Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Funny Siberian Husky playing in leaves

Was having a shitty morning until this Siberian Husky showed me how awesome  piles of leaves are.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shoes for the rainy season

Say what you will of Crocs (or Native Shoes, in this case) but they are awesome for the rainy season! Once you arrive at your destination, just pat them—and your feet—dry and you're good. :-)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Horror and LOLs

I invited Jill and Pam to watch Insidious: Chapter 2. I was pretty impressed with the producers of the film. It hasn't been what, 6 months, and yet, they already have a sequel? Awesome.

Me: "Ang galing no? May sequel na agad."
Pam: "...."
Me: "Although ba't si Rose Byrne na yung nasa cast. Di ba yung last time si Vera something?"
Pam: "Si Rose naman talaga original ah?"
Me: "Nooooo! Replacement na lang yata sya. Si Vera yung original."
Pam: "Huh? Si Rose yung dati."
Me: "No, si Vera..."
Pam: "Si Rose!"

Repeat 10 times.


You mean Insidious is not the sequel to The Conjuring? Patrick Wilson, this is all your fault.

And the clincher: I didn't see the first Insidious.

Still, I liked the film and I like Patrick Wilson.

* * * * *

Pam: Five stars yung rating mo for We're the Millers, pero yung This is the End, 3 stars?!"

Me: Nakatulog kaya ako sa TITE. (Well no, I didn't actually say this. Katamad lang mag-type.)

Pam: That is your fault, not the producers'. (Yes, umi-English.)

Me: Ang funny kaya nung The Millers. I don't think I've found anything that crass funny ever. (Umi-English din.)

Pam: Oo nga, ang funny!

Jill: Yung balls, lol! *actual lol-ing*

Me: True, tapos yung striptease scene, lololol!

Pam: Lolol!

Tatin, Giff: Lolololol!

* * * *


This is the End - 7/10
Insidious: Chapter 2 - 8/10
We're the Millers - 9/10

Friday, September 20, 2013


I tried my best not to like the new Pope. After all, I told myself, what could possible change? The leadership may vary but the Catholic Church's dogma will remain.

And then, his first move: He named himself Francis, a name I've always had an affinity for, after the saint of Assisi. Francis is what would have been my name, if only a neighbor didn't beat my parents to it. I was born on his feast day and have always joked that I was born on World Animal Day.

And then, his second move: His interview on the plane after World Youth Day. ("If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.") While I was touched by his words, I still kept it to myself because I knew that among the Church's vanguards, the Pope is more an exception than the rule. And true enough, days later, a US Archbishop was already foaming at the mouth. ("Pope was 'on a high' during gay remarks.")

And then, his latest: "When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person."

I hope the ripples turn into waves.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dancing in September: UP Pep Squad's 2013 Party theme *updated*

Warning: updated with over 20MB of GIFs (taken from YouTube user Koneg).

* * * *

Photo: Marlon Nombrado and Luis Adrian Hidalgo for TinigngPlaridel

Despite the UP Pep Squad's major mistakes (I counted four, with one minor error in the dismount), they still clinched 2nd place ahead the cleaner performance of DLSU. After all, despite the failed attempts by some members, the rest of the squad were able to execute the demanding stunts which you'd normally see in world cheerleading championships. I have to give it to UP for being the first to have done some of them locally.

Even before the event, UP announced that this was going to be a fun routine, hugely different from their 2012 Freedom piece, which was serious and almost prophetical. Nevertheless, and as always, UP mixed up gender stereotypes by highlighting the girls' strength (last seen in 2009 through Anna Cruz's partner stunt), while the boys took the front row in the dance segments. In this routine, UP also proves that they are undoubtedly the best in terms of choreography and dance. (This year, influenced by Latin and hiphop.) I don't think I've seen the squad execute their dance this synchronized and clean in recent years: their lines and formations were near perfection.

Photo: Marlon Nombrado and Luis Adrian Hidalgo for TinigngPlaridel

Also, for the sixth straight year, I loved the styling of the group. Their hairstyle this time was inspired by Rihanna's curly mohawk, with the girls wearing a mesh top. Disco balls served as pompoms.

Now on to the routine. Here were my favorite parts:

