Friday, November 28, 2008

Davao Convention Center's Christmas Bazaar 2008

It's that time of the year again when shopaholics go crazy over sales and bazaars. This is probably so because this is the only time they have an excuse to go shopping-gaga to buy gifts for themselves and their loved ones for a year well spent, financial crises and economic downturns aside.

Today, the Christmas Bazaar held annually at Davao Convention Center will open its arm to usher in the rush of holiday spenders. Available merchandise ranges from very small trinkets that makes the cutest giveaways for acquaintances to the latest styles in clothing that would surely catch the interest of fashionistas and to serious purchases like big wooden furniture. This year's bazaar will be open at these dates:
  • November 28 - 5PM to12MN
  • November 29/30 - 10AM to 12MN
  • December 01 - 10AM to 9PM
One of the booths will offer my friend Rhea's fashionable items. She sells cute tops, eye-catching dresses, funky watches and minor but all-too-important accessories, some of which she made on her own. She also sells these products at Stylistica, her online store at Multiply.

What I love the most in the bazaar last year was the food options, which were delicious and very affordable. Hopefully, this year's offerings will satiate the discriminating taste of DavaoeƱos.

It's too late to book a booth right now but for any inquiries, one can contact the organizers at (082) 222-3494 to 96. Davao Convention Center, or more commonly called DavCon is located at F. Torres St., Davao City.

shopping bag pic from here

Motivation: Blogging and Memories

They say out of every hundred people, only one knows how to motivate themselves and sustain that motivation. Call it self-motivation, although that word's technically wrong because no really makes you do whatever it is you're doing, or call it intrinsic motivation-- that good feeling of satisfaction, sense of control and that sense of being-ness one gets from an action. As much as I'd like to be one of those, I'd be the first one to admit I'm not. That is why at work, I need encouragement, assurance and the occasional acknowledgment to be able to excel, or even to simply slug it through when work becomes boring and repetitive. I'm someone who needs extrinsic motivation.

It is in this vein that I've pondered about this shrine that insists on my so-called existence in cyberspace. Now that a month have passed by, I can say I have certainly expanded my knowledge in the technical aspects of making an online journal. However, like work, it has become a bit of a burden. What should I write about and how to write it has become a headache. And like work, I need to have something that should motivate me to keep on blogging.

I thought about it and have only succeeded in making my headache worse. Then it suddenly hit me. The reason for this was because I was expecting an audience, when in fact, there was none. I guess I was too caught up in generating traffic, which shouldn't have been the case because this is after all a personal blog. As much as I like to make my life interesting, it really isn't. And what I have to write here only registers to those who know me and have interacted with me in real life.

I thought back to remember the reason I started to blog in the first place. I remembered I did it because I wanted to write. In writing one gets to fully internalize the experience- to look at it from different perspectives, to justify things after the initial rashness of the action has gone, to delineate what are blurry and hazy, and more importantly to immortalize it; to keep the memory after a few minutes, a few days, or even years had passed.

Truthfully, I have gotten bored from blogging. Like I said, I'm someone who need extrinsic motivation and I do get pretty lost when left on my own. However, this won't stop me blogging with the motivation that someday, I may need these old memories to know who I am, to feel better about myself and the future, when the recent ones will fail me.

image from here

Thursday, November 27, 2008

World AIDS Day: Spread The Word

I was hopping from one blog to another and found myself on a random blog, Diverse Reality, on the internet (actually the author is my first visitor using BlogCatalog). One of the items on the top of his page caught my attention. It told me that "Bloggers Unite - World AIDS Day". I clicked on it and was directed to Bloggers Unite, a group of bloggers that participate by writing on different issues that they advocate every month (I suppose if you have something to say AGAINST it, you can opt to do so).

Right off the bat, I warmed up to the idea of helping a cause by writing about it on my blog. I am not one who can easily make beautiful prose (it might appeal only to me) nor am I the strongest of writers. However, whatever little thing I can write here, I can afford to do so, just to "make a difference" even in the tiniest of ways. In other words, to be counted.

I signed up and here is my post for this month's upcoming event on the 1st of December: World AIDS Day.

Here in my beloved third world country, AIDS is something everyone is aware of but does not really know about. It is an illness that everyone is afraid of and there is certainly a stigma around the whole thing.

For example, an AIDS patient becomes notoriously popular in any of local hospitals here, even among the health practitioners. Anyone suspected of AIDS will be talked about, with nurses either getting way too excited because of the experience (the novelty of it, I guess) or way too afraid to get infected through a myriad of different ways. I know this because I was once a nurse-student.

