Saturday, October 30, 2004

The one with all the rats and mice

Okay. When it comes to hating gross things, I hate cockroaches most of all, but I also hate rodents of all shapes and sizes. I am not a mouse fan, white or otherwise. If I had three wishes, I'd wish away all the roaches and mice in the world. But I don't have three wishes, and I have mice in my bedroom.

It wasn't a pleasant discovery. I heard rustling last night near our chips' area (yeah, there's a spot for chips, but we're clearing that out in line with my whole 'I wanna lose weight' credo), and saw the mouse run helter skelter when I came a-callin'. Immediately, I fished out some flypaper and laid out a nice trap for my little rodent friend. Fifteen minutes later, we caught it, but it escaped! I laid out two other flypaper traps and went to bed.

That's where the really freaky dream started. I dreamt the flypaper caught, like, five mice apiece, and there were rats sitting around the area, and one mommy mouse frantically trying to rescue her babies. It was my room, but the house wasn't mine, go figure, and out of nowhere, in runs RuPaul, saying, "you better work, honey, beause those mice ain't movin' themselves, baby."

I woke up to find the traps had caught one mouse apiece, and one of the two mice was squealing so loudly, it practically woke me up. No cold sweat, but it wasn't a calming dream either.

Hopefully, no mice will make their way around this place anymore. Do reputations as mice-killers and torturers make their ways around the mouse community?

Friday, October 29, 2004

The one with the incredible government service

It's almost as if God wanted to teach me a lesson in forgiveness. Leah and I visited the National Library two days ago to get an ISSN number for the magazine. Surprise! We entered the library, were told to proceed to the 6th floor, and filled out two simple forms.

We were finished in five minutes.

It was unbelievable! I've never witnessed such blazing fast government service. God is truly good.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The one with the Superblessed Christian Blog Award winners 2004

It actually becomes more difficult to post winners than nominees, because there is always the tendency to hurt some people (which is why it thrills me, in a twisted way, that I'm never nominated in these contests, because at least I don't have to lose in public). I hope no one gets hurt by their not running away with the titles. Know that you continue to bless me, and I am forever grateful for the love and lessons I've gleaned from your blogs. I love, honor, and treasure your friendship.

Be superblessed!

Best Designed Blog.
Mikks Maducdoc, Mikkan. Mikks is a tremendously talented Filipino teen (who will be featured in the January issue of LIVEtheLIFE) whose graphic skill is matched by his musical talent. I truly have such admiration for this kid - and his work speaks for itself. He can do animation, he can do Flash... I see the future of Pinoy Christian animation in his eyes. Love you, Mikks!

Most Humorous Blog.
Michael Main, Michael This was a tough choice, because all the nominees are excellent examples of joyful Christians, but I think Michael embodies the joy and wonder of a Christian life. He goes through a lot, especially with Amy, but when I look at him and his ability to laugh at the minutest things, I am so in awe of the power of God in his life. Love you, Michael!

Most Educational Blog.
David Heddle, He Lives. Dr. Heddle dedicates a huge amount of time and space to apologetics, and this blesses me immensely. I have learned so much from him, and it never ceases to amaze me how he can find time for his life! If I were given a chance to meet a blogger face to face and spend a day with her or him, I'd want to meet David Heddle. :) Love you, Dr. Heddle!

Most Introspective Blog.
Susan, What a Beautiful Day! Susan sees the world through the eyes of a child, and I am continually blessed by this. She always finds lessons to learn in every experience, and this inspires me to want to see God's power in everything. Love you, Susan!

Most Useful Christian Resource.
Blogs4God. I still think this is the most useful Christian resource online for me, primarily because it has brought so many of us Christians together. I have been helped immensely by my brothers and sisters online, and I owe so much to Martin Roth, Dean, and all the folks at Blogs4God for having helped make it happen. I love you guys at B4G!

Best Blog with Online Discussion.
The men and women of Spare Change. The wit! The sarcasm! The arguments! The fights! Well, maybe not all the time, but I am blessed by Spare Change. Just a gang of men and women who blog about life - which is what blogging is about - and how Christ affects their lives. Inspiring, funny, poignant, riveting. Bryan have a good thing going, and they should keep it up, because folks like I are truly blessed by 'em. Love you guys at Spare Change!

