Thursday, March 31, 2011

A motorcycle driver lost his leg today; his passenger lost his life

A parent's worst nightmare became true today.

Usiseros and usiseras were watching by the sidewalks. Police officers were directing traffic and were running low on temper. The queues on both sides of the road were growing longer as motorists slowed down to give way to emergency vehicles. 

A really bad accident happened on the road this morning...

Further along, a truck on the opposite side of the road was not moving; directly in front it was a motorbike lying on the road. Anguished cries grew louder near the accident site. A traffic enforcer kept motorists from stopping and ogling at the scene, but even he could not distract them from all the blood glistening on the road. 

Somebody died on this road this morning...

The last I saw before I drove past the scene was a man on his knees right by the motorbike, his face masked with grief, his sinewy arms pulling at something, or someone. I don't know who this man is but I know that he has just lost someone dear to him.


At the nearby gas station, I got part of the story from the attendant: the motorbike had overtaken the truck from the right side and suddenly swerved, blocking the truck's path. Then, the motorbike's driver lost control and crashed right in front of the bigger vehicle. With its driver unable to stop it in time, the truck hit the motorbike and crushed the two people riding it. The driver lost his leg; the passenger (a child, I was told) lost his life.

That kid is now a statistic... he joins the number of fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents in 2011. Sadly, as the popularity of motorbikes grow, the number of casualties will surely go up as well. 

Motorbikes (and other vehicles for that matter) are not perilous on their own. It's the stupid and inconsiderate driver who endangers himself, his passenger(s), and his fellow motorists. For motorbikes, a lot of their drivers disobey traffic rules; they weave in and out of road lanes, they drive beyond the speed limit, they don't use protective and/or high-visibility gear (NOTE: These apply to all reckless drivers, regardless of vehicle type). Then when they get involved in accidents, it's ALWAYS the bigger vehicle's driver's fault! 

Are we supposed to sit and wait as more STUPID and INCONSIDERATE motorcycle drivers put their and other people's lives at risk?!? What can we, the non-motorcycle-driving public, do about this?

Driving home from work today, I slowed down to avoid three of these fine specimens of stupidity as they occupied the wrong side of the road with impunity. Little did they know that a kid had met his fate this morning on the very street they disrespected.


Half-listening to "Beauty and Madness"

Heard over the radio while driving this evening: "Beauty and Madness" by Fra Lippo Lippi. 

I was in a reflective mood as I drove because of what happened this morning (I'm still working out how to write about it; that's the next post). However, I snapped at attention when I heard the lyrics...

                                  Who will see the beauty in your life 
                                   And who will be there to hear you when you call
                                  Who will see the madness in your life
                                   And who will be there to catch you if you fall

Hmm, I thought. Those are good questions. And I came up with blank! Today, I think nobody will catch me if I fall. Thus, I must NOT fall. 

Good luck to me on that one. I'm known to fall and slip especially in public places. Hehehe.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

graduation misunderstanding

Since March is about to close and graduation season is here again, I recall the phone conversation between me and my dad (circa early 2005, if I remember the year correctly) about Biboy's college graduation at the DLSU-College of St Benilde. Once again, English translations in parentheses and in blue font. 

Daddy: Kamusta si Biboy, mamartsa ba?
(How is Biboy doing? Will he march?)

Rochie: Hindi e.

Daddy: Bakit? May binagsak ba? May naiwan pa bang subject?
(Why? Did he fail anything? Did he forget to take a subject?)

Rochie: Daddy, ganito kasi yun. Ang graduation ni Biboy ay sa March. Pero ang byahe niya papunta sa US ay sa February. Edi hindi siya makakapunta sa graduation niya. Hindi siya mamartsa.
(Daddy, this is how it stands. Biboy's graduation is in March. However, his trip to the US is in February. He won't be able to attend his graduation; therefore, he won't march.)

It wasn't surprising that my dad was quite irked with me that day.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

hospital misunderstanding

During a family reunion, an uncle noticed that my sister, Anna (the nurse), wasn't with us. So he approached me and asked about her. The conversation was in Filipino, so I've included the English translation (in blue).

Uncle: Rochie, nasaan si Anna? 
           (Rochie, where is Anna?)
Rochie: Ay, nasa ospital po si Anna ngayon. 
             (Oh, she is in the hospital today.)
Uncle (concerned): Bakit? Anong nangyari sa kanya? May sakit ba? 
                              (Why? What happened to her? Is she sick?)
Rochie: Hindi po! May duty po siya sa ospital ngayon kaya hindi nakasama. 
             (No! She's an on-duty nurse at the hospital today, that's why she couldn't come with us.)

I guess our uncle was still not used to my sister being a nurse. She's been attending to patients since her nursing school days at the Calamba Doctors' College.

the xbox kinect family debut

Kinect for Xbox 360. That's the name of the new family toy. On its first few days, I wasn't really impressed as it sat idle, waiting for a cousin to drop by and figure out its correct voltage. My dad even emptied his schedule the whole day, excited to start playing.

When I got home, my sister was playing. That's when I understood what the hype was all about. The Kinect is an amazing toy! It has this sensor that detects players' movements; a game console is no longer needed to fully enjoy playing. Good bye twiddly thumbs; hello, whole body ache! The Kinect experience is like a gym workout session, only longer and within the privacy of one's home. 

