Thursday, January 31, 2008

Leap of Faith or Foolishness?

There I was, with six pesos in my pocket, weak from fever and cough, and my eyes squinting from the noonday sun. I miraculously survived the three-day Midterm Examinations, and was currently facing a larger predicament.

Catastrophe: Our budget for the month of January ran out, and it had been three days already since my grandmother last took her medication. I needed to buy her meds, fast.

Disaster: Both Mama and Papa were unreachable through e-mail and SMS, and I no longer had enough balance in my phone to make a call.

Tragedy: The LPG gas also ran out, and the Electric and Telephone bills were already overdue.

Crisis: The people at the publishing house called, they wanted the 70 copies of the cover to be printed and delivered to them today. The owner also asked if I could add some more money to the 4,000 pesos I’ve already deposited.

I get a grip on my frayed nerves and swallowed my anxiety. I walked slowly to the pawnshop and discretely slipped my grandmother’s earrings into the appraiser’s hands. I looked around nervously, hoping no one would see me.

“One thousand five hundred.” She says.

I nodded and proceeded to sign the documents. What a lousy way to spend my post-Midterms weekend, I thought.

I walked slowly on the pavement as I made my way to the drugstore. Why, why did I decide to push through with the whole mass printing of my book? I cursed silently at the foolishness of my decision. I wouldn’t have been in this predicament now.

The past week, I made and sold 8 copies- I printed and photocopied them myself, cut them, took them to the book binding place, and designed the cover. A lot of people from school, the place where I printed the book, and some readers of my blog were asking if they could have a copy. I decided if I were to make more copies, I had to get help.

“Fifty copies minimum at 150 per book. We are offering you a cheaper alternative because we’ll use Risograph for the production.”

“Sir, how much do I have to pay to get started?”

“Up to you.”

I gave him the last of my money, and the electronic file of the manuscript.


And then he calls me up the following day to inform me they need to make at least a hundred copies for the Riso. I told them I could not afford it.

“How about 75 copies?”

Reluctantly, I agreed. Crazy, crazy boy.

After buying my grandmother’s medications, I went to Paperworld to buy some laser-compatible paper for the cover. I chose the cheaper ones now, instead of photopaper, which used to print the covers in.

I took them to the printers to have the 70 covers printed. While the machine hummed as the paper was being fed to the printer, I’ve got to thinking again of my blind faith in my work. There was absolutely no guarantee I’d actually get the money back, let alone make a small profit. The opinion of the first eight people could be wrong, I reminded myself, and some people are going to laugh in my face for sure. But I’ll never know until I try it.

With virtually no money, physically exhausted, and with low spirits, I said a silent prayer, and hoped for a miracle.
First customers.

As of now, the book is going under review by Lit Professors in LNU, SSCHS, EVSU, and hopefully by Ma'am Alunan in UP Tac.

Microbiology and Parasitology Lab Officially the Least Boring Time in School

Preparing a fecal specimen. (not pretty at all!)
Kunyari alam ang ginagawa ; ) Shhhh!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Thad was born on November 17, 1980, the eldest son of Danilo and Jennifer Hinunangan, both Overseas Filipino Workers. Growing up, he spent most of his time in Tacloban City, Leyte.

After graduating from Leyte National High School, he studied at the College of Architecture, University of the Philippines, Diliman. He worked in the Call Center Industry as a Team Manager before his resignation in 2006.

In May 2007, he created The Emancipation of Thadie blog ( Eighteen months, more than 400 posts, and two books later, he is still an ardent and active blogger. Travel, photography, and literature are his passions.

Thad hopes to either take up Medicine after his BS Nursing degree or apply for the Master of Arts in Creative Writing program in UP Diliman. Currently, he regularly contributes to the Binhi and Sulhog Publication.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Cure

“There is a cure for homosexuality.”


I turn around to see a huge trannie garbed in a pink tutu complete with Victoria’s Secret wings and a fur wand. Confetti started to rain out of nowhere.

“I’m your fairygay mother.”


