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Barefoot in Manila

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

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Shakespeare. I dropped by a lecture yesterday to take pictures of the event for the university paper and ended up staying because the speaker was so engaging. His name is Andrew Tidmarsh and he's from Goldsmith's University of London. The lecture was about teaching Shakespeare to college kids.
Andrew thinks that there are a lot of similarities between present Filipino social miliue and Elizabethan society. This makes it easier, he says, for Filipinos to relate to Shakespeare's plots. He says that many of the concepts dear to Elizabethan society are now alien to the present Brit.
I especially enjoyed his stories of his time in the provinces. He marvels at how people in rural areas are so open even to strangers. On one of his trips, he met a 38-year old woman who told him, within an hour of their meeting, that she and her husband were trying to have a baby. She told him that she was getting so desperate because of her age and that she was willing to forego anything if only she could get pregnant. He said that while this woman was going on and on about her woes, all he could picture was the image of her trying to get pregnant. And he was screaming to himself, "No, no, no. Don't picture it."
While on the outside, he was doing his damnedest to be polite.

.: posted by cecille 3:42 PM

A powerful firm? A classmate recently told me that the ticket to juicy government posts nowadays was the Carpio Villaraza & Cruz law office. It seems that they've got an inside track to Malacańang. I came across this Newsbreak article about the firm. This piece gives us a closer look into the firm. See for yourself if there's any truth to the rumours.

.: posted by cecille 12:15 PM

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Listen to this. If you're into soundtracks, and good music in general, you might want to get a copy of the I Am Sam soundtrack. It's very very good. It's a sort of a "tribute to the Beatles" album. Various ultra cool and very good musicians do their own versions of Beatles classics like Strawberry Fields Forever, Don't Let Me Down, Two of Us, Blackbird, and Across the Universe. Imagine this: Nick Cave sings Let It Be. It's actually kind of creepy.

.: posted by cecille 9:32 AM

Saturday, August 24, 2002

.: posted by cecille 11:48 AM

Just thinking. We live in a beautiful world. Yeah we do. Yeah we do. - Coldplay from the Parachutes album.

.: posted by cecille 11:44 AM

Thursday, August 22, 2002

This is the PowerMateIt looks really great. I hope there's a place in Manila that sells this.
Maybe you can give to me for free? Find out more here.

.: posted by cecille 12:29 PM

Monday, August 19, 2002

You might want to read this too. JOLOGS is a term that has been a staple of conversations in Manila for sometime. As you will see from the following, the meaning is not exactly clear. Some use it pejoratively (I do!) while some would be quite happy to be called one. In school, pop culture trivia quizzes are held annually and the winner gets the title Jologs King or Queen.
So is being jologs good or bad? You be the judge:

The Origin of the Jologs
The writer is a Palanca winner for poetry.

Being the True, the Good, the Beautiful and the Definitive Meaning of 'Jolog' (or When is the Squattah Not the Othah)
So many jolog definitions on the Net and yet most are inaccurate.
I asked my students the origins of the word and they gave me all these palusot (weak reasons)--that it's the baduy, bakya crowd of the 90's, that like cockroaches, their number is legion, and they are here to stay. Seems that to most of them, it's even cool to be jolog, better than being cońo. And though the pa-cońo kids (junior social climbers) are frowned upon, the worst type of poseur, according to them is someone who's feeling jolog.

But they can't quite define it. A few things we agreed upon, though:
1) It seems that anyone who's past a certain age can't be jolog, so there's no such thing as an old jolog. All of them are young. Jolog isn't actually baduy, but if you're old and baduy, you're just that: matanda (old) na kasi.
2) Someone can be jolog and not be aware of it, in the same way that someone can be cońo and not be aware of it.
3) People can be in denial of their ka-jologan or ka-cońohan.
4) "Jolog" and "cońo" are not antonyms (though the student that everyone hates in my last class insists that the two terms are synonymous).
5) The term "jologz" is not the plural of "jolog" (and that same student insists that the former is an adjective and the
latter is a noun. A bit of trivia though: this is the same student who declared in class that "a gay [sic] is a bad and sad person", to which his seatmate replied: "Yes, but a closeted one is even sadder."
6) The term "jolog" is different from "squatter," "squating" and "squattah." Though it might follow the tradition of "bakya" and "baduy", there's more to being a jolog than the two terms.
Then we came to the etymology of the word. Where the hell did it come from?

