Nakasimangot ka na lang palagi
Parang ikaw lang ang nagmamay-ari
Ng lahat ng sama ng loob
Pagmumukha mo ay hindi maipinta
Nakalimutan mo na bang tumawa
Eh, sumasayad na ang nguso mo sa lupa
Kahit sino pa man ang may kagagawan
Ng iyong pagkabigo
Ay isipin na lang na ang buhay
Kung minsan ay nagbibiro
Nandirito kami, ang barkada mong tunay
Aawit sa iyo
Sa lungkot at ligaya, hirap at ginhawa
Kami'y kasama mo
O ikaw naman
Kung sa pag-ibig may pinagawayan
Kung salapi ay huwag nang pag-usapan
Tayo'y 'di nagbibilangan
Kung ang problema mo'y magkatambakan
ang mga utang 'di mo na mabayaran
Lahat ng bagay ay nadadaan sa usapan
Kami kasama mo.
(Words and music by Apo Hiking Society)
31 March 2010
26 March 2010
I had a great time today.
At lunch, my new bunch of officemates brought me to Rallos Street in Pasil to have lunch. This would become my second time to go to that area in Cebu, the first was upon the invitation of Ryan Racal during the Sinulog fiesta. Pasil as I see it is a fish port based on the multitude of fishermen and fishing boats moored in that area.
It was proven as such since my group would soon be feeding me with larang, a kind of fish stew very known in the side streets of Cebu.
I would like to associate larang with the clear soup famous among the Visayans, but only a much better version, I should say. I asked the cook in that place who, unlike the chefs and professional servers you would see in restos, was half naked while tending the larang like he was making a magic potion, if he was putting in some coconut milk on his soup. He clearly made a note that there was no such liquid added into it but water, fresh herbs and spices and the art of making it tasty no one could match.
Indeed, the larang was deliciously filling even if I finished only a bowl with a big slice of fish I forgot the name.
The fish together with the fresh tomatoes, chives, chili peppers, sampalok, strips of ginger and onions formed a tupsy-turvy of colors and flavors one could not ignore as it permeated the air some meters away. No wonder people would come to this place no matter the location.
I promised Gilda to bring her here the next time.
[A word of caution: while we were about to finish our food, another delicacy was being cooked nearby. Sea turtles (pawikan). I know this is illegal and I do not know how and why they cook it right in front of people's eyes. There are even some government people and even policemen eating around and pawikan as a delicacy is not even secret here. No one is apprehended. But still, when you don't buy illegal things, the selling will stop.]
Later towards the evening, I received a text message from Mr & Mrs L, the owner of the Payag Pizza near Sykes, inviting me to join them celebrate the birthday of their son in a dinner with the family.
Knowing Mrs L is an excellent cook who would like to experiment, I readily said yes.
Her brother, Mr W, fetched me up and soon we were at their residence in Mabolo near the Cebu Golf and Country Club. Mr & Mrs L had built their abode in that remote quarter of Cebu away from the sound of city life. Although the construction was still ongoing, I could see that the place looked great and cozy.
Mr L toured me around and I was greatly awed by the architecture of the house despite of the insistence of Mr L that he made the layout and designs. I mean, the place was professionally done and Mr L, who is a businessman could not be designing a place that perfect.
Their home boasted of wide windows they were not actually using airconditioners for the house. The kitchen was the centerpiece with a big marble-top table with stoves in the center. How do you call that kitchen thing?
Their bath offered the view of the course and the trees around. Even the shower was perfect. They even had a hot and cold shower 24/7, even if there is a threat of a major blackout. Their fully functional 250-square foot solar panels provided the electricity of their loft. Loft actually is what I would like to describe the multi-layered house.
It was a planned home and not just for the sake of art.
Much like the food we shared during dinner.
There was an alien-like creature in the table they called lobster but I could not really figure out what it was. The lobster I’ve seen in movies and some pictures on menus were red-orangey and this one was vanilla-colored. Since I could not afford to eat them in restaurants, I made the first dive no matter how weird they looked in real life.
