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Barefoot in Manila

Fishing for compliments. Complimenting for fish. It's a life.

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Poor Erap. It seems that he still hasn't recovered from his 'foot-in-mouth disease.' You'd think that with the threat of the death penalty literally hanging over his head, he'd be more conscious of what he says. Well, there is a saying that you can't teach old dogs new tricks. Erap is an old dog alright. He has the bum knee to prove it too.
Ousted Philippine president Joseph Estrada just admitted signing the name 'Jose Velarde' on a bank account. Oops.
The weird thing is that, while he has admitted to signing a false name, he still denies using 'Jose Velarde' as an alias. What's he doing to escape his latest predicament? He's now saying that that was the name on the document so he had no choice but to sign using the false name. Uh... Duh? I'm sorry sir but that still doesn't let you off the hook. If it wasn't your name there, why would you sign at all?
Erap is also saying that he was signing as a guarantor to convince Jaime Dichavez, the alleged owner of the Jose Velarde account, to lend money to William Gatchalian. Let's say what he's saying is true, what's an incumbent president doing, guaranteeing other people's loans?
Anyway you look at it, it stinks.

.: posted by cecille 6:17 PM

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Oh! and some comments too. Comments are like a box of chocolates in the Forrest Gump sense. You just aren't sure what you're gonna get.
We're almost finished with the university's web redesign so we decided to unleash it to the unsuspecting university population to get comments and suggestions. Here are some of the comments we got:
1. "Don't you think that it's a little trying hard?...a tad too hip, too slick, and not academic enough."
2. "The picture of the student astonishes."
Our university is known as too conservative. We tried to blunt this perception a bit by projecting a fresh and young image through the website. Obviously, not everyone will welcome the change. I was a bit apprehensive asking for comments because I knew it was going to hurt a bit when I get critiques of something I worked on. On the plus side, we were able to get good ideas on how to go about some of the sections. Fortunately too, most of the comments we received were not as insane as this:
"He..he..he...he..!!!! this is not applicable to us. we don't have internet your insulting us to the bones ha. For you info., I haven't seen webpage. tsk...tsk...tsk... poor girl."
Yes, I know. I'm so mean for posting it here.

.: posted by cecille 4:37 PM

Monday, February 25, 2002

Why I don't like pop. Sitting in my front of my computer, working on a side project, and listening to Dave Matthews. I wanted to take a break from editing so I started listening more closely to the lyrics. So now I know why I listen to Dave Matthews and not to NSync or the Backstreet Boys. Dave's song are about life and the things around us. The bright boys of pop sing about getting into people's pants. God, I don't even want to get into Britney Spears. Yuck!
PS. Dave also sings about sex but at least not all the time. Besides, his words are way better.

.: posted by cecille 9:33 AM

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Saving up for nothing.Got no work on Monday to celebrate the 17th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution (when we kicked out Marcos). I've got a long weekend so I decided to clean up my room yesterday. I counted all the books I've bought during the past year when I supposedly had to leave school to save up for my studies. Apparently, resolution to save up did not succeed as 24 books were purchased within a 10-month period, with prices ranging from P150 to P450. Add to this all my expenses for CDs and VCDs, plus fare for my trip to the province, and we come up with a rather hefty sum. I won't tell you how much I spent this past year but I'll tell you this: Looking at the numbers, all I can say is "ouch!".

.: posted by cecille 7:21 AM

Trip to Jerusalem. There's a game we always play at parties called "trip to Jerusalem." A number of people will be dancing around a number of chairs (number of people minus one) and when the music stops, people try to grab one of the chairs. If they end up not sitting on one, they get kicked out. In the next round, a chair is taken from the circle and the game is played again. I was thinking about my friends when I remembered this game. Sometimes I feel like we're all playing musical chairs. Just as somebody gets off, there's immediately somebody to take their place.
Last week, my friend Tinny told us that she was taking a leave from law school for a year. I think she was really burnt out since it seems like she's been studying forever. Just a few days after that, I receive an sms from another friend informing me that our friend Cecil passed the entrance exams for UP. Wow.
In about four months, I'm also supposed to go back to school. I missed law school terribly for the first few months that I was away. Now, ten months into my leave, I think I've adjusted. I've become interested in tons of new stuff now that I've had more time to explore the things around me. I've become more excited about possibilities--getting a better job (?), improving my writing, and acquiring more web skills. Now that I've seen how big the world is, I'm afraid I might not be able to dwarf my perspective and concentrate solely on school.

