A Plodding Account of Gallantry and Semantics

August 28, 2013

A Short and Sweet Case Study on Miley Cyrus

First of all, I am mortified that this “comeback” blog entry is unwarranted of what I really want to blog about — that is, my life and where I am now. However, the fucking VMAs (or should I say The Miley Cyrus Show) has stirred the feelings of so many traditionalists, hypocrites, and worrywarts that I feel subjected to indulge myself in productively ranting about it, with the intention of prying open the close-mindedness of some people. Yeah, I’m probably talking about you. And yeah, we probably both have better things to do, but whatever. Cheap shots deserve cheap shots.

For the record, I am not a fan of Miley. Perhaps I am now, but for the better part of her career I couldn’t give a shit about her if you forced me to. For those who missed Miley’s performance, it would be wise to Google it. If you’re too lazy to, then let me recount it for you. The former Disney superstar essentially wore next to nothing, dry-humped giant Teddy bears, touched herself, gyrated against Robin Thicke’s crotch, and spanked plenty of butts, all the while having her freakishly long tongue out. Oh, and she twerked too. And boy, did she twerk the fuck out of everyone’s minds!

The performance predictably generated a shitload of reaction, mostly criticism that dwelled on how lewd, inappropriate, and immoral Miley was. While it is very convenient to clutch your pearls, roll through the beads of your rosary and judge the whole slutfest from the peering eyes of a Pharisee, I would advise anyone to carefully check yourself, before you wreck… nope, not going there. Anyhoo, I do not intend to give Miley any unmerited credit for what she did, however, I do welcome the dialogue her actions have brought about.

At first glance, this whole fracas comes as a shock to most because Miley is a former child star that now appears to understand her sexuality. “Aaaack! Hannah Montana is pussy-popping on MTV!” This is the kind of shit that makes people lose their minds. But dissecting this free-for-all reveals there is more to this than people’s deluded idea of how one is supposed to grow up. This, to me, is clearly another case double standard materialized. This is the perpetual idea that for a woman to act like a man is completely not acceptable and is indictable by a scarlet letter. Miley’s suggestiveness and sexually charged demeanor could have easily come from a male counterpart and no one would give a shit. Really think about it, if it were a man, this wouldn’t be news. If there’s anything to be disturbed about that performance, it’s probably the lyrics to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and how it subtlety glorifies an insistent “yes” to a woman’s “indifference”.  I have to ask, why is it so difficult for a woman to show she is sexually autonomous? Regardless of whether or not it’s crass or in good taste, sexuality does come in different forms and we do not get to say who can express theirs and who cannot. Why do most male rappers get a free pass and why is Miley crucified?

The role model argument is an exercise in futility. The world is filled with bad role models. You cannot rid the world of it’s ugly so you can shield the innocent from what the world is really like. Ultimately, parents get full the responsibility on how their children grow up to be. Miley Cyrus did not invent promiscuity. Sex and sexuality have been around since the beginning of mankind, believe it or not. Parents do not have full control of what their kids get exposed to, that is just the reality of life. Unless you want your kid to live a life of seclusion and “pureness”, they will inevitably come across examples, images, and situations that may not agree with the values you want to instill in them. The responsibility to teach them what you think is morally righteous falls on nobody else’s plate but yours. If your children grow up to be less than what you expected them to be, you do not get to fucking blame Miley Cyrus — simple as that.

You probably sense by now how strongly I feel about this. I guess it would be fair to say Christina Aguilera had something to contribute to this. Christina, who lives her message, has come out more than a decade ago wearing ass-less chaps, shaking her thang to Dirrty, and force-feeding her raw sexuality into the consciousness of millions of people. The reaction was much like how a Capitalist Christian would predictably react; by outrage and stone throwing. Why must a woman reserve her sexuality behind closed doors whilst a man can parade it without negative connotations? I have always admired women who take charge and refuse to back down against the pressure of those who insist on putting the idea of what a woman should be inside a small box of behavioral limits.

