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.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Shoutbox Chicks 3

Just when I was about to finish the second episode of Shoutbox Chicks, here comes my master Adel who came up with his own version of my comicbook series. Nice. Now I have to keep up with how the art develops. Waaah!

Anyway, I know you'll love this one. It's me and Adel on one of those bus rides to Baguio that I enjoyed so much. Circa 2000. Still fresh from college graduation, still living the dream. Notice my former white G4 iBook there... I miss my old machine. Sigh...

Just click on the image above to see the bigger version. I don't want to shrink it since it's ruining the text, you know. By the way, I was the one who labeled it "#3"!! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I've been tagged! But in a nice way, because I love answering these types of questions. Here it goes...

1. What are the things you enjoy doing even when there's no one around you?

Window shopping in malls I haven't been yet. Next stop: Singapore's Takashimaya! Oh boy... I'm gonna spend a whole day there tomorrow. Work+Play! I just love my job.

2. What lowers your stress/ blood pressure/ anxiety level?

Gym!... writing blog entries, writing emails to friends and relatives, reading emails from friends and relatives, drawing, watching my old DVDs... and ah! sleeping, of course. :)

3. Tag five friends and ask them to post it in theirs.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Shoutbox Chicks 1

Now I know why my Elmo liked drawing Jac. I have seen her once, a year ago during a SciFi Convention in Rockwell, Makati, and that's how, more or less, I remember her... with additional accessories, of course. Too bad, we weren't able to really meet that day. Anyway, she's such a nice subject for doing digital art. :D

I hope you guys like this one. I've been doing some sketches for a long time now, but I never really got serious to it, until now. I have to thank Jac somehow, I told myself. So I found myself in front of Photoshop again, although it's quite difficult to draw with a mouse and not with a Wacom pen. *sigh* Anyway, thanks to my Elmo also, with whom I shared sketchbooks for the longest time.

Yup! This is the first Shoutbox Chicks comicstrip. I'll be making another one if inspiration comes again soon... unless someone tells me to quit it. As you can see, inspiration still comes in small dosages these days. It's obvious if you look at the last panel. Cut-and-paste galore! Teeheehee....

And oh... Jac, it looks amateurish, but I hope you like it. :) I should get a Wacom pen soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I'm in the 18th!

By nature, yours truly is a real loner. I hold only a few people close to my heart, but they're far from my reach most of the time. That's due to the fact that my job requires me to "be everywhere". Going home has become occasional, not usual. (And hearing bad news from "home" has always been quite frustrating.)

It's fun having friends online, but it's overwhelming joy when you gain real friends and sistahs from all over. Rarely does one find someone with whom you can relate to, or with whom you share same interests, common sentiments. I'm just thankful one of those who are given these rare chances.

There's this one small circle of friends that I've been fond of for a long time now. They are friends whom I share emails with, or whose messages on tagboard/shoutboxes I'm always looking forward to read everyday. They are my blog friends, and people are beginning to notice how this good mix of people from different walks of life, from all over the world, could really get other people's attention. They are starting to notice how we shine. You know who you are, guys. And I appreciate sharing with you this unique kind of sheer online bliss, specially in times of unsought isolation.

Anyway, thanks so much, Jac, for Pilya 18. I just love the blouse! Must.. come up... with... a real one... wheeeeee! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


My friend, Marcuz, sent me an email about one experience that is worthy of being featured here in my blog (because we almost have the same sentiments about some points that he mentioned). Read on...


I went to the barbershop for my monthly haircut. Just right across this place is a sari-sari store that also sells pirated VCDs and music CDs. And, of course, to catch the attention of potential customers, it loudly plays music that usually sells in the streets. "Kantang kanto", says my barber, who's quite annoyed by the fact that they can't do the usual barber shop talk that day, just like any other day of their week, because of the loud racket outside.

It would have been ok if they played good music. But my goodness! During my one hour session with my barber, all I heard was a bunch of crappy noise- particularly this tasteless song that was played over and over again...

"May tatlong dear sa loob ng munting kubo,
Si mommy dear, si daddy dear, si baby dear.
Si mommy dear ay marikit,
Si daddy dear ay makisig,
Si baby dear ay napakalikot,
Masdan nyo, masdan nyo,
Ang kyu-kyut nila...."

(This is one song that really stays in your head for the longest time. The worst "last song syndrome" ever.)