The True: Jolog came from Jolina
It's what a fan of hers is called. "Jol" from Jolina + "og" like the suffix -ite or -ian. "But we've never heard of a suffix -og to mean 'follower,' complained one of my more inquisitive students. Besides, the word was in existence before Jolina became a star. "Besides," my student added, "Jolina's not jolog. At most, she's baduy."

The Good: The word originally referred to the Pinoy hiphop, or hiffhaffers, especially those seen walking as a group in malls.
Hiphop fashion includes those very loose and wide pants that were huhulog-hulog (kept falling). "Hulog" later was spelled "Julog" until it was pronounced "ju-log", then its final form: "jo-log". Many students were shaking their heads. "That sounds too easy, too obvious."

The Beautiful: The etymology I'm familiar with (and that makes the most sense to me) is geographically specific. The term was coined by high school students in Quezon City, specifically those familiar with Quezon Avenue in the 80's. Back then, across National Bookstore, Quezon Avenue, was a disco that was rumored to be owned or co-owned by Edu Manzano. This disco was cheap compared to the popular discos of the time that were in Makati. In fact, the place was called "the squatter of discos". This establishment had a pretentious name: Jaloux. The disco played really baduy disco music, and people who
frequented the place were young fashion victims who were quite feeling and baduy themselves.
High school students from private schools would tease each other: "Hey pare, I saw you at Jaloux last night." This was such an insult.
Eventually other schools picked this up. "Si John, pumupuntang Jaloux." "Wow, John, Jaloux ka pala." Eventually it became an adjective too. "Kadiri, Melanie's Jaloux." How it jumped from "jaloux" to "jolog", I'm not quite sure. But some of my students say, maybe the patrons couldn't pronounce the pretentious name of the disco properly, they said it "Ja-Lou-kh", "Ja-Look", until it eventually became "Jaloog" then "Jolog."
Jaloux disco is gone, but the jolog remains. They lost their dancing shoes and disco outfits and went to the malls as hiphoppers.
Eventually they got tired of that and decided to wear all black and hang out at Club Dredd when it moved to Cubao. This was parodied in the "Circus" album of the Eraserheads.

The Definitive: "Sorry, sir," said one of my students,
"but I think you're mistaken. We discussed this in our philosophy class by accident and it seems that the "jolog" word's origin comes from food."
"You don't recognize it now because the spelling's changed, but it was actually originally spelled as 'diyolog' which stands for dilis (anchovies), tuyo (dried fish) and itlog (egg)--the food of the poor.
And it was used like this: 'Oh, look she eats diyolog.' Later it
became 'Look, diyolog, o.' Until the 'diy' got changed to 'j', hence 'jolog.'"
A brief pause. Then one obnoxious student raised his hand: "I like her definition more than yours. Yours is too complicated, naman."
What could I say? "I like mine."
Then one student: "We like hers." And another: "Oo nga, sir." Soon most everyone in class agreed that the food explanation was better than the disco explanation. One student even had the gall to lecture me: "Sir, the saying is, 'You are what you eat,' not 'You are what you dance.'"
"Oo nga," said the class echo. "Si sir talaga."

At least almost everyone had a strong opinion about it, everyone except that student who everyone in class doesn't like, who everyone suspects to be a closet case. He was miles away, looking out the window.
"And what does he prefer?" I pointed to him.
"Men," whispered the mousey girl in the front row, loud
enough for the whole class to hear.

.: posted by cecille 2:10 PM

Talk about domestic violence. This report was sent to me through e-mail. I thought I'd share this with you.

Wife kills hubby by piercing his eyes and slashing off his penis
By Joy de la Peńa and Jhunnex Napallacan
August 17, 2002

A BATTERED wife's suffering of years of abuse finally turned into blind fury. In a gruesome crime of passion, a wife killed her husband of 45 years, piercing his eyes with a knife, slashed off his penis and stuffed this into his mouth.
Before his death, Aurelio Alcover, 64, was still able to ask
forgiveness from his wife Eutiquia, 63, for his philandering and often abusive behavior. But the wife said it was too late.
Eutiquia did not seem remorseful. Interviewed by reporters at the Carcar town police detention cell, Eutiquia said she had no regrets.
She narrated, quite casually, how she and her husband had a heated argument last Wednesday at about 2 p.m. in their house in sitio Anislagan, barangay Guadalupe in Carcar town.
She said her husband was angry when some embers stuck to the kettle of boiling water she was going to use for his coffee.
"Nagkape ko unya pag-alsa nako sa baterol, naay nadala nga kayo. Nagpaligas dayon siya nga ako ba kuno siyang butaan (When I lifted the kettle, there were some embers that stuck. He immediately asked if I was angry at him)," Eutiquia narrated.
Aurelio then allegedly got a bolo, prompting Eutiqua to leave to prevent more trouble. But Aurelio allegedly followed her, brandishing his bolo and accusing her of having an illicit affair.
This was what triggered her rage.
She picked up a piece of wood and hit his knees. When he fell, she got a pair of scissors and pierced her husband's eyes, blinding him. She later pulled down his pants, got a knife, slashed off his penis and stuffed it to his mouth.
"Akong gipaum-um sa iyang baba arun di mawagtang ba kay pangitaon man gyud na (I stuffed his penis in his mouth so it would not get lost, because they would certainly look for it)," she said as a matter of fact.
"Ako gyud siyang giingnan nga putlon ni nako kay mao ni ang nakaingon sa tanan (I told him I would cut off his penis because it is the cause of all the trouble)," she added.
Eutiquia said she and Aurelio were married in 1957. But in 1980, they separated and got back together only early this year. They have nine children. She said Aurelio often beat her up. He also had several extramarital affairs.
"Ako siyang giingnan nga bahala siyang mamabaye, dili lang unta siya mamun-og (I told him I would tolerate his mistresses so long as he would not beat me up)," she said.
Eutiquia said she had no intention of killing her husband. What happened was blind rage that she could not control, she said. She said she had forgiven her husband, who asked forgiveness before he died.
"Pero ako sab siyang giingnan, nganong karon ra man nimo giangkon (But I asked him why he was admitting his sins only now)," she said over dyLA.
Eutiquia claimed her husband had a mistress who lived in barangay Bolinawan.
Her daughter, Rosario Baraquia, 35, said her mother had long been suffering in the hands of her father.
"Kada lihok, hinagiban, hunting unya mamun-og dayon (he would always get a knife, then would beat up my mother)," Baraquia said.
Eutiquia is now detained at the Carcar police detention cell. Her son Eden Berto said he did not want his mother in jail, knowing her suffering.
"Pero bisan unsa ka salbahis sa among amahan, amahan gihapon na namo, napuno na lang sad gyud akong Mama (No matter how wicked my father may be, he is still our father. My mother just reached the end of her
rope)," he said.
SPO2 Jonas Pananganan of the Carcar police said they had already filed parricide charges against Eutiquia yesterday morning.
They did not find the penis and suspect that a dog took it away.
But they recovered the two bladed weapons and the pair of scissors that Eutiquia allegedly used on her husband.
Aurelio will be buried on Sunday. The funeral wake is held at his son's house in Bolinawan, Carcar.

.: posted by cecille 12:41 PM

Friday, August 16, 2002

Wow! He is Brandon Boyd, Incubus vocalist. Isn't he something?
He looks so much younger here though.

.: posted by cecille 2:23 PM

Foiled. My latest attempt to leave my current job was foiled again. I went to this publishing company yesterday to apply for a position in a magazine. I thought that it was my good luck that we had a special thing going at the university so i wouldn't have to file for a leave of absence anymore.
Turned out it was more like dumb luck. I waited in for the HR Manager for two hours. Two fucking hours. He didn't even have the courtesy to tell me that I'd have to wait for him that long. At four pm, I took off. I was so pissed that I didn't even feel like going to class. I went to the mall instead and wandered aimlessly. My feet took me to Powerbooks where I luckily found a new copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude. I got the book for just P143.00. That's just a little over three dollars.

.: posted by cecille 1:23 PM

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Huh? I leave the cinema humming Something to Talk About after seeing the movie About a Boy. On the other hand, this guy has Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly on his mind.

.: posted by cecille 11:28 AM

Another rung lower. Is there anything more pathetic than calling NU 107 at 2:00 in the morning to request for Badly Drawn Boy's Silent Sigh and then getting such request rejected? Apparently, they don't take requests at 2:00 am. I thought my request would have a better chance of getting played because there were probably, what five of us(?) listening. The worst thing was getting asked by the DJ why I was still awake at 2:00 am.
Why don't you just say thank you for my being awake at that hour and listening to you.

.: posted by cecille 10:32 AM

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Here's Hugh. Don't get me wrong, I love Hugh Grant. But that doesn't mean that I can't make fun of his mugshot. This was taken by the LAPD when Grant was arrested for soliciting oral sex.

