Friday, October 31, 2003

Death Anniversary

Dear Mouse, It is the death anniversary of my mother. I thought it was Oct. 30 so Thursday night I lighted a candle and made the food offering before I logged in to the internet. A paper in a protective sheet kept on falling from the top of the scanner. I merely put it back without bothering to read what it is. Must be a stray personal file? While typing, I noticed that the time in the monitor and the time in my alarm clock was not the same. TIme to consult my wrist watch..but it was gone from my is supposed to be in wrist since I have not gone to the bathroom for my personal ritual yet. Panic, panic, panic...Where must have I put it. Did I chance to leave it in my office desk? I have the habit of removing the GUESS ) watch because it is so big and dangling that it frequently knocked down my paper cup. But I was not wearing that watch today. I was wearing my favorite, a lightweight charmer with a gold/black/flat bracelet. Did I absentmindedly take it off and put it somewhere? So, I retraced my whatabouts from the moment, I got in to the time I sat in my desk. Not in the jewelry box( I mean jewelry bin) the catchall for whatever I wore during the weekdays before I put them away in their respective boxes. I said good night to my mom with a prayer that I hope she sent me a sign that she visited me on her anniversary. You know, the scent of perfume, the falling of a thing without a reason or even a flickering if a light. It may sound surreal but yes she did it all the time. Was thinking, did she get my watch? Naaah. So off I slept and woke up this morning with the thought that she may have crossed over so she can no longer manifest her presence. As a habit, I sat in my desk to log in and check my mails. Then the paper fell again. I took a look at the paper. That was a copy of the obituary of my mom. Then I saw the date...OCTOBER 31 NOT OCTOBER 30. I got the feeling of knocking my head to the wall. Why did I forget... So I " talked to her", better early than late". Come to think of it, that must be the reason why there was no "apparition". She did not have a pass yet to visit us...I just thought that she must have lingered longer in my siblings' place where there are grandkids to behold. Oh those thoughts. I was about to leave when I chanced to notice a brochure protruding from among my old mails. It was the program for my mom's memorial. Arggggh, she was haunting me... I promised when I get home, I will correct the I gathered my stuff, my jacket and my bag. Ow, I noticed the wooden jewelry box on top of the entertainment center where I put my bric-a brac, coins, pins etc. was ajar. Look what I found, my watch. hehehe Either I am suffering from short mental lapses or my mom was trying to play tricks on me. I have not gone close to that area the night of Oct. 30. Believe it or nut. If you read this blog on later date, it was not because of blogger.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Dear CAT

Dear Mouse, Stress makes a person emotional wreck. The best way to avoid being such is to digress from anything stressful that preoccupies the mind . A respected writer and TV personality once said that she wrote about how to boil an egg just so she would not miss an article for her daily column in the newspapers to deviate from her daily routine of criticizing the people in power. so today, I am printing an e-mail to me by a friend Judy (Jujulep). Dear CAT, How to clean the toilet: >> >> 1. Add the required amount of shampoo to the toilet water, and put >> both lids up. >> >> 2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the >> bathroom. >> >> 3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both >> lids. You may need to stand on the lid. The cat will self agitate >> and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from >> the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this. >> >> 4. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a >"power-wash" >> and "rinse." >> >>5. Have someone open the door to the outside. Be sure that there >> are no people between the toilet and the outside door. >> >> 6. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both >> lids. >> >> 7. The now clean cat will rocket out of the toilet, and run outside >> where he will dry himself off. The toilet will be sparkling clean! >> >> Sincerely, The Dog The CAT

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Another pause-Imeldific ?

Dear Mouse, It had been years when we were shocked by the extravagance of the lifestyle of Imelda. The heir to the throne of the First Lady was the Third ? Lady of the ex-President Joseph Estrada. Her unfinished manse was rumored to boast artificial waves in the Olympic size pool, huge home theatre, beauty parlor that may not equal the parlors in the harem of the Royalties of the Middle East, nonetheless a first in a house of a lady favored in the eyes of the President of an impoverished country. But the shock of reading about people who have the guts to spend money as if there is no tomorrow at the expense of some hard working people trying to make their sunset years secured enough until they breathe their last does not stop. No Mousey, I am not referring to the graft accused to Davide. I am referring to this Prosecutors maintained the party, more than half of which was paid for with company money, was a ''stark example'' of how Kozlowski and former chief financial officer Mark Swartz looted hundreds of millions from Tyco for their personal benefit. ''It's going to be a fun week,'' the tape shows Kozlowski telling about 75 guests arriving to celebrate Karen Mayo's 40th birthday on the Italian island of Sardinia on June 11, 2001. ''Eating, drinking, whatever. All the things we're best known for.'' The tape shows five young women in scanty, diaphanous frocks cavorting around a swimming pool, half-naked male models posing in snapshots with female guests and a performance from a pop star. The jurors saw 21 minutes of what had been a four-hour videotape. State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus, who is presiding at Kozlowski and Swartz's larceny trial, ordered some segments removed, saying they could prejudice the jury against the defendants and were irrelevant to whether they had committed any crimes. The portions removed include shots of an anatomically correct ice sculpture of Michelangelo's ''David'' urinating vodka, two men dressed as ancient Romans carrying Kozlowski's wife over their heads, and a scene in which a man drops his pants for the camera. This is the reason mousey, why many retireable people are looking at a bleak future. These greedy crocs in business suits cooked the book baked the cake and ate them too. The investing public through their investment agents/companies were left with nothing but morsel. The CAT

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

A Pause, A break whateveryoumaycalllit

Dear Mouse, The country is running fever... impeachment fever caused by the virus "initiate". It seems the word initiate has acquired a different meaning in the Constitutional context. Excuse me mouse if I delve into this topic. I have no legaL EXPERTISE but let lme just blurt out to put on record that I did my part of condemning the arrogant act of the initiators of the initiated impeachment. Neal Cruz had a thorough discussion of the word initiate. Let me just copy the excerpt of his article before I give my ho: The result of the impeachment will hinge on the interpretation of one word: "initiate." What does it mean? Section 3 (5), Article XI of the 1987 Constitution states: "No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year." Last June, former president Joseph Estrada filed an impeachment complaint against Davide and seven other justices in connection with the Supreme Court's decision recognizing then-vice president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the legitimate president of the Philippines. The House committee on justice found the complaint sufficient in form but not in substance and voted on Oct. 22, 2003, to dismiss it. The new impeachment complaint against Davide was immediately filed, and it garnered more than the 76 votes (one-third of the House membership) necessary to impeach. This is unconstitutional, said some lawyers, because it is the second impeachment complaint filed against Davide within one year. No, said the congressmen. The Constitution says "initiated," not "filed." And only one impeachment complaint, the second one, has been "initiated." The first one was "filed" but not "initiated," the lawmakers said. Mere "filing" of a complaint does not "initiate" an impeachment complaint, they explained. Webster's New World Dictionary defines "initiate" as "to bring into practice or use; introduce by first doing or using; help to begin doing something..." The pertinent definition of the same dictionary for "file" is "to register" (an application, etc.); "to put (a legal document) on public record; to initiate (a divorce suit or other legal action)..." So was the first impeachment complaint "initiated" or not? If it was, then the second one is unconstitutional. It was not "initiated", said the congressmen. It was "filed" but not "initiated." Under House rules (and the Constitution authorized the House to make the impeachment rules), an impeachment complaint is not "initiated" until it is voted upon by the whole House and sent to the Senate. The first complaint was not voted upon by the whole House, only by the committee on justice. So only the second complaint, which was voted upon and got more than the required one-third vote of the House, has been "initiated," they said. But House rules cannot supersede the Constitution, said Davide in a television interview. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention that wrote the 1986 Constitution and the records will show that the framers meant "filing" and "initiation" as the same thing, he said. What do you think? This one word "initiate," believe it or not, can spell trouble for the whole nation. Methinks that the hoodlums in barong does not calll the impeachment INITIATED by a person, a group of persons other than the members of Congress. They are confusing the issue of the initiator and initiatiion. What does initiate mean anyway ? Webster gives the Pronunciation: i-'ni-shE-"At Sa akin, this initiation is nakaka ii nishe. The CAT

