Walang Katulad…

JP Domingo. He’s odd. Looks strict. Very Unorthodox. Not the usual boss you’ll find in an organization.

My first day into his team, I cannot forget the first thing he asked me to do. I remember getting so excited coz finally I now belong to a new team and that means a chance to collaborate and work together towards a single goal. So imagine how confused I was coz the first thing my boss assigned me to do was to sort out all emails from tool suppliers and gauge if there’s something in there that’s useful and worth trying out. My heart sank and I said to myself “eto na ba yun?!? Wala bang something exciting or something that has some kind of purpose or use?” I frown and thought of here we go again. How am I supposed to learn and be productive by doing nothing but to check emails and reply to suppliers? But then again, I need a job that can pay my bills and feed my family so I suck it up and started to go through the emails one by one. Now looking back, I can say I did learn from that experience. It did not only polish and put my comms and writing skills to a test, it also taught me to be patient for good things comes to those who wait. 🙂

Days progressed into months and to my surprise, from being the custodian of supplier emails, I progressed to data analyst. Ang cool, ano? Who knew that I can be good at something that I don’t like and despised all my life, data and numbers. And this will never be possible if not for the training and supervision I got from JP. 🙂

So where do I start?

He’s like the “Kuya” that I never had. Totoo yan. 9 years in ABS-CBN and not once did I ever attempt to fix my life. I just go with the flow and just do what was asked of me. Ganun lang. Parang mindless zombie coasting through life. Then JP came in and showed me the possibilities I have never seen before in ABS-CBN. He may not know it but he practically fixed my life & career by showing me another perspective to explore, play with, and be good at. In his sobrang casual tone he said “try mo lang, malay mo you’ll excel in it.”

I was in awe after our conversation not only because now I have some kind of direction, I also realized that this boss care! Finally, there’s someone in the organization that cared enough to fix things and make my work life a little bit less miserable. He genuinely wants what’s best for me.

Alam mo yun? For the first time in years, may nagmalasakit sayo. Someone is willing to train you, teach you, and guide you towards the proper direction. I felt happy and realized na “wow may saysay pala ako dito. I’m not just one of the employees. I have purpose, I have goals to achieve. Di ko alam what did I do to deserve such luck. Kaya it pains me to see him go. Today is his last day in the office and since I cannot effectively express what I want to say through spoken words, isusulat ko na lang.

Sir JP, it’s an honor and a privilege to have battled dragons and moved mountains with you and the SP-BI team. No words can express how grateful I am for the chance, the opportunity you gave me. It was a gamble taking me under your wing. Nung time na yun, kahit gumawa ng deck at magpresent hindi ko alam paano gawin. Halos walang-wala akong alam but you still made the decision to take me in and for that I am forever thankful. Salamat po sa lahat ng aral na naituro ninyo sa akin, both in life and at work and sa pagdamay nyo po when my dad died. Palagay ko po, anywhere you go, you’ll always be that voice of sense and reason and that rare inspiring light for everyone around you. Ganun po kasi kayo sa amin and I guess nobody can ever replace that. 🙂 Don’t worry and let us step up to the challenge of trying to fill in the void you left. Mahirap, yes. That’s why I pledge my full support to your team, my former family and home (well I still believe na part pa rin ako ng team kahit adopted na lang!). I know we got this. 🙂

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Salamat Sir and see you around! 🙂

Jannet 🙂

P.S: We’ll surely miss you! 🙂

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The good, the bad, and the ugly of the INC protests…

If this is what salvation is, then count me out. I’m having none of it. I’d rather burn in hell than be a mindless imbecile, following the orders of the higher ups. You cannot say no, you cannot opt yourself out. It’s as if the freedom of choice and the function to think was taken away from you. You just say “YES” and do it without even knowing why you are doing it or at the very least understand why you are asked to do it.

