mga kwento at haka-haka ni kakang pepe

Thursday, September 30, 2004


Alex D' Great I'm still trying to get grip with the fact that Alex, my 2nd child who will be in primary 1 next year, has to wear prescriptive glasses because of astigmatism. A condition wherein the cornea is oval and not spherical, and thus, creating more than one focal point, resulting in blurred vision at distance or near.

I guess parents like me would understand how I'm feeling right now. We are all hoping that our kids to lead normal (superior would be most welcome) lives. A slight deviation, no matter how trivial, no matter how rectifiable, is a source of anxiety.

The condition was first diagnosed when he was in kindergarten 1. Last year we were still in denial, that since me and my wife have 20/20 visions, it's not possible the he could have it. Maybe the diagnosis was wrong. We ignored the idea of getting him the prescribed glasses.

Then came this year; it was the same thing, and I'm beginning to notice that indeed, something is wrong with my kiddo's eyesight. It broke my heart seeing my son grapple with figures otherwise crystal clear to me. How I wish the condition is transferable. I would be more than grateful to trade places with him.

Here in Singapore, it is compulsary for a child to have eye check up in school once a year--it's free, by the way. They recognized the fact that eye problem can hinder the child's learning progress, besides the fact that the condition may worsen if left unchecked.

LASIK , a surgical procedure intended to reduce a person's dependency on glasses or contact lenses, is available here and in the neighboring Malaysia. We just have to wait till he is 21, by then, spherical deformation has stabilized and this permanent solution is applicable.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


an old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson...

Inconsequential that I finished reading the book on a tuesday. It's a story of a dying man's view of life (and death) in general. Among other things, it says that only after we accept that dying is for real that we begin to live. We begin to focus on things that really matter and eventually found happiness and contentment.

The book also vividly narrates how terrifying Morrie's last few days were, and only the old man's peace with his existence softened the blow. I felt a pit on my throat everytime i came accross the phrase choking to death .

Memories came rushing back. Somehow, Morrie reminded me of someone very close to my heart, someone I'll remember till the very end. I remember my father...

He drove me to the airport in 1996, the year I decided to leave Pinas for Singapore for a greener pasture. At the time, he was still the man I used to know, a man with strong hands-- callused by hardships in life.

It's funny that I finally became at peace with my father when we were distant to each other. Even more when we had his stroke. I began to hug and kiss him everytime we meet. Tried to be as close, figuratively and literally, to him. Those were precious moments, inhibiting affections would really be a sin.

"Maiintindihan mo rin lahat kapag may sarili ka ng anak," my father used to say, specially when we were in the middle of an argument. Trust me, there is so much truth in this!

Year 2002, we were planning to have our vacation in Pinas on the month of November to celebrate my father's birthday. Although I kept denying it even to myself, I knew my father's time was running short. Then he had a stroke--his 3rd and final. Multiple nerves broke loose and he was in coma. My sister broke the news to me.

I was in frenzy trying to get a flight home!

My brother told me that it was a hopeless case, they were taking him out of the ICU--a decision, I knew, even my father would endorse. I swear that during same night, while staring out our window thinking of him, reminiscing the days we had, thinking of what could have been, a lump of cold wind enveloped me for few seconds. I knew it was a hug from him--bidding me goodbye.

Love one another or perish...

Sunday, September 26, 2004


My wife and I ended last week by watching The Terminal last Friday night. As usual, Tom Hanks was at his best acting, while Catherine Zeta-Jones was just drop-dead gorgeous. Other than it's really a hillarously entertaining good watch worth of your money (or cinema voucher for our case--points accumulated and exchanged for cinema tickets, courtesy of my corporate credit card), there' s not much i intend to spill. You may end up cursing me, in case you haven't watch it yet but intend to do so.

Life is waiting...or about it.

This is the theme of the movie that struck me to be absolutely true. At any point in time, we are waiting for something or for someone.

