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Understanding the President

This blog rarely contains political posts as I would avoid doing it as much as possible. I see such as one that usually contains rants and more often than not it is similar to any drunken social media post that anyone would regret the following day besides nurturing a bad hangover. But sometimes it has to be done on a whim especially when there is a challenge to do so.

In the recent days since I started being confined in a cold room at work–so cold I swear it feels like below freezing–with nobody else but one person I realized I am not totally introvert after all. I need to talk to someone, anyone, and so Facebook became the perfect place. My then dying MyPhone Rio didn’t deter me from answering “What’s on your mind?”

Little did I know that I would do more than just catching up with friends. I discovered that news and posts on my timeline has become more political. (There’s still a fragment of adults who continue to believe in copy-pasting hoax and requesting to type amen on comments but it’s another story.) Soon I would find myself getting so involved in the discussions.

I do not consider myself yellow, neither I’m a big fan of the current President who has continued to take an aggressive stand against the drug trade. I like this guy’s vision for the country but I don’t like his methods. Recently he and his loyal fans cry foul over the media that they accuse as biased, as an organization who openly take the President’s words out of context. Yesterday his allies crafted another defense. They called for everyone to open their minds and have a creative imagination so that the nation would understand our main guy. I heed the call so I made a pop quiz for my Facebook friends.

***

Pop quiz! How well do you know the guy. No cheating. #digong101

1. When he says “Go to hell”, does he mean:
A. Go home
B. Go to hell
C. Go to hill
D. A and B
E. None of the above. It’s just his bipolar ego talking.

2. When he says “For the life of me, I’d rather kneel before the king of Brunei or Thailand but I will never before the Americans”, does it mean:
A. He loves the King of Brunei.
B. He loves kneeling in front of the King of Brunei.
C. He was once a Brunei beauty in his past life.
D. He plans to one day kiss the King of Brunei.
E. A and B
F. B and C
G. A and D
H. All of the above
I. None of the above. It’s just the media getting him out of context.
J. An American once broke his heart.

3. When he says “… there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.” Did he mean:
A. He owns a slaughter house.
B. He will personally slaughter all these addicts.
C. He needs help to slaughter all addicts.
D. Not really all, it’s just a figure of speech.
E. It depends if he finds friends wrongly included in the list.
F. All of the above
G. None of the above. Blame the biased media.
H. F and G, depending on which bipolar trait is currently in control.

4. When he said he will “ride a jet ski while bringing the Philippine flag”, is it because:
A. He plans to show defiance and aggression towards China.
B. He plans to surrender the island with a Philippine flag on it like an icing on a cake.
C. It’s pure propaganda composed by a paid troll who is now likely part of the cabinet.
D. Our country does not have any decent boat he can use.
E. All of the above
F. None of the above. Misquoted.

5. When he swears, does he really say “F*ck you!”?
A. Yes, but it’s just a harmless expression because he was once poor.
B. No, PI is the preferred word because he is Filipino.
C. Nope, he does not swear. The media is only using bleep in the news to make him appear as if he swore.
D. A and B
E. Next question please.

6. When he said he will get rid of the drug problem within 3 months, does it mean:
A. Yes, 3 months only.
B. 3 months x 2
C. 3 months x 4 x 6 years
D. It depends as there are 3 million addicts.
E. Did he say that?

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Some light bulb moments could get us in trouble.)

Never Too Old for BMX

 

The first quarter of this year was when I made my slow return to riding my BMX bike again. Our new place is less than five kilometers from a park where local BMX riders hang around. While my riding sessions haven’t been as regular as more than 20 years ago, I once again become aware and interested in the country’s and international BMX scene. And I can see that BMX sport continues to evolve. BMX riders are now more daring and the new tricks they can do are just unreal. My favorite flatland isn’t the flatland that I used to know. Good signs that behind the seemingly common fixies, MTB’s and Triathlon bikes, BMX too has become just as popular.

To prove that local BMX is gaining grounds, riders in the Philippines have been celebrating BMX day. It isn’t clear though when it first started. Even Google doesn’t offer a definite answer if, when and where the first BMX day originated. But July 23 seems to be the D-Day. So on Saturday riders of BMX bikes in the country gathered together in their respective rendezvous. Fans and pros alike pedaled around in numbers in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to celebrate. Knowing the potential of this sport, I would have loved to be part of this celebration.

Back in my younger years, we never had an annual BMX day event. In my days, every weekend is our BMX day and, for the lack of Facebook and social media, I only know that our team was the only BMX freestyler (hint on the term) team in Bacolod City. I even would bet that in the city’s BMX community anyone would recognize the name Linear Radicals. We were a familiar sight in the Bacolod City Lagoon—bikes were allowed inside back then. People stop and stare when we start jamming around. We would make heads turn when we do impromptu tricks in the crowded streets during the MassKara festival. There was even a time when we packed our bikes in a small pickup truck and headed somewhere far north to be part of a town’s fiesta. There was another team who did the racing event but ours took over the stunt show. Modesty aside, for once, we were famous in our own rights.

Not me, not my pic. (Image from the web.)

Fast forward to 2016, the BMX scene changed a lot. Think of heavy black rotary phone versus sleek smartphones. Change was rad. I remember the first time we saw on Betamax the first time an American perfected the tailwhip air on a vert ramp but locals nowadays can pop one from a bunnyhop. It is just unbelievable to see that the BMX flatland tricks my generation once do are now considered basics. The scuff tricks are now used to progress to far more technical rolling tricks. Even young riders nowadays would transition from one trick to another through a short squeakerson, front yard, backyard, or funky chicken. And did I mention they do all these brakeless?

My own old  bike turned brakeless.

While the BMX flatland tricks have become more complicated, the BMX parts and its setup is the opposite. It is now common to see totally brakeless bikes which means brake levers, calipers and detanglers are starting to be obsolete. BMX flatland riders also now prefer chainwheels with only 25 teeth and they have also set the seat lower than before. With lesser and smaller yet better parts, what’s left is the basic bike that is less cumbersome thus making it an effective street or BMX flatland bike. Despite its simplicity, prices do not come cheap. Popular price range is 10,000-20,000 pesos.

The BMX sport will surely get better and bigger. In the Philippines alone, popular riders like Paulo Gepulango (proudly from Bacolod) and Renz Viaje, who in the recent years joined an It’s Showtime contest, continue to inspire new generations of BMX flatland riders. There’s also this promising BMX team in Bohol who made me realize that there’s more to this place than just its Chocolate Hills and tarsiers—I would definitely try to find where they hang out if I get the chance to travel down south.

Philippine BMX flatland videos always zap me back in time when all we care about is BMX (yup, I’ve skipped classes for it).  Every time I see one makes a part of me a very young boy eager to get on a bike to see if I can pop a wheelie for starters but another part an old man conceding that what these young lads do aren’t for me anymore.  By the way, those guys I hang out with in Tanauan are half my age so I guess I could claim to be their father of BMX. Regardless, I think nobody is too old for BMX so I will remain to be a big fan of this sport and would like to continue seeing more of it. To old-schoolers and young BMX riders alike, more power.

 

This was also posted on Flatmode Philippines (Official). Paulo Gepulango is this FB page’s admin.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Almost on tip-top shape.)

 

 

Gone too Soon

Early part of this year has been full of news of death of celebrities whose names have been all too familiar with me as they have been part of my generation’s pop culture. There’s the iconic singer David Bowie, Glen Frey of Eagles, and the actor who played villain roles, Alan Rickman. I thought everyone in their sixties are dying but today one broke the trend and probably the saddest and tragic so far.

Dave Mirra was found dead and reports tell of an apparent suicide. Mirra who is an icon in the BMX world continued to live the life that others like me could only dream of. At age 41, he is known to have transitioned to be an active triathlete. From the Rad years to his own Playstation game and up to Facebook I was one of those who witnessed his full life, well, until I read the Facebook post on Lad Bible about his untimely death.

Suicide sucks but will always remain a mystery. It is easy to judge those who did it but we will never would understand why, even despite accomplishment and fame, they would rather end their own life. Rest in peace Dave and we pray that God bless your family and kids.

***

Mood: 7/10 Honks! (A day of happy and sad news.)

Invitation: (No Subject) @ Wed Jan 20, 2016 2am – 3am (bhongn@gmail.com)

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Do you know your Facebook likes?

Image from Google

This week the Zuckerberg finally announced that Facebook users will soon see the button that most, if not everyone, have been waiting for: the Dislike button. I’m one of those who waited, prayed even, so it’s really about time. Once implemented, the new button may be a game changer, it may become a cause for alarm, irrational paranoia and even result to shattered friendship. Just imagine seeing a notification: Anne Nonimous and 9 of your friends dislike your post. Boom. There goes your day, there goes the start of the end. You now find that unfollow button or, worse, you decide to click the ultimate option. Your Facebook account is now ten friends lighter.

But before you burn bridges just because someone disliked one—or more—post you just placed on Facebook, you must try to understand first if the existing Like button is indeed one that shows sincere like. So let’s see some reasons your friend liked your post.

The true like. It is good to know that the world still has people who does not resent your happiness—even in its simplest form, your success and even your daily selfies. Normally, these are your true friends and they are not necessarily your family members or relatives.

The peer pressure like. This happens when someone realizes everyone seems to have liked your post except him. The fear of being ousted from your circle of close friends now takes over and thus he lifts his heavy finger, with heavy heart, and clicks the like button anyhow. Usually this like is followed by a smirk and a raised eyebrow.

The reconnaissance like. Ok, that’s a long word so we’ll call it the spy like. Remember the quote ‘tell me who your friends are…’? This is what we should watch out for as this is normally employed by parents, girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse who would like to know more about your activities by looking into what your friends say on your post. If you are not aware of it yet, whoever likes your post would be also notified if someone replied to it which means that it will be an open book to everyone who liked the original post. Be ready to be judged by those who use this as an espionage tool.

The clumsy fingers like. Sometimes our fingers would do the walking on its own and would accidentally hit the like button sending an embarrassing notification that you have just liked something you are not supposed to. This may also be referred to as drunken like and should be avoided at all cost. Once your religious mother calls you unexpectedly, then check your timeline if you have clicked on an adult site.

The request-to-like like. My pet peeve. This is similar to peer pressure like but this one comes from specific individuals like a friend whose child joined a popularity contest no matter how undeserving; a colleague who are now into networking and expects you to be a downline; a boss who wants to connect through Facebook.

So by now you must be already aware that even the seemingly harmless Facebook Like button could actually have one or more meaning behind it. Trust me, it is not always a likeable like. Now with the introduction of the Dislike button a new challenge is presented–reading between the lines will become more difficult and subjective. But look at the bright side, who knows, the friends who disliked your post may have good intentions for doing so and may after all those whom you really need to keep.

**

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Sick but with a document to be signed.)

Shooting Two Birds

A worthy purchase–my first non-free ebook.

Start reading something new again this year. Watch the American Sniper this weekend. These were two personal plans that until today seem hard to achieve. But after two straight days of sleeping around midnight and waking up three hours after–yes, my almost four years of BPO life has taken over my normal sleeping pattern, and honestly I miss the days when I sleep uninterrupted from night until the right breakfast moment–I finally did myself a favor.

It’s Sunday morning and I just shot two birds with one stone. Immediately after reading the sample from my Kindle for Android app I decided that today’s the perfect day I swipe my plastic card to pay for my first ebook ever and at the same time know the story of an American legend. Although it’s not really through a movie, yet, I am quite sure that with this book I will learn more about how a man shot his way (pardon the pun) into history.

Two birds with one stone is something I don’t know if Chris Kyle did manage to do using a sniper rifle but I will know soon. So if you’ll excuse me I have a day to find out. I’m now on page 19.

***

Interestingly, sometime in November last year–also on a weekend, same unholy hour–I purchased my first Google Play movie. It was Mark Wahlberg’s Shooter–also a sniper movie.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (It’s cold outside. The pan de sal is calling.)