Thursday, December 06, 2007

Burgeois ideas galore

I look back at my latest Contemplathings list and I am taken aback at how much burgeois I have managed to become. Then again, my surprise might just be a pretension. Does a call center agent who earns a figure well above the minimum wage have any chance of resisting the temptations of consumerism? Yes, and Jude Law is my boyfriend.

My former co-worker at VXI suggests that I chant a mantra everytime I get guilty when I purchase a four-digit-priced item. The mantra: "Bakit? Nagtatrabaho naman ako a!" Julie tells me it is important that I don't forget the exclamation point. Perfect.

Now that I remember this, let me get back to work and get richer. 

Contemplathings VII

1. my first Telus pay!
2. N70 music edition
3. Starbucks planner
4. Meredith Brooks
5. ukay-ukay
6. Damien Rice
7. training
8. VXI back pay
9. Philo argumentation and debate class
10. swollen gums

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Perks and "Better the Devil You Like"

Cool, I'm writing this blogpost from a Telus training room. Talk about perks, ha. I was not able to do this at AT&T. My product trainor actually allowed the class to surf the net during our breaks, and I cannot say I lost time in taking advantage of this.

But on to the real work-related stuff. Our class got a small peek at one of the systems we're going to use on the production floor. It's an intranet tool very similar to one we use at AT&T, but I'm beginning to wonder whether AT&T really knows what "user-friendly" means. I'm really beginning to like Telus.

An envious and well-meaning friend warns me, though: all call centers are devils, and she invokes the saying "Better the devil you know." Meaning AT&T.

I have a retort: "Better the devil you like." Meaning Telus.

Corporate thralldom reloaded

Telus International Philippines is it. What does AT&T stand for again?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Contemplathings VI

1. Cris Mendez, Paolo Ante, John Fajardo
2. Dr. Porciuncula
3. Margaret Atwood and The Blind Assassin
4. Telus (formerly Ambergris)
5. Canada
6. Starbucks 2008 planner
7. Shelfari
8. Why I cannot view my Friendster homepage
9. The String Quartet
10. Mel and the "Question"

Cris Mendez, a tree, and Jerrie

My editor Mel has always reminded us Collegian news writers that if a writer cannot write news, maybe someone forgot to do his homework. Right now, I can't write the news update on the Mendez case. This is exactly the same reason why I'm wasting precious time on a blog post like this. I bet someone did forget to do his homework.

A confession: The article was assigned to me ages ago but I just got around to researching on this last Monday. It's now Saturday and all I have are gleanings from the Inquirer website. If Jerrie or Mel's reading this, it would save me a lot of trouble when I submit to them my pathetic article this morning.

Or this afternoon, since Jerrie and Floyd just arrived from a beer joint somewhere in Katipunan. Jerrie told me cheerily that he brought me something and presented to me a whole branch which I suspect is formerly part of a poor tree. I did not speculate how he was able to drag the branch from the first floor up to the fourth floor of Vinzons Hall where the Collegian office is, but I do know this means he's drunk.

My resolve then: sleep and wake up before Jerrie does. And then flee from the office. I wish myself good luck.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Update, update

Coming to work tonight
Submitting my resignation letter
My team leader silent with rage at me
Terminated, not resigned, sugar

The screen of the PC I'm sitting in front of tinted green
My friend Rain giving me a plastic tiger, Chona a plastic lion
Rain keeps the rhino

A Korean movie at HBO, at the VXI pantry

Ambergris tomorrow, with Walter
Telus pala

VXI decorated Halloween
Pink and lavender and black crepe paper hangings


Dinner, lunch, breakfast

eTelecare/ IBM/West
Political Science/Economics/Journalism

Monday, October 29, 2007

Contemplathings V

1. my turquoise-blue long-sleeved shirt
2. PE 2 subjects
3. Sigma Rho appeal to halt hearings of the Cris Mendez case at the UP SDT
4. Shelfari
5. JC
6. AT&T
7. lunch
8. the Southern American accent
9. Life of Pi movie, Jean Pierre Jeunet
10. Lemony Snickett and "Beatrice"

If you have no further questions, I'd like to thank you for calling---

I'm quitting.

I cannot believe I put up with AT&T for six months. There's always something mildly exhilarating about anything in retrospect, something like an after-effect of vertigo. After having fallen from a high cliff, you wonder why you're still alive and breathing.

But I'm free at last from corporate thralldom, at least for quite a while before I get enslaved by either Convergys or IBM Daksh. Enrolling for this semester also is not quite out of the question, though I guess it will have to be my powers which will have to make this come to fruition. (My mom swore to me this morning she'll pay for my tuition. I know better than to trust to her short-lived promises. She is someone who says she will cook dinner, only to back out at around 9 pm, suggesting she pines for a can of sardines.)

