The plan was to pack up for the Yosemite camping on the weekend. the highlight of our month… oh,that is, not counting my birthday last week. that was way Fun-ner. free food… Pirates…maiden in distress….. water.Rarr. But this Yosemite trip would be something extra ordinary for us children of the highly privileged. Considering most of us, middle Earth citizens, have never actually seen live fish swimming in the aquarium free water, or have actually breathed carbon less air. im sure most of us would have withdrawals and night sweats with less of it so im packing extra tank filled with exhaust air from our van for extra air flavor just in case people get freaky from too bare O2.ow…ow… and there’ll be fire too.

So predicting it would be cold and nature-ly,we tried adding to our list of foreseen calamity needs tooth-brush, Pokemon band aids( for fatal health emergencies) beef jerky(good for protein),cellphone charger, marshmallows, cheap sleeping bags and a cupboard..?what?

I was going along  reading on features for my starcraft2 game when Jen called me to come over.She had this you’re gonna drop your jaw straight to kingdom-come when you see what I have here – look.

and yes, it was a cupboard. this was no ordinary cupboard too, this was the assemble it yourself if you think you can kinda thing cupboard  much like our cozy nightmare stimulating bed.

Talking her out of it makes snake crawling  the I-5 in the middle of the day look easy and her  smiling excitedly wasn’t helping either.

To grind a riposte, I was gonna comment on the degree of difficulty it would take to put it together but as soon as we reached home, she was on a roll, like a day after Christmas. Like Wall-e and surplus metals. Who knew prepping for camping would end  up rearranging the entire house.

from last weeks’ experience with the bed construction I am now positive that I have married a pure-blooded descendant of the Patriarch Noah.

At least, I don’t have to worry about ants stealing my Honey Bunch Cereals in the middle of the night.

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For almost a month now , my struggle to gain supremacy toward my anatomy has been nothing but a failing quest. An elusive end.

Maybe it’s because it’s too ambitious of a goal for me or I have such a weak resolve.

Like Adam, I find myself unable to resist Eve’s  forbidden apple(literally).

I tried almost everything I could. From eating all-protein like lions , eating leaves and grass like goats( but this one I had to stop within a week out of fear of growing horns ), gulping algae like Ariel( little mermaid), running around the Rose Bowl( tried it for a day), biking to work, even the unimaginable, not eating chocolates(?). But  after all these unsuccessful efforts I remedied to check my weight  to at least once a week now rather than monitoring it daily to somehow cushion the blow of the slight 5 lbs increase in my body mass(ouch) and avoid bingeing, a rebound, brought about by mild depression.

Recently, my girlfriend is into Korean telenovelas.

She’s so into them that she started downloading korean applications on her itouch just to immerse herself with their culture and her korean infatuations.  Well, just a week ago, while spending QT, by QT, I mean watching her korean english subbed shows in youtube together, I had a sudden revelation. Why not incorporate my girlfriend’s obsession to my ever-failing quest?

here’s the logic: 

What does Asians, no, let’s just say Koreans, Chinese and Japanese have in common? yes. They are petite, THIN, healthy. and  what is it that they eat vigorously, their main diet? the secret where they attribute their flexible skinny bodies?yes again. NOODLES.

Now according to my deep analysis, if I can just start with that diet, I would be inches away from maintaining a thinner more agile structure. ka-chingggg!!

And so I run to the nearest seafood mart and bought myself dozens of them quick noodles, the ones they showed where cute Koreans guys from “Boys over Flowers” are eating.

And true enough, after I managed to operate the chopsticks to work and started sipping through the soup and noodles, I could immediately feel its effects encapsulating my still-flubby body. After a few sips, my stomach was already filled with a mixture of  fresh air, spicy soup and wiggly noodles. I’ve never felt this healthy before and now I feel full. no longer hungry like i was 2 minutes ago.

Maybe the noodles grant me an illusion of  being filled, but so far it works. for as long as it helps me avoid eating gluttonously and not feel weak from hunger at the same time then it’s alright.

for the sake of transient beauty I’ll do it all.

Weeks ago, me and a friend had a rigorous debate about politics . Considering that  just in a few months, that small island in the Pacific is gonna have its long-awaited Presidential election and according to some, a turning point in our republic.

Somehow, along the conversation my friend accused me of being a cynic referring to my lack of belief on politicians and my absence in voting during my 20-year residence in the country; said that it is our social obligation to pass our vote and choose the bestest candidate, for he/she can reshape our beloved Philippines into something better.

if you have read my previous post regarding my country’s political status, you might understand where I’m going  with this. Politics in my country, has, is and always will be corrupt. It has been like that to a  highest degree that even a simple transaction as to taking a driver’s test requires you to pay a hefty amount. failing to do so would deny you a licence. it’s not optional either, like a tip, it’s a requirement, more like a standard in operation. A friend of mine tried to test that system  once and chose to take the regular test without paying shady personnel for it. and as expected, failed the test in all counts.

