Search and You Shall Find in My World

30 April 2010


Kita mo niya?

Mora siya’g burikat nabuntagan.
Samtang ang uban nanguli na sa ilang gigikanan
O kaha mitugpa na kuyog sa ilang unlan
Siya naa pa sa kapunawpunawan
Nagpa-gwapa, nagpa-byu, byu sa imong agtang!
Kung unsay hinungdan wa koy kasayuran.

Kung ania pa lang si Nanay sa nataran
Kung tua pa lang na siya sa balay hikaplagan
Sigurado jod ko nga anaay makusnitan
Kung di sa iyang dalunggan sigurado ko diha sa bugan!
Perte raba jod to si Nanay maka-kuan
Makahilak ka uban sa imong bugan.

Hay, buwan
Ngano intawn nga ikaw nabuntagan?

Friday, April 30, 2010
5.30 in the morning

29 April 2010

Gibo protected

I could sense these people were here just for Gibo Teodoro, the future president of the republic. The crowd is mostly young. Students. Yuppies. Although the baby boomers are also here but the younger generation made their presence felt. They sing. They chant Gibo’s name. Despite the fact that local politicians mingle among the crowd, only a few acknowledge them.

I am actually thrilled and beaming with pride that the youth group is now involved with the cause they believed in. Gone are the passive young age brackets who only think of going out, spend someone else’s money and get drunk.

Which made me compare.

I was stuck in Jones Avenue the other night because Erap’s supporters had a torch parade. The only difference was they were bringing a lot of children, the non-voting population. It was a rowdy crowd with no direction. They were scattered along Jones like they only wanted to end the march without minding that they were making islands of their own, totally separate from the group, so the traffic.

But here, despite the electricity caused by the crowd’s enthusiasm, the whole place is in order. No pushing and shoving, no stepping on someone. Just a sea of green shirts and raised hands with green ballers.

Gibo! Gibo! Gibo!

When Gibo Teodoro came out from a briefing, there was a beautiful pandemonium. An orderly chaos of supporters rushing in, taking pictures, shaking hands, chanting his name. No one yelp an ouch or two. Everyone is joyous and you could see though them the joy they emanate.

It was time for Gibo to speak. Thunder claps. I myself am drawn to the stage.

As Gibo started airing his impatience on the personal attacks from his adversaries, the skies pour down. I told myself maybe nature does not want Gibo to be one of those candidates who have no clear platform of government so they spend their campaign just attacking other candidates. The rain came to remind him that he is the only presidential candidate who employs positive campaign.

And then a boy goes up the stage and covered Gibo with an umbrella while he is still speaking. What a dramatic scene. No one plans it. The rain is not even fake. My only wish for this moment is a camera to capture a very rare instance. I was only bringing my mobile phone and is several meters away from the open stage.

Why that child? Why not Annabel Rama who is a staunch Gibo supporter? Why not Gwen Garcia who declared she is only for Gibo? Why not one of the Gibo volunteers who are very active with our support for him?

I could only think of a word- Care. Because the youth sees how our country has suffered from the moral and natural calamities that devastated our Philippines. The young still hopes for redemption of sorts for this country. The young needs someone to rekindle our passion and lend a hand and make this country better again. The man who said- Sulong Pilipinas! And this child wanted to protect him. To take care of this man whom we believe is our rescuer.

Gibo and the child. Hope.

We were drench after and everyone is happy about it. A good cleansing from the dirty politics everyone is using.

Gibo and we supporters, now clean, are ready to face the elections and prove to them that surveys are part of the oppressive strategies traditional politicians implore to aid their nonsense if not forced candidacy.

Sulong Gibo!

First and last photos from Green Team Cebu

27 April 2010


"The only reason I would take up jogging is
so that I could hear heavy breathing again." - Erma Bombeck

Every life a melodrama

Weddings, I believe, makes a family.

From the day a family member announces his or her intentions to marry, the family is kept in constant motion and commotion. And the drama begins.

Oh, why so early?
We don’t have enough money for the wedding!
My, my, are you pregnant?
Why of all people that girl?
You are marrying a family of drunks, for God’s sake!

The couple’s arduous plans combined with the lethal family sentiments make marriages colorful sights to behold.

