Search and You Shall Find in My World

30 June 2009

Good Morning

I struggle to get out of bed. For the nth time, I will say I am not a morning person, but my body clock is out of control. I would wake up early mornings now which I attribute to my nagging headaches during the day.

Since lying in bed with your body fully awake is not fruitful, I start the day by eating some fruits and drink lots of coffee. Coffee has a reverse effect on me. But still it won't hold until late afternoons.

This morning I tried to go out and drink my coffee outside and watch the sun come out. My place is not facing east so all I see is the lightening of the mountains beyond. The morning here in this part of Cebu is so silent. As if you are transported to some rural area. The birds as usual are cheerful.

I can see a woman washing clothes in the river down below. I laughed at myself. This river was nonexistent a few weeks back. Now that the rains of June are constant, the water trickles down again. Amazing. With all the garbage washed away due to the downpours, the water seems clean and this woman is washing her clothes in them.

I was jolted by a shout of ISDA! at my back. I thought this fish vendor was just part of my dreams. Early morning dreams. But he is here. Palit ka isda sir? Would you buy fish sir, he asked. I just smiled. He might think I am one of those crazies. I am sure this is the first time he saw me.

I went back in and grab another fruit and munch on them while waiting for my coffee to percolate.

When the coffee is ready, I took a cup and stayed outside awhile. Watching people. Watching the sky. The sky is so blue. And the sun crawls itself towards broad daylight. My nagging headache is gone. I ask myself if waking up early is really this exhilarating. Maybe mornings is a great alternative. Maybe I should wake up early from now on.

And then all of a sudden stormy clouds appear. Maybe I should wait for the rain too.

27 June 2009

Service in Bohol: Needs Improvement


I think it takes an outsider to see how the service and facilities fare in Bohol considering they claimed now that the island is a well-known tourist destination in the country. I basically consider myself an outsider now since I am living outside of Bohol and rarely gets home.


I have one word for Boholanos- IMPROVE!

Ambiance for example

From the tacky carenderia in some cockroach-infested street to the "high-end" restaurant in Tagbilaran, they share only one type of music. That is from a local FM station. I don't know if this is an ordinance or a sense of pride or a lack in the province. Music I mean.

Imagine yourself eating some organic food in The Buzzz while some gay DJ chattering overhead reading dedications to all the people in Bohol, naming them one by one. Ten minutes and he has not completed reading the names of some people. It is indeed irritating.

And while eating some local merienda fare at Painitang Bol-anon in the new Agora Square, the DJ spins I Know You Want Me by Pitbull. Of course I know I want my food but please not that music when I am eating a native cuisine.

Try riding a tricycle from the Agora Square to Governor's Mansion and you won't miss what the DJ was talking on your way there.

Service

Boholanos still have that Pwede Na attitude. Tables still are wet and not cleaned just like three years ago when I was still staying in Tagbilaran. Waiters are still called so you can have a copy of their menu. And you still call them so you can order. Sadly, while waiting, it turns out your orders are out of stock.

Airconditioned places are like greenhouses. They still adjust their airconditioners to 28 degrees, competing the temperature outside. As if they could save this way.

You have no choice but go to hotels and resorts just to cool down.

Luxury

That is why MetroCentre Hotel is almost always the option, maybe the last. They have a cafe that serves food 24 hours a day. They have Asian resto at the second floor. The beer is not cheap but cold. The waiters are always ready to serve you and remembers your usual order, despite you have been out for a while.

No. I am not promoting the MetroCentre. I am stating facts.

Interestingly, Gerry's Grill at BQ Mall also has an efficient service. That is without doubt because MetroCentre owners also owned the franchise of Gerry's in Tagbilaran.

Here in these places you won't regret tipping them because they serve you well.

Waiters and Crew

Quality service can be seen, felt and observed and you always know if it is right. Even in stores and carenderias. I can even tell if the restaurant has a dirty kitchen just by looking at their waiters. It all sums up to one significant person- your crew.

