Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kumusta Naman sa Baba ng Gulong?

I think something is wrong with my tear ducts. Umeemote sya kanina habang nagtatrabaho ako. Wala namang nakakalungkot na pangyayari but I seem to be on the verge of crying. May nag-we-well na luha sa mga mata ko. Pang-Oscar talaga!

At ang catch ay ito: Ang pinakikinggan kong music na naka “repeat one” ay ang Sexy Back ni J. T. Kumusta naman? Talbog ang mga madadamang songs out there! Therefore, pwede palang ipang musical score si Justine Timberlake sa aking drama special!

So nasa baba na naman ako ng gulong. Ang lungkot pero ganyan talaga ang buhay. Pasasaan ba’t iikot din ang gulong ko. Wag lang siya mafafalat habang nasa baba ako or else patay tayo dyan. Malaking problema yon.

I guess, pinakamalaki kong kalaban ay ang mga moments when I feel like a total loser. Now I feel like a loser. Hindi naman “total” so I’m safe. Bonus na pakiramdam ko lang nga na ang chaka ko lately. Parang tumanda ang itsura ko salamat sa eyebags. Kelangan ko na yata mag-take ng stresstabs or something which I hate because I don’t like taking medicine, not even vitamins.

Nung isang araw while I was walking, napansin ko na I was alongside a sleek woman. Naisip ko, bakit kaya siya and the rest of her type, they can manage to look perfect, tidy. Parang spotless. In place ang buhok, unat ang damit, mataas ang takong pero di hirap maglakad, yung ganoon. Ako nga kahit flat ang shoes, sumasakit ang paa. Magsasaka siguro ako nung past life ko kaya hanggang ngayon hindi ako sanay magsapatos!

Hindi ko talaga naiwasang magtanong, “Why can’t I be like her? Is my physical appearance reflective of what I am? A mess?”

Shucks! At kelan pa ako na-insecure sa itsura ko? Ang mas magandang tanong ay kelan pa ako umamin na insecure ako sa itsura ko?

Normal lang naman na minsan nababagabag ako’t hindi ako mukhang ganoon o ganito. I just try not to use up my energy thinking of those things kasi nakakapangit lalo yon. Sabi ko nga dun sa isa kong naka-chat one time, “di na nga ako kagandahan, papangit pa ako. Ang chaka!”

One time pala narinig ako ng mommy ko na dinedescribe ang sarili ko na “di kagandahan.” Sabi nya, “sinong nagsabi sa iyo niyan?!?” Parang handang sumugod ang nanay ko sa taong di nagandahan sa akin. Hehe. Minsan talaga nanay na nanay ang mommy ko!

Napansin ko rin pala na sumisikip ang uniforms ko. Shet! Ang husay talaga. Welcome back bilbil! This is what I get for being super lazy. Kung dati, major exercise ko ang paglilinis ng kwarto o, pag ginanahan, bahay hindi na ngayon. Nabubuhay na ako kahit messy ang kapaligiran ko. Nasanay na. When you live with four males and one occasionally disorganized mother, matututo ka nang yakapin ang kalat, clutter at chaos.

It’s so un-me!

Ang maging immune sa kalat at ang hindi maglinis ng kwarto on a semi-regular basis.

Hay nakush! Ang major drama ko yata sa buhay ay yung feeling empty. Incidentally ang initials ng given name ko ay MT. Sana wag naman ako maging ganoon forever. Ang gusto ko lang naman e yung pagtulog ko sa gabi, alam kong may nagawa akong mabuti o ikabubuti ng mundo. O, ha, heroic complex na ito!

But seriously, pag na-assure ko ang sarili ko na may means na ako to do something good, not necessarily all that great, then siguro iikot na muli ang gulong ko. At mas tatagal ako doon sa itaas. Happy happy na.

But for now, dito muna ako sa baba. It ain’t great pero as long as nahahanapan ko pa naman ng humor ang mga dahilan kung bakit ako nandito, OK lang ako.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Missing Miss U

I missed it alright. Watching the 2007 Miss Universe Pageant. Actually I missed the pageant before that and even before that and even before that. I cannot really remember the last time I witnessed a Miss Universe coronation ceremony.

It used to be that shows like the Miss Universe is one reason for my family to gather in front of the television and wonder, if not bet on, who will win.

I heard Miss Japan won, Miss USA fell flat on her skinny ass, and Miss Philippines didn’t make the semifinals.

I was hoping to catch video clips on the net but instead I got those takes from the 1994 pageant which was incidentally held here in the Philippines. My youngest brother, Nichi, was just a few days old then. My Grandfather whom we call Tatay successfully taped the whole show. Unfortunately I lost track of who kept that tape after Tatay died.

With the wonders of technology I was able re-live that pageant, the one in 1994 at least. I may drag Nichi into watching the allegedly most beautiful women of 70+ countries (in the year when he was born) out-smart and out-pretty each other to covet that sparkly crown!

You can catch it, too!

Opening Number (Check out our country’s Miss Universes!)

Parade of nations 2 (I skipped the first part. Anyway I’m after Miss Philippines.)

Swimsuit (Is it just me or are their suits more conservative back then?)

Evening gown (Do they still have this little sister tradition until to day?)

The Final Three (The essence of being a woman bit.)

