It seemed like just yesterday when December showed up on the calendar. It’s so fast, I barely noticed it. The Christmas is one week away, but mood of yuletide season in me hasn't sunk in yet. I've already enjoyed some Christmas parties as early as second week of the month. I've already had some of my gifts opened. I received a book, T-shirt, memo holder, toys, pants, polo-shirt among others. I’m thankful, although I wished and preferred to receive “enveloped gifts.” Just kidding ^_^. Christmas isn’t actually my most favorite holiday. New Year is. It’s because I want paputok on New Year’s eve (laugh). I like Christmas season, minus the religious thing. I decorate our house with yuletide ornaments, wrap presents and listen to Christmas music on the radio. I do like it — the lights, the music, the color, the happy people. And who wouldn’t want to have a long time off? Holidays are good things, the more the merrier.

This month is actually beneficial for Kuchi and me, particularly the last week. We can do a lot of stuffs in preparation for the grand thingy that already looks so open-secret to many folks (laugh). We still have so much things to do, so many cash we have to burn, so to speak. Makes me wonder at times how consumerism have found its way into the definition of happiness. Maybe that’s just how modern times work. Or maybe because I’m an innocent kid anymore and have just realized that Christmas and other events have always been like that ever since? Talking nonsense again. Anyway, I’m not sure if I can still update my blog in the coming days (for obvious reason), so merry Christmas, happy new year and happy long vacation. ^_^.
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"We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there'd be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there's always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don't have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love." — Danilov, from the movie "Enemy at the Gates"

Things have become so sensitive lately. And it’s all because ‘one’ doesn’t accept the idea of “not having anything, when others have something.” Well, it’s not that we have the power to change that idea, but it looks as though somebody’s bent to put people in a difficult situation for not getting what she thinks she deserves. Nobody likes the idea of her “not having anything,” that’s for sure. It’s our wish that she “gets something” too, even though when we were still like her we didn’t get anything. But the way she reacts, it looks as if people's wish is going to change...

Too bad. Perhaps she’s really what people think she is... :-(
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The weather hasn’t been that bad in Metro Manila, but something about the news that brought out the apocalyptic tone in me lately. The Philippines is currently under the showering shades of three typhoons getting together in a weird eyeball called Fujiwhara effect. I don’t know if it had anything to do with huge waves that swept across the archipelago yesterday. And prior to that, there was a 20-second earthquake with an intensity of four or five... or six (depending on every newspaper’s “opinion”) that rocked Luzon the other day. Just hours ago, the United Nations reported that we only have ten years to “fix” the global warming or we’ll all live in Kevin Costner’s water world (which is really a bad news since I’m no good swimmer). There's also a news of Earth consuming all of our oil reserves in about 30 years and an economic meltdown, along with food crisis in half a century. Darker days ahead, like a scene from the Matrix’s real world. Transition from life to death is going to be an evil-filled process. But I'd rather see a pack of comets as big as those of Shoemaker-Levi 9 to pummel the Earth. It will be a fitting end to the wicked human race.
We have started praying...

It was clear that “The Boss” had predetermined the deadline for delivery without consulting her subjects if they have the miraculous holy mother of Guadalupe by their sides. “You will finish the thirteen 16-pages magazines on November 28. You will be provided with holy greese so you won’t run out of gas. The deadline should have been earlier, but we’re just being realistic, you should be able to blah, blah, blah...” the Boss said, something to that effect. Thirteen 16-pages magazines. Beat that. Yeah, we’re gonna need holy greese, holy water, holy overtimes, bring them on my Lord. What they forgot to tell us is that we also need a MIRACLE to meet the deadline.
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Monday, November 19, 2007 at Monday, November 19, 2007 | 2 comments
If there was one thing you wouldn’t miss on a lazy Monday morning, it would be the slow, heavy traffic. Aurora Blvd., EDSA, Makati Ave. — these are just few of many dreaded highways you should not be traveling through on a Monday morning. Not even a 32-valve high-powered turbo car can defeat a full, crowded road. I've been a witness to some of the worst traffic that Monday morning could slap on a person’s mood. How many times have I been tempted to curse the traffic system and the guys behind it? What I hate most about heavy traffic is the fact that you’re in the middle of something you really have no control. You feel desperately useless. Exactly what I felt just this morning. When the jeepney I was riding on suddenly slowed down and ran through a heavy traffic, I really felt I was going to explode. Kamias isn’t a congested road, so when we got there and joined hundred of vehicles entangled in a messy four-lane road, all I could think of was curse the motherfuckers who caused the heavy traffic. I wanted our driver to bump the vehicles out of the way, smash them real hard and get over with the damn traffic. All I wished was to get the hell out of there so I can get to the office on time. Fuck everything else.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at Tuesday, November 13, 2007 | 11 comments
It was so stupid of me to lock the door of our toilet yesterday. I have no clue what in the nutty world I was thinking at that moment. Kasi ba naman I was so taeng-tae na, as in I was ready to release my shit in a blitzkrieg fashion when I found out that our water tank had already run out of water. Geez, I was already inside, sitting on the throne. I had choice but to get out and hold off the “bombing” (just imagine the effort) to turn on our pumping machine to fill the water tank. But when I got back and pushed the toilet’s door, it's locked! Turned out I unconsciously closed the door pala while the lock-button was pressed. Arrrggh! I tried to twist the door knob hard but the door wouldn’t just open. I hastily thought of some ways to open it, but it’s really hard marshaling your thoughts when your stomach is under a state of natural calamity. So I quickly went upstairs and asked my sisters if they knew where the spare key was kept. Their answers: what spare key? The toilet doesn’t even have a key! I was like “whaaat?!” I immediately went downstairs and rammed the door desperately. To hell with the noise. How could you even think of the noise at a time like that? I had goosebumps all over my body. I felt that if I stretched my legs a little wider, my ass gonna blow up. I seriously thought of detonating it outside, some place else. My gosh, it’s really coming! Fortunately, with the help of a magnetic sticker and by constant ramming, the door opened. I hurriedly sit on the throne and before I even closed my eyes, it was krokotok-kotok! boom! krokotok-kotok! Glorious moment! I moaned and whispered the magic word “ooohh-aahhh” in utter bliss. If you could only see my face that time hahahaha!
Some people get the idea that when one decides to blog, he is supposed to write only about himself — who he is, what he does, where he goes, what he likes and dislikes — an idea similar to writing a diary. Originally, that was the plan I'd thought of when I started this blog. But I figured that I have no total control of what I might think and what I specifically want to write. So, putting two and two together, I resolved to write without particular pattern; in short, I decided to write randomly. I TRY not to dig up or look into every detail of my private life and make it open for everybody to see and feast on. This is why my blog was entitled Planet of the Nuts, with a description “nutty reflections of a creature living in a nutty planet.” It simply means I have lots of mixed thoughts that, in one way or another, may directly or indirectly affect me. And I couldn’t care less whether they do or they don’t, as long as I know that I'm not selling myself off, or any people close to me for that matter. Otherwise, if I blog the diary way while people who know me read it, it may do me more harm than good. Likewise, I feel the events transpiring outside are, most of the time, much more interesting than what’s happening to me. Moreover, if I rant, I really rant; if I rumble, I really rumble. And there’s no telling if, after doing so, the world around me would revolve like normal again (laugh). Besides, having something to say in a blog doesn’t necessarily signify saying and writing about self-centered ideas. If I have something to say and I'm compelled enough to say it, I will write it. Anyway, I still TRY to share my thoughts about anything nutty just to keep faithful to the title of my blog. Next week, I will begin posting entries devoted to some nutty (e.g. peculiar, freakish, unimaginable, depressing) ideas and events that transpired, are transpiring, will transpire, may transpire and I wish to transpire. But I will still try to include some interestingly private things in my blog. As to my no-holds-barred blog, I leave it in the cyberspace where only people who don’t know me can find the pleasure of reading it. Which brings me my point: whose blog is this?