The lobster was actually heavenly. It was cooked in coconut milk and rather spicy, which gave me more reasons to eat them. I attacked and finished two pieces cleaning them down to their skins. And each piece was literally huge. Imagine how gluttonous I was. Ignorant to be exact.
It was the only thing I ate. That and a scoop vanilla ice cream.
Mr & Mrs L were even kind enough to pack some extra cakes and to my shame, another lobster for me to bring home.
I lie bloated and decided to make this blog.
Thank you guys.
24 March 2010
I stared into the moon empty. Boring myself into its brilliance. From my bed, through the windows, summer nights are blue, I noticed. But nothing comes into mind. I adjusted my pillows and forced myself to think. About something. Or someone. But even if the moon is slowly dipping towards the mountainous horizon and still I could not think of anything. My eyes drowsy, however.
It has been a very busy week, doing extra hours that sometimes drag into the wee hours of the morning. My mind is actually used up. I even noticed, only lately, that my works were all the same. Boring. Flat. And nobody pointed them out.
But the moon gives me something to look up to. An inspiration? A sentimental reason? Once, I alighted from the jeep because I could not help but be awed by its magnificent beauty even nursing a stiff neck the day after. And now, in this bed, lying alone and waiting for sleep to come, I stared at her again.
It is one of those rare moments when my head is empty but myself full. Another one of those lunatic moments.
23 March 2010
I was in a jeep towards downtown this morning when I heard a lady asked- Gikuha na nimo imo earring? (Have you taken off your earrings?)
I thought she was just cautious since we were already near downtown where most of the bad elements ply down here.
Imo tattoo tabuni na'g tarong. (Your tattoo, hide them discreetly.)
She was asking the young man beside me.
Curious, I asked why. She told me her nephew beside me would be applying for a janitorial job. Her company would not tolerate tattoos and piercings because of the connotation that tattooed people came from prisons.
I sat dumbfounded. I have both piercings and tattoos.
Meanwhile men and women in barong or coat-and-tie amassed thousands and thousands of peoples' money and they are respected in this country and even called Honorable.
Historical link of tattoos in the Philippines as written by Fr. Gabriel S. Casal, Eusebio Z. Dizon, Wilfredo P. Ronquillo.
Gang tattoos as photographed by Sidney Snoeck, an expat living in the Philippines
Photo grabbed from Mark Baul, a tats collector
21 March 2010
They had a promo for coffee lovers who wanted to indulge. For only 100 pesos, you can have a cup of coffee and a choice of cake. Wasn't that over-indugent enough? I chose a freshly brewed and an Opera, a rich choco cake with a hint of nuts.
After diving in for the cake, I heard angels crying. Or was it Maria Callas singing La Mamma Morta? Was I in heaven?
I wish I could eat my cake and have some more.
19 March 2010
I passed by Junquera Street tonight and was quite amazed that the area is still alive. Although only few wandering souls can be seen compared to the past decades, I can say that the area has seen its days of glory.
Many years back, Junquera was known as the center of Cebu’s flesh market. Every greenhorn coming to Cebu is either fooled by crazy friends or curious enough about the place and willing to try their luck in that side of the world. Almost always, the initiate would come home satisfied bringing with him stories of conquer and STDs.
But not anymore, except that the STD part is now upgraded to HIV, if you are not careful.
Cebu has more sosyal places to visit now when fun, food, booze and great company are required. The Mango area boasts that. I mean I know there is Ayala or IT Park, but I am talking here of masa fun. Call center agents and students now flood at Mango Avenue and paint that portion of Cebu bloody red. Sometimes you do not even have to pay to have fun.
But the notoriety that is Junquera is still stuck in the minds of Filipinos when they come to Cebu. That is why when somebody would start mentioning Junquera as the place to relieve off pent-up desires, what came in my mind is that this person might be away from Cebu for so long or just came in from the provinces.
I know. I was once a lurker in Junquera when I was still hooked up with a bad company.
But right now all you see are seedy bars and restos frequented by very old foreigners baiting their retirement dollars to exotic Filipinos who are willing to be degraded for the sake of money. The girls there, just like the bars they haunt, are only pretty with special lights on. Other than that, you have to be very drunk to see their inner beauty.
