30 October 2005

the life of an ex-intern

ahh... sembreak. three weeks of 3am bedtimes and all day cable tv. this is the life. or is it?

my sembreak was cut-short to 2 weeks; 1 week was spent on finishing my internship. three days of doing nothing, staring at the tv screen, and surfing the net, i'm thinking there must be something better than this.

for the first time in my college life, i'd rather be somewhere else than home sweet home. for years i look forward to vacations, sembreaks, or holidays so i can stay put and spend all day thinking of what to do the next day. play ball, listen to thousands of mp3s, channel-surf, download some more mp3s, eat, sleep, watch dvd's, i can do anything.

the first week finishing the internship was an eye-opener. there is something better than this lazy-boy kind of life. i was learning, logging-in time (as required by the PRC), and assisting the pharmacists and clerks, all at the same time. and it was fun too. my sembreak time was maximized to its full potential.

how sad it had to end this way. there were new interns and we were with them for less than a week. but in that short span of time, we all clicked, adding to the things i miss about my stay at MDH. well, some good things never last...

for now, the text world will do. it's better than nothing. and for what its worth, i now have at least 6 new textmates. for the remaining days of nothing-to-do's, texting will now be my pastime. i just hope i don't exceed my plan's limit...

29 October 2005

SM Valenzuela NOW OPEN ...to jologs!

SM Supercenter Valenzuela opened its doors to the public yesterday october 28. only a few minutes walk from our house, shopping has never been this close to home.

9am, a few hours short of my 10-hour sleep, my mom woke me up. sasama ka ba sa SM? my thoughts were like: sleeeep... more sleep... and so i slept some more. i woke up a couple of hours later, went down and saw what i thought was my sister. sumama ka ba sa kanila sa SM? it was my mom, she's already home from visiting the new SM. some of my relatives were still at the store, but the huge turnout of people was too much for my mom.

from a post by derob in Derob In Dinoland, i kinda had an idea of what the place looked like. it was small, only half the size of SM Manila, and with only 4 cinemas. but how crowded could it be? how small was it? what were the stores inside? i have to see it.

5pm i went with my sister and my cousin. we took a tricycle, and in a couple of minutes we were in front of the supercenter. and they were right. i think half of valenzuela inhabitants were there, or even more. the number of people bothered me only a bit, what bothered me most was the kind of people i saw. jologs everywhere.

now i respect them, after all we are all equals. who am i to look down right? but some of them just dont belong. students, mostly gradeschool and highschool, still in their uniforms, were all over the place. i think department stores are not supposed to allow GS & HS students in uniform inside their stores. well ok, maybe their classes were over, i'll let them go. but i just remembered my mom saying that she saw students in uniform too. my mom went there 9am to maybe 11am. do the math.

SouthBorder was scheduled to play. well, that didn't help to decrease the number of people. the steps leading to the door were full of tambays sitting casually on them. and as we were about to enter the place, we heard a voice-over announcing that the band was about to play next. the steps became almost empty as the tambays rushed to the stage.

as we walked, i saw tambays sitting on the floor, left and right. children were running around as if they had no parents. scanning the stores, i wanted to see where the cinemas were. it's on the third floor and still tambays were there sitting on the floor for no apparent reason. my sister was wearing a skirt and i saw one of the sitting tambays, crouching down and trying to have a peek on what's underneath. i looked at him with a mean glare and he looked back as if he was doing nothing. maybe he didn't realize that my sister was with me coz i was so far back. so i just stared at him, caught up with my sister and blocked his view.

after buying a couple of things, i wanted to go home. my feet were surprisingly tired given how small the place was. we went out through the other end, and surprise, surprise. punks, with their extra small black shirts, fit denim pants, and their "too-much-gel" hairstyle, crowded the steps on the way out. how i wish i had a couple of bodyguards with me. that way i could tell them off not worrying about getting beat up.

i wouldn't mind an hour of travel to shop at a more decent department store.

28 October 2005

blessing in disguise

we came in with a "let's get this over with mindset." a day short of three months later, it's over, but how we wish we could do this internship all over again...

the idea at first was to finish this board exam requirement as soon as possible. the word on the campus was that Manila Doctors Hospital offers a shortcut. 640 hours for only 480 hours logged-in. perfect. with less than a year 'til the boards and 960 hours of internship to go, the offer is impossible to resist.

yesterday was our last day at MDH. no more early wake-up alarms and no more automatic shutdowns. no more duties, no more drugs, no more bin cards to fill, no more pending requests, and no more pigeon holes. but as with the old adage, you'll never appreciate these things until you lose them. a truth that is a hard pill to swallow.

my body is delighted that it's over, but my heart is definitely not. there were days that the word "tiring" is an understatement, but the people made it so worthwhile. finishing our time at the hospital is like taking-off for another country and leaving behind your family.

and i do consider them my 3rd family (next to my good ol' friends). i can't help but wonder how our next internship would compare to this. MDH has raised the bar so high i can't imagine another workplace so warm. i even appreciate the MDH people that were kinda mean to us, people we didn't like. at least they made some days interesting.

and as for those people that left footprints on our hearts, we thank you. not only did we learn a lot, we also gained friends along the way.

to mai, gemli, annerly, sarah, benjo, malou, juhvee, queenie, ruby, ina, nancy, donna, papa doms, she-an, net, sharon, joy t, joy o, yeyen, k, raegan, eve, all the clerks and other i might have missed, may God bless you all!

