Thursday, October 18, 2007


My work has kidnapped me for several weeks now. It took all my writing instruments and snatched away the keyboard that would let me blog.

But it seems writing does find its way to me. This week, the company I'm employed is celebrating Environment week. By reminding every employee to save those stray energies by turning off monitors during breaks, unused lights and everything else that consumes energy, and, conserve water --probably the most important of them all, since perhaps energy is renewable-- it was time again for the yearly contests of spreading these messages.

Here is my entry for the essay writing, which I started and finished a couple of hours ago.

“The Painting of Earth”

Once there was a painter. He was lonely and sad. While sitting under a palm tree shade beneath a background of blue beach and white clouds, he thought of painting an image of his world, a world that his mind has been thinking. A world full of life.

So he sat back on his chair in front of his canvass and an army of paint cans and brushes of different bristles and sizes. His mind began to wander how he would draw his amazing world as he stare point blank on the white sheet of cloth waiting to be brushed with the first stroke of his gentle hand.

First, he took the pencil.

He began to sketch a big circle in the center. It looked bland. So he dipped his wide brush into the blue can of paint. He started to color the circle with varying shades. A smile is drawn up to his face as he continues to fill the entire circle with blue. This will be his vast oceans and seas.

Next, he painted the area outside the circle with white and crystal blue. A beautiful sky, he mumbled, as he paints clouds across the canvass.

Soon enough, he started to draw some irregular shapes inside the circle. These shapes were of different sizes and follow no specific pattern. He scattered them enough to fill a fraction of the circle. These are the islands, he said to himself. He colored them light brown.

He realized his painting was lacking an important part. It was out of life. So he mustered all his courage and enthusiasm and started to paint the sea with dolphins and whales. He filled the beaches with starfishes and corals. He used his fine bristled paint brushes and drew as many sea creatures as his imagination could fill.

Mountains were sketched along the lands and continent. He created with them trees, small and big, with fruits of different kinds and shapes. Now, the lands are a mixture of green and brown color filled with all kinds of animals, like the elephants and zebras, birds and geese.

The best part came when he's about to draw humans to live in his painted world.

He looked into the painting and he was cheerful and happy. It came out with the exact description of the world he was thinking of. He named his painting, "Earth".

A few years after, the painter died of a heart stroke. He was poor and penniless. His only possessions were his paintings, brushes and inks. His masterpiece of Earth was placed in a museum frequented by a lot of visitors.

The museum caretakers didn’t place Earth on the best location, but in a spot where it was easily reached by anyone who wished to touch the painting. Later on, Earth has started to get scratches and dirt.

The smiling dolphins were already smudged with pencil crayons when a touring group of nursery students came. The trees looked lifeless and aged. The blue sea was dodged with marks of black and red. The birds seemed to have just disappeared. No longer was the Earth at his original form and it was a sad sight to see such a beauty transform into a mere garbage.

In reality, we can compare the world we live in with a painting. No matter how much beauty a masterpiece can be, if this wouldn’t be handled with the appropriate amount of care, the beauty and even the quality of the art will be lost.

In the face of a booming industrialization of human’s way of life, it is a great responsibility for everyone to maintain priority in caring and keeping the environment safe and livable.

If we ignore the fact, that we need to conserve water before it runs out, that we need to reduce our waste through reuse and recycle means and that we must save all available energy we could, we will be faced with a world full of garbage, undrinkable water and crises of energy. I can’t imagine if life will continue if we don’t get ourselves, together, and act to save of what is left of the environment.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Certain Smile

What makes up a smile?

If truth is to be told, I sometimes find it hard to draw an arc and bend my lips especially when I'm alone. When I meet people across the halls or while walking in a street or a curve, I usually don't put a cheerful face to anyone that I particularly do not know. I nod if I know the person by mere acquaintance. I smile if I am his or her friend. I smile, greet and even chat if the person has been a part of my daily routine, my work and my life.

In high school, I was taught and told to smile, 'cause it take several muscles more to frown. Frowning adds lines in the forehead while smiling put your face in a good mood, it makes you beautiful. It eases the human body free from stress, from bad aura and negative thoughts.

Maybe I should smile more?

In work, I am bedazzled. It takes away my full awake-time. Sometimes, it even steal a fraction of the time I'm supposed to be asleep, recuperating from the day's stress and workloads. There were several nights, I found it hard to sleep thinking about the pressure, about the deadline, about getting it work, about finishing work. I definitely wish for it to end. For it to succeed and give back some to my own.

Looking at this picture of Chichi, taken during my friends' wedding last weekend, has put me several times thinking that a smile truly enlightens the human soul. It eases the imaginative pain, the phantom suffering, it clears any clouded thoughts.

Then I thought, I should learn to smile more.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Before I started this blog, I just only thought of blogging as a form of an online journal where one can write and tell a story about his weekend getaway into some beach, how many pairs of shoes she keeps in her closet, the tragedy of being dumped by a girlfriend or describe how delicious the food she ate at last night in her 18th birthday with pictures to go by.

But in the course of a life long learning everybody partakes, I realized that blogging is very much more than that.

I see and read a lot of blogs taking a life on its own. It has the power that move and inspire people. It connects people from across the world. A not so long ago, it is quite impossible for someone living in London to know something about the Philippines that is likely to see print on any book or magazine, or broadcast in radio and television.

Blogging has become an institution in itself. And to put it more aptly, blogs are as influential as the conventional media to everyone hooked to the internet.

In about 1 hour preceding the time this post is published, the effort to acknowledge the top 10 emerging blogs of 2007 will be closed. This project was created by the Digital Filipino lady, Janette Toral to honor blogs that are recently making an impact, thus, influential.

I would like to pitch in my own version of influential blogs that, in one way and another, have continually drawn me a smile, thought of an idea, made me excited, inspired me do things not for my benefit but for others, made me hungry, pushed me to love photography, and basically, influenced me the way I see the world.

Julia in the Philippines
I know she's dead, but Julia's blog keeps her alive. As of this writing, her last post entitled Buhay Pa Tayo, has already 324 comments, most of them are words of felicitations and thank you. The legacy she left us all Filipinos is truly amazing and inspiring. She volunteered for the peace corps and has helped a lot of our countrymen which I think cannot be rewarded by any amount money, power or fame.

Inner Sanctum
I first saw Gerry's blog, when Ely Buendia was on the brink of succumbing to heart burns. Since then, I've been reading his posts, rants and thoughts about the world and beyond, which I think are witty, funny, sometimes weird but generally not-your-ordinary kind of writings for a guy who works for the advertising industry. I think he don't like Orange and Lemons and other cover bands who don't have a talent to write original songs and lyrics.

Flickers Photo Club
This is the blog where a group professional, amateur and hobbyists photographers called Flickers Photo Club put their best photos on a weekly basis. And through the extraordinary and all thumbs up photos can described how active the group members are, in terms of camaraderie and helping each other develop their skills through friendly photo-shoots and similar activities.

Inverse tutuldok
My office desk used to stand right in front of this man. He is still a co-worker but the title can be reworked into co-writer because he writes to his heart's content. Edong, a co-engineer never fails to put a funny line in his essays that would definitely put your gums out and exposed. A family man who loves to spend quality time with his wife and two daughters.

