Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Hurrahs for 2008

new year's eve. 2008. while everyone's happily dining and partying, I, together with my 2 loyal direct reports-- Shaun and Rae are in the office--me, tinkering my files to check how many bankers called in "sick"(reason: tooth extraction--why would you have your freakin' tooth be extracted on new year's eve?no this is not my banker's excuse), while my two minions, Rae and Shaun, were busy taking calls.

I was able to update my Facebook account, signed up for, edited my avatar, chat in Meebo, browsed my Multiply site, emailed my friends abroad and stare out of the makati skyline and the drool over the party and fireworks display in Ayala. no im not bitter. because after all, had I stayed at home, I would have hit the sack as early as ten pm. at least, i have the chance to say these last Hurrahs for the year 2008, a year that was.

I don't and I never do new year's resolutions. If I think of something to change for the new year, I just usually keep it to myself so I won't get Boo-ed for not complying. And afterall, since when did new Year's resolution became part of our life's deliverables? he he. But for this year, I only have two things in mind which perhaps I could revisit every now and then to see if I'm doing an improvement on. No let's not tag them as New Year's Resolutions, because for a relatively long time now, I have been trying to apply these in my daily rituals. Maybe I could just reinforce and empower it's influence. huwaat? :P :

First, Make other people's lives easier.
Second, which I could better phrase in Filipino: "kung hindi ako makakabawas, huwag na akong dumagdag.."

there. Good Luck to me and Happier and Better Year for all of us :P

Thursday, December 25, 2008

when I asked...

I asked for rain
and it came.

I asked for sunlight
and it came.

I asked for love--

and it rained...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Karen's Wishlist

It's been years since I got presents that were willfully given--willfully meaning, chosen and given by someone wholeheartedly, chosen presumably, by your friend or relative who thinks that the gift embodies the whole of your personality. yeah. whatever.
Let's say a book, maybe because you're a bibliophile, or you're a literature major like me who had no other choices but to read and read books; or a set of smashbox cosmetics because you just can't leave your room without it; a spatula, teflon pan or an electric egg beater so you won't borrow your classmates' during your culinary class. It was then when Tita Marci suspects that you're Barbie's worshipper and back then when Baby All Gone was what it takes for you to belong in the Upper Class Girls. :) They chose it, simply because they think you'll love it, or at least they assumed you will.

In high school and college, particularly now that I am in the corporate jungle, exchange gifts would mean writing your "wishlist" in the big empty whiteboard along with your other teammates, making sure that it's no beyond P500 worth, the amount that you have agreed upon. Looking at it, Manito-Manita has just become, "kindly-look-for-this-certain-book-with-this-author-from-the-bookstore-and-buy-it-for-me" thing. My point? Nothing. It's just the world, according to me, has become less personal, fast-paced that we gave up knowing people because, after the 13th month pay, she'll resign and transfer to another company anyway, and senseless, because according to my arch enemy Voltron, Christmas is a senseless construct imposed to us by the imperialists and colonialists to make sense out of the senselessness of human existence. i honestly don't know where he got that but it's but one of the very few days when he is making sense.


My point really in writing this is to tell the world what I want for Christmas.

So you, if you're planning to give me one this Christmas, won't have a hard time looking for one.

ha ha.

1. Mamma Mia DVD! *i heard it comes with a free pen and notepad*
2. 8gb iPod touch (nawawala ba to sa mga Wishlist?)
3. or 160gb iPod video (alternative. preferably silver)
4. HI-Cut Chucks with Red Riding Hood print
5. (still) Nikon d40 or a lomo for that matter
6. Harajuku Printed Hoodies
7. Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera; Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer; 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda; Living to Tell the Tale by Garcia Marquez;
8. Blush Tokidoki for Smashbox
9. Pixel Chix!
10. Barbie, My Fair Lady Collection
i think that's all for now. :P

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ode to Raama and Sita*

*my two goldfish

worry not of hunger
for Tetra will provide.

worry not of coldness,
for your water will remain warm and calm

worry not of air
for it will never cease to gurgle and bubble...

your glass globe will protect you,
and keep you,
while you--oblivious to the outside world.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

ABBA and some Drama

Last night was ABBA's concert in PICC.

Last night was what I promised my quasi-best friend palakpak that I would go with her, not because she wanted me to, but because I loved ABBA. And because I know that this may be my last chance of seeing them in person. I know that.

Last night, after weeks of anticipating and planning to buy the tickets, I simply said no.

Last night, after saying no, I didn't even feel a slight sensation of regret nor anything at all. The feeling should have been like, someone who has bought a Twilight movie premiere tickets on a one-night-only show in the Philippines and on the night of the premiere slept and miss the screening. But I didn't. It should've been but I didn't feel it.

Last night, I didn't know what happened. I didn't know what happened last night.

