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Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It doesn't really matter whether

your glass is half full

or is half empty.

What you can do is empty its contents

For you to fill it with something new.

image from here

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Guide

image from here

Sometimes in life, we chance upon people who bring you back to the path you were originally supposed to take.

Exactly at the same time when you forget.

People who, unknowingly, bring you back to reality and give you small life lessons. Small encounters that give big life-changing realizations.

I met two such person recently.

Two who unknowingly led by example.

Two who gave truth to the saying that angels do reside on earth.

And people pass by for a reason.

I call them my short course teachers.

My unknowing guides.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Canis Canem Edit

Image fom here

A topic on the radio got my attention some months back. Chico and Del on RX were talking about bullies and related 'em to dogs (Chico being a known pet lover and all).

They once heard of a woman who consulted a pet trainer about her new dog that's frequently being barked at and attacked by two other older dogs. She wanted to know how to solve her problem with those bullying dogs. The pet trainer told her that the problem lies NOT with the bullies but with the one being bullied.

The new dog needed to assert itself in the pack for it to "belong" or be accepted. The dog was clearly weak, and weakness had no place in the pack. Expect to be attacked if you show signs of weakness. The dog clearly lacked the instinct to survive. And the other dogs were just acting on instinct.

I've noticed that it's the same thing with the world we live in. It's a dog eats dog culture. Only the fit will survive.

In the human world, it’s been clearly identified and established that bullies are THE problems. We've tried solving them one way or another. But looking at it from a different perspective, shouldn’t we also be equipping the weak with the right defenses?

Schools are of a special case, I guess. We try to protect the young ones from being attacked and hope that somewhere along the way, they develop a backbone and start to at least give out a confident stance and cease becoming a magnet for trouble.

However, the corporate world presents a different environment altogether. If you find dissatisfaction at the bottom, you'll find yourself fighting for your place on top. In each of us, there's a hungry politician waiting for the right time to lunge for power. It doesn't have to mean that all would have to play dirty, but fact still remains that all needed to play.

I've looked into Facebook and wondered what happened to the "weak" during high school. The lives of most of them took a turn for the better and are already in better, if not the best, careers; with a new "do" and a new beau. However, there are still some who are still asking to be talked about and, well… ridiculed. I was itching the other day to send a message to one high school classmate and tell him “dude, not those kind of profile pictures, please! That's social suicide.” But of course we were not really close. I don't want to be a villain in all this, as that would be too superficial of me.

I ask myself, have I somehow been a bully to some of those who came and went in my life? Perhaps… I'm thinking that despite my uber friendly personality and unicorn-rainbow filled outlook in life, I'd say yes. Yes, I may have caused someone pain one way or another.

Let me get things straight - I detest bullying, but I wouldn't want to pamper and overprotect. Life sometimes teaches in the harshest way. People need to fall and scrape their knees sometimes to be able to learn how to get up and heal. Some lessons are not learned by taking a cue from other people’s experience.

My little brother got bullied during his first year in high school. Same with his older brother, he came from a public school, then transferred to a private nun-ran school. They probably stood out like a sore thumb, they lacked the confidence to stand ground and fight back.

Jay got picked on by the bigger guys, hit and even peed on. But good thing he had Jethro to back him up. Together they were stronger.

One time Jay got picked on two blocks from our house. A kid ran to the house and called on Jethro, who rushed with fists raring to connect with the bullies’ face. They got a heck of a scolding when they got back home, but I was sure, my dad was proud. I sure was. They were finally learning to fight back.

In time, the two of them learned to walk with a swag, got into music and became basketball varsity players. Soon girls swarmed at our our gate. Two or three girls would go to fetch my brothers for whatever practice they needed to do.

What have I learned with this experience? There’s strength in numbers. Having someone to back you up makes the difference. You may not fight the same battle, but you get to draw strength from another.

Dogs come in a pack for a reason.

As no man is an island.

We all need someone.

We all are needed by someone.

Thus, if you think you are needed, be there for that person.

For we all fight our battles. But battles don't have to be fought alone.

Lest you wanted to be eaten by dogs.

It's a dog eat dog kinda world after all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LAPS (Lab at Pers Sayt)

Alam nyo yung feeling na nakita nyo ung isang tao tapos malulungkot kayo kasi di naman sya mapapasaiyo?

Yung tipong too near yet so far? Tipong loving at a distance lang? Ung alam mong match made in heaven kayo, pero rivers, mountains, valley and dragons ang kelangan nyong tawirin para makuha lamang sya?

