Friday, October 28, 2005

The one wishing Michael Passons a happy birthday

Michael Passons, whose Just Keep Walking is #1 on the Top 20 Singles and Tracks for a 2nd week this week, turns 40 tomorrow.

A former member of Avalon, my favorite vocal group of all time, Michael brought a unique and earnest vocal to every song he led under Avalon until his departure two years ago, including the smash hits Testify to Love, Always Have, Always Will, and Everything To Me.

His solo career has found him establishing a fan base that mayn't be as large as Avalon's, but he certainly does continue to glorify God with every song he makes, including Just Keep Walking and Look Your Way, both of which are downloadable at Michael's MySpace area.

Happy birthday, Michael! Keep on singing for Jesus!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The one on what missing my Dad and following his footsteps

Today makes it slightly more than four months since my father went home to Jesus. Since then, my mother has gone to the United States twice and my brother, who is based there, seems to be set on rebuilding his relationship with Mom. My dad's ashes are in his sister's house, and from all indications, at this point in time, with the exception of my own, I don't have a family right now.

I seem to have focused on taking care of raising my family, and with us living with Cathy's parents, well, I'm the in-law who's adjusting. Playing the role of God-servant, husband, father, and all the other roles is starting to take its toll.

Sometimes, I wonder if I moved on from Dad's death too quickly. Did I give myself enough time to really grieve, other than the time I wept really bitterly at the Makati Medical Center where Dad died, and the one painful time when Cathy held me and comforted me a few days after his passing, in church, where my brothers and sisters in Christ gave me a love offering that helped significantly in taking care of Dad's memorial expenses.

One never knows when one will go - it's for that reason exactly that we should take every moment, if possible, to appreciate life and the people we love and who love us.

Now that I'm a dad myself, I feel the pressure of making sure my son experiences many of the things a son should be entitled to that I mayn't have gotten from my Dad, not because he mayn't have wanted to, but simply because he was working hard to provide for us. With Christ in the center, I'm sure we can find a good balance.

In closing this entry, I'm posting an entry I made at Mere Madness for Father's Day. The words still ring true, and I do regret not being with my dad more. I have my Mom, though, and my parents-in-law, so I will ensure that the time I have left with them will be better in quality and quantity. I owe it to them.

What makes a father a good father, anyway? Hallmark?

My father never took me fishing, or to the zoo, or to playgrounds. I have no fond memories of him lifting me in the air, or playing any sports with me. When I was a child, he never encouraged me to play soccer, or ride a bike, or play in the mud. We never went to a park, and out-of-town journeys in the "family wagon" were next to nonexistent. What I do remember are the Saturdays, when he would take my mom, brother and myself to Shakey's, order a pizza, and watch as John and I watched "Tom and Jerry" on this big-screen TV while he and mom smoked while waiting for the pizza to arrive. I remember he and I watching "I Love Lucy" reruns at home, he with his cigarette, I with my orange Jello. I don't remember the Hallmark cards, but I remember my Dad and I sharing each other's company.

My father didn't try to set a good health example for me. He smoked fifty packs of cigarettes a week (that's five reams), despite my repeated pleadings for him to quit. He enjoyed a good Scotch on the rocks, and the occasional beer. He never exercised. I do, however, remember sitting on one arm of his favorite rocking chair, John on the other arm, and he'd tickle us incessantly. He didn't smoke during those times. I remember his warning me not to run down the stairs for fear that I would fall and snap my neck. I don't remember much physical activity, but I remember my Dad and I loving each other enough to warn each other to be safe.

My father was not a physically loving father. I don't remember rolling through the grass laughing in each other's arms, he lifting me up, I squeaking in delight. I don't remember him ever kissing my cheek, or showing much physical affection the way fathers and sons do now. Instead, I remember when he would look into my eyes and tell me, "you know what, son? You're a great-looking kid." I do remember the spanking when we did something wrong. It would be a belt, or a flipflop rubber slipper, and we would howl in pain, John more than I, because I had a greater tolerance and lesser infractions. I don't remember physical love, but I remember feeling every ounce of the love that he did have for me.

