Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween’s Resolutions 2007


Last year at exactly November 1 I wrote an article called Halloween’s Resolutions which actually was the first blog entry in this Multiply site. I think I explained that my personal New Year is September and since the actual New Year that people celebrate is January I decided to make the “Compromise” New Year November, thus Halloween’s Resolution. I’ve just been busy the last few days and it is only now I’ve realized that my resolutions are 2 days late. But what were the Halloween’s Resolutions last year? How many of them came true? RECAP!
-         Write a fictional blog starting November
-         Dye my hair white
-         Read and finish foreign language novels
-         Do public service for my high school batch mates
-         Be more than just the average student
Unfortunately folks none of them came true. Actually some of them partially did but still it is a failure, hahaha.

Write a fictional blog starting November
            It did partially come true. I did publish two entries but I got tired when I was nearing the third. I am a frustrated writer. There are like a thousand concepts swimming in my head right now, all waiting to be immortalized maybe on paper, maybe online, maybe on screen! The problem is I think I don’t have the writing skills yet to write an effective novel or screenplay. I can’t even convincingly describe a simple object. Corny naman kung akin yung idea tapos iba pagsusulatin ko. Maybe someday it will come true, at the right time. If not, then I will just pitch the concepts somewhere just for them to be realized even if I don’t get the credit.

Dye my hair white
            There is no question about this. I will dye my hair white. The only point of contention is when it will be done. Now that there is an impending coup d’état within the host body no one really knows how long ihcahieh can put up a fight. If Dan the Wrathful wins, expect the white hair within 24 hours.  White hair + handy fireball = Dan the Wrathful, that’s his trademark. Unfortunately ihcahieh is still somehow standing strong amidst all the commotion (I don’t think he will ever give up until he sees a toga on the host body’s head) and of course another entity is also interested to take over. What I see here though is a compromise between the two competing entities. ihcahieh has just reached his expiration date. He will not last long. It all boils down to whose fashion statement will prevail, definitely not ihcahieh’s.

Read and finish foreign language novels
            I did finish Como Agua para Chocolate! As for Le Petit Prince and Veronica Decide Morrer there simply is no bookstore in this country that has original language versions. What am I to do? Maybe I’ll just read those when I get the time to visit Brazil or Paris but as of now I think it will all just be Isabel Allende and Gabriel Gárcia Marquez galore.

Do public service for my high school batch mates
            Batch mates! I have long wanted to go to Bene, meet a former teacher or two along with two batch mates, take pictures and videos of the new Bene and post it all here. The problem is I don’t have the necessary stuff to do it. I don’t have a camera. I don’t have time. I don’t even have your contact numbers. Maybe I could get to start next year but I won’t promise anything. I do miss high school but I have long established the fact that I could not go back and so I am not obsessed with it anymore. When the right time comes though my Multiply contacts will be the first one to see. Gusto ko na interview-hin si Ma’m Sharon!

Be more than just the average student
            Hello... This has been part of every birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s resolution for all of my life! What I’ve learned though is that you don’t really say this, you do it. The last two semesters I’ve had in UP have been abysmal. This coming semester would be my last regular semester before I bid UP goodbye and so whether or not I’ll redeem myself from the shameful descent of my academic career or plunge even deeper, I don’t really know. I think I will just wait and see. Besides if it won’t happen then it simply is not meant to be.

ihcahieh,
            You have been one lousy academically burned-out geek responsible for draining the life out of this host body. You have totally disregarded the fact that there are three of us here all wanting a fair share of the action. While we don’t discount your efforts to further improve the host as far as academic and extra curricular “intellectual” skills are concerned, we neither could ignore the fact that your selfish interests have eventually led to the boring life we are living right now. Depression and boredom, these are the two major concepts that govern your definition of life. Well surprise! You have cut my long comatose gig short. I’m awake now. After 193, no matter how cliché it might sound, I’ve figured it would be fun to be a Romantic for a change. We’re not here to think. We’re here to feel, live, be. I’ll be implementing reforms soon. It’s time to party.
Alfie

ihcahieh,
            Tapos na ang maliligayang araw mo. Nagsisimula pa lang ako pero umeepal ka pa rin. Pati ang pagju jiu jitsu ko sinasabotahe mo. I am delighted by the fact that you have squeezed learning German in our hectic schedule, pinasasalamatan kita dun pero tapos na. Sawa na kami. Pati yung comatose dito nagigising sa mga katarantaduhan mo. We all share the same goals and we agree with the ends that you are trying to meet but we don’t agree with your means. Kung gusto mo mamatay sa ka boring-an, tang ina ikaw na lang. Tig anim na buwan kami. Pababayaan ka pa rin namin sa mga trip mo sa buhay pero di na kami papayag na tira tirang oras na lang ang sa amin. Time’s up. Thank the freaking heavens that you still get to enjoy a little freedom we are willing to give you. You are outnumbered. Don’t fight it.

Dan the Wrathful

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pardon Me, I’m Just Corrupt


            RANT MODE: Hello contacts! I am a Political Science student and I’ve been planning to become a Foreign Service Officer. It has been the career aspiration I’ve been having for the longest time. But with recent happenings in our government I think I just want to become president, be corrupt to the nth degree and get pardoned after a month or two of being proven guilty. Besides, could there be an easier way of becoming a billionaire than this! Like one poster at Peyups said, our government is one big circus. I can’t begin to disagree.
            REPORT MODE: Former president Estrada, who has been proven guilty for Plunder (or BLUNDER as some pro-Erap KSP people in the streets have been saying, which by the way for them means Pambababae in Filipino) by the Sandiganbayan after a very looooooong trial, has been granted clemency (In short, pardon) by President Gloria Macapagal - Arroyo.
            A lot of people are pissed off and they have the right to be since the money involved is tax-payers’ money, the eternally Political Science 150-ish concept of public funds. If Erap plundered Gloria, which is impossible since Plunder has a unique definition, it would have been okay. Ano bang pakialam natin kung mag Plunder-an silang dalawa? Kung dun sila maligaya e di suportahan. But of course that is not the case. What happens now to the billions (or is it just millions? Whatever, still a very big amount to pocket!) that Erap took home?
            Of course we could link this again to the various scandals plaguing Malacañang. Maybe by giving Erap pardon it could somehow divert the attention of the people? Oh crap so it is politics again, just like Glorietta! The Glorietta bombing was a government destabilization plot! The Glorietta Bombing turns out to be not a bombing incident in the first place. Even if the Glorietta incident was a bombing or not and it was just made political in nature I think this issue is different. There is no question here, there’s obviously politicking involved since unlike the Glorietta “accident” where methane is being blamed as the cause, there simply can’t be any methane or accident involved in this Pardon-Erap decision. It’s not as if PGMA was walking in the Malacañang gardens one night and accidentally pardoned Erap while emitting methane from her ass. Tipong Oh My God I pardoned Erap! It was an accident! Hindi ko sinasadya. Shet!
            It’s simply unjust, this decision. Just when you thought corruption has finally been dealt with in this country you’re forced to think otherwise. I remember Winnie Monsod’s enthusiasm while lecturing on corruption in our Econ class. She said that at last a big fish was caught! There finally was hope for the betterment of our country! Erap has been proven guilty! The justice system still works! Other corrupt officials would soon be caught! And then this.
Now Erap recognizes Gloria as the legitimate president. Now Erap would be coming home to San Juan, may motorcade pa nga ata. I bet the Bilibid inmates are disappointed. Magiging kakosa na sana nila si Erap, napurnada pa. With figures based on recent surveys our country actually has two political leaders as official entries on the top ten most corrupt in the world list. Ferdinand Marcos is second to Suharto while Erap is somewhere between eight and ten. We are also among the most corrupt countries in the world. Do you hate that? You better deal with it because we’re definitely going to stay on that list.

