Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sweat it Out!

Here I am again, with a resolute objective to lose weight. And when I am facing head-on with this dilemma, I get reunited with badminton. I have had a lot of reunions with this sport, blog about it, stop for a while when I get the results that I wanted, then devour again mudpie at Calea, sip and gulp (depending on the hotness)Starbucks Caramel Macchiato coffee, become fat again, and decide to play badminton again to lose weight. This is a cycle that I know of, a vicious one, but I always love the feeling of coming back in this side of Bacolod, the Eastside Badminton Center. By the way, fat is not politically correct. So I would say, I am not fat. I just occuply plenty of space!

The whole reunion meant also being reunited with former playmates and get to know updates of their personal life. This of course happens when we are resting in the bench while we towel our cascading sweat, catch our breath back to state of being normal, and wait for the next game to start.

Then I get to see how my former playmates became virtuoso in this sport; the off-shoot of religiously playing during tuesdays, thurdays, and saturdays. Some have become muscular with a body-to-die-for? And hopefully, I will have that bodily adjective, weeks from now!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back in 2008 at BONISTA Resort

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Gentleness of Dumaguete

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flash Drive and the Love Story

Warning. This is a love story. If you are doing something while reading this, I strongly advised that you do one thing at a time. This needs your undivided attention. Focus is of paramount importance.

Yesterday, I bought a new flash drive. Where’s the love story? Wait. Don't be too excited. The reason is, I need a new one to replace what has been lost or what has been stolen. I cannot really tell which is which. I just knew one day, I don’t have it during my search and rescue inside my bag. Truth is, I need a storage for an information I need to transfer to the web. Remember the love story? Yes, this is it.

My former student just broke up with his girlfriend. How did I know? Through his FB wall. Today, FB does not only connect friends, it has become our expression wall. This is where a few cry out in utter desperation, lambaste a person he despises so much, ask forgiveness, and court his or her significant other.
He posted, “Please give me one more chance.” Well, this is not about Popoy and Basya but like that movie, this is all about surviving the loss of a love. He pleaded. He wanted to be felt. He wanted a love back. I attempted to make his emotional burden a little lighter by offering Red horse but he said no. Few days after he took a break from FB.

I am no-love expert…yet. (Although I admit, I am a sucker of romantic comedy movies.) So I need the help of an authority. Jet, a fellow blogger, lent a book, How to Survive the Loss of a Love, to Emmylou (also a blogger) for that same purpose. Intrigued about how the authors could make you really survive the loss of a love, I borrowed it. Now I wonder, will it make a difference, reading when you suffer loss at the moment and when you’re not? I remember vividly that as Jet handed the book, she excitedly mentioned of the emergency hotline mentioned in Page 2. It said, “If you are experiencing a loss and are in need of emotional first-aid, please turn directly to page 20”. And in page 20 wrote:

“You will survive
You will get better.
No doubt about it.
The healing process has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Keep in mind, at the beginning, that there is an end. It’s not that far-off.
You will heal.
Nature is on your side, and nature is a powerful ally.
Tell yourself, often, “I am alive. I will survive.”
You are alive.
You will survive.”

I remember in grade school when few of my classmates would let me write in their flashy scrapbook. Most often I took them home so that I will the liberty to 1) think hard of giving the most serious answers, and 2) read what has been written by my other classmates (lol…). Question number 1: what is love? Imagine a 4th grader defining what love is. And I think, most of my classmates, have a common definition which I suspected to have come from past generations. It said, “Love is a like a bubble gum, kung mupilit makabuang”. Whoever originated that definition already left a legacy on love. Even I, have memorized it. Does he know that his definition is more popular than him? Is he still alive?

One day I was wandering around a small shopping center in Dumaguete. The time when, out of nothing to do, you read everything your eyes meet. I was walking downstairs when my gaze was riveted to a medium-sized poster, considerably attention-grabbing because of its artistry. And in the poster are the words:

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
Love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly;
it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails…But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13

This is the unarguably the most beautiful definition of love. This is what love should be. This is what love can do. This is love in its truest and purest state.
I have heard many love stories told in the ‘first person’. Some are coupled with romance, suspense, comedy, action; some even goes with horror.

I have seen love stories at the onset 'til it blossomed. Some withered and died. Few have recuperated. Few eventually died.

