My blog. My class.

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...

March 04, 2007

New And Other Thoughts

I knew it's so late. But better late than never.

Things have gone overboard last month - flat moving out (and enough of annoying flatmates) :-P, long work periods (I've had it with production work) >:-(, and other stressful situations I could not list all. Let's just say I have some time at hand to take a breather and relax for a while. With last month, I've neglected my blogging activities (heck, in the first place, I don't have any responsibility even to my readers, so I should give myself some slack on this).

Enough talk. Let's move on to the pictures I had captures especially during the Chinese New Year festivities here in Singapore. By the way, the major change in the pictures is the increase in both height and width. So bear with the site as it loads the pictures.

Little Oranges

So many of these orange fruits were on display in almost every household. A local co-worker told me these are called Kan. I told him back in the Philippines we call these Ponkan. He's not sure about the name though.

Paper Firecrackers

I captured this hanging on a column of a restaurant in Bugis Juction (near Bugis MRT station).

Chinese Lanterns

These brightly red colored Chinese lanterns hang at the entrance of Fullerton Hotel near Boat Quay. I believe they're still there, even if Chinese New Year celebration had officially ended last month.

Dragon Dance

A colorful night dragon dance. The paper dragon went crazily around.

Dragon Dance 2

Look at how deftly these guys twirl and swirl the paper dragon.

Chinese Entrance

Chinese architecture at its best. Looks real, even though it was created from temporary building materials.

More to go.

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