Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Here Comes The Boom, Ready or Not

So, this happened. A UST bomb threat.

A bomb scare in University of Santo Tomas startled the whole university, even though college bomb threats have never been legitimate. It's probably just some asshole who had some unfinished projects and didn't want to go to school so he/she thought that scaring the entire university would be a cool thing to do.

Ooh, a bomb will go off at the CTHM building, the AB building, the Engineering building, and one other building. How frightening, even though no one ever warns their victims of random acts of terror. Play with the people's lives, like how the person who sent this played with grammar and the English language by butchering it.

It's like Snake from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater planting C3 (not C4) and getting ready to blow up a laboratory but then after going through all that trouble, he warns people with "Hey, this is going to blow up, guys."

I can understand The Joker wanting his victims to know that they're going to die but he traps them first and makes them realize that there's no hope and then he sets off the bombs he planted because The Joker wants his victims to suffer first before killing them.

Had this been real (it's not and will never be), this "bomber" should've had some Metal Gear Solid-like espionage tactics to have planted several bombs within those buildings, not get noticed by anyone, and decided he wants to blow up several buildings in UST. But then, why the hell would you text anyone and warn them? "Hey, I'm gonna blow up these buildings. You might want to get away. Kbye."

If you think about it, if this were actually real then this "bomber" would have the capability of having a few bombs that would go off at a specific time but judging by the lack of resources in the Philippines, that's impossible. Unless this "bomber" had some connections with some very smart people, I doubt that they had connections with anyone regarding the making of bombs that would go off in a specific time.

And in the end, nothing happened. No explosion. Just people getting scared. And a bunch of CTHM girls crying their eyes out.

Recent bomb threats in colleges have done nothing but cause hysteria and panic because there are assholes who still live in this world. Isn't that what bomb threats are usually for? Causing hysteria? Again, why would someone go through great lengths to make a bomb that would go off at a specific time, go through the trouble of sneaking around a la Solid Snake, planting those bombs in said UST buildings, and then warning his victims about it so they can escape? Nobody warns anyone if they're going to do a horrible act of terrorism because then your victims would've gotten away unless all you want to do is property damage and "you don't want anyone to get hurt".

I can imagine someone sending a spy to find these bombs and freeze them like what happened in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

Yes, I think freezing a bomb would be sufficient.

Better yet, I can imagine Sherlock Holmes defusing the bomb by guessing a password on a phone.

This is totally what happened. Sherlock flew to the Philippines because he knew about this and he saved UST.

It's not like I don't care about anyone's safety (I really don't but that's not the point). The smart and subdued thing to do was have a team of people with one or two bomb experts quietly investigating said buildings without causing panic among the students. The only thing that went wrong is that several people have broadcasted the text on Twitter, which led to it being spread like herpes in a nightclub bathroom.

Perhaps next time, the best way to deal with a bomb threat is to just tell the officials and have them deal with it instead of broadcasting it on social media, causing more panic among the students. Again, no villain in their right mind would tell their victims of the chaos they'll do.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ralph's Writing Collection - How I Never Met Your Mother [Part 34]

Now, let's finish this updated saga. Well, at least one part of the saga. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Original TitleHow I Never Met Your Mother [Part 34] – The Plush Pink Puppy (Part 3)

Kids, in December of 2011, as I walked to the Albertus Magnus building where Jill was, I thought of two things: first, would Jill actually like this gift? And second, why was it so damn hot outside? Okay, so December wasn’t really cold in The Philippines and wearing a jacket to meet a girl was a bad idea. I needed that jacket to look cool but the sweating was profuse. I thought I’d look and smell bad but thank goodness I had some cologne with me. But I digress.

When I arrived at the Albertus Magnus building, I thought I was gonna have my heart beating out of my chest because I was nervous. Jill’s section – 2T1 at the time – was in room 104A. I already passed by that room once so I knew where it was. Could I be more of a creep? When I thought it was all good, I suddenly had another problem:

Ralph: Oh god, how am I gonna give this to Jill?