Most Inspirational/Encouraging Blog.
Darren Rowse, Living Room. Darren's blog is the toasty Aussie with the mostie! That he has an actual prayer newsletter is one thing: that he finds time to do so much is even more inspiring. Darren is articulate and humorous, and I continue to be blessed by him. Love you, Darren!

Most Enjoyable Male Filipino-Christian Blog
Arnold Gamboa sends shivers down my spine. He's not much older than I (wait a minute, I think I'm older), but his knowledge of and thirst for the Word of God is truly inspiring. He's a new daddy, just like I am, and the way he talks about God, his family, his son, and his work, well, it just melts my heart. Visit him, he's one of the best Pinoy Christians online. Ever. Love you, Arnold!

Most Enjoyable Female Filipino-Christian Blog
Jax of Jax Place and Maan of My Silverchair. These two ladies are truly admirable. I love Jax Place because it feels like home. She writes like she talks, and speaks from her heart. God is vibrant and alive in her blog because He is part of her, her relationship with Him is alive and thriving. As for Maan, I've always wanted to encourage her because she encourages me. She mayn't know it, but her blog is always pure pleasure to visit: it's lively, it's honest, it's the blog of a person who continues to search. And don't we all? :) Love you, Jax! Love you, Maan!

Most Enjoyable Male Christian Blog (International, Non-Filipino)
Galvin. You should visit this guy's site! He can't seem to stop writing music for God! What I love about Galvin is that he's so worshipful in every way. His music, for one thing, is a real attraction, but I also enjoy how he tries to apply God's word into everything he does. I think it also encouraging that there are other Asian men out there (another being one of my favorites, DJ Chuang) who boldly proclaim the name of Jesus. Love you, Galvin!

Most Enjoyable Female Christian Blog (International, Non-Filipino)
Tracy, Tracy, Tracy! I've been a fan for years now, but the Tracester has never truly gotten the recognition she deserves. She's done things I've always wanted to do, including becoming a missionary and getting a body piercing (heehee!). She's funny, and I truly love her zest for life and zeal for God. Oh, and her name-it contests are always fun. Someday, I will win one of those darn contests. :D Love you, Tracy!

Favorite Christian Blog of 2004.
As usual, let me encourage the other four candidates before I announce the winner.

I love Mikks because he reminds me of how powerfully God can use anyone for His glory. At such a young age, he's shown such incredible talent, it just makes me weep. I envision great things for this man, and believe the future is bright for this bold and mighty Christian kid. Mark my words, ladies and gentlemen, this man will do Paul-like things before his time is through. Love you, Mikks!

I love Sue because she truly lives the life. Her life isn't an open book, but she does her best to present herself as genuinely as possible, and this blesses and encourages me immensely. She and Katie are so funny together, and I know that God is pleased with the lives they are now leading for Him. Plus, she works in a record store, for which I am eternally envious. Love you, Sue!

I love Darren because he's such an encourager! For all his troubles and difficulties, he sees the bright side, that is, the Christ side of it all, and this is always uplifting for Christians such as I. His blog is titled Living Room, which is wonderfully named, because it feels like home, but it's also a way for us to see how he himself lives in service of Christ. I also love how he lives in Australia, where one of my sisters lives, and someday, I will visit him, and see his living room. Love you, Darren!

I love Christopher Wright simply because he is everything I wanted to be. His life is living testimony and testament to God's goodness. He molds young minds, raising them to be Christlike, and there is no job that carries that much opportunity, other than parenthood, and I admire him so much for that! I love how he teaches me to appreciate the little things, and how he encourages me every so often with a visit and a kind word. Love you, Mr. Wright!


We are told that Christians live in the world, but are not of the world. I think no one epitomizes this more than that Christian enigma that is Bene Diction. Bene is a citizen of the world, giving two cents on important issues, bringing to the attention of the international community situations that should be addressed, and playing the role of blog statesman to the hilt. As Christians, we must attempt to influence the world, however which way we can, and I think Bene is living up to that role with gusto, grace, and panache. Bene has encouraged me several times, and blessed me almost too immensely; always there when I was down (and blogging), and looking for me when I wasn't online, Bene has played older sibling and trusted friend my entire stay on the blogosphere, and I look forward to the day when we can actually meet each other and I will finally answer that elusive question: Is Bene a boy or a girl? LOL

Be superblessed, and check out all the winning blogs! God bless you!

