Archive for February, 2007


I started on my new job today.  Had to wake up at 6am and it was painful. Also, for the first time since I started working, I was in an office that was all PC/Windows.  I spent the first hour reacquainting myself with Windows, and it wasn’t pretty.  I’ve used PCs in my previous jobs, but it was only to edit something on Word or to check an artwork (yeah, an unfortunate artist got stuck with the only PC left in the Creative department at my previous office).  My main computer has always been a Mac.  So is my computer at home.  The last Windows I was familiar with was Windows 98 – and I was in no way an expert; I just got by.  I know they’ve made major strides with XP, but still, if you compare it with OS X, it’s actually Vista that’s actually close enough to it.  And I don’t want to talk about Vista.  Would want to try Linux though.  I haven’t actually seen it in action.

What I really missed was Exposé.  I had several programs and windows open and Exposé would’ve made switching through them so effortless.  XP has alt+tab to switch between programs but it’s not as easy as F9.  It also has no F10 to switch between windows of the same program and F11 to instantly hide all windows and get to the desktop.  I also missed the dock.  At least the web browser was Firefox.  But still, while surfing the web, annoying dialog boxes would pop up every time I visit secure sites.  Then there were the dialog boxes that say that the certificates for this and that have expired, etc. and it’s several times of clicking continue and yes before you can start browsing the page.  Grr…  I really appreciate how simpler everything is with OS X.  Even the keyboard shortcuts, especially the ones for special characters.  Who would remember alt+1803 for a bullet point (option+8 in OS X) and and alt+164 for ñ (option+n+n in OSX)?  I had to text my former officemate (the one who used the lone PC) for that.  I didn’t ask my new officemates.  I didn’t want to let on that I was groping around Windows, heehee!

I really did miss my Mac.  Only 1 day away from it and here I am again.  Just ate dinner and plunked myself in front of it.  I have to wean myself though.  I can’t do this every night, if only to save my eyes – and my home life, and my social life. 😀

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My Oasis in the City

Here’s where I walk my dog on weekends. The river park is just below our street.

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On Monday mornings, it’s my dad’s turn to walk the dog. I’ve been joining him lately. We like to buy vegetables here. It’s fresher and cheaper than the ones in the market. Some enterprising people planted vegetable patches (see above photo) and sell their crops to joggers, bikers, anyone walking along the river park.

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I feel like I’m in some place other than Metro Manila whenever I go here. And then I see the smog in the horizon (that’s Quezon City). Oh well, I am in Metro Manila after all.

However, I’m glad that even though Marikina has become a city, it has pretty much retained its small town quality. We live in one of the oldest parts of the town, er, city. I’ve never lived anywhere else. It’s where my mom grew up, and my grandfather, and I guess the first generation of our clan. I like it here because of the familiarity (most of our neighbors are relatives of various degrees), safety, accessibility and convenience. We’re near the church, market, city hall, transport hubs, mall, and the main highway.

Maybe this is another reason why I still can’t leave Metro Manila no matter how sick I am of it. I still always go home to a beautiful, peaceful place.

Last Ash Wednesday, I came out of the Mass quite seething. I was just subject to rude line behavior – twice! Since it was Ash Wednesday, churchgoers had to fall in line on the aisles twice during the Mass – first for the ashes, then for Communion. I sedately rose from the pew and went to fall in line. Or rather, I was PUSHED into the line. Then, some people formed a third line, and when the usher told them nicely to merge into the existing line, they shouldered and shoved their way into it. There were a lot of frowns and raised eyebrows (mine included) on those who fell in line properly. I think some would have raised hell if we hadn’t been in church. What bothered me most was that majority of these rude people were old ladies. It was as though their being older gave them the right to push us around. Filipinos are very respectful of the elderly so they didn’t need to do that. They would have been given their place in the line easily. If that wasn’t enough, the entire thing was repeated during the Communion – with the same cast of characters! These people were oblivious to the glares and exasperated sighs they received earlier. THEN, when I went back to my pew, two people were already sitting in my place – despite the fact that I left my fan there to mark my place. Normally, it’s not a big deal for me. I would just pick up my fan and stand elsewhere. But I’ve had enough that day. It’s not like these people were elderly or sick and really needed a seat. They’re younger than me, darn it! So I raised an eyebrow, stared pointedly, and said “Excuse Me” in a get-your-butts-out-there tone. They had the grace to look sheepish enough, but no apologies.

