Toilet Trouble

You know there's something wrong with the world when your company gives you the boot for practicing what you believe to be the more sanitary way of cleaning your b_tthole.

Leonie Johnson of the Townsville Bulletin reports that machine operator Amador Bernabe was sacked fromTownsville Engineering Industries (TEI) because of his toilet habits. Like most Filipinos Bernabe uses water to clean himself during toilet visits.

My sympathy goes to Bernabe not only because he is a kababayan but also for the simple fact that using water to clean your a_s is, without question, more hygienic than if you just use toilet paper. Of course, adding soap into the mix makes it even more hygienic.

I've been in situations where I really need to take a dump but the available restroom doesn't offer any means for me to clean up with water. Whenever I find myself in such a predicament I just resort to doing the next best thing. I hold it in for as long as it takes. It's just unthinkable -- having no water to clean your a_s.

I suppose Bernabe will appeal his case maybe even sue the company. If he does I think he can a build a case using the apparent lack of suitable facilities in his place of work as a basis.

In the report, the company clarified that it didn't fire Bernabe for his toilet habits but for posing a health risk. Reportedly, Bernabe's co-workers have been complaining that he often leaves the toilet cubicle "splashed with water suspected to be contaminated with feces." 

Whether or not those water spills were indeed Bernabe's doing is still a matter that needs to be verified. But, what is clear is that the toilet in TEI's facility is simply not properly equipped to meet the needs of all of its employees. Is it possible the big bosses of TEI haven't heard of toilet bowls equipped with water spray nozzles?

I'm quite certain, with a toilet bowl like that, the problem about water spills will be easily eliminated. It will also allow Bernabe and other like-minded employees to practice what should be universally considered as the more hygienic way of keeping one's a_s clean.

My apologies to my lactose intolerant readers but I really feel strongly about this and I think Bernabe needs our support. And, we should all spread the word that a clean a_s is a happy a_s.


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Illusions of Free Fare

My friend Joseph a.k.a. the Journeyist is pondering the concept of life being nothing more than just an illusion. Those who've seen the Matrix Trilogy should be familiar with the concept.

I can relate to Joseph's deep thinking. Just like him, I also philosphize a lot. Like him, I am also drawn to the idea that everything that we see around us is just an illusion.

While on my way to work the other day I discovered that I had no money in my wallet. But, much to my surprise I wasn't bothered at all. It was like I suddenly realized that money or even the state of not having any is just an illusion.

Unfortunately, the driver of the tricycle I boarded didn't share my Zen-like view of the situation. I shudder to think what type of injury the driver could have inflicted on me had I insisted that I was just an illusion and that I did not really ride his tricycle.

Good thing a co-worker happened to pass by and willingly lent me a mutilated but very real P20 bill.

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Facial From Hell

My three and a half friends could describe me in any number of nasty ways: an arrogant know-it-all, an opinionated a__hole, even a lousy ninong. Yet, despite their candor, I'm pretty certain they will never describe me as a metrosexual. As far as I'm concerned, beyond brushing one's teeth, taking a bath regularly and occasionally combing one's hair, a real man need not stray far from the traditions set by his caveman ancestors.

Sometime last year, "damaster-en-kumander" prevailed upon me to have my very first facial treatment. For her, this was a monumental event as she had been bugging me about it for the longest time. For me, well, there's always a first time for everything and since she was paying for it anyway I thought I might as well just enjoy it.

Yesterday, I had my third facial. This time around I volunteered to join "damaster-en-kumander." I had to volunteer since the alternative was for me too wait in the car for at least an hour.

A soft-spoken woman named Gemma ushered me into one of the cubicles. She told me to lie down and she began the preliminary procedures. To get my face all ready she exposed it to steam and applied a number of solutions. All this she did while gently massaging my face. Soothing, meditative music played in the background while a therapeutic scent wafted in the air. It didn't take long before I dozed off into dreamland.

Not long after, I was roused from my sleep. I was feeling a sharp pain on my cheek. I realized it was Gemma. She was then in the process of pricking my every pore to get to my whiteheads and those darn clingy blackheads. It was all good I thought so I just went back to sleep.

A few minutes later I was roused again this time by a really excruciating pain on my forehead. In her soft-spoken manner she asked me to move my head a little to the right. Her voice would have had a calming effect if not for the piece of metal she was poking my face with.

This time around, Gemma was no longer applying soft, light pressure. She was actually using full force and even putting her full weight behind every pin-prick she applied. Did I mention that this soft-spoken woman was also a burly woman? Well, she was and she was all set to perform surgery on my face. I thought I heard the Zen-like meditative music segue to a death-metal piece. "Growwwwllll!!! Bring on the pain!!!!"

Well, this whole death-metal sequence went on for the next thirty minutes or so. It all became clear to me by then that torture had a name and it was Gemma.

I don't know what happened exactly but nowhere during that whole time did I find the courage to speak out and tell her that she was hurting me and that, maybe, she could go a little easier on my already pockmarked face. "Wag po ate, wag po."

Maybe, I was just a little embarrased after all she was just doing her job the best way she could considering the challenge before her that was my face. But, then again I think she didn't need to hear me say it anyway. I'm certain she saw the tears flowing from my eyes.

After some time, Gemma asked me, "Sir, ok lang ba lagyan ko ng anti-inflammatory." Funny she asked. My whole face was all puffed up by then. A transfusion of fresh plasma would have worked better.

We ended our session with the usual. She asked me if I wanted to see all the whiteheads and blackheads she removed. Normally, I'd be interested to see it out of an inherent curiosity for the bizzare but this time I declined. In the state I was in at that time I wasn't sure if I could handle the sight of huge chunks of chopped up facial matter.

At that point, my ears were again hearing the Zen-like music coming out of the speakers and I could also smell the scent of lavander. That was a good thing as it reminded me that I was still alive. I went to the lobby and paid for the treatment. I also left a P100 tip for Gemma.

Despite all the pain I endured, i can still say it was all good. My face now feels lighter by 1.42 lbs.

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Is Caregiving That Dangerous?

Do Filipino caregivers face any risk of violence in their work abroad?

A caregiver friend of mine who works in Greece once told me that taking care of cranky elderly patients can sometimes prove dangerous to ones health. He pointed out that if there's one thing he learned in his line of work it's that one can never be too careful.

I believed him especially after he told me about this one incident involving a flying pair of smelly dentures. Apparently, he walked in on this particular patient of his as she was trying on a new housedress. As can be expected, his patient got startled. As my friend tried to apologize, this old lady spat out her dentures and decided to use them as projectiles. My caregiver friend took evasive action but realized too late that Neo's bullet dodging moves don't work in the real world.

I think he still has the scar on his forehead, which now serves as a reminder to always knock first before entering an old woman's room.

Anyway, beyond encounters with aerodynamic sets of false teeth, I don't think Filipino caregivers face any real threat to their persons. But, I could be wrong.

Check out this ad which I saw in one of our nationally circulated newspapers last Wednesday. I think it may be an indication of the kind of situation that awaits our caregiver friends abroad and the sort of action they have to take to protect themselves.

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New Lead In De La Paz-Pangandaman Brawl

My good friend Paul has raised a very interesting point that may finally put an end to the Dela Paz-Pangandaman issue. Here's a quote from his latest post:

"There are several versions of how the brawl started but they all have to do with Delfin and an umbrella. One version says that Delfin poked Mayor Nasser with an umbrella and another says that Delfin repeatedly bashed Mayor Nasser with an umbrella. (For all we know, may be it wasn't Delfin but Penguin who hit Mayor Nasser with an umbrella.)"

I must say he does fit the profile of someone who would do something like this. My own sources say this person is really crazy, ill-tempered and violently-inclined. If I were to handle this case, I would definitely investigate, charge, and bring before the bar of justice -- The Penguin.

But, that may be easier said than done. Even if i do find enough basis to implicate The Penguin I should also be able to produce the weapon used to carry out the dastardly deed. So now, the really big question is: Where's the umbrella?

Paul stated another point and I quote:

"I've heard the side of the Pangandamans through two friends and they make pretty good cases against the Dela Paz's, particularly against Delfin. One of those two people, over lunch at Sofitel's Spiral, characterized Delfin as "maangas" and "sobrang maangas"."

Aside from my scruples, which Paul has referenced for at least two times now, there's one other reason why I was reluctant to blog about this issue. The details didn't seem complete at all when all the buzz about it first came out. Sure, there was the detail about Delfin's son getting beaten up, which i must say was really deplorable. It also involved government officials, which -- and I think Paul would agree -- are easy targets. Who loves politicians anyway? Their mothers maybe.

It was all too easy to condemn one party for the whole thing when it was also very possible that the other party was also guilty maybe not equally but still guilty of something. In the movies, fight scenes almost always involve one camp representing the good and another representing the bad. In real life, that is not even standard. A brawl could involve no one else but two equally deplorable a__holes with overinflated egos.

The only real casualty in this situation was Bino de la Paz and I will maintain this point of view even if later on some criminal mind such as The Penguin comes out to say that it was the 14-year old golfer who threw the first punch.

