Friday, May 16, 2003

A Restless Night

It's been a long time since I had a Friday evening free. Usually I'm burdened with some project or I have to sleep early so that I can wake up early the next day to go to school or some other place I'm required.

Suffice to say, I wasn't feeling sleepy and I was quite bored. And while I still have something like half a dozen books to read for next week's class, I was in no mood to start reading.

Just When I'm About to Sleep

The rest of the family comes home: my brother, my mother, and my father. Their racket even wakes up my sister. And these are the days I wish I was sleeping downstairs, so that I can be away from all their petty squabbles and actually get some rest.

My Father's Tirade

Most of the time, my father seldom speaks or answers in monosyllables. The only exception is when he's a) giving a sermon, b) drunk, or c) angry. Let's just say that tonight, there's a bit of all three and from my room, I have to hear his tirades. Which are in Chinese. And it goes on and on and on.

Times like these, I actually think my mother has some sense. She's actually not replying and keeping quiet. But my father will probably go on for hours until the sun rises.

It's Going to be a Long Night

It's 2:15 am and my sister wakes me up (I am but they don't know that) because father wants to talk to me.

It's a routine now. Whenever father has a quarrel with someone else, be it mother or brother, he involves the rest of the family, often in the hopes of rallying them to his side.


Well, that's what father wants from us. But sorry, I can't give that to him.

From the meager info that he has given me, I found out that my brother hit dad in the face and in the stomach because dad was embarassing him.

Father's not telling the whole story. He's being his normal self, telling only what he wants to hear rather than the entire situation.

Moving on, according to father, my brother told him that he only has one son left.

"And that is you," my father said. "Are you my son?" I nod. "Do you love me?" I nod again. "Is it right for a son to hit his father?"

Now that I cannot answer for certainty. I asked father for the entire situation but he wouldn't budge. Now I know my brother isn't the kindest person in the world but he doesn't fight father on just the slightest provocation. I know he has a temper which easily flares up and that's probably what happened but then again, my father's too stubborn for his own good and what he thinks is "good" or "right" isn't always so.

Basically father wanted me to be his yes-man, to affirm his actions, to take pity on him and take his side. Again, he asked if it was right for a son to hit his father.

I answer truthfully. "It depends on the situation."

Apparently, that wasn't enough for father. He wanted a clear-cut answer. "Yes or no. Right or wrong. Choose." He said.

I repeat my previous answer.

I mean there are several situations when a son might hit his father with justification. The latter beating up the former. The latter drunk and not in control of himself, hence the former needing to resort to force to restrain him. The latter injuring others, etc.

Of course in most situations, it is wrong for a son to hit his father but knowing my father and my brother, well, I'm not willing to give a clear-cut answer until they give me the clear-cut situation, which father wasn't willing to give.

So he rants about not being able to understand me, like my brother, and sends me away.

So here I am in my room, the walls not thick enough to muffle his ongoing tirade to a wife and a daughter who have no choice but to listen.

The Irony

Irony of the situation is that brother is a lot like dad. I don't think they'd understand the "middle" position I'm in, choosing what's right over "loyalty".

I mean if my brother got into a fight with someone, he'd expect his family to support him, no matter who was wrong. And the same goes for father. But I don't follow that philosophy. I side with who's "right", even if I end up going against my family or friends.

Who I am

That statement probably won't make me popular. And that is the reason why a number of high school classmates dislike me. Because I don't support them when they're cheating, when they're pocketing money from the earnings during the fair, or when they're in need of an alibi. (Of course in high school, that one fact has also been my boon. People know that my word can be trusted, and that I don't steal, cheat, or do harmful stuff to other people. Well, none that I don't admit.)

So in case you don't know me, that's who I am. If you're looking for someone to be your yes-man regardless of the situation, I'm not that person.

Silence Follows

Then it Starts All Over Again

After a repreive, it begins new, this time on my brother's side as mother talks to him.

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Mosquito On Foil

The mosquito was nearly invisible, its black body blending with the surface that bended light. I only noticed its presence due to the clashing of foil upon limbs.

Eating my sushi, I was tempted to use the chopsticks to catch it, like in the movie Karate Kid. But I had no illusions of precision. And so I tried to swat it with my hand but merely drove it away.

Ninja Turtle

One of these days, I'll be mistaken for one because of the heavy bag I'm carrying, and crooked back that's forming.

For one thing, today was our midterms in Books of the Century. Bringing around half a dozen books (and photocopied novels aren't exactly light nor portable) has its toll.

