Sunday, July 31, 2005

The one where it's all zo zimple

Beginning Monday, I start work as Marketing Communications Specialist for, "linking the world's guests direct with the world's hotels to the delight of both."

I am very excited for several reasons, among which is the opportunity to do great marketing communications, which I did for the College of Saint Benilde for almost six years. I like the vision of the company, and I like the challenges they're posing me.

I gotta face the facts: Superblessed Media isn't going to thrive, at least not under my leadership. Some people aren't cut out for entrepreneurship. I'm just blessed that it happened while my family was still young, and we can rise above the financial carnage. May God's name be glorified in this new place of work. :)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Husband Chronicles

Check out my new blog: helpful household hints and ideas for the Filipino male - married or not. It's gonna be great! :D

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The one with new beginnings

Next week, I will probably be a salaried worker again. It's a new beginning and an end, as well. More on this later. I gotta fetch the Mrs.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The one with the good stuff diet

Started on the Fit for Life diet of Norman and Marilyn Diamond five days ago. It's based on the concept of natural hygiene, a.k.a. eating healthy, i.e., 70% fruits and vegetables, 30% everything else.

There's a lot to say for this diet, but I've read the book (on sale, mind you, hwekhwekhwek), and it goes against a lot of the material I've read in Atkins and South Beach. What works well for the diet is that it does advocate a lifestyle I can live with, and promotes a feeling of well-being not normally espoused by the other diets I've been on.

What I like about this diet is that it's very similar to the one I went on back in 1996 when I lost 30 pounds. The LHC saw the results, and I miss those days, yep.

Anyway, I started this diet lifestyle at 216, and I'm now 210. That's six pounds in two days, allegedly healthy, but I've been on enough diets to be more practical. Meanwhile, it does read like something I think I can do, so let's see how it goes. Wish me luck.

Note: Since a fruit and vegetable diet comes highly recommended, this means I'm limited by the number of places I can eat at. Neverthless, it looks promising.

If you're interested in trying the diet out, you can enjoy smoothies from Fuzion, all the vegetarian cuisine you want at Pho Hoa (including a delightful Goi Cuon vegetarian salad), and Greek salads at Shakeys. Mmmm.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The one with updates on some college friends

I'm happy for Wifely. She's been interviewed by Manila Bulletin for her blogging!

I'm thrilled for Erik. He's set up a new blog! Visit this man, he's awesome.

Jay's moving to a new job. I may just take the one he's leaving behind. Hwekhwekhwek.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The one with American Idol Season 3 updates

I am not a Jasmine Trias fan, but listening to the samples on her site, I have to admit she sounds pretty good. Chalk it up to the marvels of modern-day technology, or perhaps she's really just grown into her sound, but the girl sounds legit. The songs are okay, and according to her diary, Excuses, the single, is now #3 on Philippine radio (which station, pray tell?).

I wish her the best.

Other American Idol Season 3 finalists who are trying to work out careers in the ever-fickle American pop industry include LaToya London (lead single Appreciate goes to radio this week); John Stevens (his debut album, Red, debuts at #5 on the Jazz album charts), George Huff (new gospel album out soon), Leah Labelle, and Jon Peter Lewis. No word on Camile Velasco, Amy Adams, and Matt Rogers thus far.

Meanwhile, my personal favorite of all four seasons, the amazing Jennifer Hudson, also has her site up, although it seems to be independent. You can click on the Gallery for some video clips, including a breathtaking performance with Barry Manilow on Weekend in New England. You can visit this other site to see her videos and listen to her sing. This woman should have been the American Idol.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The one with the stars comin' out to push GMA out

Well, Alma Moreno has "added glitter" to the protest rallies. So has Armida Siguion-Reyna and Sheryl Cruz.

Hello? Is this glitter? Fly Mariah Carey in and maybe I'll join a rally or two.

Seriously, this is the political circus that is our nation's politics. Look at that. What makes people go? The possibility of hobnobbing with Lorna Tolentino, not Arturo Tolentino, or Susan Roces, not Guns N' Roces.

