Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eew!



I have read Rose's blog, of Cottage Rose via Tracey's link and there she was talking about her encounter with a snake in her garden. I was squirming on my seat while reading through it. You see my fondness for animal only stretches to my feline and small canine friends. You can put in some rabbits, and birds and aquarium fishes, but other than that, my human brain power cannot equal the physical strength of most animal, so I would rather stay as far away from them as possible.

I would like to share with you the list of creatures that I find rather scary despite of their size.



Snake - These cold-blooded reptiles are also cold-blooded killers, and it always seems the further you get away from home, the deadlier they get. If you thought the bite was bad, the aftereffects of a snake bite are even worse. I haven't been bitten though despite those early years in Manarra but its there where I saw different species and sizes of snakes.



Jelly fish - yes this graceful free-floating marine creature actively swim to hunt their prey, and a nice human leg or arm can suffer some serious collateral damage. Its one reason I hate swimming in the beach, aside from the salty water hurting my eyes.



Bees - one bee sting is manageable and not a big deal, it’s when they swarm in packs and sting the living crap out of us that we’re in trouble. I know that bees are extremely territorial and don’t need a big excuse to take us out. Just Imagining getting stung hundreds or thousands of times all at once isn’t a pleasurable thing, so I would rather duck and hide when I see a hive.



Crocodiles - I had taken a good look at one of these prehistoric beasts and realized just how deadly they can be. Once they get a hold of us, we’re done because they’ll engage the roll maneuver, ripping our limbs right out of our sockets. Follow that with being dragged into our watery grave, and we’ll be lucky if we drown before we even know what ripped us apart.



Mosquitoes - With mosquitoes, the deadly strike comes from simply snacking on humans. Of course, it’s not the bite that delivers the painful blow - it’s the contraction of diseases you get afterward. Fever, nausea, vomiting, an enlarged spleen, a whole host of problems show up and ultimately doom us to our death bed if we’re bitten by a disease-ridden mosquito.

Oh, you may have asked, where's the Lions, Tigers, Hippo, Panther, Elephants, Bears and other wild animals? Well folks, geographically, we don't have such animals roaming in our wilderness. Aren't I thankful?

So how about you? What other earthly creatures gives you an eew!?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Watch out, female at the wheel!


Men are better drivers. It’s that simple.

No, I am not looking for an excuse why I dont drive. I had sat in front of a wheel before and I was screaming each time someone or something crosses my path. It was nerve wracking and I told myself I won't drive ever again. Besides, my conceding defeat to men's skills is due to the fact that men invented cars and have been piloting them with greater skill since day one.



As a woman I know that we tend to get distracted while driving, maybe because we allowed certain amount of distractions with us. Just take for instance those celebrities or even everyday women who let their dogs in the car. Even the use of “dog” is stretching it, since the canines in question are possibly cats with personality disorders. Anyway, one yippy little thing riding on the lap of another yippy little thing equals one big reason women can’t drive.



I too, admit to singing while inside the car. Road tunes are as vital as gas itself, but some of what passes for music lately must be partially to blame for bad driving. When women sing and drive, the driving becomes far less a concern than the choreography to go with the shrieking. Please, no encore.



Most women also uses the mirror for personal reason- yes, to look at herself. Like her looks are going to metamorphose into Quasimodo between stoplights. And I hate it when the driver uses the cellphone while in front of the wheel. Despite the traffic penalty impose on such act, still I see people in traffic doing this. Please give these women all the space she needs, cuz OMG, u wont LOL if ur stuck next 2 a texter.



Another reason women can’t drive is a matter of interest -- or rather, a lack thereof. Women have no interest in cars beyond them serving as appliances of transport. As long as it starts, all is well. So when dash lights flash, components make ugly sounds or smoke appears, it may or may not resonate with the female driver that these are less than ideal operating characteristics.

Simply put, women do not have the driving gene. The only antidote is good insurance.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some things can't be fixed.



I grew up in the sixties and in a practical family, where things aren't thrown away but recycled and repaired. We would wash aluminum foils after we use them and fix old shoes and sandals as long as we can squeeze life out of them.

Our life is full of fixing this and that - the kitchen door,the old radio, a bag, the chair, the hem of the dress or skirt, the pillow,... things we keep.

Yes, it was a way of life, although sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, re-heating, mending - I wanted just once to be wasteful! To throw old things away, knowing fully well there will always be more.

Last Sunday I got news that my father-in-law died. And last night I got a call from my sister in Bacolod. She told me that my Tita Bebing is fast slipping away. She had been battling lung cancer since last year.

Then it dawned on me that no matter how well I am able to fix some things, sometimes, what I care about most gets all used up and goes away - never to return. No amount of extenders can hold them anymore, there ain't glue available to keep them still. They will be cut off from my life and the distance is much farther than the farthest point on this earth. I cannot pretend that they just left temporarily and expect them to come home sooner or later. Instead, I can only hope to join them someday.

