Tiny-Titanic Thoughts

Thoughts have consequences, either small or big

To Each According To One’s Deed November 26, 2006

Filed under: Humor — Jess Fernando @ 12:12 pm

The three of us, Tabog, Pepit and myself while watching the shoot of Maruja at Bustos Bulacan, sometimes in the late 60’s, made a promise – it would be imperative for us to watch the movie once released in theatre.  

Imperative could be imperiled, though, as the Henson Theatre which would likely show the Maruja movie hired a new security guard. His name was Teryo Taramindo, a menacing figure, a cross between cro-magnon and Kingkong whose biceps resembled that of a tamarind fruit. For theater sneakers, like us, Teryo was a total terror. He could pulp us to smithereens, once he caught us sneaking.     

The lure of Maruja defied fear, however. We followed the novel in “komiks.” We watched the shoot. The movie starred Romeo Vasques and Susan Roces, both superstar of the period. And we wanted to know how truthful the movie is to the novel it was based from. 

So, the movie came at Henson Theater at Baliwag, Bulacan. One Friday night, we did the sneaking scheme devised by Tabog that afforded us to see weekly movies free. 

The scheme seemed faultless. One of us, say Pepit, would deposit, five pesos to the ticket lady at the door – looking for someone inside, as one’s excuse. Movie tickets then are sold 80 cents apiece, so for five pesos as deposit, the ticket lady would think, Pepit wouldn’t stay inside. Once Pepit was inside, he would lift the latch of the exit door at the side street, where Tabog and myself were waiting for it to be deserted. Once we thought no one would see us, we would push the door with just enough space for us to sneak in. As we made it now inside, Pepit would then get his deposit back, get to the side street, and it was now our turn to lift the latch for him. 

This scheme worked for the previous lazy guard. Not with Teryo, though, as we lately realized. Teryo had different routine. He made round every hour and on one of his runs, he saw streak of light pouring in from the outside, that we made. We’re toast! Caught in the act! 

Teryo brought us at the roof top room of the theater. He made us lined up like cadets. Teryo looked like the towering and menacing brute.  

“So you’re the “lusut gang” huh! Since when, you’re doing this?” Teryo thundered.  I peed on my pants. 

“Months now, Sir”, I said. Pepit stepped on my toes, as if saying, stupid, why should you be honest. It wouldn’t help. 

“Sir, we’re sorry, we just tried it now” Tabog interjected. 

“Yes Sir,” Pepit seconded. 

“Get your pants and underwear down”, Teryo commanded. What? Would he like proofs of my pee?  

Right away, I pulled down my pants and underwear. Pepit stepped again on my toe. “tang na ka”. Pepit mumbled. Tabog and Pepit reluctantly followed.  

“So, who’se the mastermind here? Teryo asked. 

“It’s him,” I fingered Tabog. If he could just crush me, he would do it, from the way he looked at me. Teryo confronted Pepit, tapping his finger on his chest. “And you, what are you? 

“He’s the second in command, the Lieutenant, Sir…” I volunteered. “Tarantado”, Pepit said to himself. 

Teryo turned to me. “And you, what are you?” 

“Sir, I am just the fingerling”, I said, meekly. 

“Stand still here, and don’t move till I come back” Teryo instructed and left locking the room behind him. 

Pepit and Tabog rattled me of their sharp tongues for my suck up stunts when we were alone.   

After 30 minutes, Teryo came back with paper bag on his hand. He took out something, a yellow cashew fruit! He gave it to me. I was about to bite it, when he said, “Stupid, who told you to eat that? Since you’re just a fingerling, you’re going to ripe it in your ass.” 

“But Sir, it’s already ripe” 

“Rot it in your ass then.” Teryo barked.  

I cried while sitting on top of the cashew on the dirty floor. Shit, I felt million germs nibbling my bare butt. 

Then I saw Teryo took another item in the bag. Green Papaya, a good size for Tinola. He gave it to Pepit. “Rot this also on your ass, Lietenant,” Teryo said.  I stopped crying seeing this. I felt lucky. To ripe that Papaya, it would take Pepit longer, how much more to rot it. 

Pepit sat on his Papaya, his head down crying, while clasping his hand as if on prayer. Meanwhile, Tabog had this all-knowing smile at our fate.  

Then I heard Teryo called Julio. 

I consoled Pepit. “You know, at least you’re better off, much much more fortunate than our boss.” 

 “Why?” Pepit asked.  

Look, I said. The one that Teryo called Julio appeared in the room carrying on his shoulder a pig size JACKFRUIT!  


The Bofu bofu Scare November 20, 2006

Filed under: Humor,Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 4:07 am

I net googled “Palakang Araneta,” in search of a frog’s description that would match my remembrance of it, and its exact name. The Filipino sites didn’t yield enough info, except that the frog’s appendage “araneta” came from “Araneta Coliseum” because of the frog’s hugeness. However, at Wikipedia dictionary I found the frog’s description that matches my remembrance of it. I just don’t know if that is the real name of the specie found in the
Philippines. Wikipedia called it Bofu bufo, or Common Toad. The Bofu bofu frog can grow up to seven inches – truly big, and its skin full of pockmark warts crinkled throughout. Its color ranges from green to brown. It’s like an ancient fish which had on its scales the attributes of an ocean rock. 

My skin morphed into that of a Bofu bofu one day, reminiscent of my childhood’s mischief, upon which my proclivity to naivety had taken its toll.   

Among the two of my close barrio mates, I wasn’t the street-smart, but the most naïve. And my naivety always court disaster, courtesy of Tabog and Pepit.  

Tabog and Pepit asked me one time to join them stealing guava fruits from Mang Asyong’s farm.  While we were on top of the tree picking, we heard swishing of pellets coming from a slingshot. As I enjoyed feeling my belly bulged with fruits – I used my tucked shirt as basket – I continued filling it up, not minding that my two rascal friends already climbed down and run away. Meanwhile, not far from the branch I was perching in, one pellet of the slingshot hit a beehive.  When I looked down, I saw Mang Asyong waiting under the tree. I was given a choice. Who would I like to kill me first? I chose the bees. The bees feasted on my body not realizing Mang Asyong was a very patient man waiting under the tree.   

I climbed down when my skin couldn’t handle the bee’s bites anymore. Seeing what happened with my skin, Mang Asyong smirked. He confiscated all the fruits tucked in my belly and let me go. I felt my face itchy, thick and puffy. My eyes half closed. My torso bloated.  

Out of nowhere, as I walked away from the farm, Tabog and Pepit jumped out in front of me.  

“Oh… my God! You looked like Palakang Araneta”, Tabog said. Then Tabog and Pepit blamed me for not coming down early.  

“We warned you”, Tabog said, “but you didn’t listen.” 

“I don’t like to be seen like this by my mother? I feared my mother’s wrath”.    

“I know.” Pepit said, “We can get that skin healed”.   “How…?” I asked. “Soak yourself on where the water-buffalo take their bath”  

“What?!” I exclaimed, “Shouldn’t it gets worse?”  

“No. Because carabao’s dung residue is good for bees’ bites,” Pepit said.  

“Yeah.” Tabog seconded. So I soaked myself to that pool of water where carabaos have their nap. Several minutes after I came out from the pool, I felt myself more expanded, and exceedingly bloated. Tabog and Pepit were aghast.   “Okey,” Tabog said, “Pepit’s idea was bad. Try mine. You should wash yourself in water-lily’s pond” 

Sucked in now so deeply and desperate to heal my skin, I heeded to Tabog’s advice.  I washed myself in water lily’s pond, and felt terribly itchy when I came out. I seek refuge on bark of the acacia tree nearby and scratch my back against it. My back got reddish like its burning; blood seemed oozing out. Tabog and Pepit panicked.  

“Let’s powder your skin with “apog” (white powdery substance use as disinfectant) Pepit was gone for a while and when he came back, he powdered my whole body with “apog”.  

