Tanjoubi

Tanjoubi

JANUARY 31, 2007

i would like to thank everyone who greeted me… lalo na yung mga saktong 12 am grabe sobrang na touch ako. you know who you guys are, and i’ll say this like tom cruise on jerry maguire, “you complete me.” naks…

thank you to all those people who came all the way from different places to join me here pampanga, you guys are the next best thing after my family. i would like to thank ta peng for the cake. my bestfriend for the boxer shorts and for lending me your mp3 palyer for an indefinite period. to my childhood friends roby, alan jepoy – the people i reminded 5 million times to come at lunch time. you guys managed to cheer me up even though you came dead drunk around 1 am of feb 1 and sang like crazy on the videoke till early morning. tanidayo ala nang mas bolang kekayu, pero aminan ku akung peka bolang kekatamu. to my dad and sister thank you for the love, i could not ask for more.

at syempre i maku na yang peka malagung ima keng mabilug a yatu. dacal salamat, ena maglambat kanyan aku naman ing magobra para keka.

Camia

Camia

JANUARY 21, 2007

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Some time in my college years, during my few trips to the library, I stumbled upon this phrase while gathering books to be used as sources for a short paper in econ 101. The phrase is direct and easy to understand yet it carries a bitterly-sarcastic reality that spares no one. No one is free from taxes but most of all no one escapes death. Not even Peter Pan. What’s worst is that we are not assured of a quick and painless death – the variables come in play even if the result is doom. Thus is the case of my beloved uncle.

He has spent his last two months in hospital battling all sorts of illness. His soul was strong, and it had the will to live, but his body was weak. The inevitable came earlier than expected, last night around 11 pm, his earthly tent finally gave in, the straps and pinnings uprooted by the torturous wind. The death god took him away.

I guess things will never be the same without him. The usual family gatherings, and casual family conversations will be less lively without him. Also, I won’t see him riding his bike on the way to to his camia field. His usual attire: long sleeves and nylon pants with a “takas” loosely fastened on his waist is carved in my memory. Although he was fighting to the last breath, he died with a face that of a happy man. I guess he knew in his deathbed that the clan did everything in it’s power to save him even if the chances of survival is nil.

We know that he is in a better place right now. A place where death and taxes are non-existent. A place where illness and heart problems are unheard of. Having that in mind lessens our pain.

Dear God

Dear God

JANUARY 18, 2007

looks like i ate too much again. if it is not too much of a trouble, please save me from indigestion. because i really abhor, aside from an aching tooth, the feeling of an upset stomach. i have been cussing frequently than usual, but i intend to lessen it. lately, i have been slacking more than usual, and i intend to cut it. i have been too busy with nothing, and its becoming more like a vice: trapped in a wretched device that only speaks 1’s and 0’s. lately, i caught the habit of shadow boxing and i think people are starting to notice i’m hitting them high and low jabs. please help me terminate this.

GOD, please save me from the jerk that i’ll become.

as i hit the sack tonight let me thank you for giving me another day in paradise. though its been months since i last heard mass, i want you to know how grateful i am. from the abundant supply of chocolates c/o mom and dad to old navy shirts and undies from ating, thank you. to my uncles for the company during the holidays, and for proving that the best cook in the world is a pampango – who cooks with love as the secret ingredient. to my homies, who stood by despite my loud mouth and insane to the membrane ideas, those 2 a.m. strolls and the flower’s swift-justice-scythe, also for bearing with my whims. i want you to know that waking in the middle of the night to cook breakfast has never been fun. and the loneliness? oh yes. the worst of it’s kind was easier to bear with during the cold holidays with you guys around. although you scatter like mice when its time to clean up. are we ever going to graduate from small town farm boys to big time gang lords?

GOD, i thank you.

to the people who still want to become the next hokage, forget it. i’m taking the throne  unless you can name my three favorite flowers and promise to give me a lifetime supply of angel drops. to my best friend: ganbare, akawnting o oware!

GOD, thank you for giving me friends.

