Monday, August 29, 2005


i've seen the japanese film zatoichi at greenbelt last year. lest i mix it up with the tom cruise-starrer the last samurai, i'd rather not delve into the movie's plot. there was just something that struck me which came towards the end of the film. zatoichi (was that his name?) was an old blind masseur. his remaining functional senses were keen. he was a gambler and very good at it. he walked around the village alone with eyes closed guided by his walking stick that converted to a sword in times of peril which he used masterfully and with the agility of a young man, to maim or kill his opponents. he outwitted and slain his greatest nemesis by agreeing to a duel only in total darkness. well, at least that's how i remember it. but don't trust my memory. i'm only good at remembering people who deceive me.

anyway, what was interesting was the revelation towards the end of the movie that zatoichi was not blind at all. or was he really? after all the battles he fought and routing all his enemies he decided to drop his stick, opened his eyes and walked. then he tripped over a tiny rock and fell flat on the ground. isn't it ironic?

(so why after over a year am i writing about it now? i don't know, just some thoughts that entered my mind the past days. don't even know if it has any relevance to the discoveries i've made the past days, and still discovering more. i'm just typing whatever comes into my mind right now not forgetting the fact that the past week was extra galling for me.)

i was wondering if zatoichi chose to be blind as a form of discipline so he could sharpen his other senses. i remember that in the last samurai, when tom cruise was being trained to become one, he was also told to sense everything without seeing. but on the other hand it could be that zatoichi pretended to be blind so he could deceive his adversaries. he feigned his strength so he could keep the element of surprise crucial in battles; made his opponents less alert and vigilant. yeah, it could be that. then when he thought he had already outsmarted everyone he slackened. opened his eyes and revealed himself. then he made one single mistake, that was to fail to see that a tiny rock could bring him down.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


the earthquake that took so many lives in baguio caught me in the 8th floor of an old university building. as i tried to escape the wrath of nature i still managed to campaign for our student party. the boat i was riding together with barkadas capsized on our way to matabungkay. while under water and slowly sinking i was wondering where my Ray Ban was. a bullet missed me by a hairline and i could only utter, "oopps....shit!" i played hide-and-seek with death envoys and the only thing i made sure was i had my ID with me, that if at all i could be identified and my corpse be brought home to dad and mom. and so many other unbloggable misadventures. not even once did i think of praying for my life or salvation of my soul or divine intervention.

but in the past two months i had been praying a lot. my counsellor, on my second session with her, said i'm suffereing from broken heart. that drove me into profuse tears. she asked what i've been doing to recover from it, so i told her one is to pray. and pray a lot. knowing that i'm an agnostic she said i must be really hurting that it got me into praying.

a glass of water, pats on my shoulder, a good rub on the back then i regained my composure. in between sobs, face still sullen, pathetic even, i thought to myself, "tang ina ang baduy ng problema ko, BROKEN HEART!!" toink!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"i adore you because you made me a whore."

- the Widow Nazaret to Florentino Ariza
in 'love in the time of cholera'

Monday, August 22, 2005

sexual intercourse

i told kai i would be giving away some of his books to my friends' kids. one of them would be alek. "who's alek?", he asked, tita xty's and tita burns' kid. how did that happen, he asked again. "sexual intercourse?" hmmm, no. not that way.

then a little while later he asked if jesus really had a child, because he's into "angels and demons" now. that's what some people say, i told him.

kai: with whom?
me: with magdalene, they say
kai: how did that happen? sexual intercourse?
me: i supposed so, that's how babies are made.
kai: but what about virgin mary? how did she get pregnant? sexual intercourse too?
me: (inhale, len. then, exhale) uhm, raped by the holy spirit?.... (TOINK, KABLOG, TGSSK, EUINK me.)

damn it, how am i supposed to explain that. end of conversation for now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

blogger na anak ko!!!!

kai just made his blog. yan ang output ko tonight dito sa office. okay na that he's still awake past his bedtime. tuwa naman ako. kaya lang tapos na sya mag-post at nakadalawa na agad eh ginugulo pa rin ako ng maraming tanong, habang kumakanta ng halleluja.