The Crowning (They act funny, don’t they? Demure is funny)

***OK, I've officially abused this YouTube embedding thing.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Praying with the Faithful

It was a long trip to the convent where the nuns from the Religious Virgin Mary (RVM) congregation were staying. Their place almost seemed like one you’d see in developing provinces: in its obliquely pristine state lie traces of modernity.

It was a special day for the RVM nuns because the image of the Our Lady of Fatima from Portugal was gracing their chapel and would be staying for I-don’t-know-how-long.

The RVM nuns had prepared a series of prayers starting with the recitation of the joyful mysteries of the rosary, a mass, a special healing ceremony, a living rosary that celebrates the glorious mysteries, a parade and, finally, another round of rosary, this time the saying of the sorrowful mysteries while everyone encircles a pentagon area where several candles have been lit for the special intentions of everyone there.

I was on my first visit while Dad and Nichi were on their third. Both Dad and Nichi have been attending Mass and healing sessions for the past two Tuesdays there—the same place where Erap, our infamous ex-president, sought help for his health.

Many sick people were present when we came but I noticed that Nichi may have been the youngest among them. All were probably praying that their pain and suffering be alleviated, if not totally washed away. Unlike them, I may not be sick but I do feel what they feel and I was probably praying their prayers because like them I, too, am in pain.

I always have my self to deal with but then there’s Nichi. I’ve seen him at his worst last year and I’ve seen him recover. But then things have to turn around again. And although I am aware that I am not the bravest sister to stand beside my ailing brother, I try to support him in whatever means I can. For that alone, I try to be braver than I usually am, otherwise I would have snapped out long ago or ran away just like some of the best of us have.

It’s cheesy, yes, but somehow love makes you stick around no matter how things may hurt just by witnessing them.

Like staying inside the treatment room while doctors torture my brother in their efforts to cure him. I thought I will be OK after that but in the chapel a while ago, I almost lost it. I was swallowing my tears while watching my Dad and Nichi present themselves right before the Fatima.

Dad has been with Nichi since the day we found out about his leukemia. Dad knows all the doctor’s findings: their promise of Nichi’s recovery early on and their skepticism with regard to Nichi getting better again.

Nichi has suffered even before the day he found out he has leukemia. He feels everything. He doesn’t have to hear what the doctors think to know that something big is wrong with him.

Being there and trying to pray with them just ripped me into pieces. I don’t know exactly what Dad knows, I don’t feel exactly what Nichi feels but somehow I know and feel their pain. The worst part is that I really cannot save them. I cannot even save me.

You can exhaust all efforts to improve things and yet everything ends up in vain.

But the thing about life is when all else fails, you have your faith to run to. Faith keeps us standing up and optimistic even if strong forces are against us. Faith sheds light to our darkness. Faith gives us direction. And if it is strong enough, just as those devotees who shared their stories said, faith can heal.

Dog Food Dinner, Humor Returned, Four Bowlers’ Night Out, Beso-Beso-Beso

A very long day has commenced. With how I spent the day, I deserved a hearty dinner at the very least. But no decent food was available. And I wasn’t very enthusiastic in cooking anything decent so I grabbed the cereal Dad had for breakfast—the one which, before he devoured, he called, “dog food”.

It indeed looks like canine chow, although I wouldn’t know if it tastes like so.

And I definitely don’t want to know.

* * *

A very long day was immediately followed by an even longer day. And to make up for the not-very-appetizing dinner, I decided to eat breakfast at the better canteen in our office. Anyway, I could afford it: I had cash and I had time.

In between was a whole 9.6 hours spent in the office doing the usual thing. Letting those hours pass you by is excruciating especially when you have an engagement right after work.

The clock ticked and tocked forever, then I had to contend against an awful traffic. Unfortunately, I get sarcastic and loud when impatient so I ended up blurting out a comment which I could have kept inside my thought balloon. It was directed to a hyperactive, overdue kid whom I have to face next week. However, me and my big mouth just brought back my sense of humor and, boy was I entertained!

* * *

The two other players were there when I arrived. Both were as ecstatic as I was. Then we rolled our balls, toppled our pins, and trashed our frustrations like we were superior beings obliterating all sorts of eye sores.

One game after, we remembered how famished we all were. In the midst of destituteness, we managed to order a meal that would regenerate enough energy for another 20 balls to roll.

This time we took our time with long animated talks in between. Later, another came to roll the last two balls. It was as fun as the first, maybe even more!

All four of us proceeded for an ice cream—the kind that requires coins and a free cup to boot. We were planning to go for a two-minute ride on that stuffed bump cars but the mall was closing so the lady guard politely drove us out.

We migrated to a roof that would adopt us while we buy some more time to be together. In our little corner, with a biggie coke and two large fries from a joyful sponsor, we journeyed to the past—the far ones and the recent ones—present and some probable future. (Joyful sponsor, note that I am referring to you in the “probable future” part. Hehe.)

* * *

We all hated to break off that good night so we extended a bit past midnight. “Para magkakasama pa rin tayo hanggang bukas,” Di-na insisted.

If only we had our dormitory keys, we would have been together even after the bukas.

Those three—all younger than I was, all lived father from our temporary late night shelter than I did—they sent me off in a cab first. And since it was raining, we had to forgo the practice we don’t usually practice: making beso!