Somewhere in the middle

Somewhere in the middle

JANUARY 15, 2007

i’m thinking about going but i want to stay. i’m thinking of the future but the past won’t let go, like shackles they pin me down. i’m thinking about all the time i wasted, all the why’s and if’s circling in my head. i’m going straight but my eyes are blinded by your light, i’m forced to a stop though every cell of my body shouts for you. i’m making amends and i’m fooling around. i’m running but my feet are lagging.  i want to protect you from harm and i’m afraid of hurting you myself. i’m counting sheeps but i’m herding a pack wolves. i’m looking for you and you are hiding from me. i’m not letting go but you are pushing me away, and thus, we’re drifting apart.  i’m thinking about gory the nights i spent in the abattoir and the beast’s ordeal with the blade. i’m thinking positive but you are doubting me. i’m thinking about spending the night writing this but i still have class tomorrow.

To whom it may concern

To whom it may concern

JANUARY 12, 2007

its been a few weeks and the wound on my left foot hasn’t healed. there are a lot of possible reasons: 1) i did not apply anything on the wound 2) i still wore socks to school for three days while the wound was still open 3) i might have high amounts of sugar in my body. this may sound trivial to an average person but not to someone who has diabetes. i don’t have diabetes but my dad has it and a couple of close relatives too. i’m afraid i would be a likely candidate for diabetes if we consider genetics and my current diet. to people who are in a similar situation, i guess its not too late. an ounce of prevention is way better than a pound medicine.  i’m very thankful my mom’s clan is spared from this bane. otherwise, i’m in double jeopardy and i’m sure to spend my mid-life in crisis. big time.

that is why i’m thinking of my diet, lessening sweets and eating more fiber-enriched food. i guess its not to late for me and you (if we’re in the same situation) to start exercising regularly. what is 30 minutes a day right?

Numb

Numb

JANUARY 10, 2007

This is how you made me.

Numb…

After all this time, your slight nod would be enough to awaken a dormant volcano. While foot soldiers march toward their doom looking death in the eye, I scamper at the slightest strut of affection. To loose sleep because of you is ridiculous, that is why I forbid you to enter my dreams.

Living in the same sky, I know that the possibility of bumping into you again is high. I beg you to give me back my autobiography. I never should have shown in to you in the first place if I knew that it would be for keeps.

Code alarm (part I)

Code alarm (part I)

JANUARY 11, 2007

he got home home early from work expecting to catch a glimpse of the snow-white birds playing in the field adjacent to the sugar fields. a typical boy from the province, born and raised with old values, familiar with farmwork and laborous tasks. he never complained in any form, or even questioned god for his not so comfortable life. after all, he was raised in a working class family, where every grain of rice is equivalent to blood, sweat and tears. he enjoyed the soothing relief of an afternoon stroll on the vast fields, sometimes with his friends, chasing the sunset – as if they are being absorbed in it’s orange glow.

to be continued…

By your side

By your side

JANUARY 7, 2007

Chords: A – C#m – Bm – Am

when youre close to tears
i’ll fight away all your fears
when youre down to your last breath
i’ll swipe you away from death

baby, youre all i need
and no on else indeed

when your lost and confused
put to shame and abused
hold my hand and feel my caress
from this darkness and unrest

baby, youre all i believe
anything for you i’ll give

Chorus:
baby, by your side
no place is better
baby by your side
together whenever

Could it be?

Could it be?

JANUARY 6, 2007

Speaking in a foreign language is bearable but writing it on paper is another story. Foreign words will eventually  stick inside your head especially when you have someone to converse with; unlike writing compositions – that could trigger aneurysm and paralysis if taken seriously. I have been attending classes in Japanese over the past 7 months and quite frankly it is not another walk in the park. In the midst of everything political and ideological, in the heart of this university our fortress stands anchored by Japanese beams. Like the way of the ninja, we are secluded eight hours a day: learning everything from IT subjects to the great wonders of friendship and love. Aside from the usual “book -broke-backing” exercises and oral declamations we have 8 pages of survey forms that could easily  pass for a chapter exam. I am grateful we have such superb Instructors and Japanese staff, which never hesitate to lend a helping hand.

