Metrobank ATM

Not as easy as Pi.

By | March 17, 2015

It’s the Pi Day of the Century, as well as the day after Friday the 13th. But it looked like my unlucky Friday was extended for 12 more hours until Saturday noon.

I was in Tayuman, on my way to meet a friend for lunch before I heading to Quiapo for the afternoon. My friend and I agreed to have some pasta, which we discovered we both we craving.

Before I reached the mall, I saw a Metrobank branch and decided to withdraw from the ATM. A few keypresses later, I was waiting for the machine to dispense my cash. And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

With a growing dread because of the odd delay in the transaction.

Finally, the ATM monitor flashed a message of regret: My card was captured. On a weekend when I only have 200 pesos left in my wallet.

I called the bank’s Support number but my fears were only confirmed when the bank representative explained that I cannot claim my card until Monday, when the bank opens again, and in that same branch where it was captured. The poor girl didn’t deserve getting the full blunt of my frustration, but she so happened to work in the detestable Metrobank.

What was supposed to be a pasta lunch date ended up an inexpensive fastfood trip, with my friend paying for my meal.

I was grateful but at the same time uncomfortable accepting the meal. It’s easier for me to accept free meals when I have money, because I can immediately return the favor: but drinks or desserts, in my turn. After all, I am working and earning for myself; I should not depend on someone else buying food for me.

It was an idiotic rationalization and I was stressing too much, thinking about it.

I was glad my friend tolerated my spewing vitriol against Metrobank every three minutes while we were eating and was not affected by my aura of bad vibes. Nobody really wants to have lunch with a walking beacon of negativity.

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World of DC All Star Fun Run logo

World of DC All Star Fun Run.

By | March 16, 2015

Most of us, at one point or another, wanted to be superheroes. Super powers, fighting villains, wearing costumes. Sure, none of us were born from another planet or are an Amazon princess or are genius martial artist billionaires in real life. Real-life villains aren’t as clear-cut as those in comics.

But maybe we can wear the costumes.

So two weekends ago, I was invited by a friend for a press launch of the World of DC All Star Fun Run. The fun run is part of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of DC Comics.

What’s cool about the fun run is how the singlets were designed after some of the most prominent members of the Justice League: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern.

World of DC All Star Fun Run singlets

Not only are the singlets designed after these heroes, an extra accessory is also added per design. The Batman, Flash, and Green Lantern singlet includes masks of the respective characters, Wonder Woman has her golden tiara, and Superman has a small, wearable cape.

World of DC All Star Fun Run freebies

Imagine you and several comic book fan and superhero geek friends joining the fun run, wearing similar costumes. Then multiply that by at least a thousand. Say you’re a fan of Green Lantern (my favorite of the five Justice League heroes): It’ll be pretty cool running with other people who love the same character you do, AND are wearing the same green singlet. It’s not just a fun run, it’s a comic convention on running shoes.

More information about the World of DC All Star Fun Run can be read in the official World of DC Philippines website.

World of DC All Star Fun Run poster

The World of DC All Star Fun Run will be on April 18, 2015 at the SM by the Bay, SM Mall of Asia. Registration can be done online in the World of DC website or through Chris Sports outlets in SM North EDSA, SM Mall of Asia, Festival Mall, and Glorietta 3.

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Never Say 'Never Judge a Book by Its Cover'

Sometimes, we should also judge a book by its cover.

By | March 7, 2015

This should be an interesting lecture. Too bad it coincides with my weekly Nihongo class.

Never Say 'Never Judge a Book by Its Cover'

Filipinas Heritage Library presents The Printed Word

Never Say “Never Judge a Book by Its Cover”
a lecture and exhibition by Dr. May Jurilla

14 March 2015 | 3:00PM | Ayala Museum 2F

On the history of the book cover, its function, its art and impact. Of special interest to publishers, graphic designers, authors, readers, and anyone who has ever cared for the look of the book.

P300 regular rate | P150 discounted (students, teachers, librarians, senior citizens, and members)

Contact:
759-8288 loc 45 or 36
asklibrarian@filipinaslibrary.org.ph

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Mellon Collie, Today x Future

U.S.T.

