Monday, December 27, 2004

Filmfest Junkie

I am a big Filipino movie fan. I am proud to say that I support the Philippine movie industry from time to time, if I deem that the movie is a good one. Though I missed some good Pinoy movies (or so they say) like Feng Shui, I will muster all needed resources just to watch them. Also, I am proud to say that I am a big supporter of the Metro Manila Film Festival. I watch an average of 3 movies per festival.

Just yesterday, my friends and I watched Mano Po 3, the final sequel to the Mother Lily’s Chinese family drama series, though the three aren’t really connected. Initially, I had reservations in watching the film because first and foremost, I am not enthusiastic about Chinese culture, in fact I sort of hate some of their traditions (e.g. fixed marriage). Second, I haven’t watched Mano Po 2. But since it is was a fact that the three Mano Pos are not connected by plot, I relented. I just couldn’t belive I paid 136 bucks for a movie I don’t like much. Well, it’s the Christmas season anyway. And I have to support the Philippine movie industry.

Okey… any one of you who wishes to watch the movie, don’t read this paragraph. Mano Po 3 is about a Chinese businesswoman-turned-anti-crime-czar Lilia Chong-Yang (Vilma Santos) who renewed her love for her past boyfriend Michael Lim (Christopher de Leon) after seeing him once again in a business trip in Thailand. Michael Lim left the country after being arrested by Metrocom agents in a checkpoint during Martial Law period. Because of this, Lilia lost her one true love, thus finally ending up with their close friend, Paul Yang (Jay Manalo). Now, in the 25th wedding anniversary of Paul and Lilia, Michael will try to settle things once and for all, and shall try to regain his lost love for Lilia. Well, for the benefit of readers who still want to watch it, I shall stop here…

As what I always say when asked if it was a good movie, “if it weren’t for Vilma Santos and Boyet de Leon, Mano Po 3 would have been a flop.” There was really nothing new in the story. Tons of other Pinoy and Foreign movies talked about love triangle and this was not new. I have predicted the climax at the very start of the movie. The only thing I predicted wrong was the ending, where Vilma Santos ended up with no one except her family.

The only thing that could have saved the movie was to show some bits and pieces of Chinese culture. Actually, that was the main purpose of the sequel: to promote appreciation over our Chinese brothers and sisters by demonstrating traces of their culture. However, the movie failed to show even a single bit of Chinese culture in the movie. Except of course for the scene where Lilia was given away to a traveling family just to avoid being thrown to an orphanage. The movie showed how patriarchal Chinese culture was, how they deliberately degrade women, even their own kind. But aside from that, there was no other trace of Chinese culture that, apparently, they were very proud of.

One other thing I didn’t like with the Mano Po series is the casting. We all know that the three Mano Pos are not interconnected, though 2we see the same actors and actresses in the movie. This somehow confuses the moviegoers, especially if he/she watched all three. For example, Jay Manalo played in all three Mano Pos, and coincidentally, he died in both Mano Po 1 and 3. Eddie Garcia and Boots Anson-Roa played husband and wife in Mano Po 1, and played “balaes” in Mano Po 3. However, since I watched Mano Po 1 and the first scene showede Eddie Garcia and Boots Anson-Roa together, it gave me the impression that they still played husband and wife.

As I have said earlier, Boyet de Leon and Vilma Santos saved the movie. With their heartfelt emotions that showed not through the length of their dialogues but through the emotions of their eyes really compelled me to say that I liked the movie. From the way they looked at each other, they have shown the audience their inner emotions, and no dialogue was necessary. There were many silent scenes in that movie that showed the two of them, and I am proud to say that I liked most of them. The director seemed to have realized their true talents.

Mano Po 3 may not be a masterpiece, but I think it is healthy for a Filipino to watch Pinoy films from time to time just to enrich his psyche with Filipino movie culture. Others may call it Jologs, Bakya or Baduy, I call Pinoy Pop Culture. Whether we like it or not, it is in our system. So we might as well appreciate it. After all, it is not at all that bad.

I am also planning to watch Enteng Kabisote, Panaghoy sa Suba, Aishite Imasu, and Sigaw...

Trivia trivia

Did you know: Apo Hiking Society’s original name was Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Near Christmas

I would like to greet all the readers of my blog a Blessed Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Five days to go before Christmas 2004. One can see how fats time flies.

I remember the days when I was very eager as the clocks ticks towards Christmas day. I could imagine how much money, toys, clothes, or food I will receive come Christmas time. Exciting!!!

Now, it is so much different. Enthusiasm level is a bit lower than before. Now, I don’t anticipate gifts, but instead expect expenses here and there. This is what you get after receiving tons of gifts in childhood.

In this time for crisis, it is quite difficult to celebrate Christmas fully, especially when we get used to grandiose celebrations the past years. And it is also sad to note that some of the people I am celebrating my Christmas with have left for the States. But like what they always say, you can’t stop Christmas.

We already have our Christmas planned. Too bad, I am celebrating the Christmas weekend away from my lady because she’s leaving for Agoo Tuesday night, December 21. Though it seems difficult due to the reasons I have mentioned above, I will try my best to celebrate Christmas. After all, it’s Kuya Jess’ birthday.

Haven’t bought a single gift for my inaanaks… What an irresponsible Ninong. As far as I can recall, I have 6 inaanaks. Dami na pala!!! I promised myself I’d buy them before December 23.

Trivia trivia

Did you know: Kitchie Nadal auditioned for the band Hungry Young Poets (HYP) after its lead singer, Barbie Almalbis, left the group. HYP afterwards changed its name into Mojofly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Celebration?! Just Promotion...

Last December 10, I was officially promoted to Presidential Staff Officer II. A lot of my friends asked for a blow-out. Blow-out? Should we celebrate a 1,300-buck salary increase with an additional ton of workload?

Many of us look at promotion as a mere reward for performance. We should not believe so. Promotion is not a reward, but a responsibility. It is transforming potential into kinetic energy in terms of productivity in work. In short, the boss feels that you need more work, thus, he/she promotes you.

Surely, it is not a reward. For us employees, a reward is something like an additional compensation for our valued work (e.g. CNA, Cash gift, PIB) without adding more work to the person. A reward is given WITHOUT anything asked in return. As for promotion, he boss gives you a promotion knowing that you will do your duties and responsibilities more efficiently.

In short, we should not celebrate fully after a promotion. Alongside an increased power and compensation, come greater duties and responsibilities. However, I’m not saying we should not celebrate promotion at all. What I’m saying is that a promotion is not a gift, but a duty.

I may be saying this just to give justification to my refusal for a blow-out. At least, it is a valid excuse… hehehehe…

I hope I’m still making sense… I think the Christmas season is slowing my thinking process. Hehehe

Less than ten days before Christmas. Sana lumabas na ang CNA…

Fernando Poe Jr. shall forever be remembered in the hearts and minds of Filipinos all over as the one and only King of Philippine Cinema. May you rest in peace, FPJ.

Trivia trivia

Did you know: The late Fernando Poe Jr. is not the real Fernando Poe Jr.? His real name is Ronald Allan Kelley Poe and the real FPJ is his brother, the late Andy Poe.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Conflict of Schedule

Today is our office’s team building… We shall hold it in Biniktikan, Subic, Olongapo City… They said it’s a cool place, however, the beach is 10-15 minutes drive from the place.

Somehow, I am not quite in a traveling mood, and I am not so enthusiastic with this trip. I’m an outdoor person, indeed, but I think this trip is sort of out of timing. A lot of things should have been done aside from going to Subic. Let me list some:

a. I should be out shopping. It’s less than 20 days before Christmas and I have not yet shopped for gift for my 6 godchildren, my lady, my parents, and other relatives…
b. My lady is supposed to visit the doctor tomorrow, Saturday…
c. I am supposed to have my blood chemistry checked…
d. I am supposed to meet my lady’s cousin from the States for the very first time…
e. I am supposed to go with my mother and help her with her own Christmas shopping…
f. Our Ateneo Basketball Team 4F98 (yes, finally, Team 4F98 is re-formed) is supposed to practice this weekend…
g. I have to shop for bagoong (shrimp paste) this weekend because the demand is increasing (yes, people buy shrimp paste from me… Orders, anyone? Just message me in the tag board)…
h. I am supposed to take Buddy, my red Toyota Corolla XL 1991, to the auto shop. He is scheduled for a tune-up/change oil.

That and many other things…

And one other thing… I was also planning to decorate my room fit for the holidays… I was supposed to buy Styrofoam to make it look like I have snow in my room…

Another reason for my non-enthusiasm towards the team building activity is (I know this is quite a bit mushy, but here goes...) because my lady isn't coming... It seems that I can't seem to enjoy myself that much anymore when my lady is not with me. We both love the beach so much... the warm waters, the soothing sound of the waves crashing into the sand, the coconut trees swaying with the wind, the sound of vultures waiting for us to drown (no, not that morbid part...)... in short, we loved everything about the beach. And knowing this, I think about her everytime I go to the beach... Awwwwwww... I hate this...

Oh well. Since this is a required activity, I have no other choice but to go to the teambuilding. I just hope this is a fun-filled, productive, eventful activity. Para sulit…

I'm just thinking that the bond among us teammates will be strengthened after this activity... Good luck to team MPO... hurrah!!!!

