written by Kiana Garcia, a Filipina from Manila, Philippines
(that's me on the banner) is here to identify the issues
of growing up and living as an Asian woman in the world of
today. Actually I'm just one of those Asian girls who
likes to speak her mind. This isn't some sort of sex
site, so don't get any wrong ideas. I might talk about
sex from time to time in a non-graphic way, but that's about
all you will get. Ok, maybe you will get some
seductive looking photos, but that's only to show the true
beauty of the Asian woman. Taking pictures is one of
my hobbies. The purpose of my site to hopefully
empower and educate girls (and teach men about us) about both their inner and outer
strength and beauty in this non-Asian dominated world today
through my example of body and spirit. I believe that
our most powerful asset as modern Asian girls is the freedom
of our minds and the power of the internet.
Here's the deal on the pictures: I had some taken
on April 15th, but the photographer has yet to give them to
me. I'll be seeing him this week, so cross your
fingers, for those who care.
Due to (surprisingly) popular demand: How you can contribute
to my website.
two years have passed but I'm back from the blogging dead.
But at least I'm still alive. Recently there was a bombing
at Glorietta mall, not far from where I live. Of course,
everybody was calling me asking me if I was at the mall during the
Glorietta bombings. Thankfully, no I was not there during
the explosion that killed 11 people so far and injured over 100
more. Of course, there has been political finger pointing to
place blame on our own government for the bombings. The
initial report was that it was a gas leak, then C4 plastic
explosives, and now nobody is sure what caused the explosions at
Glorietta mall. Call me cynical and jaded, but those people
who are pointing the finger at the current administration have
their point and you objectively cannot dispute it. But maybe
in my kinder and gentler perspective of the world these days, I'm
having a hard time accepting that the President would have
anything to do with this. After all, she's an economist and
the strong economy is the primary reason that she has been able to
escape other criticisms and scandals such as the "Hello Garci"
scandal. So why would she shoot herself in the proverbial
foot by causing a big dip in the economy and therefore expose
herself to probes and doubt? Bombing Glorietta just doesn't
make sense to me if I was president, and even if I was evil.
It's just beyond me. But hey...as I said, I'm a kindler,
gentler, and less angry Kiana these days.
23, 2007 -
Permalink to this entry
been away...for good reason. I've been helping the fitness
industry. Yes it's a far cry from my beginnings, but it's
something that needs to be done before the typical greed of the
average gym owners kill the industry. That doesn't mean I'm
ending my blog...it just means that I need to get myself
To the haters...read
my blog in its entirety before you judge me. It's hard, I
know, but you can do it...I know you can. It's called
discipline. Flaming me only makes me laugh...so at least
spell check your tirades so I know what the hell you are talking
To the regular readers,
I'm doing fine...and thanks for caring. :)
To the call center
setup requests, yes, I have a way to still help you. This
goes for real estate
as well. I have many friends who are more competent than I
who can help those who want something arranged and I can direct
you to the right people since I do sometimes check my e-mail.
But to everyone else, I'm swamped. Thanks for understanding
November 14th, 2005
I read many
discussion boards. Sometimes I participate, but usually I
do not. It’s pointless. Most people are so set in their
ways that I can make a point that is indisputable, but I’m
ignored like a mosquito that lost her feeding needle. I can
buzz, but I cannot bite.
get me to laugh are political discussion boards. A hot
topic for American discussion is oil and gas prices.
Americans are whining about how they hate George Bush and
how he’s responsible for $3 gas in the States. Well boo hoo.
That’s cheap, both literally and figuratively speaking in
that part of the world. When I was in Hong Kong a few
months ago, gas was $6 per gallon when converted to
Dollars. The cost of living is higher in Hong Kong than it
is in the States but the wages are lower, according to my
cousins who work in L.A. I felt it…my Pesos didn’t go far.
example is here in the Philippines. Sure, our gas is about
$2.40 for 4 liters or about 1 gallon. People might think
that we have it better. Hello…the minimum wage here would
allow you to buy about 2 gallons of gas and a rice meal at
the convenience store.
So to all of
you whining and crying about your political problems and how
“unfair” it is to have to pay “so much” for gas, take a step
back and count your blessings. If your situation was the
same as ours, that gas would cost you $30 per gallon. In
the 1st world, you have a virtual 90% discount.
I’ve been away
for a long time. I’ve not been far, but I’ve had many
problems and issues that I have had to deal with. One of my
family members has been in trouble. No, I’m not requesting
help or assistance in any way, but I’m saying it so I don’t
get a bunch of stupid e-mails trying to “read between the
lines” of what I’m saying here. I've had a ton while
I've been away.
