Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shocking news



On the morning news program at ABS-CBN, "Umagang Kay Ganda", one of the bangkang papel boys, the one who is now old enough to vote, revealed he voted for Noynoy Aquino. Yeba! 

Congratulations Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, one of your scholars has at least learned something -- that we are not to be grateful for the things that actually belongs to us. So stop congratulating yourself for the "honest elections" and all the other crap achievements you are claiming for yourself. These things should be normal in the first place.

But alright, I am letting it go, since you've only got about 24 hours left to congratulate yourself for a job well done. Might as well now greet yourself "advance happy birthday" too. 


Monday, June 28, 2010

Metaphors


A little past noon, somewhere in Cubao, and I found myself on one end of a pedestrian lane needing to get to other side. Right away, I thought to myself, this is as good as metaphors go in symbolizing what is wrong with our country. Total chaos. Pushing and shoving. Jeepneys, FX taxis, and private vehicles, "parked" right smack in the middle of the pedestrian lane, impeding everyone else's progress. It was hot, polluted, and noisy -- enough to make one crazy.

But then I told myself, if I can not be part of the solution, at least, I will not be part of the problem. I will follow the rule of law, even if no one else does anymore. And so I waited for the little green man (go signal for pedestrians) to give me the cue to cross. Believe me, no else was bothering with that. And those lights, I imagine, did not come cheap. I wondered how much kickback came with the installation of that device.

One minute quickly turned to two. Then five. Remember, it was a little past noon. It was hot, noisy, and I actually thought I was getting a little high from the gas fumes. It was then that I realized, the little green man has been dead all this time. The only way for me to get to the other side was to go with the flow and like everyone else, break the law.

And that I thought was just perfect as far as metaphors go.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dumb and dumber



Maybe it’s all the TV contests that ask the simplest questions. It has become so bad, that the ads for all these little contests even show the answer on the sample format that you have to send via text. 


“Who is the national hero of the Philippines?” send your answer by texting “Your name <space> Jose Rizal” to 299.


We have set the bar so low we don’t even expect Filipinos to know who our national hero is anymore. I am pretty sure someone actually texted “Manny Pacquiao” for an answer. And even worse, “Your name”.


One time, a young boy of maybe 14 knocked on my door. He was selling longganisa that his mom must’ve made. I really don’t buy longganisa from less than reliable sources, but something about the boy told me that he really needed the money for him to continue on with school or something really important like that. It was close to June, so yeah, maybe it was school. And anyway, the longganisa was a bargain at 110 pesos a kilo.


“Give me half a kilo. I want to try it first. If I like it, I will buy more next time.” I told him as I handed a 100 peso bill.


He took out his cellphone and I thought he was going to text his mom the good news that he finally sold half-a-kilo. But I was wrong. He needed to use the calculator function on his cell.


I asked, “What grade are you in?”


“First year high-school”, he answered.


“What’s one-half of 10?”


“Five?” He was unsure or maybe he just didn’t know where I was going with this.


“What is one-half of 100?” I continued.


“Fifty!” he was more confident this time.


“What is 50 plus 5?”


“Fifty-five.”


“What is 100 minus 55?”


His eyes rolled, his thumb itching to get to that calculator function on his cell.


Someone once said, the more we design things as idiot-proof will only result in creating better idiots. No, it was not Jose Rizal. He said something else entirely different, something about the youth being the hope of our nation. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

My San Miguel ad




It is only because I love San Miguel Pale Pilsen too much, and I do not want it to suffer the same fate as my other love, Winston Reds, that I am doing this for free. If someone can get the word out, and pass the message to the people at McCann Erickson (are they still handling San Miguel?), please do so.


Product positioning.

I heard that San Miguel Pale Pilsen has been suffering in sales in recent years. The reason why it is getting harder and harder to find it in the cheaper carinderia cum restobars (my favorite hangout). The younger consumers think San Miguel Pale Pilsen is "daddy's beer". That McCann would "idiotly" (if that is even an adverb) continue with the "isang platitong mani" ads, which is Bay Elorde vintage, does not help. What are you thinking? The joke was funny the first few times. It is no longer funny now. Come up with new material. You are not getting paid to just re-state the same thing over and over again.


My take on San Miguel's right product positioning, it is the ONLY REAL BEER. Light beers are for people who got bamboozled into thinking that it is the "healthy" alternative. Yeah right. Go smoke some dried up papaya leaves and tell me that it is healthier than tobacco. Those who drink strong beer are manual laborers who can not afford the real thing. San Miguel pale pilsen is the real beer. So if you want the perfect happy day, if you are going to drink beer anyway, might as well make it San Miguel pale pilsen.


Execution.

I posted this on a blog of a friend. http://myunpurethoughts.blogspot.com/2010/05/things-that-make-me-happppyyyyy.html


The perfect happy day:
1. Absolutely nothing that needs to get done and nowhere I need to be.
2. Triple-header, that's back-to-back-to-back NBA playoff games on TV. Plus a good fight on another channel I can surf to during commercial breaks.
3. One comfy beanbag chair.
4. One cooler with a case of ice cold San Miguel Pale Pilsen (nothing else will do -- perfect happy day, remember).
5. One whole jumbo Andok's Lechon Manok. No need for knives or fork. To be eaten viking/neanderthal style. Hmmm... add a family-sized pizza there... meat lovers. One jumbo andok's might not last the whole day.
6. Absolutely no texts or calls. GF is out somewhere shopping with her sisters. 
7. No uninvited guests. This is ME time.
8. Adult diaper. So I don't even have to get up to pee. 
9. I pass out at the end of this perfect day. 
10. Oh yeah, hopefully at least one of my teams won. LOL!


That is my personal definition of a perfect happy day. Of course, this might not fly well with the clients, being too barbaric and all. But hey McCann people, do not make me spoon feed everything to you. Re-work the idea and smooth out the rough edges. 


How's this for an idea? Video is of a man (his back to the camera) lounging on a beach chair, out in the beach is the image of a lone sexy woman in  bikini (implied message, that is the woman he consorts with). Chargen on the perfectly blue sky in cloud-white colored font is "The Perfect Happy Day". Voice over (of the man). "Nothing to do. Nowhere I need to be. No phone calls. No text messages. Just me and my San Miguel. For the perfect happy day, nothing else but San Miguel Pale Pilsen will do. Final text on screen, "San Miguel beer, all else pales in comparison."


The idea is still rough, I admit. But it is something you can chew on. Go to work McCann people. Save my beer! 





(image from here: www.sanmiguelpalepilsen.com.ph/our_beer.html)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thank you LTO & BPI


I had all my IDs stolen last Friday, including my ATM and driver's license. Started the process of getting  my life online just this Monday. Borrowed some cash from my boss, and started applying for a new license. I got my driver's license (with better picture, lol) this morning. Went straight to BPI and their teller tells me I will get my replacement ATM by Monday. Alright, I lost 1 week and maybe 10-12 thousand pesos all in all. Not bad. It could've been much  much worse. I just love it when the people who are supposed to serve you actually do serve you.

So thank you Land Transportation Office (Sucat Branch) and Bank of the Philippine Islands. Thank you for your efficient and hassle free service.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Puh-rang



I get pissed. It’s bad enough that these fools would speak English with a pretentious American twang, but must they also ruin Tagalog the same affected manner? They must be misinformed, and I am correcting the misimpression right here right now, mangling Tagalog does not add anything to your cuteness quotient, on the contrary. 


I can understand of course, if you work in the call-center business, but otherwise, a pretentious accent only goes to show that you are pretentious. And even if you are a call-boy or a call-girl, please keep the American accent to American English. Lay off Tagalog, please.


In fairness to the Filipino accent, we mostly mispronounce words only because we know how to spell it. We are completely literate even when we err. I am guilty of “ayroning” clothes once in a while myself.


I get so pissed sometimes that it has to come to the point that I have to interrupt production meetings just to press the point, “Yes I will do just that, but first you must say PA-RANG, it is not PUH-RANG.”


She must think I am nuts, an old fool who just doesn’t get it. But oh, I get it. She thinks she can bamboozle me with the affectations of her speech. And get the impression she’s intelligent. But as far I am concerned, fake accents does not make one intelligent, the same way drinking Starbucks coffee will not make one all sophisticated and cosmopolitan.


On one production lunch meeting, our account executive kept busy taking notes, while I chatted, seemingly blasé and enjoying the free lunch with the client. These friendly chats, as anyone who has been into one of these meetings before know, is the meeting itself. Specific instructions are given in between orders of drinks and dessert. Pay attention. Don’t miss anything. I know.


Monday morning, when we got back to the office, I immediately started executing the instructions given by the client.


“Wait, puh-rang hindi yan yung visual na gusto ni client.”  Again with the “puh-rang” as if that added anything to the validity of her statement.


“Of course I remember that. Only the client changed her mind again. This is the visual she finally decided on. And please speak English if you are going to speak English, and Tagalog if you are going to speak Tagalog. Don’t Americanize your Tagalog.” 


She showed me her notes. And she was right. The notes did say that the client asked for another specific visual. But I held my ground. I know what I know. 


 There was one simple way to solve the predicament, of course, one phone call to the client and our little debate would be resolved. But that would be extremely embarrassing. That is tantamount to admitting that between the two of us, we cannot remember one thing. I don’t know about my collegiala colleague, but I will not admit to that.


“Tell you what, if can tell you what you ordered for lunch, would you believe my memory over your notes?”


She accepted the deal. The meeting was Friday the previous week, she cannot even recall what she had for lunch yesterday. And we had kept the receipt for liquidation.


“You ordered chicken barbeque, one rice, and special halo-halo for dessert. You complained that there was not enough milk in your halo-halo and asked for more. The waiter knocked over a few plates that were being taken out.” 


The receipt did mention the chicken, rice, and halo-halo. It did not say, however, that she asked for extra milk and the waiter crashing a few plates. 


But my attention to detail has her convinced. I am no longer the old fool that can be bamboozled by pretentious accents or pretentious coffees. No more “puh-rangs”, no more Americanized Tagalog.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

The mafia strikes back


No, the mungo conspiracy blog did not suddenly become a fashion review blog. I am not hawking those pair of jeans you see above. Though I wouldn't mind selling it to the highest bidder. Notice the backpockets? That is not the latest in fashion trends. I was attacked! Yes, by the mafia, I believe. Coming home after presiding over the first annual mungo conspirators' meeting, and my pants and even my cellphone pouch got slashed. Lost my cellphone, my wallet, all my IDs, my ATM, my debit card, and some cash. It is an attempt, no doubt, to silence us once and for all. Do not worry, I got home uninjured and otherwise I am just fine. And I am not at all afraid. This will not be the end of our crusade.


On behalf of all the mungo conspirators, I therefore here now announce our resolutions:


1. Mungo shall remain a staple of our diets, but will now only be consumed and purchased on any day of the week except Fridays. This shall be the cornerstone of our efforts and as such is non-negotiable. Your membership as a mungo conspirator is dependent upon it. Anyone caught violating this one resolution shall immediately be expelled from our secret society. No crying to me for reconsideration. Otherwise I might be tempted to make the said Friday-mungo-eater kneel down on mungo (bought on a non-Friday). Do not make me do that.  


2. The annual meeting can take place more than once a year, largely depending on my mood, and shall remain named "annual meeting", if only to confuse the mafia (and hopefully not everyone else). It is therefore possible to have as much as 365 and 1/4th annual meetings in a year, again depending on my mood, and I am very moody guy. So don't get confused if someone refers to the 4th annual meeting for the year 2010.


3. In my absence (and I will be absent a lot, again, being a moody guy), I will assign trusted mungo conspirators to preside over the annual meeting. However, if the trusted conspirator sells himself as me, and he nowhere near resembles the cartoon avatar on this blog (I actually look like that, believe it or not), please be advised that that is not me, and probably some mafia infiltrator. Get out quick! And hold on to your valuables. 


4. Finally, this is NOT a democracy. I alone call the shots. So tough! Please understand that this is for the good of everyone involved. Let the mafia focus their wrath on the one-who-shall-not-be-found. Remember, whatever happens, I do all this, for love of flag and country, and that one vegetable we all hold dear. God bless all of you. Mabuhay ang Pinas!  

Arrest them all!



Where did these bus drivers learn to drive? And no, that is not a rhetorical question. 


