Friday, May 25, 2012


Are you ready to rise?

Finally, the last of Christopher Nolan's Batman movie franchise is upon us.  Or at least the latest promotional posters are.  Too bad there wasn't a poster of Marion Cotillard.

Will you watch this on opening day, or let it simmer the first few weeks, so there is no crowd?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Anyone and Anything

When I was younger, I had such a vivid imagination that I was able to create for myself three alter egos.  These alter egos each have slightly different personalities and slightly different powers.  Yes, these other-selves have powers -- magical, mystical and otherworldly powers.  They can summon dragons and other mythical creatures; they have weapons powered by mystic gems and the like; they can fly, teleport, move things with their mind.

They are eager companions during boring classes and long trips.  They are heroes of long unwritten adventures.  Most importantly, they were tools for retaliation against school bullies.  In my mind's eye, I see my alter egos use their powers to torment and torture my foes almost to the brink of death and nurse them back to health to torture them some more.  Many an afternoon were spent imagining new and elaborate tortures to my very real tormentors.  It may sound weak, but it was loads better than following them home and introducing them to the business end of a hammer.  I didn't want to be expelled.

School ended and imaginary friends faded.  And ShatterShards became the amalgamation of those three alter egos.  He lost the powers but gained a voice.  My voice.  The voice I use to bitch and rant about my problems; the voice I employ to ridicule my mundane experiences; the voice I muster to give form to my thoughts.  But no matter what aspect I use, it's still my voice, and a facet of my personality.  

It is still inherently me.

And not some mere fabrication.  It does not, however, compute that I am my blog nor my twitter account.  Though they may be facets of my personality, it can not and will not paint a complete picture of me.  But it is still me.

But the internet is a funny thing.  You can reinvent yourself and no one will be the wiser.  But like many technologies, it is its own boon and bane.  In your quest for reinvention, you may forget your self, and the webs of lies you weave may be the death of you.

But on the telephone line
I am anyone
I am anything I want to be
I can be a super model or
Norman Mailer
And you wouldn't know the difference
Or would you?

Who's to say now if the friends you've amassed are friends with you or with the persona you built around you?  And will they trust you again once the travesty of lies and half-truths have been unearthed?  I do not have the answer to that for I fear to tread it.

When I was little, I used to have such vivid imagination that I was able to conjure up imaginary personas for myself.  But it stayed where it should, which is inside my mind, because life is already too bizarre and grotesque as it is for my mental conjurings to add to the fray.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Take Me or Leave Me

Earlier this week, the song I'll Cover You from Rent's soundtrack played in my head for no apparent reason.  Suddenly, I felt depressed.  I don't know why I felt that way considering how lovely the lyrics are, but I did.

When one song depresses me, I counter it with more songs, and one of those is another piece from Rent.

Every single day,
I walk down the street
I hear people say: "Baby's so sweet!"
Ever since puberty
Everybody stares at me,
Boys, girls I can't help it, baby.
So be kind, and don't lose your mind
Just remember, that I'm your baby

Take me for what I am!
Who I was meant to be!
And if you give a damn,
Take me baby,Or leave me!
Take me baby or leave me!

A tiger in a cage
Can never see the sun.
This diva needs her stage, baby,
Let's have fun!
You are the one I choose,
Folks would kill to fill your shoes!
You love the limelight too now, baby!
So be mine, and don't waste my time
Cryin', "Oh honey bear are you still my, my, my baby?"
(Don't you dare!)

Take me for what I am!
Who I was meant to be!
And, if you give a damn,
Take me baby, or leave me!

No way, can I be what I'm not!
But hey, don't you want your girl hot?
Don't fight, don't loose your head,
'Cause every night who's in your bed?
Who? Who's in your bed?
(Kiss Pookie?!)

(It won't work!)
I look before I leap.
I love margins and discipline.
I make lists in my sleep, baby.
What's my sin?
Never quit.
I follow through.
I hate mess but I love you.
What to do with my impromptu baby?
So be wise, 'cause this girl satisfies,
You got a prize, so don't compromise
You're one lucky baby!!!

Take me for what I am!
(A control freak!)
Who I was meant to be!
(A snob yet over attentive!)
And, if you give a damn!
(A lovable droll, geek!)
Take me baby or leave me!
(And anal retentive!)

That's it!
The straw that breaks my back!
I quit!
Unless you take it back!
What is it about them?
Can't live, with them or without them!

Take me for what I am
Who I was meant to be
Who I was meant to be
And, if you give a damn
and if you give a damn you better
Take me baby or leave me
take me or leave me
Take me baby, or leave me
Guess I'm leaving, I'm gone!

I saw the musical when it was performed here and this song was one of my most anticipated.  I'm having a hard time looking for the local performances though, because they are at par with the Broadway cast, in my opinion.

Somehow, I can relate to both players sentiments in this song, but I identify more with Joanne.  

