Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BITON..(But not Louis)



The only time I get to have new shoes is when school starts. I came from a middle class family and the only time we get new stuff is just before school. My folks would buy me a pair of leather shoes and a pair of rubber shoes for PE. The idea of buying shoes out if vanity is totally alien to my folks. Not even Christmas. We get our new shoes in May and it’s got to last to next year.

Once my father bought me shoes and he did the “boston” thing. For those not in the know, “bostons” are small pieces of leatherine that you nail to the soles of your leather shoes. The idea is that the boston will preserve your shoes from wear. In practice it did none of that and instead made your shoes slippery and makes a sound similar to:

“ka-plok..ka-plok. Ka-plok”.

So much for my plans of turning to assassination as an alternative career. If James Bond used bostons, his license to kill will be revoked by M.

All our shoes then were made in Marikina.( Can you still buy shoes in Marikina other than in SM Marikina? Sorry Off-topic.) If the shade wasn’t right we did the “jovos” thing. Jovos is leather dye that you apply to your shoes using an old toothbrush. It comes in many shades are is usually available in your local sari-sari stores. It is also very noxious so don’t touch the stuff---and don’t use the toothbrush for your teeth. How noxious is jovos? Let's just say that if it can stain the hide of a dead cow, immagine what it can do to your skin. Rumor has it that it will also kill rats. I haven’t killed any yet.

When we polish our shoes, we had the old Broadway shoe polish aka “Biton”. No imported Kiwi wax yet. Broadway comes in small tins that you open using a small coin. It also has the tendency to cake and dry when left in the open. You apply Biton using an old t-shirt or better—an old underwear whose garter has turned bacon (the joys of recyling). Biton comes in all shades and even comes in white (for polishing that D.O.M –mish white shoes used by D.O.M.s, biyudos, members of the Knights of Columbus and old court prosecutors).

To make your shoes shinny, you apply a nice coat of biton, and then you use a shoe brush. Then comes the nice part, you spit on your shoes. Yep you read that right, YOU SPIT ON YOUR SHOES (saliva only please...). Then you buff your spit into the wax using a soft cloth. Now you know the origin of the phrase “spit polish”. Spit polishing is one of the pure joys of a manly man. Apart from a convention of taxi drivers, it is the only time when it is socially acceptable to spit in public.

I even remember this shoe shine guy who works the floor near the courthouse in Manila. He produces this flawless shine that is water repellant. Instead of Biton, he uses lard. Lard as in cooking-Cisco-lard. Imagine the surprise on my face when he started applying Cisco to my leather shoes. Then he applied the second part of this trade secret: non-stop spitting on my shoes (health certificate, manong?) I think he used a cup of his own saliva on my pair alone. I do spit polish my shoes, but my technique doen’t require a WHO health advisory, but this guy was really abusing his salivary glands.

Fast forward to Kiwi and the insta-shine foam. Too bad for this generation.

(* picture from www.militarykit.com, citing fair use)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009



I went on vacation last week to Boracay with my family. Part of the requirement in any Boracay vacation is the mandatory rubber sandals. Nobody goes to Bora without rubber sandals---a throw back to the time when one must wade through the water after your boat docks at the boat stations. Now there is a central jetty, but people still go there in rubber sandals—OK flip flops.

It’s been years since I bought a pair of flip-flops and I bought mine the old fashioned way—at Mangahan Public Market for P100. I still could not believe that some numbskull has the nerve to sell flip flops under some lame brand and charge P800 pesos or more for a pair. No sir..not me.

Rubber sandals that I remember came from public markets and when they are new, they smell like rubber tires. Rubber tire smell equals real rubber. This means that real men’s rubber sandals are made with the same material they use in SUV tires. They came in several brands that I remember, Dragon, Islander and of course Spartan. Mix that with the myriad of brands that you forget. The sandals I got from Mangahan market is colored army green and has a small label which says “Combat”. There is one in camouflage, but I did not get it, lest I be “over fatigued” (“get it…over fatigue..hahaha”).

Going back to Spartan, I may have used several hundred pairs of Spartans growing up. They are unbelievably durable, except that they have a knack of losing that round thingy that connects them to the main sandals. And what could be a more appropriate name for a manly footwear than to name it after the most feared warrior state in the ancient world. King Leonidas will be proud.

