Thursday, October 15, 2009

Airbender Update

It's been so long since I've been able to post something on my long-neglected Multiply blog, but something online just caught my eye, I simply had to relate it.

To all fans of the Nickelodeon hit, Avatar: the Last Airbender cartoon series, the teaser trailer for the live action movie has already been released. The trailer revealed several things about the movie itself. First, it's going to be released in the States in the summer of 2010. That means after the Philippine elections, there'll still be something worth looking forward to.

Next, the CG effects are sure to be spectacular for this movie. In the trailer, a hooded person (presumably Aang) is seen doing an elaborate kata in the midst of a circle of lit candles. As he swishes his hands, a swirl of dust rises to show his airbending. The last part of this scene shows the same hooded person picking up his stick and doing a final swish with his body that extinguishes all the candles in the room. He then takes off his hood to show the arrow tattoo on his head and a short glimpse of his face. The camera then cuts and zooms out as "Aang" airbends toward it. As the camera keeps on zooming out, it provides a panoramic view of an Air Temple set on a cliff. A further zooming out reveals a fleet of Fire Nation ships with cannonballs of fire flying from the bigger ships toward the Air Temple. One of the fireballs streaks toward the screen, segueing to the movie title.

But heck, it's one thing to read about it, it's another thing to watch it yourself. Thus, go to this link and be blown away.


Incidentally, several newcomers as well as familiar personalities will be playing the main characters in the live action movie of The Last Airbender. Playing Aang is acting greenhorn and taekwondo expert, 11-year old Noah Ringer. I'm not that familiar with the girl playing waterbender Katara, though -- Nicola Peltz. However, perhaps the names Dev Patel and Jackson Rathbone may ring a bell. Dev Patel, of course, was the lead in the award-winning Slumdog Millionaire, and he will be taking on the role of the dark Fire Nation prince, Zuko. Meanwhile, those who swooned over the guys of Twilight will remember Jackson Rathbone who played the utterly creepy Jasper Hale. Rathbone will make a 360-degree turn and take on the role of the hilarious but fierce Water Tribe warrior-in-training, Sokka. There's no word yet about the girl who will be playing the heartless Fire Nation princess Azula, although if I were made to think of the perfect actress for the role, I'd give it to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody's Brenda Song. But then, I'm not the director, so...

I'm soooo looking forward to this movie. I hope that director M. Night Shyamalan would really do justice to this wonderful and spectacular cartoon series.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Expert Talks on Unemployment

The way people discuss the topic unemployment holds just as much appeal as discussing the topic of some airborne virus threatening to wipe out all of humanity.

I don't blame all the naysayers of the concept of unemployment, though. Many horror stories are attached to it, some of them even ending with the loss of lives.

However, I have yet to encounter a topic discussing the advantages unemployment can bring to one's life.

Yes, dear readers, there actually is something positive that comes out of unemployment, and this blog will thoroughly enumerate the many plus factors that come with being blissfully unemployed.


I have just recently returned to unemployment status last week, inevitably joining the list of jobless Filipinos. It just didn't work out with the public relations agency with whom I was connected. While instinct tells me to blame everything on my last employer, reason dictates that I am just not really designed for PR work. Lord knows though that I tried. However, after four months of trying, I just came to the conclusion that I couldn't see myself 10 years from now getting parking privileges for clients or sitting through client presentations and listening to all the lying, pretension, and hypocrisy that go on in these sessions.


This is, of course, not the first time that I was unemployed. Bing jobless and a single mother is quite an awful combination, and if I'm going to write about my own horror stories on being in such a situation, I'll have enough material for a trashy novel.

However, it was during these most trying circumstances where I came upon several life-changing lessons.


Thinking on one's feet. During the early days of my professional life, I had that advantage of resigning from a job I didn't like even without any fallback options -- and I even enjoyed the extended vacation. Life was much easier then: my dad was still in government service and there wasn't much to spend for anyway. Things became more complicated when I had a baby, got married, and my dad retired (Yes, in that order). Add to that the onset of the Asian financial crisis brought about by the fall of the Thai baht in 1999.That was the first time I actually felt the full brunt of being jobless.

Getting a new job was very difficult that time, especially since I have been languishing in media work for so long. Job openings in the career I was used to were non-existent, and we were running out of money fast, what with the baby and all. For the first time in my life, I had to make a life-changing choice for my family. Against all odds, I decided to uproot my family from Manila to my mother's province in Leyte. This eventually took a toll on my marriage, but it was a spur-of-the-moment decision that I will never ever regret making.


Trying new things. I took several stumbles after making that decision to move to Leyte. This was because I had to reorient myself with alternate means of employment. Suddenly, my experience and skills in the print medium were relegated to the background and I found myself becoming a deejay, a gender consultant, a voice teacher, and a college instructor while in Leyte. It was quite amusing for me to know that there were other facets to my capabilities that I didn't know I had. These wouldn't have surfaced if I remained in my comfort zone as a media practitioner in Manila.


