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Friday, May 29, 2015

Algunas palabras filipinas que tienen origen española

Estoy seguro de que mis compañeros de clase ya han escrito las semejanzas y las diferencias en cuanto a los costumbres y las crecencias de ambas culturas, la española y la filipina, asi que pense que seria una buena escribir algo que me interesa y no me aburre tanto.

La verdad es que la española no me parece  conocida, es decir, aunque podamos hablar de la herencia española en relacion con la cultura filipina, los enlaces entre ambas culturas, por el paso de tiempo, y las cosas  que han cambiado tanto. Quiero decir, las cosas en comun entre las dos se han reducida desde la llegada de los Norteamericanos o tras de haber pasado como una colonia de los Estados Unidos a partir de 1899, porque muchos costumbres que tienen origen español se han reemplazados por los de los Norteamericanos.

Ademas, me parece que hoy en dia, los españoles parecen mas cercanos a otros europeos occidentales que a los latinos, por ello es dificil de comentar detenidamente se trata de este tema dado que no tenia referentes previamente, bueno, no he estado en España y no tengo compañeros españoles en las empresas donde trabajaba antes. Supongo que puedo inventar algo, pero en este momento, no hay nada que me llegue a la mente, es decir, no me salen los ideas.

Bueno lo que me interesa mucho son las palabras que obviamente parecen españolas pero tienen significados distintos para los filipinos. Me doy cuenta de que todavia existen palabras antiguas que se usan mucho, por ejemplo, mis viejos llaman a las gafas como anteojos y compran pastillas de medicina en la botica, en vez de la farmacia.

La palabra contra vida en tagalo significa malvado y siempre se refiere a los antagonistas en las peliculas. Se usa mucho barcada tambien, que se refiere a la pandilla de amigos. En las provincias, casillas significa un retrete o cuarto de baño o un aseo. Siempre se usa mucho pero significa por supuesto. Basta significa ä condicion que mientras seguro en tagalo significa quizas.

Reconozco que el tema que he fijado no parece tan interesante, pero hay que señalar que muchas veces, los filipinos no son conscientes de estas cosas y espero que un dia cambie porque cabe resaltar que, sin duda, la cultura filipina tiene, por el mayor parte, una gran influencia española.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Hace falta tener medidas para proteger el medio ambiente

Aunque paises menos desarollados como Filipinas necesitan recursos naturales en las industrias para su crecimiento economico, no cabe duda que los asuntos ecologicos se ven menos apreciados que otros como la pobreza y el hambre. Por ello, cuando decimos lo de las medidas de la conservacion y el reciclo en las ciudades, no existe un programa nacional a gran scala que trate de convencer a los ciudadanos a ser conscientes de la naturaleza y los problemas del medio ambiente.


Hay que tener en cuenta, que en una zona con muchos terremotos y ercupciones volcanicas y en donde se golpean al menos 20 tifones cada año se situa el pais. Es decir, Filipinas tiene que enfrentarse la ira de la Madre Naturaleza muchas veces, Pero me parece que es algo que se acostumbra la gente por el paso de tiempo. Los filipinos tienen que sobreponerse a los desafios y, bueno, seguir adelante.

Las cosas empeoran cuando se habla de la deforestacion. No se puede echar la culpa a la Madre Naturaleza simplemente. La gente es la fuente de este problema con las necisidades de explotar los recurso naturales que corren las industrias. Dado que los recursos financieros del gobierno no son suficientes, me parece que todavia hay medidas en las que se llevan a cabo para solucionarlas.

La deforestacion es, sin duda, una fuente de muchos problemas ecologicos en este pais. Por ejemplo, las inundaciones que sufrimos mucho cada año, se quedaria eliminado, o al menos, reducido si hubiera tomado el gobierno un programa de ¨deforestacion¨en los barrios alrededor de la ciudad. Plantar arboles es la actividad mas ecologista del siglo y parece my sensible. 

A decir verdad, las montañas y colinas calvas cerca de Manila que se forma parte de la ¨Sierra Madre¨ se pueda servir como almaciga en las que se plantean los arboles que evitarian las inundaciones de los rios y arroyos y, al fin y al cabo, protegerian a la gente.

