> PISCES : dreaMer i aM

I come from a star of dreamers – PISCES.

Pisces_1
Several months ago, Sarah called to tell me she had a happy dream about me. In her dream, we were gathered at my birthday party. My date was tall and quiet. His name was Kerrick. A combination of Kevin, and Erick? [ para san ‘yong isang "r" ? ]

"Funny, sira ka talaga!" I laughed, somewhat touched that I’m not the only one dreaming of my getting "partnered" someday.

Meanwhile, I was becoming rather bored with my dating life [ ehem ]. I decided to try out a reputable online matchmaking service. Just for a month. Ate Erlynn met her asawa – Matt online right?

At the very least I’d have something to blog about.

I signed up on March 10th. On Marh 11th an intriguing boy started communicating with me. His name was Kevin. He was tall. And QUIET.

"Interesting…" I thought, remembering my friend’s dream.

I had a good time getting to know my new friend. But my other friend was not satisfied — she had someone else in mind for me. A circuit-friend, named… Rick.

She pulled some strings, and next thing I know, there’s an email in my inbox from the said Rick. Suddenly, I was regularly corresponding with two young men.

Kevin. And Rick. KERRICK!!

Long story short… I haven’t heard from either lately. Which is, actually, a bit of a relief…?

So. Here I am again, Kerrickless. *sigh

Back to my lackluster dating life — but feeling more patient as I await realized dreams…of my own.

Piscesbod

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> anGaT tayO KAPAMILYA

I just read this :

Sana Maulit Muli tops nationwide ratings, ABS-CBN maintains no. 1 spot

"It’s not Bakekang, folks, or Asian Treasures, and neither it is Super Twins that the majority of Filipinos watch every night on television. All three shows are on GMA-7 and have been topping the charts, at least in Mega Manila.

It is the tandem of Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu that has been keeping soap opera addicts from Aparri to Jolo glued to their sets, Monday to Friday, with 34.9 rating versus GMA’s highest rater Asian Treasures with 28.5 and landing on the seventh spot.

This surprised many movie scribes when Charo Santos Concio, head of ABS-CBN 2, announced the recent findings of a survey conducted in urban Philippines (meaning the major cities across the archipelago) by AGB-Nielsen Media Research Philippines for the period of March 4 to 17 before the start of the press conference for the network’s new soap opera Walang Kapalit with Piolo Pascual and Claudine Barretto.

The data put ABS-CBN as the leading TV station nationwide, registering an overall share of 47 percent, while its closest competitor managed to pull 35 percent. This should be cause for concern among the top guns of the broadcast network on Edsa corner Timog who vowed to dislodge ABS-CBN from being the industry leader almost five years ago.

Ironically, while Gabby Lopez has humbly conceded Mega Manila to its competitor, his foot soldiers across the archipelago have steadfastly protected the network from being totally decimated by its competitor. And they have done quite a remarkable job as evidenced by the performance of the network in the recent survey.

It is not easy to put 15 of ABS-CBN’s shows of the top 20 programs watched in the country, but with dedication of the network officers in the region who remain unfazed despite the unabated campaign of ABS-CBN’s overeager competitors to mislead the public in believing that they have overtaken the lead in the provinces, the network pulled it off to remain the country’s no. 1 television network.

As I have said before, the dynamics of the television audience has become unpredictable. What might be working in one urban setting will not necessarily work in another. And there is also the paradigm shift that seems to be getting more frequent than in previous years.

Drama versus fantasy

The figures are very telling of a trend in viewing tastes nationwide. While Metro Manila viewers are partial to shows that are heavy on special visual effects, conventional drama with characters they can empathize with is still the top choices of Filipinos in other parts of the country.

This is short of saying that ABS-CBN has defined the taste of the country for TV soap where Sana Maulit Muli leads the pack. With Maging Sino Ka Man closely following at 33. 5 percent and Maria Flor de Luna in third place at 28.9, the network has cornered the audience for soap opera.