Coping with disappointment. If I am going to enumerate the number of times I cried over disappointments in my career, I could fill a small bucket.

Probably the biggest disappointment I encountered in my career was not being able to continue my work in the academe. I found my trued calling in UP Tacloban, and I could actually picture myself 10 years into the future doing the same thing and not getting tired of it. For once, I felt that I was excelling in my career choice -- and the high evaluation scores I was getting from my students reinforced that thought.

Unfortunately, several individuals in UP Tacloban felt that I had to be "disposed," together with other junior faculty members who showed potential.

That experience, utterly heartbreaking as it was, taught me to move and and hope for even better things to come. I became content with the idea that I was considered too much of a threat by the powers-that-be in UP Tacloban that my existence had to be nipped in the bud.

Another advantage I got from being "sacked" from UP Tacloban was the unconditional friendship and fierce loyalty I found from a group of people who -- despite their accomplishments and illustrious track records -- treated me as one of their own. They are the most-revered senior faculty members of the UP Tacloban Humanities Division, namely Dr. Vic Sugbo, Prof. Merlie Alunan, Prof. Joycie Alegre, and Prof. Zenia Mariveles.


Jumping into the pool. It is said that jumping straight into a pool, not knowing first if it's filled with water or not, is quite foolhardy. While there is logic behind such reasoning, I find that blind pool-jumping can cause quite a rush.

And I am only too happy that I'm the kind who blindly jumps into pools because if I wasn't, I wouldn't have been able to experience the feeling of independence which I got when I decided to take a job in Cebu.

Risk-taking does have its merits, but it should also be in the form of calculated risks. This is what I took upon transferring to Cebu and taking that job as a copywriter for this BPO firm. This is the same principle that guided me when I transferred back to Manila. I would have been tied down to my comfort zones if I didn't do so.


Say a little prayer. Throughout all the highs and lows of my career life, I became a staunch advocate of the power of prayer. During those low moments when I felt that I just kept hitting the proverbial brick wall, I would just step aside, close my eyes, and murmur this prayer: "Father, into Your hands, I commend my spirit." It is sort of a surrender hat I declare to my Creator after doing what had to be done with disappointing results. Sometimes, one has to simply stand aside and just let things go on their natural course. More often than not, something g good comes out of it -- and I attribute this to a divine power, God's will, if you want to call it by a name.

I've seen this divine power at work during those moments of my unemployment when I had very little money to spare and there was still the obligation to provide food on the table. Just when I felt that I already hit rock-bottom, an opportunity suddenly presented itself to me. That unseen but omnipresent divine hand would help me out of my crises just when I ran out of aces up my sleeve, and this reinforced my faith in the existence of my Creator.

His will be done, as it is said.


Balancing the budget. Probably the biggest challenge one encounters upon the loss of his/her job is the eventual loss of a salary for the family upkeep. We usually go to work to earn money not only for ourselves but also for our family's survival. So what happens to the family when there's no more money to expect?

First, I learned the fine art of budgeting whatever money I had left. I remember a time just before we transferred to Leyte in 1999 when I could extend the purchasing power of my P100 bill for an entire week. I must admit though that I still haven't mastered this art yet. So what did I do when my budgeting skills faltered?

I moved on to the second procedure: I swallowed my pride and loaned money. This is a very difficult procedure for me because I'm not used to loaning money, but when I'm already being pushed to the wall, this is my only recourse. And I am only so grateful that I have friends and relatives who would lend me money with no additional interest. The moment I get a job, I make it a point to pay these people for their generosity. Right now, I still have several loans that need to be paid in full, but at least I'm getting there.

To minimize the dependence on loans, I would go on to the third procedure: come up with income-generating activities. So far the most successful one I ever had was holding lessons on voice and stage performance in my town in Leyte. It was physically taxing because I had to sing and dance with my young wards, but in the end it was worth it.


Being in touch with one's true self. Being unemployed also allowed me to introspect. Where did I go wrong with my last job, what could I do to prevent such a disaster next time...these were primarily what came into my mind during these situations of joblessness. Admittedly, there would be times when I got depressed with the status quo that I would sometimes get all broody with family members. However, I would eventually snap out of it and prepare my battle plan to beat this spectre of unemployment. I guess it's quite normal to get depressed, but I also realized that wallowing in self-pity is not going to solve anything.

I managed to learn a little more about myself during these moments of introspection, So far, these are what I gathered:

- I stink at jobs related to media. It is of no wonder that I don't stay too long in a media-related job.

- I am good at jobs that allow me to take control and improvise. The moment my job (or my bosses) begin to control me, I act like a caged animal whose instinct is to get out.

- I value dignity more than money. I will eventually get out of a job that will give me a higher salary but will ask for my soul in return.

- I will never stand up for injustices and broken promises in the workplace. This is where my idealism comes into play. I will stand up for what I believe is true and just.

- I will stay in a job that will not allow me to grow but will also create a positive impact on others beyond my office.

- I will stay in a job that will keep on stimulating my brain. The moment my work becomes rote/too stupid/too demeaning, that's bye-bye time for me.

