Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Miles away ... from INQUIRER.net


Miles away

By Belen Docena-Asuelo


Last updated 00:40am (Mla time) 02/27/2007

that it’s love month, I can’t help but sorely miss my husband. He is my
number one fan, friend, critic, confidant, soul mate, town mate, all
rolled into one. And he is miles away from me.

I am not alone with my battle against loneliness. My three girls
(ages 9, 8 and 6) who are all their Papa’s girls have not yet adjusted
to the fact that he is physically away from us. No amount of telephone
calls can still the girls’ queries on when we are going to be with
their Papa again. They miss him terribly.

He left with a heavy heart for the land of milk and honey last Dec.
29, 2006. It’s the first time he has been away after 10 years of
marriage. The scene at the airport with my husband and the kids was far
more melodramatic and touching than any episode of “Maalaala Mo Kaya”
or “Magpakailanman.” To say that a river of tears from my kids flowed
at the airport’s entrance is an understatement. The children kept on
waving at their teary-eyed father until he was out of sight.

Tears could not stop my husband’s departure. He had tried to
postpone it by requesting the agency to reschedule his flight, but
after many postponements the inevitable came, and he had to go.

I thought the drama at the airport would be enough. But on the way
home, the kids couldn’t mumble clear words as their father made his
last call before boarding his plane.

Things didn’t improve when we arrived home. They immediately looked
for things that would remind them of their Papa and or simply stared
blankly at the wall.

To this day, his presence is missed at dinnertime and bedtime. My
middle child, who used to sleep beside him, tried to feel his presence
by placing beside her pillow one of the clean shirts he left behind.
But she complained that she could not smell her Papa in the newly
washed working shirt he left.

With my husband gone, we had our loneliest "media noche" [midnight
feast] last Christmas. We were all quiet on the table even if we had
the usual array of sumptuous foods. Nothing could make up for his
absence. One of my daughters, unable to control herself, said in tears
that she should have been with her Papa.

Until now, she often repeats that wish. Sometimes I would find her
holding a picture of him, as tears roll down her angelic face.

You can’t blame my kids for loving their Papa so dearly. He was
always sensitive to their needs. He couldn’t come home without
something they loved to munch. My girls did not run out of Dunkin
Donuts. It didn’t matter if he was short on cash, he would bring
without fail something for the kids.

He also couldn’t leave home without cooking for the girls their
favorite "champorado" porridge with Milo. He couldn’t sleep without
putting medication on the kids’ skin. He was proud to say that his
angels were flawless. He would usually stock on skin medications like
Katialis and other topical ointments for the kids.

When they were sick, he was more bothered than me. He insisted on
bringing the kids to the hospital even if I assured him they had
nothing more than a slight fever. He was a mother wrapped in a father’s

Now that he is miles away, his loved ones really feel the vacuum
that he left. And we do not know how long it will take before we can
adjust to his absence. Every so often, the kids would ask when we are
going to the US Embassy for our interviews so we can join him.

He has been urging me to apply for a job in the place where he lives
now so that I can bring the kids there. I am assured of his fidelity to
me and I am convinced of his great love for the kids whenever he vows
to move heaven and earth so that we can be together soon.

I would be lying if I said I am not excited about joining my dear
husband abroad. After the many stories he has told me about the US and
the many opportunities it opens, I cannot help but wish to join the
bandwagon of professionals going abroad. We cannot deprive our three
girls of the bright future that they deserve. We will not risk giving
them a bleak tomorrow due to poor education, an unsafe environment, an
unstable economy, self-serving lawmakers, etc. Indeed, there is nothing
we won’t do for them.

I am certain that the love that binds my husband, our three girls
and me will survive the test of time and distance. Geography doesn’t
matter. The firm family bond will always be there. Our love will keep
us going.

Belen Docena-Asuelo, 29, teaches English at Don Alejandro Roces Sr. Science Technology High School in Quezon City

Copyright 2007 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Google charges for web programs... thanks to BBC.co.uk

Google charges for web programs

Dental tools and x-rays of teeth, BBC
Dentists could get their own programs via Microsoft's software initiative.

Google has introduced a paid-for version of its web applications it hopes will be popular with small firms.

The paid version adds more storage, phone help and
guarantees of availability to the Gmail, calendar, word processing and
messaging package.

Industry analysts suggest the move is aimed squarely at Microsoft and its Office suite of programs.

At the same time BT and Microsoft signed a deal to create a marketplace of web-based programs for small firms.

'Brutal timing'

Google's new service costs $50 (£27 or 40 euros) for
every account and for this customers get phone support, a guarantee
that the online applications will work 99.9% of the time and 10
gigabytes of storage for each e-mail address.

The package of programs available includes e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, calendar and Google Talk.

By paying, users also get the option to turn off the adverts that usually populate the free versions.

The free version of this package was introduced in August 2006 and Google said that more than 100,000 businesses had signed up.

Google hopes that the chance to collaborate on key
documents via the web will prove popular to small firms who are more
used to e-mailing copies back and forth.

Analysts said the announcement was intended to give people an alternative to Microsoft's Office 2007.

"The timing is just brutal for Microsoft," said Rebecca
Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus Research. "It's
definitely a shot across their bow."

In related news Microsoft has revealed details of a
partnership with telecoms firm BT to create a marketplace for a series
of business programs designed for small businesses.

The subscription-based marketplace will host all the
programs itself and allow small businesses to use the different
applications as a service.

As well as generic applications such as payroll programs
the marketplace will also host niche applications designed for
particular types of small businesses such as dentists and estate

A spokesman for BT said it would be signing up software
firms to make the programs soon and that it was aiming to launch by the

Friday, February 23, 2007

TV RATINGS - 2/21/2007

TV RATINGS - 2/21/2007

>From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...

Posted by cybermyx

Wednesday - February 21, 2007

Sis 13.0
Homeboy 12.0

Yellow Handkerchief 19.6
Pilipinas Game KNB? 23.0

Eat Bulaga! 21.5
WoWoWee 23.7

Daisy Siete 19.4
Inocente De Ti 16.4

Muli 16.1
Princess Charming 15.2
Full House 16.4
Kapamilya Cinema 13.4

Jewel In The Palace 15.4
Pangako Sa 'Yo 9.8

24 Oras 26.8
TV Patrol World 22.3

Asian Treasures 31.2
Kapamilya Deal or No Deal 27.3

Super Twins 32.4
Maria Flordeluna 24.4

Bakekang 33.7
Sana Maulit Muli 27.1

Jumong 28.0
Maging Sino Ka Man 28.4

Starstruck 19.4
Princess Hours 19.8

Nuts Entertainment 14.0
Bandila 10.5

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pride and piracy... from YOUNGBLOOD of INQUIRER.net

Pride and piracy
By Hans Pura
Last updated 01:05am (Mla time) 02/22/2007

I HAVE always known that buying pirated videodiscs is a crime. But because of the outrageous prices of movie tickets, buying bootleg copies of movies seems to have become socially acceptable. What used to be an embarrassing act is now being done by every Tom, Dick and Harry. Sometimes I see priests and even celebrities buying DVDs from the local dealer.

