Friday, August 17, 2007

Bora Republic

delayed posting from May 12, 2007 10:12 AM

It's been six years since I last walked on the pristine sands of Boracay Island. At the time it was almost pure and unspoiled, the neighborhood unpolluted and moderately quiet and peaceful. A couple of years later, I saw it on TV as the complete opposite. Coming from and living quite long on the "real" islands (i.e. Marianas, Tinian, Guam, and Palau) where I frequented Bora-meets-Palawan-like beaches (which are, mind you, free of charge...down to the ferry ride to and from the islands), going to Bora now--what with its current state--didn't seem like a truly enticing idea. Barely a year ago when I spent my birthday in Panglao Island in Bohol, I made up my mind that I'd take Bohol over Bora any day.

Any day but a post-breakup day.

Because of the Labor Day weekend, which was going to give us, give or take, four or five days off from work, the gurls (Maita and Chrissie) prodded me to go with them to Bora. I was in the tossup phase in my mind when Jedi and Aries--one after the other--asked me whether I was interested in joining them to Bora for the long weekend. Heads or tails notwithstanding, I felt like I was going to get swayed. So after checking our training schedules on the then-becoming-filled-up calendar and ensuring that the May 1 weekend wasn't going to be crucial for us trainers, I went online to my savings account. After all, I just went to Thailand and spent quite a pocketful. When I figured I could still afford to swipe my ticket and not get broke or bankrupt, I went online and started booking flights to Bora.

That, my dears, was just going to be the start of my ordeal. Apparently, everybody and their mothers were going to Bora for that weekend. So, after having teamed up with Chrissie in scouring the net for good deals (whether or not it was a package or just plane fare, at that point, we really didn't care). Having braved hours on end of being placed on hold and transferred from one extension to another (sometimes only to be disconnected or made to call again) and weekend, lunchbreak or after-office sprints to airline and travel agents offices, we finally secured tickets to Bora...with matching cheap-ass accommodations courtesy of Jedi at D'Mall.

When we got to Bora, it was NOTHING like how I remembered it six years ago. There was prolly a gazillion people (and about a tenth of that number in canine population); restaurants, stalls and kiosks/stands everywhere; blaring music (or noise?) from humongous and multiple amplifiers/speakers everywhere; and makeshift stages for events (at the time we were there, there was the Smart Buddy event as well as the Century Tuna Beach Body thingee competition). The quiet, laid-back, soothing air of Bora was nowhere present...unless maybe when you go have a massage in one of the expensive spas.

With the Training Department digital camera (this time, officially NOT mine anymore) in tow, we started heading for our 500-shots quota. But what probably rivaled our photo ops frenzy was our food-tripping. Barely finishing one "cocktail" at one restaurant and we'd be heading to another restaurant to eat again! And I am not talking of light meals here but food like carbonara (for the "cocktail", mind you) and then later on baby back ribs, pork barbecue and garlic fried rice. We were all having a great time...until of course my ex emerges from the crowd--flanked by the new boys (emphasis on the plural form, ladies and gentlemen...apparently my replacement, after barely one week; can you spell out TRASHY?) and having the temerity to even doing beso with my friends...and me. For about five seconds, I believe my glaring coldness froze the summer heat of bora...until the wretched pack of skanks left the vicinity. So much for an enjoyable Bora trip.

