Konsensya: Mag-isip ka ng isang tao. Base sa pinaka unang maisip mo ang isasagot mo.Walang ibahan ng maiisip.Kilala kita wag kang madaya.
Konsensya: Friend mo ba sya sa friendster o sa blog?
Konsensya: Anong lugar ang naaalala mo sa
~ Heller. Dito kami unang nagkakilala.
Konsensya: Anong song ang naaalala mo sa
~ Flintstones meet the Flintstones they're a modern stone age family...la la la la
~ Siya si Fred ako si Wilma.
Konsensya: Ok ba ang height niya sa iyo?
~ Yeah. Okay na okay.
Konsensya: magaling ba kumanta?
~ Yeah. Singer yata toh!
Konsensya: Eh sumayaw?
~ I haven't seen him dance yet.
Konsensya:May kamukha ba syang artista/singer?
~ Meron pero bakit ko sasabihin...bleh!
Konsensya: Close ba kayo?
~ Hingahan ko siya ng problema.
Konsensya: Nakita mo na syang magalit?
~ Uh-huh(Sabay taas-baba ang ulo). Pero tahimik pag galit.
Konsensya: Eh ngumiti?
Konsensya: Eh umiyak?
~ Nope. Tahimik lang eh.
Konsensya: Ano fave food nya?
~ Ayoko sabihin at mabubuking ako.
~ Malalaman niyang trip ko siya at baka di na kami friends.
Konsensya: Bakit sya ang napili mo pra sa survey na ito?
~Eh pag nakikita ko na siya okay na araw ko.Tanggal ang tampururot mode ko.
Konsensya: Pinaiyak ka ba nya?
~ Hindi pa. Well sa saya siguro. Harhar.
Konsensya: Pinaiyak mo ba sya?
~ Di ko alam. matanong nga!
Konsensya: Pinangiti ka ba nya?
~ Always nga eh.
Someone who makes me want to gasp daily.
Konsensya: Miss mo na ba sya?
~ Not really. We often see each other.
~ Well, pag di ko siya nakikita medyo may kulang sa araw ko.
~ Basta I like his superior intelligence.
Konsensya: Kelan mo sya huling nakita?
~ Sikwet mabubuko na ako nito.
~ Sa School nga eh ang kulit moh.
Konsensya: Nagsisisi ka ba na nakilala mo
~ Oo at Hindi. Oo kasi nakukumpleto niya araw ko.
Hindi dahil takot akong mawala ang friendship.
Konsensya:Hayaan mo na lang ba siyang mawala?
~Medyo. Hindi yata talaga puwede.
~Oo. Tigang lang ako. Kaya lahat trip ko pati straight friend ko.
Konsensya: O siya tunganga ka muna diyan
~okay sige. Nyt2! Ako trip moh?
Konsensya: Hahaha! Dream on! Heto sa iyo!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Konsensya: Mag-isip ka ng isang tao. Base sa pinaka unang maisip mo ang isasagot mo.Walang ibahan ng maiisip.Kilala kita wag kang madaya.
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/28/2007
Sept. 26, 2007
Time to go home. I was strolling along Session Road with my friends from the Alternative when Eki decided to treat us in Zola Resto/Cafe. I agreed unhesitatingly because I was fed up of my monotonous school-to-house routine for the pastdays. I think he's a little bit disappointed about some matters in the graduate school (We'll make him sad often so he'll treat us often. Peace!).We had the best orders in town as we tried the Italian resto's wide array of menu. I chipped in for a Meatlovers pizza to annoy Eki who's a vegetarian. However, I was proven wrong as it was the most unloved food (two big slices left) as the Pizza Salsa with oozing mozarella, tomatoes and bell pepper that they ordered was gobbled up in no time. Our group composed of "cutie" Linx(hehe), Len, Sham, Eki and me also indulged in onion rings, mojos and calamari that made me feeling bloated the whole night.
By the time I arrived home, the heavy dinner made me dizzy for awhile. I went smoking in the airport staff house terrace (I hang out here when I'm in a meditating mode) just to calm my nerves and make me sleep. It was around one o'clock in the morning when I decided to go back to the house and read a couple of books before sleeping.
Then it happened again. Every time I pass by or hang-out in the airport staff house for a long time, I would dream really weird stuff like dreaming that I was smoking pot with trolls on my way to Sagada or something like that. This time my dream was a bit odd because I was headed to the Baguio city market to buy things needed for spaghetti and all that is available was a humongous bola-bola siopao. I asked a vendor and she answered in straight Hiligaynon that all she could sell is bola-bola siopao.
I didn't have a choice so I bought the bola-bola siopao and tried to eat it. When I opened it up to place siopao sauce inside, there was no bola-bola meat but my cat Teewee purring inside(back in Bacolod I have two cats named Peewee and Teewee) . Then I woke up and checked the alarm clock beside me. It was 3am already and I was sweating despite the chilly weather of Baguio.
The following day I asked my friend Matet who's a bit psychic/mystic in nature on what is the meaning of my dream and have my routinary palm reading sessions with her.
She said I just missed my cat in Bacolod and maybe perhaps my mom and dad.
The truth is. I really miss my hometown Bacolod. I miss my room, my long playing records and book collection, my bathroom, my cats and my parents. Hay!
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/28/2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
1. Had a beer with?
= My cousin Angelo this weekend at our garage (Just a gay guy-to-straight guy talk on some love life worries he needs to share).
2. Went to the movies with?
= I went to the movies last month with my Mystery Man.
3. Went to the mall with?
= I Went to SM Baguio with high school friend from Bacolod Gretchen three hours ago.
