freedom at its finest

“So as long as I don’t violate any laws and I don’t disturb anyone [I should be free to smoke]. This is one of my few remaining freedoms.”
Source: Aquino on smoking: Sorry, but I can't quit (via Inquirer.net)
So, presumptive president-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, 50, has rejected calls from health groups for him to quit smoking and be their anti-smoking poster boy or something; says smoking would "help him deal with the severe pressures of his new position" and that he would quit "at the appropriate time."

Now, there's something that would truly polarize this nation haha. Haters (gonna hate) to the left, smokers (gonna smoke) to the right. Ang hiraaaaaaap. Haha. Smokers say leave him alone; non-smokers say the president should be a role model. Eh si Obama nga nagyoyosi pa rin di ba.

Where I'm coming from: Happy to report I've been off cigs for the better part of the past two years after being a smoker for seven years. SEVEN YEARS, YOU GUYS. I used to kid that my relationship with nicotine was the longest I've ever had haha but then I look at myself now and for the most part (for the most part) I am in awe of how I managed to go from this girl who used to smoke a pack or two a day (A PACK OR TWO CHRIST) to this girl who can go without.

Well, a lot of it is due to significant changes in personal circumstances: There's Andrea, for whom smoking is the number one "deal-breaker" (mine is anorexia or some deep-seated hatred for food LOL), and the people I now hang out with often don't smoke at all. That's the most important thing, I guess, the immediate vicinity -- the first thing a quitter needs is a good support system, because letting go of the habit is letting go of a crutch.

Oh, I still miss it every now and then - it's like when I miss coffee, or when I miss alcohol. It's been so deeply entrenched in so much of what I'd been used to doing (that's what habits are, aren't they?). I used to smoke whenever there was space and time for it - in the office lobby while waiting for a gimmick, in waiting sheds while waiting for a jeep or a cab, in a bar while nursing a bottle of beer. I even smoked even when there was no TIME for it, just so I can introduce nicotine into my bloodstream. It was that desperate. The hardest part, I think, was that I smoked whenever I wrote anything -- academic papers, love letters, work, fiction. So just imagine how hard that was, when I stopped smoking in early 2008 and I found that the words have left me.

Left me. I wanted my nicotine back because I wanted the words back and that was hard. 2008 was a hard year on that front, but so much more rewarding in so many other places. 2008 was also a year of major career changes, of added responsibilities. Was it actually a crazy idea, to let go of smoking while in the middle of important life changes?

But then, now, here we are. It's astounding, really, how I got through Elections 2010 without nicotine (and actually spent the last stretch leading up to May 10 without alcohol and caffeine as well! IKR, PANO NANGYARI YUN?!) Since severing ties with yosi, I've rediscovered my nicotine-less self as actually enjoyable (LOL enjoyable); sure staying around in all too smoky places now makes me sick, and I've been out of the bar-going, nightclubbing scene for quite a while now, and I do miss getting drunk and so full of nicotine I feel like puking (oo minsan nakakamiss ang kawasakan) BUT THEN I've also rediscovered that there are a lot of things out there that I can also enjoy minus the smoking and the binge drinking.

The most important thing I rediscovered? That I can write without these substances. That the words are back. 2009 was a good year, and it was a good year without nicotine. I needed to rediscover myself as a non-smoker, to redefine myself as someone not substance-reliant. And so far, so good. The feeling that I can say no to myself -- that I can manage to not smoke when in the midst of smokers, that I can say 'iced tea' instead of 'San Mig Lite' - it. is. AWESOME.

So, from me to you, Mr Presumptive President Elect - you should try it. It's freedom at its finest.



Monthsary number 32 over the weekend, in a word, was AWESOME. It had a fantastic spa treatment, a LOT of food, a walk around Cubao, dinner paid for by my sister, Pinoy Henyo, Crepes, EVERYTHING.

(Early disclaimer: I am stealing photographs Andrea has already photoshopped because they are pretty. Okay, carrying on.)

