BLOGGING… NOW!

I just changed my blog’s design after 3 years of being up for public consumption! Although I seldom blog these days, I always try to check my blog regularly for the sake of reminiscing the days when I get to speak my mind through writing more often than now.

Such a small make-over on the site itself somehow drives me to write once again. I miss blogging but time is something that I don’t have much these days. I missed writing about the recent events and trending topics lately. Nonetheless, I hope I could get started… Now!

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HOW TO SPOIL A 12-YEAR OLD GAMER…

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I just got my son a new desk. Well, actually, it’s not totally new. I bought it from our office. We just moved in to a new building so all fixtures in our old office were all offered for sale to employees. Most of the items were barely 6-months old and they were sold for almost nothing! I got 2 ergonomic chairs as well for a few bucks! Good deal indeed!

Playing computer games for almost the entire school break to beat boredom is not a laughing matter. We only allow him to play during vacation. He can’t play any games during school days! That’s why he’s maximizing his chance to play from dusk until dawn! Besides, he has a few days remaining before school opens. Thus, I’m spoiling my 12-year old gamer some more!

READING MADE EASY, HANDY AND CHEAPER!

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I love books and I love reading them. I started buying books almost 12 years ago and I got a few hundreds of the best-selling materials covering computers, management, finances, self-help and photography. I had to send half of my collection to our house in the province due to limited storage though I have kept around 500 titles with me in the city. I’m talking about paper books!

These days, buying books is still an addiction that I intend to keep. Besides, knowledge is power! I used to bring 3 to 5 books when I was younger as a reference to my work. Fast forward to the digital age, I now have almost a thousand books in my collection and I am bringing them all with me everyday! That’s just for a single device. I have more in my old storage disks!

Well, in the old days, it’s impossible to bring an entire library in your hand. It’s even hard to bring 2 to 3 books everyday especially if you are fascinated with famous yet super thick titles like Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. It’s good that technology is making life more convenient. Thus, we have electronic books or e-books to make reading easy, handy and cheaper! Great!

PIOLO PASCUAL IS GAY AND IT’S OKAY!

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I was checking updates on my Facebook account just minutes ago when I came across a controversial photo posted way back. I don’t want to judge but I think there’s nothing wrong with it! Taking malice away, getting a photo with another guy is okay!

As they say…

Kapag ba lalake ang kayakap, bading na agad? Di ba pwedeng silahis muna?

Whatever the truth behind the controversy, I believe that there is nothing wrong with someone being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transvestite. Besides, if Rustom Padilla can do it, then there is nothing wrong if Piolo Pascual take the same path!

By the way, I don’t mean to break the story but the photo above is said to be edited. You can check the photo below and compare. Note how weird Erik Santos’ left arm is and check his 6 fingers too at his right! Thanks to my fellow PEXers!

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Moral of the story? Never judge a person based on what you hear and see in talkshows or even on the internet. In real life, do not judge people on mere hearsay. Just mind your own business not like show business!

So tomorrow when you wake up and you suddenly hear again on news programs or talkshows that Piolo Pascual is gay, it should be perfectly okay! Besides, being gay means being happy! Cheers!

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THE ALPHA SIGMA CONNECTION

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NEWSBREAK – THE ALPHA SIGMA CONNECTION
September 28, 2003

The Oakwood mutiny was not only an all-PMA affair. It also became a reunion of brods from UP’s Alpha Sigma Fraternity. Four Alpha Sigmans figured prominently on both sides at Oakwood—Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, housing czar Michael Defensor, Philippine Information Agency head Renato Velasco, and—the least known of all—Gringo’s senior staff, Jesus Fernandez.

More Alpha Sigmans surfaced in the post-Oakwood politicking. Daniel Gutierrez, a batch mate of Velasco, is now Honasan’s lead counsel, while a younger fraternity brod, Ruel Pulido, is on the defense team of the Magdalo group. Completing the picture is columnist Randy David, who has become one of the Magdalo group’s most articulate defenders.

Alpha Sigma has come a long way since former Kabataang Makabayan chairman and Communist Party of the Philippines Politburo member-turned-Marcos ideologue Nilo Tayag established it in 1964.

NEWSBREAK – INBOX: THE ALPHA SIGMA CONNECTION
October 26, 2003

As a UP Alpha Sigman, let me add to your Sept. 29, 2003, issue’s “Inside Track” item on “The Alpha Sigma Connection.”

But first a few corrections. Atty. Daniel Gutierrez (73-A) is not a batch mate of Philippine Information Agency head Dr. Renato Velasco (71-B). Alpha Sigma was established in 1962, not 1964–which was when the Kabataang Makabayan was established by Alpha Sigma charter member Nilo Tayag (62) and others later associated with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Just to complete the batch data of those “brods” mentioned in your piece: Sen. Gregorio Honasan (66-A), Secretary Michael Defensor (87-J), Jesus Fernandez (74-A), Atty. Roberto Rafael Pulido (82-D), and Prof. Randolf David (63).

