Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's Ash Wednesday

When I was 13, I joined a TV quiz show representing my school. One of the questions were: What is the first day of Lent?

...I didn't know. :p
We lost but what the heck. I was 13 and I was on TV. lol.

Some funny things at the Ash Wednesday mass I attended over lunch break at work.

- When everybody stood up, there was this 6 foot tall intern standing in front of a lady colleague who was less than 5 feet tall. Poor lady couldn't see the priest!

- After we were all given ash crosses on our foreheads, a male colleague took out his handkerchief and began wiping his face and forehead, then suddenly exclaimed, "Ay! Nabura ko!(I erased it!)" hahaha...

- Then the Shutdown meeting snack later that day was siopao. (Bread with pork inside).(Note: Abstaining from pork during Lent is a Catholic practice.. in case you didn't get why it was funny! :p)

On a totally unrelated topic, here a creepy photo of the moon I took a couple of weeks ago when it was full...(click to enlarge)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Talking Fish at the Manila Ocean Park

Photos from the Manila Ocean Park

Here are some photos from when I visited The Manila Ocean Park with my girlfriend for her birthday last year...

I found Nemo (in Manila!) - I knew it!

Creepy looking fishy eggs that sort of look more like lizards than fish...

I bet your eyes would be this red too if you had to sleep with them open. :p

I can talk to fish 'cause I'm a Pisces. :p

Happy Valentine's Day Liz. I love you!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Honest Scrap Blog Award

*** The Honest Scrap Award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger
whose blog’s content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant! ***

I received this award from Fren over at Because It's Human Nature to Communicate where she wrote that my blog was "a very informative, flexible and a jovial blog, authored by a fellow UPian; a link from Chase Images; ‘bet you, you’ll be amused at the many choices and links you’re about to see because of his excellent blog presentation.:)"

Thanks Fren!

The Rules?
When accepting this auspicious award, you must:
  1. Write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to said person so everyone knows he or she is real.
  2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have 7 friends. Show the 7 random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Weblog.” Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
  3. List at least ten honest things about yourself and make it interesting!! Then, pass it on!

I chose these 7 bloggers to pass this award to (and I'm hoping they haven't already received this before because they have such great blogs...). Actually, I don't really know some of them personally, so I'm not sure if they will be able to pick this up, and I suppose it's OK if they don't. But it would be great if they do. Haha. Anyway, here are my blog picks...

1. Coffee Messiah - who was the inspiration behind my Coffee addiction post. He has captured an audience, not just of coffee addicts, but of so many others because of his really interesting posts. He was also recently recognized on Bloggers' Blogs of Note.

2. Coachblogger - who I am giving this award to in the hopes that it goes from a string of mommy bloggers (see explanation at the end of this post!) to a string of daddy bloggers. Haha! A lot of stories and movies have been told about single moms but not a lot about single dads. Here he blogs about the life of a single dad with 4 beautiful girls, and he's a high school football coach too!

3. The Wild Onion Cafe - I wandered into this blog through some links, and left a crazy little comment. Then I was very graciously welcomed by the bloggers that run it. For being a truly warm and welcome place for new(ly revived) bloggers like me, I am awarding them an Honest Scrap award. I suggest you give them a visit!

4. Atheista - a former Tabangao-er and 2008 winner of the Philippine Blog Awards. His posts are intelligent and reflective, and definitely worth a visit.

5. Bikoy - Bikoy is a young student currently a freshman at the University I went to. His life, his views are common in UP Diliman and shared by a lot of other students. My political views are not as pointed as his or Atheista's (I never went to demonstrations or rallies) but I am nevertheless interested to hear what they have to say. It keeps me informed and educated. Plus,it's always great fun to read about UP and reminisce about college life. ;)

6. Magnifique_f8h - My high school batchmate and friend so has this very well maintained blog which I used to visit so often. I am trying to catch up and read up! She describes herself as: Coffee addict, procrastinates, loves a lot, hurts a lot, idealist.

7. The Brownian Motion of a Photoplankton - This is the blog of a colleague and friend who recently had his first baby with his wife. He is a smart, honest, passionate and wonderful writer. Perfect for the Honest Scrap award!

