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

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


This is a picture I got from yahoo of the more than 30 pre-school children hostaged earlier today near Manila City Hall. They were supposed to go on a field trip courtesy of the owner of their day care center but the same person decided to hostage them instead so he could air his grievances to the government. After negotiations and media publicity, he finally decided to release them after 10 hours.

The man is going to jail (I just don't know how long he is going to stay there, since I've read that this is not the first time he held someone hostage nor the first time he grabbed media's attention with some stunt). I'm sure he thought of the possible consequences of his act on himself (though I don't really think he has thought of the worst case scenario of dying nor being jailed a long time since his past actions did not really result to grave threat on his life) but I just don't know if he thought on the possible effect on the children.

I wonder how the children will be 10 years 15 years from now when they would be young adults. That was actually the next thought that came to my mind after hearing of the hostage drama (the first thought of course was a prayer that they are protected, that nobody gets hurt in that bus). If they survived, how will they be afterwards?

Even after seeing this photo in yahoo will their smiling faces, no idea of what's going on, enjoying the attention they are getting from people, I still wonder. How will this affect them in the future?

Their hostage taker said he was doing it for them, the tried to get concessions from government officials like free education for his students. Okay, he might be successful in getting what he asked for the children and the children might not have nightmares on what happened but just what will their outlook in life be?

That if you want something done, you have to do some outrageous stunt to get attention??

That it is okay to do unlawful acts just so you could get what you want?

That it you get away with anything if you are able to get people's sympathy?

This one got media coverage, but this kind of act actually happen everyday in many places, even homes. Older people, sometimes even in the guise of love, show bad example to children. They say good things but do "bad things" ... acts that are inconsistent with what they teach the children. Of course some of them are unintentional for they were once children too who saw the same from older people.

This whole episode just made me hope that we get our act together, strive to follow the law (even if it could be hard if you see a lot of them breaking it and getting away with it) and think more on the effect of our acts on other people especially children and not be ruled by emotion...

Hmmm.. now that I'm thinking, I actually hope a lot for our country, for our people but that would just turn out to be a litany...

But i'd like to express one such hope. I hope that people like the hostage taker don't get media coverage. Maybe if they know that no one would cover them, they'll focus their attention on more meaningful things to do!

Friday, March 23, 2007


Over merienda (snack) this afternoon, Weng showed me the shots she took of her apartment from her sony cybershot DSC-T5. Although her camera reminded me that I haven’t made a post on my recent visit to Hong Kong and Macau, the shots from the digicam made me think of her good qualities. She’s really good with money! That is, she knows how to make money work for her.

Weng doesn’t earn much in our office. In fact if you deduct her daily expenses in going to work such as transportation and food, nothing much would be left from her pay slip. Yet, here she is showing us a picture of her 4 storey building in Pateros wherein she rents other floors to tenants and has set aside the fourth floor for her family. They stay there when they visit the place since she is residing in Cavite (in a two storey with roof deck which she converted from a row house). Of course she also got a lot of help from her husband who works as seafarer but there are also long periods when he just stay at home. There are also other women in our company whose husbands are seafarers with a much higher position and salary yet are in constantly in debt.

As I said, she is good with money.

She is good in handling the money sent to her by her husband. She’s not like many beneficiaries that are one day millionaire who immediately spends the amount when they get the remittance and ends up borrowing after its gone. She knows her priorities and even has money for family activities but she always sets aside part of it for business or investment.

She’s not afraid of getting tired even for a small income since over time it gets bigger anyway. Sometimes the girls in our office would laugh when they see her bringing a lot of merchandise she would buy during lunch break. She has made a contract with one of her neighbor that has a store that she would be buying things for her at a small mark up. It is a win-win thing for both of them since the neighbor doesn’t have to travel far to buy things and te goods gets delivered to her doorstep. Weng, on the otherhand is taking advantage of the fact that she works in the bargain capital of the Philippines, she could easily source out supplies needed over lunch break.

She compounds income. Her biggest source of income is lending at an interest. Lending is a big task and you have to be thick skinned to be able to collect from borrowers, some of whom would hide from you after they borrow money. She never gets tired following up collection from her borrowers and could be very creative in her collection. She was telling us one time how she brought home a second hand bicycle she bought from one of they guys in the office. Nope, she did not hire a cab to bring it home but took the regular public ride (didn't mind what other people would tell) and got off near their place and rode the bicycle going home. She uses the bicycle in weekends to collect from her borrowers. She rides even when it is hot! And remember the sony cybershot digicam she used to take shots of her home? It is actually pawned by one of her borrowers. She uses the things pawned to her but she is careful with them. She was telling me this afternoon that she hopes the borrower no longer takes it back since the camera is good. It has happened before that the borrower could no longer pay the loan and just asked her to give additional amount. So in a way she is able to buy things at a lower amount.

