Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ang Alamat ng Agimat

A while ago while I was with Nichi and Dad at the hospital awaiting the Pediatric Endocrinologist who would hopefully solve the mystery behind Nichi’s narcolepsy, I saw this poster about autism at the next clinic:

If you zoom in at the image at the last row, center column, you’ll see this:

I suddenly remembered my infamous agimat. Now I’ve decided to end my birthday month by sharing my agimat story.

My dad has acknowledged my annoyingly extreme thirst for attention probably even before I learned how to talk. Being the loving dad that he is, he tried to give me special attention to avoid surges of tantrums and even a hunger strike on my part. As a consequence, I’ve grown closer to him than to my mom.

As my parents would relay it, it was pretty much impossible to separate me from my dad. I would cry like crazy when he’s not around, which I guess happens all the time since Dad didn’t actually work at home.

No one thought that my dad’s old t-shirt will shut me up and bring peace in our home.

I started out sniffing the said shirt. Perhaps it smelling like dad made me believe that he was there with me all the time. Mom said I’d wrap it around my neck and hug it in my sleep. Needless to say, I never let go of the shirt, my agimat.

Eventually the shirt looked and smelled raggedy; my mom realized the need to wash it. She sneaked it away from me when I wasn’t looking. Later, I searched for it but to no avail. And since newly laundered clothes do not dry up at will, shutting me up has once again posed another challenge to my parents.

What other way to solve the problem but to give me another shirt. So I ended up with two shirts, one taking the other’s place when the other’s too filthy for a kid to hug.

My agimat remains a tale told whenever my family is in the mood to reminisce on things from the past. It highlights my one of my quirks as a child and it never fails to make everyone laugh including me. I’m just happy that autism wasn’t a big thing then as it is today, otherwise my parents would have interpreted my “inappropriate attachment to an object” as a sign that something psychological is wrong with their second child.

Of course quirks such as this are a part of me. I would love to say that I’ve outgrown them but somehow I feel that they’re still there. Like my agimat. I’ve lost Dad’s two worn-out shirts but I still seek comfort from material things that remind me of assuring thoughts. Thus explaining my packrat tendencies which I swear I’ve been trying to overcome. (Space constraints.)

On a final note, I guess we all are entitled to our own comfort blanket if it does make us feel safe. Ate Vi has her hanky. People think it’s cute. Get yours and who knows? People may find it cute on you, too. (Like the cute part matters.)

(Notice that I’m talking to myself. Perhaps I really am autistic!)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sweet November in June: Ridiculous!

I chanced upon the movie, Sweet November, last night and although I knew it would extend until this morning, I braved it once again in the hopes of discovering a way to appreciate it.

I’ve seen Sweet November before and it sucked. I saw it for a second time and it still sucked. I can’t remember if I went for a third or a fourth time, but one thing is for sure, after having given it another opportunity to justify itself, it still proved to be one of the most ridiculous films I have ever seen!

If only the main characters’ prettiness can redeem this movie’s nonsensical plot then watching it would have been worthwhile. But Keeanu Reeves and Charlize Theron’s good looks weren’t enough to cover up how massively absurd this movie is. [Blogger’s note: I was trying not to use the word “absurd” to avoid associating this movie to stories employed by absurdist plays which only genius playwrights can concoct. Sweet November is absurd. It doesn’t make any sense. Period.]

Keenu Reeves’ need for a series of acting workshops was emphasized thanks to this movie. Hey, we love Keeanu—I even had a major crush on him when I was 14 years old and my fanaticism ran for a couple more years—but we have to admit that he can’t act. He nailed Speed and The Matrix trilogy simply because his characters in those films required little emotion in that wide spectrum of pathos. Sweet November downgraded Keeanu’s pseudo acting skills to pathetic; thereby contributing nothing to a viewer’s appreciation of the film.

On the other hand, the now-Oscar-winner Charlize Theron played the character that made the film ridiculous in the first place. No matter how good she acts, you end up hating her.

So how bad is the story? Why did it cause this film’s downfall?

Well, it’s about Nelson (Reeves), the workaholic advertising executive who meets Sara (Theron), the sick pervert who selects men to “help” on a monthly basis. As it turns out, Nelson is Sara’s November (project), and Sara’s willing to give herself to Nelson for 30 days just to make his life better. She assumes that having sex with him for a month will change his life. Nelson gives in, what with the free sex with a gorgeous woman? He’d be nuts to say no! He shuns his qualms about living with this lady who’s been with nine men for the year (Sara admitted that she didn’t have a September guy, thus ten months minus one) and allows himself to be vulnerable—that is, in terms of emotions and on contracting a sexually transmitted disease. A few weeks later, Nelson finds himself falling madly in love with Sara, so madly in love he proposes to her. Of course Sara is used to this, after all, it is not the first time that one of her projects got down on his knee to ask her to marry him. The only difference is, now she is not just shooing the guy away because she feels the urge to move on to next month’s project. With Nelson, she has no choice but to say no because she is dying—well, she knew she was dying, that’s probably why she started this “noble” project of hers, but she’s in a really bad shape now; I doubt that she’ll be having a December. She drives Nelson away as if it were Nelson’s fault that he fell for her. She punctuates how she’s playing with the poor guy by blindfolding him, having him feel his way to get to her, leaving him just like that, and letting the now damaged Nelson heal by himself while she dies.

