Friday, October 31, 2003

The past couple of nights' events made up for the lack of nights out during the week. Tonight's outing is my first costume party in years with the New Worlds Alliance. This is a large association of different pinoy fan groups of sci-fi movies and TV shows (ever since becoming a believer I stayed away from celebrating this annual holiday, but after a some years I thought why should we let the devil have all the fun? This night should be redeemed too). Well since I am a member of the Matrix Philippines group it would be easier to assemble the right look. I had all the black clothes I needed: long sleeves polo, black slacks I used back in college, and a suit/trench coat I used in our high school prom (this was more than 15 years ago but it still fits me to a tee) and a new fangle sunglasses I bought a week before. I could go as one of the Zionites! I lacked a gray-silver necktie to complete the look. I braved the crowds at Megamall and made a bee-line to the lie racks, then to the cash register (in my haste I initially gave them my ATM card) and back home. Turns out that Az already called twice regarding our meeting before heading to the party. I called him and confirmed the time we should be meeting in Starbucks. I'll be heading off there soon and will be posting whatever happens at the party.
Just got home from another high school batch meeting. I thought I was even late for the meeting since it was slated to start at 8:30 pm and I was just leaving the house at that time. For a good reason though, I crammed two designs for the shirts to show the others. I even missed a call from Jorge who asked me what time I was going. I got to the place a little past nine and it was a good thing we were still not complete. Meeting got on the way around 10 pm when some of our batchmates finally arrived. Booze, chow, and stories abounded while we discussed the details of the preliminary reunion this December. The venue was finalized, details for the information inside the invitation was finalized, registration fee, programme, and the shirt designs that I made was passed around. We talked about the other classmates we haven't seen since grade six and the chance of contacting them for the reunion. We laughed at the stories from our past, we even planned to invite our teachers to the reunion. We all agreed that no matter how many times we hear the stories, we still get a good laugh out of them. The discussions even veered toward political issues, particularly that of the recent coup. Jorge got some insider information about the people that lead the failed attempt since his Dad was a high ranking officer in the Philippine Army. His younger brother, Joel, even joined us for a bit before joining his other friends back home. We broke up the party around 12:30 am since Robin had to go somewhere in Ortigas where a friend of his was performing in a bar (he's my ride home). We agreed to hold the next meeting next Saturday in Parañaque, where another batchmate of ours is having a birthday party and he has requested that we hold the meeting in their place. The thing I realized about these gatherings with booze is that people don't drink them to get drunk but rather as way of bonding together, if at all the booze was drunk moderately. And it is the bonding with these old friends that I'm after, to hear their stories and to just connect with them. I know we're not going to be here for the long haul and it would be great to try and reach out to them while I'm still able. Lord knows how much I appreciate these friends of mine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

What is it about me that elicits general apathy online? Like I post an idea for a get-together, a dinner where people with the same likes could finally meet each other and connect. But do I get a response? Noooooo.... People just pass by the announcement like it wasn't even there, all the while all they do is pat each other on the back and do their soliloquy. I understand if they don't want to as long as they just give it a peep or something.
Before West Side there was this strip. The premise of the strip is based on my high school experiences ergo the characters are based on real people and the school is also based on my alma mater. I started this one because right after graduation I began to miss all my friends and classmates. It ran for around seven years in a bi-monthly Hollywood style magazine called GLITTER back in the 90s.

That fish and mussels thing was based on a newspaper article that reports this weird scientific finding. Just how "scientific" it is way beyond me. I think it's just one really big hooey.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I am so b-o-r-e-d! I haven't been going out how many nights now. It's humid, there's nothing else to do, it's too late to go out and I don't even have that much money with me. I hate this.
I just finished one of the best books I've ever read: The Sacred Romance. It has none of those preachy approaches to telling the story of God and man, it's not even religious in its tone (I mean this in the modern hollow sense which I really, really hate). Consider these words taken from the book:
The story that is the Sacred Romance begins not with God alone, the Author at his desk, but God in relationship, intimacy beyond our wildest imagination, heroic intimacy. The Trinity is at the center of the universe; perfect relationship is the heart of all reality. Think of your best moments of love or friendship or creative partnership, the best times with family or friends around the dinner table, your richest conversations, the acts of simple kindness that sometimes seem like the only things that make life worth living. Like the shimmer of sunlight on a lake, these are the reflections of the love that flows among the Trinity. We long for intimacy because we are made in the image of perfect intimacy. Still, what we don't have and may never have known is more often a more powerful reminder of what ought to be.

Our story begins with the hero in love. As Buechner reminds us, "God does not need the Creation in order to have something to love because within himself love happens."

And yet, what kind of love? There are selfish forms of love, relationships that create closed systems, impenetrable to outsiders. Real love creates a generous openness. Have you ever been so caught up in something that you just had to share it? When you are walking alone in the woods, something takes your breath away--a sunset, a waterfall, the simple song of a bird--and you think, If only my beloved were here. The best things in life were meant to be shared. That is why married lovers want to increase their joy by having children. And so it is with God. "Father," Jesus says, "I want those you gave me to be with me, right where I am. I want to be with me, right where I am. I want them to be one heart and mind with us" (John 17). Overflowing with the generosity that comes from the abundance of real love, he creates us to share in the joy of this heroic intimacy. One early mystic says we were created out of the laughter of the Trinity. (pp. 73-74; God The Ageless Romancer)

This is but part of the treasures written inside the pages of this wonderful book, something that bypasses the mind and speaks directly to your heart. Choice quotations from the book that left an lasting impression in me will still be copied and posted here in the coming days. I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much it was all I could do to read a few pages at a time to prevent an early end in my reading. I so much enjoyed this one that I'm thinking to give a few friends copies of this book for Christmas.

Monday, October 27, 2003

After getting the idea from Carlo's blog, I decided to go ahead and try Googlism and here are the more interesting results out of 91 (yeah I counted 'em, you should too):
ariel is caged at the pillars (is this a freudian thing?)
ariel is singin' the blues (nobody knows the trouble I've seen...)
ariel is up from under by greer fay cashman (tufferin' tuccotash!)
ariel is an albino bunny (no! really?)
ariel is de twaalfde van de satellieten van uranus (Yaah!)
ariel is faintly visible from the earth through large ground based optical telescopes (only on clear nights)
ariel is a mischievous airy (go figure)
ariel is made from some of the best premium grapes grown in california (no wonder everyone acts weird around me)
ariel is registration number "gov 132" (got it)
ariel is above age level (now what's that supposed to mean?)
ariel is an "imaginary" friend (boo!)
ariel is flat (preposterous!)
ariel is not your average 18 year old (oh yeah! bring it on!)
ariel is good for white clothes (don't forget the black ones too)

This only proves there are still a lot of things I don't know about me.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

I attended another wedding today, this time a good friend and barkada from College, Andy. The invitation's an ingenious work of his, a DVD of their history together, which also doupled as a wedding souvenir. With Andy leaving bachelorhood to settle down with Moira, this leaves just five of us in the group composed of 11 people that isn't still married. When is it going to be my turn? Honestly I'm torn between finding bliss with someone in my arms and my enjoying singlehood for a few more years. Hmmm...