Another co-engineer. The good thing about blogging is that you will have the chance to explore a blogger's mind through thoughts written on posts. And Jamie Jean is one of a kind blogger who muses about her niece, her friends particularly those who have left in search for greener pastures and her upcoming wedding. Probably the best thing she shares to her readers is that she blogs about having a life.

I usually find her in the pages of SIM (sunday inquirer magazine) telling where the best food in town can be found. And when she announced her blog to the world, it was packaged in a simple template but elegantly composed of essays about eating.

Iniibig Ko Ang Pilipinas
We have a sitting president with a questionable mandate. Nurses, doctors are leaving for abroad in search for better lives, causing the brain drain. These and among other issues concerning the Filipinos are the subjects of this blog. I don't know the name of the person behind it and only described himself as Pinoy in his About Me page. But he is one of the few who still believes that the Philippines and the Filipino can change for the common good. I think the title of his blog was taken from the second line of Panatang Makabayan.

This is my list of emerging influential blogs for 2007.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


July 21, 2007.

If there's a specific Saturday I'm sure to remember for as long as I live, this would be it. Simply because this day is phenomenal for those who love to read.

Reading, I believe, has become least of a habit when it used to be the 'in' thing, ages ago. In the coming of radio, television, movies, the internet, and other forms of media, the exercise of reading has gone deeply into the doldrums. Rare do I see children hook up on reading books, magazines, newspapers or even comics, but most probably one can find them addicted to computers, or game consoles.

Even when I was still studying, reading was such a dreaded exercise for most of the students across the university.

That's why my hats are off to JK Rowling for genuinely creating Harry Potter and his wizarding world. She has done the unimaginable and brought back people both the young and old all over the world, to exercising their eyes and reading books again.

Her books have been sold in over 93 countries with a record of 325 million copies. This number is of course expected to rise when book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hit the bookstores last weekend.

Rowling has resurrected the excitement that was lost back from the ashes, just like a phoenix.

In the US alone, 8.3 million of the total 12 million copies flew off the shelf in just about 24 hours.

It even defied religious traditions. In Israel, business establishments and stores alike are supposed to be closed on Saturdays, in honor of the sabbath. But last weekend, Harry Potter made an exemption.

In our country, Filipinos are quite silent about the mania over Harry Potter. I was expecting National Bookstore to throw some gimmicks for its thousands of patrons but I got disappointed.

For several months now, my girl has been eagerly awaiting for this day to come. She can't wait to put her hands on the last novel of Harry Potter and she's already finished with the book even before I ended this post.

With three version covers, I have yet to read the Order of the Phoenix, and Half Blood Prince before finally savoring the last Rowling serving.

US and Elsewhere Version

UK Child Version

UK Adult Version

And in every story, there is always the good and evil. JK Rowling's version of You-Know-Who are spoilers who tried to mar the release of the final episode. They came in different sizes and versions.

Whenever you're about to watch a very good movie, and somebody told you the gist of the story, the fun is already destroyed. Spoilers are just like that. They are quite similar to those who make and sell pirated material, or maybe even worse.

Spoilers are losers. They tend to bring down the excitement of knowing the story's ending at the most proper manner and time.

Prior the official release, reviews came out from newspapers disrespecting those who would wanted to know the essence of the Harry Potter by reading the book. There were even photographs of the full 700+ page circulating the internet.

But the good triumphs over the evil. Even these spoilers weren't able to suppress the force behind Harry Potter. It's simply, phenomenal.

However still, I need to finish the book 5 and 6 before I can get my hands on this last book.

So let me just disapparate...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Back to the Sketch Pad

WHEN WAS THE last time you got sick? I mean really, really sick that you can't even go to the bathroom and pee without causing pain in yourself.

About six days ago, I found myself awake at the most upsetting time in the morning, half naked and my body was trembling terribly I can't put it in words.

Doctors are supposed to tell a patient if he's okay and not the other way around.

I thought I was just having a bad case of sleeping without a shirt. As soon as the sun blinded my eyes on a Friday morning, I got myself up to the same daily morning routine of heading to work even if I was already feeling bad and high on paracetamol. Later that day, the fever took a toll on me. I was already wearing a jacket on top of another jacket besides the fact that I was also working under the cold shudder of an air-conditioning about a meter away from my head. So I guess that made the matter worst.

My eyes felt like they're about to fall off and my knee caps were on the verge of collapsing when I decided to have myself checked by the company clinic.

They took two basic measurements before they let me inside one of the cubicles where the doctor was sleeping waiting. One nurse immediately embraced a cuff around my arm, put her stethoscope and pumped air into it before releasing it gradually. Then she took the digital ear thermometer and pushed it gently into my left hearing organ. The clicking sound signaled that my temperature is gauged and ready to be announced soon.

"36.7 degrees po" said the nurse-wannabe who appeared to be a student and is actually on her task to completing her time being an apprentice.

"Ha! Seryoso ka ba?" my cheek was flushed with red when I mumbled these words.

Later on, I was already sitting inside a four walled box with the top side exposed and conversing with the doctor, like I was being judged for a crime and penalty was being cooked for dinner. She asked me if I was feeling okay. I told her I have a fever.

"Pero wala ka naman lagnat oh, 36 lang yung temperature mo eh", she muzzled these words like a painful shot right in my face.

Then, she prescribed me to take ascorbic acid once a day for the colds, and continuously eat paracetamol tablet for the fever every four hours. And if ever the fever doesn't subside, she advised me to better have my blood tested for a possible dengue virus infection. She let me out without touching any part of my body nor use any instrument to hear my heart beat, or check my eyes and throat, the way I expect doctors would do to a feverish patient.

Sunday. If I was kid, I would be filling the pail of tears because the needle suddenly has transformed into an enormous child-eating monster. But I am no longer a kid so this description fitted that of the boy who almost pulled his mother's arm and turned it into a missing Lego part of some mannequin, when she helped the nurse draw drops of blood from his tiny finger. When it was my turn, it was fairly easy as if I just wore away an ant bite. They used a sharp lance powered by a spring launcher that appeared much like a ballpen.

However, I thought that was the end of it. Later on, the doctor in the emergency room persistently asked if my eyes were yellow colored, or if any of my friends had told me my eyes are not as clear as white but resembles that of a ripen banana. She really thought they were not as white as they seemed, so she told me I'd better take the Hepa test. It automatically meant another trip to the laboratory but this time, with the syringe woman.

She wasn't as lovely as I've thought her to be. She was silent and too damn busy with her paperwork that if I interrupted her from her peace with her writing all sorts of lab results (and who knows what else), I might have awaken a sleeping fire breathing dragon. I kept my silence instead and waited.

Judging by her looks, I thought she have a light hand. Because for the first time in history, I have to endure the most painful injection of a needle in my right arm. I tried to sound like it was nothing but it was really painful as if my bone was just pressed with its tip sans the pain reliever. I wanted to cry but I couldn't. I must have forgotten how to leak my tears when pain consumed the rest of my body.

The results were up few hours after lunch time and thank God all tests yielded negative. I don't have a Dengue. My blood is free of Hepa. Not even the common UTI was spotted in my system. It turned out that I have a severely infected and swollen tonsils.

