Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How to Transfer Property Title - Part 1

I am here at the San Juan City Hall Registry of Deeds. Its 830am and office is still closed. Why am I not surprised?

This is Step 1 of a journey to transfer title of my mom's property to me. Something tells me this will be a loong journey. By 845am, the office opened and I was entertained. Oops. Wrong office. I have to go BIR to pay the corresponding taxes first. Duh oh ok.

Off I go to BIR, on the 4th floor of a commercial building where the only commerce that goes on happens on the 1st floor! 2 floors of retail space EMPTY! BIR office OIC tells me nicely that I would have to pay a freaking P165T in taxes. And I would need the certified true copies of my birth certificate, my parents' marriage contract, the tax declaration papers, etc. etc. etc. BUT BUT BUT he could probably lower the amount by P36T if I am able to show that this is my parent's conjugal property! Do you smell what I am smelling? Smells like I will owe Mr OIC a favor for such 'generosity'..

Anyway, I had to request tax declaration documents, duly authenticated, from the Assessor's Office. P60 for two copies. Accomplished fast!

It's just step 1!

Friday, July 27, 2007

On being hit on

this may seem like a yabang post, i admit. forgive me, indulge me. i am referring to a woman hitting on me. yikes.

currently in a cagayan de oro hotel (down south). yesterday saw this rather well-maintained 40 to 50 woman at the lobby, in sporty outfit, white short shorts (pekpek shorts), tight-fitting work-out blouse with plunging neckline.. seemingly looking for someone... at 10pm!

cut to breakfast buffet area a while ago. only table available is beside hers. this time she's wearing a plunging neckline halter top, empire cut blouse. (di ba bading na bading ang pagka-describe ng outfit?) i keep to myself, eat my breakfast and read my Time magazine. she opens with 'i stole your sugar... i saw that you use equal.' i politely smiled and guessed i am being hit on. and she carries on about how these things dont work.

i play the role of interested listener and indulge her in conversation. thank God for mobile phones. hers goes off and she has to take the call and leave. hehehe. 'but ill be back' she promises.

i leave shortly and as a true gentleman, signal to her that I am leaving even as she is talking over the phone. 'when will you be leaving? i hope to see you again..' she hurriedly utters.

wow. desperate times call for desperate moves. flattering? just a bit kasi BABAE. honestly, SOME women, especially older women will fall for any one! as in! its not as if you really are such a gorgeous piece of cake. you dont have to be. you just have to be biologically male to attract some of them. i was also hit on by another vivacious, curvaceous mid-aged woman in a wedding. complete with one-liner (yung statement, not the eyebrows).

the perils of being in the closet with no wedding ring on the finger!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hagia Sophia Iconography

As I promised artist Josh (and his doves) I am posting pics I took of the awesome Hagia Sophia, a 4th Century cathedral in Istanbul built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. It's amazing to actually see this, though not up close because this is like the 3rd biggest cathedral in the world. apologies though for just two pics of the icons, most of the pics i took focused on the architecture, which is more of my interest. It was a finalist in the recent seven wonders of the world vote.

So here it is, Josh, a post dedicated to your post on icons. Here's to a kindred spirit!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

the podcast villain

currently listening to the podcast of the troikasters where I was a guest, together with tony. feeling a lot better and started realizing that i am either going to be cast as the EVIL LOVER or the clueless guest the troikasters are ganging up on! hahaha

But i think I am going to be more of the villain here... these things that i do certainly do not fit into the mold of a lot people, gay or straight. i cope, i am tempted, i give in, i seek it out, i enjoy it and after all that, i hide it. no rationalization, though. this is just it.

stone me... *magdalena by freddie aguilar plays in the background*

Maria Magdalena, by Honoré Daumier (1808-1879)

Monday, July 23, 2007

my first podcast appearance

just came from my first podcast guesting, courtesy of the troikasters - migs, mcvie & gibbs. i was one of two guests for their podcast on long-distance relationships. masaya pala though i am now in a weird mood right after. its been a long time since i have laid bare myself to people, talking about my beliefs, my activities, my corniness and my horniness. i feel so... naked. and while i was 'undressing', i felt i was being analyzed and dissected. i am so used to be the one to do the listening and the dissecting. kinda uncomfortable, i have to admit. guess you have to listen to the podcast to understand...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the sky didnt fall

i feel like chicken little, blogging about what i thought was the end. it wasnt. but first, thank you for the support, the kind words.

