Archive for July, 2009


Scenes from everyday MRT commute:

(Chubby lady #1 squeezes herself in the last remaining space the size of a postage stamp.  She barely fits, yet still pulls her companion inside the train with her.)

Chubby lady #1:  Dali, pasok, kasya ka pa! (Chubby lady #2 tries to enter, but only her right leg and shoulder gets in)

Chubby lady #2:  Sure ka?  Hindi na, o!

Chubby lady #1:  Oo naman, bilis! (Tries to move further inside train, but hits  a wall of unmoving bodies – bodies that can no longer move however badly they want to! Whistle sounds.)

Guard:  Miss, hindi na kayo kasya kahit ano gawin nyo!

(Chubby Lady #1 finally gives up and both ladies step back onto the platform. Yours truly quickly hops into the space vacated by the ladies.  My much thinner frame fits, but barely.)

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Another MRT evening:

Platform filled almost to capacity.  Train pulls in, stops, and a horde of ladies converge through a 2 1/2 foot-wide opening.  I give up and stand still on the platform, seeing that there’s no more space inside.  The next thing I know, I am inside – and quite a way inside, not merely by the door!  Someone from the back gave a mighty push that allowed around 5 people to get in before the doors closed.  Said one lady:  “Sino yun?  Ang lakas, ah!” Laughter all around.

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And yet another evening:

Guadalupe station – Crowd of ladies rush in.  One tried to squeeze herself between another lady and the door.  Lady #2 wasn’t happy about it since there wasn’t much room so she pushed out Lady #1 – and quite hard!  Lady #1 tried to squeeze in again, but was pushed out once more.  Once she got her bearing on the platform, a screaming match ensued, consisting of these statements:  “Mag-taxi ka kung ayaw mong masiksik!”  “Ikaw ang mag-taxi!” “Mag-taksi ka!”  “Ikaw ang mag-taxi!” Over and over, until mercifully, the doors closed.

******

Lastly…I got my second “MRT injury” last night.  I have a 3-inch scratch on the inside of my right arm.  Someone again tried to do the impossible and scraped my arm with something she was carrying.  My previous injury was a very painful bruise.  Someone in stillettos stepped on my flipflop-shod foot.   Ouch!

If only the MRT would be like the Weasleys’ Ford Anglia or the Ministry of Magic’s cars.

Banapple and Harry

I had a great weekend (Saturday, to be specific).  First up was a late lunch at Banapple in Katipunan Avenue (Blue Ridge portion).  It’s a hole-in-the-wall bakery/cafe with really great food in large servings – at really good prices.  I had the Baked Fish Gratinee with Scalloped Potatoes.  The menu described it as this:  Succulent white fish baked in cream sauce on bed of herbed scallpoed potatoes, crowned with a mozzarella crumb topping, served with white rice and corn relish.  The dish was definitely all that!  Yummy and filling – and only cost P155!  I also had the Fudgy Banana Smoothie. Dessert in a drink!  However, I regretted it afterwards.  It left me with no more room for real dessert – which, ironically, is what Banapple is all about. 😦

The evening was spent with more friends.  We watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the new IMAX theater at SM North EDSA.  Finally, we no longer have to make the long drive to SM Mall of Asia for an IMAX experience.  The movie was very enjoyable.  One review I read stated that the Half-Blood Prince movie is “bipolar”, and I do agree.  One minute you’re seeing a laugh-out-loud scene, and then you’re seeing the darkness that’s setting up the events of The Deathly Hallows.  I am really glad that the Harry Potter movies have made it to the penultimate book in the series without becoming a mess.  And so begins the wait for the DVD release…

#15

Fine.  Us Pete Sampras fans may now finally have to concede that Roger Federer is the greatest-of-all-time after his French Open win and now his Wimbledon win – his 15th grand slam, surpassing Pete’s record of 14.

It was one of the tensest finals I have ever watched!  5 sets, 16-14 in the 5th set.  Started at 9pm (Manila time) and ended at 1.30am.  It was Andy Roddick’s match to win – or lose, which he did.  Federer had 50 (!) aces, but you always got the feeling throughout the match that Roddick was playing better.  His serve was never broken until the very last game.  In the end, Roddick’s nerves and racquet arm gave.  Federer won because he was the steadier one.  Great athletes have always found that last ounce of whatever it would take to win crucial matches.

What made this finals even better for me was the presence of Pete Sampras.  He has already said long before that he would likely come back to Wimbledon to watch the finals if it would be where Federer could possibly break his record.  However, Pete turned coy as the finals neared, never confirming if he was indeed coming.  In fact, just minutes before the match started, the TV commentators categorically stated that “Pete is NOT here”.  Then…whaddya know, he just casually walked into the Royal Box in the third game of the first set.  The crowd applauded him, which he acknowledged with a small wave.  Even Federer greeted him from the court, later saying that “It would’ve been rude not to.”  Yes, the two great ones are friends.  There are certain moments in the match when Pete would have this tiny, mysterious smile playing on his face.  Wonder what he’s thinking.

Now Federer has also taken back the world number one ranking from Rafael Nadal.  Hmp! At least he was gracious enough to acknowledge that he’s number one again because Rafa did not play at Wimbledon. 🙂

Still, congratulations to Roger Federer for an amazing achievement.  And here’s one of my favorite photos from this year’s Wimbledon:

All the Great Champions - Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Rod Laver

All the Great Champions - Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Rod Laver

At Home

There’s an A(H1N1) case in the office down the hall from ours, so the entire floor is being disinfected today.  I’ll be working from home the entire day – the first time in a long while – because we have an important deadline with a client tomorrow.  Supposedly.  They still haven’t turned over the materials we need, so I’ll be glued to the email today.

The situation was announced to us at around 5pm yesterday, and a work holiday was declared – except for the unfortunate souls with critical deadlines.  My Mac is ill right now (na-swine flu din?) so thank God for spare laptops and roaming Internet connections.  Our company uses Bayantel, and I’m happy with the connection speed and quality.

Ok, back to work now.

Smell my hands!

The mini-outbreak of the A(H1N1) virus has seen a boom in hand sanitizers all over the Metro.  Many companies and office buildings require people to squirt hand sanitizer on their hands before entering the premises.  I’ve been going to a number of meetings in different buildings in the business district recently, sometimes more than once a day, so my hands kinda smell weird at the end of the day.

Here are the assorted scents from various sources that land in my hands lately:  From our building – like Johnson’s baby powder; our office – aloe; Ayala-FGU Center – lemon lollipop; Mitsubishi head office – alcohol; the one in my desk – country apple; the one in my bag – ocean.

And speaking of hand sanitizers… SM/Watson’s has a stupid and exploitative promo.  They’re probably the first to sell a 1-liter hand sanitizer SKU, but it comes with a catch.  You can purchase it for only P150 IF you have a P500 total purchase at Watson’s.  And they don’t have a regular price should you not want to avail of the “promo”.   WTF??!!!  Our HR/Admin officer requested them to sell several containers to her at a regular price, explaining that it is for company use therefore difficult to justify a P500 unnecessary purchase – to no avail.  She then went to Customer Service and told them that their promo was stupid.  Yes, she really used that word.  She also told them, “Don’t you think you could sell them even faster if you make a regular price available for those who do not want to avail of the “promo”?  Hehehe!  Go, E!