Last time I checked, there are no bus-driving schools anywhere in the country. And you need a professional license restriction 6 at least to drive those mothers. The only logical answer is that they first tried it out on the streets along with all of us. 


Have you ever seen a student bus driver with a licensed instructor riding shotgun? No? So they did it, no instructors, beside you in EDSA. 


No wonder these maniacs drive the way they do. They are all unschooled amateurs. I say, arrest them all, guilty after the fact.


And oh, those jeepneys, ever see one with a working speedometer? Impound them all.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ano bang problema mo?



Nasira ba ang araw mo dahil kaninang umaga sa pagpasok mo eh nahirapan ka na namang sumakay ng jeep? Kasi Lunes nga pala ngayon, talagang agawan, tulakan at sisksikan ang sasabakin mo kahit ala sais pa lang ng umaga. Nung nakasakay ka na, trapik naman ang papatay sa oras mo. Namputsa, pagdukot mo sa bulsa wala ka palang barya. Katakut-takot na mura at kantyaw ang natanggap mo dahil nalugi ang drayber ng dalawang piso. Kahit wala pa sa EDSA bumaba ka na lang kaysa mapa-away ka pa. Dahil sa inis mo na rin naisipan mong magtaksi na lang. Sa loob-loob mo tutal ngayon lang naman. Pag para mo ng taksi, huminto ang taksi pero hindi pinto ang binuksan.... bintana.

“Boss, saan kayo?”

“Sa Merville, malapit sa....” biglang patakbo ng drayber habang umiiling at kumakaway.

Tang ‘na talaga. Sige para uli. Yung sumunod na taksi pag bukas nung bintana madali mong inangat yung lock sabay bukas ng pinto at sakay ka agad. Medyo masama yata ang loob nung drayber pero nakaupo ka na. Sa kalagitnaan ng trapik, bigla na lang nagsinde ng yosi yung drayber. Alam ba nitong air con ang taksi niya? Yang sigarilyo talaga ang isang bagay dito sa mundo na hindi mo maintindihan kung bakit naimbento pa. Bukod sa alam mo nang sinusunog ang baga mo, magastos pa. Nakasubok ka na rin nito nung high school dahil sa barkada at tandang tanda mo pa kung paano nagtawanan yung mga kaklase mo dahil ubo ka ng ubo. Pero kahit ganu’n ang nangyari, sa isip mo sila ang katawa-tawa dahil wala kang maisip na dulot ang pagyoyosi. Hithitan ng hithitan tuwing hapon sa tindahang di kalayuan sa iskul. Marami silang nagugrupo-grupo na alam na alam mong nag-uutuan ang bawat isa. Hanep ang “feeling” dahil nakapag-yoyosi. Bigaaat ng “feeling”, pare. Kung minsan bibilib ka rin sa mga may-ari ng paktorya ng mga sigarilyo. Biruin mo ang laki laki ng kinikita nila dahil mabiling-mabili ang mga produkto nila. At kaya ka bumibilib ay kung paano nila nagagawa iyon. Paano bumebenta ang isang produktong nakapagpapa-ubo ang lasa at nakapagpapa-iksi ng buhay? Maraming nakapagsabi sa iyo na sa simula lang iyong pag-ubo. Pag nasanay ka na, masasarapan ka rin at hindi ka na maaaring hindi mag-yosi. Ang dahilan nilang ito ay lalo lang dumagdag sa mga katanungan mo. Bakit kailangan mong masanay? Dahil ba ito ang ginagawa ng karamihan? Dahil ba nakita mo sa komersyal sa TV na malakas ang dating sa tsiks pag naka-yosi? Dahil ba gusto mo lang makatulong sa ekonomiya ng bansa? Dahil pag nalugi ang mga paktorya ay magasasara ang mga ito at siguradong maraming mawawalan ng trabaho. At dahil malaking industriya ito, lalo na sa ating bansa, lalong maghihirap ang bansa...lalong dadami ang mga krimen...etc. Grabe talaga itong drayber kung mag yosi. Pero teka...ito yatang drayber ang isa sa mga kaklase mo noong high school ah.

“Boss, puwede ba? Usok mo.”

“Pasensya ka na ser, yung amo ko kasi tinitipid ang pa change oil ng mga taksi niya.”

Langya. Ang akala niya siguro ay yung tambutso ng taksi niya ang sinita mo. Pero talaga rin palang maitim na ang usok sa likod. Hindi mo lang pinansin  kanina dahil hindi mo sigurado kung kaninong sasakyan nanggagaling. Pero dahil sinabi na nung drayber lalo ka nang nandiri sa taksi niya. Ang kapal rin talaga nung may-ari ng taksi. Alam kaya niyang pampubliko ang taksi niya? Okey lang sa kaniyang magbuga ang mga taksi niya ng maiitim na usok basta’t kumikita. Kung anong kapal ng usok, siguro siya ring kapal ng mukha nung hayup na yon. Lalung lalo na yung mga bus. Sa itim ng mga usok maiisip mo tuloy minsan na tumatakbo ang mga ito sa uling. Pagkalalaki pa naman ng mga tambutso. Aba’y puwede ka nang mawala sa gitna ng EDSA pag natyempuhan ka. At sa kahabaan nga ng EDSA ilang beses na ring naglagay ang gobyerno ng mga detektor ng air pollution. Hindi mo malaman kung kanino ka maaawa, sa kanila o sa mga mamamayan. Sa araw-araw na pagdaan mo sa EDSA at sa tuwing sisilip ka sa detektor ay wala pa atang dalawang beses na gumana ito. At yung dalawang beses na iyon  ay parehong nasa DANGEROUS ang reading.  Hanggang sa magsawa ka nang sumilip. Siguro sira na iyong sensor sa tindi ng polusyon o di kaya’y pinapatay na lang nila para hindi matakot ang mga tao. Naalala mo tuloy yung power plant sa Sucat. Hindi mo maintidihan kung bakit kung minsan ay itim na usok ang lumalabas at kung minsan ay maputi-puti naman. Gusto kaya nilang palabasin na may malinis at may maruming usok na nanggagaling sa planta? Natatawa ka pa kung minsan dahil ang mga katabi nito, na siyang umaasa sa power, ay mga paktorya na ang karamihan ay gumagawa ng mga gamot.  Gamot para sa sore throat, ubo, hika, t.b., at kung anu-ano pang sakit dulot ng air pollution. Ang galing din, naisip mo. Habang dumadami ang demand ng mga gamot lalong mangangailangan ng power ang mga paktorya.  Dahil nito lalo ring dadalas ang pagbuga ng mga usok mula sa planta. Siyempre dadami rin ang magkakasakit at mangangailangan uli ng mga gamot....paikut-ikot. Ano ba talaga ang dapat mong gawin? Ang tanging paraan na lang ba ay takpan mo ang iyong bibig tulad ng mga traffic enforcers? Yung bang mga pantakip nila na parang ginupit na bra? Mas bagay siguro yon sa mga nagyo-yosi. Para hindi nila mailabas ang usok pag buga nila. Kaya lang paano ang paghithit nila?