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I’ve been struggling to get up in the morning lately. It must have been the hangover from a long vacation. I was relieved to hear that some family members took care of observing All Soul's Day for me since I couldn't visit any cemetery last week. The deads are dead anyway. Honoring them in my words and deeds is more spiritual than observing All Souls Day. Besides, we got a whole year to visit the cemetery. So instead of socializing with dead bodies, I used the holidays to loosen up myself and breathe fresh air by wandering in Pangasinan and Baguio with Kuchi. The fun and laughter have been sticking to my head for some time now, making me forget to work last Monday. I just couldn’t beat it. And just today, I nearly threw in the towel again. I need to hit the sack a little earlier to overcome this feeling. But I’m already looking forward to another holiday on November 30!

Before I forget, it’s been a year now since I started blogging in Blogspot! Cheers! Thanks to all my readers out there who have kept on reading and sharing their thoughts. More entries (and years) to come!
Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.  ~ Mark Twain

Yesterday (October 24) was my twenty tooot (figure it out yourself) birthday. I know I’m “getting” older but I don’t really feel getting older — mentally, emotionally or physically (sigh). I can still play physical sports you know, although I may need to get myself some practice and exercise first to beat exhaustion and hard breathing. I have matured greatly in a lot of ways, but believe me when I say that I’m still the same person I was in college days (did I see eyebrows raising?). How fast time flies. The next thing I know, I’m already a husband, a father, a grandpa, an oldie and god knows what else? The only comfort I get in knowing this truth is that each and every one of us is going to be like that. Sooner or later, everybody will have to cross that road called geezerhood. ^_^
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My opinions in religion, culture and even politics some years ago were very different from today. At present, there’s no way I can all fuse them into a single unified belief without contradicting itself. I can say that what my views yesterday are almost, if not totally, opposite of my views today. Say for example, my thought about homosexuality. Before, when people asked me if I viewed homosexuality and sex change as “bad,” I would, without a blink of an eye, say “yes!” and would go on explaining how God made just two sexes and anything else outside this are unacceptable, nasty and immoral. Lately have I just realized that homosexuality has nothing to do with immorality. What is really nasty about becoming your true self?

The cause of homosexuality---which some described as a trait, disease, behavior, desire, mental illness, perversion, political identity, lifestyle and even sin---is still undetermined. My sister and a cousin, who were both psychology graduates, said that there have been no proven tests stating that this abnormality stems from psychological or biological problems.

Many believe that gender is hard-wired in the brain before birth. Most homosexuals said that they have been bakla and tomboy since the beginning, ‘trapped’ in men’s or women’s bodies, so they claim. Our gender is, according to them, can be more determined by our brains and not by our bodies. Most of them argue that because mental gender cannot be changed via psychiatric means, the only alternative left is to change the physical body to match the mind.

It must be depressing for a guy who had just undergone sex change operation to become a woman when “his” petition to change his name and gender was denied by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. It’s not that the SC was glued to conservatism; there aren’t enough laws recognizing sex change, and the gender of somebody registered at birth — derived from physical body — is still immutable. Unless, some new legislation about sex change are passed, which I highly doubt, people who have gone sex transplant may not get their desired gender.

As expected, some conservative people would rebuke this as a work of evil. But is there more evil than cutting the thin hope of people who only wish for completeness and happiness? What injury will it cause conservative people when a homosexual corrects what s/he believes is wrong with his/her body? How many more of them does God have to create in order for these conservative people to realize that He actually wants them here?
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It was sudden and unexpected. None of us were prepared for it. But then, all things shall inevitably come to an end. That’s precisely what happened to Duday, our dog, our pet who had been with us for years. She succumbed to a mysterious illness we don’t know where she contracted from. She was 9 years old.

Some often view the death of a pet to be of no consequence or importance — particularly by those who are no pet lovers. Honestly speaking, I’m not much of a pet lover myself and most of the time I only attend to our dogs when I feel like it. In fact, I even play pranks on them on some occasions. But when I received the news last Tuesday evening after coming home from work, I was shocked and felt weak. Tatay said that Duday had waited for him before she passed away. It was sad. Duday had become an integral part of our lives. We valued her as a companion, a trusted ally and an intelligent pet. She was like, as one may say, a family member.

We buried her at our yard on that very night. We dig a decent hole two feet beneath the ground for her tomb, taking us almost two hours before we got the depth. It was tiring, but for a family’s pet who died, its the least and the very last sacrifice you could do.

Goodbye, Duday. Thanks for the memories. We’ll miss you...
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at Tuesday, October 16, 2007 | 5 comments
I can’t remember the last time I really listened to FM radio. So when I tried tuning in to an FM station that plays both contemporary and old-school songs last Sunday evening, it was so relaxing. It wasn't long, however, before something snapped inside me. How’s our local radio today? They were very popular in the 90s, when personal computer was not yet a household name as it is nowadays. I'm part of those generation of people who could list down the names of each FM station, from those that were disliked to those that were preferred. FM radios were popular among schools, houses, malls, taxis, jeepneys, etc., and disc jokeys were idolized as mysterious sweet-talking cool folks who could command a huge following. But then, when Bill Gates started making money out of his Windows, FM was suddenly driven out of spotlight, pushed to the edge of death by the more powerful and more convenient Mp3s. I have no idea if the younger generation of today would still find it worthwhile, as we once did, to listen to some newly-reformatted FM stations that dish out corny jokes, poorly-made songs and stupid contests.
The title of my entry has nothing to do with what I am thinking at this moment whatsoever. It just proves boredom's still tailing me.

I took a sick leave yesterday. I knew from the moment I woke up that it was one of those bad days. Besides, I wasn’t feeling well. I was struggling to get up and set up a working mood. It must have been caused by the bad weather that had given us a rough time the other day. I felt I was going to nurse a fever. Just “felt,” anyway. But I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, really (ows?). I said really! (ah, okay). You can think whatever you like (yeah, sure!). Asshole! (Bummer!). Except for a nice uninterrupted sleep, yesterday was such a bore. After watching Brothers Grimm and Dragon Tiger Gate (which made my headache even worse), there wasn’t anything more interesting to do. It freaked me out. I wanted to write a fiction, but then I wasn’t in a mood to do so. I also picked up my guitar and strummed some songs but it was kinda drab. I was almost at my wits end when I decided to try hitting the sack around 1pm. It’s crazy when you want to do something but can’t seem to find any interesting thing to do. What do people do when they feel like useless? Whoa, such a boooooring day...
Whatever happened to the 2007 Palanca?

