Tuesday, March 30, 2004


I was having breakfast this morning when out of the blue, a female officemate told me: "Okay lang naman maging maitim, kung malaki naman asset mo."

Friday, March 26, 2004


On my way out of the building yesterday I must have been so deep in thought I stepped out of the elevator a floor too early. Also, I nearly bumped the girl who entered the lift at that floor. Wait, this isn't my floor, I realized after a moment. So I took three steps backwards. Someone asked, "Ground?" I turned. It was the girl. There was a smile in her voice and on her lips. I smiled back. "Yes, please," I managed to mumble. I'm sure I blushed then.

Mall Misadventures

I went to Robinson's Galleria last night to meet my favorite kulot and the two Marks. I've been to Galleria exactly twice so of course I got lost and couldn't find them. It didn't help that Jowett sucks at giving directions. Plus, my phone died on me. Argh!

That was just the first in a series of small catastrophes.

I wanted to eat palabok so we went to Jollibee. They were out of shrimps. Aargh!

I decided to buy a Pinipig Crunch popsicle afterward to cheer myself up. But as soon as I removed the wrapper, a big chunk broke off and fell. I was left holding a the stick. Aaargh!

But things got better after that.

First we met a very cute lady at the Galleria branch of Ahead Tutorial & Review when we inquired about job openings for part-time tutors. She said her name was Bunny, and that she graduated from UP. Napatid ako sa pilikmata n'ya, grabe.

A couple of hours later we found ourselves along West Avenue, shouting along to a Guns N' Roses compilation album while we looked for a place that sold Coke and Tanduay. Saya!

Thursday, March 25, 2004


People of the Philippines, the couple who would be President and First Lady.
Cheche Lazaro: Marami pong nagtatanong 'pag sinasabi naming "Eddie Gil." Maraming nagtatanong, "Sino siya?"

Eddie Gil: Eddie Gil. Ako.

Cheche Lazaro: Sino po kayo?

Eddie Gil: Si Eddie Gil nga.

Cheche Lazaro: Buo ba ang suporta niyo kay Mr. Gil dito sa kanyang …

Mrs. Gil: Yes. Of course!

Cheche Lazaro: Bakit po?

Mrs. Gil: Everyday we have our income and then he is giving also if whatever. He's the one buying, going to the market sometimes. If he will arrive the kitchen is already complete so I have no more work.
I half-wish he hadn't been disqualified. With his absence this election is a lot less entertaining. If he were elected, the Philippines would go to the dogs, sure. But at least we'd go down laughing.

Not Really

Someone told me I'm ripe for a quarter-life crisis. But as I look at it, my crisis is this: Powder or lotion?

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Fathers And Sons

Late Friday night I saw something out of the ordinary: the driver of the jeep I rode on had his son with him in front. In my mind I castigated him for bringing the boy, who looked no older than nine, out on the road at such an ungodly hour. But then I remembered that it wasn't a school day the next day, and that it's never a bad idea for parents to spend time with their children. The kid tried to make himself useful—he took fares, returned change, and called passengers. But with his pre-pubescent voice, he wasn't much of a barker. He also shortchanged me a peso and gave one lady the wrong change. I kept quiet but the lady returned the excess. The whole trip, he kept turning to his father. In looked to me like he wanted to be assured he was doing a good job.
I have a theory that at some point, every father brings his son to his workplace. In the boy's case, his father's workplace traveled on four wheels. In mine, it was the Camarines Sur Provincial Headquarters of the Integrated National Police. This ritual is time-honored: it teaches the son things about his father's profession; in engenders pride in his father's work; and maybe, it (subtly) influences him to follow in his father's footsteps. In my case, the hint didn't work. Time will tell if it would in this boy's.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Comm Domination Update

Today Ateneo, tomorrow the world. That was our block's graduation slogan in 2000. And it seems tomorrow has arrived. For example, a blockmate was honored in the recent Vice President's Awards for Service and Excellence at the Ateneo. Mhir delos Santos, who's now the Director of the Office of Student Activities at the Loyola Schools, was cited as "Most Outstanding Individual in a Supporting Role." The citation sounds FAMAS-y, but an award is an award is an award. And knowing Mhir, I'm sure it was well-deserved. Congratulations!

Friday, March 19, 2004

A Puzzler

From last Wednesday's Philippine Daily Inquirer:
BJ Manalo, the standout pointguard from the De La Salle Green Archers team in the UAAP, has returned to Ateneo where he once helped the Blue Eaglets, along with Enrico Villanueva, win a junior crown. Manalo, who is taking a Master's degree at the Loyola campus, will play for Lee Pipes-Ateneo in the PBL. He's still mulling another stint with the Eagles in the UAAP.

What. The. Hell?