The reason I
am saying this is that I still am receiving e-mails
from people; in fact many have piled up over the past 3
weeks, asking how guys can meet me for whatever
reason…mostly inappropriate requests for “service”. Now I
realize that I’m not the smartest person in the world and
even less of a profound writer if you place me on a
measuring stick that sizes up the greatest slingers of the
mighty pen, but it’s getting ridiculous with respect to the
e-mails I receive.
it out before on another one of my pages where guys can meet
Asian women, and especially where they can meet women who
are on the “loose” side rather than have to repeat myself
over and over in e-mail. I’ll even say it again, and on
another version of their site from the one I listed. It’s
called Adult Friend Finder. The other version I have on the
site is the Passion version. I tried to list the “cleaner”
version of the site for the sake of taste, but I obviously
didn’t spell it out clearly enough for those who are looking
for escorts in Manila or anywhere else in the Philippines.
If you want escorts or “bad girls”, go to Adult Friend
Finder. It’s not a porn site. It’s a personal ads site for
people of “adult” age who are looking for “adult services”,
or those who are into the whole swingers’ scene. Believe it
or not, I’ve been out and was asked to join a party. And
these were Filipinos who were asking me. Yes, we are
conservative here, but obviously Filipinos understood the
inside jokes in Austin Powers.
So go to Adult
Friend Finder and stop asking me questions about where you
can meet horny girls. Stop sending me lewd pictures
thinking that I have not seen it before. With some
non-creative keyword searches, I’ll be much more impressed,
I promise you…so knock it off. It does nothing for me. Go
to the website and there you’ll find Filipinas who want to
“cut to the chase”. I won’t lie, since there are tons of
Filipinas who are involved, one way or another, in the
“adult” related industry. While I don’t approve of how they
make their living, I am the last individual who will insult
their (often low) intelligence and tell them that they can
support their 9 brothers and sisters by working at Jollibee.
So here are
the new e-mail rules for the site:
1) Business related e-mails will be answered as fast
2) If you want to say something nice, please do, but
keep it as short as possible.
3) PLEASE do not tell me your life story. Some of
these literally take 20 minutes to read…time I don’t have
4) If you want to meet girls, don’t ask me where or
hit on me since I’ll just shake my head and delete it. Go
to Adult Friend Finder. In fact, click here: Adultfriendfinder– As I said before, you can support my
site and my ranting and ravings simply by signing up. I get
a few Pesos…not enough to buy a car or a house, but enough
to buy some chicken and rice.
Whew…now that everything is back to
“normal” (whatever that means), hopefully I can catch up.
BTW…did everyone notice how much PLDT
and the market in general went up since I last recommended
it? For those who took my advice, you owe me dinnerJ
Permalink to this entry
I have not
been able to access my mail for the past two days…very
strange. So I’m up again late writing, but up until a
moment ago, I didn’t really know what I should write about.
Around here, it’s same sh*t…different day. Actually this
isn’t “late” considering that in the past, I wouldn’t go to
sleep until 8 a.m. due to my call center duties. Now, I’m
typically up until 4-5 a.m. I’m a night owl anyway and like
to do my document prep when it's quiet and the kids are
asleep in the internet cafes…or just old habits are hard to
To get back to
my point, someone awhile back told me about his relationship
with a girl he met on a “mail order brides” website. He
spoke about the stigma of meeting girls through these kinds
of websites. I had to think about it for awhile since I
have not heard the term mail order brides in a long time.
But out of curiosity, I typed “filipino girls” into Google.
Sure enough, this Filipina site came up: At first look, I
thought I was looking at a stereotypical mail order brides
site. But upon further review, I realized that it was just
personal ads. It just so happens that these personal ads
are just specializing in girls from the Philippines. They
even make it clear that they don’t take part in matchmaking,
or anything else that would constitute forced or arranged
marriages. This site is, however, in contrast to a couple
of sites that I’ve run into in the past 5 years. I posted a
link to it above because I actually commend how they dispel
some of the myths of modern Filipinas. Other sites,
however, play upon the provincial Filipina stereotype, which
is sadly true for the most part. It’s the stereotype that
most Manila or Western based Filipinos dread…the one of
submissiveness and servitude. You have heard my stance on
this in a past blog, so I won’t go into it again here.