They not only protect your feet, but you can use if for a lot of stuff as well. I use it to knock down ripe fruits to the ground (ripe santol? Preferably stolen), use it for knock down the can in a friendly game of “tumbang preso”. Even use it to bulldozer sand to make a sand castle or a sand fort. For friends who play sipa, it is used as a racket. For those who skateboard in the eighties, it is used as an elbow pad. They always wear out fastest in the heel area. Once there is a hole larger than a coin, it is time to go back to the market. They also smell rubbery when exposed to moisture.

It was just my luck that I could not find Spartan in Mangahan Market. Hell, I wouldn’t trade it for any lame Havaianas. What's my problem with the Havaianas? It's too colorful (unlike the plain-colored Spartan). My manly reputation will be in jeopardy if people see me wearing those floral design thingy's. It's also too glamorized and too expensive. A manly man seeks the simple things in life--ok, we're pretty cheap too.

To sum up my arguements :A manly man would never be caught dead wearing a glamorized multi-colored “TSINELAS”.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

White is the new sexy?


Going to Cubao, I came across this billboard staring Sam Milby.

Check out the message..(and I could not wipe the smile off my face) .

You know what I think? I think that the copywriter should be castrated and the resulting stump poured with patis.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fruits of Summer

Thanks to globalization, Filipinos have access to the fruits of the first world. Go to any large Philippine supermarket you will find apples, oranges, kiwi fruits, grapes sometimes even peaches and pears. Thanks to biodiversity, we have access to regional fruits such as lanzones, mangoes, bananas, melons and even durian and even to some unusual fruits that I believe are unique to the Philippines and some tropical countries. I could fire of a few right here: chesa, duhat, aratilles, camachile, makopa, santol, even caimito . The lowly fruits of summer I call them.

They also have a dirty reputation among petty neighborhood thieves. When I was a kid, we used to joke that the best santol would be “parang pag-ibig---mas masarap kung nakaw” (rough translation: the best santol would be like bad love—best if stolen..har..har).

Santol is also not glamorous as the only sweet part would be the flesh around the huge seed, and the fleshy part of the fruit would always be pungently sour---best eaten with salt or made into sinigang stock. I remember the fruit vendor outside of Angelicum school, he would have fresh santol that he would peel before your eyes which he would place in a plastic bag that would be dumped with rock salt.

Duhat and aratilles is another neighborhood treat. Our neighbor used to have a huge duhat tree and an aratilles tree. We would hit the fruits with our slippers and when the fruit falls down we collect them in a tabo filled with water. After making sure that there is no dirt, we would pounce on our fruits. Some would eat their duhat with salt, which is a bad idea if you have singaw. The unripe aratiles fruits would be stone hard. We would use it as ammunition for our slingshot. It leaves a nasty welt if you get hit. I have seen the kind of welt that is left by those plastic bb guns it is nothing compared to the large welt left by a green aratiles fruit propelled by a slingshot. Did I also mention that it the shot is well placed in your eyes, it could probably blind you.

Near my grandparents house in Tarlac, there is this huge camachile tree that gives camachile fruits during summer. A Holy Week visit to our grandparent’s house would not be complete till we climb the camachile tree and have some of the pungent-tasting fruit. My doctor friends tell me that camachile has de-worming properties. We probably needed it after wolfing down so much dirt-picked durian.

Chesa. This is one fruit I hate. When it is ripe, the flesh turns golden brown. And when you mash it, it reminds you of something you pick up after your dog spins three times in place.

Lastly, my favorite: Caimito. Of all the endemic fruits we have in the Philippines, this one has the potential to go mainstream. It is very fleshy, always sweet when ripe and best served split in half and ice cold. It also has medicinal properties and is a good substitute for anti-diarrhea properties. Too bad, they are not commercially grown and what little supply we have are also harvested as wild fruits.

As we approach Earth day, perhaps we should be thankful for the immense diversity it has given us in our own backyard. There is no accident in nature, and all this diversity comes with the plan to provide us with rich and nutritious fruits and memories of kids using their rubber flip-flops to knock them down.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Men and their instruments

No doubt about it, we are in love with our tools and our machines. All men are essentially cavemen. They are descendants of hunters and gatherers. Thus understandably, they take so much pride and joy with the instruments of their prowess. No man would put off the opportunity to talk about their cars, their guns, their grill (see previous blogs), their stereo, their computers or even their power drills. All men are proud of some machine or tool that they have. Whether you are a fighter pilot bragging about your supersonic fighter plane or a jeepney driver bragging about your stainless steel street machine, being proud of them is not conceit nor is it false pride.

