Saturday, January 31, 2009

11 months more

today is the last day of the first month the the year 2009. an occasion so momentous, i want to take dedicate a whole post, a whole salamagan post, favorite annual planner.

for five years now, i have been using the planner Pioneer Insurance gives out to its friends and valued clients. i am neither to pioneer insurance. i just get them from either my former boss or eldest sister.

i've seen better planners. the collector's planner ING gave out in 2002 still makes me regret not being on their friends list. leather bound, gilded pages, the yummiest paper ever. sigh.

but pioneer insurance planner and i, we go a looooong way back.

on cold, lonely days, i get out my planners, look lovingly at each entry, and say to myself: you have not been lazy naman pala this past five years, yen.

Friday, January 30, 2009

zamboanga bloggers

my friend ryann elumba over at seed interactive is trying to create a database of zamboangueño bloggers. He says:

"This petition is for all Zamboangueños (even those who are living in another city or country) who own a blog...Zamboanga bloggers can participate regardless of the type of blog service provider (i.e. blogspot, wordpress, multiply, friendster)."

thanks ryann for initiating this worthwhile project. i hope many will submit their blogs for inclusion.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

my boa constrictor

if he could swallow the book whole like a boa constrictor, he would. the reason why i am posting this photo now is to commemorate a new love: bicycling. and instances of him lounging like this are on the wane.

his first bike run was along the highway near our place (this is not his first time to ride a bike. he learned how to about three years ago then forgot all about it). he came home with a badly abraded ankle and knee and a grin that reached his temples. the second run was a secret until he arrived home, filthy, recounting his ride from our house, to san jose, then baliwasan, then camins, then sta. maria, then back home to san roque. the third time, just this weekend, he went to boulevard! by himself! alone! solo! without a companion!

something has finally captivated him as passionately as reading has.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


when you did something particularly jologs (though the word didn't enter my lexicon until i started teaching college students), the neighborhood kids in my particular purok of baranggay san roque, zamboanga city had a vile label for you: "de omerloket".

i didn't know what, where, who "de omerloket" was. i was a snotty kid just arrived from the even more provincial hinunangan, southern leyte, frustrated in my struggle to always remember that "ojas" was leaf and "ojos" meant eyes, and keeping the bile down when new friends suggested we cook "atole" because that just meant congee and will not require us to pool our ear waxes in an empty can of alpine and cook it over dead banana leaves.

i eventually learned what "de omerloket" implied. it roughly translates into "from a place called Omerloket." it further implied that the inhabitants of this mythical place were ignorant, hick, uncouth, awkwardly simple, maybe even...dumb.

so if you are from omerloket (de omerloket), you are all of those things i just said.

so we avoided doing anything that would merit the label. thus my ongoing quest for coolness started.

so i was dumbstruck when 30 or so years later, a friend of a friend tells me Omerloket does exists. Its an interior baranggay near Vitali. and it's name is more sophisticated than our childhood phonetic spelling: its actually Merloquet. see, it even sounds faintly French. and the inhabitants, they apparently wear clothes. some even have cellphones. imagine that.

now, it's famous (in fairness to me, not THAT famous) for its waterfalls:

the people you see crouching on the stones are not cave men, they are mountaineers from the lowlands. among them, i think, is the friend of my friend who is now my friend too. her name is suzette. this photo was taken by her co-mountaineer.

if someone calls me "de omerloket" now, i wouldn't mind. with this in your backyard, who would?

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Gasoline prices still higher in Zambo compared with Manila?
Father, son linked to priest killing arrested
Another hostage released after 2-day captivity
Council urges probe on kidnappings here
NGO exec sees Zambo as good tourist destination
Cabaluay school gets 5,000 books from BB

this is the lineup of front page stories in the online version of a local paper. The Abarro Reveals story, for those who don't want to be bothered looking it up, is about bribery in the city council.

don't you just love story no. 6? i am marveling at the thought process that brought about its inclusion in the lineup. a zany sense of the ironic? or is that too much to hope for?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

dealing with china

as if it is not enough that someone beat me to yenblanco as username in multiply, emillene of outofababesmouth tells me there is also a yendelgado.

you know what they say, if you think you are unique, wait 'til you meet your 10,000 clones in china.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

reconnecting with old friends

met up with dear old friends during my last trip to manila.

since my former boss left zamboanga about two years ago, we have never really managed to sit down to talk for a lengthy period of time, something we used to do a lot when he still ruled over adzu, something which i thoroughly enjoyed (the chats, not necessarily the ruling over). he'd still come down to zamboanga from manila where he is now based quite often but when he is in town, so many people want a piece of him (like they do britney spears) that it's impossible to get a quiet moment with him.

