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jmtuazon
03 January 2011 @ 11:43 pm

Much as 2010 was the Year of Stability, it was also the year of travels, here and abroad.  I’ve traveled to various destinations last year more than I ever have my entire life.  There are a lot of new places, and there were also old places revisited (Hello Singapore, which some people say ginagawa ko lang Quiapo).  Most of these travels were for work, but I always try (try being the operative word—as in try to get out of bed) to squeeze in some exploration in my free time.

Here’s a rundown of all the places I’ve been to in 2010:

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March 2010 – Phuket, Thailand.
It was my first time in Phuket.  We hit Patong Beach, where the red light district was.  The beach wasn’t so nice, but getting immersed in all that culture and, well, prostitution, was an eye-opening experience.

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May 2010 – Singapore.
Second time in the lion city.  Was able to roam around a bit, and get a taste of local delicacy.  Was able to visit Universal Studios, too!


June 2010 – Back to Singapore! 
Spent a whole week this time.  Also, went with my boss (pictured here).  Roamed to places I’ve never been to before, such as Vivo City and Sentosa Beach.  Rode a bus!  Stayed with Micah after my official engagement.


July 2010 – Malaysia. 
Attended an Intel press briefing.  Stayed at the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.  Wasn’t able to go to the Petronas Towers (sadfez).  Was billeted at such a weird hotel (with pyramids!  And a giant sphinx head!)

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August 2010 – Boracay.  Stayed at the infamous (and uber-sashal!) Discovery Shores.  Second time in paradise.  Bad, bad weather.  But still enjoyed the beach!

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September 2010 – Cebu with my One and Only. :)  Four months in the making! (parang baby lang, haha)  Went far up in Cebu, to Bantayan Island.  Swam at the pristine beach.  Ate good food.  And most of all: sumemplang sa motor! Haha.  Also, braved our fears at the Crowne Regency Hotel’s Edge Coaster; bought danggit at Tabo-An Market (which we geekily located through Foursquare and Google Maps); and toured the entire city.

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October 2010 – Enchanted Kingdom! 
Time travel back to childhood.  Rode almost all the rides, except Anchor’s Away (someone’s tummy didn’t want to.  Boo!)  Rode the new EKstreme, which is like an elevator freefall.  Discovered that I was afraid of the topmost part of the Wheel of Fate (see picture for reference!) Almost didn’t catch the bus back to Manila!

October 2010 – Singapore…yet again.  Can you believe I didn’t take even a single picture during this trip?  Haha.  Our hotel was a bit far away from the city central, so I spent most of my time at the hotel.

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November 2010 – Bangkok for the 2nd time around.  Fell deeper in love with this lovely city!  Walked the streets of Bangkok at night, went to a few night markets, took in the fresh (and quiet!) Thai air.  Ate too much Pad Thai, too!

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November 2010 – Coron, Palawan.  Yet another city I fell in love with.  Majestic limestone formations! Deep blue lakes and lagoons! Awesome beaches!  School of Fish!  Pawikan near the shore! Exclamation points!

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December 2010 – Hong Kong.  With my Love.  The trip that almost didn’t happen, thanks to an incompetent PR firm.  Love love love the uber-cold, jacket weather!  Roamed around Hong Kong Island and Mongkok ‘til our feet bruised.  Visited the Giant Buddha.  Went to Victoria Peak.  Spent a lot of time riding the MTR!  I love Hong Kong!  Bring me back there!  I have yet to see Disneyland and Ocean Park.

How about you?  Were have you been the past year? :)

 
 
jmtuazon
03 January 2011 @ 10:45 pm

Sometimes I would just like to laugh at myself for being so forgetful.

In trying to remember the names I’ve given to the past years, I’ve discovered that—for the second time in a row—I’ve forgotten to give a name to a particular year.

There are a multitude of reasons why I forgot to give 2009 a name—maybe I was too busy to even stop and think of one.  Maybe I didn’t remember (highly plausible) until now.  Maybe I was too lazy to fire up a blog post at the end of that year or the start of the next.

I can enumerate a kilometric list of reasons, but only one reason will ring true, in my opinion: I’ve selectively chosen to forget that year.

