What's this about?

Ladies and gents our story begins with our author who one day packed up his bags to spend the next 5 years of his life on some tropical island far far away. This land is not like any place he has ever been to before. There is no telling of what he may encounter during his stay there but one thing is sure he is going to be in for one crazy adventure. And this is where you get to read about it.

What you say?

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Readers beware!

The stories told here maybe appear larger than in real life and at times may even appear outlandish. However, all actual events are in fact real (well, most of them). What may appear as a distortion of reality to some may only be due to the author's perspective of the actual events. Some say he is just not right in the head.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The price of junk

Web-cam for talking to your relatives far away...
Mp3 player to play all those latest tunes...
The spanking new digital camera you've been waiting for...

That feeling after each one of them breaks down on you within only 2 months after you had purchased them and knowing that you just aren't going to be able to return them for a full refund because you're stuck on some far away island... #*%$!&@ priceless.

For every shitty day there is an even shittier one around the corner.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Should I stay or bail?

No, I'm not talking about leaving the Philippines. Well not yet anyways. I'm talking about this little co-fraternity thing I got my self in to at school. It seemed like a good idea at first, transcribing notes as a group so that when exam time comes around reviewing would be a lot easier. Then with a blink of an eye I was in a whole lot of drama, enough for you and your momma.

Here's the scenario, yesterday a few of our classmates, I don't want to be specific so let's call them Lois' group, wanted to join in on the fun of transcribing. Personally I was cool with it, the more the better especially since we have so much to cover. I thought everyone else was cool with it too but I was wrong. Apparently one of the transcribers, don't want to be specific so let's just call him Jo, didn't like some of the people in Lois' group or didn't trust them or just didn't whatever. I'm not even sure what exactly it was anymore, the story seems to have changed five times already within 24 hours. Anyway, the first reason I heard though was pretty damn childish in my opinion. It was something along the lines of “I won't share my Hot Wheels with you because your mommy won't let us play with your Tonka truck”. Damn we're going back to 1st grade playground rules, but I'm already in #*@% graduate school. Anyway, Jo voiced his opinion but I didn't see a problem with them joining especially for that kind of reason and neither did most of the other people already in our group. However, Jo is a mighty persistent fellow with a head like a brick and he wasn't going for it at all. So he decides to put the whole thing to a vote. Needless to say he was out numbered and the majority voted to let them join. Ah, so the story would seem over but you forget I said he has a head like a brick. Despite all our wishes he takes it upon himself to become the dictator of the group and tells Lois's group he doesn't want them in. Now the drama begins. I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. To me it was like Jo, on top of being childish already, had no respect for the rest our decision. All of sudden I felt our group just became HIS group.

This morning I had a talk with Jo to see what the hell is going on in his head. I'll admit the excuse he gave me this time around about why he didn't want Lois's group to join was something I had to respect. I may not exactly agree with it but I could respect it. However, none of what he said could excuse him for doing what he did when we all agreed to have them help. Dictatorship may have been cool in the Philippines in the past but I ain't down with it now in no way. A lot of the other things he was saying didn't make any sense to me either. He said he didn't want to divide up the group but that's exactly what he did. You didn't even need a psychic friend to feel the tension in that room. He was saying it's 'our' group but obviously it was only his decision that mattered. He was telling me how he felt he couldn't depend on them but I was thinking how can I depend on someone who doesn't care for our opinions?

Anyway, to make a long story short Jo and Lois' group had a discussion today at lunch, all in Tagalog. So I couldn't understand a word. They say it's cool but I don't know. They are Filipino after all, sometimes you have to read between the lines. So here's my dilemma leave the issue alone if everything is cool or just bail before things get worse? The more I think about it too the more things don't look good. You know it's days like this I wish I had people here I could depend on to help me out with a decision like this. Like some of the friends I had back in the states, don't want to be specific so let's just call them Nao and Kevin.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


There is a big concern about drivers talking on their cellular phones while driving in the US. While there has been no actual studies done on how many car accidents we due to drivers talking on their cellular phones we can all attest to one or two idiots that we have seen driving recklessly while on their cellular phone. The idiot who cut you off while trying to make their exit at the last minute. The idiot driver in the fast lane who suddenly slowed down to 40 miles per hour so he could have a nice Sunday conversation with his mom. Hell, there are all kinds of them idiots. I'll even admit that I have probably been one of those idiots as well in the past. Though the US has rid its self of one cellular phone talking driver the dangerous trend of people who use their cellular phones while driving is increasing everyday.

