Thursday, December 29, 2005

counting down to Monday, or: doing nothing is an art

Wednesday. I have exactly one- you read that right- ONE day to read and study what I should have... read and studied during the Holidays. One day. Because on Friday till Saturday, I'll be in Pangasinan, enjoying the fresh air, and the night breeze... the night sky, my nephews and nieces. Nowhere near studying. (But first, I'll be doing what I usually do after a long drive: Sleep.) On Sunday, well, I'll be sleeping. Ü

And yet...
... what else are the Holidays for but to while away in indolence.


Scoured Powerbooks for something I should buy. I'm currently on ... Mulvaneys (Oates), ... Sepia (Allende), and ... Geisha (Golden), but I thought I needed one more book for me to be able to say that this Break wasn't a complete waste of time.

What Did I do during the Break? Nothing, mostly. Isn't that what the Holidays are for?

And that doesn't only apply to students on a break. I remember when I was still working full time. When the Holidays arrived, work was half-hearted. Because Christmas and the New Year ensured several holes in your pockets (assume you Have pockets), construction projects (we Construct) hovered in the general area of Zero. Thus, the whole staff was generally constrained to... Minesweeper and Solitaire. (Me, I was emailing most everyone I knew.)

The point...? Ah. It was 15 minutes to closing time and my mind was too fried (I spent the whole day in the hospital with my mother) to have to choose between Hollinghurst, Hagedorn (Jungle), and a handful of other books in my ToBuy(-ToRead) list which I couldn't fried... Find. Which I couldn't find. (Fried, I tell you. Hay.)

The Gangster We Are All Looking For (Le Thi Diem Thuy)
The Dogs of Babel (Parkhurst)
The House on Garibaldi Street (on the Mossad_ by someone or other)

Then I saw Midnight's Children (Rushdie).....

Three minutes left before the store closed.
Wanted it bad a few years ago.
Booker (winner).
I had money (-Most important)

Paid for it. Now if only I had time to read it.... Them. Read them.

During the break, I also had time to reacquaint myself with the PS2. I didn't really want to come into contact with one. I was afraid I'll get hooked and do nothing else. (You couldn't pry me away from my Family Computer. Haha.) So I didn’t buy a unit. But my brother did.

Anyway. I found that I still had a measure of control over my playing. Of course, it helps much that all I play are PrinceofPersia games. Hah.


Doing nothing is an art. That's what Sonya (of the Garden, in Tagaytay) has been heard to say often. I've yet to master it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

gloria surfs!

What’s fun about reading the news in broadsheet form is that you can just lay it down flat on the table and look at everything in one fell swoop. To read online, you have to click on several links to read each article. It’s a slow and tedious process.

I read my newspapers on my Palm (T), so it’s a helluva lot slower.

Which may be a good thing. Because it helps to keep my blood pressure on the level.

Trolling through the online dailies though, I came across this picture of Gloria in the Manila Times. Haha. This’ll serve to keep me amused for days to come. (You kind of wish that the waves will devour her.)

I don’t know why the Opposition has difficulty trying to unseat her. There’s a security lapse right there. All anyone would have to do is release a shark (assume that’s an easy thing to do). And/OR just maybe embarrass her to death by mocking her while she tries to do a Hawaii five-o.

I really don’t know why she’s doing this. I do know that recently, the First Gentleman- what is he a First of? (Yes, I know. He’s the First Gentleman. But that presupposes two things, one is that he’s the First, and the other is that he’s the gentleman. As to the former, okay, I admit. He just happens to be the hubs of the “President”. Fine we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. But as to being a gentleman? Wow, we aren’t that close. I can’t vouch for that.)- Arroyo recently got flak from_ the most of us for treating the gold medalists in the Southeast Asian Games to a trip to Disneyland, HK. Couldn’t he have just whisked them off away to some local paradise, the pundits said? What about their supposed aim of promoting local tourism?

Okay. Frankly, it’s Mike Arroyo’s prerogative to take the athletes wherever he wants to take them. After all, it is his money (and whatever-whomever lobbyists'). But really, our athletes deserve whatever consolation, support, prize we can give them. (We have a shitty national sports program.)

Anyway, if she wants to win the nation’s collective hearts, what she should do is… drown. Okay. I shouldn’t be too graphic. Besides, that would be evil. She should… resign. No, wait, that’s what the Opposition would say (I'm not saying that I won't be happy if she will. Hah!). Arroyo should… take a tumble for the cameras. Seriously. When we laugh along with her, we’ll realize that she’s human, like the rest of us. (Wait, why did I just recommend something the administration could use? Hay. Maybe I just want a good laugh.) It shouldn't be too hard. I mean, I was watching the Simpsons yesterday. To win her classmates' hearts what Lisa Simpson did was to splatter cake on Principal Skinner. Therefore, all Gloria has to do to win our hearts is... splatter cake on Principal Skinner. Or drown herself... or resign... what was that other one? Ah, make us laugh. Like Erap did. (She should also learn to communicate with the Filipinos in Tagalog, Bisaya, Kapampangan, Ilokano, Hiligaynon, or in any of the local languages. So that we can relate to her. She should also learn to acknowledge what the Filipinos need; and act on and for them.)

Haay. What else is on the news? BusinessWorld online says that Christmas sales plunged from last year.

