Monday, August 31, 2009

Look who ate my mom's Periwinkles

We have a small garden with a small pond in front of our house - with a few potted plants around the cascading water fountain, a tall fortune plant on one side, and a row of flowering Periwinkles with pink, white and yellow flowers...

...well, we used to. THEY have eaten almost all of the leaves of my mom's Periwinkles. There were about 8 of THEM - none of them shorter than my longest finger - THEY were fat with chlorophyll, had purple and teal eyes with a sinister glare, tiny white dots form a row on either side, and they had these clawlike appendages near their heads. Caterpillars have invaded our garden!

Friday, August 28, 2009

French bulldog puppies and a newborn Yorkshire Terrier

Are you a dog person?

My sister and her boyfriend both love dogs - and even though I don't (lol) their presence in our home have made me kind-of-fond of them too. We currently have two female Yorkshire Terriers - their tiny barks fill our home with warmth, they are attention demanding, sweet little critters. :p

After being in Batangas for 2 weeks for work, I was surprised to come home to a house full of doggies - not just the 2, but 4 doggies and 5 puppies! 5 French bulldogs and 3 Yorkshire Terriers! A few hours later, another dog arrived - an English bulldog (unfortunately I wasn't able to take photos of that one!). :D Come see the photos of the dogs...

Monday, August 24, 2009

I am now a Patay Gutom Blogger

I just published my first ever post as a Patay Gutom blogger - and I'm stoked about it. Woot!

It's 3AM, and although my high can also be attributed to the 2 hour travel from Manila to Batangas, and the Starbucks Cafe Mocha I consumed a few hours ago - I am more excited to have published my first ever food blog post - and on no less than one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs for 2009!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Symbology of Ninoy, a Filipino Hero

Why is it a holiday today?

Last night, one of my younger colleagues asked us over dinner the reason why it was a holiday today. We all laughed at her naivete - it was common knowledge: today we remember the 26th death Anniversary of Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino.

On a separate occasion, another friend asked if whether it was Ninoy's birthday or his death anniversary we are commemorating on Aug 21.

While both mistakes can be attributable to memory gaps and are forgivable, it made me wonder about myself: Do I really understand why it was a holiday today? Or am I just happy that I don't have to work? If I, who was already alive at the time of Ninoy's assassination (albeit too young to remember) can so easily forget, how much more so for those who were born much later?

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Cure for Pink Eye

Have you ever had Pink Eye?


"Oh! You know what, a friend of mine from work recently gave birth. She was worried her baby was not drinking enough milk from her breast. She said her breasts always felt full like they were about to burst, and the veins on the sides were showing like those on an angry person's neck..."

Friday, August 14, 2009

PSHS Entrance Exams will be on Nov 7 (for SY 2010-2011)

I got a note in my email that sent back memories of sharpened Mongols #2, mind numbing fear and excitement, eyeglasses, Zesto snacks and hundreds upon hundreds of nerds all in one place.

Yep, the Philippine Science High School (PSHS or Pisay) is now accepting applications for Scholars for SY 2010-2011. PSHS Admission Exams will be on November 7, 2009.

On their website, it says: "The one-time screening is composed of scholastic aptitude test (SAT) which is designed to measure Scientific Ability, Quantitative Ability, Abstract Reasoning and Verbal Aptitude."

I reminisce...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight!

I just found out that there is an ongoing meteor shower called the Perseid Meteor Shower, and that it is peaking TONIGHT (Aug 12)! It's a great night to sit under the stars and wish on a shooting star (or a hundred shooting stars just to be sure). :D

So, tonight, get you boyfriend, your girlfriend, your special someone to spend a few minutes looking at the sky. Make sure it's dark to get a better view of the night sky. I guess, a candle-lit dinner will be perfect. ;)

Details of meteor shower, where to look, i.e. what constellations to look for, and other geeky stuff after the jump...

Here is the info excerpt from the PAGASA Website:

"The famous Perseids meteor shower will be observed with its peak on the late night of August 12 until dawn on the following day...occasionally, an exceptional shower may show tens or even hundreds of meteors per minute, but around 50 meteors per hour is more typical."

The Perseids meteor shower is the most reliable one, which is best seen during August 10-14 every year. Under most favorable clear sky condition, there may be 60 to 100 meteors per hour."

If you see a shooting star, what will you wish for?

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

EIB09: Attended my first blogging event ever and had a blast

Emerging Influential Bloggers 2009: My first blogging event

It was my first venture into the land of the bloggers (hehe) and I was quite anxious about it: My first ever blogging event! Sure, I've had my blog for quite a while, but I've actually only really started blogging last January 2009. Would any of them even know my blog? And besides, who knows what these bloggers are like? Wah!

