Monday, August 25, 2008

Why I Am Not Yet Married

Like a big rat scurrying by her foot in an alley, the little thing swoops by her right ankle and brushes its orange fur against her ashen skin.

She blurts out that familiar yelp she does whenever she’s startled. I laugh as she jerks her right leg and checks out what hit her.

Then, the unnerved creature jumps in front of its dinner and gives us a very mean glare. It looks as if it is going to charge like a bull with its two tiny ears aiming at us. It gives a warning growl which sounded more of a mating purr.

‘Cute, ’she exclaims!

Not wanting to use the same adjective, I say, ‘Yeah it’s adorable!’

Mistakenly sensing sarcasm in our voices and amazed looks, it stares more maliciously with its lucent green eyes. I was expecting that it would arc its body, erect its tail and stretch its four legs upward to look more intimidating and less Lilliputian, but it continues to pose with that same trying-hard-to-look-angry look a terrible B-movie actor does in a horrible B-movie.

‘Awww, you should get one babe,’ she blurts while slightly bending down to have a closer look. I didn’t say anything.

Obviously perturbed by our reaction, it attempts even harder to look fierce. But its charade just melts our hearts more. There’s no way that it can look scary, even if you put Freddy Krueger’s face on it. And if it were to replace a gargoyle which guards the door of a treasure castle, all the intruders would just pat its head and take a photo with it while doing that notorious Korean hand sign. And they would put the photo in Facebook. And their friends will also comment on the photo: Cute! Adorable!

I’m not undermining it abilities though. Despite its diminutive stature, and being considered as a harmless midget when compared to its much bigger and scarier cousins, it has survived through time not only by endearing humans to treat it as part of the family, but also by being a canny and adept beast. Whether in the woods or in the jungles of the metropolis, it can easily subsist without any help from people. And like all the fighters in Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, it also has a special ability. In fact in one episode in the National Geographic channel, this fascinating talent was showcased ---and that is to land on its four legs from a high fall, while doing 2 somersaults, 2 back-flips and 2 twists in the process. Hence, if you see one stuck up an electric post or a tree, there’s no need to call a fireman. Just goad the thing to jump and it will survive the plunge unscathed.

She walks to it nearer and attempts to pat its head. I pulled her back and said, ‘Just leave it alone.’

But, however skillful and athletic it is, it will always be a harmless and pusillanimous (no pun intended) creature to humans. The slightest rustling can surprise it like a crack junkie and the faintest provocation can make it jump and run for cover. And it will remain like this in fact and in appearance. I hope. Imagine yourself watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. But instead of the birds, these are the villains. It would not be as popular and as scary as the original, in spite of the higher amount of gore and body counts, because they would still look lovable and innocent even if they are tearing up your innards. And the probability of the movie’s fictional premise turning into reality will not even distress the viewers, since it is synonymous to cute chubby babies holding a killing spree. Look at the Itchy & Scratchy Show in The Simpsons. It is one of the most violent and explicit cartoons in television’s history. But it is still funny. And stupid. And cute.

And about cases of freak attack on humans, the only one I can recall is in When Animals Go Wild when the possessed thing spirals on a man’s leg, stops at the groin area and buries its fangs through his jeans. Up to this day, I’m still wondering what prompted the creature to bite the poor man’s meatball. But there is one thing I’m definite of, it is not vegetarian.

‘Hehehe, it’s really funny.’

‘And stupid. And cute.’

‘You should really get one,’ she reiterates. ‘Some of your neighbors keep one, even if it’s not allowed.’

‘Not at the moment,’ I say half-heartedly. ‘Anyway, I already have one, and it’s more intelligent and sweeter than this one.’ She blushes and pinches my arm.

‘Not at the moment,’ I say again but this time to myself. I picture myself cleaning its pee on the carpet and its shit on my kitchen floor, vacuuming its fur from the couch, ensuring that it doesn’t starve or thirst to death, begging my neighbors to take care of it while I’m on vacation, and bringing it over to a veterinarian for a regular check-up. I see myself calling it by its name and humanizing it by referring to it as he or she. It is not that I’m afraid, self-centered or I don’t have the time and money. It is not that I don’t want it or I don’t want to. It is just that I feel in my heart that I’m not ready yet. And my mind is not ready too. One fine day, I’ll feel and know that I’m ready.