In broad daylight, when everything is clear and exposed, these bars and restos need a constant pounding of rain to erase the grime and dirt that stuck on their walls and facades. But constant rain would only flood the area and would show a lot of garbage, adding more problems.
Just like the girls, and, sometimes boys there.
17 March 2010
I did not mind when some of my things got lost in my place. Mostly, they are not that valuable except when a frustrated Akyat Bahay gang wannabe came in through my window he broke and got my computer monitor and some of my Fossil watches.
Other than that, I've noticed that things got lost at certain times, including a bottle of alcohol, my coin purse, a lip balm, my IDs, my passport, a t-shirt or shorts, or bag. Sometimes they appear suddenly only to get lost again. Mind you, I am living alone in a room not considered a maze to any standards. My place is even immaculately clean and in order because of my obsessive-compulsive behavior. A pin lost will not go unnoticed.
When I went home tonight, when I was about to take off my shoes, I noticed my American Eagle slip-ons (pictured here) were gone. I am sure, like 500% sure, that I put it near my huge chair because it was the only place where I will sit and put on and also take off my shoes.
I've looked everywhere, including cupboards, just to be sure I did not put my slippers on top of the canned goods. Nada.
I got frustrated. They were nowhere. May Alzheimer's na ba ako?
15 March 2010
I rarely wake up early. In fact, 4am is almost always the time for me to go to bed. The only time I did woke up the earliest, as in 3 in the morning, was when I observed the Ramadan last September.
Now, excited for a project, I woke up at 5am and food was already in my mind. I had the time for shopping at Rustan's last night and bought a pack of luscious tomatoes, the big ones, some chili powder and cheese spread. I also have some tuna stored in my cupboard.
With hair-rising classical music as background, I did my situps and pushups and thinking of what to bring for lunch. Tuna is an obvious, as if I have another, choice. I suddenly have the desire to be healthy in preparation for the summer.
With hair-rising classical music as background, I did my situps and pushups and thinking of what to bring for lunch. Tuna is an obvious, as if I have another, choice. I suddenly have the desire to be healthy in preparation for the summer.
Ahhh summer. That time when you show what you’ve got. :p
And as Maria Callas crooned La Mamma Morta, a song about love and death, my new sandwich was born. I called it La Tuna Matata (coined from Hakuna Matata meaning No problem).
14 March 2010
Life is beautiful, isn't it?
A national government agency has been bugging me.
The story: I have a project with them and it took them several months for the payments to be released so I insisted that I be paid because I was already languishing in poverty. I have no other means of income, so these projects were the ones keeping me sane.
I asked my friends in that office to help me out. After several pleadings and stories of abject need, I was paid through another fund source. I told them we would be having problems when the real check in my name would come because I could not issue a double receipt. They agreed that I issue a receipt when the check comes in and return them the payments.
After months of waiting the check came. I put it in my account and took weeks of verification before I could withdraw the cash. Talk about government bureaucracy. They are lying about those ads telling us there are no more red tapes.
Well, I sent the money to a family member telling them to give it to that national agency. But my family may have also suffered some economic crash they took a part of the lump, without me knowing.
Now I could no longer pay the used money. That is why they have been bugging me. Their treasurer has been sending me messages since day one asking me to pay because they also need the money. Months have passed, and we switched positions.
I was asked to submit my papers. I submitted them. After a leeway of months, they again asked me to submit another document since they said I had other obligations from the provincial government. Every time I go to their office, I have to sign something. No something came out from them. They are still asking me another document and I have stopped doing them.
Since they have another project for me (yeah, I am so dumb and dumber still) they asked another outside office (not a government office, mind you) to pay me in their behalf so I could work on another of their projects. That office gave me cash alright, but charged to me as cash advance. Now I owe money to that office too.
Isn’t it great?
I was caught between bloating prices for government transactions and being the honest person I used to be. I know that several companies inflate their prices up to 35% when government agencies procure their services because of delayed payments disguised as government bureaucracy.
Some, if not most, resort to bribery so that payments would come out unexpectedly. Yes, those gallons of ice cream or a bilao of pansit you sent to a certain office so your papers can be fast tracked are pure bribery.
