Saturday, September 16, 2017


like many said, if you want to be in an interesting chat about politics (and on almost anything under the sun but mostly politics), hop on a taxi and engage in a friendly conversation with the driver. some said that taxi drivers are the true pulse of the nation. arguments (especially if the gentleman has entirely different views compared with yours), intelligent banter, a little bit of friendly tease and of course the pinoy way of personal and one-on-one heckling – all these will make for an out of the ordinary commuting. i commute daily, used to be via regular taxis,  until the shared economy finally got me into the bandwagon of these 3rd platform babies or in my ICT industry analyst lingo, early disruptors. these days, most of my daily trips to and from the office are divided between uber and grab. i must say that the conversations are not that colourful anymore since most grab and uber drivers are not that into politics, may be on the quiet side, or are too busy waze-ing their way in a colossal maze called metro manila.

on my way to my satur-date with the emmanuel charismatic community this afternoon, i got into a regular taxi and this manong driver immediately talked about jinggoy estrada's freedom from incarceration. he continued to say that in the first 15 months of this current administration, all he saw were crooked and high profile individuals getting pardoned, acquitted of any wrongdoings, reprieved from facing the full tune of the law, getting undeserved amnesty and one even being allowed to be buried in the libingan ng mga bayani with full military honors. he of course was talking about gloria macapagal-arroyo, sandra cam, janet napoles, drug and gambling lords and of course, the dictator ferdinand marcos. all these happen while innately good servant-leaders like vice president leni robredo, ombudsman conchita carpio-morales, chief justice ma. lourdes sereno, senator risa hontiveros, judy taguiwalo, gina lopez (isn't it a wonder why dutertards and pdut's allies for the most part attack leaders who are women??), get whacked by fake news mongerers, figuratively dismembered by powerful individuals who want to remove them from office or dismissed by duterte's allies who certainly want to protect their own interests and push their own selfish agenda.

all these in manong's own words show "a sad and sorry state of the country, far from what seemed to be exciting and promising because of the sweeping changes duterte championed during the campaign in order to win the elections". this manong driver did not hesitate to say that for the most part of the last 18 months or so, he was a fervent ka-DDS and would gamely slot in convos to defend duterte from anyone who has different ideas about the sitting president. but with how the last 15 months have transpired and with the recent developments, his strong belief on duterte is slowly starting to wane. he now doubts whether duterte will be that "best-ever president" as it's now becoming clear… his "idol" is not delivering.

he said that he has yet to see what pdut has pledged to do. all he heard were duterte's resolve to clobber anyone who tries to disagree and criticize his moves. what he has so far seen were duterte's moves to pay his powerful financiers back, his end of the political barter, in order to recompense the immense capital outlay these twisted individuals/families have invested in and provided for him. manong driver also said that it is now becoming apparent that pdut has no firm grip on reality and is using his tough demeanor to worm his way out of his many wide-of-the-mark pronouncements and actions. and to make matters worse, it's starting to dawn on this ka-DDS that duterte has no clear vision for the country, except his myopic war on drugs, his denial that his war on drugs are actually anti-poor and his even bigger crusade against his critics. it is now becoming evident to this ka-DDS that duterte is no different from the traditional politicians the filipinos loathe. he's as what the term says, trapo… conventional politico bent on nothing but to protect himself first and foremost, his so-called allies and will continue to do so since they do not have genuine and sincere concern for the country and its people.

with talks on duterte contemplating a martial law declaration and the aforementioned missteps by this administration, i could not help but to ask manong, "are you now regretting voting for duterte?" i can sense that the rabid ka-DDS in him wanted to kick me off the car as if i'm antonio trillanes but to my pleasant surprise, he said that he's at that 50-50 point. he still believes that he voted for the right candidate among the 5 presidentiables. but at the same time, it's becoming hard to swallow the fact that his candidate is slowly becoming a disappointment because of his several facepalm moves, keeping inept, bungling and unclean individuals like vitaliano aguirre, salvador panelo, mocha uson in his midst and having no clear accomplishments yet after 1 full year in power.

no gloating on my part though. what i'm glad is the truth that there are some reasonable ka-DDSes, those who look beyond the absent partylines and not mockingly brand those who voice different opinions as dilawan. these are the individuals who are gradually able to become conscious of duterte's erroneous steps and are not afraid to point these out. these are the persons who realize that fanatical belief of one person is a dangerous thing and believing that duterte is a heaven-sent saviour is 100% false. i hope that there are more of the likes of manong driver – those who slowly understand that politics, power, administration, governance are not about a single person… that it is about the good of the country and all pinoys.

our short but worthy of note convo ended on a good note – both of us are still full of hope for the country… that the philippines is a great nation and the filipinos may have a lot of things to work on but once we finally get our groove on, we can grow and prosper together.

salamat, manong and god bless the philippines.

deathly hollows

one of the best moments in the entire harry potter series was on the deathly hollows... this very good video explains it in great detail.

