Monday, March 16, 2009


“Ohp, part!”

Have you ever heard someone say something like this? If you’re a guy – and from WV, and I mean a permanent (as of now) resident of the place – you definitely have. Guys say this as some sort of Ilonggo slang (or Filipino slang, I don’t exactly know which); one thing’s for sure, the expression’s oh-so-popular here in Iloilo (Glinda starts singing in the background).

Part has long been a conversational mainstay, from the Tagalog pare, but ohp… it’s a weird word. Really weird word. Guys say it all the time nowadays (fine, so I might have blurted it out a couple of times or so, but I’m not saying I’m 100% iconoclast).

The catch is: Do you/we actually know how this word came about? I’m referring to ohp here. Do you? Huh? Huh? Huh?

I guess not. I’m also guessing you didn’t have to guess to guess that you don’t. Well then, here’s my theory.

Sigarilyo (that damn burning stick) is yosi. That came from SI-garil-YO, which was made into SI-YO, which further became YOSI. From-the-province is promdi. That’s FROM-THE-province, which mutated into PROM-DI province, which ended up as PROMDI.

So, OHP came from PHO, which actually comes from PO. That’s right, the Tagalog word for respectation.

To make the long story short, Po was mutated by commie homo-lovin’ sons of guns (go Sean Penn!) into FO or PHO, which guys unknowingly changed to OHP.

My conclusion: OHP is actually gay lingo!!!!!

So guys, still saying OHP there? Well then…

“Hi fo, mga mare!”

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Batang Ladder

By grace, I won in the Search for the Batang Lider (formerly TOSLIC). Maybe Kevin Piamonte tampered with the results. Haha. This was my crazy speech at Robinsons, March 11, evening.

Good evening, everyone.

For some reason, I have always had the rare misfortune of running into lunatics, what we Ilonggos call as “bu-ang.” Once, outside my parish, one suddenly approached me and started asking – no, demanding – for clothes and stuff, and she was ordering me to deliver them the next day! Another time, as I was on my way to school in CAT uniform, a woman in white stopped me on the sidewalk and demanded to know where I bought my sword – and if I was an NPA! Then, last Saturday in a restaurant, a third one barged into the room, headed for our table, and demanded for her money – or her lunch and dinner – whichever I’d prefer.

My dear friends, these are three curious incidents which happened to highlight the sad plight of lunatics: That they have no sense of direction. And how does this at all relate to leadership? Because if there’s one important thing which a leader should inculcate upon his followers, it must be a clear sense of direction.

Maybe that’s the reason why we are all gathered here today – we are celebrating the success achieved through that clear sense of direction. Ladies and gentlemen, gazing upon these faces onstage tells you so much about what’s inside all of us. That these young students who share the stage with me right now have the makings of a leader. That we are the ‘Batang Lider’ awardees for 2009!

Times are hard nowadays, and this generation waits for no one. In order for us to succeed, we must keep up with the tides; we don’t, and we crumble to pieces. That and more, a leader should imbibe. No matter how strong the waves are, he must be determined to swim to the shore. No matter how tempting the luxuries and enjoyments of life are, he must be willing to sacrifice his time for a much nobler and greater purpose. No matter how difficult the path is, he must be dedicated to reach the finish line.

Tell you what, upon joining this search, I myself almost did not reach the finish line.

You see, while most of my fellow awardees here onstage were probably deciding over the best cover designs or the best layout for their scrapbooks, I, on the other hand, was in the Bicol region, in Naga City. I was a delegate to the 2009 National Schools Press Conference, and by hook or by crook, I had to attend the event – with a competition and an award awaiting me at the same time. To make the long story short, I eventually passed my scrapbook with just an hour and a half to spare.

But why am I telling you this? Because I strongly believe that for a leader to succeed, he must not only have a clear sense of direction, but also determination to succeed, willingness to sacrifice, and hard work and dedication – qualities which somehow stressed themselves in my simple story.

Now, a few exceptional people genuinely deserve my heartfelt gratitude for their equally commendable sacrifice, hard work and dedication. First, to my family: to my parents, whose support has always been undying, and whose concern for my welfare is ageless; to my brother and sister, who’s gone with me from start to end. To our beloved school principal, Dr. Carmen P. Santos, for her boundless generosity and support; and to my advisers in The Chain, Mr. Philippe John Fresnillo Sipacio and Ms. Sybil Agreda, whose wonderful souls and collective pot of wisdom helped mold me into what I am now. To my class adviser, Mr. Roger Antonio Alavata, whose openness and trust I will truly appreciate; to our head teacher Ms. Janet Escubio, for having been a second mother in school; to Ms. Colleen Bernabe-Cabayao, for always being there to guide and help me; to Mr. Anthony Laurea, Mr. Jun Victor Bactan, Mr. Randy Toledano, and Ms. Faith Casquero, and to the all the noble souls of the ICCHS faculty, I will never forget your invaluable assistance, without which, I wouldn’t be here right now. To the members of The Chain especially the senior staff and editors, to the CAT Eagles 2009, to ICCHS 4th Year Guava – my classmates, who are currently risking their Calculus and Economics exams just to be here with me – and the entire Batch 2009, life would have been very much different without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Or as we say it in Chinese: “Gan xie! Gan xie! Zai gan xie!”

Last but not the least, I offer up everything to the Lord Almighty for it was only through Him that I got the opportunity to stand and speak before you this evening.

So, will I get to meet more ‘loony people’ in the future? Hopefully not. I’ve already had too much of my share of experiences, which I must say enlightened me countless ways on the concept of leadership. For now, I’ll settle with living up to the title of being a “Batang Lider,” a gracious honor which I humbly accept today.

Allow me to end with this wonderful quote from James Maxwell, who said, “Leadership is influence… nothing more, nothing less.” The influence to do what is right, what is good, and what is best for humanity.

Thank you and good evening!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Notes on Naga

Maligayang pagdating sa Lungsod ng Naga, Rehiyon ng Bicol, kung saan itinanghal ang National Schools Press Conference 2009 noong Feb 15-20. Pumunta ako dito kasama ang aking pinkabonggang maestrrrr…

* $ & $ *

My teacher is partly – wait, more than partly – obsessed with a bespectacled guy from St. John’s Institute.

This obsession arose when the Negrense-by-residence grabbed my supposed throne as RSPC’s Highest Pointer.

We bumped into him a lot of times at Villa Caceres. And the only thing that I remember him doing at the hotel’s lobby was… studying(?), or was it practice-writing?

Anyway, Philippe had a dream that the stupid teacher in the next segment of this post was pressuring Kam-Ho to win in both editorial and sports. Really now, of all possible dreams???

During the night after awarding, Philippe intentionally called me up – just to say that Kam Ho didn’t win in any of his contests. I think this is more than just mere obsessive-compulsive dramatics.

Kam-Ho Wong. Are you Korean, my friend? Or Cantonese?

* $ & $ *

I know, Bacolod. You are being such a sour-grape that I won the Outstanding Journalist plum and bested your dearest one. Come on, can you really be that bratty a baby? You were probably so high up, amongst the cirruses, that you overlooked the slumdog billionaires, weren’t you? I mean, Korea – or wherever he’s from – hasn’t even made much of a screech.

This is a tale of indecency, unprofessionalism, and zaniness. And it all started when that blast-ended skrewt in the form of a teacher hailing from a Bacolod school (Sto. Domingo, was it? or Lacson?) verbally attacked me with her Defense for Kam-Ho soliloquy.

When dear Philippe told her that I was this year’s Most Outstanding Journalist for Western Visayas, she went berserk in a way that's so unexpected from a school paper adviser and launched an endless tirade about why I shouldn’t have won – and more importantly, why Kam-Ho should have won instead of me.

You see, Kam-Ho is, say, my biggest rival from the other island. However, the fat-assed monster, instead of mumbling even just an insincere ‘congratulations’, insisted that Kam-Ho should have won the award. Kam-Ho was highest pointer at the RSPC this year, she said. Kam-Ho was this and that, she said.

What she even failed to grasp, when Philippe told her that I was ‘last year’s’, was that I was Highest Pointer last year, and not the Outstanding awardee. Thus, she further insisted that Kam-Ho surely should have won the award.

My, my, what a poor unfortunate soul.

Avoid loud aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit… indeed.

* $ & $ *

Notes on Naga:

-Your biggest mall is hardly bigger than The Atrium. Oh come on.
-You smell like Iloilo, with churches for tourist attractions.
-You look like Iloilo, with a mountain for a backdrop. Oops, we actually have mountains.
-NO TAXIS??!! What a primitive little world.