I dunno if there is such a job that would allow me to place a check mark on all the above-mentioned items but so far, my work in UP Tacloban came closest. Nonetheless, I am still optimistic that I will finally stumble on that dream job very soon.


To conclude, I believe that unemployment is a challenge meant to be appreciated. It teaches people to become stronger individuals than they were before. It also allows for more creativity, ingenuity, and a little but of tapang ng apog. Furthermore, unemployment gives one the opportunity to see the Creator's hand in motion,and it is the time when one can find his/her trues friends and filter them from the fair-weather ones. It is also the most ideal test of family unity. (That's what caused my ex-husband to "fall off the family wagon," so to say.)

So with the growing spectre of unemployment looming over more and more Filipinos these days, it is important to never lose hope. It is this flickering fire of hope that distinguishes our race from others despite the many calamities -- natural or man-made -- that have befallen us. It is also unwavering hope that can raise us out of the doldrums of unemployment.

Take it from an expert.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Looking forward to the “More Final Set”

Gagawin ko ang lahat pati ang thesis mo

Wag mo lang ipagkait ang hinahanap ko

Sagutin mo lang ako aking sinta’y walang humpay na ligaya…

--Ligaya, Eraserheads

Poetic? Not exactly. But cuts right to the heart? Definitely.

It is this kind of music that brought the Eraserheads to OPM rock music stardom. It is also this kind of music that ushered the advent of a generation who clearly expressed their truest emotions: angst, happiness, frustration, anxiety, and the good ol’ “kilig” factor.

And I’m so glad to have been able to hear that kind of music one more time – live.


The Mall of Asia concert area was a-bustle with activity last March 7 due to the biggest – and reputedly the last – reunion concert of the Eraserheads entitled “Eraserheads: the Final Set.” While I did have my heart set on watching the “take two” concert of this group (I guess we all know what happened to vocalist Ely Buendia the last time), I was apprehensive at first. I was thinking: I may end up as the oldest person in the concert venue.

But when my former student and I finally made it to the MOA concert grounds, I was pleasantly surprised by the hodgepodge of people all eager to watch this rare event. Yes, there were a lot of teenagers there, but there were also a lot of thirty-somethings mingling with the younger ones.

Sa bagay, I shouldn’t be surprised: these members of the Eraserheads are also thirty-somethings themselves. It only goes to show that their music didn’t stop at touching the hearts of my generation but went on to influence the next ones as well.


Before the performance began, organizers of the event showed a colorful documentary of the musical journey taken by the E-heads from their humble beginnings as a bunch of kids cutting their classes at the UP College of Mass Comm just to engross themselves in their band’s endeavors, to their pinnacle of victory when they won in the 1999 MTV Viewers’ Choice Awards for the Best Asian Rock Group. Interspersed with actual footages of gigs they have performed in were interviews with the guys themselves. I kinda cringed at the strange and sometimes stupid answers the guys gave, thank God for Buddy Zabala (bass guitarist) who managed to redeem the group’s lack of eloquence with his straightforward and – like I said, thank God – sensible replies.

However, the Eraserheads were never really known for flowery speeches – they were known for their unique and edgy OPM sound. And that was what they proved when they finally came onstage to wow the 100,000-strong sea of fans who came together at the MOA to see them performing again.


The E-heads mixed their old and new songs during their concert, and some of their older tunes were given a different twist. Take Marcus Adoro’s reggae rendition of the pop-sounding “Wag Mo nang Itanong sa Akin” which I found to be quite appealing. Ely Buendia also rendered heart-rending versions of the “doo-be-doo-be-doo” song Kailan and the whimsical Torpedo. Raymund Marasigan meanwhile was consistently in rock mode (Our best description: baga hin nakatigol hin katol [like he got high on mosquito coil]) when he sang his three- or four-note ditties from the Circus album while jumping around like a crazed animal onstage. (Peace, Raymund! Hehehe) The audience was chanting for Buddy to do a solo number, but he simply left his other bandmates to do the chore.

Considering the big stage and the even bigger concert venue, the Eraserheads (except for Raymund) didn’t bother to explore the stage and elicit audience reaction. This could be the result of two factors: first, why would they want to move around to get the audience screaming when their music alone can do the trick? And second, I have a feeling that they were also fearful of a repeat of what happened to Ely Buendia the last time. Thus, they remained stuck to their positions almost the entire time to minimize the physical stress on their lead vocalist. There is actually still a third factor, and I should know about this since I was in the UP College of Mass Comm at the same time that they were biding their time there: these guys are getting old like me.