Ganun naramdaman ko nung nakita ko si Choco.

Feeling ko sya na talaga ang para sa akin. Pero sino ba naman akong ponsyo Pilato na makakakuha sa kanya. Isang hamak na bipolar na may ADHD pa.

Walang pag asa.

Kung baga sa kanta, they’re Xbox’s and I’m just an Atari.

At kung ikaw ung tipo nung college na may Org tapos may pa-cake raffle tickets na kelangan mong ibenta, tapos bibilhin mo lahat at ibebenta ang ISA, hindi ka pa din mananalo at ung piso ung binili un pa nanalo. Malas mo lang talaga.

Kaya never ako umasa. Ayaw ko na madisappoint. Sa bagay, nakisali naman talaga ako sa karera bilang suporta, hindi bilang manalo. Pero un nga lang, na LAPS ako kay Choco.

Dagdagan mo pa nung nilait lait nung tatay ni Choco ung handog ko. Kesyo pangit daw, overedited, sabi ko naman, aba! aba! aba! pasensya, na ”Ohhh Shiny Moment” lang ako nung nakakaita ako ng online editor, nasobrahan ata. LOL

Kaya imaginin nyo nalang ang tuwa ko nung sa kaka-click ng refresh (AMP patagal patagal pa talaga ang kups), tapos dahan dahan sa pag scroll...

Kabog. Kabog. Kabog. Lubdub. Lubdub. Lubdub.

Tapos makikita ko ung pangit kong pic.

Napaisip ako, panaginip nga lang ba ung sinuhulan ko lahat ng Judge? Minsan ko kasi plinano imessage silang lahat at sabihing, ”magkano ka?” Eh ang kaso, wala akong kilala sa kanila. Iisa lang. Di mo pa magogoyo ung isa. Kaya sabi ko sa mga goons ko, wag na lang. Baka makasuhan pa tayo ng graft and corruption at cheating sa elections. Di pa tayo makaalis ng bansa gaya ni GMA. Pwede ko din namn pala silang ipa papatay lahat, tapos magpapaka Ramona Revilla lang ako. Ganun. Pero lalo naman akong di makakakuha ng mana nun.

Kaya ayun.

Napatumbling, isang cartwheel, isang chinese garter jump, isang tumbang preso throw, isang planking at isang owling ang aking nagawa nung nalaman kong akin na sya.

OA na alam ko kaya ititigil ko na.

Kaya sa mga hurado, salamat salamat. Pasensya na kung wala sa kalingkingan ng pagka propesyunal potograper ung entry ko lol.

At sa nagpakontes, IKAW NA! 81 contestants? Ikaw na sikat. Lol.

Un lang po.

Lesson learned? Sa mga na LAPS sa buhay. Wag magpapaepekto sa pangit nyong itsura. Itigil ang pag tingin sa salamin at tingnan ang kaibuturan ng inyong puso. Makakakita naman kayo ng mga panget na may kaholding hands na maganda't sexing bebot sa daan at masasabing there’s TRUE LOVE.

Kaya wag mawalan ng pag asa. Time is Gold kung baga.

Aytenchu bow.


Dahil tinuturing kitang sibling in crime (di namn kasi tayo nalalyo sa height), papahiram ko sayo Roro (Ro anne) si Choco pag uwi mo. Photocs ulit tayo ng mga cute nating mukha. Nasakin nga pala coin purse mo. Ipangbibili ko ng film, sana makaabot hahaha! Lol. Jowk lang isosoli ko sayo. :P

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ber Months Update

So I've been really busy lately. These ber months have been flooding my schedule (mostly about work) so much that my planner looks like a mess.

From my last post on my plans for the ber months, I think I've been pretty successful so far.

September was indeed a month of rekindling friendships and making new ones. With how strong these friendships are, maybe only the new year will know.

October has been a month of booze. I've been drunk twice or thrice to the point of vomiting my guts out. Spell BLOOD. Now that was fun.

November entered with me jammin with my bros and visiting relatives during the holidays.

But it seems like this month won't only be about family. It promises travel with good friends.

So here goes my fun schedule this November. This thursday I'll be going to Hongkong for a meeting. I've extended my stay till the weekend and sent shout outs to have friends join me to make travellin more fun.

The first few days of the month had me all too emo and my mood swings were just too crazy, luckily, kups had been brave enough to try to pacify me despite the distance, thanks to whatsapp lol. So now I'm just excited that he had the guts to come and fly to HK from wherever his OFW ass is.

