Friday, February 25, 2005
I never liked Judd Harris to begin with, but I certainly didn't think he would be the first to be booted off American Idol. He had charisma, he sang the songs on-key, he was having fun. A little too Elvis for my taste, but he was good, certainly better than Travis Tucker or Scott Savol, whose song selection was horrendous. Jared Yates deserved to be booted out; he looked defeated the minute his song was over, and I have no respect for contestants who give up the fight.
As for the ladies, well, Sarah Mather was an obvious choice, but I was torn between Melinda Lira's uninspired Power of Love and the godawfully boring How Am I Supposed to Live Without You from Amanda Avila (come on, Joseph Murena sang that one out of the ballpark, despite the saccharine dripping from his flavor saver). I think, contrary to what Randy Jackson thought, it's not a good think to look or sound like Kelly Clarkson, because she's already there. Why would America want another Kelly? I think Lira got the boot for that.
Furthermore, Fox's ridiculous one-hour drama was wrong, wrong, wrong! While Ryan Seacrest never told certain contestant groups they were safe (or not), the action was misleading and WRONG. Poor Judd, the look on his face will haunt me until dinner.
This comes as a big shock to Cathy and myself. We've loyally supported her even when her pop career began to wane. We have every album, and at least four singles, quite impressive considering the Philippines doesn't get access to 95% of what's available in the US marketplace. She has songwriting talent, and is obviously still a looker despite being in her 30s. She should not have done this.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
From the ProLife-Blogs emailing list:
Tuesday, February 22, 2005, the courts rejected the pleas of Terri’s parents to stop her husband, Michael, from withholding food and water from her. He has promised to begin starving her today at 1 pm.
Many are aware that Terri is not a "vegetable" or "brain-dead" as Michael and his lawyers claim, but responds to others and is aware of her surroundings. She laughs, smiles and, according to her nurses, has a small vocabulary. Terri is not on life support and is healthy. She needs help eating and is fed through a tube (helping someone eat and drink who is impaired has never been considered artificial life support). While Michael asserts he is carrying out Terri's wishes, he waited until after he received a large sum of money from a lawsuit against her doctors before making this claim.
During the lawsuit, he alleged negligence and motivated a financial award with the potential cost of Terri’s rehabilitation. However, Terri has been denied rehabilitation that experts testify could allow her to eat and talk. The courts in Florida have consistently blocked appeals to give Terri proper tests and therapy that would improve her life. Terri may not have the capabilities she once had, but she is no less valuable and no less a person. Here is what you can do to help Terri:
1. Pray for Terri and her family.
2. Blog - communicate the truth about what is going on and rally support for Terri and the Schindlers.
3. Visit BlogsforTerri ( http://www.blogsforterri.com) for information and to join the team of blogs for Terri.
4. Deluge Gov. Jeb Bush with emails and phone calls. He has the power to intervene. Here is his contact information: Governor Jeb Bushjeb.email@example.com / 488-4441850 / 487-0801 (fax)
5. Support HB701(click here).
6. Important - Bypass the Mainstream Media - pledge support a paid advertisement in the St. Petersburg Tribune to inform its 450,000 paid subscribers about what is really happening to Terri. [http://www.blogsforterri.com/pledge.php].
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Cathy and I were discussing in the car the other day how, instead of feeling safe, the reaction of most Filipinos when they see a policeman is usually one of unease, fear, and uncertainty. Our lawmakers and law enforcers, those people we're supposed to trust with our lives, and whose wages are paid for by our taxes, are the ones responsible for most kidnapping situations, flagrant law violations, and graft and corruption on a shockingly immense scale.
Here we have a former congressman as the primary suspect for a Fil-Chinese boy's abduction. He is a former actor and sportsman, no less! Assisting him in his heinous activities are the town sheriff and a couple of other lawmen.
Good golly! If we cannot trust our legislators and law enforcers to protect us, what will become of our nation?
Sunday, February 20, 2005
I live and breathe, and Terri does too.
We don't have the right to say she should die.
She wouldn't want that, and neither would I.
So quit all the fighting, and do what is right.
Send Terri home with her mother tonight.
Voters ID man lang, wala pa nga, mananaginip pa kayo ng national ID? Please lang, ha. Can't GMA and the other Harvardians in government think of better ways of dealing with terrorists like, um, I don't know, actually paying our soldiers?