The Eraserheads did a musical tribute to their recently-departed friend and fellow musician, master rapper Francis Magalona, by first singing strains from his popular song, Kaleidoscope World. Then they proceeded to perform the song, Superproxy which was said to be the result of a collaboration between the late rap artist and the group. My former student further revealed that had he not succumbed to his leukemia, Francis was set to do a surprise number with the E-heads that night by rapping the last part of the said song. In lieu of the late rapper’s departure, Ely did a slower, sung version of the part slated for Francis. Afterwards, he shouted, “Mabuhay ka (Long live), Francis Magalona!” Taking the irony too seriously, some wiseguys near us said, “Wag naman…kakamatay pa lang nga e…(No…the man just died…)”

I was crossing my fingers that the group would sing Toyang, Huling El Bimbo, and Alapaap during this concert, and I was not disappointed. In fact, Huling El Bimbo was their “last” song before their encore number wherein Ely attempted to do a piano-on-fire stunt. Unfortunately, the winds at the concert area were just too strong to keep a decent fire and Ely had to settle for banging at the piano, pushing it down, and eventually stomping on it. So much for drama.

If only I wasn’t so afraid that my student and I might have a difficult time going home, we may have stayed for the E-heads’ encore. I read in the newspaper that they sang three more songs that really got the audience wild. But by the time the throngs of people got their fill of these guys’ music, my student and I were already well-planted inside an FX taxi going home.


I must admit: I am more of a Side A fan than an Eraserheads fan, primarily because I used to see these guys perform almost every UP Fair in UP Diliman’s Sunken Garden. Moreso because Raymond Marasigan was an old seatmate from my Communication Theories class who loved to borrow my notes just before an exam. (And I was the stupid sap who permitted him to do so. One simply had to admire this guy’s propensity for coming to class not even armed with a ballpen or scratch paper.) I guess too much exposure to these fellow Iskos made me a little less starstruck then. However, that didn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate their music. In fact, I was in the middle of my own thesis when Ligaya and its line about doing a thesis (see song lyrics above) became a true-blue hit. They also sang about hanging out in Kalayaan (the freshman dorm in UP Diliman), eating in CASAA (every student who has at one time or another graced the halls of UP Diliman’s Arts and Sciences Building has also eaten in CASAA), and going to Tandang Sora. These were typical Iskolar ng Bayan escapades that they sang about especially in their debut album, Electromagnetic Pop, and almost everyone from my generation related to their music – whether they were from UP or not.

About 17 years later, the Eraserheads have since disbanded and formed bands of their own – but the fact remains that as a team, they have proven themselves worthy of the title, OPM Pop Rock Icons. Their music will still be very much around for the next years to come, and even when these guys reach their 40s in a few more years, the sound they have created will bring back memories of a time when life was still filled with the mundane complexities of first love, barely getting by at school, crushes, friendship, and other simpler pleasures/challenges.

I honestly believe that there will still be a Part Three – if you are going to count the unfinished one that ended with Ely being rushed to the hospital – of the Eraserheads reunion concert, considering the unprecedented success of this Final Set. They just have to: the clamor is still too great. And this time, I hope they also go to the major cities down South because at this very moment, Visayas and Mindanao E-heads fans are gnashing their teeth in envy over their non-ability to watch the March 7 Manila concert.

Then probably they can name their concert, “Eraserheads: the more Final Set.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sneaking In some Blog Business

I've been a bad blogger.

I haven't been attending to my blogs for such a long time now, they must be feeling neglected already.

So to all my blogs, sowee...*rubs gently on PC monitor*


Been so busy the past couple of weeks since I got home from the Christmas holidays in Leyte, I just couldn't find the time to sit down and share my thoughts.

Actually, I'm still very busy, but I'm sneaking some blog business into my very hectic work sked.



Tacloban? an HUC?!


Figures. Probably the existence of tissue in the women's CR of McDo-Tacloban is proof of Tacloban becoming an HUC already.

Otherwise, there's nothing else I see in that city that would make me say that the HUC status truly becomes Tacloban.

Oh yeah, maybe the existence of the newly-opened Gaisano "mall" could also be an indicator.

As well as the existence of a KFC branch.

Very shallow indeed.


Obama! Woohoo!

Enough said.


Just transferred from my Makati bedspace to a room of my own in Bacood, Sta. Mesa. It's very spacious, actually. It even has its own mini-kitchen and CR. (Yes, Nirvana!) It's a little farther from my office, though, but it's only a few short rides to and from the office. Not too cumbersome.

And I get to ride a banca over the murky Pasig River!

The stench is not that awful once your nose gets used to it, actually. And it's only worth P2 for one way.

The principle behind this Pasig banca is much like our beloved "gakit" in our barrios. No rowing is involved. The bangkero just has to pull the banca across the river using this long thick rope. Cuts my jeep trips by two. And no traffic!

Will be posting pictures soon to give you a better idea how it goes.


You guys should see my Facebook.

I've got my friends, old flames, classmates, orgmates, and batchmates from as far back as my elementary years in it.

Online reunions. And to think that twenty years ago, we were only dreaming of the possibility.

If you former students of mine are wondering what the heck I was like from those ancient times, go visit my Facebook account. Just search for Geraldine Kay Rodriguez-Gomez.

My Facebook is the reason why you don't see me that much on Friendster anymore.


Dang...gotta rush. Still got some things I need to deliver and finish.