I didn’t really think of that at all. I had the gift and I already had a reason to give it to her but I didn’t have a way to give it! Goddamn it, I thought. Do I excuse her from class if one of her professors were present? Do I just leave it outside her classroom? I didn’t plan it out. 

I was already in the hallway where Jill’s classroom was and I didn’t plan anything out. I was alone there – your Aunt Angel or any other of my friends weren't around to help me in that situation. If the ending of the anime School Days were to happen and I get stabbed, there wouldn't have been anyone to call for help.

As I was standing outside room 104-A, pretending to read the bulletin board and thinking about what to do, one tourism girl went outside the classroom. She was on the phone and was confirming with your Aunt Camille about my presence.

Tourism girl on the phone: Yeah, he’s here… He’s wearing glasses… In a jacket… He’s standing here so I know it’s him!

[I was laughing when she was confirming that it was me. I don’t know why. She puts her cellphone away and talks to me.]
Tourism girl now not on the phone: Are you Ralph? Jill’s here. You should go inside though.
Ralph: Wait, what?!
Tourism girl: You have to go inside. Jill won’t go out.
Ralph: Why not?
Tourism girl: She’s shy!

Okay, okay, let's pause for a second and ask some questions.

How did Jill know about this? This was a total surprise. I mean, I never asked for her schedule or anything. I never told her that I was going to deliver her a pink puppy. To this day, someone had spoiled the surprise by telling her about it.

Ralph: How'd she know about this?
[...Is what I should've asked. Instead I said...]
Ralph: Oh. Damn it. Alright, I’ll go.

I was hesitant as heck because in the back of my mind, this was entirely stupid and pointless. I wasn't a handsome guy at all so why would I be doing this kind of thing?

So I entered the classroom of 2T1 and they were all looking at the big guy in a jacket with a gift in hand. I felt like I was gonna get stabbed but I wasn’t there for that. I was there for Jill. When she saw me, Jill stood up and smiled. As I slowly approached her and handed her the gift, everything went into slow motion and my mind started talking to me.

Ralph's mind: Say something cool!

Oh crap. I didn't have anything to say. I needed to say something cool or witty or at least romantic. I had to think fast. In 2 seconds, I said…

Ralph: Hi, haaave you met me?

That... didn't go so well. I didn’t know what else to say. It was the first thing that came into my mind. Using a phrase Barney Stinson always used was my backup plan for any awkward situation.

My first meeting with Jill was great. She didn’t actually expect that I’d actually get her something even though I told her through Twitter to expect something, but I didn’t tell her that I’d deliver it personally.

Ralph: Hi. I’m Ralph. Jill, right?
Jill: What are you doing here?
Ralph: It’s Christmas and I felt like giving each of my good friends a gift.
Jill: How’d you—Where’d you—
Ralph: Okay, did this seem stalker-ish?
Jill: A little. I didn’t really expect it.
Ralph: Yes, because by the very definition of the word “surprise”, it’s not supposed to be expected.
Jill: Mean!
Ralph: Hey, I got you that pink puppy! I can be mean.
Jill: It’s not a minion from Despicable Me.
Ralph: Greenhills ran out of them so stick with the puppy.
Jill: I’m just gonna leave this here on the bulletin board…
Ralph: How could you be so mean?! I’m so tweeting about you.
Jill: Now that’s mean!
Ralph: I’m kidding. So how are you? 

That first conversation with Jill was great. She looked great. Her voice was... alright. Heck, I couldn’t even keep track of what she said at the time.

Ralph: You’re not gonna kick me now, are you, like how you’ve always threatened me?
Jill: Yes, I will! I’ll take my heels off and I’ll kick you!
Ralph: Really? With that uniform of yours?
Jill: Don’t you have to go yet?!
Ralph: Haha! Alright, alright. I’ll go, since you said so.
Jill: Thanks! Bye! 