Trivia, trivia

Did you know: Tessie Tomas first worked in advertising before entering showbusiness.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Sunday Morning...

Couldn't take this song off my head... Ayos talaga to...

Eh wala pa kong masulat... kaya eto muna... hehehe

Sunday Morning
Maroon Five

Sunday morning rain is falling
Steal some covers share some skin
Clouds are shrouding us in moments unforgettable
You twist to fit the mold that I am in
But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do
And I would gladly hit the road get up and go if I knew
That someday it would bring me back to you
That someday it would bring me back to you

That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on sunday morning
And I never want to leave

Fingers trace your every outline
Paint a picture with my hands
Back and forth we sway like branches in a storm
Change the weather still together when it ends

That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on sunday morning
And I never want to leave

But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do
Sunday morning rain is falling and I’m calling out to you
Singing someday it’ll bring me back to you
Find a way to bring myself home to you

And you may not know
That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow?


Trivia trivia

Did you know: For HIm Magazine (FHM) former Editor-in-Chief Eric Ramos used to write and edit for the Manila Times' Lifestyle Section.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Some incoherent random caricatures of the mind

I hate it when there's no work... Can't seem to stay at home...

I'm right here in an internet cafe... It's been a while since I've done this...

Just watched the extended version of the Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers... Until now, I'm still overwhelmed with what technology can do to movies like these. Still can't belive my eyes. When will Richard Gutierrez's Mulawin or Juday's Krystala be able to have enhanced images and computer-generated graphics like these? I think our movie industry ought to invest in these technology.

In the most recent study of Newsweek, we ranked tenth in terms of Movie Power all over the world. If we don't make up for the demands of techonology and creativity of the present, we will soon be delisted... Sayang naman...

Oh well... Obviously I have nothing brilliant to write about. Just useless banter and some ranting...

Slept well last night... Though there were no lights. Thanks to Yoyong, temperature was quite pleasant.

Pero iniisip ko pa rin ang mga kaawa-awa nating mga kapatid na nasalanta at masasalanta ng bagyong Yoyong... Patuloy pa rin natin silang ipagdasal... Sa kasalukuyan, kulang 500 na ang pinapatay ng mga bagyo... Sana ay wala nang dumating pa ngayong taon...

Eto na muna... Mahirap talagang mastuck sa bahay ng matagal... nakakaisip gumastos para mag-internet...

I shall be watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind later... Reviews from anyone?


Trivia trivia:

Did you know: Joseph Estrade was not the first actor who ran for President. It was the 50's sensation Rogelio de la Rosa.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

When it rains, it pours

Half day kami ngayon... Ayos...

Sa aming mga empleyado, ang half-day o work suspension ay isang pagdiriwang upang kahit isang maulang araw, makapagpahinga kami sa nakakabagot at nakakapagod na trabaho. Ito ang nagsisilbing bakasyon namin na hindi nagagalaw ang aming leave credits. Kaya masaya...

Iniisip ko lang... At dahil diyan, nakokonsiyensya akong magdiwang ng lubusan sa pagdedeklara ng half day. Dahil sa mga kapatid natin sa parteng Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Rizal, Mindoro, at Bicol, ang pagdedeklara sa Maynila ng walang pasok ay signos na tuluyan pa silang palulubugin ng buhawi at bagyo. It simply means there is a bigger destruction at hand. Nakakaawa talaga ang mga tao sa mga lugar na ito. Sa kasalukuyan, lagpas 400 na ang namamatay. Harinawa'y magmilagro na lamang at lumihis ang bagyo upang hindi na magdulot ng mas malalaki pang pinsala. Magpapasko pa naman...

Abut-abot talaga ang kamalasan nitong huling mga buwan ng taon. Noong una, natatakot ang ating mga magsasaka dahil sa may mga balitang magkakaroon ng El Niño sa mga darating na buwan na aabot sa buwan ng Hunyo ng susunod na taon. Bigla namang bumaligtad ang tadhana, at nagkasunud-sunod naman ang mga bagyo. Inumpisahan ni Unding, ang bagyong dumukot sa libu-libong mga bubong ng mga kabahayan sa Roxas, Mindoro at kumitil sa buhay ng daan-daang residente. Sumunod naman ang bagyong Violeta at Winnie na nagdulot ng biglaang pagbaha sa parteng Nueva Ecija at Aurora. Nakalbo na raw kasi ang ilang parte ng Siera Madre kaya wala nang mga punong sasalo ng tubig ulan. Kaya't ayun. nagbagsakan lahat sa mga ilog... Kabilang dito ang Marikina River. Kaya ngayon, lubog sila sa tubig... At eto na naman... parating na ang bagyong "Yoyong." Kaya kami half-day.

Sana naman ay hindi na ito lumakas...


Happy thoughts naman:

23 days to go before Christmas... Still no decorations in our office...

Out office Teambuilding is fast approaching. May venue na... sa Biniktikan daw sa loob ng Subic.

Trivia trivia:

Did you know: Former singer and member of Ryan Cayabyab's Smokey Mountain Tony Lambino is studying pre-divinity in the Ateneo... This means that he's rooting to be a full-blown Jesuit priest someday.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Gone too soon

Twenty three years ago today, a child of great talent, intelligence, vigor and spirit was born in the sidestreets of Quezon City. Not until 2nd or 3rd grade (I couldn’t really recall) did I realize that I was privileged to having met this fine young man in Montessori. A simple, witty, blight and smart little boy, he always had been part of the most outstanding students in class. He even graduated Salutatorian in our batch.

I had very fond memories of this jolly little boy. We used to tease each other on who gets to be the partner of the ugliest girl in class (rude, yeah… you know kids…). Talkative and naturally jolly, I recalled an instance when he was sent to the other section (I think this was in grade four) to rid our class of his antics and noisiness. But he got back after two weeks of exile. I also remembered the time that he used to tease me for being “too industrious” because I do most of the after-school chores while waiting for my mom to fetch me.

We parted ways after grade school for I was enrolled in the Ateneo and him, in Philippine Science High School. He should have been an Atenean as well, however, his father decided o withdraw his enrollment in Loyola upon knowing that he passed Pisay.

In the early years of high school, everything was going well with this bright young man… Among the graduates of our batch, he was one student who didn’t struggle in his first year in high school. He even received several special citations in school, considering that he was in one of the most competitive schools in the country. He was full of vision and surely, he was on the right track to success. We were even jokingly telling him that he could be the next President of the land with his excellent scholastic records. He was well equipped with all that is needed to get there.

However, on that fateful afternoon of April 1, 1996, all these hopes and dreams were lost. Two men armed with knives attempted to rob this young man of his newly received stipends in a parking lot near SM North EDSA. He tried to resist by running as far as he could. He even reach the DHL branch in EDSA, currently near the MRT station. However, the two men relentlessly chased him and gave him multiple stabs in the back. No one dared help this young man, not even the security guard of the nearby DHL branch. He died upon arrival to the nearest hospital.

Until now, his case is not yet solved. The last thing I heard, the two arrested suspects who initially admitted the crime recanted after several weeks in detention. They cried foul for torture and forced admission of the crime. Now, the policemen were back to square one. I doubt it if the real suspects will be arrested in the near future. His case might probably be just another unsolved murder case stockpiled in the archives of one of the city courts.

I just wrote this entry to commemorate the birthday of my childhood friend, Oliver Ang. This was a story of another promising life wasted in the hands of lawless criminals. Happy Birthday, Oliver. May you find justice in this world or the next.

Happy Happy Thoughts:

Thank God, my lady returned to work yesterday…Now I feel more complete and vigorous at work…

24 days to go before Christmas. No decorations yet in our office… We gotta work this thing out.


Trivia, trivia:

Did you know: The late theatre great Zeneida Amador is the aunt of famous stage/movie actress Pinky Amador.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

New face...

Just tried some stuff on my blog site... Posted some pics, changed some colors of the font, and some other stuff...

I'm still in the process of learning a thing or two on "blogging with an attitude..."

Eto na muna... medyo hapon na... at Matinding assignment na naman ang naibato sa kin ngayong araw kaya't itigil muna ang kalokohang ito...


Trivia trivia:

Did you know: The 70's boy band Jackson 5 is composed of brothers Tito, Jermaine, Jackie, Marlon and Michael.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Isang Libo't Isang Tuwa... Buong Bansa...

Still missing my lady. I hope she gets well soon…

Anyway, as I mentioned in my previous artik, I am to talk about Eat Bulaga’s 25th anniversary.

I confess. I seldom miss a Saturday show of Eat Bulaga. In my elementary, high school, and college vacation days, I usually stay at home just to watch the longest-running noon-time show of the land. This is the primary reason for my lengthy lunch time, which spans up to 1:30 p.m. Eat Bulaga has truly been a part of my life in my 22 years of existence.

Courtesy of Sunday night’s episode of “Kapuso mo, Jessica Soho,” I have learned little trivial facts about Eat Bulaga:

 Tito, Vic and Joey started out as mere back-ups to the show “Discorama,” originally aired in GMA Channel 7.

