"Forget Prince Charming. I'll take the wolf." - Emily the Strange

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Two Things That Pissed Me Off Today

*This was supposed to be posted Monday night but I was unable to do so*

I am just so pissed off right now and two things contributed to that. The first one is a guy I was supposed to go out with for a date last Saturday. His name’s Eric. How I came to know him is very interesting. If you are, just continue reading the second to the eighth paragraph. If you’re bored or dying to know what happened, skip ahead to the ninth and tenth paragraph.

I was surprised to have received a text message from Eric mid-part of last week. It says on his initial text message that he’s updating his phone book and that I keep in touch. I didn’t recognize his number and I certainly do not know anybody named Eric Dee. I played coy and tried to fish for information on how he got my number - he tells me that he got introduced to me by a friend or a classmate named Jenny from my old school.

I think there was a Jenny in my biology class. How about another girl named Jenny? I have no freaking clue. I’m certain there would be a lot of Jenny’s and Jennifer’s in my school but my campus is a tad too big to meet and remember each and every one of them. I was utterly curious about this person so I decided to start a conversation even though the alarm bells were ringing in my head.

He called me up on my cell and we talk for 15 minutes. I gather a couple more information about this guy – graduated from Mapua sometime during the late ‘90’s; he works as a management consultant in Makati; he’s in his 30’s and that he wants to see me as soon as possible. Something’s not right about this guy and I am getting to the bottom of it. We settled on lunch time of Friday since I was expecting to go out Thursday night with Brian. Since we were both on company time, I ended the conversation abruptly and him asking me for my Friendster profile. Being the control freak that I am, I asked for his instead of giving him mine and promptly put the phone down.

Another puzzling piece of information popped up. If his name is Eric, what the hell is he using bryan_gutierez@yahoo.com for? More importantly, who is Bryan? Those questions would have to wait. It’d be much better to see him in person, especially if he squirms with uneasiness.

Friday came and we didn’t meet. I didn’t go to work that day as I was not feeling well. He called me on my cell phone again to reschedule our plans. He tells me that he really is an upfront person (hmm, he sounds a lot like Patrick the forever-in-a-rush-for-something) and that he likes me. He adds that he accepted me as a friend, took a look at my profile and found me to be to his liking as I was mature for my age.

Eric proceeded to ask me my views about dating older guys and that brought up briefly my dating history. He then narrated to me an observation made by his 20-something co-worker who is digging older guys. Her observation is about how older guys are not afraid of asking for sexual favors. Eric then asked if it’d be okay for me to meet him Saturday and go somewhere private. I indignantly said no the first time and next two or three times he repeated the question. He finally reneged on meeting him over at Megamall.

“Who the hell does he think he is?” at the back of my mind.

Saturday, my meeting runs into overtime until 4. I got a text message from Eric saying that he’s in Cebu for an emergency and that he’ll explain by Monday.

This morning, Eric called and he did explain. In a weak, almost croaking, voice he admitted to me that he is married with kids (I should’ve known!). He was in Cebu with his family because one of his in-laws died. He only went back to Manila today to show up for work. I turn into my ice princess-bitch mode and confront his sorry little ass. He can’t stop saying ‘I’m sorry’ until now and he better be. I may have been many things before -- a cheater, a third party, the third wheel -- but I definitely have no plans of being a homewrecker, thank you for asking.

The second thing to piss me off was what happened this afternoon. Out of the blue, the Skype chat window from Alan popped up on my screen with this message (sic):

“if have any problems with BLOCKED sites u tell me......kng yan lng problema nyo oopen ko at
mapakasawa kyo* sa blogs (if that’s your only problem, I’ll open it and you both enjoy all the blogs you want)!”

*tone of the statement has a very nasty connotation and there is no direct translation of the exact phrase.

I asked him if the message was for me and he said yes. I told him I don’t care because I really don’t. I could always use my internet access at home. His next message was that I should look for another person to do the materials I need for the call center project I’m handling. My, my, getting catty, aren’t we?

