Showing posts from June, 2013

blessed are the poor?

"the callousness of the Rich legitimates the bad conduct of the Poor; let them open their purse to our needs, let humaneness reign in their hearts and virtues will take root in ours; but as long as our misfortune, our patient endurance of it, our good faith, our abjection only serves to double the weight of our chains, our crimes will be their doing, and we will be fools indeed to abstain from them when they can lessen the yoke wherewith their cruelty beats us down." -- marquis de sade, justine

i was about fourteen or fifteen, i think, when i first got a glimpse of the true nature of our expensive catholic education (or maybe i was just in the wrong school).
it was during our religious education class - filipino christian morality -- and the topic was poverty. our professor, a nun in uniform (white habit, rosary and all), asked the class: why are people poor? one of my classmates, perhaps trying to impress the nun (she was pretty and young) said: people are poor because they …

specialty movie house

i wish manille would have a venue, even a small one, that would show non mainstream foreign films and classique, award winning filipino movies. not the so-called art films that only a few ones could appreciate. something in between the popcorn junk blockbuster variety and the high brow art films. greenbelt three could have one. mall of asia, shangri-la plaza or gateway mall could also allocate one of their smaller movie houses for these kinds of films. i hate to sound snooty serna, but there are quite a number of interesting films out there that i am sure will find an audience in manille. in hong kong, they have broadway cinematique in yau ma tei (i don't know if i spelled it right) where so-called art films are shown. the complex also has a bookstore called kubrick that sells mostly books about movies and a specialty video shop where you can find titles that are not usually sold at hmv or at hong kong records. this is where i shop for those japanese, french, swiss and italian fi…

ang taghoy ng pangungulila sa gabing pinagkaitan maging ng mga bituin

habang ari mo pa ang kaharian ko
dumadaloy pa rin sa mga ugat at buto ko ang lagablab ng iyong mga halik parang hangin sa katanghalian, mainit, maingat, marahan, malumanay ngunit sa katagala’y nagiging marahas, mapusok, mapaghanap winawasiwas maging matitigas na ugat na sa daho'y nakaugnay,  dinuduyan, hinahampas, hindi sumusuko hanggang mahapo.

sa iyo ang aking katawang uhaw ariin mong parang kaharian mo habang ito’y sa yo itayo mo ang bantayog na matayog, mahaba, matikas hindi basta basta sumusuko sa hampas ng hangin.
sumasayaw sa daluyong ng panahon iyong iyo, buong buo pero katulad ng hanging mapaglaro, hindi mapakali  sa kalauna’y lilisan din upang sa ibang lupain naman magbakasakali.
mananatiling hungkag ang puso, mananangis, mananaghoy lalo na sa katahimkikan ng takipsilim at hating gabi habang ika’y sa ibayong dagat naglalakbay walang ibang minimithi, walang ibang hinahangad kundi muling malasap ang mapangahas mong halik.
habang sa iyo pa ang kahariang ito ako’y mananatiling isang bilanggo.

no other way but goodbye

"i don't want to inherit your past mistakes. you can't expect me to correct them for you.." rome shouted at the other end of the phone. i could picture him actually; his pale, ghastly excuse for a face all red; his short, spiky hair all standing up as if on a gun salute; his small mouth stretched into a wide, big o as though he was gasping for help. not a handsome sight. not the man i fell in luv with three years ago. it was a cold day in december. there was a bit of a sun when i woke up at around six this morning, but now it was all gone. hidden by this thick, grey cloud.  mirroring my mood. i was shivering. i was wearing a flimsy striped cardigan that i bought at a bargain at one of lane crawford's outlet shops in ap lei chau. underneath the cardigan was a black ralph lauren v-neck shirt. i was looking forward to a bright sunny day before the winter sets in. i was wrong. already late for my appointment, i was rushing to the mtr station when the mobile phone on…

be careful with what you wish for (you might get it)

i never had a surplus of time. until now. i am drowning in it. tick tock tick tock. this must be how my mother felt all her life, being a stay at home house maker. maybe that's the reason why she is always chill, she hardly ever loses her cool.
(my father, a military man, was always away on some destination. so it was always just her, the kids and the sometimes there, sometimes absent, helpers.) nothing daunts her. screaming kids? nah. it must have been super boring. staying at home all the time. just counting the seconds until it's time to bathe the kids, prepare their meals, feed them, sing them to sleep, clean the small house. and then voila, she is all by herself again. doing nothing. get some sleep maybe. read a little. watch desperate housewives (or cougar town), perhaps, if there was one during her time?

count the seconds again until the kids wake up. then it's the same cycle. now i have very high respect for …

officially missing hong kong

blame it on the boredom of waiting for the plane that will take me to my next destination. for being idle and nowhere to go. the rainy days are limiting my movements. i hate to go out into the rain only to be trapped in a traffic jam and soaked in a flood of filth. manille, during the rainy season, feels like a huge prison house, where you feel constricted and your patience is really tested. i miss hong kong. i miss the small dim sum stand in lan tau island selling cheap siomai, chicken feet, siopao, among other favourites. usually, i would go there very early on saturdays to avoid the crowds. the island can get crowded, especially when the sun is out. hong kong people and its millions of expats just love going out into the sun, unlike in manille where people stay in the shed or indoors to avoid getting a tan, or having dark skin. chos.

i miss the former british colony's efficient public transport system. the fast pace life. the sale season when items are sold at up to seventy fi…

the cooking adventures of the barefoot dukessa (aka kitchen goddess)

who would have thought that the seemingly long wait for that elusive perfect job actually has an upside? you see, there are times when i am just too bored to death, too hungry, but too lazy to get out because of the heavy rain that more often than not causes flooding and heavy traffic that sometimes i am forced to experiment in my temporary shelter's tiny kitchen just to satisfy my cravings.
now please lower your eyebrows. i know that it's no secret that cooking is the least of my favourite household chores. cleaning is. you can ask me to scrub, brush the floor, kitchen counter, bathroom tiles, wipe the dusts off on books, cds, dvds, but you can never beg me to cook.
first off, my cooking skills are very limited (i grew up with dozens of maids at our palatial antique home to do my every bidding, including tasting my food before i eat them).
second, i am not a fan of shopping for food. can you imagine me making timbang the fish even if it's norwegian salmon, the veggies, t…

is there a conspiracy to keep the philippines from becoming a tiger economy?

(while about to sleep last night, i received this email from my evil twin sister mahatma gandha. at first i thought it was another chain letter, or letter to the editor protesting the fewer commercials on her favourite prime-time soap my husband's lover. but it's something else. it's another of her failed attempts of becoming a paula krugman. i never thought that mahatma gandha's frothy brain is capable of such deep economic thoughts. i am therefore sharing it to you.)


yes, we can.
ever since i became a financial journalist (such a fancy title for someone who just talks to experts and write down their thoughts and pass them off as mine. chos) covering then president fidel v. ramos or fvr, a retired military general and one of the heroes of the edsa revolution in nineteen eighty six that ousted the dictator, his family and his cronies only to see them back several years later, it has been the government's goal…