 In 1979, they were offered a hosting job for a noon-time show in a nother channel (RPN 9). They signed their contracts in a hotel parking lot.

 The name “Eat Bulaga” was given by Joey de Leon.

 Tito, Vic, and Joey dressed up casually as opposed to the other show’s “formal” motif.

Possibly, every Filipino would know, or at least have heard once, the famous jingle that signals lunch time across the nation… “Mula Aparri (now Batanes) hanggang Jolo, saan ka man ay halina kayo… Isang libo’t isang tuwa, buong bansa, Eat Bulaga.” It might have evolved through the years, but the addicting and inviting music lingers in our memories for a very long time. Every man, woman or child in the generation X or Y knows about this tune. Who wouldn’t?

Not only did Eat Bulaga develop a catchy tune, but it also provided us with the craziest, whackiest, creative and fun-filled games and contests that surely puts you at the edge of your seats… Remember the Bulagaan series? Sige Ano Kaya Mo (SAK MO)? Alaxan Gladiators? And now, Todo Knock-Out (TKO)?

It even provided us with contests that hone the skills of our little children… Who would forget Little Miss Philippine wherein co-hosts Aiza Seguerra and Lady Lee were recruited? Mr. Pogi, where ABS-CBN heartthrob Jericho Rosales had a TV debut. And even modeling contests that enhance the beautry and personality of aspiring young models: She’s got the look, TeeVee Babe, and many others…

Some other networks tried to topple Bulaga’s popularity by pirating hosts or creating new shows. However, Bulaga’s adaptability to change and flexibility to all sorts of struggles made others’ efforts futile. Remember Lunch Date? Salu-Salo Together? Sang Linggo NAPO Sila? Or even Magandang Tanghali Bayan, which tried to build a trio that could topple down Tito, Vic and Joey. They were all lost in the wind…

Eat Bulaga has indeed touched the lives of countless Filipinos not just in Metro Manila, but the entire country. As an estimate, Eat Bulaga has been in our luncheon airwaves at least 7,500 times now.

How has Eat Bulaga captured Filipinos’ appetites? Well, Joey de Leon had the greatest thing to say about that… “Kelangan lang kasi talaga, ilabas mo kung sino ka. Kung ano ka. Para nakakarelate ang nanunuod sa yo.” Well, this words were, indeed, true. When I watch the show, I feel like I’m in one corner of our village, just watching the tambays talk freely about their lives. That’s how these hosts reached out. They were true to themselves.

The legacy of Eat Bulaga shall forever be in the milestones of Philippine television history. Never a noon-time show has touched our Filipino appetites as much as what Eat Bulaga has done. Now on its 25th year, the show never ceases to entertain Filipino viewers across all sectors, tribes or island groups.

Ayan, Do… Sensya na kung mahaba at may mga typo… spontaneous kasi yung pagsulat eh… ayoko nang mag-edit… hehehehe…

Trivia trivia:

Did you know: Eat Bulaga co-host Toni Rose Gayda was originally part of their 80’s rival show Lunch Date, along with Randy Santiago, Tina Revilla, et. Al.

Crispa-Toyota NBA Style

Last Saturday (Philippine time), the world had just witnessed one of the dirtiest (and for me, the most exciting) NBA games in history. Visiting Indiana Pacers took a good beating from some players and fans of their rival Detroit Pistons.

It started when Ron Artest (the player who wanted some time off from basketball to concentrate on promoting his rap album) committed a hard foul over Detroit's monster center Ben Wallace. Ben Wallace was infuriated by the action, thus, shoving away Ron Artest to the sidelines, creating a fracas in the court.

Thanks to the "heroic stunts" of Stephen Jackson who came running towards Wallace to defend his teammate (considering that he was a newby of the team due to a trade that sent Al Harrington to the Atlanta Hawks), the fracas grew into a bigger mayhem.

Ron Artest who laid down in the scorer's table in a taunting gesture, was taken by surprise when a fan splashed him with a pint and some popcorn. The angry ol' Artest chased that fan in the audience and threw some punches that resulted in a melee that ended roughly. As expected, superhero Stephen Jackson, again, went to the rescue, with his Pacer pal Jermaine O'neal. The game ended with a 97-82 win of the Pacers, after the referees called for its cancellation, with only 45 seconds remaining in the 4th period.

It is quite humiliating for the world's greatest basketball players that they can not keep their sportsmanship and professionalism in a basketball game. We Filipinos look up to these players with great admiration for their talent, discipline and intensity in the hardcourt. But in this case, we were disappointed. No wonder they weren't able to get the gold in the most recent olympics. NBA guys should be reminded that in order to excel in their selected field, they ought to be professional and disciplined.

However, for the sake of entertainment, I really enjoyed that "Basketbrawl" game... It was like the modern-day Crispa-Toyota games that my father used to tell me... Now, I have my own stories to tell my children.

Ron Artest: took an early shower in the scorer's table...

Trivia trivia: Alejo Santos was the rival of Ferdinand Marcos for the Presidency in 1981, the year when Marcos lifted Martial Law.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Picture Perfect

I am posting pictures of me and my one and only in this entry because of two reasons: a) I have never posted personal pictures before, and b) I don't feel like writing today...

I terribly miss my lady... Sorry for the mush... oh well... Two weeks is not that long and we get to see each other after work... It's okey...

Here are some pics with my lady that I have taken using my Nokia 3310i:

Puerto Galera... Our second home...

See how beautiful we... I mean Puerto Galera is...

Photo taken during my lady's friend's wedding... My lady looks awesome in yellow...

Due to some money-making provisions of my online photo album, I may only post three pictures. Mga negosyante na kasi ang mga sites na ito kaya dehins na makapagpost ng maraming pictures. Buwiset.. Oh well... Next time na lang yung ibang pics... I will just have to look for friendlier online photo albums...

I was supposed to write about Eat Bulaga's 25th anniversary... Next time na lang... hehehe...


Trivia, trivia:

Did you know: Alvin Patrimonio played for the Mapua Institue of Technology (MIT) Cardinals during his college days.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

What's in a Name?

As part of my work, I usually get to call some agencies to ask for inputs on certain issues regarding my sector. Whenever I introduce myself, often times it is mistaken for some other name. I really don’t know if it is my speech defect, or the listener doesn’t really listen well… Maybe it is also because of my semi-unique name. Agencies, in their fax transmittals and replies, give me the names Marvin, Sherwin, Jerwin, Shervin, Jerbin, Merwin, Shelwin, and worst, Kerby.

For the record, I will tell the history of my name, as told by my mother in one of our bonding sessions. My name, Jervin, was my mother’s invention. It was taken from names Jerry and Marvin, both of which my mother likes to name her child. However, my mom’s apprehension to name me such (Jerry Marvin) is due the fact that my surname is Reyes. She fears that there may be a thousand other “Jerry Marvin Reyeses” across the republic, thus, she thought of other “unique” names. She unearthed a bright idea by combining the two names, creating a hybrid name of “Jervin.”

Then, another problem arose. Some churches at that time believe that a child should be named after a blessed person or saint so he/she can be guided by a “guardian saint” that shall pray for him/her. So, my mother decided to put a second name John, after Jesus’ beloved apostle. That was how my named was created. Not that exciting, though…

Eventually, as I grew up, my name has evolved into several other nicknames, monikers, nomenclatures, and the like. Let me name a few:

Jerv – this was the nickname given by my mother. My closer friends call me by this nickname…

Jervs – this nickname was born in college. My orgmates in JMA called me such… And now, my officemates call me by this nick name. I don’t like this nickname much because it somehow reminds us of the street name for what others call “Unidentified Floating Objects.”

Bino – given by my Tita Egie sometime in my early teens. She names all her nephews and nieces old-fashioned names. According to her, it is necessary to have old names so that when you grow older, the younger ones will not have difficulty of looking for a name that will suit your age.

Bin – This is what my Lolo calls me. Nothing much… He just wants a shorter name.

Jervino – my close buddy Kit baptized me with that name. So as not to be bored with the same ol’ normal names…

RR – my grade school and high school classmates tease me this name before because according to them, I look like that 90’s child star…

Tirso – it was a nick often called by one of my stupid junky neighbors. I don’t really know his real name. We usually call him Pogi. And he liked it a lot.

Jervinihildo – given by my officemate Pam. If you happen to know her, ask her why she calls me such. I have no idea, either…

Jerbentot – given by my officemate Bryan. Perhaps it’s because I make them laugh their hearts out so they are reminded of the box-office comedian Bentot… Bentot who?!

Jervinio (J pronounced as H) – given by my office buddy and shuttlemate Mark. He just likes to play with my name…

Herbo – given by my officemate Pablo… He says it’s a more macho way of pronouncing my name. I don’t know the other reason behind it… I must have forgotten it already. My office buddies Mark, Do and Pabs call me this nick…

Hobo – an evolution of Herbo… Also by Pabs.

Jurb – This is what I call myself. I also use this nick in my blog…

Baby – term of endearment by my one and only…

You might want to add some more to my list… Go ahead. Though I may have many other nicks, I’m still me. Jervin… Not Sherwin, Melvin, Marvin, Shervin, or Kerby…



Trivia trivia ulit:

Did you know: The Reggae-Pop sensation Shaggy was a Vietnam War veteran!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

High School Life, o my High School Life...

