Thursday, July 31, 2008

Double Trouble

I'm sorry I did not study you as much as I should have. It was an education I needed, but apparently did not want enough. Now I find myself wanting. It was a sublime act of stupidity--assuming I knew enough; believing I had taken all I had to. Late nights could have had more meaning had they been devoted to discovery; energy better spent had it been on hitting nickel.

Now, as I struggle to find something I fear is impossibly lost, I look to you for direction.

27 days to the day of your untimely death eighteen years ago.

Salut, Stevie.

Take Two


Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Putting on my trousers has become a struggle again. So has clipping my toenails. I have not been back to see Mang Dionisio since the move here to the new office. It’s been frustrating; I’ve been coping with stress (and frustration) by turning to Mr. Lay and all his wonderful products and the result, needless to say… so I won’t say it. I swear to God a bottle of Leptovox isn’t a distant possibility in my near future.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lesson Number 361

Sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all day
Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
Its not always going to be this grey

Sunset doesn't last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
Its not always going to be this grey

None of life's strings can last
So, I must be on my way
And face another day

Now the darkness only stays the night-time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
Its not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away.

George Harrison, All Things Must Pass

Have a listen here.

Bust A Move

People are always moving somewhere else. This is why I think I’ve finally decided on the “or bust” business for me: a moving company. I believe that if I put one up, “Move On Up” (one of the possible names, also “Relax, See Us Moving”) will attain meteoric success and will ultimately lift me out of the gutter. I’m starting a checklist now, and so far I have: 1) a multitude of boxes 2) probably 2 or 3 moving trucks. That’s about it for now. I shall fill you all in as the list grows.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Capones Island and Anawangin Cove, Zambales, Philippines

Copyright Sherwin Ian S. Reyes

Square Rooms

An update about the bedroom design post: Bert's designer friend called me and said the first step was finding stuff I liked so that he'd have something sort of a "base" look and feel to work on. So I hit the Net and started my search. I don't like fancy or overly noisy bedroom furniture. I want things neat, simple, and angular. I want bedroom furniture like these:

Those guys (company I got the photos from) have great-looking bedroom sets. They're just what I want: nothing loud, nothing bulky, nothing with curves on them. I can't afford their stuff, though, so I'll have to look for whatever looks the most like what they have. Off to the hunt, then.

Secret Garden

My mother had nothing to do over the weekend so that meant two days of general cleaning for all of us. She had her eyes set on her garden this time, so we were off early Saturday morning to get some indoor planters and decorative planters for her beloved plants. These were the only items on her list, so when we got back from the garden supply shop, we naturally had window box planters as well.

It was a day of tilling the soil soon after. We were all covered in dirt and fertilizer by day's end. She marked strategic locations around the house and had my youngest brother place an indoor planter at each point. My other brother was tasked to set up a decorative planter in her office. The eldest son was assigned setting up a window box planter on each of the house's four windows.

We were absolutely spent and Mama, sweet woman that she is, got us all the pizza we could eat. Still, I covertly checked her planner to make sure she had some work to do over the next five weekends.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Revolution from My Bed(room)

I went over to Bert's last night for the formal launch of his new business. My friend the Medical Technologist is now in the construction industry. He put up a small construction company with an engineer friend of his and I must say they look pretty solid this early. As I was chatting up their in-house designer our talk naturally went to design ideas and concepts and I asked him for some advice regarding bedroom furniture.

My daughter still sleeps in our room so you can imagine it's a bit of challenge arranging our stuff with function, form, and a 3-year old in mind. The designer suggested that I look at some modern bedroom furniture or possibly some contemporary bedroom furniture because these had a good mix of aesthetics and form, plus a tendency not to eat up too much space.

I guess he's right. Most of the furniture in our room are hand-me-downs from our parents; this of course means we live somewhere between 1977 and 1989. Time for an upgrade.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dear Papa J

Sandy's bedtime prayer last night:

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Papa Jesus, please bless my Mama, my Papa, and don't let me get sick. Also, please make the blinds clean... and then Mama will say, 'Naku, do not touch the blinds because they're dirty and you will get sipon again' and then I will say, 'No, the blinds are not anymore dirty', and then Mama will say 'Why?" and then I will say 'Because Papa Jesus cleaned them.'

Please bless my classmates and thank you for my toys and my food. Good night, Papa Jesus."

I was in stitches so bad I could've just come out of an operating room.

Billy the Bee

My daughter is learning how to read and to help her, I thought I'd make her specific letter-themed bedtime stories. We are on week "B" .

Once upon a time, in a bright and sunny clearing deep in the woods, there lived a little boy bee named Billy. Billy had two favorite things in the whole, wide world-- bread and bananas. One day, Billy came home from school really hungry. He went to his Mama.

"Excuse me, Mama. I'm very hungry; may I please have some money to buy some bananas and bread?"

"Why, of course, darling. But we have some bananas here, so all you need to buy is some bread. Here's some money... oops, that may not be enough. Better go to your Papa and ask for some more money, dear."

