Friday, January 23, 2009

After Sinulog '09

The celebration of the Sinulog Festival was finally over. I know that participants and organizers have spent tiresome days for the preparation of the said festival. So most probably, it comes as a breather for them to rest from their hectic practice schedules.

I'm also happy to observe that our Churches are still full of young people during Sundays. Proof that our deep religious beliefs is still deeply rooted especially when it comes to our dear patron Sto. Nino de Cebu. Throngs of church goers can be seen flocking to the Basilica del Sto. Nino with families and friends joining in the festive mood every Sunday or any other important feast in the Catholic Church. Every year, it is expected to increase whenever the Sinulog Festival is fast approaching. In fact when every novena starts, throngs of students, professionals and every faithful can be seen flocking to the Basilica to take part in the mass.

On another note, I also get to watch the Cebu skies light up brilliantly with wonderful fireworks at SM City the night before the fall of Sinulog Feast. Truly, fireworks are one of man's most captivating inventions. You can't simply help giving WOWS and AHHSS every time you watch its magic up in the sky. As a souvenir for this year, I got a new Sinulog shirt courtesy of my printing buddies at Ramos. Patricia and Anjolita, hope I'll get another one next year!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Harry Potter Prequel

Every Harry Potter fan surely anticipated the release of a prequel. In fact, I can't really get enough of the HP series. It's one of those stories that you just want to keep coming back for more. Just like chocolate and beer, there will never be enough Harry Potter for a certified avid HP enthusiast like me. Thanks to Khrizz of multiply and my new account, I was given the chance to come across the prequel again. Although the 800-word story is indeed very short but it's certainly worth my while.
The Story:
The speeding motorcycle took the sharp corner so fast in the darkness that both policemen in the pursuing car shouted,"Whoa!" Sergeant Fisher slammed his large foot on the brake, thinking that the boy who was riding pillion was sure to be flung under his wheels; however, the motorbike made the turn without unseating either of its riders, and with a wink of its red tail lights, vanished up the narrow side street.
"We've got 'em now!" cried PC Anderson excitedly. "That's a dead end!"

Leaning hard on the steering wheel and crashing his gears, Fisher scraped half the paint off the flank of the car as he forced it up the alleyway in pursuit.

There in the headlights sat their quarry, stationary at last after a quarter of an hour's chase. The two riders were trapped between a towering brickwall and the police car, which was now crawling towards them like some growling luminous-eyes predator.
There was so little space between the car doors and the walls of the alley that Fisher and Anderson had difficulty extricating themselves from the vehicle. It injured their dignity to have to inch, crab-like, towards the miscreants. Fisher dragged his generous belly along the wall, tearing buttons off his shirt as he went, and finally snapping off the wing mirror with his backside.

"Get off the bike!" he bellowed at the smirking youths, who sat basking in the flashing blue light as though enjoying it.

They did as they were told, finally pulling free from the broken wing mirror, Fisher glared at them. They seemed to be in their late teens. The one who had been driving had long black hair, his insolent good looks reminded Fisher unpleasantly of his daughter's guitar-playing, layabout boyfriend. The second boy also had black hair, though his was short and stuck up in all directions; he wore glasses and a broad grin. Both were dressed in t-shirts emblazoned with a large golden bird; the emblem, no doubt, of some deafening, timeless rock band.

"No helmet!" Fisher yelled, pointing from one uncovered head to the other. "Exceeding the speed limit by-by a considerable amount!" (In fact, the speed registered had been greater than Fisher was prepared to accept that any motorcycle could travel.) "Failure to stop for the police!"
"We'd have loved to stop for a chat," said the boy in glasses,"only we were trying--"
"Don't get smart-you two are in a heap of trouble!" snarled Anderson. "Names!"
"Names?" repeated the long-haired driver."Er-Well, let's see. There's Wilberforce...Bathsheba...Elvendork..."

"And what's nice about that one is, you can use it for a boy OR a girl," said the boy in glasses.
"Oh, our names, did you mean?" asked the first, as Anderson spluttered with rage."You should've said! This here is James Potter, and I'm Sirius Black!"

"Things'll be seriously black for you in a minute, you cheeky little-"

But neither James nor Sirius was paying attention. They were suddenly as alert as gundogs, staring past Fisher and Anderson, over the roof of the police car, at the dark mouth of the alley. Then, with identical, fluid movements, they reached into their back pockets.
For the space of a heartbeat both policemen imagined guns gleaming at them, but a second later they saw that the motorcyclists had drawn nothing more than-
"Drumsticks?" jeered Anderson . "Right pair of jokers, aren't you? Right, we're arresting you on a charge of--"
But Anderson never got to name the charge. James and Sirius had shouted something incomprehensible, and the beams from the headlights had moved.

