Saturday, March 31, 2007

Philippine TV Ratings March 26-28, 2007

Narito ang overnight ratings ng mga programa ng GMA 7 at ABS-CBN 2 noong LUNES (Marso 26):

SiS 15.6% vs. Homeboy 11.1%;

Yellow Handkerchief 18.1% vs. Game Ka Na Ba 19.4%;

Eat Bulaga 23.6% vs. Wowowee 22.4%;

Daisy Siete 17.4% vs. Inocente De Ti 14.4%;

Muli 15.6% at Princess Charming 14.4% vs. Kapamilya Cinema 12.1%;

Full House 14.1% vs. Pangako sa Yo 8.8%;

Gokusen 17.3% vs. Sineserye 13.6%;

24 Oras 29.1% vs. TV Patrol World 22.8%;

Asian Treasures 32.7% vs. Maria Flordeluna 23.1%;

Super Twins 31.3% vs. Sana Maulit Muli 27.2% at Maging Sino Ka Man 27.7%;

Bakekang 32.8% vs. Pinoy Big Brother 23.9%;

Jumong 26.5% vs. Princess Hours 17.1%;

Lagot Ka Isusumbong Kita 15.3% vs. Bandila 8.2%.

MARTES (Marso 27):

SiS 14.6% vs. Homeboy 12.5%;

Yellow Handkerchief 20.1% vs. Game Ka Na Ba 17.6%;

Eat Bulaga 24% vs. Wowowee 22%;

Daisy Siete 18.6% vs. Inocente De Ti 14.4%;

Muli 14.9% at Princess Charming 13.7% vs. Kapamilya Cinema 11.1%;

Full House 17.5% vs. Pangako sa 'Yo 8.2%;

Gokusen 15.3% vs. Sineserye 15.6%;

24 Oras 26.8% vs. TV Patrol World 24.1%;

Asian Treasures 33.9% vs. Maria Flordeluna 24.3%;

Super Twins 31.3% vs. Sana Maulit Muli 28% at Maging Sino Ka Man 26.3%;

Bakekang 33.5% vs. Pinoy Big Brother 22.7%;

Jumong 25% vs. Princess Hours 18.5%;

Bahay Mo Ba 'To 13.7% vs. Bandila 9.5%.

MIYERKULES (Marso 28):

SiS 14.6% vs. Homeboy 14.4%;

Yellow Handkerchief 18.5% vs. Game Ka Na Ba 19.6%;

Eat Bulaga 21.2% vs. Wowowee 22.3%;

Daisy Siete 18.1% at GMA Flash Report 17.7% vs. Inocente De Ti 14.2% at News Patrol 19.7%;

Muli 15.9% at Princess Charming 16.9% vs. Kapamilya Cinema 14.1%;

Full House 16.6% vs. Pangako sa 'Yo 8.2%;

Gokusen 15.7% vs. Sineserye 11%;

24 Oras 29% vs. TV Patrol World 24.8%;

Asian Treasures 32.5% vs. Maria Flordeluna 22.2%;

Super Twins 28.6% vs. Sana Maulit Muli 24.9% at Maging Sino Ka Man 25.8%;

Bakekang 30.1% vs. Pinoy Big Brother 20.9%;

Jumong 22.5% vs. Princess Hours 16.6%;

Nuts Entertainment 10.5% vs. Bandila 9.7%.





ABS-CBN, #1 TV station sa buong bansa

Mula Marso 4 hanggang Marso 17, 2007, ipinakita ng NATIONWIDE TV
ratings data mula sa

AGB-Nielsen Media Research Philippines na ang ABS-CBN ang
nangu-ngunang istasyon sa buong


Sa pangkalahatan, nakakuha ang ABS-CBN ng 47% shares, laban sa 35% na
nakuha ng GMA-7.

Labinlima (15) sa na-ngungunang dalawampung (20) programang pinapanood

mga programa ng ABS-CBN.

Pinakamataas ang rating ng teleseryeng Sana Maulit Muli, na sinusundan
ng Maging Sino Ka

Man at Maria Flordeluna.

Karamihan sa mga Pilipino ay sa ABS-CBN nakatutok kung News and
Current Affairs programs

ang hanap nila. Ang TV Patrol World ang nangungunang news program sa
bansa, at ang XXX:

Exklusibong, Explosibong Expose at Ra-ted K ang mga nangunguna sa mga
current affairs


Ang Wowowee ang naghaharing programa sa pananghalian.

Nakasaad din sa listahan ang pagdomina ng mga Kapamilya programs sa
iba't ibang genre sa

telebisyon. John En Shirley at Goin' Bulilit ang nangunguna sa mga
comedy shows, Sharon sa

mga talk show, at ang Pinoy Big Brother Season 2 ang nangungunang
reality show sa bansa

Inspiring ... from YOUNGBLOOD of

By Jessica Marie Robredo
Last updated 02:06am (Mla time) 03/31/2007

I was only 12 years old in August 2000 when Jesse Manalastas Robredo was proclaimed as the recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service. I was a witness to how honored the man felt with the recognition given to him. But it was not until I was asked by my English teacher to go over the list of past and present Ramon Magsaysay awardees and write an essay on one of them that that I was able to fully understand the great significance of the award. The awardees, I quickly learned, were exceptional men and women who bravely dared to make a difference in making Asia, and maybe the world, a better place.

It was easy for me to pick Jesse Robredo from the list of 229 awardees because he was one person who truly inspired me, and who continues to inspire me to make a difference. To write about his life and his work, however, is a very daunting task, because he is very close to my heart.

Much has been written about his outstanding work as mayor of Naga City from 1988 to 1998 and how he bravely fought corruption, vice, poverty, economic stagnation and dramatically transformed Naga from an inefficient and dispirited city into one of the most progressive in the country. When the euphoria brought about by the Edsa People Power Revolution started to wane and people were starting to doubt if a more authoritarian leadership would work better for the Filipino people, Robredo showed us all that the people are still the most important resource and restored our faith in democracy. He not only worked for the poor but worked with them and involved them every step of the way. He has always pushed for growth with equity, transparency, integrity and he brought honor to his office. But the most essential part of his accomplishments are those that are invisible to the naked eye.

I am 15, but I must admit that to this day, the lessons of democracy, of fiscal management, of people empowerment, are still quite difficult for me to comprehend. What I do understand is that the people of Naga look up to him because he succeeded in making them feel he is just like any one of them. He is simple and humble in his ways. He wears the city government uniform to work. He is in his office before eight o'clock in the morning. He goes around without bodyguards, and he does not believe he is entitled to special perks just because of his office. He lives very modestly as his house and office would reveal.

He is a very dedicated public servant and practices what he preaches. No task is ever too menial for him, whether it is driving around the city at night to check busted lampposts or joining street cleaners and garbage collectors in performing their regular chores.

People see the best in him during the worst of times. He is always the last man on the street during typhoons, making sure that people are safe, and the first one to shovel the mud out of the city after the floods.

In 1998, after serving his third consecutive term as mayor of the city, he stepped down quietly, ignoring suggestions for him to seek higher office or perpetuate himself in power by asking a family member to run in his stead.

Now that I know what the Ramon Magsaysay Award is all about, I feel truly blessed that I happen to be his daughter. I was born exactly six days before he was first elected mayor and I spent the first 10 years of my life with him at City Hall.

If there was one thing that convinced me that he is truly deserving of the award, it is this: He has never made me feel I was different from others just because he is my father. As he goes about serving others, I have never been left wanting for his time and attention. He eats lunch and dinner with us seven days a week, even if it means he has to take two or three more meals because he has to attend a constituent's wedding or birthday reception. No occasion is too trivial for him. He is there for us not only during PTA meetings or piano or ballet recitals, but even when my math homework gets a little too difficult.

Now that I am a little older, sometimes people would come up to me to tell me what great things my father has done for them. I feel proud. But what puts a smile in my heart is knowing that he also did small things for some people -- things like bringing back a wayward son to his distraught mother, helping a male employee patch things up with his wife, or playing basketball on a street corner with the neighborhood kids. Such things may appear inconsequential, but they have brought great joy to others and made them feel important.

His decision to continue serving his native city and resist the lure of national prominence, which a higher elective post could have brought him, had the deepest impact on me and imparted to me life-long lessons: that no deed is too small nor too big if it makes other people's burden lighter and their lives better; that greatness of spirit can be achieved not through wealth, power or popularity but by living your life with quiet dignity and by becoming a man for others. By his example, I have been truly inspired to dare to make a difference, break ground, stand up for my own convictions and serve others selflessly and with integrity in whatever field I will find myself in.

Jessica Marie Robredo, 15, is a high school student at the Universidad de Sta. Isabel in Naga City. This essay was the winner of the Grand Prize for the high school category of the 2003 Ramon Magsaysay Student Essay Competition.