But the beso thing didn’t come short, at least to me. I got a third one from a text which I would normally object to, being that I wasn’t in beso terms with this friend. But he was drunk and sleepy so I let it pass.

The second one was so generously shared by a former classmate we, four bowlers, bumped into in that temporary shelter. Once I saw my three friends’ cheeks in line, I knew I was up next. Oh well.

The first dose of beso would probably top the previous two. An alleged sister (not biological speaking, of course) whom I just met besoed me when our shared cab dropped her off her house. This happened a few hours prior to my dog food dinner. Apparently she works on TV thus explaining “the culture”. I work nowhere near TV thus the “what the?!”

Now those culture thing? It’s exactly what got Richard Gere into trouble when he hugged that lady in India! The incident which may get Gere into thinking, “I should have gone with the dog food instead!”

Friday, May 18, 2007

Keeping Afloat

Once the clock struck six signaling our dismissal from work, I cannot help but mutter, “Now I can get sick.”

Everything hurts, from my nostrils to my bones and yet I kept to my word to be there no matter what. To be present, I mean. I think I mentioned it before: My attempt to be more responsible, to be committed and to simply be there. Only the Nichi thing keeps me off from work these days. Which is good because this means that I may be ready for that thing I have been preparing myself for.

So now, not only the signs are manifesting themselves signaling “GO!” Even my system cooperates, well not really my system because I’m sick, but my brain at least. So if the stars align in favor of me, not only keeping an active blog will have a check mark opposite my to-do list. And, boy, will it be awesome to have that second check mark soon!

Through it all, this sore throat will prove to be occurring in the most inopportune time. But I remain optimistic that the sore throat along with the cough and colds will vanish by the time I get that check mark.

Enough of the cryptic babble!

I haven’t much story to tell right now. I haven’t really been going out hence the scarcity on something new to tell.

Well, I was in Divisoria yesterday. Same ol’ Divisoria. I was already feeling crappy then. There’s the sore throat and the throbbing occipital part of my brain. But I went on with the trip. After all, it was an official mission.

The day before that, while walking on my way home, an old man fell off a jeepney. It was one of those great fall. His shoe flew in the air. And his ending position resembled a crude supine pose. Before I got to him to help him on his feet, several pedestrian had swarmed around him to lend their helping arms. Although it meant that I moved too slowly, I was happy to note that people help people even in our time.

Prior to the old guy incident, I witnessed a car accident which happened practically in front of me. A van, a silver car and a pink car couldn’t share space so they ended up scratching each others’ paints and bumpers. It was almost like a sequence in an action movie although less severe. I was awestruck in that island along C5 road and just stood there watching as the pink car could have swerved our way. But as luck would have it, it didn’t.

I guess that’s how one keeps afloat. You force yourself, you are compelled by circumstances, you keep out of accidents, you’re supported by people around you in case you fall, and you are protected by luck.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sa Isa kong boto

Sa aking pagboto, inaasahan ko ang mga sumusunod:

1. Madadagdagan ang mga matitinong tao sa Senado at sa lokal na gobyerno na rin. Kasabay nito, masisiguro na mawawalan ng lugar ang mga bulok na opisyal sa pamahalaan.

2. Iyong may talino at kakayahan ang mauupo sa susunod na mga taon. At ang mga ito ay hindi mag-aalinlangang gamitin ang kani-kanilang mga puso’t kunsensya sa mga desisyon nilang makaaapekto sa bayan.

3. Mababawasan na ang mga nagugutom at natatakot sa sarili nating bayan.

4. Matatamasa na ng mga kabataan ang mas marami pa nilang karapatan na dapat naman talaga ay natatamasa nila. Mas magkakaroon na sila ng pagkakataon sa dekalidad na edukasyon, hustong kalusugan, matibay na bubog sa tag-ulan at tag-araw, at busog na tiyan.

5. Mapapahalagahan na ang mga manggagawang Pilipino na siyang nagtatrabaho nang tapat at walang palyang nagbabayad ng kanilang mga buwis. Habang ang mga malalaking korporasyon at negosyante naman ay gagawing huwaran ang mga maliliit na manggagawa kaya naman sila na rin ay magtatrabaho nang tapat at magbabayad ng buwis na nararapatan sa kanila.

6. Magkakaroon na ng tunay na pagbabantay sa ating kalikasan. Aanhin nga naman natin ang mataas ekonomiya kung isinusuka naman na tayo ng lupang kinatatayuan natin?

7. Mas magiging maayos ang bayan natin sa iba pang aspeto na nakaligtaan kong banggitin.

Oo alam ko na masyadong idealistic ang mga inaasahan ko. Pero hindi ba’t iyon ang pag-asang dala ng eleksyon? Na sa isa mong boto, magiging posible ang mga mabubuting pagbabago? Na pwedeng umusad ang ating bansa?

Sa kabila ng pangambang dala ng nagbabadyang dayaan, palagay ang loob ko na may ginawa ako sa ikabubuti ng ating bayan. Nagsalita ako dahil may malasakit ako sa mga nangyayari sa paligid ko. Hindi ako umupo at nanood na lamang. Nakibahagi ako sa pagsulong ng mas magandang bukas para sa ating lahat.

