Philippine Ivy League

Sometimes a joke can ring too much truth, it can make you laugh but the best ones are those that make you think and keep you laughing.

for the second year now, the company I work with volunteered to do community service painting poublic school classrooms. The project was put together by the Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED), I commend them on their work and the obvious passion they pour into helping less fortunate but deserving students to afford top rank education. That is no joke.

Having been in the presence of Ateneans, the university joke couldn’t help but crack. There was one of AMA, St. Paul etc. What got me was “how do you know if a person is from Ateneo or La Salle? I dialed my memory of ateneans and lasallites I’ve known– apart from they hate each other, A likes blue, L likes green, they’re indoctrinated and the like, none seemed to sound like a good come back for a joke.

The answer was simple and all kinds of true: How do you know when a person is from Ateneo or LaSalle?
Answer: They tell it to you…

Now, looking back at all the lasallites and

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a different plain

Being immersed in different kinds of work environments has allowed me be around different kinds of people, from different backgrounds, gifted with different capacities, armed with different views and insights.

I have had the privilege to work side by side with dudes and dudettes from the ivy, great communicators, eccentric and moody creative minds,cool geeks, charming bitches, freaks on a leash, occasional assholes w bloated egos,know-nothing know-it-alls and what not; having had the opportunity to gel with all of them as colleagues and friends will forever be a cherished experience.

I’ve always said you gotta love the people you work with, and surviving a full decade around these types would mean I have parts of all that in me, manifesting either on my best or worst days.

Yet, in this plain I am in, is a totally different territory that I would sometimes feel either alienated or just an alien sitting on a different planet. Sometimes I find myself watching them and be in absolute awe of how different these people are from everyone I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

The barriers of language and experience throw me off the grid sometimes and get my stomach rolling. Under normal circumstances, I’d be cursing the hell out. It may be age or stature, but I observed myself to be patient and forgiving to certain shortcomings, I know now that it’s not a fault of nature or society’s misgivings, it’s just the fact that people are wired in many different ways.

They aren’t think tanks or wordsmiths, but they are dedicated hardworkers with a good heart who’d rise above themselves at every turn, every road block; just being around them is humbling and an experience to behold. Screw jackasses! I’ve had enough of their shit.

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feeling abnormal being normal

I prayed for peaceful work-free weekends for years, now I have been getting weekend rest and it feels so strange. I hope this is not the calm before the storm, I’m just getting used to being out and about on gimmick days and spending sundays as sundays should be spent. Please let this abnormality go on for a little bit more

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setting sun, rising moon

Oh holy week, a period to be dedicated to faith and the highlight of Philippine summer for 90.percent of catholics.

And while the rest are taking roadtrips, flying out, sailing for thrilling adventures, I spent the non-working holiday at home where I created my own world and killed boredom transferring and fixing up files for turnover when I take my leave. Guess what,I’m not done yet!

It only takes a sunbrella, a tent, hammock and an ipod to have my mind take me anywhere I’ll find peace n tranquility.

I watched the sun set and moon shine for days, everyday is different, there were days when the sun waves goodbye to the already shining moon, there are nights when the moon would peek from the trees and join the sparkling stars long after the sun is down.

Watching everyday miracles unfold is lost on those who live and work and the city, especially those like me who has been trapped in a dimension where work is all that mattered so I can live.and survive and afford the city lifestyle.

I would trade watching sunsets over watching emails flooding my computer anytime, if only I didn’t have to make a living. I’m praying for the time when I can take work w me wherever I may go.


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the unbearable gayness of being

It appears double standards do not only apply to males and females but also among males caught in between–transvestites and cross-dressers.

As I stood in line waiting for the train, a security personnel politely asked a typical cross-dressing gay parlorista to fall in line for the 2nd train car as the first car is strictly for females n elderly passengers. I can see the awkwardness on the guard’s face as he walked the shemale towards the next car “pambabae at matanda lang po sa 1st car”.

I have lots of gay friends and I appreciate the way he approached the shemale, with respect and maybe a little charm. The shemale did not have violent reactions, she just followed. I bet he knew who the first train was for, he was just consumed by the fantasy or the false reality that he’s a she. Things would have been really interesting if he indeed was a she who just looked like a tranny, tough luck on the guard.

This here is one fine example of why I can’t get my finger on completely embracing cross-dressing gays. I have shared powder rooms w gays,that’s okay because our male counterparts would probably freak out to share urinals w guys in pretty little dresses. Yet in the arena of transportation, do shemales have equal privilege as that of a real woman? Probably not, they are still men that women in the first car will condemn albeit silently. There goes double standards.

.My gay friends would never dare to hitch a ride on the first car. They know what they are and they know their place, shemales should too.

point of misappropriation

I read a blog about cultural misappropriation about the same time as I realized that I have let myself commit the crime of misappropriation. Having been born,raised and educated in Manila, I was only used to the Manila accent, I don’t remember any of my parent’s employees or household helps having a heavy regional accent. The only time I was exposed to different dialects was in college where I had classmates hailing from different parts of Luzon, before that, the only accent I can recognize was visayan accent as depicted in local films and tv shows, and usually,I would associate it with Inday. I would say that, that part of the mix is the entertainment media’s biggest atrocity to our visayan brothers, not that being Inday is the bloodiest thing in this nation, but we know how people misconstrued as one can be upset about that. Truth of the matter is, Manilans can easily mistake accented citizens to be in the vein of Inday,except of course if you’re wearing signature clothing and carry a screaming LV tote. Generalizations on folks with a regional accent or ‘punto’ could be a grave misconduct if you happen to talk down on someone who stands tall. This could easily be the case with my sister who’s quick to judge and misappropriate folks who speak in their locale accent. I pray she won’t get to the point of defending herself for this crime. I on the other hand, have been working with people who hail from the Visayas region and whose accents I have learned to find adorable. The one thing being around folks from all over the country has taught me is that audible language should never be the gauge of social status nor intellectual capacity.

Sweet Liberty

There’s a grueling pain in anticipating an end. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month since I was uncuffed from the life I knew and lived through for nearly five years. I knew too well that the only way out is through and I didn’t waste time sitting on things that needed to be done so freedom and liberty may be at hand and not a day late.

I had a three week vacancy,yet three weeks aint too long of a break as I imagined it would be, now I am moving on head first and headstrong, I was not as ready I thought I would be. . Bidding goodbye to all things familiar is bittersweet yet mostly enlivening, saying hello to something new is refreshing, but not exactly reassuring, for all things new needs a little work.