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

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wanted: volunteers .. from YOUNGBLOOD of

Wanted: volunteers
By Gideon V. Peña
Last updated 01:00am (Mla time) 03/29/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- "It is very easy to give what you have in excess, but can you give what you need and what you want?"

This is the question one has to answer before one does volunteer work. At first I thought that it was easy to answer with a yes, but when supertyphoon "Reming" struck the Bicol region and left us in darkness, literally and figuratively, I had second thoughts. However, when I thought of my responsibility, I joined the relief and rehabilitation operations of our university, called "Anduyog AQ: Tabang sa Tugang."

Anduyog AQ endeavored to help the victims of Reming by distributing relief goods, providing psychosocial therapy like stress debriefing and other services. I felt out of place in our group of volunteers because more than half of us were nursing students (nursing is the most popular course in our school). I kept asking myself, what is a political science student doing here? I did not know how to dress a wound; I actually hated to see the wounds of other people.

The first night that I had to sleep in the relief center, I felt very uncomfortable. There were no lights, no beddings, not even a good bed. The food we had was a foretaste of what we would be eating for the next few weeks: mostly overcooked rice and "karninas" a combination of "karne" (meat) and "sardinas" (sardines). That time, I thought of only one word: "agony." But when I remembered what I had seen when we went around Albay province right after the typhoon, I stopped complaining. At least I have food to eat, I told myself. Having to walk under the blistering sun, to work until I was exhausted, to eat the kind of food I would not normally eat and to sleep without comfort hardly mattered anymore.

The days passed very quickly. Everything became routine: pack relief goods at night, then sleep. Wake up earlier than usual and eat instant noodles for breakfast. Distribute relief goods, take a bit of rest, take part in the feeding program. Eat dinner and jam with fellow volunteers.

Because we were together 24/7, I was unconsciously beginning to connect with the other volunteers. We developed our own vocabulary: "paksit" (a meaningless expression), "needles" ("noodles" mispronounced), "bip stick" (beef steak), tuna (sardines). To entertain ourselves, we spoofed some television shows, such as "Goin' Bulilit" and "Mr. Bean." One time we had some kind of cultural night with Father Mendez, O.P., our rector and president, and everyone had to showcase his talent. I felt like I belonged to the group.

When we went to Malinao town in Albay, I met an old lady who came to get some relief goods. We were distributing five kilos of rice to every person. I knew the old lady could not carry her share. I asked her if she had a companion and she said she didn't have anyone with her. I then asked if she had money so she could take a ride home. She again answered with a no. I gave her some money for her fare.

All of a sudden, tears were rolling down her cheeks. "Makasupog man. Ako na ngani an naghagad ki bagas, tinawan mo pa ako ki pamasahe" ["I am so ashamed. Your group already gave me relief and still you gave me fare"], she told me.

A man who heard our exchange said it was nice of me to give the old lady some money because she lived several kilometers away from the relief center. He then asked, "Wasn't Aquinas battered by 'Reming'?"

I smiled and said, "Yes, Aquinas was battered, but not in spirit."

He then said, "Your school molds students into the best person that he can possibly be. Too bad I didn't finish my studies there because of poverty. I hope and I pray that many children can go there. But I guess it will only be a dream. We barely have enough money for food. We don't have some extra money for education."

I felt as if cold water had been splashed on my face. I had been wondering what a political science student was doing in a relief operation and I had found the answer: to see the depressing condition of our country.

Now I am frightened. Four months have passed since Reming devastated our region and the rehabilitation work is far from complete. And another supertyphoon threatens to devastate us once again. This time it's no longer natural. It's man-made and it's called elections.

Relief operations are still going on in Albay, and it's all because national and local politicians want to promote their own selfish ambitions. They distribute goods on board trucks covered with their pictures on tarpaulins. They claim to be the messiah who will deliver the people from their misery. They promise to attend to their needs for food and clothing and teach them to be dependent on them.

Some of them are actually the same politicians who had promised to provide education to the man I met in Malinao, and maybe thousands of others. Perhaps they have forgotten it or they have no time for it because they are too busy helping themselves. They would never give anything without pictures being taken as they embrace the poor victims, their very own victims. They will do anything and say anything just so people will write their names on the ballot.

Albay only needs time to be rehabilitated physically. On the other hand, our country needs more than just time. What our country needs in order to achieve peace and economic progress is a psychosocial, political and moral rehabilitation.

For this we do not need politicians. What we need are political volunteers.

Gideon V. Peña, 17, is an Anduyog AQ Volunteer and a second year Bachelor of Arts Major in Political Science student at the Aquinas University of Legazpi, Rawis, Legazpi City.

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

Philippine TV Ratings March 23-25, 2007

Narito ang overnight ratings nu'ng BIYERNES (Marso 23):

SiS 12.3% vs. Homeboy10.8%;

Yellow Handkerchief 18.7% vs. Game Ka Na Ba? 18.6%;

Eat Bulaga 25.6% vs. Wowowee 22.7%;

Daisy Siete 20.2% vs. Inocente De Ti 14.7%;

Muli 16.4% at Princess Charming 15.1% vs. Kapamilya Cinema 14.1%;

Full House 16.1% vs. Pangako sa 'Yo 10.9%;

Gokusen 14.9% vs. Sineserye 16.3%;

24 Oras 24.4% vs. TV Patrol World 24.7%;

Asian Treasures 32% vs. Sana Maulit Muli 27.5%;

Super Twins 32.8% vs. Maging Sino Ka Man 26%;

Bakekang 36.9% vs. Maria Flordeluna 21.9%;

Jumong 28.5% vs. Maalaala Mo Kaya 20.1%;

Starstruck 21.2% at Bubble Gang 15.1% vs. Pinoy Big Brother 14.7% at Bandila 5.7%.

SABADO (Marso 24):

Takeshi's Castle 16.8% vs. Game Ka Na Ba? 13.3%;

Eat Bulaga 26.6% vs. Wowowee 20.8%;

Startalk 12.9% vs. Nagmamahal Kapamilya 13.8%, Let's Go 10.9% at Star Magic Presents 12.7%;

Wish Ko Lang 14.3% vs. Little Big Superstar 8.4%;

Bitoy's Funniest Video 20.7% vs. TV Patrol Sabado 11.4%;

Pinoy Pop Superstar 17.2% vs. Komiks 18.4%;

Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho 23.1% vs. John En Shirley 20.2%;

Imbestigador 24.7% vs. XXX 23.9% at Pinoy Big Brother 19.1%;

Hokus Pokus 15.4% vs. Aalog-Alog 11.5%;

Sine Totoo 11.6% vs. Sports Unlimited 4.4%.

LINGGO (Marso 25):

SOP 17% vs. ASAP 16.5% at Your Song 12.2%;

Magic Kamison 13.3% vs. Love Spell 12.7%;

S-Files 10.6% vs. The Buzz 13.1%;

Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang 16.1% vs. TV Patrol Linggo 14.7%;

Philippine Agenda 21.9% vs. Goin' Bulilit 17%;

Mel & Joey 21.8% vs. Rated K 20%;

All Star K 21.4% vs. Sharon 15.8%;

Starstruck 4 (Final Judgment) 24.8% vs. Pinoy Big Brother 17.9% at Sunday's Best 7.2%.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


zeL_meh_.jpg, originally uploaded by arleighmac.


02182007.jpg, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The chicken that crossed the road... from YOUNGBLOOD of

The chicken that crossed the road
By Juan Fidel F. Nograles
Last updated 01:24am (Mla time) 03/27/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Being a 1986 EDSA People Power baby, my pet name is Ayan Boy, from the word "bayan." Actually, I was christened Juan Fidel, after two key players of the Edsa People Power Revolution: Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel V. Ramos.

I am now in third-year college, and I am trying to drop Ayan Boy in favor of a simple Fidel. Ayan Boy simply connotes "totoy," and now that I measure 6'3" I feel uncomfortable answering to such a boyish moniker. But let me add that shedding Ayan Boy does not only mean abandoning a boy "thing." I want to be called Fidel because I think the name reflects the real me.

I came to realize this after going through a rite of passage that became a turning point in my life. This was how I found the true Fidel I am supposed to be.

Let me go back a little. Back in my early grade-school years, I was one of the favorite objects of class bullies. I never really fought back for the simple reason that I was a self-confessed chicken. I was afraid to get hurt. I had witnessed several instances when bullies would menacingly grab a frail kid's collar and thunder, "Kanin o kamao?" ["Your food or a fist?] to force him to surrender his precious "baon" in his lunchbox. There was really no way to avoid their intimidation because reporting them to the teacher would just attract other more atrocious bullies. So I had no other choice but to quietly give in to their coercive demands and surrender my "baon."

My fear of the bullies was really a fear of stepping out of my comfort zone, a fear of pain. I was raised in a relatively calm, quiet and peaceful home. Hence, the presence of these pesky bullies in school caused a disequilibrium in my otherwise sedate existence. To be able to retreat peacefully to my conflict-free existence, I had to give in to the bullies. And this went on until I encountered my first farm camp experience in Davao.

During the summer break after my seventh grade, I took a short vacation at a farm in Davao where my uncle, a cockfight aficionado, raised fighting cocks. One morning, I was suddenly awakened by a familiar sound that I had longed to hear for some time: the thud of a bouncing basketball against a concrete floor. I rushed to the window and saw five young, lanky lads about my age, half-naked, wearing tattered shorts and worn-out "smagol" [rubber slippers]. They were alternately shooting hoops on a makeshift court in the backyard.

I hurried to put on my rubber shoes and decided to join them in what I expected to be a friendly game. They gladly welcomed me. For a second, I wondered why they were all grinning from ear to ear. The answer came all too soon as Pards, a diminutive but lean and muscled boy, passed me the ball that landed like a missile on my stomach. My knees weakened instantly, but I gave no hint of it. Then as I attempted a jump shot, another boy came flying from nowhere and smashed his elbow against my jaw and snatched the ball away from my hands

I was appalled by the boys' extremely rough and highly physical manner of playing the sport. Obviously, they only cared for the "balyahan"-style of street basketball that violated every rule of the game I learned by heart from a Milo basketball camp. When I asked for a foul, they would give me a quizzical look. And then they casually went about their basketball routine, merrily elbowing my nose, tripping my feet, and ramming their bodies against mine. Heck, they were not playing basketball with me. They were clobbering me. No. They were bullying this young Manila boy to submission.

But there was no "baon" to surrender; it was just me and my manhood on the line. For some strange reason, at that particular moment, I became intensely determined to stand up for myself. It was not just out of embarrassment. There was something in me that shouted, "It's now or never!"

I heeded that call and decided it was time to play hardball. Why then and why there is really very hard to explain. Maybe it had something to do with being pushed too hard against the wall. Anyway, with the theme of "Rocky" playing in my ears, I mustered all my energy, summoned every single muscle and adrenaline in my body, and pleaded with all my guardian angels not to fail me this time. "Let's get ready to rumble!" I repeated to myself, trying to psyche myself for battle.

What ensued was a brawl. After which, my lips were swollen, my nose was bleeding and I was limping. But I swear I never felt better. I had done it! Finally, I was able to break out from my protective cocoon beset by irrational fears. What was there to fear? Gashed brows and broken bones? Nah, they heal in time.

After learning about the incident, my uncle was quick to apologize for the boys whom he referred to as the "Texas Boys" after the fierce breed of fighting cock. But we both laughed it off as if we had just finished some outrageously playful game. He advised me to expose myself more often to rough play. That was how he trained his young fighting cocks for "sabong" (cockfighting), he said. He allowed his best fighting cocks to inflict severe harm on defenseless young chickens during a practice match until they were forced to fight back on instinct. This was how they gradually developed their skills. In every learning process, he reminded me, the principle is always no pain, no gain.

When I got back to school, the bullies never bothered me again. I could not say exactly why. Maybe it was the confidence I exuded. Or maybe the bullies had undergone an awakening and decided to mend their ways. Whatever the case may be, I was not about to pick fights or get into brawls. That's so Ayan Boy.

I am prepared to face life's challenges, to take a leap into the unknown, beyond my comfort zone. This is because the chicken has crossed the road. Finally, I have become Fidel, which means faith. I have learned to believe in myself and in what I can do, and can be. I believe that nothing is impossible.

Now, nobody calls me Ayan Boy anymore. (Except my Mom, when she feels like cuddling me, but I guess that's ok.)

Juan Fidel F. Nograles, 20, is a third-year management economics student at the Ateneo de Manila University.

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

Monday, March 26, 2007

candid moment sa obong spring again

3-25-2007 12-27-30 AM, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

hehehe... inggit kau no, sweet namin ng langga ko... i love you langga...

me and langga at pugalo, alcoy, cebu

3-25-2007 3-59-10 AM, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

sweet naman kami ng langga ko....

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Philippine TV Ratings March 22, 2007

SiS 13.5% vs. Homeboy 11.5%;

Yellow Handkerchief 19.4% vs. Game Ka Na Ba? 17.9%;

Eat Bulaga 22.8% vs. Wowowee 23.5%;

Daisy Siete 17.5% vs. Inocente De Ti 13.7%;

Muli 14.8% at Princess Charming 14.5% vs. Kapamilya Cinema 14.2%;

Full House 15.9% vs. Pangako Sa 'Yo 10.8%;

Gokusen 17.1% vs. Sineserye 17%;

24 Oras 28.7% vs. TV Patrol World 26.5%;

Asian Treasures 33.7% vs. Sana Maulit Muli 28.9%;

Super Twins 31.2% vs. Maging Sino Ka Man 26.9%;

Bakekang 33.8% vs. Maria Flordeluna 23.7%;

Jumong 26.2% vs. Pinoy Big Brother 22.1%;

Starstruck 16.7% vs. Princess Hours 16.3%;

Magpakailanman 15.5% vs. Bandila 8.2%.

Family pictures... from YOUNGBLOOD of

Family pictures
By Phillip Aristotle R. Hermida
Last updated 02:26am (Mla time) 03/24/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- As I began dusting the picture frames in our new house, something caught my attention. We have so many family pictures that some of them cannot be put on display for lack of space. These pictures are more than just colored photographs taken through the years and framed by our favorite photo studio. They have stories trapped inside the glass and wood-bound frames. They are motionless testaments of time, a collection of blissful memories and still images of our 25 years as a family. This experience came at a time when my parents were about to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.

I remember quite vividly that fateful day of April 24, 13 years ago, when they celebrated their anniversary. It was my first time to wear a barong Tagalog, which to me then was a translucent piece of clothing that failed to hide the frail body of an insecure 10-year-old. Such moments will forever be remembered as that picture hangs peacefully near my parents' room.

And how can I forget the first-ever family picture taking in 1989? That photo is by far the biggest and most visible around the house, thanks to its strategic location in the living room. I love this particular picture not only for its significance. If anyone gets a chance to look at it carefully, it captures the innocence of the four children as well as the happiness mixed with anxiety etched in our parents' faces. I can only imagine now how they felt during that time, raising four children while being still so young themselves (yes, my parents married young) and facing the uncertainty of the future. But I would like to think that we all turned out to be what they hoped us to be: a law graduate, a would-be doctor, a psychology degree holder working for a reputable company and a fresh political science graduate who is now in the academe and will soon follow in the footsteps of our future lawyer-brother. All these are captured in the photos that speak well of the times.

To date, we have nine family pictures so that every other year (this practice started only in 1989), an updated version replaces the old, or as we say, the outdated one. The term is so appropriate because by the time the latest family picture is transferred to another viewing area to accommodate the more recent one, our physical appearances have changed dramatically. For example, our "bunso" [youngest] sports a feminine, ear-length hairstyle and puckered lips to complete the look in our 1989 family picture. Two years later, her hair has grown longer and she looks better with her bangs to match her exclusive-school-for-girls demeanor. "Kuya" [elder brother] is noticeably a lot taller, my sister next to me has gained some extra holiday weight and I, well, I leave that to the viewer's judgment. But more significantly, my parents look happier. Their faces were glowing, as if to show how excited they are to see us grow so fast. Dad looks younger and slimmer, his rimless eyeglasses masking the worries he may have while raising four kids at the same time. Mom looks so elegant in her gown adorned with lace and accentuated by a blazer. Her smile is a portrait of delight, of joy and contentment and these bode well for our family.

That image was like a prediction, a foreshadowing of our life together, one that is well lived and nurtured patiently and lovingly in our home.

Every family has a practice that is uniquely theirs. I know of families who love to travel, make beautiful music together or spend hours in the kitchen honing their culinary skills. In our case, we invest in these pictures. No matter how simple it may sound, it is one thing I will not trade for anything. I even thought of taking photography lessons so I could preserve that family tradition with me handling the lens. I tried documenting birthday and graduation parties, "noche buenas" [Christmas Eve dinners] and family reunions and I was really pleased to see these pictures finding a place in photo albums and picture frames.

And it does not stop there. As I write this, a new, updated picture is in the process of being developed and framed. It is extra special because unlike in the past when we all trooped to the studio, the picture was taken in the convenience of our own home. Even the photographer was in awe upon seeing our family pictures on the walls, the same pictures he took years ago but now more beautiful, colorful and certainly more meaningful than when he first delivered them to us wrapped in brown paper.

They say a picture paints a thousand words. But for our family, words fail to describe the essence of our collective experience. I am forever in debt to the person who invented photography for filling the void left by words. I am also grateful for the gift of color and light, two elements that bring pictures to life. And I am thankful to the Lord for giving us our smiles that beam not only our happiness but also the love that overflows from our hearts.