Hindi man ako maging Konsehal, Mayor, Congressman, o Senador, mayroon pa rin akong maipagmamalaki sa mga kapwa ko Pinoy: Pinahalagahan ko ang aking karapatan at ginamit ko ito sa ikagiginhawa ng bayan.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Indelibly Proud

I casted my vote today and, boy, do I feel great!

Although a tiny voice at the back of my head is telling me that me, raving about this elections too much, makes the whole voting thing overrated. But I cannot help it.

On TV, there was an old guy who had a stroke 2 years ago. He is wheelchair-bound and yet he cared enough to go out and vote. I think it was his daughter who accompanied him to the voting precinct. They had a little problem because he was assigned to vote at the second floor of the Public school where he went. His daughter cannot possibly carry him up two flights of stairs. It was a good thing that the elections officer allowed him to fill out his ballot at the ground floor of the school. After which, his signed ballot was brought upstairs and was dropped at the ballot box corresponding to his precinct. His daughter escorted the officer who carried his precious balota to ensure that his voice is protected all throughout.

In a province elsewhere in the country, another old man—much older man—was carried by his son like a baby pretending to be a backpack. The old tatay had to cling onto his son’s back while the son walked a long mile (or miles) from their home to their respective voting precinct.

Some incidents of people who can’t read or write yet voted with the help of their trusted “assistant” were also reported.

These people go out of their way to the point of sacrificing certain things because they care and they have faith. I don’t know how that’ll make the more apathetic among us feel about their…umm..ahh…apathy.

I guess, I do have the right to be proud of the ink stain on my right index finger.

* * *
I was convincing my brother to include Chiz Escudero to his list of senators. I did a quick review on some of our Senatoriables last night via an email I got and GMA New’s Isang Tanong. Chiz seems really good.

Check him out:

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV"

My brother refused to listen to me despite me nearly terrorizing him. Even while on our way to the precinct I kept on persuading him, “Ano ka ba? Iboto mo nga si Chiz! And galing-galing noon. Hindi ka kasi nanood ng Isang Tanong.” I even made an impression of Chiz just to give my brother an overview of how Chiz’ mind works.

Then he replies, “Hmm, crush mo lang yon e!”

For Christsakes, let him have his freedom to choose! I rest my case.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ironic. Really. Home. Live. Lucky. Amazing!

In my attempt to find a way to spend more time with Nichi, I missed him blowing his birthday candles.


I had to be somewhere else and in that somewhere else I had to sit through a litany of me living a moral female life, marrying a man who deserves me, not disappointing my parents, leveling of land, gifted children, and fake grass. Which was weird.


But someone I haven’t seen since the summer of 1999 just told me, “Welcome home!” It feels good. It’s nice to be back and even nicer to be welcomed back. I am more than elated to have a valid reason to return. I just wish they really will have me.


I found time to make up for my half day absence by preparing the chicken enchiladas Nichi requested. He enjoyed it, the enchiladas. I just hope his visitors liked it, too. Nichi is now a teenager and, God, I wish he’d survive his teenage years the way most of us do.


We don’t realize it but all of us who are given the chance to be normal are very blessed. I think Nichi’s friends think so, too. They are just as old as Nichi and they can live their lives the way they want to as allowed by their parents.


But Nichi isn’t at all short of luck and love. The mere fact that he’s turning 13 means someone has been watching him from up there, allowing him to enjoy life as we know it despite its shortcomings for him. Then there’s us, Nichi’s family who, in unique ways, show him our love. Nichi’s friends are there, too. Yes they’re young but they do love my brother, I know it. And strangers have come to love Nichi, too. We’re a community who love this 13-year-old kid who happens to be my brother.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

When some things went wrong yesterday, I realized na hindi naman ganoon ka-jologs ang mga kapatid ko. Laking Pasig kasi. Puntong Pasig tuloy. Bihira pang mag-Ingles. Tapos di na uso ang Sesame Street nung lumalaki na sila. Sineskuwela at ATBP ang hot. Halos lahat pa ng cartoons, telenovela, etc. e tina-Tagalog!

So surprising na marinig ko silang mag-Ingles at a moment of semi-crisis.

Sa opisina, tumawag ako sa bahay in response to a 911-like text. Si Nichi ang nakasagot. Habang nag-uusap kami, bigla siyang nagsabi, “Mamamatay na yung isda natin! Nagbe-belly up na!”

Naks! Belly up. Sosyal!

Matatapos na ang long day. I was summoning sleep with my eyes closed nang bigla akong gisingin ni Migs.

“Ate, yung pipe natin nag-burst.”

Pipe. Nag-burst. Shala!

He could have said, “ate, tumatagas na ang tubig natin sa banyo.” But no. May “pipe” at “burst” sa sentence nya.

* * *

As usual puyat na naman ako. Major factor ang pipe na nagburst kahapon. Midnight kasi nakatalungko kami ni Migs sa labas ng gate, trying to figure out which water meter is ours. May around ten water meters kasi sa labas ng gate namin which is weird dahil pito lang naman ang apartments dito. Anyway, nag-trial and error na lang kami ni Migs to figure out which valve to turn off para ma-stop ang tubig naming nagi-is-squirt.

Siguro dahil kulang ako sa tulog kaya bigla kong namiss ang berks ko. Gaya ng nasabi ko sa past entry ko dito, hindi good sign ang makaramdam ng “missing you.” Pero anyway, nagsenti na lang ako. Tinext ko sila na how I wish, ganoon pa rin kadali sa aming mag-regroup sa Hum Steps just to check on each other.

