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) 

 

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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!

Spiritual day: Christianity, Angels and Demons

 

Thursday. It has been years since I’ve been so spiritual and what makes it more odd is that it happened during a job application. No, it’s not because I prayed that I’d get hired – though I always do for every job application. But it’s because the fields and questions in the application form contained the most unlikely and unanticipated items. Other than the usual infos being required by most employers, this one has such things as: Who is Jesus Christ? How often do you pray? What do you think of the poor? Yes, you read it right. And No, I’m not applying to be a priest – do I hear sighs of relief?

I was at TSPI Development Corporation’s head office somewhere in Makati with its size that isn’t even half of my previous company’s canteen. In short, it’s small. But what lacks in size, it makes up with its mission. TSPI which stands for Tulay Sa Pag-unlad (Bridge to Development), Incorporated which is a non-profit, non-government organization (NGO) and a Christian value-oriented group and caters to helping the poor by integrating micro financing and individual transformation. This company has several offices all over Luzon and is now expanding to the rest of the country (they’re currently building a multi-story office just across their current humble location).

The first time I learned about TSPI was when I was with my family vacationing in Bolinao and while I was expecting SMS notices from companies that might have taken interest on my posted online resume. At first I thought that the text from TSPI was just a mistake because after I asked for its address, it didn’t reply back, well, not until two weeks after – last Tuesday. This time a contact person is indicated along with its address. That got me curious enough. In fact, that night I researched again but however I re-do the typing and clicking on the Internet Explorer’s search field, the results are all the same – it all lead me to TSPI.org’s website. It became apparent that it’s neither a semiconductor nor a call center company.

Although I find it weird after confirming it’s an NGO, it didn’t deter me from leaving home before six in the morning just to be at their office by 8 am as advised. I arrived 30 minutes earlier and soon after I was in one corner of their office along seated on a monobloc chair beside other applicants who try to answer the exam while at an ear shot from the ongoing office routines, employee discussions and what seems to be a staff meeting held in one of the low-walled cubicles. And while I sort of worry about the supervisor inquest exams I kept worrying more if I answered the previous religion-related essays. I wonder if not answering the field, “Do you have a life verse?” would have a significant impact.

Just like the last call center application, I got interviewed. But unlike it, the interview this time was more casual and also during this time I felt I got it in the bag. Unfortunately, the HR personnel said I will be assigned to the CALABARZON areas rather than in Makati which in the first place is the reason why I got interested in pursuing my application since it’s just a few minutes away from Ateneo Rockwell. So once again, my studies got in the way. Another opportunity cost (and loss?) for me to deal with. I was close but still no cigar.

***

The TSPI HR personnel was good enough to grant my request to adjust my application exam day to Thursday instead of the texted Wednesday. I requested it so I can make one trip to Makati to also meet my Managerial Accounting classmates for a group activity meeting in the afternoon.

I was out of TSPI before lunch time and that gave me so much gap until the planned 6 pm group meeting. And so despite the guilt that I’m killing time in the Power Plant mall while my wife and kid are probably bored to death inside our home in Cavite, I can’t help but give in to the call of the cinemas. I picked the movie Angels and Demons over Terminator Salvation.

Angels and Demons is one of the few movies which I’ve read the book before it became a film and this by far I have to say is the nearest to its paperback counterpart. Ron Howard did a very good job directing this movie almost by the book (pun intended). I find it so eerily close to how I imagined it during the time when I’m reading page after page of this great Dan Brown fiction (or not?). It was like my own imagination of the story has materialized to my own liking. I love how the CERN lab scenes (esp. the formation of the anti-matter), Camerlengo character depiction, Ambigrams, Rome statues and artifacts, conclave rituals and almost every thing written by the famous Da Vinci Code author came to life.

