"Youuuuu Pilipino?"

P, the missus' long-time best-friend, was working in Singapore back then when she rode a taxi to work. She had an amusing conversation with the driver, which went something like:

Driver: "Youuuu sound like from Pilipins. Youuuuu Pilipino?"
P: Yes.
Driver: "Waaah all you Pilipinos very good in singing. Can you sing me a song?"

Of course P didn't sing. She could have replied "I'm an exception" but of course, she didn't.

Yup we're well-known in this region for our singing abilities. Even S, my Indian officemate who's also a drummer of a popular local-band, says that Filipino-bands are the best when it comes to playing in the night-circuit. Most of the hotels and bars here have Filipino bands.

Last night I had the chance of listening to 3 Filipino bands in KL. Me and my ex-colleagues from a former company went to HardRock after a sumptuous dinner. The band was called Deviate. I had a feeling they were Filipino from the onset since the accent of the vocalist was not local. They kicked-off with "I Don't Wanna Be Lonely No More" by Rob Thomas then "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon-5.

G then got a piece of paper from the waiter and wrote his request. Actually, his requestS. I guess he believes in the saying "more entries, more chances of winning."

The paper then reached the vocalist, who was a stubby fellow with a short goatee and semi-spike hair. He then called our names and, the Pinoy that we are, we waved and "Hooo-ed" loudly.

"You Pilipino?" he asked.

We gave a nod.

"Eh kaya pala nag-gagandahang lalake eh!" was his reply.

Definitely, Filipino.

The problem with HardRock was that the room-acoustics were designed more for listening to the band and not for kwentuhan. So imagine all 5 of us in one table 1m x 0.5m trying to hear what the guy next to you was saying.

So we moved to the lounge at Concorde-Hotel. There were 3 bands alternating (6 sets each! whew!) 2 of which were Filipino. The crowd was mostly Caucasian foreigners with their GROs in tow, most of whom were Filipinas.

The lounge-bands pleased the 60%-Filipino audience by singing Lupa, Pangako Sayo (G was invited to sing onstage with the Malaysian gay-vocalist and I've got pics to prove it, hehe), Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang (M also sang onstage with the female vocalist, too bad he sucked on the high-notes ---possibly earning Simon Cowell's vocabulary of "No's."), Spagetthi (Yeah unfortunately for non-jolog fans like me it has reached KL), and of course, the Freddie Aguilar classic Anak. Note that Anak was performed by the Malaysian band and they got the rhythm and lyrics correctly.

It was a fun night (morning) so I got home at 2:30am. Needless to say that my body is wanting for lack of sleep so I'll be dropping to bed when I get home. The missus is coming back from Singapore at 9:30pm so I hope to wake up before that time.

Hopefully I wake up. Hehe.

Spanish Police

Good work boys!

Source: EvilWhiteGuy Blog-site



It's the latest thing that keeps me and the missus stay up late: TEXT TWIST! It's the mobile-phone version of the popular Yahoo online game.

Actually it's the missus who's getting hooked on it. The first time she played she was awake until 3 or 4am. The driving force was that she wanted to beat my score of 37,000+. She managed to beat it the next day, coursing through it to 145,000+ (dang!).

Even R, who gave me this game, says his wife is also addicted to it. She slept late so much that R had to make his packed-lunch for himself, a chore his wife usually does. Hmmm...must be a wife thing.

Here's the installation file. Note that this will only work for Series-60 Symbian phones.

Don't worry, this game's FREE.

In the meantime, I hope to beat the missus' score soon. Pride is at stake. Hehehe.



Until last year I've no interest when it comes to reading the Business Section or watching the Business News on TV. It's just that I was never directly affected by it that I never seemed to care.

It was only last year when I started to take notice. During one lazy day here at the office, I somehow got to the Philippine Stock Exchange website (don't ask me how). I noticed that there was a "Game" icon and of course, you know me, I like online games (I've put up 2 online Formula-1 leagues for my officemates and ex-officemates to play in).

