Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The distance between me and my real, reel and virtual friends

Thanks to this Facebook app called GeoFriend, I now know that:

My average friend distance is 3,473 km

I would have to travel 1,135,076 km to visit all my friends

That Ambassador Elmer “Boy T.” Cato, who is now serving at the United Nations mission in New York, is one of my farthest friends at 14,140 km

That my grade school and college buddy Albert Molina, who is in Texas state, is one of my farthest friends at 13,985 km

That my friends are in 5 different continents (Asia, North America, Europe, Oceania, Africa)

That I have friends who are based or are from 19 different countries (Philippines, United States, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, India, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Thailand, Singapore, Sweden, Hong Kong, Germany, Cambodia, Indonesia, South Africa, France, and The Netherlands)

That my US-based friends are scattered in 12 different states (MN, CA, GA, TX, NY, NJ, NV, AZ, SD, IL, MA, OR)

That my friends are in 124 different cities or towns (Manila, Apple Valley, Dubai, Sagada, London, Quezon, Goa, Glendale, Infanta, Mandaluyong, Atlanta, San Juan, Cebu, Carmona, Vladivostok, San Diego, Olongapo City, Makati, Malaybalay, Candelaria, Isabela, Quezon City, Houston, Iloilo, Cagayan De Oro City, Mexico, Diliman, Sydney, Pasig, Los Angeles, Wellington, Palawan, Olongapo, Newmarket, Bangkok, Valenzuela, Cainta, Bangalore, Singapore, Antipolo, New York, Hyderabad, Lawrenceville, Stockholm, Sharjah, Tagbilaran, Rizal, Cebu City, New Leyte, Cagayan De Oro, San Pedro, Abu Dhabi, Balagtas, Bacoor, Dinalupihan, San Leonardo, Anaheim, Bacolod, Hong Kong, Hamburg, Al Ain, Davao, Phnom Penh, Baguio City, Cubao, Jakarta, Lipa, North Shore, Daly City, New Manila, Las Vegas, Barrie, Muntinlupa, Toronto, Pasay City, Lakewood, Sioux Falls, Angeles City, Diliman District, Durban, Bulacan, Cagayan, Tubungan, Milton, Tarlac, Oakland, Teresa, Staines, Nasugbu, San Jose, Iloilo City, Bayambang, Pearland, Gumaca, Chicago, Muntinlupa City, Las Piñas, Riverside, Parañaque, Pagadian, Surigao, Caloocan, Balara, Lake Grace, Gerona, Springfield, Laguna, Paris, Tondo, Aurora, Temecula, Cranbury, Lancaster, San Jose Del Monte, San Pablo City, Worcester, Calamba, Utrecht, South Port District, Modesto, Solano, Hillsboro, Davao City, Somerset West)

That my friends live or are based in countries with 12 different governments (republic, Constitution-based federal republic, federation with delegated specified powers, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, federation, federal parliamentary democracy, parliamentary democracy, constitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy, parliamentary republic, limited democracy, multi-party democracy under a constitutional monarchy)

That I have a friend who is less than 2 km away (Although my nearest Facebook friend from where I am now – in the office – is just seated behind me)

That I have 270 friends in unknown locations (pa-mysterious effect)

That my ancestral hometown of Dauis in Bohol has a population of 2,553

That my beloved country, the Philippines, is a republic (though run like a family-owned corporation)

That because of the number and diversity of my friends, I have achieved GeoFriend level 12. (whatever)!

But this info made me smile . ..

That I have most friends in Manila (indicating that there is really where I belong).

Perhaps, it’s about time to sing the classic Hotdog ditty which to me is the pioneering OFW anthem……..

Maraming beses na kitang nilayasan
Iniwanan at iba'ang pinuntahan
Parang bababeng ang hirap talagang malimutan
Ikaw lamang ang aking laging binabalikan
(Quiapo Quiapo Quiapo, isa na lang ah, aalis na. Para!)

