Search and You Shall Find in My World

30 October 2009

Love and zombies

I was at Robinson's today for a lunch break. Alone and eating silently the two vegetarian pizza I ordered, I could not help but notice a young couple somewhere in a cornered space next to my table. They shared a big lemonade and looked like the two were enraptured with each other. They did not mind the stares. They were alone by themselves. Despite the crowd.

The young man, zombiefied with the presence of his girlfriend, only stared at her like he was afraid she might be blown away any moment. I never have seen zombies actually except in movies. Those hideous creatures who love to bite people. And this young man looked like one, staring at her girlfriend like she was a meal. He was licking his lips every now and then actually, smacking his lips. He, perhaps, was longing to eat her but time and space would not allow him to.

The girl was obviously kilig, the only real person between them. But she was like a trapped animal who could not decide if she wanted to leave or stay. She incessantly looked at her back every time, and many times if someone passed them by. Trapped but loving the moment. Look around. Smile. Stare at his boyfriend. Kilig.

Or were they sharing a forbidden love?

I envied them.

I wish to tell them to savor every moment they have and make them last if not forever. Soon, when the realities of life settles in, there will be no more crazy, raptured moments but a nagging pain to disconnect.
Love, like defecation, is never a settled matter. It forms and re-forms itself, makes itself felt, makes itself a NUISANCE. Merely a vehicle for physical exchange with another - illogical to place so much importance on it. - Lucy Ellmann, Dot in the Universe

Picture grabbed from www.broodonline.com

The endangered Philippine Tarsier in Bohol is still harrased and abused to this day

27 October 2009

The dampa kids of Inayawan

We visited this relocation site in Inayawan this afternoon for a group activity. Curious children suddenly came and played "dampa" (a game of rubber bands using your hand to "blow" them so you could win them) right in the doorstep of our meeting area. I took these shots while they were playing using my Sony Ericsson W810i..

26 October 2009

Club Ultima has seen better days?

Another food exploration time.

Fikri wanted to eat somewhere new and Club Ultima seemed to be the only place we have not eaten. So off we went there past eight in the evening.

The place was quiet even if it was a Saturday. Maybe we were already late with the crowds and not hoping that Cebu abandoned this old place. Cebuanos have this tendency to flock to new places thereby creating a temporary popularity of that place but abandon them when a new one would sprout somewhere. I hope this is not the case of Club Ultima.

But anyway, Club Ultima has seen its better days. I was there three years ago during its heydays. Rumor has it you could not come up there when you are not a member of the Club or a guest of a club member. I think it was not true. 

But the place seemed not interesting anymore. The lackluster place lacked personality as compared to when they were the in place. The comfort rooms were no longer that clean, a smell pervading the air hence they were not comforting. The tacky and dusty plastic plants hanging on the windows at the grill resto many floors up reminded me of a resort somewhere in Bohol. In the corner, a table was occupied by two women.

So we decided to try the Chinese resto instead.

Wang Shan Lo Restaurant looked shabby too. Already tired from going up and down, we settled to a table. The table was supposed to give us the best view of the city at night. "View" actually meant peeking through a space between a skeleton of a nearby building and the Crown Regency Hotel.

Fikri opted the 450 pesos buffet and I ordered dessert of almond jelly cups because I was not actually hungry.

Fikri did not eat much because the food was "just so-so," he said. Unusual for him because he usually "gorge" himself when he really love the food.

I did not finish my strawberry shake and the almond jelly cups because both were very very sweet a diabetic would have died right there and then. The yoghurt shake at KFC is much much better.

We paid our bills of 822.10 pesos (that was for one pax for buffet, one fresh mango juice, one shake, one almond jelly and service charge) and scratch the place for a possible return.

We were never given official receipts.

25 October 2009

DO NOT DELAY the already delayed Philippine government relief goods

***
“Judicious use of resources at the outset is imperative lest we face the situation of even greater want after a period of relative plenty. We at the DSWD wish to assure you that your trust in us is not misplace."
-DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral as quoted by Inquirer.net
***
Inquirer.net 10/27/2009
***


This is indeed disturbing to the maximum level. So many people have already been affected by the recent typhoons that visited the country and hundreds have died YET the Philippine government still thinks this is not yet the time to distribute the relief goods donated by entities from abroad.


I suggest that concerned persons, Filipinos in general and those that donated for the typhoon victims should read that blog. This is a first-hand information on what happened to your donations and what that government agency tasked to do social welfare have been doing, if any, at all. You're donations might be one of those "stored" for special victims. Who are they? Why are the food and other items not given to the victims? Why they claim no one volunteers to repack them?

