Fun and Humor

(1) Not smarter than a fifth grader

Watching “Kakasa Ka Ba sa Grade 5?” every Saturday is fun and “re-educational”. It’s very revealing that the contestants so far since the show’s debut last Saturday have not gone higher than four correct answers to questions ordinarily asked of up to fifth graders. Modesty aside, I excelled during my elementary school years. But I guess I forgot most of what I learned then.

I tried to answer this Saturday’s questions myself. But I only managed to answer three of seven questions. Shame, shame, shame! But fun, fun, fun, just the same.

  1. Pinakamaliit na yunit ng pamayanan (smallest unit in a community). My answer: Barangay. Wrong! Correct answer: Pamilya or mag-anak (family).
  2. “On the table”, “at home”, “for sister” are what kind of phrases? My answer: Prepositional phrases. Correct!
  3. How many tens are there in 523? My answer: 52. Wrong! Correct answer: 2.
  4. How many 5 centavos in 1 peso? My answer: 20. Correct!
  5. Which of the following words is not an action word: flying, sleeping, eating, none of the above? My answer: None of the above. Correct!
  6. What represents an idea and a symbol for a number? My answer: Solution. Wrong! Correct answer: Numeral.
  7. Sinong bayani ang nanguna sa pagtahi sa bandila ng Pilipinas? (Which hero/heroinne was first to weave the Philippine flag?) My answer: Melchora Aquino. Wrong! Correct answer: Marcela Agoncillo.

Doggone Dong is a renewed fan of Reader’s Digest

When I was in college, I bought my copy of the Reader’s Digest whenever my budget allowance permitted. But I practically stopped from doing such a rare act when I started to work, which had been so strenuous that even the thought of going to a store to buy an RD issue made me lazy.

My fanaticism for RD was revived the past two months. I’m sure that despite my busy work, I can always find time to read my favorite books and an issue of RD. By the way, isn’t the latter for people on the go? Why, it has retained its being a digest one so a reader will surely have fun and learn stuff in just a short period of time.

I still appreciate the RD’s way of catching attention from potential buyers by featuring an exciting mix of stories. Although I find some the blurbs super corny (although the corny person in me would still give the benefit of the doubt). Like this month’s issue has the headliner: “Life’s Toughest Questions (answered!)”. Doesn’t it sound existential? Yet, the issue banners a bonus attraction: “On the trail of the Da Vinci Code: Searching for Clues in Paris”.

Actually, what makes me root for RD are its vintage sections “Laughter, the Best Medicine” and “Word Power”.

I will feature here some of the stuff I would learn from RD. Of course, I’ll adopt the ‘fair use’ principle, or I’ll be sued by the great company.

lower-casing words

since i became active in ym and enjoyed chatting with my high school buds, was ‘forced’ to ignore my being oc in composition. sometimes, even my punctuations suffer.a space after a period to start a new sentence is sometimes missing. i even become lazy to press enter to start a new paragraph. oh my. before i know it, even my words will be abbrev like im sending a txt i will even forget to end my sentence with a period

Me and my non-human work mate


donggone dong and his doggone notebook

Originally uploaded by dungkal.

When I'm in Manila and in office, my "work wife" is my computer notebook. I call her isda. The name jibes with the office's workstations whose names are agricultural crops. I chose isda as the name because a fish is always on the move, swimming and flowing to any direction it likes to go.

Isda is with me most of the office time. Almost everywhere I go, she's with me: in a room during meetings, in a corner composing something, in a bed listening to music, and what not.

This picture is the most recent (6 May 2006). I am in my office room. Far beside me are (from left) sugar jar (to sweeten my Milo), a purple mug I had received from the TFDP as my honorarium for talking about agrarian reform in its radio program, an Epson printer that is for service, a triangular banner I got from AsiaSource Camp in Bangalore two years ago, my mattress, and ethnic back bag as a display attached on cork board.

Beside my laptop is a card reader. Don't mind the glue; it's just used as a paper weight.

The man you see is neither Switch nor Neo. He's the man very much caring about his "work wife". (I hope my real wife, Lea, doesn't get jealous. If she did, I'd talk to isda and settle things out. :-)). Or we can just call ourselves work (soul)mates. Well, Trinity, err, Lea, was the one who took this picture. So it shows that she's not jealous, after all.

The relationship is fruitful, though. I've done a lot of stuff because of her. She's rather slow (Transmeta Crusoe, 900Mhz, 512MB memory), yes, but that's just her. I need to understand. She's slow but sure.

When I relate with her for very long hours, I observe she gets madly hot and then thinks very much more slowly. So we "cool off" every now and then.

By the way, isda hates Windows. She loves Linux and finds Kubuntu cool.

Alternative musicians entertain for common call against Martial-Law-like policies

The full moon of March lent light on the sunken garden of UP during a free concert entitled "Concert for Freedom: Never Again!". The March 16 concert showcased 35 Filipino bands and individual musicians giving entertainment for gratis, all for the clarion call against the very possible return to Martial Law in the Philippines.

Last night, 16 March, I rode a motorbike driven by my brother-in-law, Nat, to rush to the concert organized by Conrad de Quiros, a long-grey-haired activist-writer known for his poetic but incisive columns on a popular daily newspaper in the Philippines. People were not innumerable by the time we reached the garden (at 7 past). Although, I saw lots of them in the garden's perimeter, as if waiting for popular bands to figure in. Understandably, I agree. Sammy Asuncion and company were not that known to many a common person.

I feel guilty for not having listened more closely to Sammy's group's music. Hunger (right to food) prevailed over passion for music (right to music). Alright, it's not fun to be hungry, you agree? So I once again invited my in-law to a dinner outside UP.

When we came back, the Jerks were already playing. Oh my, I did miss the first songs of my favorite alternative rock group. (Actually, it is their being alternative, not their being rock, that I like them.) The Filipino band of the '80s has not changed basically. With the exception that he got chubbier, Chikoy Pura's signature body movements were still there. Nitoy, the simple electric guitarist, was as cool as he was in the band's early years.

What really was disgusting was when the office's videocam I was carrying conked out for the battery's very low charge. So I miserably failed to take a photo of the Jerks and the next bands like Session Road, Brownman Revival, and Giniling Festival. I stopped the list here, because Giniling Festival was the last group I saw. I went back to the office because of stomach pain.

It was my first time to see Hannah's group and alternative Filipino reggae band live. The Session Road's male member with his thick Jamaican braids also uttered statements that sounded ridiculous yet poetic to me. One such statement was like "Bakit may net sa hub? Kasi magkakasama tayo!" The Brownman Revival added to my suspicion that it was sympathetic to the Reaffirm Natdem movement by occasionally chanting "Palayain si Ka Bel! Palayain ang Batasan 5!" (Ka Crispin Beltran is one of the five Congresspersons arrested illegally by the Philippine police for their alleged collusion with the military rebels. All five belong to party-list groups suspected of being identified with the Communist Party of the Philippines.)

The most entertaining band (next to the Jerks) I saw was the Giniling Festival. This is the group that dared write and sing songs of the social times, like about man-to-man relationships. Ever heard of a song entitled "Tsong, Boyfriend mo Pokpok"? (Pal, your boyfriend is a prostie).

The other consolations I gained were photographs of the stage's backdrop and a full moon above the concert's stage.

While riding a jeepney back to office, I formulated a slogan that I'm sure the concert's seers will agree:
"Never again to Martial Law! Ever again to free alternative concerts!"