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Monday, September 29, 2008


Not only was I able to push through with my plans last Saturday (September 27, 2008), I was also able to go about my itinerary at (almost) the exact time I’ve set for each destination, considering that I had to go slightly out of my way to buy something for my wife..

Talk about a well-planned project.

At first, it seemed things were going to go down the drain as rain started to fall as I was about to leave the house. But, as I was nearing my first destination, the rain stopped falling and the sky turned brighter (but still cloudy).

I got to my first destination at around 7:00 am (as planned) and started my journey.

It took me close to seven hours traveling no less than 10 kilometers on foot without any break (except for lunch) to cover all the destinations I’ve set in my itinerary.

My journey came to a VERY satisfying, albeit painful, end at around 2:00 pm.

Although my legs were numb and my feet were hurting (with a couple of blisters here and there), I was very happy. They still hurt, by the way.

Now I have enough materials to blog about for a whole month. :)

Come and follow me in my history-guided journey on

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Plan...

I used to have a strong disliking towards Civics/Social Studies classes when I was still in elementary and high school. Though, I must say, it wasn’t the subject matter that I hated but rather the manner by which it was taught and, along with that, the manner by which we, as students, have “programmed” ourselves to “learn” it.

However, for me, this was not limited to Social Studies classes as most of the teachers that I had had the same teaching method. I just mentioned Social Studies here because it’s one of those subjects that had me robotically memorizing an unending list of names and dates (much of which I end up forgetting after the quarterly exams). Next on my list would be Science classes.

I remember when I was taking up Biology in second year high school, I was not able to understand much of anything my teacher talked about for the entire school year. It was only after reading various articles and watching a lot of Discovery channel’s programs when I truly learned what I was supposed to (and should) have learned during that year.

As an addition to non-textbook sources, I believe I’ve learned more from stories I heard from elderly people than I had from all the classes that I have attended in my entire academic life. That is, of course, with the exception of mathematics and other subjects that involved mathematical formulas and calculations. I have yet to meet a person who can present mathematical calculations and formulations in such a way that will make it all seem trivial.

Moving forward…

As I’ve mentioned many times in this blog, I’ve been interested in old things for as long as I can remember and, I strongly believe that this contributes largely to my interest in history. Yes, I love learning about history.

History to me is very much like a can of Pringles, especially if it involves people, places, and things that I’m familiar with. Why Pringles you ask?

Well, once I “pop” I can’t stop.

I’ve been bitten by the history bug again early this week, quite by accident, and I’ve been thinking of taking on a really cool project to “scratch the itch”, so to speak. I’m not going to say YET what it is but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go about it starting tomorrow.

Nobody knows about the details of it yet except for my wife and my friend, Arnel.

It’s only the weather I’m really worrying about now as that is the only thing I can see that has the capability of ruining my plans.

It’s nothing new or revolutionary, really… I know of people who’s done it in the past, and I know of one major broadsheet that did it in 1998 as part of the Philippine independence’s centennial celebration). It’s just that, for me, to be able to experience it first hand seems like a lot of fun.

If everything should go according to plan, I’ll be posting something about it here come Monday (September 29, 2008). However, I’ll be posting the “fruits” of my labor on my other blog.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How Far Back In Time Will This Take You?

nougat candy
nougat candy
nougat candy
I saw these at our neighborhood sari-sari store when I went there last Sunday to buy a bottle of RC Cola. Without even thinking about it, I bought a couple. They sell these for 1 peso a piece.

Ingredients: peanut, sugar, glucose, egg, milk, and flavoring

Note: Miramar Confectionery Corp. is located at 1 J.P. Rizal Street, Barangay Tugatog Malabon City

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Raising the White Flag... for now

I’m sure that most of you, if not all, have read or heard about earning from blogging.

And I'm pretty sure that a lot of you will not be reading this line anymore after getting a glimpse of that first line and telling yourself "Not this again..." Well, this is NOT what I think you're thinking this is.

Okay, now that I got your attention... :P

I have countless times thought of writing something about this, but for some reason I have always dismissed the idea. Until now…

I saw this copy of Masigasig (September 2008 issue) lying somewhere in the living room upon reaching home last night. What really caught my eye was a cover story that read “Earn Big Bucks from Blogging”.

I picked it up wondering if it had something new to say and I wasn’t surprised to find out that it had none. Though, there’s one thing mentioned in the article that had me uttering a long string of expletives…

The article featured three Filipino bloggers who are earning huge amounts of money from their blogs… one of them was quoted as saying that he earns at least US$3,000 during the “leanest” of months. US$3,000?! At least?!

Okay, this will be the first time I’ll be admitting this. This blog that you are currently reading was born out of my desire/wish to make some money out of blogging at a time when I was hearing and reading so much about making money out of blogging.

When I started out, I didn’t have any idea on what to blog about, so much so that I constantly worried about what I was going to fill it with.

For me, it was like seeing a whole bunch of people having the time of their lives swimming in a pool, getting all excited at the sight of it, and taking the plunge without even knowing whether I can swim or not.

There had been a few occasions (in 2007) where I got quite desperate that I simply cut-and-pasted news articles I’ve read just to be able to post something. But then, I realized that doing so will not help my blog at all. Common sense told me that if someone was to search for that article on any search engine on the web, the search engine will surely present/display in its search results the original source of the article, if not, the most credible source of whatever matter is being discussed in that article. Not this blog, no.

With that realization, I ended up stressing myself over trying to come up with something to write about.

However, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that it isn’t as easy as some people make it seem to be. I got quite disappointed with it that there was a point where I almost gave up on blogging (note the absence of posts from January to June of this year in my archives).

Along with that, I also came to the realization that I was totally wrong about thinking that blogging (as an activity) was quite easy after revisiting all the things that I needed to do in order to keep this blog up and running…

First and foremost, I’ve got to have content. Not just any content, mind you, but content which people will find interesting… interesting enough to have my visitors coming back for more.

Next would be traffic. I’ve got to find ways to generate traffic coming to this blog. I can’t really tell which of these two is harder, but as far as my experience is concerned, I find traffic generation the more difficult task.

I’ve done quite a number of things in my attempt to generate a significant amount of traffic for this blog… got myself registered on various blog catalogues (as you can see at the bottom part of the right panel) as well as on EntreCard.

I’ve also “signed” my emails and forum posts (however few they are) with the URL of this blog.

But still, on average, I’m only getting around 80 visits per day. And judging from my stats on Google’s Analytics, only 5 to 10% of those actually stay and read my posts (if you’ll ask me, I prefer readers much more than “passers by”).

I’ve also got myself registered on one of the pay-per-post sites (on which my blog was approved), but then, I’ve decided never to grab any of the “opportunities” it is providing after coming to terms with myself that I don’t want to write and post anything on here about things which I do not truly believe in. Ads are ok, but getting paid to write my own ads? I think not, unless I truly like the product.

As for my Adsense earnings, I have only earned US$3.17 since I started this blog in November last year (with a little over 6,000 total visits so far).

With these numbers, I have almost given up all hopes of ever being able to earn for my blog.

So why am I still at this?

When I decided to post again on this blog some time in July (2008), I had with me a new purpose… and earning was no longer part of it. If I’d be fortunate enough to have it happening to me in the future, I will just be considering that as a “pleasant consequence” which I will more than gladly accept.

As I’ve written on my other blog:

“I’m looking forward to the day when I’m already all wrinkly and crooked, sitting in front of the computer (or whatever device it is that we’ll be using to surf the web with), perhaps, with my children and grandchildren, taking a stroll back to a time which would have been long forgotten by then for the most part. THAT is this blog’s main purpose.”

And, if I’ll be able to help somebody with my posts (as in the case of my photoshop tutorials), I’m happy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our House is Under Siege by a Lactating Terrorist!

I got up at exactly 6:00 this morning and went about my usual morning routine… brushed my teeth, took a bath, and got on the computer to check my email and stuff. My wife was still in bed, which is already late for her, but I didn’t bother to wake her up since she had a rough day yesterday. She got up sort of panicking at around 6:30 and asked me to buy pandesal for our breakfast.

As I was going down the stairs, I noticed some things were amiss… I saw a tub (a small one) of Star margarine lying near the foot of the stairs.

As the top of the fridge came into view as I went further down, I noticed some things were scattered on it (I could not identify what they were at the time, but I was sure they weren’t there the previous night).

Going even further down, I saw the coffee jar, the box of Lipton milk tea, and a few other things (which were supposed to be on the shelf) scattered all over the sink.

I turned my head to the left and saw the clothes hangers in disarray…

I cautiously proceeded down the stairs and headed for the kitchen where I saw the same scene… stuff were scattered all over… and footprints! I saw footprints!

At that point I began suspecting that it had something to do with the pack of spaghetti I retrieved from under the refrigerator last Sunday night.

That night, my wife, who is terrified by rodents of any type and size (including hamsters), asked me to retrieve the pack of spaghetti from under the fridge. She also asked me to remove the fly trap that had been flipped over under the old stereo rack beside the fridge.

We came to a conclusion that we had a rat inside the house judging from what has happened to the fly trap. Mice can’t do that.

As I slowly pulled out the pack of spaghetti (the exposed part of which was still in pretty good shape), I was surprised to see that half of the contents were already gone and about a third of the packaging had already been gnawed off.

So, I picked the mess up, and together with the fly trap (which has left a disgusting mark on our floor) I threw them into the trash bin.

I decided to set up the bigger trap, and since we had spaghetti that night (quite coincidentally), I used some of the cooked spaghetti noodles that we had left over as bait.

After that, we started hearing squeaks from the old stereo rack…

Then it occurred to me. The monster is residing there! And from the squeaks, I’m thinking that it’s nursing a brood there!

The next morning, Monday, I went in to check the trap. Half of the bait was already gone and the trap didn’t set off! Dang!

Since I had to go to the office, I left the trap in the state it was in, thinking that I’ll just set it up again when I get home after work. And since there was still some bait left in it, I was hoping that I might still be able to have some luck with it.

Nothing changed when I got home last night. The trap was still very much the way I left it earlier.

So, I set it up again… this time with a leftover pizzito we had in the fridge.

This morning, after examining the chaos, I went to inspect the trap… the pizzito was still there, the trap however is slightly off (from where I originally placed it).

She knows!

And she’s very angry, angry that I took a convenient food source (the pack of spaghetti) away from her.

Now, we are under siege by an angry vengeful lactating terrorist!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Can't Believe It's Been THAT Long!

It’s been nearly two decades since I’ve last been to the Manila Zoo… it’s been so long ago that I couldn’t recognize anything at all when I took my son there last Saturday. One thing I was very much looking forward to see was the giraffe because my brother and I had our pictures taken there when we were little, and I would love to have my son’s picture taken there also. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any giraffe. I have no idea if there are really no more giraffes there anymore or we just missed it since we were kind of in a rush because we were already feeling hungry.

