Friday, February 29, 2008

Sweet and Sour February End

Happy Birthday to all Feb 29 Celebrants!

To those who are born just now, be happy guys because you're bound to experience quasi birthday celebrations and a 'special' funky child syndrome in your lifetime. You may have the flexibility to choose your birthdays in those three years of Feb 29 absence..

Aside from Feb 29, as the leap year, this day will again go down to history, people. Buckle up.

On a personal note, work in the office today is pretty minimal, minimal means, it's only limited to reading news feeds, and anticipating every information about the upcoming rally...yes the upcoming rally for the month...more of like the nth time.

Damn. rally+payday+friday= MAJOR TRAFFIC

But this day has its minor good sides.

It's Month end and a friday at that, which means we get to have our Queensland Catered lunch at the office, while I ponder on what to do with the rest of the day. My NY boss already solved this particular dilemma of his as he decided to join the rally and witness the Philippine Political system in motion. We tried to tell him to dress simpler, in tsinelas, and he said "Cool, I've got my havaianas...well..." For him, it's a chance to get free ice cream from the Mayor. He has to practice the chant though.."Gloria resign" Thrill seeker in the Philippine Commercial District.

Me? Will I join the rally? Well, there is no question that I would be coming across the rally, since the organizers have brilliantly scheduled it at 5 in the afternoon, when people are actually off from their work, and passing by the strategic rally spots of Ayala-Paseo. You've got to hand it to these organizers to stop traffic and encourage onlookers, who will soon to be tallied as part of the rally. Don't believe the newsflash of statistics, people.

Good thing I have mixed feelings about this than none at all. Personally, I'd rather go home and pig out on my Father's Birthday celebration.

As I type this, a colleague of mine from his recent trip to Ayala, told me they're already starting to block off the major Ayala-Paseo intersection, setting up stages and stuff. Before I get stressed out on the gloomy homeward travel I'm bound to experience, I decided to devour whatever free lunch I'm getting...and this is not from any officials funding the rally.

Speed Test

98 words


Haha! My colleague Carlo, sent me this cool website on how to test your typing skills. It was a fun challenge and I thought I'd reach a 100, but this thing needs more practice :)

According to statistics:
I can type 535 characters per minute
I have 98 correct words and
you have 0 wrong words

Haha! Click the link:


Thursday, February 28, 2008

As expected: U.S. Retailers' shut downs

As mention in previous blogs, due to the pending recession and uncertain US Market, some businesses would just have to suffer the consumer backlash, rising cost and poor dollar value. Starbucks already announced late last year that they are closing poor performing stores to cut back costs and to stop cannibalizing Starbucks Branches.

It's scary to think that the once economic powered US might be a current home for thriving, good and popular businesses to slow down...or worse...shut down. Starbucks, for crying out loud, will close 100 stores. And rumors say that there are at least 10 companies who will disappear in 2008, examples are YAHOO, Motorola and SEARS. Yikes. Those are just rumors, on the bright side that is. On the bad's official that some top US retailers are now slowing and shutting down.

1. RITE AID Drug store, exiting Las Vegas
2. Starbucks, more than a 100 stores, slowing expansion by 34%
3. Home Depot, 3 call centers closing---- (CALL CENTERS?? HERE?)
4. Krispy Kremes due to poor sales --- well not in the Phils.
5. Talbot Kids apparel
6. Pacsun
7. Macy's, closing its 9 locations
9. NEXTEL, Sprint


We'll never know what will happen next.

Oscars: Winners

Well, aside from the OSCAR red carpet fashion show, Oscars is all about recognizing the best artists in the movie making industry, right? This is supposed to be THE BIG DEAL for all filmmakers and artists all over the world. Once you have the golden statue, you're recognized for your work, you're kind of like immortalized, and your roles and paycheck will definitely...definitely improve. Plus, you'll be identified as an A-lister now. Heck, one doesn't even need to win anymore, one just has to be nominated to have the whole full blown effect, winning is just an icing on the cake. (As I know!)

But watching Oscars, not only do I get to scrutinize gowns and such, but I get to be influenced to watch movies that didn't appeal to me on the first glance like NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN by the Coen Brothers. It seems like an adult, twisted, action, suspense kind of movie, but being recognized in the Oscars for Best Picture is literally a soft whack in the head if you haven't watched it. Plus, Javier Bardem, a brooding, brilliant, deliciously Spanish actor, bagged the chilling Supporting Actor Award. This movie, according to the Sun Times, was the best film Coen Brothers ever made. Tough.

Of course if there's a Best Supporting Actor, there is also a Best Supporting Actress in the brilliance of the avant garde Tilda Swinton. I just love her. I love watching her. She's like an edgier, boyish version of Cate Blanchett. Her gown even spoke that way, which may not get on the right nerves of everybody, but you've got to love her uniqueness and her courage. She is the type of actress with loving intensity who doesn't really care about the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. She just wants to produce great films and display her intense kick-ass acting. Even though I haven't actually watched Micheal Clayton, which is again an interesting, courtroom, conspiracy movie, I knew she truly deserved it, basing it from the past movies she's in. Yay to Tilda Swinton!

Best Actor, no shit, boy I'm not surprised! Daniel-Day Lewis! Oh gosh, watching him in any movies, with his intensity, thespian, complex roles really determine what an Actor is all about. You could see the veins and the rage in his eyes on every dramatic role. And who else gives great and poetic speeches? And Beneath that OH MY LORD BROODING LOOKS, that certified ACTING prowess through the years, THAT APPEAL that makes me just want to SCRUB his feet, is a BRAIN and an ARTISTIC TONGUE! He reminds me of a Medieval knight, minus the arrogance and bravado. He clutches his support and love like a schoolboy, yet he is a man of artistic brilliance, honesty and novelty. It also doesn't hurt that he is one of the MAN of my DREAMS!

And of course, the brilliant Marion Cotillard, the 32, stunning French Actress that is just so shy and so genuine! She's the first foreign actress to win oscars since 1960. She gave France the honor, the viewers a brilliant and astonishing film about the French Pop Icon Edith Piaf, and she is the Actress minus the hype and the whole BS. Being new, fresh and newly recognized, you could just see her excitement and nervousness. Her speech is genuine and in sublime awe. Now, she greatly influenced me to watch La Vie en Rose. I even started downloading Youtube clips and researching in Wikipedia about the film and Edith Piaf, whom she portrayed. Whenever I watch clips of Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf, I literally couldn't recognize her. Her amazing acting, matched by the 80th Oscars award winning Best Make-Up team, really bagged almost all prestigious awards, the BAFTA and the GOLDEN GLOBES. She truly deserves it. And strange as it may, I first encountered her in the movie The Big Fish, wherein she played this timid, French wife of Billy Crudup. I may always have a mind storage of actors and actresses in a movie, who played in a lead or supporting role, but I don't really think about them until I see them again on another film. But as I remember correctly, when I watched The Big Fish for the first time, I was already intrigued by this French Actress. I was asking questions on "how she got the part" "She is genuine" "Is this her break through movie?" Thoughts that I don't normally think when faced with a fresh face. But then again, this proved that my oggling really made sense now. I felt like I've discovered her. Haha

Of course the usual Winners of Sound Categories went to The Bourne Ultimatum, and the Original Screenplay goes to Diablo Cody, who wrote the sharp conversations and story line of the Film Juno. Until now, I never realized Diablo Cody was once a she is an OSCAR award winning writer. Amazing. That's what life is all about...not sticking to some usual formula. If there's such a thing as HOPE, she greatly epitomizes it for all aspiring writers or artists.

