Sunday, February 28, 2010


And so I close the month of February rekindling ancient bonds with a straight past.

Napagdesisyunan ko ang dumalaw kina ex-girlfriend kanina matapos ang trabaho. Matagal na namin balak magkita. Hindi lang magtugma ang aming oras. Subalit dahil usapan na ang meet-up noong isang linggo, at dahil medyo malungkot si ex matapos mag-resign sa trabaho, naisip kong bumisita at i-console ang matalik kong kaibigan.

Bitbit ang isang itlog, dumating ako sa kanilang bahay tiyempong palubog ang araw. Tahimik ang paligid. Ang simoy ng hangin ay pinagsamang sinusunog na mga dahon at singaw galing bundok. Nagpabili siya ng itlog para sa cookies na aming meryenda. Ganun naman madalas, naghahanda siya ng espesyal na pagkain tuwing ako ay bumibisita. Sabi niya, ako lang daw kasi ang may tiyagang kumain ng mga ginagawa niya.

Masarap ang oatmeal cookies, lalo na kung may kasama itong Apple Fillings na ginawa naman ng kanyang nanay. Sa dinner table kung saan ang aming tambayan - kahit nung kami pa - dun kami nag-catch up sa aming mga buhay-buhay. Isang dekada na ang lumipas, ngunit ang openness namin sa isa't isa ay hindi pa rin nagbabago.

Nagpaalam ako kay ex-girlfriend pasado alas-sais. Magpapasama sana akong magsimba subalit walang kasama ang kanyang nanay kaya't hindi ito makalabas ng bahay. Nagpabaon siya ng prayer book at dilaw na rosaryo para sa aking ina. Nagbigay rin ng banal na libro ang kanyang mama at sinabing basahin ko raw ito. Bago umalis ay ginawan ko siya ng fitness program dahil balak daw niyang ang mag-gym. Matapos ang picture taking, hinatid niya ako sa may gate ng kanilang bahay. Isang mahigpit na yakap ang sinukli ko sa mga magagandang alaala bago maglakad papalayo sa kanyang kinatatayuan.

While culling the memory of the ex-boyfriend to let it remain a bad dream.

Nakatulog ako pagdating sa bahay.

Hindi ko man matandaan ang mga detalye, alam kong ang aking panaginip ay nakasentro kay ex boyfriend. Gaya ng mga sinaunang bangungot tungkol sa kanya, para siyang isang multong pilit nakikipagbalikan sa akin.

Ako naman ang layo ng layo. Tila takot na takot na para bang ayaw lumapit sa nakaraan. Umiiwas akong kami ay magkausap - gaya ng ginagawa ko sa totoong buhay.

Meanwhile, the arrival of a new guy on the eve of the new month may tip the balance between the past and the present. Learning the lessons of online attraction, I don't hope for the flowers.

"Busy ka siguro.
Sleep na 'ko.
Alam mo, interesado ako sa iyo.
Goodnight, J!"

A Front Act

Behind the facade

is another face

that might be another mask.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Remembering Yaiba

Never to be mistaken as a lesser clone of Son Goku, this pre-pubescent kid knows how to wield the sword of the Thunder God. Born and raised in the jungle, Yaiba was sent to the city to study new techniques in sword fighting from his mentor Musashi. The first antagonist, Takeshi, is a former schoolmate of the heroine Sayaka. She is related by blood to Musashi. One day, Yaiba challenged Takeshi to a duel after the former bullied him in school. Takeshi was defeated. Determined to avenge his honor, he gets possesion of the Devil Wind sword which is a family heirloom. With powers rivaling those of Yaiba's, their second battle ends in a stalemate. Both swords get broken. I cannot recall exactly why other orbs were needed to power Yaiba's sword during the second arc. What I remember are the funny enemies bringing comic relief to the rest of the series.

I was in second year high school when Yaiba was aired on television. It was on ABC-5 and my mom's student knew one of its Filipino dubbers. I wanted an autograph and my mom's student volunteered to hand over the paper to the person behind the voice of Sayaka. But it was forgotten shortly after a semester has gone.

I have lots of memories of Yaiba that I consider it one of my unforgettable classics. From the humor it brings; (the enemies were clumsier and dumber than the no-care-in-the-world allies of the main character) the spoofs and cultural references about Japan; (television sets were branded Ony instead of Sony; tea ceremony performed by the antagonists themselves) and the pleasant, often dysfunctional characters who mostly sided with Yaiba at the end of the series (where would you find an anime where the final antagonist is a pretty female dressed in a playboy bunny costume and leads an army of anthropomorphic bunnies wearing sharp suits and dark sunglasses) was worth every weekend afternoon stuck at home.

There are many things to rekindle (not to mention the friendships I have forged among the kids who watched this anime) that I'd search every DVD store in Quiapo just to find a boot copy.

Sadly, none is available.

So while waiting for a miracle to happen, what I can cherish for now is an opening song clip which, fans like me might still remember from a generation long ago.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Art Of War

On second thought, I'm just prude. Because I know, to strike is easier nowadays.

Twitter Entry
February 25, 2010

The boylet stood just outside the door as if waiting for someone. His eyes scanned his surroundings, as if he's searching for his night's prey. The air outside was warm and humid. The corner of Orosa and Nakpil was a little less chatty. The emptiness of the surroundings; the biting chill inside the bar; friends huddling together to celebrate a good night; they all made me feel more of an outsider than I used to.

Our eyes first met when I was about to pay the bar fine. He was looking at me. I could see it in my side vision. It was Thursday and only few people go to Malate on such a lazy night. He was eyeing me perhaps, because of the lack of interesting guys to seduce. Pardon the choosiness, but I don't see anyone either - except him. He may look plump at the midsection and facial lines show due to his age, but still, he's worth the catch. He's my target should I fail to find someone better before the night ends.

The game begins. We stood next to each other at the edge of the dance floor, but separated by a comfortable distance to respect each other's space. He stared at me, smiling. I stared back, nodding, as a show of accommodation. A drinking toast gave way to small talks and soon, details about him began to trickle as our skin brushed against one another.

The guy looks like one of my gym instructors. In Eclipse Gym, they hire good-looking coaches for reasons unknown to me. He is fair-skinned but sports rugged features that make him look barumbado to be tagged as fairy. He speaks in a low voice and if not for his Red jeans, white shoes and white collared shirt, nobody would ever think he's one of us.

I learned that he's waiting for a friend who never showed up. He was on his seventeenth bottle and was beer binging since 8 in the evening. It was already past one when we met so he must have been used to drinking to remain sober that long. Asking for his age, I freaked out to learn that he was far far older than what I assumed. Impressions tell that he was in his early thirties, but guess what, he was already 49. He must be gifted with good genes to look so young - that those who chase daddies wouldn't find him a catch.

I wasn't up for a party when I decided to head to Malate. Aside from money concerns, it was never a habit to go out on a weekday night. Forced to go back to the office to do some extended work, I questioned my decision to box myself when I deserve some break like meeting boys or go partying.

Inside the club all I did was to observe, and drink, and watch my potential prey bust some moves, which are, all but hopeless. There was hesitation on his part; unassured of his dance steps. I also noticed that despite our growing closeness, he dislikes being touchy. His eyes still scanned his surroundings.

This trading glances he did, despite my presence would cost him some awkwardness that night and a royal humiliation of an intruder who confidently thought my possession was his. As I recall, it started with a bottle toast. The guy who looks like Maurice Arcache (for those of you who lived through his time) found him hot and became touchy. I was there behind them and with my elbow leaning over my boylet's shoulders, I was subtly telling Maurice to back off. He just ignored my presence. The Maurice look-alike then - with his big bulge of a tummy and a receding hairline that was too shiny to look at - wrapped his arms around my boylet's torso. It was rudeness beyond comprehension, and if not for the thought my partner might prefer older effeminates to a young, masculine hunk like me, I would punch Maurice's face and make a scene inside O-Bar.

