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Read: Eating Fire and Drinking Water

It is an ambitious effort to put the subject of politics, religion, rebellion, family issues and the supernatural all in one story.  But Arlene Chai does it nevertheless.

This book talks about a society’s struggle for political revolution.  A time where its citizens choose to act rather than sit in front of their TV sets and moan.

Though already based in Australia, there is  a certain "Pinoy-ness" in Arlene Chai  that one can never take away.  Her protagonist Clara Perez is, like in every other telenovela we  know, an orphan of separated parents whose relationship have been torn apart by their opposing social status (rich guy vs poor girl).  Her mother, alone and desolate, left her in a convent run by sisters who will eventually lead her to discover her true identity.

Though I have to say that the way it was woven into the story is so subtle that you do not really notice the commonness of it. 

The story is also filled with intriguing characters which serve as a characterization of our society’s familiar social figures.  I liked the way she uses interesting names to assist our imaginations in recognizing a real life counterpart for her characters – Luis Bayani, Charlie the Chinaman, El Presidente, etc.

This book made me rethink our need to actively involve ourselves in nation building. Not to be an idealistic, suicidal rebel-activist like Luis Bayani (afterall, we do have jobs) but to just be an ordinary decent citizen who pays the correct tax, observes traffic rules, votes wisely and listens to the news.

Today’s call is about active participation and shared involvement   Do not sell your vote so your overextended family can feast for a day, use it so your family can have access to a transparent and honorable government. 

All good intentions require a certain amount of sacrifice. Yes, it is easier to just cross the dangerous street than use the overpass.  But is the saved effort worth our lives? 

There is no shortcut in achieving a better life.  But you can start by reading this book.  Maybe you just need to be inspired.


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The English Patient

There are movie lines...

And then, there are "the movie lines"

The English Patient is one of my all time favorite movie.  It stars the oh-so-mysterious Ralph Fiennes as Count Almasy (who incidentally is also a real person).

It is based on a novel of the same title by Michael Ondaatje (which is also one of my fave writers).

Michael's writing can be described as "imaginative and whimsical."  He likes to write stories about the ravages of war and the interesting people living it.

He also writes about relationships and betrayal.
 "Betrayals in war are childlike compared with our betrayals during peace. New lovers are nervous and tender, but smash everything. For the heart is an organ of fire." And of course, love.

This movie has "the movie lines" to die for.

Almasy to Katherine:  "Swoon, I'll catch you"
If only this statement can be trusted. If only guys are all like this in real life.


Singapore is so much like Makati -- tall buildings, fast people & talkative Filipino yuppies. Not so much sights but then again, we were there to overspend on pasalubongs and go retail shopping. I don't want to brag, but between here and Manila, Manila wins hands down (on my own standards). :-)

Our hotel was located at Orchard Rd. and it has (thankfully) Starbucks at the groundfloor. We went down one night only to realize that coffee (as with cigarrettes) is so much more pricey there.

Athough, I must say, the air is worth breathing and the streets are super clean. Thank God for countries who respect the rights of non smokers to nice, clean air.

March 8: International Women's Day

International Women's Day is celebrated across the world on March 8th each year. The day is about celebrating the vital role women play in enhancing economic security for their families, communities and countries as a whole while recognising that significant barriers to achieving women's economic security and equality continue to exist.
To know more about it, follow this link:

Just want to share this quote to all the ladies out there: 

A man wears the pants in a relationship but the woman tells the man which pair to put on. 
- Unknown