I also don’t eat utan

Other than enjoying a cholesterol-filled dinner of small-sized crabs (I don’t consider it crablets), what topped off this unhealthy night is this Ilonggo Indie film clip which I saw from one of my Facebook friend’s post. The title alone captured my attention due to a couple of reasons: First, as a kid I hate veggies and even until now I eat it just for health’s sake – if given the choice I won’t touch and more so eat one. Second, the title is in Ilonggo, my native tongue.

So here’s that clip that made me to have mixed emotions as I always have this second thought of seeing animals being slaughtered for food. I’m a meat eater but as much as possible I’d rather not watch that food-to-be’s life taken in front of me. But then again, I don’t eat utan. Tough choice, huh? Anyway, enjoy this clip.

 

***

This reminds me of last weekend while in Batangas. We were in a birthday party when I saw this group of men gathered around a cow tied to a post. Although, I haven’t witnessed a cow being slaughtered up close, I already had the idea what is about to happen next. The gory thought of a poor animal being held helplessly while fighting for his life, no matter how futile, played on my mind.

Then I saw one of the men approach the cow, unsheathed a surprisingly short knife from his waist and point it somewhere on top of the cow’s head. At this point I was thinking, “Uh-oh, this will be messy and bloody.” But I was wrong. In a blink of an eye, literally, the man pressed the knife down, the cow went limp, fell to the ground and became lifeless almost in an instant. That quick.  Well, at least it didn’t suffer. It made me think and hope that this is the case for every meat-to-be in the slaughter houses.

 

 

4/10 Honks (all the bloody thought may get in my dreams tonight) 

 

Rain: love and hate

 

Rain, rain go away. Come again another day,” goes one of the most recognized nursery rhymes. There’s just something about the rain that makes most people love and hate it at the same time. I for one is among those who share such mixed emotions every time the dark heavens open up.  

Here are some of the things I find annoying every time it rain cats and dogs (sorry, I can’t help not using the expression):

  • Bad drivers. Someone who has taken defensive driving lessons will know that continuing to drive with the hazard lights on is a no-no. Why? Because it doesn’t allow other drivers, especially someone driving right behind, to see when you’re signaling a turn – that is, if one even cared doing so. If one finds it necessary to turn on the hazard lights because he sees it dangerous to drive under the heavy rain, he must instead pull over the shoulder and remain there until he thinks the road if visible enough for him to continue.

  • Pretentious road improvement projects. One doesn’t need to listen/watch/read the news to know that the Philippines ranks high among other nations when it comes to corruption. All it takes is for one to go out during the rainy season, take either a public transport or his own car, observe the roads he/she pass by and presto, he’ll know that those road improvement projects that most of the politicians bragged about in summer are something they should be ashamed of come June when rain pours hard and seeps in the meringue-like asphalt pavement. It wouldn’t even take a couple of days of continuous rainfall to expose these potholes that as an immediate effect slows down traffic flow to almost a standstill.

  • Bad house construction shows. Just like our “well-paved” roads, the rain too exposes bad workmanships of self-declared carpenters and construction workers. In fact, someone gave me a tip before, that it is best to check for a prospective residential place during the rainy season because this is when house leaks become very obvious at the very least. Other things such as clogged village drainage and poorly waterproofed walls appear even under a novice’s eyes. Unfortunately for me, I heard about that tip years after we settled in our current house which is now leaking as if some adult with incontinence.

  • Diseases come out. This is what I hate the most about the rainy season because it’s not just colds and flu that becomes almost unavoidable but it is the risk of getting mosquito-borne disease like dengue that scares me the most, especially now that we got a baby boy to look out for. Come to think of it isn’t this part of the task that our good mayors and village officers should have taken cared of? Ti abi.

To be fair, the rain of course has its own appeal and good effect:

  • I’m sucker for movies of any genre with scenes where it rains except for cliché love scenes where lovers meet, hug and kiss as if being wet doesn’t matter doesn’t count – it’s so overused and needless to say, I hate it…well most of it, anyway;

  • Likewise, I love being inside the cinema watching a rainy scene while it is raining hard outside at the same time.

  • The rain is a perfect match for coffee whether it’s from a 3-in-1 sachet or a Starbucks brew, it doesn’t matter.

  • I don’t know if this is weird, but I love the sound of the rain hitting the steel roof top, more so if it doesn’t leak. I’m so amused by it that when a real estate agent once proudly mentioned that the concrete-tiled roof insulates the sound of the rain, I for a moment thought that it’s a turn-off rather than an appeal.

  • And how can I forget that the rain makes it great excuse just to snuggle together and enjoy the cooling effect of the heavy downpour. Hmmm. Got to hit the sack. Good night!

 

Photo credits: 

Albert – car splash

Marcelgermain – man with the colorful umbrella

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

One drinking session and Two phone calls later

 

Last Saturday was the one of those days that everything that has happened are in my favor. By lunch time we were in San Miguel, Batangas to attend the town fiesta at my in-laws’ place. And as usual the variety of fiesta foods were once again overwhelming and as usual, the promise to be on a diet has to be sidestepped – both to my delight and guilt.

