the boy with the broken stomach
“They say it comes in age.”

Family reunion, one of those special occasions we look forward especially the warmth of getting together and seeing everyone in good shape. Not to mention the joyous celebration of our grandmother’s 65th birthday!

It’s fascinating how time flies and I can’t believe they’re happening before my eyes. Our eldest cousin got married while our youngest just turned one. My childhood buddy just got his first job and a couple of years more we’ll have a teacher and an architect in the family. It’s very interesting how things went. But if there’s more delightful above all these great happenings, it’s our lola’s 65th birthday; without her we won’t all be here.

She was the one who took care of me when my mother is not around. And I could not thank her enough for all of the things she thought me, plus the wonderful dishes she cooks. I could still remember my high school days on her canteen. I used to help her and get extra money for giving a hand. I’d be forever thankful for my lola’s earnest love and care for me. All I want for her is good health and more birthdays to come. (Naks! Orig na orig.Unique)

Buhos o palitada?
Diamonds are forever. Forever! 

It almost a year since I started having regular sessions on my favorite facial center, Lynderm. I will never forget the first facial treatment. It's funny and painful session; but I can attest that since then there have been improvements.

My friends and relatives keep teasing me glowing and it tickles me a lot hearing this from them. I guess a little more teasing and I can give them twenty pesos already. “Wow! Kapogi ba ni tutoy.”, and I will just smile back. Kilig to the bones.

Usually I undergo their signature facial but I also wanted to try one of their services particularly the Diamond Peel, with its amazing process of gently exfoliating your skin. My dermatologist didn't want me to try it if I have active zits or reddish skin. But I guess I was gifted with rosy cheeks and it seems safe. So she agreed for me to undergo the procedure.

First thing I thought were they‘ll be using a shiny diamond to scrape my skin with a ring in mind. My expectation was way beyond what actually happened. My eyes were closed and I have no idea what it looks like but as far as I can remember there were three types of object pounding and rubbing my face. All of them had a circular sucking motion with a tingling sensation. Afterwards I feel exfoliated as if I had a new pair of skin. It’s great, smaller pores and smoother skin. It’s like magic!

“Alam mo kung saan masarap mag-kape? Sa burol mo! Libre pa.”

I’m never really a fan of Starbucks coffee. First and foremost, I don’t see the practical reason of buying an expensive coffee other than posting it online and bragging it to your friends that you are “susyal”. Second I won’t sell my soul to the devil just to have sip of a taste bud numbing sugary beverage.

Things changed when I saw Starbucks' 2013 Planner. The planner everyone is talking about. And when I saw it I fell in love. Nothing matters most than to have one of those leathery bounded pages with woman raising her hand, as if she’s saying, “Immortality! Take it! It's yours!”

I took all my courage to start the quest of collecting the mighty 17 stickers. To get these completed I need to drink 8 cups of core beverage and 9 cups seasonal beverage which includes Peppermint Mocha, Dark Cherry Mocha and Toffee Nut Latte. Nothing sounds familiar; do they have 3 in 1 instead?

I was planning to finish ten cups yesterday but I was drowning on the third cup. My first cup was a Toffee Nut Latte Frappuccino (Php 160). It tastes good but too sweet. Second was a Tall Plain Brewed Coffee (Php 90) to counteract my numb taste buds. Tall Dark Cherry Mocha Hot (Php 155) was my third cup that tastes like boiled cough syrup. After that I decided to stop because I’m starring to have a headache. I found out I’m not wired to intake caffeine more than three cups, and that was a discovery. But I still have high hope that I’m going to complete those stickers and have my own Starbucks' 2013 Planner.

“Break it to me gently, if you have to then tell me lies.” 

Breaking Dawn Part 2 is truly an epic finale. It’s the most anticipated ending of the saga. Twihards, as twilight fans call themselves (including me), are so excited to see how Bella Swan will be like as a new born vampire.

The heighten senses, perfect skin (wish mine too), extra-ordinary strength and glistens in sunlight. Not to mention her and Edward’s beautiful daughter, half human half vampire, Renesmee; she happens to be Jacob’s imprint – a wolf thing. Plus all the dangles and twists of the twilight universe like vampire clans from different parts of the globe and the notorious Volturi that ought to keep the secrecy of their existence to humans.

