Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stealing Identities in Social Networking

Statistics have recently shown that 98 percent of people between the ages of thirteen and thirty-nine in all highly-urbanized areas across the world own their Face book account. That of course, is a patent lie, absolutely unfounded except when you count in sheer imagination as a source of reliable information. But I’m pretty sure you won’t argue with me when I say that more and more people are in fact getting accounts from these online community or profile-sharing websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and the now totally-unhip-and-unpopular Friend-thingie. Yes, more and more people are willing to publish vital and confidential personal information to the whole world , for whatever reason. Some may want to reconnect with friends from the past, some may just want to meet new friends, and for some, this may be the only venue where they can have friends. Virtual friends are still better than none.

While some rejoice because they can finally interact with other people, some people are even happier, because of what these websites can give rise to: identity theft. Yes, in case you weren’t aware, it’s so easy to build a profile of one person by simply appropriating all the available information on that person and, basically, do whatever you want with it. Names, birthdays, addresses, photographs, and in some cases, even work experience; they can be found in these online communities and profile-sharing sites.

The problem is not a lot of people are aware that these things may actually happen or that people may in fact do this. But it’s so easy to do and the thing is, any person, even with the minimum required skills for internet use, can do it. Add the fact that the internet is not exactly a haven for the nicest people and you’ve got a recipe for identity theft and other online fraud. Identity theft is a growing problem, and it seems like the rather unsafe and very inconvenient information sharing mechanisms in these websites make it much easier. The worst part of it is that you can’t really get any proper remedy from existing laws to correct such misdeeds. Oftentimes, your solution would just have to be, well, suck it up. Go to authorities and you’ll most likely hear one thing: you should have just been careful.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Do heroes have their own heroes?

At one point in people’s lives, they aspire for either one, a hero to rescue them when they find themselves in the deepest ditch they’ve dug for themselves, or two, be that hero who rescues the helpless so as to be able to delight in whatever recognition such heroism may bring them. Either way, people have idealized the concept of a hero: strong, powerful, extraordinary, virtuous, ever-reliable, and even comes unexpectedly yet the timing is always perfect. The world has put the hero on a pedestal.

But a new breed of heroes has arrived: heroes who have to deal with their own personal issues, issues that are simply out of their control. Superpowers can’t solve everything after all. And just as the strength of a hero is a thousand times greater than that of the normal individual, so is the magnitude of the problem he has to deal with in his own life as an extraordinary being.
Who will save the hero?
Surely heroes will try to fix the problem by themselves, thinking that if the ordinary person can’t even handle his own affairs, then what could he possibly do to aid the hero in his problem? However, when someone has been so used to trying to resolves the problems of those who need saving, which are sometimes not only mundane, but even brought about by that person himself, then it would seem as if working problems out won’t be a problem. The hero has been used to trivial issues, and thinks that he’d probably have the same attitude of confidence when faced with his own setbacks.
So how would he feel being confronted by something new, uncontrollable, and incomprehensible?
Finally the hero faces uncertainty. Finally the hero faces potential doom. Finally the hero understands how it feels to be helpless.

So, after an ordinary day of rendering salvation and heroism, the hero retires and contemplates his own life issues. Although a person of awesome skills and power, the hero, under the overwhelming effect of uncertainty, sometimes wonders if those he has saved in the future can return the favor, and this time, be there to bring him salvation. Do they realize what the hero goes through? Do they understand the hero’s confusion? Unfortunately, though logically, they don’t. After all, what good is a hero who can’t fight is own demons?

The idea of having to be saved just seems too un-heroic.

Eventually, the hero realizes the futility of hoping that some ordinary individuals out there will do for him what he has done for them. There’s a reason why he’s the hero in the story. Harsh as it may seem for him, this is how it should be. Strong, powerful, extraordinary, virtuous, ever-reliable, and even comes unexpectedly yet the timing is always perfect: a hero is not designed to feel weakness or display any hint of frailty. It takes a while for the hero to pull through, but he will anyway.

Sometimes the hero just wishes there’d be a hero for him, too.

(Then the hero figures out everything once again..)

Monday, May 25, 2009

No dear, it was NOT love...

People mistake a lot of things to be love. An extreme adoration of someone's gorgeous physical features may be confused with love. A person's display of absolute kindness may be mistaken for love. A playful and touchy-feely type of friendship may be mistaken for love. Giving someone a ten-thousand-dollar gift check to purchase designer clothes may be mistaken for love. Hey wait a minute, isn’t it?

