Tag Archives: Filipino

Kapitan Sino (Bob Ong)

Rating: [rate 3.5]


Naunahan na naman ang mga pulis sa pagtugis sa mga holdaper ng isang jewelry shop. Bago noon, may iba na ring nakahuli sa isang carnaper; sumaklolo sa mga taong nasa itaas ng nasusunog na building; nagligtas sa sanggol na hinostage ng ama; tumulong para makatawid sa kalsada ang isnag matanda; tumiklo sa mga miyembro ng Akyat Bahay; sumagip sa mga mag-anak na tinagay ng tubig-baha; nag-landing ng maayos sa isang Boeing 747 na nasiraan ng engine; at nagpasabog s aisang iganteng robot. Pero sino ang taong ‘yon? Maliligtas nya ba sila Aling Baby? At ano nga ba talaga ang sabon ng mga artista?

Bob Ong is known for his funny yet thought provoking books about the life of a Filipino. I’m sure you’ve heard of him at one point, or have received a forwarded email regarding his little thoughts on life and love (ex. “Kung maghihintay ka nang lalandi sayo, walang mangyayari sa buhay mo. Dapat lumandi ka din.” Don’t wait for someone to flirt with you. Learn to flirt as well.) and I know that most people have certainly agreed with a lot of what he has written.

Kapitan Sino is Ong’s 7th book, and it takes us in an adventure in the town of Pelaez. There we find Rogelio, an ordinary man who makes a living by fixing different appliances in their shop named “Hasmin’s Sari-Sari Store” that they’ve planned to change but never got around to. He lives his life one day at at time, enjoying his little jokes with the kids who insist on buying candies at their sari-sari store turned electronic repair shop, listening to his neighbors Aling Precious and Aling Baby best each other and sing to the different songs he hears on the radio. All this changes one day when his friend Bok-Bok visits his place and they both find out Rogelio has super powers.

Kapitan Sino was born, and from there, Rogelio started saving other people’s lives, disguised in a silver costume and helmet that his blind friend and childhood love Tessa made. Pretty soon, Kapitan Sino was everywhere — on the children that play along the streets pretending to be the hero and the villains, on snacks, gums, newspaper, radio, TV. Everyone was thankful for Kapitan Sino’s heroism, and Rogelio was just happy that he was able to help. This was up until his encounter with the town’s monster, which he defeats but then fails to save someone that mattered to him.

Kapitan Sino is a lot like his previous book MacArthur, but a bit more fun. The thing I did not like about MacArthur was how depressing it was, and I didn’t want to read it afterwards. Kapitan Sino is funny in the sense that it brings in a lot of late 80’s to 90’s Filipino culture, such as snacks like Rinbee, Bazooka Bubble Gum and TV shows like Pinoy Thriller or  Batibot — things that Generation X and Y will surely understand and remember. However, Kapitan Sino is kind of sad too, because it shows us just how our nation is, reflected in the small town of Pelaez: from the corrupt government officials to the people who spend time trying to best each other with their riches, spending more time gossiping than doing something productive and even blaming other people for things that are not their fault. It’s a startlingly accurate picture, and it’s kind of sad to realize the reality of what Bob Ong has written.

But do we really need superheroes to be able to fix our situation? Do we have to have super powers to be heroes? Or can we be heroes on our own?

I’ll leave that up to you to answer.

Maligayang Pasko

I’ve been meaning to post more the past week in preparation for Christmas, but work has been killing my time. And to think it’s almost time for the long weekend. Nope, all of our clients are rushing to get their websites ready for 2008, and we just have to comply because…that’s what we get paid for. I hardly have time to write anything at all.

But as much as work can be a lot tiring, one thing’s got me all energized and all that: Christmas! Even if I am not yet done with my Christmas shopping (I keep on forgetting to check this place out for a gift for the parents, and the items I ordered are still not here), even if traffic is horrible, and even if the it’s so cold outside that it’s not funny anymore, Christmas never fails to cheer me up. :) There’s just something about this season that makes me giddy inside — perhaps it’s because it’s His birthday? Yeah, most probably!