after several moving around of our schedule - because apparently, many people want a piece of him in manila too - we finally decided on meeting up for breakfast at.....macdonalds. yuck. i know. but what can i do? he had to say mass at AIM across the street at 9.30. good thing they have a mccafe there now, an isolated area where you can sit amidst calming browns and adult furniture instead of being assaulted by all the reds and yellows and high chairs.

as usual, it was a good chat. we talked about many things: kidnappings in mindanao (i have a theory about this but tom clancy might plagiarize it), this and that.

the food was remarkably unremarkable.

this is me and my former boss, bill kreutz, the loveable slave-driver (his mom's irish, his dad's german. is this a politically correct info to include here?):

fr. bill and i were joined an hour later than he should have by a former student and now friend kenny macrohon. his alibi was that he watched grey's anatomy til three am. hah. we let him think we believed him:

kenny is one guy in a hurry. he's smart and he can do anything he wants to do. and he has an uncanny ability to always emerge at the top of the heap. amazing person.

BUT, one, he came late for our appointment. Two, it turns out the party he said he was heading to right after our breakfast turned out to be not just NOT in the venue he thought it would be, it was NOT even taking place on the time and date he thought it be. He showed up with a pink ribboned gift for a little girl who was going to have her party a week later. Nice one, ken.

thanks for the breakfast, fr. bill. next time, we should have coffee at dusit or intercon, even if, sigh, they do not serve toys with their meals.

my last trip to manila was a hectic one. but i am glad i managed to meet up with old friends. even if it was over an awful cup of coffee.

Monday, January 19, 2009

i need 2919 australian dollars

do you know what pandora beads are? you don't? well you should!

i spent a good part of this morning going crazy "buying" pandora beads and i have the CUTEST personalized bracelet to show for it.

head on over to pandorabeads and go to their bracelet builder.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

i need five biogesics

i am in great pain here, now.

i need to create a multiply account for my baby racket. i thought very long and hard about a great username and finally decided on yenblanco. yes, it's imaginative, thanks very much.

and what do you know, multiply rejects my application because the name is "already in use".

someone is using MY name? someone is representing herself as me? that's illegal, right?

but it turns out that i am just not as unique as i thought i was. there she was, the other yenblanco, sitting right smack in the middle of the website that i thought was my birthright. another set of parents named their child yen blanco too. mom, dad (i know you are reading this, if not over my shoulder -- spooky --, then in heaven. the whole heaven's probably a wifi cafe), i am so disappointed in your failure to provide me with a more distinctive monicker.

i wonder if this other yenblanco would be nice enough to give me her multiply account? maybe i should email her. she looked nice in the picture...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

proud of my sister and my mother

this was my busiest christmas in a long time. i gave birth to a tiny business in a typical yenyen way, that is, very whirlwindy and impulsive. mba professors will laugh and snort so hard at my strategies that their cardiac muscles will go into intense spasms and and they'll keel over dead but who cares? not i. who needs them when i have my business genius friend ivy and brian tracy to turn to?

but this post is not about what my business is. it is what what you may call a non-sequitur post. "non sequitur" is my late great father's favorite response when he wanted to make you die in shame for your arrogant proclamations (i had plenty of those as a kid. even now, actually). my non sequitur posts consist of a lead totally unrelated to everything else that follows.

my sister anna had a party at my mother's place in san roque soon after new year's day. invited were 15 of her high school classmates from good old St. Joseph School on Camins. She wanted it to be a sit-down dinner with a kick ass styled table. sister had a specific look in mind. mommy, the greatest rat pack governor ramos avenue has ever known, gamely allowed us to mess with her stuff (if you know her, you will know this is a bible-level miracle).

and so this is how it finally looked:

a detail shot

sampaloc, oranges, and chestnuts. haha. did i tell you what she served her friends? they had thai-inspired bagoong rice, some kind of beef stew that i think had both kofta powder from the middle east and korean chili powder (but don't take my word for it. peace, sister), tom yum soup, some kind of salsa with lots of coriander, and my mom's leche flan (one baked, the other steamed. verdict: stick to steaming them mother dearest).

the first picture above was orange-y (i refer to the coloration of the picture itself, not the fruits on the table) but this one below is not. the orange colored one is actually truer, in fact, because that was the color of the sun at that time. but i like the sharper image in the second and third pictures. if you think i am full of shit , you are forgiven because you are right.

everything you see is from my mother's cupboards and garden. except for the fruits and the 7.50 per piece glasses. the party took place in my mother's lanai. fancy name for what was before a dinky balkon.

and of course they drank.

problem is, sister forgot to prepare pulutan. her guests left past midnight, their bellies half filled with roasted peanuts.

i am not posting the party pictures because they are not worth a posting. they were having too much of a good time, i guess, or too drunk, to be more careful with documentation.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


why does 30 dead in Gaza merit more attention from the world than 1,700 dead in Zimbabwe?