Okay, i'll be a bit nasty and share with you an excerpt from a dialogue between Victor (TH) and Amelia (CZJ), just a teaser...

V: We are all waiting for something.
A: What are you waiting for?
V: I'm waiting for you.

Naks! Drama di ba?!

Friday, September 24, 2004


the dreaded R (retrenchment) or the judgement day finally devoured some of the guys here in our company. those who got the sack were given two hours to gather their personal belongings and leave with escort. mostly, they are from the upper echelon (directors, managers), some from bloated departments, whose job scope became redundant due to merging, consolidation, restructuring, blah..blah...blah!

btw, did you know that in the olden days, your employer will literally put all your personal belongings in a sack when they kick you out? that's where the idiom "getting the sack" came from.

enough of the trivia…

it’s no secret that there will another one coming and everyone is brazing themselves as the scope and magnitude is totally unknown. we are not out of the woods yet! probably the management is still waiting for the manufacturing forecast or lockview, as the they call it, before they decide which department the axe will fall and how hard.

it's so unlikely that i will get scathed. but what if…just what if? everything is possible in this crazy world. my paranoia maybe totally uncalled for. but what really if?


by profession (or i'm cursed with it), it's my second nature to think in a "flow chart" manner. i have containment actions, long term plans, plan B and related craps that i can think of for every conceivable scenario in my life.

i'm a control freak!

in a way, i know it is good and beneficial. but it can really be annoying and depressing...even for me. sometimes, too much of a foresight can rob you of the opportunity of "living in the moment", which can really be a bummer.

"you worry so much..", do you believe that these are the exact words my eldest son Arthur, who is turning 10 next year told me?

so, what if the axe hit me?

definitely i wouldn't be sitting on my ass , splurging on my severance pay. i would definitely be combing the pages of the recruitment section, calling prospective employers, sending out resume, networking with friends. i'm assuming that i will be up and about the following month.


it is driving me nuts musing with all my "what if's". i might as well focus on whatever crap that i'm doing, continue praying and let HIM take care of the rest.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


there is a rumor brewing that our company will have a retrenchment exercise. i'm not sure about the veracity of this, but I believe that if there is smoke, there is fire. if that's the case, this would be the second in as many decades of our company's existence in this liliputan country.

who cares?! not me for sure.

first, I'm protected by quite a number of line of defenses. for sure they wouldn't dare touch the engineering department. it's not only that we are understaffed, our department also doesn't rely much on the demand and supply thingy. we do the same amount of shit (profanity borrowed from a moron here in our office) regardless of that dumb trend, which by the way, has it's peaks and troughs all year round--year, after year, after year. second, if meritocacy would be the order of the day, as it was and will always be--as reiterated by our MD, it is so unlikely that I will get hit (magbuhat ba ng sariling bangko?..hehehe!).

honestly, i wouldn't mind staying. life here is not as stressful compared to other companies on the same industry. but I wouldn't mind getting the pink slip either, it would be a breather after toiling here for almost nine years. i know of few companies who would be more than happy to take me in, but can't do so because of their tie up with our company. a change in environment would be good, specially if it comes with a good severance pay. a precedence of a month's pay for every year of service plus 3 months pay would be princely.

Monday, September 20, 2004


patapos na ang fiscal year dito sa company namin, and as usual, appraisal period na naman.

this past couple of years, we have been using an objective type of appraisal system based on declared goals and objectives, which must tangible and quantifiable. it should be well in chorous with the immediate group's G&O. the same system is used to gauge performances of management employees, from the CEO down to the lowest level (management level lang ha!).

di na kasama sa barometer kung palagi ka bang late or sandamakmak ang sick leave mo.

there's a saying that no such thing as a perfect system, but at least this one minimizes the subjectivity. something that would keep you focused and motivated.

so what's the implication?

kung puro fa-cute ka lang, you would be exposed and (probably) weeded out.

on the other side of the coin, every year would be an uphill climb because once you hit your target, you are forced to up the ante the following year.