In the Philippines however, where just about every Filipino owns a cellular phone, you will probably never see someone talking on their cellular phone while in their car. It is because Filipinos just aren't as reckless as Americans, they are thrifty a well. In the Philippines it is cheaper to text a message than to call some one. So, hardly anyone uses their cellular phone to actually speak to one another. Instead the majority of the people text messages to one another using the little key pads on their cellular phone. Though most Filipinos are pros at texting most people are not going to be able to type a message without looking at their cellular phone. Should this minor fact keep some one from texting while driving though? Apparently not in the Philippines. You think having to watch out for some idiot driver who's talking on his cell is bad. How about some guy who's texting his baby's momma while not even looking at the road? Personally, I would rather drive along someone who is driving with their feet than someone who isn't looking where they are going. It is already a challenge in its self to drive in the Philippines (something that I will have to talk about later) with both eyes on the road. If I could, I would have a third eye surgically attached to the back of my head to help me out. The "force" isn't going to be enough to get you by out here Mr. Luke Skywalker, so when you are on the road just put the cell down and leave the texting for later.

The dangers of driving while using your cellular phone.

At least you didn't hit the carabau.

Save a carabau. Don't text and drive.

The eyes of normal person while driving. (Ok, somewhat normal.)

Permanent mobiltexaitis (Latin mobilis and Latin textus) of the right eye caused by 2 months of texting while commuting to Manila.

Do you want to end up with mobiltexaitis? Stop the madness, stop the texting!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Would you like some cream?

I just got back from Starbucks (these things are everywhere) at Alabang Town Center. It's a nice place, a little more for the upper class out here. Anyway, while we were sitting at our table my friend and I see these two girls from a distance walking our way. They were dressed up like they were about to go to the club and one had a really short skirt. It was a bit of an eye catcher. They end up coming over and sitting right next to us. That's when I noticed they must have been no older than 17 at the most. 17 would be kind of pushing it. So I stop paying attention at this point and they leave rather quick. About 10 minutes later they show up again with these two older gentlemen, probably at least well into their 50's. At first I thought the older men might be the girl's fathers or something but they didn't really look Filipino nor have a Filipino accent. Stereotypically, from their looks I would say they were Japanese or Korean. They were pretty old so it was a little difficult to tell. (When Asian people get old they all start to look alike.) Anyway, being nosey I tried to listen in but the only thing I could hear was one of the old guys saying "Did you have dinner? Let's go to the hotel." Then they got up and each girl was holding on to one of the old men but not in a father-daughter kind of way. Then it hit me. Damn, they were 17 year old ho's. If I would have known I could have flashed them a little cash. Just playing. That shit was crazy. I have never seen anything like that happen in the states. Yes, I have seen some ho's standing on the corner but I have never seen a ho get picked up next to me while I was having a latte at Starbucks. And at 17 years old. The sad thing is, they probably have been doing this for a while because they were able to pick up some customers really quick and like I said it wasn't like we were in some sleazy part of town. They knew what they were doing. Them ho's were pros.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Yesterday I went to Mckie D's, the locals out here call it McDo's. Their menu is a little different, for example they don't have double quarter pounders but they got fried chicken. I find it kind of interesting that you can find fried chicken just about anywhere out here. Anyway, that's not really what I wanted to talk about here. Me and my friend got to wondering how much is the starting wage for worker at McDo's. I'm kind of short on some funds and I needs a job. So we ask the lady at the drive thru window and she tells us they make 34 pesos an hour. Minimum wage in Metro Manila is 250 a day, that's 31.25 pesos an hour. So McDo's is actually paying more than the minimum wage in the most expensive region of the Philippines. Sounds like she may be getting paid alright but let's put it in to some perspective. At the current dollar rate McDo's pays about 60 cents US an hour. The price for a Big Mac meal out here is about $1.90 or 107 pesos. That's without supper-sizing the fries and drink. So if you were to work 3 hours on a McDo's salary in the Philippines you wouldn't even be able to afford one Big Mac meal. You would still come up short. This should give you an idea about the financial situation of the people in this country. Granted we are only talking about a McDo's worker here but the same goes for most people in this country. The average person living here would not be able to afford a Big Mac meal on their one hour's salary. And if they want to super-size their meal, well they better just forget about it.
Life just ain’t easy up in this heazy.


It's raining outside again and I'm in my room as usual. Not because it's raining but because as usual it's where I am. At times it feels like I'm out here on a deserted island... Surrounded by 90 million people.