Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm 21

I'm 21-years-old starting today and until another year from now.  Big deal!

Have I made a difference?  Maybe in the past, I have, but I don't think being 20 was that great for me.  I need to start fixing messes, reconciling animosities, and working for the greater good.  I don't enjoy being just another disposable come-and-go person whose life didn't mean anything.

And why the heck am I here in Cebu?  My family misses me and I can hear my grandmother callinge me in my head.

My dad greeted me a couple of hours ago.  I responded.  This is a good sign.  After over a year, a sign.

Like the way I inspired myself two days ago, I'm going to create a trend of inspiration emanating from within me.  This way, what comes from outside will be supplementary to what's already coming out of me.  And this is not just for me alone, whoever catches the good bug is blessed.

I love life.  I've loved it for 20 years and now my 21st will be the best so far--I'll make sure of that!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last Day of Being 20

Today is my last day as a 20-year-old.

Being 20, I've done a lot of regretful things, but I don't regret any of them.  There's no use regretting.  Crying over spilled milk won't pour it back to your glass like it was--you know, without all the dirt and what not.

For example, I tried to befriend dad but I didn't muster enough courage to actually do it, so I failed.  No, I didn't fail 'cause I didn't actually try.  Nevertheless, I don't regret it.  The right time will come and it'll go smoothly.

Again, being 20, I've done a lot of things I'm happy about.  Go figure.  I love life.  It'll get better.  It always does.

Oh my!  I'm still in Cebu.  What am I doing here?  I don't want to be here tomorrow.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Day I Begin to Tone Down

Let's see how this goes.

I'm going to start spending less time blogging.  No more than 5 minutes per post until I decide I need to post something long.

Julianne, I'm deeply sorry about this.  I know you're a bit used to my long, inspiring posts and what not, but please allow me to do this.  This won't last all year, I promise.  I call this my word fast.  Not the speedy kind of fast; I mean fast as iin fasting.  You know the kind of fasting Christians do during lent to repent on their sins and sacrifice pleasures to thank God the father for the death of Christ Jesus?  Yep, that's the kind of fasting I'm referring to.

So, anyway... Today, did a self-examination session again.  That was my last for this series.  I centered my thoughts on the elaborate concept of "love."  I asked myself a lot of questions and got a lot of answers.  Some answers were very certain-sounding and very antagonozing of today's present circumstances that I wasn't really happy about them.  Nevertheless, they came from me--and intuitively at that.

I love.  It's a general statement.  This is the only way we're all ever going to attain peace.  We should love.  We should love selflessly even if we love ourselves, too.  Self love that involves hate is not real love, I'm sorry to say.  There is nothing negative that can be derived out of pure love.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Normal Hours?

I woke up early today and I was able to start my self-examination very early.  Well, not THAT early.  I started point-blank on the hour a normal person usually has to start a full day of sitting on his/her desk only then to resume the previous day's whines about how miserable life is for him/her.  Shallow much?

Yeah, you got that correctly.  I started at 8:00AM on the dot and finished at 5:00PM.  Of course, I had to take a couple of water breaks and pee breaks.  Actually, more than a couple.  I did not, however, take any meal during the course.  My only meals are the one I'm about to eat after finishing this entry and the one I ate before beginning.  I skipped lunch since I figured it would have caused me short breaths during the afternoon part.  I was dedicated to making this stress-solution a success--meaning no external stress involved.

I'm not going to make this very long.  The results are for me to keep and for you to discover.  If you're wondering, yes, I feel really good right now and I feel like I have a full day ahead of me.  And, no, I didn't fall asleep.

Well, since I need to get some shut-eye sooner than later, I might as well just do astral projection tonight.  No ointment here, but it's all good.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Be a Sensible Sympathizer

I did some self-examination this morning up to about 11AM.  I had lunch and went back at it at 1PM ‘till 5PM.  My theme was “unfulfilled personal aspirations and what to do about them.”  Again, I’m not going to divulge my plans to the World Wide Web.  It’s not nice to be frustrated.  I know a great deal about frustration, and let me tell you it doesn’t feel good—especially if a lot of people know about it.  In addition to the gratuitous sympathy text messages and mobile phone calls in the middle of my lunch, what else?  Yes, who can forget about the red dialog box Facebook notification I receive from time to time?

Here’s the deal:  Being a friend is good, but sensitivity is very important in that regard.  From time-to-time, one must examine himself/herself by asking:  “Am I being a good friend by doing the things I’m doing?”  Of course, logically, it’s the thought that counts, but it’s selfish to have to make the miserable party be the one to understand your behavior.  We all have our oops-I-think-I-did-something-inappropriate moments, but don’t console yourself by saying, “it’s okay, he/she will understand that I was just trying to be a good friend.”  Next time, think before doing.  This goes to people who like being sympathetic.  Try choosing the right words next time.  Also, when you do find the right words, please not on my Facebook wall.  I like inspirational things there, and if there has to be a lamentation, it should come from me, not from another person who feels sorry for me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Robbed by the ATM Machine

Alright, it’s 11:02PM of the 20th of October and I’m in seclusion. I started yesterday since the DSL went down due to the strong typhoon that hit our country. I didn’t really want that to happen. I mean, I could have gone on with seclusion and still maintained my blog habit, but it happened so I took it as some sort of sign. I told myself, “This broadband ban for me is a good opportunity to harness my inner being in meditation.” Janette isn’t very happy with the situation, though. She isn’t particularly ecstatic about the fact that liberation from this no-internet-fiasco (as she termed it) would come no later than the first week of November, so she bought a Globe Tattoo unit for mobile internet so she could continue her stint as a virtual desk operator, but I don’t see the need to do the same. I’m comfortable being detached from the world of cyber brouhahas—just temporarily, of course... Just until I get home to Bohol.

So, today has not been a very good day for me. Payoneer Inc. and Metrobank stole $23 from my bank account and I was pissed. A day’s worth of food supplies went down the drain just because of some avoidable invalid transactions and balance inquiries. You see, here in the Philippines, if you use US Dollars as your currency, everyone will try to steal from you—including ATM machines. It isn’t uncommon for American tourists to be ripped off by desperate prostitutes in Cebu City’s prime whoring destination, Mango Avenue, but that ATM incident I got seized up in was just ridiculous. I was unaware that invalid transactions and simple balance inquiries had charges, too. I’m never going to fuck that machine with my MasterCard ever again! I don’t enjoy getting fucked up—no one does. Of course, except for drug addicts, which I’m not. And even that’s a different kind of fucked-up-ness.

Anyway, that’s enough profanity. I’m in seclusion so I should be peaceful. I got a haircut. I’m back to my schoolboy look with my semi-airborne do. I like it this way ‘cause my head looks normal. This look works for me, as my mom would say. You see, my head tends to look disproportionately huge if I wear my hair jetty. My strands are thick so my head looks thick, too.

What else did I do? Oh, yeah, I bought some cream for the allergies on my face so my mom wouldn’t freak out when she sees me. It’s not that bad; it’s just that our family has this thing about taking care of ourselves and looking good all the time. And after all that, I went to my close friend/ex-roommate Josete’s house with John for a movie marathon. John and I met up at the mall after his date with some girl, and then there we met Josete’s brother, Justin. He had to walk us to their place ‘cause they moved to a new apartment and we had no idea where it was. It was just coincidental that he was out buying DVDs. Would you call watching two movies a movie marathon? Well, no arguments there! It was a movie marathon as far as we were concerned.