I have no memories of his ever going to church. He hardly ever spoke of God. But during the Mass when I graduated, he didn't smoke, and waited patiently, and when I got my high school diploma, he cried. He cried again when I graduated from university with a degree in English literature. He had nine children; I was his first college graduate. He was never more proud of me than at that moment; I was never more proud of myself, for having given him what he desperately wanted: a son with a degree who could follow in his footsteps. He told me then that he was the proudest father in the world; I told him I was proud to be his son.

And I still am proud of my dad. See, he worked for the government, and never stole a single centavo. He was always honest like that. He had the chances, oh yes! But he never stole anything, and often told his superiors of the possibility of bribing.

By all indications, my father is a non-traditional father. When he suffered his stroke, I saw that once-proud man buckle under his own weight, and punished by years of working to provide a future for us. I feared for his death, and when he survived, I saw the chance to love him the way he loved me - wholeheartedly, but with that slightest tinge of holding back. Right now, my Dad's probably at home, watching TV, and it is I who must provide for his needs. He can't really move much; I doubt he will ever walk again. It's not the best way he'd like to go, but hey! My father is never one to do things the way people expected him to.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The one with the World's Longest Buffet Eastwood

Last Saturday, October 22, 2005, will go down as a day of infamy for the corporate planners of Eastwood City in Libis, when they will remember their fiasco, the World's Longest Buffet.

Touted as a Guinness Book of World Records contender, The World's Longest Buffet at Eastwood City featured a 350-meter-long buffet table with more than 400 dishes from 36 restaurants and ten different kinds of cuisine. Really? You could've fooled me, because I didn't get to eat one bite.

Come to think of it, with more than 4,000 tickets sold, the expected long line alone should've warned me not to go to Eastwood's World's Longest Buffet in Libis, Pasig City. Did I listen? Of course not. The result was one of the most trying, frustrating experiences of my life.

You can imagine the traffic. It took us 45 minutes to find parking inside Eastwood City. You can imagine - 4,000 people are going to bring at least 800 cars, assuming a five-per-car ratio. That was problem no.1.

Problem No.2 was upon our arrival, there was no more food. That's right. No more food at the Eastwood's World's Longest Buffet. That was around 730PM. I know naysayers can say, you should've been there early. Not the point. The World's Longest Buffet should have FOOD. We paid P350 per person, P1400 in total, to EAT. We had a right to eat.

After leaving in a huff, waiting 30 minutes plus plus for food that took forever to arrive (when it did, other revelers swooped in so fast on those little morsels, it was like Animal Farm. We left and had a delightful meal at A Veneto's. I heard people were able to get their money back. Wow! They ate and got their money back! What a deal... for then. I was with my 70-year-old father in law, my 56-year-old mother in law, and a brother with a sore foot. I wasn't going anywhere.

I can't think of anything positive to say about that godawful World's Longest Buffet. Eastwood City, you gained publicity - and negative publicity is still publicity, they say - but good luck on trying to pull off a stunt like this one again. Here are four simple rules:

1. Don't sell more tickets than your parking can accommodate.
2. Don't sell more tickets than what the restaurants can produce. I doubt too many people "ate to their heart's content."
3. Two words: FINGER FOODS.
4. Another two words: CROWD CONTROL. Survival of the fittest shouldn't work here because we paid for the right to eat.

World's Longest Buffet Eastwood. Truly, the world's longest. The longest wait to park, the longest line to eat, the longest wait for food to be replenished...

The one with The Producers

The Producers will be out on December 16 in limited release in the United States. Go watch it - it promises to be a barrel of laughs (why shouldn't it? It's a Mel Brooks original!)

Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell, Jon Lovitz! How can you go wrong?

Friday, October 21, 2005

The one with my favorite Filipino comic strips

I like comic strips - especially Filipino ones. I don't profess to be some high-browed aficionado, I just appreciate comic strips, and how the artists capture some element of the Filipino psyche in humorous, often thoughtful ways.

This site is currently recording record traffic (thank you, Precious Lara Quigaman), and with that, I'd like to direct some of you to some brilliant comic strips that are just funny - some are corny! - and representative of the Filipino in more ways than we'd care to imagine. Kudos to the artists - they rock.