Moving. Really moving.

I would have cried but I can’t find a valid reason to shed tears.

Even I cannot say that it is “love” that’s happened between Nelson and Sara. Perhaps it is more of Sara’s selfishness masked as lame selflessness. Nelson? He’s a victim but not an innocent one. He also brought his misfortune upon himself the moment he acceded to Sara’s insanity.

I honestly can’t make anything out of this movie except probably this piece which screams nothing but “ridiculous!” And if I may borrow Simon Cowell’s words, I’d say Sweet November is “absolutely appalling!”

Saturday, June 23, 2007


This is how I placed it to Charlene whom I convinced, through my short-notice text, to join me in watching Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer:

“…kelangan ko ng dose of cinema…. Either manonood ako ng cine or magpapakulot ako!”

I guess she thought about how much of a disaster the latter option will be for me so she gave in. (Blogger’s shout: Salamat, Char, at hindi mo ako hinayaang makulot!)

Honestly, I wasn’t stunned by the first Fantastic Four movie. I still think that The Thing didn’t look as Thing-y as he should. I mean, years from now when we see The Thing’s bulky orange suit, we’d say in unison, “ang baduy!” Come to think of it, even in our time The Thing’s look isn’t as impressive as we’d expect it to be. And Mr. Fantastic’s outstretched arms are just as corny. He and Mark Herras (Philippine TV’s Fantastic Man) can hang out together, extend their arms, and we wouldn’t know who’s who.

But it’s a hype, the movie made, and so checking it out I did.

Fantastic Four is different from other Stan Lee hero tales in that the four protagonists do not have secret identities and have, in fact, reached superstar status even without their costumes on. The Human Torch amplifies how commercial their fame can get by flashing his new uniform which resembles that of a Formula One car racer, if not similar to Manny Pacquiao’s No Fear shorts filled with patches of every product he endorses.

The quartet’s lack of private lives makes being a hero extra hard—you know, they can’t move without being photographed, they’re all over the headlines, plus the people’s impossible-high expectations from them. It’s kind of like what Paris Hilton, Nicole Ricci, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears have to contend with on a daily basis. But of course unlike the Fantastic Four little is expected from these four prominent young Hollywood delinquents and yet they can’t meet the lowered standards set for them.

Comic book hero mogul, Stan Lee, not only makes his now-signature appearance, he even proceeds on introducing himself. Unfortunately for him, the strict security wasn’t convinced with his introduction, he ended up being thrown out of the high profile Richards-Storm Wedding.

Of course Stan Lee would have another opportunity to crash the ceremony some other time since this attempt for Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman to tie the knot is interrupted by a silver thing with a star complex.

Perhaps the Silver Surfer is the star of the sequel, thus explaining his grand entrance. He floats like a shiny metallic blob with alien strength coming from his surfboard. He is slim and bald with an almost perfect wash-board abs—good for viewing VTRs and probably DVDs. (Was the wash-board abs developed by his surfing a lot? Nge-nge!) His eyebrows were similar to that of 300’s King Xerxes. (Ang taray!) And as Charlene noticed, he looks like a well-polished Oblation. (When Silver Surfer, after being detached from his board, paced as fast as he could, Charlene and I were chuckling in our seats. We’re seeing an Oblation run in the middle of the year and on the silver screen at that!) He has a deep voice which I could hardly associate with him, probably because his supposed voice was too familiar; I can’t help but picture a big black guy in a leather coat and a pair of shades that clings to the nose bridge. (Siguro nag-didisguise lang si Morpheus dahil may utang siya kay Neo or kay Trinity!)

Despite being the movie’s main event, Silver Surfer was quite dumb for starting out destructive in his attempt to follow orders from something that resembles Hurricane Katrina when he can face it and actually defeat it unscathed. He would have scored more fans if only he thought of destroying the planet-feeding Galactus sooner.

Presenting us with not-so-smart characters may be the movie’s finest fault. Reed was smart, alright, but not smart enough to stop the returning Doctor Doom’s reeking evil plans sooner than he did. Sue, isn’t comfortable with all the attention they are getting. Hello! She’s the Invisible Woman. Anytime she’s sick of attention, she can disappear at will. I can’t say much about The Thing except that he’s beginning to look like Reed’s pet—following orders and all that stuff. Then Johnny, well, he didn’t even think of welding the giant Ferris wheel first before flying after the surfer. He almost killed dozens of innocents, and pissed off Mr. Fantastic and the US Army leader in the process. Now let’s not get started with those army guys. I mean, what were they thinking forming alliance with Doctor Doom? They tried to detain the four heroes and let the one with the bad record roam around, even welcoming him to the secured room where the magical board was kept. What’s wrong with them?

