Saturday, December 15, 2012

Online Christmas Simbang Gabi 2012 (dawn masses)

notice from philippine daily inquirer newspaper: As part of its annual commitment to bring Christmas to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) through its “Paskong Pinoy” special site,, a member of the Inquirer Group of Companies (IGC), will cover the nine-day masses at the San Fernando De Dilao Parish or Paco Parish in Manila beginning December 16. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will celebrate the first day of the “Simbang Gabi” that will start at 4 a.m.

The dawn masses at San Fernando De Dilao Parish in Paco can be viewed on

Note from me: This will also benefit other nationalities, of course, who can't physically go to church in the early morning (or whatever time it is in their countries) to go to Holy Mass in preparation for Christmas Day. The Mass to be said online might be in Pilipino (the Philippines's language), however. I have no idea about this as of this time, though. .

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The New Apostles' Creed has a sexist line?

The Catholic Church, to which I belong, will fully implement the new English missal in all Masses starting Sunday, the first in the liturgical season of Advent. This is according to reports

I'm all for the changes in the liturgy in the Mass, if it will help improve or strengthen the faith of the people and make the Masses even more relevant and timely, among other things.

However, I'm a bit bothered that in the new "Apostles Creed" prayed in the Mass (the prayer that begins with "I believe in one God"), a line there seems to be sexist. Why? Because the line (12th line) refers to only "men" and not to "women" also. I subscribe to the use of politically correct gender-fair language in written and spoken manner, and I think the use of "men" only in that line could have been improved by just using "For us" instead of "For us men..." (Or, maybe just drop altogether the phrase "For us men" and start the line with "For our salvation..."

I know that some people still subscribe to the teaching that the word "man" already refers to "woman." But with all the efforts being done by various sectors, groups, and advocates toward gender equality and the recognition given the differing situations and needs of "women" and of "men," and with all the world conferences, conventions, agreements, and laws that provide for the advancement and empowerment of women, I think that (again) subsuming "women"  under the all-general term of "men" in the new "Apostles Creed" is a step backward for gender equality and the empowerment of both women and men. My fear (I hope though unfounded) is that for those who are not yet, or not yet fully, gender-sensitive, reading or reciting that line over and over again in the "Apostles Creed" might reinforce (even subliminally) their traditional mindset that women have less roles to play in society and in other aspects of life, hence no need to further mention "women" in the same breath that "men" are mentioned. Another traditional mindset (in basic linguistics especially) is that the word "man" already encompasses "women." But, of course, I hope people will be, in general, more progressive thinking than what my expectations suggest. In the meantime, for gender equality advocates like me, I can only continue to "cringe" whenever the congregation comes to that "sexist" line while reciting the prayer in unison at the Mass, or else I pause at the word "us" in the "For us men..." and continue on to the next phrase "and for our salvation..."

I know that my opinion is a mere speck on the institution of the  prayer and the Church. But, I guess, I just wanted to get that off my chest :)

The New Apostles' Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My beloved ageing parents

Yesterday, I visited the wake for the father of a friend of mine. As I viewed a few steps away from where I sat the remains of the old man lying in state, and as I listened to the brief recollections being told about him, I was once again reminded of how blessed I am that my dear Mom, at 79, and my dear Dad, at 87, are still with us their six children and 12 grandkids. 

My parents may not be in the best of health now, but in their best of health then, they were there for us their children, and even up to now in their own ways. Caring for ageing parents can sometimes be a daunting experience, as it can really test one's patience and understanding. But I guess that is nothing compared to what parents have to undergo to rear their children well. Coming from the wake, I was glad to see and be with my Mom and Dad at our home. And I vowed to try even harder to be more patient, appreciative, and understanding of my ageing parents. ;)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The customer is always right! And some mall staff don't seem to know that.

A very popular mall in my country (Philippines) is well-known (notorious?) for employing most of its employees as contractuals only. Thus every five months or so, it changes its staff to get another batch. Simply put, the family that owns the mall chain saves a lot  from non-regularization of its staff (from not granting regular salary, benefits, etc.) because they are kicked out even before they could reach the number of months of service wherein the labor code stipulates that they automatically become regular staff of any company. 

