Saturday, February 28, 2009


Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title. – Thomas Paine

Nickname, according to Wikipedia (as if nobody knows what it means) has its root from the word ekename, meaning “additional name”. It became corrupted through ages and became what it is today. But I prefer to attribute its origin from the Devil, which the English speaking Europeans also calls “Old Nick”.

Nicknames are given as a term of endearment (as in Mumsy, Siopaw, Lemondrops), because of physical feature or behavioral quirks (like Duling, Balat or Utot), to emphasize who your referring to (as in “Jun Taba” and “Jun Payat”) and to hide your real identity (Batman, Joker, Darna). Like most bloggers, I also adhere to the last description.

NJ of Desert Aquaforce tagged me to do this meme regarding nicknames. So without further ado, here is the list of my other names:

1. Daddy – (in a melodious way with emphasis on “Daah”) what my daughter and wife calls me when they want something from me.
2. Dee – what my daughter and wife calls me when they only want my attention. My wife calls me something else when she’s angry.
3. Bobet or Bet – my family (except my sister) and extended family.
4. Toto – my sister and the only person I allow calling me by that name.
5. Tito – my nephews and nieces.
6. Ed or Mr. Ed – my boss, co-workers and friends here in the Kingdom.
7. Mon – my “barkadas” back home in Pinas.
8. Zaldy – classmates in my college days.
9. Ka Mon – my “barkadas” in my college days. Each of us has a nickname that begins in “Ka” like “Ka Tigas”, “Ka Golem”, “Kamote”.
10. BlogusVox – it’s mock-Latin, Blogus (a conjugation of Blog) meaning denizens of blogosphere and Vox (voice). Literally it means “Bloggers' Voice”.

I’ll refrain muna on tagging anybody. But if you feel like doing it, feel free to grab it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On Blogging and Commenting

An idea entered my mind when I was at Nebz’s site reading this post. Although I seldom get nasty comments, I do find a lot, when reading comments from other sites. Perhaps some are just expressing their opinion with a little touch of emotion. Others are too brazen for their own good. And the rest maybe new in blogging and just don’t know any better. So I did a research to find out what are the proper blog manners one should “put on” and I found some here, here and here.

Although I find these “protocols” too nice, you don’t have to possess Victorian like manners to have the proper etiquette in cyberspace. To sum it up, all it takes is common sense to be considered “civil”.

If one is a commenter, one should think of it like one is a visitor in somebody’s home. One should be in his finest behavior and always be courteous to the host. Unless of course barkada mo ang may-ari at tambayan nyo ang bahay nya. Ibang rules naman ang applicable dyan.

If the host is telling a story, one should listen and base one’s remark according to the story. It’s not good to grab the limelight and tell your own story thereby undermining the host’s narrative. O di kaya, bigla mong ilalabas ang baon mong Tupperware or Avon products and try to sell it to the other guests.

If you like or find the house you just visited interesting, take note of it without thinking of reciprocation. Don’t obligate the host to do the same to your place as well. Hindi yung sasabihin mong “Pag kinuwento mo sa mga kachika mo kung gaano kaganda ng bahay ko, ikukwento ko rin ang bahay mo sa mga kachika ko”.

As for the blog host, think of your place like a restaurant where every day you have a “Today’s Special” menu. Huwag naman yung palagi nalang “apple pie” ang sini-serve mo o di kaya e pansit loglog na panis. Para naman hindi madala ang mga customers.

And if you received a complement, go all the way to acknowledge it. Huwag mong isnabin. Magpasalamat ka at nagustuhan nila ang luto mo.

Yun lang yun. Ika nga as Clarence Thomas said - Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. Nasa ayon ba yung quote na 'to? A ewan!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Buhay Buhangin (Sn 18)

-------------------------- oOo--------------------------
Para Sa Mga Walang Partner Noong Balentayn's...
Buti pa ang kalendaryo may date
Buti pa ang hersheys may kisses
Yung ibang tao wala!

