Thursday, December 31, 2009

The year that was: 2009

As the year draws to a close, it is only appropriate to publish a review of 2009. I originally planned on writing a Christmas wish list, but I think it would be insensitive to list down the things I want while a lot of my countrymen are still homeless due to typhoon Ondoy.

If I were to describe this year in one word, it would be dramatic. I know of two other bloggers who share this sentiment but events have proved that the word dramatic could even be an understatement. So much has happened this year (and about to happen, I.e. the Mayon Volcano), such as the Amapatuan massacre, the typhoon that ravaged the country, the Obama administration, the sinking of M/V Baleno 9, Octomom, and the deaths that for some reason have become so plenty that many Americans refer to May to August of this year as the summer of death. There is King of Pop Michael Jackson, actors Farrah Fawcett, Brittany Murphy, Patrick Swayze, former President Corazon Aquino, media heavyweight Walter Cronkite, and others.

On a more personal note, there have also been plenty of drama in my life. If 2007 was the Age of Parties, where weekends (and sometimes weekdays) were spent partying and drinking; and 2008 was the Age of the Boys; 2009 is the year when I grew up and matured. I learned a lot of things this year, and I have to admit I learned some of them the hard way. I made important realizations about the world I live in and about myself. I know more about myself now, thanks to a little thing called reflection.

It has been a tumultuous year. Arranged here, in no particular order, are some of the great moments in my life this 2009:

1. This may be the Age of Reason, but it still wouldn’t be complete with a peek into my love life. It has been a colorful year, although none of them lived to see 2010 with me. It has been so colorful that when I looked in my date book to list down the Boys of 2009, I saw that I went out on a date with a certain Dru on May 19. Who Dru is, I have no idea.

2. Attending two prestigious journalism seminars. The first was Pressplay, hosted by the official student publications of both La Salle and Ateneo, and Inkblots, the annual journalism fellowship of the Varsitarian, the official student publication of UST. I got to listen to renowned mediamen such as Sandra Aguinaldo, Cesar Apolinario, Ernie Sarmiento, Ruel de Vera, among many others. I even got to meet my fellow student journalists and see Winnie Arboleda and F. Sionil Jose. I was also able to interview JC de Vera in the Feature writing seminar.

3. My nomination for Best Personal Blog in the Philippine Blog Awards. I didn’t really expect to be nominated, I submitted my blog on a whim and forgot about it because my computer broke. I felt honored to be one of the twenty finalists around the country vying for the Best Personal Blog Award. It was a huge deal for me because I have never been nominated for anything my whole life. Jim Paredes from Apo Hiking Society won but to be on the same playing field as an Apo is validation enough. I was also invited to attend a Manny Villar blogger’s convention but I responded a day late so I wasn’t included in the official list of participants.

4. Finally growing up. I made my first major purchase ever, a new cellphone, which was quickly followed by two others until I was satisfied with my Nokia E61i. I also bought a camera and recently, a laptop computer. I became independent after hanging out with my friends, who are all older than me and living on their own.

5. The movie adaptation of Substitute For Love, a short story I wrote three years ago. Looking back, there were a lot of errors in grammar and it could have been written better, but it was good enough to raise the interest of a Mass Communication student friend of mine, who wanted to film it for the school’s Art Film Festival. It didn’t win any awards, but I was proud to say that that was my story. Another friend offered to film another story of mine, Eat Me, for next year‘s competition.

6. Becoming associate editor of The Perpetualite, the official student publication of my school. I was supposed to be editor-in-chief, and there was an altercation that followed which included me walking out, but I accepted defeat and congratulated Anna, the current chief. I’m happy to say there is no bad blood between us, even though I scored the highest in the editorial exam. She won because of seniority but in hindsight, I’m glad that Anna won because she is a better leader. I consider my term as associate editor as training ground for next year, when I will be the most senior staff member. Here’s to hoping!

7. My weight. My weight has been fluctuating my whole life and until now, I’m still not satisfied. The pinnacle of my weight loss was this year, when I weighed in at 150 lbs. My diet was pretty radical, with eating only a pack of crackers a day, but it was worth seeing myself skinny. I gained a lot of weight but after New Year’s, I vow to lose the added 26 lbs.

8. My party at Ascend. Because it was awesome.

9. When Ondoy struck, it devastated the entire country. Pictures and video clips of atrocities shocked the nation. I was surprised to hear that our house in Quezon City was flooded up to the second floor, considering the gate is really high and the house itself is elevated. All the cars were ruined and Georgia’s puppy died. But this was nothing compared to what happened to other people who lost their homes and loved ones. Because I was blessed that all my loved ones are safe and our Las Pinas house escaped the wrath, I donated old clothes to Red Cross and volunteered to pack.

10. The discovery of sleeping pills. Valiums have been around since I was in high school but I only realized their potential this year when I took them to fight my chronic insomnia. It worked like a charm and I have tried others since then, from Mogadons to Acetaminophens, to Sleepasil and Sleepwell.

11. Finishing my P.E. course. It took me five years but I finally did it. It took a while because I avoided it like a plague, never liking the idea of changing to itchy clothes and sweating. I didn’t pass the two P.E. classes I enrolled in UST, dropped two in Perpetual, until I was forced to take them so I can graduate next year. My last sport was swimming, which I didn’t like because of issues with my weight, but I ended up liking it. I suddenly was looking forward to waking up at 7 in the morning to wear my trunks and join people I didn’t know in a pool that only reached my waist on both ends.

12. The Mass Induction of officers. I attended the Mass Induction last year as the secretary of the Psychological Society Student Council, which was a bore because I was with people I didn’t know much. This year, I went as the associate editor of the paper and being one of the most important organizations in the school (and having the second most important position), I requested five extra seats to bring in my jolly junior staff members. We had a riot that night. Because Anna didn’t attend, I had to go up on stage to represent TP in the oath taking. I was the first to be called and spent five minutes alone on stage because there was a confusion about who to call next. I basked in the spotlight, without forgetting to check if my zipper was closed.

13. Psychological Testing class. We had this course last semester and it deals with the anatomy, history, administration, and interpretation of psychological exams. One of the fun things we did was to group ourselves and administer all kinds of tests to the class. What did I find out about myself? That I have a tendency to be schizophrenic and aggressive. I swear psychopathy appeared twice in my Draw-A-Person test. In terms of intelligence, I found out that my IQ falls under Average (Test of “g’, Culture Fair), to which I was surprised. Thinking it was a fluke - I think of myself highly that way - it was soon backed up by the Raven’s Progressive Matrices and the Purdue Non-Language Test, who went as far as describing my reasoning ability as Below Average. However, I got a Superior Rating in my Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (an Achievement Test), as well as a Very High in my SRA Verbal Form. To express the irony in our professor’s words (the class volunteered me to be an example in writing psychological reports), I’m smart, but I’m not supposed to be smart. Touche.

14. My internship. My internship for Industrial Psychology began this semester and I was soon thrown into the world of Human Resource. I was assigned to Generika, the firm that makes generic drugs, and I am loving every single minute of it. First of all, it’s so refreshing to be wearing dress shirts instead of my school uniform. I had to dig into my closet for them (which was gathering dust because I haven‘t gone out in a while) and it’s so much more comfortable wearing Oleg Cassini and Courreges than my old uniform. In fact, I’m detesting the dress down Friday rule of the office where we can be more relaxed with our fashion choices. I also love the process of Human Resource and how applicants call me sir that I might just pursue this after college. Armani sure does make you feel powerful.

15. I said that the list isn’t listed in any particular order (and it isn‘t), but I wanted to save this for last. My biggest moment in 2009 was when I drafted my life plan, the path I’ll take after college. It took me five years because I was still debating what to pursue after college, whether it’s Journalism or Psychology. I love both fields but there has to be one thing. I could minor in the other, like be a journalist and apply what I learned in interviewing people or be a psychologist who occasionally writes columns or maintains a syndicated blog. Both have its merits so everything was hazy. But I finally decided that I would pursue… Psychology. One of my majors this semester (and so far my favorite) is Abnormal Psychology, and it renewed my passion for the field. It’s the reason why I even enrolled in the program. It made every psycho killer film I watched since I was a child a “case”, as well as the profiles of serial killers and psychopaths I voraciously read. Because the class inspires me so much, I have taken to reading mental disorders outside class. So what I’m planning after college is to work in HR (this is where my love for Industrial Psychology surfaces), and after earning considerable money, enroll in a graduate school - preferably Ateneo - to pursue Psychopathology, the study of the development and nature of psychological disorders. And while I study the mentally unstable, I work on the book I’m hoping to publish and maintain this blog.