Ella's title aptly asked: Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo? Sagot ko: Baka ipakain sa rabbit?

(Pics grabbed from Ella's blog)

Beads

When you said that
It did not matter
I surrendered.

Believe me.
It is not easy
Living and loving you
Day to day
Discovering the limits.

Hope Sabanpan-Yu, Beads

24 October 2009

I know I deserve a cholesteric morning

I was up all night and until the wee hours of the morning because my computer had a virus problem. Somebody put his removable disk on my port and it shattered my night.

I was so problematic I consumed my time calling and texting everyone with no answers to be found because my so-called techie friends did not reply back. My cousin Albert was the only person who gave me a temporary relief. Temporary because up to this time, I have more problems connecting to the internet.

So I said I deserved a Big Mac! And to justify my huge calorific intake, I walked down to McDonald’s from my place, about 2 kms away. One Big Mac, one regular French fries, one large pineapple juice and a refillable coffee for only 160 pesos completed my day.

Like a stuffed pig that I am, I slept soundly.


(McDonald's along Escario Street in Capitol area Cebu City is open 24 hours daily except Sundays when they end transactions at 12 midnight. This is the only McDo in Cebu where spacious parking is available. An open-air area for diners especially during evenings is likewise available, a good place to hang around with friends and people-watch. 

No. McDo did not pay me for this.)


23 October 2009

Carpe diem

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart. 
-Erma Bombeck
So we must have a heart
Made of steel
To make sense
Out of senselessness

And the lover
Breathes in the cold
Because he knows
Of dreams that suck
Us down with the illusion
Of warmth that makes
Death seem heaven.

- Hope Sabanpan Yu, Beads

22 October 2009

I was glad it was not pubic hair in our Chowking food

We went to Chowking Sto NiƱo in downtown Cebu last night past 7 in the evening to have our dinner after doing an urgent project at the printing press.

The head of the pre-press department ordered spareribs toppings and siomai, mine braised beef.

When we were about to finish the whole bowl, I heared Ma'am gasped. I asked why. At the bottom of her food was hair. Yes, hair. But all seemed useless. She already consumed 90% of the food.

And so I called up the attention of the cashier who was near. She got the hairy bowl and showed the cook shouting- Hoy Jonas tan-awa ra ni o (Hey Jonas see this one). She went back to us asking if we wanted replacement of the food. Yun lang.

Tired, having a big headache and avoiding too many confrontations, I suggested to Ma'am to just drink her iced tea. We left.

This was the hairy part.

21 October 2009

Smartbro-ken

I am a loyalist. Whenever a person, a product or a company gives me complete service satisfaction, it would take me a longer time to change them. San Miguel Corporation, for example. Even if I was in Canada, I only drink their beer despite the price.

When I enrolled Smartbro two years ago, I always shamelessly recommend them and defend them when some people bashed them out because I was satisfied with their performance. Rain or shine Smartbro has provided what I expected them to provide- uninterrupted internet connection. 

That was before.

Lately, Smartbro has broken connections. Not once but many times. They cut me off for hours, sometimes a day! I thought they cut my connection which is most unlikely since I paid my bills. They gave me a good reason to wage war with their customer service reps but I am tired arguing with them.

I asked their service reps at their Smart offices and the usual spiel just like when you call their *1888 number- We are currently upgrading our service is blurted out. That was the reason given to me two years ago when I happened to have a slow connection one time.

What would you do to your most valued company when two years after, they are still upgrading their services? You may be thinking like they never really have improved since?

20 October 2009

A new experience at Jo's Chicken Inato

There is a good improvement at Jo's Chicken Inato at their Capitol Branch in The Boulevard. I actually blogged about their slow service in January 2008 (see this link: Jo's Chicken Inato is Consistent) and have been going back to that place quite satisfied.

Fikri and I have been there for about four times already, and last night Wrecks and I went to eat there again. Upon seating, a waiter readily took our order and informed us that it would take about 10-15 minutes for our order to come. That was actually good. A year ago, they would not answer you if you ask them where was your order.

I ordered for a baked scallops and was surprised to see only six of them forming a circle in a native tray and their signature papaya salad on the center. Well- with the price of just 88 pesos, I am very sure nobody would dare serve them in a dozen or two. But honestly their scallops tasted better than that of AA Barbecue.

We also ordered tinolang isda which was actually good. I love it when they put string beans in the soup. Reminded me of the way Mother would have her version of tinola in the house. I was wishing there was ginamos and lemonsito for the batong. The adobong kangkong was nice too.

