Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bound and Done!

Like any other kid I was hooked into collecting comic books.  I was into Spider-man.  I used to by them at Cashman near our school and it was a daily ritual to stop by and oggle the latest issues craving for that day that I can save enough and buy me a copy.  Imported comics were priced around Php 8.75 which was a lot then.  It would take me around three weeks to save enought to purchase one but it was worth the wait.  Now they call it GRAPHIC NOVELS and cost around a thousand or more!

My facination with comic books persisted until high school and by that time I had a lot.  Unfortunately, being a kid did not teach me the TLC needed to keep them in their brand new look and as a result most were already dilapidated and torn. Then came Mr. Mediavillo.  He was our Home Economics teacher in the seminary and he taught us BOOK BINDING.

It was a fun thing to do!  I had so much fun that I book binded most of my father's magazines.  I already had my Spider-man comics sewed and glued and ready to be hard covered when I lent it to a fellow comic book addict and totally forgot about it.  It was only last year when during one of our high school reunion did my friend handed me back my old comic books.  

This was a project more than 30 years in the making and it sure feels good to have finally finished it!

Materials: cartolina, 1/2 illustration board, ruler, paint brush, scotch tape,
and masking tape (not in picture).

The finished product.

The cover design was done by my son Ringo which I had printed on sticker paper.

Finally, after more than 30 years---it's done!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

TV Series Review: A Gifted Man

I have been following "House" for eight seasons now so it's no wonder that after watching the first episode of "A Gifted Man" I was instantly hooked.  It was like watching a more likeable version of Dr. House minus the team of other doctors but with the same amount of medical brilliance.

An officemate told me he read good reviews about the show and wanted to try watching an episode.  So I downloaded one and out of personal curiosity gave myself a shot at it (well, I already told you what happened next.).

The story evolves around Dr. Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson), a neurosurgeon at an upscale private clinic in New York.  He ran a very successful practice and practically on top of his game until he saw his ex-wife Anna (Jennifer Ehle) whom he hasn't been in contact with for a long while.  Apparently, Michael still had feelings for her and was in a verge of rekindling old flames when he found out that she has been dead two weeks prior.  That's when Michael's "perfect" world of materialism and rich clients came crashing down and he is forced to face what the real world is all about and what it really means to be a good doctor.  

MMDA Traffic Penalties: A Lucrative Opportunity

I had the good fortune to hitch a ride with an officemate after work which meant a reprieve from the usual  10 minute walk to Edsa for my bus ride home.  Although it was not a door to door delivery for me it also meant minus Php 15 from the usual fare with my drop off point at Kamias.  Thank God for little miracles!

Anyway, as we traversed the Edsa route I couldn't help but notice a lot of private vehicles lined up on the "bus only" lane.  That got me ranting off on the other traffic and pedestrian violations that has gone unchecked and unpenalized.  By golly!  If I were the MMDA chairman I'd have my men line up along Edsa and ticket all those violators!  Just imagine how much revenue I can get from all those penalties!  And that's only along Edsa!  Expand that strategy along all MMDA covered roads and I'm sure that the agency will become the most lucrative in less than a year!  

Just this evening close to 20 private vehicles were inside the bus lane.  Do you know how much penalty that violation entails?  Php 1,200!  20 x Php 1,200 = Php 24,000 for that moment alone!  Did you know that having tinted windshield is illegal?  Yesireee!  And it carries a penalty of Php 500.  I'm sure more than 500 vehicles have tinted windshield; so if MMDA strictly implements this rule and penalizes these vehicles that would be an easy Php 250,000!  Oh, and there are those colorum vehicles!  When MMDA had a colorum crackdown last August 5, 2010 they netted 196 buses, taxicabs and AUVs along Edsa.  At Php 500 penalty the agency should have added Php 98,000 in their coffers!  