Pirates and ghosts and hoodlums in barong

Dear Mouse, New Orleans square is the place of pirates, ghosts and strudels..(bakit nakasama yon?) The pirates of the Carribean is the most popular attraction in this square. It is an underground spectacle of the the pirates' adventures; looting frontiers; pilfering the town's treasures and hoarding them in caves, watched over by skeletons of men who died waiting for others to come back with more loot. The experience starts with a ride in a boat. My " tourist" is so excited that she forgot my advice. Never take the first rowseat in the boat. So great, we were at the front and the boat moved slowly, gliding quietly in the still water. We reached the place where there was a talking skeleton warning us of the danger that lurked beyond and suddenly, the boat, slid, streaming down about six feet. We got wet...The passengers screamed. My " tourist " said ayoko na. What ??? we are in the middle of the vast water...for all we know it may be a little feet deep only but the dark mist enveloping the surrounding made the place eerier. The boat slipped again. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...Then a shadow of a ship loomed from the heavy fog. Surprisingly, the water is calm except for ripples made by the balls of fire illuminating the other wise dark water. Burnt-powder filled the air while gunshots, booms of cannon and shouts were heard both from the guests and from the pirates. It was just like a nightmare, being there and witnessing it all, auction of captives, decapitating a person inside a well, people behind bars, all the ugliness in the world of barbarous people that ruled the seas once upon a time. There are still pirates in this era of wifi and laptops. They use modern gadgets and use high powered weapons. What has not changed is their motivation-GREED. The scenes depicted are revolting and yet people visit the famous Pirates of he Carribean. Its artistry and crafts are just awesome. This brought me back to my favorite Christmas display when I was a kid where lifesize mannequins told stories. Excuse me if I do not remember the department store at the moment.It is something like Manila COD. Every Christmas, we go to Cubao to see the display. The less than 30 minute animation made possible by the Filipino ingenuity entertained kids and parents alike. They were prominently displayed on top of the store's roof. We remained looking up while waiting for the characters to come alive but it was worth the wait when the place was illuminated with spotlights of varied colors, music was played at highest level of volume and the stories came into shape when the arms and the eyes of the once stone-cold mannequins started moving. The theme varied...It could be a barrio fiesta, a nativity scene or a parade. Going back to Disneyland...after the "romance with the pirates", my 'tourist" did not want to have any encounters with ghosts in the Haunted Mansion. So we explored the frontiers, by riding Mark Twain riverboat. and look who we saw. The Filipino tourists from Universal. It seemed they took my advise. They were a lot friendlier but the old woman appeared to be exhausted. Itutuloy The CAT

Monday, October 27, 2003

Another Pause

Dear Mouse, Let me take this pause to offer prayers for those in the Southern California that is being ravaged by the firestorm. Let me take this pause to pray for and commend the brave firefighters. Let me take this pause to offer prayers for those who died. To my friend in that area, we are praying for you. The CAT

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Isa Munang Palatastas (break from the commercial)

Dear Mouse, Let me take a break from my journey blog. While other bloggers took a break from their political commentary due to health reasons, (some took a reading of exceptionally high blood pressure) let me take this break to take up politics calmly.... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH There I feel better. I feel better. One more time AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I feel better. But I think, I am not. I am going nuts. Who do they think they are? I am referring to the congressmen who initiated the impeachment of Chief Justice Davide. I hate the dirty game of politics. It is like a slimy, sticky material that clings to one's skin that no amount of bath or cleansing will rub off the grime and the bad odor.I must admit however that I have a masochist tendency. I like reading the columnists even their writings cause my blood to bubble in rage....My anger is not directed to them but to the subject and object of their writings. Their thinking is straight as against my circuitous thoughts that I will make use of their articles to discuss about this obviously a vendetta-motivated impeachment move. Quiroscalled these congressmen, hoodloom in barong tagalog. But I felt that way when a bunch of hoodlums in barong tagalog in a den of thieves called the House of Representatives impeached Hilario Davide last week. Most of our crippling ills have so far dealt only with the body, this one deals with the soul. This one deals a mortal blow to everything we hold sacred. The day a Danding Cojuangco and a Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are able to bring down a Hilario Davide for corruption is the day we lose all our moral moorings. It is the day we pass through the gate that says, "Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here." Welcome to hell. There and then, you see the irrefutable refutation of the wisdom of the parliamentary system, which Jose de Venecia has been trying to push for his own ends. A parliamentary system will repose all power in the bunch of hoodlums in barong tagalog in a den of thieves called the House of Representatives. Look at the way those creatures acted when Mark Jimenez was deemed extraditable by the courts. They formed a ring around him and said the only way the marshals would get him was over their dead bodies. That was their first instinct, to protect a fellow hoodlum and protect him at all costs. It is our monumental misfortune we did not take them at their word, and got Jimenez over their dead bodies. There was a preponderance of evidence in Jimenez's case, there is little in Davide's case. To call what the congressmen under Cojuangco's thumb did a rush to judgment is to call what Cojuangco did to the coconut farmers pulling a fast one. It obliterates the unmitigated viciousness of it -- yes, viciousness -- with the burning acid of false benignity. Yet the NPC congressmen talk of law and principle and justice! They would not recognize those concepts if they rushed at them like an oncoming train. Thank God, Joker Arroyo has recovered his senses amid this mugging of moral scruples in broad daylight and stopped being the joker he has become over the last couple of years. About time! My God, man, you fought Marcos, you fought Joseph Estrada, only to grovel at the feet of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? You fought tyranny, you fought injustice, only to slobber over pettiness? Atty. Jose Sison, a columnist of Philippine Star called them inexperienced..ill informed... According to Atty. Sison, The Congressmen who signed that second impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. have just demostrated to us in the most shocking manner how the arrogance of power works to the detriment of our Republican Institutions; how dangerous it is for power to be entrusted in the hands of inexperienced, ill-informed or politically motivated officials. Ordinary men on the streets readily sense that this action of our Congressmen is nothing but an encroachment into the affairs of a co-equal branch of the government.Using the exclusive power of the House of Representatives to initiate all cases of impeachment,these haughty Congressmen now ask the Senate to try the Chief Justice and inquire into his management of people and resources in the Judiciary, a separate and independent branch of government he heads. Our overbearing Congressmen would like to inquire on the use and disposition of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) which strictlly speaking already pertains to the Judiciary by virtue of PD 1949. These are funds generated from the numerous suits filed in Court and directly earned by the Courts themselves as docket and other legal fees to give some fiscal autonomy to our Judiciary. Rina David was so desperate that if the Philippines was just a business, she could have asked for its shut down and liquidation. From her article, one can easily discern her disgust... With the House of Representatives impeaching Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide, we now see the last remaining credible and respected institution in this country damaged and smarting from a malicious and patently political attack. Were our congresspersons so envious of the high repute that the Supreme Court enjoys that they determined to tear it down to their tawdry level? An economist, Monsod, discussed the cause of the impeachment to be just a fault finding on the part of the nephew of Cojuangco, Determined to pursue their fault-finding, Teodoro et al. also take exception to the fact that the Supreme Court used JDF funds to refurbish the Supreme Court, to build two cottages and refurbish the other cottages in Baguio for the justices, buy motor vehicles, a printing press, etc. Because, they argue, these either cannot be categorized as office equipment and facilities, or even if they are, they exceed the collections of the courts that have used them. Davide's letter to De Venecia (why the latter did not put a stop to the shenanigans of Teodoro et al. is beyond me) demolishes these arguments on the (very proper) definitions of terms in the Administrative Code, the national scope of the Supreme Court, the fiscal autonomy given to the Supreme Court, and the authority of the Chief Justice to "augment" items in its budget (similar to the authority of the President, Senate President, Speaker and heads of constitutional commissions). Where is the graft and corruption? Where is the unlawful act? Where is the improper behavior? It certainly does not appear to be in the Chief Justice. And if Teodoro et al. think they can get away with it, they have another think coming. What has CAT to say about the impeachment. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH What has CAT to say about the candidacy of Fernando Poe ? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (sound of the falling body) The CAT got its tongue. The CAT

Disneyland, the Land of Fantasy

Dear Mouse, A journal is a documentation of where we were at a specific time and a specific date. As I am writing this travel journal of mine about this magical vacation destination and the most popular tourist spots in the USA, I came across a picture of the only-with-dimple-in-a chin star of Spartacus Kirk Douglas taken in Disneyland. It must be several decades ago since Michael Douglas my favorite actor of Disclosure, Fatal Atrraction,Romancing of the Stone, Perfect Murder, to name a few was just a toddler. Several years from now, a descendant of mine may also fall to the habit of journaling, and she may find that cartoon characters and movie icons may have passed away but not Mickey, Donald, Pluto and the classic characters of the stories that end with and they lived happily ever after... It took me three visits in Disneyland to have this compulsion of writing down the memories that they claim to last a lifetime instead of just capturing them in video or still pictures. For how can one catch 1. the bliss of feeling young again...shrieking on delight during picture taking with Disney characters; 2. pensive mood of people who wish that their loved ones are there to share the excitement; 3. mood changes as the person go through the whole gamut of emotions from hysteria to anxiety discovering the magical world that come alive with sights and sounds, with colors and lights ; 4. or just feeling good to realize a childhood dream. once Upon a Time... There are two theme parks in the Disneyland Resort; the Disneyland and the California Adventure. In my last visit, there was only one. Since we got one day ticket only, we decided to spend it in the Disneyland park where the magic of storytelling begins. First things first, the Town Square, the Civic centre of the Disneyland community where one finds the City Hall. A place where lost parents, I mean lost children are brought for parents-who are-so enchanted-themselves-that-they forgot-they-have-kids-with-them-and-do-not-know-where-they-lost-them-hoping-they-did-not-fall-in-the-water-by-the-castle-of-Sleeping Beautiy. The sign said that it is completely functional as in "can they also perform marriage ceremonies? " or do these signs apply only to Post Office or to the Fire Department ? And of course there is the railroad station. It was still early that the train that brings the visitors around the park to get the glimpse of the eight theme lands was still empty. My " tourist" and I scaled the stairs that led us to the waiting station. The train operator and the diminutive conductor welcomed us, as we climbed the first car and seated ourselves in the bench that gives us ample view of the gates to the diverse entertainment attractions in the park. As I was seated in the bench, I decided to indulge in my favorite past time as well...people-watching...Hey you people, here I come....thought baloon...(hehehehe). Seated conveniently in the first row were two German ladies. How did I know that they were Germans. Well the language, was germane to me. hihihihi.One thing that I learned in my travels, Latinos always do their thing as one big family. So thus this family of seven that occupied one whole row; the grandmother who seemed to be chattering all the time; the mother who always carry a baby aside from the small children in tow that must have one to one and a half year age gaps and the father who is proud of his machismo dotes on his family like a rooster would to the chicken and its small chicks...what with all those kids as a proof of his virility. Ahhaaaaa, to my left were a mother and a daughter . Filipina sila sa ilong, sa kulay at sa suot. The daughter was wearing a HERBENCH shirt just like my "tourist". A popular local signature shirt like the US Guess and GAP. I waited for them to greet me first. None. Then I remembered, nobody thinks that I am a Filipina except when I blurt in Tagalog. Thanks to my father's DNA, I got olive skin ( kaligatan sa Tagalog o kaya nognog para sa mga salitang kalye) an aquiline nose courtesy of clothespin that my nanny clipped my nose to give me something to direct my attention while she read her favorite comics...and my deep set eyes...due to too much internet... Either they mistake me as Italian (read: Itali-yan) or a Peruvian or an Indian The Indian title is given to me together with a feather when I miss an appointment).. So, I said HI...Filipino kayo ? They did not respond. They merely looked at me. If I were not thick -skinned (makapal) I would have melted just like the way a butter melts on top of the hot pancakes in IHOP. I felt hot in my ears, stinging hot. It is a feeling when someone was food poisoned I liken myself to a cartoon character who got smokes streaming out of his ears and nose due to ire. But I am a CAT. I merely shrug off mga supladita after showing my fangs. Mewooorrr...huwag kayong magkamaling Magtagalog, tatapilukin ko kayo. Besides ang mga may pinag-aralang Pilipino, would greet any people with a language they are comfortable with. After the snobbery, I focused myself to our next stop, the New Orleans Square. Itutuloy... The CAT

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Goodbye Mummy, Hello People

Dear Mouse, After scaring ourselves in the " The Mummy Returns, Chamber of Doom" movie set, we waited for my friend to pick us up at the CityWalk, people-watching. My "tourist" was so scared in the last attraction that she needed a chill before my friend pick us up for home. We entered the "dark chamber" with her leading me because, I am nightblind. When scary stuffs started appearing along the sides of the narrow corridors, my "tourist" suddenly headed to the nearest exit. We found that it was locked so I have to urge her to go back inside with me on the lead..and she trailing behind with closed eyes. It was just like a blind leading another blind as I held her hands while negotiating the macabre chamber of horrors. The Japanese couple stopped every time I bumped to them. Sorry, it was dark. I could not see a thing. So on we walked ignoring the eerie sounds...moans, groans and screams.. Excuse me sir, you are on my way. The man did not budge. Stubborn guy. My "tourist" screamed. Let me out of here...and she run to the final exit. The "guy" turned out to be one of the eerie characters in the TOMB. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh Hehehehe...I reached for my prescription glass from my pocket. What a way to put on a brave show that I was undaunted by the scary optical illusions that were meant to entertain ? haah. Citywalk is an entrance -free mall where stores, movies and eateries abound. We chose to pass the time in the two level building just across the Hard Rock Cafe. From the place, we can see who were coming and going out of Universal Studios. My "tourist" decided to see the stores. We had one hour to waste away. I indulged in my favorite past time-people-watching. With my distance viewer, I could see people several feet away. Infront the Hard Rock Cafe, facing the plaza was a man who undoubtely was waiting for someone. You know this sign of boredom...glancing at his watch every few minutes, looking around and knitting his eyebrows. Must be a first date? Naah...The guy was not impressively dressed...the shoes were...not polished...the hair was not gelled. He was about fifty, an alien...not a Caucasian...Must be waiting for the wife. The face showed it. Nearby, a family of five were leisurely hanging out in the small fountain. The father was comfortably lying on the concrete bench...while the mother was seated watching the small kids running around. They practically occupy that small area. The 10 year old kid, (must be the oldest) grabbed the neckline of the two year old and carried him like a mother cat would carry its litter back to the sandbox. The mother scolded him in Spanish....Santa Maria... A heavily made-up couple wearing identical black robes, traversed the dancing water in the Citywalk with their elevator shoes clucking against the concrete pavement. The Halloween spirit came to them earlier. In a nearby table, a young Chinese couple were all over each other... must be students with conservative parents ...who journeyed away from home to be with each other for the holidays....Let me see what was their excuse for the trip...Some young people would be less mawkishly amourous if they have liberal parents. Scary...I feel like I am SHRINKing. Time to go. See you in Disneyland. The CAT

