MY BOOK

September 4, 2006

my book came out last week. hooray! read what my friends and relatives have to say about it:

  1. Jet’s Life
  2. Manuel L. Quezon III
  3. Retzwerx
  4. Tito Rolly
  5. The UnLawyer
  6. Abe’s Yugatech
  7. Toni’s Wifely Steps
  8. Mec’s Delisyusness
  9. Radioactive Adobo
  10. Gigi Goes Gaga
  11. Ruth’s Transposable Element
  12. Cathy’s Now What, Cat?
  13. Adam’s Wasaak
  14. JMom’s In Our House

SUMMER

June 28, 2006

it’s summer time in southern california and the days are hot. most of the people i know are going on extended breaks. i don’t blame them. i’d rather be in a beach somewhere with an umbrella drink in my hand instead of being in a stale room looking at a computer for eight hours.

SINGAPURA

June 27, 2006

i miss singapore. the four years jet and i spent there was one of the happiest times in our lives. it was there that we met lovely people who became close friends. it also gave us the security and comfort that i have not experienced anywhere else.

yes, i must admit that there are people there who have body odor that will make your nose bleed but so what. i love singapore – i love its people, i love its food , i love everything about it. i’d love to move back there again someday.

thank you singapore. i’ll see you again, i’m sure.

JAKARTA

May 24, 2006

jakarta, indonesia reminds me so much of manila. it almost has the same feel. it has the same sad sorry old houses on one side of the street and beautiful new buildings on the other. i could swear that the roads too have the same number of potholes. replace the many mosques with churches and you can't tell the difference. the people look the same – brown skinned, always smiling faces. we speak differently but we share many common words. some have different meanings or are pronounced differently but most of the common words mean the same. it's as if the indonesians and filipinos have been separated at birth and allowed to grow individually that eventually they ended up looking the same and yet somehow different.

HONG KONG

May 12, 2006

hong kong was the first place i visited out of the philippines and i remember it like it was yesterday. in was an uneventful business trip though and we didn't see much. we spent the four days that we were there travelling from hotel to office. in fact, the most memorable part of the trip was the treacherous landing into the old Kai Tak Airport.

you must remember that this was my first trip abroad and so touching down was really a big deal. i remember every small detail – the cathay pacific plane we were riding came in from the harbour and as the plane descended, i looked out and saw huge mountains and row upon row of buildings to the left and right of the runaway. we were flying so low that i could make out individual people inside their apartments who were probably eating their lunch (or maybe they were looking out at some guy watching them from an airplane window). then as we were about to land, somebody played tina turner's "simply the best" on the airplane's sound system. we had arrived.

i had arrived.

LORD OF THE FLIES

May 9, 2006

LORD OF THE FLIESmany years ago, i was part of a team of engineers that did power plants up in the virgin rain forests of the philippines. well, they weren't virgin anymore by the time we went up. it was more like "partially screwed". during the early 1990's, we had massive blackouts because there wasn't enough electricity in the island and everybody was scrambling to start up power plants all over the country. being in the pacific ring of fire, the philippines has a major geothermal power reserve. to produce power, all you needed to do was to draw from the well, so to speak. i've never been told the reason why, but most of the geothermal power reserves are in the middle of rain forests and in order to tap that power, you need to build power plants right where the resourse is located. as part of the engineering team building the plants, that means we had to live there. it was fun at the start but when you’re up in the rain forest for long stretches, things start to change. because of all the isolation, you start to think crazy thoughts and then you start doing crazy stuff. pretty soon, you run through the jungle naked and do kung fu poses.

i’ve been on the road almost all my adult life. i’ve been to all the right places travelling for all the wrong reasons. yes “ive been to georgia and california and anywhere i could run” as the line of that most hated song goes. i’ve done it by bus, boat, plane, jeepney, truck, car, motorcycle and everything in between. i am an engineer and because of work, i’ve been hopping from one island after another all these 18 years. it’s been a rich experience – i’ve met so many people, seen so many things and been to many places that i would otherwise not have experienced had i done something else. well, i could have been a sailor and maybe travelled even more but i digress.

i am an accidental tourist.