Justin wanted to grab a couple of beers, but I declined. I haven’t had dinner yet even until now. The chicken stew is boiling away as I speak. I left it to work on its own flavors. That’s the great thing about stews. Even if they’re done, you can just pour in another cup of water and leave them for an hour without having to worry about the sauce drying up. It even develops a more enhanced flavor when you return. It’s about done now. I also marinated some prawns in beer and I’m going to start working on sautéing it right after this entry.

Anyway, that was basically my day. I'm not going to talk about what happened before 5PM except that I was meditating in the peaceful darkness of my room then.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nasty-Ass Commercial

There’s nothing I want to write about.  Nothing really happened today.  I slept at 3AM and woke up at 5:30PM.  It’s a -ber month so it was already dark when I jumped out of bed.  I never got to see today’s daylight.  It doesn’t matter, though.  I’m very well rested.  I feel like a million bucks now!  I must say, it’s better to remain in bed than to walk around on a hot sunny day.  Hurts the eyes.  You’ll just be inclined to get back to the hay after 4 hours or so.

So, yeah, I’ll leave you with a video I found last night on YouTube.  It’s a banned commercial about the necessity to learn English.  It advertises a foreign language institute that has quite a way of giving itself an image.  Quite a way, I really must stress.  You’ve got to see for yourself to find out what I mean, so I’m not going to elaborate any more.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just an Hour and I Don't Know How Many More

I don't know if I'm going to be able to do this right.  I really am dedicated to my posting habit, but I don't know exactly when to draw lines on exceptions...  Or if there should be any at all.  I'm really not in good condition today.  I still want to write, but I'm not sure if I'll be saying the right things.  I'll be as self-censoring as I can.

Today is Janette's 28th birthday and we've been eating all day.  I just got up from a one-hour-short slumber episode.  My body sort of gave up on me when boredom hit--when the environment became something I wasn't able to sink my teeth on.  All of a sudden, everyone around me was talking about a working company that I had nothing to do with, so I took to playing Feeding Frenzy 2 on my notebook.  When I got bored with that, which was like half-an-hour immersed into the game, was when I decided to hit the bed and pass out.

I woke up at around 10PM yesterday to work on my articles, but I was only able to do a few.  I didn't meet my daily quota, so to speak.  I spent more time watching YouTube videos than actually working.  I know, it was an avoidable incident, but I really couldn't help it.  Lea Salonga's voice! You know...  And if you're wondering, just listening to her voice is not enough if I know that a video of her singing is actually playing.  Is it even humanly possible?

Anyway, what I was trying to say is that I've been awake for nearly 24 hours.  It's almost 10PM.  What was your question?  I slept?  Yes, for one hour!  One freaking hour!  How much energy do you realistically think that'd give a human being who's been up all day?  Cooking and eating.  Don't discount that fact!

So, yeah, I need to go back to the table now.  The birthday girl has invited two more guests and I need to dive back in there.  I've been away for much too long!  After this, it's work, work, work.  The question is:  "Will I be able to actually do anything productive?"  The risk isn't falling asleep, it's the digital distractions of the cyberworld.

Should I hit my (home) office desk right after this or should I try to get more sleep?  I don't know.  Don't answer that.  I'll decide when we're done here.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

It Gets Better: My Tribute to Joel Burns

Earlier this morning, I was browsing for interesting videos on the internet.  I watched several versions of Andrea Bocelli's Con te partirò and The Prayer.  The linked videos in the text are my favorite versions--the first song a duet with Sarah Brightman and the second with Celine Dion.  I watched, I don't know, at least 7 versions of each song before finally deciding which ones to add to my favorites.  That's obviously not why I'm blogging, so enough about that.

I clicked the big YouTube button on the upper left corner of the last video page I was in to return to the home page.  I was kind of hoping to find an additional video or two in my subscriptions pane.  Sadly, though, there wasn't any.  I had already seen everything so I checked those recommended for me on the pane below it.  I was looking at thumbnails of pro-wrestling clips, cooking clips I had already seen, and music videos I was more than familiar with.  One video, however, stood out.  My account had recommended one entitled "Joel Burns tells gay teens 'it gets better'."  Below it was italicized text saying "Because you watched 'Lea Salonga -- Everybody Says Don't'."

I already had the inclination to watch the clip just from reading the title, but the suggestion source was a total omen telling me that it was something special.  I clicked the thumbnail and I was sent to a page where I spent 12 minutes and 55 seconds of--of--I don't know what adjective to use for those minutes.  It was an eye-opener, nonetheless.  It was also nothing short of inspiring.

Joel spoke advocating against the trend of early teenage suicide in American public schools as the result of bullying.  He ran pictures of young boys who chose to end their own lives simply because they did not know how to handle being in the identity crisis stage and being put down for showing signs of being different.

Joel, in turn, told his own story.  He was one of the lucky ones in his time.  He himself contemplated suicide at one point, but had the strength to push himself through his dilemma.  He chose to keep in mind that he had a more advanced consciousness compared to those who didn't know any better.  He made a choice to keep living.  Look at him now--a successful politician happily married to his husband, J.D.  And more than all that, by giving his brave speech which now echoes all over America, he has saved countless lives.  He is living proof of his own statement saying, "it gets better."  Mr. Burns is no longer just a politician.  He has become a hero.

It's depressing to learn that America has a very bad case of mass homophobia despite its reputation as a liberal country.  I guess different evils are found wherever you turn.  Heck, the people causing these deaths think they're the so-called benevolent forces.  I don't care if they're religiously motivated in this case.  I've always been an advocate of religious freedom, but then again I've always stressed that if your beliefs involve the degradation of women and men who identify themelves differently, I will speak up against them!

The Philippines actually has lesser cases of teenagers killing themselves because they're being bullied for their gayness despite the fact that we are a predominantly Catholic-influenced country.  If general gay population suicide incidents are all counted, the majority of cases are caused by broken hearts--and there aren't even that many.  Gay kids are celebrities here because they're always recognized for their talent.  As for the less lucky closet-pushed ones...  They don't go to extremes.  I never tried to kill myself.

What's going on in America that makes being gay in certain states so utterly daunting?  What are parents over there teaching their children?  Why is there so much hate?  Well, this just leads me to conclude that the U.S.A. is as much a medieval country as it is a modern one.  I mean, the Ku Klux Klan exists, too, doesn't it?

Why can't the world just learn to accept people for who they are and the choices they make?  Why do some have to meddle in other people's lives?  Is it because of the belief systems they conform to?  Very likely!  People should just keep their beliefs to themselves.  Not everybody has the same concept of God--even people in the same religion.

It is important for us to realize that every single one of us is special and God-made (if you will).  Why create war?  All we are tasked with in our lives is to thrive lovingly and peacefully.

And then some would retort!  What?  Biological roles?  Procreation?  Haven't you seen what too much conformity to that has done?  Hunger everywhere!  Overpopulation!  Poverty!  You name it!  These are the things that happen when people impose on each other!  Everyone should be free to make his/her own choices in life as long as no other being is harmed.  I'm not saying I'm against reproduction.  It's just that if you want to reproduce, go ahead and do it.  Don't force others to do it, too, just because you see it as the right way things should function in the world.  That's BS!  Heterosexuality is not the only right way human beings should couple, whether you accept it or not.