So my reader
told me about how he wrote to a girl on a website very much
like the one posted above. They corresponded for over 2
years before he was finally able to meet her in person. She
never asked him for money or favors the entire time. When
they finally met, they found that their love online was no
different after meeting in person. That’s very rare and
special indeed. After 6 years, they are still together and
now have a child. She’s working on her Master’s degree.
He said that
he had reservations about telling me how they met, since he
was afraid that I might be offended that he’d use such a
service. But my response is this: “If millions of people
use personal ads in the newspapers abroad and through
websites abroad to meet people, why is it so different if
the girls are from the Philippines?” People might say
exploitation. But as I’ve always said before, money talks
and cheap girls listen. It doesn’t matter if you are from
Davao or from Los Angeles. Most girls who use online
personal ads want to know how much money you make or what
you do for a living. If they (or their mothers…your future
mother-in-law) didn’t care, many online dating sites
wouldn’t list that kind of info.
The fact is
that native born Filipinos often treat women like crap.
Guys, I said often...not always. Womanizing
is the name of the game for so many. 400 years of Spanish
colonization may be over, but machismo is still alive and
well. Even a few very rich girls I know only date
foreigners or Filipinos who were born and raised abroad.
It’s one of the reason some Filipino-Americans love to come
here…they get special attention not because they have money
(many don’t) but because they know how to respect a woman
and treat her as his equal. This is a large part of why
girls here are so desperate to go abroad, and why I told my
reader that he should be proud of his marriage.
A reader of mine told me that I
reminded him of the Chinese. In a way, he's right.
Chinese tend to be conservative and live in a "bubble" here
in the Philippines. The post today will be short,
because I'm trying to get caught up on my e-mail. To
restate a quote I said to my reader in his e-mail,
"Filipinos tend to live for the perpetual summer that is the
Philippines, while Filipino-Chinese are constantly preparing
for winter." This is one of the reasons why the
average Chinese is so much better off than the average
So are you "Chinese" or
"Filipino"? Before anyone e-mails me, I know that this
runs a parallel to Aesop Fables. The grasshopper is me
to a "T".
July 14, 2005
I awoke today with the
realization of my own mortality on my mind. I was actually
dreaming about death, but whose death, I was not sure. But
that was an early dream, well before I awoke, yet the firm
grasp of my mortality was on my mind. A few hours later, I
was crossing the street on Roxas Boulevard. The light was
red and glanced to my left to see that everyone had stopped
in two of the three lanes. I took one step onto the street…but
some strange force stopped me from taking another step.
Suddenly, in a whoosh of air, a taxi (big surprise), charged
past me through the red light. One step further, and I
probably would have either been dead, or crippled for life.
Did I ever mention that most taxi drivers in tourist
locations should face a firing squad?
I don’t care what anyone says…some
of us have guardian angels, and first they speak to us. When
that doesn’t work, they grab us by the hair.
July 10th, 2005
written in the past, I must apologize for my slow replies on
e-mails, even to the important ones. I’ve been very busy
with many things lately and have barely had the time to even
post much, even with all that is going on. Speaking of
that, many people have been asking me lately exactly what
has been going on here lately and if there are signs of it
getting better. Well, I feel that it will indeed get
better, as the opposition to the current president are
hopelessly worse than she could ever be. As much as the
masa are not happy with GMA, they would likely be far
less happy with another Estrada or Marcos crony.
tend to believe that our president will weather another
political typhoon and push ahead with her plan. They
realize that she isn’t doing too badly of a job considering
the tools that she has to work with. And this is why I
respect President GMA…because she pushes ahead, no matter
which way the political winds are blowing. She is far more
of a statesman than a politician in my opinion. From my
perspective, to act as a statesman is the only way you can
go, especially the way things are going here for the average
person. For the average individual composing the masses ormasa, things will probably not get better for quite a
long time. It’s like I’ve told people before, if you ever
wonder why your pay is so low, look to your left and look to
your right, next time you are on the job. Notice the fact
that there are more employees than customers in the average
store, and then you will realize why your salary is low.
It’s because you are sharing the work among 6-10 people that
would otherwise be handled by one person in a developed
nation. Furthermore, the fact that you have 6-10 times as
many applications for professional positions further dilutes
the possibility of your pay.
owners would love to pay you more. But the problem is that
they would have to cut their staff. This is a dilemma that
most workers can never understand fully. I try to explain
all of these principles to my neighbors, but they still find
it easier to blame the President than accept that we only
have ourselves to blame for our woes. To them, by now they
should have double the pay and jobs for everyone. But when
the population increases 3 times as fast as the number of
new jobs created, how can this ever happen? When these same
people are protesting and worsening political instability,
how can prospective investors even get to the offices if the
streets are blocked? There are so many questions and so few
simple answers. But I guarantee that if the average citizen
started looking at his or her family portrait and then in
the mirror, they would realize that it’s up to them to take
a patriotic stance at home before they venture out to the
“rally/party” on Ayala Avenue.