So, I figure that while I have my nucleus of a family, my old and new-found friends, my pet cat, and those other things that mean much to me, then it’s best that I love them, and care for them, and fix them when they're broken and heal them when they're sick. Not only because they need it, or because I want it, but because it's all worth it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lemonade Award.



Another award from Tracey who seemed to be getting all these wonderful awards!

Thanks for passing this on to me, Tracey. Awards like this makes blogging worthwhile.

Now, to whom will I pass this to? hmmmm....

I will give it to Sid of Useless Information, Joy of Stardust and Moonbeans, Boysie of Shifting Sands, Ms Moon of Bless Our Hearts, Joey of Living with Brittle Asthma and Kingdom of Estarra.

Go and get it guys!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tattoo, anyone?



We could fill a book with all the dumb things we’ve done growing up. Yet, no matter how many dumb things we did, none can compare to a lifelong reminder of our idiocy, which comes in the form of a bad tattoo. From an old girlfriend’s name to a cartoon character to barbed wire wrapped around an arm.

It used to be mens' domain, but now more and more women are joining the tattoo bandwagon. Am I seeing Amy cringe? Yeah, Tracey she did make a good effort keeping her tattoo from mom and dad. Ha ha ha.

So ok, I have seen some guy’s with tattoo that look good on them, but generally, I don’t understand why people are painting their body. I do understand however, that these tattoos speak about the person’s personality.



I have seen macho men with a super hero tattoos. Sure, Batman is a badass, Spiderman is cool and Superman is awesome. Also the emblems emblazoned on their chest represent heroic greatness in their stories, but when tattooed on someone, they just represent that person’s geekiness.

And that idea of getting a mythical animal - whether it’s a giant, an elf, sprite or unicorn is as outlandish as the myths from which they originate.

I also saw men with an anchor. Do they captain a sea-trawling vessel? Live in a battleship? Sail the high seas as a pirate? Unless they have a girlfriend named Olive and an addiction to spinach, then they should leave the anchor tattoo to true sailors and start thinking about other options for themselves.



I noticed too that it seems everybody has a Chinese symbol tattoo. And when asked, they say it represents peace, strength, compassion, or other pseudo-spiritual theme. But I am certain that most would admit they can’t verify if that’s indeed what their tattoo means. For all they know it could say “kick me.”

There are also those who think Bob Marley is god and Al Pacino’s Scarface is cool. Some have a soft spot for Elvis, so they immortalize them with a tattoo. It sounds reasonable, yeah. But beware. Their strong real-life face in photographs can quickly turn into a cartoon in someone’s arm. And with a botched illustration, they simply reduced these people to a caricature – for life.



Still others have a pop-culture mentality. Some funny lines struck them and they like to get a laugh from their buddies, so they decided to print it across their shoulder blades. But what if this joke fades? They will be stuck with an expression from an era they are about to outgrow. And I can say the same with those Looney Tunes characters.



But what really appalled me is a tattoo on a person’s face. I think that’s ok if one is planning to join a freak show or have figured out that he can make a living off it. But if your not Maori or anyone working outside a tattoo shop or carnival, should avoid a face tattoo at all cost.

I can tolerate it if my sons come home with a red or even green hair color…but please, not a tattoo!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A feeling of nostalgia.


It’s one thing to live through the ‘70’s and quite another to have it thrown back at you – remixed.

You see, whenever I go around shops, the music I hear is generally the music I heard twenty or thirty years ago, except that the shoulder pads are gone. And when I hear music from the ‘70s, I am immediately inundated with visions of flared pants, the jumpsuits, bang-bang, dyed t-shirts, flat form shoes and teased hair that’s at least a foot tall.

I look at kids nowadays carrying CDs or simply storing away digital music and wonder how we managed then to lug around our favorite round vinyl album that came in square covers. Where today, people slip in an MP3 player in their pockets and listen to music while walking, we use to carry boom boxes on our now-scoliotic shoulder.

But then there are moments when I am positive I am in another decade, and a decade that I sometimes need a map to get around in. Why does it seem complicated to be an adolescent in this day and age? Or is it easier?
I was waiting in line in a cashier counter the other night and saw these girls beside me wearing a P1,000 flipflops, carrying fancy phones, and I couldn’t help hearing their conversations.
“ Are you going to Bora?”
“ No eh, we already went to Bora last summer.”
“ I want to go to Siargao!”
“ Yeah! Oh my God! Let’s go!”
“ But we don’t know how to surf!”

I felt sorry for the parents. It’s a near impossibility that these kids actually earned any money they were so extravagantly spending. Such conversations would be hard to find among people actually earning their own money. Well I bet, ten years from now, this is how those kids will sound:
“ Are you going to Bora?”
“ Are you nuts? Do you know how much the hotels costs?”

Maybe I get disappointed with kids of today because they don’t seem to have any social consciousness at all. Ok, I know I am making unfair generalizations. Many kids actually are aware of the world beyond their headphones, but that life now has become almost ridiculously complicated.