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PNP Chief Bans Warning Shots (Curving the Bullet Isn't Real)

More than a month ago a number of policemen engaged a group of suspected robbers in a shootout in Paranaque. As with most shootouts in this part of the world, the outcome proved fatal for most of the suspects. Unfortunately, several civilians including a child were also killed.

And, just a few days ago, a police officer got himself into trouble when a bullet he fired into the air hit the windshield of a Quezon City councilor’s vehicle. The police officer reportedly fired a warning shot to stop a fight. Lucky for him, the councilor let him off the hook easily provided that he will pay for the cost of repairs.

The League of Restless Minds finds all these disturbing. So much so its distinguished members have reportedly been stricken with bouts of hysteria and major dysmenorrhea. I personally find this troubling since they’re all men.

The League’s leader Mang-Jerry-Prom-Da-Bronks, however, says there’s something else that’s making them sick and it’s PNP Chief Jesus Verzosa’s order for a ban on warning shots. The country’s top cop announced this yesterday along with his other plans to improve police operational procedures.

Mang-Jerry-Prom-Da-Bronks argues that some police officers may interpret Verzosa’s order as an official permission for them to just fire their guns without warning whenever they feel there’s a criminal element in their midst.

In fairness to Director General Verzosa, I think the idea behind the ban is to encourage police personnel to use other means of calling people’s attention to their presence and authority. In fact, he said policemen should just blow their whistles instead. Personally, I think doing the Chicken Dance would be more effective.

But, seriously, it’s good the PNP Chief issued the order. It shows that he is aware that there’s a problem concerning how his men use their guns and that he is addressing it. But, if I were him, I would also order all police officers to memorize the following facts.

bullets don’t evaporate when fired into the air
bullets can’t reach heaven (it’s too high up about 5,897,302 miles up to be exact)
“curve the bullet” is a cool slogan for a t-shirt

With these facts embedded in their sub-conscious, policemen should now be able to deal with crime with more finesse. But, then again, we can’t really blame the police if they suffer from premature discharge after all danger lurks at every corner.

Faced with a crime-in-progress like a senior citizen committing jaywalking, our friendly patrolman will have to think fast and react accordingly.

Should he shout “Freeze!” like a New York City Cop?

He would just look silly.

Should he fire a warning shot into the air?

Remember factoid number one: Bullets don’t evaporate.

Should he fire into the ground?

He could hit a bug or his own foot.

Should he even bother at all?

He’s a cop and jaywalking could net him a minimum of 100 bucks.

Hmmm… decisions… decisions.

Well, there is one other option he could take. He could point his gun at his big head and then – he could fire his warning shot. But, of course, not before he shouts to the suspect “Manigas Ka!” The suspect probably understands Tagalog.

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Caught Between A Rock And A Cold One (Drinking The Global Economic Crisis Away)

Experienced investors say this would be a good year to put in some cash in businesses involving alcohol.

Before I continue I want to make it clear that I will not be held responsible for any losses to be incurred if you decide to invest in shares of Green Cross Rubbing Alcohol. Don’t get me wrong. Green Cross is a great brand much like the other popular brands of my youth such as Omega Painkiller and White Flower but I’m not talking about rubbing alcohol here. I’m not even sure if there are Green Cross stocks being traded at the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Anyway, I’ve read that some analysts are saying that, with the expected impact of the Global Economic Crisis, many people will turn to drinking this year. So much so that some coffee shops are now reportedly planning to phase out their Machiattos, Frappuccinos and other fancifully named concoctions in favor of fancifully named alcoholic drinks.

I can already hear it: “Bartender, I just lost a gazillion pesos. Give me a Flaming Bar of Soap on the rocks… and put in some ice please.”

I can also hear the cries of the coffee crowd. “Aaaahhhh! The horror! Life without Espresso? Run for your lives!”

Luckily for these caffeine addicts this is still just a rumor just like the persistent one about the Philippines having some kind of political exercise in the very near future.

At this point, whether or not the Global Economic Crisis would indeed turn many social drinkers and innocent bystanders into drunkards is still pretty much anybody’s guess. However, I do know of some people who are already ahead of the anticipated curve.

My sources say these are employees of a company involved in solar energy or, maybe it was, Sun-dried pumpkin seeds. In any case, these employees were recently given the option of availing of the wine stock left unconsumed during their most recent company Christmas party. Apparently, this is part of a company campaign to promote healthy drinking. The company even came out with a health advisory to remind the employees not to overdo it. The advisory read: “Drink in moderation. The cost of the wine will be deducted from your salaries.”