I don’t even know if my entries to the 2007 Palanca Awards — a short story and a fiction for children (both in Filipino) — managed to get the attention of the judges. Many times I imagined how their jaws dropped in disbelief while reading the stories written by a pathetic guy who had had too much time in his hands to scribble trash and idiocy. Sorry to disappoint them, but I'm planning to send them another maisterpiece. That's how stubborn I am. If I lose again, no pressure and regrets at all. At least I tried.

I'm quite surprised myself at how enthusiastic I have become in this stuff. I can attribut this to my Creative Writing subject in college, in which my professor was Rogelio Ordoñez. He opened my eyes to the works of Filipino fictionists such as Edgardo M. Reyes, Rogelio Sicat, Dominador Mirasol and Efren Abueg who all co-authored the “Mga Agos sa Disyerto,” one of the best short story anthologies in the history of Philippine fiction. And that “emancipation” opened the door for reading more works of Filipino fictionists including Lualhati Bautista and Rosario de Guzman-Lingat, eventually introducing me to foreign fictionists such as Hemmingway, O’Henry, Chekhov, Asimov, Maupassant, etc. Perhaps to satisfy my ego, quench my literary thirst or just to express myself — I don’t know exactly why I have been drawn to write short stories recently. Anyhow, I take it as a good justification to my staying late at night and my harboring weird concepts after concepts — in short, pagtulala sa isang tabi (laugh). I have no idea whether this enthusiasm is for short or long term, but wouldn’t it be nice to write when you’re brimming with ideas? It would be a total waste not to put all those ideas into written forms — however bad one may think those are. The thing is, it’s fun to dream and create a world from your own viewpoint and then virtually “realizing” them through writing fiction. ^_^

Anyway, the list of winners for 2007 can be found in Carlos Palanca website, or you may go to the new Philippine online encyclopedia, Wikipilipinas. It’s an encylopedia that uses Wikipedia’s format under GNU Free Documentation License. I have already registered in the site and made some contributions (editing, writing, etc.), all for the glory of sharing information and knowledge. Like Wikipedia, Wikipilipinas is a cool and easily-accessible site; although one may find some information missing or inadequate, it’s only normal for a young site which is fed on information contributed by volunteers, so I guess some criticisms against Wikipilipinas are uncalled for. Remember that Britannica Encyclopedia once criticized Wikipedia for plagiarism and content issues, stating years ago that Wiki lacked significant information and authority. Wiki was young that time, barely a year old. But what happened after some years? It has now millions of articles that provide helpful information to everybody, nth times more than Britannica or any other existing encyclopedia for that matter! Moreover, Wiki decided to make its source program open, so others may copy and use it for educational purposes. Why did they do that? It's because they want people to use their software to spawn some new knowledge sites like Wikipilipinas, all for the sake of expanding an open and free online reference.

I believe that nobody has a monopoly over knowledge, and the question of redundancy of informative site only dwells in the minds of illiberal and envious people. Wikipilipinas is a fine and welcome addition. Besides, it is free!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at Tuesday, September 18, 2007 | 3 comments
Last Sunday, Kuchi and I went to a Chinese restaurant in Cogeo to celebrate my godson’s 2nd birthday. Before that, we had had one of those heated petty quarrels that seem inscribed in BF-GF relationships. But just like always, we had patched things up so quickly that we forgot the whole thing when we got in the restaurant. In no time things’ become so mushy again. The affair was impromptu and the assigned host didn't come, so my godson’s mother---a single mom---needed to drag a teen to do the job. Without preparation and forethought of what she’s going to do with the improvised program written in a piece of paper, she tried to entertain the crowd, mostly children, with game after game, until she ran out of ideas and turned the affair into a singing contest (laugh). And then the owner of the restaurant tried to make the affair a formal one and convinced one of the godparents to give an inspirational speech, sort of a toast, and I was singled out to do that. Although most of my friends said that the speech was inspiring enough to get the attention of people, I realized that some of the things I said were ridiculous. Besides, I told the crowd that my message would be short; instead, it went long, about 3 minutes, with 1/3 of it went to a boring, corny introduction. Afterward, we went to the Robinson Metro East with some friends to look for something to give to another friend of ours, Hector, who is getting married on September 29. Most of my friends and classmates have been settling down lately, I notice. Well, Kuchi and I have already talked about it ourselves and have decided to do the knot-tying thing next year (yay!). We are now preparing for it, and we want to do it without busting our tight budget. But the cost of everything is really blowing us away. Well, that’s just the way marriages are, no matter how you try to make it simple and inexpensive. But we just hope that, in the end, money will not be a headache. We are now saving up. Remember the last time I said I might scrape a living and eat boy bawang for lunch? That may happen LOL. Anyhow, to all the people out there who are generous, the donation box is already open and waiting for you LOL.
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Bank accounts and checks were presented, big-time witnesses surfaced, alleged accomplices apprehended, bail petitioned thrown out — one would indeed be led to believe that President Joseph “Erap” Estrada is guilty of the charges of perjury and plunder. I was led to believe that, too. So when the SandiganBayan issued the verdict just hours ago, finding Erap guilty of the plunder (acquitted in perjury), it didn’t came like an ear-splitting, roaring thunder to me. Or at least to me...

Guilty. I pity Erap. Pero ang batas ay batas...
ERAP IS GUILTY. But is it the END?

Before this verdict, I'd been thinking of two political scenarios why Erap would be found guilty. The verdict will be a substantiation — or nullification — of the Edsa Dos . Consequently, this will be a question of Arroyo Administration’s legitimacy. If the verdict is not guilty — and Erap would be acquitted — then it would mean that the military and businessmen-backed “revolution” was wrong. Why would you unsit a president because of false allegations? It would be a clear “power grab” by civil society, the Church and political groups. If the verdict is not guilty, then Erap should still be the president today.

On the other scenario, if he is found guilty, he would be “martyrized” by his loyalists who account for more than 50 percent of Metro Manila residents. Apart from that, if Erap do not accept presidential pardon, people who are not loyal to Estrada or those who do not consider themselves pro-Erap may easily switch support and give sympathy to Estrada. A mob with a huge number of pro-Erap supporters could easily “politicize” the AFP and, as a chain effect, could repeat the same Edsa Revolution used to topple Erap.