Thirty years ago I stood in line with three twenty five centavo coin to use a phone where you drop the coin, stick your finger in the hole corresponding to the appropriate number and dial. Today I saw one such phone used as a mall store d├ęcor and it looked like a museum piece.

Yes there are so many things I missed from my past. But at least when I get to thinking that I miss the music, all I have to do is turn on the radio and its all still there.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hair gone wild.


I don’t fuss over my hair. But I don’t like it when it started to cover my eyes, or when some strands tend to become unruly. And I hate combing it, thus I keep it short so I can simply ran my fingers through them. I cut my hair every two months, and now had to resort to dyeing it as I am seeing more gray than black.

Oh well, hair styles changes a lot, and each era seemed to have a hair style of its own. The seventies are more of the upswept curl and Farrah Fawcett was an icon. I remember doning a long wavy hair in high school too, which I painstakingly curl using a roller overnight to give it a curve. Of course, it is very uncomfortable sleeping with your hair tightly clasp on rollers! Hair gel and hair color isn’t the fad then.

But aside from being a woman’s crowning glory, and spending millions for its upkeep, teenagers nowadays use their hair to piss off their parents. Even Madonna changes her hair to represent each comeback, and Donald Trump represents his wealth with a comb-over. It is common knowledge that Samson used hair to store his power, while Rapunzel used her hair to sneak the prince into her tower – how early teenage rebellion began.

But do you know that hair is more than just a dandruff jungle?

Oh yes, hair they say can also clean up oil spills. Funny, but when an oil tanker sank in the coast of Panay a year ago, someone from the government here called for all concerned citizens, specifically salon owner to donate their hair clippings to a government agency tasked to clean up the sea. Did it work? I don’t know, but some observers say it will add more pollution to the sea bed as human hair isn’t biodegradable.

So whoever had hatched this “hairbrained” plan must have seen an oil soaked Otter, thereby he collected human hair clippings from local salon and stuffed them into a pair of his wife’s pantyhose and viola: an oil mop!

Of course, finding hair in your food can ruin a meal, eew! But, what if your food was made of hair – or at least your condiment?

Darn, but as expected, another Chinese company, Hongshuai Soy Sauce, marketed their product as “using the latest bioengineering technology”. However, the company didn’t use amino acids derived from wheat, but amino acids derived from human hair swept off of barber’s floor.

See how one person’s recycling is another person’s retching over toilet?

And did you know that during the Victorian era, women often wore jewelry made from the hair of deceased loved ones? Yes, since there were no photos of dear old grandma, her hairs paid homage. A most morbid fashion I should say, since the Amazons wore shrunken heads around their necks.

Thank God for digital cameras…

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lost in translation


Midlife is not for sissies - especially if you’re a woman.

I can very well attest to this because so many changes have happened to me during the years after 40 that I have trouble keeping up.

Take for example today, I look into the mirror and saw an older woman looking back at me. And suddenly I felt my heartbeat racing. Is it fear? Is it panic? Is it sheer sadness? Whatever it was, it changes my mood.

Yes, my mood swings from sweet to sour as rapidly as the heartbeat itself. My emotions are up at one moment and at an all time low the next. There are days that seemed to be picture perfect, while other days can leave my normally happy kids feeling like a ball of nerves.

But what can I do? Sometimes I just find my children more annoying than usual, or co-workers especially frustrating, or a television show particularly heart wrenching. I even shed tears last night watching a television commercial.

Oh yes, often times the slightest thing would just make me fly off the handle, into a fit of depression. In fact, yesterday I cried because someone told me I cannot peek into his homepage anymore - even when it was said in jest. I don’t understand, but this mood swing has a certain knack of making me feel completely lost. My emotion sometime is so out of whack that I don’t even know if I should be sad or angry in certain situations.

The fact that trivial things trigger the mood-swing, isn’t comforting either. But often times I do not realize it happening. I thought all along that I am in control of my emotion, although many times I am aware that I am acting in a certain strange way.

And I am not even talking about the extreme behaviour that would manifest when I am PMSing. I just hope that this won’t last forever…

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good luck!


Many Americans said they have confidence in Barack Obama’s ability to be a good president. Obama is the beneficiary of more good will than his recent predecessors, and expectations of him are extraordinarily high.

Most of Americans genuinely want to give their new leader a chance, and this is especially true because they have broken a racial barrier with his election. The public's assessment of the Bush presidency is so negative, and the mood so sour, that it's hardly surprising that the new president has substantial public support

For African-Americans, Obama represents a hope. And nothing could have prepared any of them for the eruption of spontaneous celebration in many black homes, gathering places and the streets of black communities when Sen. Barack Obama was declared President-elect Obama. From Harlem to Harvard, from Maine to Hawaii -- and even Alaska -- from hilltops of New Hampshire, to Stone Mountain of Georgia. Each African-American will always remember the moment, and so were their children, whom they woke up to watch history being made.

