Monday, July 27, 2009

Old Loves

I kinda grew up listening to the songs of my parents. They were young, and not so ready to give up the music of their generation so instead of letting me listen to supposedly "intelligent" music like Beethoven and Batibot or the more "society" songs in Sesame Street (we had no TV, so...), I was nodding my head to Sting, U2, Annie Lennox, Queen, Eurythmics and a tiny bit of Earth, Wind and Fire (Do you remember, the 21st night of September..?)

I have all their songs right now in my MP3 and in my online playlists, they are also mainstays. It makes me laugh when other people think that I'm old-school. I'm like: What the pineapple?! These are bloody cool songs! Far better than the noisy whatever-kind-of-rock-music you listen to these days and far more fun and romantic (like Sting's Fields of Gold) than the sappy, overly sentimental lyrics of today. There's is no poetry, no art, in today's music. It's all storytelling, sometimes nice, sometimes overly senseless and boring like:

I've been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and laughed

I mean, huh? Where's the art there? And people in love all over the world love this song because of the "I'm yours, I'm yours" thing. Oooooh, boy. I won't even comment.

I accept the "to each his own" excuse. That I cannot argue with taste. And I'm not trying to. But I think that people should expand their own views and try to dabble at different stuff before settling down with just one thing. I like Lady Gaga by the way, absolutely luuuurve her. But not in the same way as I love those musicians I mentioned. Gaga is amusing and her music is mindless and energetic, and not drippingly dull.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kindly Fuck Your Fake American Accent Off

I cannot rant enough about this. I just can't. This is the biggest bad sign that I can find around that I have personally gone into. Call centers, kill me, I hate them.

When I was in the call center industry, I was told that "æ" is God. Like say: "Eya-pple" with your jaw trying to do its own acrobatic tricks. I just hated it. It was fake. The callers could not care less anyway, as long as they get what they want, or an acceptable semblance of it.

Trust me, an American accent, or trying so hard to sound like them will sound nothing but fake. It's F.A.K.E. and the customers know it. So what's the point?

Prior to BPO's flocking to the Philippines, they were in India mostly, and well, you know what they sound like. But holy hell, guess what, the customer satsifaction scores are comparable to ours.

Thing is, there are lots of American Accents. Lumping them all together under the general banner of "American" is just gross and senseless.

What irks me most is when some call center employees just take that outside the call center. Like the whole world is their Avaya. It's crazy. To an American you may sound all cool but to Filipinos, sorry, we know better. It sounds fake and so are you.

The problem with call centers is that they are becoming notoriously known for all the wrong ethics. Having a salary that high makes them think that they are better than everyone else. I swear, I have been there. That arrogance. But it really is nothing. Nothing at all.

It really isn't the money that makes the man. Too bad that in call centers, that's not what you're told. So please, if you do have a nice accent, great. But if you just CANNOT get that American twang, stop it. Your fake American accent is not cool.

Friday, July 24, 2009

This is SO Major League Bullshit

I was going through Google Videos just now and I found this video entitled Human Rights in Zamboanga City. Watch it first.


Finished? What just pisses me off is the fact that this report is one sided. Overly so. You get a poor guy from one of our indigenous tribes and they will definitely rant about how poor they are. This guy in the video even sounds like those cab or tricycle drivers who continually rant about how corrupt the government is. From someone like that, what do you expect to hear? A sweet life?

Number two. I thought the video is about Human Rights in Zamboanga. Zamboanga. Yet the guy also kept referencing to Jolo and Muslims. There are no hospitals in Jolo, no nurses, yada yada. Well, Human Rights in Zamboanga does not cover Jolo, sorry, end of story.

Number three: Yes, there are people who go to Malaysia to find a job. The same number go to the States, UAE, London and even in the armpits of the world. Double that number are those who go to different parts of the Philippines (like me) to seek employment and/or education. This is the non-issue of non-issues. And if we don't know, this thing does not only happen in Zamboanga, but everywhere else.

Number four: Big stores, yet no Muslim working there. What a gross misrepresentation! There is no data, and I am pretty darn sure that the guy didn't spend the time to examine all the workers in the store from salesladies to managers to baggers and warehouse people to make that ignorant conclusion. I have seen McDonald's hire Muslims. I have seen a couple of Mindpro foodcourt attendants who are Muslims. Apart from that, several businesses are OWNED by Muslims and I would imagine, prefer their own Muslim brothers and sisters to be employed there, too. Fucking ignorant!

