Monday, July 30, 2007

If They Can't Win With Arms

Photo from Dita Alangkara/AP
Full article from soccernet here

If they can’t win it with arms, they can do it with their feet.

That’s how Iraq, a war-torn country, conquered Asia. Or at least in football, in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. Their football team beat the highly favoured South Korean team on penalties in the semis. And now, they turned the tables against another favourite: Saudi Arabia. They won 1-0 courtesy of their captain.

It was a very emotional moment for a team who can’t even go home to celebrate. Someone can get killed even with the revelry.

If they have done it, why can’t we Filipinos? We did not even qualify for this event.

On the other hand, I just learned today that we beat China 79-74 in the 24th FIBA-Asia Men's Basketball tournament. We were not really against their best team, but it's good to know that we bounced back after that opening day loss to Iran.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Talent in Music

How I wish I have a talent in music. Every time I listen to someone with a great voice (not the opera singers), I just really can’t help but to admire in awe. But music is not really for me. I just don’t understand why I was able to enter school choirs when I was in elementary. I was also able to join church choirs. Most of the time, I did lip sync. I hate those voicing acts, my excuse for not able to hit the right pitch. Some wise choir director noticed my deception. He let me sing alone, and as expected, I wasn’t able to hit it right. I was hoping and praying he’d ditch me right then and there. But he didn’t, saying he’d give me a chance. No, I didn’t volunteer in the first place. It was a teacher who included me in the list. I was just being obedient.

I tried karaoke and sang those Matt Monroes and Cliff Richards. My sis complained of the noise. I tried recording my own singing and was annoyed by my own voice. So rough!

I also tried playing musical instruments. First, it was the piano. I played by memory and reached grade level 1. But I was only using my short term memory. So, months after I finished the level, I no longer knew how to play the pieces. Then there’s the guitar. Some high school classmates got famous because they know how to play the guitar; strumming and plucking. I envied them. I tried hard to learn the instrument. My uncle is a guitar player but he did not teach me how to play. He left me a guitar lesson book which I did not understand. But I got to learn it one day, and played the bass guitar at the church music team. Still, I played by memorizing the chords. When the song leader changes the pitch, I’d go crazy.

I really suck at music. But some kids are really talented. If you remember the little bad boy I mentioned in this post, a year ago, he transformed into an adorable violin player (aside from having better manners now). He turned seven last Sunday and he played violin for a grandma. I heard that even his teacher was amazed of his progress. Though only 4 months in special lessons, he considered him as advance for his age. My sis-in-law, a music teacher and a violin player, also affirmed the teacher’s assessment.

Since I lack the talent, I’d better encourage the boy to practice hard and play more often. I’d be his no.1 fan. He might be famous someday you know.

Friday, July 20, 2007


I wanted to post something since Monday. Bloggers talked of writing block, or whatever they call it. It must be something of a crisis inside the blogger’s mind. Like we want to write about this, put it off for another, but came up with nothing instead. I do have draft entries in my hard drive, and all I have to do is some refining to post them here. But I did not do that.

I did bloghop. Read and left with and without trails. I missed some of the sites I used to visit. I just found out that some were on hiatus. Some were celebrating blogging milestones. Some were giving out awards. Some wrote of happiness, some of sadness and loneliness. There were news of a blogger’s death, and how young she was to leave this world.

For this week, I could have written about my travels, and how I experienced a three hour flight delay twice this week. Or about my work and my stressed-out friend. It could also be about badminton, about the book I just finished, about love, or about anything under the sun. But I wrote nothing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Taking the High Road

I had not taken this road before. We were like cruising above rooftops plus a magnificent view of the city, and its enormous structures. I could see the skyline, left and right. It’s an amazing experience really. My first time.

I did not know the road existed in this bustling city. I usually traveled under it and suffered from heavy traffic. For the many times I’ve been here, it’s only now that I realized that it’s convenient taking the high roads.

But at what cost? P85 per entry, our driver said. What?! Expensive! I can only see a few cars ahead of us, and it’s tempting to run beyond 100kph, though we are to maintain a lower speed. “Two vehicles jumped over the rails and fell below. They ran too fast, sir.” the driver added.

Then my mind wandered back and forth, and thought of taking the high roads in life.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


We're having a hard time hiring personnel for our Manila office. Most of the key personnel were hired in Cebu and eventually relocated to Manila. Some agreed, some didn't. For those who've spent most of their lives in Cebu would agree: Cebu is such a wonderful place to live in.