I keep coming back to Manila
Simply no place like Manila
Manila, I'm coming home

I walked the streets of San Francisco
I've tried the rides in Disneyland
Dated a million girls in Sydney (how i wish)
Somehow I feel like I don't belong

Hinahanap hanap kita Manila
Ang ingay mong kay sarap sa tenga
Mga jeepney mong nagliliparan
Mga babae mong naggagandahan

Take me back in your arms Manila
And promise me you'll never let go
Promise me you'll never let go

Manila, Manila
Miss you like hell, Manila
No place in the world like Manila
I'm coming home to stay

Wish ko lang!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Facebooking my way back to grade school

I’ve been on a grade school nostalgia mood for the past few days.

Thanks to the magic of Facebook, friends whom I’ve not seen or heard of for over 25 years sprung back to life – and all of a sudden, we’re back to the “carefree days of our boyhood” – back to the time when San Beda was still a bona fide all boys school.

Thanks to Facebook . . .

Lovell Marcelo and I have resumed our “dirty finger draws” ;

Multi-awarded firm director Aris Solito (Sorry mate, I still can’t spell your screen name) now knows he was the reason why I was not able to use my real nickname as I was forced by our Grade 1 teacher, Miss Nelia Santos, to use my father’s first name because teachers would get confused;

Reggie Aguda was reminded that he was once called Senyora Agueda (the contravida in the 70s soap Flordeluna) ;

Eduard Arevalo’s boredom in Saudi was eased a bit now that the “kabayo” was able to run around the old ranch – though just virtually;

Christopher Joseph S. Orozco forgot that he’s now a “respected” surgeon at FEU Hospital and professor at the San Beda College of Medicine;

Anthony De Leon’s puppy romance with (no I won’t tell here) was somewhat rekindled….with an additional revelation from Arnold Villanueva that the budding affair nearly had fatal results… (Eeeew!);

We saw Robert Castillo’s ears still sticking out….but now more prominently;

We were able to see “her” pics and congratulate Willy “Gigi” Beltran for placing 3rd in the Miss Mundo 2008 pageant;

Thanks to Francis Ampon, we’re still poking fun at each other after he scanned and posted the individual pics of the members of SBC GS Batch 83 …. and again, Chaka (Willy San Pedro), Sleestak (Edward Rellosa), Tilapia, Change (Neil Mag-Iba), Malone (Ramil Espina) and it still goes on as I write this.

It was also through Facebook that my batchmates were able to quickly organize a get-together last Nov 29 --- and another on December 16 (di pa rin ako makakasali…pakshet!)

Got to end this entry….need to reply to Lovell’s message which I will surely append with a C=========8 UPYOURS LOVELL!


This trip down memory lane also prompted me to Google a declamation piece which our Grade 1 teacher “forced” us to memorise.

The opening line of that piece is perpetually stuck in my mind…”Ikaw? Sino ka ba? Malamig na bungo. Matigas na mukha”

Jay-V (Labayo) and I were trying to recite that line while chilling out at their former place in Data St. We’ve been repeating that line again ad nauseam that his kid brother, James (then around 4 years old) was able to memorize the line himself.

And here’s the Ang Bungo classic….thanks to the wonders of the world wide web:

Ikaw! Sino ka ba?
Malamig na bungo, matigas na mukha.
Dati kang maganda, ano’t ang mata mo’y nagkauka-uka?
Dati kang marunong, ano’t ang noo mo’y nagkasira-sira?

Kinakausap ka’y ayaw mong sumagot,
ayaw magsalita, at ang katawan mo’y nasugpong na butong sinlamig ng tingga.

Ikaw ba ang wakas ng lahat ng taong sa mundo’y nilikha?
Iyan ba ang matang nanglumiligaw ka, balana’y tiningnan?
Iyan ba ang labing katugon ng ilong, balana’y hinagkan?
Iyan ba ang tengang kung makikimatyag, lahat, pinakikinggan?

