screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

my first blogthing...

Your Hippie Chick Name is: Revelation


Is the Filipino happy? Are we living a life promised by our forefathers after fighting for our so-called freedom? Are we getting a life that we really deserve as rightful citizens of this country? Have we reaped the fruits of our heroes' labour?

A friend of mine, Alisa, got confined in the hospital after having been stabbed on the neck with a knife by still-unidentified thieves while waiting for a ride home in one of the streets in Makati. She died a week after.

An uncle of a friend went to the mountains and is now serving as a member of the CPP / NPA. He once served as a board member in the Visayas. After realizing that he has joined a big circle of lies, deceit and heartlessness towards the poor, he left his home and family, and is now fighting for what he believes as the true evil of this society.

Another close friend of mine, Alfie, once worked in a state university. She was once a very dedicated teacher. Three months ago, she retired from the job she should have loved so much, because, according to her, she cannot last working in a haven of corruption and dirty politics anymore. After having been stripped off of her pride, she's now working on graveyard shift in a call center in the city, away from her family, away from her normal life.

We also knew of a good court judge. He retired from his duties because of old age. He tried to get the pension and benefits from the government he served for so long. He died poor and forgotten, receiving no recognition nor financial assistance from those who owe him much.

A cousin of mine used to have a dream of being a lawyer when we were all young. Now, he's about to finish Nursing, with hopes of getting out of this country as soon as he can, to find his luck out there. No more dream, just being practical, he says.

Women are forced to accept a life of "legal prostitution". Now you see bare bodies everywhere, unclothing themselves even from the morals brought to them by the customs and religions given to us by our ancestors. Looks like it's better to live in shame than to die in hunger these days. But can you blame them?

I once knew a cheerful tindera who had a small stall for local comics and newspapers in our hometown. She was famous in our little town, for she was the first smiling face you'd see before you enter the marketplace. Last time I saw her, she now lives inside the roof of a waiting shed in Quezon City, without the usual smile.

We used to have a neigbor who owned a huge area of land which he personally tills as a farmer. Two years after selling the land because of bankruptcy, he now roams around a nearby town, asking for alms on one corner of the town's main church.

A government that works for its henchmen, not the people. A government that boasts performance, yet the only performance it's doing so far is not to serve the people. The answer to basic infrastructure? Let private companies do it. NLEX used to be efficient. Later, it will be efficient, and expensive. The answer to basic services? Sell em to the cronies. Now, even education can't work without the support of the elite. Makes us wonder, Brunei must be doing wonders and must be run by saintly beings in providing free education for everybody.

So, uneducated and, thus, uncivilized as most of us are, people would willingly beat up a man whom they think is a criminal, without serving justice first. We feel beat up by the system. We are angry, but most of us don't know why. The answer for local reality TV? Street justice.

We are fond of telenovelas, noontime shows and cheap teenage romance mini-flicks because we love to escape. We'd cherish every moment that we can get away from the harsh parts of reality. Philippine reality.

It is said that what is just makes a man happy. In this country, real justice is just a few thousand pesos away. Or some product of mere fantasy.

This is a country where dreams are continuously shattered to the deep forgotten, where shadows smirk while the righteous suffers on the foreground. People wouldn't notice, nor budge a little, for they are hungry. They look only for what replenishes, not to what damages. They tend to notice every once in a while, try to correct what's wrong, but they are weak. The few is strong. So they return to their homes, to their miserable lives, sighing.

The cost of living is going high for the benefit of the few, and for the misery of the many. The middle class are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer, the poor are slowly dying.

This is a country where every man has to think of surviving rather than living, of food rather than honor, of submission rather than fighting for what is right. Laws are continuously bent, while rules continually strike the common people down. The Filipino accept this as a fact of life.

Do you see people smiling in EDSA? Do you see people in Makati walking on the sidewalks, looking contented and satisfied? The only smile you'd see are hidden behind the tinted glass windows of BMWs and Jaguars.

The Filipino is not a happy people. And some of us are fed up already.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Paradox of Our Time

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgments; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too sparingly.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor

We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve done larger things, but not better things; cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less.

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes; but lower morals; more food but less appeasement; more acquaintance, but fewer friends; more-effort but less success.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quit, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever but have less communication;

We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

Leadership by Example

Do you listen to hip-hop music? I can listen to all types of music (except boybands Puhleaaase). Last night I was working late in our laboratory, and I decided to watch the 11 P.M. news and suddenly a co-worker of mine played a track from 50 cent's in da club it goes;

"You can find me in the club
bottles full of bub
look mommy I got what you need
if you need to fill the bars
I'm into having sex
I ain't into making love
so come give me a hug
if you into being rubbed".

