is this coke ad for real ?

THIS AD is so unbelievable ( I suggest watching it to the end) that I still have trouble not thinking it’s a gag or satirical in nature.

As the ad proclaims provocatively : imagine if cigaret companies said they were doing something to protect you.  The phrase is enough to make you at least think about, if not take seriously the content.

In a nutshell, the ad says if you choose to lead a healthy lifestyle, then the answer is right in front of you.  Don’t drink Coke.  It’s killing you, and your family.

If this is a gag, then the creator is probably going to face a lot of defamation / libel / slander suits from Coca-cola.  If it’s not, then Coke is quite brave and honest to put up such an ad.

Like 90% of you, I have been a cola drinker most of my life, and it has contributed to many of my incipient health problems.  I have been proactive and have tried to cut down cola consumption, but it is a daily struggle.

Please contact me with what you know about this ad.  I am leaning towards it not being genuine (from Coke), but the possibility that it is, is intriguing.

Thanks for reading!

The quiet brilliance of Perry’s understated life

He is surely smiling now. 🙂 Many thanks and acknowledgment for the awesome pic to Rachel Consunji’s Facebook page, and to Rosemarie Consunji who originally shared the photo.

[ Note :  A friend from school, Atty Perry Consunji, left this world last 14th September.   I would never have made it in time for his wake in the Philippines, even if I could afford travelling (I can’t), but below is what I would’ve said had I been there.  Maraming salamat din kay Atty Carlos Roberto “Tito” Lopez, Perry’s Ateneo and law school classmate, for reading this during the wake.  Thanks all for reading and please whisper a prayer (when you have a moment) for a friend for the ages, Perry the Gentle Giant ! ]

I TRIED to sum up in a few words how to best describe Perry in the eight plus years I’d known him in university, and it was hard.  One sentence, however, struck me and here it is :

After all this is over, what will really matter is how we treated each other.

Perry wasn’t the touchy-feely type, not always given to exuberant outbursts, although he had his moments.  But throughout the time I knew him, he radiated a sincere, genuine warmth, wasn’t the classically talkative person but knew exactly what to say, and what the situation demanded.

He wouldn’t strike you as the intense, impetuous type, but he wore his heart on his sleeve all the time. You always knew on which side of the fence he belonged.

In school, the last thing he wanted was to be seen as the studious, grade-conscious type, and you could see it in the way he approached class work, grades, and getting on the professor’s good side.  And yet, behind everyone’s back, when no one was looking, he was a model student, and walked the extra mile to get good grades.

He hated mushy, romantic ballads, always preferring classic rock, and hard fast tunes.  But deep down he was an old soul who would wax eloquent, matching anyone with rhyme and verse in front of a cold beer and a long night.

He avoided bleeding heart causes and hug-a-tree liberals, but to his friends he was a notorious softie who could never say no to a friend in need, I know this because many times I was that friend.

In short, he was someone who was blessed with a good heart but somehow thought that good hearts didn’t last long in this world.  For this reason he went to great lengths to camouflage his goodness in the craftiness and jadedness of the real world.  Too often though, his real side would expose itself.  That was the side of Perry I knew, the side that would endure till the very end.

Unfortunately for all of us, Perry was proven correct in his own mortality.  His good heart was not long to last in a world such as ours, and such a good heart is now lost except in the world of our thoughts, and memories.

I thank God that in my life I had such a friend as Perry, and together with Mr and Mrs Consunji, Vivian, Liria, Irene, Gretchen, Rachel and Jesse, and the rest of us, I say good night, but not goodbye.  I love you good friend!

Things 2 Do B4 I Die ( If I’m Mayan)

Waiting for the book Harry Potter and the Deat...

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Dear kabatch, schoolmates, brods, kabayan, officemates and friends :

HAVEN’T seen the movie, but 2012 is supposed to be when the Mayan calendar reaches its last page, life as we know it exceeds its shelf life, and the entire planet hits the proverbial fan.

Now, such a calendar, if it actually exists, hasn’t been used in a couple of thousand years, and apocalyptic scenarios have been formulated and discarded since depressed evangelists, existence-obsessed philosophers and henpecked husbands came into being.

 But you can’t be too sure, right? You never know if the universe will just uproot itself from its cosmic foundations, or just hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete after a bad hair day.

