Monday, March 27, 2017


Monday is flat noodle breakfast with pork sausage, a bowl of Thai rice porridge and a half day of going back to adaptive management for effective influencing and catching up on Rodrigo Barahona's measurement of digital influencing. 

The night was still restless as Tuesday dawned and jerky bacon got inducted into a plate of Chinese stir-fried noodles so I decided to stick my morning fare with latte and apple juice, and my dinner in the street corner deli with a big green bottle of Chang after a day of more adaptive management.  

Wednesday is just plain "Wow!" as the Japanese invaded and layered my lunch buffet plate with a dollop of cold soba, strips of pink salmon sushi and red tuna sashimi, and sublime slices of duck breast while the people in the Autumn Room segued from capturing the sentiment in media monitoring to chasing tactics effectiveness monitoring and untangling the convoluted lines and circles of social network analysis.   

I moved from the comforts of Room 5074 to the shared space of Room 5071 on Thursday when the meat balls were dumped on a bed of rice noodles, the wrestling match between direct, indirect and future beneficiaries tumbling from the Chatrium into a duel between plain grilled pork neck or papaya salad with pork neck, both served ablaze with masticated bird's eye chilli.

That was the case until Friday mercifully came, as bored and tired as the oglio e olio that was as mercifully salvaged by a side of shrimp and duck salad and the bowl of vanilla ice cream that always top my every lunch at Albricias, plus the fact that it's all over and I'm finally flying back to Manila.  

And I say all of that fancy pansit from palatial Chatrium's cavernous buffet hall can never eclipse the pansit palabok Komrad Bong served during his despedida on a Saturday afternoon in Bacal 1, the star amidst a culinary nobility of warek-warek, crisp fried crablets and mountain stream goby, frozen tuna sashimi lathered in lethal wasabi, the usual dynamite and shanghai, and goat head boiled to gelatinous softness it was almost heaven.  

That I tried to burn with Balong on a Sunday morning that unfortunately concluded with a ton of lechon, goat caldereta, duck tinungkoy, chicken tinola, squid adobo, milkfish relleno, beer sub-zero, and that small plate of pansit guisado which every true blue pinoy must serve on their birthdays. 

Monday, March 20, 2017


It took sometime to get back to the noodles
as it took a while for the waiter to take our orders
in balmy Ma Mon Luk
where mami is king and siopao is a must

That was on Tuesday
after hitting the trail on a work-at-home Monday
then a futile search for the Infinite Space on Wednesday
and an accidental purple rice field on Friday

And so the Amaranth bade adieu
through a lunch of grilled liempo and menudo
while the Scots said hello
over a fellowship of lechon and goat adobo

Sunday which is supposed to be a bike day
turned out to be a Webinar Day
so I turned down a dinner of coagulating noodles
after the last plane to Bangkok again took off

Monday, March 13, 2017

GOODBYE (The Bangkok Edition)

There's a thousand ways to say good bye, and how it is done and said is how we will be remembered.

I want happy goodbyes, no tears nor rancour, only fond memories that will build our monument of friendship and remembrances, a moment that certainly deserves a freshly cooked plate of pad thai, because Cherian was cheery despite being the harbinger of a sad news, and Dieneke cool and hip notwithstanding her not so pleasant task of closing down a Regional Center.     

At least I've got to commemorate the International Women's Day at the Q House and have my bowl of "Five Pork Flavors" along Convent Road before everything that happened there is memorialized, a full day before invading the Patpong Night Market in search of a souvenir ceramic plate. 

I came to Bangkok for a "Closure Party" which is actually intriguing because it connotes celebrating [the party] a demise [the closure] but it actually makes sense as it progressed into toasting the legacy of the last six years and handing over its aftermath in the best faith to those who will steer "One Asia" into the future.

And that I hail with a steamed ruby fish and two big bottles of the The Original Thai Beer.    

It's been mostly happy faces at Mama Dolores and I am envious.

I have experienced the same closure where my supposedly secure tenure was vaporized by a change process, and suffered the humiliation of my application to a newly created post not even being shortlisted. 

There was a lot of anger in that one, and people felt they were unwanted and being thrown out fast without the benefit of an organized turnover. 

There was not even a proper good bye.

At least we [the EJ Campaigners] have our own "Closure Party" and the memory of that plus having a selfie with Bert who led us in my first COP battle in Cancun deserved the dinner and beer I consumed in Bangkok, which on the other hand also certainly deserve two days of biking to burn it out.  

On that note, may I quote Trey Parker when he said "Saying good bye doesn't mean anything. It's the time that we spent together that matters, not how we left it".  

Monday, March 06, 2017


It is becoming routine: a dull week in between hell weeks. 

And this is a dull week that started with a business-as-usual Monday, Egad in Manila conversing to Bobbie in Yangon through a Spider via Skype as the sole entertainment.   

That's how dull as it gets until night fell in Quezon City when the change pushers came out of their holes to a plot session at the Baluarte JTG in honor of one former police character [he spent jail time], revolutionary songs and clenched fists punctuating speech after speech, giving away their uncured addiction to a way of life the refuses to fade away.

They were A1 intelligence targets before, they are former high government officials now.  

So were those who continue to get a high on the "Four-fold Approach" and "Triadic Paradigm", except for one whose ageing heart sputtered for a while, alive but rattled, the second from our ranks to give in to the physical effects of wear-and-tear. 

The week turned out not so dull after all: crispy pata at Livestock, prawns and mantis shrimps at the Penthouse, cold soba and buffet served ala carte at Domo, and good old home cooking in La Paz. 

That could have easily succumbed to three morning sessions of my acute addiction to biking but a bad shoulder got in the way.

But still, Sunday is not a day if we don't hit the trails, hangover not withstanding...