If you want a reliable indicator of how the Filipinos are doing, this should be a credible indicator. What would this statistic mean? It means that either disposable income (or income in general) is down or risk expectations for the coming months are high.

Or it could mean that the Christmas spirit is down. Haha. Or kris kringle ceilings are down. (The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Ay, Chicken Little was... a waste of money, by the way. Pixar is way better than Disney when it comes to CG animation. When it comes to choosing storylines that is. Not necessarily the graphics.)

Hay. Numbers. The lot that you can do with them.

What else? Hmmn….

Ah, here you go. The Philippines is slowly trying to wriggle its way into the internet age. Via the Inquirer, Cyberspace ‘pirma’ urges Abalos to resign. In the Manila Times, PNP tracking mutineer Faeldon website; are we now in China?

Not entirely good news for everyone, but there you go- we’re wriggling our way…. (Wriggle wriggle.)

2am random

not yet sleepy, but my brain's already turned itself off.

why am i writing on my blog?

i just finished conjuring a twenty-page Motion for Reconsideration. (conjuring! because i don't recall how it got there... here, i mean here, on my desk.) i don't know if it's any good; though i did feel like it was okay this morning.

i drove my mother to the hospital this morning.

why do we suddenly remember how precious anyone is after we run smack dab (wham-bang) into Mortality.

as it is, she's only there for a check up. (but she felt faint this morning. and for the past couple of weeks.) i'll be picking her up tomorrow. (my father and brothers were with her tonight.) i hope everything'll be okay.

wednesday! it's wednesday today! how did one and a half weeks of vacation go by so fast? i didn't realize that i was having fun (that time flew).

ah. i remember thinking how wonderful it was to be doing nothing for a change. no deadlines to beat; no cramming for class.

for the moment.

should i have to begin cramming for next week tomorrow? or should i instead cram everything i planned to do for the break in the three... four days remaining of the Holidays? sigh.

why do we have to go to work/ classes on the 2nd? isn't that a bit too early?

what does a moviebuff do when he rues everything in the cinemas (currently)?

when will Narnia be shown?


blessed sleep- claim me.

Monday, December 26, 2005


what's up? i've been feeling crappy lately. crab cakes? crap cakes?
maybe it's because of all the traffic, and the crowds. i just haven't really gotten into the spirit of Christmas, have i?
my brother and i went DVD shopping yesterday. discs and a player.
i watch discs on my laptop; my brother watches on his PS2. he tells me that we should get a player because if his PS2 lens breaks, it'll cost us 4thousand to replace it. aren't PS2 games DVD's too? should there be a difference?
i thought it doesn't matter if he's conning me. maybe we Do need a player. so we looked for a machine and divvied up the cost. he spent the whole night watching some anime i haven't even heard of.
"do stores still sell Flight of Dragons?", i ask him.
"what's that?"
"what, you're too young to remember?"
"i don't think i was already born." he yawns, wanting to dismiss me.
"what about Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind?"
"don't know that either."
"Galactic_ something Express?"
okay. the nice thing about Christmas is that it gives families an excuse to get together, and to avoid getting on each other's nerves.
maybe if we weren't all guys, maybe the household would've been more peaceful. as it is, we are what we are, and Christmas being what it was, it provided what isn't possible on any given day of the year... togertherness. and watching some anime (Naturo?) i haven't heard of in my entire life. it was fun.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

moot and academic_ and it's all crappy

I'm reading the newspapers days late so I'm still a little pissed off at what’s happening around these parts of late.

Of course, people will tell me that everything that's been going on has been going on for what seems like forever, so i shouldn't really be the least surprised.

I was taking in my nightly port of wine last night after we'd done the annual noche buena when I realized, geez, Arroyo shouldn't have been allowed run in 2004. And i wasn't drunk yet then, I swear. Drunk with anger maybe, if that’s possible. But anger's all I have when it doesn't look like I can do anything about it.

Gloria swore that for the sake of unity, she won't run in the 2004 elections, so that we can avoid dividing the nation. Okay. Fast forward to 2005. We're divided. Why? Because she ran. ayos. Arroyo will make a great seer. She’s better than any of the fortune-tellers we tout on the teevee to be the purveyors of Star predictions. She’s the best pundit I’ve ever had the mis(fortune) of being in the same country with. Freaking correct. We are divided.

And yet…. If she’d seen it coming, why didn’t she help us avoid it?

Section 4, article VII of the Philippine Constitution says, and I quote, "... The President shall not be eligible to run for any re-election....". What did Gloria Arroyo, the then Vice-president become, after Estrada was booted out of office? See section 8 article VII. "In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become President to serve the unexpired term." via the case of Estrada v Desierto, the Supreme Court ruled that Estrada resigned from the Presidency. (Albeit this is a very strained ruling, we’ll stick by it because whatever the Supreme Court says… forms a part of the legal system of the Philippines- article 8, Civil Code.) Arroyo became president. Hence, she "shall not be eligible to run for any re-election.”

Okay. Granted that according to election law, for a term limit to apply the prior term must have been served completely. Meaning, if Arroyo only served for the remainder of Estrada’s term, it doesn’t count. Okay. (Let’s forget about section 8, article VII.) Why wouldn’t we be allowed to apply the reasons why Our president isn’t allowed a second term? Six years is “long enough, for a good president to implement his programs….” (Constitutional Commission). Add to that the unspoken reason that we’ve had enough of anyone lording over our institutions and abusing it. Then maybe she shouldn’t have been allowed to run.

