Thursday, December 09, 2004


"There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory." - Marcel Proust, French novelist (1871-1922)

The new Marcelo Fernan bridge spanning Mandaue City and Mactan Island.

I am jealous of my friend Carlos for spending his next three months in Cebu, my "home" in the Visayas (1996-2000). I have been sending him SMS guides as to where to go, etc but Fugue Master that he is, he's even been to some places I've never been to like the runway of the Mactan International. Chatting with trainees under the night sky while aircraft land from overhead?! My cheeks redden with jealousy.

I am so tempted to visit Cebu again. The last time I was there was like two years ago when I accompanied my Aunt to a Rotary convention, and my friends there say that things continue to look up in that island paradise.

And wow, do I miss so many things!

I miss Aranos, my "secret" Spanish restaurant in Ferlane Village.

I miss the lobby of the Waterfront Hotel Lahug and its awesome paintings and excellent service.

I miss the beaches.

I miss the churches of Carcar and those of other towns further south.

I miss the real danggit. Manila's version is just so pathetic.

I miss my former girlfriend's Mother. She cooks sooo well and knows my favorites (chicharon Carcar and lechon Talisay).

I miss attending Mass at the Basilica Minore during Sundays. Nothing beats the sound of an all-male choir.

The Magellan Monument in Mactan Island. Nearby stand the huts of Cebu's famous SUTUKIL.

I miss Mactan's sutukil (sugba, tula, kilaw).

I miss Casa Gorordo.

I miss going out of my dormitory at midnight and eat at a University hang-out (spicy tuna and egg, please!)

I miss larsian. Nobody knows barbecue best than the Cebuanos.

I miss cappuccino at East, West. *smirk*

I miss the cool bars, the great nightlife, the art of showing off.

Sarcastic discussions with the girls in The Village.

Pizza at Il Sole.

Cakes at Oh Georg! And then there's another pastry shop whose name I can't recall right now.

Oh, yes. W.R.A.P.S., of course. I worked here for 5 months with dear friend Kuya Glen, then the owner.

I miss lazy afternoons in Cafe Laguna (rice cakes and hot chocolate!).

I miss travelling by ferry and fastcraft to neighboring Cagayan de Oro and Bohol.

I really miss the overnight trips to my other home, Cagayan de Oro. I miss my house there. I miss seeing Mom there and my cousins on a weekend.

I miss reading the Sunday edition of Sun.Star Cebu.

I miss seeing Cebu from the air. My heart breaks at the sight.

Mom said her happiest days were spent in Cebu when she was a student at CIT. I totally agree with her.


Tuesday, December 07, 2004


A dear friend from College and colleague in the medical profession was texting me this afternoon. Everything was doing okay until she sent me this message:

GP: "By the way, I think I might be suffering from breast CA. Remember I was operated on before for fibroadenoma? This time the mass is bigger and fixed. I could die young."

Me: "What?! But you are not sure yet! My Mom didn't have a familial history (Note: My Mom was diagnosed with CA in July) but how about you?"

GP: "Wala (None). Fibroadenoma lang sa Mom ko (My Mom only had fibroadenoma). Iba talaga consistency ngayon. (It has a different consistency now). I don't want to consult a surgeon because alam ko na gagawin sa akin (...I know what's going to be done to me)."

Me: "But GP, you still have to have it checked, you know. And please, please. Do not delay!"

Then later in the afternoon, a first cousin texted me from Dumaguete that his wife was recently diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythemasos (SLE) and that I must discuss the case with his Mom, to help them understand the process better and thus help them in their decisions.

Last week, dear friend J confided that his sister has Stage 4 Breast CA and is currently undergoing medication in Singapore.

I am so exhausted. I wish I could be there for everyone. I really want to but it is just not possible.

Monday, December 06, 2004


Fort Santiago's main entrance with the bas relief of Spanish patron Saint James (Santiago Matamoros) in wood

Paid the Walled City a quick visit yesterday to do business with BPI Muralla. Since I had to make the cab fly me from Las Pinas to Manila in an hour to catch the 3PM closing time(given Roxas Boulevard's monstrous traffic stops), I thought I needed a place to sit down and catch my breath.

There seems to be something new to see every time i visit this old place. This time, it's the burgeoning community of settlers lining the streets of Cabildo up to Calle Real. Signs of community activity are everywhere: sari sari stores selling cooked food, clothes hanging out to dry in gray decaying buildings, and tons of children on the streets!

Without the new street lamps (which are so out of sync with the poverty in this area), one actually has the feeling that you'd get mugged when you walk here at night.

The illustrious Ilustrado on Calle Real de Palacio

Nevertheless, I decided to meet up with very good friend Jerome of PBSP (yes, the same guy who glares at me all the time from his blogspot) and we chatted over mocha coffee and sugar doughnuts (which I declared to be far better than Gonuts Donuts) in Ilustrado. What capped that afternoon escape was the puto bumbong, truly worthy of an Oprah Moment (gasps, hands on mouth, like how my girlfriends do it) - dipped in melted butter, fresh grated coconut and muscovado, it was heaven on earth even if the San Agustin was just in the next street.

The negative points for Ilustrado were the ensaymadas. While the cheese and ham was good (even better then the pre-war Dizon's in Ermita), the ube version was an abomination - it was like biting into a chunk of pen ink smothered in cheese. Never again but at Ps 15 apiece, why am I complaining?!

T'was a good Monday afternoon. Looking forward to my next visit.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


I hate working at night. It's so lonely. It also makes you feel silly knowing that half the world is sleeping while you burn your butt off trying to finish reports, or following up on several cases and stuff.

