Saturday, December 31, 2011

...and a Happy New Year, hopefully 2012 will be a lot kinder to all of us

[For VS]

I was looking out this window as you were preparing our lunch, roughly 2 years ago. You told me, sit down, I can manage. Then you brought out a pot filled with sinigang na bangus. You cooked this? I asked in surprise, and you said of course I did. But I never thought that you could cook. You answered, in your usual unassuming demeanour, there was little need for me to cook when your Ima was still alive. It never crossed my mind that you could cook, and that you could make sinigang that tasted as good as home....

[To VS, who passed on last December 28. Take care forever.]

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, It's The Time Of Hope

Roughly 5 hours from now and it will be Christmas.

It is very busy out in the streets. I chose to stay indoors. Sadly, I am not with my family (or whoever remains of my family, as some members have already passed on), and my aunt is very sick. I spent my Christmas last year with her.

I gave the security guard some brownies and drinks, both of which I bought at a nearby bakeshop.

There are some things I feel a bit sentimental about (considering that I am not a very sentimental person :) ) but overall I have been blessed with a good year and as such I should celebrate Christmas with joy and hope.

I hope that you have a blessed Christmas as well.

Adrian Eröd: "Adeste Fideles"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Star Named Joe

[If Paul Simonon would have been my lover, then Joe Strummer will always be a star in my musical firmament.]

21 August 1952 - 22 December 2002

Rest in peace, my dear star. Your music lives on. [Played on video: Coma Girl]

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Wrath of Sendong

No such thing as ceasefire, Christmas, or any form of holiday as far as the wrath of nature is concerned.

Rescue operations at CDO. Photo from this site. Read more at the Mindanao News website.

Typhoon Sendong struck Southern Philippines specifically Cagayan De Oro and Iligan and is said to have left at least 327 people dead and many families homeless, no thanks to landslides and floods.

If you wish to help the victims, please make sure that your donations won't fall in the hands of the crooks. Sadly, people who take advantage even of situations such as this do exist. Please just send your donations to reputable charitable institutions such as The Red Cross.

I would be more than happy if I am able to course at least a few visitors (even just one) a day to the links. After all, as a Filipino, I have a social responsibility, and using this blog is one of my means of fulfilling this responsibility.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shopping For Christmas Gifts

(Well, well, who do we have here? )

Shopping during the Christmas season is one of my least favorite activities. I love giving gifts, but I hate having to brave the crowd. During the holidays, the malls, bazaars, bars, and probably every public place in the city are filled with people. Pickpockets seem to be in every corner as well.

Fortunately, I completed my shopping a week ago. Surprisingly, I had a lot of fun shopping this year. (Maybe because I did a lot of shopping in Manila, and there is not a lot of places to shop here where I am stationed right now. *sob*) 

I bought a lot of beauty products for the ladies and the men (yes, them too ^^) in the workplace. There are many new great products out in the market that I have only come to know recently. My favorite thing at the moment is this.

(Yes, it's quite embarrassing that I am talking about a beauty product - of all things! - in my blog. But now I know why women are going ga-ga over BB cream. I now have Etude House's Precious Mineral and I, too, am crazy about it. So sue me. :D)

I also had a great time shopping for wines and toys. It has become a habit of late to look into labels of toys, just so to avoid buying products that can be potentially toxic. Christmas, after all, belongs to children, and it would be best to give them gifts that are both enjoyable and safe.

So now, I am almost done with wrapping the gifts, and am getting ready to go to bed ...


By the way.

The blog's template has already been modified. For 3 years, my blog has had the same look. This new template is a little more updated but is structurally similar to the past design. I like the blog to maintain its simple, uncluttered look that I cannot achieve with multiple-column templates.

One week to go and it's Christmas day. Time goes so fast, indeed ....

Friday, December 16, 2011

To Paul, (arguably) the coolest guy on the planet


You are probably the coolest guy to have ever lived on the planet.

(I know, I once said that I love Joe Strummer more, but I think you're cooler ... and a lot more like my boyfriend, who passed away more than 2 years ago.)

My late boyfriend, whom I adored and admired so much, took after your coolness. He lived by Joe Strummer's ideals, dug deep into Mick Jones' pop sensibilities, understood Topper Heddon's rebellious streak. But, if he were alive to this day, he'd probably deny this, but I'd say, in my most biased assertion, he was very much like you.