Anyway the game was actually to test one's skills on trading stocks. You'll be given 1 million pesos as your "game-money" and you can either join an existing league or just play as if you were trading real money. I've invested in PLDT stocks and so far I've earned 50 thousand pesos from buying and selling. Too bad it's only play money. I could've bought an original Gibson electric guitar with it, to the missus' disapproval. Hehe.

Since then I've tried to keep myself up-to-date on the Business News, particularly those that affect the exchange rates (Philippine Peso, Malaysian Ringgit, and US Dollar). I guess the interest is now there because I'm directly affected by it (remittance, time deposit, etc).

It's funny really. 15 years ago I would never have thought to be engrossed in Business News. Back then I would just scour for the Comics Section of the Manila Bulletin everyday. THAT was my daily news. Cesar Asar, Blondie, Pupung, and Baltic and Co.

Ahhh yes life was so simple back then.


The Present

Finally I've finished reading this book by Spencer Johnson entitled "The Present." It took me 3 months to finish such a thin book which the missus took only several hours to finish. Yeah I'm real lazy at reading, averaging 2-3 pages a night. I don't know why but by the 3rd page (regardless of the book) I get sleepy. Oh well, to my advantage I've kept my 20/20 vision in-tact. Hehe.

The book was actually recommended by my boss. "Read it lah," he said. So I did. I remember I bought this book during our last trip to Singapore. Actually I bought 2 copies. One copy I kept to myself and the other I gave to Tess as a parting-gift who was leaving for Germany at the time.

The book's message, although it was repeated over and over and over again, is pretty basic. Too basic, in fact, that in my opinion we have neglected it. This book will make you be aware of what one should be doing to live a happy and successful life.

The book's message was in 3 parts:

1. Learn From The Past. Not live in the past, but LEARN from the past. For example, when at work, once mistakes/accidents happen, you cannot do anything to correct it. But if you learn from it, you'll be able to be prepared next time.

2. Live in the Present. This is the fundamental message of the book. The "present" being explained here is the "now." Deal with what is IMPORTANT right NOW, at this very moment. When you're at work, your work is the most important thing AT THAT MOMENT. But when you're at home, your family is the most important thing AT THAT MOMENT.

3. Plan for the Future. According to the book, this is very important if you want to live your life with purpose. If you just live in the present but don't plan for the future, your life has no purpose. You're just reacting to everyday situations but not being pro-active.

Well those 3 key-points were repeated over and over by the book, apparently to hard-code (brainwash? hehe) to the reader's mind so that it's not easily forgotten.

It's a good read on my list, something practical that I'd be able to use in my everyday life (assuming that I won't forget it in the future....hehehe).



Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
--Redd Foxx

The missus and I have discovered a new exercise routine: walking. We've been walking around the condo's inner ring (estimated to be 300m) for the past two evenings at about 40-50mins. According to a website, walking 3.2kms 3x a week can help reduce weight by 1lb every 3 weeks. So if I'm 35lbs overweight (according to the BMI table), it'll take me approximately.........33 weeks....or 8 months of walking to lose all of it.

8 months.

8 months????


That long??? Oh crap.

I remember when I was in college. I was a skinny 120-pounder who'd go to the gym trying to add on weight. I would eat 2 cups of rice for lunch and Wendy's for dinner but I'd still weigh the same. The missus saw my college pics and to put it kindly, nadirian sya sa itsura ko. She said I would never be her boyfriend if she met me at that "USA For Africa" condition.

I think the pounds started coming when I learned how to drive. The ease of moving from one place to another may have accumulated the calories since I ate the same amount but walked less.

Ten years and 56lbs later, I'm trying to lose 'em.

I do exercise, mind you. It's just a lack of consistency (the only regular exercise I do is badminton once a week and that's just for 1.5 hours).

Add to that a whole lot of eating. "Buffet" is my favorite word nowadays. Yeah I guess I would have to cut down on food too.