From my right, I can see one colleague of mine dozing off. In a few minutes, I can forsee that he'd be slipping off of his chair and onto the floor.

I'm downing mugs upon mugs of warm water to keep me awake. Coffee has no effect on me and yesterday, the espresso I had with my Chef's salad gave me chest congestion. Not ordinary palpitations, mind you. Congestion. I had to take a sublingual quick.


Things one does to advance a "career". Vita brevis. Life is too short. I badly need one.


Who in the hell is he?!

Okay. If you, while getting lost along Taft Avenue or was crossing the Luneta towards the National Museum complex happened to notice this sign and wondered what it was all about, you are not alone.

I first saw this sign while crossing Estrada Street and Taft Avenue towards La Salle from my Spanish class at the Mayflower Building and sabay kamot sa ulo, knowing too well that this University is Tsinoy Heaven, I was wondering why this dear city headed by one who is of Chinese-descent would name a non-existent street in honor of Ped Xing.

Who is Ped Xing, exactly?

"It's Pedro Xing-Hua, from a wealthy Chinese family," Manila Mayor Lito Atienza said in jest in one forum at the Westin Philippine Plaza, after one of the guests asked him to reveal once and for all who Ped Xing was.

So who is Ped Xing? He is Chinese, he is Filipino, he is every nationality when he or she crosses the street. Ped Xing simply means "Pedestrian Crossing." (Source: by Tarra Quismondo).

Look here: PEDestrian Cross(X)ING. I learned that the first time while reading Micheal Tan's column in the Inquirer.

Dan Simeon, an architect at the City Development and Planning Office, said the installation of the Ped Xing street signs began early this year as part of an on-going project called Lighted Street Sign and Multi-Traffic Signals. Mr Simeon said, "I think Manila is the only city in the Philippines where the Ped Xing street sign has been installed".

True and in fact, it can be found in many areas in the US, too. There was even a 'study' of sorts regarding this street sign in New York. (See below)

An Interactive Binaural. Audio Environment Produced by Lynda Williams and Christopher Seguine
Technical Direction: Christopher Seguine. Installed at VR 91 and The San Francisco Art Institute.

PED XING is an interactive binaural audio environment. Standing on a street corner in New York City, you have to decide blindly when it is safe to cross. When you think it is safe, you step out onto the "smart street" and hear what happens! Audio recorded in 3D binaural sound. The smart street is embedded with pressure sensitive triggers which detect when the step occured during the sound track. Will you get hit by a cab or mugged?

So there, dearest friends. Smile when you see Ped Xing, our new and dear friend on the road.


Monday, November 22, 2004


No, wait. It's not what you think!


Anyways, I just had lunch with a colleague of mine when posters of Jay Manalo all over the canteen caught our attention. Suddenly, images of gritty dark Pinoy films flashed infront of me. There's this huge sign that said, "Mola ka na ba?!" in bright red against a yellow backdrop which made my companion Alex grin.

MOLA here is actually a new generation energy drink designed for men. Alex said na palaban na daw ulit ang mga lalake kasi puro na lang for females ang mga energy drinks. Au contraire, there are still more energy drinks for men than for women in the Philippine market.

As to the Mola question, I would like to refresh your memories that Mr Manalo starred in such a film entitled TOTOY MOLA. Googling only gave me a wide array of topics on the subject: from Manalo's new career directions to a eunuch page (egad!). To make the story short, the film was about a boy whose Dad was so freaking obsessed with horses (betting? Taking care of them in stables? I've forgotten already) that his son Totoy was born with a (forgive me) cock that was as big as a horse's (Uh, I bet when he was a kid, his was just as big as a pony's because after all, he wasn't named Lam-Ang, was he?).

Back to my topic. Anyway, Totoy goes from farm boy to stripper to hooker to married man. There's a scene near the ending when one of his former lovers (Aya Medel? Dindi Gallardo?) makes her vengeance and slices his cock off with a blade, and she runs around the street screaming about what she did.

So knowing this "mola" background and juxtaposing it against this Mola Energy Drink made me shiver.

To drink or not to drink, that was the question. I'm happy with my mola right now, no need to take more enerygy drinks but heck, what's there to lose? (Eh paano yung mga hindi or worse, walang mola? One drink of this straw-colored fluid is enough to turn them into walking Jay Manalos?)

Here goes.

*downs an entire sample cup*

Hmmm. Lasang Extra Joss but heck, just think of what being a mola can do to your ego! Ego plus equipment to boot. It's a happy day.

*naughty grin*

Thursday, November 11, 2004


I miss writing.

In fact, has been a complete blessing because not only does it afford me a chance to write again but also allows what I write to be read by friends, and then some.

What I really miss doing most though, is poetry. I've done this stuff since I was kid, jotting down senseless things while waiting at the airport lounge for our delayed flight to be arranged. I wrote more when I was in Don Bosco, driven by this religious fervor that made mad boys out of us (so okay, masturbation was a sin so we might as well be preoccupied with something else).

I can say that I truly matured as a poet (uy, hebigats pare! -> this expression is so 80's!) when I was in Cebu under the "tutelage" of one who was far crazy over writing than I was.

Unfortunately, I cannot share with you even one of those pieces. You know, my old laptop was on its way to me from Cagayan de Oro and Mom decided to check it in. No thanks to the PAL ground crew, the whole thing got stacked along with the other baggages so, voila!