We have not changed at all. Don’t blame me.
Indeed, I am a fool. When you have no other means of income, even those you know would pay or not has to be accepted in the hope of seeing a bright future ahead.
I am a positive person. Now, blame me.
13 March 2010
I may be the only Filipino who is not going to watch Pacquiao's fight for the second time. Pacquiao has lost his appeal for me since the questionable and quite controversial deals he has done with Philippine television years back.
And every time Manny's politico-side is being fired up, he has to go training or go to some publicity stunts for another fight. Which gives me an idea that Pacquiao should only concentrate on getting rich through boxing and not trying hard to "help" people as an excuse in joining politics. (Pacquiao will run as a congressman in Sarangani province this May 2010.)
He may win against all boxers of any kind and race and standing, but in politics, he has no grassroot connections. Read- he does not feel with the people in his district. So I predict a loss in Sarangani, the place he suddenly adopts as his own because he could not face his opponents in his hometown of General Santos City.
12 March 2010
Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well. Women rarely had to open doors and little old ladies never crossed the street alone. Men took charge because that’s what they did. But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed men. Disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny. But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for. The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street. For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes. We need grown-ups. We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It’s time to get your hands dirty. It’s time to answer the call of manhood. It’s time to WEAR THE PANTS.
11 March 2010
He was annoyingly nagging all the way that every jeepney who happened to came in closer to his car was shared the opinion he has about those slimy traffic enforcers.
I shared my unsolicited views about violations and that the enforcer was right. I was wrong. The more he blabbed about so and so I have to put my headphones on.
You see, traffic enforcers and drivers are all crazies, lunatics, whatever. There are laws around Cebu including No Stopping signs that are ignored everyday. Drivers in general, abuse those signs and rarely get apprehended. And it is understandable enough if drivers tattle about enforcers. Not until today.
Because of the crazy life in urban places, my mental health got retarded. And it showed in my body. My abs has bloated, my arms lacked strength and my entirety deficient in form and spirit.
So I went to a new hotel downtown and inquired their rates so I could go there after a break in my short job. I was aghast.
Their monthly rate is 900 pesos a month with only the airconditioned gym they could brag about, except a few pieces of a treadmill here, some barbells and dumb bells, one bike. Hmmm.
No shower. No sauna. You use the CR near the hotel lobby if you want to pee. Crazy!
Meanwhile there is an unknown gym somewhere in the Colon area that offered 10 pesos an hour. What do you expect with that kind of rate? Free sauna of course. I mean, the place is suffocatingly hot you don’t need sauna after all.
A friend of mine asked me why gays suddenly flourished when they could not even produce kids. I don't know why. Anyone?
The construction workers were huddling during a break and planning a coup d'etat. Not for their supervisors, mind you. Those workers aired their plight with the wives. While they were working to the bones, their other halves were watching Wowowee, their feet painted red up in the couch. Everyone agreed and shared their disgust. I did not know what was their resolution. I went in to a much cooler place to cool down my head.
Itin was hired again by some company as a staff of a high-class yacht that will travel around Europe. Boktot, her sis, invited me to join them for a send-off dinner for Itin at Abaseria.
We ordered ginataang monggo with alugbati, Indonesian fried chicken, adobong kangkong, inun-onang lapu-lapu, some red rice and the spicy ginamos I truly desired. I had a hell of a dinner and no longer minding my bloated stomach.
That was the sanest thing that happened to me.
10 March 2010
06 March 2010
I cringe at the thought of earthquakes. And lately their frequency have been more often and so intense.
My last tremulous experience was in the 90's when I was yet in college. We were having a meeting with the school president for a school activity when the whole conference room swayed. The sound of the airconditioning unit has tripled and I thought the whole place was going to burst like some bomb. We scampered to the exits leaving our older teachers hiding under the conference tables.
Had the 6-storey building crumpled due to the earthquake, those under tables would have been one of the fatalities. Because that was what our teachers told us when earthquakes strike, we should duck under tables.
That is one disastrous action!
According to an email I received today, ducking under tables could be deadly. The probability of getting crushed is very high. The American Rescue Team International (ARTI) issued some helpful tips when earthquakes strike. And I think this is very logical.
Herewith I copied the tips from Triangle of Life article by Doug Copp.
- Almost everyone who simply 'ducks and covers' when buildings collapse are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.
- Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.
- Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.
- If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.
- If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.
- Almost everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the doorjamb falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!
- Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different 'moment of frequency' (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads - horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the earthquake does not collapse the stairs, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.
- Get near the Outer Walls Of Buildings or Outside Of Them if possible. It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.
- People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.
- I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.
Spread the word.
Picture from science.discovery.com
04 March 2010
03 March 2010
“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” ~Adolf Hitler
You might have received an email claiming to be written by Winnie Monsod telling us why she is voting for Noynoy Aquino. It was a lie. Perhaps written by a staff or a desperate follower wishing she was the notable writer Monsod, the article Why I Will Vote for Noynoy - Winnie Monsod might have some truths in it but the fact that Monsod disowned it makes it A BIG LIE.
The real Monsod wrote in her column at Inquirer.net, Get Real-
To whom it may concern: I am not the author of an e-mail going around titled “Why I will vote for Noynoy—Winnie Monsod.” To the real author/s: Hiding behind others is cowardly. Stand up and be counted. To everybody else: Any statement attributed to me can be very simply checked by referring to this column, or my column in BusinessWorld [Calling A Spade], or a blog under my name in GMA News.TV. Link: Get Real
Another lie being emailed to us is the supposed Mansion of Manny Villar in Salt Lake City. Those photographs actually are from a mansion in a "tony Bel Air section of Los Angeles that has been extensively photographed inside and out because it is sometimes used as the site of location shooting for television programs and movies." Link: Snopes Mugabe/Villar Mansion
Why make a big deal out of them? Because like what Hitler told us- if a lie is repeated over and over, people will believe it.
Picture from moistworks.com
02 March 2010
Ulan, sinong di mapasayaw ng ulan (Rain, who would not dance in the rain?)- goes the song by Bamboo.
And indeed, after a long time waiting for rain, who would not?
The gray skies is after all a welcome relief and not a sign of distress. The rain seems a relief from few months of heat. Thank God! Goodbye blue skies. Goodbye sun.
But wait- isn't it supposed to be summer?
01 March 2010
If you believe in Gibo and what he can do to the country, we need you. You can be an active Green Team Cebu Volunteer! To join, please contact-
Ms. Elouis Tejada
0917 820 3957
Gibo Volunteer Center - Cebu
2nd Floor Shamrock Building
Fuente Osmena Rotunda
TeleFax: 032 253 5239
Sun Mobile: 0922 826 2135, 0922 826 2136, 0922 826 2137
Look for Janiklee.
BE PART OF THE PRIME MOVERS OF THE COUNTRY!GALING. TALINO.
Recent events around the world made me wonder- Are we next?- since it seems that the earthquake is getting nearer and stronger. A force to reckon with.
I don't want us to become one of them. Of course.
I hate to compare between two recent calamities like the Chile and Haiti earthquakes. Haiti seems to be the most affected when their earthquake version was weaker as compared to Chile's 8.8. Haiti's government was nowhere seen during those first critical moments, when people need assurance and morale boosts.
In Chile, their past president and president-elect automatically went live on different media a few minutes after the tremor, urging people to stay calm. Their government told the world that they are ready for calamities like this earthquake since they have not forgotten what they experienced from previous calamities. Several heavy equipment and rescue groups were actually already doing their job as the presidents went live. That's what people need- assurance.
Why I am afraid when such calamity would strike us? (Knocks on wood with matching pwe pwe pwe!)
One word- corruption.
Corruption, as confirmed by studies during the Haiti incident, was the main curse among Haitians. Because of corruption, buildings and major infrastructure support were wasted, burying people down with them. Links: Industry, Shoddy Construction Likely Contributed to Haiti Quake Destruction; Why Haiti's quake toll higher than Chile's
Now I am very afraid of the Philippines.
Pic from CNN- AFP/Getty Images