19 October 2005

tsk, tsk, tsk... tsk, tsk...

more on orange and rip-offs...

i just finished watching boy abunda's kontrobersyal. as a topic of a majority of blog sites and email groups, the originality of pinoy ako by orange and lemons was the center of discussion in a feature entitled "rip-off."

it started off with itsumo by dice & k9. lame. ancient. 2004 material. the group's lead rapper told detractors to stop the hating.
dice: it's my time to shine.
ron: your 15 minutes of fame are over, the exit is to your left. would you like my foot to escort your ass to the door?

next up, cueshe. gay. yawn, yawn. fast forward please.

the moment of truth. a musical arranger was interviewed and originality was his outcry. konting delicadeza naman he uttered. finally, someone on our side. he started examining the songs chandeliers and pinoy ako. and the verdict?
arranger: the two songs are entirely different from each other.
ron: open your ears man! don't tell me you're just another puppet of the network giant ABS-CBN...

i thought the truth will be presented but apparently, the feature was one-sided. even the composer, whom i felt bad for, is on their side with the same remarks. the two songs are entirely different songs. i understand. the band, the composer, both under ABS-CBN Star Records. why bite the hand that feeds, right?

then a breakthrough. Music writer blows whistle on Orange and Lemons. Giselle Roque, music writer for Pulp magazine, bares proof that Pinoy Ako is indeed a rip-off. also a friend of Chandeliers composer Paul Simpson, Roque revealed that the group Orange and Lemons apologized to her, but sadly, not to The Care. the article is quite lengthy, but is enlightening. it even exposes the dark side of the controversial band.

Clem (Castro of Orange and Lemons) รข€˜E bakit kami magpapaalam? Magpasalamat pa nga ang The Care at pinasikat namin ang kanta nila.'

She further revealed that "Orange and Lemons said that they were pressured and did not know what else to do. Since they were listening to The Care, to that effect, they decided na "puwede" ang "Chandeliers." I have the e-mail from Orange and Lemons to prove this including the time line explaining they had to rush the song because ABS-CBN gave them barely a week to do it and record the video for "Pinoy Ako."

tsk, tsk, tsk... tsk, tsk...

14 October 2005

observant glances

it was a routine lunchbreak, on a budget and on a tight schedule. looking through a glass, people were browsing for food that might interest their tastebuds that day. while having a peek at the choices, i took a glance at the people around me and i saw a face that i'm sure i have seen before...

i tried to focus on the task at hand, i got to order now 'cause my tummy's grumbling, but i kept thinking where did i see that face? electrical signals on my brain were frantic. then a light bulb lits up.

that face belonged to my myspace buddy! a friendster and a chatmate as well, but i wasn't sure if that's her. with only online pictures for reference, doubts surfaced. i knew she was from the same university but on a different college. the probability was high; the foodstall was like a lunch convergence of 3 colleges, nursing, pharmacy and dentistry. im an overstaying pharmacy student, she's a sophomore at the college of nursing.

i was looking her way, trying to confirm. i saw her with the same observant glance. maybe she's also considering the connection. a greeting would be awkward at this point. if only i had a way to confirm. i heard someone calling her name, but the audio wasn't clear. from the indistinct sound i tried to match the name to the face. it was definitely her... on second thought... nah, it can't be.

yesterday, i heard a knock. ym popped-up, months after the incident, she logged-in. now would be a good time to ask. catching up was first on the itinerary, second was the gap to ask the question. lam mo parang nakita kita dati sa skul... pero d ako sur kung ikaw yun e. the reply: lam ko, nafeel ko din yun eh..


checking her profile... Who I Want to Meet: Peter Pan, and hope he'll fly me to Neverland or give me a thimble!

