Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Am I thankful...

That I am not in the situation of the lady I saw walking down the street? Trying to earn a living selling sampaguita necklaces and peanuts everyday. Rain or shine. Sick or well. Good times or bad. Risking one's health (and to a lesser extent one's life) just to make enough to feed oneself and other dependent people. Not able to enjoy the things in life that I take for granted.

That I have a "home" to come home to. That I have electricity, running water, clean water, wifi, an HD ready TV with cable, a PS3, a laptop, a nice phone, and food?

That I have a lovely wife bearing my soon-to-be born daughter? A wife who will always be there for me and who puts up with my pissy attitude and my constant mood swings.

Yes. Yes, I am thankful. I may not show it all the time but I do remember what I have and for that I am thankful.

There are many more things to be thankful for. So many things that I'd rather not write it down, or else it might make this entry a long and boring and sentimental post.

Just know that I am thankful.

But that does not mean I am satisfied. I want to better my life. I want to improve the situation my family and I are in. I want more.

But I will always be thankful. I always have to remember to be thankful.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Anything's possible with proper budgeting. Right now I just don't know how to do that.

Sure I split my salary into personal and family, with different but set amounts. But that doesn't really help that much.

I get by every month without a deficit, true, but I also don't end up with any savings for myself. Don't get me wrong, my wife and I manage to save for us, but to save for me is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps it's time I took some cost-saving measures that I used to do.

I should start bringing packed lunch from home again. Because this wouldn't tap into money for me since this would be part of the money for the household. Either that or I should start buying from cheaper alternatives.

Plus I should always be vigilant and make sure that I do not do any sudden splurging. And I should always keep myself disciplined with respect to my personal expenses.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

One Pissed Off Rant

I've changed. A lot. In fact, I'm proud to say that I have done my absolute best to improve the way I think. I have forced myself to stop thinking negatively, and I have forced myself to be nicer to people around me.

I am not a finished product. Far from it, of course. I know, it takes time to be a better person. It doesn't just happen overnight. You have to be consistent in what you do to improve yourself.

I do revert back to my old ways every now and again. People slip. People fall down. I still pick myself up. If this was the old me I would have just stayed down and started acting like my old self. And yet I don't. Sure it may take a while for me to get back up, but I always force myself to do so.

So it really is starting to annoy the hell out of me when all people see around me are my negatives. Isn't it enough that I've been trying to improve? That I've been pleasant? No. It's never enough.

I've changed. If you can't even acknowledge the fact that I am a better person now, screw you. I know that the reason people still want me to change is to imrpove myself. But can't they even give me credit where credit is due?

If you can't even acknowledge that I've improved but you still want more, then screw you. I'm not your goddamned lapdog. I need positive reinforcement. You guys can't even give that to me. Then I guess it's just me all alone again.


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Craving for Kinalas

It's been almost seven years since I last had Kinalas. Kinalas is a noodle soup dish I tasted in Naga City. The most basic way I can describe it is mami noodles and meat in a broth and thick sauce that looks like palabok sauce. Spring onions and toasted garlic is added as a garnish.

Oh, and there is a meat free kinalas called luglug. It's just the noodles, broth, sauce and garnishes.

I honestly have no idea how it is made. If you ask me, the secret's in the sauce. That marvelous sauce.

Kinalas is comfort food for me. It is warm, filling, and tasty. I can eat it on a rainy day, or I can eat it on a hot day. I can eat it as a snack, or as a meal. I usually eat kinalas with one hard-boiled egg.

What makes eating kinalas in Naga City even better is that the broth and sauce is bottomless. Yes, bottomless. You can have as much sauce and broth as you want. There are times when I order kinalas and immediately ask for extra broth and sauce. Then I slurp up all the soup and sauce and pour in a new batch. Perfect.

An even better combination I have is kinlas with egg, toasted siopao, and Royal Tru-Orange (local orange soda). This is the combo I usually have when I dine alone. I take my sweet time enjoying everything I am eating.

It's just too bad that I don't know any place in Metro Manila that serves kinalas. Even worse is the fact that I never bothered to learn how to cook it so I can cook it for myself.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

My New Dream Project Car

My current dream project car would be the VW Kombi, also known as the Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter.

Why that car? Well, for starters it looks nice. Then it's also big enough to fit a good number of people. Maybe 5 - 8 adults, depending on what seats I put in. It's spacious and it's a classic.

I would probably do a resto-mod on it. Part restoration, part modification. I'd keep the nice looking exterior but I'd do some modernizing of the more important parts of the car. That way I can keep the classic look but still have nice modern touches that would balance the car. I'm not a sucker for restored cars anyway.