Friday, October 24, 2003

Mickey Mouse, The Mummy, Shrek and Lucy Part 4

Dear Mickey, I mean mouse, My tourist did not want the Jurassic Park rides, the Back to the Future and the Spider Man musical. I did not like the Terminator 3D either. It reminded me of the hottest issue in California, the recall of Davis and the election of Arnold Terminator "whatever the last name is." We both enjoyed the Water world where there are a lot of splashing of water to the audience, intended or unintended. It was really hot that day and many people must have taken refuge in that relic of the movie that spelled the doom of the career of Kevin Costner. The jet skiers were fantastic and the wooden plane crashed right infront of us sending us tons of water that we needed to cool our faces...but wait, where was the pilot ? The Nicklelodeon Splash was all water too. The children enjoyed getting wet with squirts and a big splash from SpongeBOB Square pants. I am not a fan of the Rugrats though I have a lifesize newborn babe doll of one of its characters. I find it hideous. Pictures, pictures... we did not have the chance to take pics with Marilyn Monroe and Eddie Murphy look-alikes. So was the Bride of Dracula. She was too pretty to be scary. Our last stop was Lucy: A Tribute. I enjoy watching the reruns immensely that I did not mind negotiating those escalators again. I am an acrophobe. The place was full of memorabilia of the great comedienne. The TV was showing I Love Lucy non-stop. A septuagenarian was seated in a lone chair infront of the tube. My 'tourist" took note of the awards of Lucille Ball as an actress. She was not only a comedian. She was an award winning actress. There were pictures of the two offsprings. Days before, I saw the daughter in one of the rerun episodes of another old detective series. I wished our local film making industry had made efforts to salvage old movies too so that the young generations could have appreciated the stars of yesteryears. Scary, I sound like a movie fan... By three o clock, I told my "tourist" to go wherever she wished....souvenir stores...some places, that she wanted to explore on her own. Guilty me, I just wanted to sit down and rest my tired feet. I sat on the bench that I have been eyeing the first time, we came to that corner. I thought of my paperback...Grisham... There, I was sure that I will not fall asleep while reading. Then the Filipino tourists came by and said hi. They were now friendlier. The girl was exhausted. So I asked..have you been to Disneyland ? In my mind was the picture of the girl who tireleslly talked about her visit in this theme park...I smiled of the thought, they smiled too as a response to my smile caused by the thought. The guy said that it is out of their budget. May be when they come back. I told him that it is only a few dollars more. The next time may be more dollars in thousands. After they waved adieu, I immersed myself in the world of law and order novel while my tourist was doing her part in restoring the economy of budget deficit- laden California , buying souvenirs. The CAT

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Mickey Mouse, The Mummy and Shrek

Dear Mouse, Unlike me during my first visit in the Studios with a friend not too long time ago, my "tourist " did some planning to make the hours well spent i.e. less unnecessary prowling to look for the available attractions. I was impressed. If she was excited to see her dream come true by visiting must see tourist spots, you can hardly see it in her demeanour. She was well in control of herself. My "tourist" pulled out the flyer and map that came with the tickets. We mapped out the entertainment attractions that we are going to see as we partook the malnourished hot dogs inside an equally thin buns that costed me a little close to $ 20. Rip off..highway robbery...but wait, isn't it the reason why they do not allow food inside. There is no mayo. Bad for the health. Food outlets no longer have these cholesterol laden condiments as people start suing fastfood chains for causing obesity in the USA. As long as we have the pickle relish...who cares... Shrek 4d Next stop is Shrek, the loveable ogre. Eddie Murphy, the voice of the Donkey is a favorite comedian of mine..aside from the fact that the movie is 4 D. I cannot remember when was the last time I watched 3 D movie and mow it is 4.. I hardly remember the last time I went inside a movie theatre. It was not really a sequel. It is a short version telling the story what happened to the characters after the Princess became an ogre herself due to magic of love. Let me pause...ngiiiiihhhh It also tells of the revenge of the pint-sized minime-relative fiancee/king of Princess Fiona. Aside from the 4D, the audience can feel the action inside the movie. The wind from the fart...arggghhhh, the droplets of water from the sneeze...My "tourist said ewwwww yuck... Special effects This is one of my favorite attractions where there is an audience participation.It showed us the neat tricks such as the scene in the movie "The Nutty Professor where all the characters played by Eddie Murphy were put together in that dining table. The volunteer was transported to the same scene giving an illusion that she is a part of the movie. My "tourist" said Ahaa. The finale was the the making of the sound effects. A group of volunteers went up the stage. The youngest was made to hold two devices to make footsteps sounds. The next oldest was to make sound of flying helicopter by alternately tapping the microphone with two hands . A nine year old was given the task of making the thunder and the lightning effects by clapping galvanized iron stretched out in a board-shaped contraption and tilting a wooden cylinder filled rolling rocks...maybe.. The lone girl in the group was assigned the rain and the wind effects. The oldest volunteer was to be the Hulk. They were cued by the light attached to their sound effects- making gadgets. All went well except for the oldest volunteer. We did not hear his growl...My "tourist" said Awww Animal Planet Live The long queue led us to an open stadium. Th animals were doing their antics. The small monkey was holding the microphone "announcing" that the show was going to start any minute now. Animals kept on appearing from one side, walking on the stage and disappearing in heavy curtained door. A parrot demonstrated how it can rob a volunteer of his dollar bill . When the emcee asked for 20 dollar bill from any audience for the bird's loot, no hand was raised. I remembered a movie Paulie. The talking bird that searched for its beautiful young friend. In the span of more than 15 years of search, it befriended many individuals; among whom was the guy who taught it how to rob ATM and to steal jewelries. Back to the stadium, the orang-utan came running after the dog that stole her braissere...the volunteer girl opened her eyes finding a big Anaaconda on her lap. While the audience shrieked, my "tourist " included ...owww and also moi....the little girl merely smiled and pat the long, huge constrictor. She is not aware that it can swallow a big water buffalo and masticate it for months without having to use one single tooth. It was safe however with two attendants holding both ends of the AHAS. I am wondering of the human "ahas". It may be nice to hold them at both ends and cutting their long tongues. Itutuloy... The CAT

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Mickey Mouse and the Mummy Part 2

