Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Enthusiasm is the force that leads us to the final victory. ~ Paulo Coelho

♫I'm alive, alert, awake...enthusiastic!♫

Later, even if I'm in the part of the world that won't see the full force of a rare blue moon that would usher in the New Year, knowing that it's there somewhere further gives a reason to be enthusiastic about everything. By God's grace, I gotta feeling that 2010 is gonna be an awesome year! w00t!

"All You Need Is Love" by 156 Countries

There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy. There's nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time - It's easy.... All you need is love, all you need is love...

So long, 2009!

It’s the last day of the year that hated me the most. I am happy to see it go. - Gang Badoy/ 31 Dec 2009. (Source)

>>I just had to repost this because it sums up EXACTLY how I feel.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Where 24/7 videoke sessions would be fine

At last, my aunt’s family has a neighbor. Almost two years after moving into their place and the village has maintained its quiet, in the middle-of-nowhere feel that I love. Fresh air, cool breeze, a very nice view of Mt. Apo, several species of birds flying around or resting on their fence and/on quiet empty streets, and so many ordinary things that never fail to give simple joys and pleasures.

This year’s Christmas family get together was as fun as ever. We used to celebrate family Christmas gatherings at home. But this year, we gathered at what I secretly think of as the “retreat house”. Staying there always makes me feel like I’m in a retreat place minus the rules. Videoke all night and in full volume is twice more fun when there’s no need to worry about disturbing the neighbors.

Merry Christmas!

Looking at this Japanese Christmas Cake makes me feel the spirit even more.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More please!

Elevating the decadent cake experience to new heights. The New Red Ribbon Chocolate Walnut Fudge Cake is one of the best RR cakes I’ve tasted so far.

Monday, December 21, 2009

PH Regular Holidays & Special (Non-working) Days for CY 2010

Pursuant to MalacaƱang Proclamation No. 1841 dated 21 July 2009.

January 1 (Friday) - New Year’s Day
April 1 (Thursday) - Maundy Thursday
2 (Friday) - Good Friday
April 9 (Friday) - Araw ng Kagitingan
May 1 (Saturday) - Labor Day
14 (Monday nearest June 12) - Independence Day
August 23 (Monday nearest August 21) - Ninoy Aquino Day
August 30 (Last Monday of August) - National Heroes Day
November 1 (Monday) - All Saints Day
November 29 (Monday nearest November 30) - Bonifacio Day
December 24 (
Friday) - Additional Special (Non-working)
December 25 (Saturday) - Christmas Day
December 27
(Monday nearest December 30) - Rizal Day
December 31 (Friday) - Last Day of the Year

Sunday, December 20, 2009

a mental note

"Just Do It. Who the hell do you think you are? Are you an athlete? Because if you are, then you know what it means to want to be better, to want to be the best. And if you are, then you understand it’s not enough to want to be the best. You can’t just sit around all day and BS about how much you want it. Show me how much you want it. Stop just “thinking about it” and “wondering about it” and “hoping for it” and actually go out there and get it. Dare to do what it takes to be the best. And then, whether you win, lose, or collapse on the finish line, at least you’ll know exactly who you are." - Nike

And I wonder...

what will my Dad say if he finds out that I don't watch boxing, I actually do it.

Sundays are my Dad's "lose-the-remote-I'm-watching-nothing-but-boxing-on-TV" day. I wonder when he started to become such a big fan. Maybe the Pacman's successes on the ring contributed to his devotion to the sport.

Sometimes I'm tempted to tell him I'm good at it and it's just one of the disciplines incorporated in the martial arts I practice. But then again, I don't like to disabuse him of the notion that I'm still a "girl". If there's one thing I'm pretty sure about my dad, he tends to see things in his own shades of black and white.

I think there's just some things better left unsaid. I get enough labels as it is.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congratulations Team Philippines!!!

I'll never get tired of saying this, I'm so proud of our athletes! There were not that many live coverage or regular updates in the local news about the 25th SEA Games in Laos but I could almost imagine the best efforts and sheer willpower of our athletes to win in their respective events.

If there's one thing I miss most in being an athlete it is that moment when months or years of training come down to that few minutes of a race or competition. Apart from that, I also miss the opportunities to cheer for other teams as soon as our team's done competing. Sports always have a way of uniting people. I marvel at the irony that sports is highly competitive and yet it usually fosters camaraderie and goodwill.

This SEA Games, our athletes have once again made Filipinos proud! And I wish to congratulate everyone most especially the following:

Wushu Team
Mark Eddiva - 65Kg Men (GOLD)
Mariane Mariano - 60Kg Women (GOLD)
Benjie Rivera - 56Kg Men (SILVER)
Mary Jane Estimar - 52Kg Women (SILVER)
Rhea Mae Rifani - 48Kg Women (BRONZE)
Jessie Aligaga - 48Kg Men (BRONZE)
Denver Labador - 60Kg Men (BRONZE)

Daniel Parantac - Taijijian - Men (Bronze)

Marestella Torres - Long Jump (GOLD)
Rosie Villarito - Javelin Throw(GOLD)

Over the years, I've seen these athletes train and excel in their respective sports. I can't think of a more deserving group of people than these guys. Go Team Philippines!!!

Can't wait

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Believe that

(via Pomegranacat)

It's getting personal

(via United Nations Foundation)

Chasing rainbows

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere Over the Rainbow .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Choosing A Dreamless State

Last night, I woke up when I felt your hand held mine. I was stunned to see you beside me because you already built a vast wall that I could not breach. It really has been too long, long enough for me to try ask you all the questions I meant to ask.

How have you been? Why did you suddenly ignore me completely after that level of friendship we have struck? What did I do to lose a friend I hoped to keep? What was I to you? Questions, I have so many of them because you left me with nothing but questions when you changed so suddenly.

But seeing you again was like finding a blank notebook where I can write stories again. It was like being handed out the chance to start a new chapter that may turn out differently from the last.

Your presence made me feel a deep sense of peace. It was like everything was right with the world again. It felt like I literally pieced myself to that puzzle that made me understand what complete means.

You see, it was real for me. Everything I felt for you was as real as I never imagined it to be. And I guess that was why I chose to love you deep in my heart and let you go. For you chose not to see me that way.

It was a love that was all about choices. Burying that love was the kindest thing I could do for myself. But it did not mean I loved you less.

I felt at peace with the world again when I opened my eyes and saw you holding my hand like that last night. I had you for what seemed like hours and we were happy.

But then, at some point, I slowly realized I woke up in a dream. And that was when I chose to wake up from something that made me want to live within a dream again.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sweet dreams are made of these

I'm taking a leaf off a friend's book who recently came up with his Christmas wish list. I can't remember the last time I made one. One thing I can say about the whole exercise, it makes me feel like a child again.

1. World Peace
'nuff said.

2. Earth Day Every Day

3. A healthier lifestyle for me and my family

4. A Nike Sport Band

4. A Purple iPod Nano

5. A pink Adidas Supernova

6. A box of dark chocolates

7. Complete series of The Southern Vampire Mysteries

8. A purple Sony Cyber-shot

9. Airplane ticket[s]

10. A navy blue FISA polo shirt

I'm SO looking forward to Christmas and 2010 now. Gambatte kudasai!

(All images are from the Internet.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

One day...

"sometimes in my tears I drown
but I never let it get me down"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hindi ako nagtataka

Mag-aapat na taon na nga pala akong single. May halong "oo nga" moment yung pagkakasabi ko kasi madalas di ko naiisip yung tunay na kahulugan nun. Now that I think about it, siguro kaya di ko napansin yung mga oras ng pagiging single ko eh dahil sa dami ng ginawa ko.

Ako kasi yata yung isa sa mga taong madalas naka-*on hold* ang buhay pag nasa relasyon. Hindi naman dahil hindi pwedeng magpakabibo or magmaganda. Kahit may freedom to do what I want, mas madalas kuntento na maging "wind beneath his wings" ang drama. Sabi nga, supportive lola.

Ilang linggo na lang at apat na taon na akong walang boyfriend. Come to think of it, ito na yung pinakamahabang panahon ko in-between relationships. Naisip ko tuloy kung dapat na ba akong kabahan. Yun kasing ilan sa pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko na dati naman eh walang pakialam kung single ako eh nagsisimula nang nag-iisip kung kanino ako irireto just to get me off the shelf.