For the exterior, I'd keep the look just the way it is. Maybe change the rims and go for more modern ones. Or maybe try and get banana-type rime (did I get the term right?). Plus I'd do a nice two-tone paint job, maybe blue and white or something similarly cheerful. I wouldn't put dark window tint, but most probably add the clear tint that helps keep the heat out inside. Plus for the headlights it would be nice if I could either use bright halogens (maybe 70 watts or higher) or maybe customized HID projector headlamps. In yellow light. I'd also probably add a rear windshield wiper just so I can improve visibility when it rains.

On the inside I'd probably try more modern seats. Maybe use more ergonomic seats for the driver and passenger seats. Of course if possible I'd also use more comfortable bench seats. Maybe limit it to two rows with both able to fold to add more space inside. Sort of similar to the interior of a 1993 Toyota Lite Ace. I'd also probably try to put better interior lights, maybe LED bulbs for night use. I'd also add a good sound system. No need for subwoofers but I'd like to have a sound system that actually sounds good, plus I'd like the stereo to have auxilliary input for mp3 players, aside from a 6-disc CD changer. No DVDs or LCDs inside. I just want a good sound system.

As for the "performance" part of the car, I'd most likely try to have the engine overhauled, cleaned, blueprinted, the works. The reason for this is so that I can fit in an aircon for the van. Plus I'd probably go for an improved alternator. Then I'd probably try to improve the suspension set-up to a more modern, safer set-up. I'd also try and replace the brakes with all-wheel disc brakes to help improve stopping power. This is also in relation to the fix-up I mentioned with the engine. I'd like this resto-mod Kombi to be able to overtake on highways and have a cruising speed of around 90kph easy, anyway. Plus I also want it to be able to slow down or stop when it has to.

Although I can afford a VW Kombi right now, I can honestly say that I would not be able to afford any of the mods I had planned. Plus I don't think it would be practical to buy a project car for a first car. However this does not mean that I can't dream about owning one. For now.
Plus who knows? Maybe next time a Kombi won't be my dream project car. But whatever my dream project car will be, these mods will almost always be part of that dream.


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Need for Wheels

As I was walking home last night from Greenbelt, the rain started getting stronger. It was so strong that my jacket soon could not hold back the rain. Long story short, I got home totally wet. And it got me thinking.

I need a car.

Sure walking has it's merits. If you saw the traffic around Makati last night you'd wonder why I even thought of needing a car when walking got me where I wanted to go faster. But at least inside a car you don't get drenched in the rain. You don't get to dip your feet in really deep puddles of water. You don't have to worry about moronic car drivers who won't even let you through even if you're walking on the pedestrian lane.

Since I've got a wife and a kid on the way, I decided the best bet for a first time car (brand new, of course) would have to fall under the following categories. First it has to be spacious, it has to be able to fit my wife and I, plus our soon-to-arrive baby, a baby seat, a yaya (nanny is the loose translation) and whatever baby gear has to be brought along. Second, it has to be economical. No gas guzzlers, no fancy high-performance vehicle (for now). Finally it has to be under a million. Why? Because it'll most likely fit whatever budget I'll have.

What about second hand cars, you ask? Sure I've given it thought. But for now since this is just purely speculative, I'd rather go for brand new cars.

So based on those categories I thought of, the following cars were ones I'd considered. In no particular order...

1. Toyota Innova Diesel. It's big and spacious. It's tall so no problem with flooding. It's diesel, so I'm hoping it'll have good fuel consumption figures. Plus it's a Toyota, which means (used to mean?) it's reliable.

2. Chevrolet Cruze. Really? Chevrolet? Yes. I've seen it, it looks good. It looks spacious. It's a car. Despite the fact that Chevy isn't really a "major" competitor in the Philippines, and despite the fact that I have no idea about this car's reliability or costs this car intrigues me.

3. Suzuki APV. Much like the Innova, it's big, spacious, and tall. Unlike the Innova, this one has a 1.6L engine which supposedly gives it good fuel efficiency but makes it a bit underpowered for family out-of-town road trips.

4. Honda Jazz. Yes, it's a "small" car. But have you been inside one? It is roomy. The seats can fold in many different combinations to fit all sorts of luggage. Plus it also looks good too. I'd say this is one of the dark horses in my picks.

5. Suzuki SX4 Crossover. Yes, another Suzuki. This car just looks good. I've been reading online reviews of this car that says that it doesn't handle well or corner well. I doubt I'd need exceptional handling and cornering on a car that I plan on using to shuttle my family around.

6. Toyota Avanza. In my opinion this is a less spacious version of the APV. Plus this seems to be the vehicle of choice for taxi drivers. So if I were image conscious (which I am, to some extent) I'd probably consider this the least.

Well there it is. Six vehicles I've considered. Oh and I also based these choices from C! Magazine's pricelist. If I had to choose now what I'd get?

I'd go for a black Innova.