“Seriously. All those years of self-doubt and questioning- I was there baby, I heard them all.”

“To what do I owe this visit?”

“Didn’t you know there was a cure already? I can turn you straight as an arrow with a flick of my wand.” She says, doing a pas de bourrĂ©e for emphasis.

I’ve got to hand it to her, the 200 pound lard certainly can dance.

“You can do that?” I sat up, interested.

She sashays back and forth the room, stops in the middle and twirls her wand. Tiny flecks of light surround the tip. “Yes, yes of course.”

“Imagine, life without ridicule. No staring and pointing when you hold hands on a date. You can get married legally, have kids and a wife. Juuuust perfect.”


“Oh, sweetie. Why the long face?” She bats her purple fake lashes and gestures.

“It does sound tempting.”

“There are a few conditions though.”


“First off, you won’t be able to write or do watercolors anymore. Or any of that art stuff.”

“That’s ridiculous. Why not?”

“You wrote primarily to vent your feelings. Same goes with your art. No oppression, no inspiration. Besides, your right brain will be less developed. You’ll be better at math though.”

“Ridiculous, straight men can still do those things. What’s the next condition?”

“You’ll get pimples and you’ll get a little chubby.”

My eyes widen. “How come?”

“Well, you won’t be as obsessed about beauty anymore so you are likely to neglect your skin. Say bye-bye to Clinique and Clearasil. And oh, once you get a girlfriend you won’t watch what you eat and just neglect your body.”


“But if you are straight, your looks wouldn’t be top priority, especially if you already have settled down.”

“Any more horrendous conditions for me?”

“Yes, the last one.” She says seriously, sitting beside me.

“Remember Eric? Larry? Or that guy you are dating these days? You’ll lose all your memories. Your first kiss, first date, the first time you said I love you, and all the good and bad stuff. Gone, nada.”

‘That’s a high price to pay.”

“Even in exchange for a normal life?”

I smiled. “Yeah.”

“So what’s the deal then?”

I pick up a handful of the confetti and let them fall to the floor slowly.

“I think I’ll pass.” I said.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Coming Out, Again

Damn. I never thought there’d be a part two. It was my impression that an “emancipation” happens only once in a lifetime, and that’s that. Turns out it’s a process that goes on and on. So long as you meet new people, so long as you have yet to come clean to everybody, there will always be that need to come out.

Why not stay in the closet like some of us do? I tried that once, and each day started with a ritual of putting on a mask. It’s suffocating. I smile, I gamely eluded questions pertaining to my personal life (the quintessential “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?”), and a bit of pretend-flirting with girls. It’s like rolling a rock uphill. People thought I acted weird. Of course I acted different from the norm- suppressing my personality made me hold everything back, and inside the turmoil continued.

I was ridiculed for being effeminate when I was growing up, so I thought doing good in school would at least throw them off while I fix my “flaw”. Till now, one of the greatest fears I had still remain- that if they saw me in my truest light I’d lose the people who like me, including my loved ones. Eventually the dam broke and I could not hold it any longer. I came out- twice, actually, to friends, officemates, schoolmates, and some family members.

It is a terrible burden to carry- and very few open-minded and empathic straight people would understand. Take one of my relatives, for instance. Well, he would never win the Mr. Sensitive contest, that’s for sure. His homophobic nature seems intertwined with his mean demeanor and no amount of rational, civilized conversation can ever get my point across his thick skull. He has a right, I suppose, to his own prejudice. As long as he stays away from me, that creep.

How many blogs do I have to create? How many books need to be read by people to finally get to understand me? Or maybe it’s not me. I certainly don’t have a problem with who I am, so fuck ‘em, I say. Beneath the tough exterior, I start to crumble just a little bit. I feel the need to open up once more- even to just a few more people. Yeah, like it’s that easy.

