let me start by saying this blog is my diary.  you don't want to be part of it, you stay out of my life.

if you are in my circle by force of circumstance then i can leave you out.

but if you enter my circle by choice, as in, i'm ignoring you but you keep on popping back, take the risk that what happens to us will appear in my journal.

in october last year, a high school classmate suddenly invited 3 of us from the batch to dinner.  i was surprised i was among the invitees.  we were not close in high school, we never hang out, and we've seen each other maybe only thrice after graduation (1981); the last time, years ago.

then november she invited again, dinner again, again a very small group -> she says she's choosy with company.

then december she receives an e-mail from someone hiding under an alias.  she seeks my help in finding out who the sender was.  i find out and tell her.

later over the phone, we were talking and i somehow spilled that i was actually there when the stuff relayed in the sender's e-mail was said.  she demands details.  what exactly was said, who said what, who the people present were, what their reactions were, etc.  i wouldn't tell her.

she kept on insisting i give details.  i kept on refusing.  then she went ballistic.  if you are my friend, you would tell me!  you should have told me early on, defended me, blah, blah, blah!  me, i'm going to die/kill for my friends!  you, you probably were laughing with the rest of them while all these things were being said!  you should have stopped the blabber!  i thought you were good, i was wrong!  i don't like you!  i'm out of your life, you're out of mine, blah-blah-blah!  she was yelling and ranting at me as if she owned my soul! i cut short the call.  (context:  the blabbing happened in september.  we got reacquainted only in october.)

she texts me shortly thereafter.  more angry words.

i text back 3 things:

1.  i am not one to spread bad stuff.  all i'll do maybe is warn you about someone.  but give details, i won't.

(note:  i'm giving details now because this is something that concerns me.  in her case, she wanted details about something that concerned her and some other people.  that's not something that would come from me.)

2.  i am not going to impose myself on people who don't like me

3.  i am not going to put up with people i don't like

following morning, there's more in e-mail.  i don't reply and ignore her henceforth.

later she sends conciliatory e-mail, updates me on her exchanges with the incognito e-mail sender, apologizes, sends friendly texts (when i was on vacation, when i got back, when she was on vacation, etc.).  i pretty much don't respond.

i do accept her apologies.  but then what she did to me changes the equation altogether.  i've been nice to her all along.  accommodating her requests (call me, call me, call me) even during office hours.  that is not something i normally do.  and then this?!

no way am i going to exert extra effort for her now.  if i'm going someplace and she's there, fine.  but going someplace because she is there, nope.

she has again reappeared in my life.  and displayed once again reactions that made me go "huh?!"

we've gone through life without each other for years.  i don't see why we should inflict ourselves on each other now.


the e-mails i received last week bordered on the surreal.

a classmate from high school sent me info on singapore including figures showing it's population as 7% indian.

i share with her that my masteral studies is actually international studies, area studies southeast asia.  i also tell her that "the point of the blog is that we have mind sets and sometimes we end up ruling out certain possibilities because we're focusing on something else.  when someone said singaporean, the immediate picture that came to mind was that of a chinese-looking fellow and recollection of an indian guy was not top of mind."

she responds by asking whether i have to brag about my educational background and tells me not to insult her by explaining what the blog is about.

huh?!  oh... my... goodness... : }

before that there were these e-mails from a cousin in the US.  he was checking on the laptop he sent me and i tell him that i couldn't make it work.

he asks me whether i plugged it.  huh?!  why should i do that?!  joke!  i did.  duh!

he fires off another e-mail asking whether i turned it on.  huh?!  i have to do that?!  i'm rolling in laughter here!!!  of course, i did!!!

some questions are just totally unexpected... they boggle the mind, ha-ha

the bull

i was in front of the computer with my niece when the phone rang.  it was for me.

i gave brief instructions to my niece and she explained something back.

my caller notes, "english-speaking pala pamangkin mo..."

i go, "nope"

"how come she talked to you in english?"