So what did I expect? Well more than expected. It started with the blood and snow metaphor for Bella’s transformation, which was quite impressive but not immersive. The story was technically demanding specially Renesmee’s quick growth and maturity. There’s this visual challenge of how to accomplish that.

I hardly enjoyed the middle part of the movie but what caught my attention was the face-off of the Cullen’s pack and the Volturi’s. Deadly fight scene, breathe taking combat, swift moves, furry fury and if vampires bleed, it will be a blood bath!  And what better way to enjoy watching Breaking Dawn Part 2 than to have a perfect Snack Duo from Jollibee - Grape Float and Sour cream Crisscut Fries for only Php 75.

No matter how good the show is, it has to end. But one thing’s for sure, Twilight Saga will always have a place in the hearts of those who once lived on a universe where vampires are real and true love is forever. So could you please break it to me gently at least leave me with my pride?

“Kung gusto mo ng malamig na juice, e di paypayan mo!”
-Elsa, Doc Resureccion

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to see my cousin perform on his school play as the lead actor and a director of both Doc Resureccion and adaptation of Tatarin. Well I guess it runs in the blood. Haven’t I mention that I had this same passion of theatrical plays when I was studying? I also did direct plays and short films on most of my school projects but in my cousin’s case, it was way bigger.

I saw him grow up. I was once his baby sitter. It gave only me goose bumps watching him, as if I saw a different person on stage. He’s not my cousin but Boy Pogi (Doc Resureccion), a fortuneless man running as nuisance candidate whose only dream is to become a janitor and Don Paeng (Tatarin), a feminist rich man who treats his better half a property and not a wife. All in all both plays were both fascinating. A good start up. This I could see the passion on my cousin’s eyes and his love for his craft.

Sometimes you just have to follow your heart; do what you really love and everything else will follow. I’m so proud of my cousin for being cool and free-spirit. I think he’s enjoying his life now more than ever. Congratulations to you Direk Angelo Rein Arroyo!

Photo grab from the hacked websites
"The Philippine Government has just passed a bill that effectively ends the Freedom of Expression in the Philippines..." - Anonymous Philippines

UPDATE: In less than an hour BSP's website is back again. But the damage has been done.

It's like an overnight robbery. The website of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewage System (MWSS) has been hacked by Anonymous  Philippines few minutes ago, leaving their clear manifesto of opposing  Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. This was supposedly give justice and protection with regards to cyber-crime but in fact will affect everyone who commits libel in any form such as comments and  status updates on social networks and blogs. So we must all stand firm against this ridiculous law and make the our move for all of our fellow Filipino denizens.

Long live Anononymous Butuan, Private X,  #pR.is0n3r, Lo0p th3 Lo0p, l4stl00k, Blackrain and Anonymous Manila! Thank you for standing out and letting our voices be heard.

Ang reunion habang dalaga at binata, samantalahin. Dahil pag nag-asawa at hindi kilala ng barkada. Wala na. Hindi na “makukutaptapan.”

Reunion doesn’t need to be a big event. It could be as simple as going to a fast food restaurant and wait for your friend from Singapore to come and treat the gang. And as the song goes, ‘Kay tagal mong nawala, babalik ka rin. Babalik ka rin!’ Welcome to the Philippines Ms. Desiree de Jesus!

Last year’s reunion was a big success. We were able to meet and greet those long lost classmates. Some when from fat to fab others thin to thick. And today is yet another memory to cherish. Our batch was reunited once more. Fewer but sweeter. Simple but terrible. And as always we never miss to make a very noticeable presence in our favorite meeting place.

As there years go by we cannot neglect the fact that we’ll all have our own life. It’s normal that we won’t be seeing each other more often. But let us not forget that no matter what happens, even we’re distance apart, we’re all still friends. We’re still those young hearts back in high school, yearning for a friendship that could last a life time. Naks!

"Ang pagiging ninong ay hindi isang responsibilidad bagkus ay isang biyaya. Naks!"

If there was one thing I’m proud of myself now, it’s me being a willing Ninong (Godfather). I have a handful of godchildren and counting. I like the idea of being a Ninong, a second father. It gives me this sense of gratefulness that somehow I am blessed. Now let me tell you the story of my recent baptismal rite experience – a very special one. The mother of the baby was my dorm mate during college and guess what the father was actually related to my mother’s mother side. It’s a small world after all.

