Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in a nutshell

It's the last day of December 2008. What a year it has been.

Bombing in India, Israel has gone to war with Hamas, the MOA-AD was left hanging, kidnappings in Sulu and Basilan, Obama won the presidential race, financial crisis in the world, oil price hike turning somersaults, etcetera (not necessarily in this order.)

Meanwhile, I started a new job with new colleagues, new work routine, new skills, new stresses, but lots of new satisfactions too. Continued gymming and blogging to exercise body and mind. Pursued filming, photoshopping, and driving. Invested in land and started renovating the house I'm going to move into soon. Was sad to have to let go of more old friends who left for abroad one after another to work or get married. But thank god for new friends to sing with, to dance with, to swim with, to bike with, and to have long sensible talks with. Best of all, I'm happy to have ma and pa who never stop asking are you happy? how was your day?

Have a fabulastic 2009 everyone! :D

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Random thoughts for the week

During last week's sessions on mainstreaming cultural integrity and gender equality, I picked up a few interesting thoughts:

1. The government legal system of conflict resolution - i.e. filing a court case - does more harm than good in bringing back the "warring" parties into each other's good graces, so to speak. First off, it's not the accuser and accused who are facing each other - but their lawyers. Second, the point of the whole mitigation is not really to unite the warring parties, but to make sure that the one at fault pays for his/her wrongdoing. 

2. In debating clubs, students develop their argumentation skills. But does winning an argument resolve conflict? This practice of aiming to always come out the most convincing only helps in insisting on the validity of one's own arguments. And then what? The real test lies in being diplomatic, cooling tempers, agreeing to disagree but not getting so wound up about it.

3. Mindanao's not TRIPEOPLE (i.e. lumad, Muslims, and settlers). Rather, Mindanao's more like MULTIPEOPLE. Teduray, Bago-bo, Tausug, Yakan, and so on. There are those who don't want to be called Bangsamoro and not even Muslim. So what do we call them? A speaker suggested: call us by our tribename - Iranun if we are Iranun, Maguindanaon if we are Maguindanaon, (and so on).

4. Take note too that while the Mindanao tribes can be mighty different, there's often only a very thin line of differences between them. Take the Sama and the Badjaos for instance. They look the same, speak the same language, and not all of them follow Islam. So what's the difference? The Badjaos live on houses in the water while the Sama live inland. 

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't take me for granted

Love the imagery of this piece by Nino: 

Sometimes I feel you're taking me for granted
leaving me on your table
like a cup of cofee you brewed to perfection
And after I have satisfied you with a sip or two
you'd go back to your papers leaving me cold..

Now another sip you will have,
and with my coldnes you smirk and put me back
Leaving me with the sink to welcome my affection
Then you brew another me,
and because I love you, I am always at your disposal.


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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Driving Lessons

Every Sunday for three hours I've been going to SM for some driving lessons. Clutch, break, gas. Working clutch, full clutch. Soft break, full break. First gear, second gear, third gear, fourth gear, fifth gear, and reverse. Stopping in low gear, stopping in high gear. Parking the car on the left, on the right. Turning around. I'm learning it all! 

Problem is I get anxious and lose my cool when at intersections. And every time I drive downtown, I get honked at by other drivers even though it's mighty obvious from the sign on my car that I'm still a student driver. No patience. 

In spite of these irritations, I'm enjoying the driving lessons a looot and can't wait to go on road trips to Mati, Camiguin, Siargao, and all those other exotic places in Mindanao. For sure, when Bayani comes in February, there's going to be some serious debates over who gets to borrow papa's car this time. 

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Manny beat Oscar

When Krishna said she wanted Manny to experience losing, I agreed. But then again, Oscar probably has a bigger ego. So on second thought, I wanted Manny to win. Never imagined though that Oscar would go down that easily. (I didn't see the match because of driving lessons but friends and family informed me Manny was fast and Oscar simply couldn't keep up.) At 35, Oscar de la hoya, boxing's Golden Boy, is going to retire - or so I have been informed. But Pacman says he'll box two more times before turning in his gloves for good. 

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "The four-division champion and current WBC lightweight king is expected to earn close to $15 million for this fight, which includes a guaranteed purse -- reportedly $6 million -- and his share of the pay-per-view pie." 

Knowing Manny's penchant for gambling, I wonder whether he's going to be hitting the casinos tonight. I wonder how much he doesn't mind losing there? I wonder how many other women (other than his wife) is he going to flirt with these coming days?

Pardon me for spoiling everybody's ecstasy over Manny's victory but I'd just like to remind everyone to lets please keep him on the boxing ring pedestal. Manny's a boxing hero. (He's not in the league of the real Bayanis of this nation.) But I've got to give Manny credit for his guts - he tried acting, singing, even ran for congress but lost. (Thank God.) I just hope that now that Manny's officially the world's best boxer, he doesn't get it into his head to run for President! Simbako!

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baby pictures

A hamburger to die for.

Who's got the most sexy body paint?

Please, please, please don't drop me!

I couldn't hold it, so what.

It's been more than one hour but I still haven't fixed it!

When I'm older next year, I'm gonna get my other arm done.

Puppies are not supposed to be eaten raw.

This one's gonna be a ballerina, a gymnast, or an acrobat for sure.

Little baby's still figuring out the difference between them.

At this age, anything tastes good.

See, I can bend back!

It's not nice to be young and cute and overpinched.

Hard, soft, tables, beds. For this sleepy baby, everything's the same.

Baby thinks: Oh God, my bladder's full. I hope he won't drop me for this!

Now just add the water, boil, and voila - delicious baby lobster!

This baby loves her catty pillow.

I'm still learning how to kiss with my mouth closed.

Thank God this brat won't become the next queen of England!

Pissing takes practice. See, no spills!

Baby kisses are the sweetest. Even dirty, smelly piggy is no exemption.

It's never too early to start.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

I got bribed - again!

As the program assistant of the organization I work for, one of my many tasks is helping out with the knowledge products - books, CDs, reports, and so on. I update inventories, proofread, write summaries, work with the layout artist - things like that. Recently I've been busy calling up printing presses and canvassing for prices. This is in preparation for the publication of the Selected Khutba, a compilation of Friday sermons in Islam. (Right now, the writers are still wrapping up the translations from English into Yakan, Tausug, Maguindanaon, and Sama.)

This Tuesday I got a call from Tesoros asking me, "Kamusta na ang inyong ipaprint? Nakadecide na ba mo?" I said not yet we'll probably discuss the quotations next week since I am going to be  joining a three-day facilitative leadership workshop in Marco Polo. The Tesoros guy then told me that the quotation he faxed me still has 10% off. Me: "Oh really? Can you then please then fax me a new quotation and indicate your final price?" He: "Parehas ra ang price pero atong i-hide lang ang 10%. Bale, imoha na na." 

Blatant corruption! 

I didn't know how what to say. I felt a wave of shame - for his daring to bribe me. (It was the same feeling I felt with the ticket guy on the bus.)

But stupid me, all I could retort was: "But that's not right! I'm sorry, pero dili ko corrupt." So lame of me. I should have given him a piece of my mind. 

I should have asked him: Do you hate Gloria? 

If he says NO, then i'd say: It's not surprising, you are just like her. 

If he says YES, then i'd say: Watch out, you are turning into her. 

The next time I get bribed, I'm going to start a debate and won't let go until I've put some shame in the briber's heart.

Food for thought: Tell me, what kind of society will we be if almost everybody thinks there's nothing wrong with accepting bribes like this? 

Answer: We'll be a society that deserves its bad roads, its error-filled textbooks, its incompetent government officials, its stupid teachers... You get the picture.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I got bribed

In the bus on my way to the parish near Bukidnon, the guy in charge of the tickets said i had to pay 100. So i did. The problem was that i had to tell him about 5 times to give me my ticket. Instead he gave me back 20 pesos. 

"What's this for?" I asked. 

"80 nalang," he said. 

Me: "Ah okay, where's my ticket?"   

He looked at me. I looked at him. 

"I need the ticket for reimbursement," I finally explained. 

From the wad of money he was holding, he took out a ticket that had already been stamped and gave that to me. "Thanks," I said but inside I was thinking, "Gabaan ka." 

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