Thursday, January 31, 2008

zigzag weekly

When we went to La Trinidad to go to the strawberry farm, I tried to look for a newspaper to read along the way and from a stall i saw one newspaper named ZigZag Weekly. Wow! Only in Baguio.

strawberry sago

Last time when I went to Baguio there was only strawberry jam, now there’s strawberry wine and the latest the strawberry sago. Only in Baguio.

tribal trip

We took an FX going to the Manor in Camp John Hay. I took the front seat as I was taking pictures of the views along the way. In the front mirror there was no rosary or Sto nino which is commonly found on the jeepneys, taxis and FXs in the cities around the Philippines but in this FX there is this small tribal figure with some Christmas balls. Only in Baguio.

loading and unloading

Last weekend I was in baguio and we arrived around 5am in the morning. We decided to walk from the bus terminal to session road to have our breakfast. I saw the sign loading and unloading but also noticed that there were trashes below the sign. Do you think the person who threw the garbage interprets the sign for loading or unloading of trash?

So we had our breakfast and upon going out I noticed that the trash were already picked up. coincidence? Or the sign simply means loading and unloading of trash at night then loading and unloading of people in the morning?

baguio baguio

in the upcoming posts, i will feature Baguio. this is my third time in the city of pines but its always as exciting as the first visit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

dokyu guru - online interview with Howie

this is a very special post for my blog. Another interview with a person that I admire in many ways. This time an achiever in his profession. The multi awarded journalist Howie Severino. He was awarded as the best documentary filmmaker recently at the 2nd UPLB Gandingan Awards. He was also awarded as broadcast journalist of the year and investigative journalist of the year.

He is passionate and witty as well. His ingenuity can be seen on his television documentaries. He enjoys every travel at the same time able to spend a good time with his family and his bike named “Bughaw”. Here’s the online interview.

the dong: What is your most critical role as a journalist?
Howie: I tell true stories about subjects that matter to viewers.

the dong: What was your most dangerous experience as a journalist?
Howie: covering the siege of Lamitan (more details in Howie’s blog)

the dong: How many people usually joins you for a documentary?
Howie: From two to four people.

the dong: What is your dream topic for a television documentary?
Howie: Secret.

the dong: In the future, who do you want most to meet or interview? Why?
Howie: Pampanga governor Panlilio, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, David Byrne, Condoleeza Rice. I admire them for their achievements, intellect and courage.

the dong: You visited many cities and provinces in the Philippines, what was the weirdest experience so far?
Howie: Finding Blind Fish in a cave in Samar.

the dong: Aside from naming your bike "Bughaw", what other personal things do you name?
Howie: I use to name my vehicles, now only my bike.

the dong: What else have you not tried doing and that you would most likely not do?
Howie: Sky dive, climb Everest, drive a truck across the Iraqi desert.

the dong: What do you want the younger generation of Filipinos to learn from you?
Howie: Work hard, read a lot, ask plenty of questions, love our country.

dong: As Filipinos, what should we never forget about our culture?
Howie: That our culture could produce a man like Rizal.

the dong: Thanks a lot for your time despite the busy work.

I am impressed as he will always be serving in his field as long as he can. He is very proud to be a Filipino and that’s basically what we need to be in the coming years. Howie is just one of the people who by his works and his lifestyle shows the true value of a Filipino.

Again you can check out his blog at

The DVD compilation of Howie’s documentaries entitled “Ten Years of Howie Severino” is now available. It features ten of his best television documentaries. Each episode is as special as the others. So better check out the other episodes hopefully it will also be compiled in the DVDs soon.

I am sure that he and his group will continue to gain more awards and appreciation for his works in the coming years.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

cloning hitler

yesterday i went to Vira mall in Greenhills and when i passed by Booksale, i saw this book The Boys From Brazil from a book of compilations of different stories in the past. this one was written by Ira Levin who also wrote Stepford Wives. he died last year November 12, 2007 from a heart attack. i read this book 5years ago when my brother recommended me to read this. this is about Hitler being cloned by Dr. Josef Mengele and was able to clone multiple Hitlers in different places. can it be stopped? better read the book. this is considered as one of the first books to have used cloning in the story. this was first published in 1976. you can buy this for only P58 at Booksale. here's how this book looks like from the cover.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

live catch for sale

yesterday, I went to the supermarket and I was looking around for meat. I get to pass by different aquariums with live fish being sold. but when I reached one of the aquariums, I noticed this. hmmm... all the other fish in the same aquarium are alive except the one closest to the sign.

eagle conservation

passing by a bookstore today, I saw this book "Birds of the Philippines" by Tim Fisher and Nigel Hicks. thanks to them for featuring the birds of the Philippines.

kudos to the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao City! for the work of the conservation of the Philippine eagle, Philippine's national bird. you can visit their official site at

Monday, January 21, 2008

Philippine eagle

Next month's issue of National Geographic issue will feature the Philippine eagle by Klaus Nigge. He is a photographer from Germany. Follow this link and you'll get to see an overview of the issue from the writer/researcher himself.

Sinulog video links

Sharing you some links to videos from youtube of Sinulog 2008 in Cebu.

Sinulog performace

finale performance of the Sinulog 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

more than a mardigra

today Cebu celebrates the feast of the Holy Child which is better known as the Sto. Nino in the Philippines. and if you are in Cebu, you will call this feast the Sinulog. staying in Cebu for five years gave me the chance to be part of the celebration five times. the excitement of the feast was always special and reserved to the Holy Child. it happens every third Sunday of January although the celebration actually begins a week before the feast day. from novenas to fluvial parade, the final procession on the night before the feast day to the grand parade.

my first two Sinulog brought me a lot of amazement since it was my first time to attend the mardigra. we were part of the crowd control for the mardigra* since it was required for our ROTC. it was a great experience because we were in the best location, closest to the performers. the drum beats makes the people dance in their own places while others can’t control themselves, thus joining the performers in the streets. helicopters and planes passing over us here and there throwing confetti. people walking. people dancing. people enjoying every moment of the mardigra. and the celebration does not end there, just right after the parade, the final performance was being held at the sports complex were every contingent gives their best. their best to perform for the Sto. Nino. the people outside the complex starts to party and there’s no need to look for places to enjoy the celebration because outside the bars and the different establishments are big sound systems playing music all night. Bands here and concerts on different venues. Sinulog was like that.
On my third time, it was different since it was my first time to attend the mardigra not as a crowd controller. Hahaha… so I simply enjoyed every moment.

but I thought it was all about the mardigra for the Sto Nino. not on my fourth time, when I was invited by a friend to join the novena mass the night before the grand parade. it was there that I truly saw a deeper meaning of the celebration. the highlight of the Sinulog. yes it is the highlight of the celebration. more than the mardigra. it was there where I saw thousands of people awaiting for the novena mass at the basilica del Sto. Nino. crowded but it seems that the people are waiting for something very big. it seems like they are encouraging more people to enter the basilica forgetting about being comfortable and having good space.

as the Sto Nino comes in, coming from the procession, everyone were standing and shouting Viva! Viva! Senor Santo Nino! sounding aloud telling you to shout as well and shout even more. white handkerchiefs are being waved everywhere. And it was only after the Sto Nino was placed in the altar,that the people stopped waving and shouting. That was around 6:00pm. The mass began and when we reached the part where we sing Glory! people are again shouting Viva! Viva! Senor Santo Nino! really making noise to acclaim the faith. Then the mass continued. when we reached the supplication part, I thought that what I heard earlier was already loud, but here comes sound of the drums and the trumpets. this time the priest raises the Sto. Nino and everyone are shouting! this time Pit Senor! Pit Senor! The priest starts to shout the petitions of the church, the petitions of the nation, the petitions of the city. and it lasted until 12midnight. Then came the fireworks on top of the basilica. 6hours of praising, honoring and offering of the petitions to the Lord.

as the mass and the novena ended, the people are recharged. not tired. it was joy and the peace of the heart and the mind that we gained from worshiping the Lord. it was the one of the best experience.

