Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Soaps Unlimited

Kanina sa Marimar

Nagsinungaling si Corazon kay Sir Sergio na patay na si Marimar at ang batang dinadala niya sa kanyang sinapupunan. Naniwala si Sergio kaya naman ganoon na lang ang paghagulgol niya sa puntod ni Marimar. Mabuti na lang at di niya naitulak ang puntod dahil mukhang nakapatong lang ito sa damo na di umano’y tumatakip sa lupang pinaglibingan ng ating bida. Mabuti rin at di natuluan ng luha ang puntod dahil pihadong mai-is-smudge ang mga nakasulat dito. Then again, baka naman permanent marker ang ginamit dito so keri lang.

Samantala, ang bruhang si Angelika ay tuloy pa rin ang pagpapahirap kay Renato Santibañez na nabaliw na nga yata. At siyempre ganoon pa rin ang mga damit ni Angelika: pang-outlandish bimbo noong 80s. Hindi lamang sa mundo galit si Angelika, pati sa make-up mukhang gigil na gigil rin siya.

Sa mansion naman ni Bella Aldama, chinika na ni Bella kay Inocencia ang pagpapakiusap niya kay Corazon na linlangin ang dati niyang asawa. Kaso nagsimula nang maghanap ng Daddy ang anak niyang si Cruzita. Inamin naman ni Marimar, este Bella, sa kanyang anak na di na makikilala ng bata ang kanyang tunay na ama na nang-iwan sa kanila noon. Nag-iyakan sila at saka nagyakapan.

Nakakapagtaka lang at parang hindi apat na taong gulang si Cruzita kung mag-isip at magsalita. At mukha rin siyang pito o walong taong gulang na. Baka naman hindi talaga si Sergio ang tatay nung bata? At baka di rin si Marimar/Bella ang nanay niya. In short baka napalitan siya sa ospital o sa Amerika kung saan sila nanirahan ng nanay niya at kung saan kuminis ang kutis ni Inocencia.

Patuloy naman ang pangungulit ni Marvin Agustin (Di ko alam ang pangalan ng character niya at wala rin sa website ng Marimar at GMA) kay Bella. Ayan tuloy nabasted siya.

Tapos si Sergio, ayun at nag-iiinom na naman. Nagbasag pa ng bote sa may sementeryo. Mabuti na lang at hindi pa undas kung hindi, huli siya sa kasong paglabag sa liquor ban!

Naku, ano naman kaya ang mangyayari bukas sa…

Mah-rih-mar! Aw!

* * *

We all know that the soap operas we see today have almost the same formula as the ones we’ve seen since we were toddlers. Their presence just proves how much of an industry they have become and how lucrative they may be.

TV show producers and TV networks make big bucks out of them. Meanwhile, these shows trick us into spending our time in something less than worthy of our second.

But we indulge. And no matter what our reasons are for doing so, we often times catch ourselves staring at the boob tube longer than we intended. For one, we willingly hold our breaths to discover what happens next to our favorite characters. And two, the shows we watch are deliberately stretched to cover very expensive airtime that makes the people we see on TV and behind it richer by the second.

So how do they stretch what-could-have-been-a-30-minute-show into a one-hour-telenovela? Aside from letting the show run for years, here are some of TV geniuses’ prolonging-a-show tactics:

1. Provide a recap that would run from eight to ten minutes. We wouldn’t want those who missed yesterday’s episode get lost, do we?

2. Add as many love angles as possible. That’s how we complicate our plot. We know our audience can handle it: Ms. X being romantically linked to Mr. Y who dated Ms. A, the former girlfriend of Mr. M and now the wife of Ms. X’s dad who previously introduced the better man, Mr. T, to his daughter Ms. X who, by the way, once kissed Mr. M…

3. Resurrect the dead. Wait, our viewers aren’t done with character C yet. Let’s bring him back from the dead and let him wreak more havoc!

4. Provide one-minute flashbacks every now and then. Let’s give our audience the benefit of an automatic rewind button.

5. Let the actors stare at each other for more than 10 excruciating seconds. Pensive scenes can be a big break for our stars. Let’s leave them be for a while to allow them to show of their talents…(5 seconds) waiting for a show of talent…(another five seconds) still nothing…(five seconds more) Ok that’s enough!

6. Display one scene using five different cameras. We can’t decide which camera angles should go! The camera shots are too good to throw away. Let’s just use everything we captured!

7. Put the missing-real-parents twist. The show needs excitement! The show needs adventure! And it has to be “unpredictable” so that our viewers wouldn’t easily know that our hero’s real parents are…

8. While you’re at it, throw in twins or sisters that have their identities swapped since birth or during the course of the series. That’ll give our viewers more to talk about tomorrow. And it will most definitely sell (not buy) us more time.

9. Don’t forget the perennial gunpoint scene speech that will definitely keep the viewers glued to their seats. We can’t just let the villain shoot anyone without revealing his/her motives and other future plans. Come on, give him/her the moment for a soliloquy, anyway s/he’s holding the gun which somehow resembles a microphone.

