Gravity on NU107

Some time back I blogged on a song called Gravity which Z wrote. I then added the music. It was sort of Coldplay-ish as the missus said since I only recorded it with my acoustic guitar.

Months later Z's band, Fretbuzz, recorded the song's plugged version. Z then sent the recording to NU107 in the hopes that it would be played in their "In The Raw" program.

Last Sunday, around 8pm, I received a short sms from Z:

Gravity on NU now

I was at my parents' house then so I turned off the sala TV and turned on our trusty Aiwa component, and dialed to 107.5MHz.

Yup, you guessed it. It was Gravity's first air-play.


Scourging at the Parlor

As a guy, I have no interest when it comes to skin care. Going for a facial, in particular, is not really my thing. The most that I could do is buy a facial liquid-soap and that’s about it. No need to go to a derma clinic to have my face cleaned, I’d say. Hilamos lang ok na.

But it was one lazy Sunday afternoon while strolling at Festival Mall with the missus that changed all that. The missus insisted that we go for a facial. I said “No!” at first but then realized that, “Hmmm…did you say we are to lie down while we have a facial? That means I could have a nap! Hmmm….very inviting…”

And so I said YES. We went to a clinic called Ageless and I had my very first facial. It was a very relaxing, rejuvenating feeling to be honest ---and I think I was able to get that power-nap which hopefully the attendant didn’t see me spew bubbling saliva while I was dreaming (and that’s another story, hehe). She even showed me the black/white heads she was able to scrape off my face and it was very satisfying.

We went there again last June but last weekend, we went to another clinic called Let’s Face It (same mall) since we saw that the rate is cheaper by thirty pesos.

And this is where the real story begins.

The missus and I were asked to enter the main room after registering. We were given bibs so that when we washed our face our clothes won’t get wet. Hmmm, mukhang lamang itong LFI ah, I thought.

Then we proceeded to the facial beds. The missus and I were able to lie next to each other since the place was not that full, except for two elderlies waiting for their face-masks to “cook.”

The attendant started with a minty soap/lotion which I found very relaxing, as usual. After which, she wiped my face with a warm towel. Hmmm, relaxing na naman. Then, she covered my eyes with cotton patches since it was about time for the steaming part. This was for about 5 minutes. I dozed off (and snored) as the missus recalled since she was able to recognize my signature snore.

After the steam, the attendant sat down to begin the pricking part. I remember that in Ageless, the other clinic, the pricking was not that bad so I thought the same should be here at LFI.

I was dead wrong.

The attendant started with the top of my forehead. I uttered a loud “ARAYKUPO!” but only in my head. It was so painful that it was like she pushed 10 pins on that one small dot on my forehead. I thought that I was already bleeding since it felt like it.

Little that I know that this would become the first of many painful pricks (or shall I say stabs?). To add, there was even a part wherein if I can imagine, was like squeezing a part of my face using two knives just to get the embedded black/white head out. Akala ko talaga mamamatay na ako sa sakit. To counter the pain, I would rub my two feet together to feel a different sensation but the “stabbing” was just overwhelming.

So she pricked from my forehead, to the sides of my eyes, to my cheeks, and near the eyes.

Then below my lower lip. I sort of smiled when she came to that section since it felt ticklish when she was looking for the white/black varmints. I tried not to laugh.

But then……she started pricking again.

ARRRRAAAY!!! HWAAAAH! I said again in my head. The attendant seemed to have ESP and stopped, grabbed a tissue and wiped a tear filling-up on the corner of my right eye. I sort of sighed but then again she grabbed the two knives and started slicing me up again.

As Sting would say, this was by far the King of Pain.

I could hear the missus and her attendant talking but not clearly on the next bed. Hmmm she must be having a good time. I better ask her later what they were talking about.

Eventually, the pricking stopped. The attendant soaped my face again then used the laser-thingy to close the pores. The familiar smell of burned skin (and blood?) told me that the scourging was finally over.

I stood up and went out to the cashier to pay for their “services.”

The missus went out and the first thing she asked was, “Binigyan mo ng tip?”

In my mind I said, “Are you out of your mind??? I almost died back there!” but I grabbed a P100 bill from my wallet and told the cashier that the 2 attendants should split the loot.

So I asked the missus what she and the attendant were talking about earlier. This was how I recall their conversation went:

Attendant: “Nagpa-facial na ba kayo dito before ma’am?”

Missus: “Oo. Pero hindi ganyang kasakit yung pag-prick.”

A: “Kase ma’am kaya ganyang kadiin para makuha naten lahat ng white/black heads. Pwede ko namang ganito-ganitohin lang (she pricks her face lightly) pero walang makukuha.”

It was when the missus mentioned that a tear rolled over her face when she tried to peek that we both started laughing incessantly. We were like soldiers from Vietnam exchanging war stories. Even after the agony, we were tearfully laughing.

So it wasn’t only me who had the unusual painful facial. It’s sad if it’s true what my sis said that they prick harder if you don’t want to have a facial mask as an additional treatment.

For an additional P30.00 for extreme pain, we find that it's not worth it to go to LFI.

I guess by next month we’ll go back to Ageless.


Terimah Kasih Malaysia

It was wonderful to have gone back to Malaysia on vacation last week. With the missus and my boy in tow, we went back to savor the life that the missus and I once had for over 3 years.

Having an infant had its privileges. At the NAIA, we were 1st to board the plane. When we arrived at the LCCT and queued at the Immigration, one of the officers noticed my boy sleeping soundly with his head on my shoulder (he slept the moment the plane lifted for take-off from NAIA). He approached us and directed us to queue at the Malaysian-Only counter. Sweet!

“Naamoy mo?” the missus asked.


“Yung amoy ng Malaysia?”

“Di eh.”

Similar to Singapore or to the US, Malaysia has a distinct smell. It seems that since I stayed there for 3.5 years, I’ve been so accustomed to the smell that even after a year I left Malaysia, I’m still used to the smell that I didn’t notice the difference at all. Side note: Singapore’s smell is very distinct particularly when you board taxis or their MRT.

It was about 1am when we went out of the airport and the missus and I were hungry. My boy still asleep in his stroller, we went to McDonalds for a post-midnight snack. I was able to test my Bahasa Malaysia when I talked to the cashier:

“Apa order?” (what is your order?)

“Ahhmmm satu meal tiga……satu meal enam…” (Ahhmmm one meal number 3….one meal number 6…”

(something in Bahasa that I didn't get)

“Ahhmmm…English? English?”

Naubusan eh. Hehe.

As mentioned earlier, it was great to visit Malaysia again. Suria Mall, Megamall, Subang Jaya, CarreFour Subang, Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Palmville, Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang, The Curve, St. Ignatius Church, and Klang.

To drive around the open streets and highways of KL with a Proton Waja was a great experience as well. The Waja was the real car I wanted to drive when I worked there. But due to budget constraints we got a Perodua Kembara instead. So when we planned our trip to KL, it was going to be a Waja and nothing less.

Of course I have to list down the food we ate since this was more of a food-trip and not a sight-seeing tour: Manhattan Fish Market, Teppanyaki, Rojak+Cendol power combo, Chicken Buffet, Auntie’s nasi goreng babi and chili-chicken rice, Vivo pizza, Hometown Kopitiam Coffee and Roti Bakar, Bah-Kut-Teh, Genki Sushi, and the perfect Malaysian coffee found by the missus at Little Penang Kafe.

There was a period of senti when we passed by Sunway Palmville where we last stayed. The missus, then 6mos pregnant, could not even say goodbye to our apartment since she knew she’ll be missing it. Little did she know that we weren’t coming back to Malaysia as residents.

As our rental-car drove by, the missus counted the floors until she found our old apartment. Ahhh yes that unit had a lot of fond memories. It was where we really teamed up to do everything: from the laundry, to the groceries, to the cleaning, to the dish-washing, and to the cooking. Fond memories indeed.

Will I ever return to Malaysia as an OFW? There’s a high chance that I won’t. Working and living there was a great experience but as the missus and I repeatedly said, we’d still prefer to stay in the Philippines.

Yup I really appreciate being back here in Manila. Ordering a McDonalds value-meal has never been easier.


Christmas 1974

One of the department heads in the office came up with a "Guess the Baby" contest in which all staff are required to submit their baby pics. I was able to find my baby scrap book from my parents' house. The missus could only gasp in utter disbelief when she saw my baby pics resembling my boy. Without question, it only proves that my boy has inherited his father's cute looks.