But the verdict has been issued. I'm no lawyer, but I believe an SC's reversal of the Sandigan Bayan’s decision would illicit legal consequences as it would contradict former Chief Justice Hilario Davide and the company’s acceptance and validation of GMA’s presidency in 2001. Therefore, it is either Erap goes to jail and serve the remaining reclusion perpetua punishment meted out against him, or he accepts presidential pardon GMA would give him. But Erap just stated in public that he will not accept presidential pardon if convicted guilty and is ready to serve his sentence in Muntinlupa. But would millions of Erap passionate supporters let him go to jail without a fight or show of force, in legal way or in mass actions?
Monday, September 3, 2007 at Monday, September 03, 2007 | 7 comments
Yesterday, I accompanied Tatay to the Riverbanks Mall where we bought a digital karaoke surround amplifier. He finally decided to return the other amplifier at home which we had just borrowed from my uncle. Honestly speaking, I don’t see the need to purchase an amplifier. I mean we don't have a mobile/sound system business or anything. Sound coming from TV or CD/DVD component is enough for me. But Tatay wished to have our golden voices heard hundred feet away from our house while we sing, and I figured it’s not bad an idea after all (laugh). The only catch was that he had me pay for the amplifier. He was just taking me for a ride! What a wise guy. Good thing we didn’t look for an expensive amplifier... or I’d be spending the next days eating Boy Bawang for lunch. “Basta maganda ang tunog at malakas, okay na yun,” my old man said. The one that we picked was a bit bigger than a car stereo and a hair’s breadth better than my uncle’s amplifier in terms of size and looks (of course, size and looks don’t really matter in sound quality). If I recall it right, the nutty brand is Meque. Of all names you could give to a piece of technology.
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Hmm... that has been about two weeks since my last entry. Obviously, the rush was over and we've finally gotten over it with, thanks to our "long weekend." We're back to normal again and have just started writing (or scribbling) articles that will be put together for the next issue of our magazine. I managed to brush off the "twitch" left by the haste surrounding the previous issue by taking a leave and spending the next weekends with kuchi, doing the mushy thingy, of course (forgive me, April, we're really mushy ^_^). Unluckily, some things suddenly came up without a warning and spoiled the happy days. Oh, not the kuchi days, thank God. It was in the office where relocation happened, that is, from one room into another. Imagine the inconvenience to the extent that you couldn't work the whole day because of trying to locate all your belongings that were suddenly placed somewhere only the heaven above knows. Funny but when we're helping people out lift computers, chairs and tables, the song "Changes" by Black Sabbath (Ozzy singing it) queerly popped up inside my nutty head, prompting me to sing out the chorus of the song "I'm going through changes..." In any case, we're beginning to get used to the atmosphere of the room. In fact, I really think I'm absorbing and sucking up all the good vibes covering the room which we actually share with, guess what? With the librarian!!!

Yes, we're inside the company's library. That's our new room.
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Monday, August 20, 2007 at Monday, August 20, 2007 | 8 comments
I should be enjoying my day-off at this hour reclining lazily on a soft couch and watching TV round-the-clock. But that is not what’s happening since I'm here in the office working. Actually, I've been here in the office since Friday night, stuck to work until tomorrow (Monday) — the day when we are expected to get the job done. It’s been almost two years since the last time I worked on a Sunday so it makes me a bit uncomfortable. Not to mention the thought of working tomorrow — a declared holiday. I’m glad I got to see Kuchi yesterday and got to spend quality time with her. She and my family have been teasing me about my overtime. Matindi raw ang pangangailangan ko LOL. If I only had my way, I wouldn’t come here to work overtime. But leaving my friends here would be inconsiderate of me. We work as a team. I just hope that we can get it all over with in time so we can all go home, because this is not my idea of a long weekend.

I’m sure gonna have some time off after this. I'll make it up with Kuchi.
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Thursday, August 16, 2007 at Thursday, August 16, 2007 | 6 comments
It’s too early for the PAGASA to play the clown and become a laughing stock. Unfortunately, that’s what seems to be going on recently. Suffice it to say that in a public service where predicting the status of weather in the coming days is the job you have, you could really be in for some rough sailing. If you can’t bring good news, then the least you could do is not to bring bad news. Otherwise, we can all go to hell and brave the rain for all we care. I guess things have really blown out of proportion in the viewpoint of many people. Whether the folks in the PAGASA do not have the right knowledge or the right gadgets to see through the thick, furious clouds, I don’t have the slightest idea. Okay, the latest of their predictions (or prophecies)? We have a La Niña. Wow, that's just great! What a complete and sudden reversal of climate condition!

I won’t be surprised anymore if in the next day, the PAGASA informs us of yet another dry spell that will hit the Philippines. If you feel the need NOT to tune in to your radios or watch TVs for weather news, just do so for your own sake; otherwise, get ready to hear and see live prophets clowning around the camera.

I guess there’s more to this weather forecasting than just blaming global warming.
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Something freakish happened just five hours ago. I was in a jeepney bound for Araneta Avenue (where I work) when a Chinese-looking, slender-bodied woman in her forties suddenly tapped me on my lap, asking me things one wouldn’t expect from a total stranger: “Do you really live around Araneta?” I’d just handed over my fare to the driver so it was no surprise she knew where I was going. But asking me if I live around the place?

“Ah, no Ma’am...”

“I see. So you’re maybe working there?”

“Ah, yeah... sort of...”

“Good. I just thought you might be interested in a job...”

I just smiled and turned my back. Deep down I was like who the hell is she? Who died and made her an instant HR personnel/recruiter? I knew, from my peripheral vision, that she was staring at me at that moment, and it’s freaking bugging me. I was finally able to marshall my thoughts when she finally got off in Morato area, thanks heaven. I’m certain she’s not the loony-type person lost in the wilderness. In fact, she looked worldly-wise and classy, like those people you see visiting Rockwell and the Podium. So if she’s sane and doing that kind of thing, she must be a con. She might be up to something fishy, and maybe at the time she had seen me as her “potential.” Too bad for her, I’m no gullible. She can’t trick me with an old-school hocus-pocus.

I wonder why and how people can live their lives screwing people around and stealing their hard-earned money in scheming ways. It really happens, especially in your workplace. Sometimes they do it in a way they would like you to think that you must be thankful to them, or indebted for what they did. You won’t know what kind of tricks they have up in their sleeves... until you fall into their traps.

Nutty World, indeed.

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I've just finished reading "In Cold Blood," a book by American author Truman Capote published in 1965. It's a non-fiction novel detailing the 1959 slaying of the Clutters, a wealthy family from Holcomb, Kansas. I was told that it took Truman Capote six years to work on the book, interviewing and gathering information about the murder. It certainly didn't go to waste, because the book is very absorbing and a helluva page-turner. It has, in some degree, similarity with the book "The Chamber" by John Grisham, except that the latter is more of a court-drama fiction.

Nice book. Recommended to people who love crime stories and to journalism graduates who are hatching a plan to write non-fiction novels.

