Friday, September 24, 2010

Is this insomnia or what?

I love my current job because my work shift is from 1:00 (or later) to 10:00 pm (or later). *Wink* I just wish my shift will stay like this forever. It is rare to find an accounting job with this kind of schedule, where there is no pressure for me to wake up early (unless there are morning meetings or events) and where there is still time for me to spend time with friends or whomever after work.

But one thing that really bugs me is the fact that I can't sleep when I get home. May I be home early (like 11:00 pm to 12:00 am) or late (3:00 to 6:00 am), I still don't feel sleepy at all, except when I'm really really drunk. Like I can just drink and drink everyday for me to easily fall into a deep slumber! Cannot be.

There must be reasons behind this. Let me think...
  • I watch TV when I get home. Cable TV offers so much variety of shows that catches my interest. I couldn't resist keeping my eyes fixed on those cool series or movies. So should I just throw away my TV set so that there would be no temptation? Absolutely not!
  • I surf the net. I am a total web rat - if you know what I mean. I am addicted to Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, PR (know what this is?) and LO (how about this?)! Our home internet connection is open almost 24/7 and we have wi-fi access so I can browse via our PC, my laptop or my phone. No - I can't let go of this addiction.
  • I feel hungry at night. Yes, I may not look like a patay-gutom but I couldn't resist giving into my cravings at night - may it be a full meal or snacks. Then after eating, I wouldn't want to sleep due to fear of having nightmares and then die - just like the deceased Filipino matinee idol. So, in order for me not to fall asleep after eating, I either watch TV or surf the net, or both.
  • I keep on thinking about stuff. Even if I lose the appetite to watch TV, surf the net or eat, I lay down on my bed but still keep my brain busy thinking about things like work, friends, plans, memories, dreams, fantasies, fears, etc. So what choice do I have?

I seriously need help - professional help. Should I seek counselling and/or medication? But wait, is this the thing we call insomnia? I need to check its definition.

Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep  because of one or more of the following: difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Insomnia  is not defined by the number of hours of sleep a person gets or how long it takes to fall asleep. Individuals vary normally in their need for, and their satisfaction with, sleep. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

So is this insomnia or what?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why am I single?

Many people have asked me this question: "Why are you single?" Why am I single? Here are some of the answers that I can give.
  1. I broke up with my ex. *Laughs* Yes. I screwed up our 2-year relationship. Now it's just history. This is one silly reason why I am single. I won't go into the details, but if I didn't break up with him, I won't be single up to this very day. Moreover, my experiences with my past relationships might have brought this "trauma" that makes me sort of fear another serious commitment with a guy.
  2. I may be picky. Well, I'm not actually choosy when it comes to my potential partner's physical features. I just want someone who looks decent and presentable (at least). My being picky is more on a person's profile and background. This is one problem that I have. I have so much restrictions on what someone should be - from what school he graduated, what his occupation is, where he works, where his family came from and the like. I know this is something pretty unfair for me to do, but I dunno. I just can't seem to be seriously attracted to people who don't meet certain requirements of mine. I know. I know. This is kinda unreasonable.
  3. I am busy. There are so many things that I need to achieve at work. Not that I set all these goals, but I have to deliver many stuff that are not easy to accomplish in order for me to survive my dog-eat-dog career. Right now, I feel like I can't be distracted by relationship demands and dramas, unless a "perfect relationship" will come along which will not (in any way) affect my work.
  4. I tend to be inconsistent. I find it hard to maintain the momentum of the "spark" whenever I start seeing someone because of the things I keep myself busy with (i.e. work). Please refer to #3. Next thing I know, this guy starts seeing another guy when my inconsistency begins to draw us apart.
  5. There's no one out there. Many gay guys aren't serious, as I see it. They focus more on just merely dating and dating (and sleeping with) several guys, but won't end up staying with one. Again, this can probably be a very unfair statement, as I might also be guilty of this. This is just an observation, but someone can correct my misconception, of course! ;)
  6. Maybe I don't believe in relationships anymore. After all, my happiness does not depend on having a partner, anyway. Maybe. But who knows, I might change my mind if the "right person" comes along.
Why am I single? Maybe I can throw back a question like "Why are you in a relationship? Your life seems to be nearing rock bottom because of the stress that your relationship brings you." Therefore, so what if I'm single? The important thing is I am very happy with my life right now. Whatever your status may be, make the most out of it. Enjoy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

8 hours

8 hours fly so swiftly.
Come in.
Start the computer.
Open applications.
Check the emails.
Do critical and urgent tasks.
Do the routinary tasks.
Eat lunch. Chat. Smoke.
Coffee, well sometimes (if needed).
Surf the net.
Go back doing the routinary stuff.
Do some "extra" work.
Eat dinner. Chat. Smoke.
Surf the net.
Reply to forgotten emails.
Drive home.
These 8 hours tend to become seriously boring at times.
But these 8 hours keep me living.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

If you were Venus Raj...

Watch this video first:

And now, I will ask you the same question: What is one big mistake that you've made in your life and what did you do to make it right?

Pretty tough right? In fact, I find it really unfair that Miss Philippines was asked that question when all the other top 5 candidates were asked very specific questions on unsupervised internet access, government regulation on what people wear, death penalty and airport scanners. It was no surprise to me that the other 4 were able to provide answers with no sweat. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed and at the same time, I actually laughed when Venus was asked the question and when she gave her answer. I knew that very instant that she will not win the crown.

Looking back, I felt sorry for her that she had to go through that question. On the other hand, I was sincerely impressed that even if the question was so difficult, Venus Raj was able to answer in a very confident manner. Because of that, she won my respect and admiration.

