Recent Thoughts

Sunday, June 08, 2008

End of an Era

I have moved to a new blog:

For those who still visit here even if I wasn't able to reciprocate the gesture for the past months but still want to be linked and still be blog buddies, just drop by the new blog. I removed all former links (except those I personally know), para fair. Not that I'm saying my blog is a prime real estate spot for blog links, hehe.

After 230+ posts and 43,800 hits (most of which were probably mine, as I check on my blog every now and then for any new comments or tags when I was still engrossed on it), it's been great typing out loud here. So now, let's pretend that you're a fan and that you've been waiting for me to write again. Haha! So here's a little preview.

When I created my first blog back in 2005, coming up with the perfect URL for it was a struggle. In the end, I managed to come up with a nick that stuck with me, even outside my blog circle.

So when I decided I wanted a new blog, choosing the new URL was such an arduous task. Not to mention the pressure (mostly from myself, haha)!

‘kingofchocolates’ truly represented who I was, even if I failed to live up to the expectation of some who actually hoped I would post about the best sweets in the world. Hmm, now that I think about it, I actually never had a single post about chocolates! Anyway, it was catchy enough and to think that it took me a long time to come up with it, I knew it might take extra longer to produce a new and better one. Read more...

Again, it's

Monday, April 28, 2008

Blog Leave

It's no biggie, really. I don't even know why I am announcing it. Siguro papansin lang, haha!

If you care to ask "bakit?", well, I want to take a break from typing things out loud. Something's been weighing me down, and I can't seem to be able to write properly. I am unsatisfied, uninspired.

Kapag naayos ko na ang dapat ayusin, I will be back. I will write again. I will blog again. I will blog hop again. Who knows, I might create a new blog. Or maybe just launch a new look. I don't know, I am still undecided. Wala lang, for a fresh new start.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I think David Cook should win American Idol

To be honest, I never liked David Cook at the start of the latest season of American Idol. I think he is too cocky, he isn’t even that talented or good-looking. Until he sang Mariah Carey’s Always Be My Baby!

(I know, this post is week late, but hey, humor me and just read on still, will ya?)

David Cook isn’t even my type (as an American Idol, okay?). He’s a rocker, I’m more of a pop, R&B and country music fan. I don’t even like most of the songs (or arrangements for that matter) that he has performed so far in the season. Well, except two songs – All Right Now performed in the Top 20 semifinal round and like I said, Always Be My Baby during the Top 7 week. I am a reluctant fan actually. Not because I still have doubts on his talent but because I feel ashamed to be rooting for him and to claim that I am a fan. I never believed in him in the beginning. I even wanted him to not make it to the Top 12. And now I have eaten my words! Haha! It doesn’t feel right to passionately root for a guy whom I dismissed just a few months ago as just another white rocker dude. (Yeah, it’s absurd, haha! But hey, I am this passionate when it comes to American Idol. I take my fanaticism seriously!)

This renewed appreciation of the other “David” and other “Cook” in the Top 12 started when he sang a few lines of Rihanna’s Don’t Stop The Music during the Idol Gives Back episode. And then the week after, he put a different but equally wonderful spin on Mariah Carey’s Always Be My Baby. (Gosh I can never say it enough, can I? Haha!)

David Archuleta, Ramiele Malubay, Michael Johns and Carly Smithson used to be my favourites to win American Idol this year, but hey, even guys are entitled to change their minds, right? Hehe! Obviously, even if I am still a great of theirs, Ramiele and Michael cannot win anymore for they have been eliminated. As for Carly, I don’t think she’s gonna win or if I’d like her to win it all. Granted that she’s talented and that she’s got the big voice, but I think we’ve got enough of American Idol divas. As for little David, well, I still think he’s a brilliant performer. I like most of his song choices. And his style is more into my taste. He is even a very nice person! But my interest in him that started with his passioned audition with John Mayer’s Waiting On The World To Change has waned over the past few weeks. I have realized, aside from being young and being guy, he doesn’t bring much anything new into the table. And that’s where David Cook comes in.

He’s a rocker. And he’s a guy! Looking at the past American Idol winners, there are more female winners. Just for the sake of variety and balance, David Cook should win, haha! And I don’t think the producers are gonna have problems with him selling records, unlike the last white guy who won American Idol. And he cried on live television! This rocker dude has a personality and a heart!

Having said this though, if David Archuleta wins, I wouldn’t be surprised or will I be so pissed off. His winning wouldn’t be so bad. Actually, I may want David Cook to win, but if most of the Top 12 this year will release albums eventually, I will most likely listen to Carly’s, little David’s, Brooke’s, Michael’s or even Kristy’s.

Let’s see what will happen.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

"Universal" USB

“Everything can be connected to a USB these days”. This was my realization when I accompanied a friend to a branch of CD-R King just last week. Well, of course, technically and obviously, ‘everything’ is an exaggeration. But if you visit a computer and media shop near you, you will be surprised of the things that come with a USB plug these days.

Most techie gadgets can be connected to the USB ports of our laptops or personal computers which makes it more convenient for us to organize our ‘techie lifestyle’. Music players, digital cameras, cell phones, flash drives, etc – all of these can be readily connected. While there are some devices that cannot be directly connected to USB ports, there is a wide array of port adapters available that guess what – can be USB-connected. Indeed, the universal serial bus lives up to its name.

It’s one thing for almost all modern and technological gadgets to be connected to USB ports, but it’s another to have everyday ordinary appliances similarly connectible!