According to news reports on the Oakwood pre-negotiations, Defensor had earlier called up brods who were members of Honasan’s staff, Atty. Paul Redublo (78-D) and political consultant Fernandez, “as a fraternity brod and concerned citizen.”

Not only Pulido but his law firm of “Del Rosario Mendoza Tiamson Gabriel and Pulido,” all Alpha Sigmans of the ’80s, is on the defense team of the Magdalo group.

And to complete the picture, David’s batch mate is Ernesto Macahiya (63), also of the Philippine Guardians Brotherhood, who is charged with Honasan et al. for rebellion/coup d’etat.
All this has not divided the fraternity. It has even strengthened the ties among brods coming from three different decades of batches in the fraternity.

The way the Makati crisis played out last July 27, particularly the role of certain persons like the aforementioned frat brods, seems to say that one can be part of the problem and also part of the solution, whichever side one looks at it. That may as well be said also of university fraternities.

Beyond rumbles and hazing, high-level university fraternities may yet become instruments of peace, unification, and national reconciliation. In the case of Alpha Sigma, still another challenge might have to do with the in-country leader of the CPP, Benito Tiamzon (69-D).

Your piece says, “Alpha Sigma has come a long way….” It also has a long way to go.

SOLIMAN M. SANTOS JR.
UP Alpha Sigma 73-C
18 Mariposa St.,
Cubao, Quezon City

KNOW WHEN TO SLOW DOWN…

April 26, 2010. It’s Monday! I woke up at 5AM only to sleep again. I thought I was too early for my 7:58 train. Actually, I got used to taking the 8:38 and 8:58 trip so I was not worried at all except that if I don’t make the trip at 7:58, I will surely miss the 8:24 shuttle to the office and pay for a cab instead. Taxi is expensive here! I pay P800 for a 5 minute ride!  Life is timed here and time is gold indeed!

I woke up again 30 minutes before 7:58 and I thought I would not make it because I spend quite a long time usually at the shower. I try to sweat myself inside the bathroom with the hot steam from the shower to mimic a sauna. I also had to spend 10-15 minutes fixing my curly hair. Tsk. So I sat and took my favorite snickers bar, a glass of milk for my cereals plus 4 sliced bread and marmalade.

Not wanting to rush, I decided to wait for 8:38 or 8:58 instead! I tuned in at CNN to check for the latest news then moved to Discovery Channel for American Chopper! While doing so, I had to check for emails and updates at my Facebook! Thus, time flew too fast and unnoticed that before I even knew it, it was already 8:00! Well, I thought I’ll catch 8:58 instead because 8:38 is too soon!

Not wanting to miss the next train, I rushed to do all my morning rituals, prepared my clothes and took a shower. By 8:38, I was ready to leave for the 8:58 trip. Unfortunately, the show was too good to miss! Besides, it was raining hard that I told myself to just wait for 9:38 trip instead! What a lame excuse! I realized that having to rush is useless since I have no deliverables and no reason at all to run.

Thus, I sat on my bed and enjoyed the out-takes of American Chopper until it was 15 minutes before 9:38! I had to walk for 10 minutes so I decided to move! It was raining and I arrived 5 minutes before the train. I was able to finish the show had a relaxing walk down the train station less the pressure. With this, I boarded the train with a smile! Besides, delivery merits more than attendance in my job!

Normally, this should not be practiced as I would always go for punctuality. I am just lucky that I have no urgent deliverables yet and that I have a result-oriented job that is not too much focused on attendance. Nonetheless, I would still say that TIME IS GOLD! Anyway, this simple day-to-day clumsiness and blunder has a lesson to share – to take life in an adaptive approach.

Things do happen! No matter how hard you try to perfect things, there will always be a glitch. I do not say that preparation is useless but it is a fact that we can only plan but we can never dictate reality. It’s unpredictable! Remember the story of Stripes and Yellow? If not, then google and read HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS by Trina Paulus. There you will realize why we need to take it slow!

In my own personal point of view, we need to learn to take things as they come. We need to be adaptive instead of being by-the-book. If you cannot climb the ladder of success today, do it tomorrow! Do not push yourself too much. It won’t help. When you feel that running after something that you know you can’t catch is futile, slow down and take a break.

Slowing down does not mean you are quitting! You just need a break! You need to breathe! We all need to slow down to recover and revitalize. We need to recharge! We need to pause so we can review all the learning and patch the plan as needed. What’s the use of rushing when the train that has already left? Why not  just sit back and wait for the next one while enjoying a bar of Snickers and a bottle of soda?

Take it from me!

A WOK TO REMEMBER…

Wok with Ryan March 15, 2010. I am walking tired, alone and cold right now after having a nice dinner party with my colleagues at Per’s house. I cooked almost 5 Filipino dishes in 2 hours – Pork Nilaga, Pork Menudo, Beef Caldereta, Chicken Adobo and Chopsuey. I am happy though.