I don't really understand why people keep on making fun of her. Yes, the "major major" thing will not win grammatical awards. But come on people, she placed 4th runner-up and beat the rest of the contestants who didn't make it to the top 5! Let us be happy for her, for the glory she brought to our country, and for the somewhat redemption it carries with it after the bloody hostage crisis that happened the day before the pageant.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dance classes

I'm not really a fan of going to the gym or sports to keep in shape. Actually, I tried going to the gym like almost 4 years ago so that I would gain weight, but that stint lasted only for a month as I had to go abroad for a business trip. Upon my return, I lost the drive to go back to the gym again. When I was a kid, I loved playing sports like volleyball and badminton, but I stopped when I started college. I had so much priorities then that did not include sports and fitness.

But then I need to exercise to stay healthy. Now that I have vices like smoking and drinking alcohol, I need to do things to offset these bad habits. Working full time as an accountant in the world's biggest consumer goods company and managing my social life, however, gives me no spare time for such. Good thing we have wellness activities in the office that employees take seriously. Recently, the wellness team scheduled hip hop dance classes at prices lower that the usual studio classes. I'm not really a pro dancer, but I love dancing. So here's my shot at exercising. I also tried attending dance classes in Planet Jupiter Studio, where our company dance class teacher does classes regularly.

Office dance classes:

Planet Jupiter dance class:

If you would like to attend dance classes too, you may try Planet Jupiter Studio in Makati where they teach hip-hop, jazz, jazz-funk, among others.

Planet Jupiter Studio
4th Floor Valdecon Bldg.
#20 Jupiter Street
Brgy. Bel-Air
Makati City
Facebook: Studio Planet Jupiter
Twitter: studioPJ

Step Up 3D

My friend and I decided to watch up Step Up 3D yesterday. Ironically, the movie house we went to doesn't show it on 3D, which was fine with us because I'm all after the dancing part. After seeing the movie, I felt relieved that we didn't see in on 3D because it would have been a waste of money. It was just a dance movie after all.

I choose not to discuss the plot, as it is as shallow as it could get. There was nothing new about the story - it was the same old "reach for your dreams" thing which was laid down on a very typical and boring storyline. The character of Luke, as I noticed, was actually a bad influence type as there were scenes where he pressured Moose to skip his classes at NYU, which I don't find cool at all. There were also some racist elements of the film (scenes that seem to ridicule Asians) which are things I highly detest in American films like this.

Anyway, I was really impressed with all the dancing parts. Most of them are hip-hop moves which really hyped up the movie. The "club feel" of the songs used added to the vibrancy of it all. I also liked the jazz dance of Moose and Camille on the street near the ice cream stand. It seemed to be more of a musical theater type for me, which temporarily took the viewers away from the "reality feel" of the movie. I give my two thumbs up to the choreographers and dancers.

On the other hand, I feel sad that I couldn't give praises to the acting, as they were not that good. There were many awkward scenes brought about by the lack of characterization. I have to cite Julien (played by Joe Slaughter) who seemed to be gay by the way Slaughter acted his character - the way he talks and walks, his swagger, among others. There were some touchy scenes which could have seemed more dramatic if acting was good. All these could have given justice to the typical "reach for your dreams" theme of the movie, but they didn't.

There was also a very noticeable flaw during the last part of the film when Natalie decided to join the Pirates' performance on the World Jam Finals. She was wearing like a sports bra and training pants when she came up the stage to do the difficult routine she'd been practicing before she quit the team weeks before the finals. And then all of a sudden, she was wearing a Pirates' costume full of lights and rays onstage, which isn't realistic and believable. Anyway, it's fiction.

I had no high hopes for this film before watching it but I was really entertained by it. After all, it is a movie about dance. I do, however, felt that it gave justice to dance as something people want to do in life. The short film BFAB (Born From A Boombox) made by Luke gave all the reasons why dancing is a passion that moves lives. If you love dancing and music, this is a film worth watching. It'll make you feel good.

My rating: 60%

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Late 20's

Yes - I am now 26, and on my late 20's. Another year older, and I hope another year better as a person. The bar always goes higher and people expect so much. Not that I care about pleasing people, but I do give a crap on being more mature than ever. Growing old means growing up too, and I need to be serious about this.

To make my celebration a blast, I threw a party at my place on the eve of my birthday. I won't talk about the details but one thing's for sure - it was fun! After getting some sleep the morning after, I decided I should spend my birthday alone - to contemplate and to simply spend time with just myself. Me-time!

As I was driving, eating and having coffee, there was only thing in my mind - to focus on my priorities. At the end of the day, I had an agreement with myself - that I should know the things I want, know how to get them, and achieve them - the way I used to.

Looking back when I was still in high school and college, I was a go-getter. When I started working, I kind of loosened up a bit and got pretty laid back. This was maybe because I exerted too much effort on being that kid in school whose grades are rocking and who is visible in almost every school activity there is. Stress brought about by the pressure of graduating with honors, getting awards and passing the board exams consumed me.

But now I am in the real world - this is the time when I should be more competitive as ever. This is a dog-eat-dog world, and I can't be left rotting on the sidewalk as people climb up to success, for however it is measured. I will do it, and I am determined. However, I also promised myself that I will still have fun in whatever thing I'll be serious about. Life is too short and nobody gets out of it alive anyway, as they say.

Do I look serious? Haha. I bet you doubt it. But just watch me! ;)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Toy Story 3

When Toy Story 3 premiered in theaters, I totally ignored it and watched Predators instead. Yesterday, I bought a DVD of this movie and I was totally blown away! I seldom see animated films this good and tear-jerking (the other one I could remember was Up).

The story started as Andy (the owner of Woody, Buzz and the other toys) packs up his stuff for college as his mom pressures him to clean up his room. He decides to take Woody with him to college and keep the other toys in the attic. In a playful twist of fate, the toys landed on the garbage bag but managed to escape and hide in a box inside mom's car, which will be donated to a local daycare center, where they all eventually went to. Here, they met other abandoned toys (and villains like Lotso the huggable bear) and their adventures started here.