I asked him if he really can’t do it or he just doesn’t want to. He replied by saying that he’s busy with our company’s Korean website. Whatever! I don’t care if you have an ex-lover’s quarrel with you-know-who, just don’t screw me and my work over when you’re trying to get back at her. Grow up!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I was thoroughly refreshed after my long weekend and I couldn’t help but wish that it’d be even longer. They’ve declared Monday to be a holiday in commemoration of the 23rd death anniversary of Filipino patriot Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino. For the past three days, I’ve done nothing but go to the mall, eat, sleep, surf the net and watch tv.

Saturday, I was over at Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall and the adjacent mall, Robinson’s Place Metroeast to shop for necessities. My L’Oreal skin care line is about to run out in the next couple of weeks and I took advantage of the sale period to stock up on supplies. I was really happy because I got a 15% discount on the Pure Zone Toner and the UV Perfect Tinted Sunscreen and a 30% discount on the Pure Zone Deep Cleansing Gel.

Sunday afternoon, I accompanied my mom, my sisters and my soon-to-be brother-in-law Alex over at Megamall to do our grocery shopping. My mom fancied playing bowling since the day before and that they did as soon as we got inside the building. I wasn’t really in the mood to damage my scoliotic spine by lifting a 10-pound swirly, psychedelic ball repeatedly so I decided to go for a much needed aero exercise by walking over to Robinson’s Galleria.

I don’t really know if it’s just me being very picky or if it were the goods inside the different stores that was just not to my liking. I’ve explored every nook and cranny of the entire mall for items to buy but I wasn’t able to find much. I was able to buy just one piece of clothing – a Victorian inspired lace top from Ensembles in a hard-to-find pale orange hue.

I got back to Megamall just in time for me to catch my mom and my sister Angelee heading to the grocery in Building B. Alex and Louise, meanwhile, busied themselves by browsing through the dvd players for Alex’s car. My sister’s going to give it to him as a thank you gift for buying her her camera when they were recently in Singapore for a brief holiday.

I wasn’t expecting to go out of the house yesterday (which is Monday) as I was planning to clean my room and put away the laundry that my mom has asked me to do. I was mystified when I heard my phone ringing. Secretly I was wishing “please let it not be my boss!” I walked over to where it was and I saw Odie’s name flashing on the screen. Whew! He was asking where I was and to which I replied with “at home in my parents’ house in Marikina.”

He was asking if we could meet somewhere and that only means one thing – ‘tis a booty call. I volunteered to meet him in Makati but Odie, being considerate that he is asked if there’s a place where we could meet that is a closer to my location. The nearest place that I could suggest was Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall and I was relieved to find out that he knows where that is. He inquired on how long it would take me to get there and I gave him the answer of 30 minutes which is a half-truth. Yes, it would certainly take me that much time to get there but he would have to take into account the 10 minutes it would take me to get a bath. Odie ended the conversation by saying that he’d just call me when he gets there.

Off I dashed into the bathroom to cleanse myself, my bedroom to get dressed and out the door in record time. I didn’t bother with my usual ritual of toner, moisturizer and sunscreen since I really was pressed for time. I took a tricycle to get me to Masinag from Lilac St. and as soon as I sat on the jeepney that would take me through the second half of my commute, I chanced upon my cell which was ringing at that time. It was Odie – he says he got lost but that he’s near TGI Fridays. I tell him that I’m 10 minutes away and that he can wait for me there.

A minor traffic jam, a U-turn and a short sprint to the Brick Road area later, I keep looking left and right for Odie’s silver Vios. A couple more steps forward and I saw where he parked his car. I go inside the vehicle and we decide what to do after exchanging pleasantries. Since he’s not that familiar with the area, Odie asked me where we could go and I guided him through to this lodge nearby. Clue – a Filipino rock band wrote a song about this particular lodge and was released as a single.

I like Odie. He’s a great guy but not without fault. We’ve known each other for the past three years. In fact, he’s the guy who hired me for my first job. I also used to have a crush on him, especially during his leaner days. As a fuck buddy, I like him a lot because he knows the deal and we both know exactly where we stand. I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy or a mere coincidence because it was around this time of the year last year and the one before that when we hooked up for the first and second time.

They say third time’s the charm and indeed it is. We do the deed and Odie tells me that he feels cheated. I was able to satisfy him easily but he wasn’t able to do the same for me. He kids me by saying that I should be his yardstick for all the other people he has or will have a fling with. He does make it up to me with a really wonderful back massage.