.: posted by cecille 10:24 AM

Monday, August 12, 2002

New! August just got a whole new flavor. Scroll down to see Hugh Grant as flavor of the month.

.: posted by cecille 3:21 PM

Poor fellow. His name is Eric and he has a website. Go see it because it's funny. Besides, he's unemployed. If you can;t give him a job, visiting his site is the least that you can do.
By the way, this lucky bugger is one of Will's picks.

.: posted by cecille 11:31 AM

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Time to go bye-bye! Okay, that's it. John Cusack is on the way out. I saw About a Boy today and I loved it. You should go see it too. But if you don't like it, don't blame me. There's probably just something wrong with you.

.: posted by cecille 12:11 AM

Friday, August 09, 2002

A new flavor. Hey, About a Boy, the movie is already out here in Manila. I'm planning to see it tomorrow. If I like it, I'll ditch John Cusack and put Hugh Grant as new flavor of the month.

.: posted by cecille 11:10 PM

Nothing more than feelings. “My heart is like a pawnshop filled with unredeemed treasures,” a character named Lily in Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King said. That’s how I feel. Exactly.

.: posted by cecille 11:07 PM

Excited for a change. We’re about to go live with the new university site that we’ve been working on for the past four months. I’m excited to premiere our new look to the world. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to share it with you because I don’t want you to know where I work. I think I’ve done far too much damage to the university’s reputation. If I tell you where I work, I’m liable to get fired. And getting fired is not exactly among my plans right now because I have nowhere else to go and law school is a rather costly vice to finance.

As it is, I think that our network administrator has found my site. It’s actually my fault. I sometimes update from my office computer. This is especially true now because all the studying I have to do does not allow me to turn on my home pc even for just a few minutes. I also periodically visit this site to check if comments have been added. Thanks to you who always prefer to keep quiet, I always close my browser window with a heavy heart.

It’s raining outside and here I am cooped up inside the house writing my thoughts to a bunch of strangers. One guy once asked me once why I was so reluctant to let people know about this page. I told him that I really didn’t care if people knew about my site, as long as I don’t personally know those people too. I want to be honest here, with as little editing of my thoughts as possible. Somehow, I feel that most people I know wouldn’t understand. At least if strangers read it, I wouldn’t be compelled to explain myself or risk being misunderstood.

.: posted by cecille 11:05 PM

Telling it like it is. I love the school I go to because the people there tell it like it is. Most of the teachers are so smart that they feel they don't need to suck up to anybody.
Just the other night, my teacher told our class that one of the law professors was an asshole. Heh! That just made my day. I'm going to think of it when I take a class under that professor next semester. Maybe it'll offer small comfort to me when I get yelled at.

.: posted by cecille 11:04 AM

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Change will do you good. What was gray before has now turned to a question of black or white. I'm talking about the template.
And John Cusack's here too. Scroll down.

.: posted by cecille 2:37 PM

Spilling the beans. I got this set of questions through e-mail but instead of sending it to everyone, I figured it would be better if I post it here instead.

* Ever been so drunk you blacked out: Never
* Missed school because it was raining? Many times
* Put a body part on fire for amusement? Yes, I used to run the tip of my finger across the flame of a candle.
* Been hurt emotionally? Everybody hurts sometime (REM).
* Kept a secret from everyone? Of course.
* Had a crush on a teacher? Yes. It was a confusing time for me.
* Ever thought an animated character was hot? Yes. Richard from the anime Daimos.
* Had a New Kids on the Block tape: Lots. Like I said, it was a confusing time for me. I even have an NKOTB pillowcase and bedspread.
* Been on stage: Yes. Somehown I always manage to get myself into those situations.
* Cut your hair: My hair was really short until about three years ago.

* Shampoo: I change brands every few weeks. I get dandruff when I don't. I think they call it scalp fatigue or something.
* Soap: Johnson & Johnson's Baby Milk Bath is my favorite. I also like the egg-shaped soaps of Human.
* Color: Black and Dark Red. Yes, it's very vampiric of me.
* Day/Night: Carpe noctem. Seize the night.
* Summer/Winter: Summer. But only due to lack of information. We don't have winters in the Philippines and I've never been out of the country.
* Lace or satin: Satin.
* Fave cartoon Characters: Homer Simpson (because he's such a slob) and Darla (?). Darla is an MTV cartoon series. I see myself in her.
* Fave food: Anything. But I like stuff with spicy vinegar right now.
* Fave advertisement: The one where the baby plugs in all the leaks with a diaper. I think it's Pampers.
* Fave movie: I've got many. There's Matrix, Amelie, Dreaming of Joseph Lees, Moulin Rouge, and the movie where all the characters do is read love letters and then go into flashbacks. But I really, really, really love Fight Club so I guess that's my favorite movie.
* Fave ice cream: Something with chocolate and nuts.
* Fave subject: I love Constitutional law and mostly the civil law subjects.
* Fave 'normal' drink: Normal??? Iced tea is what I usually drink.
* Fave persons to talk to online: Well, there was this Korean-American guy from California, then there was this Japanese guy named Yas, and then there was this Singaporean computer programmer. I last person that I really liked talking to was this German guy named Benkowski who sent me an mp3 of a Nina Gordon song. I haven't been able to chat with anyone since I went back to law school.

* Wearing: Clothes fit for the office.
* Hair is: Way past my shoulders.
* Eating: Nothing. Am in the office right now.
* Drinking: Nothing. See answer to previous question.
* Thinking about: My class tonight and how it's 10 o'clock and I still don't feel like working.
* Listening to: Whatever and ever, Amen by Ben Folds Five.
* Talking to: Cheer Mae, my officemate, as always.

* Cried: No.
* Wearing a skirt: Yes. Yesterday I played the part of the 'esteemed skirted one' in the office.
* Met someone new: No.
* Cleaned your room: Not for weeks.
* Done laundry: Not for almost a
* Drove a car: Don't know how.

* Yourself: Yes.
* Your friends: Most of them, most of the time.
* Santa Claus: No.
* Tooth Fairy: No. That's the most stupid justification to have your teeth pulled out.
* Destiny/Fate: No. Because if Destiny is real, he's not doing a good job. And if Destiny's not real, then that just explains everything.
* Angels: No.
* Ghosts: No. Except for the ghost in the machine J
* UFO's: No.

* Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?: No.
* Who's the shyest: Among whom?
* Like anyone? Yes.
* Who's the loudest: Me, sometimes. Especially when I'm a bit drunk.
* Who's the weirdest: Must be me.
* Who do you go to for advice: My friends, but I usually just listen to what my soul says.
* Who do you cry to? Myself, when I'm serious. Mostly I laugh and cry (both at the same time) when I'm with my friends.
* When did you cry the most: Let's not get into that.
* What's the best feeling in the world: When I come across a book or a CD after looking for it for months. Mostly, it's when I discover something new. That's the religious experience for me.
* Worst feeling: When I go to class unprepared. Like the damned exam I had to take last Friday which I only found out about an hour before class.

.: posted by cecille 10:05 AM

Monday, August 05, 2002

Can you afford me? My Human For Sale test results say that I am worth exactly $1,658,078.00. Go check how much you're worth and let's compare notes. If we're worth the same, would you care to swap?

.: posted by cecille 1:08 PM

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Huh? The city of Mandaluyong has this bug billboard along EDSA proclaiming it to be the shopping mall capital of the country. Right beside this big announcement is a picture of the mayor, Benhur Abalos, smiling benignly. Somehow I don't think that being regarded as the shopping mall capital of the country is something to crow about.

.: posted by cecille 9:47 AM

Thursday, August 01, 2002

In other words, useless. I was talking to a guy from another office in the university where I work. He was asking me about the process we follow in updating the university website. It seems that several units in the university where I work have complained that the information posted there is not updated. So I told him that I usually ask for new information at the beginning of each semester. As much as I'd like to update it more often, I still have to attend to other things in the office. The problem is that people in the university expect to be asked each and everytime about any updates in their programs. How am I supposed to know that they've just revised their curriculum? How am I to know that they have new activities lined up? I told him that if they wanted the website to stay current, they should take the initiative to inform me if there's anything new from their end. I can't read minds and I certainly can't anticipate the needs of 300 people all at the same time.
What pisses me off is that he said there was an impression among the bosses that our office is underutilized. I just lost it at that point. I told him that our office is currently being run by just two persons: Two slaves expected to come up with two semestral publications, one annual report, one weekly calendar of events (print and online), press releases. organize press conferences, take pics of events, edit the marketing materials of other offices, layout ads for other units in the university, and most of all, keep the website updated all the time. On top of that, we don't have a full-time boss, we don't have an inkling of know how much our budget is, and our requests for new equipment always get turned down.
Let's not even get into the question of compensation.
If this is the bosses' idea of under-freakin'-utilized, all I can say is to them is shut up and die.

.: posted by cecille 9:45 AM