Wednesday, November 30, 2005
I miss my brother's Ex. She was good for him.
Since Jane and my brother's relationship started going down the tubes (for good this time), I was always on her side; telling her to leave my asshole of a sibling. She needs someone who'll treat her better. She deserves someone older, more mature, more emotionally stable, more giving, more responsible, more generous, more everything. After two years and a half, she'll be old and gray before my brother grows some sense and some spine.
And now there is this new slut leaving her malodorous perfume all over my house. She who has no courtesy to show her face to me or my Mom even when she has the gall to "sleep over."
Ah, I miss Jane. I wish her back.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
The 22-year old victims' lead counsel, Katrina Legarda, was a no-show. Maybe it's her tactic. Let the crusty ol' boys stew in their pants. I suppose she wants to save her energies for the main event. In her stead, she sends 5 young, attractive lawyers (one of whom was a former beauty queen), all clad in black suits. Seated across them are 10 aged male veterans clad in off-white barongs.
The images on TV last night set the precedent for the upcoming legal battle. It is to be a battle of the weak versus the strong, of the young versus the established, of men versus women. Let the games begin.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Ginagawa kasi nila eh nilalagyan nila ng ruler na may pandikit sa isang side yung loob ng cash dispenser. Akala ng nagwi-withdraw walang lumabas na pera. Actually mahaharang yan ng ruler sa loob. Hihigupin ng machine yung cash dahil akala nito hindi nakuha ng account holder yung pera pagkatapos ng ilang seconds. Pero may ilang matitira dyan, didikit sa ruler. Pag lumabas kayo agad eh may papasok nyan sa machine tas susungkitin yung ruler sa loob na may iilang nakadikit na pera. Mainit po ngayon ang nakawan sa ATM lalo na’t magpapasko.Read more here.
Dear Members of the Blogging Community:
Online free speech is in danger.
We are a group of parents who formed the Parents Enabling Parents (PEP) Coalition and set up a website which included a Bloggers Forum section to enable parents and other interested members of the blogging community to post online their personal sentiments/opinions/views related to the Pacific Plans Inc. planholders fiasco.
Last October 25, 2005, we were sued for libel by Malayan Insurance Company -- part of the Yuchengco Group of Companies, one of the largest conglomerates in the country -- and the Yuchengco family (in particular, Amb. Alfonso Yuchengco and Helen Yuchengco-Dee) primarily because of the opinions that were found in a sympathetic blog (pacificnoplan.blogspot.com), Yahoo! Groups (email@example.com) and our own Bloggers Forum section in our website (www.pepcoalition.com). The pacificnoplan.blogspot and firstname.lastname@example.org are not owned nor managed by the PEP Coalition.. The only forum we, as a coalition, provide is in the pepcoaliion.com website.
It's a classic case of David and Goliath. The Internet was the last resort of the planholders to voice their concerns and yet, the use of this medium is now being used against them. The Complaint-Affidavit, a copy of which is attached here, was received by a PEP Coalition member through ordinary mail last November 8.
We are just a group of parents struggling together to enjoin a giant corporation to honor their contractual obligations to us when we bought our education plans for our children. We can barely scrounge for the money to pay for the tuition fees of our children which should have been paid by PPI, much less have the money to pay for airtime and newspaper ads to air our plight. The only recourse we have to keep in touch with one another and express our concerns is through the internet, the cheapest medium of communication.
For providing an avenue for planholders and others to express their views, sentiments and opinions on this fiasco, we are now being sued!
Whatever will be the outcome of this suit can set a precedent for media, which has also begun to use blogs as an alternative medium of journalism, and for all of us in the blogging community. Please blog about this matter in your respective fora.
Alone, we are but another hyperlink on the Internet; but together, we can be heard.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I was 17 or 18 when something similar happened to me. I was fast asleep on my bed, in the sanctuary of my own room when the sensation of my sheets being pulled down woke me up. I've always been a light sleeper, given that I'm not unduly tired, and so I awoke with a start. Blind in the darkness, my body was frozen for what must've been a few seconds that seemed to last forever.
