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What most people have been sorely missing out on

Except maybe for Tiff, if she had reached this far. But I guess my point is that for you sucke… er… those of you who love a good love story, one of the best love stories ever written is in a Playstation game! And here’s an excerpt, featuring the two main characters, Squall and Rinoa


Rinoa: “What’ll become of me?”

Squall: “Don’t worry about it. There’ve been many good sorceresses. Edea was one. You can be like her.”

Rinoa: “But Edea’s still… I can’t guarantee anything, either, if Ultimecia possesses me again… You saw me. She controlled me   in outer space and made me break Adel’s seal. What might happen next time? What will I end up doing? Will I end up fighting everyone? …Scary thought, isn’t it?”

Squall: (Rinoa…… Even if you end up as the world’s enemy, I’ll…Â I’ll be your knight.)

Rinoa: “If I fall under Ultimecia’s control again… SeeD will come kill me, right? And the leader of SeeD is you, Squall… Squall’s sword will pierce my heart…… I guess it’s ok if it’s you, Squall. Nobody else. Squall, if that ever happens…”

Squall: “That’s enough! I’ll never do anything like that. The sorceress I’m after is not you, Rinoa. My enemy is the sorceress from the future… Ultimecia.”

Rinoa: “Ultimecia lives in the future and possesses me. She uses my body as her extension in this world. How? How will you save me?”

Squall: “I’ll come up with something… There’s gotta be a way.”

Rinoa: “……”

Squall: “Don’t worry. Trust me.”

Rinoa: “…I trust you. Well, until you find a way, maybe… Maybe IÂ should stay in Esthar, at that memorial? Wouldn’t that be better?”

Squall: “No… That’d be pointless. I’ll just end up going after you again. Rinoa… Just stay close to me.”

Rinoa: “Oh… Those words!”

Squall: “What?”

Rinoa: “That’s what started everything.”

Squall: “What are you talking about?”

Rinoa: “You don’t remember?”

Squall: “Something I said?”

Rinoa: “Oh, just forget it!”

Squall: “No, it’s because of the GF. That’s why I forgot.”

Rinoa: “That’s just an excuse.”

Squall: “Feeling better?”

Rinoa: “Yeah. Can I tell you a story? I had a dream. It was a scary dream. We make a promise. We promise to see shooting stars together. I get dressed up an put on your ring. But the thing is, I can’t remember where I’m supposed to meet you. I start to panic. I really want to see you, Squall, but I don’t know where to go. I start running through the mountains, the desert, the plains… Through Timber, Balamb, and Galbadia… When I realize I can’t run any longer… I…I just want to see you so badly… So I scream, Squall, where are you!? Then I woke up. I was crying. I’m sorry. You don’t have to say anything. I just felt like I had to tell you.”

Squall: “It was just a dream… It doesn’t mean anything. Don’t worry about it.”

Rinoa: “…I guess you’re right.”

Squall: “How about this… I’ll be here…”

Rinoa: “…Why?”

Squall: “The reason why you couldn’t find me was because we haven’t promised yet.”

Rinoa: “Promised?”

Squall: “I’ll be waiting for you. If you come here, you’ll find me. IÂ promise.”

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Necessary Evil

I remember this line Tom Arnold mentioned in the movie True Lies.

“Women. Can’t live with them. Can’t kill them.”

Ahahaha, no, this is not a knock against the idiosyncrasies of the female half of the species. Like I said, necessary evil. Those things that do more harm than good but at the same time have become indispensable in your life. Like a sucky job, a high-maintenance car, or an obnoxious “friend” that you still keep around so you could have someone to borrow money from.

Or cell phone companies.

Specifically, the concept of “unlimited texting”. I’ve been hearing a lot about it for quite some time now but hardly paid it a second look, mainly because it doesn’t concern me (I have a post-paid line). It was only earlier this evening when my wife explained it to me in detail that I realized how devilishly ingenious these cell phone companies are. Yes, devilishly. I mean exactly what the word connotes. In order to avail of unlimited texting, let’s say Globe’s, you have to register a fixed amount depending on the number of days you want to have unlimited texting. Like for 5 days unlimited texting, register 80 pesos. Which means if you bought a 100 peso load and registered in unlimited texting for 5 days, that’s 80 pesos (81 if you consider the 1 peso maintaining balance) gone forever. Sure, you get to send as much text messages as you want to any Globe number within 5 days. That’s a lot of savings. Yes, you have to purchase an extra load balance to use your phone to text other non-Globe numbers, but so what? That’s what you used to do anyway, buy load to text people, no matter who their providers are. At least here, heavy users could save if they send more than 80 text messages in 5 days if you’re only sending to fellow Globe subscribers.

