Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I'd be off to Bacolod City on Friday dawn to attend a very good friend's wedding on the 30th. After that, i'd be in Guimaras and Iloilo until October 2.
Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I attended the 27th Manila International Book Fair for the first time around three (3) weeks ago. I was very excited, to say the least, because the last time I really bought books was in Cebu TEN YEARS AGO. This trip also serves as 'date' with a co-blogger, Ruby of When Excrement Hits the Ventilation. She came all the way from Ortigas for this meeting. Unfortunately, Jerome of Bridget Jones is a Man didn't make it. *cracks whip*
The Manila World Trade Center is very sleek and modern...

...and vast! Wow! Opened in January of 1990, its 10,810 meters of floor space makes it the largest contiguous exhibity facility in the Philippines.
Books, books, books!
Ruby during dinner at Mann Hann at the Mall of Asia
I bought coffeetable books from Bookmark, my favorite Filipino publishing house. Too bad they don't have bookstores open anymore. These are mostly photography and cultural stuff. Fil-Spanish architecture to be exact. I don't know how I got myself interested in this stuff. Must be the Manila blog i'm doing. Would you believe all these were only worth Php 1, 250?! Yes, you got that right. Kasi books that normally sell for Php 3,000 in bookstores were being sold here at Php 250-300 each! Amazing. Unfortunately, I didn't get to walk around much. The books were really heavy and I was getting hungry.
A-ha! Old and new titles: A new one by Miclat, a really old one by poet/writer Tony Perez, and one Capampangan cookbook by Chef Gene Gonzalez. Oh yeah, an entire book of architectural guide from noted conservationist-architect Augusto Villalon. Now comes the reading part. I wish I have the time to do just that.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Photo by Dylan Gozum
Reflection of ceiling design on the floor of the Alan Fraser Activity Center, SPi

The title of this entry was brought to you by Milo. The Official Energy Drink (not mine).

Now, the headlines. I am just about well and yes, the viral phase of my flu is over. I'm moving on to antibiotics now.

I finally finished the second season of Desperate Housewives last Saturday night. After 20 CDs, I realized that the initial fun I felt when i first saw the series has shifted to irritation. Simply speaking, it's all about a bunch of stupid women who do not know what to do with their lives, who do not appreciate what they already have, and do not recognize a blessing even if it were dangling right infront of their made-up faces. Sheeeesh! And the one-liners? 'Nuff said.

As of this writing, I am still about 900 (more or less) DVDs behind schedule (what to do, what to do, what to do?!). In this regard, I can only congratulate JGC for being "healed". Being "healed" here means not having bought half of what's being sold in stalls for the period of one month. Yes, it's almost pathological! All this compulsion to buy DVDs and not have the time to watch them! (Lately, that applies to books too, not thanks to recent booksales).

My only recent purchase was HOSTEL. Yes, that abomination from Quentin Tarantino which reminded me of teenage horror flicks which were banned in the household when I was kid because they were teeming with sex and gore. I mean, what the hell was that movie all about?! (Have you noticed how people switch between using 'film" and "movie" to describe a picture? "Film" is reserved for the good ones, and "movie" is appended to something that is trying hard to be a, well, movie.) To think the Two Jeromes saw that during a date. Hah, I bet that gave them enough reason to hug each other tighter!

A shoutout, by the way, to Mariel Santos. I hope your Mom has finally found an excellent neurologist here in Manila. Another shoutout to a friend, Dr. Joenie Almeida, who is enjoying his practise in good, old Savannaaaah! Thanks so much for the mail! I will email back ASAP.

Congratulations to Mike Santos of the Mango Farm, by the way. I heard that ballroom is rising so fast it'd blow the competition away. They wouldn'y even know what hit them, huh? I'd love to see that building soon. Mike says it's like a boat docked on a pier. How's that sound for ballroom? Picture of it will be posted here soon.

Have a great week ahead of you, guys!

Friday, September 15, 2006


I realized today that I am human after all. I am sick. No, not that kind of sick. As in sick, sick.

I got wet last week in the rain, then had to do a workshop the next day, then woke up early mornings (think 4:30AM) to get to the office at 6. The office by then, of course, is freezing like hell (depends on whose idea of hell you subscribe to) so eto: got a bad cold, barky cough, constant headache and as of last night, my lower alimentary tract has also refused to cooperate with me. For the latter, I can only blame the pasta I made. Funny thing is, everybody at home seems fine.

Let's see. What did I use to make the sauce? Full cream, 3 eggs, milk and bacon bits. For someone who've already lost all capacity to break down fat owing to a laparascopic cholecystectomy 2 years ago, I had the gall (pun intended) to make something that's bound to wreak havoc on my tummy. I have only myself to blame for all this.