After dinner--and apparently after "thawing out" from the cold moment--I had the requisite Bora henna tattoo. For 250 bucks, I got myself a fancy tattoo on my left arm. If I wasn't a keloid former, I would most definitely have that same exact henna tattoo tattooed permanantly on my much for not being a wooz but not getting away with it. Took more photos and walked by the shorelines. Went to check out the Century Tuna event. But after seeing that it was "invitational only", their pa-über-social effect being waned by the isawan flanking their perimeter, and the event not even starting after more than an hour and a half, I walked out and headed back to the upstairs attic (we rented out those attic-type rooms atop establishments at D'Mall) and slept. At half past midnight, I took another shower (perhaps the fifth for the day, thanks to the humidity) and headed for a walk towards the "clubs"...or the beach versions of it. Met up with Aries (Jedi and the girls were already snoring and wouldn't budge, those Manangs!) at Hey Jude and had a couple of beers (saw the ex passed by with yet another set of new boys [again, emphasis on the plural form], copulating like there's no tomorrow, I noticed). Was enjoying the trip-hop music at Jude when they started playing Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby. That did it for me, and I dragged Aries to go to another bar (which name escapes me right now...Beachsomething). Music was house, and no signs of Vanilla Ice in the playlist, so I took a swig off my fourth bottle of SanMig Light and joined this exotic looking couple on the makeshift ledge (actually, a low table). Barely five minutes into the gyrating on the ledge, exotic looking guy (think Black Eyed Peas' Pinoy guy meets Jackie Brown afro hairstyle) dances with me, got my name, introduced me to his "girlfriend" Sandy (another exotic looking babe, similar afro hairstyle, only less poofy and more kempt). Danced, gyrated, chitchatted, and guffawed some two or three dance songs...and Male Jackie Brown was doing an indecent proposal. "Erick (yes, I go with pseudonyms at bars, thank you!), you really can move. My girlfriend and I were wondering if you were THAT good in bed, and if you'd go with us to our hotel room!" Boink. Yeah, like that was going to happen. I politely told him that I'm not into that (although I've had my share of that back in my younger years), and continued gyrating myself to kingdom come. I was totally weirded out with the fact that I was on the ledge dancing with only a tank top, sarong, and slippers on. Something you could NEVER wear to bars/clubs in the Metro. I enjoyed the moment, oblivious to the bad henna tattoo job I had earlier, which was literally dripping all over my arm. Met someone interesting, bought a beer or two for us, and retreated to a more quiet area of the beach where we could get to know each other better. At daybreak, the two of us were still on the same spot, and decided to walk by the shoreline. At the first sight of the sun's rays, we got possessed by the moment and kissed each other on the lips...and parted ways, knowing that we may not see each other again. Ah. 'Twas all good.

The gurls and I decided to sunbathe--OMG, like when did I think I had any more light pigment in my skin that could allow further darkening--and just laze away the remainder of the day. At some point, Aries introduced me to a group of showbiz people, and I was like, "Dude, you look really familiar. Have we met before?" to one person...only to find out later on that he was Bamboo of Rivermaya. I was laughing like crazy. I absolved myself from that episode. I am not a big fan anyway. The highlight of our trip, however, was the paraw boat ride around the islands. We went to this secluded spot where we had the most expensive pasta and nilagang baka. Haha. Well, it was worth the travel and the wait anyway. And the owners were really cool about us wetting the cushioned chairs, so 'twas all good. On our way back, while at sea, I stood up one of the planks of the boat and screamed the ex's name and cussed and hollered and invoked evil to the wind until I grew hoarse. With my last drying tears in my eyes--easily mistakenable for sea water--I was resolved on thinking that I'm glad that was over. I'm finally free.

In another swimming splurge, Jedi and I met two interesting individuals--one a dog, and the other one a "boy" (well, anyone younger than Jedi, Aries, the gurls and I are tagged "boys" and "girls" anyway bweheheheh). The dog's name was Noy the Dog--the sweetest, most adorable Golden Retriever you can ever find (quite opposite the person I named him after). First time I met him was back at the baby back ribs place where he was just looking at me, wagging his tail and playing dead and sitting on my command. He swam to me and Jedi far from the shore, and I panicked that he'd drown, so I tried to save him...only to find out that he was an excellent swimmer. That's how we met Jojo, the "boy". He was amused at how good "our" dog was. "Aso mo?" he asked me. "I wish. Askal to, pero may class. Hehe," I said, giving Jojo a big grin. We guys developed a bond almost instantaneously, this boy being his first time in Bora. Apparently, he went with his family, and they're literally knocked out by 9pm and he's got no one to go out with. Having said that, we all promised to meet up at a certain hour at a certain place...and conveniently forgot to exchange numbers. But as chances would have it, we bumped into each other after dinner and later on showed him around. I saw myself in Jojo when I was still googly-eyed and excited about the idea of being in Bora...and so I let him enjoy the island. I wonder if we have the same perspective on the island. After all, he still hasn't got a point of comparison. So, I guess not. Let Bora tease him first.

More swimming, sunbathing, tanning, photo ops, barbecues, baby back ribs, ex sightings, beautiful sunsets, beer bottles, pasalubong shopping and sunscreen later, we headed back to Manila. I was, apparently the only one who turned negro. The two gurls had way too little melanin in their system...damn them.

