Naaalala ko noong in-interbyu kita.
Nagkamay tayo. Nakahawak ako ng kamay ng rebelde, 'ka ko noon sa sarili ko.
Minasdan ko ang mga mata mo.
Mga mata ba ito ng isang taong pumatay ng daan-daang tao?
Nagsimula tayong mag-usap,
at nagulat ako sa pagkalumanay ng boses mo.
Tinig ba ito ng isang kinatatakutang rebelde?, 'ka ko sa sarili ko.
Pinag-usapan mo ang buhay mo noon, sa bundok.
Pinag-usapan mo ang buhay mo ngayon, sa TESDA.
Pinag-usapan mo ang mga mahihirap
Na mahal na mahal mo.
"Komunista ka ba?" tanong ko.
"Komunista?" sagot mo, sabay iling. "Maraming nagsasabing komunista sila."
Nag-isip ka nang sandali.
"Pero mahirap maging komunista."
"Maraming nagsasabing komunista sila.
Pero mahirap maging tunay na komunista."
Kanina, narinig ko na lang sa TV:
Pinatay ka raw sa Quezon City.
Sampung bala raw
ang walang-habag na tumadtad sa iyo.
I received a wedding invitation yesterday from two college friends of mine, the beginning of whose romance I and our other friends witnessed--what?--six, seven years ago?. Their love story is one for the books: long, uncertain months of him wooing her; the trials of dealing with disapproving parents; the difficulty of a long-distance relationship ... and how, in the end, love conquers all. Sigh. I'm really, really, really happy for them!!
This one's Urbana and Felisa, Jose Javier Reyes style.
HI BIG SIS:
GUESS WHT? I JST GOT A NEW CLPHN & LIKE MY FRNDS I REALZD I CANT LIV WDOUT TXTING. DIS IS D WAY WE TOK HIR. ITS CALD HI TEK PERO U WIL NOT UNDRSTND DAT TIL U GET HIR 2 MNLA.
JUST BROKE UP WID MY BF SAM. PERO OKS LANG KSI B4 WE SPLIT ON NA KMI NI LUIGIBOY. B4 SAM NAMN, MEDYO BADTRIP C TONY DAHIL NABUST ANG GAGO KAYA BUTI NA LANG BINREAK KO NA CYA EVEN IF HE PROMISD TO KILL ALL MY RELATIVES PAG INIWAN KO HIM. KAYA MAS OK C LUIGIBOY & U WIL NOT EVEN SUSPEK DAT HE JUST CAME OUT OF JAIL F4 ILLEGAL PSSESSION OF FIREARMS. MDYO SABOG LANG CYA AT TIMES--AT ME PAGKA-WAR FREAK DAHIL 4 NA PINATAY...PERO MORE TIMES HES OK LANG. BESIDES, ANAK CYA GENERAL, ANO? KAYA MDYO TKOT LANG D PPL SA KANYA KSI NGA SKINHEAD AT MRON RIN CYANG TATTOOO NG SNAKE SA NEK PERO BTR NAMAN THAN SAM NA KULAY PINK ANG BUHOK TAPOS FLOP PA YUNG ROCK BAND NYA, NO? OR C TONY NA PUMAPATOL BADING KSI ARTIST DAW. YAH, RITE!
GOT NEWS: JUANING GETTING MARRIED DAW 2 LURING. PIKOT BA? JUST SEND HIM CONGRATS AND TELL HIM, "MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" BAGAY SILA. AT LEAST, JUANING WIL NOW STOP SNDING CORNY LETTERS, NO?
I don't know whether there's any truth to this; that the guy writes for a magazine called High Times doesn't cast an optimistic light on the quality of scholarship that went into his research. (Nor does the complete lack of logic in his final quote.) Nevertheless, if you're looking for a ... uh ... controversial read, peruse at your own risk ....
Haven't been able to blog much lately. Two reasons: work and play. Work, because classes reconvened last week and I've been busy with that; play, because of my new PC. I've installed five new games over the last two weeks (hehe!), and M got a LAN card so he can bring his PC to my house and we can play network games. :P
When I read this article from USA Today, I wanted to send it to everyone I knew. This just about describes the life that half my friends are living right now:
White-collar sweatshops batter young workers By Laura Vanderkam
Nancy Collins remembers when she hit rock bottom. She was in Australia for her investment-banking job at JP Morgan, trying to seal deals on two projects at once.
She thought she could handle the stress. After all, co-workers had dubbed her previous boss the "Prince of Darkness" for making people work until 3 a.m., and she knew she was good at what she did. But then, one night after weeks of 18-hour days and constant travel, she staggered home at 7 a.m. Not to sleep. To shower. As she stood in the water, she started crying. At age 25, she was having a midlife crisis. "I started thinking, there's got to be more to life than this," she says.
