Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Tirade Against Small-time Gov't Officials

Don't read this if you're a government-lubbing sucker.

I have pure hatred for LGU officials. They are one-track mind puffins who likes to speak in Me-Great-Me-Wonderful language. Never once with those I have had the bad luck to work with have the mental capacity to open their minds. It's always I-know-best, I-am-superman, and I hope they could eat shit so they'd know what we have to deal with.

Okay, okay, so they're not ALL bad. I mean, for goodness sake, my sister works for a Senator. But the majority of them has this addictive need to praise themselves. And if they know that they were lacking, they act defensively by accusing the ineffectivity of other officials. Cannibals, those animals. Wait no, that's a great injustice to animals, and cannibals themselves. They're the dirt of the scum. They're the lowliest because they seek to be the highest. And they all pretend!

In a training yesterday, we had the "honour" of having the heads of departments in Antipolo. I'm sure they know a lot, and I even concede they have good points to share. But do they have to do it in such rabble-rousing, grandstanding way? The effect of it was, they were limiting/ influencing the barangay units to sway to their oh-so-greater-wisdom. And they keep insisting that the municipal data is the important data because it's the approved data. Ang problema, yung programs na sinasabi nila, hindi naman lahat ramdam ng barangays in attendance. Lalo na yang CSWD na yan. What daycare centers? May mga halfhouse pa silang nalalaman, wala namang may alam na meron pala. So what's the point. Pilit nilang pinapakain na yung information nila ang tama, eh I'm sure, kaduda-duda rin ang mga pinanggalingan sources nun. And true to form, pag-alis nila, nagreklamo yung barangays:

1. Wala kaming nakuhang daycare center
2. Puro livelihood trainings, wala namang after training support kaya sayang lang
3. Pampagulo lang naman sila eh.
4. Wala kayong ganyan? Sa dami ng programa ng CSWD? (said in sarcasm by a participant)

Ang gagaling ninyong mga municipal officers kayo. Goodluck sa election ng 2010 kasi mukhang nagpapalapad na kayo ng papel. malas ng Antipolo na nandyan kayo.

"I'm protecting my constituents" my ass. If you were any better doing your job, you would have done your research and not the mandatory pick-and-poke. Gusto nyo kasi, kayo ang hinahanap, you want to be fawned over. Himasin muna ego nyo, before anything happens. You are so used to being spoon-fed, you think those who have the courage to challenge you are irreverent goodfornothin's.

A**holes.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This...

This wall ---
Fortified with gumption
And a thousand resolutions
That I will never
Simply ever
Fall for you.

This line ---
Drawn by hand
Etched fleetingly on sand
Is the boundary
I will never
Cross for you.

This stop ---
Is one of the infinite ways
I turn my head away
When you pass
I will never look at you.

But, frustratingly
When you hold my hand
And tuck my hair
Behind a blushing ear
And my lips turn up into a smile
Which I never meant to give…

The wall crumbles
The line blurs
The stop ends
And the world drowns
In the thunderous pounding
Of this traitorous heart.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Questions to Ask Oneself

“Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers.” Voltaire.

Good, hell, good. ‘Cos I sure don’t know any answers this point in my life. I know I pretend I do, a lot. But the awful truth is, most of what I know are liquid as of yet. So if asking questions is the start to finding answers, I’ll take that challenge head on.

My first question is this: How much of childhood dreams should you hold on to?

When do you give up?

How do you know if you love what you do and you’re doing what you love?

How does “real interest in people” look like?

How long will people call you “promising” before they switch to “late-starter” and then finally, “failure?”

I call myself a people-person, but how can I be good with them if I actually don’t like people very much?

Much discussed as it is in books and movies, I still can’t imagine how people could fall in love, I mean, for real. How does one subsume oneself, how do you make space?

How can you measure a life lived fully?

How do I fit into God’s plan?

Now, that wasn’t as easy as I expected it to. Cos surely to start asking is to start thinking and thinking leads to searching and searching leads to finding and finding leads to doing and doing becomes being.

Still a long way to go, but at least, it's a start.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Brain that's Not Brain

Not so long ago, I watched an episode from Season 5 of House where a blind girl who had eye transplant hated what she saw of the world because when she finally could see, she realized the world wasn't pretty.

And in the end, House figured out that there's tissue formations in her brain that is like cancer but not cancer and does not know how to function yet. So all she needed as treatment was brain surgery and not cancer treatment. Afterwards, without the mass in her brain, she could see the world as it really is.

Amazing. I'm sure the chances of that happening is like 1 in 1 million. But what if, you were someone born centuries ago with the same affliction: you cannot see beauty in the world.

And to others, you were just evil, a monster, because surely, you have not inherited the better part of angels. To see the world as perpetually ugly, an affliction of a devil-child, surely?

It will definitely be a wild ride, since the inceptor of House wasn't even born yet. :D

Gears in my brain that is not brain are turning. I guess I have a writing weekend ahead of me. This is the best part of the writing process: when you just imagine it in your head, and you hold it there, right there, perfect, perfect, like a Faberge egg in fabled Anastacia Romanov's velvet gloved hand.

Possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Gabe and the Hobyas

I read Gabe a short contemporized British folk tale about tiny monsters called Hobyas which eats --- well, many things. The story goes like this:

There was once a farmer, his wife and his daughter who lived in a house of turnips. They also have a loyal dog which keeps watch over the little farmhouse. One night, while all was asleep, the Hobyas came to the house and decided to eat the house, and to capture the little girl for eating later. But the dog heard them and he barked loudly. The hobyas scattered and ran away. The farmer though got irritated by the dog's barking. So the next day, he placed the dog inside a turnip basket. That night, the Hobyas came back, but the dog jumped from the basket and barked again. The Hobyas ran and the farmer got angry again. The next night, he placed the dog in the basket and tied it up and locked it(This was written before PETA, obviously). When the Hobyas came back, no dog scared them away this time so they managed to eat the house and take the little girl.

The farmer and his wife looked for the little girl for a long time, and finally they found her during the day (when the hobyas slept) still unharmed inside a sack. What the farmer did was to let his daughter out, and put the dog inside the sack in her stead. That night, when the Hobyas opened the sack, the dog jumped out, barked and ate 'em all up. The end of the Hobyas.

I told Gabe there's a moral to the story. I was gunning for : Be kind to Dogs like his pet Anid because they will protect you and be loyal. And I was planning to amp it up by introducing him to the concept of "some problems are blessings in disguise", as well as the well-loved but least-heeded "Observe before you act."

But he took the wind outta me by nodding his head sagely, like a small Magi-king, and answered, "Yes, I know."

"What did you learn?" I asked.

He rolled his eyes and replied as if speaking to a dum-dum:

"Ateeeee! DON'T BUILD A HOUSE MADE OF TURNIPS!"

Ah. Oo nga naman. Case closed.

Do You Read YA?

Book in Hand: Grendel by John Gardner
Song in Mind: "Somebody once told me the world was gonna blow me cos I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed...."

I do. Unabashedly.

I'm one of those 5'8" tall kiddos you find browsing through the Young Adult (YA) fiction aisles in Powerbooks. I admit I get self-conscious sometimes, bumping unto a 6th grader or so while skimming for titles. Once, a rich-kid midget (you know, those brave, extroverted, English-speaking ones) even asked me if I have some book in stock, clearly mistaking me for a salesperson. I bravely told the boy I'm not a salesgirl, but I would help him find one. He ended up asking me which book I would recommend for a twelve-year-old like him, though I think he isn't one hour above 10.

And there I was hoping I could pass for 19 years old.

After that incident, I decided to let myself out of the closet. So I enjoy YA Lit. So be it. Besides, my height gives me relative advantage over the other customers in the area. I could reach the top shelf, you know, nyah, nyah.

The thing about foreign YA Lit is that, they're supposed to be written for teeners in the US or Europe. But to me, it felt like the issues being discussed were things I became completely aware of at, maybe, age 21. And the words are always direct, and simple. I detest novels that overdescribes and hyperfalute (pollute, if you ask me). I like it when people sound like people, and inferences from the narrator are candid, not assuming. No sweat to read, often entertaining and sometimes, really, sometimes, you stumble upon gems and geniuses.

If you think you might want to give it a try, see if you can get your hands on these books:

1. The Goose Girl / Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
2. Howl's Moving Castle / Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones
3. Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn
4. The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
5. 1-800-WhereRU Series by Meg Cabot
6. BlueBloods by Melissa dela Cruz
7. Any book by Patricia mcKillip
8. Any book by Roald Dahl
9. Any book by Robin McKinley
10. Percy Jackson books by Ricky Riordan
11. Kie'shara Series by Ameia Atwater-Rhodes
12. Books by Sarah Dessen

I also want to Highlight the book Forest of HAnds and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I read it recently and it gave me the shivers. Really scary good. Another good novel taking on vampire lore is Evernight by Claudia Gray. Waaaaaay better than Twilight. The twist in the story made my eyes go round in surprise instead of roll with derision.

For the Twilight generation, no, don't expect your beloved Meyer to be on the list above, because she really belongs to the list below.

Books to Steer Clear from (or at least not take seriously):

5. Twilight / New Moon the whole caboodle by Stepehenie Meyer
4. The Immortals by Alyson Noel
3. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
2. Any Gossip Girl / Airhead / All American Girl novelization by Meg Cabot (how can she write good fantasy, but write jibberish for contemporary YA?)

And the new That Sucks Awardee is:

1. Marked / books by PC and whatsherface Cast


Go and try it once in a while. But just don't forego your Murakami, Barnes, Ruiz-Zafon, Ishiguro, Theroux, Roth, and Marquez just yet. You still need those to help your brain cells grow up, you see. :D