Fantastic Four is packaged with humor which works, but some punch lines are not really something kids would understand. The plot is too simple, it must have been made for kids. Now I’m confused!

Then there are Reed’s geeky tendencies. He says scientific things I cannot follow, including predicting where the Silver Surfer will poke another giant hole on the Earth’s surface next. Reed’s technical gibberish suddenly made me feel dumb myself!

Perhaps to best enjoy the movie, it is good not to think much. I didn’t think much inside the theater that’s why I got entertained. (It isn’t until later that I started criticizing it.)

Ironic isn’t it? The characters were mostly dimwits. You’re not supposed to think hard in order to appreciate the film. And yet, their mascot, the Silver Surfer, looked like Oble, the statue that welcomes you in UP Campuses, the icon that somehow represents the supposedly-best minds in the country. He even assumes the oblation pose when he submitted himself for the obliteration of Galactus. Kinda like subconsciously mocking the premier university of our country.

I don’t know.

Well at least I’m still not kulot. That probably is in itself fantastic.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Metaphoremembrance—Olfactory Edition

My now Palanca Award Winner College Instructor introduced me along with my other classmates to the word, Metaphoremembrance. He seems to have a penchant for long words no one has ever heard before. I sometimes think he’s just making them up.

I don’t mind it, however. At least he saved me from thinking (or researching) for words that’ll pertain to whatever unnamed meaning out there.

Going back to metaphoremembrance

This long word pertains to an emotion or memory triggered by a stimulus perceived by any of your senses. And so as stated in my title, I am going to give you a list of those things, captured by my olfactory nerve (found somewhere inside my nose), that allow me to feel or remember pleasant thoughts.

1. Freshly baked bread – Although no one had ever baked bread at home (we used to bake cakes, muffins, brownies, and cookies but not bread) I feel safe whenever I smell freshly baked bread. I may be subconsciously reminded of the Fridays when I go home to Manila from my week’s stay at Los Baños. I sometimes get off the bus near Shangri-la Mall where rows of bread from Le Coeur de France are displayed at open shelves, if not on tables, to entice potential customers. The odor reminds me that I’m close to home.

If other people submit themselves to jasmine, coffee, vanilla, or whatnot, I just need the satisfying smell of freshly baked bread for my aroma therapy.

2. A box containing whatever gadget – It carries the smell of technology which is kind of comforting because, one, it means I can afford a new high-tech thing and, two, I am taking a step further to the future.

3. A baby preferably newly bathed – The ultimate scent of innocence! And it is probably what love smells like—not in the perverted, obvious sense. Think of it this way, almost everyone loves a baby (not necessarily everyone loves having a baby though). A normal person fuming with anger is tamed by the mere sight of a human being packaged in its most possible pristine form. If you don’t get what I mean, try to hang out in the nursery room of the hospital nearest you. Sniff as hard as you can!

4. New shoes – OK, this is a bit Imeldific! But hear this: the hygienic odor of a new pair of shoes reminds me of new adventures. Be it another year in school, moving on to get higher education (syempre new shoes pag graduation!), a party that celebrates a special occasion, another year at work—they all spell new adventure which have got to be fun!

5. Nature, the unpolluted variant – The smell of grass, trees, the sea, and the likes remind me of all the vacations I have taken especially those spent in various provinces in our country. The serene aroma of nature therefore works as a good “decompressant,” reminding me of the rewarding times when I did stop to smell the flowers!

Metaphoremembrance is really a great thing. When most of our brain cells have withered, little of what we remember now will stick with us. So to assure that you will keep with you good memories, I suggest you chain them with things your senses will forever perceive. Your eyesight and hearing may fail you at old age but you can always have your sense of smell to run to.

So if you’ve just had a good event worth-remembering, sniff! And next time you smell the most immediate thing you sniffed, you’re sure to smile for the happy thought you just remembered!

**note: I promise to upload my thoughts between my last post and today as soon as I can. I apologize for being a bit busy to update you with my life or lack thereof.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Only at 17 + 10

It had been a normal day in general save for the early text messages I got—around three to four came in before 7AM, really early eh?—the flat tire on my way to work, my officemates greeting me, then later my family—they were asleep when I left the house so they just sent their “happy birthdays” through text, and later still a minor surge of text messages from friends.

I didn’t have any plans except to go about it as I do in a normal day. But heck, it is my special day! It only comes once a year and yet I couldn’t afford to party. It helps that I took the flat tire as a bad omen so I decided to go straight home.

Of course at the back of my mind I was hoping for some surprises to come but none did which sucked big time. I love surprises and my birthday would have been the perfect time to get one. By “one” I am thinking of a “ta-daah!” along the lines of any aspect in my life. So much for silently expecting.

