CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sempre Libera

The ultimate voice killer, the final cabaletta to Act I of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, interpreted here by Angela Gheorghiu. I think this was her debut at Covent Garden where she made a very strong impression the world took notice.

Another fantastic rendition comes from the bel canto superstar of the nineties, June Anderson, who includes a solidly interpolated E-flat at the end of the cabaletta.

Read More......

Choices

Over breakfast at McDonalds, a toddler was hiding under the table, wailing and yelping because he didn't want to take his medicine.

kid: "I do not want to take the medicine. Other people here are not taking theirs, why should I?

mom: "Because they're not sick, you are."

kid: "But it tastes really bad."

mom: "Well you can have chocolate afterwards."

The kid was not impressed, whereupon he continued crying. Exasperated, mom finally blew her top and told the toddler: "It's either you take this medicine, or you get an injection. You choose."

And so the kid took his medicine in one gulp.

Read More......

Monday, January 28, 2008

Delilah's Aria

Elina Garanca's gorgeous, controlled and subdued interpretation of Dalila's aria, "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix/ comme s'ouvrent les fleurs/ Aux baiser de l'aurore! ..."(My heart opens to your voice/ as the flowers open to the kisses of dawn...) that got Samson to reveal the secret of his strength, in Camille Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila.

Read More......

I Am Your Brother...

Renaldo Lapuz is like the new William Hung: he failed to make the cut for round 1 of the American Idol 7 Auditions, but his original composition seems to have taken a hilarious life of its own, spawning copycat versions from kids to uhm, retards.

Read More......

Saturday, January 26, 2008

10 Things You Usually Do On-line When There's Nothing Else To Do

1. Google yourself. Admit it. You do this to check out whether there's any chance you've approached fame-hood.

2. Watch You tube. There's tons to watch, from piano-playing cats to dancing inmates. There's a bewildering variety to choose from.

3. Watch X-tube. Oh come on, chances are, your hard drive and your mobile phone's memory are full of smut.

4. Use google earth to search for satellite pictures of your roof top, or perhaps you're curious what streets in Pyongyang, North Korea look like.

5. Kill time by chatting on Yahoo Messenger. Most likely, you chat with the same people you call on the phone or send a text message to. For anonymous chats, you go to MiRC and use a handle like "sizzling_dude."

6. Look for "banned" sites (JOKE).

7. Update Friendster and upload new pix. Then you check out profiles of your friend's friends.

8. Check messages from your "other" e-mail. "Other" refers to the anonymous e-mail account you give out to strangers you meet on-line.

9. Read other people's blogs.

10. Write a life-affirming and awe-inspiring blog entry like this one.

Read More......

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Global View

The Federal Reserve implemented a deep 75-basis point cut in interest rates. It is meant to stave off an impending rise in interest rates as liquidity flows towards fixed income securities and away from equities. Clearly, the Fed is concerned that this might result in a credit squeeze to other sectors of the economy, and cutting rates is meant to keep borrowing costs at manageable levels.

The jobs report in the following months will be critical because the fall out from the crisis will always translate to job loss. And the state of the job sector determines to a large extent, domestic consumption.

And then of course, retail sales figures would indicate whether the whole sub-prime crisis has affected the average consumer on the street.

Single-family home sales for 2007 fell 13% in the US, the biggest decline since 1982, while median prices decreased 1.8% from 2006.

One thing leads to another, slower US consumption means a slowdown in demand for imported items from anywhere else in the world. The US is an US$11 trillion economy. Which means, if it coughs, everybody else catches the cold. Japan's exports have started to decline, an obvious casualty of the US slowdown.

Closer to home, however, the US is the country's biggest export market. In addition, OFWs based in the US, might be affected by the sub-prime crisis. Remittances sent over to their families here in the Philippines will likely be affected as well.

OK, the impact of the fall out is obvious. But until when will this persist? Hard to say, but I believe this one is so different from the 1997 Asian financial crisis when a currency depreciation led to interest rates and inflation skyrocketing, resulting in bankruptcies and job losses.

For one, other fundamentally-sound sectors of the US economy remain strong. They may likely ride out this one. Which means the prudently-managed companies will be resilient enough while the riskier ones will likely close shop. After all, the crisis started from huge exposure to the very risky sub-prime credit market, and not due to any decline in domestic demand.