Our society, women in particular, wouldn’t be where it is now without fearless radicals who dared to champion criticism and question the world’s strict view of what is proper and what is not. There should be no shame in sex! If you believe otherwise then know that you think backwards and should really be ashamed of that, if anything. No one should ever be subjected to concede, let alone apologize for revealing his or her individuality. A woman’s role in the world is not predetermined and exact. You should really be glad that is not the case anymore and that women today can wear pretty much whatever they want, sadly still depending on whatever part of the world they are, but that’s a different discussion altogether. Just because someone has a different viewpoint than you, does not mean they’re wrong. Where is real freedom when a ruling class deems something unsuitable because it defiles their “values”? What about the value to respect a woman’s right to behave the way she chooses to? A woman, or any person who chooses to “be” for that matter, should be looked at with an open mind. Remember that putrid time, long ago when gay men cannot kiss in public without getting vilified? Oh right, that shit still happens, quite often too, might I add. You cannot hinder someone from doing something that’s individually innate because it makes you uncomfortable. If you can’t help it, then go to your corner and be offended. You fight for your values best by living it, not by attacking those that don’t live by yours. Trust me, your disgust deserves a better use of your time and energy. After all, Miley can’t stop, won’t stop, etc. So really, it’s your loss, not hers.


August 8, 2011


So yesterday, I made massive portions of oxtail kare-kare, beef kaldereta, dinuguan, pancit palabok, sauteed shrimp, mixed vegetables and quail eggs, chicken pork adobo sa gata, beef pares, sisig, and cassava cake, in eight hours, on a 36-hour day, with no sleep, to other’s rave reviews. Holy running sentence. I passed out at 2:30 in the morning and it was worth it.

Bitch, I’m awesome.


August 4, 2011


I would really rather be sleeping right now. But in some such way, I feel obligated to write a ‘birthday blog entry’, so to speak. And as it would be, here it is. Damn it.

August 2, late at night, I drove to work like clockwork and braved the harsh rains of summer. I have this thing where I allow the first song I listen to set the mood for my entire day. Silly, I know. I have my iPod on random and I turned my sound system on. My iPod gave forth Macy Gray’s “I’m in Between”, theme song to “As Told by Ginger”, one of my favorite TV shows of all time—which one might find strange because I was a raging school bully in elementary and in high school. I refuse to over-analyze the timing of this particular song, what it means to me, and where I am at my life right now. But in that moment, it was so fitting and yet surreal I could’ve made it up. I don’t really like posting song lyrics to reduce what I feel by virtue of someone else’s words so I won’t. But if you aren’t familiar with this little tidbit of a song. Please, give it a listen.

And then, I arrived at work. Surprisingly, it wasn’t much of a bummer that I got to spend the first few hours of my birthday at work. Other than the fact that I was sleepy as fuck the entire time, my early morning was pretty much smooth sailing—as if the universe decided to positively cooperate with the significance of my turning a year older. Not a lot of people can say this but I spent the first few hours of my birthday literally saving a person’s life. And no, not by passing medications, making sure my patients were alright, whatever it is nurses do on an ordinary day blah blah blah. I, together with my team, of course, successfully resuscitated a patient who was flown in from Louisiana two nights ago. People in the health care profession will attest to how much a thrill this is. To see someone’s heart beating again after a deathly lull, underneath skin and ribcage is really, dare I say it, priceless. Later on, I learned this patient eventually died so it took away the glorification of what my colleagues and I had done. But for what it’s worth, I wasn’t going to let that ruin my day.

After work, I drove back home to an extra-cheerful boyfriend, one who reminded me every minute that it was my birthday. As luck would have it, Ed, too, had to work that day. But conveniently, his job is a lot more flexible than mine in such way that it allows me to tag along while he works. So I pulled a no-brainer and made the decision to go with him. With fluffy pillows and a blanket in tow, I adjusted the backseat of his crossover to create the roomiest space possible and slept, while Bogart stepped on me repeatedly like an pompous fuck. But I didn’t mind. I was alright. When I woke up, seven hours had passed and we were back home.

One of the best things about living in Baltimore is that it’s a bona fide foodie town. I made a quick search for the best Chinese restaurants on Zagat.com and it lead me to Grace Garden, a prodigious little find I cannot believe I haven’t eaten at before! The place had zero ambiance and the neighborhood it’s in seemed awfully shady. But, they serve authentic Sichuan and are deadly serious about what they put on their menu. When I tasted their seafood noodles and this certain pork belly dish (I’m terrible with names, sorry) I thought, we had found gold in the most unlikely of places! It goes without saying, we left the restaurant with happy bellies. When I got home, I popped “The Exorcist” on Netflix and slept again. I woke up with a smile on my face, and a year older.

And that, my friends, was how I spent my 26th birthday. I was completely sober, a glorious accomplishment if you really know me. But, worry you shan’t, it shall be made up for it this weekend. Nothing grand or flashy, but it was in a lot of ways gratifying. I watched “The Exorcist”, I ate Chinese noodles, I slept in the car backseat of the love of my life, and I saved a life (albeit temporarily). Must there really be anything else?


