Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Unheard Voices

Approximately twelve days before our most awaited day of Christmas, the little children of Manila set on a journey to earn some money for themselves.

After the glorious sun has set in the long stretch of sea and hope of Roxas Boulevard, these children seem to dominate the city at night. There would be children in almost every spot of the metropolitan. You'd see them playing patintero with the jeepneys, carrying some things (definitely not toys) with them, not minding the fact that their lives are in big danger.

Walking barefoot amid the most perilous streets of Metropolitan Manila, they would start hopping onto jeepneys and singing out-of-tune Christmas carols to passengers inside, as if they were concert performers in the grandest auditorium. Their rugged clothes add up pity to their innocent faces, catching the attention of every passenger, and waking those who fell asleep due to the long trip. With their improvised tambourines made of cola crowns in hand, the children's little 'show' is now about to begin.

"tayo nahaaaa giliw (hah!), magsalo na tayoohoo, meron na tayong tinaahapay haat (hah!) kesohoo.. di ba nochis buenas sa gabing itooh, at bukaahas ay araw ng paskoooohoo..."

Grabbing the opportunity while the jeepneys are at full stop, they'd do this routine for six long hours until midnight, or until they have earned what they wanted. They wouldn't mind whether their songs are out-of-tune or not, still obviously they are tired of doing it everytime. Earning twenty pesos per jeepney is truly a lucky day for them, perhaps. Some would care to give a peso, but most passengers would not pay attention to their pitiful faces and look far away in the horizon until the unfortunate children have jumped off the jeepney, empty-handed.

Yes, we may be starting to feel the Christmas season but unfortunately, these children don't. When we're at the malls buying gifts for our loved ones, they are still out in the streets waiting for Lady Luck to come their way. We may be tired of shopping yet still happy because we got what we wanted, but these children aren't. They are both tired and still hungry, not only for food, but also for the love and care that they never had.

What's going to happen to them, to our so-called pag-asa ng bayan is a question, sadly, left unanswered.

*Advanced Merry Christmas, everyone.

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flight scheduled at 12:06:00 PM

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Dreamer in Me

Back when I was a small child, I've had dreams almost every night. I'm actually part of the 80% who dream in color: and these colors may represent particular emotions. I've always wanted to decode the meaning behind my dreams, what the colors really mean to me. Bad luck though, I'm not good at recalling my own dreams. We'd always ask ourselves; "Why do we dream? How do we know the meaning of our dreams? What can dreams do for us?" Experts offer some tips to recall our dreams more often and interpret them more clearly:

Upgrade Your Dreams

Incubate an idea. Before you go to sleep, consciously think about a topic or a person you'd like to dream about. Pose a question that's troubling you and see how your dream responds to it.

Keep track. Next to your bed, place a pad and a pen, or a tape recorder or a laptop to record your dreams as soon as you wake up.

Try to awaken naturally, without the help of an alarm clock that can disrupt your dream cycle. If your schedule doesn't allow you to sleep in during the week, begin your dream journal on a weekend or during vacation.

Wake up slowly. For the first moment after you awaken, lie still and keep your eyes closed, because your dream may be connected to your body position while you slept. Try to recollect the dream, then store it in your memory by giving it a name. When you rise, immediately write down as many images, feelings and impressions as you can.

Connect the dots. To better interpret your dreams, try to make connections between your recalled dreams and recent events. Look for patterns over several dreams that might help explain an individual dream.

Change the outcome. If you have recurring nightmares that make it difficult to sleep, change the endings. Once you awaken from a bad dream, visualize a change in the action to create a more positive outcome. If you are trapped, try to 'fly.' In your dream, you can do what you want.

Be patient. It may take days or weeks before you're able to recall your dreams in detail, but keep practicing. Dream memories are fragile, and trying to recall all the plot twists and turns on consecutive nights seems to have a cumulative effect.

Dreams are a way for the subconscious to communicate with the conscious mind. Dreaming of something is our brain's way of helping us 'rehearse' for particular events in case they occur. Dreams are like 'shootings' of a very important movie which we call "Life." Since this particular 'movie' doesn't allow retakes and rehearsals, dreaming is our only chance to know when the scene is about to start - and end.

Indeed, our dreams are like movies where we are the star, the director and the writer at once. We are also the most insightful critic of our own movie, and we do not need a couch. Still, we are the best interpreter of our dreams. After all, its our dream.