An old laptop with a huge crack, enough to render it useless forever.
I wouldn't have minded it much, you know. I have two new PCs at home but man, oh man! A Why-did-you-allow-this-my-God moment swept over me because 20 of my select poetry are saved in this freaking laptop!!!

I just sat on the floor, staring at my dead 486SX. 5 years of Cebu experiences immortalized (supposedly) in the form of short stories and poetry are now gone. I can almost see them come out of this machine in the form of ether soul, spilling over its faux leather case, finding its way out of the aircraft cargo hold and out into the free air, mixing with deadly oxygen and emitting sparks - their last hurrah, because they shall never see recognition on land.


The Carlos Palanca Award for Poetry has to wait.For now, I'm trying to recollect
my lost soul, hence this new blogspot.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Ubi mens plurima, ibi minima fortuna. "Where there is most intellect, there is least money."Amen to that. Sometimes it pays to just leave your brain at home. Really.
Wait, the last time I said that line to an HRD Manager during a job interview, I didn't get the job. Baka akala niya presko ako masyado when I was just stating a fact.
I still shake my head whenever I am reminded of that day. Shucks! Stupid, stupid, stupid me for quoting Jostein Gaarder during an interview. That wasn't the fucking Mr Universe Pageant, Mr Dylan Yap Gozum!
*bangs head on wall*

Monday, November 08, 2004


"Theatre should provoke. Not to pander. People should leave the theatre wanting to fight, to jump, to fuck!"

- Orson Welles as played by Angus Macfadyen,

THE CRADLE WILL ROCK (1999, by Tim Robbins)

May Bayot steps into Nora Aunor's shoes as Elsa

Saw HIMALA The Musical last friday with friends. As usual, courtesy of the Japan Foundation, which has virtually sponsored 90% of the shows i've seen at the CCP (Rudy, take a bow, pare!).

Directed by veteran Soxy Topacio, written by Ricky Lee (who also wrote the original screenplay for the film in 1982), and music was by Vince de Jesus.

I was blown away by the set! It was an ingenious take on Cumpang, the town that Elsa and her visions turned into a holy frenzy. Since i've designed sets myself for a couple of other productions, I wouldn't have thought of this.

All the actors were amazing, and while May Bayot was praised to high heavens as Elsa, my heart goes to Chayong played by Cynthia Culig-Guico. She has just the right temperament and character to suit the very difficult role of Chayong, Elsa's best friend, shadow and eventually, the symbol of her very failure (as a person? as a visionary? Could be both).

My friend Jerome was right in saying that what makes this theatre version just as amazing as the film was, it was bristling with disdain for the hypocrisy of the religious, as well as the tendency of the Filipino people to take advantage of certain circumstances to benefit themselves.

Veteran Soxy Topacio directs

Lars von Trier's DOGVILLE (Nicole Kidman,Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall) comes to mind immediately when i think of HIMALA. This film, now a play, really is all about the Filipino society in the same way that DOGVILLE is a mirror of America as a society. HIMALA is everything that we are, capable of being or funny enough, it's something that we are afraid to become, even.

Writer Ricky Lee

It is very interesting to note that Cumpang's pre-vision status is something akin to what we have now - wisespread poverty, hunger (imagined or not), lawlessness, people losing hope.

Is the time ripe for another Elsa?

I wonder.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Because I've been busy as hell these past few months, I've been missing so many favorite things.

Here's a preview.

Peach halves!!! Fresh from the can!

I miss surfing through! My den used to be my "cockpit" while I manuever over thousands upon thousands of aircract photos and information. This one's the soon-to-be-launched A380, soon to take over Boeing's 747-400 as the largest commercial airliner in the sky.

I miss hearing Mass at Cebu's Basilica Minore. I attend this 11 AM service because of the all-male Holy Ghost Choir. Chilling, to say the least.

I miss fried fish with fresh tomatoes, deep fried aubergines and fresh mangoes!

I miss Bohol! Walang tao, hindi mahal, yummy ang pagkain at higit sa lahat, mga 'tol, WALANG COLIFORM BACTERIA ANG DAGAT!!! Wapow!

Sigh. So many things to do, so little time.


The first time I heard of PENIS TALKS, I was already up in arms because first, there is hardly anything new that we need to know about men. Second, men have ruled the earth and have lorded it over women forever that with the advent of Vagina Monologues, works such as this are immediately rendered irrelevant. Third, looking at the list of the cast, I know that the story won't be the selling point here. It'd be a waste.

Skin and sex sells, but does the storyline get to you?

Okay, so I did go to see it BUT only because it was a birthday treat by a very dear friend. I eventually became curious if this play can hold its own candle to Eve Ensler's more famous work. Second, I wanted to see what Ricky Lee has to say about men that we don't know yet. Third, I wanted to eat at Pasto, that eclectic restaurant right beside the Music Museum.

One hour into the show, I realized that my attention was going somewhere else ("Where are the waiters? I need water."). My four companions were either asleep or texting. Two hours of penis stories later, over Lavazza and cakes, J described the script as "contrived". I did notice too many loopholes and all I can say is that it needs focus. With a motley mixture of penis stories like this, it is easy to get lost. I wonder how it would have turned out if it were written by a straight male writer? Malay natin, 'di ba? Baka iba ang attack sa story. (Say, is Ms Ensler lesbian?! Just curious).

I am saddened that majority of the stories centered on, or almost always involved homosexual experiences. Sinasabi ko na nga ba, eh. Say for example the story of the sexually-molested boy played by Luis Alandy. I mean, the Dad not only rapes his daughter when the wife's not looking, he also rapes his son! Duh?! Is there actual Philippine statistics available to give credence to this story?