Katie, I should tell you- a man's haircut session is supposed to be one guy "holy" thing, but that was the most grueling 30-minute haircut that I had in my entire life!

Honestly, this is the reason why I hate contemporary Filipino music- most of the composers are in just for the money, not for the art, or at least, for making it better. All you can hear on FM radio, if not DJs laughing or talking nonsense or making annoying mimics, or if not revivals of old songs, are songs that depict subconscious malice. I mean, it's a country of amateur bland music!

I don't have an iPod to get away from the "kantang kanto" as my barber puts it. I can't afford it. So everyday, I have to endure whatever it is that you usually hear on jeepneys or on FX taxis. Rarely do I find public utility vehicles playing music from radio stations with professional DJs and good music. Usually, you hear 93.9 DJs blurting out their senseless mwahahas and teeheehees and lousy jokes. No wonder people learn nothing from radio but... ah. Simply nothing.

Anyway, the song goes on and on, with girls sounding like sluts and a lead singer who sings and raps like Bondying (from the days of Jimmy Santos fame). As if steam were to burst out of my nose out of severe aggravation, as soon as haircut's done, I went out of the barber shop, went straigt to the CD store, bought the very same CD that was playing on their stereo, dropped it on the ground in front of the store owner and smashed the CD to pieces.

Luckily, the owner didn't care since he already had my thirty bucks. But seeing all those people on the barber shop just across the street, and the relief that I would never have to listen to that song again are all worth the trouble.


I hear you, Marcuz. I just hope you didn't take a jeepney on your way home. Kelangan pa bang i-memorize yan?!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Hope Fades

Where is the sense of professionalism in the Senate when we need it the most? Where is the sense of honor and dignity that every leader should have when we need it the most? And where are the good statesmen when we need them the most? Today another statesman passed away and it is really a big loss to this already dying republic.

Given a choice between an actor politician who is a darling of the masses but a clown of the Senate and a professional politician whom the masses can't relate to but is knowledgeable about running the country, I'd choose the latter. We don't want a superstar in the Senate! We don't need them at all. I'm so sick with this pathetic excuses for statesmen, who claim that they are the messiah of the masses. This people think that by winning the heart of the masses they automatically become good statesmen. I must have heard this bull crap a bajillion times, and as much as it is pleasing to the ears, it remains nothing but a cheap bull crap used to deceive us. I'd still prefer professional politicians, who care little about their public image, but care more about getting the job done. This is what's wrong with our politics today. Its so full of populist bureaucrats who spends more time finding an opportunity for them to make the headlines, rather than work their indolent asses off.

The late Sen. Raul Roco was one of these professional politicians. If it was a competition of public image (which our presidential elections are all about), he would surely loose. But if it was a competition of achievements and performance (which our presidential elections are never about), I tell you he deserved to be the president of this country more than any presidentiables. The reason why I gave him my vote, was not because he made headlines during the Impeachment trial, not because he made a Jose-Pidal expose, not even because of the promise that he brought, but ultimately because of his sense of professionalism. A highly decorated senator who spent most of his time passing important laws on education, feminist rights, and benefits for our public school teachers. During his tenure as the secretary of education, more textbooks were given national high schools, more benefits were given to our public school teachers, and I know some friends and relatives who can attest to this. Of course, he was also once accused of corruption, but he had the courage to do what no other public officials would have. And that is to resign to preserve his honor and the credibility of the institution he worked for, even though the truth of these accusations was never really established. This is the kind of leader that we need. Most of our public officials nowadays cling like leaches to their positions cover their asses, at the expense of the integrity of the institution they represents. Sa Tagalog, mga lehitimong Walanghiya!

To this day no formal charges are filed against him. But I still believe that you can never put a good man down like Raul Roco. I do not now about you people but I will surely feel the consequences of this loss. In a time where good statesmen are endangered species, this is truly a big loss. Lets be realistic here, the sword of a Panday will not save us. The cheesey speeches of Susan Roces will not save us anymore than it will get a famas award. The attempt of our president to kiss the asses of every congressmen will not make this country rise again. This country will rise trough the invaluable contributions of every statesman politician or otherwise. But today we have lost one.

"Now, more than ever, we will miss the qualities of a leader that the country needs," said Herminio Aquino, the late stateman's former running mate. "He is the ideal leader that the country needs right now."

