Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Last Piece

I've been putting off writing my farewell post so long that I assume you may have thought I changed my mind on my plan to close this down for good.

Not at all. The plan still stands. Actually, what's been keeping me preoccupied these past few months was thinking how I should orchestrate my blog's "funeral."

On one hand, I was thinking of deleting one post every day until nothing remained but this one. Just for dramatics. But it was too heart-wrenching a task. Just like a mother commiting infanticide on one of her own.

I figure one of the reasons I conceived (no pun intended) the idea was the irreconcilable thought of leaving my thoughts floating in cyberspace, to quite possibly even outlive me. It leaves me cold to think that ten, thirty, fifty years from now, my juvenile and reckless ramblings and whinings (given that I've failed grandly at anonymity of authorship) might still be on full view for everyone---including my boss, constituents, subordinates, life partner, children, grandchildren, and worse, my mother---to read and heap ridicule on.

But, you know, whatever. Yes, I might have come up with the corniest, sappiest dirges this side of the (just let me use it this one last time) blogosphere, but I couldn't care less. The only consolation I can find is that I think I was at least honest when I wrote them. There I go with the dramatics again.

Another thing on my mind was the farewell speech---or the eulogy, in keeping with the theme. I wanted this last one to be as dramatic (I have to find another word for this one) and as eloquent (there) as possible, as would befit the occassion.

Oh, but now I just want for this to be over and done with. I've given up on dramatics and eloquence. The perfect farewell note just cannot be had, and all that remains is for this one to be written.

And now it has, well, I guess this is it. Whooh. Happy Independence Day to me.

This is my final time writing as Adobobo. It's been fun. Thank you.


A random afterthought: It would be so sad if, after all the drama that went into composing this, the first comment that appears happens to be a spam from someone selling Viagra. Ayaw ra pud unta, hehe.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A (Late) First Anniversary Celebration

Chronicle of a Doomed Career

Five-thirtyish, Oct. 3, 2008

Loitering at Ayala Mall since I've blown most of my week's allowance on chocolate and gummy candy. Money's such a big issue for me nowadays---must be because I'm always short on it. I've even had to stop blogging since I don't have money to spare for Internet. Wait---I actually do, but dammit I'm always hungry!

So there.

Oh wait, forgot to tell y'all about my job-hunting escapades here in Cebu. So let me recall . . .

Job 1: Online tutor at Company A

Woo-hoo! The first company that called me up after I was rejected by Company X (but, then again, I was not totally rejected---details to follow). Though teaching is the farthest thing from my mind right now, I decided to jump in since I was desperate to find a job. And it didn't hurt that company A was offering to train prospective hirees for P100 a day, which I could really use.

Job 2: Aspiring copy editor, then editorial assistant, then field reporter at Company B

So Company B was the second company that called me up; might I add, this was while I had already begun training at Company A. But then, realizing that I could still work at Company A part-time after I devote myself to Company B full-time (how ambitious and utterly, utterly naive of me), I decided to come to the interview.

A week after, I am in the newsroom of Company B. It is 1:00-ish p.m., and currently it seems I am the only one, apart from the day desk editor (my immediate superior for the time being) and the floor manager, inside the office---the reason for this being that work in a newsroom usually begins in the midafternoon, and continues well into late evening, until the day's issue is readied for printing around 12 or 1:00 a.m.

The first few days I am writing the day's scoops: "exclusives" carried by Newspaper A and B that weren't covered by our newspaper, and vice versa. It is boring, backbreaking work; backbreaking since I spend most of the hours hunched over page over page of the day's news and encoding scoops onto the PC. I figured the task was just some redundant, irrelevant task the editor conjured to get me to read as much news as I can.

On the second night, sensing that I was just like a deadweight around the office, the editor in chief told me that I would be accompanying one of the beat reporters the next day. So I was like, "Wow, how generous. They're actually letting me witness a day in the life of a beat reporter." I know, I know; up until that moment, I was still imagining I was on a field trip.

