Archive for April, 2014

A Different Zip Code

Posted: April 23, 2014 in My World in 4D

It was exactly 8 years ago when I found a humble, quiet and low-cost condo unit in the heart of Quezon City. It was love at first sight because at that time I needed a place for me and my brother. Also it was perfect for the likes of me. The unit does not get too hot when the temperature gets too high since it faces south and there is no tall building to impede the cool air.  Each end of the year celebration, I have an unobstructed view of the fireworks.

But the past months, my little haven is not as quiet or as perfect anymore. The little cracks all around, the noise and cigarette smoke of the unit dweller below me, the water outage, the unkempt hallway and foyer, so on and so forth.

Last Saturday, me and my family went to shop around for a new place and I felt the same elation when I stepped into the showroom of my condo. I want to feel at home again when I am in my unit, not claustrophobic or whatever but home. I hate that the dwellers in the floor under me deprive me of that. They are noisy every night and they smoke like a chimney nonstop. My nostrils get assaulted and I have to keep my windows and door to my CR closed. Since we share a common exhaust, their smoke can seep through my unit. Imagine during a humid summer day and even night, I have to close my windows. I have complained  but then again some people are just too insensitive that nothing gets through to them.

So I am ready to sell this unit and find another home where I can feel rested and contented.

When I read this news article online by GMA, I do not know how to take it. To be told that people do not have any idea that there are alternative means to go wherever aside from the MRT by a high ranking government official is beyond stupidity. The problem is not that we do not know any alternative means to go from one point to the next but how to come to work without being late. The traffic has been horrendous and those who commute to work seek the MRT to get them from North to South or South to North the quickest time. But the way the MRT is being managed should be put under the microscope. If there are 560,000 commuters then there has to be some way to rethink how many coaches should be added and how far in between the trips should be.

I am one of those commuters who dare not ride the MRT during rush hour because of the endless long line. But even during a weekend or what can be considered a slow day, the people waiting for the trains to arrive gather on the platform. Sometimes they wait more than 15 minutes before one arrives. Imagine that, 15 minutes when a train could have arrived and picked up the gaggle of people already there. What happens is like a jeep in a terminal, the train waits to get filled up.  Sometimes the one in the North would have trains pass through without having anyone ride in any of the coaches. It sometimes would be the third train and by that time the platform is too full of commuters. Then this train would still wait for more passengers that by the time the train arrives in the next terminal, none of those commuters waiting in the second stop could get in. It really defeats the purpose of having a supposedly fast and efficient transportation in place.

We really should take a look at how  Singapore’s MTR system works. We should learn how to be that efficient. Imagine despite the number of people, no one stays on the platform longer than 5 minutes. The machines that dispense the cards are all working. Here the MRT commuters have to endure being squished by the throng of people while trying to get up, while buying the card and while riding the train.

So Herminia Coloma Jr. before you even think that these MRT commuters do not consider an alternate route going anywhere, please try to ride one during the rush hour. Try to see how bad the situation has become before you come up with a press con to suggest other modes of transportation. For all you know these commuters have already considered it yet they still brave the heat, the exhaustion, the pain and the crowd because they believe that the MRT is their best option. Your suggestion is poorly conceived. Think of ways to alleviate the worsening traffic in the metro, then maybe there would be less passengers who’d rely on the MRT however inefficient and unreliable it has become of late.

 

I love to read but I am more drawn towards mystery novels than anything else. While perusing through old paperbacks in Trinoma, I chanced upon these novels by Anne Perry. I bought two books, The Twisted Root and Funeral in Blue. The main protagonist was this supposedly brilliant private investigator named William Monk. He lived in London during the Victorian era and has a wife named Hester. If the long and winding history of his life would be believed, Monk was a strict police investigator feared by junior policemen. He had no patience for idiocy, emotions and incompetence. That bit intrigued me.

anne perry

 

Unfortunately, Anne Perry’s writing was not a page turner and William Monk’s supposed brilliance may just be his own imagination. In these books I bought there was no instance wherein he solved a mystery. The murders solved by themselves, rather they unraveled at the end of the novels that I felt Anne was compelled to just end the stories.

In The Twisted Root, it was Oliver Rathbone and his wife Hester who got through the bottom of why the widow Mrs. Gardiner preferred to hang than talk. In Funeral in Blue, it was Hester again who asked around where her sister-in-law was. Truth be told, Monk should have been the nurse and Hester the investigator. Monk did little deducing and investigating. He was not brilliant at all. In fact he was far from being intelligent, he does show however a short fuse and love for fashion. Those came across in both books very clearly.

Anne had a tendency of going over and over the history of her protagonists. Hester of her Crimea experience and Monk of his past experiences as an ill-mannered officer of the law. The author also  failed to make her protagonists engaging even when the Monks talk about their feelings for each other. There was some kind of in your face “we are in love and cannot live without each other” thing going but I do not see why these two are madly in love with each other. The same goes for Callandra and Dr. Beck. There seems to be a private joke between the writer and her characters that leave the reader, or maybe just me, out of the loop.

As a reader I wished I can empathize with the characters. I want to be angry, be confused, frustrated, be loved and scorned with them but I wasn’t. I flipped the pages as the characters begin their labyrinthine, tiresome recount of their past lives because it was too repetitive. It makes you say “Okay I get it, she was in the Crimea. He was that good way back when. Geez enough already!” complete with the rolling of the eyes and arms up in surrender.

Well it was not as painful to read as Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight (I did not even finish that book), but I wont buy another Anne Perry William Monk anymore.

 

Lately the buzz is that Divergent is another Hunger Games where kids from the future equip themselves to fight for freedom of sorts. Well, this is not surprising. Afterall most of the movies basically rehash plots. But my most favorite of those movies that are very parallel with another were shown just two months apart.

Hugo was released in November 2001 while Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was shown in January 2012. Both stories revolved around the boys whose respective dads died violently at work. Hugo and Oskar both wanted to solve a puzzle they thought would lead them to a message from their dads. They both have an old man who played a critical role in their adventure – Hugo had the former magician turned filmmaker cum toy maker Papa George while Oskar had his grandfather Oskar Schell Sr. Then both found the keys to get them the answers they sought. Hugo and Oskar while doing their mini adventures met new people along the way and managed to touch those lives somehow.

Despite these parallelism with how the stories evolved, the movies were both refreshingly original and inexplicably captivating. Maybe a tad heavy handed on the drama but the stories wrapped up quite nicely in the end.

hugo extreme

My Take of a 3Rs Poster

Posted: April 2, 2014 in Student's Life
This was the poster I made as part of the requirements in my 207 class. My teacher, Mam Gigi commented that "the poster design is simple, elegant and parsimonious. You have proficiently used the parts of a poster into a unified whole. Your “reduce,reuse recycle ” poster has good selection of fonts contributing to the poster’s clear message. It also uses interesting and eye-catching visuals. There is good command in the appropriation of space with the right proportions. The choice of colors livens up your poster. good work." Well I love the words she used but I am not too keen with one of them. Parsimonious meant cheap, thrifty, frugal, stingy but I hope she meant my sparse use of visuals. Overall I appreciate her very positive comment. :)

This was the poster I made as part of the requirements in my 207 class. My teacher, Mam Gigi commented that “the poster design is simple, elegant and parsimonious. You have proficiently used the parts of a poster into a unified whole. Your “reduce,reuse recycle ” poster has good selection of fonts contributing to the poster’s clear message. It also uses interesting and eye-catching visuals. There is good command in the appropriation of space with the right proportions. The choice of colors livens up your poster. good work.” Well I love the words she used but I am not too keen with one of them. Parsimonious meant cheap, thrifty, frugal, stingy but I hope she meant my sparse use of visuals. Overall I appreciate her very positive comment. 🙂

For the love of writing

Posted: April 1, 2014 in My World in 4D

To be honest, I had doubts about my writing skills mainly because I allowed bullies like Armin and Tessa from my previous companies to undermine my confidence that I can write well. They were not good mentors to a fledgling writer but I appreciate the experience in having a bad boss. To this day I will not admit I became a better writer. I became better though in expressing myself on paper, albeit now it is virtually done.

I now fully understand what my high school teacher Ms. Luna told me, I have a way with words and am lucky now that I can get to improve how I express myself whether in utter anger or happiness. There is no longer any template or guideline to hinder me. I just write. I am grateful for those who make my thoughts their thoughts, my feelings theirs as well. There is so much beauty in merely writing out your thoughts because it can elicit a laugh, a smile, a frown or anger depending on the mood you are in while you wrote an entry.

My most successful so far albeit not because of my writing prowess is the Metrodeal bad customer service. It not only elicited righteous indignation from various people because they either had a bad experience too or have doubts about the vouchers purchased. Actually the entry was not even about vouchers or Indochina, it was just a simple entry about a particular email agent. Who would have thought that it would turn into something else? I even had two take down notice after Metrodeal complained I was using their case studies when  both instances were actually mine to begin with, my entries were posted on their website without my consent. Yes, me. My understated, not too shabby written blog…

Since yesterday I had been lucky enough to be asked to write. Yes write  and make money in the process. If this pans out, then perhaps me, my mom and my brother are now all engaged in careers we have been passionate about eversince but were too scared to try. But however this may turn up, I will still write and write and write….oh you get the drift.