Thursday, December 29, 2011

The gift of music--for my Dad

For Christmas, we gave our Dad a portable electronic keyboard. Things like this don't come cheap, but we had to invest on it because Dad's 86-year-old memory has deteriorated a bit more lately. He's been grunting or moaning almost continuously, and our bit of research showed that the grunting could be one of the signs of more memory loss. Especially when the thinking faculties aren't used that much anymore, or something like that, our research showed. And since my Dad really doesn't do much these days, or can't move as much as he did before (he was a tennis player and a sportsfisher in his younger days), I thought then that we were racing against time--to not lose more of his memory on the succeeding days. So I convinced some siblings of mine that we should get a portable keyboard for Dad so that he could be busy with something that he really loves. And listening to or creating music is one of the things he loves. He plays the piano by ear (as seen in the video below that I took early this year when he was 85 years old) and also plays the guitar. So as soon as my siblings and I made the decision to buy the portable keyboard, I hurriedly went to the mall one day to purchase it, braving the horrible traffic and the throng of holiday shoppers at the mall.

Now, Dad is slowly enjoying to play his new toy, as I place it on the dining table where he usually sits. At least now he can play tunes on the keys, as he is slowly remembering the tunes he used to play on the piano. Sometimes, we need to coax him or encourage him by clapping or nodding our heads to him to play the new portable keyboard, and play some more. And he does, slowly but surely. This is a good development because it's become quite hard lately for us to guide him to sit on the stool of our piano that's on one end of the living room. And making him leave the piano stool to go to the dining table for dinner is another long story--not only of his slow movements but also because sometimes he doesn't easily understand anymore what's being said to him.

But, curiously, I've observed that my Dad has so far played the new portable keyboard only with his right hand. Could it be that he doesn't quite remember anymore how to use his left hand? Because even in eating, he rarely uses his left hand. But we're happy to note that his grunts or moans have now turned to hums. There's melody already to most of his grunts. Maybe because he can now play more (although still quite slow but with tone) his favorite tunes on the keyboard and, hopefully, his memory is improving. In fact, for at least two nights now (he sleeps very late), I could hear him (I sleep quite late, too) also playing his guitar in his room already with a tone or melody. This is also good because just a few weeks ago, he seemed to have forgotten already how to play the guitar because he was just plucking it without producing a strong melody.

Having said all this, my profound conclusion is that: Music is really good--and for the enjoyment of everyone, especially of senior citizens :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011--and a disappointment at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Project 6, Quezon City

Merry Christmas to all! Hope you enjoy celebrating this big day with your loved ones. And also with other people who may need cheering up on Christmas Day.

And let's always remember that on Christmas we celebrate the birthday of Jesus. Christmas isn't really all about the nice trimmings and the fabulous gifts, the great food and fantastic parties. Christmas is a level playing field for the rich, the not-so-rich, and the poor. We're all meant to celebrate the big day of the Big Boss, the One who choose to be born in a simple manger despite His stature, whatever is our status in life. It's as if to say, hey, material things, especially an extravagance of material things, don't make a Christmas celebration. All we need is LOVE. :)

Sometimes, it makes me a bit sad that people seem to be so caught up on all the stressful external preparation for Christmas that we forget the internal preparation of ourselves for the celebration of His birthday. Perhaps, there may be even times that we forget for whom Christmas is really.

This afternoon, I went to Christmas Mass at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Project 6, Quezon City, Philippines. After the priest gave the final blessing to the Mass goers, the choir sang "Happy Birthday" for, of course, Jesus's birthday. I was greatly shocked when my fellow Mass goers didn't stop from leaving the pews to go home while the choir sang the birthday song. Only a handful of us remained in our pews to sing along, in honor of Jesus. Maybe just two or three of us? And it is a big church, mind you.

I'm now trying to ask myself why most of the people in the church this afternoon didn't even stop to sing along with the birthday song. They weren't even singing as they walked along the aisle to the church's door on their way out. Did they think that the choir was singing the birthday song for someone celebrating his or her birthday from among the choir or maybe from among the Mass goers this afternoon? Hence, maybe they thought they didn't have to stop to sing "Happy Birthday" for that person because they didn't know him or her anyway? Or, maybe, they had forgotten that Christmas is Christmas because it's Jesus's birthday, thus they failed to realize that the choir's birthday song was FOR Him. Or, perhaps, those people were hurrying to go to their next Christmas party, thus they had to hurriedly get out of the church. No time any birthday song, sorry. Indeed, has Christmas for those people in the church this afternoon them become a mere ritual, or perhaps an excuse to go on a partying binge and exchange gifts throughout the season?

But I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to my fellow Mass goers at this afternoon's Mass. I still hope that perhaps that my fellow Mass goers at church today only had a temporary lapse when they didn't join in singing the birthday song for Jesus. I hope that deep in their hearts, they still know what Christmas is all about.

Happy Birthday, Jesus! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Relief for victims of Typhoon Sendong that kills hundreds, displaces many in Mindanao, Philippines

For those who want to help the victims of the strong typhoon Sendong that hit the Mindanao region of the Philippines just a few days back this 2011, please direct them to the following organizations. These groups are making sure that your donations will be sent to the right needy victims in Mindanao (particularly Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities). More than 400 people have been reportedly killed and many more are now without food and shelter. For more details about this calamity, please see
Donations can be in cash or in kind (ready-to-eat food, clothes, water, milk, hygiene products, etc.)