We did the South Beach Diet last year and I lost 8lbs in 2 weeks. The SB-Diet was Alan G's influence. He's a college-buddy who works in Singapore who visited us last November. D*MN he lost weight....and a whole lot of it. But something really looked weird. I think the SB-Diet left his head at the same size so he looked more like a matchstick....with a pea at the end. Yeah really weird. My friend who's taking up medicine says cutting down on the carbs is not healthy. So scrap the SB diet. I think I'll just lessen the rice on my meals. And besides, I packed in more weight after the SB-Diet since it was followed by the Holidays (mmmm.....hamon).

Well tonight the missus says that we should go malling to buy pasalubong for our trip home next month so walking is out for tonight (yahoo!). Hopefully I can convince her to eat at Hartz for dinner. Hartz, in case you don't know, is actually short for Hartz Chicken Buffet (double yahoo!).


Anthropic Principle

Yesterday I suddenly got into band-mode. It must've been the after-effect of too many songs (Blind Melon, Dishwalla and "Slowhand" Clapton) being played on my Winamp all week (d*mn you bit-torrent! hehe). Add to that the chat I had with Z about their recent studio-recording. I guess it got me itching to meet up with my "non-band" and go back to the studio.

Well the plans are being laid out. I've already emailed Z and X about it: jam 2 or 3 songs on a cheap venue then once we've perfected it, move to a recording studio.
X has mentioned that I should try composing 1 song. I'm really not a song-writer so I doubt if I'll be able to make one in such short-notice. Hmm...you're right. At least I'll give it a try, yeah?

It's a small & short project really, so I don't know where this will go. I've been wanting to do this mainly for posterity reasons. Something that I could look back to and say, "Been there, done that!"

Hopefully we'll have some output next month. Btw, that's one of Z's recommendations for our band name. Cool huh?


How NOT to disarm a bomb

WARNING: Extremely graphical content.

Now you really wanna see it, don't ya?

Click here.

Source: EvilWhiteGuy.


Out of Duvet and into Vista

Most people would rather be certain they're miserable than risk being happy.
--Robert Anthony

I grew up reading self-help books. Not that I needed one, but my Mom's a Values-Ed & Psychology professor so the shelves were abound with Covey, Canfield&Hansen, Mandino, Buscalgia, and Albom, to name a few. Even to this day I'd rather buy a self-help book, not like the missus who'd prefer romance and thriller novels like that of Patterson, Roberts, Hannah, and the ever-popular Sheldon.

[Just a side-note: though I'm "illiterate" in terms of fiction novels, I introduced her to Patterson as a gift I decided to buy when we were dating. My reasons for buying was that (1) it had a fancy front cover, (2) the acronyms FBI and CIA were mentioned on the back cover, which she mentioned she liked to read about, and (3) it had the phrase "#1 on the NY Times Best-seller List" on the cover].

Over the course of reading these self-help books, it made me wonder if true happiness and peace can be really achieved in one's lifetime. Although the theories and advices that the authors came up with seem feasible, they might often be construed as oftentimes eccentric, unpopular, or weird. After a fresh read, yes, I may be able to live out some of them but what I've learned seem to attenuate over time. There is a need to have living reminders that let you stop and say, "Hey wait a minute! What am I doing with my life?"

Enter A.S.

A.S. is a Punjab who's settled quite comfortably here. I learned from him that the reason why Punjabs wear turbans is to cover their hair. Their hair, it seems, has never been cut since birth (much like the daughter of those over-protective parents that decided to put her in a tower; away from the testosterone-overloaded princes who'd do anything to "get" her).

Working in different sections but in the same department as mine, we'd often pass each other in the corridors and he never fails to greet a friendly hello and a smile. I remember having only one chat with him. It was that time when I still didn't have a car and I rode with him on the way home after a department-brainstorming event. He talked about how he has enjoyed living in this country, how life has been generous to him, and how he never forgets to thank his Creator everyday by stopping by a Hindu Temple on the way home. He had basically found happiness and peace.