While it is only coincidental, he also played the bass guitar. He was a left-handed punk bass player, a really mean one at that.

To be idolized by men may feel like identifying with you in a fraternal manner. Maybe some may even look up to you as a father or even a godfather. I can surmise that many women see you more like a good-looking man worthy of a dream. I wonder, given the above situation, to what category my adulation qualifies.

But does it matter?

I came across this piece of news, and I am convinced that you are (still) my favorite cool guy on the planet.

So to you Paul, may you have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my heartfelt greetings coming from the opposite side of the world. You can never be my boyfriend, but you were my boyfriend's hero, and my idol as well. That, for me, is more than enough. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Feeling Baudelaire on a Monday

It's a Monday afternoon where I am right now. It's cloudy and for some reasons, I'm feeling ... yellow. (Why?!) yellow as this boat, yep. Ma On Shan, 2007

And for some reasons, I feel like posting one of Charles Baudelaire's poems. This is the first poem by him that I have read, and I got hooked enough to ask someone to get me the original French version of Fleurs du Mal. (Thank you, Cristy.) I know, I really suck at French but I really appreciate reading poetry in its native form - the context, the meaning, and the lyricism are preserved that way, among other reasons.

J'espere que tu apprecierez les poesie de Baudelaire. (Ah, I tried so hard there, hahah.) That is, as much as I do. :) Happy Monday y'all.
Viens-tu du ciel profond ou sors-tu de l'abîme,
Ô Beauté ? ton regard infernal et divin,
Verse confusément le bienfait et le crime,
Et l'on peut pour cela te comparer au vin. 
Tu contiens dans ton oeil le couchant et l'aurore;
Tu répands des parfums comme un soir orageux;
Tes baisers sont un philtre et ta bouche une amphore
Qui font le héros lâche et l'enfant courageux. 
Sors-tu du gouffre noir ou descends-tu des astres ?
Le Destin charmé suit tes jupons comme un chien;
Tu sèmes au hasard la joie et les désastres,
Et tu gouvernes tout et ne réponds de rien. 
Tu marches sur des morts, Beauté, dont tu te moques;
De tes bijoux l'Horreur n'est pas le moins charmant,
Et le Meurtre, parmi tes plus chères breloques,
Sur ton ventre orgueilleux danse amoureusement. 
L'éphémère ébloui vole vers toi, chandelle,
Crépite, flambe et dit : Bénissons ce flambeau !
L'amoureux pantelant incliné sur sa belle
A l'air d'un moribond caressant son tombeau. 
Que tu viennes du ciel ou de l'enfer, qu'importe,
Ô Beauté, monstre énorme, effrayant, ingénu!
Si ton oeil, ton souris, ton pied, m'ouvrent la porte
D'un Infini que j'aime et n'ai jamais connu ? 
De Satan ou de Dieu, qu'importe ? Ange ou Sirène,
Qu'importe, si tu rends, - fée aux yeux de velours,
Rythme, parfum, lueur, ô mon unique reine ! -
L'univers moins hideux et les instants moins lourds.
 - Charles Baudelaire (extrait des Fleurs du Mal)

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Love Bar Dolci

Whenever I go home back to Manila, I try to drop by Bar Dolci for my gelato and macaron fix. A lot of Manila-based food blogs have already waxed praises for this little sweet spot somewhere in Bonifacio Global City. I, too, fell for Bar Dolci's gelato and macaron, and have recommended the place to friends a good number of times already.

Mae taking photos

I thought about writing my own Bar Dolci piece after having read Mae's review in When In Manila and in her personal food blog, Eats A Date. Mae seems very satisfied and I am happy that she likes it there. It is not too often that I zealously recommend a place to eat, since I am a very sensitive person and I take it rather hard when a person that matters to me (i.e., a good friend, a member of the family) does not enjoy the restaurants nor the dishes that I like. (LOL!)

Gelato attack

Macaron fix

Bar Dolci's gelato and macarons are some of the best in Manila, I think. I kind of expected Mae to go crazy over the best-selling gelato Salted Caramel. :) My favorite, however, is the Ferrero gelato. I am also a sucker for anything pistachio.

I was there when Mae reviewed the place, taking pictures and sampling the food as I watched and munched away. Paula and Badeth were present as well. It was a drizzly Sunday evening, just the perfect time to lounge around. I surely miss this face of Manila: on a Sunday afternoon, there are places in Manila that seem to stop with time, and the best way to spend it is to sit comfortably on a couch and read or chat with friends while nibbling on snacks.

