Monday, June 30, 2008

Huli Ka

The game plan is to henceforth eat healthy. For dinner today, Pao and I whipped up our own version of Italliani’s sicillian salad. Okay, we only had Caesar salad dressing in our refrigerator so we ended up using that. But toss together some romaine lettuce, canned mandarin oranges, canned chicken chunks, and toasted Gardenia wheat bread (aka croutons) and viola, you got yourself a decent-looking meal.

To my surprise, we didn’t finish the entire batch. Pao particularly felt full early; and, without the better eating machine in this two-person guzzler, the rest of the salad had to be saved for later.

It's almost end of day and it looked like our common plan to eat and live healthy is turning out to be quite a success. Too bad I caught Pao eating Oishi in bed at 10:00 PM. Sus naman.

This Can't Be It

I woke up panicking at 4:00 AM today. I thought it was already a Monday, and I still haven’t started the 3 pleadings that I was supposed to finish over the weekend. It took me ten minutes to realize, Sunday pa lang pala. I still have time to get my work done after church in the afternoon.

This is the story of my life. My job follows me everywhere I go, even when I’m asleep. My life revolves around the predictable blur that is the law office: I wake up at 7:00 AM everyday, rush to juggle a meter long list of things to do during the day, leave the office at 9:00 PM, sleep at 12:00 MN, and then wake up at 7:00 the following morning to do it all over again.

Fridays afternoons are okay. Fridays give me the pleasure of looking back at an accomplished workweek and of looking forward to a promising weekend. I actually sleep very late on Fridays because I don’t want the day to end. But soon there’s the Saturday, which I mostly spend doing errands for the house, like grocery shopping and plumbing. And then there’s the Sunday, which I mostly spend figuring out how I'm supposed to finish all that work that I brought home.

If you think about it, I make a living six days a week (Sundays included) but actually LIVE for only half of my Friday. There's got to be more to life than this.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Note To Self

I’m going on a diet. I decided to write this down here in case I forget when I see liempo for lunch tomorrow. I haven’t gained a considerable amount of weight, but my age has taken a toll on my body. I noticed yesterday that I’ve developed mommy thighs, meaning ripples (known to the female population as cellulite) have taken up residence on my legs. My lower abdomen also permanently looks like I drank too much water.

I should exercise again. I did go to the gym a year ago when it was one of the freebies I enjoyed at my old job. Unfortunately, I lost all motivation to go back because I would now have to shell out my own money to get some exercise. In the meantime, mallwide sales are the only opportunities I get to “exercise” for a couple of hours.

But enough of these excuses. Tomorrow, I will walk across the street to my sister’s house to use that Carl Lewis Air Walker that Auntie Mira gave us. It'll be such a bore using that Air Walker in their spare room with no one to talk to. Maybe I should first buy an ipod so I have music to listen to while I run. Brilliant. Tomorrow, I'm going to the mall to window shop for a new ipod.

Popcorn. Extra Butter.

I watch movies for free. How I’m able to do this is a long story, which traces itself to the day I took my oath as a kagalang-galang na Notaryo Publiko for the City of Makati. In a nutshell, two months after notarizing documents for an orphanage, I found myself to be a Deputy for the MTRCB. Now I’m able to watch as many movies as my swollen eyes can handle, and even take a “companion” a.k.a Paolo with me.

This week, I watched:

The Incredible Hulk

Edward Norton is my soul mate. I was meant to marry Edward if he only knew where the Philippines is. Not to worry, it was Edward’s loss. Going back… I especially liked the scene where Bruce Banner had to “retrieve” the flashdrive that he ate as a "matter of last resort," because Edward had to brush his teeth after that scene, and he had to wear only a towel.

Get Smart

Steve Carell is the funniest man after Robin Williams (and also maybe Adam Sandler). I’m not a fan of Anne Hathaway. I get images of her as a blonde in that scene in Brokeback Mountain everytime I see her, and it annoys me to pieces. But I don’t mind that she’s here. Notice that her nail polish is orange and chipped in most scenes.


This is weird. A regular office worker discovers that he has the talent to bend bullets, among others, and so he joins a fraternity of assassins who kill on command. Blood and bullets are all over. Angelina Jolie looks beautiful as always, but she’s gotten so thin it’s become difficult to imagine her having the energy to be an assassin. As it looks, she barely has the energy to feed herself.