Happy 1st Birthday Gavin!! from your favorite Tito = )

Gavin looks suspiciously at the clown.
Mummified partygoers.
Make a wish! (A long and happy life, kid!)
Kids today and their fighting. tsk tsk!
Gavin and his Mommy.
Gavin falling asleep in the middle of his party while Barney and his clown companion look on.
The birthday boy exhausted from too much cake and partying. We LOVE you little Gavin!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Talk Sense To Me

Dear C,

I keep humming that song and remembering how it felt when you had your arm around me. The feel of your skin on my fingertips lingers on my mind. I still feel your warmth as if you are beside me now.

I know we have shared nothing more than a wonderful evening, but may I say this? I think you and I could be a couple.

You leave me with much anticipation. Here I am sitting on my bed, thinking of you and that old love song that played when we first met.

Corny ‘no?

I miss you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

City Girl Gets Trapped in the Boondocks and Other Stories (2007)

“…a brave and honest revelation of the writer’s identity and sexual orientation.”
- Dr. Musca (Humanities, Eastern Visayas State University, Tacloban)

“You have a unique personality… with substance akin to professionals.”- Prof. Dacillo (Phil Lit, Bioethics, and Logic Instructor, SSCHS, Tacloban)


David tried killing himself after his wife left him for another man. He was a puny uninteresting man who did everything by the book and lived his life in a mindless routine. Most people would consider him boring but to David, it did not matter as long as he had his darling.

That was until he caught her in bed with the newspaper boy one fateful afternoon. Devastated, he picked up his Gillette razor, removed the blade, and slashed his wrist.

He cried and cried, cursing and missing his wife at the same time. He began to feel faint, and he closed his eyes.

“Goodbye world. Bye bitch.”

He woke up startled.

“Am I dead?” He looked at his wrist. The wound was still there, but it had clotted and the bleeding stopped.

He was still weak. He got up slowly, and reluctantly went to the hospital.

He returned home, hours later, and quite pissed.

The next day, he bought a bottle of insecticide.

“This will surely do it!”

He slowly opened the cap, and fumes started escaping from the bottle. He was satisfied- the chemical will probably kill him in minutes.

He raised the bottle to his lips and took a big gulp of the insecticide.

He felt his throat burn with the chemical. Unexpectedly, he started to retch. He vomited all that he had ingested and all he had eaten that day.

He removed his stinking shirt, once again furious at his foiled plan.

The next day, he took himself to the expressway and climbed the overpass. He watched the passing cars below, the surprisingly beautiful sunrise, and the trees swaying gently in the breeze.

He took a deep breath and jumped.

In that instant, a ten-wheeler truck drove by and hit his body with so much impact it was split in two. The top half fell on the roof of a car, and the lower half thrown all the way to the opposite lane.

On a beautiful Friday morning, David finally got his wish and died.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Long Weekend Part II (Chapter 4)


The wind was chilly and I felt it sting my cheeks.

“You’re late.”

Eric was waiting at the bus station.

“Sorry, traffic.”

“At Four Am?”

“Tatat and I had a little argument.”

“About what?”

“Forget it, we do these things.” I said dismissively as I boarded the bus. I was quiet on the way to Batangas Pier.

Tatat did have a point, Eric was like a bad habit I have. This time, I hope she isn’t right about the ending.

The sun was rising in the horizon as the boat drifted in the water. I looked at the man beside me and smiled. He was a little older, and I notice new lines on his face I haven’t seen before.

He had a few freckles on the bridge of his nose, and a laugh line that would show itself now and then.

“All aboard!” Eric said, with anticipation in his eyes.


I was massaging my slightly sunburned neck as we walked on the sand. We had joined a group of Korean students snorkeling at high noon. Bad idea- even with sunblock lotion, Eric and I were as red as beets because of sunburn. The sun was now setting, and we were on the way to the bars.


Eric laughed. “Who’s idea was it to join those Korean kids?”

“Better than just stay in the room. There was nothing else to do earlier.”

“Then stop complaining.”

We settled at a popular hangout called Peter's. After dinner, we started a round of cocktails.


“I’ve always been curious. How did you react when you found my letter that night?”

He looks me in the eye.

“A little sad.”

“Just a little?”

“I was sad because I lost a friend.”