Whatever happens to our head at night is more important than what we think. It may affect our lives more than we will ever realize, so dare to dream.

*Interpreting our dreams is also like blogging: we recall past experiences and take note of them in our minds, reserving it for the next day. We 'dream' while we're awake, on what to write about that could catch our reader's attention, and to have those most awaited comments that we would like to see.


flight scheduled at 5:52:00 PM

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ward 7's Top Ten

Before I get myself killed by a 300-point Histo II exam tomorrow, I'll just use this opportunity to introduce the Top Ten so-called 'prisoners' of Block 20, the potential patients waiting in line at the 7th Ward of the PGH, the Psychiatric Ward. It's fun being with us, by the way. Try laughing out loud (literally) when we're around, whatever it is, we will surely laugh with you.

[The names were hidden by using their initials, to protect the real identity of the persons (except number 7, who happens to be yours truly). Anyway, you know yourselves, don't you?]

  • JO [Patient Number One]: Better known as my 'bespren,' she is the most (hyper) active in the block. Considering the fact that she is a girl, she has always been tagged with the nickname 'Manny,' because she also lives in Pacman's hometown, General Santos. And, she's proud of it. Famous quotation: "Heehee!!"

  • KL [Patient Number Two]: The only 'baliw' in our block (but she's currently recruiting allies, including JO), hates LA a lot. She's annoyed by noisy people (sergeant at arms, eh?) but she is noisy herself. She even had a recent quotation to mark, but I'd rather not say the whole phrase here. "Huwag kang mag-react...."

  • RR [Patient Number Three]: She's another jolly person in the block. She has been greeting everyone "Merry Christmas" lately, while singing Christmas Carols. By the way, her name should always come in 'BIGGIE' sizes. This lady here has so many boy_friends. Famous quotation: "Ang labo mo."

  • DM [Patient Number Four]: My former 'sweetie' (she doesn't want it anymore and I don't know why), she is another sabaw woman. She would usually utter words at the wrong place, at the wrong time. She's fun to be with, practically. Famous quotation: "Sabaw."

  • MM [Patient Number Five]: A nocturnal human being whom I call 'bru' (she calls me that nickname, too) She has the voice of a boy teenager (nagbibinata hahaha), and when combined with RR and DM, it's a blast. She knows basically anything and everything under the sun. Famous quotation: "Hay, life. :-<"

  • LA [Patient Number Six]: Ah, LA. He's a proud member of the UP Manila Chorale, gifted with a glorious voice, and a tremendous body figure (Peace be with you). Aside from his 'gorgeous' body which RR called the Pangaea, he is also known for his famous quotation, "I hate you."

  • AU [Patient Number Seven]: No comment. I'd just say he's also one of the patients. He is the author of this blog so please, if you do not mind, do not protest anymore.

  • EM [Patient Number Eight]: He is a friend of AU and DP, known for his hilarious drawings of some professors (even blockmate(s) sometimes). He is AU's partner in crime whenever he feels like teasing 'someone' or making issues in the block, and that includes our professors. Famous quotation: "(yells anything)!!!!!!!"

  • DP [Patient Number Nine]: He is another partner in crime of AU or EM, he loves to set things on fire. When Patients 7, 8, and 9 come together, they form the unstoppable 'UPM' gang, or when with AV, they're also known as *'PAID'. Famous quotation: "Sunugin."

  • AT & GC [Patients Number Ten]: These two are the least AB normal people of the block, and they still need some more 'attention'. However, when with JO, they form the infamous 'Powerpuff Girls,' another strong alliance in the block.

    When you call GC, it should always be in the form of "Hi G!" and always smile afterwards. She never fails to smile everyday, and knows it whenever I want to throw a joke. Famous quotation: "Hi A! :)"

    AT however, has a tendency to replace patient 9, because she has been showing the 'signs' lately. She is always teased for her height, and now for her bad bathing habits. Famous quotation: "n_n"

    Whoever you are, currently reading this blog entry: Think of this nonsense as something helpful to you. If you think you are the most abnormal person alive, think again. Think twice (or thrice, if that is the case). At least now you know there are people like you, or even worse than you, who think differently from the others. It is a gift, not a curse. Look at the bright side: Now you know who to avoid whenever you go to Robinson's Place Ermita. Mind you, there are thirty of us, and these persons are just the top ten who qualified.