The Oscars was crisp and average, no blunders except for Colin Farrell's slippery incident and Irglova's 2nd speech take, it was an able resuscitation from the Writer's Strike. Of course, Johnny Depp didn't...much to eveyrone's dismay didn't win an Oscar...yet. Well, even though he gave a great performance in Sweeney Todd and I love him with all my heart, I think he deserves to be recognized more in some other films he made and other greater films or roles to come. I liked him more on Donnie Brasco or What's eating Gilbert Grape to be honest.

As for the young Ellen Juno, well she's young and she's got much to learn, but no doubt she gave a kickass performance. She's natural. She's witty and she's brave. And of course, who could ever forget Laura Linney, who always gets nominated for strong performances, and yet to win, and she will win someday. I hope.

The 80th Oscars is over, yet the year is just beginning. Hey, maybe Johnny Depp would get to win the next time a Mad Hatter perhaps.

Pix Source:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

80th Oscars: Red Carpet

I was strolling along Glorietta yesterday morning when my bestfriend Je reminded me that Oscars is being aired now on cable, live. Missed the dreadful opportunity, I did even start to whine as I finished my business in Makati. I went home that afternoon, watched a couple of DVDs, ate and slept until the replay of the whole Oscars show from the red carpet to the official ceremonies is shown at Velvet Channel.

I think it started at around past 7 when I was watching these two Red Carpet hosts candidly sharing to the viewers their bets to win the Oscars (a prerequisite, really since it's an award shows night), but of course most importantly "Who is wearing WHO?" Being Oscars as they say, it is not just the best Acting Award known throughout the world, but it is known to be the best Live Glamor Fashion show on earth. Oscars wouldn't be Oscars if they didn't have the long, audacious telecast of the Red Carpet show, where big starts, break through stars, celebrities walk through that sophisticated and grand carpet with tons of photographers, tons of anchors, tons of screaming fans and images of beauty clad in overly horrendous priced jewelry, gowns, couture and beauty effects.

Before the actual Oscars these actors and celebrities put on a show wherein they pose at their best, with their signature and perfectly glamorous formal attires and celebrity-like personalities. For some actors, they cannot help feeling nervous as thousands of reporters, photographers are catching their every angle, scrutinizing their fashion sense, hoping they don't end up in the worst dressed list. If you think about it, I believe they went through tons of effort actually picking up that dress. It's bad enough for a normal person to go through DRESS anxiety when going to a prom, hoping that she will be as grand or grander than her batchmates, but much more if that person goes through the whole Dress Entrance ramp with the almost the whole world watching and other fellow famous celebrities treading at the same path. It might be that nerve wracking. You have to get that perfect dress...or else.

It's funny though, viewers actually liked watching the Red Carpet show more than the actual celebrity where formality is put to a tee. You could put yourselves to be fashion critics in your own rooms with own comments on the dresses, hoping to see someone who's daring enough to wear something else than the normal, safe black cut dress. In fact, you've got to admire the likes of Tilda Swinton. Few people would choose to pick that if it involves a lot of effort, and fewer people would get to pull it off. Tilda Swinton may be clad in this kind of ambitious one shoulder creation, but it's more of her intense personality that radiates. I'm dressed formally. This is the time wherein I should be at my most comfortable, and I really don't-care-what-other-people-think-this-is-my-night-attitude. Now that for me is truly admirable, and I just shrug the fact that some fashion critics verbally attest their disbeliefs to some of the fashion sense of non-pick artists, as if they've committed an unforgivable crime of the century. Please.

But moving on, there some artists whose gowns I don't like and some that I actually do like, but I'm in no position to criticize their tastes. I might not like or might not carry Tilda Swinton's dress, but it's definitely rocking if I see it in her perspective. Comfortable and ode to my self-expression! Although what I liked was Marion Coutillard's dress. It's new, it's risky and its' very young and chic. I also liked Miley Cyrus' red dress. Cate Blanchett's dress (by Dries Van Notten) was one of my favorites also in terms of the cut, design and eggplant color, gosh..despite that it's a pregnancy dress, I'm sure lots of men out there wished it was his baby she is carrying. Katherine Heigl's Red Escada dress is also great and Keri Russel's silver ball gown dress. Some of the actresses wore the same dark, black dress with tons of details, layers, laces and fur. Not really a fan of it though. For men, well, they all look the same with minor differences in details actually. The only thing that would set them apart is the perfect FIT of their suit and how they carry themselves without the frills. Leave the frills, glamour and preparation to the girls. For the men, it should be purely handsome, ego, collected confidence. Javier Bardem, the Rock, Viggo Mortensen and the odd ball effects of Johnny Depp and Daniel Day Lewis capped it all off.

It is live fashion show at its finest. You'll know the real personalities of the stars..and at least you'll know that even some stars make mistakes, but not to be dragged by the oscars fashion melt down, everything is purely for self expression with lots of effort.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Concise Accounts of Absence

It's been like forever since I wrote a blog. The only thing that would actually keep me from writing are the following: 1. absolutely no internet connection 2. poor health which connects to mental and extremity degradation 3. Intense chores, errands or WORK.

Yes, even though a person like me that usually manages well may still have challenging times to face after all. (Usually the challenges are exaggerated ones) But all's done and all's well, now that obviously I can write, I can say my work sphere has shifted to a normal pace.

Sipping my coffee, I recount of the things that happened two days past. Well, it seems like everyday was just a series of random events. It doesn't feel like I'm threading a specific day. Everything seems to be trickling into minutes and hours. The difference just lies on exactly what I eat and whom I get to talk to. So I can say the past few days were dull.

Oh, except the weekend of course. Since my beloved went to Batangas to pursue his photo shoots, with his photo buds, I went on a spontaneous roadtrip with a dear old friend of mine in College. This friend of mine and I never really get to talk everyday, but our friendship is untainted by time and distance. Vanessa, my dear friend, is an ultimate roadtrip-backpaker type. She likes to get away from the city. When I was in Los Angeles, my father left me with Vanessa and she gave meaning to the word VACATION.

Together with her friends from Dell, we drove to Laiya on a gloomy Friday night and headed back to Manila on Sunday night. It was a quick escape from the city. The trip was called for and spending it with Vanessa and new found friends made it all worth it.

Then Monday came, well the hours came. Monday didn't really stick in my head except for that I finished (finally) Susan Howatch's book, The Wheel of Fortune. I also got to watch the classically amusing Tim Burton Film, Sweeney Todd on DVD, plus I ate a Mango Graham Ice Cream for dinner. Basically that capped off my Monday.

Tuesday, well, the hours again came. The day wasn't that resound despite the fact that my colleagues and I braved Glorietta to have nearly 2 hours duration of lunch, with our NY boss in the office. Daredevils. But a remarkable meet-up was destined to take place when I met with my friend Bags in Coffee Bean Paseo after work. There we exchanged pleasantries and her experiences in fantastic London, and of course my rantings about work. It was a perfectly balanced conversation rolled in laughter and familiar Bags-Kaye banterings.

After reaching Sun Valley we decided to drink to Bags' homecoming and Ian's renaissance period! Towing Mitch along with Tracy, Ria and Carl, we went to Central last night and devoured 2 sets of nacho dishes, tilapia fish fillet chips, calamares, pitcher of mango rhum and a pitcher of some other orange hard drink that, from the looks of Bags whenever she drinks it, I wouldn't dare try.

It was a perfect ending for a jampacked day. You know that something's not quite at place and the drive's been replaced my mechanical acts of accomplishment. But then again, we should have days like these to look forward to the better days.

Now It's Wednesday. At least I know and breathe that it's Wednesday. I'm currently enjoying my coffee. I can now write, plus I can continue watching Death Note Episode 8 on you tube. It's already becoming better already.