Also, getting married nowadays is like suicide. In a small town like ours, getting married is also feeding the whole town, whether you sent your invitations or not. Sometimes, it would be wise to get married before a judge and invite only some close relatives and friends. That was how my sister and my cousin did. I think they only lose a few thousands with their weddings.

Since church weddings are considered a tradition, the Filipinos, being traditional, expect a big celebration.

In the end, whether we like it or not, a couple in love will have their way, be it a necessity to marry or otherwise.

My first cousin got married a few days ago and it was time for us to form a circle of support despite the odds. The odds being the manner to make it happen. Of course it takes a lot of money to do such. I assume the couple has to borrow money and ask some relatives to contribute knowing their savings is not enough. Never enough.

Aside from the financial burden, marrying produces a lot of emotions that sometimes are traumatic. I am sure if given the choice, couples would back out before the real thing. Parents, siblings, relatives and friends would create unnecessary problems in the course of the planning.

There is the sister who got angry why her children were not part of the entourage. There is this relative who got insulted he was not given an invitation. The mother got angry and emotional out of nonsense. My cousin even has to negotiate with a crying cousin because someone from the girl’s side asked her to leave the table during the banquet. That is only on our side. Imagine the girl’s.

In weddings, there is always an aggrieved party despite how well-planned they are.

In all these dramas, the couple has to deal with the situation without any support from anyone because everyone is lost in our own passions.

I am sure no one wanted to be part of a couple’s problem. We only wanted our friendship and sense of proprietorship with them to last. A kind of selfish attitude we wanted to hold knowing soon the husband or wife now owns each other and soon we will be spectators in the side. Like abandoned parents.

So we create disturbances, drama, to be noticed.

But because blood is thicker than water, we overcome all these obstacles and celebrate the marriage in banquets, drinking the whole night through, all the problems left behind. Comforting hugs, glasses of wines, sane minds all have quieted the turbulence, leaving everyone exhausted and with a bad hangover a day after.

The drama will repeat in baptisms or when another wedding will come about in the course of a lifetime.

It is a cycle.

Cartoon grabbed from

26 April 2010


“My campaign will remain to be positive because we need to inspire people, we need to encourage people. We need to help each other and lend a helping hand. It has to be positive because our battle cry is ‘Forward Philippines.’” ~ Gibo Teodoro

23 April 2010

Earth day with a plus

I just came from an Earth Day celebration at the still un-opened Persimmon Plus in Mabolo. Glocel invited me to go there to see some nice products on their small tiangge (market).

I was quite lost. But when she told me Persimmon was the former Cuaco building where the original Kahayag and Handuraw restos were located before, I already had in mind where it was.

But still I was really lost, thanks to the helpful residents on that area who pointed out the location, that place is now very different from its former environment.

The Persimmon is actually a cluster of residential buildings (condos, I think, and construction still ongoing) and the nearby Persimmon Plus is a necessary addition where small shops would soon be opened to the public. The urban Persimmon has a class of its own.

It was in that area where small entrepreneurs who supported earth day activities converged and sold their merchandise.

Ms Becky Smith and her Handuraw pizza were there. The Fish Project guys who traded their delicious fruit salad, halo-halo and brazo ala mode also were fun to see preparing their stuff. The Fair Trade group also displayed various products from their affiliates. Ms Eleanor Rivera from San Gimignano Wellness Farm (is that in Lahug) (telephone 032.316.3464) also brought with her her trademark organic farm products. A massage from trained PWDs was also available.

If you're into hand-painted shirts, there are available designs that are cool eye-candies and  being manned by Bob Marley wannabes.

Gilda accompanied me in my explorations of the place. There is not much to see but soon this area would be the talk of the town. Worth a visit was the Happy Rooster Home Furnishing Store. You would surely be awed by some of their products on display which were made locally. Gilda purchased a ceramic tray and a bundle of cute stationeries and envelopes.
We took our dinner at Benjo’s, also a resto participating in that tiangge. The server said their resto is actually located in Talamban area. My order of kalderetang kambing was delicious I would not trade them for lamb chops in some restos in Cebu. They were generous with their spices and vegetables so that the big chunks compete with the meat. I actually muddled the sauce up with my hill-like rice.
For dessert, I gobbled up with so much gusto the brazo ala mode made by one of the staff of Fish Project. It was actually a brazo de Mercedes with vanilla ice-cream in the middle. Those caramelized drops of sugar on top of the brazo were like gems waiting to be picked, no, make it forked and eaten. You can order thru Astrid and Joy (telephone 0916.302.9543), the couple who made them.
It was a great day to celebrate Earth Day.

