So The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is one of my favorite Comedy Central shows.  Well, of course, there’s South Park too.  But I got tired with seeing Kenny die at the end everytime so well, going back to Jon Stewart, he went to Crossfire, a CNN TV show with a debate format.  Just as I got tired of watching Kenny die at the end of South Park episodes, Jon Stewart went to the show when he got an invitation to be the guest for the day.  During the course of the discussion where he was criticized for ass-kissing then presidential candidate John Kerry, he told the anchors that the show was hurting the country and its people because of their “partisan hacks” and pleaded them to stop doing that.  He went on and said that claiming to be a debate show is akin to saying that pro-wrestling is an athletic competition.  Oh, and my favorite part there was when the overreacting Tucker Carlson told him that he wasn’t as funny in person as he is on his show to which Jon Stewart said, “you’re as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.”  Whoa!  The full transcript of that episode can be found here.  I loved it when Carlson told him that he was being funny.  When he recounted his experience in Crossfire in The Daily Show, he said that he replied by saying something like, “I know.  But tomorrow, I’ll be back to being funny and your show will still blow.” See?  He rocks! Talk about balls—hard-rock balls!  Yeah baby!

Ok.  So while I have been hogging the phone and internet lines for my work and minding my own business, way before Manny Pacquiao won the boxing rematch with Barrera, two very controversial TV shows made it to the Philippines’ hitlist.  The two shows that I just talked about. 

Now, my first reaction the the scene with Teri Hatcher in it as Susan was to laugh.  It was funny and very typical of Susan.  For those who are regular viewers of the show would agree with me that the show, for all its hype, revolves around all kinds of discrimination.  If we cried foul because the Philippine med schools were mentioned, imagine how the Mexicans must have felt everytime the show goes on air!  I mean, Gabrielle and Carlos, Carlos’ mom, and even John,  depict Mexicans and Latinos, in a not-so-good light.  And of course there are those scenes that demean Japanese and Chinese.  We haven’t really heard China or Japan or Mexico react so vehemently.  But we did.  For one single line.  And we even dragged Teri Hatcher down with it.  The poor woman whose acting career is just a few inches away from the has-been house is just doing her job.  Reading her lines so as not to get “killed” in the story.  I mean, Teri Hatcher is no Shannen Douherty or any other i-dont-wanna-do-this-so-i’ll-walk-out actors.  The truth hurts and as Teodoro Agoncillo, a Filipino historian, said in his A History of Filipino People, we are the type of people who love making fun of ourselves and of other people but when we become the object of ridicule or even jokes, we go up in arms as if the whole world depended on it.  If only we can be that united and quick to action when it comes to more pressing matters that our country desperately needs.  We have showed our fangs and they saw them.  Saying unsavory things about other people’s race, age, religious affiliation or anything is unacceptable and yet we do it everyday.  I’m a Bisaya.   I am a promdi (a Tagalog contraction for “from the province”).  When I arrived in Manila in 1996, I spoke with a thick accent and I mispronounced words and even if I bagged the most coveted award in high school, I felt insecure when I got to college.  My classmates spoke very good English and wrote sooo goddarn well.  But I did not shrink and become invisible.  I frequented National Bookstore and practiced tongue twisters.  Really!  I wanted to become a better person.  And in my own little ways, I guess I have succeeded.  I may not speak the best English but when I do, you won’t even notice that I made mistakes.  Why?  Because I have become confident.  Because I practiced real hard.  And because I took ridicules as constructive criticism from people who have later on became my very close friends.  I did not graduate with honors in college.  But I left the university with my head held high knowing that I have done my best and no one can take away the things that I have learned in terms of education and in terms of real life. 

Because I am sexually emancipated, I don’t take sexual insults that bad.  I guess, I know where I stand and what the real score is.  I don’t have to prove anything to anybody.  Well, perhaps to the few people who matter, but not to the world.  But maybe, if I were a president of some country, I would feel and act differently.  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart showed a picture of former Philippine president Cory Aquino with the word “slut” written on it.  The topic was about Hilary Clinton and what would happen if she won.  I mean, she’s doing very well in her campaigns because in a country that laughs at racial slurs, and prides itself for transcending racial and cultural discriminations, a colored multi-racial man like Barack Obama whose true religious affiliation is being poked at may still not get the “Ayes” because in real life, those who claim to be free from biases and prejudices, aren’t. 

I am not a fan of Cory Aquino but when I was only four years old, I remember that I was the only one making the L sign in a strongly pro-Marcos household.  You see, my father is a fiercely loyal friend.  And he has always been with the Nacionalista Party the way democrats will always be democrats in the US and republicans will always be republicans.  In Mindanao, news of corruption and oppression did not spread overnight.  So many people never really understood that well what was going on in the “cities”.  With the split of the Nacionalista Party and the death of Ninoy Aquino, provincial members of the party became confused.  My father, upon learning of the trouble up north, decided to support Doy Laurel’s  UNIDO–the pro-Cory arm of the Nacionalista Party.  I remember going with him to rallies and wearing yellow bands and making the L sign instead of the V sign.  I was happy and young as I was, I already loved the feeling of winning despite starting as an underdog.  If there’s one good thing that came out of the Aquino administration, however, it’s Jessica Soho.  She gained popularity because of delivering news live in the middle of crossfires.  I can say that my political beliefs have been strongly influenced by my father but when I got to college, I became a little bit aware of other things after I took the MKLRP–Maikling Kurso sa Lipunan at Rebolusyong Pilipino  and the course on MLM–not the networking scam, but the incorporation of the teachings of Marx, Lenin and Mao.  After having been disillusioned by a lot of things, I began to build my own political line of thinking based on what I have seen, heard, read and experienced.  It’s never easy.  They say that one can never be neutral.  One has to take sides but I say, that depends.  There are things that are worth my time of day and there are those that simply don’t.  I have also learned that it’s ok to be selfish every now and then.  After all that I have gone through, not so many things can surprise me that much anymore. 

Cory Aquino became a totally different person after Cardinal Sin died.  I’m not sure what happened.  I know she does not take criticism kindly.  She may not look it but she can be a little bit rash.  Remember Ka Louie Beltran?  I mean, let’s say she did not really hide under the bed.  She could have hidden behind Joker Arroyo who took all the beating for the downfall of her regime.  But does that really justify a libel suit against a journalist for such a comment?  Now, her family’s crying foul for the “slut” term.  If it were somebody else in her family, I’m sure the reaction wouldn’t have been that huge but then again, political satires are plain satires.  And as the word means, it does not pertain to the truth.  It could be an exaggeration of the truth or a complete opposite of the truth.  I agree, being called a slut, be it a joke or not, is an affront to any woman regardless of whether it is true or not.  And being included in a widely watched show stamps it for posterity. 

So here’s my take on the issues.  The Desperate Housewives slip is definitely unacceptable but I guess the apology issued, albeit not that widely broadcast as the scene, is.  I guess we should take it as a challenge the way other people have made insults their springboard to betterment.  As for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, people know better.  I mean, let’s give our viewing public more credit.  People who watch political satires know which ones are just for laughs and which ones have an iota of truth.  Besides, before we cry foul, let’s look at ourselves and ask ourselves if we haven’t done anything similar in our lives.  But then again, that’s no excuse.  The broadcast media is perhaps the most powerful and most influential and with its great power comes an even greater responsibility. 

But that’s just my opinion…

Working My Arse Off

21 10 2007

I’ve been unusually busy the past few days.  I do manage to go to sleep—the kind where my body just surrenders itself to the bed and then to slumber—at around half past five in the morning, at least for the past few days.  As if programmed by a Wake Up button, my system automatically reboots at around eight in the morning and my arm automatically extends itself so my hand could grab my phone and check the time, which is of course, always a few minutes shy of or a few minutes over eight.  Then I squint and look at my notebook’s screen to see how many new messages have come in while I was catching a few winks.  I can now make out from a 6-meter distance when I have an important message.  Usually if the new messages were folders filled with paperwork, they’re usually already a meter long up my desk but since they’re just in my inbox, I could say that I can measure them by the inches from afar and they’re always around six inches.  So I creep up to my chair and try to force myself to really wake up.  I check the e-mails, answer a few of them.  Ignore the YM messages and write on the whiteboard the things that I need to finish in a few hours.  And then I slump my still tired body to bed. 

I don’t go back to sleep.  My mom would come in after a few minutes to say that if I will eat at all, food’s ready.  And I would grunt in response.  Talk about ugly sounds. 

So I stay where I am until the image of my whiteboard embeds itself into my memory lane.  Just plain work waiting to be finished.  Sigh.  So I wash my face, brush my teeth, gargle oral antiseptic, change into my house clothes and go down to wave at my dad whose door is always open—he’s hardly mobile due to a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) more commonly known as stroke so he’s always in bed—play with the dogs, clean up their mess, check the beetle, stand motionless by the door and stare blankly at nowhere until my mom asks me something, head back to my room, slump back to bed, take a shower, change into a fresh set of clothes and whatever else—not necessarily in that order. 

But I guess I can’t complain.  In November last year, while I was living my own life, my brother, who I haven’t spoken with for over a year because of our personal differences, patched things up with me, or so I thought.  Well, he needed my “help” because he felt something physiologically incorrect in his body and he didn’t want to alarm anybody else so he went to the person that he knows rarely gets “alarmed” over any emergency–ME!  So, I took him to a hospital in Cebu, got him one of the best doctors whose specialization covered his “illness” and so after that, we became “close” again and he went back home with the assurance that he’s ok.  Then came December.  My sister had a general checkup in May and was given a clean bill of health but in July, she felt a lump in her left breast.  In August, she had a fine needle aspiration biopsy and was advised to have a frozen section biopsy because of suggestive mammary carcinoma, or breast cancer.  Typical of us Filipinos, they put it off.  When I learned about it, I went home and almost dragged her by the hair so she could have that biopsy.  True enough, she had breast cancer and after two days, she had a radical mastectomy leaving her breastless, well, at least in the left.  So until April, I accompanied her to her chemotherapy sessions.  The biopsy after the mastectomy was great.  It showed that all cancer cells were removed during the surgery but she had to go through chemo sessions just to be doubly sure that the chances of recurrence won’t be that high. 

In March, my boyfriend of over five years and I broke up in a very life-draining way.  I suspended the mourning period until my sister was not with me in Cebu because I believed that I could mope and cry my heart out in due time.  And that’s what I did for a whole month from April to May.  Then I packed my things and headed back home to “forget” and to start anew.  And then my sister, who’s a nurse based in NY, announced that she’s coming home for a short short visit.  And since no one at home cared enough to clean up the house, I did most of the scrubbing and whatnots on all fours, contacted carpenters, plumbers, etc to fix everything that needed fixing.  July came and so did my sister.  Then they left. 