Friday, September 15, 2017


I would enjoy a shoulder massage. I would enjoy a week lying by a swimming pool in the sun, sleeping. I would enjoy a large gin and tonic, as long as I didn't have to do anything after I drunk it. I would enjoy some chocolate. 

- How to be Good by Nick Hornby

White Beach, Boracay
Malay, Aklan
August 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


hedlayn ang alok ng pamilyang marcos na ibalik ang ilang mga bareta ng mga ginto sa gobyerno. hindi lahat ng mga ninakaw ng mga ito sa bayan ang ibabalik, kundi iilang mga di na kailangan pa ng mga mandarambong na sina imelda marcos, imee marcos at bongbong marcos. marami na yata silang ginto at kayamanan, hindi na siguro magkasya sa kanilang mga kaban kaya't naisip nilang ibalik na lang ang maliit na bahagdan nito sa pamahalaan. siyempre, tulad ng isang tusong kontrabida sa mga pelikulang disney, ito ay may kapalit… isang maitim na balaking walang ibang makikinabang kundi ang kanilang pamilya lamang.   

upang higit na makumpleto ang piktyur, ugong na ugong din ang pakikipagkasundo umano ni rodrigo duterte sa pamilyang marcos. ang hakbang na ito ng mga marcos ay dulot ng pakikipag-ugnayan ng mga marcos sa presidente. ibabalik daw ng mga marcos ang kaunting pera at dahil sa "kabutihang-loob" ng mga marcos, inalok naman ni duterte ang mga ito ng imunidad at kalayaan mula sa anumang asuntong dekada na ang binibilang. ang hakbang na ito ni duterte ay isang malaking kahibangan at tanging isang adik sa peynkiler lamang ang makaiisip na ito ay mabuti para sa bayan.

paanong maaatim ng isang tunay na pilipino ang katigan ang kabuktutan ng mga marcos at hayaan ang mga itong bumalik sa kapangyarihan at kalimutan ang kanilang mga kasalanan sa bayan? di sapat na ibalik ang kakarampot na ninakaw sa kaban ng bayan. una, aminin nilang nagkamal sila ng salapi at yaman sa loob ng rehimeng marcos. pangalawa, kung tunay nilang nais na makipagkasundo sa gobyerno, huwag na nilang labanan ang lahat ng asunto at ibalik sa bayan nang walang pasubali ang hindi kanila. at higit sa lahat, dapat nilang pagdusahan ang kanilang mga krimen sa bayan, lalo na ang mga kinitlan ng buhay sa mapaniil na palakad ni marcos. humingi ng tawad sa bayan at magpakumbaba. hindi 'yung sila pa ang may ganang magmalaking ipangalandakan sa bayan na walan silang kasalanan.

ngunit ang higit na dapat boljakin dito ay si duterte. malaki ang kanyang utang na loob sa mga marcos. sina imee at bongbong ang nagpaulan ng kuwarta para sa kampanya ni duterte kapalit nga sana ng mga ito: si bongbong ang mauupong bise presidente, ililibing si ferdinand marcos sa libingan ng mga bayani at wala nang anupamang kaso ang ihaharap sa mga marcos, walang bagong paghahabla sa mga ito at kalimutan ang lahat ng nakabinbing mga kaso laban sa demonyitang si imelda marcos. hindi nangyari ang pag-upo ni bongbong ngunit naipilit ang paglalagak sa bangkay sa libingan ng mga bayani. at heto na nga ang ikatlo. upang mapagbigyan ang hiling ng mga marcos, balak ni duterte na buwagin na ang PCGG, ang ahensyang lumalaban sa mga marcos upang mabawi ang mga nakaw na yaman ng mga ito. sa galaw na ito, pinahihina ni duterte ang paghahabol ng gobyerno sa mga marcos. imbis na pananagutin sa batas sa malinaw na mga krimen ng pamilyang marcos, pinalalabnaw pa ngayon ni duterte ang laban ng gobyerno. lalo na ngayong nagpahayag pa ito ng imunidad sa sandaling magbalik ng malinggit na halaga sa bilyun-bilyong dolyar na pinaghati-hati ng mga marcos sa kanilang libu-libong mga akawnt sa iba't ibang mga bangko.

