Thursday, December 06, 2007

Faro De Cabo Bojeador is Haunted!!!

The rumors were true after all. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte is freaking haunted!

I ignored tales about the old Spanish lighthouse. It was on a TV documentary (I think it was ABS-CBN’s Nginig, I’m not so sure) when I first learned about the famous Faro. They were doing a Halloween special featuring the scariest places in the Philippines. I thought it was all a hoax since it has been a yearly presentation and that my guess was they were running out of Halloween stories. Man, was I dead wrong! Let me share my story…

I was coming from the Bangui Windmills when I decided to stop by the Burgos Lighthouse. Actually, I already removed the lighthouse visit from my Ilocos Norte itinerary because the guy from the hotel told me it is inaccessible without an automobile. It all changed when the preacher I met at Bangui told me it was only a kilometer away from the main road. Later, I discovered it was a kilometer of uphill hike.

Before I boarded off the bus, I had the following conversation with the people in the bus:

Me: “Pakibaba ho ako sa may papuntang lighthouse.” (Please drop me off the road to the lighthouse.)

Konduktor, a bit surprised: “Ikaw lang?” (You’re alone?)

Lady at the backseat: “Bakit ikaw lang? Malayo ang lalakarin mo papunta sa itaas.” (Why alone? It’s a long climb to the top.)

Me: “Kaya ho!” (I’ll be fine!)

Irritated over the lady’s obvious eavesdropping, I hurriedly went off the bus. I was surprised to see all the passengers looking at me with the same look of concern like that of the lady eavesdropper. They were all seemingly worried and uncomfortable.

Elderly Lady: “Balong, mag-iingat ka sa itaas. Mag-iingat ka…” (Son, be cautious at the top. Be very cautious…)

Before I had the chance to react, the bus sped off.

I was very clueless about what the passengers were trying to say for I knew all along that I’ll be fine since there’s a caretaker above the hill. It was too late when I found out.

I started my hike towards the lighthouse. The forest was largely wild making the journey a little hotter than usual. I was all sweaty because of the steep climb. In spite of my condition, I started to have goose bumps. I think that was a sign that forest elves were spying on me while I was ascending.

I arrived at the concrete stairs connecting the lighthouse to the road. The place was scenic. I took my 1st picture of the lighthouse midway through the stairs. Before I reach the entrance, I heard voices of children getting scolded by an elder. Upon hearing the voices, I was somehow relieved of my anxiety knowing that the caretaker was around. I called for the caretaker but he didn’t answer. My guess is that they were about to have their siesta. So as not to bother them, I decided to enter the courtyard and took my 2nd photo there. This courtyard view of the lighthouse has always been featured in many articles and magazines.

I entered the corridor leading to the entrance of the main tower. After I took my 3rd photo, I discovered that the door to the tower was locked. I walked back to the corridor to call on the caretaker. When I was about to knock, I was surprised to see that all four old wooden doors at the corridor were locked. I asked myself “Where the hell is that caretaker staying?

I stood at the terrace to see the two buildings at the side of courtyard. I then discovered that those were actually storage rooms.

“If those were storage rooms, where did those voices come from?”

I gazed towards the lighthouse’s old gate and saw a huge chain vaulted over it. I realized there was nobody in the place except for me. I then felt a gush of cold wind blow over my left ear. Seconds later I was having goose bumps all over my body. I’m serious! Down to the last hair!

“Damn it! I’m all fucked up!!!”

Just as I was freaking out, I started to hear voices again. This time, the voices were right on my ear. I was hearing them all simultaneously. I can’t understand what they were saying. It was like those whispers being heard on Lost. The children’s voices were filled with pain. They were as if blaming me for something. The elder’s voice was purely madness!

I wasted no time in getting my butt out of there. As I was rushing to get down, I tripped on my tripod and there flew my digital camera. When I was picking the camera, there went the voices again. I hurriedly grabbed my damaged camera and ran like crazy, screaming “Sorry po, sorry po! Hindi na mauulit!”(I’m sorry, I’m sorry! It won’t happen again!) all the way to the bottom of the hill.

Picturesque isn’t it? Don’t let its beauty fool you.


Actually, it freaks me out to write this article because I have to imagine myself experiencing the whole misfortune once again. I just don’t think I’ll be returning to this place anytime soon, more so without a group.

I never thought there will come a time that my digital camera will get damaged, not to mention by supernatural beings. It saddens me to think that it got scratched on my very first travel to document lighthouses here in the Philippines. I hope not all lighthouses in the Philippines are haunted. I really do hope so.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Day After The Glorietta 2 Explosion...


Angel Mama: “Anak, nabili mo na ba yung pantalon na gusto mong isuot sa darating mong kaarawan… yung Guess?”

Little Yummy: “No Mom, they blew up the mall yesterday.”

Angel Mama: “Susmaryosep!”

Assuming that it was an accident and that it was all shit gas killing eleven people, I still think that the negligence behind this disaster should be looked into and dealt upon accordingly. It is the responsibility of the management to look after the well being of its patrons. Shopping should be fun, not fatal.

Friday, September 14, 2007

One Hundred Years of Scouting


I recently grabbed the stamp sheet above at the Makati Central Post Office. The stamps were beautifully painted by Nemi Miranda Jr.. It was great to have the proceeds from the sale of the stamps given to the Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc.. It was like hitting two birds with a stone: you get to do charity while pursuing your hobby.

Plus, I was once a Scout.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Revitalizing my Benedictine Blood

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Maureen, an old friend from Palawan. Actually, it was just our first time to hang out with each other since NFJPIA’s 20th Annual National Convention held last 2003 at Puerto Princesa City where her school acted as host. I also wasn’t able to see her during our CPA review days.
Mau is currently studying Law at San Beda College. She invited me to hear mass at San Beda Chapel since Fr. Africa, her Seminar Professor, was the presiding priest. Mau mentioned to me before that Fr. Africa’s sermons were very good (Later, I found Mau’s story about Fr. Africa very true since his homily did not disappoint me.). She also stated that Fr. Africa is the spiritual director of the San Beda Red Lions, the school’s basketball team. The Red Lions are required to attend mass every first Sunday of the month that’s why we were lucky enough to see the likes of Pong, Yousif, and Sam.

San Beda Chapel was designed by the Swedish architect George Asp, whose works include the first buildings of Holy Ghost College (now College of the Holy Spirit) on Mendiola Street and St. Theresa’s College on San Marcelino. The church was completed in 1925 and dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus on January 13, 1926.

The chapel was described vividly in San Beda College’s web page:

“The monastic community calls it the Abbey Church while the school population calls it the College Chapel, for it serves the Abbey and the college, and is a source of pride for both. The monks sing the Divine Office and celebrate the Conventual Mass daily in the sanctuary, and students, teachers, administrators, and workers gather for Masses that celebrate various events in the life of the school.”


It was described that once a person enters the nave, he experiences the sudden expansion of space and an unexpected profusion of color. Cool huh?

The paintings are also the most famous and most admired feature of the church. The paintings are the works of Fr. Lesmes Lopez, OSB, while the decorations around the paintings were done by Bro. Salvador Alberich, OSB. Both are Spanish monks.

On the walls of the sanctuary are representations of The Nativity, The Circumcision, The Holy Family at Nazareth, Jesus with the Teachers in the Temple, The Adoration of the Magi, The Presentation in the Temple, The Flight to Egypt, and The Annunciation.

Outside you can see the abbey gardens.


After hearing mass, my desire to attend law school flamed once more. I hope, with God’s blessing, I can achieve my dream of becoming a lawyer soon.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cristine Reyes' FHM Autograph Signing

After reportorial deadlines barred me from seeing Bianca King and Iwa Moto in the flesh, nothing will keep me from attending Christine Reyes’ FHM Autograph Signing. I grabbed a copy of FHM Philippines’ August 2007 issue and rushed down to Robinsons Galleria.

Setting up an FHM Event in front of a supermarket was terribly wrong by all means. I think that the FHM Staff should have browsed some statistics on how many people shop in supermarkets at rush hour. Cristine sure drew some crowd. The line could have been shorter if not for the Uziseros taking pictures with their mobile phones.

Cristine was very beautiful, by the way, with the dress that she was wearing. Her dress was fashionable yet very sexy. She balanced everything up with a rosary necklace. Her legs were also a sight to behold! She also smiled frequently that made her even more glamorous.

When my turn came up, I said hi and Cristine greeted back with a smile. She was very warm and accommodating. After signing my mag, my un-chivalric nature asked her to stand up for a photo with me. As usual, the FHM Staff who took our picture bungled the shot (see the hand?).
All in all, Cristine was really scorching hot! I can’t wait to see her upcoming movie.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

LeBroom!

Well, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were swept in the 2007 NBA Finals. I wouldn't even write about how awful he played in his first Finals appearance. I guess his funeral business at Bulaon Resettlement in San Fernando, Pampanga took a lot from him.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Paella Masters & Bull Murderers

The Bull on the left is Morito, aka Toro No.25. Last May 5, 1978, M25 was very unfortunate to have met a guy named Jose Luis Gallosa.

J-Lu, as his peers call him, went on a duel with crowd favorite Morito. M25’s fancy for anything red turned out to be the cause of his demise when J-Lu pierced sharp spears into Morito’s shoulder after the proud bull went crazy upon seeing J-Lu wave his red underwear.

Now, Morito’s head is proudly displayed in Casa Armas. Please be aware that I am neither a fan of animal maltreatment nor gay matadors. I just would like to point out that I am very thankful that we visitors can still appreciate some Spanish Culture here in beautiful Greenbelt.

Ask me about the food and I’ll go straight to the point. Casa Armas serves the best Paella! 10/10!

Add up some Spanish Sardines and some of those Oil-Soaked Barbeques and you’re all set up. No wonder Spanish people sport facial oil that much.

Casa Armas is located at Greenbelt 3 in Makati City with branches in Malate and Tomas Morato.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Thoughts of an Accountancy Student

I needed a degree.

I had a PhD in mathematical drinking.
Count the glasses on your left, one… two…
Now on your right, three… four…

My sister warned me about my tummy. After checking her measuring tape, she advised me to either lose some flab or add inches to my chest.

I imagined being pulled by wild horses in all directions.
Nah…

"I'll try Accountancy."

Why not take up Engineering?” my father asked. Well, with Accountancy you don’t need a set of P1,000 pens. A P50 calculator from Recto will do. Besides, I heard Accountancy is a “mild” course. At my young age, low concentration is much preferable.
(Of course, nobody warned me then about “Higher Accounting.”)

On the first week of my sophomore year (the fun started here!), CPA required me to read theories—rolling my eyes forward and backward until you know what it feels like to be a referee of a tennis game.

Time out! Breathe in… Wait for both eyes to focus on one topic… Breathe out…

I took this time to observe my classmates. I watched a particular pair. One was a girl, who looked like she’d fit in a golf bag; & the other was a boy who looked like ONE LEG would fit in a golf bag.

Girl scored more on theories than boy.

Wow.

I remembered my Accounting 1 days (flashes back).
Sir Mike,” I asked, “Why do you admit girls who seem to take life so seriously? Aren’t there pretty ones we can chat around with?
Sorry, hijo” he told me, “No room for petite accountants. Me likes bookworms.

(Flashes forward)
How can a girl score big on Accounting over a guy?
Choreographed? Like a Pro-Wrestling match?
I found out as days passed by.

AAAAAYYYOOOOOKKKKKKOOOOONNNNAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, read the problem all over again when you’re having a hard time. No screaming, please.

CPA advised me to relax throughout the computations. This lessens the pain of accepting an error, he said.

Sir, I gun long jumpers to earn some playing time whenever I play basketball. I find it hard to relax when these Accounting Problems double the pressure on my shooting arm.

I tried a “weaker” problem. The girl that beat me in topping our preliminary exams might show a little compassion. The technique is the anticipation. “As you read & study,” CPA said, “answer the chapter problems for effect."

YYEEEESSSHH!!!!!

No, no. Raise your PEN, not your voice…

On my first two years, I lost a couple of inches, 50 gallons of sweat & every sensation on the upper part of my body.

Curious, my friend visited to watch one session.
Am I in the wrong class?” he asked. “This looks like Sister Act 3—Nuns with Calculators.”

That’s how graceful Accounting Subjects are.” I explained. “You flow with the rhythm of your class.
Looks like a sissy subject to me.” He teased.

HHOOOOYYYY!!! Not all accountants are with questionable chromosomes, Lokong ‘to!

After a few months he appreciated what the course has done for me upon meeting a mutual female friend of ours. (“His fingers remain stiff even when he’s not using his calculator…”)

I’ve been “Solving Accounting Problems” for over 3 years now. I have regained most of what I have lost because I didn’t quit. I realized I’m into it for an entirely different reason now. Accounting taught me a lot about patience and resilience. The competitive attitude it preaches taught me to be a better person.

My friends say the best virtue I got from accounting is humility. "Aba, marunong ka nang mag-“SORRY” ‘pag may kasalanan ka ha?

I said hey, that’s what we practice Auditing for.


Note: This article was written by Yam during his Senior Year in College. It was submitted for publication in the Official Gazette of the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants Region III. Unfortunately, the incumbent Region III President at that time thought it was unfit for publication.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Speech-All-You-Can

My new employer puts so much emphasis on its values. It also makes sure that we treat our foreign guests with every ounce of hospitality by taking them to dinner. This is why my team & I decided to dine at Dad’s in Glorietta.

Dad’s is not your ordinary Eat-All-You-Can joint. It features the Crossover Plate where you get to stuff your plate with delicacies from both food sections, Native Filipino and Japanese.

When looking for a place to dine with your date, you cannot go wrong with Dad’s. The prices are not high. Plus, you get to receive a cool
stuffed toy you can play with afterwards.

Dad's stuffed toys are so cute...

...you can even ask your date to play with you!