1. Girls, do yourselves a favor and make a trip to Urban Escape Spa at least once in your life. SERIOUSLY. It's on Timog. If you're coming from Edsa, it comes AFTER the Circle/Morato, and it's on the left side of the road, in a building beside a McDonald's. Can't miss it. It's on the second floor, it's this warm, pleasant place, with really nice and generous staff. Their iced tea is fantastic, and their Swedish massage is so fabulous that I actually FELL ASLEEP (embarrassing, really). PLUS: We got to use their jacuzzi (JACUZZI!) and their steam room (it felt like I had clouded over glasses ALL THE TIME; I felt like a dumpling LOL yeah it was my first time) and that, plus the massage: P375/pax ALL-IN with shower use/endless towels/bottomless iced tea. (There's a promo for the hours between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., lucky us!) SERIOUSLY GIRLS GO FOR IT.

2. My girlfriend is an artist! No, seriously, look she drew me!

Me: Oh my god, we do look alike! (pause) 
Tangena wag nating iwan 'to dito at baka akalain nilang 
cartographic sketch ito ng isang wanted criminal LOL.

3. LOL apparently my EQ has not improved, Robin Padilla on Wowowee (Research joke) notwithstanding: (Unless of course love, you remember that this sundae on the left is yours? Hehe.)

4. After massage we went to Gateway/Cubao to have merienda/look at ukay. We weren't aware that we got down from the taxi IN FRONT OF EUROTEL. LOL FOREVER. The doorman almost tripped on his own feet while HURRYING TO OPEN EUROTEL'S DOORS TO US. Wow, how accommodating, really, but sorry dude, we're not about to go there. NO REALLY, WE'RE NOT (though did we look like we needed some Eurotel time? LOL PERVS WHAT) -- just, LOL. Apparently, we radiate this very visible LESBIAN COUPLE VIBE. Loud and proud, people.

5. Things we did in Cubao: Looked at ukay (she scored a fantastic jacket), shopped at booksale, ate at Razon's (where I introduced her to dinuguan), wandered around Cubao X. 

6. And then we went to Trinoma to attend my sister's birthday dinner with her high school/college friends. We gave her a book on how to have nice foreign-themed weekends (which I'm sure she and my brother would love, since they cook and experiment in the kitchen, etc etc). I had endless iced tea while her friends had alcohol and Andrea had margarita (ok I did help decimate the margarita, a bit. It was so strong it was LETHAL) and then with everyone alcohol-laden we played... PINOY HENYO. Ahay these kids are awesome. Sample words: Balat (panalo talaga tong word na to pano mo huhulaan to di ba), semento, PCOS machine, anino, ATM machine, straw, etc.

Krista's gift. (She's now 22! Huzzah! I was 22 when I met Andrea! Time flies.)

Lethal margarita is LETHAL.

Gerry's Grill's Sisig Kilaw is always AWESOME. ALWAYS.

7. The following day we had Pepper Lunch and had not-coffee in Seattle's Best, and then some fantastic crepe in Crepes n Cream in Rockwell. NGL, I love Rockwell and all, but I do miss weekends when we could stay in and NOT BE FRIED. Hay, weather.

Beef! I like Beeeeef!

Currently reading: Joe Hill's "Horns"

Gone in 3, 2...

Weekend well spent, all in all! I could get used to this, hehe :) How was *your* weekend? :)


here comes the bride (PAK!)

On Magnetic Hill in Rizal ALONG RIZAL HIGHWAY (LOL sorry, I only noticed this on the second go.. YES I WATCHED IT TWICE, BAKET? /edit), an accident occurs involving five vehicles just in time for a solar eclipse. As a result, five people suddenly find themselves in other bodies -- the bride, the ninang, the yaya, the lolo and the gay beautician image stylist. And I thought Freaky Friday was amusing.

Oh my God Chris Martinez. Yes, the writing is splendid, the dialogue is witty, and the story is engaging. I mean, SOLAR ECLIPSE! Jesus. Must have been fun trying to brainstorm on this one and arguing re where to put the lolo's soul for maximum effect and what to put inside Angelica Panganiban's body LOL.

But more than the writing, the acting is FANTASTIC. I mean, you can't pull off a body switch comedy with mediocre actors. Angelica Panganiban was awesome (PAKKKKK!) as the now-hysterical bride, and John Lapus was... well, you have to watch it to be properly scarred by everything, is all I'm saying.

Suffice it to say we'll be quoting from this one from now until FOREVER (like Kimmy Dora - Do you work here?) and planning about body switches with friends while waiting for the next solar eclipse.