Other pundits claim that it's the best way to ensure (read: force) professionals and working-age individuals get their taxpayer identification numbers and social security numbers. In other words, now, no one will be able to escape paying their taxes.
For a president, La Belle Dame sure is sneaky. an economist, but for an economist, La Gloria doesn't quite grasp the extent of the underground economy. Perhaps it's because she'd been living her entire life well protected by her moneyed family.
If you want people to pay taxes, forcing an expensive card on them is not going to do the trick. Instead, scrap the national ID and work instead on delivering the voters' IDs first. One at a time, pwede ba. Then streamline and simplify the process of registering one's business! I literally filled out nine forms in the course of registering my publishing house. NINE FORMS! Between the travel time, the long lines, the rude service (with the exception of the Paranaque BIR, those guys deserve medals), the search for receipt printers, and the ridiculously high start-up costs, I wanted to say, screw this, I'll do it the underground way.
Wanna know what ID should stand for? Incredible Deception.
But I'm a Christian, man. I gotta set the standard because Jesus set the standard. If I don't do my part, others won't either. And my country's gonna sink down to hell in a handbasket.
I have faith in what the Filipino can accomplish, but I also don't trust the Filipinos who are currently in power and have the ability to make things happen but don't. So, I rely on God to make things happen. Meanwhile, I hope the Canucks are ready to welcome us with open arms, because if things don't work out, I'm flying to Canada.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
A: A heartless husband.
Q: What kind of Christian man would abandon hope for the recovery of a loved one?
A: A man with no faith.
Q: What kind of person would not only allow his wife to die, but push for it?
A: A monster.
Q: Guess which heartless, faithless monster I'm referring to.
A: Find out here.
Anyway, I'm blogging from his home, and his wife M is with me. She's beautiful, and wonderfully sweet, and like me, fond of ice cream! I'm seated in a luxurious chair, the keyboard is on a pillow on my lap, the mouse on the arm...
I feel like a king. I don't wanna go home. Mommy!
Friday, February 18, 2005
Praise God for His family's encouraging heart and spirit! I'm currently fourth overall in Philip and Chette's Blog of the Month contest. Thank you, whoever you are who nominated me for BOTM, for you've made my day.
Why don't y'all scoot on over to the official Blog of the Month site and see who else made the cut. Considering everyone else seems to be in their teens and into anime, I'm tickled pink to even be in the running. A 27-year-old Filipino-Christian, a semifinalist with such a young group; I feel like an old dog being thrown a bone. Teeheehee. Hey, Bene Diction, I'm getting a taste of my own medicine, and I like it!
Until today, thanks to my wonderful friend Phisch.
For those of you who are unaware of this beautiful young woman's situation, please visit her official website here. Terri had an accident years back that robbed her brain of oxygen and plunged her into a state that severely limits her interaction with the world. She is not in a permanent vegetative state. She is fed via a feeding tube that is attached only during mealtimes.
Her husband, Michael, has long sought to remove the tube and have her die by starvation as a form of euthanasia, saying there was no more chance of full recovery.
Jesus Christ has raised people from the dead! To heal this woman would be chicken feed! No one has the right to willfully take away life. I believe God has His reasons for keeping Terri like this, possibly to change the system and legally prevent euthanasia in the United States.
Blogs for Terri is trying to raise awareness of her situation by blogging daily. I'm joining that fight. If you'd like to join the fight to blog for Terri, please click here. A blog entry for Terri is a blog entry for life, a blog entry for what is right, a blog entry for what is sacred, a blog entry full of the kind of love that God espouses, the God that Terri believes in, and the God that will save her.
|Catherine and I were in Market! Market! last Valentine's Day. There were three tragedies that day, the most tragic of all was the bus bombing that claimed the lives of seven people in Makati City, supposedly at the hands of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf. The other two tragedies? Phantom of the Opera and Dreamboy. What a waste of time and money.|
Tragedies happen all the time, some more than others. I pray for the victims and for the Abu to finally be brought to justice.
|Man, after last night's show, I was really disappointed. A lot of the folks I was expecting to make it didn't, including my personal manok, Rashida Johnson. I just thought it was so sad, because we know Sharon Galvez, Sean McNeill, and Rashida have what it takes, but well, c'est la vie, so we move on.|
If Sharon came back to the Philippines, I'll bet her career's blossom big-time.