Everybody's happy, more so the groom.

Have I ever recounted the dreaded moment in all weddings for me? It's the throwing of the garter and every one's eyes are fixed on you as you go and make a complete fool of yourself. I even planned my escape to the restroom once I hear the call for all single women to start lining up and catch the bouquet. But the organizers were wise to the schemes of guests like me. The emcees asked the bride and groom to start calling their friends to the front for no apparent reason. Once us doomed people are gathered they bring out a bouquet tied with lots of purple and yellow ribbons. Then they asked the girls to pick one purple ribbon and the guys to pick one yellow ribbon. My heart was racing like crazy when I realized it was a trap. One of those ribbons was rigged to make one (un)lucky couple stay in front to do their bidding. Guess what? It turned out to be me and an officemate of Andy! I looked back at the table to see my friends laughing at my predicament. Surprisingly what I anticipated to be a total nightmare turned out to be something of a good experience. They just asked us to lock arms and drink the champagne from a glass and for me to start pecking the girl on the cheek for a full ten seconds. It was ok. Wish I had a shot of myself onstage though. That would have been nice souvenir.

* More pictures can be seen here.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

I really love this book. Things are beginning to become crystal clear!
Someone or something has romanced us from the beginning with creek-side singers and pastel sunsets, with the austere majesty of snowcapped mountains and the poignant flames of autumn colors telling us something––or someone––leaving, with a promise to return. These things can, in an unguarded moment, bring us to our knees with longing for this something or someone who is lost; someone or something only our heart recognizes. C.S. Lewis knew this longing well:
Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of––something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat’s side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it––tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest––if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself––you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say, "Here at last is the thing I was made for." We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends, or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.

Excerpts taken from the book The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge; pp.20-21
I was made to drive an automatic car today! Oh man it's like driving a bump car (heh. It's not like how I drive one ). I really got the hang of driving it that I was starting to loathe the fact that I would have to drive a manual car again after this. Why can't all cars be automatic? Life would be so much simpler if that were the case.
Got one of those chucklers here from the Department of Forwarded Mails:
Timmy was a little five year old boy whose Mom loved him very much. Being a worrier, she was concerned about his walking to school when he started Kindergarten. She walked with him the first few days, but he came home one day telling her he did not want her walking him to school every day. He wanted to be like the "big boys." He protested so loudly that she had to find another way to handle it.

She asked her neighbor Shirley if she would surreptitiously follow her son to school at a distance, but close enough to keep a watch on him. Shirley said yes, since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise. The next school day, Shirley and her little girl set out behind Timmy as he walked to school with his friend Ronnie. This went on for a whole week.

Timmy's friend noticed that this same lady was following them every day. Finally Ronnie asked Timmy, "Have you noticed that lady following us all week? Do you know her?" Timmy nonchalantly replied, "Yea, I know who she is." Ronnie asked, "Well, who is she?" "That's just Shirley Goodnest an' her little girl Marcy," Timmy said. Ronnie inquired further, "Well, why does she follow us every day like that?"

"Well," Timmy explained, "every night Momma makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers cuz she worries about me so much. And in it, the prayer says, 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life.' So, I guess I'll just have to get used to it."

Friday, October 24, 2003

Imagine the horror... que horror!

This month's edition of Fusion magazine carries this strip in its pages. I haven't got my complimentary copy yet so I have no idea how it turned out. Hehehe... I also have no idea if Wayne Isham directed any of the two Nelly's video.
I finally started my own phlog. It's an online photo album featuring pics taken from my own mobile phone (right on the heels of cartoonist Scott Kurtz's moblog). Of course my love affair with random pics started after watching Rainman. Remember Dustin Hoffman taking pictures of all sorts of things with his small camera? And besides I have to clear the cache of my phone so can take even more pictures.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

All of us have had that experience at one time or another, whether it be as we walked away from our teachers, our parents, a church service, or sexual intimacy; the sense that something important, perhaps the only thing important, had been explained away or tarnished and lost to us forever. Sometimes little by little, sometimes in large chunks, life has appropriated the terrain meant to sustain and nourish the more wild life of the heart, forcing it to retreat as an endangered species into smaller, more secluded, and often darker geographies for its survival. As this has happened, something has been lost, something vital.

For what shall we do when we wake one day to find we have lost touch with our heart and with it the refuge where God's presence resides?

Starting very early, life has taught all of us to ignore and distrust the deepest yearnings of our heart. Life, for the most part, teaches us to suppress our longing and live only in the external world where efficiency and performance are everything. We have learned from parents and peers, at school, at work, and even from our spiritual mentors that something else is wanted from us other than our heart, which is to say, that which is most deeply us. Very seldom are we ever invited to live out of our heart. If we are wanted, we are often wanted for what we can offer functionally. If rich, we are honored for our wealth; if beautiful, for our looks, if intelligent, for our brains. So we can learn to offer only those parts of us that are approved, living out a carefully crafted performance to gain acceptance from those who represent life to us. We divorce ourselves from our heart and begin to live a double life.

Excerpts taken from the book The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge; pp.4-5.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

There was also another gathering in the Javier brothers' office last night in honor of Joel's birthday (Jorge's youngest brother). I left the house around 7:30 pm since we were originally informed that the party would be held at Jorge's house in Fort Bonifacio after office hours. Good thing my Mom insisted that I'd be driven to the place especially since a.) the venue for the party was moved, and b.) the time was moved to a later time and this was only after I called Robin on the phone. I was dropped off at the mall near their place and I passed off the time eating dinner and browsing through the books and CDs at Tower Records. I received a message from Robin that I should get in touch with another friend of ours and I assume that we would be fetched at the place we talked about at 9:30 pm.

