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!

Let’s eat cake

 

It’s been 3 days already since I’ve been eating the chocolate roll that we had for noche Buena. My diet since then has been on leftovers and thankfully, it looks like this day will be the last – unless our refrigerator reveals another Tupperware with foods still waiting to be consumed.

Did I mention that theres puto, too?

Did I mention that there's puto, too?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least the good thing about having a wife good at cooking is that the leftovers get to have some twist during every other meal. Like yesterday, the embutido meet up with the excess spaghetti sauce and presto, instant new spicy recipe that went well with rice for lunch. The dessert though, was still the enduring chocolate cake. Actually, it was coupled with a peach-sago salad. Not bad.

I’m not sure yet, if what’s happening right now inside my body as the last time I had an intense activity – outside our house – was when I joined a badminton dual-meet 2 weeks ago. After that whole day of flexing, jumping and smashing, I was on all out calorie collection as if some polar bear stacking some body fats for hibernation. Now, I’m trying to avoid stepping on the weighing scale. I’m now convincing myself to remember the saying, “what you don’t know won’t hurt you.” And I might as well add another inspiring line, “round is a shape.” Ti abi.

Oh calories, my calories. How can I resist the sexy shrimps.

Oh calories, my calories. How can I resist the sexy shrimps.

Frankly, I don’t know if I can fit some real cardiovascular activities among some other plans I have during this vacation period. The nearest I can get some sweat out is by doing household chores – involving lots and still lots of clean up to be done, detailing the car (which I already did from 7-12 noon yesterday), and a couple of house fixes that are already on my to-do list.

Some fitness gurus say that what matters most with each person’s well being is that you look good and feel good about yourself. Well, I think I’d prefer for now feeling good about myself. Let’s worry about the looking good part next year while I compete with those running the treadmill at the gym. Hahaha.

Let me leave this blog with the following quotes:

Eat well, not many.” – crisn (that’s me)

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” – unknown.

Once again, we come to the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” – Dave Barry

 

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Itsy Bitsy Sunday

No I’m not having a compressed hour Sunday, but rather than dwelling only on one point of interest my mind disagrees with it. There are just so much things going on inside my head right now that I think it’s a good idea to post a mixture of topics to cater to a broader aspect of my thinking brain (glad it’s still working).

So before I dig into the fridge and search what’s for lunch, here are today’s tidbits:

Short term and long term plans

As I’m finally counting down to the inevitable “bumhood”, I now have the following plans:

Short term:

1.Prep up the sofa for employment hiatus.
2. Polish the remotes (TV,audio,aircon).
3. Upgrade the PC.
4. Blog, blog, and blog more (and try to earn from it in the process).

Long term:
1. Learn, learn, and learn how to raise a kid.
2. Fix the leak in the roof.
3. Find a job.

Writer’s cramp?
While reading my usual newspaper – The Philippine Star – I can’t help but notice that Francis J. Kong and Bum D. Tenorio, Jr. just posted email clippings for most of their articles. These two are among Philstar’s writers whom I read most of their articles and sometimes it fascinates (or irritates) me to see them cut and paste forwarded emails and get paid for it. It’s a good thing I still enjoyed reading both of their articles today.

Philippine F1, anyone?

The recent F1 Singapore – F1’s first night race – seemed to shut (just a wild thought: if alumini is plural for alumnus, is shut a singular of…) my hopes for the Philippines to get significant publicity (good) over our Asian neighbors. I can’t help but wonder will I ever be truly proud to be a Filipino?

Well, I’d like to help raise this bid for us to conquer the F1 scene. I’m thinking, why not have the first real live F1 street race in the Philippines. This time there will be no modification on the roads or clearing up of vehicles in the streets. I can just imagine how these F1 cars will perform over our buses, jeepneys, some mad motorcycle drivers and our suicidal jaywalkers.

Paging the FIA. Interested? Oh by the way, no more G.H. Mumm ceremony, let’s propose using our San Miguel Grande beers to be sprayed while we’re at it.

Misery loves company

Often times I’d wonder who else got problems. So today, I tried to look for others who might have some problems other than me. So here are some of the people and their problems they’re facing right now.

