Search and You Shall Find in My World

27 February 2010

Ecological lessons once more

This medieval church from the Catalonian village of Sant Roma in Spain (above picture) emerged after decades of submersion in a dam project. Due to extreme drought, the water in the dam were gone and the old village emerges once more. News source and pic 

Such is the case also in the town of Potozi, Venezuela (pictured above), several hundreds of miles away from Spain when the water receded from the dam project, several mementos of a town emerged like a ghost haunting the older generation back. News source , pic source 

Meanwhile, the Magat River somewhere up north in the Philippines had people scrambling to save what is left of their fishpens due to the sudden drop of its water levels. News source 

Now let's review our lessons in ecology. Again.

26 February 2010

Wag magmadali sa pag-aasawa. Tatlo, lima, sampung taon sa hinaharap, mag-iiba pa ang pamantayan mo at maiisip mong di pala tamang pumili ng kapareha dahil lang sa kaboses niya si Debbie Gibson o magaling mag-breakdance. Totoong mas importante ang kalooban ng tao higit anuman. Sa paglipas ng panahon, maging ang mga crush ng bayan sa eskwelahan e nagmumukha ring pandesal. Maniwala ka. ~Bob Ong

Naming your child could be catastrophic

I was encoding a list of names for a yearbook project in some school when I encountered weird names of children and I was amaze at how parents could have thought of such names. One thing I am sure, there would be mixed reactions of course. Someday, these kids will be blaming their parents for their choice of names which they will suffer for the rest of their lives.

Been there.

My unusual name created a lot of teasing and other nicks I don’t want to hear. Worst, people would ask me to repeat what I just blurted out when asked for my name. People who are not Bible savvy would always think that Melchizedik (pronounced as mehl-KIHZ-eh-dehk) is a woman’s name! Melchizedik, by the way, was the first high priest and the King of Salem (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6, 5:10, 6:20). He was believed to be a foreshadowing of Christ.

Come again? What was that name? Ms Mechichi… Melch. Damn. How do you spell that? Are you foreigner? How do you call yourself?Frustrating indeed!

Nowadays parents baptize their children names that have no connection to the family. Why should you call your child Dreed? Is he dreadful? Or Bretch to remind you of your britches? Or Danthanian Lance because you misheard the name of one of the Knights? Or Quir Chloue because you expect your child to be queer when she grows up? Or Silver Krysler to remind your wish to buy that car you could not afford?

Those are real names, mind you.

I remember an article from Foreign Policy, a weird story about a Pakistani diplomat who has been denied his assignment in the Middle East for a simple reason that his name meant Biggest Dick in Arabic. Imagine the reactions of people when he would be introduced. I wonder if his assignment in that area was a punishment.

Strange that a name could make or ruin your future. So if you are expecting now, be sure to name your child right.

Picture from

23 February 2010

Obesity, like beauty, has a price

I was aghast when I saw myself infront of the mirror. I am fat! My stomach has become a one-pack bloated abs. My 30 waistline has grown 33 in a fortnight! This constant invitations to eat somewhere has taken its toll. O my! I am getting fatter without money to spare. Shameless!

Why worry? In the Philippines, those with bulging stomachs (or anybody obese for that matter) has 90% probability of getting loans approved. Maybe, it is "installed" in the Filipinos' minds that the fatter you are, the more you have money to pay for the loans. Where else would you get those fats from? Maybe that was why my so-called friends always tell me I looked better! With this fatness? Hmp!

But studies show that the more you loosen up your belt to give way to your bulging stomach has serious risks. Cardiac arrests, hypertension, and other not so fancy ailments you can find were attributed to those extra folds.

Also, airlines nowadays have the gall to boot you out of their planes for the main reason that you are a security threat to their sagging airline economy. PAL and Cebu Pacific have not done it though, although Cebu Pacific will boot you out if a special child has already checked in ahead of you. Beware if you are an obese special child! (Read this CNN News: Airlines grapple with fat flier issue) Anyways, aside from the extra baggage they could not fine, fat people are known to be slow, can stuck in small doors and sometimes press a hapless seat mate without him knowing that the seat mate is already suffocating.

What an ugly scenario!