Who do you identify with?  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Assets (2)

Assets (1)
And so we have statesmen with unbelievable assets and we only get to know about it one scandal at a time.  We lament at how they are becoming rich while the country is poor, and conclude that the people whom we elected are crooks, but we have no way of proving it.

The main problem is that of accountability.  And vigilance.  The impeachment trial, though it has its flaws, is unprecedented in that for the first time, we are demanding an accountability from one of the highest seats of power.  Finally, we are asking not why one is rich, but how one became so.  But the Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) is merely the beginning.

The main flaw of the SALN is that it doesn't paint a whole picture.  Even coupled with the Income Tax Return (ITR), it doesn't say how one has earned, but merely how much one was taxed.  If we want our leaders to give us a full accounting of how and how much they earned, then the way to do it is subject them to the rigors of Accounting.

Any partnership or corporation, for it to be considered a juridical entity, has to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Regardless if its equity is 100K or 100M, if you want your company to be legally recognized, then you have to register.

And once registered, you have to submit annual financial statements, that is: Balance Sheet, which states your assets, liabilities and net worth; Income Statement, which states your income sources and the expenses you've incurred; and Statement of Cash Flows, which states the movement of your cash.  You also have your Notes to the Financial Statements which further clarifies the balances stated in the three reports.

All three reports are interconnected.  The assets you have are used to create income, which in turn you use to pay up your liabilities and other expenses.  These incomes and expenses are commonly in the form of cash, and thus reported as either an inflow or an outflow.

If corporations with net worth as little as a few hundred thousand pesos are required to submit Financial Statements, why not subject our leaders to the same rigor, considering some of them have assets and net worth amounting to hundreds of millions of pesos?  And considering that amount of money they have amassed, it is not quite far-fetched that these people have their personal accountants trailing after them.  

The financial statements, coupled with the ITR, can paint a bigger picture on the earnings and spending of our esteemed leaders.  It will show us how much they are truly earning, and how much of that earnings are taxed.  Furthermore, it will show us how and why their net worth are increasing.  Because honestly, the government pays them measly change, yet they own cash accounts by the millions, which in my mind, truly does not equate.

The question now is how to impose such strict accounting guidelines to these esteemed statesmen when they can't even submit their liquidations on time.  But that is another issue altogether.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School (2)

I filched this article from Forbes and I think that it is a good thing to keep in mind.  Bookish that I am, I need doses of these reminders every once in a while. Here's the rest of the article.
Part 1

Be aware of the insidious and unspoken lessons you learned as a child. To thrive in the world outside the classroom, you’re going to have to unlearn them.
Dangerous things you were taught in school:

6. Behaving yourself is as important as getting good marks.Whistle-blowing, questioning the status quo, and thinking your own thoughts are no-nos. Be quiet and get back on the assembly line.

7. Standardized tests measure your value.By value, I’m talking about future earning potential, not anything else that might have other kinds of value.

8. Days off are always more fun than sitting in the classroom.You are trained from a young age to base your life around dribbles of allocated vacation. Be grateful for them.

9. The purpose of your education is your future career.And so you will be taught to be a good worker. You have to teach yourself how to be something more.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


While on a special meeting regarding my transfer of work to other officemates, our budget manager, who was presiding over the meeting, commented on how people in the office are intimidated by me, to the point that they are afraid to approach me.

I was shocked, flabbergasted, even!  I know I can be shy almost to the point of being anti-social, but intimidating?!  Come on!

It was 2 in the afternoon and I was on my way out after class.  There were benches along the corridor leading to the South Gate.  Deep in thought upon whether I should eat at KFC or McDonald's for lunch, I noticed someone looking at me.  

Seated some few meters ahead, my myopic vision rendered me incapable of knowing who was looking at me.  I squinted to try to focus on her face when she waved.  "Uh-oh, someone who knows me whom I should also know.."  I thought while walking nearer her bench.

"Umm, Hi!"  I said, as I neared her location.  "Grabe ka, ShatterShards, ang sama mo namang makatingin," she said in reply.  I just smiled, waved, and hurried out of school.

We were talking about another friend, and out of curiosity, I asked what this friend thought about me.

"He's wary of you, because you're evil."
"What?!"  I choked.  It wasn't too long ago that I've been introduced to this friend, and we really aren't close.  There are very few avenues to talk, besides, despite belonging to the same group.  
"Well, not really evil, he said you look like someone who knows more that he lets on, so he's wary of you."
"Yeah, well, I do like to know stuff, you know that."

Overheard in the office:

Officemate 1:  Ma'am good mood ba si ShatterShards?
Officemate 2:  Ay, hindi, busy sya ngayon, may tinatapos na report.
Officemate 1:  Ganoon ba, sige, mamaya na lang ako lalapit.