No obstante con esta medida del gobierno, como ciudadanos conscientes, tambien es importante reducir nuestro consume de productos de los arboles como papel y madera, especialmente de articulos de ¨usar y tirar¨ que aunque sean higienicos, no son limpios con la Naturaleza. Ademas, reciclando papel ahorramos arboles, agua y energia.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Comenzar otra vez

Hace mucho anos desde escribí algo aqui, todavia no estoy seguro si puedo hacerlo aunque voy a tratarlo, ha sido un largo tiempo. Si, esta claro que he cambiado mi estilo de escribir, en primer lugar he mejorado mi habilidades en espanol por matriculandome otra vez en los clases del idioma, es decir que tengo planes a cambiar mi carrera. Estoy harto de hacer las investigaciones de mercado, aunque creo que mi jefe me dijo que estoy bien, pues, vale.


A decir verdad, no se lo que a decirle en este blog, solia escribir mi vida cotidiana antes, pero en ingles. Ademas, estoy un poco mas viejo y tengo ideas distintas que los años pasados. Hoy en dia, la vida es mas duro, haya desafios dificiles y asuntos complejos en los que tengo que superar, no creo que quiero compartirlos aqui, al menos no ahora mismo, quizas en el futuro, si estare comodo hablando se trata del tema.

Hasta luego!


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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Countertenors Are In

I never thought I'd hear a countertenor with a pleasing timbre, but I'll be damned. Philippe Jaroussky's and Andreas Scholl's falsetto voices still strike me as weird.

Here's the sensational David DQ Lee singing Caccini's Ave Maria, and the voice will leave you breathless and gasping for more, you would not care that he's doing this in falsetto.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Le chemins de l'amour

Poulenc's mesmerizing Le Chemins de l'Amour, piano version.






Les chemins qui vont à la mer
Ont gardé de notre passage
Des fleurs, des feuilles et l'écho sous leurs arbres
De nos deux rires clairs.

Hélas, des jours de bonheur,
Radieuses joies envolées,
Je vais sans retrouver traces dans mon coeur.

Chemins de mon amour,
Je vous cherche toujours.
Chemins perdus vous n'êtes plus
Et vos échos sont sourds.
Chemins du désespoir,
Chemins du souvenir,
Chemins du premier jour,
Divins chemins d'amour.

Si je dois l'oublier un jour,
La vie effaçant toute chose,
Je veux dans mon coeur qu'un souvenir
Repose plus fort que l'autre amour.

Le souvenir du chemin,
Où tremblante et toute éperdue,
Un jour j'ai senti sur moi brûler tes mains

Chemins de mon amour,
Je vous cherche toujours.
Chemins perdus,
Vous n'êtes plus
Et vos échos sont sourds.
Chemins du désespoir,
Chemins du souvenir
Chemins du premier jour,
Divins chemins d'amour.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ride of the Valkyries

The magnificent and overwhelming Act III opening, the famous Ride of the Valkyries, from Richard Wagner's "Die Walküre", the second part of his Ring des Nibelungen trilogy.

This is a 1976 Bayreuth production conducted by Pierre Boulez.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Excuse

The QC RTC judge who inhibited himself from hearing the case against Ampatuan Jr for the sake of his family's safety gets a lot of flak for not taking on what is considered to be a "risk of the trade," that is, as a judge people do expect him to eat death threats for breakfast. So when he dispenses his decision in his other cases, is it out of true and objective appreciation of the facts of the case, or out of fear, his critics ask.

Let's not go overboard. He wasn't, isn't and will not be the last judge to inhibit on a case of this magnitude. Remember, none of the Cotabato RTC judges were available to try the case when it clearly falls under their jurisdiction. To begin with, they weren't too keen on taking on the case for fear of their lives, really. After all, it is not everyday that you get to try true evil, -in its most vicious form- personified.

So it doesn't necessarily follow that this response from him is enough reason for us to cast aspersion on his integrity or doubt his capacity as a judge. This is an extraordinary case, which may soon be in the running for the Crime of the Century. Trying somebody who kills 57 people without compunction isn't exactly SOP even for experienced judges. This was supposed to be his finest case should he rise to the occassion, his moment. But he's not interested in becoming a hero of some sort. All he wants is for him and his family to sleep soundly at night.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Derivative

(I get a lot of Japanese spam comments for this 1st Nov09 entry so I'm re-posting this with a slightly different title)

While watching Project Runway Philippines Season Two (2), I noticed that the judges like to agree with and refrain from contradicting each other. Whoever gets to say first usually has the upper-hand, while the rest simply fall in line. Clearly, Rajo Laurel calls the shots, Apples Aberin and that female host never once had a different opinion with Rajo. They would not dare.