After the celebration, which will conclude at the Inauguration today, comes the reality.

Can Obama be more than a historical "first"? Can he give back to African-Americans what so many once had, and now need - intact families with mothers and fathers rearing children and fewer single teenage mothers? Can he change the thinking of some African-American young people that excelling in school is not "acting white," but rather acting right? Can he replace despair with that hope he and his supporters talked about?

If he can lead them out of poverty, hopelessness, failure, prison, joblessness, welfare, single motherhood and the rest of the litany of despair that has disproportionately infected much of the African-American community, he will be their Moses and his greatness will be celebrated for generations to come.

And if he fails? What will that do to race relations and the country's willingness to elect another black person president?

The consequences of a failed Obama presidency would be disastrous on several levels.

So to him, I say, goodluck!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Uniquely Filipina.


Many people asks what is it in a Filipina that makes her the life long partner that many foreigners sought for? What makes a Filipina a Filipina in the eyes of her foreigner husband?

I have seen couples which have very few years between them. Both professionals and they enjoy each others company. The husband, an expat, treats his wife with respect and considers her his equal.

Then there are those foreigners who are generally retirees and who marries younger women many times their junior. Somehow a lot of these relationships work, but for the wrong reason. It is more likely that the guy needs a companion and the woman needs the money. I am not judgemental, because if they are happy, then good for them.

Then there are the OFWs who met a foreigner abroad, a bit older but suffering from being westernized, with the belief that a Gucci watch and a Prada handbag mean something. The guy is basically content, but is watching over his shoulder for where the wife is putting the kitchen knives.

The last ones would be the women that are controlled by the foreigner boyfriend or husband. Carrying out their every need to keep them happy but they can never reach that point and that's where the guy keeps control of the relationship. I feel sorry for the Filipina in this type of relationship because they are treated so badly in return for very little.

So, for those foreigners who are in a relationship with a Filipina or even planning to marry one, here’s the tip.

You are the person who makes the woman in your life the Filipina that she is. If you met her online meet her in person. Don't get hung up on things thinking it will burn you - like a scar, a disability, or having one leg or anything else that has kept you from women for years. Filipinas are naturally open if you discuss it with her. They have the best mentality that you may come across on this planet, and they value their husbands high in their life. If you're fat it doesn't matter, if you think your ugly they will see you as beautiful for having white skin, if you’re disabled they will just see a person deep inside. Find a woman that loves you for who you are.

Of course, not all guys will be lucky in life and not all Filipinas have the same attributes. But one thing is certain, if you never look you will never find.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Finding oneself online.


If you have noticed, there's a new widget in my blog and I am very pleased with it. A widget is the general term for an item that someone else provides for you to embed in a web page, and my new toy is from widgetbox - a kitten.

I just love to pimp my page, and put fancy stuff in it. It is odd, addictive and may well be very important. Or perhaps not - it is too much fun to care for the moment.

Tinkering on my pc had been fun for me. I love posting photos and videos and music in a variety of sites I have an account with. Although of course, there are only a few of the places I'm currently hanging out online. Still I continue to get two or three friend requests a day from almost everyone of my friends who had signed up in Myspace, Facebook, Zorpia, Hi5, Flixter, etc.

I'm not in Friendster, although I also check on it via my son's account to see how younger people are using it. I also have a Bebo profile I rarely visit, a LiveJournal account I never update, and I seem to recall signing up with Chatango last year.

It isn't easy keeping it all in sync, and sometimes I'm not quite sure what I'm doing. However it is clear to me that the nature of my engagement with the online world is changing in a very significant way.

I rarely talk about my personal life, and reveal few details of my family or close relationships.

Now that is changing.

With my blogs (Boysie had lured me into this, and I am loving it!), my location, my friendships and my opinions all online to be read and remembered, there's little of me left to expose. Yes, those of us with cheap easy access to computers and the internet are increasingly living our lives online.

Should I be frightened? I don't think so.

So as I spread myself around over the network, updating my Plaxo profile, commenting on Bebo, flying through IMVU, blogging, chatting, updating my calendar and posting photos and audio I am finding a new way to be Odette.

I wonder what she will be?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Disorder in the court.


Below are real conversations that was actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?

WITNESS: We both do.

ATTORNEY: Voodoo?

WITNESS: We do.

ATTORNEY: You do?

WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.
_________________________________________________

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-one-year-old, how old is he?

WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.
_________________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?

WITNESS: You're kidding me, right!?
_________________________________________________

ATTORNEY: She had three children, is that correct?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: How many were boys?

WITNESS: None.

ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?

WITNESS: Are you shitt'in me? Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
__________________________________________________

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS: By death.

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

WITNESS: Now whose death do you suppose terminated it?
__________________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice, which I sent to your attorney?

WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
___________________________________________________

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

WITNESS: Oral.
___________________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.

ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!
___________________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Heels to die for.


It's a fact that women love shoes.