I leave the mall at around 9 pm and got to the place a little before the appointed time. I wait for 15 minutes and I send another text message to Robin asking where they are, when he answered "nasa 0ffice" I thought what the-- was there a secret communication between the two of them to deliberately leave me behind? I took a cab to the place and about a block away I got a text message from our common friend saying that he was already at the place we talked about and he was asking where I was. I texted him back to meet me at the McCafé in Greenbelt (here was another what the-- and a smack on the forehead). We met after a few minutes and proceeded to the venue. The party was in full swing with lots of pulutan and booze. Almost everyone who's everyone at the wedding reception was there. The funny thing about this too was the fact that most of the guests were Jorge's friends and those friends Joel invited from Ateneo did not appear. Another funny here is the fact that at some random point during the celebration someone would start singing the tail end of the birthday song "HAAAAAAAAPPY BIIIIIIIRTHDAY TOOO YOOOOOUUUU!!!" and we would start toasting. This happens whenever it gets too quiet or Jorge would fumble his words during one of his brotherly advices. All in all it was fun, I got a few more projects for this week and in the coming weeks ahead. We were all toasting to Joel and his ex-girlfriend who was also present in the place. His two older brothers can't over the fact that they broke up and they keep asking for them to get back together pronto! The party broke up a little before midnight and we went straight home. Wonder when the next gathering would be?
I finally got to drive yesterday! Oh yeah! My first time on the road and it really went grrrrr-eat! Well except for a few times when I kept on stepping on the gas and brakes a little harder than I should. the part where I should be getting the car to start moving was the part where I had serious problems before. I didn't get the right balance between the clutch pedal and the gas pedal (this was during the first driving lessons almost 20 years ago, the experience of which traumatized me so much I swore off learning to drive). But now it's totally different. I was even wearing this stupid grin on my face when me and the driving instructor were cruising on a quiet road. It was surreal and it was definitely cool. I could almost feel like shouting, "I'm the king of the road!" in true James Cameron fashion.

I finally got to go to Len's wake after the driving lesson. I got to meet her brother who's also a member of the online community. It's ironic that I only got to meet her this first time when I'm no longer able to talk or exchange ideas with her. After viewing her remains inside the casket I sat down on one of the pews with her brother and he told me what happened. I also opened up and told him about the should haves and the could-have-beens. The silence after those talks opened a floodgate of tears on my part. Since I didn't have any handkerchief or paper tissue at hand I wiped them tears on the sleeves of my polo. With the bottled water they gave I also managed to "distract" any more tears from falling. I thought it a waste for someone so dear and beautiful should die without making peace with God. I refused to be consoled, burdened by this fact that I even shrugged off even the text messages of another friend commenting on how peaceful she looked lying there and that she's in a happier place now. I thought it stupid how he could come up with such a conclusion given her particular beliefs. I never knew this girl aside from her thoughts and opinions posted online and here I was feeling so much pain at her passing. An errand called Eric away for a while so I watched other mourners and tried to pass the time reading a book I brought with me. Other friends of hers took their time in front of the casket reflecting and wiping their tears. A couple of friends soon arrived after an hour and a half and we got to talk for a while before taking my leave.

* * *

I woke up around 8 in the morning today when the same friend sent me a text informing me that Len's brother Eric posted a message on the boards:
thank you to all the people who came to the wake and for those who texted. for those who came, i am sorry if I wasn't able to stay and talk with you that long.

for those who knew my sister personally and those who debated with her here in RoT about god, religion, etc., we knew that she really never believed in god or religion. she had so many questions about religion and god which would be impossible to answer. I for one saw her as an ally and partner when it comes to these types of debates and talks since i always believed that we both had the same type of view regarding god and religion.

i find it kind of ironic that my very own partner would be the one who would change my view of religion and god. God knows how many people have tried to convince me to believe.. God knows that my gf switgerl likewise tried very hard to convince me to believe. It's only now that i've started to think that maybe there is in fact a god.

my main reason is that during the morning before elaine passed away, she talked to my mom. my mom being a religious person, asked her if elaine has asked God for forgiveness. elaine's reply was: "yes i did. and he told me everything will be alright."
when elaine asked for something from my mom and went into the C.R., she came out empty handed. my mom asked her what happened to the thing she gave elaine. and her only reply was: "I gave it to God." by then i was told that she looked calm and troublefree.

for others who never really knew her, maybe this talk about God wouldn't be a surprise. however for those of us who really knew her feelings toward religion and God, her type of personality, her beliefs.. this came as a huge surprise. (10-22-2003 08:35 AM)

It was narrow minded of me to think that God could not come through for Len. How could I even entertain my previous thoughts on her condition? My mourning turned to dancing over this piece of good news. Btw, RoT stands for Realm of Thought the forum I moderate where philosophies, religion, and science is discussed. Here's another post by Eric on the subject Can people really change? :
I was told by my uncle that there is a chinese saying which goes: "it is easier to flatten a mountain, than to change a person"

he told me that it is very hard to change a person.. so hard that it is close to impossible.

when my dad talked to me just yesterday morning, he told me of his conversation with a priest 30 years ago which he still remembers now.

my dad questioned religion and what was written in the bible. he said "so many miracles are written down in the bible.. how come we never see any miracles in our lives today?" the reply of the father was: "we know how hard it is to change a person. if a person suddenly changed for the better, then isn't that a miracle?"

so as for the question: "can people really change?" my answer is yes. because i myself suddenly had a change of view regarding religion and God.. wherein i felt that all my life, no one can change my view of religion or God.

I'm like... WHOA!!! Remind me to never doubt you again Dad and sorry for even entertaining them thoughts and a thousand apologies to my friend, you're right.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Another artwork by my friend, the irrepressible Lyndon Gregorio chronicling the recent Artists' Den meeting last Friday. There's me again and this time the one in the spotlight (or hot seat, which as far as how seats go under spotlights for a period of time) is the brownie girl with the origami dreams: Camy!

Sunday, October 19, 2003

I got the shock of my life when I got home from attending the morning church service. The online administrator of a Pinoy forum sent me this text 11:55 a.m.:
Sacrosanct just passed away. Aspirin overdose. Her remains at Paz Araneta

I felt really sad about the whole thing. I don't personally know this girl but I got to interact with her online starting from way, way before I was promoted to being the forum moderator where she was posting quite regularly. She was one of the most interesting and colorful characters in that community. Though we didn't really see eye to eye in some matters (she didn't believe in God) I smiled at her wit and marvelled at her ability to engage even the best theologians in a doctrinal debate. I had some chances to meet her during two major EBs that were held a year apart (and I heard that she wanted to meet me too) but I blew it. We also had some common friends and most of what I know about her came from them. As an artist and a poet her works also intrigued me. It said a lot about her pain and loneliness and I wanted to reach out and take the time to listen to what she really wanted to say. I don't know if she wrote this on the day of her death or some days prior.