There are still a lot of things that people don't know about AIDS. Testing for this certainly isn't popular. I think one of the major reasons why this is so is because it doesn't seem real in this place where you don't know anybody at all who has it. Perhaps people who do have it will do all he/she could to hide it. What people doesnt know here is that it is a critical issue all over the world already. With health practitioners reacting like that, then there is definitely a need to increase awareness of the issue. It just won't do that people here won't take the precautionary measures, to take the extra steps to be protected against AIDS simply because the possibility of infection is too remote a possibility.

The world is shrinking as it is becoming "global" and it is always better safe than sorry-- before the reality of this illness strikes home. To my visitors, please join the campaign. Be part of Bloggers Unite and increase AIDS awareness!

Colourise-ing My Blog

Before I finished customizing the Dilectio template, I decided to shift to a different one. I really had a hard time with the background and all the other things I wanna put in there. I searched for other templates and was tempted by the simplicity of Colourise which was designed by a fellow Pinoy. Apparently, it was a generic CSS template hosted at Style Shout and was converted for Blogger use at ThemeLib.

Admittedly, it is way too dark but I think I can tweak or reverse colors in the near future to suit my purposes (no promises for now though) but as it is, I like it. That is why, my Plurk timeline background now also has this.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Back to Back Party!

Sutherland Global Services, my BPO employer, celebrated its annual day last February 22 at The Venue. There were moments of boredom (some speeches can really bog down a program) but for most of time, it was fun (Madame Chaka, keep your fake boobs in!), exciting (Oooh, 10K boys!) and and very very entertaining (Kamikazee rocks!).

The food left me a bit wanting, the drinks, or lack of it, could have suffice for whatever the night lacked, the prizes were too few for an "annual" day, and some agents had to go on duty on this one night of revelry but I guess one can't really complain when the company rarely gives a party or celebrates like this. What I'm saying is, at least it EXISTED so, thanks from the bottom of my callous heart. Seriously.

On a more dramatic note, after the local band have packed up and the people have finished dancing to their heart's content, two associates (or co-employees) of mine have sparked up an argument which made me walk out of the room because I can't bear the wacky tension they have suddenly created. One misunderstood comment, one snappy comeback and the room suddenly felt oppressive and too crowded-in. I wonder why people can't be more agreeable and less confrontational. It's not about who the bigger asshole is but who the losers are-- them. If trying to be friends with everyone is over-rated nowadays, there's at least something to be said for not having someone whose mere presence boils your blood; for not having a thorn in your heart at all. Let bygones be bygones, perhaps?


After the party, we went to Cogot to celebrate Wanda's birthday. There were actually a lot of Sutherlanders in the area but we were just a small group of 10 people around a single monobloc table. BJ was generous enough to order a pulutan of Crispy Pata and Kinilaw as his gift to Wanda. I was too hungry to be satisfied with just that so I ordered and finished off in a record-time of 5 minutes Lechon Kawali rice. We had fun doing what we liked to do most, which is talk about other people's business like it was our business while keeping a steady supply of Redhorse passed around among ourselves. It was not really the nicest thing to do, and definitely not the best way to foster friendship, but it was all done in good spirit.

There were only a couple of drunks at the end of the drinking session; in fact, I didn't feel like I drank at all but I didn't mind. The tiring night and the promise of cool rainy day was too much of a reason and a temptation. It made me want to go home immediately and just sleep the day away.

More pictures here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Making My Own Music

I've stumbled across an old meme at The White Room. I agree with Podie that this meme is one of the interesting ones around. Also, after hearing the self-deprecating but funny Kamikazee sing (or caterwaul) their songs, I allowed myself to indulge in a fantasy: how about I make my OWN music album?

Here's how this works:
  1. Go here. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

  2. Go here. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

    If you want to do this again, you'll hit refresh to generate new quotes, because clicking the quotes link again will just give you the same quotes over and over again.

  3. Go here. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

  4. Go here. The first ten links you end up in (minus the .coms) are your 10 song titles.
After about 4 minutes, here's my album:

Reason Shines But Dimly

1) Debauched Sloth
2) Real Ultimate Power
3) Fair
4) Movable Type
5) Def Dumb and Bass
6) Twisted Monkey
7) Adirondack Review
8) Fury
9) Toronto Zombie Walk
10) Radio Left

Intriguing, although I don't know how to play a single musical instrument, and try as I might, my voice can never be musical.