Patrolling news nationwide

Survey says it’s time for celebration at ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs. TV Patrol World remains to be the country’s leading news program, while XXX and Rated K lead in current affairs programs. (Refer to table on this page.)

GMA’s 24 Oras lodged a 22.8-percent rating to take the 20th spot. TV Patrol World, on the other hand, is the third highest rating program with 31.6 percent and XXX the fifth with 29.4, slightly behind another ABS-CBN show Komiks with 30.4 percent.

Other revelations

Wowowee is now the top noontime show across the country at no. 10 with 27.7 percent. John and Shirley and Goin’ Bulilit are ahead of all other comedy programs, Sharon leads the pack in the TV talk show genre, and Pinoy Big Brother proves to be the undisputed leader in reality shows.

“We are happy to hear the great news, but even as we celebrate leadership, we will remain vigilant in nurturing that leadership,” Charo Santos Concio, says.

Concio adds, “We will continue to sustain our audience focus—never forgetting that leadership is a result of the importance we place in our audience rather than ourselves. We will be constantly aware of the differences in the needs of Filipinos in different parts of the country and even the world to make sure that we meet all their viewing needs.”

“In ABS-CBN there will be no room for complacency as we seek continuous improvement. We will persist to be innovation leaders, and remain true to our core purpose—that of being in the service of the Filipino, wherever he may be,” Concio underscores.

Asap Live presents Rock Da Vote

It’s bigger, better, and, best of all, it’s back. Rock da Vote, the live political comedy theater event that has made hilarious fun out of the insanity of every election year, returns for its newest edition this 2007 with an important new partner: ABS-CBN’s Sunday variety show Asap.

Asap Live will be producing the 2007 edition of Rock da Vote, which will feature top stand-up comedy stars Jon Santos, Candy Pangilinan, Pooh, John Lapus and special guest Chokoleit and Tessie Tomas.

Considering that these are the top tier of today’s comedians expect a lot of impressions and caricature of the names most recently in the headlines. Jon Santos will bring on his unforgettable impressions of Vilma Santos, Korina Sanchez, James Yap’s alleged mistress Hope and Imelda Marcos. Candy Pangilinan will impersonate Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Miriam Defensor Santiago. John Lapus gets under the skin of such personalities as Madame Auring, Cory Aquino and Kris Aquino. How new standup star Pooh will, of course, get jokes out of Manny Pacquiao’s current political ambitions. Chokoleit gets to show the funny side of Erap Estrada and Bro. Mike Velarde. And Tessie Tomas revisits her legendary “Meldita” character for several sketches, as well as showing Rock da Vote audiences her impression of Mel Tiangco.

Joel Mercado is Rock da Vote’s head writer.

Rock da Vote will run at the Music Museum on two consecutive Fridays and Saturdays. Tessie Tomas will be the special guest in the April 13 and 14 shows, while Chokoleit will be the special guest on April 20 and 21. Tickets are available at all TicketWorld outlets, as well as through the TicketWorld hotline 891-9999.

On its 15th year, with new editions created for every election year, the Philippines’ best-known live comedy show Rock da Vote is showing no signs of growing older because it gets its comedy mojo fresh from the headlines. What with family drama, new Comelec rules, and controversial new figures making their way into the political arena, expect to see cutting-edge political satire yet again from the country’s top standup comedians.

This time, however, it’s set to be even bigger, with ABS-CBN’s trademark polish behind the entire event."

*So there it goes. Nothing more to say [ he he he ]. JB, I’m not being biased here okay?

> WAWA – we

Wowowee_thumb

Earlier, I was watching Wowowee with my good friend Ate Mabel. Willie Revillame and Roxanne, Janelle and sino nga yong isa? in tow, they have made bodies to girate to the Adoodoodoo, Ibukas mo at papasukin ko? [ I’m not sure of the titles ] like boneless uods [ worms – talaga namang walang bones diba? ].  You can see people in all smiles, clapping, singing, dancing, stomping like being freed from captivation. There were contestants of a Bikini Open in the audience, Senior Citizens, TFC’s and a buch of retards [ *pun intended].