I always have questioned my personal worth
in each day that passes me by.
And wondered why the weak inherit the earth
while strong men are sent first to die.
I wanted an answer but now look at me,
lonely and sad to the core,
for the world had passed by far too quickly for me
and left me not one open door.
I tried to believe in the one the call God
but hopeless is now all I am,
for in searching I'd chosen the wrong path to trod
and no one had lent me a hand.
Abandon my life, abandon my faith,
abandon the ones i call "friends",
for no love can grow in a mind filled with hate
and hate is on what I depend.
I want to say sorry for things I have done
I wish I could turn back the time.
The world would be glad had I not seen the sun
I have lived, and now I shall die.

You were worth more than you could ever realize Len, both in the eyes of your friends and the God you desperately tried to believe in...

Saturday, October 18, 2003

It's my good friend Jorge's wedding today. There's a not a lot of us invited to the ceremony and it was a good thing that our high school batchmate Robin was also invited (he's my ride to and from the venue). I was woken up by my Mom early in the morning saying I should be hopping on to my friend's house to get my bag containing the brand new cellphone I bought for my brother. The story here is I left the bag inside Jorge's car two days prior when his fiancée left early from a meeting we attended. I sent him a text message asking if I could drop by at that time, he texted me back saying he would be home at 10 am since he was still in class. He still has time to attend his classes on his wedding day? Wow.

I left the house around that time on the way there. At first I mistakenly thought that he was at his parents' house and I even told him that I was waiting outside. Good thing his house is near their place. On the way home I dropped by the mall to buy a pair of leather shoes and have my watch fixed too. I even fixed the final design of the reunion invitation before preparing for the event, good thing I finished everything (including the bath and dressing) before Robin dropped by to pick me up. His being invited was a last minute thing and he needed help in going to church. We got to the place right on time, the ceremony promptly started at 1 pm and finished an hour later. Funny thing too, the priest kept on pronouncing Jorge's name the traditional way (Hohr-heh). Here are the pictures I took using the digicam function of my phone (Yeeeeee!):

They were about to go to the car when somebody mentioned that we forgot to give them a grand exit by throwing rice or something. Robin found a bag of rose petals lying on a table near the door.

So we asked the newly wed couple to go back and walk back to the door while we threw the petals while the cameras were rolling.

This was before the line to the buffet table began. Robin and I congratulated the couple, having missed the welcome by the door. Jorge was asking if we could accompany his MBA classmate who came alone, sadly it seems she didn't proceed to the reception. Did I mention that Sheila's a much, much younger than us and that her eldest brother is actually a long lost batchmate of ours? Before this, we had no idea who Jorge was talking about. Memories get a bit hazy with some classmates who're too quiet. By the way, the reception was held at the brand new Army Club House in Fort Bonifacio.

Each and everyone was also called to give their thoughts and advice to the couple (except me since I hid from view to avoid being called). Jorge's Dad has this to say to his son: Stop smoking! Seems that he gave up smoking a long time ago and he's scared for his sons for doing the same.

For those who're not familiar with this one, doves symbolize true love between married couples because they mate for life and actually help each other in raising their chicks unlike most other birds.

At least they're more cooperative than those birds in front of the camera.

Now that I'm seeing it again, that cake looks downright good.

Just a nibble and a taste there.

Here's the obligatory champagne toast before the cameras. By this time almost all the senior guests have already left leaving them to perform these ceremonies for the video crew and us friends.

They were not familiar with the locking of the arms while drinking from the glass so they passed it. Besides it looked too hard to do.

Robin here's putting the garter on Jorge's sister-in-law, former San Juan councilor Grace Ibuna. The catch-the-garter game is the most dreaded part of the reception for me, it was a good thing that there weren't that many people around anymore. Us single guys let the garter fall to the floor, unfortunately it landed near Robin's foot so he got picked.

The reception was officially finished around 4 pm and Jorge asked (nay, commanded like a true bully) us to stay around to have some drinks. They brought out bottles of scotch and brandy including the really big ones. We gathered around two tables along with some other friends, friends of his brothers, common friends, and some client/friends of theirs. I just took teeny-tiny sips since I really, really hate the taste. I preferred the taste of champagne and I held on to my glass for hours. Laughter and fun was the order of the night as 80s pop and new wave music blared in the background. Some got drunk a bit faster than the others and they brough the house down with their jokes and deadpan humor. When the brandy ran dry, beer was served. It felt good being accepted in their company, a far cry from the days of high school. Joseph (Jorge's oldest brother) even gave me a high five. We also continued our talk with Sheila's brother and Dad and got to know him a little better.

We all ribbed Jorge and Sheila that they still didn't have the first dance as husband and wife. Joseph started it when a slow song started and he was feeling really good about the whole thing.

"Side by side with your loved one, you'll find enchantment here. The night will weave its magic spell, when the one you love is near! Oh this is the night, and the heavens are right! On this lovely bella notte!" (Composed by George Givot from the "Lady and the Tramp" OST)

After they retired for their honeymoon in New World Hotel we still continued on with our bonding sessions. I never had this much fun laughing, I was almost rolling down on the floor. We all had so much fun, Joel (Jorge's youngest brother) invited us to come back on Tuesday to celebrate his birthday at their place. Awright! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that almost all of us in that place bonding were Bosconians although coming from different batches. There were other girls there too and they so enjoyed laughing along with us they complained their face were starting to hurt.

We broke up the party around midnight (8 hours after the reception!) when the bar closed. I went straight home while the others continued on to a bar in Ortigas to watch a friend perform. What a night.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Strangely enough some people do get what's being said.

I got the idea during breakfast when my Dad was asking his secretary to call someone. It's a wonder that some Filipinos can understand what's being said just by implying. Is this something unique to us?

* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

I read a short biography on CS Lewis. Here is someone who wasn't afraid to show who he really was. And even though he was already famous he preferred to answer his letters to his admirers in detail (mind you though, the contents of these letters run the gamut of subjects not at all that related to his works). He even accommodated the requests of those who were brave enough to ask for a personal appointment. Has anyone seen the movie Shadowlands? It stars Anthony Hopkins as Lewis and Debra Winger as his wife Joy. I've only had a glimpse, a summary of the story of their relationship and though on the surface it really was tragic, underneath it is the story of triumph that touches countless of lives even up to this day. Wow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The Department of Forwarded Mails have issued a memo regarding the new office rules:
It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing $350 Prada sneakers, and carrying a $600 Gucci Bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress in-between, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday & Sunday.