scary, right? not really!

it's a strategy game (at least for me), just know the rules and go around it. a caveat though, you must be craftier than your boss to execute this manuever. look at the trend of every attributes and haggle for the barest minimum. Of course, you should do your homework and be damn prepared to defend your case. also, expect some arm twisting from your boss and exercise due pliancy.

do I sound immoral or unethical? i don't think so! anyway you will be putting the same amount of shit (read: work), yet reaping more.

so what do you get for all these chicanery?

not much really.

dito lang naman nakasalalay ang year-end bonus, salary increment at stock options mo.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


for the umpteen time, someone blurted out a phrase i've been hearing eversince i was a kid. this time, courtesy of fionski.

"nasaan si pilar?"

obviously because of my name. pepe happens to be my real name--not my nickname, petname or pseudonyme.

it had also become a routine hearing this question:

"talagang pepe lang, hindi jose?"

i'm not sure if younger generations, or at least few generations after me, got hold of the book. that book was actually the source of this butt.

initially it made me blushed (and very anxious...damn it!) when i was younger. but as i get older, bolder, and cheekier, i became so accustomed and rebut it with ease.

"pepe lang po talaga ma'am, huling tawad na!"

"wala pa nga akong pilar, naghahanap pa."

oh well, a rose by any other name...

Saturday, September 18, 2004


the much awaited weekend is here at last!

i woke up with all the kids (3 of them) in our bedroom. and with my little abby beaming, there can be no better way to start this day.

may pasok si kumander, so inutusan i volunteered na mamalengke, para bukas, we can 'frolick in bed' a little bit longer.

just had coffee and puto (na pagkasarap-sarap na gawa ng mylab ko the day before), hinatid ko s'ya sa bus stop, nag leps-to-leps beso-beso kami, then headed off to the market.

oks ang wetmarket dito kumpara mo sa atin. seldom kang makakakita ng langaw at di maputik. nasa loob din ng chiller ang mga karne because of government regulation.

tigas talaga ang gobyerno dito, kapag sinabi ni tatang na '"dito tayo", dapat doon kayo. di uubra ang pa astig-astig, siguradong may kalalagyan ka!

lumalayo tayo, eniwey, half day nga lang pala ang palengke, at wag na wag kang mamalengke pag monday. bukod sa kinakailangan mo pang mag-leave, wala kang mabibili. high pressure washer nga pala ang ginagamit nilang panglinis ng market at the second half of the day. everday yon kaya malinis.

to give u an idea of the wetmarket price index in singapore, here's what i bought:

exchange rate: 1 sing dollar= 33php

batang fish (mackerel???) - 2 1/2 kg @ $6/kg

the fish is big enough for the whole week. marami kang pwedeng gawin sa kanya-- fry it, isigang mo, ihawin, iadobo, ipaksiw. nakow! pag isda ang ulam at may partner na gulay, wag na wag mo akong kakausapin habang kumakain.

beef (na pang-bistek) - 1/2 kg @ $8/kg

pssst....alam mo bang mas masarap kung pakukuluan mo muna sa pineapple juice ang baka bago mo ibistek? isama mo rin yung pinagpakuluan sa pinaka sauce nya. sekwet natin yan ha?

lahat nga pala ng mabibili mong baka dito sa singapore ay frozen, mostly from australia. isang malaking kabulastugan kapag sinabi sa 'yo ng tindero na fresh ang beef n'yang itinitinda.

sotong (squid) - 1 kg @ $6/kg

sigurado akong adobo lang ang kalalabasan neto.

wag na wag ka nga palang papayag kapag tinawag kang "sotong". demeaning word yan dito sa singapore. ibig sabihin, ay blur blur or tatanga-tanga ka.

pork ribs - 1 kg @ $7/kg

pang-sigang or pang-nilaga. pwede ring panghalo sa munggo (mung beans ang tawag nila) sa biyernes.

as usual, itlog lang ng pugo at century egg ang makikita mo sa palengke. damontres na bird flu yan!

araw din ng jalan jalan (gala) ngayon. punta kami sa orchard mamaya para ibili si alex ng sapatos. dyaskeng bata, ang bilis lumaki ng paa!

