Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
It was an ordinary weekend except we had all the furniture done in the living room (after a few weeks of shopping and hopping). We just had a hard time matching it altogether with the China Cabinet, dining table and draperies. Such a headache coz we’re both not such a good decorator. It’s just difficult to spend money on something that you might not like but would have to live with for at least 20 years, lol! Well, it turned out to be really looking good! I think, we did a great job except the chairs on the dining table should yet be changed. Anyway, here’s the picture of that with the new sofa which was costumized.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
There are numerous laws and programs that promote the welfare of children. But children remain the most vulnerable sector in Philippine society. They are the most affected during natural and man-made calamities. About 43.3 percent of the country's population are children.
More than 4 million families are subsisting below the poverty line. Almost 10 million children are undernourished. Most children are suffering from micronutrient malnutrition. Only 33 percent of children are enrolled in daycare and preschool institutions in the country. More than 1 million children of elementary school age are not enrolled.
This is the reason why a couple of Filipino bloggers are encouraging politicians to promote child-friendly governance in all areas.
Spreading the word about the true state of Filipino children in the blogosphere is one way of raising awareness and solicit support. By holding a contest such as this one, will also make it more rewarding for bloggers to join the movement. The contest officially start today (25 September 2008) and will run for a month.
HOW TO ENTER
Entering is simple. Earn points by completing certain tasks. The more entries collected, the better chance of spreading the word about the Filipino children and also of winning some Entrecard Credits! So, if you complete a lot of things as opposed to doing just one, your chances of winning will be greatly increased.
Just make sure to keep track of how many points you have earned and post a comment HERE to inform the organizers about your efforts.
It is also important that all relevant words, phrases and blog titles are linked back to the original source. Well, everything you can link to anyway.
The contest will run for a month, 25 September 2008 until 25 October 2008. At the end of the 30 days, entries will be tallied and raffle draws will be made using a random system. Winners will be announced on 30 October 2008.
This contest would have not been possible if not for the generous offers coming from the following sponsors:
- Seek No More = 8,000 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
- PolitEkon = 2,500 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
- Pinay Wife Speaks = 2,500 EC Credits + 125x125 ad space for month
- Proud Mommy = 1,500 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
- Momma Wannabe = 1,000 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
- E-Pamilya = 1,000 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
- The Pinay Blogger = 1,000 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
- Trader’s Hub = 1,000 EC credits
- Swirling Thoughts = 1000 EC credits
- A Grateful Heart = 1,000 EC credits
- Pinay in States = 500 EC credits + 125x125 ad space for a month
1 Entry - Subscribe via email to any one of the 11 sponsors listed above, which means each contestant can subscribe to all 11 sponsors and earn 11 entries.
10 Entries – Write a post about the contest and its intention of asking the government to implement the Phil. Plan of Action for Children (must include links to all the hosts/sponsors OR just use this original text)
4 Entries – post the 125x125 avatar shown below, which links back to the Seek No More blog for the duration of the contest. You can just copy the codes shown right below the avatar.
<a href="http://seeknomore.blogspot.com/2008/09/child-welfare-ec-contest.html" target="_blank" target="_blank"><img src="http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb55/Sparhawk_photo/ChildsDrawing_125x125.jpg" border="0" alt="Child Welfare EC Contest"></a>
First Prize – 10,000 EC credits plus an ad space in Proud Mommy, Pinay in States, E-Pamilya, Seek No More, Momma Wannabe for a month
Second Prize – 5,000 EC credits plus an ad space in Pinay Wife Speaks, Pinay Blogger and PolitEkon for a month
Third Prize – 3,000 EC credits
Consolation Prizes – 15 blogs will receive 200 EC credits each
This means there will be 18 winners!
That is not all. The first 15 contestants who signs up will automatically received 75 EC credits!