No, not just last night. I practically don't remember anything that happened to me in the past two years.

Of course that's exaggeration. I still remember some. Snippets in Palakpak's term. But going back at this point, I am unable to find anything to look back for. Empty and blurry. Except for some escape to Baguio and Zambales and some Tagaytay picnics on weekends, I can't recall anything at all.

Back then, I was the last person to forget good times and memories—because I am composed of 10% water and 90% drama. I just can't simply forget it.

When I told myself, that I had to take drama lightly in the industry where I am right now, I didn't mean to feel nothing at all. I didn't mean emotionally paralize me.

But I did. And I am currently and consistently doing it.

What bothers me is if and when Meryl Streep visits the Philippines, and the same passivity would struck me. Gawd. That must be awful.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Ignorant is Still and Will Always be Blissful

The ignorant is still and will always be blissful.

November 1 and surprisingly, unlike the usual days, cabs queued up outside Glorietta 3 waiting for passengers. It happens only on days like this, Undas, because normally, it will take you about an hour and a half to get one. So I was glad, I'll be able to be in the office just in time. I couldn't resist going to Glorietta immediately after shweldo, so even if I had to sleep only for four hours, I won't mind just as long as I get to smell the "fresh" airconditioned smell of the malls later.

Ok wait. Out of topic.

I asked the Manong driver who was chatting with another Manong driver if "babiyahe po ba?". He said yes so I went ahead and tell him where to and stepped inside the cab.

There goes my usual routine of locking the doors, even the driver's door, and started staring out of the window for the people passing and the lights around the area of Makati Shang and 6750.

Manong asked me, "May pasok pa rin po ba mam?", I replied with, "opo, ala naman kaming holidays sa call center eh, pasko at new year nga merun eh." I was not ranting, it was more of a declarative sentence. And then the conversation went on. The usual stuff a call center agent riding a cab with a driver, full of warmth and friendliness, discussing the nature of the work of call center employees, how they think we save the industry of cabs at night and how they simply think that we are so yaman that the hope of this nation's economy lies in the english-speaking-with-a-thwang people and all that jazz.

At the corner of Greenbelt McDo, he started telling me about this Chinese businessman who once rode his taxi. This man, according to him was worried about the financial crash of the US and how it may gravely affect the Philippine Economy. With his hindi-ko-mawatasan tone, he asked me, "e paano pong maapektuhan yung ekonomiya ng Pilipinas eh may sarili naman tayong ekonomiya tsaka di naman tayo nakikishare sa Amerika? Tsaka paano po yun, kapag nagsara na yung mga call centers sa Pinas, ala na rin kaming kita".
That's how he simply told me this. How simple his worries are. I, on the other hand was thinking of Wall Street, of Washington Mutual, of Wachovia, of Dow Jones, Nasdaq and Paris Hilton. Well, yeah maybe Paris is not included.

I tried giving him simpler examples of how the US economy can actually affect us. I went as far absurd as, "tulad kunwari, yung pelikulang High School Musical, kung mababa na ang ekonomiya ng Amerika, siyempre kakailanganin ng mga artista na magtaas ng singil sa talent fee nila, at dahil mataas na ang production cost ng movie, tataas din ang pagbenta nila ng pelikula sa mga sinehan at syempre tataas din ang singil ng Glorietta o kahit pa ng Guadalupe ABC Theatre, at yung pambili natin ng tiket sa sine, ipapangkain nalang natin." I wasn't sure if I made the right analogy. But simply, my point is that it is a chain, a series of unfortunate events that leads to having third world countries from being affected by the US Economic crash. At hindi kanya kanya ang ekonomiya ng bawat bansa. It is a blessing though that the world economy was not created that way, I mean in the GMA Admin, would you seriously think na sana hiwalay nalang ang ekonomiya natin from the rest of the world? But I simply could not explain this to Manong, the travel from Glorietta to PeopleSupport is just not enough to cover these all. And even if I had time, I'd still not dare to explain. I assured him though, that while the US economy is crashing, they would still opt to put their outsourcing business here, because our manpower cost is definitely lesser, so hindi naman siguro magsasara nang tuluyan at pangkalahatan ang mga call center. He'd still have his job.

Good thing he voluntarily blurted, "naku, ganun naman pala. Buti kaming mga driver, ang kelangan lang namin sipag lang. Di naman namin kelangan intindihin yun. Tsaka, ayus na rin po na hindi naman alam para hindi sumasakit yung ulo namin kakaisip. Ayus na yung tulog, gising, kain, byahe. tas bukas ganun ulit."

The taxi meter says P50. plus ten according to their sticker. I gave him P70. He thanked me by saying, "ayun may pasobra pa. Tenkyu mam."

These are one of those times when you would actually wish you were at their shoes. And you do not know much about what's going on...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"So Thank You for the Music..."