And talking about shelf, naalala ko tuloy yung tanong ni Kristine Hermosa sa teleserye nila ni Jericho Rosales. Sabi nya, "May shelf life ba ang pag-ibig?" Pati tuloy ako napaisip.

Kanina nabasa ko yung NAGTATAKA KA BA KUNG BAKIT SINGLE KA PA?? sa Facebook. Natawa ako ng sobra at for once, after what felt like a long time, I paused long enough para pag-isipan kung bakit single pa ako hanggang ngayon. Hindi ako nagtataka kasi sa listahang ginawa nung sumulat nung nakakatuwang post eh naka-relate ako sa mga ito:

1) MASYADONG INDEPENDENT - baka naman masyado mo napoproject na kaya mongmabuhay ng wala silang lahat, ayan tuloy parang hindi nila maramdaman na kailangan mo rin sila kaya dun na lang sila sa taong tingin nila ay magkakaron sila ng silbi.

>>To paraphrase yung tatlong super close "warrior" male friends ko (who told me almost exactly the same words): "Lagi mo kasing pinapakita na kayang-kaya mo mag-isa"

Ako (thought balloon): Huh? Paanong pinapakita? Kung ano man yun, hindi ko sinasadya...promise.

2) MATAAS ANG STANDARDS- siguro hindi na natanggal sa isip mo ung pangarap mo nung bata ka pa. aba, kelangan mo na gumising sa katotohanan na walang ideal guy. ok cge, kung makita mo nga ung hinahanap mo na gwapong matalino na mayaman na mabait pero nung nakasama mo naman eh nakita mo hindi pala siya madalas maligo, mahiyain mag-toothbrushkaya naman sobrang bad breath niya sa umaga, puro barya ang mga hita at binti o kaya naman daig pa ang tambucho sa lakas manigarilyo, may nakausli na “pang labing-isang” daliri sa kamay at NAKAPANGINGILABOT NA BALAT dahil madami siyang AN-AN SA kanyang LIKOD NA PARA BANG MAPA NG CEBU… oh eh di turn-off ka na? kung lahat ng tao ay katulad mo na mataas ang standards, malamang wala ng magboboyfriend at maggirlfriend ngaun puro friends na lang.

>>Hindi ako sure kung pasok sa kategoryang ito yung paghahanap nung trait na "ok kausap". Disclaimer lang, hindi ibig sabihin kailangan matalino o presidente ng debate club. Gusto ko lang eh yung pag na-stuck kami sa traffic eh may mapapag-usapan naman kami. Yung tipong pag kasama ko siya di ko mararamdaman yung paglipas ng bawat minuto dahil busy kami sa sarili naming mundo.

3) UBOD KA NG KASUNGITAN - maski naman kahit sino hindi masarap lapitan at kausapin ang taong mukhang nangangain ng tao tapos liligawan pa? dapat kc kahit konti maging approachable ka naman para kahit na hindi ka kagandahan, madidiskubre niya na masarap ka palang kausap at masaya kang kasama. (^^,)

>>Ito yung medyo tricky. Serious daw kasi ako. Isa sa mga manifestations ata ng pagiging uber introvert ko. Mataray daw ako. Madalas kasi tahimik lang ako at diretso kung magsalita. Kaya siguro hindi na katakataka na minsan, the first impression lasts.

8) SOBRANG BUSY - alam mo ba ung kantang ‘Narda’? ganyan ang mangyayari sa iyo, hanggang kanta na lang ang aabutin ng nagkakagusto sayo dahil maski pagpa-pluck ng kilay mo wala kang time.

>>Ito ako noon. At magiging ganito ulit soon.

5) NAGKUKULONG SA BAHAY - walang makaka-appreciate sa panloob o panlabas na beauty mo kung nagkukulong ka lang sa bahay DAIG MO PA ANG MGA PRESO sa BILIBID na NAKA-BARTOLINA. okay, nanjan nga ang nanay mo para sabihin na maganda ka pero im sure umay na umay na rin yan sa pagmumukha mo kaya mas maigi kung lumabas ka.. pagkagaling sa office, pwede ka magmall o kya gumimik kasama mga officemates mo, o kaya naman sumali sa mga organization sa simbahan or sa neighborhood.

>>At ganito naman ako ngayon. Ito yung tinatawag kong "in a force field" moments ko. Kumbaga kung si Batman may batcave, ako may to-the-batcave itches din. Ang sarap lang kasing tumigil pansamanta sa gitna ng nakakahilong ikot ng mundo. Yung maramdamang I'm standing still in the midst of all the noises and frenetic pace sa paligid ko.

13) ONE OF THE BOYS: Ayan, isa pang problema ng mga gurls... kadalasan, dahil sa sobra namang close sa mga boys, nagmumukha na silang one of the boys, na kung saan sayo shi-ni-share ng mga boys ang kilig at iyak moments nila with other gurls. Ouch! Masakit yun, lalo na pag type mo yung friend mo na guy. Ingat-ingat mahirap kasi pag masyado kang close sa mga boys kasi dumadating ang point na ang tingin nila sayo… MAS MASARAP KANG KAIBIGAN… aray!!! isa pa, parang lalaki na din ang tingin nila sayo… mapapansin mo yan, kapag nag-skirt or nag-spaghetti strap ka, tapos inaasar ka na ng mga friend mo na boys for being “gurl na gurl”. kasi ang boys, pag nakakita ng gurl in a sexy dress (tumatahimik yan, at may parang kumukulo sa loob nila)… so pag tinawanan ka, naku, sign na un…

>>Ayan, ayan namaaaaaan. Ipinanganak ata talaga akong "one of the boys". Bata pa man hindi ko na nakahiligan ang maglaro ng perceived "for girls" only pursuits gaya ng manika o bahay-bahayan. Libro o stick pang syatong lang ang kinalakhan ko. Mahilig din ako sa martial arts at mga larong nagkakaroon ng balyahan. Madalas tuloy mas marami akong nagiging kaibigang lalaki na ang tingin sa akin eh lalaki rin.

At last but not the least:

[Wrong Time]
‘Eto naman ‘yung mga laging idinadahilan na masyado pa silang bata o kaya
masyado na silang matanda. May mga tao raw na ganyan, ‘yung pakiramdam
nila laging may tamang panahon para sa pag-ibig. Pero ang labo lang
kasi tuwing may pagkakataon naman, lagi nilang naiisip na maling
panahon pa iyon. Oo, wrong timing lagi ang pag-ibig para sa kanila kasi
madalas sumasakto kung kelan meron silang board exams, problema sa
pamilya, o long test kinabukasan. :)

>>May built-in magnet ata ako sa wrong time.

Masaya ba ako na single ako? Oo. Pero hindi ibig sabihin nun gusto ko nang maging single forever. Siguro hindi ko lang iniisip masyado kaya di ko napapansin na I'm leaning dangerously towards being the "one" (a.k.a. alone - single forever). Basta sigurado ako, I believe in that kind of love. Whatever will be, will be.


'Di ko alam ano pinagkaka-busyhan ko kuno nung panahong umikot na at maraming napatawa ang post na 'to. Naisip ko tuloy minsan baka kung ano ang panis sa iba, posibleng pwede pa sa panlasa ng iba.

Ang sarap talagang tumawa.


* SINGLE: Minsan ayos lang maging SINGLE kase free na free ka gawin kung ano ang gusto mo o kaya makakapunta ka kung saan mo gusto pumunta pero kung minsan,. lalo na’t malamig ang hangin o kaya maganda ung view, magwiwish ka na sana may yumayakap sa’yo, hahalikan ka sa noo at titignan ka na parang ikaw na yata ang pinakamagandang babae sa buong mundo!! At pinaka-pogi naman kung lalake ka... pwede rin 2 sa mga bakla at tomboy basta SINGLE...

*kaya heto, susubukan ko bilangin ang mga dahilan kung bakit single pa tayo. Gaano katagal na ba kayo walang nagiging boyfriend/girlfriend? tingnan natin..

