Friday, December 31, 2010

Triptych | Ciclo

I was already out of the office when I decided to stop by a sari-sari store to buy a stick of Marlboro. Next to the store was a red iron gate. Below the gate sat a mongrel quietly watching the world around it.

At first glance, the dog seemed to be part of the household. One might say that it got stuck out of the house and was waiting for its owner to let it in. The store attendant handed me a stick of Lights, and while waiting for her to return with a match stick, the dog stood up and walked past behind me.

I thought the mutt was about to walk away, but it turned back to return and lie next to the red iron gate again. I caught glimpse of its underbelly, which was sagging and full of dirt. Its stick-like legs gave an impression that it hadn’t eaten for days.

It would have been easy to shrug everything. After all, it’s just a fucking dog. I don’t even like dogs. But the thought that it had no owner, no place to call home and with its scrawny brow tail with trails of slick curving upwards, somehow reminded me that we have a pet companion at home. She has been with us for quite some time and despite my soft spot for the feline kind, the dog, Tootsie, even went as far as nurse the stray kittens I once adopted to gain favors.

I don’t know if it’s the spirit of the season but the sight of the mongrel in front of me made me think, deeply.

I’ve been known to give up some personal comforts for others simply because my heart said so. I may not find the reasons behind such urgings, but it felt good doing those deeds. Then I remember early last year, part of my bucket list was to “listen” and “discern” what the "self" thinks. Judgment fails from time to time, but I do get my occasional highs.

Then I made my decision.

“Miss magkano yung longganisa?”

“Kinse ïsang piraso.”

Searching my pockets, I found several coins and a twenty peso bill. The money was enough for an FX ride home.

The coming of Bentusi has allowed me to live an opulent existence lately. Though I have to work hard for every article I submit, the blessings cannot be denied.

And so I bought the piece of sausage and stood in front of the dog. The mutt, with its sharp sense of smell had caught whiff of the piece of meat dangling in front of it.

Shaking the plastic bag, the askal positioned itself in anticipation for the manna.

“As they say, you have to pass it forward.” The slab of meat dropped and the dog engorged it immediately.

Without even waiting for the mutt to finish the sausage, I left the spot with the low, wintry sun setting in the distance, satisfied that despite the wars I fought this year, I end up listening more and more to my ancient, compassionate “self”

This will be my final blog entry for 2010. Happy New Year everyone!

Triptych - A triptych (pronounced /ˈtrɪptɪk/ TRIP-tik, from the Greek τρίπτυχο, from tri- "three" + ptychē "fold") is a work of art (usually a panel painting) which is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together and folded.

Ciclo - sp. Cycle

Triptych | Allende

Noong katrabaho ko pa si Jerjer (Dear Daniel Fierce) ay minsan kaming nagkaroon ng bonding moment sa office. Sa bonding na yun ay napagkuwentuhan ang maaring maging buhay namin pagtanda. Sabi ni Jerjer na gusto niyang maging diva, na sinang-ayunan ko naman. Deep down ay fab naman ang lahat ng straight-acting.

Kunwari lang ang barakong pagpapanggap.

Anyway, sabi namin, magsusuot kami ng pashmina at bubuyog glasses sa tuwing rarampa. Kapag nag-touch down ang mala-Gloria Romerong kagandahan namin sa Malate, dapat merong entourage. Siyempre, senior gay citizens na kami at dapat lang magbigay galang ang mga little girls. Of course, dapat sightseeing lang kami at puro pintas sa mga nagmamaganda. When you grow old, you realize that being vintage allows you to hold sway over the masses.

Speaking of entourage, hindi na bale na small time lang ang mga nakapaligid sa amin. Bawal ang straight acting, at mas lalong bawal ang mga cute na gym fit. I for one don't want to be branded as a sugar daddy. Gusto namin, puro parlorista ang nakapalibot, the more effeminate, the better. When you grow old, gusto mong gawing simple na lang ang buhay. Laughtrip buong araw at magdamag.

Sa bahay kung saan kami titira, bawal rin ang lalaki. Strictly prohibited ang magdala ng booking dahil malas ito sa familia. Bukod kasi sa magiging distraction, baka maging dahilan pa ng ahasan. Better yet, dapat mag-invite rin kami ng mga fag hags, babaita man ay at least may tiga-check sa kalandian ng mga bakla.

Sabi ni jerjer, dapat ay naka-French Maid outfit ang aming mga attendant na bading. Gusto pa niya na kapag tatanga-tanga ang yaya ay may sampalan, kurutan at sabunutang magaganap. Parang Mara Clara lang. Sabi ko na kapag summer naman ay dapat naka two-piece at pekpek shorts ang mga yaya. Kahit kasing taba ni dabyana ang katawan ng baklita, okay lang, proud naman.

We will devote our remaining time doing wholesome pursuits. Gusto ko talaga mag gardening at mag-alaga ng maraming pusa. Si Jerjer naman, bilang artist ay magpa-paint at magpa-paint lang sa spare time niya. Siguro pati cross-stitching at dress making ay papatusin namin. Kapag may extrang pera at hindi naman kailangan mag calci-black araw-araw, part of our money will go to scholarship. I have a soft spot dun sa mga nasa Grade School pa lang ay alam na bading sila. Gaya na lang nung pamangkin ni Johnny Cursive na si Baby Gaga.

Natatandaan ko na agree rin si Jerjer na hindi kami mag-aahon sa hirap ng mga mala-adonis na lalaki. Trabaho iyon ng mga mas nakababata sa amin at way beyond na kami sa pag-aaruga at pagmamahal ng mga hombre. Gusto ko sana sabihin na it's time to take care of our kind, so mag-aampon ako ng mga talented na badesa.

Speaking of  home, dapat may isang room na devoted lang sa mga gay icons noong panahon namin. Hindi mawawala ang adoration chapel para kay Celia Rodriguez at pati na rin kay Lady Gaga at Madonna. Lahat ng rooms ay either pastel pink o kaya naman lavender ang wall paint. Puwede rin baby blue or sunshiny orange para cute sa mata.

By that time, there is no need to be straight acting. The society would be much kinder, and in fact, people in power might be out gay themselves. Besides, nagpapa-kalalaki ka lang naman para mapansin ng kapwa bading o kaya ay para magtago sa closet.  But when you're sixty at wala ka pang asawa, obvious naman na you spent the rest of your life searching for Brando.

These were our thoughts when contemplating about old age. Iba-ibang variations (siyempre iba ang idea nina Papa Pilyo ng pagtanda. Nung huling beses kaming nagpunta ni Fox sa Recto nung wala pa si Baabaa ay magprapractice sana kami mag-cruising sa mga bukbuking sinehan doon.)

