Hitler’s take on Villar vs. Noynoy

A colleague shared these spoof videos of a Hitler movie–one in favor of Manny Villar; the other for Noynoy Aquino—that made me laugh today. Well, this is what the Philippine presidential elections has come to: a big joke.

Pro-Villar spoof:

Pro-Noynoy spoof:


Painless post-Valentine break up

The nurse at the pre-anesthesia room was reading the classified ads. She’s looking for a new job, maybe for an opportunity abroad, I told myself while observing her from my bed, waiting to be brought to the operating room.

“What’s your nickname?” the anesthesiologist said as she reads through my chart page by page, and interrupting my amusement for the nurse openly looking for a job while at work and with doctors and nurses around her.

“Barry, doc” I said, smiling.

“Ah from your surname,” she mused, as if to convince herself. I affirmed her with another smile.

“Okay Barry, it’s your time.”

That didn’t sound right at first, but she’s right, it was my time. I had long wanted the tonsillectomy to be over and done with. But as two nurses were carting me off to the operating room, I realized how much trust  a patient needs to have on doctors to allow them to gamble on an operation. There are risks involved; my doctor was patient enough to explain to me all the possible complications, the most extreme of which is death. That doesn’t help build up the trust, does it? 🙂

I recall him trying to reassure me: “I’ve done this procedure for over 20 years and none of the complications has happened to any of my patients.” I recall just replying with a nod and a smile—to reassure myself more than to acknowledge his declaration of expertise.

So there I was on Valentine’s Day, lying in my hospital bed, being carted away to the operating room, after having mustered all the courage to trust my doctors for my first major operation under general anesthesia—my break-up with my tonsils. 😛

My ENT doctor welcomed me with a pat on my shoulder. Good boy, eh? Then one of the nurses played “Killing Me Softly” on the radio as I lay on the operating table and nurses were putting all the contraptions to my body.

“How apt,” I told myself, while trying to remember the sequence of events in my mind, and negating the song by singing Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” in my head. I’m serious. I was really singing it in my mind. And doing this helped me calm down until the anesthesiologist placed the oxygen mask on my face and I felt groggy and very, very sleepy.

The next thing I knew, the doctors and nurses were waking me up. “Barry, it’s over. It’s okay now. We’ll bring you to the recovery room.” Shit,I thought it was St. Peter and his angels waking me up as there was only blinding light when I tried to open my eyes. I’m dead, I thought. 🙂

I woke up again and saw myself in the recovery room. I saw other patients still sleeping and the nurses busily attending to each one. After over an hour in the recovery room, I was brought back to my room.  Before sunset one of the doctors checked on me, then just before leaving she said that people in the operating room found me quite amusing.

“When we woke you up and told you that you’ll be brought to the recovery room, you smiled at us,” she said.

I smiled, unable to ask: “I did?” But in my mind I continued the thought: “It must be Bon Jovi’s song, doc.” 🙂

Today as I write this I’m eating vanilla ice cream, still unable to speak clearly, and working from home for a week. It’s finally over and done with, my first major surgery. Now I think I’m ready to be 30. 😀

Starting the year right

There’s nothing like the feeling of a fresh start or an opportunity to build up on what we’ve already accomplished. Starting anew in the year of the Metal Tiger is no different, despite forecasts that this is going to be a more challenging year, tumultuous even. Here below are things we can do to start the year right and help keep the good vibes throughout the year. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded of things we know but often forget, right?

  • De-clutter your network

Oxford Dictionary chose the word “unfriend” as word of the year in 2009. Unfriend is used in social networking sites when you take a person out of your list of friends. We can take the cue from this new word to learn that some people can be excess baggage in our lives, the kind who don’t matter to us, whose opinions we don’t value. Sometimes, the best favor we can give ourselves is to cut ties with those who don’t matter so that we can spend more time and energy with those that really mean more to us.

De-cluttering your network can also simply mean cleaning up your email, or emptying your computer trash bin, or throwing away old photos and keeping only those that you like or can share with friends on Facebook. So empty up some spaces from the past to give room for your new blessings this year.

  • Get started on wellness

Coming from the food fests we actively participated in during the holiday season, it’s time to sweat those unwanted love handles so we become fit to face this year’s challenges head on. Losing weight is not just about looking good, but also about having the energy so we can work hard and play hard.

So take up a fitness activity that you can enjoy with family and friends. Try running as a starter—it’s easy to do and you can enjoy the high from running like an athlete around a race track like Ultra, or enjoy early morning fresh air while running around UP Sunken Garden.

And when you’ve trained enough, try the 3K or 5K run in the upcoming Unilab Run United for Wellness on March 7 at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Tag along your kids, relatives, and friends to this first corporate-initiated public run that’s a health and wellness family day, too.

  •      Be more conscious of your choices

From instant noodles to cellphone models, the choices can be dizzying so before you get lost in the choosing, be clear with what you really need. Sometimes, some features in the items we want are only nice to have but have no functional benefit. Sometimes, we get so charmed by an ad’s promise we jumped into a purchase only to realize that we didn’t get the expected benefit, or we don’t need the product at all.