On the galactic scale, we’re about as infinitesimal as bacteria on the head of a lice on a hair of a carabao, and we’re just hanging along for the ride. Whatever happens, happens, and there’s not much we can do about it. Which is why before our atoms and molecules split into smithereens or our health and well-being is made redundant, there are admittedly a few things we’d like to do or seen done.

 These things or deeds aren’t so much goals as they are mileposts to be reached, to bring to a satisfying conclusion the crazy string of dreams, failures and wild imaginings that have so far made up my so-called life.  If at this point in time, we are to call it a day and zoom off into the next plane of existence, here are what we would have wanted done :

Enjoy Part 2 of HP7 : Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and/or LOTR’s The Hobbit. This sounds a bit frivolous, especially for someone our age, but when you think about it, both franchises have been a big part of our lives especially in the last decade or so.

During our sad times, the great story line, superb acting and of course, crisp writing made us forget our mundane existence and spurred us to better things. Converting into screen magic the awesomeness of fantasy novels is sometimes a tired formula, but the success of these two movies is practically a sure thing ( knock knock ), and watching them would give us enormous satisfaction that we haven’t had since, well, watching HP7 Part 1 and Lord of the Rings : Return of the King.

Acquire Lolo NOel status without anakis sacrificing career and happiness. Biologically you celebrate being a citizen of God’s Earth twice over : first when produce offspring, and second when the latter produce their own, making you directly and indirectly responsible for two generations. Have you ever heard of a grandparent not proud of his/her grandchildren, unwilling to play the clown for the children’s party, or distribute cash or favors they might have hesitated giving to the earlier generation?

A bit unfair to the kids, but it’s like a crowning achievement, a feather on the cap of every person who participated in giving life to another. Now, we’re not applying any pressure on our brood of three, one of which has finished school and is ready for work, but it would be nice to see how our apo would turn out, in our lifetimes and while we can play with them.

Now, if only Panganay could start a family as soon as he gets a nice job . . .

Witness NZ win the 2011 Rugby World Cup. We’re not the most rabid rugby fan, nor are we a full-fledged KiNoy ( Kiwi Pinoy) yet, but rugby is arguably the preeminent sport here, and the love and unqualified support for the NZ rugby team, known as the powerful All Blacks, is infectious.

Every rugby test (that’s what matches are called), every new player selected, and every All-Black injury are all national media events, and the buildup to the World Cup, namely the Tri-Nations Cup, the exhibition matches, and the European Tour, have all but cemented the thinking that New Zealand will bag the RWC, something that hasn’t happened since 1987.

It will either be a huge countrywide celebration or a national day of mourning after the tournament, and I’m hoping the positive mood in case of a win will turn the tide in my favor, should I apply for permanent residency (wink, wink). Go All Blacks !

Tell them like it is. We got this from Charlie Sheen in a Two And A Half Men episode, certainly not the best place to get role models, but for A, every girl we made misrepresentations to and/or contemplated less than honorable intentions on, B, for every undeclared crush we allowed to pass us by, and C, for every rejection / basted we received, we want to revisit the female in question and declare the following :

For Category A : I was young, I was a jerk, and half the things I said I was just making up as I went along and didn’t even know if they made sense, I wasn’t aware of the consequences of what I did or said, and if I knew such would hurt anyone, least of all you, I would have thought twice.

For Category B : All the time you were there, I was hopelessly in love (or lust) with you, just didn’t have the guts to tell you so, but years and years later, I can now just laugh about it ( really? ) and so just to set the record straight and so you’ll know what could’ve been, had I been a little more confident, I had this humongous crush on you, so there.

For Category C : So you think I could never be good enough for you, and your time was better spent waiting for Mr Right or anyone better than me? I’d like to thank you for that, it kept my feet firmly on the ground and taught me to focus my energies on the reachable and the realistic.

** ** ** ** **

In some way I hope that if the Apocalypse doesn’t materialize, the last good deed will pay itself forward and in a perfect world, lessen somewhat the chances of  daughter Ganda getting similar treatment from a guy like me, twenty years my junior.

That’s my bucket list, for sure there are a lot of things I want to do before I die or if the world goes poof ! but it’s a good start, don’t you think?

Thanks for reading !


Feel-Good Wetworks in Early Nov

Hey there mga anakis :

No matter what you do, and no matter how much you love what you do, don’t take a job requiring regular night shift, OK? It will age you beyond your years.  😦

First of all I’m gladder than glad that you were able to swap goodbyes with Kuya before he left home. I know you didn’t enjoy the best relationship with him and things got quite sticky in the end, but the fact that he took the initiative to bid fond farewell, sibling – to – sibling, means he regretted all the negative vibes.