But, then again, Manila Zoo has undergone renovations in the past and I don’t know if the layout of the place has been modified. So, even if we have been able to see the giraffe(s) and have my son’s picture taken there, I’m pretty sure I’d be endlessly questioning myself if that’s where our photos were taken before.

Anyway, the zoo, as of last Saturday that is, is pretty clean and quite orderly. We weren’t able to get into the kinder zoo (a petting zoo of sorts) because of budgetary constraints… I believe it costs 100 pesos per person to get in there. Though, my son was lucky enough to have been able to get his hands on a python which I’m quite proud of… brave, brave kid. :)

My wife, my son and the shy (depressed?) elephant

My son and the python... brave kid... :) But then again, if he only knew
what snakes are capable of. Hahaha!

Friday, September 19, 2008

...and a photoblog is born...

I have always been fascinated with old photographs, may it be of people, places, or things. It's not just old photographs really, you can say that I’m pretty much into old things in general (as I’ve shown you in some of my precious posts).

Anyway, the (old) photographs I like the most are those of people, places, and things whom/which I personally know or am quite familiar with. I don’t know why, but it gives me great joy to see what they looked like in the past.

And, for this reason (and also because I’ve been to several great-looking photoblogs recently), I’ve been inspired to start my own.

So, allow me to present to you…

There’s nothing much there yet as I only started with it some three days ago, but, I am hoping that I’ll be able to turn it into something big… something wonderful… something that will be worth everyone’s time to visit.

The photographs I’ll be posting there may not be old (yet)… but I’m looking forward to the day when I’m all wrinkly and crooked, sitting in front of whatever device it is that we’ll be using to surf the web with, perhaps, my children and grandchildren, taking a stroll back to this time.

Note: I will still continue to post new materials to this here blog (for as often as I can).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quote of the Day (on Procreation)

“All creatures must learn to coexist. That’s why the brown bear and the field mouse can share their lives in harmony. Of course, they can’t mate or the mice would explode.”

Betty White

Sex in the kichen... hmmm...

Gotta remember to add bug-spray to my grocery list...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


“In everything the middle course is best: all things in excess bring trouble to men.”
Titus Maccius Plautus

I originally intended this to be just a “Quote of the Day” post. However, I realized that there are more interesting things to talk about regarding this receipt (or, should I say, the place where I got it from) than poking fun at grammatical errors.

Note: I’m not in any way saying that my English is anywhere near perfect. It’s just that I’ve become more critical about these things after working for a publishing company for many years. Admittedly, I oftentimes struggle in putting my thoughts into words, much more so in stating them in a grammatically-correct manner.


I suppose most, if not all, Manileños know what “Divisoria” is (take note, I said “what”). Simply put, it is a place where you can buy just about anything you need (and don’t need) at dirt cheap prices. Divisoria is one of the most well-known places where many buy-and-sellers get their supplies… fabrics, kitchen utensils, plastic wares, ceramic wares, school and office supplies, toys, fishing gear, sports gear, livestock feeds, apparels and underwear for all ages and sizes, shoes, bags, crafting stuff, fruits and vegetable, meat, spices, baking needs… you name it.

So where exactly is this Divisoria?

I lived (very) near the “area” for close to 30 years but, still, I am unable to define its exact boundaries (if there ever is one). The only thing that I can say (with certainty) is that parts of “Divisoria” lie within the districts of Tondo, San Nicolas, and Binondo.

As far as I’m concerned, I think “Divisoria”, as it is known nowadays, is just a general reference to the area surrounding the section of Claro M. Recto Avenue (formerly known as Calle Azcarraga) that connects Rizal Avenue (formerly Avenida) to Elcano Street.

Again, that’s just my idea.

I’ve tried looking for historical information about it on the web but I haven’t been able to find any, like where the name “Divisoria” came from or which specific area it originally referred to. All searches for Manila’s “Divisoria” on Google only reveal articles in which it is used in (and as) reference to “Tutuban”, “168 Mall” and cheap prices. So, to those who are in-the-know, kindly enlighten me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Do We Need to Be Constantly Reminded that Hard Times are Upon Us?

Pizzito Italiano's miniature pizza
Yes, the thing that you see in the image above is a real pizza (and by “real” I mean it looks like a pizza and it’s edible).

Bought this yesterday at SM Manila from a stall called “Pizzito Italiano” for less than 20 pesos a piece (wasn’t able to take a picture of the stall since I forgot to bring along my camera).

It’s quite tasty, actually… and looks really cute.

But then again, what is “Pizzito Italiano” trying to tell us by selling these?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Art of Speaking in Numbers

image from
There are numbers, and there are “numbers”… and there are number combinations.

It’s no surprise that, just like any other person on earth, we use numbers for what they were originally designed for, like counting, telling time, and measuring lengths/distances.

What’s interesting is that we Filipinos also use numbers to refer to other things (or situations), sometimes without any reference or relation (at all) to the numbers involved. For example:
  • Five-six – is a type of loan
  • Syete (seven) – refers to a style of haircut
  • Pito-pito (seven-seven) – is a “medicinal” cocktail said to be a cure for headaches, fever, cough, colds, migraine, asthma, abdominal pains, and diarrhea among many other things. It is prepared by boiling together seven types of herbs (alagaw, banaba, bayabas, pandan, mangga, anis, and cilantro).
  • Siyam-siyam (nine-nine) – used to denote “a long and indeterminate length of time” or “being subjected to a lot of trouble”
  • Onse (eleven) – could mean “gyp” or “deceive” when used in a certain manner, particularly in money matters.
  • Beynte nuwebe (twenty-nine) – refers to a fan knife (or balisong)
  • Kuwarentay singko (forty-five) – refers to a .45 caliber pistol
What’s more interesting is that we are also able to communicate/convey complete thoughts/messages using numbers alone, like in doing commerce.