However, consider the EC credits as just icing on the cake. The important thing is that, win or lose, the contestants and participants were able to help spread the word about the need to adopt and implement effective policies that promote child welfare in the Philippines and maybe in the rest of the world too.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I told Jim about how my parents have lived in the island almost all their lives. My Mom stayed in the same house even when she’s already married. The income may grow better and bigger but most people will just stay and live in the same house. They will just renovate it. Well, that was the scenario 50 years ago, Jim commented.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
You know, when we were kids- we used to collect spiders. We name them according to their colors. We usually put them in a matchbox with a very creative kind of compartments that will separate them all. Each spider has their own hole (made of cardboard) in that small matchbox. We always go out hunting for spiders in the trees. We all brag about how fight masters our spiders will be. Then, the next hour we let them fight. That is, letting the spiders crawl on a stick (broom stick from coconut) and whichever is killed- the owner of that spider will be the loser. Then, loser will give one spider to the winner as an award. Well, when you grow in a place that has a shortage of toys- playing with spiders is so much fun, lol!
Anyway, when I came back from Taiwan- I was so shocked when I saw a group of adults circled together alongside the street and they seemed so serious about something. Curiously, I joined in and found out that they bet on the spider fights. What? I thought those were kid’s games. So much astounding when I found out they have real money for that. Geeezzzz, they make it like a cockfight. Hmmm, I wish I could send these big spiders from the yard just so my little brother can win money from it. Seriously, my brother did win money from that spider fight. So strange!
Monday, September 22, 2008
According to Wiki:
Charice has lived with her younger brother and their mother, Racquel, since her parents' separation when she was only a toddler. She started singing at age four under her mother's coaching.At age seven, she began joining amateur singing contests, from town fiestas in their province of Laguna to several televised competitions in her country.In 2005, she joined Little Big Star, a talent show in the Philippines loosely patterned after American Idol. Eliminated after her first performance, she was later called back as a wildcard contender. Charice worked her way up to the finals and eventually placed third.
In 2007, a series of YouTube videos of Charice's performances posted by a youtuber called FalseVoice brought her to the attention of Ten Songs/Productions based in Sweden. In June 2007, she flew to Stockholm, Sweden and recorded seven songs.
A video of Charice performing the Dreamgirls' anthem And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going became a hit on UCC, the Korean version of YouTube. This gained her an invite to perform the same song on Star King, a famous talent show in South Korea, in October 2007. She would later reappear in January 2008 as the Most Requested Foreign Act on Star King, performing Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive and, with Korean-American singers Lena Park, the Bodyguard theme, I Will Always Love You. In December 2007, she flew to the United States for the first time after having been personally invited by Ellen Degeneres to perform on her show. She sang Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You and her popular cover of And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going.
In May 2008, Charice guested on The Oprah Winfrey Show in their World's Smartest Kids episode. She sang Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing.
Well, last September 15, 2008, Charice met with Celine Dion at Madison Square Garden to perform a duet of Because You Loved Me. The duet was featured on Oprah show on September 19.
For just a kid from a province who joined singing contests and who, if she earned P2,500 in prizes, was happy because she could feed herself and her Mom and brother for a month. And rising despite it all, being confident and smart enough to meet the challenges; definitely her dreams is truly coming true!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Did you know that we waited for an hour in the car just to get pass this "world's most crooked street"? haha! Jim told me to run up above to take some pictures while he's driving his way up the hill. It was really chilly in San Francisco (still on our Christmas road trip) and the whole street is full of tourists taking pictures. The Lombard Street goes straight down with grooves and curves on it and some very pretty flowers! Oh, amazing history! Oh, I took this while Jim was driving and I stood up at my car seat with the sun roof open. Amazing shot! Whew! That was a very memorable ride, hahaha! It blew my hat off and my sunglass almost (well, almost doesn't count, lol!). We drove through the Golden Gate Bridge the day before and we can't see the whole bridge at all:( It was all so foggy when we entered...
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
I’ve also been following some other blogs and loved reading some funny, witty blogs or even just reading daily rants and musings had helped me understand the nature of living. Well, I'm glad to pass this award onto them. I just don’t want to bother some who may not want to be bothered by it, lol! They are as follows:
All they need to do is just leave the following message on their post when they pass the award on to their chosen 8 bloggers. Hopefully, they will be charmed with the blogs, where it aims to show the marvels and magic of friendship. Let’s propagate the magical moments of Friendship in Blogosphere.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Matter of Taste
By Matthew Sutherland
I have now been in this country for over six years, and consider myself in most respects well assimilated. However, there is one key step on the road to full assimilation, which I have yet to take, and that's to eat BALUT. The day any of you sees me eating balut, please call immigration and ask them to issue me a Filipino passport. Because at that point there will be no turning back.
