Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Still Suck on Virtual Space

My arm still hurts from throwing all those balls. I mean tennis balls, baseballs, golf balls, bowling balls, and pingpong balls. I also got punched and so I punched back. All these happened in three hours at the most.

Last night after updating Red (let me tell you about Red in another entry) Fifi set up the Wii. Immediately Chrissie and I went about smashing tennis balls at each other, and for a moment I was glad I didn't actually have to run the width of the court like in real life. The pleasure was short lived however because as in real life I kept smashing the balls out of court, and there were just too many times that I hit the air. At least I didn't get sunburn.

We tried bowling, but my throws kept going left. I don't understand how that stupid game was mimicking my real throws. I lost again. Golfing was fun, but Wii eventually told me to give up because on a par 5 I was on my 11th stroke. God, I don't even know what's a triple bogey. Baseball, I was hopeless. No, really. They pitched me ten balls and I didn't hit even one. Ask Fifi, it's true.

Boxing, well, I was KO'd like three times and I really did try. But it was fun, and a good cardio workout. Now, I'm thinking -- can I justify the cost of the Wii to replace annual gym membership? Of course, we pay a pittance for the gym here, but if I enrolled at Fitness First or Gold's wouldn't it be the same as what I would pay for the Wii?

I'm just thinking.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Start Them Young, They Say



This is Abby Doodle Peanut Butter Puddlywumpers, age 1 and 3 months.

And that hideous thing she sleeps with is her best friend in the whole wide world, Crocodile. She bumps head with it and kisses it and hugs it tight.

I don't know what is it with this child that she's attracted to toys that don't really fall under the Cute category. One of the gifts she received this Christmas was an ugly stuffed monkey and frog, because the legend of the crocodile spread far and wide. She absolutely loved the monkey, now named Skippy. Which reminds me of Eone's toy monkey, Hostage. Named such because said monkey was always trapped in the car when Eone's mother was pregnant with her.

Abby can't sleep without Crocodile, and we sing "Love Crocodile" to prevent her from going to Phase Drive-Them-All-Crazy-For-No-Reason-At-All. That song was probably composed by her parents because it has no chorus or refrain or fixed rhythm, you just keep singing "Love Crocodile" over and over again.

Yesterday while she was busy "slicing" the frog (with a toy knife, ok), a feature about Super Croc came up on National Geographic. I made her watch what real crocodiles are up to, like I don't know, eating other animals in an uncivilized manner. But she liked it. She liked it when the crocodile dove into the swamp to sneak up on some deer, grabbed the deer by the jugular and dragged it to the water to drown it first. She kept laughing and pointing at the crocodile and Crocodile.

I even demonstrated how Crocodile can eat Skippy and frog, but I don't think she got it. Now where can I get a toy anaconda and saber-toothed tiger to add to her increasing collection of exotic animals? I was thinking of getting her a Morbie doll, maybe the manananggal one.

Monday, December 24, 2007

In This Season of Supposed Joy and Gift Giving

Hi. I haven't posted a lot lately that I might have to remind you that I own this blog and I'm the person who writes all these nonsense. Yeah, I'm the Crazy Lady Who Didn't Buy Gifts This Christmas.

It's not that I don't want to give, it's just that I lose all merriment and the will to live whenever I see the Christmas shopping crowd. Have you seen them lately? They are the cause behind the Humongous Traffic Jams experienced all over the metro. Year after year I was part of it, toting too many shopping bags outnumbering my limbs 10:1.

This year I decided not to. I just didn't buy anything. Yeah, the high and mighties out there would just say, "that's what you get for not starting your Christmas shopping early, like September." But that's not what normal people do, right? Right?

It's refreshing, not cramming my gift wrapping until the dawn of the 24th. I have time to watch Gilmore Girls and the art films I don't understand (seriously, who got Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet and The Cello?). But it's also kind of sad, like I'm missing out on something. Some stupid thing gnaws at my shriveled heart whenever I see people with wrapped gifts in their person.

So...yeah, I give in. I still have a few hours to raid the stores. Let's just hope my ATM survives everything.

Maybe the next time I'll pass up on Christmas is when I'm 90 and senile.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Big Bird Nests



I like going to weddings. Aside from the production number it entails while getting ready (the search for the perfect dress, shoes, hair and makeup) it's also a happy occasion. It's a celebration of love and the belief in Forevers and Ever Afters, even if for some of us those are very foreign concepts.

Congratulations Big Bird and Mr. Big Bird, I wish you all the best as you start your new life together. I'm sure you will have beautiful children even if the Gels will not be there to offer you unsolicited advice about pregnancy (it gives you stretch marks) and childbearing (labor really really hurts they say), and the area we are all very experienced in, parenting (make them earn their keep).

We can also offer you rare advice in cooking (don't eat your own recipes), keeping house (don't litter so you don't have to clean), and gardening (it's illegal and not fun at all and the plants still die anyway), because I heard househelp is very expensive in New Zealand.

Having said all that, can we crash when we visit Middle Earth?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What is Lomography?



Play the video to get your answer.

Starring Francis Inton, Bibay Cordero, Zoe Ezequiel, Francis Gaerlan, and Bong Rojales.

Documentary by JC Gepte. Watch out for my picture. I'm there somewhere.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's Ordinary for Some People

I don't have a car. That doesn't stop me however from dreaming of them. I'm your typical girl when it comes to cars, like I don't care about the engine power or how fast it runs or some other thingamajiggies attached to it. I base my judgments on how cool they look.

Based on my almost non-existent criteria, my dream car is the Porsche Boxster, preferably in red. I'll take any color though. I don't know how much it costs, from the looks of it one might have to pull several bank jobs to get the money. I would like to clarify that eventhough I previously said that I would like a RAV4, the Porsche is my dream because there's a 99.999999 % percent that I will not get one in this lifetime. It would be like Brad Pitt turning up on my doorstep begging for my unconditional love. The RAV4 would not even be Dennis Trillo in this metaphor. It would be the guy I see everyday who looks kinda cute and smart.

So, one day while I was walking through the office parking lot, I saw IT. A shiny black Porsche Boxster parked nonchalantly beside a BMW. A Porsche. Boxster. My car. In black. The owner, who probably has 365 million times more money than I have, is just using it for everyday transportation. He wakes up in the morning, gets the car out of the garage, drives it to the office and just leaves it in the parking lot. Just like that.

It pains me, you know.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Chorvalens

Appetizer
Make up a word and give us its definition.
Pakinangshet. It’s a very bad word.

Soup
What is currently your favorite song?
Love is a Losing Game and Tears Dry on Their Own by Amy Winehouse. She has such an amazing voice that it’s hard to believe it comes from a four-foot something woman.

Salad
What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?
Wish: Horizon Perfekt. Hope: Books and perfume.

Main Course
Name a scent that reminds you of someone special in your life.
Aaaahhhh… this is a tough one. Tommy Girl reminds me of X, Escada Sentiments(?) of XX, and the cheap Bench colognes of XXX. Cigar smoke (Bataan matamis) reminds me of Bai, my paternal grandmother.

Dessert
Who is someone on television that you feel probably shouldn’t be, and why?
Okaaaayyy… do we have enough space? The Sexbomb Dancers, the Star Quest (Circle?) winners, Kim Chiu, Sandara Parks, the Big Brother winners, Yasmin, Rainier, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, etc. They irritate the hell out of me.

Please Don’t Scare Me Like That Again

A very good friend was recently admitted to the hospital. After blood tests, it was found out that her Hcg levels are way off the charts, and cancer was suspected.

I couldn’t breathe.

Cancer is something that happens to other people. People I know, sure, but people who are several degrees connected to me. The mother of a friend, friend of a friend. But never people I love. I hear battle stories all the time, but it’s always something of a hearsay. It’s never first-hand information, never a personal account of the warrior himself.

My grand-aunt survived cervical cancer in her 40’s, but she’s now 80 and I wasn’t even a speck in the horizon when that happened. She never talked about it either.

Fortunately, after several more tests and an operation, it was found out that it’s actually another thing that caused all the pain and bleeding. It wasn’t a good thing they found out, but I’ll take anything other than something terminal. She’s now doing fine, and when I heard that it’s not the big C I actually cried from relief.

My relationship with this person was never emotional. We rant and whine and laugh together, but never cried. She’s a friend who knows my secrets and I know hers, and although we know all those darker side of things we never judged each other. I didn’t realize she meant that much to me until the threat of the disease came.

I now think of those who actually lost their loved ones to the big C, or those still struggling to survive it. My prayers are with you all. I can now say that I have at the very least, an inkling of what you have or been going through.

