Friday, January 16, 2004

A Taste of Your Own Medicine

Vin was asking me if I did anything so far that I haven't done in the previous years, to symbolize the New Year. Apparently, walking the streets during New Year (complete with explosives blowing up in your face, smoke clouding your vision, and the carpet of ash in front of you) doesn't count.

Of course when we finally got to eat dinner at the Ramen House in Mega Mall, I told him if we could try the sake (so as to "do something new"). Vin reluctantly agreed, and we each got a bottle of sake.

Of course now I'm woozy but fear not, that hasn't stopped me from blogging.


No, it's not the sake giving me one but my blockmates. Take for example the text messages I received Thursday evening:

"Go to the Fil dept. at 9 am to see...."

"Meet us at SEC field at 9:30 am for the construction of..."

"Can I meet you at 8:30 am because we need the money..."

Honestly people, just because you think I'm not busy does not mean I'm not doing anything. And while I'm willing to help if any one person asks, you can't expect me to do all these things for various people at nearly the same time. At least not until I've perfected my cloning experiments (my teleportation experiments, on the other hand, are progressing...).


Also known as harakiri (but harakiri sounds more vulgar to the Japanese), this form of suicide apparently involves writing on your stomach the Chinese/Japanese character for heart (shin). A friend is supposed to be nearby and who will mercifully cut off your head once you've finished writing heart on your stomach (because carving on your stomach is painful, for those who don't get it).

In the 20th century, there was a rightist writer who attempted to commit seppuku. Or rather, she succeeded in writing shin on her stomach but her assistant/lover failed to chop off hear head in one go (because it's the 20th century, and 20th century Japanese don't exactly practice using the katana). The assistant eventually managed to kill his lover after, uh, several tries.

The Japanese constitution

Apparently, it's written on their constitution that Japan will not have an army, navy, or air force. However, they do have a land, air, and marine defense force. Oh, did I mention that only 1% of Japan's annual budget goes to defense? Never mind the fact that 1% of their annual budget is actualy larger than the income of a third world country in South East Asia like say, the Philippines.

Peaceful Elections

So far, the record of the "most peaceful election" in the Philippines is a death rate of 71 people.

I also neglected to mention that "cat and mouse" games are popular in the Philippines. In some of the more rural areas, people actually chase ballot boxes, and are in turn chased when they managed to steal them. And COMELEC has officially been declared unreliable.

Freedom Islands

Also known as the Spratleys, this group of islands is being contested by a number of countries, two of which involve the Philippines and China.

Again, it's another of those cat and mouse games as China lays down its markers on the islands, and Filipinos arrive and destroy those markers.

On a side note, we have military bases in those islands. Unfortunately, there was once an incident when a certain Filipino news reporter from GMA 7 was sent there by plane but the plane couldn't find the islands. They were running out of fuel and were lost. You can just imagine what this news reporter was babbling in front of the camera as she thought of her impending doom (which didn't happen).

Of course the follow-up to that incident was a bunch of reporters going to the Freedom Islands by boat (so as to avoid the disaster of getting lost via plane). On the way though, they met the Chinese fleet who fired a warning shot (boom!). The Filipinos fired a warning shot as well (pffft.). The Chinese fired a warning shot again. The Filipinos thought it was a waste of bullets to fire another warning shot.

So there it was, a stand-off between the Chinese navy and the Filipino ships with reporters. Normally, after the warning shots, both groups would depart to avoid an incident. Unfortunately, the Filipino ships had engine problems, which meant they couldn't leave. Obviously, with their pride at stake, the Chinese navy couldn't leave until the Filipinos left. So the two sets of ships were standing there, one of which was waiting for the other to leave, the other one probably wanting to leave but could not leave.

Nuclear Free

Apparently, it's in the Philippine constitution that we will not possess nor use nuclear arms. Not that we could afford it... (well, unless someone attacks our nuclear powerplant which no one is using).


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