But the home, the life-long friends, and hopefully, lifetime partner are present when retirement comes to mind. May ilan mag-aalaga ng pamangkin, ang iba, sasali sa advocacy.

Because much as we obsess with staying young forever, it would never be. The least we could pray is that we will never be alone, and that, the younger ones we took care of when they were still confused would now look after us.

Migs of Manila Gay Guy sent an invitation a few weeks ago. I know it was open to his readers and bloggers alike. The invitation was about their planned visit at the Home for the Golden Gays in Pasay on January 2. Since wala rin naman akong gagawin ng Sunday, I told them I will join.

My shared visions with Jerjer were just products of our twisted imagination, but when reality hits you, (like when back pains keep you from dancing like you used to on the dance floor, or when a date ditches you because 'you're too old for him') you feel the drag of aging coming.

I don't know what to expect at the retirement home visit.  But if the serene outlook of souljacker would give a hint, maybe, trying to look beyond is not a bad thing. With a year to go before celebrating my third decade, a thriving love life, a career in limbo, and sets of friends I wish to keep for life,

Now is the time.

Marilyn Monroe Jr.  Malate White Party 2007 (Siyempre hindi ako yan!)

Who knows, maybe its not too late to grow old gracefully.

*Allende sp. n. means "over there", "on the other side", or "beyond".

Triptych | Lacuna

"Write as sharp as the pen, live as clean as the page," the note says. 

As we slowly remove the ribbon and gently unfold the creases of the parchment, your gift will be revealed. More than the present; this material expression of  friendship, we ought recognize your sublime presence in times of grief.  We remember how we were introduced to you by E.  To paraphrase what he said "he took your side when everyone else was turning against you." We remember, because all throughout these years, we fought your battles, or at least shielded you when someone seemed to do you harm. In exchange, you were there in our lowest, you were our confidant long before peace was finally sealed along these shores.

And as we close the year, we look back at all the kind things you did. People may never appreciate or  realize how you mean so much,

but we do.

Thank you, and cheers to our friendship!

/me borrowing technique. scotch tapes will be out next year
/me will try to write in many styles and forms
/me will strengthen our allegiance with la roja.

*Lacuna - n. a gap or space, esp in a book or manuscript

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Natural na sa paglalakbay ng isang grupo ay may nawawala at kusang nalalaglag. May mga miyembrong salungat ang pag-iisip sa iisang diwa ng barkada kaya't sila ay naiiwan, at sa bandang huli ay nakakalimutan. May mga kumakapit, at sa kabila ng hindi pagiging talagang dikit ay patuloy na nakikisama. Kanya-kanyang diskarte sa iisang bangka, ang mahalaga ay buo at matatag ang haligi ng tropa.

Muli ay nais kong balikan ang nakaraan at silipin ang simula ng Engkantadiya. Ito ay para sa mga miyembrong sinadyang magpalaglag sa kabila ng pintuang nakapinid at madali sanang pasukan. Sa mga pagkakataong sumasagi sa isip ang mga taong bumitaw at nabitawan ay hindi ko maiwasan ang mapaisip: marahil ay sadyang nagkakakilala ang mga taong tinakda sa bawat isa.

Gaya na lang ng alamat ni Alvin_Fairview na hanggang ngayon ay usap-usapan pa rin sa tagayan. Sa mga kutong lupa at bagong mga miyembro, si Alvin_Fairview ang isa sa pinakaunang pangalang lumutang nang si Papa Tagay, Papa Markh, Papa Pilyo at Bloigg ay mga online profiles pa lang. Kung gaano kapilyo at kaharot ang mga binata sa blog ngayon ay masasabing doble pa noon. Sila ang mga powerhouse sa thread ng Walang Mukha. Kasama si Binata at BloodCherry, riot kapag nagpapang-abot ang mga ito.

Ayon sa kuwento, dumating ang panahon na nagsawa ang mga binata sa kakaharot sa isa't isa. Sa wakas ay natapos rin ang mga nakakatigas-burat na pagpapalitan ng  mga post sa  thread. Limot na sa ala-ala kung sino ang talagang nagtawag ng eyeball. Ang alam ko lang, naroon at nagpakita si Papa Tagay, Alvin_Fairview at si Bloigg. Bali-balitang nag-threesome daw ang tatlo, pero lumabas rin ang tunay na kuwento. Friendly eyeball at tumambay lang sa mall ang nangyari.

Ang pagkikita ay nabahiran rin ng intriga. Isa sa mga dumalo ang nagpost ng picture sa thread na kasama pati ang mukha. Nagwala ang mga discreet dahil bigla silang na-out sa G4M. Sa tulong ni Papa Markh na anonymous pa noon ay nalubog rin ang post.

Masasabing trahedya man ang unang eyeball pero hindi ito naging hadlang upang i-meet si Alvin_Fairview. Pareho kaming walang magawa isang hapon kaya't nagkasundo kaming magkita sa Trinoma. Lakad rito, lakad roon, naging wholesome ang eyeball. Marami ring naikuwento ang binata, karamihan ay limot ko na.

Naikuwento niya na matagal na siyang walang trabaho. Taong bahay siya at bukod sa tigahatid at tigasundo ng mga pamangkin sa school ay babad sa internet. Maputi ang binata, mga 5'6 ang tangkad at may kapayatan. Unlike Papa Tagay at si PGR na talagang lantaran kung magpakita ng  putotoy at katawan, masasabing dinala ng confidence ang online impression ko sa aking ka-meet. Iba pala siya sa personal at kahit ganun ang nangyari ay hindi ako nakaramdam ng disappointment.

At least, nakita ko ang isa sa mga powerhouse ng Walang Mukha.

Dumaan ang ilang linggo at nakatagpo ko rin ang Pinuno. Nasabi niya ang mga kuwentong piniling hindi ibahagi sa akin ni Alvin_Fairview. Sabi niya na nahulog pala ang loob ng binata sa isa sa kanyang mga naka-eyeball. Kaya pala bigla-biglang naging wholesome ito sa thread. Sa kasamaang palad ay hindi siya trip ng ka-eyeball kaya basted ang binata. Nang magkita-kita ang original five sa Araneta isang buwan matapos ang eyeball namin ni Fox, ganito daw ang naging eksena:

Unang dumating sina Papa Markh, Papa Tagay at si Papa Pilyo. Hagikgikan ang tatlo habang si Alvin_Fairview ay nakatayo sa isang sulok.


"Uy kamusta! At last nakita rin kita" Bati ng Diyosa sa kanyang pagdating.