I received an email from him 2 weeks ago. It had the subject "Out of Duvet and into Vista." In the dictionary, Duvet means "comforter" while Vista meant "prospect." The email message, as below:

"People, It has been a wonderful journey ....I have developed and learnt so much from this organization. The world out there is waiting for me with open arms and I just could not resist the hug. I believe this is due to the vivacious mindset that led the incitement in me to vivify myself on the principle that change is required for growth. Today is my last day....my sincere thanks to all of you who have supported me in many ways."

It turned out to be a farewell email ---the best farewell email that I've read in my life. From his choice of words I couldn't help but be envious of what he has found, whatever it may be. A.S., as I've learned recently, did not resign in lieu of another company. The reasons are yet unknown but I have a feeling it involves being spiritually happy. Whatever it is, I wish him all the best.


Angry Alanis

At the request of the missus, I recently got hold of Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" album. Now I'm not really a fan of Alanis, but I do know most of the songs on that album. I first heard the whole album from my sister who bought a cassette some years back. I never really paid attention to it since my musical tastes back then were more of The Eraserheads and Yano. So, just a round of listening to JLP (I think I didn't even finished it), and I never really quite liked it back then.

Well, years passed and "cassette technology" can be said as a has-been. One of my conversations with the missus led to the JLP album topic again, and she sounded like she'd really like to hear JLP real bad. Scouring for a copy of the album on the record shops was difficult, and no way I'm gonna buy from E-Bay (some E-bay sellers, those b*stards, mark-up the shipping/postage costs as additional profit). This forced me to look into the great big beyond called The Internet.

Thanks to the Internet I was able to download the whole album. I have to say that I got blown away immediately right after the "All I Really Want" intro ---especially with the crisp guitars blasting thru my earphones. "You Oughta Know," Hand In My Pocket," "You Learn," "Head Over Feet," "Mary Jane," "Ironic" ---Alanis' songs, as you may well know, are full of angst but the lyrics are so personal and real. Lyrics like "I heard your losing weight again, Mary Jane. I wonder who you're losing it for" makes you think, "Now how the hell did she came up with that line? And how in John Lennon's name did she insert it so delicately in that song?"

Pure genius, don't you agree?

I think when I'm in Manila next month I'll look for that cassette on my sister's drawer. I hope it's still there, and in good working condition. I've burned the songs to a CD but the cassette has the original album cover ---this makes it a keeper, like those mint-condition comic books that a college-buddy of mine named Eduard used to collect.

This album is a pure work of art: angst plus honesty plus melody. I think it's up there on my Top-10 albums of all time.

"...And everything's gonna be fine fine fine..."


mp3s and KitKat

I've been playing my mp3s all day today while at work, munching on a mini-KitKat. The mp3s are under one folder called ERE. It's an acronym for Essential Reality Experiment, my "would've-been" project-band. We compiled our mp3 wish-list and I was able to collect all the mp3s to this folder.

I conceptualized ERE last year together with two college-buddies from Rattleheads, a heavy-metal band where I play bass guitar on occassion. Sad to say, all ERE got to show for was one cover song ("Cumbersome" by 7Mary3) when we jammed April last year on an underground studio in Makati. Naaah we weren't able to dub it.

Needless to say, I really wished we were able to play more. Listening to songs by REM, Dishwalla, Fuel, Default, Matchbox20, and Audioslave just gives me that aching feeling to setup my bass and just jam away.

Well I'm coming home for a week next month (not saying when...hehe) and it may be a good time to resurrect it. Jam 3 or 4 songs and dub them to mp3s so that as I sit again on my office-cube and pump in the winamp to my ears, I'll have that jolly feeling of having jammed some of the best alternative songs around.

Easy money

This was found by an employee working in Makati shortly after the anti-GMA rally earlier this week. I've heard of lunch coupons, gift certificates, etc. but rally-cash-coupons are ridiculous!