Anyway nahugot ko si Jo amongst my 11 berks. Kahit P150 na lang ang laman ng wallet ko, minabuti ko syang yayain mag-bowling. Gumo naman siya.

Mahigit isang oras yata kaming naghintay ng bakanteng lane. Finally, may umalis sa tabi ng nag-tu-tournament. Shet, napatabi kami sa experts! Nagmukha kaming special nyor-e na exceptionally incompetent pagdating sa bowling.

Actually, adik lang ako sa bowling pero I’m not good at it. Gusto ko lang magroll ng bola. Icing on top of the cake na kung marami akong mapatumba. At yung bowling kong PE? Masaya sya but di ko necessarily natutunan how to control the ball to topple all the pins. At yung isang strike ko kanina, tsamba lang yon. Peksman!

Half pa lang ng game pagod na ako. Yun pala si Jo din. Nararamdaman ko yung arms and legs ko na nanginginig. Gusto ko sanang sabihin na yon ang reason kaya 70 lang ang score ko pero hindi rin. Hindi talaga ako expert. Chika lang talaga ang pagbo-bowling ko. For fun lang kung baga.

Nag-enjoy naman kami ni Jo. At may mukha pa kaming ipa-print ang score sheet namin. Panandalian naming nalimutan ang aming loneliness in the city kaya sulit na rin ang binayad sa game na yon.

* * *

Bukas, makikita ko na naman yung mga kids sa Hema-OPD (Out Patient Department) ng PCMC. Sabi nga ni Nichi, nakakalungkot doon. Yung mga bata kasi doon kung hindi Thalassimia e Leukemia naman ang sakit , kagaya ng kay Nichi. Basta yung ganoong level! Ang cute pa naman nila.

Wish ko talaga makapag develop na ng 100% sure shot na gamot to treat them all. Para lahat silang mga bata sila, in remission na. Walang pa-relapse relapse.

Naku for the first time mawiwitness ko ang bone marrow aspiration ni Nichi in the flesh. Sana hindi ma-conscious si Doc habang nanonood ako. Bonus pa yung mapapanood ko rin ang rehabilitation ni Nichi for his newly acquired disease which doctors refer to as Bell’s Palsy.

Two procedures in one day, the day before his birthday.

Kawawa naman ang utol ko. Di nga jologs, dami namang kelangan harapin. Buti na lang pogi pa rin!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Hindi muna ako mag-pupurong Ingles

Tye: Paano mo sasagutin ang tanong na hindi naman tanong?
Soy: E di sagutin mo ng sagot na hindi sagot!

A few hours later, nakarinig ako ng series of sagot na hindi naman sagot. Nakapagtataka dahil tanong na tanong naman ang mga pinagtatanong sa mga sumagot ng sagot na hindi naman sagot.


Sumakit tuloy ang ulo ko. Napuyat kasi ako. Dagdag pa ang pagka-constipate ko dahil nga hindi ako na-satisfy sa mga narinig ko. At dahil hindi nakalabas ang mga toxins ko sa katawan, pakiwari ko’y nalason ako unti-unti. Umakyat pa yata ang lason sa utak ko. Mangilan-ngilang brain cells ko din ang nabiktima ng constipation na yon.

So ano ba ang pinagsasabi ko at kinailangan ko pang magtago sa sarili kong wika na kinorupt ko ng konting Ingles?

Isang Tanong

Yun ang sagot. Seryoso.

Yun yung special ng GMA7 kung saan sinalang nila ang mga Senatoriables, nuisance man o otherwise. Entertainment at its finest lalo na nung maupo na si Goma, Buboy at, drum rolls please, Victor Wood. Hindi ko lubos maisip kung ano ang tumatakbo sa isipan ng mga taong ito pagkatapos nilang ma-interview at pag-uwi nila sa kani-kanilang mga mansion. In fairness, nakakatawa rin si Oliver Lozano. Dahil yata sa pagka-loyalista nya, naging kamukha na niya si Marcos. In fairness ulit, hindi lang ang ating mga artista ang guilty ng hindi pagsagot ng mga tanong na tanong. Pati yung mga “matino” rin. Required skill yata yon ng isang tunay na pulitiko. Cunning pagdating sa pagpapaliguy-ligoy ng mga isyu. Si Loren, Ok sumagot ng mga tanong. Napagkakasya niya sa time limit. Mayroong intro, body at conclusion but still di ko pa rin sya type. There is something not true about her. Si Tita Tessie, nagulat ako. I expected more from her dahil naging senador na sya noon. Hindi man lang ako napa-Whoa sa sagot nya. Mas bagay nga yata talaga siyang maging Lola. Gusto ko pa sanang mang-okray kaya lang inaantok na ako. (Yuck napaka-iresponsable ko namang manunulat!) At saka pag ni-refresh ko ng todo ang memory ko sa mga napanood ko kagabi e baka tuluyan na akong mapigtasan ng ugat sa utak. Mahirap na.

Sayang din pala kasi na-miss ko yung unang set ng Senatoriables noong nakaraang Linggo. Pero anyway, salamat sa teknolohiya, pwede nang ulit-ulitin ang Isang Tanong. Just click here to get to GMA7’s site and you can take it from there.

