November 15, 2011

52% of families feel poor

SWS survey: Filipinos think they're poorer | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features

November 13, 2011

Wa-Pac!

Congratulations to Pacquiao! And congrats to Marquez for that splendid fight.

As Uchiha Itachi said, every jutsu has a weakness, and clearly Marquez has found (or rather, refined) a way to cancel out Pacquiao's.

I'm a Pacman fan, but I believe Marquez deserves another rematch.

And cheers to Maria Aragon for her beautiful rendition of the national anthem. ^^

November 12, 2011

11/11/11

Yet another binary date that generated so much interest. ^^

I grabbed part of this fanfare and secretly hoped for something special to happen.

Truth be told, since our old AUV was brought to the service center for maintenance, I hoped that on this day somebody will place a Jose Cuervo Gold tequila, salt, lime, and shot glasses on the common work table. And people at work will join in for a nice Friday night inuman.

That, for me, is special. ^^ I miss the days when I can do just that -- bring out the booze and effortlessly lead Tech into forgetting work for a while -- and ultimately forget themselves, literally hehe.

But morning went by without anything special.

Oh wait! I called my father-in-law to ask him something about our old Crosswind. He has a BS in Industrial Education, major in Automotive, so I run to him for a second opinion on anything related to engines, cars, and motoring. He may not be savvy with the cellphone, but he is updated with the latest in the automotive industry.

Maybe that would count as special. ^^

Other than that, morning went by like any other day.

Until 1:00 p.m. came and made 11/11/11 unforgettable.

***

Lately, Joan has been immersed in a new interest -- Naruto fanfics.

I learned from her a jargon used in fanfics: AU (alternate universe).

Wikipedia defines AU as "a type or form of fan fiction in which canonical facts of setting or characterization in the universe being explored or written about are deliberately changed."

"Stories that fall into this definition are usually what-ifs, where possibilities arising from different circumstances or character decisions are explored. Unlike regular fan fiction, which generally remains within the boundaries of the canon set out by the author, alternative universe fiction writers like to explore the possibilities of pivotal changes made to characters' history, motivations or environment."

***

11/11/11. 1:00 PM.

I became part of an alternate universe.

I exist, but not. ^^

November 04, 2011

Rock Lee!

If life be kind and Naruto Shippuden makes it to the big screen as a live-action movie, I pray that Rock Lee be as good as Brendon Huor in this fan-video. ^^

November 01, 2011

Aswang

The eight-year old boy was oblivious of the time, and continued playing jolens at the empty lot behind the school. The rest of his playmates have left in a hurry.

As if they knew the trouble that comes with the dwindling light of dusk.

The boy kept playing, unmindful of the darkness -- and where he was.

Until he felt his tummy aching. Only then that he got up and walked home.

He was already burning with fever when he entered their house. His parents gave him lugaw, biogesic, and sent him to bed.

He woke up screaming in the middle of the night, and his vomit shot across the room. Every little movement felt as if red-hot knives were being twisted in his insides.

Three days went by, and the doctors of Capiz Emmanuel Hospital in Roxas City came up with blank -- the boy is slowly slipping away, and they have no idea why.

The boy's family decided to take him home. As they carried him inside the house, two elderly ladies were already waiting by his bed.

The ueahab (wailing) sisters, they are called. They are the town's traditional healers.

They rolled a fresh egg on the boy's body, and broke it on a plate.

Dark-red blood oozed out from two holes in the yolk.

The sisters placed violet-colored herbs on burning charcoal, and rubbed the warm leaves on the boy's body. They then squeezed the leaves on the egg.

The dark sap swirled for a moment on the slimy egg white, and settled into a puddle that took the form a dog's head -- long snout with fangs, pointy ears, and long neck.

Aswang, one of the elderly sisters whispered as the other burned more leaves. The word aswang began going around the rest of the household and the curious neighbors who were waiting for news just outside the house.

The sisters were moving much faster now. Another squeeze with the herbs, and the puddle took on another shape -- a tree.

They made the boy sit in the middle of a banig (woven mat), and thoroughly covered his body with the herb's sap.

Barks of wood started appearing on the boy's skin, breaking out like huge pimples. It came out of the boy's scalp, eyebrows, chest, back, arms, and legs. When the barks stopped falling off, the boy's father gathered more than two handfuls.

"Igto imaw gin-angkit sa may mangga sa likod it eskwelahan" (He was at the mango tree behind the school when he got bitten), the sisters concluded. "Gin-buoe ro daywa nana nga gusok!" (His two ribs were taken!)

The boy was laid on his bed, and as the sisters rub their hands with a foul-smelling oil, they requested the father to hold the boy's feet down. "I-uli namon ro guinbu-oe kana. Medyo masakit ra." (We're going to get back what was taken from him. This will be painful.")

And the wailing began -- guttural and escalating -- drowning the boy's screams as the sisters systematically probed his back and abdomen with their bony fingers.

The boy passed out.

***

I woke up the next day feeling sore, but the fever and stabbing pain were gone.

This happened 28 years ago. As a Tagalog-speaking kid who knew so little of the dangers that lurk in the darkness in my hometown in Aklan, I was indeed an easy target.

I remember the dog -- which I paid little attention to back then. It was much later when I realized that that particular dog had a rather unusual shape.

Its hind legs were much longer.

Happy halloween.