But of course, I wouldn't do such a thing. Aside from no competition, I am too proud to beg for some other guy's attention when I can get another guy myself.

So I slowly retreated and allowed Maurice to take my place. Realizing that he prevailed, he made sure I'd see how he tried to make a public display of affection which kinda didn't bother me at all. The boylet was obviously annoyed (I tried kissing him inside the bathroom earlier. he evaded my lips after getting a green light when he squeezed the junior inside my pants)

The night wore on, and Maurice tried everything in his sleeve to stir a response from the boylet. The boylet merely brushed off his moves. In desperation, Maurice held his hand, leaned his head on his shoulders, locked his arms around the boylet's elbow, massage his back while a drag show was taking place on the ledge. I was there watching them, while deviously plotting to reclaim my possession.

Perhaps, out of sheer annoyance at how Maurice took advantage of his kindness, the boylet excused himself to the bathroom. I knew the intruder would follow and since the boylet was hinting me not to abandon him, I went to the bathroom as well only to guard the door where he took a leak. Maurice did follow and since I was already there, with my hawkish gaze striking him, he had no choice but to wait in the dance floor.

The boylet and I returned to the spot we left behind. Confident that I have regained my partner, I busted some killer moves to nail my target. Bending my knees, arching my body to dangerous angles that made my tummy disappear and swerving my hips and shoulders in an erotic turns which alighted my partner, he went closer to make sure nobody comes between us. I was short of taking off my shirt to expose whatever cuts and muscles I posses just to shame Maurice for


to a challenge. But I am already short of winning. In a desperate attempt to win back my boylet, Maurice tried to be touchy with both of us. I brushed him off. Coldly, while the partner tried to deflect Maurice's attention by putting his hand over my chest.

I evaded it.

Leaving the dance floor to take my last cigarette break, I let Maurice take-over to see if he can still win back my partner. Upon returning, I saw him trying to kiss him but he merely pushed him away. Finding me standing standing in front must probably the best relief he had. For the first time that night, he took my hand and pulled me close sidestepping Maurice once and for all.

"Akala ko iniwan mo na ako."

"Siyempre hindi, I'd stick with you until you need me pare."

Maurice was still there, now this time, his focus was on me. I was annoyed of course, but life taught me to be humble towards the defeated ones. In a sense, I felt sympathy for Maurice. His persistence, despite the obvious odds moved me. I would never do such a thing - even in my most drunken state. I held my partner close, the fingers of our hands interlocking tightly. Exhausted, he wrapped his arms around my waist while hugging him tight.

"Pag tanda ko, ayaw kong maging katulad niya..." The partner smiled at my remark, and leaned his face against mine.

We never kissed, like the others I once won over but at that moment, I learned how it pays to be a little more patient, and in control despite being challenged by someone who tries to make it look they appear superior to you.

"I have to go."

"Tara hatid na kita sa sakayan," I suggested.

Maurice trailed behind, while his friends locked their eyes on the three of us, probably, feeling sorry too for their friend who lost the bidding. But in a place where looks and attitude and pretentiousness matter most, I think the cruelty has numbed some people's sensibilities and made them think that every guy they like, is but a sex object. Maurice could just gape and feel jealous, but probably, he would forget everything the next time he finds himself drunk inside the club.

But for me who saw how the bitter seduction war among PLU's was waged and won over with absolutely more bounty for my own self-esteem, Maurice is someone I would remember for a long time.


So I was taken home and had sex. Despite the boylet's earlier suggestions that he never kisses, he had to play by my rules and do what I want. To describe in details how the one night stand was performed would be too disrespectful to the host. The only thing I could reveal is that Serendra Boy still holds the key and I am on my second month since the last insertion and probably the boylet wouldn't remember a thing about our encounter after he slept shortly upon reaching orgasm.

Which left me to do my thing alone.

His number is bound for deletion on my phone book.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Flash Drive

The week began by buying Korean Red Ginseng extract for my mom. She has this lump on her neck, which disappears after nipping small amounts of the thick, gooey substance for a week. So far, the alternative medicine hasn't failed yet so we continue to patronize the product. I pick up the small bottle from Dr. Lizada at her clinic in Santa Cruz. The bottle, fittingly snugged inside a wooden box costs a fortune. We get a big discount though. A discount worth of awkward moments specially when there are other customers around. We get the privilege however; the family has been a customer even before her product appeared in the market.

Next stop were the medical supplies stores in Bambang. Someone told me a bed pan is needed at home. The original plan was to check only the prices, but when I consulted my contact and she reaffirmed the urgency of having a portable toilet, I immediately bought the enamel variety for less than P500. It wasn't as pricey as the stainless steel or as cheap as the plastic ones which cost less than a hundred. The person who would use it deserve some luxury my money could afford.

The two things I bought immediately slashed my salary in half. Pity. I don't complain though. The thought of buying these things for loved ones already justified the sacrifice. Now I understand the reason for not buying the original Sims 3 expansion pack last week. Gut feeling was telling me to hold on to my cash reserves for the big spending happening this week. The money I saved was enough to buy some nuts and bolts for the broken toilet seat in my mom's bathroom. Sadly, I've learned that more spending was required after the car showed signs of break down halfway before weekend. We could not afford having no means of mobility - which is very essential for my polio-stricken mother.

Despite the shock - of having to use - my secret stash of cash, the engine overhaul began in earnest. The repairs and the succeeding test drive took an entire day to finish. I arrived home not seeing the aging car parked in the driveway for the first time this week. There was a lingering emptiness in the air. I guess despite the denial, it was a little difficult to accept that my savings dipped again.

The driver showed me the car parts that were replaced and told me how much the overhaul exactly costs. The staggering amount weakened my knees. I thought of shouldering the expenses alone but I failed. Lumbering to see the car for myself after dozing off hours before, I didn't bother asking the lesbian to start the engine. Her impressions were enough. Returning inside the house, I spoke of my wish of getting more time before another imminent breakdown occurs. In this time of belt tightening, I could no longer afford to indulge in unplanned spending like the one we did for the family vehicle.

Just outside my room lies a newspaper clip showing an advertisement for a broadband wireless Internet service. To get myself a postpaid service would be defying the rule of spending within means. I brushed off the lingering temptation after catching a glimpse of the cable and credit card bills pinned on the cork board beside me. What piqued my curiosity though was the sleek white object used for storing data; a device I denied myself of possessing for reasons only stupidity could tell. Yet, for the first time in recent memory; after gaining an upper hand over decisions which draw the line between personal satisfaction and the need for selfless giving, staring at the flash drive gave a sigh of longing I never felt in years.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is the first time I'll be posting in my blog. Phew, it was a very long time since I did this journal thing. Maybe its time to move on... everybody's doing it so why can't I?

I can't remember who said it but when a friend posted at the Yahoo Groups that my friends would get bored posting their thoughts at the online message board, a sudden bite of reality caught me. Everybody's migrating already and I guess it's also time for me to go. No matter what assurance I get from them, I think that the exodus bound to happen. I dunno but the migration thing really got me.

I was quite shocked with what happened to Henry lately. I never thought his buddy would play tricks behind his back. Sabagay, in this kind of life, those things are most likely to happen. The thing is, no matter how I deny it, there's something in me that's kinda worried with what his bud has done to him. Parang naiisip ko what if my bud did those things to me. Shempre, I would become helpless. Kahit ilang beses ko sabihin na I will move on and return to being a fucker mode, it would definitely destroy everything that I've built for the past 10 months. Sana totoo ngang seryoso ang bud ko sa akin. I'm already looking forward in sharing a future with him and I hope he'll never fuck the chance to enjoy a life with me.