What was that past two days all about? Dullness or a random set of unfamiliar planetary motion? Or it's just PMS? Stop analyzing, start living.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Last Request by Paolo Nutini

This is a new week of all sorts.

Back from a quick fresh vacation in Batangas with new faces and my dear old friend Vanessa. It was a totally different crowd.

Back to work with our NY boss in the flesh.

Starting Monday with new revelations and new observations.

But before I begin telling tales of that weekend, probably this is one of the most memorable weekends I've come across due to this song in Vans' Playlist.

Last Request, by the 21 year old Paolo Nutini, is so revoking and heart tugging. I never did much sway and swoon over a music, never have rated music lightly, but this is probably one of the best on my list:

Paolo Nutini

Slow down, lie down
Remember it's just you and me
Don't sell out, bow out
Remember how this used to be
I just want you to know something, is that alright?
Baby let's get closer, tonight

Grant my last request and just let me hold you, don't shrug your shoulders
Lay down beside me
Sure I can accept that we're going nowhere
But one last time let's go there
Lay down beside me, ohhh

I've found that I'm bound to wander down that long way road, ohhh
And I realise all about your lies,
But I'm no wiser than the fool that I was before.
I just want you to know something, is that alright?
Baby let's get closer, tonight.

Grant my last request and just let me hold you, don't shrug your shoulders
Lay down beside me
Sure I can accept that we're going nowhere
[ Last Request lyrics found on ]
But one last time let's go there
Lay down beside me, ohhh

Baby, baby, baby
Tell me how can, how can this be wrong?

Grant my last request and just let me hold you, don't shrug your shoulders
Lay down beside me
Sure I can accept that we're going nowhere
But one last time let's go there
Lay down beside me, ohhh

Grant my last request and just let me hold you, don't shrug your shoulders
Lay down beside me
Sure I can accept that we're going nowhere
But one last time let's go there
Lay down beside me, ohhh

Ooohhhh wohhhhohhh, yeah
Lay down beside me
One last time let's go there,
Lay down beside me.

---HOW Can such emotions be best put into words? If the words are not enough...hear it with melody.

Friday, February 15, 2008

To rally or not to rally

I currently find myself loitering in Makati, the place to be where all the actions happen, and would again about to happen.

I didn't go to my alleged 'work' today. Hold your assumptions. I did not file for leave to attend the 4 pm Makati rally to oust PGMA. I did it for many reasons. One of which is to fix some 'top secret' requirements in Makati. Second was to meet an old friend from school for lunch. And third, to find a hotspot to blog and kick off my weekend. Okay, I was exaggerating at the third reason, but I did have plans of attending the rally at 4 pm with my socialist friend Rosella.

According to my eavesdropping report, military cues and media vans are already positioned at the four courners of Paseo De Roxas-Ayala intersection as I type. People are talking about it, like a required topic of conversation or like an opening segment. People are expected to know that something reminiscent of the Manila Penn Standoff might just happen. But the tone is really apathetic. The majority's primary concern summing it up, would be heavy traffic...traffic...traffic. After all, the rally would kick off just an hour before majority day shift ends.

I actually have mixed feelings about what's been happening in this country lately. I'm excited because of the expose developments. I'm frustrated and sad because of another muddle, we publicly and globally, got ourselves into. Yet I'm tired and beinging to be numb by the periodic political events that always seem unpleasant.

In six months time, we're on the roll again. Backed up by currently being in the information industry, I was made fully aware of the Lozada expose and continous presentation of evidence of corruption against the government. To tell you the truth it's sickening already. We know the government has been corrupt, but to put it into figures, like millions of dollars and the multitude of nasty systems lacking of basic integrity just really make everything frustrating. We have not even fully recovered from the countless regime wounds, and now we're at it again. It's a like wound that doesn't fail to heal as it's always being poked until the person is numb of pain. In this case, we are numb already.

One perspective may derive that activities and systems, done in the heat of corruption were fairly mediocre actually. Our cases fail in comparison to the mind-boggling CSI cases and FBI cases other countries face, but how come we can't even get through the simple Airport scene, where Lozada was allegedly abducted. Just take in consideration this particular issue. We've got the tools. We've got surveillance. (Wow, I'm impressed we have them actually) We have log books, which automatically crosses out the verbal testimonies of officials, which they have publicly and efficiently demonstrated. Simple truths about simple process backed by simple proofs, cannot even be verified. We are drowned by too many versions and interpretations on different sides. Who's telling what?!

Apparently, we are good at confusing ourselves. We have also mastered the art of finger-pointing and representing truths in different versions. It's sad that we put fantasy and creativity to foul use. Anything to get off the hook as they say. We have been creative in making simple series of events more complicated that it's becoming tiring to sew pieces together to trace back the truth.

According to an ambush interview, well more of like an ambush plea captured on TV actually, Romulo Neri, one of the major players of this conundrum, was being hounded by people to tell the truth. Mr. Neri, gracious, intelligent and physically harmless as he looks, politely respected the people's plea, but firmly said that all truths will be said in the proper time, and there's more to the truth than we already think. Well, I would applaud his serenity and respect for individuals, I'd give him that. But I'm really not sure if I want to prolong this conundrum anytime sooner. Or wait, this will just gradually and automatically die down, in say 2 years or so. Let it die the natural death, and by the time we are hit with another political crisis, this might be a perfect footage for all networks to use, sort of like an MTV. We'll end up scratching our heads and say "What was the truth in the first place?" And sigh.."We never learn." Why can't information and truth be so difficult in this country!

And now we've come down to this Makati rally. There's a truth to the fact that people are tired or rally. We've done it so many times, that I often see it as an immediate bandage to the problem. The president is powerfully corrupt (who is not by the way?), so immediately go to the streets force her to resign. Seriously, doing it three times already, nay, doing it exactly twice, and attempting once, and now this...i think it's not cute anymore. It just tells that there's something wrong in the whole system. There's something wrong with the people in the government. Maybe there's already something wrong with us. What a shocker, sarcastically speaking of course.

When will we ever learn that doing business is not efficiently done through 'lagays' or bribery. It may sound more convenient, but where's the integrity there? Isn't integrity valued anymore? I think this should be given proper consideration in the foundation years of any person. IT really helps. WE've tried everything, haven't we? Why not dedicate a specific subject or course to properly embed values that we would really rely on and use when we're adults. Now, just look at us, people being pulled down to death threats with forms of media and public harassments.

I respect those people who are present or have initiated the rally. It's their own way of venting out and expressing their distaste to the government. Believe me, I'm also not in favor of the corruption and atrocities. But something weighs down on me to be practical and to wait. I'd rather listen, research and be updated on the developments of the hearing than go to the streets. I'd rather write blogs, write letters and inspire people more to value integrity, than going to the streets. I'd rather be informed and empowered. Maybe that's just my way of venting out.

We all have our ways of expression, and passive or not, we do not like this government anymore. Maybe being a nationalist not necessarily be limited in the streets. Being a nationalist should be empowered through information, values and genuine love for the country. That love should be able to usher and initiate solutions that would cure the core, and not just do the band-aid them.

I want the truth. And I want to make the change at the right time, the right way. I want to personally understand what we need and influence people to do their part. Being a supreme nation, a year of absent forms of political instability, is possible. IT is probable if we only give value to integrity, and we only live for the truth. Otherwise it would be damn complicated, damn tiring, damn hopeless, and find ourselves converging on the streets again.