While my friend was busy buying blank DVD-Rs and other stuff, I busied myself by looking around the diverse merchandise hanging on the walls and displayed on the store’s shelves. I saw the usual array of flash drives and portable music and video players. Then there were the other USB devices – USB LAN, USB sound card, USB infrared, etc. Then I saw the USB paper shredder, USB warmer, USB massager, USB desktop fan and USB fridge. I almost laughed out loud in a mixture of amazement, surprise and disbelief. I wasn't exactly surprised about the technology and innovation behind these devices but more on the novelty of the ideas.

UPPER LEFT: the USB desktop fan; UPPER RIGHT: the USB fridge;
LOWER LEFT: the USB massager; LOWER RIGHT: the USB warmer/cooler;

So I began to wonder what would be next in this new trend of ‘technological’ innovations.

Now that we have a USB paper shredder, can a USB sharpener, USB liquid eraser and USB scissor be far behind? For more office productivity and efficiency, huh? Haha!

How about a USB coffee maker? Now that would be a great boon to workaholics!

In my case, I’d love to have a USB cell phone charger because most of the time I multi-task using my laptop and cell phone at the same time. It’s such a hassle when I’d have to use both at a time when my cell phone is charging a few feet away from my workstation at my room.

How about a USB mini-ATM? Just connect to the internet and it can be up and running. But, duh, who would replenish the bills every now and then? Haha!

Since there is already a USB desktop fan, why don't we take a step further and create a USB mini-aircon? Haha!

I find it annoyingly funny it when people call any USB device as “USB” only. This happens most commonly when people refer to their USB flash drives. “Wuy, pahiram naman ng USB mo.” When any of my friends make the mistake, I politely correct them and explain why. It’s like one of those practices we Filipinos have where we use a popular proper name to refer to a common name (i.e., ‘Colgate’ when we mean toothpaste, ‘Xerox’ when we mean photocopying machine, etc).

How about you? Any ideas for a future USB device that would be beneficial to your lifestyle?

PS. The future USB devices I described were completely a product of my own imagination. I am not sure though if any of these actually exist already. Who knows? hehe!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Longest bus ride ever!

Permanently living in the province but studying in the city allows me to take a bus ride at least twice a week. I get to go home on weekends.

During my freshman year, the bus ride (from the Cubao terminal along EDSA to the San Fernando intersection) took at least 1.5 hours. But as the NLEX underwent many improvements through the years, the travel time was gradually shortened. When they repaired the old NLEX, the trip was cut to around 1 hour. And when the brand new NLEX was opened, the trip was cut to 45-50 minutes – barring any traffic jam along EDSA. (It wasn’t exactly a ‘new’ expressway though, because technically it was the same road. But the new NLEX was brought about by extensive and expensive renovations throughout the entire stretch of the expressway. Not to mention a brand new management). I would normally spend the trip sleeping while listening to music with either my mp3 player or cell phone.

Throughout the years, there were instances when the bus ride would take longer than usual due to many reasons – like unfortunate vehicular accidents or mad rushes because of holidays. My bus ride home last Saturday was devoid of any mishaps or delays – but it felt like the longest bus ride ever! The reason is very embarrassing actually, but I would share it anyway – I wanted to poop! Haha! Wait, correction – I didn’t want to poop, not in the bus, at least, but my stomach did, haha!

It was 10 minutes after my orgmates and I boarded the bus and it was already along the Munoz intersection along EDSA when I first felt the pangs of unexpected and violent bowel movement.

I wondered what I could’ve eaten to upset my stomach and intestines. I had lunch at a French food function by some HRIM students. We had onion soup, veggie salad, beef with mashed potato, crème brulee and iced tea. I have eaten all dishes before and it never caused me any problems.

The pangs started getting stronger as we finally entered NLEX. I literally uttered, “Hoh my gad!” ala Janina San Miguel in my mind, haha!

As I controlled the, erm, “contractions”, I started weighing my options. I could ask the conductor to stop by the nearest CR so I could relieve myself but since he was in the middle of issuing the passengers their tickets, everyone aboard will definitely hear about my plea. But if I try to keep it all in until I get home, I might embarrass myself more by you know, shitting on my pants. Ewww! Haha!

I ended up pooping at the Jollibee near the bus stop in San Fernando. Yes, my friends, I managed to suppress the explosion the whole trip. Thank God there was running water, tissue and soap at the Jollibee rest room! Whew!

I survived the trip by continuously praying the WHOLE time – I pleaded for God’s mercy and love and “postpone” my bowel movement until I get a decent rest room! Haha! I was consciously awake the whole trip, for I had to constantly have my ass in check for if I fall asleep, I might lose concentration and open the “flood” gates to my own personal hell, haha! I tried counting the number of emergency phone booths I see on the expressway to veer my mind away from my dire situation. But alas, I lost count when one contraction went quite violent, haha!

Most of you may think it was a huge gamble on my part. I would’ve easily solved my problem by approaching the driver and conductor and ask for some consideration which they probably would’ve given with full understanding. Besides, I may have embarrassed myself by doing so, but I would embarrass myself more and even inconvenience my co-passengers if I pooped on my pants, right? But each time I saw a road sign that signals an approaching gas station, my stomach was miraculously calm. So each time, I decided to stretch my luck, hehe.

It was a very embarrassing situation and I shamefully admit, it wasn’t my best moment, haha! But it was a learning experience.

First of all, if prayers can move mountains, it sure as hell can postpone bowel movement. I lost count how many saints I asked to intercede for my ‘cause’, haha! I know it’s kind of foolish that it took me this kind of situation to learn that Christian lesson but to be honest, that was the first amusing realization that came to my head as I sat on my emergency “throne” at Jollibee.