Anyway that's all for now. I have to prepare for the contingent this evening. Maybe I'll post back again proximus. It's nice to see you back.


I've just learned how to manipulate my blogger. hehehe. The guys wouldn't notice it but I've just linked their blogs into my journal. Maybe blogging isn't so bad after all. Now I understand why James became so addicted to it after he discovered this wonderful site.

Makaligo na nga, I've been stuck in this chair all day.

Colony Ship Landing
February 24, 2004

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


It has always been the habit before leaving the office building: Pulling the iPod out of the backpack, the ear phones get inserted in my ears. Fingers then run across the shuffle button, as the mind decides what genre to play before drifting in the streets. The office is two blocks away from the main road. It gets tiresome out there, specially when walking in the afternoon. Choosing what track to listen maybe the only thing that separates exhaustion from euphoria. I cannot cover vast distances without hearing any song.

These past few days, a new pattern emerges. There is a different road going to the gym, which I also get to trek from work. I play house music going there because the hike uphill serves as my cardio. However, when I'm cruising off towards the spot where jeepneys ply their route, I get to choose a different genre to play. Gone are the days when I would play Alternative or Indie throughout the journey for when I look towards the sky and see the azure monochrome stretching from horizon to horizon, the image of the sea fills my vision.

And I begin to chill.

The mood requires soft sounds and ethereal voices for the mind to relax. Suddenly, I am warped away from the urban landscape and I could almost feel the tides lapping under my feet. The sun may scorch the skin but it doesn't matter, the head wanders and the downtempo enables me to imagine a secluded place far away from the city.

So what sounds bring me to faraway places? It can be as varied as the hues in the sky before twilight. What matters is it triggers a good memory or projects a picture of serenity. Whatever that hums softly pleases my ears. It maybe a guitar strum, a vocal distortion or distant murmurs from a female singer.

Here are the five chill out music tracks that never fail to spellbind me with their eclectic sound.

5. Lali Puna

Alien Nation (Alias Remix)

Micronomic, Faking The Books

Do you, do you, do you know?
Is the truth you see left celluloid?
Is the truth you see left celluloid?

It must be the continuous clapping sounds, or the pounding bass dominating the barely audible female vocals. Except for the three lines sang above, the song doesn't have any lyrics. The words even appear irrelevant to the title itself. However the layer of contrasting electronic sounds, looped and brought together by the synthesizer create a melody so industrial, one would never think this song belongs to the genre. What makes the difference is the dreamy, monotonous vocals that lull the ears despite the noise. Alien Nation, Alias Remix is one of my most hard-to-find mp3s and it lands at the fifth spot among my favorites in the Chill-Out category.

4. Cellar 55

With or Without You

The Chillout Project: Sisters of the Sun

Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you.

One of the strengths of ambient music is its ability to project a scene of absolute tranquility. That is why some people call the sub-genre Sunset Music. Cellar 55 considers itself expert in this category. The airy vocals provided by the female singer was able to altercate U2's classic to make it sound more airy than the original. The pitch and tempo were altered to a slower arrangement to create a laid back atmosphere. The Mridangam (Indian Drums) renders an almost hypnotic beat, a listener may find himself entranced if the track is played on full volume.

3. Bliss


Quiet Letters

On a journey of the heart,
there's so much to see.
And when the sky is dark,
you'll be right here,
right here with me.

Now its becoming clear. Chill-out music is fast evolving. They are beginning to incorporate eastern schools of music, that the fusion it create suits the relaxing scene it likes to paint. Ambient - is almost always - sung by a female vocalist. It is in the vaporous melody of words that bliss is achieved. Whenever I play this track, the image of parting clouds after a brief drizzle conjures in my head. I see visions of bluish-grey sky giving up the of last rays of sunlight. I could feel the moist ground and its evergreen surroundings; the cool, almost chilly wind brushing my skin in my imagination.

This song was played in the Sex and the City movie.

2. Jose Gonzales


Veneer, Chillout Sessions 9

Both under influence
We had divine scent
To know what to say
Mind is a razor blade

It's been years since I last went to the beach and even eons since the last time I wallowed in its waters, or felt its sands on the palm of my hands. But whenever I play this track, its like I never lost sight of the shore. Jose Gonzales' acoustic cover far exceeds the original performed by the New Wave band Knife. Why? The secret lies in his masterful guitar performance. I don't know much about strums or guitars but the gentle brush of his fingers over the strings fret a soothing tune so infectious, it is one of the reasons I would love to learn to play the guitar someday.

1. Chicane feat Tracy Ackerman

No Ordinary Morning

Behind the Sun

You could give a million reasons
Change the world and change the tides
Could not give me the secrets
Of your heart and of your mind
In the darkness that surrounds me
Now there is no peace of mind
Your careless words undo me
Leave the thought of us behind

There are no words to describe this classic, except for bittersweet partings the song conveys. It is a song of utter loneliness for things that may never happen again. I first heard of this track almost a decade ago and true to its immortality, no artist has ever dared alter its musical arrangement. For it is an anthem by itself. I've read accounts of people becoming teary-eyed after playing this song, and true to its power, it still leaves me empty when I play it on early mornings to stir good memories. I claim this song as my favorite and I look forward that someday, I'd play No Ordinary Morning on my computer, just before sunrise and by that time, the person beside me is not someone I've met for a one-night stand but a lover who knows the song and would stay with me, hopefully, not just for one unforgettable daybreak.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Her name is Dita Von Teese.

At first glance, one would think she's a Hollywood actress from the '40s. She walks like one, she wears clothes like one, she even thinks and acts like one. Nobody can't deny she's out of this world. I don't know a chick who wears corsets for very long periods, or girdle and fishnet stockings on a daily basis. I don't know anyone who enjoys looking obsolete even at the expense of becoming a novelty. The image above was taken three years ago. I'm not into classic films or pre-war pop culture, but my knowledge of History hints that something is different about this lady.

It would appear strange for someone like me to dabble into lingerie and haircuts and fashion - specially when we're talking about old school. I'm sure Miss Lyka Bergen would say that I'm too primitive to jump into the subject; an art form I have no knowledge about. But for a moment there, my Lady Gaga instincts was stirred while digging some shit on Devotchka. This Burlesque artist used to tour with the Indie rock band and I've learned that she used to be married to Marilyn Manson.

Dita's childhood was as classic as the life she leads today. Born in 1972, she had a machinist for a father and a manicurist for a mother. Her mother was a fan of old, Golden-era Hollywood movies. The ones where Betty Grable, Judy Garland and Jane Greer played the leading roles. My guess is Dita's overexposure to films like Mrs. Miniver and Casablanca sparked her interest in the genre, and eventually the culture and lifestyle of the time.

Von Teese was already a ballet performer by the time she turned 13. At first she wanted to be a ballerina but her repressed desire for laced undergarments as a teenager would open her eyes to costume design in college. Blending these two elements of the arts would become her means of living later in life.

Dita began her career in a strip club when she was 18. Disappointed with the lack of originality in the other strippers' acts, Von Teese created a vintage-inspired outfit, with beehive hairstyle and elbow-length gloves coupled with a basque and seamed stockings, piquing the interest of the clientele. It was during this time that she started doing glamour modeling before becoming a fetish model.

From there, her career took off. She started performing Burlesque in 1993, which resulted in its revival. She is known for her long, elaborate dance shows complete with props and characters. Her shows were often inspired by 1930's and 1940's musicals and films - details which are of no use to us anymore. Aside from driving stylish old cars like Jaguar S-Type and campaigning for animal rights with PETA, my knowledge of her ends there.

What I find impressive about Von Teese is how she was able to transcend her stage character by incorporating it into her everyday living. Her aesthetics stands out among the rest. This must be the reason why she always appears on a number of best-dressed lists, and frequents the front row seats of fashion shows, particularly of Christian Dior and Marc Jacobs'. Her boldness, to walk roads less traveled attracts artists far and wide. Her recognition of their talents - through collaboration - enriches Von Teese 's spirit more than ever.