10. And finally, deliver an episode in several servings of one-minute glimpses with ten minute-advertisements in between. Let’s hold our audiences to their necks while our other hand reaps ca-ching, ca-ching. Besides, people have to pee in between scenes, don’t they?

There-youh-goh! Aw!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

May I beg Your Pardon?

“Excuse me, may I beg your pardon?”

That’s something I learned in grade one. Ms. Valdez, my homeroom adviser and English teacher who I felt did not particularly like me, taught us that polite way of asking someone to repeat what s/he just said.

According to her, it’s more courteous than blurting out, “What?”

* * *

Today President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo granted executive clemency to Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada thereby restoring the convicted ex-president’s civil and political rights.

Wow, how compassionate of our president!

An absolute pardon.

Excuse me but I really have to say this, “What?!?”

* * *

Here’s the deal. We are raised in such a way that we are most likely inclined to do the right things. And so we get punished for every blunder we commit. Somehow we realize where we went wrong and how that harmed or could have harmed us or others. And if we keep an open mind, we learn our lesson and do better next time.

Erap, he screwed up. He screwed not himself, not his family, but the whole Filipino people. He did that at the ripe old age of 63. (Well at least that’s when he got caught.)

He was detained for 6 ½ years, not on some cold and cramped prison cell, but on a rather comfy camp. And I bet his food still tasted great. I don’t think that at that long a time, he was ever deprived of an aid—someone who’d clean his stuff, including his pants and underpants.

The whole time, Erap never pleaded guilty to plunder nor perjury. He never diplayed any sign of remorse for doing the country ill. And he keeps on wearing that dang wristband with the presidential logo.

Something tells me nobody learned anything.

If I had things my way, I’d say two people are in badly need of spanking: the one who got away without learning anything, and the one who’s trying to sneak out as if we wouldn’t notice what she’s doing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Allowing Myself to be Tagged. Again.

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? 5 sila e: queenzykee, omichukiyono, octoberuplb, supremesapphire and badgerkistna

2. What were you doing at 0800? Trying to re-upload tons of our Bulacan pictures which I uploaded last night at my Multiply account which, for some reason, got lost somewhere in cyberspace.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Checking out the pictures I re-uploaded at 0800 which my friends uploaded at their sites. (can’t get enough of them!)

4. What happened to you in 2006? I became a jealous baby.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud? “I became a jealous baby.”

6. How many beverages did you have today? 2: water and iced tea.

7. What color is your hairbrush? Beige…basta wood sha. (and it’s not varnished)

8. What was the last thing you paid for? I can’t remember exactly what among these four: flowers for Nichi, today’s copy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a choco-wacko and a choco chip muffin from Dunkin’ Donuts, or the one-liter concentrated pack of iced tea powder.

9. Where were you last night? Before I got home, I was at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Ortigas, prior to that I was in traffic-free NLEX, and earlier than that I was in Bulacan.

10. What color is your front door? Naninilaw na white. Jaundiced white (para shala-shalahan). Acheche!

11. Where do you keep your change? Pag sinisipag, sa coin purse. Kapag nagmamadali, sa pocket. Kapag tinatamad, kahit saan ko maisuksok sa bag ko.

12. What’s the weather like today? Aba e naulan!

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? I usually go for coffee crumble, pede din quezo real. Sometines I still crave for Cookies and Cream.

14. What excites you? Random amazing things, events and maybe even people. Swimming excites me din pala as well as weekend getaways with my berks.

15. Do you want to cut your hair? Most of the time, I get the urge to shave it. Baka lang matakot ang students ko kapag pumasok ako na kalbo.

16. Are you over the age of 25? Yes! Why?

17. Do you talk a lot? Pag feel ko, yes. But the weird thing about me is, whenever I start hearing my voice talking for quite a long while, nagsasawa ako sa tunog. That’s when I shut up.

18. Do you watch the O.C.? No. I saw part of one of its episodes. Najologs-an ako. Naisip ko, “ganito ba ka-jologs yung Dawson’s Creek?” (Nyak, do I sound old?) Wait, now I’m not sure if it was the O. C. or One Tree Hill I saw. May difference ba sila?

19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Tyler! Tatay ni Liv. Siya lang yata. Di pa kami close! American kasi yung "Steven" parang "Heather." Pinoy lang kasi ang crowd ko. Pero mayroon akong kakilalang "Heather."

20. Do you make up your own words? Yes. Minsan they invade my legitimate lexicon (yung mga natututunan sa dictionary) which sometimes brings the writer me into grammatical troubles.

21. Are you a jealous person? Ipinanganak yata akong ganoon. Baka it came with the middle-child package. But I’m doing my best to limit it the same way I am trying to regulate my OC-ness.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Arjane

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Krisleen, Kistna, Kate (marami akong friends na (may) K)

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Dad

25. What does the last text message you received say? "Korek. Idol ko nga yan db. Kaya lng naturn off ako. Suplado." (We were talking about Tado of the defunct show Strangebrew.)

