A Lots of Thanks and Some of That Reminiscing Too

So here we are at the edge of the year 2008, which legally warrants us to reminisce about the good old 365 days that had passed us all. Ah 2008! This year had been a good year. This year had been a bad year.

But before I leave this wondrous year (and be drowned by the memories of my year end reminiscing), let me thank few people that I believe made my 2008 wonderful. I should have thanked them in person, but I prefer to show my gratitude in secret, and this blog is perfect hiding place.

First of all, let me thank my dearest SMS ally Grace. She had been a good friend even though we hadn’t saw her for more than a year. We vowed to be the best of friends and a bestfriend she did become. For a year of our friendship, she shared her joys and tears. She is more of a sister to me and I am glad to have her as a part my personal family.

May I also thank my buddy Mark. Though I don’t treat him a close acquaintance, he had been a valuable ally in the workplace. A wonderful part of a survey crew. Without him, maybe I had gone nuts during our first ever survey. It is good to have a topnotcher in the board to be at your side.

I give thanks to my bank buddies, especially Anjo and Tasha. Thank you for letting me join your circle even though both of you are in a different department than me. Sorry, though, because I left you early. Go strong and I hope to see you both together again maybe in Goldilocks.

And they are not the only bank buddies that I have. I thank another Mark, Annie, Lenin, Raymond and the other whom I forgot the name. Thank you for standing by me during the greatest crisis in life in this year.

Hey Maria Reina, don’t think that I forgotten you. Thanks for being my newfound friend this year. Your SMS messages delight me always. Hope to have a nice talk with you again. If you ever dropped by my blog, just post me comment so that I may know. Enjoy your 2009 mixing paint mademoiselle alchemist.

I also thank my brother. His sudden transformation from an atheist to a devout catholic affected my thinking about God. He brought the Holy Spirit to my heart. May you grow in faith brother. And I am sorry for the lost readings, we failed to track the “magbobote.”

I also thank my other brother my sister, my beloved mother and the great father of mine. Thanks again for being there. Thank you very much for making our home a wonderful place to go home to.

I also thank my college batch mates and friends who accompanied me during the board exam reviews.

I also thank my Beloved. We had not seen each other for more than a year, yet she is still there. I am so glad to have someone to trust and to be trusted in return. I hope to see my beloved this year. May the Lord guide her always.

Finally, I am thanking my Lord God for giving me the blessed 365 days. Although, I betrayed Him for so many times, I know that He is still with me, my merciful and loving God. Thanks for Your patience and love. May You always guide me for another 365 days. I also thank you for coming down to us to conquer death by dying on the cross. May Your kingdom come.

Ha! That’s so few for a whole year and I bet that many people had been left out. I am sorry and I thank you all to anyone who been with this past year. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all.

So Happy New Year to all and enjoy the festivities. May all of us have a wonderful year 2009. Ingat.

The Beach of Laiya Aplaya in Batangas

Looking for a nice stretch of sand and a relaxing piece of the sea not far away from the Metro? Then Laiya Aplaya in Batangas might be the right destination for you. Laiya Aplaya is just four hours travel away from Manila.
The beach of Laiya Aplaya
The beach of Laiya Aplaya.

How to Go to Laiya Aplaya


If you are like me who do not own a car and do not have friends good enough to take you there, then commuting is to Laiya Aplaya is your best option. Going to that beach is easy and only require at least three transfers of public transport. First is the provincial bus from Manila, a public utility van ride to San Juan then a jeepney ride to the Laiya Aplaya. So, gather all your “streetmartiness” and patience and you will be at the beach in no time.

If you are residing in the Quezon City area, then the Jam Bus Transit is suitable for you. The terminal of this bus company is located along EDSA near the building of GMA Network. Ride a bus that will take you to Lipa City. The bus will travel along South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

Upon reaching Lipa City, look for the public utility van terminal. Ride the van that is going to the town of San Juan. The travel time is about one and a half hours. So, while traveling, pipe in your MP3 player and enjoy the scenery of farms, mountains, and lots of cows.

The last stretch of your commuting will be a public utility jeepney in San Juan that will take you to Laiya Aplaya. Before you ride the jeepney, I recommend that you go to their public market and buy toiletries, foods, drinks that you want. Things like these will be much more expensive in Laiya Aplaya. The travel time from San Juan to Laiya Aplaya is about 30 minutes.


Laiya Aplaya Beach and Amenities


Laiya Aplaya was developed to be a top tourist destination in Batangas. Many beach resorts could be found in the area. Our group chose the Triple G Beach Resort. Air-conditioned rooms here costs about 4,500 pesos with a bathroom, a cable TV, and an LPG stove. The room is spacious enough to accommodate up to eight people. In this resort, visitors are allowed to bring their own food and beer.
Beach volleyball net at Laiaya Aplaya
Beach volley, anyone?