Of course, fiestas here are never without a drinking session and this time, I’m all for it with only the thought of doing the tagay (a practice of passing drink to everyone around the table using only one glass) holding me back. But the gloomy and the scattered rain showers made the setting even more perfect and justifiable; and with the overused dialogue, “malamig eh, painit tayo, tara na inom (it’s cold, let’s get warm by drinking)” making the alcohol intake a definite go.

As expected the drinking session went on like an ever familiar routine: an ice-filled pitcher is filled with beer; a tanggero (one who distributes the tagay) religiously passing the drinks to one drinker at a time; and of course my favorite, other than having the beer, is eating the pulutan (finger foods) which is normally pork in any form. And among the pulutan that day was dinakdakan (recipe originally from Ilocos) which is made of pork meat, pork brain, spices and coconut milk. Yes it’s cholesterol-filled, but then again it’s one of life’s guilty pleasures.

My alcohol binge however was abruptly disturbed by two separate calls. The first one was from our time sharing company – RCI — and although the agent sounded a little bit apologetic for the news she’s about to deliver, I on the other end of the line was glad that there might be some cancellation on our resort reservation which my wife and I discussed a day before to delay just so I can attend my first two MBA classes in Ateneo (I didn’t know that it will start this May instead of June). The resort in Bolinao didn’t give any commitment yet if when they’ll be able to fix what was affected by the tropical storm Emong but I’m OK with the delay nevertheless.

A few hours and several rounds of tagay later came the most welcomed call. It was a phone interview from a call center company I’m applying for. I don’t know my alcohol level at that time, but if my judgment serves me right, I was at least within driving tolerance – I was thinking then that if I can drive sanely, then most likely I can accommodate and answer the phone interview and hopefully, pass. Well, several spoken English later, I was right. I was given an invitation for a written examination somewhere in one of the towers in Makati next week. If only personal job interviews can be done while under the influence of alcohol, I think I’ll be hired. Hahaha.

 

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

 

Let’s buy pork!

 

Everyone is panicking right now because of this swine flu virus. It’s been in news for days and it’s sad that this virus has killed so many people in Mexico where it was suspected to have originated. Of course the Americans, being paranoid by nature, has made all the necessary efforts as well to contain this virus from spreading especially that the risk is so high considering the high influx of people coming through the Mexican borders, legally or illegally.

Here in the Philippines, the Department of Health together with other related agencies is already in high gear to prevent this disease from entering our country. And while watching the news tonight, I learned that the price of pork has gone down at a very steep rate because people have avoided buying it. This one made me smile – evil, maybe – because all of a sudden I remember that it is during times like this that it is actually perfect to do just the opposite of what most people do. Let me explain.

I read some time before (when the news of the recession first came out) about Warren Buffet encouraging investors to buy stocks while the rest are trying to sell theirs with the hope to save what is left of their plummeting share values. The moment after I read about that radical idea, I realized that it complements some of my similar thoughts:

  1. It is safe to ride airplanes days after one has crashed because every airliner at that time will be taking a closer check of its fleet;
  2. And for the same reason, it is also safe to board ships days after one has just sunk.
  3. It is safe to visit the malls days after one has been bombed (like the Glorietta incident) or vandalized because every security guard will be on its feet and will surely pay more attention with the way they conduct their inspections.
  4. It is safe to buy vehicles of the same brand after a recall because the manufacturer will make sure that the present problem doesn’t get out of hand and that its sales won’t be affected any further.
  5. It is safe to eat at a restaurant after a fly has been found taking a leisurely dip at the soup because most likely management will be on the lookout not only for flies but other things that a customer would hate to be in or on his food.

The above stated advice of course should be followed only after careful considerations of several factors that may affect the decision making process. Like one should check if the Airline Company, mall, car manufacturer or restaurant involved is reputable otherwise they might just not even care even after something bad has happened. It is also of course highly and always recommended to check WHO gave such advice in the first place. Hahaha. So do you think you’re going to buy pork now?

 

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

Jogging in Bacolod

 

I have come to realize that I haven’t seen or lived at any place that seems better than Bacolod when it comes to jogging or biking. Let me prove that.

 

During my first years in Manila, I lived somewhere in Alabang. The village where I stayed has only four main roads. One will find jogging a bore a few minutes after he’s started. If he decides to go out, he’ll have to take a chance with crazy jeepney drivers along the service roads.

 

Taguig. This one isn’t any better than the first. The place is crowded and hilly; and the roads are quite narrow and competing with the zooming tricycles isn’t really a good idea. If one is persistent enough, he can jog around FTI but would have to deal with weird looks coming from workers of the nearby factories who will likely wonder if he’s some expat who just loves running inside the industrial zone.