"Closer to burlesque", says Andrew Paredes of Manila Standard, who probably gave the most objective review I've read about the play.

Many writers have engaged in ass-kissing in order to please the venerable Ricky Lee but you know, talent isn't free from error. Bad things do happen, even to the best of us. I can't wait for Saturday! I'm finally watching HIMALA The Musicale. Ricky Lee definitely redeems himself in that.

"Never a dull moment", says one writer. He probably was seated within crotch-grabbing distance, I'd say!

All in all, short of becoming an owner's manual of their equipment, PENIS TALKS can be a liberating experience for those who connect to the individual stories. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, this isn't all about men and their penises. The height of this show being the 10-second kiss between Luis Alandy and Christian Vasquez (yep, I told you it's too gay.), I doubt it if this show will be remembered for its stories. Wanna bet?

I am bothered though by a tiny evil thought that most people who came to see it didn't come for the story. With the entire cast coming on stage in outfits that left nothing to the imagination, I can clearly see what made this play sell. No need to elaborate. Go figure.

While I must admit I did enjoy parts of it, thanks to predictable Pinoy humor and theatrical antics by Ricci Chan (who was the only gay guy in the cast), the whole thing fell flat on its face.

The great pasta dinner, coffee and conversation all made up for what could have been an interminable excruciating evening.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

e.e.cummings' to town

Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your intelligence to buy a drink. (from 'Humanity i love you', 1925)

Very interested in 'birth', Cummings used the Latin word nascitur in at least two of his works.

While my Mother favors Robert Frost more - she, the faithful disciple of Romanticism, I have always found e.e. cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings) more to my liking. Known for his eccentric punctuations, he often dealt with the antagonism between an individual and masses, but his style brought into his poems lightness and satirical tones.

Cummings believed that modern mass society was a threat to individuals. "Progress is a comfortable disease," Cummings once wrote. He was interersted in cubism, and jazz, which had not became mass entertainment, and contemporary slang, an unorthodox form of language - a true revolutionary who, funny enough, painted for Vanity Fair magazine.

Allow me, dearest friends,to introduce you to samples of his work.

[i thank You God for most this amazing]

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginably You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

By e. e. cummings

The next work, of course, is something most Filipinos actually know by heart courtesy of Beauty and the Beast.

[somewhere i have never travelled]

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

- e. e. cummings

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Pablo Neruda. Photo prise le 20 juin 1966, lors d'une séance d'enregistrement à la Bibliothèque du Congrès américain, à Washington, D. C.
États-UnisSource : Library of Congress, Hispanic and Portuguese Collections,
Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape, Hispanic Division

Chilean poet, writer, diplomat, political activist and exile, Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Pablo Neruda is also called the "people's poet," a senator, and one of Chile's gifts to the literary world (also Isabel Allende, one of my personal favorites). He joins the ranks of Rainer Maria Rilke, Dylan Thomas, and e.e. cummings as one of those who provide the words to my every life experience.

"Si Tu Me Olvidas"

Quiero que sepas
una cosa.

Tú sabes cómo es esto:
si miro
la luna
de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
si toco
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe:
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.

Ahora bien,
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.

Si de pronto
me olvidas
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.

Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
que en esa día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.

si cada día,
cada hora,
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable,
si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos.

"If You Forget Me" (English version of the above)

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists:
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loveing me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.


I was so angry, distressed, confused last Sunday. I've never felt so bad in one day.I've made very drastic decisions lately because circumstances demand that I dissociate myself immediately from these things before I get pulled down, as well.

I'm okay now. I've just realized my capacity to get a grip, get away from the bad and the sad, and move on.

I am calm. I want to be a new person. Like the sunflower, I face towards the sun and pray for a better day.

"For verses are not as people imagine, simply feelings...they are experiences. For the sake of a single verse, one must see many cities, men and things, one must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which little flowers open in the morning."

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Date: 2002

Location: Abbott Laboratories, Boni Office

What was on: After a business meeting, our District Manager took out a Hershey bar from her bag.

DM: "Hey, guys! I've got a chocolate bar. Let's divulge!"

My Reaction: Runs to the nearest bathroom.

Carol: "Uh, Ma'm, baka indulge po?"
DM: "Ay, oo nga pala! Sorry!"


I have always known that my name is of Welsh origin. Mother, who was a Literature professor, named me after one of the world's celebrated poets: Thomas Dylan, whose photo I am proud to post here.

Dylan Thomas, drinking his muse.

I also found out today that DYLAN comes from the Mabinogion, a collection of 11 mediaeval Welsh tales. The word means "sea". In the tale Math, the son of Mathonwy challenges Aranrhod, his niece who claims to be a virgin, to step over his magic wand.

"Aranrhod stepped over the wand, and with that step she dropped a sturdy boy with thick yellow hair; the boy gave a loud cry, and with that cry she made her way for the door.....

"Well," said Math, "I will arrange for the baptism of this one......and I will call him Dylan."

The boy was baptized, whereupon he immediately made for the sea and when he came to the sea, he took on its nature and swam as well as the best fish. He was called Dylan (sea) son of Ton (wave), for no wave ever broke beneath him."

So there. Fascinating.Since I just did copy-paste for the above story, kindly ignore the grammatical errors and triviality of the whole thing. Spare yourself the trouble, tee hee!