The one with the weird photos

I've been going nuts with my new digicam. :D Praise the Lord for this gift of technology, and God, I apologize and repent for the blasphemous photos.

This is my favorite Nathan shot. Isn't he cute?

Some brothers and sisters of my church's praise and worship ministry. Yeah, they're crazy.

Hey, I got hungry!

I have got to lose some weight! The worst part is, there's no camera trick here!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The one on the Burger King stereotype

For everyone's information, I'm on the South Beach diet. I've enrolled at Slimmer's World, and have full intentions of making my body God's temple, not His America's Mall. Problem is, there are few places in most malls that have South Beach diet-friendly cuisine. So, I walk into Burger King Greenbelt with the full intention of buying myself a corned beef breakfast meal to tide me off until the afternoon.

COUNTER GIRL: Good morning, Sir!
ME: Good morning.
COUNTER GIRL: Whopper meal, Sir?
ME: (to myself: Huh? Does she offer a Whopper meal to people right off the bat?) No, I want a...
COUNTER GIRL: Whopper Jr. meal? Two-piece beefsteak meal?
ME:(to myself: Why is she offering me all these large meals?) I would like a corned beef meal.
ME: (to myself: And?? That's it!) That's all.

I am never going back to Burger King. How presumptuously rude can you get?

Saturday, October 23, 2004

The one with the exasperation with our government

I have totally had it with our government! The [righteous] anger I feel at the inefficiency and gall of our elected leaders is beyond fury - and while I hesitate to malign those in public service who have remained honest despite all the thievery around them, it would not be without reason to blast every single hypocrite who dares to call himself a public servant! Mga walang-hiyang buwayang walang utang na loob!

Jesus preached love. How can you say you love your country when you squirrel away hundreds of millions of pesos in accounts abroad for your own self-gain? Were those taxes not paid for by me, and millions like me, to help serve the people, not fatten your bank accounts?!

The Armed Forces are supposed to protect us, not steal! To keep us safe, not terrorize! To defend, not kill!

Jesus preached sacrifice. How dare you tell me to sacrifice when you won't even lessen the number of cellular phone calls and outrageous bills that you charge to the Filipino people?! How dare you fly to other nations for your own agenda, and charge it to our account? Your people are dying from eating garbage, and you are safe in your ivory towers, built off our blood and sweat!

Jesus preached acceptance. How dare you support a war on innocent civilians, and support a hypocritical American president who justifies the mass murder of other human beings and dares call himself Christian?!

Jesus preached morality. How am I to respect the hallowed halls of government when secret families are being harbored, trysts happen on regular basis, and I am made to pay for their support?!

Jesus preached forgiveness. Am I to swallow all this bile, at being slapped in the face and being robbed blind right here and now, because one man died for me?!

Yes, I am.

Lord, it is the most difficult task You've had me do! What happens to my nation? What will happen to my son? What is to become of this land I call home?

Many questions, no answers. But yet, we trust. It doesn't make it any easier, but we forgive you. We will forgive, and support, with our hands clasped in prayer, and our trust in a God whose actions have proved more trustworthy than yours.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The one on the announcement of the winners

The winners of the Superblessed Christian Blog Awards 2004 will be announced on Tuesday, next week.

God superbless you!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The one with the thoughts on blog awards

God bless the hearts of those who bless other hearts! I've received encouraging email from some people who've discovered the Superblessed Christian Blog Awards for the first time (it's nice that if you Google or Yahoo the search words Christian blog awards, you get Mere Madness, the very first Christian Blog Awards I started, which will correspondingly link you to this blog).

Yet, I also received some not-so-nice mail from folks who said certain blogs were left out.

Here we go again.

My Favorite Christian Blog of the Year 2002 Bene Diction pointed out that when I launched the Christian Awards, it was during a time when the "blogosphere was in an uproar over other awards and issues." 2002 was a year not without controversy - one of my favorite and most respected blogger links chastised me for not recognizing Martin Roth, who was the man who started organized God-blog tracking with his site; eventually, the list became Blogs4God, which has blessed me immensely in the sense that it's found me many God-bloggers, both local and international. 2003 was also controversial, when Best Feeding Frenzy Blog winner Joshua Claybourn questioned the way I wrote up his triumph.

