Anybody who was able to read my 25 gentle things would surely know by now of my disgust.. nope, scratch that—repulsion to the balut. I can just imagine the half-formed chick, with its wispy feathers and fragile, crunchable body frame, opening its semi-formed eyes and chirping its first and final chirp the moment i put that helpless bloodied thing to my mouth. Mmm… yum!
Now that I’ve already whetted your appetite (!) I am now declaring that I fell completely in love with its sister, the penoy. Hehehe.

yes, twenty-seven years, and yet, another first . Now you might begin to think that I’m some totally sheltered cutie who’s just getting acquainted with the harsh, exciting outside world. You might have a point on that, but allow me to say that I am not a total virgin when it comes to street food. Lemme say that I’m totally comfortable with those fishballs dipped in the vinegar concoction manong fishball would freely offer to you for a second or third round of dipping even if the stick has already been coated with a generous helping of your saliva. Mmm! Hahaha!

Now, back to the penoy. I didn’t think I’d ever come to the day that I’d dip my virgin mouth to that soft, gelatinous, salty-creamy tasting wonder of an egg that manong magbabalut alternately shouts with the star of his nightly trade. But on this particular Saturday night, I found myself throwing all my reservations to the wind.

My penoy-tasting session happened outside mag:net café in katipunan, fronting the Miriam college and Ateneo schools. We just came out for a breath of fresh air after listening to a poet, who goes by the name of chingbee cruz, explain her creative process amidst a dimly lit, smoke-filled room in the second floor of the establishment. the arts crowd, the music, and the beer mingling in my head have already started to make me feel a little giddy; perfect for what will eventually ensue.

Bloggagotchi girl, now devoid of her everyday immaculate call center accent, called out to manong for a penoy. Its already 9:30 in the evening, and the bands are already setting up their drums and readying their guitars upstairs. The paying crowd are already assembling outside while the three of us sit like vagrants along the entrance to the café-cum -music bar-cum-arts venue. Our crowd (the poetry session/ free-riding crowd) are now slowly dispersing, while manong magbabalotItalic is handling bloggagotchi girl some salt for the penoy, already in her hand.

Taking a bite from her penoy, she casually offered the egg to us. Eyvicat politely said no, but I’m not the one to be denied of my education. I timidly asked, “anong lasa?” to this, bloggagotchi’s chinky eyes seemed to take on a different glow as she answered, “tikman mo”; eager, it seems to play mentor to the uninitiated. “lagyan muna natin ng asin”, she told me as one hand expertly sprinkled a dash of salt to the egg. Taking the penoy from her hand and slowly dipping my lips to the creamy white thing contained in the shell, I smelled something close to the smell of balut, but the texture, and the taste that followed it completely knocked me out: its as if I am eating cream cheese. Heavenly.

Later on, bloggagotchi girl would complete my lesson by saying that the penoy is basically an unfertilized egg. Although numerous images would eventually assault my fertile imagination, my thoughts at that time revolved only on cream cheese, soft and melting with every bite.


the culprit

Yesterday evening I had a wonderful dinner with shattershards and eyvicat at the old spaghetti house; that was after watching the hilarious “confessions of a shopaholic” together, at nearby greenbelt 3; and that was before raiding shattershard’s stash of anime dvds that, at least to me, are very precious commodities nowadays. Hehehe.

One of the titles i loaned from him was one that goes back to the good ole high school days : yu yu hakusho, or commonly known as ghost fighter. Ok, I think I said it before, but for the benefit of new backseaters not having to dig up old posts , lemme say that I was a bit of a nerd back in high school that I barely noticed the phenomenon that was ghost fighter back then. Yes, I know of Eugene, Alfred and the rest of the guys, but I rarely sit and watch an entire episode because I was busy with other things then; and to put it bluntly, I didn’t find anime interesting. But as they say, people, and interests, change. For the better or for the worse, I can’t really say.

Imagine a 27 year old (hunk. hehehe) gushing over the smooth movement of jin and mugen in samurai champloo. or when kanbei and kyuzou battle it out like two ice skaters/ dancers gliding fluidly on ice. That isn’t a sight to behold, yes? I’m referring to me, mouth gaping wide in excitement of the on-screen action, and not to the graceful samurai that just keeps growing on me with every episode watched. Of course they are a sight to behold. Anybody who says otherwise would have to explain to me, for a minimum of 500 words his or her reasons for the contrary belief. Joke. Hehehe.