It's also great that Bar Dolci is near my house as well. Can't wait till I get back home in a few weeks. Sigh. Dagupan City (where I spend time for the most part of late) has some cool places to eat and I like it there also, but I guess it will be always true that there's no place like home.

Bar Dolci is here:

F133 Forbeswood Heights
Forbestown Road, cor Burgos Circle,
Bonifacio Global City,
Manila, Philippines

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Doctor-Patient Relationship: How Far Am I Willing To Go?

Bonedoc, my colleague in more ways than one (fellow orthopod, fellow blogger, fellow...nature lover :D) posted a link to an interesting read in our Facebook group page hours ago. Titled "Can Patients Be Facebook Friends With Doctors?", the article is something that I could have probably written a few months earlier. It is not a secret to most of you who have come across some of my posts that I am not much of a Facebook fan mainly because of security and privacy concerns, though I am still holding on to my present account for purposes of keeping in touch with family and friends.

Of course, doctor-patient relationship is but one of the many relationships that I have to protect, not just in Facebook world. I may still be (relatively) young in the specialty practice, but already I am quite aware that most patients appreciate it so much when their attending physicians take time out to know them a bit more. Things like remembering the patient's name and being able to associate the name to the right face are just but the first steps in helping the patient speak more openly, not just about his illness, but also his concerns about its impact on his personal and social life. However, and this is a personal opinion, a line has to be drawn somewhere, somehow. And "friending" in Facebook is just one of the places where this line has to made distinct. 

Endocrine-witch did make me think about how much I would want to get involved in a doctor-patient relationship, and I came up with this list.

1. I would not be so inclined to accept Facebook friend requests from patients. Probably the only exception to this is when my account is created for the purpose of disseminating general information relevant to the medical field; however, I have no such account.

2. For security reasons, I do not also wish to give my mobile number to patients. In the past, I had been a victim of numerous stalkers. Sadly, some stalkers actually got my number from my co-workers (one incident involved a stalker asking for my number from a nurse(!)). While I have many times contemplated to get another number solely dedicated to patient calls, at the moment the hospital landline seems to suffice.

3. Will I accept invitations to attend social affairs from patients? (i.e., birthday party, wedding etc) Filipinos are generally the type to involve everyone in their social affairs; I say generally, and yes I think is a cultural thing. This is quite an iffy situation that has to be answered out on a case-to-case basis.

4. What if I fall in love with my patient? I have never been in this situation, have never envisioned myself to be in this situation, and I do not, by all means, intend to be in this situation. As far as I am concerned, carrying on a love affair with a patient is so out of the question. The only acceptable time for me to be in a romantic relationship with a patient is when that person first became my partner before becoming my patient - certainly not the other way around. 

There are likely more situations where the extent of the doctor-patient relationship will be tested. I am not one to impose my personal beliefs, and I welcome opinions and constructive criticisms. Let me know what you think. :) 

By the way, the absolutely cute cartoon is courtesy of this entertaining blog A Cartoon Guide To Becoming A Doctor. Do check it out.

Sunday, November 13, 2011



After roughly six months of soul-searching, serious bone-mending, trekking, reading voluminous tomes...

[ well as reading loads of manga and watching loads of anime (yaoi not spared hahah)]

...I decided that quietly brooding is over for now, and that the time has come for brooding aloud. ;)

So, after nearly half a year of hibernation, I am resuming this blog.

Glad to be back here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why Blog...? (...when it's as obsolete as mIRC?)

Sigh. Why risk being called a tech dinosaur? After all, there have been numerous well-based predictions that Facebook and Twitter, what with their ease of usage and accessibility, will slowly put blogging into extinction.

It is not actually a question of whether I like to write. There is, indeed, no question that I like to write, as I find this method of communication more effective for me than talking. I did not learn to talk till I was 4 to 5 years of age, but at that very same time I was constructing sentences and doing a lot of drawings. I grew up always bringing with me my "magic slate" (y'know, those things you write on and eventually erase when you lift the translucent gray film off the black base), eventually replaced by a small notebook and a pen where I can write random thoughts and ideas. It is one of my many personal attempts to put some semblance of order into my cluttered mind.

(Ideas as cluttered as wisps of cloud. Hong Kong skies, 2007)

One of my first reasons why I started blogging is to address a need, so to speak.