We started our tryst with a lively conversation and we ended it in pretty much the same way. We’ve talked about how we’ve been since the last time we saw each other, status of our common friends and everything else in between. Odie says that one of the reasons why he looks forward to us getting together is that I’m his little case study. I’ve gone out with a lot more people than him and he tries to pick up lessons from my experiences.

I tell him about the recent flurry in my dating life and he was a bit envious. He says that “you girls are lucky. You get wined and dined and don’t have to worry a thing most of the time especially if it’s in the early stages of dating someone. Unless of course, if the girl insists that she pay her fair share of the expenses.” He then goes on to tell the story of how he and his best friend schemed on double or even triple booking a couple of girls in their hangout place. They almost got caught one time if it weren’t for the help of the staff of that particular establishment (they were regulars and knew everybody). Men!

When he was driving me home, I asked him that question that I have of Jon – how he can he loves me and then tell me that his girlfriend’s “the One.” He gave me a great answer – it’s all about expectations. Sounds way off but I know exactly what he means and he doesn’t have to explain it to me. Wow! We’ve really reached that stage of friendship and that was something I didn’t expect.

Nu Skin

I was planning to go to Robinson’s Ermita Saturday afternoon but decided to abort the plan after waking up really late. I came home around 11 the night before after tagging along with Toastmaster Alvin in the Nu Skin symposium that he attended. It was a huge coincidence as well because I saw Paolo, the domestic partner of my college schoolmate and former co-worker Frankie. I knew that he was now working for a pharmaceutical company but I certainly did not expect for Nu Skin to be his employer.

I didn’t have any plans of purchasing any product from them but it was worth sitting through a two-hour lecture cum product endorsement from their speaker guests. They all discussed ageing and the three guests explored three diverse yet interconnected fields of study – molecular biology, dermatology and pharmacy. Each one attempted to explain the how, what, when and why’s of growing old. I don’t really need to discuss the solution because it would have been obvious by now.

I certainly learned a lot of things from the molecular biologist and the pharmacist about free radical and UV damage to the body. As for the dermatologist’s lecture, well, you can watch ET and E! or simply browse through entertainment and magazines to pick up knowledge on the latest beauty products, “medical procedures and intervention programs” if you get my drift.

I was surrounded by seemingly “yes people” of Pharmanex – distributors, users and agents – and I felt saddened. Half the world’s population is starving, dying from diseases or suffering from strife and here I was sitting in an air-conditioned room listening to people’s call to arms against the signs of ageing. Millions of research dollars go to the so-called “diseases of the rich” while those from the developing economies wither away in pain. All for the simple reason that there is simply no market for cure against the “diseases of the poor” because they wouldn’t be able to shell out much dough for them.

There is no fountain of youth and we’re all going to expire anyway so what’s the big hullabaloo? Dr. Al Robbins of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation couldn’t have put it better – “Beauty is skin deep but inside we’re all made up of the same stuff (referring to various internal organs as he was performing the autopsy of homicide victim Vanessa Keaton).”

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A New Discovery

I was going through my morning routine here in the office of reading my mail and indulging my daily newsbeat from www.msn.com when I came across this witty and wonderful series of articles from Slate Magazine's Deputy Editor David Plotz - Blogging The Bible

Have fun reading it as much I do!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dum dum da dum Dum dum da dum

I have no idea what happened or what was my mom’s state of mind just last Sunday morning that made her do what she did. I was sitting on the couch watching a tv show on the telly (I can’t remember what it was) together with my mom and my youngest sister Angelee. Louise was about to sit down on the empty space on the couch next to my mom when she blurted out THE question.

“Kayo ba ni Alex eh napapagusapan na ang pagpapakasal (Have you and Alex ever talk about getting married)?”

I was dumbfounded when I heard that. I was only sorry that I was not able to tilt my head in time to see the reaction that registered in my sister’s face.

“Oo (Yes).”

“Kailan naman (When would that be)?”

“Gusto ni Alex sa December (Alex would like to have it in December). Bakit (Why)? Payag ka (Do you approve)?”