"I believe that every single human being has the fundamental right to marry whoever they want."

-Lea Salonga
UN FAO Goodwill Ambassador

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fuck Yeah, Lea Salonga!

You're probably wondering why I didn't write about the Chile mining fiasco and its end.  Well, a lot of people have already written about it and I've read several highly opinionated entries talking about it so I was afraid I'd pick up other writers' statements.  That tends to happen if one writes for a living.  If you write, too, you've probably noticed that at one point in your career.  Well, maybe not everyone has that dilemma, but some certainly do.  You may have had it before but never noticed that you did and now you've outgrown it.  Who knows?  Maybe this is a problem that's common for the likes of me who've just started.  Anyway, if you want to read about it, check out Gibbs Cadiz's write-up.  It's a really good one.

Okay, what did I have in mind again?  Oh, yeah!  I discovered this Tumblr blog called Fuck Yeah, Lea Salonga!.  It's a comprehensive fan page that updates all its readers of everything going on in the public life of Lea.  News articles, photos, videos - you name it!  It's just so depressing that I can't be an official follower.  I'd have to open an account with the host site and I don't really feel the necessity to.  What for?  I already have Blogger and it's serving my purpose.  Oh well, looks like I'm gonna have to manually direct myself to the site to check for anything new.  I don't mind.  Anything for Lea Salonga!

More about Lea Salonga!  She was just Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization during the World Food Day celebration held in Rome, Italy.  She--along with Celine Dion, Italian actor Raoul Bova, and Oscar winner Susan Sarandon--now carries a banner leading the rest of the world in the fight against hunger.

"As a Filipino, a mother, a wife and a woman, I have a responsibility to join this fight against hunger.  It's important because of my mother who knows what it's like to be hungry, and for my daughter who I pray will never have to know.  As UN goodwill ambassador and in spreading FAO's message, I hope that no member of the future generation will have to go through this either."

- Lea Salonga
UNFAO Goodwill Ambassador

 Lea Salonga singing John Lennon's Imagine

I'll share my thoughts about hunger in another post.  Maybe tomorrow or the next day.  Not today.  I have a lot of work waiting to be done.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Short Day

Today was such a short day.  I don't know if anything significant or interesting ever happened.  I slept through it.  I took a work break at around 9AM, had breakfast, worked some more 'till 12 noon and then passed out when it started raining.

It's been raining a lot here lately and I don't like it.  I normally like it when rain pours 'cause dust gets washed away and wild life gets nurtured, but this house is just so worn down that it makes the whole experience suck.  No, the ceiling doesn't drip; the walls just become mini waterfalls for some reason.  I know!  It's 10 times worse!  Somewhere around here there's a crack that's causing water to enter the house through the concrete and I don't want it fixed!

[Wait, what?]

 Yeah, you read me right!  I DO NOT want it fixed.  I just want to move out!

On the 23rd of October, I'll be heading home to Bohol for my week-long birthday celebration.  I'll be returning to Cebu in early November and when I do, I don't intend to ever be in this place again if not for the purpose of extracting my possessions.

I want to spend pre-Christmas season in a peaceful, good-smelling, drip-free abode.  I want to be in a house that's free of mice and cockroaches and spiders running around like the place was built for them.

First thing in the list of things to do for November:  LOOK FOR A NEW HOUSE!

For a while after typing that sentence containing "peaceful, good-smelling, drip-free..." I was tempted to add "environment-friendly," but the Philippines doesn't have a technical (or architectural) equivalent to the Solar Umbrella House.  So, I dropped it.

Looks like the task is up to me to spearhead a project like that here.  I'm so over conventions and centralized substandard shizzowazzles.  The only bill that doesn't irk me is the phone bill because our provider actually delivers what it advertises and the internet connection speed we're getting is more than 150% as fast as what we're supposedly paying for.  I have no complaints about that.  Who would?  Everything else really bothers me, though.  (1) The unnecessarily high figures of the bill coming from the electric company that thinks it's okay to turn the power off every once in a while and (2) the water supply bill from the water company that gives us a smelly tap flow are enough reasons to end our subscription.  It's just that we don't have a choice.  They're monopolies and they suck - big time!

By the time I fulfill all my obligations and achieve my career goals (become a lawyer and take over Mom's farm), I will have become rich with my own money.  When that happens, I'll build my versions of the Solar Umbrella House and the Brighton Earthship.

In the mean time, however, I'll just have to pick another conventional house that's better than what I'm living in right now.


 The Solar Umbrella House

The Brighton Earthship

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Naked Truth

I had a little free time the other day and I decided to make another Pink Ribbon tribute photo for the Pink Month.  It took me like an hour to finish editing the whole thing.  No, I didn't use Adobe Photoshop.  Nothing fancy, really.  My only tools were MS Powerpoint, Windows Photo Gallery, and Paint.  I haven't got the slightest idea about how Photoshop works so it's definitely not an option.  I also heard it's quite heavy on your hard drive.  I've only got, like, 29-something free on mine and I don't really have much use for it so no point in acquiring it.

In the photo, I'm standing naked turned around with my right hand on my left chest.  My gesture pays tribute to those living with breast cancer.  If words could be recorded in photographs, you'd hear me saying, "I Can Serve."

You'd probably get the notion to say that the world would be so much better off without cancer and other diseases.  You're right, actually.  I know it would be selfish to say that the existence of diseases is for greater appreciation of life (and health for those who aren't sick).  But what can we do?  These maladies are nature-given and they're here for us to find a way out of.  No predicament exists where a solution isn't lurking somewhere waiting to be discovered.  That's what organizations like the I Can Serve Foundation are there for.  Sooner or later, we will rise above all these things.

Like I always say, "everything is a learning experience--be it self- or nature-given."

Anyway, yeah.  My friend JL is probably waiting on my responses.  They're long overdue now.  I've read the messages over 10 times but haven't sent my replies.


To JL:

Don't worry, J.  I will respond when I'm not tied up anymore.  In the mean time, you can always read me here.  I know you're reading this, too.  Hehehe!  My work break is nearing as my birthday is so I'll be free to write whatever I want and communicate with my friends again .  I'm just so dedicated to this blog that missing even a single post is as much a mortal sin to me as smoking is to my dad.  But don't ever get the idea that I'm not going to respond.  I will.  Promise.


J is such an inspiring person.  She's a perfect role model to women all over the world (most especially mothers) who are down and want to be able to rise again.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today's First Meal

It's 11:30PM as I type this sentence.  I don't know what specific minute I'm going to be able to post this.

I just came home from the grill outside.  I just ate today's first meal!  I mean literally: that was my day's first and only meal.  I worked the entire morning immediately after blogging straight 'till about 2PM when my body started asking for food.  I wanted to go out and eat but I also felt really tired so I chose to lie down.  I intended it only to be short nap but then it was 5:30 when I woke up.  I was hungry as hell but I realized I still had one more hearing to work on.  Work/food/work/food/work/food?  Hmmm...  I chose work.  I finished it at about 10:30.