Just received my little brother’s report card… I would like to congratulate him for being one of the outstanding students of the class… Manang mana sa kuya… hehehe…

I will just like to retrieve my old message to my former classmates in our e-groups. Someone from the egroup asked for a complete roster of our past high school teachers and I was the first one to enumerate all of them. Many thanks to boredom, I have unearthed names of our former teachers in various classes. I would just like to reminisce and bring back the old times so here goes. This made me miss high school life again…

For those who cannot relate, I apologize. Classmates, welcome…

Here goes… Excerpts from my email:

"1st Year:

English -- Ms. Sarah Lumba, Mrs. Lorenzo (Track) JC, naalala mo pa si ma'am Lorenzo? ung sinilipan mo (allegedly) kaya ka naposte? hehehe...
Pinoy -- Mrs. de los Santos, (Mr. P*********), Mr. San Pedro(Nung nagkasakit si Ma'am)
AP - Mr. Gary Devilles (Binato si Bacani ng eraser... hehehe... Remember Bacani's report in his class? Ako si Gom, Bur, Za... Mag-isa lang siya noon eh... Remember?)
Science -- Moderator Mr. CMB (Not Color Me Badd, but Mr. Christopher M. Bautista) ang naging barkada ng 1-G.
Math -- Track eh... pero ang naalala ko lang na mga teacher eh si Dating Brother, Ngayon ay Father na, Bro. Earl Barredo, Mr. Sevilla, Mr. Silva, Mr. Abadejos, etc...
Religion -- Who would forget the cutest religion teacher in town? Ms. Eloisa Francisco... Tapos nawala siya, pinalitan ng clone... Ley Francisco... This just shows that cloning is not that successful at that time... hehehe...
Art -- Mr. Jasper de Leon... May email add nga pala siya... Wala akong masabi sa kanya eh kundi... Magaling siyang magdrawing!!! hehehe...

2nd Year:
English -- Dati, mga 1st quarter, isang Kanong palagi nagpapawis... Alam niyo ba yung pangalan niya? Tapos, biglang nahawi ang ulap, at mula sa langit, may dumating na isang mabangong- mabangong babae, nawalang bigla ang Kanong teacher, at pinalitan niya... Her name's Mitchie Pineda... And English was never the same again... hehehe...
Science -- Moderator Ms. Manuela Pagunsan... We've learned a lot from her... And we really became holy because of her... Dumami ang populasyon ng nagsisimba sa Chapel tuwing umaga dahil sa kanya... Puro 2F ang populasyon... Naging favorite tuloy tayo ni Fr. Caluag... hehehe...
Math -- Mr. Joel Sevilla... Naging complaint ng ilang mga parents noong introduction... Mahina daw ang boses... Pero amidst the controversy, we became good friends at madlas pa siaybng nakasama ng klase sa mga fairness, ok siyang magturo ng Math... Yung ibang titser naman, malakas nga ang boses, wala namang laman ang sinasabi eh... hehehe... defensive!!!
AP -- Mr. Morano -- Isa sa pinakamaaangas na teacher sa Ateneo HS... Next to Mr. Brazal and Saramosing....
Religion -- Mrs. Ester Frago... Taught us Jesus and the sacraments... Wala akong masabi tungkol sa kanya... Siya ay isang orthodox teacher... hehehe...
Pilipino -- Mr. Alejandro -- Ang naging teacher ng mga tatay natin, pero naging teacher pa rin natin!!! hehehe... Radio Play days...
Computer -- Fr. Perez -- Remember the Word Perfect? Remember his Honda light blue c-70 motorcycle? Pang-karera yun... tumatakbo ng above 10 kmh!!! hehehe...
Art -- Ms. Moca Cano... Mabait yan kaya lang galit siya talaga sa MAGIC CARDS>>> Hindi ko na nakuha ang third year ID ko dahi lsa kanya...

3rd year:
English -- Mr. Lee Tajonera, Ms. Lumba's lover... Maraming bad trip sa kanya dahil doon. hehehe... Sa amin naman, Si Mrs. Cerda... You know... Cristy Fermin?
Science -- Mrs. Martin -- I remember her from her Famous "Disappearing Act" at nagpakaplastik pa si Jude at binapang "Ma'am, ok lang kayo?" Buti na lang, pinigil natin ang tawa natin para nagmukha tayong mabait na mga bata... hehehe... Pero sabi nga ni Bro. Dunne, "I woulda laughed!!!" hehehe... Remember the infopage, beeper days? May time na sabay-sabay na pinatunog yung mga pager ng mga tao at binuwisit natin yang si Ms. Martin ah. hehehe... Isa pa, pinagnanasahan ni Jomax yan dati... hehehe...
Math -- May track ulit... Si Ma'am Sacluti, ang ina ni Bhonny para sa class, at a nhiwalay, kay Mr. Paul Maligalig...
AP -- Mrs. Mrs. Yasol-Naval... Nakakalimutan ko yung pangalan niya pero naaalala ko ulit... Wala akong masyadong maalala kundi ang kanyang mga CHORYA (Teorya, Theory)... hehehe...
Religion -- I'd ah... I'd ah... Siyempre, who would forget the great Bro James P. Dunne, S.J.? Sad to say he's gone already... Bro, wherever you are, we salute you...
Filipino -- Mr. Ronan Capinding... Ang pinakamakulit na moderator ng section F... At ang magaling diyan, naging Jollibee endorser pa siya!!! Sa kanya ko natutunan ang kasabihan, "Lahat puwede, hindi lahat dapat..."
Computer -- Mr. GQ... nope, not the title for the sexiest guy in the world, but the initials of our beloved computer teacher... Gerald Quisumbing... Tinuruan niya tayong sumuntok sa blackboard... Hindi pader... However, recalling his statements... "We have to punch the wall, punch the wall, punch the wall... He's saying this while punching the BLACKBOARD!!! hehehe...
Art -- Ms. Cano pa rin...
Music -- dito ata yung si Mr. Joel Valenciano, tapos pinalitan ng hindi ko na maalalang teacher eh...

4th year:
English -- Track pa din... Sino nga ba teacher sa track? Lorenzo rin ata... Sa aming mga natira sa klase, si Mrs. Fe de Jesus... May kamukha siyang artista... find out!!!
Science -- Si G. Pedrito Zabat... Did you know... Magaling pala siyang magbasketbol?! He's the moderator of Basketball club... ang position niya? CENTER!!!
Math -- Track pa rin ito... Siyempre, teacher natin dito ay ang moderator nating si Ma'am Arlene Belleza... BIG MAC, anyone? hehehe... Hindi sa akin galing ito... Sa isa nating kakklase... Kung nakausap niyo siya, ask him why she's called big mac... Kadiri... hehehe...
Tulong-Dunong -- Ms. Mercy de Guia... Ang teacher nating matiyagang pagturo kung paano magturo!!! hehehe... Parang paulit ulit, paulit ulit lang... Alam ko, hearthrob din tong si Ma'am eh... Alam niyo ba, hanggang ngayon, ganun pa rin ang itsura niya!!! Still staying fresh... Kaya JC, wag nang mag-atubili... hehehe...
Filipino -- Mr. Arvin Crisol... Nacornihan tayo sa kanya kasi nauna na nating naging teacher ang mas nakakatawa eh... Pero okey ang curriculum ng Pinoy 4 eh.. Short film... Dugo't pawis tayo noong mga shooting days, di ba?
Art-- Jasper pa rin ata to eh... Our first -ever class jug sa kanya...

At ayan na nga ang mga guro natin... Siyempre hindi rin natin makaklimutan ang mga nagsubstitute... Mr. Saramosing, Mr. Pagsanghan, Mr. Brazal (The terror guy... Tac, ID mo? hehehe...), Mr. Masiglat (maangas din to eh...), Mr. Oracion, and many other teachers... Kung nmay nakalimutan ako, just post it here..."

Sa mga hindi nabore at umabot sa parting ito ng aking entry, maraming salamat sa iyong oras…


Trivia Trivia…

Did you know: Joy Dionisio of the Crispa Redmanizers scored the first-ever basket in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Team ABL...

Ateneo Basketball League season 5 is fast approaching and every Atenean Basketball aficionado is very much excited for this event. On November 9, all teams must have placed their respective payments and uniform orders. On the 13th, there will be a general assembly at the Moro Sports Center.

This year, I’m afraid there will be no Team 4F98. Though many have expressed their interests to join, mere expressions may not be able to finance the team to its registration. Having only 5 players actively seeing each other and other players seemingly uninterested in paying, we won’t be able to accumulate 17,000 bucks until late Tuesday. Too bad.

Team 4F98 was supposed to be composed of myself, original team 4F98 players Mitch Martinez, Jayvee Reyes, Mikko Javier, Jude Santos, and new players (also our classmates) Bong Perez and his brother Emil (batch 2000), JC Aliling, Bhonny Cunamay, Paul Itchon, Mitch Arniego, and Dingdong Dantes. We should have met last Saturday, however, no definite plan was set, and thus, no meeting was held.

