Blog Hazard

October 5, 2006

It was too late when I realized blogging is bad for my health. Hehehe… :-p



October 4, 2006

Happy Birthday, Miker!

Since these days have been filled by mostly dull moments due to problems after integrating big changes in our system, early shifters in the office are able to find enough time to do some things that we don’t usually do in the office… fun stuff. Today, we get to celebrate Miker’s birthday, on his desk. Jenyfer brought the cake, the rest brought…uh… their hungry selves to indulge. Here are interesting quotes taken from this quick moment:

“Sige na, papa… blow mo na yung candle…”

“Papa, gently blow the candle, please…”

“Mainit-init pa, Miker” (sabay kagat sa labi)

“Itusok mo ng kaunti hangga’t matigas pa…”

“Mukhang disente nga, bastus din naman.”

A picture of a Bonzai tree. Taken in an exhibit in the Shang last June 2006. Everyday, my short walk to work is initiated by a quick tour in the mall. Usually, I’m seen with a glass of my favorite red iced tea from Tokyo Tokyo as I continue my path to One San Miguel Avenue (OSMA) building, since that’s the only thing that I need or can buy most of the time. Come to think of it, I have never bought anything yet but food from the Shang. Well, Katie once bought me a big Pooh Bear, but that was as a present. Anyway, due to always dealing with issues related to budget, I’m contented just spending a couple of minutes enjoying the cool breeze while in the mall. Most people do, if you’ll notice.

Strings of different colors. Taken in one of those souvenir shops in Divisoria. With this always come memories of me and a good friend with whom I spent the most enjoyable afterwork times. I miss her, our conversations, our trips. We used to talk for hours without minding that time has already passed by. We used to go places and plan on going to places that we thought would be fun visiting. She used to teach and show me things that someone like me have not learned and seen before (and I do hope I had the same effect on her then). I used to make her smile, even in her loneliest times and that gave me quite a jumpstart in a daily basis, and a fulfilling sense of contentment in my heart as her friend. I am not sure what happened, and neither does my good friend, I think- but due to choices we had to make and embrace, we started drifting apart. I have no regrets though, for I have always trusted what she told me before we started falling away… that this choice was the best for us. From where she stands, eventhough faded since we have almost lost touch by now, even though we always end up now like cats and dogs fighting almost all the time, even though she has already found people with whom she finds happiness the same way she did when with me in the past, I’m happy for her. Perhaps she doesn’t know that I’ve been watching after her eversince the wall that was built between us… checking up on her from once in a while just to see if she’s ok. I’m proud of her accomplishments and how she deals with life and life’s hardships. This, even if I often feel I’m lightyears away from her. Nice things never last, but the memories do. Good thing I’m sure she’s not reading this, but I hope she feels the same way for me, as well.

Colored cars outside my Tita Tessie’s place in Sampaloc, Manila. This was taken on the day we accompanied our grandma Inang and my cousin Lyle to the airport after a couple of weeks spent in the Philippines. They’re back now in California. This picture is quite amazing- it shows three loyal cars owned by the Sarmiento clan. Yellow, red and spuce green. We, cousins, are not really particular with cars, details and all, but I guess it has become a necessity for every family to have a means of transport of some sort to get by. This is a big change, since I remember the 80s when the streets were not yet that crowded because most think that having a car in your garage is leisure, to simply put it.

The acacia trees beside Beachhouse, located on the side of the Sunken Garden in UP Diliman. Taken one time when I took Ethel and Luke for a quick tour of the campus. The Beachhouse provide simple food services, but known to serve the best barbeques in the university. The picture also brings lots of memories about my college days: lying on the grass on the side of Sunken Garden, waiting for the next class, with my barkada. Those days seem to have taken away all worries of the outside world, which you’ll notice only when you get your first salary and realize that life is not really as simple as it was in campus. College life seem to be filled with innocent fun and simplicity compared to how you’d be after graduation. Do I miss those days? Hell yeah! You may ask my friends Natalie, Pocholo, Leslie, Yin, Kate and Mommy Cathy about it, too!