At least, my blogspace is alive again.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Have Earphones, Will Travel

From now up to the 19th, I'm one of the cool dudes in Makati.

You see, I'm walking around the concrete jungle toting uber-fashionable earphones in my ears.


Yup, I got an mp3 player. Well...technically it's not mine. I bought it for my daughter as my gift for this Christmas. She's been harping about wanting to own an mp3 for the longest time. I wasn't planning on actually giving her an mp3 yet but when I passed by a CDR-King outlet and saw a relatively inexpensive mp3, I just bought it.

It's quite a cute toy, actually. It's a little smaller than the palm of my hand, it can carry 2GBs'-worth of songs, it's got its own speaker, a blue mini-screen, a recorder, an FM radio, and it comes in a gold casing that lights up with pretty LEDs running the entire face of the mp3 whenever the mp3 function is played.

Now I'm using it -- until I have to surrender it to her on the 19th when I go home to Leyte for the holidays.


Ingrid (my daughter) was so excited when I told her about buying the mp3 player. Now all her texts are dedicated to either telling me what songs she wants downloaded or developments about her school crush.

Being the dutiful mother that I am, I'm currently downloading her songs, with a sprinkling of my own tunes, from my office computer. (Take that, Xlibris!)

Now I'm walking around Makati grooving to songs spanning from the Googoo Dolls' Iris to the High School Musical gang's We're All in This Together.

I even bought a nifty mini-speaker to plug onto the mp3 player so I won't get an ear infection from wearing earphones all day at home.

Yup, I'm the epitome of cool...


I never really understood what the big fuss was over mobile music. I was thinking: there's enough noise in the streets already, why add to the din?

Now I understand.

First, listening to music while commuting gives one a steady gait. You can actually keep in step with the tunes playing over my earphones.

Okay, so that was a lame reason. Oh, here's another. Since I got this mp3 player, I've been quite alert when commuting. You see, those who have commuted with me on a regular basis have noticed how I managed to take snoozes while travelling from Point A to Point B. One even nicknamed me "Jack Piraw." Now that I have my earphones on, I have been quite awake lately. It's better than getting a caffeine kick.

Also, I'm now more in tune with the latest hits. In fact, I've already updated my knowledge of music from the early 90s, and now I can say with pride that I so truly like listening to Jordin Sparks' and Chris Brown's No Air, as well as Flo Rida's Ayer.

One more thing: now that I go around town with earphones in my ears, I now share an affinity with other Makati dudes and dudettes who strut around to mp3/mp4/ipod-induced music.

Now, I'm "cool."

Until the 19th, that is.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kids These Days...

Remember this name: Tricia Isabel Borres.

After this blog, you’ll want to wring her pretty little Aeta-untouched neck.


In the PR agency where I am currently connected with, I am the only alumna from the University of the Philippines. My officemates are from the more affluent schools like Ateneo, DLSU, and Assumption. Notwithstanding, I get along pretty well with these people, especially the Atenistas.

One day while I was quite busy at work, our senior consultant (one of the Atenistas) forwarded me a compressed file, together with a snide comment about how kids these days think. Since I was – like I said – busy, I just disregarded her message, as well as the file.

As we were about to wrap up our work for the day, she and the other Atenista came to me and insisted that I open the file she sent. They were both fuming mad, and I thought they were mad that I just set aside this file. Thinking that it was work-related, I immediately opened it. Then I knew what made them fuming mad.

Inside the zip file was a series of jpeg images of a blog on a Facebook account. The account is owned by a certain Tricia Isabel Borres. The blog’s title is “I’m NEVER doing that EVER AGAIN!” (Capital letters intended.)

What I read amazed me.


My Atenean officemates gave me a backgrounder on the entire frame of reference for this blog. According to them, there is this Theology subject that all Ateneans have to take (kinda like a GE course for UP kids), and it involves having to be immersed in a place where the residents’ culture and economic status are vastly different from theirs. They can actually choose from different areas for their immersion. It can be a farming village, a coastal barangay, a mountain tribe, etc. They can also live with prostitutes, senior citizens, and the like. The point is, they will have to personally understand what it feels like to be in the shoes of the residents. I guess this is what can be called “participatory research” in Anthropology studies. After the entire immersion experience, the students are then made to come up with a reflection paper on what they experienced and learned from this trip.

This Tricia Isabel Borres is an Atenean who apparently just completed her immersion trip, and she chose to live with the Aetas. However, instead of becoming a better person after then experience, she decided to come up with this blog that literally bled with her rantings on how unfortunate she was to be living with dirty, undressed, snot-faced Aetas, and how her immersion trip was simply one miserable experience that she would rather drown out with tons of shampoo and perfume while swimming between the sheets in her airconditioned room. De putang batang ‘to, ah…


Here are snippets of the now-notorious blog:

“Did not sleep AT ALL because I was too freaked and for the longest time I was just seriously curled up in a ball in my bed trying to condition my mind to survive the ugliness.” (Seriously Iha, nothing can be uglier than your way of thinking.)