And I was also supposed to meet Arcina right after my exam since she was borrowing the second season of Saint Seiya, as well as a number of Robin Hobb books. Of course she cancelled but I still had to lug those stuff home.


Lately, I've been tuning on to the TV, mainly because of anime and Meteor Garden. I mean a few months ago, the only shows I watched on TV were C.S.I. and Fight School. Now with the "new" anime on TV, well, I have more reason to actually turn on the television.

First off, Meteor Garden is getting relegated to a new timeslot, before TV Patrol. Second, GMA 7 is going to air Shaman King next week.

Guilty Pleasures

Anyway, here's the anime I'm watching on TV nowadays:

Meteor Garden - Taiwanese soap opera based on a Japanese manga/anime dubbed in Filipino with Chinese subtitles. One wonders how the translation is kept intact.

On a side note, to those learning Chinese, one might find some characters vaguely familiar but not quite right. That's because China Chinese has a slight difference from Taiwan Chinese, at least in terms of writing. I was looking at the basic Chinese a classmate was taking in Ateneo and they're using the Pin Yin system (Roman characters) as well as the China-Chinese character system, which made me wonder at some characters since I am the product of grade school/high school Chinese (which often uses Taiwan-Chinese characters).

Ippo - Well, this boxing anime isn't just "another" sports anime. While the protagonist is the typical optimistic Japanese, the series is serious enough where not all the endings are good ones (and of course, there are also lasting consequences of previous actions). Typical sequence is one episode is spent introducing the next opponent, another episode or two training (either a technique or a new special move), and somewhere between one to three episodes spent in fighting the opponent.

Of course training involves specifics, such as the "Gazelle Punch", rather than vague generalities of "increasing one's power" common to shows like Dragonball Z or Yu Yu Hakusho. And special moves are realistic (no fireballs, flaming fists, and other impossible maneuvers) and actually possible (unlike Kenshin where special moves are performed due to flawed logic), and so far, there's nothing new since most of it is based on boxing history (but mostly derived from the US).

Rave - I'm a sucker for fantasy/RPG- setting type anime. Unfortunately the genre is dominated by fantasy-comedy (like Slayers and Shadow Skill to name a few) and because of this, a lot of jokes and elements are recycled. (So far, the only popular serious fantasy anime I know of is Record of the Lodoss War.) Rave isn't an exception but what keeps me interested is the main storyline (although it's a dead end since the manga isn't finished yet). Admittedly there are days when I feel I've wasted my time watching an ep or two (these are usually the episodes where nothing happens but slapstick comedy and satire) and the "cliffhanger" ending at each episode can be annoying at times. Then again, this is a guilty pleasure so...

Digimon Tamers - A vast improvement over its two predecessors, which involved "monster-of-the-week" scenarios, lots of random plugs for various Digimons, and typical characters and storylines. It helps that the cast has been reduced to three main characters and character development is explored. It's also not reduced to "fight of the day" as mundane scenarios are involved, such as hiding a Digimon from the human populace, especially when it's ten feet tall. Of course this can be dragging to some and children might quickly lose interest because of too much characterization but at least the show has depth.

Zoids: New Century - Absolutely a guilty pleasure. You won't gain IQ points here and its predecessor had better transitions for characters and Zoids but I'm a kid at heart and love action.

Crush Gear Turbo - So far, it has the most depth among what I term the "hobby-propaganda-anime" like Let's & Go (Tamiya Mini-4WD) and Beyblade (Beyblades). For a hobby-related anime, it actually spends a lot of time on characterization rather than the Crush Gears, which is a good thing. Characters also aren't two-dimensional (usually the optimistic and naive types who "fight for friendship") or fall under the stereotype. Not that it's on the level of say Ippo or Digimon Tamers but has a better sensibility than, say, Zoids.

Matrix: Reloaded

Well, apparently a lot of people either like it or don't like it. For the most part, the former applies to me, although I am aware of its many faults.

I guess the biggest difference is upon expectations. Since I had none, the film was fine for me. I mean I wasn't even raving about the original Matrix (probably because I didn't catch it on theaters and only got to watch it on a small TV inside a bus heading for Neuva Ecija as my entire class was headed for our immersion and we were all wearing orange shirts...).

Of course if you're expecting it to stimulate your brain nerves like the first movie, well, you'll be disappointed. Matrix: Reloaded is an action flick with lots of eye candy more than anything else.

Why I Have Four Blogs

Well, I only used to have two: one for my regular musings, and one for my longer entries, which used to be for my longer entries, namely essays and nonfiction. Of course the latter I expanded to include feature articles and anything under the sun that was just too long.