July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse

For the better part of those who knew Amy, her death explicitly did not come as a surprise. As a matter of fact, at the height of her career, people were already postulating her days numbered as tabloids and other media relentlessly exposed her dark ways of coping. Still, that doesn’t make the news of her death any less devastating.

I have always loved Amy Winehouse. And although I am certain she wasn’t always mindful about receiving the love the world has to offer for her, I hope that she lived to bask in it, even just a little. But that’s the thing about death; everything is always too late. I don’t understand why I am so profoundly affected by her death. News of famous people dying happens all the time. I usually pretend to care about it for a second, shrug it off and move on. But there’s something about this one that haunts me. 

I guess no one but those who truly and genuinely knew her can understand her persisting dependence on drugs. And it’s painful to realize nobody can really do anything about it now. But for the most part, I related to that aspect of her life. I, too, had my own share of battles with drug addiction. I went through my own period of habituated drinking and heavy drug use. But I was fortunate enough to have gotten out of that dark place while I still could. I have the people in my life whom I love to thank for that. Still, every so often, my demons would come back, if only to test my spirit. There are times I would succumb, and times I would be strong enough to fight them. I am human, after all. And, this is not about me.

I am not going to pretend I knew Amy like a sister because that is certainly not the case. But like any public figure, she was predisposed to reveal certain parts of herself, in her music and of that she spoke about. For what it was she was willing to make known, I somehow deeply understood. Her vigor as an artist was truly multifaceted. She didn’t always sing about her life’s despairs and sorrows. In fact (and I say this tongue-in-cheek), among my favorite blue eyed soul singers, one would think Adele deserves the drug afflictions solely on the basis of what she sings about. Not Amy Winehouse. Amy’s music was funny, sultry, witty, sweet and crazy. And it didn’t always mirror how she portrayed herself in public. Although her substance abuse brought about her erraticism as an artist, there is no doubt in my mind people will always look back at her curtailed but brilliant body of work and remember it fondly, if not reverently. Her sophomore album, ‘Back to Black’, remains as one of my ultimate favorite records. Those people who didn’t believe she could repair her ways may have been forecasting her death as if it was due, but as a musician, she was definitely gone too soon. That, no one can take away from her.

Amy’s music always spoke to me. But even more so, her life and her constant battle with her demons never failed to captivate my inclinations. I loved her as an artist, but as a person, I find I loved her even more. So, it infuriates me to no end when tasteless people throw in their uninformed opinions on Amy for the sake of contributing to the bandwagon. So far, I have blocked two tactless “friends” on Facebook who had satirical things to say about this whole tragedy. I’m on the look-out for more assholes. Understanding Amy, or any drug dependent person does not come automatically to the ignorant. It takes effort to understand the mind of  the troubled. No one is in the position to deduct her kind of character based on what we see on TV and read on the news. Every person has layers after layers of truth, of pain, of soul.

Today, Amy’s body will be examined. But for me, her exact cause of death has become irrelevant. The whole world knows that at the rate she was going, her death was bound to happen. It was only a matter of time. It pains me to admit that we all watched it happen—the worst fear materialized. There is a lesson to be learned here. We look at life from different angles and as complex as it is, we all have different ways to deal. If you get stuck in a dark corner, life can be very cruel and unforgiving—even for a person who have the earmarks of a perfect life; talent, fame, money, love, etc. Her death has reminded me of that. There is an ugly side to life that we don’t always acknowledge. I believe, an aspect of Amy Winehouse lives inside all of us. Amidst the public’s tainted image of Amy, she was and will continue on to be a beautiful person from where I see things. Her weaknesses and insecurities may have gotten the best of her in the end but she was nonetheless beautiful. I just hope she knew how much people really loved her. And although I will miss her affectingly, there is a part of me that finds comfort in her death. At least, her battle is over. At least, her pain is gone. Finally, she finds her peace.


July 21, 2011

The Unfortunately Named Azkals

In the wake of my last post, before it escapes me, let me just say, Azkals?! Are you fucking serious? What kind of a name is that?

I first got wind of the Philippine Azkals on Facebook, in the thick of horny women shamelessly declaring their love for the cute and hunky players. By the way, I’m judging your tastes, ladies. Nevermind the fact that the majority of these players are actually foreign imports trying hard (and failing miserably) at speaking Filipino to somehow appease the public. Spearheaded by their leading man Phil Younghusband, the Philippine Azkals has now become quite a household name. And sadly so. If one were to become a household name, I would hope that name would at least be decent enough for decorous consumption. But Azkals? And Azkals spelled with a z, mind you! Must we really fuck with proper spelling for cool points? Who finds it cool anyway? Oh, right. Sadly, the Jejemons of the world have won the battle, yet again. We are under their realm, it appears, and there is nothing we can do about it.

