Archive for February, 2008


Another Friday

It’s a Friday morning, and once more, there’s extra activity at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas.  Plants are wrapped in green protective netting, buildings are boarding up, and Paseo de Roxas is lined with TV vans, satellites, and power generators.   You guessed it, there’s a rally again this afternoon.  At first glance, it seemed ordinary to me.  I’m already used to the scene that greeted me.  However, for some reason, I suddenly got goose bumps.  Could it be a portent of things to come?  Will today’s rally be different from all the previous ones?  Let’s wait and see.

On the way to work, we were stuck in very heavy traffic in Rosario, Pasig.  We thought it was the usual Friday morning rush hour traffic.  However, we saw the real reason at the foot of the Rosario bridge.  There was a mini-checkpoint – a policeman standing beside a freshly painted sign that said “No Plates, No Travel”.  Duh.  The driver and the two other regular passengers that he was conversing with about the current political issues all shook their heads.  How fitting – they were just talking about how the police and the military block passengers from the provinces on their way to Manila on the suspicion that they are on their way to participate in the rallies.  And then we saw that flimsy excuse for a checkpoint.  One passenger said that it might be a ruse to block people from Tanay, Antipolo and other places in Rizal who might be going to Makati for the rally.  This tactic is so old its wrinkles have wrinkles.  Wala nang igagasgas pa.

The excuses and strategies of the Arroyo administration are so flimsy that even a child most likely won’t believe them.  That’s what makes me angry, the way that they undermine our intelligence and logic.  The conceit of this administration is just immeasurable.  But as they say, the higher you set yourself up, the greater the fall.

All the actions right now are great, but what I also want is a follow through once GMA is out of office, whether through forced ouster or end-of-term.  An honest-to-goodness prosecution and not just some petty revenge plot by political rivals.  But then again, am I looking at an impossible dream here?  Because as sure as I am that the stay-in-power strategy machine runs 24 hours a day, the cover-up machine is also running simultaneously.  The Housekeeping Department is certainly on maximum overtime.

Feels Like Teen Spirit

For a while now, I’ve been serving as my officemate’s “wingman” with regard to her office building crush.  It’s a role I actually relish because I swear, it feels like being a teenager again – the good part of the teen years.  Do you still remember your teenage crushes and all you thought and did?  Well, we’re sort of reliving it.  Yes, including the embarrassing bloopers.

Today, I finally have my own Act in this little romantic (if you could call it that)-comedy play that we’ve unwittingly staged.  I found my own leading man, and Tricia and I have reversed roles in my Act.  The twist of the plot?  A tiny bleep in our gaydar.  Oh, dear.  But I can’t wait to see how it will all turn out. 😀

Will I have my own ‘let-the-earth-swallow-me-now’ moments?  Will he turn out to be my best gay friend?  Or will it have the cliche-ish happy ending?  Or will it simply be a great diversion on work days?

There are times when you don’t have to take everything seriously and just have fun being a girl!  🙂

First rainy morning of the year…

…and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I missed my rain.   Throughout the early morning, Basil Valdez’ Tuwing Umuulan kept playing in my head.  In fact, I was singing it aloud at one point, prompting my dad to ask if I had a toothache or any other problem causing me to moan.  Haha, funny dad. :-s  I was still singing the song softly while I was walking in the rain.  I was sleepy, but in a kick-ass happy mood…that was briefly interrupted by that elevator incident (see previous post).

It has stopped raining now, but it’s still cloudy outside.  I love the city in this weather, but at the same time, it makes me itch to hop on a plane and head over to the Visayas or to any other place in the countryside.  Anyway, just a month to go and I’ll be seeing the shores of Capiz once more.

A lady (using the word loosely here) pushed me on the way inside the elevator this morning.  Not accidentally, not with her body or with her shoulders, but with her hand, palm fully flat on my back and just pushed!  It wasn’t a light push, by the way.  Apparently, she was in a hurry, but getting inside the elevator first would never have made a difference since there were still more people behind her waiting to get in.  And I wasn’t even blocking her way.