I think business owners should focus on their staff to impress visitors.

Unsolicited Advice

Bohol has a lot to offer. No one can argue with that fact. But if Boholanos wanted to compete with other destinations, they have a lot of issues to improve on. More than ten years ago, they have started improving things but what happened between those years, I don't know.

Most tourists would say going to Bohol is expensive. Resorts. Restaurants. Hotels. Even unknown pension houses priced their dirty rooms as if they were DOT-accredited establishments. I can stay in Dumaguete for a 300 pesos airconditioned room with a clean towel, soap, shampoo and heavens- hair conditioner. You could not find them in Tagbilaran.

If it is just expensive without the extra care and pampering that goes with the word Expensive, I think customers would not be going back. That is very basic.

26 June 2009

Farah Fawcett, 62


Hundreds say final farewell to Fawcett

LOS ANGELES, California, United States—Hundreds of mourners paid tribute to Farrah Fawcett Tuesday as the "Charlie's Angels" star was laid to rest in a private ceremony in Los Angeles.

The 62-year-old actress and pin-up girl died last Thursday after a three-year battle with anal cancer, news that was quickly overshadowed by the death of King of Pop Michael Jackson later that day.

Fawcett's 24-year-old son Redmond, her child with longtime companion Ryan O'Neal, was granted compassionate leave from a prison cell to attend.<

Both Ryan and Redmond O'Neal served as pallbearers for the service, held at Los Angeles Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles.

Fawcett emerged as a pop-culture icon in the 1970s and 1980s after her role in "Charlie's Angels" and appearance in a famous poster wearing a red swimsuit that would come to be her defining image.

Michael Jackson Facts

from Reuters' Key facts about Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, 50, one of pop music's biggest stars, was rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital by paramedics who found him not breathing when they arrived at his home, the Los Angeles Times said, quoting fire officials. The TMZ website reported later he had died.

There was no official confirmation of the reported death, and spokesmen for Jackson could not be reached for comment.

Here are some key facts about Jackson.

EARLY LIFE:

* Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children. Five Jackson boys -- Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael -- first performed together at a talent show when Michael was 6. They walked off with first prize.

* Their group later became The Jackson Five, and when it was signed by Motown Records in the late 1960s it underwent its final metamorphosis to become The Jackson 5. Jackson made his first solo album in 1972.

SUCCESS:

* Jackson released "Thriller" in 1982, which became a smash hit that yielded seven top-ten singles. The album sold 21 million copies in the United States and at least 27 million worldwide.

* The next year, he unveiled his signature "moonwalk" dance move while performing "Billie Jean" during an NBC special.

* Jackson's lifetime record sales tally is believed to be about 750 million, which, added to the 13 Grammy Awards he has received, makes him one of the most successful entertainers of all time.

ACCUSATIONS:

* In 1993, Jackson was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy, and police raided his California ranch "Neverland."

* The same year, Jackson announced he had become addicted to painkillers and abruptly canceled a world tour to promote his album, "Dangerous."

* He reached a settlement in 1994, later reported to be $23 million, with the family of the boy he was accused of abusing.

MARRIAGE & FAMILY:

* In 1994, Jackson married Elvis Presley's only child, Lisa Marie, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1996. Jackson married Debbie Rowe the same year and had two children, before splitting in 1999. The couple never lived together.

* Jackson has three children named Prince Michael I, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II, known for his brief public appearance when his father held him over the railing of a hotel balcony, causing widespread criticism.

MORE CONTROVERSY:

* A television documentary "Living with Michael Jackson" was aired in 2003, saying that Jackson still had sleepovers with young boys and had his third child with a surrogate mother. Jackson aired his own rebuttal.

* Jackson went on trial in 2005 on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy in 2003, as well as conspiring to abduct the boy. The singer faced nearly 20 years in prison if convicted.

