My blog. My class.

July 21, 2007

What Should My New Blog Be?

I came across this tumblr site showcasing its own blogging tool for some "new" type of blogs called tumblelogs. Kottke defined them as this while Wikipedia described them as this. If you need such a sample of a tumblelog I guess Kottke's blog can be categorized as one. And also Pau's Brownpau blog will be a good sample too.

Is this a new breed of blogs? Not really. Just by looking at the two sample tumblelogs, the term "tumblelogs" is a coined term for such types of blogs that are minimal in writings and focuses more in refering to an assortment of links or photos from various Internet sites. Most of these posts have very little personal commentaries or even noen at all. To me, its more like finding some great and exciting content from another website and I want to share these with my network of blog friends. Yeah, like a summary of lists, with some additional remarks, if any, peppered in between.

I could say that my first blog (around 2001) can be categorized as a tumblelog. I generally write posts then that are short and more like a mish-mash of links instead of long article-like posts. I would look around in the Internet, searching for controversial or worthwhile information to blog. Occasionally, I would comment on my posted entries only if I have something relevant to share on the things I have written about. Yes, my early blogging style has no direction whatsoever. Whatever interests me, I blog about it. Whatever I like to share (even some personal matters), I also blog about it. Different posts on different unrelated subject matters. My blog then is not a type of niche blog. But to me, blogging then was more fun since I don't have to think so hard about the posts that I need to write about for the day. I don't need then to write blog posts that are lengthy and look like well-written magazine articles. I don't feel pressured to blog. I can be informal in my writing style.

I tried before to create blog posts that appear like newspaper/magazine articles. These would be posts on personal reviews of favorite TV show episodes or ponderings on political subjects in my country. But I soon found myself becoming less and less involved in blogging. I began to be too concerned on what to write or not to write. I became a perfectionist in writing such article like posts as if I am writing to get an approval of a non-existing editor-in-chief. Eventually, I became bored and burned out of blogging. Blogging then became an unenjoyable chore. I believed I pushed myself too hard on blogging deeply that I slowly did not enjoy what I was writing about. I left the blogging world middle of the year 2003.

I came back to blogging middle of 2005. As to what are my reasons for returning to blogging, that would be reserved for another post. For now, I'm deciding the direction and style for my new wordpress blog. Must I restrict my blog on posting for a few subject matters (niche blog)? Or must I make this blog a photoblog (since I have a knack for posting my photographs)? Or must I return to tumblelogging - anything goes and unrestricted? Personally I like the last option, but I also want to write more on a certain interesting subject matters with such as graphic designing, OFW matters and stories, and others. I also want to post my pictures from time to time. Why not all three options then? Yeah, these I will do.

July 17, 2007

An Album Launching Event - Banda Fantastica

This is a plugging for some officemate's and friends' mini-concert album launching along with other great Filipino bands here in Singapore. I support their concert this Saturday, as I've tagged along with some of the gigs and enjoyed the music of the Filipino bands.

Here's the poster/flyer I've created for them:
Banda Fantastica Poster

You could barely see my little signed name at the bottom right corner of the poster. I used the colors of blue, red and yellow, inspired with the colors of the Philippine flag. The rock musicians in the poster were not hand-drawned. These are stock photos I found around the web (thanks to Google) and digitally manipulated in Photoshop 7.0. Yes, I still do not have Photoshop CS. If ever I'll install Photoshop CS or higher, I'll be doing myself a favor and buy my own Macbook. In the meantime, I'd stick with PS 7.0 as it served me well in creating an assortment of graphics for myself, my family, friends, and co-workers.

Alas, I could not find the old Photoshop psd file for this image. It maybe somewhere in my laptop or archived in the externed hard disk. Hopefully it's there. Hopefully I've saved it and did not deleted it mindlessly while backing up my files since the last time I formatted my laptop's C drive.

July 13, 2007

The WORD Is Out

Hear ye, hear ye. On this night of Friday the 13th I say thee...

I'm moving out now from Blogger and heading to my new blog courtesy of Wordpress. I also have my own domain - Yay, indeed.

Might as well head over there, so move along now.

Oh yeah, thanks for the memories, Blogger. As a beginner blogger in the year 2001, you've introduced me into the wonderful, colorful, and wacky world of blogging that I never knew existed then. I was just planning to create my personal homepage until I stumbled across one Blogger powered site. And I was hooked afterwards to blogging. Thanks to you, Blogger. You'll still be my first love in blogging.

Kinda cheesy, yeah.

June 30, 2007

On Silent Mode

For a while, I'll be leaving and taking off myself from blogging to attend to something else. Well, I'll not be totally leaving the blogging bug, but as of the moment I am attending to some project. No, it's not something like secretive sector 7 project. It's not office work, mind you.

