Month: January 2009


Now that I am a big child the word kalog is used to describe a person who is fun, hilarious and genuinely comical.  A person who is so kalog would be the type you would want to be with during a boring road trip, a dry party or a dull gathering.  They never seem to grow old and totally not a wallflower, they are considered to be the life of a party.

But when I was a small child the word kalog stands for something else.  Kalog is actually a game using at least three tansan (soda caps) shook together inside a loosely clasped hands of the player.  The style of shaking the tansans between both hands can sometimes be distinctive in nature for you can put your hands near your ear while shaking the tansans as if listening seriously onto the sound of the joggling soda caps.  After a sufficient time of shaking, the tansans are released towards the floor and the player claps his hand together making sure that the sound of single clap is concurrent with the sound of tansans smashing the ground.  You would determine the winner for each kalog by how the topside or underside of the soda caps settled on the floor.  The owner of the tansan with a surface (either topside or underside) that rested differently from the rest of the soda caps on the ground is considered the winner.

Kalog is a juvenile form of gambling similar to heads-or-tails game not to win money but to win any on-season-collectible that a child would want to amass.  An on-season-collectible is otherwise known as “uso” in Tagalog.

During my childhood days various silly goods would suddenly become the on-season-collectible which surprisingly swells its popularity without any media or adversitising agency announcement.  When kids are fed-up collecting such, its popularity would naturally conk away and a new collectible would arise.  Some of the uso to be amassed goods during my childhood were nothing like today’s generation collectibles like electronic toys or gadgets.  My childhood collectibles then were useless rubbish goods like soda caps, rubber bands, candy wrappers, teks (small playcards with printed storyboad clip), cigarette pack wraps and even salagubang (beetles).

Also, during my childhood days, a kid who amassed a great amount of on-season-collectible is being envied and is very popular among his cliques.  One way to accumulate all these collectibles is by playing kalog.

Tara kalog tayo! Ano bang uso? 


Head Lice in Coconut Milk

I have read in a novel by Dan Brown entitled Deception Point that sea creatures served on our tables like shrimps, lobsters and crabs are closely related to land insects.  They belong in the same phylum arthropoda.  Actually, some scientists would consider these sea creatures as the insects of the sea.

In our generation, due to the shortage of food, various delicacies were developed so as to fill the empty stomachs of billions of people around the world.  Here in the Philippines it is now common that crickets and other similar land insects are served on our table, in which, these organisms start to get rare to the point of extinction due to humongous demands.

Let me guess that in due time, because of world hunger, I would not be surprised that other more common land arthropods around us will be eaten by the common people.  Let me suggest one good dish with a common and easy-to-generate arthropod with lots of benefits.

What about Ginatang Kuto (head lice in coconut milk)?  The main ingredient can be harvested from the sour smelling heads of the street children.  This may actually be one of the solutions to alleviate poverty.  Parents of these children would have lower water bills for they don’t have to wash their children’s hair so as to increase yield production of kuto.  At the same time they could save a lot on their daily shampoo expense.

Also, parents and grandparents can spend more time productively in other chores that can actually increase earnings (like cooking, selling or marketing the dish) because they need not spend their time on “hinguto sessions”.  Remember during our childhood days, our retired grandparents (mine was my lovely Lola Teray) would call us in the middle of a sunny afternoon when all of us kids were busy playing in the streets?  They would grab us firmly by our arm and would concentrate on our heads so as to start their scalp exploration and kuto hunting.  Mine was usually held at the stairs of my Lola Teray’s house.  I would sit a step lower than hers do that she could strategically locate thse mind-boggling kutos.

I wonder who on earth invented suyod!  Thanks to the ever reliable suyod – a specially made comb used to sweep away kuto from the scalp to hair ends – for this will be the device to use when harvesting the elusive arthropod.  This device will also perk-up the industry of suyod-making since there will be big demand in the market for the said hunting device.  Those employees affected by the closure of microchip factories due to economic breakdown can be transferred and assigned in the industrial plants who manufacture suyod, thus, generating more jobs in the country.

However, this new trade may cause for the parents to securely fasten their kids on the main post of their respective houses because there exist a common Pinoy belief that children with lots of kuto will be carried away on air and will be dropped to the mouth of the nearest volcano.