* The four-month trial ended in June 2005 with his being acquitted of all charges. Jackson has spent time in Bahrain, Ireland and France since the child molestation case ended.

COMEBACK?

* After several false dawns, Jackson and music promoter AEG Live announced he would perform 50 concerts at London's O2 Arena. Jackson had been due to start the concerts on July 13. Jackson had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the London shows, which sold out within hours of within hours of going on sale in March.

Michael Jackson, 50

19 June 2009

On Assignment: Photo Shoot in Bohol

I arrive in Tagbilaran feeling a little bit nauseated. Although the weather is fine, the sea near Maribojoc towards Tagbilaran Bay is quite rough. When I alight from the Weesam Express, it is terribly hot in the pier area, as compared to the freezing conditions inside the fast craft. I feel a sore throat building up.

After a few months of not going home to this place, I suddenly felt alienated. Too many people. Too many motor vehicles. Too small a place. I noticed that Tagbilaran has become constricted and suffocating. That feeling when you are expecting a lot of space but all you see is a horde of sweaty smelly entities and a swarm of tricycles filling your lungs with dark smoke and dusts.

I have to squint my eyes. They hurt like hell from the pollutants and the bright sun. The vampire in me struggles with day jobs. To wither under the sun or die without food and comfort are hard choices to make.

The only thing I am glad is the election season that is obviously here. The roads in Tagbilaran suddenly become smooth and worthy of praise. At least the roads I have passed through. I wondered if the roads going to Mansasa looks like a real road now and not some cratered landscape you see in the sci-fi movies. Such is the magic of elections.

After visiting some friends and former officemates, I retreated to my friend’s house to rest.

Tomorrow will be a busy day.

17 June 2009

Crazy, Just Plain Crazy

Whoever is spreading the email that says Coke/Coca-Cola can be used as a cleaner for toilet bowls must be crazy. I tried it. It didn't clean like Muriatic acid or Zonrox. Plus my bowl invited other pests like ants. Damn!

Goes to show I am that bored because I could no longer get online every time I wanted to because my computer was taken by robbers while I was away.

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I was not able to get a good sleep last night. I don't know why. I totally re-organized my place due to the incident and my bed seemed a strange bed. Even my place was strange.

I slept past midnight with the help of Tash Aw and his book entitled The Harmony Silk Factory. I woke up at 2am for no reason at all. And 3. And 4. Finally when I was able to sleep, it was time for me to wake up. Fluffy-eyed, I dragged myself out of bed.

Before going to the printing press, I re-arranged my place again. And I surveyed the whole place to see if everything was in its place. Made sure I locked all doors.

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A Tang poem from Li Po:

Moonlight shines brightly before my bed,
like a hoarfrost on the floor.
I lift my head and gaze at the moon,
I drop my head and dream of home.

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Sweating profusely from a long walk to OceanJet to buy tickets for Tagbilaran, I was told to come back because I arrived way beyond their cut-off time. I was 5 minutes late. And going back means another long walk. They wanted me to exercise, I think.

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Using the internet cafe is costly indeed.

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I need a cold beer.

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15 June 2009

In the island of the lie

The moon struggles to fight its dominance
The sun fiercely declares contention
The wind, the rain coerced
We live here, we inhabit, we never settle.

But in the land of flying isles nobody wins
Not even the veil-cloaked men that worship their gods
Keep running, keep floating, the winged black things
Keep the fight fair and unchanging.

The sun, the moon, the pious men that hold steadfast
The winged evils and the rainbow-colored rides
The brown little stones that scatter in your head when you sleep
The green flora that give everything songs of dubious cause
They too, every one of them, will fall apart in due time.

We live a lie of eternity, the potion of perpetual youth a joke
We insist we conquer everything and conquered nothing
The struggle against dominion and power effervesce
For all we are just fleeting moments of eternity
Beyond that, we die.