It's been a month after I stumbled at her profile and pictures in the internet, but every time I have to tell myself how it pays to be unique -

- to rise in a world where difference is often ignored and mainstream is embraced by all humanity, only one name comes to mind.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Animal Instinct (Lost And Found Remix)

The only time the mother cat started eating
is when we found a kitten, the only one remaining
sleeping in a flower pot.

The kitten will still be given up for adoption.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Existential Crisis

Hermetic life is calling you from the mountaintop.

- A reply from an old friend.

The mind fears what it cannot grasp. It assumes. Its perception drives the body to new lows of frailty; it desires isolation - a slow and sullen withdrawal from the outside world. We cannot do anything to contain its disbelief. Days pass when the body wishes to curl up in bed and do nothing. The lips dare not to speak; the eyes are finding pleasure looking up into the blue sky and see nothing. Its like an overwhelming disinterest descends. The mind denies, but its there - whenever dread burns the skin. Its looming presence, ignored by the demands of living keeps the body alive. Yet the mind intervenes. It reasserts its worries during long hours of sleep; in the prayers it whispers every night; in the assuring hugs it seeks from loved ones.

We convey this thought to express our refusal to wither. To bring vitality back by reclaiming our old routines, by watching countless reruns of cartoons on cable, by trying to live a simulated life because ours seem too irredeemable to be fixed. We hang on a balance because we wish to prevail.

And we know this is just a phase. Life goes on after this introspection.

So if ever you wonder why the troubling silence appears to carry an arctic spell, it is just me wrestling my own demons.

A cognitive dissonance is taking place.

*An existential crisis is a stage of development at which an individual questions the very foundations of their life: whether their life has any meaning, purpose or value; whether their parents, teachers, and loved ones truly act in their best interest; whether the values they have been taught have any merit; and whether their religious upbringing may or may not be founded in reality.

*Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior, and facts.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not A Domino Effect

Now its my immediate superior calling in sick.
And yes, I believe she is.
Hope she gets well soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So you woke up before five in the morning only to inform the boss that your tummy was acting crazy. You said in a text message that you can't go to work and then with a press of a button, it was sent. You didn't even bother waiting for a reply before going back to sleep because the truth is, you lied! You're just too lazy to leave your house before sunrise. You're confident they'll buy your fabrication. After all, you told your colleagues the night before that you'll pig out on Menudo which you've asked the maid to cook for supper. It was already past noon when you left the sheets and then what did you do? You played Sims until four in the afternoon! What a good way to start the day! In the game, your main character - a big fat lady with small round glasses - died. She died of electrocution after trying to fix her boss' dishwasher. Her passing left two teenage boys orphaned. These boys - which were not siblings but more of best friends (and potential lovers) - moved to a new house next to a cliff. The stunning view of the sea made you green with envy. You wished it's your home and not theirs. This jealousy, I suspect was the reason why it took some time before you left your room, had your haircut and then opted to go to your gym - which you had to rethink since there's a kanto gym beside the barber shop and you'd just have to shell fifty pesos for a one-time work out. This fifty pesos, you thought, is the same amount of money you'll pay the FX for a round trip fare to Eclipse and back. Aside from the wasted time, you're in no mood to travel far. You just felt ill. Returning home, you ate Tuna Clubhouse Sandwich for dinner, went to watch Peter Pan on Disney Channel and then had a last minute decision to blog before going back to your addiction.

It's now almost 10 pm and you have two more hours before bedtime. It makes me wonder, from the activities you've had the whole day, was it all...

... worth being absent at work?

Just making you feel guilty.

Love and kisses,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Into Nothingness

Lately tinatamad akong magsulat. Parang masyadong marami akong iniisip na wala nang oras para magnilay sa mga bagay-bagay. Marami akong ideya na gustong ibahagi. Pero kapag nagsisimula na akong mag-compose sa ingles, nauuwi sa katamaran ang aking ginagawa. Dumagdag pa sa distraction ang bagong pinagkakaabalahan ko ngayon. Gawa ng masyadong kulob na buhay ay naisipan kong mamuhay sa alternate reality.

Nag-install ako muli ng Sims 3 sa aking computer.

Sa mga hindi nakakaalam ng laro, ang Sims ay isang simulation game. Gumagawa ka ng sarili mong character at ito'y pinapagalaw mo sa isang virtual world na para bang ikaw mismo ang nabubuhay roon. May choices ka para mag-explore. Naroong magkakaroon ka ng trabaho, makakabili ng mga gamit na sa totoong buhay ay hanggang pangarap mo lang makakamit at magkakaroon ka ng pagkakataong paibigin ang iyong character sa nilalang na hindi mo matatagpuan sa labas ng computer. Gumagawa ka ng isang panibagong buhay sa Sims 3 at kadalasan, ang buhay na ito ang siyang pinapangarap mong maging iyo.

Masasabing na-hook up ako sa Sims 3 noong Sabado. Nang sumunod na araw ay nagpasya akong bumili ng expansion pack upang lalong lumawak ang karanasan ng aking character sa kanyang nagkukunwaring mundo. Kung may budget sana ay bibilhin ko ang original. Subalit dahil kailangan ang magtipid, nagtungo ako sa Quiapo upang humanap ng piniratang kopya.

Maraming hassle ang bumili ng pirated. Una ay nakaka-guilty sa mga programmers ang nakawin ang kanilang gawa. Ikalawa ay may incompatibilities ito sa operating system gaya ng Windows at pangatlo, sakaling magkaroon ng problema ang kopya, wala kang tatawagang customer service para ikaw ay matulungan. Sinimulan kong i-install ang pinirata. Simula pa lang, sinabi ng computer na incompatible daw ang Region ng Sims 3 at nung expansion pack nito. Hindi daw maaring ma-install ang expansion. Sa tulong ng Internet (at sa mga taong nakaranas ng ganitong sakit ng ulo) madali ko ring nahanapan ng solusyon ang problema.

Nang magsimula itong mag-install, isang bagong error ang nadiskubre ng computer. Kailangan daw ma-update ang base game bago gumana ang expansion. Nalaman ko na oras ang bibilangin bago makumpleto ang pag-uupdate kaya't minabuti kong ito ay ipagpaliban upang muling makabalik sa paglalaro ng Sims.

Lumipas pa ang isang araw subalit hindi ko napigilang muling subukan i-install ang expansion. Nagsimula ang pag-uupdate mataas pa ang sikat ng araw subalit magha-hatinggabi na ay hindi pa ito tapos. Ito ang badtrip sa dial-up connection. Hindi rin naman ako nabagot sapagkat nakagawa ako ng blog entry, nakatulog at nakapaglaro rin ng computer habang pinapatay ang oras.

Natapos ang updating ilang minuto bago mag ala-una. Na-install ko ang expansion pack ng walang kahirap-hirap subalit bago ito laruin, kinailangan ulit ng bagong pag-uupdate para naman sa expansion pack. Sa madaling sabi, nagamit ko ang buong araw makapag-update at install lang ng expansion ngunit sa bandang huli ay wala pa rin nangyari. Hindi pa natapos dito ang kalbaryo: Pasado alas-kwatro ng madaling araw, nakaidlip na ako kakahintay matapos ang panibagong update ngunit isang bagong problema ulit ang lumitaw. Kabi-kabilang error, paulit-ulit na pagkonsulta sa Internet. Alas nuwebe na ng umaga ngunit hindi ko pa rin napapagana ang expansion. Ayaw rin gumana ng base game hangga't hindi nakakapag-update ang aking nilalaro. Gawa ng puyat, hinagpis at kawalang-pag asa sa aking ginagawa. Dahil sa pagsuko, pagkamulat sa katotohanang andami-dami kong oras at perang sinayang,

Nagpasya akong idelete ang expansion.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Remembering Ikabod

I used to think I was never exposed to comic books as a kid. Never did I write about Marvel and DC Comics like some bloggers did. I was never passionate with Manga or had any references to anything Japanese unless it was something I saw on television. I never had any of those graphic novels to begin with. I guess this is the drawback of growing up in a poor family - your choices of entertainment are very much limited.