(The tiangge is open from 10am to 10pm starting April 22 and will end on April 25, 2010.)

22 April 2010

Advice of the Day

Walled In

I received a text message from a see-you-once-in-a-blue-moon friend, a lawyer actually, telling me he was angry with me because of a comment I put on his status at Facebook. I could not remember though because I might have posted it long time ago. So I ask.

He told me my response was full of negativity and that I always pick on him. He was offended when I replied on his status that said he was stuck in a hotel room with only his laptop as company while waiting for his flight home.

I could not understand why my response was negative when it said- Don't be pathetic, Atty. There is so much to see and do outside. Go out!

I stared at my mobile phone like I was waiting for it to burst into flames.

Meanwhile Paramore sang Misguided Ghosts in the background-

I am going away for a while
But I'll be back, don't try and follow me
'Cause I'll return as soon as possible
See I'm trying to find my place
But it might not be here where I feel safe
We all learn to make mistakes

And run
From them, from them
With no direction
We'll run from them, from them
With no conviction...

21 April 2010

Why Gibo Teodoro?

"Gibo is the only candidate who talks about political harmony and unity before change can occur. He is a very good example to the youth, the way he deals with all the attacks against him. His being smart and accomplished are only small parts of the whole thing. Now, we see his character, humility, competence and that for me are more important than politics." ~ Mark Escueta, Rivermaya drummer

Why Gibo Teodoro?
  1. He is the ONLY candidate  who practices positive campaigning. No mudslinging.
  2. He is the only candidate who speaks of reconciliation and unity.
  3. He is the only candidate who does not offer utopia (no promises of paradise) but realistic solutions.
  4. He is the only candidate with a CLEAR PLATFORM OF GOVERNMENT AND REGION-SPECIFIC plans and strategies.
  6. He is one of the few (very few) candidates NOT TAINTED with corruption or any scandal.
  7. He is one of the few candidates with the BEST QUALIFICATIONS for the job.
  8. He is the only candidate with the MOST KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF REGION-SPECIFIC problems.
  9. He is the only candidate who possessed all three attributes a GOOD PRESIDENT must have: INTEGRITY, COMPETENCE and CHARACTER.
  10. He is the only candidate with the political will and machinery to make his platform of government.

19 April 2010

Of face powder and the pa-men

Nowadays, men are as vain as women. The metrosexual revolution has finally invaded in far flung towns across the Philippines even if the rest of the world has already set a newer trend and no longer happy with metrosexuality. You see men powdering themselves in CRs, you see men with faces as white or as shiny as women’s, men who make sure the distinction between the genders no longer exists. And they say they are straight.

One time, I was in the restroom of SM City Cebu when I saw this young man powdering himself. I ask him why he was doing that. He told me so that his face would not shine like he just came from eating pork lard. But men should not be like that, I retorted. Your older generation did not do this of course, was his quick reply.

I chuckled in embarrassment.

The only time I put powder on my face was when I lost in a game of cards called unggoyay.

Yes, it is a fact that we should take care of ourselves, the face being the forefront of our individuality is the first to get noticed. Yes, I also use facial wash and facial moisturizer but other than that, I could not confront the world with my face getting white while my whole body is brown. You can see what I mean when you are in a jeepney or inside the malls.

Really I could understand if the third sex is overdoing vanity to compete with women. But real men? C’mon.

No wonder someone is questioning your sexuality.