For as long as we think we can fool the masses with a wave of a celebrity's hand here, or an obligatory "Oust GMA!" shout there, we're going to continue down the road to total mayhem.

Meanwhile, Moody's is moody, downgrading us yet again. *sigh*

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The one with "Girl, is you crazy?!"

President Arroyo has asked all her Cabinet members to tender their resignations.

As Chris Rock so eloquently puts it, "Girl, is you crazy?!"

I don't buy any of Madame President's actions anymore, man. That's ultimately what happens when you do things on the sly: you lose people's trust, and it's only a matter of time before you're swatted away, pretty much like an annoying gadfly (bangaw in local lingo) (Lord knows GMA and the lowly bangaw aren't so far off in terms of size, hwekhwekhwek).

I remember when she first announced she was renouncing her decision to quit after her initial three years in power. I said to Cathy, "how can anyone trust this woman when she goes back on her word as easy as one-two-three?" Back then, one could see the President couldn't be trusted.

It's actually a little sad watching President Arroyo's desperate moves to stay in power: the call for Charter change, the call for her Cabinet's resignations, the thinly disguised motion to send Mike Arroyo abroad (exile my delicious posterior! I'm so sure he shifted their ill-gotten wealth around their overseas bank accounts. Everyone learns from Gen. Carlos Garcia, *smirk*). She will definitely resign, methinks, once she's ferreted away enough cash.

Meanwhile, her political allies are questioning her sudden decision to break down her Cabinet. Analysts are saying it's to allow the opposition to join her towards uniting the nation. What doohockey. It's precisely because the nation is divided that she must resign! The Cabinet mass resignation request can be akin to a cockroach dying, the last desperate twitching of the insect's legs before it finally croacks. In the midst of her political turmoil, the last thing President Arroyo should do is distance herself from her supporters and protectors!

Girl, is you crazy?!

Update: If you search on Yahoo! for "President Arroyo is crazy," the first site listed is mine. How appropriate.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The one with the importance of a shepherd

Jesus said, "I am the good Shepherd. A shepherd lays down his life for his sheep." (John 10:11)

The past few weeks, I've been putting my free time to good use, meeting up with the men of the Ortigas Professionals' Support Group. It really does help to provide an ear to people who have stuff to share. Take the opportunity today and be an ear to a friend. Who knows? You could be that shepherd who'll lead your friend back to Christ. :)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The one with how local music really does change

I am officially old. Inasmuch as I'd like to believe I've still got a few years in me to stay young, I simply ain't no more. Nowhere here does it become more apparent than my displeasure with what's been happening in the music industry lately.

A few years ago (late 1999 into 2001), local music offered music I could really get into. Barbie's Cradle, Imago, Cynthia Alexander, Kulay, and the Apo Hiking Society were making really excellent music. What do I learn today? Barbie's leaving, Imago was royally screwed by their previous label and are now indie (making it harder for their music to hit the airwaves), Kulay disbanded, and the Apo haven't released anything since Banda Rito in 2001. The only gem in my OPM stash six years later? Cynthia's new album, Comet's Tail, is as stunning as Rippingyarns and Insomnia and Other Lullabyes.

What's on the mainstream charts now? Bleh. Rap, rap, and more rap. Thank God for the American Idol finalists, you can actually hear singers sing (even if it is by numbers). I can also pick up some amazing stuff on Launchcast, and that's my only avenue to Contemporary Christian music right now. *sigh*

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The one where I pick up the movie baton from Tina

I honestly love it when blogger friends tag me to answer some survey. Wala lang - feeling loved.

Total Number of Films I own on DVD and Video: Oh dear. More than 150, I'm sure. DVDs, about 70, videos, about 80 or more. I reall should count 'em.

The Last Film I Bought: I bought Chris Rock's Never Scared HBO special on video. Film? Can't quite recall, but I do remember watching Y Tu Mama Tambien with Cathy. Ugh. It was not a Christian film.