Speaking in numbers has been made (very) effective with the usage of a combination of Filipino and “localized” Spanish wherein the number spoken in Filipino pertains to quantity (as in the number of pieces), whereas the number spoken in Spanish pertains to the amount/price.

For example:
  • Ilan yung beynte? (How many is the twenty?) – Usually asked by jeepney/FX drivers when receiving a 20-peso bill, the true meaning of which is “How many persons/passengers is this 20-pesos going to pay for?” There’s also “Ilan yung singkuwenta?” (“How many is the fifty?”), “Ilan yung isang daan?” (“How many is the one hundred?”), “Ilan yung dalawang daan?” (“How many is the two hundred?”), and “Ilan yung sanlibo?” (“How many is the one thousand?”)
  • Isa lang po yung beynte. (The twenty is only one.) – this is one of the passengers’ possible responses to the question stated in the previous item, the true meaning of this would be “The 20 pesos is for only one person’s fare.”
  • Tatlo dos (three two) – means “three pieces for two pesos”
  • Kinse isa (fifteen one) – means “fifteen pesos a piece”
  • Singkuwenta isa (fifty one) – means “fifty pesos a piece”
However, for larger denominations (higher than 50 pesos), the “Filipino-Spanish” combination no longer apply. Instead, all numbers are stated in Filipino…
  • Tatlo isang-daan (three one hundred) – means “three pieces for one hundred pesos”
  • Sanlibo isa (one thousand one) – means “one thousand pesos a piece”
Even so, the message is unmistakable.

Common knowledge? Yes, but amazing nevertheless.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Little Experiment

After I posted my previous entry, my friend NelMan gave me an idea to play around with those rating widgets to see how “intelligent” they are (just for the fun of it).

So, here’s what I did…

I composed two nonsense-filled entries, one intended for the “Reading Level” test and another for the “Rating” and “Cuss-O-Meter” tests. I temporarily posted them on here and copied and pasted their URLs to the tests.

First up… the “Reading Level” test.

This is what I’ve posted for this:

The letter A is the first letter in the alphabet. The English alphabet has 26 letters. Letter A is followed by letter B, which in turn is followed by letter C. “C” is for “cat”. Now I know my A-B-C, next time I’ll try counting… one… two… three…

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away, on my way to where the air is sweet. Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

Come and play, everything's A-okay. Friendly neighbors there, that's where we meet. Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

To my great surprise, this is what I got:

blog readability test

Next, the “Rating” and “Cuss-O-Meter” tests.

This is what I’ve posted for these:

The complete form of “cock” is “cockerel”. A cock (or cockerel) is a male chicken, otherwise referred to as a rooster.

I’ve seen pussy cats chase cocks, as well as hens for that matter, countless times. However, I have yet to see any chicken getting killed by pussy cats.

Speaking of pussy cats, I hate it when they rub themselves against my legs.

Anyway, donkeys are also called asses. On the other hand, the word “ass” can be used to refer to a fool.

Anybody knows why boobie traps are called boobie traps?

An upper cut is a type of punch in which a person drives his fist up under his opponent’s chin.

Cum is Latin for 'with'. It is used to denote rights and entitlements that come with a share at the time it is bought.

Is it better to say “take pictures” than “shoot photos”?

I’ll always prefer Elmer’s glue over glue sticks and glue guns.

The word booty can be used to refer to captives or cattle or objects of value taken in war OR an unexplored ("virgin") cave.

The results…

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets
This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

* pussy (6x)
* cock (4x)
* hell (2x) <-- Hmmm...
gun (1x)

... and...

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

Guess I can still keep my cuss-free record! Hahaha!


I think I know now where the word "hell" came from...

It seems that even if I entered a specific post's URL for testing, these things still scoured my blog in its entirety... VERY CLEVER. :)

So, for the subject of these things being accurate and credible... I say its PLAUSIBLE
(that is with the exception of the "Rating" test... I suppose you know why).

Case closed.

Just for the Fun of It

Ok, I’ve been blog-hopping you see… and while I was at it I found these things on someone’s blog. So, I tried them out and this is what I got:

blog readability test

I don’t know if I should be proud of this… :P

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

I somewhat disagree with this one as I personally think that my blog should be rated PG (at the very least) due to some “borderline” mature contents I’ve posted before. :P According to the site where I got this from, my blog got this rating based on the presence of the following words:

* hell (2x)
* gun (1x)

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

This one I very much agree with as I always make sure that I keep the language in my posts clean. But then again, if I could make this work in real life, this meter would surely have blown into pieces. Hahaha!

This gives me an idea for what I’m gonna post next… :P

"The American Past" by Roger Butterfield

This is the book I mentioned in one of my previous posts.

I bought this from National Bookstore’s “Previously Owned Books” (or P.O.B.) in Quezon Avenue a few years ago for less than P200.00 (P150.00 if I remember correctly).

Just a few days after I bought this, someone approached me offering to buy it… that was after he saw it on my table and asked me where I got it and how much I bought it for. He offered to buy it for P1,500.00, I think, but I declined the offer.