And please Lord, if my time comes, I want to go with a bang. I can take dying from an explosion or drowning or being poisoned, but not from a drawn-out death from a disease. From the options I presented, it seems I prefer to be murdered.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Far From Being All Merry and Shit

I'm not really absorbed in my own little world. My life is not all about the traveling and the picture taking and the sending of evil cabbies to hell. What I Did to Change the World, Inquirer 2Bu section, 12 December.

Check out the other articles, it will warm your blackened little heart.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's Not Friday and I Don't Care

Appetizer
What was the last game you purchased?
Taboo, but it was given to me by a friend. Complete with Christmas marshmallows and hot sauces with messages, which confused me, because some of them said "Will You Marry Me?" and the others just said "High Five!". The package also came with a bloody finger.

Soup
Name something in which you don’t believe.
Anything said by a politician. If they said the world is round, I would believe it to be square. If there is any justice in the world, all of them should have burst into flames by now.

Salad
If you could choose a celebrity to be your boss, who would you pick?
No, sorry, I will not work for celebrities. Except for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt maybe (they're soooo pretty), if they don't mind the staring and the drooling.

Main Course
What was a lesson you had to learn the hard way?
That stupidity in large numbers should never be underestimated. Seriously, gather a number of stupid people and you'll be amazed at what they're capable of. Stupidity in single digits are annoying at best, but on a really good day you might consider chlorinating the gene pool.

Dessert
Describe your idea of the perfect relaxation room.
Bed, masseuse on call, food, TV and DVD player with a stack of really great DVDs, a bookshelf with all of my favorite books, and the room should have a lanai. Jacuzzi and/or tub optional.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sausalitos

I just got my Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Chunk Milk Chocolate Macadamia Cookies, and if you've ever tasted it you'd understand why there are only two left in the bag.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Rockefeller Center, NY



Chos. Charing. Eastwood, Libis. Taken by Jonas after the album launch of Parokya ni Edgar.

Taken by the stupid Horizon Perfekt. Stupid because I can't afford it. It costs as much as my DSLR, fuckitfuckitfuckit.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Other Movies

Cinemalomo is over, and aside from Half, here are the other movies (can't find the others):

Expired, from FPJ (Fifi, Pam, Jill) Productions. Starring Gifaloo as a sex-crazed stuffed animal, and Ping Medina (!) as Giff's owner who shredded him to bits because he got too annoying. Kidding. That is actually the plot of our upcoming joint collaboration together with the Alkies, the movie will be called Death of Goofy, or Die, Goofy, Die.
Foot Loop by Mon Guinto. Feet fetish.
WonderWall by Mon Guinto. Because there are always walls.
Juan de la Lego by Fozzy Castro and Chips Dayrit, our actors in Half. Digitally shot but all worth it.

I hope they post BDSL and KF so you can watch the very daring Ms. Allah Katipunanstar. We're hoping to have a public screening in Fully Booked, but I don't know when that will be. Enjoy the movies!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New Music

A lot of Lomomanila members are very talented musically. I'm not one of them. So let me take a moment to mention the following:

The Mozzie EP: Dried to Pseudo-Perfection was launched on that fateful night when the Manila Peninsula Hotel was disgraced. Now where would get our gigantic ice cream fixes? But I digress. This CD is very close to my heart for several reasons. First, the band members are my friends. Second, I lovingly inserted every cover, as part of the assembly line at the folding party. Third, as Pam would tell you, the CD is a collaborative effort of everyone I've known as the Alkies. We've had a lot of shared times together, most of them involving alcohol, yes, but all of them fun. Yukata parties, Enchanted Kingdom, very very late nights, moments of panic during blackouts at Carriedo station, staying away from K-9s at the airport, altered perceptions, and too much information. Please buy the CD so you can listen to the wonderful wonderful songs of Mozzie (I swear on Bolgia Six), plus you can see our pictures on the inside cover, where I look like Joker. Damn you FG.


Tuesday Vargas sings the vocals for Top Junk, their single The In Crowd is now enjoying airtime. Tuesday is mostly known for her comedic antics on TV and the movies, but she can also hit that high note.



This last one doesn’t need any promoting or whatever, but Parokya ni Edgar has come out with their latest album Solid. Last night at the album launch they mentioned something about this being their 10th album, but I’m not really sure because I was busy trying to get Giff to hang himself on a rope. The one in the middle wearing a lomo shirt is Gab (ah, spread the love), who exchanged frames with me for the Christmas party. The song Don’t Think was written by him as his Go, Lomo! song.

Support your local artists and get a copy of the albums now! Since Parokya is signed up with a major recording label, you can get them at any record store nationwide. If you want a copy of Mozzie or Top Junk, email me or comment here and we’ll arrange something.

-----------------------------
* Ok, so the last pic is not the Parokya ni Edgar album cover, but I can't find the new one anywhere. That pic is by Chrissie during the Lomolove Too Closing Party. Yeah, Gab's not wearing his lomo shirt. I promise to take it down once Solid is uploaded.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Can't Even Spell Car Foo

I don't want to be paranoid about this whole curfew thing, because if this is going to continue it will kill whatever little social life I have.

A little bit of trivia: two years ago we used to play badminton at Camp Aguinaldo at ISAFP, where the Magdalo soldiers were detained. I often see now Senator Trillanes playing with the other soldiers and ISAFP staff. I never played with him or against him, because I terribly suck at the game, and I'm afraid he would whack me with his racket out of frustration. We were supposed to play just until 8pm, but sometimes we overstay.

Staff to Trillanes: "Sir, hanggang 8 lang po."
Trillanes: "Bakit, anong gagawin nila sa kin, ikukulong?"

Half: The LHC Official Entry to Cinemalomo 2007



Trivia:

  • HALF is inspired by a graffiti of a half heart found in a parking lot.
  • There were no other back-ups for Chips and Fozzy. We shoot them or we dont do the film.
  • The layout of HALF is art directed to look like a photograph, like leafing through pictures.
  • Pre-production meet ups were done at grams rockwell where the first meet was basically a drinking session.
  • We shot HALF without a script. Dont think, just shoot, which made some members of the group uncomfortable.
  • While shooting Half, the sun decided to be a bitch for a day and didn't offer her rays, which made the Oktomat, Actionsampler and Supersampler shots dark. In a way it was an advantage which decided the mood of the whole film.
  • There were two other locations that were deleted in the movie: the church shots and the other side of the baywalk shots that had a "Manila Vice" signage in Miami Vice colors.
  • After the first day shoot LHC went to Chinatown for lunch! The highlight of the feast: frogs legs, fried chicken, tofu, brocolli and a heap of yang chow rice. After lunch we walked to Hidalgo to pay homage to the land of old cameras and film. Jolo was christened "lola killer" that day.
  • The National Museum stairs shots were full of students. We didnt know there was a field trip at that time. We had a hard time shooting as the crazy mob tried to get Chips and Fozzy's autographs. You can even see a student passing by in one of the Supersampler shots.
  • Aside from my colorsplash camera, only Chris dared to bring a flash.
    Jolo's red Seagull made its first apperance on the first day of shoot, fucking up one roll because he loaded the wrong way.
  • Second day shoot was delayed for two weekends. Only two LHC members were able to shoot.
  • The cemetery shots were taken at South Cemetery after All Soul's Day.
  • Recording was done at Noisy Neighbors, a recording studio at Mile Long, Makati. Voices were done by John Pabalan and Angela Mendoza of LOWE, both officemates of F. Recording engineer was Jun Orlina of Noisy Neighbors. Thanks guys!
  • Kitkat compiled the soundtrack for Half while waiting for someone to drunk dial her. She also was the psychic sound engineer for the group. She doesnt drink coffee.
  • Jolo edited the whole film. He sacrificed visiting the forums to finish the edit. he drank 5 cups of vanilla coffee that night.
  • I was the official spirit link. On the second edit day, we were visited by a ghost who was standing behind Marge.
  • There were two versions of the script: Marge's and Chris'. Chris typed his with tears but it was too blurry to read. Marge's script was the one used but edited, only because it was overtly melancholic and we wouldn't want teen suicide to burden the conscience of LHC.
  • HALF consumed around 30 rolls, the bulk of which are Fuji Provias.
  • Editing was finished 7am of the screening day, Nov. 24 after a pack of strawberry sticks, timtams, jalapeno flavored chips and a dozen cups of instant vanilla coffee.
  • HALF is made with a lot of blind luck, trust and the love for lomo.

    See also The Making of:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You Can Quote Me on This

"Love is so overrated anyway, why not marry someone I can talk to, at least have a few things in common, at hindi masyadong stupid (in some things lang). At least when the sex is gone, there will be conversation."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gaia is Mad

I'm getting SAD from the overcast weather, and I had the nerve to whine about it. Then super typhoons came and ravaged the north. I complained about it, then there was an earthquake like 30 minutes ago.