Tonight's the night! Let's go, Anwar and Mario!
Monday, February 14, 2005
KitKat Chunky White.
This bar of white chocolatey goodness was inadvertently discovered by me during a shopover with Cathy Friday night. It was delicious, my latest favorite chocolate bar. So, I thought to myself, let's get a candy bar.
Unfortunately, the price was pretty high: P40, and I only had P38. So I trudged back to my car to discover it wouldn't start.
My car stalled. After calling three brothers from church to come and save me (which they did, pushing the car to start, and refilling the battery with battery water, which turns out was all it needed), I realized one thing.
Maybe God didn't want me to have that chocolate bar.
I also realized that they don't teach battery care in men school. Or I might've missed that class. :p
Saturday, February 12, 2005
1) Anwar Robinson. Dang, the brotha can sing!
2) Constantine Maroulis. I don't think his voice is that great, but the AI folks are giving him so much airtime...
3) Sean McNeill. I hope he makes it. His voice is angel-pure. Plus, he's a youth pastor, and we cheer on the Christians! Update: Cut. Darn it.
4) John Zisa. You can tell the judges like him. His voice is okay, could make for a jazz career if he decides to take that route.
5) Mario Vazquez. His voice is buttah, and he's got a nice Latin look that could cross over.
6) David Brown. Not too good-looking, but the pipes on that brotha...! Plus, he seems intense.
7) Anthony Federov. Overcame a tracheotomy as a child, and has a different look altogether. Those glasses and that voice combined make for an interesting performer. Think sexy Clay.
8) Jeff Johnson. Youth worship pastor with albums out already. Shouldn't he be disqualified? No? Then give the man a chance!
9) For filling in, y'all.
10) For filling in, y'all.
11) For filling in, y'all.
12) For filling in, y'all.
1) Carrie Underwood. Cathy loves her, and I do, too. Sweet but not saccharine. Could do wonders for country music, if AI decides to give Nashville Star a run for its money.
2) Rashida Johnson. My personal favorite. Yeah, she has a cold, and yeah, she don't look too nice, but she's the real thing, you can tell. This year's J-Hud! Update: Cut. Darn it.
3) Mikalah Gordon. She's a real spitfire, you gotta give her that. I love her sass, and she's got a great set of pipes. Between her and Jacklyn Crum, I think the young'uns could still go quite far.
4) Sharon Galvez. Go Zhar! She gets prettier with time. Lose the fake-color lenses, girl. Update: Cut. Darn it.
5) Jacklyn Crum. Getting a lot of airtime, young and determined, plus her mom adds for great TV. I think she's got talent, and she could go very far. She could make it! Sure, she cries at everything, she herself said so, but I think that's sweet; give her a break, she's 16!
6) Lindsay Cardinale. Hot. Hot. Hot.
7) For filling in, y'all.
8) For filling in, y'all.
9) For filling in, y'all.
10) For filling in, y'all.
11) For filling in, y'all.
12) For filling in, y'all.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Picking up from The Call on What In Tarnation.
Riley's head spun. This cannot be happening, she thought to herself as she ran into the kitchen to get her purse. What in heaven's name did Jon get himself into?
Sitting herself down on one of three stools in front of the countertop, Riley couldn't help but notice her hands shaking as she dug out the address book that contained Jon's New York office information. As a consultant for the International Atomic Energy Agency, his work brought him all over the United States and Europe, particularly Austria, where the IAEA was based; it was difficult not having one's husband coming home every night, but Riley learned to cope. She dialed the IAEA New York office number.
"Good morning," a voice on the other line chirped, "you've reached the International Atomic Energy Agency's Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications. This is Stephanie. How may I be of service?"
That's a terribly happy operator for an agency dealing with nuclear science, Riley thought to herself.
"Good morning," Riley replied. "May I please speak to Dr. Turner?"
"Dr. Jon Turner or Dr. Thomas Turner, S.J., please?"
"I'm terribly sorry," Stephanie said, "Dr. Turner is absent without leave. Would you like to leave a message for him, though? I'll have him return your call when he does come in."
"Jon hasn't reported to work?" Riley gasped.
"Not for the past two weeks, Ma'am," Stephanie replied. "May I please know who is calling?"
"This is his wife, Riley."