Buti pa ang telepono hini-hello
Buti pa ang film nadi-develop
Buti pa ang keyboard nata-type-pan
Yung ibang tao hindi!

Buti pa ang exams sinasagot
Buti pa ang problema iniisip
Buti pa ang assignment inu-uwi
Yung ibang tao hindi!

Buti pa ang kamalian napapansin
Buti pa ang salamin minamasdan
Buti pa ang hininga hinahabol
Yung ibang tao hindi!

Buti pa ang sugat inaalagaan
Buti pa ang lungs malapit sa puso
Buti pa ang pera iniingatan
Yung ibang tao hindi

Buti pa ang baso dinadampian ng labi
Buti pa ang unan inaakap sa gabi
Buti pa gasolina, nagmamahal...
Mabuti pa sila...

(Author: Unknown)

Pahabol: According to R-yo (Islander In The City), this poem was written by Gary Granada. It was emailed to me by my good old friend, Pam.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not So Saintly St. Paul

When I was confronted with official tuition, the academic thing, I could see no relationship whatever between that and the music I'd been writing since I was 11. - Harrison Birtwistle

March is just around the corner and that means something to parents with school level children; A respite in bringing their kids back and forth from school to home and a lull in school expenditures and allowances. But for those with graduating children, it will be a momentous moment. A major event for both the graduates and parents; For the graduates, a much coveted diploma for their 4 or 5 years of mental labor, for the parents a fruit of their sacrifices. My brother is one proud parent; my niece is graduating this March. But in spite of this, my brother lamented on the way the school is treating its graduating students. As if they are trying to squeeze some more expenditures before letting them go.

At the very start, when my brother was scouting for a good school for his daughter, he has to make some choices; safety and quality of education. Manila is out of the question since we have a “girl” and we don’t have relatives there. Iloilo was the best bet. It’s near our province, just a 3 hour ride from our town, and my sister is living in Iloilo City. They’d also opted for St. Paul University because of its reputation.

St. Paul’s tuition fee is no laughing matter but its standard of education is at par with the other exclusive schools in Manila. My only take is the way they charge “miscellaneous” expenses. It includes “concert” tickets wither students attend it or not. School uniforms, including shoes, are to be purchased exclusively at the school’s store. Only their socks, panties and brasseries could be bought else where. But what really got my goat is when a teacher from a minor subject (Rizal) suggested that students must undertake an “affiliation” trip. It’s not compulsory, but their teacher hinted that, if they can’t go, it may hamper their commencement. This ominous suggestion is synonymous to “No affiliation, no graduation”.

“Affiliation” is a 3-day field trip to Manila. Past “field-trippers” said it’s a student’s orientation of important sites in Manila including popular malls and tourist spots. In other words “mag lalamyerda sila sa Maynila”. I’m not saying that St. Paul has a cut in the airline fare of these students. I’m not saying that St. Paul has a percentage from whatever hotel they’re going to stay there. All I’m saying is the P10,000 (excluding food and allowance) each student has to chip-in could be spend on other things like a college ring, a pin, clothes and toga rental fee and a “blow-out” in the restaurant for the whole family, instead of going on a tour which is not related to their course or their minor subject for that matter.

For a catholic-run, nun-supervised institution, it saddened me that these “nuns” has no sympathy for the flight of parents who has to shoulder these expenses. They are in a world of their own. Not caring that there is a financial crisis going on. That everybody is tightening their belt in order to save for their children’s education. They have a mentality similar to that of the friars of the Spanish colonial era.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