What's next, the ground opening up and swallowing us all? With all the explosions happening in the most unexpected (well, not that unexpected) places like the mall and Congress, I won't be surprised if the train I'm riding suddenly blows up and my mother can claim my big toe somewhere in San Juan. Probably my last thought before I go to the light is "Shiiiiiiit, I knew this would happen."

This is all our fault. The climate change, the wars, the neverending quest for omnipotency, it's all the result of our selfishness, greed, hedonism and our delusions about world domination. Someday Earth will just explode because she's soooooo sick and tired of the people she let live here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mozzie EP Launch



The Mozzie EP Launch will be on Thursday, 29 November 2007, at Xaymaca Bar in Timog. Sponsored by Globe, Skechers, Nokia, Solo, Penshoppe, HSBC, Stratworks, Unilever and Oracare with awesome bands KAZE, CONVOY, THE HANEPS and HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOYS!!!

They will also be accepting book donations in support for RockEd Philippines. Hope to see you there!

Finally the public will hear Bolgia Six. Now guess which feet belongs to whom.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'll Say This Just This One Time

Lomomanila and lomography have been getting a lot of attention lately, thanks to media coverage (SUPER thanks to Pam) and numerous exhibits. As the current "in" thing, now everybody and his cousin wants to buy a lomo camera and join the forum. I have no problem with that. Lomomanila is not exclusive and everybody is welcome to join.

My main beef is that more and more people seem to be joining the organization just so they can be called a part of it. It's not about the interest in lomography anymore. It's about attending the parties, having the ID, or whatever fun thing they associate it with.

While it's indeed fun to be here, what holds us together is lomography. Taking pictures. Experimenting. Generally just being interested in doing something different and unexpected to an otherwise ordinary and predictable world.

What Lomomanila doesn't need are freaking trolls, and by God they are multiplying at the speed of sound.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Psycho 101: Genesis

I am such a psycho that I kill people in their dreams. Which was weird, because my dream last night was about shopping, so obviously I wouldn't have time to kill people with placards if I'm shopping.

Seriously, this is not funny anymore. I try not to let the weather bring me down, but day after day it's the same old stupid overcast, cloudy shit we're getting around here. Then it rains. I hate the rain. It worsens the already bad traffic and I get mud splatters all over my shoes. The cab drivers are in their worst behavior when it's raining. They're moody and greedy and in general just being an absolute jerk.

I think I need to go to the gym to shake off this lethargy and maybe get the endorphins flowing, but just thinking about running on the treadmill makes me even more depressed. Right now I'm popping chocolate raisins to somehow elevate my blood sugar and give me a temporary high, but it's not freaking working.

If I think this is bad, what if the universe conspired to make me live in Netherlands? I would probably commit suicide with all those tulips.

I need to lie down for a bit.

Monday, November 19, 2007

S.A.D.

I miss the sun. I don’t care if it will give me skin cancer because I don’t adequately protect against photo damage. If I don’t see the sun for days in a row I get SAD.

I’m not making this stuff up. In some countries where they get very little sunlight in certain times of the year, the people become depressed. They call this S.A.D or seasonal affective disorder. From the article, "SAD is thought to be related to a chemical imbalance in the brain brought on by lack of light due to winter's shorter days and typically overcast skies”.

I know we don’t have winter here, but dammit recently it’s been always cloudy or raining or something in between. I don’t care if it’s already the season to be merry and shit, but I’m going crazy here. The other day I ate a whole pack of caramel tarts out of desperation. Even the time I spend poking my nephew don’t seem to help, and my sister is so annoyed that at one time she told the baby to punch me already.

As it is, I’m already chemically imbalanced and need only a slight tug in the wrong direction for me to be pushing people down the stairs. I need my light at the end of the tunnel.

CinemaLomo 2007: I Still Don't Know What I'm Doing

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Isa Pa

May kaibigan akong nagsabi na ang pinakamadaling paraan para magsulat ay kung papano kang magsalita. Sinabi ko kasi na hindi ako makapagsulat ng matino sa Tagalog. Pinagbintangan pa kong konyo, leche sya. Kung magsusulat ako sa Tagalog kung papano ko syang gamitin, ganito ang magiging labas:

“Lants?”
“Shore.”
“Taralets.”

“Bakla, bisi-bisihan ka ba sa Friday?”
“Ewan, so far hindi.”
“Lafang tayo.”

“Mare, nakita ko yung kras mong Japayuki.”
“Weh? San?”
“Sa garden, may juwawa na pala yun. In fairview keri naman silang tingnan.”

“Huy kelan tayo coffee?”
“When are you free?”
“Anytime na pwede ka this week.”

Sa madaling salita, ang alam kong Tagalog ay salitang kanto, salitang bakla at Taglish. Hindi ako makakabuo ng isang buong sentence (sorry naman di ko talaga maalala ano ang tagalog ng sentence. Sentensya ba? Hindi di ba?) na hindi hinahaluan ng English, Fagalog, at kung ano-anong derivatives. Minsan nagbabasa ako ng Bob Ong, kasi hindi naman sya malalim mag-Tagalog pero hindi rin naman salitang kanto. Hindi ko lang talaga mae-express ng mabuti ang gusto kong sabihin pag Tagalog.

Sorry po, tao lang.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Clenched

OK, who wants bullet points for my past week? That's all I can afford, and 15 minutes.

------------------------------------

I saw Himala the Musical, starring May Bayot as Elsa. I was invited by a friend to watch this invitation only staging of the play before they take it to China. Isay Alvarez still rocks even after 3 kids, the actress who played Chayong can shatter crystal glasses with that voice, and the rape scene was a symphony. I'm sorry, that's cheesy and inappropriate but to me that's what it is. How can you portray a rape scene on stage, really, without it coming out vulgar and crass. The audience was star-studded too, and I mean MY stars. I had half a mind to approach Irma Adlawan and ask for her autograph, and I didn't dare stand next to F. Sionil Jose and Bienvenido Lumbera because whatever confidence I have in myself about my writing will feel this small. I also got my program signed by the actors, the one thing I regretted not being able to do when I saw Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah because I had to leave early.

------------------------------------

I saw the Jeromes and pigged out at Veneto(?) in Makati where we ate like arawang manggagawa, i.e. construction workers. When I'm with these two I just shovel food in my mouth and talk like a gangster, because nobody's around to impress anyway. When you're at a really good restaurant you should bring your friends and not a date so you can really eat and not worry about looking like the Abominable Snowman.

------------------------------------

I went to a writing workshop conducted by Jessica Zafra, Dylan invited me so he can have his good deed for the year. The topic was Personal Essay, or, for most of the participants at least, How to Blog. It was ok, although I was expecting more. But maybe because I was with public school teachers, JZ also adjusted to her audience. I could tell she was disappointed in the open forum. Only three people were actively asking questions, including me, but I don't want to be Hermione. She also made us watch the Cinemalaya entry Endo (End of contract) and I think we're supposed to write about it, only I haven't yet.

------------------------------------

We finally got our shit together for the LomoLove launch in Cubao X on Saturday. A number of frames were sold on the opening night, although there was really no intention of selling. Some untoward incidents happened, which I hope will be resolved soon because I can't stand people fighting. Really.

------------------------------------

So that's it, that was my past week. I still have a band bio to finish, and I'm selling at the Lomomanila Bazaar on Saturday so please come and buy stuff from us. Oh, and I still haven't decided yet on one major thing and I don't think I can put it off forever, so tonight I'll flip a coin and whatever comes out, then that's it. Thinking is so tiring.

Happy Birthday Kristal! She's sixteen today. :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Temporary Escape

When you smell a baby's head, you forget all the evils in the world.

You forget that there are ongoing wars in some places in the globe, where innocent people drop like flies and children witness things that will screw them for life.

You forget that the trees are disappearing.

You forget that there are people who would rather kill for money than make an honest living.

You forget that there is poverty and hunger.

You forget that there are people who will take advantage just because they can.

You forget that hate and anger exist, because for the moment, just a brief moment, you know what heaven is going to smell like.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Aristocrata



I've always had an overwhelming fondness for very old houses and antique furnitures of pre-war Philippines. Whenever I enter one of these I feel the house's spirit welcoming me, as if to say "What took you so long to come back?" If we were to believe the theory about past lives, maybe in my previous life I was a Doña shooting orders at the poor servants. Maybe I was such a rich bitch back then so now in my current lifetime I'm always broke. Damn them karma points.

The picture above is of Balay Negrense, house of the Gastons of Negros, one of the very few houses that survived the war. Although this was already renovated, the main parts are all original. The furniture is intact, even the clothes were on display. Sure there were ghosts, but they were the strict ones who follow you around making sure you don't touch anything you're not supposed to.

In the guestbook we were asked to comment. I said I wanted to live there. Then I changed my mind. I said I wanted to marry into the Gaston family so my name would be on the circular table where the family tree is, along with names like Jaime Fabregas and Joel Torre on it. It's such a big family that it's amazing how they keep track of everyone.