4. Talked on the phone with?
= Gretchen. When I fetched her in AIM Lodge at John Hay
5. Made you laugh?
= Hawaiian Web Master Juny La Putt's antics in today's seminar.
6. You hugged?
= My pillow. (Hindi naman tao yun!)Eh wala nga akong ka-hug eh!
7. You yelled at?
= Some rowdy staff of the publication. But I said sorry after a few minutes.
WOULD YOU RATHER...?
1. Pierce your nose or tongue?
= I want one in the tongue.
2. Be serious or be funny?
= Funny of course.
3. Drink whole or skimmed milk?
= Skimmed milk is the best for guys on a diet like me.
4. Die in a fire or get shot?
= I want to get shot than be roasted alive!
1. Sun or moon?
... A Bloated moon shedding horizontals in a dark night
2. Winter or Fall
= Is it possible not to answer this one? I love summer though.
3. Left or right?
4. Sunny or rainy?
= I love the sun rays smoldering in my epidermal layer.
5. Peach or Pear?
= Juicy Pears...yum!
6. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
= I twirl it often.
7. Do You Cook?
= Yes when in the mood.
8. Current mood?
= Nostalgic of my high school memories.
IN THE LAST WEEK HAVE YOU...
1. Kissed someone?
= Yes. I kissed Mystery Man.
= I sang in front of my laptop an hour ago.
3. Been hugged?
4. Danced Crazy?
= Y-E-S TO THE BEAT OF UMBRELLA in my room.
= Y-E-S bestfriend moment. awwwwwww!:)
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/25/2007
Damn. I should have featured this band a year ago. Agi (Ibaloi term for brother) has been synonymous with Ibaloi music. My friend Betty Listino from Researchmate gave me a copy of their newest Ibaloi language album called Liali two weeks ago when we met in Bulacan and the rest was history. I was captivated by the emotional and deep tone of their music. Some may call it mellowdrama rockl but I would prefer to call it modern ethnic rock. I met the members of the band in Alternative Magazine's office a year ago for an interview but I gave it up to my staff since I'm not good in speaking Ibaloi nor Ilokano. Tsk tsk tsk.
The video below is the song Malasmas which was a big hit in Metro Baguio breaking in the top spot of hitcharts in 96.7 K-lite for a month making it one of the most phenomenal locally produced songs in the Cordillera region.(It toppled Shamrock's Alipin in the No.1 spot as well as other foreign acts) Not only that this album was commended for promoting Ibaloi culture especially that of the seat of Ibaloi civilization in Kabayan, Benguet but also it proves that language is not a barrier in promoting the rich culture of the mountain highlands. Listen and be mesmerized.
BTW, here's their hit single Escape from Oblivion from their album called Liali. It recounts the heroic partnership of the Ibalois and Americans during WWII.
JM Agreda (red jacket) with Agi Band members and Alternative staff
Just a tidbit:
Agi in my native tongue of Hiligaynon means gay. Hmmm...(No offense meant here. Peace!)
So don't call me Agi here in Baguio or I'll end up answering it with a big YES and with a raised eyebrow. Gora!
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/25/2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
With their fantastic performance in the 2nd Baguio Cheerdance Competition, I heard the UC Team is eyeing for good finishes in the Regional as well as national competitions. Well for all the members of the UC pepsquad (including my mystery man). Good Luck and Break a Leg!
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/23/2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I'll quote one of my greatest critics in the field of journalism former Negros Press Club President Primo Esleyer of the Visayan Daily Star "To journalists, everyday is a new challenge. One must come up with something new. Otherwise you lose audience."
I agree to Mr. Esleyer's advise to me last year that as a young writer I should exude freshness in my craft. He added that I will never succeed in the field of journalism if I will not churn up new things to offer my readers.
However my dilemma is how to generate ideas (stories) in what I call as my "dry season". During these times, I usually bum around or hibernate in my room engulfing loads of information by reading books to recharge my creative writing and journalistic prowess. As Krip Yuson says "there is no such thing as a writer's block one just have to shift gears and try out new things before going back to writing". Well as for me, I'm digging books in my reading pile eons ago. These are the books I'm reading for the next two weeks:
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Strange Pilgrims
Dean Francis Alfar's Kite of Stars
Haruki Murakami's After the Quake
Krip Yuson's Mother's Like Elephants
and lastly for the Nth time George Orwell's Animal Farm.
Read, Read and Read!
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/22/2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
“A man be in an ecstatic state, and another man may try to arouse him. It is considered good to do so. Yet this state may be bad for him, and the awakening may be good for him. Rousing a sleeper is good or bad according to who is doing it. If the rouser is of greater attainment, this will elevate the state of the other person. If he is not, it will deteriorate the consciousness of the other man.” ~Jalaludin Rumi
Turntable beat pulsates from speakers,
Laser light strobes beam in the dark room.
An ordinary Friday night revelry
For many men and a few women.
The crowd gyrates on the limited space,
Bopping beside metal tables and chairs.
Cigarette smoke engulfs the foggy air
As yells of ecstatic prophets defy the silence.
In the middle of the crowded dance floor,
Two strangers candidly approach each other.
As they exchange glances of comfort,
That paves way to flirtatious conversation.
A scene which has been played
For countless times in that same place.
Characters may differ, styles may vary,
But still, same sexes play the unscripted role.
And when the minutes fly and an hour pass
Two male figures would exit the party.
Both would depart, the partying would continue
the fast swelling tempo in another venue.