The sunrise in the skyline of Ortigas Center. Again, from the 44th floor of OSMA. There’s only one word to describe this daily wonder: breathtaking.

Lazy Oct. 1 Afternoon

October 3, 2006

October’s my favorite month. Aside from a lot of my friends/kamag-anaks celebrate their birthdays this month, a lot of good memories were brought by this happy month. A big surprise party organized by Ethel in 2000 tops them all. Remember that day, honey?

However, this year’s October started out kinda lazy. Luke’s out with his grandparents, so there was practically nothing to do at home. Already finished the Star Trek: Voyager DVD marathon, and I’m in a transition of some sort- still deciding on which one is next, Smallville or Aly Mcbeal?

Anyway, there’s no better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than to have a stroll around town. It’s quite weird because that day, there were not a lot of people and vehicles on the streets of Malolos City. Maybe because everyone’s in the mood to just stay at home after a hectic week.

It was just days after a big storm hit the country, and since I brought the car through flooded streets just to get to work almost all week, I felt the need to take the car to a nearby carwash joint. Well, it’s a twice-a-month activity that I just gotta do. Besides, it pains me to see her paint and innards all covered with mud, and it’s always a unique delight to see the car all bright and shiny after taking a bath.

After browsing for DVDs and PS2 titles in a nearby shopping mall, I decided on going to the hospital. Nurse Ethel was on duty that day, so I thought visiting her in her workstation would be a good idea. Brought her food, too. I always love seeing her smile everytime I bring her something to eat at work. May kasama pang hug and kiss yun, of course!

After her shift, we went to Mass and then went straight to a nearby Chowking. We got the usual Lumpia Lauriat meal… no breakfast meals, our favorite. Bummer. Anyway, even if it’s not an eventful weekend yet again, it’s nice to have spent it all doing things that I have not done yet for a month or two. So much for changing my sched.


October 3, 2006

Pag walang magawa’t bored sa opisina, ano ang kadalasang gawain ng mga Pinoy?

Magpa-kyut sa camera.



September 29, 2006

…with the Poring.

…what a smile!

…future lawyer/senator?

…shh. He’s sleeping.

…not-so-professional driver

…with Blue from Blue’s Clues

…with his usual "papogi" pose

…inside Camille, our car

…waiting for his french fries

…contemplating in Manila Zoo

…passing time in Jollibee’s playground

…angel at work

…with the best mom ever

…staring with dad

Kakaibang Milenyo

September 29, 2006

Matapos ang pananalasa ng bagyong pinangalanang Milenyo sa di pa ipinapaliwanag na dahilan, marami-rami rin naman akong maisasaad na kwento tungkol sa mga kakaiba kong nakita sa mga nakaraang araw simula Miyerkules. Kakaiba, dahil di naman kadalasan talagang mangyari ang isang bagyong magpasikat sa pamamagitan ng paglusob ng diretso papuntang Metro Manila. Of all places, sa Maynila pa, ang pinakasikat na lungsod sa Pilipinas. My gosh.

Yup! Simula pa lang ng Miyerkules ng umaga ay ramdam na ramdam ko na ang lakas ng bagyong ito. Nagmatigas pa kasing pumasok nu’ng kinagabihang yun sa kabila ng pagpupumilit ng lahat na huwag nang pumasok kung nais ko pang mabuhay. Ito’y sa kabila rin ng katotohanang pagkalakas-lakas ng volume ng TV nung sinabi ni Mike Enriquez na pihadong signal no. 3 na kinabukasan sa Maynila. Bakit nga ba ako pumasok? Kakaiba kasi ang dahilan ko: masarap magtrabaho pag umuulan. Malamig. Masarap kumain at magkape pag lunchbreak.