By that time, I was nearly exhausted to death.  Not to mention hungry!  I dragged myself to the nearby grill for some skewers.  I had sausage (stuffed with who knows what) and pork bites.  I wasn't satisfied at all.  I still wanted to order more but when I looked at the picking shelf, the management had already cleaned it out.  Well, better luck tomorrow.

I'm home now.  My housemates are eating beef noodle soup.  I have no interest whatsoever!  No, it's not the real kind they're eating.  It's the ones you buy from the supermarket in blue cellophane packagings.  My mom would scream like a banshee if I ever ate one of those.  It's in her list of illegal food products.  And, mind you, it's not a short list.

Anyway, I have to wrap this up.  I need to watch Glee's 4th episode.  I don't want to be behind fads anymore.  What am I, an Amish boy?  No way!  Besides, Glee isn't just a fad, it's a TV phenomenon.  It's good music.


Immediate Follow-Up

Okay, by now you must realize it hasn't been a while since I woke up.  Typing that previous entry was the first thing that came into my mind.

Also, you'll realize that I didn't die... And... That's a good thing... Right?

This is an immediate follow-up to my last post.  That was another delayed post intended for yesterday but posted today since I fell asleep the moment I stepped into my house.  I didn't even bother checking what time it was or taking my shoes off.  I just dropped my pack on the floor, fell flat on the bed and passed out.  Open door and all.

After I wrote that entry last night, I must have spent around an hour and a half more getting myself filthy.  My lamp surprisingly survived!  Apparently, I underestimated my battery!  The flickering was because my battery was improperly aligned inside as the support cap was loosened.  That was probably caused by the fact that I dropped it twice during my trip.  One short-heighted fall on a rock and the second was a long fall on a pile of dead branches.  I could have sworn I saw a snake on that pile.  Well, it didn't matter to me.  I probably saw more than 8 snakes total through the trip.

Anyway, from now on, I'm all for Energizer Lithium cells!

"Energizer!  Keep Going!"

Well, looks like I have nothing else to say about my trip.  And, duh!  I can't delve into more details about it so I might as well just shut up.  My head is revolving all around those details and it's so depressing that I can't say anything other than getting cut and bruised and scratched and spotting a really big rat with my flashlight.  Yeah, I did.  It was huge and scary considering I was in its territory and I had no one to scream to for help!  I feared the worst.  Seeing it conjured all sorts of different potential endings.  At one point, I imagined it calling its entire clan and inviting them to devour every bit of me.  But, no.  It ran away after 10 seconds of staring at me.  Thank goodness!

Do I have to talk about the snakes?  I think they're commonplace in woods.  Never mind.  There was nothing interesting about them.  They didn't attack me.  Heck, they didn't even stare at me!  Stupid boring reptiles!  And there was a huge monitor lizard, too.  It was resting on the roots of a huge bamboo.  For a moment, I actually thought it was an alligator.

What else?  Hmmm...  A couple of dead trees, a big domestic-looking stray cat eating a dead wild rabbit.  It probably got lost as a kittie and grew up in the wild.  I also knew it was a rabbit (even if it was half eaten) because of its ears.  You can't go wrong with those.  And, oh, I saw a monkey, too!

That's about enough already.  I'll see what I can come up with to write about today.


For 10/12/2010: From Far, Far Away

No, I'm not talking about The Kingdom of Far, Far Away.  Who am I?  Shrek?  That title literally means that I'm far, far away from my house.

Today has been an extremely busy day.  I woke up this morning at around 9AM and left shortly before lunch.  I've been out since then.  Right now, I'm doing research somewhere blogging isn't a feasible option so I'm writing on a really huge leaf.  Of course I'm not!  I'm kidding, okay!  I'm scribbling on paper again.  I also cannot take photos since this activity is kind of classified.  I might get charged with causing a breach in security or violation of secrecy policy and go to jail so I left all my communication devices at home.  Yes, including my mobile phone.  I wasn't explicitly instructed to do that but what the heck.

I'm all alone now.  My company has left me.  They're probably all finished by this time and all safely home.  My fault for being so damn good at this!  Also, speaking of time, I have no way to tell what time it is since I'm not wearing a wrist watch.  Come to think of it, I don't really own one anymore.  I've been very dependent on mobile phones that I never really thought of buying other devices that have the exclusive function of telling time.  Heck, I don't even have a wall clock in my house.

It must be way past 8PM now and I'll be heading home soon.  I just need to finish surveying the...  Oops!  Wait... Yeah... You don't know what I'm talking about so it's okay.

It's very dark around and my lighting device is showing faint signs that its power source is about to kick the bucket.  I probably have about an hour left on this baby.  At least I hope so.  I just thought I'd write while I have the chance.  Who knows?  I might get lost and not make it home in time.  Or, or, or I, myself might kick the bucket on the way home.  Goodness forbid!  Please!

Well, when I get home, I might decide to hit the hay right away - probably even without cleaning myself.  I'm dead tired even as I write so when I finish my last pit, I'd probably just sleep, roll myself downhill and wake up when I reach the foot.

My lamp is flickering!  Back to work!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For 10/11/2010: Out With Mom

I'm not home right now and I haven't been able to post on my blog for today yet.  I have no way of doing that as of the moment since I don't have my laptop handy and my phone is dead.  I also told my Mom to kill everything digital so she could focus on quality time.  It would be a violation of my own policy to borrow hers.

Never mind.  This posting can wait.  I can post this later when I get home.  My mom is more important.

Right now, we're at a Japanese restaurant called Rai-Rai Ken at Asiatown IT Park having dinner.  I picked Mom and Ate Tata up at SM around 8:20PM.  It's now 9:43 and we just finished eating.  Mom's in the jane fixing herself - ready for a long conversation - so I'm taking this opportunity to write.  Also, if you're wondering, I'm writing on our dinner bill's receipt.  Paper.  Very, very small text size to accommodate everything I have to say.

It's been over 2 months since mom and I last saw each other.  The last was when I was home in Bohol.  August 6th.  It was Alec's 16th birthday.  That's like 4 years in family time count so I'm looking forward to a long and funny conversation.  My Mom has a special brand of humor I always miss when I'm away.

The two ladies are flying to Boracay tomorrow to attend a seminar on water.  I forgot what private company is holding it and I couldn't care less.  I know she's primarily upbeat about it 'cause she wants to have fun.  She said the organizing committee for the event is famous for its late starts and early endings so she brought swimwear with her.  This isn't technically an excursion for her but I know she's going to be as opportunistic as a cash-hungry politician.  She needs to unwind.  She's been so busy being de facto co-governor of Bohol and she only has time to smell the roses every three months or so.  And by busy I mean consistent days of 1AM or 2AM to 6AM rest hours.  Yes, including weekends.  She barely even has time to visit the farm.  Gosh, mom!

She's my hero in this regard.  She isn't doing this for the money?  Because... Why should she be?  She's doing this for the good of our province.  I'm tolerating this but we agreed she has to disconnect herself from hands-on government and politics once I'm done with business school.

I believe in the saying that goes, "with great power comes great responsibility," but she's not Spiderman!  If you come to think of it, it's easier for Spiderman 'cause his superhero life is detatched from his normal life.  For Mom on the other hand, both are one and the same.  Agh!  She's nearing 45 and in need of semi-retirement even if she doesn't want to admit it.  She's done way more than she ever needed to.