Secondly, there's strong consumption outside the US, especially the red-hot BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as the rest of Asia and Latin America.

Brazil has a successful bio-fuels industry which allows it to weather volatilities in oil markets. It is after all, a major sugar cane, soya and maize producer--the chief ingredients in biofuels. And so inflation-wise, Brazil's can be managed.

Russia's current wealth derives from its gas reserves. And this is fueling strong domestic demand. Putin's country is awash with cash.

Consumption spending in India and China have provided much of the impetus for growth, and take note, not all of this are due to demand in the US. As such, although the BPO sector may be affected as companies in the US cut on outsourcing, the fact the home consumption is growing at a very fast rate may provide the resilience to weather the bleak US outlook.

I'm a bit worried about India and China over the long-term, though. A quick look at inflation figures show that in both countries it is catching up fast with GDP growth, especially India.

China just released 2007 GDP figures, a blistering 11.4%, the highest in 13 years. It is poised to overtake Germany as the third largest economy in the world. Inflation averaged 4.8% for the year, although what is worrisome is the 6.9% and 6.5% posted in November and December, respectively.

This is important, because it indicates that both economies may, at some point in the near future, overheat. If credit-financed consumption growth exceeds the rise in real incomes-- the real estate boom and sky rocketing rental rates can sometimes be a sign of an impending crisis--you have a recipe for an economic recession.

Read More......

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dominoes

The stock market crash in Wall Street reverberated all over the world, amid increasing fears of a US recession. The thing with the US is that the markets are highly-developed, meaning most of the big firms are traded in the equities market. In other words, it is a barometer, an accurate one of how the entire economy is doing.

The main concern now is if this will extend beyond the credit markets, and somehow affect capital flows to other sectors of the economy, thus restricting expansion plans as well as putting a lid on consumption spending. That would indeed be worrisome.

In addition, with the capital infusion of the sovereign funds of the Gulf States, China and Singapore to the ailing banks, it means Asia is now a major source of capital, not just the recipient. And liquidity in Asia may be the key in pulling the US out of the rut it is in.

Read More......

Monday, January 21, 2008

Anchovy Pizza

I think it was Marc who, along with some friends, ordered an Anchovy Pizza-- a Lenten special-- at a popular pizza parlor.

The pizza arrived, generously topped with ginamos, or bagoong Balayan (fermented, mashed dilis).

Marc, was that you?

Read More......

Imaginative

I plan to participate in next week's PSE's "Takbo para sa Ekonomiya" (Run for the Economy). Gasp!

For some reason, running for economic development doesn't seem to have the same bite as, say running for cancer awareness, leukemia research, Pasig River rehabilitation or Peace for Mindanao.

Which reminded me of one UP Lantern Parade from way back. While Archi, Eng'g, Fine Arts and the Music colleges were upstaging each other with their presentations, my dear alma mater, the venerable School of Economics, paraded their "lanterns" made of giant cut-outs of--get this-- bar graphs, charts, percentage signs, and banners printed with Gross National Product and Inflation!!!

Read More......

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Publicity

Sen. Zubiri challenged Miriam to a debate on Biofuels after the latter voiced concerns over food security being compromised with the Biofuels Act.

Characteristic of Miriam, she said Zubiri-- a publicity-hungry lawmaker from Bukidnon who routinely rubbed elbows with local movie celebrities, and remember the so-called Spice Boys in Congress?-- had better debate with her grandchild or her brilliant law student, Koko Pimentel who Zubiri edged out during the last elections.

Read More......

Reminder

Greg and Raul called me up last night, asking me to train again in preparation for the dragon boat international season. Nice fellas.

The same can't be said of...offf.... hala!

Which provided them the perfect opportunity to remind me to settle my unpaid monthly dues hwe hwe hwe.

Read More......

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ratings War

The on-going network war between GMA 7 and ABS-CBN 2 regarding the alleged manipulation of TV ratings is really getting annoying. Since both are broadcast media outfits, both should have exercised restraint in reporting about the issues on-air. How do you explain the fact that their respective news coverage about the issue degenerates into a polemical battle of charges and counter-charges, severely compromising credibility?

Channel 2 has gone overboard when it relentlessly made use of its extensive broadcast resources in its news and entertainment programs to attack its rival network and the ratings agency, or what AGB Nielsen calls as "media frenzy" and Channel 7 brands as a "trial by publicity."