“Hindi boss, yang sigarilyo mo!”

“Ay sori ser.” Biglang patay niya ng yosi. Itatapon na sana ngunit nag-isip sandali. Nang matantyang mahigit pa sa kalahati ay itinago niya ito sa bulsa ng polo. Ibang klase talaga. Hindi mo malaman kung maaawa ka o maiinis. Cool ka lang, pilit mong sinasabi sa sarili mo. Mahaba pa ang araw at lalo na’t simula pa lang ng linggo. At isa pa siguro nga’y itong drayber yung naging kaklase mo noon. Tatanungin mo na sana siya kaya lang nagdalawang isip ka dahil naalala mo kung anong klaseng ugali meron yung kaklase mong iyon. Paano kung siya nga iyon? Eh di ba yun ang taong ayaw na ayaw mong makasama o maka-usap man lang. Siya kasi yung tipong sipsip sa mga teacher. Tuwing pasko noon may regalo siya sa bawat teacher n’yo. Walang paltos magmula first year hanggang fourth year. Ay naku, doon nga pala sa iskul mo ay usong-uso ang palakasan. Kaya nga ba’t dalang-dala ka na sa Christmas party noon. Karamihan sa mga teacher ay may nakahandang pagkalalaking supot para sa mga regalong makokolekta. At ang ibang supot naman ay para sa mga handang sumobra na kanilang pinag-aassign sa bawat estyudante. Fruit salad, pansit, lumpiang shanghai, at kung anu-ano pa. Aba’y parang mga nag Christmas shopping ang mga teacher pag-uwi. Sukang-suka ka talaga sa mga ganoong teacher. Hindi mo tuloy malaman kung gaano ka tutoo ang mga sinasabi nilang “It’s better to give than to receive”. Ewan mo kung nagkataon lang pero yung nag-valedictorian ay yung pinaka maraming regalo sa mga teacher tuwing pasko. Alam mo namang matalino rin yun ngunit may kilala ka ring mas matalino pa sa kanya---yung salutatorian. Kaya lang mahirap lang sila kaya hindi ito nakapagre-regalo sa mga teacher. Nagkataon nga lang siguro. At itong drayber na nasa tabi mo, kung s’ya nga yung kaklase mong sipsip, isang di kapani-paniwala ngunit posibleng pagkakataon din.

Grabe talaga ang trapik. At nung nasa service road ka na patungo sa iyong kumpanya ay halos hindi gumagalaw ang mga sasakyan. Malamang hanggang Bicutan na naman ang pila ng trapik na ito. Dahil maluwag ang pasalubong na lane, bumubulong ka sa iyong sarili na wala sanang mangga-gago at mag counter flow nang bigla na lang umoberteyk yung jeep na nasa likod nung taksing sinasakyan mo. Tang na! Di ba nitong alam na tag-isang lane lang ang service road? Gusto mong sigawan ang hayup. Sandali lang ay isa-isang parang mga ulol na nagsunuran ang ibang mga sasakyan. Karamihan ay jeep at taksi ngunit may mga kotse rin. Sari-sari kaagad ang pumasok sa mainit mong ulo. Sana mayroon kang minamanehong traktor na pasalubong sa mga motoristang iyon. At kahit na nagsihinto na sila ay tuloy pa rin ang patakbo mo. Wala silang mapupuntahan dahil punong-puno ng sasakyan ang kabilang lane. At kahit bumangga na sila ay hindi mo tatantanan ang pagsulong ng traktor. Sadya mo pang itotodo ang makina hanggang sa sunod-sunod silang maitulak paatras. Kahit magsigawan na ang mga pasahero at mga tao, sige tuloy pa rin. Hanggang sa magkayupi-yupi na ang mga sasakyan. Aaaaaahhhhh!!!! Talagang galit na galit ka na. Sa mga sandaling ito mo naiintindahan yung mga nababalitaan at nababasa  mo sa dyaryo na nagkakabarilan ng dahil lang sa trapik. At ang iyong dakilang drayber, hindi mapakali. Halata mong gustong-gusto niyang sumunod kaya lang hindi niya magawa dahil tutok na tutok ang taksi niya sa trak na nasa harap nyo. Nang umusad ng konti yung trak biglang kabig siyang pakaliwa. Dahil sa pagmamadaling makagulang hindi nya napansing may kotseng umo-oberteyk muli sa kaliwang lane. Mabilis ang takbo ng kotse dahil siguro’y tuwang tuwa na nakalalamang siya sa iba o di kaya’y nahihiya sa ginagawa niya na ayaw niyang mamukaan siya. Napasigaw ka sabay ng sigaw ng mga gulong na mags ng kotse habang nakangiwe ang mukha nung taksi drayber. Nang tumama na ang nguso ng kotse sa taksi ay medyo nayanig ang iyong inuupuan at halata mong medyo na shock yung taksi drayber dahil hindi pa rin nagbabago ang itsura nito.  Hindi ka na nag-dalawang isip at binayaran mo na agad yung kawawang drayber upang ika’y maka-alis na. Hindi mo na naisipang maki-usyoso sa dahilang naiinis ka pa rin. Buti nga sa inyong dalawa! Naunang bumaba ang drayber ng kotse at mura kaagad ang ibinati sa nakabangga. Bumaba ka na rin at madali kang naglakad palayo. Nung hindi mo na naririnig ang mga sigawan ng nagbanggaan, huminto ka sandali at nag-isip. Tinantya mo ang layo ng inyong kumpanya nang mapansin mong marami na rin ang nagsibaba ng jeep at nagsimula nang maglakad. Dahil sa inis mo na rin naisipan mong maglakad na lang. Sa loob-loob mo tutal ngayon lang naman. Medyo mainit na ang tama ng araw pero ayos lang  sa wakas makakarating ka na rin sa kumpanya n’yo. Mahigit isang kilometro din siguro ang nilakad  mo dahil pinagpawisan ka. Namputsa talaga, hindi ka pa nakakapasok eh amo’y pawis ka na. Ang masama pa eh late ka na naman.