"Kanina pa kita iniintay. Aalis na rin ako kasi OP na ako dito." Sabay walk out ng binata.

Hindi ko na naabutan si Alvin_Fairview. Wala na rin kaming narinig sa kanya hanggang sa lumago ng lumago na lang ang grupo.

Pero kagabi ay may natanggap akong text kay Papa Pilyo.

"Nasa States na pala si Alvin_Fairview nag-email sa akin nakikibalita. Bigay ko ba link ng Engkantadya?"

Pumayag akong ibahagi ang blog.

Si Alvin_Fairview ay matuturing man na kasaysayan subalit ang kanyang legacy ay patuloy na bukambibig ng mga taong kanyang nakasama.

By way of chance and ironic encounters, siya ang tunay na ikalima sa original 5. Kung iisipin, posibleng ang entrance ticket na napunta sa akin ay talagang para sa kanya. Kung hindi sa walk-out dahil sa nabigong pag-ibig ay hindi ako ipapatawag at the last minute.

Wala dapat ako sa Grand Eyeball.

Magprotesta man si Papa Tagay sa pagbuhay ng mga usaping patay na, subalit matapos ang matagumpay na Christmas Party noong nakaraang linggo, tingin ko ay napapanahon na upang balikan ang nakaraan at alalahanin ang mga kasamang dapat sana ay ka-tagay ng tropa.

Naging cameo man ang role ni Alvin_Fairview noong mga araw ko sa G4M, hindi makakailang siya ang  unang eyeball ko sa Walang Mukha Thread. Sa mga panahong naghahanap ako ng sense of belonging, malaking bagay ang kanyang pagpapakita. At kung tama nga ang hinala ko na siya dapat ang nasa spot na aking kinuha, marahil, mas malaki pa ang contribution niya sa paglago ng engkantadya kesa sa aming pagkakaalam.

Hindi man niya matagpuan ang thread at tuluyang maputol man ang aming ugnayan, ang mahalaga ay walang nakakalimot.

Ang kanyang alamat ay habambuhay magiging bahagi ng aming maboteng usapan.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nosebleed | Star Craft

Here's what happens when Mugen gets drunk and then watches National Geographic on television before going to sleep. In fairness, kahit bangenge ay ti-nype ko pa rin sa notepad ng cellphone ang laman ng utak ko.

Apologies for those who can't relate.

I was watching Nat Geo when I happen to catch a program talking about the end of the universe. The show concludes that the cosmos is expanding and the future is a universe without stars. Matter will decay and atoms get pulled apart by the relentless expansion.

But what if a future alien civilization develops the technology to recreate matter and save the countless stars from burning out? These scientists must have forgotten that the maker makes. What if heavenly bodies, such as pulsars, black holes and planets could be created by sentient beings like us?

Nosebleed? Even I didn't really get what I said. Just the same, its fun to discover your hidden side.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Measure of Success

During our college tropa reunion two weeks ago, Omarotti has announced his purchase of a Ford Fiesta. A bank has just approved his 500K loan.  

I do not know his reasons for buying a brand new sports car, but his No Girlfriend Since Birth (NGSB) status might give a hint.

Meanwhile, the annual reunion was held at another tropa's newly constructed 3-floor house. His mansion - his first act as a family man - stands a few steps from the Global City. Everyone was impressed by the leaps and bounds covered by these gentlemen. 

Its hard not to make comparisons.

Once, these young men learned the rudiments of "life" under the watchful eyes of the publishing house. They still fondly speak of employees leaving their food inside a piss-stench bathroom only to get it later to continue their meal. They were nurtured by the House of Jomania while they were away from their homes. Who would forget the nights we ate Ma-Ling and Noodles for dinner, and then scamper into the night to beat a finals' project?

While fortunes ebb and flow, I cannot help but wonder what happened to my own life. Did I make a wrong turn in my career, or my measure of success was never at par with everyone?

And while talks of promotion at the price of other people's jobs loom large in the workplace, I ask myself,

will I still grow in my chosen career path?
will I have to give up my immaterial leanings?
do I have to give up some business allegiances so I can look after my own needs?

All I know is that changes are coming, and maybe, just maybe, for the first time I will have to courage to against the flow.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Survey Says

"The more heartening part of the SWS survey, in fact, is not so much that so many Filipinos still keep faith in the notion that their country will eventually right itself. It is that their values, for all the crass commercialism of the Christmas holidays, appear to remain firmly glued to the right place. Majority of the respondents, when asked what they wanted to receive as Christmas gifts, indicated non-material gifts — “Love/affection” was on top at 29 percent, followed by “family togetherness/family relations” at 17 percent.

More astoundingly, the happy, hopeful feeling was strongest among the class D of society — the masa — at 70 percent, followed by class E (67 percent) and class ABC (65 percent). The most economically miserable, it seems, find meaning in constructing the greatest rampart of hope.

That sounds very much like what Christmas at its core — not the tinsel and the bling, the partying and ersatz bonhomie, but “the season of hope,” as it has been called, a moment of renewed faith that, with the coming of a promised Savior to cleanse humanity of its excesses, the better angels of one’s nature will henceforth be better heard, and help bring about a better life."

Pinoy Christmas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 25, 2010

Now we understand the equation:

We bring joy to others as the Savior brings joy to us.  We pass the blessings (the gifts were just the icing on the cake, you won't imagine the social projects the family embarks on during this time of the year)

What more I could ask, a family at peace, dozens of gifts from cousins and friends, a Canon Powershot from the favorite aunt (because she brought a new camera) and of course, Baabaa's gift, which I will proudly wear at the Encanto's Christmas Party.

Friday, December 24, 2010


There's no doubt as to how it all began.

As far as I could remember, everyone at home give gifts to loved ones. When we were kids, the elders instruct us to go to sleep at around 10 in the evening. They would then wake us up before midnight for the opening of gifts and for the Noche Buena. The yayas attend the evening mass and return home before midnight. Aside from gifts from our parents, “Santa “pulls a big surprise by leaving an extra gift, usually a toy to the kids' delight.

If only we knew then who the “Santas” were.

step one:  pagurin ang boylet. kapag nakatulog, sneak out of the room to wrap his christmas present.

However, if there is something that is subject to debate up to now when it comes to tradition is when I started giving my own gifts.

Three theories present themselves. One was a pair of stockings I bought from Mercury Drug after the Favorite Aunt gave me some money. Another was this apple-shaped salad bowl I bought from a wet market. I don’t know where I got the money. Third was this fluffy toy cat I bought from Mercury Drug too. All of them were for mom.