Bravo, you guys. Run, don't walk. RUN. *PAKKKKKK!*



Catherine's (Julianne Moore) husband David (Liam Neeson) misses a flight home and her surprise birthday party for him falls apart. The following morning she spies a suspicious picture in his phone and it is here that things start crumbling. It's a marriage overtaken by responsibilities, a connection worn thin. Catherine, a successful gynecologist, is still pretty despite the lines on her face when she smiles, and yet she is often overlooked by her husband, a charming professor, a classical music expert. They have a son, a music major named Michael, aloof and secretive like most boys his age, and between a son that wants to have nothing to do with her and a husband who doesn't see her, Catherine feels so alone.

From her office window once she sees a girl escorting a man out of a building. She is young and blonde and from afar Catherine can see how pretty she is, and how the guy she's with is perhaps David's age. The girl can't be older than Catherine's son. She's wondering if men of a certain age prefers girls of a certain age; younger, definitely, than she now is. The thought fills her with a sort of dread.

The first time Catherine runs into Chloe, it's in a restaurant restroom. Catherine locks herself in a cubicle and hears sniffling from the adjacent space. There's a muffled voice of a girl crying, and after a while, Catherine's handing the girl a handful of tissues through the space between them by their feet. The shot of their stilettos and the music and Chloe's red painted fingernails wrapping around Catherine's pale hand make for very tense viewing and nothing's even happening. Or at least, none yet.

Outside by the mirror, Catherine is fixing her hair. Chloe comes out, thanks her. She pulls out a dainty hair clip and tells Catherine she must have dropped it. Catherine says it isn't hers, and Chloe says, Take it anyway. Catherine turns around and smiles. Chloe looks back -- her eyes wide, honest, fascinated; her lips full and parted. Chloe says, I want you to have it. Catherine considers for a moment before telling her she has to get back to her husband. Chloe stares at Catherine reflection on the mirror as she walks away, says nothing.

I try to chalk it up to overreading subtext -- I'm always overreading subtext because I enjoy it. Put two attractive girls in a room and somehow I can manage to read subtext into it 80 percent of the time. But this -- Amanda Seyfried as Chloe, for all the sexual tension that oozes out of her in this first scene wtih Julianne Moore as Catherine -- it is not subtext at all, is it?



the fiction class

The Fiction Class (Susan Breen)

So Arabella Hicks teaches a writing class on Wednesdays, which is also the day she visits her mother at the nursing home. Her class is a curious mix of interesting people, including a 53-year-old man named Chuck, who is also Arabella's love interest. But this is not completely a love story, more than it is a story about a daughter trying to come to grips with the fact that her mother's about to die.

Will you learn a lot about writing, per se? Well, Breen does provide useful advice about voice and dialogue and developing character and finding the proper motivation to write -- a good deal of the story is set in the classroom, after all -- but not in the magnitude that Anne Lamott does in "Bird by Bird" or the way Stephen King does in "On Writing" but then again she's juggling a love story with Chuck, her mother Vera's own story, and their story as mother-daughter which is particularly affecting, and the book's only about 300 pages long, so you get the picture.

Breen's language is deceptively simple. Deceptive, yes, because at some point she throws in something like, "She feels like a fist unclenching," and I am left staring at those six words for a very, very long time.

Things that have broken my heart in this: Arabella's love-hate-love relationship with her mother Vera, the moment Arabella learns the entire truth about her father's death, and the last few scenes. It was ill-advised for me to have read and finished this in public - at Conti's Greenbelt and then at Coffee Bean - because I would have loved to cry over some parts at great length in the privacy of my own home (in better days, the yearning would have been to read this with alcohol, but yeah. Good times, good times) but in all I am glad to have finished it finally.

One thing that did not work for me though: I wanted desperately to fall in love with this guy Chuck - this older man who is suave and gentle, etc etc but I don't know. I wanted to see what it was that Arabella found so seductive but I just... pfft. He lacked something, he didn't tug at my heart strings despite the fact that I think he was a rather good guy - clean-smelling, good-looking, dashing, well-off, accomplished, can cook, domestic etc etc, but I don't know what it is about him that in the end did not win me over at all. *shrug* He read like a dream guy - I guess that's what didn't work for me. Too perfect. And it's not even because I'm not into boys - I remember liking Henry in The Time Traveler's Wife, after all, and Murakami's male leads, though I may not like them all, at the very least, they affect me. Not Chuck. I needed more tension, I guess? Maybe it felt a bit too rushed to be believable? IDK.

