Monday, January 31, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: CELEBPAST - UMA, CASS AND JASON OF PINOY BIG BROTHER!

Back in 2005, I was a segment producer/writer of At Home Ka Dito. In those days, we normally roamed around in the building and tried to catch celebrities on our free time.

In those times, luckily, I had the opportunity to have a picture with some of Pinoy Big Brother Season 1 housemates who were in the building for some shoot or taping.

I guess, being a staff of a Television network is such an advantage especially on taking a snapshot with the hottest celebrities. For this reason, I made sure to have that sparkling moment.

Now, check out my pictures with some of the celebrities I encountered. In this entry are Uma, Cass and Jason of Pinoy Big Brother Season 1.

First on my list is Uma. What can I say about Uma? Oh well, he has the looks that could launch a thousand ships. In short, he's handsome. In terms of character, he's very quirky and cool to hang out with. I didn't have any specific encounter with him. However, whenever I see him in ABS-CBN, I always see him playing around with other celebrities - both male and female. Plus, his deep voice sometimes contradicts his jolly personality.

I know that Uma still has a career. He hosts a Travel show with Katherine de Castro.
The man of the hour!
Second is Cass. As I remember, we did an At Home Ka Dito Episode for Cass.

In terms of looks, her complexion is her advantage. Plus, she has a very Filipina look. Question, where is Cass nowadays?
Yes, we act to fight?

Lips oh lips!
And lastly, Jason. One word to describe this guy: Witty! And because of his wit, no wonder he's the most bankable comedy actors in Philippine showbusiness.

Trying to be Pacquiao! Paaaaak!




More CELEBPast pictures to come. Watch out! =)

Friday, January 28, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: A SPEAKTACULAR WEEK!

For the past days of this week, I've been busy gathering data for a graduate school paper. And just recently, I joined a group of "young scientists" who are conducting a study in the quality of water in Kampong Ayer. Actually, I am required to join them because I have to observe and critique their gathering methodologies.

The study on the quality of water in Kampong Ayer is not a pure scientific approach.I heard, they will also employ some social science methodologies wherein they will interview some residents of Kampong Ayer to track the patterns or routines of throwing wastes in the river. Plus, interview among foreigners or tourists will be made to gather data on perception and recommendations. This methodology shall be implemented, soon.

On my part, I loooooved the trip. While I had to take a half day leave from office, I found the "water sampling" methodology as more of cultural immersion as well. The young scientists were all locals and I just enjoyed how they interact to gather data in 13 sites. Yes, I was with them. After an hour, the team finished the water sampling and we parted ways.

****
This Friday night, I attended UBD's Speaktacular Week! Live the language and culture of the future! I must say, I am enjoyed this event. Why? There are just countless reasons.

First, I was able to help my dear friend professor Ma'am Betsy come up with a Name of the Event and the Tagline. Yes, I am the person behind the "SPEAKTACULAR" name. Obviously, the word is a combination of two words "SPEAK" and "SPECTACULAR." I created this name last year, early December. Moreover, the tagline "Live the language and culture of the future" is more of a rhyme and an articulation of getting languages in a global shore.

Second, I am so proud to see a Filipino Booth in the event. I loved the displays ranging from traditional Barongs to Filipino Language books and hand woven baskets. More importantly, I was delighted to taste a free caramel bar from Max's Philippines!


Third, apart from the Filipino booth, there were other booths which articulated the language and culture of their country. There were a booth of Korean, Japanese, Thailand, Spain, Chinese and French. And as I walked around, I got to digest the creativity of each booth. The two stand out booths to me were the Korean and the French one. The Korean one had the head of a mannequin. I think they demo how to fashion your hair in a Korean way. While the French Booth had the ever popular tower made of cans. Cool!















A tower made of cans!

Japanese Booth!

Koren Models!

Korean Hairstyle, anyone?

Fourth, I soooo loved the performances. Actually, Friday night was the culmination of the event. And so, there were around 20 students who competed in a ala-UBD's Who's got Talent. The students performed songs and dances in different languages. And for me, it's just sooooo amazing how Ma'am Betsy's students gave justice and even IMPRESSED ME (as a Filipino) with their performances. Ma'am Betsy's students sang "Pipit." Plus, her other two students sang Regine and Ogie's Hanggang Ngayon. Seriously, I was blown away! They got the voice, they got the character, and they got all the diction, right!
Bruneian Students who performed a Philippine Song

The performance hall

Bruneian Students sang "Leron Leron Sinta"


Bruneian Students sang "Pipit"


Bruneian Students sang "Hanggang Ngayon" by Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid


Lastly, attending UBD Language Centre's Speaktacular event was a breathe of fresh air and a realization of something special. As I roamed around, checked on the booth, watched the performances and mingled with other students, a spark of pure happiness surfaced. I said to myself, hey, it's just like college days. In fact, I kept on saying to Ma'am Betsy that the experience was very much the same when we were college and trying to make a presentation in front of a big crowd. Truth is, I remembered our college effort when we were in Ma'am Betsy's language class. We created a production number which we presented in the end of the class. And as Ma'am Betsy remembered, we ended up laughing!

Left to Right: Tita Mabel, Ma'am Betsy, Kida, and Me!
Ma'am Betsy and I capped off the night with a scrumptious dinner at Farm Basket. And as I headed home, my heart was filled with so much happiness. Seriously, I'm just so thankful to have people like Ma'am Betsy in my life right now. More than the tips and treats, I sooooo appreciate the advices in life, career and a lot more.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: CELEBPAST -JASMINE TRIAS

I worked as a segment producer/writer in Philippine Idol back in 2006. Those were the days when the Idol competition was still under the franchise of ABC5, now TV5. Apparently, right after season 1 of Philippine Idol, GMA7 got the franchise and changed it to Pinoy Idol. GMA7 obviously used the talent search to compete with ABS-CBN's Pinoy Dream Academy.
 
Moving forward, I was lucky to be part of the Philippine Idol team. Apart from the live performances and elimination round, the segment shoots were just unforgettable. And it all started during the Manila, Cebu and Davao Auditions.

Positively, my training at ABS-CBN helped me in enduring all of the happiness, hype and horrors of production work. And also, thanks to my team mates, I survived. Not until the end part of the season wherein I was tasked to handle the I Love Philippine Idol, a 30-minute daily show that featured exclusive interviews and features among the contestants. I was harassed and I resigned. But of course, past is past. If there's anything that I wouldn't trade off with my Idol journey, that would be the friendship I've had with the people, from celebrities to ordinarily insane production mates.


And speaking of celebrity, I will never forget the day I was assigned to interview Jasmine Trias. Yes, you heard it right, Jasmine Trias of American Idol. In my interview, I juiced out the humble beginnings of Jasmine in her Idol journey. Mind you, despite her popularity that time, Jasmine was very humble and sweet. She definitely has the star factor!

Now I wonder, is there any news about her?

Watch our for more CELEBPAST pictures, soon.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: CELEBPAST - DUGONG

Do you still remember Marina, the soap opera that started the trends in Philippine Fantaserye? If you say yes, I hope you could still recall the character of Dugong, ang babaeng shokoy.

Believe it or not, Dugong was soooo dear to my heart. Not because of her perky villain aura, but because the person who played the character is my beloved professor back in college. Yes, Malou De Guzman, also known as Aling Lucring in Ober Da Bakod, was my professor in Television Speech and Performance at UP Diliman.