Dear Mouse, Bear with me, mousey, if for the next few days, the blog will be a travel log. So we were inside the Universal. It was not yet 10 am, the official opening of the entertainment park. Three grouchy staff stopped the crowd from going past the "The Mummy ". The fat guy started to sing and the show has not even started yet. He was talking thru a megaphone but the sound coming out was all garbled that I could not understand a single word. I could not blame the non-English speaking tourists if they insisted on crossing the imaginary line despite the instruction. They retreated when the unsmiling lady staff motioned to them to back out. Mental note: a body language is more effective than a beatifully accented direction. The crowd became restless; almost ignoring the introduction of the guy-in-charge for the day. If I can read their Studio Tour first. A few minutes after the crowd were allowed entry, the line for the trams was already several loops long. We took the second tram. It has been my experience that the riders in the first car or tram get the shock from the surprises along the "road". I warned my "tourist" to stay away from the side of the vehicle, if she does not want to get wet. The monitors located at both front sides of the tram came alive with the face of a lady who introduced herself as the guide. The road is lined with the billboards of movies produced since the inception of film making of the studio. The avenues were named after movie stars, directors, dead or alive, who became legends during their era. One such movie icon whose movie career span was more than five decades was James Stewart. I always confuse him with James Garner. He got one long avenue named after him. Spielberg has his own too. We rounded circles, turned in every corner to cover the several acres of the lower lot dotted with huge buildings that they call studios or movie sets for films that were familiar to movie goers or DVD renters. The plants are "portable". If your heart pounded real hard for anticipation of the sudden emergence of a dinosaur from the thick bushes/shrubs and small trees, the movie set was hardly a forest after moving some trees and foliage to a miniature Central Park in New York for a film recently shot in the studio. I remembered, I watched Jurassic Park along with kids. I did not watch it in the theatre. I do not go to the movie theatre. I cannot rewind and pause. I wait for the DVD . Back to JP, I was staying with some mahjong playing family friends who visited friends for a weekend session. They have to bring me along since it was a day off of their housekeeper. To get rid of the kids from the mahjong table, the man of the house put a DVD in the 52 inch combo TV ; threw some pillows on the floor and three big bowls of pop corn. He thought that it was enough to entertain 3 to six year olds, an adult (that's me) and a three month old baby. It was stereo sound amphitheatre effect. One can hear the rustles of the leaves, the heavy footsteps, the scary background music , the growls, the screams, the falling of some tiny gadgets that could have saved the victims...Every little scary sound drove the tots to my sides. Arghhhh, eveyone wanting my arms to shield them that I looked like a mother hen with the chicks under my wings. Cluck cluck.. I want to cover my eyes myself. The baby was surprisingly asleep with all those noises. The wonder of movie making...and it was just groups of plants put together. Wait, there is sound of a cry of a dino. It gave me goosebumps. My "tourist said" Ay katakot naman may lalabas ba ? We slowed down and as we got closer to a body of water. The guide directed us to take a look at a man (looks like a man) that was now you see him, now you don't as he surfaced in the water only to be pulled down under by some mysterious force. A stack of drums started to burn and as a big bubble appeared in the still water, I warned my " tourist" to ready with her camera so she can take a good shot of the Monster of the Seas, JAWS. She got startled that when we have the film developed, there was no JAWS but only a head of a JOE. At first, we cannot make out whose head it was and why we took his picture. My "tourist" exclaimed Jos koday. We have to cross a bridge...a bridge used in the filming of Incredible Hulk and other films that needed a collapsing bridge. One thing that I like with the Hulk is the warning that I adopted to warn my "enemies"....Do not make me angry, you won't like me when I am angry.... I did not warn my "tourist" that the bridge is going to collapse. I want to see my face in her the first time, I cross the bridge when the guide said...UH UH UH. My "tourist" exclaimed Ngeeee. This time, no more bridge but we got to cross the water. We need a rod to part the water. This was a miniature model of the parting of the SEA by Moses in Ten Commandments. My "tourist" said WOW. Still in the water...We stopped at an intersection of a dry rough road fringed with small houses replicating those in Mexican towns. Let there be rain...and the rain poured. Then came the noise of the rushing water. A flashflood. In the monitor, some movies that made use of its effects were being shown. In the movies, it had the deceiving look of a very big river with a strong current when it was just a tiny place in that theme park. My "tourist"said Whoaaa. Then the tram got inside one of the movie studios. It was dark. I remembered the scene. I asked my tourist to focus her camera on the right side.She did but she dunked when the big KIng KONG appeared amid the ruins of New York and growled at us . My "tourist "exclaimed ...Takot ako. Another studio but it looked more like a subway station. The car stopped. My tourist grabbed my arms as the place started to shake. An earthquake supposed to be the strongest at 8.3 . All the riders were shouting ahhhhhhh as the place started to break down and burn and the finale was the rushing water again. eeeeeeeeeeeek... They got all wet. My "tourist said.". Basa ako. The last one that I can remember was the studio of the The MUMMY. It was a new feature. I closed my eyes as we traversed the spinning cavernous walls expecting a mummy to pop up anytime. Then we saw the monitor being covered by BUGS. Those scary bugs that were poured to Imhotep by the avenging Egyptian priests. Then the riders started screaming....I wonder why? Oops let me splat this bug in my backpack. My "tourist" exclaimed Ay kadiri.. Thank you for the ride and enjoy the rest of the day said the guide as we waved to her to explore more of the Studios. Itutuloy, Abangan ang susunod na kabanata. The CAT

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Mickey Mouse and the Mummy

Dear Mouse, That was my third time to visit Disneyland and Universal Studios. My friend drove and dropped us in the morning before she sped away for work. It is our decision to come to the most famous theme park on a weekday. Less people, small crowd. Besides the weekend was spent to attend the wedding. First stop was Universal. It was early morning and the gates were closed. We decided to hang around near the ticket booth where it was cooler. A family of three approached my bench. Must be Mexicans. The father was asking me in halting English, if I have a ticket. I thought he was inquiring about the purchase of tickets, so I pointed to him the ticket booth and the automated ticket machine. It turned out that he got a coupon for 4 tickets for $ 99 only. I could have pretended that I was their companion but I was worried that it could be a scam. Those travel scams and rip-offs that I watched in the TV made me one suspicious CAT. What if I would be made to pay the whole package when I did not spend a single cent for my ticket. It was courtesy of my friend/host. I saw them walk away. I could see the frustration in the faces of the two kids. I just thought that maybe they will find somebody who will agree to go with them as a family member. Inside, I did not bump into them. Pictures, pictures and more pictures. Not me. I am not the tourist. I am now the guide. Two young men approached and offered to take our photo together. No thank you. I have to admit Mouse that the movie of Mr. Bean with a guy who run away with his camera after offering to take his photo turned me into a paranoid traveler. The camera may not be expensive but it was full of memories even with blank film inside. I do not say that they are scammers, but they do not look like they are going inside the park. Now wait, why did I think of that ? I am talking to myself mouse, do not mind me. I am really PARANOID. So off went to the gate with Halloween decors. Haaah, we were the first in the line. With backpacks and a small cap to protect us from te scorching morning sun, we peered through our shades, shifted our weights from one leg to another, watched cute babies in their strollers as we waited for those staff in costume to open the gates. Then a lady dressed in long black dress came and announced that the gate where we are supposed to gain entry is not going to be opened. Shuckssss. Why wait for so long to make the announcement? The line already tripled and to disband us would make us go back to square one. Two little girls pulled each other hair. I want to pull the hair of the woman, myself. Haah. So we joined another line. I heard familiar language spoken. Ahaaa Filipinos. A family of four, an old woman (maybe the lola), a young couple and a spoiled BRAT were just a few heads away. Those heads walked away to join their friends. Now we were standing next to the Filipino tourists. Come now, why I knew they were tourists and not locals? First, the young woman was carrying a purse(a handbag for you); locals have backpacks regardless of age.The old lady was wearing a Sunday pair of shoes. They did not talk to me. I like to believe that they were haughty. You know if you are not a local and you can go to Universal and Disneyland, your bankbook is healthy. The young man...the husband was friendlier. Must be because, he worked in Singapore and has traveled in a few countries.I have been to Singapore myself and we exchanged notes. He laughed when I told him, I stayed once in Changi Hotel,(Changi airport for you) at the back of those seats with the immaculate carpet as my sleeping mat. The connecting flight was only a few hours apart and staying in the hotel outside the airport was not a practical one.(read: trying to save for one electronic gadget that I desperately want to add to my collections). The wife's smile was a fake. It was like drawing a pic and stretching the lips to both sides of the face in order to make it appear smiling. The brat was pulling the father's hands to get his attention. Time to say..okay cya inside. Then the gates opened. No time to take out the grapes and the apples inside my backpack. No food inside, the warning said. They searched my backpack. A light jacket???. The security frowned. A jacket for this weather....Excuse me, where I came from, it was already cold. I did not know that it was still summer out here. The fruits were missed. Thanks to the jacket. The CAT

Sunday, October 19, 2003


Dear Mouse, In his speech, Bush never failed to mention about the Abu Sayyaff and the US assistance to bring this group to justice. This band of kidnappers made some people believed that they are working for the Muslims' goal of an independent state by raising money for the organization. Some even believed that they were part of the terrorist cells that were trained in Afghanistan and their hate for everything Americans led them to prolong the captivity of the two missionaries even after the ransom was paid. Marcia Burnham belied all these beliefs in her book. According to her, the group was just after the money. The young captors wanted to migrate to the US or Afghanistan. If ever there was a mention about the MNLF cause, it was just a declaration of the hidden agenda of the Muslim leaders clamoring for an independent Muslim State...first the small islands, then Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon and the World. From the book, one can read how these Muslims can manipulate their Koran's teachings by justifying the killing of civilians and robbing them of their food stacks, money and other properties. The victims include babies. Greed came in various forms. Greed of generals and some government officials who asked for 50 per cent of the ransom. Greed of the leaders that made them increase the ransom of money from several hundred thousands to millions of dollars. Greed of some military officials who sell the ammunitions and arms that are properties of the Philippine Army. Greed of the captors'followers who killed an innnocent baby just to get the milk. The Burnhams admitted too that they succumb to this despicable human weakness especially when they were hungry for days. Reading the book makes you reflect on the different views of salvation. For Christians, killing is a sin that can send you to hell while the mere display of legs and hair and other body parts that are supposed to be covered can bring a woman to the eternal fire. Pardon me Mouse for not writing everything when there is too much to write about religion, faith, politics, human endurance... The CAT

Friday, October 17, 2003

What I am?