1. News5 Action Center (tv and radio network)
cash donations accepted at Banco de Oro (BDO) Peso Account (Philippines)
Account name: TV5 Kapatid Foundation Inc.
Account No. 005310-410164


Bank of the Philippines (BPI) Peso Account
Account name: TV5 Kapatid Foundation Inc.
Account No. 1443-05333-2

2. GMA Network (tv and radio network)
Send donations in kind to GMA Kapuso Foundation
2/F Kapuso Center, GMA 7, EDSA Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

3. ABS-CBN Network (tv and radio network)
Cash donations to: Banco de Oro (BDO) Peso Account (Philippines)
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 39301-14199
Swift Code: BNORPHMM


Philippine National Bank (PNB) Peso Account (Philippines)
Account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya
Account Number: 419-539-5000-13
Swift Code: PNBMPHMMBPI Peso Account

4. Gawad-Kalinga (Philippines)
Cash donations to Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) (Philippines)
Philippine Peso Current Account # 3101 0977
56 BPI EDSA Greenhills at Gawad Kalinga


US$ Savings Account # 3104 0162 34
BPI EDSA Greenhills Swift code: BOPIPHMM

5. Philippine Red Cross (PRC)
Cash donations:

Text REDAMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)


You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1,000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1,000

Deposits can also be made to the PRC’s Banco De Oro peso account 00-453-0018647, dollar 10-453-0039482;
Bank of the Philippine Islands peso account 4991-0036-52, dollar account 004994-0103-15;
Metrobank account 151-3-041631228, dollar account 151-2-15100218-2;
Philippine National Bank peso account 3752 8350 0034, dollar account 3752 8350 0042; Unionbank of the Philippines peso account 1015 4000 0201; dollar account 1315 4000 0090.

6. Philippine Daily Inquirer (newspaper, internet, and radio network)

Drop off donations in-kind at the Inquirer office, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. at Mascardo and Yague Streets, Makati City, Philippines.

Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Help Fund account, which is the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) current account No. 4951-0067-56, under the name Philippine Daily Inquirer Inc. For inquiries, call PDI corporate affairs at 8978808, and ask for Bianca Kasilag or Connie Kalagayan.

7. LBC Foundation


LBC will deliver goods for free to the hardest-hit cities and provinces. Donations may be dropped off at any LBC branch nationwide.

For inquiries, call the LBC hotline at (632) 8585-999.

8. One for Iligan

Name: Iliganons Sa Manila Inc.
Account Number: Checking Acct 5308004019 Asia-Tower Paseo Branch
Bank: Banco de Oro

9 *Iligan Bloggers Society
3553 Durango St., Palanan, Makati City 1235. For inquiries, contact Migz at 09065777812 or 09227130006 or 6-D Cypress Gardens Condo 112 VA Rufino St., Makati City, and look for Meikah Delid.

Berkeley Residences, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. For inquiries, contact Jamie Steffani Mijares at 09157744244

Madison Square Condominium, Taft Avenue, Manila, right in front of De La Salle University, beside Kenny Rogers . For inquiries, contact Roden Lim at 09228446777

10 Xavier Science Foundation with Xavier University

Account Name: Xavier Science Foundation, Inc.
Account Number: 2041-0394-45
Bank: Bank of the Philippine Islands, Main Branch, Velez St., CDO

Account Name: Xavier University
Account Number: 9331-0133-63
Bank: Bank of the Philippine Islands, Divisoria Branch, CDO

For those who wish to seek an official receipt for their contribution, you may email a copy of the deposit slip at or fax to (088) 858-8062 / 858-3116 local 3100 and specify the details of your remittance (name of donor, contact information). You may also call (08822) 72-7701.

12. Dela Salle University

Account Name: La Salle Academy Iligan
Account No. 0820-016221-030.
Bank: Development Bank of the Philippines

Donations in cash may also be received at Gate 2 of La Salle Green Hills at 343 Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550. You may also call any of the following telephone numbers for further inquiries: Aluimni Office — 721-2729, 722-7750, 725-4720; GS Principal at 721-2482; HS Principal at 721-8914; Buildings and Grounds Office at 721-8904 (Telefax)
La Sallian Mission Office at 726-5851 (Telefax)

13. Akbayan
Cash or in-kind donations:

Madasalin St. Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
4336933 for more details.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Philippines's 2012 holidays listed

According to news site, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has declared a total of 16 official holidays for 2012. The following are the holidays in the Philippines next year. Take note especially if you plan to visit my beautiful country to enjoy the wonderful beaches, food, and hospitality of the people :)

A. Regular Holidays
New Year’s Day: January 1 (Sunday)
Maundy Thursday: April 5
Good Friday: April 6
Araw ng Kagitingan: April 9 (Monday)

Labor Day: May 1 (Tuesday)
Independence Day: June 12 (Tuesday)
National Heroes Day: August 27 (Last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day: November 30 (Friday)
Christmas Day: December 25 (Tuesday)
Rizal Day: December 30 (Sunday)

B. Special (Non-Working) Days
Chinese New Year: January 23 (Monday)
Ninoy Aquino Day: August 21 (Tuesday)
All Saints Day: November 1 (Thursday)
Additional special (non-working) day: November 2 (Friday)
Last Day of the Year: December 31 (Monday

C. Special Holiday (for all schools)
EDSA Revolution Anniversary: February 25 (Saturday)

The proclamations declaring national holidays for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha will be issued after it is determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar.

Monday, November 14, 2011

100 Days to Heaven nears end--Kuha mo?!

"100 Days to Heaven" is a primetime drama series on Philippines's ABS-CBN Channel 2. The series started in May 2011 and will end this week. It's airing nightly Monday to Friday. When the series ends, it will be much missed by its viewers who've been touched in many ways not only but its wonderful storyline but also by the great acting of its lead actors. Connie Reyes and Xyriel Manabat are among the actors in this series that have hooked with their acting chops the viewers who've lovingly watched this series from start to finish (and that includes me and my family!). Connie plays the character "Madam Anna Manalastas," a successful but much-feared businessperson who was murdered (killer unknown). When she dies, she's sent back to Earth by a character, presumably St. Peter, to have a chance to make up for the bad she did while still alive. This arrangement was to save Anna from hell to which she was supposedly destined to because of being a "bad person" in her lifetime. But the hitch is that Anna is sent back as an adult in the form of a child (actually how Anna supposedly looked like when she was small), played to perfection by cute seven-year-old Xyriel Manabat. Big Anna has the habit of retorting to people "Kuha mo?" (or "Get it?") in her high-pitched voice. Of course, in her teeny high-pitched voice, little Anna (but actually adult Anna) shared the same habit. And one of Anna's mistakes-to-correct-on-Earth is finding and making up with her child Trisha. Anna gave up Trisha for adoption after giving birth to her as a teenage single parent. And, as the storyline goes, Trisha turned out to be Sophia, who was part of the family that "adopted" Anna when she came back to Earth as a child. (Sophia doesn't know at the start that she's adopted by the family that she's known for so long and that Anna's her real mom. In fact, she doesn't know that she's the heir of rich Anna.)

Clever dialogues, credible and creative storyline, many lessons in life to pick up from many episodes, memorable scenes, good acting by the main cast and also the guest actors every week, a beautiful theme song ("Mahiwaga," a classic Filipino song)
and more factors conspired together to make this series one of the best that a local TV network has produced. Hopefully in the years to come, Philippines's TV networks will produce more such good shows. These good shows make staying home and watching them with the family a great time for bonding.

Poster of "100 Days to Heaven," featuring adult Anna (Connie Reyes), and Anna as a child (Xyriel Manabat). (Photo source: Internet)

In this promo photo, Anna as a child (Xyriel Manabat) bonding with her daughter Sophia/Trisha (Jodie Sta. Maria). (Photo source: Internet)

In this promo photo, big Anna and little Anna pose at a shooting break with Anna's long-lost Mom played by Susan Roces. Susan was only one of the many popular actors who guested in the series. These actors played characters that have, in one way or another, been part of Anna's life when she was alive and to which she had to correct some not-so-good thing she'd done to them. (Photo source: Internet)

This the appearance of the cast of "100 Days to Heaven" on November 6, 2011 on TV show "ASAP Rocks," prior to their last week of airing. Fatima Soriano leads the singing of the series theme song "Mahiwaga" (literally meaning "magical," "a source of wonder." (Youtube source: channel owner )..

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ramona Revilla allegedly flies to HK--sign of guilt or what?

Some people say that when someone accused of a wrongdoing (e.g., a crime) takes flight, it's a sign of guilt. Well, I just saw a breaking news tonight on TV that Ramona Revilla, one of those being implicated as a suspect in the recent murder of her brother (Ram) and attempted murder on Ram's girlfriend a few nights ago in a plush village south of Manila, has supposedly just flown to Hong Kong (HK) through the Manila airport.

The large and rich Revilla clan is well-known in the Philippines's showbusiness and political circles. Actors and politicians make up this clan. The events in the past days involving the murder of Ram and the subsequent tagging by the police of Ramona and another brother as main suspects in the murder has inevitably captured the attention of every Filipino. The accusations have also rocked the Revilla family into a frenzy of denials about their kins' involvement. Ramona, after giving an initial statement to the police on her version of what happened, couldn't be found for a few days after the crime. Earlier today, she suddenly surfaced to deny the accusations and retract her previous statement given to the police. But with her surprising alleged flight tonight to HK amid her and her family's denials of her and her brother's involvement in the grisly crime, more questions are raised and begged to be answered.

The brother also being tagged as a suspect (and co-mastermind of Ramona, in fact) is, by the way, already being held by the police. But his lawyer is accusing the police of illegal detention or a similar case. Ram's girlfriend is still being hospitalized for the serious wounds she got when she and Ram were attacked. Her version on how the attack happened and whom she saw as their attackers would be really be interesting to hear.

The plot thickens as this real-life telenovela unfolds with more surprises and revelations, and accusations and denials, every day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Yolanda's Eatery in Tacloban, Leyte (Philippines) beckons

(NOTE: On November 8, 2013, Leyte province described below, where Yolanda's restaurant is located as mentioned here, was one of the areas devastated by supertyphoon Yolanda [or Haiyan as internationally known]. I'm sure Yolanda's is now gone because it's right beside the sea that became a monster wave because of a terrifying storm surge that was caused by the strong typhoon. The storm surge from the sea flattened many structures in the area including several houses, buildings, the airport near Yolanda's, and hurt and killed many people. My sympathies and prayers go to my countrymates involved in this calamity.)

If ever you’ll come to Leyte, a province in the Visayas region of the Philippines (that’s about in the middle part of the country), be sure to get your fill of the wonderful food at Yolanda’s.

Yolanda’s is a seaside eatery in Barangay San Jose in Tacloban City, the capital of Leyte. (Barangay is a small village or community.) A meal at Yolanda’s will definitely help make your stay in beautiful Leyte even more memorable. This eatery is just a few minutes away from Tacloban City’s airport. It's also not far from your next possible stop after Yolanda’s for a photo op, which would be the “Leyte Landing Memorial Park” in Palo town, also known as “MacArthur Park.” The Park features big bronze statues immortalizing the team of high-ranking soldiers led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur as it waded its way to the beach, fulfilling MacArthur’s “Second World War” promise to the Philippines that he will return to help liberate the country from the Japanese forces.

Back to Yolanda’s. You see in the photos here (which I took when I had lunch there on a recent trip to Leyte with some friends) that the place is low-maintenance inside and, more so, outside. Even its signboard seems to have fallen off. But anyone wanting to savor what Yolanda’s has to offer wouldn’t have a hard time getting directions on going there because this restaurant is famous in the locality not for its looks but for its delicious food. The eatery is like a "well-kept open secret" for the townsfolk. (But then, the simple seaside ambiance of Yolanda’s could be a come-on for people who would want a countryside [or seaside] feel while having their meal.)

Yes, Yolanda’s sits on the beachfront but don’t expect a whitesand beach. But you’ll have a nice picturesque view of the wide sea from your seat as you partake of your freshly cooked food. And expect refreshing seabreeze wafting through Yolanda’s dining hall throughout your lunch or dinner. While at Yolanda’s, you can also get a glimpse of the life of the community in Yolanda’s neighborhood. Small fishing boats (bancas) with outriggers are resting on the beach; newly washed clothes are hanging from the nearby houses’ clotheslines, fences, and boats' outriggers; and the residents are busy going here and there for their chores or sitting around for some chit-chat.

Yolanda’s may be simple in looks, and its servers are als
o simple folks. But you’ll be there expecting good food, and that’s what you’ll get. This eatery’s menu is basically what’s found in a regular Filipino home, and you can choose from seafoods, chicken, pork and beef meat, and vegetable viands. You can go to Yolanda’s kitchen to choose from its stock and discuss with the server or the cook the way you want your food to be done. Of course, you should also take the cook’s (and even the server’s) suggestions on cooking your food (they are Yolanda’s experts, after all). When my friends and I were there, the cook was a man, whom we later met when we were about to leave the place. I just don’t know if he’s also the cook for dinner time.