I love Ma'am Malou's class. Not only because I like the way our class interact, but the pressure to perform in front of the camera is just nerve wracking! As I remember, in one session, she asked us to act out as an insect. We were tasked to show how a hungry, thirsty, sleepy and even horny insect would move. In my case, I didn't even know what insect I was portraying. All I knew then, I was a big and crazy insect.

I never imagine that I will survive in her class. Thankfully, after all the production and sleepless nights, we all survived. In fact, it was in her class that I imbibed a firm and decisive directorial skill. Believe it or not,  we exchanged screams whenever I direct a shoot. Surprisingly, at the end of the day or the class production, we would laugh and part ways with so much chikahan.

I owe my performance skills to Ma'am Malou. She has always been my inspiration whenever I host events or participate in any type of production. Through her, I've learned to internalize or feel the character.  She's also my idol whenever I brief some celebrities when I was still working with ABS-CBN. More than the passion, performance in her class is about artistry.

me and Ma'am Malou a.k.a. Dugong
The photo was taken when the cast of Marina performed in ASAP. I was a staff of ASAP then.

 And guess what, Ma'am Malou even recommended for my MA in Media Studies at UP Diliman in 2007. Soon, I got in for my Masters in Media Studies (Broadcasting). Apparently, with the coming of a job offer in Brunei, I shifted to Open University under the Master of Development Communication program.

For all the things I've learned, thank you very much Ma'am Malou! You're one of the best mentors I had at the College of Mass Communication! Cheers!

More CelebPast pictures are on the way. So seat tight and enjoy the show!

Monday, January 24, 2011

CELEB-PAST - RIZA SANTOS!

 Before getting my shoes in Brunei, I must say that I was exposed to dozens of celebrities. That's because I used to work as a writer/producer in ABS-CBN.

And believe it or not, even after I went out of ABS-CBN, I worked with some aspiring celebrities through Asian Center for Foreign Languages (ACFL), a language school that teaches Filipino among foreigners who want to learn the language. One of them is Riza Santos.

While I was browsing my pictures, I came across with Riza Santos' picture. For your information, before Riza joined and won in PBB Celebrity Edition, she was learning Filipino in my class. It was a one-on-one class then. It was also the time when Riza posed for FHM Magazine!

If there's anything I won't forget about Riza, it would be her sweetness and freshness. Plus, she always come in class with so much energy. And oh, she never fails to woo me with her beautiful smile.

Me and Riza Santos at Asian Center for Foreign Languages
Risa Santos in FHM

 Now I wonder, where is she right now? Update me. Seriously, I've been out of showbiz for the longest time now.

PS: Starting today, I will be posting some of my pictures with some celebrities. Happy viewing!

For those who want to learn a new language (Arabic, American, Bahasa, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino, Fookienese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Nipponggo, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese , and other languages and Filipino dialects), why don'y you pick up those phone and dial the numbers 6330712, 6330722, and 6877342 (Asian Center for Foreign Languages).

Asian Center for Foreign Languages is located at 1406-B West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Centre (Tektite), Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

You can follow them online via the following:

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
SCHOOL WEBSITE

Thursday, January 20, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: CARNAPPING, LA NINA AND PRICE HIKE!

For the past days, I've been following reports on the series of carnapping, kidnapping and murder in the Philippines. Apparently, these issues are not only laid on the round table. There are also reports on price hike of public transportation such as MRT, jeepneys and taxis. Plus, there are also reports on La Nina which may affect the Philippines until April of this year.

I am glued on the news because the reports are not my reality in Brunei, but a reality in my mother country. As a Filipino, I think and believe that I have a responsibility to at least know what is happening. Plus, for the fact that my loved ones reside back in Manila, the central city where there's high reports on crime is detailed, I should know more and be cautious.

Reports about the Philippines are just frustrating and saddening. For some, since they couldn't just take the news, clicking the remote control to watch a more entertaining show is the best way to cope up. However, for some, it is through thorough scrutiny by watching reports unfold that they best understand realities, adopt to their community and create a can-do attitude on preparedness. In my case, I try to balance such realities depending on the gravity of what's being reported. Then again, news are realities are inescapable. As such, I can't help but to react on reports.

For the past days, reports on carnapping among second hand car dealers have been rampant. What's more alarming, the suspects do not only take the car, they also get the car dealer. As families of the car dealer reports the incident, soon, the body of the car dealer surfaces; a lifeless body killed brutally. The body is burned and is found in vacant lots in some provinces around Metro Manila.

According to reports, in the first month of 2011, there have been 31 reports of carnapping in the Philippines. Whether you are a local or a foreigner, such reports are definitely alarming. And now that there are some register of killings, much anxiety is booming as relative to a life of security.

The carnapping reports turned murder have happened in two consecutive cases. Among these two, the case of Attorney Lozano's son share the attention of the administration, police, the media and the public. According to reports, the Dominguez group, a group which have records of carnapping in the country, is being eyed as the main suspect. However, just last night, the leader of the Dominguez group spoke and cleared his name. The suspect said that the PNP or Philippine National Police have become comfortably numb in pointing fingers to them just to settle reports such as carnapping or murder.

In a relative report, the modus operandi of the carnappers is exposed in reports. In detail, carnappers nowadays have their ways and means. First, a carnapper would pretend to be a buyer of a second hand car. Second, a carnapper may bump your car in distant and remote places. Once you get down and talk, they will go into your car and go. Third, a carnapper may say that your tire needs air. As soon as you go down, that's the perfect time they will attack. And lastly, a carnapper may approach you and entrust their child in your care for a test drive. Once they get in the car for testing, you'll be surprised that no one will come back for the child. Meaning to say, they will take your car and the child that is entrusted to you is not really related to them, the carnapper.

Given these alarming reports, I am even more concerned with how my country is treating security as relative to justice or simply security system. Two weeks ago, there were even more shocking reports that police officials in the Philippine have been the source of crimes. Moreover, a girl was raped inside a police station. On these facade of a touted transparent administration, I think a review of the security system should be made. In terms of administrative employment, what kind of training do our policemen get and what laws do aide in securing proper conduct and commitment to service among police officers?

Now that the reports are out, it is inevitable for the general public to not worry. In fact, even I worry, lots. Who wouldn't, right? However, despite the panic attacks, I just hope that the criminals should be put behind bars. Despite the history of injustices and unresolved case from petty to big ones, the administration should look closely on what is being done in order to settle the case and retrieve trust among citizens.

On a different report, La Nina has now become a household report. According to PAG-ASA, the weather agency in the Philippines, La Nina is expected to stay and affect in the Philippines until April. Should this be predicted as accurate, then Summer is the Philippines would be off for this year.

La Nina is obviously as offshoot of Climate change. Climate change has been affecting the world in different levels. Just recently, Australia has been hit by heavy rains that pave way to flash floods in major cities. In Pakistan, the river rose and also made nearby cities suffer. And surprisingly, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a known dry country, has been hit by floods. In Russia, although there is storm or flash flooding that has been reported, the country's temperature hits at 100 degrees Celcius.With all these reports, there is no denying that the world is changing.

Reports on climate change are definitely call for attention not only among government offices or weather agencies. It is a phenomenon that must be addressed even by ordinary individuals. I guess, it's time to straighten our acts and be responsible in living a life here on Earth. Obviously, the water level in seas is rising as ice caps start to melt because of global warming. Seriously, if we will not imbibe a can-do action in doing simple and little things of protecting our environment, the movie 2012 may not be a far reality.