Needless to say, the freelancer moi gave up a lot of projects from November up to around July this year.  So I started to contact my old clients and checked if work was available.  I also placed bids in some freelancer haven of a website to get new projects.  Work started to come in slowly in August and September and now, God is good, I’m swamped.  So yeah, I’ve been really busy that I couldn’t even find time to flirt that much anymore.  Jeez!  The only time I get to touch myself even, is when I take a bath or after I pee!  But like any other woman, I don’t really feel that lacking. 

So yeah, I don’t make sense anymore.  But I needed to write something to keep me sane.  there you go.

I Can’t Write

18 10 2007

There are four posts sitting as drafts in my dashboard.  I can’t seem to finish anything here.  Nope, it’s not a writer’s block.  It’s just that I am doing so many things at the same time that sometimes this huge lump of flesh that I call my body cannot keep up.  Run, fingers, run!  While I can still catch up with my train of thoughts.  Jeez.  I give up.  I’ll get back to writing when I can get back to it.  Grrrrh.  You know that feeling when you want to say something only to forget about it when you’re about to say it and regardless of how hard you try you just can’t remember it?  Well, that’s what happened to my drafts.  Have you ever wanted to say something so badly only to stop and ask yourself what your point really is?  I’m my worst critic.  I mean, I don’t care much about how my blog looks or how my entries look or whether I used the right word or tense or punctuation or whether I should put diacritical marks where needed when it comes to my blog.  I do drool at some of the nicest and coolest blogs around in terms of content, honesty and design but I am not writing to prove anything but to try to have an outlet of sorts and to try to resurrect whatever creative energy left I have in my fingertips.  But regardless of how many times we say we don’t care, most of the time, we do.  And regardless of how many times we say we care, we don’t.  Whoever said I’m not complicated?  Tsk.  Now, let’s see.  What have I been doing that has triggered this psychotic episode?  Tsk. Hmm… let’s see.  I’m ghostwriting a memoir of a now successful and now American medical practitioner who used to be one of those boat people from Nam.  I’m also writing a dark, dark, gothic fantasy that would have been Stanley Kubrick’s wet dream of a movie.  My client’s concept kicks ass and I mean it really kicks ass!  I tried to look around for something similar online and offline but I can’t seem to find any.  Man!  And he’s younger than I am.  God, I hope he’ll sow the seeds of his loins into me so I can have dark, dark, gothic kids who can think like their father!  Jesus, what am I thinking!  And I have to sell those diecast action figures by thousands so I can get moolah before the Christmas rush begins.  I want to buy my mom something really nice.  And well, Papa never really cares for anything much anymore but his mango-flavored ice cream.  Now that explains why our electric bill is soaring higher than ever.  We’ve never run out of ice cream so we never get to turn off the friggin’ ref!  And my mom tells me it’s my aircon and not-super used but always turned on (hell, I hate that phrase!) desktop PC in the den! Hmph!  Oh well.  I love my mom and my dad whose speech handicap due to his stroke has never stopped him from making fun of people and of throwing profanities in the air.  Hehe.  And you should see our houseboy’s latest ‘do!  I mean, that Jimmy Neutron kid should be butchered for setting the trend for THAT hair.  But then again, it’s soooooooo last three years! I always say he should be arrested for illegal possession of deadly hair.  And my mom gets into some litany of this and that everytime he applies gel on his hair.  Hehehe.  I told her that she shouldn’t bash him so much, after all, what won’t hurt her won’t kill her.  Wrong move.  Just gave her the opening that she needed to counter punch.  The strong scent of the gel hurts her nostrils and his hair could accidentally stab her to death should they accidentally bump into each other around the house!  God!  My mom’s tongue isn’t really the sharpest but when she gets into it, she really digs in.  LOL.  So, now, I don’t really care if I’m making any sense at all.  I remember the height of Chico and Delamar’s fame when they were still in RX93.1 when Chico had this segment where he would talk about things that aren’t connected to one another but by the words in them.  I forget what it was called.  Oh well.  Guess I should get some sleep.  I’ll practice judo tomorrow.  I just might be able to use it someday.  I wonder if I can do verbal judo instead.  Hay life.  Goodnight world.


17 10 2007

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time—
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off the beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,

I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine,
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been sacred of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You—-

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,
The voices just can’t worm through.

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two—
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.

Sylvia Plath

Ida–Shigi Shigi

10 10 2007

I have long wanted to write something about Paolo Ballesteros and his portrayal of God Officer Poe in the “sequel” of the original Shaider in GMA‘s Zaido.  Why?  Because he looks soooooo beautiful and fabulous in it!  It doesn’t matter if he has never admitted to being gay in real life.  (I hope he does.  I so hope someone would actually own up to be gay without going all loud and screaming in the Philippine entertainment industry.  It’s about time someone holds up the banner of gay-hood without being typically gay.) 

The original Japanese character is a transvestite.  He’s the grandson of the main villain of the story.  In the Philippine dubbed version, he went by the name, Babaylan IdaZaido has retained this name but changed the costume–color, headdress, etc. .  Now Paolo plays the role of Ida and, my oh my, doesn’t he look soooo good in it!

Every time I get to see Zaido, I am tickled pink when I see Ida.  Really! 

Paolo said that it’s just work but didn’t elaborate on the gay issue.  His parting shot in this article, however, is pregnant with meanings.  Admission or not, I love the way he said it. 

Indulge the Groupie in Me — Wentworth Miller

9 10 2007

What is it about this guy that turns me on?  Or many other women, and we-men, for that matter? 

Is it the fact that he doesn’t sport much hair now? 

Or is it because regardless of how he crawls into dirty tunnels or creeps between greasy pipes, he never looks dirty?

Or is it because he poses an enigma and an air of mystery that most men can’t hold on to for so long?

Or is it because he’s multi-racial that makes him look like he’s been genetically engineered to hot perfection?

Or is it because his body looks good enough to eat?  Ya know, that lanky but muscled physique without that I-could-kill-you-in-one-swing or my-chest-is-bigger-than-yours look (and feel!)

Or is it because he’s been constantly rumored to be gay?

Or is it because he’s one of those few actors who come from prestigious schools and well-schooled families?

Or is it the eyes that speak volumes without as much as a twitch?

Or is it because so many other women and gay guys want to get him to bed with them? 

Is it because he’s Michael Scofield?

Why, oh why, Wentworth?  Are you worth my time?  You definitely are.  You’re one of those guys that could make me leave everything just so I can watch your TV series non-stop from sun-up to sun-down. 

Or is it just Prison Break?  But nah, the show’s not even THAT great.  Well, the first season is!  But the next ones are thrilling and exciting but it somehow departs from the original theme.  Though it looks like it’s bound to get back on track from Sona in this third installment. But still…

Lady Lazarus

9 10 2007

   I have done it again.
   One year in every ten
   I manage it—-
   A sort of walking miracle, my skin
   Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
   My right foot
   A paperweight,
   My face a featureless, fine
   Jew linen.
   Peel off the napkin
   0 my enemy.
   Do I terrify?—-
   The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
   The sour breath
   Will vanish in a day.
   Soon, soon the flesh
   The grave cave ate will be
   At home on me
   And I a smiling woman.
   I am only thirty.
   And like the cat I have nine times to die.
   This is Number Three.
   What a trash
   To annihilate each decade.
   What a million filaments.
   The peanut-crunching crowd
   Shoves in to see
   Them unwrap me hand and foot
   The big strip tease.
   Gentlemen, ladies
   These are my hands
   My knees.
   I may be skin and bone,
   Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
   The first time it happened I was ten.
   It was an accident.
   The second time I meant
   To last it out and not come back at all.
   I rocked shut
   As a seashell.
   They had to call and call
   And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
   Is an art, like everything else,
   I do it exceptionally well.
   I do it so it feels like hell.
   I do it so it feels real.
   I guess you could say I’ve a call.
   It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.
   It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.
   It’s the theatrical
   Comeback in broad day
   To the same place, the same face, the same brute
   Amused shout:
   ‘A miracle!’
   That knocks me out.
   There is a charge
   For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
   For the hearing of my heart—-
   It really goes.
   And there is a charge, a very large charge
   For a word or a touch
   Or a bit of blood
   Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
   So, so, Herr Doktor.
   So, Herr Enemy.
   I am your opus,
   I am your valuable,
   The pure gold baby
   That melts to a shriek.
   I turn and burn.
   Do not think I underestimate your great concern.
   Ash, ash —
   You poke and stir.
   Flesh, bone, there is nothing there—-
   A cake of soap,
   A wedding ring,
   A gold filling.
   Herr God, Herr Lucifer
   Out of the ash
   I rise with my red hair
   And I eat men like air.

— Sylvia Plath

I can’t even begin to explain how I love the poetry of Sylvia Plath.  Or how amazed I am at her.  I don’t envy her.  If you want death so badly to actually stick your head into an oven, that’s totally heavy stuff.  But the poetry, man!  A poem that overflows with issues and reeks of pain and suffering but is bound loosely in very light packaging such as Lady Lazarus could come only from one of the best, if not the only one.  She talks of death and of her attempts to really die with a casual allusion to the Jews and to the Nazi as if she’s just talking about how a mundane day went by. 

But she died.  And she orchestrated the whole thing exceptionally well, indeed.

I am lazy.

9 10 2007

Just when I have tons of things to do, I’ve opted to play games, watch TV, read blogs, read a book and so many other things rather than finishing up what I’m supposed to finish in the first place.  Sigh…such is indolence. 

Let’s all sleep tonight!

Gags At Large

8 10 2007

I read Rina Jimenez-David’s column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer about how Teri Hatcher might be hounded by paranoia all her life from hereon.  It’s funny how this has indeed brought to mind the number of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans all across the globe—especially in the US.  Read her article so you’ll get the real deal. 

I can’t agree enough with her when she said how Desperate Housewives has long been a parody.  Marc Cherry couldn’t be happier with this controversy.  What a way to open the fourth season indeed! 

As for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, well, I have always been a huge fan.  Too bad they had to feature that picture with the word slut in it. I wonder if it had the same effect if they used Kris’s picture instead.  Ooops.  My bad.  I’m sorry.  :p But really, I understand our former prexy’s children’s feelings.  But come on, people, it is after all, a parody.  And I’m sure if Bubble Gang did something similar and called former president Jim Carter a man-whore or a gigolo or any other disrespecting words, no one would have reacted.  Well, Habitat for Humanity would have said something but I don’t think US lawmakers would write letters to the Philippine Embassy or something.  I guess it’s time we toughen up our hides and shrug off things that can’t kill us. 

Nuff said. 


7 10 2007

Yep, blaspheme some more.  I abhor members of the clergy who hide underneath their cassocks.  I, not only, pray that they be roasted and re-roasted in hell or wherever for the crimes that they commit here on earth, but I also pray that all the prosecutors who use twisted logic to exonerate these offenders—sexual offenders at that—be dealt with the same punishment. 

