Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Last banking day of the year

Absent yesterday coz still not feeling well.

Milette gave me a blueberry cheesecake as my Christmas present. Yum!

There are still boxes of apples that should have been given to our clients/counterparties, but since they weren't delivered and we're gonna have a 5-day weekend, we decided to bring home a box each instead of coming back Monday to find them all rotten.

Planned to go home early but found myself hooked at the Portkey.org forum till 7pm ... didn't attend the Bank's New Year Party (there's dancing again I heard) but parked myself in front of my PC. Did rush out when the fireworks were lit (first time PNB actually had that, in my memory). Nice - especially the last few bursts where you wished the sky would sparkle like that for a long time. Wish I had a camera that could capture that one. Sigh! Actually, fireworks displays are so common from the Sto. Rosario church fiestas/special occassions to the daily (for the month of December anyway) ones at the Ayala Malls. Nevertheless, I still like watching them.

Ended up giving 9 of the apples to Jevy the messenger just so I could bring home the stuff I hoped to ... and the box of apples was heavy for me!

Placed the rolled up calendars in the space where the 9 apples where, taped the box shut, and strapped the cheesecake on top of the box ... he he he!

Lawrence lent me his cd of the Throne of Darkness RPG game, supposed to bring home the Soul Reaver CD too but he was still dancing in the party when I left the office - so that means I get to borrow that one after the holidays. Wonder if he meant he and his kid or he and his wife when he says that they played the first Soul Reaver in 100 hours. That's long! Explains why he leaves the office early - he wants to get home in order to continue playing! Ha ha ha! He's so hooked he can't wait for Soul Reaver 3.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Updating My Website

Spent hours overhauling my website ... doesn't look as nice as I want ... but that's what comes with free webspaces.

I decided to make the family photo albums first ... haven't finished with the pages containing my stuff ... what the heck!

Wish I don't have a cold ... I would have spent the day in Tagaytay with Sampa et al. I didn't join cause I suspect I already have the flu. I started to have a running nose on the 26th and kept sneezing yesterday. Can't pinpoint if this is just an allergy (i'm kinda prone to headache and sneezing when there's a tropical depression/monsoon rain) ... but there hasn't been rain so this could be a real virus... cause if it's weather related, it would mean heavy rain's gonna come within a day (the headache stops after the rain's over - of all things to be allergic to my body has to pick that one!). Like I said, no rain yet ... if this is a virus, I don't want Sam to catch it ... she's got leukemia and the medicines have weakened her body... so a simple cold virus could mean hospital for her.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Just spent last night updating my blog. God knows when I'm going to get time to update the Bulletin Board. Sorry guys if you tried to call and got a busy signal ... I was online.

Am very much pissed when iMira went offline. I'm still fixing the online album on my geocities website. I've decided to use flash, and I keep revising so that the pictures upload easily. Man, sometimes I think I won't ever finish.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Christmas Eve and the Da Vinci Code

Slept most of the day. Am that tired. Finally finished the "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. Frankly, I guessed who the antagonist was way too early to be in suspense at the ending. Nice book. Mind opening for those who would not pick up a book on the topic otherwise. I've read up on the Merovingians, Templars, da Vinci and the Priory of Sion before so there wasn't much "revelation" for me. Brown left out John the Baptist, and some other theories like Jesus not actually dying (anyone heard of Da Vinci supposedly making the Shroud of Turin for his amusement?). But that would mean having a longer novel. I think Brown left in just enough clues for others to pick up the trail on their own - he actually mentioned the books that studied the topics he touched on.

Makes you wonder if Brown is actually in cahoots with the guys who want the world to seriously take notice of their particular field of research. If you want to be a conspiracy theorist, you'd even say he's of the Priory or one of those brotherhoods. In fact, his book may well be the medium of revelation that the novel itself was talking about - you know, revealing the truth to the world at the start of the Age of Aquarius? He he he he!

If you ask me, half the world don't really consider Jesus as the God personified, so it wouldn't really matter if the Merovingian line survives and is what it is supposed to be. What really matters is your relationship with God. What channel or religion you choose to establish that will depend on the level of relationship you want to have in the first place.

har de har har! Sam used to think I was atheist for not going to church regularly. When she heard me saying that during her birthday party, I wonder what she's starting to think of my religion now. If you're wondering, I'm still a bloody Catholic. Credit my Benedictine education if my view on religion is this way. Christian Doctrine was from Grade 1 to 6 only. High School "Religion" subject covered all religions at one point. Then College Biblical Theology introduced me to the books that were taken out of the present collection that we call the Bible. The present Bible only has half of the books that were available to the early Christians... it was a council of men who decided what should be retained or stricken out. Frankly, I doubt if majority of the Protestants who literally consider the Bible as the "Word" are aware that the Bible they inherited from the Roman Catholics does not contain books the bishops considered as inappropriate or does not jell with their version of what Christianity should be.

Jon left to meet a friend after lunch. He hasn't returned yet. When Pa learned that the friend was a female classmate who is now a lawyer, he was excited. He wouldn't mind if Jon married her. Ha ha ha! Does that mean he won't pressure me to be a lawyer? HOPE SO!

Wonder what time I should start cooking lasagna?

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

The Court Order

Around last week or the week before, I found a brown letter envelope on my desk. It was from the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, ordering Feliciano Miranda, me and three other PNB employees to appear for the pre-trial of one Totoy Vicente on January 5. Not knowing who Totoy Vicente is, nor what the criminal case was, or why my name was on the list, I had meant to call legal division to ask if they knew about the case.

December being busy with OPICS conversion and other activities, I was able to call legal only now. Apparently, Mr. Vicente is or was a PNB employee and the case was related to Assets Management. I think the court order was meant for Mary Jean V. Reyes and not me. I told that to the lawyer and she said she'll check and call me back.

Jeez, on occassions like this I consider changing my name to M. J. F. Basa or M. J. F. Reyes-Basa! Frankly, the telephone operators and mailing automatically think of me when they get mail or a call addressed to Jane/Jean Reyes without a division specified. I think it's because they have an alphabetical directory and my name comes before Jean Reyes'.

That means I get her bills, calls from credit card companies collecting her overdue payment, and calls from clients begging to give them time to come up with money to pay their loans before the bank takes their property.

Publics, the bank's magazine, once planned to write an article about us having similar names. I refused to give an interview. They didn't push. Maybe Jean didn't want to give an interview either.

Day ended and legal didn't call back. Whether they call back or not, I won't appear in court on January 5. I don't know if I should forward the letter to Jean Reyes though. I'll wait till next week for legal to get back to me.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Treasury Group Christmas Party

Being the week of Christmas, people's minds aren't on work 100% today. Especially when the lechon arrived at 11:30.

When I handed over a trading order at the backroom, Jess moaned that we shouldn't be working this week. Before I left, he commented on my dancing last Friday. I expect everyone who knows me would make a comment since from their point of view, I was the one who urged people to dance that night. It was actually Boss Mon who initiated it. I was just the one he pushed to run to the front. The balloon popping was another story.

We invited the senior officers and the directors but only a third of them came for lunch. Took some pictures with my camera. Everyone wanted to be in my pictures now after the flash christmas card i created last week! Dennis opened a few bottles of wine and passed them around. I noticed though that the bottles returned to him half full but by the time we finished lunch they were empty. He he he!

Kris Kringle revelation was at 4pm. Being traders, we had a pot. At the start, everyone puts a peso in the pot. Each one is called and bets against the pot trying to guess who his/her kris kringle mom/dad is. If someone calls the whole amount in the pot and wins, everyone plunks in a peso each and the game continues. It was fun since some actually betted up to a hundred because they thought they were sure, then lost. Apart from the pot, there were side bets against traders - Milette lost PHP2000 against Mon!. I found out Dennis was my kris kringle dad. Rey didn't guess I was his kris kringle mom.

We had KFC deliver chicken for our dinner then we went to the Westin hotel's Siete Pecados. We were too early. The band for the day would perform at around 9:30 p.m. and not 8:30 as we thought. We went to the poolside and watched the folk dance performance.

From the way the host was talking, we deduced that he was gay. Tina thought I was drinking alcohol and was drunk - NOT! I was just drinking orange juice, Dan was just being hilarious and he was the one getting drunk. When the host asked volunteers for the tinikling, we pushed Jevy, Dan, Jan, Cheryl and Chary to the stage. Learned that Boss Dan used to be in PNB's dance troupe when he was younger.

Went back to Siete Pecados just before the band started. When the lead singer asked if there are any in the audience celebrating an event, we shouted that we were there for Dennis' birthday. Dennis' birthday is in January but the band need not know that. The band sang the birthday song to a funeral march tune while assuming the "pray over" pose. It was hilarious and promised a fun night. When Dennis was asked what his favorite band was, he answered Salbakuta. We laughed while the lead told the audience that normally they wouldnt play Salbakuta in a 5-star hotel because their songs are regarded as the music of "addicts". They said it was the kind of music you would hear from places like Cowboy Grille. Since it was Dennis' birthday, they played a few lines of "Stupid Love".