In my opinion, it’s a beautiful book… but that goes for only as far as its physical qualities are concerned. And (I just gotta mention this), I love the smell of old books (or any old reading material for that matter).

I have not yet found the time to read it yet, so, I can’t say anything more about it. But I have browsed through it quite a few times and the images are simply amazing!

I tried looking for more information about it and its author, Roger Butterfield, online, but all I was able to find was this article on TIME’s website:

Gift-Wrapped History
Monday, Nov. 03, 1947

THE AMERICAN PAST (476 pp.)—Roger Butterfield—Simon & Schuster ($10).

The American Past is history gift-wrapped for readers who ordinarily find the subject unattractive. A picture story of U.S. politics and personalities from 1775 to 1945, the book is presumably (at $10) a carriage-trade item, but Publishers Simon and Schuster expect it to sell like crêpes suzettes.

The book contains 1,000 admirably selected photographs and cartoons, 125,000 words of text. The text and captions are in a lively, LIFE-like manner (Butterfield is an ex-LIFE editor).

The American Past combines the well-documented events of U.S. history with their human underpinnings: Washington borrowing money to make the trip to New York City for his first inauguration; John Quincy Adams bathing naked in the Potomac ; Wilson nibbling crackers while pecking out his war message to Congress; Jackson, when asked if he had any regrets in his life, admitting that he had two: "He had been unable to shoot Henry Clay, or to hang John C. Calhoun."

The American Past is almost exclusively focused on politics and politicians, sheds only an occasional gleam on the high spots of U.S. social history. But on U.S. politics, it is a first-rate picture book.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Wonderful Night of Happy Stress-Free Live Music

I had a feeling that yesterday was going to be one of those days when things won’t go right for me…

I rarely drive to the office, but since I was surely going to be out late, I did. So, I left for the office relatively early thinking that I would be able to get a parking space easily…

I was wrong.

Then, as the day progressed, my cough got worse caused by the smell of paint thinner in our office that had crept through the ceiling from the office unit adjacent to ours which was (and still is) being remodeled by the new tenant.

Not good… not good at all…

I left the office at around ten past six, hoping that I will not be caught in a traffic jam.

To my amazement, my travel to Cubao (from our office at Quezon Avenue) took just a little under 20 minutes, considering I wasn’t driving fast. That was the first (and only) good thing that happened to me so far…

Upon reaching Araneta, I decided to have a quick dinner at Jollibee at Farmer’s Market which was just right across where I parked the car. Feeling rather confident that nothing else could go wrong, I left my bag in the car with my ticket, camera, umbrella, and cell phone in it.

I was wrong to think that!

While I was halfway through my dinner, rain suddenly fell, and VERY HEAVILY at that! Flood water was rushing down the sloped street lying between the parking lot and Farmer’s Market (which looked like raging rapids) and water was rising fast at the far (lower) end of the street. At that point, I was already panicking. I felt hopeless as the rain showed no sign of stopping. MY TICKET!!!

After waiting for almost half an hour and endlessly praying for the rain to stop… the rain finally eased down to a drizzle. I waited for a couple more minutes to let the raging water subside.

To cut a long story short, I managed to get to the car and grab my bag and make it inside the coliseum at around 7:30.


At around ten-past-eight, an announcement was made:

“Mr. George Benson and Mr. Al Jarreau are very much ready to perform. However, we will delay the concert and start at 8:30 due to heavy traffic caused by the heavy rain…”

Fine by me.

The lights went out at exactly half-past-eight. One-by-one the band members appeared on stage proceeding directly to their respective posts and went on to tune their instruments.


The band started out (sans Al and George) playing a medley…

Then, George and Al appeared, informally “introduced” themselves, and performed together for a brief moment (I think they only did about three or four songs together throughout the entire show).

For the most part the concert was a double solo performance… the first half was Al’s and the second was George’s.

Theirs was the kind of music that makes me see blue skies and white fluffy clouds in the stormiest of days, see an endless field of vibrant green grass in my gloomiest moments, smell the perfume of fragrant flowers in my most dismal hours, and feel the soothing caresses of a gentle breeze in my most inconsolable states.

“Happy music” as Al Jarreau calls it… THAT, for me, it truly is.

Their playlist included “Breezin’”, “Mornin’”, “Mas Que Nada”, “Midnight Sun” “‘long Come Tutu”, “The Greatest Love of All”, “Turn Your Love Around”, “Never Give Up on a Good Thing”, and “Give me the Night”. And that’s not even half of it.

Before Al began singing “Mornin’”, he told of a story about a conversation that he and George had while on the plane to Manila.

Imitating George’s laughter (which was quite hilarious), he said George told him that he was very happy. I can’t remember the exact words but it was something about being happy because they’re still performing even if they’re already way past 30 (or something) years old. He then sort of “preached”, however briefly, and out of nowhere suddenly looked at a lady in the audience and exclaimed “Lady didn’t know I was going to preach, did you?” which had the audience bursting out in laughter.

The entire concert lasted for about two hours and twenty minutes and I loved EVERY SECOND of it. (As Angel mentioned on her post: "No front act, no unnecessary talk, just pure musical artistry and a truly unforgettable musical experience.")

After the last song was played, the crowd (myself included) gave them a roaring standing ovation for a most memorable performance.

“Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all…”

I shall consider this as one of those RARE moments that I didn’t feel guilty for loving myself… enough to buy myself that ticket as a (post) birthday gift to myself. Heck, enough to even buy myself anything at all!