The main casts of this another controversial film were of course key to its success. As usual Tom Hanks is just perfect for his role as Robert Langdon and Ewan McGregor although appearing so unrealistically young did portray the role of the Camerlengo so well. Even the supporting actors, especially the Illuminati hit man, get my thumbs up. I just wished though that the movie could have shown more of the CERN scenes according to the book as it is where Ayelet Zurer (who played Vittoria Vetra) could have displayed more of her acting skills.

Of course the movie has some flaws like lousy special action force moves and Vatican crowd acting but then again these are very very minor and easily forgiven and forgotten especially when one gets so engrossed to the whole plot that’s filled with deception, mystery and fast-paced action. It’s like as if one is just about to say, “hey, that’s wrong…” and then the appearance of the branded ambigrams erases all criticism (behind tightly bitten lips) and gets one back on track thinking almost ahead of Langdon and wondering what might come next.

Now, I can’t wait to see if Ron Howard can do justice to Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress novel. I have a strong feeling though that he will.

 

 

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (cold and rainy outside)

 

Annoying movie companion

 

Have you ever been in a situation when you were with someone annoying inside the movies and yet you can’t seem to do something about it? Well, we were yesterday.

Imagine this. After months of being kept away from relaxing on the soft padded seats, dark yet comfortable room illuminated only by the lights along the aisles and of the ever changing projection on the silver screen, you finally had the chance to bring this someone with you to watch the perfect movie.

And after treating this someone to a hearty lunch in one of your favorite restaurants your group formed a beeline to the ticket booth with almost everyone excited and anticipating that within the next few minutes everyone will indulge themselves to pure cinematic sensation that is way different from what the boob tube at home can offer.

Eventually, you all reached and entered the doors of the cinema and being a good host of this gimmick you glance at your guest expecting him to at least glance back to show his appreciation. But instead, for a moment he seems to have chosen to ignore you and would rather focus on the trailers being played as if it were already the featured film. “Well, that’s good enough…at least he’s one that doesn’t talk in the movies”, you reminded yourself, a bit disappointed.

But soon as the movie started he gets jumpy and annoying, and he began to look at you and your partner, just a little short of saying that he needs to discuss something while the scenes flash on the wide screen. This time it’s your chance to ignore him back, while looking around if there’s someone near your seats who might be already irritated of your group’s restlessness.

He smiled, he grunted, he stood up and sat down, and he did almost the complete opposite when you first entered. At some part of the film he fell silent and focused once again, with you thanking good heavens. Unfortunately at some part he did the whole thing all over again as if on purpose. The worse came when he demanded for you to give him a drink and that was when you almost lose your cool. Some people are just mean, aren’t they?

So what do you think I did with this unruly guest? Did I give him the seemingly effective shhhh? Or did I whisper to him that he better stop it or he’ll be out? Well, no. None of those. What can I do, he’s our one-year old baby. Besides, it’s just his first movie and Monsters Vs. Aliens is for him after all. Hahaha. Kids will be kids.

Not bad. At least, the ticket lady believed that our little son is already 1-year old.

Not bad. At least, the ticket lady believed that our little son is already 1-year old.

Ice Age 3 is next. Hope he wont sleep like he did in MVA.

Ice Age 3 is next. Hope he won't sleep like he did in MVA.

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

Get Ready for the Future

 

It’s already year 2009. Just another year more and lots of things will start to happen. No not according to Nostradamus or any other stargazers. It’s actually from a couple of my favorite entertainment or pastime – TV or movies.

The night before we went for a 2-day vacation in Batangas (where we spent our New Year’s eve), I was in front of the boob tube again, this time watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger film – The Running Man. I know that this is among his first and I know that I missed this one when it was shown in the big screen. Back then, on 1987, I’m hooked with Kung Fu Kids. Shhh.

What I find fascinating about this rerun is the timeline when it is set. It’s year 2017. More so, what is striking is that its intro is so similar to that of Death Race and from that part alone I was even more intrigued – I just got to watch this. Besides, who wouldn’t enjoy watching a futuristic scene wherein America is in chaos (this must be one of Bin Laden’s favorite movie); characters don padded tight-fitting overalls; people enjoying a sadistic live game (I’m sure the Japanese love this too); where the shows’ stage looks like a bit improved versus that of Eat Bulaga; where despite the technology advances cellphones did not exist; where Bens Richards blurt out punch lines after every kill as if some standup trying to elate the crowd. Lastly, who wouldn’t love to watch the governator at its prime?

Of course, in this current state of my Hollywood-clogged mind, I knew from the very start how this movie will end. I’ve seen so much of such plot already that I can predict it just like any other. But this does not mean I didn’t enjoy it because sometimes a lousy rerun can always be appreciated especially if you’re left with nothing but other reruns from other cable channels. Ti abi, this is what happens when there’s too much vacation.

To prove that this Arnold movie got hold of my mind, somehow, I browsed the web for any other futuristic movies/stories that are set on the year 2000. This time at least on 2010 even if I’ve seen one before set on an earlier Y2K period with flying cars already. Its writer, director and especially the production designers must have been so embarrassed by now as it is quite certain that none will come close to what will be on 2010.

Computer and video games:

  • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War (2004)
  • Uplink (2001)
  • Street Fighter 2010 (1990)

Film

  • 2010 (1984)
  • Thunderbirds (2004)

TV

  • Knight Rider 2010 (1994)
  • Stargate SG-1 (2001)
  • The Transformers (1986-1987)

     

Even though what authors and production designers have created will fall short of their expectations of what a futuristic setting will be (at least for 5 more years from now), I’m already beaming with excitement to see what might happen next. Wouldn’t it be fun to see flying cars and robots casually moving from all directions? Hmmm. Not until we get to understand the basics of “land” road driving, I guess. But I just can’t wait for the robots to take over our senate and congress. At least these mechanical wonders don’t have greed. I may be wrong though.

 

 

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010

 

***

What would happen if we’ve got flying cars and its drivers doesn’t even know what “Do not tailgate” nor a red traffic light is all about? Go figure.

Tailgate, what?

 

Well, the arrow doesn't say if it's my vehicle's front or rear. Maybe it's my middle.

Hey, that's my car's color. That means I'm go.

I don't even have a brake light, so why not beat the red light as well?

***

Happy New Year!

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

In Pursuit of Happyness, Live…

 

 

I’m watching In Pursuit of Happyness right now and this is my second time after we watched it in the big screen several months ago. I have a mental list of movie favorites that I’d love watching over and over again and this one is not among those. Funny, but this time I’m paying more attention.

 

Since this is like reporting a news live from the scene, I’m taking notes as much as I can and will feed it as soon as possible just like our national news (ABS-CBN and GMA alike) reports trivial things such a fallen motorcycle rider in North Luzon Expressway as if people down in Mindanao cares.

 

“You’re live in 1, 2….” Good evening, here are some fascinating facts I captured anew from this movie re-run in HBO:

 

1. The main character’s name is Chris (played by Will Smith). Mine is the same.

 

2. He has a Rubik’s Cube and solved it after several minutes with a potential employer inside the taxi cab. Well, I hate to brag but I can do better. Hahaha. So I’m now considering writing in my resume, the following:

                

Other Skills:

·         Can blog.

·         Can solve the Rubik’s Cube in 3 minutes or less.

 

3. He is jobless. Hmmm. Not me…yet.

 

4. DOS (I noticed that office computers have the green screen) is the “IN” thing then, just like Windows Vista is today.

 

5. Sometimes, using the words probably and possibly might have a different meaning. To prove this I checked my trusted sources, MS Word’s synonym feature and www.m-w.com. The former shows that possibly is synonymous with probably. M-W.com however clearly defines that the two are somehow different from one another. Note to self: I will probably find a job soon – all fingers and toes crossed.