Zumarraga Island, 13 June 2009

Robbery Section

I have premonition.

Before coming to Samar for a shooting project, I requested my friend Rex to go to my house and stay there while I was away. I constantly informed him that he should keep all doors locked because of the frequency of robbing incidents happening in the compound. Even the former tenants of my place were robbed at broad daylight, when they were at work, divesting them of jewelries and other valuables.

Despite of the fact that I don’t have valuables or properties notable for a raid, I made sure it would not happen to me. Invasion to a property is like invasion to your person. Que horror!

But like a prophet that I have become, my friend called me up, terribly distressed, because what I feared happened to my place just when he was about to enter. I didn’t know what to do and how to react. I could not cry. I could not laugh. I was empty.

You see, the robber/s got my computer flat screen LCD monitor and my Fossil watches and my useless pairs of abandoned earrings. Of all things. ONLY because I have North Face shoes and some studio lights at home. They even had the tenacity to leave 3,000 pesos out of my 5,000.

Rex called up my neighbors to help him out. He did not know what to do. They called up the owner of the compound, Atty Macario Lim, so his people could secure my place once more. But they could not come, much more show moral support.

I was furious and felt so helpless. I was several miles away and could not see what was happening. I thought apartment owners have the moral obligation to comfort their tenants especially at times like robbery. But they could not even care less and would not even care if you die. Just pay the rent. These money chasers are more like robbers.

Rex and my neighbors went to the Capitol Site barangay hall to report the said incident but they too, were not extra helpful. The people there told my entourage to come back the next day because the blotter section people were already home at 7pm. It was a bad timing. Yet they told Rex and company they have assigned people manning the blotter section until 9pm but they went home early this time. Assholes! They have the audacity to tell their inefficiency.

I could not understand.

I was away from my home and someone took the opportunity of robbing my place and yet these people which were supposed to assist me because they have the moral and legal obligation to do so, could not even come and at least see what was taken.

My photo shoot was affected.

(I am now back in Cebu and using an internet cafe to access my blogs. I don't have the will to take inventory of what really was taken in my place. I feel tired.

My thanks to Rex and my neighbors Mark, Neil and Franz for their encouraging words and for helping Rex.)

09 June 2009

La Mala Educacion- Miseducation of the Filipinos

(Yeah, I know that the title is wrong so you will get my point in the following blog.)

I admit I am not a good English writer and speaker. Maybe this is due to the fact that my teachers and parents are not good too. That was thirty years ago.

Now that we claim we have come to the hitech era and a generation of call center agents and we claim all our teachers have masteral or doctorate degrees, it is a sad fact that they, to be specific, writers of our textbooks, have gone overboard by teaching them young the wrong grammar they probably inherited from their institutions.

Teaching the wrong English in schools, I mean the wrong grammar and all, hurts more than anything else- because you are paying just to learn them.

AND TAKE NOTE-
Director Socorro Pilor of the DepEd-Instructional Materials Council Secretariat said in June 2008 that "21,285,425 English textbooks for Grades 1 to 6 were purchased by the DepEd for school year 2008-2009 for the amount of P666,677,231.00."

The government paid P383 million for the six books of Book Wise.


Wow! We are paying this much to become ignorant!

More of the horrendous mistakes noted by Antonio Go, a crusader who pointed out the errors in the textbooks used in our schools, can be read here and this Inquirer.net link.

Meanwhile, The rain and storm are needed to snuff out the heat in the air. Enjoy the frolicking sun with the refreshing air around! Good weather is here to perk up the mind. Isn't that profound?


Photo from saranggani.gov.ph

Kenny Rankin, 67

We know we are getting old when our favorite singers are dying or are already dead. One by one they die as we try to live each day. Kenny Rankin, for example.

He died of lung cancer on Sunday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the US.