“A friend-“

I stopped. “Why did you invite me here?”

“I missed you.”


Early the next day, we had to return to Manila because of a 911 situation at work and Eric was expected later in the day. I myself needed to get back to Tacloban the following day. We were walking along the shore, waiting for the boat to take us back to Batangas.

“So, how do you like the shift in career so far?”

I make a face. “Sucks.”

“But you don’t want to go back to the Customer Service Industry either.”

“I told you, I’m done with that already.”

I nudge him on the stomach.

“Aren’t you tired of the night shift?”

“It’s alright.”

“Ah, what a great ACCM you are. Six years and still going”

“What time is your flight tomorrow?”

“I’ll have to check my ticket. I left it in Tatat’s apartment.”

“Gab, I appreciate your coming with me.”

I laugh.

“Ang pormal mo naman.”

“It’s hard for me to say it sometimes.”

“Say what?”


“In my book, I always get to decide the ending.”

He looks at me. His hair blown by the wind, his face tan, and that little laugh line showing itself again.

“And how does this end?”

“The good guy gets the guy.”

He gives me a wide smile that was almost a laugh of delight. He grabs my hand and pulls me in the direction of the boat that was now moored to the shore.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Long Weekend Part II (Chapter 3)



Uh oh. I know that voice. I turned to face my best friend, honorary twin sister, and partner in crime, Tatat.

Hug, hug. Kiss, kiss.

“You look fat!”

She pouted. “Bitchy as always.”

“Are you still with CVG?”

“Old news Gabby dear.” She scoffs.

“I’m training with Dell right now.” She removes a pack of Marboro Lights and offers me a cigarette.

“Still a chain smoker, I see. Honey, your nasty habit is wrecking havoc on your skin!” I said, pretending to examine her face.

“That’s a load of bull.”

“Seriously! Anyway, guess who I bumped into earlier.”

“Who.” She said disinterestedly.

I paused to take a breath. She looks into my eyes, reading my thoughts.


“Yes!” I said, “I bumped into him by accident.

She grabs my phone.

“Hey! Give that back!”

“I don’t like this.”

“If you are looking for his text messages there’s none.”

She looks at me. “You erased them?”

“No. Because I don’t even have his number.”

“Somebody’s going to get hurt.”

I looked at her seriously. “I promised myself I’d never again be in a situation like that. I’m not stupid Tat.”
“Just make sure you don’t see him again, because I already know how this is going to end.”

Bzzz! My cellphone vibrated. 1 New Message.

“Hi Gab, it’s Eric. Remember that place at Eastwood where we had Chiqui’s birthday dinner? I’m craving pasta right now. Want to meet me there? My shift ends at in about an hour.”

“Who is it?” Tatat asked.

I look her in the eye. “My mom checking on me if I’ve arrived safely.”

“I brought some binagol, by the way. Give some to Cricket.” I showed her the delicacies I had brought from Tacloban.


That’s Tatat, she loves her food and loves her boys.

“C’mon, I need to leave this bag at your place. I need to leave right away.”

“Got somewhere to go?”

“To Megamall. I need to buy some toiletries.” I lied.


I had been waiting at the table for twenty minutes. I changed into a polo shirt and jeans and practically bathed in my favorite scent.

I saw Eric outside through the window. I wave at him.

“Sorry I’m a little late.”

“That’s ok. I just arrived a few minutes ago.” I smiled.

“Somebody smells nice.”

I laughed nervously.

“I needed to get the airplane smell out.”

The waiter came with the menus and took our order.

“So Eric, do you still travel?”

“Yeah. Went to El Nido last summer.”

“Was it expensive?”
“Not if you stay at the town instead of the resort. You?”

“Just around Leyte. We have great beaches there.

“Who’d you go with?”


“Your trip to El Nido. Your girlfriend? Jen?”

Eric laughs. I have no girlfriend right now, and Jen got married last year.”


“To Royce, of all people.”

I giggled. “No way! How did that happen?”

“They met on a company team building and started going out.”

The food had arrived.