Like I said, devilishly ingenious. A production scheme that markets itself. Because in order to make full use of this, Globe users would then have to convince their family, friends, business contacts and everyone else whose names are in their directories to use Globe sim cards or buy a separate Globe sim card (for the lucky ones who have more than one phone) so they could all share in the savings. Pretty soon Smart and Sun will be following suit with almost the same exact scheme, and their subscribers will do exactly what Globe users are doing right now. Result: slow but sure polarization of cell phone users. Globe users only contact Globe users, Smart users only contact Smart users, and same with Sun. Freaking great savings, guys! Who cares if I couldn’t say hi to my mom anymore? It’s her fault for keeping a Smart account when she knows I have a Globe sim.

But hey, business is business. Never mind that it cleverly circumvented the government requirement for telecomm providers to interconnect. It’s actually something to applaud, right?

It also smacks of greed.

Here’s a question: with the cross-provider text message rate being at a constant 1 peso per message, why does Globe keep its “unlimited texting” scheme to Globe subscribers only? There’s no overhead in opening it to Smart and Sun providers, is there? If their intention is really to help their subscribers save money, they’d do this, right? Maybe increase the registration fee a little bit, like make it 160 pesos for a 6-day unlimited texting to cover the profit margin. It would still save people a great deal, regardless of their cell phone service provider. More importantly, it wouldn’t have to polarize people based on their cell providers.

But we all know this is not their intention no matter how much they trumpet it, right? This is big business. Big bucks. Big greed.

But sorry, the world as it has evolved today needs these cell phone service providers. So, no, can’t kill them.

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First of all, I accept the fact that people have their own subjective preferences i.e. biases about everything. I’m cool with that. Others have reasons for liking things that I myself couldn’t stand being on the same plane of reality with, e.g. telenovelas. That’s fine. Kanya-kanyang trip*. But sometimes when you get a peep into the minds of people and realize their reasons for ranting about something, well, that’s when “ridiculous” gets into the picture.

For example, I LOVE Pirates of the Caribbean. I know many do. But I also know that many don’t, and it just sticks to my craw that a movie that I consider one of the benchmarks of its genre would get a “rotten” rating in Okay, we all have our preferences. But reading into the reviews that gave it a rotten rating clued me in on just how piss-poor some movie reviewers do their jobs. Almost all of those who gave POTC: AWE negative ratings jawed about the so-called confusing plot, centered on the characters doing seemingly aimless decisions that gave the film a pointlessly convoluted story. What? Will Turner allies himself with Sao Feng, and then with Lord Cutler Beckett, and then with Hector Barbossa. What the hell is going on here? Now I’m lost.

I was merely summarizing the rants. I, personally, am not lost. You see, one cardinal rule in understanding the story is understanding the characters and their motives. You can forget I said anything if you only see movies to enjoy action sequences or special effects. That’s fine, I have no beef with you. But people, especially reviewers, who describe a film “a cacophony of contrived and disjointed plot devices” without really paying attention to character motives are no different from programmers estimating the amount of time to fix a bug while having no idea whatsoever how the code looks like. In this case, the motive is actually quite simple: Will wants to rescue his father from Davy Jones. Understanding that is understanding two-thirds of the story already. But no one seemed to have given the time of day to do that one simple thing.

My pet peeve: people shooting their mouths off without knowing what the hell they’re talking about.

*To each his own

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“It’s not a matter of you versus me”

New habit I have, coming out of the need to be in the office at 7am. For not so subtle reasons (which are here and here), the spirit of some long-ago dead race car driver takes control of my mind and turns me into a speed junkie whenever I listen to Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way and The Cardigans’ My Favorite Game.

It’s a little uncanny when I think about it. But then, music has always dictated my mood since long ago. And pretty much my ambitions. Time was when I aspired to perform in a concert. But that dream has already dissipated, helped in no small way by me actually performing in a concert. Good experience, all things considered. And it taught me that I should be thankful I’m not in a line of work where I do have to do concerts and tours at least twice a year (concerts are damn exhausting).

Well, at least that was one aspiration I could finally put to bed.  But thinking about it during the drive to Don Antonio to pick up my wife from her badminton game made me realize those other things that I maybe should have gotten into, instead of I.T. Now don’t laugh because some of these can be outright ludicrous.