Heres another line that caught my attention. and I think it goes something like;

"Mah flow, Mah show, brought me the doh,
that bought me all my fancy things,
Mah Crib, mah cars, Mah pools, Mah jewls,
look nigga i got smart and i aint changed"

That time I was listening to this congressman who was whining about the proposed pork barrel cut. he goes. "Nung eleksyon nangako kami ng mga proyekto, ngayon pano kami babalik sa destrito namin nyan". Wow! spoken like a true gangsta, who wants to show off to his homies in da hood (This is me talking in a ghetto accent). For god's sake its just a cut not an elimination (pork barrel elimination would sound better though). Come on! he can still do his precious projects all he has to do is to be thrifty and do a little fund raising campaign (why not? he did that during the elections). He also added, "bakit naman kami ang pinagdedeskitahan dito?" kami ba may kasalanan ng budget deficit na yan?" According to the investigative report of Mike Enriquez, about 200 million pesos is unliquidated annually from our boys in congress. You know what? Speaking of fund raising here is what Im thinking. Why don't we make a music video for 50 cent's in da club and make these congressmen be on it? Well even add up those bling blings on them to create the illusion. Im sure that will boost ratings for whatever TV station that will air it. If they gonna act like a ghetto pimp, then lets treat them like that.

The funny thing is congress wants to tax the public some more. They want us to help resolve this budget deficit. But are they actually doing their part? In the first place how did we have a budget deficit? Because answer to that question would be the solution. It is estimated that over 50 billion pesos can be collected from these tax evaders. not to mention the other Billions that is being unliquidated, and unnecessary expenditures being spent by our government. It was also reported by LTO that the number of issued luxury vehicles this year TRIPPLED as compared to last year! The Energy department is convincing us to be thrifty in using gasoline, so here is what I propose. Lets do a little leadership by example, If all public officials would surrender or at least limit the use of their four wheel drive luxury vehicles, if all congressmen and senators will be willing to sacrifice a portion or if at all completely their piggy banks....errr... pork barrels, then count me in. You can tax me all you want! After all this scenario happened in South Korea during the Asian financial Crisis sometime during the mid-90s. Government officials sacrificed some of their properties, and the citizens followed by donating even their personal jewelries.

But of course they also have to guarantee us of effective tax collection, and a better means of minimizing corruption. Speaking of which, I also was able to visit the website of TALSIK.

I for one never supported activism, simply because most of them (if not all) delimit the issue to people. Yes we can always eliminate people from office we have the power to keep doing that. But the question is will it minimize corruption? I think not! why? because people are not the problem, the attitude is. I really was looking forward in viewing what TALSIK has achieved so far with their proposed solutions ("Which actually was not clearly stated, other that the plan to keep talking about finding ways to reform the government), sadly I didn't really find much. The real deal here is that the system is the problem. We had many noble statesmen who ended up being corrupted by the system after some years of working with it (Loren Legarda for one). It does not matter who we elect in office, no one will come clean until we all come to be clean. Fact is leaders come from us, believe it or not the most corrupt leaders in this country started to have noble intentions. I guess most of us already have heard the proposition that goes, "in order to change this country what we need to do is kill every single Filipino and spare all the new borns. Ergo the only ultimate solution is if all of us will change for the better. If TALSIK can come up with a proposal on how to change 80 million Filipinos, then I will contribute whatever they want me to. I don't also have a proposal for that, so to answer Chelsea's question, what can we do to help the country aside from talking, here it goes;

Every morning I wake up early, take heavy breakfast, go to work on time, leave work on time, and while Im in this country I pay my taxes to the last cent and obey its laws to the last letter. And on my spare time I sit on this computer and try to reveal the true nature of the system, with the hope that someone may also care enough to realize the problem with what the problem of the system is. And somehow make a contribution to change that system. By that I mean changing him or herself. Im trying to seek change for myself also because I believe that is how we can beat the system. We don't really need to go out in the streets again to create catharsis, or be shot in Luneta to become heroes. In order for this country to change, every people in it must seek change for himself and not only fro the people around him.

Otherwise, when we become statesmen someday, we might find ourselves singing to 50 cent's tune "P.I.M.P" everybody sing with me,

"I dont know what you heard about me, but if you can't
get a dollar out of me
No Cadillac, no perms, you can't see
That I'm a motherf**king P-I-M-P."


