Monday, June 29, 2009

it's too early for monday

i was supposed to bring a banana for lunch but i forgot it at home, hurrying to leave to allot more time for being stuck in monday rush hour traffic. it's almost july now; the second half of the year's about to start--wow. yes i better get started on the big t. before that though, there's a paper i hope to present for a conference in october, and the abstract deadline's in two weeks. wish me luck; i still have a topic to grab hold of. work-wise, for this week i'll be fixing our office's website to the best of my abilities (working around its limitations) and generally i'll be spending a lot of time in front of the computer, gah. well then. here's to another grown-up week, folks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

workspace cleanup

today, we fixed/organized/sorted/threw away old files. it was also my chance to fix my workspace up a little.

the middle folder full of paper (beside the yellow pig) is the reusable paper folder. i'm on eco-warrior mode. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

yesterday's rain came today

today, i jumped over puddles. puddles formed by rain that finally fell on the city, the city that yesterday anticipated a deluge, cancelling today's classes, taking down billboards, closing windows, urging everyone to be home by nine. we looked at our watches and waited, looking up the sky, feeling the wind--where is it? any form of precipitation would do, as long as it came.

later, when images of rain actually made me look forward to the city being submerged (because along with it would come the probability of passing the time with coffee and conversation), i saw the clouds leaving, scurrying from the city, refusing to let the rain replicate lights on pavements, leaving the night as it is--dry, like our mouths post-beer.

today, i jumped over puddles, each time hoping the next rain-pool would reflect you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

malayang talakayan 01

oo pare, pag naririnig ko ang 'free as a bird' ng beatles, parang gusto kong mag-pole dance. nai-imagine ko na ang sarili ko: may suot akong kumikinang na two-piece na pink at stilletos. stereotype na kung stereotype, pasensya na, nakatatak kasi sa utak ko 'yung itsura ni natalie portman sa 'closer', nu'ng nagpaka-prosti siya. nai-imagine kong ganu'n ako, pag tumugtog na 'yung kanta. ...tapos ayan kunyari may pole na sa stage, madilim pero may iilang mga ilaw sa sulok-sulok. oo pare, ganu'n katindi ang imahinasyon ko. nai-imagine ko ang sarili ko, pag yun 'yung kanta, at ikaw--

nandu'n ka nakaupo, tahimik lang, may hawak na malamig na beer sa kaliwang kamay, at sa kanan naman, panyong pamunas ng pawis. nandu'n ka, nakaupo, nagmamasid, nakatitig, at dahil alam kong nandu'n ka (dahil nilagay kita roon), at walang ibang tao kundi tayo (dahil 'yun ang inimagine ko), lalapit ako sa 'yo--

tapos matatapos na 'yung kanta, medyo wirdo ang ending nu'n di ba, di na bagay sa pole dancing nang walang halong tama. ang beatles talaga oo.

"Maynila" exhibit on June 24

^patikim. hehehe.

a group show at the Sigwada Gallery
1921 Oroquieta cor. Tayuman Streets, Sta. Cruz, Manila
exhibit opens on Manila Day, June 24, 2009, at 6pm

Monday, June 22, 2009

job interview

"Pang-ilang beses mo na sa Japan?"

"Perstaym ko po."

"At bakit mo namang gusto mag-Japan?"

"Para po makatulong sa pamilya ko."

"...Ah. May job experience ka na ba dito sa 'Pinas?"

"Meron po, dun po sa amin, tagahugas po ng puwit."

"Caregiver ka? Yaya?"

"Hindi po. Tagahugas po ng puwit ng baso."

"Akala ko naman kung ano. Saang bar?

"Sa karinderya po."

"Nag-waitress ka?"

"Waitress nga po, pero ang spelling daw po ay G-R-O."

"Ah...ganun pala. Ano ba'ng specialty mo 'day?"

"Adobo po at saka bulalo. Pag sfecial occasions naman po prut salad na may mais."

"Puro luto ka lang pala eh! Marunong ka bang sumayaw?"

"Marunong naman po."

"Yun naman pala eh. Hala sige, mag-sample ka nga diyan."

"Pwede po song and dance?"

"Aba pwedeng-pwede, mas maganda nga 'yung ganun."

"Sige po."


"O, bakit di ka pa sumasayaw?"

"Wala pong music eh."

"Akala ko ba kakanta ka?"

"Sasayaw po muna bago kakanta."

"Naku naman. O sige, papalakpak ako tapos sabayan mo ha."

"Ok po."


"O, bakit di ka pa rin gumagalaw?"

"Di ko po alam 'yung sayaw na 'yan eh."



"O sige, kumanta ka na lang."

"Wala po bang mic?"

"Wala! Bilisan mo, kantahin mo nga 'yung 'My Heart Will Go On'. Paborito 'yun ng mga Yakuza."

"Di ko po memorize eh."

"Ano ba'ng kanta ang alam mo?"

"Yung duwet po kasi ang pinraktis ko sa bahay kasama si kuya."

"Ano'ng duet naman?"

"Yung kay Brabra po."

"Brabra? Baka Barbra? Barbra Streisand? Tsaka 'yung kay Bryan Adams?"

"'Yun nga po."

"O sige, 'yun na lang. One, two, three, kanta!"


"O, ano na naman ang problema?"

"Kayo po dapat ang magsimula eh."

"Ako, bakit ako?"

"Kasi po lalaki 'yung simula nu'n eh..."


"Sige na sir..."

"O siya. (Eherm, pakanta, husky voice) I finally found someone, who knocks me off my feet... I finally found the one...who makes me feel complete."

"It started ober coffee, we started out as prends, it's panny how prom simple things... the vest things vegin..."

"This time it's different... (Ta ra ra ra) It's all because of you.. (Ta ra ra ra) It's better than it's ever been... 'Cause we can talk it through..."

"My peybrit line... was Can I call you sometime? It's all you had to sey... To take my vreath away..."

(Sabay) "Dizizit, oh, I finally foooound someone... Someone to share my life! I finally foooound the one... To be with every night!"

"'Cozz whateber I do..."

"It's just got to be you.."

(Sabay ulit) "My life has just begun... I finally found someone..."


"Did I keep you waiting?"

"I didn't mine..."

"I apologize."

"Baby, that's pine... I would wait poreber just to know you were mind."

"You know, I love your hair."

"Are you sure it looks right?"

"I love what you wear."

"Isn't it too tight?"

"You're exceptional...I can't wait for the rest of my life."

(Sabay) "Dizizit, oh, I finally foooound someone... Someone to share my life! I finally foooound the one... To be with every night..."

"'Cause whatever I do..."

"It's just got to be you..."

(Oh yeah)

(Holding hands while walking pa-sway-sway pa, tingin sa kawalan bago mag-aabot-tingin)

"My life has just begun...I finally found someone..."


"Ok ok, tama na!"

"Tanggap na po ako Sir?"

" :) "

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the term is collab(idabs)

ige looking like a very small person

right, right, i'm extra bold and cheesy enough to write that down. what can i say, we enjoy the wordplay.

last saturday ige and i went for a long walk around downtown manila for our piece for sigwada gallery's "maynila" exhibit on june 24. we pretended he was blind and i was leading him along a street in binondo, and he was such a good and convincing actor that people actually stayed out of our way. we also went to quiapo to drop off my b&w roll to be developed. we were looking for something, too, but we couldn't find any, so we looked someplace else, and in that other place, we had what we needed made, after almost giving up on the search. after that, we pretended it was his birthday--he looked jolly enough anyway. and then we pretended he was from outer space, and with a few props he managed to look the part.

that sweltering day we were streetcorner kids who skipped lunch for art.

i'm not used to being vague, but i don't want to spoil the surprise. :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