I went home and spent the next 3 days recuperating and rediscovered the fun in reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Thanks to that defective digital ear thermometer, I re-learned a new few things:

  • Don't sleep naked and without any cover while the blower is fanning your back.
  • Syringe, when injected by a careless woman in white robe is a pain in the ass.
  • Digital ear thermometer must be calibrated over time especially when it is being used in a clinic whose patients go beyond a hundred every day.
  • Doctors are supposed to tell a patient if he's okay and not the other way around.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


IF THERE IS one word that could describe the silence creeping in this blog, I can't think of any other term other than the title of this post.

After 5 months of relinquishing my first position in my company, I've been focused most of the time with system administration tasks for a set of processes here in my company.

And two weeks ago, Mexican supporters came in. They are currently on a mission to bring in some new technology, in which I am not in liberty to discuss in detail, for it may jeopardize my employment. Nonetheless, it carried additional assignments because I'm part of the group in charge to catch the knowledge they are deemed to transfer.

The opportunity may be viewed as added burden but I see it differently. It brought me the chance to commune with people that uses the language the Filipinos used to speak more than a hundred years ago - Español!

Mucho gusto.
Buenos diyas, Alejandro!
Cómo estás Mario
Muy bien senior Victor! Si
Adios Benjamin!
Uno, dos, tres!

And somehow, I found useful tools, here and here, to aide me in comprensión y entender these guys who are very jolly and happy people. They work like everything is okay and laughs everytime they make a mistake, and laughs again when they solve it.

I managed though to still write something about my favorite past time - sports and the Team Pilipinas quest to Olympic glory - to slip into my somewhat "busy" time.

Véale más adelante!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Blog Addiction Metrics

87%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?
HERE IS A clever way of measuring if you are inflicted with what they call "blog addiction".

With Technorati at hand, I've searched the top 3 blog addicts of the millions of blogs in the internet. Surprisingly, a Pinoy blogger placed third in the list. Maybe, I need to run this search again the next few days.

98% Cartoon Barry Blog
94% The Social Life Of The Freethinker

The survey or test is composed of 13 questions that would determine how addicted a user is. The result is shown in a graphical way by drawing out a syringe and incrementing the amount of the red color as the questions are answered.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Where is Jervilis~

I'VE BEEN TO Cagayan De Oro City and Camiguin Islands last weekend, made possible by a massive price drop of Cebu Pacific Airlines tickets last March. Since I've been traveling to different places, I thought of creating a journal for my travel stories. 

Convincing myself to create a blog for my trips is actually very easy. Thinking for a title isn't that hard too. I remember Aileen, one of the first friends I made when I was hired in my company four years ago. She fused my name and the word bilis (tagalog word for fast) into one because she thought I was too fast for everything, work, walking, running, waking up late but still managed to swipe on time and many other things. Since then, she began calling me Jervilis persistently, until she resigned her post, a long time ago. So I guess it makes a good name for my new journal.

Do check out my new travel blog in Where Is Jervilis~

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rated C Minus

I'VE READ ABOUT it in Yugatech's Feedburner email. Then learned it was programmed by Eugene.

Using his wonderful application, I was rated a C- Philippine traveler.

I spent my early years living in Luzon and traveled only to as far as Benguet, to the north and Metro Manila, to the south. I have several relatives in the Nueva Ecija and Bataan, and during family get togethers I get the chances to embrace those places.

My Lakbayan grade is C-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

When I started working, I move out of my comfort zones in Angeles City and transferred to Laguna. I owe to my colleagues and friends in the office whom I bonded with and learned the language of trekking and travelling. I went to as far as Sagada in Mountain Province, into the outskirts of Pagsanjan Falls, the beaches of Anilao, climbed into the cliffs of Mt. Daguldol in San Juan and Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, both in Batangas, took pictures of the Chocolate hills and dolphins of Bohol, smelled the cool breeze of Tagaytay and Baguio City, and witnessed the Pahiyas fiesta of Lucban. This weekend, we will be revisiting the beautiful island and wonders of Camiguin and drop by the waving rapids of Cagayan de Oro.

Hopefully, I could jumpstart the travel blog I've been cooking up for almost a month now. Next year, I aim to target and wish to achieve an A+ rating. I'll be focusing higher into the north, the likes of Hundred Islands, Vigan, Pagudpod, and Batanes!

So who's with me?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Freedom. Filipinos, Be Proud


YESTERDAY WAS A holiday because the President shifted the schedule for reasons I can only guess. She wanted to stretch the weekend so that more money would be generated through taxes because people will have three days (instead of only two) of trooping into the malls and empty their pockets. I see it as an opportunity to spend rather than a time to reflect and revisit our history.

And the holiday was made more than a hundred years ago. Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio and the legions of our national heroes each had their contribution against the tyranny of Spanish occupation so that you and I, right now, can speak our hearts out, have the right to own the ground to which we stand, and live freely outside the jurisdiction of invading foreigners.

We should push the collective effort not to let our rich history remain in the doldrums, left and forgotten. Yesterday was a conversation that I wished my nephew and niece would never forget. I keep on trying to impart them the importance of education, and learning a piece of our history.

So to all my Filipino compatriots, lets be proud of ourselves! Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Saving Earth

IN THE PLACE I call work, I exercise the following on a daily basis.

One. Never switch-on the fluorescent lamp right above my head. Instead, I absorb the stray illumination from nearby lighting. To be able to accomplish this, the facilities department has provided each lamp its own pull switch for a better control, when to turn it on or shut it off. This way, I am maximizing the energy consumed and simultaneously saving some of it.

Two. Turning off the computer monitor during breaks, which accounts to as much 1 hour and 20 minutes of the total 9 hours I spend at my desk. That’s about 14.8% of monitor power saved.

Three. I usually forget my handkerchief whenever I go to work. So what I do whenever I have a trip to the rest room is used the tissue available, sparingly. I care for the trees, that’s all.

Four. Call me unhygienic but I don’t flush the cubicle after peeing. I assume that the next person after me will do that, thus, saving a considerable amount of clean water. That is hitting two birds with one stone.

Five. I have a pair of scissors in my drawer. And I see good reasons for its simple function of cutting and trimming; muscle exercise to relieve stress in the hand and arms, and transforming waste papers into tiny notes to write on.

Early this morning, the voice in the PA system has announced that today is World Environment Day. As part of its contribution to the worldwide reaction in chasing and solving global warming, it encourages everyone in the offices and elsewhere in the production to save earth from the wraths of global warming, by a collective effort of conserving energy.

And I hope that the voice of encouragement spoke to everyone who heard it and put "saving the earth" practices into a daily habit.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Super Lotto

HOW MUCH IS a 10-peso worth?

One balut.
A tricycle fare.
1-minute celfone call.
A tabloid newspaper.
A whopping P126,880,212.60.

That's right! You can exchange your 10 pesos with that amount if you were the "lucky" person yesterday, who saw and lined up in one of the lotto terminals found in every SM mall, some street corners or wherever tickets are being sold. With the right combination of 6-numbers in your possession, you could probably be rejoicing now, or having your heart jump out of your chest, in doubt that you are now an instant millionaire. Whoever that person is, I somehow wished it was me. Or a friend who's always the first person to update me of the results of the millionaires raffle.

