June 30, 2005


That let-me-eat-your-burger ad I was ranting about in my previous post was about Meralco and not about VAT, my mistake. These ads sounded the same to me.

June 28, 2005

I am sorry...

I could use the same line
For those whom I’ve done wrong
I have used the same line
A hundred times and a
Thousand times more
While it will never be enough
And never could explain
I used the same line
And served it with heartfelt gratitude
For friends whom I’ve done wrong
I pray that those lines
Set us all free
Lest I carve the same lines
On the gravestone
Of our buried memories.

Here we go again. All the Queen’s horses and men have made their move – a well-rehearsed speech of admission and apology. Outstanding facial expression, I say. We’ll find out very soon how the public took this in.


Let me just get this crappy feeling off my system...

Whoever came up with that two pro-VAT ads must be a twisted genius. He or she must have known the power of negative recall to the Filipino psyche, and our propensity to be desensitized to all sorts of hanky-panky.

First, the let-me-explain-VAT-while-I-eat-your-burger ad. Great illustration of proportions, fairly basic and easy to understand concepts. But why the heck should the thin guy lose his precious snack to the fast-talking, fat-bellied guy? Wtf?

Second, the let-me-explain-VAT-while-I-sneak-away-without-paying ad. I need not say more on this one.

Not enough government funds to conduct a decent ad testing? Had there been one, surely someone would have raised the subtle, negative values these ads are portraying.

But hey, maybe for every negative value, there is a corresponding good value that goes with it.

Let’s see. When a guy eats your snack and gets away with it without a bloody nose, that’s kindness and tolerance, right? When you catch a customer sneaking away without paying for her goods, that’s being alert or “listo”, right?

I just don’t get it. Why do they always have to resort to these antics just to make a point. I miss the days of health secretaries Flavier, Dayrit, and others who try to overcome their lack of luster in front of the camera by being straight to the point, with minimal fanfare.

VAT, anyone?

June 24, 2005

Wrong lane

It's friday night. I'm on a warpath, but no one is standing in my way to die...

This week started with subtle messages that somehow I drifted in the wrong lane: Nothing will go right, just everything against my way.

The messages were too subtle, unfortunately, that I didn't notice.

Or, rather, I ignored.

I laughed when my bike went badly uncalibrated because some lunatic played with its gear shifts. I played Legend of Mana when I was too worried about a text message that doesn't arrive when it should have. I smiled weakly when I revised a horribly boring design a hundred times to satisfy the fickle-minded, only to see that the final product looks horribly exactly as the first design.

I sang Nexxus, Savage Garden, and Martin Nievera when the rain poured so hard that the whole village went into blackout. And when the electricity came back but our house is still in the dark, my housemate and I sang Eagles, Rivermaya, Eraserheads, Def Leppard, After Image, and every familiar artist we can find in his old song magazines.

It was too late when I recognized the messages...

I've been angry all along, and I realized that no matter how fast I ride my bike through the rains, or no matter how raw and blistered my fingers get playing the PSOne and the guitar, or no matter how hoarse I get singing that blasted song in the Koreanovela, the answers are not coming my way.

I'm in the wrong lane, and just when I'm ready to explode, kill, and be killed...

There's no one around.

Thank goodness.

*logs on to Ragnarok*

Hmmm mm mm mm....



June 16, 2005


My creativity (if indeed I have such) is at its lowest ebb. Tomorrow I have to present design proposals for three projects to ManComm, and I’m nowhere close to finishing a single design for any of them.

Oh pressure, where art thou, pressure?


The colds virus that’s been fermenting around the workplace finally found its way to my system, and now my nose is stuffy and my eyes watery. Cough is slowly creeping up my chest as well.

One of my officemates called in sick. He’s down with fever.

Beer doesn’t taste as good. The balut (boiled duck egg whatever) we eat every night at Manang Paopao’s somehow tasted bland.

Our Chinese student trainee ran away at the sight of balut being eaten.

She still looks a bit pale and weak after getting really sick with cough, colds, and fever two days ago – five days after arriving from Hongkong.


...colds, balut, Chinese, cough, Hongkong, balut, fever, virus, student trainee sick two days ago, colds and cough, balut=duck egg, duck=bird, fever=flu...