Plus, she always travels.  No, not for leisure most of the time.  She travels for work.  She only gets to travel for leisure very seldomly.  Of course, she manages to pull out fun time on work trips but that's just not enough in my opinion.  2009 in Canada was her last vacation.  That was like ages ago!  She needs at least 2 long vacations every year to compensate for the work she does.

Oh... She's on her way back to the table!  I need to wrap this up.




Here are some pics of mom:

 Mom somewhere in Japan (work trip)

 Mom and MamaLol (grandma)

 Mom (Red) with fellow politics people
--except the 2nd one from the left who's a chauffeur.
The one in the middle is the governor - my uncle.

Mom's 44th
[Tita Mimi (Purple), Alec (Plain white), Mom (Zebra Stripes),
Aunt Bing (Blue), Grandma (White & Green)]

Mom's 2009 Canada Vacation
[Aunt Bing (Green), Uncle Czar (Light Gray), Grandma (Brownish Gray),
Mommy Joyce (Pink), Mom (Blue Checkers)]
Four siblings and their mom.  This photo lacks Uncle Butch to be complete.
Too bad he wasn't able to go.  Constraints, constraints.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

John Lennon's 70th and a Day on 10/10/10

Yesterday was John Lennon's 70th birthday, but with a heap of regret, I had no idea whatsoever.  Poor me.

I'm a fan of John.  A huge fan, in fact.  He not only influenced the music industry, but the present world as we know it.  If you recall my blog about his song Imagine, you'd realize how great an impact his work has on me even if I was born long after his untimely demise.  Had he survived that gunshot (or had that not happened at all), he would be 70 years and a day old today.

I saw Yoko's world invitation on YouTube just this morning.  She shouted out for people all over the world to create a video in honor of John Lennon and post it on YouTube.  Unfortunately, though, even if I have the technology to do that, I'm as pedantic as a goldsmith for HM Queen Elizabeth II, and it would probably take me two days minimum to come up with a piece I'd be happy with.  So, I decided to put my tribute into writing.  I'm a lot better at this than I am at tinkering with video editing software.

So, anyway, I have a friend from Silliman University named April, and she loves John Lennon.  Her whole life as an artist revolves around John's principles of freedom of expression through art.  Before getting to know her, I would never have delved into his life the way I did and I would never have considered the idea of adopting the causes that John fought for.  For that, I thank her.

John has since then been a part of my all my days' struggles and triumphs.  John's life inspired me to sing for peace and wage peaceful wars against things that harm our only Earth.  John was never perfect.  So what?  I'm not.  April isn't.  My family isn't.  Nobody on Earth is.  But, on that note, John's life has given me inspiration to see imprefections as cause for art and rejoice.  With life's blemishes, one knows he/she has the power to be better.

The song Imagine talks about a utopia.  It enables its listeners to visualize a fantasy of a pefrect world order.  There's nothing more impossible than that, of course.  But what reason do we have not to smile that each day we have imperfection to lead us to resiliency and creativity?  Because the world isn't perfect, we come up with ways to find peace and recognize it when we achieve it in our own little ways.

Today is October 10th, 2010.  It's three 1s and three zeros.  What then?  Is it cause for celebration?  Yes, it is!  No, not because John was born yesterday.  Not because of the lucky numbers.  It's cause for celebration because we are alive today.  It is cause for celebration because Gaia allows us to thrive in her.  It is cause for celebration for countless things.  You might be led to think that it is a day just like any other.  But is any day really like any other?


It's been a very peaceful day for me.  I received a stressful message earlier this morning but I brushed it away to be addressed tomorrow.  I wanted to savor the day's bright nature, so I did.  I've had better days, but today was beautiful.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Touchpad Button Needs Tweaking

I love my notebook.  I totally love it, and I don't enjoy not-so-desirable stuff happening to it.

I don't like the fact that my touchpad's left click button doesn't click easily anymore.  It seems like I need to do constant, unnecessary double-clicks in place of single clicks, and triple-clicks instead of double-clicks.  Or, or I could make it work by pressing down really hard.  I don't like doing the latter, though.  I'd be putting pressure on the mazes underneath and if they get ruined, I'm totally screwed.

I've resorted to using a USB mouse lately but if I'm in my room, where there's no table, I'd be in agony.  I'd have to go outside everytime I want to do serious work.  Gah!  I need to get this fixed before it gets completely kaput.  That wouldn't be pretty AT ALL!

I think the reason for this is too much clicking.  This baby was once used as a Plants vs. Zombies arcade.  Since that's a clicking game, we clicked and clicked... and clicked more.  Well, go figure.  And now, I acquired Chuzzle Deluxe.  Very bad!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

About Sad Videos

If someone sends me a sad video depicting the depressing reality of poverty, abortion, pollution, war, and other socially relevant issues, of course I'd watch it.  I'm not going to like it, but at least my awareness would be broadened and I would be inclined to fight more for righteousness and upholding good principles.  If it's about dramatic past events that have shaped history, bring it!  If it's a love story with poetic justice, turn the television on and let's see it!  Even if you show me a video of a pathetic woman suffering from dementia, walking around the city and not knowing how to get home, I'd go for it 'cause I find it relevant.

I'd be happy to watch stuff like that.  I don't really mind sobbing a little.  However, if you try to show me videos about ruined relationships blaming whomsoever, or videos about how his and her love came to be because he winked at her and she winked back, don't even bother.

If someone I know relates his/her story to me, I'd listen or read intently, and I know I'm going to love it.  But if you want to show me a video of what you dream an ideal love should be or of a devastating break-up without so much as an inch of intelligent sense in the course of it, I'll pass.

I like exploring the cyberspace tube even if I come across nonsensical posts.  I'm bound to find sense somewhere in my day's journey.  And also, if the nonsense posts are considered forms of artistic expression by their authors, I'd see that as a justification for sense.  Somewhere in there is art that I may not be aware of.  I appreciate that.  I'm not going to get mad because in the first place, it was my choice to explore it.

It's a different story regarding stuff shared to me.  If you find something that makes you want to share it to people, count me in ONLY IF you're certain it's sensible.  Otherwise don't.


And the power just went out again.  This is the first instance today and hopefully the only one.  I'll have to wait 'till it comes back before I could post this entry.


Finally!  Posting...

Janette's Knees (Totally Owned By Mario)

Janette asked me to write about this yesterday.  I said, "gladly!"  Right after the incident, I already had an inclination to post an entry about it, but I feared she'd take offense.  I was prepared to ridicule every detail of what had happened right there and then.  Of course, for the purpose of social decency, I didn't and I won't.


Jannette, John, and I had already seen the ConquistaDora video - a parody of Dora the Explorer - and we were just casually talking about it.  It was like we were punning every detail and laughing our asses out.  Dora was already funny in her original character, but this video was just priceless.

I wanted to watch it again so I made a suggestion.  And we did!  Another 2 minutes and 40 seconds of laughing like we'd never seen the damn thing before.  Janette was unfamiliar with so we explored the videos together for about half-an-hour.  And, then I got bored.  I headed to the kitchenette to rummage the fridge for something interesting.  John followed suit about 10 minutes later.  Janette was left alone.