[cut for excessive mother rantage]


quiet nights, quiet stars

Seriously, when I woke up yesterday I had no idea Club 8 was in the country for a concert. I read a tweet, a couple of updates on Facebook, and then I got a call from Andrea asking me if I'd like to go. I was like, Wow, spontaneous concerts? I'm in!

Went there with Andrea's officemate Poxy and met up with other familiar faces Mela and Lia and her sister and Archie from college. It was in the SMX Convention Center. Our tickets were worth P1,300 (Thanks love <3) and the experience was AWESOME. (It was also NONSMOKING! A NONSMOKING CONCERT! AWESOME!) Front acts were good (Gentle Isolation, Camerawalls, Your Imaginary Friends) Plus Club 8 stayed to sign autographs at the end of it. AUTOGRAPHS, you guys. I got to shake Karolina's hand. Swedish girls = HOTTTTT. <3

Now that we've had Club 8, can we now also have Broken Social Scene, Stars, Bloc Party, Imogen Heap, Florence and the Machine -- the works? Please? Heh. I have rediscovered that part of me that likes concerts.

Speaking of concerts. I feel like I'll regret having to miss Dashboard Confessional's concert at the end of the month -- I have a feeling it'd be the sort of concert I can actually SING TO, Jesus, why do people schedule concerts on a THURSDAY? IN TRINOMA? Ang layooo, meng.


On other news, last weekend was actually eventful, but with the election on Monday I forgot to mention that we went to a watercolor workshop last Saturday with Kora Albano at the UP College of Fine Arts. Look mommy, look at what I did!

This exercise was called the flat wash. Hehe. I felt so accomplished. Afterwards we had lunch at Chocolate Kiss and then I had to go to work and she had to enroll in Alliance for French lessons.

Then on Sunday I went home for a family lunch for Mother's Day. I was in my parents' house for more or less five hours. Talk about a quickie. Anyway, that was the Sunday before the elections, and mostly we talked about who to vote for, etc.

So. Post concert we had breakfast this morning at Salcedo Market with Poxy. I love Salcedo Market on Saturdays. The food is awesome and Andrea gets to meet some nice French guys selling French food with whom she can practice her French phrases with heheeh.

Basically, I am happy to report there are now other things going on in my life. The other day, I was thinking about how the elections had felt so heavy just sitting there on my chest, and I told myself how I'd never let anything consume me so entirely again because it was so exhausting, LOL. But then again, in hindsight, I'd always let the things I love consume me, so.

So. In conclusion: I love what I do. It's five years later, and I still do. :)



With the elections out of the way, can we now talk about mundane things, like love and pasts and the fantastic way things manage to resolve themselves with time?

We can? Okay.


It's a well-known fact that my ex-girlfriend and I are now on civil, speaking terms, though I still haven't seen her since 2007, and that's just fine. And wow, the fact that I feel like I can call her solidly the ex-girlfriend, that I can now say that without fear of reprisal or reprimand -- it's fantastic. I wonder if people wonder about that girl I can't stop writing about c.2003-2006, and well, here's the situation update for you since I've stopped talking about her entirely for the better part of the past four years.

The other night, we were texting briefly about something work-related which turned into a briefer exchange of pleasantries; she asked how Andrea and I were doing, I said we were doing fine (32 months on the 22nd, I said), and I asked back if it were true that she and her boyfriend (edit: whom I had just friended on Facebook somewhere, LOL) were getting married, and she said I was the fifth person in the span of a week to have asked.

I said, you don't post photos like those on Facebook and not court questions about engagement at the very least. She said, Ah you saw? I did the photoshop on that. And I said, Well, a photoshop expert now, aren't we? For a brief moment I was tempted to go the way of Remember that time I used to try to teach you how to work the thing -- but I didn't, because I didn't feel it was called for.

She said she looked at photos of Andrea and I (presumably on Facebook); she said we looked so happy, so good together. She said she's glad I'm happy now, and I said, I'm happy you are, too.

