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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!

0 comments | Monday, December 31, 2007

Here's to a very happy and prosperous 2008. Cheers!

Lyrics after the jump.

Lyrics: Happy New Year from ABBA

No more champagne
And the fireworks are through
Here we are, me and you
Feeling lost and feeling blue
Its the end of the party
And the morning seems so grey
So unlike yesterday
Nows the time for us to say...

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend
Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we dont we might as well lay down and die
You and i

Sometimes I see
How the brave new world arrives
And I see how it thrives
In the ashes of our lives
Oh yes, man is a fool
And he thinks hell be okay
Dragging on, feet of clay
Never knowing hes astray
Keeps on going anyway...

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend
Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we dont we might as well lay down and die
You and i

Seems to me now
That the dreams we had before
Are all dead, nothing more
Than confetti on the floor
Its the end of a decade
In another ten years time
Who can say what well find
What lies waiting down the line
In the end of eighty-nine...

Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend
Happy new year
Happy new year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don't we might as well lay down and die
You and I

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0 comments | Saturday, December 29, 2007

Start your journey to a healthier and better life in three steps. Start it right with the right step. Take the JourneyLite program and experience weight loss safely and amazingly.

Journey Lite offers a comprehensive weight-loss surgery program that specializes in Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding which is also known as LAGB or the LAP BAND System procedure. The Lapband Adjustable Gastric Band is designed to help you lose excess body weight, improve weight-related health conditions and enhance quality of life. It reduces the stomach capacity and restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time.

JourneyLite will guide you through every step of your journey – from evaluating whether the Lapband System is right for you, to finding an experienced surgeon, to insurance approval, and extensive follow-up and aftercare that is specifically tailored with your success in mind.

Taking the first step will be easy as there are support groups, message boards, member forums, recipes, tips for success, nutrition education available for you. Everything is covered for a happier you. That guaranteed results are for life.

Contact a lap-band doctor now!
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1 comments | Friday, December 28, 2007

Today, I had experienced one best moment inside the Saint Louis Science Center in Missouri, where the world renowned Body Worlds Exhibit was held.
Body Worlds is an eye-opening journey through the inner workings of the human body. It is an achievement in anatomical science, a gaze at humanity in all its glory and vulnerability.

The exhibit uses real human beings as specimens to understand the human body more. But when you see the specimens displayed, you’d wonder how it was possible to do such preservation process of tissues and tendons and muscles and eyes and genitals – like it has just been done a day ago.

According to Dr. Gunther von Hagens who started Body Worlds, the technique to halting decomposition and preserving the human tissue is Plastination. The key to Plastination is Forced Plastic Impregnation. Here, the force of the vacuum squeezes the acetone out of the specimen in bubbles and to the top of the impregnation tank. When acetone is removed a volume deficit is created within the specimen. This void is filled with reactive plastics that permeate the specimen.

Body Worlds is created for people to better understand their bodies. People who have been to the exhibit resolved to stop smoking or drinking and improve their diet. Body Worlds educates people about health and persuade them to change their opinions, as well as to motivate them to think about life and how short life is.

This exhibit is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to understand your own physiology and gain new appreciation of life and respect for what it means to be human. If you get the chance to be in Missouri before it closes around February 2008, drop by and see this really amazing work – featuring 200 authentic human specimens!
EXPLORE the locomotive, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, digestive and reproductive systems.

SEE the muscles, bones and tendons that help humans move.

STUDY the organs and mechanisms that allow humans to fuel their bodies.

VIEW the complex pathways of our vascular system.

GAIN a greater understanding of how human life is made possible and what it takes to protect it.

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Do you believe that there is really someone somewhere who could complete your life? He or she may not be near you. He or she may not be within your circle of friends. He or she may be miles apart from you. Yes, he or she may be someone you will still have to meet online.

That he or she is not virtual nor a fragment of your imagination. He or she exist in cyberspace and in real life. All you need to do to find him or her is to search. Believe me, internet dating is for real. I have heard lots of happy stories about couples finding their true love online. What sites? I have a suggestion, visit this. It is a list of dating sites, a complete list of the best Internet dating services and matchmaking web sites for you to try.

When I checked it, it indeed lists the best online dating sites - the sites where my friends happened to mention to me and where they say they've met the right people for them.

Okay, I won't hold it long. The site is 5StarDating.com. The site also has articles like: A Principle Based Dating Approach, Dating The Perfect Man, True Chemistry and Dating Sincerity, and a lot more.

It is now up to you to try it. Take the chance here.
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0 comments | Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Delayed.