1) MASYADONG INDEPENDENT - baka naman masyado mo napoproject na kaya mongmabuhay ng wala silang lahat, ayan tuloy parang hindi nila maramdaman na kailangan mo rin sila kaya dun na lang sila sa taong tingin nila ay magkakaron sila ng silbi.

2) MATAAS ANG STANDARDS- siguro hindi na natanggal sa isip mo ung pangarap mo nung bata ka pa. aba, kelangan mo na gumising sa katotohanan na walang ideal guy. ok cge, kung makita mo nga ung hinahanap mo na gwapong matalino na mayaman na mabait pero nung nakasama mo naman eh nakita mo hindi pala siya madalas maligo, mahiyain mag-toothbrushkaya naman sobrang bad breath niya sa umaga, puro barya ang mga hita at binti o kaya naman daig pa ang tambucho sa lakas manigarilyo, may nakausli na “pang labing-isang” daliri sa kamay at NAKAPANGINGILABOT NA BALAT dahil madami siyang AN-AN SA kanyang LIKOD NA PARA BANG MAPA NG CEBU… oh eh di turn-off ka na? kung lahat ng tao ay katulad mo na mataas ang standards, malamang wala ng magboboyfriend at maggirlfriend ngaun puro friends na lang.

3) UBOD KA NG KASUNGITAN - maski naman kahit sino hindi masarap lapitan at kausapin ang taong mukhang nangangain ng tao tapos liligawan pa? dapat kc kahit konti maging approachable ka naman para kahit na hindi ka kagandahan, madidiskubre niya na masarap ka palang kausap at masaya kang kasama. (^^,)

4) MASAMA ANG UGALI - kung papipiliin ako kung sa masungit o sa masama ang ugali… dun na ko sa masungit! ang masungit kc, hindi likas na itim ang budhi nyan, may taglay na istorya sa likod ng simangot niya. sabihan mo lang yan ng ‘peek-a-boo’BAKA ngitian ka na. ibang istorya na kase ang masama ang ugali dahil mula pa yang ugali na yan sa kaibuturan ng kanyang mga balunbalunan. sa una mabait, pero madidiskubre mo na parang trapo ang tao kung tratuhin nito. tsk tsk tsk. pero hindi pa naman huli ang lahat kung kaya mo pa magbago, bigyan mo ng pagkakataon ang sarili mo magbago. magdasal ka kay lord ng mataimtim huh?? *hahahaha*

5) NAGKUKULONG SA BAHAY - walang makaka-appreciate sa panloob o panlabas na beauty mo kung nagkukulong ka lang sa bahay DAIG MO PA ANG MGA PRESO sa BILIBID na NAKA-BARTOLINA. okay, nanjan nga ang nanay mo para sabihin na maganda ka pero im sure umay na umay na rin yan sa pagmumukha mo kaya mas maigi kung lumabas ka.. pagkagaling sa office, pwede ka magmall o kya gumimik kasama mga officemates mo, o kaya naman sumali sa mga organization sa simbahan or sa neighborhood.

6) MUKHA KANG LOSYANG - ito ang kadalasang krimen ng mga single. Hindi ka nagbibigay ng panahon para ayusin ang sarili physically. at bakit pa nga ba e wala ka naman dahilan para mag-ayos, diba? MALI !!! Dapat nga lalo ka mag-ayos para makita ang marketability mo. hindi krimen ang maging vain kahit konti. did u know na ang ratio ng lalaki sa babae ay 4:1? kaya lola, magsimula ka na mag-ayos at baka yung crush mo ay maagaw pa ng mga intrimitida sa paligid mo.

7) MASYADONG MAGALING - medyo sensitive itong topic na ito dahil nasasagasaan na ang male ego dito eh. oo, may ibang lalake na nabuburaot dahil mas magaling at mas marunong ang babae sa kanila. hindi na natin ito problema dahil malamang insecurity nila ang bumubulong sa kanila pero minsan kase hindi na makatarungan na laging nai-inferior ang lalake. kailangan maramdaman din nila sa iyo na hindi mo sila ia-under the saya if maging girlfriend ka nila. hindi ko rin sinasabi na i-compromise mo ang talents mo, ano bang magagawa ko kung likas na talentadong bata ka pero ang tamang gawin ay wag naman ipagdukdukan na sobrang galing mong tao. wag na wag mong kalimutan na may 2 klaseng yabang dito sa mundo. wag kang mang-intimidate kung ayaw mong ma-intimidate.

8) SOBRANG BUSY - alam mo ba ung kantang ‘Narda’? ganyan ang mangyayari sa iyo, hanggang kanta na lang ang aabutin ng nagkakagusto sayo dahil maski pagpa-pluck ng kilay mo wala kang time.

9) DALA ANG BIGAT NG KAHAPON - may kasabihan nga, “how can u look forward when u keep looking back?”walang mangyayari sa love life mo kung dala mo pa ang kabiguan na dinulot ng nakaraan mo. walang sense ang magpakabitter dahil in the end, lalo ka lang papanget. panget na nga, bitter pa! tsaka wag kang matakot masaktan kung gusto mo magmahal muli. laging kaakibat ng love ang pain dahil hindi ka masasaktan kung hindi ka nagmahal. at isa pa, wag ka ring matakot na kunin ang pagkakataon kung nandiyan na sa harap mo. pano mo malalaman na masarap ang chocolate kung hindi mo titikman? (^^,)

10) MASYADONG-MASYADO!! - masyadong maganda, masyadong matalino, masyadong talented at masyadong mayaman. minsan ito ang mga nagiging factor kung bakit walang gustong manligaw sayo. pero hindi mo naman ito kasalanan diba? katulad din ito ng scenario sa #7. siguro mas maigi kung HUMBLE KA LANG wag mayabang, at imbis na maging hambog, share na lang the blessing. hindi ka lang maganda / matalino / talented / mayaman / mabait pa!! im sure lahat mahuhumaling sayo.

11) IMBORNAL ANG BUNGANGA MO: naku kalimitang problema ito ng mga TAKLESANG TAO at ng mga masyado nang confident sa sarili nila. Maganda ka nga, mayaman, mabait naman, sweet naman, maganda naman pumorma, Pero pag nagsalita daig pa ung barker ng mga pedicab sa CUBAO eh! Ang lakas mong magmura!! Pinaglihi ka ba sa Nagmumurang Kamatis? Mga words mo pa ang lulupit e… memorize mo na lahat ng mga bastos na salitang Pilipino at mga murang pinoy. Shempre palengkera dating mo nyan dba? Naku lalo pa kung mapanira ka, lalong wag! Matatakot lahat makipag-friends sayo, kahit babae!! Hahaha! Bawas mura kapatid! Instead of saying: Bwaka ng Ina, P*tang ina, P*king Ina!! Say: flowers, candies, rainbows, sheeps, clouds, butterflies and PUT A LITTLE MORE!! Or. . .

TANG INUMIN MO WAG MILO!!! O dba? bumabango na “bibig” nya, yeah! di na “bunganga”.


12) TOO MANY BOYS: Minsan nai-intimidate din ang mga guys pag masyado maraming boys ang nakabakod sa girl. Wala ka ngang boyfriend, pero lagi mo naman prino-project na ang daming lumalandi sayo (na pawang mga superficial lang naman at mukhang walang potential na magbigay ng TRUE LOVE sayo). Pag ganyan palagi ang aura at drama mo, most likely, uurong yung mga boys na may HONEST INTENTIONS sayo at kaya kang mahalin ng todo, kasi natatakot sila na baka ikaw ang di kayang magmahal ng totoo. Alam kasi ng mga boys yan… na kahit kayo na (nakapili ka na ng BF mo), di pa din mawawala ang mga “boys” na nakapaligid sayo…

13) ONE OF THE BOYS: Ayan, isa pang problema ng mga gurls... kadalasan, dahil sa sobra namang close sa mga boys, nagmumukha na silang one of the boys, na kung saan sayo shi-ni-share ng mga boys ang kilig at iyak moments nila with other gurls. Ouch! Masakit yun, lalo na pag type mo yung friend mo na guy. Ingat-ingat mahirap kasi pag masyado kang close sa mga boys kasi dumadating ang point na ang tingin nila sayo… MAS MASARAP KANG KAIBIGAN… aray!!! isa pa, parang lalaki na din ang tingin nila sayo… mapapansin mo yan, kapag nag-skirt or nag-spaghetti strap ka, tapos inaasar ka na ng mga friend mo na boys for being “gurl na gurl”. kasi ang boys, pag nakakita ng gurl in a sexy dress (tumatahimik yan, at may parang kumukulo sa loob nila)… so pag tinawanan ka, naku, sign na un…