In the end, it was all about letting go and accepting the fact that kids grow old and will eventually leave their toys. This is where the drama unfolds. I was crying like a child as Andy handed down and individually introduced his toys to this little girl Bonnie, and as he drove away while the toys just watched him leave after he said goodbye to them.

This could have been a perfect movie if the human characters were played by real actors. But I doubt if anyone could deliver the same good acting as these animated characters did. I guess it's better left that way, else it wouldn't have been this good. Toy Story 3 is a very good movie for both children and adults alike. It is indeed worthwhile to watch.

My rating: 95%

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cats live in Manila

If you’re looking for a musical with a story, then don’t watch Cats (playing at the Cultural Center of the Philippines). The whole musical was simply all about the different kinds of cats shown on a very expensive and breathtaking theatrical set with cool lightings, backdrops and all. If there was even a story in it, it was only about the rebirth of the ex-glamour cat Grizabella (played by Lea Salonga).

I understand that it has been one of the longest running shows in history, but I felt like it cannot be appreciated anymore at this time where a lot of musicals with well-written plots filled with drama, action and comedy exist. I guess my biggest mistake was I did not research about it and read just even its synopsis before watching it. This expectation gap led to my eventual disappointment. Halfway through the show, I still couldn’t grasp the plot until I realized that there was none at all!

The whole cast (except for Salonga) came from Australia and the UK. Thus, their accents were very noticeable as they sang and spoke. I guess they didn’t have the time (nor drive) to practice and execute a neutral accent for the Filipino audience. I should say that their dancing and energy were superb – everything almost seemed to be a talent show to me, rather than a musical. As for their singing ability, I can say it was just so-so except for Lea, whose voice really stood out among the rest (putting bias aside). The power of her singing prowess sent shivers all over me as she started singing.

Lea Salonga, in my opinion, chose the role of Grizabella because it only required singing with less dancing. As we know, Lea is more of a singer (actually one of the best in the world) rather than a dancer. But I was surprised that she only sang thrice (if I’m not mistaken), the last time being just a reprise of her second song “Memory.” She only stayed onstage for only about around 15 minutes in total (out of the 2.5 hours running time of the entire show), making her role only a minor one.

To sum it all up, Cats is one wholesome piece of entertainment that showcases splendid dancing and less of singing (except for Lea, of course). All the parts were meticulously rehearsed and executed, making it seem flawless amidst the lack of story. Do not ask me if I would recommend it to be seen, as I still don’t know what to answer up to now. All I can say it, it was overpriced. Just decide for yourself and be the judge.


My rating: 70%

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Warning: May contain spoilers!

After seeing Salt, it was only then that I started to appreciate its trailer/teaser. I realized that it was not a giveaway at all, unlike most teasers (which tell almost everything and make the movies so predictable). I’m not so sure if it’s just me, but I was surprised after learning the plot of the movie as it developed.

But this doesn’t mean I fell in love with the movie. I merely fell for the fierceness of it – the Angelina Jolie swagger that never fails to make you believe how strong women can be.

Salt tells the story of Evelyn Salt (Jolie), a Russian spy assassin who was raised by a syndicate leader to become totally Americanized, so she can easily assimilate herself with the culture, infiltrate the CIA and execute their long-planned evil goals to make America fall and die painfully. When the time came for her to fulfill her “destiny”, she faced a dilemma between satisfying the ambitions of Orlov (their leader) and doing the right thing.

The morale of the story is generally acceptable, but I do really hate it when Americans create movies that make other countries (like Russia and North Korea) the villains. Instead of becoming a piece of art, the movie seems to become a piece of propaganda; worse, an avenue of hatred and ignorance; worst, a piece of shit. Things like this strengthen my belief that the US is a bully and a rogue nation.

I mean, come on. There are many ways to create profiles of antagonists other than picking a certain race or nationality. Why not create an American villain to make it more realistic?

As for Jolie, she really needs a serious acting upgrading and awakening. Her portrayal of roles has always been the same from Tomb Raider to Mr. and Mrs. Smith and this. Evelyn’s character is full of opportunities to deliver superb acting but Angelina blew them all away. Though to be fair, I should commend her for the brilliant action scenes that she always brings to the table.

Overall, I’d like to say that the movie is likeable and entertaining. I was taken aback when I didn’t see the end coming, which makes it different from the norms. It leaves a question that will make people intrigued and leave them talking about it even after the film.

My rating: 70%

Friday, July 30, 2010

Odd even

Come semi-finals in any given contest or sporting event, there are 4 contenders. 2 of the teams battle each other, and the other 2 compete against each other. What are the usual reactions of the losers of these rounds? They are devastated, depressed, sad or what have you.

Then here comes the battle for 3rd place. The winner of this round celebrates, while the losing team who landed in 4th place is heartbroken. At the finals, the winner or champion rejoices, while the 2nd placer is miserable.

But why are the odd placers (1st and 3rd) the only ones having a good time? Why are the even placers (2nd and 4th) cheerless? They all managed to reach the final 4 spot of the competition, they all got their places, they all deserve an applause; yet some are unhappy - the evens: they are odd.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


After wasting time, money and expectations on several (or should I say many) films, I’m happy that Inception came into the picture. I’m sure many would agree that it’s been a while since a movie as good as this blows audiences’ minds away.

Inception is a film about a group of people who have the technology to break into other people’s minds through their dreams. The movie tells of their journey from reality into dreams and back in order to make a living, or perhaps reach their dreams. It shows how outstanding this capability can be and how terrifying this could get too.

