March 22, 2006

Remember, remember...

Image hosting by PhotobucketBefore pink fences were placed along Edsa-Ayala Avenue, people crowded the sidewalk. Not bad, considering that’s where pedestrians should be.

Now they crowd the street, meeting buses head-on, while the designated waiting areas nearby stand deserted, utterly ignored by commuters.

We certainly have a way with control, be it structural, verbal, or non-verbal. What is it with us and following regulations? Are we too ingenious and innovative for our own good, or is it in our genes to constantly bend and break any rule in place?

Today, I attended a public presentation by the Communication Research students of UP-CMC entitled “Sino si Ped Xing?”

It was an interesting and well-executed study about road safety practices of schoolchildren and parents, considering the limitation in resources. I salute the students and my former professors for a job well done.

***
Speaking of control, the last three films I’ve watched seem to fit this certain theme, and somehow coincided with the events this country is going through.

Aeon Flux is hell bent on bringing down a man whose intention is to help mankind but was sorely misunderstood because of the deeds of people he held close to his side.

Erap now stands to testify to the numerous allegations of plunder and corruption. For all he knows, his intentions were good, and it was the people around him that spelled his downfall.

Hou Yuanjia (Fearless) fought for his country and suffered a painful end from those who seek power. The Jedis suffered the same fate, as my future brother-in-law aptly pointed out – the very empire that they struggled to protect will be the one to exterminate them (“Oh, Order 66 already? So this is where we kill all the Jedi, right? Copy that Sir.")

Does that sound like PP 1017? Randy David, Satur Ocampo, and others who marched along the current president some years ago now become targets of arrests and charges. Even as the order was lifted, the tension continues.

Finally, V for Vendetta, the best of the lot, left some of the most memorable lines in my head:

We all wear masks. Life creates them and forces us to find the one that fits. – V.

I don't know who you are. Or whether you're a man or a woman. I may never see you or cry with you or get drunk with you. But I love you. I hope that you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better, and that one day people have roses again. I wish I could kiss you. – Valerie

Happiness is the most insidious prison of all, Evey. – V.

You see? You cannot kill me. There is no flesh and blood within this cloak to kill. There is only an idea. And ideas are bulletproof. – V.

Twenty years ago, V’s from all walks of life gathered to bring down the one in power. If the idea lived on to this day, perhaps one day, when all the blocks are in place, all it takes is a flick of a finger.

March 18, 2006

Not enough

When I first smelled the reek of alcohol, I kept quiet. Deep inside I was fuming.

Here’s a guy who got sick and hospitalized for weeks because his faulty liver cannot properly absorb the medication.

But now, barely two months after returning to work, he’s at it again.

He turned on the television and settled on his usual spot while I tapped away at the computer.

Then I smelled cigarette.

There he was, my dear housemate, puffing on his favorite brand, with the most satisfied look on his face. His smile told me he already knew what I was about to say.

“Balik sa dati, ha?”

Sigh.

I wanted to say more – tell him how the office adjusted when he got sick, what went on in the heads of the managers while discussing his health condition, how I came to be the new person to handle the office's e-mailing list, how we worried about what we’ll do when the network and computers bog down…

That he still has three young kids that depend on him, and that he has to be fit and well at the age of 58 if he wants to see all of them finish college…

That I promised to give him a flying kick the moment I see him smoke.

But I can’t.

It’s his life, and that’s all we ever could do – worry.

And our living room hasn't enough space for a decent flying kick.

March 13, 2006

Refreshing

Free forever!

The Free-to-Play scheme for the latest online games is almost a dream come true for a non-hardcore gamer like myself. Just play and enjoy the storyline without worrying about monthly fees. You only spend real money for items that make your character stronger, or look better.

Clever marketing strategy, I’d say. Now we can really tell who are the moneyed players, based on the accessories on their virtual characters.

And my oh my, this Ran Online looks and feels so much like FF VII.

Finally, here’s another piece that I find refreshing.

March 08, 2006

Delay

Last night I saved a kitten from getting squashed. I found the little fellow right smack in the middle of Maginhawa Street near our apartment. How it got there, and managed to stay alive amid the after-office rush, is a mystery.

But the kitten is too young to survive without the mother. I have played savior to too many kittens in the past to know that this one will eventually die, even with human care. It was already limp with exhaustion and can only make the faintest meow. Its right eye, which has a patch of black hair, is still shut.

I tried tracing the place where the kitten could have possibly crawled from – a grassy spot at the sidewalk – placed it in an ice cream container lined with newspaper, and prayed that the mother would somehow find it.

I named the kitten Rush Hour.

This morning the container was empty, and the nearby road has no signs of *ewww* roadkill.

The rats could have gotten to it. Or maybe the mother did find it. Whether I did save the poor thing, or deprived it a painless death, I will never know – unless I come across a young cat with a black patch in its right eye someday.

March 03, 2006

Perspective

To carry on with the daily ritual with just one eye was an enlightening experience.

For one day I had an idea of the adjustments my officemate, who lost his right eye to tumor, went through. (This is nothing about the emotional aspect, though – that’s way beyond my understanding.)

It took me ten seconds to apply the toothpaste on my toothbrush, and even missed a whole glob on my first squeeze. It took me twice the time to finish my meals because I kept missing my mouth by a fraction of an inch. I can bounce the ping-pong ball only two to three times before it wildly goes off-course.

Outside, people WILL look, and I had to be extra careful while trying to move as naturally as possible.

At the office, I answered the first three persons sincerely about the eyepatch. Later on, as the questions started pouring in, I was telling them, “I had an eyebag lift”, or “I’m playing pirate”.

We were halfway through a meeting when our boss asked about the eyepatch. Before I could answer, somebody went ahead and said, “He’s playing pirate, sir.”

The whole day I got challenges for ping-pong and billiards matches. And the whole day I marveled at how my officemate never slowed down even with the loss of his right eye some years ago. He rides his scooter everyday and does the office plumbing, steelworks, electricity, and overall maintenance.

I was a more grateful person when I removed the bandage at the end of the day.

March 01, 2006

Bleed

For a day, my eyes will see only black. But before that, it saw red.

Blood red.

I now know, without a doubt, that I’m a bleeder – a darn heavy bleeder.

I had a lump removed from the lower lid of my left eye this afternoon. The incision was made in the inner side of the eyelid so there would be no visible wound. But the tiny incision bled hard, and for a few seconds, while lying on the operating table, I saw through a film of blood.

Weird. And beautiful.

I have to wear the bandage for 24 hours. Impaired depth perception for one day.

Great.