I was seething all the way up to the 15th floor.  I wanted some way to release my irritation but I don’t want to make a scene.  Surprise, suprise, we got off at the same floor.   I knew I had my moment.  We went in opposite directions but as soon as the elevator doors closed, I lashed out “b*tch!” in my most taray voice.  I don’t know if she heard it since she was already running towards some office on the other side of the hallway, but I don’t care.  An evil side of me wished that she heard it, though.  Anyway, at least I got it out of my system and I can start the day fresh.  I refuse to let someone like her ruin a perfectly lovely rainy morning.

Last Saturday was spent in good company – with good food. I can’t believe now that I feasted on Italian and then Thai food in a span of 4 hours! First up was an early dinner (wonder what the evening counterpart of ‘brunch’ is called) with former officemates at Amici in Don Bosco Makati. I really missed the crew and that reunion was as rowdy and laughter-filled as expected. The worst part about resigning was leaving them behind. I was reunited with Jeff and JC (the first ones who left) at my new job, but it’s different when we’re all together.

We ordered 4-cheese pizza with pepperoni to share and a pasta dish each. I ordered the linguine pesto. It was ok, but I’ve tasted better, somewhat of a let-down after the great reviews I’ve heard about the pasta in Amici. I loved the pizza though. And the gelato afterwards was just divine! Very creamy and tasty, a lot like the original Magnolia ice cream.

The gang:

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We left Amici at past 7 pm, so that was supposed to be dinner already, right? But I got home to find my cousins there, and they ordered Thai food from this little, authentic Thai restaurant on the street behind our house. Authentic because it’s owned by a Thai man (who happens to be our second cousin’s husband), who also does most of the cooking. My cousin ordered my favorite Pad Thai, Tom Yum, Mango Salad, Pork with Bagoong Rice and a spicy beef dish.  I said I was going to eat only a very light dinner, perhaps just a taste of this and that, but I just couldn’t resist!  And it’s very hard not to eat when you’re in good company.

It was my tita’s last weekend here before she heads back to New York, so it’s been a busy family week.  One good thing about it – I’m getting my room back.  I miss my bed, on which I haven’t slept for a month! 😀

Just want to share something that I witnessed years ago, when I was still in my first job. For some reason, it has been popping in and out of my thoughts these past few days.

It was the usual morning rush hour traffic near the intersection of San Miguel Ave. and Shaw Boulevard in Ortigas Center. I suddenly saw this low-slung car, with the driver’s window open. The guy driving the car looked like your typical punk/rocker, with gelled up spiky hair, piercings and tattoos. His left arm was hanging out the window, a lit cigarette dangling from his fingertips. His head was slightly tilted to the side and I could just imagine brooding eyes and raised eyebrows under the dark sunglasses. Definitely not the type of guy I normally associate with. He really looked like he wouldn’t bother giving anyone the time of the day.

A beggar (don’t remember now if it was a man, a woman, or a mother and child) approached him. I watched with bated breath what he would do. To my surprise, he suddenly broke into this very nice, very kind smile and started conversing pleasantly with the beggar. From the beggar’s slightly surprised smile, I could tell that the guy wasn’t saying anything bad. Then, he reached for something in his car. I then saw him pass a sandwich to the beggar and continued conversing until the traffic light turned green. He gave one last smile and waved at the beggar before he drove away.

Oh, my. That reinforced in me the lesson of never judging people by the way they look. Here was this guy who, from all appearances, was the epitome of ‘bad boy’, yet he was the only one who was kind enough to spare some generosity (and not just the material kind) to the beggar on that busy street. I don’t know if it was just a spurt of goodness in him on an unusual day or whether he really is a gentle soul, but whoever he is, I hope life will be very kind to him, or at the very least repay him some for his kindness that day.

I spent the eve of Valentine’s Day watching the BBC Miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet.  It was love at first read for me and this Jane Austen novel.   It was my perfect love story back in high school, and it’s still my perfect love story to this day.  Mr. Darcy’s declaration of love was probably the most flawed and the most perfect at the same time – and that is why I love it.

