Chinese puppets versus American stooges

By WILL GALANG | 29 September 2019 🔗


I can only cringe whenever I hear how a certain group in my country pushes the Duterte government it wants to dismantle to act belligerent, goading it to stand toe-to-toe with China concerning its control over the South China Sea. This political party (and its allied interests) is under the impression the United States is right there to quickly jump to their protection (citing a Mutual Defense Treaty the Americans are strangely evasive in committing to honoring when pressed in public forums) in the event the Chinese engage the Philippines in a shooting war over the disputed islands.

Where’s all this confidence coming from? I can only surmise it’s largely due to the historical meddling the Americans (or at least the CIA) did for this particular Philippine faction, helping achieve a couple of abrupt regime changes (1986 and 2001) that worked to the latter’s favor within the last 33 years. (Well, to be fair to the U.S. and the world, they officially referred to the Estrada toppling as “mob rule” and “de facto coup”.) What’s one more time between friends, they probably think to themselves. But recently, I can’t really blame the we-always-want-an-allied-haciendero-at-the-Palace bunch if they’re giddy for another round of intervention for them — considering their collective appetites were whetted by certain U.S. lawmakers actively taking the cudgels for one of the former’s troubled narco-friendly buddies, publicly crying “political persecution” so conveniently, to cover up the alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

We’ll see how far Uncle Sam will go for a few of his powerful Filipino friends especially with China’s huge shadow blanketing and hereby affecting the little details. Will the enemies of the Philippine government press the Americans for another CIA-backed coup to oust the China-friendly Duterte dispensation? But the Americans themselves are currently embroiled in their own internal political hostilities! But if the Philippine oligarchy is lucky, Duterte will be ousted first. Unconstitutionally, of course. That’s the only way for Duterte’s adversaries to succeed. Unless they pray to their gods that Death somehow comes early for their target. Madam Leni would be more than willing to take over.

Another crummy Grab driver

By WILL GALANG | 27 September 2019 🔗


Chalk this one up under “Obnoxious Grab Transport Drivers.” I booked a GrabShare ride from Paco. (I was NOT in a rush.) After a few minutes, got one that’s supposed to pick me up after first making a stop at a nearby residential building. Then much to my surprise, after reaching the stop before my turn, I noticed that the car’s directional path on the map on my phone app was already heading to Sampaloc, away from my general vicinity! Instead of notifying me that the ride is on its way to pick me up, the Grab app is telling me that I’d been picked up and that I am “on my way” to my destination!

Wait a minute. Something fishy is going on here. “I’m still here!”

Started sending messages to the driver somewhere along the lines of “Hey, why is the system telling me that you’ve already picked me up when you still haven’t?” No response. Tried calling. No response as well. Problem is, there is no more Cancel button at that particular stage of the trip when you’re already classified as “picked up.” And to make matters worse, Grab already took that trip’s fare from my online wallet. Double whammy! I thought to myself, “Aah, this must be a new dirty trick from unscrupulous Grab drivers.”

Got to my destination an hour or so later than usual using alternative means of travel. Filed a report to Grab to ask for my money back. Gave the erring driver a piece of my mind through the online reporting/grievance system. What an inconvenience, stemming from the actions of a grabby fellow. Pretty soon, most Grab drivers will share the same ill repute of Metro Manila cabbies.

I miss Uber. They were so much better then and a little bit cheaper as well.

Longing to knock down some bowling alley pins again

By WILL GALANG | 26 September 2019 🔗

Bowling Ball and Pins

I miss playing ten-pin bowling. It’s the only sport that I’ve regularly played over the last couple of decades since I gave up on table tennis and basketball (or rather, basketball gave up on me). My bowling partner (a.k.a. The Wifey) recently started showing signs of wear and tear on her bowling arm (we’re both right-hand bowlers, by the way) and this further contributed to our prolonged absence in the bowling alleys. Perhaps I can ask her to just watch me knock down some pins while she recuperates from injuries. (But I guess this would be too difficult for her.)