Maybe I am what J.D. Salinger mentioned in his book. I wanted to be, not “a catcher in the rye”, but a catcher of love stories. And I will be writing beautiful love stories that will make people skip a meal, skip work, skip a fart, and their hearts skip a bit.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Two Cabbie Stories - The Good and the Bad (Forget the Ugly Part) PART II

The bad story is told.

To balance the equation is another cabbie story and this is the good part. I thank God for the natural tendency of nature, called balance, or in literature, equilibrium.

Right after the convention ended, noontime of Sunday, Cherrie and I, packed our things ready to fly back to Bacolod. Of course, in the case of Cherrie, Bacolod serves only as middle ground to her final destination, Kabangkalan City in the south.

The plane landed safely at Silay Airport. We were the last to board the van for Bacolod. Thirty minutes passed. She was the first to alight the van at Ceres bound for South. Then I followed at the Bacolod Plaza near Video City.

I was fully loaded. I had one bag in my shoulder, a laptop bag, a convention bag, and a suit bag equally divided according to their weight for my two hands. I immediately called the taxi that parked few meters away from where I stood. Feeling the tiredness and exhaustion, I almost fell asleep while I fully lay my back and head in my seat. Ten minutes after, I was already standing outside my gate. It was dark so I tried to grab my cellphone from my jean's pocket. (My cp by the way has a flashlight in it. I used it most often in karaoke rooms, which are usually dim, to locate songs in the songbook.  Most often, my friends are amazed with this feature. And I tell them, this is the major reason why I chose Nokia E5.) I couldn't locate it, so I just grope for the pad lock. Luckily, I opened it quite fast. When I finally put down everything, the first thing I searched was my cellphone. I wanted to check the time. So I checked again all pockets in my jeans. There was none. I squeezed it to reveal any hard object inside. There was none. I opened all searchable pockets of all my bags. There was none. I emptied my bags. There was none. Suddenly, I felt the tension of the possibility that I dropped my phone inside the cab. I refused to entertain that thought. So I searched again. I went outside of the house, traced my way, hoping I dropped it somewhere after I went down the taxi. There was none. I panicked. I starved more.

I forced myself to relax. So I lay on my bed, closed my eyes, and tried not to think of anything. Five minutes after, when I thought I have gained back some energy, I searched again. There was no Nokia E5. I gave up the search. I resolved to the fact that its lost. I left it inside the cab. I imagined already the next passenger holding it with a grin on his face and throwing my SIM. I am facing head-on the fact that the possibility of recovering my phone is nil. So I told myself, "Tomorrow I will buy a new phone". And that made me a little okay. Acceptance made me okay. The turn out of events made me really physically drained so I slept like a log.

The next day, without my phone to reveal the time, I turned on the TV. And it made me wonder why I was able to wake up early without the annoying sound of my cellphone alarm. It must be the angels.

The first thing I did when I arrived in the lab was of course borrow the phone of my officemate. I dialed my number. I couldn't believe when it rang. Yes my phone still has my SIM tucked inside. I felt a sudden surge of hope. My heart beat faster. My phone was not stolen. It was just in someone else's possession. And that made me happy early in the morning. The phone just continued ringing. So I thought that person was still asleep. I was out of the laboratory for a while to conduct an audit. I did not know, Mr Alain - my boss, looked for me, and called my phone. This time, the driver answered. There he knew about my phone being lost. He called me up where I was thru landline and told me this, "Mr. Jay, the driver of the taxi is on his way to the Plant to return your cellphone." I refused to believe it. This must be another early morning prank. Although, part of me also longed to believe it was true. I said, "How did you know Mr. Alain of the lost cellphone?" And he told me his conversation with the cabbie driver. My self is celebrating inside. I was very ecstatic. 

I immediately made my way to Gate 1.

I was very excited to meet the person who saved my lost cellphone. The person whose honestry is still an integral part of his life values. The person who deserves an honorary salute. The person who is brave enough to combat against dishonesty.

I am glad, a person like him, still exists. I am glad, he personifies a dignified person in a world full of untruthfullness. I am glad to know that world is still a beautiful place to live in because of Manong Driver. Thank you very much Manong!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two Cabbie Stories - The Good and the Bad (Forget the Ugly Part)

This is the first story. Location - Manila.