14) STRICT ANG PARENTS: uhmmm… may two words kami dyan: GOOD LUCK!

at eto ang pinakamatindi sa lahat:

15) WALA SA GUHIT NG PALAD MO ANG MAGKA-BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND!! - shiyet ang saklap naman nito kung ganun nga!! hindi porke hindi ka na magkakaroon ng kasintahan ay loser ka na. malamang may nakalaan na plano sayo si GOD kaya gusto niya na wala kang BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND siguro kaya wala kang kasintahan dahil kailangan ang full attention mo sa pagtulong sa pagtaguyod ng pamilya mo, baka yayaman ka at magiging tagapagmana mo mga pamangkin mo, (EH BAKIT PAMANGKIN PA???! HAHAHA!!) baka kailangan ang full time and support mo sa organization mo..maraming dahilan eh pero nakakasiguro naman ako na walang bagay na nangyayari sayo na hindi kagustuhan ng nasa itaas. laging may greater purpose kung bakit nangyayari ang nangyayari. kaya kung halimbawang may darating, wag na pakyeme. kung hindi mo type ang lalapit sayo, let it go gracefully dahil mahirap na at baka balikan ka ng karma. kung nandyan na, gawin na lang ang best para mag-stay siya sa buhay mo at nang hindi ka na nagtataka pa kung bakit SINGLE ka. see what i’m sayin??

hmmmmm…. mukhang BITIN ka pa eh!! DAGDAGAN NATIN?? (^^,) hehe cge…



[Destiny Addict]
Ito yung mga taong hinihintay na gumawa ang tadhana ng paraan para pagtagpuin sila ng kanilang mga “soulmates” or whatever. Ayaw kumilos o kung ano pa dahil naniniwala siya na kung sino man ‘yung talagang para sa kanya ay darating na lang bigla sa paraang maaaring hindi niya inaasahan– wow!! parang Serendipity.

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “Darating din yan. ‘Wag kasing hanapin.“

Simula nung magkamalay ang taong ito, nakalista na ang mga bagay na gusto niya
sa kanyang magiging boypren/girlpren. Kapag may nakilala siya at
nakitang madumi ang kuko, magkadikit ang kilay, may butas sa ngipin, o
parang penguin maglakad, wala na. Turn off na ‘yun para sa kanya.

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing:
“Ok na siya e. Kaya lang gusto ko ‘yung ganito…”

[Busy Bee]
Pasensya na sila pero masyado kang maraming inaasikaso tulad ng libro, bolpen,
papel at calculator. Umaalis ka ng 6 am sa bahay at umuuwi ng 7 ng gabi
‘pag weekdays. Pagdating mo sa bahay, gagawa lang ng homework at
matutulog na. Masaya ka nang makanood ng TV ‘pag Sabado (at gumawa ulit
ng homework). Sapat na sa’yo ang kumain sa labas kasama ang pamilya
‘pag Linggo (at gumawa pa rin ng homework).

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “Sorry, wala akong time sa ganyan e,”

[Friend Forever Version 1]
Kunwari ka pa dyan. Alam mo namang gusto mo talaga ‘yang best friend o special
friend mo pero hindi mo lang sinasabi at pinapadama dahil ayaw mong
masira ang pagkakaibigan niyong dalawa. ‘Yung tipong ‘pag may kasamang
iba ‘yung gusto mo, kunwari ka pang masaya ka para sa kanya pero sa
totoo lang, gusto mo na malusaw na parang ice caps dahil sa Global Warming.

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “I’m so happy for you” o “Sayang naman ‘yung pinagsamahan namin e.”

[Friend Forever Version 2]
Wala tayong magagawa pero talagang malapit ka lang sa kabilang
kasarian–pero bilang kaibigan lang. One-of-the-boys or ladies’ man.
Hindi ka naman homo o bi pero sadyang kaibigan lang ang tingin mo sa
mga taong hindi mo kapareho ng chromosomes. Masaya ka nang
nakaka-hang-out lang sila, nakakakwentuhan, niyayakap nang walang
halong malisya.

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “May inuman ba mamaya?” kung babae o “Hatid ko ba kayo mamaya?” kung lalaki

[Born to be... "One"]
Single-blessed ka at wala ka nang magagawa kung ganun. Nilikha ka siguro para maging mag-isa (pero syempre may pamilya at kaibigan ka naman, duh!) hanggang tumanda ka na at ipadala sa Home for the Aged. Marami akong kakilalang mukhang ganito ang patutunguhan at hindi naman sila mga pangit o abnoy talaga. Minsan lang, masyado silang masungit.

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “Mag-isa ako.”

‘Eto yung taong masaya na sa trip-trip lang at kung anu-anong mga
happenings. Kahit sino na lang basta no strings attached. For fun lang
at walang seryosohan please. Personally, ayoko nung mga ganito. Umaapaw
lang siguro ‘yung mga taong ganito sa “L.” Magbuhos ka nalang ng malamig
na tubig sa iyong buong katawan at solb na ‘yan.

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “I’m not ready to commit e, but I really like you.”

[Wrong Time]
‘Eto naman ‘yung mga laging idinadahilan na masyado pa silang bata o kaya
masyado na silang matanda. May mga tao raw na ganyan, ‘yung pakiramdam
nila laging may tamang panahon para sa pag-ibig. Pero ang labo lang
kasi tuwing may pagkakataon naman, lagi nilang naiisip na maling
panahon pa iyon. Oo, wrong timing lagi ang pag-ibig para sa kanila kasi
madalas sumasakto kung kelan meron silang board exams, problema sa
pamilya, o long test kinabukasan. :)

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “We had the right love at the wrong time…”

[Parent Trap]
Ayaw ni mama o ni papa na magkaboypren/girlpren ang kanilang unica hija/unico hijo kahit na 22 years old na ito at kumikita na ng sarili niyang pera. Kailangan daw magkaron ka muna ng isang strand ng puting buhok bago may makadalaw sa’yo sa bahay. O kaya, baka ikaw ‘yung may problema dahil natatakot ka sa iisipin ng mga magulang mo tungkol sa taong iyong gusto. Baka kasi sabihin nila na masyado siyang bansot/matangkad/baboy/pay
atot para sa’yo.

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “Baka magalit si Papa”

Dahil sa dami ng mga heartbreak na iyong nadama at emo songs na napakinggan mo na noon, sinumpa mo nang hindi ka magmamahal. Ayaw mo na. Sawa ka na sa paglalaslas ng pulso, este, sa paglalagay ng mga madramang stat message sa YM at pag-iyak ng balde-baldeng luha. Awwwww… pwede rin namang masyado kang insecure sa sarili mo kaya hindi ka makapagmatapang na magventure into some love quest.

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “Pagod na pagod na akong masaktan!” *hikbi*

[Your Ex-Lover is (NOT) Dead]
Yikes!! Mahal pa rin niya ang kanyang EX at hindi siya maka-get-over sa person. wtf??! Pilit pa rin inaalala ang mga tawanan, iyakan, at PDA moments nilang dalawa kahit ‘yung EX niya ay nakikipag-mabutihan na sa ibang babae/lalaki. Sasabihin mong nakapag-move on ka na pero pag nagkwentuhan tungkol sa pag-ibig, tandadadaaaaan! Siya na naman naiisip mo.

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “I’m over him/her…” “tapos iiyak bigla Haha! Baliw!”