There’s another reason (aside from laziness) why I don’t like walking on busy streets here in Metro Manila. I’m a no-nonsense city street walker. Unless I’m lost, I don’t meander around, staring at everything around me. Or when I do, I at least make sure to stay on the side, out of the way. I also don’t make sudden stops as much as I can avoid it. Unfortunately, a lot of people on the streets are just the opposite. A lot of times, we can’t even walk 10 meters in a straight line. We have to weave around people who block the path for various unnecessary reasons. One of the most irritating is a group of people who just HAVE TO walk side by side the entire time, occupying the entire sidewalk, taking their sweet time, talking loudly and incessantly, and just totally oblivious to everyone. I could enumerate many other annoyances, but I’m sure many of those who have walked on Metro Manila’s streets know what I mean.

I sometimes wonder what’s behind all these inconsiderate behavior on the streets and on other public places. When Filipinos go abroad, we are law-abiding, considerate persons. Is it because we are not in our territory and therefore have to fit in? Well then, if we can do that in other countries, why can’t we do that in our own? We admire the orderliness in other countries. Why can’t we be orderly in our own? I remember in high school, one of the coolest “What I did last summer” stories was from a classmate who was stopped by police in Singapore or Hong Kong (I forget now) for jaywalking. She didn’t do it intentionally. She was just so used to the anything goes street system here. Rule-breaking is cool when you’re a teenager, but as an adult… When I got back from a trip to Paris, a lot of friends asked me what impressed me most, aside from the obvious beauty of the place. I said that I liked their unwritten rules for street behavior. For example, I’ve noticed that those who walk slow keep to the left. The right side is always clear for those who walk fast or are in a hurry. This is especially true in the human conveyor belt (the correct term escapes me at the moment, but it works like an elevator except it has no steps and goes forward instead of up; can someone please tell me what it’s called?). Also, pedestrians rule in that city. Apparently, in the smaller streets, cars stop to let pedestrians cross even if the light is still green. I learned that the embarrassing way. I was waiting to cross the street and I was looking at the traffic light to wait for it to turn red. Someone honked and when I turned my head, there was already a line of vehicles, and four hunky French men (ooh, gorgeous, but so not the point here, heehee) in a tiny Citroen car were frantically gesturing for me to cross the street. At least I can say that for once in my life I literally stopped traffic! I was embarrassed but at the same time I also wished that it was the same case here in the Philippines. Pedestrian lanes here are usually just decorations.

I don’t know if what we need is a cultural overhaul or an infrastructure-and-implementation overhaul. Maybe it’s the latter. I’ve seen how Ayala Ave. in Makati became more orderly once the pedestrian amenities were completed and the new loading/unloading system was strictly implemented. It can be done after all. It’s not that Filipinos don’t have discipline and consideration. Look at us when we’re in other places. It’s just that we don’t have enough reason to be. There are so many reasons why we are what we are and we do what we do. It’s still so hard to correctly pinpoint a true Filipino identity. The modern Filipino is the result of a melting pot of influence from different colonizers.

But still, at the end of the day, I am glad to be a Filipino living in the Philippines. At a recent job interview, I was asked if I have plans to go abroad (meaning to migrate) and I truthfully answered, “None”. I do want to try living in a different country, but only for a year or two and just for the experience. No matter how many things that my fellow Filipinos do to irritate me, they’re still my favorite people in the world. No matter how much I complain and how exasperated I am with the state of the country, I’m still here to stay. At the most, I’ll pack my bags and head to the province with my dad and our dog. It’s Metro Manila that I’m really sick of, but I still earn my living here so I’m staying put. For now.

