Saturday, April 18, 2009


I was queueing towards the cashier of a hypermarket in Riyadh When my attention was dragged by the skinny but good-looking Filipino who bought one instant noodle and one apple. The lone apple cost only SR1.40 while the instant noodles was probably SR0.95 or SR1. He paid three riyals but never got the change. It is not uncommon in Riyadh that loose change are no longer given to customers whose bills have loose change for lack of coins in the counter.

Medyo nanghinayang ako sa baryang di nakuha ni kabayan pero mas naukit sa akin ang iisang noodles at apple na kakainin ni kabayan.

Para sa akin kasi, parang saglit lang maglaho ang 2 instant fried noodles pagniluto ko. Bitin ang kabusugan ko sa dalawang paketeng Inodo-Mei. Pero saludo ako sa isang mansanas. Baka nag da diet si kabayan. Pero palagay ko, wala talagang pera si Kabayan na nagkasya na lang sa pagbili ng isang instant noodle at mansanas.

Sa uniporme ni kabayan na kulay berde, di malayong isa syang salesman o warehouseman sa isang tindahan sa mall or possible ring isang crew sa isang food chain.

Halos isang buwan na rin ang nakalipas ang tagpong yun but I instantly recalled this when one of my co-workers emailed me a short note, probably intending to warn us about a possible health hazard of an instant pancit canton.

According to email, a 25-year old friend of another co-worker died early morning after eating pancit canton.

The death news came while I was cramming with my work in the office including checking the insurance enrollment of all company employees together with their family members and seeing to it that the personnel requisition for two new employees are processed and the salary offer and employment contracts are all signed before their joining date, among other things such as company cheques to be pushed for signing, summing up the 2009 expenses of our government liaison officer, seeing to it that the multiple exit re-enty visas of some middle management officers are done, my other colleagues are only passing emails about noodles.

"Buti pa sila, nag eemail lang while my work is literally all up to my neck."

Oh well, it was about a death of a 25-year old Filipino that allegedly ate noodles few hours before his death. Binangungot daw dahil sa pagkain ng noodles.

> kanina madaling araw mga 3AM... ang 25 y.o. na friend ni Cesar from
> Jeraisy ay namatay sa BANGONGOT.
> Dahil nanalo kahapon ng Laptop sa raffle draw ay nagluto daw cla doon sa
> villa ng pancit short, pancit ang huling kinain ng kaibigan ni
> cesar.
> Healthy naman daw ung tao, walang sakit, medium lang ang katawan.
> Well, baka nagkataon lang na pancit ang kinain...or talagang tama ung
> scientific explanation na hindi maganda kumain ng noodles sa gabi...

Few minutes after I receive that email, another email popped on my screen. An immediate reaction from one of the recipients, also a co-worker.

> Pancit ay gawa sa flour. Nag-e-expand at nag-a-absorb ng maraming liquid.
> Kung natulog ka na di pa natunaw ang kinain mong pansit ma-dehydrate ka
> at yan ang ikinamamatay. Kailangan if you eat noddles sa gabi, uminom ka
> ng
> maraming liquid para di ma-dehydrate at mamatay na tulog.
> Kaya di ako kumakain ng noddles before sleeping....he he he

Naisip ko agad, “may post-mortem na agad sila sa bangungot at singled out na talaga ang noodles. Talo pa nila ang forensic expert na si Miss Fortun.”

Dagdag na pumasok sa isipan ko na baka sobrang laki na talaga ng mga sahod nila kaya di na sila kumakain ng instant noodles or talagang masama sa kalusugan ang noodles.

Habang sinusulat ko to, may napansin akong di matawarang noodles story sa website.