A meal at Yolanda's is worth the bit of waiting for it to be served to you. Your
discriminating taste buds and grumbling stomach will truly be happy with the wonderful taste of the fish cooked in hot broth (fish tinola); prawns fried in ginger (among other ingredients); and grilled fish. My group didn’t quite understand what the names of the fish were in the local dialect, but we were too busy enjoying our food to ask more questions. On our table were condiments like vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and small lemons (calamansi) for anyone who wants to mix some dip or sauce (sawsawan) for her or his food. Bottled drinks are available at Yolanda's. After finishing off your food, you can refresh yourself at the eatery's washroom where there's plenty of water.

Among Yolanda’s many specialties, the fish tinola, fried prawns, and grilled fish
were the ones that my friends and I enjoyed that lunch time. And I hope you, too, will experience Yolanda's in your trip to Leyte, someday. Hopefully, soon.

And, by the way, finding out at Yolanda’s that prawns fried in ginger could be tasty was quite a discovery for me!
That led me to do some experimentation upon going home to Manila. After adding ginger to my own version of fried prawns, it then seemed to me that ginger WAS the missing ingredient in my prawn dish! Yummy! I’ll tell you about that in another blog entry soon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The main difference between an iPad and a printed magazine or newspaper is--

--you can swat a fly or mosquito with a printed magazine or newspaper but not with an iPad! Not even with an iPad2 or if there's more iPad versions to come out. And, oh yeah, your doggie or lovebirds can't also pooh on your iPad.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Planking, Flunking, and Plunking

When you lie down on a street or any location you fancy, that's "planking."

When you fail in class because you spend more time planking with your gang than studying, that's "flunking."

And when you cry out in the street because you failed in school and your parents bawl out at you at home because of your mischief, that's...ahh..umm... "plunking."


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Relief needed for typhoon victims in Philippines

My country the Philippines had just been through two devastating typhoons that came almost within the same week. Typhoons Pedring and Quiel hit provinces in the Luzon island of the Philippines. Many people are now in evacuation centers as they lost their homes, or their homes (and their villages) are still submerged in floodwaters.

Various groups are mobilizing rescue and relief operations. Many groups are asking for and accepting donations for various necessities to be sent to the affected families. One such group is the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippines's leading newspaper, which announced just today that it is accepting donations for flood victims at its office in Makati City, Philippines.

The Inquirer will be accepting donations for canned goods, noodles, rice, water and medicines at its office in 1098 Chino Roces Ave., corner Yague and Mascado Streets, Makati City, Philippines. Inquiries can be directed to the Inquirer's corporate affairs office, (632) 899-4426 or (632) 897-8808 (look for Connie Kalagayan or Bianca Kasilag).

UPDATE as of Oct. 3, 2011: For cash donations, please deposit to Inquirer Help Fund Current Account No. 4951-0067-56 Philippine Daily Inquirer Inc. with Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Intramuros, Manila, Philippines; or Corporate Network for Disaster Response, Account No. 0031-0654-02 (BPI) or 004640030358 (Banco de Oro).

Residents use boat to navigate a flooded street in Calumpit, Bulacan, Philippines due to typhoon Pedring. Photo by ARNOLD ALMACEN/Inquirer. From

The rooftop serves as veritable Noah’s Ark of a few animals—cats, dogs, chickens, ducks and a pigeon—after the owners abandoned the submerged house in Gugo village, Calumpit, Bulacan. Unfortunately, rescue workers could only evacuate humans. LYN RILLON

The rooftop serves as veritable Noah’s Ark of a few animals—cats, dogs, chickens,
ducks and a pigeon—after the owners abandoned the submerged house in Gugo
village, Calumpit, Bulacan, in the Philippines. Unfortunately, rescue workers
could only evacuate humans. Photo by LYN RILLON. From


Sunday, September 25, 2011

No classes in Metro Manila, Philippines, Sept. 26, 2011

Classes in private and public schools (preschoo, elementary, high school) have been suspended starting 12NN today (Sept. 26) in the Philippines's Metro Manila region (comprising several cities and municipalities, including capital city Manila). Authorities have issued the suspension because of typhoon "Pedring" that the weather bureau says will bring in more rains this afternoon. Well, it's already raining hard this morning. I hope this afternoon's predicted heavy rains will not bring in much floods and destruction. Especially since today marks the "anniversary" of 2009's typhoon "Ondoy" that brought in much devastation and deaths to the Philippines.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Aquellos Ojos Verdes--The Green Eyes

This is one of my favorite music pieces, Aquellos Ojos Verdes or The Green Eyes. I think this was composed in the 1920s, years before I was born. The melody is so beautiful. But for years I didn't know its title. I don't remember anymore how I came to finally know what it's called. But then I forgot the title again after that, silly me. The only thing I could remember about this musical piece, aside from the melody of course, was that the title started with "Aqua," or "Aquo," or something. Finally, after long periods of trying to find this music on YouTube, I finally found it. Yes!

And I'd like to share it with you, courtesy of Luiz1948's YouTube channel.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Photo contest in Asia-Pacific region--for APEC

DFA invites photographers to

join APEC contest

09/17/2011 | 02:32 PM
Photographers from the Asia-Pacific region are invited to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) photo contest seeking to highlight the regional grouping’s key thrusts, the Philippines's Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced.

contest is open to amateur and professional photographers in all APEC economies.

The DFA said contestants may submit photos inspired by three categories: (1) strengthening regional economic integration and expanding trade; (2) promoting green growth, and (30 advancing regulatory convergence and cooperation.

"The contest's themes reflect the policy priorities that APEC set for 2011," the DFA said.

APEC Secretariat Executive Director Ambassador Muhamad Noor said the photographic inputs will help inform the decisions the APEC makes as it moves its agenda forward.

"We recognize the challenge that we have put before the contestants but we know that the region's innovative spirit will produce photographs that capture a compelling visual narrative," he added.


Winners will be selected based on the quality of photograph, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit, as well as how well it represents the three themes.

Submitted photos must be the photographer's original work. Those who wish to enter the competition should fill in a form and send their entries to

Contestants can submit up to three photos during the submission period, which closes on October 10.

Over SG $5,000 in prizes will be awarded to the winners.

The three winning entries will be chosen by a panel of international judges including including AFP Photo Editor-in-Chief (Worldwide) Eric Baradat, AFP Photo Editor-in-Chief (North America) Mladen Antonov, Reportage by Getty Images Photographer Palani Mohan, Ambassador Noor and US APEC Senior Official Ambassador Kurt Tong.