However, I have had the misfortune of overhearing somebody say “Sulit na rin” (“it was just about worth what I paid for”) at the corridor on my way out. I can’t help but wonder what else he wanted to see (for it to be well worth every single centavo he had shelled out).

I got home at around quarter-to-twelve… went to bed with “Mornin’” still playing in my head. Woke up this morning still with that same song playing in my head. I just can’t get enough of it!

By the way, you may wanna read Angel's post about this... it covers a lot of things I failed to mention here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Quote of the Day (For Adrenaline Junkies)

“The laws that keep us safe,
these same laws condemn us to boredom.”

Chuck Palahniuk
(American freelance Journalist, Satirist and Novelist)

Location: Across the Manila City Hall
Date: September 7, 2008
Time: Around 6:00 pm

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Coincidence?

My fiftieth post...

What better way to celebrate this milestone than this!


Saturday, September 6, 2008

This Day in History

1901 - President William McKinley was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. McKinley died on September 14th.

1941 - Nazi Germany required all Jews over the age of six to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothes.

1995 - Baseball player Cal Ripken, Jr., broke Lou Gehrig's iron man record by playing in his 2,131st straight game.

1997 - More than 2 billion people watched Princess Diana's funeral on TV.

1998 - Japanese movie director Akira Kurosawa died in Tokyo at age 88.

2007 - Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti died at age 71.

2008 - I turn yet another year older...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Anybody Still Into These?

I was thinking of starting this by saying “these are the grand-daddy of RPGs”… good thing I did a quick research on computer RPGs and found out that computer RPGs predate these books. Oh well, so much for a dramatic introduction…


I can’t remember if I’ve read all of these… as a matter of fact, I can’t even remember anything about any of the stories! Yup, it’s been THAT long! I’m getting old!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these, these are sort of “interactive” books which contain stories that have several possible endings. How a story ends depends on the course of action you choose to take (options are provided to you on selected pages).

Just found out on Wikipedia that these types of books are called “gamebooks”. From Wikepedia:
Choose Your Own Adventure is a series of children's gamebooks first published by Bantam Books from 1979-1998 and currently being re-published by Chooseco. Each story is written from a second-person point of view, with the reader assuming the role of the protagonist and making choices that determine the main character's actions in response to the plot and its outcome. Choose Your Own Adventure was one of the most popular children’s series during the 1980s and 1990s, selling over 250 million copies between 1979 and 1998, and translated into at least 38 languages.
So there.


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Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Preciousssssss...

I’ve been collecting all sorts of things since I was very young… stamps, records, comic books, toys, trading cards, newspaper clippings, magazines, old paper money, old coins, and a whole bunch of other things, including many things that most people would probably consider as junk. And, every time I would decide to include something to my ever-growing collection(s), I’d always think that someday I might be able to make a fortune out of it.

But, somehow, I seem incapable of letting go of anything from my collection… so much so that I am still regretting having sold my near-mint copy of X-Men #1 [1991(?) with the complete fold-/spread-out cover] when I was still in high school… siiiiigh…

I’ve been approached by two different persons in two different occasions offering to buy two different items from my collection… one was offering to buy an old book (which I bought from National Bookstore’s “Previously Owned Books” for P150.00) for P1,500.00 (even after I told him how much I got it for)… the other was going for an old comic book…

I declined both offers (without even a second of thought).

Hmmm… how do I put it… They’re miiiiiine!!! Look but don’t touch! If something bad happens to them I’ll kill you!

They’re all my preciousesesssss… hehehe…

Among the numerous and ever growing number of items I have in my collection(s), there are a handful which I consider the MOST precious of all (though, not necessarily the ones with the highest monetary value… not that I have any plans of selling them. I can’t and I wouldn’t… I just wouldn’t!).

I’ll let them speak for themselves…

Danielle Fishel – I was a fan of the show “Boy Meets World” before, and I thought she was adorable. :)

Danielle Fishel
Pat Boone (left) and Alicia Silverstone (right)

Pat Boone (left) and Alicia Silverstone (right)
The Simpsons (left) and Johnny Mathis (right) – I get MISTY while looking at these. The Simpsons is not signed though.

The Simpsons (left) and Johnny Mathis (right)
Tim “The ‘Toolman’ Taylor” Allen (top-left), Ben Savage (bottom-left, also from the show “Boy Meets World” and the younger brother of Fred Savage from the show “Growing Years”), Phil Collins (top-right), and Dean Cain (bottom-right) – Except for Phil Collins, all are hand-signed on the reverse side.

Tim Allen (top-left), Ben Savage (bottom-left), Phil Collins (top-right), and Dean Cain (bottom-right)
Luciano Pavarotti (left), Harrison Ford (top-right), and Christina Ricci (bottom-right) – I can’t figure out if the Harrison Ford and Christina Ricci photos were hand-signed (having a hard time looking for “tell-tale” signs), but Pavarotti’s definitely is! (May he rest in peace…) However, I still can’t decipher the word he wrote above his signature… but I suspect it’s Italian.

Luciano Pavarotti (left), Harrison Ford (top-right), and Christina Ricci (bottom-right)
Steven Spielberg – I am quite certain that this was not hand signed (about 95%)… but the letter that came along with it is simply wonderful (even though it’s a form letter)

Steven Spielberg
Soledad O’Brien (left) and Marisa Tomei (right) – at that time, Soledad O’Brien was an anchor at “The Site”… I was a huge fan of the show, and it was that show that taught me how to work with HTML.