When I started my first proper blog called Trash Radio Manila, my initial goal was to write about the music that I like and how the local underground scene is like from my viewpoint. These are the very things that I want to read about online and yet I do not get to read much. Apparently, there are some people who would want to read about the same things that I am interested in.

Then I realized then that blogging allows for a sharing of opinion even from strangers - people whom I would not dream of adding in my Facebook account.

You see, sometimes, there are just some things that I just want to write about and see what people think. When you want to determine a particular opinion, oftentimes you get the more objective ones from strangers. I can explain a certain issue at length, without being interrupted, and then see what they have to say. It is like allowing a good friend to talk about a problem that's bugging her and what he plans to do about it without interrupting him, then when he is done talking you can give your thoughts.

I certainly believe that good communication even with people whom I never know at a personal level is possible, and this does not require Facebook.

I have always regarded Facebook as a phenomenon yet not without its limitations. Facebook has made communication too personal. Honestly, it irks me a bit to read those status that change every hour - and people wonder why stalkers abound. Sometimes - my apologies for having to state this - some friends will breach the boundaries of "personal space", at times invading your Facebook wall with their issues that you have absolutely nothing to do about. Facebook is like being in a noisy bar: people move about you, brushing your arms and shoulders as they move about, breathing behind your necks ... does this sound like I am experiencing some form of online claustrophobia here?

This is also the same reason why I do not hang around much in Twitter, either - I only use it for networking purposes, just like my Facebook account.

Blogging, well ... call me old-fashioned. Blogging is like being in a coffee shop with a friend. Communication is unhurried, you can both stay up all night, and go home to your respective places without one needing to know what the other person wears (or does not wear, perhaps) when sleeping.


This is my submission to the May 2011 edition of The Blog Rounds. Yay, Bonedoc, we're back! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Be Cheerful, Strive To Be Happy (In Memory Of A Father)

Photo from

[Note: I have never known my father, who passed away last April 26, to be the literary sort of guy. Which is why I will never forget the time when he quoted the Desiderata when my sister and I were once bickering inside the car so many years ago when we were still kids. I thought - wow, Dad is actually quoting Desiderata?! Correctly at that! Now I guess I can best sum up how I would like to remember my father by reprinting The Desiderata. I know, this is so trite, our relationship was far from perfect, and I wasn't exactly the nicest child that a father, and even a mother, can have, but I miss him, as early as now, just as I miss my mother.]


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Father's Day, Four Years Ago

I am reprinting this post that I made at my Multiply site in memory of my father, who passed away last April 26, 2011. You can find the original article by following this link.

This was written when I was in Hong Kong, doing my post-residency training. I kind of feel a tad guilty that I have not written about my father so much.

I wish for him to be happy, wherever he is now.


from, photo from the same site
(June 17, 2007)

I just did, through SMS. Sending him e-mail from my part of the world would not be feasible, since he never uses the computer, much less surf the internet.

And what did he say in return? His response was very typical of him, being a man of a few words: Tnx.

At 66, my father is not as young as he wishes to think he is. (In the orthopaedic world, however, 66 is still young. Trust me.) It’s all in that face of his. In spite of the fact that he had a stroke 8 years ago, his demeanor, save for minor wrinkles and alternating white hair, remains as youthful as ever. The world turns at a rapid pace, but the world that he knows takes it easy, and for him it seems that the only reminder that time goes by is the tome of photographs of people, living and dead, who surrounded him at any given point in his life. Nothing wrong with that: people do tend to be nostalgic (he always does) especially when there is a lot to recount in the past.

I just wish that he’d stop smoking like a fiend….

It is Father’s Day today, and next month it’s going to be his birthday. For geographic reasons I will not be able to visit him this year. I now owe him some visits. Should pay him one as soon as I get home.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Today Is A Special Day

Actually, for the most part of my life, the first 15 days of April are some of the most special days of the year and are the days that I look forward to spending. If you have been reading this blog for quite sometime, you will know my recurrent references to summer, the sun, and the memories that I attach to them, whether joyful or the reverse.

Today is no exception. You see, a few weeks ago, I made a crucial decision to try an opportunity in a place that I have only been once. I know of no one in this place, nor do I have a fair idea of its ins and outs. All I know is that this place is bisected by a highway that is hardly lit at night. This place is so different from my home in Makati where I could just go out of the house at whim and feel safe even in the middle of the city.