Valentines 101: The Night of the Glutton Feast

Again, probably this would be the last Blog entry of Valentines 2008. First of all, this is the perfect Valentine's of all sorts. Before, my dad used to just treat us to a family dinner. Even he was bugged by the Valentine requirements. Technically, we would just be dining somewhere, getting it over with and lastly applaud my dad's effort to make something happen. We were usually surrounded by couples, and I'm sure my dad was praying that we'd always be his date.

But as time flies, we become aware of the dimensions of human relationships with the opposite sex, he began to let go. Now he can just concentrate his time with my mom.

Last night, my dad picked me up at the office bringing loads of food, as if we're having the first noche buena of the year. He bought pizzas, roasted chicken, macaroni salad and potato dishes. I knew Valentine's is beginning to be right!

When I reached home, my mom just arrived from SMB, where she bought Jollibee feast of chicken for my brother! Double the fun! Hey, I wanted to contribute! So I took the car, drove to the nearest grocery store and brought 2 gallons of Ice Cream for dessert!

As I was happily driving home, I called Mitch. My excitement couldn't be hidden as my stomach churns of hunger.

When I came home, we ate together, just like we always do, but the difference is, we all had our major contributions. It was a good and plentiful Valentine's day actually!

AFter dinner, Mitch arrived bringing a cutely wrapped dozen box of cookies! Thanks to his filial connections! We enjoyed the remaining of the pizza, sugar free ice cream and other delights.

Oh, did I mention that my 'nanay', Aunt Susan also brought her own share. She brought oriental feasts of pancit, lumpia and siomai!

I think I haven't been fully, sickenly stuffed like this since New Year 2008!

Wow! I dare say, I enjoyed Valentine's. I really really enjoyed it...surprisingly. I spent it with my beloved. I wasn't hassled in any way, and most importantly.. I think you already know the other reason why. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines 101: Another Face of Valentine's.

I must say...I'm beginning to see the brighter side of Valentine's!

Not that I'm overly grumpy about the occasion. I'm just not an advocate to be honest. But frankly speaking, I'm amused how Valentine's seems to be a major 'working' holiday here in this country. One shall not be clueless. I mean, You'll definitely know it's Valentine's Day...I mean you'll really know.

SIGNS you should be aware of:

1. Valentine offering combos in restaurants, not to mention, valentine songs from the 80's in the background while eating your value meal and being surrounded amass of extra sweet couples.

2. People in suits walking in the metro holding bouquets of flowers and other Valentine's paraphernalia like red balloons, chocolate, stuffed toys...and did I already mention flowers?!

3. Office mini shindigs. Officemates giving you stuff (your boss giving you stuff, your female co-workers giving you stuff), or worse, a company sponsored Valentine dating game. Believe me, some companies do that...*wink *wink.

4. Chain letters on Emails about Valentine's. Send to 10 persons and you'll be with the one you love in 3 months. Send to 20 persons and you'll be with the one you love in 1 month. Send to 30 persons, and you'll be with the one you love in a week. Send it to gazillion people, even to self-generated email addresses, why don't you, and you'll be with the one you love in a few hours time. Don't send'll be an old spinster forever...DAMN this chain letters!
Friendster greetings on your testimonial page, text messages!

5. And of course nothing beats, the dreaded heavy traffic jam after office hours, due to concert gigs; and sort of compulsory dinner dates as if all restaurants will go kaput tomorrow.

Hence, waking up this morning, without any expectations, I just wanted to survive this day which may have a massive tendency to display visuals of public mushiness. I hitched a ride with my equally dry and stone-cold dad to work looking disheveled as ever. Looks like, he woke up on the wrong side of the bed, thinking of the expected wishes of my mother.

Usually, the driver drops him off first at King's Court in Makati before actually driving me to my office. But lo and behold as we entered the sleek circle driveway of the building, I saw an arrangement of buffet styled food with balloons, tables and chairs.

"Someone's having a party" I mumbled.
Then my dad said, "Ah, that's a free Valentine's blowout of the the Building Administration."
"A what?!" I reacted.

Well, it's kind of over the top for the building administration to actually put up a buffet feast...and I mean..a feast for all the tenants of the building. It was neatly organized, and the food could accommodate hundreds. There's soup, pancit, puto, bread, lumpia, different kinds of kakanin, Unlimited supply of flat tops chocolates, cookies, coffee and softdrinks. haha, things like this I could use my XRAY vision with.

"You've got to be kidding me." At that time I'm sporting already a glazed and drooling look. After we dropped my dad, I schemed, with our driver to drive me to work and wait for me there till I get myself logged in. Shortly afterwards my escape route, I rode back to my father's office to attempt to partake on a massive feast.

If Valentine's is becoming to be like this, selfless and universal, then I'm all for it!

As I arrived at the driveway, people are starting to fall in line, early bird employees from their drivers, men and women in suits from different companies that are tenants of the building. I was immediately greeted by the gracious organizer, "Happy Heart's day" and I said gleefully that would make anyone puke "And to you too!" I restrained myself not to even ask if the food is for free.

I went inside Pancake house to surprise my dad who is having breakfast with Tito Dodie. It's as if it took him some time to register that yes, his daughter, was currently walking and hounding him in his office grounds. I made a little nudge here and there which technically made me their legitimate representative to that sumptuous buffet.

It was a collective and unifying experience. The people there were pleased and more touched than receiving randomly placed cards and chocolates.You can tell. It saved them a breakfast meal, and some even took take outs for lunch. It was a well thought endeavor by the building admin, and what's surprising is that it was never expected from them. It's not quite normal for any building administration or a company for that matter, to put in Valentine's shindig in their budget, but they did. Now that's plane selfish, genuine and very collective. Now that, is what I call Valentine's.

That's another more appealing face of what Valentine's day is all about. Valentine's shouldn't single out different types of people, sporting different relationships with themselves or whoever. It shouldn't pressure anyone to conform and compromise. It should be a day to act free love, of different kinds of love. And it need not be mushy to the extremes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentines 101: Preparation

Okay, it's not officially Valentine's yet. I still have approximately less than 3 hours to rant, after which the Earth would have to engulf me to let Valentine's day, in this Valentine's crazed society, thrive. Okay, this is not going to be pretty.

Well, aside from the fact that my special someone and I have made our own plans this weekend, which doesn't involve us being together, I must have received raising eyebrows here and there. This is after all a Valentine's crazed society, couples are expected to unite. It's a sin to be off somewhere else. But officially, he has a photo shoot in Batangas; and officially I am going for a quick vacation with my nomad buddie, Vanessa. These are two adults at work. Add it up that we're just simply not Valentine's crazed people. Although I do inject a few suggestions here and there to have dinner before the weekend. It always has to do with basic sustenance like food, or else anything would be just damn mushy.

Phase 101: Anime

We all have phases in our lives. Phases which means you do not stay with it forever. The people that you've spent your life in grade school, may not be the same group you enjoy moments in HS with. Certain interests and activities just gradually change along with the environment. The only unit that is a constant witness to all your sporadic phases or shenanigans, is your family (whether they like it or not). And I don't even think they would want to get involved most of the times, especially if it's something a far outcry from their own personalities. You don't need pity, you know. And I bet the person whom I'm deeply involved with right now together with some newfound friends, may be quite shocked that I had this particular phase in my life, for which my HS friends were chosen witnesses to.

It's just that I love ANIME.

Okay, most of us are already aware that Anime's cute. It's nice. It's fascinating. It's current, but honestly ANIME has changed barriers for me. It has changed my life. I'm not simply a identified as a random viewer anymore. I was living in that world. And I'm proud of it.