As in the song "Limbo Rock" by the Hand-Jive:

"How looooow can you go?"



Malaysian Driving

Here are some interesting points to remember when driving in Malaysia:

  • LTO licenses (non-pro, pro, or international) can be auto-converted to Malaysian driving licenses without a need for an exam. You just need to get a certificate of authenticity (or something like that) from the Philippine Embassy and present it to the JPJ-office (that's what their LTO is called here, sorry I can't remember what the acronym stands for coz it's in Malay). You'll get a Probationary License (or P-License) immediately which is valid for 2 years.
  • P-License holders are obligated to stick a big "P" sticker on the front and back windshields of their car. This is to allow other motorists to be aware that you're a probationary driver. It's like saying "I'm a newbie driver and I don't care when and where I turn so you better get the f*ck outta my way!"
  • Right-hand drive. Everything you learned from driving in EDSA, the South-Super Highway, or even Quiapo, just inverse it: keep left if you're slow, overtake only on the right, shift-stick on the left, wiper-toggle on the left, signal-turn toggle on the left, tissue-box on the left, latest pirated CDs on the left, handsfree which you forgot to put on is on the left, phone ringing which you pick up on the left, oncoming 8-wheeler truck in front, forced swerve to the walking old-couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on the sidewalk on the left, a prisoner named Samson who'll want you to be his "bunk-mate" for the next 30 years on your left, etc.
  • Horn. Malaysians never use their car horns during traffic. They will only use the horn if and only if they are really really pissed, which seldom happens. In the Philippines, you'll hear a barrage of honks when the traffic-light goes green, as if it help the first jeep in the intersection to move coz he still has two vacant seats to fill for his next trip.
  • No potholes on the highways. Yes you read that right. There are no potholes. I think it's because they have a Formula-1 circuit here that they are obligated to impress the international community by making their highways as tip-top as possible.
  • Toll-fees are cheaper. If I base from the length of the Magallanes-Bicutan leg of the Skyway in Manila to a similar skyway here with the same distance, the toll is cheaper (P75 vs P21 for the same distance).
  • Gasoline is cheaper. Gasoline (or Petrol, as they'd call it here), is lower. The unleaded petrol, for example, is P10 cheaper here compared to that in the Philippines. The reason is that the Malaysian government subsidizes a portion of these prices.
  • There are no "gas-boys" in the petrol stations. Filling-up of gas is self-service, something that I enjoy doing coz I've been curious as how it is done before I got to Malaysia. Just don't let the phone ring while you're filling-up or else.....KA-BOOM!
  • Park with care. Car-thieves are abound here, especially in KL. They say that stolen cars are either sold at the Malaysia-Thailand border or it is chopped for spare parts. I heard from an officemate that in January 2003 alone, there were over 700 Toyota-Altis there were stolen in the KL-area.
  • Cars are expensive here, especially the imported ones. The local cars, Proton and Perodua, are protected by the government by imposing high taxes for the imported cars. For example, the money you spend here to buy a Toyota-Altis would be enough to buy you a Mitsubishi Pajero in Manila ---the latest model. Perodua has deals with Daihatsu that's why their models look alike. Same for Proton, who has deals with Mitsubishi.
Well that's about it so far. Do try to avoid me on my Perodua when you're here on the road ---the one with the P-sticker. Hehe.


Alien Planet

I was channel-surfing some nights back and came across a program on Discovery Channel entitled "Alien Planet."

It's a fictional story on what would happen when Earth sends two probes (named Ike and Newton) to a planet called Darwin IV to explore the possibility of life there. What made it interesting was that the plot revolved on Ike's quest to find Newton that somehow got lost in its own exploration.

Along the way, Ike discovers a variety of aliens on Darwin IV and records it to be beamed back to Earth. Later he finds a metallic-object which is a remnant of the Newton probe that later leads to the lost probe itself ---dead and left to rot. I don't want to give away the ending, but it had some resemblance to that of the Blairwitch Project I. Let's just say that it was very eerie.