Making Team 4F98 was quite frustrating. In high school, our class was famous for having stand-out basketball players, though we haven’t really produced an Enrico Villanueva due to our height deficiencies. However, we can say that when it comes to class performance, our class is one of the best. More than half of the class plays basketball at that time. We even had a group called the “4:30 boys.” These boys go straight to the covered courts after the 2:30 p.m. dismissal and play basketball until 4:30. I was a sort of a member of this clique and I could recall that I have wrecked a few pairs of leather shoes because of this habit. And I remember that we even had the privilege to bully present hotshot players like Larry Fonacier, who was two batches lower.

Though I may not be an excellent baller, I am a real basketball enthusiast. My week is never complete if I hadn’t entered the hard court even just to practice shooting some hoops. I find basketball as a stress-reliever, a venue to get away from the pressures of work and daily life. It is like I’m in a time zone where the only thing that can stop me is fatigue and hunger. I can say that my "other great love" is, indeed, basketball...

And that is the reason why I was quite disappointed when Team 4F98 was not formed. We were among the best classes when it came to basketball and we were unable to form a team. I was envious to 4H98 for they were able to build a team, though not that formidable.

Good thing my batchmate E.G. of 4H98 was looking for players to augment their team. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a player for his team, Team Ledesma. Luckily also, I am obliged to pay only P1000 for the registration, on an installment basis. It was sort of a blessing in disguise for me; at least I will still be able to play in the league. However, I will no longer be playing with my former classmates, except for my fellow basketball aficionado-classmates, Mitch Martinez and Jayvee Reyes.

I hope next year we will be able to rebuild 4F98. Playing is a lot more fun if you are comfortable with the persons you play with. For now, I will have to try and introduce my style to my new team. I hope I could blend in…

Trivia Trivia time…

Did you know: The famous pop-rock band Rivermaya was created by a non-musician, Director Chito Roño, who also manages the dance group Streetboys.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Scratching the Itch...

Yesterday, I rode an FX in Taft Avenue, going to SM North EDSA. As we were approaching Frisco (this is not really the route of the FX going to SM North EDSA… The drive just went on a detour), one old lady sitting on the front passenger seat requested that he get down in West Avenue, a few kilometers away from our detour route. Because of this, the driver scratched his head in exasperation and just drove all the way back to our usual route just to please this lone passenger.

What is the point of my story? It just made me think about the driver’s reaction on that situation: what the heck is the reason behind people’s scratching of their heads whenever they get into stupid situations or irritable circumstances?

I have come up with some hypotheses based on my pondering on my way home. This has no scientific explanation and I just wanted to enhance my creative thinking…

These are the ten possible reasons why people scratch their heads during irritable situations:

10. The scalp releases stimuli to the hair fleas that make them jump, thus, makes it itchy for the host.
9. The person’s hand is too eager to punch the person he is irritated to, but then realizes it is pointless, thus he just uses hand to scratch head.
8. Some hormones in our scalp produces itchy fungus in the head in an instant whenever we get involved in stupid situations
7. It is an ancient Malayan way of signaling “I did something stupid.”
6. It is a way of checking if the brain is functioning normally (just like when we rub engines when they malfunction)
5. You want to scratch your brain but can’t, thus, you opted to scratch your head instead.
4. You can’t scratch the itchier parts of your body, thus, redirect scratching to head.
3. It is an ancient tradition that everytime a person gets involved in a stupid situation, he must imitate a monkey, thus, the scratching-head maneuver.
2. We simply inherited this mannerism from our Monkey ancestors, per Charles Darwin’s theory.
1. Simply just to make you look stupid after a stupid situation.

Dear reader, if you have any other more realistic or scientific reason, please do not hesitate to post a comment.

Obviously, I have nothing interesting to write about…

Trivia trivia time:

Did you know: Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan is still the winningest coach in PBA history, followed by Tim Cone and Norman Black.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Dearly Departed...

The holidays are here again. For us Filipinos, we feel the coming breeze of the holidays after the All Saints’ Day vacation. Too bad the government shortened our holiday, making November 2 a working day, thus, spoiling some of our colleagues’ much-awaited vacations to their home provinces.

The “Undas” vacation is really something we Filipinos look forward to. This is the time when we get to travel back in time, reminisce the memories of our dearly departed, and enjoy the company of our loving relatives in our hometowns.

I remember back in childhood, our mother-side family travels together to Dinalupihan, Bataan to visit our departed Lolo. My lolo passed away in 1975, thus my Lola, along with her children that includes my mom, visits his tomb every year from then on. Us third generation kids got to be tagged along with the tradition.

I would always look forward to this momentous occasion back then. This is because All Saints’ Day is the only time that I get to see all my cousins, aunts and uncles in full force, get to meet and greet all relatives and realize that we’re relatives, get to receive praises and commendations for my height, weight, or achievement in school, get to eat for more than 9 times since every house we visit has its own little fiesta, and of course, get to bond with the family.

We wake up at exactly 4 in the morning to prepare our baon for the trip. After preparation, we then proceed to my Lola’s house in Caloocan because that is the rendezvous point of our Convoy. At exactly 6 a.m., we head for Bataan. At around 8:30 a.m., we go to my lola’s sister’s house, Ate Pening (as my mother calls her), to eat suman, tamales, and other native Bataan kakanin for breakfast. Then, we head to my Lolo’s grave and stay there till dusk.

Though we may be constrained in an area full of dead people in niches, my cousins and I enjoy this one-day delight. This is primarily because this is the only time we get to legally play with fire. We are always assigned to monitor the candles on our relatives’ tombs. Thus, we design some sort of a contest wherein the kid who gets to make the biggest ball made of candle wax wins. That was really fun. Eventually, as we grow older, we got more artistic. We mold figures out of the candle wax. And our aunts and uncles think we’re real geniuses.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to do all these fun stuff with the family anymore. My favorite cousins, along with their parents, moved to the United States in 2000. My Lola, who is the most enthusiastic with our yearly reunion, suffered an aneurismic stroke and died on September 21, 2001. She was laid to rest beside my Lolo’s tomb in Dinalupihan. My other uncle, who is the family’s ultimate joker, also passed away on September 20, 2002. That old happy gathering has drastically changed in just 4 years time. But of course, we still get to visit the tombs of my Lolo, Lola and Uncle every year. But the feeling was never the same.

Times really do change fast in the blink of an eye. And there are things that we do not want to change, but due to the normal course of life, they slip away. And now, everytime the All Saints’ Day vacation comes, I badly miss them all… The activities, my cousins and our candle wax competition, my late Uncle’s funny antics, and most of all, my Lola.

This year, we have no plans of going to Bataan due to fiscal reason. Thus, I have decided to just sit around in our quaint little house and do the reminiscing there. We’ll still be lighting candles for our dearly departed, maybe in our backyard. I shall still be monitoring those candles. And thank God for my brother, I have a new opponent for the candle wax contest.

I just realized… Since there is nothing much to look forward to except for long hours of sleep, shortening of the “Undas” vacation isn’t that unfortunate after all… Well, for me at least.

Okey okey okey... Trivia trivia ulit...

Did you know: The first-ever Most Valuable Player of the Philippine Basketbal Association (PBA) was Crispa Redmanizer Bogs Adornado.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Playing God

I just watched (again!) the hilarious and controversial Tom Shadyac film "Bruce Almighty" which starred Jim Carrey. I have seen this movie more than 6 times now, and it still hasn't failed to brighten up my day. With Jim's hilarious antics and Morgan Freeman's witty lines, the movie is really a must-see for all those who want a taste of the lighter side of life.

For those who were not fortunate enough to watch the film, Bruce Almighty is all about a local news reporter named Bruce Nolan, who is trying so hard just to reach the peak of his career -- that is, being an anchorman for the local news. Thus, upon realizing that his efforts to reach the top were futile and that the person whom he least expects to be in the position turned out to be his nemesis in the business, Evan Baxter, Bruce developed a profound anger towards God. But with a certain kind of luck (or probably a test), he got to meet God face to face and was endowed with God's almighty powers. So Bruce Nolan turned Bruce Almighty, utilized his newly-vested powers by getting what he wanted: his ideal car, his ideal job, his ideal dog, his ideal life. But somewhere along the way, he realized that being God is not at all that simple: he needed to answer prayers, help the people, even manage the weather! Thus, in the end, after some bits and pieces of rants and raves from G himself, his girlfriend's abandonment due to his liplocking scene with co-anchor Susan Ortega, and a freak accident with a rushing truck while he was kneeling down on the highway, he realized that he doesn't want a lavish "Godly" lifestyle anymore. He realized that he just wanted a simple life to be with the people he loves the most. And more than that, he further appreciated the presence of a God.

If I was given the chance to play God, I would have done the same things like Bruce Nolan has done. I might have given myself the job I wanted, the car I loved the most, the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of. I might have gained all the material things in the world. Though, in the end I might not be that happy.

Well, the movie just emphasized that it is not that simple to be God. When God (Morgan Freeman) asked Bruce that after 2 days stint as God, was he able to help anyone, Bruce just shyly answered “I had to fix my life first.” Should I take over God’s place today, it will be extremely difficult for me to at least help 84 million people of my breed. What more the other nations? How can i possibly answer all of their needs with very minimal destruction?