Anyway, let me innovate. As it turns out, even feelings arising from self-insecurity may be mistaken for love, or least a desire for romantic love. Obviously that may just seem far-out, but yes, if Miley Cyrus can get a spread in Vanity Fair, then anything’s possible.
The question now is, how could a person ever mistake self-insecurity as a desire to be romantically involved? Well it’s not really a difficult question to answer. Just think of it this way: there are some people who simply have no desire for romantic love, for various reasons. They may have no time for it, they may just be too in love with other non-human entities (like clothes or perfume or dark chocolate), or simply because they genuinely feel that they don’t need it. There are just some people who possess such a high level of self-esteem and self-love that it may no longer be necessary to find those from other people. That’s not such a hard thing to understand right? It simply means that these people are in a position where they wallow in pride and self-content because of who they are or what they can do or what they have that the issues of who they’re with or whether or not they are with someone are basically…non-issues.
However, this superior level of self-esteem is not immune from being damaged. A lot of things can happen to a person that may endanger this unusually high level of security with one’s self which may have the person believing that he may not be that great being he believed himself to be. Suddenly the thought of being just a mere mortal enters his mind, and with this, comes the desire for what is usually wanted by ordinary people, as they think that they may find relief from their issues with the aid of these things.
When a person of this type feels that who he is or what he has or what he can do is no longer enough to make him happy or at least maintain the necessary level of self-satisfaction, this is when he begins to look to other things, things external to him, to fill that missing portion. Shopping and gaining material things usually work, but oddly enough, romance just seems so inviting.
Enter confusion. No, that is an understatement: enter, utter madness. The love they originally had for themselves is now transferred to another individual as the former may feel that he is no longer worthy of this self-love, and would hence just invest this “love” in the latter. What they think of as a new entity worth pouring emotions and fluttering feelings into is actually just some luck passerby who caught their eyes at a moment when they are confused, vulnerable, and desperate for something to make them feel better.
But it won’t take forever for the temporarily-confused person to realize the foolishness he has immersed himself. All he needs is a wake-up call, a trigger, or a role model with enough strength…no he doesn’t really need any of that. Well, maybe the return of a brain is necessary. Otherwise, all he needs is to realize that he was never romantically attracted to another person, least of all in love with someone. It was simply a matter of self-love displaced.
And the love is back to where it should be.

“You know I adore all of God’s creatures, and the metaphors they inspire, but those butterflies have got to be murdered!” (Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl)

The Truth about Lies

“Yes. Each night before we fall asleep we lie to ourselves in a desperate, desperate hope that, come morning, it will all be true.”

As children, we have always been told by the adults keeping watch over us never to lie. Somehow we have been made to believe that lying is as good as digging your own grave, or securing your place in hell, or maybe purchasing a one-way ticket to South Korea. Lying has always been deemed as wrong. And that my friend, is one big lie.
As much as I would like to think that I’m a person who strives for the truth and a world free from pretensions, I have realized, after reaching a semi-crisis, that lying may have its merits. As a matter of fact, there can be that situation where lying may be speaking the truth. Confusing, I bet. It’s just a matter of who you’re lying to.
It’s just a matter of lying to yourself.
When you lie to yourself, the first person you deceive is who else, but you. However, once you have deceived yourself and you yourself are under the false impression that the idea or thought or whatever bit of information you have forced into your head is actually true, then it’s not really lying when you pass on this information to other people.
Okay so it may still seem like lying, but I guess to be a completely valid defense (or helpful mechanism), you must be such a great liar that you may even deceive yourself. And trust me, though it may take years before a person can master such art, such really can be done.
But why would a person lie to himself? Sometimes in life there are just situations that we don’t want to think about, and for various reasons. Some seem too overwhelming for us to handle, or maybe some are just too distracting it takes so much our time worrying about it, or probably some are just things that we don’t want to care about, when all the signs seem to signify that we should. Whatever the reason is, a person resorts to lying to one’s self as a protective mechanism so as not to be made to deal with all the unnecessary drama that has to come with confronting the truth. If a person keeps on denying the existence of something, chances are “that something” would in fact cease to exist, at least as far as the person in denial is concerned.
You may not admit it (of course you wouldn’t), but everyone resorts to self-deception every once in a while. Acts such as refusing to find out answers to exams right after taking one, or relaxing in an expensive cafĂ©, sipping the priciest latte on a perfect Friday afternoon while practically suppressing the fact of extensive corruption and immorality of the present government: we do them so often, but then, we’re not even aware of them. Duh, we’ve lied to ourselves about it.
The bad part comes once you rediscover the truth, and suddenly it isn’t so easy going back to the protective shelter of your lie, unless you’ve mastered it so well, going back to that protective shelter is effortless. The revelation is almost life-transforming, and the fact you have been trying to deny has now become even more overwhelming. This is when you confront it, and resolve the issue despite its being larger-than-life. This is when you overcome the lie, conquer whatever crisis, and learn to deal with the truth.
And in the end, you won’t have to live that lie.

