Monday, July 28, 2003


Sunday, July 27, 2003, was no ordinary Sunday for the Central Business District of Makati City.

While the Ayala Center is usually full of shoppers every Sunday, yesterday was different. The streets in Salcedo and Legaspi Village were almost deserted. The families who shop and dine at the restaurants in Glorietta and Greenbelt were replaced by hundreds of Armed Men from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the rowdy members of the Philippine Press. Armored vehicles, tanks and six-by-six trucks replaced the cars that were usually parked around these shopping centers.

I wake up very early that Sunday morning. Bobby, my landlord who just joined the ranks of the Philippine National Police, woke us up saying there is a coup going on and the rebels have already occupied some portions of Makati. It was 4 am, two hours earlier than my scheduled waking up time every Sunday. I went down and joined Bobby in watching the developments on TV. By 6 am, Paolo Baron, our drummer for the Praise Band of the Union Church of Manila (UCM), sent a text message that with or without the coup, we will go to Church.

By 7 am, I left for our Church only to find out that all entry going to our church were blocked. I was left with no choice but to walk from the corner of Buendia and Ayala, to UCM. Our church is located in at the corner of Legaspi and Rada Streets in Legaspi Village, a five-minute walk to Oakwood Condominium where the siege took place. I was surprised to find out that even with the crisis, all members of our Praise Band (including the expats) were present except for Karen Kelly, Press Attaché of the US Embassy in Manila, who was asked by her boss to report to the embassy at 3 am.

While practicing for our songs, the lines of the song suddenly became very meaningful for all of us. Our songs are already prepared a week before, but their meaning were very appropriate for the moment. Even with half of the regular attendees were present (surprisingly majority of them are foreigners), we started the service on time at 8:45. We opened it with a song with a line that goes:

For all those things that we don't understand
We come by faith and place them in Your hands

And close with another song singing:

I'm so secure
You're here with me
You're still the same
You're love remains
Here in my Heart

So close I believe
You're holding me now
In Your hands I belong
You never let me go

Right after the service, my aunt and I decided to take the taxi along Paseo de Roxas only to find out that it was already cordoned off by hundreds military personnel. We still manage to hire a cab and Ate Ping, my aunts friend, still managed to make usyuso with the military guys in greenbelt.

After going to the groceries, we went straight to my Aunt's condo unit along Taft. In the evening, I still was able to go out and have gimik with friend Jojo in Aurora Boulevard where in order to get there I have to pass by Edsa Shrine and Camp Aguinaldo.

I was indeed an unusual Sunday. While a crisis is going on, everybody is trying to make it appears that there is business as usual. Very unusual indeed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003


My midnight-society yahoo group has been active lately and it all started when one of our members said something about the writing style of another member. Ian published his answer in his blog with Tedo's letter. Okay so I am one big copycat and I feel like writing my answer also in my blog. Well, not really, I just want to share an explanation about my style (if I have any) for those who are regulalry reading this blog. Here it is:


It seems everybody has said his or her piece already with that "parting shot" issue, except me. So here's my opinion.

If there is one thing that I learned when I was still writing for the Weekly Sillimanian and as a Mass Communication student, it is writing to express not to impress. When writing, my first consideration is that I should be understood by my desired audience/readers. This is also the lesson I shared with my news writing students before.

More than anything else, as a news writer my first goal is to "tell the story" as accurately and as clearly as possible. This discipline I carried on whenever I write, be it a news article, press release, an opinion for my column or answering your e-mails. I play with words, yes. I love the language and I desired to use the vocabulary that I've learned but only with one goal in mind - that every word that I will use will help correctly convey the message that I want to impart and emphasize the point that I want to raise.

My vocabulary is limited compared to other members of this group. And I am not an authority in the use of English language. I can honestly say that I have only learned good English when I entered Silliman University. Although I have good English teachers in Bukidnon State College (where I finished my elementary, secondary and my first year in college), but at that time I wasn't that much challenged to improve my English than when I was in Silliman and writing for the campus publication.

I can categorically say that I improved a lot in my English and thanks to my teachers and friends who wouldn't hesitate correcting me or giving me a piece of advice about my writing (I still couldn't forget the red notes that I've got from Mr. Timothy Montes when I submitted to him my essay for English 25). One thing that I can attribute for my improvement is my openness to accept criticism. But I don't just accept criticism as they are.

I also have learned to listen to a criticism that are honestly intended for me to improve from those that are there to make me feel bad. For example, I*** cherishes every opportunity when he could correct my grammatical lapses in my e-mails. He wouldn't hesitate pressing the "reply all" button so that he could broadcast the grammatical blunder(s) that I have committed. Of course, his real intention was for him to feel good about himself that he was able to correct the English of a person who used to be a teacher in News Writing, a debater and a writer and editor of the Weekly Sillimanian. It is different with the editing marks that I've got from Ian C, the red notes from Mr. Montes, Amabel Mascardo asking me to sit beside her while she was editing my news article and explaining to me why my usage of a certain word is wrong, or Melanie Misajon telling me while rehearsing for "Joseph the Dreamer" that I should be careful in pronouncing words with long "e" (i.e. legal and sleep).

We all have our blind spot (remember Johari's Window?). That is why we need friends and mentors to guide us in this area. If we cease to recognize sincere criticism, that is the beginning of our own destruction.

Now, as to accepting people as they are, I could honestly say that I am really working on it. I am a very judgmental person. If my first impression of you is not good or I don't like the way you look, or I find you too presko, or you don't appeal to me as an intellectual being, it might be difficult for me to accept you as who you are.

