When a Top Ten topic turns out to be a particularly popular poll (how doubly alliterative!), I always end up saying, “There are so many good entries but I can only read out ten in an hour!” All these years I feel like we wasted thousands of great entries that never made it on air. So last Friday, I said that again, when a friend texted me suggesting that I post the unread entries on my blog. It was a brilliant idea! So to our good friend, Trina Belamide, (who also wrote most of our hit songs, hwar hwar hwar!) thanks for the light bulb moment! So this will be the first of a series. Every time we get a lot of good entries that we never got to read on air, I will post some of the really good entries (the best) and a lot of the ones that didn’t make it (the rest).
January 11, 2008 – The Top Ten Poor People Quotes
- Kate Molds – I had a classmate in UP who was a math genius. He’d sleep during our algebra class but when our professor called him to answer a problem set, he’d just look at the numbers on d board & he’d solve it. Then one day, he just stopped going to classes. We later found out he had to go back to the province because apparently, his stipend from the DOST is not enough to pay for his dorm, transportation, & food expenses. And I remembered that once, he asked for our fishball stubs that were given away during the freshmen orientation & told us he’d use the stubs for his breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Shining – There was a janitress in our university back wen I was a student aide. She has 11 kids & I really like her 5th daughter wh0 was 0nly 6 that time. It was her bday, so my friend & I asked if she wanted to go to J0llibee w/ us, we’ll treat her. But the m0m was so nahihiya so she wouldn’t all0w the girl. Her daughter sh0uted, “sige na, para malaman ko naman ang lasa ng fried chicken!”
- No name – A woman was giving biscuits to scavengers in Cebu. Of the 3 kids, only 2 were eating and the lone boy was not. Asked why he was not eating, one of the girls said “Nahihiya po yang kuya ko. Kasi bukas pa po siya dapat kumain. Kami po ngayon.” Turns out, they take turns eating every other day!
- Ishi – One of my suitors asked me out on a date. Sabi ko, “Sige, meet tayo sa Starbucks!” Then he said, “Ang sosyal mo naman. Alam mo yung isang tasa ng kape diyan, one week na naming pang ulam”.
- V54 – I always tell my wife and kids whenever a new product came into market and people we know already had it, “Kapag nagkapera tayo, bibili din tayo niyan. Luma na yung sa kanila, yung atin bagong-bago pa.”. Madalas naman di nagkakatotoo.
- Bottomless_ink – A mom of our 18-yr. old female maid told my mom “Basta mayaman ang mapapangasawa ng anak ko, papayagan ko! Basta mayaman!”
- Your Highness – Weeks before our elementary graduation, my poor classmate said, “Kailangan nanaman ng bagong damit. . .baka magbenta na naman ng dugo si Tatay para magkaroon kami ng pera.”
- Ritzu – This is what my mom always say whenever we complain about our ulam: “Buti nga kayo palaging nakakakain ng fried chicken. Kami noon, ang isang itlog hinahalo namin sa sinaing tapos paghahatian naming lahat!” My mom has seven siblings.
- Shining – I had a high school classmate who had a t0tal of 7 fr0nt teeth missing: 4 ab0ve, 3 bel0w. I asked him, “Mag-graduate na tayo, di ka pa rin nagpapagawa ng pustiso.” He said, “Ok lang yun. Di naman kami nakakakain ng pagkain na kailangan ng ipin”. He added that they usually eat lugaw everyday. A lot of the times, they even miss s0me meals in a day. He was no longer able to go to c0llege.
- Green Arrow – When I was very young, I asked my father to help me tune the radio to the station our rich neighbor was listening to because it was playing FM songs. My father told me “Anak, component kasi yung sa kanila. Tayo transistor radio lang”. This was the time i realized that we were poor. But now that I’m all grown up & workng, I bought my parents the best sound system in town!
- Miguel Rashid – One time after work I decided to treat 4 of my workers in a famous fastfood and ordered meals w/ burgers and fries. I noticed one of my workers only ate the fries and half of his burger. I thought he was full, so I asked, “Bakit di mo inubos burger mo, sayang yan”. He answered, “Ibalot ko na lang sir, pasalubong ko sana sa anak ko kasi matagal na siyang nagpapabili sa akin nito.”
- Pink Shrink – I have a patient who once told me when I asked where she lives: “Sa Plaza Ferguson, tapat ng Ermita church. Sa Luneta kami nagbabanyo, P5 bayad.”
- MT – My friend was passing through an overpass and there was this street kid asking for money but my friend couldn’t give anything coz she didn’t have change. So she just ignored him. Then the kid told her, “Babaligtad din ang mundo!”
- McSupremy: – We live in a depressed area but we’re n0t as po0r as our neighb0rs. So every Christmas, we give toys and food to kids in the area. One time, I was walking d0wn the street, when I heard kids talking while passing by our h0use. One told the others, “Diyan ang bahay ni Santa Claus!”
- Angel – In our house, we’re used to having merienda such as pasta, cakes, and ice cream. One time, my mom gave our neighbor some pasta and our neighbor blurted out, “Sinong may birthday?” Apparently they can only afford pasta or cakes during birthdays.