My brain was processing what had just happened while my body was locked immobile. What to do, what do? The lights. A few interminable seconds of forcing my muscles to work. Hit the lights! A surge of energy propelled my body up and my hand blindly searched for the switch a few feet above my bed. I looked around my bed, my empty room. No one. Nothing. A surge of fear threatened to engulf me and I debated what to do. It was tempting to sit still, in shock and inexplicable horror. But I chose otherwise. At the top of my voice, for what must've been a few minutes, I screamed all the expletives I knew. "Putang ina mo, sige subukan mong lumapit. Sige subukan mo!" Over and over and over. It was silly, and my voice was echoing in an empty room but at the time it seemed the logical thing to do. Nothing happened, and I sat still for 20 or 30 minutes staring at my TV, the light, my closet, the walls. Nothing.
How I could have fallen back to sleep, I don't know. And for the next month or so, I'd chosen to sleep in my parents' room. Even then I'd woken a dozen times or so to the sensation of cold climbing up my legs. I'd forgotten how I mustered the courage to move back into my own room after that. Prayers, crosses, holy water and the rosary I suppose. I haven't been able to sleep with no light on since then.
I've always been "sensitive," prone to hearing things since I was a child. But getting older has its benefits because as one gains knowledge then everything has a rational explanation. I might've jerked unknowlingly and the motion of my legs could've shoved my sheets. The consequent cold visiting me at night may have been the product of my own mind. Lots of rational explanations. My UP education has since taught me to view the Church and its teachings with suspicion. Religion is a construct, created to control human behavior with a series of complex rules. God is relative and so the devil must be too. If I hear or feel some things at times my mind immediately shuts them out. I've exorcised those kinds demons, and these days, I am only left with entirely human ones.
Edited to add:
God, the devil, or the innermost recesses of my brain must have a really sick sense of humor. As if to make a point I got a grand total of an hour's worth of sleep last night.
After having written this article, I decided not to chance it so I slept in my brother's room (thankfully he was out carousing) right across my mom's. At about 12 midnight, after not even so much as a wink, I transferred to my mom's bed. She woke, blinked at me, but said nothing. She said nothing even after I'd shifted for what must've been a few dozen times trying to sleep.
But I couldn't. Images in the movie, and my own experiences kept haunting me. I found I couldn't catch my breath at times. 12:30, 1:00, 1:30. The clock kept ticking. At around 2:15, half asleep and half awake, I smelled something burning. To know the significance of this, you've got to watch the movie. Anyway, to make sure I hadn't finally succumbed to my own personal hysteria, I woke my mom. I asked her if she smelled something burning. Thankfully, she did too. We looked around to check but the odor was coming from outside the window, so we went back to bed.
At this point, I expected the bed to start swallowing me or experience the same paroxysms as Emily Rose. As 3:00 (again you had to have seen the movie) slowly creeped, I turned on my side, away from the clock. After what I judged was 30 minutes, I looked back at the clock and saw it didn't freeze at 3:00. Thank God. The Devil didn't come get me. I finally fell asleep at 4:30 and woke at 5:30 with my drool on the pillow.
The New York Times columnist grapples with "gangsta rap."
By Jody Rosen
David Brooks, the New York Times columnist and author who brought us Bobos, Patio Man, and other armchair sociological formulations, is at it again. In today's column, Brooks takes his shtick overseas and into the realm of pop music with a denunciation of "French gangsta rap." Citing the prevalence of hip-hop culture among "the rioters"—"poor young Muslim men" from Parisian banlieues and other French slums—Brooks goes on to to spin a theory of global gangsta rap hegemony.
Read more here.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
The feeling of helplessness and anger is well-expressed in French Hip-hop. Popular among the urban youth, Rap Français is the second largest market of the genre second only to the United States. There are now over a thousand hip-hop artists across the hexagon.
