Sunday, April 25, 2010

La Fuerza de San Pedro

One among my many haunts in my beloved beautiful city of Iloilo is this historic Fort known as Fort San Pedro. This was built in 1616 to protect the city from Dutch Invaders and Moro raiders.
When the Fort succumbed to earthquakes and other forces of nature and time, it was then rebuilt as a park.

I grew up in Rizal Street and this was very very close to where I lived. Even before there was Villa Beach or other 'family' places in the city, Fort San Pedro was the place to be. It was a place that served good food with a breathtaking view of the Panay Strait and the lush island of Guimaras, prominently, the mystical Balaan Bukid, or "Holy Mountain" with a cross on top of the mountain that is lighted on night times. The clear waters were also an enjoyable swimming area, as well as fishing spot for hobbyists, enthusiasts, as well as those wanting a fish or two for the meal of the day.

It was also used as an occasional unloading spot of outrigger motorboats from Guimaras. It was also a place where good music used to be featured from the nightly live band playing. The natural beauty and romantic ambiance of the place made it a favorite tryst of lovers who would walk the break water holding hands, sit down on the stone steps or at the nearby 'Rotary Park.' I remember wonderful thoughts of dating girlfriends to watch the sunset, and later on, boyfriends, to wait for the sunrise in this place. I also remember early mornings when our CAT Officers Corps would march to this place to practice 'voice command.'

Soon, it degenerated into a seedy dangerous place, as squatters overrun the place and was avoided specially at night time due to drug addicts, prostitutes, lawless elements, and the 'cheapskates' who would park their tinted cars and do their thing in the darkly lit 'park.' The big waves during storms also smashed the pavements and now, it is in ruins, heavily vandalized, dirty, and avoided by people. One ex-lover commented that he never wanted to go to this place unless I am around, because otherwise, he feels unsafe.

This place is very significant for me. I would come here just to feel the night sea breeze, let my thoughts wander, stare out at the expanse of the sea, gaze at the stars, ponder the full moon, watch the death of the day, or be witness to the birth of a brand new morning. I am aware of the 'dangers' associated with the place, but ironically, I have never felt threatened here, and in fact, I consider this as my 'sanctuary' of sorts. I come here when I am sad, to let the waves drown out my sorrows. I come here when I am happy, to celebrate with the stars. I come here when I am in love, to spin dreams while my hands are laced with another, or our arms draped as human blankets over each others body. I come here when I am brokenhearted to watch the waves bash upon the rocks, like the pain that bashes upon my weary heart. Even before 24hour joints sprouted in the city, I always had Fort San Pedro. My friends know this and they share in my haven every now and then.

This recent 'coming back to Iloilo' would not be complete without a visit to Fort San Pedro to watch the birth of a new day. It breaks my heart to see the deplorable condition that my sanctuary has been reduced to, and I wish in my heart that while the City Government builds better and new places for people to use and enjoy, such as the newest craze in Diversion Road - the Efraim Trenas Avenue, I do hope that they will try to restore Fort San Pedro to its former beauty. Nevertheless, I will still be there tonight. Eden Von, dear friend/disciple/little brother/son/kindred spirit will join me tonight, and like the nocturnal fiends that we are, we shall once again gaze at the stars, the sea and wait for that glorious moment when the sun breaks over the horizon.

One of these days, should you care, you may join me there too...

Photo Credits:

Thursday, April 22, 2010


There I was trying to beat the crippling heat in a coffee shop with an ice cold americano with a friend I haven't seen in ages. My newly operated ear is healing quite nicely that I can actually 'hear' through it already and I am resisting the urge to scratch the itch in my lobes, when I overheard a very irritating blabber.

They were three tables away but I can still hear his blab from my table. He was a bit skinny, a bit makinis, very jologuic and very bakasyonista looking. He was speaking in a mixture of Manhattan twanging English and Imperial Manila Tagalog. And what was this all about you ask?

His unwilling victim is his 'insan', with whom he poured out his litany, hailing his school's superiority. That his school has the best this and that, and that the facilities were this and that, the professors are this and that ad nauseum...

Now, really... I have been to a lot of schools, and while school pride is good, it is at most overrated. After all, to outsiders, any given school for that matter is just another one of those school. Trust me. I know five school songs by heart, including that one which goes hail hail hail.

Now mister bakasyonista went on to better things... or were they? He started talking about his school's fraternities and I jumped a bit. My good friend gave me a smile. He is a fratman and has been trying for the longest time to recruit me. I always rebuff him by saying that I went through high school, college and even law school without a frat and I'm as good as it gets.

During high school. my school was notorious for the many frats it has, and stories abound of how freshmen are being terrorized or recruited by these frats. Well, I went through such unscathed. By my good looks and charm I was befriended by almost all senyores in school. Looking at the fact now, they are all a bunch of sore losers, with kids and back breaking work preceeding their glory days in school.