What has the world come to when we can’t even pick out good names for our national teams? What’s next, Puzakals? That is not a suggestion, by the way. I repeat, not a suggestion.

To those who need to be reminded, an askal is a morpheme of the words aso and kalye. Asong kalye, if you’re a bitch. Asong kalye, simply put, are mostly uncared for stray dogs who most likely carry multiple diseases such as, but not limited to, dermatitis or galis, ear infections, worms, and the almost too common rabies. Askals are highly regarded as community nuisance and are quick to attack when provoked. An askal will chase you like a motherfucker if you chance upon one in a bad mood. Trust me.

Upon further research I found out the name Azkals was formulated on the basis that askals are aggressive, resilient, and that they possess unbridled loyalty. I agree with aggressive and resilient, but loyal? I know someone who will prove that untrue. In fact, when I was younger I witnessed someone (whose elbows will never look the same), viciously attacked by an askal, unprovoked. Askals aren’t that loyal. You want to bet? The askal apparently survives, even triumphs, amid meager resources, against all odds. Uhh, I could name hundreds of other animals who carry those traits as well. And they are not stray dogs.


July 21, 2011

The Case of Amanda Coling

Thanks to TFC and the deranged world of the internet, I have been mildly obsessing about the story of disgraced Filipina, Amanda Coling—more popularly known as the woman whom allegedly was raped by four Philippine Azkals team members. I have been tempted to brush this issue off aside, but recent developments have initiated feelings of captivation and hysterics. So, I’m giving in. Plus, I need a distraction and right now, I’ll take whatever.

This story begins over a month ago, on June 2, 2011, when Simon Greatwich, Jason Sabio, Neil Etheridge, and Anton del Rosario (four Azkals players) supposedly brought Amanda to Dan Palami’s (their team manager) house. What happened exactly inside that house remains to be dichotomized. The people involved in this whole spectacle have been frustratingly stingy on providing the hungry public of substantial details. However the case may be, allegations circulating the media have been pretty severe. Allegedly, the four Azkals players inflicted serious sexual violence on Amanda and recorded it on video. Three of the four Azkals players have denied the allegations and proceeded to express their dismay over the malicious accusations thrown at them, at a time when they should be focusing all their energy to their upcoming World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait. Amanda Coling has come out to speak about her anguish, but at this time, has neither confirmed nor denied public insinuations that she’s been raped.

Contrary to prominent belief, it wasn’t Amanda who first circulated this story. A certain German national, Paul Weiler, who claims to be a former consultant of the Philippine Football Federation, was first to get dibs on publicizing this whole issue. A quick Google search on Paul Weiler should reveal how reliable this man is. Internet forums relevant to football dating as far back as 2006 have questioned Paul Weiler’s credibility and has gone far as calling him a fraud. Paul claims that he had gotten wind of this situation from the Azkals’ team gaffer Michael Weiss and Neil Etheridge himself. It is apparent that this Paul Weiler character is out to get vengeance, for whatever reason, we may never know.

Before Amanda Coling was named as the woman behind the alleged gang rape, she made a living out of modeling. She had regular stints in FHM and was also an endorser of a certain brand of condoms. She was in the business of objectifying women, to put things bluntly. According to Amanda, Simon and Neil have been acquaintances of hers way before the Philippine Azkals exploded unto the consciousness of Filipinos. While she didn’t chance on Jason and Antonio until recently. It is unclear who initiated the alleged sex spree and whether or not Amanda consented to it in the first place, but she has come out to announce that she was somehow and nonetheless wronged. How? She didn’t say.

In her TV interview, it is clear Amanda renders an anti-victim depiction of herself. She was stern. Her face gave out a suspicious vibe of apathy, as if she couldn’t care less. The only time she showed what tiny morsel of emotion she was concealing was when she began to talk about how this whole issue has affected her family. It’s as if she was trying hard to become a picture of a strong, self-made woman. She was quick to avoid questions pertaining directly to what had occurred on the night of June 2, citing her lawyer had advised her not to entertain them until they fit a case together. Now that she and her lawyer has finally come out with an official statement, we learn Amanda would prefer not to launch any form of legal action at this time. Which begs the question, ano ba talaga, kuya?!