French Hip-hop has been around since the 80s to become the most popular genre of music among the disaffected youth today. The ten-year old album of rap pioneers Suprème NTM "Paris sous les bombes" is characteristic of the rhymes young people have been rapping for over two decades. Similar to American hip-hop in the early days, these songs witness the social conditions of the French banlieu. They speak of repression, oppression, racism and violence. Written a decade ago, Paris sous les bombes looks to have captured the sentiments of today.
Because my knowledge of French street slang is limited, please forgive any errors in the translations:
Suprème NTM: Paris sous les bombes - Paris under fire (1995)
Il fut une époque à graver dans les annales
Comme les temps forts du Hip Hop sur Paname
S'était alors abreuvé de sensations fortes
Au-delà de toutes descriptions
Quand cela te porte
Paris sous les bombes
C'était Paris sous les bombes
Le mieux c'était d'y être
Pour mesurer l'hécatombe
Une multitude d'impacts
Paris allait prendre une réelle claque
Un beau matin à son réveil
Par une excentricité qui l'amusait la veille
C'était l'épopée graffiti qui imposait son règne
Paris était recouvert avant qu'on ne comprenne
Paris sous les bombes
C'était Paris sous les bombes
Où sont mes bombes, où sont mes bombes
Avec lesquelles j'exerçais dans l'ombre
Quand nos nuits étaient longues
Et de plus en plus fécondes
Ouais ! On était stimulés par la pénombre
Prêts pour lâcher les bombes
Prêts pour la couleur en trombe
Certains étaient là pour exprimer un cri
D'autres comme moi, juste par appétit
Tout fonce-dé, chaque soir Paris nous était livré
Sans condition, c'était à prendre ou à laisser
Quel est le gamin, à l'âge que j'avais
Qui n'aurait pas envié l'étendue que couvrait
Nos aires de jeux à l'époque
Quand il fallait qu'on se frotte aussi avec les keufs
Mais ce sont d'autres histoires en bloc
Je crois pouvoir dire qu'on a oeuvré pour le Hip Hop
Désolé si de nos jours, y'en a encore que cela choque
It was a time to be remembered in history
Like the times of Hip Hop on the Panama (I don't understand the context)
Were engulfed with sentiments strong
Beyond all description
When it carries you away
Paris under fire
It was Paris under fire
Better be there
To witness the hecatomb (large-scale slaughter - Yeah, I never knew that was an English word)
A multitude of impacts
Paris was going to snap
A beautiful morning awaken
By a novelty enjoyed the night before
It was the age of graffiti which imposed its reign
Paris was engulfed beyond all comprehension
Where are my bombs, where are the bombs
I played with in the shadows
When our nights were long
And increasingly fertile/productive
Yeah! One was stimulated by the half-light
Ready to release the bombs
Ready for the splash of color
Some were there to utter a cry
Others like me, just plain curiosity
All dark-skinned men (?), each evening Paris was delivered to us
Without condition, take it or leave it
What kid of my age
Would not have envied the expanse
Of our playgrounds at the time
When it was necessary to run into cops
But there are other stories in the block
I think I may say that we worked for Hip Hop
Sorry if these days, there are still things that shock
Resentment of the State and its arm, the police, is pronounced in many songs.
Police (J'appuie sur la gâchette - Pulling the trigger, 1993)
Police : vos papiers, contrôle d’identité
Formule devenue classique à laquelle tu dois t'habituer
Seulement dans les quartiers
Les condes de l'abus de pouvoir ont trop abusé
Aussi sachez que l'air est chargé d’électricité,
Alors pas de respect, pas de pitié escomptée
Vous aurez des regrets car
Jamais par la répression vous n'obtiendrez la paix,
La paix de l'âme, le respect de l'homme.
Mais cette notion d'humanité n'existe plus quand ils passent l'uniforme,
Préférant au fond la forme, peur du hors norme.