While rejoicing over Pacman’s victory, I read about the dismissal of the case of acts of lasciviousness filed against Cebu Archdiocesan priest, Fr. Benedicto Ejares.  Having come from a family of lawyers, I can take acquittals and conviction as if it’s just another weather forecast.  But my evening was completely ruined upon reading that the prosecutors dismissed the case on the contention that the defendant’s actions of toying with bra straps and touching the students’ arms and backs and of embracing them are matter of routine and habit, and that such body parts are not even “private”.  The prosecutors even went on to describe the priest as not an ordinary being but an alter-ego of Jesus Christ!  Such travesty!

Twenty minors complained but only seven submitted sworn statements.  Apparently, these were not enough to convict an alter-ego of Jesus Christ.  If we live in a world where priests can freely touch our not-so-private parts while administering sacraments and where prosecutors let them be because they are no ordinary beings, then I don’t know where this is leading to anymore.  Next time, if a priest is in some TV series in the US, I won’t be surprised if we’d hear lines like, you’re so lewd, you must’ve come from some seminary in the Philippines! I know it’s not an isolated case and it’s not something that has happened only in the Philippines but I’m not sure if we have convicted any sex offender who hails from inside the church.

Read more about this bull here or here.

I am not one to judge.  I have lint in my eyes too.  I even have many friends in the clergy.  I know not all of them are bad eggs.  But there are simply those who are disgusting.  For a time, my involvement in various radical groups, has brought me closer to one particular religious order that was supposed to have taken a huge part in the Reforms of the Catholic Church but my oh my, if it’s not a gay priest, it’s a father who has fathered someone somewhere, or a priest who has a girlfriend.  And they don’t even get sanctioned by their own superiors! 

…And with prosecutors thinking like that? I’m not sure about you people, but I think the world is coming to an end!

Viva El Pacman

7 10 2007

I never played the game.  Well, for starters, we didn’t even have a TV set while I was growing up.  Second, when we got our first set, I was too hooked to watching TV to even want a family computer.  My brother bought one and I never liked playing anything in it save for Circus Chable. So I didn’t know what Pacman is. 

Of course I came to know it later on.  But I still never felt like playing it.  When games on cellphones reached a turning point and I had to say goodbye to good ol’ Snake, Pacman also had a short stint in some cellphone platforms.  Pacman eats his opponents one after the other, outwits them and outruns them.  Guess that’s why Manny Pacquiao has become the Pacman, other than his name sounding almost similar to it. 

But Manny Pacquiao was already Pacman then.  I remember his first well-publicized win.  He was 19 then.  So was I.  Jinkee was also just his girlfriend then.  Regardless of what Pacquaio has become, or what bloopers he may have had in his life, I take my hat off to the guy.  He’s a good businessman.  He knows how to handle money.  He doesn’t forget his benefactors.  He takes his game seriously—his discipline is unparalleled.  And he’s a gentleman in the ring.  I wasn’t so happy with him in the Pacquiao-Larios fight but he still blew me away.  He strives to become a better person.  And while air sometimes gets to his head, he seems to listen when people close to him tells him to cut the crap.

Pacman’s ability to make the world stop—at least for us, Filipinos, is undeniable.  And for at least a few hours, I felt that Filipinos around the world have broken barriers to cheer in unison.  Hell, I think even blogaddicts left their stations to watch the fight—unless you’ve got internet TV.  Cable or not, you could hear people say Ugh! Aww! Yes! No! Bang! and what-have-yous.  Simply amazing. 

Congratulations, Philippines, we’ve won once more.  Pacman did us all proud.  Just what we need after all the bashing that we got this week.  What a way to end a bad week.  Hope this new one turns out to be a really better one.


7 10 2007

I don’t like kids. 

I love my nieces and nephews–all eight of them.  But I am not one of those people (especially females) who coo over babies when they see them or think the little girl, barely one year old, who’s wearing a gartered headband is cute.  (Have pity on the infant, you people! It may look nice and attractive to you but I’m sure the li’l girl doesn’t appreciate the discomfort!  Regardless of how “loose” you claim it to be!)I don’t rush to whoever is carrying the baby so I could also carry IT!  I remember taking care of my nieces and some of my nephews.  It was never fun to carry them for such a long time.  It pulls muscles but I love them since they’re family. 

I want to have a baby.  Sooooo badly.  I had my chance, twice.  But it just never happened.  My uterus is retroverted and my ovaries are polycystic.  The downside?  It’s so hard to impregnate me.  The upside?  I get to have fun without worrying about getting preggy.  But of course when the right time comes, whenever that is, I want to have a baby, with or without a husband.  It’s unfair to the kid, I know, but why force it if I can’t be a good wife in the eyes of my child.  I know I’ll be a good mother.  I’m not worried in that department.  But to be a good wife?  That depends. 

Going back to kids…if I have a choice, I don’t want to be around them.  But for some reason, kids are drawn to ME! In airport terminals, in ships, in buses, in shopping malls, in restos—everywhere!  I used to be super fat and one time, we were in KFC in SM City Cebu and a kid kept on smiling at me!  It was getting so weird because I didn’t even notice him until my then boyfriend told me.  I glared at the kid and he looked away.  He was about 5 years old.  The type who could already tell his mom that the lady in the other table glared at him.  But he clammed up and looked at me again.  No, stared is the word.  My then boyfriend teased me that he must’ve thought that I’m a mascot.  NOT funny because it was starting to freak me out.  Good thing they had to leave ahead of us. That’s one of the reasons why I plunged into weight reduction desperate measures.  If only I had at least an ounce of desire to try drugs, I would have puffed the magic dragon 24/7 just to get the desired effect.  But I’m not too sure about that either.

Now, I love money.  So when I was still working a true-blue member of the uring manggagawa (working class), well, not really, I accepted all other gigs that came my way to earn some more.  My first ever part-time job while having a full-time job was as a tutor.  When the Koreans were still in the initial stages of their diaspora, I was one of those very lucky ones who was able to be a tutor to a Korean for P300 an hour.  Yep boys and girls, twice as much as the running rate nowadays.  And the good thing about that was that he wasn’t so young and since he was enrolled in one of the international schools in Cebu, he already knew how to at least express himself in broken English.  His family mistook me for a Chinese because I do look like one.  I had to quit after around three months because I can understand a few Korean phrases.  I had Korean as a language elective back in UP and I didn’t like them talking bad about me in Korean even when I’m within earshot thinking that I couldn’t understand them.  My tutee liked me and even planned to give his Samsung flip-phone to me.  Yep, that happened around 5 years ago when Samsung phones were still really cool because only very few people had them and they brought back the flip mobile phones in style.  So I quit.  Told them I could understand them.  Thing is, only the kid understood English really well and I didn’t want him to be the interpreter so I am not sure, even to this day, if they understood why I quit. 

Next in line—an eight-year old Filipino-Chinese boy.  He was the only boy in the brood of four and his sisters were in the honor roll in their respective classes.  He was, um, chubby too and all he could think about then were Zoids and Yo-Gi-Oh.  Everytime I taught him Math, I had to use Zoids and Yo-Gi-Oh in word problems.  That worked for him. 

He also kept a diary which was really funny because he’d let me read it.  One time, I told him that if he finished his Math assignment in 15 minutes without mistakes, I’d let him watch Yo-Gi-Oh.  We had a deal.  And everyday, it was like that.  If he finished something fast and accurately, I’d let him watch TV.  One day, one of his sisters told their mom that D was made to stand in the quadrangle of their school for excessive talking.  Hehehe.  His mom, who didn’t like anything like that because it meant that the moms of the other kids in the school that they go to also know of the incident and they were her friends!  So she stormed into the room while he was getting his treat (watching TV) and was asked to turn it off because he’s been a bad boy!  D looked at me and said, Teacher Geda o!  What was I to do?  Hehehe.  I talked to his mom and reminded her that that was our deal.  The mom backed off and told D that she’ll deal with him when our session’s over.  Hehe.  That was really funny, and awkward. 

Talk about awkward, my then boyfriend would send me a message at around the same time each day to tell me that he’s home or that he’ll eat dinner or something like that.  D knew about it.  And one time, he asked me, Teacher, do you also kiss with Tiger?  (Err, I used to call my ex Tiger, and I was his Tigress :-p) So, since I never saw anything wrong with answering the question, I said yes.  And then he asked—do you also have sex?  I almost fell off my chair!  And because I was caught off guard, I told him that it’s never polite to ask people that.  Not only was it rude, he hadn’t finished his assignment yet.  Case closed.  But I know I blushed to my roots then.  Sexual innuendos and jokes are funny when they’re exchanged between friends within the same age group, or at least with people over 18! 

After two years, I quit.  Because I moved to a company where I had to work nights.  D was devastated.  And I was too.  I never thought I’d become so attached to a child who’s not related to me but I did. 

My next “victim” was my landlady’s grandson.  I left the corporate world then and was just starting to work home-based.  So I was practically “home” the whole time.  I actually offered and they were hesitant at first because 1) they knew I hate kids 2) they couldn’t afford me.  But by then, I was already falling in love with teaching hard-to-teach kids.  And so every afternoon, the kid would go up to my room and study with me.  I taught him from writing to math to appreciation of books and good manners.  Naks.  While I’m not a paragon of virtue, I believe my parents brought me up really well.  When we grow up, we make our own choices and so for the mistakes that I have made when I have been out here and there, I blame no one but myself.  And so I’m proud of what I have done to A.  He writes like a kolehiyala (sharp and pointed, ladies?) and has already read pop literature and a few of the classics.  Oh, and he also asked me (more often) about sex.  I did try my darnedest to make everything sound clinical.  After all, the boy was under my “tutelage” for 2 years.  Besides, the earlier kids know about it from people close to them, the better their understanding of it becomes.  Less curiosity takes here and there, less population growth.  LOL.  My God!  I remember one time when he asked me if Tiger was coming to town for Valentine’s Day.  And I said, yes.  And he said, oh, so you’re gonna have sex!  I’ll just imagine the two of you doing it!  His grandpa who was within earshot guffawed!  So I lectured him again about blurting things out in public.  Sigh.  What a life. Too bad I had to leave. 

I still don’t like kids.  There are those that I warm up to after a while and I have accepted that regardless of how bitchy I can be, kids know better.  Hehe.  And yeah, I’m not that bad after all. 

Now, as for making babies…I’ll think about that some other time. 

TV Series–Episode ONE

6 10 2007

I don’t have patience for TV series.  I forget schedules.  I can’t take cliffhangers.  And so what I do is forget about something I really like and when it’s all over, I get the DVD of the whole season and watch episode after episode until I get pissed because a cliffhanger at the end makes me want to teleport to the future just so I can see the next season. 