Fitzwilliam Darcy was the first and the ultimate leading man in my dream world.  A man so proud yet so kind and generous, and yes, even a little shy.  A man who would quietly do anything for the woman he loves.  A man who hides so much more goodness underneath a stern exterior and, though he struggles, refuses to let his station in life and the conventions of society dictate his heart.

Though many women want “sensitive” men to show more of their “soft”, vulnerable side, I find myself still weak in the knees for men with a touch of Darcy.  I know that he is just a character in a novel, but my dreamer of a heart still believes that a man like him could actually exist in the real world.

A happy Valentine’s to you all, and may we all experience love in any form not only today, but every day of our lives.

The magic still holds

Dumaguete City still hasn’t failed to charm visitors, at least the ones I know.   My officemate just spent her birthday weekend there and came back with a lot of love for the place.  Now I’m so jealous that I’m promising myself to try very hard to go back before the year ends.

I can’t wait for another sunrise, mid-morning, sunset, evening stroll at the boulevard; another bite of budbud kabog, sans rival and other Dumaguete delicacies; another encounter with the great people of the city; another meal at the different restaurants that the place has to offer.  My favorite spa place has already burned down, but there’ll be other spas.  Most of all, I am really looking forward to spending an entire weekend in Dumaguete the next time around.  I’ve never really had the luxury of so much time in the city in 4 previous visits, but not anymore.  This time around, all I’ll ever really need aside from cash of course, are a pen, notebook, and a camera.  And there’ll be no more pressure to go to the must-see places in the city.  I’ll just go where my eyes and my feet lead me.  God, I hope this really comes to pass.

We went to the hot air balloon fest at Clark Air Field in Pampanga last Saturday, which was Day 3 of the event. Here’s an account of our day, including some photos that I shot (using a point-and-shoot digicam). IBM, where Tin works, organized the trip and she invited us to sign up since it wasn’t exclusive to IBM employees. The bus left Eastwood at around 4.30 a.m. and we were already at Clark at past 6 in the morning. We arrived in time to catch the beautiful sunrise and the flag ceremony, in which a skydiver jumped bearing the Philippine flag as the national anthem was being played. What a sight to behold.

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The Balloons

What balloons? Unfortunately, beginners’ luck wasn’t with us at our first-ever hot air balloon fest. The wind was so strong and gusty that the balloons weren’t even able to inflate, let alone take off. They tried to do cold air inflation, but still to no avail. The cold winds made me feel like we were more in Tagaytay than in Clark. All of my previous visits to Clark and other places in Central Luzon were just marked by heat that it really felt strange to feel chilly that morning.

They tried inflating the balloons again in the evening, but the weather just wasn’t cooperating. It was as gusty as it was in the morning. Two balloons were able to inflate successfully, but they weren’t able to sustain it, deflating again after only a few minutes. Needless to say that not a single hot air balloon took flight that day. Oh well, better luck next year, since we definitely plan to be back…and this time with DSLRs in hand, hehe.

What we were left with, especially in the evening, was some sort of torch show, instead of the usual night glow of the hot air balloons. They just made an exhibition out of lighting the hot air balloon torches. Here are my other favorite shots of the day:

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Paraglider at sunrise

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Twin Fires

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Kite season

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Peace

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Malaysian paraglider

The Air Show

Not as visually spectacular as the hot air balloons would have been, but the aerobatics show was still amazing! I actually felt my heartbeats quicken as the pilots brought their planes so high up in the sky in a vertical position and then do a loop, usually staying upside down for several seconds. Oh dear, I would both love and hate in equal measures to be related or married to those pilots.

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Vertical

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Upside down

Other images from the hot air balloon fiesta:

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I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat, but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
I hope you dance, I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
I hope you dance (time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along)
I hope you dance (tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)

——————–

It’s a pop song revived by Ronan Keating, but originally sung by Lee Ann Womack.  What I particularly love about it are the lyrics.  It’s cheesy to get inspiration from a pop song, but there you have it.  I just find myself listening to this song every now and then to remind myself how I want to live my life.