So, ayun! Kinabukasan, paglabas ng building, sampal kabi-kabila ang inabot, salamat sa 130kph sa bilis ng hanging biyaya ni Milenyo. Bukod pa yun sa lakas ng ulan na para bang nagsasabing “Hala! Sige! Papasok sa trabaho pala, ha!” Sa pag-aalalang baka abutin ng maghapon sa paghihintay sa pagtila ng ulan, sinugod ko na lang ang ulan. Nakakailang blocks pa lang ako sa Shaw, nagdesisyon na akong mag-taxi. Tingin ko kasi nuo’y parang hinahampas ng dyaryo ang pantalon kong medyo maluwag sa aking binti sa lakas ng hangin. Bukod pa sa kokonting lakad pa lang, basang-basa na ang aking rubber shoes, parang kasabayan ko si Donald Duck sa tunog ng sapatos sa bawa’t hakbang. Squeeek!
Mas kakaiba pagdating ko sa bahay. Matagal-tagal na rin nang huli kong makita ang mga kapitbahay ko na mag-conference sa bubong ng kani-kanilang mga bahay dala-dala ang martilyo’t ilang mga mabibigat na bagay tulad ng gulong. Sa kasagsagan ng bagyo, nakakita ako ng mga nagsasayawang TV antenna, mga punk na punong sabay-sabay sa pag-headbang, mga nagliliparang yero at mga naglalamyerdang mga sanga ng puno. Ang maliit na bahay ng kapitbahay namin ay di rin nakaligtas. Matapos mag-ingay ng bubong dulot ng paghampas nito sa mismong kabahayan, nagdesisyon na itong lumipad palayo sa huling sigwa ng hanging may dalang ulan. Sumunod na nagsipag-backout ang bintana, dingding at pader. Hayun, natirang nakatayo ang pundasyon ng bahay at isang piraso ng yero.

Ang isa pang kakatwa dito’y ang nakatutuwang pagsalubong ng mga Pinoy sa isang bagyo. Kung sa ibang bansa nangyari ito, malamang ay headlines na sa CNN. Dito, sa kalagitnaan ng pagsalanta, parang may party pa sa kalsada. Habang natatanggal ng isa-isa ang mga parte ng bahay, habang nagtutumbahan ang mga puno, habang gumegewang ang mga bus at kotse sa daan ay sya namang hiyawan at palakpakan ng mga tambay sa di kalayuan. Nakaka-aliw pakinggan. Sarap pagbabatukan.

Parang war zone kinagabihan, nang sa aking kakulita’y pinilit ko pa ring pumasok. (Aba eh brownout at wala naman akong kasama sa bahay, magpapasarap na lang ulit ako sa opisina.) Habang papalapit ako ng Ortigas, para bang unti-unting kong tinatahak ang landas papuntang Silent Hill. Unti-unting nahuhukot ang mga poste, unti-unting dumadami ang mga sanga sa daan, unti-unting dumadami ang mga sirang kalsada, unti-unting nawawala ang mga tao’t sasakyan, unti-unting inaagaw ng dilim ang liwanag. Pagdating ko sa Ortigas Center malapit sa building namin, wala na… dilim na lang. Kung di lang may generator sa opisina namin, malamang, di ko na makikita’t di na ako nakarating sa aking paroroonan.

Again, bakit ko ginustong pumasok ulit? Dahil brownout sa amin. Very nice. Lesson: Pag sinabi ni Mike Enriquez na Signal Number 3 sa Maynila at huwag na kayong pumasok, bawal ang makulit.

Hurrah for Photos

September 29, 2006

poringThe pic above was taken October 3, 2004. I can tell why it stayed in my phone for the longest times- it brings back lots of memories of me and my wife, Ethel, during our early years together as a married couple. The phone was her first Symbian phone that got lost in her workplace after a year, I think. The Ragnarok Poring stuffed toy, I got as a prize from GamesMaster magazine- when they published my letter as “Letter of the Month”. This picture was taken in my old room, back when we haven’t built our new home yet. Those were the days when my wife and I were still starting to “settle down” and adjust to married life. Those days were not that difficult. Actually, those were happy days, as any lazy day with Ethel has always been.