In a way, this is the reason why I like series that have already marked the end of their run.  Friends, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Alias, Gilmore Girls, and many others.  Well, if you haven’t seen CSI from season 1, then it’s also good.  Bad if you work for a company or for the government because I remember calling in sick on a Monday night just so I could finish the last 4 episodes of the 4th season three years ago after going at it straight for almost 3 days. 

I love the SHOWTIME series The Tudors.  Not only because my mom infected me with that fondness for anything that involves monarchy, but because I looove Jonathan Rhys Myers.  He was with Scarlett Johansson in that Woody Allen movie, Match Point. He’s not the conventionally good looking guy but he is HOT!  Well, I am drawn to sexy sexy bad boys who have personal issues–he’s an alcoholic.  Hehe.  And having a looooooot of sexy scenes in both Match Point and The Tudors doesn’t help.  LOL.  Which is why, I can’t wait for the second installment. 2008 is inching up way tooooo slow for me.  Peter O’Toole is set to join the cast, which makes it all the more interesting.  Thing is, every time I see Peter O’Toole, I remember his scenes in Caligula and even if Malcolm McDowell topbilled that movie, I remember O’Toole more.  I even had to watch that sick movie again when I realized that Helen Mirren was in there.  Jeeez.  Hehehe.  I mean that movie was ok but, man, that was really just sick.  I respect people’s sexual perspectives and their “methodology” but that movie was really disturbing.  But then again, I think it had lots to do with Malcolm McDowell as well.  He always makes movies and TV shows unforgettable everytime he figures in them. 

I also love Grey’s Anatomy because Meredith Grey is clumsy and funny and real.  And because I am in awe of doctors.  I want to be one but I can never be one.  Ugh!  And of course, who wouldn’t love George O’Malley! Unless of course, you can’t separate the character from the real-life actor and you are a homophobe.  I am also wowed by Addison Shepard.  She’s the poster girl for glam.  I can’t wait for Private Practice, Grey’s spin-off, to officially go on air and wrap up the first season at least, so I can watch the whole season uninterruptedly.

I am hating CSI (Vegas, Miami and NY) now because I can’t wait for the new seasons.  Sigh.

I also like Rome.  I love anything that’s historical, which is why I also like the Korean TV shows Jewel in the Palace, Jumong and Hwang Jin-i.

I love a**holes who play lead not only because I like the ATTITUDE! but because they justify my being a bitch in a way as well.  LOL.  And that is why I love Boston Legal, the awesome spin-off of The Practice, and HouseAlan Shore reminds me of Napoleon Chotas, the lawyer of Constantin Demiris of Sidney Sheldon‘s The Other Side of Midnight and Memories of Midnight.

More of this later…

A Parody of Parodies

6 10 2007

I am a tad too tired of hearing clamour for public apology here and there for things here and there.  Let’s get one thing straight first.  I am not against people behind these movements.  I am not even against the idea.  But then again, parodies are parodies.  Satirical comedies are pure satire.  We even have that on local TV.  Racial slur, politics of personal destruction, name-calling and whatnots are quite common these days.  It is NEVER right to make fun of other people be it in the privacy of your home or within your close circle of friends OR in public.  But we do it anyway.  In restaurants and bars, at the dining table at home, in the living room, in school, in the office, in the lanai,  or anywhere else, we talk about other people and without us probably realizing it, we have already discriminated other people in terms of age, gender, race, physical appearance, school, social standing, moral standards and so many other things.  One thing has been made clear to me ONCE MORE this week–it’s ok for us to make fun of ourselves and of other people but when the arrows come our way, we cry foul. 

I do not approve of any form of belittling and maligning anyone, or anything for that matter.  I am guilty of bigotry every now and then.  I bitch at so many things and so many people at many points in my life but never have I thrown my weight around and used any form of public medium to ruin anybody or anything, be it in form of a joke or of a spoof.  I am a huge fan of the freedom of expression.  I am a writer, for crying out loud.  But with the great power of the pen comes extra huge and oftentimes really dead serious responsibilities and so as much as possible, I see to it that I am politically correct.  I’m a human being.  I make mistakes.  But never will I intentionally discriminate, not even indirectly. 

Going back to TV bloopers, let’s get our facts straight.  I don’t think being fair means taking one side right away.  This does not give American TV the right to post our people’s pictures or make not-so-sweeping generalization of our education system but asking for a public apology is enough.  Besides, it’s not like we don’t do it.  Check your e-mail inbox and sent folders.  Haven’t we, at one point in our lives, forwarded not so flattering pictures of their president, of Bert of Sesame Street, of religious sects?  Haven’t we made fun of the various ethnic groups in our country?  Again, it’s not an excuse to publicly malign other people, even as a joke or a part of one.  But to practically ruin our days and direct our attention to them for at least a day collectively?  Come on. This is why our politicians get to make damage control here and there for their slip-ups.  We get distracted that easily and when our heads are turned the other way, that’s where the fun begins on the other side—and usually, that’s when all the trouble starts. 


5 10 2007

I officially pin the JOLOGS star on my forehead. 

Ever since I got home (kinda home) in Ozamiz, I’ve done nothing but


work my ass off —prostitute myself to various companies in faraway lands, write for a travel-related website, get into my telemarketing garb and sweet-talk gatekeepers so I can talk to decision makers, call small-scale businesses and offer this and that

smoke my lungs out

watch TV

read blogs and write a few entries every now and then

read all the entertainment sites that I can find—my favorite?  the Philippine Entertainment Portal and Abante when Alfie Lorenzo’s around

play with myself, ahem, I mean play Capitalism II (yeah, I’m boring) or GTA San Andreas or Jeopardy or Red Alert 2 or WarCraft III by myself. LOL.

There are nights when I do all of them at the same time.  Yeah!  I’m your ultimate poster girl for multitasking. 





talk to my mom and laugh our guts out together

play with the dogs, bathe them when I am in the mood for some serious wet sessions!

lecture (naks) the househelp—I have OCD, remember?  I get ticked off with misaligned books in the shelves, drinking glasses that look frosted because they weren’t washed the proper way (you should wash drinking glasses with your bare hands NEVER with scouring pads or sponge), the other day’s leftover that are going to be today’s leftovers as well and all that jazz.

smoke my lungs out

read pinoy showbiz links


same as any other weekday/weeknight routine save for StarTalk!!!


same as any other weekday/weeknight routine save for Showbiz Central!!!

I watch the news but I think the highlight of my weeks is reading pinoy showbiz juicy tidbits…

Ask me about what’s the latest on pinoy showbiz.  I’ll probably even give you a backgrounder!  OMG! 

Oh well, this is my life.  Hehe. 

Rape It or Leave It

5 10 2007

As I said, I wanted to write some more about this after having been triggered by Snooky Serna‘s shocking disturbing revelation made me have one of those rare me-times.  I remember a few friends—girl friends.  In one way or another, they experienced the worst physical and sexual assault any woman could ever get—they got raped.  And much as I hate to think of it this way, I think I did too. 

One of the reasons why I was a huge fan of the late Raul Roco way before he became too “mainstream”, was his gender advocacy, and his landmark bills that later on became laws remain very helpful to every woman in the land.  Well, at least on paper.  He was the main man behind the amendment of the rape law in the Philippines—by making the definition of rape broader and ultimately changing it into a crime against persons from being just a crime of chastity.  The amendment to the provisions of the law already included marital rape, and both wife and husband may now be charged with rape. 

I’m not a lawyer.  I am not an expert on laws, implementing rules and regulations and any other legalese.  But I know one thing.  In this country, sexuality is governed by a lot of factors—social institutions like the Church, chauvinism, and most especially the culture of silence.  And because of that, violence against women is kept behind closed doors and bit lips. 

Back in UP, I hung out with a few girls who were really fun.  And fearless–or so I thought.  One of them once went out with a guy who still figures in the Philippine primetime TV.  This happened sometime in the late 90s.  After dinner, the guy drove the car around and parked in a dark secluded area.  They then started to make out.  After a few minutes, the girl stopped and asked him to stop as well.  Baffled, the guy looked at the girl and raised one of his eyebrows.  He told her to stop playing games and get on with it because he has another appointment in an hour.  The girl struggled and attempted to get out of the locked car (um, power locks were not really super common then, well, at least, not in our school!) but she couldn’t.  Not only was the place as black as the guy’s perineum, she didn’t know where they were and no one was in sight.  And so, she let him feast on her unwilling body.  The guy drove her home after that and they never saw each other again.  The girl kept it to herself until it became too hard to contain so she told us.  But made everybody swear never to say anything to anybody. 


1)  Though sexually “emancipated” we never knew that we should go to the hospital right away to get a rape kit.  And much as I was awed when Catherine made an improvised rape kit in one of CSI‘s episodes, that’s not really admissible in the court of law in the real world.

2)  The Anti-Rape Law was not yet a law. 

3) Telling people that you are raped means your reputation is torn into pieces.  In this part of the world, the victim is the one at fault for giving the suspect a MOTIVE!

4)  People would not believe her because she didn’t have any tangible evidence.  She didn’t have witnesses.  And she willingly went out with him to the point of even making out with him. 

Date rape is what it’s called but do people come out and sue their assailants?  Or even their boyfriends?  No.  Some tried to.  The Subic Rape Case is perhaps one of those but I can only speculate.

Another incident flashed in my mind, well, at least the story as told by my friend to me.  It was so graphic that I can’t help but get mental pix.  Influenced by the Kama Sutra and porn, her boyfriend told her to take him from behind.  While it’s not something really new, the girl wasn’t really into it and so she refused.  She tried to guide him, errr, lower (her back was to him).  But her boyfriend forcibly went into his preferred slot without any lube! Not only was it extremely painful, it was against her will and she couldn’t do anything because she was in a position where she couldn’t just run away and she was butt-naked in the guy’s bathroom.  The guy had his fill and took a shower.  She went out and dressed up.  It’s not at all like a movie scene where the girl cries in the shower after a rape sequence.  The guy apologized afterwards and as one’s youth can sometimes be one’s personal nemesis, my friend forgave the guy and although they never did it again, she found it so hard to forget the pain.  A few months later, she caught the guy cheating on her with one of their blockmates.  The nerve!

My ex-boyfriend and I used to tell each other that we should “rape” each other every now and then, for the kicks and well, the kinks.  And we used to, every now and then.  But it’s different when you “want” to be “raped” from being raped or even forced to do something that you can’t regardless of whether or not it’s sexual in nature. 

The best part of the Anti-Rape Law in the Philippines is that people in power who use that “power” to make you do the things that you don’t want to do can be sued and possibly get jailtime.  The worst part of the whole experience is when you can’t even do anything to stop it, and even when it has stopped, you can’t even talk about it…

Not even blog about it.

Rape…An Unfinished Story

1 10 2007

Snooky Serna was interviewed in Showbiz Central on GMA yesterday because of the controversy that sprung from her declaration on DJ Mo’s radio program that she lost her virginity when she was 14 because she was raped.  Apparently, she was violated by someone that she trusted and since she refused to give any other details, I can only surmise that she was romantically involved with the guy.  This brings to mind a lot of issues that women–and girls–face on our day to day existence that we don’t talk about or merely shrug off for a million and one reasons. 