While everyone's swooning over Rihanna and Chris Brown's concert slated to be staged on the 15th of November, my friend Maphene and I are going ga-ga over the arrival of ABBA and their concert in PICC plenary on November 21.

ABBA? Who listens to ABBA these days?
"if you change your mind, im next in line... honey im still free take a chance on me..."
"you can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life..."
"i can still recall, our last summer..."

most of the songs i have sung numerous times in then 5-peso-per-song karaoke, and now in our office's magic sing without even glancing to check the lyrics because i know their songs like the back of my hand, so they say.

while my classmates back in gradeschool were singing "larger than life"," oh baby baby baby from meteor garden" and "oops I did it again by Spears, I was singing ABBA or the Carpenters.

So could you just imagine, how a fanatic would let this chance pass by? It's like sleeping on a warm bed in a noisy turn of the Millennium eve...


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saving the Fish from Dying

For 6 months now, I have been taking care of two goldfish which I bought from Walter Mart in Pasong Tamo. The shop has closed now and was replaced by a dance studio. 6 months ago, on a payday, I decided that I wanted to take care of a pet just so we have something alive inside the house (of course, except us.).

That night, I brought home 2 chubby fantail goldfish which I named Yin and Yang. I could tell them apart because Yang's fantail was kind of separated, making it seemingly two tails, while Yin only had one. Both of them had really fat tummies. Shiny scaly fat tummies.

For the longest time, the fish had eased off my everyday stress, seeing them eat and swim and eat and swim and eat and...well, after all they're goldfish, that's what they do. In my previous Multiply account, I even kided that I was starting to teach them some literary criticisms so they could do some other things besides eating and swimming. :)

They weren't demanding and sensitive fish. There was one time when Makati had a terrible city-wide blackout so there was no electricity to sustain the aerator but they had means of surviving by swimming and breathing at the top of the tank. They're clever for goldfish who's not being trained at all.

But one time, arriving from a very long day at work, I did the unthinkable. There were only three sockets on that part of our house where the aerator, exhaust fan and the electric fan was plugged. Since it was about 40 degrees hot, I couldn't give up the electric and exhaust fan so I had to unplug the aerator to charge my other fone which I wasn't really bringing with me. And then I slept. The next thing I knew, my mom was shouting that the other fish has already died. That was Yang.
I said sorry to Yang. Had I not been too selfish, he/she could still have been here.

I had to look for another fish to accompany Yin one weekend. Together with my colleagues from work, we went to Megamall, Trinoma, SM North and Glorietta to find a similar fish but I couldn't find one. I didn't want the goldfish they were selling as they looked like the bangus or dalagang bukid that they were selling in the Public Market. So I had to stick with just one fish in the globe tank.

Two weeks or so after, when Yin was all alone in the globe aquarium, I came home unsually early and saw the blurry aquarium water. I decided to change the water instead. Unusual, because my mom usually does it. She has her way of taking out the filter from the narrow tank opening. So after taking out Yin off the tank, I had to get the filter next and in a split second I just heard glass breaking. I just broke the glass tank. I swear I did not forcefully take out the filter but yeah, who cares, I broke it anyway.

Armed with guilt and a few hundred bucks in my purse, I had to go to Cartimar, the pet haven, to find a replacement tank. At around 6:30 am, not all the stalls were opened so I had to wait till 7am so I could shop. Eventually, instead of just buying a new fishtank, I ended up buying 4 really small goldfish and a big one.

When my mom and I set it up, it was very apparent how Yin stood out from the rest. He/She was a GOLD fish--the rest of the Cartimar hailed fish were not gold--but orange. I didn't come up with names for the 5 new ones because they were all the same. I couldn't tell them apart.

Two days later, Yin was swimming differently. Somersaulting, if there was a better way to describe it. My mom was even amused seeing it because it was something new for her.

The next day, Yin was floating and swimming on its back. It was still breathing, struggling at least. And that was when I tried reviving her. I sccoped her out of the fishtank and placed her in what I called Intensive Care Unit--a makeshift microwaveable container with aerator. There I had to feed her using a toothpick because she could no longer swim properly and get food for herself. I was then ready for her to leave. Seeing her in tattered fins and tail made me, ok this is exaggeration but yeah, cry. For some reasons, the fish I got from Cartimar, although really cheap compared to that from Bio were no less than Piranhas. He/She was brutally assaulted.

Yin lasted for more than 24 hours in that state. And during entire time, I was praying that Yin would stay alive because I knew he/she still wanted to. While Yin was in my makeshift ICU, I played the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, Asin and some Enya tracks. I prayed until I accepted that fact that 6 months was a long time for goldfish to live. And maybe, just maybe, it was her/his Tao to go. The Fish God maybe thinks that same way, too.