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

What If

This is a song taken from the soundtrack of an unpopular animated movie entitled "Christmas Carol". The lyrics of this song completely define what feelings I'm carrying right now in my heart. For you, Elmo...

Here I stand alone
With this weight upon my heart
And it will not go away
In my head I keep on looking back
Right back to the start
Wondering what it was that made you change

Well I tried
But I had to draw the line
And still this question keeps on spinning in my mind

What if I had never let you go
Would you be the man I used to know
If I'd stayed
If you'd tried
If we could only turn back time
But I guess we'll never know

Many roads to take
Some to joy
Some to heart-ache
Anyone can lose their way
And if I said that we could turn it back
Right back to the start
Would you take the chance and make the change

Do you think how it would have been sometimes
Do you pray that I'd never left your side

What if I had never let you go
Would you be the man I used to know
If I'd stayed
If you'd tried
If we could only turn back time
But I guess we'll never know

If only we could turn the hands of time
If I could take you back would you still be mine

'Cos I tried
But I had to draw the line
And still this question keep on spinning in my mind

What if I had never let you go
Would you be the man I used to know
What if I had never walked away
'Cos I still love you more than I can say
If I'd stayed
If you'd tried
If we could only turn back time
But I guess we'll never know
We'll never know

Note: Kate Winslet CAN SING.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

I Dream of You

This morning, I woke up with tears flowing down my cheeks and a sinking sensation of immortal despair. I've never had an experience like this before. Was I crying while I was sleeping? Was that possible?

Then it just hit me: I had a dream. Confused, I couldn't understand nor remember it fully the first time I thought of it. I approached the window, sobbing. It was still dark. It was just two o'clock in the morning. I was graced by the gloomy light from the brick pathway adorned by little lamps. The world was still deep in slumber. I was alone.

Slowly, small bits of that dream came into recollection. Suddenly, I was crying again, silently.

Yes, the dream was about you.

And in the dream, you were looking for someone who would keep you safe from harm. You came from a far away land where the world had severely impaired your soul. You were searching for sanctuary, and you came to me.

It was seeing you again for the first time. I could still feel the ecstasy while seeing you approaching me, smiling at me with those sad eyes, telling me how long you’ve searched for me. Happiness. No amount of heaven can ever exceed the bliss I felt when I felt your arms again. I can hear your voice once again. I can feel you breathe again. We were together again...

I kept you in a place where no harm can touch you. Somehow, we managed to find the house I was dreaming of for the longest time. The castle in the sky. But I never thought of being home in that castle until I saw you in it. It was like paradise in a box... a dream house that I can call “home”. And it’s been a long time since I felt like “home”.

Life went by, and I kept on returning to that place. I always see you standing by the balcony, looking at the sunset. Your nearness so overwhelms me that the thought of it makes my heart beat hard until it almost bursts. Oh! You were so close to me. You needed me only and if only I could spend the rest of my life in fantasy.

Hours went by, I can now feel the warmth of today's sunrise. But I still feel like staying in my room, where I can cry silently while dreaming the dream again and again... You never fail to make me crazy, even in your absence. It was a dream brought into being by a should-have-been reality, yet I feel so sad waking up to reality. If only there is a way to go back. If only there is a way to return to you.

I never thought I could miss someone like this before.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

You gave me questions....

It's been a while since I last replied to emails from people who frequently visit this blog. I try my best to respond to all of your messages, guys... but the thing is, work has really been eating lots of my time and energy these days. *sigh* This new job, full-time executive office manager of a leading Tourism company in the city is quite taxing specially for me who came from a very lazy part-time commercial modelling stint. But really, I’m enjoying it. Power-dressing is a lot more rewarding than posing for a select number of people in a given studio. Oh, I just love it when men stare behind my back… I wonder what they’re staring at? Teeheehee…

Anyway, I’d like to do an attempt in answering some of the questions which are frequently thrown to me by my blog visitors. I’ll try to answer the top five most asked questions on my list. (And yes.... some of 'em can get a little bit to the stupid side... some of 'em...)

1. Where exactly are you? Your profile says you’re in Makati, but you always mention you are somewhere else…

As I’ve said, I work in a company where tourism and travel is our business. So basically, I go out of the country a lot. As in, A LOT! But I always make sure I’d be going back. No matter how bad the situation is in the Philippines, my heart always pulls me back to where I came from no matter how persistent people are in convincing me to stay away if I had the chance. I love the people here. People are warm here. In Paris, no one would smile back at you. It’s cold out there when you’re out there.