There was a couple celebrating a 30-year marriage and they weren't spared from jokes either. Especially when the husband only gave PHP80 for a song request - the couple was told that the band plays like a prepaid cellphone card, they stop when when the amount paid has been consumed. They joked that PHP80 would just go as far as the intro. They played the song anyway.

Dennis wrote down a request and gave PHP200. We learned that he requested for "Laklak" and that he wrote down Jan's name as the requestee. The band played just one line and told Jan that Laklak is even worse than Salbakuta's "Stupid Love" - management may kick them out if they play the song. Jan blushed and punched Dennis for the stunt.

I only got to drink a glass of Pina colada. Left early since I was hitching a ride to Alabang with Rhoda. When Mon arrived to pick her up, saw that the van was full of kids. The following day was the birthday of Rhoda's son, so Mon picked up Raphael's cousins to stay the night. The little girl Trixie is in that stage when kids just kept on talking so any hope I had of taking a small nap during the trip was gone. They dropped me off near the wet market.

I thought I would have some sleep on the trip from Alabang to Pacita since I was able to catch a van making it's "last trip". Unfortunately, the woman driver and her companion talked all throughout the trip. It was funny, another passenger had to remind her that we would be taking the "Halang" route and not "Susanna Heights".

Needless to say, I was very glad to get home and be in my room where there wouldn't be kids or women chattering to give me a headache.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

The Freemason Theory

When Jon browsed the Da Vinci Code while waiting in line for the movie Return of the King, I realized that he is just as interested as I am in Da Vinci, the Templars, etc.

Found out that he also remembers Lola Inang telling us when we were little about secret meanings in the hand gestures of paintings of Jesus. Jon said he thought Lola Inang was pulling our leg at the time - after all she was old and could be rambling nonsense.

I told Jon about my theory that maybe Lola Inang knew a bit of what the freemasons knew since Lolo Gorio was supposedly one of them. In fact, maybe she was also a member. I think that one of the reasons our grandfather was chosen by the Americans as the first mayor of Cavite City (first mayor under the Americans anyway) was because he was a freemason. It is a little known fact that many of the Americans who came to the Philippines were freemasons. It would make sense that American freemasons would choose a Filipino freemason to be mayor of Cavite. It is also said that influential members of Aguinaldo's faction of the Katipunan were freemasons. There is a dining table displayed in the Commission on Audit which Pa said Aunt Mely donated. This is supposedly the dining table used when Aguinaldo held secret meetings in the Reyes household. I postulated to Jon that perhaps one reason that they would meet in the Reyes household was that some of the Reyeses were actually freemasons. It wouldn't be farfetched then that from both sides of Pa's family - the Basa and the Reyes - both Lolo Gorio and Lola Inang - were involved with the freemasons.

If Pa hadn't dissuaded Kuya Willy from joining the freemasons, we would have another freemason in the family.

I think we have a gene that makes us very interested in such things like the occult and any such thing that rabid Catholics would name forbidden knowledge and have us branded as heretics. Lolo Gorio probably was lured to it by way of freemasonry, Pa has astrology and I-ching books which served as my introduction to the genre, and now Jon and I are interested in such things as well. Given, most of the things Jon have read were books I bought.

I think Jon is into this more than I am. He told me he wanted to visit Aguinaldo's house and have a look around just in case he would find some symbols hidden somewhere. I hadn't thought of doing that but told him that we'd try to do that sometime.

Maybe next year.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Return of the King

Jon left before lunch to meet a friend at Shangri-La Edsa. I left around 3pm and boarded a bus that passed by Makati City. Passed by SM Makati to drop the raffle tickets I got for buying appliances, picked up the pictures of Sam's birthday party I had recopied, and hopped on a bus that brought me to SM Megamall at Mandaluyong.

I had planned to do some shopping for gifts but decided against it since Jon said there was already a line outside the theater. Although the movie's supposed to start at 7:30 pm, the line was already long by 5:30 when Jon got there. We estimated that there were more than 200 ahead of us in the line. Bought a combo meal of Champ, large fries and large softdrinks to go from Jollibee which Jon and I ate while sitting on the floor, waiting for 7:00p.m. We finished the fries and softdrinks and saved the burgers for later. I brought the "Da Vinci Code" novel that my boss lent me and Jon thought it was another one of those books I buy. Read a few pages while waiting in line.

Once inside the theater, the movie didn't start at once. With more than 500 people to be seated, it took a long while before everyone settled down. Bought two popcorn combo snacks just to have the ROTK tumblers. The organization that hosted the screening wanted to have a kissing contest because SMINT was a sponsor. Unfortunately for them, no one wanted to join. The hosts were actually begging for at least one couple. No one stepped forward and people were telling the two hosts to just kiss to get it over with... they didn't. The hosts apologized to SMINT and the countdown began. The movie didn't start at once - we endured having to watch a lot of commercials and trailers. It was a relief when the New Line logo finally appeared, signalling for the Middle Earth magic to begin.

It was a beautiful movie. Sadly, the proliferation of slash fiction about LOTR characters ruined some heartwarming scenes. People would hoot whenever Sam/Frodo, Merry/Pippin or other guy/guy characters would have "tender" moments. It confirms that majority of the audience have access to the net and have read the slash fiction - probably Cassandra Claire's secret diaries.

I was amused. I don't know if Peter Jackson would be.

Friday, December 19, 2003

PNB's Christmas Party

Left home late finishing 2 flash movies and a powerpoint I plan to disseminate today.

Boss Boy asked Jeng yesterday to make an invitation for Monday's lunch in the dealing room - the Treasury Group's party. He wants to invite the directors and senior officers to our party. Being the helpful friend who enjoys doing anything that borders on dabbling in the artistic side of me, I volunteered to do it in powerpoint since my home PC has more clipart than the one in the office.

I decided to create a powerpoint version that she can print and a flash movie version. I also created another flash christmas card everyone in the dealing room could send out to our clients or counterparties. That's why I was late.

Jeng loved the flash invitation and didn't use the powerpoint one. The others liked the christmas card i made which used the pictures I took during the adopt-a-child event. Those who didn't have a picture in the card complained - I told them I couldn't do anything since they didn't pose for me when I was taking pictures. Had a feeling they'd be on the lookout for my camera just for the probability of being in my next flash movie.

Bought two tickets from Cristy for the advanced screening of the Return of the King. Each cost PHP350. She got the tickets from Bernard. The movie's already being shown in other parts of the world but because of the Metro Manila Filmfest, it will be shown locally January 2004. Every LOTR fan in the country hates the filmfest because of that. We were joking Cristy about the fact that she turned down a date when she said no when Bernard asked her if she wants to watch an advanced screening of Return of the King. It was after saying no that she remembered Bernard once telling her he couldn't wait to watch the movie. We all have moments of stupidity, don't we?

Our free dinner came late ... the caterers the bank hired miscalculated and we had to wait for them to finish cooking a second batch.

We went to the banking hall around 7pm. The bank hired two bands tonight - Acapella and Friends. The Acapella was a group of around 5 young men - maybe some are teens - who sang a capella. I enjoyed listening, but I sensed that the crowd was bored and raring to dance.

Dennis brought a bottle of wine and a cup. By the middle of the Acapella's session, Dennis and a couple of others in our group were drunk and noisy that those sitting near us can't help but notice. I feared we were getting more notice than the band on stage. When the Acapella sung "Bongga ka day", which had a danceable beat inspite of being sung a capella, I stood up and urged the others in the treasury group to stand and sway to the music. Mainly because I was feeling pity on the band for not getting any response from the audience, and also because I wanted the attention being drawn by the noisy treasury group to be reflected back to the the singing band.

After a few songs, we got tired of being the only ones in the audience swaying to Acapella so we sat down. The next group was better. They played dance music. Unfortunately, when they started playing, no one stood up to dance - maybe because they were shy. Boss Mon told us to start the dancing but we were hesitant. Finally, I had to initiate it by running to the front telling the treasury group to follow me and dance. Boss Mon told me to ask the chairman to dance. Heh? I balked and told Jan that Mon wants her to pull the chairman to the dancefloor. When we had the directors and senior officers dancing, everyone who wanted to dance follwed suit.

I started kicking the balloons on the floor and the others did the same. Jan mistakenly stepped on a balloon and everyone thought it was a game. All through the night, it was like New Year's eve because people were popping balloons.