Fashion is supposed to be highly subjective, and it should be shaped by different, even opposing opinions and perspectives. To his credit, Rajo can give a credible opinion because he's the only one familiar with the craft of dress-making while the others simply rely on their supposedly heightened sense of high fashion, kasi nga models daw sila dati. Aberin and that lady host couldn't sew even if their lives depended on it, so they make gaya-gaya statements without appearing clueless --they recycle Rajo's comments and project themselves as if they know what they're talking about. Tragic, really.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Il se fait tard (Faust)

The beautiful Love Duet from Gounod's Faust: "...Il se fait tard..." This is the same scene shown in Martin Scorsese's faithful movie adaption of a favorite novel of mine, Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Performed splendidly by real-life couple Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Illegal

I do have my misgivings about the Martial Law declared over at Maguindanao. I am quite aware that the extreme lawlessness in that province can probably be best addressed by Martial Law since civilian rule has already been compromised by feudal landlords who believe the province is theirs by birthright.

Unfortunately, the Constitution clearly does not support the imposition of Martial Law in Maguindanao, even if the President's allies will stand by her side and support the declaration. Martial Law can only be imposed only on very specific grounds- when there is an existing rebellion or invasion- and it cannot be invoked as a preemptive course of action against a rebellion "in the offing." Nor does the discovery of a huge arsenal of guns and ammunition in properties owned by the Ampatuans constitute an existing uprising. The framers of the 1987 Constitution were quite particular about this, so as to avoid abuse of discretion.

We can always argue that the Maguindanao Martial Law has proven to be quite effective in crippling the Ampatuan's infrastructure of violence since this has emboldened witnesses to come forward and testify against the perpetrators, and the suspension of the habeas corpus allowed for the warrantless arrests of the Ampatuans before they could act on destroying or hiding evidence linked to the massacre of 57 civilians and journalists.

But then again, the Constitution does not allow it. Martial Law cannot be justified on the grounds of public safety. In a rebellion, the objective must be to overthrow the government. The Ampatuans were and are not rebelling. Why should they, when they were the government?

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Faust: Final Scene

One of the most beautiful operas ever composed for the lyric stage, Charles Gounod's Faust. The final scene and trio shows the decisive battle for Marguerite's soul when Mephistopheles (the Devil) is about to take her and Faust away to eternal damnation. Marguerite has one fighting chance at redemption, and she takes it. Beautiful!

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Rap Meets Classical

Georges Bizet must be turning in his grave. This is exactly the type of video that incites people to hurl mud at each other, if they haven't slit each other's throats yet.

A hiphop-meets-classical rendition by two Frenchmen of the Toreador aria from Georges Bizet's Carmen. A good reason to invade France!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Appalling

The grisly election-related massacre in Maguindanao province should signal the end of Gloria and Lakas-Kampi, once and for all. By coddling warlords that gave her the critical votes during the last Presidential elections against FPJ- where FPJ got an unbelievable zero in three Maguindanao towns!- the cost of doing this has exploded right at her face: 57 bodies as of the latest count. According to Vice Mayor Mangudadatu: “My wife’s private parts were slashed four times, after which they fired a bullet into it. They speared both of her eyes, shot both her breasts, cut off her feet, fired into her mouth. I could not begin to describe the manner by which they treated her." Gloria, gumalaw ka naman. The perpetrators are savage beasts, there's just no excuse for it. Incredibly, through her spokesperson Loreli Fajardo, she said that the conflict is between the warring families and that the Palace cannot be bothered by it, and that even if the Ampatuans were proven to have committed the crime, there was no reason for Gloria to sever its friendship with them. Grabe! (And then Gloria says something totally different from her official spokesperson, grrrrrr).

Sure, the Ampatuans have lorded it over the Cotabato provinces (four provinces were carved out of Cotabato: Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, North Cotabato and South Cotabato) since time immemorial, they probably think that the province is theirs by birthright. Ergo, anybody who stands in the way ought to be eliminated. And probably because of the impending danger, and his request for security escort turned down by both the police and military- all of whom are in cahoots with the warlord- Mangudadatu had to send a convoy consisting mostly of women led by his wife, sisters, human rights lawyers and journalists to file his candidacy for governorship, thinking that they wouldn't be harmed this way. He was bloody mistaken. Ampaturan Jr led the carnage himself, as witnesses would recount, not sparing even motorists who simply happened to be passing the area. The fact that a government-owned backhoe was used to supposedly bury everybody, including the vehicles used in the convoy is strong evidence that the powers-that-be are behind this crime.