Where I am

Not in here. Step gingerly out of this establishment at night and a provincial bus will likely crush my physical being into a horrendous mush. There are hardly any bars that play the music that I want. The nearest decent pizza place is, like, 30 minutes away. And since I do not have my own PC yet, I only get to go online at night, when no one is around, on a borrowed computer and borrowed connection. Ad infinitum. Alas. So different in here.

And yet, I am doing fine. For one, the food is fresh, the vegetables taste so good. The air is definitely cleaner. The people whom I am with are mostly nice, and I am still accorded my precious privacy, somehow. I get to eat more broccoli and cauliflower now more than ever. :)

It was, in so far as I regard it, a well-made decision. This is the change that I direly need.

Today, I had a good meal as usual. I had loads of mangoes and papaya that I eat with boiled purple yam (great combination!). I got to take a 20-minute joyride to the main city, my ride blazing the road that is flanked by green rice fields as far as my eyes can see. I gave the staff and my host some pizza. A little later on, we went to hear Sunday mass in a beautiful church that is more than a century old.

It has been a tradition among people here to make a wish when entering a church for the first time. In the church, the crowd was singing to a familiar religious tune, while birds kept on flying to and fro, darting through open doors and flying all around the place.

I made my wish...

Stepping out of the church, my mind was filled with earthly concerns, but was being consoled by a constant thought.

Today is a special day, as will be the rest of the days. I may not be immensely happy yet, but I am comforted, and that will be good enough for now.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Second Death Anniversary

Je A. Bautista (Jan 1, 1966 - April 4, 2009)
Tu me manque. Take care forever.

Nearly four years ago, I was doing my training in Hong Kong. Je came over for a 4-day stay with me. My senior was all too glad to give me the time to be with him. You see, I noticed that the Chinese, and the Asians in general, value family and relationships so much. Knowing that Je was very important to me, my gracious senior allowed me enough free time. Not wanting to take advantage of his kindness, I worked double time so that I can have enough time with Je without sacrificing the quality of my work.

Je was meaning to stay for just 3 days, but he extended. The 4 days of his visit were probably some of the best days of my life.

I documented his visit in a photoblog of sorts. At first, Je was hesitant to have his photos put up for the cyber-universe to see, but he eventually obliged. Please visit the site. I simply want to share what happiness meant to me in the not-so-distant yet very distant past.

It has always been said that we have to live in the here and now. True...but it is the past that make us into what we are, now. The past that has made us the better persons that we are now, is the past worth remembering.

Can you blame me when I say that somehow, I live in the past? It is so, because I want to live for the present, and the future.

Today, I go on. Here and now and forever.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Newly Acquired Preoccupations: Bleach, Bulanglang, and Baker King (!)

Adapting to the rural life has made me look into things that I normally would have missed in the city where I lived for the most part of my life.

For instance, I get to eat some dishes that I will never get to taste in their freshest back in Manila. The vegetables and fruits here (oh well, here in Nueva Ecija - there, I finally revealed :P) are absolutely delicious and so fresh. If there is one single reason for me to want to stay put in this place (or in any other place outside the city for that matter), it would be food.

And since my nightlife is limited to staying indoors (no bars, no late-night spur-of-the-moment strolls etc etc), I get to reacquaint myself with the television. I am not exactly a TV person, getting impatient when I watch something that lasts more than 30 minutes, but recently I drew the line for a few shows.

My present preoccupations are those that I may not be busy with if I did not accede to the recent call of the countryside.

1. Bleach

Bleach, as in the anime. It is widely popular and I know about it, but never spent time watching it on the Animax channel. The preoccupation is mainly because - sigh - I miss watching animes like I used to when I was still a child.

2. Bulanglang

Bulanglang is an Ilokano dish made mainly out of vegetables. I was served bulanglang in the house of my host and I certainly appreciate that the food here is fresh and delicious. Recipes can be found here and here. Photo from this site.

3. (The) Baker King

I have been telling people that The Baker King, the popular Korean telenovela that was initially shown in South Korea during the latter part of 2010 and is presently being shown here in the Philippines, is my biggest guilty pleasure in recent memory. Why, I never even followed a single Korean drama series - until now. That this drama series is about the joys of baking is enough to make me sit up and pay attention. The storyline is likewise engaging. Check out this site...and sue me if you must, but there you are, I just got hooked.