Image from Dunny's Photostream.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Alone But Not Lonely

(previously entitled "How Does A Gay Guy Die? Marry Me or Not?! ")

This question came in light of the complicated sickness that my dad is experiencing right now. I know it might sound morbid but in our household, the topic of death has been discussed too many times that my parents can afford to joke about it. We are definitely as dysfunctional as families come.

Ive already shared about my struggle to sensitize myself to my father in spite of years of falling apart but our differences never came to the point of us wanting to really be out of each others life. It's like the thread that's holding us together might be so thin so as to be almost invisible but it's of the industrial kind. So he's sick and we as a family is there for hm, praying for a miracle and trying the most we could to provide with his medication and therapy but most of all trying to understand his temperamental lows as most ill people are wont to do. All these come to me as this: that my father is lucky enough to have a wife and three, if not the most loving ones but are at least there, kids. Which brings me to the meat of my prognostication about dying: Is marrying and starting your own family the only way I can be sure that I wont die miserably alone?

I have two gay friends who are way older than me and I've seen them at their happiest and their lowest. Most of the time, if not all, seem to revolve around the 'straight' guys they fell in love with at that time. Always, they get back in track when they found the next guy they could shower their affections on. When I pointed out the viciousness of the cycle they are trapped in, they just offer a smile of dismissal over my lack of experience. Over and over, they told me that a guy would always want a girl even if a gay guy is there to love him and sacrifice everything for him (I really believe they would).

I also have a couple more other friends, again older than me, who is less 'feminine' than those first two and they aggressively have relationships with fellow gays. One would think that they have at least tasted what it is to be in a satisfactory relationship where there is mutual support and literally equal footing between the two partners. Sad to say, they haven't. As words of advice, they told me that gays are promiscuous in nature, not exactly unable but find it really hard (more than heterosexuals) to stay honest and faithful to their partners which meant I'd better learn how to play without my heart on my sleeves. They weren't talking bitterly of their failed relationships and were in fact simply describing themselves.

Call me ignorant (ignorance is bliss after all) but I'd argue against that kind of thinking that encourages people to take unfair advantage of anyone, no matter what the reason is. I do, however, suspect a certain wisdom in their words.

In fact, who will I listen to but those who have lived through the same things I am experiencing right now? It made me wonder: Do we, then, move on from one guy to the next, eternally hoping for the best, whatever that is, knowing fully well that the present loves we have are all too transient and fleeting? Do we ever find that one who will stay with us, who will fight through thick and thin? Or are we better off to just accept this as a fact of life, which means that a gay guy go through life by developing a heart made of steel, borne out of his experiences, so that when he dies, chances are he might still be alone but at least not exactly lonely.

Perhaps, I'm just talking from the perspective of a 3rdworld country whose culture is so deeply enmeshed with the Catholic doctrine that has a lot to say against homosexuality. But then again, on the other side of the world, where people are supposed to be positively aggressive, they just made out a stand to ban the legality of same-sex marriages (for a more in-depth discussion of this topic, called Proposition 8, head over at NSFW Queerclick). Marriage or call it whatever you like and hide it behind a veil of holy sanctity under whoever god you believe in but I've always seen the issue as focused on the word 'legality,' whereas if allowed, will allow gay couples their civil rights and be respected as a one legal entity in our world of governments and contracts. If they can't make a step forward in being able to accept gays, a minority that can no longer be ignored, how much more in my country? I just hope we are not considered as abnormalities anymore.

I'm old enough but is still too young to subscribe to my friends' philosophies but time moves so fast and pretty soon I might believe in what they're saying. How I hope I'll be given a fair fight at it: To grow old and ultimately die, more than 'being-alone-but-not-lonely', but happily AND with a somebody.

Before that happens though, this gay guy has lots of living to do.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sup Call

It's raining once again on this fine beautiful Thursday, and I've been lucky enough not to get caught in it and reach home just in time before it really started. I can certainly smell and feel Christmas but aside from the cool smoggy air, I've received unexpected presents that I'll be counting in for this year's yuletide season.

See, before I went home from work, a supervisor asked me for my IJEF. I don't know the words for the acronym and I can't tell you even if my life depended on it, but this is actually the application form required by management when someone wants to go higher up in our call center company's ladder. Before him, I was also asked by my own supervisor to pass my resume (although he embarrassed me to death by reading my older one). These amount to two reasons I could definitely smile about at work everyday.