Subukan niyong panoorin. Mahusay na guide sya sa pag-dedecide kung sinong kandidato ang dapat seryosohin next week. At least, hindi lang GMA7 ang magbebenefit sa kanilang special, pati tayong mga botante, mga mamamayan at ang bansa na rin.

Shet! Serbisyong totoo? Is that you?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

My Messy Roomie

It didn’t take long before Migs took over as my roommate after Ate left. I wasn’t enthusiastic about having him. He isn’t really the most organized person in the world. In fact, he is the exact opposite of Nichi who has an obsession and compulsion in keeping things in perfect order. (Notice the oblique comparison. The flow of my thoughts would require me to compare Migs with Ate but I segued to comparing him with Nichi. Imagine me flashing my creative, if not poetic, license.)

But I can’t refuse to share rooms especially because we are short in space. And so I have to put up with Migs’ mess. The thing about him is that everywhere you turn, there’s a sheet of paper scattered, folded, or inserted in between other stuff. I have to say, though, that after pulling out his annoying trash, I cannot help but smile and admire my other brother, Migs, whom I seldom talk about.

The following exhibit will further explain my point:

Black Art. Oil Pastels

Tarsier. Pencil

Isplork! Corporation. Sign Pen

a Yugi-Oh card character. Colored Pencils

Volt-in. Pencil

abstract thing. Oil Paint

Migs has become our resident artist. When he was younger, he just drew things like normal kids do. And I thought he was as normal as others. I really assumed it is but normal for kids to draw their favorite cartoon characters really well. But then, Migs started joining drawing contests in school without us even knowing. We’d only learned about it when he brings home his prize: money, medal, trophy. And he was the Cartoonist for their school organ during his last year in elementary. Now I have reasons to believe that he has THE talent.

Migs turned 14 yesterday. And, yes, he is taller than me now. Everyone’s taller than me now! Of course, that’s besides the point.

Everyone would say that Migs is my favorite. Why else would he have nine photo albums for his first two years on earth? I’d say Migs is special. He allowed me to witness the miracle of life. I saw him during his first few months in my mom’s belly via sonogram. I took mental pictures of him when he was an infant, with traces of Lanugo hair and all. I’ve seen him learn how to crawl, walk, talk, read, draw, add, operate the PC, develop his own sense of humor, shoot and edit home movies, and animate his drawings. From the baby whom he once was, he surely has gone a long way.

I know that he hates me for saying it a lot but I really do love him.

I am being sentimental right now, I know. There’s something about him being a teenager that’s inexplicably nostalgic. And he has his own Friendster account! With 156 of his own friends! I don’t know. What is an older sister to say?

I wish him to be the best person that he can be. And that I love him.

More pictures!

This is probably our first picture together.

During Migs' first new year.

See? He's taller than me! (Taken during our sister's wedding last December)

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Voting, Elections and Ham

YOU CAN’T NOT VOTE! Especially if you are a registered voter. You see, voting is one of the good things you can do to our country. It is every citizen’s venue to best serve his nation next to paying his taxes. Sure there is cheating. Some powerful, conniving entity will eventually resort to vote buying, ballot box ambush and switching but I cannot understand how that will stop anyone from taking a stand and fighting to put those who are more worthy than others in their respective seats of office.

Bottom line is: you cannot just watch. The elections require an active participation from people, from you. And I know we hear this a lot, but most of our ancestors, especially our women foremothers, they had to swing their bolos just to be granted the right to suffrage. We cannot put their efforts to waste because we say we are dismayed. To those who are just plain lazy, shame on you!

By not voting you are relinquishing your say in our country. You are stripping yourself off your voice, the medium in which you could have aired what you like or hate about our nation. You are gagging yourself. It is ridiculous! You are running away from your responsibility as an inhabitant of our country. And by doing so, you are no different from the people you hate because you, too, are cheating.

A week from now, you can do something to make a difference. You have from 7 A. M. to 3 P. M. to do it. You just have to bring a pen, a valid ID and your conscience to trigger an improvement no matter how minimal it may be. Those who will win will monopolize the microphones for the coming years. But on May 14, you will be the one in command of the mic. Do not waste that opportunity. Vote!

* * *

So the election in our country is a circus. It looks like it, it sounds like it, and, sadly, it is. I cannot seem to find the perfect euphemism for it other than it being a showcase of the extent of a human being’s ability to tell, construct, and modify reality just to persuade the great majority that he is their savior. But heck, it’s how it has always been. I’d like to believe that we have found our way around it to really tell whom to vote.

The campaign season was set by the COMMELEC for all political aspirants to go door to door and put their best feet forward. But we don’t write their names in our ballots because we shook their hands. There’s always their track records we should consider, track records that go way back when they started.

If we are too young to know what they had been doing in the past, we can always research. If we have forgotten our history, there’s always a way to refresh our memories. Sure it will entail a great deal of effort to open the newspapers, or browse on the net or sitdown and listen to candidates prove themselves worthy or imbeciles, but it is better than voting with eyes closed or not voting at all.

Even inside the circus, we are all required to make wise choices because, in the end, our lives depend on it.

* * *

As if it is not obvious how politics transform to entertainment during campaign season, politician wannabes have to turn to celebrities to punctuate the phenomenon. They hire actors or actresses regardless if they themselves are actors and actresses.