.: posted by cecille 7:20 AM

Commuting hell. If you're a 20-something Filipino, earning slightly more than minimum wage a day, chances are you don't have your own car. The only way to get around then is to commute. Depending on the destination, there are several options for the average commuter: a) a public utility jeep (puj), b) the bus (choose between air-conditioned and smog-conditioned busses), c) taxi, d) the light rail transit (LRT or MRT, again depending on where you need to go), or the FX (sports utility vehicles or vans which ply a fixed route. A more "luxurious" reincarnation of the jeep, but you have to pay a higher price.). For the short trips which comprise about 5-10 blocks, there are tricycles or pedicabs which will take you right smack at your destination. Fare for these type of transportation varies according to a) the greed of the pedicab drivers and b) the stupidity of the passenger. I once had to go at this hostel located six blocks from the main road. I wasn't feeling to good that day so I chose to take a pedicab instead of walking the whole length. When I got there and asked the pedicab driver how much I had to pay him, he told me to give him P20. On my return trip, I got another pedicab driver who only charged me ten bucks. You can imagine how much I hated myself after that.
I usually take the FX to work. It's a mere 30-minute ride and I pay just P10. I get off about three blocks from work, and after that it's a 5-minute walk. The fixed route of the FX will take it through San Miguel Avenue, at the end of which it makes a left turn to go to Pasig. There are some times however when these FXs will not travel the rest of San Miguel Ave. This usually happens when some lazy bitch or jerk who don't feel like walking will ask the driver, "Mama, dadaan po ba ng Tektite? (Mister, are you going to pass by Tektite?) Tektite is the Philippine Stock Exchange building which is, may I emphasize, a mere block away from San Miguel Avenue! If the driver decides to take the Exchange Road leading to Tektite, another five minutes is added to my walk to the office. Since I don't want to get to work already pissed off (enough problems are already waiting for me there), I usually just keep my mouth, grit my teeth, and let 'em get what they want.
Last Thursday, however, I wasn't feeling particularly pleased with the world so when one of the passengers asked to be taken straight to Tektite, I complained. I pointed out that she'd need to walk just one freakin' block. The walk may even do wonders for her heart. Instead of thanking me for my concern for her health, she got out and slammed the door on me. I smiled at her instead.
Inspite of my smile, however, I still haven't forgiven her. And I still remember what she looks like. She better pray I don't run into her one of these days... I just might.... do something.

.: posted by cecille 6:18 AM

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Disclaimer: Below is a story I got from Justin's Links - Proxy Pilgrimage?. To Justin, I'm sorry about quoting the whole thing. I was looking for a way to link to this particular entry but I couldn't think of how to do it. Anyway, if you want to read about his adventures as he visits different parts of Japan, check out his website.
At many hotels in Japan, the mini-refrigerators have sensors built in, so if you remove one of the snacks or beverages, the front desk immediately knows about it. And immediately after you remove said snack or beverage, the slot immediately locks so you can not replace it.
Ayako and I were staying at a love hotel in Shibuya and she went to inspect the snacks. She pulled out some salami in a can and found she couldn't return it. She took out a Calpis calcium drink that she did imbibe. She left for work early the next morning and alone I went to the front desk to return the key and resolve these matters.
"Please guest sir, 500 yen."
"Ahh, yes 500 yen. But you see, please we did not eat the snack, we only drink that drink."
"Well in the refrigerator there is a sensor"
"Please wait"
I figured a quick return trip to the room, returning with unopened snack in hand would resolve the matter. Upon reentering the room I found the refrigerator door had been remotely locked!
I returned to the front desk with my hat in my hands,
"Okay you have won. I will pay."
"Yes, okay 500 yen, thank you. You see there is a sensor in the refrigerator and we can not argue with the sensor."
"Yes, but we made a mistake, we did not eat the snack, please believe me!" and I gave them the money (nearly 4$).
Please believe me, in Japanese, is "Shinjite kudasai" something I have never said but I should be able to grammatically construct. Instead, flustered and frustrated at the front desk, I said, "shinde kudasai" which translates to "please die!"
They said "yes thank you" from behind the black glass and gave me my change.

.: posted by cecille 1:57 PM

What's my age again? I was talking to a German guy last night over icq when I accidentally let it slip that I studied a bit about German government and politics when I was in college (I took up political science). "Oh yeah?" he says, and proceeds to ask me questions. Halfway through the interrogation I suddenly realized that we were referring to two very different things: The Germany I studied was just half of the germany today. Oops. What year was I in college? When did the Berlin wall come down? Sometimes I feel like I just got out of college last year. Last night, I realized that college was like a million years ago. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
P.S. Is Helmut Kohl still alive?

.: posted by cecille 1:14 PM

And another one...