I didn’t even prepare something fancy for me at home—the food, that is. I just grabbed an order of pancit in the office canteen during our 3PM break—for long life, as if I’d need it! A friend noticed how pathetic my birthday seems to be going that he proposed that we have dinner somewhere. I have to admit that it was sweet but it was rather condescending. The last thing I needed when I feel unspecial is for someone to pity me. But I don’t take that nice gesture against him. Besides, as I have mentioned, I am taking the flat tire as a hint that it’ll be best for me to stay at home.

Obviously, I had a drama attack today. It’s just that being 27 and all make me feel small. It’s frustrating! Luckily I had my Dad to shed some light to that worry of mine. If only I could do his positive messages justice. Hayyy…

Then I got my third Hallmark birthday card from my Hallmark family. It left me smiling again. It’s not everyday that you get a hand (and feet)-cuffed Jude Law for a gift.

(back of my birthday card's envelope)

And since I’m in a scanning-spree I’m showing you the rest of of the parts of my birthday card for this year and those for the last two years.

This year...


2006's (my favorite)...


2005's (for my first birthday at Hallmark)...


Oh yeah, after the noon break at work, Ms. Ria surprised me with a tiny birthday cake—with candle and all. Touching! I had my surprise after all. Unfortunately my phone with a camera is checked-in in a service center elsewhere so I failed to take a picture of my cake. Boo-hoo!

And then I went home. Later, I will retire to bed while planning to wear red tomorrow.

After having posted this, I’m saying “that’s a wrap!” for my first day at being 27.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Not-So-True Story

Malakas ang ulan.

Sa isang bakanteng waiting shed, may susukob na isang babae na basam-basa ng ulan.

Babae: (Titingin sa paligid. Mapapansing siya lang mag-isa.) Waaaahhh!

Lalakas pa lalo ang ulan.

May darating na lalaki. Susukob din sa parehong waiting shed. Di siya masyadong basa di tulad ng babae dahil may dala siyang payong.

Lalaki: Miss, OK lang kayo?

Babae: (Titingin nang masama sa lalaki. Babalik sa pag ngawa.) Wahhh!

Lalaki: OK lang yan, Miss. Lahat naman yata tayo nabasa sa lakas ng ulan na ‘to.

Babae: (Hihikbi) Hindi naman yon e. (Susubukang piligan ang sarili sa pagkwento pero magpapatuloy pa rin.) Birthday ko bukas. (Pipigilan muli ang sarili pero mapapabulalas pa rin.) Wahhh!

Lalaki: (Matutuwa) Ay, happy birthday, Miss!

Babae: Umiiyak nga ako tapos, “happy”!?

Lalaki: (Mapapaisip)

Babae: 27 na ako bukas. Huhuhu.

Lalaki: Naku, ka-edad mo pala yung bunso kong kapatid na ikakasal sa isang linggo.

Babae: Wahhh!

Lalaki: Ay wag ka umiyak! (Magpa-panic.) Bata ka pa naman kagaya nung kapatid. (Magpapakaseryoso) Sinasabihan nga namin sya na masyado pa siyang bata para mag-asawa.

Babae: Hindi naman yon ang iniiyak ko. 27 na kasi ako pero parang wala pa rin akong nagawa sa buhay ko.

Lalaki: Grabe ka naman magsalita, Miss—

Babae: Kagaya nyan, wala pa akong asawa. Ni wala nga akong jowa. (hihikbi)

Lalaki: Baka naman hindi nyo pa talaga panahon magkasyota.

Babae: Simple lang nga yang jowa-jowaan na yan, di ko pa magawa. Mas lalo na yung magpakasal.

Lalaki: Darating naman yan, Miss, kahit hindi mo hinihintay.

Babae: Hindi ko naman talaga hinihintay yon. Kaya lang madalas naiisip ko na kung yung bagay na yon na kayang gawin ng lahat ng tao sa paligid ko ay hindi ko kayang gawin, papaano pa kaya yung mga malalaking bagay?

Lalaki: Iba-iba naman tayo, Miss.

Babae: Hindi rin. Tinganan mo. Alam ng lahat ng nakakakilala sa akin, I’m going to be great someday pero ano? 27 na ako pero ganito pa rin ako.

Lalaki: Bakit, Miss, ano po ba kayo?

Babae: Ordinaryo.

Lalaki: (Hindi makakaimik.)

Babae: Hindi ko naman pangarap magkaroon ng rebulto kahelera ni Lapu-Lapu at Rizal sa Maynila. I just want to do something big in life.

Lalaki: Hindi pa naman huli para magawa niyo ang pinapangarap niyo. Si Julio Ingelias nga 40 years old na siya nang madiscover niyang marunong siyang kumanta.

Magsisimula nang humina ang ulan.

Babae: (Sisinghot.) Ganoon? E di may pag-asa pa pala ako!

Lalaki: Oo naman, Miss. Sabi nga ng Lola ko noon, habang buhay pa ang isang tao, limitless ang capacity niya to do great things.

