Monday, December 14, 2015

Merry Christmas

Three years ago, Christmas dinner plan was strictly to not spend more than 500 pesos. Baby was coming, any time according to the doctor, and I thought it unconscionable to spend more on Christmas dinner when money was really tight. Buy half an Andok's lechon manok, one order of pancit, one leche flan, and call it a night. Not really that bad -- all things considering.

But surely it is not the Christmas dinner we see on TV - not the Facebook update worthy meal most people would deem acceptable for the occasion. It is Christmas -- half an Andok's lechon manok is, admittedly, kinda  depressing.

But then I remembered what the occasion is all about. It is not a contest on how much money we can spend on useless shiny things to hang on our plastics trees, not even a contest on how much food we put on our tables -- it is the birthday of Jesus. How can anyone not be happy with that?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I see food

Wife wanted seafood for dinner-- so I killed a can of sardines. I thought that was funny. She thinks me sleeping on the couch tonight is funny.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Return of the Jedi

Because we were four boys and one girl, growing up, we didn't really have much in the way of entertainment money. Imagine going to elementary school and being the only kid to have missed Star Wars -- the biggest blockbuster movie of all time. And this was back when movies were the only entertainment outside of TV, and you missed it. And not just Star Wars Episode IV, but two years or so later, the Empire Strikes Back as well.

So yeah, I was that weird kid who never watched Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back for a very long time. I had to wait for VHS tapes to catch up and find out for myself what was all the fuss about -- that would be almost 10 years after the original release.

So it was a real big surprise then, I remember it being a Christmas gift to us siblings, 100 peso premiere tickets for The Return of the Jedi. Back when regular movie tickets was 7.50 or something, we had 100 peso guaranteed seating for the advanced special screening of The Return of the Jedi at the Manila Film Center.

Watching the new trailers of Star Wars and I am reminded of that gesture from my father. He was always big like that, very generous with surprises. And so after all the pain and suffering, Darth Vader did come through in the end

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I should've invested in calamansi futures. There is none to be found in SM grocery. Sari-sari store is selling them for 5 pesos per 4 pcs. Your 20 pesos can now just purchase 16 calamansi -- that's 1/4 kilo just 3 days ago before typhoon Lando. How many pieces in a fourth kilo? I never bothered to count, but rough guess is twice 16 at least!

Someone remind me to invest in calamansi next typhoon that comes around.

Friday, October 2, 2015

I'm a quitter

Ever since that fateful day that that pregnancy test of my life partner came out positive, I've quit smoking -- to varying degrees of success. I've quit, but sometimes I cheat. That is, until I found the one effective way to finally quit cold turkey style. Every time I feel the urge to smoke, I've decided to substitute cigarettes with a quick prayer. Nothing elaborate, just me thanking God for my life and for giving us all oxygen. I tell you, sometimes the urge to pray is unbearable.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dear Lea,

Please end your delusion that your singing cured cancer, solved poverty, or fed the hungry. You are also just an entertainer. KABABAWAN is your trade. You sing, people are entertained. That's it. Now get off your high horse and remember your "That's Entertainment" days when people were polite enough to not call you mababaw, corny, baduy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Martial Law

I was born in the eye of the First Quarter Storm. I know what martial law is, but sadly, reading some ignorant comments on the internet and I've come to realize that the Pinoy Neo-Nazi equivalent, the Marcos loyalists, are spreading some nostalgic nonsense of better days under Marcosian rule. This is how it really was:

George was a mid-level employee at the city hall. Nothing really important, he clocked in at 9 in the morning and then clocked out 5 o'clock right on the dot. He would then go home to his wife, Sally, a public school teacher who taught in the mornings and would have dinner already prepared by the time George reached home at 6. Life was good. The young couple was eagerly looking forward to building a family together.

Until one day, Sally decided to get her hair done in a salon. There was already one customer being attended to, so Sally was made to wait. Patiently she waited her turn, reading some magazines to while away the time. Just when she was about to take her turn, some twenty-year-old something came barging into the salon, speaking of some important meeting she has to go to and demands she be attended to first. The gay attendant quickly finishes off the client, much to her dismay, but there was nothing she could do.

The young woman now takes her place. A little bit surprised,  Sally, somehow, was able to summon the courage to comment that this can not be, she should wait her turn. Being a school teacher, Sally lectures the brash young woman about good manners and right conduct.  To this, the young woman reacted by spewing expletives, "How dare you! Don't you know me? Who the hell do you think you are?"

Sally was shocked. Her face turned pale. And she wanted to get away. But the young woman would have none of that. First, she threw a hairbrush at the fleeing Sally, and then some other stuff -- whatever she could get her hands on. Of course, Sally had no more choice but to defend herself and fight back.

By the time the police got to the salon, the fight had already been finished. Sally suffered some scratches on her face and arms, the young woman a bloody nose.

Then Martial Law happened.

The police patrolman knew who the young woman was. She was the kept woman of the commanding colonel in the area. She demanded satisfaction. She wanted Sally arrested. The police patrolman resisted at first, trying to reason with the unreasonable young woman. But the young woman insisted and demanded to radio the colonel. Once she was finished telling her side of the story to her lover, she then gave the radio to the patrolman, who then could only be heard saying "Yes sir, right away sir."

And so Sally was jailed. For what crime? The easiest charge of course, the go-to, catch-all crime of the times. Sally was jailed for being a communist sympathizer -- a charge that didn't need any evidence, just the mere say so of any uniformed officer and you can be locked up for as long as the Bagong Lipunan sees fit to keep you. There would be no court dates. No arraignments. His husband, George, of course, is also now guilty of associating with communists. And would be harassed whenever communist activities are suspected of being conducted in the area. He would eventually be made a fall guy for a robbery hold-up he didn't commit, when the colonel was ordered to produce results or else during one bad month of crime sprees.

Sally would be released after a week. Justice, Martial Law style, has been served. George, on his part, would need to wait for February 1986, to even hope for a fair trial to his case.

Monday, September 7, 2015

I should be pissed

My wife can be a bit of a show-off. Her cellphone must be high-end not for high-end functionality sake but for brag-worthiness. She can't be left behind. She needs to have the best or nothing at all. Her dress must be perfect -- not really expensive, but perfect for the occasion. It gets me exasperated that she would shop for a dress for that one occasion that I do not even feel the need to dress up for. It gets me winded sometimes. And I should be pissed. Until I found out yesterday, meeting her family, it came to me -- I am one of the things she brags about.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Patience is a virtue

Thanks to the all mighty internet, my two-year-old daughter has learned her abc's, colors, shapes, and a few animals. From my wife's cellphone, my daughter would Youtube on her own. No one really taught her how to move from one video to another -- she learned it all, intuitively, on her own. Yes, she inherited my genius gene (aherm).

But my sister warns, that there could  be a negative effect to all this. There has been studies that suggest that children who have grown accustomed to the instant gratification of the virtual world are lacking in patience in the real world.

While I can see the reasonableness of that contention, I see no danger in that ever happening to my unica hija. Being a Smart unlisurf subscriber, all that buffering ensures that my daughter learns the virtue of patience. Thank you Smart. My daughter hates you, but I know you are only looking out for her best interest.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Time as a measure of distance

Because of the traffic situation in Metro Manila that spills over now even to the nearby provinces, we Metro Manilans measure distance in hours and minutes, instead of kilometers and meters. I didn't realize this until a German friend/colleague pointed it out. On the long road trips we have to take, he'd always ask me how far away we are from our destination. And always I answer in hours and minutes, never 20 kilometers away or 10 kilometers away.

Time is not a measure of distance, he'd always scold me with a wry smile. Well in the Philippines, it is. 2 kms away can also mean 2 hours away during rush hour in Metro Manila, sadly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Greetings from the grave(yard shift)

As a father with bills to pay -- if you are not awake at 3 in the morning trying to earn an honest buck, you are not trying hard enough.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Of actions and reactions

Respect is not an action but a reaction. Be respectable and people will respect you.


And oh yeah, if you spell "po" with an extra h at the end, "poh", I assume that you are an idiot. Touchscreen phones, being so difficult to text with, has all but killed jejemon-speak. Only the "poh" remains. Still annoying AF.

Friday, August 14, 2015


My two-year-old daughter has the alphabet memorized -- and in proper order. It's almost perfect, except that she calls M as mmm, Q is coo, W is wow, and Y is yay. But the funny thing is only she gets to call them that. When she hands me the Y, and I say yay, she does not accept that and will only move on if I say "why". And rightly so, she is the baby not me. Only she gets to call it yay.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Nobel Prize

Whoever invented the fully-automatic washing machine, made it affordable for poor people like me, I believe deserve the Nobel Prize -- for whatever category -- Peace, Physics, Literature, it does not matter. Stay relevant Nobel, no one really cares about the "god particle". That my Sunday afternoons are now actually free, now that is something I really care about.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Purgahin si Garin

If ever the epal DOH Secretary decides to run for an elected office, that should be her honest political campaign slogan. No one is  more deserving a dose of her own medicine -- literally!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Death penalty

Bring back the death penalty! For starters the ultimate penalty should meted out for these crimes:

1. Taking 30 seconds or more to look for your atm card when you had 30 minutes in line to do it.

2. Jeepney drivers who slow to a crawl near the intersection so they can get stuck on one side of the highway to wait for passengers -- cars-behind-me-damned!