  1. George Bush – America’s economy. If this doesn’t make one stutter, what will?
  2. Benjie de Lara – a 6-year-old boy with a fourth stage cancer. Want to help? Contact his mother Elenita at 09293289591 or donate thru the Star’s Operation Damayan. Call 527-7901 and look for Millet Dioso.
  3. Filipino veterans – they’re not getting their pension. I assume that one American congressman’s grandfather might have been in hand to hand combat with a Filipino during the Filipino-American war.
  4. Philippine Senator Manny Villar – double funding for a C5 project. So what’s new? I think he can handle that.
  5. Chinese milk manufacturers – does Melamine rings a bell? And count me in as one of those angry at this SNAFU. Now I’d have to think twice before I eat my favorite White Rabbit candy. At least the female cows in China are free from breast suction gadgets at least for the mean time. The male cows I know are smiling broadly. Mooooo…
  6. Fat bellied policemen – the new PNP chief Jesus Versoza is out to revive fitness consciousness to these “pugad baboy” characters. Any tremors on the next few weeks won’t come from below. Its origin will most likely be from PNP camps around the nation.
  7. Philippine Olympians – most of the officials are staying put especially Aventajado who is running for another term as the Philippine Olympic Committee’s chairman. Where was he when our athletes went down on bended knees during the recent Beijing Olympics? I bet Aventajado was beside the Chinese team during the awarding thinking that these are our tsinoy delegates. Hayyy…can’t help but rant.
  8. Jessica Zafra – her computer (laptop) keyboard is filled with cat fur. I’d like this to be my problem.
  9. Tanya T. Lara – sunburn while in Manhattan. Let this one also be mine.
  10. Obama and McCain – waiting game for the U.S. presidential seat.
  11. Kimi Raikkonen – hated the rain. Hated the night race. My wife still likes him though – is this a sign that I should block all Kimi tags and searches in our computer? Damn, she’s got her own laptop.
  12. Tingting Cojuangco – freaking out over wrinkles and Alzheimer’s. To each his (or her) own, they say.
  13. Lucy Torres-Gomez – misses having dates with Richard Gomez. hmmmm…
  14. Hagar – Helga
  15. Archie – between Veronica and Betty
  16. Mr. Wilson – Dennis the Menace

Hey, I must have skipped the other sections and got stuck in the Philstar’s comic section – the last 3 people I posted with problems are comic characters. Sorry about that. Time to have lunch, I guess.

A Week of Interviews (Part 1)

                                    

I’ve said it several times either to myself or to someone – Time flies so fast. And so today I was surprised to see that the last time I did a blog was on August 31 and fifteen days after that, I’m still wondering what I’ve been thru since then. Now I’m in the middle of the much waited months for us Pinoys – the “ber” months.  And being the 15th which is the payday for most employees, I can just imagine the throng of people in the mall, in the clubs, and those in the beer bars – all of which probably enjoying at least a couple of Christmassy tunes in the process.

In spite of having lost track of my activities, the freshest memory that still lingers in my mind is the things that we did last week. In work terms, work week 37. Last week, my wife and I underwent a couple of separate exciting interviews amid my untimely colds that was made worse by the enduring rainy week.  But having prepared for these interviews for so long, not to mention that the stakes are high, we proceeded undeterred.

The first one was in the US embassy in Manila. It was actually my wife’s idea to try our luck in getting a US Visa (tourist). Although, I’ve been thru this before for my week-long Wisconsin training trip, I was a bit pessimistic in acquiring a new one as I’ve seen a couple of times the disappointment it gave my parents upon every denial in their quest to visit my sister abroad. Lately though, according to wifey, a lot of her peers got theirs without much ado. And true indeed, after a couple of anxiety-filled hours inside the embassy, our visa application got approved as well. My wife went out of the hallway skipping like a kid promised with a weekend beach picnic. “I feel like I’ve just won the American Idol audition”, she quipped. Well, that probably puts me in William Hung’s shoes when he got the record deal. (What made it greater was that our Visa expires in 2018 but the news today regarding the end of validity of the green passport by 2010 looks trouble to me.)

One thing that my wife and I are totally in synch with is that both of us agree with rewarding ourselves with every success that we had; more often than not, we love having food treats. And this time we dropped by MOA (Mall of Asia) looking for something new. Then we saw Cheesecake Etc. Inc. It is a small (approx. seats 10-15 person) restaurant but with cozy feel to it. Obviously, we ordered a couple of cheesecakes and coffee to match it. What we got were nicely presented (lovely shape and plate decoration) and were fairly priced. I recommend this place as an alternative to Starbucks.

After satisfying our sweet tooth, we headed to the cinemas just in time to catch the movie Wall-E – this time to feed our craving for comic relief. And like any other Disney movie we’ve seen, this movie didn’t fail us. The scenes in the movie despite being subtle and comical packs a serious message of what our (humans) future awaits if we lose the awareness on our environmental obligations. It also sends a strong warning to everyone who tends to entrust our lives to technology with the belief that it is there to give us convenience. Convenience that if not controlled will eventually produce more bad than good effects in the end. Do garbage problem and obesity sounds familiar? If there’s an animated counterpart to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth movie, this is it. This is a must see movie for both young and old alike. (I love this one so much that I can’t wait to get its DVD.)

(to be contintued…)

Ref:

http://www.pinasgift.com/cheesecake_etc.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WALL-E