Pag-akyat mo sa opisina, kumunot na naman ang noo mo. Ang una mong nakasalubong ay yung officemate mo na kupal. Ang suot pa naman ay yung paborito niyang long sleeves na kulay mertayoleyt. Tinernuhan pa niya ng itim na pantalong gawa sa telang double kneat. Mukhang ito pa yung pantalong gamit niya nung graduation sa high school ah. At dahil Lunes, hapit na hapit na naman ang buhok niya. Kung tititigan mo parang dinilaan ng baka. At halos mahatsing ka sa matusing niyang pabango na tuwing maamoy mo ay naaalala mong magpagupit sa barbero. Pero bakit ka ba galit na galit sa taong yun? Ano ba ang nagawa niya sa ‘yo? Dahil lang ba sa hindi mo gusto ang porma niya?

Oo.

Matapobre na kung matapobre. Talagang hindi mo matanggap eh. Pero bukod doon hindi mo rin gusto ang ugali, bigla mong naalala. Pag nakamiting mo tahimik naman. Wala kang problemang maririnig sa kanya. Medyo maririnde ka nga lang sa mga “actually” niya. Actually, pati ikaw nahahawa na rin.  Kinabukasan may e-mail sa buong departamento kung gaano ka kabulok at kung gaano siya ka galing. Maghahanap ka pa nga ng dictionary dahil sa mga salitang noon mo lang narinig. Kupal! Naaalala mo tuloy yung mga ipis sa bahay nyo. Tahimik lang pero gustong-gusto mong tapakan. Hay naku, baka mawalan ka lang ng trabaho.

Dumiretso  ka sa mesa mo at agad mong binuksan ang computer. Pagsilip mo sa e-mail mahigit dalwampung message ata ang naghihintay na basahin mo. Nag-isip ka sandali. Pagkatapos ay walang kaplano-planong   nagbukas ng ibang software. Dahil sa inis mo na rin naisipan mong magsulat na lang. Sa loob loob mo tutal ngayon lang naman. Gusto mo talagang magsulat. Magsulat ng magsulat. Sige lang. Tuloy tuloy ang takatak ng keyboard ng computer. Ngayon ka lang ata nakapagsulat ng ganito. Ganadong-ganado. Matindi talaga ang inspirasyon mo. Ang mga ring ng telepono ay hindi mo pinapansin. Pati ang mga paging sa ‘yo ay binabale wala. Para ka nang isang makinang katatapos lang ma-overhaul. Ang mga sinusulat mo’y walang pakundangang lumilitaw na para bang mayroon kang pinagkokopyahan. Ang mga salitang lumalabas ay parang tubig na biglang umagos mula sa isang natibag na dam. Tuloy-tuloy. Ang kasamahan mo, nakakahalata na sa kakaiba mong pagkilos. Tinitingnan ka niya ngunit hindi mo siya pinapansin. Tuloy pa rin ang pagsulat mo. Naisip siguro niyang nababaliw ka na. Napatid na ang tali ng katinuan. Ganyan naman talaga ang mga tao, kapag malalim ang iniisip mo baliw ka. Kapag naman mababaw, bobo.

“Hoy, pare anong nangyayari sa ‘yo? Kanina ka pang pine-page ah.”

“Ha? A..ako ba ang kausap mo?” Sabay balik ka agad sa pagpindot ng keyboard. Lalung nag-alala ang kasama mo. Lumapit sa mesa mo  kaya’t bigla kang napahinto.

“Ano bang problema mo?” Tanong sa yo.

Hindi ka agad nakasagot. Parang kumililing sa utak mo ang tanong na iyon. Ang tanong na yun ang nagbibigay sa yo ng inspirasyon para sumulat.  Para ilabas ang lahat. Natauhan ka bigla. Iba ang dating sa ‘yo ng tanong na iyon. Parang gamot sa isang sumpang ngayon lang nalulunasan .

“Ah wala inilalabas ko lang ang sama ng loob ko!” At sa unang pagkakataon ng araw na iyon ay ngumiti ka. Iprinint ang naisulat at ikinuwento sa kaibigan.


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Padala sa email ni Conspirator Bing

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Berto



Alas sais y media ng gabi, mayroong konting ambon at tila nagbabadya ang pagbuhos ng malakas na ulan ng sa wakas ay nakarating rin ako sa pila ng tricycle sa aming lugar.Tatlong sabit din sa jeep bago ako umabot dito. Kinapa ko ang natitirang barya sa aking bulsa, ngunit kulang pa, kulang pa ng piso para sa pamasahe sa tricycle. Imbes na maki-usap ay mas ninais ko pang maglakad na lang. Ayos lang. Malapit lang naman. Wag lang sana ako abutan ng ulan. 


Pagdating sa bahay ay dere-derecho ako sa kusina at dun naghalungkag ng mga kaldero sa paghahanap ng makakain. Mula sa kanyang silid, narinig ko ang tinig ng aking ina. Pero hindi ko ito pinansin.

"Ano ka ba Bitoy?" sambit ni inang paglabas ng kanyang silid. "Ang sabi ko ang hapunan mo ay nandito lang, pinagtabi na kita."

Inabot ko ang plato ng kanin at ulam at sabay, pilit itago ang pagka-inis, "Inang, sabi namang Berto na ang itawag nyo sa akin, hindi na ako batang paslit. Hindi na ako Bitoy."

"Ah ganun ba?" may halong pagkutya na sagot ng aking ina. "Kaya pala hindi mo na ako sinasagot ngayon."