But looking back, I remember saving a portion of my baon to buy Funny Komiks every week. I was so hooked up with Combatron that I rummaged news stands just to get my own copy. It became my literary fix until I have outgrown the habit. I gave up reading comics just when I’m beginning to pursue higher learning of History thanks to the PC Strategy Game, Civilization.

For a long time I thought Combatron was my beginning. I had almost forgotten that before my dad became a writer, he used to be a graphic artist. He would write stories with themes about Dracula and gets it published in some less-known komiks. That’s how he used to earn a living. The komiks where my dad’s strips appeared are being kept by my mom.


Speaking of komiks, the billboard at work was redecorated for Valentine’s Day. The theme was predictable and cheesy messages from secret admirers were posted overnight. Reading these “open thoughts of admiration” on tiny strips of post-its was a source of comic relief for many. I think most of them were written in the spirit of fun and not be taken seriously. However, what caught my eyes were not the funny messages or the production report of the agents. It was a tiny figure of a mouse, drawn just above the heart-shaped Cartolina where post-its clung like barnacles. The image suddenly reminds me that sentience was already there even before Batibot came into existence.

The drawing was distinctly iconic. It was old school. Whoever drew the mouse, with an oblong-shaped head and with eyes casting defiant gaze must have live through Martial Law. It was Ikabod Bubwit and I remember him because dad spoke well of its highly talented creator. It was also the first comic strip my eyes had laid on.

Ikabod represents a generation. He was born out of a need to express the moods and thoughts of his time. The strip is about a rebellious mouse who pretends standing up for an idea but cannot let go of his spoiled upbringing. It didn’t help that his politician father rules over Dagalandia for Ikabod sees how the hierarchy of submission passes down from the human master (Kinse) to the house cat (Boss Miyawok) to the mice protagonists and down to the ants. (the mass voters)

Like all satires created, Ikabod lets its readers take a peek at the social fabric of his age. Stereotypes about gays, maids, black people and females were the focus in many parts of the strip. There were also references to current events, which the creator of the strip tried to make fun of. Sadly, a generation born after Ikabod was published would hardly relate to its distinct humor. Those who see themselves as students of history, however, may find comfort learning the similarities between Ikabod’s time and the present.

They say much of the printed literature absorbed outside the classroom comes from the comics (or books) we read. The online journals of comics lovers (and collectors) reveal a truth about my observation - of how poignant or twisted they see the world. If Ikabod had left some grounds for reflection I failed to see when I’m much, much younger, this entry sums up the strips’ legacy. For as I reread the pages over and over again, (My dad's compilation found its way to my bookcase) it's not Ikabod I see anymore. Looming beyond the rodent is the memory of my father, who introduced me to komiks and to Ikabod many years ago.


Sunday, February 14, 2010


It feels great to be seen in private parties, especially when you know the person hosting and you look up to that person because of his accomplishments in life, and because of the way he affected you through his eye-opening essays.

And it feels better knowing you have endured your human impulse to seek a date on this day knowing that its just for the occasion, and learning that the one you're looking for deserves to wait and discover your true worth.

We maybe dateless, couple-less and suffering from melancholia because of our single blessedness, but we are proud to tell the universe that our longings were conquered. We might have arrived home drunk, wasted and club-less, yet, we feel contented and victorious tonight.

Happy Valentines Day!

Predator: You know, I like you. You're easy to get along with

Me: Thanks! (But in truth, we never really got to talk. His attraction was all, but just skin deep.)

*deadma* Went to the sink to clean the dishes than engage in flirting which, would lead to nothingness, come the sun rises.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pussies For Adoption

My utol's pet died this afternoon. I was at the gym when I received the text message announcing her bunny's passing. To sympathize, I sent a reply saying sorry for what happened. Her bawls and shrieks and sobs must be alarming the neighborhood at that time. I could imagine her crumpled face staring at the stiff rabbit inside the box. You see, utol might be a tough nut to crack, but she has a soft spot for little creatures passing away. She cried when the lesbian driver's little rabbit died a few years ago. I also remember her weeping when my duckling was eaten by a rat when we were young. The bunny was a gift from her boyfriend so I could feel her loss. What I could not understand is the frustration she showed after learning the rabbit was ill.

The creature was a Christmas present from her boyfriend. They were even sweet and cheesy when the tiny thumper first appeared in the living room. If I knew better, they were short of claiming the rabbit as their first-born. But the portrait - and pretension stopped there, because after New Year, the utol resumed her advocacy. The bunny was left under our care and the yaya was given responsibility of looking after the creature when we were not in the house.

The bunny was intelligent. It broke my earlier notion that such creatures were hopelessly dumb. He recognized me and the leaf stalks in my hand. He would let me touch his forehead or bring him close to the dog or the cat without displaying any hints of fear. When bored, or hungry, or when he needed more space to stretch his hind legs, the bunny would try to jump over his box. Sometimes it would gnaw at the cardboard paper hoping to make a big hole which would serve as his way to freedom. The utol was not able to appreciate the rabbit the way we did and sometimes, I just feel sorry the bunny didn't get the attention he deserves from his owner.

I knew something was wrong when the bunny ceased jumping over his balikbayan box. He also stopped eating the stalks of Kangkong the yaya brought everyday. The pages of newspaper serving as his pad might have suffocated the creature, but my guess was the bunny didn't able to cope up living in his dirty surroundings.

There were times I was tempted to let the poor rabbit out and let it roam around the kitchen. But my mother warned me not to interfere with my sister's pet or I will suffer the brunt of the United Nations. I didn't want to bear the responsibilities either so I started ignoring him inside the box. Had I listened to what my gut was telling me, the bunny might have lived.

The tiny thumper's death made me realize that we're not responsible pet owners. Not my sister. Not me. We tend to let them roam - as we pleased - so we could get away and ignore their basic needs. Neighbors are complaining about the cat stealing food on their table or shitting in their flowerpot. The dog brings home bags of trash in the morning and has lice as big as my pinky toenail grazing its skin.

Something must change or another pet may become another casualty. The cat has two kittens available for adoption. These amazing furballs may not have the breed of a Persian but their warm companionship will be good addition to your lonely households.

Any takers?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Golden Age Of Puppy Love (First Part)

The months rolled by without us ever feeling its passing. It was the middle of February and Valentines was fast approaching. Her arrival was never expected. After years of trial and error - and then finally accepting that I'd never have a girlfriend before leaving the university, my first relationship would turn out to be with a best friend.

A best friend.

But the Faculty thought ours was a mere publicity stunt. She belonged to a rival alliance of political parties while I was a Secretary General of the ruling party. Our affiliates welcomed the untimely union with hushed sighs. The student council elections will be held in a month and elders like us were needed by the party to herd their younger members. There was no time to fall in love. Though words of protestations never fell on our sensitive ears, our guts tell that to be seen in public - together - was a security risk. Each party keeps a hidden agenda to sway the undecided voters, and they feared it might be leaked - carelessly - to its arch-rival through our cheesy encounters.

Meanwhile, the class saw us as a celebrity couple. I was their class president, while she ran for office as a society president and got lost. You see, she never got a single vote from the seniors - not even from me. Her rival was more credible and the person behind her coalition reeked of dishonesty. Had I known the depth of distrust my class felt against their leader, I would have urged her to run for the vice-presidency instead. But it was too late. Hurtful words flew as one of their intoxicated candidate laid unconscious in the emergency room. Divisions among classmates were settled, but the verbal clash triggered our month-long bitter feud.