Soledad O’Brien (left) and Marisa Tomei (right)
Bruce Willis (top-left), John Goodman (bottom-left), and Michelle Kwan (right)

Bruce Willis (top-left), John Goodman (bottom-left), and Michelle Kwan (right)
Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller
So you see, many of these have my name on them… THEY gave ME these… they “spoke” to me on a personal level! I suppose by now you understand why I wouldn’t ever part with them.

Okay, let’s face it… even IF I wanted to sell them (which, I repeat, I WOULDN'T), I wouldn’t be able to command high prices for some of these because they have my name written on them (unless, I think, I’d become as famous as they are).

Anyway, I received the first one (from Danielle Fishel) on February 8, 1996 and the last one (from Shannon Miller) on February 24, 1999.

Suddenly I’m reminded that I should find a better holding place for them real soon as the cheap photo album they’re stored in right now will surely (albeit slowly) damage them over time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hard Nipples

Our house-help left a couple of weeks ago, so we have the entire house all to ourselves (yep, the three of us). And, along with that, we have to do everything by ourselves.

Well, the distribution of chores is quite unequal since I am at the office during most of the day, but I try to contribute/do as much as I can when I get home from work, and it’s QUITE gratifying! :)


After being sucked on repeatedly and endlessly (and ferociously at that), I can’t believe they’re still hard!

And as such, they’re very hard to turn inside out… especially with soapy hands!

I’m talking about my son’s milk-bottles’ nipples, by the way.

I still can’t understand why they feel so greasy (particularly the inside) after being fed on… and I’m not bothering to Google about it!


It's Over Now (A Short Story)

Just trying my hand at writing short stories… and by that I mean this is my first attempt at it. I’ve never realized that it was FAR MORE DIFFICULT to write than to create images in my mind until I was half way into writing this. Whew!

Anyway, I came up with this story when “FULLYBOOKED” sponsored a graphic novel writing contest with Neil Gaiman a couple of years ago.

This, by the way, is of course a work of fiction. And critics are very much welcome. :)


“No, not again…” Paul said to himself as he watched a familiar figure with a menacing smile on its face walk past him.

In front of him was a huge pile of debris of huge chunks of concrete and twisted steel.

“It’s over now…” he heard the figure say to him.


Steve’s story, that of his career to be more specific, is a remarkable one. Having started out as a clerk in one of the many offices of Harvey Enterprises, he managed to become one of the company’s most respected and admired top officials in less than four years out of sheer diligence and hard work.

Everyone in the company knows him, and his presence always gives out the feeling of having royalty around. “Kind”, “thoughtful”, “a gentleman”, “trustworthy”, “hardworking”, and “a genius”… these are the words that are most often used to describe him by the people he works with. You may think that there’s no such thing as a perfect employee, but that he certainly is.

But, popular as he may be in the workplace, no one knew much of his personal life except for his being married to Jenny with whom he has a son, Paul who is now 6 years old. Well respected as he is, there had never been a person who has dared to ask him anything personal as he never talked anything about it to anyone… and he has benefited from this arrangement…

Two-and-a-half years after Steve and Jenny got married, by which time he was already at the top of his career and Paul was already two years old, he got into an affair with his secretary. Their affair went on for more than five months until, suddenly, he was struck with guilt and decided to end it. To make sure that his secretary will not cause any trouble later and before anybody could even suspect what was going on, he arranged for her a high-paying job in a different company in another state and bought her a small but decent place to stay in. To add to that, he made sure that his secretary understood very well why he was doing what he was doing. Being the person that he is best known for, he was able to make her agree and believe that it was the best for both of them.

For several weeks after their parting he would be constantly reminded of how well he had handled things, and each time he did he would give out a big sigh of relief.

That was until the feeling of relief slowly turned into feelings of longing and wanting…

For everybody at Harvey Enterprises, he was the same Steve whom they respect and admire… but for Jenny and Paul, he was turning into somebody else.

One night, Paul had a fever and was screaming and crying and Jenny was trying everything she could to calm him down, when suddenly Steve came bursting through the bedroom door and yelled “Can’t you shut him up?!” slamming the door as he walked away.

Wondering what she had done wrong, she followed Steve to the living room and asked him.

Sitting on the couch, Steve looked up at her… “You’re useless!” he yelled as he stood up and walk out of the house.

Things got worse for every week that passed. It got so bad that it got to a point where Steve was already hurting Jenny physically. Paul would, not long after, have the same fate as his mother in his dad’s presence…

When Steve got home one rainy night, Paul, who was then only four years old, came rushing to him and clung to his legs…

“Read me a story, Daddy…” Paul said cheerfully looking up at his dad’s still face.

“Get off of me and get out of my sight!” Steve yelled at his son as he folded his umbrella. Paul stood frozen in surprise. When Steve noticed his son still standing in front of him, he yelled again…

“Didn’t you hear what I just said?! Are you deaf?! I said get out of my sight!”

Paul started to cry and ran towards his room. Jenny, who heard the commotion from the kitchen, rushed towards the living room and confronted Steve.

“What’s the matter with you?! Your son needs you!” She asked loudly, crying.

Steve, without saying a word, slapped her in the face with such force that sent her flying to the floor. He then yelled a long string of expletives at her and stormed out the house.

Jenny, battered as she may be, never ceased in hoping that, one day, the Steve she knew and loved so much would come back. Never has she thought of leaving her husband or reporting him to the authorities.

She couldn’t be more wrong.

image from
One night, as Steve was driving around the last corner to get home, he saw a small boy standing alone on the corner’s sidewalk under a street lamp. Wondering what the boy was doing there, he drove his car closer to the sidewalk to see if he could recognize the boy. Then the familiar face struck him… it was Paul, staring back at him with a cold empty stare.