Yes, I was stuck in EDSA Shaw for 4 hours last Friday because members of Iglesia ni Cristo, driven by bravado and the need to showcase their power, decided to occupy EDSA starting from EDSA Shrine up to EDSA-Crossings area, harping on separation of Church and State and that the DOJ to leave them alone. I was tired from loads of work, hungry and in serious need of sleep but I had to endure since the jeepney I’m riding was literally inching its way going to Pasig coz INC protesters effectively clogged up that intersection in Shaw. This is not the first time I had a very, very unpleasant encounter with the INC. 2 years ago, back when I was still doing pro bono work for Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU) as Liaison officer assigned to assist teams visiting the country for IRB and ARFU official Rugby tournaments. I was assigned to liaise for United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Rugby Team at that time. Everything was arranged 2 weeks before the team arrives — hotel accommodations, food plans, transpo, training and game schedules. All games and training were held at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium so needless to say, we have to file for permit to train and play to PSC months before the actual tournament will happen so we can “legally” and rightfully use RMS. PSC’s policy was “first come, first served” basis. We were granted the schedule for the venue 2 weeks before the UAE arrived. Imagine my surprise when me and the whole UAE team went to RMS Football field and we were denied entry to the pitch. I asked the guards why and showed them that we were booked for that specific day to train on the field. Still they refused us entry and one of the guards said, “Mam, nakareserba ho kasi ito para sa Sports Fest ng Iglesia Ni Cristo, hindi ho pwedeng gamitin.” I was shocked. Dumbfounded even coz as I said, we have it booked and PSC gave us the permission to use it. So why am I being denied entry and usage of the field? I was fuming and went straight to PSC’s office in RMS. I asked and demanded an explanation from the field custodian why we can’t use the field while we have it booked and reserved. The guy in the PSC office just said our reservation was cancelled out to give way for the INC Sports Fest. Unbelievable. I told him. Why are we being informed just now? Still fuming and almost at the point of whacking the field custodian’s face with a chair, I asked if we can use the adjacent baseball field instead. Thankfully he agreed. So we went and train on the baseball field, problematic with poor lights. The field was devoid of grass so injuries and bruises were not impossible to get. Left with no other choice (talaga pong nakakahiya sa national team ng UAE), my charges went on with their training. I chanced upon the baseball field custodian, Mang Gerry (I hope my memory served me well with the name). With a smile on his face, Mang Gerry calmly approached me (while fuming) and said “Mam, pasensya na ho sa abala ano. Alam ko ho eh na-hassle kayo at ang team nyo. Mangyari ho kasi ang amin hong boss ay miyembro ng INC. Natanggal ho yung reservation ninyo para mag-give way sa Sports Fest nila. Syempre ho sinusunod lang ho namin yung utos sa taas. Ako na po ang humihingi ng dispensa.” I don’t know what to feel really. The policy clearly says that whoever gets to book first, will get the venue. So ano ito, power tripping?!? Just coz you are the boss, you’ll prioritize you first at the expense of everyone else?!? O_O unbelievable. really. This is just the same with what is happening right now in EDSA-Shaw. A showcase of bravado and power. Just coz they have the numbers and they feel that they have all the rights to occupy a national highway and stage a protest, they’ll just do it without a care to everyone else. It is pretty much a reflection of their mentality of “Kami lang ang maliligtas, dahil kami lang ang kaanib ng Iglesia.” O sige, kayo lang kaya wala na kayong pakialam sa iba? Ganun? Ayan tayo eh, pagiisip na mali.

I’m all for equal rights, the right to practice whatever belief you may have, freedom of expression and all but, all these rights, it has an equivalent responsibility to it. You want to stage a protest, why not. This democratic constitution allows it. But to infringe and hamper other people’s right while exercising yours, that’s just the most selfish act any human being can commit. We execute and practice our rights but never to the expense of other people. Mabuti pa ang mga miyembro ng “Makabayan Bloc” our activists. The issues they are fighting for, it is precise, clear, and for the benefit of everyone including you guys in INC. That I can understand and can forgive. But your issues, separation of church and state, for DOJ to leave you alone and not meddle with your affairs, that we cannot understand. You ask for separation of church and state? How ironic coz you guys are the ones practicing block voting. Isn’t it that influencing the state by the church? You ask that the DOJ should leave you alone and why De Lima is paying a special attention to the cases filed against your higher ups? This I think is not the fault of DOJ. Blame your ministers who filed the case. It was them who opened that whole can of worms inside your church. It is under DOJ’s mandate to address each and every case filed by every resident of this state. It is quite clear in the constitution. Second, De Lima giving special attention the the cases filed against you? That or you are just scared that this whole investigation will bring every evil, nasty things inside your church to light? No one is above the law, no one is immune and no one is exempted, not even a religious sect like you.

I would admit that last Friday, I was in rage. But right now, all I feel for these INC people is pity. They are too brainwashed to see the truth. And because of that, I feel that they will not let up and vacate wherever place they are occupying for protest. Wala eh, they just don’t understand. Or they refuse to understand and see the bigger picture here. Pity.

