Friday, November 28, 2008

Holy Cra...

…and the windfall continues. Mr. Xbox 360 just sent me an SMS telling me that it looked like he was close to convincing (read: con job) Mama to get him a laptop. Apparently, he didn’t think the machine I was selling him was good enough, so he took her to have a look at some Sony Vaios. Oh, I’m happy for him, I just simply cannot believe the lucky streak the boy’s been having. All is well, I guess; his kuya and I have loads of fish to take care of anyway.

Lucky Luciano

The boy is pumped. My youngest brother just got word from an uncle that his Xbox 360 was on its way to Manila. I don’t know what he’s happier about: getting a new game console or not having to ask my permission when he wants to use mine (an old, beat up PS2). He has been doing the rounds, looking for, ahem, alternatively-acquired games at the usual places. He’s prepared his TV rack for the new arrival and I may have even seen him cleaning, I’m not sure. Anyways, it’s just amazing because I honestly can’t remember the last time I was that excited about something.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Widyo: Waiter, ako ay nagugutom. Bigyan mo ako ng inyong menu.

Waiter: Yes sir. Just a minute po lamang... ito na pala, pumili na kayo.

Widyo: Ano ba ang specialty ninyo na nakawiwili? Bilisan mo lamang, pare... may tip ako sa iyo.

Waiter: Baboy, at tokwa... may champorado pa. Pansit palabok at may menudo pa. Softdrinks, at hopia; ano po sir ang inyong meryenda?

Widyo: Lomi! Meron ba kayong lomi?

Waiter: Meron po kami, 'yan ang specialty!

Widyo: Sige, bigyan mo 'kong marami...

Waiter: Right away po, sir... may dagdag pang miki.

Widyo: Lomi ang pag-ibig ko, sa araw-araw at gabi...

Waiter: 'Yan din po ang paborito ng aba niyong lingkod.

Widyo and Waiter: Lomi, lomi... fans kami ng lomi. Lomi, lomi... pampagandang lalaki. Lomi, lomi...

Widyo: L-O-M-E... L-O-M-E forever.

Oh Say, I Can't See

It wasn’t as glorious as he made it all out to be. I received a letter from an old friend who moved to the US to try out his luck yesterday and his wasn’t the happiest of tales. He’d gone there under the guise of visiting an aunt in New York several years back and has since been ducking the INS left, right, and center. He’d gone through a number of jobs in Manhattan and he couldn’t keep one very long due to his, erm technically being a fugitive and all, and was now really in hiding. Apparently, some overly patriotic, newly sworn-in immigrant tipped off the authorities and the poor fellow can’t even look out the window nowadays. It’s a common, but no less tragic, story. Sadder thing is he could have spent his time being of better use to us over here—he’s a doctor—instead of wasting his talent washing dishes and waiting tables albeit in the land of milk and honey. Off to write him back and ask him to come on home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Never Alone.

That much, my little one, I surely promise.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


After much head-shaking at the current state of my abdomen-after the same received more exposure than usual during our trip to Boracay. I have made a pledge to not get back in shape (this implies I was actually in shape at some point), but to transform this bouncy tub of lard I call my body into something close to what artists and poets can draw inspiration from. I discussed my plans with the wife and she was very supportive, even promising me an extremely lucrative reward should I succeed. But I feel I must first prepare my body for the horrors that await it. Them diet pills will never see what hit them.


Of all the toys I wanted back then, I wanted nothing more than a pro-spec remote-controlled vehicle. It didn’t matter what it was: an rc helicopter, off-roader, speedboat… anything would have worked for me. We could never really afford one, of course, so I made a promise to myself that when I grew up and made enough money, I’d get one. Twenty-five years and a considerable number of paychecks on, I still can’t afford my most coveted toy. Life sho’ is cruel sometimes.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

No Mas

Ernesto stood wiping the sweat off of his brow, holding a piece of cardboard that passed for a cap—a meager form of protection against the raging midday sun—in one hand, a machete in the other, and a forlorn look on his weathered face. After having served four years as a servant in the Limcauco household to pay off his late father’s debts, he was told that he needed to serve four more. “You still owe us interest”, they told him.

He glanced at the machete, the front gate that lay open, and then finally shifted his gaze to the people lazing about in the courtyard. The family had guests; the famed Dys of Binondo came over for lunch. Still in a daze, Ernesto saw images of bright crimson on pale yellow.

He calmed himself.


And then took the first step to freedom.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

To Market

Standing at the supermarket counter last weekend, I could not help but be amazed by how retail POS systems work and by how (I imagine) they make a grocery clerk’s job a whole lot easier. It’s easy to overlook how much technological progress has been made in and by this generation. I can still remember how punching in an item at a cash register meant literally keying in the item’s price. Now, a digital scanner relays the item information in the blink of an eye. Not a decade ago mobile phones were a rarity and with one hand, you could count the number of people who had them. Yet now we are a mobile connectivity-centric culture, unable to do the simplest of tasks without cell phone in hand.