Sensing that we are more charmed than terrified of its futile performance and that we are not interested in stealing its food, it lies down sideways, gives a funny-looking grin and shows its white underbelly. Its squinting eyes follow us as we exit the toilet’s threshold hand-in-hand. It wags it tail and licks its paws...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Malu Fernandez Vs. Bom Chicka Wahwahs Et Al.

Malu Fernandez made a formal apology to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and resigned from the Manila Standard and People Asia Magazine. Although, I’m not convinced by the insincere tone of her apology, I would leave further whippings to the gods.

Anyway, this is just one side of the big story.

It was reported that the Bom Chicka Wahwahs (BCWWs) were induced to a hulk-rage after hearing Malu's maligning of Axe. The controversial article states:
"On my way back, I had
to bravely
take the
economy flight once more. This time I had already
resigned myself
being trapped like a sardine in
a sardine can
with all these OFWs
smelling of AXE and Charlie cologne
while my Jo Malone
evaporated into thin

The BCWWs are currently plotting their counter-offensive against Malu. Here is their picture after the hulk-rage:

"Connect the dots."

However, the BCWWs deem that their combined powers (and weight) are not enough to topple their humongous adversary. This is why they summoned the help of Dumbo, Moby Dick, Godzilla, King Kong and Ultraman.

In a related story, the producers of Babe are thinking of cashing in on this brouhaha by making a sequel entitled, Babe: Fierce and Fabulous from Greece to La Loma.

In the draft script, Babe licks a magical stone in the Parthenon and suddenly becomes a human with a Philippine passport. Human Babe, goes back to the Philippines to write about her travel experience.

But her animalistic instincts made her write insensitive and unenlightened things about the Filipinos. Babe must do everything in order to appease the angry Filipinos in order to avoid the same fate of F4 in the next Batangas Lechon Parade.

"F4 singing 'Oh Ba-be, Ba-be, Ba-be...'"

Note: The above story about Malu, the BCWWs and Babe is fictional, dumbass!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Of Collar Bombs

Read in an article about a pizza delivery guy killed by a collar bomb. It made me remember what happened last Sunday.

My Kitty and I had an animated exchange about the merits of the Japanese movie, Battle Royale. I had wanted to get a copy of this movie for 6 years, and a serendipitous moment 2 weeks ago in a video shop in Berjaya Times Square ended my long yet sporadic search.

I raved about it to Kitty, lent the copy to her and told her to watch it with her brothers. She obliged. And she watched it with her brothers, parents and grandparents, who had drooled in anticipation for a great Sunday movie treat. But not even halfway through the movie, they stopped watching. I could imagine them looking at my Kitty in unison and telling her in their synchronized Megatron voice : “Your boyfriend has such a shitty taste in movies that he should be caned 1,000 times and burned at the stake.” I received an SMS from Kitty: “Bat Royal is crappy! Rot in hell bitch!” Hehehe, I just made up the last sentence.

Battle Royale is a great movie. (replace the period with 3 exclamation points) If the idea of 40 high school students (all in the same class) inevitably killing each other in a deserted island isn’t enough reason for you to watch, then yes, have more reason to watch your predictable and cliché Hollywood movies. I would rather leave you a teaser than a critique of the movie. If you liked it, then good for you. If you hated it, then it’s better.

And where do the collar bombs come into the picture? Watch it and you’ll know.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Cultural Learnings of Kuala Lumpur

2 years of expat life here in Kuala Lumpur. And yes, another 2 years!

Here are a few things I’ve learned so far:

1) You should take off your footwear before entering a house. If you’re wearing socks, be sure it’s of the same pattern and color. And it doesn’t have a hole. Especially when you’re visiting your girlfriend’s parent’s house. (Countermeasure: Say that you’re into J-Pop fashion). And if you’re not wearing a pair of socks, make sure your toenails are clean. And your feet don’t stink like hell. (Countermeasure: Say that the aroma of the neighbor’s cooking is making you feel hungry. Or fart to cover the stink of your feet. It has been scientifically proven by the US BFAD and the US Dental Association that fart molecules will absorb the rat smell. The smell of fart is more favorable than the smell of a dead rat.)