But who can blame them? Why spend P120 to watch a movie once when you can pay P50 to watch the same movie as many times as you want, at your convenience and in your own home? Why buy an original copy of a movie for P800 when you can buy an 8-in-1 DVD for P50?

We Filipinos are a pragmatic people. Many will say that the practical way to watch movies is through piracy. They seem to have a point. Why would a student like me buy original DVDs? I only get money by asking my parents and I'm surely not going to throw it away by buying overpriced products.

It's not surprising that the sales of original DVDs have dropped due to the proliferation of movie pirates. But what surprises me is that original DVD producers haven't done a thing to reverse the trend. If pirates can sell DVDs at affordable prices, can't the DVD producers do the same thing? If pirates can sell a DVD for P50, then I'm sure legitimate producers can also sell it at a price that is much lower than P800, considering that most movies make a lot of money.

Remember that infamous commercial, the one comparing stealing someone's things to buying pirated discs? The advertisement was meant to make you feel guilty. Its message was that the "legal" way to watch movies is going to the cinema.

Well, I have been doing just that for years already. I shell out a couple of hundred pesos a week just so I could watch current movies the "legal" way. I also make sure that I don't buy pirated DVDs of movies currently being shown in theaters.

But given the quality of movies being shown recently, I have been wondering whether to still watch movies in the theaters. Is it worthwhile to spend P100 to watch a non-substantial movie when I can just buy a DVD and give the difference to my church? It won't hurt the movie producers anyway since most bad movies make all the money.

I have been waiting for a certain movie musical ever since it started playing in the United States last Christmas. I wanted to watch it even more when it recently won the Golden Globe for best picture. It is the most-talked about movie in the United States and it still hasn't been shown here. But do you know that I can buy a clear copy of it anywhere where pirated DVDs are sold?

A large sum of money could have been earned by local theaters if only they had shown the movie before it was pirated. If I haven't bought a copy, it is not only because I'm supporting the movie but also because I love the movie industry. I am a movie enthusiast and movies are for me, the highest form of art. They are not just moving pictures but are also inspirations. I am not going to kill them by supporting pirates.

Stopping piracy is going to be tough. The entertainment industry must first convince the people to stop tolerating piracy. I know it looks impossible, but it can be done. They have started showing anti-piracy commercials but those efforts are futile. They should pursue the campaign by lowering the prices of movie tickets in theaters. Filipinos love to watch movies, but many have stopped going to the cinemas because it has become too costly. But if they can afford to watch movies again, then they will probably go to the theaters more often.

It would also help if Hollywood movies were brought to Manila faster. Nothing beats watching movies in a comfortable theater with a big screen.

But as soon as the entertainment industry is done with its job, the citizens should do the rest. We must never tolerate any form of piracy. We must work together to prevent the movie industry from dying.

Hans Pura, 17, is a senior at De La Salle Zobel.

Copyright 2007 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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TV RATINGS - 2/18/2007

TV RATINGS - 2/18/2007

TV RATINGS - 2/18/2007

From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...
Posted by cybermyx

Sunday TV Ratings
February 18, 2007

Takeshi's Castle 12.0
It Started with A Kiss 10.4

SOP Rules 16.0
ASAP '07 17.4

Your Song 13.6
Magic Kamison 12.9
Lovespell Presents: Click Na Click 13.7

S-Files 10.2
The Buzz 16.4

Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang 15.5
TV Patrol Linggo 20.6

StarStruck The Next Level 19.5
Goin Bulilit 21.0

Mel & Joey 21.4
Rated K: Handa Na Ba Kayo? 24.5

All Star K! 21.0
Sharon 12.7

Daddy DiDoDu 18.4
Sunday's Best 8.1
Sunday Night Box Office 12.0

Have a burning question? Go to Yahoo! Answers and get answers from real people who know.


ABS-CBN Channel 2 got a high percentage of 18.2 in the
AGB Nielsen Mega Manila Ratings last Sunday. This was
2.3% higher than GMA's audience share of 15.9%. The
said rating was in the scope of 11:45am-9:30pm.

ABS-CBN dominated the daytime ratings of the Sunday
game. The biggest winner was ASAP O7 ALIW THEATRE LIVE
which got 17.4% against SOP's 16%. Lovespell and Your
Song also had their victories against Magic Kamison
with almost 1% of differences. Kris' revelation about
her problems with husband James Yap made a landslide
win with 16.4% against S-Files which only got 10.2%.
TV Patrol Linggo had grasp higher rating than SFiles.
TV Patrol got 20.6%. It has also beaten GMA's Lola
Basyang (15.5%) & Starstruck (19.5%).

On the other hand, Goin Bulilit remains number 1 on
its timeslot with 21% of audience share.

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February 17, 2007 TV Ratings

14.4 Pilipinas, Game Ka Na Ba?

13.2 Takeshi's Castle

23.3 Wowowee

23.4 Eat Bulaga

16.3 Nagmamahal Kapamilya

12.2 Startalk

Food fight? Enjoy some healthy debate
in the Yahoo! Answers Food & Drink Q&A.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Couple plan to tie the knot in graveyard

PACIFIC, Mo. - It's not the traditional "till death do us part," but Scott Amsler and Miranda Patterson believe getting hitched in a graveyard is just thinking outside the box.

Come September, the Illinois couple expects to pledge their undying love among the dearly departed in this St. Louis suburb's city cemetery, even though those who approved the request are dead set against seeing it become a trend.

The wedding wouldn't be out of character for Amsler, 27, a computer expert for a financial company by day and rehabber of old hearses by night.

The graveyard, he said, just has a certain tranquility and thriftiness for nuptials the young couple insists will be small, private and traditional — except for the bagpipes, Amsler's refurbished hearse and the throng of eternally silent witnesses.

"People are going to think how they want. I don't actively try to convince people that my interests are normal or logical," Amsler said. "I'm not a freak or Satan worshipper or cult member. It just goes with our theme."

Deep down, the couple said, it just seemed right.