I just don't understand why the need to use over four inches heels. It would most likely prevent women from accelerating from 0 to 200kph when imbecile men approached them with a pick lines like, " Nice toe cleavage, wanna see my tight butt?"

Apparently, women voluntarily choose foot deformity because they create a feeling of authority. When not being use to bludgeon men, women transformed high heels into a symbol of heightened defiance, sexual power and control.

You see when wearing high heels, a woman cannot slouch or hang her back. Physically, it is impossible for a woman to cower in high heels. She is instead forced to take a stand, to strike a pose, because anatomically her center of gravity has been displaced forward. A woman's feeling as if she were balancing off the edge of a cliff while wearing high heels along with the added height could automatically function as a psychological boost.

I wonder though if high heels have become integral to the propagation of the human species. Does the sight of a woman with legs that extended into her armpit makes her more attractive to men? I am pretty certain that Barbie dolls look unusually attractive because they have anatomically incorrect, artificial lengthened legs.

Since men are biologically programmed to look at a woman's curves and shapes, then high heels will certainly draw their attention because it enhances a woman's shape. The heels elongated her legs, make her feet appear smaller by increasing their arches, and accentuating the calf and ankle muscles. Along with the way her hips will strut and sway, even the clomping noise of a woman's high heels also draw attention.



I am not sure whether these are a joke or intended to actually be worn. I found this picture of flipper heels, seemingly on sale in a shop window.

Possibly they are intended more as an artistic display piece for decoration as opposed to a real shoe but here you go. So, if you have ever had the desire to purchase yourself a pair of heels based on aquatic themes, then get yourself a pair of High-tide heels.



And just what can you say about this - lock, stock, and two smokin' heels???
Yes, only Madonna can get away with shoes like that. Was this the cause of her divorce? I just wondered, thats all.

If women can wear high heels, can men wear push up bras for their butts? If anybody pick up on this idea, please don't forget to send me my commission, or a product sample. I have imaginations too, but none have gotten past the creation stage.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Are you Filipino?


Are you among those who are working or living outside your country? Do you feel this jump of excitement when you meet another of your countrymen in a foreign land?

You know we Filipinos seem to always ask, "Are you Filipino?" whenever we meet or run into each other as strangers. Yes, it does seems like a simple question, but I also admit that it’s a very personal one.

Why this perpetual need to ask "Are you Filipino?"

I guess it has mainly to do with being homesick for home and country. Indeed, this is one of the valid reasons why there is that need to ask. Anyone who has traveled far from home, especially out of the country, will attest to the willingness to bond with a person from their own country when they are adrift in a sea of foreigners.

One must understand first of all, that Filipinos are very sentimental people whose orientation evolves around their nucleus of a family. A Filipino can be poor and happy, but to be an orphan and alone would be his or her greatest tragedy. When a Filipino wanders far from home, they would tour the great sights and be fascinated with whatever nation they are visiting, but family, friends, and loved ones are never far from their mind.

Unfortunately, when Filipinos are abroad, it often means that they are not out there to see the sights, but to find employment that would improve the level of their family's quality of life. Therefore, one can presume that they are not there for only a short period of time, but indefinitely. Oftentimes, the day they will be reunited to family and country is of an uncertain date.

However, Filipinos from the different levels may meet the question "Are you Filipino?" in varying reaction depending to their length of stay and level of assimilation to their adopted country. Obviously, those who have been staying in a certain country for a much longer time may either be amused, perplexed or even be offended by the question. Whereas those who have newly arrived will eagerly say, "Yes! Are you also Filipino?" followed by the question, "Where are you from?" This question will almost always be the next query after the inevitable first question has been satisfied.

The reality is, Filipinos, just like other people of different race, will never really be disconnected from their ethnicity due to obvious reason of appearance. No matter how long their family have been residing in that particular country, even if it is third or fourth generation, they will still be considered Filipinos.

Yet, what is wrong with that? It is a heritage and culture that is unique and rich. Perhaps, the best thing to do the next time the inevitable question is being asked is to simply reply with great politeness, one of the traits that Filipinos are best known for.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

For men only.


Men beware.

When your wife or girlfriend asks, "Honey, have I put on weight?" you know that this is the end of your natural life. The said question is probably the trickiest of all the trick questions that women throw at their unsuspecting spouse or boyfriend.

And there are more....
* Which dress looks better on me? ( Just buy both dress, credit card bills be damned.)

* What happened at the stag party last night? ( Do NOT break the code of silence.)

* Do you find other woman attractive? ( Do not answer even if she claims she will not get angry. Answering this question is tantamount to remaining celibate for an undetermined period of time.)

* What would you do if i die? ( She is trying to gain sympathy, shoot yourself instead and make her pity you.)

And men, when women ask you these questions, steel yourselves. Do not run away. A friend tried and he was chased down by his girlfriend like a rabid dog. Those are tricky questions which you are only meant to reply to if you are brain damaged or if you would like to be.

They are meant to test both your loyalty and fidelity to a relationship.