And I thought that it was all about the mardigra.

On my fifth time, I was able to experience Sinulog at its best. best because it was about worshipping and remembering every blessing that I received when I was in Cebu. this time understanding the roots of the grand celebration of the Lord’s feast. so before I left the city, I bought one small figure of the Sto Nino. as it shall forever symbolize the faith that I have in Christ. a stronger faith,a deeper love and a devotion which I will bring with me until I meet the Lord face to face.

Viva Senor Sto Nino!

you can visit this link for a documentation on Sinulog
and one of the best performance from last year's Sinulog.

*mardigra - grand parade

Saturday, January 19, 2008

the cross on top

days ago when we were on our way to the airport, I noticed something different with this taxi. well if you have been to the Philippines, normally you will see a rosary or a crucifix hanging on the head mirror. but not for this taxi. there's a cross on top. i am not sure if the owner simply want to share his faith, to evangelize or being expressive about his faith. or maybe it symbolizes who matters most in his life. the cross being on top of the taxi.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

dying in mission

I remember the death of Fr. Roel Gallardo. a Claretian priest in the island of Basilan. I was still there in Basilan during that time when the abu sayaff kidnapped some students of a school in Lantawan Basilan aand one of them was Fr. Gallardo. Some were killed and tortured while most of the students survived after an encounter with the military. The dead bodies were brought to our parish church and there I saw the bodies of the victims. half of Fr. Gallardo’s head was pressed (skull was crushed) while the other victims have no arms, other female teachers has one of their breast cut. that’s why I will never forget those times.

now it happened again but this time in Tawi-Tawi. Fr. Roda was killed yesterday after his prayer time in a school in Tawi –Twai to which he was serving. despite the help that ,missionaries like Fr. Roda are extending, from education to daily service, this is what they get in return. in his case, he was giving scholarships to students, helping out with the community and even trying to unite the Muslims and Christians in the area.

we have already seen similar deaths. He is already the third priest killed in Tawi-Tawi. most of the time, we just forget them and so through my blog, I hope Fr. Roda will be remembered for his mission.

Fr. Reynaldo Jesus Roda
1954 - 2008

mission offered to the people of Tawi-Tawi in God’s name.

service a way of life

when i joined a Catholic community Servants of the Lord, serving became a way of life. today's reflection in the devotional "My Utmost for His Highest", it reminds me of the real reason why we ought to serve. here it is:

Service is the overflow which pours from a life filled with love and devotion. But strictly speaking, there is no call to that. Service is what I bring to the relationship and is the reflection of my identification with the nature of God. Service becomes a natural part of my life. God brings me into the proper relationship with Himself so that I can understand His call, and then I serve Him on my own out of a motivation of absolute love. Service to God is the deliberate love-gift of a nature that has heard the call of God. Service is an expression of His nature. Therefore, when I receive His nature and hear His call, His divine voice resounds throughout His nature and mine and the two become one in service. The son of God reveals Himself in me, nd out of devotion to Him service becomes my everyday way of life.

this renews my commitment to serve the Lord everyday. service - a way of life that comes from absolute love.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

passport to fastport

you might have wondered why is the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines logo in my blog. well I simply want to congratulate their efforts of establishing the DFA Passport Appointment System. i heard from the people that this has reduced the time of the renewal process. before, just to set for an appointment, you still need to go to DFA and return after your appointment schedule has been given. now, just log on to and go to the passport appointment system then wait for the scheduled date. this is good news to the pinoys planning to work in abroad and the pinoy tourists.

thanks to the people behind this project. may all the other government offices improve their service.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

baywalk revived

recently, the new baywalk as I call it has been reborn. visiting the back area of SM Mall of Asia, you can see this. we used to visit this area when it was not yet developed and we did star gazing. we then called this area "Wall of Asia" because of its barrier to the waters of Manila bay. i simply agree mayor Lim's idea of bringing back Roxas boulevard's baywalk as a park. it is better now.
for the restaurants and bars, this area of the Mall of Asia is just perfect. now many people flock this area.