26. Do you chew on your straw? No. Nakakapangit yon ng straw. Ayaw ko ng pangit!

27. Do you have curly hair? No. Pero balang araw papakulot ako. Siguro before I shave my hair off.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Sa banyo.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? “Rudest person in my life”? Such strong accusation naman! But lately, my, now, youngest brother IS rude. Shet, namana yata sa akin!

30. What was the last thing you ate? 3-day-old sinigang (naniniwala kaming hindi napapanis ang sinigang!), rice and fried liempo.

31. Will you get married in the future? I honestly have no idea.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? Hmmm…di siguro maganda yung mga napanood ko (lahat old movies) kasi I can’t remember them.

33. Is there anyone you like right now? Kaya yata hindi ako ma-ge-get married in the future kasi wala akong like.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes? Kanina lang, after ng 3-day-old sinigang and company.

35. Are you currently depressed? At this moment, no. Perhaps when I turn off the light, lie down and close my eyes, I’ll be depressed again. Kung tomador lang ako, magagaya na ako sa aking good friend na may bote ng gin na nakasiksik sa ilalim ng unan.

36. Did you cry today? Yes. Sa Ossuary ni Nichi.

37. Why did you answer and post this? So that I could get away with this post instead of a long essay. Tinatamad akong mag-isip and mag-type. But maybe after this mag-flow na ulit ang words. Who knows? At siyempre si Ging kasi ang nag-tag sa akin. (Naks!)

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey: luna, faith, kistna, char, and Nikka.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

At 20 Pounds Over

Our annual physical exam just revealed that I am 20 lbs. overweight. Not that I didn’t expect it. I feel each of those pounds everyday. Well, at least the 10 units of them.

I think I have always been 10 lbs. overweight. Ever since I hit puberty, my metabolism has decided to slow itself down. That’s when I started collecting the extra pounds.

However still, during the peak of our preparations for our high school intramurals, when our cheering practice hours hit the inhumane level, I’d lose five to eight pounds, thus leaving me a little above my desirable body weight given my height, which some experts may say is forgivable/negligible.

It amazes me how I was born at around six pounds heavy then gained the extra 100++ lbs today. Must be due to all I’ve eaten, drank and munched in small quantities for 27 years. It helps that nowadays, going up and down the stairs is the only exercise I get.

It is not so easy to believe that at one point in my younger years, my mom told me, “Maawa ka naman sa katawan mo. Kumain ka.

Oh how I remember that so well! I didn’t realize then that the day will come when I’ll be telling myself, “Maawa ka naman sa katawan mo. Tama ka na sa pagkain.”

The thing is, in my formative years, I’d say that’s from birth to the years prior to puberty, I was always thin. I never really had problems with people noticing my weight except for my mom, of course. But no one really nagged or teased me about being fat. So I wasn’t designed to be conscious of my weight.

And when I started getting fat, so to speak, I didn’t mind people telling me that I am bigger than I am supposed to be. I let them say their piece and that’s about it. Their opinion about my weight doesn’t damage me at all.

The only time I get bothered by the extra weight is when I start feeling them. When the bulges around my waist impede my breathing. When I have a hard time finding the clothes that fit me perfectly. When I get tired easily just by doing not-so-strenuous work. When I can’t swim one lap because I have to stop and catch my breath. When the clothes I usually wear suddenly “shrinks” and, unfortunately, my uniforms are not immune to “shrinking.” When I look in the mirror and wonder for a second if I’m pregnant. Yikes!

Perhaps the last one drove me to enroll myself one fateful day at a gym that disguises itself as a club. That and a bit of peer coaxing. Even I cannot believe I did that. As much as I would like to say that it was good while it lasted, it wasn’t.

A big chunk of it is because of me. I can barely find the will inside me to commit to a lifestyle that includes voluntarily exercising. I guess I didn’t have the motivation they were pointing out. The one which is supposed to get me started and get me into the habit which in turn was supposed to keep me going.

Let me clarify that I am not all that lazy. I do sports as long as I find it fun. Going to the gym, I mean club, wasn’t fun for me. I keep on wondering why the hell I am paying big bucks to be tortured by some machine. The only consolation I had was the cable TV but we have cable at home so it didn’t really matter. At the end of it all, I still would have rather jogged outside or rode a bike al fresco than in some enclosed room with strangers who are dealing with more than just weight problems of their own.

It was definitely money not well spent. I grieve for the dream camera that could have been mine if only…

But that’s life! We don’t really make good choices all the time right? At least I learned something. Like trying not to bite off something more than I can chew.

If only I’d do that faithfully, I guess I be saying goodbye to the extra weight. And then I wouldn’t feel crappy in my tight uniform.


I got a text message from my Dad that Nichi’s “tombstone” at the ossuary, where Nichi's ashes lie, now has his name inscripted on it. Unfortunately the silver letters we waited for for around three months were kind of anti-climactic because, as my Dad reported it, they misspelled Nichi’s name.