Secondly, I may have been lucky that day, but for the rest of my life, I can’t always rely on luck – especially if I actually have control of the situation. I could’ve simply asked the driver to stop at a gas station for a few minutes, but instead my fear of embarrassment got the best of me.

Thirdly, now I am afraid to take a trip to France! If the French-themed cuisine I had for lunch was really the culprit last Saturday, then I wouldn’t want to spend half of my French vacation inside the rest rooms, haha!

And by the way, no, hindi ako napatilis. Haha! Promise! Out of gratitude to Jollibee, I ordered a chocolate fudge sundae. Haha!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

5 more instances that made me realize, I've become an adult

6) I have started to appreciate old music. When I was a child, my young ears would always be in revolting mode whenever Papa was in control of the stereo. Alan Jackson. Engelbert Humperdinck. Tom Jones. The Carpenters. Yahaaak! Haha! Of course, you wouldn’t expect me to like these artists back in the time when I thought New Kids On The Block were coolest singers on Earth! Papa’s musical taste is mainly folk or country music – genres that a pop fanatic like me thought I could never ever appreciate. But now, I have seriously re-considered.
Of course, I still cannot bear to listen to the likes of Alan Jackson, Engelbert Humperdinck and company, hehe, but have learned to appreciate modern country music. Carrie Underwood’s winning stint on American Idol Season 4 sparked my interest on country music. And the rest is history.
Another illustration of this happened just last month. I had just woken up and my Ate had a playlist of old songs on her computer. Normally, I would comment, “Yuck ate, ambaduy ng pinapatugtog mo!” Guess what I blurted out? “’Te, sino kumanta nyan? Pahingi ng mp3..” Haha! The theme weeks on American Idol further bolsters my appreciation of music that became popular before I really knew what good music is.

7) Many of my friends have gone abroad or are going abroad.

Now this is a sad fact. I have 2 very close friends who are already abroad. And 2 more close friends are leaving this month. And all four of them will be together in Singapore! Waaaa!
Obviously and admittedly, I feel left out. But I am not going to be dramatic about it for I have accepted my situation a long time ago. But if I won’t be with a friend for quite a long time doing something I should also be doing myself already, it still feels melancholic.
I have part-time job of being a tutor though. So in its own little way, it helps ease the frustration of not being able to earn my own money yet, hehe. At least I get to receive a helpful amount of salary each month already.

8) My mom has asked me to buy her a bag.
And speaking of salaries – my Mama recently made a request that sent shivers to my being. She wants me to buy her a bag! Haha! “Duh, Ma, hindi naman kalakihan ang sweldo ko sa pag-tu-tutor no..”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have reached the age, apparently, when it’s my turn to buy my parents some materialistic stuff, haha!
She says I have one year to save a little portion of my salary to buy her a bag. I know it’s just a bag. It probably wouldn’t even cost more than a thousand. (Are ladies’ bags even that cheap? Oh, I don’t know!). But to me, doing so is really some sort of milestone of coming of age as a child! I dread the day she's gonna ask me to buy her a sofa set, haha! I hope it won't be soon, for I definitely cannot afford it. Yet.

9) I have become a little more conscious of my health.
Now if only I had enough extra money to go to the gym. It’s not that I want to build a “body to die for” to get “the ladies” (Seriously, most of the time, I think this is the reason why most guys build sexy bodies). I just want to shed off some excess inches on my waistline. My main motivation and reason? So that I can wear some of my favorite pants again! Grabe, yung iba talaga, di ko na kasya!
And of course, I also want to be healthy. I don’t have dangerous vices like smoking or drinking. But I need to start watching what I eat if want to stay healthy, strong, fit and all those traits that adult health products emphasize on.
I buy Men’s Health every now and then. My roommate once complained, “Kuya, bakit di na lang FHM ang bilhin mo. Mas maraming sexy girls dun..” Clearly, my roommate is misguided! Haha! Did he actually think I buy MH because of the sexy models? I reasoned out, “Hindi lang naman sex ang habol ko sa magazine na to no. There’s lot more to being a man than knowing how to please a girl..” I explained further that I was mainly after the health articles than the sex tips.

10) I am no longer the student but the teacher.
Well, to my younger friends, that is – which for the sake of discussion I will call ‘kids’, hehe.
I have blogged many times before that I myself am amazed at the advices I am able to give out to a wide array of problems so I am not going to dwell on that anymore.
Once, a young orgmate texted me just after midnight – “Kuya, teach me how to grow up..” I was stumped, haha! Then I really pondered about it – how did I “grow up” myself?
I ended up telling him to surround himself with mature people, haha! I think one of the main reasons why I matured faster than kids my age was because I hung out with older friends quite a lot in college. I literally and figuratively had “ate” and “kuya” figures who helped me ‘discover’ (more like ‘taught’ most of the time) stuff that “I don’t know”. And now that it’s my turn to be the “kuya”, I always think of them as my role models.
Actually, I think I take the “kuya” role too seriously, for I feel like I “epal” too much sometimes, haha! But what can I say, I just want them to realize what they are doing and to know the consequences if they want to be stubborn about things.