Thank you to the people who made the hacienda tour in Manapla possible. I'm sorry too that we weren't able to spend the night there, but not really that sorry. I don't know if I can survive all the shushing of all the past ladies of the house who disapproved of my giggling.

Friday, November 02, 2007

LomoLove Too


Insensitive

Just because it's ok with you doesn't mean it's ok for the rest of them. It's not about the bragging rights, it's about being recognized for something they did and did well. It's not about the money, because hey, what money, right?

You're there for a purpose, and you seem to like it very much, so just live up to it. It's a win-win situation for everybody.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How Was My Trip?


I got to eat chicken inasal and original batchoy. I went to a haunted house (twice) and climbed the first falls. I saw family and friends. I talked to some, because I'm only staying for a few days and there's no time to meet them.

It was good, and it was too short. I don't know when I'll be able to come back. I'll tell more stories when I finally get over the sadness, if you will. I don't know how long before I can see my friends again, or my inaanak, or my grandmother who's 80 and cannot travel anymore.

I didn't realize how much I've missed it until I'm right smack in the middle of a live nostalgia trip. It has changed a lot but at the same time it was still the place that had a major influence on my growing up years.

In the meantime, I'll just do a Pumbaa and be friends with my past.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Modern Horror Story

Jenny only wanted one thing. It was not to be rich, famous, or something in between. She just wanted her own happy family. She was comfortable doing things around the house – cooking, cleaning, and taking care of her parents and a younger sister. One might say that she will never be happy without someone counting on her; whatever is the opposite of being co-dependent, that’s her.

Then she met this guy, let’s call him Brian, a nephew of a neighbor. After seven months of courtship, they got married at 21. It wasn’t a head-over-heel type of affair; it was a shotgun wedding. But this time, it was the boy who shouted “pregnant”. Having a very conservative father and being too young to stand up for her own opinions, Jenny reluctantly consented even though she wasn’t pregnant at all. After all, if she’s getting married in the future anyway, why not now?

Starting out wasn’t all that great either. They lived with her in-laws for two years, and for two years her mother-in-law treated her like a maid. Everyday she would get out of bed at four in the morning. She would get dressed for work while cooking breakfast, wait for the rest of the household to wake up so they can all eat together, then clean up the mess before she can finally go to the office. But definitely not before the reigning queen of the house. Jenny was the last to leave.

After work and still in her office uniform, she still had to prepare dinner while everyone watched their soap operas. They eat dinner, she cleans up while running the washing machine, prepares for bed and is expected to have sex with her husband.

Before long she got pregnant, and that was the time she gathered up the courage to tell her husband that they move out or she will. At this point of the story the husband is thought to be a spineless, no-balls kind of creature. That would be correct. But that’s not all he is.

He did not graduate college, and this is a great source of insecurity for him. Jenny thought a lot of fights would end if they both had degrees, so she sent Mr. Spineless to college. She was the sole earner of the family who paid the rent, brought food to the table, provided milk to the two kids they have, and paid for the tuition of the great catch that she married. In addition to everything, Jenny bought her husband a motorcycle so No-Balls can at least earn a little money for himself by attaching it to a sidecar and take people to places.

One night, Jenny got a call from her father-in-law telling her that her husband had an accident and was in the hospital. The motorcycle her husband was driving was hit by a jeepney. He was barely alive, his skull was split open and half of his face was squished. He lasted ten more hours before finally going to the light at the end of the tunnel.

On the day before the funeral Jenny decided to text every number on his husband’s cellphone, to tell them of the tragedy. “This is Brian’s wife, he has passed away. The funeral is tomorrow.” Five girls replied, “Who are you and why are you using my boyfriend’s number? This is John’s number.”

Apparently, Brian was known to his five girlfriends as John. Jenny invited them all to the wake, to see if Brian and John were one and the same. So they came. And they were all pregnant. It was like a live visual aid on a presentation of The Stages of Pregnancy. One was seven months on the way, then five, four, three and two.

Shocked would have been a kind word to describe Jenny.

A month after Brian’s death, Jenny got a call from a man to ask if she could meet him. It was about Brian, he said. She did, and after hearing what he had to say she almost flushed his ashes down the toilet but she can’t open the urn. The mysterious man was Brian’s gay benefactor, and they were together the night Brian died. They had a little drinking spree and Brian drove home drunk.

This is a true story, it all happened. I know Jenny and we were friends for more than a decade now. I’m godmother to her son. I know it’s hard-coded in her DNA to be tolerant to the point of stupidity. If it had been me this story would have been true only at the second paragraph, first line. But with every cloud there is a silver lining, and the lining of this particular cloud is the best there is.

Jenny now takes comfort in the fact that her husband is now rotting in hell, she is free of her in-laws, and that her two kids don’t really remember their father that well. To all the Brians out there, be afraid, be very afraid.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Have to Wake Up in an Hour and a Half

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
Credit cards. Reminds me of how much I spend.

2. Where's the best place to eat a romantic dinner?
Anywhere as long as you're with someone you really like and likes you back.

3. Last time you puked from drinking?
I don't remember when, maybe 1998? I drank that super kadiri Tanduay, I don't know why.

4. Have you ever gotten drunk and danced on a bar?
Never. But I gave away my number on a ten-peso bill.

5. Name of your first grade teacher?
Mrs. Erlinda Garcia, whom I still visit from time to time and remembers me.

6. What are you doing right now?
Typing this.

7. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An astronaut. Then I found out it involves a lot of math.

8. How many colleges did you attend?
Just the one.

9. Why did you get the shirt that you have on right now?
I got this in Greenhills, it was long-sleeved then. So I cut the sleeves off.

10. If you could move anywhere and take someone with you where would you go?
I'd live in Paris or somewhere south of France, and I'll take this person who has no idea that I want to take him to France.

11. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
Where's the effing Snooze button?

12. Last thought before going to sleep last night?
I'm soooo tired....

13. Favorite style of underwear?
Just the regular kind. I like the fun ones.

14. Favorite style of underwear for the opposite sex?
Boxers

--------------------------------------------------

1. What is your opinion on sex without emotional commitment?
If you know what you're doing and the limitations, then that's ok. But if you're into it thinking it will somehow evolve into something serious, then stop right there.

2. Do you bite your nails?
No.

3. Are you a jealous person?
Yes. I hate it.

4. Are you allergic to anything?
Alcohol. Seafood.

5. What books, if any, have made you cry?
I don't remember, but there was this one book that got me really bawling.

6. Does it get annoying when somebody says they'll call you, but doesn't?
Yes, if he's a cute guy. No for the rest of the world. Hee.

7. What is your favorite simple ice-cream flavor?
Vanilla. Cheese. Mango.

8. Whose car were you in last...?
Mark's.

9. What would you rather be doing right now?
Sleeping.

10. What song lyrics, if any, are stuck in your head at the moment?
Faithful by Go West.

11. What will you dress up as for Halloween?
The Girl Who Ate Spiders.

12. What is your favorite TV show?
Heroes. Friends. Sex and the City. House.

13. Do you get along better with the same or opposite sex?
It really depends if they're interesting to talk to.

14. Can others make you cry easily?
No. It has to be someone I care about.

15. Who was the last person to piss you off?
Someone about ten feet away from me.

16. Are you picky about spelling and grammar?
Yes.

17. Do you pay attention to calories on the back of packages?
Sure, if there's nothing else to read.

18. If you could be any type of fruit, what would you be?
Mango. Something tropical.

19. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
Lately it's only been four to five.

20. When was the last time you slept on the floor?
My mattress is on the floor.

21. Have you ever been attracted to someone, but not physically?
Yeah, because they're incredibly smart.

22. What are some things that are needed in a relationship?
Trust. Acceptance. Respect.

23. Do you like traveling?
You think?

24. Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos?
It doesn't make them a bad person, so yes.

25. Do you believe the guy should pay on the first date?
Yes, if he's the one who asked me.

26. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?
I've been contemplating about a second piercing on my left ear, but I don't have a high pain threshold.

27. Which do you make: dreams or plans?
Plans. Dreams are good but if you just sit there forever dreaming then good luck.

28. Can you speak any languages other than English?
I can mangle French. Of course, Tagalog, which I also mangle.

29. What is your favorite salad dressing?
Caesar's and that raspberry vinaigrette thing.

30. What movies do you know every line to?
Finding Nemo. My Best Friend's Wedding. Romy and Michele.

31. Has anyone told you a secret this week?
Yes. :-)

32. Have you told someone else that secret?
No. That's bad. I'm the keeper of secrets.

33. Would you rather take the picture or be in it?
Take the picture.

34. Do you wear flip-flops?
Always.

35. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Chicken pork adobo and rice.

