Saturday, November 29, 2003

A Pancake Haiku

I wrote this in Pancake House, hung over after yet another drink-'til-die session.
I think it would be
rude to throw you out of this
plate glass window.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Yes, No, No, And Yes

While cleaning out my wallet—literally and figuratively—I found this:
Do you still take solitary walks
on windy afternoons as they turn to a
soothing twilight and melt into night?

Do you still write honest poems
when you have nothing to do or are driven
by some unexplainable force in your soul?

It's nothing, I was just wondering,
remembering, how you are. Maybe
you were fortunate enough to achieve
a calm communion with the spirits
within your soul (or maybe you're
wondering what tragedy has struck
to make me this crazy).

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Not Cool

Fernando Poe, Jr. has declared he will run for president in 2004. He'll win, of course; he's so popular only massive cheating will deny him the post.

But I will have a say on the matter: according to the Comelec, those who voted in past elections but failed to validate their registration records can still vote on May 10. They will be placed on a separate watch list and will need to prove that they are residents of the area where they are voting.

Coincidentally, next year's elections will fall on the day of our barangay fiesta. Anyone who wants to get stinking drunk on that day is welcome at our house.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Drunkard Went A-Drinking

We ended up in Gweilos. Had a couple of Lone Star Lights (down with Danding!) and lots of die-young-but-die-happy pulutan. One on one.

Later we met a schoolmate at another bar (which carried only San Miguel Corporation products). Had a couple of San Mig Lights (still down with Danding!). One on one on one.

Thanks, dude. I needed that. Sa uulitin.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Commiseration

I'm still at the office, typing some stuff needed for tomorrow. A few minutes ago I texted J about the Ad Congress results. His reply: "Olats. Beer?" "Sure," I said. "Name the time, name the place." So I'm still at the office, waiting for him to finish a meeting. It's been a long day, but it ends on a high note, if we can help it.

Tasteless Joke Up Ahead

This might make me guilty of perpetuating a stereotype:
All the Muslims in Quiapo support Chief Justice Hilario Davide. Every corner you hear them whispering "DVD, DVD, DVD."
I told you.

Friday, November 21, 2003

I'm Pissed

The plan right after the game was to head to Cubao and catch a bus to Baguio, where my friend J was attending the Ad Congress. I was on the way to the Buendia MRT station when a friend texted. She was ill and asked if I could buy her medicine. Since my friend lived alone and didn't have anyone to help in case she needed things, I decided to cancel the trip. At the MRT station, I counted loose change as I approached the window for Stored Value Tickets. The teller saw me and must have concluded I was poor or illiterate because he rapped on the "Stored Value Tickets Only" sign and jerked his thumb to indicate the "Exact Change Only" window next to his. Since I was a well-bred and -educated Atenean, I reached into my pocket and counted some really large bills in his face. I peeled one off and slammed it down the counter. The guy didn't look me in the eye when he gave me my change and my ticket. I wished so hard he would, just so I can say "Eff you." In retrospect, I could have done with a little more class. I admit I acted like a jerk, but these things really get my goat. Hindi porke barya lang ang hawak ng tao he or she is a second-class citizen.

I'm Tired

Earlier tonight some officemates and I played basketball at the Makati YMCA. I looked forward to the game the whole day because the last time I played was in 2002. A little backgrounder. I've never played organized basketball. In fact, I only started playing as a college freshman. Therefore, I've never developed the needed skills: I'm bad at dribbling, I'm bad at shooting (except when I'm right underneath the basket), and my vertical leap is an amazing twelve inches (when I'm not full). But you can't teach height. That I have going for me. By being 5 feet and 11 1/2 inches tall, most of the time I will get the rebound or the block if I extend my arms and jump. I will also rarely get blocked if I attempt a shot. Now back to the main story. I feel I acquitted myself well despite my long lay-off. My attempts—all undergoal stabs—kept falling: I made nine shots and missed only four (two from three-point area and two from mid-range). I collared rebounds, stole the ball twice, and blocked three shots. The first of those blocks was a thing of beauty, if I may say so myself. An officemate drove to the basket and I jumped up to challenge him. I made contact with the ball and it went Whap!, a sound that's either sweet or sickening, depending on whether one is the blocker or the blockee(?). As the ball fell out of bounds I yelled, "Saan ka pupunta!" Much cheering and jeering ensued. However, there were embarrassing moments, too. I got hit in the face twice because I couldn't handle passes from teammates. Each time, everyone laughed; I just smiled back. After the game I asked if it were normal for my face to hurt more than my body. That cracked them up. Come Monday I'll have bragging rights. I can't wait for next Friday!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Another One

My aunt-in-law's youngest brother died. He was run over by another vehicle while he was riding a bike. Now my aunt-in-law and my uncle are in Saipan. They wanted to come home for the funeral but finances-wise, that meant not being able to go home in March for their children's graduation ceremonies. How sad.

