Month: June 2013

World War Z and the Philippine Zombie

pile of zombies going up the israeli wall in the movie World War Z
pile of zombies going up the israeli wall in the movie World War Z

Zombies are not counted in traditional Filipino mythical world as well as folklores of the ghoulish variant.  There is actually no Filipino-Tagalog translation for a Zombie.  And to further prove this point, the old Filipino letters actually does not have a letter Z in it.  Thus, zombies are non-existent in the Philippines and that it is a product of a western mind.

With this underpinning thought, I am confident that in the zombie-movie World War Z, the bug did not originate from the Philippines.  But the movie made me anxious and curious if zombies would be able to reach the Philippines.  Like Japan and Indonesia, the Philippines is an archipelago.  Thus, to reach and cross its borders you can only enter either via air or water never by land.

I am not a fan of zombie-genre-movies but World War Z ranks right up in my list in terms of making me stunned and jolt right on my seat.  Though the movie was intensely entertaining, it is regrettable that it did not illustrate if the Philippines was infected or was in the clear.  But with the depiction that the infection will alter a person’s appearance and behavior in just 12 seconds, I presupposed that the Philippines was indeed spared.  Why? A zombie characterized to have poor dexterity can’t fly an airplane or sail a boat.  And with an extreme aggressiveness and severe hunger for human flesh all passengers of an airplane or a ship would easily be infected before its engine can even start.

When Brad Pitt decided to go to Israel being one of the countries that have kept the zombies at bay because of their construction of a wall, I was shouting “Go to the Philippines!!!  You will be safe here!!!” inside the cinema hoping he would hear me.  And when the zombies were able to go over the wall of Israel and infected its citizens depicted in a visually astonishing style, I was again shouting inside the movie house “I told you Brad!!!  I told you!!!”

a usual occurrence in zombie-filled manila
a usual occurrence in zombie-filled manila

Maybe the reason why there is no zombie here is because we Pinoys already have so much to deal with.  Like having the same equation in different dimension, the zombies of the Philippines are in the form of car thefts, kidnappers, pickpockets, armed robbers and atrocious taxi drivers.  These are the on-going catastrophe of Philippine society.

I no doubt enjoyed the compelling World War Z movie and I just hope, similar to what Brad Pitt and those scientist/doctors did in the movie, we finally discover a cure or antidote that would put an end to the pandemic Philippine zombies.

Maging mabuti. Hwag maging sombi.


Adoring Japan / Envying Thailand / Questioning Philippines

A lot of my friends as well as those who follow my blog know that I love Japan.  I adore their food, their weather and the strong and powerful yet charming-to-the ear language.  People know that I admire their culture, their technology, their fashion and their being so organized.  I have high regard to the people of Japan.  They are just so nice and gracious.

i even fancy japan's vendo machines. hahaha
i even fancy japan’s vendo machines. LOL!!!
fashion ba kamo? love my doc martens!!!
along dotonbori… fashion ba kamo? love my doc martens!!!

Too bad I can’t just go there and spend a nice vacation every time I feel like going there.  Being a Pinoy citizen, I am required to process and undergo those tiresome procedures of applying for a visit visa.  Being a Filipino citizen, I am not allowed to simply go there and enjoy the awesome weather.  The Philippines is not one of those rich auspicious countries with visa exemption arrangements with Japan.

Well I guess, some people are fortunate enough to be born into the right nationality while others have to find their own way.  Don’t get me wrong here. I love the Philippines because if I don’t I could have hopped on a plane, gone the hell out and never return.  Or if I can’t have that access, I could have packed my bags, join a secluded monastery and never go out.

I am articulating on this because the recent news made me so envious with the Thais.  According to news, the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that effective July 1, 2013 Japan will give Thai nationals with visa exemptions that would be good for up to 15 days.

amazing thailand... i can feel that i will soon be visiting this country again...
amazing thailand… i can feel that i will soon be visiting this country again…

With this news, Thailand obviously beat and thumped the Philippines big time!  While Thais can go and visit Japan with much ease, us Pinoys will have to settle with the wearisome and mind-numbing processing of visa applications.

I just hope and pray that Japan will grant the same to the Filipinos.  But I guess Japan has their reasons.  And such reasons are actually in the hands of the Pinoys themselves.  Is it the Pinoy culture, the Pinoy urbanity, or the Pinoy civility?  While I endlessly adore Japan and start being jealous of Thailand, I guess only us Pinoys can answer this question.

Pagka-sabmit ng rekwayrments diretcho novena para humiling na bigyan ng visa. Bakit Lord?! Bakit???

7th Year Blogging Anniversary

sevenTruth be told.  This blog started in June 20, 2006 under a blogging service of, a defunct social networking site, which became most popular in the Philippines.  Then I eventually fully migrated directly to in June 18, 2009.

It’s been seven years and I’m glad to say that I am happy to have maintained this blog up to now.  It’s been a great way of sharing my thoughts so let me take this opportunity to thank you for your visits and taking time to read my posts.

To celebrate the 7th year of this blog, here’s the classic Sesame Street pinball animation featuring the number 7.

Dyaske! Pitong taon na ang blog na ire!

Game of Thrones: A Hauntingly Entertaining TV Series

gameofthronesIt must already be in the hundreds if I have tallied and counted the number of times I uttered the words “grabe”, “shocking” and “galing” while watching the episodes of the great HBO tv series Game of Thrones.  These do not include the occasions when I sighed, gasped and screamed while watching it.