So day 1 of my field trip arrives, and I am asked to show up at the Cebu City Mayor's office for his daily press conference. Imagine that! To sit just an arm's length away from a distinguished public official. Again, my "field trip" state of mind kicked in, and mentally I was "ooh"-ing and "aah"-ing to be sitting in the company of media practitioners.

Later, I didn't expect that I was going to be asked to write a news story on the goings-on of what I attended.

Sojourn #2, Day 1: Council Session

Another round of of oohs and aahs from me. Men in barongs and suits milling about the . . . the room (I'm tempted to call it an auditorium, since the right term evades me right now)! And then, a vision---a handsome man clad in a gray suit. Hair slicked back, matching gray (or was that maroon) tie, the regulation leather briefcase, trademark politico's smile---passes before my line of sight. And I think: Is this possible? Could such a young and fresh and grudgingly attractive specimen be actually a pawn in the dirty world of politics??

Sigh, he truly was a sight for sore eyes. And well, the minutes, and the hours, of the session whizzed by while I was sighing---and pining---for the honorable Mr. X in the snazzy gray suit.

Later I received the second shock of the day when I was told that I was again to write another story on the session's hot topic.

Me: Oh sh*t. Never mind, at least I saw "him" (pines wistfully, in the fashion of women in cheesy romance paperbacks).

Day 3

Again, the mayor's press conference. Only this timeI wasn't late since I discovered there was an elevator that would take me to the eighth floor. I actually dressed up better this time. Imagine my disappointment when I was told the council only convenes for a session once a week. Hmp.

So I got to write another news story. And for a few fleeting moments, I actually think---and believe---that I can hack it as a news reporter.

Then I discover that I cannot come up to random people and ask for their reactions without breaking into cold sweat. And I realize that, unless I get rid of this character flaw, this job will never be a walk in the park (thunderbolt follows).

Day 4

I actually don't remember what I did this day. Must be because I was still reeling from the experience of calling up various political personalities (and being invariably tongue-tied) the other night. I guess I must have just spent the day languoring in the newsroom, trying to appear productive while I write little notes in my reporter's notebook ("Ma'am, I regret to inform you that I don't want to work for this company anymore. I've developed an ulcer in just a matter of days, my father's had a heart attack after learning that I go home at ten or eleven in the evening," etc.).

Day 5:
Assignment 1: Media conference on "Autologous Blood Stem Cell Transplant"

Fancy that. Nightmares of my early BS Biology days coming to haunt me all over again. The nth day in a row that I came late to an event I was supposed to cover (only this time, I must point out that I didn't resort to hailing a cab---brownie points for me!).

After wiping out images of blood and tumors and exposed nerves from my mind, I have lunch courtesy of the media conference.

Assignment 2: First day in the Hall of Justice

The catacombs, I call it. Pristine white on the outside; dark, dank, crumbling, and moldy on the inside. I walk past walls composed of pile after pile of court decisions, promulgations, appeals, wherefores, whereases, forsooth!---wait, that was from Shakespeare. And all the doors look alike. I swear, if I wasn't in the company of the justice/court beat reporter, I would have been lost for hours inside that labyrinth.

The senior beat reporter hands me a copy of the promulgation for a rape case, and that's my story for tomorrow's issue.

Day 6: Leadership Training Seminar

Now this day would have been uneventful, if it weren't for the fact that I saw Honorable Gentleman in the Snazzy Gray Suit (HGITSGS) sitting by the registration area. Serious heart palpitations ensue, and I am reduced to a giggling, bashful, blushing mess. Sh*t.

Once again, this day struck me as another "me feeling extremely inept" day. And again I am reminded of why I hated my Newswriting class in college: I absolutely dreadtalking to strangers. And so, for the next few hours, I prayed: "Lord, give me the strength. Lord, give me the strength. Lord, give me the strength."