Five Films Which I Watch A Lot/ Mean A Lot To Me:
1. Mr. Holland's Opus. This film chronicles the life of Glen Holland, played by Richard Dreyfuss. It inspired me to be a teacher.
2. The Notebook. My favorite romantic film. I look at it as the film that showed me the rest of my life with Cathy.
3. Imelda. This documentary detailing the life of Imelda Marcos digs real deep. Get to know our Iron Butterfly.
4. Sister Act. This is one of my favorite comedies. Whoopi Goldberg is hilarious, and the music is excellent. Mark Shaiman's a genius.
5. Heart and Souls. I love Robert Downey, Jr, and this film is one of his best.

Five people I'm passing the baton to: Linda, Drina, Toni, Abby, and Daxi. I'll bet Daxi'll be the last to answer it.

The one where where I play devil's advocate to the devil's advocate

Arnold makes some solid arguments for the merits of a De Castro presidency. His main points? Untainted reputation, not a traditional politician, public servant, and popular.

Please allow me to play devil's advocate to your devil's advocacy, Arnold. I know we can both discuss this with our pitchforks waving above us, but I'm sure it won't have to come to that. ;)

The potential for Noli de Castro to become corrupt is as open as any other person's, but Mr. De Castro and his handlers are just as crooked as anybody else out there. For instance, at the height of the Ozone Disco fiasco a few years back, the Magandang Gabi Bayan people made an "in-depth report" detailing the significant damage to the families who lost members and friends in the fire. However, they wouldn't make a similar report airing the Ozone owners' side until a fee of slightly less than a million pesos was made to De Castro and his handlers. The Ozone owners complained about it, but since media and De Castro's ABS-CBN in particular are so powerful, there's no chance their complaints would ever make it to public knowledge.

Yahoo! searches on extortion cases against Mr. De Castro may also be found here (Bagong Lahi Foundation) and here (Rafael Engle). An interesting comment on the Bagong Lahi case may be found here.

Mr. De Castro may not be a trapo in the strict sense of the word, but mark my words, there is much to be said for his "public service." For the most part, review the extent of his work in public service. He voices the news. Virtually every story aired on MGB has a segment producer, researcher, and other people working on it. It's not necessarily Mr. De Castro calling the shots. Neither is he listed as executive producer. In essence, with people working under him, he's pretty much like any other leader, but the cookie crumbles very differently in media. He's a broadcaster. He broadcasts. That's the extent of his work.

As broadcaster, he is more in touch with the issues of the nation. Being in touch is significantly different from having the skills to make an actual difference. Whether one likes it or not, one needs some semblance of leadership training to make a significant difference as head of a nation, and I seriously doubt Mr. De Castro has the kind of leadership skill necessary to inspire Filipinos to work together towards pulling the country out of this quagmire.

Additionally, the ouster of Presidents Marcos and Estrada depended critically on the support of two vital parts of society. The first? The middle class, obviously. The second? The military. I seriously doubt Mr. De Castro has the support of the military leadership necessary to see the ouster of President Arroyo through.

Ultimately, if De Castro is thrust into the presidency, like FPJ before him, he would have a significant amount of work to do before he can claim the auspicious place in society you map out for him. I hope he can earn my trust as he's obviously earned yours, Arnold. ;)

Update: Arnold posts a rejoinder, with the following points: 1) Panfilo Lacson supports a De Castro presidency in the event that President Arroyo resigns; 2) De Castro is innocent until proven guilty; 3) a good leader must pick the right people and (quoting from the late Ronald Reagan) see if people are following them.

Regarding #1, I've always said Lacson would've been a good president, and hidden agenda or none, his sober comment for constitutional legitimacy to take place is refreshing amidst all the mudslinging. While a De Castro presidency is inevitable should the Supreme Court (or whomever is to overside over this mess) effect and support the constitutional basis to the letter, it doesn't make the pill any easier to swallow.