These long lines are not mere indicators that the prize money of the Philippine lottery is a huge sum, but shows how a hole in a roof can be seen as a passage of miniscule rays of hope.

If it's me who won the prize, my mind would either:

a] Go crazy and quickly be cluttered with material things to lust about. A Canon 1D-Mark III, the latest in BMW line of cars, one way ticket to Paris and elsewhere, a house I have never dreamed of having and my own jetski. (Or)

b] Remain sane and set priorities on how to properly spend more than a hundred million pesos-- which probably would include raising a business related to photography, publishing, internet, web design, farming, food, and coffee, among others. Donation to charity and environment conservation causes. And of course, share the treasure to the long lines of the family.

However, these are just scripts born of imaginative mind.

I was in my second year in college when I learned about the game, bet on it and eventually lost a countless times. I have seen different kinds of people, too, that have gone through these lines. I remember at one time, the guy next to me was donned with dirty baseball cap and rugged clothes. He was holding his bicycle which appearance told me that he used it to go to work as a welder in some metal fabrication shop. He had put his hopes in a single bet as he let out an exasperated sigh. He must have been very tired of his kind of work, and his eyes showed he's dead tired of being poor. That's why he probably invested his remaining cash for the day, because his one ticket could save him from his debts and mundane living.

Beyond the money game itself, it brings us the reality of the lives of many Filipinos who belong to the lower class. These long lines are not mere indicators that the prize money of the Philippine lottery is a huge sum, but shows how a hole in a roof can be seen as a passage of miniscule rays of hope. Hope that in every bet, it accounts a degree of chance where the bettor put his prayers in winning the jackpot, and eventually, a better life.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Finally, Rain!!!


It's been almost a week of wet afternoon and it's not even the month of June, yet. I am so eagerly happy. Who is not?

After more than two months of summer season beginning from the month of March, the temperature was so terrible and no one is going to deny that it must be the hottest summer ever to hit this place of the earth.

The concluded Palarong Pambansa held in Koronadal City in the last week of April, has suffered the most painful of effects of the hot sun. A high school principal from Marinduque succumbed to heart attack due to the severity of the temperature which peaked at 36 degrees. Later on, another casualty was reported to have died due to shortness of breath during a parade.

Nonetheless, I guess it's time to buy a new and sturdy umbrella that will withstand the harsh that is the rain. And let us prepare for the revenge of the nimbus clouds and pray that a rebirth of another Milenyo would be aborted.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Underdog

THERE’S ONE STORY in the Old Testament that I find many parallel in real life stories. It’s a source of inspiration for mismatches. The ultimate validation of the underdogs.What I’m referring to is a story about a small warrior named David who valiantly defeated a giant and ferocious Goliath. It is an epic for the great mismatch of all time, from height to the amount of muscles, from weaponry and crowd boos. The only advantage of David is that the Almighty was on his side. And that made all the difference. It somehow raised his IQ and found the solution to deter his possible demise. David simply identified his enemy’s weakness and wasted no time in assailing it with a single blow from his slingshot.

~photo credits goes to Jacobsohn/NBAE/Getty Images~

It is proof to an old Filipino saying, walang malaking nakapupuwing. As I write this, the news about the Golden State Warriors scribling their contribution in the history books by forcing the biggest NBA playoff upset against the Dallas Mavericks, still lingers in my head.

It is a recent example of David-Goliath mismatch, minus the negative or evil implications, of course.

The Mavs has won a league best 67 wins in the 82-game regular season, thus, equating them the highest probability of another trip to the NBA finals. Coupled with predictions of Dirk Nowitzki bagging the title of the Most Valuable Player, indeed, by mere premise, they have an undoubtful chance of a repeat of their last year and winning the elusive NBA championship.

On the other end, the Warriors, badly needed to win their last regular season game, were seeded 8th place in the playoff standings. Their roster was in disarray coming from several trades and injuries. They were to consider one of the teams you wouldn’t waste an effort nor attention that they would even surpass one game in the first round. Simply put, the team of Baron Davis is unworthy of an opponent and would amount an automatic sweeping of the first four games.

But lo, and behold.

Statistics is a good measure in forecasting games, but can not be always used as premise in determining outcome, just like Steve Kerr when he predicted last year that the San Antonio Spurs will win the NBA championship. Bilog ang bola, ika nga ni Jawo. (The ball is round, according to Jawo a.k.a. Robert Jaworski) Unfortunately, Wade and his Miami Heat squad prove Kerr wrong.

In any competition, I am always thrilled when the underdog becomes the victor in the end. Their stories truly inspire those who view themselves at the same level where defeat in their own struggle is obvious.

Baron Davis was a hero and ignored a hamstring injury. Don Nelson coaches the Warriors, but he was the one who brought the sleeping superstar power of Dirk when he still direct the Mavs plays. This must have let Nelson abuse Mavs weaknesses. What further hurt the Dallas team was the sight of a drained Nowitzki that seemed to have lost all his flair in the regular season and was ineffective most of the games.

The GSW with a much smaller line up compared to the DM, was the third last-placed team that have eliminated a number 1 seed. The same feat was made by the Denver Nuggets when Dikembe Mutombo was still part of that team. They only lost twice in a best of seven series that concluded last May 3, 2007 as compared to the previous records when first round playoff lasted only up to five games. I am sure, it was the perfect moment to be a Golden State Warriors fan.

Another story that truly inspires the low and the powerless has transpired in the concluded elections for gubernatorial in the province where I grew up. A priest with no money, no backing of solid political machinery, and with no capacity at all to launch his own campaign by his own terms has defeated a re-electionist incumbent and a wife of an influential person and alleged drug lord in Pampanga.

Father Ed Panlilio has made the history and record books as the first member of the church to win a seat in the government in what is perceived as a revolution of the province’s governance.
Among Ed as what he is known for, has gain a wide support from the masses, volunteers, businessmen and lawyers to help him in his bid for the seat in the capitol hoping to change the alleged rotten government of my fellow Cabalens.

This has further proved that the power comes from the people and from what Among Ed has been telling them, he will bring forth change for the good of the people.

During the proclamation last week, the euphoria was celebrated by his supporters as the official announcement of Among Ed being the new governor. It was certainly a great moment to be a Kapampangan. Even if I belong to the city of Angeles that never vote for the provincial positions, I am excited and affected of what the future beholds for my fellow Kapampangans.

In any competition, I am always thrilled when the underdog becomes the victor in the end. Their stories truly inspire those who view themselves at the same level where defeat in their own struggle is obvious.

It pumps up the adrenaline of those ready to give up, their dreams and aspirations, their goals when they seemed to be very far and unreachable.

The stories of David, the Golden State Warriors and Among Ed give us hope whenever we are hopeless in our own fights and feel that nothing seems to be going right in our way, to continue and labor to meet our aims.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lost in the Walls of Intramuros

I TEXTED MY friend Markus for directions. He called back and dictated me the precise routes via jeepney and LRT, since I don’t have a car that I can drive. He is an alma mater of PLM and I thought he was the perfect guy to ask on how to go to Intramuros. And he has proven himself righteous.


Last Sunday, I went there to answer to Jayvee’s blog invitation for a cosplay photo op. Unfortunately, I got lost in the process. He noted in his recent post that if there were a few more photographers who were lost on their way to the venue, I am sure one of them.