Where are we going as a nation?
Many people, living in their white bread world, believe
everything to be just rosy. Another political crisis? No
problem. Rioting in the Streets? A piece of cake. The Peso
depreciated 5% in just a few days? No pain, no gain chica!
Well these people who seem to know
what is best for our nation have no idea what it means to be
a "Filipino". Now I’m not saying that they are
not Filipino, because surely they are, having been born and
raised here...but in a strange "bubble
world". They seem to know what goes through the
minds of the poor, but have never been poor or known a poor
person outside their maid or guard.
I want to know how to get to their
Philippines. Whenever they speak, it seems like everyone is
just fine and dandy, everybody is getting 3 meals per day,
and staving off another fabricated political crisis is just
growing pains of our evolving nation. Pride is food…munch
munch good servant! We should all just "suck it
up" and take it like good sheep at a frat initiation.
There’s corruption to cover up gosh darn it…and how can
GMA catch them if she is allowed her mandate? And so it goes…a
never-ending supply of pseudo-intellectuals spend obscene
amounts of time shooting off their mouths to do nothing
other than spin as an issue. Do they have any proof to back
up their assertions of fraud and corruption by the
administration (not the relatives)? Of course they don’t…and
remote circumstantial evidence doesn’t count, especially
when said evidence was gained illegally and could easily be
altered/tampered, since the Opposition produced it in the
On a side note, why is it that the
apple "can" fall far from the tree with respect to
the Estrada family and the Marcos family (both of these dens
of scumbags have relatives in the House and Senate yet
nobody seems to care), yet not with our President? Why
is she lumped into the possible indiscretions of her
relatives by the same Opposition that makes heroes and
martyrs out of the two greatest Filipino villains of the 20th
Again, the result is that people
are now worse off now than they have been in a long time, no
thanks to the Opposition. It seems that each time I walk
into the market, none of the prices on the goods match what
is programmed into the register. Could that be because the
Peso is once again in a nose dive, going hand in hand with
the rise of oil prices? I challenge anyone here to ask the
Opposition about what they intend to do to end their
economic sabotage on our economy and produce positive
change. Once they do, PLEASE pass it on to me. I’m dying
to hear of their magic plans, as are my friends and fellow
consultants in business and industry.
I want to know how to get to their
Philippines. When I watch all of the singing and dancing
idiots on TV, I’d swear that this is being broadcast from
another planet. Each time I look outside, my Philippines are
falling apart. Even if you ask the hundreds of protesters
(never thousands like they want you to believe), almost none
of them know why they are out there protesting. None have
jobs, and few would accept the jobs if offered. If you think
I’m kidding, you obviously are not living in my
Philippines. I come from a neighborhood of people who are
looking to join the party and watch Imee
"Demon-spawn" Marcos, only pretending to care
about the "politics" aka economic sabotage.
I want to know how to get there…
July 2nd, 2005
It's late and I'm tired. In
fact, there are many things I should be doing right now,
including answering e-mails about business and the like. But
I’m so full of anger. In fact, full of hate would be a
better description. You see, I’m finally fed-up with the
politics surrounding President GMA. The opposition cannot,
and will not stop their nonsense. The Peso is
officially below 56:1. Now I have to listen to that
tired old hag, Susan Roces, the tired, useless, country-club
widow of that bloated hack bastard FPJ talk about how she
will figuratively shred the Constitution and lead the
nation. How appropriate.
Based on my own dealings with
the so called “Class A” and others of her ilk, (of
money...not intelligence/education), it is my opinion that
she really believes the verbal diarrhea that spews forth
from her mouth. Once she’s done, she will be fully
capable of wiping it clean with the Constitution, seeing as
she wouldn’t know (or respect) the Constitution if God
Himself ignited it with a lightning bolt in her bare hands.
She has never been poor, or has
struggled, but knows exactly how to cure those who have
struggled their entire lives. Of course, she’ll
probably get tremendous support because it will be another
excuse to skip work or school. And people wonder why
the Peso is worthless. People wonder why there are no
jobs and not enough food on the table. It's because of
people like her. It's because everybody is so quick to
believe that GMA cheated. SO WHAT IF SHE CHEATED?!?!?