It'll be my first out of country trip with a friend (who will bring his dSLR - ehem Macau camwhore time!).

Then there's Baguio at the end of the month, but that's for another story. I'll let my other friends blog about that. :P

So cheers to these ber month memories.

Cheers to ending this year working hard, and partying harder.

Just a few more days till Christmas!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


It's that time when you leave everything behind.
When you forget all worries, heartaches and pains
It's that place where freedom is not just a word
Where no one knows your mistakes nor your achievements

between here and there
where you do not care
which mask to wear

- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Isang Maligayang Kaarawan sa bulakbolerong may pakulo ng pakontes na ito.

Happy birthday Joel! ALam kong wala akong chance manalo, so paki regalo nalang sa pasko ung glowing mug. ktxbye!

Tara LAYAS tayo! Sama? SAMA!

P.S. eto nga pala ung mga kadugtong ng piktyur sa taas.

(i-click and .gif na image pag di gumana lol)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Omen - Part 2

Lightning does strike the same tree twice.
Lucky tree if it lived the first time,
But the second might not be all too nice.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Omen - Part 1

There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me, but do not want me, then I will stay. If you want me, but no longer need me then I have to go. It's quite sad really but there it is.

- Nanny McPhee

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Words and Phrases a Real Man Must Never Use

(share ko  lang ulit, la lang)
by Lourd de Veyra

Published: Mar 26, 2010 - 7:09pm

Because, in the end, words are all we have, said one very, very dead poet. Last year, the editors of the online incarnation of the world's most subliminally gay magazine, FHM, asked me to list down words and phrases that a real man must avoid. Here is an expanded version of that.

"BONGGA"–Increasingly becoming the most evil phrase invented in recent linguistic memory. Two syllables with the greatest damage to masculinity.

"ONE MARGARITA, PLEASE"–Nothing corrodes at the heart of manliness than a silly cocktail glass with salt around the rim and a sickeningly bright liquid that resembles diluted urine and bearing almost zero traces of alcohol.

"CUTE NG BAG MO"–Or just about anything that involves the word cute together with any piece of fashion-related accessory. Shameful minus points for familiarity with French and Italian labels and the words "fake eyelashes."

I'M ON A DIET–This, along with "no rice," "diet Coke," "brown rice," and that crime against all logic and decency, "vegetarian chicharon."

CARBS–What, afraid you won't get your own giant Bench underwear billboard on Edsa?

WORKOUT TAYO, DUDE–If brotherhood is truly global, then we must have the decency to avoid inflicting on fellow members of the species such frightening words.

"ROBERT PATTINSON"–Interchangeable with "Edward Cullen." The fact that we are even familiar with him is indicative of the cracks in our fortress of manhood. Minus 50 macho points for any man who can provide spirited discourse on the Twilight series.

SPA–When the correct term should be "massage parlor."

SALON–There was a time when the world turned on its tranquil axis and men got haircuts from barbers–in barbershops. It was a time of harmony and peace: rusty scissors and murderously sharp straight razors were used, and talcum powder, rubbing alcohol, warm towels, and an assortment of mysterious burning liniments were slapped on napes, necks, and faces. There were no such things as "creative directors," "senior stylists," "shampoo and blowdry," and other silliness.

"BORA"–Ugly, lazy contraction of that noisy, overcrowded island with uglier reggae music and Starbucks. Takes on more emasculating levels when the "R" is not rolled.

"HINDI KAYA NG POWERS KO"–Nothings screams "Darna!" with more passion and silver glitters.

"GREEN TEA MOCHA FRAP WITH EXTRA CINAMMON"–God designed the male species specifically to avoid the consumption of overpriced drinks with pointlessly intricate ziggurats of whipped cream and chocolate.

"THINGIE"–Is it the insufferably cute sound? Or do you say to yourself, "There goes a sensible human being?"

"FAVE"–Sometimes, attempts at terseness tend to misfire.

"INTERIOR DESIGN"–Le Corbusier chairs? Mediterranean walls? Minimalism? Vintage decoupage screens? Mark Hampton? Muji storage shelves? Why, the cave is our natural habitat--and Orocan its only sensible furniture.

"TOTE"–Used in a sentence: "I tote I saw a pussy--not pussy cat. Just pussy."