Plus encore si dans leur manuel ta couleur n'est pas conforme
Véritable gang organisé, hiérarchisé.
Protégé sous la tutelle des hautes autorités.
Port d'arme autorisé, malgré les bavures énoncées
Comment peut-on prétendre l'État, quand on est soi même
En état d'ébriété avancée ? Souvent mentalement retardé
Le portrait type, le prototype du pauvre type,
Voilà pourquoi dans l'excès de zèle, ils excellent.
Voilà pourquoi les insultes fusent quand passent les hirondelles.
Pour notre part ce ne sera pas "Fuck The Police",
Mais un spécial NIQUES TA MÈRE de la mère patrie du vice.
Police: "your papers, identity check"
A procedure to which one must be accustomed
Only in the 'hoods
Cops' abuse of power, much too misused
Know that the air is charged with electricity,
No respect, No pity
You will regret, for,
Never by repression will you obtain peace,
The peace of the heart, the respect of man.
But this concept of humanity does not exist any more when they wear the uniform,
Choosing the norm, fear of diversity
More so if in their handbook your color is not in conformity
A true organized, gang of hierarchy.
Protected under the supervision of high authorities.
Carrying authorized weapons, despite stated blunders
How can one claim the State, when one is oneself, even
In a state of inebriation? Often mentally retarded
The picture of the guy, the prototype of the poor guy,
For this reason in overzealousness, they excel.
For this reason the insults fuse when the swallows pass (This is an idiomatic expression whose meaning I forget).
For our part it will not be “Fuck The Police”,
But a special FUCK YO' MUTHA from the motherland of vice.
The outlet that is hip-hop is no longer enough as pent-up frustrations seek different and more virulent avenues. What was simmering underneath the cauldron of racial segregation and dated notions of identity and nationality has now literally exploded in the face of La République.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I went to the salon yesterday to get a haircut. I haven't had on in ages. Two, three years? With my curly hair, it didn't really matter if all the strands were of even length so I cut it myself. But yesterday I thought, I really need a new do. And so I got done. By George.
I once told a friend I knew he desired men way before he did. A few years later and voila! He found out he liked men indeed. And so my gaydar is fairly accurate. Whenever I meet someone of the opposite sex, there is always...something there. Pheromones? Something to indicate if this man is straight or not. But George definitely had something going. It was in the way he moved, the way his fingers looked when he wielded his scissors. Snip, snip. Even his eyes, though appropriately glued only on my mane, gave away...something.
That haircut took about an hour, after which I concluded "George" isn't gay at all. I'd heard of straight men pretending to be gay to work in a salon to dress women's hair. It probably gave them more credibility, otherwise they'd work in a barber shop. No licentious caressing of women's faces then.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The national police chief, Michel Gaudin, said unrest had spread to some 300 cities and towns around France, with more than 4,700 vehicles destroyed and 1,200 people taken at least temporarily into custody since October 27.
The accidental deaths of two black youths while hiding from the police has opened a can of worms the French prefer to ignore but continues to fester anyway. Racial discrimination, police brutality, lack of equal opportunities, neglect. The birthplace of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights hasn't been so solicitous of its own migrant population.
While "suburbs" in the United States evoke images of white picket-fences and meticulously manicured lawns, the banlieu is the French version of the "ghetto" or "the projects" in the US. These are government housing to segregate France's immigrant, blue-collar workers from the big cities. Funny how I remember a former French professor who said the buildings of Salcedo Village in Makati remind him of them.
Perhaps one of the biggest misconception of France and the French is their strong sense of "nationhood." Second only to Americans, the French are expert in selling their culture as one of impeccable taste and class. Haute couture. Haute cuisine. French culture, it is said, is homogenous. Article 2 of the 1958 constitution proclaims it to be so:
[State Form and Symbols]
(1) France is an indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic. It ensures the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction as to origin, race, or religion. It respects all beliefs.
Ensuring the "equality of all citizens" also forbids any statistical data on ethnicity and religion. All French are alike in their Frenchness. No special distinction, therefore, is given to ethnic minorities.