I am so unsuccessful with flying. Every time I fly for holidays, my flight is most of the time, if not always, delayed. I am not only saying about an hour delay, but two hours or more.

My flight to Chicago, Illinois for my long-awaited Christmas vacation was delayed for more than two hours. I could only blame it to the bad weather. Coming to the airport, my ride was bothered by a snow storm. My friend and I had to slow down our speed as we witnessed few cars swerving to the sides and got stuck on the piles of snow.

Why should the snow storm be on this day that I am leaving? The last time I traveled, the flight was delayed due to a stormy weather as well. It was even summer that time and I couldn’t believe that Chicago could be visited by a storm on a beautiful summer month.

Writing this post while taking comfort on the hard floor of the waiting lounge of gate 7, I couldn’t help but notice the tens of people also stuck and becoming impatient of this annoying delay. Come to think of it, it is the evening of December 25th and we are all in the airport hoping to spend the few more hours of Christmas with friends and family. But as we see it now, it might not happen any moment.

What a Christmas evening it has been!

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0 comments | Monday, December 24, 2007

I plan to finally settle and find a new home in the States. There are quite a number of nice US cities to choose from - Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and New York - just to name a few. However, among the nicest cities around the U.S., I find New York the most attractive - for its internationally known shopping, entertainment, and just pure fun destinations.

New York is also reputed to be the financial, cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center in America. The big city has great homes to choose from in a number of different communities. If you search the Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Douglas Elliman site, you'll see what homes are available for sale.

It is easy to find a new home that fits the need and the budget. The relocation specialists will help you to locate new homes by size or price and location or zip codes or to view listings by local to find out more about what each new community has to offer.

Try it yourself. Visit Prudential Douglas Elliman. Okay, I need one of their New York real estate agents now!

Thanks to Prudential Douglas Elliman.
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Are you a small business owner or an entrepreneur who needs a capital to succeed?

Here is my little advice to you. Try a simpler, smarter option to financing your small and mid-sized business. What would you look for in a financing company?

1. Must have competitive rates
2. Must have fast approvals
3. Must have flexible offerings to suit specific and changing needs of on demand businesses
4. Must have expert financiers to give you advice and support

EZUnsecured.com has this very convincing business equation:

NO Time + NO Collateral = NO PROBLEM!

If business financing can be very time consuming and frustrating, in EZUnsecured.com, they do the best to maximize your valuable time. Yes, there is No Collateral, so you can rest assured your Assets will not be pledged and there will be no Liens or UCC Fillings against them. With this, what is the problem indeed?

Here is how to apply: Visit them online for your startup loans or apply over the phone by calling the Toll-Free number at 800-201-0001.

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Video - Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan and Charlotte Church - And So This Is Christmas (full video). Merry Christmas to all of you!

Thanks mfkier.

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0 comments | Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wanna avail of an auto service contract to do away with untimely and expensive repairs? Have you been dumbfounded when your mechanic tells you how much it will cost to fix your car? In situations like this, most drivers turn to auto warranty.

Auto warranties are typically a promise to pay a repair facility to replace or fix a covered part and/or component that has failed or worn beyond the auto manufacturer's tolerances.

What do you need to know in auto warranty?

1. Know what things it covers - Does it cover things like parts and oil changes? What about the tires, brakes and the body work?
2. Know what to do to avail the services that it covers - Know where you will need to go to avail these services. Will there be any fee and what happens if you don’t go to the right place?
3. Know about the auto warranty expiration date - Sometimes it has this. You might be able to increase that amount of time by purchasing a warranty extension.

Thus, avoid such lump sum expenses, get an auto warranty.
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With all the toys being recalled these days, which one is safer? If you aren't finished yet buying toys as gifts, EcoWaste has given out some guidelines for consumers buying toys as Christmas gifts.

• Choose toys that match the age, interest, aptitude and skill of the intended recipient, avoiding inappropriate toys that may pose safety risks to younger children;

• Check the warning labels and instructions — particularly the age and safety recommendations, which should be clear to you and, when suitable, to the child;

• Examine the label to know if the toy does not contain toxic chemicals such as lead, PVC and other harmful substances that can trigger adverse health effects;

• Avoid toys with small or loose parts that can easily fall out and be swallowed, thus posing a fatal choking hazard. Look for sturdy toys made of non-breakable materials;

• Check if the toy’s cords or strings are not too long because overly long cords may entrap the child’s neck and cause strangulation;

• Stay away from toys with sharp edges and points that can cause lacerations, contusions and abrasions;

• Avoid excessively loud toys with no volume control. These can damage the sensitive hearing of children; and

• Keep toys’ plastic wrappings, foam peanuts or paper strips away from children to prevent choking or aspiration.

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Don't you ever wish to own a paintball gun? I do. In fact, whenever I'll get one, I'd be one happy guy. I am interested of paintball guns as one of my friends is into this paintball sport. He owns this tactical Paintball marker gun sniper set which he bought at Ultimate Paintball.

I don't easily trust sites, so I checked it myself. Ultimate Paintball been in business since 2002. The company has had an extensive background check and is verified as a secure website. That means customer's privacy information is protected and shopping is 101% safe - which is the top 1 requirement I look for a site.

Here is one good thing too when you decide to purchase from Ultimate Paintball: over 99% of all orders are shipped either the same day ordered or by the next business day. Ultimate Paintball offers the best prices with free shipping.

If undecided what paintball gun to buy, the customer service reps could help you make decisions if needed. Or why won't you check this out - spyder mr2?

Give yourself a break. Get yourself a paintball gun and indulge into the paintball sport! Click HERE.

Thanks to the sponsor www.pntball.com.
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0 comments | Saturday, December 22, 2007

Do your friends take your childhood disappointments and misadventures seriously? As for mine, sadly, never mind. Never have they, as far as I can recall, been sorry about my stories spiced up with sour remembrances of days past. Am I inadequate with attention? Fine if they laughed. It was worse when those moments I wanted them to hear didn’t seem to have significance of sorts. Not meaningful enough.
Maybe, it's funny for me to be forlorn over spilt milk. Come on, is there really no sense in looking back and basking in the afterthought that I can still dignify, by dint of memory, even the foregone moments I once detested but now merrily summon. Like when...

... I graduated a notch lower from the honor roll after my adviser in sixth grade favored a classmate less deserving but much better-looking than I was. (She never missed admiring his white-as-a-sheet shirt during classes.)

... My first elementary crush didn’t care to wink back sweetly at me after the flag retreat ceremony.

... I became the talk of the school campus after my classmates learned I didn’t vote for my party in the election for the student council in high school owing to a secret disagreement with our class leader’s platform.

... My mom figured in a verbal battle with my teacher in Electronics because she thought (like mother who claimed to know better) I deserved a grade higher than 90 (someone else got 98, by the way).

... My first girlfriend in high school did not show up at the back of the municipal church where we agreed to meet every Sunday. (Oops, sorry, mom, now that you know my real reason then for going to church.)
... I saw big brother’s butt full of welts from grandpa’s leather belt after I squeaked on misdeed my brother and I promised each other to keep secret. (Sorry, bro, for my selfish breach of trust so I’d be spared from grandpa’s fury.)

... my father bellowed so loud after I accidentally hit Dad’s crotch. How I weaseled away from the house, but failed to outrun a good spanking comeuppance.

... I joined a hometown amateur singing contest and lost. Eating humble pie wouldn’t have been a big deal if only it was not my little sister who won the first prize and my big brother finishing second best while I failed to get the nod of the judges for, at least, the best in attire. If only Mom did not insist I sounded like Matt Monro…

... trying to live up to my mom’s belief that I could sing, I fell flat on my face while performing during a PTA meeting even as I felt that the audience tried to cast a spell to pop me off the stage. Oh, if only the guitar wasn’t tuned so perfectly!

... I had to wake up at dawn to collect ripe mangoes fallen from the late-night frolic of bats only to find out that being delayed by a mere second of sleep meant going home empty-handed. Too late for me to realize that kids in the neighborhood also harbored my mango principle: "Sweetness is surely reaped from prompt sacrifice of early morning dreams."

... I sent a playmate scurrying home in tears after hitting him with a stone from my slingshot. All the while, I thought my target was on cue only for sparrows and chickens I tried to shoo away from grandpa’s rice fields.

There’s still a whole archive of memory about my boyhood misadventures. For now, I reserve the other stories for the times when my friends would be open enough to consider that recalling those "detestable" moments could be entertaining as well.
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0 comments | Friday, December 21, 2007

Why do I blog? I have already answered this question long time ago in one of my posts entitled "Stop Blogging". One of the answers I highlighted was "To have an outlet for the persisting writer in me."
Indeed, by being so persistent, I survived one year of blogging (read the 156 things I did). Since I am 88% addicted to blogging, I came up with a Blue-Blooded-Blogger (BBB) badge to show my passion and love for blogging and everything related to it. The badge has now been linked and used by many bloggers around the world.