Dear Mouse, Curiosity kills a cat. But my curiosity on the personality test thru sassy lawyer's website revealed what I have suspected of myself. You are calm, traditional and possesses a high level of self control, probably too high. You are faithful in relationships and would rather be alone than be with the wrong person. You are intovert who rarely suffers from indecision. An achiever who focuses on cultivating her/his desirability. This is the result of the test. Image Icon results:
Conscious self
Overall self
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test
Scale (|||||||%) results:
Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||||||||||| 81%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Type 3 Ambition |||||||||||||||||||| 84%
Type 4 Sensitivity |||||||||||| 47%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||||| 57%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||||||| 64%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||||||||| 67%
Type 8 Hostility |||||||||||||||||| 71%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||||| 67%
Your Conscious-Surface type is 3w2
Your Unconscious-Overall type is 1w9
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Thursday, October 16, 2003

High Tech?

Dear Mouse, A lesson that I learned last weekend is not to trust the latest communication technology. For more than two weeks now, it baffled me not to see the forwarded e-mails from home to my office outlook. I dismissed it as my own pc's glitch. Our office e-mail system has its own server that it was farthest from my mind that it would fail me. Part of the plan of attending the wedding is to visit my brother by asking him to pick us up from the wedding venue. A week before, I sent the information about the place, the date, the address and the map. Confident that the information was sent, i did not bother to call because I was too busy finishing reports before I take my one week needed vacation. Then one office associate failed to come. No phone call. No message in her voice mail and no e-mail. I checked my e-mail. The forwarded mails from home did not get in. I kidded myself that i forgot the stamps. I got a message however that my e-mail size is over the limit. Got to delete thousands of kbs of mails to free the capacity. Then I received internal e-mails. No problem. Then the guy next door panicked. No incoming mail. Voice mail and phone servers are down. The IT people worked double time. After putting them to work again. incoming mails rushed in and outgoing mails were sent. The system was overworked that from time to time, it goes wild that we dismissed as slowing down due to volume of usage. Now going back to the unreceived mail,my brother went to the wedding venue a week earlier due to miscommunication and the office mate was scolded for not calling-in sick only to find out that she did e-mail. Next time, I would pick up the phone and say I am coming. So where did we pass the night? We attended another party with a friend who took us in, in her place only after we accompanied her in another party. So from wedding party, we proceeded to the birthday party. The aroma of the food made me burp. Oh no. I could have missed the lesssyon (lechon for you) in the wedding party and could have helped myself with the laing. But my tummy is full, my pants was groaning . I was a glutton. Then home to a friend's place. Full and tired and sleepy. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz The CAT

Monday, October 13, 2003

The Wedding

Dear Mouse, As always, I left the invitation for the wedding at home. We were frantic when we could not find the house of worship where the wedding was supposed to take place. I called my friend in the house to inquire where the place is specifically located. The only structure that we could find was the half-demolished one level house with lots of debris infront the yard. No sign of chapel, house of worship or church as indicated in the map. The bride and her entourage were in the beauty parlor and the only person answering the phone was a guy who could have been of better service had he did not offer to give a direction.(my friend's bp was shooting up because of the misdirection). So to cut the story short, we found the place...a garden...errr I mean a backyard...converted into a garden ....for the wedding. My friend glowed... the minister's homily was 50 minutes...argghhhhh and I was sleepy. After two hours...(yes...2 hours...), with some nice words solicited from the friends after the homily...the couple was made to sit in the small presidential table...with the sponsors giving them roses as they came acknowledging their introduction to the wedding attendees, I thought, I was attending a cotillon.... It is not the fault of my friend. It is the fault of Jlo. (read: wedding planner). So it was also a reunion of some classmates. A former A tried to ignore me. hmmmm Congratulations and best wishes to the couple. The CAT

Sunday, October 12, 2003


Dear Mouse, I told you Mouse, I did not do it. It was the dog. A Mexican man who was shot in the back and neck says his dog did it. Juan Evangelista Poot, 22, from Yucatan, told doctors he was outside his house when he was hit. He turned around and saw that the dog had picked up his gun and was holding it in his mouth, reports Las Ultimas Noticias online. Mr Poot took himself to the Hospital de la Seguridad Social Federal. He said: "I don't know how this happened. One minute we were playing and the next he had the gun in his mouth. This dog is my best friend." A police spokesperson said: "This is the most amazing story I have ever come across. And, so far as we can tell, the man is telling the truth. "Somehow the dog managed to fire the gun, but it is not like we will arrest him is it?" The CAT

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Would you believe 2

Dear Mouse, This German politician is no different from our solons whose contributions to the lawmaking history and future-shaping legislations have something to do with roads and streets. While our own legislators make their mark in the august halls of Congress and Senate by changing street names or widening and defining the boundaries of roads, their counterpart would like to make a history of being able to change the sound of the street lights. Call for traffic lights to sing like birds A German politician is campaigning for traffic lights to make bird sounds. Mathias Uhlig from Dusseldorf says the ticking noise traffic lights make for blind people drives him mad. Uhlig, who is a member of the conservative CDU, suggests the lights ought to make bird sounds instead. He thinks the bird sounds would be "idyllic" compared to "that nerve-racking tack, tack, tack". But fellow politicians think it would be too expensive to change the signal - and potentially dangerous. "If a real bird sings nearby, a blind person risks walking straight into a car," Liberal politician Manfred Neuenhaus told the Express newspaper. And fellow Liberal Alexander Zeitz says high-pitched sounds are hard to pick up for those blind people who are older. "We'd be better off using the deep sound of a roaring stag," he suggested. The CAT

Friday, October 10, 2003

Would you believe 1

Dear Mouse,

While my favorite sassy lawyer gave up lawyering in order to become a good mother after her househelp eloped and married without her consent... this lawyer is giving up his job to clown around.

The sassy lawyer shoots down clowning politicians of the Island with her mighty pen errm html.

Lawyer gives up job to clown around South America

A Spanish lawyer has given up his job and sold his car to cycle around South America while dressed as a clown.

Alvaro Neil, 36, from Asturias, has cycled through 10 countries and cycled 31,000 kilometres over the last 19 months.

And he has performed his comedy show for free throughout his South American tour, reports Terra Noticias Populares.

Mr Neil, also known as Biciclown, has travelled through Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay.

He said: "People don't understand how I could sell my car to finance this trip, but when they see the pictures they will understand the importance of laughter, that life is a gift and that excessive consumerism is burying many illusions."

Mr Neil, who is being supported by the Clowns Without Frontiers organisation, says he has witnessed many exciting events on his travels.

They include the swearing in of Brazil's new president, the economic crisis in Argentina and the strikes against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

I wonder why he did not include my small island in his itinerary ?