Friday, October 19, 2007

To Those Responsible for the Glorietta Bombing


          RANT MODE: Putang ina ninyong lahat. Alam niyo bang maraming tao ang naggagala sa Glorietta ha? E ako madalas ako maggala dun ng ganyang oras e tapos magpapasabog kayo ng C4 mga hinayupak kayo. Kung mga terorista man ang may pakana nito, leche kayong lahat. Kainin sana kayo ng lupa. Kung Malacañang man may pakana nito leche rin kayo. Kung gusto niyo magbombahan ng mga taga Senado at Kongreso kayo kayo na lang wag niyo na kami idamay mga pakshet kayo. Mga inggitero talaga kayo. Ano nainggit naman kayo sa Benazir Bhutto incident sa South Asia ha? Mga kumag kayo.
            REPORT MODE: As of press time it has been reported that 86 people have been injured and 8 are dead in a blast that happened in Glorietta 2, a mall in Makati City. Red Alert has been raised all over Metro Manila and people have already been advised not to visit the site of the explosion so proper investigation could take place (In short ang dami na namang UZI.) The people responsible for the investigation including AFP chief I-Forgot-What-His-Name-Is have already ruled out gas leak as the cause of the explosion. It has been reported on the other hand on some news programs that a C4 bomb was the cause of the explosion.
            Various speculations are now arising from the issue. Detractors of the Arroyo government are linking the blast to Malacañang as a diversionary tactic, a drastic attempt by the palace to create something to talk about which the president could “turn her attention to” as to divert public attention from the various scandals plaguing the Arroyo administration. The said scandals include bribery involving local officials with some even saying that the president herself hands out the bribes personally at times.
            The possibility of a terrorist attack on the contrary has not been overlooked. Investigation is still ongoing. Knowing how KSP our local terrorists are we are almost sure that most of them will raise their hands to confirm being behind this attack. People are advised to stay away from malls for the mean time. While the main purpose of terrorism is to scare people and disrupt regular daily activities and staying away from malls is like letting terrorism win we cannot discount the fact that if it happens to you or someone you know you’ll actually find this argument as bullshit. So let’s not be theoretical about this okay. Just forego your mall lurking habit for a day or two. You can watch TV for the mean time or reflect on how your life has been a pain in the ass lately. It’s your choice.
            Anyway MAKATI MED (which has a very special place in my heart, ahem, ahem) is quite full with patients lately given that patients from Ospital ng Makati have been transferred there (So I’ve heard) so be careful, you don’t want to add to the volume of patients there. Traffic will also be massive more or less because of this. If you work in the Makati Business District the best you can do is to avoid the Glorietta malls block. I think it has not been cleared yet so avoid it if you can so proper investigation could go on and to lessen the volume of people there (Kung marami pa ring UZI.) For those callboys and callgirls (Call Center peeps) contact you bosses. As for our case we would all be working from home today so as not to go to Makati anymore, battle traffic or risk another bomb incident (Who knows...) Your company might have the same rationale, won’t hurt to check.