"not always.  unless it's school, her usual medium of communication's tagalog."

i tell her that when they were young (my nephew and my niece), we talked to them in english.  when they started going out to play, however, it became tagalog-time as that was their playmates' language.

i have a funny memory, actually.  with us in the house is my mama in (mama linda).  she joined our household way back when i was still a baby (yup, more than four decades ago!).  she's visayan and her "o" sounds are not so smooth.

one time i overheard her shouting to my nephew, "get the bull!"

huh?!  ball!

so much for english... LOL!

race or place

i was in one of our regular meetings and we were trying to trace the history of some change being requested for implementation.

one of the attendees says the change was discussed by a singaporean in one of the meetings months back.

my boss is surprised. she asks, "a singaporean attended our meeting???"

"yes, ma'am"

she started tapping her head, trying to recall, "singaporean... singaporean..."

someone helps her, "the indian, ma'am"

her forehead wrinkles, "what is it really, indian or singaporean?"

"indian... working in singapore"

laughter ; )

weekend exchange

yesterday, i called up one of our contractors to inform him that a certain document has passed me for initials and asked him whether they're ready with the additional hardware required under the new contract.

he said they'll still have to order it and delivery date is within 45 days. i reminded him per contract it has to be delivered within 30 days otherwise they'd be penalized. he was taken aback and said they'll try to obtain the hardware asap.

i told him that would be good as i've earlier requested my boss to kindly sign the document the moment it reaches her as we've been awaiting one of the contractor's hardware deliverables given that the one we're using has conked out.

i also told him the document was actually supposed to have been already signed the other day. i related to him that i was at my boss's office and one of her staff brought in a folder for signature. from where i was sitting, i saw the header and thought it was for my office so i told her, "ma'am, i've been awaiting that. i hope you would sign asap." she did. i then told her all we need now to get the project on-board is the contractor's signature. she told me to call the contractor so we could have the contract completely signed immediately.

it turned out, however, that the document her staff brought in was for some other project, not mine. ooops! the manager for said project got lucky : }

anyway, sometime after my call, my staff informs me that the contractor's officemate called him complaining that according to her officemate (the contractor i called) i was holding release of the document because we were down. huh?! where on earth did that come from?

i texted the contractor i was earlier on the phone with asking how come he mixed up my statements and even had certain things turned around the other way.

he texted back he did not mix anything up and did not twist any statements.

i relayed to him what my staff told me. i emphasized to him i was actually trying to have the document released asap not at all delaying it.

he texts back later admitting to the mixed up statements and apologizing for the error. he says he has corrected the information he earlier relayed to his officemate and ends his text with, "sorry po ulit tao lang po." -> my apologies again, just human. this amuses me and my annoyance is erased.

my officemates and i later made a joke from this, i.e., when close to end of office hours recollections of some event ran counter to each other, we asked, "sinong tao dito at sinong diyosa?" -> who's human here and who's a goddess (i e., not the one in error)? ha-ha

i thought that was the end of it, but what do you know, today, yup, a saturday, i receive another text from the contractor. he was again apologizing about the error.

i text back, "it's ok. move on. no prob"

he texts again saying he was really embarrassed about what happened.

i again text him it's ok now and just please be accurate in relaying statements next time.

he texts back he will.

i text him to enjoy his weekend and not disturb mine.

end of exchange ; )

transfer blues

my two closest batchmates paid me a surprise visit at the office.  now, i've been with my new office a little over a month but up to now i haven't really settled in stuff-wise.  my things are still in boxes and those of my predecessor's are still scattered around the area.

as usual, we had picture-taking.  i made sure, however, that everything was angled so that the boxes don't appear in the frame.  i apologized to my batchmates about the appearance of the place.

one of them good-naturedly offered, "you want, one time, i'll come over and help you fix this up?"

yikes!  suddenly i felt like a slob  : }

i better unpack soon...

something pleasant : )

it just occurred to me that i've twice blogged about unpleasant road experiences.  i'd like now to close the triad by blogging about a pleasant road trip.

i was in subic this weekend and we passed through the recently opened SCTEX (Subic, Clark, Tarlac Expressway).  wooh!  good road  : )

the last time i was in subic was years back and i don't really remember anymore how we got there and all but, however we did, i am sure it pales in comparison with last weekend's journey.

my officemate who was driving kept on spouting good words about the road.  he should know, he was driving.  me, i was doubly pleased -> i was a mere passenger this time (i really  now appreciate being one, having often felt like a cab driver this last year.).  i could close my eyes, look around, move this way and that.

this afternoon, one of our contractors texted me asking about my criteria for a life companion.  i texted him back a few.  i said, "gusto ko maitim (ang kutis, hindi ang budhi), mabait, malambing, hindi nagsisinungaling, hindi umiinom, hindi nagsisigarilyo, hindi nagsusugal, hindi nambababae at may oras para sa akin  : )"

there's supposed to be more, actually, had the medium not been text  ; )

another criterion would be that the guy would make an effort to fetch me and take me home even if i have my own car.  i've actually come across a couple of guys who seem to have forgotten that i expect to be treated like a lady (pampered like a princess, ha-ha) even if i have a car.  they just let me go on my own, confident that i can be left to my own devices.  ugh!  just because i can go it alone does not mean i want to go it alone.  it's always nice to have someone take care of you, you know.

i treasure in my heart up to now the gentlemanly thought of two of my batchmates.  on separate occasions, both have offered to accompany me on my drive home, our respective cars on convoy.  i declined the offers, it would have meant they'd be going to and fro, but i deeply appreciate the thought.  i am really thankful and am looking forward to more of their kind  : )


i was making a left turn to a four-lane street this morning (two lanes each to and fro) and my car was already close to the edge of the third lane. i was looking to my right and when i saw that the oncoming vehicle was still far, i gently stepped on the gas to complete my turn. was i surprised to see a speeding vehicle to my left. instead of stopping to let me pass, the driver swerved to the left, doing a counterflow!

this angered me so and from my car i shouted, "you're out of lane, moron!" throwing a fist at the driver.

i do not know whether he heard me but he blocked my way and started honking and shaking his finger at me! (yuck! the guy hasn't read one finger to the other person, three to himself.)

i honked back and screamed at him from my car.

he moved finally, not because of me, i think, but because the oncoming vehicle in the lane he was occupying was already very near.

ugh! i hate it when people do not know their place. talk about stupidly arrogant/arrogantly stupid. may our paths never cross again.


someone gave me a bagful of chocolates yesterday. i should be totally happy -> i LOVE chocolates... but then the deed tugged a bit at my heartstrings. it reminded me of the time i was still with the guy i vowed to spend the rest of my life with (ouch!).

the guy was not content with giving me one, three, five, a dozen chocolates. nope, he regularly bought me a bagful, as in, one grocery-bagful, sometimes more.

i grew up with chocolates, actually. when we were younger, my dad was the one who bought them for us. when we got older, we were the ones who bought them ourselves. there were always chocolates in our ref.

but then my guy's version was a bit over the top -> chocolates were spilling out our refrigerator shelves. i am normally very appreciative but this one has reached the point where instead of joy, his chocolates were causing me dismay. i kept on telling him, "babe, i'm going to contract diabetes with all these stuff." still, he kept on piling them up. i could always give them away, true. but whenever i did, he'd just buy me more.

if only relationships survived on chocolates. too bad, they don't...

weekend diary

i again was in laguna last weekend, this time, for the annual mountain climb.

every last saturday of may in our town (pakil, laguna), townsfolk and visitors climb up a mountain where there are stations of the cross along the trail and mass is celebrated in a small chapel at the top.

months back, i invited two of my closest batchmates to this climb.  they both excitedly said yes.

as the date neared, our batchmate from japan suddenly arrived.  she surprised us actually.  i was on the phone with her saturday and i was asking her when she was coming over and she said soon but wouldn't give the date.  then monday night over dinner with three batchmates, she pops up!  surprise!!!

her arrival caused me a bit of a dilemma.  i didn't feel comfortable bringing my two closest batchmates to laguna without inviting her as well considering she's been so nice to us even from afar.  the thing is, if i invite her, i would have to invite this other batchmate as well who also has been very nice to us.  if i invite her, she's sure to bring her daughter along.  (when i invited my batchmate earlier, i requested she does not bring her son who often tags along in our batch gatherings.)  if i invite this batchmate, i would have to invite my classmate as well.  if i invite the nice batchmate and my classmate, this other batchmate who is their neighbor might tag along as well.  so many people!!!  i did not want to be hosting too many considering we have no help in the laguna house.  so i told my two closest batchmates we'll just  cancel the laguna trip and i'll just bring them along some other year maybe.  they were disappointed but understood nevertheless.

then the week of the climb, my sister tells me she couldn't make it as she has a lot of load at the office and won't be able to take friday off.  hmmm.... there would now be space in my car not just for two passengers but for three.  i wanted only four for a comfortable ride, originally, me, my sister plus my two closest batchmates.  with my sister begging off, i now could have in her place the batchmate from japan.

my earlier dilemma on having to invite this other nice batchmate if i invite the batchmate from japan has been erased as the nice batchmate would be attending a luncheon celebrating the birthday of three of her classmates on the weekend of the climb.  she invited me actually but i declined telling her i'd be in laguna.

i decided to revive the invitation to my two closest batchmates requesting one of them to ask the one from japan whether she'd like to go as well on condition she does not bring anyone along (she travels with an entourage, ha-ha).  unfortunately, one of my closest batchmates says she couldn't make it as she has to work friday night!  much as i wanted her to be with us, i didn't want to postpone going to the day of the climb as i did not want to be waking up early.

she offered to just take a public commute and follow on her own early saturday.  i wouldn't let her saying if anything happens to her i would feel responsible as she would have been on her way to our place on my invitation.  either she goes to laguna in my car or not at all.

with her not going, my other close batchmate also would not go anymore as she was shy about going to our place without this other batchmate.  hmmm... i was disappointed but, bottom line, no problem.  i'm used to going to laguna alone.

then friday morning i receive a call from this batchmate who had to work friday night telling me she has asked a male batchmate to drive her to laguna early saturday.

i was like, "huh?!  how come you've invited someone to our place, a guy at that, without clearing with me first???!!!"

i didn't like it and i told her VERY clearly, or so i thought.

then i receive a text from this other close batchmate telling me the batchmate from japan wanted to go and is asking whether she could bring her niece along.  thinking the other close batchmate wouldn't be going anymore, i said yes.  there'd still be four of us in the car, me, my close batchmate, the batchmate from japan, plus her niece.

what do you know, i receive another call from the other close batchmate.  she tells me the male batchmate wouldn't drive her anymore but she has instead asked her female officemate to drive her to laguna.  i was half-amused and half-annoyed.  i emphatically told her:

1.  i didn't want her to be bringing along people i did not invite, much more someone i have not even met

2.  i didn't want her going to our place without me because  if anything happens to her i would feel responsible

she finally got what i've been trying to say so she just wished us an enjoyable trip.

so it was set, 3 pm we will be leaving for laguna sans one of my closest batchmates.  (i felt sad she wouldn't be there...)

then i receive a text from the other close batchmate saying the batchmate from japan will make it 3:30 to 4 pm yet.  i said i didn't want to be driving along the zigzag mountain road to laguna in the dusk/dark so i told her to ask the batchmate from japan whether she was sure to make it by 4 pm because if she wasn't sure, i wasn't going to bring them along anymore and i'll just leave on my own at 3 pm.

she texts back 4 pm is sure.

i said ok, i'll wait until 4 but no later.  i said if by 4 the batchmate from japan is not around, i'll leave them both.


close to 4 i text the close batchmate asking whether the batchmate from japan has arrived.  nope.  i text her i'm off to laguna and just tell the batchmate from japan i've left them behind.

4:07 i receive a call from the close batchmate telling me the batchmate from japan is on her way.  i tell her i was way past their street already and have no intention of going back.  i told her to tell the batchmate from japan not to proceed anymore.

4:27 i receive a call from the batchmate from japan.  she's near the meeting place already.  i told her i was already in antipolo, way past leonardo's, way past this and that landmark.  i told her i was sorry but i wasn't going back for them  (ugh!  am i so bad???)

4:36 i receive another call from the same batchmate.  she's in the meeting place already, the house of the close batchmate.  i said i was much farther now and consoled her by saying the  mountain climb is tiring anyway so it's ok even if they don't get to go.  she said she wanted to go still.  we were talking and talking and my heart melted eventually so i said if they're willing to follow i'll park and wait for them.  she happily said yes so park i did.

close to an hour already and they haven't arrived!  i was restless and annoyed already.  i wanted to leave them behind again.  i hate waiting!  worse, i didn't want to be driving on a road, specially a winding mountain road, where the only sources of light are my headlights!

suddenly, their vehicle appears on my side mirror.  they park behind my car, hurriedly get off, apologetically and happily greet me and all is well.  whew!

we drive off to laguna and safely get to our house through the dark mountain road.

we eat dinner, rest awhile and they go night swimming afterward.  (i did not because i drove.)

saturday morning, we were preparing for the climb.  my dad who was supposed to have gone ahead suddenly comes back with a police vehicle.  huh?!

he tells me he originally hired a public jeepney for us.  while he was waiting for the jeep, a police vehicle arrived and parked someplace making it hard for jeepneys to make a turn.  he requested the driver to move the vehicle so jeepneys could turn around.  the driver tells him no jeepneys will be arriving anymore as the mayor has just prohibited them from plying the route as they pose a danger to the climbers.

he tells the driver, "aba, paano 'yung mga bisita ko?"

the mayor overhears this and tells the driver to fetch my dad's visitors.  that's us, ha-ha.  we therefore climb a long stretch of the mountain onboard a police vehicle.  cheats... : }

actually, vehicles do not normally ply the trail.  it's just on the day of the climb where they appear and bring lazy (uh-oh) climbers to the end of the navigable road, which is up to the 7th station of the cross.

anyway, from the 7th station we started our climb on foot.  hike, hike, hike, rest, rest, rest.  hike, rest.  hike, rest.  hike, rest.  finally, we make it to the top.  we roam around, hear mass, and have lunch afterward.

what do you know, upon opening our lunch bags, we discover that my close batchmate has accidentally picked up from the dining table two plastic bags full of native delicacies intended for my mom's visitors!  she brought up two heavy plastic bags to the mountain only to bring them down again.  exercise, ha-ha...  (we could have given the stuff away like we did the rest of our food but my mom wouldn't be able to order replacements in time)

while on the mountain, i asked my companions whether they still would like to go to liliw on the same day or just postpone it to tomorrow.  (liliw is the shoe capital of laguna.)  they said same day.  ok.  i said we'll leave the house to go there at 3.

after lunch and some more roaming around, we go down the mountain.  descend, descend, descend, rest, rest, rest, descend, descend, descend.  no more cheating this time.  on foot from the mountaintop to our house  : )

at the house, i rush to the bedroom to rest while my companions sit around the dining table.

3:20 pm i go down and see them chatting with my mom.  i remind them we were going to liliw.

3:40 i go down again and they're still chatting with my mom!

i tell them they better get ready or else we're not going to liliw anymore.  i said time is no issue with them as they'd just be sitting while me i have to stay alert even if tired as i would be driving.

they hurriedly get dressed and off to liliw we go.  on the way, we stop by the stores at paete, the wood-carving capital of laguna.  they look and buy; i just look, ha-ha

from there it was liliw, to the long stretch of road lined with stores selling shoes, bags, slippers.  we all look and buy this time  ; )

we were not able to check out all the stores, however, as darkness has descended and we've hit closing time.  we eat dinner in liliw before going back to pakil.

at the house, i ask them whether they'll be joining me at mass the following morning.  they ask what time.  i said 8:30 am.  they said they'd just hear mass in the city.  ok.

5:30 am of sunday i wake up to cook them breakfast.  after that i went back to bed and got up later to take a shower.  i see my batchmates already awake and tell them  breakfast is ready.  i told them to eat without me as i'm going to take a shower before mass.

so shower, shower, shower.  after my hour-long shower, was i surprised to see all three of them dressed already!  i asked them whether they've eaten breakfast.  they said no as they would be going to hear mass with me and wanted to be on time.  i felt so mean, ha-ha-ha

i prefer to walk to church but since they were with me i decided to hail a tricyle.  ride a tricyle and hear mass we did and all throughout mass i was uneasy thinking my companions might be hungry already (me, i don't really eat breakfast so no problem).

after mass i quickly showed them around the church and then we rode another tricyle to a nearby eatery where finally they got to eat breakfast.  they actually wanted to go back to our house and partake of the stuff i cooked but i said that would be cold already and the one in the eatery would be better as it would be a hot meal.  (actually, i am no cook at all.  i just exerted some effort for them but i wasn't confident of my cooking's taste, what more if it's already cold, ha-ha)

from the eatery, i brought them to our town's handicraft store.  again, they looked and bought.  me, i just looked  ; )

from the store, we went back to our house for lunch, part of which was the breakfast i cooked earlier (ouch!).  we rested awhile then got ready to go for a dip at the public pool, supposedly healing and miraculous.

on our way to the pool, we dropped by my balikbayan aunt's house and invited her to go swimming with us.  she said she'll follow and she did.

we dipped in the pool;  swam a bit.  when it was time to go, my companions filled their bottles with water flowing from the outlet.  we brought all this drinking water back to the city.

from the public pool, we resumed swimming at the pool in our house.  actually, this one turned out to be as much a pictorial as a swimming session.  we'd take a dip, pose, take a dip, pose.  front, back, left, right; all angles, all poses, ha-ha

6 pm we left laguna for the city.  we expected to be there by 8 pm but somewhere along the descent we started crawling as there was this big container van in front of us carrying what i think are coffins (yikes!) given that it had the marking 'st. peter'  : }

the van was going slooow and we, too, were going slooow still i did not want to overtake the van.  i was telling my companions doing so would feel like i was overtaking the dead to its destination and i did not want that.  so we all just made the most of the crawl, talking, laughing and making fun of our speed, or lack of it, along the way.

at long last we reached antipolo and along the area lined with food stalls we decided to stop to buy cashew and what-have-you.  by the time we got back in the car the big van was already nowhere in sight.  good!

along the way, my close batchmate received a text from the close batchmate who was not able to make it to laguna.  she was inviting us to the birthday celebration i earlier declined.  apparently, from lunch it has been moved to dinner.  i was tired already but my companions wanted to go so i gave in on the condition we won't stay long as i still had to attend an early flag ceremony at the office the following day.  agreed.  ok.

nearing the venue, my close batchmate texted the close batchmate who invited us only to be told that she has left and was on her way home.

everyone was like, if she was not there anymore then maybe we could already skip the party.  ugh!  i drive through this long, narrow road to the venue for nothing???!!!

anyway, we go instead to the close batchmate's house to bring her our pasalubong.  she is surprised we proceeded to her house instead of to the party.  she tells us to go there even for just a short while.  i was like, we were almost there already, i don't feel like driving back.  so we just chat awhile and then proceeded to my other close batchmate's house to bring her home and to eat dinner.

i was really tired and sleepy already  (i was up at 5:30 am, remember) and suddenly this other nice batchmate arrives unannounced close to midnight.  ugh!  i wasn't very pleased.  i was afraid they'd go chatting on and on and driver me would have to wait up and take them home one by one to think i still have flag ceremony the following day.  i said midnight everything's off.  agreed.

when the clock struck twelve, even if there remained things to be said, i firmly said i'm going to take them home already.

pile in the car we did and we brought home the batchmate from japan plus her niece.

from her house, it was just me and the close batchmate who did not make it to laguna.  goodness, along the u-turn at katipunan, there was this motorcylce rider with neither reflector nor helmet who, instead of making a U from the opposite lane, made an L, as in, he went perpendicular to my path!  i steered the vehicle to the right and there he was, still going straight. i stepped on the brakes just in time and honked and honked and honked and only then did he stop, looking dazed toward us.  ugh!!!  close call!!!

my companion was hysterical and wanted to go down to confront the guy, bring him to the police station, etc.  i was like, aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgh!  pity me, pleeeeeeeeease... i want to go to sleep NOW!

i brought her home and then drove to my parents' place by myself.  what do you know, while taking my stuff from the car, i saw this male ghost standing to the left looking at me.  yikes!  he was a small guy wearing white pants with belt.  i muttered, "leave!!!  leave!!!"

this was not the first time i've seen something of the type but this is the first time i saw the apparition's face.  yikes!

i walked to my parents' house without looking back and all the while my head felt swollen, as in, the feeling you have when something supernatural is around.  my feeling returned back to normal only upon stepping inside my parents' house.

there, finally, i got my sleep but not for long as just a few hours later i had to attend the office flag ceremony.

what a weekend...