 

Cavite and Batangas. Although these places are known for its wonderful resorts and beaches, the places I’ve been to aren’t jogger-friendly – unless a 5 km (or less) run is good enough for you. To break a sweat, the only way where one can jog or bike carefree here, and in the other places that I have mentioned, is either you run using the treadmill inside a gym or you live inside an exclusive village where there’s normally wide road and safe areas to take a healthy jog. Obviously, either one of the two options isn’t free. But not in Bacolod.

There are several reasons why Bacolod is such a conducive place.

  1. The place is relatively flat. In fact within the city proper, there are only few areas that would render a weekend jogger breathless; imagine how easier and enjoyable is it for regular bikers (sadly, BMX sighting has decreased significantly, or they must have gone underground).

  2. Traffic is fairly light compared to Metro Manila, even Cavite;

  3. and despite that, most vehicles are traveling at a safe pace. Though adrenalin-pumped rich kids and crazy jeepney drivers are always around – you just can’t escape them.

  4. Forget Starbucks or CBTL, but small coffee shops seem to be available everywhere you go.

  5. Bacold City’s lagoon area is still a good place to jog (we used to bike inside the area until the late ’90s but it was later prohibited) whether it’s early morning or late in the afternoon.

 

I’m not being biased but, the truth is, Bacolod is where all you need to have a good jog is a pair of running shoes, a shirt, and a short. Putting these on and waking up early though is mandatory. Hahaha.

 

***

 

However, here’s a caveat: I can’t help but notice the alarming number of places where people are burning garbage. Coming from our subdivision and until near the lagoon area, it seems that every kilometer or so, people are trying to personally incinerate their trashes. And this is very very bad especially for those who loves jogging around.

At first I thought that it was only confined to a few places where garbage collection isn’t regular that people had to burn it to avoid piling and accumulation – at least that’s what my nanay said and do so even until now. So does this mean that garbage collection around the city is also as irregular as the rest of the residential areas? If this is the case, the city mayor has to do something aggressive about it unless he has plans to make Bacolod “a city of smile and smog”. Hopefully not.

 

***

Well, this morning, after another long jog going east – to Sta. Fe, I decided to pay one of my best friends a visit. And how delighted I was when I saw this posted on their gate:

 

He also gave me several other fliers which I brought home along with me.

At least, I now know that an information campaign is being done by the good mayor – Bing Leonardia, and I hope that with this effort (and with the cooperation of his constituents) Bacolod will once again be awarded as one of the “Greenest City” like it was so many years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honk: 3/10 Honks!

 

Guilt-free traffic

 

Bacolod – Just got back home from a crazy early morning traffic jam. The lane was packed – if I can recall it right there were six lanes one way. Others in front of me were moving slow. On my left and right were drivers just merrily chatting with the other drivers of the nearby vehicles – all moving at the same pace as if there’s 48 hours in a day. Others were fast. Some drivers have parked aimlessly on the shoulder letting off some steam. While some others continue to crisscross like speed racers. My driver, so unlikely of him, didn’t mind though. He never touched the horn.

 

Instead, he followed just like others did. He overtook some; weaved from left to right without even caring to switch on the correct turn signal lamp. He even had a near miss with some. And if I’m not mistaken he even brushed with several others along the way. But despite all these, not one bad finger sign got out of someone else’s window. Neither was a swear word shouted nor was a hint of road rage shown. This is crazy.

 

Ah. This is how it feels to be a pair of running shoes. Tomorrow, I heard from my driver, in between puffs, that he’s taking another trip with us once again. Today, he did at least 20 km – from home to lagoon and back. That’s fair, considering that he hasn’t do road runs in years; and to mention that he’s now ten pounds heavier than last year. Shhh. Let’s see how he’ll do tomorrow.

This shoes are made for running, and thats just what theyll do - at least during this vacation.

These shoes are made for running, and that's just what they'll do - at least during this vacation.

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

 postscript: too much running drains oxygen from the brain. I apologize for the “exhausted” grammar. I think I got all of them already. *LOL*

Earth Hour, anyone?

 

I was attracted to this thought-provoking blog and my curiosity got me reading it. Despite being a self-declared environmentalist and a greenpeace wannabe, I seem to understand where the blog’s author is coming from – she’s fed up with all the hypocrisy and hype. What I find funny though that after reading the blog I noticed an unlikely ad that should not go along with the radical post:

Say what?

Say what?

Ads are insensitive, huh?

***

Last year, I supported this campaign. The only thing left at home with the power ON during the 1-hour period was our refrigerator – having spoiled food is anti-earth, just in case you don’t know. This year (or tomorrow), I’ll commit to support it once again. I still believe that instilling awareness bit by bit by to everyone is a good start to saving our beloved Earth because we actually don’t have a choice, do we? It’s way better than doing nothing. As one line goes, “let’s change, or the climate will”.

***

I have one guilty pleasure which I’ve been wondering if it’s anti-earth – watching F1. And a day after the Earth Hour is celebrated is when the F1 season begins. Isn’t it ironic?

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!