And if there’s anyone who knows how to celebrate Christmas, it’s us, Filipinos. I remember spending Christmas with my family in Guam. It was fun because I was with my family, but it was sad because nothing is going on. Imagine — my brother and I were lying down on our beds at 9:00pm Christmas Eve! Ack. I knew then that nothing beats a Filipino Christmas. :)

Aileen started this list of why she thinks Christmas is best spent in the country, and here’s my own list of why a Filipino Christmas is the best Christmas:

Instructions: Just share a warm, fuzzy Pinoy Christmas story or anecdote or photo or whatever it is you love about Christmas (as a Filipino). Link to this blog post so I can share your story in my compilation. Copy and paste the instructions (this paragraph) and then leave a comment so I can check out your post.

  1. Like Aileen, the first one in my list is Simbang Gabi. Althought we did have Simbang Gabi when I spent Christmas in Saipan, it’s filled mostly with Filipinos who live there, so it’s definitely a Filipino tradition. I’ve completed the novena about…four times, I think, and hopefully I complete this year’s. :) One of my favorite times of attending Simbang Gabi was during my junior and senior year in college, where DLSU hosts the first two masses inside the campus since it usually falls on the last days of finals. I remember waking up really early in the dorm, getting dressed (no need for shower yet because it was cold!) and then heading to the ampitheater for the mass. LSPO then serves breakfast for everyone — hot chocolate/coffee, pandesal, puto bumbong. Yum. :9
  2. Caroling. One of the things I wished I did when I was a kid was going Christmas caroling around the village. Since I was the youngest and a girl, plus all my friends are also girls, we couldn’t go far from our street. My brother, however, has lots of Christmas caroling adventures: being chased by dogs, setting some fireworks to some houses who do not give, and of course, earning cash. I remember we used to make the bottle cap (tansan) tambourines. This year, no one’s doing any Christmas caroling at our house; I have a feeling it’s because of Batman, the angry dog. :))
  3. Food! Nothing beats Pinoy Noche Buena. :D Although here at home, our Noche Buena is smaller than our Media Noche (did I spell this right?). Noche Buena at our house for the past five years or so usually consists of KFC Bucket Meal, pizza/pasta, Coke and ice cream. For the past year, though, I’ve insisted on having cake. Why? Well Christmas is His birthday, and it’s just right to have cake! :)
  4. Kris Kringle/Exchange Gifts. I’ve had my share of bad gifts received during exchange gifts, but I love this tradition. There’s the secrecy that is never really followed, plus the thrill of receiving gifts from your “mommy.” It would have been more fun if the people would really cooperate. I remember one time during high school, my “daddy” did not buy me a gift at all. My teacher demanded he give me something…so he gave me P150, since that was the worth of the gift. T__T But even so, I like doing this. I like buying presents for people be it something really hard to find or cheap, like wholesale flowers. :) That and the thrill of trying to get what your baby likes without him knowing you’re his mommy and knowing that he liked your gift after — just priceless.
  5. Christmas shopping. As much as I love receiving presents, buying presents is more than fun! I love getting stuff for the people I love and seeing their faces once they open the gift and it’s something they really like. :D
  6. The Christmas decorations. I love how Filipinos go overboard (in a nice way) with the Christmas decorations. Dark streets glow with life during Christmas because houses are all ablaze with lights. Glum corners become bright and lovely because of all the shiny decorations. I loved hanging out in DLSU’s ampitheater back in college during Christmas because it was just so pretty. :) There’s also the wacky decorations, like this dancing Santa that starts dancing whenever someone goes near it back in my old office, and most especially the Belen. :) There’s this really funky Belen at the office right now that I love seeing everytime I pass by that area. I’ll take a photo of that to show you guys how cute it is. :)
  7. Sending and receiving all the Christmas text messages. Haha, I remember reserving a specific folder for Christmas greetings in my phone and writing them all down after! Then there’s also the telltale network lag, where networks get congested because of all the text messages being sent. :D
  8. All those Christmas specials on TV. Couch potato alert. I love watching all those cheesy Christmas specials on TV every year, especially the Pinoy shows. They never fail to show the importance of family, of giving and most especially, the real Reason for the season. These shows give me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over. :)

Eeeh, writing this post has made me even more excited! :) Too bad my dad won’t be here for Christmas (but he will be for New Year!), but it’s okay. This Christmas is bound to be memorable — after all, 2007 has grown to be quite a memorable year!

How about you? What’s the best thing you like about Christmas in the country? Or if you’re not Filipino, what’s your favorite thing about Christmas, wherever you are?

Craziness NOT Over

Warning: This entry is very ranty, maybe a bit selfish. Please excuse me, a corporate slave has been interrupted from her work. Let me let out some steam, please.

And I thought today would be a peaceful day, you know, since there’s only the real work I have to deal with, no extra-curricular activities. Plus, it’s the weekend, so I look forward to shopping tomorrow with Happy for something to wear for Saturday’s company Christmas party…and then relax on Sunday while capturing this video for work. You know, a nice, normal, quiet weekend — something to recover from the stress of the week.

But other people have other plans ((Read: The Makati Standoff)). And everyone’s affected ((Read: Manila curfew)).

If you happen to be in the country and you don’t know what’s going on, you are probably not watching the news…so here’s a short version: two grown men — a senator and a general — decided to throw a tantrum because the people won’t hear their side and lock themselves up in a hotel. Oh and they brought friends too! Hey, maybe they listen to us now!

Six hours later…“FINE! I’ll go out now and surrender…but only because I don’t want people to get hurt!” *Ignores all the guests staying in the hotel who had to go out because of what he did, the workers in Makati who got hassled, and all the people who got hassled because of the curfew imposed as a result of this whole shenanigan.* Oh, at least no one got hurt, right? They’re hassled, yes, but they’re not hurt! It’s okay! The Manila Peninsula has a tank smashed up the front entrance that destroyed the hotel entrance and probably their nice ceiling lighting? Cool! But no one’s hurt, right? The place is just badly damaged, but don’t worry, you can fix that! Oh, media people? Sorry we had to use you as human shields, and sorry, we’ll use you as well so some of us can try to go out. You might get arrested, but don’t worry, it’s okay! You’ll get out! Your networks will let you out! Everyone ready? Okai, we go nao! Ktnxbai!

Hay. Sorry for the sarcasm, I’m just annoyed. I’m probably going to take a lot of heat with what I’m about to say, but I’m annoyed because this is my last night of late shift, and I had a lot of stuff to finish tonight, which I couldn’t because I had to go home and I can’t work on it at home because I don’t have a work-issued laptop. Ah, I’ve become such a corporate slave that all I think about is work, work, work.

I guess at some point in the past few years since EDSA Dos, I have become a bit apathetic over these things. It had a point back then, but people keep on overusing the rally power that we had, that it’s become tiring. Remember those rallies in Makati two years ago, the one where entire Ayala was closed to traffic because people decided to rally? Where they left Makati very dirty afterwards, hassling all the workers because all underpasses and overpasses are closed and no bus passes in Ayala so everyone has to walk all the way to Glorietta to ride the MRT? It’s just too much. And now this! It’s tiring, really.

I’m not pro-administration or pro-opposition, but this is just crazy. And selfish. The way they tried to call attention and get the other side to do their bidding and point fingers to blame other people for the misfortune of our country is plain selfish, when in reality everyone is at fault. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you threw away your trash on the street and not look for a garbage can? When was the last time you one-upped your friend because you wanted to get more for yourself? When was the last time I ignored someone who needed my help? When was the last time I thought of someone other than myself? And see how selfish I was a few paragraphs back, when I was talking about how this entire thing disturbed me from work and I hardly even throught of everyone in Makati who is affected and might have been hurt in this entire ordeal?

I’m still proud to be a Filipino, and I still hope for the best in this country. I just hope that the people in position will decide to side with the Filipino people — who they are supposed to be serving, anyway — for once, and not stage things like these that really shows how much they only think of themselves.

Alright, enough ranting. The disgruntled (hee, favorite word at work right now) corporate slave will just sleep and pray everything is normal — as much as it can be — tomorrow.

Keep safe, everyone.

Proud to be Pinoy

I was never tagged to do this survey (and I was waiting for a tag, hmph!), but since the holiday’s fitting, I’ll have it up now, regardless of the nontag. Today is the 109th year of Philippine Independence, and yes, that is disregarding the fact that the Americans and the Japanese took over our country afterwards. This is a day that we all celebrate, for we are finally free of the 300+ years of Spanish rule.

