Thursday, April 28, 2011

PNP's Zero Criminality Drive

Strictly pleasant stories during meals should be a golden rule in every household.

And the story that is now causing my hyperacidity...

My wife told me over breakfast how a co-worker, Faye (not her real name), was able to bring to the police a pickpocket who stole Faye's cellphone.

What's upsetting with a success story about good winning versus evil? Upsetting is the failed story of how good winning almost versus evil.

Waiting for a train in a crowded MRT station, there was this woman pressing herself against Faye, her position blocking Faye from boarding the trains. Same woman wouldn't move even after several trains have already passed. When she finally did, Faye discovered her bag open & her iPhone already stolen.

Faye frantically went about the MRT station searching for the woman.

And she found her!

The woman resisted and escaped but not before Faye was able to catch-up on the woman's accomplice. Faye grabbed the accomplice and recovered from him the stolen iPhone and succeeded in bringing the scumbag to the nearest police station.

Sounded quick and easy? Almost.

That's until Faye had to transfer from one police station to another. Why? Because the police had only the same thing to tell Faye each time.

The cops would keep lecturing Faye how much trouble it would be to file charges. The expenses... the hearings... That a pickpocket only has to post a P6,000 bail (an iPhone is over 40k) & be free again--free for him and his cohorts to do anything to Faye too. And take note of this outrageous piece of information the cops were insisting on her: that should she press charges, PNP would have to confiscate her iPhone because it's evidence!

Came the last police station.

Emboldened by the authorities' apathy, the crook has by now been speaking over the phone to his fellow gang members; he was ready to turn the tables. He was now demanding that Faye drop all charges or he can't assure her what he and his gang might later do to her. He was telling Faye that they settle the matter outside the police station--the gangsters want to bring Faye to their lair in Plaza Miranda where they could all arrive at a settlement! To this, all that the blotter officer had to say to the pickpocket was: "Ilang beses ka nang dinala dito. Kayo nang bahala mag-ayos n'yan." (You've been brought here several times. You thresh this out between you.)


In the end, Faye quits if only just to finally go home at 2:00 in the morning-- still with her cellphone and her harrowing tale that is the kind of story that one has survived if only to warn others.

And that's how PNP can say that it's been successful in reducing "reported" crimes.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shoot & Tell

Ngayong long weekend, napansin ko na madami-dami na rin pala akong kuha sa cellphone na baka interesting i-share sa iba.

Vehicular Accidents

Spelling Vee

Kaya mo pa?

Hangga ngayon, sa D2M5767 parin sila nag-a-eyeball...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Batch `91

My high school batch is having a reunion this June. How it has suddenly been 20 years makes me think how such a fleeting window of years could already fit a lifetime. (That just covers the period within which AJ Perez—may he RIP—got born and died!)

Looking at my batchmates’ pictures all over the internet makes me come to terms with a few things…

1. Boy, I really am such a good-looking guy (SFX: thunder.)

Hold your horses! When you’re in high school, you just wake-up one morning and notice: hey, I’m suddenly surrounded by so many beautiful women (read: hormones.) That’s when the torment begins. Each day, you meticulously prepare for school trying to look your handsomest if only to keep-up with the same league as your crushes.

Fast forward … After 20 years, your crushes are all bloated and sagging in their unguarded FB pictures (and cursing those who have a penchant for tagging.) If I were to add how I look now and how I looked two decades ago; then divide that by 20 years, I’d say I’d come-out with a better yearly average than most of these women (and the guys they dated back then, haha!)

Moral of the story: you don’t have to be drop-dead gorgeous as early as your high school years. The challenge is how to keep and even improve on whatever you had when you were a teenager. For this reason, kudos to all my classmates who are still looking so great and got even more ravishing after all these years. Come to think of it, Belo & Calayan weren’t around yet 20 years ago.

2. Now you can tell your classmates like it is.

In high school, you have bitches, sluts, bullies, wimps, geeks, morons and whatever else you have in High School Musicale minus the token black & Indian students (I don’t remember us having jocks & prom queens—that’s another school.) However they were, you could never tell it straight to their faces.