~Jesus Miguel Agreda
Copyright September 2007
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/18/2007
A ship under sail and a big-bellied woman,
Are the handsomest two things that can be seen common.
in a hammock
inside a domicile sac.
below the surface
in amniotic fluid divine.
from Tchaikovsky and Bach.
to the radiance
of a laser light track.
in an allusion
to hunger and whine.
near the entrance
where the flesh contract.
at the tap on the pudgy
skin behind his delicate groin.
~Jesus Miguel Agreda
Copyright September 2007
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/18/2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Ever since I settled in Baguio, I will never forget the scent of the Benguet pine. As I open my windows to let the fresh air in, the pine scented breeze of Baguio keeps my soul in cadence with Mother Earth.
Yesterday, as I was attending a poetry symposium of the Baguio Writers Group at the Baguio Country Club who invited the likes of Alfred Yuson aka Krip, Marjorie Evasco, Sid Hildawa, Marra Lanot, Edgar Maranan and Priscilla and Butch Macansantos, I was inspired to write my poem Sa Ilalim ng Pino as soon as I received my first seedling of the Benguet Pine. Unique in the Cordillera region, this pine specie is slowly diminishing in the mountain highlands. Let us help in preserving the Benguet pine by planting one in vacant lots and mountain slopes in Baguio.
Sa Ilalim ng Pino
Gusto kong tumanga sa ilalim ng pino.
Habang sipat ng buwan ang aking kamusmusan.
Masamyo ang hamog na dumadampi sa aking pisngi,
Nililipad ang aking kaluluwa sa kadiliman.
Dinig ko ang huni ng naghaharutang kuliglig,
Umaawit ng kundiman habang nagsasayawan.
Bawat bahay sa bundok na aking namamataan,
Umuusbong ang usok ng masarap na pinapaitan.
Marangyang piging ang pinaghahandaan,
Bilang pasasalamat sa masaganang anihan.
Alatiit ng nagkikiskisang dahon ng pino,
Nagpapahimbing ng pagtulog ng mga katutubo.
Sumutsot ng patuya ang rumaragasang ilog,
Bumubulong sa akin ng nakaambang panganib.
Hindi ko pinansin ang paunang babala,
Yumanig ang lupa at nilamon ang handa.
Maugong ang tunog ng gangsa sa di-kalayuan,
Hudyat ng pagdating ng mga kalaban.
Minadali kong hinasa ang mapupurol na sibat,
Bilang pangharang sa mga taong nakaputi.
Walang laban ang aking marurupok na sandata,
Bumulalas ang apoy sa kanilang bunganga.
Wala akong magawa kundi magpaubaya,
Ang magpaalipin pala’y di naman masama.
Here's my second diary entry:
September 12-13, 2007
I woke up feeling relaxed after the massage I had last night. I packed my things and met my chaperon for the TAYO awards along Banaue and Quezon Avenue. We headed for the National Youth Commission office at Bookman Bldg. I met my fellow finalists in the lobby and waited for the car chartered for us to Center for Local Governance Research and Development in Malolos City. We arrived early. I ate my breakfast and rested for while before the team building activity of the finalists in the afternoon. I was billeted at room 11 in the second floor of CLGRD together with my fellow finalist Kuya Bong of Visionworks International Inc.
After taking a two-hour sleep, The rest of my fellow finalists headed for the hall downsatirs for the fun-filled team building activity prepared by the TAYO Awards Foundation staff. Together with my fellow finalists, we had a series of strenuous activities like an amazing race type of game and cheering competition in the Bulacan Provincial Capitol and Plaza. During the game we were tasked to run a few kilometers, pass a business card through our lips which eventually turned to men to men to women kissing because the card just keeps on falling from our lips and finding a woman with Coca-Cola products and drink the Coke in can before heading back to our next pit stop.
The Amazing Race type of game was just one of the activities that we did aside from the pic-pic-bang game, group sharings and expectation setting.The day ended with a tour of Barasoain Church and the Trade fair visit in the town plaza as part of the Bulacan Week Celebration. The second day was scheduled to be the presentation day with me wearing a Narda Capuyan designed weaving from the Mountain Province. I talked about my project entry and its impact on the youth of the Cordilleras. I guess the advocacies of my co-finalists were more meritorious than my entry that I only settled for a place in the top ten as compared to the top five winners who will go to Malacanang for the awarding. I need not talk more as the pictures will speak for itself. Enjoy!
It has been six days since my last post. I never thought that blogging could be this special to me,whether you would believe it or not, I kind of missed posting my idiosyncrasies in the blogosphere. I realized that my vacation was incomplete this past few days because I never tried to post a new article or even take a glimpse at this blog.
The reason for my six-day absence was my trip for the Area Finals of TAYO Awards in Malolos, Bulacan. The next few paragraphs was my first diary entry during my vacation. So here it goes:
September 11, 2007
After suffering from a few leg cramps due to seven hours of sitting inside the bus on the way to Manila, I arrived in Avenida looking haggard and sleepless. Due to the advice of my traveler friends, I decided to check-in at Vista Hotel along C.M. Recto just a few blocks away from the bus terminal. The TAYO Awards Secretariat people called me up while I was trying to book a good room for me to stay before heading to Bulacan.
As I was busy talking at the front desk while juggling a call from the coordinator of the awards, I started to look around and observe people going inside and out of the hotel lobby. I discovered that the hotel that I was going to stay was some sort of an upper class "quickie place" for pairs of men, pairs of women and strange couples of teenager and fifty-something-old-men. However, because of my thirst for total rest and relaxation before heading for Bulacan, I unhesitatingly checked-in myself to one of their suite rooms.
