Don’t be alone with a stranger

If there’s one thing I learned from my mom, is to be wary of being alone with the opposite sex.
I always used to wonder why I was the only girl who had a yaya waiting in the car when I was 22, as I partied in Subway disco or Penguin Café, back in the day.
It was much later when I found out one of my tita’s daughters was gang-raped, and a distant cousin of mine was murdered by her yaya’s boyfriend.
My mom was protecting me.

This being wary of the opposite sex is something I’ve carried on to this day, even as a married mom and homemaker.
I’m never alone when expecting the cable guy or aircon cleaner.
Whenever there are men working around the house, I make sure the maids are nearby, watching.
I remember one time when I was living alone in New York, my mouse died. As in my Apple mouse.
An Apple guy came over to replace it—for free. Not being a morning person, I looked like a total hag in my pajamas, glasses, and curly hair.
I may have brushed my teeth but hadn’t showered. I looked like the anti-rape victim.
But trust me, girls, guard yourself and don’t be alone with a stranger.

A Twitter follower of mine emailed me about his friend who was recently attacked by a Sky Cable employee who is pictured below:

Rommel Mendoza is wanted for attempted rape and homicide

Dear Chuvaness,

Thank you for replying to my tweet.
The incident happened the other night (March 13, 2013), around 8 PM at my co-worker’s apartment in Alabang, Muntinlupa.
Cable reception was bad so she called up Sky Cable to have it fixed.
The victim was alone when the cable guy arrived. He was the same cable guy who installed her cable system a month ago so she trusted him.
Things happened fast. After opening the door and letting him in, the victim directed him to her TV set.
Within seconds, the cable guy was grabbing her from the back. She felt a knife pointed at her so she didn’t move or make a noise.
She was brought to her room, her hands tied when they reached her bed. She struggled hard when she sensed rape. It was during this time that the stabbing happened. A small steel/glass table was thrown at her and hit her head. The cable guy used broken pieces of glass to further stab her. Feeling so much exhaustion she decided to play dead.
The stabbing stopped.
After the cable guy left, she took the phone that she hid under her bed and called for help.
She was brought to Asian Hospital that night. Alabang Police sent SOCO to the crime scene.

The next day, our connections in the PNP started doing their investigation. Initially, the cable guy was identified as a sub-contractual employee. But later that evening, we were given new leads that the cable guy was actually an employee of Sky Cable and not from a sub-contractor.
I posted this on Facebook and Twitter. One of the people handing the PR of Sky Cable contacted me on Facebook, requesting me to take down my entry as it’s damaging to the company’s reputation. He even told me there was no report of any incident in the cable company’s head office. It surprised me because the head of security of Sky Cable is now communicating with our boss (the victim and I work in the same company).

As of the moment, the cable guy is still at large.
The cable guy was identified as Rommel Mendoza, whose photo was supplied by his co-worker to the security department of Sky Cable.
Mendoza was positively identified by the victim yesterday morning when representatives of Sky Cable showed her the photo.
As of now, the victim is still in the hospital to undergo a series of operations for multiple stab wounds to her face down to her legs. Her lungs were deeply punctured.

Thank you.
Erik Catabas

UPDATE: ‘Cable guy’ jailed for stabbing, robbing client

Donate old furniture, get a 25% discount from Gus Modern PH

I’m a believer of updating furniture when you have to.
What you thought was cool ten years ago may not look so great today.
Or maybe you have kids who have outgrown their beds, toys, and furniture.
The playroom they used to love is no longer being used and you dream of converting it into a guest room, home office, family room, or all of the above.
But what to do with the old furniture? You might want to donate them to a good cause.

From now until April 15, 2013, Gus* Modern Philippines invites you to trade in your used furniture and get a 25% discount on any Gus* furniture purchase listed in the promo. These include selected sofas, tables, chairs, beds and storage cabinets
All trade-in items will be donated to Habitat for Humanity Philippines.

Gus furniture

Terms and Conditions

1. Items not qualified for purchase are timber tables, acrylic-I beam, cubes, lightings, pillows, ottomans, magazine racks.
2. The trade-in discount will be applied to purchases made during the promo period. Purchases made before or after the promo period are not eligible for a discount.
3. Indent orders made during the promo period are included in the promo.
4. A maximum of one trade-in item is allowed for every item purchased.
5. At the end of the promo period, Gus* will forward the donated items to Habitat for Humanity Philippines.
6. Furniture pieces for trade-in must still be usable and intact or Gus* has the right to reject them.
7. This promo shall not be used in conjunction with other promos or special discounts.
8. Trade-in items and can be picked-up by Gus* free of charge within Metro Manila. Outside of Metro Manila will be charged an appropriate fee.
9. Clients also have the option to bring their trade-in furniture to Gus* Metro Manila warehouse at #12 Tagdalit Street, Manresa, Quezon City.
10. This promo available in Gus* Studio Manila at G/F The Residences at Greenbelt, Ayala Center, Makati and Gus*@Design Pod, 59 Connecticut St., Greenhills, San Juan.