Today… reading all the exchanges posted on FB and listening to the conversations during those few pre-reunion get-togethers—I’d say my batchmates and I are more honest & less apologetic when describing how it was like back in high school.

“You were such a slut but everyone had a crush on you. What cup size are you wearing?” I hear two former rivals telling each other during one party. Rivals because they both vied for Miss Something back in high school then later for the same boy.

I am actually imagining myself attending the reunion and going up to a bunch of bullies and A-students to tell them how much of a loser they made me feel sitting next to them in the cafeteria. But that was 20 years ago and we can all put that behind us now. What is important today is who has more money and a big shot job— me. Pooff… end of dream sequence.

Actually, I’m still the awkward kid I was in 1991. I’m only hoping that the rest of my batchmates have become less uptight and will be the first to break the ice when I meet them all again. After 20 years, I am still thrilled at the prospect of finally shaking hands with a few of them (or at least with those I still fancy to look as breath-taking given I haven’t found yet their latest pics on FB.)

3. There are those you’ve completely lost, yet there are new names you have to remember.

I think there were 50 of us in class (it was a public school!) After graduation, my classmate sitting in front of me the past four years, died in a vehicular accident. The one sitting behind me died of a malignant cyst. If I were superstitious, I’d fear I will be the next to die (probably in the hands of angry classmates who are now reading this blog.)

Sadder still is asking about favorite teachers who have likewise reached the end of the road. A favorite teacher of mine would have been so proud of me winning in a literary contest he used to rip-off. Another teacher, I heard, grew terribly lonely as she suffered from Alzheimer’s in the last years of her life.

But life goes on and come reunion, I will have to, inversely, remember new names for different reasons.

There are those who got an entirely new life after high school and their new nicknames or pet names just have to speak of their newfound success. I can’t mention them here but, most commonly, the rural way of contracting names to sound like the ones we used to call tropical storms just won’t hold anymore.

Then of course our lady folks who have gone the way of matrimony, I would have a hard time finding in the alphabetical list because of their married names (ladies, please retain your maiden name next to your husband’s because it’s sooo hard to add a stalker-sounding name in Facebook.)

And lastly, there are just those classmates who insist on you remembering the names of all the children they’ve raised in those 20 years and the spouse/s they’ve lived with and who they would even bring to the reunion, insisting that you be fond of their family members as you have been to each other (can I tell you that your husband was the drug addict we caught stealing our motorcycle—I bet he missed that part when he proposed marriage, huh?)


I can’t even remember exactly what date the reunion will be. Is this an indication of a subconscious attempt to miss it for the reasons I stated above?

Oh well, I miss my batchmates. And after twenty years, here comes something I haven’t done yet—to reconnect with so many old faces at the same time at the same place, knowing this could perhaps never happen again (see “Coming to Terms #3”) because I’ve earned the ire of so many people (see “Coming to Terms #2”) or because I will just never be the same person I was back in high school (see “Coming to Terms #1.”)

Regardless how fuming mad some of my batchmates are now, let me just tell you that I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! You guys gave me my most exhilarating “first” experiences—regardless how you are also responsible for some of the most embarrassing moments of my life (and not all of them even have do to with sex!)

I miss you guys. Looking forward to see you all. Congratulations, BATCH 1991!

Monday, April 18, 2011

7 Last... Triviaaah

Tignan ko nga kung hanggang saan ko mapapaabot ito.

1. Ang Lent pala ay galing sa salitang “length.” As in… kesyo mahaba raw ang mga araw pag panahon ng Cuaresma (5AM palang kanina, maliwanag na— at hindi joke yung tungkol sa salitang length.)

Cuaresma ang Spanish para sa 40. Forty days kasi mula Ash Wednesday hanggang Easter Sunday (wag lang bibilangin yung 6 Sundays in between.)

Yung pinakamalaking street party sa Brazil na tinatawag na Mardi Gras (uy… nanood ng “Rio”) ay ginagawa sa Martes (Mardi) bago ang Ash Wednesday. Kumbaga, huling araw na daw kasi yun ng pagpapakasaya bago ang Cuaresma.