I hope Discovery has a replay of it this week so that I can watch the whole program (I was able to watch only the 2nd half during that time).

Isn't it a disturbing thought? What if we're not alone? What if the Big-Bang Theory was really true? It makes you think of your life in a whole new way wouldn't it?

In the meantime, as I leave you with that thought, I guess it's aliens-week for me since I'll be watching "War Of The Worlds" tonight at that THX cinema in KL. Yahooo! Hehehe.



We live in a 5-storey condo just outside KL. The location is strategic, actually, coz it's right smack in the middle going to the office, two work-sites, a nearby theme-park, a mall, and an expressway (skyway, if you will) that gets you in KL in 15 minutes.

As far as I know, the missus and I are the only Filipinos staying in this place so "getting to know the neighbors" has not been that successful. It's not that we're anti-social, but we like the peace and quiet of this place. It's really wonderful when you wake up coz our side is where the sun rises so the view of the park with swimming pool is picturesque. Morning's a nice time to lie in bed while reading a good novel, waiting for lunch. Nope that's not me but the missus since I'm at work. Ahhh yes I do envy her when she's very relaxed while I'm hurrying up to go to work coz I've overslept again.

Although we haven't been introduced to the neighbors, we have somehow known them as we go up to our floor and pass by their units or when we see them in the park.

There's this Malay family on the ground floor that the missus always, and I mean a-l-w-a-y-s, looks through their living room window everytime we pass by (Pinoys are very usi don't you agree?). She says their place looks like a refugee camp minus the UN peacekeepers. There is an average of 8 pairs of slippers and shoes on their front door at any given time, so I assume that if a family member arrives from work late, he'll end up sleeping on the living room carpet.

Adjacent to them is this Indian family who can compete with the number of slippers and shoes anytime. It is always jampacked on Sundays. Their front door is nearest to the stairway leading to our unit so we always have to make sure we don't step on the slippers that have been left on the front door, lest we want to get DNA samples of their smell. One time I was so irritated by the mess (and smell) of the footwear that I told the missus that I wanted to split the shoes on their unit and throw one pair each to somewhere in the park. Make them play treasure-hunt or "find the other pair of your shoe" in the dark. Hehe. That would've been nice to look at from our bedroom window. Another idea of mine was to interchange the shoes and slippers of the Malay family with the Indian family. Ohhhh I would love to do that! Hmmm....that'll teach 'em. Hehe.

Right below our unit lives Ricky and his wife. I was able to introduce myself to him when I had a plumbing problem. The rusty pipes that ran up from the ground floor from the side of the building to ours needed replacement. The plumber suggested that he's not Spiderman so he asked me if we could go to the unit below mine and put some pipe holders. Anyway, Ricky worked in a trucking firm that, get this, is only about a few meters from the condo. What's weird is that he'd always take his car going there. Not a good way to save gas in these troubled times, ey? But I guess he has his reasons. A few months ago I noticed a small delivery truck (similar to an L300) parked in his spot. Our cars were parked next to each other so I thought that this truck must be from another unit. Then I saw Ricky doodling some stuff to the truck. I assumed that he resigned and started his own mobile-food business. Yup I was right. Much to the disappointment of my missus, Ricky left his company and ventured into the food business. I hope he's doing well. Everytime we see each other in the parking lot, we never fail to say a quick hello. Yes, only one word: hello.

There is this one neighbor that we're quite bothered about. We haven't seen her. But we've heard her. You see in some afternoons we'd hear her cry, as if she was being raped. The missus and I have been banging our heads as to what was the reason we'd always hear this, and we came up with several possibilities: one, she could be an abused wife where the husband "violates" her when he feels like it. We removed this theory since we only hear crying but no "slapping" sound, which I have heard many times when people have sex in porn movies. Two, she could be going through a tremendous heart-ache or breakup, although I've never heard of such "rape-like" crying when Julia Roberts got shot down in My Best Friend's Wedding. And three, she could just be a nymphomaniac passing the time by playing around with a dildo. This could be the strongest reason. But we'll never know. I guess we'll wait 'til we hear her wail again.