Amsler and Patterson, who recently moved to Collinsville, Ill., became an item not long after they met in November 2005 at a birthday party where Patterson, 21, was to have been the celebrant's blind date. Amsler showed up in a retooled hearse that caught Patterson's eye.

"I wanted a ride in it but I chickened out at the last minute," she said.

By their first date weeks later, on New Year's Eve, Patterson knew Amsler was the one. Not long afterward, she quit her factory job in Sullivan, Mo., and moved in with Amsler in Troy, Ill.

Amsler proposed last June, affixing to the side of the 1965 hearse — which the two call "Edgar" — a plate with a simple message: "Will you marry me?" Seconds later, the ring slid onto a crying Patterson's finger.

She received Edgar as an engagement gift and had only one stipulation: The wedding had to be outside, in a gazebo.

Her worries were laid to rest while she and Amsler drove to her dad's house. While traveling on Interstate 44, Patterson spotted a gazebo on a hilltop, only to find it was in a graveyard. No worries.

"The view was just gorgeous," she said. "I said, `This is where I want to get married.'"

When the couple called last fall for permission to use the three-acre cemetery, which dates to the Civil War, City Clerk Jo Ann Hoehne told them the local cemetery committee would have to decide.

"When I spoke to them, they were just a normal young couple who wanted to have a wedding some place they thought was nice and serene for a very small, intimate wedding," Hoehne said. "They weren't any cult group or anything like that."

Bill Hohman, a 71-year-old alderman on the cemetery panel, wasn't sure what to think.

"It's strange to me. This is kind of an unusual thing around here," he said of the country town where the roughly 5,700 residents "roll up the sidewalks at nine o'clock, and everyone goes to bed."

The committee last month signed off on the couple's request despite concerns about the appropriateness of the setting for the occasion — and fears that a burial might be scheduled for the same time.

Hohman, though, vows to introduce a measure to make Amsler-Patterson nuptials the last among this town's tombstones. "Once the horse is out of the barn, you have to have an ordinance," he said.

But Patterson said she and Amsler have respect for the living and the dead.

"We're not going to do anything stupid or horrible. We just want to have a wedding," she said.

"Some of the ladies I work with said, `Are you crazy? Why would you get married in a cemetery?' Does it matter where we get married, just as long as we get married?" - AP

Any questions? Get answers on any topic at Yahoo! Answers. Try it now.

Friday TV Ratings : February 16, 2007

Sis 13.5%
Homeboy 13.7%

Yellow Handkerchief 18.0%
Game ka na ba? 22.1%
Eat Bulaga 23.4%
Wowowee 23.0%

Daisy Siete 17.7%
Inocente De Ti 14.8%
Makita Ka Lang Muli 16.6% (FINALE)
Princess Charming 16.8%
Full House 15.1%
Kapamilya Cinema 11.2%

Jewel in the Palace 14.8%
Pangako Sa'yo 12.2%
24 Oras 26.5%
TV Patrol World 20.9%

Asian Treasures 32.7%
Kapamilya, Deal or No Deal 27.3%
ST 32.7%
Maria Flordeluna 22.0%

Bakekang 30.8%
Sana Maulit Muli 22.2%
JuMong 29.5%
Maging Sino Ka Man 27.8%

StarStruck The Next Level 18.5%
MMK 22.0%%
Bubble Gang 19.1%
Bandila 10.4%

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Chinese New year...

2-17-2007 11-59-50 PM, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

Me and my Langga at Wang Shan Lo Resto, CLub Ultima, Cebu City.

Glowing Bark

Glowing Bark (detail), originally uploaded by Roger Lynn.


Belated Valentines Date...

2-18-2007 12-01-44 AM, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

A celebration of Chinese New Year at Wang Shan Lo Restaurant, Club Ultima Cebu, February 18, 2006

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Thaïlande Lotus

Thaïlande Lotus, originally uploaded by Raoul@.

just one of te nice shots at FLICKR

Survivor... from YOUNGBLOOD of INQUIRER.net

By Bromhexine
Last updated 01:47am (Mla time) 02/17/2007

All of my life
Where have you been?
I wonder if I will ever see you again.

-- Lenny Kravitz

MANILA, Philippines -- This is a story that begins with an ending. If love means two people getting together, then this is love that never was and never will be. A false start can never ever lead to a fairy tale ending. Tears, pain, hurt -- that's all you get, plus a hard kick in the end.

Aril was almost my first everything. Almost, because admittedly he was not my first love and first hurt. That distinction belongs to my best friend's boyfriend (but that's another story altogether).

They say that you will have one greatest love in your lifetime. If that's true, it would probably be Aril for me.

Why? Well, what else would you call accepting a guy as your boyfriend although he has two kids with a woman he does not consider his girlfriend, and then breaking up with him, only to go back to him after he gets married to another woman? To some that may look like sheer stupidity, but I'm a reborn positivist and I consider it an act of bravery.

Martyrdom and masochism make up a fatal combination, and I have both tendencies. When heaven was pouring such attributes, I must have been suffering a big hangover and I just accepted them without thinking and understanding what they entailed. When I chose sainthood, alcohol probably drowned my senses and so my halo dropped down to my waist. But it did not drop far enough to serve as a chastity belt.

As a result, I stayed in a relationship (oh yes, I treated it as one even if my partner never did) for more than three years -- three years and four months, to be exact.

However, like a mechanical toy when wound too tight, a relationship breaks. You can try to put it together and you can even fix it, but it is no longer quite the same anymore. It is broken, even though the cracks may not show.

Too much is always not too good. When abuse creeps in, even if it is just verbal and not physical, the relationship is shattered. And its effects endure longer, sometimes forever.

Are you willing to face a firing squad? Then be ready to hear the words, "I'm sorry, I cannot offer you anything. I have a kid. I have a wife!" (You should then ask if he didn't know that before he ruined my once peaceful life.)

But then again, I'm an optimist remember? So I set him free, of course without him knowing it. I just took off, leaving no explanations whatsoever. I changed my number and went to another place.

It's been nine months since then, but the feelings have never diminished, not one tiny bit. But the change of environment has allowed me to look at the affair with greater clarity. There are still a lot of questions left unanswered, but this time I know I have to do the searching alone. It is my own self that I need to find.

I'm still a martyr. I have learned the meaning of sacrifice. As R.P. Evans once put it, "Loving something is not desiring it, but desiring the happiness of the thing you love." In plain language, just let go.

Though I am still struggling, I believe this is the right thing to do. Despite all the mistakes and the wrong decisions I've made, one thing is certain: I will overcome. So what if my heart has been broken? So what if I have to keep all these things to myself because not one soul knows about my illicit affair with Aril (well, a few friends have an idea of what's going on but they don't know him)? So what if I cry every night and I have to tell anyone who notes my eye bags that I have overslept? So what if I feel insecure at times? I know and I am sure that I will survive!