Summarizing College Chapter 1: Transfer Galore


On the month of April 2002 my world crashed. High School graduation was near and I’ve just received a rejection letter. Well it wasn’t really a rejection letter to begin with. It was a letter in a green envelope from a university in Taft Avenue, Manila saying that my scholarship application had been disapproved. I qualified for their financial assistance program but it turned out that there were other freshmen that needed the financial help more than I did. The UPD rejection letter already arrived two months before. Now that was the real rejection letter to the tune of “We are sorry that your UPG didn’t make it to the cutoff of the Diliman campus, blablabla.”
I had no other choice. Just a month to go and the next school year would begin. I only did apply for admission in two universities. I was and maybe to some extent still am a frustrated Green Archer. I wasn’t really a Fighting Maroon wannabe; just happened that the tuition fee was affordable and so I applied. Never did I aspire to be a Blue Eagle. Not only is their tuition fee obscenely high but there campus is also far from home. It was “Go Green Archers! Animo La Salle!” from the very beginning. That didn’t happen and I’m just glad it didn’t.
It turned out fate had a different plan for me but I would not realize it until a year after. And so you might ask, “Where did I spend my first year of college?” The answer is simple, in the building across my high school building. At first it seemed like déjà vu but when I finally realized that I wasn’t dreaming I found myself in that building wearing a St. Benedict College – CAS uniform. Hello San Beda Alabang. Welcome one of your most loyal students ever!
Of the eleven cousins in the family including myself, 8 of us spent our elementary and high school days in a school in Alabang Hills called St. Benedict College which was formerly known as the Benedictine Abbey School but now known as San Beda College Alabang. If there ever is a school whose hobby is changing names then this would be it. That’s why when you ask the older cousins in the family where they studied they would tell you Benedictine Abbey School (BAS). When you ask our generation we would tell you St. Benedict College (SBC). And when you ask the last cousin to graduate in that school he will tell you San Beda College Alabang (Tama ba, Gino?)
Why did I not like to spend college at SBC – CAS? I could give you a couple of reasons that you would easily understand. In 2003 I have already spent a total of 11 years in Alabang Hills. When I was in PREP it was called the Benedictine Abbey School. My uncle would drive me and another cousin to school using that red pick-up (Yihee reminiscing...). I would cling tight on the iron railings surrounding the gates of the BAS preschool just so my uncle would not leave me. The teachers, with the help of the ever reliable guard, would have to use pliers to get my hands off the railing so I could finally attend class (Okay, the pliers part was a joke) after which I would cry like there is no tomorrow. Surprise, surprise! I hated school. I bet you never thought I did. Well, surprise. And so that is reason number one. Hello, 11 years and 4 more? Ano ito loyalty award? In that one year in SBC-CAS I did not take the school bus because it was so “high school” but it would have been more convenient for me if I did. The “college” feel wasn’t there.  I felt that it was high school all over again, just in another building.
Reason number two is also simple. I did not like the way some of the courses were handled. I specifically have one IT instructor in mind who just did not have the authority figure. Once the students asked him, “Sir i-dismiss niyo na kami, McDonald’s na lang tayo!” and he did. Of course I was happy too, McDonalds e, ALABANG TOWN CENTER na ito! Later I just realized that I didn’t like that. Of course I am not making a generalization about the whole SBC-CAS faculty. A couple of years have already passed and things could be different now. Besides, I only spent a year there so I have no right whatsoever to generalize on the competence of the faculty. Also there were subjects that I took which were handled very well and to some extent even better than the way some UPD subjects are handled. I think it just depends on the professor. It might sound ambitious of me but I wanted to transfer to Diliman, and I did.
I think I would just have to mention though that the one year I’ve spent in SBC-CAS was the best year of my life in terms of SOCIALIZING with the student population. I became part of a large group of friends in the Information Technology block. Yes, my course was IT. We went to Alabang Town Center and Festival Mall on Fridays (Friday is the SBC-CAS equivalent of a UPD Wednesday). We made fun of instructors and professors with me almost always on the lead. My social life that is in a coma right now was very much alive and kicking until I transferred to UPD. So what does this mean? Does your social life die when you enter UPD? Well not necessarily but mine did and it was my choice so no one really is to blame but myself.
When I was in my third year in high school I chose the Medical Science career track. We skeletonized cats and dissected chickens. During those times the smell of Alcogel at lunch time became a scent that eventually saved you your lunch money considering the fact that MED SCI classes were almost always near lunch time. When I ran into one of my MedSci teachers during a school procession in that one year I’ve spent at SBC-CAS she asked me, “O ano na ang course mo ngayon?” I answered Information Technology. She replied, “Di bale SCIENCE pa rin naman yun, Computer SCIENCE” and then we laughed.
I loved writing when I transferred to UPD. I erroneously associated this hobby to Journalism which finally became my course when I entered UPD. I have decided to finally transfer to Diliman. I had an unconscious feeling of rebellion against my parents deep inside me back then. Unconsciously I blamed them for what happened to my college life. Daydreaming of what could have and should have been became a past time. There was that sense of revulsion. Why can’t they enroll me at DLSU? Why should I be stuck at SBC-CAS? I was ambitious and I knew it. I had to prove a point. If they won’t find a way to get me out of SBC-CAS then I will. It was as if I was challenging my parents without them even knowing it. DLSU is no longer a possibility that time. It was UPD, then or never.
I passed all the necessary documents. My GWA at SBC-CAS was around 1.49, just enough to guarantee a passport to UPD. Of the courses open to transferees European Languages was the easiest target just to get in. One only needed a 1.5 GWA and an interview. For Journalism one needed a 1.5 and a written exam. Between an interview and a written exam I think the former is a better shot. I placed EL as my primary choice, a safe choice. Journalism was second. I took the exam. I passed. I forgot all about EL until a year after...
UPD was not the place I expected it to be. UPD had some sort of a geeky reputation. People said that students there resembled calculators. Of course that is not true unless you are in the Math building. I thought all the professors would be oldies who hated the world. I’ve encountered some of them but believe me, they are not the only members of the very large and diverse UPD faculty. The university is so... different. People don’t walk around the oval reading books or doing geeky stuff like I thought. That’s when I realized finally that UPD is UPD, the right mix of the geeky and the social. UPD is a liberated world far from SBC-CAS where students were not allowed to wear white socks, apply hair gel nor have their heads shaved. UPD was a different world of which I became part.
UPD also has its fair share of bitches who hate transferees. Before the feminists react violently let me clear it out why I singled out the female gender. In my almost four years of stay at UPD I have never encountered a male student who maligned transferees but females slandering transferees, yes. Fortunately for us we don’t get branded on the forehead with the word TRANSFEREE, giving us the luxury to blend in with the crowd and freely observe the conceited UPCAT PASSERS (as they proudly call themselves) without them noticing.
There was one of them who rabidly hated transferees. Maybe a transferee bit her or something; hence she became a rabid transferee hater. She was very vocal and even name dropped schools ranging from Assumption to San Beda. “E paano naman kasi ang tataas magbigay ng grades sa Assumption tiyaka sa ibang schools, e di siyempre tatanggapin sila rito paglipat nila.” I don’t even want to recall the litany of bull crap that she mentioned. I am just thankful that my face just had and still has a uniformly catatonic expression that hides the real emotions I feel inside. She never asked me if I was a transferee, maybe she never thought I was because if she knew I bet she wouldn’t be so vocal.
What lesson did I learn from this experience? Some UPD students see the UPCAT as a one-time examination that determines their over-all performance in their 4 or 5 years of stay in the university. They almost forget that it is just a one-time qualifying exam to get them in and that it does not automatically make them oh so supercalifragilisticexpialidociously better than the “Others” that they could just sit their asses down, badmouth transferees, and expect 1.0’s to fall down from heaven. In short these people are so conceited they think they have the license to judge the intellect of other people in relation to their passing of the UPCAT. This is the part where you smile after the slander is committed and slap the bitch with your transcript by virtue of your imagination.
Does anybody ever FAIL the UPCAT? If you fail the UPCAT then you should go back to your high school and hand out leaflets with a picture of your science teacher and a caption maligning his or her intellect. What’s my point? I think nobody ever fails the UPCAT. It is just that not everybody makes the cut to enter the UP campus of their choice. If my figures are correct 70,000+ students take the UPCAT every year and only 4,000+ are accepted. If the 66,000+ actually failed the UPCAT (as in their grades for the exam didn’t even reach 60%) then God help our high school educational system. This is what they call FAILING the UPCAT, which in my opinion is demeaning because it is not true. To cut the long story short YES I am a transferee and my 2.5 UPG didn’t make the cut but here I am doing English class with you and in the end I even got a better grade. Bitch.
Journalism was fun for the first year. The Journalism professors are brilliant specially Prof. Luis Teodoro (Yihee favorite...) I did have one problem though: I did not fare well writing straight news. The type of writing that I loved when I decided to transfer to UPD is the kind of writing that you would see in this blog. It was blog writing all along, opinion writing. In writing straight news you would do better not editorializing unless you want a file of libel cases on your desk first thing in the morning. And because in the first two years of the Journalism curriculum one can only take three Journalism courses (each one is a prerequisite of the next) then it also took me almost two years to finally decide I wanted out. What made me decide to shift out? Well, a lot of things.
On my second semester at UPD I had this classmate who was and I think still is a European Languages major. He was studying German as his major and Portuguese as his minor. When he talked about his course I listened, which is very weird considering that I don’t usually interact with anyone in the classroom unless the conversation is of real interest to me. I asked him about his plans. Back then the EL program seemed more like a joke to me. Okay, you study German and then what? When you graduate you become fluent in German, you go to Germany maybe and then what? Talk to the people there? Is that a job? It seemed like a pretty unstable career path for me. It was more like a leisure course for rich kids rather than a “real” career. For me EL was flawed as a career track but I could never deny that the idea of learning a foreign language and using it as a form of livelihood was and still is very appealing.
Halfway through my second year in UPD the family had to abruptly migrate to Malaysia. I was already thinking of transferring to EL before it happened. In fact I already made a FAILED ATTEMPT to transfer to EL. Journalism suddenly became boring and as I said I already wanted out. EL was the only other logical course. Now I’m the kind of person who depends greatly on snap decisions. One morning in April 2004, after a full year in UPD I woke up and told myself: “I will transfer to the Department of European Languages!” It was too late. The period for shifting already elapsed. I was stuck for one more year in the College of Mass Communications.
I gave it a chance. Maybe I would learn to love Journalism once more. The desire to transfer however could not be denied and like a drug addict hungry for pot I started smuggling European Languages courses in the highly anti-foreign language Journalism curriculum. The Broadcast Communication majors have at least 3 units of foreign language elective. Why don’t we Journalism majors have one? We write articles for heaven’s sake! They just read from Teleprompters. What do they need a foreign language for?
I successfully pre-enlisted French 10, 11, German 10, and 11 thanks to CRS but since the advisers felt “obliged” to be concerned about the interest of the department they did not allow me to take the classes. “You can take courses outside the curriculum on summer term,” the college secretary said. Yeah right, bite me. I smuggled Spanish 10 for the first semester of the second year, slowly but surely, one subject now, two subjects next semester. I was able to smuggle Spanish 12 and 13 when second semester came (I actually skipped Spanish 11, taray!) And then the Malaysia Migration chapter came into being. Everything was on a standstill. Academics, which was the only life I had, went on a coma.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Monday, October 8, 2007

JIU JITSU JOURNAL 1: Kimono! Memoirs of a Geisha?


            “Wala kayong kimono?” the instructor asked.
            “Kimono? Ano ‘to Memoirs of a Geisha?” I answered. Of course I did not. Would I risk losing a limb after being mauled by our instructor on the first day for being sarcastic? Of course not! My brother and I attended the first day wearing jogging pants because we do not have the kimono yet which is also called a Gi (pronounced “gee”). It is different from a Tae Kwon Do uniform in that it is thicker because you actually use it to grab your opponent.
            Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a modification of the original Japanese martial art. It developed in Brazil, which is why it’s called Brazilian, the logic of which is similar to why Makati Med is called as such. In this type of martial art your main purpose is to mount your opponent, which means you have to immobilize him or her until submission is reached. The mount is kind of weird and funny because at first glance it looks like a scene from a porno movie.
            We started with warm ups and since we are new to this sport we just tagged along and imitated the rest. There were around 11 of us, two of which I assume were the instructors since they were the ones who taught us the basics. They started jogging around the room and so we started jogging too. They started galloping and so we started galloping as well. I was giggling because I thought the situation was funny. Here I am almost done with all the “work and no play” life I’ve been in and now I am galloping with people I barely know.
When they started rolling on the floor head first I stopped giggling. Okay? Now that’s fun! After a few cartwheels and semi back flips the warm up was done. It was still funny because my brother was looking at me as if trying to ask me “Do we really have to do that?!” He did it anyway.
            Some floor exercises were next in line where we did the usual stretching stuff. We were divided into partners and of course my brother was my partner. Your partner pushes you until you reach your stretching limit. He kept on asking me, Kaya mo pa ba?” to which I responded, “Kaya ko yan no, ako pa! Contortionist ‘to no.” After the stretching the others started tackling each other.
            Since we are new we were taught how to mount each other at first and how to prevent getting overthrown by the opponent. If you are the one being mounted your ultimate goal is to escape. If you are the one mounting your ultimate goal is to immobilize the other one. It was kind of boring. Since we don’t have our uniform yet we can’t really grab and try to strangle one another. What’s fun is that it seems very normal to say, “Sakalin mo nga ako dali,” and “Sige nga try mo baliin yung braso ko.” Fun! I think the best lesson of the day was on how to try and dislocate the arm of the person you are mounting. Did I say fun? Fun!
            If you are into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for self defense I suggest you do Muay Thai instead. I think the chance of getting shot by an armed holdaper is actually higher than your chance of getting him to the ground to dislocate his shoulder. On the contrary I recommend this sport to all rapists out there. Since most of the action is done on the ground I think the techniques will be very effective. I’m not encouraging rape. I just can’t find any practical application for this sport. But it’s fun anyway. You don’t actually harm your opponent; just get him or her to surrender. Passive in a way. Pictures next week. =p

Friday, October 5, 2007

Desperate Housewives Controversy -- Desperately OA

REFRESHER: In the pilot episode of the latest season of Desperate Housewives Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher) visits her gynecologist (Nathan Filion, think Buffy the Vampire Slayer) who says that Susan might already be approaching menopause. Susan retorts with this line:

Can I just check those diplomas because I just want to make sure that they are not from some med school in the Philippines

First of all let me clarify that I have stopped watching Desperate Housewives when season 1 ended because their idea of a storyline started to revolve more on the "Oh-the-neighbor-is-hiding-some-dirty-little-secret-in-her-backyard" storyline which was fun at first but became redundantly abused in the following seasons. While some people argue that that's the premise of living in suburbia anyway, well sorry but I find it boring. On the contrary after this controversy I suddenly missed Edie and Bree and now I want to watch again, hehehe!

Let us clarify first the object of the joke. While most people imply that Filipino doctors were the ones maligned they are actually mistaken. Susan wanted to check the doctor's diploma because she wanted to make sure they did not come from some med school in the Philippines. In short yes, she was implying that the doctor is inferior in a sense but we should not forget that the doctor is American. The object of the joke here is not Filipino doctors per se but MEDICAL SCHOOLS in the Philippines. I think many people got confused with this one because in many online forums I noticed that they are actually defending Filipino doctors.

In a way they are correct to do so but the direct assault was towards the system of education here in the Philippines. While it could be argued that Filipino doctors are mostly the ones who graduate from Filipino med schools, it does not discount the fact that there are foreigners (a handful perhaps) who also graduate from our med schools. In short defending Filipino doctors in this issue is a little bit unjust because the issue is not them but the QUALITY of education offered in our med schools, which caters mostly for Filipinos but not mainly to them. Gets? In short quality of education is the issue. Filipinos should be defending our med schools, not our doctors because in the first place there was no Filipino doctor present in that particular episode.

Why are Filipinos reacting? Of course we will react although a lot are blowing the issue out of proportion already. It is NORMAL for us to react. If my figures are correct Filipinos are only second to Mexicans when it comes to immigration figures in the US both legal and illegal. Of course they will react, and of course we back here in the Philippines are mostly KSP so we react with them as well (hahaha!) Let's play another scenario where instead of Philippines Susan mentions Malaysia. Considering that only a handful Malaysians are in the US compared to the number of Filipinos there I don't think this will even be an issue. How the Malaysians in Malaysia will react I don't know. Do they even watch Desperate Housewives there to give a damn?

So am I justifying this act as long as the Philippines is not the object of the joke? No, I am not. I am just stating a fact. Filipinos in the US are reacting because there's a significant number of them there and to them the joke sounds "racist." We are reacting here because they are insinuating that our medical schools suck, which makes them a nation of dumbasses because if our medical schools here suck then why is their healthcare system comprised mostly of Filipinos? But of course we should not generalize, Susan is really dumb enough to begin with and it's unfair to generalize that every single American mom is dumb just because Susan is, which leads us to one of the defense arguments.

If you have watched the show religiously (I have not) a lot of people are actually in a consensus that the Susan character is stupid. In the one season that I have seen Desperate Housewives I think I actually agree. And so these people actually see the joke differently. They see it as a joke on Susan herself. Come to think of it, she is almost always clueless. That's why I adore Edie because she always succeeds in making Susan look dumb. In short if you are one of these people you actually see it as a joke on Susan herself, another product of her stupidity and being clueless all the time.

If you have been watching the news lately you will see that this issue has been blown out of proportion. It's all over the news and even in the country's leading broadsheets. I understand this reaction because more than anything else we are just trying to protect the integrity of our educational system. Desperate Housewives is seen all over the world through cable television. If you are a teenager in Estonia and you don't even know that the Philippines exist and then you hear this comment more or less you will automatically assume that the statement is true. That's where the sad part comes in. And this is what some people should understand.

Some people who are not actually defending the show but are not criticizing it either are now crying hypocrisy. Why this sudden uproar just because a "racist" remark has been made in American television? Don't we Filipinos make fun of people from the provinces in our own entertainment industry? When a person from the Visayas or from Mindanao is portrayed on TV, don't we also have a lot of stereotypes for them, which we turn into offensive jokes? Then why all of a sudden are we reacting this way? Hypocrisy? I guess not.

I have already explained in the paragraph above the last one that Desperate Housewives is seen all over the world because of America's cultural hegemony. Go to China and you'll see pirated dubbed versions of Friends there. As for our local shows, where we make fun and stereotype our very own countrymen, they are only seen here in the Philippines. Yes there's TFC but mostly Filipinos watch that channel. Yes there are foreigners watching but I don't think there are many of them and I don't think they understand Filipino anyway. Point? Yes we make fun of our own people but we DO KNOW that it is a joke.

Like I said, if you are a person in some far flung country who have no idea that the Philippines even exist then more likely you are to take the joke as truth. In our local showbiz industry this practice is noticeable. I am not endorsing it but I think you would agree with me when I say that although we laugh at those jokes we know that they are not true. If you laugh at those jokes on local TV and think that they are true then I think you are mentally challenged. Point again? I don't think this reaction is hypocrisy but yes, I think it is overreaction.

When politicians start making sawsaw in an issue such as this automatically it becomes complicated. You then sit in one corner to regret having voted for them. When a senator suggests that you refrain from watching this show so that its ratings will go down and no one will watch it anymore you should think twice before following her advice. First of all the TV network that airs this show does not even get at least 5% of the total nationwide ratings. Go to your local palengke and ask the galunggong vendor what her opinion is about this issue. Let's see if your chance of getting an answer would be higher than that of bringing home a plastic bag of fish for dinner.

Even if you ban this show or refrain from watching it I don't think the producers would even say "Ouch." But you would definitely help the pirates at EDSA and Shaw Boulevard earn more profit. If you ban this show from Philippine TV then those counterfeiters will have a monopoly on everything Desperate Housewives. Be considerate. Chairman Edu has a lot of shows already. How do you expect him to go after all those pirates!

But surely it will be a strong statement that we take these things seriously. I just hope the Americans would see it that way because they might see us instead as balat-sibuyas or pikon. In fact one Internet post says that the joke was directed to us because the producers of the show know that we are peace and fun loving people. The author of the post even added that if they insulted a country in the Middle East instead Teri Hatcher (who some politicians actually call Teri Thatcher... Margaret? Hahaha!) would be dead in a month. Funny.

Another funny thing is how we make opportunities out of a controversy like this. The person who started the online petition for an apology even suggested that the producers of the show give out scholarships to Filipinos aspiring to enter the healthcare profession. I just find it funny. Ang oportunista ng dating, honestly. Malay niyo nga naman totohanin, lol.

Okay this article has been long enough. Final words... Politicians please do your f*cking jobs. Don't make sawsaw in this issue because it has been blown way out of proportion already. Lahat na lang kayo gusto makisawsaw. I suggest you hold a special senate session about this, about a week or a month if you must. Legislate a law about it if you want while other issues that really need to get tackled continue to go unnoticed just because you actually find a stupid TV joke as higher priority. Ang eepal ninyong lahat.

Yes we have the right to react but do not overreact. Move on already. If you want to teach those inconsiderate Americans a lesson then convince all Filipinos in the US healthcare system to all be absent just for one day. Let's see how that would wreak havoc in their healthcare system even just for a day. And then after that, move on na. It's just TV. And I think anyone on Earth who has ever encountered a skilled and amiable Filipino healthcare worker would actually see it as just that, a tasteless unnecessary joke from the mind of a mental-blocked screenwriter trying to make a once interesting show appealing once again. Did he or she succeed? Apparently. I even made a 1,750+ word essay about it.

Negative publicity is still publicity.

=p

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pilipinas, Game KNB?




We taped the episode just this morning (Monday, August 27, 2007). It will air TOMORROW, Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 11:30 AM at ABS-CBN. Why should you watch it? Well for one thing how many contestants that you personally know actually reach the 1 million peso jackpot round? Besides I have always been this uptight boring person that I am. Have you ever seen me dance? What about seeing me dance a crazy dance called PAPAYA? What about seeing me dance a crazy dance called Papaya SOLO? That’s for tomorrow folks. =)
When Edu Manzano asks you to enumerate hospitals both private and public in Manila and Quezon City and you give him an unbelievable first answer such as Makati Med people will view that as stupidity.  However for me I don’t view that as such because I know stupidity is not the reason, it simply wasn’t meant to be. If I managed to outmaneuver three moms, a UST student, and a 1-day champion how the hell did I come up with a MAKATI Med answer when it was clearly stated in the question that they are looking for Manila and QC hospitals. I don’t know. For lack of better reason I think my reason holds at least for me. It simply wasn’t meant to be.

If you look like a nerd in real life you should take advantage of it when joining game shows. Walking in a dressing room dressed like a walking Encyclopedia Britannica instills fear in the hearts of vulnerable opponents specially when they are middle-aged moms with low self-esteem. You could actually use it as an indirect way of attacking their concentration and the good thing about it is that you don’t get blamed for it. You don’t get blamed because for one it is not your fault that you look like a nerd and two it is not your fault that people are actually judging you based on how you look, hence creating their own ghosts that they shouldn’t really be afraid of.
Being a student from UPD has its perks. It is common knowledge that we do get first preference when applying for jobs. Some people don’t see it as that. My challenge is GET REAL! It does happen. Unfortunately in joining game shows if you could hide the fact that you are from UPD you will be safe. If not, prepare to suffer the consequences and I tell you, consequences could be nasty. Just one thing: If something is for you nothing can prevent it from happening.
Of course there is the first round where there are ten of you. A “roleta” is flashed on the electronic board. It will stop in a category then the second row will stop with a letter. Your answer must be in that category starting with that first letter. A Letter B for characters starring in the Simpsons movie is quite easy. “Bart Simpson!” I shouted. I was the second one to qualify. The secret in this round is good eye and hand coordination. Your eyes must be fixed on the board. Once a category is selected you must already think of the universe of that category. Once the letter flashes the answer should already be on your head and your hand should already be in the sensor in front of you. If you get that right, you are in and that’s where the fun begins.
Out of the three guys in the Round of Ten elimination I was the only one who made it to the second round of 5. All of them were girls. Three were mothers of different age groups while the other one was a Med Tech student from UST. I was second in line. Edu introduced first the mother on my left who got in first and then after that it was me.
When Edu was finally in front of me he asked me, “Mukhang ninenerbiyos ka?” I replied, “Yes, maginaw po kasi.” He joked back, “A kaya ka ninenerbiyos dahil sa ginaw.” Then that’s when he went to one of the production assistants and asked for his jacket. He put the jacket on me and the crowd jokingly teased, “Uy, yihee...” It was weird because the jacket was so big for me but it did help me concentrate. I’m the kind of person who would die first if you put me on board the Titanic. I wouldn’t die in the water. I would die before reaching the water because of extreme cold. Ginawin ako, in short.
¿Cómo te llamas?” was his first question. I didn’t know that Edu could speak Spanish. I adit I was caught off guard. And so I replied with “Me llamo Alfredo. Me llamo Dan Alfred pero cuando hablo español me llamo Alfredo.” It would have pained a former professor to hear me overkill the verb “llamarse” but like I said I was caught off guard. He continued. I barely remembered if he asked where I lived or with whom I live but I remember that I answered, “Vivo con mi hermano. Mis pa, mis padres están en el extranjero.” (I live with my brother. My parents are abroad.) After that I think he stopped. He just commended my Spanish. I was actually kind of embarassed not by Edu but by the fact that until now I can’t seem to sustain a simple impromptu Spanish conversation. I also told him that I worked part-time in a call center once as a Spanish speaking agent and he told me that we make more than other call center agents do. I did not contradict him because it is true.

Then we talked about my plans. I told him that I was in Journalism first and that when I realized that I wasn’t good in writing straight news that was also the time when I fell in love with the Spanish language leaving myself torn between EL and Pol Sci. He asked me what year I am in and I replied “6th year technically.” That’s when the whole “I did not fail the UPCAT” fiasco came up.
The jacket turned out to be a lucky jacket. I think I was able to answer the first question and then it was smooth sailing until I reached the last step. That’s when someone got a correct answer and then the crowd went wild cheering the woman to make me ATRAS and she did. The second time I got to reach the last step another contestant managed to get an answer right and pulled me back again. The third time was of course quite nerve-wracking already. How do you advance when all of them are against you? This is where the UPD game show stigma comes in. I just kept on taunting the audience that I am really the one meant to dance PAPAYA in front. If you get to cross the line first you are obliged to dance Papaya whether you like it or not. I just used that as a handle to keep myself psyched. I was already having doubts. I was just able to hang on because of one constant thought in my head, “If I am meant to cross that line I will be able to cross it no matter who or what comes my way.” It did work. I crossed the line second and then the crowd remembered my battle cry. I was asked to dance Papaya solo in front. When you are in front of national TV, super nervous with the knowledge that the whole world is watching (Hello TFC) doing a little crazy dance and losing all your jitters does help. Besides I was already on national TV. I just took advantage of the fifteen seconds of fame.
After that round I was already more confident. What else had I got to lose? I think I already lost my dignity dancing the Papaya in front with the whole world watching, hehehe. The defending winner was called in front and she chose a category called, “At Home.” This is the trickiest part of the program, the Challenge round. The categories are simply hard to figure out. It turned out that we were to give the 20 Most Populous Provinces in the Philippines. I admitted on air that, “Bobo ako s Philippine Geography.” Ask me the capital of Zimbabwe. Ask me to enumerate all the countries in Europe. I could do that but ask me this? I don’t even know what the difference is between a city and a province in this country. Is Cavite a province? Is it a city? I have no idea! I just remembered that there is region called CaLaBaRZon. Maybe those are provinces. And so I prepared my bets in my brain, come what may. I only had three: Laguna, Cavite, and Bulacan. I answered Laguna and it was correct. And then the other two players answered wrong. That’s when I realized that I didn’t need Cavite and Bulacan anymore. I tried in vain to give Edu all the 20 provinces but I failed.
Of course what comes last is the million peso jackpot round. There are eight categories to be flashed on screen and you have ten seconds to look at it. The categories were actually “friendly” to me because I saw European Cuisine there along with another one called Flags of the World. Unfortunately it was the John Travolta Films category that got chosen. Before I knew I was asked to supply three letters. Instead of another letter I chose letter G as my third letter at the last moment. because I remembered the John Travolta category. If there is one Travolta flick that I know that would be GREASE. And then that category popped out.


Again I openly admitted that I am not a John Travolta fan and that I barely know any movie of his. When the clock started ticking I went straight to letter G and shouted “GREASE!” followed by a “Sure na!” In the little thinking time that I had I knew that there is another John Travolta film called FACE-OFF, the cover of which I remember well from our pirated VCD collection. I forgot that when I came to letter F and so I skipped that and went to another letter. Suddenly a vision flashed in my mind that of a movie poster with Uma Thurman seated on a couch. There’s a lot of gold in that poster and John Travolta was in it! I tried my best to remember the title and then it hit me. The title was “BE COOL! Sure na!” After that I remembered FACE OFF. And then of course since Uma Thurman already helped me with the Be Cool answer I remembered another film where the two of them starred together. Who could ever forget PULP FICTION? “Sure na!”
In the end the four answers I supplied were all correct. “Not bad for someone who is not a John Travolta fan,” Edu said. I too was quite impressed with that. I’m still wondering where all those movies came from. Well the answer could have very well been in the dark corners of my brain, pieces of useless information waiting to be utilized. I didn’t have an answer for A. Of course John Travolta had a cameo in Austin Powers in Goldmember. He was Goldmember in the movie version of Austin’s life story. The other letter was S. Saturday Night Fever was a popular movie (I think) but not as popular for my memory during that moment. He drew out six envelopes containing each of the six letters on the board. Having 4 correct answers the probability was high that I would get the computer showcase. I did.
Celebrities played in the next episode. They were the cast of the upcoming movie My Kuya’s Wedding. Of course Maja Salvador was there and I couldn’t help but stare at her. Aside from winning the million I must admit that the other thing that drove me to strive to get to the next episode was to see Maja and snap a picture with her. Too bad it did not happen. Maja didn’t get past the first round and I was afraid to withdraw my camera and approach her because I thought it was prohibited. (The contract says no mobile phones in the studio, it didn’t say NO CAMERAS, but I was just playing safe.) She had already gone after my challenge round.
Kitkat and IC Mendoza (Inday Badiday’s gay grandchild) were the ones who made it through the challenge round. They were both friendly. They both made beso to me when I went up the stage and talked a little asking me how long I have been the defending champion. It’s just too bad I didn’t take a picture with them. I chose the category. I was torn between “Who’s the Boss” and “In Sickness.” I chose the latter because I thought it would be a question about diseases or illnesses. I was wrong. When the hospital question flashed on screen I was already a little disoriented and like I said in the first few paragraphs the first two hospitals that popped in my head were Makati Med and St. Luke’s, completely disregarding the fact that the category was asking for hospitals in Manila and Quezon City, not Makati. I do know that PGH and Lung Center are in QC but the Makati Med answer disqualified me from the game. I was the first to answer. I confidently said, “Makati Med.” It was when the crowd collectively sighed disappointment that I finally realized my mistake. Hello, MAKATI!
My game ended there. I snapped a photo with chairman Edu and signed all the documents that needed to be signed. My Php50, 000 has a 20% tax which only leaves me with Php40, 000. The computer showcase has 20% tax too! Surprise! Since it costs Php23, 000 the amount of Php4, 600 was also deducted leaving me with Php35, 400 that I can claim a month after the episode airs: September 29, 2007 – three days after my birthday. And so it ends.

The Best Week of My 21st Year on Earth

August 20 - 26
The Best Week of My 21st Year on Earth

Soundtrack of the Week
  1. Papaya [PGKNB THEME]
  2. Crazy for You [MADONNA]
  3. Walang Kapalit [PASCUAL]
  4. It Must Have Been Love [ROXETTE]
  5. Si Volvieras a mí [GROBAN]
The Week in Bullets
  • We already taped the episode of 1 vs. 100. I did not make it through but I had the time of my life in that game show. Hell I would join it over and over again whether I win or not, if only for the experience! I actually lost but I was kind of “high” in the end. I was hunting celebrities to take pictures with them at the cafeteria! How high is that?! That is so not me.
  • I will pass the second Calculus exam with flying colors. If not for two items that my cramming brain overlooked I would ace that exam. Of course this is weird because this is the first time that I actually felt happy in a Math exam ever (I was smiling during the exam, imagine!) I only slept two hours the night before the exam because I was cramming and yet this.
  • On the other hand I think I will not fare well in the Political Science 186 exam. I had two weeks to review for it. I didn’t. That’s a good thing for me if I crammed the night before the exam. Neither did I. In short I was only armed with stock knowledge I had from lectures. Is this reversal of fortune for the two exams mentioned? This is so weird.
  • I will be employed once again starting September 1, 2007. Same old part-time call center stuff but this time 80% of the clients is from Mexico. My Spanish has been dormant for quite a while. It’s time to wake it up.
  • I had a gay person cut my hair in a Bench fix Salon before I went to tape the 1 vs. 100 episode. I told him: “Bahala ka na, basta magmukha lang akong tao ngayong araw na ito.” Mukha naman daw akong tao (Nanghihingi siguro ng tip.) I don’t know if I should be happy with the new haircut. It’s quite different from the usual barbero haircut that I get. But in fairness, hindi na ako mukhang taong-gubat. Maybe that’s a good thing.
  • The average hours of sleep I had this week were 4 hours. I had three exams. I had the taping which was postponed several times. The week was very hectic but I enjoyed a lot. Definitely the best week of being 21.
  • I’ve met a lot of interesting people because of the 1 vs. 100 gig.
Since this is the second to the last weekly report before the New Year starts (My New Year starts September, don’t be weirded out...) I think I will just discuss the weirdness of the bitch we call life.

1. Life is a Bitch – True. However we should always remember that life is our bitch. We are the boss. We control it or at least we get the illusion that we are controlling it. That’s the way it should be.

2. Everything happens for a reason – This sounds like a cliché right? However there are weird occurrences in life that we can’t explain specially when it comes to making decisions. It’s as if our decisions are pre-programmed. They happen because they should happen and they will lead to something else, something that we don’t know about yet at the beginning but will become clear in the end. Of course in the end you marvel at the weirdness of it.

When I got a little exhausted studying Spanish a year ago I decided to buy a book-CD combo from Powerbooks using the money I saved during that time. I wasn’t working as a call center agent yet back then. I was torn between Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese. Both languages were available and I can’t decide which one to buy. Mandarin was the popular choice among the three personalities living in this body of mine and so I almost bought it. At the last minute I changed my mind and chose Portuguese instead. I got accepted as a Spanish agent in a call center a month after that. Three months later I was working for the Portuguese support team. It may have been pure coincidence but I can’t seem to shake off the feeling that I was drawn to buy that Portuguese book/CD because somehow life knew that I will land a Portuguese Support agent position in the near future.

Want a weirder example? Let’s look closer.

The day after passing the screening for 1 vs. 100 Pilipinas Game KNB sent me an SMS asking me to come to ABS-CBN for screening at 9 AM Saturday. I had an exam at exactly 9 AM Saturday in UPD. I was devastated. I’ve been waiting for that screening for two years already. A few hours later NDCC declared classes suspended. The exam was moved to another date. I was able to go to the screening as if the weather made it possible for me.

The 1 vs. 100 taping was moved Saturday (yesterday), the call time for which was 1 PM. Again, I was supposed to have an exam at 1 PM in UPD again. Last Friday I opted not to go to UPD anymore because of lack of sleep. I wanted to rest. Somehow I was drawn to come to my 3:00 – 4:00 class, a one-hour discussion class in Economics, the exam for which was the one scheduled at 1 PM Saturday. It was obviously a waste of money for the fare but I went. I found out that there is to be a LATE EXAM scheduled this coming Wednesday, a more difficult exam for those who have conflicts of schedule. I wouldn’t have known that if I didn’t come to that class. If I didn’t know that I would have spent the whole day studying for the 1 PM exam that I could opt to take on another date. If I studied all day I wouldn’t have been able to go to the meeting with my former supervisor who offered me the job starting September 1.

I know it’s weird but I am really amazed by this. It seems as if my life is in chaos but then everything just falls into place as if the path is already being cleared for me. All I have to do is walk though that path.

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Edu Manzano, Here I Come!

August 13 - 19
Edu Manzano, Here I Come!

Soundtrack of the Week
  1. All I Want for Christmas is You [CAREY]
  2. One Night Only [BEYONCé]
  3. Love at First Sight [KYLIE]
  4. One Night Only [HUDSON]
  5. Papaya [PGKNB THEME]
Movie of the Week: A Love Story
  • The title is already sufficient for you to know what the movie is all about. It is a love story which makes it different from other love stories because it has a guessing game portion in the first half of the movie.
  • There were scenes shot in Macau but of course you only know that because I’m telling you now (unless you have seen the movie already).
  • The trailer is very effective because it makes you very curious. You want to know who the mistress is and who the wife is. And so you end up watching the movie.
  • Possible alternative titles: “Sino ang Kabit?” “Guess the Mistress.”
  • A lot of drama scenes for Angelica here but the one in Délifrance with Maricel simply did not work for me. As for the other drama scenes, ok tolerable. Is it me or is she fatter than she should be? I’m talking about the first half of the movie (the flashback scenes). Fino photoshop ba talaga yung mga magazine centerfold niya?
  • Maricel is the one you should watch in this film. Her acting here is just normal. Hindi siya nagtataray. Hindi siya dumadakdak. Her acting was plain and for me that’s a good thing. Parang walang ka effort effort. Natural na natural ang dating.
  • The only thing that’s new about Aga is his abs. Lagi na lang ganitong characters ang pino portray niya. From Dubai to All My Life to this film lagi na lang siyang eligible bachelor. It’s as if wala na siyang range as an actor. I remember him play a psycho in a 90’s movie once and effective naman siya. I wonder when he will play a more challenging role.
  • With three or more love scenes in the film the love triangle did show some of their “assets.” Aga flaunts his abs once in a while. Angelica flaunts her cleavage as usual and Maricel flaunts her legs.
  • I’m just a little worried about Angelica Panganiban’s roles every time she does a TV series or movie with Maricel Soriano. In Ama, Ina, Anak she was Maricel’s daughter. In Vietnam Rose she was Maricel’s sister. In this film she is Maricel’s kaagaw. I wonder what role she will portray in her next TV show or movie with Maricel. Maricel’s mother perhaps? Granny?
  • Dante Rivero was funny. Old sick people who talk nonsense in movies are funny. That’s why they are there, to be funny.
  • “Ang bulaklak parang babae. Wag mong pipitasin kung sisirain mo lang because you will never find another flower as beautiful as her.”
  • Best scene for me was the Aga - Maricel confrontation scene in the kitchen.

1 vs. 100: The screening was fun. I arrived at ABS-CBN at 10 AM and we finished at around 5 PM. There was an exam (10 Identification and 20 Multiple Choice.) The Multiple Choice questions were easy and the Identification questions were the hard ones. Only 107 of us remained from the more than 500 (approx) who came. We introduced ourselves one by one after the one-hour break. They said that they only need 101 and so 6 would be removed. Being the eternally dull human being that I am I’m actually nervous that I’ll be removed! Hahaha. Our face was registered via webcam along with our finger prints (haha, parang NBI, lol) via a special finger scanning technology thingie into a computer system. This game show will be hosted by Edu Manzano and it will be shown in primetime once a week (Saturday or Sunday). Wish me luck. Sana matuloy.

Alfie’s Luck: When it rains it pours. Ambergris also called during my 1 vs. 100 screening asking me to go there for an interview. I don’t know what the heavens are trying to accomplish in giving me this lucky threesome (pardon the term) but whatever it is I’m definitely taking advantage. Opportunities knock only once. I have two knocking on my door right now. Ambergris I already dismissed. Aja! =)

Pilipinas GAME KNB?: The day after the 1 vs. 100 screening PGKNB texted asking me to go for a screening to ABS-CBN Saturday at 9 AM. I was devastated because I also had an exam at 9 AM in Diliman but thanks to NDCC classes were suspended. I’ve been waiting for this for 2 years now. That’s how frustrated I am to join PGKNB. I arrived at 9 AM. We were at once brought to the PGKNB set. The set is so small!!! Cameras really do magic tricks, parang ang laki nito sa TV e! We were asked to answer a 10-question exam. Only those who got 8 and above were asked to stay so from 500+ only 106 were left (107 sa 1 vs. 100 nung isang araw). We were asked to introduce ourselves (All 106 of us) and say something different about us. So I just told them that my hair is weird because when it’s long I look gay; when it’s semikal I look like a convict; and when it’s short I look like an addict. The 2nd exam was similar in format to the first one (also 10 questions). The result was not revealed. Pa suspense pa ang mga mokong. You’ll only know if you passed if they text you or call you within a few weeks. First taping day is on Friday at 1. I think I only got 8 in the 2nd exam because I didn’t know that siling labuyo and siling haba are different kinds of SILI! Ano ba! I also answered “Smile, JESUS loves you” instead of “Smile, GOD loves you” Stupid me.

Long Weekend: Thanks to Bagyong Egay (how insensitive sa mga nasalanta!) we had a very long weekend. Last Tuesday I declared a personal half-day holiday. Classes were suspended from Wednesday to Saturday and Monday is another holiday. If and when I feel like it I could declare another personal holiday on Tuesday which makes this the longest weekend ever, a whole week to be exact!

Academics: Because of the three consecutive typhoons that hit the country classes were suspended and all of our exams were postponed. Kamusta naman. Now I have to face four exams by the end of this week. At least I could still review because laziness got the best of me this week and I wasn’t able to review seriously for these exams. Bad me. Tambak na naman ang make up classes, tsk tsk tsk.
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