12

To make my daughters laugh, I conjured up this song. Warning: contents may be disgusting for some.

12 (disgusting) Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: four cockroaches, three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: five rotten eggs! Four cockroaches, three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: six spoons of snot, five rotten eggs! Four cockroaches, three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: seven bowls of booger, six spoons of snot, five rotten eggs! Four cockroaches, three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: eight cans of worms, seven bowls of booger, six spoons of snot, five rotten eggs! Four cockroaches, three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: nine million maggots, eight cans of worms, seven bowls of booger, six spoons of snot, five rotten eggs! Four cockroaches, three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: ten carts of crap, nine million maggots, eight cans of worms, seven bowls of booger, six spoons of snot, five rotten eggs! Four cockroaches, three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: eleven drums of drool, ten carts of crap, nine million maggots, eight cans of worms, seven bowls of booger, six spoons of snot, five rotten eggs! Four cockroaches, three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: twelve pints of poison, eleven drums of drool, ten carts of crap, nine million maggots, eight cans of worms, seven bowls of booger, six spoons of snot, five rotten eggs! Four cockroaches, three millipedes, two packs of fart, and a steel chest called Pandora's Box.

Jinx


I BELIEVE there's nary a bad day; today is a rare occurrence.
I should have sensed lady luck was in another dimension when I woke up at six in the morning. That's really early for some journalists like me who slept in his clothes after nursing a bottle or two or three, maybe more (who's counting?) as the graveyard shift began.
I thought waking up without a hang-over and with a warm body rubbing on mine: i'm the luckiest guy around.
I should have seen the curveball: the cuddling stayed only at that level and I lost in three levels of Plants vs. Zombies.
If there're omens, the latter is on the A-list.
Arrogant as I am, I went about my schedule for the day: a 9:30 a.m. coverage about Children's Hour in Makati City and an 8:30 a.m. coverage on contact centers at Sofitel in Manila.
I went first to Makati since the latter is scheduled up to 6p.m.
The game plan I had was to get to Makati on time, rush to Manila after getting the story, and go back to Quezon City to write.
The Makati coverage was the clincher: it was postponed to December 1. I learned that from Joy of Granvia Cafe and not from the host.
Uh-oh.
Brushing away my spider sense that a domino effect has started, I dropped by National Bookstore to buy a refill for my Cross pen. That should have also set out alarm signals: the branch only have blue.
I should also have seen the odds were against me when I took a jeep after waiting for 30 minutes for the bus going to De La Salle University in Taft Avenue. After paying for my fare, the bus I waited for overtook the jeep I was in.
I could have kicked myself but I knew that was impossible so I just uttered cuss words mentally. There goes my space in heaven.
Sensing the day is nowhere going right for me, I  gave a beggar P10 to appease whatever god is making things difficult. Then a young boy rushes by and swipes in less than a second the money off the palm of the frail old man who may have been so weak or blind he didn't notice.
I may have been praying on the wrong god.
The barker broke my reverie and said the jeep going to Sofitel would be taking off. So I chucked my half-smoked cigarette, boarded the jeep, and waited for 15 minutes.
Either I'm too gullible or the barker churns out lies like second nature.
Naturally, I arrived late because the driver waited for passengers and I went to Makati first.
Having achieved nothing, I decided to at least accomplish some things on my to-do list: go back.
Then it rained. Heavily.
When I thought getting a seat in the MRT reflects an upturn, I missed my stop as I slept during the ride, having been traveling since 8am.
Fellow journalist VG says this is not a unique experience and I was right to not getting angry.
I agree since I still feel luckier than the journalists in Maguindanao.
I can only wish lady luck will always be nearer them than me.

Myanmarese

 

 

OR Burmese, it doesn't matter for H, a 24-year-old communications worker whom VG and I got to share in a universal ritual eternally practiced by pretentious few who call themselves journalists: beer drinking.

I'd rather hide H's real name as insurance when he goes home sometime in the coming months. H says the ritual is best enjoyed alive and outside prison.

He says his government frowns upon such lifestyle, which doesn't concern beer, as journalism, he says, is best only when any opposition is not mentioned.

But that is what H has been doing here in the country for the past months: going to websites that have become a voice against the military junta that has ruled Burma since 1967. That is aside from drinking beer.

H said visiting such websites within Burma is risky since the government monitors the Internet and its use by an estimated 0.4 million Myanmarese in 2007, according to the 2009 Unctad Information Economy report.

The Philippines, to note, recorded some 9.20 million Internet users that year, with a penetration rate of 10.39 percent. Myanmar's rate was less than a percent (0.82) that year.

I would've brushed aside H's Orwellian notion as something coming from a drunk X-Filesphile. Except that our drinks haven't arrived yet and H's face was like that of a losing poker player.

He explained that government can play Burma's Big Brother by controlling telecommunications access.

"We can't access the websites that say anything against the government or what's happening to a particular group of people," H said adding that proxy servers are being monitored, especially from Internet cafes.

He explained that even phone calls are being monitored. "You can hear an echo when you talk."

But since arriving in Manila, H said he's never felt so free. He's been surfing every website he wasn't able to visit while in his country. Porn maybe included but I didn't ask and he didn't say.

He read and copied everything that he can. But H says he has to diligently erase every file, even links, in the laptop he also bought here.

This may be construed as paranoia for some but it has kept H alive as a communicator. It has also gave him the short freedom, however ensconced in clear parameters, he's enjoying in our country.

This gave me a pause.

On one hand, I'm grateful for Filipinos whose actions in the past allowed me to enjoy the freedom elusive in a country like Myanmar.

On the other hand, I felt silly to sometimes take small things like press freedom for granted seeing how very important it is for people like H.

H may have noticed and, despite or maybe because of his youth, said what's important is the moment and what we both can walk away with something valuable from that moment.

At that moment, we savored the bottle of beer and grateful for its chill effect.

 

 

Internet Users (millions)

 

Penetration (users per 1,000 inhabitants)

 

Economy

2003

2007

2008

CAGR (%) 2003-2007/

2008

2003

2007

2008

Change in penetration 2003-2007/

2008

Myanmarb

0.05

0.40

..

68.18

0.11

0.82

 ..

0.71

Philippinesd

4.00

9.20

10.10

20.35

4.93

10.39

11.27

6.33

 

bEstimates for 2007

dEstimates for every reported year

 

Source: United Nations Commission on Trade and Development Information Economy Report 2009: Trends and Outlook in Turbulent Times

QOQ

ALMOST got a heart attack last week.


That's what usually ail people like me who label themselves journalists.

It's neither the Coors nor the pork sisig at Dinoy's, an exclusive enclave for the Quezon City-based enlightened spender. My heart flutters when I sense I may have gotten a story wrong.

The source of the palpitation was a message from a press relations executive I've known since my stint with the Manila Times.

I am rarely honored by getting this executive's attention so I was taken aback when he cited a story I wrote about a business process outsourcing (BPO) company's lackluster third quarter (Q3) performance.

The message said I should've compared revenue on a year-over-year (YOY) basis, and not quarter-on-quarter (QOQ) since the BPO's Q3 2009 resulted better than in Q3 2008.

While my hunch was the story is correct, fair, and accurate, I felt gravel roll on my innards.

My spider senses told me to acquire wisdom through the lofty ritual a select bunch of people called journalists engage in: beer drinking.

My hand was wringing a second bottle when I popped the message to these two esteemed members of the press.

"Yup, you were sorta' wrong there," the newspaperman from Palawan said in between bites of chicken adobo-sa-gata, which he became gastronomically enamored with that balmy night.

I turned my gaze to the reporter from the Kalookan Republic hoping to get a second opinion. But he agreed with the adodo-man.

Traitor, I almost blurted out, but he was also paying for our liquid diet that night.

"Usually, QOQ data is applied to macroeconomic stories, to show how healthy or frail the economy is. We don't usually do that for companies." The now-Sampaloc resident Palawe├▒o added that a QOQ data would present trends of a company's performance.

After realizing I'm reluctant to go Dutch after two rounds, the two wise men of Manila relented and saw the wisdom of my story.

Both realized that comparing a company's quarterly performance is okay if it's in the BPO industry.

The adobo-lover said that a BPO's revenue source is relatively stable than other firms because this is presumed to be within a contract.

He added that a QOQ story is okay because we are living in extraordinary times, e.g., a US economy requiring enema.

I wizened up and presented my case to these wise men of the ink-stained realm.

I said my story stemmed from the BPO chief executive's candor to admit Q3 revenue was nearly a million-dollar short to match Q2 because of its client's faltering business.

I argued that the closure of the client's facility had a major impact on the revenue of the BPO servicing the principal.

Finally, realizing the liquidity of our wallets hobbled our ability to order a third bucket, we agreed that a BPO company's performance in Q3 2009 is important as the US economic recovery level remains in a stupor since recession kicked in in Q3 2008.

Having chucked out our lunch money as donation to a small business, the wise men assured me I got the story right and plopped me on a cab.

But my wife nearly had a heart attack when she realized it's breaking near dawn when I arrived home.

Disclaimer: Mentioning a specific brand of beer or establishment here doesn't preclude an endorsement. The blogger also neither benefited from nor received any material privilege from the owners of the brands cited in this blog entry.

Coffee




CATHOLIC  COFFEE


Four Catholic men and a Catholic woman were having coffee.


The first Catholic man tells his friends, "My son is a priest, when he walks into a room, everyone calls him 'Father'."

The second Catholic man chirps, "My son is a Bishop.  When he walks into a room people call him 'Your Grace'."



The third Catholic gent says, "My son is a Cardinal.  When he enters a room everyone says 'Your Eminence'."



The fourth Catholic man then says, "My son is the Pope.  When he walks into a room people call him 'Your Holiness'."



Since the lone Catholic woman was sipping her coffee in silence, the four men give her a subtle, "Well....?"

She proudly replies, "I have a daughter, slim, tall, 38D breast, 24" waist and 34" hips. When she walks into a room, people say, "Oh My G..."    




[Forwarded from email of Rolly Talampas. Sensitive graphic content removed by author.]

Dick

At the end of the tax year, the IRS office sent an inspector to audit the books of a local hospital.

While the IRS agent was checking the books he turned to the chief financial officer (CFO) of the hospital and said, "I notice you buy a lot of bandages. What do you do with the end of the roll when there's too little left to be of any use?"

"Good question," noted the CFO. "We save them up and send them back to the bandage company and every now and then they send us a free box of bandages."

"Oh," replied the auditor, somewhat disappointed that his unusual question had a practical answer. But on he went, in his obnoxious way.

"What about all these plaster purchases? What do you do with what's left over after setting a cast on a patient?"

"Ah, yes," replied the CFO, realizing that the inspector was trying to trap him with an unanswerable question. "We save it and send it back to the manufacturer, and every now and then they send us a free package of plaster."

"I see," replied the auditor, thinking hard about how he could fluster the know-it-all CFO.

"Well," he went on, "What do you do with all the leftover foreskins from the circumcisions you perform?"

"Here, too, we do not waste," answered the CFO. "What we do is save all the little foreskins and send them to the IRS Office, and about once a year they send us a complete dick."

[*Sent from Athens via email by Ding Bagasao]