If circumstances dictate that our paths should cross again, I wish that Aril will meet the real me and then he can do nothing but look and regret everything that happened in the past.

All of my life, I have been looking for the real me. Now when I look at the mirror, I think I have found her: one tough gal, wearing a big grin and winking, with her halo back in its proper place.

Bromhexine, 27, has finished two college courses but is still looking for her first job.

Copyright 2007 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

National Geographic Photo of the Day

Photograph by Michael Nichols Sunlight radiates through the clouds, illuminating the pristine beaches of Loango National Park. The wide, sandy beaches are a haven for many species of wildlife, including the enormous leatherback turtles, who lay their eggs by moonlight every three years between October and March. (Text adapted from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Gabon's Loango National Park: In the Land of the Surfing Hippos," August 2004, National Geographic magazine)

History of Cupid ~ The God Of Love !... thanks to http://www.theholidayspot.com/valentine/cupid.htm

Cupid is the most famous of Valentine symbols and everybody knows that boy armed with bow and arrows, and piercing hearts . He is known as a mischievous, winged child armed with bow and arrows. The arrows signify desires and emotions of love, and Cupid aims those arrows at Gods and Humans, causing them to fall deeply in love. Cupid has always played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. In ancient Greece he was known as Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. To the Roman's he was Cupid, and his mother was Venus.

There is a very interesting story about Cupid and His mortal Bride Psyche in Roman mythology. Venus was jealous of the beauty of Psyche, and ordered Cupid to punish the mortal. But instead, Cupid fell deeply in love with her. He took her as his wife, but as a mortal she was forbidden to look at him.

history of cupid, the God of love

Psyche was happy until her sisters persuaded her to look at Cupid. as soon as Psyche looked at Cupid, Cupid punished her by leaving her. Their lovely castle and gardens vanished too. Psyche found herself alone in an open field with no signs of other beings or Cupid. As she wandered trying to find her love, she came upon the temple of Venus. Wishing to destroy her, the goddess of love gave Psyche a series of tasks, each harder and more dangerous then the last.

For her last task Psyche was given a little box and told to take it to the underworld. She was told to get some of the beauty of Proserpine, the wife of Pluto, and put it in the box. During her trip she was given tips on
avoiding the dangers of the realm of the dead. She was also warned not to open the box. But Temptation overcame Psyche and she opened the box. But instead of finding beauty, she found deadly slumber.

Cupid found her lifeless on the ground. He gathered the deadly sleep from her body and put it back in the box. Cupid forgave her, as did Venus. The gods, moved by Psyche's love for Cupid made her a goddess.

Today, Cupid and his arrows have become the most popular of love signs, and love is most frequently depicted by two hearts pierced by an arrow, Cupid's arrow.

The Story of Valentine's Day... thanks to http://www.holidays.net/amore/story.html

The Story of Valentine's Day

 The holiday of Valentine's Day probably derives its origins from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia. In the early days of Rome, fierce wolves roamed the woods nearby. The Romans called upon one of their gods, Lupercus, to keep the wolves away. A festival held in honor of Lupercus was celebrated February 15th. The festival was celebrated as a spring festival. Their calendar was different at that time, with February falling in early springtime.

 One of the customs of the young people was name-drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man drew a slip. The girl whose name was chosen was to be his sweetheart for the year

Legend has it that the holiday became Valentine's Day after a priest named Valentine. Valentine was a priest in Rome at the time Christianity was a new religion. The Emperor at that time,II, ordered the Roman soldiers NOT to marry or become engaged. Claudius believed that as married men, his soldiers would want to stay home with their families rather than fight his wars. Valentine defied the Emperor's decree and secretly married the young couples. He was eventually arrested, imprisoned, and put to death

 Valentine was beheaded on February 14th, the eve of the Roman holiday Lupercalia. After his death, Valentine was named a saint. As Rome became more Christian, the priests moved the spring holiday from the 15th of February to the 14th - Valentine's Day. Now the holiday honored instead of Lupercus.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Diamonds before me. from YOUNGBLOOD of INQUIRER.net

Diamonds before me
By Rayah Dizon-Maniago
Last updated 01:45am (Mla time) 02/13/2007

I envy people who can forget the arguments and pains of a relationship by just looking at their engagement ring. They say that looking at the ring seems to make the world stop and sends musical notes floating in the air.

It is not so me! I cannot stare at a diamond and suddenly be transformed into a blissful mood. If there is an issue to address, we need to talk it over. When I am not in the mood, I would not think twice before throwing a diamond ring into the river, I swear.

It all boils down to the fact that although I appreciate gems, I am not really a jewelry person. I didn't develop strong guilt feelings when I lost most of the gems I got from Mom. For me, pieces of jewelry just seem to pop like bubbles in the air.

An engagement ring is not an exception. It is a big responsibility, a burden to keep that teeny-weeny thing. When we got engaged, Jim and I had a big argument over whether he should get me an engagement ring.

I want to be free of any jewelry, especially when I am doing yoga or swimming. And why not give me a car when it has the same monetary value anyway? To me, anything bigger than a minute stone, like a good book or DVD, is better.

I cannot see the point of wearing an engagement ring. If it is supposed to announce to everyone that the big day is coming, why should the woman alone be carrying that momentous message on her ring finger while the man remains free as a bird?

If the ring is supposed to be a gift, I would much rather have a nice painting. If it is supposed to be a reminder of his love, I would rather that we spend special time and do things together; it is safer to keep those moments in my memory than on my ring finger. If it is supposed to signify commitment, then let the blessed matrimonial ring be the symbol.

People assign values to things. What is precious to one may not be worth much to the rest of the world. Not all women love diamonds.

I love Jim dearly. As we prepare to celebrate Valentine's Day as husband and wife, he has been telling me half-seriously that he would buy a piece of jewelry for me to keep. No, please!

Rayah Dizon-Maniago, 27, is taking up her Ph.D. at Aichi Shukutoku University in Japan.