I have attended several seminars conducted prior to the ceremony. But last Sunday was the most disturbing seminar I had ever heard. There was this old lady discussing some points about the baptismal rite. I don’t know if I should laugh or what but it became uncomfortable. And I quote: “…anak ng demonyo ang batang hindi binyagan…hindi siya anak ng Diyos.” Wow! What a statement. Maybe she should try a more subtle way and not too harsh. We all know that getting baptized is our way of welcoming a child to the Christian world but please be careful when doing seminars like this. You might suffocate the delicate mind of the baby.

All I can say is Welcome to the Christian world Baby Dazel! Be a good boy.

Filipinos would most likely say, “Malayo yan sa bituka, wag kang mag-alala.

Over the past few days the heaven is pouring so hard and several cities and provinces are declaring a state of calamity already. We are still lucky there’s no storm signal yet although the monsoon rain is very alarming. But how much are we prepared for emergencies like these? 

When there’s a bad weather it is advisable to stay indoors and make sure you have enough stock of food and first aid kit. You’ll never know what will happen so you should always be prepared. Unfortunately I was not expecting I’ll be using my first aid kit any sooner. 

Tonight when I was cleaning my bathroom I accidentally hurt myself. Upon standing I hit the faucet giving me an inch big scratch on my back. At first I thought I was just swollen but when I touched my back there’s blood. So I hurried to my cabinet and grab something to clean it. I had a hard time placing the improvised gauze made from tissue paper and checkered band-aid. I took me some time to fix it and I hope I won’t get worse tomorrow.

This article is brought to you by Mediplast Plastic Strip, lintik kung kumapit!

(continued from The Boss Psychology II)

Try to delegate task accordingly. Tasks should be given to the right person. Each member of the team has his expertise so make sure you know you them. Don’t expect a designer do a developer’s task. It will just waste your time; if no one can do it yourself.

Coffee breaks have this mystical power of reinvigorating the team. Not only does it awaken the senses but it also helps loosening tension. One of the best perks of being a boss is you get to have someone make your coffee, luckily my team did this for me when we had a good coffee at the office. Drinking coffee like a boss, ayos!

All of these are good in writing but hard on acting. Well I’m not perfect. I usually loose my temper but I’m trying my best not to be a horrible boss. Sometimes I don’t really want to call myself a boss, it sounds negative. I would most likely prefer to be called a team leader or something like that boss.

(started on The Boss Psychology I)

(continued from The Boss Psychology I)

Check listing tasks. Write on a white board all of the tasks per person. Let everyone on the team see it. Put a check on each mark whenever they finish a task. Remember as a team leader you should be the one checking as this feels more rewarding to your teammate. And as for those who are not performing well they’ll be pressured when they see other teammate’s list getting checked. Use different color for the check. This will not only give emphasis but will also trigger eye for the brain to work harder. 

Be visual. When trying to explain something complicated use diagrams. Give good example which your team can easily relate to. Make sure they will be able to grasp the idea and goal of the task you are giving them.

(continue on The Boss Psychology III)

I’m a terrible boss. I know for a fact that I have an attitude problem but let’s not forget the fact that they also have some attitude problem. Would that be fair enough?

During college we had this one subject about General Psychology. Well, the basic stuff of how man thinks and reacts. I never thought that this would be so much useful at work. With some basic tools you can actually run a team and show them who the boss is.

With the nature of my work and the tasks assigned to be you can consider me a boss but not like those you see on television or movie. I had a hard time convincing myself I’m a boss already, technically speaking. Currently I’m supervising a small team of programmers and I had to put an extra effort both for my team and for myself to be able to accomplish all our tasks. And here some few tips that proved to be effective in handling a handful of mischievous gremlins.

Positive reinforcement works best. Accomplishing a task could be more inviting when there’s a reward. Simple thing like pizza or even kutkutin (butong pakwan, korniks etc.) would be fine would be fine. It’s one good way to excite and savor them. Always remember a sure way to a man’s heart is to his stomach.

(continued on The Boss Psychology II)

How much do you value time? Does it matter to you if you get late on a meeting? Do you exert enough time in your studies or at work? These are the few things that I am also guilty.