After some "boyfriend duties", I rushed to Casino Filipino on Sucat Road in Paranaque (I was an hour late! doh!). As I pulled in the parking area, curiously eyeing the huge PAGCOR sign and thinking to myself, it says Casino Filipino, not PAGCOR in the this really Casino Filipino? Why does it only say PAGCOR? Lol. I realized later that it was common knowledge that they were one and the same. Hah!

Anyways, I worked my way through the reception, the metal detectors, up the stairs, through registration and into the Forum Hall. With cold and sweaty hands, I opened the door and looked for a familiar face.

Meeting Bloggers

The first face I recognizedwas Roy's. I smiled as I approached him and said "Roy, right?" but when his face gave me a "Who the hell is this?" look, I said "Rey". Lol. How do you make a return from that? Waah! I looked around the table and saw them: Jan was there, all the way from Mindoro! Snow of "Dear Bloggery", Tyrone of "Millionaireacts", Angel of "FatherBlogger" and a couple of others were at Roy and Jan's table. At the next table were Doc Z, Lyle, Bloggista, Ceblogger, Jhong, ThirdWorldGeek, Elmot and Yatot (you two should start a talk show "The Elmot and Yatot show" hehe!). A couple of tables away, I saw Ada and Kelvin as well.

I sat beside Doc Z and everyone at the table started teasing me about my post about tips on How to prepare for a Blogging event, and showed me their "blogging cards" haha! I was slightly surprised. Holy crap, the comments on my blog actually came from real people. (Lol) At that moment, I felt at ease with them.

Emerging Influential Bloggers 2009

The program went by quickly but not drudgingly, with bloggers sharing stories that both touched and inspired, the winners were announced by Janette one by one.

Congratulations are in order for the following blogs who bested the rest and came out on top, victorious. The Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2009
  1. Writing to Exhale
  2. Patay Gutom
  3. The Struggling Blogger
  4. Zorlone
  5. Father Blogger dot Com
  6. KelvinonianIdeas 2.0
  7. Tales from the Mom Side
  8. Adaphobic
  9. Lakwatsero
  10. Let's Go Sago!
Special congratulations to my Jediblogger friends Jan, Roy, Doc Z, Kelvin, and honorary member Angel!

A list of posts by different bloggers about the EIB09 eyeball can be found on Janette Toral's Influential Blogger site. By the way, a huge THANK YOU to Janette and the sponsors for organizing this event!

Lastly, here's the video of the Jedibloggers, hanging out with Annalyn of after the EIB09.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Cover: "To Where You Are" by Josh Groban

Video Format Converter!

I've finally gotten a hold of a video format converter so now I can convert AVI to MPEG to make the file size smaller and easier to upload on Youtube!

I now know how to make vids and convert them to mpeg > upload to youtube and then post on my blog. So, I got excited at the prospect of making video blogs or vlogs...but then I realized I still have to get a video editing software and learn how to use it. Heheh.

But at least I've made progress right? SO, I've made a test post!

"To Where You Are" by Josh Groban

Last week (July 31), on my way home from Batangas, the traffic was horrible on C5 that I got bored and started singing to the songs on the radio to entertain myself. I saw I had taken my Canon Ixus 90IS with me in the car, so I snatched it up and decided to take a short clip of me singing in the dark. Hehe. Since I have zero knowledge about editing, this is raw unedited footage... :D

Still looking for a mentor to teach me editing (and maybe give me an editing software, hehe!) In the meantime, here's me singing a sample of "To Where You Are" by Josh Groban. (I realized later that I was singing on a higher key, but what the heck!)

What do you think?

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Monday, August 03, 2009

I sang for President Cory Aquino, for the first and the last time

On Saturday, August 1, I woke up to an sms from my co-UP Concert Chorus Alum, Ging, that our dear former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino or Tita Cory, had passed away. Her message was quickly followed by another one, asking if I was willing to come over and sing for the 8pm mass set that evening in La Salle, Greenhills where the late President's body was brought for public viewing. It was going to be the first mass for the wake of Pres. Cory Aquino...

I knew there was going to be a lot of people, tight security because of all the VIPs coming, parking was going to be difficult, not to mention I haven't sung with the UP Concert Chorus in a long time...but there was no hesitation when I replied: Yes, I will go.

After some errands in Makati and a light KFC take-out dinner in the car, Liz and I made our way to La Salle, Greenhills. Along the way, we could already see the yellow ribbons on the vehicles around us, on the branches of trees along Ortigas Ave, even on lamp posts and road blocks, all leading us to where we needed to go.

When we got there, we found La Salle had been closed for entry so we parked across the street and walked to the gymnasium where the mass was going to be held. There was already a long line of people waiting under the rain, hoping to get one last look at the beloved former President.

Inside the gym, the lights were bright but the mood somber and respectful. There were chairs arranged in rows in front of a makeshift stage, and in between was the casket with the remains of Tita Cory. There were 2 cameras on extensions, several more cameramen going around, and there was a row of tables with laptops and other gadgets on them which I assumed were the press people.