They skipped the “h.”

I checked it out tonight before going home; it really didn’t have the “h” on “Nichole.”

The text goes:

Joseph Nicole L. Delgado
May 12, 1994 July 24, 2007

I wasn’t able to take a picture of it. It was pretty much dark at the ossuary. Still, there is something distressing about seeing your family’s name, especially that of your youngest brother, on a lot for the dead.

It kind of seals the deal. That he really is the one interred there. And reality bites as if it never does on a daily basis.

If I were to add an epitaph on Nichi’s new pad’s façade, I’ll write:

“Here lie the remains of the young man who made a lot of people happy."
Because that is reality. The non-biting realty.

****Late post: Here's Nichi's silver label:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day—Of Gods and Dung

This post is in unity with the Blog Action Day Movement!, millions of bloggers’ attempt to share their voice in one day, all for the sake of our environment.

Of Gods and Dung

“Our problem with filth scattered all over town is getting worse, Kapitan Tano.” Roy told the town’s head.

“I know that, son. That’s the reason why I have ordered our tanods to capture wandering animals especially at night. We cannot risk anyone getting sick because some uncivilized citizen forgot to chain his pet.”

These were Kapitan Tano’s strong words before the plague began hitting the town of Pembo. Everyday, there would be a new set of animal dung scattered around the town’s grounds. The unsanitary condition inevitably caused many of the townspeople to be sick, reaching a quota that resembles an outbreak.

“We have done everything, Kapitan Tano. Almost all of the animals which populate our place are detained in the capitol’s slaughter house; still our problem with filth remains unresolved.” Said one tanod.

“What would you say if tomorrow night, we all go on a crusade? We will not sleep until we find out what’s causing this.” Kapitan Tano replied.

“Anything for our family’s sake, Kapitan.” Retorted the tanods in unison.

Come the crusade night, Kapitan Tano and his men set out with a bolo in their right hand and a lighted torch in their left. Kapitan Tano himself divided his men to make sure that they get the place covered. Kapitan then hopped from one vicinity to another to check out for himself the goings on in their town after the sun has set and after majority the people have retired to their beds.

Aside from the few men he saw dumping their day’s accumulated rubbish to the riverside, he did not notice anything unusual. Although from afar he could hear reverberating sounds followed by a masked thump of a solid body hitting the ground.
“Illegal loggers,” one of Kapitan’s tanods whispered. “They usually come out at night to do their business. They think no one can hear them, but we do.”

Kapitan Tano couldn’t help but scratch his head. “When will they ever stop?" he thought.

While making their rounds, Kapitan Tano and some of his tanods reached the newly opened midnight bar located at the least remote area of his jurisdiction. Since he was tired, he decided to enter the establishment to get some refreshment.

Upon penetrating the blinking lights and deafening sound the place initially offers, he noticed that the place is packed. The people in there were very much alive, too. They were dancing, drinking, and performing private activities in the “publicness” of the place. It was an ultimate rave party in there. Everyone was happy as they engage their own form of orgy.

Kapitan Tano could not stand the aura of the sinful house. Without further ado, he left the place. He could not help but wonder how such establishment prospered in his town, in his jurisdiction. The next morning he ordered that the establishment be closed.

“Kapitan, that is not our concern right now. We have a problem with filth, remember? Why don’t we concentrate on it first?” reacted one of Kapitan Tano’s subjects.

“Don’t you want us to clean up our town? Isn’t shutting down a house of sin a way of cleansing our town? And while were at it, why don’t we prohibit our people from discarding their trash irresponsibly?” Kapitan Tano insisted. “Starting today, too, I myself will make sure that those illegal loggers who rape our forests will put a stop to their abuse.”

The tanods had no choice but to obey the kapitan’s instructions. They raided the establishment and had it closed. They also reprimanded those who treated nature as a one big dumpsite. On the other hand, those who hid in the dark while exploiting their forests were put behind bars. They did all these in one night.

The next morning, the filth was gone. The mysterious lumps of dung scattered around suddenly disappeared.

“We did it.” Kapitan Tano said. “We have cleansed our town. We have appeased the gods who are giving us back the filth our townspeople created by engaging in their evil ways. Our problem is now over.”

With that the town regained its former vitality as the plague subsided and the dung vanished.

We disrespect nature and we disrespect ourselves. Let’s put an end to this now. Otherwise nature may soon get back at us. When that time comes, we will all lose this dirty game we seem to love to play.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sa Simoy ng Malamig na Hangin

Malamig na ang simoy ng hangin. Nangangahulugan lamang na paparating na ang Pasko.

Ngunit ang bawat ihip ng malamig na hangin na dati kong inaasam-asam, ngayon ay kurot sa nagluluksa kong puso. Masakit nitong pinapaalala sa akin na darating ang Pasko kahit na malungkot ako. Kahit na tumitigil ang mundo ko sa bawat alaala ng yumao kong kapatid.