It probably makes sense, too, that I love the sea so much and with the exception of actually dipping into it, I recall with fondness the many times I've sat on the beaches in many places - from La Union to Bantayan Island to the Davao Gulf - and experiencing that rare moment of solitude poets like Dylan Thomas were known to indulge in.

I guess it helps people of our kind keep our sanity.

Monday, October 25, 2004


Stir-fried Yakisoba: the real thing!

I was with a friend one night, trying to figure out what food items we can make out of a 250-peso Gift Certificate in this Japanese fastfood chain in an old mall in Manila.

Oddly, it wasn't enough to get me an iced-tea. At least, one order of tuna misono, a mixed sushi tray, and a bowl of noodles after, it wasn't enough to get ME an iced tea. The heck.

Everything was fine until we got to eating the noodle. I suddenly had an apocalyptic experience, sort of a return-to-the-past thingy where i suddenly saw images of a classic film of a Filipino antagonist named Zuma (he was this bald man with two snakes coming out of his back).

I felt that the consistency of the noodles was like that of his snakes: rubbery. Or at least, that's what they felt like unless they were pretending they were noodles.

I suddenly took a pity on countless people who eat in this restaurant. They'd probably never get to experience what REAL yakisoba tastes like but at least they can be reminded of some childhood friend, er, fiend.


Had a great time with Mom last Saturday noon. Right after we got home from Manila Doctors' where she had her 4th cycle chemo the night before, I set out to prepare lunch while I plugged in ELVIS on the DVD. Since Saturday is usually video day at home, I was at a roll and played ABBA next. Now ABBA, this was probably something that connects Mom's generation and mine. In fact, it connects us both to far more younger people since my cousin, who is just 11, has taken fancy over this group since she was 9. Weird! I mean, talk about music breaking all age barriers

Benny Andersson, Anni-Fri Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog form ABBA

Seeing and hearing their songs again really reminds me of my childhood. I hope MAMMA MIA! is brought to Manila soon. Their music now serves a different purpose in our setting. Really, gracias por la musica, ABBA!


My favorite song of all time, ladies and gentlemen!

Andrea Bocelli performing CON TI PARTIRO at the San Remo Festival 1995, placing only 4th Place as he was distracted by the birth of his son on the very same day of the Festival. In 1996, when Bocelli released BOCELLI the album and featured the same song, it became a hit in Europe. It topped the French charts for 6 weeks, hitting Triple Gold. It also became the best hit of all time in Belgium, spending 12 weeks at No. 1.

F. Sartori / L. Quarantotto

Quando sono solo
sogno all’orizzonte
e mancan le parole,
Si lo so che non c’è luce
in una stanza quando manca il sole,
se non ci sei tu con me, con me.
Su le finestre
mostra a tutti il mio cuore
che hai acceso,
chiudi dentro me
la luce che
hai incontrato per strada.

Con te partirò.
Paesi che non ho mai
veduto e vissuto con te,
adesso si li vivrò,
Con te partirò
su navi per mari
che, io lo so,
no, no, non esistono più,
con te io li vivrò.

Quando sei lontana
sogno all’orizzonte
e mancan le parole,
e io sì lo so
che sei con me,
tu mia luna tu sei qui con me,
mio sole tu sei qui con me,
con me, con me, con me.

Con te partirò.
Paesi che non ho mai
veduto e vissuto con te,
adesso si li vivrò.
Con te partirò
su navi per mari
che, io lo so,
no, no, non esistono più,
con te io li rivivrò.
Con te partirò
su navi per mari
che, io lo so,
no, no, non esistono più,
con te io li rivivrò.
Con te partirò.
Io con te.

© 1995 Insieme Srl / Double Marpot Ed. Musicali

In November of 1996, Andre sang it with soprano Sarah Brightman in Germany under the title TIME TO SAY GOODBYE as a farewell song for German World Light-Heavyweight Champion Henry Maske's last bout (who unfortunately lost to American Virgil Hill). The new version shot to No. 1 and stayed there for 14 weeks, garnering sextuple Platinum awards.

In English this time, for better apprecation of the song.


When I’m alone
I dream on the horizon
and words fail;
yes, I know there is no light
in a room where the sun is absent,
if you are not with me, with me.
At the windows
show everyone my heart
which you set alight;
enclose within me
the light you
encountered on the street.

I’ll go with you,
to countries I never
saw and shared with you,
now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you
on ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer;
wjth you I shall experience them.

When you are far away
I dream on the horizon
And words fail,
and, Yes, I know
that you are with me;
you, my moon, are here with me,
my sun, you are here with me,
with me, with me, with me.

I’ll go with you,
To countries I never
Saw and shared with you,
now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you
On ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer,
with you I shall experience them again.
I’ll go with you
On ships across seas
Which, I know,
No, no, exist no longer;
with you I shall experience them again.
I’ll go with you,
I with you.


Monday, October 18, 2004


A gleaming Airbus A330 in Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport

I've always wanted to be a flight attendant. Yeah, no kidding. I'm very qualified on all counts except two: i can't swim that well, and i have bad eyesight.

But hey, I can identify an aircraft while it is on approach.

I can tell how many seats this particular flight has, and what all those international codes (i.e. PR, CX, TG) mean.

I know the names of the world's major airports.

I am tall enough to help put passengers' luggage at the overhead storage bins.

I know what to do with that emergency window you are so scared to be assigned a seat to.

I can say the usual lines, "Coffee, tea or me?", even in my sleep.

I know that you have to draw the curtains separating the Business Class from the Y Class when serving meals, so the people in the Y Class won't feel bad they're being served fast food.