Credit goes to Earlie from whom I borrowed the book. ^_^. Not just a life sharer, also a book sharer (laugh).
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Friday, July 20, 2007 at Friday, July 20, 2007 | 17 comments
I still haven’t read any book of the overly hyped Harry Potter series since many people I know went absurdly agog over it. My initial reaction when I first learned of the book eight years ago was like ah, okay, just another children’s book. My mannish hormones were in overdrive at that time — thrilled and fired up about college life and all — so who give a shit about Harry Potter? Likewise, I got a lot of anime in my head to take care of so I had no time for another long story about loony wizards and witches. But at this moment, things have become interesting. Harry is arguably not your ordinary children’s book after all. I admit I began to like the series after the 5th book was launched, especially upon knowing that death and darness already characterized the story (evil laughs). Friends tell me I’m a closet HP fan. They ask me that if I haven’t picked up and read any HP book, how come I get to like it? Of course, there’s the Internet, all I ever need to do is type some words and press the key. I read detailed summaries over the net and that’s already enough to satisfy me. I’m lazy, okay (evil laughs). In addition, I incidentally watched some HP films before so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to become a bit “inquiring” concerning what Harry will do next with his wand. Thanks to the Internet, I got to know what the ending would be even before the HP book 7 is released tomorrow because of many leaks that’s been popping all over the place (evil laughs). Someone with access to the American edition of the book has taken a photograph of every one of the pages and uploaded them to some fanfiction sites. I’m not a bad Santa so as much as I want to tell in here what the ending would be I’m just going to zip my lips. I don’t want to give HP fans a bad Saturday. Let’s just see how people would find the book seven. Happy reading!
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What in the nutty world is wrong with the word “TITI?” And how “abominable” is it? This is my question to the full-page ad that appeared in July 9 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The ad, perhaps worth more than one hundred thousand pesos, was placed by Antonio Calipjo Go, academic supervisor of the Marian School in Quezon City. In the ad, it says:

“On page 114 of the public school textbook titled HIYAS SA PAGBASA for Grade 5 appears this instruction: “Pag-aralan ang mga nakatalang mga salita.” ( “Study the given words.” ) Among the words asked to be examined minutely (pag-aralan) by the students are the words TITI, defined as ARI NG LALAKI (male sex organ), and TITATITA, defined as BUGAW (pimp).”

Doesn’t Go know what titi is? What is wrong with titi being defined as male sex organ? Even a 6-year-old boy knows what titi means. Unless Go does have any other definition of the word (which I highly doubt), why not tell the educators? If he merely wants the public to know that titi is all but a “gross” word that lost its way in a textbook, then he just clearly demonstrated how narrow-minded and bigoted he can be. This is a prime example of how conservatism and its set of parochial mentality imprisons people’s faculty of reasoning and understanding. It was ironic that Go used the case of Galileo as an ideal in promoting the truth (the conservative Catholic Church condemned Galileo because the latter supported Copernicus’ theory that the Earth is not the center of the universe) while he himself is still confined within the walls of conservatism by describing the word “titi” as “abominable.” Coincidentally, he works for a school which has religious affiliation with the very same institution that condemned Galileo.

I find nothing erroneous with the word titi; it only becomes wrong or morally objectionable when a person uses it in bad taste. In fact, the word was used in the proper context; the authors of the book did not even use the word in a sentence denoting or connoting sexual activity. They merely defined titi as a male sex organ — which is absolutely a FACT. Heck, we have been using that word since time immemorial, even before the word “google” found its place in Princeton’s dictionary as a verb!

Which brings me to my point: How should one translate penis? Vagina? Breast?

Ari ng lalaki? Ari ng babae? Dibdib?

Get real. It’s about time that we detach ourselves from the marshland of close-minded morality. It’s about time that we clear our cluttered minds of the traditional connotations that limit our capability to perceive things around us. Penis is titi, vagina is pekpek and breast is suso. If people find these words unacceptable, or better yet nasty, then there’s a problem with their nutty heads. The next thing we know, another ad would appear in a newspaper identifying a word with which some “academicians” would find a problem...

BULBOL: BUHOK SA ARI

.
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At long last! I have watched the Transformers! Now, let me have some words for the film. This ain’t a New York Times movie review, so be forewarned, I just want to rate the movie based on what I saw and felt after watching it. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the highest, I am giving the Transformers a score of 4.0. I would like to say that I consider the movie absorbing and helluva lot of fun — as long as I close my eyes and keep the thought to myself that it’s an adaptation of a toy collection/cartoon series. You can’t be wrong to say that everything unbelievable in a film is fun, because to begin with, these unbelievable things are what make this kind of film nice. Surely, if people are looking for some serious movie where one can reap subtlety and profundity or whatever crap critics nowadays philosophize about, Transformers isn’t for them. I can forgive the movie’s lack of characterization and the mind-boggling, eye-popping battle between Autobots and Decepticons (couldn’t distinguish who is who), as long as the humour, the matrix (oh yeah, seen a robot doing that Neo thing?) and yes, Megan Fox, are there. I can’t stress the special effects enough, they are completely incredible. The plot? Not enough to say it’s very good, but hey, there’s a sequel! Yep, it’s a trilogy!
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Saturday, July 7, 2007 at Saturday, July 07, 2007 | 1 comments
I’ll be damned. I really don't know what in the nutty world is happening to this once great, highly-principled, nationalist politician named Teofisto Guingona, whom, with Nene Pimentel, I admired a lot in times past. This proved that the philosopher Heraclitus was right after all, nothing lasts forever, people change, and things you adore today might become the object of your dislike tomorrow. But this truth may not come as a surprise when you look at politicians, particularly the trapos and the corrupt, since we all know how many times they could have a “change of heart.” It’s just that sometimes in the jungle, you look for tamed beasts who do not devour things and do not relish their being members of the most powerful creatures in the land. That’s what I SAW in Guingona BEFORE. But after what he said in public recently about Erap, whom he said is now “a new man who has found a new light and a new life,” I am now abashed... and embarrassed. I just don’t know. It’s just so upsetting to know how some great people sink to the level of trapos, bowing down to a devil just to kick the ass of another devil. It's just so upsetting...
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Some people sometimes rub you the wrong way. Like they are trying to make you feel guilty and dumb for doing something they think is stupid. It's because they themselves are stupid. The hell, they don't have to tell me why I did something if they are going to ask me that all over again, like a damaged CD, just to rub it in and tell me hey you did a mess of a thing and you're gonna be responsible for that, like "hala bakit mo ginanyan, lagot ka kay..." Sometimes I just crack a joke, but deep down I'm really about to blow up. You know for yourself that I did that, so why the f*** do you have to say it all over again? This kind of act pisses me off bigtime. I don't do that to anybody. Perhaps, it's a bad thing that I appear to them as cheerful and friendly that it sort of gives them the audacity to sling just any clumsy and impolite remark at me. Everybody has his limits. I am not a saint. Don't be shocked if I suddenly shoot you. I don't care if I do it face-to-face or the backbiter's way. If you try to piss me off again, all hell will break loose.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at Tuesday, July 03, 2007 | 4 comments
Hahaha! Nokia, Vodafone, Samsung and Motorola (the hell with LG) must have been thanking the good heaven this week. They had been bedevilled by worries about how the iPhone — a multimedia and Internet-enabled mobile phone by Apple — would blow up their narrowing and densely competitive cellphone market. Since Steve Jobs announced the coming of the much-celebrated gadget in January, top honchos from all cellphone companies had been fidgety, while geeks and conyos had all gone nutty. Not until some days after its release when many people realized the anxieties and the long wait for the overly hyped gizmo aren't worth it after all.
iPhones
I don't think many people in the our country would be lured to purchase a cellphone that isn't like your regular up-to-date cellphone. The common handheld features that are positively valued by cellphone customers, especially the Filipinos, are missing. For example, the iPhone doesn't have voice dialing, voice recording, instant messaging, memory card slot, MMS, A2DP (stereo bluetooth), common Bluetooth file transfer, GPS capability, text copy and paste, video recording, native games and support for MP3 ringtones files. Also, its rechargeable battery is non-removable, and once depleted, will need to be replaced by the manufacturer for a fee. Some techno addicts think it's a little disappointing that iPhone only features a built in 2.0 megapixel camera, not at least around 4.0 megapixel. And here's one for a bang: the iPhone cannot record video! LOL.

The only thing that Apple iPhone can be proud of is its touch screen technology. But it only recognizes signals coming from flesh. So if people are living somewhere in Alaska where they usually use gloves, using an iPhone can be depressing...
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Friday, June 29, 2007 at Friday, June 29, 2007 | 1 comments
The clock read two minutes before 12 a.m. The night was unusually cold and I was in my bed lying on my back, contemplating on whether to take sedatives or just let the stillness of the hour lull me to sleep. Then I heard rattle near the door. And then suddenly, out of the dark nothingness, a misty, indefinite figure appeared. In the blink of an eye the figure became clear: a white-skinned lady in a white gown with flaming red eyes. She was looking at me. I was too aghast to budge, and too horror-struck to say anthing. She was coming towards me. Towards me...

And then I said “hi!” to her. The white lady smiled so sweetly. What a wonderful ghost story. LOL.

Honestly, I don’t believe in ghost or any paranormal activity. My reason is simple: I have not seen one. And even if I see one, what makes me think it is ghost? There is no science nor logic upon which ghost can be critically analyzed or validated. To date, there is no credible scientific evidence that any location is inhabited by spirits of the dead. There are no accepted premises to from which we can draw conclusion. All we hear, all I hear, are tales, footnotes.

Ordinary physical explanation can account for ghost sightings. Take for example, air pressure changes in a home can cause doors to slam, or lights from a passing car reflected through a window at night can account for weird images. A psychological phenomenon called Pareidolia can cause people to believe they have seen ghost. For example, take a look up the clouds or in the moon. If you can see human faces or figures in it, chances are you have a case of pareidoliac. I remember one night in the province when I saw what first came into my mind as a "white lady." It scared the crap out of me. Fortunately, I didn't run (or could not run because I was scared) and was able to realize, through looking carefully at the thing, that it was just a white bedsheet hanging on a cable. So I can say I was slightly pareidoliac that time.

Our peripheral vision can also see "ghost." Peripheral vision is very sensitive and can easily mislead, especially late at night, when the brain is exhausted and more likely to misinterpret sights and sounds. It is very possible that when one believes that a place is really hunted, he or she may interpret "weird" events as confirmation of a haunting. And what about sounds? Frequencies lower than 20 hertz are normally inaudible and can cause humans to feel a "presence" in the room, or unexplained feelings of anxiety or dread. Personally, I have felt this a zillion times.

ghost
A fine example of "ghost" hahaha!

Interestingly, nobody sees "naked ghost," considering their supposed spiritual nature. I don't remember any movie or book mentioning a naked ghost. If I will see a ghost for the very first time, I would like to see one naked. Not a guy, you fool. I want a proof that there exists a paranormal world. But until that happens, I will remain a non-believer of ghost.

Oh, yeah! Casper is naked!
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I had a dream... and it’s not a Martin Luther King-type of dream which one discusses about when overwhelmed with idealism. The dream I’m talking about here is the dream Sigmund Freud would try to examine. Yes, dream, as in the experience of sensations which happens when you are asleep. It happened last June 24, right before I woke up. Like most of our dreams, it bordered on bizarreness, and I was just lucky to recall it (I forget most of what I dream the moment I open my eyes). In my dream, we were in a war-torn town that resembles the city of Stalingrad in Russia during World War II. I couldn’t recall if we were soldiers or rebels in the dream, but the only thing I am sure of is that we were fighting one man whose body appeared to be made of Kevlar vest, impenetrable and hardened. Here’s the funny thing: the man we were fighting against was Eddie Garcia!!


The city was something like this...

Of all the six billion people in the world! When I got up, I was thinking: what in the nutty world was Eddie Garcia doing in my nutty dream? I’m quite sure I haven’t been watching Asian Treasures lately. Although I think my dream is a bit parallel to the Asian Treasures, because I did see a scene in the show where Robin Padilla and the rest of the gang were battling it out with Eddie Garcia’s demonic minions. And when they were up against Eddie Garcia, they were nearly defeated. In my dream, we riddled Garcia with bullets from our Steyr-Aug rifle. But he just seemed to take them all, without dodging any of them. He was coming towards us and we were retreating. And then the scene suddenly shifted to a part where I was asking this fellow combatant how to use a hand grenade. Out of the blue, the scene shifted again and then I was on my own, facing Eddie Garcia. I shot him like hell with my rifle and, like a warfreak, threw the hand grenade right at him. Then there was an explosion. I thought he was pulverized but out of the smoke he appeared unscathed. I threw one grenade after another. And he was just coming towards me, unhurt, laughing his ass off. The weird thing was that he was unarmed and was not striking back or anything. He just laughed and laughed his ass off. And then I was roused by the alarm clock. It was 5:30 AM.

Did this dream mean anything? Or was it just a bunch of random thoughts that blew up inside my nutty brain? I have had dreams since I was a kid, and they’re all weird, morbid, sometimes blissful, sometimes indecent (hehe). Can they be interpreted? What do you think was really at the back of my mind?
Thursday, June 21, 2007 at Thursday, June 21, 2007 | 2 comments
Only few people know that I can play some songs on a piano, or more specifically, on a keyboard. But it’s not something I am really proud of. My way of playing is not systematic, so you can figure how pianist would normally laugh at the idea. My style is called “playing by ear.” The truth is, anybody can learn to play piano by ear while skipping those written musical shits (I mean sheets) using only chords. It’s not like you can play a Mozart or Chopin with this style, but hell, who in the nutty planet would like to be confined in playing just those classicals anyway? Actually, playing-by-ear style is no secret and people normally do this with a guitar. When one wants to learn playing guitar, s/he would be asked to learn chords in the beginning, right? The same goes for playing piano by ear. You will just learn chords, not notes.


Take a look above, the left image shows us how to play G chord; the right image shows us how to play C chord.***

So what’s this fuzz all about? It started when Karen and I happened to discuss music yesterday night. I told her I could play keyboard a little. And then I remembered that I hadn’t been playing for a while, so when I got home I tried playing some songs I knew on a keyboard. And my god, how they all sucked! I hadn’t touched my P1,999 keyboard in ages, so you could imagine how I really messed up with the songs. I had to memorize them again one by one. Do you know what songs I play? Okay, I really don’t want to put a question mark on my self-proclaimed rock music lover image, but just for fun I will tell in here what songs I play on a keyboard... or more precisely, the songs I CAN ONLY play on a keyboard through play-by-ear style.

Here we go...