* * * * * * * *
To complete the award, here are 10 honest things about me:
1. I get easily annoyed with bad service and have reprimanded many waiters, guards, salesladies, concierges, and other service people...
2. I truly, honestly believe that I was 11th place on the Mechanical Engineering Licensure Exams (but they only announce the Top 10)! Haha!
3. I always-always mistake "sinigang" (a kind of Filipino soup dish) and "sinangag" (one way to cook rice) even when I pause to think about which word to use. I also always mistake Bicol and Bohol (they both begin with "B"!).
4. I overanalyze everything. EVERYTHING.
5. I used to sing (understatement! more like do a concert...) in the shower all the time, but now I don't anymore. I just sing (and dance too sometimes) in my car while I drive.
6. I have tried to get six pack abs every year for 5 years now. But I still don't have six pack abs.
7. I was an achiever as a child and am still trying to return to my former glory.
*edited 07-Feb-09 to complete the 10 honest things! i fell asleep while making this and I forgot all about it...
8. Ironing also relaxes my brain, but going to a spa is way better. Haha.
9. I sleeptalk. zzz.
10. I was born on a syzygy! (On the evening of March 10, 1982 there was a rare celestial event where Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn would be on the same side of the Sun, within a 95 degree wide interval. I was born on that night, at the stroke of midnight on March 11. (hence the title of this blog...)

Aside from giving this award away, I wanted to trace back the origins of this award to as far back as I can starting of course with the one who gave me this award. It was quite amusing to find that I came upon this blog award after a long, looong line of Mommy Bloggers!

Here goes! Born on a Syzygy > Because It's Human Nature to Communicate > kayni's corner cafe > witsandnuts > Intricate Thoughts > Niko's Blog > The Baby in Between > Pensive Thoughts > The Mommy Journey > Make or Break > The Breathing Post > Momma Young at Home > Misadventures in Baby Raising > Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History Janana Bee > Sometimes Lucid > La Mom > Under the Influence > Adlibby on the Loose... > Delightfully Inappropriate > PINKNIC > C'est What?? > shop girl's blog > Stuff I Think About > Mainly Mandy > A peek at Karen's World > Good things come to those who blog > stil more to come!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Statue: The UP Oblation

Oble - UP Oblation

The statue dearest to my heart is called the "The Oblation".

The Oblation is the symbol of the University of the Philippines, the university I went to for my Engineering degree. I have so many wonderful memories of UP. It was where I met my girlfriend of course. Haha.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Gary Granada: jilted Filipino composer fights back againts network giant GMA

I know Gary Granada from his winning the Grand Prize in the 1998 Metropop Song Festival for his song "Mabuti Pa Sila".

I'm familiar with the song because we sang it in the UPCC from 2000 to 2004. The last line of that song is probably how Gary Granada felt before he made this recording...

"Di tulad kong lagi na lang nag-iisa..."


"And you have the audacity to tell me that my composition is OUR collective effort."

This proves to be a case of ignorance on the side of the GMA Kapuso Foundation. I am theorizing that after they received the test copy from Mr. Granada and didn't like it, they handed it over to another composer. And because of they were constrained by time, they resorted to just changing the melodic line and retaining the rest.

I think they did not know that Gary Granada would be able to identify his work because for them, all they hear is the melody, which was now effectively altered. Too bad for them, Mr. Granada, who was class Valedictorian in Elementary and High School, and was a one time University of the Philippines student, is smarter than them.

To you Mr. Granada, fight for what you think is right.
To the GMA execs, especially to that man or lady who (theoretically) said: "Palitan mo na lang yung melody!", dude, an apology is in order.
To the person who "copied" Mr. Granada's composition, shame on you. Have you no integrity as a composer?

Original Recording at SoundCloud
Gary Granada's Homepage -- Leave a message here!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Theme Thursday: Kitchen

From Coffee Messiah: Sometime last year a fellow blogger started Theme Thursday, and anyone who wanted could post something on their blog on Thursday relating to the theme.

This week's topic is KITCHEN.

Here's my Theme Thursday blog...
The first thing that came to my mind about KITCHEN is, of course, that it's where people cook. I don't really cook. I just really eat. So in the absence of food cooking stories and photos of our kitchen, I thought to share some stuff about kitchens and scary movies...
1. As a young boy, I loved watching horror movies even if they kept me up half the night. After a good intense scaring, I would lie in bed with the blanket covering my whole body (the feet too! coz I was scared zombies would grab my feet) and with only my eyes and my nose showing.

On one particular night, after watching Freddie Kruger almost kill Nancy on "A Nightmare on Elm Street", my elder sister scared me half to death telling me she could hear a the rustle of the shower curtain and a little girl calling "Nancy...Nancy!" coming from our KITCHEN!
2. One of the scariest scenes in The Sixth Sense was when Cole had to pee and after he did, he heard someone in the KITCHEN and thought it was his mom. Here's the excerpt from the screenplay:

Cole instantly stops peeing. His body becomes very still. He slowly reaches for the toilet handle and flushes. He closes his pants and turns. He doesn't come out of the bathroom at first. He just stands there and stares into the darkness of the hall. HIS BREATH FORMS TINY CLOUDS IN THE COLD AIR.

Cole finally steps out into the hallway. His eyes catch a SLANT OF LIGHT now coming from the kitchen.

Cole hesitates before being drawn to the kitchen. He moves down the hall and turns the corner -- coming to a stop in the doorway of the KITCHEN.

Cole stares at the back of a person cooking food on the stove. Cole's fear slowly fades away.

COLE: Momma? Dream about daddy again?

The person turns. It's not Lynn. It's a strange woman. The
woman's face is demented. A purple gash cuts across her


Cole's face turns the color of ash.

WOMAN: What are you going to do?

Cole backs up to the doorway.

WOMAN: You can't hurt me anymore!

The woman smiles menacingly as she thrusts her wrists forward...They've been savagely cut.

OK OK. It's past midnight and I'm all alone in my room writing this so I have to stop now 'coz I have to sleep (and I'm kinda freaking myself out. hahahah!!!)

Other Theme Thursday posts:
Coffee Messiah
Mouse Medicine
The Ancient Sword
Listen 2 Auntie
World Traveler
Life at Willow Manor

If You Seek Amy

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! This is freakin' hilarious!
Apologies to all the "serious" bloggers out there who are reading this, but it was just so funny I had to blog about it.

This was only the second time that I heard this new Britney Spears song, and I only listened (deliberately) again because I was curious about an article on Google News about some Parent groups saying "If You Seek Amy" is too dirty for radio and should be banned. I'm like, "What? Why?" So I listened again...

The chorus goes:
Love me hate me
Say what you want about me
But all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to
If You Seek Amy

Got it yet? :p Think dirty thoughts and listen...
Here's a youtube vid of it (audio only): If You Seek Amy

Talk about making a controversial song for a controversial celebrity. lol.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year of the Ox!

Are you wondering what the Year of the Ox will bring for you? I was born in the year of the Dog, 1982. How about you? What year were you born? Check out your horoscope here: Chinese Horoscope by Yahoo!

To all my Chinese colleagues and Friends...

Welcome the Year of the Ox!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Starbucks Boycott

On January 14, Pro-Palestinian activists in Lebanon attacked Starbucks, causing the branch of the U.S. coffee shop chain to close its doors.

The protesters accused the coffee chain of supporting the Israeli army and the attack in Gaza, basing their protests on a letter that indicates that the company’s chairman and president, Howard Schultz, has been donating money to Israel. Starbucks has vehemently denied this on their website and apparently the letter was published on an Internet site by an Australian anti-Zionist, who made it clear that he wrote the letter as a parody... Unfortunately, the same violent protests have still been happening, not in only Lebanon but in other parts of the world as well.

Hmm. Can Starbucks sue that Aussie dude for libel?

In other news, I am personally boycotting Starbucks until they give me my free Starbucks Planner for 2009. I have checked a dozen Starbucks shops in the past 2 weeks, and they're all out. :p The one in SM Batangas even said I have to wait until March! Wowowow. :p I guess I'll have to make do with my Nescafe Instant Taster's Choice coffee or Kopi Roti sa kanto for the meantime.

LA Times
Starbucks Website

Computer Virus "Conficker worm" spreading!

The Conficker worm is spreading worldwide, now affecting around 10 million personal and business computers. A report from F-secure says it leaped from 2.4 million to up to 3 times that number in just 3 days. Are you scared yet?

The worm can be acquired through a vulnerability in the Microsoft system which could allow remote code execution if an affected system received a specially crafted RPC request. This is not a problem if you already have the patch they sent out in October.

The worm can also “mutate” and launch “brute force attacks” that relentlessly try thousands of letter and number combinations in codes to steal personal passwords and login information.

Lastly, the worm can infect removable devices and network shares with an autorun file that executes as soon as a USB drive or other infected device is connected to a victim PC. This last one may be most common for personal computers, so protect yourself RIGHT NOW and turn off your AutoRun. I think you can do this by right clicking on the CD-ROM drive or USB drive, choosing the Properties > Autoplay > and the radio button for "Prompt me each time to do an action". But I'm not an expert so if you want more info, try this instead.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Brad Pitt 2009 Oscar Best Actor nominee??

(See the complete list of nominees at the end of this post.)

Of all the Best Picture nominees for the 81st Academy Awards, I've so far only seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It's easy to see why it received 13 nominations, but when I saw that one of them was for Best Actor... wha wha what??