Unless she’s a bad president so six years wouldn’t have been long enough for her.

But she did run; and she was allowed to. And I can’t do anything about it. And we must respect the decision of every judicial body that allowed her to.

But the country is in such a mess right now, and with everyone batting for a change in the Constitution, it’s like we’re all having muck thrown in our faces. The consultative-whatever-commission- chaired by… gasp… Jose Abueva… has recommended that elected officials stay on till 2010 without need of any election. They also want to remove the restraints against foreigners in owning land and businesses. Okay. We give aliens our livelihood through the WTO, now we intend to give them our land and businesses? Okay. These same people also want to lodge Executive and Legislative power in one body, the parliament. Imagine today’s government without the Senate. We’d all be cowed by the demands of the Executive. Okay.

I’m not having a Merry Christmas right now (I’m having a crappy one. Why did I have to pick up a newspaper?). I have no reason to.
(also in my Dictum blog.)

Saturday, December 24, 2005


tracy chapman.
dim lights.
my brother outside cooking pork chop on a grill.
for the moment.

Friday, December 23, 2005


(Emailed by a friend who adores Narnia. I feel the same way.) I entered the World of Narnia through the same doorway as the Pevensie children, through the Wardrobe.

Hah. Nothing more satisfying than having a nice, long, drawn-out bath in the middle of the day. A day that is, incidentally, a holiday.

Athough... it’s not totally a holiday. I still have to make sense of an Appeal (to an ejectment case) that’s due by next week. But work’ll only reappear after today’s siesta time. For the moment, I’ll leave myself time to relax.

I just finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Lewis).

I got a copy of the book by putting it at the top of my wish list for the Block Christmas party- this party which I wouldn’t have attended were it not for the persistent prodding of some of my friends.

I’m weird in a lot of ways. In one of those ways, I’m weird because I don’t like going to parties. Specifically, I don’t like going to parties because I don’t want to have to be invited to play games. Because I won’t. Or I can’t. I don’t know how to explain it. I’m more wont to embarrass myself publicly than the next guy, and I’ll do it gladly, without even a thought as to how it’ll affect my self esteem. (It won’t.) But I’m loathe to participate in party games. I suppose it’s one of those mysteries that will never ever be solved, such as where did the universe come from (and does it matter if we’ll know or not), or will the Philippines ever prosper (and that’s too scary for me to want to know the answer, because I’m afraid that it’ll be: never).

Anyway, the long and short of it is that I did go to the Block Party, and I did not participate in any of the games.

From the moment I arrived at the party gates, I was already muttering under my breath:

And yet, as soon as our Block President saw me, he said, “Oli, hey, nandito ka!” I think it kind of melted my heart a little. Medyo.

Of course, I didn’t wear any kind of costume; and people I passed kept on asking me a variety of whys and whats (I was supposed to be). I laughed everytime I was asked. Hahahaha. (I came as someone who genuinely likes to be here.)

When the games started, I shed off the costume.

I love the Block, although a few of my friends will hear me say otherwise. What I really mean is that there are just times when our differences show. But really, were we all alike, it would have been boring. I am grateful that we all differ. And really, usually, sentimental-melancholy comes easy to me, but this time, it crept up on me late. It was only a few days ago when I realized- whoa, that was the last time that our whole Block will be together in one room. (We’re graduating this sem.)

Suddenly, I missed everyone. For three and a half years, we had the same seats in class. We all knew where everyone was supposed to be. We’d all get anxious a few minutes before the professor would walk in. have you read everything the professor assigned to us?

There would be pockets of seats in the room where the more studious students would already be discussing the day’s lesson, while in some corners notably mine, I would still be reading the assigned cases- for the first time.

There would also be times when, I’d decide to gather my things and tell my seatmates, I’m cutting class today. Because I wasn’t brave enough to cram the lesson while I was in class. (And anyway, I always believed that when we were allowed to absent ourselves from 20% of the class throughout the sem- it was our right to do so.)

We'd all laugh together at our mistakes. We'd all comfort each other when we'll have bad recit days. We'd all make fun of our professors, or fear them- together.


Why must a good part of our lives be devoted to saying goodbye?

Where was I? Ah, Narnia.

For the (Block) exchange gifts, I asked for the following:

  1. Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; or,

  2. CD’s: Breakaway (Clarkson) or Inuman Sessions (Parokya) or any Classical CD (string)- but not Vivaldi (I need to hear something else); or,

  3. Oils- for burning… but something fruity… preferably apple… I’m allergic to fragrances that are not of fruit…. Or,

  4. A bookmark…. It doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive. I just need something I can keep track of pages with (I’ll be catching up on my fiction reads during the Holidays). Presently, I’m using either a used movie ticket or a twenty-peso bill.

My “daddy” got me my first wish.

I first became acquainted with Narnia when I saw the trailer for the movie some few months ago. I thought, Hah! Disney’s answer to Potter.

Anyway, the visuals looked promising, and I was really desperate to find another fantasy to whup Harry’s ass, so I resolved to watch Wardrobe when it’ll finally be making its rounds here. {And that’ll be… next year. (Danged Metro Manila filmfest.)}

Narnia is a fantasy world separate from our own, peopled by fauns, satyrs, giants, etc etc. The four Pevensie children are transported onto its snowy slopes when they try to hide in the wardrobe (actually a walk-in closet). It’s eternally snowing in Narnia, because of the powers of the Evil White Witch. The children must combine forces with Aslan the lion in order to free Narnia from the rule of the Witch. To do so, a great sacrifice must have to be made.