"Would you like to leave a message for him, Mrs. Turner?"
"No, I'll just call back. Thank you very much," Riley said in shock as she hung up the phone. How am I supposed to contact my husband when I don't even know where he is? she thought to herself in frustration. She moved from the kitchen stool on which she sat to one of the more stable kitchen chairs that seemed now ridiculously uncomfortable. Running her fingers through her chestnut hair, she sobbed.
Just then, her mobile phone began to ring. Riley looked at the number and did not recognize it. She answered it, dreading the conversation to follow. "Hello?"
"Is this Riley Turner?" replied a deep male voice.
"Yes," she said tentatively. "Who is this?"
"This is Fr. Thomas Turner, a colleague of your husband's at the New York office," the man replied. "I'm calling you from a payphone outside the IAEA so no one else will hear our conversation." He paused, as if to let the secrecy of the call sink in. "Your phone's been bugged."
"How did you get my mobile number?"
"That's unimportant, Mrs. Turner," Fr. Turner replied. "Am I correct in assuming you are unaware of your husband's whereabouts?"
"Yes," Riley said, "I don't know where he is. I didn't even know he hadn't reported to work! He's called and everything's seemed okay. I even spoke to him four nights ago, and he seemed perfectly fine! Now I don't know where he is and my son's been kidnapped..."
"Your son's been kidnapped?"
"Just ten minutes ago!"
"Mrs. Turner, there isn't much time to lose," Fr. Turner's voice took on an air of urgency. "I'm afraid there is much you don't know about your husband, and apparently you and your son have become entangled in his private goings-on. Where do you live?"
"Can you drive and meet me somewhere in Manhattan?"
"That's quite a drive, Father Turner."
"Please," Fr. Turner said, "call me Tom. I can fill you in on much of what he's been doing, primarily because your son is in much danger. You can decide what to do once I've given you the facts."
"What has he done?"
"I'll tell you once we meet."
"But my son's kidnappers will expect me to be here with Jon when they contact me again. They know my mobile number!"
"They don't know where Jon is, do they?"
"No," Riley replied. "They're expecting me to find him."
"Perhaps once I fill you in on your husband's activities, you can make a more informed decision on how to deal with these criminal elements," Fr. Turner said, "we can work together towards getting your son back, Mrs. Turner."
"Why should I trust you?"
"I'm a Jesuit, Mrs. Turner," Fr. Turner replied. "People have trusted us for centuries. If you don't, well, you can always contact the police.
* * *
What will you do?
Drive to Manhattan and meet with Fr. Turner (3.3)
By Phisch of "In That Number"
Contact the police and inform them of what happened (2.2)
By Tim Butler of "As I Said"
* * *
This Choose Your Own Adventure started with Christopher Wright. I picked up from his initial installment, and the first two people to comment here that they would like to continue the story on their blogs may do so. Run with your story, as Tim Butler puts it.
Somethings to consider:
1) Link backward to the previous blog effort so readers can follow the entire story.
2) Title your piece with your option number and provide numbers fit the options at the end of your piece. It can get difficult to follow, but it's loads of fun!
3) Take Christopher's CYOA graphic (like I have!).
Monday, February 07, 2005
I thank God for His ways, though, because the pastor showed a movie afterward titled Transformations. This collection of shorts on how prayer and faith lifted areas of Guatemala, Kenya, California, and Colombia from their dark, evil squalor, to a revival in the love of Christ, almost literally shone a light in my face.
I saw the Philippines in the "before" segments. In the faces of those citizens I saw the corruption, the utter lawlessness, the feeling of hopelessness and despair, that is mirrored in the faces of Filipinos today. Yet, by the unity of the Christian family of God, churches coming together in prayer vigils motivated by a desire to change their land, I saw hope and the vibrant result: a society that is joyful, where people live to serve and help each other instead of trying to get ahead.
Things aren't so bad here as they were in Colombia: how does one, for instance, battle the infamous Colombian drug cartels and the corrupt law enforcement? It's almost depressing, but you can see how people turned it around with the power of prayer.
In less than two hours, I was shamed immensely. I saw more faith in the actions of an eight-year-old girl than I have manifested in the past six months. But praise God!, we need moments like these for comparison and clarity, and now I'm ready to resume the fight to win our youth!
Praise the Lord!