Eto na naman, sabi ko sa sarili ko. Katakot-takot na namang sermon ang lalamunin ko kasabay ng aking hapunan. Mga kwentong mula pa ng World War 2. Kainis. Simpleng paki-usap, lecture mula panahon ng Hapon ang kapalit. At ang mas masakit, alam kong hindi naman pagbibigyan ang aking maliit na paki-usap.

"O siya inang, matutulog na ako" sabi ko pagkatapos kumain. Hindi pa sana tapos ang lecture pero inunahan ko na, "Medyo masama pakiramdam ko, na-ambunan kasi ako."

Meron pa sanang sasabihin si inang, pero salamat sa langit, biglang humampas sa bubungan ang pagka-lakas l
akas na patak ng ulan at hindi ko na siya narinig. Tumango na lang ako sabay derecho sa aking silid at sinubukang matulog.

Mga ilang oras din siguro ang lumipas ng ako ay gisingin ng aking ina. Malalim na ang gabi. Tulog na halos lahat ang aming mga kapit-bahay at tahimik na rin ang panahon.

"Bitoy, may naghahanap sa iyo, classmate mo daw."

May halong antok at papungas-pungas pa ng mata nang hinarap ko ang bisita na hindi man lamang pinatuloy ng aking ina.

Mga ilang saglit lang ay nagpa-alam ako,"Inang, ito si Francis, classmate ko sa school. May inatendan lang party dyan sa malapit. Samahan ko lang hanggang sakayan ng jeep. Meron atang kumukursunadang mga laseng dyan sa kanto."

"Ano? Ngayon? Gabi na. At haharap ka sa mga laseng? Ano ka ba?" sagot ng hindi ko maka-paniwalang ina.

"Ayos lang yun, kilala ko naman ang mga tambay dyan."

Ilan pang palitan ng mga argumento pero hindi talaga ako papi-pigil. Dali-dali kong kinuha ang aking jacket sabay, "Sige inang, ilang minuto lang at babalik din ako."

"Bitoy, pag lumabas ka ngayon, sumpa ko hindi ka na makakabalik."

Hindi ko ito pinansin. At talilis na umalis.

Matinding luha
ang bumuhos sa mga mata ng aking ina kasabay ng malakas na namang pag-ulan, na parang wari ba ay nilamon ng kadiliman at ng masamang panahon ang kanyang pagka-mahal mahal na si Bitoy. At marahil na rin siguro, sa tindi ng kanyang hinagpis ay natupad nga ang kanyang sumpa, hindi na muling makakabalik si Bitoy.
  
"Berto", salubong sa akin. Sa wakas nabigkas din ng aking dakilang ina, sabay mahigpit na akap sa kanyang basang-basang anak.





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Ang orihinal na bersyon ng maikling kwentong ito ay sinulat ko nung ako ay kinse anyos pa lamang,  at ito ay aking sinumite sa klase ng Pilipino ni Dr. Narciso Matienzo. Typewriter pa ang gamit ko nun. Ganun na katagal yun. Ito ay kathang isip lamang (fiction). At muli ko itong sinulat sa request na rin ng isang conspirator.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Google reveals the truth



I was just checking the analytics of my Nuffnang account to check and see what keyword combination people use to access this blog. No big surprise "mungo conspiracy" is number one. Coming in second was "mungo mafia". No problem, I guess that is easier to type. But when I checked google with "mungo mafia" as my keywords, lo and behold, and the truth revealed itself, the mungo mafia is alive and well and operating internationally!




Who would've thought? So who's crazy now, huh?  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

L053R



Vanity plates, I really do not get. Congratulations JEF, you own that car! Now get out of my face. I mean, what’s going on in the heads of these people? Did we need convincing that he actually owned that car? Maybe I am just naive, but I’ve always assumed that if you are driving a private vehicle that you must own it or at least know the person who owns it.


Oh, you just want to be unique? But I thought all plates are unique? Or maybe you just want to label it so that noone can claim it as their own? Trust me Jeff, as far as anti-theft devices go, vanity plates must be the worst idea in the history of bad ideas. 


But it’s a step-up, I must admit, from Mang Pandoy proudly branding the back of his owner jeep, “Property of dela Cruz Family”. Not much of step-up, but a step up. I mean, really, you have a better car, you’ve employed a better branding technique, but you’ve just announced proudly to the whole world the same backward mentality.


If you are going to brand your car anything, go for that one plate that says “NCQR”. Then, at least, you are being honest.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Goodbye dear fake president



And good riddance! And welcome back, I should say, to the real world of mortal men and women, a world where you no longer have the power to appoint a plush government position to anyone who sucks up to your fake teats. Expect no more kind words from manicuristas from here on in, unless of course you tip them, this time, from your own pocket.

Maybe now is the time I can tell you how your Assumptionista sisters talked of you in hushed whispers behind your back. They are all too embarrassed by the association to you. Oh, except for that one who so gallantly guided you in the tricky dance steps you performed so well during your reunion. Of course, that she would become assistant-secretary under your administration has nothing to do with that, notwithstanding the fact she's more qualified to teach aerobics. She was the one who sucked up to you. And so therefore, she was more than qualified. This was how it worked in your glorious presidency. Tuloy-tuloy nga ang asenso!

Running the presidency like that and you had all of congress, or at least the majority of them, answering to your every beck and call. They cannot even be made to listen to that damning tape. Imagine that. You had everyone agreeing to be deaf, dumb, and stupid. Not that most congressmen are not stupid to begin with.

But all this will soon end. In two weeks time, when you no longer have your dirty finger on the pork barrel trigger, all your friends will soon be gone. A great many of them in fact, have already abandoned you in the heat of the campaign. This is the true nature of rats, didn’t your father teach you that?

For nine glorious years, you surrounded yourself with yes men and women. For nine years, no one dared tell the empress she had no clothes, at least, not in the close circle you surrounded yourself with. So let me now do you a favor and let me, by way of this blog entry, hold a mirror close to your face. Yours is a fake presidency that will not be missed. In the same manner that no one misses the boil we have to lance every now and then. 

Notice how in the recent elections, no one even bothered with the mandatory word “allegedly” anymore? Not when they speak of you and your “Hello Garci” antics. Not the media, not the Comelec, not even your loyal generals. You fooled no one all along.