It was really during Gloria's term when para-military groups, civilian auxiliaries, or simply militias, were activated, supposedly to aid in the fight against the MILF separatist rebels. Unfortunately, this only allowed the Ampatuans to utilize them as their own private army, equipped and fully funded by the government! This explains why the Ampatuans themselves are at war with the MILF- they stand to gain nothing from supporting the MILF and everything by standing behind Gloria: budget allocations from the national government and their own private army!

I'm not saying of course, that it's Gloria's fault. After all, political dynasties and warring clans are not new to Muslim Mindanao. The Dimaporos of Lanao were the warlords du jour in the 70's and 80's and the Pendatuns decades before that. It's just that in her quest for power, she has allowed warlords like the Ampatuans to flourish and rule with impunity, as long as they deliver the votes. What's worse is that these people live like kings- this warlord reportedly has a P150million mansion in Davao City. Since Maguindanao is among the poorest provinces in the Philippines, there's virtually zero investments in the area because people are just too scared to do business, residents simply rely on small trade and subsistence farming to survive. The P569 million annual budget allocation from the National Government obviously goes straight to the Amapatuans, and perhaps for the maintenance of their 400+-strong private army. Maguindanao and other hot spots are always ground zero for dagdag-bawas activities of the administration. She just didn't expect them to be bloody murderous. It has now come back to haunt her.

Notice how quick Gibo Teodoro "expelled" the Ampatuans from Lakas Kampi. His latest survey ratings have not gone above 2%, the last thing he needs right now is being seen as an ally of the murderous warlords. And in a really revolting move, Gibo accompanied Mangudadatu in filing his certificate for candidacy. Grabeh, gusto pang magpa pogi out of this tragedy!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rub Off

Before Efren Peñaflorida's work as a street educator reached CNN, he has been featured before in local programs, notably Jessica Soho and Che Che Lazaro's programs, if I'm not mistaken.

When he made it to the final list for the CNN Hero of the Year, all of sudden, so many people wanted to be associated with him and his work. Towards the end of the voting period, Globe was urging people to vote for him online. After he received the prize, Smart put out a full-page ad praising his achievements. Malacañang announced the President is going to confer an award to Peñaflorida.

Do you think Globe, Smart and Malacañang would even heap praises on him if not for the CNN recognition?

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Last Week

Gibo may have impressive credentials, but he's still in the wrong political party. Sorry, that alone is reason enough for me not to vote for him.

As for Noynoy, I have difficulty understanding him. Not only is he fond of motherhood statements, he reminds us of his parents' legacy ALL the time. I have not made up my mind on Noynoy. When he becomes President, for sure government and business allies will be dominated by Blue Eagles! Also, why is it that his ad on TV looks like a they're hunting for witches and manananggals?

Aling Dionisia is now...Mommy D. She's so show-busy she has even learned to bluff her way through the Manny-Krista affair, "To see is to believe," she says when asked to comment about it, despite the fact that the whole country already knows about the sordid affair. The public has made up its mind and has mercilessly crucified Krista as a gold digging, home-wrecking slut and his father- a 70's matinee idol- a shameless pimp who condones the illicit liaisons of his daughter with the boxer in exchange for Manny's financial support for his political ambitions.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Expedient

Manny Villar has a new running mate, Sen. Loren Legarda. Asked to explain how these two can work as a tandem when both have been in opposing sides of the fence on thorny issues such as the double funding of the C-5 Extension project, Legarda spoke a mouthful and managed to make a comparison between them vis-a-vis Obama and Hillary- both of whom sparred bitterly for the US Democratic nomination- but I still think her statement amounts to nothing.

This is clearly an uneasy union, a marriage of convenience if you will, so it's hard to believe that they have set aside their differences. Legarda, after all, was a strident critic of Villar at the Senate and supported the latter's ouster as Senate President.

So you see Loren, why would we believe you, how can we even trust you, when you can just as easily swallow your own words and switch sides like you were changing pants when your political career is at stake? Just last year, you criticized Villar severely for engaging in money politics ('pera-pera lang yan') so how come you're now his running mate?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Yesterday's Pacquiao Fight

Like the rest of the country (well except for Jun actually, who says he cannot understand why they had to get their faces smashed for a belt), I watched Pacquiao's bout with Miguel Cotto yesterday after the Timex half marathon on pirated, but live, internet stream. (That's the thing with so many Filipinos around the world. They share their pay-per-view broadcasts on the internet. Dunno really how they do it, but they did.)It's only twelve rounds, about an hour, because if you wait and watch it over at GMA-7, it's not only delayed by several hours, it will take you five (5) years to watch the entire fight because of all the commercials.

Anyway, quite an exciting fight, except when Chavit Singson appeared during the opening. You can almost hear the collective sigh of annoyance coming from Filipinos from all corners of the globe watching the fight. Quite annoying to see politicians hogging the limelight. Kapalmuks! di makahintay ng kanyang balato. Bak't ba kasi sya nandun? For what? moral support? Yuck. In contrast, a trio of unknown GMA 7 singers performed a splendid arrangement of the National Anthem.

About the fight, Manny took a lot of blows himself, and in fact, he was outclassed and out-punched in the first round when he was clearly trying to size up his opponent. Cotto held his own in the ealier rounds but it was in the fourth round when things began to shift in Manny's favor when he floored Cotto. After that, Cotto seemed like he was just trying to survive, especially in the 10th and 11th when you can see Manny already annoyed and egging his opponent to stop "dancing" around or back-pedaling and engage him already. Cotto's face was bleeding profusely, I think by the 9th or 10th round, his coach Santiago should have thrown in the towel already. They almost did. The fight was finally stopped in the 12th because Cotto was just bleeding badly.

The next fight fans are eagerly awaiting is not between Manny and Mayweather, but the one involving Jinkee and Krista Ranillo, and perhaps Ara Mina too.

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Showbizy

And so Gibo Teodoro (why Gibo, why not Gibbs?) found a running mate for the VP position, Edu Manzano. As far as I know, Edu was only aiming for a senatorial slot, not the VP position. Dunno, but is this the administration party's strategy of raising their profile, by fielding showbiz personalities, since clearly their chances of clinching the Presidency are rather slim. I won't be suprised at all if they're wooing Aling Dionisia to be in their Senatorial slate, although the Pacman's mom seems loyal to Erap.

The question now is, Where is Noli de Castro? He hasn't announced his plans for the Presidency. Is he stepping out of the limelight? What party will he ally himself with now that he's clearly not the standard bearer of Lakas-Kampi.

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Dizzy

While Manny Pacquiao made history as he claimed his seventh world division title yesterday, I ran the Timex Half Marathon "with Coach Rio and Piolo Pascual" without adequate and proper preparation.

I thought it was a hitch-free event, plenty of water and sports drinks, kilometer markers, marshals,disposable timing chips, in contrast to the Adidas 21k event two (2) weeks earlier where the claiming of singlets alone was a mess, I got lost during the race and found myself in the company of 10K runners, and worse, where water was served out of pails for the 10k runners, yes the "balde."

Needless to say, yesterday Jun and I were clearly very exhausted and dizzy after crossing the finish line. Need to train harder.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Artificial

I cannot understand why the government has still not lifted the EO order freezing prices of petroleum products. It is creating this whole energy crisis. As a response to facilitate recovery and help consumers from the series of typhoons, this should only be a stop-gap measure, a very short-term solution. Prolonging it any moment longer could have drastic consequences.

You cannot expect a business to operate knowingly at a loss. Why would oil companies import oil supplies when expected revenues are way below import costs.

Simple arithmetic really. The government is clearly buying pogi points for keeping prices artificially low, when in reality, as per world prices, it's clearly not. Once the EO is lifted, you can expect oil prices to jack up substantially since the oil companies would want to compensate for their loss when the EO was in place, on top of the high prices that they would be imposing. The government should have allowed the market to bear it in the first place so that the public could have adjusted to the prices gradually early on, rather than a sudden, steep adjustment that only breeds confusion and resentment.

With the campaign period kicking in, plus the onset of the holiday season, oil price increases will likely push inflation upwards, putting pressure on interest rates.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why K-Pop Rules

You ever wonder why Korean pop is popular in the country nowadays? A quick channel surf through the music channels reveals why. Korean pop is dominated by boy-and-girl bands of the N'Sync variety, churning out music that are nothing but glamorized versions of nursery tunes, usually with ungrammatical English serving as the refrain. Although K-pop all sound the same, the bouncy numbers are carefully choreographed against a backdrop of smart sets and digital what-have-yous.