Made of Honor – Not a movie I would pay to see. There’s not much kilig factor, if that’s what you’re going for. Just think My Bestfriend’s Wedding – male version. Patrick Dempsey is gorgeous though. As compared to Edward Norton in the Incredible Hulk, he appears in more than one scene half-naked. So dreamy. Don’t you just want to run your fingers through that hair?

I also watched Definitely, Maybe on DVD. It was a drag. If it weren’t for the main plot that gets you involved in figuring out who Ryan Reynolds ends up with, you’ll probably end up sleeping in ten minutes.

I insist on watching Urduja tonight, which is the first all-Filipino hand-drawn animated film retelling the life of the legendary Princess Urduja. Will let you know how that turns out.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Good Bad Idea

You may have noticed that Pao’s gained a little weight since we got married. In my opinion, though, the added pounds aren’t enough to actually make Pao fat. He’s just not as thin as he used to be. Really.

Too bad Pao isn’t convinced that he’s not as yet going to suffer from a heart attack. He whines constantly about his weight. Kesyo he can’t breathe. He can’t reach his shoes. He can’t zip his pants. He can’t this, he can’t that.

To buy peace, I decided to literally BUY peace and give Pao a Gold’s gym membership for his 29th birthday. The gym membership that Pao got is the bomb: All-year unlimited access to four Gold’s gym branches (3 of which are so conveniently near), free pool access at the Intercon, with free sessions from a personal trainer.

Pao loves his new pre-occupation so much, he now goes to the gym every day after work. This unfortunately means I would have to wait in agonizing pain until around 8:00 p.m. when we’re able to leave for San Juan from Makati – at which point, I would be miserable and cranky because I am unable to exercise my basic human right to eat (on time).

Yes, yes. Pao’s gym membership is turning out positive results as far as Pao’s health is concerned. But he's getting his exercise at the expense of my equally important "personal well-being."

There goes another one of those good ideas turned sour.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lifetyles of the Poor and Unheard Of

Are you -




I should get myself a postpaid phone subscription. I was out of town a couple of weeks ago to attend a trial, but had to file something the next day in Manila. I was receiving and sending text messages back and forth, giving instructions to the secretaries at the office on what to attach, how service should be made, and a host of other legal eklavu. Somewhere along the National Highway, between the towns of Bais and Bindoy, nawalan ako ng load. I thus had to compel the driver to stop at every sari-sari store to buy me the Php300 Smart card. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find one until we arrived in Dumaguete two hours later. Hassle.

I’m not at all embarrassed that my phone is still pre-paid. I have, on several occasions, called up my secretary to text me a PIN number, which I of course, would pay her back when I return. (Pa-lista ba. Parang listahan ng sardinas.)

But my pre-paid line is turning out to be a drag. Last Friday, I was supposed to meet Pao in Glorietta for dinner and a movie. Pao was allegedly under the impression that I was to leave work late so he went to the gym before our alleged meeting time of 8:40 p.m. Meanwhile, I left the office at 6:00 p.m. as I was under the perfectly credible impression that we were to meet for dinner at 7:00 before the movie starts at 8:40 p.m. I walked around Glorietta, lugging my files and a laptop, for two hours before Pao showed up. I couldn’t call or text him that I was there already because, well, wala na naman akong load.

My pre-paid phone line served its purpose when I was a student. I wonder how my circumstances have since changed, that I now feel the need to "graduate" from my pre-paid subscription.

It has always been a puzzle to me why people earning six-digit monthly salaries still end up with debts when they resign (or get sacked) from their companies. I guess your lifestyle changes along with your age. Bata pa naman ako. But I’m thinking, its time to move on from my allowance-mentality.Credit-management: Here we go...

The Simple Life

(Continued...) NB: This topic is getting old. This should be my last post.

Monday, 9 June 2008
Solangon, San Juan, Siquijor

You feel a certain fondness for Siquijor after staying two days in the province. Siquijor is like the smell of durian in some respects. It grows on you, and when it sticks, you can’t seem to shake it off.

Truth be told, I’ve been wanting to leave for Dumaguete since I discovered last Saturday that our room has no television. Come to think of it, our room only has a thatched roof and no ceiling. Wasps fly in and out like regular guests, and we are so near the outdoors that you will occasionally hear the thud of a falling coconut fruit.

