Friday, August 31, 2007

The Staple Wire Allegory

My work requires a lot of staple wires. I wish I could just plaster them into the mouths of those who I want to shut up but all I can manage is to stack the removed ones from copious papers into a makeshift container from a transparent sign pen case. I have carefully gathered them in such a way that the wires make up half of the container. The other half is filled with paper clips.

I can remember the first time I decided to make a big deal of stacking it up just for the heck of it. Kidding, I told myself that if I am able to fill up half of the rectangular case, I would decide to get married and have kids. The container is now filled to its brim but it can still accommodate more staple wires. I find it cute everytime I pull up a few wires and the whole thing clings on it like falling people off a cliff. It's like a magnet with no magnetic force. I thought of it as just a mere kiddy diversion. The kind of thing I find wonder and amazement despite its utter lack of sensibility and point. Kind of Wes Bentley in American Beauty filming an empty cellophane or paper bag being blown away by wind because he is just filled with wonder. And nobody knew where he's getting at and nobody gave a fuck.

Today is supposed to be my last day in the office. August 31 is the date I set in my resignation lettter. They say I can extend for a few days to a week, but that's not the point. Struck with that eccentric sudden blow of amazement, I now realize what the filling up of staple wires mean. I now know what those staple wires are. It's weird but I know everybody does not get that kind of epiphany everyday. From a bunch of stacked-up staple wires at that. Crazy town here I come.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Last Trip

I wish I could call the entire trip a break, but work punctuates. Nevertheless, this will be one of the memorable trips to Mindanao despite the limited places I've gone to. The spectacular beach front of Medina. Duka Bay and it's hospitable owner, son of then vice president Pelaez. The sunrise viewed on the dungawan of the 1907 Fournier ancestral house. The old churches along the dreary winding roads. The night market in CDO divisoria (despite the torrential downpour halting what could have been a loud and merry night, I bought 3 shirts for 100 bucks). Another plane ride to Zamboanga, getting re-acquainted with Chavacano. The heaps and heaps of ukay-ukay and the infamous barter trade are too tempting not to splurge on. Perhaps, it could be any better but I guess I couldn't ask for more.

The Fournier ancestral home in Medina, Misamis Oriental (Sir Andre promotion!). Built in 1907, the dungawan is defintely one of the best parts of the house, not to mention the kitchen (hehehe).

The untapped beach front of the Fourniers in Medina. That's Mt. Hibok-hibok right there on the right side.

Ukay-ukay in the infamous barter trade in Zamboanga. Got myself an olive green padded sweater and a white polyester polo shirt for 250 bucks.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Give me a break. Puhleeez.

Tired, exhausted and still working. Been to Butuan and Cagayan de Oro cities for the past three days for the Northern Min leg of our MICT 2007 roadshow and consultations. Thank God for the nice beach front in Medina and the ancestral house of Mr. Fournier, I forgot about my headaches and the impending resignation. More about it on the next entry. Kapuya jud oi. Meanwhile, I finally bluetoothed the pictures I took from a camera phone of our short visit to my deceased mother's hometown in Man-ay, Davao Oriental during the Holy week. It took 15 years after me and my siblings got the chance to go back there again. I wonder when will be the next.

We crossed about 5 swamps with strong currents and endured the searing heat of the huge stones (walked barefoot) before we got to climb the hill on the next photo.

The hidden lagoon. One of the most beautiful sights I laid my eyes on. And no entrance fees.

And of course, the falls. The first one is second to the topmost falls, which we didn't reach because it's steep and slippery. I tripped and cut my foot several times.

The white sand beach effortlessly named as "White Beach resort".

Monday, August 20, 2007


Lemme start by giving words of wisdom from the proverbial spam messages, which as the frequency suggests, spammers get a lot of friggin money out of pestering people with out of this world sexed up phrases. Here's one from someone named Jewel M. Wesley: When I tried to give him oral sex, I practically choked. How do I do it without gagging? Please help! It's a valid question indeed (even underscored by the urgency of its las two words) but by golly, did it freaked the bejesus out of my sober and boring day. There goes your daily dose of comic relief Jay.

So anyway, I wanted to tell you about the Sukang Pinakurat which I've been gobbling (no, not in that kind of amount) these past days. I'm so obsessed with it that I practically smother every piece of food I intake with it piniritong isda, beef loaf, even tinapa, which I rid out of the sauce, and even scrambled egg just this morning. (No, this is not how it looks like but definitely by the looks of it, you know already how the searing spice would feel in your palate.) Forget the treadmill, this is the only exercise which can make you lose copious amount of sweat just by sitting and gobbling up food. Thanks to Mr. Reinardon, proprietor of the original sukang pinakurat in Iligan, who guested as one of the speakers in our recently concluded 6th Mindanao Food Congress. And while it is a food congress, the event doesn't have much edible food and cooking sessions to beat also. It's more agriculture-focused and food as a product of agriculture. Because I was assigned as the program manager, I haven't had the chance to go around the exhibit for some food samples.

Mr. Reinardon generously distributed bottles sukang pinakurat to the audience and us (promotions of course) during the last day. And yes, the concoction of powdered and sliced chili in vinegar is way better than digesting the opening and closing keynote speeches of Senator Angara and DA Secretary Yap.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Everybody wants to rule the world.

Dahil kelangan ko ng muna ng diversion and jumpstarting activity dahil holiday ngayon at eto ako nagpapakasasa sa trabaho. Hi Chard, I'm finally responding to the tag.

Three things that scare me:
1. cockroaches (and smashing them to death till their icky juices come out of their exoskeleton)
2. (I'm not afraid of death but I'm afraid of) dying alone and dying young
3. heights (dahil wala na akong maisip at talaga naman nakakalula pag tumingin ka sa ibaba)

Three people who make me laugh:
1. friends
2. ang walang-kamatayang patutsada ni Rosie Buhian
3. Tobias Funke, AnalRapist (analyst and therapist)

Three things I love:
1. the arts (film, literature, visual arts)
2. music
3. food (syempre)

Three things I hate:
1. slow internet connection (or the lack of it.. work related.. hehe)
2. check network services status
3. overpriced things (because I can't buy them)

Three things I don't understand:
1. understanding itself
2. love's shenanigans
3. Un Chien Andalou by Luis Bunuel

Three things on my desk:
1. laptop
2. cp
3. notebook

Three things I'm doing right now:
1. sinasagutan 'to
2. nakikinig sa 80s music (Now Playing: Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney - The Girl is Mine)
3. figuring when I will have the motivation to start working

Three things I want to do before I die:
1. write a screenplay
2. get an award for it
3. have lots of children

Three things I can do:
1. sing
2. dance
3. act (artista ata ito...hahaha)

Three things I can't do:
1. drive a car
2. think for a long time (and produce output) while people are noisily chitchatting
3. mag-audition for PBB

Three things I think you should listen to:
1. inner peace
2. the sound of music
3. dashboard confessional

Three things you should never listen to:
1. when people say you can't
2. words that come out of know-it-alls
3. paris hilton

Three things I would like to learn:
1. astrophysics
2. foreign languages
3. screenwriting

Three favorite foods:
1. tortang talong
2. spaghetti
3. instant noodles

Three shows I watched as a kid:
1. Sineskewela
2. Batibot
3. Okidokidok

Three people I'm tagging:
1. Isko
2. Jap
3. Mitchie (dahil kelangan mo ng exposure)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"Rebel with a curse"

Sometimes I think book-fanatics who want to go see the film adaptation of their well-loved story should even think twice in the first place. The nosiest insufferable know-it-alls that they normally are, they should be banned from entering the theatre and public viewings or premieres and instead make a specialized screening where they can forever gloat in perpetuating their expertise which quite a select people give a damn anyway. This goes for the Harry Potter franchise, most especially, whose majority of the fan base feel that the film versions unjustly treated the material. Believe me, I wouldn’t want to go see an entire visual replica of a book because aside from being unbearably long, what’s the point?

I also want to contend that while some may opine that watching film adaptations the likes of Harry Potter without having to read the book first is an agonizing tedium, I believe that readers have a tougher job sitting through the entire running time. First, I believe that a film stands out as a film, one you can conveniently extricate from its material, and second, readers have the difficult job of having to distance the original material while seeing the film version in real time, and I believe few came out successful of this tedious and tricky exercise, which again explains the irritably nosy attitude.

I haven't read the final book in the series yet so I don't have the burden to decide which of the book stands out from the rest. It may even be impossible as the stories are closely-knit with each other. I liked Potter 5, both the movie and the book, if not for the important transition for Harry, the political subtexts (which were more manifest in the book) invites a more mature discourse apart from the usual magic and spectacle that the series is known for.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Josh Hartnett in Goldlandia

Much hullabaloo right now on the Josh Hartnett visit in far flung Diwalwal, the contentious mountain in Monkayo, Compostela Valley (a two-hour ride away from Davao City) sitting in bazillion amounts of gold reserves. The Hollywood actor of Pearl Harbor and 40 Days and 40 Nights fame is here to shoot the film I Come With The Rain directed by Cannes-acclaimed Vietnamese director Trin Anh Hung (The Scent of Green Papaya).

The recent PDI entertainment article revealed that Hartnett has been a cool homeboy so far and I hope he doesn't pull out a Claire Danes. One local correspondent even has close-up photo of Josh driving around. Reading news about this, I remember Apocalypse Now, which supposed to show Vietnam, was shot here in Philippines. I remember reading somewhere that the bad conditions during the shooting resulted into health and psychological problems for some of the cast particularly Martin Sheen. The place is such a ghastly sight.

Though the famous barangay captain welcomed the historical opportunity as a move to boost investor and tourist confidence, a particular headline in a local paper revealed that the one of the top local officials in the region (I think it was the mayor) was dismayed that the producers weren't able to show respect by dropping by his office and say his and hellos or beso and the usual courtesy calls afforded to higher ranking government officials. Baka naman big fan din sya ni Josh?

It was just rumors when I first heard about a film shooting in the place (Josh's name wasn't in the grapevine yet either) sometime in May when I went there in Monkayo with a Council adviser to help facilitate a meeting with the tribal chieftains in their formation of an IP business council in the area. Months after the rumor was fleshed out and Hartnett is being feasted right now in the mountains. I wonder if I can text Datu Banad and probably arrange a trip there anytime this month. I can probably ask the shooting schedule as Josh may be around for like 2 days only.

Update: Freakazoid! I should've known Tita Edith was interviewing Josh. She's got a picture of him chopping the lechon which the crew feasted during his last day. Her story appears front page on The Philippine Star today.

Monday, August 06, 2007

A ratty encounter: Tales from this Godforsaken Whatever

Sunday has become the day of introspection for me, not that it's something OC-ly calendared on a friggin' monthly or weekly planner because that would be ridiculous. While I'm not a church-goer and family days are things of the past from the point of view of the impoverished, I always find myself unwillingly immersed in this so-called introspection or even just mere thought-gallivanting when I do my laundry (read: handwashing). Of course, it's not something that's done on purpose because really now that would be totally outrageous. The dormancy and the surrounding dead air is the perfect atmosphere for plunging into a state of wanton thinking - just that, when I get tired of watching tricycles, vendors of fish, mais, ice cream (the dirty and the seemingly unlucrative retail vendors of known brands) and nonsense stuff like five-peso destructible toys, or when fantasizing about Aubrey Miles in several postitions in three different episodes of Xerex feels like an overplayed CD.

Last Sunday was kind of gloomy and I had the feeling that it will take another day for the clothes to dry out. It was muddy everywhere and the cemented part of the very small frontyard was just as filthy. I was alone since none of our neighbor co-renters did their washing that day. While I was doing my thing, a large rat snuck out of the largest pipe that lead to the canal and made its way near the faucet opposite me. The rat, which was now nibbling leftover rice grains thrown out of dishwashing and running directionless in the pool of murky water, was about three normal steps away from me. I cringed but not of fear and usual repugnance to this filthy rodents (aside from cockroaches) but in a serious moment of obervation. I could've easily brushed my hand off to shoo the rodent away, the size equalled to that of the kitten we used to nurse (that thanks to our retarded neighbor who whacked it to death is now rotting in the dark recesses of the sewers).

I watched the rat like it was some kind of episode on Discovery channel about house pests and their eating behaviors, my hands now rested on my knees like the observer that I am. And then it stopped and looked at me with those little black vermin eyes as if to say "so what now"? And then I remembered that film Willard, about a loner who develops a twisted friendship with rodents. Then the rodent-infested thought was replaced by the face of Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello in The Departed when he was mimicking a rat like he was born to do it. After the rat returned to the pipehole and vanished from my sight, I was trying to put the encounter into some metaphysical level (wtf???) like it was some kind of premonition or an omen. Oh, now I get it. The vermin was trying to say na mahirap pa ako sa daga, and that it was just his lucky day because he had a meal without being shooed by a human being (who happens to have Zemmiphobia), which could impress to him that their species have attained a .00001 niche upgrade in terms of dominating a much higher-ranking species. Oh, jeez wtf.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bergman, 89; Antonioni, 94

Early this year, I rekindled my passion for the cinema, which means the serious, contemplative thus boring, unappealing and unbearable to most. I'm quite sure I had it running during that semester when we had a film appreciation elective, but while I was seriously reading supplementary materials and read names like Eisenstein and Buñuel, we kept viewing stuff like X-Men (oh, here I am again, and not to say X-Men is bad, alright?) and recent commercial releases. The closest serious shit was Scorsese's Taxi Driver and Coppola's The Godfather.

And while I was being introduced to great filmmakers in a matter of months, two of the most important directors died in a matter of two weeks. Ingmar Bergman and Michaelangelo Antonioni. And while I must confess that I have only seen Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957) and Antonioni's L'Avventura (1960) this year, I'm quite glad that I caught up with these films before their deaths. And so my memories of them are moot and I'd prolly lose to any discussions on their filmography, so I'm humbly sharing these clips in honor.

The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957). The hooded figure who personifies death still gives me the creeps.

L'Avventura (Michaelangelo Antonioni, 1960). This may be a montage of all the kissing scenes in the film, but that's the closest it can get.

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a f—king big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchased in a range of f—king fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f—k you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f—king junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f—ked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose a future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?

Renton, Trainspotting