WHO DIDN'T CHEAT?!?
Even if GMA fixed a few votes
here and there, I'd bet my life savings that the backers of
FPJ fixed 10 times as many votes in his favor. Maybe
they are so upset because they still lost.
Maybe there is hope for the wisdom of the masa yet!
June 29th, 2005
you go in Metro-Manila, you’ll likely happen by a long line
of people who think that their only hope lies somewhere
abroad. These lines are to apply as an OFW, or Overseas
Foreign Worker. There are some 3 million or more OFWs who
endure long hours and homesickness in foreign lands to send
billions of Dollars each year to their loved ones back
here. Some of these individuals have been doing this for
decades with only the best intentions in mind. But from my
perspective, they are often doing more harm than good. A
strange class of people has been created over the years. I
refer to them as the “Catfish Class”. Like a catfish, these
people have learned that as long as you sit in one place,
food will just fall into your mouth. Why waste precious
energy looking for your meals? By raw statistics and the
“miracle” of fluid dynamics, you’ll grow 6 feet long (tall)
through all of the blessings that pass through your
that’s what we have now in the Philippines…a “Catfish
Class”. These people have grown dependent on decades of OFW
money that “magically” remits itself in Dollar form into
local bank accounts each month. Easy money is now just an
ATM away. If you happen to run out it’s ok…just check back
in a few days and there will be more. Only the elder
“catfish” know exactly how the money gets there…or at least
they remember “most” of the details in that there’s actually
a human being (if they "remember correctly") slaving away at
a dental office in some oil-rich nation far away. The
children only see the "source" of the wealth at Christmas
and maybe Easter every other year…but this individual is
only transient and almost mystical.
now and then the provider will ask where his money is
going. He or she will ask if the family is working to use
the money to setup a family business. They will reply with
an excuse that the money is not enough, or the cost of the
permits is too high, or some other excuse. The truth is
that they are so accustomed to money just “falling from the
sky” that the concept of actual work has been removed
completely from their minds. So the provider will send more
money. Still more excuses. He threatens to cut off the
remittances unless the family tries to get a business
going. So they do...and due to the lack of planning and
discipline, the business quickly folds. The family pretends
to be upset, but blame the economy. The provider sighs and
accepts it as the truth…since the poor economy is the reason
he became an OFW in the first place. But it’s a lie. The
concept was sound. The location was feasible. But the work
ethic of the people had died years ago when they received
their first green bank book that represents a Dollar
worst part is that the “Catfish Class” is contagious. This
lazy mentality spreads to the children through the parents.
The kids are easily convinced that they don’t need the money
to go to the best school…instead opt for a cheap school so
the parents can use the leftover money to buy designer
clothes, to drink, and to party. It's also not
expected for them to actually work once they
graduate. Going to school is just for "show" to the
mystical provider. The neighbors are easily corrupted,
since they partake in the spoils of remittance at the
domestic fiesta each month when they are treated to free
beer, cake, and palabok (noodles).
even worse is that advertisers go so far as to glorify a
spoiled brat who spends $30 of OFW money on her daily
Café Mocha habit, new heels, and load for her cell phone so
she can call mommy in Dubai. Don’t forget that part, yo…calling
Dubai is only 40 cents per minute…so important to say
“thank you” for being allowed to be a spoiled little
hoochie while mommy slaves away.
why our economy is in the dumps. It’s due to the “crabs”
and the “catfish”. It’s why businesses fail left and
right…due to the fact that people can sit at home and
collect P300 per day from an ATM, or work at a job and
collect P300 per day. God forbid that you might actually
have something at the end of the day to be proud of and know
that you worked for it. God forbid that you actually
allowed a business to expand by producing a quality product
and therefore allowing it revenue available to hire others
so that they too may have a chance. Finally, perish the
thought that you might turn that P300 daily allowance into
P600 per day of your own money by investing in yourown business. But that concept is dying…or has
probably died years ago but it just hasn’t reached the last
of us yet.
as I keep moving, my family and my neighbors will never be
able to swallow me whole.
first time in recent memory, we have protests in the
streets! Wow…and I thought protestors had gone away for
good. I guess we can only hope. For as long as I can
remember, I would go past protestors and wonder, even as a
little girl, why these people were not at their jobs? And
today I found myself grinding my teeth at the same
concept…that these people could be doing so much more good
if they actually went to work or went to school.