1) A Long and Lasting Love — by Crystal Gayle
2) Something In The Way You Look at Me — by Christian Bautista
3) Everyday I Love You — by BoyZone
4) Making Love Out of Nothing At All — Air Supply
5) Boulevard — by Whoever-shit-he-is (I don’t care to know)

Aarrggh! (love songs! Aww!). Frankly speaking, it took me a lot of time to memorize the way each song is played. I play all those songs on the list because their chords are not that difficult to figure out. The last one, the Boulevard crap, is a song I was just forced to memorize, because my Nanay wanted me to play it (with her singing it). But don’t think I am way too soft playing some mushy songs on a keyboard. I can play rin naman Let It Be by the Beatles, Skyline Pigeon by Elton John, My Immortal by Evanescence and Imagine by John Lennon. So it’s not that really bad, is it? And that is only playing keyboard by ear!

One would do it in any way possible — all for the love of music.



*** Images taken from shanemcdonalds.org <-- try to visit the site if you want to learn piano/keyboard the easy way.
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Thursday, June 14, 2007 at Thursday, June 14, 2007 | 2 comments
The more I read award-winning short stories, the more I get the feeling of a loser. It has dawned on me that I will not win a Palanca Award this year, or even in the next years. I'm not pessimistic, just realistic. I can categorically say that my works are so amateurish and full of bullshits. I now accept the fact that I still need a lot of time to hone my fiction writing skills. Perhaps, not having been trained to write stories could be an excuse (since I took up Journalism). But what about Rosario de Guzman-Lingat? What about the likes of Luis Gatmaitan and Liwayway Arceo? They are some of the finest writers who didn’t have literary trainings of any sort, and yet excel as prolific writers all the same. Just last week when I was in FullyBooked in Gateway Mall, I read an anthology of short stories of Lingat, and the realization hit me big time. How could this woman write a superb short story? How could I not?

Actually, I submitted two entries to Palanca this year (short story and short story for children, both in Filipino). I had a lot of nerve — or audacity — to submit entries, and even thought confidently, much to my chagrin, that I would win an award. In my dreams. I got that shabby inspiration from Edgardo M. Reyes when he said in his book that he won a Palanca on his first try. It had been only a year since he began to write when his piece “Di Maabot Ng Kawalang Malay” won a Palanca (third prize, 1961). Also, there have been 30 people already winning a Palanca on their first tries. With a kapalmuks, I might as well join them and get one for myself. Beginner’s luck, you know. Maybe Don Carlos Palanca won’t mind giving this idiot a thumbs up.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at Wednesday, May 30, 2007 | 2 comments
It's official. It's now bye-bye to dry, sunny days. After all these sunburns and heat strokes we endured in the last barbecue days, we can now look forward to a relatively cool, wet, cloudy days. I have already taken a small dose of what the rainy season could unleash for the next months. Last night, I went to Megamall to meet Kuchi. I got caught in the rain on my way and my bought-from-the-sidewalk umbrella looked completely useless at the time. Afterward, I got stranded in Cubao on my way home. There were like hundreds of passengers like me (could be thousand) waiting for PUVs in every corner, and there were not enough PUVs to accommodate them. Curiously, when I managed to get on a jeep, I noticed the passengers inside we're all male. I thought of women stranded in Cubao. I felt uneasiness.

In the next couple of days we're all gonna be worrying about floods and brownouts. Not to mention the difficulty of drying clothes. Anyway, it seems we just need to put up with this weather for two to three months and capitalize on whatever good things this season could throw us (water, new fashion look, cool weather, etc). Appetite adjustment seems unavoidable, too.
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Friday, May 18, 2007 at Friday, May 18, 2007 | 0 comments
Have you noticed the frequency of cover versions or remakes of old songs nowadays? People are turning an old rock song into a ballad, an iconic soul into a pop, a defiant punk into a jazz and many more. Even the familiar "noisy" songs have been turned into a bossa nova. Yes, it's sprouting like mushrooms.

I'd like to make it clear that I'm not against people who do cover songs. The history of music is marked with many artists, foreign and local alike, covering songs after songs. The last time I know it was periodical, and only established artists were given the privilege to do so. But now it's becoming a trend and it's quite alarming. Can't our musicians strike some new chords?

I get a chill up my spine when I hear "Your Love" version of Eric Santos. I think he should stick to singing ballad songs in ballad ways, and avoid rock song as much as possible. And there is this Radio Active Sago Project who made a pigpen out of the song "Alcohol" of the EraserHeads (too bad I like RASP's before). Kichie Nadal, Rico J. Puno and Barbie Almabis did the same thing. I'm not surprised why Eli Buendia nurses a grudge against the anthology/tribute.

There are some bands, thank heaven, who did some nice covers. I like Bamboo's rendition of "Tatsulok," a song originally played by the activist-folk-rock group Buklod in the 80s. I also like the cover by 6CycleMind of the song "Upside Down" by 2 Minds Crack and the version of Shamrock of the song "Hold On" by NeoColours.

I don't know until when this trend of covering songs is going to stop. The local industry will do us a huge favor if they put an end to it and make some original music instead. There have been lots of ripped offs and watered down versions of old songs lately. They are actually spawning a new breed of shallow music-lovers who are under the impression that some over-avant garde genre they called "jazz-rock-bossa-pop-soul-in-one fusion is going to revive the ailing local music industry. It's not.

If our artists can't really make a good, original material, they should just keep their guitars in the corner and stop touching other people's song, much more make a piggery out of it. Their covers just reflect the jokes the scene has become.
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VforCE (1 Million Volunteers for Clean Elections), a nationwide movement of volunteer individuals and organizations, is in need of a MILLION volunteers (or more) to cover about 300,000 precincts and 1,600 canvassing points in the country. The volunteers will work on the following fronts:

1) Voter Education and Involvement
2) Pollwatching
3) Operation Quick Count
4) Canvassing Watch

If you still believe that what is at stake in the May 2007 elections is the credibility of our insitutions and the viability of our hard-earned democracy, join this movement.

We can still claim our place in our country's democratic life, by ensuring that the May 2007 elections are honest and credible, and that candidates who have the people's interests at heart get a fair shot at winning.

Text: 0922-8600-SLB
Call: 10149 (toll-free on PLDT phone)
Posted by Nutty Boy
Monday, May 7, 2007 at Monday, May 07, 2007 | 1 comments
Old school thermometer. We used this in gradeschool Just right on time, I was recently asked to write about the big difference a person can make in doing small things for the environment. Like other people, I'm beginning to become a believer of the future environmental scenario which Al Gore and Leonardo Di Caprio have been so vocal about to address in public. Global Warming is really a serious issue. Doing small things like recycling stuffs, using bikes and avoiding the use of hazardous chemicals (like hairspray) can spawn a big difference (just imagine a million people doing that). Besides, you don't need to be a person of political power or wealth to do that. Think of this — huge icebergs in the Arctic Ocean are melting! This is an obvious sign that Earth is really warming. It's like we are being toasted alive in a big oven.