It was a lot of kitchen work! I had to do it all by myself but when I was almost done with 3 dishes and noticed people waiting, I tried to get help from Tine. At one point, I was taken out of the kitchen to receive gifts from them – a Lego toy, candies and a card! Thanks!

Well, it’s my first time to cook in big proportion as I used to cook only at home for my wife and son with 1-2 dishes maximum. I only knew a few easy-to-cook dishes so I was not able to showcase the best of the Philippines yet I think it was a success.

Well, I got some praises afterwards so I think they appreciate the fact that we have good tasting dishes! I told them that what makes the food delicious is not just the spices but the “love” and “passion”you have while cooking. It works!

I started 4:30PM after work and ended up almost 6:30PM cooking everything under pressure. Dinner was served at 7:00PM for 8 people including me and some for Per’s family. I was too happy and proud that everything tasted well though rushed.

By the time that we were all done with the small feast, it was almost 10:00PM. Everyone headed to their cars and started saying goodbyes. It was a good experience having to dine with all of them. I was the youngest by 10 years.

Anyway, not wanting to bother people to take me to my place, I let them all leave first and decided to head towards the train station by foot. That is where I started to feel all the fatigue and loneliness waiting for a train ride for 45 minutes.

Thus, I decided to speak my mind and blog instead using my phone. Cheers!

YET ANOTHER FREE DINNER

Home DinnerMarch 17, 2010. It’s 10:30PM and I just reached home quite tired but with a smile. Just as I was about to leave the office for home, I got a last-minute invitation this afternoon from my colleague to have a dinner with him and his family at his place. It was unplanned indeed but I have nothing to do so I accepted it. Thus, I went with him to his home almost 2 kilometers away from our office for a family dinner.

For many days now, I had lonely dinners all by myself except when I was in a project site with colleagues and last Sunday when I had another dinner invitation from another colleague named Jan. So occasions like these are really precious for me. Not all people will get to invite me at their home so getting one is really special to me.

I am happy to accept invitations like this not because I wanted to eat better home-cooked meals but because this is the only time that I get to feel that I am home indeed where I can talk with real people not just about work but about anything under the sun.

Luckily, I still have some invitations from Eli, Niels and Britta and one I took recently from Jan. Just tonight, I felt so happy feeling as if I was at home. It’s good that I have taken Per’s invite!

So who is Per? Per is one of the employees who have stayed quite long with the company where we both work for. He has been in the industry for quite some time now and like me, he is also a techno-geek. He is simple and hard-working. Currently, we are doing the same project so we get the share the same challenges and opinions on how to make things happen.

Per and I get to talk more about work and about our personal thoughts so we both are comfortable at sharing ideas. He works almost the same as how I work with passion and dedication. Thus, I trust him.  Today, I was able to talk with his wife who owns a daycare center at home. She is simple and as friendly as my colleague too.

She loves painting furniture and checking websites or blogs about furniture and home fixtures. She loves gardening as well especially with flowers. She even showed me what sites she usually checks online. She’s simple and nice. Suddenly, I started missing my wife and how she wanted to just have a daycare and take care of kids.

At HomeI got a bottle of beer from Per and he started putting woods to fire his chimney for warmth. I showed his wife my blog and soon my colleague went to the kitchen to cook dinner for us. I was told that he is a better cook of house if only he has more time. Per’s family is simple and typical yet they seem to be happy and close together.

So we started dining. We had chicken, vegetable and potato mixed with Jerusalem Artichoke. It was a simple meal yet healthy and well-prepared. I could taste their hospitality indeed! While eating, we all started talking about kids, life, parties and culture. The conversation was so lively as if I was at home.

I opened the conversation by talking about the molecular biology and biotechnology expert in their country who is trying to recreate life and how it all began by engineering a cell from scratch. I know that his daughter wanted to be a doctor so I had to make the topic interesting to get her into the discussion. We then talk about teenage life.

We were like in a comedy bar as I started sharing real-life experiences. I know that I can always look funny being the usual clown but I had to make sure that I am able to inject good lessons to learn be especially for Per’s daughter who just turned 18. I had to tell her that while enjoying life, we need to fulfill our responsibilities too.

I was there for almost 4 hours. We all talked a lot and we even ended up laughing about usual blunders like farting in public or pretending look stupid and sick so you won’t get bullied and how I almost ate Bugs Bunny for dinner because the menu was not in English. It was a night that really made me feel like family though I am away from my own.

All in all, it was a night to remember! I felt very much at home and I should thank Per and his family for the dinner and lively chat. Although his son arrived quite late, I am sure he would have enjoyed the same conversation. Anyway, I have to visit them again one of these days so I could cook them dinner as well – Adobo, Menudo and Nilaga!