From Me to You

First of all to my wife,
who for 9 years, stand
by me and learned to ac-
cept my idiosyncrasies. We may have
our ups and down, petty arguments and
other differences which are common bet-
ween husband and wife. But as the years
pass by, our bond grows stronger. For that, I thank you. To my daugh-
ter, who give joy to his father, whose very smile wipes away my weari-
ness. The source of my strength, inspiration and aspiration in life. To my
Dad, my brother and sister, the only other family, I know I can depend on.
To my friends here, in other parts of the world and back home, who are always
glad to hear from and see me. To my long time pals: panaderos, ed v., Jon
Limjap, sheng, Abou, RJ, donG, Ms. Sassy, TwilightZone, Nebz, R-yo, Lei,
Tito Rolly, theonoski, mightydacz, ever, Mari, caryn, Mimi, Abaniko, bwzone,
Ms. Jo, madjik, Kenjie and bertN. To my new found friends: Ms. Loida, Dee,
7thstranger, Utoy, katcarneo, Sardonyx, Lord CM, DesertAquaForce,
boomzz-in-iraq and Lawstude. To those who have visited my
blog: eds, Trosp, wildflower, the suspect, lateralus, All Abu
Dhabi, Points of View, Kotsengkuba, L bukaneno,
kamotenista, Julie, Richard the Adventurer,
Mec, madbong, Duncan, lusia, Kiko,
allen, ALiNe, flor, BURAOT,
Jepoy, anonymark
and Ano-
To all of
you, I

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Ang OFW ay Tao Rin

Foreword: Another email was forwarded to me by my friends. They asked that I post this to remind everybody the experiences and sacrifices OFWs encounters for the sake of their families back home - BlogusVox.

Hindi mayaman ang OFW - We have this notion na ‘pag OFW o nasa abroad ay mayaman na. Hindi totoo yun. A regular OFW might earn from P50K-P300K per month depende sa lokasyon. Yung mga taga-Saudi or US siguro ay mas malaki ang sweldo, but to say that they're rich is a fallacy (amen!).

Malaki ang pangangailangan kaya karamihan ay nag-a-abroad. Maraming bunganga ang kailangang pakainin kaya umaalis ang mga pipol sa Philippines . Madalas, 3/4 o kalahati ng sweldo ay napupunta sa tuition ng anak at gastusin ng pamilya.

Mahirap maging OFW – Kailangan magtipid hangga't kaya. Oo, masarap ang pagkain sa abroad pero madalas na paksiw o adobo at itlog lang tinitira para makaipon. Pagdating ng kinsenas o katapusan, ang unang tinitingnan eh ang conversion ng peso sa dollar o rial o euro. Mas okay na magtiis sa konti kaysa gutumin ang pamilya. Kapag umuuwi, kailangan may baon kahit konti kasi maraming kamag-anak ang sumusundo sa airport o naghihintay sa probinsya. Alam mo naman ‘pag Pinoy, yung tsismis na OFW ka eh surely attracts a lot of kin.

Kapag hindi mo nabigyan ng pasalubong eh magtatampo na yun at sisiraan ka na. Well, hindi naman lahat pero I'm sure sa mga OFW dito eh may mga pangyayaring ganun. Magtatrabaho ka sa bansang iba ang tingin sa mga Pinoy. Malamang marami ang naka-experience ng gulang o discrimination to their various workplaces. Sige lang, tiis lang, iniiyak na lang kasi kawawa naman pamilya 'pag umuwi.

Besides, wala ka naman talagang maasahang trabaho sa Philippines ngayon. Mahal ang bigas, ang gatas, ang sardinas, ang upa sa apartment. Tiis lang kahit maraming kupal sa trabaho, kahit may sakit at walang nag-aalaga, kahit hindi masarap ang tsibog, kahit pangit ang working conditions, kahit delikado, kahit mahirap. Kapag nakapadala ka na, okay na, tawag lang, "hello! kumusta na kayo?".

Hindi bato ang OFW - Tao rin ang OFW, hindi money o cash machine. Napapagod rin, nalulungkot (madalas), nagkakasakit, nag-iisip at nagugutom. Kailangan din ang suporta, kundi man physically, emotionally o spiritually man lang.