The beach is good as any other developed beach and is shallow that you could still walk fifty meters away from the shore. The sands of the shore are coarse and better than those found in Puerto Galera, which has pebbly shore. The sea bottom is quite rocky and contains some dead sea corals.
The sea of Laiya Aplaya
Evening is coming to Laiya Aplaya.

The area has no water skiing or banana boat rides. The sea of Laiya Aplaya is well protected to be of any value to avid water surfers. Visitors can snorkel on some of the remaining coral reefs in the open seas. The snorkeling costs for 700 to 900 pesos and lasts for an hour. The snorkeling site is alive with corals and starfishes. However, the coral reefs are no match with the ones I saw in the seas of Davao Oriental.
Boats on the beach of Laiya Aplaya
Fishing boats on the beach of Laiya Aplaya.
All in all, the Laiya Aplaya can't match Boracay or the beautiful beaches in the Visayas. However, development is still ongoing and it seems that better things will come to Laiya Aplaya.
Mountains of Laiya Aplaya


Did you came here to know more about Laiya Aplaya? Just leave a comment if you have any queries regarding this beautiful place.

I Do not Want to be a Ninong

In the past, being a ninong or ninang (godfather or godmother) is a big honor and responsibility. Being a godparent in those times entailed that the person is being trusted to be the second mother or father of the child that is being baptized. That aside from sponsoring the child’s baptism, the godparents are given the responsibility to help the parents in guiding and caring for the child to become a God fearing-person when he/she grows up.

Those were the days. Being a godparent nowadays is equivalent to being a money-machine every Christmas. Every December 25th of every year, kids (who you do not see for a whole year) will pop in front of your house, will greet you a “merry Christmas and a happy New Year,” linger for a while and pretend that they are enjoying their visit until you (the veritable ninong or ninang who decided not to hide this Christmas season) give their much anticipated “ampao” or gifts. Then they will leave and you will see them again next Christmas day.

With that, the true essence of god parenting was trampled upon. What is the sense of being a second mother or father of a child if you can only see them once a year? In the current set of things, ninongs and ninangs are being equated to money in the eyes of the children. The materialistic and set of things rendered the children to expect “ampaos” and gifts from their godparents every 25th of December.

I believe that in the times of old, godchildren visited their godparents because they genuinely wanted to see their second mothers and fathers. Godparents, on the other hand, give presents to their grandchildren because they genuinely love their “adopted” sons and daughters. In those times, the central theme is love. The love between the children and their godparents. Gift giving was just in the sidelines.

Sadly, as the time wore on, that love was relegated to the sidelines and gift giving was placed in the center. This phenomenon is coincident with the commercialization of Christmas wherein Jesus was replaced by the materialistic white-bearded mascot named Santa Claus.

With these things, I am not comfortable in become a ninong. I do not to become a money-machine every Christmas. I want to be a true godparent, someone that will help in making a child a respectable and God-loving person.

Tinolang Dance Dance

Anak ng tokwa! Kina-iiwas iwasan kong sumali sa mga program na may sayaw sayaw noong undergraduate days ko, tapos eto! Kung kelan nagtatrabaho na ako ay ako pa ang na-assign na maging coordinator para sa Christmas presentation ng department namen.

Malas pa naman ako sa mga group presentations na tulad nito. Naalala ko tuloy 'yung palpak nameng group report sa Psych 101. Walang kwenta yung kinalabasan. Idagdag pa 'yung group report sa Kas 1. Tapos 'yung presentation sa Kas 2. Ang maipagmamalaki ko na nga lang siguro ay yung mga sinalihan kong presentations noong high school ako.

So, yung presentation namen ngayon ay masasabi kong di maganda. Una ay we only had three days of practice. Labo labo pa 'yung costume. Pasaway pa yung mga dancers ng partner nameng department. Buti na lang at maasahan ko 'yung mga isinama ko sa department namen.

Hay, ewan ko ba sa sarili ko. Hindi ko makuhang mag-enjoy kapag may presentation on stage. Puro problema 'yung nasa isip ko palagi.

Bukas ay judgment day na ng pinaggagawa namen. Ahhh....kahihiyan! Sa susunod ayoko ng maging coordinator at maging dancer.

Ah, I believe in You my dear Lord na ibinigay Ninyo sa akin tong pagsubok na ito dahil mayroon Kayong importanteng bagay na gusto Ninyong matutunan ko. Basta tulungan Ninyo kame bukas ha. Thank You Jesus Christ.

Code Geass

Friends and enemies in Code Geass

At last, another anime that caught my fancy. Code Geass is now one of my favorite mech anime since Gundam Wing. This anime is about Lelouch, a prince of the Empire of Brittania, whose mother was murdered during their childhood. After their mother's death, Lelouch and his sister was thrown away by the emperor (his father) to the newly acquired territory of Japan (called as Area Eleven).