What is rape and what can we do when we are in a situation where we are forced to do something that we do not want but for whatever reason, succumb to such demands?

This calls for more “sitting down time” on my part because I have a lot of things to say about this but I don’t have that now so, let it be a cliffhanger for now…

My Celeb Match! Oh la la!

29 09 2007

Take this test at Tickle

Your celeb match is George Clooney

The Celebrity Matchmaker
Brought to you by Tickle

That’s right, a charming and gorgeous dreamboat like George Clooney is just what the doctor ordered.

Smart and sophisticated, you need a soulmate with a brain to match. Only someone with intelligence and beauty will create your perfect storm. Lucky for you, your celeb match has plenty of both to spare…and a villa in Italy to boot. From dinner dates in LA to chilling on Lake Como, you’ll be sure to have a heavenly time. Good night and good luck!

One Big Fight!

27 09 2007

I have long accepted the fact that the UP Fighting Maroons will NEVER win another championship.  Well, at least, we have entered the history logs once more as the team that has never won a game this season.  So, since the next best thing is to pick another team, I’ll just cheer for our neighbors, the Ateneo Blue Eagles. 

My previous post has reminded me of the game today.  LOL.  It’s gonna be bloody!  Hehe. 

It has also reminded me to repost a funny spoof of Harry Potter from Niel’s blog.  For the credits, please check his blog. 

Harry Potter Ateneo Version
(Background Music)
We stand on a hill
Between the earth and sky
– “Song For Mary,” Fr. James Rueter SJ
Chapter One: Before The Storm

Fr. Bienvenido Nebres SJ was just finishing the day’s work when Harry Potter, a senior of the Ateneo de Manila, burst into his office.

“Fr Nebres!” Harry shouted

“Harry!” a surprised Nebres said. “I thought you were out of school destroying the horcruxes to kill Lord Voldemort.”

“That’s what I wanted to tell you. I discovered that there are two horcruxes here in Ateneo itself. Voldemort has enlisted the help of the De La Salle University and the University of Santo Tomas. They are coming.”

“Don’t worry, Harry.” Nebres said “You know for a fact that Ateneo– its teachers and students — are more than capable of defending our Loyola campus. We will hold them off while you search for the horcruxes and destroy them. You will need this.” He waved of his wand and out of the air appeared a sword. “The sword of St. Ignatius.” Nebres said. “Powerful enough to destroy the two horcruxes.”

“Thank you, Father” Harry said. And with that, he sped off to find the last two things which protect Lord Voldemort.

Nebres then waved his wand once more and this time, four people appeared in his office. “Marlu, Rudy, Toby and Joey. The school is in danger”

Nebres then explained the situation to the four Deans of the Ateneo de Manila University.

“I want you to assemble all remaining students in the college covered courts. We must evacuate the freshmen through Marikina. The sophomore, junior and senior students may stay and fight if they want to. Next, I need you to assemble all the teachers, both part time and full time.”

Without a word, the four deans Disapparated and went on with their tasks. Nebres too Disapparated back to the Jesuit Residence and briefed the Society about the impending attack.

Fr. Adolfo Dacanay was the assigned to lead the Jesuits to battle “My team is ready to fight anytime anywhere. We will crush them!”

“Excellent.” Nebres said

After a few minutes, Nebres, the four Deans and some members of the faculty and administration gathered in Xavier Hall to discuss the battle plan.

“The School of Humanities can summon mythical creatures to help defend us.” Marlu Vilches said “The English Department professors are summoning creatures from Dante’s Inferno and Greek Mythology as we speak. The Filipino Department is summoning all the manananggals and white ladies from the haunted trees on campus”

“The Philosophy Department” interjected Fr. Ferriols “is summoning creatures from Meron pond right now. Those rascals will soon feel the wrath of Meron! Magiging WALA silang lahat! Konsepto lamang sila!”

“Now is the time to test the newest chemicals and inventions from our SEC laboratories.” Toby Dayrit said, “The Department of Environmental Science professors are enchanting the trees to life right now. We will purge them with the help of Mother Nature.”

“I have just received a call from MVP” Rudy Ang said “Reinforcements from Makati are coming soon.”

“My apples and sunshine are ready to fight as well” Tim Gabuna said. “Go CERSA!”

“I have just finished briefing my school. The Department of History is ready to fight. The Western history professors led by Dave Lozada and JoEd Tirol are summoning the three hundred Spartans and soldiers from the World War II to fight. Fr Bulatao and the Department of Psychology are locked inside the SocSci Conference room right now. They will use their psychic powers to toy with our enemy’s mind.”

“I have roused the athletes also.” Norman Black beside Ricky Palou said. “They are ready to put up One Big Fight with their super strength.”

A voice interrupted them. “I KNOW YOU ARE PREPARING TO FIGHT! You are no match for us! I have allied myself with the La Salle brothers and the Dominicans of UST. You cannot win against me, Jesuits. Push the limit! Animo Spirit! Give us Harry Potter and the sword of St. Ignatius and we will let you live! We will even let you win some of the games.”

Chapter Two: More Help

The Ateneans ignored the warning and instead began to prepare for the impending battle. A few minutes later, the voice shouted for a second time:

“I can see you are not listening! It is such a pity. What happened to your Prayer for Generosity? Give me Harry Potter and the Sword of St Ignatius. Give without counting the cost, you always say! You have until midnight. I also call on all students of La Salle Greenhills and La Salle Zobel. It is not too late. Come and join us. Convert! Repent!”

Fr. Dacanay, interrupting his briefing with his exorcists turned and said “The idiot is taking the prayer out of context. Besides, St Ignatius also said to fight without fear of being wounded. And we will do just that.”

Three figures — two women and a man — suddenly appeared. “We are from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology” said the man.

“Ricky Abad!” Fr. Nebres exclaimed.

“I brought with me our Department Chair Bopeep Saloma-Akpedonu. And this is Czarina Medina, one of our newest lecturers. We apologize for being late. We were preparing our I-bombs.”

“I-bombs? What are I-bombs?” Nebres asked.

“Ideology bombs. Once they detonate, they will spread false consciousness in the area — the La Salle brothers and the Tomasians will think they are winning. It is all false really. We will use their pride against them.”

“Excellent. Excellent.” Nebres said. “And here comes Andrew Ty and Mark Escaler for the Department of Communication.”

“Yes!” Escaler said “we will infiltrate their communication processes by adding “noise” and ambiguity between the message relay of the sender and the receiver so orders can be reversed and thwarted!”

“The creatures from my horror films are coming!” Andrew Ty said. “We will use them to our advantage!”

“Father President! Some people are coming!” somebody shouted.

Some five hundred people then Apparated out of nowhere. Wearing either red or white shirts, they marched towards Nebres. A young man then stepped forward.

“We are from the University of the Philippines.” said the young man. “For years, our academic communities have built a strong relationship with each other. We have shared professors. We went to rallies together. We have had our differences. Yes. But in the end, our similarities and accomplishments outweigh our differences… We are here to help! We are honored to fight with Ateneo once more!”

Cheers and applause errupted from all sides.

“Let’s make baka! Don’t be takot! Let’s make baka! Don’t be takot! Let’s make baka! Don’t be takot! Let’s make baba from the hill” the Ateneans cheered

Five minutes to midnight.

The School of Humanities stood with their mythical creatures summoned from the Classics, and the haunted trees and the gigantic swamp creatues from the Meron pond.

The John Gokongwei School of Management with their reinforcements from Makati, along with Venus Ibarra, Ricky Pilar and other professors.

The School of Science and Engineering with their mysterious inventions and weapons. The gigantic trees in the campus now walking sluggishly by their side.

The School of Social Sciences with their unique yet powerful defensive weapons; the Psychology Department ready for the psy-war.

The Ateneo Professional Schools ready to defend their Loyola-based counterparts; the two fraternities in the Law School forging a temporary alliance.

The Alumni, the D.A. (Dalandan’s Army), led by Benjie Laza and Mon Cualoping.

The statues of Tomas More, Horacio dela Costa, the Blue Eagle come to life.

The students from U.P.

Two horcruxes left.

Now all is still, where Loyola’s colors fly.

Chapter Three: One Big Fight


There was a burst of light emanating from the sky, brighter than the moon and the stars. What seemed like a horde of fireflies turned out to be arrows. Thousands of arrows. Tips on fire.

The arrows struck the Blue Eagle Gym. The oldest building in the University. The symbol of their athletic pride. Now aflame.

Toby Dayrit tossed a beaker of water to the burning building. He pointed his wand at the beaker now mid-air and shouted his spell “Magis.” The water transformed into a surf huge enough to douse the fire. The Blue Eagle Gym was safe.

The archers outside roared their disappointment. But they shot again, this time targeting the Erenchun soccer field where some of the Ateneans were camped. Nebres pointed his wand at the arrows raining from the sky and shouted his incantation “Cura personalis” and the thousand arrows turned into bubbles.

The Ateneans cheered. The first two attacks of the LaSallians and the Tomasians have been thwarted.

“You have had your fun, Ateneans.” a voice boomed. “Now it is time to get serious.”

Darkness suddenly enveloped the University. The enemy had sabotaged their electricity. Immediately all the Ateneans took out and flickered their wands, “Lux in Domino” they chanted. Light emanated from all the wands.

The illumination came just in time as suddenly a stampede crushed the fences between Gate 2 and Gate 2.5. The Ateneans have realized the magnitude of their danger: it was not just the LaSallians or even just the Tomasians they were confronting; the other schools were there as well. A thousand green archers were riding the backs of the giant tigers of UST. Charging with them were the giant tamaraws and a hundred warriors whose bodies were painted red war paint. Above, falcons were soaring in the sky.

“YOU FOUL THINGS, noh?” somebody from the Ateneo crowd shouted, charging at the stampede; it was Tessa Rosana “How dare you attack us, noh? You don’t know who you are dealing with, noh? TAKE THIS, noh?” She hit her gong with all her might. A powerful sound wave spread throughout the area knocking a hundred archers and animals out.

“Haha anoh?” she triumphantly yelled.

And so the other Ateneans started counterattacking as well. David Lozada and his 300 Spartans. The ROTC cadets. The mythical creatures of the School of Humanities. Dalandan’s Army.

Ricky Abad and the Department of Sociology soon deployed their Ideology Bombs prompting some of the LaSallians to cheer instead of fighting. They cheered, “strawberry shortcake nananananana.” instead of “Recticano! Recticano”. This allowed some of the Ateneans to easily knock the LaSallians out.

Somewhere near the Covered Courts, Norman Black was briefing his team, “Nonoy. I want you here. Chris, here. Jai, there. Alright? Any questions.”