And because of this holiday, I’ll be stealing the survey that some people has done for the past weeks, 3 reasons why I’m proud to be Pinoy. I don’t know if I can stick to three reasons only, because being a Filipino is something I am really proud of. :)

  1. Strong family values. I love how Filipinos have strong family values, about how one entire clan can live inside a single compound. It’s not only in the own family, but also in the way other people are treated — everyone of my parent’s friends are my Tito/Tita (Uncle/Aunt), and deep friendships are often compared to brotherhood/sisterhood. Filipino family values run deep, which is a really amazing trait that we have.
  2. Our ability to find laughter in any situation, even at ourselves. It’s not about making fun of people or the situation, but finding the brighter side of each circumstance. I love how even in the most dire situation, Filipinos can still crack a joke to lighten everyone’s moods. :)
  3. The Food. I know I’m an Italian food lover, but seriously, nothing beats Filipino food! Filipino meals are a different combination — the appetizer (soup) and main course are put together in one viand, and one can have as many servings as is permitted to him! The colors, the tastes — one cannot visit a Pinoy home without being full. And then dessert comes. :P Yum!
  4. Our color. I used to dislike my brown skin color, but I realized that this color is something that I should be proud of. For one thing, I am not that susceptible to skin cancer, plus when I go swimming or get exposed to the sun, my color goes darker, but then gradually lightens up. No redness, no peeling skin.
  5. The flexibility of the language. My friends and I were talking about this before, about how alive Filipino language is. It’s already amazing how many dialects there are in the country, and the other thing is that how the language can adapt to other languages. Like how most of our words are influenced by Spanish words — we got their words and made them our own. Or how we can mix Tagalog and English now without sounding really bad (I’m not talking about those who make tusok-tusok the fishball, that’s different :P). Another thing is how our language is not sexist, by having a gender-neutral pronoun to talk about something (i.e. kapatid = brother/sister, asawa = husband/wife).
  6. Flexibility of the people. Put a Filipino in any country and pretty soon, he’ll fit right in. I find it funny how some people I thought were locals or Fil-Ams in Saipan and Guam turn out to be Filipinos who can still speak the language. :) Filipinos are hardworking people who can do everything for the family, which is probably why a lot of people sacrifice for their families in other countries just to help. Mabuhay kayo!
  7. Beautiful, beautiful country. Despite all the traffic, pollution and whatnot, the Philippines is still a beautiful and colorful country.
  8. Bayanihan. It is only in the Philippines that we have this, bayanihan. The picture of people carrying a house to move it to another place is priceless — only Filipinos do this. :)
  9. GK houses in DingalanGawad Kalinga. And since we’re talking about Bayanihan, I could not fail to mention Gawad Kalinga. GK is started by a Filipino to rid of poverty in the country and also in the world, as GK is already present in Papua New Guinea. Being in a GK community is a really different experience. Even if the houses aren’t as grand as the ones in San Diego Real Estate, GK houses are still beautiful (and no doubt, colorful!) in their own way. :) GK is also not about building houses but also building homes. GK works, and I’m not saying that because I’m a volunteer, but because it is true. :) Don’t believe me? I’ll bring you to a GK site one time. ((Which reminds me, I told Pierre I’d plan a Blogger GK visit. Will get to that soon :P))

Well, I went three times the suggestion, but that’s because there is just so many things to be proud of in being a Pinoy. :) That’s why no matter how old and overplayed that Pinoy Big Brother song is, I still feel a kick of Filipino pride every time I hear it. :)

MABUHAY ANG PINOY! Happy Independence Day! :)

Filipinos are Special

It’s not a hidden fact to everyone that I am a Pinoy Big Brother viewer. I don’t think I’m a fan yet since I haven’t subscribed to 24/7 or went to any eviction nights, so let’s just stick to viewer. :P

Anyway, in the light of the recent event that a member of Slovenian Big Brother visiting the Pinoy Big Brother household for the Big Brother Swap, here’s a little tribute to Filipinos that someone posted in the PBB Forum ((No, I am not registered; I just subscribed to feeds. :P)) about how Filipinos are special.

This entry also goes out to Mae, maybe as an affirmation of sorts for what she just posted. :) [Warning, long read! But really, worth it.]

Continue reading Filipinos are Special