"LET'S PARTY!"–Manly men will get drunk, stoned, laid, beat the crap out of each other, swim in vomit, tossed unconscious into a cab, and wake up in a strange sidewalk somewhere in Montalban. But they will never, ever fucking party.

GOSSIP GIRL–Self-explanatory.

"ORGANIC" — Remember: The soil is the domain of rich, New Age-types. The hideous factory operated by evil multinationals is where the manly man derives his nourishment; MSG and preservatives are on top of his daily nutritional requirements. The proper synonym for “organic” is “fucking expensive.” The only time the manly man should be using the word “organic” is when referring to drugs.

“LOW”- ANYTHING— “Low-fat,” “low-sodium, “low-calorie,” “low-sugar,” etc. All products containing such ghastly labels contribute to a dishonorable age where all you do is drool and whine to the nurse about your unchanged diaper. Also interchangeable with any deceitful phrase ending in…

“-FREE”— i.e. “cruelty-free,” “guilt-free,” “lactose-free,” “caffeine-free.” How about freeing yourself from all this silliness?

“BULLY”— More often than not used by the bullied and not the bully. No bully ever refers to himself as a “bully.” But such is life. The school ground is a microcosm of the animal kingdom. There’s the hunter and there’s the hunted. Through evolution, animals learn to protect themselves from predators, thus developing natural defense mechanisms. The bullied should stand up for himself by stabbing the bully in the neck with a fork (The Columbine Massacre, on the other hand, is taking things too far). Calling on Mommy and Daddy for backup eventually does more subliminal damage to the kid’s sense of self-worth.

There are unverified studies announcing that bullying eventually results in criminal behavior, alcoholism, drug use and similarly erratic behavior—on the part of the bullied. What a load of crap. Most of the bullies I knew back in school are now in jail or rehab, if not confined to shitty jobs. Sometimes life has a way of balancing out things. Geeks get bullied, but they eventually grow up to be titans of industry or Silicon Valley barons. The fate of bullies? Well, they can be overworked and underpaid security guards of the office building of some remote branch.

“PERSONAL TRAINER”— A natural extension of such unmanly phrases as “abdominal exercise,” “Healthy Options,” “aw shucks,” and “scarf.” Enrolling in a gym is one thing, but paying extra for someone to motivate you is another. How about taking it easy on those cheeseburgers and those choco-strawberry sundaes?

“FRO-YO”— Yogurt is about as masculine as Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud.” Yogurt swerved in swirls and embellished with candied fruits, nuts, caramel syrup, and, the most absurdly ironic topping of all, muesli (as if it could add more years to your life) is the dessert equivalent of a Richard Simmons workout video. Bonus: “MILK TEA”

‘THE NOTEBOOK”— The ultimate chick flick by way of existentialist sap. The element of “death” appears to lend a sense of gravity in this book-slash-movie. Shame on any guy who shed copious tears over this melodrama (thankfully unwatched by me; and basing on the stories, I have no plans of buying the DVD). If you really want genuine emotional catharsis, go see Marley and Me. Neil Young said, “Only love can break your heart.” He forgot to say dying dogs.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Of huggers and whatnots

I grew up in a family of huggers. You could say that we’re kinda the touchy kind.

The kind you see with one arm outstretched to the other’s shoulder while walking, the ones you see hugging each other tightly when we meet up and when we say goodbye, the ones you see incessantly poking each other’s ribs whenever wherever (which evolved to pinching each other’s nipples for guys - I know, wierd).

In high school, I was taught that a person needs 30 hugs a day. There was a time before graduation, each would have to hug the person arriving in for the first period in the morning. Thus before the start of the first class, we each would have 30 hugs already, from 29 of our classmates and one from our adviser.

Of course hugging is still somewhat reserved to those I’m comfortable hugging. I don’t want to end up with a black eye or a slap on my face, you see. But for those I feel strongly, I do make it a point to have given them a hug on occasions – friends, family, just a few officemates – people who matter. It’s my first act of showing affection.

I guess I have never really met anyone who’s not used to hugging. I’ve always thought all people would know how to hug, no matter which gender, one way or another.

Not until recently.

Let’s call him kups. Kups became my tropa, my kada, my bro and homey quite unexpectedly. He was the astig street smart kinda guy, I was the perky bratty kid. We were kinda each other’s opposites but I guess we hit it off quite easily.