In truth, post-war France is multi-cultural. They have their Spanish maids, their Arab janitors, their Asian cooks, their African criminals and of course, their Polish beggars. As of 2004, France has a population of 62.4 million. The CIA factbook estimates a 5-10% Muslim minority, which means 3-6 million Muslims of Algerian, Moroccan and West African descent. Whites are of various West and Eastern European origins.
As of September 2005, there are 2.6 million unemployed or 9.8% of the labor sector.
In an explosion of civil unrest reminiscent of the May 1968 insurrection where millions of students and workers went on strike, this looks to be another turning point in France's long history of dramatic social changes.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Last night cutie (and a bit retarded?) Sam Milby was voted out, garnering only 46.2& verus Jason's 53.8%. It's far from a blow-out wouldn't you think?
So how was it that ABS-CBN knew to fly in Sam's mother all the way from Ohio the night before Eviction Night? Fuckers.
Friday, November 04, 2005
I have said once before that Ebaying is dangerous to your health. I find that it seriously has some addictive effects. First, there is a peculiar kind of pleasure at seeing your items bid on. The pleasure increases two-fold, three...four...as the number of bidders fighting for your items increase. Then to top it all off at the end of your listing, you have extra cash. Isn't the WWW great?!?
So, to make converts of you lot, and also to guide the not-so net savvy (yes, that's you) here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your own Ebay virtual store.
1. Go to the Ebay Philippines main page.
2. Register. It is absolutely FREE! Please be truthful about the information you fill in. Ebaying is based on trust and policing the ranks. If you start by lying, then you have violated the basic principle which has made Ebay a multi-billion dollar enteprise.
3. Choose the items you want to sell. Usually, the easier ones to sell are books because buyers aren't really concerned about the item's physical condition. As long as all the pages are intact, then you have a good chance of getting rid of it in a few days. Best-sellers are recommended. Big names are good. You can also opt to list your obscure titles. Who knows?
"Pre-owned clothes" also enjoy brisk sales. As well as wallets, accessories and shoes. Who knew? People are always enthusiastic of bargains.
4.Take photos. You will need to take good, well-lighted photos of your items. For this, you need a digicam of course. Ebay hosts your photos for free! Up to 3 photos can be uploaded for each item.
5. Describe. Item description is an art. One must be persuasive, but not overly so. Otherwise your prospective customers might suspect you're being too enthusiastic. So stick to the facts. If your item is in mint condition, say so. If it has a few scratches, creases or tears, indicate where they are on the item. Choice of words is also important. "Pre-owned" certainly sounds better than "used" or "second-hand" right?
6. Now you are ready to Sell. Once you have registered, you will see four boxes on top of your screen. Click on Sell. Here you will have menus to indicate what kind of items you're selling. Books? Women's clothing? Computer stuff? Videos? CDs? Everything Else?
Then fill out the item title and description. Titles are also important. I've only been e-baying for 6 weeks. And so far, I've learned that:
BNWT means brand new with tag
BNWOT means brand new without tag
SZ means size
7. Pricing. In a drop-down window at the bottom of your page you will be asked to fill in a price. You are absolutely free to put in whatever you want in there of course. But try to stay clear of 00. If you want to sell your item for 200 for example, just put in 199. I don't know, it looks...better that way. I guess the brain will register the 1 better than 2.
8. Listing period.Another drop-down window will ask you how long you want your item "listed." That means, how long do you want your item available for bidding? 3, 5, 7 or 10 days?
9. Mode of payment. Usually, ebayers include their preferred modes of payment in the item description. You have many options as a seller:
a. Meet-ups. Cash on delivery. Choose crowded, public places to ensure your own safety. Malls connected to the MRT are good.
b. Shipping. Bank deposit. When you're busy you might also opt to just ship the item. Shipping costs are of course shouldered by your buyer.