Hellbent to avenge the death of his mother and the lose of his sister's eyesight, Lelouch disguised himself as the masked Zero and started a protracted war against the Empire of Brittania. With the power of Geass (an ability to control anyone), he believes that he could achieve the destruction of Brittania and kill his mother's murderer.

Just like Gundam Wing, I like Code Geass because of its political undertone. Aside from the main storyline, this anime also showcase the struggle between an invading nation and an oppressed nation. It also shows the hardships of the the oppressed people and their crushed dignity and liberty.

So in the end, will Lelouch achieve his ends? Will the oppressive empire fall and lead to the liberation of Japan?

CC of Code Geass
Isn't she pretty?

I Love You Betty

At last a local prime time show that is worthy of praise. “I Love Betty la Fea” of ABS-CBN is a nice show to watch, an excellent version of the Latin original and a good adaptation to the Filipino people.

I Love Betty la Fea is a welcome respite from a series of dumb and boring local soap operas. I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching and their “kilig” factor between the shows characters Betty and Armando affects me.

Kudos to Bea Alonzo and to John Lloyd. The two of them are one of the best young stars of the local showbiz. Their chemistry is great and no other team-up could top them.

I hope that the show continue its good storytelling and eventually amp it up in the future. There’s one flaw though, I am getting sick of the product placement in the show. They should minimize it in the future.
All in all, I give I Love Betty la Fea a score of five out of five.

On Other Shows

Pinoy Fear Factor is a fluke. Too bad that the respectable Ryan Agoncillo is its host. I just can’t understand the objective of their show. In the end, Pinoy Fear Factor is just a bigger version of GMA’s Extra Challenge

Survivor Philippines, on the other hand, is getting interesting. Sometimes, I can’t take watching because of too much scheming and backstabbing in the show. And I don’t like Marlon. I hope that he get the boot next week.

On Working Abroad

Just three weeks after we started working in a government agency, my college classmate keep on harping on the issue of his desire to work abroad and earning a monthly salary that is astronomically higher than what we are currently earning. He wanted to leave so that he could send his mom home from her fourteen years being a domestic helper in Hong Kong. Making his mom come home will fulfill his dream in making his family whole again.

Apparently, my classmate is not the only one who wants to leave the Philippines. The agency where I work for is suffering from the mass exodus of its employees. New employees, old employees, and even senior officials left the country to work in Singapore or in Dubai. Those who were left behind are seeking for overseas job opportunities or just finishing their contracts so they too could reap sixty thousand pesos and above monthly salaries. In my workplace alone, three data analysts are planning to leave. If they do leave, the agency will be sorely handicapped since the position of data analyst is very critical.

The atmosphere in the agency where I work for is filled with talks of future resignations. In spite of these, I opted to stay.

“Engineers Serve the Country”

These are the words that were painted on the walls of our classrooms in the College of Engineering. It is a nationalistic slogan that calls on all the engineers, specifically the UP engineers to stay in the country and offer our talents and whatever we learned for improving our country. These are the words that are easily shrugged off these days, and I am one of those Filipino engineers who are lukewarm in such idea.

I could say that in my college years, I was an idealistic nationalist (bordering to ultra-nationalism, but that’s another story). That was then, before I came face to face with the real world. Now, I am disillusioned. I'm just another tired Filipino who merely exist on a day-to-day basis. The ills and corruption of this country successfully squeezed out the last juice of idealism inside of me.

I still agree that we, as Filipino engineers, should serve our country. If we will not offer our engineering skills for the Filipino people, then who will?

Inadequate Opportunities

Thousands of Filipinos go out of the country, in a hope that they will have better jobs and in the end, they will give better lives to their families. Sadly, many Filipinos hoped in vain. Many of them were tricked by their contractors, abused, maltreated, killed, and executed. Hundreds of them became undocumented workers hiding from authorities.

With these serious dangers, many Filipinos still want to go out and try their luck and they are not to blame. In the Philippines, many people are jobless, or underpaid. The government is so corrupt that it fails in addressing the basic problems of the society. Sometimes, the government is seen as serving the elite and the business lords instead of serving the public.

I am also in the midst of these push and pull factors concerning my employment. It is true that I will earn higher abroad, but it is also true that I might be maltreated once I decided to go out. I am scared to experience such things. I am the type of person who avoids pain, in whatever form. So, I also decided to stay because of the fear of uncertainty. For now, I prefer my monthly pay slip and my secure life in the Philippines.

Family is the Key

Like my classmate who uses his family as the main reason why he is deciding to go abroad, I also use my family as the deciding factor why I am staying. In the past, I dreamt of having my own mansion, large tract of land, and money in the bank that will be enough to sustain me in my old age. But all those dreams were changed. Now, all I want is to keep my family intact. I learned that money does not give happiness but could give emptiness.