Angeles City was my hometown and I currently stay and work in Laguna, so it was almost a perfect opportunity since it'll be my first time to visit the place. I hoisted a jeepney near the Manila City Hall and asked the driver to pull-over at the “roundtable”. Once inside, I busied myself picturing the historic walls and scenery of Intramuros.

Armed with my camera, I started shooting like a crazy gunman in a ground-zero and war-like place.
I strutted and walked further reaching the canyon walls. Heavy sweat was starting to build up. A golf ball from the sky suddenly dropped onto the green grass. I failed to remember that the meeting place was inside the golf course.
An hour later I found myself already too far from where I should be: The Rizal Park.
So I took more shots of where my feet has taken me.
Chatted with Caloy, a park bystander who earns a living through his vintage Konica film SLR.
And captured some kids I'm uncertain I will ever meet again, willing to offer genuine smiles that warm the heart.
The next stop, I was already home.

A Block in a Writer's Path

IT IS A phase that “all” writers have experienced at least once in their entire writing life. It usually happens when he/she faces an imaginary monster. This scary creature bears fangs, huge fingernails, long hair, and red giant poppy eyes when in reality it’s just a plain white background that draws an imaginary fear. It fails the hand to wield the pen or the keyboard with words that makes sense.

I’ve been visited a lot of times by this monster creature as evidenced by the silence in this blog.

Traditionally, this is called the writer’s block. When a writer is suffocated with a white sheet of clean paper and a pen that has suddenly ran out of ink, or the typewriter has just lost control of its mechanical letters being punched away, it is difficult breath and struggle to surpass such stage of nothingness. When a writer thought he/she already knows a lot of things, writer's block disapprove this and he/she suddenly finds him/herself wordless and can’t even forge a set of words that could probably change the world.

Bloggers aren’t spared from this monster creature. They are the writers of the new media but that doesn’t escape them from the state when bloggers are flushed out with all possible ideas that are bloggable. Sometimes when too many ideas pop out of the blue, it fails the blogger to contain the avalanche of concepts falling in and turns out no post is uploaded. It has formed it’s equivalent term – the blogger’s block – but significantly it still carries the same concept of what writer’s block mean.

I’ve been visited a lot of times by this monster creature as evidenced by the silence in this blog. My previous post was about the senatorial candidates who got my vote last election and I wasn’t even able to explain as to why I wrote their names in my ballot. I have three unfinished drafts in my list of posts, and two more activities I’ve involved myself with in the past two weekends - the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban and getting lost in the streets of Intramuros.

One of my technical-support often refers to San Miguel (the beer, not the saint) for inspiration especially in a situation when setting up IT related infrastructure and can’t seem to finish the job. Maybe, I just need the same amount help for me to deal this monster that occasionally appears when faced with a cursor that blinks the fear of filling the white monitor screen with words.

Friday, May 11, 2007


  • Sonia Roco
  • Zosimo Paredes
  • Martin Bautista
  • Adrian Sison
  • Francis Escudero
  • Francis Pangilinan
  • Antonio Trillanes IV
  • Edgardo Angara
  • Joker Arroyo
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Glimpse of Poverty

WHAT DOES THIS photo tell you? Straddling along a sidewalk in EDSA-Cubao will greet you a galore of eye-catching scenario such as this.
Together with Pizza, we were on our way to the bus stop when suddenly a woman, whom I thought first was a man, walked past behind me. She was greased all over, thus, earning herself a title of "taong grasa" with her short-pants slightly pulled down and her butt-line slowly peaking out. Slippers are grossed and her hands are dirty. I was about to feel a knot in my stomach, when another person, complemented the scene.
A handicapped with her left arm missing and a tin can in her front inviting passers-by to drop their loose coins.
Time seemed to slow down and I snapped away my cybershot to freeze the scene. What came out was a blurred digital picture of two unfortunate people, in the real sense of the word.
So before you waste the excess food you ordered in a restaurant, better think again. Before even thinking about buying expensive but not necessarily needed things such as your latest jeans when you already had tons of pairs in your closet, you might want to pause and think where your money's going.
It's 5 days come election time, and I wonder what the senator wannabes have to say about poverty, with our country being the most corrupt nation in the world.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Cold Break

I JUST CAME off from a 3 nights and 3 days trip to the hills of Baguio City. I went straight to work at 8 pm last night for evening shift duty after a rear-numbing travel from 7am to 5pm.
Yes, I am tired and exhausted, and all I have at this moment are few of the candid pictures I took, while taking a time out from the extreme hot temperatures of the lowlands.
I miss my bed already.

A Rizza Smile

The Host Himself, Glenn with Dimple


Session Road Traffic

Fires of Grotto

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Pursuit for Better Blogging

IN 2003, WHEN I moved to Sta. Rosa for my first job, I only brought three things with me: a set of clothes for five days, the allowance I borrowed from my mother and a book.
Yesterday, when I looked upon my belongings in my space in a house shared with other office friends, it's surprising to see how big the number of collected books, magazines and newspapers I'd read, have increased.
This is one habit I am graciously proud of.
We feed our stomach with the food we eat. We do the same thing to our mind if we read, because reading is one way of inducing bits of information into our brain.
That's why, when I read about a book entitled "Blog This: How Blogs Empower Every Internet User" that can be acquired freely if I follow a certain set of requirements, I was more than excited for three reasons.

1. It will definitely help in my pursuit for better blogging.
2. Another addition to my precious book collection.
3. They're giving away 100 copies for free, if:

-- I blog about the project, create a hypertext link to the site and follow the other requirements indicated in the post.

The book was authored by Janette Toral, the same person who organized the successful iBlog3: the 3rdPhilippine Blogging Summit. Below is the details of project

Get a free copy of Blog This: How Blogs Empower Every Internet User

Last September 2, 2006 we released the Blogging 101 Workshop Online (blogging101workshop) and have been improving it since.

We'll be publishing 1000 copies of the book "Blog This: How Blogs Empower Every Internet User" and release it by May 2007. Whether it is going to be a face-to-face or online book launching is something that shall be decided upon soon. From its original version, the e-book is expanded to 8 lessons so that schools who wishes to use it can plan their programs for a whole semester term.