Another thing, with the powers of God, you have the omnipotent capability to create new things. However, you can never ever mess up with one trait that makes human beings so unique from all the rest. Free will. As Bruce asked in his last few days being god, “how can somebody love You without messing up with free will?” And God just plainly answered “welcome to my world, son.” Even Bruce couldn't understand why can't God order his creations to love and respect Him. Though this power seems so great, it is somehow limited.

The movie is a very good wake up call for anyone who feels that their life is being played wrongly, for those who think their lives are a total drag, or those who blame God for ignoring their prayers. Sometimes, we see God as a mean kid sitting on an anthill, as a pilot who misses His coordinates, or as an almighty smiter (as Bruce would call Him). And most of the time, we want to be God. We want to obtain almighty powers in order to do what we want to do, and be what we want to be.

But when you think about it, or further, when you get to internalize this movie as I did after watching it 6 times, God just plays the game perfectly. He just creates things as planned, and never incidentally, with considerations to balance and equity in the universe.

I hate to be sounding like a preacher here, but I just want to reach out to all them God-haters. Think about it. Sometimes, we get angry when it rains because we will not be able to do what we want to do. But when you take a better look at it, our dear ol' farmers have prayed hard for rain in order for their crops to grow. And we will be able to get our daily food supply. That's how perfect God works. And for us, we get angry just because it rained.

I am also thankful that there are times that God doesn;t answer our prayers. If he did, someone might have been brought back to life by now, or YOU might already be dead. I am very much thankful that God doesn’t give His powers away to some Bruce Nolan.

To sum it all up, Bruce Almighty is a good movie... Booyah!!!


Trivia trivia… aha! Trivia trivia… Sang by the famous child-star-turned-reatard LA Lopez in the Sunday morning children’s program “Eh Kasi, Bata!”… I would just like to share some trivial facts at every end of my entry… enjoy!!! :D

Did you know: Rico Blanco was studying Management Economics in the Ateneo de Manila when he auditioned as keyboardist for the group Rivermaya.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Looking into the Future...

You are looking into the Future of Philippine Policy-making...

This photo was taken during our graduation in the Seminar on Technical Writing and Completed Staff Work held in September.

We are, we are, the youth of the nation... Underpaid, overworked, but still determined to help the country the best way we possibly can... Hail!!!


Special Thanks to Mr. Dante Villamayor for his expertise in the field of Photography...

Monday, October 18, 2004


It seems that everyone’s asking the reason behind my entrepreneurial activities which started around two weeks ago. Well, let this blog entry explain everything… Let me jot down point per point:

a. It seems that the measly salary of us government employees will not be augmented in the near future, in view of the President’s “surprising” declaration of a Fiscal crisis.

b. With the constant increase in oil and basic commodities, my purchasing power seems to be declining.

c. Some of you might not know this, but quite unfortunately, I am a breadwinner of the family and government salary is not enough to provide for my brother’s elementary education, electricity, phone and water bills, and many other expenses.

d. I believe in Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” He stressed that anyone can become financially independent. One great start, he says, is to venture into small businesses. He started out with a comic book library, I start out with doughnut and sauteed shrimp paste direct sales. Not very big difference, I believe.

e. I want to get extra income. However, I am quite skeptic about networking after all them scams and spurious transactions.

f. I want to buy a house beside the beach where I can spend quality time with my future family.

g. I want to purchase a yacht and sail across Manila Bay. This was a childhood dream of mine.

h. I want to enhance my sales and marketing skills so I can have a smooth career shift should I get pissed off the policy-making profession.

i. I want to test how many true friends I have by seeing who among them purchases my product.

j. I just want to augment my savings so that when the "actual crisis” comes, I’ll be prepared.

Am I vindicated? I sure hope so. Actually, I was thinking whether to venture into entrepreneurship or enter show business. Looks like my flabby abdomen and lanky structure has already given me the answers on what course to take…

Anyone interested in buying export-quality sautéed shrimp paste from me? You know what to do…

Thursday, October 14, 2004

An Officer and a Gentleman

It is disappointing to know that most, if not all, highly-respected officials of the Armed Forces are into corrupt practices. The case of Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia was considered the biggest eye-opener of the century in terms of exposing the corruption in the military. Maj. Gen. Garcia was alleged to have amassed around P50 million from government coffers in his stint as comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He is currently serving his 6-month preventive suspension for misdeclaring his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), and currently undergoing court martial proceedings upon orders of the President. However, the case of Gen. Garcia is a relatively miniscule matter as compared to many other “underground transactions” our beloved freedom fighters.

The issue of corruption in the military has been considered as an “open secret” among military officers, thus, some people felt that the case of Gen. Garcia is just a sacrificial one to cover up the much bigger picture. As our literary artists say, this is only the tip of the iceberg. In my moments of solitude in my quaint little room, I just pondered on what could have triggered these supposedly noble men in uniform into entering onerous transactions and corrupt practices. I believe that it all started from training.

As a kid, I was always told to be a soldier. My dad always tells me that being a soldier is a very rewarding profession. I never thoroughly pondered on the phrase “rewarding profession” until later in high school. I just thought that the military profession is rewarding because of its good image as protectors of the sovereignty of the nation. But then I was informed that the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), the premier training ground of Generals of the land, provides allowances to the families of its trainees. Then I thought, being a soldier is quite financially rewarding. Nevertheless, I refused to follow my father’s advice because in the first place, I was never really keen on waking up early just to shine my tarnished buckle and to marine press my uniform. I got a little problem with discipline. Never have I realized that these men in uniform had bigger disciplinary issues.

Almost every high-ranking official graduated from the PMA. The controversial Maj. Gen. Garcia was a 1971 PMAer. They had to pass through rigorous training for 4 years before they can graduate as junior officers. They shall then possess one of the greatest privileges a Filipino could ever have: to be a leader of the bastion of security and sovereignty. They had to make this sacrifice in order to become the most respectable officers of the land.

However, some of officers get too much of this in their heads. They probably think that appropriate compensation is necessary after years and years of training and sacrifice. They even have to be rewarded for being wounded in battle, and for killing and neutralizing insurgents. And for this, they would think that doing corrupt practices is one way of rewarding themselves of all the sacrifice.

One way to reform the Armed Forces is to instill in the minds of the future officers some essential values and proper conduct. This can be instilled in them through the 4-year training in the PMA. The PMA may add some courses in nationalism, respect for human rights, and effects of corruption. Soldiers must be informed of the negative ramifications of corruption not just to the military system, but to their families, and the Filipino lives as well.

We should start from the roots. Psychologists say that a child undergoes a certain formative phase, in which the child is most receptive and adaptive to what nature, or even parents instruct him. This formative phase in a military man’s life happens during the training period. During this period, it should teach him not just to be a noble and courageous officer, but more importantly to be a true nationalist and a gentleman. In this way, we can prevent more officers from undertaking graft and corruption. God bless our soldiers…

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Remembering Evelio Javier

After 18 long years of painful litigation and investigation, the murder of Antique Governor Evelio Javier is finally over. I was just saddened by the verdict that the alleged mastermind of Evelio Javier’s murder, Arturo Pacificador, has been acquitted of the charges against him. Well quite fortunately, Atty. Avelino Javellana, Pacificador’s private lawyer, and 6 others were convicted of the murder.

Being an Atenean, I was very well briefed, informed and oriented of the contributions Evelio Javier made not just to our alma mater, but to the whole nation. He is one person, aside from Benigno Aquino, who united the whole nation in toppling down the dictator and restoring freedom and democracy. It was also a fact that Evelio Javier spurred the Catholic Church into holding major protests that eventually lead to the EDSA revolution. This was how much Evelio Javier touched not just the lives of Antiqueños, but the Filipino people as a whole.

Evelio Javier is a real Atenean by heart. He is truly a man of courage, honor, excellence, and above all, a true man for others. A true freedom fighter, he is one of the major protesters against the dictatorship of then President Ferdinand Marcos. He was a close friend and ally of the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. Upon knowledge of Ninoy’s murder in 1983, he immediately returned home to continue the fight for freedom and democracy, and eventually ran for Governor in Antique. Based on fraudulent, biased counting of ballots, his opponent, Arturo Pacificador – a known true ally of Ferdinand Marco, reportedly won the elections. Evellio Javier tried to file election protests, but due to his political inclinations, he failed. This spurred various protests in Antique in support for whom they believe won the elections. On February 11, 1986, in one of his campaign sorties, Evelio Javier was brutally murdered. Evelio Javier’s demise was not put into waste. On February 26, 1986, democracy was restored in the whole nation, toppling down the Marcos dictatorship.

Eighteen years after, the case was finally brought to a close, however, acquitting the person everyone believed to be behind the killing. However, the case was partially won by the prosecution by convicting Pacificador’s number one cohort, Atty. Avelino Javellana, and several others. They are to serve 7 to 14 years in prison.

Further, authorities have yet to pursue the case against Rodolfo Pacificador, Arturo’s son, and Eduardo Boy Iran. Both are also allegedly linked to the killings. Rodolfo is currently in exile in Canada and Filipino authorities are working for his extradition, while Boy Iran is still at large.