I coined the term love, and not simply like, because it will always hold a deep affinity and place in my heart. I'm a sucker for a good anime. I always believed it to be my puberty savior. For some, partying and friends made them sane in adolescent years. For some, it would be sports, art or a quasi puppy boyfriend, who would bend down to a whimsical dance of the hormones. But for me, aside from reading, ANIME really anchored to be where I am now. As Susan Howatch would say, reality and fantasy co-exist, but never mix. I needed that fix.

Some of my HS friends who knew my insatiable ANIME love, might think that Ghost Fighter or YUYU Hakusho, as the first ANIME that tickled my obsession. But I beg to defend that Ranma 1/2 was the first anime that really made me hook to the genre. I was watching it every Sundays at RPN 9 long before I knew YUYU Hakusho. I was always diligently synchronizing my watch to RPN 9's and immediately got drowned in the weekly story lines of the crazy and fantasy Ranma Saotome who could change into a red-head girl when splashed with cold water. How insane is that? They incorporate the normal ingredients of the realms of reality and twist it to accommodate the imagination. It has a unique story line. The characters are strong and focused. And the animation is darn authentic.

After gradually paying attention to what Anime is all about, YUYU Hakusho came into view. I could not even begin to think of the crazy insanities I have done to officially mark this particular obsession. Allow me to proudly list it for transparency:

1. I've bought dozens of blank VHS tapes, and programmed the VHS player and TV to automatically tape the episode every weekdays, just in case there's some wild natural incident that I couldn't make it on time. Now, it's meticulously stacked and packaged in a manila envelope, properly labeled and sealed in my boxed library, together with all the other ANIME videos I've taped.

2. I kept and maintained a PEACH Cattleya Notebook to write the details of what goes on a specific episode, the punches, the kicks and the type of power it exhibited. I just acted like a reporter. It was my crash course to journalism and my first taste of blogging.

3. Every time I go home from school, there's a manang there that sells numerous ANIME TEXTS. I usually buy not one, but the whole packet, which costs around 50 bucks, depends on the number and the graphics. So, VHS+TEXT = early tastes of bankruptcy.

4. Since I've never had interests in partying or going out, still not interested as of date, the most enjoyable 'gimick' i did have back then was a trip to Powerbooks from 1 pm -5 pm every Saturdays, free dinners and have an ANIME marathon. That was my life, and I'm damn oblivious to the world. And I liked it. I viewed corruption as a third person and not get swayed with it. It's a therapy of whatever angst I may have back then.

5. Basically I'm not an artistic person.I don't have an eye or any usable hands for art. My hands are heavy. I'm naturally clumsy and I have poor eyesight, literally and figuratively. But ANIME made me embark on a new journey of drawing. It was soon after that, art Pencils were added to my expenditures.

6. I also bought a CD, the official soundtrack of YU YU Hakusho and play it in the music room where I demanded my privacy. I played the CD in maximum volume and while I practiced drawing. I didn't care if the words were alien to me. Our neighbors must have thought that our family moved out and a Japanese family took over instead. The good thing about it was that my parents just let me be, either that or they're just too weirded out to confront me. They might think I would answer them in Japanese.

7. In our literature class, the gracious and lovely Mrs. Pengson, made us do a project. We had to submit a certain collection that we maintain and put some literary touch to it. So others compiled their selection of poems written in tissue papers and stuff. Others compiled their essays. Others brought their cooking recipes. It was practically a no-brainer. And what was I to bring? I could just compile all the scripts and unfinished stories written in crumpled intermediate pad papers. But it must be something that speaks me, something passionate I could write about and I could defend. It wasn't a surprise when I submitted my thick TEXT clearbook beacon of pride. You see, from all the text purchases from Manang, I was able to fill one thick clearbook where all text cards were meticulously placed according to episode, according to characters, and according to artists. I made a storyline of those characters as my literary piece, since I could not expect Mrs. Pengson to know these multi-colored characters with spiked hair designs. I received a good grade for it, actually. She inserted a post-it in my album saying she was that darn impressed about how unique my collection was. Told you, it was a no-brainer.

8. What else have I done for this ANIME obsession? Well, I tried to study NIHONGGO to get a Japan grant. I exchanged emails with my auntie Debbie, while she was based in Japan for a free tutorial course. Oh Tanjoobi omedetou gozaimasu. Well...tried was the best term.

9. Since Anime back then was a hit, I was able to gather cross stitch patterns from top Cross Stitch dealers. I went to Cebu for vacation and asked my dear aunt Mommy Chuck to do some cross stitching project for a present for my birthday. Since my dear aunt loves..nay...obsessed with cross stitching, which is a great mystery since she's the sister of my domestically inept mother, she obliged. The cross stitch was done to perfection. It arrived via my uncle from Cebu and we had our cross stitch versions of Vincent, Dennis and Alfred. I even influenced my sister and brother to like YUYU Hakusho, but Karla exited early. As soon as the cross stitch arrived, my NANAY (Aunt Susan) bought frames for each, and now they're still displayed in our bedrooms!

10. Lastly, now this is weird. Probably the reason why I wasn't quite interested in the opposite sex at the time wherein I should be GAGA over developing crushes, was that my heart was already taken, by another plane. I honestly believed that I would only belong to KURAMA/DENNIS and no one else. I have dreamed so many times about going on dates with Kurama and him rescuing me from Geometry class. And the background of the music while he is driving or defending me from MATH wizards is TAKE on ME by A-HA. I even made an MTV via powerpoint, of all the anime slides I've gotten in the internet and cued them to the song of TAKE on ME. I literally locked myself in my room and just received ghastly remarks after my mother came home from a weekend shopping at 6 pm, bringing pizzas to a smelly yagit making MTVs in the computer.

Those were the days I say. My friends would often ridicule me, on which flatters me, that they always assumed that I have a boyfriend. It's just that he doesn't know and he's not alive, well not in this world at least. That's the power of anime, it feeds the creative drive of a person's souls and interests. It is a reflection of a higher realm that is not limited by reality. It is worth everything that I've ever paid or gone through.

Even though I'm not that obsessed as before, I think that particular phase would be on of the milestones in my life. I came out, right haven't I? And not that I just Love anime, but I owe it my life. I owe it my creativity and fond memories. I owe it my adolescent years not consumed by angst and rebellion. It could just be a fascination and genre to some, but definitely it's been a world to me.

Bruised, literally and metaphorically

I was about to make a blog about myself being a hypochondriac. But then again I should also include a topic about me, being a klutz. Tripping, falling down the stairs, skidding and sliding or whatever that inflicts physical and 'ego pain' is something I've been dealing with all my life. My family knows it. Mitch knows it. My friends know it. Hey, the whole world witnesses it apparently.

The nature has always been successful in selecting every perfect moment to generate a spontaneous freak show, usually in public resulting to bruises, cuts, tainted reputation and a damaged shoe. But life still moves on.

Just like the senate hearing as it moves on. I haven't had the time to watch late late news at night so I'm watching you tube instead. The government has put itself, again, in such a muddle that requires lots of air time. If the government isn't bruised yet, I don't know what is. I must admit that Jun Lozada, the star witness in this neverending ZTE NBN broadband deal, is courageous enough to be scrutinized, criticized and pressured by the oh-so-powerful Senators, on national TV. Comparing it to my public freak show, I would say his is incomparable.

People view him as a hero already, while some on the other side of the fence, wants him killed. He cannot sleep in senators' offices forever, you know. Every single opportunity he was questioned, he did not fail to imply that he just wanted to get this matter over with, since he was after all just an IT consultant, who found himself muddled into witnessing, probably one of the most controversial procurement/corruption system of GMA governent.