By | February 14, 2015

I wrote this last year, but never got around to telling the story behind it. I figured a year is long enough a time to procrastinate.

That may have resolved several years of sexual tension. Or it may have not.

I had a crush on this guy from the first time I met him.

That first time was more than ten years ago: A girl friend from work tagged me along to his house for some drinks. It was a crazy night, from the things I half-remember. Said girl friend, having had too much to drink, threw up in his living room. To this day, this guy and I still laugh at that memory.

He was living with his boyfriend at that time, and I had a boyfriend of my own. I never even tried to flirt with him, in any conscious manner. We added each other in social media, but kept minimal contact for several years.

It was a surprise then when, after seven or so years, I saw him in a bar in Malate. I can’t even remember why I went there; it might be that I was with friends. I think he was alone, drinking. Or maybe I misremember that part.

The amazing thing was he recognized me at the same time I recognized him. It’s been years and I rarely post my photos online, or use my face in my user pictures. It was as if we last saw each other about a week ago. It was one of the things I liked about him: we can talk easily to each other, even during the first time we were introduced to each other.

We were both single and I was living on my own. He was drunk and wanted to sleep but didn’t want to go home. I invite him to my place. He agreed. At some point while we slept, we were spooned to each other.

But that was it. We slept next to each other and that was all. And yet it never felt frustrating, back then or remembering it now. At the back of my mind, I wanted to have sex with him and yet I was never disappointed that we never tried.

Years later, he admitted to me that he was thinking of similar things.

“We were, what, hugging?” he told me. “Maybe I was too happy with the Chairless Apartment. Or maybe I was too brokenhearted that time that I didn’t want to spoil you.”

But it was a nice moment, I told him. I can appreciate nice moments. Would it have changed things if we did? We did not pursue each other again after that night.

Eventually, I entered another long-term relationship. This guy also was in a few relationships for the next few years. Occasionally, we would come across each other; I even introduced him to my then-boyfriend. It seems that despite that one time of palpable sexual tension, we remained good friends.

IMG_20130316_230245

It’s been more than a year now since I broke up with that boyfriend.

Early February last year, I went to Ilocos for a few days to put a bit of distance from my recently-ended relationship. And all of a sudden, this guy texted me while I was on my way back to Manila. He was drunk and still sorting himself after his last relationship. At length, we talked about our history and the unresolved sexual tension we’ve had for years.

We agreed to each other a few days later, on Valentines, for a few drinks. We wanted to catch up with each other, and it looked like we will be spending the night bitching about our recent exes. Except we didn’t. Because of his ex.

His first boyfriend, actually, the one he was still with when I first met him. It was a curious bit of serendipity, for his ex to appear while we were talking of that time I was in their house. And it was a good thing, too. I liked his ex; he was a strange yet lovable guy, always spreading love for the universe. We forgot about the exes we were supposed to bitch about and talked of other things. And it turned out to be a good night because of it.

Inside a tricycle, while we were heading to another bar for more beer, this guy held my hand and placed his head on my shoulder. And we kissed. It was the first time we kissed each other.

Would it have been different if I decided to jump into this new chance for another relationship? It was only a month since my last boyfriend and I parted ways. While this guy still has not moved on from his last relationship. It felt like it was too soon.

We started seeing each other, not really dating, with whatever was happening to us a nebulous idea that lingered around our interactions but was rarely explicitly acknowledged.

It started going downhill weeks later. I, not aware of what he thought, was wondering about taking things more seriously with him while he, not knowing what I was thinking, began losing interest.

He met another guy and eventually they begun a new relationship. Ah well. I was heartbroken.

But this guy is, ultimately, my friend. One of the friends I’ve cherished for several years and that affection trumped over any kind of sexual attraction we might have for each other.

I knew I was over my heartbreak and no longer held any ill will when I saw him again several weeks later. He joined me and my friend while we were hanging out in a museum cafe (the same museum where this guy worked, and it was intentional); he and my friend took off really well. We were still there when his boyfriend arrived and I finally saw the person he kept mentioning in his tweets. He was a really sweet guy, yet gave off a impression of peaceful strength; I can tell why he chose him.