course, the media is not a big help. If you watch the news,
you think that the protestors are a very large and well
organized bunch. There could be nothing further from the
truth. It’s amazing how a cameraman can make 50 people look
and sound like 5000. With a little editing, you can even
add volume to the footage to make it seem like a basketball
game between De La Salle and Ateneo.
why are they protesting? These individuals are protesting
the legitimacy of President GMA due to some supposed
conversations between her and an election official about him
“fixing” votes for her. From my perspective, this
controversy accomplishes one thing…lowering the value of the
Peso and hurting the poorest of the poor. It won’t stop the
inevitable…prosecution of the thousands of individuals who
have profited handsomely from a corrupt government who has
turned a blind eye to their actions for decades. To them, I
say that your time is almost up. A few paid protestors on
the streets can do little to stop the changes that are
blowing. Foreign governments/financiers won’t support you,
and neither will ordinary citizens like myself. The only
ones laughing all the way to the bank are those who are
about to seize your illegal accounts.
pageants in the Philippines are such popular events. There
are few countries or peoples who share such a passion for
beauty pageants as do Filipinos. When one thinks of beauty
pageants, they think of purity and sweetness, not to mention
“world peace”. Excuse me while I puke, seeing how untrue
this statement is by my eyes.
all, beauty pageants in the Philippines are some of the most
corrupt and political events you’ll ever witness. At the
lower levels, the pageant judges are bought out at an even
higher going rate than their legal counterparts. In many
cases, sexual favors are the “price”. But often it’s sexual
favors given by the gay talent managers to the gay judges.
You see, the most rabid and die-hard fans of beauty pageants
here in the Philippines are effeminate gay men. Some of
these men can quote the fathers name of the winner from 1927
as well as what high school she attended. It’s too bad that
these guys aren’t lawyers. Sheesh.
“winning” local level shows, the girls often get invitations
to compete in larger beauty pageants held in the cities.
The ones who continue to compete usually come from the same
backgrounds…uneducated and very poor. Before I go on, I
must point out that this is why the beauty, English, and
social graces of the girls you typically see competing in
modern pageants are so very lacking. Girls from wealthier
families from the local levels will usually quit while
they’re ahead. These girls are typical the true beauty
queens of the Philippines who have balanced faces, perfect
skin, impeccable English skills, and mastery of the social
graces. These girls will not continue to compete because
they are “not for sale”.
the ugly reality of beauty pageants in the Philippines often
held in the cities: They are nothing but glorified “dog
shows”. This statement is true for both the male and female
categories. With the case of the male category, it’s
basically a gay pageant. Most of the judges will be gay as
will be the sponsors and producers. If you want to win or
at least be “discovered”, you had better have homosexual
tendencies or you won’t get very far. In the case of beauty
pageants for the girls, the idea of a “dog show” is even
more apparent. Here, the biggest sponsors are private
citizens…mostly wealthy old Filipino or Chinese men looking
for a wife or a mistress. They pay the producers to
organize these shows so they don’t have to go door-to-door
looking for poor and desperate girls looking to marry into
wealth. While the shows are going on, there are plenty of
opportunities for the men to talk to the girls. For all of
you who don’t believe me, a friend of mine recently tried
out for a beauty pageant held in Manila. To me, she was
probably in the top 3 out of the 20 or so girls who tried
out. She had the face, the height, and the ability to
express herself. But when a producer asked her, “What would
you do if an old man tried to talk to you? Would you
entertain his interest?” Without hesitations, she said,
“Yuck! No way!” That was the end of the interview and
they didn’t call her back. I saw the girls that they picked
on a newscast, and my friend told me that half couldn’t
complete a sentence in English to save their life. We
agreed that the men didn’t want to hear complete sentences
from them anyway, if you get my drift. The talent agency
producing the show is owned and operated by a very popular
movie actress here, so you can forget about girls looking
out for other girls. It was clear that money was talking
and a P50 trophy was not the “award” they wanted to
distribute. A gold-plated mini-plaque hanging from a
leather strap would be much more appropriate.
been sick over the past couple of days with a cold. Prior
to that, I think I got food poisoning. So it has not been
the best of days and I’ve only answered a couple of
e-mails. I think I got food poisoning from some roasted
chicken I bought from a supermarket at the mall. That’s
unusual, since they are pretty strict about their food
management procedures. This is much different than street
vendors. What’s interesting is that street vendors who sell
food are slowly disappearing, mostly likely due to local
government health department crackdowns. That’s probably a
good thing, because there are so few controls on what they
sell. In fact, about a month ago a bunch of students died
from eating a cassava root snack sold by street vendors. In
another instance, people got deathly ill from eating noodles
that were sitting out too long.
relation to what I’ve written above, it’s interesting to
note how many foreigners think it’s so “authentic” to eat
food they buy from street vendors. Foreigners who try to
fit in by eating street food are referred to as “cowboys”.