- Cheyenne – There was this poor and sick old man in the hospital I’ve met years ago. I asked why up until now, he wasn’t getting any better. He told me, “Kasi iha, kulang palagi ang pambili ko ng mga gamot. Kaya hinahati ko na lang ang mga tableta at syrup na iniinom ko.”
- Porky – A family once had a visitor and they didn’t know what food to serve for dinner. The mother decided that, “Bahala na, basta yung tilapia na ulam natin sana ngayong tanghalian, yun nalang ang ipapakain natin. Wag ka magalala anak, di naman niya mauubos yun eh. Hintayin mo yung kabila ng isda, yun ang atin”. That night, the daughter waited, and when the time came, she suddenly shouted, “Nay, binaligtad na yung isda!”
- No name – We had a Lenten retreat last year where we had participants from different classes of society. One rich lady commented negatively on how the poor kids acted when they took 2 to 3 fruits each, when they were only supposed to get 1 each. One kid cried when she heard what the lady said and told me “Nahihiya ako kasi mahirap na nga kami, mahirap pa kami kung umasta, kaya mahirap din ang turing sa amin ng iba”.
- Paris Girl – We held an outreach in a house for abandoned children & I was assigned to do the games. I bought some hankies for the games. After the games, a lot of kids came to me asking, “Ate, puwede sa akin na lang yung panyo?” I guess for them a hankie is something of a luxury.
- Alex – My dad underwent monthly chemotherapy way back in 1987. One time he decided to stop going to chemo and said, “Lalo lang akong hindi gagaling kung makikita ko kayong wala nang makain!” Thank GOD he’s still alive! And on January 26 of this year, its their golden wedding anniversary!
- Loi Pogi – Another UP anecdote: I had this dorm mate who would drink three glasses of water before eating. His reason: “Para half rice at half ulam na lang kakainin ko. Mas tipid.”
- Toputs – We were so poor when I was growing up, that one Christmas morning, I reached inside my Santa socks (which was my father’s old sports socks) and got a promissory note that went, “Sorry walang gift this year kasi walang budget. Next year na lang – Santa Claus.” Until now I haven’t gotten over that sad Christmas, so I promised myself that I will never let that happen to my own son.
- Leigh – I had spinal surgery last year in an orthopedic hospital. And because I have insurance, I was placed in medicare ward. And everyday a woman in a wheelchair would always visit us just to greet and chat with us if we’re all doing okay. When I asked her, “Manang, ilang araw na po ba kayo naka-confine dito at ano po ang sakit ninyo? She answered, “Meron akong bone cancer anak, at mag-iisang taon na ako dito. Hindi ako makalabas kasi wala kaming pambayad. Mabuti pa nga dito libre ang pagkain.”
I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of outer space. My puny little brain cannot grasp the actual immensity of the universe as we know it (for all we know, as already vast as the capacity of the human mind has estimated it’s size, it can actually be bigger). It was one of my many fantasies as a kid to fly deep into outer space, the great unexplored final frontier. I daydreamed that I wrestled with the horns of a dilemma that an alien race proffered to me: they can take me on a short trip around the universe and reveal its myriad wonders, layer by mind-boggling layer. But the brief exploration that takes a couple of hours on board their space craft will actually take 50 years in terms of earth years. I will return to earth just a couple of hours older, while everything and everyone else would have aged 50 years! I would have quenched my burning thirst for knowledge, but everyone I know and love would all be in their 80’s and 90’s, if they’re even still alive! I will return to a planet that would be as alien to me as the race that earthling-napped me in the first place. Would I give up the once in a cosmic lifetime chance to explore the cosmos to where no man has gone before, just to be able to spend whatever time I have left with the people I love the most? Or would I abandon everything I hold dear just to drink from the cup of knowledge that would either satisfy me beyond my wildest imaginings, or leave me as hollow and empty as the receptacle I just drained? I never really answered that question since I didn’t have to. I’ll just have to cross that holographic proton laser bridge when I get there.
Here are some of my favorite space pics. They look like artist renditions, but they are actual photographs. They remind me of just how big the universe is, just how small I am, and just how insignificant some of my concerns are:
Jupiter and its moon Io as captured by New Horizons
Saturn as captured by Cassini
And of course, a view of the Earth from space
My New Year’s resolution for 2008 is: to post, once every month, 5 of the worst jokes I can come up with by myself. The only rule is that I have to invent the joke myself, so I can’t get it from any of the ff: someone else, a forwarded text or email, a book, a movie, a TV show, or a website. Everyone tells me I’m such a cornball so I might as well embrace it! So, here are the 5 worst jokes I’ve come up with for January 2008:
Joke # 1: What do you call the vegetable that an elephant sat on? Squash!
Joke # 2: What do you tell a vampire that wants to bite you? Neck-neck mo!
Joke # 3: Knock! Knock! Who’s there? Shampoo, fingers, hands and feet. Shampoo, fingers, hands and feet who? Shampoo-ng mga daliri, kamay at paa…
Joke # 4: What would you call Batman if he started cracking jokes? Funny-ki
Joke # 5: How do you tease a cashew? Kas-uuuuuy…
Ngwar, ngwar, ngwar!!! Feel free to send in your own abominable atrocities yourself! The worse, the better! Remember, they have to be your own hideous creations, like little Frankenjokes!