History is being written as we speak. And this is how history will remember you. You've brought shame to your family name. Heck, you've brought negative connotation to the word "glorious". 

Your father was no great leader, but he was no monster. There are those who still remember fondly of his time. Aside from Mikey and his father, who else shall have fond memories of your presidency? Oh, ok, I forgot Dato, Luli, and of course, the oh-so-qualified manicurista.

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If you agree with the theme of this blog entry, may I ask you to paste the url
http://mungoconspiracy.blogspot.com/2010/06/goodbye-dear-fake-president.html to your FB accounts and ask people to continue liking it until it reaches Gloria? Thanks fellow conspirators!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Is it too much to ask?



From fast food joints 


Can you please stop suggesting? I ordered number 3. If I want to upsize my drinks and/or fries I am going to tell you. I am not a moron. I can read. And I know what I want. I’ve been here before.


From Mang Inasal


I am glad you invested on the nice TV screens. I am just hoping you would play something else other than your own plugs, over and over again. Come on! We are already in your store eating. We’re sold. 


From the local boxing coverage


Alright, I am not even going to touch the number of commercials. You have the right to earn profit. That’s fine. But can you please not have Quinito Henson or some other joker pretend they actually know boxing? The man is an idiot. You are not fooling anyone people. If you cannot have Nonito Donaire (because he is the one fighting) or someone else who actually knows boxing, then please just hitch your audio cable into the HBO commentaries. 


From Dianne Castillejo 


Can you please stop color commenting on boxing coverages? Perhaps for the first time in Philippine boxing coverage history, someone was commenting more on who was watching the fight than the fight itself. “Oh that’s Oscar dela Hoya! Look at him. He is watching the fight. His eyes are covered by the ropes from this camera angle, but that is Oscar dela Hoya. Did I tell you about when Oscar…” yadi yada yada….Gaddemit woman! Control your passion. The guys on the ring are trying hard to knock each other out! 


I miss the glory days of Smoking Joe Cantada. Gone are the days, I suppose, when boxing commentators didn’t have a high school crush on the fighters.


From the PBA


There was a time when I was a big fan. I can even name the complete line-up of all the 8 teams. Now, I just don’t care anymore. Are they still on? Is the league still playing?  Here’s a suggestion, go win something. Anything. First place. Second place. Third place. If you cannot be competitive against China, Iran, and Lebanon, then just fold your tent and stop pretending you are a professional league. I don’t care how you do it, just do it.


From the local mainstream news


It’s a little jarring don’t you think to hear one minute the news on the price of oil about to breach the 100 USD barrier again, then on the very next Chikka minute, Aljur Abrenica confirms his crush on that what’s-her-name-again girl. I guess we will all be alright then. I believe the girl feels the same way about Aljur, notwithstanding the implications of the price of Dubai crude oil of course. 


Be a little more responsible. Stop contributing to the braindeadness of the population. You have several showbiz programs on the air. Keep the idiot-bits there. If only to make it easier on the rest of us who just don’t care to avoid them. 


From the NLEX-SCTEX toll people 


No more boys please. Female! And make ‘em pretty. You’re charging about 3 pesos per kilometer, roughly the cost of fuel to drive that same length. The least you can do is reward us motorists by giving us some pretty-thing to do your filching. Oh yeah, summer specials? Bikini tops. I will not mind the extra traffic. Promise.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Efficient service from Globe




“Thank you Globe for your efficient service.” this is how I began my text message to Globe’s customer service (211). I am hoping that since it is the first few words that appear as a snippet (even before you open the entire message), the customer service person on the other side of the great digital chasm will actually give my text message a once over. And I continued, “I've been trying to register SuperSurf50 since 8:00 am. It is now 4:00 pm. I've literally tried no less than 100 times. Hindi pa rin ma-process ang aking request. Anaknang... ang galing nyo talaga. Thank you ha?” I wanted to be a little more brutal than that. Throw my weight around a little. I am a blogger gadamnit! I am the Main Mungo Conspirator, don’t you know that? 


But as I have earlier checked in a net café my current standing in Topblogs, I find that “Chorva” has once again overtaken me and “Mungo Conspiracy” is once again languishing ranked 66th in the middle of page 2 of Topblogs’ humor listing. Alas, again, I am a nobody. 


Change tactics. I don’t want to do this, not before I’ve gotten the full intel on the matter. But this must be done for the greater good of humanity. Yes people, I have reason to believe that Globe is a sympathizer if not a collaborator of/with the Mungo Mafia. How else can you explain Globe not wanting my 50 pesos? My Globe Tattoo USB can detect their signal just fine. What? Their programmers are total idiots that they cannot configure their registration process in such a way that those who want to register can actually register? I refuse to believe that anyone can be that dumb. This is a sinister ploy to muzzle our attempt to get the word out. And coincidentally, google’s pet bot has visited my blog 3 times today. That’s three times more than the usual once a day. Oh yeah, that is just a coincidence. Ever since MTC has decided to join our cause and fully support our efforts I can no longer register with Globe and google is sending his pet bot three times more than the usual. Yes, coincidence. Riiiiight.


I am desperate and I want to get the word out quick, before the dinner I am cooking burns. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I have decided,  I shall invest the extra 5 peso load on my Globe Tattoo for that 15 minute internet time. I hope 15 minutes is enough. Wish me luck. 






If you are reading this, that means everything went according to plan.



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thank you ManilaTonight!




Manilatonight.com has seen the light and is all-out in support of our war against the mungo mafia! Our ad now appears (free of charge) right beside kuusamospa, adults' choice of the year for both 2008 and 2009, and hoping to three-peat this year! 


Take heart conspirators, this is just the first step in our fight to seek justice. We have crossed the Rubicon, fired the first volley across the bow, plus one more inspiring cliché to be inserted here later.


The days will be long, and the nights will be cold, but our resolve will never be diminished. And in the spirit of our neighbors in ad placement, we shall never ever falter, not until we have achieved our very own happy ending.



The numbers according to Nuffnang Analytics one day
after the ad placement on MTC



Sunday, June 6, 2010

I miss




I miss 30 peso beers at the Wan Wan resto-bar across the street. The cheap sizzling sisig and the mystery omelet made from god-knows-what ingredients. It was always an easy exercise in creativity to find a good excuse to end the day early on Fridays. And to ensure that we don’t drink too much or tarry too long, I miss that we’ve made an agreement to only stay until someone sings “My Way” on the karaoke machine. Had we stuck to this rule strictly, we would’ve never stayed later than eight pm. I miss that we could always ignore the rule whenever we just had to finish off the discussion on yet another crazy client demand. I miss the urgency of it all.


I miss “fire escapes”. The term that we, the writers, have lovingly invented for the many cigarette breaks we take by the emergency exit -- the one sacred sanctuary that means a momentary escape from the drudgery of writing yet another kart racing segment. One can only write “and it went round and round and round” so much, after all. I miss the witty exchanges and the pie-in-the-sky discussions. I miss that I can smooth out whatever feathers I may have ruffled (again) by simply asking matter-of-factly “So you think Ramos can really push the Philippines into a tiger economy?”  I miss the importance of it all.


I miss my good buddy, my old friend I have known since before I could correctly pronounce “motorsiklo”. I miss him being always just a text or phone call away. That no matter what we were doing, we can always find an excuse to get together for some beer. I miss how we could dismiss our respective girlfriends as too possessive for not understanding the sanctity of our Sunday OTB gambling and drinking sessions.  The last session I remember was when my buddy came home briefly for a visit from the States where he now resides. I remember winning an improbable daily double for 500 plus pesos on a 20 peso bet. JB Hernandez always flubs it when he is the outstanding favorite, why can’t he ever believe me when I tell him that? I miss the foolishness of it all.


I miss Barrio Fiesta. I miss how they serve kare-kare in a traditional tungko and  palayok complete with the hot embers of charcoal still burning. Mom always thought that was a little gimmicky and ill-advised given their clientele normally included naughty kids like us. I miss that in those dark days of Marcosian rule, Barrio Fiesta was never a nonchalant or whimsical decision. Barrio Fiesta, fittingly, was always a celebration. The last celebration I remember was to christen my brother’s first ever credit card. That was a fun way to start getting into deep debt. I remember we had some cash ready, if ever the card thing didn’t work. I miss the naïveté of it all.


I miss Thursday movie releases. I miss having just five channels on TV. I miss EDSA without the flyovers. I miss Ali Mall as the center of the universe. But mostly I miss not missing anything. I miss not caring, not giving a damn, always looking forward and never needing to look back. Now I realize, as I list the things that I miss, we can only miss the things we once loved -- and have lost. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Go Negosyo






Thankfully, it’s not all bad news on the homefront. Credit must be given to the few that deserve it. We are not all crabheads, some people actually lead. Take Joey Concepcion and his advocacy, Go Negosyo!

Joey is successful and confident enough that he can afford to encourage potential competition. I am sure no one would be happier if any one of his disciples would become so successful that it would even challenge his own business empire.

This is the hallmark of true success. When you are that successful you don’t even worry about the competition anymore. Look at Meralco, if you can monopolize your market like that, you might even need to advertise calling on consumers to use less of your product.

Inspired, my brother and I are working on a business idea of our own. We are thinking we could commercially market his wife’s delicious puto pao. It’s not the regular rice bread stuffed with meat, mind you. It is the quintessential adobo for stuffing accentuated by the local luxurious delicacy kesong puti for topping.

One last kink we still have to work on is the price. My sister in-law spared no expense when formulating her recipe. Fifteen pesos per bite-sized piece, we project, is a just little out of reach of the mass market.

Maybe we can rent a stall in the Makati Business District? You know, right beside SM Makati where the shawarma stalls are at. That might be the trick. Watch for it, one of these days, we shall open our first store -- Adobo Putoshop 1.0.



(Go Negosyo Logo from here: http://www.gonegosyo.net/)


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Roid rage


I used to be tall. And by “used to” I don’t mean to imply that I have shrunk. I am still five feet nine inches tall. Five feet nine inches used to be tall. Today, a quick stroll through SM reveals that I am now, at best, average.

So what happened? These kids nowadays are huge! Manila Water, in a desperate attempt to manufacture the first Pinoy NBA baller added something new in the water perhaps? As I order my 14 year old nephew his favorite 2 piece chicken with extra rice, bewildered at his almost 6 foot frame (the kid is 14 for crying out loud!), I suddenly realized, it is not the water. The answer was staring me in the face. These chickens are 40 days hatched from the egg straight to the slaughterhouse, grown at the most efficient industrial pace possible.

How do they do it?

The same way they’ve made the 10 second barrier no longer a barrier in the 100 meter Olympic sprint, I imagine. Ten seconds used to be an unbreakable mark. Today, anything slower than that and you don’t even make it to the final race.

Don’t be naive. Evolution doesn’t work that fast. And survival of the fittest only works if running 100 meters under 10 means you’ve escaped being eaten by a cheetah or something. It is not natural. Don’t be an idiot. 

Yes, you know what I am talking about here.  And we all know how the food chain works. If mercury can work it's way up to the nth level in the chain, it's probably safe to assume that most everything else probably can too.

As I hand my nephew his meal, I worry. So when does the roid rage start kicking in?

(thanks to Amante of MTC for the additional inputs to this theory)

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For the few of you who know me in real life, my dear kamag-anak inc., and friends from my Facebook account, please know that while I blog mostly about my life and my posts are made in the first person point of view, I do, from time to time, exercise literary license. Yes, I lie! Lol. No. Some of the stories depicted here are fiction. That I do not tell which is which, makes it a little more fun, doesn't it?

No animals were harmed in the production of this blog. Parental guidance is advised. And no approved therapeutic claims. Hindi ito gamot.

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Mungo Conspiracy would like to thank:

Kuya Bing for all the support without which I would not have been able to start this blog. My baby sister Charo, who has always been my number one fan. Gie for twisting Kuya Bing's arms to lend me support. Rocky for being the first follower. Chris for the free ad space on MTC.

I would also like to mention Kuya Jong and Kuya Rolly, Rex, Kim, and all of my pumpkins, Dustin, Innah, Jonas, Danwell, Glea, Jiro, Ram, Yzab, Hannah, and Annika, who are my inspirations for many of my stories here.

And thanks to the Iligan Chapter of the conspirators who were the first to fill-up my followers' box! :)

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email : mungoconspiracy@gmail.com