But I am working on it. Experience taught me to give all persons their two cents worth of opinion. I may not like them, but I still have to listen to them. Someone said, "everybody has his or her story to tell." And sometimes, we find the most profound taught in the simple things of life. We may derive lessons just by listening to the stories/opinion of the common folk (the one we called as member of the "bakya crowd").

But I am not saying that I have to congregate with them. I only said, I will give them a piece of my time. We can accept people as who they are, but that doesn't mean we have to be extra close to them.

I agree with Ian that we are bias. That is why we have cliques, our own circle of friends, because we share and believe on some common ideals and we share similar "likes and dislikes".

I remember when I was still a college freshman at Bukidnon State College. I had a crush on this girl. She was beautiful, kind, sweet and she obviously had a crush on me too. Well, I said to myself this is it, "I will finally have a girlfriend!" But during recitation in our English Class, the moment she opened her mouth and utter a word in English, I feel like I would like to sink into my chair feeling embarrass for her. She just happens to have a terrible diction and a terrible grammar. Did she become my girlfriend? Forget it! I can't afford being laughed at by my friends. We became just friends and besides, I found another statuesque, intelligent lady who speaks good English to pursue, but that is another story.

This is probably the reason why, now, I just don't jump in to a relationship. It is not enough that the person and I are compatible in bed, that person must be someone who won't embarrass me in front of my friends. Harsh it may seem or I might appear as to picky, but that is the reality. We just couldn't go out with someone and when we are with my friends I have to put a tape on my partner's mouth so that I wouldn't be embarrass.

Take people as they are? Yes we can do that. Respect their opinion and for who they are? We can certainly do that. But be extra close to them? That depends, do I like you enough to be someone I can be comfortable with?

I rest my case.


Tuesday, July 15, 2003


I am bored. I am not doing anything, so I answered this quiz. I got this from one blog, I just forgot the site. here's the quiz:

Current Clothes: Light green long sleeves office barong, black slacks

Current Mood: Sleepy (wala akong tulog kagabi)

Current Music: "To love you more" by Celine Dion

Current Taste: after taste of Pepsi which I drank during lunch

Current Hair: Long back

Current Annoyance: Taxi Drivers na bastos at malakas mangikil!

Current Smell: Hugo Boss

Current thing that you should be doing: Sleeping

Current Desktop Picture: ten cute labrador puppies from Webshots

Current Book: Just finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Current CD in CD Player: Josh Groban

Current Video In VCR: Dumaguete Sex Scandal (hehehehehehe)

Current Color Of Toenails: Never colored my nails so its natural, pinkish

Current Refreshment: water

Current Worry: How will I budget my salary?

Current Crush: Meron Ba? Ang dami nila, di ko maisa-isa

Current Favorite Celebrity: Renee Z. and Lani Misalucha


You Touched: Bea, the cute baby of my landlord

You Talked to: Mary Ann, my boss Secretary

You Hugged: A guy I met in the bar last night (hehehehehe, that is why I am sleepy)

You Had A Crush On: Sino ba sa kanila? They are still my crush now.

Who Broke Your Heart: I can't tell. Basta she this girl back in college.


Drink: Dalandan Juice

Color(s): blue

Movie: Chocolat, Ever After, My Best Friend's Wedding

Quote: "I may not be a tree at the top of the mountain. I may be a bush at the foot of the hill, but among the bushes I may be the best" (wish ko lang!)


Understanding: Yes

Open-minded: Yes

Insecure: Grabeh!

Interesting: Well people love to talk to me and hear my views, I must be interesting.

Hungry: No.

Friendly: Yes, although most of the people's first impression of me is that I am snobbish.

Smart: I think so.

Moody: Not really.

Childish: Nope

Independent: Very

Hard working: I am working on it.

Organized: Huh! You should see my desk, my closet and my bed! Kung ano ano na ang nakatambak!

Healthy: Thank goodness, yes!

Emotionally Stable: Yes

Shy: Yes, but most of the people interpret it as me being a snob. I am usually shy at first.

Difficult: If you did something the pissed me off, you will wish that you never met me!

Attractive: I have my good angles (hehehehehe)

Messy: My closet, my desk and my budget!

Thirsty: Nope

Responsible: Yes

Obsessed: Not really

Angry: I have my share of angst.

Sad: a little, but I am most of the time happy and doing okay

Trusting: Grabeh! So sobrang kong pag ka trusting, ilang beses na rin akong naloko.

Talkative: I can talk the whole night.

Original: I love to be original and I love person who values originality. Although, if there are things worth copying (and if legally allowed to do so), why not?

Ignored: sometimes

Reliable: Yes

Content: no, there are plenty of things I still want to have

Optimistic: My view of the future is quite bright.

Deep thinker: I love it when people challenge my reasoning. I analyze issue weighing every pros and cons, so I must be a deep thinker

Self-disciplined: wish ko lang

Sleepy: Very !

Lonely: I have friends, people to talk to, but I do not have somebody special. I am not in love even. So, would this qualify being lonely?


Kill: Antoinette Taus

Slap: Ping Lacson, the PNP officials who were responsible for the escape of that Indonesian Terrorist, bus drivers who do not have any road discipline

Get Really Wasted With: Josh Hartnet

Be Like: Ewan McGregor, the guy is cute, can act and can sing! (unfair talaga ang world!)

Talk To Online: my friends