Half-witted people have been quick to pick on Amanda. It doesn’t take more than swift typing and a click of a mouse to see how much more hate Amanda has gotten as opposed to her alleged perpetrators. Look around and you’ll see the ignorant hurling insults after insults at her, declaring how Amanda should be grateful for having had sex with the hottest athletes on the country right now, as if being raped by tall guys with foreign-sounding last names was an honor. Look around and you’ll see the faceless attacks of textbook victim blaming, saying she must have asked for it on the basis that she doesn’t behave as demurely as your typical pearl-clutching Catholic. She’s made it clear how she’s gotten hundreds of inquiries from the press hounding her for an “exclusive” and when she finally decides to talk she gets labelled as attention-seeking and fame-leeching.

Whatever happened to simply not knowing? Why can’t we give Amanda the same benefit of the doubt the majority of Filipinos so conveniently and generously gave the four Azkals players involved? We weren’t there that night. We don’t know. Does it make us lesser beings to admit that? Must we resort to throwing stones because we “feel” Amanda isn’t telling the truth? Ha! I think the conservative upbringing of most Filipinos has failed us, yet again. She may have initially agreed to join the four Azkals players and may even have consented to having sex with them at first, but she may have also resisted along the process. Even if she provoked the four Azkals players involved, that does not justify rape—nothing does. Whatever the case may be, a no is a no. But we don’t know what really happened, and it’s much easier to speculate and crucify Amanda amidst what we are presented with. I mean, she looks and acts like a twat, she must’ve deserved it.

Amanda seems like a relatively smart woman, and she may have already realized what she’s really up against. She has made it clear how she has tried to keep this whole issue under the radar of the media and I believe her. It was, after all, the media who fit together the pieces of the puzzle and named her as the woman involved in the alleged rape incident. And, inevitably, the calamitous series of events began to rock her beehive and she thought her better option was to speak out. Understandably so. She got fired from her job and lost her preceding engagements—these, she admits, were her only source of income. It is sad to see her grasping for straws. And you start questioning her morals. One would think it unusual how she appears to care more about the job she lost rather than her dignity getting dragged to the gutter. It doesn’t even appear she’s out to get sympathy, which I find really disturbing. It looks to me like she just wants her source of income back. Or at least vent out how fucked up she felt losing the only thing she’s got control over. But with her job gone, her career opportunities depleted, and her name tainted to the core, yes, she is the victim here—whether or not she was raped.

Amanda strikes me as someone who has given up the fight. Even if she decides to continue on, I’m afraid she may never put together a solid case against her enemies. I don’t have to be a lawyer to realize how weak her legal claim is. It’s practically her word against the four of them. And honestly, who would believe a rape victim who poses scantily-clad to advertise condoms versus four national athletes who are currently and consistently bringing home pride for the country? Think about it. Maybe, out of kindness, we can all give her what she’s been asking for; peace. When, in this case, justice is hardly possible, let’s all be human and give her a little compassion. After all, Amanda Coling is done for, and you know it.


July 18, 2011


As soon as the internet got a whiff of what Google+ (Google Plus) is and what it would be like, it got me all excited. What with it marketing itself as “The Facebook Killer”. And now that it’s actually out there and I’m on it, here are my sentiments.

Google+ will not kill Facebook. Not right now, it wouldn’t. Then again, it took Facebook a few years before it exploded in heights so unprecedented it became impossible to ignore. Heck, The Oprah is on Facebook, and so is your grandmother! But, Google+ does have the potential to kill Facebook, so long as it does everything right. And so far, it looks like they’re on the right track.

The circles. Let’s talk about the circles. The circles is Google’s brilliant way of letting users filter what they share on the internet. It allows you to group the different “circles” of friends you have and share exclusively to them. It lets you group the prudes and your prostitute friends separately so you can maintain a crisp reputation amongst both. The possibilities are endless! As Google so brilliantly puts it, now you can put “your boss in a circle all by himself—just like real life!” And no, your friends do not get to see which circle you put them on. So simple, yet so clever. It makes you wonder, why didn’t Facebook think of actualizing this out first? You may argue that Facebook does allow its users to control what they share too. But who the fuck enjoys fiddling with their privacy settings? It’s so complicated! Google has managed to come up with a simple and convenient solution. So, bravo!

Photo tagging. One of the main reasons Facebook broke out unto the computer screens of every internet user in the living world is its feature of photo tagging. Although, I personally hate and don’t use this feature, the majority of Facebook users do. There is nothing more annoying than unwillingly being tagged in an embarrassing photo of yourself and finding out about it a day or two later, while you miserably untag yourself after the whole world has seen it. That “untag” feature of Facebook has proven itself time and time again to be an exercise in futility. But, as it appears, Facebook could not care less. Well, well. In Google+, your friends will need to ask permission from you before they can tag you in that photo of you lying in your own vomit from last Saturday night. Hallelujah!

