July 30, 2004

Handsome Bamboo

Look at bamboo. If you are not a fan nor spectator of the Filipino music scene, he's the semikalbo guy at the right. He's really cute and looks cool. Tastes never change. I saw him that way when he was still in River Maya back in high school. After how many years, he looks the same to me. Swoon.



July 29, 2004

Children and health

My health


I'm gettin fat again. In college, i was fat. When i came back from Fiji, i was really fat. Then, i lost weight all of a sudden while working. Everybody noticed so i think i really transformed from fat to thin. Now, i'm gaining weight again but i don't care anymore. So be it but this does not mean that i will not take care of my body. In Hong Kong, the number is like 7000 people who die each year because of lack of activity. Now, i'm like that, i live a sedentary lifestyle. Pathetic.


Gym, no time. Exercise at home, too lazy. Diet, can do. Drink low fat milk, can do. Walking, i'll try to revive the habit.


My Godchildren


Homer told me that Yee, his sister, wants to get me as Matt's ninang. Yay! I love babies. He's the little baby in the picture. We have the same birthday too. Cute! The other handsome boy with us is Seth.





To count, my Godchildren -- (1) Cindy's son, Janryl Carlo. He's now in preschool. (2) our neighbor's son or daugher, err, we aren't close. (3) Manong Vic's daughter, my niece Khyle. This girl is a snob! At the age of one, she can give you a killer look and say 'AYAW' even if you act like a dog but i adore her anyway. (4) Melanie's daughter, Zyre Milience. I haven't seen her since she was just a baby but she's very pretty the last time i saw her during her baptism, haha. (5) Uncle Jimmy Americano's grand son or daughter (Uncle Jimmy was one close friend of Papa). (6) Silva's son, Christian. Actually, the point of enumerating is to remember because I'm close to having Alzheimer's. Haha.


When will i have my own baby? I guess, not in the near future, mmm, neither in the near or in the far future. Oh well, at least i have my own baby, Rhyss (actually my sister's son). Many people say he looks like me. My sister is in Baguio. Rhyss is down here in La Union. So i act as the surrogate mother, otherwise what my sister will term as 'epaloid' behavior. I'm taking advantage of the time that her beloved mama is not around and steal all of Rhyss' attention. Ain't it neat?



July 28, 2004

La Union Food Part II

San Fernando


Most restaurants in San Fernando are Chinese. These are the ones situated strategically near the city center. In San Fernando, it's like there is no choice but fastfood, Chinese or carinderia.


Midtown is easily the most popular among them. They have a fast food counter, otherwise a more sosyal version of the carinderia. Here they display cooked food and you can just choose and point at what you like. Many people frequent the place because of this. Karekare is okay but you'll notice too much flour is added. They make good enough soups available at low prices. People usually order from the kitchen, soup or pancit. My mom loves their pancakes. I say it is normal eatable food.


Mandarin's meals are better tasting than Midtown's. However, sometimes the second floor smells like cockroaches or insecticide at times. They have a lot, and i mean, a LOT of waiters. It's like one person can man one table. Service is faster because there's less people than at Midtown. The place looks quite old, they need a facelift.


Kaw Bin's offers so-so Chinese food. Taste is alright BUT i've had a very bad experience with one of the service crew there. I ordered sashimi, and the waitress said, 'sigurado kayo?'. 'Oo' i said. 'Hilaw na isda yon.' I said 'Oo' again. 'Hindi yon luto.' Then i said exasperated 'I know'. Then some other waitress asked her, 'Ano raw'. Then this waitress exagerrated what i said in a very mean manner and said 'I KNow raw'. All within my hearing range. Dumb or really without manners? I hate the place and will never go there again. By the way, they serve their drinks in side walk halo halo like, easy to tip over plastic glasses.


Taipan They have great dimsum. I love it. Their meals though are not so tasty. Quite lacking in flavor and they offer meals that are weird to my taste like chicken with lemon.