He’d jump off at the first sign of hugging, disclosing that he doesn’t hug much really, let alone guys. I’d have to literally ask for permission since that was my only way of thanking him for letting me extend my welcome in his pad. I’ve assumed he doesn’t want to lessen his machismo so I let him have his personal space. I vowed to train him to be a hugger, but I wager it’d be one tough task. Haha!

But as days went by, I realise he has his own way of showing friendship and affection. He’d give out a piece of chocolate randomly to friends (something that he might have picked up from the office or something), he’d be very attentive in what one is saying and would always extend out help when needed (even if he’s dead tired even), he’d simply do things without big gestures, without fuss nor condition, but still, it would mean so much.

Thus, I’m letting him be with his machismo. My hugs are nothing compared to his macho sweetness, non-obvious and unassuming. I realise each person would have their own ways of saying they care, which made me appreciate a lot of people more.

You can never really measure one’s thoughtfulness with your own standard. You’d only get disappointed if you do lest you realise and welcome that each gesture is special in their way.

Your dad might not be a hugger, but he may be a patter (a pat on the back lol). Your mom might not be a hugger, but she may be a pincher (a pinch or two on your ear maybe lol). Your friends might not be a hugger, but they may be a slapper (slaps you practically everywhere, your bum, or maybe wacks your head).

Thus, huggers or whatnots, appreciate and you’d find happiness.

Little gestures might not be too big, but they could mean so much.

  pictures from here and here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ber months

On most parts of the globe, -ber months mean cold days coming in.

For most, people get more emo and slit their wrists. Some find their state of "singularity" more hyped up with winter coming in. Some will feel quite “sad” (seasonal affective disorder). But for filipinos, these may still be quite evident but we do deal quite differently.

The ber-months are months of festivities after all.

Thus, I declare and label these months as happy months.

September is my month of rekindling old friendships, of building new bridges, and of strengthening loves. September will spell spontaniety.

October will be my month of booze, of parties, of fun and laughter with those I love. October will be my book of memories. It is the octoberfests afterall.

November will be my month of visiting relatives, both the living and the dead. It will be my month of family responsibilities, of going to the province, of putting old hands on my forehead and of bingeing on good 'ol home cooked meals.

December will be special. It will be my month of love. It will smell of honey glazed ham, of queso de bola, and of puto bungbung and bibingka. It will ring of the crumpling of gift wraps, of jose mari cahn's songs, of bells and of children singing front of our gates.

It will be a month of sharing, of thanksgiving, of kisses and hugs.

Ber-months will be the months to end the year.

“Ber” will mean “better” spelled shorter. Be’r.

Be’r in all aspects.

Spread the be’r months fever.

Happy be’r months to ya’ll!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Battle of the Toilets


How apt that Toilet Thoughts should review two famous Toilet restaurants, one in Taiwan (Modern Toilet) and the other in Malaysia (T-Bowl Concept Restaurant). But to give you a more detailed description, I’m letting my guest food enthusiast JD Cruz to give you her review.

Modern Toilet was pretty hard to find , or maybe we were just Mandarin-impaired. As per instructions, we walked around Ximending until we saw a giant toilet hanging out of a building.

On the outside, it looks like a hole-in-the wall restaurant. The place is pretty small compared to some restaurants I’ve been but that’s probably due to the space issue in the Ximending Area.

Inside, tables are propped on sinks and bath tubs. As as the name implies, there were a lot of toilet bowls around, for they are used for chairs in this place.

They have an English menu for those who cannot understand a word, like me. They have the basic Chinese food fare like noodles and dimsum, as well as the hamburger and pasta of the western world. I looked around and saw that people keep on ordering this hotpot thing, so I decide to try that as well.

Yep, your food comes in its very own toilet bowl as well. Talk about mixed feelings. The hotpot was very good though and pretty cheap at around 150TWD (225Php). Also, you can choose to get your drink served in a urinal for only 30TWD.

The best part of the meal is always dessert. Which comes with every meal you buy as part of the set.


Modern toilet can be found at the following address:
Name: Ximending Store, Taipei
TEL: 02-2311-8822
ADD: 2F., No.7, Lane 50, Sining S. Rd., Wanhua District, Taipei City

The week after, I went to KL for business. I knew I just can’t pass up going to the T-Bowl concept restaurant, especially after dining at Modern Toilet in Taiwan.

The restaurant is located inside the Sunway Pyramid mall, second floor in the Orange Atrium. Interior wise, T-Bowl is definitely one up against Modern Toilet. It’s newer, cleaner and well… cuter.

