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Ispidbol passed away at 3:00 pm yesterday, just two hours after I came home from an internet café.

His departure is inevitable, but I didn’t expect it that soon. It’s like he just waited for me to pay him his last tribute while he was still alive. Now my two questions are answered: Yes, that that second second chance is his last, and it lasted for a about four weeks before, and three hours after, I published the previous post entry.

Who will undertake the undertaker ?

Etymology of name: fast and swift; snappy

English equivalent: Speedball

Gender: male

Color: banded brown

Parentage: Blakdyak + Snow White

Generation: 4th

Litter group: Chiaroscurogang

Spouse: Teepee Pompom

Lifespan: 26 months 6 days

Cause of death: old age

Ispidbol at 6 months 5 days (Tower scene), 15 months 16 days (sunset scene) and 19 months 6 days (Wheel scene).

Traits and characteristics: Small and acrobatic. Give him a treat: he eats it right-away if a small piece, but takes and carries a bigger piece back to his resting spot. Unusual sleep-and-wake regimen, treads his wheel in the morning until up to 11 am – that is why he is a late-riser (6 pm). A persistent cage-deserter (“lakwatsero” Ispidbol-bulakbol) when he was younger, refuses to be handled when outside his cage. Nosy – thrusts his head forward to smell the nose of his handler when the handler brings him close to his face. In later life, Ispidbol became a contented occupant and responsible steward of The Hall; he left not a single chew mark in any of its woodwork.



  1. Isnobol – next steward of The Hall

Widowed spouse:

  1. Teepee Pompom

Nephew and nieces:

  1. Mochawonka “the wiggler”
  2. Mochahontas
  3. Isnohontas Kotonbol

Grand nephews:

  1. Wigwam Wigglerson
  2. Bebong II
  3. Berio II

Great grand niece/nephew:

  1. Syma
  2. Amboy

Masyado seryoso? CLICK mo ito.

Published in: on 1 June 2008 at 5:30 pm  Comments (12)  
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Take 2!

A Hamster’s Autumn of Life

A hamster’s old age speeds by as fast as the rest of its life. The first signs of old age appear with relatively little warning, and from then on hamsters age quite rapidly compared with dogs and cats.

Most old hamsters die quietly. One day, you’ll find the hamster’s small body, still and lifeless, in its house or curled up in a corner of the cage. Because the animal looks as if it is asleep, death is probably painless. The hamster simply breathes its last, like a candle burning out.

These are the visible signs of an aging hamster:

Behavior: spends most of the time sleeping; loses interest in its surroundings (including his wheel); stores small amounts of food.

Appearance: loses weight; rounded head becomes more pointed; coat loses its uniform sheen and looks matted and unkempt; eyes’ color become pale.

Motion: no longer scurries about; movements are slow, awkward and unsteady.

Hygiene: doesn’t have the strength to groom itself as often as it used to; sometimes unable to clean its bottom when it ‘poos’.

Health: there seems no age-related problems (unless there is a tumor or other illness).

Senses: smelling, hearing, and vision possibly decline with old age (?)

(Source: My Hamster and me, copyright 2001 by Barron’s Educational Series)

DATES: Rain and all time-lapsed movies, May 2008; The Hall scene in sunset, 11 July 2007; The Hall scene in monochrome, 28 October 2007.

Ispidbol must had gone by now. For the past four weeks, he’s been showing signs that his time is swiftly running out. But remarkably, his condition got quite better. Sudden rains that dispelled the heat of summer seem to have a good effect on him.

He still spends all day and night sleeping – yes, and he had long trodden his last mile on The Wheel. But somehow he wakes up to take his meals and clean himself off his refuses. Once more, he can manage to move (in a sloth-fashion) across his homecage to the opposite corner, just to pee.

This is actually Ispidbol’s second second chance.” The sunset scene, with him shown in the video, was his first second chance – the day he rose up from his bed of illness (11 July 2007), when he was about 16 months old. Ispidbol is indeed a weaker hamster compared to his brother Isnobol, and that is why he won my favor to be the steward of The Hall (This has been the rule ever since their first ancestors).

Hamsters are not blessed with nine lives – not even a long one. But like any other higher creatures, they do have second chances. As for my Ispidbol, I do not know for certain how long this yet another second chance will last. Weeks? Days? …or hours?

Will this be his last second chance?

Published in: on 31 May 2008 at 12:00 pm  Comments (5)  
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How’re the hammies?

Hamsters’ average lifespan is between 2 and 3 years. Perhaps that explains why they do everything at top speed? They don’t have a long life to live – at least from our point of view.

My 11 hammies, a rundown:

Chiaroscurogang (2 years 27 days). To humans, this is equivalent to more or less 80 years.

My oldest seniors spend most of their time sleeping and less of wheel-turning. Isnobol’s white fur is already thinning and losing its luster. Ispidbol’s movements are now less snappy and much slower.

Panapanagang (1 year 6 months 23 days). New senior citizens (18 months for hamsters are considered seniors years).

Mochahontas is still grumpy at her age, but her bites are ‘moderated.’ Mochawonka is still very active and always wants to get out of his cage, still ‘wiggles’ when handled. Isnohontas is the biggest, and yet my most human-friendly female hamster. She sleeps a lot nowadays, seldom shows an interest to go out for an exercise.

PanapanaIIgang (1 year 4 months 23 days). This litter is only 60 days younger than their parents, Mochawonka and Isnohontas.

Like his father, Wigwam always wants to get out of his cage, jumps from an elevated position without hesitation. Teepee has a rounder but stouter body than her mother. She is not that bitey anymore.

Boolagang (1 year 1 month 16 days). Living offspring of Mochahontas. New ‘record breakers’ (you may want to check this out The Lupindilayks.

At more than one year old, Bebong II and Berio II (male counterparts of their late sisters Bebang-girdel and Beria-girdel) are still sharing cage and wheel, showing not any sign of squabble. Until now, they don’t exhibit any mood of hostility – I never hear any one of them clack their teeth. During their active hours, ‘escaping’ from their cages to explore the outside world is their prime obsession.

Chochobebes (10 months 17 days). These youngest hammies are the offspring of my oldest living hamster, Isnobol.

Syma is not that grumpy anymore, though apparently her mood shifts so easily when brought near Amboy whom she can still recognize as the younger brother she used to bully. Amboy remains the nervous type, but being a grown-up male, he is no longer afraid of any female hamster – his elder sister is not an exemption.


sinaunang putokraperdzapayuking putokraperkapten dyak isparo

During my former employment, I was caught in the middle of analog-to-digital transition of photo-imaging. Nuong hindi pa uso ang digital camera at photo-editing computer software, 😆 I had been doing things the HARD WAY. Eto ang tatlo sa mga pinag-praktisan ko nuon (you may CLICK on the thumbnail for a larger me :mrgreen: ) — simula sa mano-manong slide magic technique of multiple FILM exposure (photo #1, 1993). Sinadya kong piliin yang una para ipakita ang SABLAY… Salamat na lang dahil later nauso ang computer. Yung pangalawa ay pinagpraktisan ko gamit ang Aldus Photoshop 1.0 (? Japan training, 1996), at yung pangatlo gamit ang Adobe Photoshop 5 (?) bago ako mag-resigned sa PhilRice nung year 2000.

Samakatuwid, hindi pa iyan ang sagot ko sa TAG ni repah sa akin.

CLICK you ito, para makita ang mas hi-tech na TAG ni repah.

Sa Paghihiwalay — Saan? Ano? at Paano?

2007-12-16 (Ispidbol, ang dagang-yagit)

Teeeeng– chu !…Teeeeng– chu !…amBUBUWIT ninyo!TENGCHU !

