25 March 2006

unwelcomed visitors

these past few days, the steel handrails of the train are extra sticky. i guess the air-con unit of the train cannot compete with the heat and humidity of philippine summer. i had to balance through my rides rather than exposing my hand to what's left of a compilation of interpersonal hand sweat. summer is definitely here.

nights are uncomfortable both physically and emotionally. the fan is at a maximum but the air it blows out is hardly refreshing. while my body adapts to the changes in the weather, my emotions on the other hand are in a bit of a fray.

almost every night of the fresh summer, my long-lost friends accompany me against my will. i think you know most of them. there's my good ol' pal frustration, then there's loneliness, and his cousin restlessness. for a while, i forgot about them. but all of a sudden they're back. i just hope they're here only to visit and not move in...

calling peace of mind...

22 March 2006


deja vu.

1:57 am. exam at 5:00pm. progress report: 10% progress. ten percent attributing only to my stock knowledge. honest progress report: 0%. the primary culprit: people.

after battling with the waiting game that the philippine system plays, i finally got my renewed driver's license. from LTO valenzuela, passed on to LTO caloocan, the system never fails to... fail. and from technical reasons to duplicate licenses, i burned up 800 Php, waited a total 5 hours, only for a plastic card that i rarely use. but some spent less time and money, offering cash under the table or just having an influential connection. draining to say the very least.

woke up 9:30pm after a much needed nap, reminded of the task at hand. the plan:
9:30-10:00, dinner. 10:00-11:00, PBB. 11:00-12:00, chill. 12:00-1:00, late night with conan o'brien. 1:00-sleepy time, study.
the plan was in motion but a detour at 12:45am; aimee marcos was on pipol. nice smile, intelligent, feet on the ground, musically oriented (beatles baby!), artist, and without a political mindset. any aimee marcos clones out there, call me. then my eyes were dropping. time for a little caffeine sip.

drinking coffee while channel surfing. then a familiar face stopped my finger from pressing CH+. tupac shakur. and i thought it was just another tupac biography, but it wasn't. most of the time it was 2pac talking. and it's a different story when the life of a person is presented by the person himself. it's his life, the way he saw it, the way he perceived the world, the way he lived it.

so even if i fail my exam, i'll be cool with it. you can only learn so much about drugs, diseases, treatments and all that crap i probably wouldn't even remember next month. but to learn from people and to learn a bit about life... priceless.

21 March 2006

a raincloud on a hot summer day

i roughly have 30 minutes to prep for the day; i woke up late, again. i knew this was coming but the 11:30 lights out wasn't working. the lights were on 'til 5 am. so there i was, took a bath, put on my clothes, fixed my things, all on fast-forward. the clock is ticking, might as well skip my meal.

i walked outside waiting for a ride but then a taxi cab pulled over. my sister hired a taxi and offered me a ride. cool, i'll save a couple of bucks and i'll be comfortable too... not. summer was pressing it's face on my skin, and the cab's clear windows and defective air-conditioning unit did not make it easier. and to make things worse, almost everytime the driver pumps the brakes, the car engine dies. good thing the cab starts right back up. i was only a few minutes behind schedule.

walked up the stairs, and a crowd was in sight. the train was behind schedule as well. and when a train finally came, the sigh of relief was not worth it. the air conditioning unit of the train was not working. this day can now be considered as a bad day candidate.

10 minutes late and i can't find my class. when i finally did, our scheduled presentation was still missing 2 more teachers. yey for filipino time! our presentation started without a hitch until the question and answer portion. we were questioned for our format, content, anything. well, if you told us what you wanted then you wouldn't be questioning us wouldn't you? tell us what you want instead of giving us a small piece of paper and letting us figure it out for ourselves...

after the dust settled, after the smoke has cleared, after all has been said and done, and after all the sappy cliche's, it's time to go home. the day is finally over. or is it? on my way home, only a few meters away to my stop, the engine of the jeepney i was riding died. it took a number of ignitions for it to start again. so i guess its official. a dark raincloud was above me all along.

