Saturday, October 31, 2009

On Monsters, Ghosts, Aliens and What-Not, It's Halloween!

I thought it was already the thirty-first of October yesterday that's why I made a haphazard halloween post. My brain was zonking out already because I've been working non-stop the past few weeks (no weekends mind you!).

And so I reflected about halloween after watching Qtube's feature the other night of my group ghost blog and realized that real terrorizing horror is not about seeing ghosts, monsters or aliens. It's about things that you do that may hurt or even sever relationships.

Here are some monsters, ghosts and aliens that I think we all can do without:

1. Mudslinging, online and offline, more often than not misunderstandings stem from lack of communication.

2. Lying, if you ask permission that you are going to location A, be sure you're there and not at location B. Social networking sites work well as evidence nowadays (nyahaha). Besides lying leads to loss of trust.

3. Being selfish, being bratty. I remember all too well my bratinella days. It took more than a decade before I realized why I should've listened to my parents when I was a kid. I was so emo back then I didn't realize that they just wanted the best for me.

4. Treating helpers as helpers. Treat them as family. We've always had helpers at home and they're truly valuable they are. I don't think I'll manage to do what I do without their help.

5. Being inconsiderate. Usually because of #3.

6. The I'm better than you attitude. I wonder if there's anyone who's not like this? I fall prey to this too. Often.

7. Being unforgiving. I've experienced quarreling with family and friends too, some were resolved immediately, others have taken years, but I learned that in time and when heads have cooled things can always be discussed and mended. You just always have to remember why you guys love and accept each other.

I know it's never going to be a perfect world and nobody's perfect, but with time and a dash of maturity things could be better.

Exorcise those ghosts!

And on a happy thought, here's the making of the Qtube feature on "Tales of the Moonless Sky". (You can watch the feature here).

And you might want to read about, "The Scary Story Behind the Feature" (one of the reasons why we chickened out on the second shooting day).

Happy halloween and happy birthday to a dear friend in China (I hope you exorcise your "ghost" soon!)!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tales of the Moonless Sky

It's been more than a month since typhoon Ondoy hit our country and I'd say it's a scarier than any ghost sighting. It's real horror that will likely haunt all those affected for the rest of our lives. On the way to CDO last week I was horrified to see that most of Laguna was still under water. I don't think any of those buildings and houses would be useful after the water goes down.

Here in Manila most of us are probably back to our routines. Busy with work. I've been very busy with work, but life for me hasn't really gone back to normal. I'm still an evacuee in my parents' house, but I'm hoping I'd be able to go back to my basement this weekend (weather permitting because typhoon Santi is just around the corner).

Anyway, I've been trying to get back my groove and here's something I did with my best friend and her best friend a few weeks ago. Qtube featured our ghost blog, Tales of the Moonless Sky, for their halloween episode.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Heart of the Philippines

I was on my way to Cagayan de Oro the other day and saw a group of interesting looking islands. I whipped out my camera and took some photos. I took quite a number of photos since I wanted to identify the location using Google Maps. All of the photos were overexposed, but with Picasa's "I'm feeling lucky" edit button the photos kinda became decent. I was showing them off to Miguel when I noticed an island that's shaped like a heart.

Lookie! Lookie!

The heart of the Philippines.

Me izz a hopeless romantic :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank You Day

Today is National Thank You day, so I am just posting this note to say thank you to my family, my friends, colleagues, business contacts, acquaintances etc. who have been there for me through thick and thin, through happy times, through emo times, crazy times.

And thank you to Toblerone for the wonderful yummy cake and chocolates. You have endeared my Mom endlessly since she is a sweet tooth, and me, poor little me, I have been allergic to chocolates for 8 months now, BUT, that doesn't stop me from munching tiny portions here and there.