She always look for opportunities to earn… even in the office! She brought her rice cooker to work and she would cook rice for us and charge us the same amount as the food vendor. We prefer her rice since it is hot! It is nice to eat something hot for lunch. She says she is not charging her for the rice but for the depreciation of her rice cooker and the service of preparing the rice. :-)

She is good in keeping records! Weng records all her transactions so she don't forget them… even the rice we take, she would write in paper (her handwriting is sooooo small that it will take a very long time for her list to be full!)

Sometimes we would laugh at her ways, some would mock her even but she’s not really a greedy person for she knows how to give too. She just avoids making dole outs since she believes in fair deal and in working for something. She got the trait form her mother and from earlier experience since her mother got cancer and died early and she had to earn money early too.

Funny how such traits is passed on to children. She got her business sense from her mother and now her daughter is learning too! Sometimes Weng would talk about how her daughter aged 6 already knows how to collect from borrowers already. Hmmm, maybe I ought to stay with her for a while so I learn how to collect from people who borrows from me too! Hehehe…

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Heaven sent

I saw a poster of Mark Jimenez today. He was in prayer position and with a quote “Hulog ng Langit!” (Heaven sent). The poster is most probably for his bid as Mayor of Manila. “Heaven sent, ” those are pretty strong words that even if I did not see the whole poster to know what else was in it, it somehow it made me reflect on candidates promises, our election and politics.

I’ve lost interest in elections and politics a long time ago but nevertheless I still exercise my right. Mahirap na, baka magamit pa ang pangalan ko ng iba o baka mamaya eh mawala na ako sa registered voters! (Someone might vote in my name or that my name gets deleted from the registered voters!) And somehow, I wouldn’t want that to happen and I guess deep inside I feel that voting is not just a right but an obligation. I don’t know what’s going to happen but at least I know that I did what I’m supposed to do.

However, gone are the days when I was really interested in politics. Most political news seems to me to be just another form of entertainment. No matter how I try these days (okay not just days but years already!) I could no longer put myself to my mind frame some 20 years ago when I was interested in politics believing that my act would make a difference (now I just HOPE that somehow they do). I would join rallies I believed in (even if I went alone), get and distribute materials for candidates I thought were good, even got involved in debates on some occasion. I joined NAMFREL’s operation quick count (they even gave me a certificate, I wonder where it is now???) or kept watch of the tabulation in our precinct even on my own. I was in EDSA (and on side streets joining others in their kapit-bisig) during the bloodless revolution!

But those days seem so far away. I don’t even know if I would look at them with fondness now or just remember them like one old movie. Nothing much has changed!

When EDSA Dos and Tres came, the radio was open so I got to hear what went on but it was like one of those dramas on radio. There was the Oakwood mutiny, I felt it was an exercise in futility and never believed they’ll win, still had they been successful, I don’t really know if I would have made any protest. Who knows? They just might make a difference. We’ve tried all sorts anyway and nothing seems to work! There’s always a few steps forward but more steps backward. I’m not really blaming the government. Somewhere along the line, I’ve stopped blaming for it could be draining and useless. Oh okay, I have not completely stopped, occasionally I still complain but they don’t linger much since I believe that our problem is not on our government but more on the people (and I guess I’m part of it too).

Anyway, going back to the poster. MJ claims he is heaven sent. A lot of our politicians claim they are heaven sent or the answer to our woes one way or the other. You listen to them talk on their campaigns now and watch their ads and you feel like you want to vote for them. Most of them are good talkers (geez! talking seem to be one great asset of Filipinos) and the people “packaging” them are really good! Yet, you’ve seen (or not seen) their performance while they hold office… you read or heard on their affairs and their views (and change of views) and you wonder…

Just whom could you vote for???

Heaven help me…

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nice spam!

I get a lot of spam mails in my office email despite the filter set by the company that it could sometimes be irritating deleting several mails. Today I got lots of spam mails again but this email actually made me smile:

Okay, I did not post the whole mail, just the logo on the invitation to register to win a vacation in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky mountains of Tennessee. I’m not interested in registering but I suddenly recalled my visit to the place more than 4 years ago and thoughts of the place brightened my day.