On the other hand, the Pinoy music scene has long been dominated by schmaltzy, syrupy ballads a la Ogie Alcasid, culminating in diva/divo scream fests courtesy of Charice and Arnel Pineda (when they had a showdown at ASAP, people were quick to declare that the performance was "world class"-- I wanted to puke!). It is a good thing that April Boy Regino- I call his music 'barnacle-music' because it sticks to your head long after you're supposed to have forgotten them- has since rested his vocal chords, thankfully sparing us the agony of hearing them inside jeepneys and buses.

And of course, the band scene of the Parokya ni Edgar variety that dominates the Pinoy music video industry. Unfortunately, despite the popularity of Eraserheads and its multiple clones, the music and how they are presented leaves a lot to be desired. While K-pop is sleek, music videos of Pinoy bands are filmed literally in some band member's garage, in sepia-like quality, and the band members look like they just emerged from an all-night drinking party. It could be argued, however, that the lyrics have more substance, more sense than repeating Nobody Nobody but chu ad infinitum. It's true. Pinoy music videos may have less glam but lyrics-wise, they fare better than K-Pop which is all glam and full of non-sense.

Which reminds me of Lisa Simpson. When asked by Mr Burns what she thinks of the current music scene, she replied that it distracts people from more important social concerns. :)

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Like Hell

I'm currently suffering an ear infection, and I'd like to think that this is a proxy for Divine Punishment. Really. Hearing my own pulse or heartbeat thump, thump, thump 24/7 in Maximum Volume already approximates hellish proportions, driving me up the wall. I am unable to sleep properly the past two nights. Imagine a frenzy of construction activities...inside your head. That's how it feels like.

The lady doctor says there's nothing wrong with my eardrums, thank God, it's only swollen and the ear canal is just wet. So it is my colds--and colds allergy-- that is causing the unfortunate condition.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Foot Dragging

Chiz Escudero should stop dragging his feet and should make known his plans if he's running for President once and for all because really, people are starting to NOT care.

He wants to run alright, that's obvious enough, except that he's not getting the party nod and he's having problems with funding his candidacy. Danding, the party founder, is hard pressed to choose who between his nephews, Teodoro and Noynoy, he should support, leaving the presumed NPC standard bearer, Escudero out cold. Obviously, blood is thicker than water.

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Get Together Tonight

For the first time ever, I'm posting a bouncy, pop song by Adam Kling. A team-mate once called me the Renaissance Man, so this is really a first. Heard this over Star World and I took to it instantly because it contains the lines,

"Give me one reason if you've got one reason,
'said there ain't no reason that
we shouldn't get together tonight."

and

"I'm sending you an invitation, respondez-vous, s'il vous plait."


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Disrupted

ULTRA and Marikina Sports Park remain closed. So my swimming and jogging routines have been disrupted. That's why my Body Mass Index recently reached the overweight territory (convenient excuse).

I might have to run tomorrow, from the CCP all the way to MOA, hopefully it won't rain early in the morning. I'm registered for the Adidas half-marathon this Sunday and I'm ill-prepared due to the lack of practice venues.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Of Disasters and Heists

Some builders are now suggesting that houses built in low-lying areas situated in the Marikina Valley should be multi-storied, obviously a provision for the possibility of flooding.

It's just that the Marikina fault line also runs along the valley, which does not really bode well for tall structures.

Or if houses are built way up, in the hills, away from the river banks, they are also in danger of landslides.

Life in these islands.

Anyway, a group of armed men dressed like special police forces (bomb squadron) attempted a violent heist through a blitzkrieg on a Rolex shop inside Glorietta 5 earlier today.

It is easy to presume that robberies and bank heists become all-too-common as the campaign season kicks in, and that so many people nowadays are becoming desperate because of the typhoons that ravaged the country. I don't know. No place seems ever safe anymore.

As for the first QC International Marathon that created a monstrous traffic jam along the QC Circle, better job next time.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Reminiscences

Reminds me very much of high school and my hometown of Camp Phillips in Bukidnon. I convinced my teacher, Mrs. Barola to make Rodgers & Hammerstein's Climb Ev'ry Mountain our final graduation song. I accompanied the entire graduating class on the piano in singing this final farewell to our alma mater.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dancing Inmates

The Cebu Dancing Inmates are it again, this time they're shimmying to the beat of Nobody, Nobody but chuuu...

OK, they're a highly talented and disciplined bunch, do you even think this could ever happen in a high-security prison in the US? Hmmmm only in the Philippines.