Perhaps I will find out more new things as I go along. If I do, I will gladly share in the days to come. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sometimes, You Ask For Something and Get Another (Not That I Mind)...And More Musings

For many weeks, I have been working on certain changes in my career and have been wishing hard to see their fruition. And as always, the heavens play a lot of practical jokes. Because, as I was about to gear up for some thing, along comes another opportunity.

So I suddenly find myself somewhere, hundreds of kilometers north of my homebase in the highly urban Makati City, getting a re-taste of the quiet rural life. I say re-taste, for I have had a taste of this rural life many times, although in punctuated time periods. Mountaintop, seaside, ricefields...ah, the quintessential "been there, done that".

That means less nightlife (aaaaaaarrrrrrrrgh!), less perks associated with urban living (from where I live, I only need a few steps to get a nice slice of pizza, or watch a cool movie, or pick up a book, etc), less internet (another aaaarrrrrrgggh), more quiet. The latter is the hardest to get adapted to. Silence has an eerie way of deafening me, but I guess I could use some of it these days. :)

So, no, I am not dead yet (forgive me, morbid is my occasional middle name), nor is this blog dead...far from it. Just, the sudden and unusual transition.

Change is good, more often than not.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine-Related Conversation Two Months Before Valentine Month

Below is a conversation with a good friend in Facebook. The premise is, I found a cool Japanese proverb about love and I posted it in my status, just because it's neat, and not because I am feeling romantic.

On Facebook, two months ago, this was my status:
Koi ni shishou nashi.
[Love needs no teaching.]
- Japanese proverb
I got this particular response from a friend.

true... found love again?

And I answered.

nope...and i am not looking for one ^^

Friend replied back.

no need to look... it will find you whether you like it or not ;)

My response.

love will have a really awful hard time finding me, loool. good luck to it ;) :P

The reaction.

LMAO!!!!! you must be hiding really well!

Ahh... No no, I am not a cynic. I am just pragmatic.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mom, on her 66th Birthday

A man is not where he lives, but where he loves. (Latin Proverb)

So, what and where am I, right this moment, when most of the people I love are in heaven?

For Mom, she should have turned 66 yesterday. Death claimed her too soon, but who am I to question the grand design of life?

Take care, Mc.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hong Kong Lessons After Two Weeks

My fascination for Hong Kong is not a secret to people who have known me considerably. I am a frequent visitor of Hong Kong but I had the opportunity to spend more than half a year in what the world now knows as one of the Special Administrative Regions of China, the other being Macau.

At that time, I would discover many things, peculiar to but at the same time close to home. Hong Kong, after all, is just too close to the Philippines, it is practically like going to Quiapo from my place in Makati. (I have already taken into account the traffic factor, LOL.) The following is part of my egroup post. I thought about posting it, thinking that it would be interesting for me to see how Hong Kong is in my eyes, more than 3 years and many life-changing events after.

Impressions are always subject to change, this much I can say.

I love Hong Kong, still.

February 13, 2007 (Tuesday)

Today marks the second week of my stay in Hong Kong. I reali
se that I
still need a lot of catching up to do. So far, these are the things
I've learned:

1. If I want my US dollars changed, I should go to Mon
g kok. In Shatin, money changers are more uptight, probably because they don't get to see a lot of tourists. I was refused by two money changers in Shatin because of a red stain at the edge of my USD100 bill. How crappy was that? Mong kok money changers (and probably those in the Hong Kong island as well) must have mastered telling the fakes apart. It is best if the shop could give you a rec
eipt, too.

2. Hong Kong residents in establishments do not exactly like people who loiter. A nurse in the operating room went out of her way to accompany me to the
theatre this morning. ("They might send you out if they see you here
walking alone," she said. Oh, thoughtfulness.)

3. In the train, I can tell if one is from Hong Kong or from the mainland by both their luggages and the clothes they wear.

4. Don't take major offense if the locals come off as hostile, or speak to you in a hostile manner. I am guessing it's the communication barrier that's behind it.

5. I can actually stretch HKD100 for a week.

6. But a pack of smokes is definitely costly at HKD28. That's more than PHP150.00. And no, there's no such thing as buying by the stick here, as it appears to be a practice endemic only in the Philippines.

7. The most enduring form of personal identification here is the Hong Kong ID Card. It supercedes even the birth certifi
cate and the driver's license.

8. Hong Kong residents put premium on customer service. If they do have to turn down a client, they do so in a manner that won't get you too mad (just a little, hahaha.) And they do offer solutions, more often than not.

9. But, then again, they are not as perfect. They can be l
aw-breakers too. They throw litter in cigarette trays which should only be a receptacle for cigarette butts. Some eat in subways, as I've already witnessed. And some would make a mad dash in the streets even if the pedestrian sign has yet to turn green, making sure though that there are absolutely no vehicles in the street. In Manila, however, it's an
entirely different story, and it's worse.

10. Hong Kong residents in general are just like any oth
er Asians who are suckers for telenovelas. Of course, I am not surprised.

11. Transportation by train is undeniably efficient. The bus system is quite fine but I've already seen traffic congestions in the Northern Kowloon area.

12. Hong Kong has so many faces. And I have yet to scratch the surface
of the general personality of the people here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Will Never Fall In Manila (A Walk In The Memorial Park)

Wow, two weeks into 2011 and already it seems to me that half of the year has gone by. There are so many mind-blowing events and issues of late that keep me physically and mentally occupied. What a way to anticipate the Year of the Metal Rabbit.

Last weekend, though, I found the time to walk around the memorial park where Je, my grandparents, and a very good friend were buried.It was a relaxing walk, much like a stroll in the park. I saw a number of families having picnic by the grave of their loved ones. I thought it sweet for families to bond this way. It is a far better alternative than going to the stuffy shopping malls or overcrowded amusement centers.

I do my own bonding as well, and this I try to do on a regular basis. Why I do so, there is no earth-shaking answer. It is just my quest for calm and communion ... and I think, I have a feeling, that I may not be able to do these visits to the graves on a regular basis in the near future anymore ....

You see, just when everyone here in the city is beginning to think that Manila will never get to experience below 22 degrees centigrade temperature, the weather has become gray and a bit cold in the past few weeks. It is a pleasant surprise. It is still not as cold as the Manila of my childhood, when we would bundle ourselves with jackets and vests during the cold months of December and January. Presently, I still do not feel the need to wear warm clothing.

So I walked, the wind gently hitting my face as I looked around. I took photos of trees that have shed their crown as if they know what autumn means. Autumn, for the information of my readers who have never set foot on Philippine soil, does not happen here.

Nor does snowfall. Too bad, for I have never seen snow. Someone once told me that watching a calm snowfall is akin to gazing at nature's poetry. This photo can probably deceive, though. It is as if Manila is entering into winter, and all that lacks is snow. Of course, it is an illusion.

My own snowfall is somewhere else. I am still seeking it. Maybe it won't take long til I find it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Je

Je Bautista: Jan 1, 1966-April 4, 2009

You would have been 45.

Someone saw you in his dreams recently. It was a very vivid dream, he said.

That particular friend and I were talking to a priest, asking how you are. you were said to have spoken directly to him, my friend. Something to this effect.

Don't worry about me. I am happy where I am now.

Then a vision of Heaven.

When I heard this story, I was filled with every emotion imaginable: longing, sorrow, elation ... joy.

But it is ok. I do not mind my human sorrow, for it hardly compares to the gift of eternal joy.

Happy Birthday, Je.
Do not worry much about me. I can take care of myself in this world.

L'amour est L'eternel. Take care forever.

HAPPY NEW 2011: Resolutions, Looking Back, Looking Forward

My current pet: Pegasus

What better way to revive this sleeping blog than to make my first ever post here for 2011. :)

This is the start of a new decade, and hopefully a start of a fresh chapter in life. The past few years are some of the most trying, most life-changing, most enlightening, most joyful and sorrowful in my entire existence.

Experiences have both been hard and enriching, gut-wrenching and awe-inspiring. My life may not probably be the best, nor the worst, but definitely far from being ordinary, much to my chagrin. (I always find myself wanting to be more, uhm, "regular" ... but "dull" is not a main ingredient in my life, it seems.)

The Things That I Have Added To My Realizations List In The Past Few Years:

1. It will never be easy to cut oneself from someone or something that made you a better person, even though that person or thing has long gone away. As such, the term "moving on" does not apply.

2. Despite having adequately prepared, no one is completely ready for anything, whether that be love, marriage, or death.

3. Kindness comes when you least expect it. (I keep on forgetting this.)

4. Time will always be the best healer. (Also often-forgotten, it is not a new lesson.)

5. Time will come when unloading is inevitable.

I have made a vow this year. This decade will be mine. I wish everyone a Blessed 2011.