Monday, July 14, 2014


A little over 8 years ago I met someone whom I consider a good friend. Somewhat morose, but otherwise level-headed. In perhaps the greatest adventure of our young lives, we set off to China.

Over the course of our stay in China we got to know the rest of the group better. This friend of mine told me, with his tongue loosened by alcohol, that he found it cathartic to run (in the rain, naked, or both I could not for the life of me recall which one). I, out of pride, and not wanting to appear ignorant quietly agreed. The rest of our stay was lively and eventful for we had seen and learned so much about ourselves and the world in so short a time. We had gotten drunk more times than we cared to admit, and usually from Tsing-Tao which was sold in the school cafeteria. We discovered what true friendship tasted like and it tasted like blood. I credit him for more than half a decade's consumption of cigarettes, as he, having drunken himself into a stupor, again managed to occupy one of our beds. Thus, I went out and lit one of his cigarettes in turn. Another friend of ours during that time remarked that we might no longer be friends upon our return to the homeland.

He was right.

We were a motley crew from varying age groups and backgrounds. We would find little to no time to see each other despite all of us going to the same school.

I gradually lost contact with all of them. Thankfully, facebook arrived and most of us were able to keep in touch with one another.

Fast forward to the present day, I decided to open my old e-mail account. As I sifted through spam e-mails, twitter and facebook notifications, e-newsletters, I felt a wave of relief passing over, flowing into, and pouring out of me. It was at that point I understood the meaning of catharsis. I felt, after ransacking the contents of my inbox for anything meaningful, as if a great burden had been lifted from me. I recalled all my blunders and victories, and how sweet it was to be alive.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I want to read again.

I need to get back to reading things. Not just reading to while away the time, but reading to grow. Reading in the can hasn't been a good exercise for me. It doesn't allow for more introspection or imagination. The mind wanders from the task at hand when you have to poop. You can't read well when you are rushing to get to the office.

I want to read again. To read and absorb all of that author-y goodness. I believe that I won't be able to fully "suck out all the marrow of life", but by God through books I will feel as if I did.

I want to read the whole maddening array of books. I want to dive right into life entombed in ink and paper. I feel as if I have to explore the book store, with the world laying spread eagle in front of me.

In reading, I feel that I am everywhere and nowhere at once. I might be beside Tom Sawyer as he is figuring out a way to handle the Herculean task of whitewashing the fence. In another moment I might be discovering the word to describe the movement of the rich from the city's innards to the suburbs and back again.

I think all of us should read. The act of reading and the art of reading closely should not be limited to books or the "classics". We should extend these powers to all forms of our written tradition. I believe that the art of reading closely should likewise be extended to all forms of art. We should notice something that is there but is not apparent.

However, this is reading for the sake of reading. The end goal being the enjoyment and nourishment of the mind and spirit. Reading as a preparatory step of acting is a wholly different manner. That would require actual movement on the part of the reader. Reading a text book on how to speak Spanish or Japanese requires that the reader converse with someone knowledgeable in that language.

Reading, for me, is still a very important part of being human. Let us not forget it in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of our society.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tweeting and writing

Does twitter have an effect on how we write?

I've read on how text messaging has affected the ability to write negatively. Also, oddly enough, you could find views online that the effects are generally positive.

I would understand that texting would severely affect the writing style of people, but how about tweeting? It's essentially the same thing, but with a wider audience. Instead of communicating one-on-one, as in text messaging, you broadcast your tweet to the world. Would tweeting have an effect on how we think and how write?

I'm going to read up some more and try to write something more coherent next time.


I have recently "re-discovered" the value of reading people's blogs.

They get to show you the wonders of them Internetz.

Take for example, this one. This basically covers a whole swath of topics needed for everyday Manila life. From insightful market reports to tips and tricks on how to survive the commute home, it's a refreshing take on things.

Another example, from the same author, is the Track Beauty of the Week posts.

Blogs like the examples above show how varied the interests of a person are, and how infinitely interesting people can get. So read up and meet up would be my take away for this one.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sweeney Todd tried to pull a fast one on me.

I went to the local barbershop to get shaved. Unfortunately, the barber turned my face into sisig parts instead. I am now in the market for a good electric shaver/ beard trimmer. I've read online that electric shavers aren't meant to be used on longish hair so that might be a problem. I'm just looking at the Braun Series 1 shaver and the Braun Cruzer trimmer.

Both are inordinately expensive, especially when you compare them with the undying Gillette Rubie 2.

Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Building Capital

I was stuck in the field the whole day last Friday, so I couldn't get to work on my savings. I really would like to build my capital first and find ways to earn more. If this undertaking (saving and investing) has taught me one thing, it is patience.

Building capital through working happens only twice a month. So I'm really, really thinking of how to grow it faster (but not too fast as that might mean a whole boatload of risk). Oh well, until next payday then.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cheapskate meals

I have tried to live a non-financially dependent life since the beginning of my existence as a cog in the great machine. I would describe my day-to-day activities, in terms of Pesos spent, as miserly.

It would be best to define what I think a cheapskate meal is: it's basically any meal (lunch or dinner) below 100 Pesos.

Today however, was an exception. I actually spent around 300 Pesos (200 on Food 100 on the cab ride).

I wanted to talk about the food. I was surprised at how Pizza Hut has now become a viable alternative to the Jollijeeps that are scattered in Makati, the innumerable fast food chains, and building housed food courts. Thanks to Google Search for coming up with this blog that served as the source for the image of a jollijeep.

Pizza Hut has a 99 Peso meal for 1 and a 198 for 2 with an additional serving of garlic bread. Let me be clear, the food was good but it won't blow you away. What surprised me aside from the awesome price was the fact that they served it ten minutes or less. So Pizza Hut instead of being a pizza place has now transformed into a quick lunch or dinner place. And at 99 Pesos per person only too! Needless to say my co-worker and I spent an additional 100 or so for some more food.

Another place that I found interesting was Blessings & Prosperity a food court along Ayala Avenue. It's a very small, cramped space, with Lilliputian seating too boot. I have been there only once however, and would like to visit again just for the wonderful Mexican themed kiosk there. It was a good meal at around 90 Pesos it seems expensive but its good nonetheless.

The other places I've been to in Makati wouldn't really qualify as cheapskate dining. So that means I'll have to explore that jungle of concrete for more cheapskate nooks.