Everything as smooth as egg on tefal, until the day oyabun came up with an idea. Aside from climbing the insurmountable Mt. PhilNITS my “oyabun” requires me and flor to submit a monthly report in a specific fashion I have no knowledge of. This report, “mang berson,” as I fondly refer to it, has put lead in my pencil: something that has been missing for quite some time now. A sweet feeling tainted with scorn. Its like taking Bisolvon, it tastes awful but you have to take it to tone down the bass. Ahem! I consider the number seven as one of my lucky numbers until the day they required us to submit it every seventh of the month. I know that oyabun only intends to improve our language skills, and no pun intended . But the burning question is:

“Could it be any harder?”

Borrowed Post

Just borrowed this write up from my old man. My head is practically dried-up of all it’s essences due to the compulsory Japanese report my “buchou” requires me to submit every month. Can’t write no more. This is all your fault oyabun! Or maybe my “ningas-kugon” attitude is kicking in? I hope not. I’ll remove this post as soon as I come up with something.

The world is down.

The headline is a steal. From Thomas Friedman’s award-winning book The World is Flat, winner of the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year in 2006. The book says that the technology has “flattened the world” and the playing field in carrying out the most important services to humankind is now even, from Bangalore to San Jose in California’s Silicon Valley.

Friedman’s thesis has critics, but the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the book had drowned much of the criticism. Even Paul Krugman, who, like Friedman writes for the op-ed of The New York Times, cannot seem to puncture the solid arguments laid down by Friedman in his book. Krugman does not see the world from the sunny perspective of Friedman and this is very apparent in his writings. While Friedman jets around the world in search of nuggets and boulders of innovation and unorthodoxy, which he turns into inspiring columns, Krugman sees corporate stick-ups, the wretched side of trade liberalization and the deep problems of emerging democracies. Up to now, Krugman cannot seem to muster the courage—or come out with more powerful arguments—to contradict Friedman’s assertion on the flattening of the world.

It was neither a powerful argument nor a superior idea that tore a hole into Friedman’s thesis late December while millions of Internet users in Asia were surfing for Yuletide bargains or exchanging joyous e-mails. What did this was a strong earthquake that rocked Taiwan, the country nearest to us (Formosa is just 180 miles off Batanes province). As the fault lines down deep moved perhaps by a few inches or so, the optic-fiber cables underneath were similarly upset. The result was a technological nightmare of Biblical proportion: disrupted Internet services, patchy phone services, an IT infrastructure turned upside down.

E-tickets cannot be booked. Banking returned to pre-industrial age slowness. Millions of Internet dependent young men and women in the Asian region dying of boredom. The economic loss from the disarrayed cables was immense and so was the assault on the now complacent psyche of the young Asians. For a very rare moment, the most articulate public faces of Google and Microsoft were unable to say something of the disruptive force—primal and unpredictable—that shook the fiber-optic cables in the Asian seabed.

The Taiwan quake has shaken the confidence previously vested on the most impressive technologies in the world. Breakthrough technologies from IT really changed the way the world interacted and with this came the attendant awe and respect that it genuinely deserved. But the Taiwan quake shattered that confidence and sense of awe. It also reaffirmed an old truth. This the unquestioned primacy of nature’s fury in the world are all puny in the hands an inch-long movement in the fault lines of the seabed. Nature has reasserted its superior might anew. The world is no longer flat.

The world is down. Or, it simply crashed.

Of course, the sense of panic was least felt in the Philippines. Of all the Asian countries affected by the disarray in the optic cables, only the Philippines suffered the most bearable of inconveniences. The usually agitated punditry even failed to raise a holler and ask the elementary questions. The blogs and the chat rooms discussed it in detail but there was none of the explosive disappointment publicly conveyed by public and private sectors throughout Southeast Asia. The self-proclaimed wise men of radio did not even realize that something in the IT universe went askew.

But is this least of unease something to be proud of?

The absence of panic in the Philippines over the cables that tripped should alarm, not please, private- and public-sector leaders. It reveals many things. First, we are not really part of the cyber mainstream. Second, we are still a bumpy hump in a world already flattened by technological innovations. Third, our leaders do not really care about full integration and immersion into the E-world. As for the third reason, it does not take a genius to figure out why. A fully automated world cannot produce the likes of Garci and the sham computing that is being done every election season from time immemorial.