Left before 10p.m. because the last bus trip home was 10:00. Had fun, and didn't mind having to initiate things tonight. Man, if I didn't start the ball rolling, we'd have a boring bank party!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Appliance Shopping

Bought 3 wall fans - one for the kitchen, one for the Master bedroom, and the remote controlled one for Jon. Also bought a hot-and-cold water dispenser and a coffee maker... all from SM Makati. I almost bought a microwave oven, but decided not to since we don't really need it.

Afterwards, Jon helped me buy the items on the Kris Kringle list. Bought an alien doll for Monday's "Something that resembles your baby" because Rey is tall and thin. Bought cherry scented floor wax for Tuesday's "Something red and smelly", a sticky hand for Wednesday's "Yellow and sticky", Trolli spaghetti sour gum candy for Thursday's "Tasty but yucky", and baby shoes I plan to stuff with chocolate for Friday's "Sweet and spice and everything nice".

We got home around midnight.

Monday, December 08, 2003

MART Christmas Party

The Money Market Association' Christmas Party starts at around 6pm at the Makati Sports Club - the same venue as last year. I wasn't there last year though.

Makati being Makati, traffic was horrendous. I am not looking forward to the supposed move to the BA Lepanto building. I do not like to be subjected to this kind of traffic every working day!

Food was between the kind of stuff you'd find in a house party and the food at the Baguio Country Club. I am beginning to wonder if all sports club food is like this. But then again, the food at the Tagaytay Midlands tasted like hotel food. So scrap the thought.

The band hired for the night played 70s music that only the older traders could relate to. Half the attendees were outside the hall, smoking.

I was hitching a ride to Alabang with Vikki, and so I waited as she stayed till the raffle, and therefore the party, was over. The real dancing happened near the end. Jong was drunk and was pulling people to dance with him, including me. Irritated, I didn't dance tonight. Cheryl won a footspa, Cristy won a water dispenser, Vikki won a PHP1,000 or is it PHP2,000 gift check and I won an overnight stay with breakfast for two at the Subic International Hotel. It's valid until March 2004. Maybe I'll bring Sampa with me. She'd love the beach.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Ma's birthday

Ma's 60 years old today.

Tried to cook lasagna for the first time. The recipe I used was a mixture of three easy recipes I got from Pillsbury and San Remo. That means I could call it my own recipe. he he he! the bottom lasagna noodles were burned because I used the San Remo easy lasagna noodles that do not need pre-cooking. I realized I should have put a layer of meat sauce first before putting in my first layer of noodles so that there would be enough liquid to cook the noodles. Will try again tomorrow.

As partner to the lasagna, I cut up some apples Tessie brought last week and put them in pineapple juice along with sliced up calamansi. I also made my graham cracker version of crema de fruta for dessert.

Friday, December 05, 2003


Boss Mon wanted us to do something different this Christmas so most of us volunteered for the Adopt-A-Child-For-A-Day. We picked the kids' names from a list days ago. I chose Sarah Dawn Salcedo's name because I like the sound of it. We paid PHP200 each to cover the food and gifts that were to be given to the kids. Earlier this week, found out that the others - like Jeng and Cristy - bought additional gifts for their adopted kids. I ended up buying a Powerpuff plastic box, and put in it some Powerpuff pencils, eraser, sharpener, and scented memo pads. Small package, but at least my adopted kid would get a little extra even though her package won't be as big as the ones Jeng and Cristy's kids would get.

Earlier today, Boss Jun went to the World Trade Center's Christmas Bazaar just to buy his adopted kid presents - he told us he was pressured to do so after seeing the gift bags we would be giving to our adopted kids.

At around 1:30pm, we went the area between the banking hall and the long gallery, that's where the program would be held. Vikki was the only one in our unit who didn't adopt a child so she stayed behind in the dealing room. Her reason for not volunteering? She's not good with kids. She admits she's lucky that her mother lives with her and provides a mother figure for her children. It was a joke in the office that her sons would grow up thinking it was customary that husbands are the ones who do the cooking and what we would call "mothering" of kids in every home.

The kids, who came from Joyville which is being run by the Salvation Army, came late because of traffic. From the moment I saw Sarah Dawn, I had a feeling she wasn't one of those abused or abandoned kids Joyville takes in.

I was right. She and her friend Jenica, who's Jeng's adopted kid, were daughters of Salvation Army members. Their names were just included to pad the list. Maybe there were too many volunteers and too few kids. Some told me my adopted kid looked like some rich kid from Forbes Park. I was a bit disappointed, simply because I was expecting to get someone who was either an orphan or abandoned or abused. Those are kinds of kids who would really appreciate the event and the gifts we'd be giving them. Jeng was disappointed too. She wanted to take back some of the gifts she bought for Jenica and give to more deserving kids.

Dennis, who had sons and wished he had a beautiful daughter, wanted to swap his adopted daughter for the day for Sarah Dawn. I refused, not because I didn't like his adopted kid, but because that kid already knows he is her dad for the day, and she would feel rejection if she gets swapped for Sarah Dawn. Dennis' adopted kid was a real Joyville child - either abandoned or abused. The last thing she needs is another person to reject her.

The event started with party games hosted by folks from Jollibee. Then Jollibee food was given to the kids. A magic show was next and then some picture taking with a fat guy in a Santa suit.

After the program, we brought the kids to the dealing room. Jenica and Sarah Dawn proved to be knowledgeable with computers - which emphasized the fact that they weren't Joyville kids. I found myself teaching Cristy's adopted son, who's a real Joyville child and had not used a PC before, how to use a mouse to play a computer card game.

When the kids left, I announced that if ever we do this again, I'm going to choose a "bakya" name. I told the others I should have guessed that a name like "Sarah Dawn" is an unlikely one to be chosen by a poor family. Jeng agreed with my theory.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Yippee, another holiday!

Arroyo declared today, the end of Ramadan, a holiday. David wanted Tina and I to show up in the OPICS room today. We did not. Doesn't matter if Graham promised to treat the OPICS team to lunch at Pier One, the cost of going to the office just to hang around and do nothing in exchange for a free lunch wasn't worth it.

I'll bet Graham wants to celebrate today as if it's Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving's tomorrow and he'll probably miss his family in New York.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Day After Sam's Birthday

We girls left Sam's house around 4am. Lou dropped Myrna at Soldiers Hills and dropped me off at Pacita Avenue before going home to a village near San Pedro town - I think she lives near United Homes.

Slept most of the morning. Sam and I planned to watch a movie today but she was too tired to leave the house, so I stayed home all day.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Sam's Birthday

Sam's birthday party tonight. It's a sit-down dinner for six and she even went as far as making invitations.

Earlier she wanted me to cook stuffed chicken, but this week, she told me a small Red Ribbon black forest cake would be enough. Left early, and thank God I did because the traffic going to Las Pinas from Alabang was heavy. Stopped by SM South Mall to buy the cake Sam requested. Passed by Blue Magic and brought her a throw pillow. I had thought I would get to Sam's place a half hour early. I arrived there just in time thanks to heavy traffic.

Out of the five invited, only three of us were there. There's Lou, a high school friend of ours who's Sam's partner in a wedding coordinating business; and there's Derek, former IT teacher of St. Scho who's now La Consolacion's Dean of Computer Studies - he and Sam both attended the summer theater workshop and both are taking voice lessons. Sam said that I am her partner in watching movies, Lou is her business partner, Derek used to be her partner in drinking but now that drinking's off limits for her he's her partner when it comes to theater and singing, Myrna who hasn't arrived yet is her partner when frequenting cafes, and the fifth one (can't remember her name) is Sam's partner for out of town trips - true to form the last one can't come because she's in Tagaytay which is out of town.

Sam cooked everything we ate. Lou brought the wine. Since Sam started the meal with a salad with too much lettuce, we were too full to finish dessert, and the cake I brought wasn't opened. Since the background music was instrumental, Derek and Sam would break out into song now and then and talk about music which left Lou and I clueless to what they were talking about. It was too much when they played a game of guessing which broadway song was currently playing. We moved to the terrace after dinner to have some coffee or tea, and for Derek and Sam - more wine. Since Lou and I wanted some change in the music, Derek plopped in his Side A cd into the player. It turned out that the lead singer of Side A is Derek's uncle... so Sam wouldn't give up until he agreed to give her the cd as some sort of birthday gift. After all, I rationalized to Derek's chagrin, he could ask his uncle for another copy of the cd since he keeps bragging how he gets the Side A cds for free.

Myrna arrived when we had already spent considerable time on the terrace. Derek lingered for a half hour before leaving around midnight - we think he left early because his girlfriend wanted him to. When Derek left, girl talk prevailed and we had more fun talking.

Friday, October 31, 2003


Spent last night making a flash movie from the pictures from the planning session. It was more than 2mb so I had to burn it on CD.

Showed it at the dealing room and everyone had fun. Milette doesn't want me to show it to Mr. Lim because of the "love team" jokes... you click some pictures and a heart pops up over the "love teams".