DCRTCLTHNKRS at Whitebox Studio on June 12

Start: Jun 12, '09 6:00p

A gathering of some young thomasian visual artists and designers actively contributing to the art scene. Organized by Carlo Ongchangco, assisted by J.Pacena II.

design by J.Pacena (original Image appropriated from the internet)

Ige & I will be here--I hope our work stays intact. We'll be bringing our Mighty Bonds just in case. Hehehe.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Vietnam Post - Days 3 & 4

Stupidity abounds in the university's hierarchy of power, but because I'd like to stay happy and frown-free, I'll let it pass. Let me just say, to those concerned: congratulations for making the university safe and virus-free for students. When they come back next week let's hope the support staff are oh-so-healthy too. Eherm.

Anyway, it's time for my third and last Vietnam Post. The last two days of my Vietnam stay were the most tiring, not because of the places we went to, but because of the scandalous amounts of Vietnamese Dong and energy we spent on shopping. Eh. Weird sentence.

Here 'tis:
DAY 3 - May 30, 2009

Day Three was Mekong River day. We traveled to another part of the country ( a river port) for the cruise, passing along a highway that showcased the new structures being developed--a "feel" I got from the view was that of one riding by The Fort-Serendra--condo units sprouting from everywhere.
Past the developments, the countryside was full of life on market day:

When we got to the river port, we boarded two boats (one for each bus group) and, engrossed in the Mekong view, promptly stopped paying attention to our tour guides.

The boat stopped on an island, where we were led to a canteen-hut and served lotus seeds, banana and ginger chips, and peanut brittle, complete with honeymansi tea, banana wine, and royal jelly. It was a household industry and many of us bought products after the 'free taste'.
Me with my ka-tables Fr. Deng, Ka Puroy, and Sir Joey, before, during, & after the banana wine.

After the tea, we moved along to another part of the island where we were served fresh fruits while singers performed folk pieces. In one corner of the room, there was a keychain stand, where I strode over to make usyoso. While viewing keychains, the keychainmaker-calligrapher (you can have your name written in "Vietnamese script" on the keychains) noticed the Chucks keychain on my backpack and asked me where I got it. I told him we had lots of those in the Philippines. Seeing that he liked it so much, I offered to trade it for one of his keychains. "Yes yes!" he replied gleefully. So now I have another turtle keychain. I had "Thursday Kids" written on it. :)
Fr. Deng took this photo of me with the keychainmaker-calligrapher. (wow, candid!) :)

After the keychain barter we hopped on small boats, four passengers each. We wound around the narrow channels of the river until we made our way back to the 'big boats'.
Important reminder when riding: keep your hands inside the boat. :)

When we got back to the big boats, we were given complimentary coconuts for refreshments. :)

We transferred to another part of the island, to a coconut candy factory. I saw how coconut candy was made (quick hands, quick hands), and several snakes in bottles. My boss said the snake wine tasted a bit bland. After the coco candies, we again transferred to another part of the island, this time for lunch. Big fish and veggies, mmm.

Then it's back to Ho Chi Minh. During the ride back to the capital city, I slept. When I woke up, we were already in
Vietnam's Chinatown, where we also visited a Buddhist Temple.

We didn't stay there long though; most of the co-tourists were already itching to shop. So off we went, some back to the hotel (me included) where we just opted to lounge and shop around Ben Thanh Market instead of the Diamond Plaza (a bit of a high-end mall), where most of the others went. We were picked up for dinner at another hotel a short distance away. The resto, atop the hotel, had a great view of the market. And while the dinner wasn't much (literally--it left many hungry), they served shrimp, making me the happiest eater at our table. :)

Since it was also our last night in Ho Chi Minh, the energy during night market shopping was at a peak. I went with my mom, who haggled and who could probably have bought half of Ho Chi Minh had we not run out of Dongs to spend. [The tactical problem involved here was packing, but since we were so good at shopping and bringing stuff home, it was no hassle at all, and we were well within the weight limit, hahaha.]

