Recent Thoughts

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

日本は勝つ*

If you were planning to have a trip to your favorite salon for haircut or whatever, you shouldn't have expected to find a single salon that was open for business. All your friendly neighorhood parloristas were busy watching Miss Universe 2007, haha!


So.. Japan finally won after finishing 1st Runner-up last year. The general feedback though is that Japan should've won last year instead. So the undeserved win was probably concurred by the crown, haha!

And another Asian, Korea, was also in the Top 5 and placed 3rd Runner-Up. And Philippines, for the 3rd time in a row, won Miss Photogenic, thanks to worldwide internet voting.

Wikipedia and www.peyups.com are simply the best sources for inside scoops (read: educated rumors) on big events like these, haha! Here are my random rants and raves, all of which are based on my own opinion alone, since I did watch the pageant. Plus, I have background information from the Wiki and Peyups.


*Korea was my bet. Her answer is good enough for me, but I think her interpreter didn't give her answer justice. And come on! She's mesmerizing! What a coincidence, her Final Question came from a fellow Korean, James Kyson Lee of Ando of Heroes fame, who was introduced as someone from Japan.

*USA was booed by the Mexicans, for pretty obvious reasons. First, USA fell on the floor during the Evening Gown competition and still got an 8.75, whilst Mexico got a 7.85. Gawd, a Thalia-look alike getting a 7.85? I wonder what the likes of Turks & Caicos or US Virgin Islands would get from these judges. Second, there's the political rivalry. We all know how Mexicans feel about immigration policies of the US. Rachel Smith was a good sport though, still smiling and even thanking the crowd, for the obvious lack of love, haha! But I think the crowd pressure took a toll on her answer. She was so nervous that instead of saying 'Mehiko', she uttered 'Mekiho'. The host, Vanessa Minillo, handled the situation politely well though -- "Okay, uno momento, por pabor. She was selected.."

*Yet again, the hype over Miss Philippines, Ana Licaros, was disappointing. Although, I should stress out, Ana Licaros, given her simple but elegant Filipina appeal and her excellent scholastic record, deserved the hype this time. She would've wowed the universe (yeah, even those from Krypton or the Phantom Zone) with her wit. Too bad, the support she gets from Bb Pilipinas Charities, Inc head honcho (or should that be honcha?), Stella Araneta, is quite, hmm, let's just say controversial. Rumor has it that year after year, she gets recycled gowns from Colombia for our delegate to use in the preliminaries, which in translation, is sabotage, hehe. Why not ask Filipina Monique Lhuiller (did I get the spelling right?) design the gown for Miss Philippines? Well, if you ask me, if a Colombian is our national pageant director in the first place, there must be something wrong there.


So we would have to wait another year to see if a Filipina would reign over the universe (how come other galaxies are not represented?). But if you ask me, as long as politics and business are a major factor in the Top 15 (the Miss Universe Organization, co-owned by Donal Trump, also submits scores that determines the Top 15 semifinalists), the Miss Photogenic Award (whether we deserve it or not) is all that we will get. Add the fact that we rarely send admirably worthy delegates anyway. *Sigh*

To Ana Teresa Licaros, as if you will get to read this anyway, haha, you represented our country well. Eh wala eh, lusty, porn-starry model ang hinahanap, ano ba naman laban ng summa cum laude standing mo? Haha!

*I can't speak, read nor write Nihonggo. I got my title by translating "Japan wins" at the first website for the Google results for "online translator".

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Mornings

Back in my Freshman year, my Sunday mornings were hellish for me, despite the usual connotation of blessedness of God's day. Because 30 Sunday mornings (most of which extended in the afternoon), were spent in ROTC classes at UP Clark.

I admit, I am not the athletic type. Sports nga di ako magaling, training pa kaya? Back in 4th year, I was saved from the more rigorous training for PMT because I was one of the Military Police. But hold your horses, haha! I became an MP not because I exhibited special strength or discipline or undergone training like the COCC cadets did, but because I paid my uniform during the 1st day of collection. Apparently, for the military person who supervised our PMT subject, money does the talking, haha!

I really dreaded ROTC training. In fact, it's the only thing that made me really anxious about going to college. It helped that during the Freshmen enlistment, I learned that I can sign up for Special Forces, the ROTC unit for UP Clark. So on Sundays, Diliman students from Pampanga and nearby provinces can report to a closer campus. That was even the year when the call for the abolishment of the ROTC was at its peak. So imagine the hopeful hatred in my heart that I had for ROTC. Haha!

Aside from the usual shallow reasons (like being under the sun, expensive gears), so why do I hate ROTC? Well, I know the purpose of ROTC. I know that we're supposed to be the 'reserve' unit just in case the Philippines courageously goes to war and our soldiers all die. I realize that my Motherland counts on me to protect her sovereignty whenever necessary and all that nationalistic jazz. But don't you think I can serve my country better with my personal talents and other abilities? I mean, I am good many things, but combat is definitely not one of them.

As if it couldn't be any more discouraging, our ROTC officers weren't necessarily the genuinely patriotic kind. They're more like bullies to me. And back then, I thought, "Putik! College na ako! Hanggang ngayon ba naman, may bully pa rin?!" One time during uniform inspection, this NCO officer (who was just my age) asked me if the way I was holding my inspection paraphernalia was the right way of doing so. Honestly clueless about what he wants me to do, I answered, "Sir, I have no idea, sir!" And then he hit me to my chest. It wasn't exactly lurching in pain after, but he obviously just wanted to show off his authority over me. So Angel Sembrano, nasaan ka man, madapaka ka! Haha!

Each Sunday morning, I felt like I was wasting my time. It was Freshman year, so I was taking up Math 17. And I am one of the (un)lucky ones to be mentored by Dr. Augusto Y. Hermosilla. I thought I'd rather catch up on my algebra and trigo skills (which would be very handy and practical considering I am an Engineering student) instead of doing push-ups and marching lousily under the sun til way past our supposed and promised dismissal time.