Taraji P. Henson's nomination for her turn as Benjamin's momma was well deserved. She was as convincing as an old woman as she was a young lady. And everytime she was in a scene with Brad Pitt, you just had to keep watching her. And Benjamin, despite being so curious looking, seemed to blend into the background.

The Best makeup nom is a shoo-in as well. The way they made everyone go from young to old (or vice versa) seemed amazingly well researched.

I would even say that Cate Blanchett deserved an Oscar nod if only for her ballet dancing. (Wow, she looked really young.) Does she really know how to do ballet?

But Brad Pitt, whose "best" scene in the whole movie was when he said "Absolutely!", absolutely doesn't deserve this nomination. He was stoic and boring for most of the movie, it actually reminded me of his deathly role in Meet Joe Black (which I once heard some say: Meet Blow Jack, hehe.) Unfortunately, he's not playing Death in this one...

Shoo-in winners will probably be Kate Winslet and Mickey Rourke, already Golden Globe awardees. Oh, and I'm hoping Kung Fu Panda wins as Best Animated Feature. It rocked! :D

The 81st Academy Awards will be on February 22 on ABC. That's Feb 23 for the Philippines. I don't know yet on what channel they are showing it. :p

Here's the full list of nominees for the 2009 Oscar Awards:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Josh Brolin, Milk
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Frozen River, Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh
Milk, Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Eric Roth
Doubt, John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon, Peter Morgan
The Reader, David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire, Simon Beaufoy

Kung Fu Panda

La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory — Lovestory
This Way Up

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
The Class (France)
Departures (Japan)
Revanche (Austria)
Waltz with Bashir (Israel)

Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat
Defiance, James Newton Howard
Milk, Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman
WALL-E, Thomas Newman

''Down to Earth,'' WALL-E
''Jai Ho,'' Slumdog Millionaire
''O Saya,'' Slumdog Millionaire

The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

List from EW
Photos from Allmoviephoto

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Intel Philippines closes its Cavite site

Holy crap...I cannot believe it.

I have been reading so much about the recession and the economic downturn and how so many people have lost jobs and how businesses have closed up shop in countries like China and USA, but still it surprised me when I read that Intel is shutting down it operations in the Philippines...

I searched my mind trying to think of friends or acquaintances who worked for Intel but couldn't pin one down. Still, it's too close to home to not be worried.

Intel is the world's largest semicon company and has had operations in the Philippines for 20 years. Their Cavite facility handles flash memory manufacturing.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the big chip maker has not reported a net loss since 1986. But CEO Paul Otellini, in an internal Webcast to the company's employees said the first quarter was too close to call, as far as Intel remaining profitable. And then on Wednesday (Jan 21), local counterpart Intel Philippines sent an email to its 1,800 remaining employees about the close down. Intel is said to be also closing down plants in other countries due to a weakened demand brought about by the current global economic downturn.

So far we Filipinos have been relaxed about the whole recession, despite hearing an occasional story about so and so's brother or auntie coming back from Australia or Singapore because their company folded. I mean, who would have guessed, what with all the new SM malls and the endless traffic in Manila, that we could get affected by this recession? We don't see the economic downturn so we think it's only happening in the economic giants like Germany or England (or because we have no economy to begin with? aha!).

But now it's here. If a huge international company like Intel chooses to close its operations in the Philippines (even with our country having one of the cheapest labor costs in the world), and with so many other multinational companies having the same recession woes, will there be more layoffs and more closures to come?

I sure hope not.

One thing is certain, the recession has arrived on Philippine shores.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The UPCAT Results are out!


*updated 20-Jan-09 5:30PM

WOW! WOW! The UPCAT results are out!
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the UPCAT results are now online. :p During my time you had to really go to UP to check the results.

I distinctly remember that day when our batch's UPCAT results came out... It was a weekday, the day before the JS prom and we were all in Pisay, but some of the parents were already at UP searching for our names in that really short list they put up on boards near the Registrar's Office.

There were no cellphones then so I had to call by payphone to my house. There was a line at the phone booth already! When it was my turn, my mom told me that my sister had called her earlier (also by payphone) that my name was there!

Oh! The exhiliration of learning that you didn't mess up the exam...Haha! After worrying and worrying that you might have shaded those little circles too lightly, or that you missed a page or 2 of the questionnaire, it's all over now, and you are sure that things will be OK.

I almost tripped over myself when, on my way home from school I passed by UP to see for myself that my sister (who was also in UP at the time) didn't just imagine my name on that board...

And there it was.