There are plenty of couriers around. Air21 (of Fedex) hasn't let me down yet. LBC and 2Go are your other choices. Before you ship, make sure that the buyer has already made the deposit to your bank account.
c. Shipping. Gcash. I'm not sure how this works, since I don't have a Globe line. But if you're a Globe subscriber, you can use your phone to receive payments convertible to cash. I think.
10. Transaction Policies. These are guidelines to help both you and your buyers during the transaction period. These are clear rules your customers must follow should they decide to buy the item. Remember, this is the Internet. There are plenty of crazy people on the internet.
To give you a better idea, here is an example of an item description with the details on mode of payment and policies :
Pre-owned Kamiseta cream corduroy skirt. Size: Large. In very good condition, no tears, scratches or stains.
Length: 15 inches
++++++++++SOME REMINDERS TO ENSURE A HASSLE FREE TRANSACTION. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE BIDDING. THANK YOU+++++++++++
1. The burden of picking up item is entirely on the buyer's shoulder. I will not go out of my way to meet you anywhere else than indicated here. If you can't pick up your item, just let me ship it.
Air21 rates for shipping in Metro Manila:
500 grams: P77
1 Kilo: P99
2 Kilos: P104.50
Rates will vary for shipping elsewhere.
2. Transaction must be completed in not more than 7 days. (From the time I inform you of your winning bid to the time you receive your item).
3. I am online everyday. I check my e-mail at least twice every day. I am completely aware of all movements in my "virtual store." Please be advised.4. Bidders with 0 feedback (either first timers or people who've no clue what they're doing) will be contacted. This is to ensure that you actually check your mail and you really want to purchase the item. For those who do not respond in 2 days (48 hours), your bid will be cancelled.
5. For Buyers who do not respond to notification of winning bid within 48 hours, your item will be relisted and you will receive appropriate feedback.
6. I have no return policy unless indicated.
11. Feedback. This is an all-important feature because it serves as a "policing" mechanism at Ebay. At the end of each transaction, both Buyer and Seller will give each other feedback. Are you happy with the promptness of you buyer? Did s/he follow your policies?
In the end, you will build a reputation through your feedback. You will receive either a Positive, Neutral or Negative feedback. Anyone can see this information, including future buyers or people perusing through your items on offer. So if you want people to bid with confidence on your stuff, it helps to be straightforward and honest and collect as many positive feedbacks as possible.
So there. I have tried to be as brief and precise as possible. Ebaying is a great way to make some money on the side as well as get rid of your junk at home. Remember they can be other people's treasure. Enjoy.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
About 3 or 4 years ago, there was only one fish vendor plying the streets of our neighborhood. Armed with his blue pedicab and 2 plastic buckets, he would trumpet "isdaaaa" in a distinctive high-pitched and pinched alto. My Mum, if she was home, would usually purchase a few kilos of lapu-lapu or dalagang bukid if there were any. Galunggong was (and still is) very much a favorite.
Nowadays there are about 4 to 5 different fish vendors hawking their goods on our streets. Each day one comes along, striving to pass by early enough before his competitors do but late enough to catch homemakers up and awake. Timing is essential.
Now that there are more choices, Mum is wiley enough to pit each vendor's prices against each other. She would claim that Fish Vendor A passed by yesterday and his Tilapia was a few pesos cheaper than present Fish Vendor. During this bargaining process, Fish Vendors usually like to make suggestions about how to prepare so and so fish and which dish would best fit such or such. Mum doesn't appreciate these cooking lectures in the very least. When she is in a bad mood, Fish Vendor will get a different type of lecture altogether.
Aside from fish, other food items are readily hawked by enterprising folks in our neighborhood. Of course the staple binatog, ice cream, taho and balut are still mainstays. Fruits have made a strong entry into the street-peddling market. We have a Pineapple Man come by once a week, and a 2 or 3 different Coconut Men every other day it seems.
It seems the days when your mother dragged you along with her to the wet market are over. These days, the market comes to you.