"Ok, Mama. Thank you."

So Billy went to his Papa. Papa Bee was in the living room reading a newspaper.

"Excuse me, Papa. May I have some money to buy some bread, please? Mama gave me some but she said to go to you for some more."

"Sure son, here you go. Oh and while you're at the baker's, can you get us some butter and biscuits, also?"

"Thanks, Papa. I'll make a list and then be on my way. See you later!"

"Take care, Billy."

Billy grabbed his blue bonnet and was soon out the door. On his way to the baker's, he ran into one of his friends, Barry.

"Hiya, Barry. What are you up to?"

"Hey, Billy. I'm actually on my way to town. My Mama sent me to the butcher's to get some bacon. My Mama loves to eat bacon for breakfast. How about you?"

"I'm on my way to town, as well; I need to go to the bakery to buy some bread, biscuits, and butter. Hey, why don't we go together?"

"Great idea, Billy! Let's go!"

The two went on their way. On the road to town, as they came to the bend before the big banyan tree, someone suddenly jumped in front of them.


"Anubayun!", shouted Billy.

It was their pal, Barry. They were soon all laughing.

"Hahahaha! Good one, Barry. You got us good!"

"Haha! Yeah I sure did, didn't I? By the way, where are you two off to?"

"To town on some errands. You?"

"Hey I'm on my way there too. Gotta get some blueberries for my Mama.
I also need to get a couple of balloons for my baby brother, Bobo."

"Fantastic! Let's all go together, then!"

After some time, the three of them reached town. They went to the baker's first. Billy went in and asked Bert the Baker for some bread, biscuits, and butter. They then went to the butcher's. Benny went in and asked Bob the Butcher for a pound of bacon.

"How about some beef, Benny?", Bob asked.

"No, thank you, sir. All I need is some bacon."

When they were done at the butcher's, they headed over to the town market. There, Barry got some blueberries and two balloons for his brother: he bought one blue balloon, and one brown balloon.

With their errands done, the three bees started on their way back to their homes. They soon saw another good friend of theirs-- it was Bart, the bird.

"Heeeeeeyaaaa fellas! Where are you going?"

"Hey, Bart! We just came from town and are on our way back to the village", the three replied.

"Let me give you all a lift, then. You three hop on may back and I'll have you home in no time."

"Wuhoo! Thanks, Bart!", said Billy.

Billy, Benny, and Bart got on Bart's back. Bart spread his wings and with a few flaps, they were in the air, flying at great speed. The boys felt the wind on their faces. They were having a lot of fun. They soon reached their village, bid Bart goodbye and headed to their homes.

Barry got home and gave the blueberries to his Mama (she was making blueberry cheesecake) and the balloons to Bobo. Bobo was very happy.

Benny got home and handed the bacon to his Mama. She told him they were going to have bacon and eggs for breakfast the next morning.

Billy got home and gave his Mama the bread, biscuits, and butter. She sliced the bread and put out out the bananas. Billy then called his Papa and then they all ate their afternoon snack.

The end.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

National Hero

It's a thankless job, but someone has to do it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I am tired of writing.

Exhausted, as a matter of fact.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jack Squat

Are free top level domains still available somewhere? They were all the rage a few years back but I'm not sure if you can still get them nowadays. I ask because a college buddy just put up a construction business and he is looking into the idea of getting a web site put up. Poor guy has no idea what he needs to do. Well, he knows he needs a web site designer.

He knows squat beyond that. Nothing about domain registration, zero about web hosting, and zilch about how to build up site traffic. Well, he did say he had read about e-mail marketing but all he knew about it was you marketed via e-mail. I'm no web wiz but I've got an obligation to help the guy out. Hence, the question about free TLDs. I was thinking of saving him several hundred pesos till he gets his business going full tilt.

Anyone with a clue let me know. Danke.


My friend Manolo is one of those sad stories often presented to us as templates of what not to do with one's life. He was born into a difficult life and had to fend for himself at an early age. He was thus exposed to the not-so-sunny side of life before he even hit puberty. He was already a candidate for substance abuse treatment by the time he was 14, and was fortunately taken in by a social worker for drug rehab before the poison he constantly pumped into his system did its worst.

He got out and remained clean for a couple of years and then took to drinking. It wasn't the occassional drink but gallons and gallons of whatever he could find. Then my friends and I met him. We couldn't at first, but as our friendship grew we subtlely suggested that he consider alcohol rehab. He eventually agreed but sadly, had a difficult time with his addiction to alcohol. He was let out after only 3 months and was sober for only half that time. He was forcibly taken back in and we never saw him after that. Manolo was a tragedy; he was a decent human being--a truly good person deep down. He just made some really bad decisions.

Having seen what substance abuse can do to people, I'm glad there are people who go out of their way to help those who desperately need it. The world doesn't need more Manolos.