I am just wondering what qualifies these hired celebrities to endorse a politician. Apparently it has a lot to do with fame. Because let me think, Patrick Garcia and company, Angel Locsin and Jenalyn Mercado, Sarah Geronimo, and the likes, I doubt if they will vote at all. What with their busy schedules? They can go campaigning but I don’t think they’ll have the time to have their fingers stained by indelible ink in crowded precincts all over the country. Their managers wouldn’t slip voting in their tight schedule.

I don’t know. I hope they will prove me wrong. Otherwise they are just paid hams messing with politics.

Not good at all.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Musings of the Undead

It wasn’t serious, what he said. But he said it alright.

It wasn’t even a promise.

It was just one of those things you say when you want to express something and you don’t want to sound serious about it.

I mean, I didn’t take what he said seriously. Yet sometimes, I couldn’t help but wonder: What if he didn’t leave? Would we have continued playing with the beat? Or would we have ended up dancing? Together.

But he succumbed to the easiest way out of our everydays. So I guess, I will no longer find the answers.

And when everyone has left—everyone whom I drive away and push out of my life—when they’re all gone, he won’t be there to keep that thing he said which he didn’t want to sound serious about.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Random Thoughts on Random Things

I’ve learned that human beings have around 60,000 thoughts a day. I can’t keep track of all the things I think of but here are just some.

I have just outwritten myself. I wrote more entries for the first trimester of this year than the whole of last year. Bravo for the constipated writer!

The month of May has begun. It’s the boys birthday month. Migs is turning 14 on the 5th while Nichi will be 13 on the 12th. I was turning 13 and 14, respectively, when they were born.

Twelve days from now, we would be electing twelve new senators and we will be filling out the vacant slots for the local government posts. God bless our ballots!

After having been forced to realize that I am once again an “ate,” well at least in the office—it’s not like my mom’s pregnant or anything—with the arrival of my new groupmate, I seem to think of being an “ate” as a curse. You can’t really screw up when someone looks up to you. And by virtue of that principle, I can’t involve myself into various types of scandals not that I’d like to be caught in one but, I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to shake my comfort zone sometimes.

Nichi has lost control over his upper left lip muscles. No one saw it coming. And it sucks! Couldn’t he be spared of any more suffering? If it isn’t obvious, the boy has had enough.

Since it is May, I will be a month away from turning 27. Shucks! And I haven’t done a lot to make my 27 years on earth worthwhile. It’s the loser complex talking.

My newly hired groupmate in the office is the younger sister of my friend, Jane, whom I haven’t seen since my high school graduation. Jane and I were classmates from grade seven to third year high school. Where we came from, four in a row is rare. So being in the same class for four consecutive years is somehow special. The thing is, Jane’s sister’s company brings back memories from my teenage era. One of which is the prank I pulled on Jane while we were inside the chapel. I wonder if she remembers. I wonder if she has forgiven me. I wonder if she’s having any back pains. For all its worth I’m so sorry for making the class laugh at Jane’s expense.

Maturing is relative, just as being responsible is. Some would say I’m doing well at both but some won’t even acknowledge me for trying. Oh well! You can’t win them all.

Change is constant, so they say. And so things will never stay the way they are. These thoughts bring a more comforting feeling than saying, “nothing will ever change so don’t worry.”

I don’t usually dance but if I hear the music, I just might get into the groove. The question is, who will dare to bring on the music?

You are not here. (No explanation needed.)

I hate it when I miss someone or something. It means I’m not happy with my present. It also means I am not seeing the someone I miss as often as I should. So when a berk told me via YM that she misses me, I told her, “Anong ‘miss u’? Magkikita tayo sa Sabado!” Unfortunately she missed that Saturday get-together. Crap!

Effort is really important to me. You don’t have to show up. You just have to exert effort to inform me that you are there, regardless of your presence.

PMS can absolutely drain my patience. It may explain why I have been exceptionally irritated over someone, to the point of her haunting my dreams and me bitching her around in the same dream.

The story Flowers for Algernon is an excellent metaphor for our forgetting what we were once good at in the past. Take SOHCAHTOA for example. It used to make perfect sense to me. Now I only know what those letters stand for. Same goes with learning a new language and not practicing it. After pouring in time and energy in learning the characters that comprise two sets of its alphabet, I only remember “Ima nan-ji desu ka?” and a few other sentences and phrases which cannot be used together to compose a decent Japanese paragraph.

I am seeing Waiting for Godot in a new light. Unfortunately, I am Gogo and Didi, not moving, anticipating Godot’s arrival. I don’t know Godot. And I am scared as hell what he's capable of doing when he comes.

A Greek guy once said that tragedies bring out the best in people while comedies bring out the worst. I don’t care much about what he said. I would rather that things don’t end up tragic.

Cutting strings is sometimes an unconscious act. Reconnecting ties requires a more conscious effort.

People trust people more than I thought. And I am a living witness of how many good people are amongst us, ordinary ones.