Be content and be thankful about everything you have. So how do you spread the sweetness of gratitude? Say thank you to your loved ones creatively by posting a photo in your blog/social networking site. Let me know about it by leaving a comment below with the URL to your post. I will then choose 5 readers who'll get Toblerone TY kits. You have until November 10 to submit your entries. Complete mechanics can be found here. (For GMA residents only.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bearhugs for Baguio

My soon-to-be ninang, popularly known online as YogaJane, posted this on her Facebook page,

I am helping my friend, Cathy Guballa, collect teddy bears and stuffed toys for the children of Baguio & surrounding areas. I can get these from you till Oct. 23, send these to Cathy on the 24th, and the toys go to Baguio Oct. 25. Below is Cathy's message:

BEARHUGS FOR BAGUIO-The children in many of Baguio’s evacuation centers have been severely traumatized by the typhoon. Reports say that many of them stare blankly at walls, and have no appetite. A stuffed toy is a small thing, but for a child who has been through a nightmare such as the recent floods and typhoon, it can mean everything and help him or her, break out of that shell. Together with PINE, a Baguio NGO, a group of friends and I are trying to raise at least 500 bears or stuffed toys to send to Baguio’s children. If you would like to donate your old teddy bears or stuffedtoys, please email or send a text message to 0917-529-1964 so we can advise you of the drop-off point. Thank you very much!

I think this is something that would be very helpful for the kids to recover from the calamity. Show that you care, send a bear to Baguio!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day: Climate Change

Our backyard during Typhoon Ondoy. My whole basement was under water.

Last night while pondering on when I should move back to my basement one thing that crossed my mind was:

"Will there be another Ondoy in my lifetime?"

A few months ago I chanced upon an article that mentioned that the sea level will rise by at least 1.3 meters (as predicted by scientists) in the next century. I realized that it was probably the reason why the shoreline of our hideaway beach place in Bicol was eating up the land area. When I was a kid we could walk around the coral reef during low tide. In the past few years I noticed that you have to wade around in waist high water just to get on the reef (plus the reef shrank!). And whenever it rains a small creek forms at the side of our place. My Aunt said that there's been flooding in the past few years. Climate change or due to deforestation, I don't know.

I dread experiencing another Ondoy. It's not about losing things. It's about facing your mortality and questioning if you'll be safe ever again. And I've been losing sleep over that since that dreadful day Ondoy swept in floodwater in my room where I found myself in waist high to chest-deep water in less than 5 minutes. I'm glad I got out without getting grounded and I just managed to grab my hand bag. And I didn't have it that bad, my 87-year old uncle stayed on his roof at Provident Village for about 24 hours before getting rescued.

I read too that there is no stopping the ice caps from melting. This is caused by climate change. It's time for each of us to take action to slow-down the ice caps from melting. I don't even want to think about whether it is possible for our whole country to go under water.

I read that the only way to slow down climate change governments have to take big active steps. Hello President Obama, I hope the US can make the biggest initiative on this, my government is kinda very busy right now with the calamity. Please?

I say let's each lessen our carbon footprint, at least we can help in our own little way.

This post was written in support of Blog Action Day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Take U to the Philippines

I know I've been so emo the past few weeks. Sorry about that and it's worse when a fellow Filipino slaps you in the face by saying in not so many words, "Yeah you've been hit by a typhoon but you should still do it!" There is such a thing as compassion.

Anyway, I know things will eventually move and settle down and I thought I'd mark this day by sharing with you a video made by the Department of Tourism with famous Black Eyed Peas member, Apl, to promote our country's tourist spots -

And here's a vid on how the project came about -

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One Blogging Nation

I honestly wasn't ready yet to go out in public. I realized that when I did a speaking engagement in Iloilo just days after experiencing Typhoon Ondoy. It took every strength I had to put up a brave face and do my talk. I was still a bit of a mess and I wasn't keen on going out until I was "whole" again.

On Wednesday evening I was informed by Philippine Blog Awards president, Juned, that I was going to receive an award, digital chief, a special award from Globe. I had two days to prepare myself. Anyway with a lot of prodding from Sweetie and a mad dash around Mall of Asia to find something to wear (he didn't want me to show up wearing a Freddy Kreuger-like shirt hehehe).

So we sat at the second level of the theater. Fantastic bird's eyeview and great for photos (my settings though were a bit off). I was still apprehensive, but eventually I began to relax and enjoy the program (especially seeing the most awarded blogger of the night!) and talking with other blogger-flood victims helped too.

And there is hope. That is what I saw and felt during the blog awards. Gang Badoy mentioned in her keynote speech that bloggers have responded well and have helped out a lot during the disaster. She said, "We don't have to be united to bring forth a great nation." Indeed. We all have our own opinions, beliefs, wants, motives, needs etc., but in time of great need we all focused on one purpose, to help for relief.

And it is not over yet. We still have a lot of work to do dear friends and I hope we don't end up being complacent. We shouldn't just easily go back to our daily routine. We have to see this through together (and sana tuluy-tuloy till we finally see our country rise again).

And it is with much honor that I accept the "Globe Tattoo Digital Chief" award. Super duper thanks to Globe, especially Paulo Pena, and the Philippine Blog Awards.

Here's the list of winners:

Best Blog Design –
The Site Guy
Best Filipino Blog Abroad –
The Warped Zone
Best Foreign Blog –
My Sari Sari Store
Blogger’s Choice –
Best Filipiniana Blog –
Pilipino Komiks


Karnabal by Tuyong Tinta ng Bolpen
Finding Your Soul Mate: A Statistical Analysis
by Guttervomit
Lost Gems Of Philippine History: The 1896 Board Meeting by It’s true! It’s true!
The Diving Boys of Quezon Bridge by Dennis Villegas
Twenty Pesos by Lostphotograph
The way of the leaf by SMOKE
Portrait of a dramatic highlight in Nick Joaquin’s A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino by Gibbs Cadiz
Kaya Dumarami ang Bading Kasi… by Manila Gay Guy
The Parable of the Furry White Rabbit by Good Times Manila
The Amazing Bulul: A Story of Epiphany by The Cat Whisperer


Best Technology Blog – Jaypee Online
Best Travel Blog –
Langyaw – Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
Best Entertainment Blog –
Lessons From the School of Inattention
Best Personal Blog –
Writing on Air
Best Food & Beverage Blog –
Table for Three, Please
Best Family & Living Blog –
Make or Break
Best News & Media Blog –
Virtual Journals
Best Business Blog –
Negosyo Ideas
Best Sports Blog –
Fire Quinito
Best Hobby & Recreation Blog –
Bearbrick Love
Best Fashion Blog –
Who is Elyoo?
Best Photoblog –
I Am a Documentary Photographer
Best Culture and Arts Blog – Japanese Pop Culture for Filipino Fans
Best Commentary Blog –
The Marocharim Experiment
Best Videocast Blog –
Best Podcast Blog –
Brink Notes Entertainment Daily
Best Humor Blog –
The Professional Heckler
Best Gaming Blog –
Blog Mike Got Game!
Best Advocacy Blog –
Autism Society of the Philippines

Best Beauty Blog – The Doctor Is vaIN


Digital Chief - Aileen Apolo
Digital Elders - Manolo Quezon, Janette Toral, Noemi Dado, Anton Diaz, Gibbs Cadiz

Congratulations to the winners and the PBA organizers/committee and volunteers! :)

*my award Photo by Fritz

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Because He Said He'll Never Give Up

In just a few more days we'll be done clearing up and sorting through my stuff that drowned in the flood. I had written off all of my cassette tapes since my small music cabinet that housed my collection was totally wrecked. But guess what, ONE tape actually survived!

A few months back I blogged about my treasure and listened to the tape and forgot to put it back in the cabinet. The player did not survive, but since he promised he'll never give me up, he's still alive!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Love My Mom

My Mom is like a drill sergeant when it comes to putting things back in order and that's a trait I unfortunately did not get from her. Most of my stuff have been thrown out but some are still lined up in the lanai, the sala, the backyard and all over the house. What little effort I have done did not even make a dent to clear out whatever is out there. But my Mom? She's really got this fantastic talent of putting things in order and I don't know how I would be without her.

Thank you Mom for being the best in the whole wide universe!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tips for the Flood Prone Home Owners

I'm no noob to floods. Last July I already chucked out a lot of my stuff that got wet when flood water rose almost to my knee. A few years back when Miguel was a little boy his bed floated with him on it since we were asleep when the water rose. I don't remember anymore what we lost back then. There were others, but I was away on a trip when they happened (i.e. Milenyo).

And then Ondoy happened, we lost most of our things since water rose to about 7 feet. Good thing we at least saved Theodore (my PC) and Daisy (my netbook), poor Grex (Miguel's PC) has only his heart (CPU) working, we lost 2 monitors.

I read around the net that a lot of people experienced flooding for the very first time, so I thought of putting together these important lessons I have learned throughout the years.

1.Your life is more important than any of your things. When you are already in chest deep water you better get yourself to higher ground really fast. You'll find everything anyway when the water subsides (it'll be wet though).
2.Do not put important documents and valuables where flooding may occur. I lost all my docs, but I realized that I could just simply request for new ones with the NSO, church (for baptismal and confirmation certificates), DFA (for passports) and the embassy (for visas).
3.And that goes as well for photos, especially old ones. Scan them while you still have them!
4.Keep negatives in order. A good number of my old photo albums got ruined. Good thing I was conscientious in filing negatives. I'm going to bring them to Island Photo or Digiprint soon to have them converted to a digital file. Also keep back-up digital files of your photos.
5.Data. Archive everything in an external hard drive and back up with CDs. I wonder if there's a reliable and inexpensive cloud resource I can store data in.
6.Gadgets and power cables. Don't scatter your gadgets around. Have them in one place where it'll be easy to grab them in case you need to run.
7. Appliances. I lost my 12-year old TV, DVD player and CD player. I should've thought of bringing them to higher ground when the water was still very low. Have them dry out before attempting to plug them. A friend also advised that you can tie them up to prevent them from floating away. Don't forget to unplug all appliances and turn off the main power switch.
8.Books. The only books we managed to save were the really old encyclopedias which was on the topmost shelf. Also managed to save some of my grad school books because I stored them in huge plastic boxes after July flood.
9.Clothes can be washed. My friend from Iloilo advised that the best detergent to use is Perla since this would take off the smell and any itch you may feel even after washing. Same goes for your jewelry. Don't worry, you'll find them when the water subsides and they're the easiest things to clean out.
10.Your bed. Don't worry about your bed. It will float. The only things we managed to save were the things we put on the bed. Thank God my Dad's 50+ year old love letters to my Mom survived Ondoy. And oh, don't close your door, they expand when they get wet :)

And always save up for a rainy day. Just buy what's essential after, you lived anyway before you had all those other things (and extras).

It will be traumatic, but cheer up. Your life is more important than any material thing. Thinking about how things would be a year from now would also be very helpful. Focus on that so you won't end up dwelling on the situation and you'd be able to mobilize yourself faster.

O Pare Ko

Currently spending a quiet afternoon with Miguel. He's hijacked my temporary bed to review for exams tomorrow. Good thing his classmate was kind enough to lend her notes and handouts so he can review. We also managed to drop by school yesterday and got the list of required books, but only found four out of the eight in National Bookstore. I didn't realize that Goodwill Bookstore (now Bridges something) only sells college books. Anyway, I hope that Miguel's teachers would be more helpful than the Registrar told Miguel, “Dapat alam mo yung gamit mo diba?” when I requested for a list of supplies that he would need. I guess I shouldn't have expected her to be compassionate about our situation.

The 9 a.m. mass was cancelled despite the fact that the church was filled with people. It looks like our parish priest would like to force everyone to attend the 11 a.m. fiesta mass because he invited the bishop to celebrate mass. It was very difficult to park earlier, so we'll just probably attend the 4 p.m. mass with my uncle later. I spent the free time to finish a commitment for the PBA.

Since the sun was out I attempted to dry out some photos and documents and promptly got dizzy when I was called to eat lunch. Heatstroke siguro since I was under the sun from 11 to 12. I was supposed to sort out stuff, but I'm still quite dizzy so I'm just doing some light stuff (can't lie down since Miguel's on the bed).

For my Mom, thank you so much for being our strength :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

In the Tunnel

Before and After

It's been a week since the Ondoy struck us here in Manila. Another typhoon, Pepeng, is currently wreaking havoc in Northern Luzon. I pray that the families experiencing Pepeng's wrath would be okay. I hope they managed to prepare for the worst.

I've been swinging between being happy and sad the whole week. There would be days I would be perfectly fine, even managing to work a bit, but there would be days when I feel like I'm still in chest deep water screaming for help.

I found solace in the people I met in Iloilo early this week. They experienced the same thing when typhoon Frank flooded Iloilo July last year. They have since moved on. My dear friend, Mabel has since given birth. She was 8 months pregnant with my godchild when their house was flooded to the roof. She doesn't remember how she managed to get up to the roof. She gave birth about two weeks later with some complications.

Seeing Kyen-Kyen reminded me that there would be life after this disaster. The bundle of energy my friend struggled to contain when we were having merienda brought me hope. It took awhile but after chatting for awhile my godchild started playing with me. And that's how things will probably be. It's going to take awhile before I'll be back to my usual self, but I will get there, hopefully sooner and not later.

Happy Birthday to my Ate

Happy birthday to my sister who is going to be my matron of honor soon!