A scanner, and a PC with Flash has just replaced my Photo albums.

Although the bank employees were allowed to leave early in relation to All Souls Day tomorrow, we at OPICS left at around 5pm or later.

Graham wondered if we celebrate Halloween like they in the US. Tess told him we do not, although in some villages, kids really go out for trick or treat.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Marlon's Funeral

October 22, Wednesday - Jon and I told Papa that we were going to watch a movie and buy a ceiling fan for the kitchen as well as wall fans for Jon's room and the master bedroom. Couldn't tell him we're leaving to go to the wake of Marlon Mayonte.

Jon and I got to the Holy Trinity funeral home in Paranaque around 1:00p.m. Found out that Marlon was thought to have died October 15 and his body was found October 18. The little mix up with dates maybe due to the fact that California is a few hours behind Manila time-wise.

Edith wasn't there and since we didn't really know anybody, we left the mass card, stayed around awhile and then took a lunch break at nearby Burger King. We returned before 2:00 p.m. to find Edith had arrived and that a group of people are gathered in the room praying the rosary. We joined in the prayer, which was almost finished.

The priest arrived shortly and mass started a little past 2:00. He finished at 3:00p.m. I had thought that they would start transferring the casket to the vehicle that will bring it to Manila Memorial Park, after all internment is supposed to be at 4:00 p.m. However, Marlon's friends from his charismatic group held their own prayer meeting which I think would delay the internment for an hour. Jon and I didn't attend the funeral itself because we didn't know what time the gathering would finish. Edith took some pictures of us before we left.

Jon and I went to Festival Mall in Alabang afterwards to look at some fans which Papa would expect us to be bringing home. We couldn't find anything we wanted. We went to SM South Mall Las Pinas afterwards but the choices were also limited. Unable to find any fan worth buying, I would not waste the trip to South Mall. We would watch a movie. Since it was 6:00 p.m. and the movie would start at 7:05, we ate dinner first at Yellow Cab.

I wished we were in Alabang Town Center where there are more restaurants. I wanted to eat in Saisaki. I would even prefer Friday's to Yellow Cab since Friday's has big salads in their menu. I kept wishing I had salad to munch on everytime I bit into the pizza - all pizzas are salty in my opinion (cheese and pepperoni are salty ingredients to start with).

I think I bored Jon harping about restaurants. At one point I promised Jon I'd treat him to Illustrado restaurant in Intramuros when he gets his medical license. I have eaten there just once and I want to go back - the food, which is Spanish-influene, is just immaculate. I also want another scoop of Sampaguita ice cream which I think one can only buy in Illustrado. Eating there's going to be expensive, but it's not everyday one gets his medical license, right?

A few minutes after 7:00 p.m. Jon and I stepped into Cinema 9 to watch "American Pie the Wedding". We enjoyed it so much that we repeated the movie. We left the movie house at 11:00 p.m. and got home past midnight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Edith's surprise visit

As I spent another day of this 5-day leave in front of this computer, I thought I heard Edith's voice while tapping on the keyboard. I brushed the thought away and guessed it was a woman who sounded like her. When Jon knocked on the door to get my attention, I was surprised to find it was her indeed. She just arrived from the airport and came her on emergency. Later, Jon and I found out that she came home because her brother Marlon is dead. We were more shocked to find out he died from 9 stab wounds. Someone killed him in his house around Tuesday last week, but he wasn't discovered until Thursday. His neighbor noticed that the lights in his house were open for days, but he wasn't seen leaving the place. The neighbor called the police who were the ones who discovered his dead, bloated body. Edith thinks that Marlon knew his killer and that the probable motive was money.

I asked about his wife Keiko and their kids. Edith said they advised Keiko not to come to the Philippines but rather stay in Japan. They think it's not safe for them to come here. Edith also said the reason she came here alone was that she and Willy thought it wasn't safe to bring THEIR kids home. I can't figure out whether she meant it wasn't safe because there's a murderer out there who may pick on Marlon's relatives as next targets, or whether it wasn't safe to be in the Philippines in general. Truth be told, I will take offense if she meant the latter.

Edith said Marlon's burial is tomorrow. She asked us not to tell Papa about Marlon's death. She expects to be back in California this Saturday.

Edith also said that Aunt Mely and Uncle Ed Custodio are still in California. Uncle Ed had another check-up. The doctors discovered he just suffered multiple stroke and he wasn't even aware of it.

Sunday, October 19, 2003


Today's the Fiesta in Pacita. Tessie came as expected and she brought ingredients to cook pancit. This means today's the last day of the fair with its noisy emcee and people screaming from the fast rides.

The only thing I looked forward to was the fireworks display at night. One can see it from our house. I wonder if my camera caught it - or will I just get a blank screen?

Monday, October 06, 2003

Late because of a good read

Woke up early but came to the office late. I just had to finish Dave Pelzer's book. Just in case you're wondering what "My Story" is all about, it's a thick book that puts together three of Pelzer's bestsellers - "A Child Called It", "The Lost Boy", and "A Man Called Dave". It's the story of how Dave Pelzer overcame child abuse under his mother and "broke the chain" of violence that started with his grandmother.

I had hoped to be just 10 to 15 minutes late, but when I got to the bus station, the line was long. I was able to ride on the third bus that came back from Manila. I was in Buendia around 9am and decided that since I'm already late, I better eat breakfast at McDonald's near La Salle. My log in at the office was 9:30 am.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

New Toy

I woke up to find Jon had already cleared up the computer table in order to install the scanner. After about an hour of connecting the right cables and installing the drivers via the accompanying CD, the scanner was ready for use. I was still sleepy and left Jon to figure out how to use it. I went back to read Dave Pelzer's book.

Minutes after Jon had finished with tinkering with the scanner, I took my turn to figure out how to use it - particularly the part where one scans negatives and uses Adobe Photoshop to "enhance" or "develop" the scanned image.

Tessie came by and showed a picture Cely sent her. I scanned it before returning it to her.

After a while, I got tired of the new toy and went back to Dave Pelzer's book.

Saturday, October 04, 2003


Jon and I went to Alabang Town Center today to buy that Microtek 4800 scanner. Unfortunately, the shop I had hoped carried it had none in stock. We found out that the shop had a branch in SM North EDSA which has one unit available. Jon reserved it and went there to that mall. He's buying a book that's available there anyway.

I stayed behind. Browsed at National Book Stored while waiting for Sam. She arrived past 12:30 and we met at Necafe Cafe - as usual. She gave me some dried plums as pasalubong from Singapore. She said she loved the place and would love to go back there. She wouldn't hesitate to leave the country and settle there. Next year she and her mother plans to go to Australia and New Zealand. I'm invited to join them. So I've got to start saving.

Sam gave me the invitation to her sit-down birthday party dinner. I'm still divided as to whether to go to the MART annual convention in Bohol or to her party. The Nov. 8 PHP200 dinner ticket I already gave away because it was the bottom choice. Being Vikki's alternate trader in the Peso desk, I had a sure slot in Bohol. When I hinted that I wouldn't mind not being in Bohol - Vikki thought it was unthinkable that I wouldn't be there because I'm actually trading peso, Jeng raised an eyebrow and thought no one in her right mind would throw away a weekend in Bohol worth PHP14,000. On the other hand, Sam would really be disappointed if I didn't go after saying months ago that I would. Last year, she got drunk during her birthday party because "I wasn't there" (Sam's effective putting me on a guilt trip here).

I would have to decide before All Saints Day.

After Sam was finished telling me about her vacation, she invited me to watch Sharon and Aga's movie - Ako na Lang Sana. It was a light movie - providing a few chuckles here and there. It wasn't something to want to watch again like Mano Po or Jose Rizal (I still have to find a DVD of that one).

We parted after the movie since Sam has to go to Ogie's baby shower.

I stayed around at Power Books. I bought Dave Pelzer's "My Story" and a reference book on Harry Potter.

Jon arrived around 11p.m. After canvassing the other computer shops in SM North EDSA, he still ended up buying the unit he reserved at DataCore's branch. It's a bit expensive by PHP300-400, but DataCore offers a one year warranty and even if the warranty expires, we can bring the unit to DataCore's Alabang branch which will bring the unit to a service center. In other words, we paid for the probable future service. Both tired, we didn't open the box tonight.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

DLSU's loss to Ateneo - the Aftermath

Boss Boy, a full blooded Atenean, announced that he'd understand if the La Sallites would side with FEU at the finals. He he he! He's gloating that Ateneo got in the finals again. They're defending champion.

Text message from Cristy: Jane dpat pla s bnondo ako ng bet! Dun panalo lasale, d odd s 1-3 n plus 6 1/2 pts s lasale score b4 ateneo s declard winner. Yun mga prof d2 panalo cla, ako lang tlo!sent : 30-Sept-2003 19:44:28

That means Cristy treats whoever won to the bar/restaurant called Pier 1.