Peter Pan epidsode II? mere chance? interesting none-the-less... now don't tell me you're the real tinkerbell... 'cause i wouldn't mind that at all...

tsk, tsk, tsk...

anyone seen Pinoy Big Brother? ...as if i still need to ask. with the kind of promotion abs-cbn did for PBB and the kind of show that it is, people all over the country tune in at around 10. even 'kapuso' peeps watch the show.
i myself am a self-confessed PBB fan (yes mckee, pareho tayo). the first week of its airing, i didn't see. i wasn't persuaded by the hype. i saw a portion of the episode where they entered the house and that was it. i didnt watch it for 2 weeks. and now after a few full episodes, im hooked.

anyone who watches PBB is all too familiar with the theme song. pinoy ikaw ay pinoy.. ipakita sa mundo.. kung ano ang kaya mo... great lyrics in a refreshing tune by the band orange and lemons... or more appropriately orange and rip-offs

tsk, tsk, tsk... just when i was starting to like the band. i've seen them play before (before their popularity) and i was amazed on how they've captured the music of the 80's. i never thought they were pirates.

while searching for the song "pinoy ako" the theme song for PBB, a few interesting webpages surfaced. blogs and articles are saying they copied the song "pinoy ako" from the song "chandeliers" by care, a new wave band. there was a link to the song and i heard it, then bamm! orange and rip-offs.

researching some more, i found an article about the band's response. apparently it has come to their attention that they are being accused of copying the song "chandeliers." how low can you go? they even had the audacity of denying the accusation. the two songs in question are two entirely different songs they said. well of course they're different. but only in lyrics i say. here's a link to the full song Care - Chandeliers. you be the judge.

and to think its composer entrusted the lyrics to them. tsk, tsk, tsk... "pinoy ako, pirata tayo!" also in the list of rip-off artists are session road and cueshe. session road's "leaving you" is charged with ripping off Superdrag's "Garbonzia" and cueshe's "stay" for Silverchair's "The Greatest View."

poor cueshet, i mean cueshe. not only are they the gayest local band of all time, they are good rip-off artists as well...

13 October 2005

the 51st

i was skeptical at first, never really knew what it was all about. clicked a couple of underlined words and still no upsurge on my interest level. who cares for blogs anyways?

obviously, i now do. i started out using the blog feature of myspace for my do-it-yourself emotional therapy. working on my 51st post, i never thought i would be this hooked to blogging. technically this isn't my 51st post. a couple of entries more were posted in myspace but due to certain situations were not transferred to my friendster blog. the drama is over and im thinking of doing a late post here at friendster (edited of course). it's a risk-benefit assessment and maybe a few raised hands from people will tip the scale in favor of the post.

blogs made depression a mere pebble to me; moving-on didn't involve hurt feelings or tears. it worked like a charm. and after finishing the therapy part of my blog life, i started to enjoy the anything-goes writing part of it. i remember john mayer saying something like: "i love it when i sing to the audience and they sing back the lyrics to me, it's like feeling that you're not alone in the world, they can relate to what you're feeling" (from the Any Given Thursday dvd).

it's the same thing here. feedback from the readers gave me a sense of comfort. i'm not the only one in this drama. people relate to what i write, to what i feel.

and it doesn't stop at 51, heck no. i won't slow down. and neither should you.

you damn right im talking to you gp, kirk, derob, kaye, and ma'am mai! flex your fingers and let me read some more blogs ayt?!!

06 October 2005

sleep all day

blame the weather or blame my lazy ass. either way, i can't seem to find the enthusiasm to get out of bed. i almost slept all day today, literally. if not only for the pending to do's and the minor headaches of oversleeping, i would have never gotten out of bed.

i hate and love being the bum that i am, but it has to end sometime. and looking at the weeks ahead, im starting to savor the extra hours of sleep im getting. a couple of examinations, a continuing internship, and another beer-swimming party, it's gonna be crazy.

take time to take time. have a break. give yourself a hug. what the heck, just sleep while you can and just work your ass off when its crunch time!

05 October 2005

upgrade, downgrade (the pros and cons of friendster's new face)

a lot have changed since the time i signed up for friendster. i can't even recall how exactly the website looked like while on its beta version. in friendster's new start-up page, i can't help but look for a link that says "friendster classic." that would be something.

don't get me wrong here. i love the new features and all but isn't it a bit too much? let's analyze the pro's first, shall we?

1. friendster blog
this feature, i love (obviously). come to think of it, among the avid internet users, blogging was the next big thing after friendster. it was a good move on friendster's part to include blogs. it's great that you dont have to be registered with friendster to read blogs. for users who want to blog, they no longer have to sign-up on blog sites. a click on friendster and a new blog is created. type away with your thoughts...

2. CSS editor
no question this jazzes up profiles in friendster, but after a while, the bling on this feature will soon fade. (more on this later...)

3. Friend Tracker
updated profiles, uploaded pics, and new testimonials. nice things that keep you up to speed when it comes to your friends' friendster activity. and probably a guide to see who's overdoing it...

4. Birthday Reminders
this is a lifesaver! if i had a nickel (or piso na lang) for every time i forget people's birthdays, i'll be a rich man. even birthdays of close friends i can't seem to embed on my brain. and as for those not so very close friends, you'll know their birthdays too. now you'll be ready for the upcoming birthday of your crush!