It looks like Google+ does care more about their users’ privacy than Facebook does. Don’t you just hate it when you wake up and find out that one of your friends so decidedly added you to a stupid random group without your permission? With Google+, it ain’t gonna happen. So do those annoying spam mentions you get on Twitter. Also, let me just say, that latest sidebar Facebook decided to add to its homepage is downright silly. What the hell is it for? Who the fuck wants a mini-News Feed right beside the actual News Feed?! Not cool, Facebook, not cool. I usually have been able to forgive the changes Facebook makes to its layout because well, it is Facebook after all, but the latest one annoys the hell out of me.

This may be a matter of personal preference, but I also think Google+ presents user photos in a much sleeker manner than Facebook does. The grid format of Google+ is much neater and simpler than Facebook’s and I appreciate that.

It also goes without saying, Google is an unstoppable force. It is established as one of the major players and superpowers of the internet. With Google, it makes it possible to integrate all the popular internet services you use into one. And that’s exactly what I did. Now, I have my AdWords, Analytics, YouTube, Gmail and Google+ under one log-in, and it’s remarkably convenient. Of course, I understand that the rest of the world is not as geeky as I am and they most likely do not avail of most of the accounts I maintain, but the potential alone is comforting. There’s already so much online hoopla one has to keep up with, decluttering makes it bearable. Not to mention, we all have an actual “life” that we need to attend to every single day.

But amidst all the hype Google+ has created for itself, there is one thing that is poised out to be the greatest challenge they will face; the people. People, including myself, are busy. There is already so much noise from the online world that distract us so it begs the question, why would anyone want to add up to that? Again, let me reiterate, there’s still such a thing called actual human interaction, believe it or not. Getting everyone on board might be difficult. Especially because the whole world is already on Facebook. Yep, The Oprah and your grandmother! Some users took forever to convince the people in their lives to sign up to Facebook. Bringing them around to join Google+ will prove to be more difficult, especially with Facebook already on top.

People will also need to familiarize themselves with Google+, as they did with Facebook, all over again. We’ll all need to learn the new verbiage. Somehow “+1″ does not have the same catchy ring to it as Facebook’s “like” does. In hindsight, it doesn’t even make sense. Plus one what? And although I can rave about the circles feature of Google+ all day long, this doesn’t appeal to everyone, especially the older population. What do they care about who gets to read what they share as long as they share? And that is if they even do. A lot of my relatives and friends keep Facebook only to check out photos and greet people on their birthdays but never actually update their statuses. What would wanna make them cross over?

I don’t have a problem with learning new layouts and functions because the truth is, I’m a genuine geek and I enjoy it. It’s “the others” I worry about.  Google+ does not necessarily provides us with something new. Something better, perhaps, but new? Definitely not. Google+ is basically Facebook, only better in functionality. And as much as I hope and wish Google+ kills Facebook, I have a feeling it wouldn’t. Because after all, a social network needs to be social. So until the people I care about decide to make the switch, Google+ will be an account I check on every now and then and possibly forget about. My only hope is that I’m proven wrong.


July 18, 2011

My Internet Exploits

I don’t know about you but I swear, there was a time in my life, not too long ago, when I thought people had a slight repugnance toward internet addicts. I, too, shared the same feelings of detestation. I remember resisting the itch to log on the web because I was a proud teenager who preferred to be on the outskirts versus being mainstream. In fact, my earliest blog entries dating back to 2003 talk about my reluctance to jump in the cold water. I don’t know, there was something about spending most of my day in front of the computer as opposed to actually “living” in the real world that turned me off. I guess I didn’t want to be classified as a geek, not that I think there’s anything wrong with being a geek today. Heck, everybody’s a geek in this day and age!

Needless to say, my conscious efforts have failed me. Fast forward to today, I have had accounts on LiveJournal, Friendster, Hipstir, MySpace, Multiply, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter,—all I was on actively at one point or another, and some I still am. I’m pretty sure I’ve missed a few more in that list. I’m not even counting my multiple e-mail accounts and instant messengers.

Without a doubt, I have become an internet addict. And there is no resisting it.