I admit I can be too much to handle sometimes.  I can get too quiet and too serious when am in one of my moods, but that doesn't mean I bite people's heads off. Budget manager explained that my educational background and my being too formal puts other people in the office on their toes.

I just can't believe that that is other people's assessment of me.  It's sad, because I'm such a nice person deep deep deep deep down.


Friday, May 11, 2012


There are times when one feels vulnerable.  I woke up today without a sense of balance; as if something was amiss.  I still don't know what is wrong, probably it's all in my head.  Thankfully I have a repertoire of obscure songs to perk me up. 

Don't look no more,

Cause it'll only make your eyes sore
Hey! Count your R.E.M's,
It's comforting the sanctuary there we have
We argue sometimes and we fear we put the knife in too deep
but even when madness heads, it's only gladness I keep inside
So give me a sign

Cause we are Indestructible
Yes we are
And you are my life-line
And we are Indestructible
Yes we are

Hey, hey, you can be wicked
And you know I can be fickle sometimes too, y'know
Maybe you're my better side
Or maybe you annoy me to the point of where I'm holding this
Gun against your head, but I never said we have the same free spirit,
tell me will you cry? Don't cry
So give me a sign

Cause we are Indestructible
Yeah we are
And you are my life-line
And we are Indestructible
Yes we are

You take me as I am, mister
I've a little red devil on my shoe
You always stay real strong
You can take the rough with the smooth
And I know that we forget what we mean to say
Too proud sometimes
Guess we're only human

Cause we are Indestructible
Yeah we are
And you are my life-line
We are Indestructible
Yes we are
So give me a sign

We just have to remember that even though we may be vulnerable, what harms us -- whether real or imagined -- couldn't destroy us without our consent.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How Are You?

From the Italian Job (2003):

John Bridger: I feel so optimistic. How do you feel?
Charlie Croker: [shrugging] I'm fine.
John Bridger: Fine? You know what "fine" stands for, don't you?
Charlie Croker: Yeah, unfortunately.
John Bridger: Freaked out...
Charlie Croker: Insecure...
John Bridger: Neurotic...
Charlie Croker: And Emotional.
John Bridger: You see those columns behind you?
Charlie Croker: [looks behind him and sees the pillars] What about them?
John Bridger: That's where they used to string up thieves who felt fine.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Assets (1)

The biggest telenovela on air has is back for its second season and it's causing a stir, as expected.  What with the revelations by the Ombudsman and the subsequent prayer to block it as evidence, the requests for inhibition, and the Senator-judges' request for CJ to testify falling on deaf ears, season 2 episode 1 of the Impeachment Drama did not fail to disappoint.  Blame the politico's penchant for grandstanding; they should have let seasoned trial lawyers handle the prosecution.  We wouldn't have seen them stammer and stutter their way to the proceedings, unable to counter all blocks and objections thrown every which way by the defense. 

And now, we have the defense blocking everything with technicalities.  They're blocking the evidences by the Ombudsman because the latter has no jurisdiction over the Chief Justice.  They're insinuating that the Senator-judges are not impartial through their prayer of inhibition against one Senator whose son happens to be the Prosecution's spokesman.  And they're blocking everybody's wish that the CJ testify because they cannot be forced to produce a witness who doesn't want to testify.  Never mind the multiple pronouncements of the CJ himself that he will, in time, answer all allegations.  I guess he's waiting for public consciousness to forget about it.  

But there's one thing our esteemed statesmen may have missed.  Public positions are held in public trust, and the normal rule of "innocent until proven guilty" does not apply.  Winnie Monsod said it beautifully when she was grilling Mikey Arroyo over his assets a few years back.  She schooled the poor thing masquerading as congressman that as a holder of public office, your innocence is not presumed; rather it should be established.  And the CJ evading any and all queries about these alleged assets does not paint him an innocent.  All his legal blocks, no matter how suave and sophisticated, merely cements to the public the perception that he is one of the biggest crooks in town.

To be continued...
photo credit

Monday, May 7, 2012

Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School

I filched this article from Forbes and I think that it is a good thing to keep in mind.  Bookish that I am, I need doses of these reminders every once in a while.  Happy Monday!  

Be aware of the insidious and unspoken lessons you learned as a child. To thrive in the world outside the classroom, you’re going to have to unlearn them.
Dangerous things you were taught in school:

1. The people in charge have all the answers.That’s why they are so wealthy and happy and healthy and powerful—ask any teacher.

2. Learning ends when you leave the classroom.Your fort building, trail forging, frog catching, friend making, game playing, and drawing won’t earn you any extra credit. Just watch TV.

3. The best and brightest follow the rules.You will be rewarded for your subordination, just not as much as your superiors, who, of course, have their own rules.

4. What the books say is always true.Now go read your creationism chapter. There will be a test.

5. There is a very clear, single path to success.It’s called college. Everyone can join the top 1% if they do well enough in school and ignore the basic math problem inherent in that idea.


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