Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I don't believe in obligatory blog posts, such as end-of-year entries. But some experiences simply incite you to blog. These are the obligatory blog posts that I would honor, and this entry is one such post.

I had a most interesting experience during the Christmas break. I was at an Internet cafe programming something, and I was at my usual spot which was inside a private room with five computers in it. I was at the fifth computer, the one nearest the door, and there was one other woman at the opposite end of the room.

This woman, she has been at this Internet cafe for three days now, as I was, and I'd always hear her talking, in her perfectly broken English, to some man she met on the Internet. She was using a webcam to communicate, and she always giggled every now and then. I gathered that the man was Irish or at least European in descent, based on her loud conversations with him for the past few days.

Today, however, was different. She seemed very ready to do the cybernaughty. She wasn't particularly attractive. Actually, she wasn't attractive at the very least. But while I was furiously typing lines and lines of code, I was alone in the room with this girl, who suddenly cried out to her screen "Oh yu know yer so hunsum, yu know dat?" with a strong 'd' sound on the "dat". I snorted so loudly and lost my focus.

The next thing that happened was a boy, not older than 7 or 8, entering the room and taking the computer beside mine. He seemed to be happily playing his anime fighting Flash game while I was typing furiously. Then I noticed that he obnoxiously glanced at my computer screen every few minutes or so, and in a not-so-covert manner at that. I was both annoyed and intrigued at this gesture, so I stole a peek at his screen.

Imagine my horror (and slight delight) at seeing that his Flash game was tucked away in another tab, and that two other tabs were open with the titles "Naked Sexy Lesbians Kissing" and "Hillary Duff Real Sex Video!!!", with the kid staring intently at the screen. My vision went downwards in order to verify that these weren't just parody or joke videos. I was right. They weren't.

I didn't report him or anything; I just let him be while I was back to coding. But every time he peeked at my computer I peeked back. Hence, "Hot Dark Latinas -- Real!!!" and other similar, albeit more exotic, titles.

There's another funny story about an old woman who needed help with Facebook, but I think I'll save it for another time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

My Ma195a.6 exam last Thursday marked the end of academic requirements due for the year. And I feel I did pretty good. Probably a few missteps and mistakes but I'll gladly take that over any other alternative. I should be happy - I should have been happy since Thursday. But I'm not.

This Christmas season was the first time I've ever given out as many gifts as I did. And this was the first Christmas season it actually felt easy to spend that much money on people who were neither my roommates or part of my family (though I consider them family). I also received the best set of gifts this year. I received the thing I wanted so much I was willing to wait six months for it. I received something that I had no idea I wanted so much. (Yes, I have amazing friends who know what I want even before I know it.) But best of all, I got what I've never had the courage to admit to myself that I needed: people who actually give a damn about me.

Overall, this semester and season would have been so great so far had I not been an emotional wreck. I've fallen "in lesbians" (for those who don't get it, you've missed one great movie this year) with the wrong person - a person who, after months of contemplating, I think I probably could never really be with. Ah, Cupid, thou really art a blind bastard. So, allow me to borrow what could possibly be the most well-known and most quoted lines from the movie "Love Actually":

With any luck, by next year, I'll be going out with one of these girls:

But for now, let me say that, without hope or agenda - just because it's Christmas, and at Christmas you tell the truth - to me, you are perfect. And my wasted heart will love you until you look like this:

If I really do have readers for this blog who go through the entirety of my entries, seeing as this is probably going to be my last entry for the year 2010, let me wish you all a merry Christmas out of deference to that long-standing social contract. May the rest of your days and your nights be filled with happy thoughts, great company, and all the mouth-watering delicacies that make you ecstatic before you consume them and devout weight-watchers after. And may the rest of my days this year be filled with them too. It's not too late for things to turn around after all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What Happened In Corregidor Will Stay In Corregidor

...because I forgot to bring batteries for my camera.

As part of our Hi166 class requirements, we had to take a trip to Corregidor island because our professor believed it to be a good way for us to learn about how World War II was like here in our country. That didn't really turn out well.

Now, since I don't have my own car and the meet-up place was located somewhere in the vicinity of the CCP complex, I asked my friend who was taking the same class if he could pick me up somewhere along Katipunan. The night before the trip, he sent me a message about his dad not wanting to get caught in the traffic jam the ACET would cause that morning; he'd pick me up in Ayala-UP TechnoHub instead. I knew then that I had to wake up earlier than I initially intended to since I now had to call for a cab instead of a trike. I slept for only three hours for reasons I can no longer remember. And here's where things started to go downhill. As soon as I woke up, I remembered I had not charged my camera's batteries. As we would be in Corregidor for most of the day, I would definitely need both of them fully charged. So, before I left to take a shower, I plugged the charger in and began the process. After the shower and changing, I stuffed my camera into the bag I decided I needed and walked out of the room - without the batteries that were still being charged. I only realized later as I was waiting in the KFC at TechnoHub that I had forgotten to bring them with me. (The lighting was nice since it was early morning and I wanted to get a great shot in before the trip started.) I would have gone back for them but I didn't want to be late because, like time apparently, the ferry waits for no one.