“Aaaaah! GOD DAMN IT!” a raspy voice screamed. It was Joe Lipa, former coach of the Blue Eagles, who arrived with the contingent from UP. “Just charge! Attack them! Now!” And so they did.

The LaSalle brothers and Francisco of UST were outside, watching the battle, waiting for their turn to strike.

A handful of LaSallians were found trotting back to their base.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?” Francisco yelled.

“You told us to retreat!” the archer said.

“You idiot! That’s just Escaler and Bulatao toying with your minds! Go back! That’s it! I am joining the battle!”

She then stepped forward lifted her two arms and shouted “Tiger Power! Raar! Tiger Power! Raar!” The LaSalle brothers thought she had lost her mind. But then she suddenly transformed into a giant tigress, twice larger and fiercer than the ordinary tigers. Seeing their comrade ready and willing to fight, the LaSallians cheered.

“HOY!” Goldie the Tiger roared “NO CHEERING DURING BATTLE! NO CHEERING!” Then she advanced.

Her first target was Fr. Dacanay who was busy exorcising some of the archers and paralyzing them.

“FATHER! Behind you!”

Quickly, Dacanay whirled and performed his own counterattack “Expellus Inferius” blasting her into the middle of the Erenchun field, knocking her out.

“NOOOOOOOOOO!” The La Salle brothers shouted upon seeing their comrade down. “It is time we even the score.”

The earth began to quake. And out of the night came a gigantic robot. It was DLRT; the LaSallians had transformed and brought the LRT-1 which passed Taft Avenue into a robot.

DLRT was making quick work of the Ateneans and their creatures– crushing the mythical creatures here and there, tossing the trees brought to life by the Department of Environmental Science.

“Let us not lose hope!” Nebres said. “We are after all committed to hope.”

“Now is not the time to talk about GK, Father!” somebody said.

“I am not talking about GK. I am talking about SECtor.”

He pointed his wand the Science Education Complex. The building shook and assembled itself into a robot. SEC A was the head and the torso. SEC B became the left arm and leg and SEC-C became the right.

“Mang Freddie!” Nebres called.

“I am ready, Father!” shouted Freddie the man in charge of Escaler Hall which has now become the control room SECtor.

“Attack, Freddie! One Big Fight.”

DLRT was no match and quickly collapsed under the strength of SECtor.

“Fr Nebres!” Harry Potter appeared. “Two horcruxes have been destroyed!”

“Animo La Salle!” “Animo La Salle!” “Animo La Salle!”

There were screams of terror. The LaSalle brothers had entered the battle. They were using their most dangerous spell: The Animo LaSalle — the Killing Curse!

Finale: The Animo Wand

Ateneans were dropping dead left and right. The Animo La Salle curse was unblockable. Some of the more veteran teachers provided extra defense and protection to the students but most of their efforts were futile.

Dacanay and his Jesuit team however managed to stun a few archers.

Victory however seemed far-fetched. Francisco had been revived from the Stunning Spell by Dacanay. Back in human form, she was battling Jai Reyes, Kirk Long and Chris Tiu at the same time. While the players were certainly skillful, Francisco was able to block all spells launched by the Blue Eagles.

Francisco pointed her wand at Chris Tiu and shouted “Animo La Salle!” But the curse missed him by an inch.

“Not Chris Tiu you BIATCH!” somebody shouted; it was Achoot Cuyegkeng. “Out of my way! Out of my way! FRANCISO’S MINE!”

Francisco laughed. ” You are no match for me! I am the greatest servant of the Dominicans! What’s gonna happen to your Loyola Schools after I kill you?! What’s gonna happen to your Blue Eagles after I kill Chrissy?”

“You will never touch any of our students again!!” Cuyegkeng said.

Francisco laughed. And with her unerring skill as jack-of-all-trades professor Cuygekeng sent a Stunning Curse at her opponent. The curse hit her squarely on the chest, knocking her out once more.

“Enough!” Harry shouted. “Voldemort! Where are you? You have been using the LaSallians and the other schools to come after me. Where are you?”

“I am here, Potter.” a voice hissed. The voice came from Bro. Armin.

“Brother Armin?”

“No! I am Voldemort! Armin is my past, present and future. See?” he wrote the word Armind then with a flicker of his wand the word became Voldemort.

“I don’t get it.” Harry said

“Ako rin!” an Atenean said.

“Ha? Can you make ulit?” another one shouted.

“How did Armin became Voldemort?”

“Bai, nalibog na ko!” A Cebuano Atenean shouted.

“Bah! Never mind! Anyone knows the LaSallians can’t spell. So anyway, I stunned Armin a few days ago and using his name and face I used the school and all the other schools to come and find you!”

“But you are too late. I destroyed all the horcruxes”

“No, Potter. I win. You see, while I was Bro. Armind. I was able to find the long lost and most powerful wand in the entire world– the Animo Wand! And you will be its first victim!”

“Are you kidding me, Tom?” Harry said “Don’t you get it? The wand chooses the school. The Animo wand does not belong to La Salle! It belongs to the Ateneo.”

“No! You are the fool! The LaSallians have been cheering Animo La Salle for such a long time. The LaSallians truly own the wand and since I am a LaSallian for now, I own it. Die Potter die!”

“But you see, Riddle, you did not review University histories. If you did, you would know that the Ateneans used Animo Ateneo first. And they still use it now. There is even a website right now named . The Ateneans have reclaimed Animo Ateneo!”


“So. It comes down to this isn’t it?” Harry whispered “Does your wand know that its original owner still values it? If it does, I AM THE TRUE MASTER OF THE ANIMO WAND!”

Voldemort points his wand at Harry who in turn has prepared for the final duel.

“ANIMO LA SALLE!” Voldemort shouted.

“OH! GET. THAT. WAND!” Harry shouted.

The curse rebounded and hit Voldemort instead of Harry who caught the Animo Wand with his other hand. Cheers from the Ateneans and even some La Sallians, who realized that they were duped were all around.

That morning both Ateneo and La Salle forged a cease fire, a temporary one because the next day was the Ateneo-La Salle basketball championship. Francisco who was revived after hours of being stunned by Dacanay and Cuyegkeng decided to lift the “No Cheering!” rule during time out. However, she still flinches whenever Dacanay (or any Jesuit for that matter) would approach her.

There were however, a group of La Sallians who disagreed with having a cease fire. They believed that the death and defeat of Voldemort was unfair so they decided to file a protest. This was later junked due to lack of merit.

Epilogue. Nineteen years later.

It was the day of the ACET.

Harry Potter was accompanying his son Ben.

“Dad! What if I fail the ACET and end up in DLSU?”

Harry looked at his son and said “Bienvenido Adolfo! You were named after two of the most powerful Jesuits in the country. One of them is a good friend of ours. In fact he was the one who officiated our marriage.”

“But… but… so what if I DO fail the ACET and end up in DLSU?”

Eh di bobo ka talaga! Harry thought. But he didn’t say that. “But we will still love you as our son!” Harry said. “Alright. Your test starts in a few minutes. Make us proud. One Big Fight.”

Blah Blah

27 09 2007

I e-mailed Howie Severino a few days ago after I watched I-Witness on GMA.  His docu, Is Brod Thicker than Water, brought back both fond and sad memories of UP.  The people who were interviewed were people that I know personally.  Jeff, for one, used to be a constant open-house and dorm friend.  I congratulated Howie and his team for another great docu. 

He e-mailed back and told me he read my entry about the frat-related violence in the campus and thanked me for my “brutally honest” comments.  Haha.  I was so embarrassed with myself.  I made a comment about him doing studio jobs every now and then and how he sucked at them.  Hehe.  But as he said, he’d never get tired of being on the road and “out there” and would probably choose that path any day, except that taking on studio jobs would afford him the chance to be with his kid.  Oh well, as I said, it’s a calling and I hope he makes more copies of himself soon because he is of a dying breed. 

Thanks for your time, Howie.  Mabuhay ka rin! And for that, I’ll cheer One Big Fight!

On Singlehood and Aging

27 09 2007

I am 27 years old. 




Happy?  Getting there. 

Getting married?  No. 

Batang Buotan started the whole talk about getting hitched.  Now I’m thinking about the whole getting married rush that somehow resembles that of Christmas shopping. 

It started early the other day (um, noontime in most people’s world), when I remembered that my cousin passed the nursing licensure exam and I haven’t even bothered to congratulate him.  Since we don’t really exchange messages, I texted his mom, who, when I was in college, acted like my other cool mom.  I congratulated her–remember the TV ad that says, “dahil napalaki akong mabuti, dapat daw pong kilalanin kung sinong nanay ko!” sensya nag di sakto. 

Me: Mommy, ngayon lang po ako nakapag-text, sowee.  Congrats po, may nurse na kayo.  One down!  Hehe.

Mommy: Tnx, anak!  Yep, LA made it!  Nw binubuno nman revw NCLEX, hirap dw! Nov nxt yr, owen nman, civ. engg.  Eldest imee grad na?  Sbay kc cla LA ngcolege.

Me: Di pa po.  He transferred po kasi from UP to San Carlos then shifted pa from Bio to ECE, which is a 5-year course.  His younger sis po malamang sa March ga-graduate.  Nurse din po.  Kaya po yan ni LA, I’m sure.

Mommy: Ah ok.  Eh u ok klang? Wen kasal mo? Atend ako! hehehe

Me: La pa rin po akong naloko, mommy, after that stormy stormy 5-year thingie that I got out of.  Besides, I’m holed up in my room 24/7.  Si Mama lang palagi kong kausap.  I don’t go to their room that often eh kaya I don’t get to talk to Papa that much, although nag-gu-goodmorning ako from outside every time I wake up.  Hehe.  Chaka,  would you really recommend getting hitched?  Sus! Manonood na lang ako ng Startalk!  Hehe.

Mommy: Gud choice nt getting hitched just find right partner and loving loving only. Take care, love you.

Didn’t I say she’s cool?  She’s a general’s daughter who has seen a real toro in the 80s together with other St. Paul kolehiyalas.  Hehe.  I super love her. 

Anyways, I have always told my mother, since I was in high school, that I would never get married.  Three weddings happened at in succession sometime between 1992-1995 in the family.  There’s five of us.  Our eldest brother got married a hundred years ago before 1992.  So that leaves moi as the sole single member of the family.  I always tell my mom that I would never get married but live in sin for life. 

But you see, things don’t always go as planned.  People meet people.  Some of the people that we meet become our friends, some even become “more than friends” with us.  And when we get into relationships, we can’t help but think about the future.  My last boyfriend and I were headed there–or so I thought, no, that’s what he made me think even when we were first starting to profess love for each other (yuck!).  Five years and a few more months after, I finally realized that we were never going anywhere and the relationship was built on very weak foundations–fights, sex, alcohol and utter immorality.  I’m not a prude but my sensibilities do get offended every now and then.  And so I let go.  Well, I planned to.  I never realized that letting go of something that you have nurtured and gotten used to for half a decade is so hard.  They said that it takes at least two months for each year that you’re in a relationship to get over it when it’s over.  That gives me four more months.