But nothing tops the most devastating question : Am I fat?

It has also evolved into questions such as: Does this dress makes me look fat? Have I put on weight? Are you losing circulation when I sit on your lap?

Men take note that even if you are suffocating in the folds of her flesh as she takes you into her arm, loss of consciousness would be a more human alternative than a woman who doesn't want to accept that she can only fit into a size 6 in her dreams.

When these questions arises, buy her gifts. She simply want to be assured that you still love her in whatever size she is. Remember that you can recover from bankruptcy but not from castration.

So, what can you say? Am I fat?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Got an award!!

Marie Antoinette Award


I got a Marie Antoinette award for "Real People" from Tracey today and I will pass it on to other bloggers as well.

Thank you so very much Tracey! Just knowing that people read my senseless rantings is already an honor in itself. This award is simply inspiring.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Eat your heart out!


If you are a foreigner coming to our shore for the first time, then this is a must-read, as I don't want you having a culture shock, again, after a little confusion with our names.

These are just but basic things you should know to gain that assimilation to our culture, if you so desires.


One key step on the road to full assimilation is to eat BALUT. The day any of you can manage to eat balut, then you can call immigration and ask them to issue you a Filipino passport. Because at that point there will be no turning back. BALUT, for those still blissfully ignorant non-Pinoys out there, is a fertilized duck egg.

It is commonly sold with salt in a piece of newspaper, by street vendors usually after dark, presumably so you can’t see how gross it is. It’s meant to be an aphrodisiac, although I can’t imagine anything more likely to dispel sexual desire than crunching on a partially formed baby duck swimming in noxious fluid. The embryo in the egg comes in varying stages of development, but basically it is not considered macho to eat one without fully discernable feathers, beak, and claws. Some say these crunchy bits are the best. Others prefer just to drink the so called "soup" - the vile, pungent liquid that surrounds the aforementioned feathery fetus.

Oh please, if you feel like throwing up, then come back later.



Indeed, food dominates the life of the Filipino. People here just love to eat. We eat at least eight times a day. These eight official meals are called, in order: breakfast, snacks, lunch, merienda, pica-pica, pulutan, dinner and no-one-saw-me-take-that-cookie-from-the-fridge-so-it-doesn’t-count. The short gaps in between these mealtimes are spent eating Sky Flakes( a bisquit) from the open packet that sits on every desktop. You’re never far from food in the Philippines . Oh you can easily confirmed this if you try this game. See how long you can drive without seeing food and I don’t mean a distant restaurant, or a picture of food. I mean a man on the sidewalk frying fish balls, or a man walking through the traffic selling nuts or candy. I bet it’s less than one minute.



Here are some other things you will noticed about food in the Philippines. Firstly, a meal is not a meal without rice - even breakfast. Second, it’s impossible to drink without eating. A bottle of San Miguel just isn’t the same without gambas or beef tapa. Third, no one ventures more than two paces from their house without baon (provision) and a container of something cold to drink. You might as well ask a Filipino to leave home without his pants on. And lastly, where you come from, you eat with a knife and fork. Here, you eat with a spoon and fork. You try eating rice swimming in fish sauce with a knife.



Some of you may think Filipino food is fairly dull compared to other Asian cuisines. Actually lots of them are very good: Spicy dishes like Bicol Express(yes,strange, a dish named after a train); anything cooked with coconut milk; anything KINILAW;(raw fish or meat sliced thinly and mixed with vinegar) and anything ADOBO. And it’s hard to beat the sheer wanton, cholesterolic frenzy of a good old-fashioned LECHON de leche feast. Dig a pit, light a fire, add 50pounds of animal fat on a stick, and cook until crisp. Mmm,mmm… you can actually feel your arteries constricting with each successive mouthful.



Ok, I know, it’s the weird food you want to avoid. So in addition to duck fetus in the half-shell, another item you may want to avoid is our pig’s blood soup(DINUGUAN); bull’s testicle soup, the strangely-named “SOUP NUMBER FIVE” (I cannot tell you what numbers one through four are); and the ubiquitous, stinky shrimp paste, BAGOONG, and it’s equally stinky sister, PATIS. We Filipinos are so addicted to these latter items that we will even risk arrest or deportation trying to smuggle them into countries like Canada and the USA , which wisely ban the importation of items they can smell from more than 100 paces.

Another one big Pinoy trait — a sweet tooth. I hope that you won't complain about sweet bread, sweet burgers, sweet spaghetti, sweet banana ketchup, and so on.



Filipinos also eat strange bits of animals — the feet, the head, the guts, etc., usually barbecued on a stick. These have been given witty names, like “ADIDAS” (chicken’s feet); “KURBATA” (either just chicken’s neck, or “neck and thigh” as in “neck-tie”); “WALKMAN” (pigs ears); “PAL” (chicken wings); “HELMET” (chicken head); “IUD” (chicken intestines), and "BETAMAX” (video-cassette-like blocks of animal blood).