Among all the social media I use to whore myself out, LiveJournal is still my favorite. Bar none. LiveJournal had a different energy—a pulse so unique it allowed strangers to become intimate and confidential with each other. Back in the early Aughties, LiveJournal population was so small you’re bound to encounter the bulk of its users at some point, at least those you care to open yourself up to. It was on LiveJournal the amazing Meryn Cadell “friended” me, shooting me straight to euphoria! I have so many wonderful memories on LJ! I used to say I bear a love-hate relationship with LiveJournal. But now that I think about it, I have nothing but love and appreciation for what I can only describe as the glory days of blogging.

Too bad, it’s dead.

Next to LiveJournal, I think it would be safe to say Facebook comes secondly as my favorite. I had actually created a Facebook account back in late 2007 with my old e-mail, stereotypephobic (Uhhm, yikes). But it wasn’t until January of 2009 that I started getting hooked, as did the rest of the world. But like all the other social networking sites I felt disposed to, Facebook is not without flaw. And as brilliantly explored in the movie “The Social Network”, a social community in its earliest phase is much about prestige and cachet as it is about popularity. Much like falling in line to get in the hottest and most happening clubs, there has to be enough mystery and just the right amount of hype in order to establish a repute that would trigger the desire of people on the outside to join in.

Now, what repelled me and most of the world from the likes of MySpace and Friendster has reared its ugly head on, gasp! Facebook. In the past few months, my Facebook use consists mostly of blocking online shops, useless apps and reporting spams more than actual user interaction. I don’t know about you, but I like my News Feed neat and practicable. It infuriates me that I am being subjected to see these endless “fashionista” shops spamming my feed with “branded” and pre-loved (Uh, yeah, pre-loved with bacteria!) clothes and trinkets. Plus, I’m sure none of these online businesses pay taxes, serving actual shops a great deal of injustice. But then again, maybe I need to clean out my friends list more than anything. To date, I have blocked a staggering number of people, online shops and apps—Facebook does not tally how many they are but if I were to guess based purely on how long the list is, I think it would be safe to say it’s about more than 2,000. I kid you fucking not. Still, I know in my heart of hearts, this is a losing battle. I have also taken comfort on the fact that Facebook forces its users to write their name with the first letter capitalized, as should proper names be written. But somehow, the pesky have discovered a way to get around to it. So now I have people on my friends list with questionably-chosen characters preceding and/or tattering their actual name. Why would anyone want do that, damn it, tell me why?!

Again, it goes without saying, I am tired of Facebook.

When Friendster (the now-defunct social networking site predominantly popular in Southeast Asia) first did its rounds, the internet definitely wasn’t as pandemic as it is today. In the Philippines, before internet was absolutely necessary, when connection speeds were intolerably slow and not all households had internet service, Friendster was actually cool. Believe it or not. Only those who can afford the comfort of household internet had accounts. But it didn’t take long before it reached the radar of the masses and soon Friendster became a playground for people wHo TyP3 Lyk DizZ. What started out as a meeting ground for cool kids, slowly but surely, turned into a jungle now overpowered by the kind of people who would be happy to line up in the scorching heat to be an audience member in Wowowee. Excuse the elitism, I am trying to get a point across. Uh, allow me to present Exhibit A. Today, I can’t even begin to imagine how cool I thought Friendster was. Then again, I thought elephant pants were cool. So, connect the dots.

Note: This post is written to lead up to what I really wanted to write about and that is, Google+ (Google Plus). Obviously, it took a life of its own. I guess I’ll write about it later. I need to sleep.


July 9, 2011

To Love

Before I had met Ed, I never would have imagined myself to be the hopeless romantic that I am today. I guess that would only be natural as I have never been in a serious relationship before him. And, I was also the quintessential definition of angst as I was growing up. I just always assumed I would grow up to be a stone-hearted cynic who enjoys instigating arguments to feel better about what they know. I do know a lot of things. But I have come to accept that there are more things I couldn’t care less pretending to know about.

The last couple of weeks have been eye-opening for both Ed and I, to say the least. I wish I could reveal more but I am cognizant enough to realize that the internet has the tendency to macerate a person’s sense of self. And there are only so much I am willing to disclose to people I personally don’t know. So for the obscurity, I apologize.

In the last seven years, I find myself practicing love as a religion. I hope the people around me can attest to how this little truth manifests in my everyday aura. For seven years, I have been consumed by love that sometimes, I have to look at myself from a panorama. I guess I am writing this now to remind myself.

Do not believe the people who say relationships should be effortless—it is not the truth. A lot of people, myself included, believe that they understand the triviality of working hard to keep a relationship intact. But when shit starts flooding, we find it easier to run. Run, when all else fails, but do so with a content heart. Otherwise, fight for it. Fight for love until you find yourself disrobed of pride.