His songs are a ballad to my ear. I remember my uncle, who also is dead by the way, during his younger days. He loved Rankin and always sing his songs like Pussywillows and Cattails, Blackbird, Hiding Inside Myself, What Matters Most, etc.

This one is my favorite.

It's not how long we held each other's hand
What matters is how well we loved each other
It's not how far we travelled on our way
Of what we found to say
It's not the spring you see, but all the shades of green

It's not how long I held you in my arms
What matters is how sweet the years together
It's not how many summertimes we had to give to fall
The early morning smiles we tearfully recall
What matters most is that we loved at all.

It's not how many summertimes we had to give to fall
The early morning smiles we tearfully recall
What matters most is that we loved at all.

What matters most is that we loved at all.



Photo from emiliogrossi.com

08 June 2009

Disturbing

I went home early because I was not feeling well. Incessant cough and colds have been bothering me for a week now. Actually they attacked me in a day and will be gone tomorrow. Add fever anytime and I am sure I have the H1N1. Damn!

I took the jeep home and planning to drop by Robinson's to have my dinner. A rare treat to a sick mind and body. Nearing the jeepney stop at Robinson's I told the driver I would be going down. Naay manaug? (Somebody going down?) I almost shouted, Naa! (I am going down! as if telling him I am going to die now) when infact I already announced it before by telling him and knocking on the roof of the jeepney.

Ay milapas na ta nya naay CITOM (We already went through the stop sign and there is the traffic enforcer).

I took a deep breath.

But suddenly, in a middle of a busy Fuente-OsmeƱa Circle, he stopped, announcing- Pwede na pagdali lang labon way CITOM (You can go down now and make it fast while there is no traffic enforcer.)

What?

Nabuang ka manong? Ganina wa ko nimo gihunong sa jeepney stop unya karon nia tas tunga sa kalsada imo ko panaogon? (Are you crazy manong? You didn't stop at the jeepney stand and now you are letting me down in the middle of the street?)

I was really furious! Suddenly got a massive headache.

This driver wanted to bring me down- down as in dead. Crazy!

06 June 2009

A Case of Stupidity of the Boholanos

When it comes to the Hayden Kho video scandal, the Boholanos made it known that they were against him and declared him persona non grata. Hayden Kho is not from Bohol and I think has never been to Bohol. The Boholanos learned through the gossip vines that Kho is planning to cool off in Bohol. They made it perfectly big by no less than the Bohol legislators making a resolution about it.

BUT now that Bohol has a CONFIRMED INFLUENZA A (H1N1) victim, they let the pregnant woman go! Bohol's first confirmed flu A(H1N1) case is misplaced, so to say.

According to news reports, she was confined at the Borja Community Hospital (BCH) in Tagbilaran City but was discharged even before test results from the DoH central office were released. And to make matters worst, they blamed RITM for the late release of results.

Due to numerous samples being tested by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City, the results were not released immediately. On her third day of confinement, the woman asked to leave the BCH as she had recovered from the flu. (Inquirer reports)

Plain stupidity. And I am sure they are now passing the buck.


pic from doroteos2.wordpress.com

05 June 2009

Remembering Tiananmen

In 1989, thousands upon thousands of Chinese people gathered in Tiananmen Square to demand for economic change and democratic reforms in China.

China ended the protests violently on June 4.

THIS IS FOR THE CHINESE PEOPLE! LONG LIVE FREEDOM!

Meanwhile, in Thailand- one of my favorite character actors, David Carradine, was found dead hanging in his hotel closet. He might be protesting a different cause, but still- you rest in peace David.

Until his end, Carradine lived up to his bad image. (Carradine may have died from sex act.)

03 June 2009

The Awakened Boatman

Mothers or Babysitters?


FYI

In October 1994, Jeff Bezos wanted to name his new Web venture "Cadabra," as in "abracadabra." But his attorney convinced him that this magical moniker sounded a bit too much like "cadaver." Reluctantly, Bezos went with his second choice: Amazon.com.