Number five: A person who finished three courses, like the guy on the video (some variety of engineering, commerce and BM), would SPEAK BETTER ENGLISH! That's just that. Don't give me that rubbish. Undergraduates can look for work, and I am a testament of that. If I wasn't offered to come to Manila, I would have been accepted (even if I wasn't a graduate) as a working student in a store there. My friend Ruffa, did that too. Another couple of friends, Arjay and Kit, did the same thing.

Lastly, human rights is NOT just for the rich. But for everyone who can overcome that self pitying attitude and stand up to point out what is not right.

I just hate this video. It's ignorant and unresearched. If this were aired, I pity the people who would have another place to cross from their 'Places to Visit' list after being victimed by bad media.

I hate it when they air things about Zamboanga being poor and the Muslims are being rejected, because they are not. If bombings occur, do they not kill Muslims and Christians both? This should not be about Christian vs Muslim but Citizens vs Unfair Corporatocracy. More about jobs in the next entry.

I'm not saying that there are no Human Rights violations in Zamboanga. There are and there are probably more all around the Philippines. I like the concept of actually going out and getting people to talk about what Human Rights are in the microsphere. But relying on just one sketchy interview is irresponsible, illogical and just plain ignorant. Those energies are better saved for going into the meat of the matter.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sampalok and Other Things

Today I am munching on Sampalok candy. It's cheap and reminds me of my childhood, deprived as it was, and the days when there would be a Manang who carried around a nice big cast iron pot filled with sticky Sampalok in my old street, Lustre. The Sampalok that she peddled was not rolled in sugar, but rather sweetened by molasses and served, in one peso dollops, on banana leaf squares. It was a fun and cheap snack, something that I cannot anymore find in Lustre, much more here in the teeming sidewalks of Ayala Avenue.

I have always thought that I was born too late. I have always found myself imagining how nice it would be to live in the old days. No, I don't mean the days of my own childhood, but the old, old days of the Spanish era (is that right?) here in the Philippines. How lovely the classic, rich architecture, the bittersweet and decadent life that came before telephones and television. And Spam.

In one of the BPI branches here near my office, there is this old faded photo of the Cervantes district, the old business capital and sometimes, especially if the lines are long, I would look at the picture and imagine that I was one of the people there, scurrying around in my billowing skirt and kerchief carrying a basket of vegetables to take to the market. Or maybe I would just be taking a stroll, with a Manton and a lace fan. Or maybe I would be that girl by the window, awaiting for the postman who will be giving my the reply letter I have been waiting for months to recieve.

I like letters. The idea of having to actually write something in your own hand, send it and lingeringly wait for a reply is just so romantic. Too bad I never got to it, as it was almost completely eradicated by the internet.

I was born too darn late.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lady Gaga

yes, that's her BEFORE she became famous. she's been performing in NY's East Side for almost 5 years now

I really like Lady Gaga. More than her more popular songs like Just Dance and Poker Face, I actually like the ones that are not so oft played like Boys, Boys, Boys and Money Honey. I also like her collaboration with NKOTB, I'm a Big Girl Now and her bonus track I Like It Rough. While her songs often allude to sex, being wild and perhaps, to some people, being promiscuous, to me, it's really just fun, mindless music that is very woman/girl-ish, taking on a very woman-on-top concept. True, you will not suddenly find God or find World Peace in Lady Gaga's music, because that's not what it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be fun and racy! Sensual, not SEXual.

She's talented. Sooooper. She writes her own music and designs the concept of her concert and her clothes. She plays the piano and mixes her own songs. How cool is that.

I'm GOING to the August 11 concert. Even if it's on a damned Tuesday!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Just today, actually, just NOW, an anonymous Skype user asked permission to exchange contact details with me. In the message that can optionally come with the invite, it was yet another invitation to visit a certain site, as they offered certain services, yada yada.

Fine. Being the online shopper that I was, I pseudo-eagerly went to the site and if you are browsing it right now, you will see that it is simply made, no-frills. It's not even SEO'd. Google does not even list in when you type in the search term "Olence".

What I really appreciate about this website though, is that it offers food choices that they WILL deliver for free anywhere in Makati, no minimum. I assume that they still deliver free for other parts of the Metro, only they do so for orders Php150 and up. Which, I have to say, is VERY cheap. The meals are all around Php35 for rice + ulam + side dish. All home cooked.