Thursday, October 09, 2003


Dear Mouse Arnold joins the ranks of movie stars who became government officials by riding in their popularity in the celluloid world. He is now the governor of California, the former electoral position of another B movie actor, former US President Ronald Reagan. Reagan aimed not only for the governor mansion but also for the White House. There was no inch of doubt that he would win. Woe to the rich man who bankrolled the recall movement. All indications point to the victory of Arnold. His movies, Terminator 1, 2 , TOTAL RECALL were replayed over and over in the channels. In marketing, the principle of coming up with a brand name is that is easy to remember, one that suggests the characteristics of the product or the service and one that is unique. EASY TO RECALL just in case, one forgets. Arnold is unique..his last name is solely his own.. Swarzz.....(misspelling is pardonable). He is married to a Kennedy. He got a movie...TOTAL RECALL. The children who idolized him as their hero in that movie where he said "I'LL BE BACK" are now voters. He was a government agent in TRUE LIES who used the government resources to spy on his wife, who he suspected to be having an affair. He was the WP agent who gave back Vanessa Williams the second lease of life after annihilating the corrupt government officials accused of illegal arms dealing with some terrorists. No need to sell him. He is easily saleable. Except for some kinks in the form of shady past, he was the dream of all pr machineries. What with the endorsement of the second richest man in the World, Warren Buffet....who is going to lose.. ? Gary Coleman used to be a househld name as the minute TV superstar in the '70's?. Although he garnered more votes than the other blue blooded politicians, he can never win with Arnold as his opponent. It seems that people in whatever part of the world look up to Somebody who they think can save them in their crisis. Someone who is strong, a fighter and always a winner.a Savior, a Salvatore... Jess Ventura, the former World Wrestling champion slammed down the former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey to become the 38th Govenor of Minnesota. Sonny Bono, Cher's former partner and husband rode from TV to DC and became a Congressman. A skiing accident stopped short his political carreer whenre he could have graduated from congressman to senator and then President. Mary, the wife took over the Congressional seat when he died and got reelected too. He was a friend of former Speaker Gingrinch, a politician who hitched his star on Bono ( or is it the other way around) and disappeared like a falling star in the night after some scandals killed his ambition to become the next President. He may not be a STRONG MAN in a movie but his real name was SALVATORE BONO. Clint Eastwood is more popular to the older movie fans. Make my Day was his passport TO BECOMING A TOWN MAyOR. The coollest cop in town who always seek justice and and eliminate corrupt people including a fictional US President, he still rides high today with his latest movie Mystic River. There is one senator moonlighting as District Attorney in the TV series Law and Order. He is also a movie star appearing as Congressman, Senator , ambassador. I have not seen him as a villain in the movie. Bad for publicity, perhaps. In the faraway island in the East, people are also fascinated by movie and media people that they elected a B-movie actor as the Presdient. The presidential candidate aspirant topping the survey now for 2004 election is a popular TV anchorman and a former news reporter. Well what the heck...In Europe, there was a country where a stripper was elected in the Parliament or Congress. The CAT

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Today's Children

Dear Mouse, The conversation between my two officemates about disciplining children made me go back to the news that I clipped some days back. Unfortunately, I cannot find the article about how this generation's philosophy of "spoiling the child and sparing the rod" is posited to be turning the children to monsters. I even received in the e-mail that the doctor who pioneered this philosophy lost a child from suicide. The Columbine massacre's impact to children and teens was not gruesome snapping of young lives that need to be condemned but a feat that should be repeated for power recognition and ego- tripping for misguided teenagers. Their warped minds give them the wrong idea to gain respect and admiration. In Clayton country, a 14 year old boy is accused of plotting a Columbinestyle bloodbath at his high school, drawing up detailed plans of bocking the exits and then pull the alarm and shoot people as they leave. Sick. He is just a fourteen year old with a criminal mind of an adult. In Sacramento, a young student shot the school adminstrator after holding him hostage. In a related news, the police posted extra patrols at area high schools after a fifteen year old was shot to death by another student believed to be a member of a gang. In Japan, a much admired country for their rigid discipline for children has their own Columbines' kids. A 12 year old kid in Nagasaki, killed a four year old while in Tokyo. Four elementaryschool girls were confined by a young man without any reason at all. Scary? The CAT

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Battered Men 2

Dear Mouse, He felt hungry and nauseous. One week in the US and he already got kicked out of the apartment of a guy, he thought to be his friend. He had nothing but the shirt on his back. He can't speak English. He is European. He walked without direction. The restaurant's familiar name seemed to be a light at the tunnel. The owner of the eatery may be French after all. The light came nearer and illuminated his well being. The lady not only gave him food but a cramped room where he can stay while working as a busboy. He was not asked about his papers. It would be dealt with later when he can speak the language. French people are a proud race but then they have to be able to communicate in order to survive in a foreign land. He may be emotionally bankrupt because of the setback of his American dream but he was spiritually strong. A person he trusted turned out to be a scheming -good- for nothing bum who preyed on new arrivals like him. One night while cleaning the floor he found a diamond ring. It was his lady boss' that got lost a few days before he showed up in her door. The old lady knew right there and then that he is a good person. She made him the caretaker of her properties and arranged for his marriage to a lady introduced by one of her acquaintances in order to legitimize his stay. They went to Vegas for the wedding. He was asked to repeat whatever the "pastor" said. That was what he did, repeat including the instruction...repeat after me. The lady worked as a phone operator in a hotel She had a baby in the previous relationship. It was a prearranged marriage but the guy was determined to make it his family. He took care of the baby when the mother was out. He pampered her with gifts and flowers that a Frenchman would give to a ladylove. There was just one puzzle that he could not make out. The expensive stuff that he gave her disappeared without a trace. Then he discovered the lady's passion...drugs...and men. She sold the stuff to buy crack. He wanted out. He left the apartment where they were staying. The interview from the INS was scheduled but he did not care. Then the thugs came and brought him back to her place. It was not because of love. He made good as a baby sitter and additional provider. Every night he was bullied by the woman's "friends" that he perfected the art of sleeping with one eye open. That night came when he was mauled. They were all loaded. His body could not take the beatings anymore. His face was black and blue and his body hurt all over. He cannot go to the police. There was always the threat that he was going to be deported for entering fraudulent marriage contract. Then he met a lovely young lady. They connected to each other and married after a month. She bore him a son that made him strove harder. He had two jobs and tried to learn some skills in electronics. The wife did nothing but to groom her long nails, smoked and watched TV while the baby was dirty lying in a part of the couch that smelled baby's poo and pee. He really loved her and his son. From his savings, he put up a small pizza joint. The wife was happy. She was there all day managing the cash machine and making friends with some shady characters frequenting the place. After a few months' operation, the pizza business was bankrupt. There goes his savings as well. He gave up his job to concentrate in the business. He was unemployed, moneyless and troubled. They got evicted from the apartment and the father-in-law allowed them to live in the garage-turned-one-good-for-a couple- room. The wife's father was also a bully. He was warned not to lay his hand to his daughter or else he would be planing out of the country anytime. The only sunshine in his life was the baby. He managed to get two jobs. Looking at his wife becoming more and more a couch potato, he became more depressed. The last straw was when both the father and the daughter joined team to harass him. He gave up by signing the custody to the mother and a child support for his baby. He moved and rented a room in a house owned by a Filipino. He stood out in the area since he is the only foreigner. He was snotty and a recluse. He was a battered person. It took a kind gesture from a lady to make him got out of his cocoon. He is not a battered man anymore. He had a new business and new life even if he remained single. The CAT Dear Cat, You made me cry again. I hate you when you do that. The Mouse

Monday, October 06, 2003


Dear Mouse, If there are battered women, there are also battered humans from MARS. The lady I met in one of the seminars I attended back in the Philippines, can be regarded as husband batterer. She did not feel offended being given such label. In fact she was proud of it. It was in one of those boring moments of the seminar when she invited me at the coffee shop of the hotel that I came to know about her. She was a chatterbox but a successful customs brokerage proprietor too. Attending seminars is just one of her activities to while away the time for otherwise very routine work of waiting for some shipments, working on the papers for the release and delivering them to the clients. She took fancy of me because of my face and my eyes. She intimated to me that before she finished her business course, she enrolled in criminology and was just a few semesters shy when marriage intervened in her dream to become a law enforcer or a detective. She had a whole set of Nancy Drew Stories and Hardy Boys in her bookcase. One of the courses in the Criminoloy is Physiognomy, the art of studying facial features that reveal the qualities of mind or character of a person. I was interested to hear what my face reveals of my thoughts and my character. She held me in suspense by interpreting her profile first. She started wit her firm jaws and thin lips. She said that men should be afraid of her for she can kill if she wants to. Ngeehhhh. She told me a story about her husband. She had an appointment with a client in a restaurant when she saw her husband inside that restaurant playing lovey dovey with a beautiful young woman. In her own words: Ay naku daaay, umitim ang aking paligid. Ang tingin ko sa aking asawa ay isang lechon na dapat i-chop cho at ang babae naman ay manok na dapat alisan na ng balahibo. Lumapit ko sa tarant...bleep bleeep... sa bigla niya ay nagtangka siyang harangin ang buntal na pinakawalan ko sa kaniyang mga mata. Tinakpan niya ang kaliwa... kaya kanan ang aking pinuntirya. sapol. black eye. whooo. Karipas ng takbo ang babae. Kagulo sa restawran...Isang buntal pa na may kasamang sipa tapos katakot takot na kalmot. As usual huling dumating ang mga pulis, bugbog sarado ang aking asawa na nabigla. Sabi ko sa mga pulis, magdedemanda ako... Sabi ba naman ng mamang misis, dapat ho kayo ang idemanda ng mister ninyo. Eh lamog ho siya sa bugbog ninyo. Sabi ko sa kaniya, baka gusto mong makiramay sa kaniya...ngiti siya at urong.... The couple made up for the sake of the children. She was happy. He was coming home unexplainable disappearance in particular time of the fact he was staying home most of the time. Wife's hunch, she came home one day to check on him who excused himself from going to the office because he was running temperature. The maid run out from the master's bedroom without a stitch on but a blanket wrapped around her. hmmm. Her husband leaped from the king size she reached for her revolver. She fired and the bullet hit the dresser's mirror. Basag...she fired again and again. She winked to me...tinatakot ko lang ang pu...bleeep bleeep... So what happened, I asked her as she stopped relating the story while she savored her black coffee. Ay naku daay.....yan ang mahirap sa nga Pilipina. kaunting himas lang patawad at tuwad na....dahil daw sa mga anak...punye...bleep bleeep mga anak yan..tapos iiwanan ka rin..... So, what about my facial features ? I asked... Owww, she forgot...yep she asked me if I have already registered to the Martyrs' Club.... You are like a tiger but you are really a CAT inside. But cats can kill a snake with its claws too. And with that she ended her story and we both received the Certificate of Disappearance...I mean Certificate of Attendance and Appearance. The CAT