"Tatak Sarao yan..hehehe"

Some smart aleck feminist even remarked that tools are the subliminal projection of men’s penises. Tools are their way of feeling usefull and is their response to the fact that female is the one allowed by nature to have offspring. I think that is over simplification. Yes, I do collect a lot of tools, how would they be representations of my delusions that I am a Peter North? No wonder all of my screw drivers have 10 inch handles and my neighbor recently bought a pair of micro pliers.

When men talk of their machines there are no strangers. You can start a conversation with any man regarding their machines and you will feel right at home:

“Ilang horsepower ba yang pump mo?

“How many rounds will the magazine hold”.

“Can it go 170 kph on the SCTEX?”

Just last week, I was riding a taxi cab, when the driver all of a sudden felt the urge to ask for an advice. He was having these squeaky noise whenever he would make a turn and the engine would stall. I am no ace mechanic, but when a fellow manly man solicits advice, you have to dish out something. Consider it flattery of the highest kind when a complete manly stranger starts a conversation with you. That could only mean that he could feel your genuineness oozing out of your pores. Think about it, if this guy wanted something technical or scientific, he would have easily asked an expert mechanic. But why waste an opportunity to exchange notes with another manly man? Manly affirmation is the key here, getting it right would be secondary. This never happens to women. Women will never approach another woman and out of the blue start a conversation about their computer or stove or their lipstick. For men to strike up a conversation with another man is normal, especially if it involved tools or machines. It would be creepy for another woman to go even start a conversation with another woman.

Now for the downside: no man would ever admit that he is helpless in the face of technical difficulty. Thus, the most logical thing to do is to tinker with it..trying to get it done. Most of the time we are simply armed with what little we know—or what little manly advice we got. There is even this delusion we have that given so much tools we can fix it. Thus we end up buying more tools every time something breaks down. Why just get an oil change when half the fun is buying a filter wrench and doing it yourself? Here’s a hot tip to the women out there, contrary to what may be written in the Orpah Magazine (or for that matter the Kris Aquino magazine), the best men are not in bars or in church functions, nor can they be found in a save-the-whale event, they are out there shopping for tools at the nearest Handyman.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Metrosexual ?

Allow me to bash the increasingly funny phenomenon of the Metro sexual male. Supposedly, Metrosexual men are men (wipe that smile off your face) who are conscious of their appearance and grooming and are cultured and sensitive and most of all heterosexual. Mass media glorifies the Metrosexual purportedly because they are the market of choice for all sorts of consumer products.

Reminds me of our definition of the “Man of the ‘90s” we used to kick around (Thank you Atty. Marvin Aceron and Atty. Punzi Punzalan). The man of the ‘90’s is supposed to be sensitive—but not gay. I guess the “Man of the ‘90s” is the prototype for our Metrosexual man.

First a quick disclaimer, I don’t go to “unisex” saloons and loyally see my manly barber for my shaves and haircuts. I don’t highlight my hair or get a manicure or a pedicure for that matter. Whenever I feel the need for a massage, it would be the rough kind offered by my barber or by my ever-loyal Romy the Human Spa.

The arch-type for a Manly man hygiene is the one that you see in Army barracks: simple, functional and sanitary.

Simple because all you need are the basic stuff like soap and shampoo and deodorant. Functional because it gets the job done. Sanitary? Ever wonder why soldier’s haircut are short? It’s actually to control parasites. I am happy with my once a month haircut and my once or twice a week shave.

Whitening products? I think that I am well-adjusted enough to see that nature intended my epidermis to be dark. Had it been otherwise, perhaps it would not have allowed me to be born a few hundred miles from the equator. Any fifth grader will tell you that nature’s selection of skin type is a function of climate and geography and not a function of vanity.

As I said before, if you need to whiten your skin to feel good, then perhaps you are better off talking to your shrink rather than Dr. Vicki Bello. And did I mention that there is no hard scientific link to whitening and gluthathione? And besides, I really can live without seeing my manly nipples turn pinkish-red. Whatever happened to tall, dark, and handsome? Reality check here, I think that if your problem is related to your dark skin, then you have a self-esteem problem. Simply stated: you have the self-esteem of a eunuch in a male stripper convention.