3. Pedestrians who cross the street within 50 meters of a pedestrian overpass and still choose to play pantintero.

4. People who pause to find their bearings right after the escalator -- move out of the way a55hole!

5. People who converse loudly on their phones while in public transport.

6. People who eat smelly food on public transport.

7. Politicians whose initials are all over that multicab.

8. Politicians whose last name is Binay.

9. Politicians whose name is Nancy Binay.

10. Politicians whose name is Jojo Binay.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Willie is back

Not really watching TV anymore, so much so that the fact Willie Revillame is back on Philippine slipped by me - just found out from an FB post of a friend. Perhaps it's old age, or the fact that I am now a father to a 2 year old -- I don't feel so violently outraged anymore. I am just thankful he is not running for anything in 2016. Let us all thank our lucky stars.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mommy D

Just another random thought:

Who else thinks that Mommy D. should dump that gold-digger of a boyfriend  and instead - after Pacman and Floyd finish their business in the ring, of course - date  Floyd Sr.? That would be Shakespearean of Romeo and Juliet proportions!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A nightmare

I was in a small boat tossing about in stormy seas. I was afraid -- very afraid. But it was not of drowning or even of that boat sinking. My wife was pregnant, and I had barely enough money saved up. Prenatal care expenses was negating whatever little extra I was making. And the extra money I had coming in via special project was cutting it a little too close -- it might not come through soon enough. What if there are complications? What if? So many what ifs.

Then a calm voice spoke to me. He revealed Himself as the storm died down. He called me by my name and said, "Remember where I was born."

My baby was born 2 months later, a healthy, all digits accounted for, child of God. She is 2 years old now and we are going to the zoo next week. Everything worked itself out fine. Life is hard. And I don't see it getting any easier soon. But we will manage. Everything will be all right -- in Jesus' name... Amen.

Friday, February 13, 2015

One of those days

11 February 2015.

My day began discovering that my 2-year-old had broken the stem off my reading glasses. No biggie really, it was just one small screw that had come loose that I can screw back on. But a catch 22 of sorts, I needed my reading glasses to screw in that teeny tiny screw with my pen knife -- not having precision tools on hand. Fumbling through the process, I stabbed my finger hard enough to draw a bit of blood. That hurt like a motherfvcker.

A little while later, preparing lunch, I discovered that the wok that had been in the family since the 70's had finally given up and was leaking at the bottom. Quick trip to SM grocery to buy a replacement pan and my wife calls me to tell me that a Meralco transformer exploded and our whole block had no electricity. 3 hours and still no electricity, I struggled to prepare dinner in the dark -- then the LPG on my tank ran out.

Later that night, as my electricity was restored, a fresh tank of LPG delivered, my finger band-aided, and I prepared to go to sleep, I thanked God. I remember, almost exact to the day, last year, I had to take my very sick 2-year-old to the hospital. I would rather have this day, every day, than that day a year ago.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Random thought ba kamo?

Stuck in traffic, two girls walk in front of our car. Random thought -- na-aawa ako sa mga pangit. These two girls have done nothing to me, and yet why do I despise them so much? And I'm sure I'm not the only one. So yeah, if you're born ugly, you just lost big time in the genetic lottery. I would rather be born poor than be born ugly.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Life lessons

My 2 year old daughter loves balloon like nothing else. When we were at the Cyberzone, window shopping, while the wife was shop dressing at the SM department store, my daughter momentarily escaped from my clutches to rush a store. When I caught up, she was hugging the store display, a bunch of balloons strung up together. The balloons weren't for sale, naturally, that being a computer store. But the manager found my daughter so cute that she just had to give her one -- for free.

So my daughter was happy. And I was happy that my daughter was happy. Happier knowing that the balloon was an unexpected gift from a complete stranger. On the ride home however, with all the shopping bags in tow, the balloon was just too unwieldy and got caught on a sharp object or something. So when we finally made it home, my daughter had nothing but the rubber remnants of what used to be a balloon she so adored. She was begging me to blow it up -- bring it back to life. But it was hopeless.

There is a life lesson here somewhere. I'm just not sure what.

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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.


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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