Tumatanda rin ang OFW - Sa mga nakausap at nakita ko, marami ang panot at kalbo na. Most of them have signs and symptoms of hypertension, coronary artery disease and arthritis. Yet, they continue to work thinking about the family they left behind. Marami ang nasa abroad, 20-30 years na, pero wala pa ring ipon. Kahit anong pakahirap, sablay pa rin. Masakit pa kung olats rin ang sinusuportahang pamilya – ang anak adik o nabuntis; ang asawa may kabit. Naalala ko tuloy ang sikat na kanta dati, “NAPAKASAKIT KUYA EDDIE!"

Bayani ang OFW – Totoo yun! Ngayon ko lang na na-realize na bayani ang OFW sa maraming bagay. Hindi bayani na tulad ni Nora Aunor o Flor Contemplacion. Bayani in the truest sense of the word. Hindi katulad ni Rizal o Bonifacio. Mas higit pa dun, mas maraming giyera at gulo ang pinapasok ng OFW para lang mabuhay. Mas maraming pulitika ang kailangang suungin para lang tumagal sa trabaho lalo na't kupal ang mga kasama sa trabaho. Mas mahaba ang pasensya kaysa sa mga ordinaryong kongresista o senador sa Philippines dahil sa takot na mawalan ng sweldo.

Matindi ang OFW – Matindi ang pinoy. Matindi pa sa daga, o cockroaches which survived the cataclysmic evolution. Maraming sakripisyo pero walang makitang tangible solutions or consequences.

Malas ng OFW, swerte ng pulitiko – Hindi umuupo ang OFW para magbigay ng autograph o interbyuhin ng media (unless nakidnap!). Madalas nasa sidelines lang ang OFW. Kapag umaalis, malungkot and on the verge of tears. Kapag dumadating, swerte ‘pag may sundo( madalas meron). Kapag naubos na ang ipon, wala ng kamag-anak. Sana sikat ang OFW para may boses sa Kamara. Ang swerte ng mga politiko nakaupo sila at ginagastusan ng pera ng Filipino. Hindi nga sila naiinitan o napapaso ng langis, o napagagalitan ng amo, o kumakain ng paksiw para makatipid, o nakatira sa compound with conditions less than favorable, o nakikisama sa ibang lahi para mabuhay. Ang swerte, sobrang swerte nila.

Matatag ang OFW – Matatag ang OFW, mas matatag pa sa sundalo o kung ano pang grupo na alam nyo. Magaling sa reverse psychology, negotiations at counter-attacks. Tatagal ba ang OFW? Tatagal pa kasi hindi pa natin alam kailan magbabago ang Philippines , kailan nga kaya? o may tsansa pa ba?Masarap isipin na kasama mo ang pamilya mo araw-araw. Nakikita mo mga anak mong lumalaki at naaalagaan ng maayos. Masarap kumain ng sitaw, ng bagoong, lechon, inihaw na isda, taba ng talangka. Masarap manood ng pelikulang Pinoy, luma man o bago. Iba pa rin ang pakiramdam kung kilala mo ang kapitbahay mo. Iba pa rin sa Philippines, iba pa rin kapag Pinoy ang kasama mo (except ‘pag kupal at utak-talangka), iba pa rin ‘pag nagkukwento ka at naiintindihan ng iba ang sinasabi mo. Iba pa rin ang tunog ng "mahal kita!", "day, ginahigugma tika." “Mingaw na ko nimo ba, kalagot!", " Inday, diin ka na subong haw? ganahan guid ko simo ba". Iba pa rin talaga.Sige lang, tiis lang, saan ba’t darating din ang pag-asa

Frederick Arceo

Frederick Arceo’s words reflect the true sentiments of most of our OFW “kababayan”. It is sad to think that some relatives and friends back home equate “working abroad” to big salary, better lifestyle and material possessions. Some relatives totally relies on OFWs even if they are already of “working age” or have families of their own. “Walang problema, nasa abroad ang (itay, inay, kuya, ate, anak)” is a typical phrase. As if the cornucopia will never run dry - BlogusVox.