Okay, I have to admit, there were some awkward pauses there. I know I messed up somehow but I didn't care. What mattered was that I gave a gift to Jill and I at least cemented our friendship.

(Ralph from 2014: UTTER BULLSHIT!)

As I left the building, I had a dorky smile on my face. I had never done anything like that ever.

When I got back to the classroom, I kept thanking Camille for giving me Jill’s schedule because without her help, I wouldn’t have been able to pull that off. Okay, I already did have the schedule from the CTHM dean's office but hey, I became friends with Camille.

I know it seemed a little creepy if you think about it, and I did realize that afterwards, but I apologized to Jill later that night if the gesture seemed creepy or stalker-like. She said it was alright and was actually the first nice thing I did for her after months of being mean. And that’s all I wanted to do.

Kids, sometimes you have to take a chance. You never know what could happen. If you're lucky, things would go right. However, not everything could stay right. It might just be the calm before the bitter storm, but I had to find that out the hard way.

(Ralph from 2014: Bloody hell, this was depressing to write again. You can read the first part right here or the previous part here)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ralph's Writing Collection - How I Never Met Your Mother [Part 33]

Okay, part 2 of this horrible saga. Yes, this is all in celebration of Valentine's Day. Woo hoo!

Original Title: How I Never Met Your Mother [Part 33] – The Plush Pink Puppy (Part 2)

Kids, December 15 of 2011 was the result of all the effort in trying to meet this girl I met online named Jill. Now the popular belief that meeting someone online would mean that the guy is a creep. I was not that guy. At least not yet but I'll get to that. I talked to Jill for almost three months, only getting to be sort of a close friend on November. I could say that because she said:


[Inside, I was thinking...]
Ralph: Huh. I gained your trust? AWESOME!
[Outside, I was saying something else...]
Ralph: Don’t worry. I won’t. 
Jill: Good! You're like my close guy friend!

Jill and I were somehow getting along pretty well, at least that's the way I saw it. I wasn't entirely sure if she felt the same but you wouldn't really bother calling someone your "close guy friend" if you didn't really consider them as a friend, right?

...Right? Nah, forget it.

To keep that trust alive (at the time), I decided to get Jill a gift – a plush pink puppy. I consulted your aunts about this and they said it was alright. And Christmas season was a great reason to give her a gift personally. I had already bought my friends gifts to prevent them from thinking that I was putting them aside over some girl, which in fact was true.

I gave the gifts to some of my friends early and kept Jill’s in my locker. I didn't want to bring it along anywhere for no reason. I might lose it and everything would fall apart.

I had the gift but the next problem was getting Jill's schedule. I could have asked her for it but then I thought:

Ralph: No, I can't ask her for her schedule. That would ruin the surprise.

I had to think of something that would look like it's from a romantic comedy. For some reason, I wanted to do something different from what I usually do. Yes, it was stupid but I wanted to test it out for myself because I don't know if I would ever do something like that ever again. To actually do that, I needed Jill's schedule somehow, as creepy as it sounds. Was it creepy? Looking back, of course it was. Do I regret doing everything? Of course I do. But at the time, I was a huge risk taker and I didn't mind seeing what would happen regardless of whether or not it was good.

I actually had the gall to go to the Albertus Magnus building, to the CTHM dean's office, and ask for Jill's class schedule. Now, Jill somehow knew which city I lived in at the time - San Juan - but I never had that disclosed in my online profiles at all. So I thought it'd be fair game to use her online information as a way to surprise her. Luckily, her section number was on her profile so that made it easier.

I asked the student assistant who was at the CTHM dean's office for the information.

Ralph: Hi, I'm looking for a particular tourism class's schedule?

Student Assistant: Which section is that, sir?
Ralph: Uhhh... I think it's 2T1. I have a friend there.
Student Assistant: Alright, here you go. Room 104-A, 1-2.30pm. It's the room just outside.