Babae: Ang totoo niyan, ayaw ko naman talagang sumikat. Gusto ko lang maka-contribute ng something good for the people around me para naman pagtulog ko sa gabi, maghihilik ako ng nakangiti.

Lalaki: Kaya mo yan, Miss. At kung ano pa man ang iba mo pang hinahanap, makikita mo rin sila balang araw.

Tuluyan nang titila ang ulan.

Babae: (Aayusin ang sarili. Ngingiti.) Pasensya na’t kailangan mo pang makita yung pag ngawa ko kanina.

Lalaki: Ayos lang yon, Miss. Birthday mo naman e. Happy birthday nga pala ulit.
Babae: Salamat.

May titigil na FX sa harapan ng waiting shed. Matatakpan ang Lalaki at Babae.

Magdidilim ang entablado.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Malaya? Ows?!

Kuha ng watawat sa harap ni Rizal sa Luneta

Araw ng kalayaan natin ngayon pero bakit lahat yata ng Pinoy ay kumakayod? Bakit hindi tayo malayang naglalamyerda sa kung saan sana natin gusto?

Marahil dahil din sa kalayaan. Nagawa ni Madam President na i-urong ang isang National Holiday sa isang mas maagang araw, para nga naman hindi ipit ang bakasyon. Gayunpaman, kakaiba pa rin na ganuon-ganoon na lang ang pagrereschedule ng isang makasaysayang araw para sa bayan natin.

Hindi naman ako magpapanggap. Naenjoy ko rin naman ang long weekend dahil nga kahapon, Lunes, e walang pasok. Pero hindi ko naramdaman ang dahilan kung bakit paid holiday kahapon. Hindi naman kasi ika-12 ng Hunyo, di tulad ngayon. May pagkakaiba talaga ang kahapon at ngayon.

Para tuloy tinutuya ang ating “kalayaan”. Malaya kuno pero, tingnan nyo, kayang idikta ng isang tao kung anong araw natin gugunitain ang ika-109 na taon ng ating pagiging malaya sa mga mananakop.

Kung sabagay, hindi rin naman tayo tunay na malaya sa mga makakapangyarihang bansa sa paligid natin. Kung tunay tayong malaya sa kanila, e di sana Piso lang ang katumbas ng isang dolyar at hindi na kailangang magpaalipin ng mga kababayan natin sa bansa ng mga puti, itim, singkit, at may-anghit.

Hindi maitatanggi na marami pa tayong bigas na itatanim, aanihin, tatahipan, isasaing at kakainin bago tayo maging tunay na malaya. Pero sa ngayon, ganito muna tayo. Sa parehong araw, 109 na taon na ang nakakalipas, kung kailan nagdiwang ang mga kanuno-nunuan natin nang akalain nilang iniwan na sila ng mga tisoy na Kastila, tayo ay kumakayod; kumakain ng All-American Big Mac, French fries at Coke; nagbabasa ng latest Harry Potter book na padala pa galing London; nanunuod ng pinaka-hot na Koreanovela sa TV, hawak ang remote control na gawa sa Taiwan sa kaliwang kamay at ang Cellphone na galing Finland sa kanan!

Still on Freedom

Most schools open today, a supposed National Holiday. But since our Independence day was moved a day earlier to prevent it from being sandwiched in between two working days, we're all expected to be the slaves of whatever institution or company we "serve" even on this special day.

I deem it timely to post an essay which I wrote as commissioned by my Playwriting class instructor back in college, probably for him to know something about us.

And, on my last semester in college, this I allowed him to know...

Prison? School? What’s The Difference?

I have never been to prison but I have been to school.

If you think that my statement is purely non sequitur, I suggest that you think again. Prison and school have more things in common than most people believe. I myself am not sure if it is because of our so-called original sin why we are sentenced to attend school or if it is because we are born savages that is why we are required to enter an institution that will tame us. Whatever it is, the unwritten law—the one strongly imposed by society—which says, all of us should attend school, thinks of us as criminals who badly need rehabilitation. And, we are left with no other choice but to disregard such accusation and go to school.

Prison and school do not rhyme but, sometimes, they sound the same to me. They have numerous similarities which I am going to try to point out the best way that I can. The same as in prison, there is a time frame set for one’s stay in school. The length of time one is required to serve may vary depending on one’s performance. Being good will mean a shorter time of freedom deprivation. A behavior that defies “being good” will result to a longer sentence. If you are still confused and still cannot grasp my point, consider this analogy: Acceleration is to school as parole is to prison. Now, if you behave poorly, you are bound to get a demerit. In school, you will fail and repeat your class, while in prison that means another unwanted year or two added to your stay in the penitentiary.

The steward of the savage individuals in school and of the detained lawbreakers is another thing. They are more popularly known as teachers and wardens, respectively. Students and prisoners are compelled to please their temporary guardians. If they like you, it will be easier for you to get out. If they do not like you, you will be together longer and the relationship will simply be hellish.