15 March 2006

still on a time warp

i lent our nintendo family computer when i was in highschool and i never got it back. and for a while, our free time was stuck on filipino games and tv. until my dad brought home a personal computer...

i was fortunate enough to be one first few kids to have a PC at home. and it was way, way different from the PC of today. nowadays, desktops or laptops are designed to be user friendly that even a chimp can use it. that was not the case with DOS or Disk Operating System.

with DOS, you have to remember a few command lines to efficiently operate the system. del, cd, dir, type, rename, what else was there? and how about wordstar? we even had a computer class to learn the basics of wordstar, and for what? PC's were measured by the 86's (286, 486, 586) and most of them even have a turbo button.

even the use of the mouse was so advanced at the time that you have to type something in the command prompt before you can use it. well, windows was available at that time, version 3.1. but all i ever used in windows 3.1 was the solitaire game.

and now after downloading nintendo games of the past, im now hooked on DOS games. i'm definitely still on a time warp. doom, flashpoint, prince of persia, pizza tycoon, sim city and so much more. after finding my way to a site called abandonia, i've downloaded the games for free and rediscoved new ones. i was surprised to see a game called "lord of the rings; the fellowship of the ring" dated 1990 as its date of release. who knew back then that LOTR would be such a huge success and be of a cult status.

if you're feeling vintage, check the site and maybe you'll find a couple of hours of the past back.

11 March 2006

the sounds of the LRT

when i started to utilize the LRT, an air-conditioned train was a rare sight. and what a treat it was back in the day when you chance upon this new train. it's cool, it's roomy, and it had a radio. unfortunately, the radio dial was stuck to radio stations such as yes fm, love radio and the likes. radio stations that play mostly novelty songs, foreign music (and i do mean foreign, no one understands the words), and music that would make your ears bleed. we used to call these songs "LRT songs" or "FX songs" and just the mention of it would bring to mind the genre it represents.

then there was the LRT bombings. LRT stopped its operations for a couple of months. and when it resumed service the air-con trains were nowhere in sight. there were only regular trains and a train ride during that time was eerie. alert and silent.

a few years after the tragedy and a hundred percent of the trains in operation are now fully air-conditioned. there's no radio though, but the noise is definitely back. irritating laughter, loud ringtones (mostly monotones), loud conversations over the phone, or just mere talks. and as a sole traveler, i just can't help but eavesdrop on people. how many times have you listened to a story you know is a stir? people sometimes just don't know what they're talking about. i could only shake my head. if only i could slap them and tell the right story.

and don't get me started on cellphones. with volume to a maximum, you would hear a monotone version of the latest telenovela theme song. and as if ten people on the train have the same ringtone, the owner would let the song finish. and when he finally answers the call, you'll hear this: "hello? hello?! hello, hello? hello?" then checks his phone if it's still on then: "hello?! hello? hello..."

there's no one on the other line stupid, drop the phone!

10 March 2006

sleeping pill

studying for an exam is a sleeping pill. an insomniac with 3am as my EST (estimated sleeping time), i suddenly felt the unfamiliar call of sleep. roughly 20 pages of hand-outs read and 10 more to go, i decided to call it quits and let God decide for my fate the next day. i was in bed at 1 am.

now 2:28 on my clock, i've been online for more than 30 minutes. i should probably finish what i was reading, but i know i would fall asleep on the first 2 pages of it. why is it so easy for sleep to find me when i'm studying and so hard for it to find when my eyes are virtually screaming for rest?

04 March 2006

you steal music, i steal music

guilty as charged! and i'm not afraid to say it, i steal music from the internet. for almost 9 years now, i've been downloading mp3s anywhere on the net. at least two-thirds (or around 2500) of my mp3 collection came from websites, mirc, and other file sharing networks. the rest came from ripping cd's of friends, some of which are pirated.

the music industry says it loses millions on piracy and illegal downloads. and i feel for them. did you feel the sarcasm? maybe for piracy, they have a point, other people making money out of other's work. but for downloading mp3s, i don't think so.

it's like your friend bought a cd of a band you both like. instead of buying the cd, you borrow your friend's. legal. but then your friend wants the cd back. so what do you do? you rip the cd to your desktop. still legal. if you're someone who gets online a lot, you probably use a file-sharing program or p2p. and maybe you share your ripped mp3s to people you don't know. illegal? negative. i think it only becomes illegal if you profit from it.

the music industry is guilty as well. take a look at this blog and read about the not so original OPM of the now. remakes, covers, rip-offs, whatever you wanna call it, can only be at best a PM and not an OPM. and to the real artists, don't you worry, people still buy original cd's from original artists...