I won't do the same mistake an FA friend did: throw a bun at a passenger for putting on his mobile phone in midair. I'd probably just detain him in the lavatory for the rest of the flight. Or deny him his food tray.

I wouldn't be rude to rude passengers because as they say, customer is King. There are ways, however, to get back at them like spilling coffee on their laps and blaming it on turbulence *apologetic grin* Come to think of it, nobody serves coffee during a turbulence, but heck!


If I ever did become an FA, would you fly with me?

Thank you for making Philippine Airlines a part of your day!

Thursday, October 14, 2004


I waited outside the house today, hoping to get a glimpse of the Eva Airbus A330 bound for Taipei carrying my friend Eliza, who finally is leaving for the US.

True enough, the beautiful green and white aircraft flew past at 12:40 PM, the fuselage ablaze in the noonday sun.

I will miss our "secret Manila" days, dearest friend.

Do take care of yourself always, okay?



Date: 1991

Location: St Mary's School, Cagayan de Oro City

What was on: a skit based on Edgar Allan Poe's Annabel Lee (I think, let me recheck though the lines below do not sound like it's based on that work).


Son: "Oh mother, mother, dig me a grave. A girl died for me today, I'd die for her tomorrow!"

Mother, no facial reaction: "Okay!"

Reaction: Peed in my pants.


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

- Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet
Written in May of 1951

While on our way to Baguio, Mom left me instructions as to how to deal with her remains after she has died (if she ever does, from cancer). While I was totally quiet throughout the [one-sided] discussion, I cannot seem to believe that discussing death could actually be this easy.

Knowing that cancer can totally change your appearance at least a week before your actual death, we decided to opt for creamation to spare her the embarrassment of being talked about during the wake. You know us Pinoys. Tsismoso. Eh patay na nga ang tao, eh.

I asked Mom to stop the topic because I wasn't comfortable with it. I will state it here once and for all that I will never, never, never be able to accept Mom's death if it does come to pass (and it eventually will). So if it does happen, do not attempt to stop me from prowling the streets as a taong grasa. "Nuff said.

Anyways, since my High School days, I was never the one who was afraid of death. I've written about it in my poetry, even told Mom about it one time. It must have been my exposure to literature which romanticized death too much, I don't know. I am even more scared to be strapped to a wheelchair in old age than to die at an early age. What would have I felt - me, a party boy in my younger days, a runner, an active person - strapped all of a sudden to a wheelchair and wouldn't even be able to get my dick out to pee?

"That's not a bad idea, but how do you intend to kill yourself?", asked Mom.

Galing talaga ni Mommy. Bigla ako napaiisip dun ah.

So, I was talking to my colleague Jesy earlier tonight about how calm I was during the recent earthquake while everybody was literally screaming and running out of the building. I mean, what the heck?! I just kept in mind never to commit the mistakes regarding earthquakes: NEVER hide beneath things like tables. This would surely crush you to death.

Last Summer, I almost met death when our 5J 30-year-old DC9 aircraft towards Tacloban was making its approach from the sea when we entered turbulence. It rocked the aircraft so bad that I heard some friends give little yelps. One was holding on to his seat for dear life. His first time on an airplane and that was what he got. Poor guy.

5J's colorful Mcdonell Douglas MD-30s lined up in Manila's Domestic Airport

Anyways, suffice to say that I was rather calm about the whole thing. Aside from giving a reassuring smile to the foreigner across my seat (he look whiter than he already was), I just looked out the window and saw the bluish sea. It was so calm. Calming. I saw the fringes of the island of Leyte and I thought, God! What a wonderful thing to see before dying. I was just ready for any eventuality. Having flown on an aircraft since I was a baby, I know the procedures for water landing but what happened to us - losing altitude fast, dropping from the sky by the meters - didn't make the scenario of a water landing plausible.

Then I remembered the airport bombing years ago (See related blog).

When I come face to face with Death again, I know that I can just sneer back at him. Death, you don't scare me!


Date: 1996

Location: In LimKetKai Mall Cinema, Cagayan de Oro City

What was on: EVITA, feat. Madonna, etc.

Overheard: "Ay, bakit sila kumakanta?!"

Reaction: Spilled Coke.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


I'm on a roll! I should be working for the United Nations if I continue to write about this topic. Maybe about time, too. The world is tired of wars, famine that has left millions sad, depressed.

Yesterday, I had a sad day reading about how 9 people in Japan committed group suicides with the aid of the internet. Yep, this very ethereal medium that is hosting my blogspot, has brought death closer to many people. Apparently, some people discovered that it was boring to die alone, thus some bright mind decided to invite more suicidal people to come together and have a groupie instead.

An average of 30,000 Japanese, most of them young, commit suicide in Japan every year. It's a tragic fact. It's a society of dying people, both the young and the old, in an amazing rate (and fashion) never before seen. Suicides, old age, gas attacks in subways. Welcome to modern Japan.

On another level, it was fascinating to watch National Geographic's PASSPORT program. Yesterday, they focused the spotlight on Asian transvestites, with special attention to those from India and Thailand. The disparity is just terrible.

Anyone who is familiar with Siamese culture knows how accepted transvestites are in Thai society. It's the Buddhism faith that allows them to be like this, for them to exhibit heightened acceptance (and not just plain tolerance).

In fact, an amusing exercise is done every year in Thai newspapers where the photos of the current Miss Thailand-Universe is placed beside that of Miss Gay Thailand, and the public is hitherto requested to decide who's prettier. You already know who wins the polls.