Narnia provokes a lot of discussion.

Narnia is actually the second of seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia. It doesn't feel that way when you read it.
When you read the book, it looks like it’s written for children. In fact, while reading it, I’m already imagining how nice it would be if someone read it to me before I slept. Preferably read by someone with a nice warm voice like… Gloria Arroyo … so I can throttle her while she’s completely unawares….

Oi, but seriously, when the book is read by an ordinary, reasonable_ rational adult, s/he starts to ask questions…

  1. Why is the Evil Witch white?

  2. Why is the overlord of Narnia a lion?

  3. Why must there be four children?

  4. Why does time pass in Narnia while here, it stands still.

  5. Why aren’t there any humans in Narnia?

  6. Why must the children grow up to defeat the Witch?

  7. Did the children grow up?

And a dozen more questions, which will only reveal more of the book if I ask it here.

Wardrobe is an easy read; something you can finish while waiting for a delayed flight, and cute enough- even if you restrain yourself from asking questions. Somehow, somewhere, we’re still all children deep down.

Next up: We Were the Mulvaneys (Oates); and A Portrait in Sepia (Allende).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

i'm getting even- HAH!

Is it the 21st of December already?

I hate to say this, but entering Christmas, my spider-sense is tingling like crazy.

Right. I’m not Spiderman. Sooo far from it. I hate arachnids, and I don’t have bug-eyes, and I don’t have a red skin- with a web design. I also don’t eat flies- and I’m not saying that Peter Parker does…. But, well, you get the idea.

The point is, nowadays, I’m finding myself to be a wee bit irascible. okay, it's a little bit bigger than wee. biggwer. irascible- by more than a wee bit. Maybe Scrooge-level irate. Or maybe the word that's more apt is: annoyed.

I know, I know. It’s the Holidays-get some Christmas spirit and all- that I should quit being a Scrooge and everything. But is it my fault if, as we get closer to Christmas, isweartogod- I’m feeling that everybody’s out to con me?

Take a fer instance. Remember that wonderful tradition we’d love to call our own, the one we call caroling? (No, not the one where you pursue Carol….) It’s now being bastardized to death.

Tell me if this isn’t happening to you. Mornings and nights, from the 16th of December, people knock on your doors, and ring on your bells- but they aren’t your friendly Electrolux men.

They give you envelopes; and tell you that they’ll be back for those envelopes on the 22nd, or the 21st- wait, isn’t that tonight?

They tell you that they’re from this NGO that helps poor kids; they’re from an association who builds shelters; they’re nuns. I tell you, the list is endless.

Anyway, so because they’re helping humanity, may they now have the envelopes they gave you yesterday so that they can be on their way, thankyou.

I mean, I’m lucky if they’ll offer to sing carols. Most of them just get their envelopes and say their byyourleaves.

Even the postman does it. And the people who deliver the bills. What if I don’t give them money? They’ll refuse to deliver things to me ever again? Or till X’mas 2006 comes rollin’ round?

Sigh. And you can’t even check up on them easy. Their addresses say that they’ve offices in Las Pinas (I live in QC), or Paranaque, or- godhelpme- Bulacan. Aargh.

I’m fighting back. hah! I’ve had it. Tomorrow evening… I’m putting all the lights out_ and locking the doors... and I'm going to... pretend that I’m not home. HAH!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


just finished reading Life of Pi (Martel). it's fun not having to worry about Law for a while.
the book is about a religious young boy who is a Muslim, Hindu, and Christian. he and his family are aboard the Tsimtsum, bound for Canada, when their ship sinks. their zoo animals sink along with them, except for a tiger, a hyena, an orangutan, and a zebra, who must share a 23-foot lifeboat with Pi. the hyena dispenses with the zebra and the orangutan. the tiger dispenses with the hyena. how will Pi survive? there are sharks below, and the merciless ocean ahead.
the book makes for a great read. just don't read it while you're eating. you'll know what i mean when you pick up a copy.