He said, I did not know what I was missing by not having it. I counter that I know exactly what I am not going through by not having one. Besides, I jokingly tell him that I will only allow myself to be 'initiated' if it would be a way to attain world peace, which, at the rate we are going, is a near impossibility. Besides, I kid him, I refuse to be beaten up shit less by some paddle wielding senior frat man who's IQ is arguably lower than mine. Besides, I have a very low pain threshold, and I bruise easily, so, no, thank you very much.

My friend argues further that this is not just a frat but also a socio-civic group. I tell him that if your idea of a civic group is that which does clean-up programs, medical missions and tree planting activity, then I have a number of groups that do that too, and one of my civic action groups do paralegal services and other developmental legal services. My church does human rights activism and socio-civic actions. My company does that too in the name of corporate responsibility. Why would I join that frat? Stumped as usual, my friend just smiled at me.

Now, back to the bakasyonista, I finally was able to guess correctly which school he goes to. I flip my curly hair back, wipe a sweat and sip my ice cold Americano... well hail hail hail, indeed. I stifled the urge to shut him up for good, by going over to their table and asking him...

"Hi... excuse me, your school's patron is a saint, right?" "Well you know what, that's just a bummer, because my school's patron is the mother of god herself."

Then again, it's so hot, I did not wanna bother!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Foulitikia Atbp.

At dahil umabsent ako ng bongga, babawi din ako ng bongga!

Dobol feature... parang sine lang. And let me do something I rarely do. Write about foulintikss!

Goodtaym lang to... parang dear ate charo lang...

Parang short note...


Letche... ganito yun!

Here are some things for the people running for the ringmaster in this circus of a government that we have. Let me start.


Noynoy -

"I Swear it's this BIG! - My lamang in the surveys"

Your mother is the universal tita, so that makes you insan, but that's not my point. What I really like to say is that, win or lose, let insan Krissy take care of recovering your campaign losses: with your penchant for turbocharged answers in public forums and such, you'd be perfect as the Energizer Bunny incarnate! My suggestion is for you to stage a grand last minute wedding. Do a Korina-Mar, insan. Just don't marry Shalani in FAO Schwarz or Toy Kingdom.

Manny -

Take the plunge

Brilliant ads! Catchy Jingle! Love the 'back-mask' thinggie ad! Dear, you have a brilliant media whiz at work! Introduce to us the head of your creative team! We'd love to vote him/her for President! Oh, but I'm sure we would know him/her if you win because for sure, you'd be a fool not to appoint him as Press Secretary! Oh the lovely magical realist tales he/she would spin for you! Suggestion - consider taking acting workshops. They could do more wonders.

Dick -

Iron Dick... errr Iron Chef Dick

What's in a name they say? Everything. Parents should pay close attention to naming their children because a Rose, by any name, is a florist's marketing strategy. Well, if it's true that we are what our names are, I was just wondering... are you really that? A big.... well... Richard? Suggestion - keep Mr. Fernando closer, consider spandex, and highlight your other moniker - the flash?

Brother Eddie -

Neozep lang yan... babangon ka agad!

Putting aside the clear clause of separation of church and state, let me say you are wonderful. When I hear you bare your plans for the country, I await with bated breathe, for you to punctuate your discussion about the economy with a biblical verse and a proposition to change the peso to shekels. The other brother has it bad and he's just endorsing a party-list, you know. The Philippine constitution is verbose and the laws of the land are voluminous. The commandments you know are only ten. Oh and if your vice-president cannot even win the presidency of a school board here in Iloilo, then what chances have you two got as a tandem?Suggestion - try to up the ante with an impassioned fire and brimstone, hand wringing, gut wrenching hair tearing, ash smothering, sackcloth wearing mourning for the state of the Philippine Government... Careful with that ark though. Oh, and learn from Mister Escudero his delectable way with the Tagalog speaking thinggie.

Gibo -

Now wear it properly. As it is without clothes inside!

Hey baby... I mean panyero... Chos! You are really brilliant and all. I love the way you sound so layman considering you are a bar top-notcher even when explaining highly technical points. I like that a lot. I like your points. Very succinct - promising indeed. More or less, I agree with your thoughts and your plan of action. I like you a lot its almost a lot like love. However... I think its a misjoinder of parties darling. Wrong political side, wrong affiliation, wrong vice-president, wrong anointment, wrong ogre godmother. WRONG! If this was the Bar exams, you, my dear, are an elaborate essay answer with distinguishing and jurisprudence worthy of full marks - but to a multiple-choice question. Suggestion - Make them fall truly madly deeply in love with you. After all, when love is involved, it makes something so wrong feel so right, says Toni Gonzaga, and when you throw in the word love, you get away with almost everything. Ask Santa Evita!


Alien? Raise the roof!

Oh Nicky you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, however, not everyone enjoys listening to a political speech and platform which is the equivalent of a scientific name, or a lecture in the measures of central tendencies. Something is lost in translation dear Nicky, and it's you. Darling it's just so wrong. Suggestion - have you considered how many saplings could have been bought and reforested with the campaign money you poured into this fray?

