Tuesday, November 30, 2010


A Ghost Named Grudge

“A grudge is like drinking bitter poison, then expecting somebody else to die.”

The Knight rode his horse alone. The narrow path to the castle was flanked by fallen knights that went before him to slay the Ghost that has been haunting the kingdom every night for countless years now.

He went past the courtyard and entered the throne room. Then…

Dust from the ground swirled before him to form a hazy, hooded figure of the Ghost he came to kill—like all the other knights before him who failed.

He awkwardly slid down his horse, unaccustomed to the heavy shield and broadsword he had to carry to battle.

The ghost laughed at the amateur slayer sent before him by a desperate Queen who has ran out of real warriors.

“I will be merciful. I will be swift.” He said.

But the knight did not seem to hear the insult hurled at him by his adversary, his gaze was fixed beyond the ghost, beyond the throne. He was reading something written on the castle wall.

The Ghost was puzzled by the Knight who didn’t seem to care that he was about to die.

The knight tore his gaze off the wall and stared at the pair of vacant globs of darkness where the eyes of the ghost should be and finally spoke “You are most surely right, but it will be I who will be Merciful and Swift!”

It was the first time the Ghost had been insulted. The impertinence of the unskilled knight rankled. The ghost briefly recited an ancient curse then mindlessly lunged at him with the broadsword that he pulled out of thin air, aiming for his heart. The knight dropped his own broadsword. Instead of parrying the blow, he pulled opened the chink in his breast plate and welcomed the sword into his heart, from pointed tip to hilt.

Time stopped.

The sword that pierced the knight’s heart magically turned into ash and was blown harmlessly away by the gentle wind from the castle’s windows. The knight stood unhurt.

A guttural cry that seemed to rise from the bowels of hell filled the hall. The Ghost was holding his bony hands where his heart should be on his chest. He had neither eyes nor mouth but the knight knew he was in pain. The wound that should have been his was slowly, painfully bleeding the ghost to death.

“I used to be a court Physician before I was forced into knighthood by the Queen Guenevere, after you killed the last of her knights, Sir Gawain” said the knight.

“I have been a physician to countless other knights in battles and have seen those same wounds before. On my way to your castle I couldn’t fail to mark that each knight was killed by the same type of weapon they held in their hands when they dueled with you: I saw Sir Galahad with an arrow piercing his heart from a crossbow like his own; Sir Lancelot’s face torn in half by a mace, his weapon of choice; And I saw the remains of Old King Arthur cut in half by a powerful sword only Excalibur could wreak”

He turned his back on his fallen adversary now melting into a writhing pool of scarlet.

"All of them caused their own deaths.”He continued, “You could not be killed because every duel, like the one we had, you put a curse on each knight so that when they pierce your heart or wound you, it will be them who will bear the mortal wounds—NOT YOU.”

“It was a clever curse,” said the ghost with every ounce of dignity he could muster.

“Perhaps, but your name gave you away and with it your chance of winning against me.” Then the knight pointed to the name emblazoned on the coat of arms on the wall above the throne.

“Your name is ‘GRUDGE.’”

As he climbed up the saddle of his Horse he continued “When I read your name it dawned on me how you can be beaten. I remember being told by my teachers in the art of healing that a ‘grudge’ is like drinking a poisoned chalice, and then expecting your enemy to die. So I let you strike the blow, knowing that if you wound me, it would be you who would suffer death.”

And with those final words, the nameless Paladin Physician rode away—the slayer of the Ghost named “Grudge.”

Note: Thanks for reading but I don’t think I can consider this an original work since the main concept (being killed by your own weapon used to strike a passive enemy) was adapted from a Book I’ve read and lost years ago. I have to find it again though and give it proper citation.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Every single time I tell anybody about what happened during my OWN STAG PARTY, nobody
believes me? I think it’s because I do not make this clarification: HINDI AKO

(Kaya kinabukasan kumalat sa ospital ang chismis na... bading daw ako! MOOOHAHAHAHA!)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Miriam Clinic

Dear Sage, I was asked by Tita Ludette to fetch the three of you (Kaye and Janine) at Miriam. I was excited to see you because I downloaded the last episode of Glee into your MP4 player and a few songs we both like.

But after paging you about 5 times at the designated area where you usually get fetched by tita Ludette, I got worried. Then Janine came over to tell me that you were in the Clinic. After giving my ID to the guard I was let into your school grounds. I saw you resting in the clinic bed.