United Food Palace in my opinion, offers the best food among the Chinese restaurants. Shrimps with Green Peas and nuts. Shrimps with Vegetables. Lumpiang Shanghai. However, their prices are quite high. Their restrooms are not so clean. It was my dad's favorite restaurant. One thing i admire about them is that they give their workers job security. When i go there today, i still see people who were waiters when i was in grade school, high school, or college. I mean they're still there. Either the pay is good or they are treated very well.


Now, on to the non Chinese. Cafe Esperanza makes great cakes. They also offer palabok, dinuguan and spaghetti. However the choices available are limited. It's right beside the Catholic church. They make great pastries. I love this place.


Gayyem has big servings of Filipino food and their prices are reasonable. Downside is it is so far. You can only eat there when you have time to actually visit the place. It is located along the way to the airport.


Oasis offers the best food in the whole of La Union. They also offer the best service. I sooo love their Japanese buffet every Wednesday and their steak night every Saturday. They offer a daily lunch buffet and it is so worth it. They have a great Japanese sushi bar. I love love love their sashimi plate. However, i think i will not go there for a long time. Why? You can look back at one of my entries.


Max's is Max's. Good enough meals. Slow but nice and friendly service. Clean. Just like any other Max's.





Enough said for today.

July 26, 2004

La Union food Part I

My blog today is about my own choice of restaurants in Agoo and Bauang.


Agoo


Jollibee is so strategic many people go there even if the service sucks. It is right beside the Basilica, you won't miss it. It is spacious. Jollibee food is Jollibee food. Self explanatory. It is a wonder how the place doesn't turn out that noisy even if there are a lot of people and kids inside. Comfort rooms are high-tech. The bowls flush automatically when you get off the toilet seat.


The service crew not so keen on good service. You have to wait in line for a long time because those who take your order are not snappy, take too long to do things, have mistakes here and there, give you a regular coke when you've upsized it. You have to ask someone to clear the table if you wanna use one.


Iceland was the place to go when we were in high school. It was the only restaurant then, err maybe good enough restaurant. Now, it is still there, and looks the same 7 years ago, although the tables and chairs are older. Their fastfood is expensive for its quality. If you order, their pansit can be good. Don't expect much.


Bauang


Torrie Pollie's is like a sosyal carinderia. They provide a nice enough ambiance for lutong bahay food. The interior is cool.


Hen Haw provides good enough Chinese food. Try their shrimps with cashew nuts and crispy pata. These are my favorites. Their rice toppings all look and taste alike whether it is lechon or shrimp or pork or beef. The place is right at the center of things, the entrance to the market. So if you want a more private setting, go somewhere else.


Yorimichi offers reasonably priced quality Japanese food except for their rice. Bottomless iced tea is delicious. I like their combo meals priced at around a hundred with rice, soup and dessert. It's a pretty small restaurant with friendly people. The place is quite far from the town center. In Manila, this kind of Japanese food will command prices of 250 and above.


The Venue is the best place to eat in Bauang. The place is like a giant bahay kubo, which is dimly lit. The ambiance makes you feel like you are in an outdoor garden. The owner's garden/landscape business is right next door, that's why. They offer good Filipino food. They have grilled sea food. They have good sisig. Good food for a good price. At times, they offer eat all you can and they serve prawns and lobster. Wow.



July 22, 2004

Fairy tales Part II

Are girls expecting their partners to be knights?


Will they be there when needed? Save them. Rescue them. Cry with them. Be there when they're down. Sacrifice just to make the other happy. Know best when to keep mum or to say something comforting even if they wouldn't have said it otherwise.


Women expect this, i think, generally. I do too.


On the other hand, how much change does a man have to make for his partner?


Is there a limit to what change he can do? Should he be accepted as is?


There is always some form of adjustment involved when it comes to relationships but the question is the extent to which such changes should happen.


July 21, 2004

Fairy tales Part I

Sometimes people dream of what their lives ought to be like.


I have my own very simple dreams.