But of course, it's not like I can do anything about it. I am a batch too late for CWTS. Back in 4th Year high school, I was actually planning of taking up ROTC during my 2nd and 3rd year. I though back then, I would spend my 1st year adjusting to the semi-independent life first, you know, acquaint myself first with the university I would be going at. But I enlisted on freshman year anyway, because my other batchmates did so too. It's better to get ROTC over and done with, with my friends.

Having pronounced nothing but hatred for ROTC, I do have fond memories of it:
*There's always the casual kwentuhan with co-cadets before the start of formation and during the breaks. We were freshies, so our conversations usually involved our funny misadventures at Diliman.
*There was the 3x4 White Side Wall that we were required to have as our hairstyle. They check it every 3rd TD (Training Day). For the first ever checking, most of us didn't strictly follow the instruction, including me. So our abusive commander cut our hair randomly so that we would be forced to cut it the way he wants to -- higher than 3x4 even! He probably just wanted us to have a stupid hairstyle just like him. That was a Sunday, so after the training, I had to go again to the barbershop to 'repair' my hair. It would've let it go faster, if only my ID pictorial isn't the very Monday after. So for 4 years, the memories of that fateful haircut was imprinted in my ID, haha!
*Each training day was not only physically tiring for me, but also mentally and psychologically draining. It really stresses me out! So before I go home, I stop by Zagu for a refreshing pearl shake to recover. By the end of the year, I was able to taste all flavors, haha!
*My unit wasn't all that bad, actually. In reality, there was more goofing off time than actual training. That's why during TDs at Diliman at the end of each sem, we were the lousiest, haha! And I don't really mind.
*We were so lousy that I think our own commander was ashamed of us, haha! So during the ROTC Graduation Rites, instead of participating in the parade which would require impressive command of the fake wooden gun, we obliged to participate in the special exhibition instead. We were cast as the terrorists that the real soldiers would pretend to kill. I actually thought that was much much better than practicing for hours on end. Because all we had to do was run across the Sunken Garden with the fake wooden guns in tow, pretending to be these war-freak guerrillas. We pretended to fire for a few seconds, but we were supposed to be defeated so we just lied on our backs at the grass for the rest of the program.

Now, almost 6 years after, I'm just relieved that I'm thru with ROTC. In my 2nd year, CWTS was introduced and the 2-year requirement was reduced to 1 year. So just when I thought I would have to endure another year of ROTC, I was saved, haha! But, I wouldn't mind having those 30 Sunday mornings back! Mang Andres, sana mabasa mo to, haha!

This post was inspired by a similar post by Khadine! :) She has a different view of ROTC though, I think, haha!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sparks did fly!


So, my ultimate bet, Jordin Sparks, went on the become American Idol's youngest winner ever. Yey!

Call it what you want -- an assessment, critique, tribute or whatever, but there here are my random thoughts for the whole season:
*The Finale was a mismatch for me. One was the usual belter, the other was the usual performer. Well, maybe it's up to America to decide whether pipes or performing talent mattered more. If so, then the Finale was fair, until the last round -- the original American Idol song. This Is My Now was a belter's song. That's why Jordin's victory is not as triumphant as it should be for me. Blake should've assigned a different song or they could've arranged it to Blake's style.
*If I had my way Melinda should've been in the Finale instead of Blake. That way, it would've been the ultimate showdown. Besides, I think This Is My Now was written with the back story of Jordin or Melinda in mind.
*Blake might just be the runner-up, but I think if he won't compromise his musical style if he makes his album, he will follow Clay Aiken's footsteps instead of Diana De Garmo.
*Similarly, I think Jordin will sell a lot as well. She has this fresh appeal that the young music-buying public will enjoy.
*I wish Melinda or Lakisha would also be signed to record albums.
*All performances in the Results Finale should've featured at least one Finalist. The show is about these amateur singers anyway. This is American Idol. This isn't the Grammy's. I'm sure fans really miss the real talents like Gina Glocksen, Stephanie Edwards, Chris Richardson and Lakisha Jones, and yet we had more airtime of Gwen Stefani or Bette Midler.
*The presence of previous Idol winners was great treat. Too bad, one was missing. It was like the American version of the Battle of the Champions.
*For next season, the producers should feature the contestants more, in equal amounts until they are eliminated. Enough of the likes of Sanjaya. If there would be any bias in terms of exposure, it should be for those who deserve it, for those who are actually talented.
*For next season as well, they should hold auditions on more northern cities and on other American territories. How about Alaska or Guam? Or the US Virgin Islands? American Samoa? Okay, joke lang yung mga Pacific Islands, hehe.
*For the original AI song, the contestant should be given the freedom to choose the song that suits him / her.
*I disagree that Season 6 is the worst season ever. Eh kasi naman, hindi ko naman napanood ang Season 1 at 2, haha! Pero seriously, I don't think this is the least talented batch (since I started watching). I think that in every batch, at least half are actually good. Nagkakatalo na lang kung sino una natatanggal.

Anyway, ika nga ng ibang fans, the real competitions begins now. Who will make the best music? Who will sell more records? I'm betting on Jordin, Blake and Melinda, regardless of their perceived marketability, or lack of it. =p

For the meantime, I would have to contend with my mp3s of their performances and the studio version of the songs they performed, until the release their CDs.

To download Jordin's performances and full-length studio versions of her performances, including her coronation song This Is My Now, click here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

PINAKA-GUSTOs

Just to be fair, even if life isn’t, here’s the positive counterpart of my previous post. (Note: wala na naman ako maisip na topic, haha!) Baka naman isipin niyo eh nagpapaka-angst ako masyado or galit ako sa mundo, hehe!


1. PINAKA GUSTO MONG KULAY
:: Blue has always been my favorite color. But for color combos: blue & green, navy blue & light yellow. Tsaka yung dating color ng blog ko: cool green, cool blue, cool violet and gray! Oha, cool na cool! Ehe..