Text message from Rach: At least they put on a gud fight. Malakas na hangin d2, may sound na naman. Signal dat christmas is near. sent : 30-Sept-2003 20:05:24

"Brrr" months are really here. Colder nights. Should be much colder in Rach's place in Batangas. They're near the mountain. You really feel being in the province even though it's Ayala Heights - you'd find a white owl or a crow flying above at night. Not to mention having snakes crawling into your house.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003


The Blue Eagles won today's game 74 - 68. That means Ateneo moves on to battle FEU for the UAAP Men's Basketball championship.

Ahem, how many archers would rather have the tamaraws win that one, I wonder?

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Let me say it again: ANIMO LA SALLE!!!!!

With a lot of rookies this year, the DLSU Men's basketball team still managed to get 4th place in the UAAP elimination round. When that happened, I was already proud of the team. But guess what, they may actually have a chance to win the championship!

The game last Thursday night was charged with action. After all - it was Ateneo vs. La Salle, traditional rivals. The Green Archers won over the Blue Eagles! There was a fight though and at least one player from both teams were kicked out of the game. Wish I had watched that one!

Here's the link to the UAAP site:
Archers stay alive, force sudden death

And an update on who gets kicked out for participating in the fracass that happened:
Blue Eagles’ title bid in peril

If the Green Archers don't get the championship, I'd still be chanting Animo La Salle ... after all, DLSU forced a winner-take-all match.

And to those who think that the Archers don't have much brains, read this:

DLSU retains chess crown

Sam resurrected

Sam called today. I had been wondering why I hadn't heard from her for two weekends. I just found out she spent a week touring Singapore, Malaysia and another Southeast Asian country with her mom. She just got back yesterday I think.

She wanted to pass by the house to give me pasalubong (probably souvenirs). I told her not to because the house is a mess and the carpenter is doing some repairs in my room. Actually, I don't want her to know the exact location of this house. When I still lived in Manila, she knew exactly where the house was and she had the habit of popping in uninvited or without warning. Sometimes I'd come back from work only to find her there at the living room chatting with Sally.

I told her I'd meet her next week. She sounded disappointed. I think she wanted a long talk and next week her schedule's full.

I feel guilty but I still don't want her to know where this house is.

Other updates:

  1. The wall fan has been installed.

  2. The sliding door's fixed.

  3. The termites will be taken cared of Monday. At the meantime - they munch away at whatever wood or paper they could find.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Termites in the morning

As I opened the box containing the wall fan I bought months ago with the intention of asking Eddie to install it in my room, I found that termites have taken up lodging at the bottom of the box. Before I left the house, Eddie's things-to-do list in my room became three: 1) get rid of the termites, 2) fix the sliding door so it would actually slide, and 3) install the wall fan. He didn't show up for work today though.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Spotlight on Kris Aquino

Traffic was heavy last night. On the bus, I saw GMA7 Frontpage's Mel Tiangco interviewing Joey Marquez. Joey's making the usual denials and I fell asleep. Found out this morning that at the same time Joey was talking, ABS-CBN TV Patrol's Korina Sanchez was interviewing Kris Aquino. It's the topic on everybody's lips this morning at the office. We even talked about it during the staff meeting.

The Kris Aquino interview was replayed at 10:30 a.m. and I think more than half of the television sets were tuned in to ABS-CBN. A TV set in the dealing room was switched to that channel, and even our brokers at Prebon were watching the same show.

Whereas last night the interview was uninterrupted, today's replay had too many commercials that I lost interest watching. I announced that I'd rather read the transcript than endure the marathon of advertisements. Vikki sent me the transcript downloaded from the ABS-CBN website. Haven't read it yet - there are nine (9) pages.

I do know two things - Kris said that during their relationship, Joey had beaten her and he also gave her a sexually transmitted disease which was treated at St. Luke's Hospital this March.

Boss Boy Favis even has a comment - he's not siding with Joey Marquez because he's a man, but he thinks that Kris Aquino has a personality that can provoke a man to be angry.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Last night I bought a DVD copy of the Audrey Hepburn movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Watched it for the first time and I liked it. Now the song "Moon River" keeps replaying in my head.

While I was enjoying the movie, the rest of nation it seems was hooked on TV watching the news. Last night, Kris Aquino went to the police to report that her live-in partner Joey Marquez poked a gun at her while they were fighting.

This piece of news is getting more coverage than the Mike Arroyo/Jose Pidal case.

I just had a thought. The reason that Kris Aquino is getting all this media mileage is because she's a notorious prodigal daughter of former president Corazon Aquino. I could finally grasp at why the British population has this weird preoccupation with poking into the private lives of the royal family, and why any person with a drop of Kennedy blood in them can get into the American tabloids just by showing up on the street.

Hans' Operation

Text Messages from Rachel Yapchiongco:

Sent: 23-Sept-2003, 12:04:06
Finish n operation ni hans. He's awake & seems happy. Thank u 4 all ur prayers.

Sent: 24-Sept-2003, 06:32:49
Gud am. Tapos na operation ni hans. 2 hours lng. Mabilis naman recovery nya.
D2 kmi Pgh, hopefuly makauwi n kmi 2day. Tnx 4 all ur prayers.

Later, I asked her if they were still in PGH:
Sent: 24-Sept-2003, 07:25:22
Yup, still hir in mla, PGH. D2 kasi gud pedia surgeon recomended by hans'
pedia. Hopefuly makauwi n kmi 2day pero di p sure.

I said if they were still in the hospital after office hours I'll visit.
Sent: 24-Sept-2003, 07:36:26
Ok, i'l text u pag tuloy or not discharge ni hans 2day.

Sent: 24-Sept-2003, 13:33:34
Hi. Discharge na si hans. Settle lng namin yng bill tapos uwi na kmi. Nxt
tym nalang tayo kita.

Glad that the surgery was successful. That takes care of one of Hans' problems. His G6PD deficiency will be for life though. If Hans got inguinal hernia from his father Jules' genes, he got G6PD deficiency from Rachel's genes. It's a defect in the blood cells. Hans has to avoid a lot of food and medicines to avoid complications. Jon said if Rach isn't careful, Hans' growth may be stunted.

Monday, September 22, 2003

One of those trivial things you may not want to know

WARNING: This may be considered material that needs Parental Guidance.

Visited a forum and a guy posted this link:

A Woman's Guide on How to Pee Standing Up.

1. Educational
2. Are there that many women out there who want to do this?

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Animo La Salle!

Woke past 8am. As much as I wanted to plop in front of my computer and connect to the internet, I had to force myself to dress up and go to La Salle Taft. I've decided to still be on leave this term and this week is the last week for filing of residency. I know I enrolled online last month, but I keep forgetting to go to La Salle to pay the fee!

When I got there, lots of students have also decided to wait for the last few days before filing for residency. Ergo, there was line. As I waited for the registrar people to call my name, I was amused to see lots of people wearing t-shirs in shades of green. Though no uniform is required, it seems that many LaSallians like wearing the school color... for today anyway.

As I left, I bumped into Jun Razal... I heard he'd gone back to finish his MBA and estimated that he'd finish it this year. He was surprised to find out I am on LOA, then he asked me where to go first to file for residency as well. My turn to be surprised. He told me he only had to make revisions on his paper - and still he wants to go on leave? Maybe, he needs more time to finish his paper.

I hate doing papers. That's why I went on leave last term and this term - I have no time to do them. No idea when I'd feel up to doing that chore and go back to school. Frankly, I want to shift from MBA to M.S. Computational Finance. No thesis required and I believe I'll learn more about my line of work - Treasury trading! Lots of math though. Argh!

I had hoped to use La Salle's Bloomberg terminal to look up money market data I failed to check Friday because my mind wasn't on work as early as 4:30pm. Was disappointed to find out the terminal's at the RCBC campus where the MS Computational Finance subjects are offered. Great, another reason to want to shift to MSCF.

Rather than go to the RCBC campus, I hopped onto a bus headed for SM South Mall. I wanted to watch a movie and the theater tickets there are cheaper. No good movie was showing so I ate then ended up browsing in computer shops with a mind to buy a scanner.

I wanted one that could scan film and found out few shops are selling that type. Those that do only offer Canon, HP and Epson. All 3 are expensive. Found one selling Genius, but I doubt if it was good. I was looking for Microtek since I've noticed that the photo shops that offer scanning use that brand. It's cheaper than Canon, Epson or HP, but should be good enough to be used by photo shops. Found one shop selling Microtek. A gay guy was manning the place.

Now, based on my experience when I bought my PC, guys in computer shops usually assume that women are clueless regarding computers. When Jon and I were canvassing, the salesmen were talking to him and not me. I was annoyed and amused - annoyed that they think I wouldn't know about computers, and amused at the fact that those days, I knew more about computers than Jon did.

This guy part of the person in question made the "clueless" assumption, the gay part of him wasn't courteous enough to me. He doesn't seem to like spending time explaining to me what additional parts I would need to buy to be able to use the Microtek scanner to scan film. I looked at the box and noticed that although he wanted to sell the 3780 model to me, the 4800 model was ready to scan film without me having to buy accessories. I wanted him to confirm that but he said that the 4800 was more expensive at PHP4,800. That did it! Before i walked into his shop I was considering buying the Epson fax/printer/scanner for less than PHP6,000. He thinks I couldn't spend more than PHP3,000. And if you're asking why I decided not to buy the 3-in-1 Epson contraption from the other store - it's because it couldn't scan film and I have a belief that any device that has many functions lumped into it easily breaks down. Worse, once they break down, they're expensive to repair.

I left South Mall and rode a jeepney to Alabang Town Center. Although South Mall is always crowded, the floor where the computer shops usually aren't. Computer shopping isn't something people do everyday, that's why. In Festival Mall however, the computer shops aren't that segregated from other shops. With Festival Mall second only to SM South Mall in pedestrian traffic, I decided to go to Town Center. It isn't as crowded since the theaters, specialty shops and restaurants there are expensive. I also think some people are intimidated by the folk that frequent the place - being close to Ayala Alabang Village, half the crowd in Town Center belong to the upper middle class and even higher. I have discovered though when I was canvassing for PC that computer shops there offer prices comparable to those in South Mall and Festival.

When I got to Town Center, I headed towards Power Books first. I bought three books. One was a translation of the pseudegraphical Book of Enoch, another was about the Ivatan Laji, and the third was about the Ibalong (Bicol Folk Epic). I collect books on Philippine mythology and the pseudegraphical books that were taken out from the bible during the I-can't-remember council by the church heads of old - as in centuries ago.

When I got out of Power Books, I browsed some Video shops. I was hoping that at least one would still have in stock the 4-disc DVD special edition of the Fellowship of the Ring. I requested Kuya Willy to buy me that but he bought me the widescreen 2-disc set instead. During the time I was waiting for Kuya Willy's gift to arrive, Jon saw one last set of the 4-disc set and asked me if I wanted to buy it. I didn't. Now I wish I had.

When I was through browsing the Video stores, I headed towards the computer shops. Surprise! The area was brimming with teenagers. The Cheering Competition - High School level was today and it had just started when I got there. The Red Ravens performed first and I wondered what school it was. I suspected it was St. Benedict College and later found out I guessed right. I found it stupid that they call themselves red ravens. Ravens are black in the first place. I figured they chose the raven because the bird is associated with St. Benedict. I'm Scholastican so I know the history of that saint. Red on the other hand is the school color of St. Benedict College. I liked it better when their school was called Benedictine Abbey. With most of the school's students living in the Alabang area, many of them came to support their team - and you could identify them because of their red blouses or t-shirts.

I didn't stay to watch the ravens and proceded to visit the computer shops. Most offered Canon, Epson and HP. Delighted that all salespeople were courteous. Not everyone knew what they were selling though. Once, I asked what technology was used in a certain scanner - CCS or CIS. The guy had no idea what I was talking about. I left their shop. I finally found a store selling Microtek. Unfortunately, they ran out of the 4800 series. I was told the replacement stock would be delivered next week. I said I will return. I liked the salesperson - he seemed to know what he's selling and he's helpful.

When I got out, San Agustin had finished performing and St. Scho was next. Being from the school, I stayed to watch. I had to chuckle at recognizing some of the cheers. After more than 10 years, the chinggawa chant is still alive. That chant was created when I was in High School or maybe 6th grade. Whenever that was, we won the GALS cheering competition that year. Approved of the loud voices of the cheering squad. I remember when I was the one learning those cheers, we had to be told that it wasn't enough that the voice is loud, it has to be deep to have impact. The other schools don't seem to know what we know - you can't hardly make out their chants even if they had boys in their cheering squads. I can't say I approve 100% with the performance of St. Scho's current cheerdancers - they need more practice climbing on shoulders and backs. Their formations didn't hold and although they had air flips, they weren't synchronized.

Araullo High was next. They would've done okay, but they put in too many arm movements which made their routine hard to synchronize.

Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) followed. They were good! I thought they had a good chance of winning. Their formations held longer than the previous schools' - and that meant they really put in a lot of practice.

La Salle Zobel was last. Like St. Benedict College, most of La Salle Zobel's students also live in the Alabang area. The audience was mostly either from La Salle or St. Benedict, and are therefore either wearing green or red. La Salle was as good as MLQU. They just outdid MLQU by performing more air flips and the fact that their formations held while they "moved". I meant that girls managed to stay standing on guys' arms while the guys moved around the place.

While we waited for the tabulation of scores, prizes were given to one of St. Scho's cheerdancers for managing a good back flip. All 6 schools were asked to send a cheerdancer each to perform a "split". La Salle's contestant was charming but didn't do a good show so she got third place. St. Scho's bet was graceful and got 2nd place. First place was the girl from St. Benedict who managed to combine gusto and technique.

Finally, the winners for the cheering competition were announced: Third place was St. Benedict, Second place was MLQU, Champion was La Salle.

I realized it was almost 7pm so I passed by Cafe Nescafe to buy 2 orange poppy seed cup cakes and a frozen belgian orange coffee. I ate one cupcake as I sipped the frozen coffee and read a book I bought, the other cupcake I brought home.

Passed by National Book Store but didn't see a book I wanted to buy. Noted that the store was selling costumes and eerie toys for Halloween, candles for All Saints Day, and decorations for Christmas. Yup, the "ber" months are here. Decided to buy some candles.

I think I got home around 10pm. Jon's still sleeping on the living room sofa because his room smells strongly of fresh paint. Ginger the cat has developed the habit of sleeping at his feet. She's going to ruin his blanket with her claws.

Midnight! The poppy seed cake will make a good snack. Ta ta!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Rhoda's Birthday

Rhoda's Birthday today. She got a bouquet of peach roses from a friend (Enoe), a vase of 24 peach roses from her husband Mon, and a bouquet of a variety of flowers from Vina et al (et al).

Rhoda ordered a Jollibee breakfast meal for everyone in the dealing room. She also bought 2 bags of pan de sal, a jar of peanut butter, and some cheese. Malu gave her a box of pichi-pichi which Rhoda shared with everyone. With all that food, a lot of us ate pan de sal and pichi-pichi for breakfast then ate the Jollibee meal for lunch.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Hans and Congenital Hernia

Text message 16:36:45, 11-Sept-2003:
Hi. I watched d news earlier & saw d segment abt those fil siamese twins (joined head) hu flew 2 NY 4 operatn. I realized lucky p rin si Hans. I havn't told u yet but hans has congenital hernia. I feel stressed worrying abt his hernia. He's so young 4 an operation. Kng pwede, aakuin ko nalang lahat ng pain nya. We'r going 2 consult pediatric surgeon 2 knw wats best 4 hans. We wud realy apreciate ur prayers. Tnx.

-Rach Yapchiongco

I asked her what type of hernia it is:

Text message 09:44:08, 13-Sept-2003:
I dnt knw wat type. Yng bukol wala p sa balls. Dr said not 2 worry b/c its simple surgery. But being a mom, cant help but b affected. Baka nxt fri operation. I'l let u knw. Tnx 4 ur prayers.

-Rach Yapchiongco

Asked Jon. It's probably congenital inguinal hernia - wherein the abdominal walls did not fuse in the fetus' 8th month. This leaves a hole for the intestines to protude down towards the groin area. Surgery corrects it.

Thankfully it's not the dangerous kind. A google search would initially turn up diaphragmatic hernia - which is a rare one usually found in boys and affects the lung area - only 50% survive it.

Text message 10:14:08, 13-Sept-2003:
I'm glad its not serious. Dr said its 40% hereditary. Jules was operated on wen he was 1 month old due 2 similar case. Yng 2 nephews din ni jules similar case. Late n dumating si kelly. Hanap k nga nya. 2 anak nya, biba yng panganay. D n cla umabot sa handaan kya d2 cla haus punta. Yng bby boy had undescended testes & was suposed 2 b operated. Thnk God daw at nadaan sa hilot at dasal kya ok na.

Which means that if Hans will have a son, it would probably have the same condition.


Kelly was another classmate from grade school. She graduated later than us because she spent a year in New Zealand after the coup attempts during President Aquino's term. Her dad's one of those RAM boys - Rocky Tor. He was actually in the wanted list then.

My batchmates in grade school were an interesting bunch:

There's Ines Romualdez who's related to Imelda Romualdez Marcos - I think her family left the country after the Ninoy assasination.