“THERE WERE SO MANY CHILDREN!!! Seriously! These people have no concept of family planning whatsoever! Even worse SO MANY DIRTY KADIRI CHILDREN!!! Like in my (adoptive) family, I had this killer little Aeta boy with constant UHOG in either only red shorts or an over-sized shirt with NOTHING UNDER who was CONSTANTLY WARBLING TO HIMSELFOR SINGING WITH A SIBAT!!! OH MY FUCKING GOD.” (God wouldn’t listen to your elitist cries. He even probably assigned the Hogan boy to be your adoptive brother as karma for your being too overacting.)

“I seriously did NOT WANT ANY OF THEM (the Aetas) TOUCHING ME!!!” (After this, I don’t think even your Theology teacher would want to touch you, too.)

“By the end of the day my foot was over scrubbed with lahar and rocks. I swear they should market like a Lahar Body Scrub only with moisturizer. It was like grey sand.” (So nice naman of you to make isip that idea, you whiny @^%!!!1#!@@1!!!)

“So that night I was surrounded by a flock of children this girl goes ‘Ate tawa ka na lang! Parang boses ni Dyesebel!’ WTF, WTF…” (Even Dyesebel would be insulted by the attribution of your laughing to hers.)

“I just couldn’t eat their food even if they didn’t give me anything gross, mostly veggies. But everything made me barfy and even the rice tasted funny! So whatever food I stuffed in my mouth I would just hold my breath and swallow. I hated meal time because I always felt bad. Tatay would always tell me ‘Pasensya na blahblahblah’ so I would keep insisting that I don’t really eat even in Manila but nanay’s cooking’s really good…I felt really bad!” (They did a bad job poisoning you. It didn’t work.)

“So we finally reached McDonald’s and I soaped myself so many times and everyone I think knew that I was the one who had the hardest time and they all laughed when they saw my McDonald’s tray. I won’t mention everything that I ate because Meling might un-friend me.” (No matter how many times you wash your hands, nothing would still compare to the utter filth you have for a personality, Iha. I hope Meling realizes that and does “un-friend” you.)

“Mum and Daddy picked me up and mum met me halfway while I was walking towards the car. First thing she said when she saw me? ‘Oh my God!’ Wow. Either I looked that ugly, miserable, or both. Then inside the car Dad tried to joke me and told me that I smelled like an Aeta and I laughed. I said I know it’s disgusting and he shut up. I was so in grumpy child mode.” (By the way, maybe your Mum and Daddy could also join you in the personality compost heap.)

“I don’t think I’ve ever loved the shower that much…I shampooed and scrubbed my hair and body until they hurt…apricot scrubbed myself…totally over perfumed. Hygiene I love you. And I just had a two hour full body massage while listening to a mix of Jack Jackson, Jason Mraz, Kings of Convenience, and Postal Service. Music FINALLY.” (Tsk, tsk, tsk…squeaky clean on the outside, totally despicable on the inside. What kind of monster taught you to think like this?!)

“Seriously though the only thing that kept me sane was the really pretty view being on top of a cliff and all and how everything was so airy and spacious. Life there is so monotonous and droll and time was soooo sloooow but so weird I got kind of jealous at how simply happy they were.” (You obviously didn’t learn a thing from your immersion trip.)

“But honestly sorry St. Ignatius, I was NOT immersed. (Yes, you weren’t.) If anything, the trip was like a test of true patience for me and how well I could mentally block everything. Like aside from being the girl in our group who is now known for her amazing bladder and colon control skills, I’m like also the girl who can keep sleeping anywhere and everywhere. It was like my spacing-out skills at its finest.” (What were you expecting at your immersion anyway? A field trip? You should’ve gone to Nayong Pilipino instead and approximated the experience.)

“Ugh. I swear though. I’ve developed like penis fear (my parents should be thankful) from all the naked dirty children. And if for the next couple of days I see children, even cute white ones, I swear I will kick them. Same goes for animals. Not even my potential fluffy bunny. (I hope they kick you back, too.) Or if I hear some dialect, I will throw a hissy fit. (An im iroy ka nga yawa ka…) P.S. Niche and Sib! I AM NOT PREGNANT KNOCKED UP CARRYING AN INDIGENOUS OFFSPRING!” (I pity the father…)

“GUYS. I BURST INTO TEARS WHEN I WAS ALREADY IN BED UNDER MY SHEETS. Parang the nice smell of my bed and the aircon and all the familiarity was too much. POST TRAUMATIC STRESS. Seriously.” (You still didn’t learn anything from that experience, did you?)

“Meling: You found an Aeta boy gwapo?? ! As soon as I arrived home I told yaya to absolutely NOT put ANYTHING in my room. Then I left my slippers and clothes all outside and practically walked naked to the bathroom hahahaha!” (This time, yaya’s so not the loser here…)


Dang, I wish I could attach my copy of the original blog here but there's no function that enables me to make attachments. However, those interested can visit my Multiply site for the attachment. And like I said there, read it and enjoy the ride.