Ah! That’s the swimming pool on top of the Citiland Bldg. in Pasong Tamo, taken October 8, 2004. Lots of memories from this place, too. I remember swimming in that small pool with my apartment-mates Archie, Vanessa and Vlads in the middle of a nasty storm. Violent wind and rain never hindered us from this not-so-rare chance to dive in this exclusive pool. Citiland is composed mostly of dark rooms, creepy corridors, poor basic services, slow elevators and pesky cockroaches creeping everywhere you can imagine. But aside from these things, I will never forget the laugh-out-loud days with my pinsans, the yummy cheap longaniza meals on the ground floor, chick-hunting on the ground hall, the kind Citiland tenants and facilities people, and moments of contemplation and meditation and sighseeing in the penthouse.

newbieOctober 13, 2004- my first birthday in Sykes. Geez. I think this was taken during one of those English Enrichment Seminar sessions… In my first year as call center agent, I had difficulty shaking off my Bulakenyo accent- this meant I speak fluent English, but QA and/or customers sometimes were having a hard time evaluating my conversations. I don’t think I was able to shake off the accent entirely, although I’ve learned how to speak faster and more confidently as the result. By the way, notice the hair- it’s like I just got off from highschool! hahaha! This was taken in a room we call Davenport- that’s where most of the official meetings for Adobe/Macromedia people are held.

October 17, 2004- Twice or thrice every month, we go ride a boat to visit Luke’s grandparents Nanay Azon and Tatay Boy. This was taken the day after one usual Saturday when once every month, Ethel, Luke and I spend most of the time roaming around our choice of an SM branch. Luke could not get enough of the new Sesame Street’s Grover puppet that I got him so we brought it along. After hearing Mass and a bountiful meal (Nanay Azon does great cooking!) comes hours of just lying around and playing with Luke. I kept this picture in my phone’s gallery because it never fails to warm my heart whenever I look at it. Ethel’s smile is hidden by Grover’s arms, but you can see how happy she is through her eyes. By the way, that’s my hand inside Grover there.

The night of December 8, 2004 – Lights from Pioneer, Mandaluyong and Makati. The view from the 44th floor’s pantry room. In provinces like Bulacan, you can never see something like this unless you’re on a helicopter. Everyday and every night, I have a bird’s eye view of most of Metro Manila, Mandaluyong , Makati and elsewhere my eyes could reach. On a sunny day with clear skies, with can see as far as Antipolo, Laguna de Bay and Manila Bay from the west. Our office is located on a floor so high we are the first to know if there’s a big traffic jam in EDSA somewhere in Guadalupe, and if it’s going to rain somewhere in Makati since we can basically see how rain clouds form, gather and slowly cover Metro Manila.

T’was a long long time ago when I first thought of putting up a photoblog. I figured it would be nice to describe the world as it I have seen it through simple pictures. Of course, I would have my Nikon and Olympus digicams with me so what better way to be an amateur undercover paparazzi but to use my handy Nokia 6610i!

Hey, 6610i used to be a hit… but that was several years ago already. Anyway, it’s cheap, it’s classic, but it’s still efficient. Creates not so good quality pictures, but it’s still good since details may not be important here. Lately, my old Nokia 6610i was beginning to slow down because of a big stockpile of photos stuck in it’s memory. I reviewed my gallery and found that I already got 225 pictures there, and would you believe the oldest pictures were taken 2004?! I really had to get ’em out somehow and put them somewhere.

So on the very same day when I received my last salary, I went to a nearby cellphone store to get an infrared adaptor. (Yup! Just IR, not bluetooth… my phone’s not that sophisticated and I still love using it.) As soon as I had the pics downloaded to my PC, I got it posted in my Photobucket account… my photoblog is good to go, at last!

FX Blues (Part 1)

September 26, 2006

Requirement siguro sa pag-aaply ng driver’s license para sa drivers ng FX Taxi ang talentong maging rude sa mga pasahero. Gabi-gabi na lang na ginawa ng Diyos, puro kunsumisyon na lang ang inaabot ko makarating lang sa lugar ng aking trabaho. Di pa man nagsisimula ang araw, mainit na ang ulo ko, kung hindi man ubos na ang lahat ng kinain ko sa hapunan, or kung hindi man kapareho ko na ng amoy ang mga paseherong nakasama ko sa paglalakbay.

To think na night shift pa ang trabaho ko nyan- inaasahan na sa oras ng aking paglisan sa bahay ay siya namang pag-uwi ng nakararaming nagtratrabaho sa umaga. Kumbaga, pauwi pa lang sila, papasok na ako. Tama ba?