The accusing network, however, seems to be getting a dose of its own medicine when Nielsen turned the tables and named it as the one engaging in underhanded tactics to manipulate the ratings.

So which network is telling the truth?

Read More......

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Servicio de Lavar

Near my neighborhood, there's a bakery named, uhm, Bread Pitt and a laundry shop called Wash Now, My Love.

But my favorite is another laundry shop located in Murphy, right in the busy talipapa section (small flea market), because it appeals to my Peninsulares sensibilities: Servicio de Lavar!

Read More......

Recession Fears

How do you lose US$9.8 billion in one quarter? The US largest bank, Citi Group got hit severely by the sub-prime mortgage crisis on the back of a US$18 billion write-down. Enter the sovereign funds of Singapore, China and the Gulf States to the rescue. Which means the US is really in a recession.

Asia may likely ride out this one, or at least the strong consumption trends in China and India may mitigate the fall-out resulting from the downturn in the US. Economies closely linked with US trade, such as Japan will be directly hit.

Does this mean that BPO expansion in the country will be curbed as well? Hopefully not. In fact, outsourcing to low-cost countries like the Philippines may in fact, increase.

Real estate sales are starting to be affected as well as reportedly Fil-Ams are canceling condo purchases.

Read More......

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bel Canto Icons

The Bel Canto superstars are suddenly coming out with albums in praise of legendary singers who created the roles of the repertory but who lived in the 19th century, long before the advent of phonograph records.

Cecilia Bartoli has released an album in memory of Maria Malibran, a consummate mezzo-soprano for which Rossini in the early part of the 19th century, wrote some of his operas.

Ditto with Juan Diego Florez, whose Arias for Rubini was released in September 2007. Rubini's upper register was extraordinarily high, some of the roles written for him had extremely (almost impossible, as Juan Diego would attest) top notes. In fact, Bellini's I Puritani, which contains the staggering high F (above top C) was written with Rubini in mind.

Navigating through Youtube is an awesome experience, if you stay away from all that mudslinging in the forums.

Read More......

Timely

Don't you just hate it when you call say, the phone or cable company to report about something that needs fixing, and they'd say the repairman will come over to your house "before lunch," "between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., or 2 p.m. and 6 p.m." "tomorrow morning," "maybe in the afternoon."

I once waited the whole day for the cable company which insists that the cable connection be outfitted with a digibox, because it promised to install the said tracking device "before lunch...maybe."

I once got scalded ("scolded" can be used, too) in the office when I set an appointment with a subject "between 9 and 10 a.m." He waited for me not more than 10 minutes and left the agreed venue. I arrived 45 minutes later. He complained to my manager who in turn, gave me a thorough dressing-down, ya know, an Oprah lecture on time management.

When we say 7 p.m., let's be sure it's 7 (a few minutes late is tolerable) and not 8 or worse 9:00, Yah?

Read More......

Monday, January 14, 2008

Clark Marathon

Yesterday, the Clark Marathon was won by a Kenyan runner. I was just a few paces behind him...JOKE! One senior runner ahead of me attempted a we-are-the-world tete-a-tete while I was huffing, puffing and struggling my way through the race. I gave him a forced smile and sped ahead.

Read More......

Friday, January 11, 2008

Scratchy

On my way out of the house last night, I noticed Panda trying to climb Manang's guava tree next door. And so I asked her, "Panda, what are you doing?"

"I didn't know you like guavas," I pointed out.

She looked at me in the eye, and growled, "I don't, you moron!"

Yikes!!!

I'm kidding, of course. I made that up.

Actually, she looked at me for a moment, ignored me like she always does, and resumed her task.

And then I realized she was only using the guava trunk as a scratching post.

Read More......

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Narra Days

A day after the grand kick-off of UP's year-long Centennial celebrations, the oldest dormitory inside the Diliman campus, Narra, got burned. I stayed in this dorm for like, two years. It was my last choice. Being a men's-only dorm, it was the filthiest, rowdiest and was clearly a fire hazard. (Procastinating as I usually do, I failed to get a slot at the Molave dorm. And so I settled for Narra.)