BALUT, for those still blissfully ignorant non-Pinoys out there, is a fertilized duck egg. It is commonly sold with salt in a piece of newspaper, much like English fish and chips, by street vendors usually after dark, presumably so you can't see how gross it is.
It's meant to be an aphrodisiac, although I can't imagine anything more likely to dispel sexual desire than crunching on a partially formed baby duck swimming in noxious fluid. The embryo in the egg comes in varying stages of development, but basically it is not considered macho to eat one without fully discernable feathers, beak, and claws. Some say these crunchy bits are the best. Others prefer just to drink the so-called 'soup', the vile, pungent liquid that surrounds the aforementioned feathery fetus...excuse me; I have to go and throw up now. I'll be back in a minute.
Food dominates the life of the Filipino. People here just love to eat. They eat at least eight times a day. These eight official meals are called, in order: breakfast, snacks, lunch, merienda, merienda ceyna, dinner, bedtime snacks and no-one-saw-me- take-that- cookie-from- the-fridge-so-it- doesn't-count. The short gaps in between these mealtimes are spent eating Sky Flakes from the open packet that sits on every desktop. You're never far from food in the Philippines. If you doubt this, next time you're driving home from work, try this game. See how long you can drive without seeing food and I don't mean a distant restaurant, or a picture of food. I mean a man on the sidewalk frying fish balls, or a man walking through the traffic selling nuts or candy. I bet it's less than one minute.
Here are some other things I've noticed about food in the Philippines:
Firstly, a meal is not a meal without rice - even breakfast. In the UK, I could go a whole year without eating rice. Second, it's impossible to drink without eating. A bottle of San Miguel just isn't the same without gambas or beef tapa. Third, no one ventures more than two paces from their house without baon (food in small container) and a container of something cold to drink. You might as well ask a Filipino to leave home without his pants on. And lastly, where I come from, you eat with a knife and fork. Here, you eat with a spoon and fork. You try eating rice swimming in fish sauce with a knife.
One really nice thing about Filipino food culture is that people always ask you to SHARE their food. In my office, if you catch anyone attacking their baon, they will always go, 'Sir! KAIN TAYO!' ('Let's eat!'). This confused me, until I realized that they didn't actually expect me to sit down and start munching on their boneless bangus. In fact, the polite response is something like, 'No thanks, I just ate.' But the principle is sound - if you have food on your plate, you are expected to share it, however hungry you are, with those who may be even hungrier. I think that's great!
In fact, this is frequently even taken one step further. Many Filipinos use 'Have you eaten yet?' ('KUMAIN KA NA?') as a general greeting, irrespective of time of day or location.
Some foreigners think Filipino food is fairly dull compared to other Asian cuisines. Actually lots of it is very good: Spicy dishes like Bicol Express (strange, a dish named after a train); anything cooked with coconut milk; anything KINILAW; and anything ADOBO. And it's hard to beat the sheer wanton, cholesterolic frenzy of a good old-fashioned LECHON de leche (roast pig) feast. Dig a pit, light a fire, add 50 pounds of animal fat on a stick, and cook until crisp. Mmm, mmm... you can actually feel your arteries constricting with each successive mouthful.
I also share one key Pinoy trait ---a sweet tooth. I am thus the only foreigner I know who does not complain about sweet bread, sweet burgers, sweet spaghetti, sweet banana ketchup, and so on. I am a man who likes to put jam on his pizza. Try it! It's the weird food you want to avoid. In addition to duck fetus in the half-shell, items to avoid in the Philippines include pig's blood soup (DINUGUAN); bull's testicle soup, the strangely-named 'SOUP NUMBER FIVE' (I dread to think what numbers one through four are); and the ubiquitous, stinky shrimp paste, BAGOONG, and it's equally stinky sister, PATIS. Filipinos are so addicted to these latter items that they will even risk arrest or deportation trying to smuggle them into countries like Australia and the USA, which wisely ban the importation of items you can smell from more than 100 paces.