So there. Again, I am not saying that I am that matured already. I recognize the fact that I still yet have a lot to learn in life. I am just taking it one year and one experience at a time. Besides, no real mature person would boldly declare “I am matured”, hehe!
Plus, in life, the ‘real world’ seems to be ALWAYS the next stage in one’s life. You know, back in high school, teachers would warn us about college and tell us they are preparing us for the real world “out there”. But come college, our professors would start telling us, once we’re working, that’s when “the real world” happens. And then when we’re already working, they’d say “the real life starts when we settle down..” Yada, yada, yada. So clearly, it’s a never-ending cycle until the day we die, haha!

Monday, February 25, 2008

5 instances that made me realize, I've become an adult*

*But it doesn't necessarily follow that I am a mature adult at that, haha! This is really supposed to be a Top 10 list, but as I haven't finished expounding on the other five, enjoy these first five entries and tell me if you agree or disagree.

1) I became more and more interested in cooking.
For someone who loves to eat and consider it as one of the better forms of therapy on any kind of problem, I sure prefer to eat something delicious or special all the time. I know I am a Kapampangan and I am supposed to be a good cook. So I hate to admit that I am no good cook – at least not yet. Of course I can cook hotdogs, boil noodles and cook rice without burning it 90% of the time, but when it comes to staple Filipino and Kapampangan dishes like adobo, nilaga or sinigang, I am an ignoramus.
I love experimenting with the simplest ingredients I could scavenge on our refrigerator and easily cook with the microwave or the stove. For as long as I have garlic powder, some eggs and butter – I can whip up an ordinary hotsilog into something extra special and something you wouldn’t find in any carinderia around. There was even a time when I experimented with canned tuna, eggs, cheese and potatoes which led my 3 nephew to boldly exclaim that between me, my sister and brother-in-law, I am the best cook of them all, haha!
And now that I am one of the oldest at our apartment in UP, I am always in-charge of the ‘cooking’ during those times of the week where we’ve almost maxed out our weekly allowances that we’d have to resort to ‘tipid’ meals at home. I wrote cooking in quotation marks for what I do is not really cooking – what we only have is a mini-oven-toaster. But thanks to my experimentation skills, I manage to put something extra to our de-lata meals. None of my younger housemates dare to take over the ‘cooking chores’ (they don’t know how to cook potatoes with our minimal facilities). They’d rather sit and wait for to serve the food at the dining table. Of course, they contribute afterwards by washing the dishes.

2) When my friends tell me I’d be a ninong to their kids! Phew, I thank God for my seriously attached friends that it hasn’t happen yet, haha! But it’s a constant inside joke among my friends.
Just this week, my sister tells me that a younger cousin of mine got pregnant and is going to get married soon. I wasn’t really shocked, given the previous transgression of that young cousin of mine. But it dawned on me – a cousin way younger is gonna get married! My gard! The same girl who used to cry a lot whenever we play when we were little just did the unprotected fandango with her older boyfriend and got herself knocked up! Yikes! I, on the other hand, am slowly but unintentionally following the footsteps of Evan Baxter, haha!
On a serious note, whenever I hear of relatives or friends my age (or even younger) who get married already, I can’t help but realize – although I am far from being ready, I am already on the marrying age! And I don’t even have a serious girlfriend.. (Weeeh, as if naman non-serious gf, meron.. haha!)

3) I have started imagining my own place already. Like I mentioned before, I am only the 2nd oldest housemates in my UP apartment, but I am the overall manager. I compute the bills, arrange the different household chores and remind each one of their chore designation for the week – all the time. I also make sure they pay up on time lest we be evicted from the apartment we’ve had for almost a decade already! (There were earlier batches of UP Aguman housemates before us, they were orgmates as well. When one housemates moves out, we recruit another orgmate to move in, and so the cycle goes).
Weirdly enough, caring about cleanliness is something I don’t practice at my Pampanga home (sorry Mom!). But when it comes to our apartment, it’s a different kind of story. I have no choice, if I don’t worry about our apartment’s state, no one among my younger housemates will. It’s a natural consequence of being old (relative to my peers) – I am forced to think about these adult responsibilities.
Since I am the pseudo leader of our apartment, I pretty much yield more power than the rest of them, haha! And sometimes, I find myself thinking about how I will be when I get my own solo apartment when I am working already. And how much fun it would be!
Being big brother to my housemates entails another necessary role – I lend them money when the ‘kids’ use up all their weekly allowance already. Well, I don’t really have a bigger allowance (it’s the opposite actually). Let’s just say I am better in managing my expenses. Plus, being the manager of the apartment, I built up a savings fund for all of us for emergency purposes. I did this by collecting P30 on top of our individual monthly bills. So I don’t really use my own money all the time.

4) I have toned down my shopping habits. My mom always told me, save up for the rainy day.. always! (ala KC Concepcion, haha!). I never really paid much attention to her reminder, for I’ve always thought my spending habit was quite normal. I mean, I don’t really spend more than what I can afford. But eventually, I have realized, I shouldn’t be spending on stuff that I don’t really need, even if I can afford them.
So now, gone are the days when Christmas shopping galore is a must. I only managed to wear something new last Christmas because the money I used to buy the new apparel was more like a pasalubong from my parents instead of a Christmas shopping fund.
I actually envy my younger orgmates, allowance-wise. I am obliged to live on a P1000 weekly budget, while most of them have P1500 to spend. Apparently, my parents have no concept of inflation rate – P1000 has always been my weekly allowance, since I was a freshman 7 years ago! Haha! That why I kind of cringe deep inside when I hear complaints of not being able to save. I’m like, “Grow up kid! You have a more flexible allowance than most students these days. Better start learning how to send your money wisely.”
I know someone who is able to save a considerate amount from his weekly allowance. Good for him, right? The catch though is that he spends all of his year-round savings in blitzkrieg fashion during Christmas – buying new clothes, pants, shoes and all other material things that he probably already have. Well, he is young after all. Just like me before, sooner or later, he will realize buying stuff to give others (or just saving it if you’re not that thoughtful, hehe!) is more fulfilling than buying stuff purely for oneself.

