Monday, July 3, 2006


Have I mentioned I went to Singapore? Check out my thoughts on Singapore from the links to the right. It's like the one-post version for Singapore of my blog for Japan. :-D

Friday, June 30, 2006

What you are does not define who you are, it's what you do.

A country claims to be Catholic, and yet many politicians, all Catholics themselves, all are not good role models for good Christian/Catholic leaders. The result: their constituents say "If they do it, we'll do it too." Some of their constituents do not know of what they do. But in the end, they say "everyone does it, so why can't we?"

It's not what you are that defines you, it's what you do.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kudos to Wendy's SM Centerpoint - but I take it back, thanks to that stupid cashier. And what's up with the additional Quezon City tax on food?

I haven't posted it before, but I went to Wendy's at SM Centerpoint, had I think P125 in my wallet, ordered the P125 meal, and then it turned out that the bill was more than P125, thanks to the additional tax that Quezon City imposes on these establishments (and that these establishments do not add to their listed price). So my order was there already, as well as my payment, although lacking by a few pesos. I think I told them to cancel my order na lang because it turned out I didn't have enough money pala.

The manager, a nice (young) lady, then decided to just let me go with the few bucks. Thank you, Ms. (or is it Mrs.) Manager, I'm sorry I didn't get your name.

That was a long time ago (a few months).

What's up with the Quezon City tax? Technically I'm fine with that. The extended value added tax (EVAT) after all helped strengthened the Philippine Peso. But how come these establishments (not just Wendy's, but most of the fastfood establishments including #1 Jollibee, and #2? McDonald's) do not yet include the QC tax with their listed price. For uniformity among their branches I guess. It would be weird that Value Meal #3 is PhP125 in Makati and everywhere else in the Philippines, and PhP128 or whatever in Quezon City locations. But, what's wrong with that? It's the price you have to pay for doing business in Quezon City.

Anyway, just last Tuesday, I had a snack at the same Wendy's store. Different manager now, or at least on that time and day. I paid more than enough which meant I had change. The cashier asked, "Sir, okay lang po ba na kulang ako ng 20 cents?" My mom would have reacted "Centavos, hija! Cents, mahal yon." Anyway, I reacted by saying "No." It turned out, my change should have been 21 centavos. If they just gave me 25 centavos, their change would have been over by 4 centavos only. Imagine, they were asking me to give up 21 centavos, and they can't give up 4 centavos. Wendy's earns thousands more a month than I do, and they can't afford to give me 5 times what they're demanding me to give them. Well, it's not Wendy's maybe. It's that stupid cashier. And she's not the only one. Almost everyone is like that. I pity them for they do not know what they are doing is STEALING. Well, on the good side, at least she asked me. But she asked me to give up 20 centavos but I was actually giving up 21 centavos.

Do you get my point? It is so pathetic. It's happening all over the Philippines. Is this post detrimental to Philippine Tourism? No, I don't think so. What that cashier did and that many other cashiers do, that's detrimental. We can argue all day, everyone in the Philippines always seem to justify their mistakes, even "educated" and "rich" people. A typical excuse is "everyone else does it." What you are does not define who you are, it's what you do.

JetStar Asia - Negative 5 Stars

I am glad that an "Asian" airline, JetStar Asia, got some award for Best Budget Airline of the Year - this year, 2006, I think. I remember taking a "budget" airline, Southwest Airlines, back in the late 90's (or was it in 2000/2001?) to get from Oakland to San Diego, a 1-hour intra-state trip. I booked my aunt's and my own ticket over the internet. It was cool.

I did the same for my trip from Manila to Singapore. The JetStar website warned me that I will have to pay PHP550 for the terminal fee at the Manila airport. I know that already, no complaints. For any other airline I take for international trips from Manila, I will have to pay the same.

They did not however warn me that I will have to pay PhP1620 for travel tax, before I could check-in.

I got my ticket at a ~50% off promo. It's US$79 one way, that's US$158 for a return trip, then plus some tax (maybe Singapore travel taxes and airport terminal fees), it's US$217 total. That's just about PhP11,300. Add the travel tax, it's about PhP12920. If I took a regular priced ticket, it would have been around PhP24,000.