Then there's the small matter of the purple ice cream. I have never been able to get my brain around eating purple food; the ubiquitous UBE leaves me cold.
And lastly on the subject of weird food, beware: that KALDERETANG KAMBING (goat) could well be KALDERETANG ASO (dog)...
The Filipino, of course, has a well-developed sense of food. Here's a typical Pinoy food joke: 'I'm on a seafood diet. 'What's a seafood diet?' 'When I see food, I eat it!'
Filipinos also eat strange bits of animals --- the feet, the head, the guts, etc., usually barbecued on a stick. These have been given witty names, like ADIDAS' (chicken's feet); 'KURBATA' (either just chicken's neck, or 'neck and thigh' as in 'neck-tie'); 'WALKMAN' (pigs ears); 'PAL' (chicken wings); HELMET' (chicken head); 'IUD' (chicken intestines), and BETAMAX' (video-cassette- like blocks of animal blood). Yum, yum. Bon appetit.
'A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches'-- (Proverbs 22:1)
WHEN I arrived in the Philippines from the UK six years ago, one of the first cultural differences to strike me was names. The subject has provided a continuing source of amazement and amusement ever since. The first unusual thing, from an English perspective, is that everyone here has a nickname. In the staid and boring United Kingdom, we have nicknames in kindergarten, but when we move into adulthood we tend, I am glad to say, to lose them.
The second thing that struck me is that Philippine names for both girls and boys tend to be what we in the UK would regard as overbearingly cutesy for anyone over about five. Fifty-five-year- olds colleague put it. Where I come from, a boy with a nickname like Boy Blue or Honey Boy would be beaten to death at school by pre-adolescent bullies, and never make it to adulthood. So, probably, would girls with names like Babes, Lovely, Precious, Peachy or Apples. Yuk, ech ech. Here, however, no one bats an eyelid.
Then I noticed how many people have what I have come to call 'door-bell names'. These are nicknames that sound like -well, doorbells. There are millions of them. Bing, Bong, Ding, and Dong are some of the more common. They can be, and frequently are, used in even more door-bell-like combinations such as Bing-Bong, Ding-Dong, Ting-Ting, and so on. Even our newly appointed chief of police has a doorbell name Ping. None of these doorbell names exist where I come from, and hence sound unusually amusing to my untutored foreign ear.
Someone once told me that one of the Bings, when asked why he was called Bing, replied, 'because my brother is called Bong'. Faultless logic. Dong, of course, is a particularly funny one for me, as where I come from 'dong' is a slang word for well; perhaps 'talong' is the best Tagalog equivalent.
Repeating names was another novelty to me, having never before encountered people with names like Len-Len, Let-Let, Mai-Mai, or Ning-Ning. The secretary I inherited on my arrival had an unusual one: Leck-Leck. Such names are then frequently further refined by using the 'squared' symbol, as in Len2 or Mai2. This had me very confused for a while.
Then there is the trend for parents to stick to a theme when naming their children. This can be as simple as making them all begin with the same letter, as in Jun, Jimmy, Janice, and Joy.
More imaginative parents shoot for more sophisticated forms of assonance or rhyme, as in Biboy, Boboy, Buboy, Baboy (notice the names get worse the more kids there are-best to be born early or you could end up being a Baboy). Note: Baboy means "pig".
Even better, parents can create whole families of, say, desserts (Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, Honey Pie) or flowers (Rose, Daffodil, Tulip). The main advantage of such combinations is that they look great painted across your trunk if you're a cab driver.
That's another thing I'd never seen before coming to Manila -- taxis with the driver's kids' names on the trunk.
Another whole eye-opening field for the foreign visitor is the phenomenon of the 'composite' name. This includes names like Jejomar (for Jesus, Joseph and Mary), and the remarkable Luzviminda (for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, believe it or not). That's a bit like me being called something like Engscowani' (for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Between you and me, I'm glad I'm not.