There's Nancy Binay, daughter of Jejomar Binay - former Makati Mayor and MMDA chairman... dunno what his position is nowadays. Nancy's mom became mayor when her dad's terms expired making him ineligible for re-election.

There's Pauline Pacificador. Former MP Arturo Pacificador's daughter. Top politician during the Marcos era. Was on the run in Aquino's time for supposedly ordering the murder of another well known person.

Then there's Lara Saguisag. Daughter of Rene Saguisag. He was associated with Cory Aquino and had many people shaking heads when he sided with Joseph Estrada during and after the impeachment trial.

None of the girls are in the limelight.

It's my high school batchmates you see in TV or newspapers - being news anchors, commercial models, or caught by the camera attending a social event.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Boss Jun's Birthday

Boss Jun turned 42 today and those of us under him treated him out for lunch at Pancake House along Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. Cheryl and Cris also joined us.

For merienda this afternoon though, Boss Jun spent more than we spent for him because he treated the whole dealing room to Yellow Taxi Cab pizza.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Yohan's Baptism

Text message 16:08:49, 14-Aug-2003:
Pls. join us on d christening of r son, YOHAN
on sept 7, sun, 11 am,
San Antonio Heights clubhouse (Sto. Tomas Batangas)
- Rachel & Jules Yapchiongco

Text message 09:43:52, 27-Aug-2003:
Gud am. Jst want 2 remind u of hans' christening on sept 7 (sun), 11:30am at San Antonio Heights clubhouse. C ya!

Text message, 18:24:42, 5-Sept-2003:
Hi. If u want u can bring sam on sunday para may kasama ka. Dnt 4get 11:30am at d clubhouse. C ya.

Obviously I have no excuse not to attend.

Went to the reception after the baptism. That's around 12:30 noon. It was held at the Club House of San Antonio Heights in Batangas. Sat at a table with Jen Grajo and her boyfriend Alvin. Rachel also sat at our table, but being the mother of the baby, she's always standing up and going around to mingle with guests. Didn't get to talk to her much. I can't help but notice marks around her neck ... it meant she was really fat or bloated during the pregnancy and the marks were left when she lost some weight. She's still heavy though.

Yohan's cute. Still very small. Jen says he looks like his mom. But he's dark like his dad Jules. His nickname's Hans. We asked Rachel if Yohan's got a second name. Rach said no. She thought that the kid would have a hard time already just writing the family name Yapchiongco so it would be better to give him a shorter first name. They thought about spelling it "Johann" but Rach figured not everyone would pronounce it right and she would have to waste time correcting people. They dropped the last "n" from Yohann to make it Yohan so that the spelling would be easier. That's Rachel for you - very practical. One reason I like the name Yohan is because it's derived from John, and my name's derived from that name as well.

Saw Rach's cousin Arlene there. I recognize her but I don't know if she remembers me so we didn't talk . Rach said Arlene's got two kids already.

Noticed that I'm the only one there who's been Rach's friend since grade school. Her other schoolmates are from undergrad (college) and MBA (Jen). None of her high school friends were there because they're all abroad.

I left with Jen and Alvin, since I wanted to hitch a ride out of San Antonio Heights - it's one of those places where you need to own a car because it's not accessible to public utility vehicles. I could see Rach was disappointed to that I was leaving early. I couldn't tell her though that Jen offering me a ride was too good to pass up because if I'll wait for Jules to drive me out of the place, it may be too late and I have plans to go to Makati and shop. So after having a few pictures taken, we left.

By the way, they gave out CDs as souvenirs. It's got 30 nursery rhymes in it. They may come in useful someday .

I was in Glorietta afterwards. I had decided not to wear slacks at Victor's wedding because the invitation said formal. I won't wear a gown though like Cristy but opted for a long skirt instead.

Text message 16:19:54, 8-Sept-2003:
Tnx 4 attending yohan's christening. We really appreciate ur presence. Tnx 4 ur lovely gift. Take care!

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Kamikaze Burgers

Was at Makati last night to buy a gift for Hans. He's Rachel's son and his baptism is today. I'll be leaving later to go to Batangas where Rachel, her husband Jules and Hans live. The baptism will be at the club house of the village where they live.

I was there 6pm, took 30 minutes deciding what gift to buy, had it wrapped, then I ended up buying some clothes as well so I finished around 8 p.m.

Wanted to eat at Sbarro's coz I wanted either the pasta primavera, or a slice of one of their pizzas. No seats available. Passed by Tokyo Tokyo and found it full as well. I decided to try eating at Hotshots - a fastfood joint that serves grilled burgers. Ordered the Kamikaze Burger because it was a sandwich combination I haven't tasted before. Man, when they said it has wasabe, they mean it has wasabe! Had to gulp down lemonade everytime I took a bite - but I like it anyway :-) I had ordered apple fruit sundae - usual soft vanilla ice cream topped with sweet, real preserved apples, and found it funny that i combined it with a hot burger. Anyway, if I had a sinus problem, it would probably have cleared up with the dose of wasabe i had last night.

I'll probably leave for Batangas 9:30am. Don't know if Jon wants to come with me. Rach told me I could bring someone so I won't journey there alone. She suggested Sam. I don't think so. On Sundays, Sam sings in the choir at St. Jerome's Alabang. I also think she has piano students this day of the week.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Bowling i.e. doing things I have no idea about

MART held its bowling competition at the 10-pin bowling lanes at Rockwell (Power Plant, Makati) Thursday. They put my name down while I was on leave - without consulting me. He he he - they were surprised I didn't know how to play. They made me play anyway. Had a miserable, pathetic score not worth mentioning. Had to endure a good dose of ribbing Friday. Jeng was ecstatic to find out someone has the same aptitude for bowling as she does.

Funny. They thought I knew how to bowl. Then Boss Mon said my sport's Tennis anyway... and I said of course not! What made him think that? I am really weirded out about how these people think I am good in some kind of sport.

Anyway. I joined the 10-pin tourney even though I had no idea what to do. I was being given instructions on the spot. Didn't hurt to try it, anyway. Ofcourse, practicing before the event itself would have helped.

Learning how to bowl on the competitin day itself is nothing compared to what I did last November. I confess I do not swim passably - having made a lot of excuses to skip swimming classes in school, and I have a fear for being in large bodies of water (translate - open sea). YET I was on a boat last November to do some snorkling in Boracay. It gets crazier... they ran out of goggles with mouth pieces and since I had my own goggles, I gave the one handed to me to another and decided to go without a mouth piece. So there I was, a person who does not know how to swim snorkling without a mouthpiece.

Don't worry though, I didn't stray far from the boat. The current was very strong anyway. The real swimmers had to be thrown a rope so they can go against the current and return to the boat. Of all times to go out into the open sea, it had to be with a strong current.

Yeah. I have moments of stupidity.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Baking Stuffed Chicken

Milette brought a large tupperware of crema de fruta today. That's because I brought stuffed chicken and a little crema de fruta yesterday. People associate Milette with cheese cakes and the like.

I am beginning to be associated with baked stuffed chicken. My officemates like it a lot, they want me to price it. Er, I told them that I do not intend to do it as a sideline because it takes a lot of time to prepare (deboning the chicken is a tricky thing to accomplish). I'd probably sell Christmas time.

I brought chicken yesterday because the deal was, Cristy was willing to do my work while I am on leave if I bake stuffed chicken for her. So they had free lunch courtesy of me.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Something got me wondering

Updating "Jing's Bulletin Board" (See link in the box on the upper right) and read Ate Cely's old e-mail twice.

She said the priest in Townsville is a good friend of the couturier Aureo Alonzo. So now I'm wondering if both men are gay. After all, there are many homosexual couturiers and priests, ofcourse the latter do not get out of the closet for they prefer to stay in the confessional box. Eww, did I just crack a not-politically correct joke there? Sorry.

Also, I can't help but also notice that Alonzo is one of those famous Filipino couturiers/hairdressers with a fascination with religious images. Ben Ferrales has lots of Sto. Ninos, and I think Ricky Reyes has a mixed collection of Marys and Sto Ninos. It's like subconsciously, they regard those things as dolls they could dress up with flair and display for everyone to see.

Today's dose of Randomness

Very happy to find Karen and Cely's e-mails in my inbox. I've uploaded the pictures they sent in and put the links in the jingsbb blog.

Sam called last night. She just got off the phone with Ogie and was so annoyed she needed to talk to another person to let off steam. She and Ogie are partners in the wedding-coordinating business: To Be Wed. What Sam was ranting about? A client feedback that suggested Sam smile during weddings. Was chuckling quietly while she blabbed on. Honestly, one would think she's the one pregnant and not Ogie. Conversation ended when her mom texted her via celphone and suggested she watch Tulfo's show on Channel 9. It was some sort of expose on Senator Lacson. I think she's more into following political news than I am.

