Thursday, December 29, 2005

Food for the Filipino Soul

It's laughable that it takes foreigners to recognize the strength of the Filipino spirit.

12-story Rizal shrine is Jordanian's gift to Filipinos

First posted 05:10am (Mla time) Dec 29, 2005 By Melvin GasconInquirer Editor's Note: Published on page A1 of the Dec. 29, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya -- It was a sunny Christmas morning, an ideal time for 55-year-old philanthropist Mahmoud Asfour to be giving away gifts to children in the nearby farming village of Casat.
But the man many people here regard as a year-round Santa Claus was nowhere in sight.
His imposing mansion was quiet and the village folk who were scheduled to queue for his presents were busy drying their freshly harvested palay (unhusked rice).
On that day, Asfour -- a former Jordanian who acquired Filipino citizenship six months ago -- was on top of a hill, checking on his greatest gift to Filipinos: A shrine to Dr. Jose Rizal said to be the biggest of its kind in the world.
To Asfour, the shrine is a symbol of the Filipinos' unity and hope. He says its construction was inspired by love and by the heroism of those who fought for freedom.
A giant bronze bust of Rizal will be installed in the structure.
Value of patriotism
"This is a historical, cultural and educational shrine, which will teach our children the values of patriotism, love for fellowmen and unity in the family," said Asfour, a father of three.
He said he hoped the shrine would cause a transformation in a country beset by "corruption, depression and other ills of society."
The shrine, which faces east, offers a panoramic view of a surrounding valley and the greenery of sprawling rice fields that complement the urban landscape of Solano and Bayombong towns.
Behind the complex lurk the Cordillera mountains.
A sweeping glance
From the shrine, on a clear sunny day, said Asfour, one could glimpse the towns of Bagabag, Quezon and Ambaguio in Nueva Vizcaya province and Lamut and Lagawe towns in Ifugao province.
"It takes you two-and-a-half hours to travel by land to all these towns. Here, all it takes is a single, sweeping glance," he said.
Perched on the tips of the concrete arches is a 3-meter fiberglass globe installed with 16 100-watt bulbs that light the village's skyline at night.
Bad weather
Asfour described his project as the "Filipinos' gift to the world," offered to people of all races whose lives were touched by Rizal.
He had intended to complete the shrine in time for the observance of Rizal's 109th death anniversary on Dec. 30. But bad weather in the past weeks delayed its inauguration.
He said he needed two more weeks to complete the finishing work, including plastering of the arches and the laying of about 1,500 square meters of marble tiles.
Heroes' temple
At the shrine's entrance is a 10-meter tower where the province's 175-year history is etched. The main complex also has a welcome arch, a children's skating rink with a globe at the center, a water fountain and a nine-meter flagpole.
The main shrine is surrounded by 14 seven-foot arches that will house the busts of the country's other heroes.
Asfour said the shrine would have audio-visual presentations depicting the lives of heroes and their contributions to history.
He has yet to decide which heroes would occupy the 14 smaller shrines that are lined up alongside candle-shaped concrete railings that enclose the main complex.
For the children
"The candles symbolize our heroes as lights that would teach our children the right path, and a constant reminder of how they taught us the value of sacrifice," Asfour said.
The shrine will also house an eye and dental clinic that will treat indigent patients for free, a conference room for the Knights of Rizal, a modern library and an online computer resource center.
"It will give our children everything they need to know: History, geography, everything. They can use the computers and learn about the latest technology. They can zoom in on satellite pictures of even the smallest thing in their neighborhood, at their fingertips," Asfour said.
Room for helicopters
At the foot of the hill are two 2-story buildings that will serve as training centers for food processing, cosmetology and caregiver courses, trainees' dormitories, and a sports and recreation facility.
Built next to the complex are two helipads, the bigger of which can accommodate four helicopters at a time.
With God's help
Asfour spends most of his time supervising workers at the construction site.
"I am the architect, the engineer, the artist. I'm building it with the help of God," he said.
Asfour said he drew inspiration for the shrine from his family's "generations of relationship with Rizal."
But the idea of building the shrine first came to Asfour when he arrived in the country 24 years ago to repay a Filipino truck driver who he said saved his life.
Good Samaritan
Like the Good Samaritan, the man had stopped to give Asfour food and water as he lay unconscious in his car in the Arabian desert.
Then newly married to his Filipino wife, Zenaida, Asfour first caught a glimpse of the hills of Casat from a house in La Torre village where he once lived.
"That can well be the best place for a heroes' shrine," he had said then.
The rest is history.