The pace of the story is so fast yet it never failed to bring all the right details in order not to lose the viewers along the way. It may seem vague at the start, but everything becomes clear as the film progresses. In the end, it leaves a very intriguing question whether everything is back to reality, or if everything was just a dream in the first place. The story and the script are truly fascinating.

Superb acting contributed also to the movie’s perfection. I must commend Christopher Nolan for his good choice in casting. I’ve always admired DiCaprio from his childhood films to Shutter Island and to his role as Cobb in Inception. Ken Watanabe truly fit his role as the dark Saito. Ellen Page’s career from Juno to this will never be the same again. Marion Cotillard’s acting as Mal proves that she deserved her Oscar for Best Actress back in 2008. All the actors were so incredible that I couldn’t say anything dire about their performances.

The scenes were full of suspense, thrill, action, drama and horror that it almost drove me crazy after the film. The special effects tied everything together to make the film a masterpiece, or should I say – a classic. Just as I thought The Dark Knight was Nolan’s strongest film in recent times, I can say that he finally outdid himself with this work of genius. Inception is a movie not to be missed – it is worth way more that how much you’ll pay for to see it.


My rating: 95%

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On number coding and traffic violations

I got this email from a colleague and I was so surprised to realize that my knowledge on these things really sucks. Read on and learn!


1. No window hours: Makati , Malabon and Las Pinas. Number Coding is in effect from 7am to 7pm!
2. No number coding: Taguig, Marikina and Paranaque . So, feel free to roam around these cities anytime.
3. Pasig City has window hours of 9am to 4pm (note the 1 hour additional to the normal 10-3pm window).
4. San Juan has window hours now according to MMDA website.
5. Pasay City is implementing Number Coding except on the following roads: Ninoy Aquino Avenue, MIA Road , Domestic Road , Portions of Airport Road , Sales Road , Tramo.
6. EDSA, C5, Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Avenue, Roxas Blvd (Pasay) have window hours regardless of the city (meaning one can drive via EDSA in Makati any day).
7. For the rest of Metro Manila (Caloocan, Mandaluyong, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas, parts of Pasay, Pateros, Quezon City, Taguig, and Valenzuela) number coding is in effect (window hours of 10am-3pm is also observed).


If any of these abuses seem familiar to you, Mr. Antonio Pagulayan (Personnel Officer) has asked that you call either the MMDA hotline (136) or call the METRO BASE at 0920 9389861 or 0920 9389875 and ask for an Inspectorate. They will send inspectors to the place where these MMDA officers are extorting, even while you are arguing out of your apprehension.

1. MMDA officers are not allowed to group together in order to apprehend. They are not even allowed to stand together in groups of 2 or more. The only time they are allowed to work together is for special operations (probably when they apprehend groups of buses for smoke belching)

2. Swerving IS NOT a traffic violation. Moving one lane to the left or right is not swerving, no matter where on the road you do it. And it is even less of a violation when you do it with a signal. Swerving is defined as shifting 2 or more lanes very quickly. So you can argue your way out of this, and call the Metro Base for help.

3. Sadly, using the yellow lane is a traffic violation and will get you a ticket. However, buses are really not allowed to go out of the yellow lane, so if you see selective apprehension of private cars only, you may complain.

4. MMDA has confirmed that your license MAY NOT BE CONFISCATED at a traffic apprehension. The only time they can do so is if you are part of an accident, or it is your third violation and you have not settled your fines yet. They are only allowed to give you a ticket, which you can contest. He recommends actually receiving the ticket in some instances, so that you can report the officer who did it.

5. Also, you are free to ask any of these officers for their "mission order", which is written by their supervisor. If they apprehend you for a violation that is not in their mission order for the day, you can report them and they will receive disciplinary action.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I was so hooked up with the FIFA World Cup finals that I totally forgot that I watched Predators before watching the football championship match. I've seen the trailer weeks ago and I was pretty convinced that this is a promising suspense thriller film. So I decided to catch this with a friend and I should say, I had mixed emotions with the film.

Okay, it was horrifying, full of gore - good enough for the type of movie that it purports to be, but it lacks in story and reason. Yes, it is a science-fiction film, but there needs to be a background on how things came up to be as they are. For me, the movie seemed to be mere entertainment rather than a form of art.

The story tells of "chosen men" who were sent to another planet by dropping them from the sky. The common attribute present in these people is that they are "hunters" (army soldier, drug cartel enforcer, sniper, Yakuza assassin, deathrow inmate, a psycho killer pretending to be a doctor, among others). Soon enough, these people realized that they are in another planet and other creatures (predators) are in the same planet to hunt them down, kill them and learn their fighting skills to use it for their own kind's improvement.

The basic questions (that would provide the foundation for the movie's storyline) that were left unanswered are:
  • Who abducted these humans and sent them to this planet?
  • Who sent the predators? Where did they come from?
  • Where is this planet that was used as their experiment ground? (although this is not so relevant)
  • What is the higher purpose of all these? Domination of the earth?

What I liked about the movie is it's ability to send a scary feel as the plot develops and actions rise. There was no anti-climax and it ended pretty fairly - no overkills, no deus-ex-machina. Though (sorry but I always notice this) I find it very racist that an American (Royce) and an Israeli (American ally/fan as we all know) sniper (Isabelle) survived the film in the end, while all the other characters (Russian, Mexican, Japanese and American villains) died brutally.

Overall, I give this film a so-so rating for lacking substance but still being able to provide a thrilling entertainment. The R-13 rating for me was kind of lenient, as there were too much violence, killing, gore and "blood" for minors to see. For me, this film is good for DVD/home viewing only.

My rating: 60%

Spain wins the 2010 World Cup

For the first time, Spain wins the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, against Netherlands after an overtime goal (1-0). I believe it is destined, not because I am a fan, but because it is high time for Spain to be united in victory. Known to many, this country is currently torn by recession and a high unemployment rate. Winning a sporting event this massive revives a low spirit into a highly positive one.