True to her easliy amusable nature, we heard her laughing her ass out with Super Mario Brothers music in the background.  I wondered what she was watching.  She continued to laugh louder to some $$kaching-kaching$$ Mario sound effect.  You know that part where mario hits a gold ceiling of some sort with a huge question mark and coins fly around?  Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

Anyway, in the course of hearing Janette trying to "ha-ha" her heart out of her mouth, I heard her scream and then a loud thud came not long after...  And then a short moment of silence.  My eyes dilated as horrific images filled my head.

You know that scene in a slasher movie where an unsuspecting young woman in her house gets a surprise visit from a serial killer?  Yeah, that scene where she's minding her own business, getting horny in front of the computer or something -- and then a hooded man with a baseball bat shows up out of nowhere.  The victim tries to scream for help but it's too late.  The man subdues her by bashing her into unconsciousness.  And then to her horror, she wakes up strapped down to a surgery bed in an unfamiliar basement.  She then screams more and more when she sees the surgical tools situated right beside her.  The killer's silhouette is seen from outside a glass door...  And then the scene shifts into something less exciting.  Yes, that went through my head after the thud.

Gladly, though, Janette made aching sounds - and then continued to laugh.  At least that reassured us that she wasn't abducted.

Apparently, because the video caused her to laugh unmindfully, her right foot flip-flop got stuck to the foot of the chair.  When she tried to get up, she was thrown down on the concrete floor.  Bare knees first!  And as if the fall wasn't bad enough, her $100 flip-flops were ruined.  Yes, that fall was the last time her soles were ever going to feel the soft, comfy base of that Special Edition Havaianas of hers.  It's okay, she could nail the pair to a wall and turn it into some sort of decoration.  Or she could cut it up and get creative.  Whatever!

Hahaha!  I still crack up thinking about how Mario Mario had totally owned her knees.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Inspired By the Episode

Remember I said I wouldn't write about every single Glee episode I get to watch?  Well, I'm still not going to.  Certainly not every episode, but definitely some.  Maybe a lot.  Who knows?

Anyway, I'm not going to write statements to vindicate what some may see as a violation of my own words.  That's not why I'm writing right now.  I'm not even writing about the third (and, to date, most recent) episode of Glee.  I'm writing because I want to express how it made me feel.  It was just wonderful and I want to write about the inspiration I derived from it.

No, I'm not turning Christian.  There's no reason for me to.  I'm not turning Jewish either; and I'm definitely not turning atheist.  I was just really affected and deeply moved by Glee's portrayal of upholding the idea of a power greater than any Earthly consciousness could fathom.

In the same line of thinking where Kurt Hummel does not believe in a Supreme Being, I don't see a problem at all.  As long as one lives his/her life with principles that respect and do good to the rest of the world, I don't think The Supreme One we believe in would see anything wrong with it.  On that note, some atheists may even be better people than the religious ones who simply go to churches and worship without applying faith to life's daily encounters.  I'm just saying.

I have a lot of friends who are Christians and I have great respect for them.  They do not try to egg me into Christianity as much as I don't try to influence them into adopting any Witchcraft.  The only principle I always insist on regarding religion is to leave each one alone with his/her belief.  Proselytizing someone into believing the same spiritual faith is always (and forever will be) wrong.  Leave each one to his/her own.

[Laptop dims again.  Power outage AGAIN!]

When anyone asks me about my religion, I gladly explain so that they would understand.  Likewise, when I wonder about something regarding a different faith, I ask them, too - simply because I want to understand.  I do not believe in religious tolerance.  Tolerance is a word that means allowing something undesirable to happen.  I do not want to tolerate anything that I would forever view as undesirable.  Instead, we should practice interfaith understanding.  We understand each other and learn from each other and keep each of our own faiths.

You may not necessarily believe in what others tell you but at least you know why they do the things they do.  At least you understand.  And then after you understand, accept the fact that they do it differently from the way you do it.

I love my Magickal tradition and everything it teaches as much as Christians love the Christ Jesus.  Moreover, I believe that The Supreme being only has different names.  Each religion is simply a different way of communicating to this being.  Essentially, though, I believe all of them refer to the same Absolute One.  I am not saying we should all just practice the same religion.  Definitely not.  Each religion is influenced by a culture.  That is an important aspect.  Keep your own religion, but respect and understand others'.  Later you will realize that there aren't that much differences after all.

This photo is of an organization of different religions and faith traditions who gather together to understand and learn from each other.  This is a step towards the peace we dream of.  Here, they show that they are united in one good cause but with diverse spiritual paths leading to the same peace.

This is the United Religions Initiative.


Again, the power went out while I was typing a blog entry.  What are the odds of that?  Twice in the same situatioon - on the very same day.

I don't feel like getting angry about this.  VECO is probably just not capable of supplying 24 hours of power to the entire city these past days.  I'd like to think they're trying their best already.  This is the second straight day of twice-a-day power outages.  It's not very nice, but I can't do anything about it at the moment so there's no point in getting angry.


It's 8:13 PM now and the power isn't back yet.  It's been nearly an hour.  We have to wake Melvin at 8:20 and he is so not going to like this.  The long, pink candle I installed on the sink had already burnt its wick away.  I have 2 purple candles beside my notebook and they're starting to go faint, too.  I'm not even supposed to be using these.  They're for my potpouri.  Which reminds me: I need to get a new pot.  My old one fell down and cracked.  I can't use it anymore.  I don't want to risk any leaks.


Melvin just got up and I had to give him a new purple candle.  Of course, when a friend needs help, I always help.  I have plenty more where that came from, anyway.  And if my supply runs out, I could always buy a new box from Watson's.

Wow, I'm feeling really positive.  Who knew an episode of Glee could have this much effect on me?  It's good to prolong good feelings.  I feel good not getting angry about this whole power outage situation.  On a normal evening, I would have flared up and gone on and on about how the Philippines needs to improve on this and that and what not.

Yes, of course, I still have the same thoughts about national improvement, but it's so much nicer without all the useless profanity.

Oh, gosh!  I don't know what else to say.  My notebook is starting to run out of juice.

Please, please, please!  Right now, I'm channeling my thoughts to whoever is in control of that switch.

"Please turn the power on already.  Please?"


Finally!  9:04PM!  Posting...

Facebook is Down

I can't believe it!  Facebook is down!  I was just browsing through some pages and tinkering with whatever there is to read on Allegiance's page, and all of a sudden the chat box said I had zero (0) friends online!  Really?  From 80 friends online to zero?  I wasn't entertaining the pops but for a list to make a plummet from over 80 to zero was plain ridiculous.

In a panic that my account was somehow hacked by some inscrutable providence of a juvenile delinquent, I quickly hit the refresh button to see if I could still login.  Well, what do you know?  La-dee-da for me.  I couldn't even open the main page now!  I tried Google Chrome, I tried IE, I tried Safari, but it just wouldn't open.  I asked my friend Janette if there was something wrong with her page. I was glad to learn that the whole of Facebook was down and out - a consoling fact after thinking I'd done something wrong to scare it away.

Ugh!  I have not responded to my friend's emails yet.  Why, oh why?  Why, Facebook?