A Page from a Designer's Journal

"What would this color look like on her skin?"

Thus goes the first question asked by The Designer as he contemplates about the outfit he has been contracted to...what else, but design. He has already finished making several sketches, none of which seem to capture that exact image in his head, but they're beautiful designs nonetheless. He suddenly stops thinking how odd it is that he knows exactly how the outfit must appear, down to the minutest details, and yet he cannot make an accurate depiction of it on paper. Stumped as he is, he decides that the best way to do it is make several sketches and let the client choose.

The client's choice is important, but in the end, it's The Designer's whims and caprices that determine the outfit.
As The Designer temporarily decides to postpone the design choice, he continues on pondering about the color of the dress. He looks at his own skin, then realizes that his skin color is actually similar to that of his client's. Well, except that his skin tone has a more definite tan, and has a more uniform shade than that of his client, as if he has just skinny dipped in one of the beaches of Greece under the fine sun. Yes, he loves his skin color. And he loves his blue shirt on his skin.
Blue. And silver. Definitely blue and silver. Okay, so blue on blue, silver on blue, silver on blue, and silver. That's great.
No one else can really get that, but The Designer has a way of thinking that only he can comprehend.
Oh wait. The Designer suddenly remembers that he can't sew. It seems as though it's not enough that he can't translate his thoughts in a way that others would understand. The couturier has to understand. Ugh.
The Designer finally decides on a design. The top shall be halter, with fine, expensive lace layered over the material. It may have been a good idea to make several sketches then let the client choose, but come to think of it, that is actually a lot lazier than just coming up with one design perfect for the client. And The Designer refuses to be lazy. Why so? Mainly because by making only one design, The Designer has to go through such a long, tedious, and detailed process as to what would be great-wait-the best for the client. He has to think about an outfit that would match the proportions and features of the client; in short, it has to be a very unique creation. On the other hand, if The Designer were to just come up with several sketches and lets the client choose, that's pretty much it: several sketches. Sure, it's pretty, but how will it be on the client? If that were the case, idiosyncrasy wouldn't have to matter. Such a method implies utter irresponsibility or inability to take responsibility on the part of whoever follows the said method.
It feels great that The Designer has come up with the perfect outfit, and has decided on the colors! Bravo! And now, time to ask for The Client's approval.
After two hours and etcera minutes spent on fixing himself up (As The Designer, he simply will not step out into the world looking like trash...Eew.), The Designer is now ready to meet the client. He looks for the sketch, and finds it inserted in a pile of papers with word "versus" and "petitioner" written all over them. As precious as it is, The Designer hastily folds up the sheet of paper where the sketch was drawn and puts it in his pocket.
That habit is so unproductive. How can someone neglect his own creations? It's like Leonardo da Vinci painting a moustache above Mona Lisa's lips...then lazily folding it then putting it in his pocket.
Late as usual; no one really expects The Designer to come on time. As much as he is aware of how unprofessional it is, proclaiming divaness and egoism prevails over his concern of how others might think of him professionally-wise. Besides, the client is a friend, and they do more than discuss business when they meet. (...What business?)
"Ooh.", the client says. What kind of a reaction is that? Seriously. If you hate it, then just say so. But if you don't, say something else than "Ooh." "Wow, this is beautiful. You're very good at this.", she adds. Okay, that's slightly lukewarm but The Designer accepts it. Assured that the client is satisfied with the outfit presented to her for her upcoming graduation, he then proceeds to taking to her about the color. Luckily for both of them , the client also liked the color of the shirt that inspired The Designer to come up with the blue.
A lot of people in the industry love shopping for fabrics; unfortunately for The Designer, he doesn't seem to share others' passion for going into fabric shops or warehouses. It's too tiring, and it's such a tedious process. Truth is, The Designer has a lot more to learn about fabrics, hence the ambivalence as to the whole process of looking for the flesh of the outfit. This time The Designer has become so unsure of himself that he insists the client comes along. It doesn't take much for the client to be persuaded, probably a sign that she is very well aware of The Designer's limitations when it comes to fabrics.