As with Taiwan’s resto, tables are mounted on sinks and bath tubs. Chair are toilet bowls, although there are some normal tables and chairs scattered about. Probably for those who aren’t really into the “toilet” experience.

Food was pretty expensive, as this dish cost about 25RM (375Php) and it’s not part of the set yet. Also, taste wise Modern Toilet’s food is definitely superior for me. I guess what they lacked in flavor they made up with cuteness?

The ice cream, however, is way better than Modern Toilet’s. It’s also more expensive as it isn’t part of the meal.

T-Bowl Concept Restaurant can be found at the following address:
Orange Atrium Lot 1F-96-97, First Floor, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, No. 3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

I can’t really say which one’s better. They’re both equally good in their own way. Food wise, it’s the Taiwan Resto. But for atmosphere and convenience, T-Bowl wins hands down. Plus, they got the better ice cream.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Si babols, si migs at si Bench

Si babols at si Migs ay mag ina. Si Bench naman ang kanilang aso na may halong ibang breed "daw" maliban sa pagiging askal.

Isang araw, sa bahay nila babols:

Babols: Arf! Arf! Arf!

Migs: Mama what are you doing?

Babols: Tinuturuan kong mag English si Bench para pag nag migrate na tayo sa US of A, marunong sya makipag communicate sa ibang aso.

Migs: ???

Nga pala, may petition kasi ang mag-ina papuntang USA. Teka, alam nyo ba ang tahol ng Pinoy na aso? Ano nga ba?

(opo totoong storya ito sa aming probinsya)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


In front of the entrance to our village is a Mini-stop store. I remembered I had to stop to get some wheat bread for tomorrow’s baon. Yeah, wheat bread so sue me. Some people just need to cut down on rice like me.

But before I could alight, I heard a knock on my car’s window. It was a lady around her 40s, asking for money for her fare home.

Instincts prompted me to say no and instantly lock my doors. I shook my head violently, as if to stop her from continuing her monologue about why she needed fare going home. Four years in college, walking along Faura and Pedro Gil trained me to do such.

I remembered this old lady from my college days. From my freshman year till I graduated, she was always there in Faura, saying the same old line - that she needed money for her son’s medicines. But if you’d offer to help her get a white card/ charity card to help her get meds free and endorse her to your pharmacist friends, she’d simply refuse and move on to the next bystander.

“Nakakahiya man, pero kelangan ko lang ng pamasahe pauwi, nag apply kasi ako sa SM (embarrassing as it is, but I just need fare home…)” was all I could remember from the lady’s monologue.

Like a trained Manila boy, I abruptly refused her.

But as she slowly moved away, something in her facial expression triggered a memory.

She moved away not with a disgruntled I’ll-look-for-my-next-victim look, but she looked helpless and deeply worried.

I had that nagging feeling that she was telling the truth.

“Manang, eto o!” I quickly called back to the lady, and without hesitation, gave her a fifty.

A fifty peso bill that someone, too, once gave me.

Back when I was in college, I had to struggle with a small allowance to cover for all my daily needs – food, fare, date fund, projects etc. Thus, embarrassing as it is, there were times when I had to resort to the unthinkable – riding a jeep without paying. One-two-three baba (get off).

One time I was inside an FX. And inside an FX, it is absolutely impossible to do the one-two-three manoeuvre – unless you’re a very skilled and thick-skined con artist.

So there I was, wondering how to get off, when this lady noticed my discomfort, spoke to me and gave me a fifty-peso bill.

Then it hit me. Life is like a freaking domino cascade. When the front domino is pushed, it will fall into the next domino, which falls into the one after that, and so on. Yeah, that’s a lot of headache.

Like that movie Pay It Forward. People find it easier to do good towards a stranger, simply because someone did the same to them.

Filipinos, for one, would find this easy with our “utang na loob” outlook in life.

And I wager that if one small person continues to do some small random acts of kindness towards strangers, these deeds will spread like wild fire, or like hot gossip.

Like a rainbow and unicorn induced butterfly effect.

So I thank you old lady who gave me that fifty-peso bill.

That I was able to pass it to another.

And hope that the next gets to pass the fifty to someone who might need it, too.

In some form or another.

From one person to another.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Salamat August

(si button, di ko kuha, kuha ng iba)

Medyo di ganon kasaya ung July ko kaya akala ko ganon din mangyayari sa August ko.

Nagsimula nung dumating ako ng KL, Sabado na nun, naiwan ko ung jacket ko sa car service. Paborito ko pa namang jacket un. Black na may mapa ng Pinas.