The inn we stayed in had a brook around it and our room window had a nice view of a hill with log fence around it, a nice cottage on top and several black cows grazing around the place. It was autumn and the autumn colors were very pleasing to the eye! I was always excited to open the window each morning since it had better view of the hill than from the balcony. The room was very pleasant and comfy too. It was small but had its own kitchen (stove, microwave, dishwasher and the fridge makes ice automatically). It also had a dining and receiving area.

On the ground floor of the inn was a laundry area. I did not use it though since we brought sufficient clothes for our trip but I saw another tour mate doing her laundry there. Actually, I wanted to go in and try the machines since I’ve never used a coin operated laundry machine (I’m certainly a dummy on those!) but somehow I felt shy.

I also remembered how excited I was when I learned that continental breakfast was part of the package. I imagined continental breakfast to be something big but laughed when I saw what was on the buffet table. Coffee, orange juice, milk, bagel, bread, butter and jams. Not really my preferred breakfast and would gladly have traded for an Asian breakfast with fried rice!!! Still, I laughed at how dumb and presuming I could be and the nice ambiance of the place somehow made up for the light meal.

There were nice places in the area and lots of shows to see at night. I really enjoyed the place and also had fond memories of some of the people from the trip that somehow the mail made me lighthearted. Ahh… it also reminded me that I have to write a mail to some people from that trip. My aunt gave me the address of some of our tour mates after meeting them again in a recent travel expo, they asked if I could write them since they would love to hear from me again. It would be nice to keep in touch with them again!

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I haven’t blogged in a long time. I have been meaning to but my head has been hurting a lot that I feel so drained to stay up late and blog. It somehow makes me sad since I wanted to write on my recent trip but got caught up in the heavy load at work and other activities when I got back, then the headaches that came after a visit to the dentist. Yup, the dentist!

I have never really been a lover of dentists, except for Manang Jocelyn (my cousin) but she is so far away to be visiting. I would say trip to the dentists are one of my nightmares and I probably could have been a nightmare of some dentists too! It is not that I am afraid of the grinding or the sounds or even the gadgets or needles or even the procedures (I think my tolerance for pain is quite high) but more on the after effect of the procedures plus the fact that my jaws lock if I open my mouth too long. I need a dentist that works real fast and without letting me open my mouth too wide but had willingly opened my mouth as wide as I could and as long as I can even if I know that my jaws would lock but I had a dentist that panicked because I could not close my mouth for a long time. I was motioning to her to give me some time to relax so I could close it but she was already uncomfortable and only felt relieved after I was able to close my mouth. But that was not even the longest time my jaws locked. In one appointment, I could not close it a really long time even if I was doing the technique I learned to close it (put my thumbs or even any other fingers on my molars then push it downwards then backwards) that I sort of panicked too. I could no longer stay put in my chair so I stood up and started walking around the clinic relaxing, singing tunes in my head, looking from time to time at myself in the mirror (imagining how I would look if I stayed that way), then calming myself again by thinking of nicer thoughts until I finally was able to close my mouth properly. We rested a long while before continuing with the procedure.

But locked jaws is not the main reason why dentists are not in my favorite list. The biggest reason is because I actually experienced the biggest pain from dentists. I mentioned my high tolerance for pain which is true but after having a filling in one of my molars, I experienced tremendous pain that I felt my head was going to explode. There was no pain on the tooth but my head up to my neck was too painful I could not bear it. I tried to keep up as long as I could but the pain was killing me that I finally went to another dentist who just reduced the filling and immediately the pain was gone. She said that the former filling was too high that it put pressure on my nerves every time I bite.

Of course, one bad experience can't stop you from going to a dentist. You have to have your teeth cleaned too and checked but I find that after each visit there would always be a hangover, the longer the procedure the longer the hangover. There would always be a feeling of exhaustion and pain not on the tooth but almost the whole mouth! It takes time to go away but this pain did not go away sooner. It built up and became too much again. Gosh, it was so difficult to be working and doing stuff yet feeling a lingering pain but I was waiting for it to wear off and finally it is starting to wear off. Though the pain is almost gone, this time I went to a jaw, a TMJ (TemporoMandibular Joint) specialist. I know that the pains are somehow related to the jaw and several dentists have commented on my deep bite and the abrasions on my teeth (the fillings get deeper and scraped from my bites but this time I'm considering treatment.
Ouch! that means a lot of visits to the dentist...
Ouch! that means a big dent on my savings...
Ouch! I foresee looking bad in a tooth gadget...
But they say that No pain, no gain...
Argh... I just hope that in my next visit I see more of the GAIN than the pain!