> the yeaR that waS

The changability of life is an issue that will possibly never cease to intrigue me. Life that moves, changes, evolves somehow. As most people, I have a little “End of the Year” ritual – I assess the year that has just gone by and ponder upon valuable or less significant changes I would like to see in the coming year. In other words, I think…way too much. Nevertheless, I have always found this sort of meditation on life really handy in giving me better direction, more precise goals, aim better and, one would hope, make things better each year. Sometimes I manage,sometimes I fail, sometimes I learn from it all. This year has been incredibly difficult on so many levels, but I stand here with a smile on my face, a tranquil and serene smile, because I now know for a fact that what doesn’t break us, makes us stronger indeed. A year ago I made a set of good intentions and resolutions for 2007. I randomly stumbled upon them again this morning to discover, to much of my surprise, that, with the exception of improving my English, all of them did come true!! May be not in the way I had thought those things would take place, but eventually they all happened and I am much better off as a result! But this is certainly not meant to be a paternalistic, condiscending message of victory, but an attempt to keep on trying to improve. If I could give a title to this year like one gives a title to a book, it would probably be “The Year of the Second Chances” – rarely does it happen at my young age to be given an opportunity to be transferred back to their life when they were half the age they are now and facing people and circumstances with a newly acquired sense of maturity, stability, experience and self confidence. I feel truly blessed for this. I truly do not want to mess it all up this time around. So here it is to second chances and the experiences which have made us the people we are!


> taray ng deDucTions!

I was about to write a blog about the “super-kagulat-deductions” we had for this payday when a friend of mine just popped out with his crazy-YM-creepy-avatar. I envied him immediately because he’s working at home. The situation then prompted me to ask… Ever wonder why most people are trying to find home based jobs? Here are 3 reasons I find why they choose to become one.

1. Freedom

When you are working at home, you have a total control of your self and your environment. You can choose to wear your usual clothes [depends if you need to be viewed in a webcam] although I, Ron and Jc really enjoy dressing up. Whether it’s for total gustu, feeling brokeback or just plainly “bitchiness”. Schedule your time according to what you want, accept more projects[as long as you can satisfy all your clients] and do other things while working like: eating, watching tv, smoke, and nap for a couple of hours[this depends if your boss will allow to work on sporadic hours or if you work as freelancer.]
2. Money

Money, who can ever say that money is not their reason to work. Yes, we can say we work because we love what we are doing but we cannot say that we don’t care about the money. Working at home as a freelancer or home based employee gives you a higher salary than those of in the same field of yours who are working in a company. Prime reason for this is your not having the same expenses that they have like: traveling fare, food, salary deductions. Which makes you have a total control of your salary and receive at without any deductions. These primary reasons made total chaos especially when all of a sudden, bitchy people just made deductions to our salary without prior notice. I just wonder, sila din kaya may deductions?

3. Family

You can spend more time with your family because you are always at home. There maybe times when they cannot approach you because you are too busy or even getting really mad because of what you are doing, but your presence at your house still makes a difference and can give you more time cuddling your wife, take care of your children and have a meal with your family.

Haay, almost an hour nalang and I’ll be home na. We’ll have house party later and of course enjoy the New Year with a bang! bang! bang! I’m sure ‘yong magandang manager babasahin to.

> kavaKLush-aN

“So what are the most important attributes you look for when you’re boyfriend hunting?” I ask. It’s after work, one evening last week, and I’m sitting in a quiet gay bar with my friend P, after a long day at the bank. [NB: this is ‘my friend P’, which is a different person to ‘my colleague P’. Although my colleague P has also become a friend! But I digress, this isn’t a posting about why so many of the guys I know are called P!]

“Well cock size obviously!” replies P. The thing I like about P is his directness. And his sincerity.

“Yes obviously”, I reply smirking, “but lets try and break it down a bit more systematically”.

Whipping out my phone, I brought up my mobile’s Excel. “Let me see, what categories shall we have?”

We debate the situation for a minute or two and eventually I have it. Four simple boyfriend qualities by which to judge a guy. Appearance, Personality, Wedge, and Trouser department!

“OK, so what do you think your ideal is, percentage wise?”

“Hmmmm”, says P thinking. He plays around with the cells on the spreadsheet. “How about that?”

Appearance=50%, Personality=15%, Wedge=15%, Trouser Dept= 20%.

“WOW 50% for appearance”, I say, “who ever said gay guys are shallow eh?”

“Well what would your percentages be?” asks P.