Hindi ko alam kung papaano na nga ba ang gagawin ko pagsapit ng araw kung saan lahat ay nagsasaya. Lahat ay nagpapasalamat kung ano ang mayroon sila.

Natatakot ako na ngayong taon, ang bukod-tanging mananahan sa isip ko ay yaong wala sa akin. Ang kapatid ko. Siyang laging masayang nag-aabang ng Pasko. Siyang isa sa mga hinahandugan ko ng pinakaespesyal na regalong nakayanan ko.

Marahil ay tutulo na lamang ang mga luha, mas marami kaysa sa araw araw kong itinatangis. Siguro’y aatakihin ako ng sakit na araw araw kong sinusubukang ikubli para lang magmukhang normal at matatag.

Ngunit ang katotohanan, naglalakad ako, nagtatrabaho, nakikihalubilo sa kapwa ko at patuloy na namumuhay nang butas ang pagkatao. May kulang sa akin. Nailibing iyon kasama ng aking kapatid.

Madalas akong humingi ng tawad sa kanya dahil nagkakaganito ako gayong sinabi ko sa kanya bago siya pumanaw na wala siyang dapat alalahanin sakaling piliin niyang mamahinga. Hindi ko akalain na mahirap pala ang ipinangako ko sa kanya.

Maramot ako sa pamamahagi ng aking pagmamahal. Sadyang pili lamang ang mga tao kung kanino kaya kong ipadama ang pagmamahal ko nang walang pag-aalinlangan. Nakakalungkot dahil isa pa sa kanila ang kinailangang mawala.

Marahil nga may dahilan kung bakit dapat mangyari ito. Kung bakit dapat pumanaw ng kapatid ko. Kung bakit dapat kong danasin ang ganitong sakit. Maski sa gitna ng mga kirot na nadarama ko, kaya kong ibigay ang mga dahilang iyon. Lamang, hindi nito mapapawi ang kalungkutan ko na dala ng panghihinayang at pag-aasam na makapiling ko muli ang kapatid ko.

Ewan ko kung gaano katagal ako magtitiis at kung ilang beses ako dapat humingi ng tawad sa kalungkutan kong ito. Hindi ko talaga alam.

Sa ngayon kailangan ko lang talagang mabuhay sa katotohanang wala na siya at kahit ano pang iyak ang gawin ko ay hindi na siya muling babalik. Kailangan kong ikurap ang aking mga mata para mabura ang anumang larawan niya habang siya’y naghihirap, ang mga nakakabagabag na sulyap sa mga mas malala pang bagay na kanyang tiniis.

Ang alaala na lang ng kanyang mga ngiti ang magliligtas sa akin. Iyon ang magpapaalala sa akin na di na ako dapat malungkot. Hindi ko na dapat alalahanin pa kung ano ang dapat ko pang nagawa at kung ano ang mga naging pagkukulang ko. Hindi na iyon mahalaga ngayon.

Mahal na mahal ko ang kapatid ko bagaman may mga panahong di kami nagkakasundo o may pagkukulang ako. Alam ko naman na mahal din niya ako. Gaya nga ng sinabi niya sa akin noon, kung gaano ko man siya kamahal, ang pagmamahal niya sa akin, “lampas pa doon!”

At kung kakayanin ko, iisipin ko na lang na hindi kurot at pait ang dulot ng malamig na simoy ng hangin. Bagkus, iyon ang kanyang mga halik na dati na niyang, walang pag-aatubiling binibigay sa akin.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gobble D' Gulp

I can’t remember who said, “We eat to live, not live to eat.” Perhaps after today, I don’t think I’d want to know.

So what if I indulged with the calling of my palate? Who cares if I fed my inner glutton? One day of the epicurean lifestyle doesn’t make me evil, right? Although I have to admit, it can surely make me fat! But that’s the least of my worries.

I started the day with last night’s leftovers. I reheated the sautéed cabbage (pinasosyal na ginisang repolyo!) then fried the extra chicken wings I didn’t cook last night. Those plus rice were my breakfast.

I like sautéed cabbage! I’d be happy to have it, and it alone, to comprise my meal in any given day.

Next, I was off to the dentist for my scheduled dental prophylaxis. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I had my teeth cleaned before consuming more food!

The thing is, I am supposed to have lunch with my Filstar friends this noon. I just squeezed in visiting the dentist to make the dressing up, traveling and time outside the house more worthwhile.

In traversing the vast mall called Trinoma, we, Filstar friends and I, picked the restaurant that will feed our grumbling stomachs. A Venetto it was. It has the perfect menu to satisfy my nearly insatiable craving for cheese. Of course I like pizza and pasta but it is mainly because of the cheese. And even if I don’t eat any type of mollusk, I didn’t hesitate gorging tahong had it not for the generous melting cheese that hugged it.

The shrimp in the seafood pasta was most definitely a bonus for me. I like shrimps the same way I like crabs which is really bordering on love.