5) I've taken elections more seriously. Well, it’s not like there are elections every month, eh? Haha! Since I reached the voting-eligible age, I’ve experienced 3 national elections: the 2004 presidential and 2007 midterm and barangay polls. I took the 2007 elections more seriously than the other two. The barangay elections are a joke for me, I don’t even know the candidates. I only voted for 2 people because they were recommended by my brother-in-law. I didn’t completely fill up my ballot because I couldn’t bear to accidentally vote for the wrong people.
Meanwhile, back in 2004, I think I was too naïve to have voted wisely. Having said that, I still think that my choice for President then remains to be the best President we never had – Raul Roco.
As for the 2007 Midterm elections, I made sure I was as informed as possible on the platforms and personalities. Thanks to modern technology like blogging and podcasting, I was able to listen to the interviews of the candidates even if I was never around to attend any of their political rallies. Besides, I’d rather listen to these legitimate interviews than attend rallies that would feature more entertainment numbers (that aren’t really entertaining) than sensible discussions of platforms.
And now, in UP, the University Student Council elections is coming up. I now linger by the Campus Issues threads at again to know who the student leaders I should be voting for - or shouldn't be voting for. Sadly enough, the political bickering on our campus elections is no different from the circus we witness come election time in our country.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blogs Galore 19: Black Valentine

I know I just said on my most recent post that I hate blogging about my daily activities. But hey, we contradict ourselves all the time, anyway, haha! So here are some thoughts on my Valentine Week for 2008. I wanted to wear black, for more Clear Black Valentine, haha! Pero wala, nasuot ko na nung Tuesday, nawala sa isip ko. Well, my February 14 top was still 1/3 black, hehe!


I’ve always been a fan of the ASAP singers so I knew I just couldn’t miss the concert of Sarah Geronimo, Erik Santos, Rachelle Ann Go and Christian Bautista. And my, it was really mind-blowing.
Their opening number was the old Color Me Badd song “All For Love”. Memories from my childhood went back, haha! It was roughly 15 years ago when I first heard that song courtesy of my sister’s cassette copy of their album. Then they danced to Justin Timberlake’s “Lovestoned”. Yes, ‘dance’ is the operative word. And yes, that included Christian Bautista. You gotta hand it to the guy. The effort is there, haha! If I would describe his dancing skills, I would say “the whole is not the sum of its parts”. He can do the steps individually. But when ‘put together’, that’s when he seems awkward. Christian is a funny dancer indeed, but oh well, I am not a good dancer myself so his effort to not let his lack of good dancing skills limit his performances made me appreciate him more as an artist.
They all sang individually, with duets with each other for the transitions. They all opened (their solo sets) with non-love songs: Rachelle performed Nicole Scherzinger’s “Whatever You Like”; Christian ‘danced’ to Usher’s “Caught Up”; Erik belted out Queen’s “Somebody To Love” and Sarah sang Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop The Music”. After which they sang their own medleys of different genres of love songs. My favorite mind-blowing performance would have to be Sarah and Erik’s power duet of soul-R&B love songs (Boyz II Men, Babyface, Brian McKnight, etc). Poohquiao was their guest to provide more comic relief, while the four singers prepared for their final set. His impersonation of Mike Velarde was just so spot on – Amen! Haha!

LEFT: From left to right - me, Kevin, Acey and Ate Maan, my Ol 4 Luv buddies. Bong took the picture. RIGHT: It was around 95% filled. Notice the significant void in the Patron area. Eventually, in the middle of the show, more people filled the void.

I watched it some orgmates (Ate Maan, Acey, Kevin and Bong), so no, I was not on a Valentine’s date, hehe! Acey is, as another orgmate has said, officially my concert buddy because I also watched the Westlife concert back in 2006 with her. Ate Maan and I have always been fans of ASAP/Kapamilya singers so. As for Bong and Kevin, well, aside from the fact that Kevin was a big fan of Sarah Geronimo, it was both their first time to watch a concert at the Araneta. We all really had a wonderful time. Naturally, since Ate Maan and I were older than the rest of them, we sang along to more songs that the kids, haha! We even had this unofficial mini-game were we guessed the title of the songs being performed. I can’t wait when ABS-CBN will air the said concert on TV soon.

After our weekly organization meeting, my orgmates and I decided to all have dinner together, since it’s Valentine’s and all. Well, at least those of us who were single and dateless, haha! As always, we all had a great time. Since there were about 20 of us, they rearranged a number of tables and seated us at the function room. There were other diners around us, some of them were couples. But being the noisy Kapampangans that we are, I think we were able to “OP” them, haha! We kept chanting the made-up love teams in the group. We even paired up Jill with Nichols, our waiter, haha! It all started when I made a comment about him having a slight aura of Dennis Trillo. Jewel concurred with my observation. Jill, who was listening nearby, uttered, “Actually, gwapo siya..” Thus, the Jichols love team was officially born, haha!
So there, we were romantically dateless but we didn’t let it stop us from having fun on this day of the year where we celebrate love.

LEFT: Kamusta naman ang Valentine long table namin, diba? Hehe!
RIGHT: The Jichols loveteam, bwahaha!