I want a happy, contented life. I was supposed to add 'just' to the previous statement but such a simple thing is a complicated matter altogether. Nothing will ever be perfect. I dream of a picture of a family, rich to the extent that i can send my children to good schools, that we can eat good, healthy food everyday, have occasional treats like traveling once in a while or eating out at certain intervals. I don't want to be so rich that all my time is consumed in determining how to keep my money safe, or make it grow even more, or how to protect myself from evil elements.


Maybe it can be described as just enough, however, when is enough enough? Picture a person who may get minimum wage, he rents a very small apartment where he cooks and sleeps inside the same 4 walls each day. Once he gets a raise, he'll somehow think of moving out of that small apartment and to some apartment with a bedroom and a separate kitchen. Next time he earns more, he may think of building or buying his own house. More money and he thinks of building a bigger house, with a pool or whatever luxury he can afford. Maybe a luxury he can not even afford. How comfortable is comfortable? When do you say you have enough already?


Homer tells me, there's no limit to improvement as long as there's room to improve and as long as you can handle it. Sometimes people are so driven to get rich. You can't blame them. Some people leave the country at the expense of not being with their loved ones because there is no choice. There is the irony for example of leaving your mother alone in the Philippines to be able to give her money for treatment. My mom always says, why leave when you have a good life here. You're not necessarily filthy rich but you have money for food, for simple luxuries and what's important is you are with your loved ones. There are lots of pros and cons. To a certain extent, my mom is right, yet some people will want more and its normal.


People look up to you when you have money. They see it outright. People won't look up to you when you are happy. Generally, i mean. To be able to appreciate someone happy, you have to go deeper and know the person, right. That takes time and you're not even sure if it is for real. Money is there. You can see it. You can feel its power.


In the end, i think my mom is right. If not driven by necessity, i would chose to stay and be with the ones i love rather than have all the money in the world yet feel lonely.





I'll talk about relationships next time.


July 19, 2004

To go public or not

I'm happy some people have read my blog and liked it -- so Joanne and Marg, if you read this entry, kayo na yon, hehe.  Actually, when i first made it, i didn't want anyone to read it.  Once, when you searched my name at Google, it appears second in the search results.  I got a shock and rid the journal of any mention of my name.  Whew.  I thought it was really embarrassing or something. 


However, lately, i decided to go public or let's just say i just started giving out the web address to my close friends.   


I thought, what's the point of making an online journal when nobody but i can read it?  I might as well just type my thoughts in Microsoft Word and save it on a CD RW and take it anywhere.  That anyway is worth 750MB space. 


Personally, i love writing and i quote from SpiderMan II the movie that intelligence is a privilege and must benefit everyone.  WAIT -- I'm also not saying that you'll get anything out of my sometimes even pointless blogs.  Haha!  The point is that I wanna share my thoughts to some people and get comments or reactions about what they think of my ideas or reactions to everything about life.


"I'm coming back to the heart of worship and it's all about you; It's all about you Jesus." 

July 16, 2004

Do problems ever end?

Hullabaloo


The government system sucks big time.  The BIR conducted tax mapping on the office i am managing October of last year. 


It's only now that i receive a response from the proper people without a hint they ever got the two letters i sent them.  Aaarggggh!  Another matter atop the heap of problems in the office.  Can i vent out my frustration somewhere.   AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


Still some people think i'm picking on them when in fact i'm next to ignoring them altogether.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!


I heard in Japan, they offer a service where you pay to create havoc and destruction to a very neat room with quite expensive things.  I need such a therapy.  But i may not be able to spend money on such a thing.  I better do some other thing.  I need suggestions.


Procrastination


I have this bad habit.  I only do things at the last minute.  Like i had a week to do my marketing case analysis.  Now it's Friday, submission will be tomorrow and i will only have time to do it tonight. 