I must admit I’m a buzzer beater. I often get late on meetings. During college I’d like to study in a hurry. It makes me feel good when I’m under time pressure. It’s like an addictive adrenaline rush every time I’m catching up. But sometimes it becomes stressful too. You’re putting yourself to a situation that could have been avoided if you did it earlier. You could have done better. But why is it that we like to do it that way?

One solution to this dilemma is to be able to learn time management. Plan things ahead and anticipate things that could delay your transaction. For example when you’re heading to a meeting; take into account the traffic on your way. Find alternate routes if any. When doing school projects or preparing for an exam, have in mind a clear goal. Do it piece by piece. Don’t clutter things at once, because it can even make things worse.

So what better ways to manage your time than to have a wrist watch? It’s very handy and lets you keep track of time. Not only is it convenient, it’s also fashionable. During the early days, wrist watch defines one’s status symbol in the society. And as of today it becomes more practical to own one and can also be a good investment. It’s just about good timing.

Time is the most precious thing in this world. It's one thing you can’t buy with money. You can never bring back time and so don't wait for it to be late for you will realize how important it is. Always remember: Timex gold.

Nicki Minaj live in Manila with swarming fans all over the colossal SM Mall of Asia Arena. It was the best pink night ever!

Pink Friday it is! It’s all about neon outfits, fierce moves, tongue twist and pink fumes fumigating the audience. The gates opened at 7 p.m. and the show started around 9 p.m. The Arena was trembling as the fans with flashy stick scream their hearts out as the curtains were pulled up and the lights were out revealing Nicki on a black robe.

Roman’s revenge for an opening was a good choice, like a dungeon dragon. Underneath the robe was her signature color neon green and pink, a total boom! I could hardly remember the details because I was  carried by the moment seeing her. This was a chance of a lifetime.

The night will not be complete without Nicki's trademark Super Bass as her closing number; banging the entire Arena with the boom and the bam, like a suppah bass! That was the best part and gave me goose bumps from the thrill and excitement. Everyone was in ecstasy. The show ended with a sweet – ‘Good night Manila!

Can't you hear that boom, badoom, boom boom, badoom, boom bass?

Trending now on twitter on Philippines and making its way to the worldwide trends; “Welcome to the Philippines” as everyone’s tweeting for the arrival of the pop star Nicki Minaj. Who else doesn’t know her? She’s the girl with a well groomed pink wig. Shoot! Sorry they say it’s not a wig, my bad.

Nicki Minaj just arrived for her one-night concert – The Pink Friday Tour. According to a report at around 5 p.m earlier her plane landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1. She was wearing a nice teal cap and purple shades (more like jeje-shades to me) and was warmly welcome by her fans.

Tomorrow the SM Mall of Asia Arena at Pasay City will experience the momentous boom and the only Southeast Asian leg of The Pink Friday Tour. For all of those who are lucky enough to have a ticket, enjoy and have fun! At the moment of writing this article, I’m currently looking for friends can sell me one. Oh my! I missed Lady Gaga please don’t let me missed Nicki Minaj.

I don't get it. Tomorrow's Thursday but the concert says The Pink Friday Tour. So confused. Boom! Sabi ni Boy Pick-up

It’s gotta be wet. It’s gotta be wild. If it’s not Bagoong then it’s gotta be Parada ng Lechon!

Balayan, Batangas is known for its famous Parada ng Lechon (Lechon Parade). You get to see, smell and taste these juicy roasted pork ornamented in their platform from costumes and fancy d├ęcor highlighted on the streets.

As a tradition and of course for fun, there should be basaan (getting someone wet),  targeting the sexy and good-looking ladies; pouring cold water on their backs to make them scream so loud. We call this shinning-shimmering-attention-grabbing moment as ‘applauded’.

Like any other year, a fiesta will not be complete without special appearances. You get to see some artist and bands and politicians, like our very own Mr. Leo Martinez, Viva Hot Babe Jaycee Parker, Akbayan Party List Representative Risa Hontiveros and a whole lot more. I was so surprised to see Ms. Risa here, because you don’t usually see them in events like this, where you get to pour her some ice cold water (Brrr!).

Kids all over the sidewalk with their water guns shooting anyone spotted in any part they wanted (mostly on the nose, causing some sort of sudden pain on the air passage). Experience the thrill and excitement of this year’s Parada ng Lechon, because getting wet has never been this fun especially here in the Philippines, only at Balayan, Batangas.