I saw Yin's last breath. Time of death: 12:55pm.

Starting Off

this blog I wrote back in my multiply site...

I am struggling to keep all of my thoughts in one place. or at least try to keep them from being posted from one site to another because I am now having a hard time remembering user ids and passwords.
I would like to come up with a hundred things about myself. so sooner or later, I may have to update the things I wrote here.
to constantly remind me how things change, and how one person can assume another personality over a period of time. and why a person is never the same person you know back in gradeschool.
yeah, I'll try doing that.
if i have the time and the right proxy... :)
meantime, i'll stick to this.

- the infamous jojo veloso is her tiyo. her dad's brother. (if you still can't recall him, go check your old showbiz mags back in the 90's; he's the man behind the then super known Face of the Year for Men and Women; if it still doens't ring a bell, these keywords might help: Joebert Sucaldito, Angelica Jones, Mukha tapes, Hans Montenegro, Senate Hearing and the list goes on...)

- she writes by her left hand. actually, her left hand does most of the chores.

- GREEN is her favorite color-- but she owns more things in pink than green stuff.

- she bites her fingernails and if you will notice, you won't see her spitting it. (ewww.)

- she flunked math 11 (algebra) in college;

- she knows (and practically memorize) any yoyoy villame song you can think of. try asking her.

- she doesn't pick up coins in the streets; she believes it might be cursed and later on when harry potter existed, she worries that these might be portkeys to some another dimensions.

- up to this day, she still can't see the letter "A" in the Ayala logo; what she sees is the number "4" slanted.

- she doesn't eat siopao. she still believes it's made of cat's meat.

- she's always the last to drink in a softdrink 2litre pet bottle. so she can shake its contents. she likes Coke in it's singaw stage.

- some of the dreams she had since she was a kid (some of them still on her mind as an "adult"): to become a firefighter/firewoman, to be a teacher, senator, writer and a mermaid.

- she's a true blue girl scout. check her closet, she has all the uniforms: from twinkler to the adult scout-- get this, she was also a "boy scout". yes, she used to train young boys as assistant outift advisor in BSP.

- she sings during impromptu singing competition in young writers conferences. her perpetual piece? we're all alone, zsa zsa padilla version.

- she was a big fan of TGIS back in the 90's. dig this. in her old hello kitty wallet, she still has the fan club id inserted in it.

- most of the things she owns are from the mall's kid's section: her faves, hellokitty, spongebob, buttercup of powerpuff girls, hi hi puffy ami yumi

- she has a box full of newspaper clippings of loren legarda. one time, in 1998, when loren legarda first ran for senatorial elections, she went all the way from manila to the lpl towers in makati just to get a loren legarda pen and a poster. when she got there, she saw tony leviste instead. the poster, as of this writing is still posted in her room in biliran.

- she watched almost all star cinema films. and memorized some of its lines too!

- she actually witnessed someone being gunned down right before her very eyes. if you happen to read her short story "Echague", it's actually her's.

- UP is her dream school. back in her senior year in high school, she did not take any other entrance exams for college. just UPCAT.

- she wanted to take up Broadcasting. everyone expected her to venture that course. She landed in Literature, which later on she found out that was her field really.

- she's never been to Fort Santiago.

- she can talk 24 hours straight as long as there are still people listening to her stories, ranging from activism, world drama, latin american writing to the regions and languages of the philipppines to the local showbiz news.

- she knows every morning show cartoons and educational shows shown in the 90's. on better days, she could even sing the theme song for you.

- she gets starstruck easily. whenever she is at a public place and she sees a "laos na artista" or a director, theatre, literature or visual arts luminaries, she'll approach him/or her and say "excuse me sir/mam, i'm a big fan. can I have a picture taken with you?". that's her constant spiel.

- she only makes "papicture" to laos na artistas. it's her way of making them feel good. she believes that by doing so, she boosts the morale of these laos na artistas by making them feel that others still know them, even after losing the limelight.

- she hates gaisano tacloban. she often gets to be mistaken as a sales girl and peoplewould ask new stocks from her.

- if you happen to check her phone, you'll notice these things: most of the phonebook entires are not by their real names, she has code names for most of her entries and all of her phonebook entries are encoded in big and small letters. read this: if you have an alias, it only means you're special to her, for two reasons: (1) she exerted the effort to choose a codename for you, related to your personality or you as a person; (2) whenever you'll call of text her, it's gonna be an extra effort on her end to recall who was "mycoffeestory" calling.and if by chance you see your name and last name as it is, as in not even changing the font size, in her fone, it's either you're nothin to her or she hates you more than she hates GMA.

- before, she knows 75% of her phonebook entries and could recite them to you. the other 25%, she doesn't memorize but she is very familiar with whose number was that. I dont know if she still has this up to now.