As a commoner of motels and quickie places in Baguio during my "cruising days", I expected my room to be not as quaint as the posh hotels in the metropolis. However, I was caught dumbfounded as the suite room turned out to be a heavenly respite for stressed-out men like me. The suite room has a first and second floor. On the first floor was the good-for-two dining table and mini-kitchen and fridge filled with food stuff. It also boasts of a mini-sala with a television set and a clean bathroom with hot and cold shower.
After climbing through a spiral stairway, the second floor of the room was designed with a modern appeal complete with a king-sized bed, a flat screen television set, a dresser and cabinet and a computer table for technogeeks like me. Even with an internet connection, I never dared touch my laptop computer because I thought that doing the daily routine of bumming in front of my notebook will only waste my six-day vacation. I decided to take a power nap before goofing around the metro.
Shower. Fix. Go. I headed for SM Mall of Asia and decided to eat at La Mesa Restaurant owned by Senator Kiko Pangilinan(the sponsor of TAYO Awards). The university gave me five thousand peso allowance aside from what my parents gave me as a present for being a good son (kidding). Just barely burping after a heartwarming dinner in one of the biggest malls in Southeast Asia, I met my sister Jojie in the Department Store and gave her the pasalubong (her favorite ube halaya) I bought from Baguio City.
She decided to drive me to my hotel even though deep inside I know she is an imut (ilocano term for kuripot). She's the most spendthrift of all my sisters making her a little bit richer than us. After some chat and cigarette puffs , she decided to head home to her condo in Makati(See? Kuripot siya kasi di niya ako pinatuloy sa bahay niya. Peace sis!).
I decided to call a masseur named Chris my sister's and I would call every time we have a bonding time in Manila to give me the best massage a busy student need. I would remember last Christmas when we also had the best shiatsu massage for less than a thousand bucks each for home or hotel services.
Chris arrived thirty minutes later and asked me if my sisters were coming over. I answered that I am alone this time (Well, a no-no to tell other guys that you are alone even if you're a regular customer). I know Chris is also one of those masseurs who offer extra services to clients (if you know what I mean). Chris is a 23-year-old chinito Physical Therapist who did not pass the board so he decided to be a masseur instead. I offered him coffee or tea before heading for the bedroom.
Before this will turn out to be a (Kuwentong Nakakalibog Yahoo Group)KNYG entry, I will clear out that Mojo Potato is not a cheap guy hooking up for sex with a masseur/callboy(defensive!). Well now back to Chris, I decided to be on my boxers and Chris gave me the best two-hour massage a stressed-out student writer like me needed. We chatted a bit and exchanged jokes. After a two-hour heavenly massage, I paid Chris and showed him the door. Then I slept soundly and well-prepared for my presentation in Bulacan for TAYO Awards.
Mojo Potato preparing for Slumberland
Eating Chocoroons from Bakersfield after the massage while listening to Bob Sinclair.
Mojo Potato Sleeping
I'll post the second part soon....
Monday, September 10, 2007
I'll be leaving for Manila early morning tomorrow for my presentation for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations.(Wish me luck guys! I will be competing with other nine finalists in Luzon. BTW, I'll be representing Northern Luzon. I will also checkout the Metro's malls and hangouts before heading for Bulacan the following day. The finalists will meet at Figaro in SM North EDSA on the 12th and head for Center for Local Governance Research and Development in Malolos City, Bulacan. If I can find a hotspot in the area, i will resume my blogging status but for now I will take a break from blogging for the next three days.
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/10/2007
This MTV was the first one I directed last summer in Baguio City with a couple of friends as part of my final requirement in Video Television Production class at the University of the Cordilleras. The song is Half Crazy popularized by Freestyle. This MTV stars Michael Herald Ebusca and my good friend Aleli Buaquen who is now bald after being accepted to the Philippine National Police Academy in Silang,Cavite. Enjoy Watching!
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/10/2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
As a young kid from the Visayas, I practically grew up with popular means of transportation that are uniquely Filipino(or shall we say ASEAN after reading Pisanu's blog). I would recall my first ride in a "trisikad" or a pedicab in Tagalog from the Bacolod suburbs going to the school in the city center. Other than this three-wheeled wonder that is uniquely Filipino, Negros Island boasts of other means of transportation like the jeepney and traysikel.
However, being a "bakya" city boy, I would never forget the "habal-habal" ride for it is the most uncommon to me. This variation of the traysikel serves as the "king of the roads" in many provincial towns and cities in the Visayas and Mindanao area. I would remember last summer when I went home to Bacolod in Negros Occidental for a yearly vacation. Bored of the highly urbanized lifestyle of my birthplace (Bacolod), I decided to go for a little adventure. I sought a two-day refuge in Barrio Quentin Remo in the town of Moises Padilla to visit some relatives.
Passing through vast haciendas or sugarcane lands owned by rich sugar barons, I rode a "habal-habal" with three other passengers including the driver. Climbing through steep mountainous dirt roads and crossing a few streams, I reached the place exhausted and gasping for breath. I thought the two hour travel from Bacolod to Moises Padilla town proper was already a torturous ride in the non-aircon Ceres Liner bus but the habal-habal ride is way much nerve-wrecking.
After reaching Moises Padilla town proper, I went to the market to buy some snacks composed of two sticks of bananacue and a cupful of ice scramble (crushed ice, milk and corn syrup). Barely resting after my exhausting bus trip, the habal-habal driver alerted me that I would be left behind and wait for another two hours for the next ride to the far flung allegedly NPA (Communist rebels) infested barrio. I gobbled up my fried caramelized banana treat and rode the habal-habal to my relative's house an hour and a half dirt-road motorbike ride away from the town proper.