Clothes? I subscribe to the Rodney Dangerfield school of dressing (No, thanks GQ). I get no respect. Color coordination is basic and I have no use for neon colored shirts. My office pants and barong are made in the finest tailoring shops in Kamuning Market. I really hate it when another man wear a tight and shinny black shirt—with their nipples popping out. Someone once remarked that I dress up like “an off-duty parish priest”.

So what is my take on this Metrosexual thingy? I have no problem with encouraging men to be healthy, sanitary and to be well-groomed. But the Manly Man is never a vain man.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tekkie, Tekkie

In 1992, my computer was a 386 clone. It had two megabytes (yes ..megabytes) of memory, a forty megabyte hard disk and runs on the first generation of Windows (the one with the leafy wallpaper) and a colored monitor. By present standards, I could load that computer with approximately ten MP3 songs, or about twenty mid-resolution pics, or one bootleg video clip. Nothing else.

I also own a dot matrix Epson that took three days to print one page of my term paper.

Not satisfied with mediocrity, I decided to update my computer myself. I bought memory chips, a 120 megabyte hard disk and went about my merry way of installing it myself. When I booted up the computer, the screen just froze, nothing. At this point, all of my illusions of becoming the next Bill Gates vanished like cheese samples on a toothpick. I brought the unit to a friend who happily repaired it. I ended up having four megabytes of memory (sweet!!), and a slaved 120 megabyte hard drive (sweeet…). I could now do more stuff with my computer like play strip poker (cyber porn’s humble beginning) or play Flight Sim (first generation, grainy stuff).

I remember during this time having a conversation with my law classmate Bobbet Bruce. He told me that his uncle was involved in a new technology that will change the way we store data in our computers. I told him then that with the way hard drives are being made (remember, I had 120 megabytes of bad-ass memory!!) and how they are improving, a new technology in storing data is pointless. He told me that the new technology would have no moving parts and could store data in small devices. It could also store data for missiles and a host of military application. It is called FLASH MEMORY.

I’m glad I ignored him.

At around this time also, another friend told me another stupid idea. His idea is simple, open a portal in the internet where people can look up their friends and post their pictures.


I told him in all sincerity.

I’m glad he took my advice and he never followed through with this stupid idea. Otherwise, he would be today just another dotcom billionaire instead of a successful lowly- paid government lawyer. Did I mention that he wanted me killed?

Fast forward to 2009. I own an upgraded Net book, a four-year desktop, a Garmin GPS, two 3-G phones. My USB thumb drive’s 4-gigabyte of memory is also 100 times more powerful than my 386’s hard drive.

I also practice New Technology Law and I am also the company’s copyright master on the internet.

Does this make me officially a geek? Heaven forbids.

Now where is my latest edition of PC Buyer’s guide?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Last Day of School

Ateneo de Manila University Campus, Loyola Heights Q.C., March 28, 2009, 0945 AM.

I always have the misfortune of having one of the last exam dates on campus. By design or by some cruel joke, my class is always the last to take the exams, and this year is no exception. This is the last day of the school year and the last day of the exam week and I have the last time slot in the finals. By now the campus is almost empty of students and teachers. The hallways which used to be teeming with the noise of close to 12,000 students and faculty are now gone. In their place is the clanging of hammers and cleaning equipment as the maintenance personnel start the grueling ritual of regenerating the school’s facility.

There are now very few vehicles parked in what used to be crowded parking lots. The only distant noise comes from a group of youngsters playing baseball in Loyola’s fields. The JG SOM mall’s food kiosks are being boarded up in anticipation of new concessionaires. The benches are empty except for a young couple oblivious to the change of seasons.

This is the time to remember the old campus—the one I fell in love with when I was a college Freshman 23 summers ago. How times have changed.

In 1986, we only had the old College of Arts and Science and close to 3000 students or about 750 students per batch. Now there are 750 freshmen in the School of Management alone, and the Loyola Campus is now home to close to 12000 students. Back then, if you walk through the Loyola Campus on a Saturday afternoon, there would hardly be a soul there –except for those taking ROTC. That is one bonus of being here on the last day of the school year; it sends you back to simpler times.

But there are still hints of Ateneo’s old charm. The big tree lining the main roads and the Bellarmine Field still unfurls its loose shades. In the last 23 years I’ve seen these trees felled several times by typhoons, but they are still standing today—a testament to their strong roots. Outside on Katipunan Avenue, their brothers have been mercilessly cut and balled by Bayani Fernando’s minions. The C5 road system now cuts across what used to be the sleepy Katipunan Avenue. At least Shakey’s and Tia Maria are still there.

