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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

1 comments | Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dreams are my constant companion. They have caused countless unexpected things to come my way, including my being a U.S. neophyte and appreciating the scores of stuff most of my countrymen love about Uncle Sam.Traffic, for instance. Traffic jams are virtually unknown in this place. There are lanes for bicycles - even for pets! There are no officers on sidewalks watching undisciplined pedestrians cross where crossing is prohibited.

I have yet to see an indigent child begging for food. More so, I have always felt this place to be deception-free; a nightly walk along unlighted pathways is safe for this Filipino wanderer. No more worries that someone will pop out from somewhere armed with an ice pick to rob me of my valuables - money, phone, jewelry, shoes or even clothes. Rejoice! I am in a developed nation.I love the Philippines like Americans love America. My dad opened my eyes to the principles of the Boy Scout movement, to love God and country. I was a scoutmaster, trained to be loyal, to sail close to the wind and to be ready to defend human rights. You see, I dedicated my life to public service at a young age.

Yet, what has become of me now? I do not care a fig anymore when the rampant corruption is pulling every Filipino's leg down while the red tape in the government and mudslinging are never-ending. I tend to dismiss with indifference, questions about the performance of Madam President and her cabinet, as well as their negative approval ratings. Like a good actor, I convinced myself that the past election results were not tampered with, that the recent vigilante forms of killings were merely coincidental in nature and no high-ranking officials were involved, masterminding some hush-hush underground movement. In fact, I hardly bother to think about the severity of these events nowadays.

Uncle Sam has offered something attractive to desire and the system looks to be adequately functioning. President Bush, even in the midst of his unpopularity, seems to assure me that he is still in total control. What I am anxious about, however, is when I go back home to my daily grind, the same seamy side of things that I would find - poverty level reaching extremes, government officials not fulfilling campaign promises to pave roads in far-flung towns and ignoring the demands of workers for pay increases. I would be bothered once more by the economic instability, massive street protests against alleged government abuses, the educational system continuing to deteriorate, the non-stop power struggle to amend the constitution and the innocent lives lost in the war-torn Islamic south.

As a great ally, Uncle Sam has been supporting the Philippine government all the way. I must thank you, Uncle Sam, for sending 5,700 of your Marines and military personnel to help strengthen our defense units against local and international terror acts and the billions of pesos of financial aid.

Things could not change overnight. I sigh for the many years the Filipinos will have to wait for better lives. Right now, my wish is for the few remaining decent politicians to perform what is mandated of them, slowly but surely.

Slowly, so no one would be trampled upon and hurt; and surely, so long as promises made are ultimately fulfilled. I dream big for better days when I return home, that the Filipinos would be one and united in the effort to build a better nation for all.

This is my 10th article for the Collegian newspaper.


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0 comments | Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Some things in this world are visually inseparable. For instance, try to imagine Adolf Hitler without his signature mustache? Or Fernando Poe Jr. without his long patilya. Try picturing April Boy Regino (Philippine singer) without his cap and Eddie Gil sans his pilokang itim. I bet you can't.

Same thing when I think of my grandfather. Just can't imagine him without his sunglasses. It's like a made-for-each-other sort of love affair. Where one is, there goes the other.

Lolo Nayong, as I tenderly call him, kids a lot about his dark sunglasses being made exceptionally strong to resist the toughest of storms, solid enough to stay screwed on a ten-storey free fall, and above all, crafted to suit his well-defined facial features. Of course, he'd laugh afterwards.

My grandpa, already in his 90's, no doubt, is the coolest Lolo of all. Who would believe that even in his age right now he can still ride his motorbike with the ease of an expert. Speeding off like a pro car racer, he could smoothly dodge potholes and swing dangerous curves, to the amazement of many. He might adore his bike but not more than his sunglasses.
As a devotee of his sunglasses, Lolo abhors substitutes of the sort of fad being flaunted right now. In clinging to his very own treasure and stalwartly snubbing any substitute, he is comparable to those legendary lovers of yore whose devotion to their lady loves were unwavering. To this day, my grandpa has stayed true to his sunglasses.

Every visit I do to my hometown, I always make it a point to drop by Lolo's abode just to be entertained with his sharing of the funny anecdotes of his life. He never fails to charm me with unending tales from how he managed to mesmerize grandma's elusive heart to how he convinced everyone that his 10 years older of grandma was never an impediment to a happily-ever-after romance. He regularly tells me how he exercised by playing tennis till he was 70 and helping till his rice fields even up to now.I love my Lolo so much. Not because he has a high regard for what I do. Not because he loves reading my articles to the last word. Neither because he is awesomely unique with his eyeglasses. Not also because he likes talking to me in English language and that he always insists I inherited his talents and skills. I love him simply for the reason that he brings joy to the family, a true treasure himself with a comforting aura only himself can offer. When I'd see him again soon, he'd probably smile at me, maybe hug me tight and then tell me again and again how good I have turned out to be and how so good-looking I have developed into over the years. As always, I would only laugh silently and entertain the one logical yet amusing idea why I rather hope for Lolo to wear his treasured sunglasses often.


