Friday, July 30, 2004


guys, if you fall for a girl and find out later that she had a promiscuous past, will you still take her seriously?

guys, i mean if the girl you fall for really COMES CLEAN about that past, tells you that she's been around a while, will you still have the same feelings for her?

guys, would a girl still deserve your utmost respect even if she's been with quite a number of men in bed?

guys, will you still appreciate a girl for what she's really worth after she has sex a la carte with you?

guys, honestly?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

active waiting

my life is characterized by waiting. waiting in terminals for planes, fastcrafts, buses, vans, colorum... waiting in hotel rooms for thermos bottles... waiting in cafes for hot chocolate... waiting in seminar rooms for participants... waiting in the office cubicle for lunch hour... waiting in vain for the one... waiting in limbo for a destination...

with all this waiting, i had to develop various ways to pass the time, the most uncreative of which is making lists. (on a different note: in the last trip, in true "the art of letting go" style, i put together my own break-up songs album... well, on a table napkin, at least. i thought the album "the art of letting go" would make a broken heart even lonelier, what with all those sentimental drivel, so i came up with a collection that's more upbeat and eclectic)

on skip trips, my usual haunt is "the tinder box," a corner joint that sells spirits and cigars. this is where i get my travel dose of hot choco and menthol lights while i observe the cornucopia of travelers drifting into the lounge.

the best thing about the place is the fact that it's a smoking area... the only one in the entire supercat terminal. typical waiting time is an hour or more (i always arrive early so i get a good seat reservation), and that gives me ample time to peruse tabacalera boxes and examine wine bottles well enough to make me a visual connoisseur.

hotel rooms are generally not bad for waiting in, as long as cable tv is not buzz-y (like they are wont to be in some areas). some hotels have gamerooms or sauna or a pool, so i am spared from television radiation sometimes. at any rate, i couldn't stay put for more than an hour in a place doing nothing relevant, so i go exploring around town. then i go getting lost.

but that's besides the point.

i may take it for granted, but when i think hard about it, there ought to be great comfort in the idea that whatever it is i am waiting for, it inevitably comes around in due time. like planes have schedules. and coffee is expected once you have placed your order.

i wish we could say the same about men. :)

Friday, July 16, 2004

office space-out vol.1

month-end has always been the most hectic of work weeks.  especially november, since it's also year-end.
but in my position, such days may allow me the time to go around and bug other officers during the break. because no trainings allowed on the last week of every month. but then, it also kills me because of all the administrative work.
at any rate, i found the time to tear myself away from the computer to immortalize the other creatures in our habitat called regional office; i'm leaving this place very soon, so might as well do this while i'm still part of the team.

randall is marketing officer for one of the profit centers. he is one of the most diligent dogs in the staff. you can hardly tear him away from his desk, unless there is pizza or halo-halo in operations division (which happens nearly every end of the month). his pc is spanking new. on lunch breaks and saturdays, he plays games here.

lissa is one of our very hardworking underwriting staff. it is from her table where we freeload on the pizza and halo-halo i mentioned earlier. she and tess (the other underwriter) must have it up to their necks with my annoying questions, e.g., liss, unsa ma'y pasabot sa cancer non-invasive in situ ug nganong excluded man na siya sa benefits? (what's cancer non-invasive in situ and why is it excluded from the benefits?) lissa had a camera ready when a showbiz celebrity was about to have medex at the 3rd flr. it didn't push through.

mynmyn, central visayas 2 agency development officer. the others are mariliz (central visayas 1; on maternity leave) and jinky (eastern visayas). they are typically anti-social during month-end, especially if it's budget season. observe the mess. underneath all that, there are lost keys. underneath mariliz's mess, there's petty cash. underneath jinky's mess, there are flat tops chocolate.

sir bing, along with sir dodong and janice, have built an immune system against loud complaints. they bear the brunt (and the smile) when clients and agents demand answers and procedure. i am proud to say that they are tons better than the secretary in the previous entry.

we have to be nice to peter (and to his counterpart, karen). they are responsible for releasing our cash advances and reimbursement checks. peter helps me follow-up (or make kulit) overdue cash requests and returns. he is a service awardee this year (25 years!). only peter and karen know the combination of the vault in the backroom. not for long hehehehe:)

mr. epimaco baruc (affectionately mr. b or eppie bar to staff and agents), agency manager. he has a new ford everest:) do not be deceived by the mafia boss look... he is the nicest sasquatch on earth. speaking of mafia, he was a qualifier for italy this year. the day i took this picture, he just came back from that trip. agency managers are very fond of giving blow-outs during month-end. remember the halo-halo and pizza? they can augment those with pansit, binignit and juice dispenser. 

avp for cev operations, leo. i don't know how he manages it, but he doesn't make a mess of his stuff, month-end or otherwise. he's the staple visitor in jinky's (east vis ado) cubicle, looking for food. the flat tops chocolate you can find underneath jinky's mess (see above) normally ends up with him. he sleeps in his cubicle on saturdays:)

that's my place. that's about half the mess i make on better days. if you notice, there's a picture of apolo anton ohno on the left corner of my "fence". i ripped that out of a magazine in a cafe. that's still the old pc. the new one arrived minutes after i took this photo. 

we may be very busy, but we always find time to laugh. that's mynmyn and jinky running into each other on their way to the restroom after lunch.

and me... well, i'm just happy when the day is over.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

manic machine

this was my dinner saturday last week. it's not pathetic, just frugal. and for good reason. my atm card was captured by a machine gone haywire. that is, i punched in the correct pin, yet the automated junk refused to release my card anyway. since it was a saturday afternoon, no service was available from the bank's branch, kind or otherwise. i was suddenly seized by a flash of alarm, but i quickly regained my wits and started back to the hotel to ask for assistance from the courteous front desk staff who gladly obliged seeing that i was nearly in tenterhooks by then. that account happened to solely contain my entire cash advance for that particular trip plus my payroll, and considering that i had no cash on hand at that time, i was completely dependent upon that card in terms of finances. in other words, no decent meals and no checking out of the hotel until i produce sufficient cash. horror of horrors.

now the front desk wasn't able to break through the tortuous web of voice prompts in the bank's customer service hotline, so i took the matter into my own hands and stormed back into my room to, first, cry in a helpless rage and, second, to decipher the heiroglyphic instructions of the call center's computer generated bitch.

after several attempts, i was able to talk to an actual human being who acted as the middle man between me and the branch manager of the particular bank in question. it took several minutes, some heated remarks from an irate client and a few hundred pesos worth of long tistance call-time before they hit on the brilliant idea to have the branch manager personally call me in the hotel. genius. no wonder it took them a century to think of that.

now it wasn't the branch manager who patched through. i think it was the corporate secretary. and she wasn't much help either. to make the long story short, she even had the gall to tell me that she was "inconvenienced" by my concern because saturday happens to be the only day-off they have for the entire week. could she do me a favor and kill herself? in a tempestuous wrath, i told her "i'm the one who's suffering from YOUR systems failure here, and you're telling me that you're inconvenienced?! do you know that the worst person you could argue with is a disgruntled customer and that's ME right now?!" and then there was complete and utter silence.

aggravated and disturbed that such undisciplined citizens were free to roam corporate banking, i procured a piece note paper, a marker and sticky tape from front desk. with fire in my stride, i quickly retraced my steps back into the bank's atm booth, scribbled a threat note and posted it thus:

"don't use this atm because this one's possessed"

so there.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

too afraid to be angry... or too angry to be afraid

the biggest blunder i committed this week was to read neil gaiman's coraline. because, as it turns out, i had to be lodged in one of ormoc's most medieval hotels. the one that is reported (take note, not rumored) to have phantasmic ihabitants. with its wrought iron lampposts molded into elaborate floral designs, bulb sockets in the guise of candles (with realistic faux wax dripping from the sides), deep maroon heavy draperies that match the black-and-red carpet, off-colored wallpaper nearly peeling in places, unsolicited molds creeping from cracks, and garish iron deposits marring the bathroom tiles and bathtub, i couldn't wish for a better place to stimulate the gothic spirit. and that's just the room.

and the second biggest mistake this week was to allow one of the marketing officers to bunk in with me for a night. because, having family in ormoc, she knows the skin-crawling details that dangles over the structure. and she had to tell me the story. tinanong ko ba, ha?! i have to stay here until saturday, merisi!

the third biggest mistake is i let her off the hook the next day when she left for her trip back to regional office. and all she paid from her cash advance was the lousy additional charge for occupying the vacant bed. staff arrangement has always been 50/50 of the hotel bill. to think she appeared so suddenly just that night from a seminar in tacloban and told (not asked) me that she was staying for the night. since i was out in town with a friend when she broke to me the dreadful news, she quite simply invited herself into the room, claiming the key from the front desk herself. is it really that simple to ask for the key of an occupied room?! her name wasn't even registered!

i have to talk to front desk later. i mean, granting she was some complete stranger illegitimately dropping my name, would the concierge lend her the key without permission from me whose name is registered? now i don't mind sharing accommodations with any of the staff, but this one in particular gets on my nerves. had i known of her impending barging in, i would have instructed front desk to bill her half of the total sum.

yes, there have been countless occassions when i invited friends or obliged other staff to stay the night in my room at no extra cost, but that was because i would be glad to keep their company or i'd earnestly want to help a staff member in need.

had this cheeky marketing officer told me earlier of her plans, i wouldn't be so cranky about the incident.

but, in the first place, i've never been really fond of her.

tinakot na nga ako, hindi pa magbabayad ng sapat. kapal.

i predict that tonight i will have trouble sleeping. and i might hurl coraline from the balcony and into the harbor. and i will practice voodoo.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

dangerous playgrounds

charisse tags: play in other fields na k?

this, of course, in clear reference to my egregious involvement in unlikely places. they're not bad. they're just not right. for the most obvious reasons on the planet.

i was afraid ending my rather brief stint with mr. very eligible would plunge me right back into my usual tidal pattern.

the very taken's fling.

gi-ahak na lang, i have given up navigating myself into the right course just because it's "about time." i can't will the rain just because i have suffered thirst long enough.

i lost a lot, but i never lost the lesson.

and lesson number one is: genuine change is forged gradually, not overnight. otherwise, i would only succeed in getting into another phase that fizzles out in due time. evolution is a very long and tedious process...

then again, maybe the reason why i'm going around this vicious cycle is because i'm not leaving these perimeters out of my own volition. perhaps if i make a tough and conscious effort to leap off the train, i'd fall right into where i'm meant to be.

or maybe i'd fall nowhere. leaps of faith have never been my field of specialty, simply because i've never had real faith in anything at all. ryan sums it up best: "we wouldn't want to put our faith where it cannot be actualized into truth."

there is comfort in fallback. in contingencies. in Plan B. in safety nets.

so i'm still fenced in a force field. for now. i'm still living out the bohemian in me.