And then she asked, Hey if the rumor of you and I together in college would spread among our batchmates, would it be okay? Because I'm okay with that already. We happened, there's nothing wrong with that, yeah?

I said, not unkindly, I remember between the two of us, you were the one uncomfortable with people knowing. I said I was okay with that, and that I've long made my peace with that part of our lives, and that I was happy she was at peace with it as well.

She said sorry she was so unfair. I said, it's all right, let's just keep the good things in our heads, and do away with the bad ones. I said, It was a different life, no?

A different life. Funny how five years ago, fresh out of college and at the edge of the real world, it was entirely unimaginable, having this conversation, much less going without this person for years. I remember feeling horribly flayed just having to look at their photos together, I remember having to remove her from social networks (at the time, it was Friendster) just to do away with the pictures. I wrote a lot of angry things, I regret some of them actually, and I marked a certain day on the calendar with a sort of grief reserved for mourning could-have-beens.

And then.

And then I fell in love again. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! What were the chances I'd amble into a new life that would eventually open me up to entirely new things, experiences and opportunities, right? Back in college, a young girl like me -- like me, who liked other girls and not boys -- I was alone and without a community. I didn't know there were other girls who liked other girls -- well, I mean, of course I ~knew, but I didn't know where they were, or if they'd like me at all. This was why I was horribly attached to her - I had erroneously thought she was the last girl, the only girl who would ~see me, and like what she saw. If I am ever going to be glad about anything I was wrong about after all, it would be that.

If I were to pinpoint the exact moment I felt my heart starting up again in a way I thought it would never feel again -- when was it exactly? Perhaps that night in Timog then, in April? I mean, you all know how this part of the story goes, right? I knew Andrea was into girls, I knew she had a girlfriend for a time, and I think that time I saw her dancing to reggae in some street party she had one, too, though it was a different girl.

And then, while I wasn't looking, I found myself in love. Silly organ called the heart. That time we were doing the midterm elections, though relatively the work stress was a bit less by virtue of being younger and still having mid-level management above you. Heh. We had massive losses/resignations, I was out all the time drinking and smoking, then Andrea and I started going out in group dates, and then in book store dates with just the two of us, and then we were texting at regular intervals, and then she was all I ever wrote about.

And then I moved out of the flat I shared with my sister in Quezon City and into a flat of my own in Makati, and then bam, I found myself in a relationship. And then Andrea moved in and three years and one election more later, here we still are, waking up next to each other every single day, and how does this happen, really? How does one go from making all those horrible, misguided decisions to having this life where I don't smoke anymore, or drink so much?

How does one get so lucky?

Well. I don't know. What I do know is that from feeling absolutely shit - you know, times when there are, say, days that you find yourself alone sitting on the floor of your apartment, drinking lukewarm Red Horse out of a bottle while smoking and it's only 4 p.m.? - Life has a way of looking up again. Well, it doesn't happen exactly in the span of a few days, or a few weeks; sometimes it takes more than a couple of months, but the fact is, life takes care of itself as long as we don't do anything to fuck it up while it's on its way to recovery. It's a fun fact, that.

Meanwhile, while waiting I was listening to sad music and writing sad things with empty rooms and ghosts, and watching sad movies and getting drunk all the time and wearing my lung lining thin with nicotine and going home late so I'd be so weary by the time I hit the bed I won't have time to think about how alone I felt. It was a crazy life, and fun as it was, I don't think I could afford that lifestyle again. Hehe.

And then you're all right again. How does that happen, right? For a moment you're just living one day after the other, and then somewhere along the way you find something to look forward to. It just happens, it's insane, and when you pause to look back, you're now standing five years away from something you thought you'd never live through.

How does that happen, right? :) Well, I'm done analyzing the Universe's ways, so yeah, you win this round Universe. Fair and square.


election post-mortem

In October last year, I applied to transfer my voting records from Las Pinas to Makati. The last time I voted was in the 2004 presidential elections, and having missed the next two elections in 2007 I was deactivated. The registration attempt took some seven hours.

Yesterday, I was one of the millions of Filipinos who trooped to their polling precincts to cast a vote in the historic national elections - historic in a sense that this is the first nationwide automated balloting involving the use of PCOS machines and shaded ballots.