For inquiries, call (02) 621-8171 • 940-9580 • 416-0948 or email

We have a Pope

Blame it on Catholic school upbringing.
Since the 3rd grade, I got used to hearing Catholic school urban legends such as the white lady that walked in the Science Lab, because the school was built on top of a graveyard, and that the end of the world was looming due to the fact that the someone had predicted the last pope.
This was back in 1975, mind you. My classmate said there was a wall in the Vatican that had portraits of the Popes, and when that was filled up, it would trigger the end of the world.
Yesterday while watching CNN, I saw a picture of that legendary wall of portraits my classmate was talking about. So it was true! And it appeared to show two slots left!!

2013-03-13 21.34.45

Does this mean, the new Pope is good and the next one will be the anti-pope that will usher in the end times?
Ever since Pope John Paul II died, it hurt so much. It felt like nobody could ever fill his shoes.
Since Pope Benedict XVIth stepped down last month, I’ve been scared of who will be the next Pope, so I’ve been glued to CNN, watching and waiting.

Black smoke
Black smoke means no Pope

Seagull means cuteness

Black smoke
Black smoke means no Pope

Yesterday I pretty much monitored the news over CNN or Twitter since I was in and out of the house the whole day. Got home at 8:30 PM and was so stressed I wanted to take a sleeping pill to get through the night.
Good thing I didn’t. I kept tossing and turning. Finally around 3 AM, I checked my phone and found a message from my friend Dolan: “WHITE SMOKE!”
I turned on the TV in the dark, shaking. I was really scared to see the new Pope. I was scared to see a doomsday countenance.

I woke up Jeroen. “There’s a new Pope!” I said.
Jeroen looked up from his sleep mask. “What nationality?” he asked.
“South American,” I mumbled.
He had the face of an angel, like a kind grandfather.

2013-03-14 04.41.06

Jeroen went back to sleep.
And I was relieved, happy. On cloud nine. I prayed as he led the Our Father and Hail Mary in Italian.

2013-03-14 04.41.03

They called him “an inspired choice.”
Just like Pope John Paul II, he wasn’t even among the Top 10 contenders.
His marked trait is humility and a deep concern for the poor. He gave up a car and chauffeur to commute, and he cooked his own meals.


I loved him on sight. And then I saw some Twitter hate and had to look away. I went to sleep.
The Pope is not a politician. He is not there to make promises, be popular, and please everyone. His job is to continue the teachings of the Church and be true to it, not deviate. So if you don’t like him, please, walang basagan ng trip.
Give him a chance. Pray for him if you do. Pray for us.

What if you saw your ex?

More than two decades ago, someone broke my heart in the worst possible way.
The night we said goodbye, before he left for Paris, I had no idea I wouldn’t see him again for the next 20 years.
I spent the next two years crying. It’s a miracle I survived it.


So ugh, I had to bump into him in Hong Kong two years ago. It was Cedric’s fault. Cedric had seen him in the hotel lobby while I was waiting for the airport bus to arrive. When Cedric told me the ex was there, I told Cedric specifically not to speak to him.
But Cedric being Cedric couldn’t help but say hello. The next thing I knew, the boy who pulverized my heart, tore it to pieces and stepped on it, was walking towards me and saying hello.

I was not prepared for this. I gave him the most evil eye and told him simply to f*ck off. (Sorry, I’m not sorry.)
But what I wanted to say was, “No. You don’t get to smile and say hello and be my friend as if nothing happened.”
After I recovered, I saw him maybe three times in various malls since he moved back to Manila. And always, I ran towards the opposite direction. Sorry, I can’t be friends with exes. I’m not sorry.

It’s a different story when mature artists are involved.
Performance artists Marina Abramovic and Ulay met in 1976 and began an intense love story that resulted in a decade of influential collaborative works.
In 1988, when they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to break up at the Great Wall of China, where both artists walked for three months from opposite ends, met in the middle for one last hug and handshake, and said goodbye.

Marina and Ulay in 1980
Marina and Ulay in 1980

From March 14 to May 31, 2010, the Museum of Modern Art mounted a major retrospective and performance recreation of Abramović’s work. During its run, Abramović performed The Artist is Present—a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, where she sat immobile during museum hours, without rest, in the museum’s atrium.
Visitors were encouraged to sit silently across from the artist and become participants in the artwork.
At one point, Ulay came to sit in front of her.
Watch what happens.


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