Why Palawan Is Inviolable

Saturday Stories January 20, 2018

I'm not sure why the YouTube videos I shared on my Facebook Timeline have all vanished. They include about two hundred songs for my OPM series and stories on some Cinemelaya movies. What hurts me most is losing my conversations with friends on the comments.

I also lost my full story on Palawan because I wrote it on a post with a shared YouTube video, and I didn't blog it. But, as I was telling a friend yesterday, I really tend to look at the bright side, and I'm happy to say that I found a copy of a short excerpt on my online portfolio.

So here it is, "Why Palawan Is Inviolable," which I posted on June 11, 2017 but is now God knows where.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has declared the entire Palawan archipelago of 1,700 islands, covering 1,150,800 hectares, as a "Biosphere Reserve" as mandated by international laws.

The UNESCO has also cited both the Tubbataha Reef Marine P…


Saturday Stories January 13, 2018

I'm always amazed at what I find when I'm looking for something else. I was checking my e-mail, where I keep all my files as drafts and attachments, and I came across some of my old diary entries. I got goosebumps because I found passages that say exactly what I feel right now about my current workplace. This is spooky – but in a good way.

October 7, 2012. Four things why I know I'm not insecure: I don't like gossip, I don't suck up to so-called authority figures, I'm not desperate to impress others, and I'm genuinely happy for other people's victories.

September 28, 2013. I never expect more than I can give. Friendship is sacred to me. I would have taken a bullet for a friend, like the line from a movie. N and J, two of my closest friends, have given me the same counsel: I shouldn't expect others to be like me. I don't. It's just that I can't understand why some people don't even care about doing wha…

Dolph, A Deer

Saturday Stories January 6, 2018

Our company owner asked me if I can name all of Santa's reindeers. "Rudolph," I said, "Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen!" I know them because I just recently made a recording of "A Visit From St. Nicholas."
There is another one, he said, and he'll give five hundred pesos if I can tell him who that is. I quickly Google-d it: I got them all and there was nobody else. I was intrigued.
"The Who?" I asked.
"Olive," he said.
"That's Popeye's girlfriend," I told him. "You know, the one with no boobs?"
"You haven't heard of Olive, the other reindeer? he grinned.
"Ah!" I smiled, and began to sing: "Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names! They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games!"
On our Christmas exchange gifts at the office, we also had small kris-kringle gifts with a different theme eve…

Just Another New Year's Eve

Saturday Stories December 30, 2017

There is something about New Year that makes my heart sing. I love my life, yet I feel the thrill of each new chapter. 'Tis when my mind plays the Barry Manilow classic "It's Just Another New Year's Eve."

"We're not alone,
we got the world, you know,
and it won't let us down,
just wait and see..."

I love the music of Barry Manilow. "If You Were Here With Me Tonight" was my LSS on the day I turned thirteen. My uncle Freddie gave me some money and it was my first time to watch a movie alone. I strolled the grounds of Alabang Twin Cinema after the last show, marveling at the Christmas lights decorating the trees. I was then living in Las PiƱas, my first year in the city. When I got home, I found that my Aunt Sion had cooked a large, whole chicken in a Turbo Broiler for my birthday. My "Papa Freddie" and my "Mama Sion" have, in the words of a friend, "joined the Lord," yet I still r…

This Is The Sound of My Soul

Saturday Stories December 23, 2017

"Some people are so poor, all they have is money." My childhood friend and fellow author Elizabeth Castillo shared that passage in her Timeline a few days ago. I find it very meaningful, and I wrote back.

I tend to feel more contemplative during Christmas and New Year, and since I have a compulsion to record my thoughts, I'm collecting here some of my letters in our correspondence. Here I'm finally able to articulate some of my deepest thoughts on human nature.

I once left a company because it has become too bureaucratic, and I found it interesting when somebody there thought I was envious because he got promoted in a place that was too toxic for me. I know he is using his bigger paycheck to feel superior, but I don't understand why there are people like him who bring others down so they can boost their own egos. It can be very illuminating when you contemplate human nature.

Perhaps it's built-in in us human beings to …

Across The Universe

Saturday Stories December 16, 2017

Superman goes to his Fortress of Solitude when he feels the pressure of too many people depending on him. 
Even superheroes need to get away from the world once in a while.
Even the strongest among us needs time to be alone.
My refuge is the sea. Last Tuesday was the last day of my first leave after a year – and I'm still on vacation-mode.
I stood on the bayside promenade, the waves splashing on the rocks below and flowing back to the unseen horizon. 
I looked up and gazed at the infinite stars reaching across the universe.
I was alone, yet I felt, more keenly than ever, that I am not. In a higher sense, I never was – and I never will be. 

Six Degrees From Aga Muhlach

Saturday Stories December 9, 2017

I love the cartoon series The Batman, and the Batman films by Christopher Nolan, who also directed The Prestige where there is a scene with Nikola Tesla, who is also featured in The Master Key by Charles Haanel which I'm reading now. 
I love the genius of Tesla and Nolan, and, using this is an example, I love even more how everything is connected.
A friend and I were chatting about it a couple of days ago. I began to write a reply, and it tickled my imagination, so I wrote something else so I'll have more fun with the first draft.
It's about "Six degrees of separation," the idea that a person can be linked to anybody in six steps.
So, I'm only six jumps from my idol Aga Muchlach.
1. My LSS at the moment is Johnny Gill's "Half Crazy."
2. "Half Crazy" was revived by Freestyle.
3. Freestyle also sang "Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang" with Pops Fernandez.
4. Pops was married to Martin Nievera who sang &…