Yes, I am staying. I want to be as close to my family as possible. However, when things get desperate, I might leave this country, but that is another blog post.

Hindi Ako Kasali

I am reading the posts of my classmates in our yahoo group, at parang napapansin ko na hindi nila ako sinasali sa usapan, until I reached a post na kinkumusta lahat ng member ng group...at sa nabasa ko ay hindi ako kasali.

Medyo bumigat ang feeling ko. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Tama nga siguro, hindi nga talaga ako member ng tropa nila. Saling pusa lang. Alam ko naman na ganun ang sitwasyon ko sa tropa noon pa eh. But then again, knowing so will not stop me from being sad.


Before I go to Sleep

So here I am in New Bilibid Prison, doing a work that is hurriedly ordered, slightly ill-prepared and almost failed. What could we expect for a project that is insufficiently supported in the first place. But then again, we pulled through, with improvisation, and connections (well thank you friends out there who lent us some data that we really needed). We are leaving this place tomorrow.

Bilibid is not the place that I thought it was. It is far from my imaginations of prison with bars, bloodhound, and guards. Malaki pala itong Bilibid. The whole compound is yet a forest and talahiban.

I did saw the supposedly maximum security compound, where the rich like Jalosjos and Tehankee have/had air conditioned units.

I am yet to see the result of our project. I hope that the results are OK. Unfortunately, I am having doubts. Darn, I couldn't kick off my pessimism.

True Goals of a True Christian

This world and its ways are passing away and eventually will cease to exist. So, what then is the goal of a true Christian in this life and in this dying world? The answer is to place God in the center of our life and love Him with all our heart.

To achieve this goal, nothing should preoccupy our daily lives other than loving and serving Him. All of our attention should be focused to Him. Does that mean you leave your current ways of living and go to the nearest seminary or nunnery? The answer is a big “NO.” We do not need to be a priest or a nun, what we truly need is to be holy and offer our daily lives, our works, our sufferings, and our victories to Him. We, our body and soul, are the best things that we could surrender to our God.

When Jesus came to our world, He did not seek to overthrow the Roman Empire, Herod, the Pharisees, and the temple authorities by starting a revolution and supplanting them with His kingdom. Our Lord Jesus became blood and flesh to share His love and redeem His creations by dying in the hands of sinners. He came not to destroy but to give life.

Our goal then, as Christians, is to be like Christ in mind, body, and soul. We should emulate his ways of living. His life, faith in the Father and determination against temptations and tribulations should be exemplified.

Just like what I said, this world will cease to exist. It will be futile for us to offer our lives to change it. Offering our lives to the world are, in the end, will be worthless and will gain nothing. But that does not mean that we should sit idly and keep the system of inequality and abuse take its course. No, we should all act in the name of the Lord!

Changing the system of this world by offering our social works will be the ones that will make the difference because the Lord will be on our side and will help us. He will make sure, by using us, that more and more people will be unburdened by the inequalities of the world system so that more and more people will come to Him and adore Him.

So, if you are a Christian, you must start loving God now, truthfully and without reservations and through you, He will change the world into a better place.

Still Lost

Supposedly, when you reach the age of early twenties (I am now 22), you already have a clear-cut goal in your head. A planned path that you will take to reach that goal, especially when you already finished schooling and were thrown in the real world outside the realm of academics.

Apparently, I am lost. This the realization that dawned on me in the last months of my college life and being felt more profoundly these days. I am lost, yes, but I am not a loser ---- no not yet. Yes, I already finished college without so much of the academic wounds. Yes, I am already an engineer and gained my license with flying colors. I successfully kept myself from becoming a bum by jumping from one job to another. I started from a low paying but exciting job, transferred to a higher paying but boring one, and now to another job that makes me feel uncertain.

Now, at this moment that I thought that I had gained many great things, I began to feel that I am losing most of the good things in my life.

I am lost, and losing. The only thing that is keeping me sane is the fact that I still can keep my depression at bay.

Why Oh Why?

Talk to me, text me me. I am just one SMS away. Why do you have to do this? Please, just text me anything. Anything will do, throw your angst, shower me with your wrath. Smother me with your sadness. But, please...not this wall of silence.

Nothing will be resolve by keeping mum about the issue. I admit to be in the wrong, yes I declare! I lied, I am dishonest. Though I told you about it, maybe for you the confession is too late, just too late. But please not this silence. I do not know how to place myself. Does this mean that you do not forgive me? Is your silence a sign that you're giving up.

You're giving up? Tell me! I am listening. I will accept anything. I will eagerly accept your forgiveness, I will swallow your rejection. I will set you free, just tell me. Please tell me.

I am broken as you are, and yes, it is my fault. I deserve this brokenness. I deserve this pain.

I am a fool!

Real Friends

One of the good things that could happen to a person is in earning true friends.

I had severed my ties with the bank that I had worked for. It had been a hard time for me, and obviously I hurt the feelings of my boss in the department. I submitted my letter of resignation and my days became hard ever since.

As a newbie in the department, I know that I will have little support from the older employees. But thanks be to GOD that he placed well chosen people to be my pals

I wish to see them later. I hope that GOD Blesses them always.

Something Missing

So its now official, I am now an engineer. Our oath taking ceremony last Friday confirmed that fact.

In the ceremony held in Manila Hotel, everybody is jubilant. It seems like everybody have cameras, and everyone is posing every now and then with their friends, classmates and acquaintances.

I enjoyed so much picture taking, that I used my brother’s camera to the maximum to capture this happy event with my friends.

That Friday was really a happy day for me. I laughed, smiled and talked with them, these people that I will never again see for a long time.

But something is missing, I didn’t have a chat with my ex-girlfriend. It is not that I am still hoping for a rejuvenation of our past relationship. I just want to break the ice and somehow repair the broken friendship or, at least, the acquaintanceship between us. Aside from the greetings and congratulatory remarks that I thrown her way, I said and did nothing more.

That event would have been better if we had smiled genuinely to one another, if only for the last time. And that is what is missing.

Three More Weeks of Hokey Pokey

It had been decided, I am leaving the bank that I am working for and transfer to a government agency that promises a better work that is in-line with my profession. With my resignation, bridges were burned and relationships went sour, a thing which I do not want to happen.

Someone said that our boss in our department is mad at me (and I suppose that that is true). I do not want to have enemies. They make me uncomfortable, especially if they are near me and I can’t do anything about it. But then again, such things are bound to happen. I just console myself with this saying that I made:

“For a person to progress, one must not hesitate to burn bridges and embitter some relationships, if necessary.”

Our future is in our hands. One must not be influenced by ideas like “hiya” and “pakikisama.” These things keep us from moving freely and are detriment to our progress.

Now I am an Engineer

I thank GOD for helping me for my examinations. I thank all the people who prayed for me. I thank my sisters, my beloved girlfriend, my bestfriend in Davao, my brother and his friends in Opus Dei, my Mom and my Dad.

Thanks to all and because of you my name was included in the list of those who passed the engineering board examination.

Thank you my LORD who gave me this honor. My victory is for YOU. I LOVE YOU JESUS.

The End The Start The End The Start

Tapos na board exam namin kahapon...may work na naman bukas...pero parang ayoko ng pumasok..parang gusto ko ng bagong job...ano ba ang gusto ko?

Tapos na ang exam kahapon...wala pa ring results hanggang ngayon...papasa ba ako?

Tapos na ang board kahapon...marka ng pagtatapos ng review...ng puyat at aral...tama ba?

Tapos na ang board exam namin kahapon...eh ano ngayon.

Sana bukas Engineer na ako.

Why So Nervous?

I feel nervous today. Or specifically, I am nervous because that I might lose my beloved to a guy in her future workplace.

My Beloved informed me that she will be trying to apply for a job today, and that the job will entail her to work in graveyard shift. Unfortunately, my imagination flickered once again. And the worst is that I began to think that I might lose my Beloved to guy in her workplace.

This thought keep me nervous. But then again, all I could do is to send her a text message cheering her up, to go on and get that job and end her stint of being jobless for months now. I can't send a message that will expose my fear and thus discourage her to go for what she like and what she need. She has to do it, and the right thing for me to do is to support her. The best thing to do is to erase my fear and put all my trust and confidence in her.

I trust her and I love her, but why do I still feel this fear?

Ah! I just wish that the Davao del Norte move tectonically near Manila so that she will never be too far away from me.

Trust in GOD

”But he said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. The life is a greater thing than the food, and the body than the clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storeroom nor barn; yet God feeds them. Of how much value are you than they! But which of you being anxious about it can add to his stature a single cubit? Therefore if you are not able to do even a very little thing, why are you anxious concerning the rest?’

‘Consider how the lilies grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which flourishes in the field today but tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more of you, O you of little faith!’

‘And as for you, do not seek what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; and do not exalt yourselves (for after all these things the nations of the world seek): but you Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be given to you besides.’

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased you Father to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms. Make for yourselves purses that do not grow old, a treasure unfailing in heaven, where neither thief draws near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.’”

-Luke 12:22-34

This is the word of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this passage, He insisted what is our priority in this world. Our primary goal in this life is to be the servant of the Lord and to love our God with all our heart. Material things do not matter in our goal in perfecting ourselves to be Christ-like.

In the materialistic world that we are in today, it is hard not to worry about the food that we will eat, the clothes that we will wear, the education of our children, and the future of our families and ourselves. As the cost of living rises day-by-day, it is very hard not to anxious about such things.