“Smells nice.” I said, having a wonderful time.

“Try my seafood pasta.”

I took a bite.


“Better than sex.” I laughed.

“I’m taking a trip to Galera tomorrow. Wanna go?”

“Hmm I have some things to take care of, and I don’t think I’d have enough money.”

“I’ll take care of the accommodations.”

“Talaga? Who else are going?”

“Just us.”

I knew I was breaking my own rules.

“What time do we meet tomorrow?” I asked.

The Long Weekend Part II (Chapter 2)


He wore his hair the same way the last time I saw him- spiky, and fashionably styled. I had always been a fool for men with nice hair. He looked at me, mouth agape, for a moment.

“Gabby?! Hey, how have you been?” His eyes showed his surprise, and possibly, delight.

“I’m good. I just arrived from the airport.”

People had started to board the train, so we moved away from the crowd. He gestured to the nearby bench.

“That explains the traveling bag then.”

I laughed. “Yeah, I’ve been lugging around this heavy thing since early morning.”

“Where do you work now?”

“I’m not employed, actually.” I said. I was suddenly aware of my rumpled shirt. “Ah, after I resigned I decided to study again full time in the province.”


“How about you, still with Info?”

“Yeah. Six years and going strong.” He sat next to me on the bench.

“Up for another promotion?” I asked.

“Nah, not really. The teams I handle have not been doing well. Besides, I doubt if they have openings at this point.”

We were silent after we discussed work-related things. I smiled awkwardly.

“I guess I’d better be going. Tatat is waiting for me at Shaw Station.”

“No kidding. She left months after you did. Without much dramatic flair though…” He teased, referring to how I left the company years ago.

“Forget about that. I was a little crazy.”

“So you’d join us again at Info?” He smiled.

“Unlikely. I’m done with that industry.” I said, standing up.

“Hey, want to go out sometime, while you’re still in town?”

“Sure Eric.”

“Your number?”

I gave it to him.

“It was great to see you. I’ll call you sometime.” Standing up, he towered over me. He put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed.

My heart gave an involuntary leap. “Alright.”

I walked towards the train, turning around and giving him a wave just as the doors started to close.

As the train started moving, I was once again lost in my thoughts. Seeing Eric today, on my first day in Manila made me realize how much I had missed him. I’ve always wondered if I had made a mistake, leaving Info. I would have just settled to being one of his friends just so I could see him everyday.

You’ve already made the decision, I told myself, so stick to it!

In the distance, I saw the morning rays cast a glow to the city skyline.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The New Breed

They say the best way to improve your writing, aside from of course writing a lot, is to read more. But to someone who belongs to the generation of microchips and computers, the writings of Chekhov, Shakespeare, and Hugo seem so indecipherable. The words are beautiful as always, but who has the time (and patience) to delve into those writings as people did before?

I hate to admit it, but I am one of those people who want things in an instant. Hungry? There’s fast food. Horny? There’s porn. Bored? Watch a DVD or download a video. Instant gratification. Few people would actually pick up and read The Lord of the Rings to appreciate Tolkien’s imagination. No thank you, Peter Jackson’s movie version would do fine. Now, where’s that instant microwaveable popcorn?

I’m not trying to use technology as an excuse, but rather try to elucidate the new mind-set that has emerged with its birth. Our culture is changing. How many of us would still appreciate a good book on a lazy afternoon? Or a quiet night lost in the world of a classic writer instead of a loud TV game show?

Keeping this blog is the only practice I get in writing. A few jumbled thoughts, silly anecdotes, and some attempts at fiction- that’s hardly literature. But maybe I’m saying that because I keep comparing it with classic works. That generation is long lost, kept alive only by the pages of those books. Literature is changing, and that is because people have begun to crave a new style of writing. Novels are out, blogs are in.

Once, after class, I had asked a classmate (who was known to be quite an internet connoisseur) what she thought of Neruda’s poems. She merely responded with a shrug, and turned away.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Long Weekend Part II

The Long Weekend (Part II)
Thad Hinunangan


The styrofoam cup felt warm on my hand, but the coffee was still scalding hot. I stirred it some more, careful not to spill its contents on my lap.

