Friday, September 29, 2006

The Day That Was Milenyo

So, yesterday was something.

Storm Signal Number 3 and Manila took a direct hit. It's the first time a work day was called off due to a storm. I was kind of bummed as the OSS Team was supposed to have a team building activity. But of course, Mother Nature had other plans.

When I got the message that there would be no work I thought 'Well, I can catch up on those DVDs.' Little did I know I would be catching up on my reading instead.

I was sitting by the window watching the storm outside. Trees were flailing all around. It was kinda like watching a mosh pit in one of the Ozzfest concerts; a lot of head banging and slamming action going on. Right, drunk and rebellious trees. That explains why they were splayed all over the streets of Manila the next morning. Apparently some billboards got into the action :P

When the winds calmed down a little, emphasis on little, I went out to make sure our car w
as not under a tree or if it was still in the parking lot at all. When I got outside everything was covered in leaves. There were also few branches poking out of the pile here and there. In the backyard several trees were uprooted. Including a large one. Fortunately, it didn't fall on anyone's house.

I have a newfound respect for LBC Delivery. Around noon, when the winds were at its strongest, we heard someone calling out at the front door; the doorbell wasn't working as the power was now out. It turned out to be an LBC Delivery guy. And guess what? He was on a motorcycle. How about that? Take that Fedex! UPS? Who's that? Maybe they should change their name to -> LBC Extreme Delivery: "We'll deliver or die trying!". Hey, I should copyright that.

Of course, after receiving that delivery, Milenyo was not about to be outdone. It made a delivery of its own: a piece of corrugated plastic roofing delivered with attitude right at our doorstep, literally. That's Milenyo saying 'I can do better than that! And oh yeah, I can bring down your house too.’ Who's the man?!'

One of our neighbors in Paranaque called to say that the wind blew our garage doors open. It was thrashing around and making a lot of noise in the process. They had gone and tied it down. So we had to go out and drive right after the storm around 3 or 4pm from Diliman to Bicutan. Almost all the trees planted in the road's "island" were uprooted. Ads that were not taken down from their billboards were ripped, and pieces of it were scattered on the road. Light post were down and some were leaning precariously on electrical cables over the road and passing cars. A lot of MMDA people was already on the road by then, chopping up trees blocking the roads and removing debris. Side streets were cleared by people living in the shantys beside it. Of course, they were now asking money from drivers trying to use those same streets.

So we got to our house. There was some damage but they were minor. The garden was a mess though. We locked up and started heading back. Driving back in the dark was dangerous. All the streetlights were out. I don't remember passing a place where they had electricty. The whole of Manila was now drowned in darkness. Listening to the radio, reports of stranded, missing, and dead people were coming in. Houses were blown away by the wind, destroyed by mudslides, and washed away by overflowing rivers.

What a grim reminder how fragile things we are.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Four weeks after his death, Steve Irwin is still in international news' tops stories. The latest one talks of his wife's desire not to show the tape of his death publicly (I don't believe it should be). She herself has not seen the footage.

Steve was so fun to watch because he loved what he did. He was a sincere person and his enthusiasm was contagious. He is a huge loss to the animal conservation movement. He was a true steward of creation and a great ambassador. Found a little something in youtube that pays tribute to Steve Irwin. Rest in peace, you will be missed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

No Permanent Address

Six moves this year and counting...
  • Malate, Manila
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Paranaque
  • Manila Balay Kalinao, UP
  • Hardin ng Bouganvilla, UP
  • Paco, Manila
  • and yes...Paco is still not permanent.
I hope I don't have to move before the end of the year... but so far it's looking like I'll have to :( Oh yeah, we moved offices to from RCBC Plaza to Net2 as well. I should get a P.O. Box number.

I hate moving. Packing stuff, loading and unloading, dust and newspaper ink everywhere. It's inevitable that you lose something, no matter how much you try to keep track of everything. There's also the problem of not knowing where anything is for the first few days. Of course, I shouldn't really be complaining, the missis does most of the work. I'm only useful for the heavy lifting. I think I wore-out the "I have to go the office now" excuse during packing & unpacking days.

As a celebration of our 2nd year anniversary, my wife and I went to Corregidor. It was almost a disaster though. When we went to the ferry terminal in CCP, we were told that the regular tour would not be leaving that day. This immediately placed the missis in pouting mode and alarm bells started ringing in my head. So I immediately started suggesting options; 'They said they will surely have a tour tomorrow, you want to go tomorrow? No. You want to have dinner na lang? No. Movie? No. Swimming? No'. By now it's a bomb raid siren wailing in my head and there's a voice screaming 'red alert!' 'red alert!'. So it was, as I was panicking internally, a Japanese guy approaches me and asks 'you want to go Corregidor?' I my mind I was going 'yes! yes! I want! I want!'. But of course I was cooler outwardly and replied 'yup, do you have plans?'. Apparently, this happens a lot and there are people who hang out at the terminal with vans that will take you to Corregidor by land via Bataan. So my wife and I, and four Japanese yuppies were off to Corregidor. It was fun and we had a great day. We probably paid more than we should, but hey, I'd gladly pay more that deal with an unhappy pouting wife. We had a great guide that took us around. If you ever get to Corregidor, look for Mang Pol. He's been all around the Philippines giving guided tours to war veterans. He's full of anecdotes and historical tidbits. He's a ball of energy and great fun at 60 years old. He's favorite cry was "I surrender! I surrender!" referring to Filipino soldiers and later Japanese.

I thought there was some irony, considering the history of the place, that I was touring Corregidor with four Japanese guys. All we were missing was an American and maybe we could have staged a little historical re-enactment.

Right. It's 8:00 am in Colorado Springs, I can now make that phone call.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Puff Goes the Laptop

Reading my insurance coverage awhile back, I wondered what would classify as a work related incident. Being an IT professional, I don't have the same amount of work hazards as a construction worker (not even close). I got my answer this morning reading the news...

Lenovo investigates Sony battery-run laptop fire

I am using a T43 laptop. Exactly the same model mentioned in the article. Adds a bit of excitement to the job to know that it could burst into flames any minute. Kinda like Russian Roulette, IT style.

Congratulations to the Blue Eagles for winning a close Game 1 in the UAAP finals. Wasn't able to watch the game though. I'm actually cheering for UST. They've had a Cinderella story so far. No one really gave them a chance playing for the championship, and yet there they are. After losing to cellar dweller UP in both the 1st and 2nd round. They beat UE twice and now playing Ateneo for the title. I always root for the underdog.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Delusions of Grandeur & Meat Pies

One of the reasons why I started this blog is because I wanted to get in some practice writing. I read somewhere that one of the important things towards becoming a writer is practice. Although I have no delusions of grandeur about being a famous writer, I wanted to try it out. So when I had an interesting dream last, it occurred to me that I should be taking down some notes. Maybe I can build a short story around this dream. So I started taking down notes and I remember thinking 'wow, this is good stuff!'. Then I woke up. Apparently, I was dreaming that I was taking down notes. When I realized that, I started to look for a pen and paper to really take down notes this time. I couldn't find any. Then I saw my laptop, but by the time it booted up, I couldn't remember my dream. The only thing I managed to write was 'Dad cannot eat pie because he gets meat choked'. It's the last thing that someone said in my dream. The last thing I took down when I was dreaming that I was writing down notes. I should have realized I was dreaming when I was taking down notes in real time; writing them down as the people in my dream were talking or as events were unfolding:P

So now, I have that line around which I can build a short story. Wish me luck. I'll post it here if I ever come up with something.

First Entry

Ei! My first blogger entry :)

Nothing really to write about except to share my Booksale acquisitions this week:

- Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier
- Christ the Lord by Anne Rice
- Stonehenge by Bernard Cornwell

Two hardbound books and one paperback book, all under 700 Php. Not too bad in my book, pun intended. The Wolfskin book is in really good condition, like new! The Anne Rice book has a bad damage on the spine, but pages are clean and you hardly notice it with the dust jacket on. It's a fourth of the price in Powerbooks so it's not too bad. Stonehenge book is really worn and a few pages are folded, but still, it's pretty cheap (70 Php!).

Looking forward to reading them :) Still finishing up my Viriconium book. Started out really strong, got through the first half of the book pretty quick. The middl
e sags a bit, and I'm lagging in my reading. Hopefully it finishes strong :) Somebody lending me five seasons of Smallvile and first season of Supernatural didn't help my reading either :P

A Little something about my profile pic. This was taken by a friend on mine on a visit to the Grand Canyon. I was standing on a ledge so that I could take a good picture of the canyon. I was checking the shot I took on my cam. This was a memorable visit. Drove all the way from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon. That's 620 miles, about a 14 hour drive. On the way there I drove half and stopped over in New Mexico to sleep. On the way back, I drove in one go, 13 hours straight. Never been so tired in my life. Except when I drove the following weekend from Salt Lake City to Colorado Springs, a 10 hour drive. But this time a speeding ticket and a blizzard was involved :P