Tourists are lapping it up, and the inmates seem to be enjoying themselves. And that's a good thing.

Except that the viewing experience is starting to feel like you're inside a torture chamber.



Since the Korean pop song is a smash hit in these islands, even KFC's Chuck and Jollibee engage each other in a dance showdown in the middle of the street. So funny!

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Calling a Spade a Spade

I stand 5 ft. 8 inches tall, and last time I weighed myself, I was 165 lbs which alarmed me, it may have gone down a bit because prior to the onslaught of Ondoy, I jogged and swam in Marikina. True enough, my calculated body mass index (BMI) is 25.1. (Check out any BMI Calculator on the web).

A normal BMI is 18.5-24.9, overweight is 25-29.9 while obese is >30.

It's official. I am overweight. Ngek! That's why I'm joining the Adidas half marathon on the last week of this month.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Visiting Marikina

I went to Marikina earlier today, just to see for myself how the shoe capital of the Philippines is coping up with the tragedy that submerged the city under water two (2) weeks ago.

The water has long receded and the sun's out, so what remains are piles of dried-up mud and garbage waiting to be collected. Dust motes are everywhere, it gets under your skin, especially in Provident Village. I dropped by the Sports Complex where I do my regular early evening jogs and weekly swim. Predictably, it's closed. There's mud in the oval and it has been made a temporary area where stalled cars are brought. The lobby is filled up with boxes and boxes of Lucky Me Noodles, mineral water and sardines.


The Thai restaurant is thankfully open, the bakeshop across the street is again doing business briskly, and so is the public market. Mercury Drug, Red Ribbon and other establishments near the City Hall remain closed- staff are still busy cleaning up and doing the necessary repairs.


I couldn't believe that the waters affected Blue Wave and Robinson's, the ground level tenants like Starbucks and KFC remain closed. The mall and the supermarket are located quite far from the river. The hospital seems operational already, which according to news reports, the water reached the second floor during the height of the typhoon.


I feel bad for Marikina. I may not be a resident, but I go there several times a week. I haven't been to other parts of the city. And I have no idea how residents of San Mateo, Montalban, Cainta and Taytay are coping. But the city is up and about. The clean up is almost done so I'm pretty sure, I'll be back soon in Marikina.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Scherzo from A Misummer Night's Dream



Yevgeny Kissin breezing through the Scherzo section of Rachmaninoff's transcription of Felix Mendelssohn's From A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Very light-footed and crystal clear, you'd think that you're hearing the rain beating against the windowpanes.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pachydermal

While Sta. Maria in Laguna, Talim island and Cardona in Rizal remained in dire need of relief goods, President Arroyo chose to distribute these in --good grief!--her hometown of Lubao in Pampanga, which when compared to the devastation suffered by these towns, is relatively unscathed by Ondoy.

She's been visiting Lubao quite frequently, which clearly means she's using this tragedy to position herself as their potential Congresswoman once she's no longer President.

To quote Miriam, she really has a "pachydermal" face.

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There's Always a First Time

Sa loob ng pampaseherong jeep kaninang hapon lamang, isang ale na siguro ay singkwenta anyos na, ang muntik ko nang itulak at ihulog sa daan habang ang jeep na aming sinasakyan ay tumatakbo at binabaybay ang daan papuntang Cubao.

"Ma-ma, pakiabot naman ng bayad," sabi niya sa akin, dahil ang puwesto ko nga naman ay nasa unahan malapit sa tsuper.

Sa pinakaunang pagkakataon sa buong buhay ko ay mayroong tumawag sa akin na Ma-ma, at lubos ko itong kinainisan at kinabahala dahil ito ay hindi katanggap-tanggap.

Tiningnan ko siya ng malalim, at sabay sabi, "Lola, sandali lang po ha?" bago ko inabot sa tsuper ang kanyang pamasahe.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Relief Efforts, Feline Version

In the aftermath of Ondoy and Peping ravaging the country, one morning I woke up to a scratching sound on my front door. I knew it was just my next door neighbor's cat, Kuribod, using my door as his scratching post.

But when I opened the door an hour later, there it was, on the doorstep, a plastic bag containing leftovers. He obviously dragged it from a garbage pail.

Which got me thinking: I learned from Jessica Zafra's blog that cats normally leave dead roaches, rats, or any object on your doorstep as a gift, or as a token of goodwill. Which makes a lot of sense, because I would have expected him to consume the contents of the bag, which in this case, remained full.