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Wang wang

One of the challenges I faced was transporting my father from San Pedro, Laguna to a hospital in Manila via an ambulance. The clinic in San Pedro, where I brought my father in haste, has one but it was in Batangas and no one knew when it would be back. To save on costs, it's best to use your baranggay's ambulance; you'll most likely be asked to only pay for gas... and then some.
The problem was our baranggay's ambulance left in the morning (with patients in tow) and still wasn't back by the time we required it at about 7pm.
What my friends did was try to find a private ambulance for me. There's one by Lifeline Rescue; however, if you're not a member, the 'flag-down' rate is P4,000, plus an exorbitant charge for every meter. (I cannot remember the price.) We estimated that given the distance between the clinic and a decent hospital, we stood to pay P10,000––in cash, at that; Lifeline said we couldn't pay by EPS or credit card. Also, P10k is a few days' worth of hospital stay, so I couldn't stomach the idea of paying the same amount for transportation.
So we had no choice but to wait because the clinic we were at––as well as our baranggay––wouldn't do anything else but stare at us. (We couldn't use private transportation either; my father required an oxygen tank and the clinic wouldn't let us loan or sell theirs.) In fact, we waited for about four hours until finally, a good samaritan, not affiliated with the clinic or our baranggay, managed to find an ambulance for us from an adjacent baranggay.
So basically, if we were in a highly urgent, where-time-is-of-the-essence situation, my father would have long seen the tunnel of light. Unfortunately, I can't say it hasn't happened to other people.
As a solution, you may become a member of Lifeline Rescue, though you may want to get more details about the coverage. So far, I haven't seen any online reviews of their service. Also, get the number of the baranggays in your area, aside from your own.
* * * *
Whenever I see an ambulance or hear its siren, I always say a prayer for its occupants. I never thought I'd actually be in one myself. It was even more surreal to find myself in the front seat as we traversed SLEX and see people either crane their necks at us or not care. I could also imagine what must have been going through their heads: "Gusto lang makaiwas sa traffic ng mga yan!" In fact, there were quite a number of cars who ignored us and never gave way; until now, I can't believe there are people like that.
I now get goosebumps whenever I hear an ambulance.

Monday, September 02, 2013

30, part 2

My life has changed. I am no longer the same person. It's been years since I thought of myself as an adult––but boy, was I wrong.
More than two weeks ago, I experienced seeing my father almost die on my watch––twice––within a 24-hour period.
Before that, a month ago, our family pet died. A few weeks later, it was my grandfather who passed away. They say they come in threes––I just never thought it possible that it could be this tragic. No, no, no, I thought to myself. This is not happening.
Thankfully, my father survived. He was diagnosed with COPD, a progressive disease that eventually wears out the sufferer's lungs. You get COPD mainly from smoking. My father quit smoking in the 80's.
For those of you who smoke, I sure hope you quit early enough. I can personally attest to how difficult it is for the patient and also for his/her family and loved ones.
In my father's case, his right lung collapsed (pneumothorax). Doctors had to insert a chest tube to let excess air out. While his lung has fully re-expanded, there is still excess air in it, so that's what we're now waiting for to normalize.
I never heard of COPD until the diagnosis. I would have probably remained oblivious to what it meant post-diagnosis if not for Wikipedia. While I'm thankful for the Internet, it can drive you paranoid though, especially with the info overload you get out there. In this case, stuff I read about COPD.
I've been trying to look for local COPD support groups, and searching for 'COPD Philippines.' What I've learned is that COPD is the cause of Dolphy's death. (Well, that and that there's a support group at the Lung Center, but it's too far for us to make regular trips to.) I remember how difficult it was for the Quizon family, including financially. I particularly remember Zsa Zsa thanking people for having provided financial assistance.
The Quizon family is very rich. God, help us.
In fact, my friends did seek financial support on my behalf during my father's hospitalization. Friends, and even acquaintances––people who come to think, had zero obligation to care about us––helped. It was a source of many tears––tears of joy––for me and my family.
The prayers and messages of support comforted us, too; basically, knowing that you are not alone and that people have you in their thoughts. Words can never express how thankful we are for them.
(Speaking of giving comfort, do visit people you know who are in the hospital. In my case, seeing friends gave me a much-needed break from my mundane day. I stayed in the hospital for 13 days straight, 10 of which I spent without going home. It almost drove me crazy, and looking back now, I have ZERO idea how I survived it without TV and with a spotty 3G connection. My schedule was as follows:
6am - wake up
7am - feed Pa breakfast
7:30am - eat breakfast
10am - shower
11:30am - feed Pa lunch
12nn - eat lunch: choose among hospital canteen, 7-11, or Chowking
1pm - exercise by going down and up seven flights of stairs
1:15pm - go to chapel
3-4pm - merienda
5pm - hang out outside ward
6pm - feed Pa dinner
7pm - eat dinner
8pm - sleep
Though, come to think of it, this was all I could really manage to do. I was so stressed and depressed, I couldn't think of anything else. I couldn't read my book, or even check out websites and my social media accounts. Twitter was particularly challenging to go through, especially when I read tweets saying life is so hard because Ben Affleck is the new Batman. I'm not hating, given I'm guilty of tweeting about such things as well :-p I find my newfound perspective amusing, to say the least.)
I know that we are still blessed and lucky, no matter the difficulty of what we went through and are about to go through. I know that we are not the only people suffering in the world, even if it felt like that at times. In the hospital alone, we met a number of families who had it harder than us. I sincerely wish they find a support system who may help them get through their journey, just like we did.
Kindness go a long way. Be kind to others.

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