Masarap sa night shift. Walang traffic. Walang masyadong takot sa mga mandurukot sa daan, contrary sa mga sinasabi ng iba. Mas alerto kasi ang mga tao sa gabi. Tingnan mo ang mga naglalakad sa Shaw. Halos lahat ay nakapamulsa, ubos na kasi ang pera sa pagtatapos ng araw. Lugi ang mga mandurukot sa mga oras na ito. Tama lang na matulog na lang para may recharge para sa panibagong panggogoyo kinabukasan.

Mahirap lang talaga ang sumakay sa FX Taxi. Palibhasa, patapos na ang araw, kailangang kumita nang malaki sa huling biyahe. Yun nga lang, kunsumisyon naman ang inaabot ng mga pasahero. Sa paanong paraan? Madaming madami.

Ang FX Taxi ay binubuo ng tatlong bahagi: Ang unang bahagi ay para sa driver at sa uupo sa passenger’s seat. Yun yung upuan sa gilid ng driver. Ang ikalawang bahagi ay ang pang-TATLUHANG upuan sa gitna- nakaharap pa rin ito sa daan. Ang ikatlong bahagi ay ang dalawang hilera ng silyang harapan sa isa’t-isa, kung kaya’t di ito nakaharap sa kalsada. (Obvious ba?) Kung bakit isinasaad nang mabuti dito ang posisyon ng upuan ay malalaman nyo rin sa mga susunod na talata.

Ang passenger’s seat sa tabi ng driver ay pang-isahan lang. Kung bakit kasi kailangang dalawa ang uupo dito sa bawa’t biyahe?! Kung katabi mo ang cambio ay malas mo talaga. Sa bawa’t pagtaas ng shift ay sya namang hagip sa tuhod mong kawawa. Kung babae ka’t naka-palda, malamang na-tsansingan ka na. Tsk tsk.

Sa gitna, ganun din. Pang-tatluhan, pero pinipilit isiksik ang apat. Lahat na siguro ay pwedeng pagpalitan sa kahabaan ng inyong byahe- kung amoy bangus ang katabi mo, malamang bangus fragrance na rin ang cologne mo sa pagdating mo sa iyong paroroonan. Kung mga tigasin ang mga nakatabi mo’y ipagpipilitan pang ang mga likod nila ang nakalapat sa sandalan. Wala ka namang magagawa kundi ang tumalungko na lamang. Kung isang oras at kalahati ang byahe mo, malamang na hunchback ka na pagbaba mo sa iyong destinasyon, kung di man nangangailangan ng matinding masahe ang iyong maselan na spinal chords. Lesson: Uminom ng gatas na may calcium parati.

Ang matindi talaga ay pag nasa likurang upuan ka. Sa mga byaheng probinsya, dito kadalasang pinapaupo ang mga pasaherong maraming dalahing bagahe tulad ng gulay, mga napamili sa SM, mga tinaling manok, appliances na pwedeng pagkasyahin sa sasakyan, mga naglalakihang regalong pang-birthday o pangkasal, mga maiingay na bata… Susumpain mo ang nag-imbento ng disensyo ng sasakayan pag nagkataong nasama ka sa siksikang bagaheng ito sa kahabaan ng iyong 1-hr na biyahe. Pag nagkataong nakaupo ka pa sa lugar na hindi katabi ang pintuan, pihadong mamamangha ka sa husay mo sa pagsiksik sa napakaliliit na butas matapos mong makalabas. Yun eh kung makakalabas ka pa.


Payat Thought

September 22, 2006

Ano ba talaga, koya? Heto na nga’t pumapayat na. ‘Kala ko ba, pag pumayat ako, ok na?

