Clear as day

I'm disappointed in Noynoy Aquino's final State of the Nation Address.

I'm disappointed not because of what he said. It's not because he said the same things he said before, albeit updated. It's not because of how he, six years in, still follows the same template in his speeches - hint at an evil past, talk about his initial qualms about becoming president, discuss how much better things have become since he took to power. Frankly, when I sat down to listen to the SONA, I expected all of that.

I also expected him to not mention some things. He did not mention the Mamasapano encounter that killed 44 elite policemen, not even while discussing giving better pay to government forces. He did not mention, again, the Freedom of Information bill, still languishing in the legislature after years. (Curiously, he mentions it favorably in the 2016 budget he recently submitted to Congress.) He was vague on his future plans for continuing the economy; despite a quick mention of two laws he recently signed, the Philippine Competition Law and the revisions to the cabotage principle, he focused on social services. It's not a bad thing, I must add, but he's hobbled by the need to appeal to the common Filipino listening in; the end result is the feeling that his accomplishments, however grand they may sound, don't look like much.

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The best version of yourself

The throng was busy dropping their stubs into buckets that pop up from nowhere, before trying to reach up, or crouch down, or snag whatever they can snag. Off the side, standing by one of the tables, were Rainy and I, trying to look into the action.

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This world is cruel to those who zag

Now, to ruin this contented kid's impression of the future.

I knew scenes of kids nursing dejection after being told that they have run out of Minion toys, only to see an adult attempt frenzied selfies with all twelve of them, would happen again.

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An everlasting education

"Gusto ko 'yung panahon na may nakikita akong naka-camiso de chino tapos basketball shorts sa SDA and not being ironic," Anna tells me. "Nakaganun siyang outfit, pero his laptop was Alienware, and kasing-price ng one year tuition ang cost nun."

"Too bad," I answer. "Those days are over."

"Glad I'm not a student anymore, then."

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The stories we swap

One of my colleagues is flying to Singapore tomorrow. Training. Two weeks. To boot, it's his first time out of the country, so there's understandably an amount of concerned ribbing from those who have gone out of the country, me included.

Well, that, and there's me partly wishing I get sent back to Singapore this year, although I do know it's not likely; they would've told us about it by now.

This was the obvious discussion over lunch. Here's a first-time traveler going to Singapore. Boy, is he in for a shock, of how much different it is from the chaos of the Philippines. Sure, the walks may be long, but at least the trains work. He's staying in the same hotel I stayed in, so there's that, me being able to tell him, with confidence, that the nearest train station is a 15-minute walk away. Well, provided he intends to go sightseeing on the weekends. I'm sure he would, but where would he go? I rattled off a list on my head, slightly aloud.

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