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TV RATINGS - ABS CBN 2/GMA 7 Nation Wide Part 1

TV RATINGS - ABS CBN 2/GMA 7 Nation Wide Part 1

From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...
Posted by seichi_gw7 /cybermyx

from abs cbn t.v. ratings thread c/o seichi_gw7:

All Rights Reserved 2006

Good news, mga Kapamilya! ABS-CBN maintains its overwhelming dominance
in national urban

ratings (aka nationwide ratings) as shown in the second batch of
national ratings (for

2007) produced by AGBNielsen NUTAM Panel for January 7-13, 2007... as
featured in today's

edition of BusinessWorld, Feb 12, 2007, Section S3 (Wealth Manager
section), page 3

Top 10 Programs, in terms of individuals, 2:00am - 1:59am(the next
day) (or in military

time, 0200-2559)

National Urban Philippines
Current Rank/ Previous weeks's rank/ Program/ rating/ share

1/na/Sana Maulit Muli/19.5/56.0
2/2/Super Inggo/17.8/47.6
4/1/KDOND 4M Edition/17.0/45.1
5/4/Maging Sino Ka Man/15.6/53.4
6/7/Captain Barbell/15.5/40.6
7/9/John En Shirley/15.2/44.8
8/11/Maalaala Mo Kaya/15.0/54.4
10/8/TV Patrol/13.9/45.7



1/na/Sana Maulit Muli/16.8/49.3
2/1/Captain Barbell/16.7/45.3
3/3/Super Inggo/14.8/40.9
4/2/KDOND 4M Edition/14.2/38.9
5/6/24 Oras/14.0/46.5
7/7/Maging Sino Ka Man/13.5/46.9
8/15/Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho/12.9/41.0
10/17/Maalaala Mo Kaya/12.5/47.2

Visayas (take note: wlang bakekang dito, no wonder insecure si
Sunshine Dizonkay Matt


2/3Super Inggo/27.9/69.8
3/na/Sana Maulit Muli/27.3/74.5
4/1/KDOND 4M Edition/26.5/67.5
5/6/John En Shirley/25.2/67.9
7/9/Maalaala Mo Kaya/22.1/75.3
8/8/ Tv Patrol/21.6/65.1
9/5/Maging Sino Ka Man/21.6/71.5
10/13/Goin Bulilit/18.8/60.9


1/2/Komiks/33.8/74.6 --> amazing!!!
2/9/John En Shirley/29.1/69.2
3/na/Sana Maulit Muli/28.9/75.5
4/3/Super Inggo/25.3/60.2
5/1/KDOND 4M Edition/24.4/55.5
6/7/TV Patrol/24.1/62.8
7/5/Maging Sino Ka Man/23.0/73.2
8/6/Maalaala Mo Kaya/23.0/72.3
10/13/TV Patrol Sabado/21.9/64.7

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TV RATINGS - ABS CBN 2/GMA 7 Nation Wide Part 2

TV RATINGS - ABS CBN 2/GMA 7 Nation Wide Part 2

From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...
Posted by seichi_gw7 /cybermyx

from abs cbn t.v. ratings thread c/o seichi_gw7:

All Rights Reserved 2006

In Terms of Major Metropolitan Areas

Metro Manila

1/1/Captain Barbell/18.0/47.4 (oh well, malakas talaga ito sa Metro
2/na/Sana Maulit Muli/16.2/44.5
3/5/24 Oras/15.7/49.4
5/8/Maging Sino Ka Man/15.0/45.5
6/22/Maalaala Mo Kaya/14.8/43.1
7/7/Super Inggo/14.5/40.6
9/6/KDOND 4M Edition/13.7/36.4

Metro Cebu

1/na/Sana Maulit Muli/26.9/72.7
2/3/Super Inggo/24.3/65.0
4/8/Maalaala Mo Kaya/ 23.7/75.1
5/4/Maging Sino Ka Man/22.3/69.2
6/5/KDOND 4M Edition/21.3/60.2
7/10/John En Shirley/19.4/58.1
9/7/Princess Hours/17.3/68.8
10/13/TV Patrol World/17.1/57.5


1/4/Komiks/37.8/81.5 (81.5% Audience Share!!!!)
2/6/John En Shirley/30.1/68.5
3/2/Super Inggo/28.0/69.8
4/na/Sana Maulit Muli/26.4/74.1
5/3/KDOND 4M Edition/26.3/67.9
7/5/Maging Sino Ka Man/22.2/72.9
8/7/TV Patrol/20.8/62.9
9/24/TV Patrol Sabado/20.6/63.5
10/8/Maalaala Mo Kaya/19.7/73.6

Metro Davao

2/8/John En Shirley/28.7/60.7
3/na/Sana Maulit Muli/26.4/65.7
4/3/Maging Sino Ka Man/23.9/69.1
5/5/Super Inggo/23.0/52.0
6/14/Princess Hours/22.0/74.4
7/15/TV Patrol Sabado/20.6/60.9
9/4/KDOND 4M Edition/20.0/46.3
10/11/Rated K/19.7/63.6

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TV RATINGS - ABS CBN 2/GMA 7 Nation Wide Part 3

TV RATINGS - ABS CBN 2/GMA 7 Nation Wide Part 3

From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...
Posted by seichi_gw7 /cybermyx

from abs cbn t.v. ratings thread c/o seichi_gw7:

All Rights Reserved 2006

Take note: the ratings here are in terms of individuals... the ratings
that are shown by

GMA in its press releases are in terms of households...

Overall ratings were not posted in the feature. However, we can know
who is really leading

by these figures:

National Urban Philippines: 9 ABS-CBN/ 1 GMA
Luzon: 6 ABS-CBN/ 4 GMA
Metro Manila: 6 ABS-CBN/ 4 GMA
Visayas: 10 ABS-CBN/ 0 GMA
Metro Cebu: 10 ABS-CBN/ 0 GMA
Iloilo: 10 ABS-CBN/ 0 GMA
Mindanao: 10 ABS-CBN/ 0 GMA
Metro Davao: 10 ABS-CBN/ 0 GMA

We can conclude that ABS is weak in the suburbs but is strong in Metro
Manila and in

non-Mega Manila provinces and is incredibly strong in other parts of
the country...

Nationwide ratings are very important now due to the elections...
Senatorial candidates

have to tap ABS-CBN's dominance in the nationwide viewership.

i'm sure the ABS higher-ups already know this... please for heaven's
sake... have ur

affiliated press people to let this good news known to the masses...
it's as if majority of

people read BusinessWorld...

Good Day!

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TV RATINGS - 2/11/2007

TV RATINGS - 2/11/2007
SOP 15.2
ASAP 16.5
S-FILES 11.9

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Scenic Oregon

Scenic Oregon, originally uploaded by southernwx.

great pic i found today....

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tolerance from YOUNGBLOOD of INQUIRER.net

By Vida Soraya Verzosa
Last updated 01:46am (Mla time) 02/10/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- "Khadaffy Janjalani is hot!"