Friday Five

If you... ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve? Pares! Manok, maka, mamoy, mayawak, musa... ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell? Secondhand books, of course. I'll read all day while minding the store. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be? A kung fu murder mystery set in Africa. With lots of midgets. ...ran a school, what would you teach? Arts and crafts. I'll be the cross-stitch instructor. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it? Ben Folds Five-like piano rock, only with lots of Eastern instrumentation.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Fire Day

The Citibank Center conducted a fire drill at 4:30 p.m. today. Good thing our offices are at the 3rd floor because we had to use the fire exits. Traffic along Paseo de Roxas was heavy when I got down. Traffic enforcers and security guards blocked off Villar Street. Some of them carried "Fire Drill Ongoing" placards. The whole things was semi-realistic. There was smoke from a third floor ledge. A fire truck came, sirens blazing, and sprayed water for a few seconds. An ambulance also arrived. There was also a rappelling exhibition. The last dude slid down two ropes while strapped to a stretcher. The crowd lapped it up. But what happened next didn't reassure us of the building administration's readiness in case there's a real fire. In the middle of Villar, the drill organizers poured gasoline into a metal container and lit it. They then asked the crowd for volunteers to put out the fire using their fire extinguishers. To their embarrassment, four of the extinguisher they brought out leaked and failed to work properly. That's what I mused on while jostling at the elevators with people eager to get their things from cubicles and go home.

Licking My Chops

The office's new Pentium 4's have arrived. Such powerful beasts! I've been assigned one to road test before it's given to its real user. And when I asked the MIS guys what would constitute a "road test" they said, Kahit ano! O-kay. Kahit ano it is.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Yes, It's All Around

I heard a good deal of buzz about Love Actually so I decided to see it before its theatrical run ended. I have a few observations.

First: Bad teeth, wit, funny accents, and dry humor make a very enjoyable combination. I nearly popped my carotid from laughing.

Second: It's cute how they recycled the trashy theme song from Four Weddings and a Funeral. Come to think of it, recycling is what they do to garbage.

The nods to the earlier film don't end there. At least three weddings and one funeral take place in the movie. If that's not an inside joke I don't know what is.

Third: It's a little weird that this movie premiered neither during Christmas season nor Valentine's Day week. But it doesn't matter. It's a fun flick, something people can write in slumbooks across Favorite Movie.

Last: the poster said somewhere in this movie people would find the love of their lives. I guess there's still truth in advertising.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Words To Sleep By

When the tried and tested little tricks—counting sheep, exercise, glass of milk, roundhouse kick to the chin—don't work and I can't sleep nights, I have a secret weapon:
Dream awake
of dreaming asleep
Get a 9 mm
empty tha clip
It's a nonsense rhyme I recite over and over in my mind. Like a prayer. Or a mantra, if you will. It works like a charm, though. I'm usually asleep before the 15th repetition.

Then very early today I received what could possibly be another one:
The sight of the sea is endless
Blue to blue.
That was just the first stanza. The whole thing's a little harder to memorize. It's a tad sad but very patriotic.

We'll see if it works.

Monday, March 15, 2004

From Shrek's Blog

Layer One
Birth date: March 1979
Birthplace: Iriga City
Current location: Marikina (city address) and Makati (work address) cities
Eye color: Black
Hair color: Black
Height: 5'11 1/2"
Righty or lefty: Righty
Zodiac sign: Aries

Layer Two
Your heritage: Pure Filipino. But I have Vietnamese eyes.
The shoes you wore today: White Chuck Taylors.
Your weakness: I'm too transparent for my own good.
Your fears: Dying alone, unremembered, or unmourned.
Your perfect pizza: Shakey's thin crust!
Goal you'd like to achieve: Come like a pig, he he.

Layer Three
Your most overused phrase on a messenger: BTW
Your first waking thoughts: Five more minutes!
Your best physical feature: You can't teach height.
Your most missed memory: My lola.

Layer Four
Pepsi or Coke: Pepsi, because a liter of it costs 2 pesos less.
McDonald's or Burger King: McDo for the fries, BK for the burgers.
Single or group dates: Both can work.
Adidas or Nike: Adidas. Nikes are too flashy for me.
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Nestea. I'm a fan/victim of their old TV commercials.
Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate.
Cappuccino or coffee: Coffee, but only decaf.

Layer Five
Smoke: A few a day.
Cuss: Like a sailor-in-training.
Sing: Only in my head. Or in the shower. Or when I've had too much to drink.
Take a shower everyday: Technically, no. Tabo rules!
Do you think you've been in love: A couple of times. But hard.
Want to go to college: Been there, been that.
Liked high school: Second-best four years of my life.
Want to get married: Unsure.
Believe in yourself: Most of the time.
Get motion sickness: No.
Think you're attractive: Only under proper lighting conditions.
Think you're a health freak: Never.
Get along with your parent(s): Famously.
Like thunderstorms: No, just heavy rain.
Play an instrument: The guitar, but I haven't touched one in a long while.