Ano ka na ngayon?
Nahan ang puso mo, diwa’t pakiramdam?
Kahit na laitin, kahit na purihin, ayaw nang gumalaw.
Parang sinasabing ang lahat sa mundo ay may katapusan!

Kay sarap ng buhay kung may kabuhayan at taglay ang lahat!
Ibo’y lumilipad hanggang kalangitan kung buo ang pakpak!
Tao’y sumasagwan hanggang karagatan kung buo ang lakas!

Mundo’y umiinog at kumakalansing sa tugtog ng galak, ngunit ang tadhanam kapag ang sinulid ng buhay binaltak, lahat, tao’t ibon kakita-kita mo’y butong nakatambak.

Ikaw nga, ikaw nga ang nang isang araw, itong buong mundo, ay kinakaladkad mo’t iyong inilipad hanggang maging iyo!
Ngunit nang matapos, papuri’t tagumpay, ang natira’y abo. Katawang mabulas, makinis na balat, ang natira’y buto.

Hinagkang bulaklak, sa hinalik-halik, nawalan ng bango. Bulwagang sayawan, sa sinayaw-sayaw, naging libingin mo!

Ngayon bangkay ka na, nahan ba ang iyong mga minamahal?
Mga kaibigan na kasalu-salo, ano’t di-minasdan, at sa pagkasawi’y sila pa ang unang parang nagtagumpay!
Matamis na ngiti, masayang papuri’t mahigpit na kamay, ay naging halakhak at naging paglibak, sa sawi mong bangkay!

Kaydali nga namang magbago ng takbo ng sangkatauhan!
Kaya ba’t kung ikaw ay may nakagalit, huwag palubusin, ang gunitain mong lahat naman tayo ay namamatay din!

Taong nakairap at uod sa lupa na ayaw pansinin, buti pa ang uod sa himpilang hukay, una pang darating! Ang taas ng hari’t lungkot ng pulubing hahali-haliling, kakita-kita mo, magkapitbahay lang, kapag nakalibing!

Monday, 1 December 2008

'Holy Grail' of the English Premier League visits The Office

I initially thought that yesterday was just one ordinary “bloody” Sunday at the office until Jaydip suddenly stood by the Bunker’s door and announced that the Barclay’s English Premier League trophy has arrived.

To non-footie fans, it’s a non-story. No big deal. But to people who know, understand or love the game – it’s the BIG THING.

The Premiership trophy is the Holy Grail of the football world -- if I'm not mistaken -- the second most sought after crown next to the World Cup.

It was such a revered icon that a burly Brit with surgical gloves was close by, warning everyone not to touch the over two-feet high silver trophy currently possessed by Manchester United.

As my roommate, Rod Ocampo, a card-carrying member of the Los Borachos (a ‘fraternity’ of Bedans who once suited up for the Red Booters) has said: “only the gods of football get to hold that trophy.”

This is what the ever-reliable Wiki had to say about the Barclays trophy:

The current Premier League trophy was created by Royal Jewellers Asprey of London.

It weighs 4 st (25 kg/56 lb),
and is 76 cm (30 in) tall, 43 cm (17 in) wide and 25 cm
(9.8 in) deep. Its main body is solid sterling silver and
silver gilt,
while its plinth is made of malachite, a semi-precious stone.

The plinth has a silver band around its circumference, upon which the names
of the title-winning clubs are listed.

Malachite's green colour is also representative of the green field of

The design of the trophy is based on the heraldry of Three Lions that is
associated with English football. Two of the lions are found above the handles
on either side of the trophy—the third is symbolised by the captain of the title
winning team as he raises the trophy, and its gold crown, above his head at the
end of the season.

The trophy has borne several names on its face since it was first created,
when it read "The F.A. Premier League".

The one Manchester United lifted in 2006–07 read "The Barclays
Premiership", while the 2007–08 trophy simply read "Premier League". From the
2008–09 season onwards, the trophy will read "Barclays Premier League".

And here’s moi, grinning like a Cheshire cat, with an unimpeded access to the most-coveted one.