Sunday, September 27, 2009

images from katipunan

my brother who is in the province sent me a text message late yesterday afternoon asking how i am. katipunan was reportedly neck-deep in flood water. i didn't know about it since i was warm, comfy and dry inside my apartment which is on the third floor. i went downstairs and checked, even up to the streets. it was still raining hard but glad to say, i didn't see the streets flooded from where i was.

then i saw these photos on facebook just this morning:

that's katipunan avenue just along ateneo where i work. i'd cross that street everyday.

the entire highway is indeed flooded that the street became impassable for a while.

this is the side street just beside the barangay hall. back in the early 2000, i lived near that area too. there's a creek nearby and the street would slope down like some catch basin for rain water which would tend to rise fairly quickly once creek water overflows. not a good place to stay indeed. the situation is much worse now since there is a construction site just beside it.

i could say i am fairly lucky for having stayed home that day. heck, i didn't even notice how disaster was that imminent till i received text messages from my office mates who resides in rodriguez, rizal. they say they were already stranded up there on their rooftops as early as 11am that morning and were asking for help. shame on me as i only woke up around that time. it felt cozy and cold having rained the entire night till that morning. i was only set out to attend a baptismal mass later that afternoon. such event was of course canceled.

i spent the rest of my day texting and calling hotline numbers for rescuers, checking out updates and reports on facebook and online news and reports on TV. it was plain heartbreaking. i don't think anyone could ever prepare themselves for such tragedy.

people frantically called out to their loved ones who were in school or at work. cars start floating or get swallowed in floodwater. lives and livelihoods have been lost. large concrete houses were damaged and submerged up to the second floor. shanties were wiped out in minutes. i heard there are still stranded people out there.

it is plain devastating. i'd cry seeing these dramas unfold before me. but i could also not help but smile and marvel at how these same people could still wave, pose and smile back at the cameras when rescued.

this ordeal is far from over. bodies out of nowhere are starting to float and be found. destruction is now revealed as the waters start to recede. although the storm has left and the rains intermittent, it left us more chaotic, muddy, and gloomy.

i am especially grateful that i am safe. but my heart still cries out for those victims and everyone who faced the storm right upfront. i could only imagine the horrors it brought them. the trauma. the pains.

i know, us Filipinos are possibly more resilient than any race out there. just the same, i'd like to urge everyone to keep on praying. to remain sensitive to their needs and their feelings. to try not to lash out at anyone at this time if only to point out on who to blame. there is a time for everything. and now is definitely not the time for that.

donations and volunteers are still needed at evacuation centers nearest you. here, ateneo is accepting donations and can be dropped at the College Covered Courts as early as 6am later this morning.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

reviews! reviews!

Euro Thursday

skipped work last thursday to head to the Shangri-la Cineplex where Cine Europa was running. for more than a week, film buffs enjoyed free screenings of carefully selected films from the European Union.

i failed to make it to the 12 noon showing of You and Me (Toi et Moi) from France but made it to the 230PM movie, The Wave (Die Welle) from Germany.

the movie is a moving drama about a teacher who struggles with a subject he did not really want to tackle in their school's Project Week. to make it more interesting, he thought of an experiment done to his class as they discussed "autocracy". it became quite a riveting project as they developed their knowledge and experience on fascism and neo-Nazism. the experiment however spins out of control bringing it to an explosive ending.

i am particularly pleased that The Wave is a contemporary movie. and as i was about to rave about how i love German music with all it's disco, tantric, heady beat, google tells me the OST is actually composed of songs from several artists all over Europe like Sweden, Britain, and even the US. Lol!

my second movie that day was Italy's production of Fyodor Dostoevsky's life and love called The Ghosts of St. Petersburg. it's a profound movie alright but the bleak, wintry setting of Moscow and Siberia made me feel its gloom all the more. i must have snoozed in some of the scenes.

we did not make it to the 3rd movie because tickets ran out already. i finally got my cinema pass later that night but sadly i was not able to go back to Shang anymore for the last screening days. i hope they open up more cinemas for more people next time. and i hope too that i'll win in their raffle promo which gives a trip to Europe as the grand prize. sigh.