* Lesson 1: Introduction to blogging (Exercise: Blog critic and setting up a personal blog)
* Lesson 2: Blog copyright and ethics (Exercise: Identifying blog violations)
* Lesson 3: Generating revenue through blogs (Exercise: Identify revenue generating schemes for blogs)
* Lesson 4: Getting started in blogging (Exercise: Theme planning and Setting up your blog for business)
* Lesson 5: Marketing your blog (Exercise: Metrics set-up, trend tracking, and blog promotion techniques)
* Lesson 6: Introduction to podcasting (Exercise: Creating a podcast)
* Lesson 7: Becoming a professional blogger (Exercise: Identify professional blogging opportunities)
* Lesson 8: Setting up your own blog network (Exercise: Creating a blog network)
* The 100-Days Blogging Challenge
* Club Member Directory (Individual member blogs, SME and Corporate Members website)
* Sponsor text ads

All Club members are entitled to a free copy of the book. SME members will get 2 copies while Corporate members shall get 3 copies. Individual members will get 1 copy.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Defining Success

TWO DAYS AGO, a good friend has asked me to write an essay on the “standard/s of success”. I wasn’t able to quickly respond to her because I was quite busy at the time she requested me. I guess it was an urgent matter for her considering that she has a personal mission in dire of being accomplished, and that is something related to being ‘successful’.
My guessing further carried me into imagining that she’ll be submitting the essay as part of the requirements for another job application, that I can only suspect. (and I suppose that’s a story for a future post).
The moment I came back to my senses and took the work load off my back, I immediately turned into her one line request which was transmitted through the channels of a Yahoo messenger. The instinct in me wanted to help her, but I was more adamant of doing so while making up for an appropriate and friendly response. Being an advocate in promoting reading, writing and appreciation of conversational and written language, I decided that I would turn his request down and ultimately disappoint her.
The reason is simple. I wanted her to feel the way chickens do when they lay their eggs, hatch them and turn them into beautiful and radiant chicks. I would like it if she personally wield her mind’s thoughts into an essay that she will be proud of.
So what I did instead was give her cent-worth of pointers on how she’ll be able to come up with her own article.
How does one define success?
Is it something that can be seen, touch, hear or feel?
Can success be measured?
What kind of metrics?
Is it even measureable?
Is owning a car, a house on a hillside premiere subdivision an indicator of success?
Is winning a position in the government equates to being an achiever.
Define success in its own terms, the way you would explain how to prepare a fruit salad to a five year old child.
Suddenly, I remember a conversation a couple of years ago. Similarly, it occurred in a group chat session of several friends in the office. One of them, who resigned a couple of years already, expressed his emotions when he attended a reunion party with his school batch. His experience was a mixture of varying impulses because he was able to see again his old friends he probably haven't seen in a long time. Sadly (and unwillingly, I supposed), it has been made as an occasion where he would compare his accomplishments as opposed to his 'successful' classmates, when one of them sported a Ford Explorer (I can't remember the other details) coupled with stories of success.
During the group chat, he posed a question that touches on being successful. He even blasted and presumed that society only looks up to you as successful if you dress up the way millionaires do.
Eventually, I wasn't able to withstand his opinion and offered bits of friendly notes saying that I don't see it his way. It really all depends on how a person define successful.
Rearing a child inside a womb for 9 months and letting him/her out into the world is already a success for a woman.
For some, doing community service or voluntary work may already mean successful.
Seeing a child prosper in school work, in the eyes of a father is already a big achievement.
So, how do you define success?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Picturing iBlog3

I WAS IN U.P. last Friday.
I was there not because I was inquiring how to enroll in the state's premiere university but to grace the iBlog3 summit event for the first time this year. I was already a blogger for quite sometime now, but I guess I was just blogging for myself! Only in this chance I was able to learn such gathering exists where bloggers go offline to convene.
To my amazement, I raised my hand (well, only virtually) when they asked for volunteers. I was one of the shutter bugs (albeit, a novice one) roaming around the School of Economics Auditorium, inside and out.
And it was a terrific learning experience having to listen to a set of speakers who drew inspiration or two, such as Dean Alfar asking "Hey Mr. Writer! Where's Your Blog?". He was very witty with his speech and I'm sure that all writers (and I presumed all those who were there to listen are writers!) in the audience was inspired to write even more and be not afraid! And the best part is, I laughed a countless times listening.
Bloggers are Journalist! Roby Alampay's speech was an eye opener. Inside a comfy auditorium, we were fed with an intellectual's insight on the conditions of neighboring South East Asian nations with regards to blogging and freedom of expression.
Marcelle Fabie also had me gripping the chair while I attentively snapped away pictures with his wonderful act. I particularly find his suggestion very convincing that by writing the first thoughts that come to mind when waking up will eventually aide in unlocking ones creative potential.
These and the rest of the speakers for day 1, I was able to capture in digital photos. It's just too bad, that going home all the way to Sta. Rosa in 5 rides late in the day, coupled with a running nose and headache, took a toll on me and made me ill that night. Aside from failing to see sir Edong, I eventually paid the price of missing Manuel L. Quezon III, Yugatech, Jayvee Fernandez and the rest of day 2's set of speakers, which I've been looking forward to see, ever since the iBlog3 invitation.
Anyway, I'm posting here some of the photos I took:

The Auditorium at UP School of Economics


Marcelle Fabie doing his fork trick

Arelle Valla for the Business minded bloggers

Blogsharing at Lunchtime

Dean Alfar in the works

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Do you blog?

IT IS A simple question with a lot of premises.
Some say that blogging is only for the elite. For one, the masses (with no doubt) would rather tend to hungry stomachs than hook up for a broadband internet connection.
So this question is probably best answered by those who exist in the virtual internet world. Try googling your name and find out if you are part of the infinite world of the worldwide web.
If writing is your forte and been doing it effortlessly, you may want to publish your works online. You may end up with stories similar to how Abraham Olandres managed to become Philippines' Most Read Blogger.
If writing is not your field and public speaking twists your tongue, but you are at best expressing yourself with a-thousand-word thoughts on a 2D digital image files, you may share the passion of most photographers just like what Anton does with Our Awesome Planet.
If you love reading Philippine history books, still believe in the terms, nationalism and patriotism, or simply very active and always have a cent worth of opinion in politics (for democracy sake) you may want to chance on how political pundit Manuel sparkles with wit in his spot in the blogosphere.

Fact is most bloggers will be dealing with things they like to write about. Unlike a monotonous day job, you have 100% control over what topics you'll be tackling in your web spot.

Do you have a passion for artworks, comics and Wolverine? Or you are a struggling comic artists and poured a lot of your time doodling your comic genius but still, these remain unpublished. The new media is just right for you, see Jonas Diego and how he made his ideas of a collection of pinoy comic book creators.
Fact is most bloggers will be dealing with things they like to write about. Unlike a monotonous day job, you have 100% control over what topics you'll be tackling in your web spot. Aside from the enjoyment you will reward yourself from blogging about the things you love, you can earn money through your blog/s just like pro-blogger Jayvee who sports a Canon 350D that his blogging bought.
Whether you blog, or just recently learn its definition and now hyped enough to creating your own blog, iBlog 3 is the right event and gathering for you. Now on its third year, the Philippine Blogging Summit will be held on April 13 and 14, 2007 at the School of Economics Auditorium in UP Diliman.
The event is a collection of blogger-speakers, each are fine tune to their own expertise and will probably share their insight on a wide array of topics such as:
Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Blogging (Lauren Dado
Unlocking your creative blogging potential (Marcelle Fabie)
What every business person should know about blogging (Arelle Valla)
Blogging and Investigative Journalism (Alecks Pabico of PCIJ)
Blogging for advancing one’s career (Marc Hil Macalua)
Increasing blog popularity (Gail Dela Cruz -Villanueva)
and a lot more.
What makes this event more inviting than any other musical concert or business conference is that it is free. Free as in free food, free seats, free beer and free speech. And the only thing that will require you to shell out some cash is getting there. The organizers are also generous enough to provide a map for those who might get lost on their way.