But the most important reason that I wrote was this: To realize that this information superhighway can be educational and inspirational at the same time. In the instances that I blog-hop, I, more often than not, would land on blogs that speak of hope and the will to live. There are many of them and they make me smile and they inspire me and they push me to better my blog.

I would want to specifically mention the Ana Braga-Henebry's Journal. You might want to know that the author of this very heart-warming blog is the wife of one of my professors. According to her profile, she loves writing and literature, and her passion quite revolves around them.

Originally from Brazil, Ana, was the first person from South Dakota who told me something like this: So this is the guy, the renowned blogger from the Philippines. Blushing from hearing those words at that very first moment I was introduced to her in a party, I simply smiled while at the back of my mind I was thinking how she ever knew about the existence of my blog.

Those words from her got stuck in me. Somehow, the thought of being appreciated by someone whom I wasn't familiar with yet read my posts, serves as an inspiration to go on blogging.

What I like about her blog is her dedication to her family (she has 7 kids) that radiates in her every post. She is also a devout Catholic and I am quite certain we share the same religious principles.

I will never be tired doing these - posting every now and then, reading other blogs, appreciating other bloggers' efforts, and inspiring readers by sharing my perceptions of just about anything under the sun.

If you want to read more of Ana's thoughts, proceed here.

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2 comments | Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I still couldn't get it over. The f***ing incident with a conceited American guy just keeps on coming back to me, even to this moment! The story goes like this:

Mr. Y is my friend.
Mr. X is Mr. Y's American friend.
Composed Gentleman (CG) is me.

I met my friend's American friend, Mr. X, while having lunch at the Student Union. As if to strike a conversation --

Mr. X asked: Where are you from?
CG: I'm from the islands in the Pacific. The Philippines.
Mr. X: Is there someone you know from your country who's here in Brookings?
CG: As far as I know, I am alone. How I wish I could meet one Filipino someday. I am starting to miss my dialect.
Mr. X (about to eat his noodles): It's better for you to not to meet any of them, so you can improve your English accent!

SILENCE. That instant, I said to myself, "this guy is only kidding me". But he wasn't.

I was taken aback, glued to my seat.

Mr. Y (sensing the sudden change of mood): But his accent is better than mine and the rest of us, isn't it? I think he has a good command of the English language.

SILENCE again.

Mr. Y (trying to really break the ice): Your accent, is that common here in America?
Mr. X this time started to explain how he acquired his "good" accent from his good education background (comparing himself to locals from other States). He mentioned how he mastered all the English terms and idioms through his strong desire to learning the language - the English language, his native tongue. He said he was so attentive in class.

Then he began to utter sample of clichés. "You know what a cliché is?", he asked with judgment in his look that we didn't know the word. Before I could even stop him from further demeaning us by defining it straight to our faces, he gave the definition of cliché: "It is something that when you say it often, it loses it's meaning".

Huh? Loses its meaning? Helloooooo! Correction please. A cliché or idea never loses its meaning. The idea only has lost its originality or intended force through overuse, but never loses the meaning. Cliché can also mean overused expression.

This American guy totally sucks! I would suggest that he should let his mind work first before he utters words he himself don't know. Before he brags of his fluency in English, he must realize first whom he is talking to. I don't brag of my know-how because I am not a native English speaker. I am just someone who reads too much novels, magazines, newspapers, journals and writes too many essays and poems -- all in my second language, English. I am just someone who thinks this American guy would never beat me in any English exam.

I intend not be like him, nor pursue his not-so-impressive accent. I am proud of what I have and I do not want to be like anyone else.

Although at some point I'd think what he did was discrimination, I still try to compose myself and think differently. Discrimination in the United States is a big deal.

I pity Mr. X for being so hifalutin. Most of the time, this attitude doesn't get someone anywhere. I hope he realizes it sooner before he get killed by someone who doesn't have the patience and control like I had.

Mr. X, here is my final advice: go and learn your clichés!
*****
Whenever I see him around the campus, I am reminded of his discriminating act! Damn him!

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0 comments | Monday, December 17, 2007

Matthew 1: 1-17. The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. This was the Gospel reading in today's afternoon mass.

I was so tired in the office that I went to church for the needed respite. I didn't realize that the Gospel was about the genealogy of Jesus. The Gospel traces Christ's family line.