Before you fellow UP people start bashing the Atenistas to Kingdom come, let me remind you that even the Ateneo alumni themselves are furious over the thoughts this whiny kid shared in her blog. My Atenean colleagues emphasized that this kid is a mere aberration of all the teachings of Ateneo, and I tend to believe them. They may be more elitist than us UP pips, but they are very much in touch with their social responsibilities. Only, they don’t show it with the same kind of fervor we Iskos and Iskas have. According to our senior consultant, Ateneans let their minds rule over their hearts. We, on the other hand, let our passions get the better of us, and we bring these passions to the streets. (Haha, so true.)

Reading this horrendous blog brought a lot of questions in my mind. First, How many more kids out there have the same way of thinking as that of Tricia? Second, how did this kind of kind of thinking come about?

I could only blame Tricia’s parents for giving her this warped disposition. People could be filthy rich, and yet capable of understanding the differences in culture and status of everyone else. Apparently, Tricia’s parents instilled in their child the idea that one should not get involved with the “natives” or else suffer the same plight these natives have.

It’s already demeaning as it is that we’re being discriminated for our skin color and poverty by those in more developed countries. Thus, it becomes more infuriating that a fellow native is ruing her own kind for being naked, poor, and dirty.

Dear Tricia, those dark undressed simpletons you have encountered may well be your distant relatives, considering that they are fellow Filipinos. Fortunately for you, you have access to clean water, a nice bed to sleep on, a car to ride in, and all the other comforts of a technologically-advanced way of life. Plus, your blood has already been muddled with strains of foreign descent. On the other hand, Aetas are the purebloods of the Filipino race. They don’t need an MP3 player, an airconditioning unit, and all those other pleasures you so blatantly enjoy. With food on their plates (no matter how simple and “gross”) and family (no matter how dirty or naked) around them, these are all the riches they would ever want to have. And so they are happy and content with their lives. This is what you should’ve learned from your immersion if you weren’t too busy thinking too much about yourself.

News flash, Iha: the world doesn’t revolve around you. Deal with it.

And since I’m very sure that you’re already receiving hate emails from your fellow Ateneans, wait until the UP people start writing you and hating you to Timbuktu. I swear you’ll find hiding among the Aetas to be a great idea after all.

That is, if the poor Aeta tribe you lived with would still accept you at all. Seriously.

Manny, the Golden Boy, and Politics -- a Strange Combination indeed

Whoa…he won?!

No, honest: he won again?

This was my instant reaction after opening the TV exactly after Manny Pacquiao’s fight with “Golden Boy,” Oscar dela Hoya.

I intentionally didn’t watch the so-called “Fight of the Century,” being quite sure that Manny’s gonna be kissing the floor in an embarrassing knockout. However, out of curiosity, I did decide to tune in at about 3:30 pm, hoping that the boxing match would be all over by then and all that I would be catching would be recaps of Pacquiao’s defeat.

My jaw dropped when the first images on my TV came out. It was a downtrodden puffy-faced Oscar dela Hoya being interviewed by this American sports commentator. Questions he was answering pertained to his plans after his defeat in the hands of the Pacman.

Soon, recaps of the fight were shown, and the former Mexican boxing legend was seen being reduced to a punching bag by Pacquiao’s fists of fury.

True enough, the proof of Manny’s victory was splashed all over my TV screen.

What was touted to be the “Fight of the Century” turned out to be one big letdown for those who really wanted to see a flurry of punches flying around. Dela Hoya was almost like a sitting duck, barely sending any of the killer punches that made him a three-time world champion of the sport.

Even critics who initially predicted Manny’s loss were very surprised by the turn of events. More surprised (and a few hundred bucks lesser) are those who placed their bets on Dela Hoya. Despite this, everyone was very happy that Pacquiao managed to defy his detractors’ ominous predictions.

Yeah, I admit: I’m happy that Pacquiao won, too.

But for crying out loud: I do hope that our local politicos who keep on knocking at Pacquiao’s gullibility (Attention, Chavit Singson, DENR Secretary Lito Atienza, and GMA herself: I’m talking about you and your fellow trapos!) would stop convincing him to transfer his wars from the boxing ring to the political arena. You guys can hardly handle your own political affairs – how much more can you expect from Manny who can barely keep himself in school?

Let’s just keep Manny in the boxing ring and perhaps, also do an Oscar dela Hoya and have a statue made in his honor.

Trust me: everyone else will be happier that way.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When Procrastination Gets the Better of Me

I'm in the middle of several deadlines -- a questionnaire for a bank perception audit and a publicity proposal for an upscale company, to name a few -- and I'm writing a blog.

So what the hell am I doing writing a blog in the middle of crunchtime?

Beats me. Only that I need something non-work related to do while I'm trying to compose my thoughts.


Don't get me wrong: I'm not complaining. In fact, I actually enjoy the thrill and freshness of my new job as manager for editorial services in a PR company right in the heart of Makati.