Hint: something regarding moving out from one place to another. Cryptic as it may be, I'll let you all know once I finish it and figure things out. But you might all stumble upon it if you search it out there.

June 24, 2007

Jellyfishes + Lazy Sunday Day

I keep on looking at these videos of Jellyfishes to waste my Sunday or simply rest for awhile (while listening to Cambio's Divisoria on my iPod). Really, the slow wriggling and mindless motions of these jellyfishes do mesmerize me and soothe me(minus the background noise in the videos, but that can be muted out). Well now, this can be a therapy if I need to relax a bit from a hard day's work. Hehehe.

Pair of jellyfish videos (from Sentosa Underwater world).

* * * *

On the subject of being lazy on a Sunday, napping would be a very good activity, as suggested in the fifth post in 13 Bodacious Ways to be Nice to Yourself. I already have an established body clock in which between 530AM to 630AM I would be awake without even the aid of an alarm clock (alarmed cell phone to be exact). And yet, even on a weekend, I still wake up very early in the morning while most are still sleeping. I want to lie still in my bed and snuggle a bit, hoping I could get a very short snooze for a few more minutes but that won't happen. I'm already wide awake by that time. Only if I had a night of heavy drinking will I be knocked out fully and surely wake up very late the next morning. But sometimes, I would still wake up early, though drowsy and with a headache.

Ah, a little nap will do this morning. I'll take one after this post.

June 16, 2007

Posting On A Rainy Day + Home Brewed Images

Currently, I'm nursing myself inside the flat, with a headache and some colds and fever. Also, it's raining outside since this morning. Look's like the weather today emphatize with my sickness.

But anyways... hard rain or not, nothing would deter me from blogging now.

* * * *

I love designing, especially creating graphics and images. I also love drawing. For now (or even years), I've lost some motivation to draw again. Nowadays, using my laptop and Photoshop, I churn out graphics for this blog or even create new ones for creating a spanking new blog layout for my friend Jerry's blog - Maripipi Online.

MaripipiOnline - the new blog layout

What and where is Maripipi? It's a small island in the Philippines with some great beach resorts and where my friend originally came from. I actually envy fellow Filipinos who came from provinces because they've got the chance to grew up in such places where there is no pollution, no heavy traffic, and no chaotic city life. I grew up all my life in the heart of the Philippines - Metro Manila (or Manila to the outside world).

* * * *

Besides the Maripipi Online layout, I also had the chance to create a graphic image for a fellow officemate here in Singapore. He has a band called Launchbox, and they're slowly making a name for themselves along with other amateur Filipino bands residing in Singapore. I'm an avid supporter of their band.

Launchbox Filipino band

Check them out also at my previous post.

June 10, 2007

Goodbye Rico Blanco! Long Live Rivermaya!

Dang! I stumbled across this post from Rebel Pixel about Rico Blanco leaving Rivermaya (the news is official). It's big news alright back at my country where the rock music industry is so vibrant. If I hadn't visited the link to Rebel Pixel from this massive list of links at freelanceswitch (enormous list indeed of good, informative websites) I wouldn't know about the news. It was only last April that they had a fantastic concert here in Singapore. I never knew this would happen to a (already) legendary Philippine band.

Yeah, first it was Bamboo. Now Rico is gone from the band. Who will be the new leader of Rivermaya?

Whatever the reasons of Rico, may he succeed. Same goes to his ex-bandmates.

To remember them, here's a short clip from the Singapore concert of Rivermaya at Downtown East, Pasir Ris.

Long live Rivermaya!

June 09, 2007

A Visit To The Zoo

Wow. That was quite a period off from blogging. Now I'm back again to sharing pictures and trips lately. Starting this month - a visit (back) to the zoo, Singapore Zoo, with a couple of friends (one of which came from the US).

* * * *

At Singapore Zoo Entrance
We enter the Singapore Zoo

Stuffed Toy Snakes
You will see these stuffed snake toys being sold in the souvenir shop inside

Animal Wall Pattern
You'll find this intricate animal wall pattern atop the souvenir shop

Macaw Birds For Photography
Colorful Macaw birds for photography

Siamang Rising
A siamang. A type of monkey. He (or she) is looking at a trainer nearby.

Real Otters
Cute otters waiting for food from spectators

Fake Otters
Now these are fake otters on display nearby

The Tapir
An unusual tapir animal, with its long snout for a nose

Pinkish Blossom
Singapore zoo has also lots of different flora species like this one

White Tigers
White tigers (tiger, tiger burning bright)

The map we have says its a babirusa (a pig or boar type of animal). It could also be a warthog.