There is an interesting study conducted by experts at the International Journal of Obesity among adult Filipino males but they wanted money for that so I could not read the report. I would have wanted to know if seeing obese men and women among the younger generation is a sign that the Philippines is actually getting richer, as obesity is an indication among first world countries that there is abundance in food, junk or real. Meanwhile, let us keep blaming Jollibee or McDonald's while we gloriously go to them and spend our money to help us get fatter.

Well- enough of these justification for getting fat! I think I have to double my efforts to lose them or else I would be gasping every time I go out of my house.

Commentary WORTH READING: A fat tax is a healthy idea 

21 February 2010

Tiktilaok's: Crowing its way ahead

One is a Muslim, the other a Buddhist, so we all agreed to eat chicken. Hungry and wanting to eat a speedy meal for other things to do, we opted to order at Tiktilaok's (literally mimicking the sound of the crowing chicken) at Robinson's in Fuente-Osmeña.

It was a nice catch. For a "fastfood" like that, Tiktilaok's chicken is at par with the gourmet chicken dishes you order at restos. In fact, we agreed that Tiktilaok's is so far the best.

Their chicken is not the burnt chicken we always see at other grill houses around. Juicy, tender, sweet and spicy with lots of garlic on top, Tiktilaok's dominance in the market would not be questionable.

They have different chicken menu but you have to order yourself so you will share what we like.

20 February 2010

Love (Pablo Neruda)

Because of you, in gardens of blossoming flowers I ache from the perfumes of spring.
I have forgotten your face, I no longer remember your hands; how did your lips feel on mine?
Because of you, I love the white statues drowsing in the parks, the white statues that have neither voice nor sight.
I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice; I have forgotten your eyes.
Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to my vague memory of you. I live with pain that is like a wound; if you touch me, you will do me irreparable harm.
Your caresses enfold me, like climbing vines on melancholy walls.
I have forgotten your love, yet I seem to glimpse you in every window.
Because of you, the heady perfumes of summer pain me; because of you, I again seek out the signs that precipitate desires: shooting stars, falling objects.

16 February 2010

Fun at Chatroulette or is it?

There is a chatroom that has come to the attention of the biggies in New York and has been noted for its potential. The website,, lets you chat with random strangers all over the world and is created by a 17 year old kid from Russia. The website is fast gaining followers, about 25,000 and counting when I logged in.

As with other chatrooms, a strong caution should be considered when accessing the service of the chatroulette. Perverts hang around there. 

Trying to elicit fun, I used my Scooby to pose for the cam. These are the faces that reacted to Scoo.

A surprise date at Cebu Wetland Resort

Nap did not tell me there was going to be some good food at the Cebu Wetland Resort, so Ynday and Aling had our hearty dinner at Tiktilaok first. A friend of Nap's invited him to join with her family at the resort and that he could bring anybody. He brought a group, actually. Us.

Not one of us have been there but his friend promised a different ambiance so we went there out of curiosity rather than a Valentine's date.

And indeed, the place was different in an urban place like Cebu. Cebu Wetland Resort (Telephone 032.261.9921) in Tabunol Road (near Cabreros, Basak), Pardo looked like a converted hacienda or an abandoned mine. Several mango trees surrounded the place, most of them heavy with fruits. And some heavy equipment so that I was thinking of a mine. The place is owned by an engineer and contractor that was why there were heavy equipment near the entrance. Although our vision was limited only to the parts that has lights on, I was thinking the sea was just nearby. 

The resort has a big pond where their guests can ride the small boats with pedals. We tried them and it was fun especially all of us could not navigate the boat well. The floating restaurants nearby can serve your catch anyway you wanted them. Yes, you read it right. Your catch. 

The pond actually was stocked with tilapia and some hito and you can actually fish in them. For a minimal price (20 pesos?), you get a pole with a hook and some worms. Several fishing platforms were placed strategically around it. You can even fish right at the floating restos. Your catch will be weighed by the kilo (you pay 180 pesos per kilo) and cooked anyway you want them.

The resort also has rooms for those who would like to stay. I heard aircon rooms costs 1,500 pesos for an overnight stay with breakfast. They also have big swimming pool. A reasonable package is available for picnickers.

