Thursday, May 31, 2007

Where's the Eject Button?

There are times when we want some people to disappear from our lives. Be it a boss, a stubborn staff, a bully classmate, an irritating friend, a nosy neighbor, a relative, or even a fling. Where is the eject button when you need it? We might even wish they vanish with a single snap of our fingers.

God forbid though, that they disappear from the face of this earth prematurely. But somehow we wish that they migrate to another country, relocate to other provinces, get married, promoted, pirated, etc…

I grew up with a very strict uncle who lived with us. He is, in my opinion, stricter than my parents. He spanked us when we commit a mistake, or when we fail to heed his instructions. Since I am the eldest, and expected to take good care of my younger siblings, I took most of the beatings. I used to feel he was treating me unfairly. In the eyes of my neighbors, I was a very good boy, well-loved, and admired. I was the best in my class, and was still not good for him. So I prayed that he leave our house so that I can have my little freedom. He took a month long vacation one summer, and I was in my wild (obviously normal for a child) ways, playing with neighbors from morning till late afternoon, and skipping some assigned chores.

He returned. And I was meek as a lamb. Once more I prayed. He got a job somewhere in Mindanao and was stuck there for a couple of years. There was a feeling of relief inside of me. “I’d better enjoy my childhood while he’s gone”, I said to myself.

But it was temporary. He came back and lived with us again. So I thought that if he’d probably get hitched, he’d cease to live with us. He was unattached at that time. No girlfriends that we know of. Perhaps this was a difficult petition: “God give him a wife.”

It took less than a year for the prayer to be answered. I was already on my early teens then. The scolding has become scarce and he won’t spank me anymore. Perhaps, I said to myself, that this was probably a result of him being in love. After the wedding, they immediately settled in Mindanao.

I have no grudge against my uncle. I do not know what I’d become now if not for his strict ways. It was only years after that I appreciated the things he did for us. He was really an able support for my mother.

Maybe, just maybe, some people come into our lives for a purpose, however annoying they are right now. Then they disappear. A boss will leave, a friend will relocate, a colleague quits, a subordinate resigns. We might not ask nor wish (or might be in secret) for these to happen. But they do happen. Then after a while, we’ll miss them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Look

I want a new look, but I don’t know how.

Perhaps I need a haircut. I know I don’t look good in a crew cut, or in a 4x5 army cut. Just a simple barber cut. And a new hair color too. I’m tired of this jet black hair. Make me a blondie.

This shirt looks like it’s worn for a decade. I need a new one and colored green. Green isn’t my favorite, but I can handle that, for a change.

Oh, please! Tell me how to change the face of this blog. This is all I can settle for now. I am desperate for a new blog header.

p.s. After a little tweaking and image snatching this midnight, I finally created a header for this site.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Five Bloggers

This is a long overdue post. I drafted this one more than two months ago, right after Tin-tin tagged me. I traced the original from Carey. She even mentioned me in this post. Daghan kayong salamat, Tin-tin and Carey!

The rules:
1. Choose five blogs randomly from your blogroll. - I chose five but not at random. I would just like to include the two bloggers here whom I know personally. One knows who I am, while the other, I’ll tell him once we bump into each other one of these days.
2. For each blog, choose at least one entry (you could add more) which is your favorite post by this blogger.
3. Include a link to this post and explain why you like it.
4. The chosen five bloggers are considered tagged and they will also have to do the same in their blogs. I know that some have been tagged before. There is no need for you to do this.

Now here’s my list:
1. Fencesitter - This guy loves to blog. In fact, I consider him as my mentor in blogging. His latest blog, which he says is his mistress, is here. The wife, because of some unresolved java issues, is left here.
Try reading his tales here and here. (Sorry for giving you too much attention mate. But I wish to see you featured in some prestigious dailies one of these days.)

2. Gypsy – She frequently travels. The first time I bumped into her blog, she was in Davao. Then she went to Manila, Thailand, and now, UK. She once wrote this entry about korean novelas. After watching “Love Story in Harvard”, I never watched a koreanovela again. Addictive.

3. Bystander– He’s a young lawyer who vows to uphold his oath. But there is one entry that quite created a stir in his generally peaceful site.

4. Francesca – You would love reading her pang-maalala-mo-kaya stories. She talks about her not-so-happy first marriage, her new found love, her family and her experiences in Monaco and France. Her every post is full of wit and sincerity.

5. Ferdz - He is an award-winning blogger. His every post is amazing. I just can imagine myself travelling to the places he features. Here are some pictures of god-knows-where paradise islands. (Capones and Sabtang).

Whew! This tag has been in my draft for the longest time. At last, I finished it now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Visiting the Crocs

My wife and I visited Crocolandia Foundation the other weekend. It is located in Biasong, Talisay City, Cebu. It was some sort of a date, and with the crocs. We’re not the only ones dating there, though. There was another couple lovingly hugging each other while watching the reptiles.

Here are some pics I’m going to share. Not really of good quality coz I was just using my 1.3MP camera phone. And hey, forget about the crocs winning the election.

I really wonder what this sign means. Are they going to gobble me up if I smile at them?

Scary. I will not even dare put my hand in there.

This is Lapu-lapu, a 47 year-old crocodile. He's enjoying the cool water. We should have waited for the feeding time for me to see how huge this one is.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Winners and Losers

I promise. This will be my last post regarding this election.

I would like to congratulate a friend for winning (still unofficial but he’s leading by a comfortable margin) the vice-mayoralty race in this city where I presently reside. When I was still a freshman in high school and he a senior, I knew the guy would enter politics. It is in his blood.

The first time I heard of his name, I said to my classmates, “He’s a future politician”. Later on in college, he was very active in campus politics. Then he passed the bar and went on to run for a seat in the city council. Now on his last term as councilor, the administration party picked him to run as vice-mayor.

So far, his track record is excellent. I want to see him succeed, be the next mayor, rule for 3 terms, move up to congress, and perhaps become a governor.

Too bad I was registered in another city. That could have been another vote for him. But I was able to persuade my wife to vote for him.

--** -- ** --

I got this text message from a friend.

Pichay Pinulot sa Kangkungan
Sotto Nabulaga
Chavit Sumabit
Pacquiao Knocked out
Oreta Naboomtaratarat
Montano na Outshine
Goma na Flat

--** -- ** --

I did not only vote but volunteered in the quick count as well. I took these pictures at 12 midnight the other day. The young volunteers were still very enthusiastic in encoding the election returns. Encode, chika, text, coffee, encode. I'm not sure if they cared about who won or who lost.
I’ll be back there tonight and check how my 12 senate bets are doing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Election and Mothers' Day

Election is over. I voted for my 6-5-1. Nine of them are inside the magic twelve of most unofficial tallies. I was searching for Tol Defensor’s name. I think he deserves to be in the senate.

I voted for our incumbent Mayor’s opponent, just like I did for the last two elections. He is leading and I am not complaining. I’m sure he’ll win again. So why did I vote for his opponent when Mr. Mayor is doing very well (but not according to his critics)? I hate to answer that.

** -- **

May 13 is Mothers’ Day. I sent an SMS message to my Dad as he was out-of-town with my mom. Dad sent his reply, “Mama needs your voice”. I laughed at myself. I was expecting that reply. I did try to call them but they’re out of reach. Only the text message went through. So I tried and tried again until I contacted them. Happy Mothers’ Day Mama!

May 13 is also the birthday of my late grandmother. I am sure she is very happy in Jesus’ side right now.

Friday, May 11, 2007


I read in the news the other day about 6-5-1. It's the headline in some tabloids in Metro Manila. No, this is not a number for masiao, that numbers game very popular with my neighbors. 6-5-1 is the choice of the highly influential Iglesia ni Kristo. Six from the TU, 5 from GO and 1 independent. That is already equivalent to 2 million votes given their bloc-vote.

It’s 8-4 for the Federation of Evangelical Bishops International. I wonder why they did not choose Pangilinan. But I think majority of its 4 million members will not base their votes on any endorsement.

El Shaddai endorsed 5-5-2. Bro. Mike will not directly name them. They 'll invite 20 candidates on a rally expected to be attended by some 300 thousand. He'll just wave his hand or wiggle when the candidate's name is called out. His members will then know his choice.

Mine is 5-6-1. And that includes the action star Cesar Montano, and the highly-explosive Lt. Trillanes. Don’t ask me why I included these two in my list. This is not an endorsement either. You may or may not vote for them. I am only a single vote. But I am hopeful that they will deliver.

p.s. I'm sorry to the madam I shook hands yesterday. She was introduced as the wife of a senator seeking reelection. I'm not including her husband in my list. But there's a big chance he'll win anyway.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Old Friends

“Make new friends, and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold”
- lyrics from a song

When I read the blog of Freeze, she mentioned friends whom she kept in touch since her 1st grade. She also felt the pain her friends are undergoing right now. And at the end of her post, she wrote, “…friends live within the heart”.

I really admired their long-running friendship. I, too, wondered where my friends are. I remember the names of Loloy, Nonoy, Rodin, Larry, Lemuel, Dennis, all from my elementary school days.

Loloy is a godson of my Lola. Nonoy is a neighbor’s son. Both acted as my older brothers when I studied grade 1 in Misamis Occidental. I was 5 then and they were 10. I don’t really know their real names, but I remember how they taught me climb guava trees and ride a carabao.

The last time I heard, Loloy went to work in Malaysia via the back door. Nonoy got married and settled in another province in Mindanao.

Dennis is a neighbor during my elementary years. He’s my first friend when we were just new in the neighborhood. We’re of the same grade level but he studied in a different school. I always felt that he belittled my school. But I understand at that time that kids like to brag. He’s also the first kid whom I had a fistfight. He’s bigger than any other kid his age, and he bullied me that time. I threw the first punch straight to his stomach. He grimaced in pain and cried. I cried too. For three days we avoided each other. My dad talked to me about it, and asked me to do the first step in the reconciliation. I did, and we became closer after that. When we transferred residence, I also failed to get in touch with him. I later learned that he got married and transferred to another city in the Metro.

Rodin, Larry and Lemuel were my bestfriends in elementary school. Rodin died of pneumonia when we were in our second year high school. I was already at UP while they remained at the newly opened national high school in our baranggay. They told me about his death but I kept postponing my visit until I forgot about it that day when he was to be buried. Their house was only 500 meters from ours.

Larry, they told me, had a nervous breakdown in high school. He recovered though but his family transferred to another baranggay. I haven’t seen him for almost 2 decades now.

The last time Lemuel and I got in touch was around 6 years ago. We promised to meet up during his child’s christening but I backed out at the last minute due to another forgotten commitment that day. That was the last time I heard of him.

I pondered and asked myself, “Am I not good at reaching out to my friends? Why didn’t they seek me out too?”. I can answer the first question, but the latter is no longer mine. I still have time to reach out now, like the way I connect to my college friends. Perhaps they appeared at a time when I don’t care much about others. But I do now.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Best Team Lost

I am disappointed, frustrated and sad. But I cannot shed a tear right now. Why in the world am I affected with this when everything happened at the other side of the globe? I was not there at Anfield at the time of the killing. I am not even a party to all of these. They don’t know anything about me. I am just a mere fan coming from basketball fanatic nation. I have not lost in a bet, too. But why, oh why I am sad today as I surfed the web?

My daily web routines include a click to my blog, and then to this site. This particular news really, really saddened me. Though I no longer have sleepless nights watching games at dawn because we cut off our cable subscription, I could still dream of the result. I was hoping for a different outcome.

Yes, I’m talking about the 2nd leg of the semi-final game of UEFA Champions’ League between Liverpool and Chelsea. “The best team was knocked out of the competition”. This is the preferred quote of my favorite manager, and whatever he says I will agree.

For the second time in three years, the same team knocked Chelsea out at the same stage of the competition. First, it was a lucky (contested) goal. Now, it’s the penalties. Chelsea’s dream of a quadruple is ambushed. And it’s Liverpool again topping the best team. I better not cry nor write like a sore loser. Liverpool fans are all happy right now. May you win it again in Athens!

And I, like the rest of the Chelsea squad and their few believers, will dream again in the next season. I just hope ‘the Special One’ will still be there to guide them through.