Monthly Archives: May 2006

newsworthy

I know that this absolutely no laughing matter, but I laughed out loud after reading this line in today’s banner story of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, on Amnesty International’s call for the President to go the extra mile in curbing the alarming number of political killings and human rights abuses targeting left-wing activists:

“Some 224 dead activists later, the police are finally starting to see a ‘pattern’ in the killings.”

While it’s not exactly a prime example of objective journalistic writing, it is nevertheless a gem. I remember being similarly elated over a sentence in another Inquirer article reporting President Arroyo’s declaration of support for the people’s initiative for Charter Change:

“After the President’s declaration, her Cabinet and advisers took turns defending the people’s initiative after days of denying involvement in it.”

Gives you an idea on how the country’s being run, huh?

Another, um, “interesting” item in the news today was President Estrada’s statement in reaction to the alleged illegal detention and torture of 5 five of his supporters. The statement, in part, read: “Our nation is now poised to be engulfed in a tidal wave of discontent that may no longer be held back… We live in dangerous times under a government that violates all fundamental rules… there is a gathering storm and the Arroyo regime must beware or the tides of fury may swallow it up” I blinked, and spent a few moments thinking, yeah right, Erap said that. After getting over the initial (no, lingering) disbelief over the improbably eloquent statement, I thought, well yeah, he should know what he’s talking about, since a similar “tide of fury” swept him out of office five years ago. It’s like the country is just going through a cycle of tolerating injustice and oppression for a certain period of time, then rousing itself into an impressive wave of fury, only to subside again into apathy, until the next big bang. One wonders if there’s a certain of law of diminishing returns at work here.

* * *

Some re-allocation of tasks at the office resulted in me now being required to spend the first hour or so of my day going over nine broadsheets in search of news relevant to our client’s interests. I don’t exactly have the luxury of time to dwell over each and every article, but I do stumble over “interesting” things once in a while. The news. Gaak. Fascinating, boring, frustrating, appalling – the whole ball of wax. I don’t want to be a cynic, but, gaaak.

I am so not a morning person.

what is the world coming to?

earthquake in the Visayas, oil tanker explosion in Bataan, tornado in Pampanga. this all happened more or less in the last 24 hours by the way.

thing is, they’re not even attracting that much attention, at least for now. probably because they’re relatively “minor” incidents, considering the massive disasters the country has gone through. these three incidents “only” caused, respectively, a power blackout, 2 injured workers, and 70 wrecked houses. no biggie, really. a day in the life.

yes, it’s a bird!

Eagle nest webcam a huge hit

Now how come I never knew about this when it was still happening?

Basically, the story is this: a retired accountant in Vancouver set up a camera to observe the nest of a pair of bald eagles near his home. He shared videos with friends, and eventually somebody offered to put up the live feed online. Now okay, two eagles fussing over their nest, that’s fine, but then one day a couple of eggs made their appearance. “By early May, when one egg mysteriously vanished and the fate of the second hung in the balance, the website’s popularity spread like wildfire.” The site attracted as many as 10 million hits a day. Sadly, neither of the eggs made it, and it’s still uncertain why.

It’s a sad and inspiring story at the same time. Sad because the eggs never hatched, inspiring because so many people cared enough to monitor their progress. I can only hope that this whole thing would result in more support for wildlife protection rather than just be a one-time sensation.

When I read the title of the article I was so excited because I thought the eagles would be our very own Philippine Eagle, which, I have to say, is much more guapo, and possibly even bigger, than the bald eagle. But I realize now that it’s a very slim possibility. For one, Philippine Eagles are so rare you would be quite lucky to see one in the wild, much less locate a nest. Also, they nest high up in forested mountains, not in somebody’s backyard. The most we can see is the eaglets bred in captivity, which are cute and inspiring as well but of course it’s just not the same if they’re not in the wild where they should be.

I used to cut out articles and pictures of Pag-asa, the first Philippine Eagle bred in captivity. I was about twelve or thirteen at the time, I think. Now, more than a decade later, I’m still chasing after stories of eagles, and I don’t think I’ll ever really stop.

enough already!!!

Okay, I admit I’ve never been fatter in my entire life than I am at this moment, but does that give people the right to rub it in my face whenever they feel like it? It happens all the time, like, someone (friend, officemate, office manang) would take a look at me, realize that I’ve grown way too huge for my own good, and be unable to resist the urge to come up to me and tell me about it, probably thinking, “Oh no, I can’t possibly let her go through life this way, I have to do something.” And so for the nth time in my life I would get to hear the remark “Tumaba ka,” or some derivative of it. My own mother, for goodness’ sake, never fails to mention it every time I come home in the weekends. She greets me with, “Nakupo, kalaki na ni Rina,” as if it’s some gruesome fact that she’s managed to shove to the back of her mind during the days when she doesn’t see me, only to have to face up to it again every time I walk in the door. Remarks about my size has joined her usual motherly litanies, along with “Parang walang nangyayari sa buhay mo” and “Bakit hindi ka kaya mag-abroad para makaipon ka” I actually miss those days when she was just scolding me for not helping out more around the house.

And it’s not just my mother. My sisters also never fail to point out the painfully (and hugely) obvious. My sister told me the other day, “Siguro kung ganyan kalaki ang tyan ko sobrang depressed na ko.” Well excuuuse me for not equating my sense of well-being with my weight.

I know these people mean well, it’s just that I guess I’ve heard the comments far too often it’s not funny anymore. I just pretend that it’s funny; I give a short laugh and ruefully say, “Yeah, I know, I know.” I’m a non-confrontational person, and I don’t want to be too defensive or sensitive about it; it’s not like I can just scream, “Well, so what?”

What gets to me is the implied judgment in those remarks. They’re not just statements of fact or even observation, along with the remarks are the implied messages saying it’s my fault that I got to be this way, it’s my fault that I’m not doing anything about it. Well then, if it’s my fault then it should be my business, right? Right.

labor?

So there goes the Labor Day weekend. There it is, long gone, as evidenced by the horde of people at the MRT North Avenue station this morning. I took one look at the crowd filling the stairways all the way to the platform three stories up and spilling out onto the road, then turned around and took a bus two stations down, where things were more reasonable. And, in the train, after three days of lazing around, I was still sleepy. My body had gotten used to waking up at noon time, and even on my best days I am so not a morning person.

Three days of utter laziness. Sleeping. Watching TV. Eating. Napping. Every time I’d feel guilty I’d tell myself I’d do some crunches later, which I never did get around to doing. I know, it was a very unproductive way of spending my time, but every time I go home to Bulacan it’s like I’m entering a time warp of sorts, rendering me incapable of any sort of productive effort. Besides, the past two weeks have been way too crazy and exhausting and I was due for some downtime. Long weekends ideally should be spent traveling but I had to work until Friday. As early as Thursday Don had gone to Sagada with his cousins and I was too distraught at having been left behind that I went and had a meaningless fling with Chris Daughtry. Distraught. Daughtry. Hhmm.

Back here at the office, people are obviously still in the process of shifting back to work mode. Me, I’m looking forward to the June 12 long weekend. Should probably do something more active then. I don’t hate my job or anything, but I live for the long weekends.