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I’m Not Sure If They’d Understand English But This Is For the “Dura” Gang October 11, 2010

Posted by semikaljunkie26 in Barbarism, Blackberry Curve 8520, crime, dura gang, Ranting.
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Today is the day I express my extreme, solid hatred against the people who took my phone. In a bulky chunk of a paragraph I will tell you why. It happened on a late Sunday afternoon, October 10, 2010.

I got off MRT Magallanes from Cubao after bringing my good friend Bong a box of dessert from my mom. I took a jeepney going to PRC since I was planning to attend the Mass at Don Bosco Chapel before going home. I took the front seat beside the driver. After a minute, a guy sat beside me. I didn’t mind him because I was busy planning what to do after the Mass. Besides he looks like he hasn’t eaten for days and doesn’t have an idea what a facial cleanser is. Moving on, the jeep took off. After a couple of minutes, someone from behind gave a loud sneeze. He asked the driver to stop. While he’s stepping out of the ride, the guy at my back said that I have spots of phlegm on my shirt. Being the calm guy that I am, I just took my hanky and started wiping even though I was already on the verge of puking. Little did I know that it was the exact moment when the guy beside me took the opportunity to open my messenger bag and swiftly grab my Blackberry. I was done cleaning all the spots of phlegm when all of a sudden they asked the driver to stop in the middle of the road. The driver just stepped onto the brake like a robot. Seconds after the three guys got off, I thought of looking at my inbox for messages then I realized there’s no more phone to check.

My BB Curvey!

I wasn’t able to say anything. Right then and there, memories of my one-month old BB Curve 8520 crashed into me- the contact numbers, the saved messages, the random photos, the addresses, the awesome songs in my Music Player…what else…oh yeah, the reality that I was able to buy that mobile phone out of my earnings. Ladies and gentleman, that gadget didn’t come free.

Ironic it may seem, before when I hear news about mandurukot, I used to think na tatanga tanga kasi yung nadukutan kasi nagtetext sa kalye or showoff or something to that effect. Now that it happened to me, hindi pala sya katangahan. May mga tao lang talaga na mapagsamantala sa kapwa.

Now, never will I understand why some people resort to stealing other people’s hard-earned gadgets. Never will I accept the reason that they can’t find a decent job to put food on their table dahil for crying out loud ang lalaki ng katawan ng mga taong nagpasasa sa perang pinagkakitaan after mabenta yung ninakaw na phone ko. They are the human version of parasites because I don’t even think they pay taxes. Why would they involve the working class to their misery? It’s not our fault that we have some things that they don’t have. That doesnt’ give them any right to make us perfect targets for such barbaric act. Never will I understand why there are creatures like that in this world. And never will I honor if those criminals would say that they had no proper education, that they’re deprived in life, and that they don’t have a choice. Dudes, we always have a choice.

To those people who were victimized by the Dura gang, one way or another, what they did to us will swing back to them in a very nasty, morbid manner. For now I am hurting but this too shall pass. I know Karma is digital.


Leaving on an Airplane August 23, 2010

Posted by semikaljunkie26 in Labor Pains, Ranting.
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With all the recent turmoil going on between PAL and its prime pilots, I’m exremely sorry if your flight has been cancelled. I know you just want to close that business deal in Davao, or take a vacation in Cagayan de Oro, or spend time with your family in Bacolod. You have your own reasons for flying and I respect that you are furious. Our pilots have their own solid reasons, too. And I respect them, too.

Many of our pilots have decided to leave the country and accept offers abroad. They’re now getting fatter salary, attractive benefits, travel perks for their families, and better airplanes to work with. International airline companies normally give around Php150,000-Php300,000. My college friend Charisse works as a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines and she’s taking home Php150,000. What more are their pilots? Now, for the others who opted to stay loyal with Philippines Airlines, their only request was to have their Php80,000 monthly pay increased even just a bit. Sad to say, Philippine Airlines, our country’s leading carrier, can’t see the point in giving such increase. This is what’s unattractive. Most employers here in our country don’t invest on its people as their only concern is to earn for themselves. In effect, many professionals tend to pack their bags, thinking they could get better chances in life if they are anywhere but here.

Knowing the work ethics and professionalism of the Filipinos, in most cases we end up succeeding against foreign counterparts. What I love about Filipinos is that we always take pride in everything we do. However, the growing number of people leaving is extremely alarming. Our Department of Labor and Employment should deal with both public and private employers and set the wages by making it in line with neighbor countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan depending on the field of expertise. If the government can’t do something about this, please refrain from pulling out huge amount of taxes from our monthly salary. We love our country and our country should love us back. Let’s not wait until all the good ones are gone and what’s left are those unemployed, underqualified, or not qualified.

10 Things I Hate About You April 30, 2010

Posted by semikaljunkie26 in Love and Relationships A Chu Chu, Mushy.
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I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you’re always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t call. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

***Too bad Heath Ledger is gone while Julia Stiles is in hiatus. I miss them both.

Her Name is Alek April 30, 2010

Posted by semikaljunkie26 in Idols and Inspirations.
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Alek Wek (born 16 April 1977) is a Sudanese model who first appeared on the catwalks at the age of 18 in 1995, sparking a career lasting to date. She is from the Dinka ethnic group in the Sudan, but in 1991 she and some family members fled to Britain to escape the civil war between the Muslim north and the Christian south of the Sudan. She later moved to the United States.

She is indeed my favorite supermodel of all time. Black is absolutely beautiful.

Daddy, Daddy April 30, 2010

Posted by semikaljunkie26 in Daddy, family.
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OK OK I plead guilty. Writing initial paragraphs is something I am not good at. With this, allow me to begin by saying my dad passed away last Wednesday around 10 PM due to heart attack while reading The Bible at his desk. Yes, that effortless, that impulsive as if dying can be done twice. Tsk tsk tsk ang daya mo naman dad, di ka man lang nagtext na aalis ka na. Alright dad, you taught me how to write. Let me try. Let me try hard.

The after-shift habit for most Chase agents means smoking til judgment day while ranting about some paranoid customers, or planning for the weekend, or simply maglandian in front of the PhilamLife building with immense delight. I was with Mel that time and we were talking about his dad getting a bypass, and my dad requiring an angioplasty defined as the mechanical widening of a narrowed or totally obstructed blood vessel. I’m no medical expert but I knew it was something serious.

Late November my mom already told me about how serious the condition was as confessed by our family doctor. As per procedures, any blockages in the vessels leading to the heart will be removed to restore proper blood flow for the price of no less than P100,000. Jesus Christ! We were scrambling where to get that lump sum, but my dad never wanted it. He said he’ll just go by fruits and veggies every meal and refrain from alcohol and stress. Whatever the father says, he gets, so we couldn’t talk more.

He perfectly knew he would never have much time. I called mommy early December to check dad’s condition. She passed the receiver to him and he even asked me if he can be covered by my insurance. I said it was not quite possible because I would not yet be confirmed regular until March. If he had waited for March he could have gotten that angioplasty. But no! Hindi ka na naghintay daddy, kainis three months na lang naman! I also knew he got a managerial position for a local TV network in Lucena so my impression was he’ll be under massive stress. I just told him to take it nice and slow. One thing about my dad, we can’t stop him from doing something. Call it stubbornness to the highest degree.

I went home for the holidays. Reaching the doorsteps I went to check my parents’ room and there I saw dad sleeping. As always I gave him a sweet peck on the cheek and a gentle pat on the shoulders just like a regular father-and-son gesture. He asked what I wanted for lunch. Pritong galunggong saka kamatis na may sibuyas, I said. In five minutes he drove to the market to get the fish I dared not eat when in Manila. I’d rather experience starvation ala Nicole Richie or Karen Carpenter than amoebiasis or red tide, if you know what I mean.

On Christmas day he made lambing to me to buy him a nice pair of denim pants from Bench. He’s a size 38 so I drove a sales clerk nuts trying to one in their stock room. Good thing he did so he was spared from verbal abuse and slight physical injuries. Dad used the pair of jeans during the New Year’s eve mass. Obviously he so much enjoyed wearing it he asked for a new pair, however of another design still from Bench. Pagbalik ko na lang sa January 12 punta tayo mall kasi sweldo ko sa 11, na- hold up na kasi ako ni mommy ng pang-grocery, I jokingly said. Little did I know it was one of the last funny moments for me and my dad. If only I knew that would be his last pair of pants, I could’ve gotten something from Calvin Klein or Marlboro Classics kahit na katumbas nun isang cutoff salary ko.