Stuntman Work

My landlord went jogging at the Loyola Memorial Park this morning and forgot to leave the gate keys, which meant I got locked inside the house on my way to work.

Unfazed, my landlady woke the next-door neighbor and asked if I could pass through their house. The neighbor agreed.

Now, my boarding house is the middle unit in a sort of triplex. Our balcony is only a few feet away from our next-door neighbor's bedroom.

I took off my shoes, climbed onto our balcony's banister, went through the next-door neighbor's open bedroom window, landed on their bed, and went out their front door.

Our neighbor's two daughters sleeping on the bed barely stirred.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I Lost My Glasses, I Think

Argh! They're not on my table, not in my bag, and not in my shirt pockets. I love those glasses, even though Ate Glo uses an identical pair. They've been everywhere I've been: bent at dawn in Tagaytay, fixed at a shop along Session Road in Baguio... I remember it's been five days since I last wore them but I only noticed it now because my eyes have been itching from staring at computer monitors for two straight days. Where the hell is it? My look is incomplete!

Saturday, November 15, 2003

This Was My Friday Night

The plan last night was simple: be at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros at 8 p.m. and to watch a friend sing. It turned out to be anything but. A storm plus payday Friday plus Jesus is Lord prayer rally near Luneta equals hell. Diliman, Quezon City to Intramuros, Manila in close to three hours! In the taxi I listened to AM radio, something I haven't done since I was a schoolboy in short blue shorts. I arrived an hour late for the concert so I caught just the tail-end of my friend's performance. She was great, as usual. I've lost count how may times I've seen her perform, but I still get goose bumps every time. I felt so proud when she got a big ovation. We got lost going to Malate so dinner came late. And we had to pass by the UP Infirmary on the way home since my friend's mom didn't feel too well. We also watched Bulletproof Monk, which turned out to be quite enjoyable. No Crouching Tiger, but still... All in all, it was a fun enough Friday evening.

Things I Noticed At A Classical Music Concert

1. The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra experience is amazing; what they say about kids and candy stores apply. 2. It would be fun to conduct an orchestra, even as an amateur a la Robert Fulghum. However, one has to be physically fit. 3. The coolest dude in the PPO was the bass drummer with the body of Edgar Mortiz. He was seated most of the time and only rose for a few weak boom-boom-booms. But in the passages that quicken the heartbeat and raise the spirit, he was in the thick of things with his boom-boom-boom-BOOM-BOOM-booms. I can relate to him: I played the bass drum in a drum and bugle corps in high school. Nagiba ang balikat ko. Up to now I have bad posture. 4. The next coolest dudes were the cello and double bass players. One can't help but respect musicians who play instruments taller or fatter than they are. 5. The San Agustin Church is lovely. Aside from a museum there's a courtyard inside, complete with palm trees, lights and a fountain. Too bad I didn't stay long to explore the place. 6. The accordion is responsible for the weepy Il Postino-ish soundtrack of most European films. 7. It’s disconcerting to share a pew with a foreigner who's so into the music he enters a trance and shakes. 8. It's sad when the standing ovation consists of just two people. 9. The lady in the lime-green gown who gave sampaguita garlands to the performers was cute. 10. For an encore, one should not repeat a piece performed earlier. 11. A gorgeous woman loses her allure when she's caught fixing a wedgie. 12. It's hard to stand on one leg with two backpacks strapped to the front of one's torso and an umbrella and a tripod wedged between one's thigh and chest, to tie shoelaces. 13. After mingling with so many Kastilaloys after the show, I now have an idea how Jose Rizal must have felt while he was in Europe: disgusted at the smell.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Notes To Self

It is not advisable to play Jeopardy! until three a.m. when you have to be up for work at five-thirty a.m. It is not advisable to rely on your body clock. That you woke up at five a.m. ten straight days isn't a guarantee you will do so on the eleventh day. It is good to use your cell phone's alarm clock, but make sure the battery doesn't run out after the alarm is set. You have been warned.

If Chicken Little Tells You That The Sky Is Falling

I caused a mild commotion at work. Early this morning I called an officemate to let them know I wasn't coming to work, and to remind her that another officemate was supposed to give her something. When she asked why I was absent, I said that I will not come to work unless I get my overdue salary. A few minutes later my cell phone rang. It was the boss, asking if I was really going to boycott work. Apparently, my officemate told him what I said. I explained that I was just kidding. He then informed me that he had already spoken with the SVP for Admin/HR. The processing of my salary would be fast-tracked starting today and I would probably get it early next week. He also said to call my officemate again to explain that I was just joking. This officemate was emotional, so I shouldn't be making such a crack. When I called up my officemate anew, I could hear the commotion in the background. Apparently she had told everyone in the department. Me and my big mouth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Smile And The World Smiles With You

There's a great picture of Chief Justice Hilario Davide on the front page of today's Inquirer. He has a Santa smile. Understandable, as the Supreme Court recently trashed the impeachment complaint against him.

I Dub Thee

I've told no one at the office my nickname so they all call me by my given name. They pronounce it correctly too: Le-yo, not Lee-yow. My parents gave me that name because they watched one episode too many of Flordeluna, a Channel 9 drama series that was airing the year I was born. In that soap, one of the main characters was a policeman played by the late great Dindo Fernando. Since my father was a policeman, too, they named me after the character. Among my friends, my favorite kulot is the only one I've allowed to call me by my given name. As early as first year college I've asked her to use my nickname but she couldn't be persuaded. I used to not prefer being called by my given name. Now I'm starting to like it again. It's as good a name as any, and better than most. Most importantly, it's mine.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Another Post That Proves J Right

Until the All Soul's break two weeks ago a guy I know hasn't come home to Bicol since November 2002. It's been more than 11 months, a mere 24 days short of a full year. Why? Basic cowardice. He was the first offspring, first grandchild, first to attend and graduate from one of the best universities in the country, first to go to law school... In short, it was understood—though it may have been unspoken—that his family was pinning its hopes on him. But ever since he made the decision to leave law school, he's been reluctant—hell, ashamed—to face the family. He's sure they were—are?—hurt. He's sure they were—are?—disappointed. He just didn't have the guts to show himself. Last July the guy got a job. The work's not commensurate with his education and he hasn't been paid yet, but at least he's starting to do something worthwhile with his life. He's regained some measure of self-respect. Last November the prodigal son returned. And he was welcomed.

Today Is Monday

Argh! That's all. By the way, today marks my fourth month here.

Friday, November 7, 2003

Tortfeasor Am I

I was watching The Scorpion King at home the morning of November 2 when a man arrived carrying half a sack of rice. Earlier my father had some palay milled for me to bring back to Manila that night, and this guy was delivering it.

My mother asked me to watch our two dogs so they won't bite the guy, so I did. He put down the sack of rice, then walked away. I went back inside the house. Suddenly I heard a yelp of pain.

Oh, shit!

I rushed over and my initial fears were confirmed: one of our dogs gave chase and bit the guy's lower right leg. A little blood trickled from two bite wounds.

I led the guy to the nearest faucet so he can wash the bites with soap and water. To his credit he was very calm, as if it was only a mosquito that bit him.

The guy left after washing up. I put a leash on the guilty dog and went back to my movie.

It's only now that I'm wondering if the guy's okay, or if our dog gave him rabies. I think I feel a pang of guilt.

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Yes, It's Been That Long

Wow, I haven't posted in 33 days.

It's slow, but it's coming along.

Elevator Trouble

I had a co-passenger in the elevator this morning. The two of us got in at the ground floor, and somehow we forgot to push the buttons for our respective floors. I must have been deep in thought at the time. And I was laden: I had a laptop bag slung across one shoulder, a projector bag across the other, a five-pound expandable envelope on one hand, and plastic bag of full of Tapa King food on the other. The point is, I had an excuse for not remembering to push the button. The other guy didn't; he was just plain stupid. We were speeding through floors 6 and 7 before I realized—10—that I hadn't pushed—13—the button—14—for my floor. So I smiled at—16—myself. "'Wag mong pagtatawanan ang hindi mo kilala," Stupid said. Huh? The elevator stopped at the 18th floor. A maintenance dude walked in, and promptly pushed the "G" button. Stupid followed suit and pressed "10." Before he got off his floor, Stupid turned to the maintenance dude and me. "May namamatay dahil diyan." When the elevator doors closed, Maintenance Dude and I looked at each other. Huh? I see you, Fr. Nick. And you're going, "What is the leit motif?"