I pity you to be honest. And I’ll pray that your eyes be opened and your hearts and mind be enlightened. Look around you, all the trash brought about your protests. All the people, left without a choice but to walk to get to their destinations, bus, taxi, and jeepney drivers who lost their days’ worth of income coz it’s way to traffic to ferry people to and from destinations. A day without income means a day of starving stomachs for their family. Students who missed school. patients who arrived DOA to hospitals just coz you are getting in their way. How long will you let this happen? Days? Weeks? Months? We are inter-related. Everything we do has or can have an effect to other people hence we cannot be selfish and do whatever we please because people around us will suffer the after-effect. Put your shoes to ours and let me know how you feel if you are forced to live with other people’s shit and selfishness? Does it feel good? Does it float your boat? Does it make you a good follower of your church? Are you really following the bible’s teaching when in fact it harps on being selfless, thinking of other people’s welfare as well. Think. This is the reason why God gave us brains, for us to think. Be not just a number used by someone for their own agenda. If you love your God and you follow his teachings by the book, ask yourself what exactly are you doing there, standing at the intersection of EDSA-Shaw and making other people’s lives miserable.

Again. Think.

And to all politicians, TRAPO, capitalizing on this event, let me remind you that you are now being judged by the public on whether you have the balls to stand by what is right, not giving in to potential number of votes you can get from INC. It always has to be for the good of the many over the few. It will do you good to remember that.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  – Plato

Yours in faith,

The Writer

Gone for the weekend: The awesome Majayjay Roadtrip!

Because my work has been overtaking my life, I opted to travel near this year. So instead of the usual long drives & road less taken, me and some friends from the office head down to Majayjay, Laguna! 😀

a stone throw away from Lucban, Quezon! :))
a stone throw away from Lucban, Quezon! :))

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2am and we were up and about at the DLTB bus terminal in Gil Puyat! Since there were no ticket reservations for the bus, the only way for travelers to be able to arrive to Laguna early, they have to be at the terminal by 2am and line up for the bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Fare is Php140.

I’m an advocate of packing light when traveling, just bringing the essentials and nothing more so to limit the stuff we have to carry to Majayjay, the team opted to just shop at the local market of Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Prices of commodities may be a bit higher than usual as some of the stall owners there took advantage the downpour of local & foreign tourists in the area. Like the price of raw chicken eggs on the first stall I asked, it was Php10 whereas the usual price is just around Php4 to Php6 each. My tip: Be wise, haggle. 🙂

Scenes from the local market:

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The town of Majayjay in Laguna is a bit far since its already situated near the boundaries of Laguna and Lucban, Quezon. From the town proper you can already see the two infamous mountains, Mt. Banahaw and San Cristobal. Aside from kesong puti, Majayjay is also famous for its crystal clear waterfalls, one of which is called Taytay Falls.

the majestic Taytay Falls...
the majestic Taytay Falls…

Nestled at the foot of Mt. Banahaw, it’ll take about 45 minutes to almost an hour of tricycle ride from town proper to get to the location of Taytay Falls and that does not include the 15-20 minutes trek up the rainforest. It is a fairly easy travel to plan especially to those who wants to have a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the Metro. The only downside is that since its just near Manila (plus its summer and we went there last Labor day 2015), you can expect a lot of people flocking the place and enjoying the cold (around 15 to 10 degrees) and refreshing water from the falls. People were everywhere, every nook and cranny was almost full to the brim. We actually had to wait a couple of hours before we were able to pitch our tent! :))

People everywhere on Labor day weekend! :))
People everywhere on Labor day weekend! :))

Us setting up the tent.

Us, trying to set camp after waiting for almost 2 hours! :)))

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I’ve been hiking and camping all my life but my travel buddies were first timers to what I call “buhay fungus”! hahaha! but proud of these people for keeping an open mind about camping. It’s tough especially for beginners since when camping, you’re deprived of everything – the usual comfy beds in a bedroom, toilets and bathroom for your convenience, food properly served on a table, etc. It’s back to basics, period. You have to do things the simplest and the hardest of ways. But that’s the beauty of it though and a plus that after a camping experience, you’ll be twice a street smart than you were before. And nothing beats the tranquility and peace that camping can give you since there were limited mobile phone signals and intermittent mobile data signal in the area. You can avoid those unwanted calls from the office asking you to work on a weekend! :))

Though its a challenge to cook food, ours was as good as the food you can order from a hotel kitchen (thank you to the resident chef of the team, Wea!). Tip on what to bring and cook when camping: easy to open cans, ready-to-eat meals, and marinated food should be on the list since are the food that is easy to prepare and cook. Plus you are sure that it won’t get spoiled (especially the marinated ones) before you can cook it.

Liempo! yum! :)))
Liempo! yum! :)))

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Spartan cooking! :))
Spartan cooking! :))
No fridge? No problem! :))
No fridge? No problem! :))

The water coming from Mt. Banahaw was just freezing cold so cold drinks was not a problem at all! :))) Just secure it with some nylon cord, tie it and dip it in the water.