The series is so biting and disturbing in a great sense of these words.  It will definitely bring sharp chills on your spines.  All the elements of backstabbing, manipulation, double-dealing, erotica, greed and brutality are present.  The show never holds back!

Unlike a usual TV series where the lead stars are expected to remain alive and be the main and principal characters throughout the whole show, in Game of Thrones characters are dynamic and evolving.  It is unexpected that right in the middle of the story, the lead character (who you thought was the lead character) would just suddenly meet a brutal death.  Or the character you’re starting to like would unexpectedly become a horrendous iron-handed protagonist.  And amazingly, these characters would literally go down and dirty!

For those who have not watched it, I must say that you are missing a hell of a lot.  I swear to the old gods and the new that Game of Thrones is hauntingly entertaining.  This show definitely ranks right up there as masterworks of ingenuity and wild imagination.

Pugot kung pugot! Patay kung patay!

Acid Rain On Treadmill

treadmillI don’t run.  I brisk walk.

Brisk walking is one great exercise.  It makes you healthy. But brisk walking outdoors in a place called Metro Manila would actually make you more sick than healthy. The air is so polluted it would be stupid to jog or brisk walk outside.  And if tough luck besets upon you droplets of acid rain may even infiltrate your lungs making you even more prone to illness.

That is why a Metro Manila inhabitant like me would rather settle to go to a gym and do my brisk walking on a painfully boring treadmill.  Let me be clear that I do not detest Metro Manila the way I have grown to detest the treadmill with growing hatred.

Brisk walking on the treadmill is a mental game for me.  Aside from shaping up my delicious mortal chassis, brisk walking on a treadmill for me is an exercise of mental toughness.  It is because brisk walking on a treadmill is so god awfully boring.  There’s nothing more dreadful than seeing the seconds count down and being fully aware of how much time is still left and the calories you have shred off was actually just equivalent to a spoon of mayonnaise.

To ease the agony of boredom and win the battle against this mentally tormenting machine, I have sought the service and assistance of musical artists particularly of the dance-electronic genre. Now I shape up and step on a treadmill with matching beats.  My walk has gone interesting since the pacing and distance of each stride depends on the beats of the music on my earphones.

Music of Alexis Jordan has been an often tune in my playlist every time I step on the treadmill.  She’s got great selection of songs with varying fast beats.  The most recent one that I truly enjoy listening to is ironically entitled Acid Rain.  This is the Acid Rain that will definitely not hurt at all. Now, boost up the volume and start listening!

Lakad na!

House Rules by Jodi Picoult: A Worthy Story With Sloppy Ending

house rules by jodi picoultI am  glad that my first Jodi Picoult is the House Rules.  For one, there are only few novels I have that in which the story was written from the point of view of several characters including a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, his brother, his mother, his lawyer and a detective.

The way the story ended for me was a bit of a disappointment.  It looks unfinished.  When I read the last page I thought there must be some page missing I even checked on the binding of the manuscript to see if some page were torn out.  Imagine after spending hundreds of pages learning and understanding the characters all of a sudden the author stopped and decided to abruptly end the story without patching up how an equally complicated scenario would be settled.

Nevertheless, the writing technique of Picoult is impressive.  Her switching into different characters after each chapter and her portrayals of these personalities in the novel were impeccable.  I particularly liked the character of Theo.  I liked him because he is the most human being in the story.  If Picoult would write a novel that concentrates more on this young man’s life, I would definitely read it.

Also, full credit should be given to Picoult for the superior research she has done on the topics the story tackled – asperger’s syndrome, autism, psychiatry, forensic science, law, litigation procedures, etc.  And the way she presented the details of these striking topics were also very impressive.  She was like peeling off the skins of an onion meticulously layer by layer.

Though with such a sloppy ending, House Rules nailed it in terms of being informative, entertaining and insightful.  I definitely was entertained because I would just toss it away (when my Asperger’s syndrome attacks) and would not finish reading it if I did not enjoyed it.

Nakakareleyt ako dun sa bida! Hahaha!

A Massive Thanks To A 70’s to 80’s OFW: A Father’s Day Special

Thanks to an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), at a very tender age I know the taste of Baby Ruth and Hershey’s chocolate bars.  Thanks to an OFW, I am one of those young lads who owned a Japanese electronic game set called Atari.  Thanks to an OFW, my pubertal apparel includes United Colors of Benetton shirts, Swatch watches and Adidas shoes.

Thanks to an OFW, my taste buds are no stranger to the savoriness of Spam and imported corned beef.  Thanks to an OFW, at an early age I was exposed to a wide range of cassette-tape music from sweet soothing tunes of Carpenters to pop-beats of Boney M.  Thanks to an OFW, even before the existence and coining of the words “balikbayan box” I know the epidermal comforts brought about by Ivory bath soap and Jergens body lotion.

An enormous thanks to my father for all these.

tatay joe in saudi arabia
tatay joe in saudi arabia

I know these are all mundane worldly materials and I should instead thank my father for giving me an urbane civilized life.  He may have passed away a long time ago but I know my father knows that I’m thankful for that already.  So I’m giving myself a chance to express my deep gratitude regarding these specifics.

Hapi Paders Dey Tatay! Misyumats!