Fortunately, in an extremely fortuitous turn of events, I am introduced to the Honorable Gentleman in the Snazzy Gray Suit (only this time, he was in a barong, dark blue-black denims, and sneakers---so hip and respectable at the same time!). I fall all over myself trying to recall the questions I was rehearsing the past few hours, tyring to appear like I am thoughtfully and dutifully taking down his statement, all the while I am relishing the fact that his face is just a foot away from mine---and wait! he leans closer 'cause I am so effing nervous and my tongue is tripping all over the place and he probably can't make sense of the babble tumbling out of my mouth, and in my mind I am calculating the odds that a man from the echelons of Cebu's high society with a flourishing political career can actually deign to consider falling in love with a troll. So while he is waxing grandly on the youth's potential to lead Cebu City to progress, my heart is gradually deflating.

Nevertheless, I spend the remainder of the afternoon stealing quick glances at HGITSGS, trying to burn his image in my mind since I'm too timid to take his picture. Hah. Plus, I was thinking this might be the last I'll see him---just in case my not-so-promising newswriting career doesn't pan out.

Day 7

I spend this day asking myself, "What am I doing in the office on a Sunday? I seriously need to quit."

Father arrives from Davao, and is shocked to learn that I go home late in the evenings---in a habal-habal­, no less. He then delivers a sermon on the evils of my profession. To get him to stop, I tell him that I don't enjoy it anyway, and that I'm planning to quit. I ain't bluffing, though, as I have gradually been building myself up for a "talk" with the editor in chief.

Day 8: Media Conference on the New Wide World of Media

Meanwhile, I am gradually losing steam. Again, I come late to another appointed event and manage to get lost despite already having taken a cab. Events are seriously conspiring against me and this career. I've already made up my mind that this will be my last day.

I spend the rest of the afternoon listing and trying to finish my story before I come to the newsroom. I enter the newsroom. I hand in my story. The day desk editor tells me to cover another exhibit at six thirty; I say nothing. I go kick myself in the head afterward. I come to the event. I talk to some snarky reporters from another national broadsheet. I curse them for being so snarky and haughty and treating this half-assed pseudo-reporter like scum.

Day 9

There is no steam left to lose anymore. I receive another message to cover yet another effing photo exhibit, and I ignore it.

It is Papa's last day in Cebu, and I spend it with him shopping. And while I am at the mall, I am constantly in fear that one of the people from the newsroom will catch me playing hooky. But I couldn't care less. At this point, I have dug myself a pit of work-related depression, and there's no getting out.

I go to the office. (But wait! Before I do , I think I spot HGITSGS walking to his car; in fact, as I walk past him, I think I heard him say, "Hello"---but wait, that's another story. Well, actually, because of the pre-"talk" nerves, I didn't look back, so there's actually no story. Fug.) Ed in chief already senses what I'm going to say. Surprisingly, she takes the news pretty well---and here I was, thinking she would berate me for being so fickle and indecisive and noncommitant and dismiss me by saying, "Get the hell out of my newsroom!" She gives me some soothing words, and sends me off with "I'll be seeing you,"---or "See you soon," something like that.

And I am like, "Gee, I hope not."

As I walk out the newsroom, I give myself my nth kick in the head.

But then I think of the many Sundays---holy rest days---I'd be spending at the office had I not quit sooner, and as soon as I do, I take that kick in the head back, and I jump, click my heels together, and say, "Woo-hoo! Free at last!"


So I return full-time to Job #1. I complete the two weeks, and then some, of training. A month and a half later, we're still not through training, and I'm not receiving any paycheck either. Meanwhile, I live on extended alms from my mother. It's an embarrassing way to live, I know.

Fortunately, a few weeks later I receive a call from Company X, asking me if I'm still interested in the position I applied for last June. I was going to make them feel guilty for demanding I come to Cebu ASAP for an interview then holding my application three friggin' months---meanwhile leaving me to fend for myself in this cold, heartless city. Out in the streets, homeless, hungry . . . Okay, I was going for dramatics. I lived in a half-finished home with the rest of my siblings and while I did not eat heartily, I did not go hungry due to their charity. Anyway, I swallow my pride and say, "Yes." Twice, in rapid succession.

My job offer's in three days. But I'm hopeful this'll be a keeper.

Weeell, so far so good.