Our host called us up to join them at their table. Had I not eaten a full meal, I could have attacked my favorite on the table- deep-fried tilapia. There was also a sweet and sour tilapia, green mango salad (from the fruit we had admired a few minutes ago) and some adobong kangkong (they produce their own kangkong at the back).

The discussions in our table ranged from chismis to politics to heartaches and back. Interestingly, the place was quiet with only the shrill laugh of a gay customer invading the quietness. The lights were turned off but we still discuss things in hush tones.

We went home late.

I promise myself to go back to that place in day time and stay there for a while.

14 February 2010

You had me at hello

You had me at hello.

When I know you, I never thought those words will strike me like the cheesy movie. But, you. You left me gasping for air never knowing you were actually gagging me with your sweet you. You had me at hello.

And hello means goodbye.

I never know. Despite the proximity of our body and soul, a bittersweet ending is inevitable. All along I thought it would matter. That closeness I mistook for love.

You pour yourself out to me, crying your loneliness and desperation in my ear. I listen up to the brim, almost not holding on. But it is okay because I care. For you. You showed me your sweetness. You pamper me with things extra-ordinary. I thought it was love.

You had me at hello. And goodbye.

Today is the day of all days. I took a picture of the heraldic parting of clouds with the rays of the sun forcing themselves through. Add a chariot of fire and an angel of death, it would be the perfect ending of the world. But no. There are no chariots, no fires, no angels. But I know today is the end of the world. Clouds starting to cover my blue sky.

That ending starts with a lovely and intimate dinner and a long walk. We talk and talk. And you hug me, oblivious to the world. We have our massage privately. Everything you do is private. You and me. Alone. We have to conquer the world of our own. So selfish of you. I think you only wanted all of me. Just me. And you. Both of us, alone. In this room.

We make love. Slow and tender at first, ascending in different levels, nearing basic instincts. That frantic animalistic copulation I mistook as love we have shared long before. Hungry. Wild. We tear each other's heart out. I gasp. You're holding me like I am going to run. You bite me like a cougar catching a younger prey, only we are opposite. You are pressing my hand like I was tied. You, yourself bound to me. I cling to our nakedness. Wanting. Licking the sickly sweet sweat that runs on your body, never wanting them to leave. Because I know neither the sweat of you I will taste again nor the sickening smell I have come to love but others abhor.

You come like a bursting dam. Every inch of me is drenched from your shuddering body. I feel like a drowning victim, struggling for breath. I am drowning. Drowning in you. My tree-trunk expanding, filling you.

What you missed to soak, I filled in. I, wanting you to be engulfed by me, gushes like we are swimming in this monstrosity. We hold hands. We kiss. Deep. Long. Overflowing with love I only feel. We cling to each other as if the ending is in the offing. We are afraid. I am afraid.

Wasted, we cling to each other. Sweat, tears and everything salty mixed from within and without. I sighed a heavy goodbye, suppresing a tear I could not. I cried silently. Your light snoring and the rain outside covers my tears.

It is the last of you. Tonight. This Valentine's.

I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am and I stand so tall
I'm just the way I'm supposed to be
But you're on to me and all over me
I live here on my knees
As I try to make you see
That you're everything I think I need
Here on the ground
But you're neither friend nor foe
Though I can't seem to let you go
The one thing that I still know
Is that you're keeping me down
You're keeping me down
You're on to me, on to me and all over
Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long...

Part of the lyrics of the song Gravity by Sara Bareilles taken from

13 February 2010

When cheap is not cheap

I have been asked by people, not just by one person, to go to a cheap restaurant somewhere at the back of Cebu Doctors Hospital here at the Capitol Site in Cebu City. They claim the food there is nice and cheap.

The place is called Vibe's Gourmet. The owners may have thought of a sari-sari store but decided to make it a restaurant on a whim because of its proximity to the hospital. Just by looking at the white uniforms eating there will give you, at least, the security that the place is clean. Although once in a while a puff of sewer smell would invade the place. That is what I don't like.

I went there once just to drink beer because I did not feel like eating. The beer was not cheap at 40 or 50 pesos with a place of that ambience. Some other stores offered lower priced beer but they have a better ambiance.

Last night, I went there again with the insistence of a friend, again claiming that their food is tasty and cheap. I tagged along.