2. PINAKA GUSTO MO SA KAIBIGAN
:: Una sa lahat, parang boyfriend / girlfriend lang yan, dapat may chemistry kayo ng mga kaibigan mo. Tsaka isa pa, yun tipo na kapag nakapatay ka ng tao, siya yung pwede mong tawagan sa kalaliman ng gabi, tapos tutulungan ka niyang ibaon sa lupa yung bangkay, hehe!

3. PINAKA GUSTO MO SA NILILIGAWAN
:: Err, yung gusto rin niya ako? Haha!

4. PINAKA GUSTO MONG DAMIT
:: Yung mahal, signature, preppy, bwahaha! Joke. Before college, I TRIED dressing cool. But after just a few weeks at UP, I learned to value comfort more, hehe.

5. PINAKA GUSTO MONG HAIRSTYLE
:: Edi syempre yung bagay ko! Duh! Haha! Teka, I have a previous post about this eh. Read here.

6. PINAKA GUSTO NA SINASABI SAYO
:: Na mabait daw ako. Madalang lang yun, haha! Seriously, I love it when friends thank me for something I did that wasn’t much of a deal for me. Pag unexpected, gratitude feels great.

7. PINAKA GUSTO MONG INIINOM PAG MAY GIMIKAN
:: Iced tea? Haha! Basta masarap, kahit may alcohol!

8. PINAKA GUSTO MONG LUGAR
:: Ireland! Though hindi pa ako nakarating doon, hehe!

9. PINAKA GUSTO MONG PALABAS? BAKIT?
:: Sheeet! Andami! Pero lately, Heroes and Brothers And Sisters. Heroes, kasi syempre, sikat eh, tsaka maganda naman talaga siya. Brothers And Sisters, kasi parang ansarap maging kapatid ng mga Walkers! Hehe! Marami din ako gusto sa local channels, pero walang level of addiction..

10.PINAKA GUSTO MONG WEBSITE
:: Yung blog ko! Haha! Joke. Too many too mention. Ah! Wikipedia! Kasi andami ko nababasang interesting stuff about my interests. As for blogs, I like reading the blogs of friends that I personally know – because there are things that people won’t say personally, even to their close friends, so through their blogs, I get to know them deeper and better. As for blogs of other people, basta may sense, witty, funny. NOTE: May mga mabababaw na bagay pero may sense or nakakatawa.

11.PINAKA GUSTO MONG PAGKAIN
:: CHOCOLATES! Lalu na nalusaw sa byahe from abroad, tapos nag-lalangis ng yung wrapper, dahil na rin siguro sa iba’t ibang temperature na naranasan nito. Sheeet! Ansarap nun! Yun nga lang, madumi kainin, hehe.

12.PINAKA GUSTO MONG PABANGO. BAKIT?
:: Well, I use Clinique Happy. Tsaka pala Perry Ellis 360 Degrees.

13. PINAKA GUSTO MONG PRUTAS?
:: No particular fruit. But I love apples, banana and melon on shakes. And strawberry on syrups and juices.

14. PINAKA GUSTO MONG YOSI
:: Yung hindi mausok. Haha!

15. PINAKA GUSTO MONG BINABASA
:: Nakow, andami na naman. Basta mga materials na may natututunan ako.

16. PINAKA GUSTO MONG UNIT NG CELL
:: Of all the phones I’ve had, I like my N90 the best. Syempre, pinaka-high tech eh, hehe.

17. PINAKA GUSTO MONG SUBJECT NUNG HIGHSCHOOL
:: Math, Computer & English! Because I never had a hard time of them. Haha!

18. PINAKA GUSTO MONG SUBJECT NUNG COLLEGE?
:: Sa majors: CoE 131, 111 & 23. Sa mga GE: Psych 101 & Comm 3

19. PINAKA GUSTO MONG PANGALAN
:: Ethan Karl – bata pa lang ako, naisip ko na na ito ang gusto kong pangalan ng anak ko, hehe! Muntik pa nga itong agawin ng Ate ko, haha!

20. PINAKA GUSTO MONG INUUTOS SAYO
:: Err, critique me? Haha! It’s in my blood, Kapampangan ako at namana ko sa parents ko, hehe!

21. PINAKA GUSTO MONG PINAPANOOD SA TV
:: Teka, bakit ngayon ko lang na-realize na kamukha lang ito ng #9, haha!

22. PINAKA GUSTO MONG BUWAN
:: December! Kasi birthday ko tsaka Pasko.

23. PINAKA GUSTO MONG GINAGAWA PAG UMAGA
:: I am barely awake on mornings, haha! To my answer would be to sleep, hehe!

24. PINAKA GUSTO MONG GINAGAWA PAG GABI
:: Mag-marathon ng mga TV series! Haha!

25. PINAKA GUSTO MO - MAMALANTSA, MAGLABA O MAGLUTO?
:: Magluto na lang, at least after ng pagod, may kakainin ka. I’ve always wanted to learn, being matakaw and being Kapampangan, hehe!

26. PINAKA GUSTO MONG TINITIGNAN O NAKIKITA DITO SA FRIENDSTER
:: Updates of friends? Tsaka syempre, mga testimonials and comments, ansarap mag-reminisce eh.

27. PINAKA GUSTO MONG NARERECEIVE NA TEXT
:: Witty jokes! Tsaka Chicken Soup type of text, hehe.

28. PINAKA GUSTO MONG TUMATAWAG SAYO
:: Err, wala. I’m not a telebabad type of person. Random calls from missed friends are great though.

29. PINAKA GUSTO MONG NAG EEMAIL O NAG MEMESSAGE SAYO SA FRIENDSTER
:: Not much really. Halos puro forward naman eh. May text naman kasi.

30. PINAKA GUSTO MO SA GF/BF MO
:: Wala naman akong gf o bf, haha! >> Same answer, haha!

31. PINAKA GUSTO MONG MAALALA NA NANGYARI SA BUHAY MO
:: The times when I know I did the right thing, and it made a positive impact on other people, no matter how little..