I almost thought the game would end through penalty kicks (just like last 2006 between Italy and France where the former won 5-3), as there were so many missed shots and opportunities. This was quite disappointing. On the other hand, I would just like to give the credit to the goal keepers.

I always believe that the extra time is always the best time. This is the period of the game where the players would do their best to score a goal to avoid ending the game in a penalty shoot out. And I was right. The victorious kick came.

Throughout the game, there arose several favorites from both the Spanish and Dutch teams. But it was quite a surprise that out of nowhere, Andres Iniesta came to be the hero of the game for Spain. It was a clean goal, even when viewed from any angle.

Kudos to Iniesta, Casillas, Spain, Netherlands, everyone especially to South Africa for organizing this event and putting the spotlight on Africa for the world to see. FIFA World Cup is such an amazing sporting event no doubt, and I hope one day I'd be able to watch it live from the bleachers.

Viva Espana! Long live for the better. The world stands divided to become united once again.

Friday, July 9, 2010

FIFA makes the world go round

No sporting event in the world is as celebrated as the FIFA World Cup, other than the Olympics, I suppose. I believe the NBA wouldn't even come close. This is a proof that football is the world's most favorite sport in the world.

Very few Filipinos could relate to this, as we have always been full of colonial mentality that we only like what the Americans like. Admit it. There are far more NBA fans than football fans in this country. No doubt we suck at football - bigtime. Most of us even call it "soccer", which is nowadays a not-so widely acceptable term for football.

It is just so amazing to see people stand united to support their own countries. They are so tied to the magic that they even shed tears for their teams - whether for victory or defeat. No matter where the fans are - on the bleachers, at home, at clubs or pubs, or on the streets, they still find a way of showing a very special way to support their teams.

This Sunday, Netherlands will be on the field for their 3rd championship match with Spain, a first-time finalist. It will be a European win-win in the African home court. Nonetheless, the world will again be divided on whom they will place their bet into - whether monetary or otherwise. I have chosen my bet between these 2 teams and I hope this team will win.

"Every 4 years, countries come together to stand apart." - VISA FIFA World Cup 2010 sponsorship ad.



I believe that no one can predict the future. What might happen could be written in the stars, but I guess no one could decipher those writings. Even sophisticated scientific methods and devices couldn't accurately tell when earthquakes or volcanic eruptions will occur. These couldn't even measure the extent of damage a huge typhoon will bring.

Just like events, people are unpredictable too. They can be consistently behaving in a certain manner, but you might be surprised to see their other side when induced or provoked. Never judge a person, as you may never know what they can do - to you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Instead of taking a picture of myself through the mirror, I realized, why not take a picture of my shadow?

Monday, July 5, 2010


It might be a surprise to you, but I am a rockstar.


As I was browsing through my multiply account which I haven't updated for so long, I suddenly bumped into these two pictures that I find really fascinating. This was not from a photoshoot of some sort. A friend and former colleague of mine (Felix Angue, who is a really good photographer BTW) just passed by my workstation and asked to take a picture of me wearing a shawl on my face. And behold...

My 2006 Madagascar trip

I was lucky enough to be sent by my first employer (KPMG Philippines) to Madagascar for a business trip last December 2006 with a senior and a firm partner. I was just an associate then. I was so happy that all the other seniors turned down the offer for this trip because they were scared of going to Africa. I wasn't. So the managers chose from the associates. And I gladly accepted. Besides, not everyone can (afford to) go to Africa - with a stopover at Johannesburg international airport!

The trip was so tiring: Manila - Bangkok, Bangkok - Johannesburg, Johannesburg - Antananarivo (Madagascar's capital) and then Antananarivo - Tamatave (a province in Madagascar). Good thing we were on business class so there were unlimited food, drinks and booze (champagne, that is) to sleep our way through the Indian Ocean air turbulence.

We stayed in a 4-star hotel at the province of Tamatave during our 3-week engagement. So many things happened during the stay - my night-outs alone traveling via non-aircon cab to clubs miles from the hotel, female prostitutes chasing me, rickshaw pullers (yes, humans pull rickshaws here) taking all my money and how could I forget, the HR staff (woman) stalking me at my hotel because she thought I am straight!

The trek back home felt so much better. We stayed overnight at the capital, Antananarivo. The city may lack tall buildings, international fast food stores and shops, but it is cleaner and classier than Manila. And way colder too (much like Baguio, but higher in altitude). The flight from Antananarivo to Reunion Island to Bangkok to Osaka to Manila took almost a day.

I lost most of the pictures that I took because my sister's old digital camera got jammed in my hand-carry bag and poof, everything was gone! All the photos that I am sharing below were taken from my camera-phones.

 A view of the clouds from the plane window

A glimpse of Johannesburg international airport during our connecting flight stopover

The harbor view from our client's office

Antananarivo city before Christmas

Facade of Hotel de France, where we stayed overnight in Antananarivo

A monument in the middle of a lake in Madagascar's capital

Views from the airport and plane


Knight and Day

Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise are two actors that I really like seeing in the movies, and I can say that they didn't fail me again this time. The characters that they portrayed in this film are kind of typical for them, but they were good in delivering the personality, the actions, the gestures, the dialogues and the little things out of June Havens (Diaz) and Roy Miller (Cruise).

Knight and Day tells the story of a simple country girl (June) who is off to attend her sister's wedding in Boston. She "accidentally" bumps into Roy at the airport, who is a secret agent in a very complicated mission that later proved to be full of double crosses, betrayal, and lots of killing. June was trapped into choosing whether to submit Roy to the authorities or to stick to his mission until the end.