That was what a former classmate said after seeing his photograph in the Inquirer, back when we were 18 years old. Later, she joined the New People's Army and disappeared in one of the provinces near the University of the Philippines in Los Baños.

With news reports confirming Janjalani's death after DNA testing, I wonder how that old classmate of mine reacted when she learned that he had taken a bullet in his neck during his Fajr (Dawn Prayer). Several times in the past, we would closely scrutinize the ubiquitous poster of Most Wanted Terrorists at the Metro Rail Transit station and she would sigh that so much violence in this world resulted from lack of religious tolerance and respect for cultural differences. But for hose who ended up on the "wrong" end of the religio-political spectrum as defined by the al-Harakatul al-Islamiyyah, or the Abu Sayyaf Group, I doubt if tolerance and respect would help ease the pain of being kidnapped and held for ransom.

I grew up in a family that is half-Muslim and half-Catholic. My mother is the granddaughter of an imam, while my father is a former Jesuit ex-seminarian who converted to Islam so he could marry her. And in our home, tolerance is scrupulously observed. We are used to seeing the Koran and the Bible placed side by side. We make sure that our meat is halal for my maternal grandfather, yet we followed traditional customs in the all-girl Catholic schools where we went for grade school. My mother initiates development projects for disadvantaged women in Mindanao, while my father is active in the Bible Study Fellowship. My siblings and I were baptized in Muslim and Christian rites and we have both Muslim and Christian names. We were made to understand that we could choose our spiritual path when we reached the age of majority.

When we were younger, my grandfather, the first Muslim ship captain of his generation and a star athlete in Zamboanga, would take us to the Eid'l Fitr celebrations after Ramadan. After that, he would delight us with stories about our Tausug and Samal-Bangingi family history. One of his oft-repeated tales was about how his grandmother, a Dutch missionary in Borneo, was abducted by his grandfather, a pirate.

At that time, not having read the Revised Penal Code yet, being a pirate seemed to me like an exciting occupation that involved traversing the high seas, visiting exotic islands and bringing the loot home. Of course, in grade school, I didn't know that piracy also includes a host of other felonies now associated with terrorism. Before 9/11, the only conflict we read about in the newspapers concerned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's tantrums and the Gulf War. Terrorism became real and apparent to us only when tragic events abroad triggered a global paranoia. Locally, terrorism and Islam were still mutually exclusive.

Among the educated, well-traveled Muslims I've met outside of my family, no one can even remotely be associated with terrorism. They always emphasize that peace is something they constantly aspire for, despite being stereotyped as either hawkers in shopping centers or people who are prone to running amok.

When my grandfather was still courting my grandmother, he had to endure discrimination and the malicious talk of their neighbors in their small town. Whenever our Theology teacher talked about the conflict between Catholics and Muslims, the rest of the class would steal glances at our lone Muslim classmate to see how he would react.

My grandma eloped with her Moro suitor. Now she never tires of telling visitors that she was lucky to have married him. "Pulido siya, hindi naman Abu Sayyaf" ["He is high-quality, not a member of the Abu Sayyaf"], she would say, with a hearty chuckle that belies her resigned acceptance of the reality that as the first wife, she had to put up with a second and a third one, and so on.

Since we moved to Metro Manila, we knew very little about how the rest of the clan was doing in Mindanao. In hushed tones, my mother once related how a distant uncle joined a separatist group and was among those killed when government troops overrun Camp Abubakar. She said that this particular uncle was known to be quick tempered, so his death didn't come as a surprise to her.

To me what is surprising is that despite all the resources funneled to the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, an egalitarian, lasting peace remains elusive. In this regard, I must agree with my friend, the New People's Army amazon. No, I am not going to say that Janjalani was indeed an attractive man, but I happen to believe that whether we go to a mosque or a church to pray, peace will continue to elude us for as long as the sounds of gunfire drown out the voices calling for sincere inter-faith dialogue.

Vida Soraya Verzosa, 24, is a student at the Ateneo School of Law.

Copyright 2007 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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My Tennis Player

Maria Sharapova, originally uploaded by Camuss.

should i still name her? if u dont know her... pity you hehehe

My Tennis Player

Maria Sharapova, originally uploaded by Camuss.

should i still name her? if u dont know her... pity you hehehe

February 7, 2007 TV Ratings

SiS 13.8% vs Homeboy 13.5%;

Yellow Handkerchief 18.9% vs. Game Ka Na Ba 18.7%;

Eat Bulaga 21% vs. Wowowee 22.2%;

Daisy Siete 16.2%, Makita Ka Lang Muli 14.6% at Princess Charming 14% vs. Kapamilya Cinema 13.9%;

Full House 16.4% vs. Inocente De Ti 14%;

Jewel in the Palace 18.3% vs. Pangako sa 'Yo 12%;

24 Oras 26.1% vs. TV Patrol 23.1%;

Asian Treasures 32.9% vs. Deal or No Deal 25.5%;

Atlantika 28.5% vs. Super Inggo 24.7%;

Bakekang 32% vs. Sana Maulit Muli 24.8%;

Jumong 29.3% vs. Maging Sino Ka Man 25.6%;

Starstruck 18.5% vs. Princess Hours 17.3%;

Nuts Entertainment 16.1% vs. Bandila 9.9%.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sent away... from YOUNGBLOOD of INQUIRER.net

Sent away
By Grace Ann Arce
Last updated 00:45am (Mla time) 02/06/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- I have a very strict father. He has one inflexible rule (which I think no teenager can follow): No boyfriend until graduation from college and even then, he must be earning at least a six-figure salary monthly.

His strictness has really affected my social life. I can't answer a phone call from a guy without being subjected to a 10-minute interrogation by him afterward. I cannot go out with my friends without a chaperon, or attend a party alone.

However, it didn't stop me from having a boyfriend -- until one day my sister found out and told my father about it.

Because of this forbidden love, I was sent all the way to Europe. I didn't want to go, I didn't want to leave my guy, but who do you think will win in a battle between a father and his 18-year-old daughter?

My first stop was Vienna, Austria, where three of my father's sisters live. I stayed with an aunt who was running an art gallery and she urged me to discover the world of artists. I enjoyed her company because she brought me to some places in Europe where her painters' works were being exhibited. We also went shopping for branded clothes at lower prices in different places like Brussels, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy and Austria. Because of the language barrier, I had a very hard time communicating with people in the malls, fast-food outlets or parks. Even my cousins could barely speak English.

In Manila, my dad let me drive a car and so I had no experience commuting. The first train ride I took was in Vienna. I felt physically and mentally comfortable riding on the train, knowing I was not in Manila. I told myself this was rich Europe, where there would be only a few snatchers, kidnappers, murderers or rapists.