1 down, 1 to go

just finished the gender audit report of philnet which without a hint of modesty, i said i could finish in two days. apparently, it took longer than that, much longer actually. blame my lethargic state i was in for quite some time. good to get back on my feet now. not that i want to but i am compelled to because the presentation is set tomorrow at 3 pm. and i've still one more to do.

as i write this post i got this YM from my colleague, "Excellent! We can engage PhilNet in an animated discussion". she just received the report i emailed to her. i asked for comments and some points she might want to add and this is what i got. i'll take it to mean that i've to brace myself for tomorrow's presentation.

i missed today's launching of a module/book on sexuality something... at UP-CWS. there's a long list of presentors i was told and the program would last from 1 to 5 pm. i thought i would not be able to flee when i wanted to, just like what i did this morning at pahra/tfd/mag forum. i opted not to go and gave up the complimentary copy of the module/book.

part of the program would be a discussion on HIV. yesterday, our board president joined our meeting to explore possiblities of wise act's involvement in HIV awareness campaign, which is going to be under my helm. yaikks, first it was VAW, now it's HIV.

we were told yesterday that WHO is very much interested on studying the philippine experience in preventing spread of HIV-AIDS in the country. ours is a low-risk country, only 2230 cases reported nationwide with a projection that it could soar to 10,000, but even that is negligible compared to the 80 million population. the projection was actually made some time back and apparently we didn't reach the target. (target?)

the truth is that, our board president said, there is nothing to learn as far preventive measures are concerned because the philippines has not really done much except that we were one of the first to pass a law pertaining to HIV which contains a provision that prohibits mandatory HIV testing, and also we set up HIV centers that would take care or handle persons living with HIV. the politically correct term i learned is "persons living with HIV", not HIV victims, not HIV positive. i too learned that HIV is most commonly transmitted through heterosexual sex. so that HIV is a gay thing is just a myth.

those engaged in HIV work are floating the assumption that the philippines has nominal cases of HIV because we, filipinos, are not as promiscuous as other asians and we are not as kinky, and we are not as fond of anal sex. give our religiosity a credit for that. but there is still cause for alarm because values of the youngs are now fast evolving. many youngs of today think multiple sex, simultaneous sex, group sex are okay. also, the high rate of migration is another cause for alarm, 37% of the 2230 reported cases of HIV are OFW's. curious thing, many cases of HIV are also found in coastal communities.

i'll learn more about HIV in due time. meanwhile, back to the other report i have to finish.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

what's in my bag

kai asked last year bakit daw malalaki ang bags ng mga babae, sabi ko malaki ang brush, wallet, may panyo, etc. maliliit na bag ko ngayon compared last year but i have more things there than before. mga laman ng bag ko...

1. wallet
2. cellphone
3. body shop lip and cheek tint
4. three-fold umbrella
5. dragon oil
6. lotion
7. cologne
8. foundation with spf
9. bills to pay
10. hairbrush
11. silver jotter pen
12. gel pen
13. mini sketch pad
14. shades
15. mirror
16. pantali sa buhok
17. tissue paper
18. keys
19. coin purse
20. vitamins, stresstab, myra-300 and generic ascorbic acid
21. planner
22. passport (it stays there hanggang maasikaso ko ang pagpapa-renew)
23. smint
24. mentos power gum
25. hanky

occasionally, naisisingit ko pa ang libro.

Monday, August 15, 2005


refelctive? nope, i was brooding. gusto ko mag-aquabike sa samal island but the water was ankle-deep. low tide hanggang alas-4 ng hapon and we were checking out at 1 pm.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

ah, eto ang mahirap pag output-oriented. papetik-petik pag malayo pa ang deadline pero isang araw magigising ka na lang at kailangan mo na pala tapusin lahat ng dapat mong tapusin. cramming, and on a saturday yet. instead sana na nasa kama pa ko at naghihilik eh eto at nakikipagtitigan na naman ako sa computer. buti na lang sa tatlong bagay na dapat ko matapos this week, dalawa na ang buo sa isip ko kung pano isusulat.