32.PINAKA GUSTO MONG NAKILALANG TAO
:: Too many to mention! My friends, sino pa ba. Ayoko na lang mag-mention, kasi baka may mag-tampo. Basta alam na nila kung sino sila.

33.PINAKA GUSTO MONG TUGTOG
:: Westlfie! Haha! Well, not anymore. See my sidebar na lang.

34.PINAKA GUSTO MONG ORAS NG ARAW
:: 6-9pm - because by then, my energy is completely up and running already.

35.PINAKA GUSTO MONG SPORT
:: Volleyball. Tapos runner-ups ang tenpin bowling at badminton.

36.PINAKA GUSTO MONG ARTISTA
:: Aljur Abrenica! Schoolmate ko eh! Haha! Joke. I actually like the likes of Kris Aquino – yeah, despite and in spite of her mistakes. But as a person and as a celebrity, probably Sharon Cuneta & Carrie Underwood.

37. PINAKA GUSTO MONG ORAS PAG TINETEXT KA
:: No particular time.. Pag bored ako..

38. PINAKA GUSTO MONG ULAM
:: Madami! Friend chicken never fails to make me salivate, hehe!

39. PINAKA GUSTO MONG LAHI NG TAO
:: Definitely, Filipinos, even if that means my chances of having blue eyes is ZERO. Haha! Basta, I have faith in our race. Maybe not on our current leaders, but on our race and heritage as a whole, I have great faith in it.

40. PINAKA GUSTO MONG NAIISIP NGAYON
:: Na baling araw, yayaman din ako! Bwahahaha! Seriously, because when I have more money, I can help other people more, kahit papaano. Kahit yun tipo lang na bibigyan ko ng extra allowance ang pamangkin ko. O di kaya, malibre ko sa Starbucks ang friends ko, kahit hindi ko birthday. O kaya mabili ko ng gamot ang lola ko. Or mailibre ko ng 2nd honeymoon ang parents ko, hehe! Or makapag-paaral ng isang batang matalino.. Yung ganun lang naman..

Monday, May 21, 2007

PINAKA-AYAWs

Na-enjoy ko nang husto ang pagsagot ko sa survey na ito na galing kay Heneroso. At in Filipino pa siya. So pinost ko na rin dito. Wala rin naman akong matinong maisip na topic.

1. PINAKA AYAW MONG KULAY

:: Color combo na lang: Brown & Violet

2. PINAKA AYAW MO SA KAIBIGAN
:: Walang utang na loob / traydor

3. PINAKA AYAW MO SA MANLILIGAW O
NILILIGAWAN
:: Masyadong pa-damsel-in-distress

4. PINAKA AYAW MONG DAMIT
:: Yung mainit isuot! Lalu na kapag hindi aircon ang lugar / pupuntahan

5. PINAKA AYAW MONG HAIRSTYLE
:: Err, syempre yung di ko bagay, haha! On other people, yung naka-gel at naka-spike paharap na parang binungkal ng kalabaw sa sobrang pagkapantay ng mga linya! Nakow, that's so 10 years ago, haha!

6. PINAKA AYAW NA SINASABI SAYO
:: That I'm not good enough (even if I try).. Naks, drama..

7. PINAKA AYAW MONG INIINOM PAG MAY
GIMIKAN
:: Yung mga shina-shot. Ampait eh!

8. PINAKA AYAW MONG LUGAR
:: Basta kahit saan na kadiri at madumi

9. PINAKA AYAW MONG PALABAS? BAKIT?
:: ABT UR LUV -- kahit eye-candy ang mga artista dito, sobrang AMPANGIT ng presentation at pag-tackle nila ng love t relationship issues ng kabataan. Dapat kasi makatotohanan at may social relevance. Hindi yung pa-kornihan at pa-baduyan

10.PINAKA AYAW MONG WEBSITE
:: Yung mga bloggers na puro ranting ng mga walang kwentang bagay o mabababaw na problema. Tsaka yun AlTeRNaTe CaPs pa ang spelling at kung may anu-ano pang ,.punctuat!0n.,. Haha!

11.PINAKA AYAW MONG PAGKAIN
:: Err, hindi ko alam kung ano ang tawag nila sa Tagalog eh, basta yung tinatawag namin na 'burong isda' sa Kapampangan, yung mukhang suka ng pusa, haha! Tsaka pala hipon (and similar seafoods), allergic eh

12.PINAKA AYAW MONG PABANGO. BAKIT?
:: Yung pabango ng Mama ko. Hindi naman sa mabaho siya. Pero kapag naamoy ko sa ibang babae, ayoko, haha!

13. PINAKA AYAW MONG PRUTAS?
:: Mga hindi ko kinakain - duhat, santol

14. PINAKA AYAW MONG YOSI
:: All of them, haha! Hindi naman kasi ako naninigarilyo.

15. PINAKA AYAW MONG BINABASA
:: See #10. Tsaka yung mga gwabeh ang spelling. Yun tipong ang simpleng 'ok po' ay nagiging 'ouwkhei powh'!

16. PINAKA AYAW MONG UNIT NG CELL
:: Yung mga hindi user-friendly.

17. PINAKA AYAW MONG SUBJECT NUNG HIGHSCHOOL
:: PE! Haha! Maliban na lang kung volleyball ang sport or badminton

18. PINAKA AYAW MONG SUBJECT NUNG COLLEGE?
:: EEE 53

19. PINAKA AYAW MONG PANGALAN
:: Wala naman. Pero may mga pangalan na naguudyok ng inis kapag naririnig mo dahil naalala mo yung tao na may pangalan na ganun

20. PINAKA AYAW MONG INUUTOS SAYO
:: Maglinis ng banyo! Maglinis in general

21. PINAKA AYAW MONG PINAPANOOD SA TV
:: Anime. Mga 'Asian' shows na ang konsepto naman ng pagiging 'Asian' ay kahit na anong gusto ng mga singkit!