It's soooo unlike my old job where I got stuck in the rut of writing spam, spam, and more spam.

Yes, I did realize that there actually is life after that wonderful self-publishing company in Cebu.


So what do I do as manager for editorial services?

I service editors.

Of course, that was meant as a joke.


I actually have a lot to do as manager for editorial services. Most of my work revolves around media relations, media planning, and other stuff related to media. There's also that little thing about research and writing, and I'm also in charge of that -- considering that these two endeavors are considered as editorial work.

I just thank God that I got exposed both to the academe and media because what I learned from these two professions are very useful in my current line of work.


Somehow I find it kind of funny that I still ended up in Makati after many attempts to avoid working in it again.

But I'm not complaining now. My office is located along Perea Street, and it's very close to the walkway that winds all the way to Greenbelt, Landmark, Ayala, SM, and eventually, to the Ayala MRT station. And since my new boarding house is also in Makati, it only takes me 30 minutes to commute from my place to my office.

I also don't get to spend too much on commuting because my officemates live near my place, and they have cars. I just join their car pool as often as possible.

Life is good...


Can't say much about my boarding house, though.

I live on the boundary between Manila and Makati somewhere near Sta. Ana. (But my landlady's father says that we're already on the Makati part.) My new room is probably 2/3 of my Cebu room, and I have to share the CR with the rest of the family I'm boarding with, as well as the other boarders.

My neat freak ways are being blown to smithereens whenever I use the CR. *shiver*

I miss my room in Cebu...

However, in fairness to the family who owns the place I'm boarding, they're a really kind and accommodating lot.

And the place is so near the office. And near to almost everything else.

Nonetheless, I may be transferring by January to my officemate's place in Sta. Mesa where they also accept boarders. She has this room which was formerly her sister's dental clinic. All she has to do is to clear the room of its clinic-like appearance and transform it into a real room complete with its own CR, cabinets, and even a small kitchen. It even has its own entrance so I won't have to knock on the owning family's door to get in. And she's reserving it for me! (Yay!)

The best thing about it is that I still get to live in Manila where I grew up.

Another yay!


And thank God too, my ordeal with that Godawful 2Go forwarding company is over!

Danged forwarder misdeclared my Cebu things and was asking for something like almost P6 thou for a bunch of personal stuff which no one else may even want to rummage through!

As it turned out, some smartass in Cebu (either the encoder or the one who got my things from my Cebu boarding house) wrote in the bill of lading that the declared value for my stuff is a whopping P500 thou!

Geez, I never realized that worn clothes, an Orocan, a dirty electric fan, a battered 14-inch colored TV, and a bunch of baldes could actually be worth that much -- unless they were all gold-plated.

Of course, in my crazy bitch fashion, I ranted and raved at the poor customer service reps who had to deal with my wrath.

My officemates were amused by my irate statements, and even started quoting me. Here are just some of those quotable quotes:

"Huwag niyong sabihing ako ang nagkamali sa paglagay ng declared value na yan dahil kayo ang nag-declare na worth P500,000 ang gamit ko!"

"Paano naging P500,000 ang declared value niyan, e wala naman akong itinagong gold bars diyan!"

"Sino ba sa inyong opisina ang gustong kumita at my expense? Pakilapit nga sa akin at nang mapatay..."

"Pag hindi niyo yan ayusin, isusuplong ko kayo sa DTI!"

Oh well, my bitching did get the work done. Thus, my payment was reduced from almost P6 thou to P2,400+.

It does pay to be a bitch.


And barely two weeks since I returned to Manila, I've been swamped by reunions with old friends, relatives, and former media colleagues.

As of press time, my November calendar is almost filled to the brim with schedules to meet this and that -- professional or otherwise.

Once again, not that I'm complaining.

I'm just getting less sleep these days, that's all.


Geez, I really should be getting back to work.

I procrastinate. So shoot me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Manila or Bust!

I guess this is it: I'm finally going to Manila come November 1!

My new office just found a place for me in Sta. Ana, Manila. I'll have to share the CR with another person, but at least I'll have a room all to myself. And it's in the city of Manila where I grew up. Thus, it's back to Mayor Lim's jurisdiction for me.

I'll miss having my cats around, though. Brought them all to Leyte where they'll be cared for by my mom and daughter. When I get a place of my own, will be bringing my entire family -- feline and human -- to Manila. In the true essence of Lilo's and Stitch's ohana, no one gets left behind.

I'll also be back to old haunts, friends from way back, and all the other things -- good and bad - that defined Manila for me. In fact, as of this very moment, I've got my college buddies eagerly waiting for my return so we can have an instant reunion.

I don't know what Manila has in store for me this time. However, one thing's for sure: I'm returning to Manila a wiser, more responsible, and stronger person.

I'm going to make sure that the city doesn't eat me alive this time, come Hell or high waters.

Sabi nga nila, it's Manila or bust!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008



My crush, Speaker of the Opposition and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila President Adel Tamano, just accepted my friend invitation on Facebook!

'La lang, just wanted to share the love...