i dont recall having seen the original King Kong (1933), but i do remember catching the 1976 (Jessice Lange) version on a teevee rerun. even though i hadn't reached puberty yet, the most amazing thing i could remember from the movie was that... it was enough to excite your gonads.
i don't know if i missed much by not seeing the '33 version, though i was reading from all quarters that hearing fay wray scream is enough to go and see it. she's the quintessential movie scream, they say. but will i be patient enough to see a black and white oldie? maybe i can reserve my comments for when i can actually see the movie, to see what it can say for its defense.
caught the Jackson (of LOTR) version last saturday. i was hearing faint praise from most everyone, nevermind the length of the epic. i just had to see it for myself.
the movie starts in 1930's new york, america, in the middle of the great depression. all of soup lines and closing establishments. ann darrow (watts) is a vaudeville star who gets part of the collective boot after the theater they're performing in closes down. carl denham (black), a would-be director, sees in her the desparation he believes is an essential part of his movie. he hastens to con ann into joining his outfit. she acquiesces. owing to that desperation denham so badly wants. it also helps things along with ann being the same size as denham's lost lead actress.
they head for the island of the Skull. aboard the ship, ann meets the rest of denham's misfitted cast of geniuses, and the gritty crew of the steamer. she finds the preening star of denham's movie (chandler); there is also the conficted captain of the ship (Kretschmann), the hardy first mate (parke), and his adopted stowaway-son (not legally- Bell).
while the crew is filming, ann falls into ambivalent love with jack driscoll (brody), with whose plays she's fallen in love with a long time ago. and then, to conclude the most boring first third of the movie, the ship finally runs itself aground on the shoals of the Skull.
i remember seeing Kong 1976 and feeling awed by its rendition of the island. CG re-invents the island into something meaner and more tangible. you should see this on the big screen to truly appreciate its magnitude.
on the island, briefly, people are killed, and you'll have a rip-roaring time seeing dinosaurs and bugs, and bigger bugs, and, wonderfully enough, the star of this movie- Kong.
i don't really remember how the 1976 version affected me aside from certain biochemical reactions which signalled my descent into puberty. but jackson's movie will leave you feeling differently. for while watts is easily one of the most beautiful faces to grace the screen, she exudes something more than sheer sensuality. she exudes grace, and a multitude of emotions, lifting her ann darrow to much more than the screaming wraith that she is in her past lives. she'll dance the vaudeville, juggle stones; while we- we fall in love with her alongside Kong. Kong's re-invention is also the highlight of the film. look at his eyes. they're human.
jackson also tries to inject some things into this movie which, observers say, were merely glossed over in the originals and the prior reincarnations. commerce, commercialization, greed, wall street. in the end, we'll all look into the mirror and we'll all think, King Kong is more human than some of us will ever be; we are this world's King Kongs, its monsters.

Monday, December 19, 2005

lantern parade, 2005

stand up... for your causes....

Eduk. fiery.

the usual crowds that gather at the Eng'g steps... where traditionally, the Lanterns perform.

Arki. too late for thanksgiving.

the League of Filipino Students.
the University has largely gone the way of the unconcerned.
these kids want to tell us otherwise.

facing the College of Eng'g. the CHK_ performing people.
they'll execute some nice Cheers later. whoa.

from FA. a motley of assorted creatures.

from FA. i don't know what this is supposed to be....
but i'd sure want one of those on my wall.

brings a whole new meaning to the word redhead. a float by Fine Arts.
nope. i don't want one of those on my wall.

from Fine Arts. i think this was part of their Fire ensemble. (earth, wind, fire.)

the Parades go on

Thursday, November 15th, I went to UP early in anticipation of the horrendous traffic that the Lantern Parade will generate. (It wasn’t so horrendous, as I later found out. In the first half of the day, I accompanied Pink to the Antipolo MTC to submit an Explanation. I was able to arrive at UP at around lunchtime.)

The folks at the Admin Building changed the format of the Parade this year, owing to our lack of budget. The paraders were all relegated to walking. Floats weren’t allowed in the contest anymore- though I did see at least one that joined the parade, I think it was from CHK- hauling our varsity players atop them. (Aren’t they supposed to be physically fit? Couldn’t they have walked?)

One fundamental change to the event was the leasing of the Oval perimeter to vendors who’ll be wanting to sell their wares. The result of which was the transformation of the Acad Oval into what looked like an emaciated tiangge. Hardly any vendor rented space. Or maybe that was supposed to be the general idea, I don’t know. That too many of the vendors will unnecessarily commercialize the event.

To add to the woes of the Diliman people, the Admin blocked all entry into the Oval to all vehicles since the start of the week. There was a short moment of confusion when people were asking themselves where they were supposed to pass to get to where they were going.

The Parade started at around 5pm. Which provided enough lead time for the staff at the College of Law to don their uniform shirts together. I think Our Lantern was supposed to be some sort of Unity theme- which the students didn’t get wind of. So much for unity. We’ll say that we’re too busy preparing for the Malcolm Madness, which is scheduled to start at 6pm, by which we mean, 8pm.

Which is why Dean Carlota is planning to decree that the Madness and the Lantern Parade should not thereafter be held on the same day.

I don’t know if he can do that, but it would be a great idea for the College of Law to get its act together and maintain a united front when it came to UP activities. I think we’ve endured a fractious façade for so long that it’s gotten the Dean tired and wanting an upheaval. I’ll say kudos to our new Dean.

Besides hardly any guy in Law has the time nor the expertise to create an award winning Lantern. All we’ll be able to muster is to… don yellow shirts and walk to the judging area together.

There is a moment of, when did the Dean last see a Lantern Parade? Aren’t there supposed to be lanterns in a lantern parade?

Of course, we’re all lawyers and would-be lawyers; we’ll eventually find a way to get around that problem.

In all, the Parade went by quickly- quicker than any of the Parades I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen eight). Probably because we don’t have any money to make it as long.