My spouse and I aren’t really serious bowlers. We just love to play for the sake of fun and relaxation. Over the last 20 years we knew each other, we both actively participated in office bowling tournaments and even won team medals along the way. My wife took her playing a notch up by making the official bowling team of the financial firm she works for and got to experience the enjoyment and competitiveness of the annual Bankers Athletic Association bowling competitions a few years back.

Hopefully later this year, we both can hit the lanes.

Scene from a BAA bowling tournament, September 2014

Scene from a BAA bowling tournament, September 2014

Rainy night-time commutes

By WILL GALANG | 22 September 2019 🔗

Raindrops on my ride's window

The commute to (my night shift) work can be a challenge lately due to the typhoon/monsoon season upon us on my side of the world. I’m just a bit lucky I don’t have to negotiate the horrendous EDSA traffic on a daily basis. For three straight working days, my travel to the office coincided with heavy downpours, which could bring out all sorts of problems.

But for reasons I’m not sure of, I’ve found my rainy night-time rides relaxing, as of late. Helps a lot if my driver(s) are not chatty. I’d focus on the sound of rain pelting the car roof. My mind will quietly play from memory “Only Happy When It Rains.” Pretty soon, I’m there.

Beauty Gonzalez is dancing in my subconscious mind

By WILL GALANG | 17 September 2019 🔗

Beauty Gonzalez

The actress Beauty Gonzalez brought me to a taping session of her Kadenang Ginto television series and I thought I was up for something thrilling. It wasn’t a location shoot and everything will be held at the studios. But the realities of making a local TV drama quickly reared its ugly head to me personally right at the onset: Cast members checking in late; Missing props and show wardrobe; Actors arguing with directors how a scene should turn out, etc. The unrealistic dialogues bored me and everything on it seem to be melodramatic clich├ęs of the worst kind. A few hours into the whole shebang, I increasingly felt uneasy witnessing how the proverbial sausage is being made and I just wanted to bolt out of the building right there and then without informing Beauty — who happened to be in the middle of a take.

Then I woke up.

EVERYTHING was just an unbelievably weird dream! Every single scene, including her personal photo sessions meant for her Instagram — the only stuff I enjoyed going through! (Darn!) And the most glaring part of it all is — I don’t even know Beauty in person. (We were so chummy like best buddies in my dream, where on earth did that come from.)

I disclosed the vision to my wife while she was preparing to go to work the next morning. She laughed hard briefly but jabbed, “(Hay), ang hilig mo talaga sa mga magaganda, ha?” (“(Sigh) You’re really into the beautiful ones, huh?”)

Seriously, I was expecting that she’d go “Who the heck is Beauty Gonzalez?” or “What is Kadenang Ginto?” on me, but apparently, she’s aware of the ABS-CBN afternoon drama program even if — I later found out — she hasn’t seen a full episode.

“And this Beauty is even gracing your dreams!”

End of conversation.

Bringing the 'mountain' jerseys back as a lucky charm

By WILL GALANG | 31 August 2019 🔗

Utah Jazz

When the Utah Jazz first wore their “mountain” jerseys in the 1996-1997 season, the team went all the way to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history only to lose to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. They’d return to battle for the championship the next season in a rematch with Jordan’s squad. However, Utah got bested once more by the now immortalized “The Push”, er, I mean, “The Shot”. Back to present-day: Feeling extremely confident with the turnout of the team’s pre-season roster overhaul, the Jazz top brass perhaps smell a return to the NBA’s biggest stage and decided to bring back the iconic jersey design for another ride. As a long-time Jazz Basketball fan, anything to spark the team is welcome. Can’t wait!

A brand new leaf (or a brand new blog, whatever)

By WILL GALANG | 29 August 2019 🔗

And I’m back! (I mean, Yay! Still rocking the old-school one column conventional blog look-and-feel. (Because I’m boring like that.)

My previous blog(s) can be cited as great examples of how volatile websites (or how capricious the webmasters behind them) can be — Now you see them, now you don’t. I want to change this bad habit of mine. This place marks my new online starting point.