The events of that night happened three months before we became us.

The love-hate relationship with my best friend was well documented, annotated and sometimes even recycled to feed the starving grapevine. With her conniving bff covering our tracks, the distinguished members of the rumor mill (which were all loveless) deciphered our every move as a milestone leading to a "development." It meant that the movie hang-outs we did during summer were seen as dates, the harmless telebabad nights (including a week she allayed my fears after blasting Miriam Defensor Santiago on a smut tabloid) as hints of extraordinary closeness, and my visits to her house in Lagro being an obvious crossing of the line. The news spreading around didn't alarm me. My tropa didn't even believe I was capable of such moves, but she got affected by our growing attachment. The more I showed sweetness, the more she paid attention to my needs. We were sending text messages to each other - as friends - but I never thought she will see every word I said laced with meanings. Now that I truly understand what happened, it was peer pressure which lead to our first confrontation.

The events were too embarrassing to recall, but this is what I remember. We were in a beach resort in Cavite for a faculty-sponsored leadership training. She thought I wouldn't come, but last minute changes meant a replacement of political party representatives. Her eyes glowed the moment she saw me. Despite the overcast skies, her entire afternoon was full of sunshine. When evening came, she thought we would have our time together. But I had other plans. I went to the leadership training to do business. Ignoring her became the burning fuse that would lead to her growing frustration.

I remember being excused from the dinner table; the meeting on the beach; the sudden drizzle which forced us to find shelter under the awnings of a cottage; the pitch black horizon; the madness in the clouds; the furious waves ravaging the shore; and a council meeting being held in the clubhouse while we were arguing about the future of our friendship.

"Eh kung sa tingin mo eh higit pa tayo sa mag-kaibigan, eh ano tayo?" She asked in a crackled voice.

"Hindi ko alam..." I was confused. Truth was, my feelings for her never went beyond friendship.

She decided not to push the issue further. After briefly holding each other's hand, we returned to our respective parties with feelings unresolved. It was the stormy month of June.

Five months before we became a couple.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Light Year

Monday: February.8.2010

Arrived at the office at six in the morning. Served as the Team Leader's assistant on the floor. Workload was heavy for the agents so I tried to volunteer. The Team Leader hesitated. I guess there's an unwritten rule among officers to avoid doing the job of the agents. Or maybe I wasn't insistent enough. Nevertheless, when the Team Leader had to take her break, I took charge of the floor. Everything was fine. I was able to handle the agents well. Left the building at past two in the afternoon.

At quarter to three, I went to the gym to work out. Learned that my weight dropped five pounds in just one week.

Four O'Clock. Went home to get some sleep.

Six Thirty in the evening. Watched the news on the Kapamilya Network. Tired of politics, I switched to Cartoon Network instead.

Eight Thirty: Went back to the office for the 10 pm teleconference.

Past Eleven: Teleconference ends. The boss dropped me several blocks from the building where I could take a jeep going home.

Tuesday: February.9.2010

Midnight. Wrote a blog entry about the top 100 most handsome pinoy bloggers while resolving a misunderstanding with an old friend. Ties that were thought strained were reaffirmed.

Past Two Thirty. Logged out from the internet. Prayed before going to sleep.

Woke up at eight in the morning. Took some time to prepare for work. Laziness struck, I arrived at the office at past 9.

Spent eight hours reading emails from clients, responding to blog comments and chatting with friends over Meebo.

2:30. Meeting with supervisors from the afternoon shift. Learned that my boss supports my presidential candidate.

6:00 Exhausted and mentally fatigued, left the office to rush some errands at Recto. Arrived at Isetann before eight. Was able to find an optical shop to get my eyeglasses fixed. A screw went missing and it needed an immediate replacement. The whole procedure lasted five minutes. After paying twenty pesos for the service, the shop finally closed.

I walked all the way from Recto to Carriedo to find a Chinese Drugstore. Needed a new menthol stick for the one I've been using is almost gone. Learned that all Chinese Drugstores close at seven. Disappointed, I went to my next objective which was to find a street vendor selling cheap gym gloves. I found one and bought a new pair for 100 pesos. The gym gloves are expected to last until next month.

I arrived home at past nine.

Told my mom I'd be doing double shift. I would have to be at work by six in the morning and return for the graveyard shift at 10 in the evening. Before I could elaborate my very busy schedule, she asked if I could take over her class at three. She has a meeting with the chairman of her department and nobody will facilitate the examinations for her class. I turned down her request explaining my situation. Also, I told her about my near-empty Menthol Stick. Getting some vibes that I might reconsider should I get hold of my urgent need, mom said she hasn't used hers. It's the one I bought several months ago. She offered it and to express my gratitude, I reversed my decision and agreed to facilitate her prelims exam tomorrow.

Wednesday: February.10.2010

Projected Schedule

Work at six in the morning
Leave the office at 2 in the afternoon
Take over mom's class at 3
Leave the state university at 4
Buy orders for the raket at 5
Hopefully, would be able to get some sleep by 6
Wake up at 7. Prepare for the gym.
Work out must be over by nine to attend the meeting with the graveyard shift supervisors.
Teleconference with clients at 11.

Thursday: February.11.2010

Go home to get some well-deserved rest at 6 in the morning.

Skin Deep

I wonder.
Since when did writing become a pageantry of looks.


Bloggers have become celebrities in their own right. By expressing their thoughts, their causes and opening their public lives, they have earned the admiration of many. It's time to rank them!!! This search for Top 100 Most Handsome Pinoy Bloggers for 2010 the blogosphere cosmo of good-looking bloggers.


1. Good-looking blogger. Your blog must be active for the last 6 months.
2. You should be Pinoy or of Pinoy ancestry.
3. Must have a picture of yourself anywhere in your blog or your face must be recognizable by other bloggers.
4. Bloggers can nominate themselves.
5. Bloggers who are seeking political positions this year are not allowed to join.

Indulge yourself.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Late Night Blues and Epiphanies

I don't know why I'm doing this. I never learn. Why do I have to keep searching over there when the last one ended in a royal failure. How many times do you have to tell me that all they ever wanted is some good time - well most of them. And how many times will I insists that someone different maybe out there. Maybe this is the reason for going back. I know this is madness, but please, let me have this night.

I have to return because I am empty. I want to take this shot hoping to find the one I've been waiting. I took down all my other means of connection out of your quiet urging and this is one of the last. You know me, I try not to seek the one in my proximity. How many times I botched a good friendship because of my insistence. So now I am forced to do this. In days when I feel a countdown coming, let me try it again before my time runs out. You know, to feel romantic with someone. To know that my heart speaks because there's someone there who claims it. I miss the feeling, specially on early mornings like this. But the shadow of my past wouldn't leave me. It takes an effort to trust and when I'm ready to give in, the supposed one shakes it off. So I have no choice but to move on. There are times I grow weary living in another couples' fairytale. There are times I wish I'd go home knowing someone will be there in my sleep. So I ask you. No. I request that your guidance lead me to the person for me. I will listen and consult you every step of the way. I know I've asked this favor so many times - but it was me who ignored the ones you've offered. It was my fault and I don't deny it. Maybe I'm just afraid that I might not be able to uphold my promise. Should you say that its not the place to look for, I will be waiting for your answer tonight. I maybe drunk and stubborn but I'll pay attention to what you will gonna tell.

At past two in the morning, I said a little prayer while the cab speeds toward Malate. It was very late for clubbing but the dread of twilight drove me to wait for sunrise before going home.