We are 6 guys in our apartment, 3 on each of the 2 rooms. My 2 roommates have girlfriends. The boys in the other room, they all have ‘chevers’. So that leaves me as the sole cheverless guy in the household, haha!
Actually, I don’t mind at all. I mean, I’m way past the stage in adolescent (or even adult, in my case now) life wherein not having a date takes its toll on my self-esteem. But a comment from one of my housemates kind of made me think about it. “Ikayung kids, panga-chever yu balat! (Kayong mga bata, andadami niyong chever!)”. Then one of them answered, “Wapin, kuya, ika mu ing ala (Oo nga, kuya, ikaw lang ang wala)”. Wala akong nasabi, haha!
I realized, I do kinda miss that ‘loving feeling’, hehe. I know that my love life’s record is saturated with unrequited love but before the agonizing heartbreaks, the ‘kilig’ feeling period was actually good while they still lasted.
I miss looking forward to see someone, wanting to do things for her, summoning the courage to sort of ‘ask her’ out without knowing for sure if she’s gonna say ‘yes’, etc. Of course, it feels great when the feeling is mutual, but even when it wasn’t, the ‘kilig feeling’ was definitely worth the heartbreak after. Well, I could probably just say so now because I am now completely okay with those horrible periods of my life, haha!
These days, I am pre-occupied in ‘helping others’ get the girl of their dreams. (Ne Mike? Haha!). Like what I’ve mentioned on an old post, I am utterly amazed at the advice or pointers I am able to give out. Sometimes, I don’t even remember what I say, haha! I would have diba-kuya-you-told-me-before moments with my ‘advisees’! It makes me laugh sometimes when I wonder how the hell these kids believe what I say when I myself can’t even get my own chever, hehe!
So for the meantime, my daily sources of kilig moments are my chevering friends. I don’t know, maybe it’s suffice for me while I wait for own perfect turn at chever. Or even true love! Naks, haha!
Pero teka, hindi naman ako nakakapaghahanap, paano na yun? Walang panahon. Waaaa! Haha!

*Chever means, err, actually, I don't know exactly how to define it, haha! Daanin niyo na lang sa context clues, ehe.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why I don't blog about my everyday life..

.. Ewan. I just don't feel like it. My life is pretty interesting (at least for me), but I don't think it is interesting enough for other bloggers.

Something interesting does happen to me every now and then. In fact, as they happen, I somehow wish for a fleeting moment that I had a digital camera to capture the moment and blog about it when I get home. But alas, once I am in front of the laptop, I lose the drive to do so.

I have this sort of blogging principle to not blog about what I wouldn't want to read on other people's blogs. So does this mean I don't like reading personal sharing from other bloggers? On the contrary, actually. I actually enjoy reading everyday stories from my links. But I only read those personal accounts whose lives are actually interesting for me, haha!

Blogs of the people whom I personally know are a different case. Most of them just blog about everyday events in their lives but I don't get bored because these are people I actually know in real life. Reading their diary-type posts is even more convenient for me for it allows me to catch up with their lives, especially for those whom I've lost touch with.

I scanned my 200+ posts some weeks ago, and I realized I did have a few personal posts. Re-reading them gave me a harrowing realization, they're such a bore, haha! Which is precisely what I am worried about -- the shelf life of a personal post is quite short. The posts which I excitedly publish thinking it would entice the blogging community will be quite outdated in a few months time.
Unless of course, if I write really really well, in which case my writing skills will save the day. Once, I tried to putting a funny spin on my personal posts to make my uninteresting life events more amusing and entertaining that they actually are. But alas, I can't make them amusing enough without sounding gay, haha! (Why do gays, and baklang girls seem to have the monopoly on comic punchlines?!).

I know I am not supposed to think about what other people will think about my blog, but the problem is, I don't even feel like sharing any minute and irrelevant detail at all. Anyway, the truth is, I don't feel like blogging as often as I used to. Maybe it's just a phase. Wala na rin naman halos nag-cocomment at bumibisita. Well, kamusta naman, tinatamad na rin ako mag-blog-hopping. Grabe! Ewan talaga.

PS. Actually, I wrote this, just to update this blog. Naiinip na ang aking mga natitirang fans, hahaha!... Clearly, I am delusional. (^^,)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

23 Philosophical Questions

This tag by a friend is long overdue, haha! Anyway, I just chose 23 questions to answer. (Why 23? Nothing really... 23 ang edad ko, paki mo?) I tried to be witty but I think I failed, hehe! You be the judge. But I did answer some questions seriously.

What is the meaning of life?
Life is what you make it. Yaak! What a cliché. Hmm, but seriously… Ano nga ba? Err… Life is the hell we have to go through in order to be able to savor the experience of heaven in the end.

If a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear, does it make a sound?
Of course it does. Duh! It is the sound of silence. Haha!

What is the fundamental flaw in human nature? Pride or greed?
Neither – it’s stupidity. It’s not knowing or realizing the more important things in life.

Would you kill one person to save a thousand? However, that one person is the most important human being in your life. Would you still do it?
Nathan Petrelli, is that you? Haha! If in that ‘thousand’ PGMA, Erap and their respective partners-in-crime are included, then I wouldn’t save them at all!

Are men naturally polygamous?
This I haven’t tested myself. Wish ko lang.. haha! Monogamy nga, olats na, poly pa kaya?

Are women naturally competitive with other women?
I think everyone is naturally competitive with everyone else.

"If all the world's a stage and we are merely players..." what game are we playing?
The SIM City 4! Haha! In fairness, 2 simoleons ang bahay namin, hehe!