From what I’ve been told, these employees could really use a drink, no, make that many drinks since they haven’t been receiving all their salaries and benefits for some time now. And, we all know nothing works better at lifting a tired, hapless worker’s spirit than having a cold one. That and actually getting paid for his or her work.

Should the crisis turn out to be as bad as some pundits say it would – massive layoffs, diminished purchasing power, smelly underwear, fireballs falling from the sky – then, these wine drinking employees are already at an advantage. They already have the headstart in the mad rush for some good ole’ alcohol induced stupor.

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Links With Cheese

my good friend paul has been encouraging me to link up with blogs that feature posts concerning hot current events. one such issue he recommended that i ride (sakyan) is the one about that much talked about fight that cemented the philippine's reputation for producing world class boxers, the de la paz-pangandaman brawl. yeah, i know the pacquiao-de la hoya fight also helped boost our country's boxing pride but let's reserve that for another post.

anyway, paul's advise is sound and i believe he is right. riding on hot issues by posting on relevant blogs is one way of harnessing the power of networking. but there's a problem...

i don't want to appear like i'm criticizing how other bloggers drive up traffic to their sites because i'm not. i'm simply saying that this approach is a little too cheesy for my taste.

don't get me wrong i love cheese. in fact, i can recommend cheese as a topping for any viand except maybe for "paksiw." but, i digress.

the simple fact is i'm just not yet comfortable with the idea of commenting on another person's blog if my dominant motivation for doing so is to boost traffic to my own site.

writing about the hot issue on my own blog? well, that's a different matter altogether.

seriously, the problem is me; not you cheesy poster.

perhaps i'm just not ready to give up the few scruples i have left. but who knows maybe after my next visit to the bathroom i'll be able to rid myself of such hindrances to blogosphere domination.

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Expensive Coffee Can Make You Lose Your Shoes

(I originally posted this on my wordpress blog (the angry manileño).)

It is widely known that coffee has stimulating effects and more recently that it has anti-oxidative properties. With this, some scientists say coffee, if taken in moderation, can be good for one’s health.

But, unknown to many, coffee especially the expensive kind may have some very disturbing side effects. Apparently, it can make you lose your shoe.

Scientists have yet to finish taking their coffee break and investigate this phenomenon but I can assure you this is real. Just visit any coffeeshop that serves overpriced coffee and you’ll see how bad this is affecting some people.

For some, losing a shoe or even a whole pair is not even the only side effect. Some also develop a compulsion to assume the Indian-style sitting position or any other ultra-relaxed pose. Some even raise their legs on the low tables or the armrests of their cushy cushy seats. Others even assume the fetal position, totally forgetting they’re not in their own homes.

Unscientific attempts to explore the reason for this disturbing coffee-induced behavior has resulted in some troubling discoveries. One is that there seems to be a correlation between the location of the coffee shop and the number of people afflicted with this mysterious malady. Upper-scale locations tend to have a bigger concentration of people with these symptoms. The same situation is prevalent in locations with a high concentration of college and high school students. Of course, these findings still need to be verified.

Incidentally, just last weekend, I found myself in a coffee shop. Having heard about this disturbing trend, I observed the other customers who were there. One girl caught my attention. She was all by herself reading a book, seemingly waiting for someone. Nothing out of the ordinary. But then, I noticed that she had the symptoms — feet unshod and the Indian sitting position. What really disturbed me though was that she remained in that state for more than 30 minutes. I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m fussing about this. Well, you see, my logical side initially brushed off what I saw, thinking that maybe she was just trying to be comfortable. That would have been the logical explanation if not for the dead giveaway. You see I can imagine how comfortable it must be to sit that way on a cushy cushy seat but this girl was sitting on a wooden chair the kind that comes with a super-straight backrest. Can you spell uncomfortable?

The Anti-Coffee Crap Movement fears that there may be no remedy to this. Its members believe that as long as the hot brew retains its coolness factor there will always be people who will be susceptible to these side effects.

I, for one, am not a big coffee fan. I prefer tea. But unlike the English, I don’t lay claim to any degree of refinement. Still, unless forced, I would rather eat coffee beans freshly harvested from a civet cat’s pooper than have a cup of overpriced coffee and risk losing my shoe.

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Making The Switch

this blogging thing has got me stumped. so many technical details to understand. but it's been fun so far.

now, there's no denying i got into this out of a strong desire to make some extra cash. we all have to earn some, or more, right?

well, i started out a blog using wordpress ( and i have already posted around six little pieces. unfortunately, just a while back i discovered i couldn't put any ads on that blog. that kinda defeated my main reason for blogging.

to cut a very long story short, i decided to start all over again using blogger. so, good luck to me.

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