But I noticed that, sadly, because this mall chain changes often its staff, it seems to have fallen back on educating its salespersons and cashiers on customer service. I've witnessed at least three instances in the grocery section of of two of its mall branches of how the cashiers did not now how to politely treat the customers. And these cashiers did not, or refused to, say the magic word "Sorry" even if just to appease the complaining customer. And, then, after the customer had left, the cashiers had the gall to loudly talk to their fellow cashiers or the baggers in their lane about the irate customer. Even if customers may be on the fault sometimes (too demanding, don't know what to do, etc.), still it lies on a mall's salespersons, cashiers, baggers, etc. (in short, a store's frontliners) to be the more understanding AND HUMBLE part of the exchange. The customers are, after all, the lifeblood of the malling business and, for that matter, the lifeblood of the mall staff's job. 

It's sad that in the name of gaining more profits for mall owners through contractualization of their staff, they have seemingly done away with training the staff on good customer relations.

Missing Person in San Jose, California, USA: Amber Lozano Viado

Amber Lozano Viado (photo above) has been missing since evening of September 16, 2012 in the USA. Her family resides in San Jose, California. For anyone who has information on Amber, please e-mail her aunt Eileen at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ted's Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy is worth the trip

When you are at the SM North EDSA mall in Quezon City, Philippines, try out the Ted’s Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy at the Food Center, which is at the mall’s basement.

Whenever I come across food establishments that I feel are worth recommending to other foodies like me, I try my best to promote them. So, Ted’s La Paz Batchoy is worth your trip.

It offers hot La Paz Batchoy (noodles with all sorts of things heheh) and other viands like crispy liempo (a certain part of pork), crispy fried chicken, chicken inasal (or grilled chicken, an upcoming addition to the menu, though), and others.

Ted’s is actually originally a restaurant based in the Visayas region. So, it’s good that it’s easily available now in Metro Manila, which is in the Luzon region of the Philippines. Hope you do try it, so that the SM North EDSA branch will not close because actually I don’t see a lot of customers patronizing it so far (it opened only this year). Must be the location because it’s situated at the far end of the Food Center.

Happy food trip! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Zendee Rose Tenerefe is your name? Great singer, girl!

Here's a clip from the YouTube channel of "youngjay0918." Posted on July 28, 2012, the channel owner said that he/she came across this girl trying out a videoke for sale in a mall in the Philippines. Well, try out this girl did because she sings fantastically! Is this really Zendee Rose Tenerefe as some of the commentators on YouTube say? Well, whoever you are, come out of the woodwork and share your talent with the world, girl!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Flooded--and it's still raining up to now!

Video I took at the corner of Tandang Sora and Visayas Avenues, Quezon City, PH. This one has a lower flood level compared to other areas in the country right now. But still it's dangerous to walk in this area actually because of an open sewerage hole.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Devastation in my country, the Philippines

News reports as of today say that 11 people have been killed and more than a million have been affected (by floods, loss of property, etc.) from incessant rains spawned by a southwest monsoon. Curiously, there is no typhoon, but this southwest monsoon has brought so much rainfall in the past days in the Philippines, particularly in the Luzon island of the country. Devastating floods are everywhere--from urban to rural areas. Schools and government/private offices suspended operations yesterday. Some offices are re-opening today but schools in most areas are still closed, especially since many of them now serve as evacuation centers for flood victims. Right now, it's not raining where I am located (Quezon City), although the sky is still a bit grayish. I hope and pray that the sun will shine its brightest today, as soon as possible, and all those afflicted will be able to rebuild their lives.

from A Coast Guard member reaches out to rescue a man who had clung to a tree for hours after swirling floodwaters swept him away along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City on Tuesday. photo by: MARIANNE BERMUDEZA Coast Guard member reaches out to rescue a man who had clung to a tree for hours after swirling floodwaters swept him away along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City on Tuesday. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Monday, August 6, 2012

Latest cat photos :)

Photo 1: The rainy weather in Manila, Philippines now brings together two teenage cats and one small kitten in-between for warmth. These cats are among the stray ones that have taken camp in our home's garage.