Dalawa na namang kaso ito. Una, ayaw mo lang talaga magka-”someone”. Hindi ko na pipilitin ungkatin ‘yung dahilan pero may mga pagkakataon lang talaga na ayaw mo. Ikalawa naman, baka…ayaw kasi sa’yo nung gusto mo N’ that’s the shittiest thing ever! Pwedeng ayaw niya sa’yo dahil may girlpren/boypren siya, busy siya or whatever, o kaya ayaw ka lang niya talaga at wala ka nang magagawa kung ganun. =(

Laging maririnig na nagsasabing: “Ayoko pa magkaboypren/girlpren e.” o “Hindi naman niya ko gusto.“









Categories: SAPUL KA BA?? TAGOS NOH?? =p

Monday, November 23, 2009

Warm again

Yesterday I asked myself if I will ever be warm again. I began to feel cold as soon as I got our relative's call telling me that our mother was in the ICU and was in critical condition. The cold settled in and never left until a while ago. The hardest thing for us to deal with was the feeling of helplessness because of the distance.

It was the most somber birthday for my youngest sister. She is the closest to our mom so I could just imagine all the mixed emotions she had. I could not even begin to tell them everything I was told. I could not even process them. It was much easier for me to omit some of the details. I somehow doubt I would be able to convey everything I heard when my mind could not even accept what I heard.

Prayers helped us got by. The support and prayers of friends added to the conviction that all will be well.

Earlier I got word from my mom that her respirator and other life support gadgets have been removed. She will be transferred from the ICU and will stay in the hospital until she recovers. Only after I heard that news that I began to feel warm again.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Two guys, a piano and a cello make beautiful music together. Now I suddenly want to learn how to play the cello.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy 20th CRC!!!

In 1989, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) became the first legally binding international convention to affirm human rights for all children. As a binding treaty of international law, it codifies principles that Member States of the United Nations agreed to be universal – for all children, in all countries and cultures, at all times and without exception, simply through the fact of their being born into the human family.

(Text and image from here.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My one vote

I intend to make full use of my one vote. I did not vote in the past two elections. It was only recently that I rediscovered the motivation to exercise that right. I even braved the serpentine lines and tiresome wait at a Comelec satellite office just so I can register again.

As the election fever begins to rage, I am beginning to see more of the usual campaigns. Some ring of empty promises that seem to get hollower as years go by. There are always familiar faces, tired lines, and scarce concrete action to match grand promises made. A part of me doubts that politics and governance will change after new and re-elected leaders take the helm in the contested positions. But, despite my misgivings, I still intend to put much thought and effort to that one vote I have.

If I were to shortlist candidates to give my vote to, I will go for those who exude integrity and have firm stance on the following:

1. Education ~ ensuring that more children get access to free education; that more children will have the opportunity to study beyond elementary school; that literacy rate in the Philippines improve especially in the poorest towns and municipalities.

2. Environment ~ because regardless of which side we stand on the climate change debate, I believe that everyone deserves a future where there is environment sustainability. In the interconnectedness of things, ignoring the potential impacts of neglect is a risk that we cannot afford to make.

3. Sports ~ because apart from promoting a healthy lifestyle, it teaches ideals and values that strengthen character and integrity. The current state of sports in the country desperately needs to be addressed.

Like most of what ails the nation, money (misuse, corruption, etc.) is not the only issue that needs to be addressed. Prudent use of funds, a clear vision, and the courage to catalyze changes define great leaders.

I do not think much will change after the 2010 elections. But even so, I believe that there will be a few who will create small ripples of change that will resonate in the coming years. That thought alone is enough to make me anticipate in casting my one vote. One vote that I will use wisely.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pinay long jumper wins gold

A former roommate in the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex South Tower wins the Gold in long jump in the Asian Track and Field Championships held at the Guangdong Olympic Center in Guangzhou, China. Maris' commitment to training paid off.

It is such a source of pride and inspiration to see athletes struggle and emerge victorious through talent, hard work and dedication. Go Pinoy athletes!

Full story:
Torres ends Asian Track & Field Gold drought
From Good News Pilipinas

Natural state of things

Two things came to mind when I read about the rot-proof apple that stays fresh for 4 months:
  1. The apple tree mentioned in James Rollins' book The Doomsday Key
  2. My aunt's tale about a new variant of rice that her friends are recommending to her. The said rice purportedly doesn't spoil for four days when cooked
Although I admire the complexity and genius in developing such produce, I still prefer the natural state of things. Let food rot in their own good time.

go the distance

"People think I'm disciplined. It is not discipline. It is devotion. There is a great difference." ~ Luciano Pavarotti

Image from things we forget

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Philippine Rowing Team quad in Asian Champs Finals A

The Philippine Rowing Team's quad reached Finals A finished 6th in the 13th Asian Rowing Championships held in Yilan, Chinese Taipei. Congratulations and kudos for your best effort and for giving your all in the intense races with Asian powerhouse teams!

Read more about the recently concluded 13th Asian Rowing Championships in Chris Perry's (FISA Development Consultant, Asia) China stands out at Asian Champs.

I want to be six again

I saw this on Facebook. It was posted by Paolo Jamoralin then shared by my friend Majella Jamoralin.


I want to be six again

I want to go to McDonald's and think
it's the best place in the world to eat.
I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle
and make waves with rocks.
I want to think M&Ms are better than money
because you can eat them.
I want to play kickball during recess
and stay up on Christmas Eve
waiting to hear Santa and Rudolph on the roof.
I long for the days when life was simple.
When all you knew were your colors,
the addition tables, and simple nursery rhymes,
but it didn't bother you because
you didn't know what you didn't know,
and you didn't care.
I want to go to school and have snack time,
recess, gym, and field trips.
I want to be happy
because I don't know what should make me upset.
I want to think the world is fair,
and everyone in it is honest and good.
I want to believe that anything is possible.
Sometime, while I was maturing,
I learned too much.
I learned of nuclear weapons,
starving and abused kids, and unhappy marriages.

I want to be six again.

I want to think that everyone, including myself,
will live forever because
I don't know the concept of death.
I want to be oblivious to the complexity of life,
and be overly excited by the little things again.
I want television to be something I watch for fun,
not something I use for escape from the things I should be doing.
I want to live knowing
the little things I find exciting,
will always make me as happy as when I first learned them.

I want to be six again.

I remember not seeing the world as a whole,
but rather being aware of only
the things that directly concerned me.
I want to be naive enough to think that if
I'm happy, so is everyone else.
I want to walk down the beach and think
only of the sand beneath my feet,
and the possibility of finding
that blue piece of sea glass I'm looking for.
I want to spend my afternoons
climbing trees and riding my bike,
letting the grownups worry about time,
the dentist, and how to find the money to fix the car.
I want to wonder what I'll do when I grow up,
not worry what I'll do if this doesn't work out.
I want that time back.
I want to use it now as an escape,
so that when my computer crashes,
or I have a mountain of paperwork,
or two depressed friends,
or second thoughts about so many things,
I can travel back and build snowmen
without thinking about anything
except whether the snow sticks together
and what I can possibly use for the snowman's mouth.

I want to be six again.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

45 days to go... :)

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

How to get an NBI clearance (for the nth time)

This morning I got my NBI clearance in 1 hour and 40 minutes. Not bad, especially with the crowd I saw when I arrived. Lesson learned: Do not leave old NBI clearance behind with other stuff for storage. Renewal takes less time.

I decided to post a few tips below hoping that first time NBI clearance applicants stumble upon it. Some of it might actually be helpful:
~ NBI satellite office located in front of Victoria Mall, Bajada, Davao City allots a certain number of forms for both AM and PM transactions

~ If you wish to finish before lunch time, be at the NBI office on or before 9:00am. I got there at 9:20am and a few minutes after, they announced that they ran out of forms already. Those who were not able to get forms were advised to come back at 1:00pm.

~ Listen carefully to instructions and hone your observation skills. One thing I distinctly noted earlier was the NBI staff I saw were all in plain clothes. Maybe it was laundry day or maybe it was just standard operating procedure for them not to be in uniform but that certainly made it harder to pinpoint people I can approach to ask questions.

Good thing there were volunteers/OJTs (I assumed) who look like students of a law enforcement or maritime school. They at least were easily identifiable in their respective stations. Other than these volunteers/OJTs (again, I'm just assuming), finding someone to provide information was a bit of a pain. It did not help that the tarpaulin listing the steps was posted within what served as waiting area for those whose numbers were already called.

Advice to NBI office mentioned: please put the information near the gate where everyone can easily see it.