I will continue this practice when I start a family of my own. I wish that my siblings will do the same. For a snapshot spells eternity. A picture is forever.

Phillip Aristotle R. Hermida, 23, is a third-year medical student at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.

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

Friday, March 23, 2007

New York City Night

New York City Night, originally uploaded by Premshree Pillai.

wish i could be there....

NIce photo on Flickr

Beinadalir, originally uploaded by rthor.

a nice pic i found on flickr site, soon ill be there... hehehe.

Post-grad adventures... from YOUNGBLOOD of

Post-grad adventures
By Andrew Agunod Jr.
Last updated 02:13am (Mla time) 03/22/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Now that graduation is near and a new batch of fresh graduates is about to try its luck in the country's job market, let me share my almost-yearlong, post-graduation experience looking for a job.

My last months in the University of the Philippines (UP) were very tense: all kinds of final reports, a thesis, org activities, not to mention the series of exams that I had to go through before acquiring that precious UP diploma -- my passport to the professional world. I survived all of those and even graduated with honors -- something I was really proud of and which gave me the belief that I was among the "highly in demand" graduates in the country. But I was wrong!

Job offers didn't come on silver platters. My "kayabangan" [hubris] -- which, by the way, is typical of some students of the premiere state university -- got the better of me. I didn't go "prospecting" for a job months before graduation. I held on to the belief and confidence that companies would be competing among themselves to hire me once they knew I was a UP graduate. But to my dismay, I found out that the State University seemed to ring a bell no more.

In fairness -- to me and to my alma mater -- my unemployment is more of a "product" of circumstances than of incompetence. (Here goes the kayabangan again.) The one and only job I applied for (way back in April last year yet) was in a research institute in UP Manila. I expected to be immediately hired because I thought my prospective bosses would have no reason to doubt about my competence, plus "potentials." After all, I was a UP graduate.

But UP, as any other government institution, is a multi-layered bureaucracy. I was summoned to a first interview in June. The second took place the following month. But then my appointment had to be approved by the UP president, but it was not expected to come soon. Months later, maybe. When exactly, even the people processing my documents could not be certain. Applicants accepted in May get to start working only in the following December, I found out.

So in July, I considered another job elsewhere, albeit alien to the course I finished. Molecular biology and biotechnology graduates in the Philippines (there are only around 30 graduates each year and only from UP) usually end up in the academe (either teaching or doing research), or in medical schools and graduate schools here and abroad. Since I didn't like to teach and didn't have plans of studying again (still got to earn!) and I did not want to go to medical school either (I have had enough of headaches!), my only option was to go into research. But pursuing such a career in a Third World country is not at all financially rewarding—not to mention the perpetual process of applying for the job (certificate of eligibility, medical exams, computer exams, two month-long interviews; by the time you start working, your first salary is not even enough to cover all that you spent for all these and your bills!). Thus, I didn't have any choice but to "cross into another field" and see what was in store for me in the corporate world.

No, it's not that I'm leaving science mainly because of money. Molecular biology was very exciting for me. I never thought that I would be doing the same stuff scientists did in TV shows I watched when I was a kid. Biotechnology, cloning and immunology, PCR and other interesting topics: Only a privileged few -- in a country like ours -- are given the chance to learn these in lectures and experiments that often involve very expensive gadgets and reagents. I also had excellent company around: the best professors and the brightest "block mates" (we have four summa cum laude awardees in our batch!). Taking the course taught me discipline.

But back in high school, economics was my most favorite subject; science came only second. But my nerdy habit of watching Discovery Channel and National Geographic, enhanced my penchant for science -- specifically molecular biology and medicine -- while my interest in things that had to do with business and economics eventually fizzled out in the face of an exciting scientific revolution that sees no end until now.

Hence, my decision to abandon my dream of becoming a scientist somehow seeks to fulfill a "long-lost" wish. Nevertheless, I still highly admire Filipino scientists sacrificing so much to advance science and research in the country despite tremendous odds. Indeed, to be competitive, the Philippines needs a robust R & D program. Yet, Filipino scientists and researchers, many of whom are known for their significant contribution to science, remain the most underpaid professionals in the country. I met many of them in UP but, aware as I am of the fact that they are given so little recognition, if at all, by a society too preoccupied with other concerns (valid or not), I can't help feeling sorry for them. I hope that the government and the Filipino people will soon realize their value and importance, otherwise more and more Filipino talents, ingenuity, resources, (including opportunities to excel in the international arena) will be lost.

My decision to "change course" brought me to an entirely different world. After several interviews, I finally was accepted as a "management trainee" for a bank. The job was great! It was like getting paid high for studying accounting (how I love this subject!), general banking laws, personnel supervision and bank products and services. However, in the middle of my training, I realized that the kind of tasks I was being groomed for -- operations and branch work -- was not to my liking. So I quit. My decision did not mean that I didn't like banking or that I hated routine tasks. I resigned because I believed that something else out there is the right job for me.

Hence, I'm now actively looking for a new job. Every week, I get a call from different companies for an interview. And because of this my friends have taken to calling me a professional interviewee. Indeed, at this point, with all the good and bad experiences I have had, I could, perhaps, write a long essay on the "do's and dont's in job interviews -- for applicants, of course.

Looking back at these experiences is quite stressful. While my batch mates are already working, I'm still going through interviews. But I have not despaired, I believe that I will have my job very soon. For now, at least, I'm learning how to be patient, optimistic and to make good use of my time.

Congratulations to the graduates of 2007 and I wish you all the best!

Andrew Agunod Jr., 21, is a graduate of molecular biology and biotechnology from University of the Philippines, Diliman.

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Image_17.jpg, originally uploaded by arleighmac.


Image_17.jpg, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

More shots at Lapu-lapu shrine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mactan Shrine

Mactan Shrine, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

my langga and me... hehehe....

Liloan, Cebu Lighthouse

Liloan, Cebu Lighthouse, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

one of the landmarks of liloan, cebu...taken February 2, 2007

Basa sa Dagat

DSCF0015, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

Taken at Tiling Beach 01012007

Me and Lannga

Image001.jpg, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

taken at Lapu-lapu Shrine, Mactan, Cebu. one of our sweet moments. hehehe

Old cars... from YOUNGBLOOD of

Old cars
By Jean Pierre P. Dadufalza
Last updated 01:29am (Mla time) 03/20/2007

Aside from having a keen interest in the inner workings of the human body, which led me to become a physician, I also have an intense passion for cars. I am not your average twentysomething that lusts after the latest and the fastest exotic car you can find in "Top Gear." I go for old cars from the 1940s or 1950s.

My dream of owning and restoring an old classic car turned to reality when someone finally answered the ad I posted in the Internet: "Looking for old classic American cars from the '40s or '50s, preferably with the original engine and transmission."

The first text message I got said: "1979 Toyota Macho classic car, rare, fully loaded." I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. But after four days, I got the reassurance that someone still knew what the words "classic" and "old" meant, as far as cars were concerned. The message said: "You might be interested in a 1957 Chevy sedan."

I couldn't believe what I read and couldn't wait to see the car. The following day, I told my brother about my rare find (we share the same passion) and off we went to see it. After a minute or two of knocking at the gate, a housemaid approached us. We were led in after we told her we were the guys asking about the car.

Our jaws dropped at the sight of the huge car. It was indeed a 1957 Chevrolet sedan, a Two-Ten to be precise. It shares the same body and looks with any Chevrolet Bel-Air of that era except that it was a different model. We marveled at the car that was as huge and majestic as a ship. It had a two-tone, red and white paint, a curved roof that was almost round like a Volkswagen Beetle's, a windshield that wrapped around the corners to the A-pillars, and, of course, the unmistakable trademark tail fins accentuated by chrome trim. The '57 Chevy is an icon of the 1950s, "the undisputed star of the fabled 'Tri-Five' ('55-'56-'57) Chevy era," as "Automobile Magazine" put it.

As we continued to stare at the car, an elderly lady approached us. She introduced herself as the widow of its owner. We asked her if we could give it a closer look.

The doors opened perfectly. It was like entering a time machine that zapped us back to 1957. The windows could be rolled up and down smoothly. Everything inside was original. I closed the door and it emitted a solid thud. Unbelievable.

The hood had two chrome rocket ornaments on top and we popped it to reveal the original "stove-bolt" 235 cubic-inch (4.0L) straight-six engine. The air cleaner and radiator were original, and so with the single-barrel Rochester carburetor. Perfect.

The lady invited us inside the living room as soon as we were through inspecting the car. We asked if the price she had quoted in her message was fixed. She smiled and said it was. We didn't have the heart to haggle for a discount. After all, it was worth more than what she was asking. We sealed the deal.