Nong Toom as played by actor Parinya Charoenphol.

A key figure in Thailand is, of course, Nong Toom - the muay thai-trained boy from Chiang Mai who recently became the topic of the heart-breaking film BEAUTIFUL BOXER ( Against all odds, "he fought like a man to become a woman", so goes the teaser of the film. Nong Toom has long given up the sport, and is now an actress and model in the Kingdom.

Nong Toom today.

If Nong Toom is lucky in Thailand, those who hail from Mumbai India are not. The Indian Penal Code has harsh penalties against homosexuals and transvestites are not allowed to take on jobs (at least, that's what I surmised from what I saw from the program. I have yet to read extensively on the topic).

They are reduced to begging on the streets, asking for a few rupees from nearby cars, tricycle drivers and business establishments during national festivals.

"What work can we do? People look down on us", says one.

Tsk, tsk.

I was once with Eliza, a friend of mine, and while waiting for the feature film for the 2004 Eiga Sai to start at the nearby CCP, we decided to drop by at the defunct Film Center and finally get to see and touch that accursed monolith for the first time. It was huge. I was surprised to realize that. It never occured to me how huge it was up close. It has this unsual air about it, like a sad building. Not eerie, no. Sad is more like it.

Anyways, when we reached the back portion to check if the "white beach" Imelda wanted to have is still existing, we were greeted by shrubs and scrap metal. And lo and behold, a group of transvestites actually live at the basement of this palace.

"Palace" or Palais du Festival, is really just damp quarters in this half-abandoned building. They've been living here because the palace has been turned over to them to use as a performance theatre. Gay impersonators, we call them. They were actually happy to see us, but we hid ourselves immediately as some of them were half-naked. One of them even bared "her" big boobs. They were, at the very least, fascinating.

From Bangkok to Mumbai to Manila, transvestites lead interesting lives, if not at all happy. It all proves that the world has become so unfriendly to its own residents, whoever or whatever they may be.


As my usual habit, I read when I get to work and guess what, the issue about Greenhills building a mosque inside the mall itself was literally spilling from page to page, from both sides.

I personally felt insulted, and ashamed of myself as a Christian when I read how residents of that area voiced out their opposition regarding the move to finally provide our Moslem brothers a place of worship of their own. After all, there's bound to be a Catholic chapel nearby, as well.

Heck, even the new Centennial Terminal Two has one, with zero consideration for Moslem travellers, even those of other faiths.

In fact, in a country that is historically Islamic (even Rajah Soliman, Manila's last King, was Moslem), it is a shock that Christians would insinuate that thievery is a trait exclusive to Moslems, thus their opposition to the mosque. They say that it might attract the bad Moslems to flock to that area, thus putting the Christian residents' lives in peril.

Uh-huh. Amazing logic.

I always tell friends who are afraid of travelling to Mindanaw that in my more than ten (10) years of stay there, I have never been a witness to violence as terrible as the one I experienced in Manila years ago (remember the Rizal Day bombings?).

I was boarding my flight to Cagayan de Oro that sunny, quiet Sunday afternoon when an explosion in the nearby cargo center rocked the glass panels of the airport. I was immediately sprawled on the floor with my cousin. The airport doors were being closed, and the other passengers from the parked Boeing 737-300 were running out, foremost among them was a college classmate who thought the aircraft blew up (yeah, right!).

I never looked at Manila the same way again.

By the way, it was the MILF who were suspected to have been the perpetrators but that's behind the point (say, I may have weakened my defense there, fuck.)

Suffice to say that during my University days at the Ateneo, I have met several nice Moslems with whom I continue to be friends with. I even remember when I was University Council President that Moslem students approached me to request for a "resting place" for them when they observe the Ramadhan and the Eid ul'Fitr.

The administration, sadly enough, turned down the request saying that no particular group should be given such a privilege. Hmmmm. I suddenly see that parallelism here between that incident and the one in Greenhills.

Where is this "fear" coming from? This feeling of uneasiness, this uncertainty? I know for a fact that Islam believes in peace. In fact, ISLAM is derived from the Arabic work SALEMA, which means peace, purity, submission and obedience.

Moslems in the Philippines, and those from all over the world, have suffered so much from the hands of Christians. Most of the Catholic Church's major expeditions in the East were directed against the Turks. In the Philippines, these efforts were against the Moros. Why, even the Virgin's titles commemorate events that recall Catholic victory over Moros (or even against the Chinese and the Ducth).

I strongly support Greenhills in their effort to bring together faiths in their establishment, and to promote racial harmony and peace. For the Christians, it is high time we treat our Moslem brothers with more respect and esteem. Only God knows who He will admit to Heaven. We might be in for a nasty surprise.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Radioactive Genius or Radioactive Mouse? Posted by Hello


You just have to give it to Dan Brown.

His research for The Da Vinci Code is just so astounding and dreadfully convincing that anybody who is weak of faith will find oneself never attending Mass again.

The Last Supper. Why does it have to have more meaning that we already know?

I have always enjoyed a good reading and although Brown is totally far from my last book by very young Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, he sure made me sit next to an internet terminal so I can immediately check on things that he has mentioned in his book. The celice, for example. Or the Priory of Sion. Or the enigma that is the Opus Dei. Or the mystery that surrounded the Knight Templars.

The Madonna of the Rocks: Looking beyond the gestures could make you change the way you look at your faith. Or so Dan Brown claims.

So okay. The Holy Grail is no cup. The Holy Grail is a person and a woman at that, and she is no other than....wait, have you read the book yet? I'm not a killjoy. Go on, read the book.