I cast my vote on the fourth floor of Maximo Estrella Elementary School. I arrived there around 7:30 in the morning and oh my God the crowd was insane. It took me 30 minutes just to get to the stairs because of the people. This was how the corridor outside our clustered precinct looked like:

Absolutely no order here, sad to say. For my clustered precinct (No. 221, if anyone likes to know) people vote in room 403, but there's an adjacent room that serves as a "waiting room". Well, photo above is the non-queue into the waiting room, where people are served numbers. Then people are allowed to trickle into the voting room in groups of ten according to these numbers.

I stood outside the waiting room, unnumbered and sweaty, for THREE HOURS. It was an all-too narrow corridor obviously intended for smaller people a.k.a. elementary students. The lack of organization was insane, and I had to play it by ear and after a bit all of us in line were already sort of friends who were trying to (very loudly) shame people who were cutting into the line. It's like MRT Taft or North Ave minus the jangling coins in my pocket. Haha.

After a surge of discontent (LOL it really was) there was a commotion and all of a sudden I found myself being pushed into the room by a sea of swelling angry people. GREAT.

And then I had a number. VOILA! I was number 45. They were serving numbers 121-130 the last I heard. I never really got to verify up to what number the first round was, but I have a fair guess it went only up to 150 or 200 since it took only about a couple of hours or so before I actually got to vote.Here's a glimpse of the waiting room:

Having spent most of my life falling in line - for college subjects (Hi UP CRS, I remember you - no love lost haha), for the UP Fair, for license renewal, for NBI clearance, for registration transfer, at the supermarket, at the bank, etc etc., I am actually by now a lot more pleasant to queue with, regardless of whether I'm hungry or full. I remember being younger and impatient, and judging by how yesterday I managed to keep my humor despite the heat and the sweat and the fact that I was ALONE in a room full of people I didn't know, well it does look like I've somehow managed to grow up to be a rather patient woman. Hurray for me. (Thanks Dad, these genes are perhaps yours.)

So in effect I was in line from 7:30 in the morning, and I was able to finish voting at around 12:30. I was running on a mug of Nesvita (still off coffee, I'm afraid) and bits of graham crackers. I did a little dance on the inside when the PCOS machine did not reject my ballot on first try. Congratulations, indeed. (Incidentally, Aquino won in my precinct, and I just found out I was one of more than 500 people who voted there yesterday. FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE. Kaya naman pala.)

Afterwards I went to the office because I wanted to watch ANC and monitor the Internet. Hehe. I ended up spending 12 more hours there, waiting for the Comelec results, the earlier of which they posted at 9 p.m. We waited for the midnight update, sent it to the editors and then went home. (Thanks, Lawrence for staying on as well :))

Last I heard, Comelec tally as of 7:47 a.m has Aquino ahead with 12.3 million votes and Estrada next with 7.8 million. Villar has 4.4 million while Teodoro has roughly 3.3 million.

They are going at lightning speed -- I remember it used to take days to cover as much precincts and they're now saying we'd have a new president by noon. Wow. I remember how in 2007 the ates stayed up late in the office for days waiting for Namfrel's midnight fax. Last night, we stayed late to wait for Comelec's midnight press con on ANC and Twitter updates from everywhere. Funny and amazing how the advancement of technology changes how things work.

I feel hopeful that things are about to be different - not because Aquino is winning, but because of the sheer dedication of the people who wanted to vote, people who actually cared. I was in line with a woman who was so vocal about telling off people who were cutting into line and was complaining out loud about the lack of organization (it really was a managerial mess, I know for a fact Filipinos are good followers and would gladly follow a system, had it been clearly in place at the very start) and at some point, she relayed to us later on, at some point some people from inside the polling place told her she can go ahead and cast her vote right away if that would shut her up. The woman declined the offer, saying she just wanted the line to be followed and that the point wasn't that she wanted to go first. She strikes me as a funny sort, the sort of kapitbahay you'd love to spend afternoons gossiping with about Agua Bendita (haha requisite mention), but right then she had my respect.

Meanwhile, the woman behind me also got offered a number by a senior citizen who did not need the number after all. She also declined the offer, saying it was unfair to the rest of the folks who were still in line waiting for their number as well. See, we're so used to people being assholes that we forget we are still in the midst of people who just want to do the right thing. I was this close to just bolting the line for fear of passing out because of the heat but being with such determined people tided me over five grueling hours of wait.