Just a little disclaimer: Though I'm submitting my resignation letter tonight, I enjoyed being AT&T customer service for VXI for the last six months, if only for the fact that it's a high-paying way of killing yourself slowly. As my friend Chona puts it perfectly, "Ang sweldo sa VXI, either pambili ng gamot, o pambili ng kabaong." Believe me, jobs like that excite me, for a certain period of time. As much as masochism is hardwired in my system, I'd like to believe I reach the point when I become sane as everyone else. I know when I've done enough of what Jessica Zafra calls "self-cannibalism."

Now some of my friends I'll be leaving at VXI have all declared they will miss me, teary eyes and all. It's touching, but more probably this is just to hide the fact that they are green with envy; I bet it shall not be long before they follow me on my way out, screaming "You twerp! Me too! Me too!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter spoilers proliferate

By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer
Tue Jul 17, 9:56 PM ET

NEW YORK - In the final days before the world learns whether Harry Potter lives or dies, spoilers — or those pretending to spoil — are spreading on the Internet. On Tuesday, digital images of what may be the entire text of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," including 36 chapters and a seven-page epilogue, were circulating among Web users. The book was apparently photographed as it lay on a carpet speckled with green and red, a hand at the bottom holding down the pages.

A separate link,, also displayed a seven-page epilogue and a 36-chapter table of contents from "Deathly Hallows," coming out July 21 under ultra-tight security.

Similar information appeared Monday on Meanwhile, a resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, has said that he downloaded hundreds of pages from the 784-page book and U.S. publisher Scholastic, Inc., has been busy ordering would-be spoilers to remove their information from the Internet.

"I'm guessing we're in the double digits," says Scholastic spokeswoman Kyle Good, who added that requiring material to be pulled down did not mean it was authentic. "There's so much out there that it's confusing for fans. Our lawyers are trying to keep down the amount of spoiler traffic that's out there and clear it from places where fans might be reading."

Anxious about keeping a lock on publishing's ultimate mystery, Scholastic has refused all along to say whether a spoiler has the real book or not. According to Good, there is more than one version of the full Potter text on the Internet. She said the different versions all "looked convincing" and all had different content from each other.

Leaked copies of other highly anticipated works have appeared online in recent years, from O.J. Simpson's canceled tale of murder, "If I Did It," to "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," which could be downloaded before the film's release with the help of a file-sharing program, BitTorrent, an apparent source of the full Potter book.

Author J.K. Rowling, who has said two major characters will die, has begged the public not to give away the ending to her seventh and final Potter book. Fan sites such as and have vowed to keep spoilers away.

"A lot or our tips about spoilers are coming from fans," Good says. "There's a groundswell from fans who find these links and send them to us, saying, `I'm not going to look at this, but somebody told me about it.'"

"I just hope they find these people and punish them accordingly," said Leaky Cauldron Web master Melissa Anelli. "This is exceedingly wrong and mean-spirited. Let people enjoy their book, for Pete's sake."

Last month, a hacker who identified himself as "Gabriel" claimed to have broken into the computer system of British publisher Bloomsbury PLC and posted key plot points on Those plot points differ from what is revealed on, which contradicts itself on the fate of Potter's buddy Ron.

"There is a lot of material on the Internet that claims to come from `Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,' but anyone can post anything on the Internet and you can't believe everything you see online," Good says. "We all have our theories on how the series will end, but the only way we'll know for sure is to read the book ourselves at 12:01 a.m. on July 21." ▪

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Contemplathings IV

1. Wowowee contestants
2. tuna
3. the legwork needed for my two articles for the Collegian
4. a co-trainee in the call center where I now work (whom everyone is pissed off with)
5. my grandparents in California
6. utility bills
7. Friendster
8. how popular this blog really is!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

News Express!

I am now an official corporate thrall.

Monday, April 23, 2007

No more tiyanaks?

‘Limbo does not exist’
Vatican scraps ‘place’ for unbaptized babies
Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Inquirer wires
Last updated 03:59am (Mla time) 04/22/2007

VATICAN CITY—The Roman Catholic Church has effectively buried the concept of limbo, opening the gates of heaven to babies who die unbaptized and reversing centuries of traditional Catholic teaching.

In a long-awaited document, the Church’s International Theological Commission said the medieval concept of limbo as a place where unbaptized infants spend eternity but without communion with God seems to reflect an “unduly restrictive view of salvation.”

Pope Benedict, himself a top theologian who before his election in 2005 expressed doubts about limbo, authorized the publication of the 41-page document.

Benedict approved the findings of the commission, a Vatican advisory panel, which said it was reassessing the traditional teaching on limbo in light of “pressing” pastoral needs—primarily the growing number of abortions and infants born to non-believers who die without being baptized.

Theologians said the move was highly significant—both for what it says about Benedict’s willingness to buck a tenet of Catholic belief that dates back to the 13th century, and for what it means theologically about the Church’s views on heaven, hell and original sin—the sin that the faithful believe all children are born with.

The verdict that limbo could now rest in peace had been expected for years. The document was seen as most likely the final word since limbo was never part of Church doctrine.

“The conclusion of this study is that there are theological and liturgical reasons to hope that infants who die without baptism may be saved and brought into eternal happiness even if there is not an explicit teaching on this question found in revelation,” it said.

“There are reasons to hope that God will save these infants precisely because it was not possible (to baptize them).”

Vatican watchers hailed the decision as both a sensitive and significant move by Benedict.
“Parents who are mourning the death of their child are no longer going to be burdened with the added guilt of not having gotten their child baptized,” said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

Impact on non-Christians
He said the document also had implications for non-Christians, since it could be seen as suggesting that non-baptized adults could go to heaven if they led a good life.

“I think it shows that Benedict is trying to balance his view of Jesus as being central as the savior of the world ... but at the same time not saying what the Evangelicals say, that anyone who doesn’t accept Jesus is going to hell,” he said in a phone interview.

The International Theological Commission is a body of Vatican-appointed theologians who advise the Pope and the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Benedict headed the Congregation for two decades before becoming pope in 2005.

Generations of torment
The Church teaches that baptism removes original sin which stains all souls since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.

Although Catholics have long believed that children who die without being baptized are with original sin and thus excluded from heaven, the Church has no formal doctrine on the matter.

Theologians, however, have long taught that such children enjoy an eternal state of perfect natural happiness, a state commonly called limbo, but without being in communion with God.
The thought that stillborn babies, for example, would be relegated to a kind of no-man’s-land in the afterlife tormented generations of Catholic families.

Concept of limbo
The document said that its conclusions should not be interpreted as questioning original sin or “used to negate the necessity of baptism or delay the conferral of the sacrament.”

Limbo, which comes from the Latin word meaning “border” or “edge,” was considered by medieval theologians to be a state or place reserved for the unbaptized dead, including good people who lived before the coming of Christ.

“People find it increasingly difficult to accept that God is just and merciful if he excludes infants, who have no personal sins, from eternal happiness, whether they are Christian or non-Christian,” the document said.

It said the study was made all the more pressing because “the number of nonbaptized infants has grown considerably, and therefore the reflection on the possibility of salvation for these infants has become urgent.”

Augustine’s teaching
The Theological Commission posted its document Friday on Origins, the documentary service of Catholic News Service.

“If there’s no limbo and we’re not going to revert to St. Augustine’s teaching that unbaptized infants go to hell, we’re left with only one option, namely, that everyone is born in the state of grace,” said the Rev. Richard McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame.

“Baptism does not exist to wipe away the ’stain’ of original sin, but to initiate one into the Church,” he said in an e-mailed response Friday.

While the report does not carry the authority of a papal encyclical or even the weight of a formal document from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it was approved by the Pope on Jan. 19 and was published on the Internet—an indication that it was intended to be widely read by the faithful.

No certainty, just hope
“We can say we have many reasons to hope that there is salvation for these babies,” the Rev. Luis Ladaria, a Jesuit who is the commission’s secretary general, told The Associated Press. He stressed that there was no certainty, just hope.

The document traces centuries of Church views on the fate of unbaptized infants, paying particular attention to the writings of St. Augustine—the 4th century bishop who is particularly dear to Benedict. Augustine wrote that such infants do go to hell, but they suffer only the “mildest condemnation.”

In the document, the commission said that such views were now out of date and that there were “serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision.”

It stressed, however, that “these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge.”

Parents’ duty remains
No one can know for certain what becomes of unbaptized babies since Scripture is largely silent on the matter, the report said.

It stressed that none of its findings should be taken as diminishing the need for parents to baptize infants.

“Rather ... they provide strong grounds for hope that God will save infants when we have not been able to do for them what we would have wished to do, namely, to baptize them into the faith and life of the church.”

Reports from AP AFP, Inquirer wires
Copyright 2007 Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Inquirer wires. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Contemplathings III

1. filing a leave of absence so i could be enslaved by the corporate world
2. breakfast
3. John Irving
4. contradictions of the protagonist in a short story I'm working on
5. the weather