Now this may not necessarily mean my application (yes I will certainly submit it) would result to anything definite, and I would certainly not hope too much to protect my all-too-sensitive heart but compliments like these definitely make this lowly agent feel so much better with himself. These make me want to work harder, although God knows I'm fed up sick agreeing with strangers that my accent is bad, even laughing with them at MY expense, and be better or fabulously amiable while taking calls simply to make these superiors also proud of themselves for leading a team that, in the ranking and reports, actually performs. In other words, the compliment, even if given indirectly, warrants a mutual compliment and would mean I'll go on continue laughing AT myself if only to get a CSAT (or a positive feedback) for the team.

What I am basically is a team player, like most people are and what most can be, and a simple form of acknowledgment, the smallest appreciative remark or in my case encouragement, given sometimes, even if they are a few in between, can get a group of people to move-- and move in the right direction. What I'm saying is that anyone in position should try being more vocally appreciative, or at least being generally a bit more nicer to those below their status, especially the ones they are managing. One can never measure the effect a thing such as this will bring about. Right now, that's reciprocated appreciation and a certain fondness for these two guys.

So to these two superiors, here's a sup call on you! Kudos!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Team Juventus Name Tags

I decided to take pity on Paul (not that he was really asking for it) and decided to design the name tag for our very transient team. I hope they like it. At the least, A for my ae-ffort!

Mushy Crush-y Tuesday Mornings

After the first shift of the week ended, I found myself along my usual route to Gaisano Mall, to wait for a jeepney to take me home. At this ungodly hour, especially now that I've just finished beating myself over the hill to please a stranger on the other side of the world, I suppose I could just hail a cab at the front of the office but the peace and the cool of the early morning air always gets to me and I'd rather walk some ways off to the kanto, normally with a ciggie on one hand, and spend time riding the jeepney, which speeds through Bajada like a daredevil.

On this special dawn though, I was with a friend from work. He was going home as I was. Usually, he would prefer to be alone, not wanting the barrage of silly questions I throw at him, and he'd normally walk a different way even if we're going at the same side of town. But today, he walked with me. He was hungry and I suddenly found I also was so we went to Dimsum Diner at Damosa.

I've been meaning to ask him some pointed questions about who he really is so while eating, I ventured out to tell him I have a crush at the office. I knew the term was too juvenile, too high-school, so I gladly defined what I meant by it. I defined a crush as somebody whom you think lights up a bare and boring room even when it's not exactly empty, who you'd like to talk to no matter how small the small talk is, and who is possibly as silly as you but whose comment you always allow to slide, even finding some remarks impossibly witty when if somebody said it, you will find downright stupid. I didn't give him any details, only intending to find if he grabs the bait that I've laid out in front of him. I segued to ask if he likes anyone in the office. Giving him the barest of a smile, he understood where I was leading him at.

Armed with a couple of sticks of my Marlboro Greens and his 3 sticks of Black Devils, we sat on an elevated platform beside the road and we had a long discussion about who he is- about being, ehem, old, about what it means for him to love, or even like, somebody, on his last failed relationship, where he stands on the gender spectrum, about his daughter, how he hates guys who actively pursues guys but hides behind a facade of respectability with a girlfriend or a wife, how he is actually very open but does not care to tell just everybody about it, on being honest and comfortable with his family, his close circle of friends- and about how his near-fatal accident changed his life. We also talked about his cousin, who everybody suspects has an incestuous crush on him.

We decided to call it a day, errrr a night, when the sun was beginning to peek out of the horizon. I guess there was actually nothing really special on this morning, but as it is, I was able to know more about the guy in ways I suspect he wouldn't even start sharing with other people. I was feeling light and heady and pondered on all we had talked about.

Well actually, what I didn't tell him was I crush him.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dis Is 8!

Pun is intended.

It's The Venue's 8th year celebration and they celebrated by inviting Vice Ganda (add Vice at Friendster here) and Anton Diva for a night filled with stand-up comedy, dancing and sweaty gyrating, violent and raunchy jokes, and spine-tingling singing. It was already SRO (standing room only) but lots of people still wanted to buy tickets to get in.

Methinks The Venue couldn't have chosen better performers to invite on this night. The duo is even better for entertainment than any local band in the Philippines right now. Vice Ganda is positively witty without going into the obnoxiousness of customer-bashing that lots of stand comedians usually let their spiels go to, and Anton Diva, is well, a diva-- (s)he sang "And I am Telling You," the showstopper's version by Regine Velasquez and popularized lately by Charice Pempengco.