Layer Six: In the past month...
Drank alcohol: Hell, yeah!
Smoked: Just a few minutes ago.
Done a drug: Never.
Made out: I'll never t-e-e-l-l-l.
Gone on a date: I'm not sure.
Gone to the mall: A few times.
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: Nope.
Eaten sushi: Nah. It's not among my favorite food.
Been on stage: No.
Been dumped: Uh...
Gone skating: No.
Made homemade cookies: I don't bake.
Gone skinny dipping: I haven't been near a natural body of water in 3 months but I'm going to Mindoro soon.
Dyed your hair: Nope.
Stolen anything: Sadly, yes. Loose change from my brother's pockets, ha ha!

Layer Seven: Ever...
Played a game that required removal of clothing: Yes. In my defense we were under the influence.
If so, was it mixed company: Yes.
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Are you kidding me?
Been caught "doing something": In all likelihood.
Been called a tease: Nope.
Gotten beaten up: No one has even threatened. Maybe because I'm tall?
Shoplifted: Nope.
Changed who you were to fit in: Never.

Layer Eight
Age you hope to be married: Before 40.
Numbers and names of children: Two boys. Reaver and Kolya, ha ha.
Describe your dream wedding: Only the bride, the officiating officer, and the minimum number of witnesses present.
How do you want to die: Struck by lightning. Twice.
Where you want to go to college: I already went. Ateneo de Manila.
What do you want to be when you grow up: A grandfather.
What country would you most like to visit: Nowhere, really.

Layer Nine
Number of drugs taken illegally: Zip. Hard to believe, ain't it?
Number of people I could trust with my life: Five?
Number of CDs that I own: Less than ten, he he.
Number of piercings: Just the one on my left earlobe
Number of tattoos: Zero so far. But see me after my 25th birthday.
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: Once, in the Manila Bulletin.
Number of scars on my body: Uncountable. From chicken pox, from a hyperactive childhood...
Number of things in my past that I regret: Many for sure, but I've managed to forget most of them.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Friday Five

What was the last song you heard? "Megalomaniac," by Incubus. What were the last two movies you saw? Chasing Liberty last February 18 and Lost in Translation last March 5. What were the last three things you purchased? Yesterday's lunch, last night's cigs, and today's lunch. What four things do you need to do this weekend? Sleep, eat, play Age of Empires, and sleep some more Who are the last five people you talked to? My officemates Maru, Leny, JP, Cathy, and Rochelle.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

What I Don't Want For Christmas

An officemate referred me to this sick, sick site. A sample blurb:
"The cube kitty makes an ideal toy for children of all ages, from infant and up, and while still in the containment vessel can even double as playroom furniture!"
Ugh. Some say it's a hoax but still—ugh.


I woke up around 2 a.m. today. Tossed and turned but gave up trying to sleep after a while. I looked around. Nothing moved, except the electric fan. I went to the balcony and mummified myself with a blue flannel blanket. The cold cut deep. I decided to write a bit. Some for work, some for the spirit. One may yet end up here. I also read a book that's older than me, Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1977 autobiography Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder. But mostly I gawked at the pictures. Man, was this dude built back in the day! He had a more angular face too, and his nose was a continent, but there's nothing a few thousand dollars' worth of plastic surgery can't fix. When it was time to prepare to go to work I did so reluctantly. The sun felt good and I wanted to stay in. A good start, all in all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2004


Am I the only one who thinks the new radio ad for Wendy's shrimp sandwich is really irritating? I rarely tune in but each time I do I hear that commercial. And it makes me want to beat the crap out of the radio. Does anyone knows which ad agency is responsible for it? Gusto ko silang tapunan ng molotov cocktail.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

"Lip My Stockings!"

We ended up watching Lost in Translation, a movie written and directed by Sofia Coppola.

The film is about two Americans who become fast friends after meeting in a bar at their hotel in Tokyo. One is a movie star (Bill Murray) who is shooting a commercial for a Japan-made whiskey; the other is a young married woman (Scarlett Johansson) whom her husband always leaves behind. And the more the two explore Tokyo, the more they get to know each other.

It's easy to like this movie. Murray's performance was superb and he had the funniest scenes. Johansson made a big splash and she's a refreshing presence. The cinematography was excellent and the soundtrack wonderful, if eclectic. The official website also kicked ass.

But what makes a movie great is more than just the sum of its good parts. I can't put my finger on it but somehow the movie didn't translate well with me. At this point I don't think it deserved the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, but I'll reserve final judgment until after I see its co-nominees.