The policemen wheeled around, then staggered backwards. Three men were flying-actually flying- up the alley on broomsticks-and at the same moment, the police car was rearing up on its back wheels.
Fisher's knee bucked; as he sat down hard; Anderson tripped over Fisher's legs and fell on top of him, as flump-bang-crunch- they heard the mean on brooms slam into the suspended car and fall, apparently insensible, to the ground, while broken bits of broomstick clattered down around them.

The motorbike had roared into life again. His mouth hanging open, Fisher mustered the strength to look back at the two teenagers.
"Thanks very much!" called Sirius over the throb of the engine."We owe you one!"
"Yeah, nice meeting you!" said James. "And don't forget: Elvendork! It's unisex!"

There was an earth-shaking crash, and Fisher and Anderson threw their arms around each other in fright; their car had just fallen back to the ground. Now it was the motorcycle's turn to rear. Before the policemen's disbelieving eyes, it took off into thin air: James and Sirius zoomed away into the night sky, their tail light twinkling behind them like a vanishing ruby.

Friday, January 16, 2009


My last days of December 2008 was spent here at Cebu City with my youngest brother. He was given cash as Christmas gift by my mother to buy new shirts and a pair of jeans. So off we went visiting malls and searching for the best “fits” for him. After the hassle and bustle (roaming malls is not really my thing), we hurried to go rest in my room.

We had dinner at a nearby barbecue stall and went to my Ramos barkadas for some drinks of beer. Although my brother is still in high school, I allow him to accompany me with these gatherings because I believe that exposing him to “realities” of life will be better rather than restricting him to have drinks with other people. I think that the more we restrict youngsters with their “new-found vices”, the more it will drive them to be rebellious. I want my brother to discover new things with me and thus be guided on what's really right and wrong. Actually, I am also learning from the process of teaching him the more important aspects of life.

Although I haven't been to Church for a while, I made it a point that we attend the mass that day so that I can impart to my brother that going to church should be part of his Sunday (if not everyday) routine. So off we went to Sto. Rosario Church which I have grown to love back from my College days at USC. The reading that Sunday was about the Holy Family. And the officiating priest during his Homily simply called families who have eleven children with them at the mass. He called it sort of a "Bring Me" game and promised to give a price of P500 from his pocket. Since no one approached him with eleven children, he proceeded on to call: "families with 10 children- nobody came up the pulpit; families with 9 children- still nobody came up; 8 kids- nobody stirred; 7 kids- nobody came yet; 6 kids- still none; at the count of: “5 kids! Bring me five kids, with father and mother...” At last, a throng of kids moved in front of the altar with the youngest carried by the mother. The people clapped their hands and the family received the P500 gift which the priest doubled to P1,000 so that the whole family can go to Jollibee after the mass, as he said. He then continued on to preach that the purpose of his “bring-me game” is to encourage people to hear mass as a family.

“How many of you comes to mass with the whole family?” This question still rang in my ears as the priest gave us his last blessings when the mass ended. What with everyone's busy schedules, it is in fact very rare that my own family goes to Church together. I myself find some excuse every time my Mother asks us to accompany her to Church. I made a resolve then to make it often to mass. And thankfully enough, I haven't skipped Church for three consecutive Sundays now. Not yet, anyway. So the mass we attended that day was really enlightening not only for my brother but for me, as well.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pollyanna Book Review: Right On!

A good cousin asked me to write a review from any book for her English class. Because she's a good girl- a trait she obviously inherited from me, I gladly agreed despite my busy writing career. Aheem.

Pollyanna Book Review:

It may seem unsuitable to be reviewing a book with children as the main audience in a College Sophomore class. However, upon reading Pollyanna by Elizabeth H. Porter, I decided to feature it because of the universal theme it brings. People from all walks of life can readily relate to the simple game of life called, “The Glad Game” which Pollyanna has managed to infect to the inhabitants of Beldingsville, Vermont- the story's setting and where everything unfolded for the innocent life of our dear heroine, Pollyanna. Thus, this all-time favourite from Elizabeth H. Porter is able to appeal to all audiences, young and old alike. It encompasses a message which is relevant for every one's life all around the world.

With so many challenges these days, one can easily succumb to temptation and choose the easy way out. In fact, based on what I've observed most Filipinos specifically Cebuanos, are becoming shallower by the minute, choosing easy money rather than work hard for it. Young people for one, seems to be caught in the web of happy-go-lucky existence. Late night clubbing, drinking sessions, hanging out in malls and making aimless chatter with Barkadas are becoming a trend. One way or another, this has to stop. And I know each of us can contribute even with just small steps, in imparting values once again to the youth.

Moreover, the onset of the Internet greatly influence the way Filipinos think, act and shop, as well. It seems everybody is in a frenzy to buy the newest model of cellphones, clothing style and the latest accessories available. What every Filipino seems to be forgetting is how to be thankful for what they are given with. Being part of the youth, I know we can make a difference by deviating our interests to other money saving pursuits instead of getting "in" with the trend. Yes, we have our own struggles, what with the recent accumulation of economic crisis, but if we compare our present situation with that of other warring countries, the Philippines is definitely a safer place to live in. As long as we get to exercise our freedom of speech and of choice, indeed we are still lucky citizens. Therefore, the story of Polyanna is just right on time with our present Filipino lifestyle today.

Summary of chapters in order:
The plot mainly opens when Pollyanna arrived to her Aunt Polly's big house on the top of a hill. Nancy, the housekeeper feels guilty that the little girl's assigned room is no more than the attic of the house, as instructed by her mistress. No sooner than the new gal was bouncing with happiness despite the inconvenience of her situation. It is later found out that her life centers around the belief that there is always something to be glad about however hard and futile a situation is. This “Glad Game” was taught by her father when she wished to have dolls but got crutches instead through the missionary barrel. It encourages the players of the game to look for the advantages of a situation, rather than focusing on the negative side. The glad game is all about being contented with what you are given and just be happy with it.

Eventually, Polyanna transforms people around her and the way they see things. Much of it was due to “The Glad Game” which she effortlessly managed to introduce to the uneventful little New England neighbourhood. Although Aunt Polly was the most unyielding one to the Glad Game, she eventually softened up especially when she married her former lover, Dr. Chilton.

Pollyanna's never ending jovial mood was put to the test when she encountered an accident which left her legs paralysed. For days, she felt so down and cannot bring herself to think of things to be glad about. Fortunately, the neighbours she had helped before came steadily, visiting her in Aunt Polly's house. They keep encouraging Pollyanna not to lose hope because she had made a difference in their lives through her relentless optimism. Soon, she found strength to play the Glad Game again by thinking that at least, she used to have legs. ***

This is a story about the advantages of having a positive outlook of life. To always find ways to be glad despite difficult circumstances. Thus, this book should be read to kids the soonest they can understand it and to make young Cebuanos and Filipinos be aware of Polyanna. The lessons, kindness and respect as embodied by the good natured Polyanna should be instilled in children and everybody for that matter. It is just right to say that this book spans the test of time, age, religion and race. So, the next time an accident or drawback happens in your life, think again. Think of Pollyanna and her Glad Game. You might actually become good at playing it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Later is never late... :=)

The popular past time of everybody when New Year comes is to make resolutions. Since most of my resolutions in the past just bubbled out of thin air, I'm making it short this year. And that is, to write as many entries as I can here in this blog of mine. After all, being an avid thinker ought to have a lot to say about stuff, right? So, please bear with my late “entries" from last year. Here goes:

Moalboal Chrismas Party Outing:
(December 13, 2008)

Although still sleepy, I forced my body out of the bed to make a quick bath. My wristwatch read 7:15am. Assembly time is supposedly from 7:00-7:30am but I know I can still manage it. After all, we are still Filipinos, eh?
However, due to this manana habit, my Christmas party outing started out bad because when I reached the hired bus, all seats were already occupied and left me no choice but to sit near the bus' windshield which is beside the driver. Good for me, huh!
After two hours of a seemingly very long journey (the air conditioned bus was really slow), we finally arrive at HK Beach Resort, which our company rented for the duration of the overnight Christmas party. After settling ourselves at different assigned rooms, we had a sumptuous lunch of hot, crispy lechon which every body really savored especially since we are all hungry by that time. A short program followed with our in-house band and with some FP employees participating in the singing.
Nothing much happened except that I got a bad case of hangover even though I didn't drink beer with my normal dosage. So when night came for the Christmas party, I was just pretty crumpled in the writer's room suffering from headache and other hangover aches. Whew! What a way to celebrate a company Christmas outing. As they say, “Usab pa ka Briyce?” -- “Di na jd. Ka usa na lang!”

Blue Reef Outing:
(Some date on September)

Well, I can roughly summarize this outing into a few lines:

a) This is the day that the Katols manifested themselves into drunks, jealous guys, heart breakers as well as heart broken species in FP.
b) Talented employees really made their presence known during this company get together, too.
c) When this company outing finally ended and the time to go home came, one of my most memorable nights happened. You see, uhmmm... well... I'm running out of words here...
d) So, see you on the next post for our next company outing, a'right?-- *Winks!*