Back in the office, sporting my new tan, I've received two separate compliments on how manly (as opposed to...?) and "yummy" (haha) I was with my new complexion. So, having heard that, I reckon I'm keeping the new skin tone...and I guess Glutathione's never going to make any profit on me, eh?

Now, now, time to logoff, as it's time for my 500 digicam shots...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ano raw??! (Cinco de Mayo)

delayed posting from May 3, 2007 9:26 PM

Bwahahahaha...the return of the come back! Bentong's trigger-happy digicam and Walkman phone strike again! O, you're old enough to read between the you need spoon (or breast) feeding to understand each pic...

1. Damn. You know me too well...

2. What would shoppers think of me doing just that, aber???

3. So that explains why models are dumb...

4. Na-intimidate ako, pramis...not that I ain't ;) But still....

5. Sabi ko nga eh...

6. Tsk tsk tsk...sinabi namang wag na mag-strip show e...ayan tuloy!

7. I'm so fucking horny.

8. Namaaaaan!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


delayed posting from April 22, 2007 12:43 PM

My good friend Shy wrote an entry in her blog about pre-nup agreements. These "agreements", however did not concern any material, financial or corporeal matters, but intangibles like friendships, loyalty to a party or parties, and choices needed to be made (or not). She argued that there should be a figmental pre-nup agreement made between a couple so that when these two part ways, their friends wouldn't have to go through the motions of having to choose which half they'd "pledge allegiance" to. Of course, this is such a reality happening everyday, albeit such a really puny thing to even waste one's time and effort on...considering that--as mature individuals--choices such as choosing one over the other is such a naïve thing to be done. The very essence of a relationship is that, as you enter it as individuals with separate wealth of experiences (and friends, for that matter), you are supposed to embrace each other's individuality to form a collective whole--that is, as a couple. Ergo, whoever one "accumulates" as his new friend or acquaintance transcends any "original affiliations" of that friend whatsoever. Literally: who's mine are yours, who's yours are mine.

But, as we all come to realize in the end, there are always exceptions to the rule. When you receive endless queries or "permissions" from your own friends as to the decorum of keeping contact with your ex (despite your constant reassurances that it's perfectly OK for them to maintain the friendship with the ex--but that they should not expect the ex and myself to be in the same room at the same time), or when you invariably receive unsolicited opinions (from the same group of friends you've had for the longest time) about how "evil" or "mean" or "impatient enough" or "inconsiderate" you are (despite the honest-to-goodness reality that you have been everything but those to your ex) in having to end the relationship and leaving the ex "forsaken" or like a "basang sisiw"'s gotta reach a breaking point, and eventually change his stance.

Yes, about one and a half years later, I've decided to get out of an unhealthy relationship. After a while, I realized that I have been loving myself a little bit less than how I should, and that all the concessions, patience, understanding and sacrifices given were all in vain. After a while, I also learned that trust is something you can never force on anybody; if your ex had a history of cheating or "utilitarianism" (insert sarcasm here) or incorrigible lying, reason should only remind you of what your History professors used to teach you in school: "history repeats itself".

And, boys and girls of all ages, all friends and non-friends of mine, yes, I am mean...but only when you deserve it. Yes, I could be impatient...but only after I've exhausted all avenues and only when I've been pushed to a wall. But, no. I am never evil nor inconsiderate. You have no fucking idea what happened within the four walls of my condo (and apparently, even outside of it) the whole 17+ months of keep your self-righteous, accusatory, and misguided opinions to yourselves. As Mother Melanie would have consistently said, don't judge me because I am not a book.

Randy Crawford's "One Hello" said a lot to me at the end of the break-up: If you're not afraid of what love brings, then endings are beginnings of beautiful things. The beautiful things, apparently, are those little things that you've missed or taken for granted when you were too busy making the relationship work. I guess Michael Johnson's "Bluer Than Blue" captures some of it: After you go, I can catch up on my reading; after you go, I have a lot more time for sleepin'; after you go, I've got a lot more room in my closet; after you go, I can stay out all night long if I feel like it; ...I can start my whole life over. I guess goodbyes are not necessarily bad...that is why it's called GOODbye and not BADbye. No matter how bad your breakup might be, the silver lining is that, at some point, you'd come to a realization that you may have learned a thing or two in the relationship that should keep you more level-headed (as opposed to being way above the clouds, that is) the next time you decide that it's time for you to get into another one. A disclaimer, however, was prudently passed on to me by my long-ago ex, Cassie: Before you enter a new relationship, you're going to have to unlearn some of your learnings from your past relationship(s), as these may not necessarily work with/for your new relationship. Amen. Yes, Ma'am.