What a coincidence really that I have always been fascinated with Leonardo da Vinci, and just two weeks ago, i chanced upon a sling bag that has his La Gioconda emblazoned on it. Nice, nice bag. Rare, rare novelty. I didn't expect to come across her again (Miss Mona Lisa, not the bag) in The Da Vinci Code.

The La Gioconde: Leonardo da Vinci in drag?

All in all, the book is recommended reading for those who are able to separate new ideas from institutionalized matters of faith. People may call me "un-enlightened" but heck, I know what I believe in and that's what matters most. Everything else is just fiction.


It's starting to become a habit, these earthquakes. Was at the water station when it happened and for a while i though i was just nauseous when a sudden movement almost made me topple over.

Fuck! ,I thought. Not another one! I mean, we just had a 6.3 last month, and this one is definitely stronger.

I stand corrected when i mentioned Mayon's activity last month as the reason for the movement. It actually was the Bataan Fault, and my friend who lives on the fourth floor of their house in Bataan, was said to have ran out of his room in his undies when it happened. Funny. Tonight's was caused by the Manila Trench, somewhere near Tagaytay, and is tectonic in origin. Magnitude of 6.2 and Intensity 4 was felt in Manila.

What's not funny tonight though is the realization i had immediately after today's 10.43PM quake:I actually am scared of earthquakes. I grew up learning to accept floods as part of life (I grew up in Pampanga) but NEVER earthquakes and fires.

Anybody out there who knows what to call the phobias I have? Leave me a comment.

Friday, October 01, 2004


Went out with a friend lately and had pad thai.

Actually, we were trying to take on the offer (nay, challenge) of a new restaurant in a Manila mall that says that it serves Manila's best pad thai version. So on we went. I am terribly disappointed to report that the version would not only put the original to shame, it would also shame the restaurant itself. Yep! Needless to say (but i am still saying it), the challenge fell flat and i am reduced to quoting a Titanic passenger (if he survived, i am in no position to answer) who commented that any ship who claims to be unsinkable is "flying in the face of God". Ditto for the pad thai. It flew straight to the garbage can.

I decided to go back to my comfort resto in an older section of this city which offers noodles from ten (10) Asian countries. The Philippines' Pancit Molo was our only representative in the menu though i would have loved to see the Visayan pancit called bam-i. The pad thai here is not only cheaper, it also is ten times better than The Great Pretender. You can actually try closing your eyes while eating if only to totally experience the many flavors, both subtle and assailing, of this Siam pancit.

On our second visit however, we decided to forgo of the pad thai for other asian noodles less we be branded as being too loving of anything Thai (not that we haven't transported half of Chatuchak Market into our homes yet).

Call it death by pad thai so we're giving it a break. For now.

Next on the list: which resto serves the best tom yam? No, we're obviously not fans of anything Thai, nah-uh.


Trivia: Bangkok in Thai is กรุงเทพฯ, กรุงเทพมหานคร, or Krung Thep.

The full ceremonial name of Krung Thep is

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit,

which means

"The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn."

It holds the world record for the longest town name. Local schoolchildren are taught the full name, although few can explain its meaning because many of the words are archaic. Right.


I don't know.

It must be the need to reach greater heights or what but given the multiplication of stairs in the capital city of Manila lately, one is forced to think that this could be the newest fad or something.

As if life in these parts isn't shit enough, people in high places suddenly had the brilliant idea of making it more difficult for people to go anywhere. Simple: make them climb more stairs. Because Filipino drivers (with the connivance of idiotic traffic enforcers) completely ignore pedestrians and pedestrian rights, the MMDA (the bastion of all good ideas) decided that in order to save lives, pedestrians are now made to climb at least two flights of stairs to get to what appears to be an overpass in hideous pink and blue, simply to cross to the other side. Now, as if we don't have enough stairs to reckon with.

The MRT along EDSA, Manila's major thoroughfare, has several stations that require the passenger to wear hiking boots, bring along a rope, and pray that you'd walk up more than 50 steps just to get to your train. Okay, so maybe i was exaggerating. Anybody who has used the pre-escalator Shaw Station will agree with me that between climbing up and simply taking the bus, i'd take the latter without even thinking twice. I mean, jesus! Ever heard of escalators before?! Talking about escalators, it is pretty common to see many around the capital lying idle.

Once, and this really made me want to fly out of here like a rocket, the escalators GOING UP to the Ayala Station were not functioning but those GOING DOWN were! Aaaaargggh!

Sometimes i want to strangle someone's neck for making life hellish for us.

Just one of these days. One of these days....

*cracks knuckles*

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


During a lull at work, my friend started telling me a story about a friend of hers who, one day, found herself being involved in a rally infront of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)-Harrison Plaza branch. The reason: unethical treatment of chickens.

Coffee almost shot out of my nose.

The group, she continues, even shoved a male member (the entire person, not just a part of him) into a makeshift cage wherein he started to pumiglas (for the lack of a proper english word at the moment) out of it to supposedly portray these "unethical treatment" which include overcrowding in pens during transport, and the way these chickens are eventually killed: dipped in boiling water.

When asked why she was doing this, and why against KFC specifically, she offered no answer.

Another day, in a fastfood joint, the same girl accosted my friend and asked her,"Do you have any idea how many cows are killed to make your burger?"

"Wala akong pakialam," countered my friend. Extremely hungry that she was, this was the last thing she'd wanna hear.

Weird things happen to normal people. Watch out, you.