This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. There is now a strict 3 minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders" category.

Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy. Medium size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Large people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation, and input should be directed elsewhere.

Have a nice week!

I've got it all, but I feel so deprived
I go up, I come down and I'm emptier inside
Tell me what is this thing that I feel like I'm missing
And why can't I let it go

There's gotta be more to life...
Than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me
Cause the more that I'm...
Trippin' out thinkin' there must be more to life
Well it's life, but I'm sure... There's gotta be more

Than wanting more.

I've got the time and I'm wasting it slowly
Here in this moment I'm half-way out the door
Onto the next thing, I'm searching for something that's missing

There's gotta be more to life...
Than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me
Cause the more that I'm...
Trippin' out thinkin' there must be more to life
Well it's life, but I'm sure... There's gotta be more

I'm wanting more.

I'm always waiting on something other than this
Why am I feelin' like there's something I missed....
Always... Always...

More to life
There's gotta be more to life (more to life)
There's gotta be more to life (more)
More to my life

Stacie Orrico, "There's Gotta Be (More To Life)"

Monday, October 13, 2003

I already finished reading the book The Journey of Desire: Searching for the Life We Only Dreamed of by my new fave author John Eldredge last week and I only got to review the stuff now. The book discusses the tragedy of believers losing sight of what they really want due to failures and disappointments. The purpose of the word "want" here surpasses that of the meaning of the (more conservative) word "need." The author invites the Christian reader to dig deeper than he/she has ever dug before, to go back to the olden days and try to recall what it was they wanted most of all before all the disappointments, frustrations, and hurts got in the way.
And oh, how we yearn for another shot at it. Flip with me for a moment through the photo album of your heart, and collect a few of your most treasured memories. Recall a time in your life when you felt really special, a time when you knew you were loved. The day you got engaged perhaps. Or a childhood Christmas. Maybe a time with your grandparents. I remember one birthday in particular. My wife planned a surprise party and kept it a perfect secret. All day long, I thought everyone had forgotten me; I was thoroughly depressed. I have a hard time with birthdays anyway--the longings they rouse. I had a pretty much killed my desire for something special by evening when we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. There were all my friends. I was stunned, humbled, delighted all at once. It was a wonderful evening of laughter and conversation--for me, to celebrate me. A simple event, but I recall the feelings I had even still.

The second part of the book deals with waiting and never compromising those dreams and wants for shiny baubles (like Jack's magic beans). The author likes to call these "impostors":
I've had a nagging sense I was m ore pleasure-oriented than might be good, but I didn't see the function of pleasure in my life until I had to face intense grief and loss. I tried every drug I could, and nothing worked. No t food. Not sleep. Not work. Not reading. Not even sex. I could not get away from the pain. And then it occurred to me: If I am trying to use pleasure as a drug in this case, how many of my so-called enjoyments are merely the same thing on a lesser scale? Reading Pascal, I found he'd already hit upon the same thing. Unable to get out of the dilemma of desire, we've found a powerful drug--distraction.

Like all created things it's original all good and the problem comes in when we let our desires get the best of us and settling for something way too early or we misdirect our yearnings to something lesser rather than something lofty. This is often brought about by laziness, our view blocked by various disappointments, or pride. This book is really something else, it really changed my life and my outlook on what my real priorities should be. Thirsting or hankering is not in itself bad, just as long as it leads you to that Someone who could fulfill it for you.
I bought a new book today, Creativity for Graphic Designers since I have to come up with at least five designs with one color graphics for the reunion invitation. The next meeting's been moved this Thursday to better accomodate some of us who would be attending my good friend Jorge's wedding this Saturday. I already have two to three intial ideas and I'm going to tweak it around and see what direction these will take.

In other news...

I also did a search on my name using Google and aside from the some friends' pages and a lot of spanish sites, I came across a pleasant surprise here in KOMIKASA
Research List:

- More info on creators like Ariel Atienza, Ernie Chan, E.R. Cruz, Fred Carrillo, and Vicatan.

For the life of me I don't remember submitting my name to the list. Now I wonder what good samaritan did? To you, good sir or ma'am, I'm indebted. I shall strive to contact them the soonest time possible to see what else can be done to help promote my work.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Just came home from another core group meeting for our high school reunion in December. It was a bit disappointing at first given the fact that one of batchmates promised to shoulder the cost of expenses for the food and drinks we should have had tonight but due to unforeseen circumstances (he had to take care of the kids) he couldn't leave the house. It would have been better if he informed us ahead of time instead of waiting at the last minute to drop the bomb. We could and should have held the meeting back at Ardi's in Makati instead of having it in Manila.

We still pushed through with the meeting and I got to present my homework before the group. I was put in charge of making the invitations and I managed to snag some figures and costs at the last minute. I know I shouldn't do it that way and I promised myself it would be better the next time. We still haven't nailed down the final venue for the event (it was either at a brand new port behind Manila Hotel or the new Army Officer's Club House in Fort Bonifacio we're still waiting for the final arrangement for that Port thingie). During the updating of the status of our batchmates we were happy to find out that one of them is in charge of selling some badminton equipments. This news, with it being the latest rage to get people off their bums and start exercising, was met with great enthusiasm.

One of the funny things I observed in that restaurant, Pantalan Maynila was the serenade made by a groups of instrumentalists dressed in typical Filipino costume. The songs ranged from the inane to sappy, including the closing song of Meteor Garden: Penny Lai's Ni Yao De Ai. It was a sight to see the female singer dressed in baro't saya singing "Wo ming bai Wo yao de ai, hui ba wo chong huai, xiang yi ge xiao hai Zhi dong zai ni huai li huai...". But aside from that nothing really memorable happened tonight. We convened the meeting at around 11:30 pm and since most of the guys had wives to go home to we decided to call it a night. Jorge volunteered to bring me to the bus stop in Makati so that I wouldn't have any problems in going home. On the way there we talked about the meeting and the problems that cropped up. We also talked about why some of our batchmates didn't like going to reunions and seeing the others. He was really mad at the reactions of some of those he got to talk to. I went down the bus stop and he went on to fetch his fiancée in Laguna. Went home without a hitch. I'll be dropping by his office on Monday to pick up some stuff.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Here's a rough sketch of the characters for the flash animation. I based the style mostly on Mr Bean - The Animated Series and Kim Possible, and a little on Dexter's Lab, and Dumb and Dumber cartoons. The thing I noticed about the way the characters look can be summarized as thus, they really look their age.