I must have filled myself to the brim. Yet I don’t regret stuffing my mouth with every morsel of pizza, pasta, shrimp and tahong from my plate.

You know how pizza makers never seem to master slicing a pizza into equal parts? Well, let’s just say I had been a happy beneficiary of their inability. I have to confess that I must have had the lion’s share of the pizza served on our table. For some greedy reason, I voluntarily took biggest slice that noon. I just felt like I needed to—eat like a man, that is.

To burn the full meal we just partook, we went the to the al fresco part of the mall to enjoy the wind and explore the possibilities of dessert.

The inviting rooftop view, however, was less than pleasant. From the luxurious towers of Trinoma, a horizon with three juxtaposing layers can be seen: in the nearest part is a line of parked cars for the rich and semi-rich, following it is a strip of construction site that somehow promises an improved future, then on the almost-outskirts is a cramped group of shanties (Barung-barong is a more accurate term.) which emphasizes that not all of us can have it all. And they that can’t, they’re kept away from those who can. In this scenario, the capability to construct a better future, the ability to improve one’s life is the line that divides.

The sight is really more than explicit.

As selfish as it may seem, we didn’t let the distressing picture be our dessert.

We were in Jack’s Loft and although the menu was tempting, I didn’t get myself anything. I thought I had no more room for food plus I’m on a tight budget. But Kate shared the cookie she ordered and I didn’t dare to say no to her offer. I like cookies. However the cookie Kate ordered, although humongous, was rather dry and crunchy. Usually, I want my cookie chewy and chocolate-y. But that’s just me.

Pregnant Aleth also shared her Jack’s Loft chocolate mousse cheesecake. Oh, I love chocolate mousse! Thank God for Aleth’s order. But it’s cheesecake so it was a bit sour. Even so, the Oreo crust was alarmingly thin. It did too little in complementing the first two creamy layers. It is a shame serving cheesecakes with such thin crust!

We said our goodbyes, Filstar friends and I, before we ate more food. Which was good. Otherwise staying together, chomping another set of whatnots would have been a sin. A group sin.

I was about to head home when I detoured elsewhere. It is a place I deem haven for a variety of food stalls strategically placed everywhere. People call it St. Francis Square. (Is the rhyme necessary?)

Even if I wasn’t that hungry, I fell in line to get me one large order of mojo potatoes, then, later, two orders of siomai. Hah, two of my favorites! Where siomais are concerned, the chili garlic sauce is key.

Let it be known that I didn’t eat the two takeouts right away. I brought them home and shared—the mojo potatoes before dinner and the siomai during dinner. And dinner was completed by the hot nilagang baka (beef stew?) Dad cooked. I am not really a fan of nilagang baka but the way Dad prepared it and served it hot, made me realize I’m glad I’m home.

I wrapped up the day-spent gobbling all my favorite food with another staple favorite: corn on the cob. I ate less than half the cob. That makes a big difference between binging and not. Or am I just trying to convince myself?

Just as well, I know the day satisfied each and every craving I have whether it’s for vegetables, cheese, seafood, sweets, potatoes, siomai, soup or corn--all of which I selectively love.

Although I know that, just like the people who live in the almost-outskirts as viewed from the towers of Trinoma, I too can’t have it all, I at least enjoyed a slice of life I can afford to devour. And even if my heart and mind haven’t been happy, at least my stomach was.

All photos were from ging's multiply site.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My Saving Cakes

It used to be that whenever I keep my hands busy in the kitchen; I can whip up something edible and at least something sumptuous even for a discerning palate.

For a number of times, I got my Dad’s approval with regard to the meals I’ve served prompting him to say, “pwede ka nang mag-asawa.”

But lately I seem to have lost my culinary magic. The food I come up with are bland even for me. I can no longer produce food. I cook paper.

The stripping off of the culinary gift must have happened the day I realized I’m no wife material. That in the bleak future, I’d be devouring take-outs or settling with whatever it is I can heat and stuff inside my mouth without getting sick.

I feel bad for my lost gift, my supposed inherent skill. Apparently, it’s not only people I lose nowadays.

Perhaps I can limit, if not stop, my cooking mishap by going back to the basics. By mastering the item in the menu I initially became good at.

At this point, the perfect pancakes may just do the trick.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

He Did It Again!

Eventually Manny Pacquiao won his gloved fight against Mexican, Marco Antonio Barrera.

But instead of being crazy happy for Manny, the momentum in celebrating had been spoiled by veerryy loooong advertisements, not including the "brought to you by" parts which were rather persistent to the point of being makulit.

Since I didn't watch the "Will to Win" on pay-per-view, I was one of many who had to endure the network's abuse with ads. All of us who relied on free TV were held by the necks and we all had to hold our breaths as we pause several minutes for each of the 12 tedious rounds that comprised the fight.

If I am not mistaken, the main event started airing at around 1 p.m. and ended at some minutes past 4. I swear, if Pacquiao and Barrera's battle were really that long, they'd both be dead by now. All out of exhaustion.