What I do not know is what came first.

step two: wrap the gift with a crepe paper (tanong niyo na lang kung ano gift ko!!)

And so I was in high school then when I began giving presents to my cousins. I remember saving a bulk of my allowance just to spend it for gifts. Once, I bought a plastic flute for my cousin, Rice. It cost 15 pesos. Among all the gifts she received that Christmas, mine was the first she played.

To cover the gifts for aunts and uncles, I asked my sister to divide the list between the two of us. I would pick the older cousins, while she picked the younger ones – the ones she’s closest to. That was how things were back then. It was no surprise that in college, I also gave presents to my closest friends as well.

step three: put the gift inside the box.

Giving gifts is not easy. Aside from setting aside some money, you have to make time to buy them. When I was a little younger, I wouldn’t mind squeezing myself into the tiniest spots in Divisoria. 168 and Divisoria Mall were my haven. The midnight shopping was an unforgettable experience. How I found the strength and the courage to go through such travails has escaped me now. Perhaps you might call it passion.

Maybe it was an obsession.

step four: make sure the wrapping is neat.  para ayus kapag sinira na yung gift wrap hehehe.

It helped that we were once industry captains. I had to give gifts to all my dad’s employees as a social etiquette, as well as to convey our sincerest thanks for their "pakikisama." I once gave presents to all my friends – numbering around 30 – just to show my appreciation. The frenzy was too intense that mom once commented that I give too much.

“Nireregaluhan ka rin ba naman ng mga iyan?” I shrugged off her question.

Never did I learn to buy wholesale gifts. I would give a couple of shirts, or shorts, or even bags or stuffed toys but when shopping, I try to do things nice and slow. I enjoy discovering new bargain places, or stalking people – especially cousins – just to know their latest craze. Now that I’m a Ninong to at least 5 kids and Tito to six, Christmas is my only excuse to go bargain hunting at Toy Kingdom.

Sometimes I ask myself why do these things.  What drives me to become Santa Claus and then go around the city giving gifts to everyone? There is no denial that I question myself sometimes – especially when you set your entire 13th month pay to fund such yearly ritual.

Others ask why I don’t buy things for myself. I could upgrade my wardrobe by adding a couple of jeans, a shirt, an entire week’s worth of socks or underwear. A floor lamp for my room, a flat screen TV, a PSP or a Kindle can upgrade my way of living.

But why?

Perhaps, I know that behind the self-fulfillment is the lingering emptiness of breaking something that gives you happiness. It was how we were taught, how we grew and how we celebrate the season. Mind not that I get nothing in return. All I know is that there is joy in opening gift wrappers, especially when they’re carefully and neatly folded.

All these years I’ve been chasing my childhood in anyway I could.

And these giving gifts and seeing smiles on people’s faces somehow give a glimpse into what was, what has and what will

become of me.

step five: gift tag says it all (sana pala ginising ko siya the next morning to say "santa"has a gift for you.)

Until the end of time, I remain.

This is the Souljacker greeting everyone Maligayang Pasko! May bliss and happiness find its way to your hearts!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Tatlong araw na lang at Pasko na.

At gaya noong mga nagdaang taon ay napabilang na naman ako sa mga panic shoppers. Paano kasi ay kulang pa ako ng mga pangregalo. Walang time para mamili lalo pa't full swing ang aking mga raket.

But what is Christmas without shopping kaya't heto, kasama sa mga plano ang pamimili ng regalo. I may not have one for everyone, but since its a tradition, the cousins and the kids will have gifts.

Noong Christmas Party ay may natanggap akong regalo. The gift wasn't expected, in fact, I was a little disappointed. I'm out at work and there's no issue about it, but despite everything, it's not my nature to reveal my flip-side.

Hanggang ngayon, I'm still trying to figure whether the gift was recycled or not. Sabi nung nagbigay sa akin na talaga daw intention niya yun, kasi she once saw me walking around in my socks. Kung alam lang niya, naglalakad nga akong nakapaa sa gym. And besides, it won't fit me. Obviously, the socks-slippers are for girls and you wouldn't catch me wearing such a thing.

So I had an idea. Recycling.

Tamang tama, wala pa akong regalo sa isa kong chicks na pinsan. Wala pa rin akong gift kay ex-girlfriend. Either way, matutuwa yung pagbibigyan ko because the socks-slippers are so cute! At kahit hindi kami talo ni ex-girlfriend, the thought counts a lot. She will think pinaghirapan ko yung regalo.

I spent my money for it...

I found time to buy her a gift...

But then, purist ang tingin ko sa Christmas. You give because you give, this same reason must have been the guiding principle of that colleague who gave me the cute socks-slippers. Dehins ko man siya na-appreciate yet for the sake of value, I cannot let it pass as a Christmas Gift. Bigay siguro puwede pa.

I have already bought something for the ex-girlfriend, which I hope she would like. I also bought something for her mom since dalawa lang naman sila sa bahay. As for the cousin, problema ko pa rin ang ipangreregalo. Last count says, kulang na lang ako ng 9 gifts for people. Siguro 14 if I add some more.

This has been the closest, I think, of ever contemplating of recycling a gift. My values have prevailed, and  so I'm planning to give the socks-slippers to my mom. Sabihin ko, I found it sooo cute, I bought at the tiangge for her.

Come to think of it, parang bagay siya kay Pilyo

Three more days and its Christmas. Hope I may not lose the spirit, even when the world around me has become more pragmatic.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Suspension of Disbelief

There is thrill in taking chances, whether it be in gambling with one's fortune, or at least with one's dream. This is the reason why a majority of people line up for the jackpot lottery. This is the reason we enjoy joining contests where one could win big prizes.

This same collective pursuit has become my primary aversion. I cannot recall the last time I drew numbers for my lottery ticket, or even tore stubs to join a charity raffle draw. There were hopeful moments I would, like when Del Monte Fit N' Right announced they would give-away Ipads, or when a family member shoves a ticket urging me to write my personal details.  But most of the time, I see contests as a ruse.

The optimist in me used to believe that the chances of winning a raffle draw, or a contest is big. I poured my heart into every competition hoping my coupon/piece of work/entry would be picked. Sadly, I never won a prize before - ever. There were vague memories of placing my bets in a peryahan, but that was two decades ago. Misfortune seem to have attached itself that never was my name called for Christmas give-aways. A decade into my career life and I still have to claim my prize.

I would have stood my ground and continue to disassociate myself with prizes and raffles. But the reality that some material aspirations could only be acquired through fortuitous means has grown in me that I began to take chances by way of stoking one's luck.

Though the jackpot seems so far-away, lately I'm learning. What's there to lose when its the contests barging at your door.

These past several days, Nuffnang ran an ad on Souljacker. Nescafe Decaf invites everyone to design their own avatar in its Night Studio contest. Winning entries could win an Ipad, an Iphone 4 or even a Macbook Air. The prizes were too tempting to ignore. Given that Baabaa has somehow swayed me to the geek side, a part of me desires to own one of these prizes.

So I designed my Night Studio only to learn that the entries get voted. It seems I've joined a popularity contest and I have no match against those whose facebook friends number around a thousand. It did damp my spirit for some time until I remembered my own mantra about joining contests.

"What's there to lose when its the contests barging at your door?"

And so I suspended my own disbelief and turned my entry into a twisted reflection of what these contests are all about. The entries out there will surely refract the contestants' ordinary dreary life, but I wonder, really, how often does a judge gets to see an abnormally overgrown cat becoming the subject of one's entry. 

My overgrown cat, Bentong needs Nescafe too!

I stand to lose this contest only because I chose not to promote my entry. But I am pleased to learn that my creativity, when triggered, knows no bounds or masters.

Perhaps in another way, I will get that Macbook Air I wanted.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Clockwork Precision

I woke up at past 8 in the morning and arrived at the office 3 hours late. Siyempre, diyahe kay Mami Athena now that she's grooming me for new responsibilities. Everything was already planned yesterday. Even the smallest details were accounted for. The problem was, I woke up feeling I had an extended vacation. I thought it was still Sunday. Kaya naman when I realized that the sun is already high, I called my supervisor to tell her I'm going to work.

She didn't answer my phone.

I was frantic on my way to the office. By the hour dapat ang timetable of accomplishments ko. Kaso tatlong oras na ang nawala sa akin. I don't have any backlogs, but I have to show some real output. Not to mention, there are looming deadlines outside of my day job.

I was able to deliver results within the first two hours kahit nung una eh hindi ako pinapansin ni bisor. I hope she was aware that I was trying to make up for my fuck-up. Hindi rin siya nakapagpigil eventually. Impressed by the quality of my work (sana) she sent a message over MSN.

"ok so this will be the first and last time" ofo lang ang nasagot ko with matching kowtow to the Patroness.

"u calling me when u woke up doesn't really make a difference, u know"  Kahit mag katalikod lang yung station namin eh talagang pakiramdam ko na abot hanggang rooftop ang kilay niya.

Truth is, I cannot promise anything. Sadyang hindi ako morning person but I have to keep my word or heads will surely roll. Besides, I cannot stand the chilly reception whenever I disappoint my mentor.

My skin is safe for now. Two more deliverable and I can finally take a breather. With a 1000-word article for Bentusi before sundown, a 2-hour workout at Eclipse and 40+ gifts needed to be wrapped before the 24th eh nakakapraning talaga. I do not know how to cram everything and still get enough sleep.

I know I'm quite good with time management. Para saan pa't nakapag-plano ako ng paraan para matapos yung Super Mario 3 while paying attention to our Christian Formation Program teacher in elementary. Magaling rin ako matulog sa sasakyan kaya masaya ako pag traffic. Pagdating ko sa destination eh hindi na ako tatamlay-tamlay.

Now that I'm done with blogging, (while holding off this drowsiness because its already past my nap time) I'm going back to work hoping to finish everything by 2 pm.

Hopefully, I can start working immediately on the raketship.

Jomanian Actual Timetable:

9:00a   Mugen arrives at the office. He was 3 hours late
1.00p   Final QA Analysis approved by the Patroness.  Day job output nominal
2.00p   Started working on the other project. Drunken bastards singing off-key at a videoke bar across the street interrupted his writing
5:30p   2-hour workout commenced behind schedule.
10:0p   Wrapped 6 gifts for Christmas.
12:2a   Finished 1000-word article for the raketship. 

6:00a   New cycle resumes by returning to the office.

Summary:  All goals accomplished.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

San Mig Light Diplomacy

Real booze drinkers swear under oath that every slurry word that comes out of their dry mouths must hold true and remain unbroken. The practice dates back to our college days when our flamboyant vice-president brokered a peace deal between my tropa and a rival group.

The bitter divide was tearing the class apart, and being associated with one of the faction didn't help in diffusing the tension. It didn't help either that the soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend took sides with the rival group and took our quarrels personally. Our non-speaking engagement followed by occasional acts of insolence sparked our verbal war.

It happened during the canvassing of votes. The society was having its elections and the rivals knew they had already lost. I cannot recall how the brokers managed to invite the two parties to sit together, but I remember the buckets of beer on the antique table and the slurry talk of the rival's leader.

He spoke of his grudges, as well as the betrayals brought by the society elections. An entire class turned against his line-up and threw its support to the non-partisan local party.  Friends back-stabbed one another; he spoke of how my tropa managed to discredit him, thus affecting the chances of his line-up. The soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend ran as his president and she didn't even get a vote from me.

The round of talks went on. How the brokers were able to persuade the leader of my tropa to sit down remains a mystery until now. There were raised voices, but curses never came out of anyone's lips. Grievances were aired, and without beating around the bush, responses were delivered. The rivals knew that to fight on will result in the collapse of the entire society. Being the senior, we must set an example for the younger batches.

"Tara, inuman na lang."

Hurtful words were hurled that night. But candor was necessary to pull out the shards that had already caused too much pain. If not for the efforts of the class veep, the festering wounds would taint the batch until graduation.

We do not want to end up like our predecessors, who never achieved anything out of their hatred for one another.

Differences were settled that night, only because the new president who was loved and respected by everyone asked for support. She was teary eyed while delivering her victory speech when she was interrupted by one of the supporters of the rival party telling everyone that a losing candidate passed out.

The night-long drama ended in a cliff-hanger, but the time-honored tradition of forging peace at the height of one's drunken ecstasy lived on. It was how I managed to open up my sexuality to my straight tropa, and found some sort of closure between me and my first boyfriend.

Misunderstandings reigned over blogspace and I had a part to play. Some have partially dimmed friendships, while others totally broke ties. I never keep frenemies - ever - and when old friendships are eclipsed by some ties belonging to my warring past, light reappears only when peace is forged.

'Tis not only the season of giving, but also a season of forgiving.

In my drunken state
I lurched towards his spot.
Asking for forgiveness
and hoping the past may not haunt us
So I gave him a hug
and said.

"Kalimutan na natin ang nakaraan."
I do not know what his smile meant, 
but I was only able to truly enjoy the reunion after I've given my peace

After all, we both emerged victorious from the strife.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Grinch

'Tis the season to be jolly, ang sabi nga sa isang commercial. Kaya naman kahit may financial crisis sa office ay napagkasunduang magkaroon ng munting salo-salo bago sumapit ang pasko.

I for one would rather divide the cash so that everyone could have extra money come Noche Buena. Pero hindi naman ako ang boss. Kung ang boss nga walang 13th month pay, who am I to object?

Simple lang naman ang stand ko. Christmas these days have been robbed of its essence. Makikita mo yung mga call center agents na namamakyaw ng cheap scented candles para i-pang give-away and you will understand what I mean. Kahit yung mga batang nangangaroling sa daan, hindi alam yung lyrics ng "Sa aming bahay."

Kaya nga kapag may nakakasalubong akong mga nangangaroling gamit ang mga improvised percussions na gawa sa tansan eh talagang namimigay ako ng barya, kahit hindi sa akin namamasko. You have to give credit to their ingenuity. Besides, its a dying tradition.

Going back to work, we were advised na mayroon daw Kris Kringle. Hindi ko lang alam kung kapareho siya nung Monito, Monita but just the same, I am only doing this because the Patroness  had told me. We agree on the same principle that you should only give gifts na bukal sa puso mo. Or you really have thought about it. Pero yung puwersahan, isa yung malaking kahangalan!

Noong bumisita yung HR sa department, dali-dali akong bumunot ng monito. Nakuha ko si bakla, yung agent na dapat magiging congressgay sana kung nakapasok ang Ladlad sa kongreso. Nabunot naman ni Mami Athena si P-Man. Gusto niya sana makipag-trade sa akin. Tamang pang-asar lang, alam niya kasing dati kong inibig si closetta.

Days passed. Dumaan ang aking birthday, pati na rin yung sakit-sakitan ng tiyan the following day kaya dehins ako pumasok. Noong hapon ng 16th, nag-text si Mami para ipaalala sa akin yung munting salo-salo the next day. Timing naman na battle-ready ako para makipag-rambol sa mga panic shoppers sa Megamall kaya nasama tuloy si bading sa gift list ko.

My idea was to give him a glass set na sobrang ganda ng design. Flowers. Tamang tama para sa kanya. Naiimagine ko na gagamitin niya yun kapag may boylets siya na pinapatuloy sa bahay, o kaya naman kapag may "tea party" sila ni Danton Remoto. So I bought the glass set, tama lang sa set na budget. Subalit nang magawi ako sa Greenhills, dun sa midnight tiangge nila, biglang nagbago ang ihip ng hangin.

Dexter Macaldo (his real name, hayan para hindi makalimutan sa balota next time) has been with us since the beginning. Sugo siya ni Mami, kaya naman si bakla ay todo samba sa kanya. Perhaps he felt a little homey in our little corner kaya never siya umalis sa kumpanya. Kahit na ang ganda nung package nang magretrench sa floor. For the longest time, siya na ang ultimate harasser ng mga boys. Seriously, everyone lightens up kapag nagpatawa si bading.

Our professional relationship has been very cordial. Out ako sa kanya and he doesn't mind if we belong to the opposite side of the spectrum. I voted for his party last elections even when everyone around me (including my family) voted for others.

The budget for the exchange gift was pegged at P100 pesos. Sigurado yun, yung mga killjoy sa office ay magrarason na wala daw silang pera. I even doubt if kumpleto kami sa Christmas Party mamaya. But I have always been faithful to the idea that you give gifts because you want to. Presents never require an exchange.

Kaya hayun, nung nakita ko ito sa tiangge at naalala ko si bakla, I realize that it's the thought that counts.

I would have kicked some butt for this one.  

Sobra man ako sa budget at wala man akong matanggap na exchange gift, I haven't thanked him enough.  Besides, after all the sufferings he has been through when his work week was cut short, I think Dex deserve something more than a mug or a hankie or a scented candle.

I wish he would show up. 

Mamatay sa ingget ang mga badet mamaya.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ray Of Light

November 16, 2010,
Kelly Heights Antipolo

"somehow, i find peace in sunsets. i love them more than sunrises. i dunno, 
it's the most romantic view for me."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Simple lang naman ang paghahanda ng kaarawan sa amin.

Pagsapit ng hatinggabi, lahat ng tao sa bahay ay tatawagin para sa candle blowing. Matapos kumanta ng "Happy Birthday" ang buong pamilya ay kakain ng cake at magka-kanya na ring balik sa mga kuwarto para magpahinga.

Mauuwi akong gising buong gabi upang tapusin ang paglilinis ng kuwarto. Mga bandang alas dos ng madaling araw ay tapos ko na ang dresser o kaya naman ay ang bookcase. Ang mga libro na ginagawa kong pang-display ay napunasan na ng alikabok. Ang mga damit na hindi na sinusuot ay inalis na sa lalagyan para ipamigay kung kanino.

Pasikat na ang araw tuwing natatapos akong maglinis. Pansamantala kong iniiwan ang kuwarto para maligo, habang naka-play sa computer ang kantang "No Ordinary Morning" ni Chicane. Pagbalik ay saka pa lang ako matutulog.

Hapon na kung ako ay magising.

Walang malaking pagkakaiba ang kaarawan ko sa mga ordinaryong leave sa office. I try to make it as normal as possible kahit na binabaha ng birthday greetings ang phone ko. Nakaugalian ko na ang hindi pumasok sa araw na ito dala ng pangambang maudyukan magpakain. Literal na nagdi-disappear ako sa mga tao salamat sa pagiging magulang ko.

Kinsenas. Araw ng suweldo. Panic sa pamimili ng regalo. Ginagawa kong excuse ang kaarawan para punan ang mga pangalan sa gift list ko. Ito lang ang okasyon na hindi ako allergic sa mall. Kapag may natira, at puwede pang gamitin sa sarili, saka pa lang ako bumibili ng gift para sa akin.

Binili ko ngayong taon: Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, Tangga and Chos: Beauty Secret Agents, Temptation Island at Yaiba na mga DVD. Lahat mula sa Quiapo.

Padating ng bahay ay may daratnan akong munting handa sa lamesa. Pinoy Style Spaghetti na maraming cheese. Happy na ako sa munting effort. Solb na ako sa aking birthday.

This has been my celebration ever since. Walang party-party, madalas, nakiki-ride lang ako sa mga Christmas Parties ng iba. Kung hindi dahil sa sobrang thoughtfulness ng mga engkanto na nagtatawag ng inuman, the last time I threw a sort of bash was a decade ago. Gusto kong magpa-impress kaya nanlibre ako ng mga kaklase sa Shakeys.