Monday, August 24, 2009

More of the Same

Whenever I think of my current post-graduation state, I am reminded of D.H. Lawrence's short story, "The Rocking Horse Winner." Every waking day I spend cooped up inside the house--because I have no money for going out--serves to remind me that school's over. Ergo, I have no reason to ask my parents for money. Worse, I even hear the walls of our home whisper to me, "You are unemployed! You have no money! you have no money!" Damn walls.

Anyhoo, yeah, that's pretty much it; I have no money. I cannot ask for money without my mother nagging me about the value of hard-earned money. Mothers.

So, anyway, I guess all I'm leading to is that I'm going to try and be a studio contestant on Wheel of Fortune. I want some money, dammit!

Written April 9, 2008
Hah. The word money occurred eight times in this entry.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Portent

Okay, more of what I do best---whining.

Okay, so I've been putting off writing a "serious" post the past couple of weeks. Why? Well, it just so happens that I was the last person to find out that the whole community has actually been reading my blog. Like, oh crap. I've blown my cover big time.

But hey. Whatever. What did I expect, right?

Actually, aside from the fear that has constantly been nagging me, the reason I have also been kept away from blogging is... well, actually the "fear" is the only thing. I swear, I've contemplated deleting my blog a couple of times. And with the news that certain people are privy to my rude ramblings, the prospect of moving out to a new URL has become very tempting. Very tempting, indeed.

Oh well, I'll have to put off moving out until I think up a clever-enough URL. Or until my mother finds this.

Anyhoo, what's been keeping me busy lately? Nothing much, actually. Since graduating barely 1 month ago, I've done nothing. Nada. Zilch. And here I was imagining that, after graduation, I would totally freak out and leave home and go trekking somewhere.

A teensy weensy part of me even misses school. It's true, when you're a student you have a lot of justification for having a daily allowance. Now, I basically have to grovel and beg to mooch some money off ma or pa.

Man, being poor and unemployed sucks.

So anyway, I've tired of always having to show my parents my sad puppy face whenever I go out. So I'm thinking of getting a job. When I go online, part of my itinerary, aside from checking mail--and downloading off Limewire--is scouring and for job postings.

Anyway, I hate to say this, but I am so totally hating home right now. Mother dearest is again being characteristically mother-like and nagging me about the virtues of saving and valuing money. I think it's more of her subtle way of telling me to go get a job. I will ma, jeez. It's just that it's taking me forever to write a resume. Tsk.

Written April 9, 2008

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Farewell Post: A Draft

Like I said, I'll come up with a decent farewell once I've flushed out all the drafts I have lying around, half-finished or left unpublished for their explicit or potentially scandalous content.

I credit the beginning of my blogging career to Avy back in late 2006. She asked me through text to vote for her blog in one of the online polls hosted by another blog. Back then, I had a very cloudy idea of what a blog was. But then I was so averse to anything that resembled Friendster or social networking that I never caught the wave early on. I only decided to start my own after realizing that it could be good exercise for my then-atrophying writing muscles. I never intended to have a lot of contacts in my blogroll, nor did I ever intend to make my identity known.

I had wanted my blog to be a collection of entries I'd address to one person: a friend who, prior to my undertaking this project, had also collaborated with me on a writing assignment. By writing assignment, I mean we shared a notebook where we wrote just about anything that was on our minds. The notebook would go back and forth between us until we filled the last pages. By extension, I began my blog to address security concerns regarding our project, since a notebook was very hard to hide. Also, the days and weeks spent waiting for the notebook and the other's reply proved too impractical. To address that, I then began my blog.

At first---wait, I can sense the impending boredom this paragraph is going to induce upon us all. I'll discontinue the reminiscences then.

Let me just say that I'm undergoing some kind of funk right now. Perhaps this is a foreboding onslaught of my own seven-year blogging itch.

How shall I describe it? I'm in that phase where I'm trying to make myself scarce. The barrage of Twitters, Plurks, Facebooks, etc., has left me somewhat disgusted by it all.

And I did say that this year is going to be the year when I'll finally get over myself. That by and large would explain why I no longer wish to continue this blog. I just realized that I cannot get over blogging about my life. Somewhere in the middle--or toward the end, to be more exact--I had asked myself if my life was really that important that the whole Web had to know what I was doing.