So be a wiser consumer by looking for a cheaper but quality alternative. But affordability does not always translate to quality, so make sure you know and trust the manufacturer so you can be assured of not only quality, but also safety in the products you buy.

      Indeed, making the right choices can be easy if we know how to ask the right questions: Sino’ng may gawa n’yan? Sinuri ba nang tama ‘yan? Maingat bang ginawa ‘yan? Subok na ba ‘yan?

  •  Beef up your savings

Every year has its unexpected visitors such as the super typhoons last year or an unforeseen event in the family. While we can never be fully prepared for these occurrences, we can at least give ourselves a bigger chance at overcoming the impact by having the means to move on and go on with life. 

So remember to save up more this year and build a bigger nest egg for emergencies down the line. Try 10 percent of your monthly income or develop alternative income streams such as freelance work online, a weekend part-time job, or even a home-based business like buy-and-sell.

Saving up and growing your money doesn’t just mean being financially ready; to some extent it’s about having peace of mind, isn’t it?

Before you worry over things outside of your control, work on those you have direct control of—like your health, your finances, your support system, and your attitude towards life. Happy new year!

never again Ondoy

This is another sharing on Ondoy experience, but this is all about me and this is not a sad story.

Don't come again, Ondoy. You're not welcome here.
Don’t come again, Ondoy. You’re not welcome here.

It’s been over three weeks but the typhoon Ondoy experience still feels like it was just two days ago. I think maybe it’s because I haven’t really gone back to life as usual. Everyday as I travel the ‘long cut’ to work and back using public transport, I keep remembering how much easier life was before Ondoy, at least for me. Now it feels like I don’t have a choice but to live with its aftermath until, well, life is back to normal. Heaven knows how I hate not having choices.

Walking was never this fun. Yeah right.
Let’s go jogging, anyone?

For the first time, I braved waist-deep flood to buy food from the nearest grocery from home, which was like walking from EDSA Central in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong to SM Megamall in Ortigas, Pasig. I didn’t mind the walk; it was leptospirosis I was most worried about. My mom was most concerned about my panic-buying tendencies. 😀

The other things Ondoy wiped out
The other things Ondoy wiped out

When ankle-deep water inside the house subsided the night of that Saturday, I thought Ondoy was over and we can go on with our lives again until we learned that roads outside the village were impassable and the only way out was to ride a tractor or a make-shift boat. I thought I could deal with it; I would just have to think of it like an adventure trip, backpacking and all, and pretend that it’s a new culture I’m immersing myself in. Ah, a preview of Tonle Sap, I thought.

Not all best things in life are free
Not all best things in life are free

But the first time I went out of the village to report to work, I had to line up for hours at the village gate waiting for the tractor ride. It was free ride alright, but the dump truck was filthy beyond compare and it took in as many bodies as it could, leaving people with no choice but to bear the one-hour ride sweating like pigs and smelling all kinds of odor known to man. Even my boy scout and ROTC years didn’t prepare me for it.

Not your typical street party
Not your typical street party

Going home that first day out of the village was no different. In the city rotonda, I lined up for hours again for the free ride. I sat on the street gutter like many did, unable to hold up standing after a tiring day at work, trying to amuse myself by downloading songs on my mobile phone. Birthday Sex by Jeremy. Apologize by One Republic. Tokyo Mix. Jai Ho. Daughtry’s Home. Ahh, how appropriate, I thought.

A day in the life of a chicken. Or pig.
A day in the life of a chicken. Or pig.

Several days after riding dump trucks and moving chicken pens and pig pens, we found a new way out of the village—the ‘long cut’ going to Taytay, Rizal. I have to take a tricycle passing through what they call a Floodway, a long stretch of residential homes, many shanties, where people crowd the street like it was part of their houses. I said in one of my previous posts that I have become numb, even blind, to poverty in Manila. That still holds true to this day, but for the past two weeks I have no choice but to recognize it because it’s right before my eyes.

Front-seat luxury on a truck
Front-seat luxury on a truck

All the conveniences of travel that I was used to because I always chose in their favor were all removed post-Ondoy. I say ‘conveniences’ to contrast my experience with many others who lost loved ones, their property, and possessions to the flood. I say that to remind myself of the many stories I heard on news and overheard inside jeepneys and buses of how people survived that day, or how many others didn’t. I say that to remind myself that I have so much to be grateful for and I believe that with all my heart.

While for others Ondoy opened their eyes to new realizations, it reaffirmed to me what I’ve always known about myself.

That I can adapt to the call of the day but that I refuse to accept anything less than what I can get for what I work hard for.

That I easily abandon the idea of having choices and making them in times of need because I stare at what is too long rather than on what else I can do.

That I’ve always hold on to the belief that one can still reach out and help, even when you yourself are wounded.

That I’ve already learned not long ago the lesson on happiness and fulfillment brought about by doing, not by having.