36. What's the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
Bringing me to the emergency room and staying the night at the hospital.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Off Again

Just like a switch.
I'm all packed and ready to go. I'm excited, because I haven't gone to where I'm going for five years now. I miss the people and the place and of course, the food.

I'll see you all when I get back. Meanwhile...


Just so you know I'm watching.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Welcome to the World

Today, 23 October 2007 at 5:50pm, marks the arrival of Joaquin Enrico de Vera Ruiz, the newest love of my life. I can't wait to hug him.

Ate na si Abby.

Monday, October 22, 2007

One Rockstar Night

Where can you find Pinkilocks, Red Riding Hood, a gay goblin, a guitar-playing mummy, and some other creatures?

No, not the Easter Bunny's funeral.

They all got together for Pam's birthday party at Route 196 last Saturday. I didn't have a costume, although Giff and I had a few ideas we're tossing back and forth last week. I showed up in jeans, then the Gay Goblin (that's Giff) handed me a feathered number. It turned out to be a showgirl's costume, although I think I looked like a gay Doc Ock with pink feathered tentacles for effect. It came with a ruffled skirt which would not close so we tucked it in my jeans. At one point in the evening I put on F's wrestler/serial killer mask so I looked like a flamboyant wrestler/serial killer.

Jill was Pinkilocks (I swear I didn't recognize you), Fifi was her geeky date, Ram was a doctor/surgeon/foot spa specialist, Chri was a mummy, and Pam was Red Riding Hood with No Shoes.

It was a great party, with everybody getting sloshed with the beer bong and the brandy shots. Whatever was in that brandy, it destroyed all the bacteria in my throat and stomach lining. It was that potent. Some people fell in love then got their hearts broken in the span of fifteen minutes, everybody ate cake without a fork, and when most people have left I even sang.

Just this one picture. Because if you did a search on Multiply with the right keyword combination you'll see a lot of them.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

I've always said that I used to be this impatient person who can never put up with anything that didn't happen immediately. I was raised in the generation of instant gratification, and anything that would require me to wait for as long as I can blink my eyes five times drains my energy. Patience was never my virtue, and how my sisters know that.

But things happened in my life and I grew up; I learned to pick my battles and clean up after myself, and among the things I learned was to be more patient. Even if I learned to wait, I still put up a limit on how long, and if the waiting time is worth the prize in the end. There were still things to be compromised.

So I've put it upon myself to wait that extra five, ten minutes. But if things still hadn't happened by then I get pissed. I wasn't patient enough.

I didn't learn the virtue thoroughly, but my other virtue/gift/curse kicks in by the time the ten minutes is up. I lose interest. I can't bring myself to care anymore about whatever that thing is that I felt was important enough to bestow my precious time and energy. I walk away, looking for other bright and shiny things to pick up along the way.

By the time I've forgotten about the thing I walked away from, it comes to me. Always. If I want something very bad and I've done every single thing in my power to have it and it still doesn't happen, I force myself to forget about it. And after a while, it's there in front of me.

I'm trying to lose interest in Dennis Trillo. So please, stop emailing me about The Incident with that lady who bore his child. Because in time, he will come to me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Epiphany

This Cinemalomo thing? Not easy. I am hoping this will turn out to be a hit so we can release merchandise and video games based on the movie. Daggummit.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Booooorrrringgg

Tagged by Cler...

1. Name of the person who made you laugh last night? the very pregnant Ling
2. What were you doing at 0800? Borlog.
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Emailing for work.
4. What happened to you in 2006? Woke up from a nightmare.
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? Tingnan mo yung Signature of Written Instruments.
6. How many beverages did you have today? 3 cups of coffee and lots of water.
7. What color is your hairbrush? Red and Dark Brown
8. What was the last thing you paid for? C2.
9. Where were you last night? Butter Diner.
10. What color is your front door? Brown.
11. Where do you keep your change? Everywhere.
12. What the weather like today? Cloudy. Sunny. Cloudy. I don’t know, it keeps changing.
13. What's the best ice cream flavor? Vanilla Caramel Pecan
14. What excited you? Sleeping in a haunted house.
15. Do you want to cut your hair? I just did! Technically, Drea did.
16. Are you over the age of 25? No. Definitely not. [Lightning strikes me dead.]
17. Do you talk a lot? Only with people I’m comfortable with.
18. Do you watch the O.C.? Not once
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Yes. I wanted that Steven to die.
20. Do you make up your own words? Yeah, I think. And make up meanings to old words.
21. Are you a jealous person? Yes.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter 'A'. Anna
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter 'K'. Kate
24. Who's the first person on your received call list? My thesis adviser, who’s ready to gut me by now.
25. What does the last text message you received say? Som’s at 7pm.
26. Do you chew your straw? No. I just get it stuck on my tongue.
27. Do you have curly hair? It can’t decide, actually.
28. Who's the rudest person in your life? I don’t involve myself with rude people.
29. What was the last thing you ate? Mongolian BBQ.
30. Will you get married in the future? I have no idea.
31. Where's the next place you're going to? Som’s at Rockwell.
32. What's the best movie you've seen in the past 2 weeks? Like Cler, I’ve seen Stardust and Apat Dapat. So I guess Stardust.
34. When was the last time you did the dishes? I don’t remember. Must be during the Paleolithic
35. Are you currently depressed? No.
36. Did you cry today? Not for a long time.
37. Why did you answer this? Killing time.
38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey. Mother Hen, the Jeromes, Alkies, whoever wants to.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pajammy

What did I do over the weekend? Celebrated Pam's birthday of course. Yes, both days.

Saturday night found us screaming "Surprise!" to a distracted Pammy (she was distracted by Miss Extra Large Boobs, as were half of her guests) at Filling Station. It was a fun night, crossing over to her actual birthday. We played billiards, both 9-ball and invented. Seriously, it was more fun adding up the numbers on the ball, multiplying it by four (if you get the cue ball) then averaging the total.

On Sunday, we had dinner and watched Stardust (I love it, you should see it). Because you can't shine with a broken heart. Awwwwww. I'll shut up now.

Happy, happy birthday Pamela Angela. Thank you for being sweet, kind, generous and a good friend to the Alkies. Whatever you wished for when you blew out the candle, I hope you get it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Itchy Feet




Because dreams do come true.

The Night They Put 666 on my Head

I’ve never been as adventurous with my hair as I am with the choices I make in life. After all it took me quite sometime to resurrect my hair and aside from being expensive, I like my hair alive.

But now I sit here typing this with a new, funky haircut and a to-die for hair color. Earlier at Piandre Libis Branch, six pairs of hands fussed over my hair. First, they applied color from the winter palette. Yeah, I don’t know what that means either. Drea rattled off numbers: 426, 666, and 626 or something. In human language that means plum, red, and something in between.

I read countless Star issues about how Britney is a terrible mom and what Brangelina does to spice up their marriage while waiting for the hair color to take effect. Finally they shampoo it off and blow-dried it. To say that I like the result is an understatement. And it’s so soft.

Drea comes with scissors to finally hand down judgment on my tresses. She uttered the magic words: “You trust me, right?” When someone says that I have the urge to run away, fast. But I have palabra de honor, and I gave my word to her already that I’m in it, so I just smiled.

When she took a lock of my hair and made the first snip, I almost had a heart attack. She cut it right above my ear. I have long layered hair, almost reaching mid-back, and that means almost 6 inches of cut hair. She saw my face and told me not to panic. Ok. Don’t panic. Pretend to be calm. Focus on Shiloh’s $17,000 binky and Britney’s cellulites. I can’t watch my hair being cut.

Then it was time to look up from the trashy magazine to see the end product. Hey, my hair’s still long. I have Erté bangs. It has volume. It has shape. It’s something else. I admit I’m not used to seeing my hair so different, but it’s good different.

Drea just came from London to study new hair trends. If you want the latest in cut and color, you can go to any Piandre branch in Libis, Greenbelt, Peoplesupport, Timog and Libis. You can look for Drea at the Peoplesupport branch in Makati (she shuttles between her salons), but her stylists are well-trained so you’re in good hands with them too.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I’m Not Casting the First Stone

My blog has always been about me and my life. I don’t discuss current events except when they trample on my personal space, i.e. the national elections. I can’t discuss religion because I’m a non-practicing Catholic. I still know the prayers by heart but I hardly go to church these days. I try to keep away from politics because I have a tendency to start every sentence with “I hate” when I talk about politicians.

I never said anything about Malu Fernandez even when the whole OFW community wanted to roast her on a spit. I didn’t join the overreaction to the Desperate Housewives racial slur. And lastly, I will not laugh at Christian Bautista, who embarrassed himself in international (pay-per-view) TV by forgetting a whole stanza of the Philippine National Anthem.

I tried to sing the Pambansang Awit, and like Christian, I need a moment between stanzas to remember. We take it for granted, like the national language which I seem to butcher in regular intervals. I can’t write in straight Tagalog, I sound like a trying hard student who only shows up on final exams. Like this one.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t speak English in everyday conversation except when at work. I speak Tagalog in modified forms, including but not limited to: slang, gayspeak, and Taglish. I excel at the second one, having devoted half my time hanging out with my fab gay friends.

Recently it became too obvious that Inang Bayan would be too embarrassed to have me for a daughter, because of the following:

“Ano sa Tagalog ang falls?”
“Hinulugang Taktak?”

“Di ba labahita yang isda na yan?”
“Di ba ang labahita yung pang-ahit?”
“Hindi, labakara yun.”

I didn’t know what is lambak, talampas, the difference between dagat and karagatan until I’ve googled it. My baby sister seems to have no problem with Tagalog at all, and even plans to take up Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Pilipino. I’m like, really? It would not even be on my top 20 courses to take.

When I took the Foreign Service Exams, one of the main tests was translating a diplomatic letter to Filipino. I had such a hard time; I don’t even know what welfare translates to. I was so ashamed of myself, and to think I’m applying to be a diplomat by taking the exam. Of course I failed.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Scattergories

It's harder than it looks! Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following... they have to be real places, names, things...nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

What is your name?
Ruby

4 letter word:
Rest

Vehicle:
Rav 4

City:
Rio de Janeiro

Boy Name:
Rafael

Girl Name:
Rhododendron hahahaha! Kidding. Roxanne.

Alcoholic drink:
Rum and Coke

Occupation:
Researcher

Something you wear:
Rubber shoes

Celebrity:
Richard Gere

Food:
Ravioli

Something found in a bathroom:
Rod, like a shower rod.

Reason for Being Late:
Road accident

Cartoon Character:
Roger Rabbit

Something You Shout:
Raaaar!!!

Friends you're tagging to do this survey:
Rimbaldi.

My Internet Time is Precious

So I haven’t been able to update much this week.

You might think that I’m so involved living in the present that documenting it would seem too trivial. I have been living a wild life recently, if you consider having a facial and pigging out at Som’s wild.

(On that note, you should go to Som’s and order everything you want, even the ones you don’t understand. It won’t cost you much and you’ll reach several levels of heaven. Try going to the Rockwell branch, but come early because they run out of tables faster than you can say Red Curry Fried Rice.)

So I’m not living on the edge or have been abducted by aliens. I have been converted to a new religion, and I define religion in this context as “an object, practice, cause, or activity that somebody is completely devoted to or obsessed by”. That religion is called Facebook.

I’ve been busy handing out Tequila Shooters to my friends, or biting people as a zombie, vampire, or werewolf. I’m also a Sith and the Force is with me. I had just given Taranoia a naughty gift, because I received one from Jher. My travel score ranking is pathetic, because I haven’t been to Latvia or know where Tanzania is on the map. I’ve been given a Love Potion, and I just sent a Mudslide to Bridget. I got a new pet and now I have to find Munny so I can feed Salisbury the Turtle. Three of my friends thinks I'm hot. I'm also a member of Fight Club, I'm called Pacencia, the Lady Kickboxer who farts in your general direction.

There are just too many things on my plate right now.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Petroglyphs and Food Fights Makes a Rainy Sunday Worth Getting Up For


From Bong's camera.
Yesterday, Lomomanila went to the Great East (West? I have no idea) inspite of the neverending rain. I have no idea too of what petroglyphs are but Angono have them, dating back from the Pleistocene era. Yep, I actually read the labels on the museum artifacts. Although I'm not sure if it was actually Pleistocene. I should really do some research before writing.
We had lunch at the famed Balaw Balaw restaurant and both Teams played really well, but Team B won with a big edge with the two orders of crispy pata. After a bit of film hoarding, we went to Daranak Falls and some people caused the destruction of private property. It was the ants' fault.
We also went to Tanay to see the church and the lighthouse and supposedly the sunset, but of course there was no sun. Only the rain. Lomomanila and the rain went on this trip.
My pictures soon on Multiply.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Three Me



I'm here at Fili Deli waiting for my callos and taking advantage of the free wifi after sticking our pictures for the lomowall, then I remembered what date it is today.

My blog is three years old!

The past year was a great year. I've sloughed off useless things and those with no value-added qualities and I came back to who I really am. I didn't realize it for a bit, but I missed my old life. And that cliche about "everything happens for a reason"? Very very true.

If I hadn't made the Decision to cut off my excess baggage, I wouldn't be into all these very interesting things I'm doing now. I wouldn't have gone back to school, photography, nor would I ever have known lomography and Lomomanila. I wouldn't have made new friends and met a lot of interesting people along the way.

It's a great time to be alive.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Choose, You Jackass

A friend presented this situation: she likes two people but can't decide which one. Both are equally cute, equally attentive, and equally serious about her. The deciding factors would be that the first guy is poor, and the other one is a bit brainless.

There were four of us she asked for advice, and we were unanimous in saying that she should just choose the poor one. "Ang pagiging mahirap, nagagawan ng paraan; pero ang kabobohan, habangbuhay na yan." (Being poor can be temporary, but stupidity is for life.)

Although it can be argued that all of us have varying degrees of stupidity in different areas (don't I know it), and without this gene our lives would be extremely dull. But I'm not even talking about being academically challenged; so he didn't go to a good school and can't distinguish past perfect tense from present perfect, or straight line computation from annuity. Those things you learn in a classroom and from books. But there are more important things in life than verb tenses and computing your loan interests.

I'm talking about having common sense, life-changing decision making, and in general having an open mind. When someone's a little low on IQ you can explain something till your eyeballs pop and your nose bleeds and he wouldn't get it. What else would you call a person who would not think twice about talking out loud about a sensitive subject?

The scariest thing is if your children would inherit it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

CinemaLomo 2007


We don't just take pictures. We make movies. Presenting CinemaLomo 2007 this November.



HALF - The LHC official entry to CinemaLomo. Starring Fozzy Castro and Chips Dayrit. Everyone's looking for their other half.

See you at Mogwai, Cubao-X this November 24.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. Ruiz, Finally

After six years of being together, my sister and Jossell finally got married today. Congratulations to the both of you, I wish you a lifetime of happiness, wonderful children, and love to fill all your days. And also I wish you a bubble shield of protection against unwarranted jealousy, temptation, and narrow-mindedness.
Jossell, I want to tell you this: if you hurt my sister in any way, I swear on all my gadgets that I will hunt you down and chop you to pieces then run you through the office shredder. Or I will get my friends who owns guns to hunt you down.
I'm so happy you're now a member of the family.

I love you both.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dilemmas I Hope to Have Someday

RAV4 or CRV?

Columns or Pacific Plaza?

Paris or Venice?

Inspired by my current dilemma, iMac or MacBook Pro? I'm really in a bind out here. If I can't decide I'll put it off till January when I get more money and just make do with my iBook G4, a.k.a. Maki. On the other hand, maybe I'll just keep the money to save up for Dilemma #3 above, otherwise known as Project EuroPantasya.

Last night I dreamt that the Gels and I went to Paris where we stayed in a really old inn, but with a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower. Kind of like Remy's apartment in Ratatouille. In the dream I told Hesika that I'm not going back home, that I'm taking the train to Italy and I won't look back. I was so firm and decisive in the dream that it scared me a little.

I have this trait of being able to detach myself from emotional things and situations, that if I'm in an emo mood that means I'm allowing myself to wallow in it. When I lose material things I feel pissed, but only for a very short while. They can always be replaced.

When it's with people, I hold on for a bit, because hey, they're people. Whatever you do to them, you can't take back, or erase, or pretend it never happened. But if it can't be fixed anymore, I have no problem of letting go. I just cut the ties and suddenly, I'm ok. I don't hold grudges but at the same time, they cease to exist for me. I'm like that.

What if I come to a point in my life where I have to choose between a promising future but my past will forever be gone? Will I be able to detach myself from the very things that made me what I am?

So It Continues

One night I got home late (as usual), I was on my way to the bathroom when I saw yaya sitting on her bed in front of the electric fan.

She was humming along with it. "Mmmmmmmmmmmm..."

"Anong ginagawa mo? Matulog ka na."
"Hihihihi. Wala po ate. May hinihintay lang po akong text."
"Anong text? Ikaw puro ka kaboyprenan ha. Patingin ng cellphone mo."
"Ayoko po."
"Gusto mo bawiin namin yan?"
"Ay naku ate, wala po kayong makikita dyan."
I got the cellphone and checked out her Contacts.
"Anong wala? Eto oh, puro lalaki ang nasa address book mo."
"Hindi po, mga pwends ko lang po yan."
"Friends daw. Sino tong Severial Palsi?"
"Wala po ate, di ko po kilala yan. Napanood ko lang po yan sa TV, nagtetext gamit ang paa. Tapos nakalagay po sa TV yung number nya. Ite-textmate ko po sana pero hindi naman nagrereply."
"Ang pangalan nya Severial Palsi?"
"Si ate talaga, ano ba, sakit nya po yan. Kala ko po matalino kayo?"

