when rain dampens the torch.

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For a sports-crazed country like the Philippines, any sports event is a big deal. If you plan on holding one, expect a throng of people to come to your event. And I do believe that Manny Pacquaio is a good proof for this. Every time he has a fight, Manila becomes deserted and crime rates go down — quite an amazing feat since emptying Metro Manila of its population is almost impossible. So it wasn’t surprising to see the wave of people gathered in Marikina Sports Complex for the UAAP Season 74 Opening despite the heavy rains and muddy streets.

The UAAP is an inter-collegiate competition that is held yearly. It features various sports from Basketball to Football to Track. I have never watched a UAAP event — even the Cheerdance competition. This time, however, I am required to pass a reaction paper for this opening. Well, of course, being the lazy bum that I am, I watched the event on TV.

Hmm. Well. It was…boring. I actually had difficulties writing my paper since there were just a few things I could commend on. The event was hosted by Ateneo de Manila University so it’s basically their fault as to why the event didn’t take place in Araneta, which is the usual venue for the UAAP. Ateneo wanted an Olympic-style opening but the weather just had to dampen their dreams. As a result, the dancers were low on energy, the band could barely be heard, everyone seems to feel squeamish about stepping on muddy grass. In short, I think it was…not as great as everyone expected it to be.

I do appreciate the fact that a lot of people attended the event that you can actually feel the school spirit. They were all so enthusiastic, smiling and cheering like they did. Well, I guess that makes up for the watered-down (literally and metaphorically) performance of the Blue Eagles. (Maybe it’s just my UP bias, I don’t know.) All’s well that ends well. Apart from my reaction paper that is.

always right.

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I was walking my merry way with Rune one afternoon when I almost collided with some churl (Ha!). I was able to hit my brakes in time and so the what-should-have-been-a-strong-impact was avoided. However, what ensued was a skirmish on gender superiority — neither one of us would budge. The churl was a big man so he was practically blocking about 90% of the path. Being the kind and generous person that I am, I proceeded to the other side so as we can both pass through. But still, the boor did not move. Instead, he muttered — in a high-pitched voice, to my surprise — ‘Always right’. I was unable to suppress a snort as I proceeded to do as he said.

Call me ignorant but I did not know that such a rule existed. Does this have anything to do with gender? Or is it a remnant of the codes of chivalry which I do not know of? Don’t you think this is quite problematic? What if my dominant-hand is left? What if I have an obsessive-compulsive condition which entails my staying on the left side of everything?

What if I simply do not want to be suppressed by norms or put down by the opposite sex? Just because I did not go right, does this mean I am wrong?

apparently, she’s a bendita.

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I received the greatest shock of my life just a few minutes ago. Andi Eigenmann is pregnant! Yes, pregnant! She has a mass of cells that’s soon to become another addition to our already over-populated world within her. And they even added a quiz show factor — the father is yet to be revealed! I am not particularly fond of Andi, mind you. I simply found the news, well, shocking. I was, with all seriousness, taken aback. Maybe it’s because I never knew Andi had it within her. I mean, look at her. She looks so snobbish that I think even flies would not dare touch her. (I know it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover but I simply think that she looks snobbish.) Or maybe it’s because I was amazed at how long I haven’t watched television, I practically don’t know anything about the world anymore. Whatever the reason was, I was shocked beyond comprehension.

According to Yahoo (yep, it’s thanks to Yahoo that this news ever reached me), there are speculations that the father is Albie Casino, the guy who played Christian in the remake of Mara Clara. Hmm. Well, I can’t say he looks that trustworthy but…yeah, I’ll keep my mouth shut. I don’t want ABS-CBN people come looking for me not because they want me to star on something (although the probability is nil).

If you want to know more about this news, please go to http://ph.omg.yahoo.com/news/if-it-s-not-jake–who-s-the-father-of-andi-s-baby-.html and read it for yourself. You may not be as shocked as I was but heck, be shocked at how showbiz transforms a person from an Agua to a Bendita.

pinoys are bipolar

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France hates us. Jackie Chan would begin to hate us. We’re banned from Hong Kong (?. I’m not really sure). All of these because of the hostage incident that happened this week. Personally, I’m not really that well-informed with what happened since I was on the road during that time. But from what I heard, it seemed pretty bad. No, it was awful. An ex-policeman holding a whole bus hostage and the police ended up killing the hostage taker.  Now, France tells its citizens to be weary of Pinoys and Jackie Chan shows grief for his fellowmen who were killed.

Nice work, man. Way to give the Filipino morale a boost. It kind of makes you want to be NOT a Filipino. Mr. Hostage Man just brought us to the lowest level possible. Now, we’re nothing but a bunch of criminals/terrorists. Those tourists were innocent dude. They had nothing to do with you. You should’ve just left them alone. Because of that stupid course of action you did, you’re nothing but a shade now. And you call yourself a police. Oh right, an EX-police, but still you were member of the force. I can’t blame you if diplomacy is not in your vocabulary since our police force always resort to violence. I don’t care if you haunt me, man. I stand by my word that you shouldn’t have caused such a ruckus. That was an action only a weak man would do.

Say goodbye to the Filipino tourism industry too. From now on, the only tourists we’ll have would be useless idiots with no futures who have chosen to end their pathetic lives. We would forever be branded as the country that holds its tourists hostage.