Regarding #2, well, Lyra is just another of many people who've been affected negatively by De Castro. I've had goings-on with several politicians in the course of my work and family relationships, and safe to say, you can tell if a person exudes goodness out of him. If a person's intentions are really for good, you can sense it (some persons who are like that include CSB's Dong Fajardo, about whom I was just talking with Elsie Santos of CSB's Marketing and Communications Office - she's doing splendidly with CSB's marketing campaigns! Kudos!).

Regarding #3, being a good communicator doesn't necessarily guarantee people's following you. I agree with the Next Generation Leadership discussion we had last week at our professionals' support group: being a good leader entails the ability to inspire the people to do better, to make sacrifices, to take heart their leader will take them places. In fairness, I agree with Arnold that De Castro has the potential to become a good leader, but his mountain to climb is similar to that of Estrada's, and he has much to do if he's to even remotely come close to bridging the gap between rich and poor, in the process undoing what President Arroyo has so magnificently screwed up.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Link Du Jour: Notes in the Key of Life

Notes in the Key of Life is home to Cindy Swanson, radio personality, writer, and inspiring Christian. I discovered Cindy's site quite by accident, and was impressed by the openness, effervescence, and cheerful joy that reflects in her blog. I remember saying to myself, "wow, this has got to be on my blogroll!"

And for good reason. Cindy's blog superblesses in many, many ways. She uses it as a platform to discuss issues close to her heart from Biblical standpoints. She publishes interviews with other well-known Christian personalities. She rants and raves about the things that matter, and occasionally, the things that shouldn't, but after she's done, you realize, actually do.

Her voice is smooth as silk and as pleasant as sunshine pouring through one's window like butterscotch (thanks, Joni M.). I wish we could get her show over here in the Philippines, but since I can't, I have to content myself with listening to her demo. LOL What a sweet voice to match her sweet personality!

Truly, this is one superblessed woman, and I am superduperblessed for having gotten to know her and count her among my online sisters.

Notes in the Key of Life. Visit Cindy today.


Link Du Jour is Superblessed's recommended site of the day. It appears at least three times a week. When you're linked on the right-hand side of this blog, you're linked because yours is a quality blog that superblesses me in many ways. This is my way of saying "Thank You" for playing an important role in helping me grow and become a better person.

To Superblessed visitors: the Link Du Jour comes highly recommended. Please find time to visit the recommended blog and see how it (and its author) can be of benefit to you too.

Goodbye, Luther

When you say goodbye, it's never for long, because I believe in the power of love.

Sleep well, Great One. I'll see you singin' up a storm in Heaven.

The one where GMA gets my goat

Our president has gone bonkers. At the height of her unpopularity, with protest rallies and mobs from both administration and opposition uniting, all calling for her head, what does she persist in doing?

She's allowed the raising of Value Added Tax to 10%. Suddenly, diesel prices per liter are past P30, and gasoline per liter is close to P34. We can expect food prices to rise sharply, along with utilities like water, electricity, and public transportation.

It's only a matter of time now. *sigh* I've been proven wrong many times before, and I hope that this is another one of those times, but even I want President Arroyo out.

The one with photos in the course of my living

Talking to a nice gentleman offering me fruits and vegetables at our weekend retreat.

Taking a banana from the nice gentleman.

You should see this car up close. The windshield is held together by masking tape, and scotch tape keeps the left side of the rear bumper from falling off. No more rear lights, and a hole in the roof. Poor guy ought to give his car permanent retirement.

Friday, July 01, 2005

The one with next generation leadership (and thoughts on GMA)

The young professionals' support group of my local church met up last night at Penthouse 4 of Emerald Mansion to discuss next generation leadership. We had about fifteen attendees last night, not shabby attendance at all, considering that it would allow most of them to contribute to the discussion.

Anthony Ngo led the discussion based on a book titled Next Generation Leadership. According to Anthony, a next generation leader puts priorities on 1) initiating progress and improvement; 2) becoming an example of insightful courage; and 3) being a careful, not fearful, leader. It was a good discussion, and many people were able to give comments on their own experiences of leadership and/or following ineffective leaders.