The Blue Eagles Gym and its huge logo have been dwarfed by the many high-rise buildings. At another corner of the campus now lies the Blue Eagle Gym’s grandson—the Moro Lorenzo Center, whose hardwood used to carry the markings of the Golden State Warriors of the NBA.

The baseball and football fields now sport well manicured lawns---in contrast to the summer brown we were used to. These green fields are littered with the blood, guts and tears of so many defeated athletes. The place is also littered with broken hearts and broken promises of so many love that was found and love that was lost. I used to joke to my class that their generation has sex appeal, while my generation had “sex sa field”. Impossible to do now, since there are several condominium units facing the fields.

Forty three minutes go then, then it’s officially summer for me.

Monday, March 9, 2009


My memories of summer will not be complete without mentioning the old movies that we used to watch in the afternoons. When I was young two stations RPN-9 and GMA-7 showed old movies in the afternoons. When the sun is scorching hot and it’s too sunny to play, you spend the early afternoon hours watching tagalong movies.

My favorite afternoon movies are the X-44 movies of Tony Ferrer. Ferrer played a James-bond like rip-off character named Tony Falcon, Agent X44. While Bond works for the British Secret Service, Falcon works for the NBI. Bond is assigned to the licensed-to-kill Double 0 section. Falcon works for the X-Division.

While Bond prefers a tuxedo or a coat and tie, Falcon wears an all white outfit that always remain clean, even after a fight. His fighting style reminds you of Bruce Lee. The sound effect for the fight scene sounds like this:

Whozzzut !!! Whozzut!!! Whozzut!!!

While tons have been written about the gadgets of Bond as created by Royal Armorer Q, Falcon has his own fancy gadgets. I am fascinated by Tony Falcon’s leather shoes, at the end there is a knife blade that stick out during a fight. The heels are also conveniently an emergency breathing apparatus. During one movie, Falcon was trapped in a flooding tank (they ripped that too from James Bond) and just when the water was about to reach his head, he takes out the heel of his shoes and there it is an underwater breathing device.

In another movie, (Don’t laugh yet) Falcon used his shoe as a gas mask to protect himself from poison gas.

Who makes his shoes? Is it my imagination or is the NBI armament guy from Marikina?

And, how can you forget Tony Falcon’s sports car? It has a black and white TV monitor there as part of the communicator. Sadly, the props department was a little bit rushed to create the hi-tech dashboard as they forgot to erase the brand “RADIOWEALTH”.

As if ripping off Bond is not enough, at the opening of each Falcon movie, he gets a coded message from the NBI director giving him a new assignment (ala Mission Impossible). In one of the movies Falcon was standing in Luneta Park, waiting for his message. Then a lone balut vendor approaches him. Naturally the balut vendor is the courier, but off course, they would have to exchange in coded spy-flick nonsense before the message is passed on :

Vendor: Ang Pusa ay Umakyat sa bunganga ng bulkan..
Falcon: Mukhang malamig ang hangin sa hilaga
Vendor: Masaya ang mga huni ng lorong ligaw
Falcon: Ang araw ay mas makinang kung sisilipin ng salamin

(ay, ambot...)

Only after this coded exchange will the message be passed on. In this case, the message was inside the salt packet given with the balut. Isn’t the NBI office just a few blocks away from Luneta? Would it have easier if Falcon reported to the office?

The bad guys in the movies feature stereotypical local thugs whose lines are limited to “Mga Inutil”. “Mga Bata” and the famous last words “Eto na ang katapusan mo Falcon.”. However, there are also the James Bond inspired villains out for world domination.

And the girls? What will a James Bond rip-off look like without the girls in skimpy outfits. Here’s the funny part, many of Falcon’s girls are actually caucacians!! Thus the most memorable scene in Pinoy action movie. Picture this, Tony Falcon, in a round mattress bed (yes..round…like the bed where they found the dead Barry White), bare chest, brandy glass in hand, suddenly a Caucasian girl in lingerie enters the bedroom, Falcon takes one long look at his prize, and mouths the immortal words..


So much for the art of seduction.