Vigan: the Heritage City (Part I)

Hi everyone. I'm writing this in an Internet cafe (probabaly the only one) in Vigan. I left Manila last night and arrived in the wee hours of the morning.

It's fun here. I have been to the Crisologo Museum (which I haven't visited before).

I will post pictures soon.

Take care y'all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy New Year Everyone

S novym godom!

I'm doing this now because I'm leaving for the province tonight or tomorrow morning.

THANK YOU! I'd like to say thanks to alot of people. But so as not to leave anyone out, that goes out to everyone.

It's been a great year of misunderstanding and realization, discovery and rediscovery, failure and success, defeat and failure, love and lust. This year had made me stronger than before.

I was able to let go of the past and to embrace the future. My experiences had given me knowledge and wisdom to control myself - physically, emotionally and mentally. I have trashed excess baggage - things and people that I can live without. Through it all, my feet are still on the ground, and it will remain that way when next year comes.

Only, I am ever hoping that 2006 will be kinder not only to me, but to everyone else.

My goals for next year: stay healthy (without going to the gym) and to minimize spending. A pinch of a very stable romantic involvement would be much appreciated.

But enough of my ramblings.

To everyone: Happy New Year and may 2006 bring us well-deserved blessings and success.
I love you all.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

OPM Pop Rock Resurrection

Whatever everyone else says I believe that 2005 was a great year for OPM Pop Rock. For the first time in recent memory, Pinoy Music is lording it over foreign acts - virtually occupying Top 10 Music charts all over radio stations.

Acts such as Spongecola, Kitchie Nadal, M.Y.M.P., the controversial Orange & Lemons, Sugarfree, Hale, and Brownman Revival - just to name a few - has given new meaning and life to OPM songs.

Admittedly, though, they were heavily influenced by western music. But still the lyrics - such as Sugarfree's "Makita Kang Muli" - retains the Pinoy's haunting melodrama combined with some subtle ethnic sound.

And for the first time, I enjoyed what I am hearing over the radio, which prompted me to buy ORIGINAL CD's of these bands.

And to those who'd say it's jologs, well, pakialam ko sa inyo. Go drown yourself somewhere.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

If You're Reading This ....

Merry Christmas!
I may have not the chance to say it again since there's no work tomorrow.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I'd like to thank Phanksmaster for that wonderful Christmas gift.

Saka na yung sa 'yo when I get back next year. :D

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm Glad I Did

I'm glad that I went to our Christmas party last night. Yes, monja!, there are two parties for the company - one for Sales last time, and this one for the Admin & Warehouse.

I thought it would be boring, but it turned out great. The ballroom competition was fun. And they gave our prizes.

I was lucky to get one. :D

Monday, December 19, 2005

Awareness on Panic Attacks

I f*cking woke up at 4:30 AM, having just three hours of sleep. I was expecting another panic attack, but it never came. I think reading on how to overcome it helped.

What was remarkable about the book is that having a panic attack is not a harmful thing. Instead, it is a process the body should undergo to burn up excess adrenalin (that I didn't really know I had until I read the book.)

More than 60% (or higher, I think) of the entire world population experienced a panic attack at least once in their lifetime, and it varies in frequency thenafter. It can happen to any healthy human being.

As I progress through the book, I am amazed at the fact that panic attacks do end. And I plan to end it soon.

Once I overcome this, I am determined to lead a healthier lifestyle (the gym is not an option).

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Do' svidaniya, DD

He said I was the first one whom he told about this, but I'm assuming that this is only for our Team. I know I'm not supposed to write about this yet, but it just saddens me.

DD, a friend and a former officemate, is leaving this month for Dubai to seek greener pastures. Unlike Billydee whose family migrated some years back to the U.S., DD is working abroad as an OFW.

His story is a whirlwind "romance" of sort. He was given short notice for his departure. DD was "promised" that the job he'd have was due early next year. To his surprise, he was advised that he's leaving immediately, just a week after he signed his papers.

Just like most Pinoys struggling day-to-day to survive and eat decent meals a day, DD was forced to seek, shall we say, a more rewarding source of income. Not that his family is dirt poor. I'm assuming that he has dreams that he wants to fulfill soon and working in a foreign land would speed things up.

But sigh, my heart bleeds for all OFW's, especially for DD whom I never thought would have to experience this.

Okay, I think I have to turn away now.

[here, DD is kinda sad so I asked him]

DD: nothing's wrong nga eh
DD: gus2 ko naman tlaga mka pag abroad
DD: di ko lng expect na ganun kabilis
me: ohhh
DD: sa dubai
me: wow
DD: nxt wk na alis ko
me: ay talaga?
me: wala bang farewell party??
me: nga pla ano job mo dun?
DD: yun nga eh
DD: ikaw pa lng nasabihan ko
me: ah ok tnx
me: lungkot naman aalis ka na
DD: sales engineer
me: gano raw katagal?
DD: wala man lng ako time
DD: na mag paalam sa mga
DD: friends ko..
DD: sobrang biglaan..
DD: asap kc request ng employer sakin
me: well may YM tsaka email naman
me: dont forget to send us pics okay?
DD: sure!
DD: [r3dguy] wag mo muna
DD: sbhin ha?
DD: mag bblast na lng ako b4 ako umalis
me: oo naman
me: u can count on me :D
me: so how long will it last?
me: kalungkot pala
DD: 2 years contract ko
me: he he
DD: pero renewable
me: alam mo yung feeling na aalis yung relative mo
me: ah talaga?
me: eh di do good para tumagal abroad
me: ang masasabi ko lang gd luck tsaka ingat ka dun
DD: kaka sad tlaga
DD: kc last sat lng ako nainterview
DD: tpos offer na agad
DD: di ko pa nga agad sign contract kc
DD: pnag iicpan ko pa
DD: sbi kc aftr xmas na
DD: alis or early jan
DD: w/c is good sana
DD: then nung monday nag sign na ko
DD: tpos sbi sa dec 15 na alis ko
DD: pina medical ako agad..
DD: tpos yun pinakita nga
DD: sakin yung request ng employer
DD: asap nkalagay sa side ng name ko..
DD: sobrang bilis...
DD: di man ako nkapag ready
me: ha
me: eh pano yung mga papers mo?
me: visa, etc.,
DD: binigay ko nga nung monday
DD: now nka process na
DD: 3 days lng nman processing
DD: and ni rush tlaga nila.
DD: importante neman kc medical
DD: yun ok na medical ko kaya
DD: good to go na ko..
me: hala
me: good to go
me: :((
me: mabilisan talaga
me: he he he
me: hmm ok ba yung company na papasukan mo?
DD: yeah, ok naman
DD: search ko nga sa internet eh
DD: it's one of the leading companies sa dubai
DD: sa field ng electrical & electronic eqpt
me: good
me: he he
me: ingat ka na lang sa mga arabo dun
DD: haha!
DD: oo nga eh..
me: tsaka sa mga pinoy who will try to bring you down
me: :D
DD: pero ok namn daw sa dubai
DD: kc i hv friends and some relatives na nandun na
me: wow eh di good for you
me: at least maaalis ang kaunting loneliness
me: he he he
me: tsaka sisikat ka dun
DD: oo nga
DD: pero ngayon pa lng
me: kasi kamukha mo si gino baka akalain nila artista ka
me: :))
DD: parang sad na ko...
DD: hahaha!
me: eh sad tlaga kasi maiiwan mo kame
me: :))
DD: syempre naman...
DD: walang spammers dun
me: ha ha
DD: hahaha
me: wahahahaha
me: san ka titira dun
me: may parang dorm kayo dun

[end of conversation]

Worm Code vs Firefox 1.0.4 or Earlier Found

I've been trying to look for some virus/worm codes for some time now. Luckily I found this one. It targets older versions of Firefox/Mozilla - a browser that I really like because of its supposed stronger security. It makes me feel less secure, however, I'd still be using Firefox because most malicious codes in the wild target IE.

Finding this code does not make me a hacker. It's just out of curiosity because last week, the connection was too slow.

You may also want to visit this site: .

Monday, December 12, 2005

Pinoy Big Brother Big Winner

Siya ang dapat huwaran ng bawat Pilipino.
Matapang. May paninindigan. Totoong tao.
I'm so happy she won. She really deserved her win.

Saturday Rendezvous

Starting December 10, I have to spend two days at the warehouse. Haaay.

Luckily, I'm not about to carry boxes anymore. Well, actually I will but now I can have somebody else do that for me.

To be honest, getting back there was a big surprise. I never thought I'd miss a place I so readily abhored before.

The thing is, KALBO was there, and we all know what kind of a person he is. Anyway, instead of doing what I had intended to do, I ended up doing his fucking job - a Powerpoint presentation. Ano ba naman 'yan!!!

Hey KALBS, eh kung ako na lang kaya pumalit sa pwesto mo?!

And since I did that, I wasn't able to search for the book Ennui had been wanting for several months now. Tangina mo kasing KALBO ka.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ideal Distribution of Salary

I came across an article in a local alternative lifestyle magazine suggesting a way to distribute a monthly or weekly salary. To me it makes sense, so I am sharing it here with you.

Home/Utilities - 30%

Food - 15%

Transportation - 15%

Debt - 15%

Miscellaneous - 15%

Savings - 10%
I hope this helps.

About Ennui

Ennui has been my friend since second year high school. Our friendship had its ups and downs, but we manage to pull it through.

Right now, he's got his own room together with an officemate. He has yet to tell us where it is located.

You might be wondering why I suddenly wrote about him? It's because I miss him na. It's been months since I last saw and talked to him.

I miss my old friends who have given me support when I needed it, laughter when there's something to celebrate, and reason to live because they make life easier to bear by their presence alone.

This Christmas season, I will remember to give Ennui something that is a part of me to let him know that even if we guys are apart, his friendship is much appreciated.

The thing is, I don't think I will be able to see him on his day-off because the schedule that I thought I would have had gone kaput.
Sidenote (for Ennui only) : his email address is the first letter of his name and his complete last name as one word at a domain name that is an expression when you're happy. :)

Friendster - An E-Mail Harvester?

There is a term recently coined by computer, uhm, enthusiasts(?) about someone or something that collects e-mail addresses to spam.

Now, on the right side of the Friendster homepage, you will see a small box that asks for your e-mail address. Then it would search your contact list, and would invite everyone there to Friendster.

My biggest concern now is that, since Friendster is affiliated to other online companies, is it possible for them to send spam to the user's contacts?

Ampangit di ba?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

If You Read This, You're Tagged

1.What time did you get up this morning?--- 6:04 am

2. Diamonds or pearls?--- die-monds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?--- HP4:GoF sucks

4. What is your favourite TV show?--- PBB, anything on Jack TV, NG Specials

5. What did you have for breakfast today?--- rice and bistek tagalog

6. What is your middle name?--- rather not say

7. Favourite cuisine?--- anything basta masarap ang sabaw

8. What foods do you dislike?--- oh my gulay

9. Favourite drink of the month?--- Del Monte Sweetened Pineapple Juice or Washington's Best Apple Juice

10. What is your favourite CD at the moment?--- dami ko binili: Hale, Cueshe, Sugarfree, Maksim, Gregorian .. I'm planning on buying Spongecola and of course the music CD I compiled for the company

11. What kind of car do you drive?--- i don't drive

12. Favourite sandwich?--- toasted wheat bread either with Ya Khun Kaya or cream cheese

13. What characteristic do you despise?--- yung mahilig mang-iwan sa ere, plastik, at higit sa lahat, SINUNGALING

14. Favourite item of clothing?--- polo shirt, jeans, rubber/black shoes

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go?--- Moskva or anywhere in Japan

16. What colour is your bathroom?--- green

17. Favourite brand of clothing?--- Lacoste and Guess, Le Tigre and Crossover

18. Where would you retire to?--- Vigan

19. Favourite time of the day?--- Saberday, i can go out kasi after work

20. What was your most memorable birthday?--- 19th

21. Where were you born?--- San Juan

22. Who do you least expect to send this back to you?--- madami

23. Person you expect to send it back first?--- Ferdi

24. What fabric detergent do you use?--- Tide

25. Are you a morning person or a night person?--- night. nyeta ayoko ng init ng araw

26. What is your shoe size?--- 10

27. Do you have any pets?--- la eh namatay na

28. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with friends and family?--- uhm i'm buying a new phone

29 . What did you want to be when you were little?--- would you believe this ... priest

30. How often do you get a haircut?--- every two months

Cagayan de Oro Guy

Back in highschool, I had a teacher - lets call him JC - who hails from Cagayan de Oro, and he attended the Xavier University. I remember him because of the CDO Scandal

It is fortunate that all these years, I kept his email address. I tried searching for his account in Friendster, and guess what? He's there.

It just brought back the memories. Honestly, he looks way better before compared to now.

His ever famous/infamous line: "What are you trying to do, blow me?"

My Christmas Wish List

I wish Santa would give me the following:

1. computer,
2. mobile phone,
3. shoes,
4. sketch pad with drawing materials,
5. CD collection of my favourite movies,
6. <<>>

And then for this season, I will give something that hopefully will remind them of me. (No, Ennui, it's not the CDO Xavier University Sex Scandal.) He he he. I'd better start working on it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Lotsa Things

Lotsa things to write, but no time to do so. Letch.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Manila Philharmonic Orchestra

I wasn't able to watch their performance because of the rain and those fucking choosy taxi drivers. Damn those drivers to hell.