West Side. This is the first of two strips by absolutely talented Fil-Christian artist Ariel Atienza. It's the story of the Ibarra family, a Fil-American family forced to relocate to the Philippines. Hilarity ensues as the family tries to adjust to its new surroundings. The second strip, Class, is also good for a barrel of laughs as we follow the goings-on in a coed high school. Published in Philippine News.

Beerkada. The brainchild of Lyndon Gregorio (a pseudonym), Beerkada details the daily goings-on of a group of college friends (the Filipino term is barkada, the resulting pun therefore a delicious play on the friendships that form over an ice-cold bottle of beer). Terribly corny at times, Beerkada's always good for a laugh. Plus, Gregorio is an attention freak with a brilliant marketing mind, parlaying the strip's success into a series of bestselling books. Published in Philippine Star.

Pugad Baboy. I'd like to believe Pol Medina Jr. is one of the more respected cartoonists in Philippine media today (if not, well at least I respect him). Pugad Baboy (literally Pig's Nest) revolves around ridiculously obese families living in a small Philippine town. An excellent microcosm of Philippine society, I've followed Pugad Baboy since I was a kid, and the laughs get better with age. Medina had taken his Pugad Baboy strip from its humble beginnings to a media conglomerate at some point, producing pigurines (get it?) and whatnot, including bestselling books as well. Published in Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The one that breaks my heart

Bene Diction has left the blogosphere.

It's like my world's been torn apart. I know it's selfish, but this is too painful to comprehend right now. Bene has done more for me, inspired and moved, comforted and encouraged, more than anyone else on the Christian blogosphere. It's like losing a parent!

I am going to miss you terribly, Bene. Please email me every so often; I'd love to lift you up in prayer for your continued success and strength.

Others who mourn Bene's decision:
Such Small Hands
Ian's Messy Desk
Journey Inside My Mind
Mark Byron
Hootsbuddy's Place

Others who mention it:
Smart Christian

The one with Fatboy Slim's plans for the Imelda Marcos musical

DJ Fatboy Slim, who has had local success here by remixing funk group Kulay's single Delicious into a UK Top 3 hit, is planning a musical about former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, co-writing with Talking Heads singer David Byrne for a March 2006 release.

The Imelda Marcos musical being written by Fatboy SLim (real name: Norman Cook) is titled Here Lies Love. The Marcos musical of Fatboy Slim will highlight the Iron Butterfly Imelda Marcos' passion for music and night clubs.

The Here Lies Love Marcos musical, touted as "a timeless story with more contemporary resonances than are comfortable," is being directed by Marianne Weems, artistic director of New York ensemble The Builders' Association, and will apparently be debuted at Australia's Adelaide Festival.

Imelda Marcos and her dictator husband Ferdinand Edralin Marcos were found guilty of corruption in the mid-1990s. Upon Marcos' triumphant return to the country after years of exile in Hawaii, the Iron Butterfly and former Miss Manila made an unsuccessful bid for the Philippine presidency, finishing 9th among 11 candidates.

Imelda Marcos is known for her huge collection of shoes, which came to symbolize her family's excess. Her passion for all things excessive is so well-known, it has precluded the entry of the world "imeldific" in the English lexicon, which has come to mean "excessive."

Monday, October 17, 2005

The one with Precious Lara Quigaman's winning answer

There's an unverified rumor that Precious Lara Quigaman, the Miss Philippines who took home the 2005 Miss International crown, was asked during the final round the following question:

What do you say to the people of the world who have typecasted filipinos as nannies?

Precious Lara was claimed to have replied, "I take no offense on being typecasted as a nanny. But i do take offense that the educated people of the world have somehow denegrated the true sense and meaning of what a nanny is."

Quigaman was further quoted as saying: "Let me tell you what she is. She is someone who gives more than she takes. She is someone you trust to look after the very people most precious to you - your child, the elderly, yourself. She is the one who has made a living out of caring and loving other people."

Precious was said to have closed the nanny speech with, "So to those who have typecasted us as nannies, thank you. It is a testament to the loving and caring culture of the Filipino people. And for that, I am forever proud and grateful of my roots and culture."