Pero habang tumatagal, parang onti onting nagiging ok mga araw ko. Isang sorpresa pala ang unang lingo ng August.

Sa lahat ng meetings ko, ngayon lang ata ako nakalakwatsa ng ganon. May mga bata kasi kaming kasama. Energetic pa sa mga layasan. Napilitan tuloy makisabay ng tuhod kong umaaray.

Tatlong araw kaming lumalamon, lumalayas, at nag pipiktyur piktyur hanggang sa matapos ang lakwatsa at trabaho naman. Saka na detalye. Ilalagayko nalang sa food reviews ko.

Myerkules habang nasa isang lecture, biglang bumalik ang aking jacket.

Simula na nga ng adventure.

Thursday ng hating gabi, nag bus kami papuntang Singapore. Sa daming beses kong bumisita dito, akala ko payapang dadaan ang weekend na alaalang pwede namang makalimutan ang baon ko paguwi, sa makatuwid, boring.

Mali nanaman ako.

Naglakwatsa nanaman kasama ang mga batang ka-opisina. Lumamon at nagpiktyur piktyur ulit sa Sentosa.

Byernes lang kami magkakasama. Kanya kanya na kami pagkatapos hanggang makabalik ng Malaysia.

Huwebes palang sa isang katropa na ako nanggulo. Wala kasi din akong matutulugan.

Tawagin natin si katropa na Kups. Wala lang. May topak din kasi gaya ko.

Sabado, wala akong plano kundi pumunta ng Funan, isang mall na puro electronics ang laman. Langit para sa akin ang lugar na puno ng gadgets.

At dahil mall, hindi ko binalak na gumising ng maaga. Tulog at bulagta at malamang humihilik pa.

Nang may marahang tapik ang gumising sa aking ulirat.

Si Kups.

Nakatingin lang at may tinurturo.

Kupal talaga, di man lang nagsalita. Pinahirapan pa akong lumingon sa kung anong tinuturo.

Laking gulat kong isang cake ang nasa tabi ng higaan. May kandila pa.

Talo pa tubig na panggising, di ko napigilang ngumisi.

Pambawi daw sa malungkot kong birthday.

Kupal talaga. Gusto pa ata akong paiyakin. Di nya alam un lang ang cake na natanggap ko ngayong taon. Walang cake nung birthday ko. Walang kandila.

Kumag talaga. Ampotah si Kups. Ang sweet.

Paglabas ko ng kwarto, may home made pandesal na niluto ng mountaineering na kasama ni kups sa bahay. Tawagin natin syang Astig girl. Sexy si Astig girl. Di naman payat pero may tamang kurba. At astig nga sya dahil sporty sya.

Kasama nila sa bahay si Button (botbot), isang Shih Tzu na pinagkamalan ata akong fucking doll. Maliban sa “sit,” ang isa pa atang alam nya ay kantutin ang binti ko. Pagka kyut na aso.

Papuntang Funan, napagdesisyunan kong kumain sa Ding Tai Fung. Paborito kong kainan ng Dimsum. Umorder ako ng madami, dahil nga gusto kong ilibre si Kups. At patikimin sya ng Awfully Chocolate. Pambawi man lang.

Pero di natinag si kups. Ako pa ulit ang nilibre. Eh ang dami ko kayang inorder. Mahal. Kaya siguro sumama ang tyan pagkatapos. Haha. Loko talga. NApatae pa tuloy sa Nex mall.

Kaya un. Masaya nanaman ako. Libre pa tanghalian ko, sa paborito ko pang restawran.

Mula Funan hanggang Nex mall, napuno lang ako ng tawa.

First time ko lang ulit ata naging kampante.

Tamang kulitan. Tamang gaguhan. Tamang asaran.

Di kelangang magpa ka witty. Di kelangang magpaka sosyal.

Tamang ako lang.

Kaya sa pagalis ko ng Sg, napagtiba nanaman ang pagkakaroon ko ng mga baliw na katropa. Mga kasangga. Ang layo nga lang. Haha.

Puyat man sa bus pabalik ng Malaysia, at sa eroplano pabalik ng maynila, napuno naman ng isang linggo ng August ang di napuno ng Hulyo.

Sa iyo Kups, salamat sa pagpapatuloy sakin sa iyong lungga. Salamat sa wifi, salamat sa aircon. Salamat din kela Astig girl at kay Auntie at Uncle na nagpatuloy sakin sa bahay nyo.