I hope to see you all there! Tara lets mga bagets!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Black Saturday Bus

SINCE MY SHIFT to another section in my company, one of the things that immediately affected my usual schedule is to work on a holiday. I am now part of a team required to stay behind when all the rest of the workers have already fled the factory. So this year, I missed for the first time spending holy week in my hometown in Angeles City.
In the past, I always see to it that I make it at home come Maundy Thursday, and stay there until the rest of the week. I have never engaged in any activity before that would conflict my homecoming.
At this time of the year, I don't find it as an opportunity to go into the beach or someplace else for a summer getaway just like what most people nowadays do.
Nonetheless, I consider it as moment for reflection of the soul.
A halo-halo in a street corner is already enough to quench the thirst and heat of the body.
More time with the family, a rare chance to relax at home and temporarily forget the stress brought by the office.
In Pampanga, it is a normal sight in the streets to witness penitents of varying forms: mamusan-krus(cross-bearers), kukusad qeng gabun(ground crawlers), mamalaspas(flagellants), etc. These face-covered faithfuls find their way into the next kapilla(chapel) wherein a Pabasa is being staged. They will be subjected to further physical pain, normally, by lashing their limbs with bounded banana twigs. These acts constitute an old tradition of the Kapampangan Catholics.
These and among others I already missed, since boarding probably one of the last bus for the evening in Cubao terminal, I did only on Black Saturday. And because the majority of the people living or working in Manila has been siphoned into the provinces and in other parts of the country, there is no traffic to impede my journey.
Thank God, I was home safe several hours before Easter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Another Chance for the American Dream

IF YOU'RE A nurse, planning to be, or on your way to being one of the white-wearing wingmen/women of doctors, I would most likely picture you with a cloud hanging above your head. Just like in the scenes of the well read comic strips of Pol Medina Jr., a closer look on the cloud would most likely present a collage of images depicting the american dream: star spangled banner, the white house, an american airplane, snow, greenbacks, and anything that would remind me of the good life waiting in the land of the promise.

Recently, I just happen to know more about my relatives in the father side, particularly the generation that were born during the late 80s and early 90s. The power of texting is really enormous and it can breakdown the barrier of being miles apart. I was able to accomplish this by obtaining callouses in my right thumb.

Almost all of them who are still in school have plunged in the popular bandwagon. They are hoping that in four years of squeezing their parents resources, they would have a crack at the elusive American dream. They are few of the many nursing students who share the same dream of being successful. However, the success is define as being able to graduate, hurdle a barrage of requisite exams including the CGFNS, NCLEX and many other tests that would qualify them to have a ticket abroad and earn the kind of living that no ordinary Filipino working in the Philippines would ever achieve.

While most of them are aware of their own perspective and realities, they are somehow unaware of the bigger reality behind this 'exodus of nurses'. There are far too many reasons why there is a great demand for nursing and domestic help in first world countries such as the US, we can't be too blinded not to know that they are incapable of taking care of their elders and themselves. They are simply (ab)using our weakness.

And to further this (ab)use, today is the last day of registration for the Special Nursing Board Exam Review for all nurses who passed the leakage-prone June 2006 licensure exams. In the website, a list of all participating schools, schedules and those who already confirmed registration since March 21 can be found.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Travel and Competitions

PART OF THE duties I commit myself as a human being is to travel the world. This is quite impossible as of today since I'm only one of the average Filipino workers who doesn't earn much. Seeing the world is still a farfetched dream etched in the chambers of my desires. So I opted to tour my beloved country first, even though that already bleeds my pocket.

Soaring through the Hills

Anyway, my friends at the office decided to grab discounted plane tickets for Boracay and Cagayan de Oro. We took advantage of the recent price slash of Cebu Pacific airfares and we'll be off to the white beaches of Bora on September 22-24. My good ol' college buddy Evan will join us in the trip to serve as guide because of his countless times he's been there.

We later on book an earlier flight, sometime in June, to experience the water rafting and caving the City of Golden Smiles boasts. We will also include in the itinerary an overnight visit to the Camiguin Island and certainly a stop-by in Pizza's home in Misamis Oriental.

It is still a long way to go before these scheduled travels but we are already endorsed to the idea of a great getway to the sand dune clinging into everyone's toes.

However, while wailing away through time and day dreaming of the most awaited moment, I spotted a competition in Cebu Pacific Air's inflight magazine Smile. The airline is on its 11th year and they are hosting a photo contest for the best destination photo along with its description.

I'm so much in love with my camera and I immediately thought of joining the contest.

And so, after several days of finding the suitable entry in a haystack of digital pictures embedded in a hard disk drive, I finally was able to select four entries, with one of them shown above. These pictures were taken during our escape to Bohol last December.

I'm greatly convinced that these photos will hit a score with the following categories:
• Composition — 20%
• Artistic merit — 30%
• Originality — 30%
• Execution (exposure, sharpness) — 20%
I was supposed to include the other three here but something inside me wanted to refuse. Aside from the winning photo to be published in the June/July edition of Smile, there are other great prizes at stake here. And I'm sure that cozy plane tickets are part of it. Supposed I win and they found out that I already posted the pictures here, it may be disqualified. Even if it's not declared in the contest that blogged photos are not meritable, I'm still adamant in posting them considering that I emailed the last entry exactly a minute before the deadline expired.

But maybe, I'm just too assuming and already counted the chicks before they even hatched.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Worn Out

I'M QUITE GETTING tired of the look of this blog. The color is green and the header no longer appeals me with the ballpoint so big in the picture. Like a kid who got used to his pencil during class and grown weary through out the school year, he needs to change or upgrade his pencil into a new and better writing instrument. Otherwise, he'll be doodling non-sense in his notepad and drop out from school.

Even the title and the URL address seems to have lost its value and no longer appease the other part of my body where thinking machination (well, sort of) dwells in.

I've been trying to learn new tricks and hacks on how to improve my blogspot. Everything will be re-organized, from the header down to the footer. Side bars will be turn into a two sided sidebars full of new things and links to read about! If you're browsing the net with Firefox, you may have notice the Favicon I've induced to appear on the left side of the page's tab. Thanks to some tools and blogs I've read that helped me absorb new ways on how to beautify blogger which I will share later on.

Maybe tomorrow or the day after, I'll give this blog the facelift it deserves.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ayang is Leaving

TWO POSTS AGO, I wrote a big metaphor about my recent departure from my old job. My first job for three years, eight months and six days. I was stuck there long enough for me to become a person somewhat similar to a lame duck. So I rather expressed it in a metaphoric way than be literally specific.

Leaving my old job was like finally breaking loose and becoming free: free from a prison-like space where you are pressed down and held to succeed, free to a lot of opportunities, free to the open world that could give me more-than-I-could-handle chances of improving my self and my career.

She will soon be boarding an aircraft for Singapore and join her hubby along with thousands of Filipino engineers who opted to leave for abroad.

When I first came, I never realized I would settle at a gridlock workplace with no dynamics and no improvements. It was my first job and what do you expect from a neophyte, but enthusiasm and eagerness. However, it was not long ago and difficult to know that the work itself is not exciting. I would not think twice of leaving it. It was like, if I were a driver of a PUV, I was given a task of cranking old and dilapidated tricycle in a far away rural community where walking is so much better.