You told me that you were complaining of abdominal pain and headache with nausea. When I touched your skin it was cold and clammy. The school nurse came over and introduced herself. She said we knew each other before when she rotated at the same hospital I was training in.

You were obviously stable enough to be brought home so I told Monette, the Nurse, to inform the School Physician that you will be coming with me.

In retrospect, what caused your Acute episode of gastroenteritis was probably the meal you ate the previous night. But once we were home your apetite has improved.

You watched history channel while lying in bed. The channel was featuring a story on the shroud of turin and gave high tech imagery of what the face of the man on the shroud really looked like if it were shown in an episode of HOUSE, MD. That particular story assumed without the benefit of doubt that the Face on the cloth belonged to our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Problem is, a couple of nights before that, I already watched a more convincing episode about the same shroud. The story explained how the image was printed on the shroud without the need for divine intervention. Hence if we compare the two conflicting stories (the first assumes that the shroud was the real burial cloth of Jesus; the second, it was a magnificent work of science,) if we use Occam's razor, the episode that says it was made by a genius like Leonardo da Vinci wins hands down.

But that afternoon, I turned off the TV and prayed to the image I have of the Lord which was not necessarily the same as the one in the shroud. I asked him to heal you completely.

And he did-- with or without the Shroud of Turin.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tristan: Acting like he took a bullet fired from my index finger

July 17, 2010 Sage's First Live Concert

Dear Sage, this is your first live concert.

Grade 5 Honor's Assembly

Dear Sage, The reason why you are a consistent Honor's student since the 1st grade is because of your Lola Letty. She tirelessly teaches you every day including weekends. In fact, her schedule is quite full these days because aside from you she teaches Sabine and Sadie too. She's a great Lola and Teacher.

You received citations for your academic achievement (your average is above 90) AND for being an exceptional member of the Glee Club.

We are so Proud of YOU!

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Last AirBender

  Waiting for the 10PM screening of AirBender at MOA.
Dinner at Yellow Cab MOA before the 10PM movie.
The Coolest AirBender

Dear Kids, you finally got to watch the last AirBender on the bigscreen  last saturday 24 July, at MOA.

The very next day you guys watched ECLIPSE at home. You guys think that Wolvy guy was cool. Even though I explained to you that he has a terrible temper just like me, you insist that the similarity between him and moi ends there (He does have 6 pack abs, that steroid mutant)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Gutsy Kid. Kaya nyo 'to?

Dear Sadie, YOU were the one who insisted that the camera should roll when we give you the anti h1n1 vaccine. You eagerly awaited the shot, cried very briefly but smiled immediately after your Mom finished administering the vaccine.

Ate Sage took this video with the cellphone.

We are so proud of you.

June 30, 2010 Noon. While Watching Benigno Aquino III's Speech

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Independence Day 2010 is also the 45th Wedding Anniversary of Ninong Tirso and Ninang Sonia Calaranan. Renewal of their wedding vow was held at the Stonecrest Village's, Holy Family Chapel, San Pedro, Laguna. Reception was at the clubhouse. Entertainment was by the newly formed Band, C4.

C4 is composed of the Grand Children and Grand Niece of the Calaranan couple ("Calaranan 4" got it?)

Lead guitar: Kaye Calaranan Bangsil. Incoming 4th Grader. She shreds that guitar like a pro. Future Santana.

Vocalists: Sage Decena Galvez. Incoming 5th Grader (singer on the left side of the screen). My daughter.  And Janine Calaranan Idquival. Incoming 6th Grader. (Drummer's Sister.)

Drums: Darren Calaranan Idquival. A Surfer dude. His sister's classmates once told her "Your Brother is HOT."

This is their first live gig. They sang Taylor Swift's "Fearless"

BTW, Just ignore the tone deaf idiot singing the chorus in the background... yes. that was me.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sabine learns to bike

Boyfriend ng Ninang ni Tristan

Hoy Lalake! Tutuliin ka namin ng tinidor ng Tatay ko pag pinaiyak mo Ninang Dhes ko. Maliwanag?-- Tristan

Sunday, June 06, 2010

June 6, 1989... Requiescat In Pace

History calls June 6 "D-Day."

