Archive for March, 2010

E2= Earthquakes and Elections

Posted in Daily Encounters on 03/26/2010 by montecristomorillo

I was browsing the world wide web yesterday, searching for sites regarding diving courses and its corresponding rates, which would likely allow me to obtain a PADI (Professional Association Of Diving Instructors) license. I have always been interested in exploring the mysteries of the deep, communing with creatures subsisting in the aquatic world, and spreading the gospel of conservation among concerned citizens. While examining one particular diving school, the glass of cranberry juice beside me suddenly quivered, creating ripples inside that reminded me of Jurassic Park: the protagonists were rendered immobile by the undulations visible on a puddle, indicating the approach of the ferocious tyrannosaurus. And then it trembled…

The paintings hanging askew on our wall vibrated, the lamps held by chains while suspended in air swung from side to side, and everyone stood still for almost a minute…


Way back November 15, 1994, at around 03:15 am in the morning, our province was hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 that jolted me awake when I fell from the double-decked bed, rewarding me with a bleeding nose. What I wasn’t aware of was that the temblor generated a tsunami that wrought significant damage on the northern shoreline communities of Mindoro, leaving 41 people dead by drowning. On the breaking of dawn, when I went outside, I was agape at the sight that I witnessed: century old trees were uprooted, the pavement was fissured, light posts were tumbled down, and other images in catastrophic proportions. It was a memory etched on our very minds…a day ought to be remembered.

After the incident yesterday, March 25, 2010, there was a flood of messages on my mobile phone, twitter, facebook, and other social networks, all concerning about the quake that transpired. According to the news, the Manila earthquake registered a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter Scale, with its epicenter located northeast of Lubang, Occidental Mindoro. Such circumstance sent employees working inside high-rise buildings fleeing outside, nervous and frightened. Thank the Creator, it was a non-destructive one. I still fervently pray that the Philippines be spared from such tragedy…

Present Day

March 26, 2010: Campaign for the local elections starts today, evidenced by the visibility of posters plastered on legally accepted surfaces, automobiles with gigantic speakers playing promise-filled jingles, and street teams distributing informative paraphernalia. I could definitely feel the atmosphere of competition, with every persona running for office devising their own set of political strategies, making use of the media well. I already have the list of candidates whom I will be voting for in the national and local elections come May 10, provided that none of their faces be detected on any trees, or else suffer the consequence of being omitted. I plea that the trees be exonerated from piercing nails, as I wouldn’t want them victimized by human’s pursuit to victory and their endeavors, that even nature receive our unjust actions. I appeal to the voting public that we choose leaders whose catalogue of agenda fall into these categories: (1) a government with minimal tinge of corruption (2) concern for climate change (3) considerable amount of budget for education (4) support for farmers and Filipino scientists (5) and relentless assistance to the OFWs. We must be critical in scrutinizing the qualifications of those who are running, checking if they possess the strength and integrity to manage our nation, just to prove that they’re up to challenge of reshaping this country of ours which is in a quagmire of moral decadence and financial indebtedness. Let there be light in the elections…


Ze German’s Moldy Bread

Posted in Daily Encounters on 03/23/2010 by montecristomorillo

I was rummaging through our kitchen cabinets, looking for some foil or any zip-pak plastic containers to store the grapes I bought fresh from the market. Upon opening the cabinet located on the upper, right hand corner of the room, I saw to my repugnance, a rotting loaf of bread which was given to us by Per & Dahlia, a couple who migrated from Germany to the Philippines. Based on my impeccable recollections, the wheat bread was still oven fresh and bewitching in appearance when it was delivered right at our doorsteps, still with those curls of smoke and aroma that was captivating. And what turned of the bread was beyond comparison to its previous aesthetic looks. The bread smelt of stale air, with patches of molds almost entirely covering the form, creating a pattern of an archipelago seen on a map. It was utterly disgusting to the sight! I pulled out a razor sharp knife from the wooden drawer and pierced the center of bread, removing it from its current position, leaving traces of fungi on the surface. While transferring it to a no longer used ceramic plate, the sunlight that permeated through our windowpane revealed the tiny spores of mold lifting off, comparable to that of dandelions blown by the air. Tracing back through time, I was probably in a hurry during those moments when the bread was given to us, neglecting the proper way and art of storing baked products. I forgot to cool the bread first before putting it away at room temperature, which apparently ignited the propagation of molds on the food, producing a carpet of moss-like substance. I could’ve tasted its crispy crust and soft inside, enjoying it with jam or marmalade perhaps, while drinking lemonade on the afternoon. But most of all, I felt guilty for ‘ze’ Germans, whose effort in creating it was put all into waste. I owe them the apology…

To make amends, I would probably send them a casserole of clam chowder which they’re obsessively delirious with…

A Fulfilled Prediction

Posted in Daily Encounters on 03/21/2010 by montecristomorillo

Just this gray morning, I was the one manning the cashier, giving out changes to new customers and loyal patrons of our quaint restaurant. As part of my habit, I would apply alcohol in order to, of course, get rid of the germs and and bacteria inhabiting on the bedraggled paper bills and coins. But as it turned out, my hygienic custom was misconstrued by one particular and unfamiliar customer: a stocky woman, probably around her 50s, wearing this humongous white turban, a silky blouse studded with shimmering beads that was tossed back and forth by the gusts of wind generated by the electric fan, and carrying this cardboard drawn with an image of a detailed hand with captions written all over —a fortune teller. Having finished her copious meal, she stood up and waded her way through the throng of other diners, walking toward me to pay her bill. She handed me her payment, which I delightedly accepted with the sincerest smile ever, and rubbed some alcohol on my skinny hands.

That action, referring to my purpose of purging the filthy organisms, triggered the old woman to engage on a verbal assault, bombarding me with a tirade. I was taken aback by her sudden burst of emotional and cruel dialogue, even made worse by the gesture of her right hand…the dreaded dirty finger! I was tight-lipped, clueless as to how I would react. Her rant went like this: “You, there! Are you insulting me? Are you making a mockery out of me just because I am garbed like this? You think my money is unclean compared to that of others here? Do you want to end up soaked on that alcohol of yours? Just ask me! You unclean people! You disgust me! Hmpf!” And then she went outside, followed by the eyes of those who witnessed the scandalous behavior.

I could’ve retorted to her wrong impression but, out of respect, I declined the thought. The old woman conceived the idea that I belittled her, considered her as a dreg in the echelon of society, which wasn’t my intention at all. I felt sorry for her…

As if there was a needle that pricked my skin, I was dumbfounded to realize that my horoscope proved true: “on this very day, someone will be pissed at you”. Whoa! Bizarre!

My Sugar-Free Promise

Posted in Food & Drink on 03/20/2010 by montecristomorillo

Indeed, on this momentous day, the 20th of March, marks the 2nd year of my total forbearance from drinking sodas. Yes, it was an exacting goal (a resolution actually), to ultimately dispel the insatiable craving for sugar infested beverages. Since diabetes runs in the family, it compounded on my motivation to emulate the strict discipline my father performs as part of his healthy lifestyle. He has been hospitalized once, but not involving any major surgery engendered by a particular illness, just an unexpected eruption of a carbuncle. When I was a kid, I could still vividly recall those moments when I would go into hiding, with a canister of granulated sugar and slices of loaf bread bundled in between my armpit, enshrouding myself from the stockroom filled with shadows. And from that spot, I would not add a sprinkle of sugar on the bread, but I would cast heaps of it, satiating my gustatory sense to its fullest. When I would sit down and ponder about those times, it made me realize how stupid I was for having committed such deathly deeds. Any part of my body could have been amputated, imbalanced and uneven, reducing me to something that is incomplete. To my luck though, Sofija, a Latvian friend of mine, sent me an informative e-mail concerning the amount of sugar enclosed within a bottle of Mountain Dew, my personal favorite. For a 20 oz (590 ml) bottle of the aforementioned drink, it contains a weight of 77g of sugar, making me sick just by imagining the cubes of sugar stacked up. Here’s a link of the site for your personal inspection: From that moment on, I swore an oath, with my bloody action figures in front of me as witnesses, that I would never ever drink those life-shortening liquid. And up until now, that promise is still as adamant as a diamond, unbroken by the itch to taste and time…

Those Bygone Days

Posted in Memories on 03/19/2010 by montecristomorillo

My nephew, an excessively and overactive kid, tapped my back and asked if I would gladly accompany him on the soccer field, located within the grounds where I graduated. Since I had nothing to do then during those times, I acquiesced to his humble request, nodding my head. A large smile was plastered on his face while we were walking on the once dusty road that led to our destination. And there we were, right at the middle of the field, with the orbish outline of the sun about to set, masses of clouds rolling about, and the grass turned brown due to the scorching heat brought about by El Nino. My nephew, who was just beside me, dashed off toward the field goal, running like the wind, swift and silent. With my camera strapped against my back, I hoisted it in front of me and took some pictures. While looking through the viewfinder, a rush of memories started to accumulate within my head, letting me reminisce about the days when I was still young and non-nonchalant. And it just made me think: what if I did the thing I was restricting myself so much during those days? Hmmmm…Nuh! Life has been good to me until now. Anyways, let bygones be bygones!