I was wrong. On my very first trip on train, I was robbed. And I didn't notice it because I was wearing a very thick trench coat. I lost my perfume, my makeup kit and my wallet with my license, IDs, credit cards and pocket money. That led me to the conclusion that there could always be a bad man in every room in this world and it made me very cautious.

When my Schengen visa was about to expire, my aunts convinced me to stay on as a TNT, or "tago nang tago" (an illegal alien) and try to find and marry a very rich guy who was about to die. They didn't want me to go back to Manila because they were also my father's victims as regards this boyfriend thing. But I told them marriage was not yet in my vocabulary. I also wanted to stay in London for some months to ponder my future.

I won the battle this time. So off I went to London, but I was still under my father's shadow: I had to stay with another aunt and her diplomat-husband.

Their family was completely different from what I had thought a diplomat's family would be. With my uncle going to office every day and my aunt keeping house and raising their son who was in first grade. They didn't have any house help. Everyone helped with the everyday chores. And since I was living with them, I was assigned to do the dishes, the one thing I've always hated doing in our own house.

Since I was already in the city, my father insisted that I enroll in a short course in a college in Central London. So on weekends, my aunt and I toured around the country, and on weekdays I attended classes.

I got very depressed, perhaps because of the season or the different culture. All I wanted was to go home, but father wouldn't hear of it.

One night, as I was surfing the Net, I came across the website of a Filipino community in London. I learned that they had scheduled a gathering.

For the first time, I rode on a bus with another Filipina (Filipinos have a certain aura you can easily notice when they are abroad) and when we got off at the same station, I knew she was going to the same gathering.

When I arrived, all eyes were on me. Someone asked me to go on stage and introduce myself. Later I got to meet the heroes of our country, most of them nurses or house help. I learned that they would meet about twice a month just for "kumustahan" [saying hello]. They were like best friends, and they helped you all the way.

In one of our meetings, they found out that I sang rather well. They immediately asked me to help organize a choral group for teenagers so they would become more active in community affairs instead of drinking like their peers did. Although I am not a musician, I drew on my experience as a member of our church choir back home and shared with them everything I knew about music.

The months went so fast and before winter was over I had to decide whether to stay or go home. I began asking myself what was God's real purpose in putting me there. Once I glanced at the organ and looked at the choir and concluded that they were the reason. But I had finished the things I had to do, and it was time to go.

I booked a flight home without telling my family. I wanted my return to be a surprise. I told the travel agent not to tell anyone about my trip home.

But as soon as our plane landed, I heard my phone beeping (I had forgotten to turn it off). There was a text message from my sister welcoming me home. A cousin had told my sister I was going home? So much for a surprise homecoming.

When I got out of the airport, the first familiar face I saw was that of a guy with a great smile on his face, the love of my life. I thought he was taking me home, until I saw my sister.

Back in our house, I kissed and hugged my parents. My father tried to hold back his tears even as he held me close to him.

I had barely started opening my bags of "pasalubong" [arrival tokens] while recounting my experiences when I noticed that they were not even listening. They were watching their favorite "telenovela" [TV soap]. Hello! I had just arrived from abroad!

In this chapter of my life, I really hated my father. But I realize he only wanted the best for me, even if what he thought to be best for me cost him a lot of money as well as my long absence. Still my trip gave me the opportunity to experience a little more freedom, to meet real people and learn from their stories. I learned how to travel alone, deal with people of different cultures, appreciate nature, wash dishes and share the talent that was given to me. And for all that, I thank him.

Grace Ann Arce, 20, is a second year AB Mass Communication student at Our Lord's Grace Montessori School and Colleges.

Copyright 2007 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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TV RATINGS - 2/5/2007

From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...
Posted by cybermyx

Monday - February 5, 2007

Sis 11.8
Homeboy 11.9

Yellow Handkerchief 18.9
Pilipinas Game KNB? 16.6

Eat Bulaga! 23.3
WoWoWee 21.8

Daisy Siete 17.1
Inocente De Ti 9.1

Makita Ka Lang Muli 14.8
Princess Charming 14.4
Full House 16.3
Kapamilya Cinema 14.5

Jewel In The Palace 18.7
Pangako Sa 'Yo 11.8

24 Oras 31.9
TV Patrol World 23.5

Asian Treasures 36.3
Kapamilya Deal or No Deal 26.2

Atlantika 32.3
Super Inggo 27.3

Bakekang 33.0
Sana Maulit Muli 30.7

Jumong 28.8
Maging Sino Ka Man 27.0

Starstruck 18.3
Princess Hours 19.0

Lagot Ka! Isusumbong Kita! 14.7
Bandila 8.4

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TV RATINGS - 2/4/2007

From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...
Posted by cybermyx

Sunday - February 4, 2007

SOP 17.4
ASAP 13.6

Magic Kamison 18.5
Your Song (Someday) 11.4
Love Spell (Click na Click) 11.7

S-Files 14.4
The Buzz 12.2

Mga Kuwento Ni Lola Basyang 23.7
TV Patrol Linggo 13.1

Starstruck 25.6
Goin' Bulilit 16.6

Mel and Joey 23.5
Rated K 18.6

All Star K! 20.6
Sharon 14.5

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TV RATINGS - 2/3/2007

From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...
Posted by cybermyx

Saturday - February 3, 2007

Eat Bulaga 31.2
WoWoWee 21.2

Startalk 17.5
Nagmamahal Kapamilya 13.8
Let's Go 12.4

Wish Ko Lang! 18.6
Star Magic Presents 11.4

Starstruck 15.3
TV Patrol Sabado 15.1

Bitoy's Funniest Videos 25.1
Komiks: Pedro Penduko 20.1

Pinoy Pop Superstar 28.4
John En Shirley 17.5

Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho 30.4
XXX 19.7

Imbestigador 30.7
Aalog-Alog 12.4

HP: Ibang Level Na 'To! 14.3
Sabado Movie Greats (Now That I Have You) 11.8

Showbiz Stripped 10.0
Sports Unlimited 3.7

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TV RATINGS - 2/2/2007

From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...
Posted by cybermyx


Friday - February 2, 2007

Jewel In The Palace 14.2
Pangako Sa 'Yo 10.1

24 Oras 23.9
TV Patrol World 22.2

Asian Treasures 31.8
Kapamilya Deal or No Deal 22.1

Atlantika 27.1
Super Inggo 22.4

Bakekang 33.4
Sana Maulit Muli 23.9

Jumong 30.4
Maging Sino Ka Man 23.5

Starstruck 21.7
Maalaala Mo Kaya 22.4
Bubble Gang 18.3

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

On board MV Doulos

2-3-2007 6-25-05 AM, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

taken after we bought some books at MV Doulos with my langga chubby. hehehe

Shot from MV Doulus

2-3-2007 5-59-24 AM, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

I got this rare chance to see the biggest book library ona marine vessel in the world last February 3, 2007. i was totally amazed by the ship for the fact that it is years younger than titanic, though cant get the exact figures yet. I, Meray, and my sis tour the upper deck and we bought some souvenirs, dictionary, and some self-made books.

