How to avoid a panic attack when the electric bill arrives

meralco bill

According to two allies of the President, it’s time for him to kick ERC Chair Zenaida Ducut out of office for approving the unprecedented rate increase of Meralco without even looking into whether this was “warranted.”

I’ve already prepared for the “worst” because at home I’m the one who takes care of our utility bills. There are lots of numbers in the billing statement, and my brain gets a bit choked at the sight of them (here’s why), so I devised a way for me to avoid getting some “panic attack” when the electric bill arrives:

I look at the bar graph first.

I jump in excitement when I see the bar drop from last month’s consumption. But when I see the bar jump in excitement, I pray solemnly that the difference from last month’s bill is not that heart-breaking—no, pocket-breaking! 🙂


Reading From Cover To Cover

Papa’s favorite newspaper is The Daily Tribune, a very “thin” newspaper. His favorite columnist is, of course, its editor-in-chief and publisher, Ninez Cacho-Olivares. But today, after going to the market with Mama, he brought home a copy of The Philippine Daily Inquirer, a very “thick” newspaper.

Like most broadsheets, the Inquirer has plenty of pages. I usually read only a few news items, commentaries, and articles. But to make me feel the money was well spent, my eyes scan the whole pile of papers, going through all those bold letters (especially those of the headlines) and creatively designed fonts and advertisements (I love reading ads). Sometimes, of course, I skip the first or last phrases in the title, even though I’ve got four long-ranged eyes. This is how I economically read newspapers from cover to cover.

Today’s paper is particularly interesting.

Mass for Mama Mary
Vying for viewers “extreme” attention
Daniel Radcliffe evolves…

Iran’s president offers to broker…
Obama open to Iran meeting
13 injured…
Brain-eating amoeba
Condoms for arthritis
The Volvo Advantage
PH seeks more tourists… Continue reading

In Greed We Trust

In politics there is nothing new under the sun. In Greed We Trust, and we are too schemingly intelligent to trust any other. It is rather agreed upon, albeit unconsciously (but more so, quietly), that it is The System; and any running system, no matter how ill-functioning (esp. in the moral sense), is simply dismissed as It has always been that way. Now we have bred a culture of passivity.

Greed takes various forms and shapes and sizes, and it is quite blasphemous, politically—and to a great extent, despicably horrifying—to mention what transpires under the table. It is as horrifying as discovering what transpires in your own bedroom, if you’ve been “happily” married, while you’re away to provide your family the comforts of life and your spouse is having an illegal transaction with your neighbor—not under the table but under the bed, figuratively. And it is as economically blasphemous when facts point to you as being the one who solely purchased—and not without much financial effort—the elegant queen-sized bed, literally. Continue reading

An Honest Trade

A young man carrying a sack on his back. (Manila, 2009)

A young man carrying a sack on his back. (Manila, 2009)

There is no lowly work for every honest man

who will brave the winds and rain and floods
and the scorching heat of the sun

and gladly toil for an honest trade
his calloused hands could find.