I could just imagine... A lot of people must be at their wits' ends right now.  It's an undeniable fact that some people actually rely on Facebook for a lot of things.  For instance, my communication with my cousins from Canada.  Email?  No way!  It's all done on Facebook chat & messaging!  Also, updates from our favorite fads.  Who could...?   Wait...

Yeah, Facebook's back.  It's extremely slow, though.  And only 20 of my friends are online.  The others are probably still smoking their second stick or hitting a chair with a baseball bat to ease their anger at the situation.

[Laptop dims.  It's 1:00 PM.]

And just when things were starting to go right, the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) decided its their turn to go wee-hoo on us.  Apparently, the power is down.  No UPS for the modem, equals no internet.  I'm typing on a dry page right now and it feels weird.  I feel like I'm going "dear diary" on  I guess this'll just have to wait 'till the power comes back.  This is one of the things that really irk me about this country.

Well, I'll have to end this right here.  It's way past lunch time and none of us in the house have eaten anything since getting up this morning.  I'll have to struggle cooking in a dark kitchen.  I just hope I don't make like Dan Aykroyd's portrayal of Julia Child and slice my fingers off.


[Logs back in.]

Well, power's back now.  Posting...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lea Salonga's "I Dreamed A Dream," Fresh From The O2

How many names can you remember when you talk about Les Miserables' Fantine?

Of course, let's start from London's original English language production since Rose Laurens did not really perform I Dreamed A Dream the way we now know it.  Although, I should say the musical we're acquainted with may not have existed if Alain Boublil had not done that.

Enough about that, though.  Let's return to the question.  First, there was the legendary Patti LuPone.  Skip... Skip... Skip...  Then, there was Ruthie Henshall.  Skip... Skip... Skip...

And then, the bar was pushed to the heavens.  Lea Salonga got to play the part.

She has had quite a history with the show.  She played Eponine in 1993 on Broadway, and again in 1995 during the show's 10th Anniversary in a Dream Cast Concert where she performed her famous rendition of On My Own.  In 2006, she was asked by the producers of the show to play Fantine in its Broadway revival, replacing Daphne Rubin-Vega.

Now, most recently and most spectacularly, she played Fantine yet again in the show's 25th Anniversary Concert at The O2, where she was said to have loftily raised the bar for her character's signature song.

In my opinion (along with others'), her rendition of this song is quite simply the most poignant and the most powerful of all.  There's just really nothing quite like it.  When she sings the song, it's quite obvious that she loses herself in it, but she still manages to do it with sheer perfection.

The stand-out performer from the principal cast was undoubtedly Les Mis legend Lea Salonga as Fantine. Salonga’s career-long type-casting role could probably be described as  ‘feisty, determined but doomed’, whether they are calling her Kim, Eponine or, in this case, Fantine then the result is always the same – a performance of the very highest order. Salonga’s belt hasn’t deteriorated over the years, and after giving that performance all those years ago to similar results, was deserving of her show-stopping ovation. Salonga was undoubtedly the finest pure performer on stage at this concert.

- Dickie and Butch

She stated a couple of times in a number of interviews that the power she gets when singing I Dreamed A Dream owes itself to the existence of her daughter.  There really is nothing more joyful in the world than to have borne life and delivered it into the world.

Here, watch this and be inspired, too...

And here's another captured scene from Fantine's Arrest.  She gets extremely emotional singing here.  I know, for a fact, that Lea always gets emotional playing Fantine, but this was almost extreme.  Her crying was affecting her singing.  She's awesome that way.  My heart sank watching this clip.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Old Entry #5: Memories From 2 Through 11 Years

I need to cover that rant below.  It's not pleasant to be greeted with that kind of ill writing when you open a blog.

It's been a while since I last posted an old entry so I think it's about time for another one.

This was originally posted on Jul 9, '08 12:40 AM on


2-3 years of age:

Oh I really have much to tell about my life 16 years ago. Unlike most people who credit most of what they know regarding that certain period in their lives to stories told by old nursemaids, parents, family members and some other people rather than actual fruits of first hand reminiscence, I really do remember a lot. Well, there are a number of blurred images in my head and a few fragmented “mind movies” but most are as crisp and clear as ripe Japanese apples. Let me share one of them to give you a hint of what I mean

I was two back then. I could remember that it was some weeks after Christmas. My mom’s best friend, who was in the US at that time, sent me a late birthday/Christmas present: a blue Teddy bear. My mom gave it to me in secret and told me not to play with it outside my room. I really did not find it reasonable and I wanted to brag about it to everyone so I ignored her advice. While getting ready to leave for my grandma’s old palazzo, I discreetly slipped it in my backpack and brought it with me there. There, I took it out and played with it (by myself since there weren’t any other children at the time). I hugged it and talked to it as if it were another child my age. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. [I still don’t] Suddenly, I heard the unmistakable shriek of my grandmother who was halfway down the stairs sporting a purple bathrobe—the very same screech quality I heard a month prior to that when I broke her antique Chinese porcelain platter (from way back in the Ming Dynasty). She was so shocked by what she had seen that one of hear hair curlers fell off her head. On the other hand, not knowing what that was all about, I very naively asked her what was wrong. By that time, the maids were already there gasping for their breaths after a haste of a run from the kitchen to the staircase just to save her from whatever catastrophe there might have been. I could tell how frightened they were since I was certain I heard a loud clatter—obviously of breaking dishes that fell on the kitchen floor. And then, very annoyingly, she began making mock hand mannerisms and voice impersonations of stereotypical all-out transvestite male homosexuals while telling me that I shouldn’t be playing with “dolls” since that was a thing for sissy little girls. I reasoned out that it wasn’t a doll and that it was, in fact, a stuffed bear but her mind just wouldn’t budge out of her traditional “boys-is-to-guns-as-girls-is-to-dolls” mentality. And the story goes on. She told my grandpa; my grandpa bought me three very realistic toy guns (which my parents immediately threw away); she tattled to my parents; my parents, in turn, scolded me for having violated their advice not to take the stuffed bear outside my room; and so on.

3-7 years of age:

One clear recollection I have that falls on this age range was when I was five. I was in preschool back then—kindergarten one. I was enrolled in a Catholic school run by religious sisters. [They technically weren’t nuns. Nuns are the female versions of monks and yet every woman wearing a veil and taking a vow of celibacy is referred to as such—a very common and utterly obtuse misconception.] They called the school a “Montessori” simply to have parents enroll their children there with the outlook that they were applying Maria Montessori’s principles of child education. If Montessori’s book simply said “put a playground in your structure, put some toys in the classroom and treat the children how you would treat every other cadet in the nearest military training facility then they were absolutely doing it right! [You know what I mean!]

So, anyway, back to the story. Every Monday, they would ask us to raise our hands had we attended the mass the day before. I was very honest then so I kept my hand down. And each time, they would spot the absence of any of my hands in the air and brand me with grown-up terms I really did not understand then—words such as slothful, indolent, apathetic, etc. But I never really bothered asking my parents what they meant. Eventually, because of my having-no-hands-in-the-air’s incessant recurrence, they branded me “lazy boy”. And I really did not like that so I urged my parents to attend mass on Sundays. That was not impossible for them to do, though. We did go a couple of times or so, but we eventually regressed to what we were used to doing. And at such an early age, they knew I would not have understood if they had explained it to me the way they viewed it so, for my sake, they devised a simple solution. They would have the maid take me to a church or a chapel for as long as I wanted and have me taken back home upon my whim. That way, I would be able to proudly raise my hand on the day that followed. Yes, such routine was eventually halted. The funny thing is that I actually thought negatively of such cultural divergence.