Anyways, I received this text message and was laughing while reading it. To the pa-men out there here are some good tips so it won’t get that obvious-

  1. Magpa-borta ng katawan. Para hard.
  2. Huwag masyadong high-fashion ang damit. T-shirt, jeans o chinos at sneakers lang, ayos na. Bawal din yung mga fashionistang bag. Dapat gym bag o backpack lang.
  3. Huwag makapal magpulbo. Sa t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) at leeg lang dapat.
  4. Huwag mag-foundation, concealer, lip gloss, lipstick, eyeliner at blush-on.
  5. Iwasan ang pagkanta ng mga songs nila Regine Velasquez, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, PCD, etc. Mag-shift sa rock, alternative, at boyband songs.
  6. Relax lang dapat ang lakad. Okay rin kapag medyo siga. Huwag mag-catwalk.
  7. Kapag may tumatawag sayo ng Sis, Girl, Bex, Beki, Bading, Bakla, Mader, Mudra, etc. huwag kang lilingon.
  8. Bawal mag-pout.
  9. Bawal ang bumeso-beso.
  10. Bawal tumili.

16 April 2010

Glorious food that will let you forget about GMA or the Catholic Church

I am ecstatic today. Leslie, a good friend of mine from Fish Project, drags us to Lapulapu City to let us experience an authentic Asian cuisine.

Together with Glo and Gilda, she brought us to a small place called The Oriental Spice Gourmet (telephone 032.514.7112) in Basak Road, a few steps from a Jollibee outlet in that area and lost in a crowd of flying schools and grill stalls there. Be sure to look for their signage. They are located in the second floor.

The place, I believe, is authentic so that most Indians and our Asian neighbors Indons and Malays frequent there. When we arrived, some are still in their pilot uniforms.

The owners are a bunch of cheerful couples from Malaysia who said they have to go back to their place from time to time just to get the spices needed for their specials. The wife (I forgot their names) speaks an accented Bisaya and the husband speaks perfect English, he being schooled in London. She entertains the customers and checks the orders if they were right and also acts as the cashier, he the chef and master of the place.

Their restaurant is very simple and attempts to make an Asian setting by putting bamboo branches and a few framed Asian textile art. The tables and benches are made of planks of wood reminiscent of tables in Batuan, my hometown.

Everything in the menu is with rice except the noodles and soup. But we do away with the standard rice inclusion because we ordered a plateful of Oriental Spicy Rice. The rice looks and tastes more like nasi goreng only less oily and more appetizing.

We also ordered Spicy Beef, a beautifully spiced with curry beef, so tender you fear they will crumble at the touch of your fork.

We also ask for Spicy Chicken in Tomato Sauce (their new dish), Hokkien Mee, a combination of vermicelli and noodles with seafood, onions, beansprouts and Chinese leaves. As if the world would end any minute, we order another dish, a Sambal Chicken it is called, because I wanted to taste the real sambal.

I requested for hot sauce or chili powder and the Mrs said, No! You have to taste the real chili. She meant the real sambal and I floated in heaven she asks me where am I from. I said I am from Bohol. She stated matter-of-factly that she never knew Boholanos like sambal. I told her I am the only one. Our smiles collide with the flavors of the kitchen.

For our drinks, we ordered a hot Malaysian tea and some soda. She murmured a Bahasa name I could not get but she said that the tea is available for a limited time only. Now I hate teas with milk but this one came like I would not touch it much more drink, until I was engulfed in its aroma. I could imagine I am in a balcony of a plantation home waiting for sunset. Yes, the tea transported me. It smells different, a combination of tea leaves and citrus and galangal or turmeric. It tasted good we actually order some more.

The Mrs thinks we were done but with the insistence of Glo, we order a Malaysian-style gravy Curry Chicken with potatoes. We devour it like we could not get enough.

I asked the Mrs if they have a Malaysian dessert to close our meal but she said, No more. Her husband the chef doesn’t want her to introduce another specialty. She told us her husband wanted to present different specialties in time, letting each food in the menu be absorbed by their customers. Smart chef.

We go home bloated for less the price. All meals are reasonably priced at 98 pesos. The soup is 118 pesos. Drinks at 35.

Sambal Chicken
Spicy Chicken in Tomato Sauce (Their new dish)
Spicy Beef (Slowly-cooked curry-flavored beef cubes)
Hokkien Mee (Vermicelli and noodles together with prawns, squid, taugi and onions)
Chicken Curry (Malaysian style gravy curry with potato)
The real Sambal!

14 April 2010

Why "surveys" could not be relied upon (also known as- SWS is not reliable after all)

SWS-Manila is doing surveys in Dumanjug, Cebu and a G1BOlunteer was “surveyed". The survey question was (in Cebuano), "If elections were held today, who will you vote for, Noynoy or Villar?"

The G1BOlunteer retorted (in Cebuano), "What happened to the other candidates, they are all 9, right?" The SWS-Survey Conductor answered (verbatim): "Wala na 'yun, dalawa na lang pinagpipilian ngayon!" (There are only two choices now.)

Is this an admission that the Social Weather Stations is not really that reliable? Their claim that they are "a private, independent, non-partisan, non-profit, scientific institute in the Philippines which conducts social surveys and does survey-based social science research and other educational activities, using professional standards, for the main purpose of promoting the broad Quality of Life of the greater number of the Filipino people in the context of a free democratic society" was proven otherwise because of this incident. Sayang ang institution na ito.

Please share this and react at for all supporters of the other 7 that are not being included by SWS!

Pic grabbed from

12 April 2010

The long and exciting road to Malapascua

Many years back, I had the chance to go on a road trip with my Chinese friend up north towards the famous islands that made Cebu famous. That despite of the fact that we could only see the islands from afar because we only stayed in a luxurious golf and beach resort in San Remigio, it was still a noteworthy trip. It was one of the most memorable trips I had in my lifetime and my first exploration towards the north.

For a long time, I have not been to that part of Cebu except for brief visits in Borbon, Danao and Liloan. So when the people at the printing press where I used to standby invited me to join them to Malapascua Island, I got excited. It was another chance for me to go to the north and my first time in that renowned island.

Plans of getting there in time for the first trip (which was supposed to be very early in the morning) were not so sympathetic to a traveler like me who had been doing overtime work for 3 straight days. We took a Ceres Bus trip at 9 in the evening. The trip to Maya port in Daanbantayan was about four hours long.

After spending the night over at some friend’s house, we were able to finally made it to Maya port at 7 in the morning the next day bringing our provisions for our stay in that island. People said that the basic necessities there were expensive (they were reasonable, I believe). The mother of the group made sure we would not be spending anything other than our accommodation. So we were seen with large plastic bags or heavy cartons of supplies. We joked among ourselves that we were like natives going home for the town fiesta. One was bringing a can of biscuits.

Haggling is almost always a must with some boat operators or with other entities and after few attempts we were able to board on one of the pumpboats at the cost of 70 pesos. The regular fare going to Malapascua was 50 but we were told we have to take a launch (those flat boats used to transport sand) to go to our designated pumpboat which was several meters away because the wharf was full. A truly creative way of finding money. Believe me, they were poorer than us so they have to create a way for some unscrupulous business. So beware.

After a short boat ride we finally arrived at Malapascua in high spirits. The island was shimmering from a distance. Its blue and turquoise waters were enough to engulf us with a sense of calm.

Despite the heat, no one bothered to make a grudge. There was no complaint. I was the only one complaining because the water was inviting and yet we were not yet settling down. Being a hard-head that I was, I jumped in the water and had my day ahead of my companions.

We billeted ourselves in a one-room cabana (1,200 pesos for 2 persons and 100 pesos for extra persons) at La Isla Bonita but we were made to wait for the guests to check out. So, like refugees, we made ourselves comfortable in the lawns of that resort. We set up our tents and other gadgets and asked the staff to cook for us. We all had our hearty meal of tinolang isda, kinilaw and pork adobo and lay down on our own refuge like satiated pigs, waiting and waiting for the room to be emptied.

When the room was finally given to us, we changed into our beach wear and rushed to our boat again for an island hopping tour (50 pesos per pax, 100 pesos for the snorkel and life vests). It was actually a tour around the island.

The 2 hour trip was the most exciting moment in my travel to that island. We were made to snorkel among the corals (Coral Gardens), was able to visit a shipwreck near the light tower and getting sunburned without us knowing it because the waters were unusually cold.

After a sumptuous dinner of fisherman’s salad, grilled fish, paksiw na isda and some canned goods, we spent the night drinking all the liquor we brought in and the beer we brought from a nearby store. As expected, we bond together with the help of alcohol.

The next day was spent swimming and getting ready for a long way home.

Compared to my previous trips to this part of Cebu, this Malapascua trip was made cowboy-style, a term we Filipinos often refer to anything without the usual amenities and whatever was available. No special treatments, no bad feelings, just pure enjoyment.

