Random thoughts... Happy Thoughts... Sad thoughts... Anything goes!!!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Billboards billboards everywhere!

People are still cleaning the mess left by typhoon Milenyo. There are still so many fallen trees being cut so sites could be cleared, there are several piles of leaves and branches awaiting to be hauled by the garbage collectors, they have set aside the cut-up trunks for more useful use. Many of the billboard canvas are still rolled down, it may take a few days before all of them are rolled up again to show the advertisements.

I’m amazed at the volume of billboards we have here in Metro Manila. Everywhere you look in major thoroughfares, there’s one that would catch your eyes… each outsizing the other and they are not just one billboard per location but could be tons of billboards, one of top of another.

Our company also uses billboards as one form of advertisement and it costs big time, not just for the monthly rental of the billboard site but including the talent fee, agency fee and processing fee (color layouts for the tarpaulins to be used) etc… etc… the talent fee for endorsers could run up to millions just for a few hours of posing.. gosh you wish you were a star too and earn so much just for a few hours of pose!

But it is not only the “star endorsers” that benefit from the billboard boom. The Ad agency earns a hefty commission and so do those Billboard middle men that looks for good sites and build those steel frames to rent. I’ve also seen building owners earn something from idle places (mostly on top of their buidlings) and even noted someone in our area who was able to construct a four storey building from the advances paid by the middle men.

Frankly, I agree with MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando on the safety (rather NON-safety) of most billboard structures. It could be scary looking at those steel frames. Some really seem (hmmm actually ARE) dangerous as proven by the accident that happened in Estrella. You wonder why they have to put those steel structures so high and so big! The one is Guadalupe is just sooooo big I wonder what went inside the mind of the one who constructed it. Of course size does matter especially when there are just so many of them lined up together. Still it could be overwhelming that sometimes you just want to close your eyes or focus on something else to get some rest from them!

But I don’t think billboard will be gone soon even with the storm currently brewing over it. Though it is costly to set up a billboard, the price is still LOTS cheaper compared to the neon signs. In addition, Billboards look the same in day time and night time (of course provided there is lighting that goes with the contract) unlike neon signs that are only attractive at night. I don’t think there are still neon light advertisements in our major roads today but I do remember enjoying some ads before. In the Eighties and Nineties EDSA was lined up with several of those neon signs. I particularly liked the Seven up neon sign along Boni Ave., with Fido Dido and a glass being filled first by an ice then by the Seven up, I think there were even bubbles in that sign. Just looking at it I can actually imagine the clicking sound of the ice, the pouring sound of liquid and the bubbles that comes afterward. It was one animated neon sign even if the only colors it had were white and green.

Anyway back to the billboards, I think they should do something to regulate the structures and SOON. It is a good form of advertisement but people’s safety should always be foremost!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Meaner than the millennium bug!

Typhoon Milenyo (international codename Xangsane) hit Metro Manila yesterday. It was the strongest typhoon that directly hit Metro Manila in a long time. We had heavy downfalls and flooding but not this strong wind. It was good (really GOOD!) that PAG-ASA already announced the typhoon the previous day declaring NO CLASSES in all school levels. Of course their announcement was also meant for people to prepare but I don’t really know if people prepared or just had the wait and see attitude like myself.

I felt the strong wind very early in the morning and already decided not to go to work even if they haven’t suspended work in our office yet (they would usually tell us late, we had to get to the office first and if the weather is really bad they dismiss us) but they were dismissed early too. Good thing! My decision not leave the house was right after all. However, I was still hoping that the typhoon would not really be that strong or that it would change course but around midday it became really strong! There was no electricity but we were all safe at home while we could hear the strong angry winds outside. At one point I went up to my room which had windows on three sides and I could actually feel the walls vibrating and the wind slamming on my windows. I could hear things flying around and hitting walls and roofs, Trees swaying with the wind, canopies and iron roofs making noises.

When I peaked at my window, I couldn’t see much of the damage being done by the typhoon, all I can see were the trees swaying strongly and the leaves, twigs, papers, plastics and other light objects being carried by the wind. I've seen some of those in other typhoons but I’m pretty sure that damage from this one was going to be big!

Even if we had no radio nor TV when the typhoon was raging, I know that this was one mean storm!

Late in the afternoon, the wind calmed a bit and a little later I fell asleep while reading a book. Actually it was getting dark and I was finding it hard to read so I dozed off. We already had electricity when I woke up but it was late for the early news. I had to wait longer to watch the news and I was right, the damage was great! So many trees were cut and uprooted, so many electric posts fell, so many billboards torn down with some of the heavy steels hitting vehicles and homes, so many concrete walls fell, so many roofs flew, so many soils eroded, so many people lost their homes, so many lives lost…

Today, the sun came out early. When we went to the office we saw so many fallen and cut trees scattered on the road even if there are a lot of people working to clear the roads. There were many wires dangling and some fallen posts, all of the billboard canvas are still rolled down and luckily I did not pass those big billboards which steel frames collapsed. And when we got to the office, there was NO electricity. It was that way the whole day and I was working in semi darkness (lucky we have windows in our department) and without computer. People were complaining of the heat but I was not bothered much. Actually if you don’t move too much and not complain and stay away from people it was not that bad, there were even period when I can feel the wind. Only one elevator was working on a generator and you had to wait in line to get up and down. I did not have to bother waiting to go down though(went down the twice during the day from the 26th floor) since I’m used to using the stairs going down. It was not really a great time to work but if you really want to, you get to accomplish things anyway. It is good that tomorrow is weekend, there will be time enough to restore all the power and clean up all the roads in time for work on Monday.