This character's not part of the animation project but I experimented with it a bit and I like the way it turned out.

Friday, October 10, 2003

I finally got to attend the meeting that a couple of high school friends and their partners are doing for an online portal. The project promises to be something big and I already had my work cut out for me. I'm tasked to do the drawings for the 15-second flash intro using my CLASS characters and then some. I haven't really done any kind of animation except for some half-baked project during college. I have to submit the reworked (read: simplified) designs of the characters early next week so we can work on the storyboard and timing. Deep inside I'm thinking Can I really do this? I'm in on the project because of a recommendation of a common friend and gee... I hate to disappoint them all if I don't get to it as soon as possible.

I also finished the last of the seminars for driving and I'm scheduled to go behind the wheel in two weeks for an hour's worth of lessons. I'm really upbeat on this driving lesson thing and I do hope the driving instructor's got a lot more patience than the last one.
"Kids were thought to be unable to separate the mildly gross from the debauched––to my mind, a horribly patronizing attitude. My children adored Roald Dahl, and they had no problem separating out his diet of squashed worm sandwiches from their real dinner. Fortunately, the socially correct tourniquet around kids' books seems to be easing, but a Big Brother has arrived on the scene. One that says, "We mustn't frighten the children with long words and complexity." It's curious to note that a first-time submission of Alice In Wonderland would probably be passed over by the majority of present-day children's publishers, and Lewis Carroll would be piling up little rejection slips. It really shouldn’t be a matter of choosing between Grimm and bland, but as long as we underestimate our children as much as we overstimulate ourselves, we will reap the inevitably complacent rewards.

I believe it's absolutely correct to protect the children from adult excesses, but my four kids have taught me a great deal about this world and, in doing so, have helped me remember what I enjoyed as a child. They've been my guide and I've gained more from watching them paint and draw than I ever learned at art college. Children are smart, and they understand fantasy far better than we. They know farting crocodiles are more pleasing than politically correct parrots." – Nick Bantock, THE ARTFUL DODGER; p. 44

* * *

This is but one of the wonderful gems that Mr. Bantock wrote in his wonderful biography. There are also other authors who are calling attention to the need to return to innocence in a world that's getting more and more skeptical and blase with each passing day.

Picture of a letter written by the mysterious Sabine to her ardent epistler, Griffin.
Twilight sky looked like one big painting today. The ominous dark blues signalling rain on the right gradiated slowly to the fading rays of the setting sun on the left and in between the clouds looked rightly magnificent with its orange and purple hues. I wish I could have taken a picture but as far as moments go it only lasted for an instant.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

This is one of the best and most heartfelt stories I've ever read coming from prominent Christian writer Max Lucado. Here's part of the introduction that he did for this piece called Come Home:

* * *

"The practice of using earthly happenings to clarify heavenly truths is no easy task. Yet, occasionally, one comes across a story, legend, or fable that conveys a message as accurately as a hundred sermons and with ten times the creativity. Such is the case with the reading below. I heard it first told by a Brazilian in São Paulo. And though I’ve shared it countless times, with each telling I am newly warmed and reassured by its message."
The small house was simple but adequate. It consisted of one large room on a dusty street, its red-tiled roof was one of many in this poor neighborhood on the outskirts of the Brazilian village. It was a comfortable home. Maria and her daughter, Christina, had done what they could add color to the gray walls and warmth to the hard dirt floor: an old calendar, a faded photograph of a relative, a wooden crucifix. The furnishings were modest: a pallet on either side of the room, a washbasin, and a wood-burning stove.

Maria’s husband had died when Christina was an infant. The young mother, stubbornly refusing opportunities to remarry, got a job and set out to raise her young daughter. And now, fifteen years later, the worst years were over. Though Maria’s salary as a maid afforded few luxuries, it was reliable and it did provide food and clothes. And now Christina was old enough to get a job to help out.

Some said Christina got her independence from her mother. She recoiled at the traditional idea of marrying young and raising a family. Not that she couldn’t have had her pick of husbands. Her olive skin and brown eyes kept a steady stream of prospects at her door. She had an infectious way of throwing her head back and filling the room with laughter. She also had that rare magic some women have that makes every man feel like a king just by being near them. But it was her spirited curiosity that made her keep all the men at arm’s length.

She spoke often of going to the city. She dreamed of trading her dusty neighborhood for exciting avenues and city life. Just the thought of this horrified her mother. Maria was always quick to remind Christina of the harshness of the streets. “People don’t know you there. Jobs are scarce and the life is cruel. And besides, if you went there, what would you do for a living?”

Maria knew exactly what Christina would do, or would [I]have[/I] to do for a living. That’s why her heart broke when she awoke one morning to find her daughter’s bed empty. Maria knew immediately where her daughter had gone. She also knew immediately what she must do to find her. She quickly threw some clothes in a bag, gathered up all her money, and ran out of the house.

On her way to the bus stop she entered a drugstore to get one last thing. Pictures. She sat in the photograph booth, closed the curtain, and spent all she could on pictures of herself. With her purse full of small black-and-white photos, she boarded the next bus to Rio de Janeiro.

Maria knew Christina had no way of earning money. She also knew that her daughter was too stubborn to give up. When pride meets hunger, a human will do things that were before unthinkable. Knowing this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place with the reputation for streetwalkers or prostitutes. She went to them all. And at each place she left her picture––taped on a bathroom mirror, tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened to a corner phone booth. And on the back of each photo she wrote a note.

It wasn’t too long before both the money and the pictures ran out, and Maria had to go home. The weary mother wept as the bus began its long journey back to her small village.

It was a few weeks later that young Christina descended the hotel stairs. Her young face was tired. Her brown eyes no longer danced with youth but spoke of pain and fear. Her laughter was broken. Her dream had become a nightmare. A thousand times over she had longed to trade these countless beds for her secure pallet. Yet the little village was, in too many ways, too far away.

As she reached the bottom of the stairs, her eyes noticed a familiar face. She looked again, and there on the lobby mirror was a small picture of her mother. Christina’s eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked across the room and removed the small photo. Written on the back was this compelling invitation. “Whatever you have done, whatever you have become, it doesn’t matter. Please come home.”

She did.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

I'm starting the long and not-so-lonely road to driving school today. I attended the first of a two-day seminar this afternoon and I'm going to have the actually driving lessons on Monday (1 hour tutorials for 10 days). I wouldn't have taken the initiative on my own by my Dad thought that it was high time I started driving. Given the traffic situations here in our country I still think that commuting to and from my intended destination is much faster than driving. And the fact that I'm the only one in the family not driving a car doesn't help things either.