Australian Kangaroos
Lots of kangaroos in the Australian Outback area of the zoo

FHM Singapore Zoo Kangaroo Model
And this one doesn't mind to pose for the edition of FHM or Maxim Singapore Zoo

Riding the Elephant Trunk
Ok, this is not the way to ride an elephant

Elephant Finale Show
A wondrous finale show from the playful elephants

Looking Suspiciously
I was taking some pictures of penguins when I noticed this bird perched silently on a glass wall

Lots of penguins, looking like robots in their synchronized movements

A very old turtle (how old is this one?)

Madagasca Hissing Cockroaches
How about some fear factor style hissing cockroaches?

Lemur Closeup
Somehow I'm nervous while taking a closeup picture of this lemur even though it seem so (somewhat) cute and gentle

African Lions
African lions (thanks to my camera's excellent zooming)

Zebras eating their afternoon meal

Crash of Rhinos
A crash of rhinoceros quietly moving around their den

Sleeping Kitsune
I thought this was a fox sleeping, but our map said this is a maned wolf

* * * *

If you ever go around this zoo, I suggest you bring along some big bottle of water (though drinks here are sold but are too expensive) as walking around could be very tiresome. Add to that the humid weather of Singapore that makes walking one sweating activity. Good thing there are air-conditioned shelters strategically placed around the zoo for visitors who needs some rest.

The zoo is located at 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore.

Have fun in this zoo. I had a blast here along with my friends.

May 31, 2007

Do You Want To Quit Blogging?

Oh no, it's not about me about quitting. Not yet. I'm still enjoying it. I'm still having fresh ideas for this site and always on the lookout to improve on blogging.

I read this post from Problogger citing a case of a blogger deciding to call it quits. Does he have the right reasons to finally throw in the towel?

The article list down his observations of what might have caused the blog(s) to retire early. What strikes me the most is on the negative benefits of using Blogger and Blogspot hosting. I didn't know about that through my years of blogging since 2001 (which I authored a different blog before; this will be official my second blog). While I have admired and seen the ease of use and the improvements that Blogger has developer, now I'm beginning to have doubts of Blogger's capabilities. I’m still loyal (for now).

Yes, before, I was using Blogger's templates (especially when hosted under Blogspot domain). But the designer in me has always prevailed and soon I started to change my blog's layout with my own (I know Mel always admired my layout designs ever since we've met in one collaborated Filipino group blog). So besides blogging contents, my site still exists because of my endless desire to improve it through redesigning and experimenting with graphics and layouts. I refuse to wane my desire to blog and continue on, even if I don't get enough readership. I try to be realistic in my expectations. I don't want to post something in the hopes that someone might Digg it or Stumble it and bait some links from readers out there. Huge traffic and readership is indeed flattering and ego boosting. But sometimes being popular can add more stress to one's life, if not dangerous to some.

This is what I think most beginner bloggers are trying too high to aim for - to become as popular as the god bloggers like dooce, kottke, and others. To get the same (if not more) number of blog readers or fans as what these prominent bloggers have. The difference is most of these popular bloggers do write well, share very helpful tips, and post thought-provoking articles that will put to shame all other newbie bloggers that post nothing but egotistical matters (it's about I, me, and myself without truly interacting with your readers at all). Unless you are Paris Hilton and blogging about your life of mindless luxury (so be it).

Anyway, I'm no authority to state tips on how to write well and transform your blog from mediocre to great. I think Darren has stated enough information in the article to teach what should be done to help a blog become better (and even successful).

Here's some tips I could share: 1) Blog only if in the mood to tell a tale, or share some useful posts. 2) Harden not one's heart if one's blog is nearly dead, remember we do not live to blog. This is not the end of life. 3) Take some time off or vacation from blogging, or not blogging routines will become like chores - cumbersome and stressful.

May 26, 2007

You Can Always Find Beauty

Indeed, beauty is in the eye of the behold. And behold...

Beauty is on the butt cheeks. Beauty of Asia, featuring a tattooed man with intricate Japanese designs.
Shooting pictures at a man taking pictures of another man's b... eauty.

If these are real tattoos, I guess this man had to bear so much pain to attain such a huge colorful tattoo. No pain, no gain(ed tattoo). My brother has a tattoo on his shoulder. I have none. I'm afraid of needles (Asus, tanda mo na). Besides, tattoos are permanent (unless removed by laser). I tend to lose interests easily especially with designs. I'd rather have a henna tattoo which is temporary and can be replaced with another pattern of my liking.

Beauty In Asia. And this showcases a tattoed man.
The beauty of Asia. It says it all (I guess). Which part are you looking at, huh?

Japanese Lady Tattoo
A closer look at the mysterious Japanese lady tattoo. There's no Da Vinci code here, mind you.

May 20, 2007

Commenting On Comments

Here's an interesting article about how the author feels that comments on blogs are abused both for random link loves and spammers.

I do see some blogs (especially those hosted in blogspot) that received several comments which some of these are written by auto-spam bots. I guess these are the comments that start with positive remark on the blog in general but end with a sentence on checking out their site which happens to be an e-commerce site (as what is indicated in the linked article above).

So far, my blog site hasn't received any spam comments (coming from unknown e-commerce websites). Or so I think. I think that the comment settings of my site did a great job in hindering spam commenting (word verification upon sending comments). For those who haven't known this feature, especially to blogspot beginners, I recommend you turn on word verification (go to dashboard > settings tab > comments menu > then click Yes option to "Show word verification for comments?". Might as well turn on (click Yes) "Enable comment moderation?" as well if you have lots of free time to filter good comments from bad ones.

As for those begging for link love, I guess one should be the judge whether to reciprocate in return or not. A little snooping around their site would be better to determine whether they're site is link-worthy, in line with one's interest or just an e-commerce site disguising as one of your blog fans.

On the other hand, reciprocating links is one way to make new friends online, eventually making your site be known to more people to other communities in the Internet.

May 13, 2007

On Mom's Day

It's that time of the year again to celebrate our very cute, cuddly, super special, and lovable moms all over the world.

We all have special moms. By the way, in Singapore, they have "mummies" or "mums" (British term for mommies/moms in the US).

And to my Mommy dearest...


Nothing really beats the special care of our mothers. Even if we've grown up, our mom's loving care and thoughtfulness never cease but continues on. Thank you, Mom, for everything you've done for me.

Happy Mother's Day to all moms, mums, ma's, nanays out there!

(*Giraffe kissing her baby picture from Cute Overload. Awwww!)

May 08, 2007

Makan Tales (Or Dining Adventures)

First things first: Makan is a Malaysian term for "to eat". Food hawkers here in Singapore always ask this to people who approach their stalls. They ask their customers whether they like their food to be prepared for dining at the same place or nearby (thus makan - to eat here) or their customers would rather have their food placed in styrofoam and bagged to be eaten somewhere else. If you want your food to be bagged for home consumption, you would say "for take away" (yeah, take it awaaaayyy....!). I'm used to saying this back in the Philippines as "for take out". I know in America, "to go" is rather replied.

* * * *

Mini Wok Noodle - piping hot soup with fish balls, slivers of meat, crab sticks and egg inside a metal wok with a burner underneath, paired with egg noodles with mushrooms and vegetables
Mini Wok Noodle - breakfast at a nearby 24-hour Makan Eatery

Once during work, I was asked by the local clients here whether I know some Malaysian terms like Makan (seems like it's their first time to meet and work with a Filipino), hinting from their small knowledge that Filipinos had some roots from Malays and Indonesians. I told them no (of course). Though, that would be my first introduction to one of the Singaporean dining terms which comes in very handy if I feel adventurous to try a local cuisine, but always hesitant since I don't know how to communicate verbally in Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia, or Tamil. Instead, I communicate physically (turo-turo style as I point this, point that, nod here and nod there).

But there are times the pointing system is not enough to convey a message that I want something that is not on display. And that would mean I have to converse in English which I know Singaporeans (should) have no problem in understanding. Alas, my English accent would always sound way too different from the way locals speak English to the point that some would turn their heads and look at me curiously. A few would mistake me for an American (because of my somewhat American sounding accent) while others readily think I'm a Filipino. Still, a few would be dumbfounded by me and would call on another co-worker in their dialect, asking for help in conversing in English.

* * * *

I once saw the owner of my suking makan place near our office eating a food item composed of noodles and broiled crunchy chicken feet. She told me that this is a new dish which they're planning to add in their menu. She asked me whether I have ever tried chicken feet. I told her yes, and added that in the Philippines these are known as a street food fondly called as Addidas (you know, the well-known shoe brand). Chicken feet = Addidas. For me it makes sense (I know it didn't to her, but she slowly smiled about it and told it to her husband who also manages the eatery). Ever since then, when I chance upon those chicken feet displayed in their glass counters and I order for them, the owners would tell me "Ah yes, addidas!" (emphasizing on the second syllable there). I would always cheerily smile back.

May 05, 2007

Figures And Statues

Astroboy, greeting

Astro wants to greet me with a friendly fist signifying strength or force be with me. Or I think he's giving me his version of a dirty finger. You be the judge. Either way, he seems happy to have his photo taken. I found him in an Astroboy franchise shop in Bugis Junction.

Mickey Mouse - Do not touch

Really, I wanted to give this mouse a hi-five, but the sign says it all. Found him also standing in one of the entrance of Bugis Junction.

Thai statue, greeting

I suddenly remember my Thai trip during the late 90's upon seeing this statue in one al-fresco restaurants along Boat Quay. Women would say Sawadee ka, men say Sawadee krup. These are their polite greetings to anyone they meet. I'll say to this statue, Oy, kamusta na po?

Red god statue, surprised

This statue is really surprised that I caught him in the act of doing something I couldn't really tell. This one I took in one of the Chinese temples of shrines inside Tanjong Pagar.

Vandalized man statue

Look closely and the statue's head has been vandalized by some naughty people. I could accept the santan flower, but not the dried-up pink bubblegum stuck up near his ear. I know vandalism here in Singapore is punished by caning. Ouch.

May 01, 2007

Spiderman 3 And The Neighborhood

Warning. Some spoilers in this review of Spider-Man 3. I know that for other countries like the US, the official showing date is May 4. Here in Singapore, it's earlier. I had a chance to screen the most awaited summer movie of the year.

There's much to be compared with this third installment against the first and the second. The good: better special effects and far more vertigo inducing scenes than the previous movies. Let's see - there are around one, two, three, four, five battle scenes between Spider-Man and three new villains (Sandman, Green Goblin Jr., and Venom). I could say the final battle scene is akin to a tag team wrestling match between the good and the bad guys of the film (ok, without saying much here, pick among the three whom Spidey teamed up with). The entire plot of the film revolves around Peter Parker getting a taste of the dark side (ala Star War's Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark force). Moreover, here you see Peter becoming bloated with ego (loved by his Spider-Man fans) and drowning in wrathful vengeance (against the killer of his uncle). Without knowing it, he's slowly pushing his beloved Mary Jean away from him.

The bad (and annoying): I was hoping that Peter's sinking into the dark side would make him look sinister and cold, a total opposite of his dorky good side. But no, midway into the movie Peter began to show his laughable street moves to surprised New Yorker women. It's more like a joke when you see Parker doing his funky dance moves in the night club, instead of seeing him seriously relishing his dark personality (thanks to the alien symbiotic costume). Either I could remember myself chuckling in my seat at these scenes or was shaking my head in utter disbelief.

Also, if you like to watch "part three" movies cramped with different plot lines, mindless action scenes, overdone "ladies falling from skyscrapers" scenes, or more than one villain to ruin our hero’s lives, then by all means buy your tickets now and enjoy the film. Actually, I did enjoy the movie. It is far better than parts 1 and 2 in terms of CGI effects and action scenes. But looking beyond these, I would have to agree with a part of Gonzalez's review (third paragraph) which makes Spider-Man 2's story better than the current. But unlike Gonzalez who rated the movie 2 out of four, I would rate this movie 4 out of 5. Only that Spider-Man 2 ranks higher, as in 4.5 out of 5.

Fast (spoiler) facts: 1) Someone dear to Parker died in the movie. 2) A new hottie ruins the relationship between Parker and MJ. 3) Stan Lee cameo again (delivering a memorable quote) 4) Bruce Campbell cameo again (this time as a French waiter; oui?)

* * * *

Here are some pictures around the neighborhood:

Food offerings to the gods or spirits
Food offerings to the gods or spirits

Potted plant decorated with trimmings
Potted plant decorated with trimmings

High flats
High flats

New Layout Update

After several gruesome hours of tinkering this site's layout, finally, I was able to upload this one just in time for May 1 (as I have indicated in my previous post).

Looking at assorted sites bearing the ubiquitous web 2.0 look and feel, this blog bears some semblance with the rest (the same old, same old use of the badge, the shadings and use of shadows in the images here, etc).

Smashing Magazine has really influenced me in taking a good look at web designing trends (though professionally, I'm no web designer but an analyst and programmer; this web designing is just a hobby).

Later again. I need some sleep now. I might miss the screening of Spider-man 3 in the afternoon (I can't afford to do that). Good thing today is a holiday here in Singapore (Labor Day).

April 29, 2007

Will And Confidence

Food for thought (as I really need it):

"The power to be what you want to be, to get what you desire, to accomplish whatever you are striving for, abides within you. It rests with you only to bring it forth and put it to work. You must learn how to do that, of course, but the first essential is to realize that you possess this power, your first objective to get acquainted with it."

- Robert Collier, The Secret of the Ages

* * * *

Poor Bruce for being the butt of racial remarks from Slovenia Big Brother, just because of his skin color. Brown to be exact. As for us Filipinos, we're proud to be brown (though honestly I am slightly lighter and whiter, but my brother is brown and I still love my race's color).

Shame on the two house mates who remarked unjustly at Bruce.

There is true strength in holding up one's head even if others see and treat you differently, just because you have a skin tone other than the revered "white" (yellow, black, brown, whatever).

* * * *

Next blog layout update - planning this Tuesday, May 1. Hopefully.

April 21, 2007

Afterthoughts... And Saying Prayers

I can't help but cut short my blog week vacation to post this one after the very tragic events that happened this week. One is the horrific event that occured in the campus of Virginia Tech, Virginia USA. The other, as Howie's blog pointed out, a journalist from the same state of Virginia turned Peace Corp volunteer back home in the Philippines who suddenly was reported missing and now found dead a few days later.

* * * *

I can't express enough condolences and shared sadness for the families and friends of those victims of last Monday's deadliest civilian shooting in US history (so far, but God no more of this). I can only say prayers at the moment.

I'd like to condemn and say hellish things to Cho for his psychotic motives in killing innocent lives but I know there's no point anymore now that he's gone too. All I could see from this kid (based from the videos and plays I've read in the Internet) was confusion, seething anger, and bitter outrage to those he deemed "privileged" and "rich" individuals of his school. Which makes me think, since during my college years, my university has a lot of very affluent students. I came from an average middle-income family who can (sometimes) barely pay for my tuition fees and that my parents had to work hard, even to the point of incurring huge debts just to ensure their son is educated. So yes, I'm not a rich person. And yet a lot of these affluent students were friends of mine. Some of them I still communicate and enjoy their company after graduation. While Cho's bitterness towards these "rich" kids caused his supposed hatred and rage, I never let the fact that my college friends are "richer and more comfortable" affect my perspective in making friends and enjoying their company. I never let myself be isolated and locked up in one's world. Cho made up that decision to do so. It's his choice. He paid for it with his life. The bad thing is he has left innocent people dead in his wake.

I don't know if the fact about Cho's life in Wikipedia is true or not, but from what was written, his early life was full of isolation and discrimination. Sadly, there will always be discrimination any where, no matter how hard developed countries want to get rid of it.

Let's not dwell anymore to this personified nightmare.

* * * *

Interesting read on how Cho lived and died as an American in

* * * *

I'm also saddened about the news that the missing Peace Corp volunteer Julia Campbell was found dead in Banaue, Ifugao.

Thanks to Howie's post, I visited Julia's blog and read her last post. It was poignant and truly moving. She wanted to offer any help that she could provide to the poor people like those in Padang, as she stated. In her last entry, she has full of hopes, as she indicated that a new relief group from America would be coming to lend volunteer work here. In the midst of disaster, she knew the risk of her calling, and yet she brushed those risks aside, as she became fond of the local phrase Buhay pa tayo (We're still alive) to keep her spirits up and look at things positively. That phrase keeps warmth and sanity to anyone who loses everything in life except themselves and their families - at least we are still alive and kicking. I remember Mom would also say that to us children, whenever she thinks that catastrophic events would happen like losing our house to a fire. What's important is we are alive. Alive to fight for another day.

Such hopes from a truly kind soul.

April 15, 2007

For This Week

First, let me congratulate Pacquiao for winning his bout against Solis. Mom sent me again an SMS from the Philippines telling me how Manny won the fight. I have no idea Manny's fight was today, since I barely receive any news from my country here in Singapore. Good thing there is mobile technology (chuckle).
* * * *

I'll blog this time short ala Twitter. Here goes: This week, I'll attend to some (more) important matters and avoid blogging for a week. I'll return next weekend.
* * * *

Yeah, I've signed up an account with Twitter (really, the name is funny and sounds stupid like Tweety Bird). I jumped again on a bandwagaon (yoohoo). But I have to say this is not much of a new and brilliant idea in blogging at all. Looks to me like text / SMS messenging or online messaging to family and friends but with a twist of blogging (telling specifically to others of your current activities or plans). Well, let's see how Twitter will fare in the next few months.

April 09, 2007

Rivermaya, Deux

As promised, here are some of the pictures taken from the marvelous concert by Rivermaya at D' Marquee Downtown East, Pasir Ris, Singapore, sponsored by Western Union (umm... do I need to say that - that's free advertisement).

Guitar Jamming - Rivermaya

Gritty performance by Rico, along with bassist Japs. Grrrr... grrrr....

Sparkling Concert - Japs with Sparklers - Rivermaya

Japs decided to celebrate an early New Year with sparklers ablaze in both hands.

Swinging Arm - Japs - Rivermaya

Rico gives his all, and Japs swings his arm in delight. Nice split-second shot there.

Mike At The Guitar - Rivermaya

Mike has his moments during the concert. I dig the hair, man.

Gimme... - Rico - Rivermaya

I dedicate this song to all of youuuu! A deep moment here.

Balloons Galore

Are the people delighted to watch Rivermaya live in concert, or are they jubilant playing with their balloons? Spike that flying white capsule-like balloon!

Addiction Band

Before Rivermaya performed, there were four other bands featured as guest performers at the start of the concert. Three of them are Singapore bands (John Molina and Krueger [???], The Great Spy Experiment, and Flybar) but alone is composed of Filipino talents - both gentlemen and babes, as shown in the picture above. They called themselves "Addiction".

So where is Mark at the drums? Well, we save the last for one of his best performance with this video:

April 08, 2007

Rivermaya Video (A Teaser)

Here's a teaser for you. A short video of Rivermaya singing Liwanag Sa Dilim during their concert here in Downtown East, Pasir Ris, Singapore.

More to come. Ciao.

Easter Egg For You

Happy Easter everyone! A glorious Sunday to all! I know things have been dry around here. But lately things have been busy, and the past few days I had to rejuvenate myself from the rat race and ponder things spiritual.

This new layout is like an experiment to me. But I guess this will be staying for a long time for now, especially that I now learned how to create web sites without any tables. Purely CSS techniques. A little style here, a little style there.

Later I'll be joining with a friend to watch a concert of Rivermaya here somewhere North of Singapore. I will be posting pictures and videos of their gig.

March 28, 2007

To Hostage Or Not To Hostage

I'm not surprised (again) to see and hear breaking (bad) news back home from the Philippines. This time it's about a day care center operator taking hostage of a bus full of school children.

Children Hostage In A Philippine Bus
Children taken hostage - Photo from Channelnewsasia TV live broadcast

Whatever his reasons, it's not justifiable to take hostage of these poor young kids. He can voice out his criticisms about the government (dirty and downright stinky with all the rampant graft, red tape, and corruption) through means other than resorting these children to grave danger (guns and a hand grenade). He can use the media, TV, radio, and even the Internet (like blogging) and kill all his precious time making sure everybody knows about the ills of the Philippine government. I can definitely do that through this blog. But definitely to endanger my fellowmen is a "no-no" option! Such an option backfires towards the criticizer instead of the one he or she criticizes.

* * * *

Until now, I'm still annoyed by how the current crop of Filipinos, while speaking English, always seems to grope for words and terms and frequently mumble "ah..." while pausing for a moment to get the right English word to say out loud. The Philippine news correspondent talked to by one of Channelnewsasia TV reporters frequently say "ah..." while reporting on the hostage event.

One thing I like about the English-speaking locals here in Singapore is that, even though I hear weird accents, mispronounced words, and missing "R"s (making it quite difficult for native English-speaking foreigners to grasp at once what Singaporeans are saying for the first time), I'm amazed by how smoothly and confidently they speak English to the point that they speak each word fast and almost in one continuous breath. Their vocabulary is fantastic and they speak as if they're reading an imaginary script held before their eyes.

Unlike some (if not most) of my fellow Filipinos who still have difficulty speaking whole sentences without pausing to think for the next word and saying out aloud "ah...". It's a nationwide habit I find really disturbing and should be avoided. If in doubt, pause (avoid "ahh"s or "uhh"s) before you speak. Or better yet, learn a new English word every day and broaden one's vocabulary.

But don't worry my fellowmen, I still love the way we speak English among other Asian countries. We're the only ones who can rival the Americans and even the British in speaking English words clearly, phonetically, syllable by syllable. Heck, we can copy both Northern and Southern American accents and the renowned (bloody hell) British accents and have a field day speaking out English to anyone every where.

March 21, 2007

Adding A Year

Yesterday was a break for me to celebrate a personal event of adding another year to one's life (aka birth day aka sprout day aka dust became man day). Thanks for all those who greeted me yesterday.

* * * *

I read this Irish Blessing for a birthday, and this I like the most among those available in this website.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you

March 09, 2007

300 : Madness? No, This Is The Bomb!

Frank Miller's 300

  • I already got the original graphic novel by Frank Miller and I must say the film version has not failed the vision and splendor of the story 300.

  • I delighted on the entire look and feel of the film, much like the colors used in the graphic novel with somber colors of brown, black, and red. The skies almost look rendered like a watercolor painting, similar in the comic book. Much of the film colors used remind me of the colors of the award-winning painting, Spoliarium, by Filipino artist Juan Luna.

  • This is not a film for the faint-hearted, nor those who are grossed out by even a single drop of blood. Spoilers alert: There's overflow of blood spraying (in stylized slow motion, spattering towards the movie screen in an unrealistic pattern just like in comic books), head chopping, corpse flinging, arm slicing, torso dicing, and not to mention body piercing care of the self-proclaimed man-god Xerxes, ruler of Persia. Those who delight in such gory details will indeed be overjoyed. Those who aren't will have to endure these or cringe in horror. Just tell yourself that everything here is make-believe. It does look like a hodgepodge of killings every now and then, but these are not mindless acts done by murderers but by Spartan soldiers willing to sacrifice themselves for their king and for their country. Us ordinary citizens may never know nor feel the way of warfare unless we become the soldiers we put in the front lines of our country.

  • Watch out for the controversial battle scene where King Leonidas (played splendidly by Gerard Butler) breezed through the Persian warriors in a sequence like this: he walks forward and begin to pummel an incoming raider, uses his shield to hold off a sword attack, he retaliates back and kills a warrior, the sequence slows down, King Leonidas stabs with his spear another warrior, action slightly speeds up, Leonidas uses his shield to push and shove another Persian, he twirls and slaps an overhead cut of the sword, camera pans in and out occasionally. All of these occurred in one magnificent action scene.

  • While King Leonidas, in his form and stature, symbolizes the alpha male; Xerxes is a drag (ok, eerily looks and acts like an insecure drag queen). Leonidas, though a king, is humble, down to earth and knows death can come anytime; Xerxes basks in boastfulness, illusionary immortality and gloated vanity. Leonidas is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of his family, fellowmen and country; Xerxes is willing to sacrifice others for his sake and protection of his rulership and wealth. You got to love the clashing differences of the two.

  • Watch Wenham (Faramir of Lord of the Rings movies) at the end gives out a poetic speech, raising the morale of thousands of Spartans as they set forth to battle the Persians. This scene reminds me of Braveheart speaking before his army or that of the King of Rohan (Lord of the Rings) as he rides on his steed speaking before his cavaliers.

  • I rate this movie 4 out of 5.

  • Here's an interesting (albeit very controversial) article on the question whether George Bush is Leonidas or Xerxes? No spear shall be flung here if you answer wrongly.

March 07, 2007

Tremors And April Boy

Richter And The Buildings

This picture has nothing to do with earthquakes. But see the name Richter there. Ah, yes, now connect that with measuring earthquake magnitude scale and you get the connection with the next paragraph.

* * * *

The earthquake yesterday late morning that occurred in Sumatra, Indonesia was slightly felt here in Singapore. I was working with clients at the 30th floor in one of the high-rise office buildings of Raffles Place when the tremors struck. The floor shuffled a bit. Both me and the receptionist thought we were having sudden bouts of vertigo. Others abruptly stood from their chairs and exclaimed "Did you feel that earthquake?". Everyone seems to be having mixed feelings of anxiety, fear, and a bit of excitement in their expression and voices.

I called up a co-worker back at Tampines, and they too felt the tremors (Tampines is almost at the north-east part of Singapore while we're situated at the southern area). I should not be surprised, since this nation is so small (island wide) that any tremors coming from neighboring nations such as Indonesia and Malaysia will be felt strongly. Dear God, I'm thinking what would happen to us if tsunamis would be triggered and head towards the shore lines of this island.

* * * *

While riding a taxi cab, I could faintly hear the music that my taxi driver is listening to. It's a song of April Boy Regino, Paano Ang Puso Ko (rough translation, How About My Heart?). How? How-wah (or how the locals would say in their lingo).

April Boy Regino, or simply known as April Boy, is one of those popular Filipino singers of the mid-90's whose songs catered more to the classified citizens C,D,and E (or the poor people who comprise the majority of the Philippines). His songs are marked corny, without class, or simply baduy by the affluent or elite class yet exalted by the poor masses. He's known as the idol ng bayan (idol of the country) then.

Anyway, while inside the cab, I couldn't resist but sing along to the lyrics of the song, unmindful whether my driver will be bothered or not. I don't dig his music, even when I was still in my country, yet I think the strong longing and intense yearning for my motherland, culture and friendly people have been triggered by that music that I came out of my shell of adaptation in a foreign country. I wanted at that time to enjoy being a Filipino, which I could not deny. And besides, I wanted to free my tongue from English and begin to speak again my mother language.

..Nasaan ka man ngayon
Mag-ingat ka sana
'Yan ang tanging dasal
Ng pusong nag-iisa...

About Me

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Known to be the webmaster of the defunct Taym Matsing website (well, that's old news now...)