Ang galing mangaroling ni Ispidbol ko ano?Tinuruan ko yan — kasi nakaugalian ko nang mag-count ng blessings sa tuwing matatapos ang taon.

Maalala ko nga pala ito. Natatabunan e. Panuorin mo uli, baka isa dyan ang anak mo. Pero BALIK KA DITO sa POST ko ha?

“Dyinggam-bel, dyinggam-bel, dyinggam olda–wey!!!”

Salamat… pwede mo pa yang i-link sa blog mo at ipasa sa iba. 😀

Ambilis ng panahon.Parang kelan lang kararating ng year 2007, ngayon paalis na sya.

Malimit pag ganitong December 31, angmaririnig mong mga tanong ay:

SAAN ka magbabagong-taon?

ANOng gagawin mo? …o

PAANO mo sasalubungin ang paghihiwalay ng taon?

Ikaw… SAAN ka magbabagong-taon?

Siyempre, karamihan sa piling ng kanilang mga pamilya.May konting paniwala kasi tayo na pag hindi sama-sama sa bagong taon ang magpapamilya, isang taon silang hindi magkikita-kita.

Yung mga taga-probinsya na nag-aaral o nagtratrabaho sa Maynila, kalimitan, magpapasko pa lang, nagbyabyahe na pauwi sa lalawigan nila.Babalik na lang ng syudad pagkalipas ng bagong taon na.

Me ilan na maaagap.Katatapos pa lang ng pasko e bumabalik na ng Maynila para iwas-trapik at sa dami ng nagbyayaheng tao.Doon na nagbabagong taon.

Me ilang kabataan naman na imbyerna sa kanilang mga pami-pamilya kaya mas maligaya sa piling ng mga barkada.

May mga mag-boypren, sinasamantala ang kaguluhan ng kani-kanilang mga pamilya.Palihim na pumupuslit sa kanya-kanyang bahay at nagde-date.Hoy!Ambabata pa kayo… 😕 mga pinutukan ng lintek!

Eh PAANO mo naman sasalubungin ang new year?ANOng gagawin mo sa paghihiwalay ng luma at bagong taon?

Natural marami nagpapaputok.Yung tunay na paputok.Yung iba torotot.Yung iba, ibang klaseng paputok.

Bahala kayo mga pare at mare.Magputukan kayo hanggang gusto nyo. 😉 Walang masama tutal mag-asawa naman kayo. Mas masama pa nga kung kayo’y manonorotot. :mrgreen: Yan ang term nung kapanahunan ko.Nanonorotot means nangangaliwa. 😕

Iwas lang kayo sa pinakamalakas at most powerful na paputok na daig pa ang super lolo — yung super-anghit o yung putok sa kilikili powers. 😆

Hindi… basta ingat na lang kayo.Maski ipinagbabawal ang ilang delikadong paputok marami pa ring sige nang sige.Hinihintay pang wala na silang mabilang na daliri.

At dun sa mga ligaw na bala ha? Ingat kayo.Pag me nakita kayong nagpapaputok ng BARIL, isumbong nyo.Pero simple lang kayo at huwag mag-iskandalo.Baka hindi pa nagbabagong taon e mabaril din nya kayo.

Kung medyo relihiyoso kayo malamang magkukulong kayo ng kwarto at magpe-PRAY kayo.Hindi na kelangan yan.Pwede ka namang mag-pray araw-araw e bakit ngayon pa?New year’s resolution lang yata ang minimemorya mo e! Makisaya ka sa labas!Bumati ka ng hapi nyu yir!

Maski sa blogging! Huwag kang magkulong lang dyan sa blog mo… baybayin mo naman ang ibang co-bloggers mo at bumati ka ng “Happy New Year!”Walandyo, walastek. Nagbakasyon at nagbakasyon ka yata nang hindi man lang nakabati ng merry christmas sa iba bago ka ‘nanahimik…’

Kung me alkansya kayo malamang aalug-alugin nyo.Hindi tutuo yan.Magsipag ka na lang na magtrabaho para dumami ang pera mo.Memya mo mabagsak pa yang cute na piggy bank mo.