Anyway, what I liked about the dorm is the sense of freedom not present in other dorms: there was no curfew at all (well, Manang the guard would close the front door at midnight, go around the dorm, only to open it once again). Which means residents can enter and leave as they please, any hour of the day without having to explain themselves to the manager.

Canteen food was horrible, so we settled for the food prepared by ambulant vendors outside, which were not only cheaper, but tastier as well.

The men's dorm had a notorious reputation. It was, after all, populated with frat men eager for rumbles, transvestites who believe they're actually women trapped inside men's bodies, fire-and-brimstone born-again converts force-feeding their brand of Christianity, radical leftists anticipating and plotting the "Revolution", quiet, Opus-dei types, promdis who have their pants custom-tailored in the province, geeks with coke-bottle glasses who like nothing than to open the huge Calculus bible for the Math series subjects, and those of us who like to stay a while at the TV room watching the news while snacking on Manong's overpriced sandwiches, trying to imitate Veronica Pedrosa's accent. One resident who I thought never studied his lessons because he was always at the TV room went on to become an investigative reporter for a major TV network.

Before I became a resident, I once attended an open house event where x-rated movies were shown on big screens while the voyeuristic residents were drinking I think, Sarsi . The next year, the soft drink company refused to support the event. Fund raising events always featured X-rated movies...at the lobby! which would trigger a seizure among born-again residents who'd immediately pick up the bible and start lecturing about the evils of fornication.

Some of us would stay up the whole night cramming for exams or proceed to Wendy's for a light snack. It was an impromptu session of debates and tutoring sessions.

One professor occupied a whole room to himself. He had an awesome kuatro or kuarto reputation, schooled in Cambridge but reportedly liked to blackmail pretty students. I never got to see the students, what he brought to his room were always the prosti kind. He kept the lights on when they "do" it, so residents would literally climb the windows to take a peek at the live show. I was a righteous snob back then, so I missed the fun. He finally got karma-ed, got himself in trouble and got locked up, and died.

Another brilliant law professor who'd literally drown himself with books and who'd hang out with us in the benches became a top NEDA and Energy official. I always see him on TV.

I didn't really mind that it was among the ugliest-looking buildings inside the campus. One friend derided its "sub-human" conditions. But it had character, lots of it. And that's the dormitory where I had the most fun.

Read More......

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Oil Issues

Why is the government not doing enough to temper the rise of the peso vis-a-vis the US dollar? It is now at PhP40.70/US$. Exporters and OFWs are badly hit.

Simple: Price of oil at the New York Mercantile Exchange is at US$100 per barrel level. The weakness of the dollar offsets, or at least mitigates whatever price increase on the broader economy on account of the high oil prices. Inflationary pressures obviously are on top of the government's agenda, which involves proposals to scrap VAT on petroleum products.

I think this is the more sensible solution, combining a strong peso and restructuring taxation to protect consumption-led growth, rather than the ill-advised Oil Price Stabilization Fund proposed by leftists.

Gloria reduced oil import tariffs from 2% to 1%, with foregone revenues estimated at PhP11 billion. I think the government can go further: With government's deficit now at break-even level (down from the PhP100-200 billion deficits in previous years), the country is in a good position and can afford to provide safety nets to the hundred-dollar oil environment through eliminating the VAT on petroleum products altogether.

The end-goal is to ensure that consumption remains strong. Growth registered in 2007 was clearly consumption-led.

Read More......

Variability of Solar Spectral Irradiance

The team in Switzerland investigating the variability of the sun's spectral irradiance (that's what the site says, don't ask me what that means) includes Joseph (I call him Ambrose), the guy wearing the red jacket on the far right. He's a childhood chum since first grade. We used to sneak out unnoticed on our way to weekly Mass and head home to play marbles.

He excels in Physics. He played the bass while I played the organ in church. In grade school and high school, our lowest grades were always in Pilipino subjects (i.e., Balarila, talasalitaan). But I think his grades were worse. His Tagalog phrases run like this: "Ako ay pupunta sa silid-aklatan" (I'm going to the library). Nothing wrong when translated into English, but it means a world of difference when you take into account the fact that silid-aklatan is used only in text-book speak and not conversationally. In addition, everyday Tagalog speech normally makes use of the active, rather than the passive, voice. Imagine saying, "Ako ay mag-eensayo mamayang dapit-hapon at gigising ng maaga sa pagsapit ng bukang-liwayway." (I will exercise late this afternoon and wake up early at dawn---more or less.)