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My brother, Jeffrey, has the luxury of traveling from the capital Manila to central Cebu whenever he likes. I think that's the benefit of having a good job or an organization that sponsors his trip home. Manila to Cebu is still a long flight, about an hour. But if time permits for him to travel, he always grabs it.

With him in his trip, is his newly bought digital camera -- I'm not sure if it it's Olympus or Canon. But I'm sure it isn't Sony. He got it for a bargain price of $300.

He told me that he took pictures at home. However, I didn't expect he'd take a load of pictures that almost got my inbox reaching its limits. Looking at the photos reminds me of the good times I had back home. As a first batch, here are pictures from different species of flowers (and leaves too) you'll see in our backyard.


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0 comments | Monday, January 29, 2007

Enjoy another set of Bisaya jokes. If you find the jokes funny, leave a comment below. All these are forwarded text messages that I think should be posted online for all Bisaya to read.

Bata: Nay, unsay atong sud-an?
Inahan: Christmas tree ug lansang, Dong.
Bata: Ha, christmas tree ug lansang?
Inahan: Kamunggay ba, nga gisubakan ug buwad bulinaw

Bata: Kinsay mas brayt Pa, ang Amerikano o Pilipino?
Amahan: Mas brayt ang Amerikano Dong, kay ang mga bata didto sa Amerika, gagmay pa gani, maayo na kaayo mo-ininglis.

Ungo #1: Mare, nganong napangag ka man?
Ungo #2: Unsaon mare nga nangabat man gud ko gabii.
Ungo #1: Pero nganong napangag ka man?
Ungo #2: Ang liog nga akong napaak sa estatuwa man gud ni Bonifacio.

Kulas: Bay Tasyo, matod sa mga silingan andir-di-saya man kuno ka.
Tasyo: Unsay andir-di-saya nga bag-o lang nakong gikasab-an ang akong misis!
Kulas: Ngano man?
Tasyo: Gisugo man ko niya sa pamalantsa. Mao nga akong gisinghagan ug UNYA RA KAY MAGLUTO PA KO!!!

Insik: Pedlo, ako kamaguwangan
Pedro: Ako ni Pa.
Insik: Juan, ako kamanghulan
Juan: Dia ra ko Pa.
Insik: Maliya, ako asawa
Maria: Dia ra ko.
Insik: Mga wala silbi! Naa mo tanan dinhi. Wala bantay ato tindahan!!!

Pari: Dong, pahuwama ko anang bibliyang imong gibasa bi.
Sacristan: Playboy man ni padir.
Pari: Kana na lang!

Tomas: Mare, tigamit man kuno ug viagra si Pare. Gahi diay kaayo pirme?
Saling: Ahhgahi tuod kaayo, pero puwerte lang gihapong gamaya!

Inahan: Mangumpisal ta rong Dominggo ha aron pasayloon ta sa Ginoo sa atong mga sala.
Anak: Nay, unsa may buot ipasabot anang bata nga makasala.
Inahan: Panaglitan, kung ang bata dili motahod sa ginikanan, mao nay bata nga makasala.
Anak: Wala koy sala Nay, kay nitahod man ko sa sugo ni Tatay sa pagpangawat og manok sa atong silingan.

Kulas: Nganong nabukol man na imong ulo, Bay?
Badoy: Nangharana man gud ko gabii didto sa ilang Marilou, Bay Kulas. Pagsugod nako'g kanta, giitsahan dayon ko ni Marilou ug buwak.
Kulas: Pero nganong nabukol man ka?
Badoy: Ang buwak gisud man gud ug kaang.

Caloy: Doc, unsa man nga kada gabii damgohon man ko nga NBA player kuno ko. Ako ang point guard sa Lakers.
Doctor: Buweno, tagaan tika ug reseta aron dili ka na damgohon.
Caloy: Ayaw lang sa Doc kay championship ron namong gabii.

Si Bosyo, nga primero pang sakay og eroplano, kuyog ni Onyot nga iyang amigo, diha nilingkud sa window seat.
Bosyo: Bay Onyot, taas na gyud tag giluparan no? Tan-awa gud nang mga tao sa ubosgagmay kaayo morag holmigas.
Onyot: Holmigas na sila nga tinooray, Bay. Wala pa gani molupad ang eroplano.