Yung iba naman polka dots na damit ang isusuot.Hoy miss… huwag na.Tama na yang barya-barya mong mga peklat at bakokang sa binti at hita ahehe.

Kung pandak kayo, pagtalon at paglundag ang tyak na gimik nyo.Hoy DYI-EM-EY… wala nang pag-asa yan dahil bansot din ang nanay at tatay mo.Mag-high heels ka na lang.At bakit kasi ikinahihiya ang 4’ 6” na height?Isipin mo na lang na smol-bat-teribol ka.Me kilala nga akong 6’ 4”6-footer pero 4 inches lang ang pututoy.😆

O sya, sya… bago tayo tuluyang magkabastusan, ibahin na natin ang usapan.

i-CLICK mo ito para sa ibang usapan at NEW YEAR VIDEO…

Published in: on 31 December 2007 at 12:00 am  Comments (24)  
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Tukso… layuan mo ako?

Wigwam and Teepee are the twin son and daughter of the teenage couple Mochawonka the “wiggler” and Isnohontas Kotonbol.

Wigwam Wigglerson is the husband of the departed Beria-girdel, a Boolagang. Beria-girdel died because of birthing problem, leaving Wigwam a widower.

Teepee Pompom is the wife of Ispidbol. The post entitled Baog na Daga explains why Ispidbol and Teepee have no hammies of their own.

(Tatlong paragraph, tatlo agad ang link… tsk tsk tsk, hanep!)

Wigwam’s morning exercise

Hamsters are also active during the very early morning. Wigwam is shown here ‘warming down’ in preparation for his all-day sleep, to wake up again at around 5pm for another ‘warming up’ for the approaching activity in the evening.

Teepee’s vocal languages

The sound you heard is typically exhibited by males. I presume that this is their expression of loneliness, boredom or drowsiness.

Ispidbol is the hamster in the bigger cage at left. Teepee is the white one at right. The sounds they make are the hamsters’ SEX and MATING call languages.

Click this for USAPANG PINOY: My Japayuki experience…

Baog na daga

NOTE: Gusto kong ipaalala yung unang post ko kaninang umaga — Si Lolo at si Lola baka lang hindi nyo pa nababasa. May pikyur duon ng “taong-bundok” 😀

Ispidbol (♂)

One may consider Ispidbol (Speedball) as a sterile hamster. But this is far from the truth.

Technically speaking, neither Ispidbol nor Teepee (his wife) is infertile or sterile. They just failed to sire offspring on their first and second matings — and that I decided to stop aiming further for a third. The reasons may be as simple as to control my hamsters’ birth rate, to as much complex a reason unknown to non-hammie-lovers. That is what I am going to talk about.

I read from my internet surfing that in-breeding, or mating closely related individuals (maski pala sa hayop) is not advisable. Babies are more likely to die young immediately after birth resulting to less number per litter. Resulting breeds tend to be less smart (daw), smaller, have ‘undesirable’ physical appearance, sickly and have a shorter lifespan. This I learned just recently — after breeding up to almost the 7th generation!

Well… Less number per litter may be an advantage considering their fast population growth. But the poor babies who die… never mind the ‘advantage’; I have to stay away from ‘impractical breeding’.

One hamster expert in flickr commented that it is even possible for unborn babies “being absorbed back into their mother whilst they are still in the womb” (this is her exact words). Meron palang ganun?

Yes, I think this is true. Because I remember Teepee’s tummy has grown big on her second mating with Ispidbol. Obviously she was pregnant. Sixteen days had passed but no sign of babies nor blood. Her tummy just went back to its normal size after a few days. Ibang klase! But I am happy she didn’t die like the elder Beria and the younger Beria-girdel.