Palahniuk Virgin No More

i spent my weekend watching over senior high school kids sweat it out for the Ateneo College Entrance Test and got to pick this book in case i get bored. i know it was quite a rash move, maybe i should have picked something more juvenile or wholesome at least like The Little Prince or Catcher In The Rye hehehe...

Six hundred dudes. One porn queen. A world record for the ages.

Snuff is about a porn star who plans to end her career by starring in a world record of bedding 600 men. on camera. think of it as wrestling's Royal Rumble. 60 seconds of wham-bam-thank you-mam and then comes the next guy all turgid and ready for the dive.

the barely 200 page book takes you behind the scenes where guys from all ages, shapes and sizes walk around naked with just their number inked on their bodies. they amble around, munch on donuts and chips and popcorn and some jack off to keep themselves ready for action while waiting for their turn.

there's nothing remotely erotic in this book really. the botched porn movie titles like Whore War One, The Blowjobs of Madison County, A Tale of Two Titties, etc, etc. were all hilarious. the characters are not your typical boy/girl next door, hollywood celebrity types but merely your scumbags, filthy types.

it is shocking in a ridiculous kind of way and like Fight Club, it feels filthy and icky reading it but it's an enjoyable ride just the same.

i finished the book that afternoon session in between reading the test instructions to the kiddies. Palahniuk's words were indeed a fresh breather to the rather rigid academic texts i had to blurt out to the class haha!

Monday, September 14, 2009

facebook is killing my bloglife!

OMG, no!!!!

i noticed that eversince i signed up with facebook my blogposts came in trickles. since instant updates, "what's on your mind" posts are pretty easy to do on our facebook walls anyway, composing an entire blogpost became quite a bit taxing.

nakakatamad na din.

but no, i realized too that these instant/quick/short statements are bad for our literary health after all. composing a meaningful paragraph became so hard to do. what more for an entire composition, an entire entry. yikes!


which is why i find it advantageous that i was able to sign up for an online writing job at odesk. well, it's not paying so well for now but at least my prolonged stay in front of the laptop is now a bit justified. not to mention that i get to practice and still keep in touch with my literati self. yey!


a few days ago i woke up with some debilitating pain on my left lower abdominal area and some warm jabs on my left back. i was so scared i sent a message to our office secretary that i might need to go see the doctor. she sort of panicked and wanted to pick me up. i panicked too that i felt faint and felt more fear wondering what it could be. i told her i wanted to rest and relax first. it was still about 9am and still not beyond my usual bedtime. i felt like maybe i just needed more sleep. but the pain on my sides was quite nagging.

i slowly moved about, showered, waxed my armpits, changed to nice underwears. hey, i didn't want to be physically examined unprepared! i tidied my place up a bit and even thought of packing some clothes just in case i needed to be admitted to the hospital. i decided against it thinking i did not want to carry extra stuff. and i wanted to continue thinking positively that this is just my body being KSP and there's no big enough problem really.

i was able to see the doctor somehow, was examined, had a few tests done. oh believe me, picking a sample of my own excrement made feel more sick. oh sorry, TMI! hehehe...

tests showed negative for any issues. the doctor told me to observe the pain and to keep her updated with whatever. she prescribed painkillers which i only took once, i'm masochistic after all. bring on the pain, yee-haw!

i'm feeling way better now. must be the coffee, or the chocolates or the milk i drink each night. or maybe the oily fastfood meals i've been having the past days. who knows? it may even be just psychosomatic.

i hope to go see more doctors though. i'll just have to rest for now.

i miss traveling na kasi!!!!!


see? even this post is now fragmented. oh well. happy monday!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

before and after

this used to be our college tambayan. we called it the Gabay hacienda. in the hacienda, we had our own tree, our own faucet, benches and that wide lawn where we could run around like kids. inside the building, we had an entire room to ourselves and would sometimes spill out to the much bigger ASG (Ateneo Science Guild) room causing several conflicts with some of their members.

almost ten years hence, this is what it looks like now. fancier yeah, but it's not ours anymore. the tree is still there but the tambayan has been transferred to one of the rooms in the upper floors. i heard they share one pitiful room with 2 or three other orgs. which explains why they now have a Tambay Week, that lone week during the entire school year when they can have the room all to themselves, yay!