Tuesday, September 26, 2006

fights and fables

DOA: Dead or Alive is eye candy all over. It's the chick version of the movie Mortal Kombat (which was uber cool in itself) -- a teenage boy droolfest, if there ever was one.

Don't bother about the plot -- the movie's not really about that. If you insist on reading about the film before watching it, there are numerous reviews out there. But don't let so simple a thing such as the plot stop you from the all the fun.

That is not to say, however, that DOA offers nothing significant. As one review said, DOA is a profound tale about finding genuine friendship in the midst of hardships and competition with no hint of lesbian undertones whatsoever.

But the real strength of DOA rests in the male fun factor. Barely clad hot chicks duking it out in unarmed combat -- it's hard finding something that could beat that. Don't even bother analyzing the story -- you just know they're here for some serious ass whoopin'.

These are my two favorite girls:

Glenn's fascination with Devon Aoki in the fast and the furious escaped me then, but i get it now. She may be typecast as the oriental martial artist, but she sure does ninja princess with style.

Natassia Malthe played Typhoid Mary in Elektra and she's admirable as the silent ninja assasin of this movie. Maybe it's the purple hair. Or maybe the senseless drive in the pursuit of killing Kasumi. Or maybe it's that kiss with Hayabusa (who probably hasn't brushed his teeth in a year). But whatever it is, she's HOT.

If you have some time to spare and you want to laugh out loud to clean, non-slapstick yet totally unintelligent fun, DOA: Dead or Alive (they really had to spell it out ;p) is for you.

========== oooo0000oooo ============

Finally finding out who the adversary was in Vertigo's Fables: Legends in Exile was a BIIIIIIIG letdown. It's just so... wooden for me.

[warning: spoilers ahead]

I mean... maybe it's because my initial take on the Adversary was this every lustful, every hungry, depraved entity bent on destroying every fable as we know it, but I was disappointed in finding out his real identity. And puppet governments?!? why in all creation would he want to do that? It's just too contrived for my taste.

But then again, maybe that's the whole point. Evil doesn't need a reason and our most bitter enemies are usually those that were closest to us. And maybe, as an immortal, the thought of happily ever after is torture in itself. Who'd want to live thousands of years as a mere pied pier, after all?

Fortunately, my excitement for the rest of the series hasn't waned. Ang hirap lang maghintay -- it will take months for every compilation to come out. Why can't every story come to me now? In the meantime, the upcoming 1001 Nights of Snowfall promises to be a treat.

Friday, September 22, 2006

More powerful than the messenger

"I have a dream" may well be the sum of what I know about Martin Luther King, Jr. Sure, I've heard about him before, but all I knew was that he was this civil rights activist who 'had a dream' and fought - nonviolently - for the realization of his dream. Years after his death, the negro now can can sit anywhere in the bus, can drink and eat on the same restaurants as whites, can vote, can enroll in schools, and can have the same jobs as any white in America.

Looking at American history in hindsight, very few of us would condone the uglyblatantstupid racism that the blacks suffered in the past. Growing up with impressive archetypes such as Michael Jordan, Nelson Mandela, Denzel Washington, George Washington Carver, Aretha Franklin, and Muhammad Ali, the idea of blacks being inferior is as ridiculous to me as the idea of the moon being made up of cheese. Martin Luther King Jr. made sure of that.

Much of the world adores King today as the man behind the civil rights movement in the US, as a scholar and as an admirable preacher. Yancey's chapter about King, aside from focusing on all the noteworthy qualities of the renowned leader, also mentioned facts that we usually don't know.

More research pictured Mr. King as a plagiarist, an adulterer and a suspected sexual pervert. He had enemies on almost every front, and was tagged as a card-carrying communist (do they really carry cards? why????), an embezzler, and an instigator of disorder. (I bet these surprised you -- I know i was.)

While some of these accusations can be easily answered as the bitter underhanded shots of people who were unwilling to change their racist views, some of these allegations are undeniably true. Unattributed sentences can be found in Mr. Kings speeches and writings, and a released surveillance tape of Mr. King proved that he had illicit sexual activities even until the night before his death.

What strikes me upon this discovery, however, is not bitterness or a sense of betrayal from a man I was raised to admire, but a sense of wonder and gratitude for a God who is able to work in spite of the flaws of his messengers.

Many people would argue that due to his wrongdoings, King was not of God -- how could he, when he is ensnared in sin? But then again, if I were to remember my bible, the figures we admire there are also the people whom we could so easily condemn. King David had his military leader killed so he could claim his wife. Abraham pimped his wife for his safety. Solomon was a hedonist, Paul a murderer. The apostles were cowards, Moses, a fugitive. Jacob was a deceiver, and Rahab was a prostitute. If there is a lesson that I could get from all these biblical characters, it is that God, if given the chance, can redeem anything and make use of ANYONE. No one is beyond his salvation.

This comforts me, and most of my friends -- the knowledge that His message is greater than the messenger. My inequities might be gigantic in my eyes, but they are nothing -- absolutely nothing -- compared to my God.

* Photo swiped from Mabelvale Magnet Middle School
and from Black History Bookmarks

Thursday, September 21, 2006

back to basics

come back to your first love.

for more details, please visit the fullcup blog.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

i used a tag to intro my next posts

i saw this from April and I'm shamelessly copying.

1. Grab the nearest book
2. Open book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post text of sentence on your blog. Please include book and author along with these instructions.
5. No digging about for the "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! (I know you were thinking about it!) Just pick up whatever is closest.

My sentence is "As I look back now on the cloister of Southern fundamentalism in which I grew up, I wonder if perhaps I suffered from a narcissistic disorder (perhaps all adolescents do?)"

The sentence is from the chapter Leo Tolstoy and Feodor Dostoevsky, from Philip Yancey's book Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church.

I've been trying to find Soul Survivor for the longest time. It's original release date was sometime near the Sept. 11 tragedy on the US. And like most things back then, the book's release took a backseat as a nation sat in grief and surprise.

The first time I saw Soul Survivor was years ago -- as an ad to another book. and its original title was "Soul Survivor: How I survived the church" which was pure badass, if you ask me. I kept looking for it but as i've said, unforseeable circumstances delayed its release.

Leah generously gave me the book just the other day, and i've hungrily started to read it. Instead of the diatribes against the church that i was expecting, Yancey took but a couple of pages to establish those wounds and then moved on to the people that has nurtured his faith.

I should have expected it from the author who wrote "What's so amazing about grace?" -- he concentrated on the healing part, and not on digging up old wounds.

If I were to be asked about the people who influenced my faith, Yancey would be among the few on top of the list. And in this book Yancey talks about those that influenced him. These are people I've heard about but don't know. Martin Luther King Jr. Mahatma Gandhi. Leo Tolstoy. G.K. Chesterton.

So in the next few days, as I read the chapters devoted to this 13 people, I will write about them and tell them to you. Who knows, maybe there's someone out there viciously wounded by his/her own church that would find comfort in those same people. I may not be able to give light like those luminaries, but i could always point people into their direction.

Tonight I saw a man

Taken from last night's entry on my prayer journal...

19 September 2006

Tonight I saw a man go hungry. I was eating at a turo-turo, one of those stalls by the street that sell the cheapest food. I was well on my way towards devouring my pork chop when I noticed an old man sit on the other side of the squarish store, directly across me.

He was an old man, obviously poor. He wasn’t a beggar, his clothes pegged him more as a construction worker – a job he was far too old to bear. I noticed him because he was carrying his money on his hand (a singular P20 bill) even before he ordered. I knew right then that he was poor, because only those that fear they cannot afford what they want flaunt their money – a nonverbal message to the seller that this is all that they have.

An attendant brought him one cup of rice and the old man talked to him. I couldn’t hear them because they were quite far from me, and also because the rain was violently pouring down all around us. I couldn’t hear them but I knew what they were talking about because the same conversation ran through my head a thousand times before.

“How much?”
“This much.”
“This is all that I have…”
“Then you cannot have it.”

I wanted to help. I forgot my own hunger and I wanted to call the attendant and tell him to give the old man whatever he wanted and I’ll pay for it. This was a cheapo store – paying for the old man’s dinner would hardly be a sacrifice.

But thoughts assailed my head that glued me to my seat.

“This is a MAN – a working man… he would mind unsolicited help.”
“What if you embarrass him by offering to help? You’ll hurt the feelings of the old guy.”
“Are you even sure what you’re thinking is true? What if you come barging in there all pompous when it turns out he doesn’t need your help at all? Wouldn’t that make you an ass?”

Drowned in those thoughts, I was caught unready when the old man suddenly left and braved the rains. The attendant took back the rice, and I was left in my impotence. In my effort to be nice, I failed to do what was good.

I hailed the attendant and asked him what he and the old man talked about.

“He asked how much was the rice. P6, I said. Then he asked if that already included a viand. Of course I said no. Then he said I could take back the rice now because he wasn’t hungry anyway.”

Rage and sadness filled my heart. I was angry at my incompetent, corrupt government. I was angry at the rich for not sharing their excess to the poor. I was angry at the store for turning down a man as old as he. I was even angry at Adam and Eve for plunging this world into fallen-ness.

But I was not raised to overlook my own shortcomings. I was most angry at myself because I didn’t help. Because I was too slow. Because I was too weak to do what needed to be done.

When did doing good merit a second thought? When did helping those in need give way to squeamishness? When did we become so familiar to worldliness and self-absorption that we get paralyzed with uncertainty when the right thing intrudes in our heads?

Tonight I was angry at the world for the suffering that humanity endures. But tonight I am more horrified at myself – that old man went home wet and hungry because I was too nice to do what was right.

Mat 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

* Photo taken from Shutterstock

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spiritual social climbing

Does God want you to be rich?

As the TIME article mentioned, the most obvious problem with prosperity theology is that it shifts your attention from the gift-giver to the gift itself. "God becomes a means to an end, not an end in Himself," says Southwestern Baptist's Phillips. This is in no way different from the 19 year old chick who marries a multi-millionaire octagenarian because she 'really loves him'. If we find this girl's act repulsive, how would it compare to accepting the blood of the Messiah so we can have a top-model car?

Click here to read the rest of the post at Still Earthbound.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


this is a memory from six years ago, before the kick-ass computer, before the jobs, before all the drama in my first blog, and the new life in my second blog. it was summertime and i was about to dive into the second half of my college life. guimaras was still a recent memory then.


My friend and I were sitting at McDonald's at the carpark of SM North, seeking sanctuary from the merciless heat of the summer sun. The day was spent running her errands and getting the CPU of my computer near the bible shop in West Avenue. Carrying the CPU from the computer store to the mall was no easy feat, and the afternoon sun was patently vicious. We decided that we deserved a break, and McDonald's was a choice as good as any.

"The're back!" my mind screamed as a luscious poster of the McDo Strawberry sundae greeted us in the store. Those kind of sundaes were particularly good, i knew -- chunks of strawberry swimming in sauce and a soft ice cream would be a good refresher in this hot summer day. Top it off with the largest Coke serving they offer and I was all set. In between our incessant jokes and non-stop talking, my friend ordered the same thing i was having, but with fries.

We went ahead and found a table, eagerly awaiting one of the crew to bring us our goodies. The aircondition was fine, but the sweltering heat outside drained most of my energies.

"punas ka ng pawis! basang-basa na yang t-shirt mo. yuck."

"eh ang init sa labas eh!" i answered. "at least ako nilalabas ko -- di katulad mo di pinapawisan. masama yan sa katawan kala mo -- ako nilalabas ko yung dumi sa katawan ko. so sa palinisan ng loob ng katawan, talo kita!"

"utot!" she squealed, and put out her tongue in reply to what i said. She was an incoming law student at UP, graduated college with honors, and had been a long-time leader at her church. She calls me names and puts her tongue out whenever she had no logical rebuttal for my teasings. we've been traveling the whole day under the sweltering heat but she still had the energy to laugh at me to my face.

"gads." i thought. be still, my heart.

not even two months have passed when she turned down another friend of ours -- for all sorts of reasons. and while she and i had a GREAT friendship, i honestly didn't think she'd go for me. I wasn't her type. I wasn't the IKDG-guy she was looking for. I wasn't handsome, or like any of the guys she adored. She turned down walter, for crying out loud. Why would I think I'd end up different? And more than that, i was younger -- at the time of our lives when age still mattered.

But i wasn't the 'champion of lost causes' for nothing.

"uy, salamat sa pagsama mo sa'kin sa contract-signing sa PDI ha. kung di moko sinamahan, di ako nakapunta don kasi bulag ako."

"haha. buti nga nakabili ka na nang bagong contact lens eh. at nakakatawa yung text mo ha. "pwede ka bang mahiram?" hahahaha. kakaiba."

"eh ikaw lang naman talaga ang pwede kong isama don eh." i answered.

"quits na tayo. sinamahan mo naman ako ngayon eh."

"eh bakit kasi di ka pa mag-boyfriend? para lagi kang may alalay."

"bakit pa? andyan ka naman. sinasamahan mo ko, inaaliw. nagdadala ng gamit. ano pang use ng boyfriend?"


"hahaha." i laughed, covering my thoughts. "so alila ang tingin mo sakin?"

she laughed again, and put out her tongue.

(gads. akonalangakonalangakonalangakonalang!)

Our hands were separated by mere inches on the table, but they could just as easily have been miles apart. she was just too high, too much, too pretty, too precious for me. And if i did lose my head and articulated how i felt, i was sure i would just end up losing her -- the same way that walter lost her.

My eyes wandered around the McDonald's store, desperate to find something - anything that could distract me enough to not blurt out what i wanted to say to her. My eyes settled on a store sign that made me smile. A safe joke -- with just the right amount of ambiguity.

"hey." i said. I extended my hands and held her arms.

"bakit?" she asked. I held on.

"hello? hoy! bakit?"

Finally, I let go and with a smile on my face, pointed to the McDo in-store sign. She turned from her seat and read...

"Please do not leave your valuables unattended"

"Hahaha! Baliw!" she said. And looked at me with a hint of question in her eyes...

"finally." i mused, smiling a secret smile. And before she could articulate whatever it was that she was beginning to notice, I attacked her strawberry sundae before attending to my own.

Friday, September 08, 2006

City Love

I want a date with Manila.

Manila and I are... acquaintances at best. I wasn’t born in that city, nor have I ever lived there or needed to visit her everyday. My mother birthed me in Caloocan, I now live in Mandaluyong, went to school in Quezon City and worked in the cities of Makati, Pasig, and now in Kamuning. Manila and I haven’t had the chance to get to know each other that well.

But there is hope. I have always felt... welcome with Manila. Whether I involuntary stop walking because I couldn’t believe Manila Post Office’s grandeur or while traversing its grimy streets, I am welcome there.

What we need is a date – for Manila and I to get to know each other better. I already have notable memories of her: first time I rode the LRT and I couldn’t figure out why in the world Chinese-looking buildings are in the city – I was still in the Philippines, wasn’t i? (I was only seven at that time). John texting me directions on how to get to Joy Student Fellowship. I ended up getting off at the United Nations station instead of Central Station (I walked the rest of the way). Stef and I walking along the covered streets of Quiapo looking for a book (I never imagined Quiapo would look like that). A whole day of Jesus Rev near Rizal Park. A quiet dinner at Baywalk while the showbands try some acoustic tunes. My father and I going through a signal no.4 typhoon on an open owner-type jeep with no functioning wipers. Joining my first-ever rally to Mendiola with Leah (Iskolar ng bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!). Praying/singing/laughing while walking along the Intramuros wall – minutes before we leave for the ship that will take us to Guimaras.

Does the planetarium still exist? Are there still animals in Manila Zoo? Where’s the Nayong Pilipino relocated? What’s in PICC? And most importantly, where can I rent a boat to tour me along the Pasig River? Who knows, maybe I’ll even catch a glimpse of the dreaded giant janitor fish in those waters.

So how about it, friends? Who’d like to chaperone as Manila and I go on a date?

(photo courtesy of web.mit.edu)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Rain of chaos

I spent the first forty minutes of my time at work yesterday drying my polo at the cr. Rain fell lightning fast yesterday just when i got off the MRT station. My dinky ass umbrella wasn't able to do anything.


In other news, I was finally able to finish this story spawned by John's fanfic on a game we love -- DotA. Read john's story first if you plan to follow the sundering of the last survivors of the guild of the [unseen].

Mortred!” screamed Rikimaku. “Snap out of it! We could still help!”

She looked at her ally and saw him blink nearer to the Dread Lord. It seems that the satyr would battle the demigod alone if need be. But he was not alone, there was an elf still fresh in the battle, and she would gladly die before she allowed Archimonde’s demonic hand to touch the World Tree.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Raising a boy

Ailene, John, and I have started a group blog. We'll post there every once in a while and continue ranting in our own blogs.

Here's an exerpt of my most recent post there:

Fortunately, my mom’s tendency to be over-protective was balanced by my father’s firm and Godly guidance that I grow up as a guy: wounds and scratches, broken windows, lizard-in-my-pocket, mud-on-my-cheeks, slingshot skirmishes that constitute a boy’s childhood. While my mother cleaned up my lacerated knees and made sure I had milo every morning and took my vitamins every night, my father took me to community basketball leagues and introduced me to isaws, fishballs, and bruce lee movies. While my mother attempted to inject some culture in me by enrolling me on piano lessons (I lasted for about two sessions, I think), my father took me fishing, bought me boxing gloves, made me a makeshift punching bag, and bought me a mountain bike, which left me pasted on a wall after I forgot to break while I was speed-turning on a steep slope. He even bought for me my first ever gift to a girl classmate I liked – a troll doll I never would have thought of giving to a girl. Why would you give such an ugly thing to a beautiful creature, after all?

To read the rest of the post, please click here.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Killing me softly

G's abode is a bit silent due to C's trip to Turkey. Got this from him.

How do you like your eggs?
I like dem very much. (Sorry, couldn't resist :P that's from Bab of Pugad Baboy).

Sunny side up's good enough. Although the most eggs i've eaten is back at high school. Everyday, on our way home, my friends and I would stop by this kwek-kwek place (quail eggs) and I'll eat around P30 worth of quail eggs EVERYDAY. That's a lot, a quail egg back then costs only half a peso.

Oh, and i also like the omelette at Manila Polo.

How do you take your coffee/tea:
I don't. I don't drink tea or coffee.

Favorite breakfast food:
Sinangag (fried rice) plus fried squid, crab and shrimp -- all freshly caught. This is my everyday breakfast whenever I go home to Guinayangan, Quezon. The town's not called 'Seafoods Paradise' for nothing.

Peanut butter: smooth or crunchy?
smooooooooooth, baby. I intensely dislike the dry variant.

(I haven't tried it with banana =< )

What kind of dressing on your salad?
Umm... Asian? I don't really know.

Coke or Pepsi?
Whatever -- they're basically the same for me. I have friends who will kill me for saying such a blasphemous thing, but that's that.

You’re feeling lazy. What do you make?

bread. dipped in coke.

You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?
The BIG kind =)

You feel like cooking. What do you make?
Filipino-style spaghetti. Or maybe even Sinampalukang Manok. Just lemme text my mom for directions.

Do any foods bring back good memories?
Mixed Toppings at the Thai Food Canteen in UP. Darn it, where did that stall go? =(

Do any foods bring back bad memories?
Well, not exactly sad... but... Mcdo food. Too many bad memories.

Do any foods remind you of someone?
My parents. I probably got my enthusiasm with food from my dad, who loves eating, and from my mom, who cooks really well.

Liempo is for John. This stuff's gonna kill us, man.

Is there a food you refuse to eat?
Bagoong. It may really go well with some food like Kare-kare and burong mangga, but I don't like it. Even just for principle. Don't ask me to explain :P

What was your favorite food as a child?
Jollibee's Chicken Joy -- and more importantly, their gravy! It's just sad that's the gravy's not as good as it once was.

Oooooh. I also used to go nuts for marshmallows.

Is there a food that you hated as a child but now love?
Veggies! Far too many nights were spent being spanked because i refuse to eat my veggies (I got spanked, but I still didn't eat the green things). But now I actually look forward to eating some of it.

Is there a food that you loved as a child but now hate?
Tamarind Balls (champoy). I used to blow my pennies and buy several of these things when I was little. I also used to snack on kamias. Agh. I shiver now just thinking about biting into one of those.

Favorite fruit & vegetable:
Coconut. Vegetable? umm.... togue =)

Favorite junk food:
Chikadees! Because they always had free stuff. Now? Picnic or the chocolate-covered Cream-O.

Favorite between meal snack:
chicken. or pork chop.

Do you have any weird food habits:
None that I know of. Is dipping fried fish into ketchup weird?

You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?
Everything -- just on a lesser amount.

How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?
Bring it on, baby.

Can I get you a drink?
Fruit shakes. Coconut, mango, watermelon, melon, green grape... haduken!

Red wine or white?
Red. Haven't really had a good white.

We only have beer:
Cali Shandy. sorry.

Favorite dessert?

The perfect nightcap?
Hot or cold milo. plus chicken or pork chop.

I don't have much of a substantial post. I thought it would be a great day while i was having that early morning walk with ida but a few hours into the office and my chest feels heavy and my eyes hurt enough to water. I have no idea why.

am i dying?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Thirteen on a Thursday - liking oneself

I first saw Thursday Thirteen from wrigley, and said, well, the story i want to write isn't complete yet, so might as well give this one a shot.

I went to their site and found a challenge by Denise. It goes like this:

“I would like to challenge all Thirteeners to come up with 13 things they like about themselves on the next Thursday 13…September 7.

I feel like we, as women, spend so much time scrutinizing ourselves that we sometimes forget the good stuff.”

Well, even if it's not a Thursday and I'm not a woman, let me get a crack at this post.

Thirteen Things that MOKS Likes About Himself

1. I can laugh at anything, most especially myself. Instead of moping around and wallowing in sorrow, years of being the 'dark and brooding' type has enabled me to get a hold of myself and pick myself up whenever I feel sad. I may not be the best joker around, but I'm goofy enough to keep the blues away.

2. I'm not obsessed abou
t how i look. It's not that I'm normally dugyot -- i do comb my hair on occassion -- but I can't help but laugh at people who can't seem to keep it together when they have even a singular stray hair. I know that looks matter -- in this image-obsessed world, what can you expect? -- but it's not the only thing that matters. There are far more worthy things we can chase.

3. I'm smart. Well... reasonably.

4. I'm not afraid to fail. I just don't see the logic of not trying just because the odds are against you. So what if at the end of the game the scoreboard says 9 million to 1? At least you were in the game, right? Defeat is always a state of mind, not a mere result.

5. I sing even though I don't have the voice for it; I dance whenever I want.

6. I have no trouble admitting I have no idea about some things.

7. I'm ok alone. Of course, it's much much much more fun when love and friends are around.

8. I do believe in fairies, i do, i do. And in dragons and unicorns and underground cities and enchanted swords and time travel and immortals and secret quests and magic and monsters and all the other things that make this world a much more exciting place. Fantasy is my reality.

9. I do what i have to do. Even if I don't like it, or it's
hard, or inconvenient. If I need to do it, I will.

10. My faith. My God is infinitely larger than me -- far far larger than my sins, my doubts, my inequities, my 'good' deeds, even my love. Thank God He's like that.

11. My girls (heehee). In spite of all the frustrations, the hurts, the regrets... I'm thankful I've met them and known them.

12. That I was born poor. It gave me incredible hardships and insecurities all throughout my life, but I definitely would not be who I am today if I did not grow up poor. I would not have learned how to persevere at things if I have always had it easy. I would not be able to identify and symphatize with poverty issues if I were not one of them. I would not have developed a backbone if every time I needed something I'll come running to dada.

And what I like most about myself is...

13. That I was able to admit to myself that I need Jesus Christ. Best decision EVER.

* All images from fotosearch.com. They have a good stock of photos, check it out.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!