Don't you know that genealogy of Jesus in presented as well in Luke 3:23-38? And that Luke give different accounts? [more after the jump]

Here Jesus' genealogy from Luke 3:23-38:
* David
* Nathan
* Mattatha
* Menna
* Melea
* Eliakim
* Jonam
* Joseph
* Judah
* Simeon
* Levi
* Matthat
* Jorim
* Eliezer
* Joshua
* Er
* Elmadam
* Cosam
* Addi
* Melki
* Neri
* Shealtiel
* Zerubbabel
* Rhesa
* Joanan
* Joda
* Josech
* Semein
* Mattathias
* Maath
* Naggae
* Esli
* Nahum
* Amos
* Mattathias
* Joseph
* Jannai
* Melchi
* Levi
* Matthat
* Heli
* Joseph
* Jesus

Here Jesus' genealogy from Matt 1:1-17
* David
* Solomon
* Rehoboam
* Abijah
* Asa
* Jehoshaphat
* Jehoram
* -
* -
* -
* Uzziah
* Jotham
* Ahaz
* Hezekiah
* Manasseh
* Amon
* Josiah
* -
* Jeconiah
* Shealtiel
* Zerubbabel
* Abiud
* Eliakim
* Azor
* Zadok
* Achim
* Eliud
* Eleazar
* Matthan
* Jacob
* Joseph
* Jesus

From wiki, several theories have been proposed to explain the discrepancies between Matthew and Luke:

1. The oldest one, ascribed to Julius Africanus[2], uses the concept of Levirate marriage, and suggests that Matthan (grandfather of Joseph according to Matthew), and Matthat (grandfather of Joseph according to Luke), were brothers, married to the same woman one after another - this would mean that Matthan's son (Jacob) could be Joseph's biological father, and Matthat's son (Heli), was his legal father.
2. That Luke's genealogy is of Mary, with Heli being her father, while Matthew's describes the genealogy of Joseph.
3. That at least one, and possibly both, of the genealogies are simply fabricated, thus explaining the divergence.[3]
4. According to Barbara Thiering in her book Jesus the man, Jacob and Heli are one and the same. Heli took the name "Jacob" for his title as patriarch. The true genealogy is that in Luke's gospel, and in Matthew's gospel Heli's line is grafted in to the royal line running down through Solomon.

So which genealogy do you believe in? Do you believe in the identity of Jesus Christ as recorded by Matthew? Or as recorded by Luke? Whichever you pick, one thing is certain and forever will be true, that Jesus is the only name by which we are saved.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

Merry Christmas everyone!

If you want to read more of "Why are Jesus' genealogies in Matthew and Luke so different?", visit this site for an answer.

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1 comments | Sunday, December 16, 2007

Last night the city of Brookings was almost covered with fog.
I wasn't able to sleep until 3AM because my eyes simply refused to. To make the hours worthwhile, I turned off the TV and started a little project - a Christmas lantern. Wohooo! It was the first lantern I've made for my new home here in the USA. Didn't I tell you that I used to participate in my hometown's (Argao) annual Lantern Making Contest way, way, way, back then when I didn't care of just getting 20 pesos as a prize? Anyway, I had fun. Had there been a Hall of Fame award, I could have gotten it for winning the first prize three years in a row.

Back to Brookings. On my way to church this morning, I had my camera tagged with me. With a bit of sunshine and the snow covering the ground, each site I laid my eyes on was spectacular.

The snow-flaky twigs of the bushes amazed me as much as the evergreens that stayed green amidst the snowy conditions.

This collection of snow pictures in Brookings is the best so far in my very-amateur photographer's portfolio.




See the photos in my gallery.

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0 comments | Thursday, December 13, 2007

I was invited by Answers. com to join in their Creative Writing Challenge. All I need to do is write an original composition using no more than 750 words. It can be a poetry, prose, fiction, essays or any other form of creatively written expression. The rule is to use each of the words or phrases provided by them and hyperlink each one to the corresponding Answers.com entry. Most words are quite "unknown" to me and, frankly, putting all 10 of them in one essay is difficult.

I tried though and put them in my article. Read how it goes.

****

Serendipity. I sensed a speculative something in the horizon, with which from the blackish sky backdrop looked like the 11th plague of Egypt. Gazing up toward the murky heavens, they portrayed the heavy dust particles that were about to pound an unarmed enemy. I looked at them intently and realized that they were in fact as yellow as the three-quarter-shaped moon that shone that magical Friday night.

I am referring to the leaves of trees blown heavily by the western wind. On my way to the office for a late night of work, I stared at the heavens to watch these pseudo imago butterflies fluttering their spiritless, no-cuticle wings in pure ataraxia. While few enjoyed the slow descent to a temporary kibbutz, others contented themselves with a steady-state, non-flitting aerodynamic lifts. Like butterflies, leaves falling made my very big round eyes narrow with a half-stunned, semilunar, open-lipped semblance. At one point I stopped and wondered at this wonderful site to behold that nobody around even cared a fig.