So the whole day, I lugged along with me a bag that only served the purpose of carrying my camera, which was, at this point, of as much use to the trip as a paperweight was. It was a good thing Allen let me borrow his camera for me to take a few shots - none of which turned out to be worth editing.

How was the trip? I won't even bother writing about it here. It was uninteresting for the most part, which is definitely not what you would expect from an out-of-town trip.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Think First

If you still haven't heard of the recent Gloria Diaz scandal... here it is.

Of course most of us Cebuanos, me included, RAGED over this comment: "Kasi when you think about a Cebuana, can hardly speak English, and of course, Tagalog..."

And in a video here Ms. Gloria Diaz tries to defend her statement, saying that she never said Cebuanas couldn't speak English. "This is what I said," she said. That everyone should have the right to answer in the language they are most comfortable with. She shrugged away the issue joking about getting a Jejemon interpreter if you wanted to speak Jejemon.

Unlike comments posted everywhere belittling her accent, or calling her a liar and a whore, or showing evidence of how Cebuanos are widely renowned in the outsourcing and call center scene, this blog post is quite different.

I just want to tell her this: she should have thought of what she was going to say before actually saying it. She may or may not have meant it, but it was still offensive in the end. And since she did say it, instead of letting the issue trail off as a joke, she should really admit a mistake, whether it have been intentional or not. She didn't even admit that she said what she said, when video footage shows otherwise.

I'm a Cebuano who speaks Filipino better than the stereotypical Cebuano (yes, the stereotype is very humbling)... but we've never been bashed about our English before. I can probably ignore that kind of offensive statement, but her not admitting she said it is hard to bear.

I demand an apology.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Post-Orsem Letter to My Freshmen

First of all, I don't know what drove me to write this. Maybe it's the fact that I'm alone in my room right now with my iTunes (with so many, many sad songs) playing in the background and the mood is just right. Maybe it's because of the possibility that I might not see many of you as much as I would like to over my last 2 years of stay in the Ateneo de Manila University. Maybe because my speech during our last processing session wasn't as good as I wanted it to be (I'm better at writing than I am at speaking) and I feel that I owe all of you much more. Regardless of reason, here it goes.

Today, I end my 19th year of existence and experience in this world. Given that three of those years I spent in the Ateneo, I'm sure I'm not exaggerating when I say I've been through a lot. Of all the things I've experienced though, I'm still convinced that the three dorm OrSems I've taken part of will eat up the greatest slice of the highlight reel of my life - and this one I've been with you guys is giving my own OrSem experience a run for its money. I hope I've given you guys a great OrSem run with memories you'll bring with you up until you yourselves part ways at graduation. I hope I've helped make this OrSem good enough that you yourselves would want to take part in it again next year as the helpful upperclassmen to the next batch of freshmen.

I pray I've helped in enough ways to foster reason enough for you all to stay close together as a small unit. Though it may be near impossible for a large batch such as yours to stay strong all the time, I'm certain that I can count on this group staying strong and intact throughout the years you have left in the dorm. Please be there to pick each other up and dust each other off. Trust me when I say that your roommates are going to be the ones who will be there for you at your lowest points and darkest hours in life and you'll want them to care enough to know how to cheer you up. I hope you grow as close together as I have with my roommates who don't even need to use words to cheer me up. I hope that in three years time when it'll be your batch video playing at the OrSem party, it won't matter whose pictures are flashing on the screen as all of you will be watching it together and the faces of those beside you are all you need to remember all the good times you've had over the years.

We're not the best FCC group this year for nothing guys. This group, as should be clear to all of you now as it was to me when we started, is a dream team for OrSem and any hero would have been incredibly lucky to have gotten this group. Thank God he gave this group to me and Lianne. I can't speak for Lianne but I'm pretty sure she would agree when I say you were worth waking up at 6 in the morning, all the late night meetings, and all the spent energy. You guys have awoken something in me that's been dormant for almost a year now. Although I'm not quite sure what it is exactly, it feels good to have again. You've given so much happiness over the week and a half we've been together and I can only hope I've at least returned the favor. I'm really sorry if you feel I've failed you in any way and I hope I can make it up to you over our next few encounters.

Please remember that I'll always be here to help should you need any, even after my departure from the Ateneo. As the small box in my Facebook page says, I'll forever be your hero - so long as you let me.