Being the social individuals that we are, we can view school or prison as a venue to build friendships or enmity among classmates or inmates. A harmonious and pleasant bond with the people around you makes life fun, enlightening and stress-free. On the other hand, a hostile relationship with others characterized by rivalry, defamation, and occasional cat fights will make life more exciting and entertaining. These two “theories” which I have just bravely come up with holds true in school and prison—I think.

Both school and prison are not there just to tame you. They are there to impart ideologies which you never thought you would adhere to. When you enter both, you are turned into mere robots which passively accept programs set by the “bosses.” In the end, you either consciously or unconsciously imbibe the principles the institution you enter into advocates.

Probably one of the best things school and prison have in common is the people’s opinion and feelings towards them. Students most of the time hate school while prisoners have a logical aversion to prison cells. The bottom line is: they both want to get out as soon as possible.

I have never been to prison but I have been to school. I had been good and I had been bad that is why my stay turned out longer than it was supposed to be. I had teachers whom I pleased which made my stay pleasant. I had teachers who did not particularly like me and they made life suck worse that it usually does. In a “restricted” environment, I found friends who made me forget that I am under some kind of a rehabilitation program (I think the term reformatting is more applicable). I never made enemies but there were some people who were not so nice which allowed me to balance my sunny disposition with my “unsunny” disposition. Being in school for 17 years permitted me to acquire knowledge which I would not have gotten somewhere else. It goes without saying that I had allowed myself to become a passive robot at several points in my life. But that is besides the point.

Why is school like prison?

Because I had tried running away from it but it came after me. That explains why I am still here. However, I would like to believe that I have already served my time.

After being good for the past years, I am preparing myself to scream: “Laya na ako!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


One minute I was buying my birthday gift for my godson, the next minute my godson’s mom was texting me not to come to the party since it was raining crazy in their place. She mentioned the possibility of flood. I rested my case. I don’t like flood. I can swim but I don’t like flood.

* * *

I was heading my way home when I passed by the cinema. I checked the schedule of Pirates of The Caribbean: At World’s End. Bara-bing! I figured, I was meant to watch it so I bought one ticket and found myself a perfect spot amongst the empty seats.

I did it again. Watch a movie all by myself. No big fuss there but I have to say I’m getting used to it.

If you are in search of clarity, the third sequel to the Pirates film is not the best movie to see. I kept on wondering if I would have understood the movie more if I did some research prior to entering the theater. Then I remembered I was out to relax. And researching to understand a film would defeat the purpose of relaxing. In any case, the film was entertaining—at least those parts which I understood.

* * *

In the middle of my solitary movie “fun,” my godson’s mom texted me again to inform me that the rain had stopped and it was in fact sunny. She said that I can come over if wanted to. But I’ve already committed myself to Johnny Depp and company so I said “pass” to my godson’s first birthday party. I'm blaming the weather.

* * *

Nichi commissioned me to go back to Toy Kingdom to check out something. Then I decided window toy shopping can be a material for my blog. Hence I’ve come up with another of my list for this month, my birthday month.

Toys I Like which I CAN Live Without:

1. Lego. Lots of them. Enough to allow me construct houses. Mini houses.

2. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Aren’t they cute? You can even dress them up as Star Wars characters or as Spiderman!

3. Light Saber. The more realistic it looks, the more appealing it is to me.

4. Rotating projector nightlight. I don’t know what it is called exactly but it’s cool. The rotating projector nightlight will fill your room with stars or animals—depending on the design you choose. Good for people who are afraid of the dark.

5. Taboo. It’s some sort of a word board game. It may be fun to play.

6. Woody. Since I have Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head on my list, I might as well add Woody, the big one, the one with a real pull-string mechanism. Cute!

7. Water guns. They come in different sizes. Perfect defense against hot-headed people!

I’m done at seven. Seven toys a (nearly) 27-year-old person finds interesting to own. It’s a bit of a mystery that even I can’t seem to outgrow them.

* * *

We live in a confusing, if not confused, world. As if the indecisive weather is not enough, we all have to contend with human creation that leaves us perplexed: Movies that hardly make sense but should, otherwise something may be wrong with us; and toys which are ideally intended for kids but no normal kid could possibly afford to buy.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

7 days before 27

This was how my day was like exactly a week before I turn 27.

Wake up when the sun has been shinning brightly for quite a while. Meaning I woke up too late to go to work on time. I opted to go on a half day instead of being tardy.

The half day I spent at home flew fast in front of the PC where I was able to write a single piece.

* * *

Prepared myself to put on my contacts before leaving the house for work. And what do you know? My left lens is ripped!

So much for having a “normal” vision.

Crap! Just when I can’t afford to buy a new one, the one I have gets torn.

* * *

Sat beside a family acquaintance on the jeepney I rode to work. Family acquaintance tried to initiate an exchange of pleasantries. The following chitchat commenced:

Family Acquaintance: Nanganak na ang ate mo?

Me: Hindi pa po. Sa October pa.