This entry is dedicated to one true Filipino I really admired. Our nation was honored to have created someone as noble, passionate and courageous as Evelio Javier. Though his case might have already been solved through the conviction of several people, let his spirit remain within each one of us. Let his name be remembered in history, and his memory be alive every time someone will try to take our freedom away from us. Let each one of us become somewhat and Evelio Javier.

Though Arturo is cleared of the killings, I think justice has been partly served with the conviction of 7 men linked to the killings. Though the convicted mastermind is not that convincing, I think this case still proves that even in the littlest way, justice can be served. I just hope and pray that Arturo is, indeed, clear of the murders. If not, then maybe justice will be served to him in some other time.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Un-FIX me

Last Saturday was my first trip to the Vanity Fair. Unfortunately, judging from the flak I gathered hours and days after, it seemed that I was not successful. Apparently, my 200-buck hair-do is a total mess.

Yep, I finally made a trip to the hair fairy (if ever there is such a thing…). It was all I could manage to do in a wonderful Saturday morning. I wanted to try out a new hair style, so I decided to go to a salon instead of going to my trusted barber in Quezon Avenue. I tried out the services of FIX Salon in SM North Edsa, and gave the hairstylist the absolute powers to make the “very important” decisions to “FIX” my relatively “common-looking” hair. After some thirty minutes of washing, cutting, rinsing and “gelling,” I finally saw the new me. And I was amused, confused, and disoriented when I saw the new hair style. It felt like the person I was looking at in the mirror was someone else.

Imagine what a person can do in the name of vanity. All I wanted is a different look, or an advice from a fashionista hair stylist about what to do to my hair for me to look my best. Well, I may have not looked my best, but it surely drew everyone’s attention.

When I was going home, I felt really really strange. It felt like everyone was looking at me. It felt like everyone was staring at my hair and laughing their hearts out deep inside. And of course, everyone around me reacted. Neighbors, friends, relatives, even mere acquaintances! When I got home, my mother refused to give a comment, but instead she gave a discriminating stare, and asked a simple question: “Where is my son?” When I got home from a basketball game, it was the first time my father saw me after I had my unusual trim. And he reacted: “You kind of look like that famous La Salle player.” When I visited my girlfriend’s house, everyone was shocked to see my new look. The most explosive comment of them all was Bubbles’ candid little sister, Niña: “Nagpagupit ka? Jerv, hindi bagay sa ‘yo.”

The utter humiliation did not end that day. Just this morning, three shuttlemates were shocked to see me looking like a Japanese cartoon. When I got into the office, my officemate Tanya couldn’t hide her emotion and just shouted: “Jerv! Mukha kang anime!” And many other comments I’d rather keep to myself.

This is probably the biggest diversion I made to my hair and in all honesty, I was quite proud of myself afterwards. I have long been attempting to do this stunt, but it seemed that circumstances always fail me. Now that I have done it, I feel fulfilled and satisfied. At least I tried to go out of the ordinary.

I always wanted to try out new things. New hair, new clothes, new activities, new hobbies. This is probably just one of these attempts to try the extraordinary. No biggie, but I think now that I have done this, I can do some other more extraordinary stuff. Maybe next time, I’ll try to dress up differently, or have a bungee jumping trip with friends, or the like.

I think doing extraordinary things is a battle between the self, and environment. Things you want to do might draw the worst flak in your life, but as long as you feel good about it, I think there is really nothing wrong (Wait. This is only applicable to the legal things.) Hail to them risk takers!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Talk Nino?

This is only my second consecutive month to be writing/typing my entries to this blog after joining in May. As for me, I think I’m getting the hang of this site… Sometimes, it is fun to be expressing myself using short essays and stories.

Yesterday was my first ever stint in Philippine television. I was chosen (I don't know if chosen is the right word... Coerced, maybe?) to be one of four segment reporters for the government talk show "Talk Ko 'To," with hosts, Sec. Saludo and Sec. Dinky. “Talk Ko ‘To” aims to inform the public of government projects and programs that are beneficial to them. To put it shortly, it aims to tell the people, “Hey, who says the government is not doing anything?” My segment was about pending road and bridge projects in Metro Manila, and the government’s actions towards them.

At first I thought it was an easy task. I'll just do what I like doing: talk and talk and talk in front of camera, just like when I’m hosting PMS parties, or any other gatherings. But no, this is something different. This is national television. This is the big league. If I look stupid in this segment, I may never be able to redeem myself again. It's not that I'm making this a big thing; it's just that I never expected to be in this situation.

I was wearing my favorite blue long sleeves polo, given to me by my one and only, black pants, and of course, black shoes. In short, I wore the usual office attire. I never knew that we would require going through bagoong storage factories, riding in boats under the Vitas Bridge, and doing some other stunts. Nevertheless, the segment reporting went well.

I was struck by the lone person I interviewed that day. The person was a resident near the Vitas Bridge. The question was: “Ano po ang nakikita niyong epekto kung sakaling matapos ang proyektong ito?,” referring to the Vitas Bridge project. In the beginning of the interview, we just heard what we expected to hear. To quote: “Aba, malaking malaki po ang maitutulong ng proyektong ito na tulay hindi lamang po sa mga motorista, pati na rin po sa aming mga taga-rito. Marami pong maitutulong ito sa amin.”

It seemed that our director was not satisfied in the interview, she whispered to the interviewee: “Tulad ng?” And the old lady replied: “tulad po ng… Makakapagtayo nap o kami ng bahay sa ilalim ng tulay. Kasi po, sa kasalukuyan, dito (pointing to their house under the bridge) po kami nakatira sa lumang tulay. Kapag nabuo po yang tulay, mas marami po ang makakatira sa ilalim. Sana po pahintulutan kami ng mahal na Pangulo at ng gobyerno para makapagtayo ng bahay sa ilalim para po mas gaganda an gaming buhay.” Wow!!! I never knew that the bridge project not only entails transportation and infrastructure benefits, but social benefits as well. We shall not only provide easier flow of traffic, but also housing for the “informal settlers” of Metro Manila.

Segment hosting for “Talk Ko ‘To” is a relatively easy job. The more difficult part is amiably convincing the viewers of beneficial programs of the government. Given the cynical views of the Filipinos, small TV programs such as Talk Ko To, or any other attempts to please the people, seem to be futile. I just felt that the task of showing the public that the government is doing something is far more difficult that showing your best in front of camera.

At present, around 15% of the Philippine population is hungry, at least 30% is disgruntled by the present system of government, and almost 80% is poor based on international standards (am I right in giving these figures?). How will people included in these statistics view my segment? How can they be convinced that government is doing something if they have this kind of stature?

I just realized that it is also difficult for my part because I, myself, am part of the statistics. If the segment reporter himself does not fully believe the segment or the show, what more the televiewers of this weekly primetime show?

Well, I guess I just have to believe for now. Just for art’s sake…

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Act of Attrition

Yesterday was the last day of our dear colleague Bryan San Juan in the Presidential Management Staff. He has formally been seconded to the Philippine Information Agency, under the auspices of Dir. Dennis Ting.

This brings me to thinking what will happen to our dear office now that we are not allowed to hire additional staff due to Office Order No. 115 and Administrative Order 103, in lieu of the freaking austerity measures of the government. OO 115 and AO 103 both state that section 3 of the Attrition Law shall be implemented. Section 3 provides that no one shall fill-up vacated positions by reason of retirement, resignation, termination, etc. This problem has recently been solved by our Director. He brought some justifications in order for us to hire more staff. And it was somehow approved in principle by the Acting Head. Okey, that just solved the problem.

Furthermore, it also brought to my attention the future of our beloved government. At present, the above-mentioned provision and many other provisions are part of a compendium of austerity measures to help balance the burgeoning budget deficit. Personally, I think this strategy will lead to nowhere.

The release of OO 115 in a way infuriated me. I thought the fiscal reform package and the austerity measures are to be done in a "Robin Hood" fashion. “Take from the rich, and give to the poor.” However, it seems that these austerity measures affect the ordinary individuals more.

Okey, I will not go to the macro perspective. I will just look at the bureaucracy as an example. As part of OO 115, we shall no longer be given overtime pay, but instead we shall be given the benefit to offset our rendered overtime. NO MORE OVERTIME PAY?! The PMS sometimes, if not always, requires its staff to work extra hours in the evening, or worse, during weekends, holidays, or even during CALAMITIES!!! Taking away the small benefit of an overtime pay (I will not go into the details of how it is computed...) would somehow dishearten us and hamper the motivation to go the "extra mile" to work for the Presidency... Let's admit it. Kahit pakunswelo-de-bobo lang ang overtime pay natin, malaking tulong pa rin yan lalo na sa maliliit na empleyado.

Another thing... OO 115 took away our per diem in team building activities. For Christ's sake, team building only happens once a year!!! And this is the only time where people get to unwind after a year of death-defying phone conversations, ocular inspections, project evaluations, and many other tasks that the PMS undertakes in order to support the Presidency. Another "consuelo de bobo" stripped from our pockets... Or even the small privilege to go to the beach or to some place cozy to release yearly tension was taken away.

Not just financial rewards. Even an environment conducive to work and concentration is slowly being deprived from our already poorly-furnished workstations. The Office Order suggests that air conditioning units be switched off from 11:30 and switched on again at 1:30. I think it is better if the administration just tells us directly to suffocate ourselves, and then we shall put plastics in our heads. That will make the job easier and faster. According to electronics experts, switching off the air conditioning doesn't help in the conservation of energy because much energy is consumed during the starting phase of the process. So much for energy conservation.

I have nothing against austerity measures or reform packages, or anything that has to do with helping the government rise from the pit it is currently in. What I despise is the apparent one-sided effort of the government in implementing these measures. While us bureaucrats, permanents, careers, TRUE public servants sacrifice in this austerity plan, these appointed, temporary, big time government officials do not share or contribute in this effort.

I just don't like the thought that while I was stripped of two of my sources of funding for my Friday night dinners with my lady, our BELOVED politicians are profligately spending tax payer's money like it was their own. Not to mention purchases of high-octane gas for "The Jetsetter's" provioncial visits, extravagant representation allowances of Escort-service-happy Presidents, CEOs and Chairmen of GOCCs, very high salaries of low-output GOCCs, Cellular phone bills as if they had phone pals from Fiji, and many many other unliquidated expenditures. The sadder part is that though half of the literate population of the Philippines knows about these "phenomena," it seems that no one has ever been sacked for it. I just don't like the thought that other people, especially the "blessed ones," do not feel the crisis.

Facing the crisis squarely should be a concerted and unified effort for the ENTIRE government institution, including officials and executives. Sacrifice must not only come from the rank-and-file public servants, it should more importantly come from the higher ups. Again, it all boils down to “leadership by example.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Daloy ng Kamalayan...

As I attended one of the Cabinet group meetings yesterday, I just realized how our eloquent politicians argue to come up with a more valid policy recommendation.

Aww man!!! How I wish I would get the microphone that day and tell them Cabinet Secretaries that they are going nowhere...

Below is just one example of how they spent our precious times to come up with a valid (?!) resolution:

"Mr. Chairman, I think we should first define what is the meaning of Corruption in government. Because most of the time, government officials do not know how to delineate the legal and the corrupt practices, especially when it comes to delicate positions. In our department, one of my assistant secretaries approached me and asked if receiving gifts is a form of a corrupt practice. The gift that was given to him was a refrigerator made by White Westinghouse. My brother-in-law has the same brand as he received, and that brand is very, very durable and user-friendly. My brother-in-law bought that refrigerator in Rustan's Glorietta, just beside the new Spam retaurant. My grandson loves Span so much, and we spend most of our Sundays just eating our favorite Spam sandwiches. My grandson is a grade-one pupil in the Ateneo and he's a fast learner. He already knows the capitals of countries like Maldives, Oman, and Venezuela! Because of this, he is an outstanding student. One of my dear colleagues from the Department has his son enrolled in the Ateneo, and I think my grandson is his son's classmate. One Christmas program in the school, we met, along with business tycoons and other public officials. I never knew that their sons are enrolled in the same institution as my grandson. I even saw some Directors and other rank-and-file employees of our department in that gathering. I just thought how they would manage to bring their children to an expensive school like this, if they receive very minimal salaray from government? This brings me to the question of corruption, ladies and gentlemen..."

And the rest was history...

May I remind the readers that this speech did not happen. This was just some sort of an imitation (and possibly, an exaggeration) of how multi-faceted, wholistic and all-encompassing our dear politicians are in making and analyzing policies. To God be the glory. Nevertheless, this conversations, be it on or off the record, are quite alarming and disturbing.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Win or lose, it's the school we choose...

Last Sunday’s game was probably the most grueling, depressing, and exasperating game for the Ateneo community in the 67th season of the UAAP. We were beaten (when I say beaten, I mean emotionally and physically beaten…) by our arch rivals, the De La Salle Green Archers, and took away our chance for a rematch against the defending champions, the FEU Tamaraws. It was a very sorry loss for our part.

The game started out well for the Blue Eagles. Everyone played well, scored well, defended well. However, come third quarter, it unleashed what our fellow Atenean and commentator TJ Manotoc feared the most. The Ateneo Blue Eagles’ third quarter scoring drought. La Salle outscored the Eagles, 19-7 in the third quarter. This, thus, mounted the lead of the Archers to an astounding 14 points.

After seven straight games of utter jubilation due to a 7-0 slate in the first round, here came the end of Ateneo’s career in the 67th season. As my Lasallian (and Lasallian wannabe) household neighbors would put it, better luck next time.

So what went wrong? In college basketball (or probably in other leagues, as well), there are three factors to winning a game: focus, teamwork, and heart. In a game where the two teams are considered equally talented, it is in these three factors that will determine who is the better team.

Definitely the biggest factor that would make a team win a championship is their mental focus. Playing in a highly emotional game is a test of patience and concentration. Talent and physical strength are no longer applicable. What matters more is the intensity and the maturity in the playing field.

What happened to the Ateneo team last Sunday was a defeat against themselves. They succumbed to the La Salle psychological warfare, thus, breaking their concentration and focus. This resulted to defensive lapses, scoring drought and loss of temper. As my kanto buddies would say, “napikon at nawala sa ulirat.”

During one of the plays in the second quarter, Blue Eagle Badjie del Rosario was called for a warning due to second motion against Archer Jerwin Gaco. The sad part is that Badjie thought Jerwin was the one snatching the ball from him, only to find out that it was his teammate, LA Tenorio.

Second, if you want to win a basketball game, you need to play as a team. A team inside a court is composed of five (5) players, each with his respective role according to his position. The Ateneo team managed to bring about excellent teamwork during the first round of the eliminations. Even with the absence of their star player, King Eagle Larry Fonacier due to an ACL injury, they managed not just to survive the first round, but to win all of its games. This is mainly because each player has done his part in the playing field. JC Intal stepped up, LA Tenorio played like a surrogate captain, Paolo Bugia increased his intensity, and Magnum Membrere added more heart.

However, last Sunday’s game was one of the most individualistic games I have ever seen. They rarely move without the ball, often turn the ball over, and seldom make extra passes to open men. Just in the first half of the game, the Blue Eagles committed 17 big turnovers. Imagine if these were all successful plays, they could have led over La Salle by a big margin in the first half.

Lastly, in order to survive a very close, neck-and-neck battle against your arch-rival, you need to get ahead by psyching up and having the “winning attitude.” We should always “play like there’s no tomorrow,” possess the heart of a champion.

In the National Basketball Association (NBA) last season, the underdog Detroit Pistons showed how much important is focus, teamwork and perseverance is in a basketball game. Nobody expected this team to enter the finals in the first place, however, they managed to surpass all obstacles that got in the way, and was given the opportunity to take on the most formidable team, the Los Angeles Lakers. And surprisingly, they won the 2004 NBA Championship. They weren’t the strongest team as others perceived to be, but they overcome their fears, stayed focused, and played like a team.

The Blue Eagles may have suffered an upsetting Final Four elimination, but surely the experience taught them a number of valuable lessons that shall strengthen them in the years to come. Since the 67th season is now over for the Ateneo Community, let us now focus on the next task at hand, season 68. Until then, we shall still proudly shout and cheer... Fabilioh!!!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Fiscal Crisis

"We are already in the midst of a fiscal crisis and we have to face it squarely -- ." --President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in her speech at the turnover ceremonies for the incoming PNP Chief Edgar Aglipay

At present, may I also take this opportunity to declare: "I am in the midst of a foscal crisis... And I will face it squarely..."


I will lay down the framework for fiscal reforms and implement drastic savings mechanisms...

I shall implement a painful, but helpful 10-point fiscal reform package:

a. Cut down on junk food like potato chips, ice cream, chocolates, etc. Good for pocket, and good for health...

b. Cut down on unnecessary gimmicks, like saturday night "Tambay" in malls, bars, etc. Though we aren't spending much coz we just hang out, gasoline expenses hurt even more.

c. Cut down on street food expenses like isaw, fishball, and the like.

d. no purchasing of either pirated or original vcds and dvds. If possible, just rent to nearest neighbors for free...

e. no purchasing of reading materials such as Newsweek or the newspaper. Since I have a daily internet access, I would rather read through it.

f. avoid extravagant modes of transportation like the taxi cab, FX and MRT. If possible, rideo nly tricycles and jeepneys. QUite bad for the lungs, but good for the pocket.

g. limit text messages to only the persons that matter. if possible, message only if it is for your girlfriend or parents...

h. avoid unnecessary cinema-watching... Watch only the movies that are either top-rated, or box-office blockbusters. Never attempt to experiment.

i. no more extravagant lunch or dinner... Eat only in affordable food stations like the canteen...

j. Avoid going to excursions or outings... This is what I hate the most...

With this fiscal reform package, I foresee that my personal economy shall have a budget surplus by the end of 2005. WHOA!!!!

Like the young kid in that old DBP commercial used to say... "AYOKO NANG MAGING DUKHA!!!" hehehe...

It's been a long time...

It's been a long time since I've written on my blogspot. The main reason is because I have nothing to write about. Second is because I don't seem to have the urge to write. Third is because I always get lost with what I'm thinking. But I promise as soon as I get my groove, tuluy-tuloy na to... ;)

Friday, May 14, 2004