It’s basically because you are braving uncharted territory
with respect to your gastrointestinal tract. They wonder
why, a few hours later, so many of them get upset stomachs
or worse. First, your bodies are not used to the local
bacteria, and you have no idea how the raw food was stored
or, in many cases, how long it has been sitting there. Some
guys will argue that when they arrived, the vendor was
already cooking it. Were they cooking it or reheating it?
Looks can be deceiving.
from me. When growing up, I would get sick all of the time
because all I could afford was street food when I was out.
Now I hardly ever get sick, while some of my friends are
sick about 1-2 times per month. I watch them continue to
run for the lady fanning the pork barbecue on the corner
whenever they get a craving. No thanks. I’d rather bring
some hard-boiled eggs along with me or go to Ministop or
7-11 for a siopao. I advise all of you reading this to stay
away from street vendors as well. Being hungry is a lot
better than getting sick. Sure, it might save you a few
pesos here and there, but the time you lose while dry
heaving over the toilet is hardly worth it.
I was right...what I lived through was a
random stop...this is what happened:http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/bac/2005/06/07/news/slain.negrenes.tagged.as.robbers.in.manila.html
June 6th, 2005
I was completely shaken up last night.
As far as I can tell this still has not made national news.
I was waiting for a light with friends at the intersection of
Quirino and Mabini Street. Suddenly I heard what sounded
like a pistol followed by what sounded like a machine gun going
off about a block away. I've never heard a machine gun in
real life, so I could only guess that is what it was based on how
fast the shots went off...just like you hear in the movies, only
the sound was different. This was followed by several more
gunshots by what sounded like the pistol, followed again by the
machine gun. No cars around ours moved. Everyone was
frozen as far as the eye could see. In front of me, again
about a block in front of us near Roxas Boulevard, I saw what I
thought were muzzle flashes when I heard the gunfire. Men
and women began running away. By my lead, my friends and I
got out and ran behind some trees. We were just too out in
the open, should there be stray bullets, and I know our car
wouldn't give us any protection against a large caliber weapon.
I was glad that everyone with me remained calm for the most part.
One girl was hyperventilating, but she remained in control.
I noticed that one officer was there from the beginning.
Suddenly there was one more burst of machine gun fire from what
looked like that officer (at least I assumed he was a police
officer...thank God I was right) into a car that was stopped at
the Roxas intersection. A swarm of heavily armed police were
on the scene within a couple of minutes. These were most
likely the foot patrol near Manila Baywalk as well as the special
tourist police task force. Police cars began to swarm the
area. Traffic was completely stopped in all directions.
The car appeared to be completely surrounded. All officers
had their weapons drawn. We all waited. The two other
girls with me began crying. I had a lump in my throat.
We sat there for what felt like an eternity. Suddenly I saw
the other officers surrounding the car lower their weapons.
Two men reached down and dragged out a limp body from underneath
the car. They proceeded to drag him into a waiting police
wagon. A few minutes passed and they finally opened the door
to the car and dragged out two more lifeless bodies and loaded
them into the police wagon.
At that point, everything seemed secure.
We got back into our car and decided to turn around and go another
direction. We all sat there in silence. What could
have happened? Right now, everyone reading this can probably
guess as well as I can. In Manila, the mayor is big about
random police stops and checkpoints. Could it have been a
random stop that went wrong because they were wanted men?
That would be my guess. Instead of showing their drivers
licenses, they showed their weapons. It's a good thing that
the police officer had a large caliber machine gun because he was
definitely not the only one shooting. I'm anxious to find
out what happened in the news reports. But in the meantime,
chalk one up for Manilas' Finest!
June 5th, 2005
As I'm writing this at 3:30 AM, I'm not
sure where I'm going with what I'm saying. This could be
delegated to a "poetry by spoken word" category if one were to
exist. I'm beginning to see much of what I write being
reflected in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan, Philippines
edition. Why am I reading Cosmo? Probably because I'm
one of the girls who is in there in their latest edition.