All In The Family

The other day I hung out with my favorite kulot, who was in the Ayala area for a job interview. She had a map of Makati and an industrial-strength umbrella in her hands. First we lunched with Y at The Enterprise. After that we went to 6750 and said hi to J. Then on a whim, we decided to watch a movie in Megamall. At the MRT station, we waited for the train beside a grandmother-mother-granddaughter trio. When it arrived the grandmother got in behind us, but the doors closed before mother and granddaughter could follow, or grandmother could step out. Worse, the mother had their tickets. "Hihintayin ko kayo sa Cubao," the grandmother said as the train pulled away. Her companions could only look on. Since Kulot and I went down at the Ortigas station, we don't know what happened next. Here's hoping they found each other. The metro is such a small place—we bumped into into her dad at Powerbooks. But he didn't go to the movie with us. On our way to the cinemas we saw a crowd watching someone play a honky-tonk tune on a for-sale piano. We went for a closer look. The piano player was an old man, and he put on a show. I spotted a boy in a stroller clapping and bouncing. The old man smiled throughout his performance, acknowledging the appreciative looks from his audience. When he finally finished the crowd broke into an applause. The old man smiled even wider and bowed. After the movie we watched the concert of the Philippine Army Band. It was such fun to see men in uniform play rousing—and loud—marches and popular old tunes. Afterwards Kulot and I met her dad, who had gone shopping for Discovery Channel VCDs. We went to a Japanese restaurant they frequented (the waiters' Long time no see, Ma'am, welcome back! was a clue). Before long her older sister arrived. After the meal I went my separate way, but not before wrangling an invite to their next gun shoot, which I think is two weeks from now. Yehey! Hours later, Kulot texted that her dad thought I was "mabait." Blush, I texted back.

Friday, March 5, 2004

Friday Five

What was... ...your first grade teacher's name? Teacher Lilibeth. I forget her last name. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon? Tiger Sharks. ...the name of your very first best friend? Dondon Evangelista. He's married now, I think. ...your favorite breakfast cereal? Cereals weren't in our grocery list. ...your favorite thing to do after school? Play kickball.


Nakita ko 'to na nakaipit sa Xerox ng kaso:
1 Was it your highlighter
I found in
my bag?

2 Natanggal 'yung takip
kaya ayun,
'yung libro ni Fulghum

3 (which isn't

4 It seems you have
the same
effect on me—

5 puro bleeding.

6 Hirap pa namang
As hard as
erasing a Stabilo
mark on book paper.

7 How do I
explain this?

8 Tsk, tsk. Ayoko na ng Tanduay,
di na s'ya

9 Pero ok na rin.
I'm learning.

10 Kaso purple?

11 Sana yellow
na lang.
Easy on the

Thursday, March 4, 2004

If Only Life Would Clean As Easily

I finally got around to getting rid of the papers I accumulated in my five semesters in law school. After I went on a leave of absence, they collected dust in a corner of my room. I don't know why I even kept them. Maybe unconsciously I wanted to return. Maybe I'm just a pack rat.

It took me the whole of yesterday afternoon to finish cleaning up. It took me awhile because I couldn't help re-reading some papers, especially those that contained in-class conversations with seatmates along the margins. For example:
-Astig porma ni Sir, a
-Oo nga, terno hanggang medyas
-Mag-go-golf 'ata pagkatapos

-Pusta ako na susunod na tatawagin
-Labas ka, kunyari iihi
My trick sinus didn't help, either. I'm no longer singkit—my eyeballs bugged out from all my sneezing.

In the end, everything went. Photocopies of cases, articles, reviewers, case digests, sample exams, notes, blue books, various forms...

When I stacked them up, the boxes reached my armpits. I've practically killed a forest! I thought of burning them but I decided to just sell 'em to the first bote-diyaryo-garapa dude who will come along. It wouldn't hurt to recoup a fraction of the money I spent on those papers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004


As part of an ongoing experiment I haven't turned my phone on in a week. This blog is now one of my few remaining links to the outside world. And I haven't been updating it. Who knows, it might be next.

Last Song Syndrome

Isang linggo ko nang "last song" 'to.
"Fell On Black Days" by Soundgarden

Whatsoever I've feared has come to life
Whatsoever I've fought off became my life
Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
Sunspots have faded
And now I'm doing time
Cause I fell on black days

Whomsoever I've cured I've sickened now
Whomsoever I've cradled I've put you down
I'm a search light soul they say
But I can't see it in the night
I'm only faking when I get it right
Cause I fell on black days
How would I know
That this could be my fate

So what you wanted to see good has made you blind
And what you wanted to be yours has made it mine
So don't you lock up something that you wanted to see fly
Hands are for shaking
No, not tying
No, not tying

I sure don't mind a change
But I fell on black days
How would I know
That this could be my fate