I heart yaya.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Absolut Advertisement

I did something.

Something that was on the verge of tipping over to another more serious something, but thankfully someone happened to be such a bitch and prevented the more serious thing from happening.

I was this close, this close, to breaking the spell.

This entry is brought to you by Absolut Kurant.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Random Laws of the Universe

1. Empty cabs will endlessly parade in front of you when you don’t need them.
2. It will rain on the only day you forget to bring an umbrella.
3. You’re not usually clumsy, but you will spill something on yourself just when you’re wearing white jeans.
4. You will bump into your ex on your worst hair day.
5. Just when you’re late for a very important meeting, the train/car/bus breaks down.
6. Your favorite hard-to-find-on-DVD movie will be shown when you’re out of town, and you don’t have TiVo.

We'll Get You All Hot and Bothered


Fourplay: A Multi-lens Exhibit featuring the works of 14 lomographers, using cameras with 4 lenses -- the Supersampler and the Actionsampler, on 4 October - 4 November 2007 at Fili Deli, 5911A Matilde Street, Makati City (along Kalayaan Ave. near Rockwell).
Because it's not just a prelude to the main event.
PS: Bridget and Jher, Dylan, Mother Hen, and TM friends, hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Can't Get Over This

Today's issue of Inquirer 2Bu includes our CDO Trip. This is the most colorful spread I've seen since the Enchanted Kingdom Field Trip. Thanks to Samsung and Team Stalactite and Stalagmite. You guys rock.

Mine. More at Multiply.
The Super Magaling Jill Lejano.

Jay Lara's TLR shots.

The Happy Heart Mascot. He was the only who got up early enough to see the grand parade. The rest of us were still in bed, snoring.

Don't miss too the great articles written by the Wonderfully Complicated Pajammy, who is in Boracay right now with the Super Jello. Hope it's not raining over there.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

CDO Feature

Please don't forget to pick up a copy of Inquirer tomorrow for the Cagayan de Oro feature. You will not be disappointed. I can't put up my pictures before publication except for this one and Pam's picture essay.

This is for Chri and Fifi

Lately I’ve been hanging out at my windowsill, watching DVDs while I sit with my back against the grill propped by a pillow. My dead chrysanthemum pot (remember the poor plant I bought? Yeah, it’s dead for like five months now.) now serves as an ashtray, and sometimes I put my feet up while I eat my lunch at four in the afternoon. The sun would set on me and still I would sit there, going through episode after episode of Friends.

Last night, I was propped again up there eating milk and Frosties. Now, I live in one of those old apartments with big windows; my view is the opposite apartment’s window identical to mine. Suddenly there’s this little boy of about three calling and waving at me from a window, smiling and gurgling and just being cute. It was kind of dark from his room, just the light from the TV behind him so I can’t totally see his face. We went on waving to each other for about five minutes, because when I stop he shouts at me. So I keep on waving and blowing kisses at the cute little boy.

Then I got tired and just ignored him basically, because Monica was about to propose to Chandler. The season ended so I went to get ready for bed and forgot about the kid. I was lying there hugging my pillow, drifting off, when suddenly I remembered something very very important. It was so important I wasn’t able to sleep until two in the morning.

I remembered that nobody lives in that apartment opposite mine.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Going, Going, Gone

I have a very short attention span. If some psychologist were to run tests on me, I might be declared as someone with borderline ADHD. My life is like this because it causes me physical pain to do the same things over and over and over again.

I can't stand routine. My version of hell is if I were to be part of an assembly line for a factory, say, screwing the caps on toothpaste tubes. Or folding paper napkins for all eternity. I can't do that.

My life always have to have variety. I have to be doing something other than what I'm supposed to be doing. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew, but still I'd rather run around like a headless chicken than stare into space on a Friday night. I have to be doing something creative, something useful. My mother might label me a lazy ass but I just don't see the point of doing the laundry myself when I can haul it to some laundromat on my way to a play, a concert, or just somewhere where I can take pictures or just be with friends.

I'm this close to losing interest in something I thought I would be interested in for quite a while. Thank God for my cameras.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hello Fatty


I like. I buy. Or find someone who will buy it for me. Joery, think of all my birthdays that you missed.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Face Your Pockets

Things that are living in the pockets of your bag, jeans or jacket: travel and pay checks, old cigarette pack that just looks interesting, sugar lumps and all the stuff that has found home in your pockets. They are all the treasures our project is looking for! Our goal is not only bring all this objects into light but show the owner of them.

From Face Your Pockets project, saw from Jill's site.

Obviously all the contents of my bag AND my face will not fit on the scanner bed. In picture: dugyut Nokia cellphone, keys, lomomanila pin, MRT card, ATM cards, lip gloss, flash drive, mineral veil. film, supersampler, eyeglasses, school ID, wet wipes, wallet, hairbrush, cigs and lighter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Because the Truth Hurts

I'm not a big fan of how our government is run. Most often I don't have to interact with government offices anyway, but when I'm forced to I steel myself for impending frustration and disappointments. Somehow it's expected to be feeling all that when you deal with them.

The secret to lessening the impact is to come prepared. As much as possible try to have everything they ask for PLUS the things you think they will ask for. Just in case. But even then you never know what surprises will come your way.

To be fair, it's a lot better lining up for government documents now than it was five years ago. The processes are more streamlined, the frontline people are more courteous (relatively) and 80% of the time they know what they're talking about. It also helps if you know someone "up there" so you don't have to wait for days.

But still, the "no-way" factor is running high, as in "No way are you going to make me wait for 2 hours" or "No way, 11 working days???" You're prepared but not enough, and you think it's a basic human right to complain and grumble about it. But when it's someone who's not from this country who does it, it's a different story.

I just defended a government office because it was called a lot of names. I live here. I was born, raised and educated here, and my whole life is built upon the culture and society of this country. I would never call myself patriotic, but I can't stand listening to other people who have never done anything for this country trashing dear old Bayang Sinilangan.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hello, Room

For the first time in months I get to spend the weekend doing absolutely nothing. The past week left me so tired that I just want to just lie here half-conscious for two days. The Kids of Central Perk is keeping me company, which is good because they’re gathering dust.

The thing with being used to roaming around the city until the sun is about to rise is that when I finally have some time to myself I don’t know what to do with it. I know I’m supposed to do my uh, paper, but see, I don’t want to. I’m going to hell.

I’m being reacquainted with the fixings in my room, like oh, I have a lamp. Or hey, I have a Nanny McPhee DVD. Recently my room only mostly see me unconscious, staggering in way past midnight – once with a Birdie party hat, a balloon and a loot bag from Giff’s birthday party. It must be a weird sight, especially since I also have a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure and a Hello Kitty viewer in one hand.

I'm going crazy here. I can't stand it, we're going to Binondo.

Friday, September 07, 2007

We Are Lomomanila

Because I can't get enough of blogs and lomography. Lomomanila's blog.

There's a thread in the forum "Why Lomomanila?" I never got to post my answer to that, but I'll take this opportunity to do so.

I started to get into photography in 2002, when someone enrolled me in FPPF as a Christmas gift. (For that, I owe him my photography life. Thank you again.) Finally, I understood apertures and shutter speeds and depth of fields and chromatic aberration and lens flares. The difference between ISO 100 and 400. Sunny 16. The standard 1/ISO to prevent blurring. Things like that.

Digital was little known then, and we used film. It was, and still is, an expensive hobby. Equipments are major purchases, and sometimes life and limb are risked for that one good shot in a roll. I was happy, I get to exercise my right brain and my travels are well-documented.

Something happened in my personal life that I lost all interest in clicking the shutter. I just can't find it in me to find the perfect angle or compose the scene. I didn't care. Robin, my camera, sat inside my drybox for quite some time. Time came when I purchased a digital point and shoot. It was fun to use, mainly for camwhoring, but not really for serious photography. I thought new gadgets would solve my dry spell, so I got Ken the DSLR. I was wrong. Although for a time I played around with it (the instant gratification factor can get you high), somehow the pictures were "flat" and uninteresting for me.

By this time I had accumulated four different cameras and some lenses, including the actionsampler I got in 2005. I didn't like this camera very much because most of the pictures I took with it were from Crapolaville.

In March this year Jill invited me to the opening of Lomo Revolution. I went because I wanted to see her after so many years, and because I was interested to see what they came up with. Looking at the lomowall, it was a shock to the senses. All shapes and colors assaulted you, and I thought that people who came up with such interesting pictures should also be interesting. I decided to join the forum, and the next exhibit which was Lakbay Lomo.

The rest was history. If not for lomography I wouldn't be taking pictures anymore.

Even if some purists hate lomography, I don't care, we're happy with our "overpriced" toy cameras and the never-ending quest for cheap film. For digital photographers there's always the megapixel factor, the latest models, the full-frame myth, etc., for us it's a joy to find hundred-peso plastic cameras on sale in a remote photography shop.

In lomography happy accidents are welcome, being blurred is a nice change, light leaks are considered yummy, and vignettes are sultry. Add to that the anticipation of waiting for your rolls to be developed and scanned, there's no peeking at the LCD. I learned to be patient, and not to be so trigger-happy, because darn it, this is my last Provia roll and I don't know where to get the next batch.

Apart from reviving my interest in photography, I have found new friends in Lomomanila. Real people, funny people, tall and short, loud and shy - it's a great community.

I heart.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Where in the World?

I know I've been to a lot of places already this year alone, and I just got back from CDO, but I miss traveling! I miss planes and big buses and boarding passes and passport stamps and immigration lines. To say that the travel bug bit me is a horrible understatement; I think it ate me whole, chewed, swallowed, and regurgitated only to be attacked again.

It's like there's a contest on who can go the most places in a year and the punishment is death for the loser. I don't mind not having enough sleep, always packing and unpacking, or being constantly tired. I just want to go somewhere, anywhere.

I was meant to be a gypsy.

Monday, September 03, 2007

You Would Think I Have Learned Something by Now

But nooooooo.

I still bump my knees against my CPU.
I still shovel hot food in my mouth.
I still put things off until the last minute.
I still trip on the third step of our stairs.
I still wear white pants on rainy days.
I still read with dim lighting.
I still marathon-watch DVDs until my head hurts.
I still buy overpriced chinelas.
I still slam my head on my bookshelf.

And I still get sucked in by a vortex of cloud nine proportions that generate nice warm feelings, even with the full knowledge that I shouldn't even be near it.

I can't wait for this to pass.

CDO in Lomo


Cagayan de Oro, August 2007. Velvia xpro. I love film!

In Reply

No, it doesn't have to be.

Countdown to Closing

The exhibit is ending, so you better look at the crap we've come up with. And watch out for LomoLove Too! I heart Lomomanila.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Job Hunting Rule #234

Do not ever, in the course of your job hunting phase, include the URL of your personal blog in your CV. It's professional suicide. Do you really think we're interested whether he can commit or not?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Me, a Writer. A Crazy One.

Ever since this piece came out in Blog Patrol, suddenly a very tiny finger of reluctance to share my life in this blog has been poking me in the side. Admittedly, I share only what I want people to know, and there are a lot more happening in my life behind the curtains.

Like that ghost in the car. Or the stupid bus incident. Angelica Panganiban giving me acid reflux. Rooftop beers. New loves. Crapshooting. Secrets, lots of it. Boys behaving like girls. Getting excited over a new budget airline. That thing I did before leaving KK. The Brunei incident. Getting paid for taking pictures. Painting my nails black.

But still, hitting the Publish Post button allows everybody else to have a peek (not necessarily an opinion) at my goings-on. Like those that I just mentioned.

I've wanted that entry to reach a bigger audience, and now it had. I hope that the people who have read it would share it, or at least shut up about the freaking questions. I reproduced the page and handed it to my relatives. I will not be grilled in exchange for a cassava cake.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Team Stalactite and Stalagmite


All those food I mentioned went directly to my cheeks. Thanks guys for the fun fun weekend. Photos by Jill.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mixed Emotions

Who am I kidding? I drafted six different intros for my CDO entry but none of them worked. You know your opening paragraph is good when you can't stop writing, there's no problem segueing the previous to the next, and your fingers just fly on the keyboard. I can't do that now. I'm feeling a lot of things and my judgment might be a little clouded in the next few days.

Six attempts on trying to put in black and white what that trip did to me - that's not a good sign. To say it's been fun is an understatement, so I'm not even going there. I went rafting again, and while listening to the safety briefing I was asking myself "Why am I doing this again?" but of course my other personality won't answer me back. Some of us jumped off from a clifflet (or mini-cliff if you're being technical) as a sort of graduaion rite for completing the river course. I didn't. I jumped into lunch instead.

Then we went to the Del Monte plantation and had dinner at the Club House. The steak was good, but my jaw hurt from trying to finish everything. It was just too thick. But I'm not complaining, especially about the food. Oh, the food. The steaks and the chicken barbeques and the lechon de leche and sugpo and a lot more. And those fermented fruits that turned into alcohol, Absolut Mandarin and Apeach. Lucky Me La Paz Batchoy. Honey Nuts and Oats. Mangosteen. Marang. Baby back ribs, burgers, and chicken skin. I might have to turn vegetarian for a month just to compensate from all that meat.

We also went to see Ms. Kagay-an, just in time for the question and answer portion; which, I'm sorry to say, was not good for our health. Sure, they're so brave going up there and braving the motions of the beauty pageant, but it's just not something I will voluntarily watch. The stalactites and stalagmites answer are still boring their way inside my brain.

I still haven't had a decent night's sleep since I left Manila for CDO, and now I'm back. Sorry, no pictures for now, I didn't get to shoot a single digital frame, it was all in films that I have to take to Fuji tomorrow to meet the deadline.

Thanks to the people who made it happen, you know who you are.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stranded Fun


Photos by Jill.

Last Friday night, while the stupid typhoon was raging and people were being sent home, the Alkies trooped to Jill's house for Michelle's dinner and yukata party.

More pictures at Jill's Multiply.

Monday, August 20, 2007

How to Die with Dignity

1. Don’t commit suicide. If you do, consider a method that will not mangle your body. Poisons and slitting of the wrist recommended. Jumping in front of trains or holding a live grenade is a no-no.
2. Don’t die from diseases that manifest on the skin, such as skin cancer, leprosy, or pox.
3. Don’t die from accidents caused by machinery and vehicles. This implies stupidity on your part somehow.
4. Don’t die in a compromising position. While first impression never lasts, the last one does.
5. Don’t die too early or too late in life. You either miss out on the fun or overstay your welcome.
6. Don’t die while causing another death. The living will curse you forever, especially if the other is more popular than you are.
7. Don’t die for a lost cause. It’s plain stupid.
8. Don’t die. There is no dignity in death.

In college I had a best friend whom we’ll call Alice. Alice was also my high school classmate, but it was only in college that we really got to hang out. Alice was smart and intelligent (yes, they’re different) in a bookish sort of way. Her mother always gets to pin her ribbons and medals at the end of the schoolyear. She graduated third in our class.

Alice was street smart; she had seven older brothers and they taught her the ways of the dog-eat-dog world. Even if she was the baby of the family, she was mature for her age. Alice and I were almost always together – and sometimes it got too close for comfort. She got jealous if I spent time with Jenny, my other friend. She would sulk and pout and ignore me. When she got herself a boyfriend for the first time, she would ask me endlessly if I liked him. I don’t know what happened during the course of our friendship, but we drifted apart. I felt suffocated and she felt neglected; then we just didn’t talk at all.

Then one rainy day in January six years ago, a high school classmate called me to say that Alice was in the hospital for a failed suicide attempt. She gulped muriatic acid and her mouth and esophagus were burned. It was soon discovered that her stomach were also burned from the lethal acid. Everybody thought she was going to die then.

We also learned that she was several months pregnant, the main reason for the suicide attempt.

That was what shocked me. I thought I knew her. She wasn’t the type of person who will end her life just because she’s pregnant and there will be no wedding because her fucker of a boyfriend turned out to be already married. Aside from being stupid, it was a cliché. We hated clichés.

I felt horrible. I was, after all that’s been said and done, her friend. I had no right to judge her and what she did. Even after realizing that, I was still pissed. Even as she lay in the hospital I didn’t want to visit, because I might have smacked her on the forehead saying “stupid” over and over. Then I might have just curled up and cried beside her.

She didn’t die immediately. She died after ten months of suffering. Of being bed-ridden, of being fed through tubes, of looking like a living skeleton. I hated her, I hated the guy, I hated everything that happened. Everybody asked me if I was going to the funeral. I said I didn’t have money to fly home. The truth was, I can’t. I can’t see her like that. Somehow I failed her.

I dream of her every now and then. Sometimes she’s very happy in the dream, we’re running through meadows and picking flowers; sometimes she just looks at me, very angry and not speaking. That jolts me awake.

This is for you, Alice. This might be six years too late, but it’s only now that I can say all these without something very much like guilt prickling my conscience. I hope you’re now at peace.