Year of the Tiger

The afternoon television yesterday was packed with yellow fever.  Nope, it was not election related but, soothingly, sports oriented.  Why yellow?  Well, yellow is the dominant jersey color of the Thomasian tigers.  And their two teams, male and female, cupped the UAAP Volleyball Championships, back to back.

The sensation was actually expected, 2010 being the year of the tiger. But more than that Chinese superstition, the formidable teams from UST were just swooning with talent and virtuosity in the volleyball court.  Pecano, Torres, Ramos, Ilano for the men.  Maizo, Tabaquero, Dimaculangan, Caballejo, Ortiz, Banaticla, Santiago, Curato for the women.  One day, their names would just be names in the tally record sheets.  But as of today, their names spell glory and honor for  jobs well done.  A great treat for a Thomasian like me!  Take that, FEU!  What dya say now La Salle? What?  I didn’t hear ya!  Ha ha!

Earthquake and Tidal Wave

The Chilean earthquake yesterday measured 8.8 on the Richter Scale.  That is strong enough to send tsunamis in the Pacific.  The red alerts are up and the sirens are continuously warning the inhabitants of Hawaii for possible water onslaught.  The last time Chile moved, the shockwaves hit Japan, too, I gathered.

The human kind is not even over and done with with Haiti.  Now comes another magnitude with catastrophic proportion. The message from the heavens is clear.

The Code of Silence

Omerta!  I thought that was just an Italian folly.  But look, every Greek named fraternity or sorority had adapted the tradition in their brotherhood or sisterhood.  But don’t look now, even the honors-based science organization of the UP had adapted the unbreakable code of silence.

At least that is what I gathered when I questioned my daughter how she faired in the formal interview, the culminating task they had to go through before the final rites in the org application.  I just can’t understand why my daughter had to keep secrets from me.  Gosh those orgs!  If only I could twist the heads 360 degrees, perhaps that will give them a lesson on allowing parents into their children’s lives completely.

In My Diary 24 February 2010

I am on house arrest, firstly because of the terrifying heat that seems to be casting a deathwave and secondly, because of that impending request I made to the city mayor about the rehabilitation of my fence.  I am awaiting the answer, positively, I hope.

I confine my trips to bringing and fetching the girls in school, early in the morning and late in the afternoon, when the heat is not all too burning.

And I was able to talk to mommy this morning.  She is with daddy in the nursing home.  Daddy couldn’t open his eyes anymore.  He only eats when mommy feeds him.  They almost lost him 15 Feb, when the caregivers brought him to dialysis wihout having any dinner.  That left him deathly white and cold.  But they were able to revive him.  And now mommy wouldn’t part with him.

I lit a candle for daddy. I had hoped that Jean and Tish could have visited him.  He prompted me to send the girls there. But that is not possible because of finances and school schedule. So we say our mysteries of the rosary for daddy.  Please Blessed Mother, warm my daddy with your blue mantle.  He needs it now.

The Heat is On!

If there is one thing that I refrain from doing so these days – it is tuning in to election advertisements.  Just as the crops had dried and the soil gone arid, so had the heat pervading the airwaves. It is just sickening, contagious, and possibly fatal. Cause of death – heatstroke! Beware, countrymen, of lending your ears!

From Airlifters to Bobsleighers!

I was mesmerized by figure skating.  I just fell in love with those partners from Canada and the USA who made the ice oval a comfortable dance venue for skating.  They were just so well at ease with their routines there was nothing to expect anymore except for the choreograph that tells their story.

But I was also mouth agape with the air lifters.  The snow was a wall they had to contend with.  That is hard, huh!

And the bobsleighers, hunks all and ruggedly desirable in suits and crash helmets… what show could ever be more heartstopping.  The British guy ejected from his sleigh and sustained patch ice burns on his back.  The cameramen did a good job on focusing on the muscled naked physique. Hah!

Great people, those athletes are!

Michael Schimd, Freelance Skier Par Excellence

Michael Schimd, Swiss skier, gold medalist in the Vancouver freelance event.

He outskied every other competitor in the downhill speed skiing by unleashing a faultless quick start followed by an equally flawless glide.

Great guy, that Michael is.

Shaun White, Snowboarder Par Excellence

The Vancouver Winter Olympics was a thrill to behold.  I caught the fever one morning as I chanced to glimpse at the blue backdrop Northwest Canada displayed on tv.  And the cameraman panned the Cypress Mountains where the downhill riders dropped one by one at incredible velocity.  That got me glued to the winter sports that were truly breathtaking!

Shaun White came to defend his gold in the semi-snowboarding event.  The competition was stiff and there was a bad boy Kokubo from Japan that threatened to steal his title.  But the riders fell one by one, leaving Shaun White to duplicate his outstanding moves. The commentator said that Shaun need not do the extremely difficult moves but he did it anyway just for the audience who had come to witness his prowess.

Great guy, that Shaun is.

In My Diary February 17, 2010

Tita Luning gave me short long distance call last night.  She missed us!  It had been a long time since somebody had given her a ring, be it domestic or international.  Oooops! Guilty.  I should have sent a Valentine text but I am not for such stuff.  Besides, I avail prepaid cards.  A trivial text is costly for me.  But I did promise to visit her soon. That would be more endearing, at least for me anyway.

Tish is bleeding her nose on her thick text books.  Daily exams are scheduled this week, all majors.  And she has a formal interview coming up for a slot at the PMHS org.

Jean, likewise, is forever busy at the AIT tambayan.  She just had a Talents’ Night Monday, but today, she has another meeting with something. Ahh!  Whatever.

And me?  I paid my taxes dutifully, like what a good citizen should be. A problem about the Engineering Office had taken much of my time.  That is why the house is topsy-turvy and dusty.  I do hope I get to clean up soon.

But how can I?  I am also glued to Vancouver 2010.  Front seat.  Full view.  My bedroom, ha ha!  But it is exciting.  One day I’ll watch it LIVE!

Dust in the Wind

What happens when one doesn’t get to fulfill a Catholic duty of hearing mass and having an ash cross marked on the forehead on an Ash Wednesday?  The day commences the forty days of the Catholic Lenten season. And all my life, except for today, I never missed the ritual.

Each year, devout Catholics like me, always renew that promise of turning away from sin and living the gospel. It is an annual reminder that from dust we come and to dust we shall go back.

Yet each year, the amount of sinning an individual commits doesn’t diminish.  The data about a disturbing increase in HIV+ cases, the number of mind-boggling massacre stories, the financially related greed and power play criminal cases could all attest that man is not bothered by his conscience any more.  If one can get away with promiscuousity, why not?  If one can reign supreme with private armies and kill, why not?  If one could maintain an image while cheating the constituents he serves, why not?  Life must be lived according to the way one wants it on this earth. Who cares about the after life?

I do. And each day that passes, I look at the dust in the wind.  There are quite a lot of it right now.  I wonder how many of them had been HIV+ ?

True, the trees have shed off its leaves.  The rivers and creeks have gone dry.  The corn fields had patched and the much needed corn harvest had gone to waste.  The vegetable plantations, too, had gone arid.  Amidst the blinding sun, death smiles unequivocally.

I wear my Ray Ban shades to regulate the rays while driving.  I had never been bothered by powerful sunlight. But this past three weeks, the play by play of lights and shadows had not soften the strength of the the blinding sun. A dire sign of what is to come?


The dust in the wind had thickened.  The heavens could not admit filthy flesh.

There is still time for me to get to church.

I must.