Then, it was time to pull out the Chevy. The truck backed up into the driveway and lowered its bed. A heavy chain was tied to the rear axle and attached to the winch's cable. I took the wheel to steer the car into position. Full power was applied to the winch but the car wouldn't budge. Of course, I'd forgotten to shift to neutral.

I tried to get the column-shift to neutral, but the lever was stuck. I crossed my fingers and depressed the clutch and hoped it would work (a broken crankshaft was unimaginable). I heaved a sigh of relief when the car slowly inched its way out to the driveway.

The widow watched as the car was slowly winched onto the truck's bed. Her eyes filled with tears as she touched the Chevy for the last time. We've bought second-hand automobiles before but no separation between automobile and owner were as heartbreaking to witness as this one. Here we were, my brother and I, two young guys taking possession of an old automobile which would soon be our pride and joy, while there was Nana Flor, parting with their first car, a treasure trove of memories.

She handed us a Borg-Warner carburetor repair kit and a complete front suspension repair kit and requested that we take her for a ride when we were done with the restoration. We promised we would and then left.

We reached the mechanic's shop for the first stage of the restoration project: rebuilding the engine. I would have preferred to entrust the task to Uncle Ren, but since he was in the United States, I looked for another mechanic who was up to the job. I wanted someone who knew his way around American cars. With some luck, we found Mang Ed who knows these cars like the back of his hand. When he saw the Chevy, he said he was reminded of his days as a young man.

For the next couple of weeks, he pulled out and disassembled the engine and took the block and crankshaft to the machine shop for a re-bore. I scoured Binondo for pistons, connecting rod bearings, main bearings, valves, gaskets and the like. I was surprised to find out that some shops still had lots of unused spare parts for cars as old as our Chevy.

It has been almost two months since we brought the car to Mang Ed. Now the engine has been rebuilt and assembled, and we had it painted in the original Chevy blue.

My brother and I cannot wait to start the engine. For other people who drive their modern cars on a daily basis, it is as simple as turning the keys. For us, however, it is witnessing the rebirth of a 50-year-old car that had lain dormant for nearly 25 years. On the road to its resurrection, every step counts: pouring engine oil, filling the radiator with coolant, connecting the battery, turning on the ignition switch, cranking the engine as the glass filter bowl fills with fresh gasoline, and finally hearing the long 235-cubic-inch straight six engine sputter to life with a roar as the sparkplugs ignite the air-fuel mixture.

If you are the typical car guy who is thinking about buying another new modern sissy car that is worth a fortune, think again. Would you really like to drive what everyone else has? It's about time you experience restoring and driving an old car, where there's just you, the car and the open road ahead. It's about time you experience the joys of more than four cylinders and raw power without distractions, such as a dozen buttons, electronic gadgetry and hi-tech stuff. If your grandpa or dad has an old car in his garage, now is your chance to restore it and re-live history.

Jean Pierre P. Dadufalza, M.D., 27, is also a microbiologist.

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

Saturday, March 17, 2007



The Saint Patrick's Day Parade starts at 44th Street & 5th Avenue. It travels north on 5th Avenue to 86th Street, then travels east on 86th Street to 3rd Avenue. 

Getting There Take any subway to the Midtown area between 42nd and 86th Street | Walk to 5th Avenue | Do not drive 

The first St Patrick's Day parade in New York City was held in 1766 organized by Irish soldiers serving in His Majesty's service. City folk marched for any and all reasons back then, usually organized along fraternal, trade or military organizational lines. The early St Patrick's Day marchers would form up at their parish churches or their organizations' headquarters and march to the Old St Patrick's Cathedral (now at Mott and Prince Streets). The Archbishop greeted the groups, dignitaries and politicians addressed the crowd and the marchers dispersed in search of a bit of St Patty's Day pleasure.

As the City moved uptown so did the parade, marching to the far reaches of the City and the site of the new St Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue and 50th Street. Today's parade starts at 42nd Street and marchers travel north to 86th Street. It is customary for the New York Archbishop to review the parade in front of St Patrick's. 

The St Patrick's Day Parade is one of the few remaining where no cars, floats, buses, trucks or other vehicles are allowed. People march, march, march up Fifth Avenue, led by members of the 165th Infantry (originally the Irish 69th Regiment of Fighting Irish fame). Sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the more than 150,000 marchers are members of various Irish societies from New York and around the country; many Eire-based societies make the Atlantic crossing to trek the two miles uptown. Large contingents include the Emerald Societies of the New York City Police and Fire Departments, and any politician running for office within a 50-mile radius. 

Viewing the parade is a snap. It starts 11:00A at 42nd Street and makes it way up Fifth Avenue to 86th Street. There is no best place to see the parade, though the Archbishop usually greets the marchers at St Patrick's Cathedral. Take any subway to Midtown and walk over to Fifth Avenue. Don't try to drive; you won't get very far. Similarly, traffic is affected on all streets surrounding the parade route; a bus will get you nowhere fast. 

Last year's parade is a tribute to those New York City fire fighters and police officers who gave their lives in the World Trade Center attack. Cardinal Edward M Egan, Archbishop of New York and the grand marshal of the parade, will walk up the parade route, then return to the Archbishop's usual spot, greeting parade marchers in front of St Patrick's Cathedral. At about 11:30P, Cardinal Egan will call for a moment of silence, in remembrance of the 9-11-01 victims.

This year Raymond L. Flynn will be the 2007 New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal.

The Parade will be reviewed from the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral by His Eminence Cardinal Edward Eagan, Archbishop of New York. It will also be reviewed from the Official Reviewing Stand at 64th Street and 5th Avenue.

The parade marches up 5th Avenue, clan by clan, from 44th to 86th streets starting at 11am on St. Patrick's Day (Saturday, March 17th).

Former Grand Marshal include: 2005 Grand Marshal Denis P. Kelleher, 2004 Grand Marshal Thomas W. Gleason and 2003 James G. O'Connor was the Grand Marshal the year before, and Mayor Bloomberg marched along with nearly 150,000 others proudly wearing the green, as millions gawk along the parade route and watch on TV.

Four year ago marked the 241st New York St. Patrick's Day Parade, the world's largest. Edward Cardinal Egan was the Grand Marshall, and Mayor Bloomberg will marched along with nearly 150,000 others proudly wearing the green, as millions gawk along the parade route and watch on TV.

Several years ago parade was dedicated to the 'Heroes of 9/11, ' including police, fire and all rescue workers. At around midday, the parade will pause for one minute as Cardinal Egan leads participants in a prayer from the reviewing stand at 64th Street and 5th Avenue. It's a reminder that St. Paddy's Day is a religious holiday back in the motherland, even though for New Yorkers it's a chance to party hardy like any good Irishman. There probably isn't a bigger day when green face paint, green food coloring, green nail polish, and green clothes are on display. And there's pure Irish pageantry, of course, led by the 165th Infantry (originally the 69th Regiment of the 1850's). You'll see the Ancient Order of Hibernians, 30 Irish county societies and various Emerald, Irish-language and Irish nationalist societies.

The parade marches up 5th Avenue, clan by clan, from 44th to 86th streets starting at 11am on St. Patrick's Day (Saturday, March 17th). It will probably be televised on NBC.

The first official parade in the City was held in 1766 by Irishmen in a military unit recruited to serve in the American colonies. For the first few years of its existence, the parade was organized by military units until after the war of 1811. At that point in time, Irish fraternal and beneficial societies took over the duties of hosting and sponsoring the event.

Originally, Irish societies joined together at their respective meeting places and moved in a procession toward St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, St. James Church, or one of the many other Roman Catholic churches in the City. However, as the years passed, the size of the parade increased and around the year 1851, as individual societies merged under a single grand marshal, the size of the parade grew sharply.

Each year a unit of soldiers marches at the head of the parade; the Irish 165th Infantry (originally the 69th Regiment of the 1850's) has become the parade's primary escort, and they are followed by the various Irish societies of the city. Some of the other major sponsors and participants in the parade are the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the thirty Irish county societies, and various Emerald, Irish-language, and Irish nationalist societies.

The annual parade down Fifth Avenue to honor the patron saint of Ireland is a New York tradition that dates as far back as 1766. The festivities kick off at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 17th, with bagpipers, high school bands, and the ever-present politicians making their way up Fifth Avenue to 86th Street, where the parade will probably finish around 4:30 or 5:00 pm.

The best viewing spots are toward the north end of the parade route, away from the shopping and work-a-day crowds that throng the sidewalks below 59th Street. Try sitting on the upper steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a great view or catching a close-up view of the marchers where the parade turns east on 86th Street.

The New York Convention & Visitors Bureau says that the St. Patrick's Day Parade is the largest and most famous of the many parades held in the city each year.

Colonial New York City hosted the first official St. Patrick's Day parade in 1762, when Irish immigrants in the British colonial army marched down city streets. In subsequent years Irish fraternal organizations also held processions to St. Patrick's Cathedral. The various groups merged sometime around 1850 to form a single, grand parade.

The parade marches up 5th Avenue, from 44th to 86th streets starting at 11am on St. Patrick's Day (Saturday, March 17th). It will probably be televised on NBC.

‘Bibo kid’ ... from YOUNGBLOOD of

'Bibo kid'
By Leslie E. Vicente
Last updated 01:07am (Mla time) 03/17/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- At some point, I thought I had lost it. But every time my colleagues' enthusiasm captures my attention, I feel like the "bibo" [high-vitality, or self-confident] kid from my past would like to make a comeback.

If your blood pressure rises because some two-legged creature keeps you from having an early lunch with endless questions during classes and seminars, you can hit me. If you are tired of seeing the same face in front of the class or on the podium, then you can hit me again. And if you were one of those applicants or neophyte teachers who felt strained by a rainfall of questions and arguments aimed mainly to heighten your anxiety, then you can hit me again and again.

I don't know how everything started or how things changed.

On my first day in school, I silently stood outside the classroom for over an hour despite my teacher's insistent invitation for me to come inside. Meek as a lamb, I stayed near the door, too afraid to enter the room filled with kids who must have gobbled a year's supply of energy. I don't know how I finally managed to move my feet and find a chair inside the room.

In the succeeding days, I rarely found the courage to talk to my seatmates. Playing with my peers seemed like a strange thing for me to do. During recitation, since my teachers always asked me to speak louder, I thought that was a normal occurrence.

I can very well recall the result of my first set of exams in preschool. On a thick green paper, my teacher drew an award and asked the entire class to guess who among us got a perfect score. After shouting the names of almost all my classmates, nobody got the right answer. And when the prize was handed to me, many were surprised to know that I actually existed.

Eventually, evolution caught up with the very timid and soft-spoken school grader who always got the lowest rating for sociability. Gradually, I learned that speaking out was not bad at all since no one got persecuted for exercising one's vocal cords. I realized that I wouldn't be devoured alive if I participated in school activities, that I wouldn't melt down if I presented something in front of the class. Now, I can actually do a lot of things that I never thought I could do when I was still an antisocial mute.

It happened fast. One day, I just woke up to realize that I already belonged to the imaginary Bibo Kids' Club.

Whether I was able to deceive my classmates of my leadership ability or they were fond of making odd choices, I don't know. But in high school, I was consistently elected as class president. I joined various clubs and participated in various school programs and activities. I represented the school in numerous academic competitions: math, science, general information, and even journalism. For every poster and collage-making contest held several times in a year, I led our class in the conceptualization. For the endless plays required in our class, I wrote the script and directed. I also played chess in an inter-school sports fest, designed the batch T-shirt and coordinated the cheering competition during intramurals. When I was in third year, I held the second highest position in both the student council and the student publication. The following year, I edited the campus paper.

And yes, I did a Filipiniana dance number on stage during one of our school activities despite having two left feet. I tried hard not to look like a dancing retardate.

During those younger days, passivity and exhaustion departed from my vocabulary. The pleasure I got from speaking in front of a crowd continued to grow. In fact, while we were preparing for our graduation ceremonies in high school, I told some of the faculty members that I would gladly be their commencement speaker a number of years thence.

In college, I quickly found out that the members of the Bibo Kids' Society were so much more than I expected. Countless times, I opted to be silent. But there were more instances when I felt bothered and restless if I did not raise my hand and recite in class. And just like before, my ego hurt if I did not get the highest scores.

I must have bumped my head somewhere, but one day I just learned there was such a thing as maturity. Even if I wanted to prove something to myself, my towering expectations were already causing me more discontent than fulfillment. I was like a child who never gets satisfied with her toy and continues to yearn for attention.

Slowly, my perspective widened. I devoted more of my time to things in which I found more meaning.

I became active in academic organizations that went beyond the classroom and practiced social responsibility. For three years, I committed a significant amount of my time and effort to the campus publication that served the entire studentry. I joined the liturgical committee of the university parish as a lector during Masses. I still aimed to graduate with Latin honors not only to reward my parents but also because I wanted to make sure I would not find myself jobless.

The road was not easy. I remember nights when I lay in bed in agony because of a severe headache. My eyes would well up in tears. I was probably pushing myself too hard. In those distressing hours, I would hold a small bottle of White Flower in my hand while thinking of what I had done the past years. Then I would think far into the future and consider possibilities. What if I died at that very moment? Have I already served my purpose? I was sure that I was not yet ready to go.

Soon I realized that I was running too fast. I was missing the scenery. I knew very well that I had to spend more time on the activities and with the people I valued most. I had to slow down and put the "bibo" kid in silent mode. "Bibo" kids are not born. Becoming one is a matter of choice.

Now after working in an auditing firm for nearly three years, I have come across hundreds of "bibo kids" -- from clients to colleagues in the workplace. They remind me of a past that never fails to make me smile. The "bibo" kid in me must have died, but the dreams remain.

I dream of being able to leave an indelible mark, but this time it is not by achieving so much. The medals and trophies proudly displayed on the shelf will soon be covered with dust. They will tarnish. They will be forgotten. In the end, what will remain is that which has been instilled in the heart.

Leslie E. Vicente, 23, a certified public accountant, is a senior associate in an auditing firm in Makati City.

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

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nationwide TV Ratings : February 25, 2007 : Sunday

Nationwide TV Ratings : February 25, 2007 : Sunday

Philippine Nationwide TV ratings
February 25, 2007
Primetime - Sunday

S Files (GMA)- 16.0%
The Buzz (ABS-CBN)- 26.5%

Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang (GMA)- 16.3%
TV Patrol Linggo (ABS-CBN)- 29.1%

Starstruck (GMA)- 18.1%
Goin' Bulilit (ABS-CBN)- 34.6%

Mel and Joey (GMA)- 11.2%
Rated K (ABS-CBN)- 44.5%

All Star K (GMA)- 8.8%
Sharon (ABS-CBN)- 34.5%
Pinoy Big Brother (ABS-CBN) (pilot)- 36.0%

February 26, 2007
Primetime - Monday

24 Oras (GMA)- 22.4%
TV Patrol World (ABS-CBN)- 36.8%

Asian Treasures (GMA)- 28.6%
Sana Maulit Muli (ABS-CBN)- 36.5%

Super Twins (GMA)- 31.5%
Maging Sino Ka Man (GMA)- 37.2%

Bakekang (GMA)- 29.1%
Maria Flordeluna (ABS-CBN)- 33.6%

Jumong (GMA)- 19.9%
Pinoy Big Brother (ABS-CBN)- 42.3%

Starstruck (GMA)- 18.6%
Princess Hours (ABS-CBN)- 35.5%

Lagot Ka, Isusumbong Kita! (GMA)- 10.1%
Bandila (ABS-CBN)- 15.8%

ABS-CBN- 33.9%

Nationwide TV Ratings : February 20, 2007 : Primetime - Wednesday

Nationwide TV Ratings : February 20, 2007 : Primetime - Wednesday

Philippine Nationwide TV Ratings
February 21, 2007
Primetime - Wednesday

24 Oras (GMA)- 22.5%
TV Patrol World (ABS-CBN)- 33.4%

Asian Treasures (GMA)- 34.1%
Deal or No Deal (ABS-CBN) (final week)- 34.0%

Super Twins (GMA)- 31.1%
Maria Flordeluna (ABS-CBN)- 32.2%

Bakekang (GMA)- 26.4%
Sana Maulit Muli (ABS-CBN)- 39.9%

Jumong (GMA)- 23.1%
Maging Sino Ka Man (ABS-CBN)- 36.2%

Starstruck (GMA)- 12.7%
Princess Hours (ABS-CBN)- 35.0%

Nuts Entertainment (GMA)- 4.5%
Bandila (ABS-CBN)- 14.4%

GMA- 22.05
ABS-CBN- 32.15

Is Your Lamp Lighted?... Article from Bo Sanchez' PErsonal Blog... nice one

Is Your Lamp Lighted?
Emy Serafica Preaches To Me One Last Time

When I was 14 years old, I led the first ever prayer meeting of the Light of Jesus Community. My family was there, and so were twenty other people. Looking back, it was pretty comic. Why would a bunch of grown-ups follow a kid in a crummy tee shirt, jogging pants, and sandals? Especially a kid who watched Voltes V and even memorized its theme song? But that was what happened.
A few weekly prayer meetings more, Emy Serafica walked through the door for the first time. A tall, lanky fellow with a strong chin and broad smile, he looked like a 70's actor. Not matinee idol material, but those guys with character roles. Like he could be the buddy of the main star or something like that.
We learned that Emy was a natural leader. A salesman by profession, he was also an eloquent speaker and read the Bible like crazy. Soon, Emy became one of our "Elders". I shared the pulpit with him and people enjoyed his preaching. If you're my age, and you caught Jimmy Swaggart preach on TV, that was Emy's preaching style. Fiery, dramatic, and powerful.
I remember something unique about his talks: They usually had three main points.
I personally enjoyed listening to him preach.
Though I was still his leader, Emy preached better than me. Naturally, my mother will object to that statement with the violence of a volcano erupting after 900 years of dormancy. But I really think he preached better than me at that stage because he was much older (he was 32 and I was 15) and more experienced.
When I turned 18 years old, I stopped studying and worked full-time for the community. And so did Emy. (Just as a side note, in case there are kids reading this who might get funny ideas, I eventually went back to college and finished my Philosophy degree and even took up Masters in Theology.)
The community rented an apartment as an office. To work more closely together, Emy and his wife Lydia moved next door and made it their home.
Yes, Emy and I were not only co-leaders, he was my dear friend.
I remember the many nights we swapped stories, we debated about the Bible, and we shared dreams together.
As the years went by, Light of Jesus grew in number, and I asked Emy to lead one of our 5 sub-groups.
One day, at the end of a leader's retreat, we had a commitment ceremony.
Before it began, Emy called me to a corner of the room and asked, "Bo, is this a commitment to the community or to God? What if God calls me elsewhere?" I told him that it was a commitment first of all to God, but it was also a commitment to community "as long as God tells you to stay here." He thanked me and joined the commitment ceremony.
But deep inside, I already knew he wasn't going to stay long.
True enough, a few months after, he asked me if we could chat.
He said he felt God was leading him to leave the community. He was also bringing with him twenty members of his sub-group to form a protestant church.
Leaving the community was one thing. But I was shocked that he was taking along my members—my friends! And I was doubly shocked that they were leaving the Catholic Church.
I felt numb. But I still wished him the best.
A few days after, I stood in front of our entire community of over 100 people and I had to break the agonizing news to them. I was 21 years old at that time and life didn't prepare me for announcements like this.
"One of our Elders, Emy Serafica, is leaving the community," I said, pausing amidst gasps of shock around me, "and twenty of our members are joining him. They're forming a new protestant church…"
People couldn't believe the news. And I understood what they were feeling. How could this happen to our little, cozy, tight, loving group? People began to sob right in front of me. Friendships were torn. Even some families were divided. Spasms of pain rippled through that crowd.
But I asked everyone to pray for blessings for them and to love them as our brothers and sisters in Christ. I asked them to greet them and to talk to them.
A week later, I decided to visit Emy in his new church.
His members were there—our former members. They were excited and happy, sweeping and cleaning their new rented hall that was to be their church.
I told them that even if we weren't anymore in one group or even in the Catholic Church, we'd always be friends. We ended by praying together, hugging each other.
I became busy and I lost contact with Emy for many years.
In the meantime, the Light of Jesus community went about their work for God. We grew by leaps and bounds, expanding to different ministries and territories.
Fourteen long years later, I met his wife Lydia. She came to see me to sell life insurance. After buying a plan from her, I asked her, "How's Emy doing?"
"Many years ago, our church disbanded. Emy is back as a salesman. He's no longer preaching, Bo."
Instantly, I felt as though a knife stabbed my chest. I'm a preacher and I knew what Emy was feeling. For a preacher not to preach anymore is like an old lamp left in a dark corner, unlighted, collecting dust and rust, never used. I felt sad for such a wasted gift. Emy was such a good preacher.
I told her it would be great to see Emy again.
And a few weeks later, Emy and I met finally. After so many years.
He had more white hair but his smile was as broad as ever.
We hugged each other for a long time.
And in expressions deeper than any words can ever say, we forgave each other for the pain of the past.
As we talked and laughed together, I couldn't help but think. I wondered what would have happened if he didn't leave. Would he still be my partner-in-ministry to this day, preaching God's Word? And would I still be personally enjoying and benefiting from his preaching? I brushed these thoughts aside.
But it was he who brought up a desire to serve again. "Bo, I have these things I've written—nothing doctrinal, I assure you. Do you think it can be published?"
"Let me have a look at it," I said.
But he never gave it to me.
As months went by, Lydia would attend our prayer meetings, and once or twice, Emy would join her. I would bump into him at different times. I'm not sure of this, but I felt that he was carrying a sense of regret or shame in him. Deep down, I felt he still wanted to go back and serve God through preaching again.
A few weeks ago, I heard the news.
Emy Serafica had a massive heart attack.
My friend was gone at the young age of 57.
I visited his wake and asked his wife the one burning question in my mind, "Lydia, did Emy ever preach again?"
"A few months ago, he was invited by a small prayer group. Yes, he preached again. He gave them four talks, one for each month."
I smiled. The lamp was taken out of the darkness, dusted, cleaned, polished, and lighted again.
I will miss that broad smile of Emy.
I will miss his preaching.
Too bad I wasn't there to listen to his last talks.
But then it struck me.
Emy did preach to me one last time.
And he did it through his death.
And like the Emy I used to know, he preached three major points to me…
The First Point: Life is very short.
The Second Point: Conflicts, divisions, fights—the deepest and most hurting—don't matter at death. They cease to exist. From the perspective of eternity, all conflicts and fights are petty. They're washed away by time. One step after death's door, we'll all be laughing with our enemies—laughing at how petty we were.
I'm thankful that before Emy stepped in death's door, we were able to have that laugh this side of earth.
The Third Point: I realized that I don't want to live a life of regret. Because life is very short, I will use my Lamp and light it until the last breath of my soul.
Friend, what is your lamp?
I believe God has given every human being a particular lamp.
It's the primary language of your soul. Some call it your Sacred Contract. Your core gift to the world.
For me it's preaching. And writing.
For others, it's cooking, technology, business, singing, counselling…
You may be one of those who know what their lamp is.
Then there's only one question left to ask.

Is your lamp lighted?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

To limp or to fly? ... from YOUNGBLOOD of

To limp or to fly?
By Tina Papera
Last updated 00:31am (Mla time) 03/13/2007

“How do you manage to take a bath?”

I don’t know how many times that question has been asked the past several days and I wish I have counted them. Then I would have known which is more important to other people, how to a take bath or how to fit into my usual tight pants, given my “situation.”

Ever since the accident, my life has taken a different turn. No, the accident was not life-threatening at all, or at least that was what those who saw it have told me. Things just suddenly felt heavier, and a little more difficult. Sometimes there are incidents, or unwanted events that make you rethink your entire existence. This was one of them.

No day could be more vivid in my memory than that day. I woke up feeling as if the whole world was at my feet. The New Year had given me signs that I was starting on the right foot. I was given the opportunity that I have been hoping for some time. I had my whole week planned out; a few adjustments here and there on my list of to-dos and I’d just be breezing through the days. I was starting that Wednesday morning just like any other rare positive day.

I was alone and on my way to work. Just a few blocks away from our house, I got off the tricycle and started walking briskly toward where I would catch a jeepney. I was halfway across, when the thing hit me.

My life stopped very briefly -- some 10 seconds or so. When I became conscious, I felt like a 50-pound brick had fallen on my left leg. I could not move it. Either my nerves had turned numb or the pain was just too much that I could not tell what I was feeling. I was already crying when it occurred to me that I had been hit by a speeding motorcycle.

My knee was bleeding. A patch of denim was ripped from one knee. Everyone around was probably stunned because it took them a few minutes to move to help a girl who was lying face down on the service road in Parañaque City, with one leg immobilized.

One tricycle driver called another to help pull me off the road and bring me to the nearest hospital, just a few meters away from where we were.

I was almost hysterical. The last thing I wanted was to be moved, which was sheer torture. The trip to the hospital was the longest five minutes of my life.

As I was being brought to the hospital, I heard that the rider who had hit me was helping carry me there. I wished I could lay my hands on something to throw at him. But my arms kept rubbing my leg, and my mind just wandered.

As I type this, I am trying my best not to think about how itchy it feels inside my plaster cast. My foot is sending signals to my brain that only a small amount of blood is flowing underneath it.

The doctor told me it would take only a month before my leg can breathe and I can walk, dance and run again. But for now, a month is like forever.

I reported to work one day, but my boss advised me to take a leave, get some rest and recover. I told her that being unable to work, and having more moments to ponder the pain of being temporarily crippled would kill me.

I am getting used to the jeers of colleagues who think the way I walk is funny. The more immature ones even imitate me, and walk like an amputee. And yes, almost everyone has asked me how I manage to bathe myself.

An even more impertinent question thrown at me was: How could you have sex with a cast? My simple answer to the stupid question: If there’s a will, there’s a way.

I was never asked how all this has affected me. Or maybe even changed me. Nevertheless, I would say I have been humbled by it.

Up to now, my family is still searching for the rider who hit me because he disappeared after I was transferred to San Juan De Dios Hospital. But I have resigned myself to the fact that we would not find him. I know God sees everything and that He saw what happened. If the guy would not be able to pay for the hospital bills, so be it. Every night I thank the Lord that I am still alive. I got my second chance to make a difference.

Isn’t the fact that I will get to use my leg again just grand? During the first few days when I was in pain, physically and emotionally, I complained and sulked over my misfortune.

But now, I know He allow things to happen for a reason. I don’t have my own car or driver to bring or fetch me to and from work. I have to endure the agonizing journey, feeling every bump below my foot, getting flashes of what happened, dreading the sight of motorcycles and hearing again the crashing sound. But I try to be strong. I tell myself that while I may be stable on just one foot now, God is holding me up on the other.

A few days ago, the management honored me with an award. It was the first award given for the year. It was called “Wowing Passion Award.” We are a service company and one of the virtues we value most is passion.

Before the award was handed out to me, our HR manager said it was being given to someone who had become an inspiration to others in our workplace. He said my example showed that no one has a valid reason to feel exhausted or incapable of doing things.

I think God never gives us trials that we cannot overcome. When we are crippled, it is up to us whether to limp or to fly.

Tina Papera, 27, is a store marketing manager for Shakey’s.

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

TV Ratings, March 9-11, 2007

Narito ang overnight ratings ng mga programa ng GMA 7 at ABS-CBN noong BIYERNES (Marso 9):

SiS 12.9% vs. Homeboy 14.1%;

Yellow Handkerchief 17.4% vs. Game Ka Na Ba? 21.2%;

Eat Bulaga 19.6% vs. Wowowee 22.6%;

Daisy Siete 17.1% vs. Inocente De Ti 16.7%;

Muli 16.3%, Princess Charming 15.2% at Full House 14.4% vs. Kapamilya Cinema 15.5%;

Jewel in the Palace 20.8% vs. Sineserye 15%;

24 Oras 26.5% vs. TV Patrol World 22.4%;

Asian Treasures 33.8% vs. Sana Maulit Muli 24.8%;

Super Twins 33.4% vs. Maging Sino Ka Man 25.7%;

Bakekang 34.7% vs. Maria Flordeluna 21.8% at Maalaala Mo Kaya 19.9%;

Jumong 27.6% at Starstruck 19.8% vs. Pinoy Big Brother 16%;

Bubble Gang 14.4% vs. Bandila 8.3%.

SABADO (Marso 10):

Takeshi’s Castle 17.5% vs. Game Ka Na Ba? 14.3%;

Eat Bulaga 28.3% vs. Wowowee 20%;

Startalk 18.1% vs. Nagmamahal Kapamilya 12.5%, Let’s Go 10.9% at Star Magic Presents 11.8%;

Wish Ko Lang 17.6% vs. Little Big Superstar 11.6%;

Bitoy’s Funniest Video 21.6% vs. TV Patrol 13.6%;

Pinoy Pop Superstar 23.1% vs. Komiks 20.6%;

Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho 27.6% vs. John En Shirley 19.7%; Imbestigador 24.4% vs. XXX 25.1% at Pinoy Big Brother 23.4%;

Hokus Pokus 15.3% vs. Aalog-Alog 12.6%;

Sine Totoo 13.3% vs. Sports Unlimited 4.8%.

LINGGO (Marso 11):

SOP 16.1% vs. ASAP 13.8% at Your Song 12.8%;

Magic Kamison 15.3% vs. Love Spell 13%;

S-Files 13.8% vs. The Buzz 12.6%;

Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang 16.3% vs. TV Patrol Linggo 13.2%;

Starstruck 21.3% vs. Goin’ Bulilit 13.8% at Rated K 19.1%;

Mel and Joey 21.9% vs. Sharon 18%;

All Star K 19.7% vs. Pinoy Big Brother 20.3%;

Daddy Di Do Du 14.8% at Sunday Night’s Box-office 11.7% vs. Sunday’s Best 11.6%

My countryside...

DSCF0006, originally uploaded by arleighmac.

i miss my life back there...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Truth hurts from YOUNGBLOOD of

Truth hurts
By Frances Paola G. Doplon
Last updated 01:38am (Mla time) 03/10/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- I admire the thousands of people who auditioned for "American Idol 6" and got rejected for their courage, confidence and commitment to their dream. But I also wonder how some people ever got there in the first place.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against them. It just strikes me as strange how people who obviously lack the talent for singing acquire their overblown self-esteem. It's not that they're not talented or that they're losers, but it's clear singing is not just for them. How could have they been so deaf to their lack of singing talent?

A common scenario: Rejected applicant walks out of the audition room in disbelief. He curses the judges and complains that they have been unfair. He condemns Simon Cowell for dismissing the "true" American Idol.

Of course, there's a whole entourage of family and friends standing outside, waiting to greet him. And it annoys me when everyone rushes to console the terrible singer and says thing like, "It's their loss!" or "Those judges have bad taste," or "No way! You're the best singer in the world!"

No wonder those contestants are blind to their limitations. Their supporters have kept them in the dark all these years!

Take Minneapolis contestant 33052. After the judges gave her their thumbs down, she kept demanding to know why. The judges cited the poor quality of her singing.

"But why?" she protested. "I've been taking voice lessons for 10 years. How come no one has ever told me that before?"

"That's because I wasn't your teacher," Cowell told her.

"But why? I have a degree in Vocal Performance..."

The judges, including the guest judge Jewel, sniggered.

"Is there anything else that I can do?" she finally asked.

"Leave," said Simon.

Apparently, it was the first time contestant No. 33052 heard that her singing was not good. And that revelation had to happen on international television!

There's nothing wrong with prodding and encouraging people, but something's definitely wrong when the encouragement is an outright lie.

We all have our own talents, but we can't have them all. We can't even choose our inclinations or areas of specialization. These are gifts. Those talents we don't have, we can develop. But let's capitalize on what is given to us.

Contestant No. 33052 is the master of her fate, the captain of her soul. She's responsible for humiliating herself. But what about her supporters, friends and family, didn't they tell her that singing was just not her forte? What about her voice coach and vocal performance teachers? I'm not putting the blame entirely on them, but they are partly responsible. Just think about the lies they have been telling her all these years.

To people like these, having real and meaningful relationships means accepting the other person totally, including his capabilities, abilities and limitations. Pointing out a friend's defect or shortcoming is not part of it. If you really accept him, you just live with it. So if a friend has a food particle stuck between his teeth, you just let him walk around the room and continuously talk and smile at everyone. And when he comes back and asks why the girls were giggling, you shrug your shoulders and pretend that you see nothing wrong. Or you say, "Maybe they think you're cute."

What a friend! You let an opportunity to end his foolishness pass. Who will tell him the truth, that he has been making a fool of himself, but the people who truly care?

Usually it's not easy to point out someone's mistakes or shortcomings. Instead of viewing constructive criticism as a helpful thing, some people take it as a betrayal. But that saves them from further and deeper hurts. They may not even believe you, but at least you tried and at least they know.

"May I tell you something?" someone once asked me and proceeded to tell me something I should improve upon. Although I was initially hurt, I appreciated it when she explained that she mentioned it not because she saw me as "defective," but because she knew I could become better. I like people who tell me such things to my face instead of gossiping behind my back.

Of course, it can be risky. When I finally decided (after so much reflection and hesitation) to tell a friend about a certain area she ought to improve on, I was worried that I was putting years of friendship on the line. However, I thought that her personal growth was more important than our friendship. Our conversation was a dramatic one and we ended up crying. We did not talk to each other for a week! But eventually we got over it and our relationship became stronger because we were honest to each other.

Now we can say anything to each other and laugh about anything. When she tells me that I'm like this or like that, I trust her because I know she is doing it out of authentic concern, and I know she still loves me for what I am and who I can be.

Telling someone he stinks does sound harsh. Sorry, but as much as we want to tell people in the most pleasant way, sometimes we can't do it too well. But hey, if author Bo Sanchez didn't tell his pal about his body odor, the man wouldn't have discovered the deodorant and heard the girl, who had been avoiding him, say yes.

A clear danger here is having people think that they are measured by their qualities, abilities or possessions. I wanted to tell one guy who also got rejected in the "American Idol" audition and felt that he had been stripped of his self-esteem, "Dude, your singing does not define who you are! Your singing may suck, but you don't."

Believing in someone doesn't mean that you should tell him that he's a great dancer when he's got two left feet. By all means, be supportive. Just be careful with your words because no one wants and deserves to be lied to. We have eyes that see and hearts that care. We have the power to bring people out from the shadows and into the light. And we have an invaluable weapon, which is truth. Truth hurts, but it sets us free.

Frances Paola G. Doplon, 25, is taking up graduate studies in English Language and Literature at the Ateneo de Manila University.

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

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