I've learned many things from this tiny little award-giving exercise, and one of the most important is this: you just can't please everyone.

The funny thing is, that isn't the point behind the Superblessed Blog Awards. There are so many blog award-giving bodies out there, and I'm one tiny little fish in one gigantic ocean. My awards seek to honor those who've blessed me, those bloggers whose sites I visit in times of joy and sorrow, because I desire to know that there are others going through similar situations like mine. That I'm not alone in the race. That Jesus makes Himself manifest through my online friends.

Imagine how I look forward, for instance, to visiting Wifely to learn about how the simplest things make her happy. Or how I always, always laugh and cry with Michael Main when I read about what he and Amy go through. I am inspired by Tray, and humbled by Michael's search for God. I've only recently discovered Real Live Preacher, and find him to be a blessing in every way!

We're blips on a radar screen, and let's face it, sometimes, we need a little pat on the back for our effort. I'm just patting some backs, and telling 'em, "well done."

These people matter to me. I love every person on my blogroll. If you're on my blogroll, it means you're important to me, and I value you and your blog.

Wanna hear the most hurtful thing? Someone said I was doing my awards just to increase my hits. That stings, you-person-who-knows-who-you-are. I don't care if my hits plummet past the 5th bolgia of Dante's Inferno, and I'd be thrilled minimally if I ever got more than 100 hits per day, but I'm not doing this for the attention.

I'm sorry I can't superbless everyone. But God can. So praise the Lord, because His love endures forever!

* * *

If you have time and want to visit more Philippine blogs, do swing by the 2004 Philippine Blog Awards. I did a random search, and found at least three blogs that profess to being Christ-centered, so swing by the blogs of The Son of Thunder (that title's a little too Norsey to be Christian, but, hey, whatever), Marius, Chette, and Christine Beltran, and give 'em quick prayer that they make it to the finals. Christian blogs should stand out in these secular awards.

I've only won two blog awards in my life. One was Blog of the Month from Christopher Wright. The other was Best Christian Blog from Jax Place. Both awards are treasured immensely.

Be superblessed!

Update: A visitor named Lmae referred me to Blessed Chette, whose blog blesses immensely, and is also in the running at the Philippine Blog Awards. You must all visit this site; it's truly amazing, and she's really on fire for Jesus. She will be a force to reckon with next year - must contact her for Bloggerhythm.

Lmae, I'd like to point out though, that the initial set of referrals came from a random search with the words "Jesus" in it. It's not that I purposely left your friend out; it was based merely on what they wrote in their summaries. I hope I didn't offend you by leaving her out, but the point is this: we all love and continue to serve Jesus Christ. :) So, while I'm happy to promote Chette, I want you to know that to imply that she is "a Christian compared to the other 3 blogs [I] mentioned" is uncalled for.

Update: God bless Lmae for her heart. She has apologized, and proclaims her Jesus-love as well in her own blog. So visit and encourage her, why don't y'all?

Friday, October 15, 2004

The one with the nominees for the Superblessed Christian Blog Awards 2004

Best Designed Blog.
Mikks Maducdoc, Mikkan
Ricky Manzano,
Keren Tan,

Most Humorous Blog.
Ariel Atienza, In Between Panels
Mack, Pray Naked
Michael Main, Michael
Christopher Wright, What in Tarnation?

Most Educational Blog.
Mark Byron, Mark Byron
Andrew Careaga, Bloggedy Blog
David Heddle, He Lives
Martin Roth, Martin Roth Online
Craig Tanner, Avoiding

Most Introspective Blog.
Ailene, Dalsol
Tanya Gartamaker, 7 Day Holy.
Irene Q,
Deb Sawyer, Constantly Abiding.
Susan, What a Beautiful Day!

Most Useful Christian Resource.
Bible Gateway.
Relevant Magazine.