It happened on January 9, 2007, 10:35PM. I was getting ready for work when my baby brother’s girlfriend Bunny called in. She was crying, stuttering and all. Nagbreak ba kayo ni Budz? I asked. Kuya hindi, wala na si daddy, wala na, her statement was followed by a deep breath and several sobs. Sige, sige was the only word that came out of my mouth. It took minutes before I was finally able to digest the news. I sat beside my cousin Al, and cried like a toddler. I called up my manager Dennis to inform him I’ll be off work for the next few days. As soon as everything’s settled including my clothes good for two weeks, I realized it was already past midnight. The next available trip from Manila to Lucena was at 4 AM. This was the nauseating part because all I ever wanted to do was to get home. My housemates wanted to stay with me until early morning yet I told them they all have to sleep for tomorrow’s work. I was staring at a blank space while smoking until 3AM. Knowing I have to help myself, I went to bed because I would be needing all the energy the universe could offer.

Few hours later, I found myself sitting in a bus. No matter how loud I played my MP3, I still can’t get the thought of dad’s death out of my head. No other option was available for me but to recollect our times together. Dad is a philanderer, but his love is only devoted to my mom; he forgets bills but always make it to the due date; he makes us laugh specially during meals and farts while the whole family is watching TV; he drives me to the terminal everytime I’ll head back to Manila for work even when I was still studying in UPLB; he taught us to say what we want yet with respect and dignity; he didn’t let us live a luxurious life to know how daunting it is to earn bucks. My dad is not perfect. But his imperfections made me learn some essentials which we can never ever learn from school or read from books. I guess there is really a certain unique bond between fathers and sons that nobody can truly explain. It is something innate in us. And true, humans are fallible.

One time dad and I went out for lunch. There he confessed we have two half-sisters and a half-brother, borne of his affairs with other women, and his strong attempts to make both ends meet for all of us. On his last few months, I felt more of his presence thru his text messages and phone calls, our lunch out on weekends, and it was only last year during Father’s Day I courageously told him how much I loved him. Dad isn’t dramatic but to my surprise he replied how proud and rewarding it was for him to have a son like me. Ang sweet nung moment na yun.

Recalling all those times with daddy, all I did was cry the first time I saw him inside a coffin. Gusto ko siyang yakapin, halikan, and I was even telling na nakakainis ka dad kasi binigla mo naman kami ayan nakapagleave tuloy ako ng wala sa oras. I was talking to him just like how I talked to him when I was 5 or 7 years old, when I was gullible and naughty. How I wish I could take another chance. Lord isang araw lang po with daddy parang nung naglalakad kami papunta sa Church na magkahawak kamay nung bata pa’ko. But doing a reality check, I am now 24 years old. Dad would want me to be tough for my mom and for my siblings.

He didn’t leave us empty-handed. From insurance policies to pension, everything was accomplished by my dad. The point isn’t the money. It is the fact he never wanted us left hanging suffering from the burden of his death. No words could express my gratitude to all those people who gave their assistance and moral support in whichever way they know. I don’t really know how to close this essay. A narrative consists of 5,000 words or less isn’t enough to describe how he really lived his life. This is just something I want to do to keep my sanity. Our roads will cross again. Mahal kita daddy. Mahal ka namin.

***Ruben Calvelo Sr. was born May 5, 1947. He died January 9, 2008. It was a good 60 years. On his last moment, he was reading The Bible. He gave himself to Him. Have a safe trip.

****I wrote this more than a year ago, January 13, 2008. I still immensely miss my dad. Big time.

When Marga and I Shared a Draft Beer and a Cigar March 29, 2010

Posted by semikaljunkie26 in Love and Relationships A Chu Chu, Mushy.
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Marga was crying while relentlessly drinking a bottle of draft beer and puffing her cigar. For almost four extensive years of solid and unadulterated friendship, that was the only night I saw her lost herself. I can’t blame her. Allan, her boyfriend for over two years, apparently exchanged her for some obscure print ad model.

I said nothing upon hearing Marga frantically professed how she still badly wanted Allan back in her arms. I didn’t even bother say any word of encouragement for her to at least manage to feel relieved and eventually function well once more. I did nothing. Not that I was droopy towards the episode. It was just because Marga unintentionally made me reminisce a vivid picture of what was it like to be left alone by someone who told you would stand by your side no matter what, by someone who told you that love would conquer all. I remembered when I was in the same situation, trying to be hard-hitting for my own sake even though deep within, the twinge was too much to endure and swallow. Fragment by fragment, both quixotic and appalling memories of Chris, my ex-partner, twirled into me. It was the summer of 2001.