Thursday, September 16, 2004


katatapos lang ng singapore idol and the title says it all---pasok sa top 12 si beverly morata.

nadagit yung budget ko sa coke para bukas. dalawang beses ba naman akong nag-text para suportahan s'ya. in case interesado kayo, 50 cents (about 16php) every message sent.

nasa top 3 s'ya ng viewers, pero hindi s'ya ang top choice. so technically, dapat tanggal sya. buti na lang medyo dynamic ang rules. isinama s'ya ng mga judges dahil talented talaga si tita. she's also such an eye candy on idiot box . kumpleto ang packaging for an idol.

i'll keep u posted....promise!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


kalmante na ang bahay, tulog na rin ang mga bata. hay…peace and serenity at last! wala kang maririnig kundi ang hagikgik ni misis at ugong ng aircon condenser.

don’t get me wrong, I love frolicking with my kids (and with my wife, of course). albeit, I do get tired and irritated at times, it gives me utmost joy beyond compare. it's just that I'm dead tired today.

let me l tell you why...

it’s a dog's day at work. my boss tossed to me additional job responsibities (take note, it's plural….marami, talagang mapapamura ka sa dami) just to lighten up somebody else workload.

freaking great!

gumanda ganda lang ang araw ko ng uwian na.

look-see, look-see ako sa bookstore while waiting for mylab sa may toa payoh bus interchange. tapos kumain kami ng paborito kong himalayes! bread, with matching honey milk tea as panulak. it is really refreshing spending few minutes with your loveones, doing trivial things, stuffing yourself with just about anything.

my day had been reedemed!

we went home, fed the kids, jogged 3km, kain ng fried liempo and sinigang na hipon, warm shower, nood ng The Amazing Race (with the whole family).

hay….life's full spectrum...


i would certainly be glued to my idiot box tonight to watch my best-loved reality show.

my beloved pinas, takes center stage as one of the "pit stops" of the popular US reality television show the "The Amazing Race". our country's participation comes with the imprimatur of malacañang, to help boost our ebbing tourism. a good move, considering the popularity of the show.

they will be featuring metro manila and palawan. a really good contrast to highlight the true essence of our country. presidential daughter Lourdes Evangelina Arroyo, or Luli, would make a special guest appearance as the one who would welcome the finishers at an undisclosed "pit stop" in Metro Manila. there will also be a surprise appearance of someone we don't know yet (kaya nga surprise, nuts!).

me and wife are rooting for dating couple brandon and nicole. they look cool as a couple (parang kami ba...neknek mo pepe), and i'm green with envy with their composure (specially brandon) which seems to be a second nature to them.

how i wish i could be one!

who we loathe the most? the obnoxious colin, described as having a "meltdown in Manila" as he complains about wading through mud while he plowed a farm with the help of a carabao. he is such a sucker.

oh well, crunch time brings the best and the worst in anyone.

Monday, September 13, 2004


 Beverly Lim Morata somebody forwarded me an email, that the charming contestant of singapore idol, beverly morata, is actually a pinay.

other than her seemingly pinay name, she looks so much of a pinay. iba ang facial aura ng filipina. she was also so emotional, a typical pinay. halos bumaha sa studio sa kaiiyak nya.

talent wise, okay sya. actually, on the top 3 choices of the judges.

beverly will be one of the 9 contestants that will be given a “second chance” to impress judges and viewers. will she make full use of the comments they have gotten so far and prove herself to fill that coveted spot in the finals, or will her dreams be crushed one more time? will the viewers choose to put her through? does she deserves to be the Wildcard of this competition?

i'm not sure if being a pinay will be her saving grace or handicap.