A lot has changed ever since. Nag-birthday akong humahagulgol sa emergency room (kasi naaksidente yung mom ko), nag-birthday akong tumatakas sa Christmas Party, (kung saan naging successful yung matchmaking ko) Nag-birthday akong naglilinis ng pinagkainan ng mga kasama kong lasing, (at ang sabi ng tsiks ko, bakit daw ako ang nagbibigay ng gifts samantalang ako yung may birthday) Nag-birthday na rin akong lasing. (at sa sobrang badtrip ng parents ko ay pinagbawal ang alcoholic drinks sa loob ng bahay)  Nakakahipo na sa kabila ng aking pagiging out-of-touch ay marami pa rin ang hindi nakakalimot.

Remembrances can humble a person.

Fortunes are bound to change. The people you celebrate with may not be there next year. But if there are three things I wish to stay the same, three things that will remain a tradition despite the tide of age, these are:

The candle blowing at twelve midnight. (kahit cupcake man yan o kaya naman cake from Manila Pen)

A blog entry about my coming of age.

A church visit.

Birthdays could mean a lot to everybody - including me.  Sabi nila its a celebration of you and your life and the people you care about. This is why we drink, dine-in or throw a party with our loved ones. If my birthdays lack grand celebrations, I make up for its barest essence: If there is a reason I prefer it to be simple and solitary in nature,


I found joy celebrating it the only way I know.

So that when I get there,
I could always look back
and gaze at this beautiful planet
and brag to myself, in the coldness of space

What a lovely life I've got.

The Moon, the Stars and the Sky
Fullmetal Dreams
December 15, 2006

All glory to the Hand who shapes everything.

In the silence of Baaspace

Happy Birthday... Joms.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Never to be mistaken as a mere sleeping quarters, my room is my world. I can stay for days inside its walls, emerging from the depths of its cocoon only to pee, to shower or to dump at the bathroom. Everything from the desktop computer to the only working cable-ready tv at home is found within my space. Not even the master's bedroom - twice in size - could boast such comforts. There is a 6-tiered bookcase across the queen-size bed.  The dresser not only attends to the wardrobe but it also serves as a repository of memories. Photo albums, letters, even toys, delicately arranged so that every box tells a childhood story. Beyond these wooden megaliths are uncluttered spaces reflecting my desired state of mind.

Twice every year, I let things become disordered. Not only does the bedlam bring upheaval. A general cleaning assured that everything found within my world is accounted for and serves a purpose.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


We are the Bentusi and welcome
you among space-faring cultures.
The Unbound. The Outer Limb.
Trade routes were established at
the time of our ancestors.

Relic Entertainment

It was during the closing days of September when the Project Raketship took form. In the absence of the Patroness, the company suddenly lost its rudder.  The management sailed without direction, our ship went close to running aground.  Thoughts of leaving the company for greener pastures occupied much of my eight-hour shift. When work was over and its time to leave, resumes soared in search of a new world.

The project had its first setback just hours after the venture was announced. A day-long training with a blind boss ended with him walking out from the YM conference.  He left without a word. Work commissions came days later. Lacking instructions, and without proper guidance, the venture was scrapped and the project abruptly stopped.

Aerial surveys of Pinoyexchange showed few promising results. Many part-time job offers had hints of being scams, while content writing postings required skills in SEO. As I browsed the forum for available sidelines, a peculiar post caught my attention. The author was looking for writers who could produce good articles. Nothing more, nothing less. Assured of a job free from chains imposed by wretched keywords, I submitted my application hoping for a swift response.

The Great Harborship Bentus

Thank you for your interest. I have viewed your resume and you sample writings, and I would be happy to welcome you to our team.

Let me just say this right at the start, though: I need to know that you are comfortable with being edited.

I have very specific ideas on how I want the articles to be, and while I will not control most content nor style, I need all articles to be concise, using no more words than is necessary to convey a message; clear, expressing ideas in the simplest, most direct way possible; and correct, i.e., the facts must be accurate.

Within days, I was already publishing articles for an online website. Becoming a ghostwriter has brought me to the realms of newswriting. It was college all over again and I indulged at every chance to reminisce.

Soon I was transferred to my next assignment. It was science writing for kids. I grabbed the chance to explore a new kind of writing, and to atone myself, should my newswriting stint produced mediocre results. Astonished, the articles had awakened my carefree days in elementary.

True to her word, Bentusi sifts through the articles like a true fact checker. She is also your grammar police; choice of words and story flow are more important to her than actual word count. Sources must be verified. Plagiarism, crucified. Revision is part of the job and there were times it gets frustrating rewriting paragraphs of a 500 word article required for submission the next morning.

"Sana tumagal ka ng more than 2 weeks."  I remember her saying in one of our editing sessions.

Being edited is one of the few nuances of writing that breaks a writer's spirit. "Kill your darlings," as William Faulkner said. But how can you kill your offsprings knowing you have put so much effort into their creation? Bentusi might be seen as a scourge by other writers, but one thing that makes her stand out as an editor is that she gives clear directions. As soon as my drafts were submitted, she would give pointers as to how she wants the articles to come out. 

"Always remember, the online reader is lazy. He wants to get info in three paragraphs, i.e. 6 sentences."

There goes another revision.  Another few hours of word crunching in front of the computer before I can take my evening rest.

On the average, I spend four hours to come up and write an article. I usually start writing them halfway through my work shift  Sometimes the hours become eight, when the allure of blogspot or a feisty website cuts through my focus. The drive I spend in blogging sometimes goes to raket science. This explains the reason for the lack of entries these rather blissful days.

But you know when a venture gives you more than what you have bargained. More than getting the extra pay, you become drawn to the vision: You see what Bentusi sees and tries hard to make her personal goal your goal too. In blueprint, the raketship aims to make the souljacker profitable. Nuffnang would bring the ads - and new found ties with the powers to be - will allow me to write entries about different products and gigs around the city.

But things went out differently.

The Bentusi are a space-faring race in the computer game Homeworld. They aid the exiles, the Kushan, in their quest to reclaim their old world, Hiigara. The exiles were from another planet blasted to oblivion. Alone in their journey, the Bentusi armed them. They gave them hope. Before the final battle, it was the Bentusi who revealed their legacy. Like in the game, Bentusi made my raketship vision a reality. More than just a sideline, our projects could become our lifeline.

She came at a time when my career seems falling apart. In less than three months under her mentorship, The fine art of newswriting was again rediscovered. Writing for children, a subject ignored in Diliman had an introduction. The fashionista in me was unlocked, thanks to a writing project about neckties. Finally, just days before the raket season came to an end, a comment writing project allowed me a sneak peak into link-building.