The club scene never changes - dance floors expand, new kids crash in, make-outs happen between strangers, some lucky (or unlucky) guy goes home with a partner. The music stays the same. A friend said that some people go clubbing to assess their physical looks: A habit I can't deny of practicing. Some nights I miss, some nights I hit the jackpot. Yet the result remains the same, I go back empty handed.

There are times I regret not taking Tannis seriously. He was a good person and I should have given him a chance - instead of looking for his not-so-important flaws. Maybe its one of the reasons for coming back. To find another Tannis and correct a mistake I should have never done. Lately though, all I know are fleeting encounters.

So I went clubbing and tried to have fun. I went there despite this feeling of heaviness inside my body. As expected, people size you up. Some attempts at groping which I resists. I already know what their intentions are. Trading glances would have been a good pastime, but the ones you adore are already taken - or may not like you back. A friend of a friend was there, and so was a friend from another group. He now seldom shows up when gatherings are called. The parties get tiring sometimes, especially when some drunken bastard shoves his ass against your crotch to convey his message. It happens. Frequently. As to when clubbing would be finally given up, I don't know.

Longing and learning are two different states of awareness.

The sun was almost peeking on the horizon when I decided to call it a night. The party was fine and I've realized a friend's friend was actually cute.

And Bro did answer my prayer.

Not there kid.

Not there.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


At past one in the morning, I find myself walking in the hallway going to the bathroom. A report has to be rushed before the shift is over and drinking too much tea induced me to spill the fluids in my bladder. A few steps before the toilet, subordinates wait for the elevator. Four ladies need a lift going down. They saw me coming so they have to stop me dead in my tracks.

"Sir punta kami Ministop." Their leader said.

"Sama ka na." Urged another.

I was in no mood to go down. Not even for a smoke. But learning that my agents will have to walk three blocks across dangerous streets to buy lunch obliged me to join them.

Inside the elevator the ladies speak of their concerns as I pretend not to listen. One is seeking advice about her doomed office romance, while the oldest complain about the dry-up in workload. She says it upsets her family budget. The girl whose long unkempt hair became a target among other agents (the guys from the morning shift once dubbed her as 'yung babaeng galit sa suklay') speak of her plans to find a new workstation. Her snail-paced desktop affects her daily output.

The elevator reaches the ground floor. Its doors part at the middle showing us the exit. Warm wind flows around inviting us to tread the barely lit inner driveway. Only the security officers' quarters remain bathed in light with the guard on duty watching an action movie on cable. The huge steel door swings open and the road outside lays empty.

Everything is under the hour's shadow and the lack of nearby sources of light allows me to peek into the heavens to find sparkling gems pinned against the charcoal horizon.

"Awww ang daming stars, kinikilig ako..." A subordinate overhearing my reaction chuckles behind.

Forgetting to take off my glasses - which I only wear on the floor - it was the first time in years I was able to pause and take pleasure gazing at distant objects dangling across the night sky.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Press Conference - the latest craze to hit the blogworld community. I cannot figure how it got so popular when its easy to raise an inquiry to another person. I for one would send an email, an SMS text or leave a message in a comment box when I needed to know something. Day in and day out, Twitter gets flooded with updates about new queries answered on Formspring. Some post it sparingly, while others have turned their entire micro-blogging application as an extension of their Formspring. This is a cyber and everything is free. I may have some reservations as to how others conduct themselves, but its not for me to bitch around and question their expression.

Since we're on the subject of Formspring, I think my fascination with it has waned considerably. Aside from being preoccupied by many things to answer questions thrown at me, most of my free time is devoted to writing. That's why I don't ask questions back.

Anyway, to maintain the essence of my micro blogging account, no new updates from Formspring will be posted on Twitter. I would still continue to reply to questions as honest and sensible as I possible. As a wrap-up for this "Press Conference" called for this entry, here are some of the more interesting questions I answered so far:

If you could ask God just one question, what would you ask him? by MaxFlux

Will I get to live another life?

If you could change a part of your PLU life, what would you change? by notimacoy

I want to start all over again. At this time and age, everything seem so routine. The thrill of meeting new people has escaped me and so does exploring places where people like us go.

Would u take advantage, in a sexual way, guys who are drunk? by just4Trip

I always follow a strict rule when it comes to my sexual conduct: Let them strike first. :) So no.

Ano ang gagawin mo if one day nagising ka at nalaman mo na kaya mo makipag-usap sa mga ipis at ganun din ang mga ipis sa iyo? makikipag friends ka ba sa mga ipis? hindi mo na ba sila papatayin? ano masasabi mo sa powers mo? by stargunn

Maraming tsismis akong malalaman pag nagkataon. And I would use it to bribe people. Lolz. Seriously, if I could talk to ipis and tell them to abandon my house, bakit kelangan ko pa sila patayin?

What could possibly become of you if ur parents got separated when you are just a kid? by just4Trip

My father and mother lived separate lives when I was growing up. :)

First Philippine celebrity male crush(es) mo? by pads01

Monseur Del Rosario, Gary Estrada saka si Ricardo Cepeda. Hahaha. First time ko ni-reveal to ha!

What is your most coveted career path? Would you consider yourself going to that same path right now? What is your dream job? by Anon

Nice question! :) I would love to be a travel writer or a blogger who gets paid for writing essays. Another dream job would be a professor or an internet researcher who gets paid well.

Assuming that you like girls too, do you like them older or younger than you? by Anon

I like them older. Preferable a single mom, and somewhat a butch. Much as I hate to admit, I get along well with ladies with lesbian tendencies.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Killer Bagnet

To an uninstructed tongue like mine, a delicacy even those from the heartland of Cabalens will leave an exotic flavor on my taste buds. Being a Manila Boy for life - with no recent memory of embarking on a journey away from the city - denies me the chance to try local cuisines others have already savored and enjoyed. If a dish from lands as close as Pampanga has evaded my tummy, what more if the cuisine hails from far-flung realms of Ilocandia and Bicolandia? My entry is about gustatory initiation. It's about my first bite of Bagnet and how such sinful food could kill a person with one huge serving.

The department I belong loves food. I swear people there don't just worship things that are edible, they gorge anything that is oily and fatty. Even the desktop picture of an analyst reeks of cholesterol. Imagine the first thing we see in the morning is a blown-up image of a double-patty Cheeseburger. This alone would give the reason behind everyone's girth expanding every quarter.

Going back to the wicked Bagnet, my friend Ternie tried to sign-up my soul for a one way trip to perdition. He described the dish as the same as Pork Chicharon with tender bits of meat clinging to the crispy skin. His descriptions were mouth watering, specially when thoughts of Kare-Kare came into the picture. I could not contain my stomach's grumbling and my diet was inching towards getting betrayed. Telling myself - of the goal to get fit - was the reason for able to hold my mouth against the Bagnet's allure. Realizing I couldn't get swayed, Ternie backs off but promised to return with more forms of temptation under his sleeve.

The next day, a colleague announced that his wife came back from a trip to Pangasinan. To support his claims, this colleague took out a rounded plastic container from inside his bag. Pulling the lid to open, its contents reveal several big chunks of meat. I thought it was Lechon Kawali at first, but when he said it was Bagnet, the chat conversation with Ternie played inside my head.

Will I take it?

Will I?

Will I?

I was in the middle of a very important debate when the container landed in front of me. The colleague urged I take the last piece. Hesitation comes into play - specially when I learned at the gym I bounced back to 170 again. This time, curiosity prevailed. I took the last chunk, still dripping with oil from the meat. The oil stained my fingers but feeling how tender the chunk of meat was, I couldn't help but get mesmerized by the prospect of committing a nasty deed. I dropped the meat inside my mouth and without thinking twice, began to chew through the crispy skin.

Minutes after swallowing the piece, I was holding back my tears for I have found love.