Essentials when camping aside from food & water – sleeping bags! I am not a fan of sleeping bags. I’m content with my malong and the tent when camping but for trips of high altitude and in a forested area, expect a cooler climate where jackets and sleeping bags are needed. Like in Majayjay. I think it was a little around 20 degrees (or less) during the night up until dawn of the next day.

Minus the hassle and all the people who went there, this is what we have, the crystal clear, icy cold waters of Taytay falls. Its just majestic. To describe how clear it is despite the volume of guests bathing there, Taytay falls is in 3 shades of blue and you can clearly see the bottom of the catch basin of the falls. That’s how clear it is!

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yep, 3 shades of blue it is! 😀

here’s a sample itinerary for those who wants to see for themselves and experience Taytay falls:

Majayjay Trip pic

Majayjay Trip picGoing to Majayjay, I recommend, though it is a bit pricey, to take rented tricycles. Especially if your group will shop for food. This will give you extra convenience plus an open view of Mt. Banahaw & San Cristobal while traveling to your destination. Tricycle rent price range: Php600 to Php750. Again, try to haggle and negotiate to get the best price. As for the budget, we spent less than Php1,000 for this trip. Savvy, eh? 😀

I’ve always loved the outdoors, camping, and traveling with friends and this trip definitely tops my list of favorite travels thus far. Good food & destination plus an awesome company of great friends! couldn’t ask for anything more. Life should be spent more with friends, traveling, and discovering places and not getting yourselves confined and stuck with pile loads of work. find the time to take it easy, breathe, travel despite your hectic schedules.

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props to duey for the awesome photos of Majayjay trip! :D
props to duey for the awesome photos of Majayjay trip! 😀

I’d like to thank my good friend and officemate, Duey Guison for allowing me to use his awesome photos of the trip. He’s working as Lifestyle section editor for ABS-CBN Lifestyle, also contributes for Choose Philippines & ABS-CBN Sports. Photography is his hobby too! 😀

So until the next travel adventure and keep on movin’ your feet! 🙂

That long and winding road to peace…

**To my readers, I have to apologize for not posting as much these days. Work caught up with me and there’s been a lot happening in this side of the world where I live. So please, please bear with me. I’m going to post travel blogs soon as summer is fast approaching in the Philippines. Abangan. 🙂

I just have to pen down my feelings and ask this question: Is it worth it? Is the lives of the 44 PNP-SAF troopers who perished in the Mamasapano carnage worth exchanging for peace? Children lost their fathers, wives lost their husbands and parents lost their sons… So now I am asking, is it worth it?

While it maybe true that I really don’t know the horrors of war since I grew up in Manila and not in Mindanao, I guess I’ve seen and heard enough. Growing up, I’ve seen enough in the news – the 1975 Martial Law, 1986 EDSA Revolt (I am in fact an EDSA revolution baby), the countless coups during former President Cory Aquino, I have friends displaced by the war of territory between Muslims and Christians in Mindanao. They came to a point where they were forced to flee their houses, go to Manila and struggle to survive here. Why else do you think there are so many Muslim brothers and sisters living here in the city? They wanted a way out of the war, they’re having none of it. War is also a reason why despite Mindanao having an abundance of natural resources, still remains to be the most “poverty-stricken” island in the Philippines to this day. So forgive me, especially those who were saying we Manilenos don’t know a thing or two about the war, if I can’t help it but say my piece about this recent Mamasapano carnage. I just refuse to keep mum and say nothing when I see mothers & wives weeping, children now orphaned by their fathers, standing beside the caskets. Some of them were even too young to know what’s going on. That broke my heart knowing that these young ones were stripped off the chance to get to know their fathers and growing up will never be normal. I grieve and I weep with them. Again, I ask, is it worth it?

By now I know many of you have heard the news of the 44 PNP-SAF soldiers who were massacred in MILF territory in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The news were all over the TV – CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, and online, repeated in all possible writing angles but not one news was able to answer the questions: What happened? What went wrong? Who ordered this mission. Then as days progressed, it became clear; the chain of command was broken and that sent this 44 men to their final mission, losing their lives in the process.