Everyone definitely got their money's worth in that show. Hope they could do it again!

I have to say something here about the location. I know it was their 8th year anniversary but outside, which is called the Venue Compound, the place is painted in a different stroke. I think the bars there are basically left to ruin. One can certainly see the struggles of the few remaining bars with the slow trickle of customers that goes milling in the area. Before, the place was a center for fine dining and a pa-sosy place to see and be seen but it has steadily deteriorated over the past years. Right now, they replaced half of their parking lot with an area that seems to resemble the popular Torres nightspot but so far, nada-- people either thought it wasn't yet finished or they're just upfront ignoring it. I guess they could stage more shows like this one but then that could lose the novelty of the show with Davaoenos, who are far more discriminating and needs more push in spending their hard-earned money, and who it seems, easily favor the new over the old, especially when the fare are the same. Just saying.

More pictures here.

Juventus Post-Shi(f)t Huddle

To foster a friendlier team environment , A-Bay which also goes by the name Team Juventus, ate at Jollibee-Bolton for breakfast after a rigorous 5-day shift of taking calls from usually irate customers who are either asking for a refund or wants technical support for their corrupted antivirus software. Because it was also payday, everybody was able to go.

At 4:00 am, it looked like somebody booked a private party at Jollibee.

Afterwards, we went to Cogot, the most decent available waterhole after 2am, when most of Davao closes down. Here, city ordinances don't apply-- one can order beer as much as one can take it and at the same time smoke under a roofed establishment. The owner probably is a very powerful person, with obviously a very deep pocket, but the best thing about the place is the good food (Lomi is always good when you're drunk and your dinner is threatening to spill out of your gut) and the fact that no matter how many times I've been at the place, I've never seen people fighting or throwing bottles at each other, which I think is a very nice thing when drunk people are a given here.

The group, of course, got a bit rowdy and the noise level obviously increased. I think everybody basically had a great time. Talk about foster-ing!

I was still tipsy when I got home at about 8:00 am. I texted my supervisor and my 2 L2s thank-you messages. I don't know but after pressing the send button, I thought maybe I didn't need to so it kinda felt like an awkward FC(feeling close) moment. Ah, I guess such a very nice day wouldn't, shouldn't, end without me embarassing myself. Anyhows, cheers to A-Bay! It was a great post-shi(f)t huddle!

More pictures here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thanks Maj

A big shoutout to Ria for writing about my site here.

Thanks Maj! :)

Facebook Fiesta

Checked out my spanking new Facebook profile and I got amazed at how many friends requested to add me or had accepted my friend requests. I seriously wasn't aware that a lot of people have been actively using Facebook for quite some time now. I guess what I mean is that I was stubbornly stuck at Friendster.

For those who are still not my friend or link in Facebook, add me! ;P

Google Analytics Sucks

Argggh! Been trying to check my blog stats, know how visits I had, where it came from etc but Google proudly announces that...


I've clicked on whatever wanted to be clicked such as "...reduce the sample rate, reset the selected date range, or disable comparisons" but to no avail. I know this is for free but I'm getting pissed off.

Anyone knows how to fix this? Is this perhaps a 'server downtime' error? Whatever it is, I hope it'll work later when I'll try to log in again.

Or maybe, Google is subtly telling me to sleep now as it's not my day-off yet and I still have a long day of kissing-ass-on-the-phone to do later.

The Sun in My Pocket

The sun is hiding clumsily behind dark clouds and it's drizzling on this fine Friday morning (which meant traffic on Davao's easily-flooded streets). It's dark and gloomy and it's probably not good for those who want to extend sleep even when they have classes and work today. I, on the other hand, has just arrived home from work. I still have one more day of work later, admittedly tired but I'm not exactly complaining about it. Not one bit.


Because it's payday! Yay! I think the sun is actually inside my wallet, my ATM, giving off sunshine and dopey shit that seems to me, make everybody look like they're smiling. Ha ha ha! On top of that, it's also the weekend! Weh!! Lalalalalalala!

Redhorse, see you later/tomorrow! :D

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Like He've Always Wanted

I was playing DOTA when I suddenly felt queer (not my normal/everyday queer). I looked up and expected to see my old man come in after his daily jogging routine. When he didn't, I felt uneasy and a bit cold and my heart got thippity-thump-thump.