Yum, yum. Bon appetit.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's in a name?


Many foreigners find our names amusing. They say its one of the cultural differences that strikes them. Even our relatives who had gone abroad and visited us once in a while had made this a continuing source of amazement and amusement ever since.

The first unusual thing, from an American perspective, is that everyone here has a nickname. It's so unlike when you come from a staid and boring country , where people may have nicknames in kindergarten, but when they move into adulthood they tend, to lose them.

Philippine names for both girls and boys tend to be what you from other country would regard as overbearingly cutesy for anyone over five years old. Where you come from, a boy with a nickname like Boy Blue or Honey Boy would be beaten to death at school by pre-adolescent bullies, and never make it to adulthood. So, probably, would girls with names like Babes, Lovely, Precious, Peachy or Apples. Yuk, ek ek.

Here, however, no one bats an eyelid. Damn, you may even noticed how many people have what you may come to call “door-bell names”. These are nicknames that sound like well, doorbells! There are millions of them. Bing, Bong, Ding, and Dong are some of the more common. They can be, and frequently are, used in even more door-bell-like combination such as Bing-Bong, Ding-Dong, Ting-Ting, and so on. Even one of our senators is named Ping.

Repeating names was another novelty to Filipino. Have you ever encountered people with names like Len-Len, Let-Let, Mai-Mai, or Ting-Ting. I won't go far, in my family alone we have Jom-jom, Ay-ay, Kar-kar, Dit-dit. One of my dear friend is named Ging-ging and her siblings Gong-gong and Gang-gang. A sister in Cebu even called her daughters Wak-wak and Wek-wek, saying they are family of "ungo" (night creatures). Yeah, yeah I know, this sound extreme even to me. Such names are then frequently further refined by using the “squared” symbol, as in Len2 or Mai2. This may make you very confused for a while.

Then there is the trend for Filipino parents to stick to a theme when naming their children. This can be as simple as making them all begin with the same letter, as in Jun, Jimmy, Janice, and Joy. More imaginative parents shoot for more sophisticated forms of assonance or rhyme, as in Boy, Biboy, Boboy, Buboy, Baboy (notice the names get worse the more kids there are so, it's best to be born early or you could end up being a Baboy (pig).

Even better, parents can create whole families of, say, desserts (Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, Honey Pie) or flowers (Rose, Daffodil, Tulip). The main advantage of such combination is that they look great painted across your trunk if you’re a cab driver. That’s another thing about Filipino, we love putting the names of our children in our car's dashboard or trunk.

Another whole eye-opening field for the foreign visitor is the phenomenon of the composite name. This includes names like Jejomar (for Jesus, Joseph and Mary), and the remarkable Luzviminda (for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, our three main islands). That’s a bit like any foreigner being called something Like “Engscowani” (for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Between you and me, I’m glad your not.

And how could I forget to mention the fabulous concept of the randomly inserted letter ‘h’. Quite what this device is supposed to achieve, I have not yet figured out, but I think it is designed to give a touch of class to an otherwise only averagely weird name. It results in creations like Jhun, Lhenn, Ghemma, Bhong, and Jhimmy. Or how about Jhun-Jhun (Jhun2)?

How wonderful to come from a country where imagination and exoticism rule the world of names. Where else in the world could that really be true? Where else in the world could the head of the Church really be called Cardinal Sin? (now deceased) Where else but the Philippines!

Note: We have another senator named Joker, and it is his legal name.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I am Filipino.


I am Filipino. My Creator planted me on a specific spot on earth, where the sun always shines, in an archipelago of 7,107 wonderful islands, which the whole world calls the “Pearl of the Orient.” Pilipinas is the country God gave to me and my people. It is the birthplace of my race. It is the home of the Filipino.

The beauty and richness of my country lured many mighty powers of the world to invade our shores. So today, my blood is a mixture of the best and the finest of the West and the East. My mind is an heir to all the great thoughts of the West, and the great virtues of the East. My heart beats with the romanticism of the West and the passion of the East.

I am Filipino. My Creator’s plan is for me to live my life as a Filipino and therefore, in my heart and in my mind, I shall always be a Filipino wherever I may be in the world. God wants me to belong to the Filipino family and as such, I am a brother to anyone and everyone who is Filipino, wherever he or she may be on earth.

You will know me by the word “po” in my sentences. You will know my children by their “mano po.” You will know me by the smile on my face and the warmth of my hospitality. Most important of all, you will know me by my loving and caring heart when you are in need of help, even if you are a stranger.

As a child of God, my Creator has a beautiful story for me and my people. And the story we see today is but a fleeting portion of that beautiful story that has yet to fully unfold before the eyes of the world.

I am Filipino. I am born of freedom, in a free country. As such, I dedicate my freedom to ensuring that my people and country shall always remain free. I shall use my freedom to help other people, in my country or in other parts of the world, gain their own freedom.

I am Filipino. I am a faithful child of God. I shall live my life to do God’s work on earth, to help build a beautiful country for my Filipino family, and a better world for all humanity. And soon the world shall see the full measure of the greatness of Filipino, for truly the world has yet to see what God can do to and through a child, like the Filipino, who is faithful to the Lord.

I am Filipino.


By Alexander L. Lacson

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Spite of bad luck.


The holiday is over.

I have to get use to getting out of bed early again. Except maybe for the cold air and the cold water coming out from our faucet, nothing has changed. Or so I think.

I accompanied my son to the airport yesterday as he is returning to Bacolod after spending the holiday with me. Our trip to the airport was smooth as the traffic flow was rather easy. We arrived at the New terminal 3 at 2:15 in the afternoon and we thought we had ample time coz he said his flight was for 4:40pm yet.

Then, come the shocking horror...

After he took out his ticket he realized that his flight was suppose to be 2:40 and not 4:40 as he initially thought. So we hurriedly looked around where we would get his boarding pass. But the lady at the counter told us we are 5 minutes late from the last boarding call and that she cannot accommodate him anymore. I pleaded and pleaded as I over-heard another staff telling someone that the flight is delayed and will leave at 3:10. But my pleadings fall on deaf ears. The lady won’t budge, instead she told me to just rebook the ticket for the next flight which is at 5:20. But what do you know? The new ticket will cost me 130% more than the round-trip ticket I bought, and this is just one way!

Buying a new ticket is now out of the question. I just rambled on my son how air travel has become horrible. That we get stressed trying to get to the airport on time, that we have to deal with all the security and bureaucratic checks based on the assumption that we are all terrorists and criminals, that we have to argue about our baggage allowance and then delicately negotiate with strangers to escape to the queue for the loo, at a time when trolleys are not being pushed back and forth inside the plane.

I told him I will get him a ticket to Super Ferry instead and added that the boat journey may takes time but more leisurely, thus he will arrive in Bacolod relaxed. And he did believe me! No, he isnt gullible, he just knew when not to argue as he senses I am aleady about to turn into “Kali”.

Going to the nearest Super Ferry ticket outlet wasn’t much trouble, but as expected, there isn’t available ticket left. So I told my son to purchase the ticket directly at the harbour where the shipping line is. He is there right now, at the pier, with ticket in hand awaiting for his 7 pm trip. He will be in Bacolod tommorrow , a Monday, which means he will be absent on the first day of school.

Bad luck. Yeah, yeah, I should have followed those New Year traditons...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Celebrating the New Year sans tradition.


Am I not as Filipino as I use to be? I grew up believing and practicing the Filipino New Year traditions and beliefs, but as the year passes I become less and less traditional. Maybe the hard time had made me more prudent that’s why I did not spend money in making sure that this tradition were met.

So what are they?

Ok, New Year will never be New Year without the fireworks. In fact it is quite unimaginable to meet the New Year without it as they are believed to drive away bad spirits and bad luck. But since they have become expensive I opted to buy paper trumpets instead, for only P20 rather than spending P600.

Filipinos also believe that displaying rounded fruits on the table will make for a “fruitful” year. But not just one type of round fruit, but thirteen of em’! They say it will bring good luck and prosperity. Well as you know, for the Chinese, 13 is a lucky number and round objects resemble coins or money. But what fruits do I have in my table last night? As far as I can remember I had 3 oranges, 4 apples, 3 pears, grapes and kiat-kiat and lots of banana. Yes, only five round ones and I am seven fruit short. So what? I have been putting 13 fruits on my table the past years and so far it didn’t bring in the luck I have hoped for.

Eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight (one for each month of the year) is also said to bring wealth and luck. But I lost count, so does that mean I will have more money because I think I have gobbled 15.

Still on having round-shaped things around, Filipinos also believe that wearing polka dot clothes will attract good luck and hopefully money in the coming year. My goodness, polka dots were in vogue during the 60s, and I haven’t bought one since I graduated college. Is luck more important than fashion?

Another tradition is to make sure that the house is well-lighted when New Year comes to invite good luck in every corner of the house. They say we ought to open all windows to allow good spirit to enter the house. But since I am just renting this place and haven’t really felt an affinity to it, I opted to close the windows to prevent the smoke from getting in lest my boys will develop asthma from enhaling them. And to make sure that no stray firecrackers will get inside our rooms.

Of course, the highlight of New Year are the foods - lots and lots of them! Tradition dictates that Filipinos should have round – shaped dishes, fish to avoid scarcity, egg and noodles for long life, glutinous rice for luck to stick around. And they say NEVER ever serve chicken because it signifies hunger and scarcity. Well I didn’t, because the last time I check the fridge, I see no chicken in there. But I accepted the arroz caldo a neighbor gave me. Yes we did have plenty of food in our table last night courtesy of my neighbors. Now, I am beginning to like them more.

Another Filipino tradition is jingling change in your pocket at the start of the New Year as they say this will make your money grow.

Oh, sure I did this one as that’s all I have now in my pocket – coins.

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