Steve, now fuming mad, pulled his car over in front of Paul and opened the door.

“Get in…” he said coldly without looking at his son.

Paul didn’t budge and continued to stare at him. Steve turned his head to face his son and yelled “Damn it, are you deaf?! I said get in!”

Without saying a word, Paul climbed in. Not a word was spoken between them… until they reached home.

As Steve was unlocking the front door to their house, he angrily whispered to Paul “What the hell do you think you’re doing out there?”

Paul didn’t answer.

“What the hell were you doing there?!” Steve asked louder as he swung the door open and turned around to pick his things up.

Still no answer.

As he turned around to enter the door, Paul was already inside… standing in front of his dad looking at him with a hesitant smile on his face.

“Is there something wrong with you?! Huh?” Steve said in the same hoarse whispering voice… “wasn’t your mother well enough to give you a damn brain when she was pregnant with you?! Huh?!” he continued as he drew his face closer to his son’s.

With their faces just a few inches away from each other, Steve growled “Don’t ever let me see you again tonight or else you’ll regret being born!”

Terrified, Paul turned around and fled to his room and shut the door behind him. Burying his face in his pillow as he cried, he heard loud crashing sounds and his parents yelling at each other outside.


Harvey Enterprises is celebrating its 50th anniversary today. The company’s grounds are filled with kiosks, game booths, rides, mascots, and a bunch of other things. At the center is a huge elaborate stage where a rock band is playing for a crowd of over 500 company employees who have gathered around it.

This being a huge company milestone, all employees were asked to attend and join the festivities with their families. Steve included.

He couldn’t resist as he thought if he didn’t bring his family with him, there’ll surely be some questions buzzing around him later.

“They look pretty, a bit stiff, but pretty…” every one around them thought… “what a lovely family…”

If they only knew what had happened the night before…

Over dinner, Steve said to his wife and son “You two are coming with me to the office tomorrow… and once there I want you both to wear a smile on your freaking faces. I don’t want to hear any word from any of you while we are there. If I do, there’ll surely be big trouble later! Understood?!” Jenny and Paul didn’t answer and went on to finish their food.

While Steve was going around the company grounds to introduce his wife and son to everybody, a man selling balloons suddenly approached Paul. “Hey kid, would you like a balloon?” he said.

“Nah, no more balloons for him… sorry. Thanks anyway.” Steve told the man pleasantly. He went on to tell the balloon guy that Paul’s balloon had just popped a while ago and balloons now scare his son…

Going around once more, Jenny felt Paul repeatedly tugging on her skirt. She looked at her son and saw that Paul was trying to tell her something.

Jenny stopped walking and bent down to hear what her son was trying to say…

“I need to go to the bathroom mommy…” Paul said quietly.

Steve, who was now a few feet away, suddenly stopped and turned around and saw the two talking.

Calmly, he walked back over to where Jenny and Paul were. As he approached them, he told Jenny to stay where she’s standing and grabbed Paul by the arm.

Walking faster than he was earlier, Steve led Paul to a deserted dead ended alley and pressed his son’s back against a wall.

“Don’t you remember what I told you last night?!” Steve growled as he squeezed his son’s arm tighter. “Don’t you?!” he growled again.

Paul, nodded his head. He couldn’t speak no matter how much he wanted to because he was trying to stop himself from crying.

Steve went on with his ranting squeezing his son’s arm tighter and tighter as he went…

Then, as Steve was raising his arm to hit his son, both father and son heard a rumbling sound which was noticeably getting louder and louder… Steve turned around to see what it was.

Stunned and wide eyed, he saw an ice cream van rushing towards them. For a brief moment, he shifted his eyes to look at the driver… and to his shock, he saw his son, 6 year old Paul, pale faced wearing a menacing smile, looking straight back at him.

Before Steve could move a finger, the van hit him, carrying him off with it and smashed into the wall at the end of the alley.

Paul, with his back still against the wall, saw a small figure jump out of the driver’s seat. It was walking towards him…

“It’s over now” it said with the menacing smile still on its face as it walked past him.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Revisiting My Wish-List from November 29, 2007

During my recent blog-hopping activity, I came across a blog whose author has already given up on “The Secret”. This reminded me of the post I made on November 29, 2007, so…

Just consider this as an update on that post (which I’ve mention, but forgotten until now, I’d do).

So far I still haven’t got anything from my list. Does this mean “The Secret” doesn’t work? Well, I don’t want to think that because my wishes might just be around some corner now and they might disappear entirely if I stop “believing” (just like what was said on the video).

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. It wouldn’t hurt me to keep on giving it a try, as long as I don’t make my life depend on it.

However, I do want to update my wish list, so, in addition to what I have posted back then, I WILL have these:

“The Dangerous Book for Boys”
(by Gonn and Hal Iggulden)

PSP Slim (or PSP 3000 if it’s already released
by the time I’ll be able to get one)

Nintendo Wii

Canon EOS 5D with front grip
(Either this or the EOS 1Ds I’ve mentioned
in my original post by the end of 2009.
But I do want to have both.)

I WILL HAVE THIS by the end of 2009! Yes, ALL OF THEM, including those listed on my original post. (That’s what I forgot to include in my original post on this matter, a specific time frame as well as believing that I WILL have them instead of just “wishing” to have them… that’s probably why I haven’t gotten any of my wishes yet).

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