He says to the media that "he just wants his normal life back". Move on, he will, he must. But to get his life back on normal track, normal which means invisible for the glaring media and assassins. Normal that the idea of someone lurking around the bushes has prepared itself to kill you. Unfortunately it wouldn't be normal for him, unless he reaches a defenseless 80 years old when there are new wave of corrupt officials in the government. Wishing for everything to go back to the little miasma that they came, is like wishing for one to have the power to fly.

Yes, eventually he might go out malling with his family one day, but granted that he must be spied and ushered by his countless bodyguards. He might even jog in his village, with a life vest and a GPRS tracking device in his foot, just in case he gets shot or kidnapped. He might be living normally with all the weight of people's expectation, speculations and assumptions about his profession, personality, sexuality and principles. It's a shame of what's happening to the government. (Sigh not out of shock but of frustration)

We know we have witnessed enough. And we always resulted to quick ways, always doing the bandage solution, and if it wears off, there's always quick option to change it again. People are tired and I'm one of them.

A friend of mine, Rosella, who is a true nationalist and socialist, texted me if we could join the rally here in Ayala on Friday. I said, yes sure, rally for the people and a slap to the government. If it's enough to make PGMA shiver and shake, then I'm good for it, but I'm really not sure if forcing her to resign is the best solution, granted that she only has 1 term to finish. Sometimes, we should think of the practical side of things. Sometimes being practical is needed to be come a nationalist.

I may not be an activist or a hardcore analyst. You cannot maybe sum me up to be an idealist or a realist, but I know I want a good, transparent and worthy government serving for worthy causes of its people. It's hard and it's complicated, but personality and hidden agendas aside, we definitely could make it work. And I hope that we survive a year without any rallies of some sort, and carry on life as it should be. Bruised, humiliated and pained in the public eye, but dust it off and move on, hoping that that incident will make us more careful, more vigilant and wiser. And that goes to me too.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nasty Weekend

I had a pretty nasty weekend. But I’m not blaming it on anybody. It’s just that series of events, either concocted by nature or seemingly clashing personalities in restricted places of conversation, made everything seemed right for nastiness. If you’re familiar about astrology, they often say about planets or stars aligning to guess your day may be perfect or clashing with someone else’s, I guess that weekend was a perfect example.

Although it was nasty, I wouldn’t say that it was unforgivable 24/7. It started on a bad Friday night, caused by misjudgment, misunderstanding and location, and a follow-through of emotions and confrontation on a dull Saturday afternoon. By the time it was Sunday, everything is already running smoothly on the emotional side except for my tooth ache and paranoia of blindness, which devoid me of any physical or mental activities. So much for weekend relaxation, now back to work.

Starbucks New Phil. Addition (On Selected stores only)

I’ll say it again, much to my own surprise, I never thought I’d be a Starbucks regular. Well, not to say that I’m totally ga-ga over their coffee. I like coffee, period, any coffee, but for preference sake nothing beats Coffee Bean for me. But what I do like in Starbucks, the largest coffee shop chain in the world, is their selections of bread, pastries and edible thingamagics that goes well with coffee, juice, tea or milk. Plus of course the factor that it’s just at the ground floor of our office building really makes a difference.

If you’ve read my previous blog about what’s happening with Starbuck’s in the US, is that they’ve gone into a marketing revamp on their menus and expansion. They have cited that aside from closing 100 underperforming stores, they will also pull out breakfast made sandwiches in their menus. I’m sure McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts offer equally yummy and cheaper selections minus the gourmet score of what Starbucks has to offer, but I was surprised of what I was about to see this morning.

Monday morning as it is, I didn’t get much sleep plus I forgot my hair tie at home, it’s already a premonition of how wonderful my day’s going to be, sarcastically speaking of course. I went to Starbuck’s to get my daily fix, when I saw brilliantly wrapped sandwiches in whit e sheets, lined up at their freezer by the counter. They have enticing banners promoting the addition to their menus. It’s a FOUR TASTY CHOICES OF SORT OF GOURMET SANDWICHES. All four costs 90-95 pesos each and their breads, kind of expensive. They’re not huge club-sized sandwiches, but sandwiches in pretty sosyal bread like Multigrain bagel and Ciabatta. To enumerate it profoundly, the first selection is of Bacon strips, egg and cheese. Second is Hungarian Sausage, Egg and Cheese. Third is Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil, for dieters I presume, but yummy as well. And last is Black Forest Ham, Egg White and Cheese. Well they all sound yummy to me, and everything is worth a try. Having a new humongous oven over the counter, attempting to accommodate Sandwich lovers and regulars, I say let’s get it on.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Madness

Today is not like any ordinary day.

First, I spent my very early morning with my dear Mitch, as I went with him to MMC to get his scheduled blood test. The smell of hospital, for some reason, calms me down.

Second, after dropping me at my 'supposed' niche to 'work,' I decided to get some coffee and take care of some bank matters. Grabbing my phone and book (Susan Howatch), I went down and tried to withdraw whatever's left in my paltry account. Out of stupidity and stubbornness, my ATM pin got locked. The First try was I kept on pressing 4 instead of 3, naturally because I was damn busy reading, I didn't notice the blunder. Second, my hand accidentally slipped, my problem again...and a little percentage on the blasted oily machine. And third, I simply got the numbers mixed up. The next thing I saw on the screen was "Your Pin has been locked, please contact your main depository branch immediately."
Shit. My world just stopped for a second. I've got no cash and it's a Friday.

Sensibility kicked in. I went to my Director and asked her where our main depository branch is located. She said it's somewhere over Arnaiz, which means I have to take a cab. But DING DING DING lo and behold I have emergency money at the side of my wallet compartment, just enough for lunch, taxi rides and hopefully surviving the weekend if I stay at home or if Mitch, my darling Mitch, would be extra charitable...anyways, that's why man created credit cards.(Thanks for the reminder...mother!)

So at around 9:15 I got a taxi and went straight to the bank to fix up my mess. It was damn hassle, man. Makati streets could be damn vicious sometimes, especially at this rush hour. It's cramped up with people who are rushing to get to their offices, rushing to go to their interviews and other business affairs and someone in the middle of a sea of cramped cars, a degenerate person is rushing to get to the bank to settle the LOCKED ATM PIN.

Eventually I reached my destination and filled out a form while seriously clutching on my remaining cash.

Ho well, so it's done. Filled out some forms and got assurance that I'll be able to use my ATM on Monday Afternoon. Great! Now, I just have to survive the weekend! I bet they're snickering at me..."Of all the damn days to get your PIN locked...she picked Friday!" Enough of you, you extremely paranoid psycho bitch! (That's me)

I looked at the time, it's almost 10, but no rush. I went to MCS to view the latest DVD titles and see what I can bring home for a movie night, but after 10 minutes of stomach churned.

I took a taxi and directed it to drive to the nearest convenient store at our building. I grabbed a salad and a drink. I made my second entry at our office at 10:30. People are still either missing from their breakfast...or simply absent. No guilty feeling transpired.

As I was busy doing my 'work,' Ary, a colleague, was "delighted or coerced" to treat us to lunch. Hence we got a taxi and headed to Thai in the Box in greenbelt. After the delicious meal, we found ourselves at Glorietta until 3 o'clock that is! Naughty naughty naughty! That's why I haven't been posting much blogs today because I'm busy being far far away.

Ho well, still thankful.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

News 101: Scary...but cute

A colleague of mine sent this most recent link from a news feed msnbc.

In Ludwigshafen, Germany, a fire broke out in one of the apartment buildings. This is quick decision making at its finest. Bravo to you, little tyke, you make us adults...wusses in a case like this proud!!! If it was me...I would have resulted to a mixture of scampering and drama!

Check this out:

I find it pretty amazing. At first I thought it was done through photoshop, but this is real as it can get. Thanks to the brilliance of Rene Werse for this picture.


Top things guys look for in a girl

It's easy to bombard anyone nowadays of surveys, other quasi-relationship tidbits and features out there, may it be online or not. Before I never really did pay much attention to it, especially the likes of "top Things you know about the opposite sex," "What do guys really look for in a girl?" yada-yada-yada. I mean, come on! Tell me something, a low eq person like me doesn't know. It really doesn't take a genius to know what a guy looks for in a girl, right? I mean seriously, all one has to do is to spend a day with a guy friend, and pretty much your guesses are bound to be confirmed. In the surface, it's easy to get the resounding traits they're looking for:

1. She has to be beautiful
2. She has to be sexy or appealing = Hots for Sexy time
3. She has to be faithful

Not necessarily in that order, but these just play around the top three.

Unpretentious. Simply men. Contrary to us girls, who look for more intricacies. We just darn make it complicated.

But amazingly, while I was looking at these top surveys in, I just recently remembered this one show I watched in ETC last year. If I can remember correctly it was the TODAY news and it was aired one dull sunday afternoon. Usually, I don't pay attention to these topics, frankly it's something that I think I don't need to further study on, but since it was a dull afternoon and the speakers were supposed to be accredited, I listened.

The survey that I am seeing now, and the things social experts told on the Today news, are somewhat the same, and lo and behold, this might not reconcile on what we originally knew men really look for.

The top 5 traits, if I can remember correctly that men are looking for in a girl (Partner-material) are:

1. Confidence
2. Humor
3. Intelligence
4. Faithfulness
5. Good in Bed / Sexiness

Interesting. Excuse the precision, but I might be mixing up the order, but definitely number 5 stays in number 5. I can also remember my surprise when I found out that it trailed in the list.

Matching it with, an online legit forum, most men consider, confidence, humor and intelligence. Faithfulness is already an understatement for both parties. But being good in bed is already a plus?? but not the most important. While beauty and sexiness are relative. It might be hard to digest at first, but when you think about it, it just makes sense.

They value a girl with confidence that can act up with admirable levels of maturity. The guys is not looking for a wham bam machine, it must be diverse and intelligent enough to carry possible conversations. As what an AOL Pulser man said "My theory is, no matter how hot that person is, eventually you'll definitely get tired of it, and it'll just fade away. So there must be other more spiritual and intellectual things you get along with when time erases all the physical hunger."--Smart answer.

Well, believe it or not. It's anyones call, but now, I'm definitely believing.

ConsumerTech101: Apple iPhone and iPod Touch

This post is dedicated to my sister's wacky, forced operation iPhone and my broken iPod Video. Yes, I'm not currently using it anymore. Nawalan nako nang gana, ever since a freaking annoying line appeared on the screen, some lcd glitch or something. As people would like to blame me for that, I wash my hands on it. I haven't banged it in my entire life contrary to hundreds of theories and speculations.

Anyway, this is just in at Slashdot. According to the report new, higher capacity models of iPhone and iPod touch boast of higher storage spaces. The new iPhone boasts 16 GB of storage and is priced at USD 499 and the new iPod Touch has 32 GB, also priced at USD 499.

Hmm...expensive...but what can you expect? It's sleek, mainstream elite gadget, produced by Apple.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Valentines, might as well

Speaking of the Romantic Month, I should somehow make an effort to be romantically knowledgeable about certain stuff. From restaurant promos to online features and articles, almost everything is focused right now on the subject of relationships, love and romance (did I just type romance?). At immediate judgment, I could easily dismiss this as being purely mushy and commercial. I'm not alien to the season though. I've lived and observed valentines, and for me, it's so overrated that seeing it face to face, my system might automatically disintegrate. If you're thinking I'm bitter, you're totally wrong. If you're thinking I'm cynical, well in a way. I've had my own shares and reason for celebrating Valentine's, and I do appreciate the reason for its existence, but what I don't understand is how people give so much fuss about that it tends to feel too commercial and too icky for anyone's varying personalities.

So let's get down to the topics that I feel are real, interesting and ha-ha funny. So, I suggest for the rest of the year and for the rest of anyone's Valentines celebration, one should just check out the commercial views and lamentations on the door. Valentine's are for everyone, whether we like it or not. It's quite a bit obtuse if we only see Valentines as romantic love, well wake up and smell the 21st century, Valentines is for creative celebration to commemorate any forms of love and everyone...definitely entitled to his or her own chocolates!

Pix source 1:
Pix source 2:

February Fourth Frenzy

Yesterday, February 4th, is the anniversary of SIMS game creation! I cannot begin to tell you how how this game has become a complete work of art! It's not just a game, it's a psychological fun assessment and lifestyle!

Also, yesterday, a hefty, emotional and "political" scene happened in the House of Representatives, wherein the now former House speaker, JDV or Jose De Venecia, was ousted by his peers via a floor majority vote. There are a lot of angles to view this occurrence and one of them is that democracy was exercised to remind its constituents, the public and public officials that anyone occupying office could be immediately ousted; and it's quite foolish to think that they are somehow cloaked in permanency.

Some viewed it differently, in the light of disrespect and treachery. Some viewed it as a sign of much needed reform! The problem is, we always seem to find the need to make reforms, but we cannot even achieve any sound goal of the change had to happen in the first place. We've always been good to develop faith to change society for the better, but our actions come in rather too late, wasting our golden intentions. Some even viewed it as a melodramatic scene, as a final plea of a man who felt he was betrayed, scorned and ridiculed. It was a last call of alliance so that the Congress could get on to the "real" work and not be submerged to the pathetically muddled Politics.

I haven't fully watched the former House Speaker's privilege speech, but I've read and heard news and commentaries about the speech in nature. I've even heard excerpts of it, and all I can say was that the speaker, at that time, was full of emotions, whether it may be from anger, passion that failed to be properly channeled, or frustration towards the system and towards the corrupt government.

There are a lot of possibilities and work plays that one can derive from this political occurrence. Individual and group feedbacks would likely develop, for or against a party or government. As cliche as it may sound, there's nothing much to do about it than to accept the change and move on, rather than to dwell on the angles and drama wasting valuable time of useful action.

Sadly, for some poetically wise and apathetic to speeches and dirty politics, they all reflect in the name of karma: "Karma lang yan, they are all corrupt anyways and he should have seen it coming. Tama na ang politika." Well, a case of when the shit hits the fan I guess. He might come of this as a battered martyr, a fool or a hero for nation's cause, but right now, we really shouldn't care much on the drama and the titles. It's of no use. This is not a reality show where everything could be peachy at the end. This is our country. This is our future, and what we need right now is integrity, sincerity and action of our government officials to make the right changes at the right time.

And lastly, February Fourth is also a birthday of Bags Bagui, a friend, who is currently based in London, and hey hey hey who's about to take a trip home in two weeks time!

February fourth, a monday of all sorts. What a 'romantic' start.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bill to Ban the Obese! Ridiculous

Aside from the fact that today is Monday, my crankiness was somehow thankfully subdued due to lack of sleep last night. Meaning ironically every waking moment, I take the chance for a quick wink.

I am expected to meet Mitch at Glorietta for the last day of Photoworld exhibit. But surprisingly my system really couldn't handle the drowsiness, that's why I decided to beg off, click out of the office exactly 5 pm, not a minute later, take skyway and reach the target mark!

Anyways I am going to share, as I already did with some of my officemates, an article I read just recently. Mind you, the article jolted me back to absurd reality as the article is also full of unfathomable absurdities. At least I knew that people, even High-and Mighty politicians from other power countries, make mistakes once in a while, and boy this is one of the funny BS mistakes I feel strongly about.