That incident was a major, major mistake. Oh, and that too. ‘Major major’. That was the most epic fail answer I’ve ever heard in a contest. Or should I say a major major fail. I remember that we analyzed that in our class and we concluded that it was the direct English equivalent of our phrase ‘bonggang bongga. Her answer was very cultural, wasn’t it? Sure. But all that culture didn’t help you win.

If you think about it, it’s weird that just the day before that, the hostage incident took place. Everyone was panicking and in a state of alarm. And then the next day, we’re all glued to our TVs, not to watch about any updates on the hostage incident but celebrating Venus’ accomplishment of reaching the Top 5 and then walking out upon hearing her major major answer. …What have the Filipinos become?

rant, rant, rant.

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Being a student is never easy. I remember how, when we were young, we get excited when it’s the first day of school. I can remember how excited I get for school — looking at my new bag, smelling the store-aroma of my newly bought notebooks. It was always a happy feeling when you get to see your classmates again. And then, as the year progresses, I begin to accept the fact that school is not always the fun place I’ve always thought. During that time, however, I didn’t realize (or maybe I wasn’t really thinking) that it gets worse in college.

‘College’ has such a grim ring to it, don’t you think? At first, it was fun. (Come to think of it, school’s only fun at the beginning.) I’m in such a large campus and I encounter such a diverse set of people. As midterms approach, I begin to have an epiphany on how I am beginning to hate my professors (only some, though) and the school administration for thinking that their student’s are super humans. We’re just normal people for crap’s sake. Would it kill you if you just give us one project/assignment/paper at a time? Yeah sure, you’ve ‘been there done that’ but, give us some slack.

Ah… But this is the life of a student. This is the path you have to take in order to become educated, literate and be of some help to our country. But then again, why don’t we try telling that to those who are in the seat of power? Maybe the thick wads of cash that they see everyday made them forgot that purpose.

the adventures of a daily driver

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As someone who gets to ride buses a lot, I have often wondered if drivers don’t get bored with their jobs. Imagine that. All they have to do the whole day is…drive. They wake up so early in the morning for the first trip, go to wherever they work, plant their butts on the seat (or maybe plant the seat to their butts) and they drive. Oh sure, all the twisting and turning of that large steering wheel is positively going to give their arms a workout but, what’s next? Day in, day out, all they have to do is drive. Drivers only get to take their hands of the steering wheel when they go for a potty break and at lunch break. It’s like Waiting for Godot. Don’t they get bored?

. . .

. . .

Oh! Yes! I forgot we are in the Philippines! Drivers here would never get bored! You ask me why? Well then, dear reader! I hereby impart my knowledge to you!

  1. Traffic! Metro Manila/Quezon City/EDSA traffic may not be as worse as in the other countries but what the heck! Drivers don’t effing care! To them, the traffic here is the worst, most horrible thing to experience. Thus, drivers would never get bored for it gives them the opportunity to honk their horns so loud that eardrums begin to shatter. It is also a very good chance to have spewing sessions. Drivers can curse their lungs out until their cuss dictionary runs out of entries. These spewing sessions (combined with Manila’s smog and soot and smoke) also provide excellent respiratory workout which aids in the driver’s even cussing louder.
  2. Police officers! Yes, these people who are supposed to ensure peace and order give drivers the biggest headaches ever! They have to elude members of the Kotong Police who ask them for money to get them out of violations. Traffic police who do not know left from right teaches our drivers the value of patience. They surely need this if they do not want to end up in jail for running over a police officer.
  3. Pedestrians! All Pinoys know the famous quotation ‘Masarap ang bawal’ which leads us to the fact that we are hard-headed. Pedestrians would cross roads where there is this ginormous sign saying ‘Bawal tumawid. Nakamamatay.’ (Do not cross. Deadly.) They would brave the streets even if there is an overpass a few steps away (‘Why would I take the steps and tire myself out??’). Adventurous, aren’t we? These obstacles not only provide another cussing break for our dear drivers but also a…training session! Drivers would have to use all their maneuvering skills as they try to evade the pedestrians playing patintero with them! A 360-degree turn of the wheel to the left! And then to the right! Ah…such talent! Such skill!
  4. Stray animals! Driver reflexes are tested as animals (most commonly cats and dogs) suddenly dart into view! A dog crosses the street and suddenly decides that he is tired and sits down. Is our driver fast enough to step on the breaks in time? Alas! He fails! Thus, killing the poor dog and staining his wheels with blood. (Note: I absolutely abhor drivers who have the nerve to kill animals. This is based on a personal experience and I stand against animal cruelty.) This is an favorable moment for our driver to school his reflexes in order not to mutilate dogs, cats and the highest form of animals, humans.
  5. Student drivers! Just like in no. 3, student drivers also test the veteran driver’s reflexes. As our student driver panics and hyperventilates, our driver is starting to release steam through his pores as he suddenly, and jerkily, steps on the break to prevent crashing into our student driver. Of course, this is done at the expense of his passengers, who sway and jerk at every movement of the bus.
  6. Other drivers! Of course it’s not only our driver who owns the road. There are millions of other vehicle-wielding creatures out there who share the road with him. And they would not let our driver beat them! An ordinary drive then becomes a battle of wits and stratagems! Will our driver be able to overtake the car next to him? Can he dodge the incoming car from the next lane? And will his passengers get to their destination alive? Find the answers to all this exciting questions in the next episode of…the adventures of a daily driver!!!