Lost

On a scale of one to ten, my sense of direction is probably nil. I always forget the way back to places I have gone before. If I get a thousand bucks every time I get lost, I would have enough money to pay the government’s budget deficit. My first experience was probably the most unforgettable. Quite obvious because I am about to narrate it eh? It happened way back in my kindergarten days but I still remember it clearly. I was on the morning schedule and it was my second day in school. Apparently, It was my first time to be alone in a huge crowd because I was accompanied by my mom on the first day, as she even skipped work that day. Mom gave me a drill about the directions until I memorized the whole thing: just walk across the quadrangle passing the towering basketball goals, then turn right passing the school supplies store and finally walk across the humongous prehistoric black gate. “If you see an old geezer wearing glasses inside the cockpit of a red jeepney, that would be your man,” she even retorted. I got every detail in my head but something went wrong. The overwhelming number of unfamiliar faces left me petrified as I walk out of the classroom. Lucky for my other classmates, they had their moms or house maids fetch them. Lucky bastards! I guess being independent has it’s ups and downs: you can develop your self-reliance but you have to undergo hardships.

I barely managed to drag my half frozen body near the gate but seeing the two security guards standing in the middle  was too much to handle. Imagine two crooked guys glaring at you. One had a funny fro like Rez Cortez and the other looks like Barney the dinosaur. I completely lost it. I was embraced by fear and began to walk back inside the campus. Back then, I was still oblivious about keeping track of time and I wasn’t aware the school service yields to no one, and it will leave no matter what. I found another way out of the campus but it was too late: the red jeepney holding my salvation and my ride back home has already left.

Just like Tom Hanks in Forest Gump, I started running. I ran all I could until the great big cross atop the old Sto. Rosario Church (beside my school) was out of sight. It was becoming an adventure as it was my first time to be walking the great Nepo Stalls (equivalent of SM malls today) alone. I even bought cotton candy from a peddler pushing one of those carts that magically whips up cotton candy. I even thought that sewing machines and cotton candy machines were invented by the same person, that Mr. Singer guy. Looking back, I realized how simple the mechanism is and Mr. Singer was not the inventor of the cotton candy machine. Please hit me back in my message board if you know it. Also, I could have injured my finger with the spinning wheel every time I swipe the newly formed cotton candy when the peddler is not looking. Going back to the story, the second trip driver in charge of the p.m. kids came to rescue me. I guess it was also a matter of pure luck when he saw me wandering half kilometer away from school. I told him my story and he got angry. He lectured me until I doze off. Oh well, adults… What do you expect? (”,)

Fast forward >> at present, I still lose my way, especially when attending interviews in Makati. Though not out of fear but with a poor sense of direction. I have pushed my neurons to the limits and tried proven ways like sketching landmarks on paper, but I always get the same results: I end up at the mercy of bystanders and hope for clear directions. It is quite comforting to know that you can find your way by just asking for directions. My mom always say that you can always rely on “magtanong” if you get lost . And sure as the light will reflect on you bald teacher’s head, she was damn right.

axl rose

“makuha ka sa tingin,” yun marahil ang una mong iniisip kapag mayroong nangahas sumingit sa napakahaba at tipong magpakailanmang  pila. “mabunggo ka sana,” yun marahil ang panalangin mo sa taong singit ng singit sa traffic habang ikaw ay tahimik na tumatahak sa isang linya ng kalsada. “eto racumin”, yun marahil ang gusto mong ipakain sa mga taong nambalasubas sayo. nais mong pasabugin ang sss dahil sa tagal ng pag proseso sa pensyon mo. ang sarap sigurong i-choke slam ang taong nang aaway sayo. ang gandang pagmasadang nakabitin ng patiwarik ang mga mmda sa flyover ng edsa. ang sarap sigurong ilibing ng buhay ang mga hiphop. tama lang na gripuhan sa tagiliran ang boss mong panay ang pahirap sayo. malapit mo nang batukan ang taong nangungulit sayo… at syempre lahat ng ito ay pawang kuro-kuro lamang na dala ng matinding imahinasyon.

