Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The last time I glanced at the mirror, I didn't look anything like this:

Mother of Helping Perps, all right.

Or this:

There will be blood, Mama Rose.

Or heaven forbid, this:

Sweet Charity is a musical, Mutha- T.

So why is it that in the span of two consecutive days, I have been besieged with entreaties for succor - particularly of the financial kind?

First was a plea for assistance from Chris, one of our grips, who work on a per-project basis. Which means they work irregularly, while bills, as we all know, are as regular as a monthly menstrual flow. 

A bloody heavy flow. 

Chris caught me on FB and private messaged me, the lack of an Invisible option proving once and for all that Zuckerberg is the devil.

"Ser, hihingi po sana ako ng tulong. Mag-aapply po sana ako sa coffee shop, kailangan ko po sana ng pera pambayad sa mga requirement."

I had given this guy a small loan before, which he has yet to pay back.

"May utang ka pa sa kin, Chris."

"Opo alam ko po yun, pero alanganin po kasi tanggap sa shooting, ser. Kaya mag-aapply na lang po ako uli sa coffee shop. Sige na po, ser, kawawa naman po ang anak ko."

"Wag mo isali anak mo sa usapang ito. Haaay."

"Sige na po, ser, kahit magkano lang po."

"Chris, last time na to, ha? Pasensya na, pero nanggaling na ko sa ganito at pasong-paso na ako sa kalalabasan nito."

"Opo ser, puede pong padala na lang sa Lhuiller o sa LBC?"

"HA?!?!?!? LBCI?I Di ako marunong nyan. Bakit, di mo puede kunin dito yang hinihingi mo?"

"Nasa Malabon pa po kasi ako."

"Problema ko pa ba yan?"

To make a long story short, I acquiesced and agreed to have my maid go and wire him some money. For his coffee shop job application.

"Salamat po, ser. Puede po ba makuha uli number ninyo? Nawala na po celfone ko kasi."

"Wag mo na ako i-text."


"Ok po."


The next morning, my redoubtable tech and erstwhile friend and moocher Miguel texts me asking if he could borrow P3k. He'd never asked to borrow money before and the request piqued my curiosity while simultaneously setting off my irritation :

"Can I borrow 3k from you? Subtract it na lang from the next several times you need troubleshooting on your PC."

"What for?"


"Quit your fucking drug use."

"It's for my asthma."

"You have asthma and you smoke. Why is this my problem?"

"Oy, I'm down from one pack a day to one stick a day na. Minsan nga wala pa if I'm not feeling well."


"Blahblahblahblah insulin blahblahblah inhaler blahblah."

"I just handed you 1k yesterday for like, three hours' work. Get a job."

"I am applying for a job."

"And you'll lose it again the way you did the others by making St. Luke's your private Shangri-La right after you become regularized and entitled to healthcare benefits."




"Bukas na yan. You will live till tomorrow, won't you?"


Nothing quite ruins my day when people asking for money is the first thing that greets me in the morning. And proving that it was once again one of those days, right after Miguel's irksome exchange, I get another text. 

It was from Ardee, an ex-employee and young unmarried father. Ardee is one of SM's legions of exploited contractuals and, while he's been lucky to have repeated contract renewals, understandably a store clerk's paycheck doesn't go very far. To augment his income as well as to discourage outright handouts, I often help Ardee by casting him as an extra in commercials, whenever possible.

Normally he texts to ask about any upcoming projects. But this time, his query was a little more direct. 

You guessed it .

And for exactly the same amount Miguel asked, too.

"Bos, patulong naman po. Naputulan kami ng tubig. Dalawang buwan na kami di nakabayad."

"Ba't pinabayaan ninyo?"

"Inuuna po namin ilaw eh"

"Eh, magkano naman kailangan mo?"

"3k po, bos"

" 3K?!?!? Ba't ang laki ng bill ninyo sa tubig?!? P3k eh dalawang buwan lang kayo paso?!?"

"Sige na po, bos, parang awa niyo na po. Wala na po kasi akong ibang malapitan, eh."

That last line was the clincher, and brought back many memories.

Bad memories.

Bad, baaaaaddddd memories.

I exploded the way Yellowstone will one day before wiping out mankind and all its requests for financial assistance once and for all.