Another nice thing about the Kinect is that there's no age limit for players. My teenage nephews and my elderly cousins enjoyed playing the different sports. My 95-year old grandma played a bit of bowling, and my uncle (who suffers from chronic knee pain) and my aunt (who previously suffered from a stroke) danced to "Poker Face"and "Funky Town"as if they're healthy as ever. :) 

Needless to say, we all went our separate ways excited for our next reunion... there'll be an age-classified tournament!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mancenido-de Guia wedding reception

Roughly a year after they got married in California, my cousin, Ate Grace, and her husband, Kuya Nat, flew to Manila to hold their wedding reception with family and friends. The reception was at the Diana Garden of Patio Victoria in Intramuros ( 

I didn't take a whole lot of photos then because I was one of the three hosts. However, my dad took over the picture-taking duties, and I had photos for a change! I don't have copies of those photos, though, so I couldn't upload them here.

Our side of the family had impromptu roles during the reception, since we were the rowdier bunch. The nephews and the nieces were assigned to usher the guests to their seats and to help the elders to the buffet table or to the toilets. They also distributed the souvenirs and they passed a photo of the couple for the guests to write their greetings on. Meanwhile, the cousins who didn't have hosting duties manned the welcome desk and took care of the attendance sheets (they also made sure that we knew when a guest who's speaking had already arrived).

Kuya Nat's side of the family was a little more reserved than ours. His mom and his brother took to the lectern to say their messages while the rest of the family worked behind the scenes. His cousin, Anna, took charge of organising the event, arranging the flowers, the venue, and the food. All we had to do was show up and host!

Anyway, the family obviously had so much fun that we didn't leave Patio Victoria long after the reception was finished. Family reunions are never complete without the usual caffeine fix and we were just waiting for the elders to decide where we're going (and we thought they were thinking of which Starbucks branch we're going to). 

We ended up at the Club Lounge of H2O Hotel (at Manila Ocean Park). Ate Grace and Kuya Nat's friends were there too, it turned out. The after-party wasn't quite what I had expected. Instead of a caffeine fix at a well-lit cafe, the passengers and the non-designated drivers had final rounds of alcohol while the non-alcoholics and the kids had fruit shakes in a barely lit open-air area overlooking Manila Bay. 

To the couple, congratulations and best wishes! To Kuya Nat, welcome to the family. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

IRRI Mud Springs Quintet in concert

Ash Wednesday 2011.

The IRRI Mud Springs Quintet performed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor. The orchestral parts were played on the piano by Shinobu Kobayashi; the choral parts were played by Melissa Fitzgerald (soprano, clarinet), Luz Humphreys (alto, violin), Sarah Beebout (tenor, violin), and Andy Cal (bass, bass clarinet). Terry Jacobsen conducted. This performance was a fund-raising activity of SINoP, a workers' group in IRRI. The proceeds went to the group's Voluntary Assistance Program.

The performance was great! The quintet received a standing ovation!! Attendance to the concert, despite being Ash Wednesday (and many people in church), was high... they almost filled the auditorium!

Having the Requiem performed on Ash Wednesday was timely because it is a good start for Lent and because it's the swan song of two of the members: Shinobu is flying home in two weeks while Terry had left for Australia today.

I'm happy I got involved with the group as a conductor during rehearsals and then during the run up to performance day, prepping the program flyers and controlling the slideshow of the English translation of the lyrics while they were performing on stage.

the 168 mall parking experience

Upon insistent Mommy demand, I was convinced to drive up to 168 Mall in Binondo District, Manila. One of my major concerns with going there is where to park. That problem became more apparent when the road leading to mall was a dead end!

What I thought was a dead end was actually the way towards the 500-car parking lot. There must be a lot of space behind the building, I thought, except I could only see a construction site. A guard instructed me to let the passengers get down of the car before I park. That instruction was weird... until I saw the parking lot. 

Better yet, a car lift.

Yes, a lift! I was instructed to park the car backwards into the slot. Once the car was set, I disembarked and then the car was lifted off the ground! Wow! I've never seen one of those multi-level parking spots before! It felt like being in a container yard!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The search begins for the 2011 Natatanging Kabataang Lagunense

Nominations for this year's "Natatanging Kabataang Lagunense" (Outstanding Youth of the Province of Laguna) is now being accepted! The deadline for entries is March 15

Here are the qualifications:
  1. Bonafide resident of Laguna province for the past five years
  2. Age: 15-30 years old
  3. Single
  4. In- or out-of-school youth
  5. Exemplary character (certification from a faith leader or teacher)
Nominees should show evidence of:
  1. Community involvement or service
  2. Leadership accomplishments
  3. Awards, honours, commendations, citations received
  4. Scholastic achievements
Last year, we, the nominees, submitted copies of our certificates in scrapbooks; a shortlist of five nominees were interviewed by a panel of judges. The winner was announced during the Anilag 2010 festival. This year, nine nominees will be selected and the winner will be named during the La Laguna 2011 festival spearheaded by Gov. ER Ejercito.

This year, nine nominees will receive P2,000 each while the winner will receive P10,000.

If you're interested to join the competition, or you know someone who is, you can find more information at:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tita Dory's interview in Mel & Joey

I wasn't able to watch the live telecast because I had to rush off to the hospital (which is another story). Thank goodness there's YouTube and someone uploaded the clip into the site!

Here's the segment featuring coloured rices in the February 27, 2011 episode of Mel & Joey. Dr. Dory Resurreccion and Mr. Ato Reano (both from IRRI) were interviewed.