I looked around and saw her family: I saw Kris Aquino was being interviewed, I saw Jiggy Aquino-Cruz, one of her grandsons who I happened to read about in a magazine just before going to the wake, Mikee and Chynna Conjuangco were there too.

Mayor Sonny Belmonte was there, VP Noli De Castro, Mayor Alfredo Lim, Sen. Loren Legarda, former President Fidel Ramos and a host of other political figures were present. Media personalities and celebrities were also in attendance: David Celdran, Charo Santos-Concio, Bianca Gonzalez, Tessa Prieto-Valdez. Singers Jose Mari Chan, Jaime Rivera and Gary Valenciano were also present, and later gave tributes and sang after the mass ended.

Being inside the "VIP" area, we did not have to line up from outside to view the remains of the late President. So we took a short queue from inside the barricaded area, Liz and I went together, to see her in person for the first, and for the last time.

Cory looked peaceful, her face bright, her hands clasped and holding a golden rosary. I uttered a short prayer for her, and before we left, I gave her a small bow to show my respect. I would have preferred to have sung for her in a different setting, but I guess it must be this way. Even though I was singing with 20+ other people in the choir, it felt like it was my personal tribute to her. It was an honor to sing for her. I will always remember her as a shining symbol of hope and democracy for the Filipino people and for the world.

Thank you for the inspiration, Cory Aquino.

Here's the only Youtube video I found of the mass with us singing in the background: Click here.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

How to prepare for your first Bloggers meet

Next week, I will be attending my first ever bloggers meet - the awarding ceremonies for the Top Emerging Influential Bloggers for 2009, and I am at a loss for how to prepare for it. But being the (mild) OC that I am, I have decided to make a list of things to do, to bring, to internalize and externalize (lol) for the bloggers meet.
Feel free to add your suggestions and your advice in the comments section below!

What to bring:
- Bring a pen and a small notebook, in case you have to write down names and blogs.
- Bring your blogging card with your blog's name and website on it. (lol! I did not know how to call it - it can't be a calling card right?)
- Bring your camera!
- Bring enough cash for taxi and coffee. (Because people will probably be having coffee after that!)
- Bring an ID in case you need to "authenticate" your identity. Or to prove that you're above 18. (we'll be in a Casino after all, you might want to try some slot machines)

What to think about before going:
- Have an agenda - what is your objective in going to the bloggers meet? Is it just to meet your new blogger friends? Is it to tell everyone about your blog to gain more traffic? Is it to learn new insights and technologies for blogging? Is it for the free food? All of the above?
- After you've identified your priorities, set up actions to achieve your objectives. (i.e. the cards?)
- Think of questions you want to be answered - by the hosts, by your blogging peers, by the sponsors, etc. I'm sure they will let you ask questions.

What to do during the event proper:
- Dress appropriately, in case you get called to the stage to receive a raffle prize. Powder your nose, wear some cologne, comb your hair and brush your teeth. :D (This is more for my benefit, lol!)
- Arrive a little after the scheduled start time. It's not cool to be the first one to arrive. (hehe, this applies to all parties!) Also, don't be the last to leave. Instead, go for coffee. :D
- Be friendly, be open, be nice: smile, shake hands, and talk talk talk.
- Talk some more. Don't limit discussions on blogging.
- Listen to the speakers, you might learn a thing or two.

The 2009 Emerging Influential Bloggers meet will be on August 8, Saturday, 6PM to 11PM at the Forum Hall, Casino Filipino, PIRC Bldg. Ninoy Aquino Avenue, Parañaque City. If you are planning to attend, you should confirm your attendance HERE!

See you all soon!

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The Uber Prestigious Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs for 2009

I have edited this post (7/11/09) because I'm happy to announce that I have finally (FINALLY! yes..) completed my noms for this year's uber awesome, uber prestigious top emerging influential blogs. I started out with just two nominations, and begged my readers to send me links to their favorite newbie blogs (and this explains why most comments here are suggestions!) and in the process, I have made several new blogger friends (and some jedi masters), improved my readership (to a staggering 30 visits per day! lol..), and most importantly, connected with people who share a true passion for blogging.

Without further ado, here is my uber awesome and eccentric list:
WOOT! CONGRATULATIONS! You're all winners in my book (or post)!

Awarding will be on August 8, 6pm at Casino Filipino in Paranaque. Confirm your attendance to this event here.

If you're STILL clueless about what I am blabbering about, visit Influential Blogger by Janette Toral: Join the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs for 2009 Writing Project and consider nominating the people in my list! They really deserve it!

Oh, and before I forget, please do visit the following sponsors: Absolute Traders, My Brute Cheats, Business Summaries, Fitness Advantage Club, Events and Corporate Video, Events at Work, Dominguez Marketing Communications, Red Mobile, Budget hotel in Makati, Lucio C. Tan Group of Companies, and This writing project will not be possible without their support! They're awesome! (And rich too! Hehe.)

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