One of the shops we went to sold miniature ships. Me likey.

All the shopping and hauling made me tired, but I didn't want to miss the "last coffee in Vietnam" night with the officemates, so off again we went, but this time to a club (ohyeah), but to order the same thing: iced coffee (it was that good). More chitchat and reflections about the trip, including sharing what we thought about our co-tourists. Hehehe. People are so different. :)

Day Three would end with me setting my alarm to go off in an earlier hour, since Day Four was a Sunday and our early-to-church day:

DAY 4 - May 31, 2009

It was difficult dragging my ass away from bed at five AM, for us to make it to the Notre Dame Cathedral for the 7 o'clock mass. Sans breakfast I served as guide for the walk (naks), and when we got to the plaza in front of the church, my mom had me chase pigeons.

The mass was in Vietnamese, but except for the ultra-long speech made by the priest at the start of the mass, we understood how things went. The mass finished at about 8:30, at which point my mom and I raced back to the hotel (literally brisk walking) for breakfast. Some did some last-minute shopping at the Ben Thanh Market. My mom gave me a few thousand Dong to spend, so I walked around and explored inside the market, and it was a WOW experience--the hustle and bustle, the food corners, the conversations I didn't understand but had fun hearing nonetheless. Too bad I didn't take my camera along.
Back at the hotel, it was time for the final packing, but not before I took Li'l Blush out for a walk in the sun, along streets we didn't usually take the days before. It was like seeing the city again for the first time, and truly I felt happy, glad for the opportunity of being able to go to another country. :)

All packed, the tour buses picked us up at 11, taking us to our last meal in Vietnam, at a little restaurant you wouldn't know existed unless you had a habit of going through narrow streets. The lunch was also one of our best meals, amen! After lunch, the bus took us straight to the airport, and we gave our guides the Philippine souvenirs we were supposed to have given to Vietnamese families during the Mekong trip.
When in Vietnam: look for this guy. Highly recommended!

Then, the waiting until flight time. During the flight and nearing the Philippines, we encountered some light turbulence--due to the not-so-good weather. We also had to do a turnaround--according to the pilot, we couldn't land on schedule because of the traffic at the airport. Still, as you can see, we arrived back in Manila safely and flu-free, so cheers all around. :)

Until the next trip, then.

Goodbye, Vietnam Jollibee. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Vietnam Post - Day 2

Regina Coffee in Ho Chi Minh. We didn't go here.

This second installment about my Vietnam trip will be a short one. By this time, I had 'mellowed' from super tourist to casual walker+history student, and anyway the information about the places we visited is available online. Okay, I may be just making excuses not to write.

Oh, alright.

DAY 2 - May 29, 2009

After a hearty breakfast of Bolognaise Spaghetti and a strawberry & cheese sandwich (among others), we got on our buses again for the two-hour ride to the Cu Chi Tunnels, used by villagers and guerillas during the war. The place had by now been turned into a prime tourist spot, where they make you watch a short documentary on the tunnels before you go into the tunnels yourself.
The tunnels had three levels, all strategically made over a period of ___ years (sorry, I forget such details), and spanning several hundred kilometers. For a more accurate account, do some googling instead; I am so bad at this. Hehe. The photo above shows a diorama of the tunnels--living areas, booby traps, water wells, and air vents that make up the Cu Chi Tunnel system.

A bomb from the US made this hole.

You have to be really small and slender to fit in most of the tunnels.

I wanted to go through this tunnel but unfortunately nobody wanted to be my buddy and we were also already lagging behind our group. The height of this tunnel is about three feet; the length, I dunno (that's what I wanted to find out!).

When some bombs dropped by the enemies didn't detonate, the guerillas carefully took them apart and made new ammos.