The ride almost seemed endless as we passed through vast sugarcane plantations and rice paddies. We also passed through a forested area with a few men burning down trees. I asked my fellow passengers on why are the group of men burning down a part of the few remaining forests on the island. They only answered with a smile as if I was such an ignorant (Well, I guess I am). It was only when I arrived in my relatives house that I saw sacks of charcoal being loaded to a dump truck. Only then that I knew the purpose of the relentless burning. Well, what can I say? During off-season of the sugar industry, people would find no means of feeding their families making them turn to the environment to source out their daily needs.
I may not be an environmentalist but I really felt Mother Nature's pain as her lush forest cover is slowly being burned down to the ground. I hope the government should look into this. But I know that the government alone cannot monitor all of the 7,107 islands in the country. Protecting the environment should involve the community as well.
During my two-day stay in the barrio, I did everything I can to help the community by telling them that they should learn to segregate their wastes and build a composting area. I also told the locals that the burning of refuse or trash more commonly known in Tagalog as "pagsisiga" or in Hilgaynon as "pagtutod" is already banned in the country because of the Clean Air Act. I know I am not yet equipped with the right knowledge to help the environment because of my naivety and bumming around (spell J-A-C-K-A-S-S)in the past years. But surely after this trip, I will go back to Barrio Quentin Remo next summer with a bagful of knowledge on how to preserve the remaining forest cover of the island.
By the way, the pictures above are courtesy of mysiquijor.com because I forgot to transfer the photos that I got from my PC in Bacolod to my laptop. The photo below was almost similar to the habal-habal I rode crossing streams and dirt roads.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Body of Christ, Amen! As a second grader in 1992, I will never forget the day I discovered the sweet and sour taste of Haw Flakes. We were a group of rowdy kids lining up every recess ready to receive the host from a classmate who would act like our school chaplain. The only difference was that the host was not colored white but a dark brown one.
As a young child, I always never fail to ask my mother for a pack of this disc shaped candy before she goes to the local Chinese grocery called Hua Kong near our house in Bacolod. It only costs nine pesos for a pack of ten or less than a peso each back then.
Usually this delightful candy treat looks like firecrackers we used to play with every New Year with its tube-like shaped pink and yellow paper packaging filled with round super thin wafers made up of haw, sugar and water.
During recess and lunch time, I would sneak out of our school in order to buy Haw Flakes in a little four wheeled sari-sari store owned by Tiya Elsa just across the street. As a young eight-year-old boy, I bravely crossed the street just to have my daily fix of the mouthwatering Chinese candy.
This would be my daily routine for the next five years until I reached high school. I stayed in the same Catholic school eating my favorite Haw Flakes pretending its blessed host. By that time, an ordinance was passed in the city to remove all sidewalk vendors including Tiya Elsa’s store. I was panic-stricken as my only source near the school of Haw Flakes was threatened to be demolished by authorities. Some fellow high school buddies also clamored because their daily supply of plastic balloons, teks cards and pabunot will definitely be in peril.
As the student council president, I led the group to a childish signature campaign that was given to the school authorities who were composed of Augustinian Recollect priests who gave in to our demands as we encouraged and even coerced some of our fellow students to sign the petition paper to adopt Tiya Elsa inside the school in order to spare her little store from being demolished. We had a total of three hundred plus signatures to save her store and my daily supply of Haw Flakes. I would burst into an uninterrupted burst of laughter every time I remember this incident.
Haw Flakes is now a part of my life, some may call it an addiction. I talk with it, sleep with it and even cried with it. The time I got dumped by my first girl friend, I binged with Haw Flakes. I need no dose of Prozac or any anti-depressant drug just to cheer me up. Just a few days of indulging on my favorite candy makes me in high spirits again.
By the time I went to Baguio for college, I never forgot to bring a dozen ten-piece pack of my favorite treat. I even reminded my mom to ship me my favorite candy all the way from Bacolod. However, packages from the province would often arrive late. Even if it was difficult on my part, I decided to train myself to forget my favorite candy once in a while. I thought that I’m mature enough not to be addicted to Haw Flakes anymore.
However, a few weeks ago, I discovered that the local Tiong San Bazaar sells this candy for twelve pesos for a ten-piece pack. I never hesitated to buy a dozen of my favorite Chinese candy. What can I say? As Dottie West's song goes "Cause I've loved you so long and I've loved you so much I’m only human." And of course, I cannot resist my craving for the disc-shaped wafer thin candy. I can only say it’s a heavenly treat. Body of Christ, Amen!
Dottie West - I'm Only Human Lyrics
More Dottie West Lyrics...
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/08/2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Today is my only rest day until September 18th. Yes, that's right I'll be very busy even on Sundays. Here's a rundown of what I did to make the most out of my rest day.
1. I slept for 10 hours today. (Ngorkzzz...)
2. I surfed the net. (Blogosphere)
3. I organized my room. (Yeah, I did it!)
4. I watched TV. (Just the news on ANC)
5. I wrote three poems. (One in Hiligaynon, One in Filipino. One in English)
6. I stayed at home bumming around.(Yeah I spent an hour in "tunganga" mode)
7. I teased our stupid dog. (He barked at me furously showing his sharp teeth)
8. I ate strawberry jam sandwich to punish myself. ( i find this treat gross)
9. I went to Japan and interviewed Haruki Murakami in my dreams. (He speaks good Tagalog in my dreams)
10. I bit my fingernails. (How orally fixated!)
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/06/2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
The Sine Berde Independent Film Festival is created as an inter-school film fest for young independent school-based film makers in the Cordillera Administrative Region. This event is also a fund raising activity of the University of the Cordilleras Mass Communication Society for the different community outreach projects of the society like journalism seminars for elementary and high school students to be launched next trimester. The film festival encourages, inspires and rewards young film makers in the region to develop their craft by giving them national and regional exposure. The event will provide a platform for up and coming student film makers and documentary producers to expose their outputs while promoting cultural unity among the people of the Cordilleras through digital film making.
