Monday, January 31, 2011

I thought I'd go home with my camera empty.

So, there.

My first trip to Manila after over a year.  A friend of mine asked me to go with her (it comes with a free lunch... that's the deal! lol) since she's not really good at directions.  I was actually wondering why she invited me, knowing that I haven't been there that long.  But, fortunately, to my surprise, it was sort of the same as I have always known.  At least to where we were going.

If you ask me how I see the changes, I think it was just trying to keep up with the times.  Change is there and change should be there as a reaction.  The buildings were obviously something new to me, but I wasn't really that fascinated because there are better ones from where I was back in 2008.  But this doesn't mean that I don't admire them.  It's just that it seemed to have become too trivial for me already.

We were at the Cash N' Carry.  It's still in the same place, but the building is new.  It's a mall-type thing with two (or three? I can't seem to figure) floors and a mezzanine floor.  I guess where the furniture area is should be the third floor.  Or is it the second?  Oh well, I guess I didn't pay too much attention.

Instead of keeping me busy with what's there, I found myself busy looking back.  And there were a lot to look back.  Pringles and Planters and Ivory and Dove, Jergen's and Nenuco and De Ne Nes (which they don't have anymore).  De Ne Nes used to be my favorite cologne back in college.  Jean Nate, too.  I guess these two I didn't find looking around, but not asking.  I was afraid that the sales crews will laugh at me upon hearing the names.

I also discovered that Pancake House already changed their menu.  Oh, of course the pancakes are still there (but it looked like they aren't fluffy as they used to).  But I was looking for the roasted chicken thing that sits on a piece or two of tasty bread and had a good-tasting gravy.  That and the others were not there anymore.  The rib eye steak was fine as well as the Bokchoy and Seafood Gambara.  But I am kind of intrigued by their iced tea.  It's not Nestea, I can tell.

Traffic was smooth that I know that this isn't so during weekdays.  So damn sure it's entirely different.

Oh well, I really don't mind to be a companion if I'd be invited again.

As long as it's not a weekday.


I thought I'd go home again with my camera empty.  But.

We stopped by somewhere along Los Baños.  That's where I saw this:

I believe that these kind of voices are the ones who have to be heard, rather than those other opinions that really don't make quite a point like this.

Ironically placed beside the basurahan, I was thinking maybe it's other point is:  Basurahan na rin ba ang utak ng mga tao?  

Maybe it's time that we should really look inwards rather than out.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What's up this week?

Well, it's going to be more of what's up the past month.  I haven't been blogging often the last month.  I was busy coming up with this little venture that me and my niece started.  So, it was basically just that, and City Ville and the others.

But anywhow, I think I've gotten out of this hiatus of not posting.  Writers call it writer's block.  And since I am not a writer, I don't have any term for that.

Oh well, even if I haven't been posting, these are some of those thoughts that came...

~ I am still watching the news.  And every evening, I can't help but notice how this newscaster seem to disagree with the current administration.  Well, I have a short message for him, and it goes like this:  Dear Mr. Newscaster, please don't forget that this administration is what we inherited from you.

~ In City Ville, I felt bad that my town couldn't be as big as that of my other neighbors.  I wondered everyday where in the world they can easily get the zoning permit needed to expand their town.  But now that I am on the same level with them and I got all the community buildings and the atrium and they don't, I realized that what I got as I played along was just enough to get me going for the goals.

~ Speaking of SIM card registration, I strongly agree with that.  In fact, I wanted that even before I left for Dubai and even want it more.  Because in Dubai, they require a photocopy of your passport in order to buy a SIM.  The SIM card was for AED 150.00 (which was about Php 1,600.00) and you will have to renew your subscription every year.  Yes, it's prepaid but you have to renew.  Here in the Philippines, it doesn't have to be that expensive, a Php100.00 fee for the registration will do.  For the valid IDs, not everyone has a passport and not everyone could afford that, so a voter's ID or a postal ID should also be valid.  This way, too, every Filipino will now have at least one valid identification card.  Of course, a second or a third line could be possible.  But if I were to give it to someone, it should be someone I know and trust.  I don't know why people complain about privacy, when all their pictures and comments and other information are all over the internet.