When we smell something good cooking, no doubt it's "auntie" on the unit adjacently below us. The smell of her cooking is amazing, although we can't figure out what she's cooking since it's most probably Chinese. We see her on her kitchen stirring up the food while her right elbow is placed on the window sill so she can cook in a relaxed fashion. Hmmm....could be a technique I should do sometime.

We haven't seen Balyenski in a long while. She's a middle aged Indian around 200lbs that the missus often sees in a one-piece bathing suit in the pool. Now I don't exactly call it swimming since she never moves from one place in the pool because of her own version of the breaststroke. It's a pitiful site, really, since doing a breaststroke without goggles will be difficult especially if you noticed from the pool floor that you're not moving. Sometimes she even does a headstand in the pool, much like those shows in Water World. I really don't understand why she does that. Thus the name Balyenski. I was kidding the missus that Balyenski will overtake her in the battle of the bulge but the missus is undetered. Well it's been 2months since we last saw her waiding in the pool. I guess she stopped swimming coz she noticed that there was no change when she tipped the scales.

Finally there's this Indian family that owns the only convenience store in the condo. The husband, which we shall call Ganesh, would always (always!) mistake me for a Malay. So he'd always talk to me in Malay even if I respond in English. Well I guess it's partly my fault since I still haven't picked up the language even after 2 1/2 years here. The wife, which we shall call Tesh, would often insist that you buy more than you came for. It happened to me during my first trip there. I came in to buy only a loaf of bread but ended up buying 2 mineral water bottles and a small cup of ice cream. Fortunately I've learned from it and has never happened to me again.

Weird as it seems but everytime I'm there I always hear Ganesh and his daughter, which we shall call Ganitesh, shouting at each other. As I don't understand Tamil (Indian talk), I just leave it to the imagination that it could be about the store, her school work, or her boyfriend (except that I estimate her to be only 12yrs old, so scrap that last one). Even in the evenings when I wash the car I'd still hear them shouting. Hmmm....could it be that it's just the way they talk? "Daddy can you help me with my work?" "Stupid child! Haven't I told you that I'm not a human encyclopedia?! One plus one is three!" Or something like that.

Watching the neighbors has already been an art for us. Unfortunately if I get renewed next year or if the missus gets pregnant (whichever is earlier), we'd have to move to another condo since this one doesn't have an elevator. Climbing 10 short-flights of stairs with an excess-weight airport baggage or 5 bags of groceries is not really my idea of exercise. Moreover, it's not safe for the 1st trimester of a pregnant woman as Discovery Channel explains.

I'm sure we're gonna miss all our current neighbors. But it will definitely be exciting to meet the new ones if we move.



I chanced upon my cousin being online at YM last week. It has been a long time since I had a chat with her ---the last time we met was in Baywalk in Roxas Blvd during one of my dinners with the missus. The chat started with the usual hi's and hello's. Then, as if on cue, she said:

"Wala pa ba [kayong anak]?"

Earlier today even my ex-officemate asked the same thing. Now why is it that when I meet somebody I haven't met in a long while, they always ask me that same question?

"Wala pa ba?"
"Kelan kayo magkakaanak?"
"Si kwan nagkaanak na, kayo kelan?"

You may have encountered a similar question yourself, for example:

"Kelan ka magkakatrabaho?"
"Bakit di ka pa nagkaka-girlfriend? boyfriend?"
"So kelan ang kasal?"
"Kelan kami makakatikim ng mainit na sabaw?"
"Si kwan lumalaki na baka di na maging flowergirl/ringbearer nyo. Kasalan na ba?"
"Kelan masusundan yung panganay nyo?"