The Cu Chi Tunnel tour was lots of fun. Of course, my idea of fun in this context is walking around the woods and going in deep dark places with musty smells. Haha. It was a nice walk, highly educational (they even had mannequins that portrayed Cu Chi Tunnel life--freaky but helpful nonetheless). Near the end of the tour they served sweet potatoes and tea.

What I didn't like about the place was the firing range--an activity tourists could do was to buy bullets and shoot with rifles. The range was beside a souvenir shop/stopover store, and every few seconds somebody would fire into a wall, and the loud gunshots were just terrible. That place was supposed to be where people could rest a bit and relax, but hearing the gunfire defeats the purpose. I don't see why--through tourism and education you show the history and promote peace, yet you also offer the experience of wielding a deadly weapon. Fine, it's just firing into a wall. But could we please be spared from hearing trigger-happy people have their kind of fun? (Insert frown here.)

ANYWAY. After the tunnels the guides took us to a rural restaurant for lunch, where I got to change into a clean shirt (the nursing profs thought what I did was clever; I said my job makes me anticipate such ickyness, hehehe). The food seemed to disappear all at once, we were that hungry. Lunch and the tunnel trip made us all sleepy on the way back to Ho Chi Minh, and I was glad for the long ride--I got to catch up on my sleep.

When I woke up we were already in the city, by the Reunification Palace. Majestic place. Here I nursed a headache, brought about no doubt by the heat+aircon+drizzle. Still more learning experience, lalala, wasn't much of a fan, especially when I saw elephant feet and tusks displayed.

They said that that was the inspiration for the helicopter in Miss Saigon.

Most of the group wanted the tour to end as soon as possible because they had another agenda: shopping. The guides took us to the Greenhills of Vietnam, Saigon Square. Here the best buys were bags (imitation ones, but really good ones, could be surplus, even) carrying these brands: North Face, Kipling, Samsonite, Crumpler, Roxy, and something with Wolf. We were given an hour and a half to shop, after which we were picked up for dinner. Dinner wasn't too memorable though; except for when the seaweed soup arrived last and the people at my table thought it was gulaman for dessert.

When I pointed this out, one of the titas commented about how culinarily adventurous I was. I slurped away.

With dinner over (and shopping done for the day), it was time to head on back to the hotel. While the others looked forward to their z's, our group was thinking of an after-dinner coffee. And so, from the hotel we walked to the direction of the cathedral, where this was waiting for us:

I think it's pronounced 'bababa'. Tastes like Pale Pilsen a bit.

The nice little cafe served beer, coffee (deliciously brewed in a small aluminum 'coffeemaker', mmm), and fried French. Goes to show how much they value their relations. Hehehe.

I'm done with Day 2. Hooray! More photos in my Multiply. :)

double exposures

a photocollab activity with ige.
film used: kodak max 100
cameras used: supersampler with colored cellophane & snapsights underwater camera

after i used up the film using the supersampler, i rewound the film and placed it in the snap sights camera, to be used by ige. here's what happened.

the rest of the photos are in my multiply album. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Vietnam Post - Day 1

I would really rather wait until I get home to write an account of my Vietnam trip, but since I have nothing (much) to do in the office (for now) anyway, I decided to (finally) blog about my first time to go abroad. :)

And as I am not one to make long blogposts, I'll be writing in installments. With lots of photos. :) I'll be uploading most of the photos in my Multiply account when I get home.


DAY ONE - May 28, 2009

Globe's roaming keyword wasn't working with me so I decided to call customer service and have my roaming activated manually an hour before our flight. The service worked pretty well all the time we were away, so plus points for that. Minus points for the hassle though. Hehe. I've blogged about waiting with wifi, so I'll skip the rest of the airport-plane ride stuff and move on to our arrival and my first impressions of Vietnam.

When we arrived I thought wow, they have a really nice airport! Very clean, with a sloped roof and shiny glass. From afar I could see tall buildings and signages. It was a sunny day; the weather's the same as here.