Raining Men

I’m indulging my girly, boy-crazy side. Haven’t been in touch with that one in a while. At least not publicly, heehee! 😀 I saw this link ( Bulletproof Vest’s 10 Guys That Make Me Gay) in a post at JessicaRulestheUniverse and I thought, “Sabi ko na nga ba bading ako!Laughing 19 I agree with the author on 6 of the 10: Christian Bale, Jim Caviezel, Anderson Cooper, Sanjay Gupta, Barack Obama, and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala. Those are just darn gorgeous and sexy guys. My definition of sexy has already changed now that I’m 30. It’s no longer just about the body. It’s also about aura, accomplishment and how they carry success. Aside from the ones mentioned above, here are just some of my biggest crushes:

James Rubin

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Roger Federer

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Francis Escudero

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Ralph Fiennes

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Carlos Moya

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Colin Firth

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Jaime Daez

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(photo credits, top to bottom: http://www.londonspeakerbureau.co.uk, http://www.cbc.ca/cp/sports, bworldonline.com, news.bbc.co.uk, http://www.advantage-tennis.com, upload.wikimedia.org, azraelsmerryland.blogspot.com)

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So many choices.  Oh, what’s a girl to do?  Wake up now, that is!

I did it!

Beat the deadline, that is. Finished last night what was due today. My mind was a complete blank since I got the project until yesterday afternoon. But once I got started, it just wouldn’t stop. My brain REALLY bounced back. I even had an analogy for the entire thing. Too inappropriate to share here, but one of my friends knows. 😉 😉 😉

Duh…

It’s only today that I’m starting to maximize that wonderful internet invention called ‘feeds’. I read quite a number of blogs regularly (can’t help it, other people’s lives fascinate me) so feeds are a big help. It’s only today that I fully discovered its possibilities.

On another note, I have a deadline on Friday and I’m nowhere near completing the job. I’m supposed to write the content for an online tutorial website, but my mind’s a complete blank. Well, not blank enough to ramble in this post, but blank for serious work. I’m procrastinating.

Today is also Ash Wednesday, which means a day of abstinence for us Catholics – which I forgot. Ate beef steak for lunch. I didn’t eat breakfast anyway. Does that count even if the reason was that I just didn’t feel like eating?

Geez, a duh day indeed. Hope to spring back tomorrow.

(part 2, part 1)

61. Maldives
62. Palau
63. Strait of Gibraltar
64. 38th Parallel
65. A Swiss village in the Alps (a la Heidi)
66. Vienna Opera House
67. Sand dunes in Ilocos
68. Monte Carlo (climax of the visit would be the F1 Grand Prix)
69. Mt. Everest
70. Ipanema beach
71. The dancing building in Prague
72. Stratford-upon-Avon
73. Loch Ness
74. Florida keys
75. Inuit territory in Alaska
76. Sydney Harbor bridge
77. Sydney Opera House
78. Antarctica
79. NASA
80. Kennedy Space Center during shuttle lift-off
81. Donsol, Sorsogon
82. Langkawi island, Malaysia
83. Caleruega, Batangas (would love to get married here or just ponder on anything)
85. French Quarter, New Orleans

…to be continued

Pitter-patter

I saw my college crush today – in the Food Wrappers/Disposable Containers aisle of the grocery! I had a crush on this guy almost throughout college. He was a dentistry student. He was reed thin back then but I’m glad to see that he filled out nicely. I saw him again at the food court and went blank while my friend was talking to me, heehee! 😀 Ok, so he’s still cute. I probably still have a crush on him. Shy

Out of the mouths of babes

While walking my dog this morning, a little boy around 3-4 years old asked me, “Ate, tomboy ba aso mo?” I just found that hilarious. What on earth made that little boy think that my dog is a tomboy? For the record, my dog is a boy – with gay tendencies. That’s another story for another time.

Questions like these just make me love kids all the more. I just love it when they ask questions that stump or fluster adults. When I was in my early teens, a niece asked me how babies are made. A common question from kids, but still, it was an “uhm…” moment. I finally told her to go ask her mom since I haven’t had a baby yet so I have no idea.

I often meet kids when I’m walking my dog. I can’t wait for more questions and comments that only they can think of asking and saying. I hope I’ll get enough to make a blog version of Kids Say The Darndest Things.

They were disbanded while nobody was looking. There weren’t even any rumors about it, or at least not in the general public. I was surprised one morning when I went to the Philippine Macintosh Users Group site and saw this piece of news. See the thread here for the details.

I’m not a great big fan of classical music, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize and appreciate its place in our culture. I guess it will be asking too much to hope for another corporate sponsor to step in and fill the shoes that San Miguel discarded. Another cultural heritage bites the corporate dust…