To be considerably wealthy in my country, and to do it in the shortest time, one must become a political officer. nothing boosts your general income as fast as jueteng payoffs, invisible housing funds, unfinished road repairs, and unnamed employees clocked in, to name a few. But of course, not all so called-“servants of the people” are like that, there are a few who are doing their services diligently and have Rizal’s flame in their hearts.  A few.

And how much difference can that few make? for some, like my friend there, they’d say, “enough”, enough to start a ripple of change, a ripple of hope.

Actually, that few begun  their ripples centuries back.  But 200 years later, now, how many ripples are left creating influence? have they increased ten-fold or decrease to a heartbreaking low?

like echoes from a loud cry, our voices of change have slowly faded in time.

On the 7,107 islands, how many care enough to live honestly in life’s difficulties? live in virtue without selling or bribing for a quick meal or convinience?how many leaders give their best in service without asking for anything back?or graciously turns over their position at the end of their term? still a few. We all heard the cry, the silent echos in our corridors, everybody did. We all heard the stories but somehow we are too preoccupied digging ourselves out from our own personal troubles that we forget that these problems are interconnected, that we, as a people,  are in this shit  hole together.

The hard truth is that ripples of good ideals and trumpets of patriotism doesn’t affect poor and hungry people anymore. No matter how hard we fight to change it, our efforts would always, I’ll repeat, “always”, come short ether because a.) people are too miserable to change or, b.) there will always be a majority who’d rather meet their greediness first before the common good.

To anchor your dreams on them, on our government, waiting for things and people to change would be like riding  a sinking ship with you vigorously trying to scoop the water out while the rest of the people are busy poking holes on it.

For me, the best way to survive this jungle of a country, where the weak gets eaten and the rich becomes richer, is to stop relying on others and gear up for yourself. Your mayors, your congressmen…your president care for you only until their campaign ends, only when your vote and support is needed for their poll ratings to go up. This is reality, not the make-believe world we dream of when we were toddlers in the safety of our parent’s arms.

I believe the room for change, unfortunately, has become as narrow as a needle’s eye-maybe too much for one president and a devoted few to chew on.

If being realistic and practical is being cynical, then how can you not be? how can you stay naive and live as if you are an outsider? how can you pretend to?

Reform can only start when one sees the problem.

Today i heard is the anniversary of People’s Power in my country. it was in this date, some 20 something years ago,that a majority of Filipinos stopped whatever they were doing- laundry, chikitcha, mahjong, lunch, even their low paying jobs to stand  at EDSA to impose their will to the government. This was the only day in  Philippines’ history that a majority of its citizens unified  for a cause…without external influence.. without being paid by oppossing parties. they just dropped everything and decided to storm the palace and demanded for a change.

this is rare  character for a filipino. naturally, we are considerate creatures. hospitality is our best asset, if someone urges his will, we’d politely say our approval disregarding  how we oppose it deep inside. that’s what we did when the Spaniards came, also to tsinelas bringing  Chinese and Japanese. they heartlessly imposed their will on us, but we just rolled over and went with it, complaining deep inside?Yes. Going out and fighting them away? No. For a filipino to scream his will to someone would be like micheal jackson going white. unnatural. to do something like that in unison would mean something out of character ….to do something like the “86 EDSA would mean something gravely bad was going on.

it is facinating to think that after two decades, influencial people have made the EDSA movement a propaganda…no, more like a show. they pay groups of people to start a rally so to advertise their point of view, make up some dull reason as to how the present government has somehow, like the original EDSA, transressed the people’s will and after offering a nostalgic aura of the previous succesfful rally  spark another EDSA run, a sickening cheap imitation- just so their political will can be catapulted to more power. and like the lowly, obedient citizens that we are, we roll over, join in and buy the cherade. Like actors in a circus show, they wave their political wands at us. entertained and decieved, we savor the superficial happiness and refuse the will to wake up and notice how its effects are rotting our very culture.

And what makes this Political show so irresistable? a drop of the  holy peso, paid to  peniless, politically-gullible citizens, who’ll do anything for the right amount just to survive… even for just a day.

Will is no longer guided by principles nor by patriotism. the EDSA rallies are now run by money as everything in this dying country is . Patriotism is a word found only in books, not in  hearts anymore.

is this our dying note?our dying culture? did our love for this country die with Ninoy in that airport? Did his will to come back from exile to show  Filipinos that one man can change a nation got sucked out together with his blood and dreams as he lay there on the tracks?or did it vanish a long time ago, with Rizal. cold.damped.

are we like the stuborn citizens of Ember city, refuse to get out and rather collect parsels of bread to live long enough in their slowly dying underground city, even when a solution for a better life is right there with them?

there is something greater than ourselves that is at stake here. something a few penies, a few sacrifices now can bring. dont sell yourself.

So, as you pass by the streets today and see those people wearing yellow colored shirts waving flags and shouting something about freedom and change, slap yourself in the cheek  and wake up. Don’t be another political- zombie fulfilling somebody else’s greed.