I was completely suckered in this new concept of the digital version of Manang who comes into offices bearing packed lunches, which, among others, is what Olence is. I think I am one of the first people (charus) to witness the evolution of Manang from a basket toting, skirt and kerchief wearing, cooking for a living housewife to a decently dressed woman with her plastic bag full of styro-packed lunches to the Manang who now resides along the information superhighway, takes orders via skype, ym and email and payment through gcash and bank deposit. In her own website, too. It's amazing.

I ordered sweet and sour fish + spicy kangkong meal for me and longganisa + spicy kangkong for Allan. I am yet to see if Olence is worth the 10 minutes I spent extolling their great concept. I hope their food tastes great.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What was he thinking?


Me: I read that Confucius said that women should be subservient to their husbands, take care of her children and her home and have filial piety for her parents. What do you think? Is that still relevant?

Him: No. Di na uso yan ngayon.

Me: No, pero do you think that we will have better citizens if the mother just stayed at home and took care of the children instead of working? Or are we showing kids how to be better people if the mother is out working as well?

Him (not a little annoyed): Eto na lang, he has to make sense. After all he's Confucius!

Haha. Men.

A Case of Man-Love

If there is one thing that I keep hearing from girlfriends of mine, one common line of rant, about their boyfriends and/or husbands is the fact that they feel shortchanged, unloved and underappreciated.

While some of their claims may be true, there is also a big fat area where this feeling of neglect stems from their misunderstanding of what love is. Or perhaps, to be more precise, their misunderstanding of the difference between the love of a man and the love of a woman.

FACT: A woman loves unconditionally. She will nurse you when you're sick, fluff and stroke your ego when you get fired from work, cook your meals for you, make the broth a bit saltier if that is what you prefer (and suffer having to eat it), have your children and protect you and her little ones to the death. As in tooth and even (an Php800 manicured) nail. That's just how women are. That is her primordial purpose, and unless they have been too marinated in the juices women's lib, they will want to, first and foremost, be a wife and mother.

With men, not so much. And this is not because they feel that they are superior than women. For most part, men define love so differently, and perhaps the way they define it can be summarized in two words: provide and protect. To them, the greatest way of showing their love towards their family is by providing them with a nice place to live, in a safe area, and in a house will a full fridge and all the comforts of home. The burbling of affectionate nonesense? Not their forte. And if they DO do it, it is often because YOU want them to, rather than it being their true nature.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule. But let's not get to that.

Men are simple creatures, with a brain not really filled with the intricacies that we women come to expect after watching so many movies about mushy love teams and soap opera romances. In real life, most men (in their heads and egos) will assume that you already feel loved if he picks up the bill when you go out, or if he whisks you over to the safer side of the street while you're walking. The greatest way for you to know if a man loves you truly or not if he provides and protects. Because, truth be told, no man will go on the effort of doing so if he doesn't really love you.

My rule of thumb is: If you have been with the guy for, say, a year and so far he has stuck with you through PMS, pays for your dinner and makes sure that you have already locked and bolted your apartment before he leaves, he truly loves you. If he doesn't, leave. Because however it is that you reason with yourself, he WILL do those things for some other girl who he really is into.

Another from life lesson: The men that I have found to be similar to the men in soap operas, so mushy and so filled with sweep-you-off-your-feet-you-complete-me bullshit are the smoothest operators and are often heartbreakers. They fish. And if you bite, your loss.

Bottom line is, those one liner in movies? They were written for television, for movies. Not for real life. I hope my girlfriends stop bellyaching about how their guy is not sweet and caring. It's just not a guy thing!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What is this Preggers Talk??

What is the big deal about me? Or more to the point is what is the big deal about me getting pregnant? Are these wannabe tabloid reporters nuts?

For one, not all people who go or move away is pregnant. Sometimes they just need to do so because they have to WORK. Sometimes they go away because they need to study. And sometimes they go away because they are just so goddamned tired of listening to this small group of people trying to entertain themselves by gossiping about others "who got away".

So for the record, I am not effing pregnant though I am FAT. I live in a better place, making a great living to send myself to school. If you are reading this, you wannabe tabloid reporters, you can just shove it up yours!

Yes, I AM living with someone. But I am intelligent enough to know my options. Not all domestic partnerships happen because the girl got pregnant. And I don't plan to be pregnant for a long time.

So why don't you make your world a bit bigger than that peanut you're living in and keep your noses out of other people's lives?