I, for instance, worry about my career; of what will happen to me during my board exam; the state of my relationship with my girlfriend; and how I can help my parents in our daily expenses. I keep on worrying that I forgot about the state of my soul.

Through this passage, our Lord teaches us not to worry about such things. All we need to do is to put all our trust in Him and everything will be fine. He cares for the raven and the lilies, what more of us, His beloved creatures made in "His image". Jesus tells us that God will not let hinder such material need to hinder the growth of our faith.

Our God is good. It is all about faith and through His Grace everything will be fine. Trusting God makes us see His blessings as gifts, every single day as a chance to be a better servant of the Lord, every problem as a chance to strengthen our faith and every relationships as a way to bring other people closer to God.

Workplace Tip

Observe Everything, Absorb and Reject
Three weeks had passed since I started working in a bank. I stayed long enough to see many things and techniques that my fellow older workmates do regarding their job. I also heard grievances and conflicting opinions regarding the job, the workplace and the company.

For a newbie like me, the safest course is to keep my mouth shut while listening and observing. Many things that I observed run contrary to what I believe is right. Thus, I had to learn how to discriminate between what is right and what is wrong. I must not accept all the things that are being taught to me.

Remember that whatever you do today will reflect to the course of your career in the future. It is up to you if you will choose to use the erroneous technique or not. Whatever you choose, you must prepare yourself for the consequences of your decision.

Remember, your decision is yours alone. You can not blame the employee whom you copy the wrong technique. It will be you who will feel the full brunt of punishment if your wrongdoing were uncovered (and mind you, all of evil deeds are always uncovered).

A Good Start

After so many interviews, applications, exams, prayers and personal deliberations, I finally landed a job on a bank. Thank heavens I did say, but then again, as a true to the blue pessimist, I felt uncertainties brewing inside of me as if I am expecting some bad things to happen.

But bad things do happen, and I have a good start inside my department. Fortunately, my timing is perfect...two supervisors were leaving, apparently they had a row with the management. One of the rank and file is rattling about something (which I inferred is connected to what happened with the two supervisors). And as the day progresses, I continually discover that many of my coworkers are planning to leave, if they just get the chance.

Do I chose the right decision to work in this bank? Only GOD has the answer.

Divine Providence

Ask God for a candy and he will give you two.

Ask for ill things to befell on you and He may grant it in a way that will change your perception for the better. Don’t ask anything and He will surprise you with a lot of good things.

These are my experiences with the Lord of Hosts in the twenty and one year of my existence. There are times that I feel so hopeless and scared that I accuse God of not listening. In the end, I am always humbled. My limited knowledge cannot grasp the workings of the Lord. I cannot understand the little things that He places one after another to solve the problems of a protesting human like me.

I’ve been jobless for a whole month now, In spite of being a fresh graduate and still an unlicensed engineer, I gathered all my courage to apply to many companies. I prayed for a job that will not only satisfy my financial needs but will also answer my cravings for a rewarding career life. He answered by giving me two opportunities: work in a bank or in a government agency.

But the Lord’s answers are not served on silver platter. We must understand that His answers are also challenges on the strength of our faith and love. We must also understand that His answers will not always be the answers that we want. Our faith must be strong enough to accept this truth and believe with conviction that His answer is the right solution to our problems.

The Lord works in His way and in His time and He acts always at the right moment. Let us not fear that He abandons us in the darkest of our days. He never does such things and He never will. Only a fool would think otherwise.

By and by, I failed a lot of times to uphold my faith and let fear rule my heart in just a small problem. Fortunately, the Lord of Hosts always prop me up.

In every personal catastrophe and problems, I couldn’t help but smile. Smile at the Lord’s majesty and greatness.

The Lord is great. He is so great that His greatness is beyond our imagination. Though great as He is, he sent His own Son to heal us. That is the greatest help that the Lord ever gave me in my whole life.

Before the Eastern Sunset

Long time ago
Before the eastern sunset
A tadpole swam
and eaten by pudding plum
A child-man came out with the blood.
Between the morning sunrise
and the foreboding sunset
The child-man played
and hurt
and cried
Did he laughed and smiled?
Sometimes yes
sometimes nay
On the way home
an old man looked back
Uncrippled mind scanned the many pasts
With the end of the eastern sunset
he died

Event of the Day: Make Way for the Train

Going home from a job application, my bus suddenly stopped. I looked out of the window to see the reason for the sudden traffic jam.

I am amazed at what I saw. A train of Philippine National Railways chugging through Quezon Avenue. “It is running! It is running!” my mind exclaimed. Actually it is just creeping. Then my mind shouted, “Wow, there are passengers, unbelievable.”

On that moment, it seems that I am watching an LRT2 train prototype ---- moving in 8 times slowmo.

It chugged out of sight, and the little boars are once again free to run the length of Quezon Ave.