“Wag lang sa December na ‘to (Not this December though).”

My mom, then, had a follow-up question – “Sigurada ka na ba talaga sa kanya (Are you really sure you want to marry him)? Baka naman may dumating pang iba (Maybe someone else might come along).”

And my sister then goes on to narrate how much Alex’s parents wants them to get married immediately, even promising to foot the entire bill if they do it a.s.a.p. For the longest time, they have been wanting to have a grandchild and they’re seriously betting on my sister. Even though Alex is their youngest child, the reason why he’s the strongest contender is that they perceive him to be the most ready for marriage among their three kids.

I’ve met Alex’s family and they’re an ok bunch. Actually, me, my sister Louise, our Uncle Lloyd and the three Lanip kids have a quirky history together. Uncle Lloyd, by the way, is my dad’s youngest brother. He’s a menopause baby and that makes our age gap no more than 8 years. Going on with my story… when he was in high school, he was classmates with Alex’s eldest sibling, Ate Girlie. When I was in grade school, I was classmates with Joel (used to be called by his given name Joselito back then), Alex’s older brother. My sister was classmates with Alex when they were in grade school, surprisingly enough.

After we finished our grade school years, we both transferred to St. Scho. Alex and Louise met because of her college best friend Abby who happens to be Ate Girlie, Joel and Alex’s cousin. It’s just weird how closely connected everybody is one time or another. It feels as if those two are really meant to be together.

Ate Girlie, the eldest, is still studying while her boyfriend Glen just graduated from college recently. They’ve been together even before my sister and Alex hooked up but they’re not yet financially ready. And then there’s Joel, the middle child. Hmm… what about Joel? Honestly, I have no idea. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him and I certainly haven’t heard any news on him of late.

My mom finally opened up about what prompted her to ask THE question. Auntie Anne, my dad’s sister-in-law, is about to give birth anytime soon and she jokingly told my mom that when her baby Anya no longer needs her crib, she’ll immediately pass it on to my sister.

It feels weird now that Louise’s matrimony card is out in the open. Was that just my mom’s way of saying that she’s resigned to the fact that my sister becoming Mrs. Alex Lanip an inevitable fact of our lives?

Okay, so one parent down; just one more to go. I wonder what my dad will say. Would his line of thinking be similar to my mom’s or would he still be hoping that my sister will find someone who’s…uhm… I’d hate to say it but it’s the truth… better looking?

After a brief pause for a nanosecond, my mom pulled a fast one on me.

“Ikaw ba Leslie wala pang boyfriend (How about you – do you now have a boyfriend)?”

A resounding “NO.”

My dating life right now is just too complicated, she probably won’t understand. She might even be confused with the people I’ve gone out with over the last two to three months – Alvin the Toastmaster, Jon the phone buddy (if you’re going to be strict about technicality then you can just disqualify him from this list), rocker Lei, always-in-a-rush Patrick, artsy Brian (yep, the latest one. He’s the bespectacled Art Director for the newspaper that my boss’ family owns) and then back again to Alvin the Toastmaster. Whew! I’m surprised that I myself was able to remember their chronological order after the dizzying musical chair of dating. Poor Mom, she might not be able to follow.

“Kapatid mo mag-aasawa na tapos ikaw wala pa (Your sister’s about to get married and yet you still don’t have anybody)?”

I just let out a silent sigh of commiseration, turned my back towards the sink and did my laundry (I wash all of my stuff that I perceive to be too delicate to be entrusted to our housekeeper). She’ll probably never understand. Is marriage the be all and end all of a person’s existence? I just don’t get it. There’s got to be more to life than be relegated to the role of ‘wife.’

For a moment, I also thought about the flipside – that of partnership. Sure, it feels good to have someone but to pin my perception of being happy, my self-worth and my entire existence on a single individual? I don’t think so.

I also thought about the ‘Why Are You Still Single’ quiz that Angel took a couple of days earlier. She asked me to explain to her the results that she got after she took that test because of the big words that peppered that short 1-paragraph assessment of the cause of my friend’s not-so-blessed single blessedness. Words like ‘settling’ and ‘having standards.’

Do I have a high standard? Could be but I don’t think it’s that high. (Sweetie, you might be reading this – tell me the truth, okay? Do I have an impossibly high standard?) I just want the best for me and isn’t that what everybody wants as well?

My lunch break is over, I’ll probably… er, most likely put up an entry that expounds on the last part of this post.

Philippine Idol

Week three of Philippine Idol and I am completely hooked. When that show first aired, it was merely out of curiosity that I watched it because I was wondering how it’d turn out. It’s a heavily publicized event over the last couple of weeks and I bet it has something to do with what I imagine to be a hefty franchise/licensing fee. The big question is if Philippine Idol would be on a par with its American counterpart which, if I might add, has launched the careers of both contest winners (Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood) and finalists (Clay Aiken, Tamyra Gray, Bo Bice). Another question that lurked at the back of my mind is if it’ll be anything like the local ones that we have on now.

On the other hand, maybe that was not worth asking. I mean, it is a definite possibility that they will strictly follow to the letter the format of the original show. After all, there’s that concept of quality control. Based on what I have witnessed, they surely got it right down to the very last detail – including the delusional loonies with the unbelievably Teflon tough confidence in themselves and their talent/s… or lack thereof. I seriously thought that nobody would be able to top the American version but I believe they would find the homegrown ‘palengkeras (girls and queens alike)’ as entities who would be able to give them a serious run for their money. My favorites would have to be the girl in the mint green top with the braces (the one who seriously thought that she was good enough for the American version… newsflash Dearie – you wouldn’t even get past the initial screeners) and the repetitious gay from the first episode.

On a more positive note, they were right on the money for choosing Ryan Agoncillo as the program’s host. I like Ryan. Who doesn’t? He’s got a squeaky clean image, a transparent personality, intelligent, very articulate in both English and Tagalog and gregarious. I had the chance to meet him a couple of years ago when he was filming in our school his ‘Trip ni Ryan’ segment for GMA 7’s early morning show. I found him to be easy to talk to and a very gracious person so he’s okay in my book.

As for the judges, I have mixed reactions about it. Pilita ‘Mamita’ Corales and Ryan ‘Mr. C’ Cayabyab are perfectly legal choices but I’m not so sure about Francis Magalona. Sure he’s a veteran of the Philippine music industry but I don’t like the way he’s doing his job. Almost always, he would ask either Mr. C or Mamita on what they think of the person who’s auditioning before he would render his verdict. I feel like he’s hiding behind Pilita and Ryan so as to avoid looking like the bad guy when he turns someone down. Come to think of it, I've rarely heard him say 'no' to a contestant because he would most often say "majority rules - Mamita and Mr. C's already said 'no.'"

If there’s one thing I’m thankful for about the judges, it is that they didn’t cast a judge who’s trying hard to be Simon Cowellesque. Sure, Philippine Idol might be a franchise of Pop Star but that doesn’t mean the local version has to compromise the Filipino psyche and sensibility in order to ensure uniformity with the franchisor’s format of having a highly acerbic, tough love judge. If we want the first and succeeding Philippine idols to be internationally viable, it would make sense to let him or her pass on a uniquely Filipino vibe rather than to be a complete copycat of the foreign formats.

I certainly hope that there’ll be changes for the better in the next couple of episodes. I’d certainly hate to prematurely terminate my budding romance with such a wonderful tv show.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Invisible War

Invisible war, seems we're fighting an invisible war
Strained manoeuvres, keeping silent score
In this invisible war
Every day I seem to lose you more
Both wishing it was like before
In this invisible war

Talk about a fine line between love and hate
We've lost more than our direction of late
Talk about a fine line between lovers and friends
We've never been lovers and now we're not even friends

In this invisible war, seems we're waging an invisible war
Every day I seem to lose you more
In this invisible war

It wounded deeply the scar is here to stay
Opening up at all the little things I do and say
You always want things to be as before
So I make you angry and you bleed a little more

In this invisible war, seems that we're waging an invisible war
Every day I seem to lose you more
In this invisible war

Want to go away I still love you
Got to go away I always love you
Got to be away Time heals all wounds

Invisible war

It’s a war zone here in the office between two of my co-workers and everybody else are the casualties of this war. I only hear her side of the story, I wish I’d be able to get his. It’s so strange to be here now because every step feels like it would cause an emotional landmine to explode. I want to do something to maybe help relieve the current standstill, precipitate this sickeningly stifling pseudo calm. I have ideas on what to do yet I am rendered powerless by my oath to her. I see her seethe with anger but suffer in silence; I want to crack his brain open and witness him cower from her for the first time. She always gives and you only take.

Dear Jon...

I parted ways with someone very special over the weekend. Well, sort of. It started innocently enough with our long overdue plans of hooking up for the first time in years. But we ended up breaking hearts and with buckets of tears between us. I’m talking about Jon and I.

Jon was supposed to drop by my house a week but bailed out the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. Last Saturday, his schedule was clear and I should be happy, right? I should have been but that was cut short by something coming up on mine. I was just so frustrated that I thought about everything. The thought that us not meant to see each other hit me like a tidal wave.

Remember what I wrote about Jon on my previous entry? As much as I hate to admit it, we were having an emotional affair. Jon would call me regularly, almost everyday and he would always be the first and last person that I talk throughout the entire day. Our conversation was just like it was a couple of years ago. Only this time though he would add to our informal list of things to talk about information that he would withhold from his girlfriend. I didn’t know why he did that but it has certainly made me understand him and his way of thinking better. And I certainly didn’t expect that our talk about nothing would turn into something.

That night that we were talking, I didn’t know what got into me but I just thought about walking away and stop communicating with him. It was both an irrational and rational move on my part. Irrational in the sense that things are kind of ho-hum; rational because I still can’t get the feeling that I’m only second string out of my mind. Jon tried his best to reassure me that I’m not but it’s a lie. His girl would always come first – that’s why he’s always the first one to initiate the conversation.

Ours was a complicated friendship/love affair of sorts but it’s funny because somehow it worked. Maybe because we both know what our boundaries are. He admits to me that he gets jealous every time he would ask me how my day went and I tell him about my dates. He would sheepishly add that he doesn’t have the right to tell me to stop seeing whichever guy but that’s how he feels. I, on the other hand, am a bit envious of his girl. He’s with her everyday and yet she seems to take him for granted. She doesn’t know how lucky she is.

Jon and I both have feelings for each other but I opted to walk away. I’ve been in a similar situation before and it ended in total heartbreak. I felt that the situation I was in with Jon was becoming more and more like the situation with Jay. I don’t want it to happen again. I was thinking that maybe this is my second chance to right the wrong that I did four years ago. Besides, I really couldn’t comprehend how he can tell me that he loves me and then on the same breath say to me that his girlfriend’s the one.

I sent Jon a text message saying I want out. He didn’t get it at first but when he finally did it was a complete sapfest. It was kind of like going through the stages of death at a really accelerated pace – anger, denial, resentment, resignation.

I was conflicted from that point on until the following morning. I felt like rejoicing and shooting myself at the same time. I was on my way to the office when I got another text message from him. He says he wants to meet me even at the risk of his girlfriend’s friends and acquaintances seeing the both of us together. He couldn’t wait until I was done with my appointment that he got on his car as soon as he woke up. He was supposed to go to the gym but he was too spaced out to even think about working out.

I thought it was pretty stupid but I agreed to meet him. The whole situation is pretty stupid if you ask me. It’s paradoxical because it’ll be the first time I’ll see him in two to three years and this might potentially turn out to be the last. The pull of my wanting closure and my wanting to say goodbye properly was too strong to resist. My dad dropped me off at the MRT Magallanes station and I took the train to the Taft Avenue station. Jon picked me up from that place and we drove around the Roxas Boulevard, Port Area and Aduana area while we talked about what our next step should be. I’m happy that we would be able to save the friendship. We’re giving each other a year to think things through before we communicate with each other again.

I stopped believing in happy endings years ago but I certainly hope that this’ll be an ending that I could live with. The only lingering question in my head right now is if I’m destined to be that one girl that straightens guys out for the next one that comes along or in two cases, the ones they’re already with.

Hope is not the conviction that things would turn out well but the belief that it all makes sense no matter how it ends.

I trust and believe in the infinite wisdom of the Universe.