The current political situation is a classic case study of leadership that leaves much to be desired. A few weeks ago, Philippine President Gloria Arroyo was launched into her latest and greatest battle, titled rather appropriately by Philippine media as Gloriagate. A conversation between then-candidate Arroyo and a member of the Commission on Elections was apparently wiretapped by members of the National Bureau of Investigation. In a nutshell, Arroyo was caught asking the COMELEC member about the possibility of "protecting her votes," i.e., rigging the elections to ensure she won.

Naturally, this triggered an uproar in the nation that values its right to suffrage (can you blame 'em? We've elected a housewife, a general, a B-movie actor, and an economist dwarf to the presidency since 1986, of course we value our elections, mmph).

Arroyo had the golden opportunity to turn things around for the Philippines since she was swept to power in the People Power 2 revolt that ousted former president Joseph Estrada. She squandered those three years, quite frankly, and showed little else for it other than the continued depreciation of the peso (something she was touted to break, given her economist background) and scandals involving illegal gambling and accusations of corruption against her husband Mike.

In 2004, Arroyo "won" a legitimate six-year term for herself, but it was widely viewed as a dirty victory, the triumph of power she effectively wielded as the incumbent president going into the election, over popular actor Fernando Poe, Jr. (who succumbed to a stroke in December 2004, a death many superstitious fans attributed to his heartbreaking loss), tough-as-nails crimebuster Panfilo Lacson, popular evangelist Eddie Villanueva, and also-ran but effective and widely respected politician Raul Roco.

Ultimately, what makes it difficult for an Arroyo presidency to actually come to term is the same reason why the Estrada presidency didn't come to term: Estrada lost his moral ascendancy to reign when the corruption charges against him, while never proven to be true, caused him to do certain things that showed he had something to hide. Five years later, Arroyo also seemed to lose this moral right to rule when she attempted to whitewash Gloriagate, at one point denying it was she (ergo, she lied). This, coupled with the corruption charges against her husband, the rapid deterioration of the economy when she was touted as the savior of such, and the recent departure of her husband (foreign exile, they called it) to prevent further accusations against him, don't bode well for Madame President.

When the tide against the Marcoses began to swell, what did they do? They fled.

Mike Arroyo's leaving the country at this point in time doesn't make the Arroyos any more fragrant. In fact, it's viewed as a way for Mr. Arroyo to escape when the poop finally hits the fan. With the First "Gentleman" out of public view, he can make all the necessary changes to allow for the money they've siphoned off national coffers to disappear into Jose Pidal-like accounts, just like that fellow Carlos Garcia, who channeled off millions of dollars into his own family's accounts in the US.

Everyone hates being lied to. When your leader lies, you lose trust. When you lose trust, for the most part, you can no longer accept that leader's right over you. Forgiveness is the now the mantra being chanted by most of society, but for the most part, I think critical mass is starting to build.

Arroyo's a sly cookie. By choosing former broadcaster Noli De Castro as her vice president, the middle class will never support a popular uprising against her. The widely viewed as incompetent De Castro is not a viable candidate. Nor is Susan Roces, Poe's widow, who has made herself widely available as the next Corazon Aquino (proxy candidate, and therefore proxy winner should Arroyo in fact be ousted), because there is no legal mandate.

Personally, I think the best option for this entire fiasco is for Arroyo and De Castro to step down out of delicadeza reasons, and have Senate President Franklin Drilon step in, as is his right as third in succession to the presidency. Drilon is clean and efficient - maybe he can bring some sense to this entire mess.

The one with what kind of book I am

You're Catch-22!

by Joseph Heller

Incredibly witty and funny, you have a taste for irony in all that you
see. It seems that life has put you in perpetually untenable situations, and your sense
of humor is all that gets you through them. These experiences have also made you an
ardent pacifist, though you present your message with tongue sewn into cheek. You
could coin a phrase that replaces the word "paradox" for millions of

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I haven't read this book, but methinks I probably should now. Thanks to Bene Diction for this link.