The Gloria-gate CD is playing incessantly all around. The recorded voices are beginning to feel like dentist’s drill.

“Hello Garci?”

The rains have taken on a different tune – sadness. Maybe it’s been like that for so long, and it was I who refused to wake up and listen.

Looks like it’s going to rain tonight, again.

My umbrella just broke.

Darn these no-drowse phenylpropanolamin paracetamol tablets.

June 14, 2005

Atty. Jay’s fat-burner soup

1 head of cabbage (chopped finely), 5-7 tomatoes (quartered), 5-7 white onion (quartered), 5 small red or green bell pepper, 2 cubes knorr chicken broth. Boil together. Makes 1 big kaserola.

June 06, 2005

That late-night trip

My frequent late-night trips within the metro through public transport are proving to be quite a challenge for my guardian angel – I bet she’s working doubly hard to keep me out of harm’s way lately, and last night was again another brush with potential danger.

The strong rains kept me from leaving my girlfriend’s house early, and it was already 11:30 pm when the rains let up a bit just enough for my jacket to handle.

Commuters en route to Quezon City from Makati usually become sparse at past 12:00 midnight, especially on Sundays. It takes me three jeepney rides to get from my girlfriend’s house in Makati back home to Diliman. I just got off at Quiapo, right after the bridge and near the church, to get my third and last jeepney transfer when the rains came back hard and strong.

And then it happened.

I saw the first Project 2-3 jeepney coming down fast from the bridge. I raised my hand to flag it down, but it stopped at the end of the bridge, several meters away from me. It stayed there, but no one was alighting.

The rain was fast soaking through my jacket, so I ran towards the jeepney (heck, I don’t want to get sick!).

As I approached the jeep, the man seated at the front alighted and hurried off. As I was about to enter through the back entrance, two men got off in a rush and I have to back off into the pavement to let them through. One was carrying a knapsack while other was busy stashing something into his denim jacket.

There were four passengers left inside the jeep, and everyone was talking to each other in excited voices. The only lady in the group was pale and in the verge of tears, holding her chest as if it was about to explode.

“Akala ko nagbibiro lang siya (I thought he was just joking)...”

“Pare, natangay ba yung cellphone mo (Pare, was your cellphone taken)?...”

“Kawawa naman yung estudyante, tinangay nila pati yung knapsack niya (That poor student, even his knapsack was taken)...”

“Mahirap makipaglaban sa tatlong yun, ang hahaba ng mga panaksak nila, stainless pa (It’s hard to fight those three, they have long icepicks, stainless steel even)...”

“Yung nandito sa harapan, may baril (The one here at the front has a gun)...”

“Buti na lang naibayad ko yung 100 pesos ko. Mama, yung sukli ko po. Yan na lang natira sa akin. Kinuha rin nila relo ko. (Good thing I paid with my 100 pesos. Mister driver, my change please. That’s all I have now. They took my watch, too)...”

WTF! These passengers just got robbed!


Incidents like this one had that taught me to develop a habit when traveling at night: I empty my wallet of any important documents – IDs, ATM cards, photos, driver’s license, SSS, etc. – and transfer them to “my other wallet”, carefully stowed somewhere in my person. I would also take off my old wristwatch. There’s little I can do about my cellphone, but I plan to get hold of that nifty “SIM-saver” gadget soon, so I won’t feel sorry for a lost SIM card (and all the contacts in it).

I would leave just enough cash in my wallet for jeepney fare and for what I called “props” – at least about a hundred bucks, in small denominations (for an illusion of quantity), so any potential robber would (hopefully) not suspect that I have my cash stashed somewhere else. There’s no point getting anyone hurt for small amounts.

But thank goodness I myself have never been a victim of robbery, and I hope it stays that way. *knock on wood*

The rest of the trip from Quiapo to Sikatuna, Diliman was filled with conversations. I just listened and watched the victims talk it out, seemingly trying to ease, share, and release their emotions – fear, anger, and relief (especially for those who managed to hold on to some of their belongings, like the guy who somehow succeeded in concealing his pricey cellphone).

For a while, they were like good friends, and not the faceless commuters you see everyday. Their experiences for the night somehow bonded them, even if it was just for the rest of that lonely, late-night trip.