I also took some notes from the info tarpaulin detailing the 8 steps in getting an NBI clearance (for first time applicants):
Step 1. Verification of true identification of applicant (required: valid ID with picture or Community Tax Certificate)
Step 2. Filling up in bold letters and checking of NBI clearance card details
Step 3. Fingerprinting by the fingerprint personnel
Step 4. Paying of correct fees at the cashier's office
Local Employment - Php115.00
Travel Abroad - Php115.00
Licenses - Php165.00
Business - Php165.00
BI Requirements - Php415.00
Step 5. Image Capture Processing
Step 6. Data Encoding (to verify whether applicant has no records in file or has no namesake)
Step 7. Releasing in same day for "No" records/"No Hit Applicants"
Step 8. For "Hit applicants" - advice to return in ten (10) working days period

And as end note, keep your NBI clearance where you can easily access or find it come renewal time. Believe me, renewal is much much easier. I should know, I have done it back when I had the foresight to keep my old clearance.

If - read by Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal

This started my day right.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sport for All

Sport: a human right for all individuals

Sport for All is a movement promoting the Olympic ideal that sport is a human right for all individuals regardless of race, social class and sex. The movement encourages sports activities that can be exercised by people of all ages, both sexes and different social and economic conditions.
Just recently, I mentioned Olympism in an email thread with dragon boat friends. The thread was about some umpiring, rowing and dragon boat updates. I said that whatever our role requires us to do in our respective sports we should not forget to promote the spirit of Olympism, always.

Modern Olympism, as defined here, celebrates the ideals which remain at the heart of Olympism. By blending sport with culture and education, Olympism promotes a way of life based on:

* The balanced development of the body, will and mind
* The joy found in effort
* The educational value of being a good role model
* Respect for universal ethics including tolerance, generosity, unity, friendship, non-discrimination and respect for others.

I thought about all of these immediately after I heard about an unfortunate issue involving my dragon boat club team. Quite frankly, the story is not new to me. I heard variations of it already even before, seemingly harmless remarks from competitors. Those kinds of things happen a lot in sports. No big deal.

This latest incident happened during the November 8th race at Manila Bay. A teammate told me that a paddler from another team called one of the Manila Dragon women's team members "gurang" (oldie) inside a CR. My friend told me that another teammate took exception and respectfully called the lady paddler on it. The said teammate explained quiety that most of the women that she was disrespecting were breast cancer survivors. The girl who made the comment apologized. However, as soon as the teammate who called her on it left, the girl shouted "Wala akong pakialam!" (I don't care!). Unfortunately, my friend said another teammate was still in one of the bathroom stalls and heard her - and triggered another exchange.

In another incident, a different team's member commented "Ay matrona!" while Manila Dragons were unloading.

A few thoughts came to mind after I heard the story:
1. Everyone is entitled to her/his own opinion. Ang pikon talo.
2. Sporting events are often rife with intrigues. Competitiveness and team pride knows no bounds.
3. There is always an opportunity to understand the ideals of sports better. Learning and understanding is a start.

To the Manila Dragons breast cancer survivors, nasty and petty comments thrown at you will not diminish the strength of your spirits.

As for the labels, I personally wish to defy those labels as I intend to play until my old age. Sports for All means sports is for all. No one has the right to discourage healthy individuals from embracing a sporting life.

A series of unfortunate events

I first heard of the story from my tita who is staying over after a hospital procedure. She said the road accident happened sometime last week. A bus headed to Tibal-og, Davao del Norte was following a tractor with a cargo of water. It then tried to overtake the tractor and almost collided head-on with an oncoming truck. The bus tried to avoid the truck and swerved to its right. Unfortunately, it hit the tractor and killed its driver. A bus passenger also died and the conductor lost a leg.

A while ago, my uncle arrived and said another tragedy struck the tractor driver's family. The funeral car carrying the remains was hit by a truck near the scene of the first accident. Perhaps what's most tragic about this was the car's driver, the dead man's mother and a child relative died. The dead man's body was not spared as the coffin flew off the car because of the impact.

The bus driver had the presence of mind to flee the scene. If he did not, there was a chance his life will not be spared by the wrath of grieving relatives and friends who were following the funeral car to bury their dead.

It is hard to feel sorry for a man who, by accident, killed people. Especially when he is found to be carrying shabu in his wallet.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


~ A fall to remember
~ Memories of The Hague
~ Maybe because it's November

LSS: Lucky to have been where I have been, lucky to be coming home again

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How Much Water is in Your Latte?

For coffee lovers like me out there, don't worry. This video says it's not about taking away our morning java fix :) | from: The Top 9 Green Viral Videos (via TreeHugger)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It is personal

"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." ~ Ryunosuke Satoro

Last Wednesday, the news about the dead "butanding" (whale shark) that turned up dead on Manila Bay got my attention. Never in my years of training on the waters of Manila Bay have I seen whales, dead or alive, anywhere near our boats. However, I did witness several instances of dead fishes floating, human wastes of the most unsavory kind, a sea of water lilies, and tons of garbage that made training even more difficult than they usually were. What we did was just to row anyway and try not to think about the sorry state of the bay.

The dead "butanding" made me curious about our new breed of rowers. What is it that they see now when they are out there training? Do they see less of the problems we saw before or is it worse now?

I keep thinking that regardless of where we choose to stand in the issue of climate change, we have to admit that something is terribly wrong if sea creatures keep turning up dead on our shores. Garbage do not belong in what should be pristine waters. They should not endanger the survival of creatures that cannot even speak to beg for our help.

Looking at the big picture can sometimes be daunting, especially if we do not fully understand the root and extent of the problems. But perhaps taking that small step individually is a beginning of the big solution we hope to see. And maybe, if we follow others' lead and personalize the problem we can find the inspiration to make the change we feel are necessary.

Sports is where I found that inspiration. I spent hours every day for years rowing in places where training and competition brought me. I ran in city and country roads where I felt like I was drawing energy from around me. It was only after constantly seeing the beauty that I learned to notice small things that I would have otherwise missed.

Whatever form the problems choose to manifest, they will not go away by themselves. Perhaps what is more important is how we choose to take the next steps to mitigate them. The possibilities are endless and the following are just a few of the many things we can individually and collectively do:

1. Develop the habit of bringing reusable bags when shopping. This helps minimize the use of plastic bags. Just imagine how much we can contribute in minimizing the garbage we have. In those times my paddle caught plastic bags there were moments I wondered if some of them were mine.

Note: 450 Estimated time, in years, for a plastic bottle to degrade completely in a marine environment. (Read more)

2. Use events as an opportunity to set an example. Sporting events often generate a lot of trash. I remember several instances when we organized competitions and had to spend hours cleaning after all sorts of trash left by participants and spectators. It would help if event organizers begin to integrate the values of sport and the environment in each activity. Athletes can be the champions by setting an example. Volunteers can help with encouraging participants and spectators in segregating trash.

3. Instill the values of sport and environment to athletes, coaches, officials, and support staff. Encourage them to share how important is a sustainable environment to the future of their respective sports. They can put a face to another facet of a campaign that ultimately makes winners in all of us.

Over the years, I have seen how the above examples worked. I met people who showed me that all these are possible. This is why I believe it is not too late to "give this planet a sporting chance".

Numbers: Plastics, From Manufacturing to Recycling to Long Death in a Landfill
United Nations Environment Programme
The International Olympic Committee Sport and Environment Commission
Japan Olympic Committee Sport and Environment Commission

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Giving public service a good name

Securing purok, barangay, and police clearances earlier today was a pleasant surprise. I started out all psyched up for long lines and longer waits that I even brought a book just to be ready. I blocked the entire day to finish these errands and braced myself for the worst. Instead, I was happily proven wrong in my assumptions. Even better, I got reminded that there are still a lot of government employees who give justice to their roles as public servants.

My first stop for the day was in our purok leader's home to get a purok clearance. The leader was nice and very thorough that the entire transaction took less than ten minutes.

Next I went to the barangay hall, which looked well-maintained, and met employees who gave the impression that they were happy to serve. I got my community tax certificate (CTC) in less than five minutes then proceeded to the cubicle exclusively for barangay clearance requests. Again, I did not have to wait long for the clearance but what surprised me more was the lack of fees. With the exception of the money I spent for the CTC, I did not pay any single fee for both the purok and barangay clearances.

I then proceeded to the police barracks (as they call it) to get a police clearance. I had to backtrack though since I did not know beforehand that I had to pay Php25.00 first at the Sanggunian building, which is a block away from the barracks.

The Sanggunian building was crowded but the number system and the efficiency of the staff behind the windows relieved the tedium of waiting. All in all the time I spent there was not that bad. I then went back to the barracks with the required official receipt in hand. Getting the police clearance was as easy as the previous transactions despite the number of people present.

Call me jaded but I had several experiences over these years that made me wary, sometimes resigned, and often frustrated with how public servants deal with public like me. But today's experiences reminded me that there are still people out there who give public service a good name. I do not know their names but I salute them. Thank you for making me believe in public servants again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Two Things

Web surfing today reminded me of two things:

1. Invoking "creative sabbatical" becomes less scary when viewed from a different perspective.

There have been times in the past that I chose to step back and do nothing. What I choose to be right now is not exactly new. But sometimes I do tend to doubt the soundness of what I am [not] doing. This happens when I start thinking how this "idleness" is tantamount to wasting away. Pressures from expectations and well-meaning intentions are like fertilizers to slow-growing plants. They bring focus to things that I otherwise ignore.

Today is a good day to remind myself that other people's expectations and wishes are their own. My business is to milk this time of solitude and mindless pursuits for all its worth. The past taught me that it is not always going to be like this. I am not wired for slumberous existence no matter how I may sometimes wish it to be so. It is just that there are moments when my soul craves the solitude and clarity that "retreat and recharge" gives me. Thankfully that is what my batcave is for.

2. It is good to remember things we forget.

This is true especially since I seem to be forgetting a lot lately, like #1 and more of the simple things that always used to make me happy.

(Photo from things we forget)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

12th Southeast Asian Rowing Championships & Indoor Rowing Championships 2009

The Philippine Rowing Team bags a total of 3 silvers and 2 bronzes in the 12th SEARF Rowing Championships and 3 golds, 3 silvers, & 2 bronzes in the Indoor Rowing Championships.

14 - 18 October 2009 at the Mabprachan Reservoir, Pattaya, Chonburi Province, Thailand
12th SEARF Rowing Championships
Silver - 3
Bronze - 2

Indoor Rowing SEARF 2009
* Open Men Single 500 m.
Ponnel singgit PHI 1:31.3 (4th place)

* Open WOMEN Single 500 m.

Junior Men Single 1000m
Roque Abala Jr. PHI 3:14.9 (GOLD)

* Junior WOMEN Single 1000 m.

* Lightweight MEN Single 2000 m.

* Lightweight WOMEN Single 2000 m.

* Open MEN Relay 4x500 m.
PHI 6:15.1 (BRONZE)

* Open WOMEN Relay 4x500 m
PHI 7:11.1 (SILVER)
Clotheled nillas
Eda Jecsxie Maerins
Johnalyn Pedrits
Nida Cordovs

* Mixed Open Relay 4 x 500 m (2 MEN + 2 WOMEN)
PHI 6.37.8 (SILVER)
Johnalyn Pedrita
Clothelde Nillas
Edgar Ilas
Ronel Singgit

(Photo by Chalyn Bueta)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change | Giving the Planet A Sporting Chance

“Give the Planet a Sporting Chance” is a call to action campaign of the Japanese Olympic Committee Sport and Environment Commission. I am borrowing it today as I write something in support of this year's Blog Action Day.

I make it personal when I try to make sense of what climate change is. I find connections in dissecting the big things into parts where I understand and feel the potential impacts to me and my environment. This makes it easier for me to reconnect when I begin to drift away from the magnitude of the problem. I do this because it is easy to sink into that hole of helplessness and settle into apathy when I begin to consider that there might be nothing I can do to solve this problem.

The years I dedicated to dragon boat racing and rowing brought me closer to nature. My experiences and the sights I saw are probably the biggest reasons why I continue to strongly advocate campaigns to protect our environment. These sports I love are also threatened by the effects of climate change. Lakes and rivers are in danger of disappearing. I cannot imagine a world where there is nothing to do but stay indoors because there is nothing more safe to do outside.

@ Pasig River (Photo by John Candido)

Out in the water I become one of those many others who appreciate just how precious our environment is. I see pristine waters and my heart sings with joy. I feel the clean breeze caress my body and my spirit soars. It is when I am out in a boat that I understand more how inaction and apathy could make me lose something that is priceless and irreplaceable.

@ La Mesa Dam (Photo by Chalyn Bueta)

So what can I do?

I choose to give the planet a sporting chance. I consciously make an effort to lessen my carbon footprint. It is not easy and I am not even halfway to being successful as I aimed to be but I believe I am on the right track. I have learned the habit of using less plastic especially when I am out shopping. I unplug appliances that I do not use. I try to use less electricity. Everyday I try to do more. I read materials that could help me reduce my carbon impact.

I am only one but I am one with the billions of people who are doing what they can to mitigate the risks of climate change. With that in mind, I am filled with hope. I could still imagine a world where people have the chance of playing my favorite sports.

Queen Rania's speech at Yale University

I was deeply moved by the video of Queen Rania's speech at Yale University that I wanted to post the full speech here.

I think the ability to care is what defines humanity. What she said made me think about how I sometimes shy away from sharing what I feel and think about things - big things, things that do not [directly] concern me. I may think that I am helpless, insignificant even, in what is happening around me. There is just too much suffering that we people bring to this world.

I am stumped by the degree of helplessness that I feel, of the separateness I experience. But even thinking about that does not stop me from caring. I care because I believe that somehow, in some ways, we are all connected. I feel that for as long as our humanity is preserved a hope for peace remains alive.

"True peace depends on reconnecting the bonds of our common humanity." ~ Queen Rania

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
"Queen Rania's speech at Yale University "

- New York, United States

President Levin, Dean Lorimer, faculty, students… thank you so much for making me feel so welcome here at Yale. I’ve wanted to come here for many years, and am so grateful to everyone for the hospitality and kindness you’ve shown to me and my staff.

I’ve really been looking forward to seeing the Yale landmarks that I’ve been hearing about for so long – the Beinecke Library… Harkness Tower… Old Campus… Peter Salovey’s moustache.

Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t make it quite in time for that last one! But everything else is even more impressive than I had imagined. This is a spectacular place.

Indeed, I have to admit, as I was preparing for this visit, I wondered what on earth I could tell you that you don’t already know. Yalies have won 17 Nobel prizes, 6 presidential elections, and even 2 Heisman trophies. You can choose from more than 2,000 courses… browse more than 12 million books in the libraries… make friends from more than 110 countries… and, as far as I can tell from the posters on campus, try out for 3,000 a capella singing groups!

So, rather than try to compete with all that, I thought I’d speak from my own experience.

I thought I’d offer an Arab perspective on my part of the world, and our hopes for peace and progress – especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And I’m guessing, since you made the time to be here today, when you could have been doing something really important – like researching a paper, or visiting a professor, or calling your Mom to tell her how much you love her -- that this is an audience that already cares about international relations.

But I realize that foreign policy isn’t typically a top concern for the American public – and especially not in a time of economic hardship at home. A poll earlier this year found that 75 percent of Americans agreed “terrorism” should be one of President Obama’s top priorities… but almost no other foreign policy issues made it to the top 20 list.

So I don’t expect that the Arab-Israeli conflict is foremost on most people’s minds.

Yet, in many ways, that conflict is at the core of U.S.-Arab relations – or, at least, at the core of Arab public opinion of America. When Arabs were asked, in a poll this spring, what two steps by the United States would improve their views of the United States the most, more than 40 percent said a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. The same poll found that 99 percent of people put the conflict in their top 5 priorities… and one in three say the Palestinian issue is their number one concern.

That’s because for us, the occupation is a hurt we feel each day. In Jordan, nearly a third of our population are Palestinian refugees. Look at the people sitting on either side of you. Imagine one was a refugee – forced to seek haven in your country because her family had been driven from their own. In Jordan we have to be concerned with the conflict because we’re living with its consequences. We don’t have the luxury of shifting our focus away.