I know, I know, it’s such a lame reason, but you see, 2009 wasn’t my best year.  So much so that I’d say it’d qualify for my worst year, thus far.  Sure, I found my new love that year (something which I’m very much thankful for, up to now), and sure, I landed my first job that year, but it was also the year that a major financial problem shook the very loose foundations of our family.  I’ll elaborate no further, but let’s just say it’s one of the things that make my heart bleed even up to now.

And so, with that said, I hereby declare 2009 as the Year of Challenges.  It was the year I braved the real world after graduating from the confines of education; it was the year I took a leap of faith in love; it was the year I was forced to grow up, man up, and pay up (literally); and technically, it was also the year I lost at love.  Despite all these, I would not like to call this year the Year of Failures, or the Year of Hardships and Tribulations (although I very well have all the means and rights to do so), because I believe these trials—these challenges—form part of what I have become today, and that’s something I will never choose to forget.

 
 
jmtuazon
03 January 2011 @ 05:15 pm

It is unbelievable, this sudden urge to write.  It comes at a time when you least expect it, yet its inevitability (and persistence, might I add) is not something one can just put at the backburner like, say, the work that was due over the holidays (or last year, for that matter).

It has been a good first workday of the year, I must say.  I have just done a truckload of pending work the whole day, yet the bin of unfinished tasks doesn’t seem to deplete even a bit.  But I’ve got no complaints.  So many things are changing in my life right now that I find solace and comfort in the few things that have remained consistent—like the work that I do, the friends that I have, and the love that I continue to give.

Most people would have already written the penultimate post to cap and recap the year that had just gone by.  It is an activity that I found comfort in doing years ago, when I was still an active contributor to the blogging community.  These days, however, looking back at the past feels mildly irrelevant to the deluge of changes I see before me, laid sprawling at the year that lies ahead.

As the saying goes, the only thing constant in this world is change.  And so I welcome the New Year with wide-eyed optimism, hopeful that the new depths I choose to plunge in the coming days will be worth it.  If not, then let’s all just chalk it up to experience, shall we?  Then again we’ll never know unless we try. :)

P.S.  2010 was the year of stability, as per my tradition of naming every year. :)

 
 
jmtuazon
08 November 2010 @ 03:05 pm

I was in an unusually dejected mood last night, probably ~one of those days~ when random sinking feelings just decide to manifest themselves, when I thought of checking how my books stashed in the second floor of our apartment were doing.

Honestly, I was postponing this inevitable moment of having to open ~that~ box and finding all my books in a generous pulp of muddled paper.  You see, this box of books was sitting at the side of the upper floor which leaked when rain poured too hard.  Naturally, when it first happened, I knew my books inside were drenched in murky rain water.  Maybe that’s why I was postponing it.  It’s exactly why I was postponing it.  I didn’t want to open the box and see a tragedy of lost treasures taunting me.

Tonight, however, I decided I could postpone it no longer.

I rummaged through the stuff piled on top of my box, set them aside, and braced myself before opening it.  I didn’t know what I felt then, but in a few words of expressions it was a mix of “Yaaay!” and “Awwww…” to “Ewwww…” then “Sigh…”  The bottom pile of the books were drenched, but it’s safe to say most were safe from being mildew-ed for life.  Some of the notebooks were drenched as well, but most of the still-writeable ones made it through alive.

If I could talk to my notebooks and books, this is what I would say: “My dear little paper friends, I plead guilty to this blatant display of negligence and frustrated homicide.  I knew, since I was very little, how paper succumbs to water, but I paid no heed when they told me you could’ve all possibly died when the rain poured hard over the monsoon season.  I guess I was afraid to have to move you out of that corner and open the carton box that was your home, only to see all my babies dead.  But good thing you all made it out alive, but not without painful bruises and scars.  I’m sorry for that.  Really, I am.  To make it up to all of you, I’m buying a shiny and expensive plastic mega-box at the mall later, which will serve as your new home.  When the finances finally permit, I will even buy you all a nice high-rise condo (aka bookshelf), the home that you truly deserve.

I must be going bonkers, but heck, anything to preserve the memories of the years that have gone by.