To my wife, Ayheen, and my Mother-in-law, Letty Decena, D-Day 1989 was the day they lost a sister and a daughter, respectively.

My deceased Father-in-law, Lony Decena, was a Filipino Ex-pat, an OFW working in the US. He passed away 21 years ago. He had to leave the comfort of TK, his family and friends to seek fortune in a foreign land to be able to support his youngest daughter's medical treatment. He was a good man. Exactly 40 days after his passing, on D-Day 1989, Ayheen's only sister, Adeline ("Adhey" to her friends) succumbed to Diabetes Type 1. Those were the saddest days of my wife's life.

I wasn't there. I was not yet a part of their life.

To the good hearted people of TagKawayan, thank you for helping Ayheen and Mommy survive, move on, and triumph over this darkest of days.

Malaki utang na loob ko sa inyo.

Friday, June 04, 2010


Dear Sage, while your sisters and bro slept last night, your Mom and I watched Prince of Persia with you in her netbook while we're squeezed altogether in the small sofa in our bedroom. You both enjoyed the movie. As for me, except for the Parkour scenes, I slept most of the time.

Yesterday you also enjoyed a game of street badminton with your Mom. Sabine still has to work on her serve but she will get the hang of it one of these days.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Testosterone: That explains paucity of hair.

Tristan: Dad, why do I have thin hair?

Dad: Whad you mean thin? it's getting thicker as we speak. So stop whining man.

Tristan: Oh Yeah... while I'm growing some, you're losing yours.

Dad: that's the "circle of life," Dude.

Tristan: Oh yeah. Hey, is it as big as that monkish hairless circle growing on your head?

Dad: Smartass...
Atleast when I finally lose them all, I'd finally look like Derek Ramsey... Ok I'm kidding... kahit si Chris Daughtry na lang.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

FB post of my kid brother, Noel. WE are so PROUD OF YOU!!!

Election 2010 - 1st Automated Election in the Philippines

To many, the May 10 election came as a shock. There were a lot of allegations that it would be rigged and the presidential candidates who asked for manual parallel count would be affected. But when the first transmission was received at 8:36PM, which took less than 10 minutes to import and parse, those who saw the first partial unofficial results were relieved to find out that front-runners came from different parties. We aired the first set of data around 9:15PM.

The objective of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas is to deliver timely information to the public and to act as watchdog. The KBP Board of Directors met with Comelec to coordinate and ask for information on how the election would be conducted. The initial talks resulted with KBP to be given PDF files showing election returns which it would collate to tabulate. In a subsequent meeting with the IT heads of different KBP member networks, they requested for a different type of file. After a few days, we were told that apparently, HTML will be the type of file that would be given... and then PDF again.

Because the workstations connected to Smartmatic's server at Pope Pius were only 5 (these were used by KBP-2, PPCRV-2, Others, including non-KBP member networks and different parties), and downloading all 76,475 ER's would take around 2 months, the KBP Board headed by Chairman Ruperto Nicdao, Jr. and President Herman Basbano decided to explore the possibility of partnering with PPCRV.

We met with Ms. Anna Singson of PPCRV at KBP office on the day The Inquirer said that KBP and PPCRV would meet to discuss about the election. Anna said that for them, it would take 1 month to finish tabulating the PDF's but if PPCRV and KBP would help eachother, we can bring it down to 10-14 days. And if the non-KBP member networks would join us (GMA and NBN), their extra workstation would expedite the process. We will just divide the workstations into different regions so we won't make waste time downloading duplicate PDF's.

KBP knew that in the interest of the people, its members had to set aside differences and unite for this single purpose. And with PPCRV, the puzzle would be complete.

That's how I witnessed the start of the partnership between KBP and PPCRV.

Just when the IT people were preparing for Plan C wherein we would download PDF's, we were told by KBP's Executive Director Mr. Hulog that our request was granted by Comelec. However, the company that was supposed to do the tabulation program for KBP already backed out.

Mr. Hulog then approached me after the meeting and asked if we could do something for the members. Though Vanguard Radio Network's initial plan was to be one of the tabulators just like ABS-CBN and MBC and air the results for the benefit of our own listeners/viewers, I agreed to help and do the program under KBP. Thus, the program or software was called 2010 National Election Results for KBP Members. Its creation started 2 weeks before the election.