We know as well that the crisis in Palestine does not exist in a vacuum. What happens in Palestine is related to what happens in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Syria. The longer the conflict in Palestine persists, the weaker the moderate majority becomes… the more extremists gain leverage they can exploit… and the greater the risk of instability throughout our region.

So we appreciated President Obama’s outreach in his Cairo speech. We appreciated his acknowledgement that the conflict remains a major source of tension between us… and his pledge to pursue a two-state solution with patience and dedication.

We appreciated the appointment of Senator George Mitchell as special envoy.

But we are impatient. When it comes to Palestine, time has not been a friend. To the contrary, sometimes Palestine seems like the land that time forgot.

You know, when I started college, back in 1988, Europe was divided. The United States had an existential foe called the USSR. Much of Latin America was ruled by juntas; South Africa by apartheid. Civil conflicts had been raging for decades from Guatemala to Northern Ireland. Nelson Mandela lived in a cell. And Palestine was under occupation.

These were the problems we used to describe as intractable, even insoluble. Yet hatreds have given way to handshakes. Prisoners have become presidents.

But not in Palestine. In Palestine, walls are going up, not coming down…four hundred kilometers to be precise. The decades have brought what feels like an endless parade of starts and stalemates … missed opportunities… shattered hopes… and diminishing returns.

And I’m not here to talk about blame. That doesn’t get us anywhere. It’s like tracing your finger on a Mobius Strip, going round in an infinite loop.

But coming from Jordan, I feel I must speak for those voices that Americans rarely hear… to describe the sense of “identity theft” that Palestinians have endured for over 60 years.

Because their pain is about more than the loss of their land… their olive trees… their livelihoods. Their grief is about more than being kicked out of the homes in which their families have lived for generations. As one scholar put it, land is the “geography of the Palestinian soul.” Their very understanding of who they are is deeply rooted in the context of their environment. So each new claim on their ever-shrinking space feels like a blow to their very existence. Having no place to call their own is like having no identity at all.

Think about it: When you enroll here at Yale, one of the first things you receive is your ID. It allows you access – to residential colleges… dining halls… the library stacks. It opens doors. It gets you in. It shows that you belong. And when you leave Yale, you get a piece of paper to carry with you: a diploma that gives you status before you ever have to say a word.

In the West Bank and Gaza, young people like you are given an ID as well. But this ID is not about access. It is only about limitation. It limits the boundaries of where they can go, what they can do, who they can be. It’s a constant reminder that in others’ eyes, they are less valuable… less important… simply less.

UN sources report that almost 40 percent of the West Bank is now covered by settlement-related Israeli infrastructure – barriers… buffer zones… military bases… barbed wire and barricades.

Parents can’t get to work. Students can’t get to class. Sick people can’t get to hospitals. All traffic is stopped, from people on foot to cars and trucks to ambulances. The wait can be hours, often only to find that passage is refused – relatives detained on their way to a family wedding… schoolchildren searched, their notes ripped from their schoolbooks… grandparents, forced to stand for hours holding packages and heavy bags.

The unpredictability, anxiety, and humiliation are as wearing as the delay.

And so much more than freedom of movement is lost when each day is defined by these checkpoints… with armed soldiers demanding, “Hawiya… ID… Hawiya… ID” Show me proof that you exist.

The degradation is compounded by the sense that no one cares… that the outside world is oblivious to the hardships Palestinians endure.

Especially in Gaza, where for two years, families have faced the collective punishment of blockade… and for three weeks at the start of this year, they were subjected to devastating attack – with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide… not even UN hospitals or schools.

Today, a million people -- almost 70 percent of Gaza’s population -- are refugees. Homes lie in rubble. Hospitals lack power. Sewage pipes threaten to burst. The economy has totally, utterly collapsed. Unemployment is approaching 50 percent.

One resident calls it “a jail where no prisoner knows the length of his sentence.”

And not one penny of the billions of dollars pledged for reconstruction has gotten through.

More than half the population of Gaza is under the age of 18.

Children did not create this conflict… but they are its greatest victims.

Just listen to the words of the four small children who were found by the Red Cross in January… in the shell-battered neighborhood of Zeitoun… clinging to their mothers’ corpses:

They couldn’t speak. They were too weak to stand. They hadn’t eaten for days… while the firefight raged outside the door… and their families died inside.

They were alive… but being alive is not the same as surviving. These children had nothing but their mothers’ love… and now they have lost that too.

And the worst threat of all is the cynicism so many people feel… the sense that Middle East peace is hopeless… that we’ll never find a solution.

Because if we throw up our hands and say, “This problem is too hard,” we’re not just writing off a “process”… or writing off a “road map.” We’re writing off people’s lives.

But let me be clear: it isn’t just the lives of Palestinians at stake. Israelis too need a future of peace and security.

They too need to be free of wailing sirens announcing an attack.

And they too need to grow up without the shadow of walls and watchtowers… for as a columnist for a leading Israeli daily wrote this spring, one of the casualties of occupation may be a healthy state of Israel itself.

So what must be done?

On the political front, we need courage, accountability, and action.

And we see signs of hope, as President Obama and his team invest their time and capital in breathing life into negotiations for two viable, secure, sovereign states.

We see signs of hope, as all 22 members of the Arab League have offered Israel full recognition in exchange for withdrawal to its pre-1967 border.

We see signs of hope, as brave people on both sides say they are ready to give peace a chance – 64 percent of Palestinians, and 40 percent of Israelis, who support the Arab League plan.

Now, all sides must take responsibility for building on this momentum. And let me say clearly: That responsibility includes the Arab world. We decry the actions of Israeli extremists, but must work harder to rein in our own. We look to the West to do more in support of Palestinian needs, but must do our part – and must press the Palestinians toward unity among themselves.

At the same time, as my husband His Majesty King Abdullah has said, it is time for Israel to choose: “To integrate into the region, accepted and accepting, with normal relations with its neighbors. Or to remain fortress Israel, isolated, and holding itself and the entire region a hostage to continuing confrontation.”

And from America, too, we need sustained commitment… creative engagement… and leadership… to keep the parties on the path to peaceful co-existence.

But we need even more.

Because true peace depends not just on new lines on a map. It is not just the walls on the land that must go. We must take down the walls in our hearts. There has been so much pain, so much loss, so much fear, so much hatred and mistrust. True peace depends on reconnecting the bonds of our common humanity.

I was moved by something JK Rowling said in her commencement at Harvard last year. She said that humans have the unique ability to “think themselves into other people’s places”… to learn and understand new things they’ve never actually experienced.

And yet, many “choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.”

Rowling went on to say, “I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do… I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters,” she said. “They are often more afraid.”

She is right. So often, we dread what we do not know. We live in fear of the things we cannot see. But we’ll never move forward by closing ourselves off. The only way to grow is to reach out.

To truly make peace in the Middle East -- or anywhere in the world – we all have to learn to think ourselves into other people’s places. To put ourselves in other people’s shoes. To make room for other people’s hopes and fears. For the more we can appreciate one another’s perspective, the more dimension and depth we add to our own.

And in many respects, that’s what a liberal education is all about. It’s about asking questions without prejudging the answers. Drawing lessons from other peoples’ experiences. Testing and refining our own values and beliefs. Developing the habits of an open mind.

When we shine the light of inquiry… broad-mindedness… and compassion… that is how we find our way to our own best selves. The more open we become, the more we find we can contain. It’s the “lux” that leads the way to “veritas.”

And when it comes to the Middle East, no matter how great the fears, no matter how deep the mistrust, if we shine that light, we are sure to reveal what has always, and will always, be true: There is no difference between the love Palestinians and Israelis feel for their children. No difference between their laughter… or their tears.

We share one humanity. As one of my heroes, Desmond Tutu, likes to say, “We, all of us, have been made for goodness. We have been made for laughter…we have been made for caring, for sharing, for compassion; for we do indeed inhabit a moral universe and; yes, goodness is powerful.”

Yale, as global citizens, we have a responsibility to one another. In our interconnected world, there are no zero sum games. We win or lose together. We all have a stake in peace and justice – for all of us are diminished by their absence. Let us work together, in the Middle East and around the world, to make peace come true, for good.

Thank you very much.