Apparently, there is no interview portion in Miss International, so this seems to be a hoax. Regardless, that is a winning answer for anyone who tries to downplay the Filipino! The Precious Quigaman answer is bound to be an urban legend for years to come.

Update: A poster named Latina Mulata has chastised me in my Comments section. saying:

"Well, well, well. HOAX it may be, but I am not into people who easily conclude about what has actually transpired during the pageant.
Taking into consideration that there is no interview portion, but the fact that she was asked with the question you have posted on your blog and have answered truthfully is something to hold on as an evidence of the pageant.
And to think that your site is what you called a "christian site," you could have addressed a sincere JOB WELL DONE to a fellow Christian. Instead, you have doubts about the pageant and what this young Filipina Christian can do to glorify the Lord."

Latina says, "I am not into people who easily conclude about what has actually transpired during the pageant."

Fact #1. Neither am I, because I am not a person driven to quick judgment. I read Crispina Belen of the Manila Bulletin's article as well as the post on Buhay Korea, and the thread on the subject. You'll find a lot of sites that say she wasn't asked a question about nannies, just about children and education. Furthermore, when I posted my blog entry, I explicitly made disclaimers that the nanny question could have been a rumor.

If Precious comes out and says she was asked it, I will more than gladly revise the post and point it out as truthful. But I don't make quick conclusions, and neither should you. If you search my blog (search box on the right), you'll find at least two more posts showing how proud I am of Precious Lara Quigaman's accomplishment.

Latina says, "... the fact that she was asked with the question you have posted on your blog and have answered truthfully is something to hold on as an evidence of the pageant."

Fact #2. Like I said, Precious was never asked that question. I quote from Crispina Belen of the Manila Bulletin: "There was no Question & Answer portion at the 45th Miss International beauty pageant in Tokyo but the finalists were asked to write an essay about their advocacies and plans to help the less fortunate. Precious Lara concerns the streetchildren. She has said in the past that she would like to be a missionary doctor to be able to help the poor and the needy."

There was a pageant. I don't have proof that she was asked that question; I do seem to have proof however that she wasn't asked that question, through Beltran.

Latina says: "And to think that your site is what you called a "christian site," you could have addressed a sincere JOB WELL DONE to a fellow Christian. Instead, you have doubts about the pageant and what this young Filipina Christian can do to glorify the Lord."

I did congratulate her (use the search and find the posts). I don't have doubts about the pageant. I know that Precious (and her God-fearing aunt, to whom she is donating some of her prize money to renovate her house) dedicated her victory to God.

I am one of Precious' very first fans on the Internet. The whole point of my post is that Precious' legacy is being tarnished by people who are spreading this apparently untruthful rumor using the Internet and email, and that I am saddened by the rumor.

I hope this explanation clarifies my thoughts about this nanny speech, which, until proven otherwise, is still, to me, a hoax.

Update 2: lists the Precious nanny speech in its annals as "probably a hoax," but that's not what I find surprising. What I find surprising is that the webmaster lifted a lot of the content from my blog and didn't credit me for it! He even quoted verbatim from my original post (that Arnold copy-pasted on his blog with my permission), and visited the same resources I did (the Manila Bulletin's Belen and the thread). Tsk tsk - come on, man, throw a puppy a bone and give a tiny Pinoy his link dues.

The one where God's love is sufficient

September 26, 2005, Brent BJ Higgins, Jr. went home to Jesus. Since I didn't get to check that often, I didn't know he had passed away, but continued to pray for him until checking in this morning and finding, to my utter shock that God took him home.

I know BJ is in a better place, and thousands of lives were made closer to God by his perseverance. As I type this entry, trying to keep my tears from wetting my keyboard, I feel woefully inadequate, unable to send money or anything to this family. What I did send were prayers from across the miles, and I will continue to do so.

God's grace and love are sufficient to sustain this family through this difficult time. You can see from their entries that they are a family whose reliance on God will see them through.

Meanwhile, what can we learn from BJ's example?
1. We don't know how much time we have. Share the gospel. Be that light in the darkness for Jesus, that people may know His love.
2. Age ain't nothin' but a number. BJ accomplished so much before leaving this earth at age 15.
3. Give your parents, children, or loved ones a hug. You never know when you'll see them again.

Rejoice with Jesus, BJ! I'm proud of you, brother.

Update: Fox59 has done a story on him. Well done, folks at Fox. You captured the essence of his life wonderfully.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The one with the book that stunned me into silence

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes.

Cathy and I saw this collection selling for almost P8,000.00 at Fully Booked in The Promenade, Greenhills Mall. I have never been so shocked.

Something to save up for, through Amazon, which sells it significantly cheaper.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The one with the Mercury Drug fight

I went to Mercury Drug Greenbelt during my lunch break to buy my Mom's medicines before her trip to the U.S. When it was my turn to be called, I proceeded to the station where the counter pharmacist was waiting for me, all the while searching on my mobile for the message where my Mom listed her medicines.

Then this old man reached over my shoulder to the pharmacist with a hundred-peso bill in his hand, calling for some vitamin pill.

I just snapped right then and there. I was in line and it was wrong of him to sneak past me in line, so I said, "Oh my God, no, I was first in line, no, no!" I then whipped out my credit card and my Mercury Drug Suki Card and gave it to the pharmacist along with my mobile that listed all the medicines.

The man then went ballistic. He said in a halting Cotabato accent, "if you get in line, have all your lists prepared!"

"No! I was first in line, it makes no difference!"

"No! You have your list ready!" He then proceeded to insult me, how my mastery of the English language showed I was obviously rich, but how my clothes said I looked like a driver (again!), how if I were in Cotabato he'd kick my butt.

At one point, I asked the pharmacists, "What's the policy here? First come, first served, right?" to which they nodded, then to the pharmacist who called me, "You called me right," to which he nodded, but no one stood up for me and told the man off.

I was really shaking with anger but didn't want to say anything further because I didn't want to stoop to his level, be told off further that I didn't have respect for the elderly, or put up a bad front for Christians. Eventually, he got his purchase and walked out, ranting about how my mother was a whore!

Now, my mind plays back what I could've said, what I could've done, all the possibilities I could've latched onto, and I find myself thinking I could've done more. End of day, getting my medicines first mayn't have been the right thing to do, because I can't concentrate on work because of what happened earlier. I know I did the right thing, and stood up for the right things, so why do I feel so stepped on?

The one with how Smart's retention plan gave me a new phone

The Nokia 6601i. My new mobile phone. :) Goodbye, three-year-old Nokia 3310!

Smart Telecommunications Philippines has retention plans! Why didn't anyone tell me about this before? LOL

I've had my Smart line for more than two years, and was thinking of switching to Sun Cellular because of the good phone-line deals they have there. However, I was really turned off by the reputation that their signal isn't very good at night (hard to connect), so when Tet told me about Smart's retention plan, I jumped and went straight to the Smart Wireless Center.

Once there, the very friendly counterpersons helped me pick out a phone and renew my plan, which was even better, because my old plan had me paying P1335, but now, I pay only P1200 because the P1335 plan doesn't exist anymore! Good service, and patient, too, because I was hedging on phone choice. They also helped Cathy activate MMS capability on her mobile phone. So now, I'm locked in to Smart for another two years, but I've gotten myself a spanking new phone with all the trimmings, including camera, FM radio, WAP, MMS, polyphonic ringtone capability, Java games, and a 500-entry phonebook.

Smart is simply amazing!

Update: I can't get my phone for another six months, I think. :( Something legal came up. Darn.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The one with Let's Face It!

For women who wish to maintain healthy skin, a facial is an important part of their regimen. Yesterday, I went to Let's Face It! Robinson's Place Ermita to have a Facial with Collagen Mask (Php440) with my brother and a friend. I consider myself to have a very high pain tolerance since I breezed through many painful facial pricks in my life and did not need anesthesia until 8cm when I gave birth to Nathan. I cannot say, though, that I breezed through Let's Face It! Man! That was the most painful facial I ever had. My brother and his friend had the same feedback. I am never going back to Let's Face It! ever again!

Incidentally, the best facials I had were from The Spa Greenbelt and California Nails and Day Spa at Metro Metro. I believe, though, that the secret to a good facial is not the place but the attendant. If the person giving you a facial is really good, you hardly feel the pricks. Well, experience is the best teacher. At least, I can say that I survived yet another painful pricking session.

betcha witcha dididoo

gagoga dadedi ditchi witchi wah!

(Dad took this picture of me in the car. Aren't I cute?)

The one with Lug-a-Jug

Lug-a-Jug is my new water bottle. I'm telling you, the Lug-a-Jug rocks! It holds 64 ounces of water, that's eight glasses of water. You fill it up at the start of the day and drink from it steadily throughout the day. At the end of the day, if you've finished it, you know you've reached the eight-glass-a-day requirement to ensure you're not dehydrated.

Studies show that a properly hydrated human being is more attentive and energetic, and has clearer skin and better overall health.

I bought my Lug-a-Jug from Tet, who retails each high-quality, polycarbonate, dishwasher-safe Lug-a-Jug for only P260. Get one today!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The one where prayer is most needed for Pakistan

The recent earthquake that has flattened villages and buildings in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, leaving an estimated 20,000 people dead in its wake, is the most recent spate of natural disasters that have come in the past 12 months.

With the tsunami over a year ago that devastated Indonesia and the recent floods in the United States that came with Hurricane Katrina, it's easy to think that everything points to the return of Jesus Christ anytime soon, isn't it?

Regardless, my heart goes out to those affected by this immense tragedy, and I pledge 15 minutes a day, during lunchtime, to pray for the people of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, that they may have comfort in this time, and that the peoples of the world, including leaders of influential countries with the resources to help, may react with compassion and speed. Above all, I pray that my brothers and sisters in Jesus who are in the area may also take this opportunity to save as many of those that can be - faith can move mountains, and the love of Christ can transcend race, language, and situation.

Won't you join me in prayer? Devote some time in your day to remember the people of the world who mayn't be as superblessed as you are. Know that God is listening from Heaven, and that while damaging events like these may be allowed by Him to happen, He does have a plan, and He is waiting for His children to manifest that faith so He can make beautiful things happen.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The one with Napoli's Tomas Morato

Lately, Cathy and I have been eating almost once a week at the Napoli's Italian restaurant along the rotonda of Tomas Morato and East Avenue in Quezon City. Can you blame us? Napoli features some of the most delicious, exquisite locally produced Italian food this side of, well, Naples, and for the kind of prices they have, it definitely deserves a place on your list of must-eat-at's.

I remember back when my wife and I used to eat regularly at A Veneto Visayas Avenue, which pretty much serves the same Napoli-type food (we imagine the owners must be the same), and at the A Veneto branch on Wilson Street that, as far as we know, has unfortunately closed down. Back then, the dish to order was a sinfully good chicken nut pesto that was chockful of pine nuts and bursting with basil and olive oil flavor.

The Tomas Morato Napoli's chicken nut pesto didn't quite match up to the A Veneto Visayas Avenue speed (the pasta was a bit dry and the basil much too much), but it did seem to improve the seafood marinara, which, at only P190, is to die for. Absolutely fantastic. Loaded with prime seafood, including mussels and squid rings, and topped with melted mozzarella that partnered perfectly with the not-too-tart, not-too-sweet tomato sauce, this seafood spaghetti is worth every last centavo and so delicious, you'll scrape along the sides of the platter.

Also a must-have is the Howie's pizza at Napoli's along Tomas Morato. A simple yet wonderfully flavorful dish, Howie's pizza is anchovies, roasted garlic and cheese. That's it. Anchovies and cheese. How can you go wrong? It's anchovies and cheese! It'd give the Yellow Cab anchovy pizza a run for its sinfully salty money, since its crust is paper thin, it brings out the flavor of each anchovy-and-cheese bite, which is the downside of the Yellow Cab version, whose crust's thickness overpowers the delicate taste of the fish.

Thankfully, a new A Veneto has opened at Greenbelt 4 (near Tower Records and Zen, good, run California Pizza Kitchen out of business!), and I think it's guaranteed to make waves. How can it not? A Veneto and Napoli's (Tomas Morato) are just perfect places to eat!