Ang pagtatago o pagtatalukbong ng mga krus at rebulto sa mga simbahan kapag semana santa ay tinatawag na Passiontide o ang kwento sa verse (John 8:46-59) na isa sa mga readings pag ganitong panahon. Ito yung kwento kung pano kinailangang itago ni Jesus ang sarili nya kasi babatuhin na sya ng mga tao.

For the record, ayaw ng mga bishops sa mga nagpepenitensya, lalo na yung mga nagpapapako. Officially kasi, ipinagbabawal yan sa mga Catholics. Ano kaya ang masasabi ng DOT? Carry lang daw :)

Yung easter egg ay resulta ng pagbabawal noong araw hindi lang ng karne kundi pati ng gatas, keso at itlog habang Cuaresma. So pagdating ng Easter Sunday, pwede na ulit— kaya kanya-kanyang gimik pano i-welcome back ang tukneneng at kwek-kwek. (Wag atribida. Kaya itlog kasi siguro mahirap magpa-game ng easter milk at easter cheese.)

Ang 7 Last Words ay hindi mababasa ng kumpleto at sunod-sunod sa Bible. Yung first word, parehong meron sa Matthew at Mark. Tapos, tigatlo na sa Luke at sa John. Total of seven.

Tama na. Sabi nga ng Nanay ko, pag masyado nang mahaba “aabutin ka ng Mahal na Araw.”

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bola... Bola

Free trade will not work in the Philippines.

So much for the proponents of GATT and the WTO. The one solid proof that open market will fail amongst Filipino consumers is the fact that until now, my favorite fishball brand is yet to be made available to consumers in Metro Manila.

Yes, for all of you who think you are fishball connoisseurs, I have bad news for you. The best fishball stalls are not in UP Diliman. They are in Bulacan. And the fact that you don’t know what on Earth I’m talking about is the same glaring proof that this fishball conspiracy to hide from you the truth is so well-organized, you don’t even know what you’re missing.

First off.

Ever heard of the brand “Popular Bola-Bola”? This is the brand I keep asking every fishball vendor I strike a conversation with in the Metropolis and yet not one of these street hawkers has admitted ever hearing about the name.

You see, this fishball brand lives up to its name. It’s “popular” because it remains a fishball which for all intents and purposes should remain in the shape of a ball, not the flat disk that those in UP or anywhere else in NCR become soonest you rescue them from the fire.

Next, they remain firm; actually, a bit tough—the right amount of toughness that struggles in your mouth as to remain there long enough for you to savor it more. The fishballs here in Manila disintegrate into crumbs after they dry and turn to starchy flakes soonest they turn cold.

Lastly, “Popular” tastes how it should—like fish. Surprised? Years of conditioning have actually made you think that fishballs should taste no better than how hotdogs should not taste like dogs. Fishballs are supposedly made of fish, okay?

For someone like me who has known one brand as the only fishball brand during his entire youth, I could not help but speculate on two things.

One… the fishball retailers I spoke to are too afraid to confirm the existence of a much superior competitor (could even be that they have been silenced by the manufacturers of the inferior brands they are retailing.) Or two… this organized cartel of fishball producers in Metro Manila have, since time immemorial, kept the denizens of the Metropolis in the dark as for each of you to think that the P0.50 price tag with which each of these bite-sized pleasures got stuck for years is to be blamed why fishball quality in NCR has no way to go but to get worse.

So the next time you travel to Bulacan, try to spot any of the local fishball vendors. Get off the car and if you’re lucky, the Manong could have just poured a fresh batch of “Popular Bola-Bola” into the frying pan. Experiment with the balls; try them just when they’ve started swelling or anywhere between that point and until they’ve turned crispy and brown.

If eating fishball has become the photo-op of choice for the rich and the famous whenever they need to show that they’re one with the masses, these same powerful class of consumers should do free trade and open market a favor by making them work for the fishball industry.

To these elite patrons of the lowly fishball, I am calling on you to write to your congressmen to legislate laws that will pave the way for “Popular Bola-Bola” and for similar superior brands available to all Filipino fishball lovers.

If you can do this, such that those who read this blog will finally discover the same joy I’ve been having from eating "Popular Bola-Bola," I assure you that, then and only then, will the Philippines be ready for GATT.