Considering their skills and talents, I can say that my hammies are all smart, tamable, and trainable. Not one is a moron or retarded. It’s just that I see the “pay-offs” of in-breeding in the smaller body-built and the not-so-good fur coats of most of my long-haired males. But whatever, I love all my hamsters, of course.

Incidence of illness, I think, is a matter of how you foresee the possibility of it and how you respond quickly to it just in case it strikes. Lifespan? It’s just the same — two years on the average — just the same as when I had started caring for this family since 2003. But anyway, I learned a lot. This time I have to breed very carefully.

So what is my declaration? Ispidbol is not sterile! No, not even his wife. 😀 Walang baog sa daga ko, ‘no!

Okey. Watch Ispidbol’s video. Yun malimit na “ahehe” ko wag kayo mapikon. Hintayin nyo sa huling part nitong video kung ano sound ng “ahehe” na yun. Ahehe!

Ispidbol in “Bulwagang Bitoy” (Bitoy Hall, 31 Oct 2007)

Ispidbol is a fourth generation hamster. He is the current occupant and steward of the Bulwagang Bitoy. 😆 He is so far the only tenant who does not chew the woodwork of the Hall.

Ispidbol’s the most “nosey” of all my hammies. When I hold him close to my face, he stretches his body to smell my nose. Kung minsan nga didilaan pa.

In his ‘golden days’, Ispidbol is still enjoying an active retirement.

Click this for more USAPANG PINOY!

One and a dozen

This link will show you the ancestral lines of the 13 living hamsters now under my care: Hamster family members

You may ask: “Why so many?”

Since the beginning, I do not intend to keep more than a dozen. Four is ideal, or six maybe, especially for such solitary creatures that need to be caged separately. That means if you have twelve Syrian hamsters, you need twelve individual cages. *gasp!*

Hamsters multiply at a very fast rate (buti pa sila). A female can give birth to an average of six to eight babies after only 16 days of pregnancy (sana kami ni misis ganun din). 😆 To prevent a possible complete “hamster takeover” of my house, I have chosen to give each of my female hamster only one chance of producing a litter. By the way, I am proud to tell you that my hamsters, male or female, are all monogamous. Walang kabit, walang sabit.

Kaya kayo mga ineng: huwag kayong basta pabobola sa mga ‘boys’ at baka me asa-asawa na ang mga iyan. Kilatisin nyo baka BARAKO lang yan sa unang tingin, pero sa pagiging asawa at ama ay isa palang BADING. Pagpapalahian lang kayo, kawawa naman ang mga magiging anak nyo. Hanap kayo ng tulad ng tatay ko na maski lib-in lang sila noon ng nanay ko hanggang makapag-anak ng anim e, solong asawa lang ang nanay ko ng tatay ko. 😆 Pero sa inyong mga nagli-live-in at sigurado na, ano pa bang hinihintay nyo. Me libre namang mass wedding kung ayaw nyo gumastos. Masaya pa dahil marami kayo.

Nalayo na naman tayo ano? Nabanggit kasi yung kabit e. Sayang naman kung hindi pa makakapagsermon aheheh. Okey balik tayo sa daga:

[To my readers who don’t understand Tagalog: the words in italics above is a Filipino “joke” (tsk tsk tsk) and will lose its ‘humor’ if translated in English… my apologies.]

I also give away hamsters for free, keeping only one or two from a new litter for me. My only requirement for prospective pet-owners is a safe and decent cage that is especially designed for hamsters, with an exercise wheel and a drinking bottle. There are a lot to chose from in almost all pets shops locally.

But sometimes, some people who have made ‘reservations’ don’t want to take the cost of buying a cage. In such cases I am always firm: NO cage, NO hamster. If they just want a toy for their kids, I discourage them from owning any pet. Pets are not toys… they are living animals.

Now you know why I’ve got thirteen hamsters.

Here they are, grouped according to their respective litters. Their ages as of this date are also indicated. All the photos are ‘clickable’ and will link you directly to my flickr photos.