I remember my friend from MBC, Mr. Jomai Parroco, coming up to me during the culmination of the KBP anniversary in April, asking me how the program was doing. I said it was making progress. He said, "Surely, you have a team that helps you do it". Reluctantly, I said, yes, because I saw the different IT teams and I didn't want the members to fear that the program was being done by one person only. Well, I also thought that technically, I had a team. Whenever there was something that needed an answer, my "Google" team never failed me. So Jomai, I'm sorry, but I really intended to tell you this... after the election. ;) However, your IT person, Tyrone, was seated beside me so I know that while the computer I used shared the information with the outside world and his workstation tabulated independently, the results were the same. That is the beauty of being under one organization. We tabulated separately using different proprietary scripts, but were able to counter check our data.

All 122 KBP member networks representing more than 600 stations nationwide were given user/password combinations so they may give the information to their listeners/viewers as the KBP Unofficial Partial Count or compare it with their results. Unlike the proposed program by the other company, the one shared with KBP can drill down from national, to regional, to city/municipal, to barangay, and up to clustered precinct levels. The data was only available to members so that people would tune in to their stations. The power of radio was shown as its relevance was acknowledged by the people in the provinces. Because national television cannot tell a person who won as councilor in his area, he would tune in to his favorite radio station and text his "requested" election result.

Last night, I was given a plaque of appreciation by KBP which states "In recognition of his unselfish service that made it possible for KBP member radio and television stations throughout the country to bring to the Filipino people in a timely and relevant manner the results of the historic 2010 automated elections. Given this 19th day of May, 2010 at the Crown Regency Hotel, Makati City Phils, signed Herman Basbano-Pres., and Ruperto Nicdao Jr.-Chairman."

Thanks to the KBP members for believing that we can be united in delivering timely information to the public as one organization.

Thanks to the different IT heads of KBP networks for coming up with great plans that we would use as a team in case we had to do a quick count for 60 days.

Thanks to Raffy Barreiro, owner of RX93.1. While some members were complaining, he gave very encouraging words as we fixed the DSL to give the members access to the server.

Thanks to Ate Nora and the rest of the staff of KBP for making sure that we were taken care of.

Thanks to Exec. Dir. Rey Hulog for suggesting that I do the tabulation program for KBP.

Thanks to Election Committee Chairman Erwin Galang for being able to pull all the necessary resources together, including the partnership with LoadCentral.

Thanks to Jeff, Steve, Jomarc Orpiada and the rest of LoadCentral for sharing their server for KBP's use at Pius Center and for the sleepless nights that they spent to ensure that KBP gives the quickest but accurate count. Jomarc still goes to Pius everyday to send us the latest files.

Thanks to all the representatives of KBP member networks who stayed at Pius. This includes Mar of Bombo. We have shown that regardless of the different competing networks we represent, we can work together.

Thanks to the men and women of Vanguard Radio Network for their cooperation which led to our first networkwide simulcast.

Thanks to Bruce Mones, Sherwin Racelis and Gear Arellano for not hesitating to help when they were most needed. Bruce, you made our vision in 1997 a reality. Sherwin and Gear, we were the ones talking about it during that time. (You too, Diadz Louis.)

Thanks to my family, especially my wife, Jenn, Kitkat, Boing and Neil, for supporting me while I did the program for 2 weeks, day and night.

Thanks to Comelec for allowing us to get the files that enabled us to tabulate quickly.

Thanks to PPCRV's Anna Singson for pushing for the type of file that we needed.

Thanks to the BOD of KBP for making the right decision to partner with PPCRV as non-KBP members benefited from it by receiving the same files we asked for (kaya panalo ang lahat ng Pilipino).

Thanks to the Filipino people, for lining up on May 10, eventhough it was very inconvenient, but still did their duty and hoped that the election would be credible.

Thanks to my dad, Manuel Gregorio Galvez, Jr., for buying me a thick "Mastering PHP 4.1" book worth P1,395 on Jan. 6, 2003 with the following dedication: "To Noel, May this book help quench your thirst for knowledge and understanding in this special field of endeavor...Love, Daddy". After 7 years, you have seen how that single act of generosity towards your son made a BiG difference in the country.

Thanks to Junior Chamber International - Makati or JCI, for always reminding us that "Service to humanity is the best work of life".

And thank God for giving me the privilege to use my passion for the benefit of this nation.