malapit na pala ang september...sign na malapit na matapos yung taunang bad trip phase ko. oo nga, malapit na nga matapos, kung anu-ano na naman kasi ang pumapasok sa utak ko at madami na naman akong panaginip na minsan weird, pero mas madami eh malapit sa katotohanan...yung tipong mga premonitions. sabi nga ng anak ko, "my mom is a psycho, she can see the future!!!"

naa-amaze din ako sa sarili ko at mabilis nawala asar ko. noong nakaraang ilang gabi lang eh nainis na naman ako dahil sa isang unexpected na pangyayari na, akala ko okay na lahat noon yun pala hindi pa... ah, life.

ah life ulit...ang hirap maglakad sa kasagsagan ng ulan habang hinahanap mo ang anak mo na hindi ka sigurado kung makikita mo sya sa isang computer shop na naglalaro ng kung anu-anong online games o biglang may tatawag sa cellphone mo o sa landline na may nangyaring masama sa anak mo. yun na yun ang pakiramdam ko kahapon habang sinusuyod ko lahat ng computer shops sa e.rodriguez para hanapain ang anak ko na expected ko sanang umuwi ng alas-onse ng umaga pero alas-dos na eh wala pa sa bahay habang ang mga classmates nya ay nagsisipag-review na para sa exams ngayon. hirap din maging nanay at tatay, ikaw na ang mag-aalala, ikaw pa din ang gagawa ng paraan para di ka mag-alala. naka-pitong internet cafes ang pinuntahan ko kahapon, pwera pa yung ginalugad ko ang buong eskwelahan nila para hanapin ang anak ko, at pagkatapos ay malalaman ko na nasa bahay na siya na nagtatanong pa kung bakit ko tinatanong kung san sya nanggaling! mga anak talaga!!! iniisip ko kung ganon din ba ko nong araw.

syempre bad trip na umaga ko hanggang hapon, at nakalimutan ko na naman kumain dahil sa pagwoworry. buti na lang at pag dating ko sa office eh nandon pa yung munggo at paksiw na bangus na alas-8 pa lang ng umaga eh binilin ko na kay manang edel na ipa-reserba para sakin. buti na lang din at nakunsensya si vivian na wag kainin ang ulam ko na pinag-interesan nyang kainin dahil naubusan sya. buti nagtyaga sya sa egg sandwich, dahil sabi ko solian sana ng kandila kung ginalaw nya ang ulam ko eh my friday is not the same without munggo at paksiw.

inabutan ko rin ang mga taga-pnlc na nagmi-meeting sa office namin, may kasama silang intern na half american-half indian daw. tinatawanan sila ni manang na naghanda ng kanilang meryendang egg sandwich din, ang gulo-gulo daw ng meeting. eh panong di gugulo ang meeting, ingglisan sila ng ingglisan. gawin ba namang taga-kuha ng minutes eh yung half-half na andon.

at nakakatawa pa rin na tapos na ang meeting at wala na yung half-half eh di pa rin sila tapos sa pag-iinglis. nalaman ko kay mylene na ganon na pala sila magsipag-usap dahil aral sila sa Ampy Academy. di ako makasabay sa usapan kasi nako-conscious ako sa grammar ko...sabi nga ni mylene... "don't worry, be happy if you're grammar is wrong. the americans are also wrong, so we can also be wrong in our grammar." maglalabas daw sila ng Ampy Vocabulary. tatawagan din daw ni nya si sr. esper, ang presidente ng st. joseph kasi kinwento ko na sila kai ay merong "I SPEAK ENGLISH" campaign. join daw sya don at gusto nya maging presidente ng kampanya. at pag may problema daw, "just smile, because the bulges are getting bigger".

at eto, naaaliw na naman ako eh sa pagsusulat, magugulat na naman ako na tapos na pala ang araw. kailangan ko nga palang may matapos ngayon para makaponood pa ng charlie and the chocolate factory. aabot kaya kami mamaya? wish ko lang, dahil bukas eh paglalaba naman ang aasikasuhin ko, tsaka ako magpapa-thai massage sa hapon. ah sarap!


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

eksena sa jeepney

ngayong umaga sakay ng jeep papuntang office may kasabay akong matandang mag-asawang babae at lalaki, iniisip ko galing sila sa cubao, siguro nagtitinda sila doon at pauwi na. di ko mapigilang titigan sila kasi pareho silang tulog habang magkayakap. hayyy, nakakatuwa silang tingnan kasi sa itsura nila ay mahal na mahal nila ang isa't isa at parang marami nang pinagdaanan.

bago pa man ako dumating sa destinasyon ko ay nagising na sila, sabay, tapos nagtinginan, may inalis na dumi ang matandang lalaki sa may dibdib ng matandang babae. sa sss sila bumaba. mukhang mali ako na galing na sila sa pagtitinda.

habang tulog sila ay nalamam ko na kung ano ang tinda nila, nasilip ko ang laman ng package na nakapatong sa lap ng matandang lalaki at kinapa ng mga daliri ko sa paa ang laman ng pink na bag na may tigger, piglet at pooh, magazines ang laman.

pag baba nila ng jeep, nakaakbay pa yung matandang lalaki habang naglalakada sila. hayyy, talaga. that's growing old together.

Monday, August 01, 2005

FIND (Families In Voluntary Disappearances)

The Mariveles Mental Ward in Bataan approached GMA Kapuso Foundation, their request was featured in 24-Oras last week. They were calling on the relatives of about 100 residents (patients) of the ward who are ready to go home but cannot because they have lost contact with their families. Letters were sent to the families at the last known addresses, some letters were returned, others were ignored.

When i was a kid and was still staying there i knew that the hospital's social worker would accompany the discharged patients back to their families to reintegrate. I can still recall that the families were always told that these patients needed their support more than ever to prevent recurrence of the illness. I suppose they still do that now but apparently only with the ones whose families did not abandon them.

It was sad to see those patients seated in rows, their faces not shown but they held pieces of paper where their names were scribbled, just first names. I remember at least two names, Andrew and Rochel. One 33 year old female from Olongapo who was found lying on a pavement in that city was brought to the ward and is now ready to go home pleaded her family to take her home.

I found something ironic in that call, i don't know if it was the network's decision or as requested by the hospital authorities that the faces were concealed. When people try to find a missing person or look for the families of a person found, they show pictures, if not available they have descriptions, so that words can travel and reach the people concerned. This one for the mental patients is different. Seated in rows all wearing pink and blue uniforms - i can excuse the gender stereotyping - and (having lived with them during my growing up years) i knew that medicines and the condition in the mental ward could alter their physical builds and make them hardly recognizable from the first day they were admitted in the ward.

I can make a wild guess why their faces were not shown, well protection of their identities and that of their families'. But what the heck are they protected from? From public humiliation? I wonder who is being protected here. These people are not criminals, these are people who need understanding, who need acceptance. All of us are in one way or another neurotic, some people are not just equipped with the faculties to balance emotions and cope with harsh realities. Maybe even some of them snapped into insanity because of severe hunger or lack of sleep or maybe they had been at one time abused and didn't have support system. But this is a mad world, anybody can go insane anytime.

I can't see why these patients who are already treated and are back to realities and therefore could make decisions for themselves would not want their faces shown on television if what they wanted was for their families to find them. I can safely assume that some of them were brought to the ward clandestinely and probably their families are telling folks they know that these patients could be vacationing or working somewhere. Some families are ignominous of the fact that a member of their family broke down and look at insanity as a dreaded disease or a curse or what have you. Some families would deliberately leave the patients in the ward and banish themselves.

Majority of these patients will not be able to go home because in the first place they are the ones whose families could no longer be located, and probably refused to be found. It's pathetic because what a mentally ill person needs is the love, care, understanding and support of the loved ones yet they they are the ones missing. Majority of them will never go home, just like the many patients i had met as a child. They'll die longing, their lives will perish and nobody will care.

I hate it when i see people mock or laugh at the mentally ill or recoil when they see a taong grasa. These are people who have created their own realities, these are people who chose to traverse the norms and enjoy the realities they have created for themselves. These are the most honest and sincerest people I have known. As the song goes, "sinong dakila, sino ang tunay na baliw?"