And yet, if the Parade will foster the sort of college/ school unity that it’s meant to instill, then money or no money, the Parades must go on.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

lantern parade

as usual, the UP College Of Fine Arts lorded it over all the others in the Lantern Parade last year. they're expected to do so again.

there's a lot of apprehension over how the Lantern Parade will be executed this year. the chancellors have already decreed that the use of floats for this Parade will be banned. i suppose that doesn't automatically mean that the entries will be mediocre. let's hope ingenuity shines through.

floats are being banned supposedly because of austerity measures. UP seems to be getting a smaller budget each year. or even if it's been constant, inflation and taxes are eating away at the budget's buying power. in fact, because of the austerity measures, the aready annual Belen making contest among the colleges has been discontinued. i don't know if that contributes to savings. i only know that Christmas looks to become a little darker this year.

the Fine Arts float pictured above is, by the way, an Aswang. their theme last year consisted of mythical creatures of the Philippines.

i don't know if the theme made for a good lantern parade entry. for all i know they were leftovers from some Halloween gig of Fine Arts, but all the same, people flocked to where Fine Arts was. for as long as they remain true to their college, they will forever remain the main attraction of the UP Lantern Parade and hold us all in thrall.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

in her shoes

saw In Her Shoes (diaz, collette) last night.
i initially wanted to see The Fog (welling). after all, Shoes looked for all the world like your average chick-flick. (i just wasn't in a chick-y mood.)
but then i thought, did i really want to see a movie that had for a poster a cloud with its mouth open? and did i really want to see superman in smallville fighting an earthbound cloud (with its mouth open)? i haven't seen the movie, and i probably won't- nevermind that i call myself a moviebuffwho'llseeanything- but from here, it looks like it's about a sentient cloud that eats people. maybe that's the last thing i need when i've been feeling sick lately, a bad movie that'll serve as an excuse for me to heave away.
anyway, In Her Shoes wasn't such a bad deal. in fact, it was a better deal than i expected. as long as you try to forget that cameron diaz can't act.
diaz also looks old, by the way. her wrinkles are showing, and she isn't as cute as she was in My Best Friend's Wedding (roberts, everett, mulroney). but she works, somehow. though there will be times in the movie when you'll be wondering why the producers couldn't have gotten someone younger. those times, coincidentally, are the times when the film shows closeups of maggie.
the movie is about two sisters who have nothing in common except the size of their feet. maggie (diaz) spends her days picking up men and discarding them as frequently as she's discarded by the jobs she takes. she has this fixation on trying out not a few of her sister rose's (collette) shoes, from what looked like an imelda-esque collection; even purloining them. what girl wouldn't kill for those many shoes. i would.
but it isn't just rose's shoes that maggie steals. maggie also steals rose's boyfriend, which leads rose to drive maggie away for ruining her life; and for generally making everything she (maggie) touches miserable.
but as the story progresses, it is rose (collette) who tries to fit in maggie's shoes. she walks dogs like maggie did, leaving the life of a high flying attorney behind. in the process, she rediscovers love, her own and her sister's, and their family's.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

the devil haunting me

200512130647hrs: T

Emily Rose is powerful because it leaves you dreading demons long after you’d gone out of the cinema. I have friends who tell me that they’ve been waking up at 3am for whatever concern after watching Rose. I always tell them that they shouldn’t worry because they don’t have names compelling enough to become movie titles.

Emily Rose is scary because it reminds us of Hell and its population of demons. That we are entirely helpless- we can’t put up any defenses against the Devil to protect us.

People will say that Faith in God is a defense. But this wasn’t even implied in the movie, with the exorcism failing.

Or it didn’t exactly fail. The whole point of the movie is that God allowed the possession to happen so that we may be reminded that we should be perpetually mindful of our spiritual state, and to impress upon us the existence of the Devil.

I met my own version of the devil two nights ago. It was just little past 3am when the doorbell started ringing incessantly. I woke up and thought, how rude. What kind of emergency could there be to merit this? My mind was still in the shock of being brought to an untimely consciousness to consider the possibilities.

I ran to the gate, looked through the peephole, saw no one there, and went back into the house.

Then the doorbell started acting up again.

I went back to the gate, flushed with anger, yet this anger was also tinged with fear- I was in the midst of the muddle of interrupted sleep. I opened the gate but made sure that I was blocking it with my foot, just in case I needed to close it quickly.

I saw a man hunched over in the darkness. He was bald. By that, I mean that he had no hair. The scalp was clean. That was evident in the dark.

He had on a checkered polo, with a white undershirt.

“Sino ka?” (“Who are you?”), I asked, indignant, at having been woken up in the middle of the night.

He stood silent. I glared at him, not sure what emotions were registering on his face.

“Si Aguinaldo, sir.” (“I am Aguinaldo, sir.”)

I must have looked perplexed because he added, “’yung dating guard sa opisina, sir.” (“The former guard at the office, sir.”)

At that, I looked closely at his face. He was telling the truth. At that moment, my mind was a blur of thoughts. What is he doing here? What does he want? Why is he here? What does he want with me? Why is he bald?

I didn’t know what to do, but anger welled up from somewhere deep inside of me and I scolded him as I said, “diyan ka lang, ah, ‘wag kang aalis! Babalikan kita!” (“Stay there! I’ll come back for you!”) Then I slammed the door on him and walked back to the house in annoyance, while I debated what to do. Once I’d calmed down, I walked back to the gate and opened it. He was gone. I went back to bed and slept.

That was two nights ago, yet I’m reliving the experience in my dreams. The bald man hunched over in the dark. He was once our security guard in the office. He was always smiling, he always looked happy.

He was the best dressed security guard I’d ever seen in my entire life, with shoes polished and hair moussed up with gel. He was always glowing.

That image of him is now replaced with that of the bald man in the street, ringing my doorbell with a sense of desperation. Till I came out to glare at him.