22. PINAKA AYAW MONG BUWAN
:: September -- kasi haggard na sa mga trabaho sa school!

23. PINAKA AYAW MONG GINAGAWA PAG UMAGA
:: Gumising itself, haha! Yung maghanap ng pagkain para sa almusal tapos wala akong makalkal sa ref namin

24. PINAKA AYAW MONG GINAGAWA PAG GABI
:: Yung tina-try kong matulog pero hidni ako makatulog.

25, PINAKA AYAW MO- MAMALANTSA, MAGLABA O MAGLUTO?
:: Maglaba!

26. PINAKA AYAW MONG TINITIGNAN O NAKIKITA DITO SA FRIENDSTER
:: Mga flooders at nagpopost ng mga 'because-you've-opened-this-you-have-to-repost-this-and-put-a-nonsense -phrase-as-its-subject!

27. PINAKA AYAW MONG NARERECEIVE NA TEXT
:: Yung mga sobrang sawi na love quotes.

28. PINAKA AYAW MONG TUMATAWAG SAYO
:: Wala naman.

29. PINAKA AYAW MONG NAG EEMAIL O NAG MEMESSAGE SAYO SA FRIENDSTER
:: Chain messages

30. PINAKA AYAW MO SA GF/BF MO
:: Wala naman akong gf o bf, haha!

31. PINAKA AYAW MONG MAALALA NA NANGYARI SA BUHAY MO
:: Nagpakaloko o nagpauto sa mga walang kwenta at walang utang na loob na tao

32.PINAKA AYAW MONG NAKILALANG TAO
:: Si *a**. So far lang naman.

33.PINAKA AYAW MONG TUGTOG
:: Mga pangit ang tono!

34.PINAKA AYAW MONG ORAS NG ARAW
:: 11am-1pm -- kasi ang init! Tsaka nakakatamad dahil kagigising ko lang, tapos lunchbreak na kaagad.

35.PINAKA AYAW MONG SPORT
:: Na nilalaro? Basketball. Na pinapanood? Football. Kung sa panonood lang eh, gusto ko naman ang basketball. Hindi lang kasi talaga ako marunong, hehe!

36.PINAKA AYAW MONG ARTISTA
:: Andami! Yung mga over-rated tulad ni Richard Gutierrez (mag-model ka na lang!) at mga has-beens na kung maka-asta parang sikat na sikat pa tulad ni Richard Gomez. Teka, bakit puro Richard?! Haha!

37. PINAKA AYAW MONG ORAS PAG TINETEXT KA
:: Wala naman. Dahil kung ayaw ko magpaistorbo, sina-silent ko ang phone ko

38. PINAKA AYAW MONG ULAM AT DI KINAKAIN
:: Yung mga pagkain na allergic ako -- hipon, pusit, clams

39. PINAKA AYAW MONG LAHI NG TAO
:: Wala naman.

40.PINAKA AYAW MONG NAIISIP NGAYON
:: Na wala na akong pag-asa...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bus ride

Riding an air-conditioned bus for at least an hour, at least twice a week has been a norm for me for the past 6 years. Finally settling in a comfortable seat without having to wait in a long line is one of life's simplest gems for a probinsyano like me.

In those 6 years of commuting to and from the country's top metro, I've never had a regular companion. Random orgmates who happen to be going home at the same time or random friends whom you surprisingly see at the terminal is the next best thing. Even this semi-regular set of 'bus-mates' changes from semester to semester.

Although technically, the bus ride home and the bus ride to Manila only differ in direction. But the destination of either trips makes a whole lot of difference in terms of the overall experience. The bus ride home feels much better -- it entails longing, excitement and a tinge of security. Whereas the bus ride to Manila involves a feeling of dread, exasperation and a little bit of hesitation.

I pass time in both rides in sleeping though. Aside from the fact that I am probably really sleepy anyway, it doubles as a temporary respite from reality. But in the few times that I don't sleep, it means it's pag-mumuni time, hehe!

These pseudo-emo moments can be crazy sometimes. Probing thoughts can be sometimes triggered by the passenger seated next to me. Usually, I wonder first why the person is making the trip. Of course, his get-up is the foremost clue. Usually on early Monday morning trips, there are a lot of formally dressed yuppie-looking people in their late 20's or early thirties with their attache-case looking bags. Their most probable stop: the MRT station at North EDSA.

Then there are my fellow students. They're easy to spot -- their huge travelling bags that probably teems with dirty laundry or take-home books or readings gives them away. The school ID they churn out for the conductor to avail of the fare discount confirms it.

Of course, there are the random people from all walks of life. Having no stereotypical idea of what they are, so I think about why they're having the trip. I wonder if they dread the trip of look forward to coming home as much as I do.

The emerald fields of rural Pampanga and Bulacan are always hopeful sights to see. For some reason, these fresh views bring a temporary feeling of hope. It completely disappears though as soon as I see the billboards in Valenzuela or the mini-skyline formed by SM Pampanga and Robinson's Starmills. For it means, in a few minutes, I would have to face the cruel outside world again. Wushu, andrama, haha!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Generally peaceful

This post's title is totally the phrase of the day, haha! You'd hear this on any channel covering the recently concluded voting. Apparently, this is COMELEC's assessment of the 2007 midterm elections so far.

Well, as far as my city is concerned, I would have to agree. Elections have always been peaceful here. And as far as my precinct is concerned, there was no any hassle at all when I voted. So if ever there were problems when the precincts opened, I supposed those problems were worked out already.

I am so excited over the results, especially for the local one. Initial, unofficial and not to mention minutely partial results show Among Ed winning over Baby Pineda and Mark Lapid with a little margin. So, Kapampangans, fingers crossed!

I have never been this excited over the elections, and I think my case is not an isolated case. Like what a UP Public Administration professor said over ABS-CBN, the most extensive ever media coverage of the elections show that there is a demand for information on the elections. The public really wants to be in the know. the public is more vigilant than ever, to really ensure that our votes are properly and honestly counted. Like they say, voting and the counting are two entirely different processes. Hopefully, they match up, hehe.