03 March 2006

i'm officially a 10 year-old

twenty-four hours ago i was yearning for the tv classics. a time when weekend television was a worth the 5-day class schedule. saturday mornings of looney tunes, afternoons of maskman and nights of tropang trumpo. sunday mornings are just as great with bioman and shaider, and of course nights with anjo and smokey defending takeshi's castle.

and if tv is not enough, there was the nintendo family computer. countless hours of super mario brothers 3, trying to get to level 8 and face king kuppa. cheating my way, using al kinds of tricks just to save the princess. there's also the ubiquitous games, battle city, twin bee, galaxian, tetris, and so much more. where have all the games gone?

apparently, the games didn't go away, they are still in very much around. there are still a few places where you can buy the old-school family computer. and if that's not proof enough, try buying a new dvd player. no, not the authentic dvd players. try china-made players, they come with 2 joysticks and a cd of 300 family computer games absolutely free.

and for the PC-ridden, there's a way to bring the past straight to your desktop. try searching for NES (nintendo entertainment system)emulators on the web. after downloading an emulator (i use FCE Ultra), look for NES ROM's. there are a lot of website offering free emulators and hundreds of game rom's. i'm currently playing mike tyson's punch out, oh yeah!

and that's not all, if it's not nintendo you fell in-love with, say atari, sega, gameboy, whatever it is, it's all on the information superhighway. so start being a kid again!

02 March 2006

tv classics

it rained on the first day of march, not exactly a great start for the summer season. to make things worse, cable went out. life without cable television is definitely a bore.

rustom padilla got out of the closet. good for him. good for us too, it was the only entertainment that local television provided this day. gone were the days when we didn't need cable. we were content with 2,5,7,9 and 13. but now, even with uhf, its hard to find real entertainment.

with cable tv, i could stay up all night. even with if nothing good is on, channel surfing through 60 plus channels is amusement enough. jack tv and etc offer the best shows. late night with COB, wwe raw and smackdown, the o.c., arrested development, mad tv, saturday night live, i could go on and on. yet, i couldn't help but crave for the classics. here's my list of tv shows that i want to be aired again:

1. takeshi's castle - anjo and smokey, gibraltar bridge, the spinning mushroom, all of these brought to you by mentos.
2. maskman, bioman, shaider, daimos, mask rider black - shaider is currently airing on hero channel, annie's panties are still yellow. i just want to know how all these series end, i need closure!
3. ober da bakod - bubuli, mokong, lukring, and don robert getting arrested at every ending.
4. tropang trumpo - where it all started, the original bubble gang.
5. 5 and up - very educational.
6. the woody woodpecker show - a funny way to kill time.
7. garfield and friends - i forgot the names of the farm animals.
8. super mario brothers - mario, luigi, mushroom, the princess and kuppa!
9. full house - not the korean series but the one with the olsen twins.
10. champoy
11. t.o.d.a.s.

im having a hard time remembering the name of the other shows i like. do remind me of the classics won't cha? make your own list!

01 March 2006

cuts and bruises

a seven-year veteran of the tournament, i found myself with a bunch of young blood. you would think that a seven-year tenure would automatically give you the respect and acknowledgement you deserve, but every single year of the tourney, i'm overlooked.

rewind to 2004, first game of "Bakbakan" (UP Manila's inter-college basketball tournament)... the team was composed primarily of younger students who know each other well. i was the elder statesman. warm-up. rounds. then talks of the starting five for the game. my name wasn't mentioned. i was a benchwarmer at this point. a few seconds before the game, i was tapped to start. a sudden attack of "recognition" on their part, perhaps? a quarter later and i had a couple of lay-ups, a couple of treys, and another trey to beat the buzzer. i never spoke a word. i knew my game was screaming at them.

unfortunately, the team lost and did not qualify for the next round. but if there's any consolation, i was included in the Pedro Gil All-Stars. i never got to play at the all-star game though; i had an exam that day.

back to the 06, same scenario. but this time i was ready for their disregard. my mind was set to just have fun and try to do my best for the college. but it was a bad day for whistles. the "no blood, no foul" rule was in order. spills, cuts, bruises, and still no whistle. the game went on.

then a twist. in order to qualify for the finals, we need to have a winning margin of at least 50 points. 50 points? yeah right. three quarters gone and we were up by 21. but these damn kids still want to push it to 50. "we need 50" was their outcry. reality check, anyone? in their uncontrolled drive for 50, they crumbled. the once 20+ point margin was down to 13 with only a minute left. we won the game but their heads were down. after the game, i was the only one with a smile. i enjoyed the game. and they should've too. it was my last game carrying pharma pride, so i guess they just have to figure things out by themselves...