Fall has started to manifest its grandeur in every whisk of the breeze and in the clutter of leaves on ground, enough for a lick and a promise. Last year I wrote how the leaves fell on a couple spending time under the shade of a pale green tree; and how it sprinkled the man's kiss attempts and witnessed the girl's giggles of anticipation. Today, the leaves inspired me not just to write about them again but opened my eyes to few realizations.

Loving each colorful detail of fall, oddments of the past couple of weeks flickered at the environs of my weird-shaped eyelids. I thought at how I missed to appreciate life in this city of Brookings: those little pinches of beauty that I used to love about the place (squirrels, crickets, flower gardens, halva, jackrabbits, tacos, SDSU ice cream, vast fields and gracious people), of which I promised myself to only see, feel, taste, experience. It was a realization that happened when I was on the verge of breaking loose from an experience that only the infuriated ego of an antagonistic contraband in a totalitarian society could appreciate. Even George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" would have paled in comparison with my blog entry about Brookings that carried the anger of The Bride, a.k.a. Beatrix Kiddo of Kill Bill and was supposed to be posted last week had my friends not interfered and advised me to cancel its posting. Their efforts were greatly appreciated. Had I pursued the posting, I would have wallowed in dire regrets.

Now, having schooled my at-times-illogical thoughts into full comprehension of the likely precipitates of my writings and the touch they may have to my readers, I slithered into my old praxis again. The self who wrote the feel-good posts "Fuchsia in South Dakota," "Falling for a brown-haired American girl at The Union" and the likes, would be evident again. Of course, the squirrels of Brookings and the leaves, thanks to them, would play their roles once more as they proved to be efficient means of self-approbation.

As a blogger, I am an unbiased, sometimes fruity individual with huge liking for absurd beauty, mantic attitude, perverted wit, and cockamamie details. It is bizarre though that I haven't killed anyone yet (laugh out loud). Perhaps because I don't think about violent stuff on people in those moments of unfriendly howls of vehemence, in those times when my opinions differ from the zeitgeist. Rather, I think of my pen, of survival and all the nice details there is to life in Brookings and the society in general. Perhaps because there is more to life than entertaining anger. Perhaps because there are more colors to appreciate if I just have to look around. Perhaps because I simply do not want to miss the small wonders in living whenever I am transformed into a new self.

From now on, I would be whisking the colors and the sapid taste of Brookings while I stare at the butterflies, I mean the leaves!
***

If you would like to join the Creative Writing Challenge, it is here.

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0 comments | Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In less than two weeks time, it will be Christmas day. While I contemplate the birth of Jesus, I am also enormously grateful to God for bestowing a precious gift-a writing ability that I continue to hone to this day. I would like to close this year's column with a prayer.

Father our thou that art in heaven

I was thinking for a theme to write and was, instead, led to make a compilation of my articles that fortunately saw light for publication in few local and national magazines and dailies. One at a time, I placed each one in chronological order, cautious not to mistakenly skip a piece nor mistakenly put one before or after the other.

Be thy name hallowed

Praise to Him! There were almost a hundred of them, a hundred pieces of short stories, which when taken as a whole, would definitely weave a charming yet heartrending masterpiece only my life story could convey. When you read between the lines of each story, you read the fine points of my existence.

Come thy kingdom

Prayers worked! The very first published article was in a weekend magazine in the Philippines way back in 1997. I still have vivid recollections of how I yelled "Thank you Lord!" at a mall when I got hold of a copy. The piece narrated the life of a sabungero's son. The manner I wrote it made so obvious how my father could not stay home on Sunday afternoons and how he rather opted to be in the company of "fighting-rooster-passionate" squad for his no-miss "Sunday school." Apparently, it was the story of a father who tried to tag along his son in every cock derby, so his son would think sharp and strong like his fighting cocks trained for sharpness and strength.

Be done thy will

One after the other, more articles followed. The second one got so much fuss from readers. Entitled "For the Love of Singing," it undervalued my own singing capability, so they say. They constantly thought I inherited no less than a quarter of my mom's vocal dexterity. Nevertheless, it was merely an article to complete a family picture that all of us siblings could certainly carry a tune. I wrote quite a number of articles about faith and God's love, about how one could survive life's adversities. Most of them were inspired by brothers and sisters in my Catholic community.