Anime has been a staple in my itinerary for weeks now that if you are a regular reader, you might find the quantity of my recent posts not at par with what has been produced in the preceeding months. So when shattershards brought up the matter of my diminished posting power while we were feasting on our dessert, it didn’t take long for me to come up with an answer—I said it, and I said it aloud: anime is the culprit.



My conversation with fellow blogger scheez over a cup of tea yesterday at coffee bean and tea leaf took lots of turns. One of the veins of that conversation was how a yogi (a yoga practitioner) eventually looses oneself in the pose, finding bliss and a relaxed state of mind—an idea which an officemate clearly enunciated just the other day, as being “in the zone” (click here for an “in the zone” article on yoga I wrote some months back). This officemate also paved the way for one potential “raket” of being a yoga teacher to a co-employee, whose previous exposure to yoga was les mills and fitness first’s body balance program. The program, a mix of tai-chi and yoga poses, was also my introduction to this ancient Indian practice, but I can say that I’ve diversified since then; I’ve gone on to learn and discover for myself other poses not taught in those classes, by reading yoga related articles found on journals and the internet. My three-year yoga love affair is still in its infancy so I am both thrilled and nervous that someone would want me to teach and inspire her. I’m still waiting for feedback/ confirmation from this co-employee from the other department; nonetheless, thinking of endless possibilities that this opportunity will open for me never fail to excite me and leave me exhilarated the rest of the day.


tuwenti payb diyentel tings

responding to mr. scheez's urgings that i do a 25 thingie post, here's my version of what has been flying around in the blogosphere nowadays. enjoy!

1. Di ako mahilig maligo pag nasa bahay lang ako. It helps preserve my essence, kahit once a week lang. Motto ko : natural scent is da best! Hehehehe.

2. May maliit akong unan na katabi kong matulog simula pa nung baby ako hanggang ngayon. Shempre nilalabhan din naman yun paminsan-minsan hehehe. it helps preserve din kasi my essence. :)

3. Comfort food ko ang paksiw na pata. Daming nauubos na kanin nun. Hehehe.

4. Sobrang love ko manood ng horror movies nung bata pa ako. Karir kung karir. Pero after manood, ay... litanya ito. I-eenumerate ko kay Lord bago matulog ang mga movies na ayaw ko mapanaginipan. Haha!

5. May sando akong favourite kong sinusuot nung bata pa ako. Sa sobrang pagkavorite ko dito, gula-gulanit na at manipis na sa kakalaba e isinusuot ko pa din. Dinadagdagan ko pa ng butas para presko.

6. Dalawa lang kaming magkapatid ng ate ko. Fifteen years ang tanda nya sa akin. My mom had me at 42.

7. Nakipagsagutan ako sa history teacher ko nung highschool. Pano ba naman eepal-epal. Kala nya masisindak nya ako. Baket daw peace officer ang nakaupo sa teacher’s desk habang wala sya, e ako ang class mayor. Sabi ko, “precisely, i gave him the authority to sit there”. O e di tiklop sya.

8. Muntik na akong mawala nung magmilagro si judiel nieva sa agoo la union nung march 1994. First year high school ako noon. Napahiwalay ako sa grupo naming nakiusyoso sa dancing sun. Kasama ko sina ate at auntie peling, silong-silong kami sa mga dahon ng tabako ever.

9. I made a hundred-item-or-so trivia list concerning anne rice and her novels during my anne rice phase. Ganun ako pag adik sa isang bagay... adik talaga. Even my sometime email add at lycosmail was named “lestat”.

10. Artists i listened to sa dorm when i was in college : jewel, Fiona apple, tori amos and sarah mc Lachlan.

11. Dorm fee ko nung 2nd year to 4th year college (1998-2001) was 175 a month; nasa first floor kasi ako noon. Pag assigned kayo sa basement, you get to pay 10 pesos lower, kasi binabaha kayo bwahahaha.

12. The first play i saw na may super torrid kissing scene (tongue and all) was called libog; student thesis yun ng mga nagthe-theater arts. Nasa front row ako nun. Nanlalaki ang mata.

13. i soo love Cate Blanchette and Ralph Fiennes.

14. I own 136 rufus wainwright mp3 tracks, downloaded nung mga panahong super adik pa ako sa kanya.

15. Bopols ako sa math nung high school at college. I dropped math 17 (algebra and trigonometry) nung una ko syang tinake. Nung nag-take two ako the following sem, di ko sya i-drinop kasi akala ko e kaya ko na; ibinagsak ko naman. I took math 11 (algebra lang) afterwards, hoping na maipasa ko sya, then i’d take math 14 (trigonometry) para mabuo ko lang ung required math 17; math 11 pa lang ulet bagsak na naman ako. Take note ha, ako ang isinasali ng school namin sa math quiz bee nung elementary ako. Kamusta naman? Hehehe.

16. I won 2nd place in an amateur on-the-spot poetry writing contest sponsored by goodwill bookstore and Philippine Star around the time na pinapatalsik si erap en pamili sa malacanang.

17. Geology ang first course ko nung college.

18. I indexed Teofisto Guingona’s book “Fight for the Filipino” na kakalabas lang sa bookstores late part of last year. Sadly may pulitikang nangyari and my name did not appear anywhere.

19. I prefer coffee bean and tea leaf and seattle’s best over starbucks.

20. Prone akong manakawan ng fone... mukha bang aanga-anga? First fone na manakaw sa akin, sa dorm nangyari. 2nd time naman, sa bus. Third time, sa sinehan. 4th sa kalye pagbaba ko ng mrt taft, laglag barya gang. 5th sa bus, inislash pants ko. Laban ka?

21. Yuck food – balot, aso, kambing. Pero sabi nung mga tita ko, favorite ko daw yung sisiw sa balot nung bata pa ako. Tambay kasi ako sa pwesto nila sa bayan nung mga 3 years old pa ako, and they will buy balot for me. Ang plastic ko no, pa-yuck yuck pa ako ngayon. E Yuck naman talaga no. Imagine may nag-dadangle pang paa ng sisiw sa bibig ko. Shet.

22. May autistic akong pamangkin na kamukhang kamukha ko nung bata pa ako. Eyes, lips, pisngi, complexion, even the appetite. Akong ako. Mahilig din sa double dutch na ice cream. Hehehe. his name is cj.

23. Gustong gusto kong mini-mispronounce mga words at mag-ulit-ulit ng mga salita kapag super hyper ako at nagtitrip. Malas mo lang kung matyempuhan mong kasama kita sa mga panahong ganyan dahil i’ll make sure maiinis ka.. diba eyvicat? Hehehe.

24. my first time to ride an airplane was when the group went to boracay in 2007. Super excited ako and takot at the same time. di ako marunong lumangoy no. Pano kung mag crash yung plane. Twas also the time na lumobo ang pisngi ko because of a bacterial infection. Super ganda talaga ng timing. Enjoy!

25. Gentle is short for John Furie Zacharias. Di ako ito. wag masyadong assuming okei? Main character sya sa novel ni Clive Barker na “imajica”.



whew! just in time!

nearly missed the shuttlebus this morning. you might posit a guess that i started with my planned exercise schedule, as stated in my previous post. nope. i didnt twitch a single muscle er.. flab; instead i downloaded nina simone mp3s and spirited away tracks til around 1:oo in the morning. i dunno, my thoughts seem to pulse like some wild object at around that hour that, immediately after hearing my latest finds, i had the impulse of sitting down on an idea for a poem that struck me while on my way home last night. i didn't stop writing til i was satisfied with the finished product--that was around 4:oo in the morning. 3 hours. i wrote for three hours. its just a couple of lines but i'm the kind of person who gets obsessed on improving on drafts produced til its squeaky clean. of course it helps that i'm writing with gael, otherwise i don't have the needed patience, writing in longhand. and so just a couple of hours after finishing my lates "obra", i find myself two eyebag-full richer than the previous night. sigh. not good gentle, not good at all. some consolation i kept saying to myself, "at least may bago kang poym". hehehe.

for the latest cause of eyebags, click here


cuddly gentle

i gotta admit like one blogger did in his recent blog, that i’ve put lotsa weight; and like him, i’m yearning to get back to my former delicious self, in the soonest possible time. hehehe.

since i’m on a bus and typing my thoughts away is a taxing task all by itself, i won't subject myself to a torturous analysis of events that came to pass, bringing about my current size—suffice it say that its been a combination of stress and comfortable levels reached in the hearts department, that made me turn away from all the physical activities i previously engaged in.

Prior to reaching this current state of cuteness (!) i’ve been enjoying for quite a number of years already, i was a butterball (as one schoolmate have put it) from my elementary years, all the way through high school, up until college. I’ve never really felt that comfortable going around what few social circles i’ve had til then. Its not that i felt i’m lacking in social graces, but i just felt that with my size—ironic as it may seem—i’m always gonna be at the periphery of things. Of course some might argue that looking good does not always equate to superb social skills; but let’s not be hypocrites to see that the fact remains, that from Alexander the Great down to Barack Obama, it always helps to have some amount of physical charms (including a fit body) with you. So after college, i made that excruciating first step to being delicious(!) hehehe.