The development of the story was entertaining as comedic lines and scenes were incorporated throughout. There were some lines that left an impression (whether funny or serious) like:
  • Someday is a very dangerous word, because it almost means never.
  • Tomorrow, we'll transfer you to a safe and secure facility.
  • Did you buy that again from the internet? You don't know what you're typing on that keyboard!
  • What am I wearing? How did I get in here?
  • The pilots are dead!?
Weird? You better see it to understand.

Diaz was really good in portraying an innocent-more-like-blonde-bimbo character while Cruise was at his best doing the routinary action star (who is funny and crush-able) stint. Here, Diaz and Cruise reminded me again of why they make the blockbuster hits in the past until today. I still had this awe for Cruise ever since I saw him in "The interview with the vampire" when I was young, well except for his changing body which now looks like an old-dad-hitting-the-gym type.

Overall, the film was thrilling, funny and heartwarming. I guess it leaves a lesson that everything happens for a reason, and that you may not expect to meet certain kinds of people, but someday you'll realize that these people are the ones you can count on until the end.

My rating: 75%

Monday, June 28, 2010

Spare tire

Keeping a spare tire for the car is a good practice. It’s like maintaining a buffer for whatever wicked thing that can happen to one of the tires. A few weeks after I purchased my car Britney, I was unfortunate enough to be a victim of those vulcanizing shops who place tacks near their vicinity so they can have instant clients. Good thing brand new cars have spare tires kept in their trunks. Thus, I was early to realize the benefit of a spare tire.

If we contextualize spare tires to people, that would be a different story. Regrettable enough, I had recently been used as a spare tire of someone. You’ll get what I mean, shortly.

WARNING: The following sentences contain too much drama and raving, and they can “violate” you.

So my friends and I went out on a Thursday night to send off one of my closest buddies who will be then flying to the States for a 6-month work assignment. We went to this gay club in Malate where I met a guy. He is cute and attractive, and we had on-the-spot chemistry. We were talking about stuff, until he suddenly confessed to me that he has a boyfriend, whom he is living with.

Reality check: I was flirting with a committed guy who just sneaked out from the place he is sharing with his lover to go clubbing and meet some people. But what the hell, I still entertained him anyway. And we exchanged digits!

We started texting so that we can get to know more things about each other. Until one day, his boyfriend caught him. But we managed to continue our communication through some weirdly funny codes, so I would know if it’s him who’s texting; otherwise, it’s his boyfriend using his phone to nose about me.

I asked him out so he would see the real odd person that I am. I asked him to join me in one of the activities that I love doing alone. I guess he liked that idea of our date, and I was starting to like him. As I was about to drop him off, I asked a kiss from him, which he obliged. It was a totally bad idea, as things were never the same after that moment. I knew I was beginning to fall for him.

I thought things were happening to my favor as I learned that he broke up with his partner and moved out of their apartment. I took advantage of the situation and invited him as a “plus one” to a friend’s party. I was happy that he mingled well with my friends. My friends actually felt that he is becoming assimilated into our circle. Everything went pretty much well, and hot, and the rest is history. His lovemaking words were so promising that it gave me a spark of hope that there could be an “us” in the near future.

One very busy and stressful day in the office, I received a text from him implying that he and his ex-boyfriend patched things up and got back together. It suddenly dawned to me that I was just used as a spare tire – a comfort person during trying times who can be disposed off easily. I couldn’t blame him alone, because I allowed him to exploit me. I admit I was teary-eyed, and it totally ruined my day.

Looking back, I realized that it wouldn’t have worked out easily between the two of us because we started out as an act of cheating, to be blunt about it. Maybe they really love one another and I was just a hurtful phase in their more-than-a-year relationship.

So here I am, back to my cynical and jaded self. It’s not like I’m gonna go emo over this. Putting everything into words indeed helped a lot. Some things are just not meant to be.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I'm starting to believe that weekends are just hallucinations, an imaginary oasis, a dream, a temporary state of happiness. Everyone looks forward to it. And when that time of the week comes, everyone is happy. People go out. Shop. Have dinner. Have a couple of drinks. Party. Get drunk. Go wasted. Go out of town. Splurge. But when it's Monday again, it's reality check. More like a reality bite - realizing how much one has spent during the weekends leaving none for the coming week. Everyone should go back to school or work, seeing the evil grin and hearing the demonic laugh of the 5 days waiting to stress one out. And the cycle goes on. And on.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What happens in Vegas

"What happens in Vegas" is a romantic-comedy film about two strangers, Joy McNally, a girl who was recently dumped by his ex-fiance (played by Cameron Diaz) and Jack Fuller, a guy who just got fired (Ashton Kutcher), who met in Las Vegas after the hotel receptionist accidentally booked them in the same room. They shared a night full of gambling, drinking, dancing, partying and oops! - instant marriage?!

They woke up sober and realized the mess they just made. After a heated discussion about divorce, Joy gave Jack a quarter which the latter inserted into the slot machine. Surprisingly, the drop resulted into a jackpot, making Jack win the $3,000,000 prize. Joy now fights with Jack over the prize, claiming they're now married and should be sharing the prize. They even brought their case to court which resulted into the judge being disgusted with them and sentencing them to a 6-month of living together to try make their marriage work out before deciding on how they should split the pot.

It is just funny how the movie progressed as the couple tried to outwit each other into proving that one is a better husband or wife than the other. I guess the main conflict came in when they realized that they are falling in love with each other after all the nasty things they have done. The ending, I should say, is just right - no overkill as opposed to most Hollywood flicks. It was touching and sincere, and I should commend Diaz and Kutcher for good characterization.

I just couldn't believe why this film was underrated by critics. Overall, the movie is both funny and heartwarming, and I regret the fact that I have just watched it last night when this movie was released last 2008!