Here's a classic from my former 70+ year old landlady from Makati. Without battting an eyelash, she said:

"Tirahin mo na!"

The list just goes on and on.

Isn't it just plain irritating if you keep on hearing it over and over? Everyone is always expecting everybody to be at some life stage that they unconsciously pressure the individual to be in the "in-group."

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not pressured in any way. I'm just plain irritated. Irritated that of all the intelligent questions one can ask, that's all he or she could muster up.

Asking those sort of questions defeats the individual's purpose of discovering life at his/her own pace. It's like being forced to play your favorite song in fast-forward mode that you never get to hear the lyrics nor enjoy the melody. I guess that's why most people have regrets because they pushed themselves too much to satisfy the expectations of others that they forget to pamper themselves first. They miss out on life as they ought to see it, not as others see it. I do pity them. Although, as an old saying goes, "be careful for what you wish for, you just might get it."

Seeing my cousin's question pop-up, I then immediately replied:

"Eh....bakit di ka pa nagkaka-boyfriend?"

To which she responded:

"Eh bakit nyo ba ako pinepressure?"

Well, I think she got the idea at that moment.

I hope we all stop asking those sorts of questions to anyone. It just adds unnecessary pressure, self-disappointment, or, for my case, it's just plain irritating. A simple "Kumusta ka?" will do, don't you think??

So.....kumusta ka na?


Words for the Weekend (#27)

Menudo. Cooked by Mommy-Q last Friday. D*mn delicious! Iba talaga pagkaing Pinoy. For once I was grateful there were leftovers so I was able to eat ALL of it the following day for lunch. Rap-sa.

Coincidence. Isn't it too much of a coincidence that since Mommy-Q arrived, the flush in the main toilet didn't work, there was no water supply to the kitchen on Saturday night, the swimming pool's water motor wasn't working until Saturday, and the GPRS (internet) connection isn't working 'til now? It makes you think of how much probability that her flight back to Manila will be delayed. Well I guess my hunch was right. I called Air-Asia just now and her 3:30pm flight on Wednesday has been rescheduled to 5:10pm. Hmmm.

Putok. The missus and Mommy-Q rode a bus from the LRT station after a trip to KL. Since it was rush hour, the bus was very packed. They had no choice but to inhale the unsweetened air emanating from the mix of underarm sweat and halitolic breath of the locals that may eradicate SARS or bird-flu. Add to that the loss of air-conditioning and cramped space. Sad to say the missus had the greater damage: her nose had too much of the "fumes" that she caught a cold which had escalated to a running nose.

IKEA (ay-keh-ah). A warehouse store originating from Europe, I think. Guys should always remember that when a woman says "I have no plans of buying anything there," it is not applicable in IKEA. True enough, after 30 or so bucks later, we got back to the car with 3 bathroom mats, a fork/spoon tray, and a set of wooden spatulas that Oprah will be d*mn proud of.

Tandas. Toilet, in Malay. I think I never had a trip to anywhere where my first destination is always the toilet. It's like before entering a church, but instead of the holy water, I "bless" the mall with it. Aaaaahhhh...relief! Some mall-toilets here need you to pay 20c before entering. I guess the toilet-management is getting extra profit from me. 7-8 glasses of water a day for a healthy you? Naaah, I'll pass...or piss for that matter.

Stuffed. That's what me and the missus have been every night since Mommy-Q was here. We've been eating like kings come dinner time. I'm really amazed at Mommy-Q's appetite. For example, one time I brought home a pack of Chinese-fried rice and fried-noodles (North Park style). Looking at it, she said, "That's too much for the both of us!" But 10 minutes later, the bar-table was similar to Phuket when it was hit by a tsunami. At least we thought of not wasting the food amidst the famine in Africa, right?

Dapat. Often followed by the words "light lang lagi ang dinner naten" or "lagi tayong nag-eexercise sabi ni Oprah." Well I guess as long as the food here is great, I'll never get to commit to that word. As they say, "Live right, eat right, die anyway."


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