The store assistant seems rather irritated. The Designer and his posse, which pretty much consists of the client and another fashionable friend have been going around the fabric store for almost three hours. They've taken pictures of some fabrics, of themselves, swapped conversations for at least twenty topics, followed by another two, played games identifying colors. The posse has done may things inside the store, except choose a fabric.
"Okay, all the blue fabrics look the same," says the fashionable friend as she peeps into her digital camera. The fashionable friend, being least privy to this entire activity (being neither a designer or a client), is probably the most bored. The Designer is very well aware of this. Despite his earlier statements totally condemning satin, he now goes to the satin section, realizing that isn't really much choice in his little city. 'It's tacky. I feel like I'm looking at a really bad wedding entourage,' The Designer thinks as he picks up the roll from the shelf. 'Or an early 90s prom.' But ever the tenacious individual that he is, The Designer knows that he can breathe beauty into this otherwise condemned material; he can salvage it, make something attractive out of it. Besides, he's really hungry. One thing about designers: they have much difficulty understanding the idea behind "fats."
Phone in one hand and the plastic bag with the fabric in the other, The Designer struggles to find his way through the crowded streets of the city.'Ugh. People.' Now comes the really difficult part: meeting the couturiers. In a world where people just listened and paid attention to instructions, designers wouldn't really have much problems in making sure their designs are followed. Unfortunately such world does not exist; or if it does then The Designer is aware he's not living in it. But he'll take the risk by giving the sketch to the paid couturiers.
"The lace is on top on this fabric, and then this fabric drapes over this one, so it delivers that Grecian's very Arma-...", The Designer's voice trails off as he realizes that he was about to compare his design to someone else's. It's the fashion industry. There is such a strong desire for up and comers to stand out on their own, and yet be at par with the established ones, and of course, make sure that the designs are trendy enough to command attention and hence, sell. As much as fashion and designing is also a passion, it is also a good source of green matter. There are too many self-contradictory events going on in that industry that it's hard to make sense out of the whole thing.
It's been almost a week since the fabric and the design was surrendered to the care of the couturier, when the client sent a message to The Designer. "The dress is a disaster. The cut reaches my last rib, there's an oil stain. It makes me look like a pregnant woman..."
The Designer doesn't know what to make of it. Unfortunately he is currently not in a position to check out the dress, as he's somewhere pursuing the realistic, the practical.
'What the fu-...'
Suddenly, for a moment it seemed as if the career that never even actually begun has come to an end. Shocked by the message, The Designer sits in utter disbelief, contemplating thoughts optimists don't know of. He sees this as a warning, as a big sign screaming to him at his face that some things are simply unattainable or too impossible or not worth wasting precious time on. Besides, the cases on the desk are piling up.
Why risk so much for something so unsure?
But if there's one thing that The Designer is not, then that's being a self-pitying, defeatist, loser.
"Shit. Where's that pencil?"

(FYI: This was written before I even read Imogen Edwards-Jones "Fashion Babylon," for those doubting the originality of the concept behind this article. But that book's a good read as well.)

My Rejected Criminal Law Story

For our Midterm Exams in Criminal Law 2, our professor asked us to make this story featuring six felonies, one from each of the titles we discussed before the Midterms. Despite being "funny" and "well-written", my story wasn't chosen. Boo hoo. Haha! I'm kidding, a really good one was chosen anyway, one with more gray areas, which was what we needed.
But I still want to publish mine since it is "funny" and "well-written." Besides, people somehow predicted that I was going to write something like this. If for some reason you feel like it, maybe you can try resolving the issues involved (i.e. whether or not a crime was committed, and what the crime committed was).
Otherwise, just indulge yourself in a really funny story, and hope you never get to meet Jessica. =D


Jessica hated queues.