Yeah, it was one mean typhoon but it was just one of those things that happen and except for some little inconvenience it seems fairly easy to go back to the normal routine… just a matter of waiting for a few days.

I could easily say it since I was not one of those affected, eventually I would even forget the typhoon’s name and the date but for those who lost family and homes, I’m sure this one would be etched in their memory.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Hurray… No work!!!

No need to wait for Julie to return to work to play hookey.
I’ve got one day free… with pay… legit and…
I can bum around the home!!! Yippee!!!

Of course this isn’t really a good day since the weather bureau declared typhoon signal #3 for Metro Manila. It has been very windy and raining since early this morning but it has calmed a bit now… I wish that it remains so already, afterall they have already declared NO WORK!!!

Today, if you commute you won’t see those big BILLBOARDS on the main roads. They will be all rolled up to prevent any accident and damage…

The past days they have also trimmed several trees along the roads so am hoping there won’t be any damage there too!

There won’t be much vehicles along the road…

Rain would fall and it will clean some of the streets (just hope there won’t be flooding)…

Tomorrow for sure it is going to be bright, that’s always the case after a typhoon, every place seems brighter... like all the dirts have been washed out…

Today, I could rest some more (okay just a little nap later since I've already had my extended sleep… never really good to get too much sleep since eyes becomes puffier)… I could read some… then I could just play the borrowed guitar from the office which I’m using for our CLP and give my fingers more KALYO… actually some part are already hardened from my guitar playing… PLUS I could just bum around with the kids and listen to music…

Oh, I also long for something HOT… it is always nice to eat HOT food on rainy weather…especially stormy weather… made me immediately remember papa. I could imagine him looking forward to the next day after a storm. He’d have his BOLO (big heavy knife) ready and cut out all the fallen banana tree in our compound. We’d get the middle part of it, the UBAD and we’ll have UBAD cooked TINOLA style for a few days and we’ll have this content smile in our faces and lots of sweat after eating a lot!!!

Ahh this is really a nice day despite the typhoon and it is just starting out!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


The past few days, I feel so poofed at work!
I’d go to bed earlier than usual…
sleep immediately
yet feel like a hangover the next day.

I’ll just wait for Julie to come back
(it is taking him sooooo long to come back!!!)
so someone takes over my work…

then I’ll play hooky for a change…

Just bum around on a weekday
or probably just walk and be by myself…

Beth’s time…


Looking forward to it!!!

Friday, September 15, 2006


This morning on our way to work we passed by Maria Clara St. and noted that there were many people on the street which was unusual. I then noted that there were also police cars and media people on site.

And just what was everybody looking at?

On the sidewalk, in front of the big gate of one of the townhouses, was a black plastic garbage bag. My sister exclaimed “patay na tao!” (a dead man!). I thought it couldn’t be since the plastic bag was just small! But it was! My sister exclaimed “nakalabas ang paa!” (the legs are showing!) and I saw flesh protruding but I couldn’t make it out! Sometimes it is also good that I don’t wear my glasses so that I couldn't see clearly. I did not want to look long! The taxi driver was saying that they have also found another part of the body in another area Quezon City the previous day and I felt like vomiting while he was talking. I had to take a real deep breath to prevent it.

I keep thinking how could someone do that??? To kill a person is already bad enough but to cut him up??? What was he thinking??? How could he be so cruel??? Why did have to scatter the body all over??? I felt my tears falling and in between my thoughts I would be praying for the dead person… My mind was switching from praying the “Our Father” and my questions on the killer and the dead man. I did not want to think! I just wanted to pray so I tried to focus on prayer all through out the trip.

This afternoon, the thought flashed my mind again, and now I wondered about the family of the person that did this horrible thing.

He must have a family, somehow…

Just how did treat his family? Did he treat them well? Do they love him? And what if they knew he did this? How would they feel? Would they still love him?

People could be cruel… very cruel!
Sometimes you really don’t know what to do…
And all you can do is cry…
And yes, PRAY!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A spectacle without a spectacle

Oftentimes we get to view beautiful sunsets from our office window since we are the tallest building in our area and have a good clear view of the North Harbor and even beyond.

Sometimes even during cloudy weather, the sun would take a peak from a small opening from a mass of clouds revealing an orange ball slowly descending, its color getting deeper and deeper like it is teasing you to watch some more until it completely hides from you. There are also days when even if some heavy clouds completely obscure the great orange ball, its powerful rays shine through the lighter side of the clouds creating beautiful designs and colors. The sun certainly likes to show off its beauty before it says goodbye to the day!!!