Lastly, reports on price hike on public transportation such as MRT, Jeepneys and Taxis in the Philippines are on the roll. On a hot seat, MRT is said to increase their price. Surprisingly, in two consecutive days, there are reports of equipment malfunction. As a former MRT user, I think DOTC should ensure first a quality service before imposing new prices.

As I heard in the news, Taxis have now increased their rate from 30.00 to 40.00 pesos. However, not all taxis are entitled to the new pricing. As cleared by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), there are requirements for a taxi to be considered as accredited in the new pricing. One distinct requirement is having a sticker on the taxi meter.

Additionally, since the Taxis' fare has been increased, the Jeepney Drivers are now lobbying to increase their fare to an add on of one pesos.

Bottom line, despite the depressing news I get, I still get to look at the situation with a flickering hope. However, I can't deny the fact that these reports are frustrating to watch.

Sayang lang dahil based on the skills of the Filipinos, I know that we can rise from being a Third world to being a First World. Apparently, there is a pile of issues that pull down our nation in achieving total progress.

True enough, in an insightful article written and published by Lee Kuan Yew, the Philippines is described as a nation that easily forgets. And on top of that, it is argued that democracy is not enough to lead the nation, but discipline should start among the Filipinos as well. Read further on this LINK.

Monday, January 17, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: BOTTOMNESIA!

Since the day I've started accessing pinoytambayan.tv, my weekday and weekend viewing habit has been totally changed. I do not only get to update myself with recent events in the Philippines, I also enjoy digesting interviews, unfold new discoveries via magazine format TV shows, laugh out loud with comedy shows, and catch television ads.


Last Saturday night, I was able to watch The Bottomline with Boy Abunda. I was so excited about it because Hubert Webb, who was imprisoned for 15 years after being accused of the brutal Vizconde massacre, will be speaking up. To my expectations, there will be round table of questions that will be thrown at Hubert, which is different from the questioning of the court. It will be more personal, hopefully concise and straightforward.

Knowing Boy Abunda's brilliance and wit in questioning, I was hooked in watching the interview. In fact, I started to be glued in the show when the bottomliners shared their striking question that seeks no-holds-barred answers from Hubert. As the program rolled, the banters and exchanges of perspectives paraded.


There are ways in looking at the interview. Either a viewer look at Hubert as the "should-be-sentenced-to-death" guy if a viewer believes he is guilty. And for a viewer who believes he is innocent, Hubert could get pity on his shoulder and must be supported to recover the past 15 years in prison. However, in my case, I look at the encounter as rhetorically sensitive. I tried to not judge and let each question fire up.

Boy Abunda did a good job. His questions were not misleading, yet his reactions were very transparent and straightforward. Bottomline, Boy Abunda and the bottomliners handled the program flow, very well.


The types of questions thrown were not play safe. For me, it was hard hitting on a personal level yet a viewer can piece realities for an accused man who suffered 15 years in prison. What was obvious, Hubert Webb was humbled by the experience. Forget all the political history of the family or the lining of ancestor's wealth, Hubert was a stand out with a showcase of his faith, which for me was authentic and not rolled in showbiz drama. Indeed, Hubert Webb suffered and changed.


During the interview, thoughts played in my mind. The highlight of it all, I pondered on suffering. Defining suffering is articulated in the past 15 years. However, the reality does not end in the years. What should be expounded is how Webb was treated. I am not reflecting on this just to rub off the imprisonment. I just want to think that the people may learn from shunning the divided and unequal treatment among inmates. Of course, in Webb's case, since he's under trial, I wouldn't expect harassing treatment. Positively, Hubert Webb learn to cope with a life that is far from his imagination. And to immortalize such experience, the tattoos on his body will be a living testament. As said, the tattoos on his body will remind Hubert of joining a group, struggle of the family, coming out better, and trust in the Lord.

Despite the gravity or the sensitivity of the issue, Bottomline made the discussion light. It was a discussion that is not demanding, accommodating in a sense. It was a discussion far from the stressful setting of the Supreme Court. It was an encounter that Filipinos may learn from within. If there's anything we can learn from the experience, it was the reflection of how poor our justice system in the Philippines. Considering that Hubert Webb was just being accused and not yet proven guilty, why did our system stopped searching for possible suspects and the facts. Fifteen years have passed yet all we thought was pointing fingers to individuals who, as Webb said, the people (as covered by the media) have tried to present in justification of the crime.


In a way, not just through mannerisms and way of speaking, life in prison changed Hubert Webb. What's good about it, his relationship with God has become stronger. Actually,  as I watch him during the interview, I can see his pureness and sincerity. Although viewers may see his actions and language as reinforcement of a freedom that he doesn't deserve, as I said, such sentiments follow our beliefs and personal judgment.


One on hand, despite the creativity of the questions, I found some initial questions were not asked. In the first gap of Bottomline, the bottomliners shared their preliminary questions. Apparently, some questions were not thrown. Perhaps, there was an omission that powerfully defines how editing creates and influence reality. 

The way I see things, our justice system has more to review and learn. Given that Hubert was proven guilty, I can only contemplate on the weight of frustration for Lauro Vizconde. And such frustration goes to Hubert Webb as well. For in the 15 years of bloody brouhaha, all we're left is cleaning that finger and start pointing again. What should be done is to never let history repeats itself, seriously.


My Amnesia Girl


Last Sunday, I had the chance to watch the most raved kilig movie, My Amnesia Girl. And surprisingly, for the purpose of enjoying a rainy afternoon, the movie won my heart.


The movie had nothing extra special on it. Although the concept of having an Amnesia to ward off a failed relationship is somewhat cute. I use the word "cute" because the "amnesia" argument is like a joke turned into a film. The way I see things, a person who was left out on the day of one's wedding could go ballistic in seeing again the person who hurt her. Bottomline, perhaps, because of the escapist tradition in films, the simplification of complicated relationship is made.


At first, Toni Gonzaga was bound to have an amnesia. Such hint was given in the scene when she and John Lloyd were flirting inside a room which capped off with John Lloyd putting a string on Toni's middle finger. Unfortunately, the amnesia condition would be used a greatest excuse or allibi. To me, I find it a premature storyline. It was even more reinforced at the end of the movie when John Lloyd had an accident (better watch it!)


John Lloyd's refusal to marry Toni on the wedding day was half baked. There was no enough justification. However, one may argue that it can happen in real life. Of course, it's possible. I just don't get the level of anxiety the character try to address.


The movie is dramatic mixed with big laughters, eye-candy production design, and male chuwariwaps which have been a signature in Philippine movies. Even seeing Toni Gonzaga running in her wedding dress as the heavy rain pours was just very Melanie Marquez. However, what is commendable about the film is the perky dialogue. Based on Nikolehiyala's song, the dialogues give the audience a subconscious gratification especially for those hopeless romantics and for those who have been fighting for unrequited love. Indeed, the movie allows you to fall in love, again and again, despite the conflicts and deceit. 


Overall, My Amnesia Girl is entertaining and sweet. Unexpectedly, John Lloyd and Toni had the magic, the unexplained chemistry. Again. John Lloyd showed his incomparable acting talent. On one hand, Toni Gonzaga's portrayal of a girl pretending to be suffering from Amnesia was just convincing and natural. Given the powerful cast and a dialogue that tickles the audience, My Amnesia Girl is truly unforgettable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: PAGIGING POSITIBO!