The excuses just keep pouring in. One reason why I was so eager to blog a long time ago was that I always found something in my day that was worth writing about. Now that life has become a routine--wake up, work, go home, sleep--it's so hard to dig through the drudgery and find something valuable enough to share. And that's how egocentric blogs implode.

That was the long version of my farewell speech. This is the condensed one.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang
But a whimper

T. S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"

The Seven Deadly Sins Meme

As said before, I was never too keen on answering memes (and yes, up until now I still don't know how exactly it should be said).

Ah, goody, a reason to sign in and blog.
Tagged by Ami.

Okay, I'll try to answer this as honestly as possible. So if I step on someone else's feelings, then I'm not sorry for being honest.
Here goes...*rubs palms together*


who did you last get angry with?

Oh, sheesh, I really can't remember the last time I got angry. I think it was with my father, 'cause he woke me up too early last Sunday, and I wasn't feeling well and really needed sleep. I told him that, but he's always so inflexible and he always has to get his way. Plus he never takes me seriously when I pretend to be deathly ill--so
ill that I cannot be roused from bed.

who did you last get pissed off with?

Our househelp. I don't mean to sound oppressive or snooty, but I'm just not a big fan of Ate Ofelia, no matter how sold Mom and Pop seem to be at her. Oh God, I sound so mean and coño, but really, there's just something about her that just gets to me. I feel she's intentionally trying to be inept and inefficient just to get me to pop a blood
vessel. Anyway, for her latest attempt, she woke me from slumber just to tell me
that father called to tell us to unplug the rechargeable lamp that he was charging. She knew where it was, but apparently she'd feel much more secure if I performed the actual unplugging from the socket. Hmmm.

who was the last person who got really angry at you?

This one should be easy. My father was the last person to get really angry with me (yeah, "with me" should be just right, cause I was pretty angry myself). That happened on Sunday, 'cause he wanted us to attend mass early, but I didn't want to 'cause I slept late and I have this thing where I believe I'll have a really bad day if I don't get my seven to eight hours of required sleeping time. Anyhoo, I was pretty pissed off at being woken up early, so, to get the message across, I took my sweet little time eating breakfast and doing my morning rituals. I took a bath but I
unfortunately encountered some digestive problems so I took a little more time
in the bathroom.

Long story short: they went to church without me. Hehe.

do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily?

I don't really know. I'll convince myself that I don't hate this person anymore, but
occasionally, I'd be reminded of that person's "crime." But I always try to give
the person the benefit of the doubt--y'know, take the higher road. But sometimes
it just doesn't work.

2. sloth:

what is one thing you're supposed to do daily that you haven't done in a long time?

Do exercises for my back. That's what the doctor tells me everytime I visit, which is every four years. But somehow I just caaan't. Don't worry doc, I'm saving up for my

what's the latest you've ever woken up?

5:00 PM. This was when I was still doing the thesis. Didn't sleep for 24 hours.

who have you been meaning to contact, but haven't?
My prospective employer?

how many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock today?

School's out. I don't set alarms anymore. I don't even take note of the days anymore.

3. gluttony:

meat eater?

Yeah, but I try to eat more fish. Ever the frustrated vegetarian. Always making excuses for myself.

what is the greatest amount of alcohol you've had in one sitting, outing or event?

A bottle of San Mig Light. Not really much of a drinker, though.

have you ever used a professional diet company?


4. lust:

how many people have seen you completely naked?

The entire family, plus the doctors, nurses in attendance at my birth.

ever caught yourself staring at the chest/crotch of a member of your gender of choice during a normal conversation?

Yeah, but not intentionally. Some guys unconsciously rest their hands down there, and my gaze unintentionally follows.

what's your fave part of the body?

Fave part. I'm fixated on mouths, hands and eyes. And the hollow in the collar bone, 'cause I find it sensuous.

have you ever made a proposition with a prostitute?

Not yet.