  • Think it over. I just did.

    *The PAID group has recently come up with their latest project last November, The U.P. Bulag Organization (U.B.O.) The organization aims to beg for alms to be able to enjoy their Christmas. Their motto is: Piso mo, Pasko ko. They have just finished Phase One of the project at the RH lobby, and will now move to CAMP.

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    flight scheduled at 6:51:00 PM

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    Pick-Up Line Overload

    I have recently received a number of pick-up lines from my textmates. I've got nothing to rant about because we just played bowling and basketball today, and Im really tired. I'll just post some of the pick-up lines that I got here. You can use them all you want, but as I always do, I'm warning you: use them at your own risk.

    You're like...

  • my kuto: I can't get you otta my head. (no comment)

  • my sweat: You relieve me when I'm hot.

  • SM: You've got it all. ( gamitin daw ba pati SM. )

  • Globe: You make great things possible. ( at dinamay pa ang Globe. )

  • my pustiso: I can't smile without you.

  • my shoes: You're always there wherever I go.

  • constipation: YOU TAKE MY BREATH AWAY.


    Mga pamatay na pick-up lines:

  • "You're name must be mickey, because you're so fine."

  • "Miss, alam mo bang exam ako? Kaya sagutin mo na ako."

  • "Uy! Papicture tayo! Para ma-develop tayo sa isa't isa!" ( this one is already
    used up )

  • "Excuse me, are you a dictionary? Because you give meaning to my life."

  • "I must be a bad shooter, because I keep on missing you."

  • "Pinaglihi ka ba sa keyboard? Kasi type kita."

  • "Eh sa permanent marker pinaglihi ka? Di kasi kita maalis sa isip ko."

  • "Kumakain ka ba ng asukal? Ang tamis kasi ng mga ngiti mo eh."

  • "Di ka pa ba napapagod? Kanina ka pa kasi tumatakbo sa isipan ko."

  • "Surgeon ka ba? Kasi ikaw lang ang nagkapagbukas ng puso ko!"

  • "Hindi pa rin ba nakukulong ang tatay mo? Kasi ninakaw niya ang pinakamagandang bituin sa langit."

  • "Lecture mo ba ako? Lab kasi kita."

    At ang pinaka-pamatay sa lahat:

  • "Miss, alam mo bang hindi tayo tao, hindi tayo hayop at hindi rin tayo halaman?


    Those are the corniest that I have. Ikaw? Meron ka bang ibang alam? Share mo naman. :)
    Hay, nonsense na post ito. Hahaha.

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    flight scheduled at 7:25:00 PM

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Ko Nyo?

    Conio or Konyo, a slightly 'better' term for our very own version of the English language, has almost always been widely used in the country today. It is usually referred to as an informal dialect of Tagalog that has been infused with some common English terms.

    It's truly amazing on how we Filipinos are able to convert any English verb (or in some cases a noun, too) into a Tagalog verb by following the normal verb tense constructions of Tagalog. We usually do it by doubling the starting sound of the verb or noun to be translated. The sentence "I will use the computer" can be easily converted to "Magko-kompyuter ako," by following these standards.

    Some English words can sometimes be written in Tagalog phonetic spelling, too. Some common examples are : kompyuter (computer), radyo (radio), ispiker (speaker), drayber/drayver (driver), notbuk (notebook), kibord (keyboard), siyampu (shampoo, not nine and ten combined), magasin (magazine). I don't think the keyboard is actually spelled like that, but the others I'm sure of. You can also give some examples of your own.

    English words have already invaded our Tagalog vocabularies. The infusion is inevitable. We (yes I admit, I am also one of the perpetrators) have already forgotten the classic Tagalog words passed on to us by our ancestors as time passed by. Despite of the presence of these purely Tagalog words, we habitually substitute the English word instead. I guess you have noticed this already, and there is no need for me to explain it to you.

    *So mga dude pare, maliit na favor lang tong ia-ask ko ha.. Tigilan na natin ang use ng konyo language ha? Kase kahit mahirap i-explain, I know naman na na-understand niyo yung point na gusto kong iparating sa inyo. Stop na natin ang paglalaro ng language game na ito okay? Sige, I'll update na lang this blog later kase tatapusin ko pa yung mga asaynment ko. Magbablog-hop din pala ako maya maya.