And how could I forget to mention the fabulous concept of the randomly inserted letter 'h'. Quite what this device is supposed to achieve, I have not yet figured out, but I think it is designed to give a touch of class to an otherwise only averagely weird name. It results in creations like Jhun, Lhenn , Ghemma, and Jhimmy. Or how about Jhun-Jhun (Jhun2)? How boring to come from a country like the UK full of people with names like John Smith. How wonderful to come from a country where imagination and exoticism rule the world of names. Even the towns here have weird names; my favorite is the unbelievably named town of Sexmoan (ironically close to Olongapo and Angeles). Where else in the world could that really be true?
Where else in the world could the head of the Church really be called Cardinal Sin?
Where else but the Philippines!
Note: Philippines has a senator named Joker, and it is his legal name.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Oh, I can't help it:( Sorry, I just terribly missed these foods, yum! I'm so hungry and knowing that I can't eat that "kinilaw" or a raw fish soaked in vinegar, ginger, hot chili and lemon. Geee, it's mouth-watering! My friend in Indiana had tried that though with Tuna and mayonaise, hmmm.... I wonder how it taste like:) She said, it's okay, hahaha! Oppps, sorry, I forgot it should have been a "Wordless Wednesday". I should have kept that food away from here, lol!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Once in a while, I get away from anything. I always felt there's a need for me to pause for a moment, empty my cup, count my blessings and look back. I don't believe in regrets. Everything happen for a reason and the beauty is finding that reason. That's living:)
An event in your soul is like an event in the depths of the ocean. It's very deep. On the ocean there maybe turmoil, a storm, or a gentle breeze. But the further you go down, there is absolute total silence. And that's the way it is with the soul.
The soul lives in silence. You have to feel that silent place in the depths of your soul, in that place where you can always concentrate on God. It's a place nobody can go and nothing can enter, unless you open the door.
Well, I’m glad all of them showed up at the Chinese Restaurant. It was a fun night. It’s nice to get together and have a dinner.
I got a tag from Hailey of Hailey's Bits and Beats. It's for fun and it's nice to play around too! So, here it goes.
1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was 21, fresh from College and getting myself ready for the ECE Lincensure Exams.
2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today?
Balance the Company’s check book; mail the documents to the Accountant for the year-end taxes, return the calls of my good friends- Blanca, Vem & Karyas, make some deposits ready for early tomorrow and post some birthday pictures on friendster, lol!
3. Snacks I enjoy:
Doritos, Frozen Yogurt and all kinds of nuts.
4. Placess I’ve lived:
Camiguin, Cagayan De Oro, Bukidnon, Cebu, Taiwan, California.
5. Things I’d do if I were a billionaire:
Have my own Foundation that focused on Education to deserving but poor students.
6. People I want to know more about:
Sheila, Grandmasterson, Mhars, Jade, Merydith and Joy.
Monday, September 8, 2008
He wrote: A Grateful Heart, A personal view of life from Shawie and always on the upbeat side. That's very touching:) Believe me, if I were to write all that I have gone through like any other people- it will be too tiring for me to write and for you to read, lol! Most people that never really know me, they would say I'm just silent, happy-go-lucky sorta...but those few of whom I surfaced and open up, they wouldn't believe I've done it all and stayed positive and grateful. There's always a humor in life and I would rather laugh at all struggles rather than dwell on it with a heavy heart. I'm glad I have that "kind" of faith. Anyway, thanks so very much for this award and for taking time to read my posts:)
Well, I'm not finished yet, haha! This tag came from KCee. Thanks, gurl! I think this is so much fun.
7 Random Facts About Me:
2. I always turn the volume so loud everytime my favorite song is being played.
3. I would rather go out by myself in a bookstore, shop by myself, eat alone rather than spending time with someone I can't even relate to. Sorry, I felt bad about it but it seemed to me- a waste of time, haha!
4. I'm very observant and easy to please.
5. I'm always scared of the dark. I just don't know why.
6. I'm very stubborn. I just hate being manipulated.
7. If there's one thing that I'm very grateful about- it is the self-awakening. The very best gift I had ever received.