See, my dad is not that old but his health problems had been complicating for some time now. Last time he came home from the province and he was unable to speak clearly. Turned out he had a mini-stroke. Right now, he is on lots of medication and exercising regularly, trying to reverse the abuse his body had been subjected to (he's diabetic and was a heavy drinker).

I unlocked the door and checked outside. After a couple of minutes, I resumed playing DOTA (sniper mode, as usual) and after a quarter of an hour, heard him come in through the front gate. The moment he sat on the sofa, he told me in a nonchalant way that he stumbled on a piece of stone while he was jogging but that it was nothing.

I looked at him, and confirmed my suspicion that it was not nothing. He has wide gashes on both his left knee and left cheekbone. I could just imagine what had happened, how he exactly fell, when the wounds he has are so far from each other.

I was worried and wanted to tell him to wash them properly first, to apply ointment on it, or apply cold compress.

However, I didn't. I didn't want him to think I care that much. I thought it would be too awkward. Too unnecessary. Too domesticated. Too spontaneous. Too caring. Too fussy. Too unnatural. Too much like who I really am. So I held back. And shut up. And not care.

Maybe he raised me too well. Oh well, like he've always wanted.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Blues: Mongo and Dilis

All good things must come to an end.

It's nothing like it's the end of the world but I suppose one can never get enough of dayoffs. It's now Monday, the start of the week, the start of bootlicking, the start of sycophanting.

Just because I feel so tired and so not ready to go to work, I cooked Mongo and fried some Dilis for my early dinner. I'm pretty sure my promise to eat just one cup of rice every meal would be conveniently forgotten; my calories would pile up unheeded, and I'll stay fugly-out-of-shape until the Christmas season ends.

Here's how I cook Mongo beans:
1) I soak the beans for an hour in tap water for an hour to soften it up.
2) I boil the beans for 30minutes until it is- well- cooked.
3) On a separate pan, I saute garlic, onions and tomato with a small amount of oil.
4) Then I add cubed pork and saute it until tender and the juices are gone.
5) I transfer the sauteed pieces on the first pot with the mongo beans.
6) I add salt and pepper to taste.
7) Right before extinguishing the fire, I add in malunggay leaves.

As for the dilis, I just fry it until it's crispy. :P

The consequences are not exactly comforting but for the moment, eating would be the perfect consuelo de bobo.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day-off Special!

Oooh, I love dayoffs!

Yesterday, I first met with Jenny, Dimples, Eds and Cokie, who were all nursing classmates from MMFC, at around 8pm and hung out at Yellow House in V. Mapa Street. I usually order their double chocolate blended coffee (which name I forgot) but it felt so anticlimactic to start my night with coffee so I tried to order Coke instead. However, upon hearing it was worth P50, I decided not to. Does Coke taste better with the ambiance and all the shizz of the place? I didn't think so. Although I love Coke, I felt it was way too overpriced for such a place.

Dimples and her new red lacy panties

I opted for plain old water and ate Jenny's carrot cake, which was so good, I was able to finish the whole thing by myself.

At about 10:30, Grace, another nursing classmate, got me and we went to Bulbagaba at Matina Town Square's Taboan and met up with Angel, her fiancee Don, and Mikay. This place is known to local Davaoeno's for their Bulalo Steak and Dinakdakan, which I found out Don had already ordered. He also ordered a sampler of kropek, french fries, sliced hotdog and cheese sticks, which was actually more like tons of kropek with a couple or three pieces of the others put in there as an afterthought. They talked while I drank a couple of RedHorse and listened to 4-Play (Janice has an amazing voice!).

At around 12, my friends decided to call it a night but I wasn't ready yet to end my first dayoff. I dragged them to where Jenny and the others I met earlier, now with Enzy, our balikbayan classmate, were at Whistletop Bar. We all suddenly realized that our combined group now seemed to look like a reunion of some sorts of our nursing batch.


Some had to go home earlier, others had to go somewhere else so we paid off our bill at around 2am, after I downed two more bottles of RedHorse. Again, I still wasn't satisfied of the time I spent on my dayoff so I went to Beeracay, at Rizal Promenade, where JP and his friends were drinking. Apparently, it was JP's birthday last November 6 and his party had extended up until yesterday.

It was yet another round of RedHourse plus Blue Margarita. While with JP, I came across Eric, a former clinical instructor, and friends who work at Basti's, Victoria Plaza, another coffeshop here in Davao. They were also into some round of heavy drinking so I joined them after JP decided to call it a night.

