Sunday, October 31, 2010

White hair chronicles XXXIII: Back from bangus country

I just came back from a four-day travel to the bangus capital. Early on in the trip, I was excited to partake bangus concoctions that Dagupan City has to offer. Our group's eating communally allowed me to sample bangus done tocho, salipicado, sisig, kilawin, steak, and of course the trusty daing. By the second night I had bangus up to my ears. I am starting to grow a bangus belly.

Our dining group have senior citizen-card bearing members. But even if all the senior citizen cards have been presented, the waiters invariably ask if all  cards have been given, apparently asking for mine.

The white hair also commands preferential treatment. On the way back to Manila, we stopped by Calasiao to buy their famed puto. Our motley group of a dozen or so buyers swarmed a stall among the so many lined up along the block. I was at the back of the throng that rattled the sales girl. I asked how many pieces were in a kilo of puto, yes they are sold by weight. Being at the back, I expected to be attended to much later. I wandered down the block to survey what other fares were sold. But in no time at all, those in front of the line were calling me to go back. Apparently, the rattled sales girl had prepared a kilo of puto and kuntsinta for me. She said it was the order of the matanda or old man.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is Manny losing focus?

While on official travel to Dagupan City (where Lenox Hotel is the place to stay-their rooms are really spacious), I read this morning that everyone's alarmed over Manny Pacquaio's shape into weeks before his fight against 'Chea-tony' Margarito.

Well, everybody from his promoter to his chief trainer and the press. But of course, not Manny himself and his throng of sycophants. At 31, Manny has reached his peak. Is he now on the inevitable decline? He was unable to dispose off Clottey early in his last fight while sustaining welts himself. Is he just losing focus because of his numerous commitments? Anybody else would focus on a $15million job, with prospects of twice more if the Gayweather fight happens.

When Manny said while deep in training that he misses Congress, it's an indication that his mind is starting to wander off. Maybe he just misses his wife, who looks even better now after a procedure under Belo. Whatever it is, Manny should train his mind and body towards this fight. Congress and Jinky can wait.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

White hair chronicles XXXII - the latest in fashion, the pekpek shorts

My generation has been around long enough to have witnessed the rise in hemlines to the plunge of the necklines to the baring of the midriff to the exposure of the back to the haltering at the top. All these invariably meant more skin uncovered. The lesser fabric used was a bonanza to skin whiteners and lotion product makers.

The latest fashion trend I noticed, skimpy as it is, does not necessarily expose more epidermis. Formerly often seen just in women's tennis and volleyball, it has transcended beyond the courts onto regular Filipina fashion. It divulges the bulges and gives men the urge to pedicure camels. The crotch, er, the crux of the matter I am talking about is pekpek shorts.

Known elsewhere as skinny shorts, the even shorter versions are aptly renamed as pekpek shorts around here in Manila. Vulgar as it may sound, people unabashedly and frequently use the term. It will be in the mainstream in no time at all, if it isn't there yet.

There is a Facebook fan page for it. There is an definition for it. Google returns a whole lot of pictures about it. Here are some.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hopeful for Pag-asa

This space has been been a tough critic of the state-run weather bureau. We ran a series of posts calling Pag-asa hopeless. When President PNoy replaced the bureau's chief, people hoped that indeed may pag-asa pa sa Pag-asa. People wanted the new Pag-asa to succeed not only for us to receive better forecasts but also for Pnoy's first presidential acts to be proven right. After the media success of the anti wangwang-drive, many of Pnoy's succeeding directives are met with cynicism.

So what's new with Pag-asa? Aside from having a new chief, they are now issuing hourly status reports during a major weather disturbance. This is a dramatic jump from the former 6 or 12 hour reports. They also post updates in their new twitter account.

For typhoon Juan (internationally known as Megi), I noticed that Pag-asa tries to be as precise as possible. Instead of a forecast that cuts a wide swath across the archipelago, the forecast stopped short a little north of Manila. We used to have forecasts of typhoons said to affect Batanes to Bicol. And more often than not, Manila had fine weather despite (or in spite of) the projection. It's good to note that so far Pag-asa is spot-on its forecast. Congratulations, Pag-asa. Keep on the good work!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuguegarao via Airphilexpress

I've never been to Tuguegarao so I eagerly welcomed the opportunity to travel there last week. I read last summer that the highest recorded temperature in the Philippines was observed in that city. I anticipated hot days ahead despite the rains in Manila. After all the place's name could have from two words in a local dialect, "tugui" or hot and "aggao" or day, meaning  hot day. It could also be from "tugui" (hot) and "araw" or sun or day.

I took the Airphilexpress turboprob Bombardier Q400. The plane's exterior was freshly painted but its interior particularly the upholstery needs a makeover. The airlines quick turnaround time leaves no time or ground crew to clean the cabin between flights. The plane does not smell fresh inside. I wish I took the Cebu Pacific Airbus flight instead.

Tricycles are the most common means of public transport here. The tricycle driver told me that the fare is P20 but I have to pay for all five passengers that his tricycle could carry if I am in a hurry. And my office is a bit far so I have to add a little more. I took the bait and paid P150. His impish smile upon taking my money told me that I had been had. Later, office security guards told me that the fare is only P50.

The city surely has the most numbers of tricycles per capita in the the country. There are so many of them that they implement a color coding scheme, just like the number coding in Manila. And they call the tricycles "try-xi" to make it sound like taxi.

Although I've never been to Tuguegarao before, the progress is palpable. I could feel the bustling energy. The plane had some Asian tourists. I wonder what interesting places the city has to offer. I later learned that there's a casino somewhere in the export processing zone. Ah, that's why.

I remember the Youtube video of 2 Americans who speak perfect Tagalog driving a taxi in the Philippines. They drive a taxi but they use it like a jeepney with one acting as the 'kundoktor'. Their route is supposed to be Isabela to Tuguegarao. No, I did not see them in Tuguegarao but here's that video.