Sa panahon ngayon, maari mong sabihin na mahirap maging positibo sa buhay. Bakit? Maaaring basahin ito sa mg sumunod na kadahilanan: patuloy  na tumataas ang bilihin sa Pilipinas pero nanatiling mababa ang sahod mo; sinisisi mo ang hindi mo pagpayat sa kawalan mo ng love life; hindi ka natutuwa sa matinding trapiko sa kalsada; natatakot ka sa katotohanang ang mga pulis na ang pinagmumulan ng gulo o karahasan na dapat ay hindi; hindi mo nagamit ang napagaralan mo sa kolehiyo dahil tila kulang ang bakanteng propesyon sa isang tulad mo; sa kabila ng pagiging transparent ng administrasyon Aquino, tila mas naniniwala ka pa rin na ang pangingibang bansa ang pinakasolusyon para sa iyong magandang bukas. Sa mga patong patong na usaping ito, maaari mong sabihin na mahirap maging positibo sa buhay.

Positibo ako sa buhay. Pinili kong maging positibo dahil alam ko ang pakiramdam kung paano malungkot ng lubos, harapin ang mga pagsubok ng mag-isa at higit sa lahat, alam ko kung paano ang mga negatibong bagay ay maaaring lamunin sa dilim ang aking mga pangarap. Dahil sa karanasang ito, napagtanto ko na ang pagiging positibo ay nagsisimula hindi sa iba, kundi sa ating mga sarili. Totoo nga, ang pagiging positibo ay bunga ng tamang pagiisip.


Isang pagtatama lamang. Ang pagiging positibo sa buhay ay hindi pagtakas sa reyalidad o pagtalikod sa katotohanan. 

Ano ang tamang pagtingin dito? Ito po: ang pagiging positibo ay isang pagaambisyon o pagtawag sa magandang buhay kahit hindi po ito nagaganap sa kasalukuyan; ang pagiging positibo ay pagtingin sa positibong hinaharap na sa kabila ng pagsubok ay matatapos din ang araw at sisibol ang pag-asa; at higit sa lahat, ang pagiging positibo ay hindi pag-deadma sa mga imperpeksyon ng buhay. Sa huli, ang pagiging positibo ay pagtitiwala na bawat problema ay may solusyon at ang positibong bagay ay kusang lalapit kung tayo ay positibong magisip.


Ngayong umaga, ibabahagi ko sa inyo ang mga paraan kung paano maging positibo sa buhay. Isa isahin natin.


Iwas init ulo

Madalas, may mga bagay na nagaganap sa umaga na nakakapanginit ng ating ulo. Maaaring naagawan tayo ng taxi at late na tayo; isang text mula sa ating boss; matindi ang trapiko; isang bagay ang hindi mahanap at kailangang isuot; biglang buhos ang ulan at wala tayong payong; isang kotse o bus ang biglang nag-cut sa atin papasok sa opisina; mahaba ang pila sa MRT at kung anu ano pa. Tandaan, may karapatan kang mainis. Normal ang maasar or magalit. Ngunit dapat mo ring tandaan, kailangan mo ng pangontra sa iyong pagkainis. Dahil kung pababayaan mo ito, madadamay ang buong araw mo. 


Ano ang dapat mong gawin? Hayaang mainis o magalit. Pagkatapos, manahimik at magisip ng positibong bagay. Yan ay nagsisimula sa salitang... "Di Bale!" Kung naagawan ka man ng taxi, isipin na "Di bale, may taxi pa naman dyan." Sa isa pang pagkakataon, sa aspeto ng pag-ibig, kung iniwan ka man ng iyong mahal, isipin na, "Di bale, alam kong may taong makakatagpo ko at higit na magmamahal sa akin." Oo nga't lahat ng negatibong pangyayari ay maaaring sumampal sa iyong nanahimik at maayos na buhay, dapat mong isipin na ito'y mga pagsubok para sabihin sa'yo ng Diyos na marami ka ring blessings na hindi mo lang napapansin.

Sa ganitong konteksto, dapat mong isaisip na habang may buhay, may pag-asa. Higit pa riyan, bawat problema ay may solusyon. At kung pakiramdam mo ay kulang ang iyong lakas, bakit hindi ka humingi ng tulong sa iyong pamilya, kaibigan, at sa Diyos.


Biyaya


Sabi nila, mahalaga ang pera sa panahong ito. Dahil ang pera, kaya kang dalhin sa kakaibang lebel ng iyong buhay. Dahil sa pera, puede kang maging sikat. Dahil sa pera, mabibili mo ang mga pinakausong gadget, paguusapan ka at siempre, angat ka sa iba. At dahil sa pera, magagawa mo ang mga gusto mo. Sa pananaw ng mga abusado, siguradong pera ang susi sa lubos na kasiyahan. Sa mundong ito, maaaring sabihin na pera pera lang ang usapan.


Sa totoo lang, kailangan natin ng pera. Ang tanong nga lang, para saan ba ang pera? Kung iniisip mo na ang pera ay para gamitin sa paghihiganti; kung iniisip mo na ang pera ay para sumikat ka; kung iniisip mo na ang pera ay ang buhay mo? Siguro ay panahon na para muling magisip. Kahit na sabihin mong ang pagkakaroon ng maraming pera ay ang magbibigay ng pagiging positibo sa iyo, muli, magisip ka.

Hindi nadadala sa hukay ang pera. Kahit naman ang pagiging positibo, hindi naisasama sa hukay. Bagamat naipapamana ang pera at pagiging positibo, may higit na napapayaman ang pagiging positibo. Dahil ito ay naipapamana hindi lamang sa pamilya, kundi maging sa ibang tao. Ang pagiging positibo ay isang positibong sakit. Ito ay nakakahawa at nagsisilbing medisina sa mga problemado sa buhay.


Kung lagi mong iisipin na kulang ang kinikita mo, dapat mo ring isipin kung nga ba ang mga pinagkakagastusan mo. Kung ikaw ay nabubuhay ng higit pa sa kinikita mo, siguro nga ay panahon na gisingin ang pagiging matipid mo. Lalo na ngayon na nabubuhay tayo sa panahon ng pasiklaban ng gadgets, gym at gayahan, tila isang pagsubok ang harapin ang katotohanang kailangan mong magtipid.


Gaya ng sinabi ko, ang pagiging positibo ay nagsisimula sa pagiisip na ang pera ay hindi nadadala sa hukay. Oo nga't kailangan mong magtabi para sa magandang kinakabukasan ng sarili o ng iyong pamilya, ngunit pakatandaan din na life is short. Hindi ko sinasabing lustayin mo ang pera mo para higit mong ma-enjoy ang buhay mo. Siguraduhin na ang pera ay may patutunguhang makabuluhan. Paano? Bakit hindi mo subukang tumulong sa mga nangangailangn? Bakit hindi mo surpresahin ang iyong pamilya sa isang bakasyong pinagupunan mo at hindi dahil sa inutang mo pa; o bakit hindi mo subukang magbigay sa mga institusyong higit na nangangailangan ng pinansyal na tulong lalo pa't kung ikaw ay may sobrang kinikita. Sa ganitong paraan, isinasakonteksto mo ang kahalagahan ng pera sa pagtulong. Hindi ba't mas masarap ang pakiramdam at talagang magiging positibo ka?