The tour company (Great Wall--very good, we recommend!) picked us up in two buses (all in all we were 53 I think, eight of us from our office and the rest were faculty and admin from the College of Nursing). And even if I was with my mom's group, we rode in different buses. I was in Bus 2 with my officemates, and our tour guide's name was Hung, which means "hero". As we drove around the city to our first destination, Hung gave a short history of Vietnam and the French, a few snippets of city life. I didn't listen much, seated at the back, and engrossed in what was happening outside my window. So this is what being a tourist feels like. Holding my camera I snapped away happily.

Lots of buildings in Ho Chi Minh (old name: Saigon). The streets' overall "feel" was like Malate, with antique shops, artworks for sale, shoes on sidewalks, fruits, and little tea-corners where people sat drinking tea (duh) and coffee, eating noodles and spring rolls, and just lounging around. Bicycles and motorcycles are the main modes of transport, with a 10:2 ratio to four-wheeled vehicles, I think.

Our first destination was the Notre Dame Cathedral and, across the street, the Post Office.

The Post Office had a nice souvenir shop of quality items.Me and the mom in front of the Post Office. :)

By the time we finished taking each other's photos, we were very hungry and so it was a relief when Hung said we'd be heading off to lunch. And may I just say, it was the heaviest lunch I had during the entire trip, because it was

an eat-all-you-can buffet!
(75 thousand Dong roughly converts to around Php 203.00.)

On the buffet tables were dishes with names I couldn't pronounce but could easily recognize: beef stew, fish fillet, buttered veggies, spring rolls, ginataang mais, buko pandan (mouth watering as I write this)... there was also sugarcane juice, and I had the best dessert:

durian ice cream!
It was so good that when we burped our breath tasted of durian. :)

After lunch the guide took us to the Royal Pearl Hotel, where we would be staying for four days. It was a nice hotel (three stars!); small but comfortable, and with wifi. I shared room 8007 with Ma'am Marielyn, the Assistant Director of our office. We were given a couple of hours' rest/free time before the afternoon's destination.

The OCD Family in Vietnam, at the hotel steps.
(Clockwise from top left) Ka Puroy, Ma'am Marlyn, Fr. Deng, yours truly, Ma'am Arlene, Ate Abby, Sir Joey, and Kuya Manny.

In the afternoon we went to the Vietnam War Museum. I shuddered at the photos taken and the accounts written about what happened during the war, the atrocities committed by the US military, the effects of Agent Orange, the general terror and anger during that time. We also went through the torture chambers where the government systematically and methodically grilled prisoners suspected of not being on their side. Man. I can't even say I enjoyed it. I learned a lot though.

The display made me glad I don't have enemies, and sincerely, I am glad to be free.

Riding along, after the War Museum we headed to a handicrafts factory that employed differently-abled citizens. They made plates, wall hangings, jars, and jewelry boxes among others, using wood, eggshells, and lacquer. I realized laying out designs using eggshells required great patience and skill, not to mention good eyesight and manual dexterity.

on macro mode.

Our last guided destination for the day was the revolving restaurant (it was just the floor that moved, i stupidly learned) with a great view of the city. I've already posted a photo at the thursdaykids blog. More culinary delights, and after dinner and before heading back to the hotel we asked our guide to take this photo:

empty plates, full tummies.

The day wouldn't be complete without a 'night tour' of the market area by ourselves. After trying my hand at haggling (and slightly succeeding) while it was raining (prompting the group to say "it wasn't a night market; it was a wet market!"), I joined the officemates at a streetside eatery with twenty thousand Dong in my pocket. I didn't buy anything though. Haha.

Heineken beer for 17thousand Dong.

That's about it for our first day. I was rain-wet and exhausted, and when we got back to the hotel I managed a quick shower before heading to bed. I brought Mr. Kite the Iguana along, and we snuggled together happily.

The adventure continues the next day, in the next post. :)