I'm not sure though if he uses datapwa't and subalit (no use translating these).

Read More......

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Airport Troubadour Part 2

Last year, it was Iltoon Jen. This year at the small Tagbilaran airport, while waiting to board the plane bound for Manila, the blind troubadours opened with a sort of a musical version of Genesis, "In the beginning..." It sounded like a prayer to me, which was the perfect way to start your day. And then the singers immediately launched into-- gasp!-- Sha-la-la by the Venga Boys! I half-expected them to follow it up with Dr. Jones by Aqua or My Little Tamaguchi by some forgotten 90's relic band.

Read More......

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bloated Cheeks

Jun and I were supposed to train during the holidays- he in Iloilo and me in Bohol- in preparation for the 10Km and 21 Km events in Clark and Subic starting next week. Jun even brought with him a pair of running shoes to Iloilo.

Predictably, we not only failed to follow our self-imposed schedule, we managed to gain weight.

My cheeks have become larger and broader, it kept reminding me of an airport tarmac. You can actually land an airplane on it.

Jun said that I shouldn't be making pronouncements that I have gained weight because it only "raises expectations," it would only make their (Jun and Jen) weight gains appear more substantial.

And so over the week-end, we ran the entire stretch from the CCP all the way towards the Mall of Asia. And since we were famished, we had buffet breakfast consisting of sinangag rice, bacon, corned beef, and bangus at the mall. Jun said he's going to prepare pasta later in the day.

The following day, we ran for about an hour inside the UP campus in Diliman. We had tapsilog at Rodic's for breakfast. Jun said he's going to prepare crispy pata later.

We comfort ourselves with the fact that we will be running a total of 31km over two weekends.

My ref still has some left-over ham.

Read More......

Friday, January 4, 2008

Rudy's Woes

The Oprah factor worked for Obama, at least in the Iowa Democratic Party caucus, edging out Hillary. On the other hand, former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani hardly made a dent in the Republican side. Guiliani's a Roman Catholic who supports abortion. That alone is enough for him to lose conservative support from Evangelicals who comprise a pillar of support for the Republican party. His abortion views may cost him crucial Catholic votes as well (Catholics comprise the biggest denomination in the U.S.) which normally trends towards the Democrats anyway (JFK was a Democrat).

Hmmm why am I writing about this, I'm not even an American :)

Read More......

La Muerte del Angel

J.S. Bach's fuga, Stravinsky's harmony, Bartok's ethno-rhythm, flamenco, 70's kitsch, blues and jazz fused into a grand Argentine tango, Piazzolla's La Muerte del Angel.



The piano's opening statement gets a fugue-like treatment by the cello and the bandoneon while the fused sound deliberately flirts with pounding, dissonant chords as well as brilliant glissandos. The slow portion is a highly elaborate slow waltz (tango) that never fails to lose the strong melodic line that builds to one grand climax.

Read More......

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Cash Crops

I suspect overall GDP growth for 2007 will be robust. A big portion is accounted for by agriculture, and the past year has been a good one. The Philippines remains a major rice and coconut producer (it is the largest coconut producing country, I'm not so sure if it has maintained that position) and harvests for both crops have been encouraging.

The country's rice production volume is not sufficient enough to support its own rice consumption requirements, such that we have become the biggest rice importer in the world. Ironically, the country houses the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) which develops and propagates high-yield varieties all over the world.

Anyway, demand outstripping supply means palay prices at the farm gate should be higher. Alas, this is not the case. Price stability of the major staple has to be maintained to avert political and consumer backlash. And thus, importing rice from Thailand and Vietnam, and even the US, has been resorted to stabilize stock supplies. Consequently, price levels have been maintained at artificially low levels. In fact, the National Food Authority is the biggest loss-generating GOCC (Government-Controlled and Owned Corporation), piling up huge losses primarily due to the price subsidy policy on rice.

Copra prices, however are surging, with demand coming from both industrial (i.e. as bio-fuel) and commercial purposes (e.g., cooking and baking requirements).

With oil prices hitting US$100 a barrel as OPEC continues to control production quotas, the ever-present tensions in the Middle East, the US stacking up on emergency buffer supplies and the huge, huge Chinese requirements, alternative fuel sources are starting to get noticed.