Usually, when I open the front door, I just leave him to step in and inspect any nook and cranny in the house. And it must have occurred to him that the mess on the floor (books, DVDs, newspapers) means that I am a typhoon victim, well, sort of. And thus, to commiserate and to add to the relief efforts, he gave me leftovers he found from the garbage.

UPDATE (10/05/09) True enough, I found a medium sized, dead rat on my doorstep this morning. I really must clean up, so that he'd stop treating me like a refugee.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Practical

The airwaves is full of suggestions and survival tips during times of "Acts of God" emergencies. Practical suggestions such as stocking up on batteries, light clothing and other essential items that can fit in a small bag, as well as home remedies to treat athlete's foot and other fungal infections due to prolonged exposure to flood waters are extremely welcome.

There are some, however, who seem to be ignorant of the word "practical." One group showed a TV reporter their items to stock up for emergencies: a block of food resembling hopia that could last five (5) years (that's right, years not months) and some aluminum sheet blanket which not only keeps the body warm, but can be used as a reflector to catch the attention of rescuers. The catch is that these items have to be imported from the US, the aluminum blanket in particular, is reportedly made of "space-age technology" material.

Unless we're actually dealing with a disaster on the scale of Nagasaki and Hiroshima or a volcanic eruption like Mt. Toba's, and since we're neither members of the French legion nor soldiers in Afghanistan, we can simply subsist on biscuits, or granola bars, or dried fruit to tide us over. We don't need any high-protein five-year hopia which nobody knows where to buy anyway.

As for the aluminum blanket, isn't that dangerous? That still conducts electricity. Any blanket will do, thank you very much. We do not need space-age mumbo jumbo for tragedies that are essentially earth-bound. The term "emergency" requires that the items be ideally inexpensive and commonly available in your local grocery store, meaning you need not order from a NASA supplier.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vomit Queen

In an unforgettable interview with Larry King on CNN, Tyra Banks taught Larry how to "smiyes," that is, to "smile with your eyes".

She's really amazing, isn't she? She has this unique talent for making people throw up in their mouth. Watching America's Next Top Model and the Tyra Banks Show on the ETC Channel is like taking a bus ride from Manila to Banawe listening to the music of ABBA for six hours- it's too much, you'd want to fling yourself outside the window and onto the ravine below.

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Bursting the Bubble

OK people, we just had a depressing experience and we need every bit of kind words to lift our spirits up.

However, there are exceptions, pompous, pretentious cliches like "tomorrow is another day" or "after the storm, the rainbow comes out (or something)" and the worst, that there is "a silver lining in the dark cloud of despair" make us want to dive right back into the murky canal water.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Aftermath

Although nobody expected typhoon Ondoy would pour out so much torrential rain and inundate the metropolis, once the waters have receded, it will be easy to take the government to task for what happened.

Last Saturday afternoon right after Ondoy blew its top, the main street near my neighborhood turned into a river and people were left to fend for themselves wading waist-deep in the water. I mean, where the hell were the barangay officials when we needed them most.

Sure, this may probably be the worst typhoon to hit Metro Manila in 40 years, but what does this say about the Flood Control program of the government? Is it really effective? Are local government units at the barangay level even prepared to respond to crisis situations like this? Why were there still people trapped in rooftops for 2 days? There weren't enough rubber boats, how come? Where were the helicopters? Rescue came for those trapped only when it was nearly over. For many, there was none at all.

As Secretary of National Defense tasked to lead disaster management efforts -and the obvious fact that he's running for President next year- this was supposed to be Gilbert Teodoro's shining moment. He disappointed big time.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flooded!



Probably the heaviest rainfall in recent memory. I was sleeping soundly when I realized the sound of falling rain was eerily nearby, and literally I jumped when I realized my bedroom was already flooded.

Outside, my neighborhood street turned into an instant riverside.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Friends

Both Erap and Lacson are trading accusations over the murder of Bobby Dacer; they could very well be digging their own political graves. With the return of Cesar Mancao from the States, the police officer clearly implicated the Senator and former police chief as the mastermind of the murder, causing Lacson to shelve his Presidential aspirations.

And if he's going down, Lacson thinks that it's quite unfair if he goes down alone, so he might as well drag along his former boss, Erap who clearly benefited from the disappearance of Dacer.

This reminds me of an excellent Spanish idiom: "No hay peor cuña que la del mismo palo." It means "The worst enemy is he who was once a friend."

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