So there, just wanted to post something electorally related for today. I know that our perception of the electoral process isn't very good. We have a very incompetent commission so the minor and major election-related brouhahas you hear on the news aren't surprising at all. And more importantly, its credibility is quite questionable. It is flawed, but I still believe in it, that's why I voted. It's a duty to my country, I did my part. Because if I didn't, I know I wouldn't have the right to complain if my hometown ruts in administrative hell. Educated people like us know better, so if we don't actively take part in our civic duties, we're worse than the masa we often ridicule for being stupid and gullible and for falling for the false leaders' promises.

I know I didn't volunteer as a poll watcher so I am not really actually 'guarding' my vote. But I am watching closely the influx of partial results. And I believe my prayers will help, hehe. So if massive cheating results to Among Ed's loss, naku, sasama talaga ako sa mga mag-rarally! The tibak in me will be unleashed. Haha!


UPDATE: As of 6.30pm, May 18, 2007, based on the official COMELEC canvassing at the Pampanga Convention Center:
AMONG ED PANLILIO 219,421
Lilia Pineda 218,501
Mark Lapid 210,676

Whew! A close one! Frankly, I'm kinda disappointed that the lead was that slim, because it shows that more than 2/3 of my kababayans would rather want the vice lords. But at least, the best and only good candidate won. Abak na Pampanga!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Yes to a good Kapampangan leader!

Ever since I had a clear grasp of numbers, tabulation-rich events like elections, Olympics, pageants and other contests always amazed me. But elections were a different matter. I knew that the results would greatly affect the world I live in.

In 1992, my bet for President was Mitra. I think I liked him because he looked the kindest to me. Haha! But in 1998, when I had a better understanding of national matters, my bet was Raul Roco. And in 2004, when I was finally eligible to vote, he was still my bet. I was really upset that he lost. I couldn't get why people won't vote for the one with the cleanest record. Why they'd prefer the cheater that GMA was just so FPJ won't win. For me, there was a perfect alternative to FPJ and that was Roco. I really believed in his brand of leadership. So when I heard the news that he died, my first thought was, "Oh no! Wala nang pag-asa ang Pilipinas.." Of course, I know it's really not the end. Raul Roco has indeed sown the seeds of change. It's just the a matter of finding someone who would take care and harvest these seeds.

The politics here in Pampanga is another story. Back in 1995 (and consequently, 1998 and 2001), I couldn't understand why Lito Lapid would win as Governor when all he did was ride in helicopters and save people from lahar. I mean come on! He should just sign up with the Red Cross or something. His movies are bad enough, he didn't have to bring all of his pseudo-machismo in the government. I was still in Elementary, when these allegations (backed by pretty strong evidences) of corruption, mainly in illegal quarrying, ghost employees, etc, already surfaced. And yet these weren't enough to keep him from the Capitol's Office. As young as my mind was, I knew back then (1998 in particular) that the choice was obviously between good and evil, and yet, the evil prevailed.

It came to a point when the dilemma in choosing entailed voting for the lesser evil. It peaked in this year's elections where the gubernatorial bout was initially between Mark Lapid (Lito's equally untalented-actor son) on the illegal quarrying corner and Baby Pineda (wife of infamous alleged Jueteng Lord, Bong Pineda) on the jueteng corner. I would've voted ABSTAIN, but that is not an option, because there is no 50%+1 requirement for them to win. My not voting for any of them as a protest will prove futile. It was a really hopeless situation until Among Ed Panlilio came into the picture.

I am sure you have all heard of this brave priest running for Pampanga Governor who stirred up a local People Power. In fact, this amazing and noble story made it to the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer as the main headline. You can occasionally read about him in various political columns and even in the Letters-to-the-Editor section. I was initially disappointed that a priest had to run, because I know that my province is not lacking of capable professionals or individuals. Besides, I've always believed that the Church has been meddling with state affairs too much already, so I wasn't so sure if a priest as a Governor was such a good idea. But luckily, Among Ed is not the Padre-Damaso type. Not only is he a well-loved parish priest, he was also well-respected in the local NGO circles. He has founded and headed various socio-civic institutions. And he has a competitive platform to boot. Unlike Lapid and Pineda, who are indeed political and financial superpowers, but are lacking in integrity and innovative plans.

Last Saturday, I attended his Meeting De Avance. It was my very first political rally, and surely, it was overwhelming. I would've said it was an 'eye-opener'. But I realized my eyes were already opened, haha -- open to the fact that the time for major positive change in Kapampangan leadership has finally come. It was really fun in the patriotic sense. I couldn't find someone to go with to the rally, but since I really wanted to attend, I asked my 8-year-old nephew to tag along, hehe! Hindi ko naman siya pinilit ha, kusa siyang pumayag, at ang sabi naman niya pagkatapos, nag-enjoy naman siya.

I've always been an inactive member of the society, in the sense that I never tangibly took part in anything that helped other people's way of life. (Well, except for my Kapampangan org in UP Diliman, we have projects catered to Kapampangan students but we're never really a political group). I figured that attending was the least I could do, aside from actually voting for him. What's further amazing is that his campaign or 'crusade' as us his supporters would rather call it, is entirely thriving due to volunteerism for he is running as an independent candidate. Kapampangans throughout the province (even in the parts that were considered Pineda and Lapid country) and Angeles City (which doesn't vote for Governor because it's a chartered city), and even in abroad (Europe and USA), have all contributed financially in many different ways.

It was overwhelming because one can really feel the burning passion and sense of patriotism and integrity in the air. What's more amazing is that people with different socio-economic status attended the rally. And all of them were joined in the chanting of "Amond Ed!", raising their hands, waving their flaglets, and singing to the Kapampangan patriotic anthems. It was like a mall tour for Mon David, the international Jazz champion, and Arti Sta Rita, a local popular artistic and cultural organization, for they performed most of the Kapampangan songs and intermission numbers. It felt like more a prayer rally than a political one, actually. Quite expected, since the candidate is a Catholic priest. But what's also admirable is that even leaders from other religions and Christian sects proclaimed their support.