Here's an ABS-CBN report about the film festival.
My very hectic trimestral break schedule will be adding some more activities on its itinerary with the new mail I received this afternoon. Being the Chairman of the Sine Berde Independent Film Festival 2006 and the President of the UC Mass Communication Society for SY 2006-2007, I decided to join this years Ten Accomplished Youth Organization Awards Year 5 (TAYO 5).Luckily, my organization is now one of the finalists in the Luzon Area. The area finals in Luzon is slated on September 12-13, 2007 in Malolos Bulacan. I will be presenting my project entry which is Sine Berde Independent Film Festival and compete with nine other organizations in Luzon.This is the content of the letter:
September 5, 2007
MR. JESUS MIGUEL AGREDA
UC Mass Communication Society
Your organization was chosen by our panel of screeners to be part of the Area Finals for Luzon. The Area finals will be held on
12 – 13 September 2007 in Center for Local Governance and Research Development located in Malolos City, Bulacan. Ten organizations from all over Luzon will compete for the final 5 slots to represent Luzon in the National Finals.
The next round of screening will require one representative from the Organization (aged 15-30) to present a seven-minute PowerPoint presentation on their project entry.
The TAYO Foundation will be providing transportation reimbursement from the location of the representative to SM North EDSA which will be the meeting venue. A shuttle will be provided to bring all representatives to Bulacan.
Attached is an Itinerary of Travel form where you should indicate each fare paid going to the venue.
A Personal Data Sheet form is also attached where your representative is requested to indicate his/her personal information, including allergies and food restrictions and physical limitations. We hope to receive the name of your representative on or before September 7, 2007 (Friday). Please write in the subject portion of your e-mail: PERSONAL DATA SHEET AND ITINERARY OF TRAVEL: TAYO 5 LUZON AREA FINALS
Also attached is a template for the PowerPoint presentation. The said template must be strictly followed by your organization. The secretariat reserves the right to edit the contents of the PowerPoint presentation if it exceeds the 6 slides limit in the template. Please email back the presentation to us not later than 10 September 2007 with the following subject: (NAME OF YOUR ORGANIZATION) PRESENTATION: TAYO 5 LUZON AREA FINALS.
If you still have additional action photos or videos, aside from the ones given to the validators, please take them with you during the Area Finals.
We will be using these materials as part of the TAYO Audiovisual presentation, or TV special, or on posters and other information materials for the next TAYO Search.
You may invite 3 members to witness and observe your presentation on 13 September. However, all expenses incurred by said representatives will be shouldered by your organization. Representatives will be allowed inside the judging area only during the presentation of his/her organization and during the awarding of finalists.
This serves as your official notice for the Luzon Area Finals. Again, congratulations and see you in Bulacan!
The Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Secretariat
Contact us at (02) 781-1406/ 781-2386 loc. 118
or e-mail us at email@example.com or
TAYO5 is presented by:
Coke Barkada and Mirant Philippines
with the support of the Department of Social Welfare and Development
Also brought to you by:
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Chevron Philippines, the United Nations and Cebu Pacific
the National Youth Commission, the Office of Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan, the Philippine Council of Young Political Leaders and the TAYO Awards Foundation
Expect me to be very busy this week! I hope you forgive me for not blogging for a while.
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/05/2007
Sen. Mar Roxas just visited my backyard yesterday. Just kidding! I live in Loakan Airport compound here in Baguio City. My aunt is the manager of the airport. Every time there are arriving VIPs and celebrities in the city, she would alert his "media-man" nephew on what time they will arrive and on what flight. Mar Roxas' private plane arrived at around 7am yesterday and fetched him out of Baguio at round 11am. Here's Inquirer Northern Luzon Correspondent Vincent Cabreza and Atty. Delmar Carino's article about Mar Roxas' alleged start of presidential campaign for 2010 in Northern Luzon.
The pictures above are views of the airport tower and runway from my backyard. I get a clear view of the control tower and runway everyday.
BY Cordillera Blogger at 9/05/2007
Today is the last day of my final exams. Every time there is a break for trimestral schools like that of my school UC, I spend a day or two doing nothing. I usually bum around the house or just sleep for two days straight(exaggerated). Sometimes, I'll be in a daydreaming mode. But most of the time I'll be the couch potato sitting in the corner of the room watching DVDs or TV shows i missed out during school days.
As for my two week break, I plan to travel, relax and enjoy life. However a series of unfortunate events happened. I lost my two ATM cards including my driver's license. My plans of traveling turned to dust as all my savings for the trip were placed in those two accounts.
My two week vacation will definitely be spent on processing affidavits of loss (or something like it) just to claim my four months worth of savings. I was supposed to go to Sagada or Mt. Pulag or maybe head up north to Pagudpud in Ilocos for a much needed vacation.