My rating: 75%

Drunk texting, drunk calling

The semi-uncontrollable habit of texting or calling someone when you're drunk is far more dangerous than drunk driving, I suppose. If you're drunk-driving, the consequence can only be a one-off thing - death. But if you're drunk texting or calling, the consequences of the things you can say can be very grave - to the point you'll wish you'd die instantly, but you won't!

Just recently, I got buzzed with drinking different kinds of mixed drinks and stupidly decided to drunk-call someone from my past (and skipped the drunk-texting part!). Good thing his phone didn't ring and I just got the recorded voice message "The number you have dialed is either unattended or out of coverage area." - or I could have said some pathetic stuff that will totally ruin my past decision that I stood strong with. Looking back, I realized that I had nothing to say to him in the first place (or so I thought)! I am very thankful that I was then so weak and lazy to text him after the failed call attempt. Relief!

Next time I feel like I'm starting to get possessed by alcohol, I will turn off my phone. This is madness, and it should never happen again!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Most of the time, I can't help but ignore some people because they did/do not meet my expectations and preferences. Perhaps it's true that we all have our biases and prejudices. I suddenly recalled the song from the Tony Award winning musical Avenue Q entitled "Everyone's a little bit racist", with some lines that go like:

Everyone's a little bit racist
Doesn't mean we go
Around committing hate crimes.
Look around and you will find
No one's really color blind.
Maybe it's a fact
We all should face
Everyone makes judgments
Based on race.

Ethinic jokes might be uncouth,
But you laugh because
They're based on truth.
Don't take them as
Personal attacks.
Everyone enjoys them -
So relax!

If we all could just admit
That we are racist a little bit,
Even though we all know
That it's wrong,
Maybe it would help us
Get along.

Everyone's a little bit racist
It's true.
But everyone is just about
As racist as you!
If we all could just admit
That we are racist a little bit,
And everyone stopped being
Maybe we could live in -

Well I guess you can't blame me if I consider certain features of a person before deciding whether I should go out with him or not. It's simply called preferences. I'm not the only person who has that - all people have these criteria in their minds. And some people can be really very choosy even if their looks suggest they shouldn't! So what the heck!?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Team building

Team building, in its most literal sense, means building a team. This requires not just building rapport and camaraderie, but also improving relationships and trust amongst each other, especially in a corporate setup. It may be a one, two or three-day event, but participants should remember that the lessons learned should not end with the event. It should be applied to the daily work environment or every penny spent on organizing the whole activity is just put to waste.

Our department had an overnight team building event last 18-19 June 2010 at the Forest Club in Laguna. To say that the group activities were tiring is an understatement. Nonetheless, we had fun and the tasks brought out the best in us. We also learned to overcome our fears and discovered some pretty interesting stuff about people we don't usually hang out with in the office. I think this is nice, especially when you already had some impression (or should I say judgement) of a certain colleague from a work-related interaction. It helps you understand why a person acts in a certain way and makes you feel comfortable about it.

The most exciting part was the evening party where lots of booze were served. There were no walls. Everyone showed one's true colors. As the saying goes, in vino veritas - in wine there is truth. People began sharing their problems, their strong opinions on some matters, and even their nastiest secrets. Until everyone went to bed or was brought to bed after passing out!

Even though there were no verbal discussions of the lessons learned, I believe (and hope) we are mature enough to have realized those things. I just hope that the cracks on the wall can still be re-painted so that we can be on the right track to our goal of being one.

No dramas please

Sometimes I wonder - Do some people really mean to unleash their highly personal dramas unto others - like unto perfect strangers they barely even know? Do they really think it's fine to do that?

Okay I'll be specific. There's some people I meet (whether online or in the real world) who suddenly (out of nowhere) talks to me about some problems with either family, work, friends, finances or whatever. I have to be honest - I can't help but be turned off by this. I don't mean to be mean or something, but I think it's pretty un-cool to share those stuff no matter how important that is, to people you're supposed to show a good impression to.

If one has some pretty nasty issues, I believe it's not a good time for one to mingle with others and infect them with those. It's just not right to ruin someone else's day just because one's life is messed up. Or if one is really that desperate to go out with other people, I reckon it's but fair to at least carry one's self as a clean slate - no dramas. Or at least hide them in the meantime. If this is not possible - better fix them first.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Street signs

Oh my gosh! I just saw this sign along Baclaran while driving. The traffic was kinda heavy, so I had the chance to take this picture. It seems the MMDA is really serious in warning people of the risks of jaywalking. But I think instead of posting signs like this, the government should just build fences along the island so that no one can cross the street at all. For me, it’s a better strategy than posting signs like this that are so straightforward and unprofessional-sounding.

English translation: No pedestrian crossing. Someone already died here.
11 June 2010

Sex and the city 2

I just saw Sex and the City 2 last night at Alabang Town Center with one of my lady BFFs, Marlin. I know… I watched it late and I think I kind of regret having watched it on big screen. Don’t get me wrong – I loved the series but the movie’s quality is, sad to say, of “series quality” and I found it racist and culturally disrespectful.

It was just another day in the life of the four women in New York City. So TV series! Nothing new. What made it “special” was the gay wedding and the all-expense paid trip to Abu Dhabi which eventually turned into total chaos, thanks to Samantha’s promiscuity feats and the 4 women’s cultural violations.

I don’t even dig why the Abu Dhabi government allowed the whole cast and crew to film in their country without even checking the storyline and script. It is totally shameful to see liberated American women (or should I say girls) going into a different world and seem to dictate how they should live their daily lives. They were suggesting that the whole Islam culture is so wrong and that everything from the burka to the no-making-out-in-public law should be scrapped. This movie simply affirmed to the world how nosy Americans can get and how rogue-like they act towards other countries. Definitely disappointing.

And in an attempt to hype up the film, Liza Minelli, Miley Cyrus and Penelope Cruz were cast as extras. This couldn’t get any more desperate.

I can frankly say that this movie has no substance at all – just cool dresses, shoes, accessories, cocktails, parties. And it was just another payday for all cast and crew after getting money out of millions of audiences around the world who were tricked into watching this crap. No brainer. Believe me. Or better yet, see for yourself and be sorry as I am.

15 June 2010

My rating: 50%

Strangers. Reason.

The world is indeed a jungle full of strangers. It’s really amazing how a simple decision of going to this place instead of this other place goes a level higher when you meet someone that changes your life. This alone makes me think that everything happens for a reason. Yeah, I know I lack coherence, but I’m sure this makes sense.
7 June 2010

Alter ego

Most people think that my life is an open book. But only a handful know about my alter ego - my shadow that lurks under the moonlight, ready to devour an unsuspecting prey. Yes, there are just some things I do not divulge. Everybody keeps secrets. I do. And I know you do too.

7 June 2010


What do you call someone who gives you flowers with a note “I love you. Goodbye.”?
26 May 2010


I just realized that there are still stuffed toys beside my TV. I know their stories, where they came from. But I feel nothing. At all.
29 May 2010


Life is too short. No time to waste. Party all the time. Photo taken at Mikko’s Bar, White Beach, Puerto Galera (15 May  2010). 26 May 2010
Life is too short. No time to waste. Party all the time.
Photo taken at Mikko’s Bar, White Beach, Puerto Galera (15 May 2010).
26 May 2010

CamSur nightmare

Quoting Maryflor: “Ang CamSur ay parang etong halo-halong kinakain ko. Mukhang masarap pero kulang pala sa gatas at asukal pagkatapos kong tikman.” Funny metaphor but true.
This is a documented ranting of our trip to Camarines Sur last 16-18 April 2010.
Personally, I consider travelling to Bicol by land as a very stressful event in itself. Then going through all the hassle we’ve been through totally turned our vacation into an almost mayhem. Or we could simply be just maarte. Or poor – because we couldn’t afford a plane ticket (at least just at that period). Or lazy to book plane tickets for everyone. Whatever.
We left Manila (Makati to be exact) at around 11pm and did a late dinner stopover at Shell SLEX at around 12mn. The land trip was excruciatingly long. I fell asleep when we passed by Quezon’s first town. I am a “masa” (masandal tulog) type of passenger so I’m pretty sure that I slept for quite a long time. But when I woke up, alas, we’re still in Quezon! And that was not the last town yet. I felt frustrated and I lost my urge to sleep. But due to tiredness, I fell asleep again.

We left Manila at midnight. But that time, the sun was already shining in the sky and we are still on the road going to Sabang Port, where we were supposed to ride a boat to the Caramoan peninsula.

Upon seeing the public transpo boat at the port, we decided to take a private boat instead. It was quite hard to get in the public boat, because we would have to soak ourselves in the water just to be able to hop in. Some boatmen offered a private boat for a pretty expensive price.
But wait! There’s more! They charged us for carrying us (our bodies) and bags from the bank to their boat. When we were about to head for the peninsula, we discovered that there was a ramp (hidden from our sight) that should have allowed us to get in the boat without them carrying us – without the need to pay them additional fees! So much for moneymaking.

To add more to our pissed mood, the boatmen told us upon arriving near the Caramoan port that they could not park the boat because it was low tide. Out of the blue came some small boats that would take us from our private boat to the shore – for another fee! The situation was so infuriating that my colleague, Maryflor (who is a very uncomplaining sweet girl) exploded and said “Kuya pineperahan niyo lang kami eh!” From then on, so many heated comments came from everyone until the boatmen decided to park the boat. In other words, the boat can still be parked even when it’s lowtide. It’s all for the revenue!
The land trip from the port to the Villa took 15-minutes along rough roads.

One of my colleagues booked an inn (Villa Caramoan) where we will be staying. By the looks of it via the photos in their website, the place seemed promising. But when we got there, it was different. In fact, it didn’t even have similarities at all with the website pictures. So we complained. But in the end, we still paid for it with the agreed (note: pricey) rates.

From the villa, we did another 15-minute road trip to the shore for our island-hopping. Good thing the islets were damn beautiful to ease away all the bad vibes we’ve been through. Sad part is – we were not able to visit the most beautiful islands because the production team of Survivor Israel was shooting their episodes that time.

The food was bland. Nothing special. We enjoyed our booze and chips more. Our night activity (Pinoy Henyo) was so much fun.

We left Caramoan the next day and headed back to Pili to visit the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC). It appeared to be a pretty fine tourist attraction. True enough, there were many foreigners when we got there.

We were very hungry when we arrived so we headed straight to the restaurant. We called the waiters several times (read: for 30 minutes) for the menu but they just kept on saying “yes” without returning to our table with a menu. We even overheard a woman at the other table complaining that it’s been an hour but their food was not yet served.

With that, we decided to eat somewhere and just go back after. Our extreme starvation brought us to a bus stopover cafeteria. Food was cheap and okay. Satisfied and full, we went back to CWC. Some of us tried wakeboarding, some went swimming while I and Ivy decided to just chill and get some cocktails and snacks.

CWC is a cool place. It has world-class wakeboarding facilities, sophisticated water activities amenities, skateboarding park, cute villas, among others. Unfortunately, they offer bad service, for some reason. Apparently, the waiters have preference to foreign guests in terms of service over Filipino guests which is so colonial mentality-ish and racist!

Tourist destinations like CWC should focus on improving customer service because in the end, it is what will leave a lasting impression on guests.

We left CamSur in the evening for another agonizingly extensive journey back to Manila.
25 May 2010
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