He lost his job. That’s how it is, we’ll say. That’s all it is. But for him and others like him, it means that there will be no more food on the table. No more.

That’s the devil that’s haunting me now.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

caught up

200512111510hrs: S

We have around ten or so dogs. I don’t know the exact count because after the tenth puppy was born, I stopped counting. Having a lot of dogs isn’t necessarily fortunate. I’m close to only two dogs; the rest, sometimes all they seem to be are snouts to feed. Of course, all those food must go somewhere; and the place they go to is usually the other end of my dust pan after I scour around the yard for them in the mornings. The result of which is, I have a very fertile backyard.

They can also be gadawful noisy. When I have visitors, I’ll be enlightened of that fact immediately. The whole neighborhood will be enlightened of that fact immediately.

Of late, the dogs don’t distinguish between wordly and otherwordly visitors- or so my father tells me. For more than a few weeks now, I’m being woken up in the middle of the night by the dogs’ howling. I’m always often in a deep sleep so I’m not bothered. I just wake up for a few seconds, long enough for my mind to register the sound of dogs howling. However, the dogs have got my father spooked, so he says we have to give the dogs away.

Not that I mind. What I am minding though is my father’s reason for giving the dogs away. He says ghosts are inhabiting the backyard. I scratch my head and say, “Why didn’t they inhabit the yard in the summer? Why only now?”

“Switch on every light in the house at night, so ghosts won’t live here,” he says. Then he turns to leave. After making sure that I understood his instructions. I think, what instructions? All that’ll do is to make the electric company richer.

I really don’t know what he’s talking about.

Or maybe I do. Maybe my ghosts have finally caught up with me.

daddy learns to microwave

morning. Very Early Morning.
my father knocks on my door, announces that he's brought me breakfast and that he's heating it now on the microwave.
i sleepwalk to the sink and brush my teeth. then it hits me. what? my father's using the microwave?!? he hasn't... he doesn't... he can't.... i run to the kitchen, call my dad, hold his arm, then i tell him slowly and clearly, so that he'll understand, "you can't heat that bowl when a fork's still in it."
grown ups.


i suddenly missed NLEX.

a few years ago, i loved going out at the break of dawn and driving to pangasinan. along the way, i'd spend a few minutes at the Shell station at Bocaue to have coffee and lie down and just think of anything that comes to mind. mostly, i'd be peppered by thoughts of, wow, the night sky is beautiful. (it is.) or of jeez, what would the world be like if it were in eternal darkness? (darkly beautiful.)

strange thoughts. wonderful thoughts. i wish i were in that mental place again.

i stopped going to pangasinan on a whim after i'd experienced several things going wrong with my car. flat tires (i'll have at least two a year), overheating engines, my car stalling. it would have been disastrous if i'd go through any one of those while the world was still sleeping.

i suppose you could say that i was suddenly stripped of my innocence. it will be some time before i can regain enough courage to venture out at night again. it's strange how metaphors can sneak up on you when you're not looking.
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Saturday, December 10, 2005

loveless in december

it's a lazy saturday. we have a meeting later at 1730h with the new Director of the Office of Legal Aid, Prof. Te. but the way this day is plodding along, that time seems like it's still very far off into the future.
i currently have two friends who have been dumped by their boyfriends. (i'm calling it bluntly, but truthfully. that's the truth, and if it sucks, well, suck up your guts and bear with it because no amount of prettifying with semantics is going to change anything.) one of them is staying alive, looking, for all the world like the brave soldier's daughter that she is. yet she wakes up in the middle of the night, at 3am, blaming Emily Rose for all her worries. i see things differently. she's haunted by demons all right but those demons don't come from hell.
as for my other friend- she's barely functioning. she's been a very diligent student in the college of law, but of late, she's been missing classes. presumably because the pain is becoming too much to bear.
it's funny that i now look at things with a sense of detachment, having passed through the same experience some few years ago. when people tell you that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, it's true, whether by its making your hide thicker, or by helping you look at the world differently. i partook of the second change.
my biggest realization is that this World is bigger than any of us. before mankind walked the earth, the dinosaurs considered this world their own- for millions of years. how long has mankind existed? we haven't even reached the millionth year mark. and yet we'll all view certain setbacks as if it's the end of the world. it's not. we've a tendency to equate our own existence with this world's. truth is, this world will not cease to exist even if we do. so why suffer over pain when in a million years, no one's going to care. what we should all just do is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and continue walking. there's no sense in wasting time. continue walking. shit happens; move on.
what about grieving? well, allow yourself to grieve. that's your right and prerogative. i can't take that away from anyone. in fact you have your whole life to grieve- at nights, when you've nothing better to do- in your dreams. grieving doesn't mean that your whole life has to come to a halt. grieve for the good times- because there were- but move on. move on, my friends. let's.