It was not the wedding that I looked forward to, although I’d be lying if I’d say that I didn’t want to walk down the aisle in a fabulous white (or cream-colored) gown with a very long train.  But most importantly, I looked forward to “settling down” with my partner in a place that “we” own, and to buying things together, and perhaps starting a family together.  Gretchen Barreto said, “What she had was a wedding, but what I have with Tony is a marriage” in response to Lani Mercado‘s wish for her to “have a marriage” with Tonyboy Conjuangco in the height of their word war early this year.  The ceremony is not THAT important indeed.  While I’m not really for La Greta that time, I understood her. 

So there.  I’m not in a hurry and my relatives know better than to ask me about whos and whens.  My mom kids me about it but I never felt it was ever necessary to catch the train.  I can always walk, or wait for the next lifetime.  Even if it’ll take me over 10 years to get over my life-draining breakup, I’ll go through that.  And if somebody else comes along, and when I’m ready for a new relationship, I’ll make it sweeter the next time.  But never will I rush into getting married.  Annulment in this country is very expensive and if divorce gets adopted into the Family Law, I would not want to go through the ordeals of courtroom drama. 

One thing’s for sure, I will never get wed for the wrong reasons–financial, emotional, psychological, social, moral.  I will get married when I feel that I am ready–financially, emotionally, psychologically, socially, morally.  As a woman, I remember what Uma Thurman said in Oprah, when she talked about her painful separation with Ethan Hawke.  She said that women must be financially stable and independent because the hardest part about being in a relationship is when you can’t let go because you won’t know if you’ll be able to support yourself.  Much as I’d love to marry MONEY, I don’t want to be left wanting when it’s all gone and washed away. 

But well, as my aunt pointed out, I’ll just find the right partner and loving loving only!

Ang Kabayo–The Sequel

27 09 2007

I remember one story that my mother (and my father, and my sisters, and my brothers) told me about a Boy Scout camping-related incident that happened sometime in the late 60s. 

You see, my siblings are lucky because they went to school together, with only 2-3-year intervals between them.  Not only did they have one another then, they also had tons of our relatives so you can just imagine all the fun that they all had. I was born a million years after everybody left grade school.  

So one time, my eldest brother finally broke into the initial stages of getting into the world of men–as a cub scout.  He belonged to the same troop as one of our cousins.  One of the highlights of getting into “scouting” was going camping.  They excitedly went about with the preparations and one of those involved creating a troop flag.  My dad is the best go-to guy for logistics but when you need art, he’s awfully useless, so they went to the next “man”–my uncle.  He was my mom’s cousin and he could draw very well. 

For some reason, fathers get really excited when their sons get into the Boy Scouts.  I’m not very sure of this but in our town, it’s like a rite of passage.  My mom used to be really active in the local chapter of the Girl Scouts in our town when I was a kid.  She’d told me hilarious stories of the crazy things that they did over overnight camping and whatnots.  She was around 50 when she stopped going to GSP meetings. My other older sister, Nang Maya, had her share of GSP stories.  My other sister, Goyen, (we have a 12-year gap between us) was a multi-awarded girl scout in grade school.  She had that sash that was full of badges.  She’s the only one in the family that has that.  And it was really complete.  I remember looking at her picture when I was a kid and wishing that I’d be like her too.  The dream ended when I couldn’t even catch up with my groupmates when they’d run really fast after they filled their bottles with water when we were asked to fetch some.  I suck at outdoor activities big time, save perhaps for flirting.  LOL.

Going back to the story, my uncle was very excited for his son.  So he bought a new white sack–the one that is used for rice, not the kind that they use for flour–and a black permanent marker.  This happened in the late 60s, ok?  The son, my cousin, asked his dad, “Pa, drowingi mig kabayo, kanang nawng sa kabayo gyud. [Pa, draw us a horse, the face of the horse.]”

And so my uncle did so.  It was as if some surge of energy enveloped him and he happily drew a beautiful portrait of a horse’s face.  it was complete with the mane and all the other details.  When he was all finished with it, he gave the sack to his son.

My cousin said, “Pa, suwati dayon sa ubos ug Goat Patrol.  Kanang dagko tanan. [Pa, write Goat Patrol right below it. In capital letters.]”

Ever Wondered What Ignited the GMA and ABS-CBN Network War?

25 09 2007

I can’t help it.  The first time I read this, I got hooked.  Hehehehe.  But it has gotten toooooo long and the suspense with PEx members adding one chapter after another to the saga got the better of me so I sort of forgot about it until I found the file that I saved while trying to sort my folders.  Looked the whole thing up in Google and found it so happy na ko.  Let me share with you the Prelude and the first two chapters!  Hehehehe.  The rest can be found here.

Prelude: Hairbrush ni Korina Natagpuan, Tita Mel Nakipagharbatan

Ito ang sequel sa pinakaunang PEXeryeng pinamagatang “Hairbrush ni Korina Nawawala, Tita Mel Tuwang-tuwa” kung saan natunghayan kung paano ba nagsimula ang away nila Tita Mel at Korina.

Noong kasagsagan ng TV Patrol kung saan lead anchors pa sila Noli De Castro, Mel Tiangco, Angelique Laso, at Ka Kiko Evanglista, si Korina ay isa pa lamang hamak na estudyante ni Tita Mel. Paminsan-minsan ay inuutusan niya itong gumawa ng kape para mainitan ang kanyang sikmura.

Lumipas ang mga araw at napansin ni Mel na parang gumaganda na ang takbo ng career ni Korina at napansin din niya na gumagaling na ito sa larangan ng newscasting.Minsan ay sinilip nito si Korina sa kanyang dressing room at nakita nito si Korina na kausap si Loren Legarda at ipinagmamalaki ang hairbrush.

Korina: Look, Loren. Ito ang hairbrush na nagpapaganda sa aking buhok gamit ang aking spraynet. Hay, at ito ang sikreto ng aking gumagandang career!
Loren: How nice, iha, sige ituloy mo iyan at for sure ilalagay ka rin sa TV Patrol.

Agad napalunok si Mel at inisip nito na kailangan niyang makuha ang hairbrush. Nagwagi si Mel na makuha ang hairbrush at dahil dito ay nanlumo si Korina. May nakapag-tip naman kay Korina sa kung sino ang may hawak ng hairbrush niya sa katauhan ni Jay Sonza na napagsabihan ni Mel ng kanyang sikreto.Naikwento ni Korina ang mga nangyari kay Loren.

Isang araw, nais ni Loren na gumanti kay Mel para sa kaibigang si Korina. Muntik na ma-late sa TV Patrol si Mel mula sa shooting ng kanyang Tide commercial kaya nagmamadali nitong tinawag si Korina upang magpatimpla ng kape.Nang malingat si Korina ay nag-spray ng spraynet ni Korina si Loren sa kape na itinimpla kay Mel. Nang inumin na ito ni Mel ay agad sumakit ang tiyan nito.Ilang minuto na lang at eere na ang TV Patrol at kinakatok na ng ilang staff si Mel sa banyo ngunit hindi ito makalabas dahil sa sumama ang kanyang tiyan.

Loren: Excuse me, si Korina ay prepared at pwede munang siya ang ihalili kay Mel habang nasa CR pa ito. Besides, isusuplong ko pa sa execs na gumawa ng Tide commercial itong si Mel at bawal iyon.

Kaya si Korina ang isinalang noong gabing iyon sa TV Patrol at nagustuhan ng taong bayan ang feedback. Naospital si Mel at nagngingitngit ito dahil na-suspend siya at hindi nya alam kung sino ang nagsumbong tungkol sa Tide commercial. Lumipat siya sa kalabang istasyon.

At doon nagsimula ang harbatan ng hairbrush na tinutukan ng buong PExers.

***At ngayon, na napasakamay na ni Korina ang kanyang hairbrush, alamin ang mga bagong kabanata sa kanyang buhay at kung paano muling haharbatin ni Mel ang hairbrush na pinagsimulan ng lahat, pati na rin ng mainit na TV NETWORK WAR.***

Season 1 Chapter 1: Simula Ulit ng Harbatan

Kasalukuyang nagpapahinga si Korina matapos niyang gawin ang kanyang mga segments sa Rated K. Nag-ring ang kanyang cellphone at sinagot niya agad dahil ang tumatawag ay ang kanyang bestfriend Kris Aquino.

Korina: Oh, hi Kris!

Kris: Naku ha may nabasa na naman akong negative write up sa iyo! Na-blind item ka mare!

Korina: Ows, talaga? Well for sure halata na namang ako noh? O talagang number 1 chikadora ka lang at alam mo agad na ako nga iyon?

Kris: Well, mataray daw!

Korina: Oy ha grabe di lang ako ang mataray!

Kris: Korek! Alam mo naman andyan pa ang bitter mong lola di ba?

Korina: Ano ka ba magbigay-galang sa matanda ha!?

Kris: Uhm, anyway, kamusta naman ang hairbrush mo with diamond sprinkles all over? Ok naman ba?

Korina: Well, heto at guess what!? Hawak hawak ko siya ngayon! Hay, parang ayaw ko nang bitawan pa ang hairbrush kong ito dahil baka maagaw na naman!

Kris: Well ganyang talaga!

Hindi nila alam ay naka-tap pala ang tawag na iyon. Sa office ni Tita Mel ay enjoy na enjoy ito sa pakikinig sa phone conversation nila Kris at Korina.

Mel: Hum! Akala mo lang! Di magtatagal ay mapapasaakin na muli ang hairbrush na iyan! Akala mo! Grrr! Nakakainis talaga!

Bumukas ang pinto ni Mel at pumasok ang partner niyang si Mike. Agad pinatay ni Mel ang speakerphone para hindi malaman ni Mike ang kanyang ginagawa.

Mike: Ano ang ginagawa mo diyan? Mukhang may ginagawa ka na namang hindi maganda? Tandaan mo, hindi kita tatantanan!!!

Mel: Ano ka ba naman partner, ako ang iyong Kapusong totoo.

Mike: Ok, at sana naman wag mo nang asamin na maharbat ang hairbrush na iyon. Una sa lahat, wala na si Korina sa TV Patrol kaya hindi na kayo magkatapat.

Mel: Ano ka!? Hindi pwede! Naiinggit ako sa hairdo ni Korina at ako lang ang may karapatang mabigyan ng magandang hairdo! At ang hairbrush lang na iyon ang makapagbibigay ng kasiyahan sa akin!

Mike: Ok bahala ka. Aalis na muna ako at may iimbistigahan lang sandali.