Hours later, the analysts from my department discussed among themselves their out of this world experience with Bagnet. We were seated on a bench - me and the three stooges - while waiting for our task to resume. One compared devouring a chunk of Bagnet to tapping the bone marrow in Bulalo. Both offer savage delight to one's appetite, but the two contend in being the deadliest to one's already maligned artery. The conversation went on - like they were in an inuman - only without the beer. They cited all the embolism and myocardial infarction inducing pulutan beginning with Crispy Pata and ending with Aligue. As they went on thinking of ways to die by eating, one of the analysts came up with a morbid idea.

"Why not serve Bagnet wrapped in bacon strips deep fried in Aligue?" He suggested "Then the sawsawan would come from bone marrow and ox brain made into gravy?"

"Pare kelangan mo ng doktor kapag inupakan mo yun!" Chuckled another.

"Yung dessert, Brazo De Mercedes tapos Leche Flan na gawa sa egg yolk yung nasa loob."

They were laughing their assess off until our fifteen minute break was over. As for me who they thought was part of the crew, my thoughts were already stolen by some fleeting scenes of a market somewhere up north.


.. expecting

my arrival.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gaga Over Green Tea

An uncle who lives abroad returns home for a visit. The Balikbayan box we got includes a pair of expensive loafers, (I forgot the brand but it was for me) a huge tin can of biscuits (which my mom shared with a bachelor uncle who lives in our old house) and a box full of Green Tea bags for the whole family. The box is actually for my mom. Being a self-confessed coffee person, her brothers and sisters urged to switch to tea instead.

A week after the box of tea bags lay unnoticed beside the tin can of biscuits, I decided to bring two sachets of it to work. One challenge I face every morning is how to rev my head without depending on too much high-energy drink. You see, I had a missed date with Throatie and I suspect the consumption of sugar water before the signs appeared was the culprit. I was warned by a colleague before of the dangers of drinking Cobra, but stubbornness prevailed. Who wouldn't choose a packaged product - conveniently affordable and easy to bring around - over a bunch of dried leaves sealed inside a paper? The trouble of bringing your own mug to work already is a turn-off.

Yet, I decided to try substituting the processed with something more organic. I set the time of drinking just when my eyes become droopy and my focus on the verge of sailing away. Steam from hot water was still rising when I had my first sip. It triggered a panic response from my taste buds.

It hurts.

But the millions of nerve endings stimulated by caffeine kicks me back to blissful wakefulness. The state of alertness was immediately felt, and I was left smiling at the bits of tea leaves floating on the surface of hot water. The perky effects of tea stirred me to research about the beverage. C2 Green Tea had never attained this kind of effect nor its other incarnations easily available in convenience stores.

Research showed that drinking tea is a very ancient tradition. Its roots can be found in China, Japan and India, where different tea ceremonies sprouted from serving the drink. The leaves used to process tea is called Camellia Sinensis. Its exotic name suggests fragrant tea gardens surrounded by rolling hills and vast evergreens.

What caught my fancy was not the tea's proud history or how it was discovered by Kings and Queens of Europe through conquest and exploitation. What I found important was its health benefits long ignored by ordinary people. We know tea because of its derivatives such as Iced Tea. I confess that it used to be my favorite drink. However, the tea I drank was in its purer form. Closer to its essence, I may have found something that could reverse the abuses I did to my body.

Lets ignore tea having anti-cancer properties. Lets also forget that it can reduce the risk of heart disease or it can increase the metabolic rate of a person (yeah baby! Its a fatburner!!) It says it destroys bacteria around the gums preventing halitosis and boosts the immune system of the body. These claims will take effect once tea drinking becomes a habit. What I felt - almost immediately - without the aid of Wikipedia - was a decrease in fatigue which often takes a toll on my personal life after work is done. It must be the thought of going organic. But these days, I feel less grumpy and my attitude towards other people has become more serene.

Tomorrow is the third day of the tea-drinking habit. It will go alongside the workout program to see if the metabolic increase hastens my weight loss target. The box of sachets will last for over a month. After the tea bags run out, we will be on our own. No new supply will be coming from abroad - unless the favorite aunt gets converted to this new religion. In case I would be forced to search the alleys of Binondo, confident that in this brief moment of optimism, new discoveries sparking my interest will emerge.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Dear Procrastination

Kasasabi ko lang sa sarili ko - bago magtapos ang buwan ng Enero - na magsisimula ulit akong mag-diet para sa ikagaganda ng aking katawan. Sa dinadami-dami ng iniisip kasi ay napabayaan ko na ang aking sarili. Naroong ako ay lalamon ng pagkarami-rami sa tuwing tensyonado. Ang kalahating kanin ay nagiging dalawang tasa. Sa dalawang kain buong araw, ang hapunan, kasya sa dalawang dalaga.

Mabuti na lang at sa kabila ng pagiging busy ay hindi nawala ang work-out program sa aking schedule. Ito ang naging stress reliever ko matapos ang trabaho. Naroong nakabuhat ako ng 300lbs sa Deadlift ng tatlong reps at 140 lbs sa Benchpress ng limang reps. Nagkaroon rin ako ng crush na naging inspiration ko ng ilang buhatan. Nagkapalitan kami ng number isang hapon, nalaman kong tamad pala siya mag text back, at ang kalunos-lunos dun ay may girlfriend pala ang binata. Mabuti pa si El Tigre na pinahawak ako ng iphone, kahit paano ay nagbonding kami nang minsang magkasabay sa gym.

Going back to procrastination, hindi ko ma-gets kung bakit bumigat ang timbang ko ng ten pounds. Ang sabi ni head coach ay nag-gain daw ako ng muscles. Convincing rin naman ang kanyang paliwanag kasi tingin ko ay higit na naging firm ang chest ko. Subalit sa kabila noon ay puno pa rin ako ng pagdududa. Paano kasi ay biglang sumikip ang mga body fit shirts ko at lumitaw muli ang bilbil sa aking tiyan.

So much for an accomplishment.

Kaya ngayong buwan ng mga puso ay sisikapin kong maibalik ang dating ako. Sa halip na nagsu-sugar rush sa bisa ng Cobra Energy Drink, tsaang mainit ang magiging pampagising ko sa umaga. Muli kong ibabalik ang oatmeal sa aking diet, at dahil mahal rin naman ang asukal ngayon, bawas muna sa inuming matatamis gaya ng Nestea Iced Tea at Ovaltine.

Binalak kong simulan ang lahat ngayong araw subalit:

Umaga pa lang ay dalawang pakete na ng Cream-O Choco Sandwich ang aking naubos. Nagdala kasi ng pagkain si Mami Athena sa opisina. Ang bawat cookies ay nababalot ng makakapal na slices ng keso. Pagsapit ng hapon ay nakadalawang ham sandwich naman ako. Ang ham ay napapalamanan ng dalawang slices ng keso na siya ring inupakan ko kinaumagahan. Dumating ako sa bahay bago maghapunan. Nadatnan ko sa lamesa ang pancakes na breakfast ni utol noong umaga. Tatlo rito ang naubos ko sa loob ng sampung minuto. Hinain ang hapunan matapos ang isang oras. Nilagang baka ang luto ni yaya. Dahil paborito ko ang mais, dalawang malaking piraso ang binigay sa akin. Naroon rin ang mga patatas na paborito kong gawing mashed potato. Ang pira-pirasong cabbage ay naguumapaw sa bowl, pati na rin ang kasama nitong mainit na sabaw.

Mabuti na lang at nagwork out ako kanina.

Di bale, susubok ulit ako magdiet bukas. At kung mabigo man ay susubukan kong muli sa makalawa.

Ang mahalaga ay bago matapos ang buwan,

Malapit lapit na sa ganito ang katawan ko:

Photo borrowed without permission from the owner.
I don't know who the guy is.
But in the beginning of my workout program three years ago,
his naked image tattooed on my head served as my inspiration.