It's great to be a Filipino!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


“There once was a town full of people who grew hysterical because they saw mysterious lights in the sky that they taught were Flying saucers passing overhead. Everybody became paranoid. Everybody suspected everyone as being aliens disguised as humans. Their fear grew when the town was suddenly plunged into total darkness. All houses had power failure, except for a few. Those who lived in them were suspected as part of the alien invasion. Since they could not explain the glitch why their houses had lights and the others didn’t, they were killed by the townspeople. The family who lived in the next house that got back its light were killed by the townspeople too. One by one, as the houses regained power, the people who lived in it got mobbed to death. This went on until all houses lit up, recovering from the brown out.

By then, everyone was dead.

There were no aliens that died that day. And they didn’t even have human collaborators in that town.

The alien invaders were safely orbiting the earth in their spaceship. The mysterious lights the people saw were small, minor lasers targeting the computers of the power plant of the town. The resulting computer glitch was only equally small and resulted in temporary random minor brown outs. But this small computer glitch served its purpose for the aliens: they didn’t have to kill any humans themselves. The stupid humans, with their innate paranoia, ignorance of technology, and murderous distrust of each other are perfectly capable of doing that job themselves.”

I heard this story a long time ago. It’s something I call “Kwentong Barbero.” But in the light of what is happening today I find the story very relevant. I just heard over the radio that Losers in the just concluded elections, the ones I call League Of Losers (LOL), have banded together to question the PCOS machines. They presented a witness. With his disguise he looks like he descended from the Makapilis whose noble lineage can be traced all the way back to the alien invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese during World War II.

They seemed to be determined to move heaven and earth to prove that the election results were faulty, especially in their districts where they lost. They would rather see the national elections nullified or atleast see the country dragged back to the dark ages with interminable manual recounting of the ballots. Like in the story, we stupid humans are perfectly capable of shooting ourselves in the foot while standing on each other’s heads.

What these League Of Losers (LOL) have not realized is that their predictable defiance in accepting defeat has always been part and parcel of the master plan of Invading Aliens who are safely orbiting the earth in the space ship called Malacanang.

She didn’t have to rig the elections in favor of their candidate.

She didn’t have to plot failure of elections.

She didn’t have to lift a finger.

It will be given to her while she Laughs Out Loud (LOL)

All she has to do is sit this one out

and wait…

and wait…

And wait…

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blog ni Sage


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ayheen on Election Day

I wonder what she's thinking...

"Angel!: If there were a place that we didn’t know of

and there, on some unsayable carpet,

lovers displayed what they could never bring to mastery here

the bold exploits of their high-flying hearts,

their towers of pleasure,

their ladders that have long since been standing

where there was no ground,

leaning just on each other, trembling,—

and could master all this,

before the surrounding spectators,

the innumerable soundless dead:

Would these, then, throw down their final,

forever saved-up,

forever hidden,

unknown to us,

eternally valid

coins of happiness

before the,

at last,

genuinely smiling pair on the gratified carpet?"

Monday, May 03, 2010

IRON MAN 2 (MAY 1, 2010)

We watched it on Labor Day. Which is IRONic since May 1 is worker's day while IRON MAN movie is about a billionaire prick who heads the biggest military industrial complex and thinks that Iron Man is a Capitalist's Tool... Sorry guys, that's what I get for talking with Rejectionists and Reaffirmists. Linchak.

I snitched the picture below from Sage's FB account (Sorry, man.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sabine's 1st Bouquet

Dear Sabine, After your ballet recital, you went back to the stage with that bouquet to take a bow. You were hugging the flowers close to you like a babe in swaddling clothes. You looked more perfect with it in your arms. There’s a stuffed toy that comes with it. We just gave it to you when we boarded the car (It’s a cat we named “Snowbelle.”)

The bouquet of colorful flowers of spring is from Holland Tulips. The “tulip” in the wrapper is predominantly… tangerine-- Not exactly the color of integrity these days. So I asked the florist to make sure that it gets tied together by a big yellow ribbon. When we went to TagKawayan (TK) the following day, we brought along your bouquet, Sabine. Your Mom removed the ribbon and tied it to the top of the van.

I swear to God, if she murmurs Noynoy’s name in her sleep I’d hunt him down and break that sonamagun in half with my bare hands.

Letters to my kids about their childhood adventures

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan