Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Large TV

My ex-boss was fond of window shopping during lunch breaks, and one time, he took his managers to SM Mall. First, we ate in a fastfood shop. Then he declared that he is going to buy a plasma tv for his living room and we are to help him scrutinize his eyed equipment. Our eyes widened in amazement. Not one of us owned such kind of tv.

After our sumptuous meal, we headed to appliance shop, surveyed their displays and watched the movies in the large screen. After unanimous approval from the group, the boss took out his credit card and used the 0% interest installment privileges that he have. Lucky for him! He even prodded his assistant to buy a similar tv.

If I were to buy a plasma or lcd TV, it should have a large enough so that I’ll no longer have to put my glasses on. I would mount in the wall of our small bedroom. A tv wall bracket would surely keep it safely tucked in the wall. Then my wife and I will watch tv till we sleep. Ah, I’m dreaming again!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Shopping Rush - For the Godchildren

I still have to rush and buy gifts for 4 out of my 20++ godchildren. Tomorrow is my promised gift-giving day, and the children are expecting the gifts. Some even asked me about it last Sunday, but I have to be creative in my excuses.

"Be good little boy. Don't forget to come next Sunday" I said to one.

I also can't help the parents from asking in behalf of their little ones. I hummed, rolled my eyes and scratched the back of my neck. I just laughed. But they're really serious about it.

Flowers for Emma

What is it about flowers that can melt a woman’s heart? Is it really the flowers or the romantic idea?

She didn’t answer his long distance calls for days now. While he, somewhere in KSA, didn’t have any idea why she acted that way. The quarrels were often petty but this one, especially the long days without proper communication, worried him. She kept her ground and just hid in her room most of the time.

But one day, a delivery man came knocking on her doors. "Flowers for Emma" he called out, bringing a bouquet of roses and fresh flowers. She was surprised as she read the note, “Missing you so badly. I love you!” She couldn’t believe it. This is the first time in their 3 years that he sent her flowers. Tears flowed down from her eyes and she carried the bouquet in her arms. “How beautiful these flowers are. I didn’t know he’s so romantic” she loudly said. Then her phone rang. She hurried to her room, answered the phone and they talked for hours.

My wife and I just smiled at these two young friends of ours. Ah, sweet love!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Improvised Soccer

I don’t know what got into the head of my wife when on Christmas day, she brought her nieces and nephews to an aunt’s house and there we played improvised soccer on the 200 sq.m. yard. No, she doesn’t really play soccer. The improvisation was just for fun and it shows her creativeness. Two monoblock chairs served as goal posts for the opposing sides.

There were four players for each team. I played opposite my wife. Her team was composed of her 22-yr old brother, a 14-yr old nephew and an 11-yr old niece. My team was composed of aunt’s family driver, an 18-yr old niece and a 7 yr-old nephew.

My wife is confident of her brother’s ability, for he played soccer during high school. She thought her team can beat us easily. But we disappointed her.

She didn’t know that the family driver also played soccer back in his province in Negros. He’s quick and skillful. My 7 yr old teammate is also fearless and even kicked feet and legs of opponents. I too showed my dribbling abilities and even made some attacking plays. But my weight and lack of endurance slowed me down. So I left it to the driver to finish the goals. He scored twice.

The game ended at 2-1, with our side having the advantage. But my wife asked for a rematch. We set New Year’s Day as our next playing date. She wanted the driver to be on her team. I offered a trade for her brother, but she declined and wanted both. She wanted to ensure victory the next time around.

I just smiled in return and thought of tricks on how to win again. I can’t really complain of her competitiveness.

When A Family Loses The Breadwinner

The wife of a neighbor and family friend of ours woke up one day scared. Perhaps it was the news she received the day before that they lost another close friend due to stress and fatigued. She was very much worried about the way her husband works. He teaches at a local university at day, and does some sidelines as building contractor on his spare time. He is a workaholic. With his efforts, the family income quadrupled, and they could now afford things they couldn’t normally buy before.

She, though equipped with a business degree from a reputable school, is a stay-at-home-wife and a mom of three teenage boys. She worried that if her husband would die, she couldn’t take the challenge of having to raise them herself. So she thought about family life insurance. She asked friends on how to get the best rates and how to reduce premiums. At age 45, the premiums are higher compared to when you get insured at 20. He doesn’t smoke, nor have any vices. At least, by staying healthy, one can save money on insurance premium.

Her dilemma is common among families with only one breadwinner. What if the head of the families dies? Funerals are not cheap. Who will support those who are left? A few hundred thousand bucks can be drained in less than a year. This is where a life insurance is very important. Advantage term life, sells all types of life insurance. You can check their website to get a quote today.

And what happened to my neighbor? She forced her husband to buy insurance. She felt she can now sleep soundly with it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Exploring New Grounds

I’ve been treading on their grounds for some time now, having read about the buzz from some of my blogger friends. The grass is greener on their side, so they say, and I slowly strolled my way there to find it out for myself. This is the fun in crossing over; exploring new grounds and finding more opportunities wherever available. I did some digging on the archives of my problogging friends and used the search engine to find out more about paid opportunities.

It was exactly a month ago yesterday that my blog was approved. Yes, I signed up for payperpost in order to get paid for blogging. Joining is pretty easy. Go to their site, register an account and your blog. Wait for their approval, and when approved, a $20 awaits for your first post. That is not a small amount for a start. At the present peso-dollar exchange, that is already equivalent to more than a 3-day salary for a minimum wage earner in Cebu.

When you get paid to blog about the things you love, the financial reward is really something extra. Your own creativeness can be put to good use since you write about it your own way and your own style. Plus, they really have lots of opportunities waiting for posties.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas: Truce or Reconciliation

The government and the rebel forces declared a Christmas truce. How nice isn’t it? No bloody war for at least a week.

In our community, or even circles (families, friends, colleagues) some feuding parties (personalities) may have declared truce silently by just tolerating each other’s presence in parties and Christmas events. But meeting eye to eye is no-no. You know how it is after the season is over, everyone else will be back in their war rooms and put on in their battlegears. Conflicts are not resolved by mere ceasefires. And we can’t just be contented with temporary peace.

But someone up there gave us a peace that lasts; lasting reconciliation not just any truce. God sent His own son, Jesus Christ so that we can be reconciled to Him (2 Cor 5:19). Even if we don’t know it, we rebelled against God by committing sins. And we deserve a penalty. (Romans 6:23) But it is by his mercy and love that He offered his gift of eternal life to anyone who believes in His son Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

May you my dear friends enjoy the true reconciliation this season; first to God, then to those people around you. God bless!

Widening The Road

I'm widening a bit my road in problogging. I registered in Blogsvertise and will soon write reviews for their advertisers.

It is so easy to join. Go to their site, register your account and blog, and then wait for their approval. Once approved by the administrator, your blog is inserted into the assignment queue. Then you will be emailed tasks and new assignments to write about in your blog.

Writing an entry is not a really a big hassle. You can review the advertiser’s site, compliment it, relate it in your everyday life, or even complain about it (hmmm…I’m not sure if complaining is a good idea). Make a link to the website at least 3 times in your blog/journal entry. You can write it your style.

Once your blog entry is approved, Blogsvertise will pay you after 30 days via paypal. Again, you MUST have a paypal account in order to be paid. This is just some added power to the blogger.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Gift: Awards

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Kind bloggers gave me awards. I really felt unworthy with all of these. Julai first bestowed me the Egel Nest Award. The award was first given out by Bradley Egel for the blogs he felt deserving of his brand of Blog Excellence Award.

Then Ivy gave me the “Sweet Treat Award”. I’m totally dumbfounded. It took me months before I recovered from such kindness. Thank you, thank you very much!

Now I’m bestowing these awards to the following (of my personal choice):

The problogging masters: Carey, Javi and Sasha. Their blogs also served as my resource when I crossed over.

The literary masters: Rey for poetry, and Ayen for flash fiction. I just love how these guys put magic into words. By the way, Ayen’s story is included in a book. Go check out his site.

The photography masters: Ferdz and Abaniko. Awesome, amazing, exhilarating, indescribable, great! I ran out of adjectives to describe their photos.

The happy bloggers: Verns, Gypsy, Francesca and Tin-tin. Their positive outlook in life is contagious.

There you go my blogger friends. I'm sure plenty of you already received awards, as these have been in the net for sometime now. May we all enjoy the holidays and may the love of God be with us all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Game of Chance

What is so attractive about gambling when the chance of winning is close to nil? My grandpa loves cockfighting, and he is seldom absent from the Sunday affair, even at the point of skipping church. Even in the game of checkers, he loves putting up bets against daring challengers. At both games, he has 50-50 chance of winning.

When he lived in a care home in America sometime in the late 2000, he sneaked out with another retiree and went to Vegas to spend a few hundred bucks. He did not report any winnings. Just break even, he said. If he will learn about online casino, I’m sure he’s going to try his luck into it.

You see, internet gambling is so rampant these days that websites like offers review on most of the online casinos. Ratings, winnings and even the amount of jackpots are exhibited to attract more players.

I’m not into these though, but I can challenge my grandpa in a game of chess. The odds are with me.

Internet Security

I remembered the time when we didn’t have firewall security, and everyone else just dialed up to connect to the internet. A boss was given a laptop despite his lack of computer knowledge. He was so excited to wade into the internet ocean when he suddenly clicked into a site inviting viruses into his hard disk. (I guess you all have an idea on what sites are filled with internet monsters.) The worst thing happened and sent shivers to his spine. He put his laptop into eventual retirement, and precious company data were sent to limbo never to be recovered. A disaster is imminent without internet security.

ZoneAlarm Internet Security is a sure way of protecting your PC and network from viruses, spywares and all those damaging attacks from all levels. It delivers proactive firewall protection with multiple layers of security that stop inbound, outbound, and program attacks while remaining completely invisible to hackers. Check out their site for their many product offerings. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Commotion At The Airport

I was waiting for my evening flight to Cebu when there was a commotion at the domestic airport’s pre-departure area. It was not a bomb scare. But it felt like one for a mother who was milking her infant when a mentally ill person suddenly grabbed the bottled milk of her baby and sucked it for himself. She immediately ran way leaving her belongings.

Another waiting lady passenger jumped right away from her seat when the man suddenly faced her. She ran to the passenger assistance counter, and pointing her fingers at the insane man.

He never appeared violent. In fact, he looked so calm enjoying his milk. He stood up every now and then, and an old lady, who seemed to be her mother, kept holding him. Airline and airport security personnel surrounded the hapless man who was carrying 4 or 5 bags, two of which were not his. (He must be a porter since he carried them with ease.) He moved back and forth trying to evade everyone, including his mother. He never looked anyone in the eye, but rather on the floor. Maybe the airline delay agitated him, as he also kept on looking outside the glass window towards the parked plane.

I was only a few feet away so I just took the liberty of taking a picture. But it dawned on me: What are the rights of mentally ill person? Are they allowed to ride airplanes which may put every one else at risk? What if he was on the plane with us when his illness struck?

If I remembered it right, there was a hi-jacking incident a few years ago of a domestic airline. The culprit was a mentally troubled man. A steward was brave enough to face him. The man asked for a parachute. Then he jumped from the plane as if he knew anything about skydiving. The passengers were relieved. The steward was hailed as hero. The parachute didn’t work though.

Hotel Reservations

Early this year, when my wife and a friend were scheduled to take the NCLEX exam in Hong Kong, they worried a lot about where to stay. Friends and relatives who had been to the place comforted them saying that it’s very easy to find a hotel there.

But my wife was unsettled. We tried to call long-distance a certain number but they're full. So I helped her in the Hotel Reservations, assuring her that she can really find a best value hotel. Using the internet, I searched for affordable hotels and inns around Kowloon area. I had no qualms in giving my credit card number. The reservation process was so easy.

When they arrived at the hotels' entrance, they were gladly ushered in by the manager and staff, hassle-free.

In they have lots of offerings like hotels, motels, vacation rentals and packages, resorts, etc.. They also offer special internet rates, which can even be cheaper than when you just walk in without a reservation. If you want to make reservations in some great hotels and vacation places either in Hong Kong, New York or Cebu, or any place you want, you can check out their website now.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Worst RP SEA Games Finish

From a defending champion to a beleaguered 6th placer, that is what we finished in the 2007 SEA (South East Asian) games. From 113 golds in 2005, we only garnered 41 in this year’s event. Vietnam and Singapore even fared better.

Our bets in swimming hauled 8 golds. Not bad at all. But we’re a disappointment in the other sports. Our boxers walked out. I don’t know if it’s justifiable. Knowing that judging is always biased in Thailand, no one can certainly dispute a knockout. They should have aimed for a TKO.

But did we lack government support? Is P100M not enough? Who should be blamed? Thailand? Well, maybe there’s something wrong with our own sports’ programs.

Despite the worst finish, we managed a total of 228 medals, second only to the host and eventual winner, Thailand. If only those medals were gold.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Suitable Web Host

I want my own dotcom next year and I’m starting my search for web host now.

But finding a suitable web host is no longer a problem these days. Whether you want it for business or just for personal reasons, there is always one that fits your need. If you are new to web hosting, is a great site where you can learn and explore the basics of web hosting. In their FAQ page, they answer questions that might trouble you for sometime.

If you also have specific needs, the site has this web hosting plans directory. If you further need to drill to specifics, they have this advanced search that allows you to pick every single feature you want in your site.

Isn’t this great? Web Hosting Choice is really a helpful resource to web hosting.

The Driver

Sometimes, I wonder what it is to be a cab driver or a chauffer. I once said to a boss that I might probably be a cab driver when I migrate to the US. He laughed. He too declared he wants to be a driver when he retires.

Friday I took a leave from work to assist our youngest sister in her wedding preparations. It was the day before her wedding day and she still have to go to some place to check on the outfit of the entourage and the flower baskets, have their picture taken for the guest book, buy other items, attend rehearsals, etc…. I volunteered to be their driver for the day.

We set out early morning to the downtown of Cebu. Traffic was just moderate. Since parking is problem, I dropped off my sister and her husband-to-be at the busy Colon Street (the oldest street in the Philippines). I also dropped off my wife in Manalili Street. She assisted my sister in the preparations. If you’re familiar with Cebu City, these two streets are really the busiest during the day. Good thing there was a vacant parking space towards the end of Manalili Street. It saved me from circling around the busy area.

We were out on the streets whole day, traversing between downtown Cebu, Mandaue City, and back to uptown Cebu. There were times when I felt a stinging pain in my left ankle, the one that got injured a couple of years ago in a badminton tournament. But I just tolerated the pain.

My wife and I planned to have a haircut and probably have our hair dyed, but we never had the chance. Between 9-11pm, we were still looking for a dress my wife would wear for the wedding. We’re glad to have bought a P250 (at 30% discount) purple dress at a night bazaar. We went home very very tired, but quite satisfied we did our job for the day.

Saturday was the big day. The wedding was in the afternoon and my wife still had to purchase flowers and design the headdresses of the bride and the entourage in the morning. As the obedient driver, I drove her to the Carbon Market. Then in the afternoon, my car was used as the bridal car and I was again the driver. I wore an apple green colored polo shirt, brown tie and a purple jacket, which did not in anyway complement their wedding color motif.

I had a little chat with my sister while she was inside the car, waiting for her march. She was really really grateful for her big brother’s help. I just smiled and said, “This is your big day, Sis. Just relax and enjoy it.”

Sunday was a free day for me so I just dozed off in the afternoon. But I felt pain in my lower calf and left ankle. This must now be the after effect of my two days work as a driver. This job ain’t really easy. Now, I want a massage.

Lament of a Football Fan

I once had this friendly argument with a colleague as to the universal scope of some popular sports. “Football is the world’s most popular sport” I strongly argued.

“No. It’s basketball” he insisted.

Perhaps after thorough research a week after, he backed down from his claim. But he was not alone in his glorification of basketball. Filipinos do love basketball, and most actually thinks that the NBA is bigger than FIFA, and that football is the game played by men with helmets and oversized suits.

See the effects of the American colonizers on us? We call the traditional football soccer (sounds like sucker), just like they call it in the USA, when the rest world call it football. And guess what? The Philippines did not send a football team to the 2007 SEA games because they think we have a very slim chance of winning. So, where is the long-term program they talked about years ago? There was already a faint ray of hope when our world standings improved a few notch higher a couple of years ago.

As for me and the few football fans here in RP, we just have to mingle with the worldwide fans in rooting for the big clubs and the strong footballing nations. Thank God for cable TVs! No local channel carries the beautiful game. And we have no local teams to cheer on.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thankful Tag

It’s pretty unusual to receive a tag from the Fencesitter. But it’s something that he created for himself then shared it to his blogfriends. Here it goes: List 10 things that you are thankful for.

2007 is somewhat a roller coaster kind of a year for me. I may not have really shown it in my posts but it really is not an easy year. But I thank God for the following:

1. My Wife. Honestly, I have not shown this blog to her until recently. She asked why (which you may also ask). I really did not have a definite or a convincing answer. But I showed her my posts about the flowers she arranged and how my readers appreciated them. I also showed her my attempts at problogging and the possibility of earning dollars. Thank God I got her support on this one. And of course, for her love.

2. Problogging. I’m still tiptoeing when it comes to this thing, though I have a PR4. I only have very few sponsored posts so far, and I’m not dreaming of thousand bucks per month. (Ten thousands, actually. ha ha) At least, this is a diversion now that my interest in badminton is waning.

3. New laptop. Though company-owned, I can use this thing everywhere I go. The wifi access makes it possible for me to connect to the net in many places here in the Vis-Min area.

4. Company benefits. I got a raise! Though not necessarily the motivation, at least I have something. Plus, they replaced my 10-yr old service vehicle to a new one. It’s a more comfortable ride now.

5. A new hang-out near our place. Free wifi, affordable restaurants, not-so-crowded coffee shops, 24-hr Mcdo, these are just some of the things that makes the place great.

6. Safe trips. I have plenty of trips this year. Maybe more next year. But I thank God for his protection.

7. New badminton playmates. They meet TTHS, but I only join them on Saturdays. At least they welcome me, and I can just play the games I want without the excess baggage.

8. The internet. It’s very useful. Blogging, banking, buying things, finding infos, etc…I’m even planning of setting up an online flower shop in the near future.

9. Friends. They are very important to me. In my ups and downs, real friends extended their hands and hearts.

10. Fencesitter and Fencesitter. Perhaps this is the nth time I mentioned that he’s my mentor in blogging. Thank you mate! See you again next week in Manila.

So there goes my ten. There are no rules as to the number of people to tag. So I’m tagging 10: Vince, Zherwin, Mitch, Tin-tin, Daisy, Janeser, Francesca, Ghee, Tin and Aryo.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One Brave Cop

Today’s front page of the local daily reported contrasting fate of two young cops. A 28-year old policewoman was caught in an attempt to bribe the head of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force while a 29-year old cop died of shooting while serving a warrant of arrest. The latter was awarded hours before his demise, as part of the team that successfully arrested a notorious shooting suspect last week.

I will not expound more on the one bad cop, but on the hero that died: PO1 Noriel Luage. He and a buddy were assigned to serve a warrant of arrest of a suspected gun-for-hire broker. As they were about to enter the house, someone switched off the lights. The buddy saw someone moving inside and Luage was quick enough to enter the dark room. But he was met with blazing bullets. It was so dark that the buddy fired back towards the direction of the sparks he saw. Luckily, he killed the perpetrator and barely missing the bullets fired at him.

Obviously, our cops never lacked courage. But they’re short of the equipment. If they were only equipped with hunting lights, spotlights or infrared devices, operating in the dark would have been safer and more efficient. Magnalight is a leading brand for these equipment. I saw how powerful their flashlights are, having seen one used by my father-in-law.

It’s just very unfortunate that PO1 Luage died young. His superiors spoke well of him, even highly praising his dedication to his job. We absolutely need more cops like him. But then, we also need the government to provide them the appropriate equipment.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Honest Driver

As I was enjoying a cup of coffee and free wifi, one of the coffe shop attendants arrived riding a taxi. I did not really take notice of her until a couple of minutes later when she panicked realizing that she left her phone on the cab.

“Consider it gone. What can you expect of people these days?” said one of her coworkers.

“Give him a ring. Offer him money just to return your phone.” suggested another.

She dialed her own cellphone number and was glad it was ringing. But no one picked it up at the other end. Then she sent a text message begging anyone who happens to find her phone to return it at the coffee shop.

“You’d be fortunate if he returns the phone.” said the guy who made the pessimistic comment earlier. “You’d better look for a new phone.”

“I bought that phone only a week ago, and I’ve reloaded it just this afternoon” said the hapless girl. “I’m sure he’ll return it.”

Then a cab parked in front of the shop. The driver stepped down with the phone in his hand. The girl jumped with joy. From a distance I saw her hand in something to the cabbie, which he initially refused. She forced it though and the driver accepted it with a smile.

When she went inside the coffee shop, she was ecstatic. But then, she worried if the P100 she gave to the driver was enough a reward. She narrated how the driver heard the phone ringing but did not answer it because he didn’t know how to operate the thing. He happened to be nearby without a passenger so he did not hesitate in making a u-turn to return the phone.

I am a witness to the event. There certainly are honest people in our country today. And we just have to continue in believing despite the fact that we’re somewhere on top of the list of most corrupt nations. Thank God for honest Filipinos!

Friday, December 07, 2007

When We Grow Old

Who will care for you when you get old? You might say that it would be your kids. But what if you have none and all your closest relatives are busy with their lives and families? These are facts of life, you know.

You may say you have money alright. You placed enough effort to save and invest for the later years. The retirement pension may be more than enough for another couple or more decades. But you feel lonely most of the time as if the world conspires against you.

If you fear being alone, and or maybe you are the sweet lover past your golden years, but your love one’s health is deteriorating fast and you lack the strength to give her the best care. Then a care home is for you. Some of the care homes have the best facilities and carers around.

But that is not the only option though. You can also stay at home, enjoy your money and the solitude and have the carers regularly visit you. I prefer the second option, as long as I have the internet around. How about you?

Champs League 2008

The group stage of the UEFA Champions League for 2007/2008 is almost over. The familiar clubs names are still in. I’m just worried for Liverpool, the 2005 champion (2007 runner-up), for they are struggling in group A. I hope Steven Gerrard will lift them up again in their last qualifying game. FC Porto, the 2004 champions, is currently on a shaky lead. But I believe they’ll qualify again.

In group B, Chelsea sits on top. The two draws are obviously a dent in their record, but as long as they progress and eventually win the trophy, the angst of Mourinho’s exit will be forgotten. But their stars are injured, some physically, others emotionally. I hope they recover on time. As per European record, they have no trophy to boast.

As expected, Real Madrid leads group C. The nine-time champion fans expect nothing but the top prize, anything less is a disappointment. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Raul are two most lethal strikers in Europe today.

AC Milan, the seven-time and currently defending Champion, tops group D. Nobody expects them to drop out early. If they reach the semis, they could possibly win again because of their vast experience. Kaka is a very exciting player to watch.

FC Barcelona is another club to reckon with. They currently top group E. The 2006 champion is gifted with four most exciting players in the world in Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi (said to be the next Maradona), Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o. I can’t find any weakness in their present line-up.

Group F is lead by EPL champion Manchester United. There is the young Portuguese, Ronaldo, who wows the crowd with his wonderful plays. And of course, there is Wayne Rooney, another young English hotshot player who can score many goals.

Two heavyweights are in Group G. PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan. Though both are champions in their respective leagues, I don’t see them reach the finals this year. Inter is currently on top of the tables, but PSV seems to be on an early exit.

Arsenal is currently behind Sevilla in group H, but may be able to catch up if they will win their next assignment. After Henry’s transfer to Barcelona, many ruled them out both in the Premiership and in the Champions League. But they’re proving their critics wrong. They’re now on top of the EPL despite the absence of big name players in their squad. Their youth and flare is their advantage. But still, I don’t see them beyond the semis.

So, who will be your pick to reach the final four? Mine would be AC Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona. It’s so hard to say this, but I don’t think my Chelsea team can go beyond the semis. I’ll just have to wait and see though. I have not yet really moved on after Mourinho’s departure from Chelsea.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bye Bye Dust

I first tried using a vacuum cleaner at church, cleaning the sanctuary floors when our caretaker was sick. The youth group at that time was temporarily assigned the job, and being the leader, I was enthusiastic about it. The machine was quite an improvement for us actually, because we used do it by broom and coconut husks. At first try, my hands trembled a bit, but it eventually settled on the handle. I supposed the vacuum cleaner was very easy to use. I’ve seen people operating and maneuvering them with ease, like those utility men and those car wash boys.

These cleaners actually suck dirt and garbage like loose pet hair and trash particles in your floors and carpets. They are also very effective in cleaning those hard-to-reach corners. But it is also very important to have the right vacuum cleaner parts from a reputable company. At Dyson, they offer various models and types of vacuum cleaners. Accessories are also available at their site. It will surely make ones cleaning job easier. So bye bye, dust!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Delayed Takeoff

I was still sleepy when I boarded the 635am plane bound for Manila. I must have slept for a few minutes when the plane positioned itself on the runway. Then it began to gain speed for the takeoff. But after a few seconds, the pilot stepped on the brakes causing a little commotion on the startled passengers. He announced that we have to return to the tarmac for a quick maintenance check up. That calmness of his voice was quite a relief.

I really didn’t know what I felt at that time. In my frequent travels, this is the first time I encountered such. No, it wasn’t fear. I just could not explain it. I immediately sent a text message to my wife informing her of our situation.

When the plane crew allowed us to go to the pre-departure area, as our scheduled departure was changed to 830am, I immediately left my seat. The first thing that came to my mind was to fill my empty stomach. I bought a bunwich and a cup of coffee. Good thing I met badminton acquaintance at the pre-departure area. The little chat about badminton and the plane’s mechanical problem seemed to have eased me a little bit. I returned to the plane upon hearing the final call.

When the plane safely landed at the Manila domestic airport, I whispered a short prayer thanking the Lord for the safe travel.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Emergency Cash

No matter how we want to control our everyday activities there will always be unplanned events that may come our way. Like your bonus was not released on time and you have bills piled up due within 5 days. Or when your sis suddenly had a caesarian delivery and looked up to you for help. Or you may need immediate cash because you issued a post dated check due days before your payday. Where do you get cash?

In times like these, it is better to have plan B. No, don’t go to the pawnshops and have your wedding ring pawned. All you need is a click to a website that offers payday loans. They offer you cash advances up to $1,500. After filing up the online application form and submission, you will receive an email of approval or denial. Once approved, and after submitting all other requirements, they will release your loan direct to your checking account safely and securely. The releasing can even be done overnight. There is no need for you to queue in long lines either. Everything can be done at the comfort of your home.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Parkmall: Cebu's Newest Shopping Destination

The face of Cebu is changing once again with the entry of a new mall. I’m talking about Parkmall, that large structure under construction right now beside the Cebu International Convention Center.

It is about 30,000 square meters of great choices, situated in a six-hectare land expanse in 168 Ouano Avenue, Mandaue Reclamation Road, Mandaue City. The area is right in the heart of an emerging commercial district in Mandaue City. Parkmall is Cebu’s upcoming biggest value shopping destination.

Though expected to fully open in 2008, they are having a Christmasfest starting tomorrow till Sunday and continued on the next weekend (Nov 30 – Dec 2 and December 7-9, 2007). They’re open from 2pm to 10pm. Aside from the bazaar, here are some of their highlights.

- Daily freebies for lucky shoppers
- Daily Giant slide
- (Dec 1 & 8, 4pm) Children’s party
- (Dec 1, 7pm) Acrobat show
- (Dec 9. 7pm) Magic show
- (Dec 1) Art Exhibit
- Anticipated mass 6pm, Saturdays
- Live in concert:
(Nov 30, 8pm) Rockn’ reggae night with Powerspoonz
(Dec 1, 8pm) Acoustic blues & pop night with B’dict
(Dec 7, 8pm) 40 (the band)
(Dec 8, 8pm) Fashion show with Cattski

Getting there is not a problem. They have shuttle pick-up points at the following areas:

RECLAMATION: Equitable (across SM), CDU, North bus terminal
BANILAD:USC-TC, UC Banilad, Cebu Home & Builders, Norkis
MACTAN: Mercado Mactan, MEPZ1 – Save More, Gaisano Mactan
LAHUG: Skyrise, Asiatown IT Park, JY Square
AYALA: Asilo, FGU-Cebu Business Park, Offroads

For sure I’ll be there this weekend. I am not paid to make this post, but just plugging for a friend whose family owns the place. For more details, call 0922-2806348 and/or (6332) 3447817.

Searching for MP3 Players

There are days when I would just like to withdraw from the noise outside my office cubicle. I plug my earphone to my laptop and then listen to all my “Jars of Clay” collection.

But many times I wished of buying a portable mp3 player, the one that I can carry anywhere I go. You know those long trips and the time spent on waiting at the airport. It’s not only music that I listen to. I have plenty of e-books too, gathering dusts on my desk.

I did not know that you can buy an mp3 player for as low as £3.99. Savebuckets is a website that offers mp3 players at different prices, sizes, brands and color. It is easy to navigate. You can search any brand or product you want and compare prices too. I just checked the both the iPod and the Creative Zen mp3players. Check their site now and you’ll surely find more gadgets than what you are looking for.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Crossing the River

I’m happy on my side. They’re happy on theirs. They can see me, and I can see them waving with something in their hands. I must admit I took a peek, with the web as a scope, zooming in on how they did it.

A friend crossed over, finding the waters shallow, and saying it’s time to earn something out from the activities he loves. He surely did not abandon his flair in making lively posts, while getting paid on the sides.

I followed suit and decided to cross the river of paid blogging.

I signed up with Smorty last night and guess what? They approved my blog in less than twelve hours. Smorty is a service connecting advertisers with bloggers. Advertisers can advertise on blogs and pay bloggers to write opinion posts about their products or services. This will eventually benefit the advertiser as it increases their product exposure and inbound links.

For bloggers, you get paid for blogging. You really don’t have to burden yourself with what to write on a certain day. You can either blog for money, or just write for some other reasons. With Smorty, there are plenty of paid blogging opportunities. And you can certainly spice it up with your own writing style.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stronger Peso and the Need for More Dollars

From P56 three years ago, it’s now down to P42.85 a dollar. Good news or bad news?

Is there really a strengthening of the peso? Economists say that the $14.6B OFW remittances in 2006 (and growing more in 2007) buoyed the value of the peso. And they say it’s good for the economy. Thanks to our New Heroes! Along with their families’ improved conditions, needs also increase. With this, they are more likely to pour in more dollars.

But what about inflation and the rising prices of fuel? What about our own export industry?

Imagine if it were at P56 to a dollar rate. Juan’s $500 remittance is equivalent to P28,000. His wife in the Philippines spends it for Junior’s and his siblings’ tuition, food, house maintenance, etc… Then the peso rose to P42.85. To be able to cover the same expenses, Juan needs to remit $653.54 or an increase of 31%. But it’s actually not enough. We all know of the rising prices, inflation, and all the other problems the government tried to downplay.

Now for the exporter, he earns lesser compared to what he earns before. The prices of these export goods are controlled by the market, hence, the exporter doesn’t really have a say on the price. With the increasing costs, margins become thinner and may even be totally eliminated forcing some to close shop.

But what did the government do? Are there any safety nets for who are badly affected by this rise of our currency? Perhaps now, our best exports are our people. Call it brain-drain or whatever. It seems that nobody cares anymore. We have plenty of RNs yet hospitals lack nurses. We have plenty of CPAs yet there seems to be a shortage.

Who among my PwC buddies remained here? Sadly, only a few of us are left here. Almost all of my wife’s classmates in nursing already left the country and found greener pasture abroad. Who’s gonna prevent us from seeking employment outside the country? The government even encourages it. And, yeah, we need more dollars to survive in this country.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Typhoon Again

People in Luzon should brace themselves again. Typhoon “Mina” is coming to town. As of 2AM today, the eye of the Typhoon is spotted at 220 kms East Northeast of Virac, Catanduanes with maximum sustained winds of 175 kph and gustiness of up to 210 kph.

If the forecast is true, then Metro Manila will be spared, but not Northern Luzon. But we know how unpredictable the weather is. The next forecast may be far different from the previous one. Cebu experienced this many times. Some people here no longer rely on Pag-asa forecasts. They say they’d rather cling to the Boy Scout’s motto.

Some of my officemates in Manila are here in Cebu right now because of some conference that ended yesterday. They were told by some of the bosses to book their flights early today. But I told them to enjoy the beach and the fine weather while they’re here. It would be better if they wait till the sky is clear and the typhoon is no more. And they seemingly agreed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

England Crashed Out from Euro 2008

It is a very sad day for England. Their football team crashed out of the Euro 2008 competition, after a 3-2 loss to Croatia. The Euro competition is second to the World Cup in terms of everything. But the woeful England, even failed to qualify. Thanks to their manager. Crashing out early is really an embarrassment.

Steve McLaren should be hiding by now and may he never show his face again in English football. But reports say he’s not resigning. Then fire him.

Where’s Lampard? Where’s Gerrard? Where are the glittering superstars for England? Do I need to mention Beckham, Terry and the others? European fans will simply miss another great team.

I’d be rooting for Portugal again. Go, Ronaldo!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blog Visits

I wasn’t able to visit the sites of my blog friends last week. Meetings here and there, and even my mind can’t wander to some place else. We have internet in the office, but it’s difficult to take a peek even at my own site. The big boss is seated right beside me.

We have internet at the hotel. But it costs P240/hr for a wifi. Why is it that they don’t have free internet in Manila? In most hotels in the Visayas and Mindanao, hotels offer free wifi connection. I’d better spend that 240 on something else.

I was off the internet world the whole weekend, having slept most of the time on my birthday. I just wake up to eat, and reply to text greetings.

Yesterday would have been a great time to bloghop. But the tropical depression scared the hell out of us. We were released from the office an hour early. But I stayed on for a while browsing until they shut down the back-up generator.

Today, I have 122 unread items listed in my google reader. These are mostly from the blogs in my links. Plus, there’s my blogroll with markings of those who have updated their blogs. Now, where do I start reading?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Raining in Cebu

I thought it was just an ordinary cloudy day. But it was raining since dawn and the wind outside is getting stronger. I took the photo below when I went outside for a drive early this afternoon. It's one of those flooded streets.

Lando. It’s a rare name for a tropical depression with winds up to 60kph. But I just hope the forecast will not go wrong this time. It’s signal no. 1. I’d better pack up now and head home. I should get ready for emergencies.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 26 November 2007.

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact me at Lazarus_x2006 At Yahoo Dot Com Dot Ph.

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Manila - Flood, Traffic and Cabbies

I’m here in Manila since yesterday. I’m again expecting traffic, meetings and floods. With today’s outpouring, I’m sure the Manila streets will be flooded again today and in the next few days. Good thing we left the hotel early. We avoided the traffic and the flood. But I hope I won’t be stuck here. I have to go back to Cebu this Saturday to celebrate my birthday.

This morning we met an honest cabbie. Honest enough to tell us that his meter is not working properly and that we should only pay for the usual fare in our destination. I told him that from Malate to Paranaque, my fare is usually P150 though the meter reads only around 120-140 pesos. He agreed. He added that he informs his passenger beforehand about his defective meter to avoid arguments. But I told him that there is also the possibility that others could be fooled, so he’d better have his meter fixed asap. He said that he’ll do that once he has the funds.

In our conversation, I noticed his Bisayan tone. I was also trying hard to speak fluent Tagalog. We kept on pretending until he heard my companions speak Bisaya. He admitted that he’s Cebuano too. When we reached our destination, his meter reads P210. But I gave him the agreed fare, plus a little tip. No arguments there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Plugging for JAVI

This is not a sponsored nor paid post. I'm just plugging for JAVI who made an interesting campaign for his Technoblog in his quest of becoming the Filipino Blog of the Week in SalasWildThoughts.

If you want to read about the latest gadgets, or tips about site traffic, networking, problogging, or any topic in the known world..., his site is a must read.

This post is just for fun and may be taken out anytime this week. But please do vote for him. vote here>>>

Monday, November 12, 2007

'Tis My Birth Month Too

Ah, sweet November! I would like to greet a Happy Birthday to all bloggers out there who are celebrating their birthdays this month. This I found out in my recent bloghopping: There are plenty of them. I’ve already greeted some in their blogs.

It’s my birthday this Saturday, and I’ll be a year past the last number of the monthly calendar. Seems like a public announcement, huh? I composed a birthday poem last year out of a certain mixed feelings of elation and desolation. But for this time around, I choose to be thankful.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


photo from

When you watch a lot of fantasy movies, your head swirls and twirls and then you dream in your sleep, flying over rooftops and moving objects with your mind. You stretch forth your hand to ward off enemies, but you wake up punching the air.

That’s what happened to me last week. It’s the effect of watching Heroes Season 1 on DVD. For two successive sleeps, I dreamt I have special powers. Oh my me, dreaming like Peter Petrelli!

Active evolution, random genetic alteration, what are these? Are these offshoots of eugenics, and its followers’ obsession for a stronger, wiser, more advanced generation? Can a person really do telekinesis if his genes are altered? Are there persons out there who can really do the things Superman does?

Maybe. Maybe not. There is also a verse in the bible in Genesis 6:4 “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (NIV)”

Who are the Nephilim? What can they do? Can they fly? Can they do skin regeneration? Think all you can. How did they become heroes? Are they like the Greek gods with special powers? Or are they mixed bloods of rebel angels and willing humans?

But I would like to believe that no amount of genetic alteration or modification can make a person fly or physically regenerate. I am not a fan of evolution. But I am a fan of fantasy movies, however unbelievable it is. It is entertainment. As to the superpower thing, I believe it is of the paranormal; spiritual rather than science. X-Men, Justice League and Heroes may have played with science to distinguish it from the magical, like the Harry Potters. But there is still the common ground: Superpowers.

So, what if I have unknown special powers? Hmmm…

Monday, November 05, 2007

What's Your PR?

PageRank (PR) is a measurement used by Google to determine the importance of a particular webpage. There are many blogs out there with suggestions on how to improve one’s PR. Evoart mentions 10 ways to guarantee google rankings. But does it really matter?

I first read about PR in Daisy’s site sometime early this year. I was wondering how mine fared in the rankings. So I tried Google’s PR checker. I got a rank of 2 then. I was tempted to compare it with the other sites in my blogroll. Except for a few and the more popular, we all have more-or-less similar PRs: 1-3.

Then in July, I made this post. It was because I was so excited to see my site on top of the others (even the dotcom) when I googled “leftover thoughts”. My PR rank had risen to 3, and blog authority at technorati was at 56.

But just late last month, I saw my PR at 4. This raised my eyebrow a little bit. Why? How? My technorati authority dipped to around 40 already. Except for some memes I did, I was not even promoting my site through bloghopping. I just noticed though, in my sitemeter, that plenty stumbled upon my site because of google search.

So, what’s the use of my PR 4? For now, nothing. It is just some ego-boosting thing, like a trophy, when you don’t have ads plastered in your site. PR is only necessary when you have paid posts and ads, or when you need traffic to feed your pocket. And I might make something useful out from my PR soon.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Flowers on the Grave

I remember a text message passed around years ago about visiting the grave of the departed loved ones. It says something that it’s better that we visit the dead rather than they pay us a visit. Scary, huh?

I am not really used to visiting the grave of dead loved ones, because I believe that what remain in the grave are the bones and ashes. I’d like to remember them in my thoughts in some place else, but not in the cemetery. But my wife’s aunt invited us (I mean all her relatives) to visit her husband’s grave on November 1. Good thing the memorial park is new and not so crowded yet. My wife arranged the flowers in the baskets. And we noticed we’re the only ones having red flowers.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Goodbye from a Departed

Tales of my Father - Part 6
(narrated in the first person as told to us by my father)

I grew up very close to my grandfather, Tatay Melecio. When I was still 8 years old, I used to go with him everywhere he goes, may it on his fishing trips, his farming or his visits to the market. And he used to tell me long, believe-it-or not tales, about persons with supernatural powers and encounters with the other kind.

He’s not really the recluse or the mystical kind who barely talks to anyone or move objects telekinetically. He’s quite talkative to me and to the other kids. And he said he knew some Latin chants to counter the works of evil magic. He had no magical object either except for his pipe which he considered as his lucky charm. At seventy, he’s still strong and healthy.

In one of our conversations one day, we talked about death. We made a promise to each other that whoever dies first should at least say goodbye to the one left behind. I had no qualms about it, so I hastily agreed. I was still a child then not knowing how it would happen.

More than 20 years had passed. I was already married with kids, worked and lived in the city. One night, after a very tiring work, I immediately went to sleep. And there in my sleep, I felt a sudden slap of a very cold air. Then a voice, very audible to me, said, “Boy, I’ll go ahead. Goodbye!” I felt the stiffness of my body. I can’t even move my hands. But the voice is clearly that of Tatay Melecio. My thoughts immediately brought me back to the scene where Tatay and I made the promise.

I immediately got back my reflexes and I woke up like I had a nightmare without the screams. It was already 5am. My wife got up a few minutes after. I told her that Tatay died already.

“How did you know?” she asked.

“Tatay spoke to me in my sleep.”

She was clearly puzzled but didn’t ask further questions. I also informed my mother about it. She was shocked and even scolded me. “How can you say that about your grandfather? You haven’t even seen him in months.”

“Yeah, I know he’s bed-ridden. But believe me. Vivian (a cousin who took care of Tatay), will come this morning and inform us. I’ll call the other grandchildren when I arrive at the office.”

Indeed, three hours after, my cousin arrived and brought the sad news. My wife and my mother just looked at each other, still puzzled at how I was able to know about Tatay’s death.

Parts 1-5 here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Just a Political Newbie

When you don’t have the money, it is better not to run in any elective post, unless, of course, you run unopposed.

It was Tuesday morning already when I got to contact Dad regarding the outcome of the election. He told me that his opponents bought votes for P150 and some kilos of rice. “Even you let a dog run for them, they’ll surely win because of the money” he downheartedly told me. “But life will go on as usual, my son. Probably the people are not ready yet” he added.

“Yeah, maybe next time” I replied. “Do you plan to file a protest?”

“Nope. It would be a waste of time.”

A lot of things swirled in my head. We have not really prepared for this. We left it up to Dad to decide on the last minute. We could have sent people in advance to do charitable deeds like feeding the malnourished kids, giving bundles of joys, distributing used books or maybe conduct some livelihood seminars. We could have also sponsored a basketball tournament, or a benefit dance, which I’m sure, would lure more people. But we didn’t.

Maybe next time, when I have enough money, I’d volunteer as his campaign strategist. It would surely be a fierce match.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Entry Into the Dirt

Today is the last day of campaigning for the SK and baranggay elections. News about filling up the wrong forms were feasted upon by the columnists. It’s funny how an incumbent baranggay captain who is still on his second term, filled up the form for councilors. He will forever regret his blunder. Imagine him as the captain signing the wrong form. Outrageous! Now, he’s busy campaigning for the lower post.

On the other hand, I just wish all the best for my dad who is running for the top post in a baranggay in a town south from where I live. It is an entry into the dirt. He is a neophyte in this sort of politics but it is his desire to help that prompts him to run. We have plenty of relatives in the place, but so are the opponents. There is almost always a connection either by affinity or consanguinity. And sometimes, people give up their votes for simple happiness like money or a tuba drink.

How qualified is he? He used to be a PTA president (6 consecutive years) of our elementary school. Two school buildings and the gym were constructed during his term. He was awarded thrice as the most outstanding employee in the large company he worked for 22 years. He was involved in various cooperatives and livelihood projects. I can really attest to his heart for public service.

With a minimal budget, as against his opponents who sought assistance from the town’s politicos, he is determined to wage his battle. He is up against the son of the incumbent captain, who also happens to be the wife of the former mayor. I will not dare dissuade a man who has a good purpose. If I was only there, I’m sure I will campaign for him. If I only have plenty of money, I may even buy votes for him. Now I'll just have to pray for victory. I'm just kidding about the vote-buying though.

May the best man wins! But moreso, may it be won honorably!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why Are You Optimistic?

Imagine hitting the jackpot, or winning millions in lottery. Imagine a date with a prince or a princess, or marrying a wealthy person. Imagine a healthy and long life. Think about a successful career, and reaching the top of the world. Imagine your family in a big house, all smiles and having fun. Imagine a peaceful and wealthy Philippines.

What makes us optimistic? Is it because our rostral anterior cingulated and amygdale are working properly?

Take this from the article:
“When scenarios filled with optimism were imagined, two brain regions -- the rostral anterior cingulate and amygdala -- lit up with activity in the brain scans, the researchers said.”

Oh science! Do we really have to get an explanation for our every thought? Without a certain degree of optimism, what is there to live for? Now, I'm imagining positive things.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ferrari Rules

photo from

Before the final day at the Brazil grand prix (GP), Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was on third place. It would take almost a miracle for him to win the World Championship of the most prestigious motorsport, Formula 1. Lagging behind by 7 points from the erstwhile leader, super rookie Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, Kimi got to finish first, and Hamilton must not finish fifth or higher. Also in the mess is the two-time defending champion and McLaren driver Fernando Alonso, who, if placed second, and Hamilton slides to 6th or lower, can grab the trophy.

But in the end: Ferrari rules.

They won the team championship with the disqualification of McLaren. BMW is far second. The final GP did wonders to the Ferrari drivers. Felipe Massa took the pole in his home turf, and was leading all the way until the last few laps when Kimi Raikkonen overtook him because of pit stops. It was a perfect run for both Ferrari drivers. Hamilton got problems with his car and finished seventh. Alonso was in third place, fully covered by Massa. The final tally is very very close: Kimi 110 points, Hamilton and Alonso tied at 109.

This year has also been a very thrilling one for Formula 1. They are rocked by controversies on team spying, illegal team instructions, spat between teammates, disqualifications of McLaren in the team race, etc…

The retirement of Michael Schumacher opened the race to all drivers. All eyes were on Alonso, as he is the last man to beat the legend. But he wasn’t even able to beat his rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton. Surely the kid is the driver to watch next year. He counts Michael as his idol. And I love to see him on the wheels of the red car someday. Go Ferrari!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

38 Qs

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? Kempee de Leon. In last night’s “Kung Ako Ikaw”
2. What were you doing at 0800? Taking a shower.
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Eating suman
4. What happened to you in 2006? I gained weight.
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? ‘Ahh!”
6. How many beverages did you have today? Pepsi, 3 cups of coffee, water
7. What color is your hairbrush? Comb… blue.
8. What was the last thing you paid for? Lunch
9. Where were you last night? Playing badminton somewhere
10. What color is your front door? brown
11. Where do you keep your change? Pockets, car
12. What’s the weather like today? Cloudy
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Ube macapuno
14. What excites you? Sports
15. Do you want to cut your hair? In the next 2 weeks.
16. Are you over the age of 25? Yep.
17. Do you talk a lot? It depends. I don’t talk a lot if I’m with talkative people. I hate competition.
18. Do you watch the O.C.? What’s that? Nope.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Yep. Mr. Spielberg.
20. Do you make up your own words? Sometimes.
21. Are you a jealous person? No.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Anna
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Kevin
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? My Boss
25. What does the last text message you received say? “Ok ra”
26. Do you chew on your straw? No
27. Do you have curly hair? No.
28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Home
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? Can’t name him/her.
30. What was the last thing you ate? Suman from Tacloban.
31. Will you get married in the future? Nah. Married already.
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? ‘The WAR” starring Jet Li
33. Is there anyone you like right now? Yes. She's pretty and sweet.
34. When was the last time you did the dishes? Yesterday
35. Are you currently depressed? No.
36. Did you cry today? No.
37. Why did you answer and post this? Tagged by Jho.
38. 5 people you tag next? Gypsy, Hugz, Daisy, David Edward, Tin


I found these brainteasers from a website. This is just to check if my brain is still working.

Question 1:
Two trains 200 km from each other are moving at the speed of 50 km/hour towards each other. From one train a fly takes off, flying straight (upon the rails) to the other train at the speed of 75 km/hour, bounces away from it and flies back to the first train. This is repeated till the trains crash into each other and the fly is smashed. What distance is the fly able to fly until its death?(There is a complicated and an easy way to solve this math brain teaser.)

Question 2:
A basket contains 5 apples. Do you know how to divide them to 5 kids so that each one has an apple and one apple stays in the basket?

Question 3:
A girl who was just learning to drive went down a one-way street in the wrong direction, but didn't break the law. How come?

Question 4:
A man lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building. In the evening, he gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator - or if it was raining that day - he goes back to his floor directly. Otherwise, he goes to the seventh floor and walks up three flights of stairs to his apartment. Can you explain why?(This is probably the best known and most celebrated of all lateral thinking logic puzzles. It is a true classic. Although there are many possible solutions which fit the initial conditions, only the canonical answer is truly satisfying.)

Question 5:
I am looking at somebody's photo. Who is it I am looking at, if I don't have any brothers or sisters and the father of that man on the photo is the son of my father?


If you want more questions, check out the link above. Of the five, I correctly answered four. Not much thinking is required actually.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Money, Money, Money

I wasn’t really paying attention to the late night news. I just heard it was about bribery or something. In fact, this morning, the headlines were about the cash congressmen and governors received from the palace. It was only this afternoon that I got to fully read what it was all about. I usually read the sports section first.

Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio, in this report, shows the bundle of money. P500,000 in total. He claimed that another governor handed it to his staff. He declared he accepted the money in good faith and will use the same to fund projects for his province. If he’ll find out that it’s a bribe, he will return it. The others, I believe, are too afraid to come out in the open. The palace denied doling out funds.

One of our cebuano congressmen admitted last week, then retracted, that he received P200,000. He said that he was only joking during the first interview. Now, he’s in the hot seat.

Is it a gift or a bribe? Bribe for what? GMA won’t run next election. But she will do her best to complete her term. The impeachment complaint is a distraction and her cohorts have to kill it asap. Is it safe to say that it’s a gift? An advance Christmas gift? From whom? There are supposed to be rules in proper disbursement of funds.

With a questionable source of money, what would you expect of the disbursements? I just hope they’ll follow Gov. Panlilio’s action: account for those gifts, and account for the expenses.

Monday, October 15, 2007

See You Soon

I’m not really good at saying goodbyes, especially if I’m the one left behind. Well, maybe except for the casual hellos and byes. But for the long-term, I’d rather say “See you soon in “the land down under”, or in New York, or in Hongkong” or wherever the destination. Fulfilling it would be difficult, but who knows? The world is getting smaller and smaller for us Filipinos.

Yesterday, we had a despedida for a colleague who will migrate to Australia. The family will leave for Sydney this Wednesday. The party was actually a birthday celebration for their 3 year old daughter, whom I am one of the ninongs. But it was also a time of saying goodbyes.

I asked the husband about how ready he is and he just smiled and replied that he is ever ready. I can see that they’ve packed up already. This migration thing got them so frustrated at one time, but when they received their confirmation, their excitement raised to the highest level. It was a perfect timing for the husband too, whose contract in a foreign cruise ship ended mid of September.

It seems that Australia is a very famous destination for Filipino CPAs nowadays. Six of my ex-colleagues from the auditing firm are already there. My colleague, even months before her scheduled arrival, already have plenty of job interview appointments. She said that she is very well prepared for the challenge. She even bought plenty of shoes.

Well, I wish you all the best, Kumare! And, see you soon in Sydney!

Monday, October 08, 2007

That Online Image

An article in yahoo somewhat got my attention. This is what Liz Ryan has to say:

“A majority of employers now routinely check their job candidates' MySpace, Linkedin and Facebook profiles for any impropriety, prior to making an offer. Can you blame them? It's not so much that your prospective employer worries about your keg parties or those photos of you with your favorite bong. It's that they worry, with reason, about your judgment in throwing these items online for anyone to see.”

I’ve already done googling my name. So far, I’m satisfied to have behaved myself in the internet world. I have not posted my nude pics anywhere (as if I have one). I have not written something to degrade or insult anyone, even against our political leaders. I have not ranted like I’m ready to murder someone. No, not yet.

Even with some online alias in some forums, I kept myself in check. When you argue with someone online, it’s like arguing with a shadow. Freedom of expression is too vague. And it’s difficult to hide ones’ self in opinions. We are who we are, even in the dark.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I Wish Manny Will Lose

"I wish Manny will lose in tomorrow's fight." I overheard heard this from a woman in a barbershop. "He's become arrogant, a womanizer, ...." The other hairdressers joined her in agreement.

A few of my colleagues placed their bets for Barrera. They said they're sure Manny will lose this time because of the many distractions during his training. And they point to the sexy lady as one of those lovely disturbance.

Well, I may agree about the arrogance, his flings and the annoying sidelines, but he's a filipino and one of us. I believe he is not just fighting for himself but for the filipino people. Let's all support him in this fight. We need a hero.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

My Lil Sis Is Getting Married

Bull’s Eye, our pet dog barked with joyful expectations. With tails wiggling, he looked up and eyes focused on the door. Half a minute pass by yet there was no knocking sounds. With his front legs, he scratched the door as if wanting to open it himself. Then my lil sis would blurt out “Ah, si manoy na! Mangilad na sad.” (Ah it’s kuya attempting to fool us again.) That’s how my sister knows me. And she was barely six years old then.

She is our youngest. She almost followed my every step (many times, literally). Close friends said she looked like me and there were so many similarities in the way we talk and act. In every game like scrabble, bible drills and quizzes, boogle, and other board games, she always comes second to me, ahead of dad, mom and her two older sisters. Teachers at our elementary school would often compare her to me.

Since I was already working when she entered college, I paid for her tuition. It was something I believe part of giving back to my parents. She also took up accountancy. But she really wanted to enroll in fine arts. I guess I played a big role in convincing her to follow the convenient.

Lil sis is not really the emo type. When her first boyfriend broke up with her, she didn’t really show much emotion. She simply sighed and said, “He’s not God’s will for me.” There were no tears shed.

A couple of weeks ago, when she wanted to tell me that she’s getting married, she just told me to go to our parents’ house to meet the family of her fiancĂ©. I already know what she meant and I just hugged her and told her how happy I am.

When I told my wife about it, she offered to help the two in their preparations. My wife also works as a wedding planner part time. Thought my lil sis did not seek our help, I know her enough, and I felt she badly needs our assistance. After the couple signed the contract for the wedding package, both we’re very grateful to my wife.

Come December, three days after her 26th birthday, she’ll say I do in a poolside wedding. Reception will be at the hotel rooftop having a very wonderful view of the city. I’m sure there will be fireworks.

Career: Move Up or Move Out

The news is out. My friend got his well-deserved promotion. I’m happy for him.

But is he happy? Twice he voiced out his intention to resign citing health problems and other work related stress. Many times he confided to me his rift with some of the executives and his frustrations with management. Many times we plotted our exit and our possible job adventures abroad. But he was hesitant to leave behind his wife and three kids, even for a year or two just to work abroad.

We were classmates back in college. We belonged to the same circle of friends and graduated on the same batch. He was one of our bets to top the board that year but he got sick months prior to the test. He took the board six months later. I lured him to join me at one of the top accounting firms in the country. When I got out and joined another company, I also invited him to join us in one of our affiliates.

Years flew so fast. We’ve been here for almost six years now. In a job like ours, there were happy and unhappy moments. You couldn’t just watch numbers everyday. You also feel down when black turns red, or when you question yourself when someone at sales puts the blame on accounting. Like they thought we invent figures. Or when some budgets are scrapped or when a benefit diminished because of organizational changes.

One day my friend submitted his resume to the firm we used to work for. But he turned down a managerial job offer because he was persuaded to suffer a little longer. Just last month, he unluckily missed an email coming from a “big four” partner informing him of a telephone interview for a possible work abroad. I saw the sad expression on his face. He said he was tired. I told him to quit. But he said he wasn’t ready because the timing was quite off. Quitting is not in my friend’s vocabulary. And I wasn’t really serious about him quitting that soon.

When I asked him a few weeks ago (before the official announcement) if he was happy or not, he simply replied that the promotion was some sort of a relief. Happiness, for him, is dependent of many factors. He still have to see till the year ends. But he’s grateful to our mentors for the opportunity.

What about me? When do I move up? On my part, to move up meant that I must relocate to the battlefront. That will be in Manila. I’ve seen executives come and go. Perhaps the safest position is in the middle of the hierarchy. Or when do I move out? That is another option that I have contemplated these past few months. I think I’ve waited long enough already. I might change career and start writing books for children.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Desktop View

Tagged by Carey. It's been a while since I've been tagged.

My desktop shows a view on our way to the White Island in Camiguin. The icons at the bottom are shortcuts to frequently used folders.


My Desktop Free View Instruction:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun.

You can do a screen capture by:

[1] Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).
[2] Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).
[3] If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.
For MAC users: Press [ Apple] [ Ctrl ] [ Shift ] and [ 3 ]

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.

C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

Now, I'm tagging Emmyrose, Tin (CM), Sasha, Cess and Bro. Vince. I'm sure you have lovely views of your desktops.

Boys' Talk

We listened to the band singing songs whose titles escaped me. The two ladies on vocals sang their hearts out as their keyboardist skillfully manipulated the synthesizer. The powerful voices just wowed the crowd. We were on this same table the other night, on our way to Northern Mindanao. We also heard them sing. Now, we’re back.