My road trip before was more planned and sanitized, traveling by airconditioned car, eating food according to our choice, drinking from our own bottles and staying in a golf course outside of the horde of people.

This trip gave me mosquito bites, sunburn, pain in the back from sleeping without mattress and pillows, but it was fun. Sleeping under a million stars was more fun.

Before we arrived at the mainland, I already have plans of coming back to Malapascua.

The island

Malapascua Island is part of Daanbantayan, a coastal town north of Cebu. Its name was supposed to be coined by the Spaniards when they were caught in a typhoon in that island with no food and water available, so Mala (bad), Pascua (Christmas or could also mean Easter). The island is famous for diving and snorkeling with some thresher sharks always seen in the area.

The island is very quiet and laid back with an occasional celebration worthy of some noisy disco invasion. Other than that, it sleeps its way through the morning without much noise other than the waves scurrying towards the beach.

Walking around the island (which is only 2kms x 1km wide) is a worthy experience. The folks are basically friendly and helpful. You can always distinguish the tourists from the locals.

To get there

You can hire a private ride or a taxi going to Maya port in Daanbantayan some 3-4 hours drive from Cebu City. It sure is costly though. If you want cheaper means, you can go to the Cebu North Bus Terminal and take the Ceres Liner or Autobus or other bus companies that will get you to Maya port, the starting point to the island. It would cost you about 90 pesos for non-aircon and 130 pesos for aircon rides.

From Maya (Daanbantayan) port, a regular pumboat would cost you 50 pesos but you have to wait for the trip to have enough passengers to get you going. Others pay between 800 to 1,500 pesos for them to reach the island alone with their own company.

In our case, we have to take a launch boat at 20 pesos per pax just to reach our pumpboat which was a few meters away where we pay the regular fare of 50 pesos to Malapascua. There were 21 of us.

07 April 2010

Slowed down at fastfoods

We all wanted to be served fast in a fastfood known in their industry as Quick Service Restaurant (QSR). We wanted quick food because we wanted to run while eating, so the name.

So when someone who is in line waiting for the billboard to come down on them so they would know what they would like to order is irritating. And so are the food attendants who could no longer remember what you ordered because you disrupt their spiels.

At Jollibee:
Attendant: Good morning Sir. What's your order?
Me: Can I have C1, one piece chicken, spicy, any other part but not drumstick, and a regular Coke with no ice plus a large pineapple juice.
Attendant: You ordered for one piece chicken. Spicy.
Me: Yes. One piece, spicy, any other part but not drumstick, and a regular Coke with no ice plus a large pineapple juice.
Attendant: Ok. What's your drink Sir?
Me: I already told you.
Attendant: You ordered one piece chicken, spicy and...

It goes on and on.

At McDonald's:
Attendant: Good afternoon Sir. May I take your order?
Me: Sure. I'll have 2 pc chicken with rice and a large Coke and a hot fudge sundae please.
Attendant: May I repeat your order sir. One piece chicken and large...
Me: 2pcs chicken, Miss.
Attendant: Ay sorry. 2 pc chicken with rice and hot fudge. What's your drinks sir?

Attendant: Hi Sir, I am ___. How do I help you?
Me: Can I have a Zinger, large Mountain Dew and an Asian salad please.
Attendant: You ordered for a Zinger and a salad. Asian. What's your drinks sir?
Me: Large Mountain Dew.
Attendant: One large Moutain Dew. For dine?
Me: Yes for here.
Attendant: Dine in or take out?

Who trained these guys? So what's with these fastfood thing if too many questions and too-slow attendants makes ordering a waste of time?

Picture grabbed from

05 April 2010

Audrey Hepburn said-

"People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone."

Photo from

03 April 2010

Friendships and bullshits

Today is Black Saturday.

The day I cut off my links with some special friends at Facebook because of a mistake I commit. That mistake of knowing them personally.

We were having a small reunion recently when one of them posted our pictures in his albums at Facebook. Elated and overjoyed with the memories we shared just a few days ago, I tagged them and myself in the pictures despite the fact that we have our own copies.

I don’t see the problem with that.

But a mutual friend (outside of the circle) who seemed too concerned with identities pointed out that I am tagging my friends and they may not like it. Still I am blind with identities. You see, we have been together for five years now and knowing their real identities would not pose a problem since I am not alone on that field. My friends know them by nick. They went out with some of them. And the pics I tagged was birthday party for Christ's sake!