On earth as in heaven

It looks to me now that my articles transpired when I was either at my lowest point or at the cradle of seventh heaven. For instance, I wrote about El Nino, when the country was suffering the ever-scourging heat of nature. Heaven years in every foreign travel were also put into writing-detailing the four seasons particularly. The most emotive of all is when I tried to spell out my ambitions, failed and achieved, into a two-page piece of writing. From childish hopes to being what I am now, I kept on asking myself where all my other dreams have gone.

Our daily bread give us today

As of this writing, I have a compilation of my life that speaks about twists and turns. Rummaging around for a title, I ran across the word "Flicker." Hence, I named it "Flicker"--for the sparks of ideas, the flashes of thoughts, and for the words that continue to connect and stimulate other stretches of words. Flicker is the word given to a compilation of hope, of love, of faith and of prayer.

And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us

Not all was a bed of roses. As an amateur writer in this very competitive world, many times I felt almost close to giving up, letting go of this untamed dream and maybe venture into something else. Countless times I felt cheerless when editors rejected valuable pieces. The white flag was almost hoisted.

And not lead thou us into temptation

In spite of all, somehow, somewhere, as I looked at my "Flicker," there is a place for me in this spacious circle of a world, this enduring dream God-knows-what better things would bring and where probably might lead me. Only God knows.

But deliver us from evil. Truly.

Lord, thank you for giving me a precious gift-this writing craft. As I continue to write for The Collegian, provide me the grace to love my work, treasure the moments and show appreciation to the people who have given me the chance to share stories, inspire readers and to use this talent for your greater glory. Amen.
***
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0 comments | Friday, December 07, 2007

I don't have anything interesting to post for now other than this. I am posting a puzzle, actually a very easy one. It is the cookie-jar puzzle. Or maybe it should be termed as Math and Logic cookie-jar puzzle.

Here it goes:
A cookie jar costs a dollar more than a cookie. Together they cost $1.10. How much does the cookie jar cost and how much does the cookie cost?

[Think first...If you feel like giving up, answer is given after the jump]

Solution:
Are you part of the majority that tend to say that the cookie jar costs $1 and the cookie costs 10c? Think again. If your answer is this, then the condition that the cookie jar costs a dollar more than a cookie, is not satisfied. In that case the jar would cost only 90c more than the cookie ($1 - 10c = 90c).

The right answer is that the jar costs $1.05 and the cookie costs 5c; now this makes exactly a dollar difference between the jar and the cookie.

Hope you enjoy it.

More puzzles next time.

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0 comments | Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The efforts of the Department of Education in the Philippines are nothing but little in comparison to the major bottlenecks facing the nation's education system today.

I share the same thoughts with those who desire that the education in my country be given higher priority with regards to government attention and annual budget. You would agree with me that everyone has the right to quality education. It is the sure key to breaking the cycle of poverty and providing every youth better opportunities and venues to lead better lives. The quality of life for the future Filipino generations depends on the augmentation of the knowledge and skills through good education.

But where is good education in a country such as ours? In my pursuit for a redesigned system of education, I would write and send forth the following letter to all students, not only in the Philippines, but to all poverty-stricken, third-world countries with diminishing school standards and forever hoping for a first-rate education framework to come.

Dear students:

Send your thank yous to the people who have sacrificed themselves for your education. Without these very extraordinary beings in your lives, you would be fundamentally nothing. Thank your parents for pointing you in the right direction and teaching you the value of education.

Your moment is now. Every moment is a reality. Every day marks your rite of passage to another step in life. The lessons you learn in the classrooms and lecture halls should create the concrete foundation you need to surmount major hurdles along the way.

Think of greater challenges to come and the many future steps ahead of you. Education would lead you to it. The French revolutionary Danton said, "After bread, education." Danton reminds us that education is the next essential necessity after food, clothing, and shelter. Education pulls the people out of a state of poverty.

Look forward to a good education. Anticipate that the government would continue to advance the teaching of English in schools to every nook and cranny of the nation. The skill to communicate in English has always been the strongest selling point everywhere, and you don't want to take that for granted. Literacy in English must not be allowed to deteriorate through time.

Expect that the government would continue to press forward math and science teaching in the basic education curriculum. Intensified learning hours for mathematics and laboratory hours for science has to be done, whatever it takes.

Expect a deep inculcation of moral, social and cultural values in all levels of education. According to Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, "Knowledge without character is not acceptable. Critical thinkers are better citizens."

Above all, remember to be people with big hopes. Expectations and hopes bring all citizens closer to the dream of a strong republic and a nation empowered by good and quality education.