Photo 2: Newest tire accessory :) -- This cat likes to lounge around our car's tire at the end of the day. "Jesi" likes the warmth of the tire, I guess.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My music video :)

I'm definitely not a professional singer. But I love singing, and try to sound professional hahahah.  Here's one of my attempts to sing on a lazy day, captured in a music video that I made (or it's like a music video, I think, hahahah!) First short song is in English, the rest is in Pilipino (language of the Philippines).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Goodbye, Dolphy!

"Laughter is the best medicine" is a long-given advice to humanity. And "Dolphy" gave large doses of this medicine to his fans. Dolphy died in the evening of June 10, 2012 in a local hospital in the Philippines, after a lingering illness. He would have turned 84 next month. He was the "King of Comedy"--making his audiences laugh with him from generation to generation, with his hundreds of films and TV shows. His body of work is virtually a history of Philippine comedy.

Dolphy--his smile, his wit, his genius with comedy, will always be fondly remembered by millions of Filipinos.

Thanks for making me laugh, Mr. Comedy King. God bless your soul.

(image source: Internet)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cats are great posers :)

Cats come and go in our neighborhood. Those who've lingered in our home's garage love the space to sleep in and get some food now and then. They sleep on top of everything and anything. Jesica likes to lie on top of the basin. Then Jesica and Mari like to bond throughout the night, sleeping together (though they are not brothers as both just wandered into our home) on top of that chair. When daytime comes, Jesica likes to pester Mari all day long.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wash, wash the carabaos, in Cebu, Philippines

What can be more refreshing than a dip in a cool pond on a hot summer day? In Cebu, Philippines. Weeeeh!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Alona Beach, Bohol, Philippines

Feeding the maya birds

Every AM, I throw birdseed near our housegate. The maya birds fly down almost in an instant. We've both developed the habit.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Relaxed in the mall

There's nothing like feeling right at home for this guy, in a mall in Quezon City, Philippines.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cat gone!

Yaina (black and white) and Jessica (brown and white) are BFFCs (bestfriend forever cats). They live semi-permanently in our garage. But Yaina went missing a few days ago, after my sister narrowly missed hitting him with the car. But I told my sister that maybe, just maybe, she did hit him--perhaps in the head, giving him amnesia and now he doesn't know how to go back to our house (though maybe he's with the real owner now, our neighbor two houses away. Well, I think they're the real owners). And, so, Jessica remains in our garage, being an orphan now. His mom YogaCat was already taken away by another neighbor who transferred homes early this month. His dad? Who knows who the father is? Heheh. But Jessica (yes, Jessica's a he, so nice name, huh?) maybe won't miss Yaina too much because he joins other cats in our garage who come visiting us from other houses for the free food and water :) I mean, who can resist not feeding a hungry, meowing cat? And, hey, they've become friends with our friendly family poodle. But I'll miss Yaina. As a kitten, I used to carry him in the pocket of my housedress :) A few years ago, I lost another cat named Panching whom I raised after adopting him from SPCA. I trained him to shake hands (or shake cat paw with human hand). He went missing also a few days after we transferred homes. Now, I will miss two cats. And, so, that's my cat story for today :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My fave gone at Kenny Rogers Roasters...but bad service remains at SM North Edsa branch

One day this week, I hungrily went for lunch at the Kenny Rogers Roasters (KRR) branch at a mall, the SM North Edsa, Quezon City, Philippines. I was so sad when I learned from the cashier that KRR had already phased out my favorite Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. Moving on, I just ordered that baby back ribs meal with two side dishes: macaroni salad, and corn-carrot. 