Have you been accused of being a genius?
All the time. If only they could see the frequency of 5.0s on my class cards, then they would think twice.

In a society where everyone is "entitled to their opinion", what place is there for Right and Wrong?
Edi pag-botohan na lang. Mga Kapamilya, ang gusto ni Big Brother, kayo ang mag-desisyon!

If it was never illegal, would you have killed someone by now?
Oh yes! Quite a number of them actually. Mga salot sa lipunan. As is seriously, the world will be a better place without them.

Does everything in the world have an opposite? If no, give an example.
“Yes” na lang, para wala nang sample sample.

How do you define personal honor?
Personal honor is… erm… ah! It is your set of principled values and being true to them with minimal compromises. ABS-CBN, on a current ad, called it integrity. Whether the station itself indeed has one, is another story, hehe! Go Kapamilya!

How would you describe the color blue to a blind person?
Haven’t I heard this from a beauty pageant just recently? Anyway… Blue is the color of your energy. Ay wait, amber pala yun! Uhm.. Ah! Blue is the kind of light that has a wavelength of 400nm. Oha, oha! Haha!

How will you prove that genuine love exists?
I mean, human have survived on earth for this long, right? So there.

What is the greatest unsolved mystery on earth?
Bakit ang mga bakla, hindi naman nanganganak, pero dumadami. No offense to gay people out there, because I have gay friends. Pero yun nga, bakit nga kaya? Is it hereditary? Hehe!

Given infinity, will all that is possible eventually happen?
Why not, chocnut? Who among the living right now can verify it when it actually happens anyway?

Is it better to be uncertain about something forever, or know the truth and be very hurt through all your life?
Hurt is a relative word. Hurt can be controlled to a negligible magnitude with the right amount of healing and the right kind of attitude. But questions due to uncertainty will forever be, well, questions.

If you saw a yellow ball but everyone told you it was purple, who would you believe? If no, what would you do to prove your side?
Who says I want to? I don’t have an obsessive fondness of either color, anyway. Buti pa sana kung blue.

Is education the filling of a pail, or the lighting of a fire?
Education is the labeling of the pail or the fire. Learning is what fill the pail or what lights the fire.

Is a lie a lie, if everybody knows it is?
A lie is a lie, regardless of who knows it. Malay ko ba kung in denial lang ang lahat! Bahala sila.

Imagine yourself experiencing a car accident. What happens and how does everything look like after the accident?
I will live, but I will be in a coma for months. My family and friends will visit me everyday. They would always tell me stories about what I am missing, wishing I was conscious to put a funny spin on things. And then there will come a time when they would really need my badly for an advice. They would cry at my bedside and their tears will miraculously wake me up. Tapos paggising ko, babatukin ko sila, “Natulog lang ako nang matagal, anu-ano na pinang-gagawa mo! Ayan kasi ayaw mong makinig sa akin, yada, yada, yada..” Oh diba, kahit naka-coma, updated sa chika! Haha!

Do you ever wonder if you're already dead and this is just your life flashing before your eyes?
Not really. But if ever, my gard! What a life I had pala! No wonder I am already dead, hehe!

Should the conservative Christian husband of an atheist woman allow her to have an abortion if there's a chance the kid might grow up and turn into a gay Mormon?
Teka, san ba nakatira ang pamilyang ito?! Haha! Love one another na lang, para walang problema.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Just Quoting Out Loud

I first had a cellphone when I graduated high school. Back then, having one was still some sort of a status symbol. But since I will be away from home for college (and since it was uso, haha!), I was finally able to convince my parents to buy me one after two years of prodding. Funny how I remember the main reason I had in mind when I first tried to ask for a cellphone back in sophomore year -- I wanted to play Snake and Memory during my free time, haha!

I wouldn't exactly say that I was a heavy texter. When I first had a cellphone, my monthly budget was P250 -- the smallest prepaid card denomination back then. Then the P250-card was phased out so adjusted my monthly texting budget to P300. Even when the AutoLoad Max service was introduced, I still opted for prepaid cards because I figured, the cumulative total I would get to spend would still be the same. So prepaid cards were the wiser choice for me -- may free texts pa. If ever I would consume all the amount before the month ends (which rarely happens), I wouldn't load up til the 1st day of the next month. It was a self-imposed regulation so as to not overspend on texting. My text-life was going along fine until they introduced unlimited texting.. Wushu, haha!

I have been a Globe Unlitxter since the promo was introduced way back in 2005. Aside from the convenience it affords me when trying to communicate with friends, orgmates or classmates, I also have fun receiving and forwarding quotes of all kinds. But I am not the annoying type who would forward like 5-10 messages within 30 minutes. I choose what I forward -- only the really funny jokes and really sensible quotes on life and/or love.

Normally, my sources for the stuff that I forward are my fellow Unlitxters. But ever since they canceled the 5-Day Unlitxt service last December 14, forwarded texts of good quality have been scarce.

So during my free time (read: before I go to sleep, lying in my bed at 3 in the morning, haha!)I try to compose my own forwarded texts. The texting circle's reception of my quotes was quite amusing and overwhelming, not to mention unexpected, haha! Each time I would forward these texts, more than the usual number of people would react for different reasons -- kesyo natatamaan, nakaka-relate, or may kakilala sila na pwedeng tamaan or makaka-relate. What's even more flattering is when some of my friends would forward it back to me after a few days, probably forgetting that it was I who sent the same forwarded text to them.