Si Bungol, si Libat ug si Buta nagsabot nga manan-aw sila ug sine kay wala pa gayud sila kasud ug sinehan sukad-sukad. Maong sa paglingkud nila sa sulod sa Vision Theater:
Bungol: (misyagit) Balik pulta, walay sound, walay sound hoy psssst!
Libat: (misyagit sab) Kuwadro! Kuwadro!
Buta: Hoy mga kolokoy! Wala pa gani magsugod!

Maestra: Nganong nag-away man mo?
Pedro: Si Juan man gud Maam, iya kong gihapak sa Scrub The Floor.
Juan: Si Pedro biyay nanguna ha. Iya kong gilabayan sa Erase The Board.
Maestra: Kung dili gani mo mopoyong duha, bitayon ta mong duha sa Bayang Magiliw!

More Bisaya jokes here.


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"Love is patient, love is kind; it does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud, it is not rude, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love."
-Corinthians 1:13

Lovely verse from the bible! But I rather call it a lovely poem. One of my favorites, actually. I so much love the last line when it says "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love". Love, love, love.

I posted this because I was touched by Fr. Paul's homily in this morning's mass. He said heart-piercing points and thoughts about love and being loved. I went out of church love-filled.

On my way home, I took pictures around the university belt.

This is the DePuy Military Hall. I was surprised the first time I saw lots of uniformed men and women walking around the area. I thought they were after me. Kidding.

This is the Medary Commons, one of the food courts (no, not the benches). This is where I usually eat for supper, especially if I feel so lazy to prepare my own food.
The Agricultural Engineering Building in the northern part of the campus.
If I am not mistaken, this is the most popular among all buildings. This is the University Student Union. Inside are varied convenient shops that sell all kinds of stuff students, even outsiders, need. There is also a bookstore in it that sells clothes (and of course books) hahaha and a coffee house that is very affordable. The second floor houses rooms that students could use for film or movie showing -- for free! Or, for the bigger rooms, it can be opened for big events, like birthday parties. The basement has the Collegian office, an entertainment area and another food court, the Jack's Place.
This is the Hilton M. Briggs Library. It contains all the references you want. Yes, I mean, all! It is huge compared to the libraries I've been to in the Philippines. It is even hard to find the books you need, especially for a first timer. I resorted to asking their friendly student staff for help, not once, but many many times. I know I annoyed them so much...
See what I meant by "all". This is just one side, guys! This is just one level. There are 3 levels including the basement. Photo copying is a bit expensive, 5 cents a copy, or about 2.5 Philippine peso.

I do not know what this is. Cherry?

This is all for now. I am loving this photo blogging!


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That's the question I posted online.

I stumbled upon an IQ scoring measure online that shows your IQ could be a determinant of your future career. Scoring a low of 90 could mean ending up as a laborer. Or if you have a high of 140, you could well apply for a professorship or a research scientist position. I checked mine and it seems to match. I have a 130 IQ score and it says the level belongs to Engineers (or in my case, civil engineers). What do you think?

Here are what others say:
1. Not necessarily. I've read that some top-notch professional chess players have IQ's in the low 90's.

2. IQ doesn't mean near as much as a person's desire to succeed. I know a guy who tests at genius level, yet he works in a movie theater as a ticket taker.

3. No. IQ is only one measure of intelligence. Sometimes people become laborers because they just didn't have the right opportunities. Opportunity is not a measured in the IQ.

4. Not really, a hardworking person with IQ of 90 may be more productive than the 'cleverer' person who's also a slacker.

Now, what is your argument?

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0 comments | Saturday, January 27, 2007

Two of my principles in life:

1) If I want my life to be well founded, its basis must be true.

2) If I want my ideas to become real in the world, action must be committed.

So, what are yours?
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Adam Baer asked me what he's going to do when he doesn't know what to do? I do not know. In fact, I have the same feeling now.

I don't feel like writing so much. So enjoy the photos I took from the Mexican restaurant. It was my second time in there.

This a photoshopped image. My sister wanted to give something to her Korean friend who's going to leave for home after spending months studying the English language in the Philippines. My sister requested this:

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1 comments | Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The start of the new year means the start of a new semester. Over the past days, I bumped into a number of new international students who moved aimlessly around the residential hall and the GIS department, sporting the one unique appearance you'd never mistake for something else. OK, save your breath, I had the same look when I came here last semester - tolerantly apprehensive, conscience-stricken and bugged up.

Not counting the predestined academic catechisms, the infrequent chat I had with some American friends, would, most of the time, lead to the proverbial question of "Why do I have to study abroad?"

Fact no. 1: I am from the Philippines, a developing country (From now on, I won't be using "third-world" to describe the current overall situation of my motherland. A friend suggested it is better not to label nations with numbers that associate unintentional negative connotations).

