Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Since October of last year, I've been riding a scooter to get to work. No more hassles at getting (or punching your way) into a jeepney ride. No more one-hour trips from the office to home. And at least I can drop by Shopwise at Libis to buy grocery items.
However, the road I take is not one I take alone. I share the road with so many others, and many of them seem to have been molded from the nincompoop mold.
Although it's no wonder since I ride on Philippine roads, I am still enraged when someone takes my lane, when someone tailgates me, when someone does not know how to practice road etiquette.
Disheartening. Just the simple act of yielding speaks volumes about what kind of society you belong to. And from the experiences I have on the road, clearly, we Filipinos are a bunch of greedy fools.
Of course we have exceptions, as with all societies. There are times when a jeepney driver would wave at me to pass him, or times when someone driving an SUV in an intersection would wave at me to cross first. This has happened several times, and it never fails to elicit a smile from me when that happens.
So, clearly, it is possible to have responsible Filipino drivers. What's stopping us then?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


She woke me up early today to watch the first screening of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” and incidentally, the first time in my whole life that I watched a movie on its first day of screening, and the very first screening at that.

We were too early. The mall was still closed. So we dropped by the nearby Starbucks branch. All along I was thinking she would be ordering her usual iced espresso, but today, she ordered an ensaymada for us two and a chocolate donut for Gabby. I also ordered a cup of brewed coffee to perk me up.

After noticing two different people wearing the same shirts and after finishing up the chocolate donut, we went to the mall that just opened and went straight to the ticket booth. Alas, the booth was still closed. We were also told that moviegoers would only be treated to a single screening (tough luck: I was planning to watch it twice).

With a bucket of popcorn we went in and enjoyed three solid hours of entertainment. Outside, “Transformers” merchandise was on display, and she promptly bought two shirts for her and Gabby. Tough luck again for me since they were not selling a shirt that would fit me.

She was determined though to buy me a new shirt. Side story: two officemates of mine already have shirts that are similar to what I have in the closet, and those shirts are the ones that I regularly wear at work.

After failing to find a suitable shirt for me at a popular boutique that catered to the stars of a broadcasting giant, I found a shirt that fit me, a black shirt with a large skull design out front, at a boutique that catered to rock stars and their ilk.

She was also in the mood to have some cake. We dropped by our favorite bakeshop at the mall, and brought home a lovely roll of chocolate caramel cake (As of this writing, the cake still sits untouched in the ref. We’re too full to take a bite).

We three went home fully satiated. I still had to cook spaghetti for her, and she still had to check on her finances.

With a half-roll of cake and a bunch of spaghetti noodles, we braved the light rain to visit my mother-in-law. We also took some time to play with Butchoi the family dog, who stayed behind at my in-laws’ house since he did not have that big space to run around at our apartment.

Afterwards, we left Gabby with my in-laws and went to the bank to withdraw funds. We went back to the mall, where we bought a tub of ice cream for ourselves and two blouses and hair dye for her mother.

Back at my in-laws’ house, she gave the blouses and the hair dye to her mother and picked up Gabby. We spent the night eating spaghetti, ice cream, and re-telling our favorite “Transformers” scenes.

Right now, she’s playing Sims 3, her favorite addiction. And me? Here, sitting this blog entry, enjoying how this day had transpired.

Her birthday.

Happy birthday, Alisa. Happy birthday, my TRUTH. This is truly a day I’m grateful for.

Friday, March 06, 2009

FrancisM (1964-2009)

I remember buying Francis Magalona's album (in cassette tape format, decades ago), Meron Akong Ano!, as a gift for my brother. I was in high school then, and my brother, who was still in elementary, did not have the same excitement I had for rap metal.

The album liner was revolutionary for that time: it was not glossy, it was kinda like matte coated but newspapery-like in its texture, like papemelroti stationery.

The tape wound its way again and again in my Panasonic portable cassette player. Eventually, it became a gift for myself.

Did it influence my music? Definitely. The combination of FrancisM's quick tongue and the riffs and slaps of the guitars and the pounding of the cymbals and drums eventually made its way into my rhythm, into how I play.

Last year saw FrancisM's venturing into shirt design, which I promptly saw copied at last Christmas' tiangges in Greenhills and Marikina Riverbanks.

What made FrancisM different from other local rappers?

FrancisM forwarded an agenda, and that is pride in being Filipino. One always sees the Filipino in every FrancisM performance, whether it be the shirt he's wearing or the performance itself.

FrancisM has made his indelible mark in Philippine culture. He will always be remembered.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Go back to the community

The current economic situation demands more than macromanagement. We all have a responsibility, and in this context, we all ought to pay attention on how we micromanage our resources: from the water we consume, the carbon footprint we make, the waste we produce.

Paeng has succinctly pointed out that this crisis was born of consumerism: of that oh such a lovely feeling of having new things to play with every three months or less.

Technology has indeed made our lives faster, and in more ways that we can appreciate, has also made our lives efficient. The Information Age has revolutionized sharing (like what wifey says in this post). We should share more than culture (the songs, the stories); we should also share among our societies technologies that lead the way to sustainable development.

Community-based management programs seem to be effective in sustaining development and at the same time, stewarding efficient management of resources. We can view Wikipedia as a community-based project; community-based companies such as Canonical (for Ubuntu) and Mozilla Foundation (for Firefox and Thunderbird) are proving to be competitive against profit-driven companies such as Microsoft and Apple.

This crisis is clearly a result of global greed. Our lives right now prove that the world is a small, global village: we are all interconnected, more than we can ever know. Share more, then you live more, then you earn more... more than monetary rewards.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's excited, too!

The 44th President of the United States of America is also keenly aware of the historical moment he's making. Just watch at how he took his oath today.

Anyway, I am also excited at how he'll lead the world's most powerful country towards change. And also, at how the whole world will go with the change.