The fallen 44 PNP-SAF elite troopers who sacrificed their lives for the country & its people. (Photo credits to Rappler)

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Heart-breaking. You know at first, I understood that this is part of their job as law enforcers but what’s infuriating to know was that this mission was sanctioned by the still suspended PNP Gen. Alan Purisima and that he was directly reporting to the President of the republic. These two opted not to divulge the mission to PNP OIC Gen. Leonardo Espina and DILG Chief Mar Roxas. The question is, why? The latter names should be the first one to know if there’ll be commissioned police operations of any type. And why would you let someone who is currently on suspension to lead such sensitive operation? The President opted to go on national television to explain. Unfortunately his explanation was not enough. It yielded more questions rather than answers said with no remorse at all and not acknowledging he is responsible (coz after all he gave it a go). This is insane. This is just purely unacceptable.

Now, 44 is dead and 44 families were left without the support of their loved one who perished. Ano na ang gagawin natin sa kanila? How would they live? How would they survive? Paano na? And let us not forget the 14 SAF members severely injured with little hopes of ever going back to their jobs and earn keep for their families. Paano na sila ngayon, Ginoong Pangulo?

I wanted peace, just like everybody else. But how can there be peace without justice? How can there be assurance if questions are not answered? How can we all move forward if there’s no trust at all. Don’t get me wrong, I still am for the signing of the peace agreement but on the following conditions: First, let’s resolve and give justice first to the fallen 44. Let’s answer first the how and why they end up dead and let all those responsible be tried and convicted by Philippine Law. Second, And this is a brave challenge to the MILF, show us your provisions, put it in words to be signed too in the agreement, on what you intend to do with other rogue Muslim rebels in Mindanao coz clearly, not every Muslim is on the same page as the MILF are. Walang taguan, walang lihiman. Every cards laid on the table. No more intelligence reports of terrorists being harbored and cared for in your area. No more news of hidden firearm plants. No more senseless killing, no more retaliating. Ako po ay nanawagan, nakikiusap. We demand accountability, not just to the Philippine government, but also to the MILF. There should be accountability on both parties – be it with the President who went out of his way to break the chain of command and went on with the operations, with the troops who did not heed the order to cease and desist when the ceasefire committees ordered them to, or the ground commanders who failed to control his men in the area. I don’t want to hear another statement saying they cannot be held responsible for this. If not them, then who is responsible? Us? Just infuriating.

Sa labanan po ng teritoryo ng mga Muslim at Kristiyano, wala pong panalo. We too wanted peace. Who wouldn’t? Would you want tanks & firefights marauding your area? Killing dozens of people, Muslims and Christians alike? I’m having none of it.

Photo credits to Rappler.

Photo credits to Rappler. 

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Photo credits to Philippine Daily Inquirer

There’s no easy way towards peace and the carnage in Mamasapano will always be a dim reminder of that. But I would pray every day that little by little, everything will come into light and be resolved. Everyday I would keep on hoping that the fallen 44 did not and will not die in vain coz we are at least a small step towards peace. Come 2016, I would try my best to elect proper people who can do things right, who would be man or woman enough to accept and acknowledge their failures, and brave enough to continue fighting for peace. I hope to see that day where no more wives and mothers weeping, no more children left orphaned by unfortunate circumstances of war, no more nation mourning for their fallen sons.

To the fallen 44 of PNP-SAF group, gone but never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers goes to you and your family at this trying times. I know how hard it is for a family left by their breadwinners. My Lolo was once a law enforcer and he too died early while doing his duty for this country. He orphaned my mother and 4 other siblings. All of them were left to the care of my Lola who was a plain housewife, therefore forced to accept laundry and house help jobs to feed the family. Mahirap. Sobrang hirap that not all siblings of my mother were able to go to school, there’s not enough food on the table, not all needs are met. I know the feeling of dreams broken because the head of the family was taken away from you. And sad too that I was deprived of the chance to meet & play with my Lolo. But be assured that in my own little way, your invaluable contribution will not be forgotten and shall always be honored. Respect and salute to each and everyone of you. You did us all proud, putting country first above everything else. and with that, MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO. Rest well and afe travels to heaven, my brothers… Salute!

It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Ode to the best buddy in the whole world…

The past few days, I kept asking myself: “Where’s the “good” in goodbye?” and to be honest, I’m not really good at it, in saying my farewells to anyone but yesterday, I came to a point where I have to say it out loud. I have to let go.