2) Don’t draw an imaginary rectangle using your fingers to ask for the bill. The waiter will give you the dessert menu or the wine list. Instead, scribble onto thin air with your imaginary pen. To make it appear more sophisticated, act as if you’re taking your imaginary pen from your pocket, and before scribbling, remember to take off the cap of your pen. Make sure that the person watching you doodle onto thin air knows that your pen is MontBlanc.

3) Ask for tomato sauce. Not ketchup. If you ask for ketchup, they will give you soy sauce. Better yet, go to McDonalds and get packets of ketchup. And just like rubber, put one or two in your wallet or bag in case of an emergency.

4) Bikers are kings. Even if you’re driving a BMW 7 series or a Ferrari Enzo in the KL thoroughfares, the bikers are still kings of the roads. Give way to them all the time, like the damn VIPs in a motorcade. Before cutting to your left or right, ensure that you rotate your eyeball 180 degrees to get a full lateral vision. The side mirrors only give you a limited view. These bikers are like hyenas which appear suddenly out of nowhere. Remember, if you hit them, you get more damage than they can get.

Try to deflate your alpha-male ego once in a while and learn from the episode in the National Geographic or the Animal Planet about the lions. The lions, being the kings of the jungle that they are, still know when to stoop. In that episode, the lions were feasting on a water buffalo when a pack of hyenas gate-crashed the banquet. The scared lions flee the scene with their catch not even half-eaten. These hyenas are dangerous and fierce despite their diminutive stature. Actually, it just occurred to me that the hyenas were making noises like the revving of motorcycles (with the pitch one or two octaves higher).

5) You are not legally and morally, even spiritually, required to tip. In some countries, tipping on top of the service charge is obligatory. In Malaysia, no. Locals would even scold you for tipping. And even if the 1 or 5 sen coins are going to make your wallet bulge, take all of it and save it for the Buddhist monks asking for alms in Jalan Alor. But before giving money to these monks, make sure that they have their ID -- the colorful woven bands which they give away in exchange for alms (and make sure you give them at least 5 RM or else they will pray for your eternal damnation). Lots of con artists are shaving their heads and wearing orange robes just to get easy money.

6) When taking a cab, be sure to have small change to pay for the fare. If your fare is 6.50 RM and the smallest bill you have is 10 RM, say goodbye to your 3.50 RM. The cab drivers are good actors. They would feign groping all over their body to look for change, and then they would tell you how hard life it is for a cab driver. And then you would cry and emphatize with the cab driver and give all the money you have in your pocket and wallet.

7) Iced Tea is different from Iced Lemon Tea. From where I come from, we just order iced tea and we get a refreshing lemon iced tea. But here, order iced tea and you will get tea with ice--literally.

8) Condition your sense of smell (only after intensively training your digestive system to become stronger). When taking the bus, train, taxi, the lift (especially) and even when walking in crowded places, remember to inhale vehemently. Hold your puke up to the esophagus' level only. If the puke reaches the vicinity of your throat or tongue, swallow it back as if your life depends on it. This exercise will buff up your digestive system and give you back your appetite. Once you feel that your digestive system has "six packs", then be a more well-rounded person by painstakingly conditioning your mind that the combined aroma of a million rotten onions and decomposing corpses smells like my Dunhill Blue perfume.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Perils of Global Warming

In My Apartment:

Adrian, it’s so hot in your living room! I’m getting sweaty now, this is your fault! Fix your aircon! Now, my california raisins are protruding on my tight-fitted baby tee, which I bought in Baby Gap. No I don’t have big and long nips. I forgot to wear a bra, you idiot. Brown, what do you mean brown? It’s pink, see! Baby pink!

Dots, what dots? These are normal even for those who haven’t given birth yet, dumb-ass!