And that makes me hopeful. Never mind that a convicted plunderer and ousted former president is at number two, by virtue of some 7 million people who think he is fit enough to be put back in office. What matters is if Comelec estimates are right, 3 out of every 4 registered voters cast their votes yesterday. And that is something, isn't it?


inquirer presidential features

On Friday, the Inquirer started running front-page profiles/features on the presidential candidates. Link dump for your reference (alphabetically arranged):

  • Noynoy Aquino - What’s important is I see problem and solve it (May 7, 2010)
  • JC de los Reyes - What we cannot do, God will do for us, there’s spiritual inspiration in us (May 8, 2010)
  • Richard Gordon - Step up to the plate, swing that bat (April 30, 2010)
  • Joseph Estrada - I want to finish my plans for the poor (May 4, 2010)
  • Jamby Madrigal - In serving people, work becomes joy (May 3, 2010)
  • Nicanor Perlas - New governance goes beyond gov't (May 5, 2010)
  • Gilbert Teodoro - RP deserves to be among world's vibrant economies (May 2, 2010)
  • Bro. Eddie Villanueva - Revolution for righteousness leadership (May 1, 2010)
  • Manuel Villar - It's not impossible to end poverty (May 6, 2010)

* * *

EDIT: LOL we should've made a bet on who'd go last. We totally called that JC de los Reyes would be the finale. Haha.


meanwhile, a life roundup

Andrea got back in the country on Saturday, right in the middle of my hyperacidity bout -- which was a kind of nice surprise, since there was no way I would have been in our flat on a Saturday if not for this illness, so YAY. (She says maybe the hyperacidity thing was the Universe's way of telling me I needed to have more oatmeal in my life; I said I would have understood a postcard. Hehe.)

Oh hey, she got me a Panda Hat!

LOL that photo will never get old.

ANYWAY. Andrea has her mega-China update over at her LJ involving pandas, tiananmen square and the forbidden city, the Great Wall of China, terracotta warriors, Guilin, and Shanghai. WHEW. That was such a week.

Anyway again, illness update: been on Omeprazole for roughly a week; stomach's all better now, though I am keeping off soda, alcohol, greasy food and caffeine FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I SWEAR. Also: Man, Maalox Plus is one tasty chewable tablet. I mean, tastier than bubblegummy Kremil-S. (LOL addict - drug of choice, Maalox Plus. LAME.)

Also, I've managed to finish a few books I've been meaning to finish while Andrea was away, to wit:

(Under cut: Books. WOW.)

and now, for your midweek news roundup

Iglesia ni Cristo has officially endorsed Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas for President and Vice President. Remember: In 1998, they said Erap-Gloria; in 2004, they said Gloria-Noli. (Reminder to self: For the heck of it just go through May 1992 related reports later.)

I can just imagine being a Villar supporter right now. It must feel like it's already the 4th Quarter with only five more minutes to go and your team's always been so close but the other team's always pulling away at some point, and just now, just now someone from the other team got a steal, hit a three-pointer with it and made the free throw after that because there was a frustrated foul from beyond the rainbow arc, completing a fantastic four-point play and now the crowd is going wild and your corner of the stadium is quiet, save for murmurs of last minute prayers.


On another development entirely: voting machines have failed tests because their compact flash cards contained wrong instructions. SERIOUSLY? SIX DAYS TO GO AND YOU'RE TELLING US THIS? And now they're recalling ALL 76,000 OF THEM -- apparently, in some areas, votes for Noynoy Aquino and Manny Villar came out counted in favor of administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro, as reported to Comelec by Nacionalista Party.

This sucks thoroughly because if there's a surefire way to sabotage Teodoro's campaign entirely, this would be it. I mean, the guy's not even participating in mudslinging and yet this "eleventh-hour glitch" has already damaged his would-be mandate's credibility, if ever he is elected president by what they tout as the "silent thinking majority" -- and I've been seeing a lot of good friends rooting for Teodoro, mind. And it's a crowd that includes my dad.

So yeah, that said: FIVE DAYS TO GO. May election nga ba o wala?