About a week ago, my 10 year old Aspin mix Bodie became so sick that I had to rush him to the nearest vet on a very ungodly hour of 12 midnight. He couldn’t walk and was lethargic, just sleeping through the day but at least was eating his meals. Then his tummy got so bloated that he doubled his weight. I couldn’t carry him without breaking a sweat. Before the emergency vet call, I was already suspicious. Labored breathing, crazy rapid pulse & heart beats, and that bloated tummy. Then worst, t’was confirmed. Bodie got bloat, that deadly condition of dogs where their intestines get twined and twisted that water or air gets packed up on one side thus producing that bloated tummy. I was close to crying but decided to remain unfazed. Bloat is really fatal especially for senior dogs like my bud. But I was hopeful, thinking that we’ve been through a lot together, we can get through this. The hardest part was, after everything that needs to get to be done, chances remain slim. And I saw him struggle through it all. It was heartbreaking. I prayed so hard, asking God, if its already his time to go, I am accepting it. I’d rather see him go than see him struggling to stay alive. Yesterday morning, God answered my prayer. My dog of 10 years passed on in his sleep…

I’m at lost for words on how to describe the pain of losing my dog. My best buddy. My number one fan. I buried him despite my Dad telling me to just hire people to dig the ground. I wanted to do it, even if it means I’m gunna break my back trying to dig up Bodie’s grave. It somehow eased the pain a bit but the grief and the loneliness that comes with it stayed…

I dug the grave and said my prayers then I laid him off to rest. I haven’t cried for so long but yesterday, I just couldn’t contain my tears. I poured my heart out bidding goodbye to my four-legged best friend of 10 years…

It helped that my Mom & my Dad was there, they too were grieving for Bodie has been their kid for the past 10 years. It was heart breaking for my Mom most especially. She was the one who took Bodie home and christened him with that funny name. It also helped that my neighbors were there too, expressing their condolonces and remembering that sometimes naughty but overall a good dog of ours. It helped that I listened to Pope Francis’ talks & homilies while he was here. I remember the Pope saying that we always have to remember that God is with us whenever we are lonely. Our pain is also His pain and that in these trying times in our lives, He’s there. I also remembered Pope Francis saying that we need not be afraid to cry. You have to cry when you need to and that crying is an expression of compassion, love and mercy. I take comfort in those words and did exactly that, I cried coz I lost my best friend and I cried for every pet parent who have lost their pets.

Bodie and I, we’ve been through a lot through the years. We battled Typhoon Ondoy together and lived to tell the tale of how he learned to swim in the murky flood waters or how excited he was when he first learned how to use coconut lumber bridges to get around the the house while still flooded. A couple of times he fell but he bravely find his way back to the wooden bridge.

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Bodie is sometimes camera shy but still finds that frustrated model in him, allowing me to get some good photos of him. I love the feel of his luxurious brown coat especially after baths.

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This was the last photo of Bodie I took using my Nikon D5000. Taken a couple of years back. A little bit old and tattered but still remains my best bud and my number one fan. 🙂

To my best bud, I’m going to miss you lots and I think I would be sad for a while. I know you don’t want to see me sad, you always put your head on my lap whenever you see me sulking just to comfort me but please allow me to grieve your loss. From the deepest recesses of my heart, THANK YOU! Thank you for that 10 wonderful years with you. Thank you for tirelessly listening to all my problems and those tiny celebrations we do for my every win in life. You gave me that unconditional love –> loving without judging and without expecting anything in return. You were my number one fan, taking my socks off every after game and just sitting by my side during ice baths. You were there at the lowest points of my life cheering me on. You were my alarm clock and you know that if I don’t get up by 7am, I’m going to be late for work. Its not gunna be the same and not gunna be easy without you but I take comfort at the thought that now you are not in pain anymore. A house is not really a home without a dog to be honest. I’m gunna miss all those running around, all the fussing and messing up the house, the loud barks and the endless face licks from you. Run free, Bodie and go to the rainbow bridge. All your dog friends are there waiting for you. If one day I’d be lucky enough to get to heaven, I’m going to look for you in that rainbow bridge and will ask St. Peter if I can take you with me. 🙂

Mahal kita, alam mo yan at hinding-hindi magbabago yun… Until we meet again my friend… =’)

Going Japanese at Pioneer Center in Kapitolyo! :D

Kapitolyo in Pasig has been booming with restaurants here and there that it is now being tagged as the next “Maginhawa” of the metro. For the longest time I’ve been wanting to explore what it can offer coz I’ve only been to one resto so far (yeah, what a shame that is! hahaha!), that all day breakfast resto in the heart of Kapitolyo named “Milky & Sunny” and all because they have unli breakfast cereal meal for Php180! :))

So last weekend, I scheduled a dinner get-together with cousins. I was desperate to catch up coz it has been so long since we all went out and have a chat so I did some research and I chose a little resto near the Pioneer supermart named “Takashi.” It boast of modern Japanese cuisine at a very affordable price.