saan ka nakakita ng lider na makabayan kuno ngunit handang kalimutan ang mga krimen kung magbabalik ng kakaunti ang mga mapaniil? saan ka nakakita ng pinunong nakahandang ipagkanulo ang buong bayan, sampu ng mga nangamatay at biktima ng batas militar, upang bayaran lamang ang utang na loob sa isang buktot na pamilya? saan ka nakakita ng presidenteng nag-aaksaya ng panahon upang makibagay sa isang pamilyang marami ang utang sa bayan at handa pang pawalang-sala ang mga ito sa pag-aakalang nag-aalok ito ng kabutihang-loob?

hindi mabuti ang nais ni duterte. wala siyang pinagkaiba sa mga trapo ng maruming pulitika ng pilipinas. sa pagpanig at pagkiling sa mga naisin ng mga marcos, lalo pang pinalalakas nito ang tunggak na kalakaran na "hindi kailangang magdusa ng isang kriminal" at ligtas sa mahabang galamay ng batas ang mga buktot kapag malakihan at malawakan ang kasalanan ng mga ito. ang kawalan ng kaparusahan sa krimen ng mga marcos noong batas militar ay signal sa mga kabataan na kahit gumawa ng masama ay walang pananagutan sa batas, kung mababaliko mo ang mga batas at proseso at pagsasalitain ang pera. sa pagbabayad ni duterte ng utang na loob kina bongbong, imee at imelda, ipinagwawalang-bahala nito ang pagsusumakit ng milyun-milyong mga lumaban sa rehimen noong edsa 1986. sa pagiging maka-marcos imbis na makabayan, muling kinikitlan ni duterte ng buhay ang mga biktima ng pagmamalabis ng mga marcos, sampu ng mga indibidwal na di na kailanmang nakita pa.

matigas ang mukha ni duterte at buong pahimakas nitong sinasabi ang kanyang pagpanig sa mga marcos. kung sana'y ginamit nito ang tigas ng mukha niya sa mabuting paraan, mas maigi sana… kung buong pagmamalaki niyang sinabi sa mga marcos na "salamat sa kuwarta at suporta noong eleksyon ngunit ang anumang para sa bayan ay para sa bayan at kailangan ninyong ibalik ang lahat ng inyong ninakaw sa bayan." kung sana'y tunay nga siyang iba sa mga trapo at handang ibuwis ang buhay sa tunay at di artipisyal na pagbabago. kung sana'y iniisip nitong mabuti ang mas malaliman, malawak at panghinaharap na epekto sa bansa ng mga delikadong hakbang gaya ng pagpapawalang-sala sa mga marcos, mas kaiga-igaya sana. ngunit hindi. masaya na si duterte na masaya ang mga marcos at masaya ang kanyang mga bulag na tagasunod.

nakalulungkot ang takbo ng mga bagay-bagay. lalong nakalulungkot na ipinagbubunyi pa rin ng mga tagasuporta ni duterte ang balighong presidente.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017


so señor, where are we now? what have been? numbers, numbers, numbers. i need to know! hurry up and get cracking!

143 – the atomic number of unquadtrium. x.

61 – code for international direct dial phone calls to australia. b.

37 – the normal human body temperature in degrees Celsius. r.

30 – in tennis, it is the second point gained in a game. e.

8 – in hinduism, it is the number of wealth, abundance. y.

"numbers are the highest degree of knowledge. it is knowledge itself." -plato


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017


sa loob lamang ng isang taon, tila isang kabanata ng game of thrones ang nasaksihang pagdanak ng dugo ng sangkapilipinuhan. kaliwa't kanan ang pagpatay sa mga pinaghihinalaan pa lamang na sangkot sa droga at mayroon ding mga 'ika nga ay medyo malalaking isda, tulad ng mayor ng lungsod ng ozamiz, na diumano'y nanlaban kaya't pinatay, sampu ng kanyang asawa at kamag-anakan. marami ang walang habas at parang hayop na kinitlan ng kinabukasan dahil lamang sa sumbong ng sinuman. mas masaklap, pati ang mga menor de edad na katulad ni kian loyd delos santos ay walang awang sinaktan, tinakot, pinagkaisahan, pinreym ap sa pamamagitan ng pag-abot ng baril at sapilitang pagpapatakbo rito, pinagmukhang nanlaban at saka pinutukan ng baril sa ulo ng tatlong beses. pinatay ang bata, ni hindi pinakinggan ang mga hiling nitong "tama na po, may test pa ako bukas."

pare-pareho ang iskrip dito. may nagsumbong… ni walang anumang matamang pagsasaliksik, at ang tip na ito ay sapat na upang isagawa ang operasyon. magkaminsan ay may mga pahaging tulad ng ginawa sa pinsan ng isang dating kaopisina. binigyang-babala ito sa pamamagitan ng pambubugbog dito sa loob ng sariling tahanan at sinabihang babalikan ito. nang bumalik na nga ang mga kawatang alagad ni duterte, walang awang pinatay ng mga ito ang lalaking nag-adik minsan ngunit di raw nadawit sa pagtutulak ng droga kailanman. nanlaban umano ito at sinubukang agawan ng baril ang mga pulis na nakasibilyan. ngunit ang totoo, pawang mga daing ng taong wala nang lakas dahil sa bugbog at pananakit at ang paninikluhod sa mga alagad ng demonyong "tama na, sir. tama na po." kinaladkad sa labas ng bahay patungong kalsada, tsaka muling pinutukan ang wala nang buhay na katawan nito.

sa samu't saring mga kasong ito, iisa lamang ang higit na malinaw, walang tunay na malaking isda ang nasabat ni duterte at ng kanyang mga minamahalagang kapulisan. pawang mga mananakbo o pinaghihinalaang mga tulak lamang ang napatumba – lahat mahihirap. ni walang operasyon sa mga mararangyang mga lugar sa kamaynilaan… maniniwala ka bang walang droga sa mga eksklusibong mga subdibisyon? wala ring mga tsino o mga dayuhang nadadawit sa oplan tokhang ni duterte. walang mga dayuhang sa mamahaling mga paupahan mismo nagpapabrika ng droga o ng mga miyembro ng malakihan at pandaigdigang mga sindikato ang nabalitang napatay. ni 'yung mga naghahanap ng mga mulo sa mahihirap na lugar, wala ni isa man lang ang nadakip.

bakit? dahil puro yabang at harabas na pamamaraan ang ginawa ni duterte. ngayon, siya na mismo ang umaaming minaliit niya ang problema at nagkamali sa mga hakbang at ituloy ito sa pag-iisip na "kung ano ang nangyari sa davao ay maaaring magawa sa pambansang lebel". wala kasi siyang ginawang anumang pagsasaliksik at tamang pagtataya. marami na ang nagsabi, hindi ito magagawa ura-urada, lalo na't naglipana ang marurumi at buktot na mga pulis. isama mo pa ang mga pulitikong nagkakanlong sa mga malalaking sindikato. kaya nga, lumusot ang ismagling ng tone-toneladang shabu sa kawanihan ng adwana. sala-salabid ang ugnayan dito, mula sa mga pulis, sa mga nasa posisyon, sa mga distribudor at maging sa mga taong nakapaligid mismo kay duterte. kung pinag-aralan sana muna nilang maigi, inisa-isa ang mga buhong bago nagpadanak ng dugo, mas maigi sana ang resulta. pero hindi, inisip ni duterte at mga pulis na sapat na ang pananakot, pambibintang at pagpatay sa mga mahihirap upang masawata ang problema sa droga. ni hindi pinag-aral nang mabuti ang mga pulpol na pulis! sa pilipinas mo lang maririnig na ang mga pulis ay dumedepende sa impormasyon sa social media upang masino ang mga sangkot at hindi.

hangal din si duterte upang bigyan ng kota ang mga pulis… mas maraming nailigpit na mahihirap na tulak (kuno), binibigyang-insentibo ni duterte ang mga ito. di man lamang inisip na sa hanay mismo ng kapulisan, marami ang sangkot kaya't malamang na protektahan nito ang kanilang mga sarili. sa hakbang na ito, ginawa ni duterte na singkaraniwan na lamang tulad ng pagsakay sa dyip ang ekstra-hudisyal na pagpatay. binigyan nito ng delikadong kapangyarihan ang mga pulis na basta na lamang pumatay ng sinuman nang walang kapararakan, o anumang batayan o paglilitis. at ang lahat ng ito ay sa unawaang wala rin silang pananagutan sa batas maski pa murder ang kanilang ginawa.