I would have learned the necessity of this... sport much earlier if it wasn't for a couple of grouchy driving instructors who snarled and growled at every mistake that I made. It was a long time ago and besides I got a lot from walking way before I learned it was a great way to exercise. Though I'm looking forward to finally being able to bring my own car and ferrying some friends and returning countless favors to them for bringing me home, I'm thinking that this could bring additional stress to an otherwise peaceful time. Hmmm... I could be counting the broken eggs along with the chickens here.
* drums fingers on the table *

Yeah, could be, but... Naahh! I'd rather be positive about it than anything else.

Guess what she picks out in the end?

Jay’s sister, Marie is the weakest character in the whole strip. I haven’t totally fleshed her out so I’m sending her off to college to lay low for a while. She’ll be staying in a dorm and won’t be making further appearances until she’s well and ready.

* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Such a really great song. Future wifey this one's for you.
Flowers In The Window

When I first held you I was cold
A melting snowman I was told
That there was no one there to hold
Before, I swore, that I would be alone forever more

Oh, wow, look at you now
Flowers in the window
It's such a lovely day and I'm glad you feel the same
'Cause to stand up, out in the crowd
You are one in a million
And I love you so
Let's watch the flowers grow

There is no reason to feel bad
But there are many seasons to feel glad, sad, mad
It's just a bunch of feelings that we have to hold
And I am here to help you with the load

So now we're here and now is fine
So far away from there and there is time, time, time
To plant new seeds and watch them grow
So there'll be flowers in the window when we go
Ever had the feeling like you’re an incomplete puzzle and you don’t know where the pieces are, when they will be coming and where? I was asleep for many days, having grown callous and indifferent to the things that come my way. A timely long-distance phone call from my college best friend woke me up mid-afternoon. Bryan’s call was indeed a welcome surprise and one that I’m looking for in a long time. That after a long time I was able to voice out my questions and apprehensions. In a reversal of roles he was the counselor and me the one needing a listening ear. Do you know what your calling is? was the question that shook me the most. Do I really? That phone call managed to wake me up from a stupor, that in giving voice to the phantoms inside my head I was able to see what it was that held me in thrall for so long, I was able to see them for who they really are: attractive curlicues of fragile smoke. So fragile they haven’t got a prayer against the breath of wind that passed through and shoved them off to the side. That left me feeling like a puzzle and feeling like an unfinished puzzle is one of the crummiest feelings in the world. I took a bath and went out to get a quotation for the printing of the invite for December’s event from a batchmate who holds his graphic studio office two blocks away from our house. He had awesome ideas for a new website for all sorts of school alumni (something I first thought would be exclusive to our batch). I would be providing some illustrations for the flash animation and comic strips for the site. A couple more of pleasantries and discussions about potential projects left me optimistic enough about securing more work in the coming days.

I left his office after half an hour and went straight to Megamall. My mind was a blank my way there, I felt like I was just going through the motions of walking to a very familiar place. Upon arrival I immediately mapped out my journey to the end of the mall and back. I viewed some art exhibits at the fourth floor stimulating my mind with the imaginative expressions of these artists. I examined their works and wondered what it is that went through their mind when they were creating their works. I dropped by Powerbooks on my way down and looked at a couple of art books, advertising books, and graphic design books. I finally figured it out while listening to some soothing lounge music sampled from different artists it was all a lesson in beauty and passion. Hearts respond to strains of music, wake up to the smallest hint of art, and in bringing me to a quiet road full of paintings and photographs, graphic designs and music I heard His voice. Nothing’s too far or too hard for me, he says, where do you think I’ve been all this time? The fact of the matter is that I’ve been speaking to you all this time, you’re just too caught up with your problems to notice.

That’s when I realized I found what I’m looking for.

Monday, October 06, 2003

It was a bit of challenge to try and make faces before the camera

Yesterday’s activity was a blast and I really enjoyed bonding with three good friends (and surviving members of the original Artists’ Den members): Lyndon Gregorio, Azrael Coladilla, and Ryan Orosco (he scored some tickets to the Enchanted Kingdom). We met right after lunch and took a bus to Pacita, Laguna, a jeep to somewhere near Sta. Rosa, and a tricycle right to the gates of the amusement park. We wanted to try out the bumper cars when we first got there but there was a long line so we settled for the kiddie roller coaster ride beside it. Then some stomach churning swings at the pendulum-like Anchor’s Away. It was fun at first but after some up and down motions I was already beginning to feel a bit queasy. Then it’s off to Log Jam for some wet fun (that’s the first 2 pictures above). Then we went halfway around the park and tried out Stan Lee’s 7th Portal. I got more queasy and afterwards bought an anti-dizziness medicines at the souvenir shop across the ride. We even got ourselves some souvenir mugs! Then we deposited it in the lockers for safekeeping, and we tried the revolving swings. After a few turns the medicine doesn’t seem to kick in but I was still alright. We ate pizza, tacos, and had softdrinks (the drinks did the trick of eliminating the dizzy spells). After a bit of walking they tried the roller coaster but I wasn’t up for it since I almost threw up the first time I rode in it. The sun was already setting and while waiting for them I took some shots of the huge ferris wheel in the distance using my phone. The shots turned out great and hopefully I would be able to upload it as soon as I’m able. We had the most fun and laughter at the Rio Grande rapids, we were also sopping wet after the ride. You’d think that we would move to other rides for a change but nooooo we had to ride it some more! Hehehe… we didn’t really care if it means catching pneumonia because of the chill wind. We even caught a couple more rides at Log Jam since we were already wet. We also rode the other rides in between and the bump cars were a big hit (pun unintended) with us too. We had so much fun we almost didn’t catch the last bus home that night. Before heading back home we ate some donuts and discussed the day’s activities and next week’s sojourn back to the park to try out the other rides we didn’t get to ride.