But despite all these setbacks to my planned vacation, I am still optimistic that my break would somehow turn out to be at least worthwhile. I decided to do my favorite hobby (which is writing) instead of traveling because of my financial problems lately.My itinerary for my September break would be:
September 6: Bum around the house and jack ass mode. I might as well sleep the whole day off after exams.(Change Plans: I will process the needed papers for my travel to Bulacan today)
September 7: I will attend IABC Media Seminar at Asian Institute of Management Hall in Camp John Hay and UP Baguio.(I will have a meeting in the morning with our department head re: TAYO Awards)
September 8: I will attend the IABC Media Seminar with a two hour AWOL mode during lunch break to Kias in Loakan (Near PMA) to be a godfather to my college friend Nicene's first baby boy. Yehey! Ninang na ako!
September 9: I'll spend the whole day cleaning the house and attend mass. I need to establish my on and off relationship with My Creator. I'll start writing my flash fiction, short story, essays and poems for the Pundasyon Literary Folio to be released this year.
September 11: I'll continue writing all the weird stuff that I could think about. I will also process the needed papers for my lost ATM cards and driver's license on this day. (Change Plans: I'll be leaving for Manila by this time for TAYO Awards finals)
September 12: This will be the day my grades will be released as well as my enrolment schedule. I'm hoping I can still smile despite my lackluster performance on my academics this past trimester. I will also enroll some of my subjects on this day hoping that the subject offerings will not be closed. This will be the start of my job as a member of the Constitutional Commission tasked to ratify the 1997 Charter of the Alternative.(Change Plans: I'll be meeting TAYO Coordinator Jason in SM North EDSA and head for Center for Local Governance Research and Development in Malolos City, Bulacan for my TAYO awards entry presentation. I'll spend the night there together with nine other qualifiers from Luzon Area.)
September 13: I will know the results if my presentation and project entry will make it to the National Finals and awarding in Malacanang. At around 5PM, I will be heading for Manila and visit Ate Jing in her condo in Makati. Then at one o'clock in the morning I will head back for Baguio because I was tasked to be a lecturer in a workshop.
September 14: This will be the start of my scheduled lecture-workshop series for the campus journalists in my school. I was tasked to teach feature writing, developmental communication and interviewing techniques to our staff.
September 15: I plan to give a writing workshop and assignments to my staff during this scheduled break. I will try to motivate them into writing more good stuff for the publication. However, I will juggle the workshop with another poetry seminar sponsored by the Baguio Writer's Group at the Baguio Country Club. I will listen to lectures of Butch and Precy Macansantos, Marjorie Evasco, Sid Hildawa, Marra Lanot, Edgar Maranan and Krip Yuson. I will be joined by my Ka-ubbog in this poetry symposium. If I have enough money for the concert at the country club I'll stay a little longer to listen to Jazz music with some of my friends. (I admit...I am flat broke)
September 16: I plan to write literary pieces on this day. However, this falls on a Sunday which means I need to take a short break and meditate for a while. I hope this will not be the scheduled date for the Ubbog Creative Writing Workshop and regular meeting because my week's full already.
September 17: This is the deadline of submissions for the Pundasyon Literary folio. This means that I'll be preoccupied with screening my works on what to submit and what not to submit for publication.
September 18: This will be the start of my editing job for the Pundasyon Literary Folio. I'm going to assist Literary Editor Marivi Langan with the pieces we will publish.
September 19: This is a day for me to take my much needed break because the following day will be the start of my classes for the 2nd Trimester.
Well, what can I say? The 20th of September is the start of another trimester for me. Do I deserve a break? I guess so. But despite the lack of much needed vacation because of my hectic schedule, I will try to squeeze just a few hours in the evening enjoying my adopted city of Baguio. I'll try to visit places that are unique to Baguio like restaurants, bars, art galleries etc.
I really miss my parents in Bacolod as well as my two cats Peewee and Teewee. By December, I promise to go home and tour my beloved place of birth.Tsk, tsk, tsk...
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
It has been six months since I set foot in Baguio's premier park. Today, I visited it again only to be disappointed with how much it has changed in the past years. My Alternative (school pub) family decided to stroll around the place and relax for awhile after final exam week.
As for me, I needed a respite after my thesis defense which turned out with good results I presume since my panelists were all flapping their ears as to how well prepared are my answers to their queries. I also painstakingly finished a couple of exams today.
Our group decided to take the shortcut by traversing along Melvin Jones football field much to my disappointment. I am wearing my purple long sleeved polo with necktie, black slacks and jacket and leather shoes---in all my semi-formal glory---crossed a long muddy track. My shoes were all filled with mud stains all over. Not to mention the feeling of sinking in quicksand and having a hard time pulling my shoes off the mud hole. I blame the mud holes to motor vehicles park authorities allow inside the field thinking that the football field is one big race track. What a shame! And now all the carabao grass covering the vast expanse of the field almost died or thinned out leaving some areas barren. During the rainy season (which all of us in Baguio are experiencing today), the barren areas of the field turn into mud holes that will leave your shoes, slippers (even if it's havaianas) and boots stuck in the middle of the field. Just look at the pictures I have posted above.
Now back to the park issue, the once pristine lake is now silt filled and overflowing with plastic wrappers from careless visitors. Foreign and domestic tourist however do not mind the stench coming from the lake's murky waters. I even saw some of my classmates riding the for-rent-boats on the lake. Sad to say, the once favorite hangout of Baguio residents is now starting to deteriorate. I hope local authorities will start paying attention on the park and improve its offered frills in order to entice more tourists to visit the city of pines.
I read over Baguio Midland Courier (who hasn't updated their site contents lately)on its 98th Charter issue that there is a move to rehabilitate other hangouts in the park like the children's playground. Well, I think this is a good move for the city council because it will draw back the children as well as families back to visit the park.