JC -

Holding it... I mean Holding On to the fight!

So young, so dynamic, so chivalric. With a knighthood from members of the Vatican in the Philippines, it is just plain romantic saga of a young idealistic warrior. So very very -next time na lang ok? The priests who loves you so much can't be blamed. You are the very image of a responsible sakristan-mayor, or a knight of Columbus, or Adoracion Nocturna even. Too bad, Tubid is already the model for Blessed Pedro Calunsod. Suggestion - to speed up the process, pour yourself into research for obscure Filipino Martyrs for the faith. Surely, you would be a very good model for the next Filipino Saint. Make sure though that the person you will help towards canonization is not some Carmelite Nun ok?

Erap -


There is a big difference between executive clemency and acquittal, sir. You flaunt that your being pardoned proves your innocence. Exoneration of a crime, commutation of sentence or absolute pardon is not the same as being found not guilty. You would understand what I am saying wouldn't you? I think you are very misunderstood, and hence, I do not understand you. Oh and I love your campaign colors. It reminds me of where you are supposed to be. Don't worry, we are far from adopting that black and white striped get-up. Suggestion - Try this mantra: When I grow up, I wanna be like Winnie Monsod!

Jamby -


Honey, I have saved the best for last. Like you, I do not know how much a kilo of galunggong is. Like you, I too am not into 'itlog na pula,' make mine Century Eggs please. I think you are the best. The very fact that your campaign platform is very solid and singular is a big decisive factor for me - GET MANNY VILLAR! Atta gurl! Suggestion - Psstttt... your then political endorser is also an endorser for a slimming product with L-Carnitine. It's a good addition to the already impressive CV that you have of being a Vegetarian. Maybe she could give you the tips and tricks. However, you did say that you have turned your back when you saw the folly of your ways right? I just hope that when you do, your dress has full beaded design and not the flesh-flash -less thing, mmmkay? If you find it harder to see the folly or your ways this time, don't worry. We are not in a hurry. Meanwhile, you can window shop at a local wet market. Of course you can stay inside your car and look at things through the window. That's why it's called window shopping, right?

Whew! Now if I must say - this is all y0ur fault Chiz! You left me in pain, confusion and suffering, after all I have shown you - after all my love and devotion to you! ETCHOS!
Make that ETCHIZ!

Photo Credits:

And all that jazz!

First, some explanation for the absence.

Ten thousand and one things have happened and in the thick of it, I got lost.

I went back to Roxas City for my birthday. The paso's floral arrangement was breathtaking.

Thanks to Sister YJ I now know where the frig Dangwa is. He was able to witness first-hand my life saving baratan skills. Love you sistah!

Then I celebrated my birthday with a very introspective day of silent thankfulness for everything and everyone. Here's to life and all that jazz.

I went back at our house and I am so soft and mushy that all my anger evaporated the moment I saw tears from people's eyes. They genuinely miss me. For all my steam, I just could not bear to be mad any longer. Nevermind the pain or the aggravation says the Spice Girls.

I had my tympanoplasty surgery in Bacolod City, because, of all the inane and BS thing, no anesthesiologist would agree to work with my EENT under my healthcard. They want cash-out and for reimbursement. Talk about easing people's 'pains.'

Then, I opened finally a facebook account and got hooked and had to keep up with the deluge. Join me there. Luis Batchoy is the name.

Now I'm here in a budget class pension because I was not able to catch the last ferry for the day going back to Iloilo because of more BS with my Philhealth. I posted in my FB that this is a love-hate thing that I have with my company and my HMO.

Hate the inutility of it all but love the people who assisted me and did everything they can to assist me. I feel their sincerity in helping - from the HMO rep in Bacolod to the Supervisor, then the HR staff from my company to the staff nurses in the hospital. They were wonderful! I keep thinking how these marvelous people stay stuck in jobs for shitty companies. Thank heavens for the lot of them out there. You guys are the rays of sunshine in a bleak ugly world.

Though I am not paying for it, I checked my bills by force of habit. I noticed that I was billed thrice for Blood typing and clotting time tests. Of course the insanity of the billed prices is a given, but what got me was the thought that if health care in this republic of ours is this costly, why then are they not able to provide decent salaries to our poor and hard working nurses and hospital staff. There was an item there that got me really big. I was billed PHP1,200.00 for rental of a microscope for 3 hours. Get a load of that! Equipment use is even more expensive than what these hard working guys get paid for!

Now I have lost half my tongue's taste buds and it's weird how, when I drink liquid, the flavor is split. It's like drinking two distinct beverage, and it amazes me how the flavor separates - full on the left, nada on the right. My throat is sore due to my being intubated while under sedation, and for the life of me, much as I would like to think in jest, none of the medical staff during my operation is worthy of lascivious thoughts as to how my throat got sore. Blame it on intubation, and that's that.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to upgrade my stove!

Seriously, I missed you guys, but no matter how wonderfully time-wasting facebook would be, it wouldn't stop me from blogging. Not even a restaurant upgrade!