We need to be brazenly frank sometimes

I believe it will do our soul some good if we spew every once in a while acrid remarks at daft people and on the nonsensical things they do, which and whom we often do not say anything about or to, probably because of callousness or sloth or both on our part, and, therefore by default, we tolerate and accept. Most of these we let go unscathed because we all fear of being retaliated with words that are illogical by all means but which we all fear nonetheless because the law of logic does not, sadly, apply in a third-world metropolis like Manila.

Like one time on the MRT, a man, and I swear to any supernatural being, intentionally pushed me. Naively, I asked “Nanunulak po ba kayo?” (Did you just push me?). His response, although I half-expected it, was, “Kung ayaw mong masagi, eh di mag-taxi ka!” (If you don’t want to be pushed around, do not take the train, take a cab!). Once this line of thinking is taken by people I am arguing with, I knew it was already useless pursuing my case, so I avoided his wrathful gaze, positioned my back on him, acted as if I did not hear his long and angry speech on the correct way of riding the train, and read a paperback I was holding that time.

I needed not look at his face because I know it was worse than maudlin. His eyes were red, watery, and bulging, like that of a dynamited fish, probably he just came out of his work tired and sleepy, but this fact didn’t bother me. I wanted nothing but to save my skin from him. The people in the train were looking at the man who was furious because somebody like me has the gall to complain about being rudely and maliciously pushed around inside a cramped train, and me who was futilely trying to camouflage myself and hide my shame.

I tried to dissipate the tension by feigning enlightenment while reading a book by Jose Saramago. But it seemed this even made him more furious. I felt like smacking his face with the paperback, but it was too soft for the job. When I alighted at Shaw station, as if his litany was not enough, he ran after me and asked me the quintessential Tagalog way of provoking a fight: “Ano’ng problema mo, pre?” (What’s you problem, man?)

I said, “Tinulak mo ako! Pu*ang ina mo… .” (You pushed me. You s*nofab*tch!).

Kidding. No, I did not have the audacity to say this.

I lacked time to gather my thoughts and to think of a clever reply in Tagalog, so I made do with my stuttering, “Kung di mo ako tinulak, eh di hindi!” (If you didn’t, then fine.). And I left.

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Filipinos have this very odd way of defining public spaces. Public is equated to being lawless, a no-man’s land. I am not a sociologist, so I know I am only making intuitive assumptions here.

Just because a place is crowded does not give one an excuse to abandon whatever decency left in him and commence acting like an animal. Being a regular commuter of public transport in the metro, I witness on a daily basis this disregard for basic proper conduct of self in public places and conveyances by Manilenos.  However, what appalls me is the idea that I can do nothing, that I am only a transient bystander, that telling to their faces they are plain assholes is not my rightful duty. I guess, this same powerlessness is the same feeling most people in this country feel.

This afternoon, at the gym where I regularly sweat off after my work every five in the afternoon, this plump guy (I surmise using the word ‘plump’ to describe him is my way of making him a subject of my rather dry humor) either played really loud music on his mobile (whose earphones he might have left somewhere) or talked to his ‘clients’ over his other phone, or simultaneously doing these two irritating activities to the chagrin of everyone in the gym.

The blaring music I could tolerate, but his Rockefellerian or Ayala-ish tone of speaking loudly laced with a vague Southern Californian or Mid-Western accent while talking to his clients was something that aghasted me. I almost threw toward his direction a 45-pound plate. It was as if the entire of Accenture rests on this man’s chubby shoulders and adipose-ridden abdomen.

I did nothing but kept quiet the whole time and brazenfacedly gave him a peek of my bulging pectoral muscles and well-defined abs. And well, using the word ‘plump’ to describe him in this post.

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Tips on forcing yourself to leave the bed

Sleep

I always see to it that I end my day with an hour in the gym. Not so much because I have become a narcissistic health buff or I want to have a body akin to that of a macho Guess model exhibiting his stuff for all the motorists plying EDSA to behold. I work out and pump iron with a dedication comparable to somebody who enlisted himself in a body building competition set a month from now. But my justification is nothing close. I am doing this out of routine. The same routine that kicks me to wake up too early each day to go to Makati to earn extra money and then leave for my real job after I’m done with lunch.

But these past few weeks, I find it getting more difficult to wake up each morning. I set my alarm two hours before any appointment to give me enough grace period to snuggle my pillows for fifteen minutes and to contemplate whether the measly amount I shall get is worth the ordeal and the psychological battle I have to wage just so I can abandon my bed with at least a tinge of sanity left.

I’d complain about my aching biceps, swollen chest, and abdominal muscles soaked in lactic acid, only that I have no one to direct my complaints to. I’d pop a tablet of paracetamol to alleviate my annoyingly wringy headache due to lack of sleep. I can only manage to have at most six hours of sleep everyday. Certainly not enough to allow my body to rest and recuperate from all the wear and tear I subject it every waking hour.

Huge Alarm Clock

But I am beginning to maneuver the ropes quickly and efficiently. I wake up daily at 7:30 or 8 o’clock the latest with little resistance. After 30 minutes from the time I wake up, you’ll see me checking my emails, all dressed up and ready for the day. How do I do that? Here’s how:

1. Take a bath before you sleep so there’ll be no need for an adverse bathing and grime removal procedure in the morning. This will save you time outwitting the rush hour, not to mention giving you a sound sleep during the night.

2. Set as many alarms as there is possible at varying time, a five-minute time difference each so in the event you are too callused to ignore the first one there will be several other alarms that will prompt you that it’s time to leave the comfort of your nest and face the uncertain day ahead.

3. Place your alarms in hard to reach places, in crevices and other impossible places, or stick them using adhesive, say a duct tape, as near your cochlea as possible. Never at an arm’s length for reason we are all aware of.

4. If you stay along major thoroughfares like EDSA, Ayala Ave, Commonwealth Ave, or Aurora Blvd the better. Do not close you window when you sleep. Since rush hour in these roads starts early, around five in the morning, the sheer noise the vehicles create is enough to bring you back to your senses or discourage any lame attempt on your part to doze off.

5. By the way, I forgot to mention that the alarm clocks you planted will also serve another purpose. They will annoy your roommates or neighbors that in the event these devices fail in restoring you back to life, they’ll place the burden on themselves to wake you up. Disclaimer: this blogger relinquishes any liability if you decide to follow this suggestion and your skull is whacked by these people you inconvenienced because of your alarms.

6. If you are into S&M and derive pleasure from inflicting pain or you want to be the object of pain then you may also utilize sharp and pointed objects placed in strategic locations dotted on your bed that will both wake you up and give you pleasurable sensation at the start of your day. Think of hitting two birds with one stone.

7. Remove all curtains that will keep the sun from shining on your sleepy eyes. Our body is wired to eschew sleep when it is in a bright surrounding. This explains the extra bright lighting in offices with clerical, and therefore repetitive, working operation. Without the curtains, going back to our tip No. 7, the last one, we welcome a bright day scurrying to the bathroom to start a busy day ahead.