hindi mauubos ang listahan ng mga bagay na nakakabadtrip lalo na kapag sa iyong pananaw, ikaw ay naglalaro ng tapat at malinis.  kailangan lang ng pasensya upang makaiwas sa kapahamakan. sabi nga ni axl rose “all we need is a little patience.” o diba! ginawan pa ng kanta ng guns and roses. uy bestfrend sana mabasa mo ito. alam kong nanlilisik na yung mga mata mo sa galit dahil sa kakulitan ko. pero salamat sa pagtitimpi. libre nalang kita mister kebab sa sabado. tapos libre mo ako ng movie (joke lang). nay, kahit hindi ka marunung mag internet at siento por siento hindi mo mabasa ito, nagpapasalamat ako sa araw araw na ginawa ng poong maykapal hindi ka nauubusan ng pasensya sa akin. tang and ating, takot ako sa inyo kaya di ko kayo masyado kinukulit. (”,)

It is a good day to die

i lie half-dead with Sol’s gentle ray filling the gaps
beneath the sheaths, it slowly slits my soul’s straps
like a clean slate with no trace of hate
to god i succumb, i entrust my fate

whether it be eternal damnation
in hell with no chance of pardon
a highway to the road of perdition,
or the less traveled path of human reason

inside the golden gates that admits only love divine
no possessions, nothing is yours nothing is mine
unaffected by the hands of time
it is a good day to die, so it seems

much better a funeral!
with a clear day and a gentle breeze
i know it doesn’t get any better than this
but wait, what is this smell?

fried rice sautéed to perfection,
it’s scent tempting and taunting me to it’s direction
it is not a good day to die, so it seems
not when mom is cooking breakfast on a Sunday morning

-joma

Boga

Boom! As another “Boga” shoots up. I wasn’t prepared so I was surprised by the monstrous sound, quite frankly, I jerk every time something blows up unexpectedly. I don’t drink coffee so I think caffeine overdose is out of the question. Two hours from now, 2006 will go down in the history books just like last year and all the previous years before (sounds familiar eh?). There are a lot of things that happened in 2006 that I would never forget, and this could be the reason for this blog entry. I also thought that blogging, since its catching attention worldwide, would be a in list  of must-do-before-the-year-ends stuff section. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type who jumps into the bandwagon on sight. I just want to give it a shot, no harm in trying right? In addition, writing relieves stress especially when you have suppressed or piled ideas that you cant voice out in public. Freedom died the day GMA grabbed the presidency. Also, I can avoid raps for unintentionally writing utterly malicious  posts. ( evil grin) Idiotic but pragmatic.

On the contrary, I feel the lack of writing prowess. I am not a writer and obviously I don’t have any influence in the society I belong to. I am just your average joe. I don’t have good grammatical foundation and I am a little hazy on prepositions. The verdict is that my work is teeming with grammatical lapses. But who cares anyway? Sooner or later I’ll stop this crap, just like my previous endeavors that never gone farther than second base. But then again, I might discover something. I might actually learn something in the process and pass second base! Maybe you can tell me something I don’t know. Why did Ultimate Warrior suddenly disappear in the WWF? What do you think of gathering all our waste and dumping them in outer space? What are the names of the cast of Smurfs? Can someone lose fifty per cent of his hearing when he falls from a wheel-barrow? These questions, although senseless, require tons of research and they bother me in my idle moments.

This year opened a new door for me. I got a chance to study again in a good university after getting my ass whipped in a large pharmaceutical company. I also experienced my first heartbreak and my first major car accident. Ouch! I can still remember the grim face on my sister when she saw her car in the middle of EDSA Quezon Avenue with a bent hood, wrecked bumper and, busted headlights. Plus an unforgiving screeching sound on the front wheel every time you step on the breaks. It was also the year when my sister left to study in a far place. I never thought that she was damn serious when she said she wanted to be independent. All I can do is root for your success and  wait for the balikbayan box containing an Xbox360, Ipod Nano and a bundle of greenbacks. Time check. 1 hour left before the year officially ends. I realized that I have just typed a few lines and seventy per cent of it is gibberish. My dad is sitting on the couch indulging on a new book ; while outside, Manang is on her nth song on the videoke. Even in the confines of our house and the thick cement wall that separates us, her voice like a wireless router, sound waves passing through solid walls,  my ears are about to retire from the torturous sound. I will never forget her rendition of Sir Elton John’s Skyline Pigeon. Please make it stop.