In the article posted in Walletpop
some of the lawmakers in the United States, specifically in the state of Mississippi, actually formulated a bill to ban obese people from restaurants. In the bill, there is a designated identification, based on Department of Health Standards on who passes as obese. Any establishment serving obese people food would have its permit terminated.

I told you it's ridiculous, but most especially...

Downright discriminating is all I can say! Forget about the war, forget about the old time war of nationalities and civilizations, forget about the races, forget about education, we've come this low to demonstrate downright in your face, discrimination!

I do understand that this bill is backed up by Health concerns. We all know obesity creates many fatal complications. It's not aesthetically pleasing, and it's not healthy at all. Worse, this could be prevented, and we do hear these lawmakers' concern. But the method of protecting these people and ensuing changes to occur by simply banning them in public establishments, would not heal them physically but damages them psychologically. It's not the correct answer, and never will be.

It's bad enough to know that calorie contents would be included in menus soon, it's annoying, but it has a greater chance to empower people more. But to be actually prohibited from restaurants, a place created for social gatherings backed up by good food and known to be one of the strongest places to exhibit the human power to choose, it's not just and not right.

It doesn't take a humanitarian to feel that this bill is a poor attempt to solve a social health problem. As humans it's our nature to help whenever, however and wherever we can, but we have to be sensitive and knowledgeable enough to offer help the right empowering way, and not through a discriminating way.

Obese people may have missed the right choices in their lives. Obese people are scarred, yet real. Being obese doesn't make a person less human. What they need is understanding and the help to seek empowerment to change for the better. This could be done through information and positive support groups, and not through this bill.

We all make mistakes. We are humans and we should help each other, and not find ways to discriminate each other for betterment. It doesn't work that way, and it's time for me to understand that these lawmakers are just humans and they're bound to go back to the drawing board. Because this bill is not only downright discriminating, but also downright ridiculous.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Book Blog 101: Wheel of Fortune

Let it end swiftly.

No. You are not reading one of the heartbroken and twisted love letters set in accordance to the overrated Valentines, but I am talking about a book, about some of her books I've grown to love.

I was introduced to Susan Howatch's literary work on one afternoon of 2003 while I was busily scavenging in a thrift shop book store. As they quote, "you'll never know what you're going to get." I never did, as I picked this thick, interestingly old hardcover book that has a title, "The Rich are Different." How obviously raw, and it seems the poetry's been drained out of it, which is the exact reason I bought it.


I remembered skimming through it after work and, then I knew I was caught by the literature. It was obsession by then. I must admit reading one part to another, might have triggered schizophrenia and natural weight loss.

Now, I'm reading another thick novel called The Wheel of Fortune. Again, do not judge the book by it's sappy title. It talks about how Fortune, adapting the Philosophy of Boethius, is represented on the life of the English Godwin Family that takes place in the early 1920's-1940's.

The author of these unique and challenging works of art is Susan Howatch, an English writer who is known to write Family-Saga novels that have an average number of pages of 1,000. Let's put at it this way, if you like soap operas, the classic ones, not the trashy ones wherein twists and turns are forced, now this is the book for you. But for those who don't have the heart for soap operas, I wouldn't be surprised if you'll like it as well, as I did. This is the heart of long Family sagas, people, before TV was invented and before long Epic Family Soap operas were invented. If you're thinking a novel version of Days of our Lives, then you're mocking the book. It has more class, character and focus than that of the scripted versions that tend to trick and entice the minds. She writes in large parts and every part is seen through the eyes of the the major characters. It's written in 1st person narrative. The conflicts are complex, which involves analysis (this is the part where you put yourselves in one character's shoes to another, therefore endangering yourself to a multiple-personality syndrome). The setting is raw and evolving to the times. The time line and story is so vast, yet the focus is there. And the writing, the conversations, it's as if you hear them speaking through the character's mouths. The words are so fluid, intelligent and sharp. This means that the conversations are amusingly sarcastic to the bone.There is no sappiness in every sentence, only truth just like what a normal person goes through.

Here is an excerpt on the book WHEEL OF FORTUNE:

Ginevra's Part: After having a quickie copulation with her stiff and perfect husband Rober, which last about precisely 16 seconds...

Trailing to the bathroom, I prepared for more tedium, but was awoken from my stupor of distaste by finding that the little flesh-colored thread had become detached from sponge while the sponge itslef had been shoved beyond th reach of my longest finger
I sighed, prayed for contortionist skills and returned to the fray but in the end I gave it up. I spent some time debating whether I should use the douche again, just as I alwyas did, but in the end I was too nervous. Supposing I washed the sponge so far up that I had to have an operation to remove it? I shuddered. I was unsure what went on in the nether reaches of the feminine anatomy, but I picutured some unspeakable nastiness taking place among the ovaries. Wholly repelled I abandoned all thought of douching and toiled exhausted back to bed.
men have no idea what women have to go through sometimes, no idea at all.

Robert's Part: His view on Fortune by Boethius "The Consolation of Philosophy"
"I know the many disguises of that monster, Fortune, and the extent to which she seduces with friendship the very people she is striving to cheat, until she overwhelms them with the unbearable grief at the suddenness of her desertion..."

Those are just few lines I've randomly picked up. Every page seems to have a representation of the glorious works of art. It's not fantasy, but it offers the reader different perspectives of life, a lesson. But I tell you that it is very challenging to read, just like Anna Karenina, happy exhaustion would be felt by following the developments of the story. It's a thick treasure you'd have to finish from cover to cover.

Ashamed as I am, I'm still on page 839 to be exact and I've been reading this since January 1st, and I'm getting there. The characters are already 40 years old, some are dead and some are born. I can't wait to finish this! It's an excitement I have in another world! It would be a victory and an admiration for the Goodwin Family, another one of Howatch's greats!!

Welcoming February

It's the First Friday of the First Day of February. There are a lot of freaking F's in that sentence. It makes me want to "FUKE" hehe. Sighing aside, it's official. January 2008 is over. It's done with. Lived with. It's out of the book, 11 months to go.

Boy it was fast. What happened to you last January? Worse...What happened to me?! Well, I can't say there were fireworks. But I will say that it's a month with a feel of gearing into possible brilliant trajectories that might happen this 2008. but first...Kill me with the fireworks if you'd please and do it now!! January is supposed to be a happy, fun and bright month!

But February is crucial to follow through the promises and start of January. That's why if you hate your January so much, well good luck to you, you still have a long 11 months to go. And you're not staring a good impression on the world. February is a quasi-month celebration, to follow. IN fact this month has 2 worldwide celebrations, 1 national commemoration (which translates to a work holiday) and 2 family birthday celebrations (Nanay and Papa on the 29th).

Oh gosh, a week after the entrance of Chinese New Year, comes Valentine's...the ever commercialized Valentine's day. For these two celebrations, expect people to find justification to party, dine out, have tikoy for breakfast, lunch and dinner, observe mall and hotel promos and most importantly suffer from heavy traffic...traffic...traffic.

February is more of like a post celebration shindig after the holidays. It has a vibrant feminine character to its own. It cements the masculine January and March together as it breathes excitement and positivism in the 1st quarter of the year. February is the shortest most complicated year in terms of dates in the calendar. February is more of associated to the sign of Aquarius and marks the beginning of Pisces for March. February means purification....hmmm...well...I don't know how much purification goes into this month, most probably de-purification har har.

Well for all the glorious days February has to offer, I say we should start enjoying and live the promises we made to oursevelves at the start of the year who knows, when you wake up it's already March and 1st quarter 2008 is about to end.