Alwowpass_1

There was even a time that out of curiosity, I joined my Tita from Makati in her usual gala – mode sa studio. I enjoyed it, pero siyempre I was hiding most of the time sa camera. Mahirap na makita ng madla labas na ngalangala ko sa kakatawa [ he he he ].

For us, watching Wowowee can be very entertaining. The answers that some contestants give are quite absurd and amusing. For example:

What is the English of "sariwa?" The contestant’s answer: "Thank You!"

Another one: "Sinong Michael ang kumanta ng kantang ‘to?" Answer: Michael Learns [ the contestant was not only wrong, he also forgot the full name of the band Michael Learns to Rock ].

While certainly Wowowee can elicit laughter from all of us, given these amusing albeit stupid answers, the truth it shows is quite disturbing. One can say that what we have and what we see in Wowowee is a real example of our country’s literacy and educational aptitude and competence.

We draw entertainment and laughter at what is actually real and depressing about our country. We laugh at the people who are unable to properly translate English to Tagalog or vice versa or know certain seemingly obvious facts.

Of course, this is not to say that other game shows do not have their fair share of amusing answers. We often hear funny answers as well from other shows such as Game Ka Na Ba or even the now gone The Weakest Link, this brings me to my next point: what makes Wowowee interesting, however, is the personality of its contestants.

There are contestants that hail from other parts of the country. Moreover, unlike other shows where its contestants are more or less economically well off, most of the people who play Wowowee are often from "poor communities." Some contestants even reveal certain events in their personal lives in the show.

Some of them say that they do not have enough money to pay for their kid’s tuition. Some doesn’t even have money to pay for their fare. I even remember a contestant suddenly showing doctor’s prescriptions after she was just asked to introduce herself.

To these people, Wowowee then becomes a beacon of hope. They see in Wowowee something that they perhaps cannot see in other areas of society: an opportunity for them to make their lives better. People have turned to Wowowee to lift themselves from their personal state. They see in this show a source of salvation. To what extent has this idea gone? One can only look back and see what happened in ULTRA. [ I remember pinagawayan pa ‘to ni Kuya Bong at Roan ].

Wowowee then continues to entertain us. We still draw laughter from the answers of some contestants just as we get entertainment from any other game show. But perhaps we can also remember that what we see in Wowowee is reality. We see people who do not possess the same educational and literate aptitude that most of us have and we often find that amusing. More so, we see a television show that has become the beacon of hope for so many desperate people who only wish to make their lives better. Is this good or bad? You be the judge.

*Haayyy… kawawa naman tayo.

> DEBTors

Has anyone seen this particular episode of MTV’s True Life series? I had never really watched the show until this past weekend, while I was thinking on how to spend the entire week, knowing that I need to work while others enjoy their vacations. It was hot, sweaty and uncomfortble.  Thus, I succumbed to the trashy television and found myself hooked on these "documentaries" on real people in real life situations [ I’m Dating Someone Older, I’m a Drug Addict, My Dog’s a Ballerina, etc. ]. Of course, when the "I’m In Debt" episode came on, I had to watch.

I have to because I am. I indulged into this perfume business and people just forgot/neglected  their responsibilities. There goes the list of BIYENAN NI KAT, KRISTOFF, MIKE etc.. much to my belief, even one of our supervisors at work – SIR MARK totally fooled me. Kapal ng mukha!

Mami Cez also experienced the same thing, this time with what we almost considered a trusted new friend – PINKY.

Uutang utang mga wala naman palang kuwenta! Punyeta! Mangamatay na sana!

Sheezzz… Let me just go back the story. Basically, the show followed three people as they stuggled with their debts. One girl was jobless and living with her parents, saddled by huge amount of credit card debt. However, rather than deal with the situation, she shows absolutely no motivation to go find a job, even though her MOM has put together a resume for her. She lets her parents pay some of her credit card bills, and snaps back at creditors when they call. She spends most of the show in her pajamas.

The next girl had a troubled youth, but after inheriting money from a family member, she bought a house. However, once she lost her job, she was barely able to make her mortgage payments. This girl, unlike the one before her, actually strives to make ends meet, working hard at her job and saving as much as possible. At the end of the show, she has been able to meet her mortgage a couple of months in a row. Success!

The final story revolved around another girl who was about $20,000 in credit card debt. She has decided to declare bankruptcy. She clearly wants the easy way out, not understanding the implications that bankruptcy will have for her credit score in the long run. She even at one point goes to see a credit counselor, who tells her that she can pay off all her debt in about 2 years by paying about $400 a month towards her bills! She poo-poos this idea, however, because she doesn’t want to have to live with her parents that long. What?! This was incredibly crazy to me. Yes – $20K is a lot of money, but she could have made this work without bankruptcy. She just wanted an easy out. When she gets paid at one point in the episode, she goes to the tanning bed and then shopping, spending about half her paycheck in 3 hours. Who wants to bet she’ll be in debt again soon?

These shows are interesting, because I believe there are probably countless examples of people like these women. Financial education in our country is so lacking that people not only don’t understand how to use credit properly, but also don’t understand the impact of declaring bankruptcy, just to name a few topics. It was a sad show to watch. I was happy to see the one girl take responsibility for her situation and work hard to resolve it, but the other two were just beyond depressing. How can we change this? It’s just mind-boggling to me.

> sOmething oLd, new, saD and Happy

Another morning, another day, another start.  A bit gloomy and yes, on a summer! – and perhaps it’s not just because of the weather.  Going through another routine that makes life life and trying to learn new things to get to know a bit more about life, in the end learning how wonderful life is now you’re in the world.  Not always exciting, but there’s always a lot to be thankful for.      

Ok, I know there’s something wrong with what I just wrote. Dangling modifiers, sentence fragments, name it. I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words… But I know you know what I mean. Last night I just didn’t feel like going to work but I still did. I didn’t produce as mush as I’m expected last week. I’ve been thinking about doing better next week [ I even promised Mami Kate that I’ll make benta na and not to be late, not to be absent, not to be tackless – * she made me do it ] but then I’ll just wait what will happen and respond as proper as I can. 

Cooked nothing better last week, I have to cook twice. Checked the store and the cupboard, and what did i see? Nido soup and eggs. Cream from the last time I ate pasta.  So last night I had soup ala pobre . Never did that before, have I?  That combination, I mean.   Today, I’ll have macaroni salad – with mushroom and bacon and cheese? for snack and left over carbonara for dinner. 

Sorry to disappoint. This isn’t much of a post.  Now that you’ve read this far and if you realized it was a waste of a precious fraction of your life, I apologize.

You can either close this browser, or allow me to show you I’m sincere about my apology by trying to make it up to you through a happy song.   

HAPPINESS

Happiness is two kinds of ice cream 
Finding your skate key, telling the time
Happiness is learning to whistle
Tying your shoe for the very first time
Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band
And happiness is walking hand in hand
Happiness is five different crayons
Knowing a secret, climbing a tree
Happiness is finding a nickel
Catching a firefly, setting him free

Happiness is being alone every now and then
And happiness is coming home again

Alhapi

Happiness is singing together when day is through
And happiness is those who sing with you
Happiness
is morning and evening
Daytime and nighttime, too

For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you

Alkid

Children are really the happiest people in the world. Children and those who are child at heart.  I miss children, my pinsans, my kapatids, and I miss the child in me too. Now, I getting back to sad mode.  It IS the weather!  Let’s leave it at that and I better get back to work.  Happiness is being alone every now and then... I’ll treat myself with ice cream later!

Oh by the way… yes, that was from Moulin Rouge [ Your Song ] playing in my mind earlier.

> mY chOco

Alchoclate

I have not eaten any chocolatesSsS for the longest time and I’m proud of it! [If I were to exclude chocolate flavored cereals, that is, *he he he I am a chocolate addict and withdrawal symptoms are becoming evident, e.g. staying online too much? Many have been said about the bad effects of chocolate, misconceptions, we may say, and many have also been written about their benefits. Here’s one of those articles who are on my side. Yes, that’s old news…but I just have to post this. For the love of chocolates [ i know rain would agree ]. Maybe it’s an addiction I don’t want to get rid of. Till death do us part . I love you my choco!

Alcho

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Chocolate lovers rejoice. A new study hints that eating milk chocolate may boost brain function. "Chocolate contains many substances that act as stimulants, such as theobromine, phenethylamine, and caffeine," Dr. Bryan Raudenbush from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia noted in comments to Reuters Health.

"These substances by themselves have previously been found to increase alertness and attention and what we have found is that by consuming chocolate you can get the stimulating effects, which then lead to increased mental performance."

To study the effects of various chocolate types on brain power, Raudenbush and colleagues had a group of volunteers consume, on four separate occasions, 85 grams of milk chocolate; 85 grams of dark chocolate; 85 grams of carob; and nothing (the control condition). After a 15-minute digestive period, participants completed a variety of computer-based neuropsychological tests designed to assess cognitive performance including memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem solving.

"Composite scores for verbal and visual memory were significantly higher for milk chocolate than the other conditions," Raudenbush told Reuters Health. And consumption of milk and dark chocolate was associated with improved impulse control and reaction time.

Previous research has shown that some nutrients in food aid in glucose release and increased blood flow, which may augment cognitive performance. The current findings, said Raudenbush, "provide support for nutrient release via chocolate consumption to enhance cognitive performance."

See?

Alpicchoco

> anTi thefT

I feel so deprived of not being able to enjoy life especially the last holidays like normal-working-people do. Being so, i hurriedly visited the nearby mall soon as their doors opened since they’ve been closed for the Holy Week.
Walking out of the store with my purchases in tow I was almost out of the door when I heard it. It’s the loud siren of the anti-theft machine whining away shrilly. I see people stealing glances at me trying to make sense of the loud racket.

And that irritates me. The security guard, although she has just seen me paying for my purchases, insists on checking out the bag I am carrying. I was not happy but I reluctantly give in. It is irritating because it seems the cashier didn’t know where the security tags are hidden and so customers are subjected to similar embarrassing searches.

A similar thing happened to me at M1 in Greenbelt when I bought several CDs and DVDs. As I was going around the area at the time, I passed by PowerBooks and I heard the same anti-theft machine whining on my way in. The lady guard told us to pass through but on the way out, we were again subjected to a search. I understand that they are doing their job but it is still irritating.

You would think that in the unlikely event that I might find myself stealing, I would be smart enough to know where to look for the anti-theft tags and ensure that I don’t get caught. Now, now, don’t worry friends. I am not planning on stealing anything anytime soon. I’m just irked that some people don’t do their job properly and put paying customers to such embarrassing episodes.

Although, it is something you can also use to your advantage isn’t it? Befriend the person you hate, bring him/her to a department store and put something inside his/her bag without their knowing and wait until they exit. Then adamantly deny any connection with the person and let them rot in there. Now, that’s what I call sweet vengeance. Of course, you hope and pray that she/he doesn’t do the same thing to you and find yourself in the same dilemma. So it’s probably not a good idea.

Anyway, it’s not like we have a choice in the matter. Just imagine how silly and guilty you’ll look if you try to make a dash for it when the guard asks for your bags to be examined. So I guess there’s really no way around it except to grin and bear with the discomfort of the search. Either that or totally boycott the idea of shopping. Being searched is definitely uncomfortable and embarassing but I don’t think I am ready yet to give up on shopping totally. So here’s just hoping that I don’t hear those anti-theft machine anytime soon.