Verdict. I like the resto and enjoyed the food. You know I am not a picky eater and it doesn’t have to be a top notch super expensive restaurant to impress me. I like that 1) Takashi is very accessible from my place. For someone who doesn’t own a car and is not appreciative of the Christmas rush, accessibility is very important criteria for me. From Pasig, Takashi is just one jeepney ride away and it’ll only take you 20-30 minutes to get there. 2) Japanese food means simplicity and Takashi can offer you that. Not one item in the menu is as fancy as Mayweather so it’s pretty easy to choose your meal. And 3) It’s delicious and comes with a very reasonable price. If you just broaden and open up your mind, often times you’ll find that it doesn’t have to be expensive for the food to be delicious. Sometimes the most delicious food are found in those hall in the walls and not so main stream restaurants around and that’s what Takashi is!

Kani Salad & Salmon Sashimi
Kani Salad & Salmon Sashimi

I can eat this for a whole solid month! :)) and sashimi is my most fave thing in the whole wide world! :))

Tempura and Hokkaido Ramen
Tempura and Hokkaido Ramen

Although Takashi passed my standards, I don’t get it why their Hokkaido Ramen became the best seller. Not convinced at all with how it tastes. :))

Well, if you fancy Japanese food and you want to dine in peace, far from the hustle and bustle of everything plus food at a very reasonable price, you go & pay a visit to Takashi in Pioneer Center.

Next up for me in Kapitolyo? Gotta try Volcanoes’ player Gaz Holgate’s resto near HMR, Tasty Tucker! so until the next great food adventure! 🙂

MAWALANG-GALANG NA PO! :|

Disclaimer: Views are my own and nobody else. And please to the band wagoners, Respect. This is a free country, everyone is entitled to freely express himself/herself in any means or form of communication so back off. This is one pissed blogger and football supporter.

 

“As long as Coach Dooley will lead the team, I won’t wear the jersey of Azkals again…” – Stephan Schrock

Official statement released on social media by Stephan Schrock
Official statement released on social media by Stephan Schrock

and shortly after, statements posted by Dennis Cagara on his twitter account:

cagara1 cagara2

Neil Etheridge too voiced his dismay on twitter then deleted it shortly after he posted this:

“I’ve never felt so disrespected my whole life… Kick a man when he’s down…”

If you are a true blue fan and lover of the sport and supporter of your very own National Team, you’ll be heart-broken needless to say. You will lose some sleep, lose a couple of pounds, and maybe refuse to eat, might go catatonic and just spiral down to the depths of depression… Yeah, you get my point? This is the worst that can happen to a team, a communication breakdown with management not being able to talk to players before making announcements, things not being clear to everyone, players being way too selfish and too full of themselves that they put themselves first before the team and the country… This is my worst nightmare happening right before my very eyes.

When rifts happen to your beloved national team, whether it’s Football or Rugby or can be Basketball, and it unfolds to your very eyes, you just can’t help but feel sad about it. It’s like you see your family falling apart and you can’t do anything about it but to watch it, watch while the players, the management, and the coaches throw shit at one another. There’s no resolution to it, nobody wins.

And as if fate wants to play the cruelest of games, I found out about it in the most excruciating way. Click and you find everything on social media. Stephan Schrock, one of the most celebrated players in the Philippine National Team, the guy whom most of us look up to coz he is such an amazing player, seems like a nice guy, always all smiles for fans and supporters, very approachable granting so many photo opts and signing autographs, and seems to flaunt and proud that he is Pinoy (so yeah what’s not to like about him), has just announced he resigned from national team duty because he doesn’t want to play for Coach Dooley. He apparently despised the newly appointed coach and no clear reason was given as to why. Ouch. My first thought was, I thought he’s one of us? I thought he loved us? Then why is he ditching us? Coz I don’t know but somehow his statement came to me just like that, he’s calling it quits and don’t want to play for the Philippines anymore for whatever reason. Masakit. It’s like getting stabbed a number of times with no apparent reason or getting punished for something that you didn’t do. Then as if to add insult to injury, another player followed suit, Dennis Cagara who said the same reason he’s quitting, it’s because of the Coach. Wow two announcements in a day. Then there’s our goal keeper who wanted to do just the same. Why? He’s not included in the line-up for the Peace Cup 2014 happening this September.

I can understand Etheridge coz he’s always been like that, thinking so highly of himself, living bigger than Hollywood. I was not surprised at all by his reaction and I actually saw this coming. You are as good as your last game, my Coach once said. Etheridge only played once during the Challenge Cup and he was benched throughout the tournament coz of an injury he had. He’s not 100% fit so do you think it’s proper to bring him in, play him, though he’s not fit and you have 3 other keepers who got season long exposure, 100% fit and can step up & man the post? It does make sense when Coach Thomas Dooley didn’t enlist him to be part of the Peace Cup. And to throw a fit like that, on social media nonetheless with thousands of eyes watching, saying you felt disrespected by the Coach, isn’t it a bit irrational and way too childish?