It is 7am in the morning, and I am sitting at the pre-departure area at Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban. I had called my best friend the previous night, and the conversation went like this:

“Tatat! I’ll be in Manila tomorrow!”

“Bitch! Why didn’t you inform me sooner so I could have arranged a schedule swap. I have work tomorrow.”

“That’s ok, no need to pick me up. I know my way around town, thank you. So where’s your new apartment?”

“Near Shaw.”

“Can you just meet me at the MRT Station at around 10am?”

“Alright, twinnie.”

“See ya.”

It was a sunny morning, and Cancabato Bay was visible through the glass windows of the airport. Seemingly hypnotized by the glistening waves, my mind drifted to the events that happened the past two years- my leaving the company, returning to the province to study, and of course, Eric.

Two years of self-exile hadn’t erased a single bit of memory of him. Yeah, I still see him if I close my eyes: neat, sharply dressed in long sleeves and slacks, and that sexy grin he has when he’s telling a joke.

I last saw him during the trip to Sagada. I took a sip of my coffee, and set down my glass. I wonder where he is now? Does he still work for Info? I had yet to catch up on the goings-on of my previous office.

The speaker sounded. “PR 175 bound for Manila, now boarding.”

I shook out of my reverie, collected my bags, and made my way to the gate.


A blast of warm air hit my face as I left the Centennial Airport. Damn! I remembered Manila was like this- warm, crowded, and utterly polluted. As if on queue, a bus drove by, spewing a cloud of soot from its exhaust pipe. I gritted my teeth and kept walking.
“Taxi!” I waved frantically with my left hand.


The driver shakes his head. My bag was getting heavy, I was eager to just pay extra just so I could get to my destination without the hassle.

“Or you could just drop me off at the Pasay MRT Station.” I said, getting desperate by the second. He agreed.

The air conditioning hardly calmed my impatience as the car made it’s way through the traffic. I was relieved when I finally saw the huge Pasay MRT Station.

“One ticket for Shaw Station please.” I handed the amount to the cashier.

It was strangely comforting to be at the crowded station waiting for the train. How many days have I gone to catch the early morning train after my shift? I notice a couple of yuppies joking and talking amongst themselves near a bench. I almost forgot how cute the guys were in Manila. I ruffled my hair self-consciously.

Ding! The train’s sliding doors open and out came the passengers. The crowd parted and lo and behold! A tall guy emerges, and he is no other than the guy who broke my heart.

“Hey Eric.” I said.

A Personal Favorite

I’ve decided to make a Part II of my favorite short story “The Long Weekend”. It’s the story of Gabby, who falls for his officemate Eric, his “impossible dreamboat”. In Part 1, the revelation is made during a trip the two friends make to Sagada, Mountain Province. Alas, the sentiment was not reciprocated by Eric but rather cause an abrupt end to their friendship.

The story continues in the second installment, as Gabby tries to move on with his life by taking a new direction. On a chance visit to Manila, fate plays a trick on him and allows him to see Eric once more.

The story is loosely based on my personal experiences, and some of the characters in the story are based on real people (take my best friend Tatat, for example). This had been truly a joy to write and since I sometimes write from my memories- forming the words are almost effortless.

These are the links to Part 1 (all four Chapters). This week, in Part II of The Long Weekend, we’ll get to see if there is a happy ending for Gabby and Eric.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Confession

Kahit marami akong nahalikan,

Kahit madami ng labi ang dumampi sa akin,

Marami mang laway ang aking natikman,

Hindi ibig sabihin nito na wala na akong dangal…

- kutsara


It just makes me sick to my stomach, how gay dating had become so shallow. It’s all about image- who’s thinner, who’s got the money, who’s got the face to make it to showbusiness. Everything counts: your job title, your car and your gadgets. It’s more like a contest, I tell ya. Whatever happened to love and genuine friendship?