Friday, July 04, 2008

David's Own

Tiyo David is upset. He is absolutely livid. The man is a grease monkey obsessed with bikes. I swear he bleeds 2T oil. All his life he’s been saving up for the bike he says “will be the ultimate one for me, I will ride nothing else.” So he reaches his financial target, and after selling a couple of his old bikes, he has enough for a ride and then some. He goes to Japan to get his bike. Now, see, because he had to save up for the plane ticket, as well, all he could look at were used Harleys. Now back to our story. He gets the bike and jumps through flaming hoops to get it home. On his first trip out, he notices a sign not far from his house: Pre-owned Harley Davidsons, call 865-XXXX.

May, 1985

Up at 9am, a quick bath, and some orange juice. I dash to the garage and take off the old shower curtain that is my bike’s blanket. I look at the old girl: tires, drive chain, bolts and screws. Chain needs some oil. I shout out a quick goodbye and open the garage gates. It’s absolutely beautiful out. On the bike in a flash, I rush out and give my mother’s wind chimes a quick tap for a safe day ahead. I feel the sun on my face. The summer sunshine is blinding.

Treading the Mill

I can do it. I can do it. For the past month I have been coming up with a rather impressive number of excuses not to drag my sorry, stout behind onto our treadmill. Headaches, pain in various parts of the body, a lack of sleep, energy conservation, malaise, all the socks are in the laundry, music player’s at the office and running’s doubly difficult without any sort of distraction; you name it, I’ve probably used it as a cop out. But that’s over. I am a changed man. I shall exercise tomorrow morning.

If I wake up at exactly 6.47am.


Late last night as I was trying to sleep, I went on one of my usual fantasy binges and thought of the places I’d like to see even once before I kicked the bucket. Majority of them are in Europe (well, Italy): Maranello (pilgrimage), Monza, Florence, Milan, Venice, Palermo, and Rome. I’d also like to hit Geneva, Vienna, Amsterdam, Spa, Barcelona, Lisbon, and Prague.

Across the pond, there’s Liverpool, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, and maybe Cardiff. The North American leg includes Montreal, New York (GO YANKS! GO KNICKS! We'll be back on our feet real soon...), New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago, and Jackson (MI).

On the whole I’d like to follow the Formula 1 circus around the globe and possibly spend some time in New Zealand as a breather. Here in the PI? Any place north and 4,000 feet above sea level.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Blow by Blow

A friend who’s been in the States for the past dozen years or so is coming home for a visit this Christmas. She’s been asking me about what people here are wearing nowadays. She could have asked a tree and gotten a better response. Anyway, she was curious about the possibility of buying some clothes and other stuff there and re-selling them here. She’s really excited about re-selling Blowfish shoes over here because she thinks their shoe styles will catch on pretty quickly.

I jokingly suggested she open a store called Bonnie’s: Blowfish Women’s Shoes, Blowfish Men’s Shoes, and Blowfish Sashimi. She managed a quiet giggle, but was clearly not amused. To make up for my insolence, I have been tasked to actively peddle her wares when she gets here. Watch this space. Wahoo.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The North Beckons Still

I still dream of it. I still dream of freedom. I still long to live in the mountains. I still feel a yearning to be draped in mist, swallowed by the fog. There I can learn. There I will grow. There I will end.

Yes, the north still beckons.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Ees Beeg

Adnuges-Onam did not pop up out of the ground overnight. Eleanor McKenzie’s money, every single cent in a recently estimated 8.9 billion dollars, did not fall out of the sky and onto her lap. Ellie Mac, as only her closest friends call her, is not living the dream, she IS the dream. Having worked her way through college, she landed her first job as a North Carolina health insurance agent. She soon grew tired of the drudgery and with the small amount she was able to save, put up a thrift shop that specialized in second-hand goods. She called it Adnuges-Onam (she won't say why to this day). Even she swears she doesn’t know how it happened, but in a mere 16 months, her small corner store had become a chain of 24 branches nationwide. The decade that followed saw nothing but growth. The 1600 dollars she first invested is not even close to a quarter-percent of her net worth today. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is making it big.

Old Timer

My aunt is what you may call a technoboob. Yes, she has a mobile phone and she can work a computer, but her knowledge of things related to technology is somewhat limited. She thinks email is some expensive service that needs an extremely bureaucratic application process, her machine’s still on Windows 95 “because she may not be able to open her files if she changes to a new system”, she once believed that a phone’s battery life was equivalent to its service provider’s call and SMS credits, and to her, laptop memory is a recollection of one’s mobile computer.

Pack Rat

It was inevitable. The hoarder that I am; my junk has finally caught up with me. I was asked to clean out the closet (and other various spaces around the house) last weekend and I was surprised to see that all my precious belongings put together occupied a medium-sized room. No one was pleased. I was asked to sort and throw away--something I did not particularly like. I refused and came up with a compromise: I am currently mulling having custom boxes made for my treasures so that they may raise the ire of more practical folk no more.