5. Who's Viewed Me
you'll now know who has viewed your profile, an addition to the 'your profile has been viewed x times' feature. im having mixed emotions on this one. it's nice to see who's been checking you out but on the contrary, people you check out will know you've been checking them out as well.

6. Photos / Photo Albums
from a limit of 5 photos to a high of 50 photos you can upload not including the pics you put on your photo albums.

on with the cons...

1. CSS editor
as mentioned this feature will jazz up your profile. but from my experience in myspace.com, this will eventually be an annoyance. videos, music, added pics on the profiles equals longer loading time for your page. im only on dial-up, as most of us are, and the additional KB's to download are oftentimes not worth it. edit your profile, personalize. but please avoid uploading things that are of no importance. its in the way of the getting to know you part of friendster.

2. The new start-up page
the new start-up page also takes some time to load and is too complicated.

3. other features
new features i don't care about: horoscope, classifieds and "ATTRACT WOMEN anytime, anywhere without rejection...Click Here Free Tips > "

...all in all i think friendster took the right step in upgrading their system. i started this analysis thinking that the upgrade was a bad idea. i guess i just miss the simplicity that friendster beta offered. in trying to keep up with other networking sites such as multiply.com and myspace.com, friendster somehow said goodbye to its former self.

fortunately for them we're stuck here. no other community website boasts of the number of people that friendster have. type the name of your grade school classmate on the user search box and there's a good chance he or she is on friendster. maybe even the driver of your school bus is on friendster.

02 October 2005

saturday's twofold birthday bash

saturday night, off the grill, timog ave, and not a lot of people, yet. the night began with a couple of minutes of choosing where to sit. finally a winner, and we took our seat and got the party started. in the company of our good friend san mig light, the night will only get better...

it started with five people on the table. and after a few messages from the birthday girl, the five became seven, then nine, then ten, then twelve, then fourteen. the night had its fair share of misfortunes though. midway through, the lights went out. at first we thought its part of the act, an introduction perhaps of the performing band. the next thing i saw were waiters handing out candles. this short-circuit sh*t was for real. but no worries. with friends, good conversations, and a kick of alcohol, i can't even remember how long the power breakdown was.

*i don't know the name of the performing band. all i can remember was the male vocalist's goatee (upsetting my own goatee) and the female vocalist who looks like a dude.

two of our friends mentioned another birthday party happening at another friend's house. yeah sure, we'll drive by. not really knowing if that was possible, i didn't bring wheels so we were at the mercy of our ride's owner slash driver. he's not from our school and may not be interested in going into a stranger's party. but i guess the numbers game had its way, and a cooperative steering wheel brought us to a second birthday bash.

the doors opened, old friends, old schoolmates jam-packed the place. swimming in a sea of familiar faces, the nostalgia was great. hugs, pounds and handshakes were everywhere. and why not? i wont be seeing them for a good couple of months or even years. different lives and a faded communication line only hints of a get-together of rare proportions.

one last thing. on my jeepney ride home, i paid my fare with a P20 bill. i was seated beside the driver and he probably detected an alcohol intake on my part. he gave me my change, it was P1.25 short. normally i would just forget about it and just think of it as my way of charity. but the alcohol was in charge of my brain at that point, so i asked for my P1.25. i thought, i may be drunk but im not stupid. another round of beer please!

01 October 2005

homeward bound

after 2 weeks of internship, exams, presentations, and deadlines, i was physically exhausted and mentally drained. homeward bound and another 'railway track-back' moment lurks. this time, the drama wasn't about the stations, it was about me. it didn't have the music video scene as the RTB comments had suggested. the ride was not conducive to emotional thinking but still the melancholy commenced...

first on queue was a sighting. i can't remember how long it has been. she walked on by. her smile was there but i wasn't able to say hi or even raise my eyebrows to greet. maybe it's just because our eyes didn't meet. or probably because i was subconsciously making myself busy not to catch her eye. 2 stations later i started to wonder why. digging deep, i found answers. unfortunately, the answers came with more questions...

next up, i started thinking about graduation, or more appropriately started thinking if i would graduate at all. in all my years in college, i was never conscious about my grades. but now that the end is near, i started to doubt if i could reach the finish line. with the help of the divine, i could. but doubts will always be there and will cease to torment only until i step up to the stage and receive the ribbon-tied, rolled-up paper called diploma.

fx ride, and i receive a message from a birthday girl. a party was in order and saturday night it is. saturday night, that'll be something to look forward to. for a while there i got excited. but the elation was short-lived.

i got home and connected to the internet. while enlisting my subjects for the coming semester online, i opened other windows of internet explorer and logged on to friendster. My Inbox: new messages. click. subject: bad news...

click. she lost her phone. classes for this semester are over, the coming week will be for final examinations. no more classes, no more SMS's, only thing left is friendster.