It was just another Saturday night in one of the posh districts of Makati, and as usual, Jessica Reyes found herself in the long queue to The White Lotus, the hippest, the most exclusive, and definitely the most expensive club in Metro Manila. Jessica was just getting sick of the whole waiting process. As she looked around, trying to rid herself of the boredom brought upon by waiting behind the velvets, she saw the handsome Nathan Cruz emerge from a brand new Mercedes SLK, presumably owned by this hotshot politician. Emerge is definitely the word as Nathan chose to climb through the opening in his car’s ceiling to get out; Nathan obviously, was not sober, as betrayed by the constant stumbling and his zombie-like manner of walking. As a matter of fact, the smell of burned marijuana he wreaked as he walked along was so strong, some of the people in the queue took a sniff to get high.

Jessica had a bright idea. Though in really high stiletto heels, she managed to jump over the velvet rope, unto the red carpet. She took a hold of Nathan’s arm, and laid her head on his shoulder as they both made their way into the entrance. Nathan, perplexed by the whole event, couldn’t get himself to object as he was just too stoned to do so. As they were entering the club (Nathan, being a VIP, didn’t have to wait in the queue with the ordinary people), the bouncer looked suspiciously at Jessica. Jessica, noticing the bouncer’s cold glance, flashed her left hand, displaying a golden wedding ring (Jessica carries one with her for convenience, as it discourages undesirable guys from hitting on her when in clubs). The bouncer apologized, addressing Jessica as Madam Cruz, then immediately had this VIP couple seated at one of their premier seats, costing as much as P15,000 for mere use. Jessica then took the liberty off ordering the finest drinks from the menu, the first five cocktails of which cost P7,400, said price taken cared of Nathan’s credit card which Jessica conveniently took out of Nathan’s wallet. Every time they were billed for their drinks, Jessica signed the receipts, using the name Jessica Cruz.

After two hours of drinking and dancing, Jessica went back to the VIP couch to order more drinks for her new found friends (she’s been going around the club, flashing her wedding ring, then pointing to Nathan; apparently this impressed people and now everybody wants to be her friend). Nathan has now totally passed out, and is in deep slumber. While looking for other credit cards, Jessica realized how handsome Nathan was. She paused a bit, then after a few seconds, she kissed Nathan torridly on his lips, then began groping him between his thighs.
[2] Nathan, like any other male, was woken up by the kissing and touching; but unlike most males, Nathan tried to resist at first, except that he was too intoxicated and stoned to prevent Jessica from going any further with these unwanted sexual acts. Eventually, he himself found pleasure in Jessica’s lewd actions, and so he kissed back.

Jessica stopped when she felt some heavy breathing down on the back of her neck. No, this is not the heavy breathing she wanted, for as she turned around, she came face to face with the heavy breather, Angela Cruz, Nathan’s wife. The latter, enraged by the whole scenario, held Jessica by her arms, then tossed her into the wild crowd on the dance floor. This being a rave club, the patrons pretty much ignored Jessica sprawled upon the floor, as this was a normal occurrence in rave clubs. Wanting to get up, Jessica grabbed on to the big Fendi bag of Claire, one of those dancing on the floor, causing the latter to fall over Jessica. The crowd then began to cheer the two, some of them yelling “Take it off!,” while others poured alcohol over the two. Jessica pushed Claire aside, got up, and was about to leave the dance floor when she saw Angela coming to her direction. She turned around and started walking quickly when she heard someone shout “Bitch! What’s your problem!?” Apparently, Jessica, with her very thin and very sharp stilettos, stepped on Claire’s hand, who was still on the floor at that time. Not happy with the incident, Claire threw her bag at Jessica. Jessica’s new found friends (those she treated thanks to Nathan’s credit cards) came to her defense, attacking Claire, causing the latter’s friends to come to her rescue. All the other club patrons, ever the envious crowd, decided to join in the whole affair, and soon enough, people were just randomly hitting each other and throwing shoes into the air, not minding who they hit, and in the process, driving the DJ to produce the best rave music ever known to mankind, which had the subsequent effect of further psyching up the crowd. In the midst of all this chaos, Jessica managed to find an unbroken bottle of vodka on the floor, which she thought she could use once out of the club. With all her strength, she wormed her way out of the once-classy-crowd now-mosh-pit she found herself in. While she wormed her way out, what she didn’t realize was that the unbroken bottle got broken in the process, fatally wounding D.L., who’s throat somehow came in contact with the sharp tip, causing his death.

