Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sensitive over money

I informed my like-minded friends that I cannot attend a two-day conference for historians (I'm a wannabe historian) in a nearby city this coming Friday because I'm broke. I've been invited several months ago. Back then, I thought that I'd have enough money for it. Anyway, it's only ₱500.00. Very affordable. It was several months ago. Not today.

Image: Philippine Star.
I've been battling with debt on and off for months, actually more than a year already. But debt wins most of the time. I have many well-off friends and relatives, some of them even famous. But I wouldn't dare go near them for financial help. Actually, back in college, when I married at an early age, I did. But with much prodding from my mother. I did receive a mouthful from some of those I sought for help during those trying years, and I acknowledge that I did deserve most of it because I was an irresponsible son. However, that experience must have taken a toll on me. That could explain my hypersensitivity over money issues. I don't like talking about money with other people. I'm not fond of asking my office mates if our salaries have already arrived, as they are wont to do with each other. I hate borrowing money. I really hate it. Even if it's just ₱5.00. I feel like a part of whatever honor that I have in me gets tattered whenever I borrow money.

That is why, during these past few months of financial crises, I let my wife do the borrowing. During dire times, she has urged me many times to borrow money from my own set of friends. But she only succeeds in angering me. I twitch at the very mention of borrowing money. It's really that bad.

The organizer of that conference I was supposed to attend this coming Friday suggested that I let our city hall pay for it (I work there as a consultant). But I told her that I'm too shy to do so. The truth is, I'm ashamed to do so.

Am I normal?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Marcos is (not) a hero?


Hey Flips, before the year dies, and before this issue goes out of vogue, let me just say this: I also do not consider Ferdinand Marcos as a hero. But neither is he a villain. For me, he is simply a powerless historical figure, a former president who did a lot of bad things (crony capitalism; embezzlement of millions of dollars; condoning human rights abuses of Fidel Ramos and Fabián Ver; harassment of political rivals; faking a few war medals; agreeing to neocolonialistic US policies during his first few years which empowered his authoritarianism; etc.) and a couple of good stuff that we really don't need anymore (power plants such as the Bataan Nuclear Power PlantLeyte Geothermal Production FieldMakban Geothermal Power PlantAngat Hydroelectric Power Plant, etc.; establishment of numerous state colleges, universities, and secondary schools; Cultural Center of the PhilippinesFolk Arts TheaterPhilippine International Convention CenterNational Arts Center; the National Artist of the Philippines award; health centers such as the Philippine Heart Center, the Lung Center of the Philippines, and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute; modern roads, bridges, and highways like North Luzón ExpresswaySouth Luzón ExpresswayMarcos HighwaySan Juanico Bridge, Maharlika Highway, etc.; Light Railway Transit; rehabilitation of the walled city of IntramurosDepartment of Agrarian ReformInternational Rice Research Institute; the Philippine National Oil Company which then controlled Petron Corporation that sold cheaper gasoline; the "Kadiwa" store system which was very helpful to the impoverished; credit programs such as the "Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran", the "Gulayan sa Kalusugan" and "Pagkain ng Bayan" programs, etc.; housing programs; various labor reforms and export development; strong recognition of Sabah, Borneo and the Spratly Islands as part of our patrimony; recognition of the Spanish language as one of our official languages through Presidential Decree No. 155; taking good care of his number one political rival by allowing him to go to the US for a heart surgery; harassment of oligarchs such as the López clan of Iloílo; peace and order/suppression of communist rebels; litter-free roads; disagreeing with neocolonialistic US policies during his last few years which led to his downfall; etc.). #MarcosNotAHero 😂😂😂

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Been thinking a lot about trees

I've been thinking of trees a lot lately. Been wanting to visit them for the longest time. Stay in some forest and do nothing there all day. But I work at night. During logoff time, I'm already spent. And I need to commute for about two hours just to get home. And more importantly, I don't have that much money to spend for extracurricular activities.

Sick and tired of seeing beautified concrete every day, inhaling all its smoke, seeing people on the streets hurrying towards their daily slavery haunts (gosh, I'm one of them).

I've been a lazy chap for several weeks already. Aside from my night job, I have an ongoing project at our city hall and yet accepted another project from another city in another province (something involving paleography, stuff that is beyond my expertise, haha) for the sake of money (fame's a bonus). It's for a good cause, though: to help my family survive a terrible financial crisis. I shouldn't have accepted that project in the first place since I'm already involved in another one, aside from the fact that I've sworn to myself to avoid writing for a while. But I still did. I felt I had to.

Money is all there is, especially in this world. But on top of that, I've been thinking a lot about trees lately. In fact, I've been spending hours here at the office exploring Google Maps, looking for a forested area near my place. And my budget. Have to visit one soon. The hell with those projects. The hell with my night shift. Have to visit one soon, or I might break down inside a bus that I use to commute.



We're losing a lot of trees. Hundreds, if not thousands (or gasp! millions?) every single day. Yet I don't hear any statement at all from our EJK-crazed government about this sorry state of our forests.

I need trees. Lots of it. Fresh air. Pastoral scenes. I don't belong in this urban hellhole. I'm dying here. Slowly. Terribly. Painfully.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Starting over again

Heya. 😁

Let me do the obligatory introductions first before I waste your time any further. For now, just call me "The Anonymous Loser". I choose to be anonymous for the simple reason that I'm a loser, haha. But this is temporary (I'm referring to the anonymous thingie; not sure about the loser part).

On a serious note, I just came off a miserable blogging/writing career. I have just closed two of my blogs out of disappointment. In my final blogposts for both blogs, I wrote that I'm done with writing because I felt like it has nothing more for me, that I couldn't write (nor even read) anymore, and that my passion for writing has not been reciprocated by writing itself.

But here I am, writing again just a few months after saying bye-bye to writing and shutting down those two blogs for good (hey, they have a cult following, especially the other one which is written in another language). While I have no intention of resurrecting those two blogs, I am still in doubt whether I should pursue writing, despite the difficult circumstances I am currently in.

Image: The 52 Club

Ever since I shut down those blogs and said bye-bye to writing, I felt a heavy load was taken off my back. I've been sleeping a lot, and I'm rarely tardy nor absent at work. But during those lazy times that I'm lying down from our messed up bed while waiting for house lizards to flick out their tongues, something didn't feel right. I felt unburdened, but incomplete.

The itch to scratch simply couldn't go away. Is this my curse? Or is it ambition, trying to mercilessly claw its way out of my guts? In fact, just last month, I joined an essay writing contest for an international agricultural research and training organization. And I lost out to agricultural scientists, hahaha! At least, the group's website still published my essay. My wife thought it was awesome. I think that's OK enough for me.

Looking back to that pathetic I'm-truly-done-with-blogging/writing drama of my own making, I realized that it's not just my personal troubles that did me in. It's something else: my fear of mediocrity. I am afraid of something that I am. I'm just being honest. I am a mediocre writer. I get praises here and there, but those praises are from people who don't know sh*t about writing. I do get some occasional pat-in-the-back from scribblers who are better than me, but I guess they're just being polite, or it suits them to make themselves feel better or superior over me. I really don't mind what they feel or think. What I should mind from now on is how I feel or think about my poor, mediocre self.

So here I go again. Writing. But in anonymity. At least for now.

Enjoy my blog... at least, try to do so.