When I think of Manila, the first that comes to mind is its unbearable traffic. The second is its notorious sly cab drivers. The third is its jarring noise and tumultuous heat.

I can manage to be stuck in traffic.

I can endure the noise and the heat. (but not in an hour please)

Now this will be about the second thought I have.

There is always a certain irrepresible feeling of threat when I am on board a taxi in Manila. Most especially if I am alone. The kind that will make me cynical. For someone who comes from the province, when you step on the soil of this big city, evokes a sense of mental alertness. The eerie feeling that you can't just afford to rest your eyes for five seconds because some things could happen in that short span of time. When I give my destination to the cabbie, which I do as quickly as I can, I subconsciously remind myself to lose my love for public speaking. At the back of my mind, I said "This is not the right avenue to talk". However cab drivers are scheming. They love to intrude in your personal affairs. And sometimes, not answering them, is being discourteous. I don't want to be rude even though they are complete strangers. So I have to answer back, of course minimally. However I would like to believe that their ulterior motive is to know whether you come from Manila or not. And in the event that they will know, their next question will be, "Where do we pass?". The last time I was asked this question, I innocently answered, "The shortest time possible manong". The next thing I know, I had a tour around unfamiliar sites. And that's where the dilemma starts. So in the next few minutes you go around the streets of Manila aimlessly before you arrive to your place of interest. So you pay around 300 pesos to get there and on your way back, you will know that can actually get there with only 80 pesos.

So here goes the story that I share with DTM Ro when I attended my first District Convention. Going back to Shalom Center, we boarded a taxi. I remained quiet for safety reasons. Ro instructed the driver to bring us to the hotel. The driver just keep quiet so I thought he knew the direction. In the middle of our convesation, he interrupted and asked, "Where is the hotel located?". Ro said, "It's along Guererro St in Malate." The driver replied, "Sir, just give me instructions; I don't know where that is." Ro's blood pressure is rising. He uttered, of course with composure and grace still, "Ah, you dont know where Guerrero St. is? Okay, bring me to the nearest police station and I will tell them to instruct you because you don't know." The driver  who already hinted Ro's subltle anguish explained, "Sir I'm really not familiar with the streets in Malate." We passed by a traffic enforcer so we stopped and Ro inquired (added with a background of the problem), "This driver does not know where Guerrero St. is, please give him instructions." They talked. I already sensed the anxiety of DTM Ro. Until the driver closed the window and he drove away. Ro did not let the moment pass by without his display of wit and humor. He said, "Manong, tomorrow, first thing in the morning, you buy a map of Manila so that you will know this place better. You see I am old already. Please don't make my blood pressure escalate again. You ought to know these things because this is your work and you are paid for it".

We alighted the taxi with a smile.

(The second story in the next post)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What Could Happen After 2 Years?

I was seriously searching for that 'one picture' I was told, described as "must-see" by an officemate in our computer. As I opened the last folder, I could almost sense failure. However, in my search, I was able to find these two interesting vintage pictures. Backward in time, this was in 2009, in a street party during the Masskara Festival. I was a little dismayed to see our background that wrote, POST NO BILL in a seemingly abandoned fence. But none of us seemed bothered which part are we in the long stretch of Lacson Street. What's important is that we were happy drinking the best beer in the world - the product of our hard labor and complex chemistry called brewing. "Itaas Mo." Drinking til the last drop. Making everday life a celebration. The street party every year meant brushing and rubbing elbows with strangers so that space where we were was good enough - that is, we moved freely without any threat to our possesions and lives, there was better order of things, and of course, we did not gasp for oxygen. This is one of the rare moments when QA and Brewing are grouped together outside work. The two departments are close to each other, both literally and figuratively. In fact, due to their closeness, their relationships could also go 'brewing'. Now, that's strictly rhetorical language. Forward in time, June 2011, that's more or less, two years after, a lot of changes already happened. In the topmost picture, Mr Dennis of Brewing already retired. He was one of our temp men. Mr Ciocs already transferred office. From being the QA's technical secretary, he is now the Plant Manger's Secretary. Ivan also transferred to the Eng'g Dept. Julienne is now connected with Coke Davao. And of course Ms. Adee is now Mrs. Loquellano with baby Miggo. These were the myriad of things that happened two years after that picture was taken. And two years from now...