FA: Ahh—(smiles) E ikaw kelan susunod.

Me (Looks away from the FA; mutters): Wala ngang jowa…

FA (Pushes the question): Kelan ka?

Me (Looks at FA and feigns a pathetic smile): Matagal pa po.

We all know that what I meant by “Matagal pa po” was “Asa pa kayo?!”

* * *

Work goes as usual which makes it less and less interesting.

(Now I’m admitting how bored I am.)

* * *

Work isn’t all that good at times but, I have to admit, my officemates aren’t bad at all.

I went out to have dinner with them along with former officemates.

At McDonalds.

Fun but rather quick.

* * *

Go do some errands. Bought spices to be brought to the better country I have never been to.

* * *

Hang for a while longer and exchange life’s updates with a friend.

* * *

Go home. Face the PC. Nurture life in the web.

* * *

Lie down and sleep.

* * *

Actually the day was no different from most days. Except this one had more highlights, mostly immature ones. Really.

I badly need to do SOMETHING some time soon.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Asar Talo

Sa front seat ng FX ako napaupo kaninang pagkagaling ko sa opisina. Napansin ko ang sticker na nakadikit sa glove compartment:

Hindi ko napigilan ang aking sarili.

Ako: (Sa driver) Seryoso kayo dyan?

Driver: (Tatawa-tawa) Chick naman kayo, ah.

Ako: Oo nga pero paano kung may lalaking umupo dito.

Driver: Patama na lang sa kanya yan. Asar talo.

Natraffic kami dahil may kotseng humarang sa break na lilikuan namin. Nainip si Driver bumaba at kinatok ang kotseng nakabara. Bumalik si Driver sa FX. Bigo. Nanatiling nakabara ang kotse sa harapan namin.

Kinwento ni Driver na bading yung nagda-drive ng kotse. Ayaw na daw i-maneuver nung bading yung kotse niya dahil mahihirapan siya. Bad trip si Driver. Stuck kami.

Naisip ko, “Asar talo pala, ha?”

**Salamat, Deney, sa picture!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How To Lose a “Guy” in 10 Seconds

* Late posting is intentional to guarantee limited readership.

I guess the title says it all. Here are seven sets of lines you can use.

You’re gonna tell me about your Jesus stuff.
I’ll laugh.
You’ll be hurt.
I’ll feel guilty.

It won’t work!

* * *

But you’re too pretty!
You wear more make-up than I do.

It won’t work!

* * *

You’re beyond weird.
You’re creepy.

It won’t work.

* * *

You’re not even nice.
And I know what you want in general.
You won’t get that thing in general from me.

I promise you,
It won’t work.

* * *

You’re cute.
But I’m not gay!

It won’t work.

* * *

Go back to school, man!
You don’t even know how to spell.

It won’t work!

* * *

You’re a wimp.

It won’t work.

Monday, June 4, 2007

My Favorite Movies

I feel that I owe a greater force a write up for a section in the Philippine Star called My Favorite Movie. And although I had my attempts to make a piece worthy of publication, I can’t get past paragraph one. I may be once again procrastinating greatness the way I’m doing with my most coveted Palanca dream.

Naughty, naughty me!

Since it is my birthday month, I’ve decided to fill the days I refuse to contemplate on matters that are of greater importance to humanity with lists of my favorite things. Ergo, as my title states, today I shall share my favorite movies of all time (at least those I can remember right now). Note that they don’t come in a particular order.

Spanglish. I have to restrain myself from pulling Adam Sandler out of our TV set to hug him every time I watch this film. He has never been lovelier than in Spanglish! Plus the good thing in this movie is the way the characters are built. The makers of this film really loved their characters—they were disturbed and flawed yet a viewer gets to appreciate and understand the characters despite how they behave. A lot of elements found in this film are also fun to deconstruct! (Ok, that’s the geek me talking!)

Alfie. Nope, it’s not just Jude Law I like in this film but the whole presentation itself. Each scene shown in this movie is well thought and is picture perfect. From the charming characters in the foreground to the graffiti wall in the background—it’s a visual and mental feast! Once you’re done digesting what you see, there’s always the plot which will compel you to think, “what’s it all about?” And “it” won’t be limited to the movie alone, that I assure you.

With Honors. Melodrama yet hits me right where it should. Whenever one gets lost in pursuit of perfection, there’s always With Honors to keep you grounded. It teaches us that the world does not revolve around the pseudo trophy we are eyeing for and that we cannot find a shortcut to the golden cup by kissing ass. Success is sweetest if we worked our hearts off and if we were able to look around us and do some good deeds along the way. Just as Simon says, “Joy. Ache.” Love. Life. Success. All full of joy and ache, joy and ache. But we don’t have to end up as losers because of the “ache.”

A League of Their Own. Baseball. Women. Sisters. Three elements of the movie that appeal to me. A League of their Own makes me want to become a good ball player for the fun of it and to piss off men out there who’d think women can’t. Women issues make me want to become a real-life activist. And sister matters make me ponder if I completely suck at this sister business more than I acknowledge.