Friday, October 07, 2005

jaja wugja wedja

Dada hatchawatcha betcha dadada! Mmmm!

(Dad bought me chocolate ice cream! Mmmm!)

The one with Babyface and his wife

So it's true: even Babyface and his wife can't stay together. After 13 years of marriage, Kenneth Edmonds and his wife Tracey have called it quits. Despite their differences, both Babyface and Tracey will remain friends and business partners (good luck to you!), and take care of their children, or so they claim.

Babyface, who has penned some of the 90s' most enduring pop-R&B songs for artists including Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, and other divas, and created a thriving solo career for himself starting from his The Deele days, has written a lot of music about how much he loves his wife. He probably does, but not enough to stick with her.

Whatever happened to "for better or for worse," Kenny?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The one with the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2005

Some pundits are predicting a Nobel Peace Prize 2005 victory for rock star Bono, a choice to which I'm completely open. The U2 frontman Bono (born Paul David Hewson) has done much for raising awareness for poverty and debt freedom for third-world countries, primarily those in Africa. Selecting Bono (or fellow rock stay Bob Geldof) to win the the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 would certainly raise those particular issues even higher, and with the G8 congresses a less-than-distant memory, Bono winning the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 would be a choice to raise awareness for both the Nobel Peace Prize as well as the issues for which Bono is fighting.

Update: It ain't Bono. The International Atomic Energy Agency and its director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, took home the prize. Well, nuclear arms and all that are close to the hearts of the Nobel group, so there. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The one with 1998 (Variations on a Meme)

1. Go to
2. Enter the year you graduated from college (instead of high school) in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year.
3. Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don't remember (or don't care about).

The top 100 songs from the year I graduated from college

1. Too Close, Next
2. The Boy Is Mine, Brandy and Monica
3. You're Still The One, Shania Twain
4. Truly Madly Deeply, Savage Garden
5. How Do I Live, LeAnn Rimes
6. Together Again, Janet
7. All My Life, K-Ci and JoJo
8. Candle In The Wind 1997, Elton John
9. Nice and Slow, Usher
10. I Don't Want To Wait, Paula Cole
11. How's It Going To Be, Third Eye Blind
12. No, No, No, Destiny's Child
13. My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion
14. Gettin' Jiggy Wit, Will Smith
15. You Make Me Wanna..., Usher
16. My Way, Usher
17. My All, Mariah Carey
18. The First Night, Monica
19. Been Around The World, Puff Daddy and The Family
20. Adia, Sarah McLachlan
21. Crush, Jennifer Paige
22. Everybody (Backstreet's Back), Backstreet Boys
23. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, Aerosmith
24. Body Bumpin Yippie-Yi-Yo, Public Announcement
25. This Kiss, Faith Hill
26. I Don't Ever Want To See You Again, Uncle Sam
27. Let's Ride, Montell Jordan
28. Sex And Candy, Marcy Playground
29. Show Me Love, Robyn
30. A Song For Mama, Boyz II Men
31. What You Want, Mase
32. Frozen, Madonna
33. Gone Till November, Wyclef Jean
34. My Body, LSG
35. Tubthumping, Chumbawamba
36. Deja Vu (Uptown Baby), Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz
37. I Want You Back, 'N Sync
38. When The Lights Go Out, Five
39. They Don't Know, Jon B.
40. Make Em' Say Uhh!, Master P
41. Make It Hot, Nicole Featuring Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and Mocha
42. Never Ever, All Saints
43. I Get Lonely, Janet
44. Feel So Good, Mase
45. Say It, Voices Of Theory
46. Kiss The Rain, Billie Myers
47. Come With Me, Puff Daddy
48. Romeo And Juliet, Sylk-E Fyne
49. It's All About Me, Mya and Sisqo
50. I Will Come To You, Hanson
51. One Week, Barenaked Ladies
52. Swing My Way, K.P. and Envyi
53. The Arms Of The One Who Loves You, Xscape
54. My Love Is The Shhh!, Somethin' For The People
55. Daydreamin', Tatyana Ali
56. We're Not Making Love No More, Dru Hill
57. Semi-Charmed Life, Third Eye Blind
58. I Do, Lisa Loeb
59. Lookin' At Me, Mase
60. Looking Through Your Eyes, LeAnn Rimes
61. Lately, Divine
62. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart), Backstreet Boys
63. I Still Love You, Next
64. Time After Time, Inoj
65. Are You Jimmy Ray?, Jimmy Ray
66. Cruel Summer, Ace Of Base
67. I Got The Hook Up!, Master P
68. Victory, Puff Daddy and The Family
69. Too Much, Spice Girls
70. Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are), Pras Feat. Ol' Dirty Bastard and Mya
71. How Deep Is Your Love, Dru Hill Featuring Redman
72. Friend Of Mine, Kelly Price
73. Turn It Up [Remix] / Fire It Up, Busta Rhymes
74. I'll Be, Edwin McCain
75. Ray Of Light, Madonna
76. All For You, Sister Hazel
77. Touch It, Monifah
78. Money, Power and Respect, Lox
79. Bitter Sweet Symphony, The Verve
80. Dangerous, Busta Rhymes
81. Spice Up Your Life, Spice Girls
82. Because Of You, 98 Degrees
83. The Mummers' Dance, Loreena McKennitt
84. All Cried Out, Allure Featuring 112
85. Still Not A Player, Big Punisher Featuring Joe
86. The One I Gave My Heart To, Aaliyah
87. Foolish Games / You Were Meant For Me, Jewel
88. Love You Down, Inoj
89. Do For Love, 2Pac
90. Raise The Roof, Luke
91. Heaven, Nu Flavor
92. The Party Continues, JD
93. Sock It 2 Me, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott Featuring Da Brat
94. Butta Love, Next
95. A Rose Is Still A Rose, Aretha Franklin
96. 4 Seasons Of Loneliness, Boyz II Men
97. Father, LL Cool J
98. Thinkin' Bout It, Gerald Levert
99. Nobody's Supposed To Be Here, Deborah Cox
100. Westside, TQ