The networks just made big money. And they had Barrera partly to thank. Had it not for the guy consistently playing it safe, keeping away from Manny's jabs, the show wouldn't run for 12 rounds.

And two more things to be thankful about the semi-dragging fistfight: one, major and minor thoroughfares in the country are traffic jam-free for hours; and two, our nation had just been crime-free for THAT long!

Congrats to Manny, his coach, and his staff!

***Artwork is posted from http://manny-pacquiao.net/

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Do The Mario!

One indication that I am indeed old—well, relatively speaking of course—is my being trapped in the Mario zone. Where video games are concerned, it’s Super Mario Brothers which I will never get tired of playing. I would have said “I excelled” but I never really finished the game so I would be lying with such claim.

Isn’t Mario a classic? Before Resident Evil, Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider, House of the Dead, and other adventure games (Were the ones I cited considered adventure games?) there was Mario.

I was one of those kids who weren’t allowed to play video games, but during the times I got to play (mostly time my siblings and I sneaked out of our house and into our neighbor’s), it was Mario I engaged in.

And so, I’ve decided to share this video clip from youtube which may well be every Super Mario Brothers fan’s nostalgic moment.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Blessed Be

I might be speaking for myself if I’d say that we’ve barely settled in our new office. For starters, I still have a box containing a mix of personal stuff and official things to rummage through and I have a lot more files to arrange.

I cannot enjoy the comfort of my table because we’ve been warned that the tables will be pulled out any minute to be repainted to which I silently protest. Why should a furniture be painted if the “painting” isn’t done to beautify it? My table’s fine except for the dents and a few scratches—all of which are “moving” wounds.

Somehow, me and my table with its faux wooden finish have formed some sort of a bond. I would really hate to be separated from it only to be reunited to a plain and glum, crudely-painted gray table afterwards.

I may be overreacting. It’s just that I’m not so ecstatic at seeing something nice turn to something…dead.

Well, I guess I don’t have any choice but to submit my table and have it repainted in order for it to blend with our new office’s walls.

Speaking of new office, it was the blessing of our new office a while ago. However it was only in noon time that we, the employees, got into the festive mood.

After a mass, there was the blessing of the entire building and the traditional throwing of blessed coins. I remember having fun diving in a sea of people sprinkled with coins when I was younger but things change when you grow up. It’s fun, alright. But somehow, the coins being thrown in the air which is forming a projectile heading towards you elicit fear. Fear that the coins will hit my face, especially the big, heavy ones. Aww!

Well of course I would have deemed it a personal blessing if a coin landed on my waiting palms which doubled as shields. But as luck would have it, none chose me.

In any case I share in the happiness of my co-workers who were able to get their share of coins, lots of coins!

And the bountiful food wasn’t bad either.

Here are some photos from the said event:

Blessing starts at the entrance. Can you spot me? (hehe)

See the airborne coins? Heaven forbid they hit me!

And here's our local version of that "traditonal" Hallmark shot.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What’s Up With the World Today?

Senate to continue ZTE mess investigation ‘off-cam’ - solon

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, denied going easy on the investigation into the $329.4-million ZTE controversy even as he insisted that the probe will continue minus the live television broadcasts. GMANews.TV

Check out full story here.

* * *

RP doctors: Rectify racist slur in 'Desperate Housewives'
10/04/2007 10:27 PM

A group of Filipino medical professionals sought the producers of “Desperate Housewives"and ABC Studios to rectify the “damage that has already been done" to the sector by the racist slur in the show.

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) on Thursday demanded that the insulting remark about “some Philippine med schools" be deleted from the now infamous scene.

In an interview with GMA News’ 24 Oras, Dr. Romeo Encanto, PMA vice president, said that with the dent made on the reputation of the Philippine medical industry, only prompt action from the show can correct it. “We are happy that they [ABC] issued an apology but the portion must be erased or a rectification must be made," said Encanto. GMANews.TV

Check out full story here.

* * *

Pacquiao on threat: I love surprises
By Recah TrinidadInquirer
Last updated 04:52am (Mla time) 10/04/2007

LAS VEGAS -- It didn’t take long for word to reach Manny Pacquiao that Marco Antonio Barrera plans a “surprise” that will “shock the Philippines” in their coming rematch at the Mandalay Bay.

It didn’t take long, too, for the Filipino superstar to belittle the claim.

“He has a surprise?” Pacquiao said after the media presentation by both fighters at the site of the Oct. 6 bout here. “I’m used to surprises. INQUIRER.net

For complete story click here.

* * *

Earth-like planet forming 424 light years away
By Mira ObermanAgence France-Presse
Last updated 09:35am (Mla time) 10/04/2007

CHICAGO -- Snuggled into a huge belt of warm dust, an Earth-like planet appears to be forming some 424 light years away, scientists said Wednesday.