Compare that to Philippine Airlines' regular price: around PhP16,000 (~US$300), that includes the travel taxes, and a meal and inflight entertainment already.

So JetStar Asia - a budget airline? I don't think so. So, if it wasn't a budget airline, with the 50% off promo, JetStar Asia is 5 stars. Because it's a "budget airline" - they don't have meals or in-flight entertainment (and not all the flight attendants were friendly) - make that a NEGATIVE 5 stars.

When taking a JetStar Asia promo to go to Singapore from the Philippines, first check the promo - they sometimes say "as low as $33" - it's not always that low. Next, compare your fare with Philippine Airlines' or other "regular" airlines. Also, consider the inconvenience: you'll need to pay an additional ~PhP400 for a meal and drink, and about PhP460 for inflight entertainment, and your trip back home is at 7:30am (as opposed to 1:30pm for Philippine Airlines). Lastly, can you speak English fluently? I had co-passengers who didn't have that luxury of speaking English very fluently; they had a hard time with the staff, whose accent when speaking English is not so familiar to Filipinos.

No, I am not an employee nor am I endorsing Philippine Airlines. I'm saying JetStar Asia is not a budget airline, strictly speaking. It's an airline that's on budget, at the cost of its passengers, ultimately. Maybe that's why it's a budget airline, because on a low budget (on their end), they earn more than the regular airlines.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

four squares

Do you see four squares above, adjacent and to the right of ""? If you don't, you must be seeing four Japanese Katakana characters instead, which mean "RO-N-JI-E". If you do see four squares, that means you don't have the Japanese language something installed in your computer. If you're on Windows, go get it at the website.

new, new

i usually am able to upload photos whenever there are occasions or non-occasions. so well, there are new occasions, so check them photos out. there are also some new posts at my prustrations and thoughts blogs. go!

I hate negative people. Am I negative by hating negative people?

I hate negative people. Question is, am I negative by hating negative people? It is almost certain in this world that you will meet or encounter or hear about people with negative attitudes. And by the basic principle of you are most likely who you were brought up to be...

In any case, I met this father, let's call him Gene. In a span of about a week, he told me some of his stories while he was staying out-of-town at one of his relatives' house. He made all sorts of complaints about the not-as-delicious-as-our-own mangos he ate, the burnt barbecued ribs out of a dozen other great dishes and desserts at the father's day party he attended, the "self-destruction" of the family who shared their home to him, and so on. Regarding the food, I mentioned that other people who have nothing to eat wouldn't complain about. About all the negative things he said about the very family who was generous enough to accomodate him, I only had this to say:

i don't know why, but many people i've met or encountered, they do certain things but do not know what they are doing is WRONG. meanwhile, it is certainly easy to see the wrong of others. meanwhile, sometimes we have the capacity to help others, but we don't. sometimes, we think we are helping other people, but we really aren't. there are many negatives in this life, and it is up to us if we will turn it into a positive, or emphasize further its negativity.

Filipino translation: marami akong nakilala o na-enkwentro na may mga ginagawa sila na hindi nila alam na mali iyong ginagawa nila na yon. sa kabilang panig naman, mas madali kasing makita ang mali ng iba. kung minsan naman ay kaya nating makatulong ng kapwa natin, pero hindi natin ginagawa. minsan, akala naman natin nakakatulong tayo pero ang katotohanan ay hindi tayo nakakatulong. madaming negatibo sa buhay nating ito, pero nasa atin na kung gagawin nating positibo itong mga ito, o lalo pa nating gagatungan ang pagiging negatibo.

Anyway, question really is am I hating negative people? If it shows that I do, it's because I was brought up as one, by one. I probably still am to some extent. But really what I would like to do is to help. But what help could I do? One thing I try to tell negative people is that they can't change others or expect them to change, and that they can only change themselves.

I am trying my darnest to change myself. I said I hate negative people? I hate my old self. I am not yet completely new, but I hope I'm on the right track now. As for others, I recognize that they will have to change their own selves, but here I offer some of my own insights, hopefully that others might read them, and hopefully so that others may also change course as I did. And I hope I don't ever hear "I'm too old to change. Old dogs can't learn new tricks!" You just admitted you are a dog. Change, and face the world!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Last Saturday

Last Saturday marked the anniversary of my first time alone in a non-English speaking country. Have you seen the Japan2005 blog yet? Click the link on the right.