I must confess it was a fast-paced relationship. We met through a common friend. We exchanged numbers. He called me up the night after. I headed to his place. We had fried chicken for dinner. We kissed. We slept together. The next day, we were officially a couple. It was like a horse race. Mikee Cojuangco can run for her money.

Chris’ place in Makati became my second asylum. Since it was a summer and I never took extra courses, I got to spend myriad hours with him. Good thing his work in one of the premiere makers of succulent and vigorous pineapple products both in the Philippines and abroad wasn’t really a tedious and demanding one. He finished his degree in Liberal Arts in the De la Salle University. After college graduation, he applied as a junior account executive and eventually promoted as a senior account executive at the age of 28. He got promoted so young I thought maybe he used connections to reach that status. I was erroneous because Chris was really brilliant in Marketing. Notwithstanding the fact that I was the immature, know-it-all party at 18, I always wanted to be the more intelligent character between the two of us. I occasionally mocked him about how La Sallians act, talk, and think. Before, I seize on a prejudice that La Sallians were just a bunch of rich students who learn at a snail’s pace (But not anymore…I swear…Really). With these issues, he would just say, Pangit naman facilities nyo, talunan pa sa UAAP! To defend UP, I would immediately say, at least our brains are functional. And to end our discussion, he would suddenly jump on me and tickle my sensitive spots, causing me to holler all over his place.

Oftentimes he would wake me up after a strenuous night just to ask me to properly tuck his long sleeves in his trousers. And since I am not the type of a human being that can suitably get back to slumber after being disturbed, I would sometimes make his coffee, work on his laundry, organize his much disorganized closet, or at times cook for him the dishes I learned from taking basic culinary arts when I was still in high school. In return, I would criticize his indolence when it comes to doing household chores. Nevertheless I can’t blame a guy who grew up with a yaya until the age of 13 and a person extremely allergic to detergent soap. But then again, I never felt I was domesticated, even a bit, for I cherished how he actually appreciated my simple efforts to become a good partner to him.

On the other side, I also did appreciate his very own way of showing me his passion. He several times drove me to nice dinner. There were occurrences that I silently grumble to him about the price of each plate, but money never really became a large deal to him. Also, he gave me Winnie the Pooh items. He even knew the birthday of my mom and until this year, he greeted her. And he gave me a new mobile phone on the first month of our three-month long relationship.

Whenever we were free, we do movie marathons. He told me that he was crazy about Julia Roberts. He was so engrossed that within the span of our relationship, we watched Pretty Woman for eight times. Chris had already mastered some of the movie’s lengthy lines delivered by both Julia and Richard Gere. One time while watching the mentioned film, he recalled that the first time he watched the movie was way back 1990 in Quad together with his ex-girlfriend in high school. I simply ignored his recollection of it and instead thought that Chris was just really a huge aficionado of the physically big-mouthed yet competent Hollywood actress.

Speaking of competition, Chris and I battled on a lot of things. We played lawn tennis together. We also went to the gym together and raced through the treadmill. I would never forget our encounters over play station. We even considered having eating contests and the one who finished last takes care of the mucky dishes. Chris and I were so tough and so competitive that in some instances, even the smallest sparks lead to destructive forest fires just like what we see on the Discovery Channel.

If Sandra Bullock became the Ms. Congeniality, Chris was the Mr. Congeniality and his portrayal of the role would definitely hand him a Golden Globe nomination. He was extraordinarily congenial that he flirted with different guys and went home with the “others” when I wasn’t around. I knew that awful truth when I got to read from his mobile phone’s inbox a message from another person, thanking Chris for a wonderful and amazingly erotic night at his house. He even asked my Chris when would be the next saga. I retained my forbearing stance and calmly asked him about the guy. It was just sex. I’m sorry, he said upon realizing that I had discovered his duplicity. With those words of admittance, I just considered it a pebble that got inside my loafers. Then came twice. And thrice. I tried to keep my temperance. I won’t care if other people would get a taste of Chris as long as I know for a fact that his heart is still mine, I firmly told myself. On that particular moment, I knew I was in love. Unfortunately, it was also the similar moment when Chris lost his love for me.

The judgment day came. Chris called me and he asked if we can talk. In his unusual sinister tone, I felt a sudden rush that pulsated all over my system. Still, I overcame the uneasiness I have had inside and after a few seconds I agreed to talk with him. Blah…blah…blah…and he finally said, It was not you. It was me. Chris wanted me to react. But I decided to ask or retort no more. I dropped the game, I gave up the competition.

After a few days of hearing Chris’ farewell antics and eventually getting separated with him, nobody even had an inch of clue of how much pain I went through. I still loved Chris so much that I endured dialing his number even though he kept ignoring my calls. I still loved Chris so much that I would send messages to him, telling him how much I missed our time and how much I longed for everything even though I got no reply from him, even though I would start feeling tiny pains in my thumb. I still loved him so much that I incessantly left messages to his answering machine even though I knew he was home and just purely didn’t want to talk with me. I loved him so much that I almost lost my sanity.

When the wound was still fresh, I decided not to live in the past. Yes there were memories that I just wanted to linger forever, but sometimes some memories just don’t. It was not really me. It was not really my fault. It was really just how life went for me. After some sighs and sobs, there were lessons learned that helped me continue my life. The “it-was-not-you-it-was-me phenomenon” soon became over.

Two years ago, I was crying loudly while relentlessly drinking a bottle of draft beer and puffing my cigar. That was the only night Marga saw me lost myself. She can’t blame me. I just fell in love…truthfully and faithfully… without conditions… one hundred and one percent, if it was possible…

*The author had already recovered. Really.
**DISCLAIMER: I was so young when I wrote this. Yes I am being defensive. Hahaha!

About Ruel March 24, 2010

Posted by semikaljunkie26 in Narcissistic Tendencies.

Ruel entered the University of the Philippines Los Baños in June 2000. Hoping to become a writer, he took up Communication Arts, a 4-year degree course, and spent a great deal of time reading Jessica Zafra, composing essays, acting on stage, drinking beer, smoking a pack of cigarettes each day, and figuring out how to pay his apartment rent. He considered math and natural science subjects as brain-stimulating, pulse-quickening adventure with extreme prejudice. And due to the overwhelming feeling brought about by solving algebraic expressions and balancing chemical equations, he made himself believe that quality education takes time. Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts slowly became a 5-year degree course and with only one academic unit left on his final semester, simultaneously he began working for a call center and finishing his manuscript.

One of the university rules states that freshman students are not allowed to join any type of school organization. The Office of the Student Affairs thinks that a student’s initial year in the university is a period of adjustment. Being the unconventional person that he is, he joined UP Oroquieta, a duly recognized varsitarian organization of Lucenahins in UPLB, on his first semester. The following semester he entered the UPLB Com Arts Society where style and substance combine; where love and hate collide; where plasticity is sometimes a virtue; and where gender-bending is considered normal. (i.e. girls love girls, gay loves men, men love lesbians, fraternity boy loves soc hunk, et al.)

Prior to living a life in UPLB, Ruel finished his primary and secondary education in Sacred Heart College Lucena City, one of the premier Catholic institutions in the country. Daughters of Charity nuns supervise the students, and it is without doubt surprising to know that Ruel graduated from that school in March 2000.  He has memorized The Act of Contrition, The Seven Sacraments, The Apostle’s Creed, The Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Angelus, The Morning Prayer, The Noon Prayer, The Three O’clock Prayer, The Night Prayer, and all other types of prayer the Catholic Church expects its believers to seriously internalize. All he knows is that he believes in God who does not thrive in expensive sanctuaries dressed in fancy looking costumes with all the sequins and beadings. He believes in a God who can not be impressed by swanky candles and donations. He plainly believes in a God that dwells in us that you can talk with even using the worst kanto language you know.

Until now he keeps vivid recollections of his younger years. At age fourteen, he first fell in love.  He was thirteen when he began smoking and drinking. He reached the Grand Finals of Battle of the Brains at age twelve. His very first article was published when he was eleven. At age eight, his mom left for abroad and since then he knew the definition of independence. Five was his age when he almost died of an accident. He learned to read at age four. He learned to pray and scribble on walls at the age of three. He began uttering syllables and a few sensible words by two.    

Born on October 29, 1983 in Lucena City, Ruel has set out to disprove that things in life are naturally born. He has always been certain that a person is not naturally born to become somebody. What he means is that skills are learned and developed; there is a little room for success based on any so-called natural qualities. Yes it is possible to be born with a natural aptitude to sing high-pitched ballads and to gain success from developing such talent. But life is not a talent; it is an ability. It must be acquired and mastered. Life is more than a cute smile. At least this is what Ruel thinks.      

He still doesn’t have direction in life. Well, like everyone else.