So we’ve defaulted to what we were before: friends. I’m searching in my mind for that sexual attraction I’ve kept for him for several years. It’s still there, boxed and kept away.

After all, the affection I have for my friend trumps over any kind of sexual attraction I might have on him.

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C5 corner Kalayaan.

Taxing taxi rides.

By | February 3, 2015

Anj, a friend of mine, frequently tweets about the often amusing experiences she has with Metro Manila cab drivers. A recent set of tweets was about a driver who kept on speaking in English for the first few minutes of the cab ride because the driver thought she does not speak Tagalog.

Bubblegummy

I don’t mind not having heartwarming cab stories of my own, despite being a frequent cab passenger myself. I’ll be content with a quiet driver taking me from point A to point B with no to minimal fuss. I will even tolerate listening to Love Radio and Papa Jack’s radio show. But a peaceful cab ride doesn’t always gravitate towards me.

Last week, I was already running late for work so hailed a cab at the intersection where I usually take an FX shuttle for Ortigas. That intersection usually has a bum who hails cabs for passengers; the “taga-para” then asks for some money from the cab driver for “giving” them a passenger. It’s an informal arrangement in many places in Manila, and a way from many otherwise-jobless people earn some money. Do I sound condescending? Because I am.

Philcoa street theater.

I normally dislike this arrangement because I am perfectly capable of hailing a cab myself. It doesn’t really add much efficiency in how passengers board a cab. Sometimes, the presence of multiple “taga-para” in an area even adds more chaos to the already chaotic Manila commuting experience. And most of them do not even hail cabs; they will just approach the driver to collect their “fees”. Still, I tolerate them, most of the time.

The “taga-para” and I saw the cab at the same time. I already hailed the cab when the “taga-para” also started hailing the cab for me. When the cab driver stopped; the “taga-para” tried to open the cab’s door like a valet to let me in. I didn’t let him and climbed into the cab myself.

The “taga-para” approached the driver to collect money, but the driver refused. The “taga-para” then hit his fist against the cab’s body, causing the cab driver to go out in a temper and shouted at the other man. It quickly devolved into a pissing contest, the driver threatening the other guy with bodily harm if only he didn’t have a passenger. Oh great, so I was robbing him of the satisfaction of hitting someone.

While the two men were puffing their skinny chests at each other, the traffic light changed color and I tried to call the driver back and drive. Still stoke, he didn’t hear me and got back in just after the light changed to red again.

Now it was my turn to get angry.

“Bakit mo kasi inaway?” I shouted at him. “Tinatawag kita, hindi ka nakikinig. Late na ko dahil sa’yo.”

The driver went back in, shrugged, and said I didn’t tell him I was in a hurry. It infuriated me further but I did not speak much during the rest of the ride to Ortigas.

The night before that was worse.

C5 corner Kalayaan.

It started benignly enough: The ride was uneventful until we reached the Kalayaan-JP Rizal Extension intersection where we should have made a left to C5. As soon as the light changed, the cab suddenly surged forward instead of turning.

“Saan ka pupunta?” I asked the driver incredulously. “Dapat sa C5 tayo dumaan.” But we couldn’t make a u-turn anymore because of the build-up in the opposite lanes stretches several streets and will delay us further.

The driver explained that traffic was heavy in C5 and he planned to go through EDSA. In my experience, there is absolutely no reason why EDSA would be preferrable to C5 when going to Ortigas. The route is much longer and the traffic is almost always heavier. I was pissed and I made sure the driver knew it.

I shouldn’t have trusted a cab named “Saddam”.

When we approached Shaw Boulevard, the driver attempted another delaying maneouver: he tried to swing to the Shaw underpass, but I caught him in time.

“Bakit mo idadaan d’yan?” I shouted. “Ikanan mo!”

I watched him closely as we entered Greenfield and went for San Miguel Avenue. The sneaky bastard is tried to get me through a longer route.

When we finally reached Emerald Avenue, he messed our route yet a final time by missing the u-turn slot so we can switch to the opposite lanes. This, despite my instructions.

I immediately told him to stop, paid my fare, got out, and started walking to my building. A pair of Koreans hailed the cab and wanted to get in. I half-thought of warning them not to take that cab, but decided not to. I was already several minutes late, and counting.

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