5. greed:

if you had $1 million, what would you do with it?

See, here's the thing. I just can't answer seemingly impossible hypothetical questions. I don't know if it's on principle or just because.

I'm the eternal pessimist. I know I'll never have a million dollars, so I don't even want to imagine what I'll do with it, 'cause I don't want to disappoint myself.

would you rather be rich, or famous?

I'd rather be famous.

6. pride:

what is the one thing that you've done that you're most proud of?

Finished that sumbitchin' thesis.

one thing you have done that your parents are most proud of?

Oh dear, I really don't know what goes on in their heads. They don't really tell me if they're proud of me for something.

what would you like to accomplish in your life?

A lot.

what did you do today that you're proud of?

I answered this meme? That's the only heavy activity I did this day.

if you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?

I'd want to be the woman Christian Bale is absolutely crazy about. Well, I'd also want to be Christian Bale, but I don't think people would approve if I marry myself.

have you ever wished you had a different physical feature?

Yeah. But I guess I'm stuck with poor little old me, so that'll be that.

That's it?!?!?!?

Okay, this is a lame meme (no offense to
the one who tagged me, of course, hehe peace), and so I'm tagging no one.

Written March 28, 2008

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Man named 3.1416...

He told me, the first and last time I met Him, that I was cute. And, more
often than not, He called me "cutie cute cute" rather than by my name.

The first and last night I spent with him, He told me that I had a lot of thoughts, unnecessary ones, in my head. And that I just had to let go of these thoughts. "...because...a lot of these don't matter," He said, His eyes closed, as He stroked my limbs with His rough, oiled palms, and led it in graceful circles in the air.

He was right, I know. But I couldn't let go of "these things." Dammit.

Earlier that night, we were having dinner, along with a handful of strangers. But I led myself to believe that He was paying more attention to me. He was interested in me. He proferred plates of food in my direction because he noticed that I was too shy to reach for anything uncomfortably outside my grasp. And I took everything He handed to me.

After dinner, when the six of us, strangers all to each other, retired to our cottage in this strange place somewhere in Southern Mindanao, he revealed His true identity.

He was a healer.

And He thus proceeded to heal us all, one by one.

First, our guide. His touch turned this grave-looking, smart-talking, 30-ish man into a child suspended between consciousness and unconsciousness. Pretty soon, he was like a puppet controlled by the invisible strings of His brilliant and mystical mind.

Meanwhile, we--I, and two other students--all of us uninitiated to
this spectacle before us, stood, awed and, at the same time, scared. What witchery is this we had stumbled upon?

But much later, my two companions had fallen prey to His enchantment. And He was whispering in soothing tones--with that unforgettable lisp--words that seemed to come from a gentle prophet. "You are filled with so much anger," He told him whilst holding him in the throes of healing trance. "You must forgive this person."

All of a sudden I was afraid. He could go inside your mind. What if He went inside mine and saw the dark and evil thoughts it held?

I went last. My eyes widened as He stared at me and signalled me to come hither.

My mind was uncontrollably bothered. I didn't want him to see me without my mask. I didn't want Him finding out that underneath this childlike and innocent facade
hid a hideous monster. I blocked His words from my unconscious. I refused His
gentle invitation for me to drop my reservations and step into the zone of vulnerability and, eventually, of wondrous healing.

I think it worked. It took Him close to two hours, and I was able to hold up as long. Until He finally sighed and laid down the judgment that I simply had too little
energy. So He lent me some of His.

He didn't chide me for laying waste to his efforts. Instead, He ended the night with parting words that continue to echo in my ears each time I think about Him.

"You're movements are so graceful and childlike. I love it."

He waited for me to say whatever it was that was preventing Him from reaching me. But I couldn't possibly tell Him. Tell Him that I had entertained unspeakable thoughts as His hands made contact with my skin. That it was precisely His touch--His very existence--that was causing this internal disquiet.

It's been more than a year since I saw Him. Now all I want is to see Him again' 'cause this time I think I'm ready to be healed. If I do get to see Him again, I hope I will be brave enough to bare all.

Written November 9, 2007