Finally, no dream is too big and no step is too small to achieve these expectations. Just put your talents to work. Spread your knowledge and you will surely be rewarded one-hundred fold. Or maybe even more.
****
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0 comments | Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Someone forwarded this to me. It's a bit "green" but I don't care, I had the best laugh today! Here it goes [non-Filipino readers, you can skip this post].

Wala neto sa abroad! Pinoys Favorite Food:

THIS WAS POSTED IN ONE RESTAURANT NEAR NAIA AIRPORT, so, maybe next time you are around the area, you may as well dine-in there, and check out their menu.

AS YOU GO ON, IT'S BECOMING INTERESTING AND MORE FLAVORFUL! (this is based on true facts...)

1. TAPSILOG - Tapa, Sinangag, Itlog

2. LONGSILOG - Longganisa, Sinangag, Itlog

3. HOTSILOG - Hotdog, Sinangag, Itlog

4. PORKSILOG - Pork, Sinangag, Itlog

5. CHICKSILOG - Chicken, Sinangag Itlog

6. AZUCARERA - Adobong Aso

7. LUGLOG - Lugaw, Itlog

8. PAKAPLOG - Pandesal, Kape, Itlog

9. KALOG - Kanin, Itlog

10. PAKALOG - Pandesal, Kanin, Itlog

11. MAALOG NA BETLOG - Maalat na Itlog, Pakbet, Itlog

12. BAHAW - Bakang Inihaw (akala ninyo kaning lamig ano)

13. KALKAL - Kalderetang Kalabaw

14. HIMAS - Hipon Malasado

15. HIMAS SUSO - Hipon Malasado, Sugpo, Keso

16. HIMAS PEKPEK - Hipon Malasado, Kropek, Pinekpekan

17. PEKPEK MONG MALAKI - Kropek, Pinekpekan, Monggo, Malasado, Laing, Kilawin

18. DILA - Dinuguan, Laing

19. DILAAN MO - Dinuguan, Laing, Dalandan, Molo

20. BOKA BOKA - Bopis, Kanin, Bokayo, Kape

21. BOKA BOKA MO PA - Bopis, Kanin, Bokayo, Kape, Molong Pancit

22. KANTOT - Kanin, Tortang Talong

23. KANTOT PA - Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit

24. SIGE KANTOT PA - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit

25. SIGE KANTOT PA IBAON MO - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit - Take out

26. SIGE KANTOT PA HA - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit, Halo-halo

27. SIGE KANTOT PAIBAON MO PAPA - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit... Take out with Ketchup

28. PAKANTOT - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong

29. PAPAKANTOT - Papaitan, Kanin, Tortang Talong

30. PAPAKANTOT KA BA - Papaitan, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Kapeng Barako

31. PAKANTOT SA YO - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Saging + Yosi

32. PAKANTOT KA - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Kape

33. PAKANTOT KA HABANG MATIGAS PA - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong, Kape, Inihaw na Bangus, Maruya, Tinola, Ginisang Aso, Pancit

34. SUBO - Sugpo, Bopis

35. SUBO MO - Sugpo, Bopis, Molo

36. SUBO MO PA - Sugpo, Bopis, Molo, Pancit

37. SUB O MO PA MAIGE - Sugpo, Bopis, Molo, Mais, Pige

38. SUBO MO TITE KO - Sugpo, Bopis, Tinola, Teryaki, Kochinta

39. SUBO MO TITE KO BILIS - Sugpo, Bopis, Tinola Teryaki, Kochinta, Bihon, Tawilis

40. SUBO MO TITE KO BILIS, HAYOP! - ...same as #39, minura mo lang yung waiter kasi ang tagal ng order.

NOW, YOU BELIEVE, FILIPINO CUISINE MENUS CAN BE SO APPETIZING, SERVE WITH SIZZLING LIBIDO...

ENJOY YOUR MEAL, BON APPETITI!

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1 comments | Sunday, December 02, 2007

Multiply.com is awesome! Downloading photos is as fast as a lighting bolt. Imagine, I have already uploaded loads of photos (not even resized ones) and created albums, but I still have to receive a warning/note that the account has reached the allowed capacity for my account. Or maybe there is no limit to uploads...amazing!
I am giving up my flicker account. Flicker sucks in download speed and storage capacity limit. From now on, a salute to multiply.com!

Photo updates:

HOBO DAY party and parade 07 - See album here.

Thankgiving Party 07 - See album here.

Black Friday and Birthday Photos 07 - See album here.

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