Don't ask why...it's up to you to find it and track me down within
the pages. But this particular issue of Cosmopolitan
basically addresses many of the things I've been saying for the
last 6 months...many issues to which I've received very hostile
reactions: "The new Filipina."
I'm not the only one who fits that mold.
We're aggressive. Hostile, in some cases. Passionate
and driven. We're adopting the personalities of our Western
counterparts, but only via secondary Western influence. Gone
are the days when people could just plop themselves down and
impose their wills on girls in the cities. Notice I said
"girls in the cities"...obviously the provinces are, and probably
will be for a long time, still pretty much the way they've been
for decades in their ambition and personal pride.
I'm a Filipina who wants it all and I'll
do what it takes (within my level of acceptable self-respect) to
get it. What is "all" to me? Well, like anyone else,
it's a relative statement. What I'm saying is that I intend
to work hard and earn my own way. That way I'll know that my
"all" came from me. For those of you who hate me, keep
hating. Believe it or not, when you hate me, you make me
stronger because I'll use it against you when you least expect it.
Maybe I've given in to the "Dark Side" without even knowing it.
That's funny...considering that even though I'm focusing on
myself, I find that more and more people are being helped
indirectly by me along the way. Where would they be if I
didn't have something for them to do? Probably what they
were doing before...gambling on the street corner or sweeping the
floor of their cousins' sari-sari store for P150 below minimum
wage per day. To quote one of my favorite movies: "Greed is
good". But my corollary is that it's good as long as others
who had nothing may someday get the same opportunity. In
other words, "Greed is good...as long as it's not coupled with
June 3, 2005
It has been
awhile since I’ve written about travel here in the
Philippines. So therefore I’ll discuss the hotels, resorts,
and miscellaneous about a place that very commonly visited:
Boracay Beach. Boracay has seen explosive growth in both
the number of tourists, both foreign and domestic, as well
as the number of newly built or renovated hotels and
resorts. Many people claim that Boracay has become too
overcrowded and commercial. For the conservationist
purists, that’s pretty much the truth during the peak
seasons. During the peak rush, basically every hotel or
resort in Boracay is at or near capacity. Notice how I said
“near” capacity. In my experience, there’s no such thing as
“fully booked”. When I went to Boracay over New Years, I
didn’t have a room and the travel agent was giving me a
“hopeless” look when she said that there were no rooms
available anywhere. She didn’t understand why I’d still
want to reserve a plane ticket. I went ahead because common
sense tells you that there’s no way that the airlines could
saturate that huge strip of Boracay resorts and hotels with
the tiny planes they use. I was correct. Not only did I
get a hotel room that was near the mall in Station I, I got
no less than 3 resort salesmen who approached me offering
rates within minutes of stepping off of the ferry boat.
about most hotels in Boracay is that you should choose yours
based on your level of crowd and noise tolerance during the
peak times. Station I is where people go to see and be
seen. It’s also where most of the live music and commercial
setups take place, full of promos and exhibits. So
basically if you’re between the ages of 15-30 and single,
you’ll probably prefer Station I. Slightly older married
couples or parents with children would be better off staying
in Station 2 or 3. It’s much quieter on this side of the
strip and is far less commercialized. This is where you can
argue that Boracay, as a whole, is not 100% about a wild
party or commercialized atmosphere. Station 2 and 3 are
also where you’ll find the less expensive hotels and
resorts. Basically the rates are 100-300% higher in Station
I during the peak season vs. the low season. In contrast,
the range I’ve seen most hotel/resort rooms go for is
roughly 40-100% more during the peak season for resorts in
Station 2 and 3.
becoming a favorite destination for Korean tourists.
Actually Koreans are mainly what keeps the hotels and
resorts alive during the low season. From what I’ve seen,
most Korean friendly places are in Station 2. What this
means is that you’ll see many Korean restaurants and Korean
writing on the signs, meaning that there are specialists who
can give better attention to Korean tourists.
easy to talk about where to go when in Boracay. You’ll
pretty much figure it out when on the plane since the
popular places tend to advertise heavily in the travel
magazine in your seatback. Cocomungas, Pier One, Hey Jude,
Summer Place, and the area outside of Aira Italian
restaurant are always packed with people, especially during
Finally I say
for all of those people on a budget, don’t be afraid of the
cost of Boracay during the peak season. That’s where you’ll
get most of your entertainment for free. In fact, it’s hard
to spend on anything other than your food and room. All of
the commercialism guarantees more than enough to do and see.
May 29th, 2005
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