I should have listened to all your advices. I now rest.


Shoppers at SM's Mall of Asia are always on the lookout for Fridays and Saturdays in this mall as the weekend fireworks display go off at 7PM sharp. Also, there are other exciting displays of human talents not normally given to us mere mortals. I took these photos last Sept 9 after the writing workshop at the office. Nothing like a big bang to end the day!

That's Perps, my friend at the office. She takes care of the IT aspect of the Writers Guild (e-newsletters, etc.)

Sorry about the pics. I was experimenting with my cam's best shot feature.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I do not know why I am writing this, but I wish to make it known that I refuse to be further represented in film festivals abroad by macho dancers.

So why Mel Chionglo's insists on featuring yet another macho dancer film, TWILIGHT DANCERS and holding its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival is beyond me. Just like Kubrador, methinks the marketing concept is, "Let's reap awards first so we can pepper our posters and collaterals with laurel leaves before we show it back home."

I reviewed Masahista last year for Yehey! and i labeled it as "exploitative" and "senseless" and I am not afraid to be pilloried for that opinion. I do not subscibe to that crappy line, "Bakit yan? Nakakahiya naman!" but after watching Cinemalaya for the last two seasons, I am furthermore emboldened to believe that we have more that we can offer to the world than this.

Truly, there is no escaping the fact that our society has not moved much since Brocka premiered his disquieting Macho Dancer in 1988 but after Mel Chionglo's 1994 glossier version Midnight Dancers, why another macho dancer film? To quote from the film's synopsis, "Their stories have much in common: working to support families or their own ambitions, preyed upon by both men and women, used up long before they hit thirty." Nothing new, right? I am pretty sure our country still has a minefield of stories that producers and writers can explore.

How we will benefit from this 3rd consignment is yet to be seen. I really pray the film industry can move on from topics like this to those that better reflect our ever-evolving society.
Trailer here.


Busy, busy Tuesday. A dizzying series of meetings started at 4PM. The Employee Relations called all clubs together to discuss - the Halloween Party on October 21. *incredulous look on face*

Then I had a quick meeting with the Writers Guild over dinner. Updated the look of our literary blog ( and emailed photos to several people (their own photos, not mine).

What else happened today? Uhm, the meeting sort of relaxed the tense environment between me and our Workshop Manager. I hope all is well already. I have the tendency kasi to be dictatorial, but i'd rather call those as judgement calls. Sometimes you just have to decide on the spot. Haaayy...

Tomorrow, another meeting with the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at 11 AM. What have I gotten myself into?! Help!

Monday, September 11, 2006


The telly was on when I got home and my yaya (will tell you about her soon) was watching the news (her choice is ABS-CBN, of course) when this thing came on.

The one-liner reads "BF (Bayani Fernando, MMDA Chairman), isinisi sa mga barung-barung (new spelling?) sa gilid ng creek (Bakit English ito?!) ang baha kagabi."

Chairman, hello? Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan?! Bisyo na yan!!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


One of the best things on earth, the milkshake, is back in the Philippines thanks to McDonald's! Available only in select stores. Three flavors - vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate - are available.


I am currently doing experiments on motion blur using an ordinary point-and-shoot camera. Interesting images of children and horses onboard a mall carousel.

Location: SM Mall of Asia

Saturday, September 09, 2006


you ask if nothing matters anymore
i say all things matter, even sadness and inanities
and meaningless romps, you added

I now look at all things with a sense of the positive even if
I've already measured my life in brown sugar scoops

all things count
like shoes and socks soaked in the heavy rain
braving it
on my way

someone will
always offer
a dry towel and a warm dinner.


Had the most exhausting day today. We hosted the 2nd of our 5-series writing workshop in my office. The participants had a blast as the guest speakers, the Alitaptap Storytellers' Club, were so much fun. At 21 and 22 years old, respectively, Rey and Posh were such a delight to watch teaching reading - and acting - of short stories to a bunch of public school teachers and company employees. Today wasn't as exhausting as last month's though wherein our guest was AdMU / Philippine Star's Rica Bolipata-Santos (yes, of THE Bolipata family of artists). She did Introduction to Creative Fiction.

I have some happy news. Well, kind of happy, but it scares the hell out of me. The CEO of the company I work for read our publication and said that he was "blown away" (by what, I'm not telling so that I can still keep a little sense of humility) and wants to hold a dialogue with us ASAP to discuss how our writers guild can integrate our projects into the workplace. Sheeesssh.... Do we get extra pay for this? *crosses fingers*

Anyway, here's what I'm listening to currently:
This has the immortal hits Killing me softly, Where is the love, and The first time I ever saw your face. Long live Roberta!
Just like the album above, this one is likewise a celebration of an era where good music ruled. This double-CD treasure trove, however, features the voices of today's hottest bands on what can be considered fresh versions of APO hits like Yakap sa dilim, Panalangin, Ewan, and the iconic Blue jeans. A must buy if only to relive memories of years gone by.
My second Il Divo album, i love Je Croi en toi (I believe in you). Very haunting and powerful. Try playing this in an excellent player with sound surround and let it soothe your senses. Unfortunately, most artists now always do pieces with Celine Dion as if it is a mark that they've "arrived." Humbug! Artistry is the only way to go, guys.