Fast forward to the 21st Century. Two years ago, they produced another X44 movie that starred Vhong Navarro. Bad choice. The movie flopped and I am not surprised.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Grill of My Dreams

There is a little caveman in every manly man and every once in a while we get this manly urge to cook things using an open fire. They say that what distinguishes Homo Sapiens from the rest of his predecessors is the use of tools and the application of fire. We are a specie that gained dominance over this planet not through brute force-- like the dinosaurs before us. We learned to use our head and extended our limitations through our tools and of course fire.

Grilling is almost second nature to any man. Everytime he sees fire the first thing that comes to mind would be “Could I cook with that?”. Thus the necessity of having his own grill is probably one of the most essential part of a man’s house. Here’s a hot tip for all the women out there: don’t let the man design your kitchen. If you do, you’d end up not having a stove, but you will never run out of firewood. At least your kitchen would look like something used by George Washington.

My first grills were the aluminum thingy that you buy from the grocery. Made from aluminum and tin scraps-- not very strong. A few weeks later, the thing is ruined –softened by the intense heat of the charcoal.

My next attempt at fiery love took the shape of an old steel drum. I had it split length wise, had a hinge made on the cut mark and viola, a barrel grill similar to the ones you see in those roadside eateries. Having two barrel halves meant that I could use one of them as the cover for my grill. Came out quite nice. The shape of the bottom half created a nice shape to concentrate the heat on my meat (heat on my meat..I don’t quite like the sound of that). I was cooking steaks and barbecues like a pro. A one inch, 8 ounce steak would be medium done in ten minutes or so. But just like any hot and sordid affair, all things have to end. I was having so much fun with my barrel grill that I forgot about how heat changes the chemical composition of metal. High heat and exposure to moisture would result in rust. Thus, my barrel grill ended up like the rest of the metal barrel population, eaten by oxygen and turned to a rusty hulk.

At this point, I should have given up and just simply bought one of those expensive high end porta-grills that you see at ACE Hardware. But there is something inside me that would not accept the idea of defeat and settling for one of those ready-to-have, nice to look at LPG/ electric combo grill. Ok..not to mention the fact that I am bone stingy (Ilokano here..).

So I embarked on a new quest. This week my trusted handyman Peter made me a concrete pit grill. The grilling are is BIG, about 26 inches long and about 16 inches wide. When I saw it taking shape, I almost had a woody (maybe not..hahaha) . I know that I had to get the perfect grate for me to cook on. Never mind those stainless grates you buy in the grocery, I just had to get one from a foundry. So off to the phone books I went, looked for a foundry shop selling cast iron metal grates. Luckilly, I found one in Baesa.

The place was a sweat shop! Run down factory, dilapited walls and furniture, scrap metal strewn all around. But, in the midst of what seems like ferrous hell, I knew what I came in for : METAL GRATE, CAST IRON, HEAT TEMPERED. I was imagining metal grates that I saw on a TV cooking program.

What they had in the factory were ditch covers. But the covers were cast iron and had the perforations I needed to sear through meat. They were thick too, about ¾ inch thick and quite heavy at around 15 lbs each. I bought four of them so when placed together will cover my grill.

When I got home, I was overwhelmed by the size of the grill and how manly it appeared after I placed my cast iron grates. Having a grill 26 x 16 inch meant that I could cook in one sitting eight large cut of steaks or about thirty sticks of barbecue. All cooked and seared by charcoal and the direct heat of cast iron.

My next project will be a rotisserie like the ones they have in Kenny Rogers. Now all I need to do is tear down the living room.

I'm Back

Six months later, here I am typing away. A lot of things have happened since the last time I wrote in this blog, and the feeling of starting again is never easy. There are millions and millions of blogs on the worldwide web, I disillusioned myself unnecessarily by thinking that I could get an immediate audience. The silence of not having to hear a feedback was indeed deafening to say the least. I started this blog as an experiment in creative writing—I needed to see if I can undo fifteen years of writing as a lawyer . Somewhere along the way, the original plan got sidetracked and I began deluding myself with having to establish myself as a well-followed writer. Thus, it became harder and harder to write and the keyboard strokes became more difficult as I plowed through the ritual of trying to please my phantom audience.

I needed to find out what I wanted to do with this blog. There are so many things I wanted to do with this blog but could not come around and do it.
Not to mention the many things that life threw my may in the last six months---a new baby, the health problem of my father, the seven unit teaching workload I was given in Ateneo.

So just like millions of bloggers out there who lost it and are now aching to come back, here I am, back, I hope for good.