Anyway, I previously mentioned there's now an easier way for me to post posts - only problem now is I don't have internet access where I sleep (my home, mi casa, where I now reside). So how did I post this? I'm at my mother's.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A square is a rectangle

Last Friday, a group of friends and I were playing this relatively new game called Cranium; it is essentially a mix of Pictionary, Charades, Text Twist, Name That Tune, Play-Doh, and maybe Trivial Pursuit. Basically unlike the six, in Cranium you need multiple talents to win instead of just one (like drawing in Pictionary), and with a team of three or more, your talents could be showcased; that is, you don’t have to force yourself to draw a picture when you’ve overheard your friend’s mom tell her “She’s a smart kid, she used to draw on the walls, and now she’s a painter,” and meanwhile you don’t recall drawing on walls.

Anyway, in previous turns I did well for our team in scoring for tough tasks like juggling words and letters, and answering some technical trivia. One interesting technical trivia that I was able to answer – because partly it was in my expertise and line of work, and partly because it could have been answered with a Three-Little-Pigs common sense – is a true or false question about whether brick houses are better than wood houses in earthquakes. One guy confidently said that the statement was true and that “in fact,” most houses in the US are made of bricks. Oh I wish I was just as confident. Well I was also confident myself, because I know for a fact that yes, it is true that many houses in the US are made of bricks – the old houses. But actually the problem is, that they fare better in earthquakes is not true at all. Most newer homes use wood or steel or a combination of both, or if they should use bricks, they reinforce these bricks with steel. The answer was of course, false, and yeah, people remembered the Three Little Pigs.

Additional fact: many deaths in earthquakes are not caused by houses collapsing, but more by non-structural things falling down, such as lighting fixtures (imagine big chandeliers, and broken glasses and mirrors), heavy books on shelves, and yes, bricks.

On to the point of this post. It was now our team’s turn again, and it was a crucial one because we needed to score. Just one more for the other team, and they will have won already. It was again a true or false question, and the statement was “A square is a rectangle.” Our team argued over it, with perhaps my decision weighing more, because I was the top guy when it comes to some engineering-related questions (such as the previous one I mentioned.) In basketball statistics, my field-goal shooting percentage was high, almost perfect, and my answer would become, based on statistics, or history if you want to call it that way, our team’s decision. So everyone had agreed it was false, and if I remember correctly, I made the final call. We said it was false. I don’t know what went through my head, but as the opposing team had said, it was an easy one. Maybe them not saying that it was easy made it not easy for us, and we thought it was a trick question. Our answer was incorrect.

Today is approximately three days from that event, and at one point, I still somehow felt bad about making that mistake, thinking about maybe I got peer-pressured or something and all that stuff.

Today, that one statement, “A square is a rectangle,” made me realize that I still tend to keep my old clothes, my old shoes, my old things. I thought that I was on my way to becoming more and more a positive person, with the past not anymore haunting me as nightmares but more now only as hands-on experiences from which I’ve learned much and nothing more.

I am looking forward to… what’s the term… well in English-Filipino, “not having ‘sama ng loob’.” Like there are some people who could have done better, but they didn’t, and who I am now is a consequence of them not doing better. But this is all in the past. I should let go. I’ve taken that first step of accepting my deficiencies. It’s now a matter of mitigation. I haven’t crossed that bridge yet; but I have taken the first step.

“A square is a rectangle.” There maybe something more to that statement than what it has made me realize so far. But for what that statement has done now, that is enough. We’ll find more discoveries in the future. They say it takes a lifetime to get to know a person completely. Maybe it takes a lifetime also to get to know our very own selves. We weren’t so conscious about our very own personalities when we were younger, and that might explain the preceding sentence. Emphasis on the “Maybe.”