At somewhere between 10 and 16 million years old, the planet's solar system is still in its "very young adolescence," but is at the perfect age for forming Earth-like planets, said lead researcher Carey Lisse of Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory.

For complete story click here.

* * *

Britney Spears gets visitation rights to her kids
Agence France-PresseLast updated 11:43am (Mla time) 10/04/2007

LOS ANGELES --Troubled pop star Britney Spears Wednesday got visitation rights to her two toddlers while they remain in custody of her ex-husband, aspiring rapper Kevin Federline, his lawyer told reporters.

Lawyers of the former couple attended a new hearing Wednesday on the custody battle for Sean Preston, two, and Jayden James, one.

On Monday, 25-year-old Spears lost custody of her children "until further order of the court," after sharing temporary custody with Federline, 29, since their divorce at the end of July.

For complete story click here.

* * *

And Finally…

A 7.4-pound, 20.5-inch long baby girl is born via C-section today, October 4, 2007, at around 3 p. m. Singapore (and Philippine time).

Baby Nikha Yzabel is welcomed into this world (well, in a smaller scale it’s in Singapore) by her proud parents and equally anticipating extended family in the Philippines, plus an extra-special angel up there who must have also held his breath at the sight of cute, little Nikha.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Umm I was Tagged: 6 Degrees of Weirdness

I usually don't allow anyone to tag me (suplada?!). I'm too lazy to be part of a chain and, really, I'm not much of a chain material. But since malakas sa akin si Ody (naks!), the one who tagged me, I shall indulge.

Let's see.

"Each player of this game starts with 6 weird things about them. People who get tagged need to write a list of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, they need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. They should also leave a comment to the ones they are tagging that says, ‘you are tagged,’ and tell them to read the tagger’s blog."

Six Degrees of Weirdness:

1. Most people would think I love reading books, but it is a common misconception. I used to hate books or, more like, I’m afraid of them. There are some good books I would not have read back in college if they were handed to me in "book" form. Therefore, photocopies worked to my advantage. It gave me the feeling that I'm in control since I can write on them whenever I want. (Control freak, am I?) So now that's what I do with my books. I write on them. I jot down my reactions whenever I feel like it. I even highlight parts I want to highlight. Somehow it affirms my control over the book. Still, I’m not into novels. Thick books never fail to frighten me, except grammar books, dictionaries, and word trivia books—the types of which I seem to gravitate to.

2. In rare occasions when I do read books, novels that usually don’t go beyond 400 pages, it takes me a long time to finish them. Thanks to my short attention span and my penchant for reading aloud. Reading often lulls me to sleep, regardless of how engrossed I am. What usually happens when I’m at a reading streak is, I read then I fall asleep, when I wake up I’ll read again only to fall asleep again and so it goes. Just imagine how much of my time the whole process eats. Probably the reason why I read aloud is to keep me awake. But it also has a lot to do with me understanding what I’m reading. Let’s just say hearing what I read contributes a lot to my ability to comprehend. Then again, sometimes I get distracted by my own voice; hence I have to re-read the parts where my thoughts drifted off. Finally, my vocal cords, unlike any normal reader’s mind, cannot continue reading for hours. Perhaps that’s another reason why I fall asleep.

3. Well, I’ve already said this a lot: I talk to myself aloud. And if I’m absorbed with the “conversation,” I think I even display appropriate facial expressions and gestures which is weird because I am talking to myself. Sometimes, I will utter a joke to which I will laugh. Huh, sounds typical but wait ‘til you catch me doing it. And, by the way, I get embarrassed whenever I get caught.

4. I guess, I have a bit of autistic tendencies as I can be in the middle of people talking yet I wouldn’t hear them. I don’t know. I shut them off, I guess. They can even be talking about me but I wouldn’t know because I’m too absorbed in thinking of something else or I’m just not in the moment and my thoughts are afloat.

5. I make my own superstitions rather than observing the more traditional ones. I think it started when I was in grade school. I avoided ending the designs in my notebooks—the ones that mark a new quarter (grading period) in class—with elements that go down or at least seem to move down to avoid grades that go down. Then there’s me believing that it’s unlucky to buy a wallet for oneself. I don’t think I will be buying me one. I wouldn’t risk being trapped with a wallet that’s always empty. I once talked a friend into buying me a wallet and in turn I had to buy her one so that she, too, will be lucky. Another lucky charm is me seeing my name on plate numbers of cars. I feel like winning a misfortune-immunity challenge whenever I spot a vehicle’s plate number with my name on it. Must explain the smile.

6. Six? Hmm…I’ve never had a boyfriend. Since birth. Isn’t that weird. (Final sentence was intentionally structured as a statement of ironic fact rather than as a question.)

I’d say the number six is not enough to cover my quirks. But I guess, it’s good enough to list down the first six things that came to mind. Maybe I’d reveal another six if I get tagged again, who knows?

Now it’s Faith’s, Christmas’, Aleth’s, Nikka’s, Kate's and Annie’s turn to weirdness--the lucky six I’ve chosen to tag.