Speaking of Ogie, she's going to give birth last week of November. She's thankful it won't be first week of November. She doesn't think she can handle a child with Sam's temper. Sam's birthday is November 8. I learned this from Sam herself. She's the first one to admit she's a grouchy person.

New set of iron grilles being installed at the carport. The separation will allow the two dogs (Heidi and Becky) to run around free in front without fighting. The two dogs are to be in front of the house so the cats can be in peace at the back. We've got so many cages and grilles to separate the pets that I'm for naming this place "The Fortress". Jon thinks more along the lines of prison. It's more likely the zoo but fortress sounds better.

The planet Mars was supposed to be at its nearest point to Earth in 5000 years last Wednesday or nearabouts. The sky was clear Wednesday but got cloudy the night after. Jon has a telescope. Maybe he stepped out to see the planet. Jasper sent me e-mail with an image of "Mars upclose" attached to it. Was torn between laughing out loud and wanting to wring his neck yet again. It was a picture of a Mars chocolate bar.

He keeps sending those kind of mail where I think it's about another and open it to find out it's about something else. When others forward jokes, I usually could guess what it's about before opening the file. Jasper's aren't predictable. Hopefully, when he does announce his marriage (yikes, realized just now I can't remember his girlfriend's name), it won't be in the form of a joke.

At least Jasper promised to tell us. Allan didn't - he was just absent from class a week and I took a wild guess as to "Why?". He sheepishly admitted I was right - he got married and was on honeymoon in Bohol. Really, you'd think we'd be offended if we don't get invitations. We can understand not being invited - we're just classmates in MBA. Albeit the five of us formed a strong bond because of those late nights solving Financial Accounting assignments.

We bonded during our first term - second half of year 2001. We grouped together because we all lived south (Paranaque, Laguna, Batangas). We'd meet Tuesdays in either Festival Mall or Alabang Town Center and occupy a table in the food court until the mall closes. If we weren't done yet, we'd move to Starbucks or the billiard hall/bowling alley/restaurant-place-whose-name-I-can't-remember-right-now. Both had tables and close much later. If we haven't solved all problems, we met again Thursday. We called ourselves the 1 o'clock breakthrough group. That's because when we were stumped, it's either I figure out the solution at 1 a.m. (yes morning!) or someone else gets the solution at 1:00 p.m. Saturday right before the accounting class starts at 1:30. After that term, we'd still hang around together if we see each other in the canteen. If one or two of us are taking the same subjects, we'd take the same class.

Miss the group. We're kinda separated now. Jasper takes classes in the Greenhills Campus because he's moved back north to his mother's place after it was robbed. Rachel is on leave because she just gave birth. She was on leave her whole pregnancy because the doctor prescribed bed rest. Claire often enrolls in classes at the RCBC campus. Allan is usually in the Taft campus. I was on leave last term. Still on leave this term.

I took a leave because I got transferred to Peso GS trading April and I cannot deal with studying MBA and learning the ropes of GS trading at the same time. I barely passed the subject I was taking when the transfer happened. Plus, I failed to turn in at least three research papers. That means I have to repeat that if I enrolled. Next term starts September. Online enrollment ended last week. Don't like the prospect of doing research papers just yet so I enrolled for residency. Means I don't have subjects but I can enter campus without the scanner emitting a warning signal when I flash my ID before it. I think I can also borrow from the library. And, I can get free issues of Far East Economic Review and Asian Wall Street Journal from the Graduate School office. As if I'd enter campus :-) I think the only time I'll ever enter campus this term is to pay the residency fee.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Fan fic addiction

The first fan fiction I read was the Secret Diaries of Cassandra Claire ... it's a parody of Lord of the Rings (LOTR). Very funny. It's also slash - meaning a character paired up with another character of the same sex. When I first read them, right after the first movie was shown, it only had entries from the nine members of the fellowship. Now it has entries from Gollum, Sauron and Ringwraith No. 5.

You MUST check it out .... it's at this site: http://home.nyu.edu/~amw243/diaries/

I could remember two more LOTR fanfics because they were funny too. They were of the crossover type - where characters of one book/movie run into characters of another book/movie. Unfortunately I didn't bookmark the sites.

One fic had Hogwart's forbidden forest leading into Middle Earth. It's Harry Potter vs. LOTR... Dumbledore in a showdown vs. Gandalf, Harry Potter and Ron vs. Frodo and Sam, Voldemort vs. Sauron, Hermione pulling Arwen's hair, the Weasley twins trying to outsmart the sons of Elrond. Get the crazy picture?

The other one had the Evangelion team accidentally teleporting to Middle Earth and landing on Legolas who was flouncing up on Mt. Caradhras. The elf guy battles with amnesia as the rest of the fellowship figure out what to do with the strangers.

I read more on the LOTR genre but the others weren't as interesting. The combination of drama/romance/slash just didn't suit me. I couldn't figure out why there are so many slash fics anyway... some of the homosexual relationships created between the characters are just too creepy.

It wasn't until this June when I started to be addicted to fan fiction... because I discovered the Harry Potter genre. After finishing HP#5 (Order of the Phoenix), I was hungry for more. Although I told Pen that I don't like reading fanfics of HP because they may influence my expectations of J.K. Rowling's yet unpublished books (#6 and #7 are still in the works), I gave in to the hunger and visited one of her recommended sites. I got hooked.

The slash fics are still there but I find them bearable to LOTR slash. I don't go looking for slash though, I search for the funny ones... and the search engine sometimes coughs up funny slash stories.

I'm a Draco Malfoy/Ginny Weasly (DM/GW) shipper. To non-readers of fanfics, a ship pertains to a preferred romantic pairing. So there are the Harry/Hermione (H/Hr)shippers, Harry/Draco (H/D) shippers, Draco/Hermione (D/Hr) shippers, etc.

Like I said, I'm a D/G shipper. I've had too much Harry Potter in the real HP books, I think Ron and Hermione should be together, but THAT pairing could only cough up a few interesting fanfics, and I do not like slash, so I got on the D/G ship.

Actually, I blame Cassandra Claire of the Secret Diaries fame for my D/G thing. Hey do you know that her friends have started selling "Sam will kill him if he tries anything" t-shirts?

Anyway, back to topic. Cassie wrote the Draco Malfoy trilogy. First long, non-funny, romantic HP fanfic I ever read. Draco's a bit OOC (out of character) in it, but the girl HAS imagination. She hadn't finished the last in the trilogy yet - Draco Veritas. I wish she would quit with the slash and go back to finishing the series. I've gathered from discussion groups that the series is also popular with other readers.

If you want to read the trilogy, click here: http://www.schnoogle.com/authorLinks/Cassandra_Claire/

Fiction Alley, where Cassie is listed, is home to Harry Potter fanfics only. The way they arrange the fics needs improvement.

I've recently decided to hound the archives of fanfiction.net where I don't have a headache searching for my type of stories. Besides, fanfiction.net does not limit itself to Harry Potter fanfics. You'd find fanfics on Evangelion, Simpsons, Final Fantasy, James Bond, Les Miserables, X-men, Sex and the City, as well as crossovers in there.

This morning I just laughed out loud till i cried reading a dream scene from a funny HP fanfic by liltrick89. Here's the link: I'm too Sexy. The part that had me laughing is here: Chapter 6. Hope the links work for you.

Ahh, day's early. No irritating "Mag-exercise tayo tuwing umaga" by Yoyoy Villame blaring from the neighbor's boombox. Going to watch Pirates of the Caribbean later with Sam (It's short for Sampaguita although she wishes her real name's Samantha instead) and ogle at Orlando Bloom. We've seen it separately, but we want to watch it and dream about Orli together. Ha ha ha! Sam's into him more than I am ... she has his picture in her wallet! Too bad he's younger than we are. He he he! Here's hoping we have a good, uneventful day today, eh? Cheers!

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

2003 Forced Leave: Day 2

Second day of my 5-day leave. I'd probably go out later.

Tess' birthday tomorrow. She was here Sunday and mom cooked pancit (usual birthday fare). She brought brownies and crema de fruta. Goldilock's version of crema de fruta is too sweet. I've decided to make a simple, less sweet one next weekend. Dunno if she'll be here though.

Lots of birthday celebrants this august:

Lola Cion

Happy birthday all! Sorry I wasn't able to send you e-cards.

The carpenter's back. The repairs aren't finished and the carpenter took another higher paying project. It's finished now, ergo he's here. Reminds me of Murphy Brown ... the painter never finished painting the house. Ha ha ha!

Thinking of buying a scanner. Repulsed at the idea of spending too much though. He he he. We'll see. Willy told me he's willing to give me a digicam... waiting for it. He wrote once to ask what "pasalubong" i want. If he's willing to give more than the digicam - then here's my wish - just send the dollars. :-)

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