But today I received messages from my friends through my mobile asking me to un-tag them. They were furious. Why did I do that, they bombarded me. They have families to protect.

I am furious too. And shocked. They have been in my friends list for quiet a time and they have been posting our pictures as a group and yet there were no questions of identity. We have common friends, some of them we abhor, but posting pictures was not a problem. Not until now when I tagged them.

They have families to protect, they repeat. Their identities. They need privacy.

That made me cringed. That families-thing. I, the culprit, looked like I suddenly become an orphan with no roots of my own and living alone and unknown in this part of the city. I am devastated. And angry.

I looked outside and thanked the rain. This is a sign. Maybe I need to nurture friendships that truly care. Those friendships where you are allowed to be free and be what you are and not hide in a cloak full of restraint like you were doing something bad instead. Just like the rain that started to water the parched surroundings of Cebu. Nurturing.

Life is a drama and this my moment.

02 April 2010

Fried rice with a twist

I am supposed to go on fasting today but there is an extra pot of red rice in my kitchen I have not eaten last night. So I made myself just another meal- fried rice.

For this I am using cloves of garlic, tomatoes, a can of tuna in brine, chili powder, a little vegetable oil, cheddar spread and of course the leftover rice. You can add a pinch of salt, but I did not since the tuna is already salty.

I put in the garlic on a hot oil, make them toasty and then the tomatoes and tuna. I add in the rice and also let them soak up the oil so they will pop and a little crusty. The cheddar spread joined with them after 5 minutes and then the chili powder.

This is what I call “experimental rice.”

Have a blessed Good Friday everyone.

01 April 2010

Lent and Jealousy

Side altar of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Maundy Thursday 2010

Ma, ngano gitabonan ang Lord? A small child was asking his mother why was the main altar and the rest of the side altars of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, with the saints all in there, were covered with violet cloth. To a child, anything a statue that his parents venerate is the Lord.

I was asking that question myself before the innocence of a child blurted it out. For many years as a member of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, I was not able to ask that among my elders and the priests in the church. I am sure nobody gave me the answer because I could not remember any. Like I’ve said, I did not ask.

But that covered altar starting Maundy Thursday until Black Saturday has become a tradition for the Catholic churches around the world. So traditional I could not ask why. I would like to believe that this violet cloth is the symbol of love engulfing all of us into one center of attention- Christ’s passion and death- for us.

For the entire year, we have focused on things other than the main actor of our belief- Christ. We have been coursing our prayers to saints other than the Him, the one and only. We are so like traditional entities asking jobs through our politicians. We have been mumbling them prayers without Christ in focus. We ask, ask ask.

Now it is time for re-focusing our attention.

Which reminded me of an incident just this week. I got an injudicious message (messages, actually) in my inbox at Facebook and in my mobile phone from a green-eyed lover. It was about a poem from Pablo Neruda I posted at an ex’s Facebook page because it was the birthday of the ex. I even forgot I posted it there I have to scan the ex’s page again to see it. It happened months ago.

Now it was an honest mistake. The ex loved Neruda. I did not consider someone’s lover, or wife, or husband. Not even friends. It was THE ex’s birthday, not anybody else’s. So that poem.

But that act of jealousy gave me a false sense of power and security. Honestly. Knowing that my age has long passed the calendar and way beyond a life they say will begin, this jealousy thing made me prouder.

And when you are proud, you gain that unlikely power over yourself and the things you wished you would no longer do. It covered reality. A comforting blanket in a stormy night.

But family and friends always reminded me that jealousy, like a scheming lover, is trouble and it is best to get out of its way. Let them settle their score. If past is past, then let it be. If they have unresolved issues, they should mend it among themselves, not throwing punches to exes. I always consider jealousy as a sign of insecurity. I am not.

Main altar of the Basilica del Santo NiƱo de Cebu, Maundy Thursday 2010

Thanks God I have family and friends who loved me no matter who I am and what I have done. They were there to support me, make counsel and help me spread love. Only love.

Just like the violet cloth that covered the whole of our Christian perspective this Lent.

The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. ~William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude, 1693

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