Dreaming of Dancing Burritos

The weather last week was like Mum. Also, Manila Ocean Park.
June 8, 2009, 5:16 am
Filed under: obligatory, review, sentimental

If I were to anthropomorphize last week’s weather, she’d look and act a lot like my mum. I even have almost the same kind of misgivings towards the weather as my mum (thank you for NOT letting me go to the company outing). That’s all I can say about last week’s weather.

Mother-flavored weather or no, Sunday still saw me being treated to a sunny day with the fishes in Manila Ocean Park, courtesy of that someone who will remain seriously awesome…until our next argument.

With the exorbitant ticket price (400 can see me through an entire work week complete with a Wendy’s side salad for each day), I wasn’t expecting the place to be packed with people. While there was no line for the tickets by the time that we came, we were still greeted with several families gawking at the fishy population once we got into the park.

Needless to say I’m actually glad; while the park is relatively small I wouldn’t want to see it close down due to lack of visitors.

The fishes were hard at work in entertaining the guests: a trio of huge Amazonian fishes – touted to be the largest freshwater fish in the world – tried tried their best to be as cuddly as possible, making me feel a strong urge to jump into the aquarium and hug them. Too bad that doing so would see me getting hauled away from the park.

Rays were also employed to shade the underwater tunnel visitors from the harsh rays of the sun, using their flat, wide bodies. Some of them looked grumpy, begging to have their pictures taken and used for macros such as “I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE. AND I DO NOT LIKE IT.”

Of course, there are the doctor fishes of the fish spa. If I ever have to tag one group of fish as the company “overperformers”, these lot would be it. The moment we dipped our feet into the shallow pool, hordes of nomnom fish instantaneously approached our submerged limbs and nom’ed on our feet and legs.

It was, I suppose, the doctor fishes’ way of saying “Ma’am and Sir, we advise you to change your year-old loofah and scrub more. In the meantime, we recommend that you let us NOM on your dead skin cells. Nomnomnom.” Having crowds of fish happily nibbling on your skin could very well make up being born with chronic dry skin.

A precarious boat ride and a nice lunch later, my companion and I mellowed out in MoA, strolling around hand in hand, just as we always do.

1: Even if we fight a lot, I’ve never been happier in my whole life.  
2: What made you say that so suddenly?
1: I just wanted to let you know.
2: Uhm, is this the point when the couple goes all lovey-dovey, then parts afterwards with one of them dying because of a freak accident, and the other goes emo and eventually saves the world?
1: Let’s just look at them balls touching, shall we?


A spot of photography: Squirtle
May 27, 2009, 3:46 pm
Filed under: awesome, tartol diary, tartolz

Squirt’s been with me for quite some time now and I’m just happy that he’s still the grumpy, hungry turtle that I bought from Megamall Bio Research after Ryan accidentally dropped him and I cried…gah, it’s a long story.

Even though he made me bawl my eyes out once, he’s (the vet finally confirmed that Squirtle is indeed a ‘he’) still my beloved baby turtle. And he’s grown a lot ❤

Thanks to my bro for lending me his SLR.


Manga Review: Saint Young Men (aka Jesus is a weeaboo)
May 26, 2009, 3:58 pm
Filed under: anime-related, fangirl, lolwut, manga review, random, review

…or, what if God (and Buddha) was one of us.

If you’re still familiar with one-hit wonder Joan Osbourne’s If God Was One of Us, then you may have played around with that thought. Did you imagine the earthbound Jesus as the  holier version of King Midas, who turned everything he touched into gold? Did His footsteps turn the hot asphalt He walked on into holy ground? Was He even remotely human, in every sense of the word?

What if He was just chillin’ in a rented studio apartment, with Buddha as his roomie?

In Nakamura Hikaru’s Saint Young Men, two of the poster men of religion, Jesus Christ and Buddha, decide to take a break from their work and descend into Japan (surprise, surprise) for good old R&R. They rent an apartment, and judging by Buddha’s stricken reaction at Jesus’ exorbitant purchases, they’re also restricted to a certain budget. Will they enjoy their vacation? Maybe, if only their divinity wasn’t in the way.

Contrary to the Jesus Christ in every Christian’s minds, Nakamura’s rendition of the Son of God is incredibly human and a tad carefree, to the point of being a bit out-of-character at first glance. To Japanese highschool girls who catch glimpse of Him buying food in the nearest kombini, He is that Johnny Depp-lookalike who has a penchant for the Shinsen-gumi. He owns a Vaio, and is a J-dorama blogger who makes sure His reviews come out the same day that the episodes get aired – and His blog gets thousands of hits per day.

Tl;dr, Jesus is a weeaboo, just like us.

On the other hand, Buddha of Saint Young Men is truer to the Buddhist doctrine as the man who has discovered the Middle Way (the path between the two extremes of hedonism and self-mortification): he is temperate, scolds Jesus for squandering their limited vacation allowance on needless luxuries like a beginner’s clay modeling kit, and a full set of Shinsen-gumi cosplay, and absolutely loathes the extreme sensation of riding the rollercoaster. But he finds it in himself to become a Leah Dizon fan.