after i posted that entry, i really had to talk to him. i really didnt want it to end that way. and it could have, knowing that he is capable of standing his ground (proud as he is) and making good on his promise never to see me again.

i texted him - asked him not to go, asked him to talk to me and apologized for spending the night somewhere else. nr - no response.

i couldnt let him leave. so i got his packed luggage and brought this with me to the office. i felt deviously smart for 'hijacking' his things.

i was the walking dead going to work yesterday morning. it's a miracle i survived my meetings.

texted him again during lunch. and finally called him. he was home, in the condo and he just woke up. he asked where his things were. and he said he'd rather not talk about what happened.

went home last night. the chill in the air was very apparent. i didnt push the envelope, not wanting any conflagration.

the detente continues till today. i still want to talk about it, thresh it out because i dont want a repeat performance. i dont know how, without igniting his temper...

relationships - really take a lot of hardwork... during grey moments like these, you wonder whether it's worth all the trouble. honestly i cant answer it yet. but i guess questions like these shouldnt even be asked during grey moments...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

the beginning of the end

I think we finally broke up. Just one post back I was still relishing our first argument after a long time. That was followed by another, and another one.

A few months back, he complained I wasn’t sharing enough of my new life, my life apart from him. Friends I’ve met, their lives, office stuff, etc. And I admitted that I wasn’t much of a ‘sharer’. Just never got into the habit. I would rather talk about what’s relevant to our life, or just listen to his stories. But I promised to try.

So I shared an insight from a nice, smart friend I met last Friday. His insight: There will always be a part of you that will never belong to your current partner. That part of you, that part of your past belongs to your exes. I admired the wisdom and shared it with partner. Partner dismissed the comment outright as something that came from someone sore with his current partner. I found the comment insensitive and told him about it. That became Argument No. 1. He reacted very negatively to my reaction. Found it pikon of me. But as I mentioned, he quieted down and made peace (no apology).

Sunday afternoon. After a massage, we agreed to meet up for dinner. He just finished his massage and was supposed to be wrapping up. I told him I was very near the resto (which was like 15mins away from the spa where he had a massage). I waited for an hour for him! I was pissed and showed it. He reacted very negatively again. He didn’t want to be blamed for being late. He apologized but was very pissed about my ‘over-reaction.’ He stopped talking to me the entire night. I let him be, also still angry. What got to me more is that he reacts to my reaction. Sinasabayan pa ang inis ko. Finally, Monday morning, he makes peace. I accepted and did not bother to discuss the subject. Argument No. 2

Monday afternoon. He talked to my secretary and told her we’ve been arguing. He insinuated that I was ‘masungit’. I was surprised he told her about it. He arrived late at the movie screening. I was already with my sister, my nieces and nephews for Harry Potter. No big deal. After the movie, he was telling my sister how ‘sungit’ I have been again, in jest. I told him, jokingly, to shut up. We passed by my parents. He again joked with my household help that I was masungit. That was the last straw. I raised the issue and told him I found it offensive for him to keep telling people I was masungit. He went ballistic. I’ve been too sensitive, over-reacting to him, nitpicking. Argument No. 3

And I matched his histrionics. I left the unit and went drinking. More texts about how different I have become… that I am now better off alone, he was getting in the way, blah blah.

I didn’t go home. I went to sleep at a friend’s place, of course I was quite drunk. Called me up super-pissed that I wasn’t going home. He was leaving for good. I was too tired to argue.

I am now back in the condo. Alone. He's not here. Bags all packed and ready to go. Smashed a picture frame, bits of glass all over the bedroom floor...

it wasnt supposed to end this way...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

karmic retribution?

partner is in town, 2nd weekend in a row! we attended a friend's chic party. one guest, ill call him virginia, went up to him and gave him the line " you look familiar" and proceeded to chika-chika my partner. hay. so aggressively flirting with my partner. virginia is slim, actually quite hunky, not so pretty, ER-looking. pang-kama. to partner's credit, he was being nice but not too nice. he wasnt flirting back (at least that's what i saw).

we went to malate after. and virginia happened to be in the same place. ang saya ng pota upon seeing partner. sudden akbay - feeling close! i was introduced and i didnt mind the overt flirtation. turns out virginia followed partner when he went to the john. talked to him. virginia was so disappointed when he found out that partner had a partner, moi. and that he really wanted to get to know partner better. asus.

hmm. tables turned. suddenly i am again feeling jealous. and envious of the attention partner got. i didnt feel this way last night. just dawned on me today. a sentiment i havent felt in a long time. the attractiveness of partner i have taken for granted. largely because i was too self-involved.

what goes around, come around.

driving over to our friend's place we got in an argument, our first in a looong time. it felt so new, too. anger expressing itself. nagtatarayan sa kotse. but it was quickly resolved. just found it actually strangely, err.. refreshing?

weird. must be my hormones. hahaha. feeling girl.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Men of Istanbul

While driving to work this morning, I couldn't help but appreciate the many cute guys i see along the way. Hay, we are so blessed here in Manila! Then I got to think about the men of Istanbul. There are really gorgeous guys out there, with their high-bridged noses, angular faces, deep set eyes! But ang dami ring pangit. hahaha. So what I have observed is that there are more super-beautiful men there in Istanbul all of a certain mold but, but here in Manila, there much more choices of eye candy (chinito, tisoy, ER na pinoy na pinoy, etc.), maybe few drop-dead gorgeous ones but enough to make my day, everyday!

he is an all-day guard at one of the palaces. the nose.. the nose.. the skin!

these two were having a sweet time together at a restaurant below the bridge... parang Latinong model no? he caught me stealing a photo!

this one's got a beer belly but he still looks really nice... what a profile!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Picture this: i am at the pitstop of the safari tour, walking in the hot, arid Dubai sun, going towards our Land Cruiser. I pass by a group of foreigners, all male, standing beside their vehicle. One of them rubbernecks me. Oooh! Is somebody actually checking me out? And when I looked at him, he had a ready smile! and he was obviously talking about me with the other guys. so i try to play pa-cute and just stand there alone in the hot sun, waiting for an approach. none coming. sigh. my nieces arrive and one whispers to me "are you smiling at someone?" she laughs and leaves me alone. unfortunately, guy doesnt want to come closer. oh well.

turns out, their cruiser is part of our team. so i know we were going to see each other again. and it happens sooner than later because their tire blows out. all four cruisers stop and the drivers help replace the tire. meanwhile, all passengers use the time to do photo ops, including this guy and his friends. soon enough, he approaches me and says hello in halting english. they are all jordanians, cousins actually - four of them. and he asks that our pics be taken together. monzr (his name, i think) puts his arm around me for the photo op. (i could feel the crown on my head...)

so we all become friends, my group and his. and we all eat dinner together at the campsite. and we have more pictures taken together. and we part ways and say goodbye.

BECAUSE they are based in abu dhabi, an hour and a half away from dubai... and they have to go back tonight.

sigh. he is cute pa naman. here he is on a camel and with his newly-tattooed arm.. hehehe

yun lang..

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Not to be missed: Desert Safari

if ever you are in dubai, don't miss the chance to try the 'Desert Safari'. it's a great experience!

you start out by riding a Toyota Land Cruiser together with five or six other people. best would be if you are one barkada! usually, the cruiser picks you up at your hotel, about 400pm. vehicle drives out to a protected desert, about hundreds of hectares of sand dunes. before getting there, you stop by a refilling station and wait for other Cruisers. they travel in groups of 3 to 4 vehicles. then you are taken on one bumpy ride across the sand dunes, deliberately 'surfing' the sand up and down the dunes for about an hour! this rollercoaster ride is awesome! the expert drivers just go wild! and some of them are hot!

there are breaks along the route: one at a camel farm where you get to have your photo op with the creature. after about 10minutes, the cruiser takes you to a really high vantage point where you get to watch the sun set on the dunes... an incredible sight (certainly alien to us in the Tropics)! it's just heavenly up there!

finally they bring you to a camp. you get to take the camel ride (for about five minutes) before you enter the camp site where you can have henna tatoo, sisha smoking, full buffet dinner and entertainment by a belly dancer!

you would be done by about 900pm, at which time they will bring you back to your hotel! Awesome experience!

btw, you get to meet new friends along the way... but that's another post! *WINK*

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Secretary in love

My loyal, faithful friend and secretary is in love with me. No joke. Seriously.

We have been together for more than 15 years. I chose her from a pool of three because she was the quickest to learn Lotus 123. Since then, she has become official secretary, appointment tracker, file keeper, etc. A year after I joined the company, I found out that she was 'falling in love' with me. And she eventually admitted that to me. Though I was flattered, I told her that our professional relationship was NEVER turning romantic. A fact she accepted. But she persisted in 'loving me', doing everything for me, pampering me when I am in the office. I have my breakfast fruits and coffee ready when I arrive. I have a quick neck massage whenever I feel some stiffness there. (stiffness in the NECK!!!)

A spurned lover some years back outed me to her. This was a particularly nasty relationship of mine that turned really ugly. In an effort to get back at me, my ex called my office and spilled my PLU secrets to my secreatry. However, he didn't count on her love to me. So instead of spreading the rumor around that I was PLU, she chose to keep this to herself and listen to the litany of all my PLU activities, courtesy of my ex. And she never told me about it either.

I finally came out to her during a brief assignment in Davao. I was 'dumped' by a former boss in Mindanao to manage the business there (and to hide his affair with one of the staff). Stayed in that wonderful city for three months. My lover (new one this time) followed me there and stayed for a month. My secretary also followed, taking a two-week leave just to be with me. So all three of us were staying in one apartment. And hell broke loose because my lover then was just eaten up by jealousy with my secretary there. so i had to finally explain everything to my secretary, that my 'friend-roommate' is actually my lover, etc. etc. We've become very close since then. She accepted my PLU status and promised to keep it secret.

I am lucky, very lucky to have her in my life now. She is not just an executive secretary, she is now confidante and friend! She has professed her undying love and remains unmarried till now. She doesn't entertain romantic hopes anymore (i think). She doesnt get jealous of my boyfriends and my boytoys (some of whom I have actually introduced to her!) BUT gets insanely jealous of any lady who flirts with me. ladies beware! she doesnt mind saying to anybody that she remains loyal, faithful and in love with me.

weird situation? but it works out for me. i love her, too! (no, not in THAT sense)

Monday, July 2, 2007

staying sexually sober

doesnt seem to make sense, huh? am playing up on the sex addiction much like alcoholism. hehe. so this actually means staying celibate... trying to.

i've had too much fun. and i know it has got to stop sometime. i am attached. and i love my partner. and though i know he senses this, i know he wishes i wouldnt.

so a mid-year resolution to stay celibate. but my problem is, could I still do it? sex is just so easy for us. one trip to the gym solves the rashes and the itchiness (if you're not too picky). or a massage or even an innocuous stroll in the mall could turn into an adventure (did i tell you about... hehehe. just kidding).

i was in bed malate during gay pride night. hmmm. jampacked. a lot of 'available' guys around. wasn't getting much look-my-way-thingies so i figured that this is really the best time to stay sober! hahaha. clean fun! clean fun! deliberately trying NOT to stare lustfully.

friend of mine nudged me towards one cute guy. so i danced with him, cuddled him. he seemed not too interested though, to his credit, he was staying beside me. really liked his eyes, his nose. cute young thing. but you know what, i left him there. told him i was sleepy (it was 4am). i did offer to take him home (clean fun, clean fun) but young thing declined. but the big thing for me was that I DIDNT ASK FOR HIS NUMBER! a part of me really wanted to. but heck, i had to prove to myself i could stay sober. took a lot out of me. i am still in my 'what-if' period... but i give myself a pat on the back. i could have clean fun. so far.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Dubai Mall Interiors

Here are examples of the great malls of Dubai... and this is what i mean by next-gen malls: big, spacious, generous with daylight... you will be surprised at how much attention they put in the details,, floor to celing! as they say in Tagalog "pulido magtrabaho"! Though you may not always like the themes (some are borderline gaudy), you can appreciate the creativity... this is what having a LOT OF MONEY could do.

It seems to me that the British et al architects and designers just became wild with their designs, since there are no budget constraints!