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Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Quit

I never thought quitting could be this easy.

It was as easy as saying "enough."

I am not paying P137 for a one-way toll. I am not paying P120 for parking. I am not burning gas from Southwoods to Eastwood and back as if I've just discovered an oil mine in my backyard.

Working at Eastwood for the last 10 months was one crazy idea now that I have stepped back and thought about it. I shouldn't have allowed myself to be swayed.

How brave it was to quit the moment you knew you just had to. You just go straight to the boss's room and say you quit. Just like that. Well, not really just like that. Something un-bloggable has been done before that of course. But you did it.

Now you're back where you've started.

Just don't turn around to see what you've given up and you'll be fine.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We Don't Need the RH Bill

I used to be Pro-RH Bill. But that's the beauty of democracy - one can change one's mind without fear.

The debate on this bill will go on forever and ever as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end.

It has been said that this bill will protect women from unwanted pregnancies and children from poor health and lack of opportunities due to the exponential growth of population by ignorant parents who copulate and reproduce offspring with abandon.

In the mid 1940s, our population was at 17 million. Seventeen million Filipinos at war against Japan. Today we're 90 million Filipinos and we are still engaged in a war, but this time against each other. Seventeen million brave and patriotic Filipinos won the war against a very strong foreign enemy. Today, 90 million Filipinos are weak-kneed against the war on poverty.

Why don't we - all 90 million of us - step back for a second and ask why we have poverty in our midst? Is it really because there are 90 million of us?

Some quarters say that poor families make babies year in, year out because they have been poorly educated, if at all. If that is so, then our problem is education, not population.

If our problem is poor education, then let us all ask ourselves, why do we have poor education? Is it because we have ill-prepared teachers? Is it because we lack appropriate school facilities? Is it because we don't have good books? But why is this so when education is given the highest budget allocation?

Some quarters say that because there are ten children in the family, low-income parents can't feed them and send them to school. If families live in shanties they don't own, pay monthly rent for it, pay for water and other utilities, buy every single meal for the day, they will definitely die with eyes wide open. But imagine this, a family of 12 living in a farm with their own house and vegetable garden at the backyard and a small army of chicken below the hut somewhere in Maguindanao where people live in peace just like the rest who live in other provinces. There are no insurrections, no rebels against the government, no terrorists living in our midst. The town and city mayors work only for the welfare of the people. The lawmakers, all honest, sincere and competent, constantly improve laws to fit the needs of the people and not some influential individuals. We have this kind of living conditions and all 10 children will have good education and a promising future. The mother at age 45 will put to shame the twenty-year olds. (The dozen children having been conceived not out of ignorance but of choice, the mother having been properly educated in a system that can compete with the rest of the world.)

Is this Utopia? Yes.

But let us ask why we cannot have our own little Utopia: a good education system; a sincere and working government from the barangay offices to the Malacanang; a legislative body of upright and brilliant men and women; courteous, courageous and incorruptible soldiers and policemen.

Is it really because and only because there are 90 million of us?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Got Stuck, Got Flooded, Got Rained Down

Why don't I listen to typhoon forecasts anymore? Have I been too courageous to care or simply too careless to mistake such action for courage?

My younger nephew, the 2-year-old, has thrown some tantrums again. He wanted fried chicken and he wanted it the Jollibee way and no other way. The nearest Jollibee is in Pacita, about two barangays away from us. I was too tired to drive having just arrived from a long one from Eastwood to home. So we asked my brother to take us in his tricycle. Half way, the rain went nuts and fell like nuts. We stopped by a covered court where ukay-ukay was spread pole to pole selling anything one can dare to wear.

The rain pounded hard on the galvanized iron roof and water splashed on everything including us. I was in shorts and tiny top, my nephew in sando and shorts, my brother, oh forget my brother, he's a huge one he wouldn't be bothered even by Noah's flood. I bought a jacket for 250 pesos and an Ironman bonnet for 60. My nephew got to wear the jacket I bought for myself and I the bonnet I bought for him.

The rain wouldn't let up. Lightning struck even. Thunder came before that. We were stuck. My nephew still pined for Jollibee. Blast Jollibee to smithereens! It is that bug's fault we were neither home nor safe.

Some more thunder and lightning and my nephew changed tune. He wanted to go home. But there was no relief in there. We were still stuck just not with Jollibee.

After a few minutes the rain subsided a little. This happened without a prayer. It was just the rain. You don't bother God with small stuff like that. It is one of those occasions when God moves without you looking up or whispering some incantations. It is one of those dark days (literally now) when God brings the light on His own without us asking. He knows before we do. He knows before we utter the first words. I couldn't help it. I have to compliment the Big Guy for a great job.

On our way home we were welcomed by floods on the street I had to lift my feet up to the hand rail of the tricycle. My nephew was so amazed he exclaimed: "Ate, swimming pool!" At 2, my nephew has perfect diction. With perfect -s and perfect aspirated -p sounds.

It was dark. It was cold. It was wet. It was fun. We were singing my nephew's favorite song with the accompanying head movements: Bruno Mars' "The Lazy Song."

"Today I don't feel like doing anything.
"I just wanna lay in my bed.
"Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone,
"'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything.
"Nothing at all. Hoo! Hoo!"

We arrived home and had dinner of freshly cooked rice and sardines fresh from the can.