So here I am on top of the trunk of a classic Ford Fiat which happened to be our family car back then.

Btw, there's a special prize for the Wackiest Baby Pic which I believe the above entry is a strong contender.


THE Left-Handed Mouse

This mouse has been with me since the conception of this blog, obviously naming the blog after it. I couldn't use the mouse right-handed anymore since I feel a nagging pain on the right side of my neck when I use it for a long period. The pain is as irritating as trying to prick an annoying pimple in your inner ear. I assume that the pain was brought about by my endless "study" of Starcraft and Counterstrike no thanks to my best friend who opened a computer-cafe sometime back (which eventually closed).

I remember having bought this mouse at SimLim Singapore during one of my weekends there while working in Malaysia. I bought it because it was so petite and the Microsoft brand on the body looked cool (in a nerdy sort of way).

After 3 years and several months, my beloved mouse finally had its last click. Its USB connection couldn't manage to connect to my laptop or to any other PC for that matter. I guess it was inevitable. My mouse is dead. It had served me (and this blog) well.

Moving forward, I've bought a new mouse but still as petite and cool-looking as its predecessor. It's like that scene from Transformers wherein Bumblebee, played by a classic Camero, upgraded itself to the 2007 version after Mikaela ranted on how dirty and old the car was.

And so, I blog on.


Ink For More

Our home PC-printer had problems printing the red/magenta ink during the test-printing so I sent it off to the repair-center to have it fixed. It was unfortunate that I didn't remove the Ink For Less stickers on the ink-cartridges since they said it made the printer warranty void. The printer head was defective and, if I still had the warranty, they would've replaced it for free.

Now that I've voided it, the printer-head costs 4thou+ to replace. I didn't have it repaired and bought a new printer instead ---this time with the basic print function only for 2thou pesos.

I liked that old printer since it was 4-in-1: printer, copier, scanner, and card-reader. I guess I'll just have to get it back from the repair shop next weekend so that I can still use the remaining 2 or 3 functions.

I can't believe I wasted a good printer because of ink-refills.



Gone Too Soon

Arnold's body lied peacefully inside his white casket when I saw him yesterday.
He died last Monday, June 25, after losing a battle to Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare viral infection that causes the immune system to turn against the body. He was a batchmate from highschool. Through our batch's yahoogroup, I was able to get the shocking news of his death.

I rarely interacted with Arnold during highschool since we were in different sections. But after I talked to his wife Marlyn at the wake, I found out that Arnold and I were not that different.

His wife mentioned that they never really had a big fight or tampuhan throughout their almost 10-year marriage ('almost' since their wedding-anniversary was last Thursday ---Arnold was a couple of days short). He let his wife stop working so that she can concentrate on bringing up the kids. They only want to go abroad for vacations, not to migrate since they both love the Philippines. He was a caring son as well since he'd setup webcam chats with his parents in the US at least once a week so that they can also see their apo.

As Marlyn continued to relate their story, I can't help but wonder all those similarities. It could've happened to me. It just goes to show that life is really short. We're just passing thru this world and, like it or not, no one gets out of here alive.

I asked Marlyn if she has made plans on looking for work. She answered, "Alam ko na kelangang kong maghanap ng trabaho pero di pa ngayon kase nasa mourning [stage] pa ako. Alam ko na wala na sya pero di ko pa matanggap na wala na sya."

I was just silent. I wouldn't know what to say after that. I guess there was no need to say anything. Arnold is gone. Marlyn has to move on.

Before I left, I handed her my business card and told her that if she needed anything, she can give me a call and I will try to help. There are job openings in my current company so if she decides it's time to look for work, she can consider my offer as a last resort.

I left the funeral chapel and dropped by my parents' house for a late lunch and dozed for a quick nap. I left around 3:30pm and, as I was driving at EDSA in front of Megamall, I phoned up the missus, realizing that I've missed her and my boy for those few hours especially after hearing Arnold&Marlyn's story.

"I think I know what we'll have for merienda and I know you'll agree," I said.


"Clue: Malamig."

I took them out to Magnolia Cobblers and Splits. I guess life, like that 3-scopped banana split that I ordered, should be cherished while it's there.