Posted by: nastypen | April 3, 2007

Oppressive Heat is Character-Building / Fine Oxymoron / Alanis’ Humps

Walking around Manila is torture these days. In all my years living in one of the world’s most polluted cities, I have accepted the fact that this is a place of extremes. Half of the year we get typhoons that could cause massive black out for days. Just a tiny cloudburst results in a massive flood. Now, April is just beginning and the sun shows us who is the biggest torturer of them all. To think, May promises to be worse.

I wear an old cap when I go out now. I don’t like wearing sunglasses. I met with Nemcy the other day that entailed me walking under the late afternoon sun for about five minutes. When she saw me, she practically shrieked on how red I am.

I may love going to the beach, but I only swim at the crack of dawn to the early morning and at dusk to night. I do not like exposing my skin to the sun. I literally look like a roast pig with just few minutes under the sun.

The worst time I had in college was the cruel and unrelentless ROTC program at the University of the Philippines Diliman. It was the only time I wished I had gone to Ateneo de Manila instead because I saw my high school classmates just sit on the grass and gab during their ROTC.

They, my high school classmates that went to Ateneo, do not have memories of keeping stock still under the heat of the sun while saluting with an M1 Garrand. They do not have memories of camouflage gunk splashed all over their faces, burning their eyes. They do not have memories of diving into the ground during “combat training” and see that the guy next to you dove into a giant ant hill to which he was attacked and took him several minutes to be led out to the medics because the ROTC officers just scoffed that “it’s just ants!” The poor guy was howling and I made a mental note that ants plus the sun make a great combined torture device. And I have a lot worse memories than these, too.

So, when I went out today, I was greeted with that familiar feeling of the heat biting my skin as I trudge on to the MRT.

I was just visualizing that I was one with the penguins by the polar ice caps. Perhaps a fantasy could alleviate the situation. No, it did not. Sweat and grime from the cars caked my face and I was just wheezing from the pollution and I do not like literally rubbing elbows with the sweaty man on his way and smelling like he forgot to bathe.

I can’t stand it. I flagged a taxi down. I got one but his aircon is busted. Wheeee.


The cab driver listened to me as I spoke to a friend with my mobile phone. when I got off, he waved a blackberry to my face and asked me if I knew how to use this.

Apparently, some White American left his blackberry unit and it has been ringing and the cab driver does not know how to use it. So I tinkered with it and called a number which turns out to be the Filipina secretary of Mr. White American and she gushed her thanks.

The taxi driver will return the blackberry. So, i witnessed an act of heroism.

Gee wow. “Honest taxi driver” is a fine oxymoron.

I’m sorry, I was cynical to think that since it is a blackberry, a unit hardly recognized by most Pinoys, he won’t keep it. All the years that I rode the Metro Manila taxis with my dozens of experiences of abusive, cheating, demanding, filthy, insipid taxi drivers drove me into sweeping generalizations.

Just when I was beaming that this particular taxi driver is trying to shave off the ugly perception that taxi drivers in Manila are (as one Lonely Planet guidebook once touted them as) “Spawns of Satan,” the taxi driver harrumphed that the White American better pay him for bringing back the phone.

Like I said, a fine oxymoron.


Hey, it’s Holy Week and everyone is leaving. Perhaps I should not blog as penance? Uhhh…. we’ll see.

Well, we shall kick things off these ritualized holiness by bearing witness to the once angry rocker chick Alanis Morisette cover Black Eyed Peas’s “My Humps.”

If for some reason youtube took the video down, please click here.

Well, watching Alanis grind it with those bangs and ghetto wear can drive any sinner to seek penance.



  1. You were really red and as you said it, you ARE an authentic mestizo :p

    And about the Alanis video… it’s disturbing! I mean, seeing her like that… she’s WANTS attention.

    OH! And now I remember who she looks like with that BANGS… Jennifer Love Hewitt!

  2. i am so sunburned from my SEAsian trip, but when i got here to Japan, windburn, malamig naman! AUGH! hahahaha…

    at di pa rin yata ako nakakita ng blackberry ba yun???


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