1: Happy belated birthday JP! 2: Waiting for Lomi

I ended up drunk but not so much so as to lose control of myself. I still was able to walk with the Basti's crowd to Sunya Resturant at San Pedro Street, to eat a hot bowl of Lomi with toasted bread. And that's how my first dayoff/night ended, quite literally with the sun promising a great Sunday morning.

More pictures here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sprucing Up My Blog

It's finally my day-off after NINE long days. I think I should sue my employer because this is obviously unethical labor practice but then I really didn't mind. Aside from not being able to have time and post a nice entry entry here, there wasn't really much for me to do.

On my spare time over the last few days, which is exactly right before I go to sleep, I've been blog-hopping and googling for blogger templates that I could use on this site. I chose one over a million of templates (I swear it's easy to get lost in cyberspace when there's so much eye candy and nifty graphics popping out of your monitor) and chose this one from eblog templates. This is called Dilectio and I think the layout is pretty much what I need for this mishmash niche-free blog of mine. I've finally applied the template minutes ago but there will be some tweaking needed on this as the widgets for my Plurk and MyBlogLog are way wider than the default width of the rightmost column.

Tomorrow, or to be safe within the next 3 days, I would be customizing the graphics. One of my hobbies is actually graphics design and it'd be nice to open up Photoshop again and just beautify, or bayotify, my page.

I'd like to do the tweaking and the graphics tonight but I have to go out soon to meet my old classmates from nursing school, one of whom came from California. Even right now, I'm multi-tasking: blogging and cooking a dinner of kalabasa-and-batong for my family.

I love day-offs!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rain at Manolo Fortich

Post-CDO entries #3

Oct 24, 12 noon. On our way to CDO, it rained at Manolo Fortich. Not that strong but it put a damper on everyone's mood inside the cramped confines of the van. The aftermath? A tree fell down in the middle of the road, blocking traffic for an hour on both lanes. What I did? Took pics of the rainy landscape outside, trying the shutter speed of N95 while the van was moving (can it get a clear one?), and got portraits of myself in various projections of what I thought was my "sad" look (uhmm.. right.).

Being ususero/tsismoso, I couldn't resist going out of the van to look at what the locals were doing to get the damn tree out of the way, and also to take pictures of the commotion. Guess what? It wasn't only me out to take photos of the incident. In fact, one of the lanes were already cleared but traffic is still moving at a trickle because of drivers slowing down, craning their necks out the window and asking locals about what is obviously before them.

So Pinoy. :P

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Addiction to Avatar Aang

Currently addicted to Avatar: The Legend of Aang. Had been following this from TV5, the newest network here in Philippines, and the web. Lately, they have repeated the series and have translated it to Tagalog. I haven't religiously followed the moment they started showing it but lately, I've been making sure to be awake at 5:30pm to watch.

This cartoon is shown in clean crisp graphics and have the elements of a good story. It's has lots of drama (about friends and family and being responsible and whatever), has the occasional love story bit, and is adventure-packed-- immersed in a magical world that is not unlike Harry Potter's.

Aang and the gang (Sokka, Katara and Toph)

I may be too old for this but who wouldn't want to bend any of the four elements? Personally, I'd like to be an airbender and blast off anybody that stands in my way, or just fly off in blissful apathy.

(Synopsis in here, and images and clips can be found here.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fun Under The Sun: Bluejaz Resort, Samal

I woke up today to find out my siblings and my cousins had gone out to Bluejaz Beach Resort and Waterpark at Samal.

I texted them and in a moment's notice was off to Maryknoll Beach, Lanang where boats for the resort are docked.

The boat ride costs P30 while the entrance costs P90 (day tour price), which includes use of a pool overlooking the beach, waterslides that left much to be desired, a trampoline, lots of tents with tables and chairs, and the beach itself which was landfilled with white sand.

I had lots of fun swimming in the pool with lots of other people. Amazingly, there were lots of eye candy to go around, no matter what league you bat with. I guess it can't be helped that across the sea, one can see the depots and ugly silos that mark Davao City's shorescape.

We went home at 4pm because my mom called, concerned with the sea-crossing we have to do and the ominous heavy dark clouds that threaten a rainy night.

One great thing about the resort is they have wifi, which allowed me to make this post.

For interested parties, the resort can be contacted at (82)3028411 or 3031117. If you want to invite, go ahead and make my day.