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Me sipping my yummy Oran-ge-tang.
The famed Oran-ge-tang and Carbonara Napoli.
Some of the other persons dining with me in the bright, colorful, inviting eating area.
Isn't it lovely here?
Fuzion Robinson's Galleria. My new favorite hangout place! :)
Friday, February 04, 2005
Lately, he's gotten into the habit of lifting the telephone's receiver off the machine just to say, "Wo?", his version of "hello." So one day, he lifted the phone and jammed his palm on the telephone's numbers pad. The nanny thought nothing of it until she heard a voice on the other line, so she grabbed the receiver from Nathan, and said "Hello?"
"Bantay-Bata 163," the voice on the other line said. My son had dialed ChildWatch 163, the hotline for citizens who wish to report child abuse! Needless to say, our nanny apologized profusely and had to convince the woman on the other line that there was no abuse taking place and that my son was only playing with the telephone.
This isn't the only time it's happened in my family. Apparently, my cousin Angelica's child Olivia dialed 911. I can only imagine Lic's shock when the cops showed up at her doorstep!
Thursday, February 03, 2005
The woman is prolific! I'd call her the Diane Warren of the Philippines, but people put too much stock in ridiculous little monickers like that, so let's just leave it at that: she's one of the country's best, if not underrated, songwriters.
I ran into her site while surfing around John and Benz Rana's WeddingsatWork site (the best Philippine wedding site on the Internet, bar none!), and decided to swing by her site to see what she'd been working on. Lo and behold! Her site is young and pretty, kinda like she is! You should look around. There are mp3s for you to listen to (you be the judge and tell me if Ima Castro kicks Regine Velasquez's butt, and don't forget to play Geneva's No Other Man), and you can contact her.
And she replied! It was short, but sweet, and wonderfully down to earth. It was the highlight of my email check today. I replied to her, and here's hoping she'll reply again.
She's president of KATHA, the local songwriters' union. I'd like to join KATHA, and see how I can get some of my stuff into the ears of people at the record labels. That, however, is the farthest thing from my mind right now, because Trina Belamide emailed me back! She, the person behind Vanna Vanna's Do You! Man, if we're talking pop, Trina Belamide is queen! Hoy, Metropop people, give the woman her props!
Shee-hee. Me a fan. Imagine what it'd be like if I hooked up again with Cynthia Alexander? Some of y'all remember what that was like.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
1. I Don't Wanna Be Your Friend Nina
2. Wag Na Wag Mong Sasabihin Kitchie Nadal
3. I Wanna Be With You Avalon
4. The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything Veggietales
5. Dance Dance Dance Wilson Phillips
6. Closer to Fine Indigo Girls
7. Anytime (I Am There) Deborah Gibson
8. Five Candles Jars of Clay
9. Don't Walk Away Ganns (yeah, listening to myself, kapal ko! Watch for the single out in March!)
10. Sticks and Stones Dale Ibay
What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
About 30MB. I've got to delete stuff.
The last CD you bought is Let's Talk About Love by Celine Dion, for one of my Perfect-Proposals.com clients. For myself, I think the last CD I bought was WOW Gospel 2003.
What is the last song you listened to before this message? Nina's I Don't Wanna Be Your Friend. The Diane Warren Love Songs album has been stuck in my player for ages.
Write down five songs you listen to a lot or mean a lot to you.
1. I Could Not Ask For More by Edwin McCain. Cathy's and my theme song.
2. Everything To Me by Avalon. My song for God.
3. Big Yellow Taxi by Amy Grant/Joni Mitchell/Counting Crows. My song for life.
4. Not While I'm Around by Barbra Streisand. My song for Nathan.
5. Hold On by Wilson Phillips. My song for myself.
Who are you gonna pass this stick to?
1. Tina. She's working on her thesis, and needs a break.
2. Galvin. My favorite international male blogger of 2004, a great musician, and wonderful Asian Christian.
3. The Rowster. She's too busy, and needs a break too. Take the tip as well, RushHourHell. ;)
As some of you know, Cathy and I operate Perfect-Proposals.com, the only wedding proposal consultancy in the Philippines today. Since Valentine's brings about the kind of jitters expected from romantic hullabahoo created by Hallmark, we've gotten referrals, inquiries, and an increase in the number of clients.
God is very good. Watch for our book!