But the truth is, you go deep in to the meaning of things, but do not over-interpret, and you’ll find that some things are as simple as they seem to be. A square is a rectangle.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

no thoughts at all

This is really weird. As I type, there’s something that’s happening in the world. Duh. You didn’t think that, did you? I mean you know that. But you didn’t think that. It’s like, you know how to drive and to stay on one lane, but you were DUI and you didn’t think about driving and staying on the lane, you just suddenly swerved. That is really weird.

This is really cool. I can view my laptop from a very different perspective, and it’s like ten times a zillion times cooler! I feel more comfortable… I mean looking at my laptop. It’s a whole new world. But typing-wise—supposedly it is more ergonomic, the fact that my palms are more rested…. But my back is hurting a bit because I don’t have lumbar support.

Alright, are these really thoughts? They’re no thoughts at all.

Friday, February 3, 2006

ronjie, engineer and philosopher?

I took this online "test." It's the kind of thing that loses its novelty once you've done it. It told me I should be an Engineering major, or a Philosophy major. Hmmmm... Visit the site at this link: What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with

Friday, January 20, 2006

notice anything new?

Notice anything new? has been approved for Google's AdSense program. Please click on the advertisement(s) to the right to give your support to :-) If you would like to sign-up for Google's AdSense program, please click the link on the right just below the ads(s). It's fast and free! I have also put up a quick Google search box so you could spare some clicks! Happy clicking! :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

One Saturday Afternoon

Here's another "thought" I wrote back in November 2, 2002:

a saturday afternoon. thank God, it was a holiday for me (and for most of us filipinos) the last two days, which was thursday, and friday; eve of all saints' day, and all saints' day. the idea was, that all souls' day, which is today, is usually a special holiday, but since it's on a saturday, and so that people will get their dose of their usual, yearly 2-day all saints'/all souls' holiday, they made the eve of all saints' day a holiday.

now, i'm thanking God because, if it were just an ordinary saturday afternoon, i wouldn't have known how saturday afternoons can become so... good. sunday afternoons certainly are great, but i never knew that saturday afternoons can be like this.

because in previous saturday afternoons, i usually have my breakfast, and work my way around the house, getting myself to "really" wake up. because on friday nights, i spend it, and i mean really spend the whole of friday night to holler at the world, "what a week!" it has always been like that.

and thank God, i had only a three-day work week. i had thursday and friday as my usual "weekend", and i have today, saturday to rest my mind.

and to think, i almost had to work on those two national holidays, but for some reason, uncomprehensible to me still, i was free.

as i usually do, i spent my thursday and friday "weekend," sleeping, and spent my usual "friday night" last wednesday, spilling my guts out to the world.

and here i am, i have enough of clearness of mind to write something down, and i feel great. but not without doing nothing.

i had to take my (un)usual dose of a cup of dissolved caffeine, had two sticks of West Ice, said my prayers, had a nice bath, that would have been nicer if we only had a bath tub, and, i did a very little amount of household chores, watched two movies on HBO. ahhh. if only my saturday afternoons were always like this.

Philippines, My Philippines

I just found this one bit of "thought" that I wrote on 28 September 2002:


here in the philippines, (some) bs biology graduates end up as bank tellers.

for me, the civil engineer... the question is shall i take a PhD or an MBA... well, that is because, i want to be successful financially (here), because my dad does not own a civil engineering firm. i know a friend kasi who's around 29 pa lang and marketing ang job niya for this multi-national, and whoah, kaya niya nang buhayin sarili niya (and with more 12:00 and $ to spare).

there is certainly more money, and a sure financially comfortable life in "business" than in a "noble" profession such as civil engineering.

yung commercial nga ng san miguel beer, medyo... nationalistic siya. ang message niya is "dito sa pilipinas, pinakamagaganda ang mga babae at pinakamasarap ang beer." aba e, agree ako diyan.*

so for money and a sure and secure (financial) future... marketing, sales, management, or any other stuff like that, is the way. lalo na with a multi-national.

kung engineering habol mo, construction, project management, project engineer, site engineer, okay rin lahat yan.

for me na medyo, ambisyon ko nung grade 6 ako e "to be a scientist".. and at the same time, gusto kong yumaman. damn. ano ba talaga kelangan kong gawin?

kunsabagay, may option na sa isteyts magtrabaho... sa isteyts, may kakilala ako, hindi siya naka-graduate ng college, kaya niya nang buhayin sarili niya, at pamilya niya.

kahit ano trabaho mo don, ayos ka na. civil engineer pa tayo or karamihan sa atin, lalong okay. although, pareho lang naman situwasyon don at dito, mga $4,000 minimum yata nakukuha ng starting registered civil engineers don; dito sa pinas, mga ganon din, pesos nga lang.