pinoy transformer

Just today, I saw this jeep outside multinational village gate in Paranaque. if tranformers were real. this could be one. hahaha... but im sure this isn't optimus prime. maybe megatron.

pugad baboy - online interview with Pol Medina Jr

here's an online interview with Pol Medina jr. He is the artist of Pugad Baboy. One of the Philippine's most popular running comic strips which is published in Inquirer newspaper. This was 5years ago. this was first published in my old website. knowing how well he has maintained in doing funny strips, I just can't stop my self in posting it here. here goes...

the dong: How do you spend your freetime?
Pol: Most of my freetime arte spent with my kids. I try to squeeze in a little Aikido once in a while.

the dong:What are other things that you enjoy doing other than making comics strips?
Pol: I'm into racquet sports and martial arts.
the dong:How many comic strips do you finish in a day?
Pol: I used to make two, even three a day. With my kids running around me all the time I can only manage one a day.

the dong: How do you manage what strip to put on the newspaper? Do you have someone who picks the best strip or you simply pick the one thatclosely relates to todays issues?
Pol:You mean how do I pick material for my strips? I watch the news and read allthe time. I also hang out with funny people.

the dong:Who are your influences in drawing?
Pol:Dick Giordano and Jack Kirby--both comic book artists. I used to draw like them. Cartooning was not my thing then.

the dong: If ever someone will offer you to do a pugad baboy series in english for international release (although pugad baboy is released internationally in tagalog) would you accept it? And would you consider changing the title?
Pol: I'd accept it but I won't change the title.

the dong: How is the comic industry in the philippines?
Pol: Beats me. I don't believe in stats and surveys.

the dong: Have you experience someone from the showbiz industry or just from the ordinary people who asked you to include them as a character in Pugad Baboy?(other than your neighbors and relatives whom most of your characters were based)
Pol: Nope. I suppose they don't need the extra exposure.

the dong: How does it feel now that you finished 14 issues of pugad baboy and allother special issues?
Pol: I always feel like I'm just starting out. That way I retain the passion I have for my craft.

the dong: What are your plans for next year?
Pol: The same as last year-make more books.
the dong: How do you see pugad baboy in the next 10 years?
Pol: I never look that far ahead. I try to reinvent myself everyday so no one cantell me that I've gone full circle.

the dong: thanks Pol.

Pol has now finished 19comic book collection.

more power to the filipino artists.

Monday, January 14, 2008

metro manila skyline

yesterday we were in Antipolo and had another chance to see Metro Manila's skyline. here's a shot of the buildings from Fort Bonifacio to Ortigas (from left to right). perfect for your desktop.

Friday, January 11, 2008

reaching heights with humility

today, sir Edmund Hillary died at the age of 88. 55years ago along with Tenzing Norgay (Nepal local), they conquered the heights of Mt. Everest, the world's highest peak reaching 8,848meters (Philippine's highest peak Mt. Apo elevates at 2,954meters). he was able to achieve projects which helped the sherpas. Thus, giving him Nepal's first honorary citizenship. he was also declared knight commander of the British empire.

He once said "It was wrong if there was a man suffering altitude problems and was huddled under a rock, just to lift your hat, say 'good morning' and pass on by. Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain."

he saw his humanitarian work as a duty. he visited many other countries and continued his humanitarian work.

people will never forget sir Edmund who has reached heights in serving with humility. may God bless your soul.

the picture shown on top is my old copy of National Geographic featuring sir Edmund and Tenzing's journey to Mt. Everest.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

maxwellize your abilities

here is an author whom I learned many practical ways of improving once self. i am talking about the famous leadership guru John C. Maxwell. ever since I started reading his books, I can't stop but read and read. before I finish one book it leads me to buying another one.

he always finds ways in motivating people in everyway he can. he has already written around 57 books selling 13million copies. many people read his book and are now achieving things in the aspect of leadership. from sports to work, from community to business.

in his books, he shares people's experience of achieving things. the most important word here is experience. this the keyword in every John Maxwell's book on leadership. as of this time, I was able to read 7 of his books, 4 from last year. Here's the list:
1. 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
2. Think On These Things
3. Developing the Leaders Around You
4. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader
5. 25 Ways to Win with People
6. 17 Essential Qualities of a Teamplayer
7. Failing Forward
and able to read these books, it inspires me to improve myself even more. thank God I was born when John Maxwell already wrote these books. To start the year I will be reading The 360 Degree Leader. this one is very special because I bought this from Maui for P250 only (book is in very good conditon) it is being sold for P500 in the bookstore. another blessing. most of John Maxwell's books ranges from P350 - P500. thanks Maui. in our community there are 5 of us reading John's books and I highly recommend you to read his books.

I am naming John Maxwell as the best author for me for 2007. he simply teaches me to maxwellize my abilities.

my list of movies 2007

It was a good year for movies in 2007.
Here are my top ten movies for this year

1 - Transformers*
2 - 300*
3 - Spiderman 3*
4 - Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer
5 - I am Legend*
6 - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix*
7 - Resident Evil - Extinction
8 - Pirates of the Caribbean - At Worlds End*
9 - Blades of Glory
10 - Stardust

Other movies from 2007 which didn't quite enter my top ten list but are not that bad (not in order)
28 Weeks Later
Ghost Rider
Hannibal Rising
Mr. Bean's Holiday
The Bourne Ultimatum*
The Invasion
Shrek the Third*
The Simpsons movie*
The ones not in the list may simply be because I didn't watch it.

*movies in the top ten world box office for 2007

what is your slingshot?

Last night we celebrated the birthday of Erik, who is a part of our action group. We gave him a slingshot as a gift which resembles the sling that David in the Bible used. Erik has a character like that of David. Young and active in his faith. This story was also significant to us because of the slingshot.

David's story of beating the giant Goliath is one of the most popular stories in the Bible. Allow me to show you the significance of David choosing to use the slingshot rather than the sword that Saul was giving him to beat Goliath. Here's that part in the Bible:

1 Samuel 17

37 David said "The LORD who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!" Saul finally consented. "All right, go ahead," he said. "And may the LORD be with you!"
38 Then Saul gave his own armor--a bronze helmet and a coat of mail.
39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. "I can't go in these," he protested. "I'm not used to them." So he took them off again.
40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them in his shepherd's bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd's staff and sling, he started across to fight Goliath.

And of course we all know what happened. During that time the sword was one of the best weapon plus the armor, helmet and the coat of mail for defense. This was what they thought David would need to beat Goliath. David who was never used to wearing these for fighting lions to protect the sheeps, chose to bring with him his staff and a sling.

What's the point here? Each one of us might be facing challenges in life and we are used to choosing the best approach of some people. Not knowing that sometimes the best approach for others might not be the best approach for us. In David's case, the sword might have been one of the best or maybe the most popular weapon of his time but for him it wasn't. In the same way with us.

What is your slingshot then?

I suggest that you read the whole story of David beating Goliath and you'll also learn that it was more than just his slingshot. It was more of who God is in his life.

born to be wild

I have been watching the show "Born To Be Wild" in GMA 7 since it started last month. The show features the trips of mountain climber and adventurer Romi Garduce and veterinarian Doc Ferds Recio to the different places around the Philippines to update us on our country's environmental condition. making us more aware of how our environment degrades and what we can do to stop this. watching last night's television episode lead me to remembering our pinatubo adventure almost 2years ago. the episode featured the threatened forest of Polillo island and Mt. Pinatubo. I always look forward to watching this show as I have always believe in environmental degradation as a very important issue. Thanks to this show. It is aired every Wednesdays right after Saksi.
I will post more about our Mt. Pinatubo adventure by March as it enters its 17th year after its biggest eruption and exactly 2years after we have visited its amazing crater. It was one of our best adventure.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

weird wire web

I took this picture when I went out with my dad in Manila. walking along a street between Escolta and Ong Pin, I noticed again that just like in many places in the Philippines, you can see weird wirings here and there. This one is one of the worst. It looks more like a spider web than just connection of wires. As much as I want these lines see fixed, I hope somebody already noticed what wirings like these can cause.

I call this weird wire web.

beyond dying

Reading yeasterday's reflection in the daily devotional "My Utmost For His Highest" of Oswald Chambers, which emphasizes the misconception of thinking that the ultimate thing that God wants us is the sacrifice of death. It is not for us to say - "Lord, I am ready to go with You... to death". But instead - "Lord, I am willing to be identified with Your death so that I may sacrifice my life to God". It is of no value to God to give Him your life for death. He wants us to be "living sacrifices" - to let Him have all strengths that have been saved and sanctified through Jesus (Romans 12:1). This is what is acceptable to God.

Many indeed took the sacrifice of death as a means of the ultimate sacrifice but God is asking us more than just death. That is to live and die for Him, holy and acceptable to God.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

stamps stamps

I used to collect stamps during my elementary and high school days. Until now I have my collections well kept and even studied how stamps are to be stored and removed from the envelope (although stamps are better collected when attached on the envelope). When I was in college, text messaging came in and less and less people send mails (now called snail mail), so I stopped collecting it. Just last month, we received many letters from friends, relatives and looking at the stamps, I just can't think of just throwing the envelopes with the stamps on it. So finally, I decided to collect stamps again. Sometimes it is costly but it's worth it. Not sure if many people still collect stamps nowadays. Might as well check out the Philippine philately.

pinoy ako

I enjoy travelling and visiting places in the Philippines but looking at this map, where the yellow green area shows the places that I visited in the past 27years, it seems na ang dami ko pa palang hindi napupuntahan. Pinoy ako pero dami pang lugar na hindi nabibisita. This map now helps me to know where to go this year. Maybe Palawan, Panglao, Sagada, Batanes or Carabao island. Looking forward to visiting places this year.

something odd

For today's something odd, here's a picture taken along Alabang-Zapote road in Las Pinas. This is business. Selling used machines and goats. Hmmm...

merely blessed

I have been looking forward to buying the book entitled "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. Looking at the price of the book in Powerbooks always lead me to think if it is really worth buying for the price of P600. I already read a part of his book "Screwtape Letters" and I am convinced that he is really a good writer. But again looking at the price, it still did'nt convince me to buy the book. That was months ago.

Last Sunday, I visited some of my co-servants in the city of San Pablo in Laguna. We shared things about serving Christ unconditionally while eating baked macaroni with meat balls at "Spaghetti House". Then Jecoy and Ajune, leaders from Lingkod San Pablo started sharing their vice which was to buy ukay ukay* books within the area and sell it to their friends at a price that the buyer wishes. That's cool! But what amazed me when they talk about the time when they were able to sell a set of C.S. Lewis books for P250. Two hundred fifty pesos??? When months ago I was looking at one book sold for P600. I asked if they found "Mere Christianity". Jecoy said yes! Wow! So I asked him to buy the book the next time he finds another copy. Going to their house to see some of his books. He then handed me his copy of "Mere Christianity" and showed me the price at the back of the book. P9! Nine pesos for a C.S. Lewis book??? Then he said "Sa yo na yan". What??? He is giving me his copy of the book. So blessed! From P600 to P9. Who could have thought that I will get this book for free in San Pablo. Thanks Jecoy!

I am merely blessed!

*ukay ukay - used things

nuebo anyo 2008!!!

Fireworks here and fireworks there as 2008 enters. I was trying to get the best shot from the fireworks but nothing was better than this shot. Maybe you can basically guess what it is. To me it symbolizes three persona that influences me everyday. He is above all things. It was always best to welcome new year remembering His greatness!
Happy new year!!!


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