Indeed, guts, intelligence and dignity define the statesmanship of thie soft-spoken man. Although he did participate in the mudslinging that makes up what Philippine politics is today, he seemed to have done it in a manner that does not give any shade of shame in his personality, nor in any institution that he worked for. Perhaps, his name would not be written in bold letters in history books, but the example that he established clearly shows that we, Filipinos, have the potential to be good leaders of our own land, if only we could choose our own leaders wisely.

To the masses he is just a fat guy in a red Hawaiian, sometimes flowery shirt. To the Bicolanos like Ahmad, though, he is a kababayan we are truly proud of. To his colleagues he was one of the best senators the legislature had. To the whole country he was truly a statesman.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who ran under Roco’s Aksyon Demokratiko party, mentioned Roco was "one politician who in many ways was ‘unpolitical’ because he disdained partisan compromises, did not engage in patronizing gimmickry, avoided petty talk and did not subdue his intellect simply to appear common or popular." This is true. I don't believe most of our politicians are plainly stupid, as most of them have acquired education from highly-acclaimed institutions in the Philippines, and even in the U.S. and Europe. But listen to them whenever they are interviewed on TV. Take for instance Imee Marcos, who said "Ewan ko... hindi magandang pakinggan sa pangalan pa lang," when asked about what she thinks of Con As.

Lagman adds,"Roco was primed for the presidency but was not favored by destiny."

Farewell to you Sen. Raul Roco. Perhaps, it was never your time to be leader of this corrupted state. But at least, you've given this generation a hint of what a true leader should be, or would be, if that day when all becomes better comes.

-Ahmad and Katie

His story begins

He sits on the railings of the cliff as he focused his attention on where the sun is rising. He left Manila as early as his sleepy eye could endure, so as to let no one know of his sudden departure. In search of soltitude, he just got a ride on the first bus that we would come across that morning in EDSA. As a small hint of sunlight touched his face, tears glared from his cheek. This is, indeed, not the best time to be alone for the first time in his entire life.

They say, in the Bible's Old Testament, God resides in high places. Moses made contact with God in Mount Sinai. This is also where he saw the promised land before he faded from this world.

This is, perhaps, the reason why Phil is in Baguio right now. Months ago, he just finished an academic course that he had no intersest on in the first place, thus ending his fifteen straight years of learning nothing but life basics and complex theories. His girl-friend, long-time fling actually, has just left him for another guy, just three days before the big graduation day. His Dad, who basically has predetermined his life for his unico ijo, died of cancer months before the graduation, thus disabling him to pursue any real course that would define a real life ahead of him. Mom's out there somewhere, but he never knew where since he was still very young. He's been alone eversince he stood into college, but never did he feel the real consequences of being alone until now. With just a thousand bucks left in his pockets, and the cloud-capped mountains adorning the scene that is Mines View Park, he is swept away to a place where he could finally find Him to blame for this life that He seems to have forsaken. Here, he asks the question asked by philosophers that he once adored: "Where to from here?"

He felt shivers, but not because it's January, the coldest month of the year. As people come and go, taking pictures of the green mountains and white fog, it's as if time is just passing by for this poor motionless creature. As if to move an inch would just add more reason to believe that he has definitely lost his direction, as it felt like drifting in space with no clue where he's heading. They say it's extremely dark and cold out there in space. This is probably the chill that he sees his future right now. Dark and cold.

People smile as they come and go. But then it started to rain. Like ants immediately sensing impending danger, tourists retreated to the nearby souvenirs market for shelter. But Phil stayed. There's no danger for a man who feels he has nothing to look forward to anymore. Anyway, it's one nice way to conceal his tears.

He shifted his focus to where he is right now: on the edge of a abyssal cliff. Time slows down as he leaned forward and lifted his leg to go beyond the wooden railings. As he see things now, the only message that he has received from God is rain falling to the deepest edges of the cliff. There's no definite direction now but to fall down.

As he closed his eyes upon establishing this disclosure, and as he hangs his body as his final attempt to cling into life and reason, he felt a swift pull coming from the collar of his shirt. His feet slipped, robbing him from his balance and allowing him to fall, not off the cliff but where it's safe once again. Although it's not that entirely safe, as he knocked his head on a rock as he tumbles to the ground.

He taught he died already, as it was a blurred image of an angel as rain continues to douse his eyes, before consciousness totally left him. "Oops," she said, with a mischievous grin on her face.

"Somebody call a doctor!"