Geez, even penises weren’t spared. One has to meet a certain size requirement. "Below six inches? Sorry buddy, go get implants." Till then you have to steer clear of the dating scene and join a chastity group instead ‘cause baby, that soldier ain’t gonna get action.

Did I mention how rude people had become? Take the vicious example of online dating. These are actually posted on existing profiles: Good looking, gym buff for the same. Effems and obvious gays take a hike! Fuglies not allowed. Seriously, want me to give you the links to those profiles?

Perhaps the media has bred a new generation of self-obsessed, vain, silly, silly queens who think of nothing but self improvement. Bye-bye manners. I am going to start a crusade and make a difference!! Right after writing these observations, I’ll persuade people to CHANGE!

Oh, but not till after I check my  account. Username… password… Yipee! Four new messages. I’ll check the profiles out.

Ugh. This one looks too gay, she’s oozing pink fluid. The next one is about a hundred years old and…yikes! The next one looks like Mike Enriquez. Oh well, perhaps the fourth. Nope, this one looks like Mike Enriquez dressed as a coked up, wasted, and banged up Cher.

Delete, delete, delete.
----------------Author’s Note:
You do realize this is only half-true, I mean fiction, right? ; )

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Alternative Dream Job

If I weren’t so particular with lifestyle and the material things that come with it, I would have been a fisherman. No kidding. When I was younger, my aunt had this fleet of fishing boats and sometimes my cousin and I would beg to be allowed to tag along.

The day would start early at six am, when the men would ready the equipment. After that, it’s off to the deep seas. They’d usually start by deploying the net, making a huge sweep of a certain area. Minutes later, a machine would begin pulling the net back to the boat, taking with it all the fish it could contain. The men would dump all the fishes caught on the floor of the boat where they are sorted and placed in large Styrofoam containers with ice.

Lunch, would not be a problem of course. Take your pick. Once, there was even a huge eel and a couple of octopi (small ones) that were caught. After the fishes are placed in the containers, the process is started again. The best part for me was the fresh salty wind blowing against my face, and of course the kinilaw. Now that’s the kind of office I’d love to stay in.

Think of it: no deadlines, no reports, and you certainly need not wear a tie. No interviews and presentations, no computers and telephones. Just the sun, the sea, and your trusty boat. Perhaps one day, if it comes to a point where I no longer desire huge salaries and a prestigious title, I just might hop into a boat and work on my “other dream job” that won’t require me to bring my laptop.

Kittens Versus Puppies

Kittens (yellow font) vs. Puppies (purple font)

The Past Bites Me In The Ass

Had I wanted to be a Landscape Architect, I would have worked in an Architectural firm and pursued this career with much gusto all these years (despite the meager wages). Right now, a close relative had given a proposal which would have been exciting had I still been in that industry- to design a resort. They have a fishpond property which they want to turn into a family resort with a lot of swimming pools and cottages. Here are my reasons why I didn’t jump at the chance:

1. The same fishpond that I went to more than ten years ago, I remember, is an island that is accessible only by pump boat from a small, smelly fish port. I don’t know about you but in my experience, fish smell hardly drives tourists in.

2. It was not a white sand island like the ones in Samar, in fact it resembled marsh lands more than paradise. The sand, no the silt, is muddy, dark, and soft. No corals, no clear azure waters.

3. Given that it is an island and accessibility is a problem, one would have to address the question of accommodations. Overnight cottages may get pricey, not to mention maintenance of the swimming pools.

4. Lastly, who would actually go visit? Locals? Not international tourists, that’s for sure. Relatives and family friends perhaps, but not tourists. I have visited some of the best tourist destinations we have in our country and the common denominator they have is the awesome natural wonders. That is why people take time to visit, and believe me they would not be visiting a sleepy town for a bunch of swimming pools. I wouldn’t.

I wish I could share my aunt’s vision, but my assessment of the place suggests that they’d better rethink it. Put the money elsewhere- a white sand beach in Guiuan. Now that’s worth going to. Or am I just crazy?

Get Over It, and Get Over It Quick

New mantra for 2008


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