Teng's Despidida Party

About two or three years ago, the Globe network started their unlimited text promo as a response to the ever-growing market of their competitors Smart and Sun (it turned out that they were overpricing their customers with a peso per message). One of the offshoots of their promo was the creation of "clans" which are basically groups of people who are active texters and can now afford to send messages, from important ones to inane and petty updates on their lives, indiscriminately.

I joined one of these clans and got to know a number of colorful characters whose one major activity in life is to create and stoke fights in these circles, which admittedly made it very interesting. The first one I joined ended with the creator/moderator quitting, which at that time, I thought was stupid as the clan isn't entirely an official organization and had more or less became a venue to get contacts for that easy one-night stands. I joined another one which also disbanded soon after I joined (the group was already mired in intrigues, jealousy and a lot of salawahan activities). I ended up with one as me as one of the founders. It actually went well. Unfortunately, Globe stopped the promo and pretty soon, the members changed numbers and transferred to Smart and Sun who remained customer budget-friendly.

Honestly, I never got into that thing, or God forbid orgies, that commonly pervaded the groups but I was lucky enough to meet enough persons that have become and are until now, people I consider my real friends. One of these people is Teng.

Teng, is a very tall and lanky guy who loves videoke and who wants to spend at least one night of the week singing his guts off in any one of the videoke bars in the city. As much as he loves singing though, he was actually a very quiet person and would only talk if you directed a question at him. At the time I met him, he was working as a nurse in Davao Medical Center, which is the biggest and busiest public hospital in Mindanao. I also discovered that he was like me, a product of the special second-course program from the same school, Mindanao Medical Foundation College.

There were lots of time when Teng and I and five more other members of the clan would go out on a weekend night and get drunk over beer or sing at a videoke or just dance the night away, usually at Rizal Promenade, and afterwards at the Seawall. The reason why our group remained intact and strong was because we engaged in a very wholesome and friendly way with each other, free from the trappings that intimate relationships get entangled with, even if we weren't actively texting each other as clanmates anymore.

Teng had to go to Manila for a stint as a clinical instructer and most of the guys have graduated from their schools and had pursued different careers, which meant different hours and different day-offs. I, on the other hand, had to finish crazy nursing school and went to work in a call center. Soon, the clan-group I had stopped meeting up and had to settle with the occasional how-are-you texts and messages in YM.

A week ago, while I was in Cagayan de Oro City, Teng texted me that he was back home and wanted me hang-out at Rizal. Obviously I couldn't. A couple of days later, he texted to invite me to a despidida party held for him. He said he was going to Canada to work as a nurse. I helped him invite our other clan-friends and yesterday found myself at Calinan, at Teng's family's farm, eating food fit enough for a whole baranggay and drinking beer and rhum.

There were only five of us from the clan and we happily reminisced about our glory-days as the GTX clan (hahaha, the name sounded macho but stupid!), occasionally teasing each other with the persons we stupidly fell for, about what happened to who, about how we are now and how we will definitely miss each other. If any stranger happens to pass by the party, they would probably think that the party revolved around our little circle, who were the only ones boisterously laughing and cam-whored like it's the end of the world.

Here's to you Teng for the good ole memories. The world may be large, but it's getting smaller and you can never really get far enough which I know you don't want to. I hope you understand that even when friends had to go away, happy times can still be had.

These are happy times.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

L for Lie

Post-CDO entries #2

1230 am.
I have a confession to make.

I've met up with L, whom i had a totally pointless crush a couple of years ago, at the night cafe here in Cagayan de Oro City. He is based here and have only been to Davao City for occasional work-related reasons. We were eating dinner at Butcher's Best Barbeque and he asked me if I was seeing right now. I answered yes.

I lied.

See, I have actually anticipated this question and had earlier decided to be honest and tell him nothing, which I thought is a subtle way of telling him there's no one. However, this was when I decided not to ever talk about his ex which gets a bit complicated and draining. You know these type of conversations that goes round and round over an old flame and just ends up in the same stupid conclusion-- it just gets tiring. But we did though, which made me ditch the plan. I even embellished the lie, gave the someone, whoever he is age and work, and when I got worked enough, made up uber kilig moments.

We eventually got around to have a nice, baggage-free and mindless banter over a can of San Miguel Light but all night, i was all too aware about the lie and kept remembering it. I've never been a good liar and it kinda upsets me that I've lied for something when I didn't have to. When I didn't need to.

I guess what I'm a-saying is am i not over my fantasies/crush? It's so high school. Shit!