Sayonnara, ex. If you spoke Nihongo, you'd realize that it doesn't mean "See you again", but simply "Goodbye".

And, oh, a pahabol. That Cake revival of Gloria's classic is what I'm looping in my iPod: I should've changed my fucking lock, I should have made you leave your key, If I have known for just one second you'd be back to bother me...lalaladida. Yeah...I am still fucking bitter.

Sawasdee Krab

delayed posting from March 3, 2007 11:52 PM

It all started with that song from Chess the musical, that one originally sung by Murray Head and later on by Vinylshakerz...that got me thinking one day to book a flight to Thailand. Yes. I was just listening to One Night in Bangkok, one of those kitschy 80's song that was part of my mp3 player's various remixes, when it hit me: oh, damn; I wanna go to Bangkok. Simple as that. Two minutes later, I was calling/SMSing/YMing my friends, asking who'd want to--and could--spare a couple of days off from their schedules at work to go with me, and after getting some even tentative positive responses, I filed my vacation leave, and then went online at Cebu Pacific to book a roundtrip ticket. For an affordable nine grand, I got myself a roundtrip ticket to Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Airport, taxes included. I started making calls, reservations and pre-packing packing. Yes, there is such a thing. You're gonna have to tinker with my LifeDrive in order to have a more general idea about it, however...

After a couple of weeks of waiting (yes, that damned "budget fares" promo really got me scampering for a ticket REALLY early), I printed my itinerary, my eticket, and I hoisted my three-piece luggage with me and got rolling into the domestic airport. God! That was my first time to go to the Ninoy Aquino Domestic Airport...and boy was I bummed out. It was late afternoon when we went to the airport (I had to sneak out of the office really early just so I wouldn't get caught in traffic that time), and the pre-departure procedures were a killer. So, was it just me, or were the international and domestic flights sections were in one and the same area?! Like, does that really work out for anyone? 'Cause it totally does NOT work for me. And jeezus...the last time I went on an international flight was when I came home from my Bali-US trip (Oh, that in itself is a novel, so ask me about it!)...and it was not this strict. This time, I thought I had to remove my shoes twice, undid my belt buckle thrice, and went through screening about the same frequency. I asked myself, what the hell's all that for? It's not even a US-bound flight! And why am I being asked to remove my shoes and belt AGAIN? Could I have made a deadly weapon materialize in thin air or out of my feeble body right after I got out of the first screening? Why didn't they just throw in a full cavity search, and included a canine sniffing session while they're at it? And oh God, please! You mean, I couldn't even bring with me my Kenzo Perfume bottle? How the hell am I supposed to smell immaculately yummy when I deplane if I can't even splash myself with it...because it's in my freaking checked-in luggage??? Or my toothpaste-mouthwash combo for that matter?! Jeeezus. The things you'd go through just to collect more international boarding passes! (OK, OK, I was kidding there.)

We arrived rather late at the Suvarsomethingsomething Airport and our host Alejandro (aka Jun) and his household help "Misis" were there to pick us up...which was really very great, because as I later found out, English was not exactly a staple language in Bangkok.
After a couple of minutes of driving from the airport, and some sort of crash course on Thai greetings and phrases, we arrived at Jun's VERY impressive company-provided pad--the Garden Grove Suites. I was amazed. I knew I was going to love it there...what with the interior being über-authentic Thai, and it being right smack in the middle of Soi 16, i.e. somewhere really close to literally everything--where everything's just a tuk-tuk or mtr/mrt ride away. And, oh, did I mention the to-die-for pool and health club?