JP Morgan isn't the only firm driving its young employees insane. Salomon Smith Barney. Goldman Sachs. High-end consulting firms such as McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group and many tech companies do the same. All hire the brightest Ivy League grads and make them a deal: We will pay you $60,000 or more a year and give you glimpses of corporate luxury, from ritzy hotels to jaunts on the jet. In exchange, you must work 70, 80, 100 hours a week through the best years of your life.
Forget accounting, these white-collar sweatshops are corporate America's most successful scam. Give a kid a signing bonus and a $500 bottle of champagne, and he doesn't notice that he's working for $12 an hour. For years, exclusive firms have kept labor costs low by squeezing blood out of their hires. It's not exploitation. These kids are savvy enough to know what they're getting into. But they're also smart enough to wonder whether the lifestyle's worth the cost. As massive layoffs force the question, corporate bean counters should shiver at what the answer could do to their bottom line.
Since moving to New York a few months ago, I've marveled at Wall Street's and consulting companies' work-til-you-drop attitude. A friend still in a meeting at 10:30 p.m. asks whether we can reschedule drinks. A party moves from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on a Friday to accommodate late workers.
People complain. Oh, they complain. You worked 80 hours this week? Well, I worked 90. You slept four hours? I slept at the office and showered there, too! The dirty secret is, many sweatshoppers actually like it. This generation vied for status in college by comparing workloads. Many of them then dove like lemmings off the cliff into corporate America. A high-wattage job fills an almost religious need to be part of something bigger than yourself, and 16-hour days mean you don't have to deal with the messiness of life.
So people bought in throughout the boom. They skipped love affairs to save time and caught cabs back from the beach on Saturdays because the client needed that report. Ryan Sawchuk, whose co-workers at Amazon.com had to remind each other to eat, watched people bring sleeping bags to the office. He worked 12-hour shifts in the warehouse during the holidays and then did his real job, too. It got to the point where, according to Sawchuk, CEO Jeff Bezos told the Amazonians that since the company was no longer a start-up, they didn't have to work 90-hour weeks. Seventy-hour weeks were perfectly acceptable. And 65, once in a while, were OK.
I can't comprehend working anywhere for 65 hours a week. It's doable, I suppose, if you know you'll climb the corporate ladder to three-martini lunches soon. You sacrifice your 20s to the company, believing it will make you rich and powerful later.
Or not. For thousands of white-collar sweatshop workers, these next few weeks will be their last. Last week, the financial media reported that Morgan Stanley would lay off 2,200 employees worldwide. Lehman Brothers is trimming 500 jobs. McKinsey recently decided not to keep any of its second-year analysts. These layoffs continue the past year's trend. Russell Eckenrod, 23, recounts working 80 hours a week for a consulting company during Christmas last year, only to be laid off three weeks later.
Talk about a reality check. Turns out the folks who took you on the corporate jet will shove you out on the street faster than you can recount missed autumn afternoons. I'll never cheer a layoff. But every cloud has a silver lining, and the job-shedding at sweatshop firms is forcing brilliant young people with a world of options to consider that maybe they'd be happier somewhere else.
Nancy Collins ultimately started her own company, Global Adrenaline, which leads adventure tours to Africa and the Arctic. She values her JP Morgan skills, but "I'm much happier," she says. When she works Saturdays now, the decision is all her own.
Sawchuk left the four-cups-of-Starbucks-a-day Amazon lifestyle for other pursuits. More will follow as people realize comparable money can be made elsewhere and that when you are young, time is the most valuable asset you have. Why sell it all for $12 an hour?
This complicates the sweatshop bargain. If people don't lust after glamour, these firms lose their lure. They can find less-savvy employees, but then they'll lose the brainpower that attracts clients in the first place. Or, the firms can accept shorter workweeks and pay for overtime. It won't be easy: On Wall Street, at least, worker compensation is 50% of expenses. Try throwing that into a third-quarter statement.
But so it goes. A deal offered doesn't have to be taken when you realize the emperor has no clothes. I remember a summer 2000 recruiting event for investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, for instance, on a Hudson River cruise boat. We rising college seniors flocked to the open bar as the recruiters showed us the Manhattan skyline and the cruising DLJ lifestyle. Pursue that deal with us, the message went, and all this will be yours.
I thought of that cruise the other day as I took the No. 6 train to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a beautiful fall morning, the kind too beautiful to miss. I walked toward the middle of the steel trusses and stared back at Wall Street's skyscrapers, imagining people laboring inside. It was the same view as from DLJ's boat.
Hooray, it's a new year! There are a million things about 2002 to be thankful for. It was a fantastic year personally for me (despite the uncertainty of the world). I'm especially thankful for all the people who touched my life in special ways this year--my labs, my family, my friends ....
My resolution for 2003? To live on half of what I earn. Of course, I'll only start counting after I finish paying for my major purchase of the year ... a new CPU!!! Yes, I have finally replaced my old Pentium 2. Happiness!!! :) (Guess what I've been doing the past few days ...?)