More than the earnings, which could actually rival my take-home salary for 11 days;  More than the writing and editing lessons she gives between our draft revisions; More than the fall-back her projects offer should I decide to leave my workplace for good;

More than the friendship and willingness to share her family to those open enough to appreciate her way of life, the reason why Bentusi is much celebrated in these pages these days is because I am beginning to understand that my future lies with writing.

Her sunshine has seen through the darkest days of my vocation.


check the link for tips on how to transfer your earnings in Paypal to your bank account. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Untitled I

All it took was a dream to become aware that I was still sleeping.  In that dream you said in a text message you're already home, drunk and a little naughty.  Time says its 4 am. I told you to go into my quarters, but then, how is it possible when I found myself in a room with low ceiling, which is not mine?

So I woke up to find the sun peeking between the curtains. And found not a single text message coming from you. Natural instincts, of course, was to look for my significant half.

Had your phone says its unavailable, you would drive me to the highest state of alarm. Not knowing your whereabouts could cause a little jolt of insanity. But the call got through so a missed call would suffice. I left you to sleep, and prayed that a hangover would not kill your perkiness.

Then I remember how eight years ago, such wordlessness would have been a cause to pick up a fight. (and so I had to even use the landline and send the ex-one a missed call to assure I really went home)  Five years before this age, it would have made a strong case to launch a rebellion. (and a reason not to text and ignore the ex-two the entire day)

Demons in me howl a thousand and one reasons for you not to text. But then, after exposing us when the spirit of alcohol had lowered your inhibition, I guess it is safe to think that you got so drunk and dropped like a log the moment you entered your room.

Truth is, I feel guilty that I overslept when I should be waiting.  I should have never allowed complacency to run its course when you told me your straight friends will drop you home.

Hope you enjoyed the reunion, and had a great time bonding with the quinthe. Should you not hear from me this afternoon, may this entry serve as a note that everything's cool. I might have returned to sleep after spending the entire morning thinking how to spend my day-off.

But then again, knowing how I could be very stubborn at times. Chances are I wouldn't rest until I hear your voice and be assured that you're truly home and resting.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


The newspaper headlines banner the country's decision not to attend the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. The announcement has already ignited the fire that will scorch the government in the coming days. While we find it strange for Aquino to boycott the ceremony, writings on the wall show enough reasons as to why our absence is justified.

The recipient of the prestigious award is a Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo. He is a human rights activist in Beijing, imprisoned for his non-violent campaign for free expression. While our constitution guarantees freedom of speech, none of this happens in China. The system worked for them, conveniently, and their economic prosperity speaks of their success.

For an enemy of the state to win the Nobel Peace Prize is an affront to such government. The Chinese were furious of course, why pick on them when they have never meddled with anyone's business. Flexing its muscles, the behemoth has asked countries not to attend the event. The government still owes China a big favor. Caving into pressure is inevitable.

"We do not want to further annoy China," a senior diplomat at the DFA said.

History tells how our failed rescue attempt at the Manila Hostage Crisis almost cost us a diplomatic incident. The Chinese in Beijing hid their disappointment and allowed the senseless butchery to pass. We must not forget too that several western countries issued a travel advisory to the Philippines a few months ago. We were, as they say, a terrorist target and they could not afford their citizens becoming part of the casualties. PNoy pleaded for these countries to reconsider, but no one listened. While our tourism suffered as a consequence, Beijing quietly encouraged its citizens to still visit the country.

These western nations talk of human rights like they are free from the original sin. But look who's talking. When Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks dropped the bomb at the United States, these same countries race to get the whisteblower's head and present it, laden with gifts, to Uncle Sam.

Hypocrisy at its finest.

Our decision to withhold our presence has nothing to do with Human Rights or Democracy. In fact, the government tries hard to be fair and judicious with everyone.

Its simply politics. Period. The West has abandoned us in our time of need. Might as well show China a little gratitude by walking away at this pretentious awarding ceremony and show to the world

HANOI - The Internet and free expression have been increasingly stifled in Vietnam this year during a clampdown that seen almost 40 people arrested or convicted, the US ambassador said Thursday.

"2010 witnessed an overall narrowing of the space for public discourse in Vietnam," ambassador Michael Michalak told a forum ahead of international Human Rights Day on Friday.

"More than 24 people were arrested and an additional 14 were convicted for the peaceful expression of their views."

Free expression increasingly stifled in Vietnam --US

Last time I've heard, these two countries were planning to have joint military exercises.

We deal not with Orocans.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Voices From The Planetship

the vastness is bearable only through love

stones taught me to fly
love, it taught me to cry
so come on courage
teach me to be shy
cause it's not hard to fall
and i don't want to scare him
it's not hard to fall
and I don't want to lose
it's not hard to grow
when you know that you just don't know

Damien Rice

Monday, December 6, 2010

Return To Basics

It wasn't as bad when you look at it. At least everyone's got work, everyone learns to manage their resources, everyone gets to appreciate the simpler things in life. Besides, moving out entails a lot of risks - especially for non-English speakers on the floor. I would rather advise them to get a part-time job doing encoding work than compete with seasoned call center agents. There's a chance they'd be axed when the demand declines after the holiday season.

Tardiness has been my favorite vice since Mami Athena relaxed the rules on our department. I woke up late this morning after having a strange dream about the sikyu agency. In my dream, there was a boardroom meeting. The staff and the managers brought the issue of 13th month pay. It has been the bane of the company for the longest time. We used to augment our reserves by borrowing money. But in the past years, especially after my dad passed away, debts have piled up that its hard for us to secure a loan. The last time I showed up at the office, the company failed to release its commitments to the employees.

They never spoke to my family again.

I shrugged the issue like I used to in real life. That's one situation where nothing could ever be done. On my way to work, I was thankful that I do not have to live in that nightmare again. Imagine having so many lives clinging to your decisions. Nothing could make you feel more guilty committing wrong moves with that.

eight hours later

The hours wiled away and its now 5 in the afternoon. Contrary to my fears that I would get paid doing nothing, I was able to find new tasks after the agents under me were assigned to a different account. I should give thanks to my trainer, the Patroness. Without the versatility she impressed unto me, I would be left doing nothing when the account I handle takes a bad hit.

It was agreed upon that I'd be joining the training on Wednesday. As the other agents receive a refresher, I volunteered to join the session hoping to get some pointers for the other accounts. The refresher is my ticket should new assignments permanently require me to make quality evaluation that is different from what I used to do.

When that happens, I would achieve full circle in the company.

Meanwhile, while transitions at work have put me in a state of limbo, writing articles for Bentusi are beginning to pile up...