Day one was spent sight-seeing. But before any of those, had to run to the mall to get a Thai sim card. My Globe roaming, for some fucked up reason, wouldn't work. From the minute I stepped out of Thailand Immigrations, I've been turning my mobile phone on and off--but the damned roaming just wouldn't kick in. So, before the sight-seeing even commenced, I was finally loading my Walkman phone my new True sim. Due to the language barrier, I ended up buying the wrong sim, and thus had to complain about it to the attendant who was moderately apt in English. With the complaints and settling process alone, they've wasted a little more than 30 minutes of my morning. And since, for some reason, nobody in the fricking mall--or the major touristy areas for that matter--could point us to where (and how to go to) the Floating Market and the Rose Garden were, we resolved to the realization that we were not going there that day. So day one was just spent on food-tripping (thank God for that) and a whole lot of clothes-, apparel-, and electronics window shopping.
We somehow decided to go to the Philippine Embassy and maybe ask for some "closer to home" assistance. At 1201pm, anyway, i.e. when we got there at the gate, we were advised to just come back because, apparently, the offices were closed during lunchtime. Ah, Only in Da Pilipins. Later on, when we got hungry, I ordered this fresh mango salad, as well as authentic Tom Yum soup. I normally have a very high tolerance for spicy I never really expected that about halfway through my late lunch, I would sweat profusely and my lips would feel like 'twas swollen--all because of the very spicy food that I have ordered. I think I may have consumed about three tall glasses of jasmine and Thai iced tea just to numb the burning sensation in my mouth. Later on went to Jim Thompson museum. Apparently, he's this white guy who sorta kinda introduced Thailand's rich heritage/culture, and had brought into Thailand some really interesting forms of art (OK, OK...he's really an American businessman who helped revitalize Thailand's silk and textile industry in the 1950s and 1960s...that's his "official" quickie biography, according to Wikipedia). The entrance to the museum was a tad high, so we decided to just take snapshots of us within the exterior of the museum...and left almost immediately. We capped the evening of Day one by braving long walks canvassing and checking availability of one hotel to the other. Our two girl friends Enchie and Che were arriving later that night and they still have no place to stay. Brilliant. So after booking a cheap ass pension house for the two bitchgurls, we headed home. And boy, was that hot shower following the warm bubble bath soak such a refreshing treat for me.

Day two, we hired a cab--yes, a pink one--for a good few hundred bahts, and went temple-hopping. We had maps and guides and dictionaries and internet site printouts, and we all fit comfortably in the wee pink cab. The local driver, apparently, has a Filipina girlfriend, and so does understand SOME Tagalog phrases..."putanginamo" and "mahal kita" being the very few. He sorta kinda reeks of clothes worn for the last two or three days, and if it wasn't for his bubbly personality and genuine desire to show us around and not mess up with us tourists, I would've braved commuting. Nothing a good crack in the car window couldn't fix. And besides, his 60-minute cassette tape of English songs including Backstreet Boys' I Want It That Way and OMC's How Bizarre (which, later on became our "official theme song") was really REALLY entertataining. Really. When I said "temple-hopping", I meant literally almost making "pakyaw" of all temples. Yes. 'Twas like a nightmare of a blanket coverage for all temples of Bangkok. Me being a true blue tourist, and a photography aficionado (read: ME in the picture, or ME taking the shots of sceneries), I looked forward to the temples (or WATs)...but at around 2pm, with no lunch, no more water, and the fucking scorching sun, I decided my temple-hopping frenzy had officially come to an end. The three of them can go on snapshotting and posing and gallivanting under the evil, evil sun...but I am sitting that one out. 230pm and an expensive frozen dish with rice that we nuked in the microwave later, I was feeling better. The snapshotting and posing and gallivanting under the evil, evil sun resumed. God. What you'd do for a nice Friendster picture! At almost 4pm, we've virtually covered every road, stairway, boat ride, and long walks to see pretty much all temples. I was like, what the fuck? You've seen one temple, you've seen 'em all. Short Buddha, tall Buddha, Lotus-positioned Buddha, standing/upright Buddha, reclining Buddha, golden Buddha, emerald-studded Buddha, throne-seated Buddha, no-pictures allowed Buddha...damn, they're all the same Buddha to me. And, damn, I hate untying and re-lacing, and then untying again my sneakers just to get inside the temple. Remind me again why monks wear flip-flops and sandals. After all the photo ops, we headed for home...slept the entire freaking duration of the cab ride, while Floyd kept yapping and yapping away at the passenger seat, oblivious to the idea that the three of us at the backseat did not give a rat's ass what he--and the driver--was talking about. A couple of hours later, we were at Patpong, feasting our eyes on two men fucking onstage, women in cages, pingpong balls being thrown out of a woman's vulva, and S&M at its finest onstage. How's that for the irony of just coming from a temple visit? Ah Thailand. Amazing. Makes you want to listen yet again to How Bizarre...