And then another big news suddenly came upon me in a relaxed mood but surprising way. My dear friend and colleague, Ayang, will be finally taking the same exit path. She carries different story lines on how she got into to the place she will soon leave, but I'm pretty sure we bear the same angst and grievances of what we used to be doing.

She will soon be boarding an aircraft for Singapore and join her hubby along with thousands of Filipino engineers who opted to leave for abroad. Before her, there are already a great number of former co-engineers in our company who have gone there, and elsewhere such as Dubai to seek for a "better life".

The trend is evident. More and more Filipinos are leaving this country for a lot of reasons. Worth mentioning is the hopelessness in everything being a Filipino. We may be hearing time and time again news about remittances brought about by the hordes of our countrymen scattered anywhere on earth. However, this is not good news but a sign that there will be a vacuum in terms of labor, workforce, and intelligence.

It is indeed impossible for this country to improve when all the knowledge of our good engineers are consumed for the advancement of other countries. It is an impossibility to wheel our country into the first world level when all our movers have vanished to the promised land. We are forever stranded with this scenario if this migration doesn't stop.

On a lighter note, it is quite sad hearing Ayang’s looming departure, but the thrill on her face was indescribable. I have never seen her beaming with gladness and her cheeks flushed and red. She is indeed happy and we, her housemates in Stockton Belair for countless months, are glad for her new path to take.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Going Bananas Over a Peso

THE WORD IS indeed true: "All for Juan P1 for All"

Today is the last day of the promotional gimmick of Cebu Pacific Airlines. They dropped all their airfares to as low as One Peso to all their local and international destinations. Apparently, this news has shaken the world of those who love traveling and to those who have not rode in an airplane, but think that such offer should not be ignored.

All destinations for just P1, excluding surcharges such as tax (damn! why does the government always have a slice in every pie?) and fuel is such an inviting premise, but lo and behold! Reserving a flight online is equivalent to having your car stuck in EDSA traffic. It seems that every online Filipino has been accessing the site trying to get a ticket for Boracay, Bohol and Palawan. The Oops! page was persistent since day 1 and my fingers have been punishing the mouse by clicking the refresh button almost endlessly.

I immediately informed my trekker friends about the situation, that one ticket goes in every breath they take. But still, we manage to hoist passes for Boracay and Palawan. And finally, I will be able to experience rafting in the waters of Cagayan de Oro, the city of golden friendship.

I'm so glad I'll be seeing the town of JVandep, swim literally in hot waters, eat the best breakfast in a white island on second installment. Camiguin, see you in June!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Changing Channels

I BOUGHT A television set about three and a half years ago. I was able to acquire it after filling up bunch of forms asking details about me and subjecting myself to a series of bespectacled humans asking questions about what I wrote in the forms and if I am fit to own the TV.

Excitement and elation best described what I felt the moment I got hold of the unit and the remote control, with batteries included. It was the first time that I had my personal wants granted. It was the start of my deeper desires' becoming when I can't even afford to buy myself a shirt before I got this tv.

The good thing about this television is that it captured immediately my attention and I never needed to change the channel at first. I was accustomed to watching the same show aired over the same station everyday. If it were a beer, I must have faltered to its pleasure and became addicted. I took the remote control away and placed it inside its box and hid it somewhere else.

Until such time when I noticed that my friends were having their own TVs and seemed happier with what they had. Consider a chocolate bar: I was only consuming a Safari chocolate while they're feasting on Macadamia's. I was becoming envious of their feat but something in me was solid enough to keep my feet on the ground.

I was contented. I still looked for my television and watch the same show. It has provided me pleasure and entertainment when everyone else was having much more bliss. I had to content on Eat Bulaga and laugh with their perennial jokes while their eyes were glued on cable and satellite broadcast watching live NBA or the Oscars.

Later on I found out, that my TV was beginning to sound boring and almost lifeless. Soon, it has started to crank a bit slower than usual. I spend a couple of minutes just to turn it on and a handful of seconds before images are shown.

That's when I started to hate my tv.

Everyday, same show and same actors were playing the same stupid scripts every now and then. As if they were a living testimony of how insulting my television was. It wasn't a HD tv, it was too small and too heavy to carry around the house. It was a burden that keeps on getting heavy by the tick of the clock.

So I decided to rid of it, no matter how and no matter what it cost. It took me more than a year to realize that this television is hard to let go as there are too many brand new TVs sprouting on the market but pays a high price to gain. I could lose my arm, my limb and my leg, before I could even lay my eyes on the smooth edges and fine buttons. It was a struggle similar to how squail would try on getting out of the basin before being cooked and served for lunch.

I was feeling hopeless. Day by day I ask myself, will I be fed with this same show for the rest of my life? With the same Tito, Vic and Joey doing their antics except for the fact that they are not the real Tito Vic and Joey but a pseudo representation of Erap, Saddam and Osama Bin Laden? I pray that one day God will move heaven and earth and save me from this inner demolition.

Then all of a sudden, a week before Christmas time of 2006, I stumbled upon a box that surprisingly appeared above my head. I was adamant in opening the laces that had covered this box but my curiosity is much powerful. I opened it deliberately and found inside, still inside its seal and left untouched, the remote control.

I thought I lost it and never even bothered to look for it. I was given one chance to switch my channel to a far greater station and I wasted no time in pressing the keys.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Killer Candle and the Stupid Nurse

SHE WAS PRAYING on her usual hours of meditation and silence with God inside her room. She stepped outside and casually spoke with one of her daughters, who practically been living beside her house after all her other sons and daughters setup their own homes a few meters away to the amianan or bagatan, while others have fled to other far away places where they brought up their own families. Suddenly she remembered leaving the altar with the candle still lighting the room.

At a very old age of 86 and known to her kin as Mami Bakèt, she went back up stairs to whisk it off. Her daughter, Lumeng was unmindful of the what will be happening in the next few minutes and didn't bother to help her mother. Because she's been praying with a candle burning beside the altar since time immemorial. Minutes later, she was struggling to put out the fire from torching her that started with her blouse up to her old curly hair. Lumeng's youngest son JR quickly came to the rescue when she managed to got out of the house. It was all too late.

She had to absorb third degree burns that is pitiful to ones eyes. Her face suffered most with indescribable burns down to her upper body skin.

Immediately, they took her to the nearest hospital somewhere in Guimba in Nueva Ecija, and was confined there for several days. The absence of adequate hospital resources and technologically advance equipment has made the situation worst. The wounds were not healing.

The elders decided to transfer Mami Bakèt to PGH with full of hope that she will recover from the inevitable demise. However, her body began to succumb to the suffering. Eventually, she went to a state of coma that dwindled all hopes and fears of all the persons that have love her dearly, down to her last apo sa talampakan.

She died a few hours after because of the in-charge nurse's inability to monitor the instruments that's been keeping her alive. That's why, I can't imagine what would happen if all our good nurses in this country have fled to the US or to some other place that will provide them with a good paying job. It was explained that the food (it was milk) being injected to her has penetrated the lungs, thus, causing her misfortune on the same day she was born.

The last drop of hope has finally evaporated and tears began to fall.

This is the story of how Mami Baket died, my grandmother on the father side, who was still strong and kicking despite her age. Unfortunately, she took a tragic way of saying goodbye.