And that I can stand a long walk, a long ride, and a long day, but not bad odor. Never. 🙂

Common abbreviations parents should know

If you’re a parent who’s confused with your kid’s lingo, EZ  (easy) on the  judgment. It’s most likely that your kid is simply using abbreviations that are commonly used by many others in texting, chatting, and microblogging like Twitter, where a user is limited to 140 characters (including spacing) per post.
photo credit: roadsidescholar.com
photo credit: roadsidescholar.com

And as long as there’s texting, chatting, and microblogging, there’ll be word abbreviations. So instead of stopping your kids from using these (they won’t) or cursing the new generation for bastardizing human language (they aren’t; who started the abbreviations like TBA, ASAP, FYI, and LBM? Certainly not this new generation, right?), take time to understand these common abbreviations and you’ll realize that it won’t hurt knowing them or using them when appropriate or when communicating with your kids. 🙂

ADIH – another day in hell 

AFK – away from keyboard (thanks lyshee for the contribution)

ASL – age, sex, location (almost a staple at the start of a chat)

AYDY – are you done yet? (what do you think are they doing? LOL)

BIF – before i forget

B4N – bye for now

BOOMS – bored out of my skull

BLNT – better luck next time

BBS – be back soon

BCNU – be seeing you

BRB – be right back

BTDT – been there, done that

BTW – by the way

CID – consider it done

CUL8R – see you later

CSL – can’t stop laughing

DQMOT – don’t quote me on this

EG – evil grin

FOAF – friend of a friend

FWIW – for what it’s worth

FWM – fine with me

FUBU – fuck buddy

FTW – for the win or fuck the world (take a pick!)

GAL – get a life

G2G or GTG – got to go

HAND – have a nice day

IDC – i don’t care (or IDKIDN – i don’t know, i don’t care)

IKR – i know, right?

IME – in my experience

IMHO – in my humble opinion

IOW – in other words

JK – just kidding

JTLYK – just to let you know

KIT – keep in touch

LBH – let’s be honest

LMAO – laughing my ass off

NMU – not much, you?

NBD – no big deal

NOOB – a newbie

OMW – on my way

OTP – on the phone

PAW – parents are watching

PCM – please call me

PIR – parent in room

PROLLY – probably

POS – parent over shoulder (or MOS – mom over shoulder)

ROTFL – rolling on the floor laughing

SIT – stay in touch

SFETE – smiling from ear to ear

SPST – same place, same time

SYS – see you soon

TAFN – that’s all for now

TOY – thinking of you

TTD – things to do

TTFN – ta ta for now

TTYL – talk to you later

WFM – works for me

WTF – what the fuck?

WB – welcome back

WTH – what the hell?

WYGOWM – will you go out with me?

XOXO – hugs and kisses

 If you want to find more acronyms and their meanings, click here or here.

Do you know of other abbreviations? Drop it in the comment and I’ll include it here.

Hate the abbreviations? GAL! 😛

a life well lived, a prayer granted


One of Cory‘s sons-in-law gifted me with the book Poems, Prayers, & Letters from Ninoy & Cory a few years back. I was surprised to find out that one of the prayers included in the small book is Cory’s Prayer For A Happy Death, which she wrote in 2004. Here’s the prayer:

“Almighty God, most merciful Father, You alone know the time. You alone know the hour. You alone know the moment when I shall breathe my last.

So remind me each day, most loving Father to be the best that I can be, to be humble, to be kind, to be patient, to be true, to embrace what is good, to reject what is evil, to adore only You.

When that final moment does come, let not my loved ones grieve for long. Let them comfort each other, and let them know how much happiness they brought into my life. Let them pray for me as I will continue to pray for them, hoping that they will always pray for each other.

Let them know that they made possible whatever good I offered to our world and let them realize that our separation is just for a short while as we prepare for our reunion in eternity.

Our Father in Heaven, You alone are my hope. You alone are my salvation. Thank You for Your unconditional love. Amen.”


Five years later, Cory’s prayer for a happy death was granted. One only needs to see the outpouring of love and respect for Cory to believe this.

Cory magic? Maybe. Power of prayer? Absolutely.

photo credit: rog3rs
photo credit: rog3rs

 A life well lived,  Tita Cory.  Thanks for your contribution to Philippine democracy.

in the middle of it all

"wake up, mama"
"wake up, mama"
If not for ewok1993‘s mother and child post, I would not have remembered this photo I took a few months back while on traffic one Saturday morning in Makati using my celfone. I didn’t roll down my window, thinking I will get the child’s attention and ruin the ‘moment.’

This would have been a good Mother’s Day post, but the photo is timeless in its own right, showing a snapshot of poverty and progress in Manila: a homeless mother and child sleeping on a road center-island with a high-rise condominium under construction just across the street.

Poverty in Manila no longer moves me, but scenes like this will always ground me, humble me, remind me that a good life I plan ahead for myself has the word ‘others’ attached to it.