As of this moment (Sept. 2004), a lot of my time is spent doing corporate meetings and assisting our clients with regards to doing business in the Philippines. Yes, I promote the Philippines. My friends and some people would find it weird- how too much hate I have for the country when in fact, my work involves building up the image of the Philippines. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably tell this again and again: I don’t hate this country. I think the Philippines is a great place to live. There’s just too many things to fix first before we can truly appreciate it’s beauty to the fullest. And fixing stuff means being aware of what is to be fixed first, right? Hence, I whine, if that’s what people would like to call what I’m doing.

2. What qualities do you look for in guys who’d want to be your next boyfriend?

Ah. Simple question, nasty motive. Here’s the thing. I don’t look for qualities. I believe that when love hits me, then that’s it. I don’t look for standards and I definitely don’t look for a new boyfriend at all. As far as I’m concerned, I’m already happy with what I have right now. If the right guy comes, then lucky me. If not… or not yet now, well, the hell with waiting. I’ve waited once, but I found it really frustrating. I learned how to deal with it, and the only way to deal with it is to NOT WAIT at all. “He” will come, true. But it’s quite weird if I go head over heals for him after dealing with the long desperate wait. The right approach that I have learned to live with is this… “Let ‘him’ be.” The “be” there has a phenomenological taste to it. Better read your philosophy books.

Ok. Some guys are persistent, so I’d give them an answer anyway. There’s one quality in particular which I am searching for a potential lover. He has to pamper me… a lot.

Let’s go to the other side of the question: What qualities don’t I like in men? Yes, this question has definite answers. First, I don’t like men who stare. I mean, sometimes, it makes me feel good when men "look"... It gives me an impression that I do look good... However, there are men's "looks" that are... well, bastos. I have this strong sense that I know when men stare at me in a very malicious manner even if I’m not looking at them. And I feel severly uneasy whenever that happens. Second, I don’t like men who brag about their stuff. If I don’t ask about what year you got your car, then don’t tell me anything about it. Third, I don’t like men who consider women as possessions. I’d like to feel I belong to someone special, but being branded as “syota ko yan…” or “akin ka lang…” is a different story.

Related question: Who’s Elmo? Well… I still have to ask Elmo himself first before I’d blurt out his true identity. I always say that he’s the only one in the world who really knows me, and how to make me happy in ways no other human being can. He’s... well... a special someone.

3. Can I have your cellphone number? No.

4. You’re a commercial model? What getup do you usually wear?

This question always come from people who’d like to know how to be a professional commercial model. I always say commercial models are people, too. They wear clothes the way usual people do. We go to places where people usually go. People eat fishballs, and I love fishballs. We’re not goddesses. We just do things in style, that’s why agents notice us- a usual way to start a modelling career.

What I usually wear?… hmmm… It depends. At home, the usual boring tanktops and shorts. At the malls, the usual low riders, pink tees and boots. I love dressing up in really girly style, although work won’t let me wear my favorite flowery dress anymore. In the office, short skimpy skirt ala-Ally Mcbeal, of course, but I’m not as thin as her, so I do power-dressing way better than her. I don’t wear overly stylish clothes, swashbuckling as if the mall, for instance, is my entire catwalk. I tend to disappear in the crowd, not emerge from it. I live a simple life. I intend to stay that way.

This brings me to another, quite rude, question. “If you’re a model, how come you don’t have lots of pictures on the web?” How dare these people ask me this question. I have questions posted on the web, but they are exclusively for professional purposes only… I don’t give away my profile. You should look for them if you can find them. But don’t expect me giving you links and stuff.

I had a terrible experience related to this. Once, I was trying this wonderfull lavander strappy sandals that I saw in one of those stalls in Megamall, then this weird looking dark thin guy approached me and shouted on the top of his lungs, “Shit! You are Katie Torres, right?!” He was all over me so much that I could cover my face with a bayong and wish I have the ability to pop like a bubble. I left hurriedly in discomfiture. Now you know why I keep a low physical profile online.

5. For the last question for this batch: What do you do in your spare time?

Aside from writing an entry for the blog, I do sketches for deviantart. But the thing is, my scanner’s broken now so I can’t upload it to the site. Maybe later. What else? Hmmm… People say I’m a text addict. I spend five hundred bucks a week for calls and text. Guilty pleasure.