.: posted by cecille 12:31 AM

Hey, there goes another one...

.: posted by cecille 12:25 AM

The Germans are online tonight. I didn't feel like sleeping just yet so I got on icq, looking for someone to chat with. The chat partner search engine kept turning up Germans. I've seen more than ten in the last hour. What could be happening in Germany? Have they declared a national holiday for chatting?

.: posted by cecille 12:24 AM

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

This one is about censorship again. Thanks to sitemeter, I get an idea of who are visiting my site and where they come from. Imagine my shock then when I saw a in the list. is where I work, by the way. I racked my brain trying to remember to whom I gave my url. I can only think of one person, and she has assured me that she hadn't been to my site lately. I wonder who it could be. I just hope this person won't blab it all over campus as I sometimes write about people from work here.

Since I found out that someone from work reads me, I've been skulking around the campus like a murder suspect evading his warrant of arrest. I guess this means that I'll have to be extra careful about what I say here. I haven't any idea of who ms/mr might be and, until then, keeping to nice and safe stuff is what I have to do.

.: posted by cecille 11:17 AM

Censorship has been on my mind lately. In the past few weeks since I've been working on this site, I've found myself consciously censoring what I say. You see, because of my excitement at finally having this site up and running, I've given the url to some of my friends. Now I have to watch out for what I say because I might offend them (or at least say things that I don't want them to know). But because of this self-censorship, I feel like I'm not really being me. I feel like I'm always looking behind my back, conscious of side-swiping somebody else. For instance, something unpleasant happened to me a while back. I wanted to write about it here so I would remember what happened and how I felt. I couldn't though. I'm worried that one of the person's concerned might read it. Things are better between us now and I don't want to have to deal with the awkwardness that might result from that person reading about it. Sometimes I hate it that I am so concerned about how the people around me might feel that I end up sacrificing my comfort for the sake of their's. I can't help it though. This is the way I'm built.

.: posted by cecille 11:11 AM

Monday, February 18, 2002

I took the God quiz! and I think it came out alright. At least they said that my answers were generally consistent. I guess this proves that I'm rational. Look what I got:

.: posted by cecille 2:27 PM

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Today is LOVE MY HAIR day. Just got this smokin' new hair do and newly-shaped eyebrows to match. I'm hip and so dang ready for V-day, but wait.... Where the heck is my date?

.: posted by cecille 12:46 PM

Today is Ash Wednesday, and all Catholics are supposed to be fasting. Wouldn't this mean refraining from being such asses towards other people too? Well, minch is obviously not fasting in that sense. She just told us earlier that we should refrain from eating too much since today is a day of fasting. Uh, okay. But I think that such a commitment should be a personal decision. Where did she get the nerve to think that she could impose on us even on matters of faith? Oh right, I forgot that she is the official interpreter of religion in this office. So that explains all the self-righteous vibes she gives off.

.: posted by cecille 9:52 AM

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

My cousin was buried yesterday.

.: posted by cecille 5:17 PM

I hate writing! For the past two weeks, I've been trying to write stories for the University newsletter's next issue. So far, I've done three. I still need to do three more. Unfortunately, the dang words are playing coy. They just don't want to come. Uggh!
If writing is just like giving birth, then all I have are mangled babies.

.: posted by cecille 5:12 PM

Yes, I know. I should be working. I just took the test Which OFFICE SPACE character are you? I turned out to be Michael Bolton. Take the test and find out who you are.

.: posted by cecille 8:55 AM

Friday, February 08, 2002

Goodbye to Elf. My friend Elf went back to London last night. She's been working at a hospital there for the past ten months and she came back home for vacation in December. It was good seeing her again. She hadn't changed much, but it was obvious that she was more confident now. I guess London's been good for her.
She showed me some of her pictures and I almost died of envy when I saw her clothes. I've always wanted to wear turtlenecks and knee-high boots and trench coats because I thought they'd made me look so cool. well, wearing those clothes here would make me look stupid since Manila is so freakin' close to the equator. I still have to go to Baguio to be able to wear my jacket while she could wear all those cool stuff everyday.
Uggh!!! I have to get out of here too.

.: posted by cecille 7:58 PM

Requiem for my iMac's old soul. My iMac crashed this afternoon after I downloaded and installed IE5.1 for the Mac. This is all my fault. If I hadn't been such a geek, thinking that I just had to have the latest version of IE, this wouldn't have happened. I wouldn't have had to reinstall everything. Now the history of my iMac has been wiped out. I'd have to search the web again for my lost bookmarks. God, I just hope I remember them all.
The good thing about the Mac OS is that even if you reinstall the system software, the original items are left untouched. I was able to save some of my files: the pics and mp3s I've stashed in my hard disk for the past two years. If it happened to a PC, everything woulda been history now. I still can't help missing all my bookmarks though. What if I never find the webpages again? This is a big setback to my voyeuristic tendencies.
It just ocurred to me that reinstalling all these stuff feels like my iMac's old soul has flown off and a new "baby soul" has taken its place. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to get to know each other all over again.