The Mantis and the Spider

One sunny day, just like every summer days
The mantis and the spider had a battle
Where in the end one is devoured by the other.

One fine day, just like other summer days
The mantis and the spider did battle
On an arena which obviously is a dead twig
Where one will lose and be eaten by the other.

One hot day, just like any summer days
The mantis and the spider battled
Inside the circle formed by a sweaty crowd
Where cattles and golds were gambled.

The spider
Hungry as can be
Started toward the waiting mantis.

But in a flash
The spider was slashed
Its body twitching on the ground
Its head eaten by its opponent.

One dry day, just like all summer days
Bodies lay around the twitching spider
The mob cursing, punching and kicking
Nourishing the thirsty earth with their blood.

Jobless on Labor Day

Today is Labor Day all over the country, but for me, today is Laborless Day because I resigned from the company where I worked for the past six months (after realizing that I will not prosper in that company because even after staying for more than six months my salary is still pegged to 300 pesos per day plus the fact that I have no SSS, medical benefits, 13th month pay, holidays, leave and no pay for overtime).

From the ranks of the underemployed, I welcome myself to the world of the unemployed.

I know that finding another place to work is hard. I had to compete with hundreds of other job hunters that may have better qualifications and better connections than me. I know that this will be an uphill battle.

I will do my best ---- and hope that my laborless days will be over before June 1 comes.

(This post was written yesterday but unfortunately, it rained hard so I did not go to an internet cafe due to a high probability of an electrical blackout)

NEWS FLASH: Jesus is Alive!

Though we may not be sure of its true date, today is the day that the Catholic Church celebrates the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Easter Day is a day associated with the pagan deity Aster. The Church stamped out the pagan tradition and put the day of our GOD’s resurrection in its place.

Jesus’ resurrection is the happiest moment in the history of the Universe. On this day, the prophecies of the Old Testament prophets were fulfilled. It is a victory against Satan. The age-old promise of our GOD (read Genesis 3:14-15) after the fall of Adam and Eve came true. The bridge between humanity and GOD was restored.

Easter should focus on Jesus. But then again, just like many Christian celebrations, the focus went to other things. The Easter bunny and the Easter egg hunt stole the Christian essence of Easter. It is sad that Easter degenerated to its pagan past ---- a mere celebration of spring, of being alive again after a long cold winter.

The death and resurrection of our Lord should be remembered. Its memory must move us in striving to please Him.

Kill the Easter bunny. Throw away its eggs and celebrate instead the fulfillment of GOD’s promise and anticipate Jesus’ second coming.

May GOD guide and bless us always.


In middle of agony
A great angel came
As rare as a desert rain.

Spying on Leftists

The company where I work for has an aerial photography project. Thus, we submitted application for permit in conducting the project to the Air Transportation Office (ATO) and the Intelligence Office of the AFP. As part of our application, certain people, which said that they work in ATO, called and ask basic information to all personnel involved in the project. Their questioning on me went well until the person from the “ATO” asks something about my political affiliation.
ATO-man: (after asking all basic information like educational background, address, etc.) …Eto last question na ito. Sana sagutin mo honestly ha.
Ishmael: Sige po. Ano po ‘yun?
ATO-man: Left-leaning ka ba?
Ishmael: Ha? Ano po uli ‘yun?
ATO-man: Left-leaning ka ba? Sumama ka na ba sa mga Rally? OK lang kung oo.
Ishmael: Ah! Hindi po. Puro acads lang kasi ‘yung focus ko noong undergrad kaya hindi na ako sumama sa mga ganyan.
ATO-man: Ganon? Kasi ‘di ba may mga makakaliwang grupo sa UP...tulad ng LFS [League of Filipno Students].
Ishmael: Opo...alam ko po. Sikat nga po ‘yung UP sa mga ganyan.
ATO-man: Pero may kilala ka na kasali sa mga grupong ‘yan?
Ishmael: Ah, wala po. Wala akong kilala sa kanila.
ATO-man: Wala...walang lumapit sa iyo na kasali? Wala kang na-engkwentro? OK lang sabihin mo ‘yung mga pangalan. Kakausapin ko lang sila.
Ishmael: Meron po syempre...’yung minsan ‘pag may rali at nag-aabot ng leaflets. ‘yun lang po. Pero hindi ako sumasama kasi nga puro acads ako.
ATO-man: Ganon...o sige tatawag na lang ako uli kung may iba pa akong questions ha.
Actually, I lied in that conversation many times for the sake of the speedy processing of the permit and the protection of my friends that are involved in his so-called “leftist groups.” I joined a protest rally once and I encountered the so-called leftists beyond from being the receiver of their leaflets. I knew some people belonging to LFS and Anak Bayan. But what the heck. Why did he ask about my political affiliations and activities? Is it relevant in the company’s application for a permit?
One thing is certain, that person from the “ATO” is trying to squeeze information from me about the critics of the present administration. And that, is scary.