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Battered Women 4

Dear Mouse, She was unpopular among her peers. She was practically avoided like a plague because of her crassness. No one knew about her family except that she is married to a black guy. Gossipers said that she married the guy for papers. We were introduced to each other in one gathering. She was quiet when my friend recited to her my resume. I scolded my friend for making such a long intro as if I were a public speaker whose curriculum vitae should be made impressive enough in order that the audience may listen. "Wait 'till we see her reaction", my friend whispered."Akala niya kasi lahat ng Pilipinong mapunta rito sa States, kagaya niyang hopeless nasa Pilipinas". " So mataas pala ang pinag-aralan mo. So, nag-oofice ka?" the lady asked. " Kaunti". I responded. "Ako, nag-alalaga lang ng matanda". she said with a tinge of sarcasm. " Wag mong lang langin yan. IT is not only a noble job but well-paying as well compared to minimum wage office worker. " Naku naman, bolera ka pala. Wala kang makukuha sa akin kahit mambola ka" My angel in my left encouraged me for a tart reply, but the angel in my right was quick to put an inivisble tape in my mouth preventing me mouthing something that would make me feel guilty for sinking to her level. " "Wala ka bang ibibigay na calling card. Your kind merely circulates in this kind of gathering to look for clients." The angel cat on my left said, Sapukin mo. The angel cat on my right said, NO. I gave her my phone and at the same time told her, I am not a marketing person; I am lousy in that field. Just in case... she wants to talk to me anything. ( I suspected that the angel cat wearing white was putting words into my mouth.) I almost forgot our encounter that when I heard her voice at the other line, I could not recall the name. She was sobbing while asking for help. The husband did it again. He violated her in front of their three year old kid. She had no friends and relatives to turn to. She admitted that she is a difficult person to deal with that many of her friends if there are any shy away from her. She disowned her last known relative for ditching her when she needed a roof on her head as an f.ob. I adivsed her to go the nearest Church for temporary shelter. The priest welcomed her and her kid. After marriage counselling, she was back to her husband's arms until another call woke me up late in the evening. I convinced her to bring this to the authority. She declined. She did not want to hurt her daughter who is close to her dad. Besides, he hurt her where it is not visible to the naked eyes. No bruises, no signs of violence. The husband was aware of the consequences and he was careful. If this a sign of sadism, the continuous brutal assault to my friend may make her a masochist in due time. The next call that I received from her made me listened to the angel cat on my left. Prepare to fight. Put up a fight if necesary. Use your feet and arms. Kick him in his groin or those things that Kris Aquino tried to crush. And please leave him for good. The daughter will understand. The constant fight is also taking a toll to the kid's picture of a family life. I have not heard from her ever since. Some people said that she left the State. I believed that the husband used to strangle her with a tie.Some people said BUTI NGA. This Cat says, kawawa naman siya. The CAT

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

A little girl and a cat

Dear Mouse, Two creatures, one a little girl and one little cat, both left alone in a house for weeks. Who is to blame ? The girl... The little girl had been left alone since her mother was jailed Sept. 10 for aggravated assault and petty theft. THE CHILD was recovering from malnutrition Tuesday and was in good condition at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “She’s sitting up in the bed and laughing and playing with the nurses,” said hospital spokesman David Foreman. The child’s father, Ogden Lee, who is separated from the child’s 22-year-old mother, Dakeysha Telita Lee, said he had been trying to contact the mother for two weeks and did not learn until Sunday that she was in jail. When a manager let him into the apartment Monday, the girl was lying in a baby’s bathtub, covered with a towel and was watching cartoons. She was filthy and covered with dry ketchup, he said. “She grabbed me and wouldn’t let go of me,” Lee said. “It is really a miracle how good a shape my daughter is in. I don’t know how she did it.” Now, the mother is charged with chilld abuse and may end up in jail again. Who is going to take care of the girl ? She will join the world of children who grew up in foster homes. The cat -not me... MONROE, La. -- A cat locked in a house for two months without food or water was rescued after concerned citizens searched the home one last time. Cecil the cat was "nothing but skin and bones" when rescuers found him hiding under a chair last month. "He was so little and weak," said Elizabeth Hollenberg. Cecil was treated at a veterinarian's office, where he was weighed at five pounds. Veterinarian Dr. Clark Cooper of West Monroe said it is possible for a cat to survive without food and water for more than eight weeks. "But he would have had to have been one fat son-of-gun to start with," Cooper said. Cecil and more than 30 other cats and a dog became orphans when their owner, Mary Ethridge Dean, died June 19 after a lengthy illness. Dean didn't have children, and before her death she made arrangements to ensure her animals were cared for. Rescuers were able to save the other animals, but Cecil was the only one to remain undetected. What a pity? Except for the little cat that was missed all the animals were cared for according to the will of the owner,while the little girl was not missed at all by the mother who got jailed. She did not even inform the authority that the child is endangered during her absence or... did she? The CAT

Love me, hurt me not

Dear Mouse, Strange loves, these two women had. The woman was so in love with the husband that he set him on fire. Now she wanted to be buried next to him as she is dying of cancer. Murderess Vidilia Spragin, who is dying of cancer and won "compassionate release" after 20 years in prison, wants to be buried in a plot alongside the husband she killed in 1982. Vidilia Spragin was then convicted of setting her husband on fire and laughing as he burned in the garage of their San Bernardino home. He died nearly a month later and, during trial, Vidilia Spragin claimed she had been roughed up through the years by her husband. The stepdaughter did not want the idea. She thinks that she can still hurt them. Another woman who wanted her relationship with her loved one legal received the death sentence for blowing up her husband. Very movie-like, a thriller and a love story ? A woman and her lover were sentenced to death yesterday by a Pasig City court for conspiring to kill the former’s husband in San Juan eight years ago. Judge Alex Quiroz, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 156 also ordered Beverly Tibo-Tan and her lover, Rolando Mabiliran, to indemnify the family of the victim, Reynaldo Tan, the sum of P180,000 for actual and moral damages. In a 17-page decision, Quiroz found sufficient evidence showing that the two accused conspired to kill Tan by blowing up his car to make their relationship legal. "The treacherous scheme is clear. The victim was unaware of the existence of a bomb beneath the driver’s seat of his car which needs a deliberate preliminary planning by having a duplicate key and studies of habits, daily routine and proclivities of the victim," Quiroz said in his decision. Non-Alquitran wrote the news. The CAT