Tag Archives: culture

Tonight the Street is Ours

What is this post about, you may ask. Well, it is about things that happen on the streets of Iloilo City when the sun tucks itself over a thick blanket and wearily says good night.

So yeah, only the sun sleeps. There is enough reason why this blog got its title.

I work in an international company and adjusts with clients timezone from time to time. For three months I have been working from 9pm till 6am. However, this week I’m scheduled to come in, 1pm till 10pm. Alright, you don’t need to know about my life, I’ve said pretty much A LOT about it on this blog.

With that being said when I went out of the office, this welcomed me.

Yes, crappy phone photo. Also, you’re not allowed to pause and get a better angle. It is basically saying “hey snatchers take my phone”.

For those who dont know where Iloilo City is, it’s one of the Philippines premiere cities, where all the laid back people are. It is Philippines very own “City of Love” all because the people here speak in a loving manner. (Call me, it’s about the accent actually). My city is more like California-ish and Seattle-ish altogether.

At ten o’clock, traffic stops, and the traffic rules stops along with it. You can have all the streets all you want and sometimes to some extent. No really, it is safe walking on the street than off the street. I’m not dropping some bad comment about my city but the state of a sidewalks safety is pretty much the same on all cities all over the world.

You can pretend that pedestrian lane does not exist. No “I’m like The Beatles on The Abbey Road” feeling here, it’s more of “Long live anarchy” thing. You feel like a punk raping the rules.

The angle should give you a perspective of where I was standing. Yes on the middle of the street. And clearly I am safe. During mornings/rush hours, you can get stuck for 20 minutes on this street.

If you are feeling a little bit like a guerrilla artist, all Banksy and stuff, you can paint a big peace and love sign on the traffic sign without someone bothering your artistic and rebellious frenzy. In fact there has been over-dosage of graffitis all over the city as of late. And yes, by the way it is still illegal over here.

If you want to take a walk at night time, you risk being mugged not by humans (mostly) but by stray dogs. The city does have like an impound station where these poor things are being taken to but the owners are a little bit irresponsible, you can barely call them owners anymore.

And if ever nature calls you, this will help.

I don’t know how this little rest room works. But yes, you can take a leak inside it if your bladder is being a bummer.

The beauty of the night street whether its in a sleepy or a bustling city is the odd liberating feeling it gives people. During my above eighteen year old years, I have walked a lot of streets at night time and I can’t recall feeling sad and stressed. It even stimulates creativity. Creepy as it sounds I sometimes make up ink blot images from the shadows that posts and buildings cast.

All fun happens at night, it seems. Next time I’ll take a walk , I’ll bring a better camera to capture them.

PS: Downside of night time shift, you lose precious two minutes searching for your keys inside your bag.

I needed a treasure map and a flashlight to find my keys.

A Cursive Memory

“Puta!” my four year old neice shouted in her snotty voice. She’s having a tantrum and the grave cursive was intended for her mom.

Let me borrow the bl0gs title from one of the punk bands I had in my playlist because this is as disturbing as the punk era when Sid Viscious reigned. I didnt know where she picked up the word for we dont use it at home. Our family is a very traditional, very conservative Christian family who adorn the house with Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary paintings that seemed to stare at you making you feel guilty even making the tiniest mistake. So where might she had picked that word up? Barney doesnt say it, does it? Maybe at school. She attends a Christian nursery school. Maybe on the way home from school. Maybe somewhere else.

Cursing had been an act extremely prohibited at home like its somekind of a taboo. I graduated in grade school and never said “gago(asshole)” even once. But high school is different, if its not allowed at home you can do it in school. College was like being freed from a cage, so you do a lot of cursings, you learn a lot of cursives. You were late for class, you say “fuck the traffic.” You failed Physics 102, you say “fuck Newton.” Internet even glorified the language, you type every word and insert “fuck” between them makes you the coolest person in the universe. Record companies unwitting label “Parental Warning: Explicit Content” on cd’s when its not the parents who buy them, or it could be a marketing strategy, who knows. Cursing is the faintest act of rebellion and defiant. It means screwing the rules and feeling good after. It’s like drinking beer because drugs are illegal. Later when I had a job cursing had been helpful, you do it when you feel like saying it just as long as you say it in English and all the mute buttons within distance are pressed. Amazingly saying it in English makes you classy. Then I learned to cuss in Spanish, Japanese, Korean, German and Italian, which made me a linguist in some bad ass way.

Fuck is very convenient it could fit perfectly in any sentence that conveys any emotion. Eventually you’ll realize youre getting too far with cursing that even in the most serious of meetings you blurt out “what the fuck” then the conservative bosses would stare at you. My usual response would be “pardon my French” and “excuse my language”. I watch my mouth especially when I’m wearing a blouse and a slacks. Its not a very lady manner nor a professional one. But I cant be helped, even the guys told me to quit it. My friend would tell me I have a dirty mouth when they know I’m the only person who thinks Colgate 360 is mans greatest invention. It really sticks in my mouth that it can come out of my mouth without my brain sending commands to do it. Well as they say, it takes 21 days to develop a habit. And how can you kick an eight year habit?

As for my niece I know someday she’ll be writing a blog like this.

A Girls Guide For Girls in Meeting Their Boyfriend’s Girl Friends

This spawned from a disastrous meet up with a friends snob girlfriend.

1. GET YOUR FACE OFF YOU BOYFRIEND FOR EVEN A SPLIT SECOND. Yeah we know she is royally smitten by him(and we also knowwho he is smitten with) she doesnt have to make it that much obvious by turning her back on us and for the whole freaking time just face her boyfriend. I swear if I bump her on the streets face to face I wouldnt even recognize her. To begin with she was brought to that place so we could get to know her and then she’ll act like she doesnt even want to be around us. If youre the girlfriend wouldnt you want to know more about your boyfriend by knowing his friends who know him all the way to his bone marrow?

2. REFUSING TO AN OFFER IS AN INSULT. She was sort of invited by her boyfriend and not actually us. When they arrive we already ordered a plate of the place’s trademark pizza normally when you are offered anything by someone with good intention, you say the appropriate civilized response but she just answered by shaking her head in refusal. So we ordered soda for her still she didnt gave us a decent no for an answer. Refusing may be alright as long as it is done in a polite manner. Or she couldve told us what she wanted to eat or drink, the problem is she never talked. Talk about rude attitude.

3. LAUGH AT JOKES. His boyfriend seriously has some sense of humor and when we starts rolling the ball its just plain riot. We tried laughing around about the things we usually make fun of from Sebastian Bach to google translations to cracked.com. It kinda felt stupid when you exhausted all your wits and still people dont react to it. We were like, are we not witty enough for you? I mean we dont really force her to smile or laugh just at least react, we all like people to relate to us.

4. (FORCED)SMILE IS NOT SUPPOSE TO BE AN ANSWER TO A QUESTION. I hate it when people answer you a question with a fake smile. If youre not in the mood just be frank and answer a smartass remark that would really impress me. She’s not even pleasing us in the first place so I dont see a reason for her to try to be nice at all.

5. IF YOU FEEL INTIMIDATED JUST LEAVE. People with low social abilities tend to be uncomfortable around strangers, that we understand but if you dont feel like pretending to enjoy listening to your boyfriend having a bang out of the conversation with his girl friends you can at least be smart enough to make up excuses like you have to go home because you remember you left the fridge open. We are all good with alibis, we gorgeous humans. I see no point of enduring three hours and causing more damage to yourself and to your boyfriend. Surely after you leave one of his friends will text him, ‘I dont like her.’

Social rules and being yourself do not often come together, different personalities oftentimes causes conflicts so the above ‘guides’ might not work for others except when their boyfriend is my friend.