Winning entries will be announced in Honolulu in November during the lead-up to the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.


Music and sound FX for your multimedia presentations

Here are some Internet websites where you can download usually free music, sound effects, or other accessories to use in your audiovideo presentations, podcasts, and similar media to be created.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Online or printed?

I read an article in the website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, my favorite newspaper in the Philippines, that said that a recent survey (done by Synovate) in the country found out that since 2007, more consumers in urban areas are getting their media and entertainment fix from the Internet. The survey also pointed out that a decline in readership of print media (mainly newspapers) noted in a survey before the current one seems to have recovered somehow, with 30 percent of those now surveyed still reading printed materials. Well, this survey said that 30 percent is an improvement from the number obtained in recent past years.

Actually, I believe that despite the fantastic popularity of online media and the greater accessibility of people to more gadgets that make going online as easy as eating biscuits, print media will always be around in the Philippines or, at least, will take several generations before it loses mass appeal. And this is because of the geographical and economic make-up of the country where print media is still the most attractive, most accessible, and most informative reading material for many Filipinos who, in great numbers, live in places where electricity is not constantly available and who also, because of their state in life, will prioritize food over buying electronic information technology gadgets.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday!

To Mama Mary :)

When the doctors are suddenly out...

My mom had two recent unfortunate incidents with two doctors. Last week, I went with her to a surgeon for a 10 A.M. appointment where the doctor was supposed to see a small lump on her buttocks. We waited for like an hour-and-a-half at the hospital's waiting area before one the women in the receiving area had the brilliant idea of looking for the doctor. After making a few phone calls, the woman said to us that the doctor wasn't available after all because he was in the operating room with a patient and would be available in the afternoon yet. She asked us if the doctor really knew we had an appointment with him. I said of course he did, he was even asked by the person I was talking to over the phone two days before that, and I heard him say that yes, he was available at 10 A.M. that day. Anyway, maybe the operation he was doing when we came in was an emergency. Maybe he didn't really forget our appointment with him. We didn't anymore return that afternoon. But I took pity on Mom because she wasn't really feeling well, and we had to sit it out for more than an hour in the hospital for a doctor who never was to come anyway.

Today, since my Mom had been sneezing and coughing for over two weeks already, she decided to see a pulmonoligist referred by a friend of hers. The doctor was supposed to have a clinic from 11 AM - 1 PM (in the same hospital we went to last week). I called up the doctor's secretary at 10 AM to ask if the doctor was coming. The secretary said yes. My brother came with my Mom to the hospital this time. A few minutes past 11 AM, my brother called me up to say that the doctor wasn't coming because she had to go to a burial (I hope the dead person wasn't her patient!). I wondered how long it took for the doctor to decide or to know that she was to attend a burial that morning. Her clinic was supposed to open at 11 AM. She could've at least advised her secretary a bit earlier that morning that she wasn't be going to have patients that day to avoid inconveniencing patients, especially the older ones. Poor mother of mine again didn't have a luck with her doctor today.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Heavy, heavy rain in Metro Manila today!

The Philippines had just finished a long weekend (holiday on Monday and Tuesday). There was a storm then, and many provinces of Luzon island of the country were soaked in floods and even had landslides. Metro Manila, also in Luzon island, had its share of rains but not that strong. But, curiously, today, just when people are back to school, to work, and to their other regular routine, rains are pouring hard in Metro Manila. Hopefully, the flash floods now happening in some roads will not hamper many people. Hopefully also, that the rains will not last beyond noontime.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Where's Fr. Ramon Eloriaga at the Landmark Department Store Mass?

I've been missing Fr. Ramon Eloriaga who, until a little over a month ago, used to be the regular priest presiding at the Sunday Mass in Landmark Department Store in Trinoma Mall, Quezon City, Philippines. Fr. Ramon has been celebrating this Mass in Landmark ever since it started at the Mall since like over a year ago. He has been rarely absent, and if he were to be absent for quite a while, he would advise the Mass goers. And many of these Mass goers were a regular presence in Fr. Ramon's Masses. And that includes me because I learn a lot about being a Catholic from his homilies. Thus before I do my weekly groceries in Landmark, I go first to its Mass on the upper floor of the grocery section. (Although I still go sometimes to the Mass in my local parish church because Fr. Ramon reminds the mall Mass goers to not forget to still go to the Masses in their parish.)

It so happens that Fr. Ramon's homilies give deep learning from and understanding of the Bible combined with lessons from contemporary happenings. And he delivers his homilies in a manner that is not boring or has no sense of direction. His homilies are always endearing with a lesson or lessons to impart. He also manages to deliver a punch line or two in his homilies.

I hope Fr. Ramon soon returns to the Masses in Landmark. Otherwise, I might have to seek out his Masses at his parish homebase, the St. Rita de Cascia Parish in Philam Homes Subdivision in Quezon City (which is quite a distance from my own parish). With due respect to the two priests who have taken on alternate basis Fr. Ramon's place at the Landmark Mass, I really miss his homilies and the learning I get from them. I hope he returns soon. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Padre Pio's image on Baclayon Church post?

A relative of mine showed me last night a picture of seemingly the image of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, canonized in 2002, that appears in a post of Baclayon Church in Tagbilaran town, Bohol Province, Philippines. The church, according to an Internet website, is one of the oldest church buildings in the Philippines, and also the oldest Catholic stone building in the country. It was constructed during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, and the first Spanish missionaries settled in the area in the late 15th century. Its formal name is "The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception."

I don't know if the Catholic church has already authenticated this image that appears on the Church's post, but seen side-by-side with a photo of Padre Pio, it surely looks like him. I searched for something about this in the Internet and saw a video uploaded to YouTube. Here's the video by channel owner Leophilippines. You can decide for yourself if, indeed, it's Padre Pio's image. Well, I think it really looks like him.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Janella Lelis--brave patriotic girl

The photo below by Francisco Pena Lozano caught my eye when it appeared a few days ago at the (website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper). The Philippines has been ravaged by rather strong typhoons in the past days, bringing floods especially in the northern Philippines area.