I ordered Herb and Spicy Chicken priced at 75 pesos, a cup of rice included. It was not cheap, I told him. My favorite carenderia offers two viands and one drink for about 80 pesos. My order arrived confirming my theory that this place is not cheap. An emaciated piece of yellowed chicken appeared on my table, greasy and without a vegetable or herb to compliment with it. I asked for a sauce. Nada. They ran out of sauce. Catsup? None. Suka? Toyo? None. WTF! Pwede ba yun?

Jollibee gives you a one-piece spicy chicken with rice, gravy and drinks at 80 pesos plus. You can even go ask for more catsup and gravy.

I begrudgingly ate my chicken that hinted of curry but lacked what it claimed- Spicy! Even the mango shake did not complete my meal.

I went to Jollibee to buy stuff for my grumbling stomach.

Twilight at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

The Cathedral never fails to amaze me every time I go there. My friend said he feels like he is posing in Europe with its architectural wonder outside. I believe him. 

This seat of Roman Catholicism in this booming city underwent a massive renovation last year costing the parish millions of pesos to beautify the building and its premises. They even put an airconditioning system that is rarely used. 

But outside of the premises of the Cathedral many homeless people literally live on its side streets. Such a shame.

12 February 2010

Blogger Ella is harassed by DSWD

I believe Mon Tulfo. He has been targeted by several entities including Panfilo Lacson and Mike Arroyo for his honest and sometimes brutal opinion on wayward things public officials do to pursue their beliefs. Sometimes these beliefs were not for the common good but for personal vendettas.

Here I am quoting in toto Mr Tulfo's account on the harassment done by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to Ella , the blogger who claimed that goods were stored at DSWD warehouse despite of the fact that people suffering from the recent typhoons needed them badly.
Shortly after Tropical Storm “Ondoy” and Typhoon “Pepeng,” a blogger, identified as Ella de los Santos aka Ellaganda, wrote in her blog about a DSWD warehouse overflowing with relief goods sent by Good Samaritans, both here and abroad.
The goods, which should have been distributed to thousands of calamity victims who needed food, water and clothing, were reportedly gathering dust in the warehouse.
The blog showed photos of a warehouse filled to the brim with all sorts of relief goods.
Media picked up the story from the blog. As a result, the news became not only a national but also an international issue.
This angered Cabral who accused the blogger of being a “publicity-hungry bimbo” in a press statement.
Ella’s blog received insults and threats, many of which could be traced to the DSWD website.
An agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), accompanied by three burly men identified as DSWD employees, went to Tahanan Publishing in Legaspi Village, Makati City, the publisher of a book allegedly written by Ella.
The same group also allegedly went to the Parañnaque residence of the Dolor family, as Cabral was reportedly convinced that Ella was a member of that family.
Cabral would also announce in a news conference that the blogger had taken back her words in a subsequent blog, which was tantamount to a public apology, the DSWD website said.
It was a lie since Ella never did that.
Last week, the NBI announced it was filing a libel case against the blogger on instructions of Secretary Cabral.
The lawsuit has a chilling effect on the blogging community.
It sends the message that online writers and commentators cannot exercise their right to free speech.
What does Cabral stand to gain by harassing the blogger who, I’m told, is 28 years old and about to get married?
The marriage is being put on hold because the family is scared of Cabral.

Photo grabbed from

11 February 2010

Eating garbage

I woke up to the smell of puke. That sour, metallic, drunk puke I smell when Father was having a drunken fit the night before. I thought I was only dreaming but I was wide awake with the smell enveloping me. I gagged.

It was my former housemate who came in last night to use my computer. He was cooking instant noodles.

I told him to open all windows and doors and turn the fans on and stop cooking instant noodles!

I abhor instant noodles. It is not only the smell. They promise you of instant gratification more than the garbage they printed on each of the Nutrition Facts on the packaging. You don’t have to go to the BFAD to know. People in the provinces know. And they are not nutritionists. A snap of kalamunggay, or a string of beans would give more protein and energy more than they promised.

I wonder why the Department of Education opted to feed children with that crap. Even if they scrapped the project after persistent clamor from the public to explain why they will spend millions for trash, still that government entity was guilty of proliferating instant noodles as good nutrition. Tsk tsk tsk. What a pity. 