The CHIAROSCUROGANG (age: 1 year 7 months 20 days)

The senior citizens. These three are the oldest in the family. They belong to the 4th generation. They are the litters of Blakdyak and Snow White (both departed).

Isnowitwit (♀)

Isnowitwit Kotonbol (Snowitwit Cottonball) ♀

Isnobol (♂)

Isnobol (Snowball) ♂

Ispidbol (♂)

Ispidbol (Speedball) ♂

The PANAPANAGANG (age: 1 year 1 month 16 days)

The mid-lifers, more or less. These three are the litters of Isnowitwit and the late Arrow.

Mochahontas (♀)


Mochawonka (♂)

Mochawonka ♂ “the wiggler”

Isnohontas (♀)

Isnohontas Kotonbol (Snowhontas Cottonball) ♀

The PANAPANA-II-GANG (age: 11 months 16 days)

The unexpected fraternal twin. This litter was unplanned and unexpected. The Panapanagang were not separated until after more than 40 days from their birth enabling the mating of the young siblings Mochawonka and Isnohontas. Only two (2) of the resulting six (6) pups survived, the other four died upon falling on the cold and damp bottom of the cage at birth. I didn’t know their mother was pregnant until I just heard squeaking inside the cage.

Wigwam (♂)

Wigwam Wigglerson ♂ (son of Mochawonka ‘the wiggler’) is the husband of Beria-girdel (deceased).

Teepee (♀)

Teepee Pompom ♀ is the wife of Ispidbol. The couple are unable to sire on their first and second mating. After what happened to Beria-girdel, I didn’t aim for a third.

The BOOLAGANG (age: 8 months 9 days)

The posthumous litter. These three, along with three others including the late Beria-girdel, were born 11 days after their father Berio died. Mochahontas is their mother.

Bebong II (♂) & Berio II (♂)

Bebong II ♂ and Berio II ♂ are still sharing a common cage as to this date — quite remarkable for Syrian hamsters.

Bebang-girdel (♀)

Bebang-girdel ♀ is the laziest and drowsiest of all the family members. When awake, her habit, beside eating and grooming, is stretching and yawning. Mahihiya si Garfield.

The CHOCHOBEBES (age: 5 months 10 days)

The returning litter. These are the surviving litter of Chocho, a female who was given for adoption. When their mother died, Syma and Amboy were sent back to us. Isnobol is their father.

Syma (♀)

Syma ♀ is so far the grumpiest hamster in the family. She’s so ‘bitey’ nobody can handle her. It’s a real challenge to tame her, and I am optimistic about it.

Amboy (♂)Amboy (♂), his other side

Amboy ♂ is the youngest of all — the thirteenth hamster, so to speak. He was a candidate for adoption. But his physical condition the day he and her elder sister came back made me change my mind. He was then so small and skinny, nervous due to Syma continually harassing him. (Have you tried clicking on his smaller photo?)

That’s right… Amboy is a one-eye-blind hamster. This is probably(?) an injury inflicted by his sister when they were yet still babies.

And like what I was always saying: the smallest and the weakest always get most of my care and attention. The 13th hamster is now the first.

Swerte pala ang pang-trese??? 😐 😦 😥 😕 😮 😡 🙄 8) 🙂 😀 😛 😉 😆 Acheche…! Dyoks lang syempre. … See you next week!

Next: “Pamana ng isang DAGA” — Bitoy’s Legacy (November 21)

A Hamster Halloween special


This is the first and last time I made such a video remix for my pets.  (I see nothing wrong about it) My concern of not offending anybody, particularly the conservative bigot or a person of the extremist-type (animal-welfare nazis), is the only reason that keep me from making this two-minute ‘teaser’ and showing it publicly in YouTube and in my blog.

If you have some superstitious beliefs, cultural biases or religious prejudices, DO NOT CLICK on that PLAY button — this video is not for your eyes to see.

To find out more about Berio, click on these: