Archive for January, 2009


A china cabinet for Federer’s win

federer-reflectFor the love of this guy (Photo from

If Roger Federer continues with these five-set Grand Slam matches, he will make me poorer than I already am and my mother the happiest of all.

Down two sets to love in the fourth-round match against Thomas Berdych, RF was hammering on my nerves in the third set. On the other hand, the great champion didn’t look a bit flustered. If RF believed he could win the next three sets, so could I. He took the third (Thank God!) and the fourth (Yes!).

On the fifth set, I told my mom that I would buy her a new china cabinet if RF won this match. She had doubts of this coming true because the last time she checked on the scores, RF had lost the first two sets. She no longer expected RF to win.

Oh, mom, you of poor faith.

As RF led 5-2 on the fifth set, I told my mom to get dressed. We were buying the china cabinet in 30 minutes. She couldn’t have been happier for Federer.

If RF wins the Australian Open, I will have a full lechon served at dinner. I hope my mom doesn’t ask for a new kitchen. For now, she’s preoccupied with arranging plates and glasses in the china cabinet. Maybe when she’s not looking, I might just put RF’s picture frame inside it.


Heart of the matter

heart1My heart bled as I interspersed going over 10 essays with listening to high school students talk about the Filipina and cardiovascular disease. I looked at the kids, so earnest in their oration that they could persuade the adults in the room to exercise and eat healthy. I looked at the adults and realized that I was probably among the few in need of exercise and proper diet.

So here I was, sitting as a judge of the essay writing category in the regional elimination of the literary, oratorical and on-the-spot painting competition that focused on the theme “Mabuhay Ka! Pusong Pinay!” and getting bombarded by calls for a healthy lifestyle.

After the fifth essay, I got the sinking feeling that all this was for my benefit. I tucked in my stomach. I refused to take the snacks offered. I considered walking back to the office, which would be about a kilometer away. Nah, too dusty. I called back the waiter and asked for some siomai because I was now really hungry.

My co-judges were a doctor and an executive of the pharmaceutical company that sponsored the contest. My choices differed from theirs. I gave weight to thought construction, substance and grammar. I was disheartened to see the final results not going for the two essays that were really good pieces of writing. My co-judges preferred the ones about CVD prevention, which undoubtedly covers exercise and healthy diet, which I’ve never taken to heart.

I take care of my heart by not watching horror movies, not reading the book “Jude, The Obscure” because the story is horribly depressing, not sweating the small stuff, and not wearing tight bras. I do mind what I eat. I check my food for chili pepper, but other than this, I eat to my heart’s content.

So, to those kids, may they practice what they orate and write about when they reach adulthood.


Shoot me mute

Shooting is a precision and concentration sport. I’m definite I will not be good at it even if, on my attempt at shooting last weekend, my first bullet hit the target on its head and the succeeding ones on the alpha of the cardboard target.

mps-hjtsPoor cardboard target

It’s not difficult to hit a non-moving cardboard five or 10 meters away. What is challenging is not to let out a scream at the sound of the firearm going off. The scream might yet drive the other people in the firing range to shoot me until I become mute in my after-life.

I fired a Glock 9mm and a carbine and found that I liked the carbine better. I had alpha hits using it than I did using the 9mm. My grip on the rifle was better than that on the pistol, and it was not anything like the Garand I used to carry during citizens’ army training (CAT) in high school.

The Garand was deadly but only if you were beaten with it on the head because it was so heavy, the operating rod did not operate and there were no bullets. Lugging a Garand in my CAT fatigues, I had wondered if it was quicker to kill an enemy by stabbing him or shouting in his ear than by shooting him with a rifle that only the Hukbalahap knew how to fire, if it did at all. The Garand had never been the firearm the International Olympics Committee had in mind for the shooting competitions.

I’m not keen on taking up shooting as a sport. Probably in my next life when I could be born mute.

January 2009
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