Di ko na babanggitin ang pangalan mo, sabi mo kasi baka panira sa imahe mong Kupal. Malamang, may pakeyk keyk ka pang nalalaman. Sira ka talaga. Tapos tatae ka pa sa mall. Hahaha!

Yaan mo, sa susunod, babawi ako. Wag lang tour package ng kung saang bansa. Pwede tour bus nalang. Haha!

Salamat kups.

Salamat August.

Buhay na naman akong babalik trabaho sa maynila.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The birthday graph

Picture from here.

Everyone expected this month to be my most memorable birthday.

My mistake? I expected the same.

It wasn’t even a roller coaster ride. It was rather a boring graph-y one.

This particular graph went up to a slope, reaching a point where it stopped to rise and formed a plateau. But like most things stable, the plateau crashed to nothingness.

After weeks of being on the sideline, or rather being behind my li’l bro’s shadow, I hoped that this birthday will finally be, well, about me. It’s that one day of the year, after all, that you’d want to feel special, particularly to those you value most.

Here comes the rise on the graph.

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t stop myself from imagining how “memorable” my birthday would be.

I overheard them ordering food. They requested for the Poon (a holy relic) to be at the house for a day, which got me excited, to think that I am not even Catholic. Lola was supposed to have invited a few people.

I imagined how many of my friends would greet me.

It promised to be fun. I was to spend my birthday with my mom and brother. Twenty years should be enough waiting to at least make it all the more special.

The expectations were just too great to ignore.

But I was wrong.

Now comes the plateau.

My spirits went on auto mode when we started the day with my mom’s rich high school classmates. They just had to schedule their reunion on my birthday. To this day, I wonder if they even knew it was my birthday? I was practically invisible.

Like any other social gathering, my mom went on bragging about my bro’s accomplishments - how he declined Harvard so that he won’t have to be far from where mom is, how he got this 4 year pre-med scholarship over at VCU, and the list goes on.... Of course, I raise a white flag at a Harvard scholarship I can’t compete with that. And don’t get me wrong. I do love my bro.

So I spent my morning semi-socializing with my mom’s classmates. They’d speak to me in English, thinking I am not able to understand Tagalog. I didn’t have the energy to even correct them since they were mostly just one-sentence conversations. Mostly just to hand over their camera for me to take pictures. I ended up with 5 cameras slung on either arm the WHOLE morning.

Afternoon came and I only got a handful of greetings from friends. And I wouldn’t count those from Facebook. Most of them were acquaintances who just did not have my mobile number.

Evening came and my hopes took a nose dive when I was told that my bro’s relatives are the only ones coming to the house (for my supposed birthday dinner).

So here comes the steep slope graph going down.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against my bro’s relatives. They’ve been really welcoming and treated me as a guest when I tagged along with my ma and my bro on weekend visits.

But there lies the dilemma. I was only a guest and they weren’t really family. So mostly I was left alone on some corner during weekends.

Thus during dinner, I spared myself from hearing how they’d gush over my bro’s American accent. I ate at the dirty kitchen with my lola and her hired cook. Went to the sala to at least be courteous to the guests, but five minutes after being ignored, I went up my room to sulk.

My phone was silent. My inbox almost empty except for greets from people I rarely see. Of course I wouldn’t hold it against my friends if they forgot. I myself am not good with dates unless I get to check my planner. (I even forgot a friend's birthday despite my mental note a couple of days back – and yes, I’m trying to make excuses, too. But still, all that silence did not help my plummeting mood.

Then it occurred to me. Despite the lack of spotlight, and my failed need to feel special on my birthday, I forgot one person whom I felt the most sincere in greeting me a happy birthday – my lola. It was her idea to have the Poon over at the house, and it was her efforts to have all the food ready for dinner. And she was the only one with a gift despite the obvious place where she bought it, at a bargain shop near the palengke (market). I really am not in it for the gift, but I was hoping for some bit of effort, and she was the only one who exerted it.

So despite the self-pity and pathetic tears, I had to take a mental note to properly thank her.

She was that lone dot in my graph that was off-correlation. She somehow spiked up my graph even at the end.

So there, end of graph.

End of July.

Oh well…

I’m posting this to close this chapter, this month.

Then move on.

Who knows, next year could be different - new circumstances, new environment, and possibly a new place to live in, a FAR away place.

So here’s to my 28th.

And another step to hope for maturity.

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