“Fair question, but just let’s just focus on you for a minute”, I say grinning. “Now, this hugely rich banker that you met on gaydar recently, that you can’t take your mind off, and spend every moment of your day worring about why he’s not replied to your last txt msg?”

“Yes”, says P smiling dreamily, “what about him?”

“How do you rate him in those categories?” It doesn’t take him long to work it out.

Appearance=20%, Personality=25%, Wedge=50%, Trouser Dept= 5%.

“Interesting isn’t it”, I laugh.

“What do you mean”, says P anxiously. “You think I should drop him because he’s so far off what I really want?”

“Not at all”, I reply. “If you ask me, that is your real ideal. What you originally put down was only what you think you ought to want!”

> LongKatutS

To express disgust at a girl’s features, to be very creative in saying that a girl is unpretty is to say ‘mukha siyang longka’, which is to say that the girl is extremely unattractive, undesirable and unadmirable hence, the reference to that select group of people which we shamelessly and deliberately underappreciate in our ignorance and disgusting sense of self-importance. Any random girl we see at the mall or any place else who’s dressed up awfully, coiffed ridiculously, and in possession of a fake Chanel bag, fake Armani shirt, fake Tag Heuer watch, in short, wearer of anything fake is automatically labelled as Mukhang Longka.

I and my friend Jayvee usually get the time of our lives laughing while having coffee at Robinson’s Manila as we do okray all those longka looking people. We would go on duet saying “day-off?” hahaha… I know that I talk so mean always, making fun of people and bitching around. I admit that and i’m sorry, just that at times we can’t avoid it. Sarap eh.

I did not become a maid patronizer over night. This sympathetic paean is brought about by the sudden realization of an unappreciation to our own beloved longka who, I’m guessing is not having the most wonderful time of her life doing our dirty laundry, cooking our precious meals, serving us unworthy princes and princesses of our palatial shanty. And I am now appreciating things I wouldn’t otherwise do if I weren’t in such a crappy state. I now have all the time in the world to speak to plants, watch ants crawl, stare at my books [not read them], lie in bed, fantasize, and touch my… things. I wanna go home for the holiday vacation but work wont permit so.

We’ve had a lot of longka‘s who served and pampered us. Let me generally call them my MANANG. Manang does the most servant-like tasks of sewing my torn underwear, changing my stinky bed and pillow sheets, ironing my favorite underwear whenever it’s still damp to be used [underwears are such precious pieces of garments], buying and preparing food for me if I’m about to engage in an activity which would necessitate food preparation, every imaginable servanty tasks you could think of. Even stuff that I could do myself, she takes the initiative to do. She buys my medicine, charges my cellpone, buys me coke, makes perfect excuses to people who call at home whom I don’t wish to speak to. Very Master and Servant, me and she.

She depresses me occassionally. The laundry is sometimes stinky, the food is often salty and weird, some pants and shirts are unironed just when I am thinking of using the exact same pants or shirts, and she watches too much telenovelas and it annoys me that she doesn’t have the good sense not to find Wowowee entertaining. Plus, she sings some of the songs popularized by that super awful show. But whatever. Her thankless job doesn’t get her fringe benefits and she almost always get flak from the ungrateful masters she serves. I won’t get corny by branding her a hero for being so persevering and patient. I wouldn’t dream of showing her this ode to people like her who spell the difference in the lifestyle for lazy ass creeps such as myself.

Maids. They don’t deserve that much ridicule. This is probably a pitch to prevent people from referring to ugly chicks as mukhang longka. There are more deserving group of women who deserve to be referred to everytime one wishes to refer to something ugly. You could probably just say, ‘Mukhang Supervisor sa McDonald’s’ or ‘Mukhang waitress sa Fridays’. I don’t know why I should say that instead because I have never been wronged by a McDonald’s supervisor or by a TGIF waitress but I sure as hell haven’t been wronged by a maid either.

[*Longka is short for longkatuts, a term geniusly coined by someone who had a penchant for all things demeaning and funny. It is a bastardization of the Tagalog word, katulong.]

> camwHoraGe


> ‘waG aKoh!

Anger Management.

Remember when I mentioned about the guy I EB’d for the sake of smashing his cellphone infront of his face? And I don’t think I ever mentioned hitting my classmate’s head with a book back in high school [that’s Teodulo Bernardo]. Those and other bottle flinging incidents at home can attest my need to take lessons about how to curb my anger. I could either be violent and spit my anger through words or I’ll just cry. I have written quite a few entries on throwing my madness at the world.

Although related to what I mentioned above, you won’t hear me cursing in this entry. I must admit, I’m really close to doing it when I was accused of avoiding my friend Myah because I don’t feel like paying what I owe her and that I can have my Starbucks coffee every night, buy new clothes and spend so much while and still ignore her. OMG, that was just so lame and unacceptable. The issue has been settled already but let me say this one liner “nyeta”! Ooopss… did I say no cursing?

My initial reaction of course was WTF, what a senseless garb. I’ve had my reactions when I caught a rip-off who pretended to be talking over his mobile to some “super-hunky-guy-sa-office” insinuating that there’s something going on between them and while we all look stupid believing and with all our jaws dropping in envy.

In this light, I could see some of the bloggers’ reaction regarding the Malu Fernandez issue similar to what I might have felt, only in varying degrees. While some people have been rational in explaining how to tackle the issue, others where emotionally blinded and enraged, thus aroused the name-callings and cursing, especially when the said persona delivered her not-so-apologetic-sounding response [the first one].

You know, I never detached myself from the issue when it came out. To tell the truth, people dear to me is being subsidized by OFW sweat, blood and tears for years now. Malu’s kind of humor could have also enraged me. It just so happened that Malu didn’t hit my boiling point, [I don’t care about what she thinks of people like my OFW relatives. They have a life of their own to mind.]

My only disappointment lies in the fact that her ranting was printed on a national paper that seems to be unaffected by the ruckus surrounding its writer. [Irresponsible journalism, what and what not to write, that’s another story.] And so I only chose to blog about this when the whole issue about Malu Fernandez has cooled down.

Going back to anger management issues, I think it’s really important that we take several deep breaths first, and then later on, analyze and understand the circumstances behind every reaction.

You cannot blame me if I have uttered foul words then [good thing I chose not to]. My emotions were heightened version of my reaction to anyone who rips off my dignity. You cannot blame me for my angry retort either. How exactly could you make someone understand the other possibility, which is the truth? I cannot blame some of the bloggers [and comments] for venting out their emotions while getting back at Malu. I’ve been through those when people I care about are being insulted and attacked.

If people have varying degrees of skills and intellect, they’re also different in the way they perceive and process information, in exhibiting emotions and in understanding. However, I believe in a condensing point where everyone can settle their differences, IF they are willing to lessen damage brought by the conflict. For these, I chose the latter.

Sometimes when I get upset at someone, all I need is to digest the fact the we’re different, to keep me sane. Also, I’ve learned my lessons from the past. I absolutely regret that I’ve hurt those people because of needless emotional outburst. I have never intended to inflict harm on anyone. At least, I’m thankful that they accepted my apology when I realized I got mentally deranged because of anger for a while.

> pieCe of mE?

My friend Jojo is obsessed with Britney Spears — so much so that during a dinner party at a friend’s apartment on Saturday night, he kept hijacking her computer to play her new video for “Piece of Me” and try to convince everyone in attendance that the oft-maligned diva is not only looking “fabu,” but is poised for global domination in 2008. What’s more, Jojo informed me that if I didn’t blog about “Piece of Me” first thing Monday morning, there would be dire consequences…something about me winding up unconscious behind a dumpster. I chose to post this even it’s not Monday anymore. [Thus, I cannot once again choose to write about soft tacos instead of Britney.]

The good news for Jojo [and Britney] is that the “Piece of Me” clip, which premiered on 20/20 [news!] Friday night, is a vast improvement over the lethargic pole dancing of “Gimme More.” That said, Britney’s latest choreography doesn’t involve much more than raising her hands over her head and swaying her hips; Paula Abdul burned more calories during warmup in her heyday. What’s more, the video concept — Britney engages in playful/depressing cat-and-mouse game with the paparazzi — has been on the menu in newspapers and magazines, on TV, and in the gossip blogs for what seems like an eternity. It’s the music-video equivalent of reheating a gigantic Tupperware container of mediocre pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — every day for a month. After a while, your stomach gurgles with an awesome cry of protest: “Enough!” Also, there’s that matter of Britney rhyming the words “scene,” “Philippines,” and “magazine.”

Anyhow, Jojo says my negative response is just a matter of me seeing what I want to see, and ultimately confirming my own negative preconceptions. To which I say, there isn’t a video on YouTube that couldn’t pass as entertaining after a bottle and a half of sauvignon blanc. Clearly, we’re deadlocked. It’s up to you to settle our debate about the merits of “Piece of Me” in the comments section below. And yeah, JC’s a die hard fan too. Can you believe it? he even joins those battle forums for “Christina vs Britney”.