* i must comment though that diyan sa san miguel beer add na yan, puro mapuputi at matatangos-ilong na mga pinay lang mga pinakita. ang yayabang ng mga hindi pure bred! oh well, feeling hindi aso kasi.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

blog updates (re-updated 20060119)

ronj-blog Updates: coach potato's corner, consumer watch, & traffic watch, and THOUGHTS!... err, i think that's it... did you checkout the new site? enjoy. :-)

check out the "Slashes" to the right ===> updated second week of January 2006, with new photos from my trips last December. Nothing new in ronj-blog ( until... maybe in a few minutes. ;-)

blog format at last

It is again 2:30 in the morning. You guessed it--can't sleep. Damn. Anyway, at long last, I've converted the main page into the blog format, courtesy of

Out of a coma

Hey, you haven't seen me in a while, have you? Oh well. I can't believe this thing was only actually active while I was in Japan. Hopefully, with how I've set this up, I could update RONJ-BLOG more often now. Did you see the main page, and the engineering page? They're blogs now. BLOGS - it's the new way of life. :-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

So many Filipinos who know how to make a car move, very few who know how to drive

Making a car move, and using it to get to where you want to go - that's not driving. Many Filipinos think they're so smart. Bad news kid, HINDI TAYO MATALINO! Oops, I forgot that Filipinos hate being told of their deficiencies. We don't like being nase-sermonan, kahit na mali tayo! We have all sorts of excuses, all sorts of unrelated things to say about the guy who tells us we're wrong and we're stupid.

Anyway, I haven't posted so much in this blog because, there are just too many out there. I haven't done anything "wrong" also, so until then, I guess this blog will hibernate for now.

Let me tell you of this story first of this big fat Filipino. Like many like him, because he's bigger, he thinks he could just get to where he's going, di bale na may masagasaan.

I was at the SM Centerpoint parking, I was waiting for this car in front of me to move out of his parking slot so I turned on the right-turn signal to signal that I was going to park. So the car moved out already, and out comes this Toyota FX on my left trying to get the parking space that I patiently waited for! So I made a maneuver to make sure I get the space.

So I was parked. The big fat Filipino guy went down from his mom's Tamaraw FX, and was telling me, "why did you take that parking slot?" "kanina pa ako nagaantay para dito!" "yung slot don ang inaantayan mo e, hindi yan, ako dapat paparada diyan!"

Eto na naman tayo. Pokenengene. Paano niya "nabasa" kung ano ang iniisip ko. Paano niya sinabing doon ako paparada. Mabuti kung tama yung "basa" niya sa akin. E hindi naman.

Oh well, napikon din ako. Then all of a sudden, he was saying "tara, sapakan na lang!" Pukinanginamo! Well I didn't tell him that. I just ignored him of course. So I walked away. Big Fat Filipino guy was really enraged. He shouted "bakla ka pala e." Oh come on.

So I went about SM Centerpoint, and then a few minutes later, I suddenly realized, that guy might have etched his signature on my car using his keys! I ran back to the car, and it seemed that they were only able to park just then. The guy was still so fucking angry. Fucking shit. I still fucking ignored him. Then his mother who was with him, told me, "pasensyahan mo na yung anak ko ha." I mean, naawa ako sa nanay niya. To see your son go like that. Mabuti kung may punto siya. Wala e! Tangina mo, sana damihan mo kain mo ng chicharon para matuluyan ka na!

The car was safe naman. It's a good thing he's not such an evil genius. I was walking inside SM already, and from about 40 meters away I looked back at them, and there he was, waving his very big, fat arms at me.

Oh well. I'm so mad most of the time when I'm on the road. It's a good thing that most of the time, I am by myself. Maybe that's the bad thing. I hurry up. But I still don't beat red lights even at 4 in the morning.

[TV Series Review] House (formerly House, MD)

Am I reading this blog correctly? My last post was almost a year ago? Damn! I am that busy!

Oh well, short but sweet. Watch House starring Hugh Laurie. Get the Season One DVD! And watch the first ep. You'll know it's a good show if you find yourself watching the Episode 22, even if I didn't tell you so! Search Google for House. They've got it all out there. Great websites for House-related bits and info: the official website,,

[sub-labels: CPC tv]

Sunday, January 15, 2006

PC Options (Gilmore) - I never learned.

My mom's computer had some motherboard problems, so I told her to buy an external hard disk enclosure so that we could recover her files. I was ready to park at PC Express (Gilmore), but my mom said we should go to PC Options instead. Two things at the back of my mind: the same guy or family probably owns the two stores so who cares, and not PC Options again!

My problem with PC Options was, you need something, they take some time before they get it for you. And that still IS the case. I never learned. Took us maybe 15 minutes to wait. We asked a sales person to follow-up on our order. She went "inside", came out, and told us, "it's there." My thoughts: where is it, why can't I see it if it's there?

Oh well, finally, it is really there. Unfortunately, they were not gonna give me a receipt unless I asked for it. That was a P1,300 thing. Attention, DTI, BIR!

Well I figured, everyone does it here, can the DTI or BIR or whatever handle it? Damn. But I still won't get my feet on the bandwagon.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Jollibee Philcoa - their fault, my fault, their fault, their payback - we're quits! no thumbs up for them

I hate Jollibee. Because they have (some) good food that my Filipino taste really crave for at least once a month maybe, like many Filipinos. And because of that, they as well as many other similar business establishments could get away with not providing customer service. I've hated ordering Coke at Jollibee, some branches just do not mix it right (too much soda water I think, or something). It just tastes bad! Then I also hate the fact that they just give you one, and just one piece of very fine (very thin!) paper napkin (or more commonly known as "tissue" in the Philippines).

So here I was at Jollibee Philcoa. No choice, because they have better parking than McDonald's. I was meeting someone. I was early. I ordered their fries with the beef and melted cheese. They didn't give me any fork. I thought I wouldn't need it (my first time to try the thing), so I didn't ask for one. So I was using my fingers to eat the thing. Suddenly, it's hard to eat the thing without making a big mess. Now I realized I needed a fork. So what will I do, should I bring my fries to the counter and have my seat possibly taken by other customers? I thought, well my fries aren't even halfway consumed yet, so if I leave it here, I could keep an eye on it anyway, there'll be no problem.

So I left the fries, ran to the counter, asked for a fork, I saw someone trying to take my seat so I ran back to my table, ran back to the counter and got my fork, ran back to my table, and voila! No more fries! "Did you see my fries?," I asked my neighbor. They pointed to a Jollibee maintenance guy. And then it was like I ate one whole chili pepper.

A manager saw something wrong and asked me if there was something wrong? I said, "Yes, that guy took my fries, I was not yet done." The maintenance guy returns and said "Ah, hindi pa ba kayo tapos?" Sa loob loob ko, "Pokenangenamoh!" Aangal ba ako kung ubos na yan? Good thing, the only thing that came out of my mouth was, "Ang dami pa niyan, panong hindi pa ako tapos." Manager lady then said, we'll just get you a new one. I said "Ok, thanks!" but I closely watched the maintenance guy because he might just give me the very same thing that he already took... Which could have been dirty already!

Anyway, manager lady comes back with the newly fried fries with cheese and beef - maybe just about the same amount that I left. The lady also was giving me fork. I said, "No thank you, I got one already." In my head, I added, "if your staff gave me one in the first place, this mess wouldn't have happened."

So, Jollibee, I still don't like you. Your employees, because you're sad, pathetic little Filipinos who hate to be told what you're doing wrong, I still don't like you. But I guess I should give some sort of commendation to that manager lady. Well done. Ordinary Filipinos would have thought "naku, baka ibawas sa suweldo ko ito." Mga patetiko talaga kayo. Maka-sarili! Mag-hirap kayo! TIN!