Maybe they should consult Ms Vicki Wallace of the Bohol Bee Farm on the elements of good nutrition. She knows better.

10 February 2010

The comforting Lugaw

Lugaw, also known porridge, congee and arroz caldo, has been with the family for several years. In fact, it has been here since my grandparents (and great great grandparents, I believe) existed. I have eaten several variations of lugaw since I was a kid, mostly when I became ill or my brother and sisters were.

Lugaw is actually boiled rice, a delicacy among Asians. I consider them a comfort food since it is very easy to cook and requires no elaborate trimmings. A lugaw is cooked slowly to have that signature thickness, even if it is soft to the palate when eaten. Sometimes spices and strips of meat or fish or other flavors, are added to make it interesting. That is why some of us associate lugaw with someone who is sick or very old to eat ordinary food. We are also required to eat lugaw during the Lenten season.

Craving for lugaw, I attacked the kitchen to make my own version.

I put a handful of red rice in a pot and let it boil for about an hour, adding little water, about half a glass, every 15 minutes or so and slowly stir them every now and then so it won't stick to the bottom of the pot. Then I add in some butter-fried garlic and onions and let it simmer. After 30 minutes, I put in a can of Century tuna flakes and a combination of salt and pepper, sambal (chili paste) and some dried chili powder. (Shhhh- my latest food craving is anything that is hot and spicy.)

Over slow fire, I stir my porridge from time to time, smelling its gorgeous flavors. When the lugaw becomes consistent, I add about 3 tablespoons of instant oatmeal to give it more texture. There.

My lugaw is ready in no time and become my healthy brunch.

Starting today: Be very afraid

Starting today, until May 8, two days before the 2010 election date, the campaign period will start all over the country.

Starting today, expect sweet talks and sometimes hollow talks, from candidates and spin doctors . Some of them will promise to bring heaven amongst us.

Starting today they will become the humblest servants of the earth. Even proclaiming to the huge masses that they will serve us to the best they could, some even promising to move mountains.

Starting today, the crooks, the robbers, the so-called leaders of our nation will come to the lowest of the societal strata, to be one amongst us. They will bring with them cameras and huge group of supporters to affirm that they are one of the poor in this country, hence they are with the poor.

Starting today, the lions will become as meek as sheeps, as pure as The Virgin and with branded smiles and fake handshakes, they will try and insist to win our hearts back.

Be very afraid. Starting today. One of them, if not all, will become another Gloria Arroyo.

Photo grabbed from;

09 February 2010

Ma at Pa!

Gibo is more specific

"I was disappointed with Noynoy. I was initially for him, but I saw that when he spoke, he lacked conviction. He gave answers that were too general, and he wasn’t direct to the point. Walang dating. Hindi ka makukumbinsi (No sizzle, he’s not convincing). Gibo was more specific.”  ~Hilda, 30, a businesswoman (from

08 February 2010

What was the Number 1 song when you were born?

I stumbled upon this site (click on this link) which tells me what was the number one song in the charts when I was born. In my case, Paul Mauriat's Love is Blue

Of course nobody knows what song was number one when they were born! That was why it intrigued me so much so I searched that song and listened to it and yes, I realized I always hear it when I was much younger. 

I remember the vinyl LPs then when the older guys in the house played them on big phonographs and this song was one of the most repeated, daily, like we were on an indoctrination camp. This song also happened to be a favorite during barangay fiestas, in dance halls and in some barrio presentations and used most often as background music on radio programs or soap operas.

I am reminiscing (old people always do!)...

07 February 2010

All for the boys: The Presidentiables

Manny Villar: Tondo Boy

Gibo Teodoro: Lover Boy

Noynoy Aquino: Mama's Boy

Erap Estrada: Kanto Boy

Dick Gordon: Am(erican)Boy

Eddie Villanueva: Altar Boy

Jamby Madrigal: If I Were A Boy

05 February 2010

HIV reports are getting funnier everyday

The recent report on the escalating HIV cases in the Philippines with special attention given to BPOs or call center agents as high risk sector has become funnier everyday even if it is a sad fact that an HIV case in every 3 days (according to the study) is never worth the laughs.

The civilian sector, as I would like to call us here who are not from the health department nor from BPOs, could only surmise from the sides on who was really telling the truth.