And that's the reason why I hardly slept yesterday. The temperature must have been swinging up and down, between 34 and 36 degree Celsius. I turned on the electric fan all day long to chill myself (we don't have air-conditioner yet). I took a bath thrice yesterday. The heat was just unbearable. I forced myself to watch TV later on to chill out because I was pissed and the temperature was completely getting on my nerves. Luckily, a TV show entitled "Isang Tanong, Isang Sagot - Senatoriable Forums" was being aired, somehow appeasing the freaking demons inside of me. It sounded like a formal exchange of platforms among candidates at first, but it was far from that. It was more like a comedy. I got a good laugh when has-been singer Victor Wood barely answered the questions hurled at him. I'm not surprised now why he lost the mayoralty race in Antipolo City last election. Also in the show was actor Richard Gomez who looked stupidly nervous in the face of an unscripted show; Cesar Montano was no different. On the other hand, Koko Pimentel didn't appear like the 1990 bar topnocher while answering questions. The big blast however came from Senator Tessie "Dancing Queen" Aquino-Oreta who was asked by reporter Howie Severino about who she believes is the better president between GMA and Erap. She gave an open-ended answer, as expected from a cunning, traditional politician.

I didn't know how I drifted off but I think I hit the sack around 3am. I looked like a zombie when I woke up in the morning. My eyelids were too heavy and I wanted to collapse back to bed. I wanted to take a vacation leave! I'm hoping that climate will cool down a bit later this evening. I just want to have a sound, log-like sleep.
Thursday, February 22, 2007 at Thursday, February 22, 2007 | 1 comments
The following text messages have been circulating in virtually every cellphones since last year. Some of these are old, but they really make my day. I had told everybody they were ironies in my initial post, which was obviously wrong:

"You are never too old to learn something stupid."
"Smile... tomorrow will be worse!"
"Never miss a good chance to shut up."
"Don't run, you'll just die tired."
"Don't steal, that's the government's job."
"The number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action."
"He who laughs last thinks slowest."
"Never take life seriously: nobody gets out alive anyway."
"Always remember, you are unique. Just like everyone else." :-))

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Friday, February 16, 2007 at Friday, February 16, 2007 | 1 comments
Hello Earth! I'm back.

Just to give you some updates, I have been pretty preoccupied with a lot of things these days, things to which I unexpectedly shifted my attention. Aside from work and love life, I just could not go back to blogging right away, even if my nutty brain was brimming with ideas. Anyhow, I don’t feel like writing another piece about Philippine politics and all the darn things surrounding it, since I know you're not eager to dwell on it anyway. So let us spare this blog of political mayhem for a day or two. With all these circus coming to town, people can crack a good joke out of them anytime just the same.

There was something about the word "beautiful' that caught my attention recently. It is given that we all agree about the unreliability of any method in measuring beauty — since it's floating over the term subjectivity. This reminds me of Cleopatra, the ancient queen of Egypt. Cleopatra who was an Hellenistic co-ruler of Egypt with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes...blah, blah, blah (click the link if you get the itch to recall major things about her). People always have this impression that Cleopatra was a beautiful, head-turner, royal lady who made some perverts out of Roman generals. At one point, I even imagined she had a ravishing Jennifer Lopez-butt, a rare Thalia’s waist, a fine 35B boobs and a barbie-like face. Those might be considered exaggerated description, but quoting Shakespeare who wrote about Cleopatra “beggar’d all description” and some historians who said the mighty Julius Caezar was possessed by her, who would have thought she’s not that beautiful? Or worse, ugly?

Recently, though, I chanced upon an article about Cleopatra’s controversial beauty. A coin dating back 32 BCE and put on display in Britain illustrated her with a pointed chin, thin lips and sharp nose. In short, she was no beauty queen. It looks like she’s just another overrated woman whose coquettishness was turned into a symbol of beauty. Apparently, she was not.

Shakespeare would have made wept had he found it out.

Or would have he? Perhaps his lines about Cleopatra had double-meaning? Come to think of it, Shakespeare never mentioned the word “beautiful” when he described her. He might have been sarcastic or something. Or maybe the lines are satiric, his style of making a spoof of Cleopatra? According to an archaeologist, Roman writers tell us that Cleopatra was intelligent and charismatic and that she had a seductive voice, but, tellingly, they do not mention her beauty. How's that?

But then again, perhaps our modern world has a warped definition of beauty. Maybe our definition of beauty was completely different from that of the past. Perhaps a bulging eyes, a sharp nose and a pointed chin are what it takes to be a beauty queen in Cleopatra’s time? Or maybe the definition of beauty at that time was not the about physical appearance, but about characters and personalities? I don't know.

But what I do know is that if those (characters and personalities) were the features that make one an apple of people’s eyes in our modern world, difference between love and lust, between obsession and fatal attraction, would be spelled correctly. And nobody would have dared describing Zoraida as ugly.
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Friday, January 12, 2007 at Friday, January 12, 2007 | 3 comments
Signs of poverty are very visible nowadays. Just yesterday, I witnessed an altercation between a jeep driver and a passenger. The passenger, a woman in her 30s, was asking for additional change amounting to 75 cents. She kept on insisting that there was 50-cent discount given to commuters as per LTO directives. The driver shot back, saying the discount was good only until December 31 last year. The woman muttered something I didn’t understand and I thought she resigned, so it blew me off when she suddenly said “sige, pero ibigay nyo na lang sa’kin yung kulang pang bente singko sentimos.” Some passengers cleared their throats, startled; others gaped in disbelief. The driver gave up and just scratched his head.

I see nothing objectionable in what the woman did. In fact, for staying true to herself and her pennilessness, she should be complimented. Since when does asking for a small change become something to sneer at? I have to admit I am one of those who wouldn't have done the same thing. It's not because I thought 25 cents is nothing. Perhaps it's because I want to save my pride before the humiliating poverty that envelops us.

Poverty among us is a fact. Majority of over 80 million Filipinos are uncertain whether there will be ample food to eat on the table or enough money to pay the monthly bills in the next five years. Some see our nation as incorrigible barren land of unfulfilled dreams, others see it as a junk shop — which may explain why we have some thriving clans of corrupt politicians who see money in every rubbish thing. Our country is close to being declared “clinically-dead,” as far as the ongoing exodus of skillful and intelligent people is concerned. Those who dare say life today is easy have not been on the other side where grass is not green, and probably have never ridden on PUVs. Those who dare say life today is easy are mostly vacationing foreigners from a First World country, or worse, politicians. Is there a way to escape from this destitution aside from leaving the country?

Life in this country is like getting inside a run-down building which offer different rooms. Which one should be taken is for us alone to decide. How you got to the building doesn't mean anything. We’ll never know which room is of our own advantage until we open the door and enter the room. It’s called luck — opportunity — and with it, our lives basically become games which we are destined to play.

I can say that it's like playing poker, where intelligence and diligence do little to win the game. Success in life is more than just an ability to shuffle the cards to get the elusive royal flush; it’s also about getting those cards that make the royal flush. Those who say that the only ingredients to a successful life are perseverance and intelligence are living in a fantasy world or are too much absorbed with fiction novels. If being intelligent and diligent pulls one out of the quagmire of poverty, nobody will leave this country to chase dreams abroad. Nobody will look for some buildings in which lucky rooms are spacious enough to accommodate intelligent and diligent people.

Apparently, no one knows how the future can become as good as what our heroes envisioned. And nobody wants to waste time knowing when. It would take a French Revolution to change all these things. And no one likes to sacrifice and become poorer than they already are today and start again from scratch. In this jungle, it’s more important to make sure you’re going to have something to eat than to contemplate if the sun will make up his mind to rise the next day.
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