 
 
jmtuazon
05 November 2010 @ 04:57 pm

I watched Julie/Julia on the plane on my way back from a three-day coverage in Bangkok.  One line Julie uttered struck a bit of a chord in me: “I never finish anything.”  She was frustrated about being recognized as the author who had a half-finished novel, someone who sets out to start some life project and ends up quitting mid-way.

Sounds familiar.  Eerily familiar.

Over the years I’ve gone through one idea after another, beginning to execute it, and then abandoning it in the middle of the process.  I’ve had countless blogs before, and I just couldn’t seem to focus.  I get a new Starbucks planner almost every year, and I leave three-fourths of the pages unfilled with “plans” and other mundane things.  And don’t even get me started on my TBR pile (or should I say TBR mountain-made-out-of-a-molehill).  Seems like the only way I can finish something is when it’s required to be finished.  Hello, ~thesis~.  Hello, ~work articles~.

If there’s anything in life I’m consistent about, it’s being inconsistent.  And, well, sige, love.  CHOS!

But I digress.  I have reason to believe I have ADD, what with all these “life projects” I just couldn’t seem to see to the very end.  It shows in the way I write, too, what with scurrying and ALT+TAB-ing between Word and Chrome—Twitter, FB, whatnot—every few lines of text, never being able to focus on one thing at once.

So, for the year 2011, guess what?  Another life project, yeah.  But this time I’m hoping to be able to finish it, for real.  If only for the sake of being able to say that I have finished something at last.  Kahit yun lang ang rason.  Hahaha.

I’m thinking of two things, just in case I get tired of doing one, at least I’ll have another one to do.  But I’ll do them simultaneously.  One is to fill up a whole year’s worth of pages in a Starbucks planner.  I know I’ve failed in this department before but I’ve never really tried doing it since I started working (I didn’t get a planner last year).

The second one would be a bit more difficult, but definitely a lot more fun.  I have a spare doodle book from ~the other half~ lying in one of my notebook piles at the apartment, and what a shame if I won’t be able to use it.  So I’m turning it into a 30-day challenge doodle book.  Every month, I’ll do a different 30-day challenge, for a total of 12 months.  I know writing is hard-wired in me, but sometimes thinking of something to write about can get very paralyzing.

Well, there you go.  Let’s see how long before I start slacking off again on these two projects.  Heh.  But let’s be positive.  2011 surely will be a year of possibilities. :)

 
 
 
jmtuazon
06 October 2010 @ 12:11 am

Tonight, there is a sudden fright that envelopes me--like a parent waking up in the middle of a cold winter night, hugging her kid tight, bracing him tight like the turning of the world depended on the tightness of her arms around his body, afraid to let him slip into the cold silently, without as much as a willingness to fight falling over into the fray.

I fought hard, you know, this thought of us growing accustomed to each other, used to the quirks of one another, memorizing each other's curves and troughs as if they were steps to a dance number.

I held you tight like you were my own child (I still do, actually), but I slowly find myself getting used to the warmth of your body, singing along with your gushes for breath, feeling your very existence beside me in bed.

I have grown familiar of you. And with that came the realization that, as many thinkers before me have put it, the more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know.

And I realize I don't know a lot about you. What were you like as a child? Did you play tumbang preso and piko with raunchy neighborhood kids like I did? When did you first fall in love? With whom? And how was your first kiss? Who is your favorite teacher? How willing are you to still be wih me tomorrow?

Superficial things, I know. But I remember someone telling me that it's the little things that count the most.

I can take not knowing now, because it opens up a lot of gates to discovering in the future. What I can't take is the familiarity, of you slipping into that little box in my mind, tucked carefully behind the other, seemingly important stuff, marked "usual," "common," "familiar."

And so I hold you close, closer than I did the other night, or more loose than when I did on a hot summer day, just to break the monotony that has become the empty space between us, keeping us apart when we've made so much effort to come close.

You will always be special to me, I promise that. Let's just call this a phase, my momentary means of rediscovering my inner sentiments, of digging out my emo self, just because I have, for the past year that we've been together, nothing to be lonely about.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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jmtuazon
17 September 2010 @ 11:13 pm
We've heard of Writer's Block before, and oftentimes we wish we haven't even been acquainted with the word, nay, the concept. Every famous writer--from Woolf and Hemmingway to King and Grisham, een down to your Average Joe blogger--admits to have experienced it a least once in their writing lives, and every self-confessed writer wouldn't be caught dead denying the reality of that fact.

But for us writers in the hyper-real era of the World Wide Web, a new phenomenon is slowly crippling writing habits, often at the expense of the quality of our work.

Call it however you like, but I find the description of a Twitter friend suited best for this modern case of pen trouble. Writer's ADD, as he called it, occurs when one writes a few lines of text and feels compelled to momentaily abandon it, in pursuit of other preoccupations--like checking e-mail, updating one's status on Twitter, or catching a glimpse of a show on the boob tube.

Call it the curse of our generation, forever exposed to various forms of media, and perpetually disposed to the incessant want to get one's self updated in a world where 24/7 is not a figure of speech, and "stuff" are always happening.

I work as a writer for a monthly computer magazine, and on average I choke out tens of thousands of words both out of nowhere and everywhere evey day.

I never played particular notice to this phenomenon--even though I was well aware I was doing it--until I found out another fella out there was experiencing the same thing as I was.

For some reason, I just couldn't pay heed to age-old--debatably tried and tested--writing advice of deep focus when writing, eliminating distractions while doing the deed, and never stopping until one finishes one's train of thought, bladder and stomach be damned.

When your writing device is also capable of playing movies, bearing zettabytes of literature, or communicating with other people, just how does one "zone out" and let the creative juices flow?

Maybe it's technology laughing back at us for our delusions of progress and development. Right now, for example, I'm writing this piece on my trusty iPod Touch--a music player, photo viewer, Web browser, and gaming machine all rolled into one--aboard an EDSA Norhbound bus, and I am perpetually distracted by texts on my phone, chatter at my back, and even the teeth-gnashing scenes of the movie playing overhead.

Surely Virginia Woolf--what with locking herself in a room for months in end, wrting--didn't have as much "extra-curricular activities" I have right now.

And even then, writing on a moving vehicle wasn't even possible during her time! Try doing what I'm doing on simple pen and paper and let's see if you come up with something that can remotely equal Edgar Allan Poe's poems, heck, even Dan Brown's laughable attempts at novel writing (though I surely enjoyed his plots).

The existence of my proposed phenomenon is largely debatable as it stems from personal experience, but surely the factors revolving around shrinking attention spans--not just in writing--are something to be concerned about.

Still, to say that being surrounded by instantaneous, always-on, perpetually available information is a bad thing in itself is another debate altogether. Some argue that taking "short breaks" from strenuous work jumpstarts the mind; others say any form of distraction is bad for any form of end-goal, and that productivity suffers because of it.

I, on the other hand, say the effects of Writer's ADD is contingent on the quality of output produced while suffering from such a "condition." This post is an example. You be the judge. :)



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Current Location: Philippines, Quezon City
 
 
jmtuazon
28 July 2010 @ 02:26 pm
My application for a US Visa was denied yesterday.  Or, as my *nice* consul would put it, dee-nahyd.  I had all my papers with me--sample articles, media ID, bank statement, the whole shebang--but the one thing she asked me to present (my *nonexistent* employment contract), I could not produce.

At first I thought I wouldn't feel a thing.  I wasn't like the others, after all, who had to borrow money from peers to beef up their bank passbooks to prove their financial liabilities here, or come up with whatever kind of legal document, for I was merely a journalist on assignment.  But the familiar feeling of rejection that morning pierced right through where it shouldn't, and to make matters worse, I couldn't shout my angst and frustration out--literal or virtual--because I didn't bring my phone with me (strict embassy rules, they say).

In this situation, the trusty old notebook once again proved its trustworthiness.  On one of its pages, I scribbled: "It's true what they say: mistakes make you smarter for the next time you hit the same bump in the road.  There is no denying that.  Still, I think nothing beats getting it right the first time."

In the immortal words of Yoda: there is no try, only do.  And do again, we shall!

***

Tomorrow, I'll be turning 22.  Strangely, unlike other years, no birthday blues are blowing my way this year.  I guess it's safe to say that I'm over my emo-teenage-angst phase?  Haha.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But I'm glad I'm celebrating my birthday this year on a happy-er note.  Still, I miss being emo.  Haha! :P
 
 
jmtuazon
22 July 2010 @ 07:40 pm
Inverted Pyramid

(To the tune of Charice Pempengco and Iyaz's smash RnB hit, "Pyramid")

We start with the important stuff
The who, the what, and all that crap
Together at the top
Inverted Pyramid

And then we keep the story flowing
Supporting facts and all the details
Put quotes there if you may
Inverted Pyramid!

Bow.
 
 
jmtuazon
16 July 2010 @ 03:38 pm
July 14, 2010 may very well be the worst day of my life.  Ever.  But I have no way of telling, do I?  Since I'm still alive, yes?  So let's just put it at it's the worst day of my life, SO FAR.

Here's what happened: at around quarter to ten in the evening of July 13th, the lights started flickering in my apartment.  I was alone, my companions always arrived late, and I was already lying comfortably in my air-filled bed, trying to lull myself to sleep.  A second time, the lights flickered.  The winds were howling outside, and I could hear trees and things smashing on walls, but paid no heed.  That is, until the power completely went out, which sent me hysterically texting my housemates, asking for their whereabouts, hoping not one lost soul would start to creep beside me in the bed, otherwise I'd just die there from screaming my head off.

Seconds later, the lights went back again.  Whew, I thought.  No more fears of darkness and being alone and unsuspecting ghosts lurking nearby.  That is, until a few minutes later, when the lights flickered and totally went out again. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! I thought to myself.   I once again panicked and text-shouted at my friends, asking, begging them to come home already and provide much-needed company, also, protection from ghosts and ghouls.

As in the first time, the lights went back again.  Major Whew, I thought to myself.  Thankfully, one housemate came home already.  While we were talking, the lights went out--for the third time.  I was waiting for it, for a few minutes, to come back on, to no avail.  He said that's usually the case, that the third time the power fluctuates, it never comes back.  I prepared myself for a chilly night, both from the gushing winds outside, and for possibilities of dead souls walking past my air-filled bed.

Madness
At around two in the morning, I felt a watery sensation by my foot.  Strangely enough, it didn't bother me a bit.  Until I felt it again.  And again.  And then again.  My mind was all slushy from everything that's happening, but it was at least able to process that the succession of watery sensations meant water was dripping.  FROM UPSTAIRS.  I suppressed the thought of a blood-stricken bloody murdered woman hanging loose from the ceiling, and sat upright.  I inspected the foot of my air-filled bed.  There was a trail of water tracing its width.  The water continued to drip.  I stared at it for a few more minutes, trying hard to decipher what was happening.  It took about two whole minutes for me to realize that it was rainwater dripping on our bed, and that I had to do something about it.  But I didn't know what.  I swear, that was the first time in a long time I ever felt THAT stupid.  But just you wait.  It gets worse.

I stood up, opened our cupboards, and scooped out a bucket.  I roused my housemate, asked him to push the bed out of the water's way and placed the bucket where it was dripping.  But then, I heard no drips in the bucket.  Instead, I heard it elsewhere.  It was dripping on our sofa.  Instinct told me to put the bucket there.  But the sofa's back rest was in the way!  I pushed the bucket onto the back rest, holding it in place so that it would catch the water.  So do I have to hold it 'til the water stops dripping?  I asked myself.  I was doing that for a few minutes or so until my housemate suggested to move the sofa so I could put the bucket on the floor.  TOINGK!  Why didn't I think of that?!

All was good that minute.  I climbed upstairs to check where the water was coming from.  I entered my other housemate's bedroom and was flailing aimlessly inside, for several minutes, trying to piece everything together, like where the water came from, how much the upstairs room was flooded, how about their beds, their stuff, everything??!  At that moment my other housemate woke up, and saw the ignorance on my face, and together we traced the source of the water infiltration.  We concluded it was coming from a wall near the floor landing, so we put rags and other thick cloths to contain the water.

After that, I went downstairs, thinking, how the hell did the water make it down here?!  I was looking at the bucket from the stairs, looking for where the water was dripping from.  I held out my hand near the ceiling, and nearly freaked out when I felt no water dripping on my hand.  I looked again at the bucket, and saw that it's still catching droplets of water.  I held out my hand again, and still had no water dripping on it!!  I started to freak out.  I thought, how could that happen?!  Where is this phantom water coming from??!  A few minutes of investigating and poking around and the stupid me eventually found out that the water ran the trail of the stairs, so it was resting and dripping from the foot of the half-floor landing.  TOINGK!

After getting the situation handled, I went back to my air-filled bed and tried to doze off.  But the chilly winds from outside and the sound of the water dripping loudly into the bucket (think having to count droplets instead of sheep, and still not working!) kept me up for a few hours still.  Finally, I was able to doze off at around 4am.

But then my alarm went off at 6am, prompting me to wake one of my housemates who need to go to work.  It was decided that hitting the snooze button was the best decision at such a bed weather, so the alarm rang up again one and a half hours later.  At this point I decided I won't be going to work anymore, that it would be impossible to be productive and that I'd end up wasting my time at the office eventually.  And we still didn't have electricity by then.

I continued to doze off, knowing I have all the time in my hands, and woke up at around 11:30 am.  That's when I remembered I had a deadline for my Singapore raket, which was about two hours ago.  Damn!  I quickly took a bath, clothed myself, and dashed off out of the apartment, with the goal of submitting work in mind.

Upon stepping into the frigid halls of Burger King E. Rod--which, surprisingly, lights, aircon, and Wi-Fi to boot--that's when it hit me:  I only have sixty pesos in my wallet, plus some coins in my bag.  I hurriedly went to the nearby BDO to withdraw money from my Unionbank account.  Apparently half the world's population was thinking of the exact same thing at the exact same time, so the line was kilometric.  I waited and waited for everyone to finish, but when it was my turn, the ATM just made me wait for about 5 minutes before spewing out: We cannot process your transaction.  I could've died right then and there, but thank God I didn't.

This time, thankfully, my mind was working already.  I decided to just use my credit card and make a cash advance at a nearby RCBC bank--which was offline.  I walked a little further, and tried my ATM on a Chinabank ATM, still to no avail.  I went back to the BDO ATM, which was mockingly empty at that point, and tried doing the cash advance.  But the damn thing needed a password pala!  Eh malay ko naman!  It was my first credit card, and the package didn't come with a PIN.  Later on I would find out that I need to have six months of good standing with the bank before they send me my PIN.  OH DRAT.

I went back to BK tired, sweaty, and feeling like a downtrodden and defeated warrior.  Clutching my sixty five pesos on one hand, and my credit card on the other, I approached the counter and ordered a cold Mocha drink, thinking that if my credit card didn't work, at least I have cash on hand to pay for it.  You see, my credit card has not been working during my last several attempts, probably due to my outstanding balance.  I crossed my fingers and gritted my teeth, but eventually rejoiced upon seeing the thermal paper from BDO slide out of the card machine: IT WORKED!  Thank God.  I proceeded to order lunch in addition to my Mocha, and I found myself a seat to merrily work on.

Mayhem
While working, I remembered I had a 3pm event to attend to, which will be held at Newport City near NAIA 3, which is in, like, what, the other hemisphere?  I immediately contacted the office asking if the event will push through.  It was about 1pm.  I got a reply minutes after, not confirming anything.  I asked fellow reporters who were invited to the event, and luckily on of them replied, to the affirmative.  I quickly finished my work, wrapped up, and headed out of BK and onto EDSA to catch a bus.

Problem 1: I didn't know how to go there.  I know there's a Jayross bus that passes by NAIA 3, but chances of riding one, especially in the midst of a blasted typhoon, would be comparable to getting laid in the middle of an arid desert.  The only thing that can get me there was if I rode a taxi, which leads us to Problem 2: I only have sixty pesos in hand, plus a few coins inside my bag.  Oh, dear Lord!

Head already throbbing from all the troubles I had to deal with, I flagged down a MIA bus, which passes by NAIA 1 and NAIA 2 (but not NAIA 3, such pointlessness of it all, when they're all right beside each other!).  I threw my hands in the air and exclaimed: oh, what the heck!  I'll figure it out when I get there.

When I did get there, I was 38 pesos poorer.  I held 22 pesos on one hand, and scouted my bag to see how much coins I had left.  The plan was to alight somewhere in the MIA/NAIA/Domestic airport area where there's a bank, and see if I can withdraw money from there.  I counted all my coins: all I had was 28 pesos.  Together that made me 50 pesos richer.  Oh, I feel lucky already!  NOT.

I dropped off at the intersection of MIA road and Domestic Road, right where Park N' Fly stands.  At the ground floor was a BDO branch.  A lady standing next to the ATM machine was holding a "temporarily unavailable" sign, and I had to suppress the thought of asking if she was the one unavailable, or the ATM, and if her, why?  Haha.  As I approached the bank she cleared up my confusion by saying, "Sir, offline po."  I didn't know what to feel then: comforted that she's not the one that's temporarily unavailable, because, hell, how can one be temporarily unavailable, yes?  Or frustrated that the ATM was unavailable, which meant, I wouldn't be able to withdraw, which meant I wouldn't be able to flag down a taxi and ride my way towards NAIA 3.

Monstrosity
I decided to take the high road.  Literally.  I walked from the busy intersection all the way to the domestic airport, stopping at the famous Air Force One complex of whorage, spotted a Metrobank ATM which was, as expected, offline.  I moved on.  Walked longer, still, until I saw an Allied Bank ATM which was, expectedly, offline.  At this point I was losing all hope.  A street kid was begging for 10 pesos.  I desperately wanted to throw all my coins at him, thinking, heck, I don't even have money to pay for my taxi!  HERE'S YOUR GODDAMN 10 PESOS, WITH ADDITIONAL 40 PESOS TO BOOT!  and throw all the coins and the money on the busy, busy street for him to collect.  Thank God I didn't do that.  Thank goodness my patience could really be counted on.  Thank God I'm not a trained actor, or I would've milked the moment and made a scene out of it right then and there.

I crossed the street and thought intently.  Should I just go home, or flag a taxi to the event?  If I go home, I'd miss out on the raffle for five laptops (aminin na natin, 'yun talaga ang agenda ko!  Mwahahahaha joke lang).  If I don't go home... where will I go?  Again,  I gathered my wits and flagged down a taxi.

When I settled I laid down my cards to the cabbie: Manong, take me to near NAIA 3, but here's the catch:  I only have 50 pesos!  Surprise, surprise!  The cabbie laughed at me.  I felt more humiliated than ever, practically begging the cabbie for a ride.  I made small talk, told him all the ATMs were offline so I couldn't withdraw, commented on the bitchy weather, which is usually what strangers talk about.  I told him that if the meter reaches 50 pesos, he should just drop me off right then and there.  He gave a hearty laugh.  I sank deeper in my seat in embarrassment.

Luckily, the meter ran 50 RIGHT IN FRONT OF NAIA 3.  Weakeningly, I told manong cabbie to just pull over and open the doors, I'm getting off right on the busy street.  Good thing manong cabbie was a good soul; he offered to take me to the other side of the road, where Newport City was, kasi baka mabundol pa daw ako, kawawa naman ako.  I gushed, literally.  I wanted to give him 100 pesos for his kindness, but alas, my wallet was deep yet empty.

I alighted the cab, and never felt lighter.  At that moment I thought to myself, hey, I can literally say, I don't have a single cent on me!  Haha.  I walked into the event venue with a bounce on my feet, thankful for the kind cabbie who understood the situation of a helpless man.  Going home wasn't a problem, since I can always flag a taxi and just borrow money from a housemate to pay for it.  Luckily, I didn't have to, because I was able to withdraw money already after the event.

It would've been nice if I won a laptop to compensate for all the trouble, right?  Too bad I didn't. :( All I took home was a backpack and a set of universal adapters (which I badly need, anyway).  But it's okay.  I'd like to believe the universe owes me one, and that he/she/it will pay me back someday, all I'd have to do is wait.  :)

Still, I can't help but say this:  PUTA NAMAN BASYANG, GANYAN KA BA KATIGAS?!  Bwahahahaha.  Ganun!