Twelve Crazy Stuff and Things that I have Done in Life

EMBARRASSING or daring fits, tantrums, smartass acts, and shenanigans... at least those that I could remember.

[1] JUMPED OFF A CLIFF. I was maybe 5 years old. I chased a ball off a deep ravine—like a super-fearless stuntdude. Our house was perched atop a hill (in Baguio City, mountain province in the Philippines)… I was playing catch with my dog—and I simply wouldn’t want to disappoint my buddy doggie when his ball went rolling down the cliff. So I dived down like a mini-Wolverine to retrieve it, pronto! Obviously, I survived the amazing bungee jump without a rope. (NOTE: When I was living in LA, I actually considered moonlighting as a stunt double.)

[2] ENTERED A WRONG APARTMENT TWICE IN TWO DAYS. In New York City. I took the same subway train (E uptown), climbed off the same street/cross-street (9th and 21st)—but for some reason, I entered two different units in two different apartment buildings in two consecutive days. No, I wasn’t drunk and I didn’t do drugs of any kind (I never did drugs, okay?) I was just a typical pasckie: Spaced out and forever high on Cup-a-Noodle and Mountain Dew.

[3] LIFTED OFF A BARRICADE BY ROBOCOP IN FRONT OF LADIES. I was a zealous, super-cocky reporter eager to get a story, no matter what. A huge protest demonstration by employees and workers (mostly young ladies) of a giant mall (in a Manila suburb) was going on. I positioned my 5’3”, 110 lb frame inside a barricade line. A cop who looked like The Terminator or Robocop ordered me to step out that spot. I said, no—I am a media dude! as I waved my press ID. Without uttering a word (not even an “I’ll be back!”) he grabbed my shirt collar and lifted me off my spot with one hand and placed me where he wanted me to. Embarrassing. I felt like a spinach-starved Popeye manhandled by a ruthless Brutus—in front of a multitude of Olive Oyls.

[4] DRAGGED LIKE A SLED BY GARGANTUAN DOGS IN WEST CENTRAL PARK (again, in front of ladies, argh!) Dogwalking for rich matrons in West Central Park was one of my main gigs when I was living in New York City. Gigs like this pays good, you know—a lot more lucrative than a writing gig. One winter morning—ice and sludge all over the pavement (or jogging area)—as I was walking five (yes, FIVE!) dawgs: Great Dane, St Bernard, Alano Espanol, Mastiff, and an Ariege Pointer… a cute Silky Terrier came shakin’ her tail (or butt) a few meters away. The five macho dawgs thought that was, like a J-Lo booty “come on, baby, invite”… So, all five sonafagun dawgs dashed towards the li’l horny babedawg—which means, they dragged me big time, pulled me like a sled, I came swishin’ and slidin’ by few meters on the pavement until two guys helped me contain my ward. All I could hear were women screaming, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!” then followed by contained giggles. Tough job, wasn’t it?

[5] CHOWED DOWN NINE “BALUT” EGGS IN ONE SITTING. First, a balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines. They are common, everyday food in some other countries in Southeast Asia, such as in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Balut is popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack. They are often served with beer. It is a common streetcorner (“kanto”) dare in Manila that not many could chow down 7 balut eggs, shells open, in one sitting. Well, one late night, coming from work—I was damned starving… a group of drinkin’ boys `n the hood offered me two shots of beer-gin (mixed beer and gin) and dared me to swallow them baluts. What the… after the 7th egg, I asked for more to take home. From then on, I was the undisputed pound-for-pound king of baluts in the `hood.

[6] GOING TO LAOS, ENDED UP IN VIETNAM. I had the right passport, I had the right documents… But I ended up in a different country not my destination. Well, if I can get lost finding my own apartment in Manhattan… got lost in Southeast Asia? Yeah, right. (It’s like going to Nashville and ended up in Asheville!)

[7] FREED 20 EXPENSIVE LOVE BIRDS IN A PET SHOP. Until now, I can’t seem to get the point of jailing birds in a cage. My uncle committed a costly mistake of bringing me to a pet shop when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. The moment I got in, I snuck to where the birds were and shook them out of their cages. When I was grounded for that tantrum, I yelled back: “Birds should be allowed to fly free in the sky! People are put in jails for being bad, you know… birds are not!” From then on, no one in the family wanted to go with me to the zoo.

[8] PLANTED ROSES PETALS THE SHAPE OF “I Love You” AMIDST SNOW-COVERED FIELD. Oh well, when you are in deeply love and working in flower garden…

[9] MOST EMBARRASSING JOURNALISM “MISHAP.” I sent an intern/college reporter to a fire scene. It was an hour to deadline… I instructed him to phone me details, ie any casualties, cause of the fire, the kind of stuff. After 45 minutes, he called. So I asked, any casualties? He said, “Opo! Dalawa po” (translated as, “Yes sir, two sir!”) but since I wanted to be sure—since “dalawa po… sounded like dalawampu (tranlated: twenty),” I asked again. Are you sure? He said, “Dalawa po, sir…” I wrote 20. I almost lost my job, of course…

[10] NEGOTIATED WITH A DESPERATE DUDE AS HIS DAGGER THREATENS MY BACKSIDE. A visibly desperate Mexican planted a dagger on my backside as I staggered out a bar in Santa Monica Blvd. In Spanish, he demanded money… I looked at this dude who’s more frail and shorter than I am, and said (in broken Spanish), “Escucho, tengo solamente 30 dólares aquí… Quizá apenas partamos esto, toman quince dólares, yo consiguen iguales. Cool, amigo?” ("Listen, I only have $30 here... Maybe let us just split this, take $15, I get the same. Cool?" Without saying a word, he grabbed his $15 and took off, and ran faster than Speedy Gonzalez. I yelled at him, “¡Mi amigo, el dinero es el suyo, hom! Usted no tiene que funcionar, okay?” (“I just gave you money, you don’t have to run, it’s okay!”) He paused, looked around him, and started walking.

[11] MY LEFT LEG, ALMOST GOT SWALLOWED BY A CROCODILE. In a zoo in Thailand. Me and a friend got tired touring the city, so we decided to chill, got some soda and sat by the side of huge seemingly uninhabited crocodile pool… A huge rock was sticking out of a chicken wire net or something beside a torn bench where I sat. Turned out the “huge rock” was the head of a napping crocodile! Oh well… I am still alive with my two short legs and complete butt so that means, that was just a big stupid scare.

[12] PEE’ed ON MY SOUP BOWL. Okay, I was may 3 or 4 years young. At that age, I was already a huge fan of ramen noodles and all kinds of soup or broth. I won’t eat my lunch or dinner without my soup. So one lunchtime as my Mom busied herself with whatever she was cooking, I was already in front of the dining table on a high chair, yelling: “I want my soup!” Mom responded: “Lunch is not ready yet. You have to wait.” I shot back: “But this is NOW! I want it now!!!” My desperate pleas didn’t work, so without hesitation, I pulled my uh-huh and there it went: I pee’ed on my soup bowl. (This is a favorite fun story in family reunions, by the way.)