But the grilled chicken was quite raw to my taste, some parts still reddishly raw to consume. But I did not complain. It was a new experience for me at Jo's.

We paid only 420 pesos for the tinola, scallops, 2 chicken set, kangkong and drinks of green mango shake and hot calamansi juice.

The Perks of Old Age

  1. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
  2. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
  3. No one expects you to run into a burning building.
  4. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
  5. Things you buy now won't wear out.
  6. You enjoy hearing about other people's operations.
  7. You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.
  8. You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.
  9. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.


Copied from Sun*Star Weekend, October 17, 2009 Issue; Pic from zazzle.com

19 October 2009

What about now


Shadows fill an empty heart
As love is fading,
From all the things that we are
But are not saying.
Can we see beyond the stars
And make it to the dawn?

Change the colors of the sky.
And open up to
The ways you made me feel alive,
The ways I loved you.
For all the things that never died,
To make it through the night,
Love will find you.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?

The sun is breaking in your eyes
To start a new day.
This broken heart can still survive
With a touch of your grace.
Shadows fade into the light.
I am by your side,
Where love will find you.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love, it never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?

Now that we're here,
Now that we've come this far,
Just hold on.
There is nothing to fear,
For I am right beside you.
For all my life,
I am yours.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
Baby, before it's too late,
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?


Chris Daughtry

18 October 2009

Drink and be merry


My tongue still tastes like lead as I wrote this. After a long alcohol hiatus I got what I deserved last night.

It all started when I convinced Fikri to have a bottle or two after sleeping over a massage at Body and Sole.

We went to this new Maxim Bar and Restaurant at Maxwell Hotel along Escario Street to see what was happening there. The bar is a little bit larger than my room, promising an evening of intimate conversation over alcohol. In fact most of the couple there were already smooching and one french kissing right in public's eyes. Maybe because the place relied its lights from the outside. Since we were adults, we turned a blind eye and concentrate on our orders.

I ordered Black Russian while Fikri only had tea and a salad he said was nice.

The problem with Maxim was its sound system. Although small, its sound system speakers were enormous for the place. And they were turned really high so that we have to shout each other just to be heard, the promise of intimacy gone.

We came there during a performance break of an acoustic singer. And when he returned on stage, the more high pitched the sound came in. It was made worst when a lady from the audience, maybe bored from smooching in their seat, sang a constipated song which made her partner shout in glee.

I went to the CR and returned shocked to see five bottles of Gilbey's Premium in our table. Fikri said he ordered one bottle only but the voluptuous lady waiter gave him a set. I have to consume three.

We went out after our drinks. It would take long before we will decide to come back to this place.

Frustrated, we decided to party at Juliana's in Mango Square.

The place was full to the brim when we came in and had to stay near the CR. I ordered black Russian again and Fikri martini and gave the waitress a generous tip. Suddenly we were ushered to a table and the waitress stayed near us. Inspired, Fikri ordered a bottle of rose tequila. Another generous tip and we have the guards on our side. 

The crowd at Juliana's was mixed. Young, professionals, foreigners, weirdos crowd each other as the party reached its peak. We came home at 5 in the morning.

Literally, as of this writing, I am still drunk.

17 October 2009

You've got a friend

Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow. -Rita Schiano


I was reading this book by Gore Vidal talking about the other side of life we all hate- loneliness, sadness, the need for people to belong, conformities dictated by society and which we follow for fear of being left behind.

And like a bad omen coming true, a friend of mine called me up. He was crying. Those crying moments and the feeling that we are so alone with no friends to share our emotions much less a shoulder to cry on? They were terrible moments I don't want to happen again. So I asked him what happened. He said he just wanted someone to listen to him. Listen I did.

Honestly I have done a lot of crying in my 41 years of living. A million times infact! Maybe I was born twinned with all the sadness in the world. If all of my tears were saved, they could become my own private beach. Crying out of frustration. Crying over loved ones who made their departures. Crying over sentimental journeys. I always cry.

Some say that crying is a show of weakness. I don't believe that and have proven that the people who said that were wrong. Crying makes a person stronger and better equipped with the real world. Crying is like cleansing yourself, making you ready for another challenge.

So I asked my friend to go on crying and I would listen even if there were sobs I only hear on the other end. And while he was crying, he told me a story of a man who got sick and his realizations that we only blame God for everything that is negative- when we are sick, when we suffer, when we have problems. But we never blame God when we are happy and enjoying the good life.

I think my friend is finding his way to the realities of life. And it is good. Because in the end, we are the only responsible person capable of doing what is best for us. Our counselors, elders, psychiatrists, mentors, those who guide us- will never make a blueprint of our lives for us to follow. We are the decision-makers. And I am glad he came to that point.

So Brother, whenever you need a friend, call me. I will always be there.

I am sharing here with you part of the lyrics from the song Baby Don't Cry by INXS-
When you're down and confused
Nothing seems right
And it's you who decides
Who's going to make it right

Well life ain't no joke
But it's good when you smile
Steal everything
But you won't get far

Sometimes you will fall
What cha gonna do?
Give your friend a call

We know that you can smile
Even though it takes a while
To lose your fears and say
Gonna lose your fears and say

Do you know who you are
And where you're going to
Don't you know that love
Gonna pull you
Gonna pull you through now baby

Baby don't cry...


(Picture from s138.photobucket.com. Lyrics copied from elyrics.net)

16 October 2009

Erap will run...


... and knowing the mentality of Filipinos, this convicted plunderer might win again. God help us all.

In sum, the Court finds that prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt the commission by the principal accused former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada of the crime of plunder ...

WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered in Criminal Case No. 26558 finding the accused, Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of PLUNDER defined in and penalized by Republic Act No. 7080, as amended...

The penalty imposable for the crime of plunder under Republic Act No. 7080, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, is Reclusion Perpetua to Death.  There being no aggravating or mitigating circumstances, however, the lesser penalty shall be applied in accordance with Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code.  Accordingly, accused Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and the accessory penalties of civil interdiction during the period of sentence and perpetual absolute disqualification.


pictures from johnryanrecabar.wordpress.com, karlomongaya.wordpress.com; text of Sandiganbayan's decision on Erap's plunder case from chanrobles.com

Expensive doesn't mean nice


Just because the food is expensive doesn't mean the place is also nice. That was my conclusion after a dinner at The Tinder Box in Banilad, Cebu.

Being done with a refreshing massage and after attending mass for the feast of Saint Rita, my Indon friend and I went to Banilad to try the food at The Tinder Box. The place is cozy and bright but we chose the inner room for smokers because the seats there were leather and looked quite comfy. 

The waiter asked us if we wanted a nice ambiance and showed us upstairs to the bar called Z. It was dark and too noisy and a kind of weird place to have the ambiance the waiter told us about. I don't know if it was an insult or he was just kind not to show our faces in the light (LOL) but I did not like it there because the place looked like it was ready for some Halloween party of some sort and I am claustrophobic. So we came down and ordered our food. 


The food at Tinder Box was so-so. The nasi goreng I learned to admire looked cool and nice. The chili prawn was great. The rest, not special actually. Except the presentation of course. Or maybe because of the impersonal way the waiters handled us made the food just so.

The waiters seemed very excited to welcome us at their door. In fact, two or three greeted us there BUT when we were seated for our dinner, they were nowhere to be found. Or maybe they were just busy at the door. It would take some time for our plates to be cleared not until we call them and have them clean our table.


Unlike in Anzani, that excellent restaurant in Lahug, the waiters there would give you a personalized service even if you showed up late in the evening and without a reservation. Here at Tinder Box, no waiting staff have ever smiled us back despite a limited crowd. And we were there just past 7 in the evening. That means the staff were not that tired already.

Compared to Anzani, The Tinder Box does not have the ambiance worth the pay. Sorry I have to compare the two restos because they have the same price range. Meaning? Expensive.

Dinner for two with a bottle of rose wine costs P3,000++. For the total dining experience, I would like to give them a generous grade of 6.

15 October 2009

The entrapped transporter sighs

Have you wished yourself you'd be transported somewhere peaceful and be outside of the noise and conundrum of the city? Have you wished you would not be inhaling dirt but pure air? Have you wished for peace and quiet just for a minute or even a second in your life? 

I did and my wish was granted. 

But it did not took me so long to stay. The first day was torture. Much more when night came and went. I may reason out that the citylife has been imbedded in my psyche so that just by transporting myself to that ideal place was a struggle. A dream, a nightmare I wished it would not happen again.

I don't know why. 

That ideal place I went to seemed different. Very different. Everyone and every place seemed laidback. So laidback it seemed nobody was moving fast. The buffalos, the chickens, the goats. Even people were walking like they didn't care if it was the end of the world. No cold beers, no burgers. I could not even eat a decent meal because meal meant having a large slab of fried pork dripping in fat. That ideal place made me a prisoner of my room. I was left nothing to do but read my tattered book or took shower a hundred times more.

Or maybe someone was just waiting for me to be back...