"FUCK YOU, that elf, that dwarf, that Dunedain, 
that human, and those four midgets you rode in on!"

"Pasensya na po, bos, talaga pong gipit kasi kami at wala na po akong ibang malapitan."

"Ardee, may utang ka pa sa 'king P10k, naaalala mo?"

"Opo, di ko po nakakalimutan yun. Di pa po kasi kami nababayaran nung bumili ng lupa."

"Ang tagal niyo nang binenta yang lupa na yan, baka pinaglololoko lang kayo ng buyer ninyo."

"Pasensya na po bos, sige na po."

"Pano mo ko babayaran kaya dito?"

"Susubukan ko po talagang bayaran kayo, bos. Pasensya na po talaga."

"Paano kayo matututo, Ardee, kung puro pasensya na lang ang kinakain ko? Pasensya na rin, inubos na ni (ex-jowa) ang pasensya ko, eh, lalo na pagdating sa mga bagay na yan."

"Pasensya na po, bos."



Three guesses, folks.

People say I'm "mabait."

People say I'm a generous person.

People don't know what the goddamn hell they're talking about.

Sure, like anyone else, I can be capable of generosity. Hell, I just recently splurged on two consecutive Broadway musicals, for the love of Lloyd-Webber, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and a certain genteel make-up artist called Ayen.

And those weren't for the effin' nosebleeds, either.

But like everyone else, mostly I'm a selfish fucking bastard.

It dawned on me rather late in life that what seem like acts of selflessness can actually be very selfish and self-serving indeed.

Why do people help other people, anyway ? The reasons are as myriad as the reasons people ask for help. 

Viva la fundación para mis niños simpaticós !

Some do it because helping makes them feel like they're good, decent people. Some do it out of a sense of obligation, drummed in by religious indoctrination. And some perform good works to improve their social standing and reputation, by being haloed as generous and kind benefactors.

Or pick some other ulterior motive, conscious or not, well-meaning or otherwise.

Thing is, the self-validation we get from helping others is, at the end of the day, selfish. 

The "good" feeling we get from helping others is, at the heart of it, selfish. 

The expiation of the guilt of not helping is, at its very essence, selfish.

Even though the by-product is, admittedly, helpful to others.


So why do people keep thinking I'll help them out in a pinch?

Because for all the vitriol I spew in the process, I often end up handing over the money, anyway. Grumbling and grudgingly, like the all-day sucker I am. But I hand it over, and that's what frickin' matters, doesn't it?

And why?

Because refusing to help the needy - especially when asked -  makes me feel fucking guilty, even though I had no hand in the creation of their miseries.

And while I'm not some filthy billionaire, the ugly truth is, there are plenty of people less fortunate than I.

Or you, for that matter.

"Let's face it - who isn't?"

Not to say the rich aren't selfish, themselves; a common misconception. Many people expect the wealthy to be paragons of generosity, but I've known enough millionaires to know that Scrooge isn't just some literary invention. 

Then again, there are also miserly paupers.

I don't think it matters how much or how little money people have. 

We're all selfish at heart.

Because survival is self-preservation, and nothing can be more selfish than that.


And to cap off La Diá de Caridad, at 10 p.m. I get yet another text - this time from Rico, another ex-employee and, like Ardee, a fellow SM drone.

Rico's endo was yesterday, and his birthday is coming up next week.

"Good evening, sir, musta na po kayo?"

"Mmm Rico ano na"

"Heto sir, endo na po ako. Mag-aapply po sana ako sa iba."

Here it comes.

"Sir, kakapalan ko na po mukha ko, baka puede po makautang pang apply, bayaran ko na lang po pag nakuha ko na bckpay ko kung ok lng po."


"Sir pasangla na lang po pala ng ATM ko, may darating pa naman po yun na bckpay hehe kung ok lang po."

"Ha pano yun?"

"Ahm bale 22busin ko na lng po pag may  bckpay na ako."


If I still believed in a god, I'd say he/it helps those who help themselves.

But while waiting for incontrovertible ontological proof of the deity's existence, in the meantime, they text me instead.

Soy yo.

El Nuestro Señor de Remedios Y Ayuda Perpetua.

Humans. Wat are you doing? Humans. STAHHHHHP!!!


  1. hehehe. good luck sa iyo. andami nangungutang sa mundo. :)

    1. Ang pinakamatinding klaseng utang ay iyong mga "pahiram" ng ating mga mommy. Na never never kang mangangahas singilin o ipaalala.

      My loving term for which is "utang ina."

  2. Ahhmnn this is embarrassing, but you see, I'm one of the legions of exploited employees of the country's largest broadcast network, so... Kakapalan ko na mukha ko ser, pero pwede bang rumaket sa mga shoot mo? Sige na po. Hindi po kayo mapapahiya sa 'kin. Kahit mababa lang po ang TF ayus lang. Pandagdag lang po sa bibilhin kong iPhone 5. Ano nga pala number mo? :))

    1. ABS sucks donkey balls.

      Then again they all do.

      And my number is 69.

  3. Replies
    1. Ang sa akin kasi, linawin kung utang o hingi.

  4. uhmmm... ruddie... ermm.... don't know how to say this...



  5. Classic Tudor train of thought? Haha

    I was just thinking about this this morning. you know those people who post sad pictures of wounded people on facebook saying how they ran into some poor sob and couldn't bear to ignore the poor guy's illness? it seems to me that the action of taking pictures.and writing a long narrative that would make even Rosa rosal blush serves the writer more (?)

    My apologies for not making that much sense. Note to self:no.commenting when you've just woken up. :/

    1. My Tudor train of thought involves lots of sex, intrigue, multiple spouses, and executions.

      Then again, I've only just woken up myself, Nyl.

  6. if you just have not given them the money
    and kept it for yourself
    you could have use it to hire me ,

    I can easily be a itch and just say "No" lol

    1. I have no issues exchanging money for goods and services, my little kitten.

      It's money for nothing that gets my goat.

      Having said that - "itch?"

    2. I meant "Bitch" LOOOOOOOL ^_^

  7. someone borrows money from me, either I give half of their request or I don't reply to text messages at all.

    My rule is very simple, I lend only what I can afford to lose.

    1. That rule sounds simple and sound indeed, Joms.

      Maybe I have to outgrow my liberal guilt.

  8. if you don't look like the first three women then you probably look like her -

    1. I actually like her - she's a tough old broad who just happens to own a god chunk of the UK.

      As to looking like her, give me about 30 years more.

  9. i can lend money. it's my family's business. hahah.

    And yes, there is more difficulty when the people involved are relatives. Tho' I never loaned cash to them. Not even my parents or siblings. Lagi na lang, "Naka-out pera ko ngayon" or simply "Wala". But that doesn't stop them from trying and trying and trying...

    1. For the record, I've never loaned out to relatives either.

      It's always been "give."

  10. i live to give a helping hand.

    if you get my drift.


    1. I'm sure everyone involved gets a happy ending that way.

    2. You got calloused hands Ternie. Oppppps. :P

    3. kaya nga masarap daw e.


      tmi na naman ako.

      and in ruddie blog, to boot lolz

    4. Oh, you love the attention.


  11. andami kong tawa kay Yellowstone and sa Pacencia.. :))

    pero ang pinakabenta ay yung bitchy (sorry, can't think of another appropriate term :p) replies mo sa texts nila..

    1. As always, I'm happy whenever you get a chuckle out of my rants, Nate

      And +1 to you for being the first one to spot the pacencia.

  12. we're cut from the same cloth rudie - probably from mother T's habit. i can't say no, but probably because i was once on the other side of the fence and was left hung out to dry in a life and death situation. then again it helps that i'm out of the country. or does it (ofws shit dollars don't they)?

    oh and i love pacencias! i can also buy them here...

    1. Perhaps having tasted the bitterness of want and despair makes one more empathetic to those in a similar plight. Even if that empathy leaves us open to abuse, eh Sean?

      And while I'm not an OFW, I get what you mean about shitting dollars hehe.

  13. Ruddie: Not sure when is the Black Party. If I get drunk before midnight, I will likely make a detour. :)

    You going?

    1. As of this writing, yes.

      Because I've been thwarted from attending the Halloween costume parties for three straight years now, and I just might have the opportunity to change that.

      Of course, now that I've made plans...

  14. kainis, tapos kung time mo na maningil sila pa galit. pero nadadala kase minsan sa awa eh