 

6. Chris’ son inspired him to strive more. TBD, for me. (Trivia: Real life father and son, Will and Jaden Smith played the role of father and son in this movie.)

 

In the end, the pursuit of happyness eventually came true. After all the hard work, embarrassment and perseverance, Chris Gardner founded the Gardner Rich (pun intended) and had a stake at a multi-million dollar company.

 

By the way, Chris ended as a broker…

 

A Week of Interviews (Part 2)

(continuation of Part 1)

The second interview we had last week is far more serious than the first because what is at stake here is someone else’s life being entrusted to us we if pass it. It’s actually the 2nd one for this process as the 1st one was done at home. This time we were in an adoption foundation somewhere in Cubao.

 

Early this year I approved the long standing wish of wifey to adopt a child. I can still recall the time and place when I finally told her about it. We were having dinner in Aling Tonya’s in SM by the Bay when I see one family with small kids passing by. I guess something in me snapped when I felt like we need another one to tag along with us just like complete families do. That night, the image of one of the kids holding his father’s hand while they merrily chatted held on to my brain like stubborn road tar. And that was it; I had to admit then that we lack at least one member. We need a child.

 

So after that event, my wife had been busy searching thru the internet with regards to adoption, child care, etc. I myself, did some searching especially on the inevitable potty training thing. This I guess is the one thing that I might need some time to getting used to with our future kid. Other things related to raising a child, I’m now prepared to do it. At least I think so.

 

During the interview, we were asked to answer a couple of questions from the forms and a couple of which got me to reflect for a moment.

1.       Names of people who influenced you? Frankly, I can’t seem to figure out who did.

2.       Three (3) things you fear the most? Undoubtedly, I wrote lightning as one.

3.       I will love my wife more if…? I answered: if she cooks breakfast without being told and if she drives the car well. Because other than these, I love her as she is.

4.       What are the adjustments you’ll make when you receive the baby? I wrote a phrase or two, but for sure that will be a lot…and I’m excited about it.

 

After being inside the interview room for at least 3 hours, we finally finish filling in the questionnaires with my mind wondering if the social worker was also taking notes of every gestures and comments we made.  Hopefully, we did well as our answers will be used to match the child for us. If my jokes and other comic remarks were noted, I might as well expect a baby with red-round make-up on his cheeks.  Seriously, as long as he’s healthy, I’m accepting it.  

 

 

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Coming out of the foundation more than half an hour past lunch time, we headed to the nearby The Gateway mall and treat ourselves in Taco Bell’s. That lunch for me was more than just a treat, as it brought back memories of my US trip back in ’05. The tacos smelled and tasted just like they did abroad. I just hope that wifey will soon have the opportunity to agree with me.

 

 

 

 

Red right hand

Red right hand

Soon after, and as if having an itinerary for every interview day, we were again headed to the cinema. Both of us easily pick Hellboy II: The Golden Army over other films. This will be our first time to watch a movie in this mall.  The cinema is fully carpeted with a wide end row and tapering towards the wide-screen. Air-conditioning is just right and its soft cushioned seats added a great viewing experience for one great movie such as Hellboy. 

 

 

 

 

 

What I find fascinating about this sequel is the fact that it got better than the first one. The creature characters were surprisingly well detailed that although the diversity of the aliens reminds me of Star Wars Episode III, the creatures in Hellboy are as unique as the main stars of this film. Even the villains were convincingly portrayed. And as much as they appear mean and scary, I think the tiny evil tooth fairies deserve a movie of their own. Oh, by the way, Hellboy and Liz are having their own kid. Coincidence?

 

Definitely not from your moms fairy tale bedtime stories.

Definitely not from your mom's fairy tale bedtime stories.

And there goes another busy week for both of us. It may even become busier until the end of this year if our baby arrives by October. I’m not so fully sure yet if I’d be busy at work as well. This I’ll know in a couple of weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ref: