Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Naga City

I went to Naga City to attend a hearing and all I have to show for my trip (other than the Order I was able to secure) is this:

a picture of a lion with too much eyeliner.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Why so similar?

Because Multiply still stubbornly refuses to allow embedded videos for users. Grr.

See more funny videos and funny pictures on CollegeHumor

Found it here.

Monday, June 30, 2008

You twit

Because I'm tired of thinking of something and not blogging about it. Maybe this will help.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Garbage In - Garbage Out

For some inexplicable reason, I have been an emotional sponge this week. Emotion-allergic person that I am, it was a very weird time indeed.

I wake up next to my wife with joy every morning, but become sad when I lose a DotA match. Pride swells in my heart when I say no to the second cup of rice, but quickly lose control when grabbing another fistful of sweets from my chocolate jar. It’s like I’m pregnant. The mood swings are becoming ridiculous.

Re-reading Thomas Harris’ thriller Red Dragon (set before Silence of the Lambs) for the nth time produced a depressing, slightly upset stomach-inducing feelings I was ill-prepared to ingest. I haven’t been this engrossed in a book in a long while and the trauma/depravity experienced by the protagonist of the book bled into my ‘waking’ life, even after putting the book away.

Tuesday, I texted some friends and asked of possible gimmicks and places/events to enjoy. The usual homebody that I am, my friends were kind enough to text back but no real plans came off it. I told them I was dead bored, but that wasn’t entirely accurate. It was extreme dismay at my situation brought about by… well, nothing. I was dismayed because of nothing.

Wednesday, I was reading some online comic and eating a whole bar of Hershey’s Cookies and Cream, (which I relished with all delight) when a thought came into my head – “I have the best life -- EVER!!!” Nothing major in my life changed to vanquish yesterday’s dismay – the chocolate and the comic made all the difference.

THAT made me stand up and question – why am I being so unusually vulnerable to things happening around me? I’m usually a hard person to affect – makapal ang balat ko eh. The common criticism is that I am insensitive – not a sissy boy swayed by emotions. Where is my usual steadfast joy, the peace that comes from the security of being a disciple of the Master of the Universe?

That’s when it hit me – I am, like all humans, an amphibian. I am both body and soul, physical and spiritual. And even though my wife and I pray together every night, when was the last time this month – this quarter, actually -- that I sat down and opened my bible? With the starving diet that I have subjected my soul to God’s Word, is it any wonder why my will is being dominated by my earthly body? How can I quench my eternal thirst if I turn away from the everlasting water? How will I recognize joy that knows no bounds if I am starving my eternal spirit?

Garbage in, garbage out. It took me a while to remember, but yes, it is so obvious after all – how can I not be dominated by earthly pulls and concerns when it is all that I know? If I want a grander vision, I would have to tear my eyes from the TV/PC and raise my head to the Son.

So I guess I’d download that new e-sword installer and come back to my devotions. I’m hardcore after all. I’d really rather be the “sissy-boy emotional” when I’m on my knees to my God, not when I’m eating chocolate – no matter how good it is.

* image from

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Book Review: State of Fear

Michael Crichton's State of Fear is about climate change and how questionable is the science behind such mass belief.

As a thriller, State of Fear leaves much to be desired. The plot is simply hard to swallow -- a lawyer, an assistant, and a "paramilitary" MIT head of risk-analysis travel around the world stopping the nefarious plans of environmentalists in their quest to drive the world to hysteria. Character development is all but ignored, and the bulk of the novel is dedicated to debunking the myth of global warming.

But I'm just nitpicking here. If you're like me who enjoyed Crichton's pages upon pages of discussion about chaos theory or alien anthropomorphism in his previous novels, State of Fear continues this tradition.

Crichton begins his discussion by asking, "What is global warming?" Most of us would define it loosely as the phenomenon explaining the worldwide rise of temperature caused by the increase of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

Not true, says Crichton. Technically, global warming is the theory that increased levels of carbon dioxide and certain other gases are causing an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere because of the so-called ‘greenhouse effect.’ (p. 81, italics in the original)

The keyword there is theory -- that global warming, despite all the hoopla espoused by the movie and environmental groups, is still unproven and that there are sciences supporting both the advocacy and the denial of it. Crichton offers dozens upon dozens of references debunking beliefs that most people already consider as truth, such as:

1. The thawing of glaciers

2. Carbon Dioxide is the leading cause of global warming

3. Ocean levels are rising

As hard to believe as it may sound, Crichton rebutts these 'truths' by citing actual studies and scientific papers. As one character in State of Fear concludes, “The threat of global warming is essentially nonexistent. Even if it were a real phenomenon, it would probably result in a net benefit to most of the world” (p. 407).

After reading the book, readers can't help but ask, "Is this true? Have we been fools to believe the environmental movement?" Like State of Fear's stand on global warming, the answer is -- we're not sure. With such a highly political topic, State of Fear has passionate supporters and detractors alike.

That, I think, is the best thing we can take from Crichton's book. Let's not be zealots and be carried away. Let us study, let us verify, before we espouse the things that TV and popular media tell us. Crichton also talks about this, actually -- how the establishment is advocating 'a state of fear' to keep its citizens in line. But the idea was underdeveloped. It would have been nice if Crichton digged deeper on this topic, especially considering it was his book's title, after all.

Talking about verifying before jumping into high horse of belief, I remember a question
a pastor once asked me when I showed him archaelogical findings supporting the bible -- "Is Scripture still Scripture if it needs archaeological validation?" I haven't had the time to really sit down and answer his question but I will... soon.

The desire to write is slowly awakening again :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

250 km north

Friends. Beach. Stress-free weekend.

We should do this again soon :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Marriage: A month in review

I love it. I know the preacher said things about being "one body" and all that, and I always thought it would be 'nice'... but actually being in it? Having this intimacy? It's mind-boggling.

Best parts for me are:

  • Trapped in a two-seat kayak while we paddled our way around the 24-hectare Arrefecci (?) island (Dos Palmas, as it's more commonly known). It was just her and me against the elements, with the sea calm and silent. Flying fish would occasionaly jump from our sides, and sea gulls fly overhead. It was just the two of us there, and with God all around. We didn't know if we could make it, but we were laughing because it was us. It was the perfect start of our life together.
  • Working together. It just comes naturally, without being forced into it. Like when Leah cooks and I take over washing the dishes. Or ironing clothes while the other cleans the house. She doesn't need to ask me, it just became natural.
  • Growing closer together. Maybe it's voluntarily waking up early so I could prepare breakfast in bed, or choosing the stale pandesal so she can have the remaining good bread, but being married has made me sweeter... in my own way. And I'm looking forward to growing even closer to her through the years.
  • Seeing Leah's attempts to master the kitchen. It's just so sweet seeing her efforts
Of course, there are also marriage demands that require me to adjust -- like the demands on my time and making allowances for leah's disgust on waking up early... but it's all worth it. As I've said on my vow, she's a gift undeserved, a blessing unearned, a treasure I will always cherish. Praise God for this marriage

Friday, March 07, 2008


Yep, for those who occasionally drop by here and don't know yet, I've tied the knot last Feb 23. To see pictures of this wondrous day, go to my multiply site or choose one of the following:

Wedding Preps Friends & Family

Pre-wedding shots The Wedding

And for honeymoon photos, click here:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Through Australian Eyes

I'm excited to go to my blogfriend -- Henry Bateman's first exhibit here in the Philippines. He's an australian who has been living in our country for the past three years, and I've enjoyed reading about his troubles getting a PLDT connection, or how taxi drivers try to 'hustle' him into going round and round the metro just to get a bigger fee. He harps about basketball on the streets, the energy of riding a jeepney... things we Filipinos usually overlook because we've been here all our lives.

Now, here's our chance to 'see' our country through an Australian's eyes. Here's a copy of the invite he sent to me. For you guys who want to see great art and think at the same time, drop by Henry's exhibition:

Through Australian Eyes

One Workshop Gallery
2241 Don Chino Roces Ave, (formerly Pason Tamo) corner Sabio St, Makati City
March 4 to April 4
Opening Reception Tuesday 4th March at 7pm

Living in the Philippines has been an eye opening experience for Australian artist/photographer Henry Bateman.

For the last 3 years he has been a resident of this Island Nation and its influence has seen his work expand in ways he never imagined possible.

“There are aspects of Filipino life that stand in stark contrast to an Australian lifestyle,” Bateman said. “With my work I have tried to capture not only the physical differences but also the cultural differences that the Filipino lifestyle imposes on Australian sensibilities,” he added.

A painter who embraced digital photography 8 years ago, Bateman manipulates his digitally captured photographs on his computer to delve below the composition of the recorded moment. From each of his photographs he builds a new image that explores the underlying motivation that caused the shutter to be pressed when it was. “It is a journey in which the image dictates what directions to take,” Bateman said. “My major contribution is knowing when a destination has been reached,” he added.

“Through Australian Eyes” will be Bateman’s 14th exhibition, but his first in the Philippines. His work has been shown in Australia and the US with the most recent being a solo exhibition at The Australian National University in September last year.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My pc is dead! Long live the pc!!

It's been a week or so now that John and I finally gave up on my pc. It needs a new motherboard, and perhaps a new video card. A kick-ass processor sounds good too... but the point is, with the upcoming wedding, starting on a new house, and bulk payment for my parent's medicards, procuring the requisite parts may take longer than what I can tolerate (if you have to know, the next minute's already my limit.)

While I languish in this pathetic state of being pc-deprived, dreams of forming a spanking new system have been awakened in me. And while I know it's out of the question these days, one should never deprive himself of a dream.

Presenting the HP Blackbird 002...

Forget that much-hyped macbook air -- give me a true gaming system any day. This baby kicks ass on almost all current (as of second week January) gaming systems. To the enthusiast, here's a rundown of the goodies:

Processor: Quad Core - Intel(R) Core2(TM) Extreme Quad-Core 3.0GHz QX6850 performance enhanced
Coolant: CPU and Graphic cards liquid cooling (NVIDIA gfx)
MoBo: ASUS Striker Extreme 680i
Video Card: Dual NVIDIA GeForce 8800 ULTRA, with 768MB of GDDR3 SDRAM (LC)
Physix Card: Ageia PhysX(tm) 100 Series PCI-E GFX Accelerator Card (Physics Acceleration)
Audio Board: Creative Audio Sound Blaster(R) X-Fi(TM) XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional
Power Supply: 1.1KW Power Supply
1) RAID (0) Performance - 3 x 160GB 10,000 rpm SATA (primary OS storage)
2) RAID (1) Data Reliability - 2 x 750GB 7200 rpm SATA (secondary Data storage)
Optical Drives: 1) Super multi-drive, slim slots with Lightscribe (DVD+/-R/RW+/-DL)
2) Second Super multi-drive, slim slots with Lightscribe (DVD+/-R/RW+/-DL)
3) Blu-ray Rewriter and HD DVD-ROM Super multi-drive with LightScribe (CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW/RAM, +R/RW, +/- R DL)
Displays: HP LP3065 30-inch LCD Monitor
Sound: 1) Bose Companion(R) 5 multimedia speaker system
2) Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset
Peripherals: Logitech Force 3D Pro

Configuration: $10,501.96 USD* or even with the relatively strong peso, it's around Php420,000. It's Godzilla-powerful AND matrix pretty. Crazy? I know. But what's the point of dreams if they're just run-off-the-mill?

And while I wait for a more opportune time for a PC upgrade, here's something my thumbs are busy with in the meantime:

* photos from the Hewlett Packard site and