Hair, what hair? I didn’t grow there. It came from my eyebrows! What do you mean I don’t have eyebrows! I still have 5 strands on each side. You are so inexperienced, jerk!

No milk for you tonight!

In My Office Room:

Mr. Endrian, it’s so humid in your room! Why do you always have to open the windows and let the warm draft come inside? I’ll close the windows. Ahhhh, why is the wind suddenly blowing hard!? Ahhhh, my super-micro-mini balloon skirt from Osh Kosh is being blown away. Close your eyes Mr. Endrian, close your eyes, I don’t want you to see my red fiber-optic g-string.

Ahhhh, I have to tip toe to reach the window lock! Stop staring and help me Mr. Endrian.

Oh, oh, oh, oh gosh, oh my gosh, my period is coming…

In My Car:

Adrian, is your car AC working? It’s so hot! I don’t want to open the windows, it’s so polluted outside can’t you see?
Can I just take of my leggings? I feel itchy with all the sweat from my thighs. Oh by the way my leggings are from Baby Guess. Huh, where can I take it off? My looong legs are soooo itchy now! Scratching on my leggings doesn’t help much.

Can you just park somewhere and let me just scratch my itch?

Yes, that’s a good spot! Ok, let us get it over with.

Oh my! Uhhhmmm, can I borrow your Mach 3 shaver please?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Forlorn But Still Standing and Rambling (TAKE 2)

Below is the very first blog I wrote about KL. I composed it during my first two weeks here. As I was depressed, and horny, when I made this blog, my observations were quite speculative and skewed.

Now, after 1 year and 10 months, and after surviving through desolation and getting much hornier, it is about time for me to set the record straight.

To be fair to affected Malaysians (as if millions read it and cared), to correct my 3 readers' impression of KL, and to preempt in misleading the other 2 persons (my grandpa and grandma) who haven't read this blog, I am willingly putting corrective and explanatory notes.

On a serious note, something hit me while I was finishing this blog. I have been brainwashed all my life by the powerful Western culture that I lost my true identity as a Filipino. This has led me to mock and belittle my own heritage, as well as disrespect other cultures. I should be proud of my own culture. I should respect the other cultures.


Forlorn (and Randy) but Still Standing and Rambling (Part1: Does Religion Dilute Humor?) Actually, the correct title should have been: Does Drinking Water (in particular Evian) Instead of Beer/Alcohol Dilute One's Humor? I dont know why I associated alcohol drinking with humor. This is a silly question indeed. I was out of my lucid interval when I made the blog.

Nevertheless, after seeing all the Mat Rempits, the Lepak-ers, Rajah Lawak Astro and Cicak Man, the apparent answer to the original question is NO.

My friend, please, permit me to ramble--- because to me, one of the best ways to lessen my desolation is by rambling.

KL is a beautiful and interesting city only if you're a tourist. (Now, as a full-fledged expat, I can say that KL is a good city to live in. In fact, it's generally a lot better here as compared to Manila. Although Manila is more interesting and has a wilder nightlife, KL is safer, peaceful, cleaner, greener and more peaceful.) It's a sweeping statement of course, but since you've unconsciously given me the green light to babble by continuing to read this, then I guess all you can do is affirm.

As I said, working in KL is not like lying on a hammock in Boracay while sipping buko juice. (Yes, because KL (in parts) is a cosmopolitan city and Boracay is an island paradise. There's no comparison! I was really babbling senselessly! )


First of all, Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country. I have nothing against Muslims, (I even have a close Muslim friend - btw, this friend of mine is my classmate for 6 years. Now he is a CPA-Lawyer! Lucky bastard!) but they have a restrictive culture and religion, which to some extent supresses the party animal in you. (I qualify this because the restrictiveness of a culture or religion is relative. I was wrongfully using the liberated Western culture as the benchmark in determining how restrictive a culture can be. It was my colonial mentality at work.)

Merrymaking is regulated by Islam. On top of the no-no list is boozing. This means that if a Muslim would ever hang-out in a bar, he would be the one tugging a cup of hot tea. (most probably a bottle of mineral water or a glass of soda. But I have Malay friends who drink jugs and jugs of beer and alcohol!)