~ I just realized some time this week that the book I read before Dubliners is also something about Ireland.  Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes is the story of being poor in Ireland while Dubliners seems to be a story about the middle class there.

~ I can't go to mass tomorrow so I went to hear the anticipated mass early this evening.  I can't get over the weather.  It's cold and drizzling.  I love that.

~ I learned from a chef-friend that slow cooking brings out the best in foods.  So, this week, I tried it.  I have done it twice already and it really tastes better.  My chef-friend said that slow cooking brings out the juices and I guess that's the reason why it tastes better.

~ Showtime.  Arte mo game.  Sometime this week, the clue was "influential person."  The answer?  Bart Simpson.  Is Bart Simpson a person?  What's happening to our minds?  I tweeted Vice Ganda.  I told him/her:  It should be "influential character." I'm sorry but things like this, I don't take it as trying to mislead the contestant.  For me, it displays a little something about stupidity.  Back to basics:  He, she, it.

~ I decided to cancel one of the projects that I wanted to do this year.  Just because I was disappointed with the person that I wanted to do it with.  He disappointed me with the first meeting.  I pushed him to prepare for it; even offered to help.  But it was a total disappointment.

~ I'll be in Manila tomorrow.  Many of you won't believe if I tell you that since I got back here in the Philippines last October 2009, I haven't been to Manila since.  Tomorrow will be the first after over a year.

~ Oh, I just realized.  It's month-end.  We still have eleven months left for this year.

The Modern Art Gallery

This is what you will unlock when you get to Level 60.  It's that white building with glass windows on the left side.  It costs 200,000 City Ville coins.  

Next is the jewelry shop which costs 500,000 City Ville coins. There no more things to unlock nor buy after this.  At least not yet.  I wonder how soon can they come up with the next level, the goals, the buildings, the house, the businesses.

The Atrium Loft

This is what we get once we reached Level 60, along with the Modern Art Gallery (community buildings) and the Jewelry Shop (businesses).  My art gallery has been built.  I am now hiring employees to finish building it.

I can't buy the jewelry shop yet since I'm still 250,000 coins short of its cost.  But I'm getting there.  Close.

For goals, I need to plant and harvest 20 pea plots in preparation for the pea harvest.

Another goal is to collect rent from the hospital three times.  It takes one day to collect rent and I already did once.  So, it's two more days to wait.

Meanwhile, no more levels (at least not yet) after 60.  My sister says they're coming up with something.  I say, "what's taking them so long?"  To think that googling City Ville took me back to September last year, which means that was months back already.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I am so into City Ville.

That I even made it my wallpaper!

But the thing is, I don't really care about the energy.  Because we get one every four or five minutes.

What I care about is the zoning permit.  This is the key to making your town bigger.  Without this, your town won't grow big.

But at this point, I guess quite a few of my neighbors haven't realized this yet.  I know because if they need one, they'd give it to me as a gift, right?

After the fourth chapter of Dubliners


That was the fourth chapter of the book.  I just finished it and just started with the fifth, After the Race.

The thing is I got confused.  I am not sure I am getting what the book is all about.  So, I googled the book, which I don't normally do.  I looked for the study guides which might tell me things about the book without spoiling my enthusiasm.  And gladly, instead of ruining it, the more it made me want to go on and read more.

Well, from what I have read so far, it looks to me that the book is not a story about just one person or one central character.  The way I see it, it seems that each chapter is not about one central character, but instead, one central place, Dublin, and each chapter tells about the people of Dublin, thus, the title, Dubliners.

I guess it's too early to feel stupid about not getting the book by the title itself.  But I think I will have to read more to find out if what I discovered tonight is right.

My book entries will also be posted here from now on.

I've been thinking...