* In connection with this you have to check out Lyndon strips for next week.
Last Saturday I met up with so me batch mates to plan out our 15th graduation anniversary from high school. The organizer, our batch rep, Robin was a bit disappointed at first thinking that only three of us would be showing our mugs. I arrived at Ardi’s in Makati a little past 8:30 in the evening. We talked and caught up with each other’s business and he updated me on the plans for the evening. Next to arrive is another old classmate and now Manila City official and the incumbent Mayor’s son, Arnold. He’s sore disappointed with the times he missed the alumni homecomings in our school since he wasn’t informed of the dates. We’ve been classmates for most of our elementary days and half of high school. We were always seated next to each other since we both possessed the same surnames and the same first letter in our names. This also caused some confusion on the part of our other classmates since we used to call each other by our surnames (I think it’s the usual practice in most high schools) so came up with his nickname, Ali. The others came in trickles in the course of the evening until we reached a total of 10 including Jorge who dropped by along with his fiancée. The meeting went underway over some drinks and chow, and though we didn’t finalize anything yet due to the lack of number of attendees we managed to delegate the work among ourselves and talk about it the following week. We wrapped it up sometime before midnight and proceeded to a popular Club called Wasabi near the hub of activity in Makati. One of our classmates was supposed to be the resident DJ for that night so it would be nice to surprise him. We were the ones surprised when he wasn’t there. The music was cool (popular tunes from the 80s) so we stayed a while for some nightcap before heading home around 2:30 a.m.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Two hours more to before I start to leave for the meeting of our high school batch's meeting in Makati. What to expect? This will be the first time I will be involved in a meeting of sort involving our batch and the suspense is killing me.
Lyndon and I had a very lively discussion last night and one of those that I've opened up is the fact that I'm anti-trends. While everyone is going south because it's the "in" thing to do I'd move at my own pace facing north. I brought this up since everyone who everyone is in to Friendster nowadays. Don't get me wrong, I think that portal is a great place to test if the six degrees of separation applies to you or not and I even accepted the invitation of my brother to sign up way, way before everyone thought it would be cool to do so. These days I don't feel like logging in there. I liked it way better when everyone I saw there was people I don't know, a virtual online paradise where you could get to know other people from other countries (well, ok, Fil-Ams). But now that everyone's in it, it feels crowded and I don't like it at all. And this doesn't only apply to Friendster. I'm an indie in almost everything I do and like. I just don't like following trends. There were a couple of times that I did but I still moved at my own pace and not going gaga over every little thing that comes out. It doesn't mean that if everyone's doing it you have to do it too, what's our reasoning for if we're not going to use them to discern between choices? These lines from a song comes to mind:
Say you don't care who goes to that kind of place
Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight
Too many runaways eating up the night!

Can you spell frustrated and tired in swimming against the tide? I'll be logging in to Friendster sometime in future when all this hoopla dies down.

Friday, October 03, 2003

There's a sale in Podium right now and I treated myself to an original DVD of... Titanic! Well yeah, I can't afford the Back To the Future trilogy set right now but that's next on my list. Good thing the mall has an ongoing weekend sale up until Sunday. Now if I could only find some way to raise more dough.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Sometimes the simplest answers to life's issues are right beneath our noses, we're just too caught up with the distractions. Can't elaborate on it right now but my advice to you all is to be sensitive to these things. You never know when God might be talking to ya.
My good friend Jorge sent me a text message announcement right around 10 a.m. today announcing the news that one Fr. Hubert Bernales from our High School alma mater died in his sleep last night. I pondered on the name trying to recall if he was in office during our four year study in that school. It's quite sad considering that this priest was the Chairman of the committee for the Golden Anniversary of our school next year. Me thinks that he died peacefully in his sleep. On his second text message, he passed another announcement for the meeting of our High School batch this Saturday in Makati, presumably for the 15th anniversary our graduation next year. It would nice to see the others again. Our numbers have been dwindling in each succeeding Alumni Homecoming that we have each year. Ironically those that stayed loyal to our high school batch reunions right now are those rascals and bullies that had frequent run-ins with the Asst. Principal. We haven’t heard anything yet from those who are consistent do-gooders. Makes you wonder why. While me, I can’t be neatly categorized in high school. I’m not one of the nerds, geeks, or do-gooders since I don’t consistently good grades and I’m definitely one of the cool guys or those who bully others. I just stand in the background observing everything that’s happening and the people going about their business. I don’t mess with them, they don’t mess with me it’s that simple. Once in a while one or two of those bullies would pick on me to get a reaction. But in analyzing those so-called “bullies” nowadays, I think they’re part of the wannabes and they pick on those who don’t give a hoot about them. It’s probably like some way to upgrade their status to “full status” bullies. Now that’s pathetic. But that’s how it is in high school and why it makes for one very interesting study in psychology… and comic strips.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Would you think it strange if I told you that I'm still fascinated with rain? Up until now I can'tget over the fact that water falls down from the sky! Like the other day on my way back from a PC Express (one of the neighborhood PC parts shop), the sky was slowly being overcast with thick gray clouds starting in the early afternoon, and while I was walking on the side of the a busy street I felt the first heavy drops of rain coming down. It was sporadic and not much cause for panic as some people are wont to do, but as I turned my eyes to the gray skies in the northwest I saw the flurry of downpour falling down from a great height. Like the heavy rains you see in the distance that results in some sort of a gray mist, the rain was slowly falling down from the clouds. Like the mist of angels slowly coming out of the ark in the climax part of the Raiders of the Lost Ark it was a fascinating sight. I caught the first jeep that passed by on the way to Crossing (I could catch a small transport there on the way to the house without wading through the small floods at the entrance of our street). Within minutes the whole place was drenched in a heavy downpour. Some cars going at top speed take advantage of the situation by transforming puddles into fountains. This, for me, is really fun and the exciting part of it is waiting for the next vehicle to make a bigger splash. Of course this incoveniences a lot of people but not me. Like a wide-eyed kid poised in excitement I eagerly waited for them.

And just this afternoon a really hard rainfall fell pummeling the earth and all the people with huge drops of water. I bravely walked right through it with only an umbrella to cover me (I had an appointment and I hate being late). I was tempted to bring out my phone and take a snapshot of the whole adventure since I was the only one brave (or foolish) enough to walk through it. I passed by some people who were safely under some canopies looking at me, there's no second guessing as to what they're probably thinking. I could only look back at them and think Where's your sense of adventure? The rain soon stopped as sudden as it started.

We definitely have to have Tattoo stand beside the runways shouting "De plane! De plane!"*

We're such suckers for entertainment that most of the TV viewers had to wait through Meteor Garden just to catch the latest gossip on the Kris and Joey affair. I just watched the first couple of broadcasts but I got tired of it, why involve the rest of the country in the results of their tryst anyway? And though stranger things have happened I don't think we've seen or heard of the strangest of them all. Check out Lyndon Gregorio's version of this news called The Frog Mayor. I'm surprised Philippine News published this earlier than expected.

* To those who are too young to remember that was a reference to an 80s show Fantasy Island starring Ricardo "Nativity Stones In a Cross Pendant" Montalban.

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