Monday, September 04, 2006


I have always been a fan of Kuya Batjay. In fact, this is already my second time to feature him here in Radioactive Adobo. His life - no, ordeals - as an overseas filipino worker has been serialized in his blog in the most amusing way possible - enough for him to gather about a legion deadbeat to defend his right to amuse us to the very end.

Now, he has honored us - his fans - with a piece of him. No, not that piece of him. With a book, I mean. And crazy as we are to own him and his thoughts, we will still go the length of Metro Manila to visit the Manila Book fair (which is already closed as of this writing) to grab a copy of his epistles.

At PHP 100 each, please consider this a worthy investment in a type of humor never before seen in these parts. And credit Nicanor David, Jr. aka Kuya Batjay for making our lives more livable, too see things in a different way (minsan may pagkabastos nga lang), and deal with problems using solutions that are out of this world. This is intellectual masturbation at its finest.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Just as what I had feared, the first month of the "-ber" series was welcomed by that blasted Jose Mari Chan ditty, Christmas in our hearts. Not that I have anything against happy holiday songs or even meaningful ones like Chan's but hey! It's NOT the only Christmas song and it's just September!!!

Mahrose, my co-English editor, freaked out this morning when the ladies at the department store were greeting her "Merry Christmas po, ma'am!" like it were the only time of the year that makes them extra cheerful. Just you wait until they receive their bonuses. They'd be dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh in no time.

If anything, this goes to show how commercialized Christmas has become, with malls all ready to bring out their fineries and "SALE" items from two seasons ago to attrack more shoppers. And in the spirit of gift giving, we all end up getting caught in the mad rush to make people in our list happy.

Hey, i'm no Scrooge. In fact, I love Christmas time. It's the only year when the house puts on stringed pearls and trimmings, and when hams and that much-maligned fruitcakes become part of daily fare. I said daily because hams are now so ordinary that even companies give them out yearly during Christmas parties hence you end up having excess ham (of the watery kind) that you have to eat everything fast before they start clogging your freezer.

Two years ago, we received a ham and a plastic bucket of Del Monte goodies each from our office. After careful inspection, half of the bucket was shredded paper and the rest were tipid packs of sauces, etc. Needless to say, there were lots of grumblings to go around. Last year, in the spirit of belt tightening, we were issued company jackets, none of which are being worn to this day. Wait, why am i complaining?

Re hams, what I find amusing is that "pasikat" factor where households compare where they outsource their hams, etc. as if traditions still matter in this crazy metropolis. Well, thank goodness it still does. When my Mom was still working in Bukidnon where she had the privilege of having a great cook (now retired in Bohol), she'd bring home an entire ham leg that boiled was in San Miguel beer, Sprite and pineapple juice (Del Monte, of course) for hours on end. I was still a kid then and my idea of hams was nothing close to what they sell in the malls now.

Speaking of hams, we ordered ours two years ago from a neighbor who made the darkest morcon i've ever seen. They cook the hams themselves and good thing they're really good at it but since they stopped doing it last year, we decided to forgo of the ham tradition. This year, I might decide to get it from Excelente in Quiapo - for the very 1st time - as early as this month before all hell breaks loose on price control.

As to gift giving, I haven't really been very good in this deparment. My memory of gifts dates way back to my public school days when everyone woould end up getting the same thing: bath soaps, face towels, or horrors - that ubiquitous photo frame.

My dilemma would be what to give to female members of the family as male members hardly give to - or receive anything from - other male family members. Four years ago, I gave out scarves. To one niece, a plump pillow featuring her favorite Harry Potter characters. Last year, I didn't give out anything at all, including my Mom (I think). It must have been a premonition of bad things yet to happen, all of which came true only last January. Last year, I helped Mom wrap over 40 gift packs for her office mates. We'd go crazy thinking what to give that's not the usual, something useful, etc. She does it every year. Sadly, that wouldn't be the case this year.

Three things to my friends & readers: 1.) Please do not forward me Christmas messages UNTIL Christmas Day. 2.) If you don't like your fruitcakes, you know where to dump them. My home address and cellphone number can be had upon request. Thank you. 3.) I will have to shun gifts this year. No, really. Your presence and support are already gifts to last us a lifetime.