I haven't been blogging a lot lately.  My book blog doesn't have too much posts, too, just like this one.  One of the reasons is that I haven't been reading, too.  The last book I've read was "Ang mga Kaibigan ni Aling Susan" by Bob Ong, and it definitely changed the way I know Bob Ong.  But I guess I'll talk about it later in future posts.


I've decided to put my book entries here, too, and I think this probably ease things out for me when it comes to posting.  I really hope it would.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

She goes home with nothing. Not even an empty victory.

Beaten maid gives up fight.

This isn't Nuan.  But I'm not sure if she is or isn't the one in the story.  She might not be Nuan because Nuan gave her name.  This news didn't name the victim.

Nuan is the fighter that I wrote about last September 2010 and you can find that post here.

Yes, I wasn't too positive about her decision to fight, because I have an idea of how it was to file cases and fight for your right there.  The ever-changing laws of Dubai are like the ever-changing dunes of its dessert.  What you know about the law today might not be the same tonight, or even this afternoon.  That was one of the many reasons why I wanted Nuan to come home instead.

If this is Nuan, then, I won't say that I am happy that she took back what she said.  But neither am I sad because she didn't get what she wanted to fight for.

But Nuan or not, it's still good that she will come home.

Had she decided to come home earlier, she would have already spent quality time with her kids.  And who knows, she might be already getting ready to leave for Taiwan for another promise of a better job and a brighter future.

This is the reason why I so wanted Nuan to come home instead of fighting.

If this isn't Nuan, then good for her to have decided to come home.

As for Nuan, I still await.  Her story is one of the very few reasons why I still read UAE's Seven Days newspaper.

This is Nuan's story.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Our Neighbor's Chocolates

We used to live in a town in the same province, and was a neighbor to a family whose dad goes abroad for a living. That was during those times when the term OFW wasn't even coined yet. This was when I was not even ten years old, which was about thirty years ago. This neighbor already brings home imported chocolates and gives us some as his pasalubong. There were Milky Ways, M&M's and Snickers. I liked Milky Way and M&M's and my sister went for Snickers.

Fast forward today.

We are in the capital of the province, where we moved thirty years ago. It turned out that this same neighbor moved in this town, too, a few years after we did. And as one of the proofs that this is a small world, we crossed paths, go to the same church, the same gym and even the same sari-sari store to buy load.

Their father still goes out of the country, and now I can say that he's an OFW.

We met before Christmas, and their dad was home for the holidays. After all those years, they again, gave us some chocolates for pasalubong.

That was when I got nostalgic.

Back then, I thought someone who goes out of the country was a seaman. Not a domestic helper, a nurse, a welder, etc.

Back then, I thought imported chocolates only meant Milky Way, M&M's and Snickers.

A lot of things happened, a lot of changes have transpired.

But the chocolates and their gesture will always remind me of how we were neighbors and how neighbors were during those times.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I haven't been blogging nor tweeting.  I have been busy both with the holidays and CityVille, my newest addiction in Facebook.  But, I think it won't last long since the need for zoning permits to expand withers my spirit.

But the holiday spirit doesn't wither me and will not wither me.  Although this year we didn't buy any fireworks, not even the Liwayway sparkles we bought last year, the spirit was strong as ever.  And I think it was even stronger, for high hopes this year.

I know that a lot of people didn't buy a lot of fireworks either.  Although our neighbor had some fountains.

Last night's 'putukan' didn't last the way it used to, as compared to how it was when I was a kid and not afraid of fireworks.  I remember there was one new year that I was the one who lit the 'sawa' fireworks which was at that time one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive fireworks.

But our zest for fireworks started to wither when my cousin was trying to do the "Darna" trick out of pulburas taken out of the bawang.  For some reason, instead of just the darna effect, it went boom and scared him, although it didn't hurt him.  After that year, we stopped buying those paputoks altogether and just settled for fountains.

This year, I realized that no matter how many or how less your fireworks and your media noche treats are, there is nothing compared to the spirit for the hope of a better year.  And we Filipinos never lose this.
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