I have a Livejournal which I originally used so that I could read the locked entries of some friends but well, that's not using the full potential of lj. So if you want to read my reviews of books and movies, that's where you want to visit.

Lastly, Blurty was tempting since it was still free unlike Livejournal in which membership was restricted. Got one and with nothing else better to do, converted it to a "Stalker Journal", which is just an excuse to talk about the human condition.

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Thursday, May 15, 2003


Me: Lassie, libre mo ako. (Lassie, treat me out.)

Lassie: Bakit, kaano-ano ko ba ikaw? Kaibigan ko ba ikaw? (Why, what are you to me? Are you my friend?)

-a few minutes later-

Lassie: Charles, pa-text. Naubusan ako ng credits eh. (Charles, can I use your phone? I ran out of credits.)

At the Movies

Bought tickets to Matrix: Reloaded at the Theater Mall (formerly the Greenhills Theater). It was the first time I watched a movie there. And suffice to say, it had a good atmosphere. Perhaps it's not as large as other movie theaters but it'll do.

Of course at the entrance they were selling advanced tickets for P150 and regular tickets at P120. It was expensive and I do wish I could have watched at G4 but alas...

Of course I did buy my tickets at 12:30 pm for the 3:30 pm show (to get good seats) so I was able to go home, have a snack, a nap, and even watched some TV before going to watch Matrix: Reloaded.

Ending Credits

Well, there is a preview of Matrix: Revolutions at the end of the credits. So I was there along with a couple and another guy, waiting for the credits to end when the security guards and maintenance crew started cleaning up the theater. While I appreciate the sanitation, could they not start sweeping the floors and spraying the place with people still in there?

And apparently, there was a family who hid at the bathroom until the preview for the next Matrix movie started showing.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2003

ISP Troubles... Again

When it rains, it pours. That best describes my ISP. So for the next few days (or even weeks), regular updates might not be possible. And the sad thing there is for all I know, I might be getting all the email I should be receiving (then again, I get more SPAM than actual emails nowadays).

Of course despite the erratic nature of my Internet access, did manage to download Netscape 7 (thank God you can download it in installments).

Which reminds me, my computer is already one year old. It wasn't so long ago that my P4 arrived and I installed Flash (and had to borrow from Benj a copy of MS Office 2000)... And Jobert and Franco came here to play one of the last RPGs we were ever going to have before they left for the US...

Mad Dash

Just found out that ADB/Ink and Stone just got restocks. Ran to The Podium after Zoids: New Century and ran into Paul on the way.

Nothing that interests me was available (or was within my budget). And besides, I have to save money...

Robinsons Galleria

Well, seeing that my visit at The Podium was going to be a very short one, I dropped by Robinsons Galleria because Paul was there. Not that I actually entered Neutral Grounds because I've lost my familiarity with it.

The shopkeepers I'm associated with weren't there, Dennis usually frequents the hobby store near Xavier, and I don't see Garrick (are you still reading my blog?) nowadays.

I did drop by the theater though to see what's on...


I wonder when they're going to show So Close here. Or if it's going to be dubbed or subtitled for that matter.

I'm also anticipating that the theaters tomorrow are going to be filled for the debut of Matrix: Reloaded. I hear G4 is already filled until Saturday...

And Matrix: Reloaded is one of the few movies I'm going to watch this year. Why few? Well, in the past, I seldom go out to watch movies because I rarely have anyone to go with (and I run into acquaintances who pity me that I'm all by myself in the mall). Nowadays, it's because of budget problems (must...publish...comics...).

So far, the only movies I've watched this year was Hero. Haven't seen any of the Marvel movies yet and probably won't. I'm trying to limit it to three movies but with two Matrix movies looming, as well as So Close and Return of the King...

Elbert the Scalper

While everyone else is struggling for Matrix: Reloaded tickets, Elbert has something like a dozen complimentary tickets available at various malls.


While eating dinner, dad arrived and told me his plans for the next few days. Uncle is coming from the uS on Sunday. Then auntie as well on Monday. Then it's our grandfather's second year death anniversary on Thursday, which is why uncle and auntie are coming back. And then it's grandmother's (she's dead) birthday on Saturday. I guess there'll be lots of eating next week (which I'm not exactly looking forward to).

On a side note, you'll finally see me wearing bright colors by next next week. The reason you usually see me in either brown or black or blue is because I have no choice. Father follows tradition and for two years, we can't wear anything bright such as yellow or red. The only exception to me is my yellow rubber shoes, because I only have one pair of rubber shoes.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2003


A lot of people who stumbled onto my blog were looking for Meteor Garden Philippines...

Anyway, for their sakes, the timeslot is at 4 pm, ABS-CBN time (which means +/- ten minutes), and episodes are chopped into 30 minute segments.

Philippine Attempts at Advertising

Got this from my SMART prepaid today:

"Musta ang relationshp mo w God? Txt mo siya sa 463 & tell Him ur thoughts, feelings even TYs. He will listn. Save 463 sa phonebk & txt Him 2day."

(How is your relationship with God? Text him at 463 and tell him your thoughts, feelings, even thanks. He will listen. Save 463 in your phone book and text him today.)

Apparently, God is keeping up with the times and went digital. He now owns a cellphone for those people who are too lazy to pray and he can be reached at 463. And he uses a SMART line as well.

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Monday, May 12, 2003

ISP Acting Again

*sigh* One of these days (when I finally have a job), I'll shift to another lesser-known ISP. But in the meantime, I'll have to settle with Mindgate. The only good thing about Mindgate is that it has a large inbox capacity.

Anyway, here are last night's supposed entries.

Why Today

Well, I came to school early so that I could go to the library and photocopy some reading material for class. Unfortunately, the second floor wasn't open until 8 am.

Of course when I finally got there, all the photocopiers were gone. As in they weren't there. The photocopier operators were there but no machines. There's this huge empty space amidst the bookshelves at the second floor.

Had to go to the Filipiana section just to have the readings photocopied, and as a personal rule, I try not to have things photocopied there because that's where the books that can't be borrowed are located and I want to give priority to those photocopying those kinds of books. But since there were only two photocopiers available, the other one being crowded by people at the ground floor, I had no choice.

When I finally went to the desk to return the book I borrowed, found out that the library was renovating and that you couldn't borrow books that day.

Out of Print Books

Well, this is perhaps a SF&F fan's tragedy. Among them are the ff:

Fritz Leiber's "Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser" books. White Wolf did reprint the first two books though.

Michael Moorcock's "Eternal Guardian" series (also coined the term multiverse). Again, White Wolf did republish them in omnibus trade paperbacks but most of them (especially the Elric novels) also went out of print.

Fred Saberhagen's "Book of Lost Swords" series.

Various Isaac Asimov novels.

A lot of H.P. Lovecraft's stories.

Stephen R. Donaldson's "Thomas Covenant" series (own these though).

Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Darkover" series.

So if you happen to run into any of these books at a book sale or at the book store, get them quick!

Current Curiosity

Well, I've always been a fan of myths and right now, I'm trying to get as much books (but alas, no money) on myths and legends.

Of course don't tell me Edith Hamilton. There's too much Greek mythology circulating. I'm in for the not-so-known myths: Indian (Hindu), Japanese, Chinese, Filipino (UP has a series of books but there's around five of them and they cost something like P800 each... if anyone wants to give me an advanced birthday present...), Norse, Russian, South American, European, and anything else you think might interest me...

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Sunday, May 11, 2003

Mother's Day

I'm not hiding the fact that well, I dislike my mother. Or any of my relatives for that matter. In fact, I made a decision some ten years ago or so not to be like my mother.

When I woke up this morning and got out of my room, my mother was there with eyes peering at me. Insecure and always seeking affirmation as always, she was waiting for me to greet her happy mother's day. I sighed and eventually said the words. Then she rambled on and on.

Which is why, in the end, I try to avoid my mother as much as possible.

180 Degrees

Well, it is worth noting that today's worship service involved the band 180 degrees performing at our church. I was impressed at their acting and I guess their music as well (listening to music was never a pastime for me).

So Little Time

Well, my Books of the Century class is consuming most of my free time. Right now I'm reading Franz Kafka's "The Castle". Compared to James Joyce's "Ulysses", it's a walk in the park. But unfortunately, I should have read "The Stranger" by Tuesday, "Labyrinths" by Wednesday, and "Lolita" by Thursday. And I guess the real problem is that I have to finish reading it by those days because I can't afford to have a backlog of reading since there's always something new the following day.

Did I mention the end of summer is two weeks away, and we haven't had our midterms yet, or done any of the two supposed papers which are requirements?


If there's any comic worth plugging, it's Ab Ovo. Click on the link. It is free after all.

Books Just Read

For some strange reason, I found the time to finish reading Fred Saberhagen's First Book of Swords. I originally got it from the book sale Ateneo's library had before the year ended. Too bad I don't have the second and third books...

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