After going around Siquijor,* however, I’ve come to discover the charm of this island. Here, recreation consists not in spending thousands of pesos in a mall on a piece of clothing that is, in the first place, priced artificially high. It consists of Sundays charging against waves in Salagdoong beach, while your parents eat grilled tarugo (tanigue in Tagalog), drink Pale Pilsen and sing songs to a videoke machine managed by a chirpy transvestite.

After two days of living in Siquijor, I randomly thought about my never-ending deadlines at work, the price of gasoline, bills, loans and so on and so forth. For a moment, I thought, maybe I should stay. Hmmm.

*On your trip to Siquijor, call Cesar Toreno at 0920-8286604. He drove us around the island all day for only Php1,000.00. Cesar is friends with the cook at Salagdoong Beach, so you get your meals faster. He will also speak to you in English; pang-practice in case Koreans come over.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meron Lang Betamax

Do you remember when you were young(er), all you did during the summer vacation was eat ice candy while waiting for 4:00 so you could go out and play agawan base? Do you remember when Tita Cory was President, brownouts were so common you had a blast finding perfect taguan hiding places?Do you remember mixing Milo and Bear Brand with a little water and placing the mixture in the "frigidaire" for instant dessert?

Those days, my friend, are unfortunately gone. My 8-year old nephew, AC, will not leave their sofa because he's stuck to his PSP. Since he is only allowed to play it during weekends, he takes it with him everywhere he goes, including the toilet, the moment he arrives at home on Friday afternoons. AC has even acquired the talent of playing PSP while watching two shows on television. He is actually able to switch between Cartoon Network and Nickeledeon during commercial breaks so he gets "more TV mileage." Amazing.

Betamax by Sandwich reminds me of the good ol' days. I hope someday our kids would experience how it was when we had human beings for friends.

Things to Do in Siquijor

Saturday, June 07, 2008
8:30 p.m.

When you Google “things to do in siquijor,” you’ll end up with very few hits. That’s because there is not much one can do in Siquijor, except maybe read a book or ponder, “What the hell was I thinking?”

It took us half a day to get here. An hour and a half by plane to Dumaguete. Forty-five minutes by ferry to Siquijor Town. Thirty minutes by tricycle to Solongon, San Juan, Siquijor. Obviously, the half-day travel time consists mostly of waiting at the airport, at the pier, along the highway or in lines inside restrooms.

We arrived at 12:00nn at Coral Cay – a resort in Solongon built and maintained by David (you guessed it, a retired U.S. serviceman) and his wife Helen. We’re staying here because Coral Cay and Coco Grove are the only two resorts in Siquijor that have Internet presence, and between the two, Coral Cay is considerably cheaper.

A friend told us that food at Coral Cay is pricey. This, in my opinion, is the understatement of the century. I could take what we just paid for sinigang na baboy here, bring it to Manila, and be able to pay for a decent buffet.

Having learned our lesson early, Pao ordered “mami with egg” for dinner because that was one of the few items in the menu that cost less than a P100. At P85, “mami with egg” turned out to be instant noodles. As in Nissin Itnok instant noodles.

We’re staying in a beach front cottage. It’s breezy, in a good way, because the air is fresh and doesn’t have that salty Manila Bay feel to it. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the beach. The winds apparently bring in a lot of sea weed and some other unidentifiable sea debris to shore.

So, after traveling what I suppose to be hundreds of kilometers to Central Visayas, Pao and I, whilst shaking our heads in dismay, decided to swim in the pool.

(To be continued...)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sex and the City

Genre: Comedy
Here goes a belated review of Sex and the City from someone who isn’t a fan of the series. As I was watching the movie, I thought, “Common, no one in real life will go to work in a gold sequined skirt.” "No woman in her right mind would walk along Ayala wearing an asymmetrical dress with a flower bigger than her head." "No real life bride would want a bird for a headdress (okay, except maybe for Tessa Prieto Valdez)."

The highly unworkable outfits notwithstanding, I still liked the movie. This is, after all, what you watch movies for - to feel some degree of satisfaction out of another person’s empowerment, especially one that you may never experience yourself.

The beauty of Sex and the City is that it features every woman’s concept of success, be it motherhood, balancing family life with a teeming career, or playing the role of an unapologetic sexual goddess who drives a white SUV Mercedes Benz.