Micah, the DJ, saw Jessica try to escape, and knowing that Jessica must somehow be made liable for the chaos now occupying his dance floor, he got down from his platform, and apprehended the said female. In order for him to physically restrain Jessica, he, in good faith, felt that he had to tightly embrace Jessica to prevent her from going anywhere. Unknown to him though was the fact that Jessica was a really strong girl, as she still managed to break out from Micah’s embrace despite the latter’s bulky and brute physique. That she was touched without her liking angered Jessica so much, but as she recognized that she couldn’t stay any longer in the club because the authorities might come sometime soon, and because people have identified her as the bearer of the broken bottle that killed one of the clubbers, she grabbed Micah, carried the 6-foot DJ with her despite his struggles, and simply ran out.

After ten minutes of running, Jessica thought that Micah was simply too heavy, and so she brings the guy down after having hoisted him over her shoulder for that period of time. She found herself (with Micah of course) in one of the residential areas in Makati. Micah, realizing that Jessica was simply too strong and fast for him to ever defeat her, sat down, then gathering his wits, tried to convince Jessica to just surrender to the authorities before they started posting “Wanted: Dead or Alive” posters of her all over Makati; Micah was obviously watching too many Western films despite being one of the hippest DJs in Asia. Meanwhile, Jessica just stood there, thinking about how she was going to punish Micah for his behavior of violently embracing her, or if she was still going to punish him. They were both silent for a moment.
Jessica looked into her faux Balenciaga purse, got her lipstick, and began fixing herself up, for whatever her reason was. She engaged Micah in a conversation, and after a matter of minutes, the two were talking about each other’s lives and its complications. In this conversation it was revealed that Micah was more than just a hip DJ, but he in fact belonged to one of the richest clans in the Philippines, the Zaragozas. This revelation, as expected, got the mendacious Jessica’s interest. As she put her lipstick back into her purse, she found a small bottle of Berdugo, one the strongest whiskeys ever created on earth, so strong it’s banned in the U.S. She took the little bottle, pretended to take a gulp, then offered it to Micah. Micah was apprehensive at first, but thanks to Jessica’s power of persuasion ( it doesn’t hurt to be drop dead gorgeous), he was made to finish the entire bottle. After 5 seconds, Micah suddenly felt extremely nauseous he couldn’t even bring himself to sit up straight. As he laid his back upon the pavement, Jessica reached into the pockets of his pants, and looked for cash or his wallet. She managed to find the DJ’s Ferragamo wallet, and upon opening it, got utterly disappointed with the fact that all it had was this one ATM card. Again, Jessica stood, stumped.
Meanwhile, a group of call center agents who lived in one of the apartments in the neighborhood passed by the odd couple and noticed the strikingly bizarre scenario. Not wanting them to think that she was at fault for anything, Jessica got her acting skills together, then suddenly screamed at Micah, who was sprawled helplessly on the pavement: “Pathetic drunkard! If only you worked as much as you drank then maybe we could afford to send our son to school! What are you doing with your life?! Is that it!? Are you happy living the life of a leech!? We can’t live like this! Stop being such a moronic slob, and actually do something!”
[5] The call center agents watched the scene for a few seconds, then left; one of them, recognizing the man on the floor as DJ Micah, shook his head in disapproval, and said, “That’s just too bad. He played the best music in the city.”
They then got into their building. One of them though withdrew from an ATM located at the base of building first before catching up with his colleagues.

Jessica was so pleased with herself, but this self-satisfaction didn’t do much help in squeezing cash out of Micah, who, though conscious, was just so impaired by the alcohol that he couldn’t move from his position. The woman now felt another need for a dab of lipstick. As she looked into her purse looking for the Maybelline gloss, she found a tiny bottle of those perfume samples from Michael Kors. Her eyes sparked, and she smiled. She sat beside Micah’s limp body and made him a proposition: “Micah, what you just had was Berdugo. A little too strong for you, huh? Haha! Well guess what, unless you take the antidote to it, you’re going to have to stay there, in that position, limp for at least the next two days.”
Micah laid there, in utter disbelief of Jessica’s treachery. Not that he could do anything about it at this point.
“But listen,” Jessica continues. “I am offering you the antidote for Berdugo, in exchange for your number.” Micah’s lips then began to move, his voice was weak, but he tried to speak with all the might possible: “zero……four…” Jessica interrupted with a really obnoxious laugh, and clarified herself, “Not that number! It’s not like you even date women! I want your ATM card’s pin number!” Micah laid there, quiet, obviously resistant to divulging the information that could set him back by P40,000. “Consider it, Micah. If I leave you here tonight without that antidote, limp and physically retarded, who knows what might happen to you? Some rabid dog just might take interest in you, or maybe some other creature of the night you don’t want touching you…”
This alarmed Micah, causing him to cave in: “one……five…” Jessica grinned with the biggest smile ever made by a human being, almost blinding Micah with the flash of her white teeth. She ran to the ATM, and after a number of successive withdrawals, exhausted the account of P40,000, which she fit into her faux Balenciaga.
As she walked by Micah, the DJ stretched his hand out, wanting the antidote Jessica promised. Jessica smirked, held the little bottle like a cigarette, and threw it away into the far distance. She walked away, leaving Micah lying on the pavement. Soon enough, another group of call center agents chanced upon Micah, helped him up and brought him to their apartment where he could recover from his involuntary drunkenness. He was fine after a couple of hours.