After all is said and done, he is after all your brother. He is on the verge of something big, and everyday is a new adventure for him. As you try to set aside your differences, I ( as well as your mother, I’m sure ) will forget his kakulitan and past immaturities, and together let’s support and give him encouragement in his moment.

I’m likewise happy that you went with Nana and Lolo to the cemetery to visit my own grandparents, you didn’t have to and no one asked you to, kudos for that. I’m just not sure if you went with them to the Chinese Cemetery (for Lolo’s folks) or to Manila Memorial (with Nana’s parents). If you went to both venues, that’s double kudos; you both deserve a medal.

I’m sure I told you more than once that Lolo was part of a large brood, and being one of the youngest, he was a bit distant from his dad. I do remember him telling us that he was quite close to his mother, sadly they both died before I was born.

I think you were both very young when Nana’s mother passed away, she was quite a character with her loud voice and colorful Bicolano dialect. Nana loved her very much for her quiet strength, something that was passed on to her.

** ** ** ** **

Inasmuch as I’m on the subject of notables who’ve passed on, one of my batchmate’s moms passed on early this year. According to her (my classmate), they weren’t very close, and they argued over all sorts of things. (sounds familiar ba?) To her credit, my classmate did not let this diminish her admiration for her, which fully dawned on her after her mother died. In her own words :

My mother was a picture of greatness, in all that she has done for me and my brothers. Her strength and power to uphold her dignity and carry a torch, that to this day is burning still in my heart – she was so much unappreciated and acknowledged. Today, I tell you, as I also pass forward this message to my own beloved son: a mother’s love, indeed, is the greatest love of all… regarding this woman that I thought I didn’t love for a moment in time, but actually adore.

These words could melt the coldest heart, as it rightly did mine when I read them. Wish you could see my classmate one day.

** ** ** ** **

A grade school classmate of mine lost a precious sister, and needless to say they were probably as close as bro and sis as you two are. Know how siblings realize how each other meant after tragedy? They didn’t need that, as my kabatch and his diche loved each other across the miles and through the years. Here’s what he told me shortly after she passed on:

I was very close to Big Sis 2. She’s always been there for me ever since I was a kid… She was my yaya & tutor. Its kind of hard to lose Big Sis 2 (and) she will be missed.

Now, can any brother and sister be as bonded as they were? In the way he lives his life, loves his family and regards the women he encounters, he honors the memory of his sister.

Relatedly, I’m happy the two of you appreciate each other even before you are fully adults. By the way, he’s another classmate I hope you meet someday.

Finally, I also have occasion to remember one of the coolest dads, who also happens to be a dad of a friend from elementary, HS and college. He recently passed away too, sorry to say, but he left a legacy of memories and coolness to all his kids. He was hands-on, but was never nit-picking or overbearing; he let his kids discover the important things for themselves.

I only saw him (their dad) once, almost three decades ago, but he left such a first-class impression that it resonates with me to this day. If you’ll remember me with just half the fondness, I’ll consider myself lucky.

Almost done here, and I’m hoping as regards schoolwork: Ganda, I hope that you don’t get any grades below 2.75, and Bunso, that you at least maintain your class standing. (It’ll look great for any scholarships, grants or stuff like that.)

Anything else for me is a bonus.

I love and miss you always, kaawan kayo lagi ng Diyos.