Lawyer - Whenever I practice my reasoning skills, my wife always tells me that I should have been a lawyer (it’s her way of saying “All right, you win.”  ). Well, I do seem to enjoy crushing other people’s arguments to the ground, especially those who have the audacity to get into debates without bothering to fact-check.  The problem with this profession is sometimes you really have to compromise your integrity. And that’s something I’d want to avoid if I could.

Police officer/detective – Never mind the whys, I just wanted to be a cop. Maybe this stemmed from all those cop series prevalent on TV during the late 70s to the early 80s that kind of influenced my formative years. Problem: being a cop in the Philippines is worse than being a lawyer, for the very same reason.

Novelist – I’m a late bloomer when it comes to this, having found out that I could write when I was already 29 years old. And I do fancy creative/fiction writing (as evidenced by this 56-chapter fan fiction that I started six years ago and have yet to finish). Maybe someday I could publish something that’ll put me in the New York times bestseller map, but trying to accomplsh that would require a lot of sacrifice. Graham Taylor, author of Shadowmancer (the Christian alternative to Harry Potter?) sold his motorcycle just to get his book published.

Race car driver – And no, this is not a Gran Turismo influence. In the first place, I dig Gran Turismo because I’m a car nut and a racing freak.

Fighter pilot – Probably the one item in this list that I will never, ever attain (which relegates me to mere dreams of flying a Joint Strike Fighter). But then, this is where knowing how to write comes in to help reduce the impact of unrealization. Like:

Edge: “Blaze, what are you doing? The enemy has a missile lock on you and you’re still not engaging.”

Blaze: “Heh. He could missile-lock me all he wants, but his missile firing mechanism is fritzed and his guns are out of ammo. All bark and no bite, so to speak.”

Edge: “So he’s just trying to piss you off.”

Blaze: “That’s an affirmative, Razgriz two.”

(excerpt from Great Heroes in the Sky, an Ace Combat 5 novelization)

Aahhh, we could always dream…

Raves and Rants

“There are wars that can’t be won”

I couldn’t stop thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine last Friday. The idea associated was so pathetic that it would have already been in the Guiness book if they happen to have a category for the most across-the-board pathetic thing in history.

Some of us are born to lose. Losers, in the real sense of the word.

How do I know this? Well, it’s like this. There could never be a more harrowing experience of betrayal and solitude than seeing people whom you consider as family taking the side of your detractors for whatever reason. And you know you are not meant to win in any conflict if your own brother believes the lies of those who seek to destroy you. When your enemies are able to turn your own sister against you just because they are closer in age.

Credibility is defined by age groups? Wow.

Sometimes I think this world is so messed up I kind of wish for a moon-sized asteroid to wipe this blight off the face of the universe.

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100 kilotons worth of damage

I used to have a friend at my former work place. And I really like her. In fact, everyone likes her. If ever the term “amiability incarnate” ever applied to one person, it’s a safe bet that it’s her. We used to be close, yeah. Certain events kind of conspired that made it a little awkward for us to talk openly, but I thought that’s okay. At least, I thought, I could still call on the friendship whenever the need arises again, or if ever the air gets cleared between myself and one of her friends.

Turns out that’s already impossible. I thought the only reason we haven’t been speaking the last few months is awkwardness. But it isn’t. She’s actually mad at me. Extremely.


Someone seems to have told her that I have been spreading some very unpleasant things about her to everyone.

What. The. Fuck.

Yes, this situation is so screwed it merits a full and uncensored F word.

Now what kind of depraved, demented, sanity-impaired sorry excuse for a human being would invent such a totally baseless, pointless, bullshitty and out-of-thin-air lie, and then actually tell it to her? How could someone be so Satan-fixated?

That lie completely ruined everything. It’s no different from detonating a nuclear bomb between me and that friend of mine, decimating everything between us.

You know, I’m into boxing. Only been at it for two months so far so I’m not very good yet. Still, my first pair of gloves didn’t last three weeks. My trainer said I pack a powerful punch.

I’d hate to have to use that on the person who told that lie about me.

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I’m an ass. Really, I am.

Okay, just wanna ask you guys to give me a little bit of slack here because it’s not going to be easy to say this. But I have to.

Right now I’m watching the replay of American Idol: Idol Gives Back, a 2-hour special AI show dedicated to charity. It’s wonderful watching the show, and I often remarked that it’s good that American Idol is giving back after the phenomenal success it enjoyed in its last 6 seasons so far. The show itself is star-studded. And okay, people who know me well could tell you that I couldn’t care less if every celebrity in Hollywood participated in the show – if there’s one thing that I’m not, it’s star-struck. But I did love how different personalities with contrasting backgrounds got together for one noble common cause. Like, can you imagine Bono, Jack Black, Josh Groban, Ewan McGregor, Seal, Celine Dion, Homer Simpson (yeah, really), Annie Lennox, Rob Lowe and Madonna in one show? Okay, you probably could, but it still doesn’t happen much.

