Thursday, April 20, 2006

Youth Apathy

I was active in the youth organization of our village when I was young. I was an officer of the organization all throughout my high school and college years. And during our term as officers, we made it a point that our summers would be filled with activities. After all, summer is the best time of the year to go out and have fun when you are young.

Sportsfests, fund-raising projects, fiesta preparations, and even out-of-town excursions. The fun we got from organizing these activities was reward in itself. The camaraderie cultivated the friendships. And the responsibilities consequently prepared us for bigger roles in our adult lives.

We have passed the torch of leadership about two generations ago. After all, we cannot remain in the Youth Club all our lives. Some of us now are even elevated to the Homeowners’ Association. But we have remained the kuya’s and ate’s for these young people, guiding them along the way.

But somehow it pains for us to see the organization we once loved so much being disregarded by apathetic members of the youth.

But it still puzzles me why. What? Have they become so busy with their household chores that they now cannot find time for extra-curricular activities anymore? Remember, these kids belong to families with at least one maid to perform the household work for them. Does cleaning your own bedroom now constitute a whole day activity? Or could it be that Playstation games now take much longer to finish that they are willing to sacrifice the fun of real sports competitions for the ultimate thrill of exercising your thumbs? Or have their virtual lives in the internet totally replaced their social lives?

Hay naku! Times are indeed changing. Tumatanda na talaga ako.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Bisita Iglesia 2006

"I didn’t know that we can get to Laguna that easily by passing thru Rizal. Is it that far away from the places we went to last year?" Evan asked.

"The first town of Laguna is like 20 minutes away from Pililia, the last town we visited last year," I replied

"Have you been to where we’re going?" Evan inquired again.

"Nope," I honestly answered him.

"So how are we gonna get there?" he asked worriedly.

"I have a map," an answer which was only partly true. Coz the following morning, the day of our Bisita Iglesia, I brought the map I was talking about - a map of the whole Philippines with a scale of 1:1,000,000. It was the type of map that when you measure the distance of Puerto Galera to Boracay with your hand, it would just amount to one dangkal.

I had no idea where we were going to last Maundy Thursday during our Bisita Iglesia. I figured it wouldn't be that difficult to locate the town churches in Laguna. And thank God we didn't get lost.

And the map? Believe it or not, it proved to be useful enough. Heck, we may even be able to use it next year when we go on with our next Bisita Iglesia. We haven't decided yet on where to go to next year. But definitely it may be a bit farther from Mega Manila. Bicol maybe?

Evan? Care to be the navigator once again? We may still be, ummm, using the same map.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wire-less Internet Disconnection

Some idiots decided to steal the PLDT cables in our area. As a result, half the households in our village lost their telephone services. Damn!

And telephone services, in my case, include internet connection. Double damn!

So, for the first time in such a long while, I had to read news from a real newspaper. Go outside to know how the weather is. Use a real radio when listening to music instead of the usual net streaming. Share opinions with friends using old-fashioned kwentuhan as opposed to the forum or bulletin board system. Wait for the cable TV barker channel to show the TV sked. (I suggest you try doing it if you want to test the limits of your patience.) And rely on my mobile phone to get updated on emails from my e-groups.

I was un-wired, disconnected, and virtually non-existent during those days. It was a refreshing change for a while. Then, inevitably, it began to totally suck.

I am in favor for Congress to classify the theft of those telecommunication wires to fall under economic sabotage (if it still not is). It should punishable by death thru strangulation by cable wire or firing squad by Counter Strike enthusiasts. The hassle and inconvenience are simply unspeakable.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Excuses, Excuses

I know. It has been more than a month since my last post. And for that, I apologize to all of my loyal readers. You know who you are. Yup, all three of you. But believe it or not, I do have excuses for not being able to update this blog for such a long period of time.

No, I didn’t get abducted by strange, little, green creatures aboard a space craft. And no, I also deny that my wife disconnected our internet connection when she caught me surfing porn sites. And thank heavens, it’s also not true that Mister A finally found the entries I posted about him and decided to run me over with his pleading-to-be-retired-jeepney.

Here’s the truth. First, I had an extreme and prolonged case of writer’s block. The heat of the summer not only dehydrated the water off my body. But I guess it also dried up the creative juices from my brain, whatever little amount was left flowing in it. There were times when I would just stare at my laptop monitor for minutes. Type a few words. Hit backspace. Type a few words again. Then hit the monitor with a baseball bat. The attempts were not only unproductive but they were also destructive at times.

Second, my laptop bogged down (must be from the baseball ball hitting). As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I usually write down these entries during night time at home using my laptop. But there was a time when my laptop wouldn’t cooperate. Just like Kobe with the rest of the Lakers, my laptop refused to cooperate with me and decided to do things on its own. And I was so lazy to go back to my office (which is actually just a few steps away from our house) to do my blogging from my ever-reliable desktop PC.

Third, I lost my internet connection for an extended period of time. Remember those bakal boys I wrote about in a previous entry? I suspect they had something to do with the missing PLDT cables here in our area. Even a nearby mall became “phone-less” for a few weeks. Thus, no credit card payments were accepted even for the groceries. And I had to learn it the hard way, if you know what I mean.

But now, thankfully, I’m back. Just like that zit which keeps popping right at the top of you nose just when you are due to deliver a major presentation, I am definitely back.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Coming Out

I was a very shy kid. A painfully shy kid. I didn’t like playing with other children I didn’t know much. When I was still very young, around four or five, I was sometimes contented with just watching from our window those jologs kids who lived right across our house playing tumbang preso.

The only memories that I have during my pre-school years are those of playing with my two playmates. Yup, one, two. I only had two playmates. The first one was a second-degree cousin, Ewa, who lived just beside our place. And the second one, Egay, was a grandson of my Lola’s friend. They were both my age.

Most of the time, I would ask my Lola to fetch these two playmates so that they can come over to our place where we would play various games young kids then played. This was the time before Playstation or Gameboy was invented. Lego and Atari would come in a few years later. So we had to content ourselves with playing toy soldiers, matchbox cars and baril-barilan. You know, the usual stuff little boys play with.

At that very young age, Egay already showed signs that he was different. From my point of view at least, his preferences of toys were kinda different from Ewa’s and mine. When Ewa and I would like to play shooting toy soldiers with toy guns, Egay preferred playing with dolls. Ewa and I would convince Egay to just line up his doll with our toy soldiers so that we could shoot it too. But he would rather comb the hair of the doll while watching us shoot down those toy soldiers.

But there were also some games when all three of us could play. For instance, in our version of the bahay-bahayan, Egay would always insist that he be the mother – complete with a flower tucked behind the ear ala Jasmine Trias. Had Brokeback Mountain already been shown then, I guess we could have also convinced him to play Cowboy with us.

As fate would have it, I lost contact with these two playmates when our family moved to our new home. And years later, I would just hear stories from my Mom about Egay. That he had already decided to come out. It wasn’t much of a surprise. Everyone knew it was coming.

I guess he didn’t have as much confusion as Rustom did in coming up with that decision. No butterflies and no female friend pissing in the garden needed.