Saturday, September 11, 2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.


siguro naman, napansin n'yong iba na ang skin ng blogs ko. asiwa at bored na kasi ako sa dati, parang alien ang dating sa akin, parang hindi ako.

so, i hacked my own blog. i used different strategies--brute force attack, shot gun method, etc. even tried copying other blog's skin.

though i can mix and match different (fellow blogger) skins that can really be an eye candy, succumbed I not. for i will forfeit the very motive of my blog--sharing a piece mo me!

so here it is, a tweaked (and will be tweaked some more) version of the minimal blue template. i feel at home at last. blue being my fav color, and the spartan look.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


'wacky' singapore economy:

egg = 60 cents (about 18 php); air ticket to bangkok = 49 cents (15 php)

there's a 'war' out here among budget airlines plying up north to thailand, which makes people grin from ear to ear.

wow! it's dirt cheap flying to bangkok. now, it's seemingly worthwhile consuming your favorite omelette in the thai capital than in some hawker centre here in singapore.

i told my wife about it, who naturally went ga-ga over the whole idea of making out spending a day or two in bangkok, eat authentic tom yam and other thai dishes, or splurge on some shopping spree. i'm inclined to give in to her prodding, but with the kids in tow....nyah!

but who knows, alam ni esmi kiliti ko at mapapayag ako...hehehe!

hopefully, these budget airlines permeate the philippine skies.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


it's now official!

batas na dito sa singapore na kailangang stainless steel ang rivet ng mga casement type window. failing to do so by october next year, will burn a big hole in your pocket -- a crippling $5k (about 165k php), a 6-month jail, or both.

absurd ba?!

i don't think so. considering the uptrend of windows crashing down, which can really be fatal.

it would cost you $100 for rivet replacement. a measly sum, considering the trouble you would be in, if you don't comply. DIY (do-it-yourself) is a no-no, you have to get a licenced contractor.

you may be asking; "paano kung wala kang datung"? the 'all knowing' singapore government got that figure out. they will subsidize, or even shoulder the whole cost--if you are genuinely incapable of coughing up the money.

isa 'to sa mga attributes ng singapore na patok sa akin -- the way they make the citizens toe the line, for the common good. which, by the way, is worth replicating sa bansa kong mahal.

kita mo naman sa atin, kapag mokong ang pulis; bakasyon muna sa zambales. kapag gas refuelling station ka, and you are rigging your meter; 400php for first offense, 800php for second offense.

anak ng putakte...are these deterrent?!?!

Sunday, September 05, 2004


First batch of ‘taba’ cops banished to Subic

'taba': tamad, abusado, bastos at ayaw padisiplina

ex-communicado ng isang buwan ang mga identified 'buwaya' sa bayan kong mahal. 'itatapon' sila sa zambales for one month for retraining.

yeah, right!

give them a full month vacation with pay for their rotten ways. sanamagan! it's not even a slap on the hand -- it's a kiss on their fat cheeks.

naalaa ko tuloy yung usapan namin ng isang singaporean. fascinated kasi sya sa resemblance ng tagalog at malay language. sabi ko nga, one of the early inhabitants ng pinas ay mga malay talaga, at marami tayong salita (at kultura) na galing sa kanila. sabi ko sa kanya, ang 'buwaya' sa malay ay 'buwaya' rin sa tagalog -- naka uniporme nga lang 'yung version natin at malalaki ang t'yan. puzzled si kumag....

Thursday, September 02, 2004


after 16 years and 3 kids...


it seems God is always on our side. he gave us challenges, enough to make us strong. He also gave us these 3 lovely kids (arthur, alex and abby) to really sealed us in. i hope and pray that He would give us more years to be together. and by the time the good Lord says, "nuff already!", i wish you to be there holding my hands...just as the way we started.

Happy 10th wedding anniversay!

without wax,



air headed ako at this moment...

nabasa ni esmi yung recent blogs ko, natuwa yata. prinaktis tuloy namin 'yung "dance steps" para sa friday.