Most relationships start as novelties of new flames, careless and happy. But when love comes to you, commit—there is no other way. Do not take the people you love for granted, no matter how comfortable you are with them.

Love shouldn’t be kept in the cages of someone’s heart. It should be freed. It should be felt and be made to feel. It should be real. I should be said. It should be lived. I need to be reminded that relationships require effort and will not flourish in itself. I need to be reminded that nothing is permanent no matter how hard you believe it is. These are things that I already know. I believe in these things and pulling them out from my brain is as effortless as growing hair. But the enigma of living it sometimes escapes me. That’s the funny thing about unrealistic expectations, the futility of creating a far-fetched idea in your head and hoping it would unfold the way you want it to, all the while knowing it won’t. With relationships, you have to be willing to reveal layers upon layers of yourself in order to learn that in reality, we are all just the same.

My relationship with Ed is the single most life-altering experience I have had in my life and I can honestly say I have become a better person because of it. It continues to teach me about the aspects of my life that I need to preserve and those that I need gone. The problem with life lessons is that you don’t always recognize the moments when they become pertinent. You’ve learnt it, you know it, you believe it, you even practice it every now and then, but intermittently you forget it. It sounds silly but I believe even the most prophetic of the prophets cross a line of ambivalence and hypocrisy. Afterall, to err is human.

To Ed, whom I know reads this silly little blog; I hope that my actions transcend words more often. I hope the happy days continue to trump the shady ones. For everything else, I’ll tell you when I get home. There is no other way to say it. I love you, with all of me, always.


June 30, 2011


I don’t even have time to blog about how stressed out I am. But I have to let this out somehow, lest I projectile-vomit my frustrations to unknowing strangers. That, or I grab that inviting bottle of Jack Daniels staring at me, which I really shouldn’t

Work was unforgiving last night. No wait, categorically, it wasn’t the actual work that threw me off my cool. It was the people around me. What I do isn’t really that difficult, to be honest. You need to be smart, that’s all. Not that I’m grandstanding how smart I am but to be a nurse, you need to at least be able to solve problems in a timely manner. And didn’t we learn problem solving as early as preschool? I mean seriously, if you need a sphygmomanometer, you’re not gonna find it tailing my ass around! I may be in charge but I’m not your fucking mother, you idiot! Don’t you have a brain to exhaust? Okay, that sentence definitely was delusional projection and does not apply to anyone who’s reading this. But it felt really good writing it down, just the same.

Now, I don’t feel the need to justify my “credentials” because the people I know and the people who took the time to get to know me professionally are aware of the fact that I’m kind of an awesome person to work with. No shit. I’m a team player and I always think of results and how my efforts will benefit everyone. Sure, I’m not a perfect employee but believe it or not, when it comes to work, typically I don’t dilly dally. But, how do I say this tactfully, I am surrounded by uneducated lazy ass moronic motherfuckers!

Ever have one of those days where someone pisses you off to the point where you wish death on them? Yeah, it was one of those days. In my visions I would affix razor blades on my rubber shoes (I don’t even know how that’s possible) and kick people in their faces until the police comes to cuff me down. Then I would magically uncuff myself, dodge the police, and empty round after round of machine gun magazines on everyone’s chest. And then, I would, oops. Too much?

I don’t usually let a lot of things bother me. If you know me well, then you’d know I’m a classic ‘Type B’. I’m usually the one who tells other people, “Cool it.” But when you push me to my limits, I turn into an ugly person. I get really argumentative and I’d like to believe I possess the common sense and basic logic to put anyone with scattered reasonings in their place. And contrary to popular belief, I hate being argumentative. It takes so much energy and it throws me off my peaceful balance. I like to be surrounded by positive energy all the time, and sometimes workplace is just not the place to get that. In my old job, people were so venomous against each other and it really made me sick. In as much as I can, I try to harbor good working relationships with the people I constantly come in contact with but I know when I’m being abused and frankly, I will not have it—not any more. In these hard times, I would hate to be the reason why a person would lose their livelihood. But I need to drop this meek image I have consciously created and start acting like the boss that I am. After all, I am in charge—I have to keep that in mind. I have a tendency to downplay my authority for fear of what other people will think. And as much as I act like I don’t care, I actually want people to like me. But from this day forward, I’m gonna try something different. I shall not worry whether or not the people I work with like me as long as I do my job, and do my job solid as a rock. No longer shall I tolerate further bullshit.

There. I’m going to sleep this off and hopefully when I wake up, the vicious wears off as well. I’m not even going to proofread this rant. Grammar Police, deal with it. Peace out.


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