Best Blog with Online Discussion.
Joshua Claybourn, Joshua
Esteban Francisco, Crystal Clear
The Rowster, The Rowster
The men and women of Spare Change
Wifely, Wifely Steps

Most Inspirational/Encouraging Blog.
C. Bowles, Can You Hear Me Now?
Elijah Fan,
PM Pilgrim, Wanderings of a Post-Modern Pilgrim
Darren Rowse, Living Room

Most Enjoyable Male Filipino-Christian Blog.
Daxi Arellano, Daxi
Arnold Gamboa, Better Than Life
Mikks Maducdoc, Mikkan
Ricky Manzano,
JM Tuazon, God of Irony

Most Enjoyable Female Filipino-Christian Blog.
Jax, Jax Place
Kat, Sikat Online
Maan, My Silverchair
Phisch, In That Number
Tina Mats,

Most Enjoyable Male Christian Blog (International, Non-Filipino).
Bob, Mister Standfast
Elijah Fan,
Darren Rowse, Living Room
Galvin, Galvin
San Antonio, San Antonio Blog

Most Enjoyable Female Christian Blog (International, Non-Filipino).
Tracy Apps,
Jan, Shalom's Web
Susan Prince, Sister's Weblog: It Bloggles the Mind!
The ladies of Under the Juniper
Valerie, Kyriosity

Favorite Christian Blog of 2004.
Bene Diction, Bene Diction Blogs On
Mikks Maducdoc, Mikkan
Susan Prince, Sister's Weblog: It Bloggles the Mind!
Darren Rowse, Living Room
Christopher Wright, What in Tarnation?

The one with the search words

It's disturbing to see some of the searches that lead people to Superblessed.

Elena Juatco nude. You sick people. Sick, sick, sick. Naked Canadian-Filipino images? Oomph. I'm 7th on Google for this one.
Panasonic DMC- LC 80 review. Yeah, I should probably post my comments on my fabulous new digicam. 6th on Google.
email at Yeah, I should write those guys and tell 'em they rock. 3rd on Google.
"house of sylvanas". These guys rock too. 3rd on Google.
Rolly Dizon. This is unjust! I'm 1st on Google for the CHED Chairperson! Brother Rolly deserves his own website!
Pata tim recipe. I should pry this one out of my mom. 33rd on Google.
Nathan's pics. 7th on Google. My question is? Which Nathan was this person looking for?

The one helping Michael Main

I would never want to be labelled as untrustworthy, because I consider myself relatively trustworthy, not untrustworthy. In most of my dealings with people, I am not untrustworthy, I am quite trustworthy. So, there.

The one with the thoughts on my half-brothers

I want to apologize for my inability to post the past few days. [It's not like I'm getting hits through the roof anyway.]

When my father was young, he led the expectedly promiscuous lifestyle that came with the uncertainty of war (no electricity, no lights, the possibility of death lurking around every corner, what was a 14-year-old to do?). The end result: I have six half-brothers and two half-sisters from two different women.

I've never been close to my half-brothers. I can't say there is resentment, nor can I say there is a great deal of love, given the fractured family history endured by my siblings, who were pretty much overpassed by my father in favor of marriage to my mother. We've just never been close. As the eldest son of my mother, the responsibility fell upon me to love my younger brother; I can't say I really received the kind of secure, 'I'll take care of you' love from my elder brothers, of which there were several who could've reached out, but didn't.

Now, two days ago, I received word my eldest brother, Freddie, a former world darts champion, has been diagnosed with cancer - twice. He has lung cancer, the result of years of smoking, and brain cancer, the result, I assume, of the spread of the lung cancer. I don't know at which stage it is, but I can't deny that a long life in the presence of his family seems bleak at this point.

Last night, Cathy accused me of insensitivity towards my brothers - and a lot of other people. Admittedly, I, like Friends' Chandler Bing, use humor as a way of dealing with uncomfortable situations, and I may have made a couple of jokes that some would interpret below the belt. I don't mean to be insensitive nor crude; mastery of Christian speech and control of a sarcastic and acerbic tongue are not things I can put on my resume anytime soon.

I do worry about Freddie, though, and about another half-brother, Sandy, who had undergone double hip replacement surgery yesterday, the result, I suppose, of severe lack of calcium (well, that's a no-brainer).

Meanwhile, I am trying my darndest to work my magazine off the ground. Here's to the inevitable headache that will ensue at around 230pm, and to the healing that God will deliver me. I pray that my brothers can be as forgiving.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The one with the prayer request for Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge has been diagnosed with cancer. I suppose many of you aren't particularly fond of her music, but I grew up listening to classics like Come to My Window, I'm the Only One and I Want to Come Over, so this information distresses me.

Prayer for her speedy recovery is requested.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The one on everyone needing a spoonful of sugar

This afternoon, I met up with Nines to explore possibilities of how we could help each other, she with my magazine, and I with some aspects of her design business. The meeting went very well, and as I type this as I wait for Caths, I can't help but dwell on how God makes everything work out right when one works for His purposes.

Nines is one of my columnists; hers is titled Spoonful of Sugar. What she has is an optimistic, positive outlook. While she may define herself as a spiritual person, I see a lot of Christian virtue in her, and that she shares my enthusiasm for wanting to improve the country is icing on the cake.

Here's hoping that we can pull this baby off the ground.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The one with the political slant

Raul Pangalangan makes some extremely interesting points in his October 1 opinion piece in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, titled Why Filipinos Sacrifice for Family but not for Nation. It provides valuable food for thought in many areas, and you would do well to browse it, if you'd like to get into the Filipino psyche.

I could provide colorful discourse on why it's so hard to trust my country's leaders and its history. When I was born, the peso was roughly P15 to US$1. Now, it's barely holding on at P56.30 to US$1. That's a drop of P41 in just a little less than three decades. Inflation takes its toll, but our money is virtually toilet paper. When I was born, the cost of a college education was in the mid-teen thousands. When I went to college, it cost roughly P35,000.00. When Nathan is old enough, based on today's inflation rate, it will cost me P75,000.00 to send him to a state university. As for a Lasallian or Atenean education, we will have to rely on our savings, plus help from the college education plan we've gotten for him.

Everyone - and I mean, everyone - is telling me to find fortune abroad. Pangalangan notes overseas foreign workers are the ones slogging away, "forfeit[ing] the best years of their lives, doing work beneath their education and past jobs in Manila, to live among cold strangers for whom they are invisible, easily replaceable help so they can send siblings to school," and dreaming of appliances that Westerners take for granted, a television set, a VCD player, a refrigerator that can provide cold water in the heat of a summer's day.

And for this, I am tremendously disappointed in the government, because instead of trying to patch up the infrastructure to make the country self-sustaining, the Arroyo administration seems to be giving off the impression that we should go abroad. Even if every newspaper in the country were to trumpet doomsday prophecies, an allegation given off by the hotheaded, irritable, and terribly self-aware Office of the President itself, the fact remains: there is too little good news to keep us optimistic about our country's future. In the midst of all this, we are encouraged to make money by going abroad, to further support our heavy economy and because our money is worth nothing. 15% of our population are starving.

When public school teachers, the heart and soul of this nation, the men and women who raise our children and defend the vote during elections, requested a raise in their salaries, not only did the Department of Education not increase this, they were insulted with an increase in the amount of money that can borrow from a DepEd fund. They don't need money to borrow, because they don't have money to pay the loan. Come on, Madame President, you're an economist. How can poor people pay back a loan if they don't even have money? They sink deeper into debt. Food coupons won't work. Give people jobs, and give them jobs on local soil!

Fact: no one will trust the government. Period. Corruption is such an integral part of Philippine government culture, and short of "sweeping reforms," which in the past have proven mostly cosmetic, will continue to thrive and prosper. We are to blame, as well. Instead of paying the P500 for the parket ticket, most drivers will pay P250 to the cop who pulls them over. I won't stand for it, though. If you knew what I've had to endure these past six months trying to set up my company, you'd be shocked. I'm playing by the rules, and it's been six months.

So how do we start to trust the government? Get fresh people in there, people who aren't afraid to kick some butt, and kick out the corrupt. Good luck making that happen, but I agree with Pangalangan: government has always watched for itself, and we need to bring in people with altruistic virtue and value, whose work history has shown a love for the improvement of life all around.

Meanwhile, I choose to stay here, because I believe the country needs me. I believe God has determined my mission and that of my family's is to help my nation here. If the Gokongweis are to be believed, then Ateneans and Lasallians owe it to their country to start businesses, companies, jumpstart the economy, and not bail the sinking ship. As Mike has discoursed before, the brain drain will kill the economy. It's not like the B and C classes suffer from hunger. No, they're comfortable. No, they're not in immediate danger. It's just uncomfortable. But if the literati of the country abandon the nation, who will help those left behind?

The one with the sore throat and Smart SIM

My throat hurts. :p Typical, as I always get scratchy tonsils whenever I'm about to lead in praise and worship at my local care group. It just stinks, that's all.

Today, I picked up my new Smart SIM at the Smart Wireless Center in Alabang. I lost the SIM more than a month ago, but the folks at Smart were only able to provide me a new SIM today. Oh, well. To their credit, their service personnel were extremely accommodating. If you'd like my mobile, please email or YM me, and I'll gladly give it to you.

Meanwhile, Rodney Dangerfield has moved on. I hope Saint Peter gives him more respect.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The one with Brother Rolly Dizon in my car

So I report to work today at 1030am with full intentions of getting down to work and finishing up all the papers so the Annual Report can be ready by next week. I guess it wasn't to be. Brother Rolly was to announce his resignation at 12nn, and he was in La Salle Greenhills (my old alma mater!), and needed to be fetched. There wasn't a CHEd car available, so I was asked.


Me, drive CHEd Chairperson and Lasallian Brother Rolly Dizon, FSC, PhD, in my clunker of a car?!? I was stunned. Highlight of my week. My month. My year! Driving Brother Rolly. I could make a screenplay!

It was the biggest blessing! We talked, about Lasallian values versus Atenean values, about my magazine, about his fight with cancer. Everything the press says about this man is so wrong: he's a gentle, learned, eloquent man, whose inner strength radiates throughout his body, in his smile, his demeanor, his countenance.

Brother Rolly was responsible for the Zobel housing project that, in December, will be home to family. Brother Rolly spent 18 years serving La Salle Greenhills. Brother Rolly's thumbprints are all over my life as an educator and as a Lasallian.

I love this man, and the fact that CHEd people are thanking me for driving him around is ridiculous. I should be thanking them!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The one with the bills

This is the part that makes being self-employed suck. :p Upon arriving home last Saturday, I saw bills waiting for me; apparently, Standard Chartered, Bankard, Nippon Life, Sun Life, Toyota Insurance, and Smart Communications don't like to be kept waiting. I don't mind having to pay for these bills (since - hello! - I racked them up in the first place!), but with CHED being the typical government agency (grrr!) and delaying my salary, it takes quite a toll on Cathy's savings.

It can get really annoying. For instance, my Smart SIM was stolen when my mobile was stolen a few months ago. I made requests at two separate Smart centers for a new SIM, and I still haven't been given it. Meanwhile, since it is a postpaid plan, I continue to pay the monthly fee. Simply amazing, my butt. It's simply amazing how they rip me off! I'd buy bread to throw back at them when they throw these boulders at me, but I can't even afford to buy my Gardenia 5-grain wheat loaf because the South Beach diet won't let me have them.

Grr. I hate it when I complain, but even I have to blow off some steam. Argh! Argh! Advertisers, where are you? How can Relevant Magazine and Fish overflow with ads and I can't swing five?

Yet, God is good, and I know all will be well. Bills, begone!

On a side note, I see that JM has moved. Go swing by and see him.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The one on my being around... and announcing the 2004 Superblessed Christian Blog Awards

When I first started blogging in 2000, I was among the first Filipinos, to my knowledge, to actually do so, and four years later, I find myself a ripe old coot on a Frodo-like journey. My blog has survived at least three incarnations (this one is the fourth), I have seen friends' blogs and rise and fall, yet through it all, I and my integrity have remained relatively intact.

Hey, I'm still here! I don't know where I am on the blogging ecosystem, but I've been around for almost four years, and I'd flatter myself to think that I'm one of the grand daddies of the Philippine-Christian blog phenomenon. My hits may have hit rock bottom, but I'm still flying high.

The fact of the matter is, I blog for me, for my Jesus, and for the Family of God. I stand firm testimony to God's goodness, and I will continue to trumpet it until my dying day or until the Philippines loses Internet connection. LOL

Now, I transformed the Mere Madness blog into a Christian blog after I accepted Jesus Christ in 2000. Slightly more than two years later, I first launched the Christian Blog Awards in January 2003 to honor the God-bloggers who blessed me immensely in 2002. At the time, when it was known as the Mere Madness Christian Blog Awards, it created little buzz but did bless Christ-bloggers who were in my immediate circle of blogs.

In 2002, these were the winners:

Most Inspirational/Encouraging Blog. Craig Tanner. Avoiding
Most Educational Blog. Mark Byron ( and David Heddle (He Lives).
Best Designed Blog. BrownPau. How Now Brownpau?.
Most Humorous Blog. Mark. The Gospel According to Mark.
Most Introspective Blog. Irene Q. The Musings of Irene Q.
Most Feeding Frenzy Blog. Esteban DaCubanGuy.
Most Enjoyable Filipino-Christian Blog Keren. Keren.
Favorite Christian Blog of 2002. Bene Diction. Bene Diction Blogs On.

In 2003, I transferred to Superblessed and renamed it the Superblessed Christian Blog Awards. I added more categories and expanded the nominees' list; I also introduced a People's Choice option for regular visitors of the blog. I further remember a bit of controversy in the Feeding Frenzy blog category, but that's all water under the bridge, and I'm sure we're all raring to look past that. These were the winners in 2003:

Most Inspirational/Encouraging Blog. Tanya of 7 Day Holy. People's Choice: Tanya.
Most Educational Blog. Craig Tanner of Avoiding People's Choice: David Heddle.
Best Designed Blog. Mikks of The Son Seeker Chronicles and Keren Tan of Keren Tan. People's Choice: Mikks.
Most Humorous Blog. Michael Main of Michael and Christopher Wright of What in People's Choice: James Watson.
Most Introspective Blog. Irene Q of Irene People's Choice: Irene.
Most Useful Christian Resource. Blogs4God. People's Choice: Bible Gateway.
Most Feeding Frenzy Blog. Josh Claybourn of Josh People's Choice: Josh Claybourn.
Most Enjoyable Filipino-Christian Blog. Jax of Jax Place. People's Choice: Rick Manzano.
Most Enjoyable Male Christian Blog. Darren Rowse of Living Room. People's Choice: Darren.
Most Enjoyable Female Christian Blog. Susan L. Prince of Sisters' Weblog. People's Choice: Irene Q of Irene
Favorite Christian Blog of 2003. Christopher Wright of What in

This year, the categories are as follows:

Best Designed Blog.
Most Humorous Blog.
Most Educational Blog.
Most Introspective Blog.
Most Useful Christian Resource.
Best Blog with Online Discussion.
Most Inspirational/Encouraging Blog.
Most Enjoyable Male Filipino-Christian Blog.
Most Enjoyable Female Filipino-Christian Blog.
Most Enjoyable Male Christian Blog (International, Non-Filipino).
Most Enjoyable Female Christian Blog (International, Non-Filipino).
Favorite Christian Blog of 2004.

It will be my pleasure to announce the nominees on Monday, October 4, 2004, with the winners' announcement at the end of October. I want to thank everyone for their support of God-blogging, and pray that there will be less controversy this time around. :p Thank you for loving me, and praying for me. Do know that I too pray for y'all.

God bless!

Friday, October 01, 2004

The one with throwing out all the VHS tapes

Last weekend, I managed to speak to an aunt who now lives in New Jersey. She used to own the house where my family and I are temporarily staying, and left behind a ton of stuff, including a library of VHS tapes.

Now, I don't know how popular VHS cassettes still are internationally, but here in Manila, they're virtually phased out in the advent of VCD's, DVDs, and CD-Rs. Nevertheless, Cathy and I got a VCR for a wedding gift, and Nathan got two Baby Einstein VHS tapes from his godfather Anthony (that's just so Mafia), so it made sense to keep the VCR and just throw out the uninteresting VHS cartridges.

In the course of the throwing out, I discovered such gems as Dumbo and Aladdin, such duds as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and La Cage Aux Folles (didn't like the remake, don't care for the original), and stumbled a tape marked Coming of Age. Puzzled, I popped it in.

The sight of two naked bodies writhing in the throes of passion, accompanied by blaring cheesy music, greeted me. Shocked, I dropped the remote and scrambled to find the mute button on the TV set (when one is under that kind of pressure, one tends to forget there is also a mute button on the remote). Who would have guessed that the library played home to pornographic material amidst Down and Out with Donald Duck?

After I got over the initial shock, the next phase came in. Do I watch it? *teehee* Well, temptation made itself manifest, but I dumped it as fast as I could into the garbage bag with all the other VHS tapes before I could get tempted any further, and continued through the library without incident. After all was said and done, I had thrown about 50 tapes into the bag and thrown it out.

What a day.