.: posted by cecille 7:47 PM

Ate Glo bans ukay ukay. Our president just gave an order prohibiting the sale of used clothes in the country. Uggh! Where am I gonna get all my clothes now?
The center of ukay ukay operations is in Baguio. At work, however, there's this person we call Teacher Uks (short for ukay) who comes by once in a while with backpacks full of ukay ukay. At 5:30 pm (when the workday ends), she dumps all of her merchandise on top of a table and we proceed to rummage through her goods. I've bought several skirts that I wear to work for less than P100. I just got a Giordano jacket for just P75. My friend Liz got a really nice blazer for just P120.
Now, upon the orders of the GMA, all these treasures are going to be burned. And all these supposedly to help Philippine textile manufacturers get back on their feet.
I don't think this campaign will last longer than two months. I swear, when summer comes around and tourists start going up to Baguio again, ukay ukay stalls will start sprouting all over the place again.
I can hardly wait!

.: posted by cecille 9:50 AM

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

This is me. Do you think it's accurate? Click on the image to do the drink quiz.

Drink me!

Which drink are you?

.: posted by cecille 6:16 PM

How's this for futility? Martin Luther King once said, "Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." My dear Mr. King, I know you're very smart (not to mention very dead) but I will have to disagree with you on this one.

.: posted by cecille 3:51 PM

In case you haven't noticed, this site is a blog. Yes, you read it right the first time, a blog. If you want to know more about blogs or weblogs, check out this article. If you want a blog of your own, go get .: posted by cecille 12:44 PM

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Something to think about. James Grimmelman makes his case on faith in this article. I've also been thinking along these lines for sometime now. Whether I agree with what Grimmelman writes, I can't say for sure. The thing with faith is that you always have to completely believe. Throw in even the minutest germ of doubt and the whole edifice comes tumbling down on your head.
So what do I believe? What don't I believe? I don't exactly know. Sometimes the impossibility of faith is so clear to me but this clarity is just as quickly replaced by uncertainty once fear of eternal damnation sets in.

.: posted by cecille 5:28 PM

For some months now, I've been buying my books mostly from Goodwill Bookstore in SM Megamall. They have good books and these sell for much cheaper than National Bookstore or Powerbooks prices. Wait for when the books are marked down for the sale and you'll get really good deals. I bought Eureka Street for just Php 100. Amazon sells these for $10. Ouch!

.: posted by cecille 11:05 AM

I'm right in a middle of Eureka Street : A Novel of Ireland Like No Other by Robert McLiam Wilson and I love it. .: posted by cecille 10:59 AM

Monday, February 04, 2002

My cousin died early this morning. I think we all expected it since the doctors said there wasn't much that they could do. He was hurt really bad. But I think that everyone was still thinking he'd squeak through, however small the possibility of that happening.
Until now, we still don't know what really happened to him. The official report from the police was that it was a vehicular accident. He supposedly got thrown off his scooter while on his way home Thursday night. Some of our relatives, however, were questioning why he didn't even have bruises on his body or on his face. They were considering foul play, that he may have had an argument with the people who hurt and eventually killed him. There was also some talk that he was being harrassed for some weekds now by some policemen.
We thought he was getting better yesterday when the doctors said that all his vital signs were normal. The doctors were surprised and said that it was a miracle if ever he'll get better. But I guess even a strong spirit couldn't fight dead. Maybe he got tired and finally surrendered the fight.
We're still not sure what they're planning to do with the body. I think they'll bring him home to his hometown.
I expect I'll be asked to go home for the funeral. I alway am the family's "official representative" to burials and weddings and other family affairs.

.: posted by cecille 3:51 PM

Friday, February 01, 2002

"I'm alive and dead. I'm a stranger killing an Arab." What's with Robert Smith and the Middle East anyway?

.: posted by cecille 4:58 PM

F-I-R-E I-N C-A-I-R-O. How quick can you say it? I really love this song. It's the ultimate tongue-twister all wrapped-up in a rocking beat. Burn like fire! Burn like fire in Cairo! My apologies to the people in Egypt (although the likelihood of someone from Egypt reading this is almost nil).

.: posted by cecille 4:52 PM