Monthly Archives: November 2006

eksena sa mini-stop

Pramis, isa na ‘to sa mga pinakanakaka-windang na pag-uusap na napagdaanan ko sa buong buhay ko:

Sa Mini-Stop sa may kanto ng Rufino at Esteban, sa tapat ng Security Bank, 7:30 ng gabi, ika-28 ng Nobyembre. Bumibili ako ng hapunan.

Ako: Yung 2-piece chicken meal

Kahera: Ma’am, may drinks po ba?

Ako: Umm… wala na lang

Kahera: Ay hindi po pwede yung walang drinks

Ako: (napatigil ng konti) O-kaay… tinanong mo pa kasi ako e

Kahera: Ma’am tinatanong po talaga yon

Ako: (nagpipigil na) Wala naman akong choice e, hindi pala pwedeng wala!

Kahera: (medyo lito na rin pero nangangatwiran pa, baka sakaling lumusot) Pwede nyo naman po kasing hindi kunin yung drinks ma’am.

Meaning ganon pa din yung bayad mo pero may choice ka na huwag na kuhanin yung drinks? Parang gusto ko nang lumingon-lingon sa paligid, baka may camera ng “wow mali” na nakatago.

Ako: A hindi, yung may drinks na

Gustong-gusto ko na mang-away ng mga sandaling yon kasi nakakaloko na talaga sya, pero pinigilan ko na lang ang sarili ko. In fairness hindi naman mataray yung kahera, pero parang wala talaga sya sa katinuan ng pag-iisip kung makipag-usap. Nang dumating na sa counter yung kasama ko dala yung mga bibilhin nya, inabutan nya ‘kong umiiling-iling at ngumingiti-ngiti na lang. “Nini, may ikukwento ako sa iyo mamaya pagbalik natin,” sabi ko na lang sa kanya. Lumayo na muna ako sa counter habang inihahanda nila yung order ko, dahil kung hindi baka magsalita pa ulit ng kung ano yung kahera e masabunutan ko na sya.

Habang minumuni-muni ko ang pangyayari sa harap ng grocery shelves, unti-unting naalis ang inis ko at napalitan ng hindi mapigilang pagtawa. Mula umalis kami ng mini-stop hanggang makabalik ulit sa office, at habang ikinu-kwento ko kay Nini ang nangyari, halos hindi ako tumigil ng pagtawa. Sumakit ang tiyan ko.

Napag-isip-isip ko ngayon, typical na Pinoy reaction yung ginawa ko. Daanin sa tawa kahit hindi naman nakakatuwa yung nangyari. Palampasin na lang. Umiwas sa abala at gulo. Panggagago man ng kahera ng mini-stop o pangungurakot ng opisyal ng gobyerno, kayang daanin ng Pinoy sa tawa. Ang iniisip ko kasi non, ayoko namang lumabas na nang-aaway ng hamak na kahera. Pero kahit kahera ka pa man o presidente ng kompanya, hindi ka naman dapat nangga-gago ng tao diba? Napag-isip-isip ko ngayon, dapat pala pinagsabihan ko man lang yung kahera, kesa naman windangin nya lahat ng bibili sa kanya sa tanong nyang yon. Pag nadaan kayo ng mini-stop at nangyari sa inyo yon, sana huwag nyong palampasin. Ibawi nyo na lang ako.

At oo nga pala, nung inabot na sakin nung kasamahan nung kahera yung order kong chicken, wala yung drinks. Binalikan ko pa yung kahera at tinanong kung nasan na yung drinks. Sagot lang nya, “Ay hindi po ba kayo nabigyan?”

Nakaka-windang talaga.

the wild and the stupid

This is rather a belated entry, being based on news articles which appeared last week, but some fluke at accessing the Philippine Star’s homepage led me to article’s page again, complete with picture. And so I got fired up all over again.

The article was about a bunch of reptiles – about a hundred monitor lizards and snakes – intercepted by airport personnel inside a suitcase bound for Bangkok. The snakes were packaged in plastic bottles while the lizards, wearing disposable diapers, were placed inside jute bags.

The Inquirer report said:

“One 40-inch-long monitor lizard was already dead when the reptiles were shown to the media while the other lizards were still apparently struggling to free themselves from the bags. Several snakes of various colors were still alert despite their confinement. They hissed and slithered inside the wet bottles.”