So that’s it. It has been a crazy year, but it has been productive. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but that is the purpose of welcoming 2010, to clean the slate and start anew. It’s time to take control of our lives and gear it for the better. What would the new year bring us? Only we could answer that question.

DIEt [please don't read if you're eating]

So I was watching the Tyra Show this afternoon and came upon this very interesting topic. The Tyra Show revolves around three major premises (weight, fashion, and racial discrimination) and this particular episode dealt with the first, where they talked about the more radical ways people try to lose weight. There was a girl who stapled her ears to curb her cravings, and another who stitched a mesh on her tongue to prevent swallowing. But perhaps the most disturbing is how there are people who intentionally put tapeworms in their bodies to help them lose weight.

Now, I have heard of cases of tapeworms placed in the body to trim down. In the 70's, several manufacturing firms put tapeworms in diet pills to stimulate weight loss in their clients. But from what I remember, the clients were unaware that there was a parasite introduced to their bodies.

Usually, tapeworms (Cestoda) are acquired through eating undercooked food contaminated with host poop (host referring to those who have tapeworms in their bodies) or host meat. Tapeworms are very disgusting creatures. The beef tapeworm grows to 40 ft. long and other species can grow to over 100 ft. long and live up to 20 years. They stick to the digestive tract using hooks and suction cups on their heads. The reason why a host loses weight is because the tapeworm eats the food they eat. Like a pregnant woman, the host eats for two people. In fact, it eats for many people because a tapeworm grows many digestive systems which independently feeds. What's worse, it lays eggs. Eww! It gets so bad (they can lay up to a thousand eggs at a time) that the host may poop worms, or proglottids.

Tapeworms can also be dangerous. While it promises appealing aspects to the weight-conscious (such as loss of appetite, diarrhea), the tapeworm can enter the brain and cause life-threatening infections, severe headaches, seizures, and symptoms of psychosis.

There is even a site that sells and promotes the "tapeworm diet". The owner (who if I may mention never went to med school and whose methods aren't approved by the Food and Drug Administration) guested on Tyra and defended himself by saying that the site is for autoimmunity. Because of our obsession with cleanliness, the immune system develops autoimmunity and chases "ghosts" because it has nothing to fight. Beef tapeworms are then introduced for $2,000 to entertain the immune system. However, I noticed that although the site (and the owner) mentioned that they only treat those who have this autoimmunity, the page's subtitle was "all natural weight loss" and featured an ad that says FAT BANISHED! WITH SANITIZED TAPEWORMS. Very interesting.

I've done a lot of methods to lose weight but this is insane. People are becoming desperate and are resorting to more dangerous methods to fight fat. Stapling the ears and stitching the mouth is far enough (hello, gangrene), but to introduce foreign objects that could drive you crazy is just too much. I'd rather take Phentermine and Ephedrine (appetite suppresants similar to shabu and cocaine) than have a hundred-foot long worm in my body. What are they going to think of next? Stapling the stomach? No, wait. They already thought of that.

This micro piggie went into my pocket

All I want for Christmas is a little micro pig I'll name Harry.

Micro pigs, which are all the rage in US and the UK have attracted big showbiz names such as Paris Hilton, the Beckhams, and Rupert Grint. And for good reason. These little piggies, which are no bigger than a teacup when they are born, can weigh up to 65 lbs. and stand 14 in. tall.

Reportedly, these animals are very clean (pigs actually are very clean animals, they have few sweat glands), very adorable, and very intelligent. According to Jane Croft, a leading micro pig breeder, they are the fourth most intelligent species after man, monkey, and dolphin.

These pigs, which have been crossbred from choice lines, are very expensive in spite of their size. They can go for $400 to $4,000.

So to all of my rich friends, you know what to get me for Christmas.

Photo and information taken from this site.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Obsession du jour

Meet Henry, my obsession du jour. A 10.1" HP mini-notebook I bought last Christmas. It took me quite a while because I was thinking of so many things such as the size, the brand, and the price. I decided on a netbook because it's light, it's cute (it has a cool swirl design on the cover), and meets all my needs as a writer, student, editor, and all around internet bum. Besides, I have a desktop for heavy duty tasks that little Henry can't do. I was hoping for a Toshiba but a netbook with the same specifications cost a lot more. So far, Henry performs great and I'm in the process of installing much needed programs like iTunes, Limewire, Microsoft Office, and Photoshop.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You and me plus eight

Our new puppies! Clockwise: Meiji, Mocha, MJ, and Mojo (who I have mentioned in this post). The four are puppies of Maggie, our chihuahua in Quezon City.

Aren't they cute? Meiji, like the chocolate, is very sweet and likes to be cuddled. Of the four, she's the most outgoing. She kind of looks like Misty, our mini pinscher. Mocha's really shy and likes to stay under the sun. She needs to, she's so pale! I think MJ's the cutest (she's mine). Mojo is the only boy.

We now have six chihuahuas here in Las Pinas! Two more and I'm pulling off a Kate Gosselin!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The actual specimen. It looks so sleek mounted against the wall.

And when I walked in my room, I saw this:

My mom's 22-inch screen TV. I almost cried.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Larger than life

I woke up early this morning and found this in the living room.

A Samsung 46" LCD TV in HD. That's a big ass TV! I had to take a few steps to get to the other side of the box. It's going to be in my mom's room but I don't care because that's where we watch movies anyway.

Can't wait to see the actual set! My mom said a repairman would come over tomorrow to attach it to my mom's wall. Cool!

10 Reasons Why We Don't Need Sleep

1. Because sleep deprives us of doing what we need and want to do.

I'm going to buy a month's supply of Sleepwell tomorrow, dammet.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Did I mention?

That Bill and I were accepted at Generika Pharmacy? Our internship starts tomorrow.

Exciting! Will blog about it soon.

Gene therapy, retail therapy, semen therapy

I heard this thing about smearing semen on your face to make it soft and smooth. I think I heard it from Nip/Tuck and after further research, I found out ancient Egyptians did the same thing to make their faces supple.

Last night, while drinking with my friends, a guy friend and I discussed the merits of smearing our own semen on our face. It was a disgusting topic, but we were laughing the whole night.

I checked sites online to separate fact from fiction and found great stuff from Yahoo! Answers.
  1. thats the friend did it and his acne went away and he actually got alot of girlfriends because they said his face was so smooth...kinda strange but true... -mnkyspeed9
  2. Oh, absolutely. Be sure to smear it all over your face just before your P.E. class. -they suspended my account again
  3. you kids are hilarious. do you have zits? find out for yourself! IT IS FUN TO SMEAR IT ON MY WOMAN'S FACE. -Jim B
  4. its probably just a dumb lie a guy will tell you to convince him to give him oral sex. They're so desperate. -crashhhintome
  5. Uhm, well, it's good for helping your teeth whiten, literally.I don't know, I don't prefer being facialed. -Nikki
  6. I don't know but I'd like to be part of your experiment. -downdrain
  7. Of course it is not true! It has been a ploy used by many guys for many, many years now to get us to have semen on our faces. lol All they need to do is ask and not make up myths! :o) -alexa2829
  8. We could try. Do you have acne? -jdc6733
  9. Myth I think! but I'll *** on your face if it helps. -Jimbo
  10. What a great question! I just wish it were a throat lozenge. It might promote more swallowing. -Aaron
  11. Woman juice also can help the eliminate athlete's foot. Beleive me, I Know. Since my girlfriend and I started getting kinky, my acne has cleared up and my skin is dam near perfect. -leslielezbian
  12. Thanks! All my acne cleared up and my face is smooth as ever! Im going to do it once a day now. Everyone else should too. -Connor B (the dude who asked the question)
To sum everything up, I didn't find one decent answer. But they all were funny!

You guys might want to check out this site, though. It's called Semen Therapy and believers claim that drinking semen three times a week can help prevent and fight cancer. It even has a page for adding semen to your diet.



Last night, I went to Alabang to watch a movie with Mark, a friend. There was still an hour to kill so while he checked out clothes in Rustan's, I went to Powerbooks to browse books. In the Filipino section, I saw this cool comic series by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo called Trese. It's about the adventures of a detective named Alexandra Trese who solves crimes of a more supernatural nature.

I read the first story of the first installment (Murder on Balete Drive) and it's really promising. It's about how this girl sold her first-born to an aswang barman to kill a white lady to exact revenge. It's awesome shit. The blurb of Murder on Balete Drive reads:

"When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don't you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly-lit side of the metro, where aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where kapre are the kingpins of crime, and engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions. When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese."

Of Mass Murders (third book):

"12 midnight at Metro Manila. Try to remain calm if you suddenly spot a tikbalang speeding down EDSA or a manananggal swooping across the Makati skyline. While partying at the Fort, never ever let the enkanto at the bar buy you a drink. Yet, there are deadlier things that walk the streets of this city. One of them now demands blood and sacrifice. When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Trese."

I am so wanting this! I like how the authors combine old-world superstitions and the modern Filipino lifestyle.

For more information, check out this site.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Feels like insomnia

It's 4am and I'm still awake. Under normal circumstances this would be the time when I finally doze off after tossing and turning for many hours. But I have to go to the head office of Generika (the pharmacy) to apply for my internship so I'm cutting out sleep altogether. Bill and I planned to meet around 8 so that means I have to be up by 6 to enjoy my breakfast, bath, and the selection of today's outfit. Stripes, maybe?

I suffer terrible bouts of insomnia. I'm not sure if you could classify it the way the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) classify sleep disorders but it has come to affect my life in a major way. I wake up late, come late to morning classes, and remain sleepy for the rest of the day. I feel lethargic and my back hurts constantly (I don't know how this fits, but let's throw it in). However, what's odd about my case is that I feel sleepy like a regular person. When I get home, there's nothing I would like to do more than undress and hit the sack. But when I do, trouble begins. I lie in bed and wait for sleep. It doesn't come.

Also, what's weird is when I do sleep early (say 11pm), I wake up after a few hours and stay awake the whole morning. Tonight, I slept around that time and woke up an hour later. The only explanation: my body clock is not functioning properly.

Usually, I can't sleep because my mind is still racing. My mind wanders from the totally mundane (like what the world would be like if unicorns were real), to the more urgent thoughts (like how I would attack my assignment on bipolar disoder). These are the times when having an active imagination can be a liability. There are also nights when my back pain or joint aches are too much to bear. There are also those instances, albeit very rare, when I'm just not sleepy.

To combat this, I read. After a few pages, my eyes start to close on their own and I just drop the book (I'm afraid that if I move, I'll wake up) and fall asleep. If that fails, I change positions. Sometimes it helps if I sleep a certain way. If THAT fails, I switch on the TV and watch a documentary. The soothing voice of the narrator can sometimes lull me to Dreamland. Drinking warm milk helps but I think that's more of a mind over matter kind of thing.

I've taken the medical route as well. I've tried Valiums, Mogadons, Acetaminophens, Sleepwell, and Sleepasil. Sleepwell and Sleepasil are over-the-counter drugs so I don't take it seriously. Acetaminophens are from the States but they're good because they cure body pain that accompany sleeplessness. The problem with it is you have to take two to three at a time before it actually works. I've tried Mogadons twice but they're really good. Once, I didn't have trouble sleeping for an entire month. But it's hard to find and the effects are quite scary. I've taken a lot of Valiums because it's dirt-cheap. Whenever I try to score, I always have to explain that it's for my insomnia and not because I want to experience a high. Dealers give me this knowing look but I'm sorry, I'm a Whitney when it comes to that, if you know what I mean.

In hindsight, I don't remember insomnia plaguing me when I was in high school or when I was in UST. I remember it starting in Perpetual when I started to take in more responsibilities. It's probably the stress and the generalized anxiety that's keeping me from sleeping properly.

I hate my inability to snooze. Honestly, I find it easier acing a major exam than attempting to sleep. But that's the way life goes for me, it's either responsibilities or sleep. And if I have to pick, I have to pick responsibilities.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hark, are the angels already singing?

It's already December. Even though our huge-ass Christmas tree is already set up in our living room and our house is decorated with angels, Santa statues, and Christmas lights, I still don't feel the holiday spirit.

Partly it's because of school. There are so many things to do that I don't have the time to appreciate the decorations around me. I have my thesis, piles of assignments, and my internship to take care of. Oh yeah, we were rejected by Citimotors because they prefer female interns. Ah, the taste of rejection. I never learned to like it. Fine then, I'll take my Courreges and Pierre Cardin where it's appreciated. Kidding.

I handed in my resignation for the yearbook committee. With my busy schedule, I don't think I can call companies and ask if they want to sponsor our yearbook. I felt that if I stayed, I would compromise the entire team. Advertising is responsible for production, after all.

Today I interviewed an applicant for the paper. Even though he couldn't answer my more complicated questions (such as his thoughts on Kenyan politics, Iranian media, and the election process of Uzbekistan), he impressed me with his other answers. He was eloquent, witty, and intelligent. He had a strong command of the English language which showed in his application exam. Perhaps if he finished it (I said no when he asked for an extension), he would have received a higher grade.

I have little time to rest and my sleeping habits are worsening. Even though it's barely a month, I'm already looking forward to my Christmas break. By then, I'm sure I'd feel the holiday spirit.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mojo Fries

Our new dog. He's also a chihuahua. Welcome to the family, Mojo!

Obviously, Georgia and Oreo were not pleased.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Cats in Manila! Want want want!

Our very own Lea Salonga will play the role of the Glamour Cat herself, Grizabella.

Details here.

Photo here.

Marx, Weber, and Me

I was pretty nervous when Bill and I went to Citimotors - Pasong Tamo to confirm our intership. Like I said, I've never applied for any job so I didn't know what to expect. We were only advised by our coordinator to dress nice and bring a resume.

We got there in one piece but all we did was submit our resumes and fill out application forms. Someone from HR asked us to come back for the interview. Tss. The supervisor didn't even see my Courreges shirt.

On our way back, I saw this guy wearing a communist shirt with the logo and an inscription that says MARX, THE FATHER. Awesome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Boy Crush #1

Sean Foreman from 3OH!3. Oh, that all American charm.

I really need those Acetaminophens.

LOVE is just another word I'll never learn to pronounce

Can't blog too much tonight. I have to wake up early tomorrow to meet the supervisor of Citimotors with Bill. Our internship for Industrial Psychology starts next week so we have to finalize everything with the HR department. I'm actually nervous. I've never applied for a real job so I don't know what to expect. Hope all goes well!

I'm wrapping this entry with the video of 3OH!3's Starstrukk with Katy Perry, which has been playing in my head all day. It sounds a lot better than the original.

Now where did I put those Acetaminophens?

Monday, November 23, 2009

I always thought Christopher Walken was cool.

The calm before the storm, the wind beneath my wings, the Samson to my Delilah

Sigh. My writing has become sporadic again. My last real post was before the announcement of winners of the Philippine Blog Awards where I was one of the finalists for Best Personal Blog. I lost, but I can't blame my lack of enthusiasm to losing because my real reason is much shallower than grieving over an award. It was my semester break.

My break lasted for only three weeks but it was probably the best three weeks of my year. My summer isn't even worth talking about because I've had summer class since freshman year and I had tons of things to do for the paper. My three-week break wasn't awesome in the sense that I went to Boracay or Hong Kong or any of the bars in Makati and the Fort, but because I stayed at home and did absolutely nothing. I felt like I deserved three weeks of silence after working my ass off. I actually felt my eyebags lifting. And to think I didn't even use Olay (my co-editors would know this line).

As the break dragged on, I missed going to school. I missed the rush of deadlines. I missed reciting in class and learning all sorts of things about the human psyche. I missed hanging out with my friends and colleagues in the paper. I missed walking to school and complaining about the shitty improvements they keep making. I was excited to start another semester.

I have really cool subjects now. I have my practicum for Industrial Psychology. I also have Methods of Research, Guidance and Counseling, and Psychological Testing 2. Best of all, I have Abnormal Psychology, the very reason that pushed me to take this course.

But so far, in the few weeks that I've been in school, I'm already looking forward to my Christmas break. Being class president, associate editor, and head of advertising for the yearbook committee is starting to take its toll on me. And now that I'm swamped with majors, being a student is hard enough. In fact, our professor asked us to present the first chapter of our thesis on Wednesday. And to think she just assigned it hours ago! I'm so stressed that I feel like I'm about to explode.

Because of the fuckload of responsibility I have, I thought about giving up one aspect of my college life to get a better grip on my course. The paper sucks most of my time and energy so I entertained thoughts on quitting. My mom isn't paying thousands every semester for me to learn how to write an editorial. My mom is paying so I can learn how to diagnose schizophrenia and distinguish Stendhal Syndrome from normal fatigue. I'm in school to learn how to give therapy to those with Dissociative Identity Disorder, not to edit news and feature articles.