And so Jessica never had to do queues again.
[1] Usurpation of civil status or estafa?
[2] Acts of lasciviousness?
[3] Homicide thru reckless imprudence or death caused in a tumultuous affray?
[4] Kidnapping or illegal detention or grave coercion?
[5] Slander?
[6] Estafa or robbery?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Feeling old for your age? Well you're not alone...

Is it just me or are all twenty-plus people under the same amount of stress?
Really now; when just like me you too are in that age group of twenty-one to twenty-nine, then you’ll probably be able to relate to what I’m about to say. I mean we are so young, but gosh, the stress we have to endure at such young an age is just totally unbelievable! Seriously! And I’m not even working yet so I couldn’t just imagine what my contemporaries in the labor market are dealing with. But hey, I’m not exactly in a bed of roses either. Maybe a bed of thorns? Or nails? Or road spikes? Whatever, you get the point .
I don’t know about those who have, at least at this moment, chosen the lifestyle called “bumming,” but whether you’re working at some multinational capitalist company, or competing with your way-older classmates while earning your masters degree, or giving it all out for law school albeit it all seems for naught, being at this age is surprisingly stressful. Tough work, inhumane law school, competitive and gossip-loving colleagues, classmates with whom you have apparently irreconcilable personality differences…whatever it is, you have to admit: there’s just so much sh*t in life, and it seems as the sh*t just piles up and up, until it’s so high that giving up and running away appears to be the easy solution.
Yes, we’re young, but who could have thought that we’d age so fast in a matter of months?
I’m not sure if anyone else can relate to it, but sometimes, when I talk with other people about the fatigue and the stress of being at this age, I can’t help but theorize as to why we’re enduing so much (or at least why we feel we’re enduring so much). You might think, “Oh there he goes again with all those actually meaningless rationalizations…etc.”, but hey, can I help it? Social Science major-duh! And besides, you probably will relate to this.
Upon graduating from college, it seems as though the world is ours to conquer. Suddenly we’re independent, suddenly we’re making our own decisions. We don’t have to deal with curfews (at least most of us do), we can travel to anywhere we want (on its face something patently false), club all we want, and basically do everything without anyone having to watch over our every move. Freedom!
But the party is cut short.
Then comes the rather late (but should have been obvious anyway) realization that with greater independence comes so much responsibility. We’re set “free,” we’re out there in the world “deciding for ourselves,” when really, we carry with us the heavy load of expectations of…well, everyone! You do realize that it’s not just you banking in on your future, or what’s set to happen in your life right? That alone creates such a heavy burden-but wait, there’s more!
Then there’s that odd internal own age ambivalence phenomenon; if it’s an ugly, unscientific-sounding name, then you try coming up with a name! (Though it really is an ugly, unscientific-sounding name…) What I’ve realized about being at this age is that it’s so easy for us to accept the independence and the positive features of (hold on to your seats-) adulthood, but there are just so many things about being nine or thirteen or sixteen or eighteen that, upon entering “grown-upness” (yet another ugly invented term), we inevitably have to give up. And usually, these are the things that provide for us comfort, that protect us from stress or tension or whatever negative it is out there. Especially if you’re away from home (i.e. working or studying in Manila, away from the “province” [Yes, everyone in Manila is still convinced that only their city is urban and the rest of the Philippines doesn’t have electricity yet…let’s save that for another entry]), then you’ll know how difficult it is to be away from all that’s comfortable and familiar.
But hey, we're still young right? At the end of the day, nothing can get more youthful than a twenty-one year old drooling over a bottle of Red Horse and dancing all over club!

Yes, I'm gonna part-teey! Haha!