Janella Lelis, the 12-year-old girl in the photo, is from Albay province, one of the hardest hit provinces of the typhoons in recent days. But strong rains and deep floods didn't stop Janella from saving from ruin a Philippine flag. I salute Janella for her patriotism, and her family and teachers who've brought her up well.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Concert at the Landmark foodcenter in Trinoma

Many years ago, my family and I used to watch on the boob tube the "Concert at the Park" that showcased various musical talents onstage at the Luneta Park in Manila. It was shown live in the afternoon on the government's television station, while hundreds of people also watched at the Luneta. Another live concert, also shown on television (but usually on delayed telecast) was the "Paco Park Presents" that featured musical talents in Paco Park, also in Manila. Paco Park was a smaller venue compared to Luneta, hence fewer people watched it live at the park. But the good quality of musical talents featured in Paco Park was at par as that in Luneta Park.

Anyway, nowadays, I don't know if these two venues still host these free concerts or shows. But for the past few months, people doing their Sunday malling in Trinoma mall in Quezon City have been enjoying themselves at the Landmark Department Store foodcenter area (basement), where a brass band (from Bulacan province, I heard) is seated at the center and plays music. The band regales foodcenter customers with past and current hits at certain hours of the day. Music with fast tempo is a hit with children enjoying meals with their elders. The kids stomp their feet and clap their hands in tune to the fast music. The adults take in everything from disco to ballads (of course, the kids must have been enjoying listening to the ballads, too).

Sometimes, Landmark also has a string ensemble somewhere in its store.

My thanks to Landmark for making the effort to relax stressed souls with live music on Sundays.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sky Flakes and catfood for theater actors--says Rafael Santos

This guy named "Rafael Santos," a first-time director in the Philippines specializing in independently produced films (or "indie films), is now in hot water. A few days ago, he was interviewed on local television to promote his film to be shown in a local film festival (Cinemalaya). I guess not too many people saw the interview (at least not from among theater actors concerned), and no one complained at that time of what he said in that interview. But when the same interview was recently uploaded by someone to YouTube, Filipino actors, especially theater actors, finally came to know of what Santos said there. Santos, in reply to the host's question to him on his experience of working with theater actors in his first-ever directed film, said that he found it better working with theater actors. Okay, that's good of him to say that. But then Santos didn't stop there. He continued to say that the reason that he works better with theater actors is because "they don't complain, you can feed them Sky Flakes (a brand of biscuit) three meals a day, and pay them in catfood, basically."

Link below of interview of Santos from Peparazzo's YouTube account:

Expectedly, Filipino actors and directors are now up in arms against Santos because they deem his words an insult to them. And I agree with the sentiment of these people. Santos has issued a quick apology (albeit e-mailed to the organizers of the film festival, if I understand correctly news reports up to a few hours ago, in which his film is an entry). Santos said in his apology that he didn't exactly mean what he said, that he was joking, and that he actually has high respect for these actors, especially theater actors, who sacrifice a lot just to pursue their craft in the best possible way.

Well, if you ask me, if he really respects these people as he now says, he should have chosen his words well during his interview on television. He could have said it just straightforwardly how he does respect his peers in the industry. But in his attempt to be witty and cool in describing how theater actors work hard to pursue their craft and are willing to undergo sacrifices in the process, he ended up saying rather insulting words. His words insinuated that there's no need for film producers to spend for full meals when they hire theater actors because these people will be happy even if they are fed only with biscuits during shootings (and the biscuit brand that Santos mentioned--Sky Flakes--is just about one of the lower-priced biscuits in the Philippines) and by giving them catfood (presumably to take home to their cats). What adds to the insult is that he was saying those things in indirect comparison to film and television actors who, as every showbiz fan in the Philippines knows, are pampered by film producers and television networks, especially the most popular actors.

As it is now, Santos's film-making career just picking up might just take an abrupt detour to perhaps another career where he won't have to bump into these people he has offended. Aside from his e-mailed apology to the film festival organizers, a televised apology from him is being demanded by an organization of theater actors in the Philippines.

Santos should move quickly and humbly if he still wants to save his career. Or, does he still have a career?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Facebook killer!

In the news yesterday in the Philippines--a local actor-director named Ricky Rivero suffered more than 10 stab wounds in the chest and stomach in the early morning of June 13, 2011, and drove himself to a hospital near his place in Quezon City district. His alleged assailant was another man whom he befriended through Facebook just about only five months ago, the report said. Rivero was said to have invited this man to sleepover at his apartment on the 12th. The following early morning, Rivero and the man allegedly had an argument because the latter was asking for money. Rivero's guest was said to have become enraged during the argument hence the stabbing, and left the bloodied Rivero in his apartment in a jiffy.

Miraculously, Rivero was still able to drive himself to the hospital despite his wounds. He's still in the hospital now but there's no update as to his condition.

His alleged assailant was caught by village officials when he came to Rivero's apartment just moments after the attack, presumably to get some of Rivero's things. The village officials were alerted by Rivero's neighbors who were roused by the commotion.

If the real would-be murderer is really Rivero's Facebook friend (and Rivero already identified the guy as his assailant when police had presented the man to him at the hospital), this is another lesson for us all to be careful of persons we meet via the Net, especially for those who have the habit of eyeballing their Net friends. I've heard or read of other frightful stories (in the Philippines and abroad) where people have been victimized by their online "friends" whom they meet face-to-face and turn out to be criminals. Of course, these stories are not that many. I guess there are more kind people in the Net than there are bad people. But, it wouldn't hurt to be careful in the Net as we should also be in "real" life.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rain! Rain! Rain!

Me, happy! Because, finally, after days of sweating it out in very warm weather in a supposedly rainy season in the Philippines, we've been getting some pretty strong rains today, since this early morning (at least in Metro Manila). Not that I wish that the rains would get stronger because that could mean floods, but thank God for some respite from the past hot days where one could've definitely gotten a heat stroke if she or he isn't too careful. I hope more rains will come in this rainy season (which started in late May), but not too strong since the Philippines is really flood-prone.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sungha Jung plays his guitar like no other

On a hot summer day where I'm located, listening to (and viewing) this kid named Sungha Jung play on his guitar brings a refreshing feeling to me. Luv it! :)

Thanks to the jwcfree Youtube account for the link!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is DEAD!

Yup, US President Obama himself confirmed it on national TV---that man above (source of photo: Internet) is gone, kaput, zapped, deep down in a Pakistani hide-out, thanks to a team of US warriors.

Now, with Bin Laden dead, he who was the chief architect of the September 11, 2001 attack of the US, and other terrorist activities around the globe, the world becomes safer, more peaceful, and happier.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A beautiful article about the Royal Wedding

I'm taking the liberty of reproducing below an article about the wedding yesterday of Prince William, son of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Kate Middleton, in London. This article is so beautifully written that it made me cry. And maybe it was beautifully written because the topic itself is beautiful--about a son's love for his (deceased) mother, and how this mother has endeared herself to millions because of her charitable works, despite of her unhappiness in her marriage.

People like Diana, like Mother Teresa, who loved others above themselves, make this Earth a better place to live in, despite all our troubles. Perhaps, it was part of God's plan that these two beautiful people--Diana and Mother Teresa--would meet each other in their lifetime. Seeing them together in photographs is a treasure. And I think that it wasn't at all coincidental that God took both of them home in the same year, a few days apart. Maybe this world wasn't good enough for their beautiful souls.

By Piper Weiss Yahoo! Shine staff Thu, Apr 28, 2011 5:06 PM GMT+00:00

Five months ago, when Prince William first announced to the world he’d given a ring to Kate Middleton, he made it clear that only one other woman mattered as much to him. "It's my mother's engagement ring,” he told the press of the sapphire and diamond engagement heirloom. “Obviously she's not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all -- this was my way of keeping her close to it all."

During every step of their path down the aisle, Kate and William have made a point to keep Lady Diana’s memory alive. Today’s wedding was no exception. They recited their vows at the Westminster Abbey, the historic church where Diana’s memorial was held for 3 million mourners in 1997. Then, William was just a teenager, and his solemn march behind his mother’s coffin was in stark contrast to the beaming stride he took down the aisle today.

But the church itself wasn't the only reminder of Diana's parting. Bishop of London Richard Chartres, who also spoke at Diana's memorial, gave the wedding sermon. And during the musical portion of the ceremony, the first hymn sung was "Guide Me Thou, O Great Redeemer," the same song that concluded Di's funeral service and memorial service, 10 years after her death.

The focus wasn't only on Di's absence, but on the memory of her vibrant life. As Kate walked down the aisle in Alexander McQueen , every bit the breathtaking bride her mother-in-law was in 1981, she clutched a bouquet of Sweet William dotted with Lily of the Valley, a staple of Diana's wedding bouquet. And when it was time to say her vows, she again summoned Di’s independent spirit, by omitting the term “obey”. It was the one battle Diana Spencer picked when she agreed to marry Prince Charles. At the time, the break in tradition caused outrage among royal-watchers. Today it’s a testament to Di’s courage and trail-blazing choices.

Perhaps the biggest homage to Di’s legacy has been the subtle nods to lessons she taught both her immediate family and the royalty she’d forever be linked to. Diana’s tragic death, often blamed on a stalking paparazzi, may have influenced the couple and the royal court to keep their guard up with both paps and press during the wedding planning. When Di’s bridal dressmaker was announced, reporters famously rifled through the designer’s dumpsters hunting for information. Lesson learned, Kate kept her dress a secret despite pressure from media outlets and with souvenir factories at a standstill. It helped to have the firm backing of Clarence House, the royal press office, which closely guarded information in accordance to Will and Kate’s wishes. They’ve also accommodated the couple’s desire to have Diana’s favorite fashion photographer, Mario Testino, snap their engagement photo.

For Diana, whose outspoken voice was sometimes muffled by royal etiquette, fashion as a way to communicate with the public. Today, Carole, Kate's mother, stood in solidarity with her fellow mother-in-law. Her sky blue shantung dress was designed for the occasion by the house of Catherine Walker, Di's favorite designer. Walker, who died last year, designed at least 1,000 looks that defined Diana's style in her lifetime, including the black dress she was buried in.

Just skidding off of her teenage years, Diana became a figurehead the instant she said her vows. “At the age of 20 she has renounced forever spontaneity and privacy, freedom and independence, her red Mini Metro and her Chelsea apartment, past friendships and future intimacies other than those deemed appropriate for royal confidences,” a reporter wrote in the New York Times, the day after her July 29 nuptials. Both William and Kate, nearing the end of their 20s, were able to come into their own as individuals before they settle down with children, as they’re swiftly expected to do upon marriage. Their decision to wait, and to forge a 10-year bond, was no doubt a reaction to young Diana’s marital struggles which she claimed in Andrew Morton’s biography, started by “day two.”

For her wedding in 1981 Diana had little say in the guest list. But after her divorce, the people’s princess kept herself surrounded with a close-knit circle, some of them in attendance today, including dear friends Tessa Green and Elton John, who refashioned his song Candle in the Wind in her memory. John, along with over 1,000 other official guests, were asked by the couple to make charitable donations in lieu of gifts. Of all the bricks that built Diana’s legacy, her humanitarian work was a cornerstone.

Nine days ago, while the rest of the world fixated on every last detail of their impending nuptials, Will and Kate took a boat to his mother’s final resting place. The couple spent a quiet day at Lady Di’s remote burial site, and walking the grounds of the nearby arboretum where Will and Harry planted trees alongside their mother as boys. “It was very important for William to take Kate to visit his mum just before their wedding day," a royal insider told the Daily Mirror. “Diana is still a huge part of her boys' everyday life and always will be." This was particularly true today, as William bit his lip nervously, standing at the altar with his bride, just as his mother did on her wedding day. It was a reminder to the millions of viewers who've watched the prince become a man, he's still his mother's son.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Three O'Clock (Divine Mercy) Prayer

Thanks to Skyethur's account in YouTube for this link to the Three O'Clock Prayer (Divine Mercy Prayer) as I share it here on this blog. In about eight minutes today, Good Friday, I hope many people all over the world will be strengthened by this prayer. This prayer has never failed me. The Good Lord truly answers prayers--in His time, in His way.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Earth Hour...harmful power surge after?

A week ago, Planet Earth celebrated "Earth Hour," putting off electricity, mostly lights, from 8.30PM to 9.30PM. From all accounts over the news, the event was a success. From Australia (where's it's said the first-ever Earth Hour celebration began) to all over the world, the news videos showed famous landmarks and not-so-famous ones darkening with the putting off of their numerous lights. Malls, departments stores, billboards, houses--all joined in. And people in almost every country were shown lighting up candles and doing some merry-making in the background as their surroundings became so dark. I was happy that many complied as I'm all for taking care of our one and only Earth.

But what I saw on the news videos of what happened after the ending of Earth Hour got me into thinking--how much electricity or energy is generated right after 9.30PM, that is, when all previously darkened lights are simultaneously put on to resume "normal" life for everybody. Is there a power surge right after Earth Hour like, for example, when a big mall resumes its normal operations by opening all its bright outdoor lights and indoor lights. In the Philippines, for instance, malls usually close at 10.00PM, and some malls and even restaurants/bars even close even later during weekends. So these establishments have to open again their bright lights after Earth Hour to make their patrons aware that they are back in business (though they really didn't close shop during Earth Hour).

I hope the Earth Hour organizers can make a study on if, indeed, there's a power surge right after Earth Hour, and if this power surge (anywhere in the world) is too much such that it could undermine the benefits gained during the celebration of Earth Hour. And if adjustments are needed to make Earth Hour even more relevant and power-saving, I hope these adjustments can be made in Earth Hour 2012.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour 2011 in advance? :)

There's a big promo ongoing for tonight's commemoration of Earth Hour in the Philippines. Lights out from 8.30PM to 9.30PM, for Planet Earth's sake. But it seems Metro Manila's electric company MERALCO is super-eager to get it going. There was a power outage for a little over an hour this afternoon in our neighborhood. We at home were joking that maybe MERALCO thought it's an Eight Hour not Earth Hour thing. Well, anyway, power is now back, hence I'm blogging. Thank goodness because it's sooo summer-hot this day, and without our electric fans going, we were all ready to melt! :)

Happy Earth Hour tonight!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Impeaching an Ombudsman!

The seemingly impossible has happened in the Philippines. Last night, or very early Tuesday morning, after months of preliminary hearings and long debates that lasted up to yesterday's proceedings, the Philippines's House of Representatives approved the articles of impeachment that will enable a trial at the Philippine Senate for current Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. The Ombudsman, who is supposed to see to it that erring Filipino government officials will have to answer to the law, is herself accused of betraying the public trust.

The Congress Representatives voted in this manner: 212 said Yes to the impeachment, 46 said No, and 4 abstained. There were at least two Congress Representatives absent. The number of Yes votes was surprising but welcomed. The Congress Representatives (particulary members of the House Committee on Justice) who sought Gutierrez's impeachment thought they could get only the minimum of 92 or 95 votes up to about 140 to 150 votes for Yes. But it seems that together with having a new Philippine President who assumed office May last year and vowed to cleanse the Philippines of corruption, the Philippine Congress is now also populated with more officials who care more for their country than their own selves.

In the past years, Filipinos have had low regard for their lawmakers, seeing them as a bunch of goons or even as crocodiles ready to pounce on any and every income-earning opportunity for themselves. It didn't help that recent past presidents of the Philippines, especially the immediate past President, have had their own big share of accusations of graft and corruption. Which is, in fact, the very reason why Ombudsman Gutierrez is now feeling the heat.

With the overwhelming Yes vote this Tuesday morning to House Justice Committee Report No. 778 as contained in House Resolution 1089 stating the articles of impeachment against the Ombudsman, the Congress Representatives affirmed that she could be liable for the very low conviction rate during her term and that she slept on several high-profile investigations or cases, which because of the involvement of high-ranking government officials , including the alleged involvement of a former Philippine President, raises suspicions against her that she deliberately acted slowly or acted wrongly on these cases in order to save the asses of these officials.

Now that the House of Representatives has affirmed the impeachment of Ombudsman Gutierrez, they will turn over the reins to the Philippine Senate that will conduct her trial, together with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Filipino people very much await the trial that will unfold. Everyone is saying that her trial will open the long-shut can containing the worms, err, the names that she has been protecting, even after they have alleged to have pocketed for themselves billions of the Filipinos' hard-earned money.

May the Lord bless the Senators who will sit as judges. Like the Congress Representatives who have crossed party lines in overwhelmingly voting Yes to Gutierrez's impeachment, may these Senators also put country first before their own political parties and selves.

Photo of Gutierrez below from

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lord, please heal Japan...

I offer the song "Lord, Heal Our Land" to our sisters and brothers in Japan, whose lives were devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami. I don't know exactly the composer of this song, but the version I'm posting here from YouTube is by singer Jamie Rivera.

Lyrics from:
If my people will humble themselves
Humble themselves and pray
If they seek my face and humble themselves
And turn from their wicked ways

I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins
I will hear from heaven and heal their land

Lord, heal our land
Father, heal our land
Hear our cry and turn our nation back to You
Lord, heal our land
Hear us oh, Lord, and heal our land
Forgive our sin and heal our broken land

Lord, we vow our knee, we humble ourselves
Humble ourselves and pray
Lord, we seek your face and humble ourselves
And turn from my wicked ways

Father in Your mercy, forgive our sins
Father in Your mercy, come heal our land

[Repeat CHORUS twice]

(Lord, heal our land
Father, heal our land)
Hear our cry and heal our broken land

From YouTube account of "pasawaybabe"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

maria aragon sings born this way by lady gaga

10-year-old Maria Aragon, a Canadian of Filipino bloodline, captures Lady Gaga's heart and makes the supercelebrity tweet about how this kid made her cry with her rendition of the latter's hit song. Maria also gains instant virtual fans around the globe as her self-uploaded YouTube video with her singing Born This Way by Lady Gaga now has more than 6M hits.

I'm not Lady Gaga's fan, but how this little kid from Winnipeg plays the piano AND sings without missing a beat is truly great! At least, Maria's rendition of the song made me like its melody. And I saw another YouTube video yesterday where a radio station in Canada hooked up Maria with Lady Gaga through phone. Actually, it was quite touching how Lady Gaga reached out to her little fan just over the phone. It was like seeing another (very personal) side to big celebrity like Lady Gaga.

I do hope the best for this little girl who just seemed to have wanted a little fun but has now started to gain some fame. May her obvious talent bring her to places while her feet remain planted on the ground.

Video taken from Maria's YouTube channel.