I thought about this when I realized I've been taking writing too seriously. Over the years, I noticed I'm putting a higher priority on the paper rather than my academics. I was more than willing to cut class in favor of a meeting or interview. But now that I have Abnormal Psychology, I'm starting to really get into it. Before, I was set on pursuing journalism after college. Now, I want to pursue Psychopathology, the study of abnormal behavior.

I was this close to actually giving everything up to be a regular student with regular stress and regular responsibilities. Then it made me think. Why do I only have to be one person? Why do I only have to be Koji, the third year Psychology student? Why can't I be Koji, the third year Psychology student who's also an editor of the school paper? In my first column, I mentioned that as a person, we are multi-faceted, and there are different aspects to our personality. I can be a Psychology student, associate editor and whatever else it is I want to be. I mean, look at our celebrities. We have actors who sing, singers who run cities, and cosmetic surgeons who become porn stars. I'm not saying they do it successfully, but the fact remains that they can be two things at once. I suddenly did not see the point why my passion for writing must be extinguished because of my constant whining. I realized that I will have just as many responsibilities when I work. I should be thankful that I've been given the opportunities to train myself.

I can be a psychologist with a background in journalism. Or a journalist with a background in psychology. Either way, what is to stop me from doing what I want? I believe living is doing what truly makes you happy, and both writing and psychology make me happy. I told myself that I'm still in my third year and there is plenty of time to think about my future. Besides, I should be thinking of how my groupmates and I are going to produce an entire chapter in two days. With the deadline looming closer, I must conclude this entry.

Before I go, let me share a vision of me as psychologist: Instead of doodling or solving crossword puzzles while my client is telling me about how she failed to resolve her Electra complex, I could be writing a short story.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My epic fail

I woke up feeling great yesterday. The sun was shining but it was cool, so I spent an extra few minutes snuggling under my fur blanket, wiggling my toes and closing my eyes really really tight. I was excited because L was coming over so we could cook pasta and watch DVDs. I yawned and looked for my phone to check my messages and got the shock of my life.

My friend committed suicide.

Technically it was an attempt, and she's now confined in the hospital to sober up. All the same, she tried to kill herself which is the scary part because most suicidals are afraid to actually do it. Worried, I got up, showered, grabbed a quick lunch and went to the hospital to check up on her.

It turned she downed four handfuls of aspirin, local painkillers, and valiums last night. I'm still fuzzy on the details but I knew it had something to do with school, finances, and personal relationships.

My heart broke when I saw her. She was so frail, she couldn't move, and her voice sounded really tired. We didn't get to talk so I just sat by her side and watched. Her dad and brother were there. Her mom knew what happened but she's working in the States. I wanted to cry for her because I could only imagine what she was going through, knowing her daughter tried to kill herself.

Watching my friend, I felt responsible for her attempt on her life. Looking back, all the signs were there. She was telling me about how bad this year was for her and how she felt alone. I was aware that I was one of the few people she trusted at the time but I had so many stuff on my plate that I couldn't find the time to help her. What a friend.

I consider this mess a learning experience. I learned to be more aware of my surroundings and the people around me. I learned to watch out for little signs that could lead to something big. And I call myself a Psychology student. I'm disappointed in myself.

My friend is doing fine now. She has IVs and stuff in her that'll help her flush out the drugs she took and she's getting lots of rest. When her dad asked me if I play basketball, she gave a little laugh. Somehow, that made me feel better.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The 50 Things I Want To Do Before I Die (as of Oct. 1, 2009)

The typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) made me realize that life is short. You never know when your time is up. When it comes to death, it doesn't matter if you're eight or 80. When it's your time, it's your time. Being on this crazy planet we call earth for 20 years, I have achieved a relative amount of things. I graduated high school, I'm in college with the course I want, and I have a position in the school paper. But there are so many other things that I want to do before I leave this place and meet my maker. Here are some of the things I want to do before I die, as of October 1, 2009:
  1. Write a book
  2. Produce a painting and see it in a gallery
  3. Work in a publication
  4. Live alone
  5. See the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower
  6. Gamble
  7. Work in a mental ward
  8. Go on a cruise
  9. Go to the zoo
  10. See the Great Wall of China
  11. Spend the day in Chinatown and eat the food
  12. Get married
  13. Have a baby girl
  14. Play the piano
  15. Drive a car
  16. Skydive
  17. Be surrounded by penguins
  18. Write a moving poem
  19. Learn a foreign language
  20. Stargaze
  21. See Intramuros
  22. See the pyramids
  23. Solve a crossword puzzle
  24. Be in/famous
  25. Win an award
  26. Get a job
  27. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Ireland
  28. See the Coliseum and the Parthenon
  29. Go to the senate
  30. See the National Museum
  31. See a tarsier
  32. See a fart
  33. See the sun rise or set
  34. Have an authentic British tea party with finger sandwiches
  35. Eat croissant in the streets of Paris
  36. See Macau
  37. Ride a gondola in the Grand Canal
  38. Eat halo halo in Baywalk
  39. See Tokyo and meet a geisha
  40. See a New Orleans festival
  41. See a supernatural creature
  42. Witness a "Your Mama" showdown
  43. Fly a kite
  44. Watch a musical
  45. Live in New York
  46. Plant a tree
  47. Graduate
  48. Learn the ghetto language
  49. Teach
  50. Fly to Peru and see the lines at Nazca

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Smoking kills (in more ways than one)

I planned on going back to Red Cross to volunteer with some of the staff members of the paper, but I woke up late so by the time I got to Alabang, they were already hanging out. So I just dropped off my donations and joined them in the food court.

On my way out of the village, I rode the friendly neighborhood village tricycle. I've been riding tricycles for many years and experienced many things there, like losing a phone and falling off the back seat. But never have I experienced riding with someone who smoked.

Generally, smokers are okay with me. A lot of my friends smoke and I'm constantly exposed to places where smoking is almost a requirement. But it's incredibly rude when you smoke in a small moving box and you don't know whether the person you're sitting next to is okay with it. I wouldn't have mind if the guy sat on the outer seat so he could blow out his smoke outside, but he was on the inner seat so I was forced to inhale his noxious fumes. I let him know that I was not okay with it by fanning the smoke that got in my face and throwing him a withering look when I got down.

Smoking, like all things, is a personal thing between the smoker and his cigarette. There is absolutely no need to involve anyone else, especially non-smokers. You don't just light up and let the world know you're cool when you're in a cramped space. It's all about responsibility. Responsible smokers respect the space of those around him.

I used to be a smoker myself so I know how strong nicotine is. In fact, it has the highest rate of potential for addiction, scoring a solid 100%. Smoking has always relieved me of my tension and helped me get by the lowest points of my life. I know that when you need it, you need it. But I was responsible. I smoked in open spaces and gave non-smokers a chance to run away screaming. I didn't smoke in enclosed areas where I could offend people. The statesman Thomas More once said (correct me if I'm wrong here) that everyone is entitled to as much space as he needs. But if he goes out of his way and invades others with his smoking, then I hope he gets what he deserves, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Balik Bayanihan Ba 'Yan

When I saw the devastation Ondoy (Ketsana) has left on our country, I realized I needed to help. There were so many of our fellow Filipinos who needed assistance that it's almost a sin to remain indifferent. I knew that if I stayed home and continued living in the lap of luxury, I'm turning my back on the country that fed and nourished me.

I must admit, at first I didn't have any plans of volunteering. There were so many things on my plate that I felt like I was in a straitjacket. I had projects, meetings, assignments and exams to prepare for that every minute was spoken for. I considered donating through text but when I heard classes were being suspended for the rest of the week, I saw this as my opportunity.

I went to Red Cross (Alabang) this afternoon to donate old clothes and offer my time and energy. I think one of the reasons why Ondoy didn't flood the entire country is so that those who were spared can lend a helping hand. And I was spared. Sure, our house had a few leaks, but me and my family were alive. And that's a lot to be thankful for. I've also been blessed with so many things that I wanted to share them.

It was such an exhilarating experience being with my co-volunteers. I went alone but a group was kind enough to let me join and together we received clothes and sorted them into piles. We saw boxes arriving by the dozen and I was happy that many people were concerned for their fellow countrymen. I forgot my co-volunteers names by the end of the day but because we were on the same mission, I practically felt like we were a family.

The Bayanihan system isn't dead as many people think. It's touching how there are many people who care, who are more than willing to reach out and help their brothers and sisters. Before I left, I read this article on Yahoo! about how the communist guerrillas are holding off assaults to help villagers recover from the storm. And there's this other article about a man who lost his life while trying to save 30 people. These news made me cry because it's proof that we are good people. My friend Jen was right when she said that these events give us hope that we'll one day be united.

When I got home, I was tired, my back pains were acting up, and the smell of old clothes stuck to my Kenneth Cole shirt. I didn't mind because it was a small price to pay for my brothers who needed help. While I was trying to battle fatigue, my brothers were fighting for their life. I love this country too much to just turn my back on it. In fact, I would have torn the shirt I was wearing off my back and added it to the pile if I didn't have so many issues with my weight.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Reality Check

There's a reason why I only blog once a week. People probably think it's because I have a busy schedule or I rarely go online, but they are completely untrue. I don't have a social life, and I spend more time online than in school.

I blog weekly because for me, blogging is an art form. Because I am that righteous journalist/editor, I have to make every entry perfect in every way. I have to make sure my material is great, my grammar is perfect, and my conviction believable. I spend hours editing my work, making sure that the words I chose conveyed my thought in the most expressive way without any lapse in structure or form. I am such a freak for details that sometimes I think it's clinical. I've been known to align my books according to size and group my shirts according to color, taking into consideration textures, details, and shades.

I find it difficult how I can't write freely. I write as I please, but I have to take into account the rules I learned in creative writing and journalism. I'm bound by all these rules that a two-page entry can sometimes be cut down to a single paragraph, with all the original words changed. Blogging was like writing a feature article coming out in the next issue.

However, I think my obsession for details worked because I'm one of the finalists of the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards for Best Personal Blog. I consider it an honor and privilege to be part of this competition and to be placed alongside blogs I admire. When I scoped out my competition, I was shocked that I was even considered. These blogs were really good. I don't expect to win, but being nominated is validation enough.

I have been compared many times to the great Carrie Bradshaw, the fictional columnist from Sex and The City. I don't know if it's my obsession for fashion, my colorful love life, or my actual writing skills (or lack thereof) that remind people of Mrs. Big, but it's extremely flattering. Flattering as it is, being compared to the great Ms. Bradshaw is hard to live up to because every week I'm expected to come up with a literary masterpiece, which is one of the reasons why I go to great lengths to achieve perfection on a weekly basis.

One night, while I was checking out the competition for the PBA, I stumbled upon RZ Fortajada's blog, Room For Squares. I was amazed at the way she wrote her entries. She was very casual, but you could feel the depth and sincerity of her words. There was no pretense, just easy, spontaneous, but impressive posts.

I realized that I don't have to make every entry worthy of a Palanca. I can just say what I feel without having to weigh if affluent would be a better alternative than rich. Being an editor made me forget that blogging is for the sake of blogging and nothing else.

So now I'm letting everything go. After I finish typing, I'll read everything once and correct errors and that's it. By blogging once a week and making it a tedious affair, I'm sucking the life out of the whole experience. So thank you, RZ for bringing the fun back to blogging. I needed that reality check.

And frankly, I'm just too damn lazy to edit.

Bayanihan is the new black (v 3.0)

All day I've been bombarded with images and footage of Ondoy (Ketsana), and it's very depressing. It's heartbreaking to even try and empathize what the victims must feel.

My heart goes out to the victims of Ondoy. Let us continue to help one another. It's nice to see the Bayanihan make a comeback.

Friday, September 25, 2009

If I could turn back time

This is the result of my Draw A Person Test by Florence Goodenough. The test aims to determine the subconscious mind through the examinee's drawing of a person. Here, everything has meaning, from the way the eye is shaped to the clothes the drawing is wearing. My result doesn't seem promising:

The client has a tendency to be paranoid to the point where he may feel obsessed, suspicious, mistrustful and sometimes, unreasonable. He also has a tendency to be schizophrenic as a result of a possible brain damage. The client entertains fantasy and handles problems in a concealed or hidden way.

The client may be aggressive, sometimes depressed and pressured over environmental issues. He may resist to grow to adulthood and may have anxiety in social functions. The client has a lack of worth and needs autonomy or self-rule. He may also be discontented with his body type. The client is in the level of maturity and he may be asthmatic or alcoholic. He has sexual conflict, and may be disturbed with sensual needs.

I think I'm one of those people I mentioned in my previous entry.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

You think you know.

It was a day like any other. I got up, jogged, went to school, tried not to sleep in any of my classes, hung out at the office and finished some tasks. When I got home, I flopped on the bed and watched the news. That day had news you hear about any day. A death here, a kidnapping there, a political scandal uncovered, and the "we're just friends" line given by generic-faced celebrities.

But there was one unusual story. It involved a death by arson and the adopted daughter was the prime suspect. It was the kind of thing you'd read in Agatha Christie's novels or Sidney Sheldon's, not the Inquirer or Star. Crimes like grand theft, embezzlement, fraud, and serial killing usually happen in bestseller lists. Pinoy crimes ranged from killing someone who doesn't know who sang "Nobody But You" to beating each other to a bloody pulp arguing whether Kris Aquino is prettier than Imee Marcos.

What makes this crime interesting is that the suspect was a girl I went to high school with. I didn't know her personally because she was two batches lower but our school was small so we pretty much knew each other, at least by face. She was the kind of girl who blends in the background and doesn't make much of a splash. Because she was so forgettable, I had to dig out my old yearbook to check if it was the same girl. It was, but I was still surprised. She wasn't pretty, but she looked innocent, angelic even. Granted, her photo was taken when she was in fifth grade but it wasn't the kind of face that would harbor murderous tendencies. Then again, I doubt Jeffrey Dahmer was snarling in his yearbook picture.

It feels weird knowing someone convicted of a major crime. What made it even more interesting was that she didn't look the part. She didn't have the face that screamed killer. But who knows? People aren't always what they seem. It's like you think you know a person, and boom. She kills a person. Or boom. She has a baby. Or boom. She's now a man. Human behavior is so fascinating, so contradictory that sometimes it's downright scary.

In slasher flicks, the killer is usually the quiet one, the girl everyone ignores or the boy the jocks beat up. They're the ones who stay in the corner, have no personalities and little to no friends. But when they snap, they really snap. Sometimes, they snap other people's bodies in half. I'm not saying that all silent types are psychopaths, I'm saying people aren't always what you expect. I know of a boy who doesn't say much but has the hormones of a rabbit. There's also the girl who looks like a snob but is actually friendly.

In our Psychological Testing class, we were asked to administer different kinds of tests to the class. Our group got the objective personality test and part of our grade is to score the test and profile each of our classmates. Because of my current fascination with the dark recesses of the inner mind, I made sure to get the answer sheets of the wallflowers. I bet at least one of them has psychopathic or at least unusual tendencies.

It's the effeminate guy with the gorgeous girlfriend. The mousy girl with a fetish for whips and chains and the party boy who reads Stephen Hawking. In Psychology, I've learned not to judge people. I've learned that sometimes it's the sweetest people who have the creepiest minds and the creepiest people who have the sweetest intentions. I think one of the beauties of human nature is its ability to contradict itself. To see beauty radiating out of an unattractive personality or seeing a Brady throw a bitch fit is what makes real life more interesting than TV. Kim Chiu can't portray this kind of shit.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Like the news you get pressed.

I'm enjoying myself too much. My studies are taking a backseat to all the fun I'm having and I need to change my routine. What happened to the storm that was supposed to hit Manila less than a week ago? It's kind of hard thinking summer is already over with the unbearable heat plaguing the city. Last Thursday I went out drinking after class and stayed out till 7 in the morning downing gin, vodka, and lots of beer in different combinations. Saturday, I was out watching the opening of the NCAA at the Araneta Coliseum and Sunday, I was out with the folks and some friends to celebrate my brother's birthday. I even missed my class last night because I was out on a date with V. I had my first quiz of the semester the other day and I failed. Must focus on studies!

But I can say that watching the opening of the NCAA is excusable because it was presswork. I went with Jake (Managing/Sports Editor) and Bianca (News Editor) to cover the opening and the first match of Perpetual against San Sebastian. We had to go early because we were going with the muse but it was great because we got to watch the performers practice the opening and see the players before the match.

Me and my co-editors had a lot of fun because we passed through the South Gate, the gate where the players, muses, officials, and dancers entered. We sat court-side and even got to sit in the court during the game. During the opening, all we had to do was flash our press IDs and we got to stay in the court. I got to see Christian Bautista, the kid who played Santino on May Bukas Pa, and other officials (including Kristie Kenney) up close that I could practically breathe the same air they were breathing. I wasn't even supposed to be there because it was Bianca who was taking pictures but I wanted to feel important and see everything up close. Fortunately, I wore black so maybe the production team thought I was part of the program.

I enjoyed the games even if I'm not a fan of sporting events. I must admit, I even cheered in the JRU-Letran match. JRU won by three points, a close game that kept me on the edge of my seat. San Sebastian kicked Perpetual's ass but at least we're the best in cheering. And our muse is the prettiest.

Mostly, I had fun because of the VVVVIP treatment. It's so fun being part of the press! The power that entails from a piece of laminated paper really can get to your head. This is the first time I exercised my press powers outside school and it works. And the meek, respectful stares I got from the commonfolk (haha) was just amazing. I'm hoping I could use this for Lady GaGa, who by the way has confirmed that she really is coming to Manila!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Are You There, Bob Ong? It's Me Koji

So I bought my first Bob Ong book last night while I was at Festival with the folks. I wasn't supposed to buy because I still have a lot to read but books published in the Philippines had discounts and I wanted to use the points in my Powercard. I bought ABNKKBSNPLAKo?! for PHP60. Not bad, eh? I'm halfway through and honestly, I'm still waiting for those nuggets of wisdom that get passed around in text messages.

So far, it's okay. But I'm not getting the whole picture about how much of a genius he is. I do find the quotes I receive witty, but I haven't found any in ABNKKBSNPLAKo?! Maybe they're in other books? This is my first taste so I don't know.

I find Jessica Zafra funnier. Maybe it's her jaded and dark sense of humor that gets me, but I still haven't lost hope on Bob Ong. Hundreds of people can't be wrong, right?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I needed a pick me up not a pick up.

It was one of those days when my disposition matched the weather. I was not in a good mood because of certain people so I went out in the middle of the night for a quick smoke. I haven't smoked in a long time but I needed that nicotine fix that would assure me everything would be all right.

When I got my cigarette, I was about to sit down when two guys called me. They weren't really guys, they were gay. Crossdressers. They asked for a light and when I offered my cigarette, they asked me to sit down and join them. Not fast enough to think of an excuse or run, I sat. I don't have a problem with crossdressers but I'm wary of strangers asking me to sit down with them in the middle of the night and "talk".

I must say they were really nice. They even thought I was straight but when they found out I wasn't, the more aggressive one kept making moves. Apparently, discretion wasn't part of his vocabulary because he kept trying to hold my hand and linking his arm with mine even when I explicitly told him about V. He did ask me subtly if I wanted to get it on but I played dumb and pretended I didn't know what he was talking about. I actually liked the other one better because he was more intellectual and wasn't as "pervasive" as the one that dominated the conversation. Again, my inability to make excuses or run surfaced when they asked for my number. I did give it but I changed a few digits. Luckily, I left my phone so they won't be able to verify it. When I left (they were gracious enough to ask me if I wanted to go already), I made sure they weren't following.

Of course, nothing would result from what happened but it was nice to know that I still have market value and that I could be appreciated. My mood started to lift just as the rain started to pour.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I died. I died, I died, I died, I died.

Hypocrisy At Its Finest

Last night I went out drinking with Kathy and Jane at Jane's new apartment in BF. She moved last week with our other friend Louise to be closer to school, though I think she moved because most of us live in the village and it'll be easier to go home drunk when you're with friends (kidding, Jane). I miss drinking. I miss Nlos, Central, Neighborhood and all those places we used to go to when we want to get hammered. Luckily our schedules are almost the same so we could drink every week again.

Okay, I think the real issue at hand is my return to Blogger. I know I've said stuff about the "grass being greener on the other side" but I realized that Blogger is better than the host I tried. It did have its perks like a more organized layout, detailed stats, and a community of bloggers in the dashboard but it did have its letdowns like the CSS. I'm a detail freak so it bothered me a lot that the themes were pretty limited and there weren't any that I really liked. Most of the themes had fixed widths which really didn't maximize space. Entries are just in the middle while a lot of space is wasted on the sides. There were custom widths but they weren't easy on the eyes. You can edit your CSS, but you can only save it if you upgrade your account.

Another thing that bothered me was its inability to display third party gadgets such as shoutboxes. Shoutboxes are an integral part to my blog because this is where readers can say how they appreciate my blog. Comments can be made but only to entries, not to the entire site. I signed up for many shoutbox sites but they all couldn't be displayed. I also saw a lot of cool widgets online but they couldn't be displayed too.

In Blogger everything is possible. I can edit the layout as much as I want to (for free) and post all kinds of widgets. I don't have the detailed stats (another favorite of mine in my other blog) but I got a third party counter that updates me with visits. Everything I'll miss in the other host I replaced with widgets.

The other night while I was trying to sleep, I was debating whether I should just stick to the host or return to Blogger. Thinking about it, there were only a few setbacks, but it mattered. I know a lot of loyal readers would be pissed that I'll be changing links again and they have to remember a new address but I feel that this is what I really want. I feel that I'll be compromising myself if I gave up some of my favorite parts in blogging which will annoy me everytime I log in to that account. I guess I needed to try another host to see how amazing Blogger really is.

So again, I'm sorry. Here I am, babbling about change and using old-school one-liners to convince you to keep following me. I hope you won't get tired. I still have a lot to write about.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Wanna See Your Private Parts

Finished reading my copy of Miss America by Howard Stern today. It was really good, packed with laughs, cheers, and zomg-did-he-just-say-that moments. After reading the book I wondered how he remained on air after saying all those outrageous stuff. Looking forward to buying his other book, Private Parts.

I’m in a memoir mood so the next book I’m going to read is Smashed: Growing Up A Drunk Girl by Koren Zailckas. One of the blurbs inside says: For any woman who has ever drunk too much, there will be more than one note in this compelling memoir that rings an all-too-recognisable and uncomfortable tone. Excited for those parts where I’ll be like, yeah, I know that feeling very well. The book looks really promising so I can’t wait to get started.

I have tons of homework due this week but I’ve only finished one. I was supposed to do them today but I got carried away playing Word Challenge on Facebook. I now have the vocabulary of a salesman. I’m not in the mood to wade through sites and read stuff about hypotheses and experiment plans so I promised myself I’ll do them tomorrow. I’ll be reconnecting with my love for alcohol tonight with Zailckas. Wondered if she ever had a relapse.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

There Are 42 Ways To Kill Hitler

Today I watched this documentary about Adolf Hitler on National Geographic. The title was 42 Ways To Kill Hitler and it talked about the different attempts made to kill the Fuhrer. Watching it, I couldn’t help but wonder how 42 different attempts could all have failed. Granted, some of the attempts were crude but the more sophisticated attempts failing to kill Hitler really puzzled me.
Hitler once said that he was immortal. Could it be true that divine intervention was at hand to keep him alive despite underhanded tactics? Watching the documentary, I started believing that there must be some force that kept him from getting killed. If you watched the show, you would have believed too.
The attempts varied from assassination by gunshot to female spies, exploding pens, and plots concocted by entire countries. England planned one attempt and backed out for fear of backlashes, but the Soviet tried to pull off three. One failed attempt that creeped me out was when a man planted a timed bomb at a building where Hitler will talk to important Nazi members. The bomb, set to go off at 9.20 pm, was planted at the back of the podium directly behind Hitler. He was scheduled to speak at 9 so it was expected that the bomb would go off in the middle of the speech. However, Hitler arrived at 8 and began early. This would have been fine if he carried on with his usual three-hour tirades. But no, 13 minutes before the bomb was about to go off, he finished and left the building. 60 men were injured and 4 were killed.
Another attempt was when Hilter was in a meeting discussing tactics. One of Hitler’s own men thought it would be clever to bring a suitcase with a bomb in it. It was never discovered and it did explode, but Hitler only had minor injuries while four were sent to the hospital.
The most shocking of the attempts was when a general decided to plant a bomb on a plane Hitler was on. I thought, this couldn’t fail. Hitler would be a thousand miles up in the sky with nowhere to run. The general put the bomb in a box and presented it as brandy. When the plane took off, they were surprised when the bomb didn’t explode. Later on, they found out it was a dud. It didn’t detonate. See? Hitler even survived inside jobs.
42 attempts, man. 42. It covered almost every way and circumstance imaginable and yet he survived to kill millions of Jews. Tell me that that isn’t divine intervention. He must really be the Antichrist. The biggest irony? He killed himself.

Friday, June 19, 2009

You’ve Got Me Like Nobody (Did It Again)

The first week of classes are over and I’m happy to say that I am still alive with all my mental faculties and body parts intact. My schedule’s really nice so I don’t have breaks that seem to stretch forever and days when I have to wake up really early. I have six subjects this semester; four majors and two minors, so the pressure’s really high this time. I have to pull off a miracle to maintain my grade point average which I need to support my editorship and the good graces of my mom. I already have a preview of what’s about to come this semester, and it looks stressful. This week alone, I already have five assignments due next week.

On Mondays and Thursdays, I have Society & Culture with Family Planning, a subject that I don’t really need but must take to pass the course. I don’t know the professor well but I interviewed her once for an article I was writing. Well-spoken lady. I took Sociology & Anthropology in UST and because they’re using the same book, I’m expecting this to be a breeze. I also have Educational Psychology, a preparation for our internship in the Educational field. In short, Guidance counseling. Frankly, I’m not excited for the subject. I have a high respect for Guidance counselors (the ones I’ve met are darling) but it’s not for me. Fortunately the professor didn’t show up so I just had the class fill up an attendance sheet.

On Tuesdays and Fridays I only have one subject but so far it’s the best. The professor’s young and I like her because her class is very interactive. She encourages students to think and comes up with challenging questions making the annoying schedule of 6-7.30 pm more tolerable. She refers to her method as a group discussion where students throw in ideas and discuss it. I like to think that I play a pivotal role in that class because I keep track of everybody’s grade in recitation. One of the perks of being class president!

Wednesday is my heaviest day because I have three subjects. My first class is PE, and I’m hoping to pass it so I could finally finish the course. It took me four years and I don’t have any plans of extending it to five. We didn’t have class on the first day because the students were required to attend the interment of Ruby Rose Barrameda, the alumna who was locked inside a drum and thrown out into the sea by the father-in-law. I have a three hour break which I’m hoping to allot for the paper. After that is my Experimental Psychology class taught by the head of Alumni Affairs, a jolly man I’ve known for years because of my involvement with the paper. The paper shares an office with him, the Student Affairs, the Prefect of Discipline, and the Supreme Student Council so we’re tight. In our Industrial Psychology class, there was conflict with our schedule because the professor wasn’t available at the assigned slot. It was proposed we meet every Thursday at 6, but I’ve set Thursdays for someone. Luckily, the rest of the class didn’t like the new schedule so I talked to the head of HR (who was also the assigned professor) and we agreed to look for a new teacher.

So far I’m swamped with paperwork but it looks like it’s going to be a great sem. I have a fantastic schedule, great teachers, and a really hot bag I traded with our chief photographer. It’s time to have a life again. And allowance.

P.S. I’m still glowing. I went on a date with V last night and we had a great time. We had dinner and coffee at Mall of Asia and zomg. I’m still creaming.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My 12 Most Memorable Moments (And Etc.) In Commuting History

I have a love-hate relationship with commuting. I love it because far-flung places become accessible with just a train, a bus, or a jeep, and the hassle of dealing with rude drivers and ignorant pedestrians are off my hands. I have this irrational fear of hitting someone or something while I’m driving so this endears commuting to me. Also, I can do a lot of things while I’m in commuting. I can listen to my iPod if I want to drown the rest of the world out or enjoy a good book. On the other hand, I have to deal with other things like rudeness from other passengers and the dreaded rush hour. There is also the hassle of changing rides, the rising expenses, and the appropriate attire. Fancy threads are out of the question if you’re planning to ride the village trycyle.

Yesterday, I made my once-a-month foray into heavy commuting when I was invited to the christening of Eunice’s baby, Myllie. Eunice is one of my closest friends from UST and I was a godfather so I was expected to come. It was also a chance to see friends I haven’t seen since I left UST. It was a very long day made longer by my route. In all, I had to get through four malls and endure seven rides to get to Quezon City and back.

I thanked my lucky stars I only have to do this once a month. Along with my experience last night, below are the 12 most memorable events (and etc.) in my commuting history:

12. I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing moments while I was commuting such as falling off the back seat of a trycyle. I got on, and while I was settling myself, the driver revved his engine and I fell off like a pineapple in a fruit stand. It was tres mortifying because there were people and a car who stopped to enjoy my public humiliation.

Another embarrassing moment was when I was on my way home from a date. It was bad enough that my date sucked, but it got worse when my ride left me behind. It was a van and I was seated beside the door so I thought it was one of those vehicles where I had to go down first so the people behind me could leave. One of the passengers had reached his stop and because I didn’t know there was enough space to go down without me moving, I got off. I got the shock of my life when someone closed the door and the van started to leave. The worst thing was, I tried opening the door and telling the driver this wasn’t my stop. When I got back on, I could hear snickers from the back. I could have pretended it was my stop and get another ride but no, I had to humiliate myself.

11. I consider Jack, Jose, Miguel and Jim to be my best friends so seeing me drunk is not unusual. What’s unusual is my ability to commute home when I’m hammered. I don’t always take cabs (I’m a cheapskate, so sue me), so getting home in one piece with all my belongings is something. I take cabs when I get rat-faced in a club or somewhere far but when I’m nearby, I take the friendly neighborhood jeep and trycyle. Once, when I passed out in the handicapped restroom in ATC, I managed to get home alive. I don’t remember how, but I’m here to tell the tale and that’s all that matters.

10. I started commuting full-time when I entered college. An uncle taught me to get a ride to Baclaran and from there a jeep to Dapitan, the street behind UST. I detested it because I’m prone to sweating and jeeps aren’t exactly cold when you’re riding for a good half hour. I would usually arrive in school with messed-up hair and sweating my ass off. I also got lost on a couple of occasions, arriving in places like Recto (I think) and the actual Baclaran market. One day, while I was on a bus to Baclaran, a girl from UST sat next to me. Back then, I didn’t think getting on the same bus with a co-Thomasian was usual so I struck a conversation. Things led to another until she found out my route to school. She laughed, gave me a pat on my arm and taught me the proper way of commuting. I didn’t know that Lawton (I had no idea what a Lawton was in those days), the last stop of the bus, was five to ten minutes away from school. A very nice person, that Genny. I never had an uncomfortable trip to school since then.

9. I keep getting compliments about my height and if I could have a peso for every time someone said they wished they, or their son were as tall as me, I would be filthy stinking rich. It pays to be tall when you’re on a crowded train because your head’s above everyone else’s and not in between people’s underarms. I’ve never been acquainted with Mr. Stinky Underarms but things are different on jeeps, buses, and trycycles. Sometimes vehicles are so low that I have to crouch to fit, and it’s very uncomfortable. Somes buses have seats so close that I get cramps.

8. One of the best things about commuting is when you’re with your partner. My boyfriend and I would always hold hands (discreetly of course) when we’re on a bus and it’s surprisingly relaxing. I even got into some action a couple of times. The most outrageous thing I’ve done (and I’m not sure how I did this), was when I let an ex-boyfriend kiss me on the lips in the middle of Espana while he was waiting for me to get a ride.

7. One time, while I was making my monthly trip up north to meet my UST friends in Trinoma, things ran late when I noticed that the train was about to close. I wanted to pee (I had around eight glasses of iced tea during dinner and a huge latte from Starbucks) but I decided to hold it in until I got to Taft because the vans to Las Pinas were in the basement of a mall. Unfortunately, I missed the last train so I was forced to take a bus. I saw one right away so I got on. I didn’t want to stay long because I don’t want to risk getting held up or killed so I held my pee and waited till I got to Taft. The bus was going to Taft, but not EDSA Taft. It was going to Buendia, meaning it was going to Makati first. And boy did it take its time. It seemed to circle the entire city, stopping for minutes at a time to wait for passengers. I felt like my bladder was about to explode. I was tempted many times to go down and pee in one of the ubiquitous Starbucks but I was afraid that I if I go down, I won’t find any more buses and would have to take a cab. That’s how much of a cheapskate I am. So I was forced to wait in agony until I reached my destination. When I got down in Buendia, I peed at a gas station and stood over the urinal for a good five minutes. I kid you not.

6. The threat of rain is worse to a commuter because it’s harder to get a ride and you’re doomed if you don’t have an umbrella. While I was on my way home after lunch with a friend, I stood in the station waiting for the train. I was relieved that I finally got out of the rain, but when the train lurched to a stop, the water splashed all over me. And my linen pants.

My experience as a two-year Thomasian exposed me to the horrors of commuting during rainy season. I’ve only experienced the infamous flood one time when I was heading home and I was in an FX to Lawton. To this day, I still wonder how I got in the FX. What I will remember is the time when I got down, my entire leg got dipped in water.

5. I listen to my iPod during commutes because radios play baduy songs I can’t stand. One time, I noticed this really old lady staring at me while I was on a jeep to school. She was saying something so I lowered the volume so I could hear her. I got creeped out when I realized she was trying to pick a fight by saying something about the Japanese taking over the Philippines during the war. I then noticed the other passengers were looking at me too. Scared to do anything, I raised the volume and drowned her out.

4. When I was still getting the hang of commuting, I didn’t know that when a bus broke down, you can get on another one for free as long as it was under the same company. While I was on my way home from school, I experienced my first breakdown. It happened just before the tollgate along Coastal Road. Because I didn’t know it was for free, I panicked because I didn’t have extra money. I stood there freezing my nuts off (I was wearing my PE uniform) while the rest of the passengers got on other buses. I attempted to get a cab and have my mom pay for it but all the cabs were taken. It was a highway so an empty cab was pretty unlikely. I contemplated calling my mom to pick me up but it would be a hassle. It wasn’t only until I asked the conductor that I found out the ride was free. It took me a half hour.

3. A list of memorable events in commuting isn’t complete without stories of being robbed. I was fortunate enough never to have these kinds of experiences but I have close calls. I think. Two years ago, I was at Fashion Week and I was dressed nice. I even had a blazer on. I spent some money that night so I was shocked to discover that I barely had enough money to go home. I decided to take a cab to Baclaran and from there get a jeep. Like I said, I was dressed nice. When I got on the jeep, there were two other passengers with me, a guy and a girl. Just when we were about to leave, a group of not so nice looking men got in with us. I didn’t mind them at first but I kept my guard up when I noticed they were looking at each of the passengers. Especially me. I even thought it was going to be an inside job because I noticed them exchange looks with the driver and they didn’t pay their fare. At Zapote (the first stop in Las Pinas), the girl got down. The “goons” kept looking at me and the other passenger and when the other guy got down, my heart raced. When I heard one of the guys whisper, “o pano yan, isa nalang ang pasahero” (there’s only one passenger left), I freaked. I got down a stop early and almost passed out when one of the guys grabbed my arm while I was going down. Oh my gosh, I thought to myself, this is it, I’m about to die. The guy looks at me and says, “May sampung piso ka ba diyan?” (Do you have ten pesos?) I almost died of a heart attack.

Another time when I almost got robbed (or thought I was) was when I was on my way to to school. I got off a bus from Las Pinas and was waiting for a jeep that would take me to Dapitan. My phone hung from a strap around my neck and though I usually tuck it in my uniform when I commute, I forgot because a jeep arrived right away. When I got on, my phone swung around, a willing bait for snatchers. I quickly scanned the surroundings for evil looking people and noticed an old lady sitting next to me. She was kind of far so I didn’t worry. And then I saw a girl sitting across me looking at my phone. My phone then was the hot pink MotoRazr so I assumed she was just staring at the color. I caught her making signals to the lady next to me and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the lady staring and inching herself to me. The girl kept staring at my phone while her “cohort” was getting closer. I freaked out so I transferred seats.

2. Seeing hot guys. ‘Nuff said.

1. The best thing about commuting is the train. The MRT is a godsend. With it, I can go from Point A to Point B in record time. I can go to Quezon City in less than an hour as long as I get the train. It has its downs like multitudes of people squeezing themselves into a tiny compartment and the risk of losing your phone, but it’s fast, it’s cheap, and it’s accessible. Cubao, Quezon City, and Mandaluyong doesn’t seem so far now that I know how to use the MRT. And now that they’ve extended their hours till midnight, I’m one happy commuter.

Come to think of it, I’m glad I transferred to Perpetual, a trycyle ride away from where I live.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The 10 People I’d Like To Meet Before I Die

Life has blessed me to meet tons of fascinating people whose personalities range from one end of the spectrum to the next. I’ve met transgendered men, prostitutes, drug addicts, atheists, even designers, celebrities and models. Meeting new people is one of the most beautiful things in life because each individual is unique, each with a different set of beliefs, points of view and thoughts. I always find it pleasurable talking to people as I try to pick their brain and see what makes them tick. Below are 10 people I would like to meet before I die, people whose personalities are so amazing I just want to meet them:

10. Elizabeth Taylor

The woman got married eight times. Can she get any more fascinating? She must really be charming to be proposed to by seven men (she married Richard Burton twice). She even married Nicky Hilton, son of the founder of the Hilton chain of hotels. Charming or not, Elizabeth Taylor is without a doubt one of the most beautiful people on earth, a feat considering she lived in a time when plastic surgeons didn’t even exist.

9. Samantha Ronson

Samantha Ronson is this 31 year old chick who looks like a 12 year old boy. She’s famous in the circuit for being one of the hottest DJs, but to the world, she’s Lindsay Lohan’s girlfriend. I intially thought it was Ronson who was going gaga for L.L., but I got the shock of my life when I found out it was Lindsay who was pursuing Sam. What did Sam feed to Lindsay to make her switch teams? Curious. My most memorable scene of the two was when Sam walked out of a club and Lindsay was running after her (in heels, no less!) yelling, “Samantha Ronson, why are you doing this to me?!”

8. Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters is the ultimate journalist. She has interviewed prime ministers, actors, presidents (every American one since Richard Nixon), athletes, and socialites. The inside cover of her tell-all book Audition: A Memoir has the list of names she has interviewed and let me tell you, the font was small and it took both the front and back cover. Some of her interviewees include: Margaret Thatcher, Fidel Castro, Indira Ghandi, Hugo Chavez, Michael Jackson, Greg Louganis, Katharine Hepburn, Monica Lewinsky, Anna Wintour, Cher, Judy Garland, the Pregnant Man and many others.

7. Jean-Bedel Bokassa

Proclaimed himself emperor of the Central African Republic by holding a coronation similar to that of Queen Elizabeth’s. Spent £10 million on the event regardless of the fact that his country was ranked as one of the poorest in the world. Served butchered prisoners to unsuspecting guests at the feast and later killed a school of children when they refused to wear the prescribed uniform.

6. Stephen King

My favorite author, and at one point, the man of my dreams. Wrote classics such as Misery, Pet Sematary, It, ‘Salem’s Lot, Carrie, Firestarter, and many others. I have 21 of his books and counting. Has a very wild imagination matched only by his skills in writing. Has the ability to inspire terror under ordinary circumstances. There was an episode on Family Guy where he was asked by a publisher if he had any more stories. He looks around, obviously empty handed and grabs a lamp and claims it kills people.

5. Salvador Dali

My favorite painter. I believe painters paint their own version of reality and if Dali sees the world as he paints them in The Persistence of Memory and Les Elephants, I would love to see the world through his eyes. I wonder how he would see me. Thin, I hope.

4. Ben Chan

As far as entrepreneurship is concerned, Ben Chan is one of the best. Has great business acumen. He has branched out to selling all kinds of stuff which instantly becomes the latest trend. His idea to use the hottest celebrities as models was a good move. Need I mention the annual underwear show?

3. Anna Wintour

As editor-in-chief to Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour is the authority of fashion. She is the most powerful figure in the industry and she dictates what’s hot and what’s not. Such power can be overwhelming but she seems to do it with ease. Her power is so fierce that designers change an entire collection when it isn’t to her liking. And rumor has it she always wears sunglasses (very don’t-talk-to-me) during shows so no one would see her roll her eyes when she isn’t impressed.

2. Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell wrote the bible. It’s not holy, but it’s revered by single women everywhere. I’m talking about Sex & The City. I learned everything I needed to learn about dating through that show which is probably why I’m like Carrie Bradshaw. Single, alone, and writing to stay alive. The fashion choices are also beyond fabulous.

1. Madonna

Madonna’s on top of my list because not only does she make great music, she knows how to keep herself in the business. She has been in the industry for 28 years yet continues to generate airwaves and media attention. She has explored almost all genres from pop, dance, hip hop, R n’ B, gospel, electronica, and country. Her acting career isn’t as successful but that didn’t stop her from making books and teaming up with fashion designers to create special lines. In the biz, she is known to be a sharp businesswoman. Her ability to transform herself and her music is astounding that she has been rightfully dubbed the Queen of Reinvention.

Of course, my list doesn’t end there. My endless pursuit of interesting people are only limited by the number of people on this earth. Some of the other people I didn’t include but otherwise would still like to meet are: Coco Chanel, Erwin Tulfo, Victoria Beckham, Tim Burton, Kate Moss, Sigmund Freud, Chuck Palahniuk, Britney Spears, Zeus, Tallulah Bankhead, Louella Parsons, Joan Crawford, Stephen Hawking, Dakota Fanning, Marquis de Sade, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Karl Marx, Naomi Campbell, Johnny Depp, Jeffrey Dahmer, Patty Hearst, Jackie Onassis, and Paris Hilton.

How about you? Who are the people you’d like to meet before you die?

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