I was rather sleepy, having no interest in the show. If I were on my own, I’d rather sleep in my cot. I wouldn’t mind sleeping 10 hours while traveling on boat. But my colleague wanted to drink some cans of beer and pass time, so I just have to accompany him.

One of the ladies had this comely face and shapely body. She wore a black laced pants (up to her knees) that could surely expand the imagination of the mostly men crowd. Being on the front tables, we could see her throwing occasional glances at us. Then my buddy popped out a question directly shot at me. “If given the chance, would you f**k that girl?”

The usual me replied with a wordless grin. Then I shook my head. But I really hate those kind of questions, even if these were just considered normal boys’ talk. I don’t really lust for those things, even if a girl performs naked on stage. I may take a glance once (or twice), but will not let it dwell in my head. Or maybe, we could just talk about inequality of wealth, politics, religion, social injustice, and the possible reasons that drive some women into prostitution.

I suspected he was just teasing me. The guy has a lovely young wife, and far prettier than the girl on stage. I held my breath for a few seconds before bouncing back the question to him. “Would you?”

“Nah, I’m already married. I would have a different answer if I were single.”

We laughed. Why did our conversation reach this point? We both know we’re devoted to our spouses.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

U2 and Worship

"U2 Rocks the House (of God)
Bono inspires worship with an Elizabeth Diffin

Where the Streets Have No Name. Beautiful Day. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. Yahweh. For fans of the Irish band U2, these are familiar rock songs. But to a growing number of Christians, they're becoming tunes for worship, and for the Eucharist. " read full article here.

I am U2 fan but I really don't know what has gotten into their heads. Call me traditional, conservative or whatever. I am happy with the traditional way.

But hey, God loves variety too, doesn't He? As long as they really worship God and not U2, that may be acceptable.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Sad Fan

It was in the news yesterday. But more write-ups came in just today. The soccernet website provided plenty of articles to satisfy my voracious need for information. I’m sure most of you didn’t know about it because it's about football, and in a foreign land.

My favorite manager left my favorite team or my favorite team owner sacked my favorite manager. Whichever way, the fact is: they parted ways yesterday. “Mourinho leaves Chelsea”/“Chelsea sacked Mourinho”.

It came as a shock to many. After giving the London club its first trophy in 50 years, and adding plenty more domestic silverwares in the next two years, it was not enough to please the owner who wants to conquer Europe. The decent two semi-final finishes in the Champions’ League, that could have elicited cheers in others’ boardroom, were still below expectations for Abramovich.

But Mourinho left 20 million pounds richer. It’s his separation package since his contract run till 2010. He is proud of his achievements, and it will surely be imbedded in the team’s history. I salute him for that.

The English media, the Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United fans will surely miss him. Rafael Benitez (Liverpool), and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) will miss the “Special One’s” snide remarks. The rest of the managers (other than the managers of the top 4) are just too boring.

His parting words:

"I am very proud of my work in Chelsea Football Club and I think my decision in May 2004 to come to England was an excellent one," said Mourinho.

"It was a beautiful and rich period of my career. I want to thank all Chelsea FC supporters for what I believe is a never-ending love story.

"I wish great success to the club, a club that will be forever connected to me for some historical moments.

"I wish the players happiness in football and in their family life. Finally on my wife's and children' s behalf we thank the great professionalism of their school teachers and the beauty of so many friends."
quoted from BBC

I am saddened by all of these. I have mentioned before that I am a Mourinho fan. Does it mean that it is my goodbye for Chelsea as well?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Inconsistencies Within

Some struggles. Call it whatever you like. Deep within, I know this is just an understatement. Like when we excel at one point and crash on the next. Or today I wear a suit and a cute tie, but will wear and old shirt and rugged jeans on the office the next day.

My grade 1 teacher praised me for my handwriting. But when I began to practice the long-hand at the last phase of our term, she berated me for having ruined my own handwriting. It got worst in the succeeding years. Even until now.

In grade VI, I graduated at the top of everyone else, but got the insult that bruised me for years, only because I failed to memorize the graduates’ motto during rehearsals. No, I was actually too nervous with the other class’ adviser around. Her own bet for valedictorian was only a fraction of points behind me.

In high school, I failed in science but topped the class in general info quizzes.

I almost failed to enter Accountancy because of low grades in UP High. So they let me take an IQ test. The guidance counselor assigned to interview me revealed that I got excellent scores, and had the potential of graduating summa. Summa, I wish! I think I was just fortunate to have plenty of correctly guessed answers.

In college, my essay got a rare praise from an English teacher when she lectured the 6Cs in writing. I feared the expectations that followed. The essay I submitted during the final exams obviously lacked the qualities of my first one. And she talked to me about it, her reaction showing dismay.

In auditing subjects, I have not really correctly solved any of the problems in the quizzes during undergrad. But I got almost perfect scores in the pre-board and in the actual board. That was all that mattered.

In my post last week, I enumerated ways to curb my internet addiction. Honestly, I have not really acted on it. And here I am, after not posting any entry for seven days, flooded my blog with four posts on a Sunday. I really shouldn't be here in my cubicle.

How Do You Ask For Help?

Normally I don’t. Or as long as the pain is bearable, I keep it to myself. Despite the number of times I rehearse my plea for help, I’m never really good at it.

If someone asks for help, I’d readily extend a helping hand. If he won’t, I’ll watch from the sides, but ready anytime. But there was once a time when my offer for help was rejected and misinterpreted as interference. So I just waited, watching him till he turned pale with worry.

I don’t overreact. Sometimes, others complained of my delayed reaction. This is calmness, I asserted. That may be slow for them

I may preempt, but only in thought. I hate being preempted, like they know how to read my mind. Or I am just avoiding the truth, and they think they know the truth.

How grave a sin is pride?

If I Were in His Place

At the surface, he seems to be on his jolly self, as usual. Like an elder brother, he pats us on the back and tells us to balance work and our personal lives. We just nod in agreement and listen. But when he starts to lift a bottle of San Mig Light and tastes its flavor, the tone of his voice changes.

He confides that he is bothered by talks about his having this and that because his wife’s family’s wealth. He rejected his father-in-law’s offer of a larger house, larger vehicle, and even a possible business. He chooses to be away from his family because he clings to his job in the city while his wife is in the province handling the family business. It is as if he wants to prove that he can feed his family on his own.

“If you were in my place, what would you do to silence the rumor mongers?”

My other friend was silent though we both know our similar answers. So I volunteered. “I’ll tell them that it’s a blessing. And that I was only after for their daughter’s love, but there was a bonus instead. It’s not everyday that you can have those things.”

He laughed. My other friend nodded with a smile. But in the end, I guess he just needed us to affirm on his stand regarding the matter. I will not say that it’s pride, though he justifies it as part of his principles. Principles, pride, whatever... A change in perspective may solve the problem, while at the same time keeping his so-called principles.


I was chatting with an ex-colleague (ex-classmate and kumare) whom I knew grew up in a mainstream protestant church, but was in a religious vacuum since college. We were talking about the death of another colleague’s husband who succumbed to a liver ailment at age 39.

‘People should not die that young. It should be on their 70’s” she said.

“Like we know when our time will come”, was my unanswered reply.

- - - - * - - - -

Another friend of mine insists that there is no afterlife. We die and return to dust. He was quite proud about his unbelief, and was even insulting at some point because I believe in God and the Bible. No, I did not ask God to strike him down. I just prayed that his eyes be opened.

I’d rather believe in what Jesus said about heaven and the future residence of the saved rather than what our politicians offer. Nothingness is not even an option.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Internet Addiction

read full article here

Signs (at least for me):
1. Ego-surfing
2. Aimless googling
3. Repetitive stats checking
4. Repetitive clicking of sites marked "favorite"
5. Forum addiction
6. Repetitive checking of google reader
7. Aimless bloghopping
8. Repetitive checking of technorati links
9. Comment checking, even thru cellphones
10. Continuous thinking of blog posts, and possible topics

Solution (application to start next week):
1. LAN/WI-FI disconnection (connect only when necessary)
2. Play more badminton
3. Read books
4. No overstaying in my cubicle.
5. Delete history of sites visited
6. Delete favorites
7. Delete blog

It just occured to me that, though writing is my other passion, I have not balanced my time well. And I'm gaining more kilos.