way back into sanity

I’ve been hiding all my hopes and dreams away/ Just in case I ever need ’em again someday/ I’ve been setting aside time/ To clear a little space in the corners of my mind/ All I wanna do is find my way back into love/ I can’t make it through without a way back into love/ O-oh-oh!

[Repeat forever.]

I’ve been… trying to ignore it for the past hour! But one of my neighbors – down in the first floor from the sound of it – seems determined to permanently imprint Way Back Into Love into the psyche of all residents in this four-storey apartment building! This saccharine tune from the movie Music and Lyrics has been playing in loop mode for the past hour or so. Imagine that!

Don’t get me wrong, I like the song. I think it’s cute and hearfelt. I even have the lyrics memorized (go ahead, laugh). The first few times neighbor played it this afternoon I happily sang along. Somewhere between the hundredth and thousandth repeat, I was humming…

On the millionth time it played, I started to feel the urge to break something. Anything.

But because I am a firm believer that violence is never the answer, I resort to blogging for release. Having to listen to a song, no matter how beautiful or cool, played 2.5 billion times is nothing short of torture. I’ve never loved a song so obsessively as to turn it into a hypnotic mantra by my repetitive playing and/or singing, and in so doing irk someone bad enough that he must blog to avoid resorting to violence… (Let me catch my breath.)

Fine. Maybe I do need to find my “way back into love.” But, hey, don’t rub it in this way!

Arrggh! It’s still playing.

UPDATE | Monday 9.41AM

Just about to shut down comp (it’s running Ubuntu now!) and leave for a meeting in Ortigas (i’m running late!). Guess what neighbor is playing again… Ibang level na ‘to!


Today was a flurry of activities at the office. I didn’t even have time to open the organizer application on my office PC to look at my to-do list. Somehow I just got caught up in the day’s demands, succumbing to the mad current of urgency.

There were ’emergency’ meetings to attend, urgent marketing artwork for evaluation and signing off, projects to be coordinated via email and phone… Before I knew it, the day has ended and I have a slight ache on my left shoulder blade and lower back.

The coolest part of the day was lunch with the best friend. Roovin came by the office to buy some books. Since he was on leave from work for the day, we had time to grab lunch at the nearby mall. Over pizza and ‘pasta negra’ (which stained our lips and teeth black!), we caught up on each other’s lives.

Having been a married guy for a year, Roovin felt it was his duty as best friend to dissect my (non-existent) love life and its little disasters (hoping perhaps to hasten my transfer over to the other side of the civil status fence?) Of course I let him probe, seriously considering what he had to say. Close friends have a way of letting you see different sides to your life story. And it helps that they are not easily derailed by your witty (read: evasive) retorts or lame justifications.

Great. Now I have ‘more pressing’ things to think about and sort out other than work.

P.S. I promised Besp I’d post this pic on my blog 🙂


Wala lang. Taken during one of the dinner meetings with friends from college. The “teleserye” look was my idea; the movie poster was Roovin’s doing. (He must have a lot of free time.) It’s “Ang Pelikulang Walang Bida” because, according to Roovin, none of us looks like a protagonist. Haha! You think so too?

tech notes

And now for some tech updates from me and Kierk, my HP notebook.

I’ve finally decided to subscribe to a DSL package. I did a little mental computation: I figured the money I spend for ISP Bonanza dial-up cards, and for coffee during frequent wifi sessions (wifi itself is free, thanks to a friend who’s letting me use his airborne access account) can actually be spent for a basic DSL subsricption. (Note: My favorite wifi-coffee hangout is Gloria Jean’s in Araneta Center, Cubao – more than enough power outlets and not too many people, even during weekends.)

After extensive googling to learn about other people’s experiences with their respective DSL providers, I decided to go with Bayantel. It was a major factor too that I have been a Bayantel landline subscriber for a few years now. No complaints too.

There’s a lot of frustration posted online about DSL subscription here in the Philippines. Most of the complaints have to do with fluctuating speeds and customer service. From surfing blogs, forums (okay, “fora” for the strict grammarian), and message boards, I say Bayantel gets the least blows. It’s a toss-up between PLDT and Smart Bro for the most “battered” provider in terms of negative feedback, not to mention elicited expletives from irate customers. Again, this is a subjective estimation, based on the general sense I got from gathering info before I took the DSL plunge.

So far, I’m happy with Bayantel’s DSL service. I should say though that there were some glitches with the scheduling of the installation. But I attribute that to one irresponsible account executive; his peers, when I called to complain and follow-up, were efficient and helpful.

We’ll see after a few months if my math – that is, coffee + prepaid = dsl subscription – serves me right. I hope I won’t have to skip meals just so I can cope with my new internet expense. On second thought, maybe that’s a way to force me to lose the few stubborn pounds. Hmmm…

One last bit: Bayantel (now rebranded as “Bayan” telecommunications, with new logo to boot) has instated a money-back policy that guarantees rebates for every day of delayed repair service. I think that’s a good move, as it gives customers a sense of security and value. Have you seen their recent TV commercial? I think it’s clever, in a gross kind of way.
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easter miracles

People close to me, my mother chief of them, will have no problem calling yesterday’s incident a miracle. Even I can’t believe it. At noon Saturday, I just stood up from my computer chair, clapped my hands into a determined clasp, and declared, “We’re gonna do some cleaning, dude!”

And suddenly the heavenly host burst into song.

Before the procrastinator in me could parade its list of excuses (‘Gutom lang ‘yan, kapatid’), my mind had started to envision a clean room with a reconfigured layout. Mentally, I moved my bed and desk, the only two significant furniture in my tiny room, and weighed each configuration’s pros and cons.

The self-help books got it right: Vision is a powerful motivator. I could almost feel it in my hands and feet—no more grainy floor; goodbye to clutter; dust be gone; refreshing new layout. Peace, sweet peace…

Achoo! Ah…chooo!

Okay. The dust layers were not about to go without a fight. They were dead-set on engaging the disturber of their peaceful settlement, making him sneeze until he surrendered. Achoo!

But I was determined and war-hungry as a Spartan soldier, sans sculpted abs. “Achoo!” would be my battle cry instead of the Spartans’ guttural “Ah-hoo!” The battle lines were drawn, and I was armed to the teeth—with wet rag, floor mop, and trash bag.

First off, deal with the clutter under the desk and bed. Squatting on the floor (still grainy), I sorted stuff, mostly paper, into two piles: “Keep This” and “Buh-bye.” In between achoos! I found receipts, work docs, travel mementos that I had once upon a time searched for but never found, until now.

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God talk

This week, God is in vogue.

Lent compels many to talk about God, ponder spirituality, even gripe about religion. While shooting last-minute email on my last hour of work this week (yay!), I stumbled upon an interesting and intense face-off article: “The God Debate” comes out in the April 9 issue of Newsweek.

In the article, a Newsweek writer moderates a discussion between Rick Warren, a pastor and the bestselling author of The Purpose-Driven Life (over 20 million copies sold! – part of that distributed locally by our publishing house), and Sam Harris, an atheist and a PhD candidate in neuroscience who’s also written books (which, uhm, our publishing house does not distribute – hehe).

Some thoughts before I send you off to the article: Christians don’t claim to have it all figured out, but they hold fast to a faith and a hope – a Person who, transcending but not disregarding reason, has given meaning to mere creaturely existence. If Harris is to be believed, atheists see Christianity as the biggest bottleneck to the progress of this civilization, seeing faith in the God of the Bible as a matter of wishful thinking that entails intellectual suicide.

Most of the issues Warren and Harris tackle are not new; they have been pondered by many before them and before us.  You’ve probably heard their arguments before. Still, it’s worth a read. I especially like the ending.

This way to Newsweek‘s “The God Debate.”

UPDATE: I’ve rectified the link to the article. My apologies to those I might have sent off to cyber limbo with the wrong link. Do click again (if you haven’t googled it yet).