A lot of people do this actually.  Things, like we work best under pressure, are common.  It is true from experience to some extent.  However, like schoolwork if i had prepared for three days, my grades are a lot higher than when i do the work in one night alone.  Not that the three days are not considered as cramming for some.  That 'some', by the way, is i think just a very small percentage of the population.


Some will also say that the working best under pressure excuse is plainly an excuse of those who are err... not industrious.  I use that statement all the time.  I think it is true.  However, i may just be in denial or i may just be deluding myself. 


Yesterday, i was talking to my sister about her friend who wants to get married now but her boyfriend wants it to still be in 2006.  By that time, she's turning 40 or worse, really at 40 in December.  She's afraid that she might not give birth anymore.  I fear this too.  Too long a wait might ruin my chances of having an offspring.  So, this is something that i might not want to procrastinate about.  Honestly, i wanna get married while i'm still in my twenties.  I have a very bad record of dysmenorrhea and i am afraid it might affect my birthing skills?  eek.  wrong word i think.  This time though, i'm sure i'm not ready yet.  Well, i've got less than seven years left.  Haha.  The countdown continues. 
 

July 13, 2004

Rotten minds and country

Migrate, anyone?


The Philippines is in a very sad state.


Here the powerful and the influential say it all. They can be God to a lot of people. They can skip rules and jump over procedures. It is way too unfair. It kills all idealism in the youth seeing it is like going against a humongous tide, all five feet of you will be washed away, however you run or however you go against it.


Homer's family is planning to go to Canada, and so i think that a lot of people like them have all the right to do it. The future here is soooo bleak, it's frightening. Many stay, some because they know they can make a difference, some because they're on top and some because they have no other choice.


Sensitivity


Here's another thought that's occupying my mind lately. We all need to be careful about the things we say to other people. You will never be sure what the effect or the interpretation will be.


A lot of times, there are instances where even if someone is just asking for help or giving instructions or sharing an opinion or something, at times, it is misinterpreted as 'being mad' or 'venting out anger on someone' or 'being bad'.


I find it silly sometimes so I just dismiss it as normal, but anyway, it is true.


Some people will sometimes interpret otherwise, even if you never meant anything.


Maybe it's man's nature. So we don't have to give attention to it all the time but we can always watch what comes from our mouths. It is but natural for some people to be frank, or vulgar, or quiet, or apologetic, or always playing safe, or always trying to be nice to everyone. But the effect on other people will be different according to his/her character. That is why we can never control other people's feelings but we can always try to understand them.


Just a thought to ponder on. The human mind is a very interesting phenomenon.

July 12, 2004

Music and a prayer

Yahoo has come up with a very cool feature, which is launchcast where you can choose from several stations of different genres. I love praise and worship. I really need it. I miss college. I miss victory christian fellowship. I miss having cell groups. I miss the pastor's teachings. I miss the people. Sigh.


I really pray that something will happen to my Christian life. I want to be used by God. I want to follow what he wants for me. Lord, i pray for direction.


I need it so much. Holy Spirit, guide me and put a light unto my path. Jesus, my Savior, i'm sorry for neglecting my purpose for a while. I am really sorry. Lord, revive the fire in my heart. Please bring me into meaningful Christian relationships once again.

July 09, 2004

Some nonsense

I made avatars for myself and Homer. And gee, they look like us.




July 06, 2004

Of law, gifts and phone calls

I fell in love with a lawyer


Awhile ago, i went to San Fernando for an appointment with a lawyer. I had to go up to the fourth floor to the law office. I was panting when i got there. Twas a very ordinary room except for two or three nice paintings. I'm not much of an art enthusiast but it gave me the feeling of quaint ethnicity. I don't know.


Law is a field my dad really wanted me to take when he was still alive. Up til now, i'm still thinking of pursuing it, but the chances may be vague. It's not really because i want to but because my dad had wanted me to.


Back to my story -- there she was; tall, svelte, morena. She talked in an authoritative voice. I was swayed by every idea she said. I was infatuated. Maybe part of me was imagining where i would be now had i chosen to go to law school straight out of college. She was something. I was like wow. Or maybe law is something. I think i wanna be in the same place. Dreams, dreams, wherever they are.