"The One That Got Away"

Such an 'aww'-inducing label we refer to people who once meant everythng to us.

But did they really mean as much?
For if so, why did we lose them without a fight? Why did we let them walk away, just like that?

Whose fault is it anyway? That one who got away, or us who let them let go of us?

Surely, we don't wanna bump into each other 19 years after and realize, it's them we've been really missing..

all along..
"Rekindling old flames"

If it didn't work out the first time, do we really think it might just this time around? Well, after all, we don't know for sure what we've got til it's gone.

The challenge is to pick up from where we left off. But how do we re-ignite the sparks that were lost?
As the old saying goes, 'where there's smoke, there's fire'.

But I say, 'play with fire, you get burned'.

"Timing is everything"
Or is it?
When the universe moves heaven and earth to conspire against you and your 'the one' to meet at the right place at an exact time, can you do anything to stop it?
But in the times that you can, will you 'just do it' or take your time?
Take note, when you rethink your moves too much too long, blaming it on wrong timing or the universe is just an excuse.
For no man with balls lets his woman wait too long..
"Thank You"

We can mean it, but we can also blurt it out by default.

It can be hurtful when not said too often. But when heard unexpectedly, truthfully and humbly, it can make a whole lot of difference.

It's weird really, how we yearn to hear it from other people, when we don't say it as often as we sincerely should ourselves.

Remember, a little genuine appreciation every now and then can touch other lives in more ways than you can imagine.
"Wrong decisions"

Mistakes, that's what they are. Some are rectifiable, some are not.
Either way, we must accept and admit it's not one of our best moments and move on, whilst learning the lesson it brings with it.
But what if our unwise decision proves to be painful? Or worse, seems to be irretractable?

Can we still make it right? How?

The best option remains to be, above all, to do what is right..
And not just what will make us happy..

If and when you receive these forwarded texts, tell them you know who made them.. Feeling sikat! Haha!
Tell them I do accept orders for quotes for different emotions and situations, haha!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Starting Over...

..Doing so can be quite hard sometimes. Vestiges of the past, whether good or bad, can bog us down. How do we move on? How do we start?

Actually, I don’t know myself.

STARTING OVER. What I do know though is that a new year has started and what it brings with it is a chance to start over. It’s that time of the year that is perfect for different kinds of New Year’s Resolutions. When people start behaving differently, other would automatically think, “It’s a new year after all”. It’s a little unfair, if you ask me. I mean, what if that person actually thought that it’s about for him or her to be a better person. Can we not give him or her the merit for wanting to be a better person just because he or she want to be so, and not just it’s the New Year and making resolutions is the “in” thing to do.

And speaking of resolutions, I don’t have any for I am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Of course, it’s not because I am a perfect person already and I can live without any positive change in my life. I just don’t feel like having one just because it’s a New Year.

What I do though during New Year’s is to look back on the year that was, which is pretty much customary for TV shows (year-end specials) and radio stations (year-end countdowns).

LOOKING BACK. The year 2007 for me was not exactly kind to me. But I am not about to point blame to anyone but myself. While there are factors that was beyond my control, still, everything I did was a result of my decision, no matter how big or small.

Having said that, I am not losing hope, and it’s not just because the last month of 2007 was easier on me (it was my birthday and the holiday season after all). I just choose to see beyond the bad things that happened, like I always do each year.

Tragedies, of all sorts, happened to me and my friends. Dreams shattered. Plans failed. Relationships scarred. There were many nights that were quite emotionally hard for me. But I survived it all.

So to end my first post for 2008, I came up with some fun awards to highlights the best times of the year. NOTE: These don’t sufficely sum the best of the year, but it’s fun to give these awards anyway, haha!

Song of the Year – Umbrella by Rihanna
This isn't necessarily my favorite song of the year, for that awards would go to, err, gosh, I can’t choose! Just choose from these 19 other songs I listed in my Multiply. I chose this song to represent the year 2007 for me. For if there’s one year that I really felt how valuable my friends are, it is this year. If 2006 was about betrayals, then 2007 is about sticking together, through thick and thin.

When the sun shines we’ll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be your friend
Took an oath I'mma stick it out 'till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we still have each other
You can stand under my Umbrella

Hobbies of the Year – Tennis & videoke
I can't choose between the two, haha! Both hobbies have been the constant activity of choice when it comes to unwinding for most part of the year.

Movies of the Year – Transformers & One More Chance
Two very related movies, huh? Haha! I watched Transformers in the cinemas twice for obvious reasons – I’ve been quite a fan when I was a child and it was a great action movie. Meanwhile, I watched One More Chance thrice. I only meant to watch it twice, but I gave in to my orgmates prodding for the third time in the condition that they will subsidize my ticket. But of course, it’s also because the movie was painfully entertaining, hehe!

TV Series of the Year – Brothers & Sisters
What can I say, sarcastically witty family drama is my thing. Runner-ups would be Gossip Girl and Ugly Betty.

Chocolate of the Year – Truffles! Specifically the new Hershey’s Truffles and Lindt Lindor! My gard! The heavenly chocolatey goodness just explodes in my mouth! Haha!

Overall, 2007 wasn’t a good year for me, but I have many reasons to hope that things will get better this 2008. It’s the Year of the Rat after all! Hehe! In this light, let me end this last one award..

Lesson of the Year
– If there's a will, there's a way. Coming up with excuses all the time betrays the truth behind our actions, or lack thereof. (And this is my friendly, unsolicited advice to you, Albania Panama Canada and Jordan Venezuela Croatia (^^,)).

Quick Thoughts