When my mother saw me, bleached white in “Palakang araneta” skin, and puffy body, she spouted off expletives, and asked me who did this horrible thing. I said, Tabog and Pepit.

“Have you got any other kids to go with? You stuck yourself with those rascals! Next time you go with them, I’ll make you eat that ugly “palakang araneta”. She threatened.  

“I heard that frog is poisonous,” I said. 

“That’s right”, my mother said with conviction.


The Puerile “Palutsot” Mentality November 10, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jess Fernando @ 7:01 pm

Filipinos is now God’s chosen people. Think of it. Any ascribable “mentalities” that God bestow, Filipinos seemed suck them all.  From the classic “colonial mentality” to “crab” to “Tingi” (micro retail) to “Asa” (depend) to “Utang na loob” (debt of gratitude) to “Tambay” (hangers-on) to “Harimuhanan” (scrounging) to “Hambog” (boaster) to “Maka-isa” (one-upmanship) and to the puerile, “Palusot” (making shortcuts), God seems running out of these mentality handouts. Filipinos must have been so likeable to God.  

God knows Filipinos can be so adept handling these “mentalities”. God said, “To those much has been given, much is expected”. Filipinos are poised to exceed God’s expectation. Proof: Opposing camps of the Philippine’s national leaderships are on it. They are perfecting this puerile “palusot mentality”, making themselves its poster boys.   

“Palusot mentality” is an attitude or thinking making excuses or alibis to extricate oneself from difficulty, or cutting corners making short shrift of certain activities.  

So crucial for maintaining political power and economic privilege is the use of “palusot mentality” to both camps of the Philippine’s national leaderships, it doesn’t matter caricaturing themselves as buffoons.  

During President Arroyo’s impeachment imbroglios, the oppositions convened the “people’s court:” a court used by the New People’s Army putting into trial suspected deep penetration agent among their ranks, and get rid of them. How the oppositions thought of this NPA’s patented “people’s court” as their “palusot” was indicative act of desperation. The opposition would try anything just to get rid of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, or at least create condition that would speed up her downfall.  

Question was; under whose authority this “people’s court” would have the power to implement their verdict, if ever there were? Unlike the NPA, the opposition has no “sparrow unit” for liquidation…!

Yet, the oppositions, as if they were in a real court of law, they all dressed up to the hilt. Their demeanor: somber, solemn and glum. They wanted people to believe that their public trial exercise was serious, worthy of attention, although they know for themselves that they were for media mileage.  

Teofisto Guingona, venerable former Vice President and Senator, when he swore in the members of the court, looked earnest, lugubrious, yet ludicrous. He was like an actor, acting in penance.   Probably, deep in his heart, he was asking, why a person like him would have entangle himself to this farcical show.   

The “People’s Initiative”, spearheaded by the Sigaw ng Bayan, Lito Banayo of Malaya, called it “Singaw ng Bayan, as the easiest way to implement a change in the Philippine’s Constitution, had made it, as the Palace’s “palusot” grand finale. The two “palusot” Proclamation 1017, declaring a state of national emergency, and Executive Order No. 464, banning high-ranking government officials to attend congressional hearings unless cleared by Malacanang, had the half-empty – half-full verdict from the Supreme Court.

But this “People’s Initiative” was the mother of all the botched up “palusot”. The SC ruling stated that the latest people’s initiative proposal was “constitutionally infirm (and) propelled by deceptively gathered signatures.” That was total rebuke. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s advisers and allies who are desperate to change the form of government from bicameral to unicameral must had been stung hard. Now, they are eyeing on “Plan B”, (Con Ass) Constitutional Assembly, another “palusot” in the making. Of course, the opposition leaders have their own brand of “palusot”, too, to make.  

The puerile “palusot” mentality when applied can be a waste of vast resources; money, time, effort and energy.  Why can’t both camp of the national leadership eschew “palusot” and just play straight?

For God so loved the Filipino’s prone to mentalities, he gave this “palusot” for elders to use and for youngster to emulate. How puerile…! Phew! 

Also, to make Filipinos suffer like Job, as a test of faith, and as a price as God’s new chosen people…!