Sa bahay ni Korina, nagulat siya nang may mag-doorbell sa kanyang gate. Hawak, ang kanyang hairbrush, lumabas siya ng bahay at nalaman niya na ang bisita niya ay si Jessica Soho.

Korina: At ano ang ginagawa mo dito?

Jessica: Ano pa ba!? Uhm!

Agad kinuha ni Jessica ang hairbrush at tumakbo ito papalayo.


Nang nasa may kanto na si Jessica ay dumating ang isang taxi na minamaneho ng isa ring medyo katabaang tao – si Arnold.

Korina: Humanda kayo!!! Palibhasa hindi nyo ako kinabog sa pagtulong ninyo sa dati kong katulong!!! Huhuhuhu

Walang nagawa si Korina kundi ang manlumpasay sa kanyang gate. Samantala, dumating si Ted Failon upang sana ay bisitahin si Korina.

Ted: Korina? Ok ka lang ba? May kasama nga pala ako na gustong makipag-usap sa iyo. At susunod din pala dito si Julius at isa pang panauhin.

Korina: Wala ako sa mood ngayon. Ted, nawala muli ang aking hairbrush!!! Alam mo na ang hairbrush na iyon ang aking buhay!

Ted: Korina, ano ka ba? Enjoy your blessings!

Korina: Marami na akong pinagdaanan sa hairbrush na iyon. Naging sirena ako, naging superhero, nakilala ko ang future na anak namin ni Mar na si Marina (Mar + Korina), at kung anu ano pa. Di ako pwedeng mag-give up.

Ted: Ok sige pero bago iyan kasama ko dito si Karen Davila. Nais niyang magkausap kayo. Pinilit niyang isama ko siya dito.

Tinawag ni Ted si Karen.

Karen: Hi, Korina. Alam mo I felt bad talaga sa nangyari ngayon. And I would also like to say sorry for all the pain I have caused in the past.

Korina: K-ka-karen…

Niyakap ni Korina si Karen at napaiyak ito. Gayun din si Karen. Di niya inaasahan na yayakapin siya ni Korina. Maya-maya ay bumusina na si Julius at nagulat si Korina dahil kasama nito Charo Santos-Concio sa sasakyan.

Charo: Hi Korina! It’s a pleasure na ako ang magsasabi sa iyo ng sorpresang ito. Good thing andito na si Ted at kasama pa si Karen.

Ano ang sorpresang iyon ni Charo kay Korina at kasama na sila Ted, Julius, at Karen?

Chapter 2 – Son of a Gun, Smells like the Sun

Pumasok sa bahay ni Korina sina Julius, Ted at Karen kasama si Ms. Charo. Bagamat lungkot na lungkot si Korina ay naramdaman niyang isang magandang balita ang dala ni Charo.

Charo: Well, Korina, let me get straight to the point. I want you to come back to TV Patrol.

Korina: Wait, sure na ba kayo?

Ted: We would always love to have you back.

Karen: And I will humbly step aside kung mamarapatin mong bumalik sa iyong program.

Korina: No, Karen, alam mo namang love na kita ngayon. Ilalagay kita sa Star Patrol o kaya sa Ronda Probinsiya ok lang ba?

Karen: Hay naku kahit sa Kwento ni Marc Logan pa!

Julius: Ok ah. Oo nga pala, Ma’m Charo, kailan babalik si Korina?

Charo: Well, effective tonight. Ok? O sige may meeting pa kami sa office. I just wanted to tell Korina personally ang balak ng management. O be ready ha. Bye.

Umalis na si Charo, at sumabay na dito si Karen at Julius. Naiwan ang close friend ni Korina na si Ted.

Ted: Buti naman at ok na kayo ni Karen.

Korina: Wala yun.

Alas-5 ng hapon at naghahanda na ang lahat para sa kanilang newscast. Sa set ng 24 Oras ay nagulat si Mel dahil nakita niya si Jessica at Arnold sa likod ng cameraman.

Jessica: Hi bestfriend Carmel Tiangco! May surprise kami ni Arnold sa iyo!

Arnold: Tama, kung hindi man namin natalo si Korina thru her katulong, heto at ibinibigay namin sa iyo ang kanyang hairbrush!

Mel: Ahhh yan nga ang hairbrush na iyon! Tandang-tanda ko ang diamond sprinkles all over na iyan na kahit nasa dilim ay makikita mo ang hairbrush!!! Thank you talaga!!!

Arnold: Ooops, di yan ganun kadaling makuha. Syempre we need you to do us a favor.

Mel: Ano yun?

Arnold: Gusto naming mag-leave kayo ni Joey sa program ninyong Mel and Joey. Gusto naming mag-take over sa program at palitan ang title na Partners Jessica and Arnold. Ok?

Mel: Hah!?

Arnold: Ok so amin muna itong hairbrush.


Isang sigaw ang narinig mula sa sulok ng set. Si Pia Guanio ito.

Pia: Well nasa inyo na naman pala ang hairbrush na iyan. Arnold, ibigay mo sa akin yan.

Arnold: Pero…

Pia: Kapag hindi ninyo ibinigay sa akin yan, negative exposure ang ibibigay ko sa inyo sa Chika Minute! At blind item ang aabutin ninyo sa Chona Chikadora this Sunday! O ano?!

Walang nagawa si Arnold kundi ibigay ang hairbrush kay Pia.

Pia: Hahahaha! Ako na ngayon ang may magandang career! Well, tita Mel, ibibigay ko sa iyo ito KUNG ako ang magiging lead anchor with Mike tonight at ikaw ang sa Chika Minute. Ngayong gabi lang naman e. Game?

Mel: Oo, sige, para sa hairbrush na ito gagawin ko! Sige akin na ang script mo para mapag-aralan ko na ang mga chika natin tonight.

Pia: Oops, tita Mel may live spiel ka ngayon around 5:40pm ha para teaser mamaya ok? Prepare ka na. I will read muna the headlines sa aking dressing room ok?

Mel: Akin na ang hairbrush!

Pia: Well, hindi pwede. Mamaya na.

Samantala, sa ABSCBN compound naman ay abala si Korina dahil hindi pa pala natuyo ang kanyang gagamiting dress Kinakausap ni Korina ang kanyang katulong.

Korina: Ano ka ba naman? Bakit dito mo kasi pinapatuyo ang damit ko sa loob e di mabaho yan pag hindi naarawan!

Isang matanda ang pumasok sa dressing room ni Korina.

Lola: Ano ka ba, kahit di maarawan, amoy pinatuyo yan sa araw!

Korina: Talaga? Sige nga.

Inamoy ng matanda ang damit at sabay sabing,

Lola: Son of a gun, smells like the sun! Ganyang ang labang Surf!

Korina: Ah ok lola tama na po ang advertisement. The last time nagkaroon ng soap endorsement ang isang kilalang TV personality na sikat noon eh natanggal siya sa network na ito.

At sumalang na sila Korina, Ted, at Julius sa TV Patrol World kasama si Karen sa Star Patrol. At sa kabila naman ay sila Mike at Pia sa 24 Oras kasama si Mel sa Chika Minute.

Sino ang aariba sa ratings? Sino ang mas magaling sa showbiz segment? Si Karen Davila sa Star Patrol? O si Mel Tiangco sa Chika Minute? Abangan!

Bitin ba?  Hehe. The rest can be found in this blog or in this Pinoy Exchange thread.

Ang Kabayo, Bow.

24 09 2007

Bloghopping afforded me a good laugh after reading 80s Fevah by one pretty girl.  Hehe.  I remember one time (at bandcamp!) when one of my friends came home from one of her “rounds” fuming mad.  Hehehe. 

You see, my friend’s a vet and she used to work for one of the biggest feed mill in Cebu as a technical sales agent.  So in one of her visits to a prospect’s farm, she offered their products to the owner.  The man said, “Unya na lang, day, kay wa pa man akong kabayo. [Later.  Because my horse isn’t here yet]” 

My friend, a Chavacana, speaks fluent Cebuano but there’s a certain limit to your grasp of the wit and funny juices of the language if you’re not a native speaker.  Having come from a true-blue bisdak family, I was already laughing at this point. 

So she went on with her story.

She wondered what the kabayo had to do with it when she was specifically offering hog feeds and meds.  Thinking that the old man just misunderstood her, she went on to tell him the merits of their products and all that. 

Then the man said, “Di gyud ko kadesidir dayon anang mga butanga day kay nangompra pa man gud akong kabayo.  Tua pas merkado. [I really can’t decide on those things right now because my horse is still in the market, buying stuff.]”  At this point, I could no longer contain my laughter. 

All the more confused (yep, she can be really slow when it comes to Cebuano jokes, even the blatantly obvious ones, smart as she is), she asked, “Nangompra imong kabayo, Nong?  Unsa man diay na imong kabayo? [Your horse went out to buy things, sir?  What kind of horse do you have?]”

The man broke into what can only be described as a guffaw and told her straight in the face, “Ay, kabayo gud, akong asawa ba!  Para unsa man diay nang asawa, di ba para kabay-an? [Oh, horse: my wife!  What are wives for?  They’re for “horseback riding”, aren’t they?]”

As I said in my comment in 80s Fevah, I know that not all old men from the glorious past are male chauvenists.  They just have a way with words, Cebuano words.  My lolo, when he was still alive, punctuated his impassioned exchanges with his friends outside their rice mill in Molave with phrases like otin sa kabayo (horse’s penis), bilat s’yang nanay (the other person’s mom’s vagina) and some Spanish curses.  My father curses really bad too.  One thing about Cebuanos in Mindanao though, when we curse, it’s because we’re really outraged at something.  For those who are native Cebuanos–those who hail from and are in Cebu–they can mix cuss words with normal, toned-down conversations, the way Manileños say putcha or the original phrase itself, without meaning anything harsh, unless their tone changes. 

This is one of the reasons why I love my language and why it has been elevated to the level of language instead of just that of a dialect by some linguists.  And I’m proud that my father used to be active in LUDABI.  I’m not really sure if the group still exists but I wish a not-so-elitist Cebuano-speaking group would surface.  I mean, I know groups that read and write Cebuano poetry and host sessions that usually lead to serious gastronomic indulgence but sometimes, they tend to give me the impression of haughtiness–yeah, I’m a great Cebuano artist, now, who are you?  I’m sure it’s just my impression but still…

Going back to the horse, my landlady’s almost90something dad came home from the US, and saw one of our former housemates chatting with a foreigner using the common computer in the main house’s living room.  He then asked, “Unya, day, magminyo sad mo ana?  Ganahan na ka mahimong kabayo? [So, are you getting married with that? You want to become a horse?]”

My landlady, who was just a few inches away, almost fell off her chair.  Red-faced she said, Papa oi!

Albeit a joke, it will never be an acceptable term for wives nowadays.  Yeah, the men then didn’t really mean anything seriously wrong with the connotation but it’s also sad.  They only know of one position.  LOL.

So that, my friends is my story of the horse.  Bow.