Isiping kung ano ang meron ka ay isang biyaya. Kadalasan kasi, nakatingin na agad tayo sa mga bagay na hindi natin makuha. Lalo na ngayon, ang mga frustrations ay natatali sa pinakasimpleng luho: kasi hindi makabili ng iPhone, ng iPad, o ng kung anu ano pang bagay na kung iisipin ay hindi naman talaga kailangan. Isipin mo, ang kailangan lang talaga ay tamang pagkain, damit, matitirahan o kahit sasakyan. Kung iisiping mabuti. Sa halip na ibili ng mga gadgets, bakit hindi na lamang magtabi ng pera para sa paghahanda ng investments gaya ng lupa o bahay. O di kaya naman, maglaan ng budget para mga tipid packages na pagbibiyahe sa loob o labas ng bansa. Maraming paraan para gamitin ng tama ang pera. At yan ay nagsisimula sa ating pagiisip na ito ay mga biyaya na dapat gamitin ng tama at ipagpasalamat.


Karma

Hindi natin pansin, ang paniniwala sa Karma ay isang paraan upang maging positibo sa buhay. Kung lagi na lamang nating sasalubungin ang araw ng pangaapi o panlalamang sa kapwa, aba, panahon na siguro para maniwala tayo na ang hindi natutulog ang Karma. Subok na ang karma sa maraming pagkakataon. Hindi ko sinasabing dapat magdusa ang mga taong minsang nangapi o nanlamang sa kapwa. Ngunit, tila ang mga bagay na nangyayari sa kanila ay hatol ng tadhana. Gayunpaman, hindi huli ang pagbabago. Nasa tao ang pagbabago.


Inggit

Sa panahon ngayon, lalo pa't gamit ang social media na bumasag sa privacy ng bawat tao, hindi naiiwasang makita ang mga "masasayang" bagay o pangyayari sa buhay ng ibang tao. Nakakalungkot lang dahil sadyang di naiiwasang di mainggit ng ibang tao. 

Sa ganitong konteksto, panahon na rin siguro para magising sa katotohanang, di kailangan mainggit. Paano? Bakit hindi mo tingnan kung ano ang meron ka: Hindi pa ba sapat ang masayang pamilya?; at hindi pa ba sapat na buhay ka?Tandaan, ang pagiging positibo ay nagmumula sa appreciation ng kung ano ang meron ka. Mula sa simple hanggang sa pinaka-kompleks na biyaya, dapat mo itong tanggapin bilang biyaya mula sa Diyos.

Sa pagiging positibo sa buhay, may isang pagiisip na dapat iwasan. Dahil nga sa itinataguyod mo ang pagtingin sa iyong mga biyaya, wag naman sanang isipin na ikaw ay nakaka-angat sa mga mahihirap o naghihirap. Wag gawing isang tropeo ang mga simpleng bagay na meron ka at wala sa iba; "Don't feel good about yourself by looking down on others or delving on other people's misery." At ito ay tutugon sa sunod nating konsepto: Wag ikumpara ang sarili sa iba.


Ang pagkukumpara ng sarili sa ibang tao ang pinaka-ugat ng sandamakmak na frustrations sa buhay, at minsan ay nauuwi pa sa depression o suicide. Bagamat hindi maiiwasan na humanga sa ibang tao o tumingin sa kung ano ang meron sa iba para lalong magsumikap sa buhay. Ngunit sana, gawin ito bilang inspirasyon para ayusin ang buhay. Gayunpaman, dapat mo ring higit na kilalanin ang iyong sarili para alam mo ang kaya at di mo kayang gawin.


Dahil may Diyos

Sa kabila ng mga pagsubok sa buhay, normal ang lumuha. Normal din ang maging mahina. At lalong normal ang magkamali. Ngunit pakatandaan mo, ang pagiging positibo ay nagsisimula sa pagbangon. At higit pa riyan, ang pagiging positibo sa buhay ay pinagtitibay ng pagtitiwala hindi lamang sa sarili, kundi lalo sa Diyos.


Kung ikaw man ay nalulungkot o naguguluhan sa buhay, bakit hindi mo subukang magdasal. Isipin mo, maaaring ang iginugugol mo sa pagdadasal ay hindi pa halos kalahati sa oras na ginagamit mo sa pag-fa-facebook. At isa pa, ang tunay na saya ay hindi nadadampot sa kung saan saan. Magugulat ka na lang, ito ay makukuha mo sa oras ng katahimikan at paguusap sa sarili. Gayunpaman, di ka naman nag-iisa. Laging andyan ang Diyos na handang makinig mula sa iyong simpleng reklamo hanggang sa kasiyahan ng iyong love life.


Ngayon, subukan mong maging positibo sa buhay.

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: MRT AND BRUNEI!

Nung nakaraang taon, isang balita ang kumumpirma na magkakaroon na ng Train dito sa Brunei. Nagkaroon pa nga ng exhibition sa The Mall ukol sa nasabing pagpapatayo ng simbolo ng idustriyalisasyon - ang train o tube. Ayon sa baltita, ang train ang magdurugtong sa Yayasan Mall at Airport. 

Sa isang dayuhang gaya ko, napapaisip ako. Sa isang bansa na gaya ng Brunei na halos lahat ay may sasakyan at napakamura ng gasolina, maiisip pa kayang gamitin ng mga tao  ang tube. Isa pa, dahil sa kakaunti ang populasyon ng bansa, bibihira ang trapiko. Sa ganitong konteksto, ano pa nga ba ang silbi ng tren. Isa pa, kung iisipin mo. Ang pampublikong bus ng Brunei, na mas kilala bilang purple bus, ay hindi naman ginagamit ng mga Bruneians. Ang mga foreigners na walang sasakyan ang kadalasang gumagamit nito.

Sa kabila ng argumento, may silbi ang tren. At ang silbi nito ay nahahati sa dalawang aspeto. Una, ang tren ay simbolo ng kaunlaran o industriyalisasyon. Sa taglay nitong bilis, mas napapabilis din ang proseso ng transaksyon. Naithahatid ang mga tao o produkto mula sa magkabilang dulo nang tipid sa oras at komportable pa sa mga pasahero. Pangalawa naman, mas magagamit ang tren ng mga dayuhan na maaaring nagbabakasyon o nagtatrabaho sa Brunei. Bilang bahagi ng turismo, magiging bagansya ito ng pagangat ng  bansa sa global na kalakaran.

Ano ang kaugnayan ng tren sa blog kong ito? Kanina kasing tanghali, habang nilalantakan ko ang aking pananghalian, napunta ang usapan sa MRT. Bagamat walang direktang kaugnayan sa sinasabing pagkakaroon ng tren sa Brunei, napunta sa mga nakakatawang eksena sa MRT ang napagkuwentuhan. Aaminin ko, nakakamiss rin pala talaga ang MRT. 
Miss ko ang MRT pero hindi ko miss ang mabalya, matulak, masiko at maapakan. Suwerte nga dito sa Brunei, dahil may pasasakyan ang kompanya at malapit lang ang opisina, sariwa akong nakakarating sa opisina. Umulan o umaraw, sariwa at mabangong umaabot sa opisina.


 Bakit nakaka-miss ang mag-MRT? Tara, isa isahin natin ang mga nakakatawang kaganapaan!

1. FREEZE FRAME. Sa totoo lang, sa oras ng rush hour, di mo na kailangang gumalaw. Sa simpleng pag-freeze mo, maitutulak ka papasok o palabas ng MRT. Parang isang nakapakalaking alon na hahampas sa katawan mo ang dami ng tao. Nakakatakot na nakaka-excite. Totoong kailangan eh huminga ka ng malalim para mabuhay!