Nowt: di pwede sa mga bedyetaryan…

Dinner Talk

Ever wonder how topics stem-out and progress when you dine with your friends? It’s distinctly dissimilar to a business meeting where a formal agenda is prepared prior to conversation. The dynamics of conversation with friends is so fluid and surprisingly astonishing, it develops richer and deeper bond no matter how deep or shallow the subject being discussed. Every time our friend Joesel visits Manila, as much as possible we never fail to catch-up along with “friendship” Karen and Baby. Our wacky dinner last Saturday became more exceptional because Denton (the Australia-based boyfriend of Karen and our “usual tour-mate”) was with us. Here’s some short extracts of the things we chatted about to validate how fluid friendship conversations are…

Baby: Ano ready na ba ang wardrobe mo sa pag-ninong mo sa kasal?

Joesel: Yeah, ready na sya.

Karen: Ready na ang barong na may pop-up sleeves na mas mataas pa sa ulo

Neil: Wow! Naka-balintawak ang lola mo.

Joesel: Yung Ikakasal, short relationship lang yet they decided to get married

Karen: So ‘di pa masyadong magkakilala?

Joesel: Kimunusta ko sa ate ko yung lalaki.

Neil: Eh ano daw ang kilatis?

Joesel: Ayun, mukha daw mabait kasi mapula ang gilagid.

* * * * *

Karen: Katuwaan! Ano kaya kung kunin kitang ninang sa kasal ko?

Neil: That’s gonna be first. Imagine you will be the first ninang ever.

Karen: Sige na. Katuwaan lang.

Joesel: Bakit kelan ba kayo kakasal ni Denton?

Karen: Baka next year, 2010.

Denton: Sa Australia ha.

Karen: Ayoko dun, dapat dito.

Denton: Isa sa Australia. Tapos dito din.

Neil: Sige Joesel. Go! Pangalan ni Hilarry Clit ang nakasulat sa invitation.

Baby: Tapos mag gown si Joesel with matching hair extension

Neil: Ngek. Baka di sya papasukin sa simbahan.

Karen: Di naman malalaman na lalaki si Hillary.

* * * * *

Joesel: Yung brother-in-law ko kakasal naman next year

Karen: Bakit nakapag babang luksa na ba sya?

Joesel: Oo, next year pwede na. Ikakasal sya sa prinsesa.

Karen: Nakaupo sa tasa.

Joesel: Sila yung may-ari dati ng taniman ng Dole. Yung pinya.

Karen: Ah prinsesa ng pinyahan

Neil: Hinde. Prinsesa nakaupo sa pinya.

Baby: Ay, ang sakit nun. Tusok-tusok.

Ang bababaw talaga namin. As da seying gows… Syalow pipol ar hapiyer pipol.

10 Thumbs Up!

“I love it! I love it! I love it!”

After watching the movie Slumdog Millionaire directed by Danny Boyle, these are the only words that came out of my mouth.  I am watching a DVD copy alone in my house but I couldn’t stop myself from standing up and gave the movie a big round of applause when the credits started rolling.

Slumdog Millionaire is the end result when you put together a Hollywood and a Bollywood movie together – a stunning original piece of movie.  The three kids who played Jamal, Salim and Latika were awesome that they completely drew me deep into the story.  I checked my hands if I grew 8 more thumbs for I wanted to flash ten thumbs up for the movie.  It was moving, it was beautiful, it was excellent and it was the best!

Clap! Clap! Clap!  Walang katulad and pelikulang ito.  Ibang klase grabeeeh!

Brain Fart

Ever since I have been writing this blog my friends, relatives and even some anonymous people who accidentally came acroos my blog have been telling me comments and messages that they have been enjoying and were looking forward to reading what I would write about next.  On my part, I have been very flattered about the positive responses that I have been receiving.  For those who hate it, sorry for the inconvenience but I don’t have the intent yet of stopping this ridiculous writing.

Usually, my brain would just pop up an idea that I would write about (anything under the silly wicked sun).  But it has not been functioning lately.  Maybe it is because of too much fatty food I consumed during the holidays.  For the past few days I must admit that I have been experiencing a huge brain fart that I would not know what to write about to make this blog more interesting.