Life is beautiful! Even in the dark, even with floods, even with thunder, even with lightning.

Friday, May 20, 2011

All Gone Wrong

In the past, I have been part of an advocacy telling the youth to stay in the country to help build the nation. But now I tell them: go where you think you will be at your best where you can be of help to your family and the society where you live. It doesn’t matter where it is, either here or overseas.

It is sad to see our great men and women stuck in the wrong country, each day effortlessly destroying itself with greed and indifference. The very few at the top have no balls, never mind not having hair, but balls, we need balls! The very few at the top with balls have no support from below. Decadence starts at the base up to the middle.

Andres Bonifacio was born in the wrong country. Jose Rizal died for the wrong country.

I'm packing up soon.

See you in Mars!

Not Cute

"We really need these reforms (improve the health, earnings and working conditions of bus drivers) to avoid further accidents. They work for so long. That's why they're very tired and are prone to accidents because of these...working conditions...You yourselves, do you want to work for 14 hours? That's not normal," said Labor Undersecretary Lourdes Trasmonte. (PDI, May 20, 2011)

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz also said that an interagency team composed of representatives from Department of Labor, National Wages and Productivity Commission, the Bureau of Working Conditions, and the Institute for Labor Studies would look into giving additional incentives for drivers on top of fixed above minimum wage so that drivers would be more careful in their driving.


These drivers kill and don't care and you justify their actions because they're overworked and underpaid? I know a lot of employees who suffer the same fate -- teachers -- but I have not heard of one who killed a student or co-worker for being under these conditions.

And you not only justify the actions of these drivers, you also would want to reward them. This is insulting!

What message is this government sending its people? You ambush a tourist bus and kill the passengers so you and the likes of you get more attention and benefits? You drive like the devil and run over innocent people and kill passengers so that you will be given good working conditions?

Cee Lo Green, sing to them, please!!!

"I see you driving ’round town
"With the girl i love and i’m like,
"Fcuk you!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Full of Nothing

I was too busy to read the newspaper today. Only had a few seconds to scan the front page of PDI. Two news items stood out.

One. P-Noy's got a new "date." P-Noy and the nameless girl have their picture across the banner of P-freakin'-DI. Who needs a name?

Two. Justin Bieber was welcomed by seven (yes, they counted it) female fans on his arrival at the Hong Kong airport.

You have these two items on the cover of a broadsheet, why bother read the rest?

You get these two and the signs are clear. Yesterday's news today is full of nothing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Views

This is a tribute to a morning that has broken to a beautiful day. Someone is smiling down here.

Jackfruits hanging on a tree.

Overlooking the road and the small bridge over a creek.

The mango tree standing tall, a shelter from the playful glare of the sun.

And if I can only record the smell of the morning with breakfast in the air...songs of Elvis on the radio.

Beautiful like Mars!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

Yes, WTF! Got that from Mr. Alchemist himself, Paulo Coelho.

Never thought twitter would entertain me. Twitter makes people human. It reduces them to 140 characters. I hope reality catches up. Bosses and apple-shiners ought to be on twitter-mode during meetings. Oh, what a wonderful world it would be.

Why am I still up at past midnight? Oh, I'm waiting for a miracle to happen. If not, I can settle for a disappointment. Done it before, can do it again.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Paulo Coelho Tweets

"Congratulations Filipinos! Pacquiao rules."

Totally unexpected tweet.

So used to philosophical one-liners and story links. But never this.

Pacquiao sure cuts across.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Afternoon of Claustrophobia

I bought two French-made blouses of identical designs but of different colors. Nice fabric: clings to the skin, flows like water, flattering. Earth yellow and black. I know egg yellow, but earth yellow?

Three hours later, I'm back at the mall across my workplace. For some coffee. My office has become claustrophobia-inducive I had to get out. Couldn't breathe in there.

A dress shop window display caught my eye. Just had to buy the skirt, a gray one. Decently, fashionably short, about three inches off the knees.

Now, I'm seated waiting for my hot chocolate to come. Changed my mind about coffee. Pictures on the menu make you do this.

What's keeping the blasted cup from coming? This is my fifth paragraph since I ordered it.

Affluence surrounds me. This is not the Philippines in the news. Is this a fake world? With fake people, fake shops, fake everything? Me including?

There are notes on stationeries tucked beneath the glass-covered table I'm writing on. The notes are from customers saying they're loving Mary Grace's cakes, pastries, etc.

Finally, my hot choc, thick, very thick, hot, very hot, arrives. Orange cup on red saucer. And I'm writing on red, vampire red organizer. My purse, the same bloody red.

Aroma deserves some praises. Delay is forgiven.

Jonathan is creepy. How in the world does he know?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Death, Wedding and Beatification

A royal wedding and a beatification coming to us in succession over the weekend. The world is not lost.

For the last three months I've been writing that paper and miraculously it was completed last Saturday. Didn't have the time to follow the events leading to the wedding of the century until I switched on the TV and there on the screen were the queen and her husband in a car going to Westminster's Abbey. Then Prince Charles and his wife. Then the kids and the bride's maid. Then the bride.

The whole wedding ceremony took just a little over 10 minutes. WOW! That's the kind I want.

The beatification of Blessed John Paul II...

Today, Monday, Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Who says the world is coming to a close?