THREE MONTHS

October 25, 2001

life in singapore has been ok. its been a good, almost, three months already. i’m having a great time here and i’ve almost lost the “praning” feeling of always looking behind your back, wary that somebody will mug you. it’s a defense mechanism that is triggered in almost every place i visit except here. somehow it took a load off my back – there’s no non-work related stress and its made me happier. i just miss home a lot and i miss my family and friends terribly (can’t have everything, buster!). the good thing though about my job is that i still get to travel, albeit (hehehe..what a word), on a larger scale – asia pacific.

i’ve gotten into a routine already of going to work, being at work and coming home. somehow it has offset the “meloncholy and the infinite sadness” (hehehe…quoted from the title of one of the best records of the smashing pumpkins).

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OFW

October 18, 2001

i am an OFW, an overseas filipino worker. now, i am part of that “babalik ka rin crowd” you see around christmas time, arriving at the NAIA in droves from all over, gold chain around their necks, in jeans and maong jacket, ray-ban shades, goatee, and baseball cap, pababa pa lang ang eroplano kinukuha na ang hand carry luggage at nag papalakpakan na’t handang halikan ang lupa pagka landing!

speaking of driving – one of the best driving experience in the philippines is a trip to Lucban Quezon from Antipolo via the Rizal-Laguna-Quezon back roads. bring a friend. start from antipolo, have breakfast at padi’s point first, then go down via zigzap road to teresa, tanay and jala-jala.

go up the mountains of rizal via zigzag road to laguna straight to pangil and pakil (stop along the way at your leisure to view the laguna de bay from the other side). take a pee stop in paete and get to look at the wood carvings and paper mache sculptures, or maybe even have a python adobo lunch at “exotik” (they also serve baboy damo, deer, etc.). drive straight ahead to pagsanjan and shoot the rapids or visit erap’s mayor nephew.

after pagsanjan, go up the mountains bordering laguna and quezon, to cavinte and luisiana. stop along the way to enjoy the cool mountain air, buy abaniko, banig or bayong from the hawkers-hunter-gatherers, or, sample the santol, lanzones, durian, saging (whatever is in season). down the mountains, you will enter straight into the heart of lucban. from lucban, you can either schedule a trek up mt. banahaw or just enjoy the pahiyas festival. just the same, make sure that you buy lukban’s treasured longganisa ang pansit. from lucban – you can go straight to bicol and see the whale sharks at sorsogon or just watch the sunrise from the foot of mt. mayon.

few people from manila know of this more scenic route to southern luzon (i hope it stays that way). there’s practically little traffic, excellent roads and an infinite number of things to see, taste and smell.

ILLEGAL DISCHARGE?

October 12, 2001

napansin ko lang dito
yung mga tao sa floor namin
ebak ng ebak…
is it in the food or am i just too sensitive?

POINTS OF VIEW

October 9, 2001

when the west starts to bomb afghanistan and innocent civilians die,
do we call the allied forces “terrorists” as well?

BACK FROM HOME

October 9, 2001

i’m back in singapore after a week in the philippines.
my wife is with me and i feel complete.
it was great to be back home – except for the politics,
everything was just right.
my mom is healthy
my dog is still the same “salbahe” companion
my house is ok and my garden is full of flowers.
now if a big bomb just dropped down the senate,
that would erase half of the problems in the philippines.