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    flight scheduled at 6:30:00 PM

    Friday, December 01, 2006


    Amidst the hustle and bustle, the commercialism, materialism, the exhaustion, excesses and extravagance that may engulf us Filipinos come Christmas time; the holiday that has always been waited for by every people in the country, we Filipinos recognize it as a day of rest and pleasure - a day to get acquainted with each other, a day to recall old memories, a day for our social amenities.

    Yuletide begins unofficially as soon as the 'BER' (yes, 'ber,' not 'burr') months come into being. Gusts of wind start to blow starting September, accompanied by rains brought about by the southwest monsoon. It starts right at the heels of the rainy season. The countdown to Christmas then begins.

    Anticipation for the Christmas season slowly permeate the air. The shops, stalls and malls, big or small, start to lay out their Christmas wares - greeting cards, pine trees, trimmings, lights and lanterns. You may even find them alongside the past Halloween items, until the brief interlude ends. After the break, all the city streets, building facades, homes and backyards are spruced and spiced up as the country erupts with another festival of lights.

    People now begin their treks to the malls, taking advantage of bargains and sales, mostly for gift giving and those new dresses, and new pairs of shoes that are a 'must' for the holidays. Even carnivals, with the latest amusement rides, fun games, magic shows and more shopping stalls, sprout like mushrooms in the city.

    As early as Undas, families start decorating their homes with Christmas lights and lanterns, making their homes real-life Christmas trees, aside from the real ones inside them. Some play Christmas songs in their players, specially "White Christmas," because sadly, we Filipinos could only dream about it. In our country where temperature rarely drops below 15 degrees even in the coolest month of December, snow can and will never be seen anywhere: not even in Baguio.

    One week before Christmas, some embark on a journey to their barangays or villages to sing some common christmas carols to their neighbors, with their improvised drums, and triangles in hand. We call them carolings, and of course the performers themselves, the carolers. Some do it as a group/club (like a church youth group) to raise money. Children do it more like a "trick or treat" for a few coins ("hihingi po ng aginaldo.."), five to ten pesos will make them joyous because of the fact you 'enjoyed' the performance that they rendered to you. Sometimes, you may even see them again singing in front of your homes perhaps because you gave them a 'reasonable' price the last time they performed in front of your doors.

    Christmas parties are now also organized by groups of people in villages and schools, not forgetting to include the kris kringle (exchange gifts) in the event. Usually, only a certain number of people are invited in these parties, but more often than not, mobs of people come in, unexpectedly. Try to invite less than twenty persons in the party and you'd still have twenty more to come. Luckily, event organizers are prepared for things like this. Some of the people who come in bring their own food, to share with everybody, evidence of the spirit of bayanihan, which is still present in our hearts.

    But actually, the 16th day of December marks the official beginning of the season with the Misa de Aguinaldo (Gift Masses) or what we commonly call the Simbang Gabi, usually held before the break of dawn. A nine-day long devotion lasting until the 24th, the simbang gabi is the test of dedication for the Filipinos who keep the tradition. After the mass, stalls of bibingka and puto bumbong, native rice delicacies are waiting for flocks of buyers of these 'Christmas-only' fares. Parents even use them to convince their kids to join them in their nights of prayer. When Christmas Eve comes, the midnight of December 24, People will once again fill the churches for the Misa de Gallo (Mass of the Rooster), when church bells ring amidst joyous strains of Gloria in celebration for the birth of our Savior.

    After the mass, Filipino families immediately return to their homes to partake of the Noche Buena. It is a feast composed of the remnants of the Philippines' colonial past. Combine them with our very own native fares, and you'll have a very special treat for the family. Still, a simple meal will do just as well; afterall, being together has a greater importance than anything else. Many families take advantage of the occasion to organize reunions and other family affairs. Some relatives outside the country take the time (and money) to call their families for a heartwarming gift: their voices. They all come together to share in the laughter, nostalgia, festivities, and the meal itself. After the dinner, members gather around the Christmas tree to open their gifts. And by the time they retire, it is already into the early hours of the Philippines' hot, noisy, and long Christmas, December 25.

    Well, at this age, I guess we shouldn't be waiting for Santa Clause to come in to our homes anymore.

    *24 days to go until Christmas comes, one more hour and it will continue to go down to 23 days. :)

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    flight scheduled at 11:00:00 PM


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    Arnel C. Uyaco Jr.
    Sixteen Seventeen years old.
    UP Manila Sophomore.
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