A former government supplier accused the Department of Education (DepEd) of allegedly procuring and distributing "overpriced" egg noodles for the government's school feeding program in hunger-stricken provinces last year.
Whelma Lanzuela, president of former government supplier Kolonwel Trading, claimed that DepEd's more than 15 million packs of instant noodles with "fresh eggs" distributed to poor elementary and pre-school pupils last year were overpriced.
Lanzuela said each pack of DepEd's noodles costs P16 to P18, which is three times more expensive than the regular prices of noodles being sold in local stores.
Danilo Quido, sales manager of Kolonwel Trading, added that the nutritional information about the noodles manufactured by DepEd's winning bidder, Jeverps Manufacturing Corp., is deceptive since it really has no protein benefits and added vitamins.
Quido said the company brought samples of the noodles to Vietnam for tests, and the findings showed, "the DepEd fortified instant noodles with fresh egg is made of flour and does not contain any fresh egg but mere egg powder."
Lanzuela and Quido said the DepEd paid Jeverps Manufacturing Corp. P284 million for the noodles.
The two said they had questioned the allegedly overpriced noodles and wrote Education Secretary Jesli Lapus about their findings.
They said they were forced to go to the media after receiving news that the DepEd has awarded Jeverps Manufacturing Corp. the noodles program for this year for P427 million.
'Mixed with fresh eggs and malunggay'
Teodoro Sangil, DepEd Undersecretary for Finance and chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee 1, described Kolonwel Trading's accusation as a way of discrediting DepEd's food for school program.
"Anybody can do that to destroy us," Sangil said, adding that Kolonwel's accusations will not prevent the DepEd from distributing the noodles to less-privileged pupils in Mindanao and Visayas.
He added that Kolonwel is one of the failed bidders of the noodles program.
Sangil also insisted that fresh eggs were mixed with the noodles during the manufacturing process, which was witnessed by DepEd representatives.
"Actually the fresh eggs were mixed with the noodles. The ingredients were processed. Of course, you won't see an actual fresh egg inside the packaging," the DepEd official said.
Meanwhile, Sangil admitted that the noodles were priced higher than the regular noodles being sold in local stores. He said the noodles were made from highly-nutritious ingredients, including fresh eggs and malunggay leaves.
He said the noodles program aims to help malnourished pupils in areas with higher incidence of hunger.
Sangil said that instead of bringing their accusations to the media, Kolonwel Trading should bring the issue to the Office of the Ombudsman.--report from ANTHONY TABERNA, ABS-CBN News

Pagkatapos ko mabasa ang balita sa itaas sa website ng ABS CBN, naisip ko, sana kung totoong makapatay ang instant noodles, ipakain na lang lahat yung noodles sa DepEd officials na responsable sa pagbili ng napakamahal na instant noodles.

Kung di sila mabangungot, maimpacho man lang sana.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


“Mapatay ta ka karon.” These words, I heard, coming from my less than 10-year old nephew in Davao more than a decade ago had made me chill. The child of an OFW uttering such words was so casual that not one among my family reacted to his tantrums that made him utter such an “expression.”

The words reverberated these days when the Commission in Human Rights recently did their work in Davao City known as the killing fields of the popular Davao Death Squad.

More than 800 unexplained killings were tallied by non-government organization so far.

In one of my annual vacations, there was a time that three killings occurred in one night just few kilometers from where I was sleeping.

Another killing occurred in front of one of my sexmates one new-year celebration. When my pal narrated few hours later how the killing spared him, I could not blame him how he feared eating dinuguan these days because of the splattered blood in the dining table as scene of the crime.


I could not forget the single-word reaction of my brother upon knowing that the victim was a small-time weed peddler.

Culled human lives are regularly done in my city in the last 10 years and the counting of the victims is continuing.

I remembered that one day before I left for Riyadh, I told one of my brothers to look into what I heard thay my old and forgetful mother was duped again by one old tricycle driver with more than 10,000 pesos loan. She never got paid.

Few weeks after I returned to the Saudi capital, my best friend texted me saying that the old man was killed by the dreaded Davao Death Squad. The txt emphasized how my mother cried because she no longer could collect the utang that old man acquired from my mother.

Last year, I saw another brother talking to a believed to be former DDS member raising another case of wrong-doing. Apparently, a case was lodged again. I never heard about it but I will not be surprised if the culprit is no longer breathing these days.

Petty criminals are killed in Davao City.

I wonder if those who owed me money should be exposed in my city. A careless whisper could take a breath away. Patay na sab?

I respect the right to life. I am not in favor of death penalty. The rule of law must be enforced in seeking justice. But when the law is bent to favor the rich and those in power, I have second thoughts of their right to life. Anyway, there is the right to revolt against oppressors.

With the recent torture, rape and killing of a 20-year old teacher, what is really happening in Davao City? Ain't this revolting?

Friday, April 3, 2009

apologies daw oh

when chip tsao apologized and bowed his head in front of a number of filipino consulate officials and other human beings there, i wondered if the gesture was a sincere realization of fault or another 'i am sorry" drama popularized by gloria aroryo.

i do not know why but with these kind of apologies make me really doubt if i could forgive. at this point, i may be bitter because this kind of drama reminds me of those members of the popular couples of christ in riyadh who borrowed money from me but did not pay.

there are other members of singles of christ too who preferred to forget paying their share of the apartment telephone bills before while there are those friends of them that cried in my front in time of their need for money just to be able to borrow but was so fast in hiding when i approached them to collect their debts.

when i lost job for 18 months, nobody of these i thought were friends cared.

apologies or not, people are really sinners.

one has to have great sense of huge power of sensibilities to trust other people.

parang relasyon ng bading, dapat alamin kung love ba taaga ang umiirtal o piniperahan ka lang ng partner mo.

alamin din kung hatagera concepcion ba ang name mo kung inlababo ka. ako ba yun?

yes, it took me more than a decade to realize that my lover was only after my money and hearing him say sorry just reminds me of other sinners whom should never be trusted. they lost credibility.