All my life I always thought I was a dog person. It was the only logical conclusion since I hated, no, make that I abhorred cats! The cat was always the common enemy of my then pets. I had dogs, I had birds, and I had fish. What’s the common enemy? Cats! I hated how cats looked at me with their beady eyes, I hated how they slinked around stealthily like guilty criminals, I hated the smell of their poop, I hated the sex moans they make when they’re mating on the hot tin roof, and I always felt like every part of them was sharp, that I’d end up with bites or scratches if ever I handled them. They always seem to have this impish, evil menace about them. I used to kick sleeping cats or ipit them between the gate and the wall, as I gleefully listened to the crunching of their bones or internal organs or something. I know, I know, this doesn’t sound like the stories of a self-professed animal lover. But what’s important is that I’ve seen the error of my ways. My persecution of the feline species ended when we hosted Garfield’s 50th anniversary where one part of the program was a real live cat show. It was my Road to Damascus. It was the first time I saw cats who were great companion animals, friendly, sociable, and outright cuddly. One thing led to another, I ended up buying a cat, then another, then rescued a third. Then I changed my tune. I started telling people that I mistakenly thought I was a dog person, but in fact I’m a cat person inside, through and through. I started to extol the endless virtues of cats and their sublime catness (catnitity?). Then, I got my adorable chihuahua Nairobi. Suffice it to say, I vacillated once again and swung over to the dog side. So now I relinquish my hetero-pet-uality, and declare myself a bi-pet-ual. I have to swing both ways. I just can’t choose.
Reasons why dogs are better:
- They’re loyal.
- They come to you when you call them. Cats love to ignore you.
- They can’t get enough of you. Cats will play with you IF they feel like it.
- You can take them for walks.
- They like people. Cats are naturally suspicious.
Reasons why cats are better:
- They only poop and pee in their litter box. Dogs will poop in your mouth if it were convenient.
- They’re independent.
- They clean themselves. I had a Lab that loved rolling in his own poop.
- You can leave them and they won’t get needy and paranoid like dogs.
- They only eat what they need. They don’t eat till they explode like dogs.
What about you? Which do you prefer, cats or dogs?
Let me just share a petrifying photograph I found on the internet. Yes, it’s an actual, un-Photoshopped shot:
Yikes! Pictures like this will give me nightmares for weeks! Published in Britain’s Daily Mail, this shot is apparently of marine biologist Trey Snow in South Africa, in a tiny kayak, tracking down a great white shark, only to realize it was stalking him instead. Being a diver and a certified son-of-a-beach, my primal fear of sharks overrides my natural curiosity for wildlife. The idea of a 13-foot chomper chasing after me while I paddle weakly from a teeny plastic kayak, is way up there with my ultimate wet nightmare: swimming in the middle of the open ocean, then looking down using my dive mask, only to see the gaping mouth of a great white shark directly beneath me, with the toothy menacing grin sharks have when they’re about to enjoy a meal.
I’m in love…
…with this car.
I’ve always been an SUV guy, and I swore never to get a sedan ever again. Look who just might be eating his words! Sigh. It’s a lovely machine. I just don’t know if my budget will allow for a new car this year. But let me throw it out there, ala The Secret. Who knows, you just might be seeing a friendly neighborhood DJ cruising the city streets in his brand new, shiny red, Toyota Yaris! (Unless I fall in love with another car between then and now)
Don’t you ever feel sometimes like it’s time’s up? Everything has a time limit, everything has an expiration date. Even the non-biodegradable stuff don’t stand the chance when faced against the onslaught of forever. Some of the toughest times in a person’s life has to deal with resisting the allotted time span of something. When a romantic relationship has run it’s course, it’s difficult for some people to deal with that. You refuse to give up the fight. It’s like doing C.P.R. on a person who’s deader than a doorknob. The fear of death itself is one futile resistance against a big kahuna time limit. I say futile because there’s no winning against that. Nil. One famous adage goes something like, “birth is the first step on your march to death”. Morbid, but true. One’s glory days is another thing we can’t seem to let go of, once the chimes of doom come a-clanging. Celebrities, champion athletes, beauty queens, and other shining stars in fame’s firmament hang on to whatever’s left of their fading glimmer. When you’re up there, it feels like the lease is permanent; you never feel like the landlord is just around the corner, about to kick your ass out into the streets, to make room for a newer, more favored tenant. When do you keep up the fight? When do you give up the spirit? The never say never attitude spells success for some, tragedy for others. I guess we all have our own personal dates with destiny. I can only hope I accept with grace when the moment comes when I have to face my life’s many time limits. I hope I can discern between the tests, wherein I am expected to push on, against all odds, and defiant in the face of abject failure…and the eviction notices, wherein I need to quietly pack my backs and flitter away without a fight. I need to know if it’s a cliffhanger to ease in a new chapter, or if it’s simply game over.