Come to think of it, the only inclination i see from myself is that i know how to twist things while in an argument. Actually, i don't know that about myself. People tell me. The constant victim, Homer Danao, always tells me so. Err. Is that good or bad?


In preparation for my birthday


I was talking to Homer yesterday, about having yet to receive any birthday gift from him. More so, that he was not ever present in any of my birthday celebrations. A little bickering here and there and he promised to come on the 20th with a something 'something' gift. Haha. I want a long letter! Needless to say that here, he doesn't have internet connection in the boondocks.


My cellphone's outgoing calls are blocked


How hard can it get. After being addicted to cellular phones since way back, maybe first year college, or seven years ago, man am i that old already? -- now, i can't make any phone calls, can't text, can't check mail, nothing.


Up to some degree, i'm glad it happened, i need to control my consumption. i'm giving away too much or maybe all of my money to Globe. Hey sister, pay up!




July 02, 2004

Yesterday was one of the worst days of my life

I woke up with a headache after having less than enough sleep that night. I went to the office and my butt has not even warmed my seat when Gladys tells me i have to go to Oasis (where our guest Pramod is staying).


The Pajero is missing!


Yes, a Mitsubishi Pajero was carnapped right in front of what i thought was the best hotel in the place. Yes, i'm not dreaming. I immediately went to the place. Took the jeepney with Pramod (which was what i wanted him to experience but not because the car will be stolen!). There was flooding everywhere.


Then at the police station, we reported the thing and i don't even want to recall the details. However, the next thing i know there was this guy who shouts at all of us and asks God knows what kind of questions pertaining to everything except the car. Gosh, he was really shouting. I lost my cool and told him something like


"Forgive me for saying this but this police station is a very hostile place. We lost a car here and we don't deserve being shouted at like this. I've been to a police station once but never was i treated this way. How can people come and report crimes here when all they get is this unfriendly interrogation and shouting"


The police official then leveled down his voice and explained, inquiries can be sweet, can be authoritative, etc. However, his was not authoritative. His was violent, harassing, name it.


Pramod was laughing saying, Rianne blasted at this guy.


Later, i found out he is the Chief of Police. Uh oh. I don't wanna go back there anymore.


Once in the office, we are again blasted at for not informing the boss at once. How much worse can it get. After everything you go through, it doesn't get any better.


Anyhoo, things are quite better now. But not really. It's stressing. That was 15 000 dollars stolen!


Then Pramod, a first time Philippine visitor, who got a culture shock riding the jeepney, took a Partas bus by himself not knowing where he's headed. It's good he's in China now and safe.


It's ironic that at the time i want to show off what this country's got. This happens. Its a big freaking SHAME some people are.


AAARRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

July 01, 2004

A lot of food today

I can't sleep. I had a bottle of Malice a while ago, 5% alcohol. but i'm sooo sleepy yet sooo can't sleep. A while ago, Homer said, his cousins (maybe) and he were going to a strip bar. So i don't know if its the two shots of lambanog or the thought of him going to such a place. I had lunch earlier at Max's so maybe its the fullness of thy stomach as well.


Anyway, my officemates and i first we went to The Venue to have Pramod, the Nepalese, have a taste of Filipino food. However after their first anniversary, their servings are way smaller than before. We had some seafoods, Bicol Express, Crispy Pata, Lechon Kawali, the like.


After that we went to my favorite bar in the whole of La Union, Kuya's Bar right beside our office in Villa Estrella. Of course, the entertainer of all time, Kaying, sang a wonderful song, Heaven and the audience of course was impressed.

I really wanna show Pramod around but there is a typhoon. Unfortunate. Like have him ride in a tricycle or jeepney for fun. Haha. It's the only thing he can experience that's truly Filipino. All work, work, work. Sigh. I hope we finish those past due projects. We wanna breathe.