I haven’t had any name for my slimming project eight years ago, but looking back, i might as well have called it life project number one; for it was really the first time that i got down and dirty to get something that i really want. On plain sight, aesthetic reasons get the spotlight, but upon closer scrutiny, the results also had tremendous effect on my health.

At first, its just plain diet modification that got me shrinking to 140 lbs from a whopping 187 lbs, in just six months. Since this is my blog, and bragging comes with the territory, i might as well state that i was able to achieve that while also reviewing for the board exams; that, and coupled with the stresses brought about by my first job. Recounting that particular chapter of my life usually elicits oohs and aahs to people who previously know me from the “cuddly” years.

after shrinking, comes the toning process which turned out to be a lot harder, especially in the midsection. i enrolled in the gym to lift weights, ran miles in the treadmill, did abdominal workouts on the mat, and religiously attended yoga sessions in between. i can say that i was really getting there but somewhere along the way, i kinda got tired with all the running and the grunting, not to mention the reasons i already enumerated at the start of this entry.

To cut the long story to just the bare bones, i’m cuddly once more hehehe. maybe not that cuddly cuddly, but still oozing with a good amount of cuddliness here and there. Hehehe. and so with that i’m once again resolving to roll out my mat even for just 3 times a week to gain a lost physique. I’ve already come up with an hour’s length of mp3 tracks to inspire me to sweat. I just hope i get back on track easily. i’ve been lounging and munching too much lately that i fear the transition would be a difficult one. Sigh. Get back to work gentle, please!



Earlier today i went to my cousin’s house at the other side of the barrio to deliver some documents. The bloggable thing did not happen way until i was on my way back to our house, alighting from the tricycle. But since the story wouldn’t have been set properly without the requisite introduction, i am doing this now, mentioning that i went to the other purok to give something to my cousins who live there. The trek back to the house isn’t really that blister-inducing to the feet; and considering that the beautiful Sunday sun hasn’t yet reached its zenith that time, it was an awful good thing to just have walked back to the house, saving money and having a bit of exercise while at it. But since the addict was keen on watching at least two samurai 7 episodes before lunchtime he elected to hail the next tricycle he saw, swooping by the road.

Now, to the juicy part:

“Manong, ditaak laeng village, apagbaba ti rangtay. Pakisirrek laeng bassit ah” [Hey mister, my stop is just right after the bridge, but can you please have your tricycle enter the subdivision just a bit], the gentle passenger quipped, knowing a few meters of detour won’t be much of a hassle; i’ve done it countless of times before and i haven’t met a single negative reaction, not until this specific moment with mr. tricycle driver.

“Agbayad ka aya ti baente pesos?” [Are you gonna pay twenty pesos for that?] With that remark, i immediately tapped him on the shoulder to stop, saying “haan, ditoyak laengen” [nope, i’ll just alight at the corner]. In my mind i have already cut the bastard to a million tiny pieces. what does he think of me? Gullible, rich me? Do i look like i’m gonna fall for something like that? If it’s plain rudeness oozing from his pores, well he better keep em all plugged up coz i have no intentions of licking them. He could have said it nicely, that he doesn’t feel like doing a door-to-door delivery today, and i would have understood. Oh well, some people are just born ill-mannered; either that, or he’s a crook through and through.

I immediately got down from where i was seated (i was behind the fuckster), and proceeded to pay. I handed him the twenty peso bill that i had, expecting a change. The fare going to town costs ten pesos, but the intra-barrio fare just costs about half of the town fare. To my surprise, he handed me forty pesos as change. He apparently mistook my money for a fifty peso bill. The fuckaroo had intentions of swindling me by getting ten pesos from what he actually thought was a fifty peso bill. Well, for all his bad intentions, i took the forty pesos and proceeded to walk nonchalantly. A few steps away from him, and a few smiles wider at how karma is working, i got a shout from Mr. High I.Q. asking if what i gave him was a twenty peso bill. Without batting an eyelash i told him “yes”. He immediately gave me the correct fifteen peso change and took the forty pesos from me. I smiled back and proceeded on my walk home.

The corner where i dismounted was filled with tricycles and their drivers waiting for their turn to get passengers coming out from our subdivision. They stood witness to everything that transpired and before the fuckster was able to restart his engine, he got an ample serving of kantyaw/ alaska from the crowd saying “hahaha, haan mo aya ammo ti itsura ti baente?” [hahaha, you don’t know what a twenty peso bill looks like?]

Ah, instant justice.