Unlucky Friday

February 1, 2008

My taxi crashed to a bus inside a tunnel somewhere in Makati.

The hood bended and the driver came out to see the extent of the damage.

I just looked at the fare meter, gave the driver sixty pesos, came out through the driver’s side door, and hailed another taxi.

At that very moment, I felt nothing. NOTHING! No pity for the poor driver, no fear the moment the taxi hit the bus, no relief and “thank-goodness-I-am-alive” feeling after the collision. No emotion, just this nagging feeling that I’ll be late. LATE for a damn appointment.

Thinking of it now, the incident might be GOD’s answer to my ardent plea of death minutes before the incident. Or maybe not. After another scolding and emotional spanking from eGoman (read: the boss), anger coursed throughout my body. Like electricity flowing through my veins. Hours later, on my way to Manila International Airport, trapped inside a bus that is also trapped in an eternal traffic, with my head filled with wrath, depression, and the nagging feeling that I will be late; I pleaded and vented to the Almighty why do I have to suffer those miseries. Why don’t He just let me die, right there and then.

Minutes later, my taxi crashed to bus.

Now I feel pity to the poor driver. What had happened to him? What would his company do to him? Questions that I don’t have the answers. Thoughts that will never help the driver.

Now I rediscovered that He indeed listens in a way that I wished.

I'll Be

The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful
Stop me and steal my breath
And emeralds from mountains thrust towards the sky
Never revealing their depth
Tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I'll be captivated, I'll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

I'll Be your cryin' shoulder
I'll Be loves suicide
I'll Be better when I'm older
I'll Be the greatest fan of your life

And rain falls angry on the tin roof
As we lie awake in my bed
You're My Survival, You're My Living Proof
My love is alive and not dead

Tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I'll be captivated, I'll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

I'll Be your cryin' shoulder
I'll Be loves suicide
I'll Be better when I'm older
I'll Be the greatest fan of your life

And I've dropped out, I've burned up, I fought my way back from the dead
Tuned in, turned on, remembered the things that you said

I'll Be your cryin' shoulder
I'll Be loves suicide
I'll Be better when I'm older
I'll Be the greatest fan of your life

I'll Be your cryin' shoulder
I'll Be loves suicide
I'll Be better when I'm older
I'll Be the greatest fan of your life

The greatest fan of your life.

I will not forget this song because I miss you so much... :-!

The Days that Never End

"What are your plans after this?"

Someone asked me this question lately. Frankly I do not know the answer. I do not have explicit plans for the future. Yes I have goals and the major of them is to stabilize my financial situation. I do not know how will I achieve my major goal. Maybe I get a decent job with decent salary to realize this. I live in the present and my plans are for the immediate future.

My only answer to that question? Leave.


I felt it again. The sudden rush of blood through my veins. The feeling of my heart being crushed into small pieces. The awakening of that damn fear making me breathe hard..darn it! I thought I was over her. I thought that I can look into her eyes when we meet again. To talk to her like nothing happened. Now I discovered that I am not ready. That maybe I will never be ready to face her again. Darn it! Darn it! Darn it! But then again I think I am feeling better...I lost that "I want to die" brouhaha. No, I won't succumb to that stupidity again. I just..darn it!

Oh wot the hell....thank GOD that "ghang" came to pull me out of that hole that I put myself into.


Drunken Monster

“Uy [Ishmael] punta ka na dito sa bahay nina Kem. Dali Inuman tayo.”
I did not come. I did not even texted her back if I am coming or not. That does not mean that I do not want their company. I love them, I like them, all of them are my good friends in their own ways…all of them, my classmates from high school.
Actually I wanted to come. I wanted to see them again even if we had just saw each other last two days before Christmas for our party (and the event in Kem’s house would be our New Year’s party). I wanted to exchange stories with them. To reminisce with them our happy days in school.
I would’ve come. The only thing that held me back was the “inuman tayo” part. I do not want to drink and get drunk again. I do not want to let my alter ego “Drunken Monster” to take control of my consciousness. I might be a control freak but I hate it when I am not in control of things around me, especially my body.
The problem with me is that that I have no self-control. I drink like there is no tomorrow until I metamorphosed into a Drunken Monster. But then again I am glad that I got to know my self better. I know now what I am when drunk. I am also glad that I did not inherited my father’s drunken state (imagine one of my aunt’s story that my dad and his buddy held a contest of crushing hollow blocks using their heads one time that they were drunk). So far I just became a pasaway and noisy when I am drunk.
Nothing serious so far, but then, I do not want to be an alcoholic. Ayokong maging katulad ng mga sugapa na malalaki ang tiyan at araw-araw ay amoy alak. It is better to prevent alcoholism than cure it.
Kasalanan ni Makoy to eh.