Monday, February 05, 2007


__fLa2__.jpg, originally uploaded by arleighmac.


Gel.jpg, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

TV RATINGS - 2/1/2007

TV RATINGS - 2/1/2007

>From PEX

Research by Jun Jun aska26ph2001@...
Posted by cybermyx

Thursday - February 1, 2007

Sis 10.2
Homeboy 10.6

Yellow Handkerchief 17.3
Pilipinas Game KNB? 17.1

Eat Bulaga! 20.4
WoWoWee 22.2

Daisy Siete 15.0
Makita Ka Lang Muli 12.9
Princess Charming 12.9
Kapamilya Cinema 17.3

Full House 16.0
Inocente De Ti 12.5

Jewel In The Palace 17.6
Pangako Sa 'Yo 13.2

24 Oras 29.7
TV Patrol World 24.6

Asian Treasures 36.9
Kapamilya Deal or No Deal 23.7

Atlantika 32.8
Super Inggo 28.1

Bakekang 31.2
Sana Maulit Muli 31.2

Jumong 26.0
Maging Sino Ka Man 26.4

Starstruck 19.3
Princess Hours 19.0

Magpakailanman 20.0
Bandila 10.4

Friday, February 02, 2007

Liloan, Cebu Lighthouse

Liloan, Cebu Lighthouse
Originally uploaded by arleighmac.

a windy and not so sunny friday afternnoon at bagacay, parola, liloan, cebu, its picturesque view will make you feel like you're in paradise.

"Mother’s daughter" ... from YOUNGBLOOD of INQUIRER.net

Mother's daughter
By Tina Geronimo Nievera
Last updated 01:55am (Mla time) 02/01/2007

MOTHER'S Day is still several months away, but today I suddenly feel sentimental, thinking about my childhood and my mother. I don't think I have thanked my mother enough or told her I love her often enough.

I'm 28 year old but not too old to be my mother's little princess. I'm a trial lawyer but not knowledgeable enough about my own life to make decisions on my own.

Our relationship has never been the typical mother-daughter relationship. Communication between us from the day I started to think for myself has always been "choppy" or the "cannot be reached" sort of thing. There have been no easy and spontaneous demonstrations of love like hugs and kisses, or praises for little achievements in school. And I was hungry for them. I cannot remember trying to show to my mother my own feelings for her with hugs and kisses or by saying "I love you" for whatever she did for me. I couldn't; I froze at the very thought of doing so. "Baka mapahiya ako." [I was afraid of being rejected.] Besides, there was my baby brother who was and will always be the apple of her eye.

Most of the memories I have as a child revolve around my grandmother who took care of me during most of my formative years. Because my mother was busy with her work, she was a vague and ambiguous figure to me, although I knew I came out of her womb.

No love was lost (or won) between my mother and me. I have always been the rebellious, free spirited, independent type. I probably had to dig deep into my innermost strengths to endure a childhood without feeling loved by her. I became willful, competitive and ambitious. I thought that since my "Inang" (grandmother) loved me so much, nothing else mattered.

To project that I was unaffected by this distance between my mother and me, I focused on doing well in my studies while secretly wanting to know and hear how proud she was of me. I often found myself imagining loving scenes between my mother and me, such as a sentimental reunion when I visited her or a simple "Kumusta ka?" ["How are you?"] when I called home.

At 28, I am a very tired human being, tired of putting up walls around me to protect my very emotional heart and constantly reinforcing them so that no cracks would show and so that my mother would never notice them even if they were right in front of her.

Fighting with my mother, whether face to face or on the phone, has become routine. The reasons for our squabbles range from simple to complex things involving my life. Ironically, I feel closer to her whenever we fight because that's the only time she really expresses her feelings, no matter how negative, and then I get to glimpse her heart and soul.

What do we fight about? Mostly about my "lack of time" for her, like not being home during my free time or spending it with someone else. Lately, we have been fighting more about the person who found me and who has recently become the person I think I will marry.

During one of our ugliest fights, my mother demanded in her hair-raising voice that I choose between her and this person whom she said she would never accept (for whatever reason, she only knows). Many hurtful words were exchanged between us that night. To me, it seemed like a tsunami that had been held back for more than 20 years had broken the walls I had carefully built. And yet I let myself lose that round, realizing that I owed her my life and what I was.

I thought I couldn't have hurt her more seriously and so I moved out of my mother's house despite the strong objections of other members of our extended family. By that act, I was told, I was choosing a "stranger" over my own mother. What kind of person was I? How could I love somebody more than my own mother, my flesh and blood?

But I didn't choose anyone over her. We just both needed space.

Old wounds heal, but only after a very long time. There are wounds that have scarred me and left me unable to feel. But I feel no resentment toward my mother because even if I can never be the person she wants me to be, I know we are so much alike. She is proud as I am proud. She is strong as I am strong. She is weak as I am weak. Probably we are too much alike and we don't even realize that the likeness can no longer be disguised by the fights we have.

I am what I am today not because of the strength I imagined I had deep inside me, but because God has given me the same character traits my mother has. I am her daughter, albeit an improved version of her.

I know and recognize the sacrifices and hardships that she went through to put me through school. I know how hard it was for her to put up with me and my insensitive nature. I cannot tell her enough how grateful I am, even if she thinks everything I do confirms her belief that I am an ungrateful child. I cannot ask for her forgiveness enough, but I am truly sorry for whatever hurt, pain and suffering I have caused her. I cannot tell her I love her enough, because our differences always seem bigger than both of us. But I am most grateful and, in all humility, I ask for her forgiveness and I declare that I love her so much.

Her worst fear is that I might live an unhappy life, as she perceives her own to be an unhappy one. I pray constantly that she will find happiness and peace of mind, while she prays constantly that I will find the right partner. But I will find the right partner and live a happy life, because she has taught me many things that I didn't recognize to be useful then but do now. I will, because God has kept her and me together for more than 20 years.

Despite our differences, I am my mother's daughter. And every day is Mother's Day because not a day passes when I don't think of her.

Tina Geronimo Nievera, 28, is a trial lawyer.

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