Special mention goes to Kristin Davis' (Charlotte York) sincere acting. Sure, a movie titled “Sex and the City” isn’t one that was meant to give an actor Sundance acclaim. But Ms. Davis was so effective in her delivery of the role of Charlotte, you will find yourself forgiving even her naivety. Special mention also goes to that scene where Sarah Jessica Parker appears (gasp) without make-up because she just had her heart broken and well, that’s what you look like when someone rips your heart out of your chest.

I did not rave much about the movie after I watched it, which explains why it took me at least two weeks before writing anything on the topic. Like I said, I wasn’t a fan of the series to begin with. Overall, it is the sort of movie where you’d say “Okay lang.” to a question that goes “Napanood mo na ang Sex and the City? Kamusta?”

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Work Hazard

The problem with being a lawyer is that I can’t call in sick even if I actually am. What was a scratchy throat yesterday has successfully transformed into a full-blown cold today. As of this writing, only one of my nostrils is functioning.  I have consumed two rolls of toilet paper, because I’m too cheap to buy facial tissues to wipe off my sipon.

Of course, I prescribed myself the usual 1000mg of Vitamin C per day like any self-respecting know-it-all non-physician would do. But my self-medication has expectedly failed me. My eyes are burning. I can’t breathe. And yet, off to work we must go.

Tomorrow, pleadings have to be filed. Opinions have to be released. Work has to generally be done to dispense justice in this world and, in the process, key in a little more hours.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Healthway Sucks

I will never go back to Healthway.*

We had to wait 45 minutes just to get through the receptionist/s. I didn’t mind that they called out numbers instead of our names as if we were ordering food at a burger joint. I felt I kind of deserved that for going to a clinic inside a shopping mall. What I did find irritating is the fact that after going through that, we had to wait yet again at the nurses’ station.

After another thirty minutes at the nurses' area, I was called in by a doctor whom I have never seen in my life. No one told us up to this point that my regular OB Gyne wasn’t around. The substitute doctor, well-meaning that she was, told me that she was my doctor’s “reliever”. Sweet Mother of &*$#. You’re not telling me I waited an hour so a complete stranger can look at my files and examine my, well, "self." I didn’t go to Healthway to hire a janitor or a security guard or any of those similar jobs where a “reliever” would be just as acceptable. I went there because I needed to see MY freakin' DOCTOR.

I was so furious, I stormed to the reception area where I had to get hold of the first unfortunate receptionist that I saw. I told her that someone should have told me an hour ago that my doctor wasn’t around so I wouldn’t have wasted my Sunday looking at their sorry faces. The receptionist, untrained that she was, told me to my surprise: “Anong oras ho ba kayo nandito?” like it’s my fault I waited for naught. I told her I’ve been waiting since 1:45, that it’s past 3:00 already, that my doctor’s not around, that no one told me that, that I seem to have waited for no one, and that never mind, I’ll just leave. Curses. Curses.

I assume whoever runs Healthway has a medical degree. Doctors or not, you guys should get your act together! Not that I care. Like I said, I will never set foot on your clinic again.

*5th Level, The Block, SM North.

Baby Blues

The question that’s asked us a lot nowadays is when we’re having a baby. The answer that runs through my exasperated little mind, is “None of your damn business.” But I find my self actually answering this question with a polite, (smile) “We’re working on it.”

Why anyone would want to become a parent is a puzzle to me. Babies are cute, but they require more commitment than self-centered individuals like me are willing to give. They are more than the yellow gender-sensitive bibs and fuzzy Elmo dolls. They’re about accepting sole responsibility for the life of another human being who will not be able to eat without your help.

Because we’ve been asked the question of when we’re having a baby a thousand times since we got married, I have been forced to do some soul-searching on my willingness and preparedness to now become a parent. I have come to the conclusion that I’m not ready, financially or career-wise, to bear a child. The logistics of the matter is also restrictive. For one, I can’t even bring myself to wash my own dishes. How can I possibly wipe poop off a baby’s bum?

For some odd reason, however, I find myself wanting to be a mom now. Why this is so, I don’t understand. The fear, maybe, of not being able to bear a child ever in the future weighs more to me than having to handle parenthood at a time when I’m admittedly unprepared for it. Truth is, no one is ever ready to become a parent. People conceive for a variety of reasons. Children are born sometimes by mistake, sometimes by design, and on both counts, for selfish motivations.

I just hope, that when our baby comes along, she won’t take it against me that we brought her into this world for reasons other than her own.

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