As expected of a manga of this genre, Saint Young Men pokes a small jab at its protagonists, putting Christianity and Buddhism in a humorous light. The manga even goes so far as to “reveal” that the fabled Baptism in the Jordan River was not a proof of Jesus’ divinity more than a show of John the Baptist’s great compassion, and that the white dove that descended from the heavens was the Father Himself, inquiring about the welfare of His slightly aquaphobic Son.

Jesus’ addiction to blogging was also explained as a manifestation of his desire for an audience; whether or not this translates to craving attention depends on the readers. I myself know that this isn’t always the case.

One of the bigger questions about this manga is whether or not Nakamura’s Jesus was too out of character. Is He, really? Jesus of the Bible was capable of playing truant as a kid to show His wits (or youthful presumptuousness?) off to them pesky old men; He certainly was cheeky enough to make His unbelieving disciple to touch his wounds just to show that he was that same person who died on the cross. 

He was also human enough to wreak havoc on the merchants in His Father’s temple – but this manga series does not emphasize His righteous anger (an error which will be righted in this particular sidestory).

One of the more obvious reasons why this obscure title shines is its irreverent handling of subject matter, yet never straying far from what could be the entire point of this manga series: Jesus (and Buddha, depending on your beliefs) was once human, just like us. Does it follow, then, that mere humans can transcend humanity and become divine?

Another point being, of course, that people of varying beliefs can hang out with each other and become roomies. It’ll be wonderful if that other religious figure (hint: turbans) made an appearance, but we all know what would probably ensue. Denmark knows .

Of course, this seems to be lost in the more orthodox lot of believers and those too narrow-minded to appreciate the message behind the satirical comedy that is practically on the same level as Cromartie High and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (thanks to its tasteful placement of cameos like that one God of the New World).

While the manga has reportedly been received warmly by the Christian and Catholic populations in Japan, the manga a good ice breaker between people of Christianity and Buddhism – and by extension, Shintoism – it’s obvious how people from the more fundamental Christian countries will take this gem: all fire and brimstone. And it’s sad, really.

For those who missed the scanlation link: Saint Young Men

Guessing game of rage.
May 18, 2009, 6:41 am
Filed under: obligatory, rage, srsbsns

People of today’s day and age undoubtedly enjoy technological progress that is unprecedented in previous generations. Unfortunately, similar progression in human behavior doesn’t necessarily follow.

Back then, reaching out to people and introducing one’s self is a highly encouraged act, even if it was done in roundabout, peculiar ways when between adolescents and young adults of opposite sex. There’s the employment of mediators, the sending of humiliatingly cheesy love letters, and of course, the subtle throwing of rocks into windows.

Now that the current level of technological progress has enabled communication to ride on zeroes and ones that deliver information on mere fractions of a second, you’d think that human behavior would also become just as practical. But no.

This SMS log is a shining example. Please excuse the vernacular, much of the retardation will be lost in translation, and I can’t be bothered to figure out how to encode the following in English txtspk:

[number redacted]: ,h! Uztah kna?
Me: Who’s this?
[number redacted]: ,wh0’s dis k jan?
Me: Kilala ba kita? Sabihin mo na kasi medyo busy ako.
[number redacted]: ,yup it’s me airine?
Me: Nope, don’t know you. kthxbai.
[number redacted]: ,gnun ok!! Babusss din
Me: *goes back to browsing awesome items in Saizen, Robinsons Galleria, fitting my boyfriend with fake boobies*

I really don’t know if it’s the in thing nowadays to prefix each and every SMS with a comma, but one thing’s for sure, trying to hook someone into an untimely guessing game, for 1 buck a pop isn’t just downright inconsiderate, it’s also goddamn retarded and is a discredit to human intelligence.

A short break from the usual stuff.
May 18, 2009, 2:50 am
Filed under: boredom, obligatory, writing

1. I haven’t been doing much outside of work, as always. It’s sad, thinking that what transpired last week can be confined to mere bullet points and statistics. A list full of pre-emptive grieving, tears, boredom, paranoia, amusement and nigh miraculous recovery, but a restrictive list nonetheless.

I decided that it was high time to nurse a bottle.

He said that Gilbey’s Gin Pineapple has been pulled out from store shelves, my font of college comforts condemned as entry-level alcohol for those too young to remove their lips from their mother’s teats.

Just because it was sweet, I suppose.

I’m now left to sucking on lemony lollipops for now. I wish I had someone to drink with tonight.

2. Only recently I’ve had a few people inquiring if I was still writing. I am, I suppose, working on it. In fact, I have another blog where I’m supposed to post new short stories, but it’s currently locked until I have posted four pieces. Hopefully coherent ones.

Thanks for asking.

Jesus Christ, it’s about time.
May 15, 2009, 8:35 am
Filed under: fangirl, gaems, lolwut, rage

In the meantime, while the cuckoo in my head plots my downfall…
May 1, 2009, 5:41 pm
Filed under: obligatory

…I am going to the beach. After almost a year since my last beach trip, with the same crowd I’m going with in a few hours, give or take a few people.

I’m glad I’m still able to go to the beach. Simple joys warrant appropriate thanks.