A paragraph from the people's manifesto:

"True, Pampanga is popular more than ever but not because of noble things like the resurgence of arts and culture brought out to the fore by talented Kapampangan artists; not even the growing opportunities for progress fuelled by the hard work and industry of its business sector. Pampanga is popular more than ever as the home province of jueteng and corruption and the seat of illegal quarrying operations. In recent years, we Kapampangans have witnessed how our beloved province and its people have fallen deep in the clutches of a debilitating social cancer that threatens to destroy every cell of our being.

Indeed, we are now confronted with a disaster – one that is more devastating and damaging than the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo; one that we cannot recover from unless we unite, cooperate and stand up as a community. Makarine na pu ing malilyari kekatamu at ali tamu puwedeng manahimik at magbulag-bulagan kabang sasamantalanan de reng mapilan ing kekatamung balen at deng memalen. (Nakakahiya na po ang nangyayari sa atin at hindi tayo pwedeng manahimik at magbulag-bulagan habang sinasamantala na iilan ang atin bayan at ang mga mamamayan.)"

I never had this much hope in the elections. I really believe in the Among Ed mantra, "Abak na Pampanga!" (Umaga na Pampanga!). Because with a true servant-leader like Among Ed in the government, the sun is finally rising after years and years on end of darkness due to corruption and lack of integrity of our provincial leaders. The only way for the darkness of this night to continue to engulf our promising province is if Among Ed will be cheated, or worse, killed.
For finally,
Kapampangan, atin nakang pagpilian! (mayroon ka nang pagpipilian!).

Let me end with the last paragraphs of the manifesto:

This is not about asking Fr. Ed to be the Messiah who will deliver this province out of the rut it is in. This is not about his personal achievements, nor his personal desires to be a funnel for God’s graces. This is about a province that is at the lowest point in its history, about a people who are on the brink of hopelessness and who have been silently clamoring for changes, for better options, and for decent leaders. This is about us Kapampangans. Dintang na pu ing panaun para migising tamu at talakad para king metung a gobyernong disente, malinis at apagmaragul tamu. (Dumating na po ang panahon para magising tayo at tumayo para sa isang gobyerno na disente, malinis at maipagmamalaki natin.)

This is the time for us to unite and move together for change so that with heads held high, we can once again say, “Apagmaragul ku, Kapampangan ku!”

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

10 kinds of sadness

Look up 'saddened' in your favorite thesaurus and you will find up to 20 synonyms. They all mean the same negative feeling, albeit in varying degrees and in varying situations. More so, sadness is also relative, which is something I learned when I read a blog post of complaints a few days ago. Add the factor that some of us are 'stronger' such that what may be distressing for us may not be so for them.

So out of the many synonyms of 'saddened', here's my personal perspective of 10 of them.

PEEVED is when you get upset after you argue with a person who just won't listen because of all his close-minded bull.

AFFLICTED is when you can't sleep even if you badly want to, especially when you start becoming ill. That's why usually, there's actual physical pain.

DISTURBED is when you know you only wanted to do the right thing but you know that in the process, you'll most probably incur a friend's wrath.

PAINED is when you remember the good ol'times with the people you once considered very good friends. But somewhere along the way, acts of selfishness or betrayal severed your deep ties with them. Nagging questions like 'what happened?' will always bring a tinge of pain. You are also pained when you realize that the person you once greatly looked up to has become a big time jerk. You feel betrayed though technically, hindi naman ikaw ang tinarantado niya. You don't know whether your 'idol' was just fooled into the dark side or worse, he was just pretending to be on the good side all along. Yun! Ganun na ganun ang 'pained'. Okay, I will stop now. Hehe!

DEPRESSED is when you just feel sad and alone, despite your gazillion friends. You feel like nobody cares, that no one listens to your 'cries' of help.

DISCOMBOBULATED is the word I use in a conversation when I want to be sarcastic or when I want to show off my vocabulary skills, haha! Ang hindi nila alam, memoryado ko lang talaga yung word, haha!

DISPIRITED is what comes to mind when I hear Carrie Underwood's Jesus Take The Wheel, especially the part where you're 'running low on faith and gasoline..' I usually feel this after make-or-break exams wherein I try to convince myself that I will still pass despite not having been able to answer 2 out of 3 problems.

DISTRAUGHT is when you've already done your best and your fate is not anymore in your hands but other people's. You're worried because you don't feel secure that things will go your way.

DEVASTATED is when something extremely tragic has happened. Like for example, if you get permanently expelled from school because you've already been previously dismissed 4 times already. Of course, a death of a beloved falls under the category of devastation.

WRETCHED is for me the aftermath of being devastated. When the dust due to the devastation settles, it is usually then when you start assessing your life. That's when you realize that everything is a mess. You don't know what to do. You are completely lost in your own life.

Of course, I don't really use these words in everyday life, haha! I had to use the dictionary to actually differentiate them. As you can see, all of them sound so negatively alike.

I realized that when we are in a low moment, we tend to have a biased view of what sadness is. We lose perspective and forget that at any given low point in our life, there exists at least one good thing to be happy about and thankful for. In moments when we feel so alone, we never actually are. More often than not, this 'I-am-so-alone' drama we have is primarily our fault anyway. Sometimes, we are just too shy, or worse, too proud to ask or accept well-meaning help from other people -- especially the more loyal and more dependable of our so-called friends.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Top 10 things I didn't like about Spider-man 3

Before any of the Spidey loyalists out there would crucify me, know that while I know the very basic facts about Peter Parker and Spider-man, I am no comic book fan. I also watched a few epsiodes of the cartoon version on ABS-CBN a decade ago. But that's it. I watched Spider-man 1 & 2 and immensle enjoyed both. My expectations on Spider-man 3 were pretty high, so I was disappointed when I watched it. It wasn't a complete mess though. It's just that the annoying things outweighed the enjoyable ones.