A few months back, MMDA implemented a 60kph speed limit along Commonwealth Avenue.  As usual, "ningaskugon" prevailed and it was good only a couple of days.  After that no more speed scanners and no more MMDA during critical times (especially in the evening).  Buses are notorious!  I ride a bus everyday and 90% of the time the buses that I'm on fly through Commonwealth Avenue!  With the right equipment and enough manpower catching 50 violators a day would be chicken feed and in the process earn the agency another Php 60,000 @ Php 1,200 penalty!

I can go on and on about this.  Here is an opportunity for our government to earn and at the same time instill discipline to our erring motorists.  

Only if the gentlemen sitting on the MMDA Chair open his eyes... 

To check on the list of MMDA traffic penalties click on this link 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Problem with Percentages

The problem in a presentation using percentages is that it can be misleading. 

On my way to work yesterday morning I got to watch a discussion on "Unang Hirit" about the bias that the Executive has regarding the Judiciary's misappropriation of the World Bank loan..  According to Winnie Monsod, the amount is merely 1% of the total loan and should not be taken as a claim for a corruption scenario.  I had my eyes closed already by this time and was in the verge of being mesmerized to sleep until Ms. Monsod mentioned that this 1% she was talking about was in the league of Php 8M.  What?!  Goodnessgreatiousgreatballsoffire! It was like hearing her say that 8M is ok to loose!  

Ms. Monsod further said that in order for a certain scenario to be "corrupt" in nature it should at least be 20% of the  fund in question.  My golly!  

Most of the times I agree with what Ms. Monsod has to say about our country's issues but this time---I don't.  Eight million is not just spare change.  Eight million can change the lives of many of our countrymen.  If the Chief Justice did wrong in the tune of 8 million then he should by all means be tried and impeached if need be!

I rest my case.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Breakfast Story

Cooking breakfast for the kids may not be all that glamorous a house chore but it's definitely fulfilling as a father.  Planning the weekly breakfast menu, waking up early in the morning, donning that sexy apron (Nahhh!  Just kidding!  No apron for this dude!) and multi-tasking with Facebook and other Internet "news" (let's skip on the "news" shall we?).

Anyway, today's lunch pack is Fish Fillet and rice.  Not too much rice for Colleen and Carl---a lot for my teenage daughter Chesca.  Now if my eldest son Ringo would bring baon to school then I'd be needing at least two more cups of rice to cook and a bigger cut portioning of viand!  

Breakfast is squid rolls.  It would have been better is I still had that special sauce from the supermarket but what I thought we still had---we don't (check on that for the next grocery day).   Anyway, I guess we'd just have to do with "toyo" or "suka".

The problem with me multi-tasking is that sometimes it gets the better of me.  When I get too engrossed with something on the Net I tend to forget the primary objective which is preparing breakfast and baon.  This morning was a day like this.  In my haste to catch up and finish cooking by 5am, I loaded the squid rolls for frying; however, I did not foresee that what started out as thumb-size rolls could swell twice as large!  After a while I came back to my cooking and saw these giant squid rolls overflowing my frying pan!  Geez!  Di tuloy pantay pagkakaluto ko!  Anyways, sarap pa din naman! (or I would like to think it was)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


More about telenovelas...

Budoy.  I believe Pinoy writers have a lot of imagination but what the story line of this series was nothing but a copycat of John Travolta's 1996 film "Phenomenon".  The only difference is George Malley, John Travolta's character, started out as a normal guy who transformed into a person with extraordinary genius form of intelligence after being hit by a lightning on his 37th birthday. 

Come on guys!  Where's your creativity?!

Walang Hanggan...

I'm not into watching telenovelas but due to a family filled with avid watchers there are times when there is nothing else to do and I'm stuck in front of the TV set.  Anyway, last Monday was the pilot episode of Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez's TV comeback "Walang Hanggan" and I was able to get a glimpse of its story line.  

Basically, Marco (Richard Gomez) and Emily (Dawn Zulueta) are ill-fated lovers who failed the test of life's circumstances.  Fast forward 20 years (based on the looks of the new set of characters played by Coco Martin and Julia Montes) and two star-crossed lovers try to go through the same path as that of Marco and Emily.

While I must admit that growing up during the Dawn and Richard era there is still that "kilig" effect (especially when I saw how my wife reacted to the pilot) but what doesn't sit with me is that the young Emily and Marco where played by Dawn and Richard which we all know are already beyond their 40's.  Personally I felt stupid watching it!  The funny thing is when the story goes 20 years forward---the only difference in terms of appearance was that Emily now dons a rich woman's outfit!  

This also goes the same with Susan Roces and Helen Gamboa.  Did hairdo alone make the 20 year difference?  At their age right now plus 20 years should have made them 90 years old!  

Ellen Adarna's 2012 FHM Spread

For those of you who's budget constrained and couldn't buy a copy but are resourceful enough to search the Net.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gina Caranno in GQ

Muscle, brawn, and beauty---that would be Gina Caranno!  Oh my, I'm sure I wouldn't last the first bell in the ring with her!  Just looking at her makes my knees weak!

Looking forward to her movie "Haywire" this January.  For the meantime, let's ogle her in GQ's January 2012 issue.

Lady-like during the premier of her movie "Haywire" in LA.

Early Morning Rambling

Jollibee's Chickenjoy and Spaghetti Meal is the best!
 After having a spaghetti and fried chicken to celebrate my youngest son's 4th birthday---I was tanked!  Oh, did I say that spaghetti and fried chicken are two of my favorite food combo?  Well, it is so I guess the end result is quite obvious!  I rationalized the binge by lifting weights for 30 minutes; unfortunately, it seemed to have negated my evening date with the crapper and made me sleep on a full stomach.  Actually, I slept late last night (11pm) and since I already have last night's left overs ready for breakfast with enough to spare for the kids' lunch, I had the leeway to wake up a little late (4am).  Unfortunately, my bowels begged to disagree and woke me up at 2am.  Still early right?  Wrong!  Since I'm also having an asthma episode, waking up triggered a coughing bonanza that has now kept me awake since!  Oh well...who said life was perfect?

Anyway, at least time did not go to waste with another blog entry (while forcing myself to enjoy a mug-full of classic English breakfast tea to soothe the sore throat that I now have and  cleansing my system of last night's  hedonistic food binge).

Good morning y'all!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winter Solstice

I woke up at 4am to make breakfast and lunch "baon" for my kids:  longganisa and rice for breakfast and fish fillet for lunch at school.  Four o'clock is my wake up call whenever I'm on leave; otherwise, it's 3am on a work day.  By the time I close the stove and putting the hot water for the bath it would be around 5:15am.  The good thing about being on leave on a school day is that I can go back to sleep after my early morning ritual.  It was 5:30am whn I decided to hit the sack again.  As I lay in bed I noticed something amiss---it's still dark outside!  Did I wake up earlier than usual?  Was my cellphone time advanced?  I could have sworn that it was already 5:30am.  That's when I realized that it's still winter solstice---shorter days, longer nights.  Sweet!  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Life Lessons from a Taxi Ride Home

There's nothing perfect in life.  Sometimes we do get a slice of the sweet life but even that wouldn't give us that perfect piece of heaven.  Riding a cab is a good example of this.

I already mentioned i a previous blog about my preference in riding new taxis.  Unfortunately, not all new taxis offer the same kind of luxury and value for money.  This evening I decided to ride a taxi home from my visit to my balikbayan sister in Makati.  The doorman at the Ascott Hotel was kind enough to hail one for me and my entourage and I specifically told him to choose a new one.  Well, he did hail a new looking cab but the aircon was not as cold as we want it to be.  The problem is you can't bitch about it given the different strategies that taxi drivers employ to earn and manage the roller coaster pricing of fuel---cutting on the aircon thermostat being one of them.  Personally, I'm just thankful that God did not give me that challenge in life.  So I just sat there, kept my cool and eagerly awaited our arrival home.  On the flipside however, if you're the driver, don't fault me for not tipping you for the ride.  If I don't feel I got my money's worth, I will not give a TIP.