What hurts the most is what Schrock and Cagara did. To be honest, I didn’t expect this from this two. I have so much respect for them, I think highly of them and it never crossed my mind that they’ll be doing something like this. I expected it from anyone but not these two. I saw them as proud Filipinos and would do anything for this country, always putting country and team first more than anything else. But heck they proved me wrong. I was an idiot for idolizing people like these two, for looking up to them and making them role models. My heart was broken, twice and I felt like I was insulted and cheated. I was made believed in a façade of goodness & patriotism that turned out to be nothing but a farce. 😦 And the statement from PFF, Manager Dan Palami, and Coach Dooley confirmed it and it doubled the hurting.

But the biggest insult of all is that they ditched us, the country because they are not getting enough playing time in the NT. All of this mess happened just because you’re not fucking getting all the playing time that you want. All because of that fucking playing time! Damn it.

I am asking these players now, what do you actually get from this? Any gratification or satisfaction you get out of making your selfishness public trying to get our sympathy, saying shit about the Coach, disrespecting him and his decisions therefore putting the team and the federation into bad light. Then breaking the hearts of so many of your supporters because you’re not playing coz you can’t get enough of that damn playing time? Happy now that you are putting so much stress on the team, even claiming there are other players who’s feeling the same and would want to have a say? Happy now that by doing just that, by being so selfish, you are destroying the team that we’ve put together by blood, sweat, and tears all these years? Happy now? Ego fed and happily sated? 😦

Just a piece of unsolicited advice from a fan who was hurting from all this drama but got no say at all and was ruthlessly pulled to watch all this horror unfold; Football is a team sport, you win and lose as a team. You gain glory as team and not as an individual player. Like what Coach Dooley said we don’t need the best players, we need to have the best team. We always have to remember that there are 10 more players on the field with you and you have to work for and with each other towards a common goal to be on top of everyone else, to be the best there is. Now, these things – not getting a call up, not being lined up, getting a snub, Coach took you out of the game or subbed you, not getting enough playing time, criticisms from the Coach, these things are not meant to insult you or belittle you and your contributions to the team. You won’t feel hurt or disrespected if you understand perfectly the goals and direction of the team and if you really know what’s good for the team and not what can feed your ego. You always look at how you perform during the last game, your fitness, what you can bring on the plate now and not 5 years ago. You also have to look at the future coz for sure, you are not going to play in the national team till you are 80 years old and you’d want the youngsters to get proper training and exposure in every game, train & pass on your knowledge to an apprentice coz that is what will sustain the NT. Its legacy, you want to be remembered by the team and the fans as the selfless player who shares what he knows and put the welfare of the team first above everything else. Somebody who helped build the team from ground up. Be professional. If you have issues, go straight to the manager or the coach, sit down and talk it within and amongst yourselves and not go straight to Social Media and rant. We would have been spared of all this heartaches and sleepless nights if these players have the decency to just make a call and iron out the differences between them and the coach in private. Now they took it out there, damage has been done, some of it irreversible. Also, what do you do when after you rant in public and ensued an issue of statement from the Federation and the Coach? You stay silent, you keep mum and not go to social media again and post an answer to every statement. You don’t put more fuel to the already burning fire. Again what you can do is phone the people concerned and talk to them, sort it out in private. Lastly, to say that you won’t play for the country as long as he’s the coach, its absolute. No turning back. So now what if he gets to coach the team for 3 years? 4 years? Then it is a guarantee your fans won’t see you wear that jersey again. That’s just unfair and totally irresponsible comment to make.

So where does this leave us? Can our NT be the team to reckon with without the big guns? Yes, I’d like to think so. I would daresay I remain hopeful when I look into that Azkals bench. We have quality players, only lacking is the opportunity to showcase these talents. This is a call for challenge to those players, new and old, to step up and prove that we can make it without the supposedly best players of the team. That the fans can rally behind a team that won’t break even without the cream of the crop. To those left behind, this is your time to shine, take it, seize the opportunity, own it and make something good out of it. And as for the broken-hearted fan like me, I will always support our national teams regardless of the issues they’re tangled with. Coaches and players come and go but the team remains. My loyalty is to the team and the country, not to any coach or any player for that matter. Country and team comes first before anything else.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change…” – Charles Darwin.

Sincerely Yours

The Disgruntled and Extremely Disappointed Fan