The program was touching and at times, heart-wrenching, and only someone with a certified heart of granite (like someone I know) wouldn’t be moved by all those stories of children and HIV-positive folks who desperately need our help. Ellen Degenres put it best. “This is ridiculous. We should do something.” And yeah, I agree. I wish there was some way I could do to help.

Hehe, wishing for ways to help poor African HIV-positive kids when I had the chance to do the exact same thing with our local homeless children… and I didn’t.

I’m talking about the Christmas program SVI prepared for orphan kids in place of the company Christmas party. I still remember the argument with Hana because I wanted to hold a Christmas party for the staff, insisting that ‘charity work is good and all, but the Christmas party is supposedly the reward for us employees for toiling hard the entire year. We deserve to have that party, why give it to someone else?’

Why give it to someone else? It’s like asking why give to Gawad Kalinga that 50 pesos you were reserving for a strawberry milkshake.

Now that I think about it, I want to hit myself on the head with a hammer.

Especially when recalling how much fun the SVI volunteers had in participating in the activity. I wanted a party for the employees? Well, making orphaned kids happy – even for only a few hours – rates on the fun meter just as much as any other party. And it’s more worthwhile because we get to help people.

Well, since the charity event won out over a clubhouse party, in the end I did decide to acquiesce and volunteer to help out too, if at least to make myself less of an ass. But it would have meant something if I’d actually made it

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I’m right, you’re wrong

Says in Wikipedia:

“Vehicles will often come into conflict with other vehicles because their intended courses of travel intersect, and thus interfere with each other’s routes. The general principle that establishes who has the right to go first is called “right of way”, or “priority”. It establishes who has the right to use the conflicting part of the road and who has to wait until the other driver does so.”

You know what they are, don’t you?  If not (and I do hope you don’t have a driver’s license if this is the case), I’m giving some examples of right-of-way rules:

1) When two cars reach an intersection at the same time, the one on the left yields to the one on the right,

2) In roundabout roads, a.k.a. rotundas, those who are already in the road yield the right of way to those who are just entering it,

3) Intersection again, but this time three vehicles get to it at the same time. The “right-side” rule no longer applies. Instead, the two cars who are facing opposite each other have priority over the third.

 There’s actually a lot more, but this post isn’t a tutorial on basic right-of-way rules. At any rate, no matter what the rules are or how different they are from one country to the next, there’s an instruction common to all countries:


Which makes a lot of sense, really. What if you’re against a drunk driver who couldn’t see you if your plate number is five inches away from his face? Insisting on your right-of-way would almost certainly end in disaster, right?

Sadly, though, as a long-time observer of traffic in Metro Manila, I could say without reservation that the “not insisting on your right-of-way” policy doesn’t apply here. Why? Two reasons:

1) The few who have been schooled on the right-of-way rule usually only remember the “do not insist” part. Of course we would, that’s an instant loophole to get our way of the highway. Since you’re not supposed to insist on your ROW, the other motorist would expect you to do this and therefore try to get one up over you. How many times have I seen this happen: running full throttle into an intersection to get the better of those motorists who looked first before proceeding; turning left on unprotected intersections without regard to oncoming traffic; merging into traffic without regard to motorists who have merged in before you. And when accidents do happen, the one who’d be adjudge at fault is not the one who proceeded without a right-of-way, but rather the one who insisted on his. Maybe in the Philippines, we should be required to insist on our right-of-way, because the opposite is turning out to be ridiculous. Like, “Officer, it’s his fault because he insisted on his right of way!”  How stupid is that?

2) Second reason much simpler. As evidenced by the way drivers behave on the road, an estimated 6 out of 10 drivers do not know what a right-of-way is.  Two out of 10 do not care. And 1.9 out of 10 think they’re always right.

I know someone who rear-ended me while I’m at full stop, and she still thinks it’s my fault.


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When a pretty girl lies, do you think pardon or payback?

Five-day leave, plus a normal two-day weekend. Then come to work for two days. Then another five-day break (three holidays sandwiching the weekend). This taught me that it’s possible to get too much vacation time, and I realized this when I went out tonight to pick up my wife at her weekly badminton game – getting out in the open could be such a rush after all! There wasn’t anything new, it just happened that during the last loooong weekend I got cooped up in the house and did nothing but flex my abs (by stuffing it with food, hehehe), cuddle with the PS2 and hit the online jungle. So bored I actually planned to crash at Mike’s place with Markku and the HR ladies +1 (what +1? ask Markku, hehehe). Alas, none of them would consent, for various reasons.

