Sunday, February 14, 2010

Percy and I

He's my Valentine's date. And he's a demigod.

I haven't seen the film yet. For reasons too complicated to explain, I decided to forego watching it with friends yesterday and instead spent the rest of last night finishing the first book. I just spent the past few hours including dinner on the second book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and I can say I have mixed thoughts on how it is going so far.

The plot: Perseus Jackson is a young boy who's the son of one of Big Three Greek gods to a mortal woman. Dyslexic and with ADHD, he goes around having summer adventures with fellow demigod Annabeth and the satyr Grover while for the most part of the year, he goes to school and lives a relatively normal life with his mom or what can pass for as normal for one sired by Poseidon. I am not yet sure if there'll be a twist in the next three books but so far, the story leads to a final confrontation with the titan Kronos and his plan to destroy the West. (I'd like to think that it is beating imperialism to a pulp but then again, it is presented as an "evil" design so probably it is not the same.)

On one hand, it does interest me to read about how one can fight a god, or gods for that matter. Throw in a modern-day setting – with US playing host to rampaging 'gods' – and it further piques my curiosity. Throw in further a magical pen that becomes the sword Riptide, a clash with Medusa affectionately called Aunty Em, and Hades' domain just in the underbelly of Los Angeles – it does arouse the fantasy-buff in me.

However, so far, I cannot say that it is at par with The Sword of Truth, The Belgariad or the Shannara series as fantasy epics go. Or even Harry Potter for that matter. Sometimes the fusion of Greek mythology to the modern adventure is too much. For someone to whom Greek mythology is, well, Greek, I lose the thread of the story when a new character is introduced and keeps me wondering if it was really how the Greek myths put it. It does help from time to time when the writer creatively put a narration to explain what has happened or about to happen but it takes a while to get me back on track.

Still, I will finish reading the series. It still has good moments enough to while away time.

I'm reserving my final judgment until I read the last book. Like my thoughts on Valentine's Day, it is still under process.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Health alert

I am not a health buff. This blog's name attests to that.

What I am is a human rights buff and the illegal arrest, detention and torture of 43 health workers just makes me sick.

Two doctors, one nurse, one midwife and a host of community health workers were arrested last Saturday in Morong, Rizal while they were in the middle of a health training conducted by the NGO Council for Health and Development. A cursory glance at their website reveals that that is exactly what they do – train community health workers and build community-based health programs to provide the needs of communities where people get sick or die without even seeing a medical professional.

Consider these: forcible entry to a private place of domicile, a search warrant that was only produced after the operation and was issued by a Cavite court for a person that the house's owner – a respected consultant at the Philippine General Hospital – has never heard of, finding a grenade under a pillow, a so-called witness who miraculously came out and pointed fingers to his "comrades". It gets more incredulous every day the arresting military unit tries to stick the "NPA" tag to those they are currently holding that even include two pregnant women.

As relayed by one of the detainees, Dr. Mia-Clamor, they have been subjected to mental and physical torture just so they will be forced to admit to fabricated membership to the NPA and even more fabricated crimes.

Their only membership is to humanity that cannot be said to those who trample on human rights. Their only crime is to deliver one of the most basic of social services to the poor that the government has long denied.

In the face of what happened to the Morong 43 or Health 43 as activist groups call them, smoking one pack a day, drinking coffee by the buckets, and missing out on my workout for two months now (and counting!) is not as unhealthy as the culture of impunity that has grown like a cancer in our society for the past decade.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

When is the right time to say you like someone?

I posted the question a few days back in my FB and sure enough, different folks have different strokes.

Kiks: kapag nilaglag ka.

Mandaya Moore: kapag nawawala na gana mo sa kanya pwede rin kapag inunahan ka nya. segurista.

LA: Pag offline ka na.

SB: Pag di mo na natiis...or baka pag feeling mo mauunahan ka.

PT: Paglasing na lang para you can deny everything the following morning.

RC: Basta sabihin mo na lang. sigurado namang sasagot iyon. alinman sa dalawa gusto rin o ayaw.

MdG: kung ako ang nasabihan ng ganyan i would expect that the person who said it is also expecting an answer: yes, no, maybe, in what way, or can i phone a friend? etchos.

EB: right worked for me

MMA: While the two of you are laughing after someone cracks a really good joke?

OBB: pag ngayon mo lang nakita o nakilala, huwag muna. Nagpapacute lang siya sa iyo. Pero kung matagal mo ng nakilala.... hindi ka dapat nag-aaksaya ng panahon.

So how do I say it's the right time for me?
When I am sure of it and when I am prepared to follow through or suffer the consequences.
Probably next week. Or not.