Thinking of the things I think about proves to be fun. I should do this more often.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Skip If You Have Yet To See Spider-Man 3

I entered the theater at 9:40 A. M., May 1 for Spider-Man 3’s first Philippine screening with two vital questions in mind: (1) Marko, the Sandman, he doesn’t really look like the bad guy Spider-Man killed in the first movie—believe me, I’ve seen Spider-Man hundreds of times. Why do the police say he is Uncle Ben’s killer? (2) Spider-Man has three enemies: the New Goblin, the Sandman, and Venom. And the list doesn’t even include Spider-Man himself, the one they referred to as the enemy within. How in the world will our boy defeat them all?

Of course in due time all the answers to my questions were revealed. But before I proceed to my spoilers, allow me to pour in my insights.

The third installment to the Spider-Man series of commercial success is by far the best one yet. The first Spider-Man lacked the Spidey action fans are longing to see. I get the notion that Tobey Maguire’s Spidey suits can be sold at a good price for being slightly used. Apart from the one they ripped for the final scenes, the other suits must have been as good as new. The second follow-up was the worst. It was too gory, if not violent, for kids to watch. I mean, what were they thinking being too graphic with that scene where DocOc wakes up and attacks doctors? And there’s too much of MJ’s screaming. It’s absolutely irritating!

Spider-Man 3 starts out light. Everything’s going along perfectly well in our hero’s life. His “constituents” love him, he has a girlfriend, he’s fine with his job, and he remains at the top of his class. Slowly, the villains enter Peter’s utopic world. “Where do they come from?” Peter couldn’t help but ask.

Harry attacks Peter but after a simple string—well in Pete’s case, web—trip maneuver he stops his best friend from killing him. Harry incurs a concussion and ends up forgetting everything that drove him to assume his dad’s Green Goblin throne. Harry is suddenly at peace. And the serenity of his spirit reflects on his smiling face earning him cute points from the lady audiences.

Now we meet Marko, the fugitive. His case is so Pinoy. He was desperate to save his ailing daughter so he steals. And the guy Spider-Man killed in the first movie is just his accomplice. Sufficient flashbacks will explain what Pete thought happened then later still, what really happened. Those are just some of the things to watch out for.

A symbiote falls from the sky. It seems especially attracted to Peter. In Pete’s moment of weakness, the alien thing takes over him. Pete wakes up attached to a building dressed in a less familiar suit—a black costume which gave him extra strength and, unfortunately, extra attitude. After satisfyingly rebellious Peter drives almost everyone he loves out of his life, he musters the guts to rip the black suit to free the old him. But Brock, Pete’s rival photographer in the Daily Bugle, catches the symbiote which helps him do what he was in church for: asking God to kill Peter Parker. Thus he turns into Venom.

The Sandman and Venom work together to destroy Spider-Man. And who do they use as bait? MJ, of course! Peter turns to his best friend, Harry, for help. Harry who after regaining his memory lost a fight with the black Spider-Man in the most undignified way. Harry says no. What after the Black Spider-Man barbecued his face? Anyone would do as he did. But Harry “surprises” us in the end which isn’t really surprising because, as established in the earlier part of the movie, we already know what Harry is capable of doing.

MJ, the hostage victim, make that perennial hostage victim, is less passive this time around. She now knows how to maneuver herself to keep away from the falling bricks, cab, and I think, even a truck. And as I have said earlier, she doesn’t scream as much now as before. At least her presence of mind and limited laryngeal activity takes some weight off Spider-Man’s shoulders.

Stan Lee, makes his appearance with the line, “one man can make a difference.” He may be referring to Spider-Man. Then again, Spider-Man and the difference he’s made is already a given. Therefore Stan Lee’s line can be viewed a foreshadowing tool to that guy who’d step up and help make a difference. I know, it’s obvious by this time but I’d rather not say who that guy is.

Spider-Man is as all American as Superman. He even poses in front of a proud American flag as if saying “of course I’m a hero. I’m an American!” But I’d let that pass. After all, I’m a fan. I watched those Spider-Man cartoons when I was younger. I especially like Pete’s witty remarks when least expected. He made me laugh. Add to Pete’s charisma is his being “normal.” Just like most of us, he is struggling, too. He strives to pay his bills, juggles his time, caught in between his priorities, in constant battle with himself—things we, normal people, deal with on a daily basis. But unlike Superman, Spider-Man can’t do things on his own. He counts on other people, too. In a way, he doesn’t spoil the people whom he is protecting. It goes to show that the people in New York are more pro-active than those in Metropolis. They do their share in protecting their fellow preys as well as their hero as seen in Spider-Man 2.

Spider-Man 3 is a lot entertaining than the previous Spider-Mans. The heavy parts are effectively balanced by lighter scenes. Even the Chief isn’t as hot-tempered as he used to be. Actually he has no choice but to control his blood pressure, but still he makes a good comic relief. We see enough of the goody-goody Pete, and the naughty and overly confident Pete. He even dances for us! Also, it really means so much to me, seeing Tobey Maguire’s head peering out of the body clothed with the Spidey suit. It affirms that it really is he inside that body-hugging suit. And for some reason, I have a fixation over Spider-Man’s costume. God, I want to touch it with or without Tobey Maguire inside! I mean, aren’t you any bit curious with what it is made of?

So maybe I was one of the first people in the world to see Spider-Man 3. Even 3 days ahead of American viewers—that is, not including the time difference here and there. But the Spidey experience, I hope people will get to feel it, too. Kind of makes me want to see it again and again. I wonder if there’ll be a fourth or a fifth.

Hmm…I wonder.