sa paniniwalang paglikida at walang habas na pagpatay lamang ang tanging paraan, kinakayod ni duterte ang hiblang moral ng sambayanan. sadyang itinitimo sa mga murang isipan na ok lamang pumatay kahit walang anumang sirkumstansya at kapag ginawa mo ito, wala kang kailangang panagutan sa batas.

ano pa bang alam ni duterte? bukod sa di naman mapagtatagumpayang kampanya laban sa totalmenteng pagsawata sa droga, ano pa kaya ang balak gawin ni duterte? bukod sa pagpupumilit na iupo si bongbong bilang bise presidente, ano pa kayang aatupagin ni duterte? ngayon, lalong mas nagiging klaro ang mga bagay-bagay. walang anumang pambansang pananaw ang iniupo ng 16 milyong pilipino nitong nakaraang panahon. wala itong anumang balintataw bukod sa droga. may mayopya si digong at tanging ang mga bagay na may kinalaman sa droga lamang ang pumapasok sa kukote nito. wala itong anumang balaking pag-igihin ang kabuuan ng bansa sa lahat ng aspeto dahil itinulak lamang siya ng mga taong may maitim ding balak. batid niyang nabibilang na rin ang kanyang araw. sinisingil na siya ng mga nagpabaha ng salapi upang siya ay manalo. naiinip na ang mga buktot na maupo sa tabi at nais na nilang pumaimbulog. sampu ng mga bayarang hukbo ng mga troll, pang-action star at buong pahimakas pa rin nitong pinangangalandakan ang bara-bara at wala sa hulog na mga gawi nito.

malayo sa paglimi ng mga bumoto sa kanya, hindi naiba si duterte sa mga trapo. isinasabuhay nito ang matandang uri ng pulitika sa pilipinas, ang patronisasyon at pangangalaga sa sariling interes, hindi ng lipunan. oo nga't mukhang wala pang naipipintas sa kanya sa anumang porma ng kurapsyon, di ito nalalayo dahil na rin sa di pa nakakalkal na tagong yaman nito. sa oplan tokhang, marami ang nagbubunyi. pero sapat na ba ito upang ideklarang hulog si duterte ng langit? hindi. at hinding-hindi. wala itong pinagkaiba sa mga isinusukang mga pulitiko ng mga nagdaang panahon. sa tinatakbo ng panahon, hindi tumatagal ang mga malilinis na mga personalidad na gaya ni judy taguiwalo at gina lopez sa poder ni duterte. pinatatalsik ang mga ito ng mga pinagkakautangan ng loob ni duterte. naiiwan ang mga di mapagkakatiwalaang tulad nina salvador panelo, jose calida at vitaliano aguirre; balimbing at oportunistang gaya ni alan peter cayetano; mga tagapagpakalat ng mga mali at gawa-gawang impormasyong gaya ni mocha uson (dapat sunugin ito sa plaza); at ang nakalulungkot, kinakain na ng sistema ang mga dati nama'y may sustansyang mga indibidwal tulad ni koko pimentel (na tila sindunong na lang ni manny pacquiao kung mag-isip at magsalita) at martin andanar (na isang tau-tauhan na lamang ng mga gaya ni mocha, gayong ok na journo dati).

naka-isang taon na. wala pa ako nadaramang tunay na mahusay na ginawa ni duterte. nawa'y magising ito mula sa kanyang kamalian at mula sa bangungot na ito ay maunawaan niyang wala na siya sa malagihay na pamamalakad ng isang lungsod.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

shangri-la boracay

it is one of the five-star hotels in the country and boasts of excellent service, shangri-la boracay is actually a nice place, luxurious and well-appointed. the rooms are very nice and spacious, wifi connectivity is reliable, fantastic and relaxing views and the amenities are top-notch. one feels welcome and at home, starting with the airport transfer and the ferry service going to punta bunga beach. during our stay, several staff provided fantastic service, specifically lyndon, who works at the sagana ballroom, apparently is on duty starting from 7 am till 10 pm (isn't 15-hour workday a form of forced labor already?!).

however, all the great things about our stay were wiped away as the rains got stronger last monday. we were clear that we wanted to go to d mall and catch the 2 pm shuttle to go there since we're transferring to another hotel for an extended 1-night stay in the island. but to my horror, our luggage were loaded on the van going to the boat that ferries people to caticlan. no one checked on this until i noticed that the van left without us and immediately flagged the men behind the counter. because of this mishap, we had to wait for 1.5 hours for our luggage and finally be boarded to the correct van.

to make matters worse, nothing was done to check or even offered by the concierge during this long wait. not even water to drink or anything to get the problem addressed in the most immediate manner, while it was clear that we were already waiting for quite some time. if we had not followed up, no one would have even bothered to check whether the luggage were brought back or whether we can get to the next shuttle leaving for d mall.

to set things straight and clear, i'm not ranting because i just want to rant nor i'm after some things shangri-la can offer. no, it's not that. the expectation is higher since shangri-la prides itself of "paradise experience" and that means everything will be seamless and hassle-free. shangri-la also swanks about "being able to anticipate the needs" of their guests. but in this case, it was clearly not. the poor luggage and concierge service this time made me doubt shangri-la's "paradise experience". it was not a great way to end a supposedly nice stay. it dampened our mood and we could have stayed in the pool area longer had we known that we'd be forced to wait that long.

this experience made us think that this maybe the situation since we haven't chalked up enough nights yet to deserve a very good overall customer experience from shangrila... selective in that sense? i don't know. but i do hope that they do not discriminate against non-VIP clients such as myself and my colleague and i'd like to think that what we went through was just an honest mistake.  

for all i know and expect, this feedback will fall on deaf ears and a big elephant like shangri-la won't even bother to send any message to "justify" my comments. a guest who stayed there for just 3 nights in 2015 and another 3 in august 2017 is by no means any reason to lift a finger. this when compared with the overflowing praises the hotel gets… heck, even i showered them with positives during my first stay.

anyway, there are other hotels and resorts to look at in boracay. some 3-star hotels also have fantastic, personalized and more of a local "bisita" service. one does not have to go splurge on a PHP 20k/ night stay and receive sub-par service.

till next time, bora! and i hope that i won't have to go through another "un-shangrila" experience!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Hijo de Puka

Hijo de Puka.

Puka Beach, Yapak,
Boracay, Malay, Aklan.
August 2017.

Meryl Streep

some of meryl streep's bravura performances in the aughts!


the hours:

the manchurian candidate:

a prairie home companion:

the devil wears prada:

lions for lambs:

mamma mia:


julie and julia:

it's complicated:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sibang Cove

The orle of paradise.
- Call Me By Your Name.

Sibang Cove, Calayan Island, Cagayan.
March 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


On this island, no bigger on a map than a grain of sand...
- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Pangulasian Island, Bacuit Bay,
El Nido, Palawan.
Sometime ago.

Monday, August 7, 2017


You will become like a waterfall, a volley of bullets - you will all surge in the same direction at the same pace toward the same direction.
- All the Light We Cannot See

Ulan-ulan Waterfalls, 
Naval, Biliran.
Sometime ago.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Olenna Tyrell

awesomely superb, bitchily barbed, devastatingly wicked, piercingly thorned and cunningly epic  way of sendoff!! bravo, lady olenna tyrell. she's easily one of the best characters in television history, up there with the dowager countess violet crawley.

Monday, July 31, 2017

passport stamp

earlier this month, i was in kuala lumpur for a business trip. this almost weeklong trip finished on july 7th and i was on my way back to manila. in KLIA, i went to my usual routine and looked for the philippine airlines checkin counter. not too many passengers on the queue and there was just one line. after just about three minutes or so, it was already my turn.

i handed my passport to the ground crew, her name is ain annuar. she was not the warmest of the bunch but it was ok since you rarely chitchat with them anyway unless you have some little requests. this trip, no such need for me. aside from two boxes of notebooks and my luggage, i didn't buy anything from KL.

ain kept on flipping through my passport and it seemed that she's having some issues. i kept quiet. she then asked if i can show my eticket, which i handed over. she then told me to look for the july 2 KLIA immigration stamp on my passport. i was taken aback. why would i have to do that? i only looked at the stamps on my passport during my earlier days of business trips (because i am excited and that's a normal reaction from a young guy). but now that there are just way too many stamps on it (it will only expire in 2019), i do not look at these passport stamps anymore. what i want is to get through that step the fastest possible time, get my luggage and take the taxi to go to my hotel. it's also not my problem if she cannot find a single july 2 stamp in it.

but this impolite ground crew had the gall to instruct me that i should always look for this, saying that this is my responsibility. with me starting to get fumed and incensed, told ain, as long as i went through the proper way, i don't have to check whether there was a stamp or not. ain countered saying that "you know sir, there are other ways to get in, you know sir!" at that point, i wanted to berate her and make a scene. but i know that i have to keep my composure. in a controlled voice and manner, i told her that i'm not going to justify her insinuations and i knew that i went through the proper immigration process and the stamp is in my passport. she was still talking in her inaudible local english but i waived my hand and said, "no more word from you at this point. you should be polite and more importantly, stop making these ridiculous insinuations." she then went through the motions of giving me my passport and boarding pass, circling the gate number and the rest of usual things to say. i knew that at that point she had already seen the stamp and true to her superiority complex, did not apologize for the ridiculous statements she made just a few moments ago.

through twitter, while still in the immigration queue, i immediately let KLIA and @flyPAL know of this incident. PAL immediately sent a direct message but there was absolutely zero response from KLIA. PAL said that they are going to forward this issue to the parties concerned. i of course got through the immigration counter (the july 2 stamp is in my passport, you irritating ain annuar!!!), and boarded PR526 bound for manila. no problem at all.

before this incident, i was so happy that PAL is not on a codeshare with malaysia airlines anymore. malaysia airlines flights are just way too depressing, especially the food and the service. PAL at least pushes for more, inflight meals are good (ice cream of dessert), newspapers, inflight entertainment via your own device and the crew are always willing to accommodate your little requests (1 more pandesal please!). i'm still happy 'though… but PAL has to review and reassess their ground staff in other airports. in NAIA, i never had a problem. but given what transpired in KLIA, i'm now having some doubts in other airports that a similar incident might happen. ground personnel, like ain annuar, should be sent back for an intensive training camp on how to provide the best customer experience and how to freakin identify KLIA stamp from other immigration marks! or best, transfer her to some tasks which would not require dealing with passengers directly. otherwise, issues like this will hound PAL, especially as KLIA seems not to care at all. such unpleasant incidents dampen the overall experience and put unnecessary stress to passengers who just want to enjoy the flight and come back home safely.

take note of this, PAL. i'm still flying with you, don't worry.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

you are enough, mom

You are enough Mom

“There will be so many times you feel like you’ve failed. But in the eyes, heart and mind of your child you are super mom.” – Stephanie Precourt

To all the MOMs out there, when it all seem overwhelming, know and believe in your heart that you are enough; in fact as Bethany Jacobs shared, “…You are more than enough, mama.”

To the mom hiding in her bathroom, needing peace for just one minute, as the tears roll down her cheeks..

To the mom who is so tired she feels like she can’t function anymore and would do anything to lay down and get the rest she needs…

To the mom sitting in her car, alone, stuffing food in her face because she doesn’t want anyone else to see or know she eats that stuff…

To the mom crying on the couch after she yelled at her kids for something little and is now feeling guilty and like she is unworthy…

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. – Jill Churchill

To the mom that is trying desperately to put those old jeans on because all she really wants is to look in the mirror and feel good about herself…

To the mom that doesn’t want to leave the house because life is just too much to handle right now…

To the mom that is calling out for pizza again because dinner just didn’t happen the way she wanted it to…

To the mom that feels alone, whether in a room by herself or standing in a crowd…

You are enough.

You are important.

You are worthy.

Because I am a mother, I am capable of being shocked; as I never was when I was not one. – Margaret Atwood

This is a phase of life for us. This is a really really hard, challenging, crazy phase of life.

In the end it will all be worth it. But for now it’s hard. And it’s hard for so many of us in many different ways. We don’t always talk about it, but it’s hard and it’s not just you.

You are enough.

You are doing your best.

Those little eyes that look up at you - they think you are perfect. They think you are more than enough.
Those little eyes that look up at you – they think you are perfect

Those little eyes that look up at you – they think you are perfect. They think you are more than enough.

Those little hands that reach out to hold you – they think you are the strongest.

They think you can conquer the world.

Those little mouths eating the food you gave them – they think that you are the best because their bellies are full.

Those little hearts that reach out to touch yours – they don’t want anything more.

They just want you.

Because you are enough. You are more than enough, mama.

You. Are. Amazing.

Reposted from Symphony of Love.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Calayan Island

A sunset of brilliant colors and patterns played off the few clouds...

Sibang and Nababaan Coves (view from Nagudungan Hills),
Calayan Island, Cagayan.
March 2017.