The Matrix. Probably is the coolest movie of all. I like the action, the costumes and the concept. The makers of The Matrix are cunning in that they were able to challenge, in their effective cryptic way, several institutions and norms in our society that usually tend to dictate how we humans should be. And I don’t think they spurred any controversies by doing so unlike the Da Vinci Code which made an awfully empty noise. Just try not to concentrate on the Sleeping-Beauty kiss in the end so as not to spoil the movie.

Moulin Rouge. This movie is entertainment. Believe me that I understand my self completely when I say that Moulin Rouge is a celebration of what post modern is. I can imagine everyone in this production having fun while doing their job. I don’t usually like musicals but I’m willing to make exceptions for Moulin Rouge. The visual and auditory spectacle this film features makes watching it for the Nth time worth one’s while.

Heart and Souls. I dig the unfinished business thing and this movie was able to explore it while keeping everything light. Each of us has a Julia, Penny, Milo and Harrison within. Heart and Souls reminds us that our times are a-ticking and so there is no point in postponing the things we ought to do the way these four souls did. They are lucky they had Thomas Kenneth Railey to do things for them. We may not share the chance that had been given them so carpe diem!

Wimbledon. Suddenly tennis became sexy! Wimbledon introduces us to an athlete who’s at the last days of his career. Then we see more of this player outside the court. Then we learn to love him. I’ve always wondered how athletes think and Wimbledon just reveals what’s inside an athlete’s mind. This movie is more than just a love story; it is all about how one proves himself by being committed to his so-called passion.

Dyesebel. Yep! A Filipino movie. There’s a mermaid in this movie and she’s Pinay! How can I not like that? Dyesebel probably is the best Filipino mermaid movie there is. Plus this movie captures the 90s fashion as Alice Dixon, the actress who played Dyesebel, becomes a model in the course of the movie. “Special effects” is not bad considering the time when this film was done.

X-Men. My childhood cartoon heroes coming to life is one real movie magic! This time, the characters gain more depth as we see more of them in the flesh. Good casting and special effects are just two of this movie’s selling points. X-men also deals with issues on discrimination which make it matter. Over all, X-men is a classic, at least in its genre.

I may never get tired of watching these ten movies over and over again. That probably is my basis for having them as my favorite. I can see them for a thousandth time and yet the punch lines will still make me laugh and the plot lines will still reveal something new. Yes I did not choose them based on some scholarly film critic way which therefore make them a selection from the heart.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Blessings Instead of Sheep

To start off my birthday month, I choose to acknowledge everyone who has supported my People Power for Nichi drive.

To date we have gathered a total of Php 5,890.00 (0.19%), a far cry from the Php 3.1M goal (excluding the pre and post transplant costs) but it is nonetheless appreciated!

The 0.19% of Nichi’s Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) cost was made possible by five people whose identities I’d rather leave up to a more powerful being to recognize. To these friends and strangers who have elevated themselves to friends, my whole family’s thanks are with you. We pray that you all be blessed for your charitable hearts.

Also, a month ago, Nichi and I received a handmade greeting card and a cheque from an angel in England. The thought and effort in sending the card and cheque touched our hearts so much that I don’t mind that none of my banks would change the cheque into Peso. To this day, I’ve been holding on to the card where the cheque is still inserted. And although, I work in a greeting card company I REALLY appreciate the homemade card that came all the way from our angel in England. (NOTE TO THE ANGEL: I’m sorry I haven’t pursued the PAYPAL you suggested for easier money transfer. I have to admit that my cyberphobia gets to me despite this blog and all. I’m still looking for someone here to explain to me how it works.)

I am also grateful for everyone who has helped me spread the word: those who forwarded my emails to those within their network of friends, those who spread Nichi’s story to the best they can, and to those who have re-posted my cry for help in their respective blogs. Here’s a quick roll call:

Pinoy Blogosphere – the one that has helped me reach more people.

(If I failed to include you in the roll, please notify me :-))

A Pinoy couple, who was the relative of a friend, living in California has also been helping us find people to support Nichi’s supposed Bone Marrow Transplant. The couple has tapped a community, their Christian Community, to pray for Nichi’s healing. Tito, Tita, you know who you are, thank you! Thank you!

A website for Nichi’s cause has also been put up by Tito and Tita’s relative. Our special thanks go to her.

Several doctors have also generously shared their knowledge and opinions about Nichi’s case. We thank them for keeping their hearts intact in treating and checking my brother. May they be blessed for being more than just men and women of science to Nichi!

More people have helped us raise funds, pray, spread the word, and find doctors whose opinions are precious to us. My whole family is grateful for everything you are doing for us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

I would like to end by posting the MTV dad prepared showing some of just the few medical procedures Nichi has been through for the past year.

Had it not for hearts who so willingly loved cared for my brother, having Nichi around to this day may not have been possible. Thank you for being His instruments in keeping our Nichi alive!