Today just after past 6:00, I heard a commotion and noted many staff converging on the window. I thought the sun was showing off again but I was wrong for they were pointing on another direction. I tried to focus my eyes asking what it was and they were all pointing at a mass formation just below the clouds. It seemed like a very long, thick and black rat’s tail almost extending towards the sea below.

Could it be a twister???

They were all getting excited as it was getting bigger and longer and I could not see it clearly since I did not have my eyeglasses! I was asking them to describe what they were seeing so I could focus my eyes and grasp what was happening and they said it was like the clouds sipping the sea from a straw continuously twirling and twirling and they could also see the ripples in the sea! Ahh… I wanted to see it too!!!

It was difficult to see clearly from that distance but it was getting bigger and yes I was seeing more, for below the dark tail I could see lighter tail extending to the sea, I try to focus below to see the movements from the see but I couldn’t. It was just too far. Instead I focused on the tail it was slowly moving and I noted the clouds getting really bigger and thicker like it was occupying the whole sky. It was getting dark yet at some point where the sky is clear it was still bright. You could really feel the clouds getting heavier! Suddenly the white tail started to disappear slowly as dark rays were coming down from the clouds, they said it was probably rain since the clouds would have to return the water back to sea! I believe it was so!

At some point the tail came back again and started to grow longer again not as long as the first one and it seemed to be heading straight our way though it was still far. I wondered if it would ever reach our building but it didn't really moved that far. I guess it was really pretty heavy!!! Finally it was gone and the sky was dark already after all it was already around 6:30!

Ahh. I hate wearing my glasses but I regret NOT having it today. The sight would have been more spectacular!

In all my life, I have never seen such occurrence and for quite a long time too. Okay, the others had better view than I did but maybe just maybe the clouds and the wind would like to show the sun again that they too can create beautiful image in the sky… not just an image but a spectacle and I’m going to make sure I have my spectacles around 8-) !

Friday, September 01, 2006


Last Wednesday, I got a long distance call from one of our District Managers from the Visayas. It was his last day from the company and he wanted to say goodbye since he decided to spend more time working for the Lord. He also thanked me for an email I sent last December (yup, last December yet!). He said he was really touched by that email. I knew he appreciated that email since an Auditor and a Branch Manager told me before that he mentioned to them his appreciation but I never realized how deeply he was touched by that simple greeting.

It was actually just an email greeting (with animated pictures, since I like adding animated gif pictures to my greetings) I sent to all the branches and Sales officers wishing them well on Christmas and thanking them for their efforts since they had long store hours during the season plus they will have to report for work on Christmas while we at Head Office were going to have a long holiday.

He was touched not just for himself but for all the other sales people since he said someone appreciated their efforts. He said the people he expected to get greetings from forgot to do so. His superiors did not even ask how they were doing yet someone from Audit Department (from the other side of the organization, someone unexpected) remembered them.

His appreciation of that email was also unexpected and somehow I felt glad that I sent it…

And this morning, I got an unexpected email too that really put a smile of my face!

Last night, I really felt so tired that I fell asleep on the couch. I was just going to take a quick rest before having supper but I fell asleep! My cousin just woke me up around 11:30 to tell me to eat and already go to my room and I hurried to continue my sleep. I was really tired! And this morning when I woke up, I decided to check my mail before starting my day and I noted an email from Erik, an online friend, with an attachment. A song!

I sent Erik a song I made before. It was rough but I sent it anyway and boldly added that all Filipinos could carry a tune and it is just that some people have bad ears not to be able to appreciate some voices (I was hinting that if he did not appreciate my song then he had “bad” ears! Hehehe…). Erik has played with a band and I said it will also be neat if he made his own song and even showed him how I did mine (as if I’m an expert!!!) using the windows sound recorder and a minus one site in the internet. I used to record a lot when I still had a microphone just to amuse myself and to bug some friends to the point that one would NOT talk with me anymore!!! Now only the speakers remain and they probably are glad??? Gosh, that means I’m pretty broke too not to be able to buy a replacement!

Anyway the song I sent Erik is if we hold on together, a song from the cartoon movie The land before time (I like that movie!!!) and I noted that the MP3 file he sent was also hold on together. I wondered if he chose to sing the same song. I was really surprised to hear my voice with his voice! We have a duet!!! He sang-a-long with my song and it was pretty neat! Okay… my voice is not really that great (maybe I should remove the “that”???) but he was good and he blended perfectly like we really sang together. It was so unexpected and so neat that it really made my morning!

And people at work got an unexpected distraction since I immediately made them hear the song when I got in! They appreciated it. They would! They got “good” ears…. Hehehe and they like to humor me! I sure am having an unexpected good day!!!

PS. Talking of unexpected. Erik is an example of finding love in the unexpected places. He met his wife in ICQ. They are from far away places (England and US) yet now they are happily together! :-)