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Showing posts from 2015

A Belated Merry Christmas from your Favorite Fat Man

Merry Christmas, everybody. I know I missed my en punto Christmas post this year, but it couldn’t be helped; when life gets in the way of living your routine, you start forgetting things.

Like regular blog posts.

Or, you know. Blogging in general.

But there you go. I expect that most of you guys are a few pounds heavier, thanks to the tsunami of food that’s sure to grace all of your reunions throughout the season. Don’t forget that a thirty-minute walk not only is good for your heart, it’s great in freeing up more space for that next jamon and queso de bola bocadilla. We’ve got five days to the end of the year, so don’t go and wreck your appetite for the New Year celebration feast (which will probably be filled with fruits and leftovers anyway, so it shouldn’t matter).

And for what it’s worth, I hope you guys greet the new year with your best foot forward, because like it or not, 2015 was one hell of a year, and I for one, am looking forward to what the next one will bring.

To your he…

Lowering the Boom on Pop Culture

Not unlike millions of hipsters, lifers, hippies and intellectual elitists in the world, I find pop culture to be quite the tiresome affair. The fact that one cannot live in this day and age without dealing with pop in any form makes today's standards of living very poor indeed. But like everybody else, I muddle along somehow.

One of the current manifestations of the nebulous tumor of pop culture, at least in the Philippines, is the horrific #Aldub phenomenon. For the uninitiated, Aldub is apparently this new soap opera format employed by long-running noontime variety show Eat Bulaga. Beyond that, I know very little else about it as I choose to avoid Eat Bulaga, despite being a fan of TVJ movies as a child.

Meditations on Drinking Beer in Manila

Man drinks alcohol. Man is happy. That's like one of the most zen realities there is. This is the reason why we flock to watering holes at the end of every week - every day, if you're an alcoholic - for a pint or two of the golden brew.
Living in Manila, however, means that you're either a San Miguel Pale Pilsen fan, or a Red Horse Beer fan. Colt 45 is also there for the truly courageous, and Manila Beer - a fantastic product while it lasted - just didn't make it.

The lackluster selection of alcoholic beverages in the metro has led to a proliferation of high-end "speakeasies", a hipster term for the truly expensive drinking spots mostly found in Makati. Do not confuse these places with prohibition-era speakeasies; you won't find the neighborhood drunkard here, on his way to see a man about a dog. These places have achieved exclusivity by virtue of being expensive, and I spit at the idea of calling them speakeasies.
There is nothing "easy" about a h…

The Secret to Unplugging and Recharging

One of the best things you can choose to do for your social life - both on and offline - is to disconnect. 

Oh sure, you say, people do that all the time. Disconnecting is one of the things we do on an almost cyclical basis. We do it when we're fed up with the banal everydayness of all the posts we see in Facebook, or when we're overstimulated with all the media we've absorbed for months on end. When we disconnect, we go on a cleanse, we think. We purge our system of all the bad vibes we've built up in the weeks and months of being connected.
And after some time - when we can't stand being so far away from the buzzing world of social media - we reconnect with a vengeance, feeding on the silent electrical impulses we receive from the world of the Internet. 
It's no wonder that the 'net's gone from a luxury to a basic necessity. It's being treated like a lifeline to the world at large, where the time spent away from it comes rushing back in, consuming ou…

Not Asking For It (But You Can't Always Get What You Want)

The other week, I read about the whole #CropTopDay brouhaha on Twitter. Apparently, a young girl was sanctioned in her school for wearing revealing clothing. Instead of taking her punishment as a life lesson, she took to the web and started an extension of the movement to promote awareness, and started a debate that students should be allowed to wear whatever they felt was comfortable in school.

For the record, I am feminist-compassionate. I don’t understand all of their social demands, but I’m sympathetic, and try to understand why they think the way they do.

I do, however, draw the line at women parading around the streets wearing whatever they want, and saying that even if they’re doing that, they’re not asking to be raped. This is really where the whole issue of Crop Top Day stems from: the objectification of women that prevents them from being able to dress comfortably in fear of sexual assault, whether be it verbal or otherwise.

See, I get it. I know women shouldn’t be objecti…

Terry Pratchett, and the High Cost of Living

Terry Pratchett passed away yesterday. I never read a lot of his books - The Light Fantastic, The Colour of Magic, Sourcery, and Good Omens are the only ones I've read - but I loved his work. The literary and fantasy worlds have lost a champion, and so soon after losing Spock, too.

Sir Terry also suffered from Alzheimer's. This frightens me, because my family has a history with the disease. But I digress. Terry battled his ever-worsening dive into the well of dementia with what Neil Gaiman called an unusual kind of fury. Which, somewhat paradoxically, translated to the kind of unabashed situational humor you'd find in his work. Death, for example, has been shown to be a bumbling parent unable to resist the charms of his teenaged daughter. The most efficient travelling suitcase in the world is one possessed of many legs and an uncanny sense of humor that, in my opinion, probably influenced the character of Alladin's magic carpet in the Disney iteration of that character.

Straying From The Straight Path

I have a lot of friends who don't understand how some folks can't agree with the current administration. Most of these friends work, in one way or the other, with the government. So I can understand why they feel so strongly about the admin as they do.

But I respectfully beg to differ with their views. There was a point in time where I agreed with what they had to say - I even supported the BBL for a time - but as the years went on, and the chinks in Noynoy's administrative armor began to show, I started souring of whatever respect I had of the man and his cabinet.
I imagine it all started, for me, with his lackluster response to typhoon Yolanda. People tell me that Yolanda was am isolated case that we weren't prepared for. I agree! The fact that we responded so terribly after the fact , though, does nothing to make things better. I appreciate how difficult it must have been for the people in charge to react positively to the disaster, but if they can't accept that t…

Train Man

I’ve recently found myself riding the train more often these past few weeks. No I’m not talking about the LRT or the MRT. I’m talking about the old Philippine National Railway, the rickety old trains that go through some of the major thoroughfares throughout Manila, Makati, Pasay, Parañaque, amd Muntinlupa. It’s been a lot of fun, mostly; you notice strange things on an at-grade train that you don’t notice above-grade, things like how the train tilts to one side on account of the natural slope of the land between San Andres and Paco stations, or how majority of the trains are repurposed Japanese commuter trains with maps of the (early) 1980s railway system of Japan. I like riding the PNR commuter train, but it isn’t for everybody. The trains are old (and usually faulty one way or the other), and the crush of people during rush hour might turn other riders off the prospect. It isn’t as bad as the MRT has become today—I still think that line’s the worst of the lot—but it can get pretty …

The Fat Man’s Guide to New Year Resolutions

I’m not a huge fan of resolutions. Actively changing something isn’t something I enjoy doing, more so because it means that you’re acknowledging that something needs fixing. Which is never nice. But that’s the whole story of human nature; the only thing that’s permanent is change, so the Wolfgang song goes, and it’s up to us to adapt to it.So maybe resolutions are one tool of adaptation. I just thought that up right now, as of this moment. I’m not going to list everything that’s on my resolution list—that’s like showing your underpants to your neighbors early in the morning. Instead, I’m going to write down the resolutions I made for making resolutions. So without further ado, here is the Fat Man’s guide to making New Year resolutions.Be Realistic. It’s very easy to make resolutions that’re designed to help us improve ourselves, but just like this article that’s been going viral recently, you need to focus less on goals, and more on systems. Sit down when you’re making your resolution…