Eh bakit ang dami pang tanong? “Bakit ang payat mo na, Adel? Me sakit ka ba?” Nung una, ok lang sa akin- natural na reaksyon lang na pag may kaibigan kang mukhang di pa natutulog ng isang buwan, aakalain mong tumitira na ng marijuana para pang-diyeta. Sasagot na lang ako ng “Ah hindi, pare. Nagda-diet lang ako kaya ako payat.” Pero lately kasi, parang lahat na yata ng nakakakilala sa akin, ang tingin sa aki’y parang sinapian ng sakiting multo. Tuloy, parang ang pakiramdam ko, nauwi sa lahat ang lahat ng pagdidiyeta ko’t mga oras sa stationary bicycle na parati kong hinihiram sa mga utol ko.

Yung pinakahuling bati sa aking misinterpreted na “kakisigan” ang pinakagrabe:

“Ok ka lang?”

Huh? San nanggaling ang tanong na yan?

“Uhhh… Ok lang ako, pare. Ikaw?”

“Eh kasi nung huli kitang nakita, ang taba-taba mo.”

“So, that means…?”

“Baka me sakit ka, pare. Mag-SL ka kaya?”

Heto na lang ang mga natitirang magandang dahilan kung bakit ganito ang tingin sa akin ng sangkatauhan nung mga nakakaraang araw:

1. Di pa kasi ako nagpapagupit ng buhok. So, hapis na nga ang mukha ko, mukha pa akong semi-Einstein. Pareho din ang reaksyon ko tuwing umaga pag harap ko sa salamin: Oh my God! Sino ako?

2.Di sila sanay na payat ako. Ang Adel na kilala nila ay mataba at matatambok ang mga pisngi. Di nila matanggap na wala na silang makukurot na piraso ng laman sa aking mukha, sabay sabing “Ang kyut-kyut moooo.” Sa kanila, pag wala ang mga naturang senyales sa aking katawan, ako ay may sanib.

3. Talagang hindi tanggap ng nakararami na pwedeng matanggal ang apat na kilong mantika sa katawan sa loob lamang ng tatlong linggo. In denial sila, kumbaga.

4. Small talk lang. Hindi pwede ang “Magandang Umaga”, mapagkakamalan kang weirdo. Sa mga Pilipino, kung may makakasalubong ka na kakilala sa daan, kailangang may sabihin ka. Kahit ano, para lang may masabing may nasabi ka:

“Saan ka pupunta?” Kung ikaw ay rude, ang tamang sagot ay “Pakelam mo?”

– Ang ibang version ng “Saan ka pupunta?” ay “Saan ka galing?” Ito ay palagiang tinatanong lalu na kung most likely alam naman ng nagtanong kung saan talaga galing ang binati. For example, galing si Pedro sa isang inuman. Halata namang lasing siya’t galing sa mahabang sesyon ng alkohol- pasuray-suray na naglalakad sa daan na parang umaandar na tricycle na tinanggalan ng manibela, namumula ang mga mata at nangangamoy chico. Heto si Mateo, nakasalubong si Pedro. “Uy! Pedro! Saan ka galing?”

“Uy! Kumusta?” Kung ang binati mo’y nasunugan ng bahay, nanakawan ng mga appliances at lahat ng mga kaanak niya ay kasamang natupok sa sunog, malamang na nabubog ka na nyan.

“Uy!” (Sabay ngiti at kindat.) Kung ikaw ay nagkamali at hindi mo pala siya kakilala, at siya pala ay miyembro ng isang kulto, malamang kinabukasan ay isa ka nang bagong miyembro. Kung sa isang konserbatibong binibini mo naman ibinato ang bating ito, malamang napagkamalan ka nang manyak. Malas pag may kaakibat pa itong mala-Mortal Kombat na killer sampal.

“Uy! Ang taba/payat mo na ah!” Kung wala kang masabi dahil di mo talaga kilala yung tao, pansinin mo na lang ang kalagayan ng kanyang kalusugan.

Sige, sige. Kakain at dadalasan ko na lang ulit ang tulog ko sa mga susunod na araw. Sa kadalasang pagmamasid ko nung mga nakakaraang araw, naaliw din naman ako sa iba’t ibang reaksyon at bating natatanggap ko. Aba! At least may nakakapansin, di ba? Ito kasi ang hirap sa katawang ampaw- madaling pumayat, madaling tumaba. Ako nga yata ang pinaglihi sa spongha.