So the waiter delivered to my table my meal, placed my receipt on my table and asked if there was anything else. I said none, as I eyed my food but without looking at my receipt. A bit halfway into my lunch, I felt that something was missing. I looked at my receipt and found out that my corn-carrot side dish wasn't delivered by the waiter. I called out another guy cleaning a table near me. After I had shown him my receipt, he gave me my missing side dish. I told him (he was in a shirt different from the "regular" waiters so I suppose he was an officer of the branch) that the waiters should be careful in delivering the customers' orders because I believed that it was the second time that it has happened to me in the same branch--that is, my food order delivered to my table wasn't complete, as listed in the receipt. He apologized.

I wonder how much training these KRR waiters get in customer service. It's just plain common sense that they should check their customers' receipts when giving them their ordered food because some (like I did) might just forget what they paid for. It's a bit annoying that things like this happen and disrupt someone's meal. And in a restaurant that supposedly has a worldwide chain, too. Maybe I'm a bit more annoyed than usual because I've been getting quite a few instances of bad customer service in various establishments in recent occasions--from coughing food servers and cashiers in food stalls to inattentive sales persons in department stores. Management, it seems, have been of late not paying attention to training their staff on proper customer service.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Summer scene in the countryside

Summer 2012 offers too much heat but also brings picturesque moments especially in the countryside. This sight along a trip to Nueva Vizcaya province in northern Philippines (coming for the country's capital city of Manila) in a recent weekend was a breather for myself and my fellow passengers as we wallowed in slow traffic brought on by road construction in the national highway.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

North Korea's fails rocket launch--good!

I'm just one of the citizens all over Asia and the world (except North Korea's leadership and military) who is happy that North Korea's rocket that it was supposed to launch into orbit the other day did not fly (well, it had flown for like a minute, according a news account I read) but instead swam. Dived right into the sea. That rocket was supposed to bring a satellite into space (or something like that) according to NK authorities, but NK's neighboring countries were especially wary that it was could be connected to a missile test or an actual missile itself by NK. These countries had also taken precautions days ahead because of the supposed debris to fall off the rocket once it was zooming up to the sky while passing through the airspace of its neighbors.

I hope that NK despite its supposedly failed rocket launch will stop any moves deemed adversarial by other countries. It may have isolated itself in most ways from the rest of the world but I hope its leadership will still remember that, like the rest of humanity, they're still humans and have responsibilities to their fellow humans (in their own country and globally) in keeping this Earth safe and peaceful. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

More photos of this afternoon's skyline

From Quezon City, Philippines standpoint.

God creates beauty

The sun was shining on its full strength before 3PM this Good Friday. Then after a brief rainshower after 3PM, the sun re-appeared for some beautiful moments of light and shadow interplay. God is truly glorious. He makes all things--even simple things--a beauty to behold. I feel blessed for having witnessed this (in Quezon City, Philippines). I only had seconds to grab a camera, and I was only able to get the smaller one. But it's good that I was still able to capture some part of this heavenly show.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vote for Florence Rafols of Philippines--for Voice of McDonald's

  Please go to

and make your online vote for Florence Rafols, who is representing the Philippines in the finals of the Voice of McDonald's global singing contest on April 23, 2012 in the USA. She will sing Power of Love (originally sung by Celine Dion). Online voting is also being, an additional prize for the contestants. When you open the link, wait for Florence's short music video to finish then vote for her. She is being trained for the contest by two of the Philippines's music stalwarts, singer Basil Valdez and composer Ryan Cayabyab. You can vote daily up to April 23, 2012. Thanks!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My famous corned beef dish :)

Here's how to do my "famous" corned beef dish. Hope you enjoy eating "Toinkgirl's Corned Beef Dish" heheh.

1. Corned beef in can
2. Corn kernel in can
3. Garlic--pre-toasted slices
4. Garlic--fresh, to be toasted
5. Slices of red bell pepper
6. Sliced tomatoes
8. Slice potatoes
9. Sliced onions
10. Salt
11. Oil and water

Note: Quantities of the ingredients depend on how much corned beef you're going to make (and eat!). The more the more the other ingredients, of course.

1. Pre-heat oil with some water on a pan (yes, i mix oil with some water).
2. Put in numbers 4 to 9 of the above ingredients in the pan, and mix them all together. Put in some fine salt, and mix again to distribute the salt.
3. When your mix-up dries up a bit (or becomes a bit toasted), lower your heat.
4. While you're doing steps 1 to 3, you have gotten out the corned beef from the can and already cooking it in another pan where there's put in some oil already. Don't put in much oil if you don't want an oily corned beef.
5. Put in some fine salt on the corned beef and mix. 
6. After a few minutes and before the juice in your corned beef dries up, put in the other ingredients you've already cooked. Mix them all up.
7. Every now and then, mix the corned beef your cooking. Fire should be moderately high. When the juice of the corned is about to dry or is already dry, you can put out the fire. (To my taste buds, dry or a bit dry corned beef tastes better.)
8. Transfer the corned beef to a deep dish. Put in the corn kernels and pre-toasted garlic.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Memories wrapped by memories

We were looking around at home for an old framed photo of our family. We found the photo, wrapped in this plastic bag of a once very popular, but I think now closed or at least barely open, department store in Metro Manila.

Rempson was one of the go-to places in Manila more than a decade ago, before the coming of the malls. An old family photo wrapped in a plastic bag of an old Manila store. Memories wrapped by memories.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hot, hot, hot in the Philippines! Time for "halo-halo"!

With the temperature reaching to more than 30 degrees Celsius on a daily basis since about late February this year, Philippines is one hot country! Time to hit the air-conditioned malls and, with a bit more expense, the pools or the beaches (Philippines is THE Beach Country!). Ice cream melts faster than you can say "Mabuhay!"--the local term for "Long live!", "Hello!", or a similar greeting. So, you'd better take your ice cream fast :) Of course, there's the old reliable "halo-halo" to also keep you cool. "Halo-halo" (or "mix-mix" literally and figuratively) is a Philippine favorite refreshment of different types of beans, crunchies, coconut thingies, flan, ice cream, and other delicious stuff mixed together with milk and crushed ice in a glass! It's easily available in malls and stores in the Philippines in summer (now!) and, usually, all-year round. Ummmm.

Here's how "halo-halo" commonly looks like. Like it? Grab it! :)

(Internet photo)
Hope you're keeping cool in your country!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yapak--isang tunay na pangyayari

Kagabi, lampas lang ng kaunti sa ala-sais, naglalakad ako sa “sidewalk” ng Tandang Sora Avenue, sa Quezon City. Papunta ako sa isang turo-turo para bumili ng ulam naming pamilya. May dalawang paslit na lalaki na nauunang maglakad kaysa sa akin, walo o siyam na taong gulang na sila. Pagdaan nila sa isang “van” na nakaparada sa gilid, biglang binuksan ng nagmamanehong lalaki yong “headlights” niya at tatawid sana siya papunta sa kabilang kalye. Halos tamaan niya yong dalawang bata. Mabuti at naka-iwas sila. Hindi pwedeng hindi nakita ng drayber yong mga bata kasi may liwanag naman galing sa mga “lampposts” at sa mga dumadaang dyip. Naaasar ako sa drayber. Binilisan ko ang lakad ko para matitigan ko ng masama yong drayber bago siya umikot pa.

Tinignan ko yong mga naglalakad pa ring mga bata kung ayos lang sila. Palingon-lingon sila sa drayber, para bang nag-iisip kung bakit sila gustong sagasaan yata kanina. Tapos, dahil malapit na ko sa mga bata, medyo naamoy ko sila. Medyo maantot. Madungis yong katawan at damit nila. Nakita ko rin na wala silang sapin sa paa. Parang ang kapal na nga ng ilalim ng paa nila sa kakalakad ng walang saplot sa kanilang mga murang paa. Naawa naman ako bigla. Ganun talaga ako, eh, mabilis maawa sa mga batang ganito na nakikita ko sa kalye. Pero siguro kahit na sino naman na nakakakita sa mga batang ganito kung saan-saan sa Metro Manila ay nakakaramdam din ng awa sa kanila. Ay, hindi pala lahat. May mga taong katulad nung drayber na gusto yata silang sagasaan, o sindakin man lang. Mas lalo pa akong naawa kasi naisip ko baka na-“trauma” yong bata sa ginawa ng drayber sa kanila. O, baka naman sanay na ang mga batang eto sa mga peligro sa kalye at malilimutan din nila ang nangyari?

Pero, sa oras na yon, parang naramdaman ko na kailangang may gawin ako para sa mga batang eto. Kinausap ko habang naglalakad sila, nasa likod nila ako. “Magkapatid kayo?” tanong ko. “Hindi po, magkasama lang,” tugon ng isa. “Ba’t wala kayong tsinelas,” tanong ko uli. “Po?” sagot naman ng isa. “Tara, tignan natin dun sa kanto, baka may tindang tsinelas, punta tayo dun,” aya ko sa kanila. Sumunod naman sila, masunuring mga bata.

At buti na lang nga, yong isang maliit na “variety store” sa kanto, may mga tsinelas. Tinanong ko yong babaeng nagtitinda kung may kasya dun sa mga bata, yong mura lang, sabi ko (baka kasi kulangin ang pera kong dala, heheh). Yong sa mas maliit na bata, may nagkasya agad na tsinelas na goma. Yong mas malaking ng konti na bata, mas malaki ng konti sa paa nya yong isang tsinelas na goma rin. Sabi ko, pwede na yan, kasi mabilis ka naman tatangkad pa. Sabi ng nagtitinda, ano ko raw yong mga bata. Sabi ko nakasabay ko lang sila. Binayaran ko ng “tapwe” (singkwenta pesos, “tapwe” nga ba tawag dun, sa John en Marsha ko ata narinig yon noon-noon pa heheh) yong babae at iniwan na yong mga bata kasi bibili pa nga ko ng ulam. Pero binilinan ko yong mga bata na huwag nila iwawala yong mga tsinelas nila. “Opo,” narinig ko habang palayo ako.

Maya-maya, bitbit ko ang mga supot ng pinamili kong ulam, pabalik na ko sa bahay sa ganung kalye din nang makita ko yong dalawang bata sa tindahan na kung saan ko sila iniwan. Mukhang busy yong babaeng nagtitinda sa paghalukay sa lalagyan nila ng mga tsinelas na paninda. “O, anong nangyari sa tsinelas mo?” sabi ko dun sa medyo mas malaking bata, kasi wala na naman siyang saplot sa paa. “Ay, ayaw niya yong tsinelas, Ate, malaki raw. Choosy sya. Kaso wala na talagang kasya sa kanya,” hirit ng nagtitinda sa akin. “Ay, ganun,” sabi ko. “Sige, bigyan mo na lang ng medyo mas mahal na tsinelas, baka may sukat siya doon” (may natira pa kasi akong pera sa pitaka ko, heheh). Eh di naghanap na sya sa iba nilang “stock,” at sa wakas ay may kasukat na sa paa ng bata. Nagdagdag ako ng trenta’y-singko pesos para sa tsinelas, at binilinan ko uli yong dalawang bata na ingatan nila ang kanilang mga suot pati na rin ang sarili nila.

Yon, kaya ang pakiusap ko lang sa inyo na makababasa nito maikling “true story” na eto ay kung may mga tsinelas o sapatos na kinalakihan na ng mga bata sa inyong bahay, ipunin ninyo ang mga eto, huwag itapon, huwag ibigay para kagat-kagatin ni Bantay. Ibigay ninyo na lamang sa mga bastang paslit sa paligid-ligid natin. Marami sila. Siyempre, mas maganda kung may maibabahagi tayong iba pang bagay sa kanila bukod sa tsinelas o sapatos. Pero, magandang simula na rin na saplot man lamang sa paa ay maihandog natin sa mga batang eto. Mahirap maglakad ng nakayapak. Mahirap pumunta sa gusto mong puntahan. Mahirap bumuo ng mga pangarap kapag ang hubad mong paa ay nakalapat diretso sa lupa or sa semento na kinatatayuan o nilalakaran mo, na para bang sinasabing akin ka, dito ka lang sa kalye, dito ka lang nababagay, wala ka ng pag-asang maka-alis dito upang magkaroon ng mas magandang buhay. Pero kung may maibabahagi tayo sa ganitong mga bata, baka sakaling dahil sa maramdaman nilang kabaitan at pag-alala mula sa ibang tao ay maisip nila sa murang edad nila na may halaga sila, at may pag-asa pa sila sa kabila ng isang mahirap na buhay na kinagisnan nila.

Wala dapat na batang nakayapak, di nakakaligo, di nakakakain, di nakakapag-aral. Wala dapat na batang di maaring mangarap at makamit ang isang magandang buhay.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Recyclables Fair, Philippines

Ayala Foundation's sked for March 2012 for its Recyclables Fair (Philippines)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Whitney Houston funeral, Feb. 18, 2012, live stream in about three hours from now

Press or copy the link above to watch the live stream, courtesy of GMA News Network (Philippines), as announced in GMA News' Twitter account @gmanews

To quote:
Watch the livestream of the funeral of singer Whitney Houston, starting at 9:00PM PHL time on Sat. Feb 18...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Whitney Houston and Karen Carpenter--both died in February

When I heard that great singer Whitney Houston passed away, for some reason I suddenly remembered the demise years ago of another great singer, Karen Carpenter. Why I connected together their deaths, perhaps because they both died at young ages (Whitney in her 40s, Karen in her 30s) (although I'm not saying that in prejudice to "older" people), both died suddenly, and both left a rich legacy of music to be enjoyed by generations then, now, and in future.

And just now, I found out through the Internet that, curiously enough, Whitney and Karen both died on a February. A week apart (of course, many years apart). And, if I may sound cheesy on this one, both died a few days before Valentine's Day. And to think that these two wonderful women helped the world celebrate love through their very popular love songs that to this date bring warmth to many hearts. Perhaps, the heavens made sure that Whitney and Karen won't leave us on V-Day itself, pardon me for saying that, because for sure many of their fans and music lovers in general would be even more heartbroken if they should lose these two ladies on the day that they helped to make special with their songs.

To Whitney--and to Karen--thanks for all the talent and the music you've shared with us, and the memories that your songs will continue to create beautifully in this world.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Young Filipino cancer victim needs help

I saw this appeal for in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a newspaper in the Philippines. You might want to help this young cancer victim. Prayers will also help. Thanks!

Cancer victim needs help

Eight-year-old Ella Flor Homeres showed early promise at her school at the Grace Montessori of Novaliches (Philippines) finishing second grade with honors. But Flor’s life changed almost a year ago when she was diagnosed with bone cancer. Her parents, both staff at the Department of Education (DepEd-Philippines), are appealing to kind hearts for help.

Now on her second month of treatment at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Ella is in dire need of chemotherapy. Her mother, Flora, an employee at DepEd’s Bureau of Secondary Education, and father Junell, a contractual worker at DepEd’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System, can no longer afford her costly treatment.

To help, you may contact Flora at +639208435949 or Junell at +639203799767. You may also deposit any amount to Josephine Flora Homeres’ account 334-500-4377 with Landbank Philippines.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dumping garbage--old habits die hard

Philippine Pres. Noynoy Aquino passed by this area on Jan. 6, 2012. This is at corner of San Miguel St. and Aramis St. in Villa Corrina, Barangay Pasong Tamo, Tandang Sora district, Quezon City, Philippines. Aquino was on his way to the venue where ceremonies were to be held to celebrate the 200th birthday of Melchora Aquino, better known as "Tandang Sora," one of the Philippines's heroes. A day before and on the day itself that Pres. Aquino (no relation to Melchora, I suppose) was to pass by Visayas Ave., Tandang Sora Ave., San Miguel St., Aramis St., Himlayan Rd., etc., on his way to the venue, streetsweepers made this area and surrounding streets sparkling clean. I've never seen the streets so clean before (pity I wasn't able to take photographs of that).

Tarpaulin streamers were even hung on the lightposts leading up to the venue, with inspiring words like "Tandang Sora--Katapatan (Loyalty)," etc., all extolling virtues pertaining to the hero. Well, now, as you can see, things are back to normal at those streets mentioned. Old habits die hard for the residents, it seems. It's really more fun and easy to dump garbage at the sidewalks. And this photo was taken just a day after the garbage truck passed by on its regular schedule. Which is another matter I don't understand. The garbage truck regularly comes on schedule in our neighborhood--Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Although Wednesdays are supposed to be for picking up only recyclable trash. Yet, despite this regular schedule, residents are still impatient and can't wait to get their trash off of their houses. What are sidewalks for anyway? Old habits really die hard. Not even after supertyphoons "Ondoy" and "Sendong" with all the deadly floods that they brought to the Philippines. And not even after just celebrating the birthday of the hero after whom the place was named.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

PAWS, a Philippines animal shelter, seeks help

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) seeks help from the public for pitbulls it has recently rescued from a dogfight raid in Cavite, Philippines. PAWS needs cleaning agents (towels, soap, mops, and similar items) for the dogs. Of course, PAWS will also welcome other forms of assistance for the pitbulls and other animals that it cares for. Those who want to help can contact PAWS staff Ana +63917831597o or Charlene +639177931097.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dragon Fireworks a dud

The Philippines is now seriously considering a total fireworks ban because of the increasing number of casualties (injuries and deaths) and amount of pollution happening with each New Year's Eve celebration in the country. I'm all for the total ban, even I myself love fireworks (the beautiful colored ones that light the sky, not the noisy firecrackers). In fact, I have downgraded my purchase and use of fireworks in every passing year, although I'm not really one of those people who spend so much for pyrotechnics. I just enjoy watching in the sky how much money they've burned :)

In New Year's Eve to usher in 2012, I was down to one pack of sparklers with long handles (10 or 12 pieces in a pack) and a fountain. I bought them from a stall of Dragon Fireworks in a mall. Each one cost more than a hundred pesos. Dragon has always been my choice of fireworks. I've trusted no other fireworks manufacturer for beauty and safety. In fact, I almost bought from another fireworks manufacturer in the same mall just for the thought of trying out something different. But I still bought from Dragon in the end.

Well, it was a waste of money certainly. The fountain was alright, although I wished that its lights would have went a bit higher. But the sparklers were a dud! For the first time in years that I've been using Dragon sparklers, only about three or four pieces in the pack lighted up. My mother and sister were certainly disappointed because sparklers were the only ones that they've been lighting up in the past years.

Dragon Fireworks, made in Bulacan province in the Philippines, touts itself as one of the best, if not the best, in the industry. But it really let me down. Because of the fact that I really know I wasted precious money on Dragon's non-lighting sparklers and my guilt that I contribute to pollution however little fireworks I light up, I've decided that this will be the end of my "fireworks days."

New Year's Eve 2013, I'll be a noisy as I can be with various noisemakers, and will bring out bottles of bubble to do some serious bubble-making with the electric fan full blast.

Happy New Year!

Job opening: FAD looks for Project Coordinator, Manila

The Foundation for Adolescent Development (FAD) is looking for a Project Coordinator for its "School Symposium Project" in Metro Manila that will commence in January and end December 31,2012.

They need someone with these qualifications:

1. Graduate of any degree program preferably Psychology, Sociology, Mass Communication, Advertising.
2. Aged 20-30 years old.
3. Excellent communication skills, both in verbal and written form.
4. Organized, resourceful, diligent and passionate in meeting the requirements of the project
5. Personable, can ably represent the organization during meetings.
6. Skilled in the use of the following program applications: MS Word, Excel, Power point.

Those interested, please your CV to:

Ms. Cecilia C. Villa
Executive Director, Foundation for Adolescent Development Inc.
1066 Remedios corner San Bartolome St., Malate,Manila 1004
Telephone: 525-0428; 400-1827,
Mobile: 0917-821-5193