Here's a list of the Top 10 things about the movie that annoyed me the most:
(In no particular order)

1. Harry having amnesia after the fight? For a while there I thought I was watching a local teleserye, hehe! Worse, it didn’t last long, to think that he supposedly lost 3 years worth of memory. Even Mike Delfino of Desperate Housewives who lost 2 years worth of memory to amnesia had to wait way way longer than Harry to bring back just a few scenes of his lost past. Sorry, it was a little ridiculous.

2. What’s up with the nosy butler? It took two movies after Green Goblin’s death for the loyal family butler to actually tell Harry that his father’s death is not Spidey’s fault. Geesh, if only he told Harry earlier, it would’ve saved his ward a lot of trouble. And he’d probably be still alive for Spider-man 4.

3. There were too many villains for me. It felt like 3 episodes of Smallville in one movie the only difference being that they all ganged up on him in the end. (Or not, ‘cause Harry switched sides eventually). I just feel that the villains weren’t given enough exposure for me to actually hate them. Which brings us to…

4. … insufficient character development. Like I said, new villains were introduced too quickly for me to actually feel their ‘evil’, to understand where they're coming from. Sure it was mentioned, but to the (un)wise words of Randy Jackson, "I wasn't feeling that, dawg!".

5. I’ve heard Kirsten Dunst’s voice on Dream Of Me (and she can carry a decent tune), that’s why I was surprised that they used a ghost singer in Mary Jane’s theatre and resto gig scenes. It was obviously not her voice so it was awkwardly creepy to hear her sing. (EDIT: A friend says it was actually Kirsten who sang in the movie. If it's true, I stand corrected. But it still sounds odd.)

6. I don’t really know how funny Spider-man is supposed to be in the comics, but one thing I liked about Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Spider-man is his random comic moments (remember his 'aw, my back!' in Spidey 2?). But in this movie, it didn’t work for me. His dance number to spite Mary Jane was dragging (okay, we get the point, he's not himself, can we get on with the hard action, now?), and so was his goofy dancing in the streets. He reminded me of Taylor Hicks for a few seconds.

7.
Does Mary Jane have to screech painstakingly and fall off from extremely high places all the freaking time? I mean come on! Even Lana Lang does not do a repeat performance of her mishaps. (Although, Lana Lang does ALWAYS have to be kidnapped by the meteor freaks. But oh well, that's another story, haha!). To the writers, there are other ways in order to torture the leading ladies!

8. And what’s with the stupid onlookers in the crime scenes throughout the movie who had to bring their children in with them? I mean come on! If something violent is going on, would you bring your child along to satisfy your curiosity and know what’s going on?

9. And again, what’s with Venom’s ‘ransom note’ that was like printed out of a web printer?

10. Speaking of Venom, I actually liked him more in this movie than Spider-man himself because I think he showed more personality. Topher Grace was a delight, but I think he was not right for the role of an antagonist. I didn't want him to die. I actually enjoyed it when he was being an ass to Spidey!

So there, feel free to berate me, but these are just my observations and opinions. Yeah I admit, much of these things shouldn't be a big deal. But the thing is, the movie wasn't as enjoyable as it should be, because if I was enjoying the story, I wouldn't have resorted to criticizing minor details. I would've been lost in the story of a wouldv'e-been great movie that actually deserves the hype.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Brothers And Sisters, Aren't We All?

Anyone who has brothers and sisters can totally relate to Brothers And Sisters, an ABC (the US Channel, not the struggling local one, thanks to Philippine Idol's dismal ratings) family drama that is about to end its first season this in a few weeks.

Unless of course if you're an only child. Or if you have an all-male or all-female set of siblings. Or if you don't have a brother who is an Afghan war veteran. Or if you don't have a sister who is a right-winger TV host. Or if you don't have a deceased father -- whom you later discover is a philanderer. Or if you don't own a family business that might just file for bankruptcy, thanks but no thanks to your deceased father. Or if you don't have a gay brother who is 90% out of his gay closet. Or if you're surname isn't Walker and that you grew up in Los Angeles. Or I could just stop describing the characters, eh? Haha!

Seriously, this show is so compellingly good that in two days, I have finished the first six episodes. I could actually watch the 7th and 8th episode right now, if not only for my sister who doesn't share a body clock of someone from England. Ironically funny, me and my sister watch Brothers And Sisters together. Yeah, it's that good -- this seemingly innocent torrented AVI copy of a TV series served as a bonding activity for two actually-close siblings but never had the time to actually do together things that they both like.

It's official, Brothers And Sisters joins the company of Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Heroes as one of my must-watch (or rather, must-download) US television series. It's the second TV series that got me officially and immensely hooked by its pilot. While the Seattle Grace gang is still my favorite group of TV people these days, it actually took me five episodes before it duped me into believing that I wanted to be a surgeon all over again. While I wanted to be a 'hero' by the third episodes of Heroes, it's not to say though that I wanted to be a housewife when I saw the Desperate Housewives pilot, haha! But I think, you get what I mean. Now I feel that it's so cool to have Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin and Justin as brothers and sisters!

Whenever we watch, my sister and I always would often say, "Uy, si yan ah, ganyan na ganyan siya.. haha!" whenever one of the characters or events become too familiarly closer to home. The dramatic scenes are not your typical teleserye ones. It will thug your heart not with the fluctuating volume of shouting voices during confrontations or the overplayed aping-api-ako drama of the leads, but with the wittingly spoken lines that will definitely hit home. In fact, there has been no episode so far that lacks a watery-eyes moment. That's the best thing about it, it won't make you cry but it will definitely open your eyes and touch your heart. It's an American family, but if there's anything Filipino in it, it's the fact that at the end of the day, despite the problems and the conflicts that just seem to pull your family apart, if you stick by yours, you'd be surprised at what your family can survive.

*Studio 23 is going to air it soon but am not sure of the actual schedule. So for torrent freaks, try this TV series. Yeah, it's a family drama. But if you could just get past the idea that it's drama, you'll see that you will see a piece of your own family (whatever the characters or conflicts yours actually have) in the Walker family.

Quick Thoughts