Friday, December 09, 2005

great taste

i'm writing this while i'm in the grip of vivaldi (yes, vivaldi again. i don't recall where i put my other classical cd's.). it's like being boxed in a wall of sound. my thoughts have difficulty seeping through this musical membrane.

it doesn't matter. class is still at 1400h, and i don't seem to have a lot of reading assignments, so i'm going to enjoy this for a while.

i've quietly regained my addiction to brewed coffee. not that i mind. it's just that_ it's a little bit expensive, hehe.

i say quietly because, it's not as if my addiction to caffeine went away. its always been there. i mean, i can't really function if i don't have my caffeine fix. and everyone knows that, because i tell them. this gives me at least two advantages. the first and greatest advantage is, soon as people see me in the morning, one of the first things they'll say is, "gusto mo ng coffee, Oliver?" i'll just shyly smile my assent- i won't say no- and maybe allow them to get me coffee. or i'll go with them. (i'll go with anyOne for coffee.) the second advantage is that it gives me an excuse whenever i'm incredibly shitty in the morning. and it's an automatic excuse, if you must know. i don't have to volunteer it. people will say, "ah, siguro di pa 'yan nakapagkape kaya ganyan 'yan." (i love my friends.)

where was i?

ah, slowly regaining my addiction to brewed coffee.

i find that i alternate between brewed coffee and instant coffee. i suspect that it has something to do with my being too lazy to clean the coffee machine. it's morning. i need to drink brewed coffee but the 'maker needs cleaning. Ohwell, i know i have some Great Taste (instant) here somewhere.
I look for instant coffee. and if i don't find some, i go to the store to buy some.

should i have to say that the store's a fifteen minute walk away? is that easier than cleaning my coffee maker?

so there it is. i eschew brewed coffee (aka, cleaningthecoffeemaker) for a while until my head aches- violently enough to force me to bring out brush and cleaning fluid and clean the 'maker. i was in that mood three days ago, after some couple of months believing that i could survive on instant coffee.

i can't. it's something i won't be able to do without.
of course, after washing the damn thing, i realized that i didn't have any paper filters left. i know i still have some Great Taste here somewhere....

Thursday, December 08, 2005

garci in da house

i joined my father for dinner last night. he finished his dinner in two minutes flat. i asked whether i was that repulsive, not to merit even three minutes' dinner time. he laughed, saying that he was in a hurry because he was going to watch the Circus. what circus was that, i asked? Chicago came to mind. the garci circus, he said, laughing as he rushed off to his room.

garci's testifying in congress, something i didn't expect him to do. maybe i was just being stupid, haha.

i was going through the inquirer webpage quickly- i had a class in an hour- and saw its caption on the frontpage photo- which says that garci's feeling at home in the House. i guess garci Should go to Congress and testify. he has nothing to lose. it's difficult to ignore the hoopla that he might even have helped these guys (in Congress) secure their posts. the "helpees" won't do anything to put garci in harm's way when they- or their principals- are indebted to him.

sigh. sometimes, you just want to escape from all of these things.

Monday, December 05, 2005


200512041920hrs: S
Sipping hot Milo, from a vending machine,in the College of Law. Its hallways are bereft of light, save for certain areas in the parking lot.
I'm waiting for the eight o'clock mass to start. There's no better way to reflect on the events that transpired this past week than to sit still in the dark and just_ ponder.
As if whatever happened to me this past week was earth shattering. They're just your basic weekly occurences that have been_ a part of my life since I set foot in the College of Law. It's funny how they're all facsimiles of each other. Deadlines, exams, recitations, classes. Except now, in my final year, we have OLA, our internship program (which our new Director, Prof. Te, tells us, is now being emulated by Ateneo. Except theirs is longer, at 1.5years). Everything in my life seems able to blend into one event, indistinguishable from the others. Will I want to live this kind life till I'm old and graying? What other things are there to do so that I can get rid of this ennui, this sameness?
The halls of the school are dark, lit only by the vendo machine beside me. We're often told that ghosts roam these halls. I don't have to imagine them to see them. Because I have my own bevy of ghosts surrounding me.
What if life wasn't linear? Great. I started thinking this while I was driving to here. It's bad enough that I'm driving at night on the most accident-prone highway in the world (Commonwealth Avenue), my subconscious has to butt in and engage me in pointless banter.
What if life wasn't linear? What if we could live each of its parts simultaneously? What if we could pick out one or more of those parts that we'll live (forgetting the rest)?
Sigh. Then I won't have to live in the here and now.
The clock's moving to 8pm. The sky is so clear you can see the stars. (I miss Iloilo at night.) I close my eyes and make a wish.... I make a second wish- that my first wish will come true. The air is calm. There isn't a breeze to carry my prayer to the heavens. I turn to the darkness behind me and tell the phantoms surrounding me of my desires. And when I wake up, I'll want it to be dawn....

Saturday, December 03, 2005

deluding myself

trying to pretend that i'm bored and that i have nothing to do tonight. right.

i walk over to the kitchen, scour the fridge, pick out a bowl and... i should throw that out... i pick out another bowl and... this one's rancid.... another one... i peer inside_ maybe i can eat this tomorrow so that i don't have to order out.

i notice that the freezer door is ajar. what's keeping it open? oh, fruit salad. must be from the neighbor. must have been my brother who put it there. (say goodbye to the fruit salad bowl, my dear brother.)

where was i?

i was trying to fool myself into thinking that i haven't a thing to do.

of course, the truth is, i really have to attend to some pleadings- there's a position paper that i have to submit to the NLRC by next week (though i've to have my Super check it first). and then there's this hearing that i've to attend on tuesday. (it's a Cross, so i have to prepare for it.)

and yet sometimes_ why is it just so easier to be lazy?

so here i am, stuffing my mouth full of buko shavings and canned fruit and cream- doing absolutely nothing....

dum dee dum dee dum.

i promise i'll exercise tomorrow. =)