But what if I'd be relocated?

There was once a time, in my previous employer, when I was almost relocated. They said that it was necessary for promotion. A return was not guaranteed, though. But they said that it would be a rich experience.

There was a sudden rush of plans played in my head. Plan A would be to proceed until promoted. Plan B was to proceed, and then jump train at the right opportunity. Plan C was to remain stubborn. And plan D was to quit, which was my initial plan though.

I opted for plan D. Though relocation was not the main issue. Perhaps it was something of a quarter-life crisis.

Just a couple of hours ago, a co-manager and I joked about relocation. "Would you agree if our boss tell us to relocate to Manila? Would you and your wife agree?"

"Probably not" was his reply.

"Me, I'd rather work abroad than agree on a relocation anywhere in the Philippines."

But I was able to convince a few young bunch here to relocate to Manila. It's easier said than done.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Just Collecting

The picture of Paulo Coelho's book "The Zahir", located in my lower-right sidebar under currently reading section, has been there for many months now.

I'm still midway though. I read a couple of pages last night but placed it down again. I find the story interesting but I can't seem find the time to complete it.

My love for book reading must have degenerated. I recently bought two new titles. "Escape from Film School" and "The Poet Game". My wife asked me what I am going to do with it.

"For now" I curtly replied, "I just collect them".

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Googling Leftover Thoughts

There are days when I just click the link to my blog probably more than 10 times in a day, and just do nothing. Like looking at my self at a mirror, appreciating something, then forgetting the whole thing. Then repeat the same process over and over again.

Sometimes I check technorati as to who linked to me. My blog authority still stands at 56, with over 150 reactions. I don’t really know its significance. I guess it has something to do with popularity. Hundreds of thousands of blogs out there are probably better.

Many times I viewed my site meter, eager to know my visitors. I thank them all for the visit. There are those who found my site thru google’s search engine, using keywords such as koreanovela, love poems, etc... This made me wonder. How searchable am I? So I tried searching for ‘leftover thoughts’. The result surprised me. My site appeared on top of the others on the first page of this particular search.

Monday, July 02, 2007

PBB and the Hag

It was PBB’s big four night last Saturday. It seemed like majority of the crowd were booing Wendy. Had they allowed bottled water at the coliseum, it would have rained on her. I pitied the girl. But I guess that this could be her ticket to fame or notoriety. Someone from the show commented that Wendy would be a good kontrabida. And I think I agree.

I sent my text vote for Bea. I typed ‘PBB BEATRIZ’ and sent it to 2366. Toink! When I watched again the instructions on the screen, I realized my mistake. I should have typed “BB BEATRIZ” then send it to 231. I sent another one, this time to the right number and received an acknowledgement. Then I sent another vote. But I received a reply that voting was already closed.

I wasn’t really watching the whole show. I was in a room reading a chapter of a novel I haven’t finished for months. I just came down when the winner was announced. Why Bea? She has this contagious laughter (or annoying shrieks). She’s cool. Perhaps people voted for her because of Wendy.

--- ** ---

Thursday last week, some of my officemates from Cebu arrived, and we had dinner together at one of the Tapsilogan near Adriatico Street in Malate.

While we were munching our meals, an old woman, who can be mistaken as a mangkukulam, approached us. She was murmuring as if reciting some incantations. My colleague pulled out a 5-peso coin and gave it to her.

She complained. “Limang piso lang ba ang katumbas ng buhay mo? Anong tingin mo sa akin?”

We were shocked at her reaction. She kept on cursing. We became irritated and called the waiter. They were not able to do anything so we just played along with this hag.

Then she looked at me, like a witch ready to summon fire. “Ikaw, bigyan mo ako ng baynte” she commanded.

I kept my cool. “Diez lang lola. La na akong barya.” I let out a smile. “Kung di mo tatanggapin, baka wala ka nang matanggap pa. Dali, meron pa dung mga amerikano sa kabilang tindahan. Hingian mo rin.”

She smiled and took the coins. She looked at one of our younger colleagues who was seated nearest to her. “Ikaw, kiss lang.” We laughed as he moved away.

“Joke joke lang” She said with an evil grin. “Salamat na lang sa barya.”

“Sige lola, ingat” we chorused.

We were thinking for a minute. Had she shown us needles and a doll, it could have been scarier. We continued our meal while watching her do the same antics at a group of foreigners across the street.