Bio-fuels from vegetable sources such as maize, sugar cane, palm and coconut oil (there's coco diesel already) are increasingly being utilized (although not by the major foreign oil companies). But it is only a matter of time before consumers will take to it. In fact, in Brazil flexi-fuel cars are now very much in common, driving prices of sugar cane (the country's main source of bio-fuel) to unprecedented levels.

In addition, the current recrudescence of coconut oil, which slumped when soybean and canola were found to have lower saturated fats and thus promoted to be healthier, is accounted for by the fact that along with palm oil, it does not produce the deadly trans fatty acids (trans fats) responsible for heart attacks when partially hydrogenated (e.g., margarine) for commercial purposes.

The demand is so strong that even our copra buyer would send his truck over to our house to pick up the copra for further processing in Tagbilaran. Farmers in the area are scrambling all over themselves to plant idle lands with coconut trees to meet the pressing demand.

I suspect corn, or maize, and sugar cane are benefiting from this bio-fuel trend as well. Have you ever wondered why Senator Zubiri has been moving heaven and earth to push legislation supporting a bio-fuels industry? His family owns a large sugar cane plantation in the plateaus of Bukidnon and will likely be among the first to reap the benefits from this legislation, along with the hacienderos of Negros and Iloilo.

So this 2008 and beyond, for farmers the cash crops to consider are: coconut, palm trees, maize, sugar cane and palay. Wow, I sound like a farmer!

Read More......

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Farm Tales

We have three (3) dogs, all local breeds (askals) watching over our house in Bohol. My father gave them some of the strangest names ever: Borrocoy, Tomboy and Cable (yes, it is spelled that way). How he came up with these names I am still unable to fathom, as I can't remember any of his lengthy explanations.

Cable was my late lola's (grandma) dog. He'd literally sprawl himself on the doorway to my grandma's room, sort of like a sentinel, sniffing and sizing up those wishing to see my lola. When she died, Cable retreated to his shell, became reticent and got bullied by the younger dogs. His self-esteem seems to have changed for the better recently as he has become very assertive. He keeps a distance from the younger ones and is still generally aloof. He stays near where we keep the copra kiln, which is perfect because my parents needed that to be guarded.

The two rambunctious ones can be too much to handle. Borrocoy, shaggy and long-haired is extremely sip-sip ("boot licker"), eager to please, a shameless flatterer and will immediately stand on his hind legs or roll on the grassy ground, trying to be cute and all. He can be very fierce, however. Once, he didn't like the fashion sense of a sacristan of the nearby chapel who was wearing an all-white cassock, or soutane. And so he chased the poor guy out of his wits who made a dash for our front porch.

My mother thinks Tomboy (he's actually a male, so the nickname remains a mystery to me) is part-fox. Like a retriever (I think), he likes to dig into the ground and lie down on it, making holes everywhere and driving my mom mad. He is the fiercest and the most aggressive during feeding time.

The dogs guard the house with their lives, and will generally stay within the perimeter fence. Our house remains a magnet for thieves, considering that it is surrounded by fruit-bearing trees (mostly Caimitos, Cavendish bananas and Cacao) and Maize, and we used to raise free-range chickens, a feature in most houses in far-flung areas (except for the piano and the organ, perhaps). Yes, we have already traded a cozy, middle-class existence in Bukidnon for a more down-to-earth, rural and very farm-based one in Bohol. And so the dogs have provided a sense of security to my parents who have the place all to themselves.

But Cable had an unfortunate encounter with a thief who tried to steal a bunch of Cavendish bananas inside the perimeter fence. The dog got wounded slightly when the thief tried to strike him with a long knife he was using to get the bananas.

Oh by the way, the chickens have already disappeared, a source of frustration for my parents. I miss the chickens, though. Mother hen would usually parade, along with her brood of chicks, in front of the porch waiting for their daily ration of corn and rice feeds at around 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. everyday. They announce their arrival with a choral serenade.

When my lolo (grandpa) was alive, his dog (I forgot the name) would keep him company wherever he went (the dog would sleep outside, however), even in the rice fields. When my lolo died, the dog would be searching for him in the fields, scaring the hell out of some people.

Read More......

The Early Years

Read More......