Day three saw us excited and in full force (me, the gurls, Floyd, Jun and Misis) headed for the weekend market, Chatuchak. I wore the most comfortable clothes and footwear, anticipating a really long day, and not to mention more heat and humidity from the Thai weather.
The whole day was spent entirely on bargain-hunting, Fanta-drinking, ukay-ukay-/wagwag-like digging through stacks of merchandise, and walking through mazes and mazes of stalls ranging from clothing to accessories to scented candles and incense to food to furnitures to rabbits and puppies. Chatuchak was Ben's [bargain] shopping heaven. Aside from the multiple orgasms of the day's shopping, it was practically a "normal", uneventful day for us...until Floyd started appearing flustered--devoid of color, that is--and declared that he had been pickpocketed and in the process had lost his passport...and mine. How many Ateneans does it take to lose two passports in less than an hour at the Chatuchak Market? Apparently, just one. With me patiently and intently biting my bitchy tongue all the way to the Visitor Assistance Center (VAC), I started calling home, and told my colleagues that I lost my passport and might take longer than scheduled before I could come back to Manila (considering it was a Saturday when it happened and the following Monday was an official non-working holiday in Thailand). While dragging all the smoke I could inhale from my stress/comfort cigarette (my very first ever cigarette stick after having stopped smoking in 2001), I realized I should make lemonade out of that lemon incident--I looked at the brighter side and saw it as an opportunity to extend my vacation. I was in that pseudo-jubilant state of mind when a uniformed officer approached the VAC Desk and produced Floyd's passport. Thank God he can go home. I still get to stay longer...which was still good. Floyd was offering to stay with me/us in Bangkok until I processed my new passport and are able to come home. I continued biting my tongue, thinking how I've saved up a lot just to buy my limited edition genuine leather passport holder, and about all those immigrations stamps I've accumulated over the years (from Palau, the US, Bali, HK, etc.) which were now gone. We were about to leave the VAC area when I was notified that my passport had resurfaced. I had mixed emotions--relieved that I still had my passport holder and my valuable stamps, and dejected with the botched plan on my extended overseas vacation. After that whole ordeal, I didn't have any more interest in shopping (which was like a Guiness Book of World Records in "impossible" for me), and so I asked that we went home. Another warm bubble bath soak before sleeping, and I was capping day three.

Our last day in Bangkok was spent hearing mass, doing last minute shopping, and maxing out the memory card of my Training Department Sony digicam (which was, technically, still mine, because I paid for it using my credit card, and to date, haven't been reimbursed for it) to take lots and lots of pictures. Evening came and we went back to Garden Grove to have a small gathering for Floyd, as it was his 27th birthday. The same cast at Chatuchak was there, feasting on Bistek Tagalog, Italian Spaghetti, fried chicken, cake and ice-cream. He seemed really happy with the surprise. Jun did a really good job organizing this supposedly-impromptu dinner, i.e. a few hours before our departure back to Manila. As Floyd blew his birthday candle on his cake, I secretly wished him well--that he wouldn't lose anybody's passport again. Ever.

Soonest we boarded the plane, I decided I was too exhausted to even flirt and heckle with the three, so I moved to a different seat. Just before the plane took off, I was snoring quietly--don't you dare oppose that, you fools!--and oblivious to the three of them taking snapshots of themselves (and apparently of me sleeping, too) in their seats like there was no tomorrow. I woke up barely 30 minutes before touchdown at the domestic airport. Back to reality.

Now, scamper off. I still have 300 photos worth of Adobe Photoshop magic to do.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


delayed posting from February 16, 2007 1:32 PM

A week before Valentine's Day, our über-kwela-gimik Internal Comm gurls came up with yet another gimik for the company. To save me from the ball-buster task of paraphrasing it, here's their actual announcement/advertisement:

WOWing The World with LOVE
Voices. Posted February 7, 2007

It's February once again and it's time to WOW people with LOVE!

Put your thinking cap on and come up with the sweetest and most creative way to WOW your loved one (sweetheart, dad, mom, friend, etc.) this Valentine's Day!