So what else did I do during this lengthy break? My three most favorite pasttimes, of course. Think, mull, and contemplate. And here’s what I reasoned:

  • Picture an NBA team with the following roster: Dwyane Wade, Kirk Heinrich, Ben Gordon, Ben Wallace, Samuel Dalembert, Andris Biedrins, Damien Wilkins, Mike Miller, Steven Hunter, Shane Battier, Eddie Griffin, Daniel Ewing. What do you think would happen with a team like this?
  • People seem to put more credibility to pretty faces, don’t you think? Like, if Jamie King claimed Terry Crews was stalking her and the latter insisted that he doesn’t even come within ten feet of her, who would you believe? (Got this one from LN)
  • Okay, combine this item with the one above and slightly sharper minds would conclude that one of the things I did during the break was chug that Wayans riot-fest White Chicks. One of the little but good things that came out of that heap of comedic mess (that made of roffle just the same) was doing away with image stereotypes. I’m talking about Latrell Spencer (played by Crews), a burly hoopster brutha who couldn’t shoot a three-pointer to save his life, singing along with the cutesy teen-pop Vanessa Carlton song A Thousand Miles. Like, we really could learn from this bit of gag: if you like a song, don’t pretend to get all goose-bumpy just because the song is Hello Kitty pink and you’re a boyz-in-da-hood wannabe. Be true to yourself.
  • Conversely, I despise Pinoy Big Brother in all its mundanely gimmicky, desperately-grovelling-for-viewership forms. But I think it’s unfair to label me as a conio Am-boy just because. I hate it, period.
  • I’m proud to say that when my circle gather round for lunch, Hana’s pastry treats or to feed tigers with dressed chicken, we don’t instinctively talk about or make fun of other people. We only talk about and make fun of each other =D (just don’t let anyone sing Lifehouse’s You and Me – that ruins my day completely)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: the video game, at one point speaks of the stereotype role-conflict element that says “Don’t freaking tell me what to do. You’re at home base, I’m the one in the field. You have no bloody idea what it’s like to be in my place.” Trite, but nevertheless true. None of us have a right to tell another person what or what not to do when we don’t have the tiniest inkling of what it’s like being in the same predicament. Two things to avoid: (a) being judgmental, and (b) being self-righteous.
  • “If I could do that to someone I love [drive an axe into the person’s skull], imagine what I can do to someone I hate.” — Tarik. From the movie The Jackal. Which about sums it all up. I care about you, yes. But don’t push your luck.
  • “Lets not kill the Karma, lets not start a fight. Its not worth the drama for a beautiful liar” — Beyonce (this is the answer)
  • American Idol season 6 is fast turning up to be like season 3: one contestant is poised to win in a landslide the way Fantasia Barino did. Melinda Doolittle simply pwns them all, hands down. Personally, though, my favorite is Jordin Sparks. Not only because she’s a very good singer, but also because she’s perhaps the more adorable AI contestant ever. I could only agree wholeheartedly when Paula Abdul described Jordin as a joy magnet. Still, the music person in me says Doolittle – to date – outsings her at every turn. But what the hell, still nine weeks to go. And Ryan Seacrest is also rooting for Jordin, so nyah =)
  • When your friend is in love, smile. Don’t roll your eyes. We all fall in love.
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I wasn’t supposed to click on THAT link >(

You shouldn’t spend hours on the keyboard and then get your hands wet afterwards. Carpal tunnel is the least of your worries. In my case, spasm on my hands caused my fingers to click on a link that I’m not – by any circumstances imaginable – supposed to click on. Shoot, issue na naman ito.

Like last Saturday. Googling something about fighter jets, for some reason a link to what I perceive to be a porn site appeared in the search results. Bad: With the site I wanted just above it, I accidentally clicked on the porn site link. Realizing my mistake, I immediately clicked on the Back button.

Worse: Too late. The comp restarted. And when I booted up again, I realized that spyware has already invaded my system. So I spent the next two hours doing a full system scan. Found nothing. But the spyware warning messages were still appearing. Worst: Whenever I start IE, it crashes and causes a slow down of the entire system.

Question 1: Barring the Ten Commandments, is it okay to murder programmers of spyware?

Question 2: Any tips on how to fix my comp?

Thank you…