However, Burnham park still has other thrills other than the usual wholesome family activities. As the sun sets in the park, while other people start to head for their homes (as for the tourists:hotel rooms), another part of the park is just starting on its set of "activities".
Local voyeurs and cruising gay guys (my sistahs) start to converge in the dimly lighted area which they call Rainforest near the skating rink of the park. Ask the Burnham locals and they will surely know where this hidden lover's lane is located. They would even gladly discuss to you what happens inside the dimly lighted area of the park. (Guess what? Hehe!)
One time as a curious gay guy, I bravely went to this place as part of my feature writing class to interview a call boy or a cruiser. Luckily, I found Ben (not his real name)and the rest of his story was published in The Alternative newsletter developmental communication page which won 1st Place in the 2007 Luzonwide Press Conference in Tagaytay City out of more than 45 entries. Here's Ben's story:
An Encounter with a Nocturnal Soul
He is a nocturnal human being. He wakes up at three in the afternoon and starts his daily routine. Dressing up in a preppy-looking hairstyle, tight-fitting shirt and hip-hugging jeans, Ben (not his real name), a nineteen year-old guy, would be mistaken for a print ad model. With his dark Moreno charm and captivating smile he would leave women and even men drooling. He would then scour the dark alleys and dimly-lighted corners of Burnham Park like a carnivorous feline searching for his prey. His target for the day is not a woman to court nor his girlfriend, but men like him. Ben is just one of the dozens of male prostitutes loitering around the city’s famous parks.
As a hopeful high school graduate in 2004, looking for a job in Baguio was the only answer to his family’s needs. He left his deprived family in the province and looked for greener pastures in the City of Pines, but to no avail. He was left jobless and depressed. It was during his lowest point in life where he doesn’t want to go home in the province with an empty pocket. He was walking along Burnham Park when he met two guys who were just like him. They became friends and they suggested to him a job they said would earn money without a sweat.
“Sabi ng dalawang kaibigan ko noon mabilis at madaling pagkakakitaan ang trabahong alam nila”, he wearily said. “Akala ko mag-waiter ako noon sa isang restaurant kaya sabi ko payag ako. Wala kasi akong pagpipilian noon eh”, he added.
They were a group of six, barely knowing the names of his other companions they headed for their next destination in Maharlika building. His friends told him to wear nice clothes and spray perfume all over his body. They said its part of the package. One of his newly-found friends introduced him to a gay salon hairdresser. Only then he knew that he was not going to be a waiter after all.
“Pinilit lang nila ako kasi nandidiri talaga ako noon, pero inisip ko na lang na kailangan ko ng pera”, he said. “Pero noong natikman ko na, masarap din pala, kaya pinag-enjoyan ko na ang mga bading… wala namang nakakakilala sa akin sa Baguio ”, he jokingly added.
He started to enjoy the job because he earns. At around nine in the evening he starts to walk in the dimly lighted path walks of the park staring at every prospect that passes by conversing with them like a sensor scanning if they would hire his special services or not. Doing the job almost every night for two years now makes him an expert on distinguishing who’s a good paying customer or not.
There are times when they are mistaken as best buds like they have never seen each other for a long time. Some of his parokyano are can hardly be distinguished if they’re homosexuals or not. But most of the time, Ben admits that the long-haired, cross-dressing ones are his daily customers. He added that they pay well too. They even add tips if he does something extra special to them like hold their hands or kiss them in public.
Ben would earn about three hundred per customer for short time quickies in the nooks and crannies of the park. “Yung mga hindi na talaga makahintay, diyan na lang sa sulok-sulok na madilim puwede na”, he uttered with a forced laughter. But most of the time most of his customers like to check-in in the numerous inns and lodges in the city that offer short time rentals. “Hindi ko tinatagalan kasi kailangan makarami ako sa isang gabi hanggang umaga”. He added.
One time, his father visited him in the rented house with his fellow callboys. “Sabi ko sa tatay ko nagtratrabaho ako sa SM sa isang restaurant dito”, he said. His father believed him and even wished him luck in his job. He also sends money to his other siblings in the province. He never forgets to send money for them because he knows they really need it there.
However, his job as a male poseur always comes with danger. The danger of contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases and abusive customers are just few of the perils he has to face each day. He would remember then when a policeman whom he thought would catch him was also gay and just wants him for free.
“Hindi ko makalimutan noon yung pulis eh. Papalapit siya noon akala ko huhulihin niya ako pero bakla pala siya. Mga edad 38 hanggang 40 siguro siya. Tinira niya ako…bakla pala siya”, he disgustingly answered. Ben was hesitant to narrate the rest of his experience with the policeman.
Ben is just one of the many poor people being thrown into difficult situations because of joblessness and extreme poverty. Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. Many people still do it in order to feed themselves and their family. How many more are just like Ben hiding in the dark corners of parks hooking up with customers? For now, Ben still continues to be a nocturnal creature. Walking along the parks, he continues to listlessly glance at every person that might need his services in order to satisfy their uncontrollable urges and sexual fantasies.
It's actually a common call boy story but I believe the lessons of this story is skin deep. It will pierce one's soul and explain why some people because of poverty will sacrifice everything in order to eke out money for the day.
Here's a poem I've written about Burnham Park and Ben:
Malalim na ang gabi
Pauwi na ang mga tao
Siguro ay hinog na ang panahon
Para lakarin ang Burnham Park.
Sigurado’y tiba-tiba ang kita.
tamisan ang pananalita
para maraming parokyano
ang muling maaki’t madala
sa matipunong katawan
at mapanlinlang na dila.