Sori pero medyo malakas ang utot ng utak ko ngayon…

It’s new year and every body is anxious on what lies ahead.  People are actually seeking aid from feng shui experts, fortune tellers, astrologers, mystics and clairvoyants.  For the business minded, their time has been dissipated contemplating on what business to put up in the year of the Ox.  Here’s a suggestion.  Why not put up a business of buy-&-sell?

What to buy and what to sell?  Answer: those gifts, presents and souvenirs given but left behind by exes.  Obviously, these items no longer have any significance, meaning or worth for it is only a reminder of an awful relationship that never worked.  For sure disheartened owners would sell it at a very low price just to get rid of it.

Where to buy these items?  Answers: (1) You can go to various law offices that specialize on marriage annulments.  Evidently, their clients had a terrible married life that they would want to get rid of any souvenir in their possession at any given price.  (2) You can go to psychologists and/or marriage counselors.  Like the law offices, their clients would want to trash out bad memories both non-tangible and tangible ones.  (3) You can go to various coffee shops and restaurants and wait for unfaithful couples fighting in public.  Sometimes you can get the item for free.  Just wait for the fuming lady to throw her ring or bracelet or necklace towards her lover before running away leaving the scene.  Obviously, the guy would not have the time to pick up the cherished trinket for he will straight away run after his lady to explain.  Just wait and discreetly pick the precious jewelry.  (4)  You can go to different bridges in the metro.  If you are lucky, you could bump into a suicidal person who has plans of jumping over the bridge because he or she has been dumped by his or her partner.  Just make sure to do the necessary and immediate negotiation of buying the gifts they received before letting them jump over the bridge.  Otherwise, you would have to jump along with the freaky broken hearted folks to chase the precious gifts they received from their exes.

How to sell?  Answers: (1) You can negotiate with various antique shops in Malate to sell your products on a concession basis.  Antique shops for sure would love to hear the interesting stories behind these items.  (2) You can join expos and various bazaars where you can sell these items.  For a more catchy name you can call your booth the Biak Na Pag-asa booth.  (3) You can create a website where you can feature your products.  Interested buyers can either purchase or bid for an auction you bought obviously at a higher price when you procured them but of a lesser price if purchased in different boutiques, jewelry shops or department stores.  You can name the website as  For an added feature, make sure to have a free delivery service.

Gud lak sa bago mong bisnes.  Kikita ka, chak ‘yon!

A Moving Novel

More than 5 years ago, Erwin Miranda (an officemate during my hotelier days) gave me a book as a Christmas present.  It is entitled By The River Piedra, I Sat Down & Wept written by Paulo Coelho.  This is the final book I read in 2008.

It was only in the last remaining days of 2008 that I had the audacity to read the book for I was hesitant to read it simply because of the title and its cover.  The title is so sad while the book’s cover design is so depressingly gloomy.  It made me decide that I would only read it if I am extremely happy so as to at least neutralize my feelings and overflowing endorphins or I am extremely miserable so as to realize that mine is not that shtity after all and others are actually suffering worse than I am.  I know that more than 5 years was too long and it was such a trivial and superficial reason but I won’t reveal in which state or feeling I was prior to reading the book.

But upon reaching the middle of the already-sepia-colored-pages of the manuscript I fathomed that there really is nothing to be anxious about the story.  It has nothing to do with despair, melancholy or hopelessness.  My brain’s frontal lobe down to my medulla oblongata was actually digesting a beautiful literary masterpiece that discusses many of life’s big questions.  It made me blameworthy why only now did I read it and had the precious book just gather dusts in my book shelve in all the years that passed.

What I like most about the story are the little tales and vignettes as told by Pilar and the main male character whose name was never mentioned – the story about the Other; the story of Bernadette and the apparitions; the story of Teresa of Avila; the story about the feminine face of God; the story about the presents given to each other by a boy and girl who were engaged and insanely in love; and, the story about a city that can be moved but not a well.  These little stories within the story provoked reflections and meaningful messages to me as mortal being.  The messages were so profound I would sometimes think that a lightheaded and mischievous person like me don’t deserve to have read such a literary masterpiece.

Ang lalim pero hanep!  Oo, sa babaw kong ‘to, malalim na sa ‘kin ‘yon.