7-11 years of age:

I was a singer before my voice got dull and before I abandoned all thoughts about regaining the ability to sing. Oh how I could reach the highest of notes there were. How I would replay Lea Salonga’s Miss Saigon VHS tape and sing along. In fact, it was actually the first full-length feature I saw on TV. I was only allowed to watch the little box with moving pictures when I was 7 and my parents thought it was something good to start with. Before that, they made the good decision of spoiling me with traveling excursions rather than leaving me at home to watch TV and make it my teacher. They thought it was dangerous that I be exposed to the stuff the maids were usually watching: Tagalog soaps, Tagalog shoot-out films, Snoggly and erotic Tagalog movies, and Japanese cartoons dubbed in Tagalog. Well, they actually did the right thing.

Anyway, let’s go back to the flashback I’m supposed to be talking about. On New Year’s Day of the year 2000, after the strike of midnight, a huge celebration was held at one of the Hills of the world famous Chocolate Hills. One celebration with an international audience where there were people of different skin colors and eye sizes. Very notably, before me came the intensely applauded rendition of “Les Miserables’s On My Own” by Da Maris (a soprano with an awesome voice whose last name I forgot). Then came my turn. I was nervous as hell! It was my first time to sing in front of audience that had more than three foreigners in it. I sang “The Greatest Love of All.” I was so nervous that I nearly failed to belt a note. I’m glad I didn’t, though. After that, I was so proud of myself when it seemed to me that everyone was bowled over by the song. Almost everyone stood up. Although I don’t think it was because I was really that good. More likely, it was because I was very young. After me came the world renowned Loboc Children’s Choir who got practically the same reception I did. [Whoah!] And to top the entire New Year’s experience off, I took part in planting the “Peace Pole” on top of the hill. That was just an awesome experience.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Terrible TERMITE Terror

While I was working carefreely on my computer, Janette asked if she could borrow some of my DVDs.  I gladly said yes.  Those devils haven't been lifted from my cabinet in quite a while.  It'd do them some good to be rotated crazy in her antique of a DVD player.  Plus, she'd be liberated from her boredom.  It was a seemingly perfect symbiosis for the two - or so I thought.

Janette ran from my room in disgust.  She said there were termites in my closet and they were eating on my DVDs and my stacked papers.  True to the lady's account, when John and I went to check on it, there they were crawling gleefully as ever.

There they were - happily expanding their colony.  There they were eating on my DVD hard covers, my VectorBPO contract, my Theosophical Society newsletters, my collection of brochures, John's notebook, my thong!  Worst of all they had eaten on my copy of "Life's Little Instruction Book"!

I considered that book to be one of my most valuable possessions.  It was dad's gift to me for college.  It was given to him by the author, H. Jackson Brown, Jr, himself.  Oh, if only we were at peace right now, he'd kill me!  Dad, if you ever get to read this, I'm sorry.  You must be in a state of pure rage right now.

I'm going to buy another copy for decency's sake, but I'm going to cut up the pages and bind them to preserve the whole idea of it being a gift.  To me, that's what truly matters - the sentimental value.  Luckily for me, none of the content words were eaten through.

We went out and cleaned the DVDs, collected the important stuff, and burned the rest that I could do without.  We saw nature at work when the ants appeared out of nowhere and carried the termites to their lair - wherever the hell it is.  We tried to look for the queen but it wasn't there.  It must be in a bigger hill.  Hayyy!  That means they're gonna keep expanding.  They're not going to stop until we take murderous measures.

Again, Dad, I'm so sorry.  I have a Yanni CD for you here and a T-Shirt saying, "Thank God I'm a Father."  Just so you know.  I bought it ages ago but I've never been able to give it to you yet.

Pink Ribbon Month

The International Month of Peace is over and now we mo...  Actually, no.  It shouldn't be over.  Every day should be a day of peace.  The yearly celebration exists because we accept the fact that our world is not peaceful.  I accept that, too.  There is no other way to deal with a would than start with accepting that it's there.  If you ignore something, it'll just get worse.

The key to spreading peace is sharing what little you have of it.  I have peace in my life right now and I share it with others - even in something as simple as writing.

Okay, okay.  This entry isn't about the lack of world peace.  I was gonna say that it's breast cancer awareness month!  I have a number of friends living with breast cancer.  No, they're not dying from it but living with it - which is a more positive way to put it.  Life is a cycle.  Moreover, we should also accept that the end of our Earthly lives is just an end of a step in a bigger cycle, not the end of the whole cycle itself.  Yes, there is something more - whether we accept it or not.

It's a biological burden but not a reason to see yourself as a lesser creation than all the rest.  It's something unique.  I've noticed that friends of mine who are living with the pink ribbon are able to deal with normal predicaments better.

So, while we support science in their quest to find a remedy, we show our friends support.  A simple hug will do.  Nothing fancy needed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Preoccupied and Missing My Folks

It's the second day of October and I haven't written anything today yet.  I've been preoccupied.  I have no intention of saying what it's about.

Gladly, I have two sources of inspiration:  My special one who does a very good job at making me feel amazing even in the toughest dilemmas; and my new friend whom I met online.

This is one internet-born friendship to treasure, I must say.  Likewise, I'm also 100% certain that it's not my craving for appreciation that draws me to it.  It's like I've finally found the sister I never had, and I thank The Absolute One for the blessings I am given.

I miss my mom and dad very much.  Well, I don't miss them being together.  I don't ever want to see them together again.  They're like fire and ice.  You know what I mean.  I don't even want to start.  Hahaha!

Anyway, I need to get some sleep now.  I've been awake for more than 36 straight hours and I feel like I'm about to pass out.


Friday, October 1, 2010

I Helped a Worm Survive

Just an hour ago, I helped a worm.  Yes, a squiggly, wiggly, slimy little earth worm.  I couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor being.  It was not being a pest.  It was not invading my home and it certainly was not causing me burden.

I saw it beside the wall trying to crawl it's way into the dirt.  However, it couldn't.  The soil was too dry and it couldn't burrow into it.  I saw it writhe in agony whenever it touched the concrete behind it.  I had to do something.  I couldn't just watch it die.

I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a glass and filled it with water.  I then went out of the house and poured water onto the soil near the worm and onto its body to cool it.  I guided it with a leaf out of the hot concrete so that it could burrow its way underneath.  Upon a closer look, I even noticed its blood running around its little body through a lone blood vessel.  That worm was alive and it had a physical mechanism.  It was a living creature just like all of us and it deserved to live.

A thought:  Why can't we all treat each other that way?  Why does there have to be killing and crime and global turmoil and pollution and bigotry?  Has life's value declined?  We only have one planet and we are all its children.  We are minute organisms from a whole.  In a sense, we are all one.  When we hurt another, we hurt ourselves.  Remember the law of cause and effect.  The inevitable law of karma.

 That worm taught me a very valuable lesson today.  I can't put it in words.  It's something that the experience afforded me to feel to learn.  Just picture it out and maybe you'll learn it, too.