I finally got her schedule. I honestly thought it would've been hard to do so because I thought that was confidential information that the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management would keep. But somehow, I got a schedule of a friend and a gift for her. I was actually starting to like this girl. Outside the Albertus Magnus building, I had to process everything at that moment. I was close to having a mental breakdown after all of these thoughts had started to come together.

Ralph: No... No! Goddamn it, why am I doing this again? No, no, no, no. It's not gonna end well. This isn't gonna end well at all. She's not gonna like you, Ralphy. No. She doesn't. You're a friend. Nothing more.

If there ever was a musical score for that event, it would be this.

There's no happy ending, so they say, not for me anyway.

But then I thought I'd just take the risk and see what happens because it'll be a good story to tell one day. If it doesn't end very well, fine, I'll admit it didn't go well and I basically destroyed any and all friendship I had with Jill and I'll probably just be miserable. I was fine with that. Maybe.

On the way back, I met a classmate that I never have spoken to for a year - your Aunt Camille. Since freshmen year, I haven't talked to her since I thought she was a glitch (or something that rhymes with that). Somehow, she and I had started talking and she mentioned that she had some friends in Jill's class.

Ralph: Funny that you should mention that. I was actually looking for her schedule today.

Camille: I can get it for you if you want, you stalker.

Right then and there, Camille and I had became the oddest of friends. I've always told her that if it weren't for Jill, she and I still wouldn't be friends to this day.

A few days later, Camille approached me and told me something.

Camille: Ralph, you're starting to like Jill, right?

Ralph: ...Yeah, what about her?
Camille: I heard from a couple of people there in Jill's class that she's actually bossy.
Ralph: Wait, really?
Camille: Yeah, they don't really like her that much.
Ralph: I don't know what to say actually since she's always been nice to me.
Camille: I'm just warning you about her so be careful.

It was odd to get a warning from Camille about Jill. It makes me think that she actually gathered information on the girl I like to keep an eye on things. That was so awesome of her.

If I could recall correctly, on December 15, Jill had a 1pm class in room 104-A. My classes ended at 1pm that day so I needed to rush out of my class as soon as I could before her class even started. The perfect opportunity to deliver it was December 15, the day before the annual Christmas event that the university had. The day before that event usually meant that the teachers would have their own Christmas parties and the students would have 4 hours of doing nothing.

I had the gift ready. The card was ready.  I had the schedule ready. There I was in several vacant classes with your Aunt Angel.

Angel: Did you really get anything for CTHM girl?

Ralph: Yeah.
Angel: What’d you get her?
Ralph: Remember when I asked you how to get a pink puppy?
Angel: Yeah. Oh wait, don’t tell me you actually got it.
Ralph: Yes, I got a puppy, dyed it pink, and it’s suffocating in my locker as we speak.
[Sarcasm’s flowing here. Sorry ‘bout that.]

With two hours before 1pm, I started to get nervous about finally seeing Jill by surprising her. I thought that it would be uncalled for, despite the sweetness and spontaneity of the gesture. 

Ralph: Oh my god, what if she doesn’t like the puppy? Or worse, what if she doesn’t like me?

Angel: Relax, relax! What’s the worse that could happen?
[A lot. She could hate me and think I’m a stalker.]
Ralph: How about I let my friend Camille give this to her?
Angel: What?! No! You can’t.
Ralph: She’ll know from the card. Why do I have to give this to Jill?
Angel: Because you have to.
Ralph: Yeah, I know, I know. Damn it.

After conversing with my friends in multiple vacant class periods, I knew I had to leave the classroom sooner or later. I had to give the pink puppy to Jill sooner rather than later.

Ralph: So, it’s 5 minutes before 1. I gotta go.
Angel: Good luck! Tell me how it went!
Ralph: I don't wanna go...
Angel: You know you have to.
Ralph: Yeah. I'm off. See you later.

The moment of truth, kids. I left the classroom with the gift and headed out to CTHM across the university. It was going to be something from a romantic comedy, except it was real. There's no happy ending, so they say. Not for me anyway.

(Ralph from 2014: You read the previous part here. You head on over to the next part right here.)