Fact no. 2: Obtaining a degree abroad is like winning a lottery, or, in the case of the showbiz-oriented Philippines, it is like winning the best actor award - private institutions, as well as government agencies, will line up to get you for an interview. In a developing country where there are not enough technology and resources that could support 24-carat ideas, the only way to move forward and fulfill your dreams is to study abroad.

During the two years I spent on my master's degree in Europe, foreign students shared the same thoughts as mine vis-a-vis our personal reasons of studying abroad and getting a degree far away from our families and friends. We thought about many things. In a foreign country, we could break loose of our dependent selves. We learned new things by living on our own. We developed a positive self-image and advance our intellectual capacities.

My time spent in Europe became the grandest occasion to make lifelong friendships. Chinese, Spanish, Italian, German, African, American, Greek, Syrian - it was a one-of-a-kind circle of "United Nations" friends. With the communication technology at present, it does not have to cost an arm or leg to nurture the alliance even after graduation.

Studying overseas opened a new world outside my conventional quarters; a sphere from a completely new dimension sprang forth. The most unornamented of affairs took on a new definition when in a foreign land, as I see it.

This might already be a cliche, but it broadens my cultural horizons. In those little European cross-country travels, I developed a deep appreciation of how Dutch people live, Italians eat, the Spanish cook, how the French love their language and the Germans treasure history, among other things. On top of that, it deepened my understanding about certain political and economic issues.

I used to dream of landing a high position in the government sector. Studying abroad has made me more marketable in my field of expertise and be ahead of the pack. If lady luck won't be on my side, I could still push myself into the academic arena - probably sit pretty as a dean in a prestigious private university.

At present, studying here in the United States has its stressful moments, as I have to fine tune (again) a new life and the environment. But making a pitch through all these would only strengthen me as an individual. Being abroad is a life-changing experience, and in the end I will be proud of what I have learned and achieved.

To the new international students, everything will just be fine. Have your heart set on. Sure, it'll be smooth sailing. More of my articles from the Collegian Newspaper.


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6 comments | Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I miss my hometown, Argao, when I saw these pictures of the old church taken by Elmer (my sister's American boyfriend) who traveled to my town for a short vacation. The church is a magnificent structure with a very rich history dating back to the Spanish era.

Argao, 66 kilometers from Cebu City, Philippines, became a parish in 1703, which prompted the construction of a beautiful rococo-baroque church structure in 1734 and was completed in 1788. The Argao Church (called as St. Michael the Archangel) was renovated for its bicentennial celebration in 1988. Despite some renovations and modernizations done to it, the San Miguél Archangel Parish still remains one of the richly furnished churches in the South.

The Church of Argao possesses one of the remaining 14 Spanish era pipe organs,and is one of the three in the whole province of Cebu. Estimated to have been built in the 17th to the 19th century by Spanish pipe organ makers.

On the ceiling are murals done by two of the best church muralist during that time (early 20th century).The first portion por-traying biblical manifes-tations of angels was done by the famous artist Canuto Avila. The other portion by the altar was done by Reynaldo Franciaand depicts the victory of St. Michael over Lucifer.


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1 comments | Sunday, January 21, 2007

You don't have to say it. I admit that I am beginning to be addicted to skating. Not because I am good at it. It's all because of the fun I derived from it. You see, I've been at the Larson Ice Skating rink for only 4 times. Those 4 times were learning experiences. I find it very fulfilling to see myself improving on the ice.

It wasn't good at the beginning, believe me. The moment you put your feet on the frozen ice, you feel like you're gonna slide up to the other end, and you could only wish the ice were rough. But that cannot happen, you know that.

So you'd just be contented on the sides and just wait for your guts to rise beyond your head for you to brave the center of the rink, which are dominated by professional skaters. One more thing: once you are in the middle, pray that nobody bumps on you. Otherwise, it can be very painful.

Expect also that you'd fall -- one, two or maybe many times, on your tries to balance. Part of the learning process ladies and gentlemen.

Today, I have improved a lot. I also noticed that I can skate better if I sing while I skate. There is truth to that. Really.

I prepared a video, of course.

More pictures from the snowy Brookings:

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0 comments | Saturday, January 20, 2007

I wrote two articles for the Collegian newspaper about a girl I admire and regularly see at the Student Union. When the articles came out in print, my friends have been bugging me of the identity of the girl. I have been keeping it a secret because I do not want paparazzi following me for an interview. LOL.

Yesterday, it was her birthday and all her friends were there to celebrate with her. She was pretty as ever. If you haven't read my article, it's here. Then here.

Look how pretty she is.


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