Nevertheless, as I go around bar hopping, the ones I always see are foreigners and the Chinese Malays. (Clarification: I haven't gone inside a KL bar yet. The farthest I've gone is only at the bars' outskirts because most of the bars I've seen in KL are open (I was referring to Beach CLub, Thai CLub and Uno Bar. You can see and hear the haggling from the sidewalks.) and you can see what's happening from the outside - I stayed at the Concorde in my first month here and most of the bars I saw are the ones along P. Ramlee. These bars are mostly frequented by caucasians, especially Beach Club).

I don't how whether "San Miguel" is the one mainly responsible for instilling Filipinos gallons of humor, but he and his relatives' absence may be the reason why Muslims lack the sense of humor we Filipinos possess. (I stand corrected. There's no correlation between humor and alcohol drinking, for if this is true, then the top beer consumers like the Czechs, Germans, and the Irish would be the most humorous people on earth. Come to think of it, it also depends on how you define humor.
But if we are going to define humor as the quality that makes something laughable or amusing, then I think Malay humor is more or less similar to Filipinos. Based on what I've observed, Filipinos and Malays share in general the same attitudes of being contented, complacent and happy-go-lucky. Their humor sprouts from these underlying attitudes. )
I guess the more plausible explanation is that Muslims thoroughly follow their strict religion. But don't get me wrong. I don't mean that the Muslims I work with here are all poker-faced, ill-humored and stiff. (The friendliest people in my office are the Malays. ) I'd also shared some laughters with them, but they're not exactly the same ones I've shared with my countrymen. Oh, how I miss my friends' green jokes! (What's generally lacking in Malay humor is the naughtiness. In a way, this affects the titillating factor of their humor. Censorship here is so strict and consistent that many Filipino show hosts, artists and song writers would be caned for indecency. There's nothing wrong with this. But sometimes unreasonable or excessive censorship backfires--it can scandalize a matter more or cause an adverse manifestation of sexual repression.
I have received green jokes though, but these don't circulate thru SMS or email as prevalent as in the Philippines.)

Laughter in the workplace relieves me from the stress which makes me prone to making the wrong decisions. But since the Muslims here are too religious and straight for me to invite in a night of revelry, now I'm left with the company of the Chinese and Indians.

Well, if I can't fit in with 50% of the Malaysians, (60%)I bet the best thing for me to do is to interact with the remaining 50%. (40%) Unfortunately, I think the latter is much more complicated! (Yes yes yo!)
One of the main reasons why I have more Chinese friends than Malay friends is because I love Ba Kut Teh!
Oh God please help me! :-D

A Tribute To My Kitty Cat

I've never known how wonderful it is to have a pet cat until I met my kitty.

I call my kitty, Clarebear.

She has the Meow Factor.

She is the prettiest and most alluring kitty I've seen in the "lorongs" of KL.

She has the most soothing meow. She has the sweetest purr. She has the sexiest grin. She has the most graceful prance.

She doesn't have a tail but she can definitely balance herself well. In fact, she's a very good dancer. You should see my kitty dance! You wouldn't believe how nimble my kitty can get when dancing.

She can be a bit stubborn and messy sometimes, but I forgive her! Her stubbornness and messiness seem to be cute. Stubborn and messy kitties are cure, aren't they? Good thing she doesn't habitually lick her paws like the other kitties.

She doesn't have long whiskers. Maybe this is why she is clumsy sometimes. But her clumsiness is also cute. Hmmm, everything about my kitty is cute.

But what I like most about my kitty is that she is smart and sensible.

Smart because despite being a kitty, she knows how to look to her right and left before crossing the street. Also, she might be a kitty in appearance, but she's a lioness in thinking.

Sensible because she acts based on reason and not on emotion (, except during her Pre-Meownstrual Syndrome. Good thing she hasn't scratched my face yet.) She understands my weaknesses. She understand her own weaknesses too.

I've been with my kitty for a year now.

We had a rocky start. We have had some catfights. I have hurt her. I have crashed. She has forgiven me. My love for my kitty has grown even stronger.

I love my kitty very much!