A Precious Memory of Tess & Dad

 [ Note from YLB : We sympathize with kabatch Tess Aldeguer – Tangco‘s loss, and we fondly remember her dad who we met once upon a time in high school.  If we were back home Tess this what we would say… ]
Dear Tess and batchmates :
MEMORIES are sometimes the most imperfect and fallible of all the mind’s devices, but just the same we rely on them beyond logic and reason.
Because we were born before the age of digital cameras (that now do away with film and the need to rush to the store), real time (that transferred memory into pictures and back again) and the information highway (that socialized and dispersed memories ten to a hundredfold within moments), we depended on what we remembered, especially about remarkable events and individuals that made an indelible mark on our lives.
One such memory that stood out for us was a chance encounter with Mr Charlie Ang, Tess’s dad, when we were all in the pink of youth and without a care in the world. 
That solitary visit that we made to the Ang/Aldeguer household allowed us to discover two things : first that the mestiza features of Tess and her siblings came mostly from their mom, but which were nevertheless balanced in charm and class by their dad; and second that he lost no time in making us feel as welcome as a well-loved member of the family, although it was the first (and ultimately the last) time he saw us.
Somehow he knew that we were stricken with hua na gong DNA, asked us not to bother twisting our tongue with Fukienese, asked us about being friends with his daughter and other kabatch, and wished us well in our university adventures, which at the time were coming soon.
Just like that.  Our memories of Mr Ang would be cemented by those precious few moments, but they would be enough.
Just like memories, our dads and what they represent may not always be crystal-clear, but we remember the important things : their love and dedication to us and the rest of our families, their unconditional love for us no matter how we fare, and their unfailing devotion to us for the rest of our lives.
Thank you Tess for making our short memory of your dad possible, thank you for being an awesome daughter to an awesome dad, and thank you for sharing your dad with the rest of us.
Prayers and hugs from all of us.
YLBnoel.wordpress. com
noel0514.multiply. com

Note to JeffLu : Deconstructing Death & All His Friends

[ Notes : Thanks loads for the Fujian tea, BroSonny, acknowledgments again for the insane jokes, RobinTong and maraming salamat for the early greeting, QueenHedy ! ]

Dear Jeff :

I’m not sure if the news I received in the e-group from BrotherKirby almost two weeks ago was correct, especially since no one in the batch has responded, at least electronically. Far away from home, most likely I’m just unaware that all who wished to pay their respects to your mom just went to The Sanctuarium without much fanfare.

Regardless, may I just belatedly express my deepest sympathies for your loss.

It would probably not be an exaggeration to say that your mom was a remarkable individual, capable of so much love and being loved, that you had no choice but to love her back. Anyone who raised a fine kabatch like yourself and your sister must have been a wonderful person, and I wouldn’t mind betting my bottom peso on that.

I confess I can’t readily relate to the twin events of profound sadness in your life, especially with one coming so soon after the other. I can only begin to imagine the void it must have created in your heart. The weird thing about Death (do you mind if I capitalize it? Seems a little more respectful that way), in my dyslexic mind, is that despite its consuming inevitability, starkness and finality, so many of us put off thinking about, dwelling on, or even planning for it.

Not just because it by its nature is not a pleasant subject (who wants to discuss Death? As in Oh, by the way I almost died today? Really? What a coincidence, I thought about dying naman ) but because human nature detests thinking of tomorrow’s complications at the expense of today’s pleasures, no matter how ill-advised, prudent or reckless.

Not even the promise of justice and retribution in the afterlife that all religions dramatize is enough to make us prepare for this event.

Circa 1970s, and on the far end of the island where my mother was born near Masbate, I saw my then 101-year old great-grandmother only once before she died, bless her soul, and between incoherent lapses and ponderous pauses, she told me about being a young girl in Rizal’s generation, the cruelties of so many economic, military and cultural upheavals, and last but not the least, how she missed smoking.

Through it all, the most urgent question my naive toddler’s mind wanted to ask her was : Are you afraid to die Mamay? I realized though that it was unneeded. Her exuberance as well as the palpable relief with which she faced the end of her earthly existence was for me, enough sign that hers was a life well lived.

But enough of my rambling.

Even when he is so close, breathing down our collective necks we deny Death’s presence, sometimes especially when the end is near. Why is that? Is it because since Death is a thing that can’t be truly felt except as a first-person experience, we can’t comprehend it until our own final moments in this world?

Which brings me coincidentally to another aspect of human existence that is difficult to describe unless it is actually experienced first hand (a redundancy).

Do you agree kabatch that Love, like Death is by nature a journey of the self ? You can read about it all you want till your eyes water, but it is more or less undefinable unless and until you’ve fallen in love.

As always, I hope you excuse my rambling as a haphazard and disjointed expression of sympathy Jeff. But one last thought I have while thinking of your mom is that, happily, she gains the eternal pleasure of rejoining your dad. I can’t help thinking of Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time, the last scene, or Mel Gibson and his character’s wife, the execution scene in Braveheart, and, not the least, Leonardo de Caprio and Kate Winslet, the “flying” scene in Titanic. Choose from anyone of these and you capture how I see them now. Mushy, but effective.

God bless you and your family always.