2. MTV MADNESS. Hindi ito tungkol sa panonood ng music video. Ito ay ang pakiramdam na para kang nag-mu-music video sa loob ng MRT. Hindi ka makatingin sa kaharap mo. Hindi mo mailabas ang cellphone mo dahil baka madukutan ka. Hindi ka makatingin sa katabi mo at baka isipin na may gusto ko. Kaya ang ending, nakatingin ka sa bintana. Para kang umeemote at nagiisip ng kung anu ano. Aminin mo, mapang-emote ka sa loob ng MRT.

3. BAG BEAT. Dahil naniniwala ka na hindi ligtas ang kapaligiran at kahit ang pinaka-guwapo o pinaka-magandang pasahero ay maaring mandurukot or snatcher, hindi naiaalis ang bag mo sa harap mo. Sinisigurado mong hindi maalis sa paningin mo ang iyong bag. Dahil dyan, nagmumukhang "Kangaroo" ang karamihan sa paglagay ng bag sa kanilang harapan!

4. TRIP TICKET. Isa ang iyong ticket sa pinakaimportanteng bagay sa MRT. Dahil dyan, sinusubukan mong protektahan ito at hindi mawala. Isipin mo naman kasi, sa oras ng pagmamadali, hassle pa ang mawalan ng ticket at bumili ulit.

5. TIPID TIME. Tipid sa oras ang pag-MRT. Nakakatawa lang. Minsan, mas matagal pa ang ipinipila mo sa kaysa sa pagabot sa destinasyon mo.Kaya para iwas sa mahabang pila, bumili na ng ticket na marami ang kredit.

6. PAWIS PUNCH. Umaga o hapon, di maiiwasan may mga pasaherong matindi magpawis. At kakambal ng pawis ay ang...AMOY. Okay lang sana kung pawis lang. Kaya lang ang iba, may halong pasabog pa. Dahil dyan, minsan, nanahimik ka na lang kung sakali mang halos mahalikan mo na ang taong pawis na pawis dahil sa siksikan sa MRT.

7. BIGTIME BOSES. Nung una, nakakatakot ang boses ng nag-a-announce ng station sa MRT. Aakalain mo pa tuloy na maaaring ang lalake na nag-a-announce ay lasing, nabasted or sadyang problemado sa utang. Pero ngayon, asensado't malambing na ang boses. Gamit ang boses ng babae, kahit nakakainit ng ulo ang mabalya sa pagpasok ng MRT, nakakalma ka naman. 

8. RIGHT RADIO. Awa ng diyos, aba, nagkaroon na rin ng radyo sa loob ng MRT. Kahit papaano, kahit wala kang iPod, nakakapakinig ka ng musika o mga patalastas. Di tulad dati, mababaliw ka sa tunog ng umaandar na tren.

9. BOOM BODY. Hindi biro ang maitulak sa MRT. Nakaranas na rin ako ng ganyan. Pero aminin mo o hindi, dahil sa MRT, natututo kang maging malakas at maging matikas. Dahil kung lalambot lambot ka, talagang maitutulak ka.


10. TOUCH TICK. Sino pa namang babae ang matutuwa pag siya ay nag-hipuan. Siempre, magagalit ang babae. Aminin mo, sa MRT, may ibang lalakeng oportunista. Ginagamit na excuse ang siksikan para makahipo. 

11. CENTER CHECK. Sa mga oras ng balyahan sa MRT, minsan, mas mabuti pang pumuwesto sa gitna. Ang problema nga lang, wala kang makapitan pag prumeno ang MRT.

12. CHIKA CHOICE. Ang pagsakay sa MRT na kasama ang kaibigan ay isa mga epektibong paraan para labanan ang biyaheng nakaka-pipe. Yon nga lang, dahil sa bilis ng biyahe, ang chikahan ay nabibitin lalo pa't kailangan ng bumaba ng isang kasama sa ibang estasyon.

13. DAMING DALA. Isang malaking parusa ang magdala ng maraming gamit pag sasakay ng MRT. Hindi rin biro ang maitulak ka na at mabitiwan mo pa ang dami ng hawak mo at tumama sa katabi mo. Ang totoo nito, mas kaunti ang bitbit mo sa MRT, mas mabuti. Yan eh dahil mas makakagalaw ka.

14. SHADED SIGHT. Ang ibang pasahero, para lalong ma-enjoy ang biyahe sa MRT ay nagsusuot ng shades. Kahit di naman mataas ang sikat ang araw, nagsusuot ang ilan ng shades. Possibleng dahil ito sa paghahanap ng guwaping at magaganda sa loob ng tren.

15. RAGING RUSH. Oo, pag rush hour na, isa lang gusto ng karamihan: ang makauwi. Dahil dyan, minsan, titiisin mo na lang ang amoy, siksikan at kung anu ano pang parusa basta't makauwi lang.

16. BILLBOARD BANG. Maliban sa pag-e-emote, isa ang pagtingin sa mga billboard ang nagiging hobby ng ilan para maaliw sa biyahe sa MRT. Mula sa mga nakakatakam na modelo hanggang sa nakakasukang "Umayon lang sa ganda" na mga larawan, naaaliw ang isang pasahero sa mga billboard.

Ngayong napapabalitang tataas na ang presyo ng MRT at LRT Fare,  sana ay naiisip rin ng pamahalaan na itaas ang pasahod sa mga tao. Nakakatawang isipin na kapalit ng higit na industriyalisasyon, na-ba-baon sa kakarampot na sahod ang mga ordinaryong Juan. Yan ang karanasan sa Pilipinas.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: TV Patrol

For the past days, I am able to watch various Kapamilya shows.  Thanks to live streaming, I am able to update myself with what's happening in my country, the Philippines.

As you all know, there is no Pinoy TV or TFC in Brunei. Unbelievably, I am to cope with these channels' absence. But of course, there are times that I miss watching Philippine made shows. By merely hearing tagalog or punch lines through Filipino flicks that I watch, my heart suddenly feels back at home.

Technology makes everything possible. Yes oh yes, because of technology, I am able to access and watch Philippine made shows via live streaming. Thanks to my friend who introduced me to such glorious portal, I am now updated.

Now, let me one-by-one share to you my sentiments on some shows that I was able to watch.
Goin Bulilit- First Episode of 2011. Honestly, the episodes are humorous. I was amazed with how the kids deliver the lines and act out the roles convincingly. Actually, I laughed so hard nung pinakita ng Goin Bulilit ang isang segment na tinakot ang mga bata. Tawa ako ng tawa because the reaction of the kids were just so authentic. However,  I just don't feel the kids in the show because they deliver adult-made concepts and lines. 

Rated K - Pagbabalik tanaw sa taong 2010. I love watching Rated K. It's very informative and entertaining. Just recently, I was so glad to catch their special episode which featured the best of the best in 2010. While I was watching, I can't help miss the scripting format of Rated K. As some of you know, I worked as writer/producer in At Home Ka Dito. Through infotainment, a light and candid approach on scripting is required. Nakakatawa lang din kasi kahit ang mga salitang bongga at major major ay pasok sa scripting.

TV Patrol. With powerhouse news anchors, I expected a lot from TV Patrol. Apparently, my initial reaction with watching TV Patrol was it has a tabloid feel. And as usual, ang daming chismisan, absurdity sa content at meron pang pa-game. Plus, natawa lang ako dahil ang scandal ng mga foreigners sa Boracay ay ginawan pa ng short commentary ng mga news anchors. Naisip ko, sa dami ng national issue na puedeng pagusapan, bakit yon pa.