Recently, Convergys issued a statement crying foul over this report. They said they are screening their applicants thoroughly and health is a factor on their jobs. Convergys employed about 20,000 agents, the biggest in the country.

Even the vice-mayor of Cebu City protested on the results saying the targeting of call center agents would affect the economy of Cebu. Cebu's economy made a big leap with the coming of BPOs. He asked that the different sectors should stop quarreling over statistics and initiate solutions to the problem instead.

And that was why those statistics have become funny, if not funnier. The affected sectors clearly tell us: THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND OTHER ENTITIES RELATED TO THE SURVEY ARE LYING!

If the study indeed was conducted by professionals and not just by sheer magic, why the different sectors are up against it? Why were these sectors questioning the capacity and the credibility of the surveying groups?

Confused on whom to believe, I stayed on the sides, condom ready in my pocket.

More on the reports:

Picture of staunch AIDS supporter Nelson Mandela grabbed from

03 February 2010


I lined up at Mang Inasal in Robinson's this afternoon for a quick lunch. The place was not crowded since it was already past 2 in the afternoon. But I could not help but noticed the song Dangerous by the Ying Yang Twins played over and over on their PA system.

When I lined up, it was repeated 3 times. When I sat down waiting for my order it was played 6 times. When I was eating it played 5 times. Believe me, I counted them. I don't know if they were subtly indoctrinating us on the dangers of their food, or the people around, or they were referring to me.

Quite irritated, I asked the service crew why the song was repeated over. They did not know. Maybe their player was out of order. I sighed.

When I went out of Robinson's and waited for a jeep downtown and finally saw a 14D coming, I was quite shaken when a fast approaching white car blow its horn in front of the jeep as if he owned the world. I boarded the jeep. The side windows of the car showed an angry man throwing dirty words at our driver.


I was shooting the sunset using my mobile phone but my knees were actually quibbling. I am afraid of heights and I was at the 5th floor of the CIFC Towers near SM City.


While I disembark from the jeep at Escario my feet tripped and the jeep actually moved on when I was still dangling from its handles. The passengers howl in fear. I smiled in embarrassment.


What the song meant to deliver was truly experienced by me. It only means we are living in a dangerous world. Be careful. Wag patanga-tanga, gaga!

Danger sign grabbed from

A simple joy

It is a fact that there are really better and more delicious ice cream out there and sadly more expensive. A scoop at Gelatissimo costs 90 pesos and at The Buzzz 20. Moreover, ice cream now have an assortment of flavors, others are offering weird combination. I saw a foie gras version in Travel&Living Channel and was wondering how it would taste. No sooner than anyone would realize our joke during our younger days that there would be an adobo ice cream soon.

The Bohol Bee Farm through its branch at the Island City Mall (ICM) in Tagbilaran called The Buzzz Café offered a variety of organic ice cream in various flavors. There is even a Kalamunggay ice cream there. Not just flavored but with the real kalamunggay. I did not taste it though. I heaped myself with the Durian.

Nevertheless, one thing that always delights me is the street ice cream. This fare reminds me of young children. Alive, jolly and does not care about the world. Simple flavors like chocolate and mango and ube. Wow. Such simplicity in them is the joy of street ice cream. They offer you relief as well as fun. They ask you to lick them fast or else they will run down your cone and gone to waste. Have you seen a child eating ice cream?

Nowadays, rare are people buying them because they are now called DIRTY ice cream. Such a misnomer! I know ice cream makers sweat it out (but not in their concoction) so that people will enjoy their dessert and would come back as regulars. They painstakingly do them to bring out the best they could offer.

A recent birthday party I attended had a street ice cream complete with an old cart. I wonder why the vendor did not bring a bell with him. The last Lechon Eyeball in Cebu with the Marketman himself of the Market Manila fame featured that same street ice cream. I gorged on them like a child abandoned.

My wish someday is to make my own flavored ice cream. I have all the ingredients in mind. I only lack the equipment to do them. Well-

02 February 2010

A child does not say

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher
I took these shots using Canon Rebel XSi in various locations around the Philippines. All are in their original form except some minor adjustments to colors and levels. Children always amuses me with their innocence and honesty. So this is a tribute to them.

These are our future.