The articles also featured pictures of the reptiles in their confinement. I’m posting them here now in case the archive links won’t work:

From the Inquirer article:

lizards.jpg

From the Philippine Star article:

lizards-star.jpg

Of course it’s great that the attempted smuggling was foiled but, you’d think that somebody would think of – I don’t know – getting the poor animals out of their confinement, maybe? You can imagine the airport authorities going, wait, we have to present this to the media, let’s get a press con together here, etc. – and a flurry of activities while phone calls to the media are made and spokespersons spiffed themselves up for the photo-op – while the poor reptiles still lay tortured inside those bottles and what-not. They probably have an excuse for it too, they can say that they had to wait for the proper veterinary experts to come, because they’re the ones who will surely know how to handle the animals. But man – you had time to hold a press con, for crying out loud!

And another thing that gets my goat – when you see those news articles on how some wildlife was found in a farm somewhere, and some well-meaning villager catches the animal and turns it over to the DENR, and the story that comes out is that the animal was “rescued.” The animal was doing perfectly well minding its own business when you caught it and brought it over to that cramped and smelly government zoo, you ninny. If it needed any rescuing, it needed to be rescued from you. And yeah, probably from some of the neighbors who’d be oh-so-gleeful for some free pulutan, or a new pet. Why can’t people just leave the animals alone? I’d understand it if the animal was found in an urban residential area where it obviously does not belong, but these things also happen in upland villages in the provinces, where the animals are in their natural habitat. If someone kidnaps you from your home and puts you in a government facility because that way you can be protected from muggers and thieves and whatnot, would you be grateful?

Better than being made to wear disposable diapers and stuffed in mineral water bottles, I suppose.

everyday you learn something new

it’s a word, it’s a word!

guesstimate

and all this time i thought it was one of those pa-cute Pinoy English terms that people use as disclaimer when they’re about to quote some hugot sa hangin figure.

you give me (election) fever

  • Magre- retire na raw si Loi sa pulitika pagkatapos ng term nya sa May 2007. Si JV naman ang tatakbo, para may katabi ulit na isa pang Estrada si Jinggoy sa Senate Hall.
  • Hindi raw tatakbo si Cong. Imee Marcos for Senate, magpapalit na lang sila ng posisyon ni Bongbong na governor ngayon
  • Tatakbo raw si Borgy bilang mayor ng Manila (pero joke lang daw yon)
  • Nagtatago pa sa batas si Gringo pero nasa senatorial lineup na sya ni Erap
  • May dalawang Prospero na gustong tumakbo para sa Senado. Ngayon ko lang na-realize na ang dami palang Prospero sa mundo.
  • Tatakbo rin si former DENR secretary Michael Defensor at current DENR secretary Angelo Reyes pero somehow hindi pa rin ako masaya para sa environment.

Yung mga hindi bumoboto dyan dahil walang oras, o tinatamad, o palagay ninyo wala namang nagbabago, o walang pakialam, pwede ba, bumoto nga kayo utang na loob. Ngayon pa lang mag-rehistro na kayo. Sabihan nyo yung mga kamag-anak at kaibigan nyo na hindi na bumoboto na bumoto sila, at pag-isipan nilang mabuti ang mga boto nila.

Kairita.

catch my disease

Signs of my growing Grey’s Anatomy addiction, which, after two seasons, are just now fully manifesting themselves:

  • I can’t rest until I’m updated to the latest episode (thank you torrents!)
  • My old reliable Peanuts wallpaper has now been replaced by the Grey’s Anatomy cast wallpaper – and I’ve changed it three times today using three different cast pictures. This is the current one:

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  • I had to remove the Live Update tab on my Firefox toolbar because if I don’t I’d end up reading the writers’ blog on the current episode even if I hadn’t watched it yet
  • I plan to annoy everyone by adopting the sarcastic “Seriously? Seriously!” expression that everyone on the show uses
  • I’m sorely tempted to refer to Don as my “McBoyfriend”
  • I downloaded the soundtrack and my plan is to find out which episodes the songs were used in and then watch those episodes again (or at least the scenes in which the songs were used, but how will I know that if I don’t watch the entire episode?). The title of this post, incidentally, is the title of a cheery song from Volume 1 that’s now constantly humming around my head
  • My boss just gave us a mini-lecture on how we should be more mature and stop fooling around in our computers all the time instead of working, and here I am writing a blog post that shows, among other things, how much time I spend surfing the net for stuff to feed my latest addiction
  • Not content with browsing through the memorable quotes at IMDB, I just discovered I can download transcripts to certain episodes. The last time I did this (for The West Wing), it took me months to read through the whole thing. But then that was like six seasons and West Wing characters tend to talk a lot. And I was new at work at the time and not as busy as I am now. I’m in trouble. Sure I’ll have to trawl through loads of things I wouldn’t understand anyway (“Phenolbarbitol. Load her with phenolbarbitol”) but that’s okay.
  • My gtalk status message these days invariably contain cryptic quotes from the show or from the soundtrack (“suppose you’ll never know?”, “whatever gets you through the day”, “We’re adults. When did that happen? And how do we make it stop?” )
  • I can’t stop trying to think of things to add to this list. I’m not just addicted; I’m addicted to being addicted. I wasn’t planning to blog today, but if I don’t put this up quickly I’d end up just adding and adding things. Once i put this up, it will be out of my system, and I’ll finally be able to concentrate on work.

I know, this is not healthy, but then no addiction ever is. Seriously.

Postscript:

And lest you think of me as this shallow, shallow person (which is also true in a way, but not all the time), consider: in between all this I’m also reading and analyzing stuff like “I adhere to the proposition that the primary purpose of a Constitution in the democratic tradition is not so much to achieve efficiency as to avoid tyranny in its various varieties. – Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.” and living in dread at the thought of Miriam Santiago as Supreme Court Chief Justice. Give me a break.

china trip update with a vengeance

I have no excuse or explanation, but my much-delayed post on my travel to China will not be the cohesive, thoughtful, and incisive piece I would have wanted it to be (I have delusions of being a travel writer, you know), but short notes on various subjects, experiences and people I came across along the way. They’re long and rambling, and I’m letting it all out in one go. Aside from my laziness, I choose to blame the fact that WordPress is banned in China. An outrage, yes, I know.

***

October 19, 2006, 11:05 AM

I’m flying at 24500 feet, halfway from Urumqi to Beijing. To my right, ladies and gentlemen, the Himalayas (at which point I stop typing and think, why am I even wasting time writing about this now, while I can still feast my eyes at the sight? But, but. I can touch type. Not perfectly, but I can correct the typos later).

It’s been discussed lots of times in the conference materials and during the conference itself that trade and transport in Central Asia is hampered by rugged terrain, and boy, isn’t this it. Huge open spaces of dry land, punctuated by rugged mountains and snow-capped peaks. Everything is dry, except for the snow and the occasional body of water that’s probably a reservoir of some sort. It’s a lonely part of the world, one where you can imagine angels tired from witnessing the world’s depravation would come and just sit.

(Another thing that comes to mind: the lighting of the watch towers of Gondor, calling for aid from neighboring Rohan. And Theoden the king says: “Rohan will answer.” Sigh.)

On the way to the Urumqi airport this morning Nico looks out the window and bids the place goodbye. It’s unlikely, we say, that we’ll ever find our way to this part of the world again. And I realize that, yes, probably not. Maybe we’ll go to Beijing again, the Hong Kong airport will definitely figure at some point, but Urumqi, which is so far north of China you’d feel you’re already in Mongolia and will need another visa to cross the street? Probably not. I do want to go to Tibet, especially after this airplane view of the Himalayas. Certainly, one should never be content with an airplane view of the Himalayas.

***

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Exploring at the international bazaar yesterday was such a treat, where even the people walking the streets look so different and interesting. “This is such a National Geographic scene,” Vikki said when, walking around, we emerged from the market into a street filled with vendors of what looked like two hundred varieties of nuts and dried fruits. Nobody looked like your typical Chinese, they all had the strong Uygur features and dark clothes. I took a photo of one stall, after which the vendor (the vendor with the strong Uygur features and dark clothes, you will remember) scowled and beckoned me to come over, pointing to his wares. Apparently he wanted me to buy something since I took a photo of it anyway. I scowled back and walked back to Vikki, defiant but certainly a little bit scared, suddenly wondering where the rest of group could be.

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