On a lighter note, nakakamiss din pala panuorin ang Mga Kuwento ni Marc Logan. Tawa ako ng tawa especially sa segment on Faith Healers na nagkairingan. 

The Buzz - 8 December 2010. Honestly, I felt at home while watching The Buzz. Di lang ako naaliw sa outfit ng mga hosts, naaliw din ako sa mga intriga. 

Starpower ni Sharon Cuneta.  I love the performances of the 5 remaining contestants. However, I didn't like how Sharon bantered with the contestants. Mukhang OA at palengkera. Plus, it is very obvious pag di niya gusto ang contestant. Mega hug siya at bati sa mga magagandang conestant maliban na lang kay Angeline. I am not a supporter of Angeline and it was my first time to see Starpower. Aaminin ko, the format of the competition is very AI or Star in a Million. Nothing new.

Laugh Out Loud. It was my first time to see this show by Luis Manzano. Kahit very Wow Mali ang format ng show, napatawa ako especially yung Altapresyon segment. 

During commercial breaks, I had the chance to check out different ads. Iba talaga ang pinoy humor. Maliban sa may play of words, star studded pa. Iniisip ko, kung tatanggalin ang mga artista sa ad, ano kaya ang epekto? Magiging boring kaya lalo sa mga celebrity-crazed pinoys?

Dahil sa panunuod, nalaman ko rin na may mga bagong teleserye ang GMA7. Magkakaroon ng Captain Barbell (Richard Gutierrez ang gaganap), Machete, Dwarfina (Heart Evangelist), Amaya ( Marianne Rivera) at kung anu ano pa. Sayang, di ko napansin ang ABS-CBN.

Now, my point is, having what these shows, if you are an OFW, what will you feel? Isa isahin natin.


1. Hindi nakakatuwang malaman na ang mga pulis na ang bagong pinagmumulan ng karahasan sa Pilipinas. Sila na nga ang humuli, sila pa ang nanggahasa. Kung ganito ng ganito, baka mas gustuhin pa ng ordinaryong juan ang malunod sa homesickness sa ibang bansa sa kaysa bumalik sa Pilipinas at ilagay ang sarili sa panganib.
2. Hindi na nagbago ang mga balita sa Pilipinas. Ang balita noon, balita hanggang ngayon.
3. Hindi ba dapat ay maging objective ang pagbabalita? Bakit ang mga news anchor, nagkokomentaryo pagkatapos sabihin ang aktwal na balita. Hindi ba't ito ay maaaring magbigay ng pagkalito sa mga manunuod?
4. Ano ang gusto nating sabihin sa dami ng showbiz balita sa bansa? Hanggang showbiz na lang ba ang reyalidad natin?
5. Sa gabi, puros fantaserye ang mapapanuod. Wala na bang alternatibong programa na puedeng i-ere sa gabi?
6. Hindi pa ba natuto ang mga television network sa nagiging produkto ng mga talent searches. Sa totoo lang, nagiging isang suntok sa buwan ang maka-hanap ng the next regine, the next Nora Aunor or the next Christopher de Leon. Sa panahon kasi ngayon, puros instant rise to fame at mas mabilis din ang pagkalaos. Sa panahon ng instant noodles at higit na convenience,
7. Hindi maalis sa isip ko, nagmumukha ng Cuneta-Lopez-Kabayan ang ABS-CBN at Gutierrez-Gozon naman ang siete. At ang singko, Revillame-Pangilinan.
8. Ang Facebook at Twitter ay bahagi na ng pagbabalita. Mapa-hard news o intriga, kinokonsulta ang mga tweets at shout out. Gayunpaman, sa pagkokonsulta, ito ba ay maituturing na kredibol?
9. Hindi ko alam kung saan patungo ang career ni Erik Santos pero mas angat ang kinang ni Christian Bautista. Isang patunay si Christian Bautista na hindi lahat ng champion sa start search ay sisikat ng todo-todo. Minsan, nasa personalidad, Manager at karisma.
10. Sa panunuod ko ng local shows, hindi lang ako naaliw, nagising din ako sa reyalidad na halos wala pa ring pinagbago ang Pilipinas. Kung ikukumpara sa Facebook, ang reyalidad ay makikita pa rin sa mga balita. Kahit sabihing left and right ang pagtayo ng mga malls sa Pilipinas, hindi maitatangging marami pa rin ang nagugutom, marami ang abusado, at mas yumayaman ang mayayaman at naghihirap ang mga mahihirap.


Ikaw, ano sa tingin mo?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: FIRST WEEK OF 2011!

The first of my January 2011 is strange. I don't know why but I just feel that I've been thinking of some out-of-this-world stuff. In short, I'm anxious. Nasapian na naman ng kabaliwan. lol

First, I've been thinking about diabetes. Seriously, I even told my dad that I'm diabetic. Why on earth would I think about this? Apart from diabetes runs in my mother side's blood, I've ate a lot, really a lot of sweets for the past festive weeks. Take note that Christmas and New Year's Eve came and I received a lot of chocolates. Aside from the gifts, I also bought some "sweet" foods; in relation to traditions and beliefs, putting sweet delights on your festive banquet will "sweeten" the year.

With my paranoia, I even googled and researched about diabetes. I even observed my patterns of urinating, feeling of thirst and checking on my appetite. Positively, after days of control on eating sweets, I can say that my healthy self is back. Seriously, I'm just paranoid. I know that I exercise everyday but it's still best to see a doctor. I will do this on April, on my vacation.

Second, I've been thinking of life after death. Just to let you know, I'm not suicidal or depressed. I just kinda feel that there is something "unexplainable" about it. Perhaps, I over think of death because of the passing of some young and close friends in 2010. Parang sa murang edad nila, kinuha na agad sila ni Lord.  Totoo nga talaga na life is short.

Dahil mapagisip ako, I've got a lot of questions in my mind regarding life after death: where does the soul go? Is this an endless state of sleeping? When a person dies, what language does he/she use to communicate with kapwa soul? If the souls don't leave, meaning to say, they get to be crowded in one place? Isa pa, makikilala ka pa kaya ng iyong yumaong kamaganak sa ibang dimensyon knowing na wala naman talagang wika o palatandaan sa pagkakakilala? Oh well, as a religious person, I know that I should trust God, but it's just that there are times too much thinking leads me think of crazy things. Parang gusto ko tuloy magsulat ng dula about this.

Third, school is a bit warm. Before, I use to say school is cool. Now, it's a bit warm. Why oh why? There's much pressure especially that the semester is about to end. Ang dami ko pang dapat tapusin and mostly ay field work.  Apart sa weekly paper, I also have to complete some well-researched final paper na kinakailangan ng interview, surveys at kung anu ano pa. Dahil dyan, apart from getting a focus in my research,  kailangan ko mag-file ng leave to finish my school paper. Actually gusto ko sana eh matapos ang lahat ng paper work before 25 February. Yan din ang last day sa school. 
 
Sa kabila ng pagiging paranoid sa unang linggo ng 2011, natutuwa rin naman ako sa mga positibong bagay na mas nangingibabaw. I have 10 stuff to share.

1. Garage Sale. Dahil nagpaplano na akong humanap ng ibang oportunidad sa Pilipinas o sa iba pang bansa, inayos ko na lahat ng DVDs at mga damit na puede kong ibenta. The only things that I can't let go are my books. Siempre, it's my collection. For now, I'm planning to have a garage sale. Plano ko is on March 2011.