Tell us how you plan to WOW a loved one this Valentine's Day. And if you're the chosen one, allow us to WOW you by saving you from the Valentine rush. Planning to send roses and chocolates to someone? The roses and chocolates are on us!

Click on the link below to send in your entries. Deadline for submission is on Tuesday, February 13.

THINKING HAT??? Hah! Dr. Seuss borrowed The Cat's hat from moi!!! and my ultimate-saccharine self sat still (or was I shifty?), took one good look at my Valentine's miniature photo in my phone's address book, smiled my widest smile (no more than six upper teeth showing, mind you, otherwise that will not be a smile anymore but a "grin" HAHA), closed my eyes momentarily, took one deep sigh, and typed away.

This was my entry:

Hi Kay!

This is my entry to the Valentine contest. I hope it's romantic enough for you. Hehe.

I will WOW my Valentine TONIGHT by sticking a packet of tiny glow in the dark stars (or dots, whichever's available at the bookstore later) on the ceiling above our bed to spell out the message "thank you for coming into my life". When we turn off the lights, my message will be read.

The next day, I'll leave (inside my Valentine's office bag) a Valentine card with six inserts: "gift certificates" that I made myself (see attached samples), which may be redeemed from me at any time...and have no expiration date! The beauty of this is that I will be the one providing each and every "request" in the certificate...and it cost me almost nothing.

These are the "gift certificates"...

I didn't win the contest...but ask me if I got laid 'cuz of all that. [Insert sinister laughter here]

Monday, August 6, 2007

Love In A Stub

delayed posting from December 26, 2006, 12:34 PM

The one thing more agonizing and LESS "fun" than the actual Christmas shopping experience is the PLANNING. Being the obsessive-compulsive freak that I am, I usually make sure that my Christmas (grown-up and kids alike) list is done WAY ahead of time, i.e. approximately two months before Christmas. Once the very first Christmas carol starts blaring in the radios or shopping malls' PA system, I almost in-sync start "making my list and checking it twice"...just to beat MY own deadline. There's always categorization, of course--Family, "Spouse" (assuming, that is, that I am attached at the moment), Close Friends (which usually covers my college pals, the Astrokids, Sheila, Chrissie, Maita, Earl, Patrick and Serp), Officemates (which I further subdivide into close colleagues and those who I have a purely professional relationship with, Tenants/Roommates, Business Contacts (those I do "rakets" with), and "Generic" Friends and Acquaintances. These are subdivied into price ranges--sky's the limit (usually reserved for Spouse if the Spouse had been REALLY good), pricey, 200-500 range, "vaue for money" (those packs that can be given away to big groups of "homogeneous" people), and the tiangge price (usually for the household help, Manongs ang Manangs).

As soon as my list is complete (or at least almost finished), I start doing my bargain-hunting, window-shopping, and Sale-visitations...and often grab an item or two so I could already tick off someone's name/item from The List. My experience with this, however, is that--despite my OC-ness, I always end up buying something else...or more than what I've planned or budgeted for. Nevertheless, I don't mind a long as I know that my recipient will love what I have for his/her Christmas gift.

When it comes to what *I* want, however, I can't seem to tell. Like when people make me do those wish-lists or ask me point-blank what I want for a gift...I just feel stumped. I'm not saying that I have everything I want--oh, hell no. If I did, I wouldn't be drooling over point-and-shoot top-of-the-line SLR digital cameras, outrageously priced iPods and other media players, or any makaagaw-pansin messenger/gym/office bags.

Does it have anything to do with one's age? Here, I can't speak for others, but in my case, I can actually say that that seems to be the case. Since I started moving up from one Age Checkbox to another, I've stopped expecting anything (gifts, that is) during special occasions from friends, colleagues or relatives. For birthdays, I'd rather have an intimate dinner or a rowdy pizza merienda with no presents. Yes, it's rather nice receiving, that still applies...but now, there's just simply no expectations. I guess that works out better for me, because the less expectations, the more delighted I get if and when there's actually a present for me!

But since I'm being asked anyway, here's my response: just give me a gift certificate from a department store such as SM or Rustan's, or from The Spa, or even David's Salon. You'd be absolutely certain that your present will be much appreciated and put to real use, as I would've wanted it in the first place.

I am, however, having some serious drooling over that Black and Decker Power, howzabout a gift certificate from Ace Hardware? Any takers? Hihihihi ;-)