2. Iwas sweets. Napagalaman ko sa mga nakaraang araw na kaya ko rin palang umiwas sa matamis. I don't know pero mukhang masyado akong naghahanda para sa summer. SUMMERrampa is so, up!

3. Baby Gab will turn 1 year old this year. Hindi na talaga ako makapaghintay sa birthday party ng aking pamangkin. Baby Gab will turn one year old this year at di ko maiwasan ma-excite.

4. Leave, approved. Masayang masaya ako (napapatulan pa) dahil approved na ang aking annual leave. I will be in the Philippines for one month. Muli ko na namang makakapiling ang aking pamilya.

5. Resume, sabog. Okay, nagsimula na rin akong magpasabog ng resume sa mga prospect na trabaho. Sana ay sumagot na ang iba. Halo-halo ang kompanya. Karamihan sa kanila ay sa ibang bansa. Alam niyo naman na may mga investment akong pinangangalagaan.

6. Lupa, tumaas. Natutuwa lang ako dahil yung lupang kinuha ko sa Laguna ay tumaas ng 3%. Iba pa ang pagtaas na'to sa last year.

7.  Graduation, almost there. Halos malapit na rin akong magtapos sa graduate school. After this sem, thesis na lang and I'm major major done na!

8. Pagtitipid, puede. Dahil pauwi ako for a vacation sa Pilipinas, natutuwa ako at napatunayan ko na kaya ko rin palang magtipid. Iniisip ko rin kasing gumawa ng business plan. Siempre ang plan na ito ay hopefully ay maging business in the future.

9. Balitang Pinas, connected. Happy ang aking mga gabi dahil nakakapanuod na ako ng shows ng ABS-CBN dahil sa internet connection ko. Particularly, I am able to watch TV Patrol.

10. Finally, I got a copy of Bob Ong's latest book entitled Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan. Mukhang horror ata ang book na ito. Let's see if this book will pass my standard on katatakutan. 

Sa dami ng blessings at dapat i-look forward, minsan kailangan ng isantabi ang pagkabaliw at look on the bright side of things. Positively, lagi namang andyan si God, ang family and friends. 

Cheers! =)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: WELCOMING 2011!

 I welcomed 2011 in a unique and special way. Believe it or not, I was alone in my room. But before you react how pitiful was that, let me tell you that I was NOT alone, figuratively. Hindi kita tinatakot. Hindi ko sinasabing may mga kaluluwa akong kasama. Truth is, I was with my family via Skype. Yes, oh yes. It’s the wonders of technology.

Hours before 2011 walked In, I was busy plotting out my plans for the new year. On the side, I also reflected on what I achieved and not in 2010. I must admit, 2010 was sooo good to me that the year went unnoticeable.

Now, let's go with how I welcomed 2011.

Since our office didn’t dismiss us early as what I was hoping, I ran into last minute shopping for the ingredients I need for my first-ever spaghetti. Good thing, unlike in the Philippines, my last minute shopping was not exhausting. Since Brunei is unpopulated, there were few people on queue. Imagine, I was done after an hour. And oh yes, there was no traffic when I went home. In short, everything went smooth!

As I reached home, Troy, my colleague helped me in cooking spaghetti. Actually, he assisted me in buying ingredients. And so, in return to his good deed, I asked him to bring the half of the cooked spaghetti since he's going out with his friends. Soon, I was enjoying the spaghetti in the kitchen and preparing for the ushering new year.

Apart from cooking spaghetti, I also bought some bread. I didn’t prepare much for New Year’s Eve because I was scheduled to celebrate a post-New Year’s Eve celebration at my friend’s house, Lisa. Plus, I was traumatized last Christmas. I had to finish all the food (super dami at parang walang bukas mode) I prepared despite the fact I already gave some food packs to my friends. Seriously, I felt bloated that I wanted to puke because I had too much food.


On traditions...
 
As part of Filipino traditions and superstitions, I placed coins in my window and threw some in my room to attract prosperity for 2011. More importantly, I had 13 round fruits on my table. Seriously, I rushed to the Supah Save just to complete the fruits. Now, my only problem is how to finish the fruits. As of writing, I guess my housemates will help me. On the side, I'm thankful to Jomai's gift, the gold coin chocolates. I was looking for this for the past weeks because I wanted it as a prosperity offering for the coming year.
My banquet! Naks!

Fruits and sweets!

Hours before 2011 came, I was watching Bandila via Live Streaming. On the side, I was chatting with my family via Skype. Goooood! I felt I was in the Philippines. I witnessed the sea of excited people, heard the news, and imbibed the happy voices of my family as we wait for the coming of a new year. And as the countdown fired, I was screaming inside my room with my family (virtually) and shaking a jar filled with coins. Yes, oh yes. I was chanting: "Happy New Year! Wohoooo!" Prior to such merry making, I prayed the rosary and offered a prayer, a thanksgiving for the many blessings I received for the past year and will have in 2011.

Bandila and Skype!



Countdown! Woot Woot!
Past 12, I ate the spaghetti with the bread. After sometime, I one-by-one opened the gifts which I received since the start of December. Thank you very much for the gifts!
Unwrapped gifts from friends and family!

Thanks Doc Joey and Family!

Nice Coin Bank! Thanks Matet!

A card and daily bread book from my Papc!

Gift for myself!

Thanks Matet, again!

Necklaces from a free voucher.

Soon, I packed the food inside my room and prepared to go to Lisa’s house. Our celebration at Lisa’s house was simple yet very intimate. We were six in the gathering: Me, Lisa and her husband Kuya Rhenee, Xenia and Dave, and Christine. As my contribution to our potluck, I brought an Oreo cheese cake from Mum.
Lisa, Xenia, Dave and Christine

Lisa and me!
 Lisa and Kuya Rhenee prepared a scrumptious stretch of dishes. We had spaghetti, Pork BBQ, Queso de Bola, and Fiesta Ham. For dessert, they had some cupcakes and fruit salad. Sobrang di lang ako nabusog (physically), pati emotionally and spiritually. Parang kapamilya ko na rin kasi sina Lisa at Kuya Rhenee. Thank you talaga for inviting me! =)
Lisa and Kuya Rhenee!

Master Chef Kuya Rhenee serving the yummy Pork BBQ!

The Food!

Spaghetti!

Fruit Salad!

BBQ Pork!

Queso De Bola!

Cupcakes!
 
After the chit chat, I headed home because I will be attending mass in a few hours. To be exact, I went home at around 3 am and the mass is 8 am. But I didn’t regret hanging out with some close friends. After all, welcoming the New Year is about strengthening those relationships that we’ve lived over the past year.

Morning.

I realized that in my two years of stay in Brunei, I acquired a collection of cute and cuddly character merchandise in my room. I haven't thought a name for each except for Pepper. Pepper is the black dog stuff toy that I got way back in 2004 in the Philippines. I was still working in ABS-CBN then.

The Brunet Family!

The coin bank I got from KFC two years ago!

The rechargeable lamp I got from the Philippines in 2009.

The coin bank from SCB in 2010 given by a friend.

The Teddy Bear (a gift from a colleague), Pepper, and Cute Lion given by Sheila!

 As of writing, I haven't thought of a name for each. But one thing is for sure, they are witnesses to my ups and downs in living an OFW life. Positively, they cheer me up in times of sadness. Especially Pepper, "IT'S" (no gender) always with me whenever I go to sleep.

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