For this particular run, my favorite song of this list is This Kiss by Faith Hill.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The one with Manny Salgado

Today, I received a copy of the official De La Salle University statement regarding the unsportsmanlike behavior of Manny Salgado during the UAAP FEU-La Salle game. According to reports, La Salle assistant manager Manny Salgado had punched FEU's Arwind Santos after an exchange of hurtful words. This behavior had caused Manny Salgado his career as La Salle's assistant manager and a lifetime ban from the UAAP.

This incident reminds me of King Solomon's wise words in Proverbs which I wish to share with you.

Proverbs 14:17 says "A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated."
Proverbs 14:29 says "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly."
Proverbs 19:19 says "A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again."

The lesson to be learned here really is to rely on God's strength in situations when we lose control of our emotions. This can happen to anybody--in the house, at work, in the LRT/MRT...I can go on...The guideline really is to remember that God is in control and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

I remember Stephen Covey mentioning that there is a difference between responding and reacting. When we react, we act on our emotions and our primitive drives but when we respond, that's when we use our power to think. It is indeed best to respond rather than to react.

The one with the double whammy

The October issue of Men's Health Philippines is a shocker for me, primarily because MHP published a letter I sent them in July. The letter pretty much read as follows:

I've been obese pretty much all my life. Just recently, a few weeks after my 28th birthday, I decided to turn my life around by embarking on a healthy, permanent lifestyle journey. Imagine my surprise and thrill when I discovered Men's Health, at P120 a terrific Bible of sorts to help me on the trip! Layout, material quality, features... everything is useful and doable. It's been a great start: I've already lost 15 lbs on my way to a planned 60 lbs., and with Men's Health helping me out, I'll see you in December 2005 as a bonafide member of the Belly Off Club. Thanks a lot.

Not only did the letter see print; it was chosen as Letter of the Month! LOL Can you imagine that? I won for myself a canister of Impact Whey Protein. God is good! What a great thing to happen to me!... or is it?

When I wrote the letter in July, I lost 15 lbs. as part of a Fit for Life diet. As it turns out, I didn't lose much weight after that, and the letter explicitly says that I would've lost 60 lbs. by December 2005. Almost literally bit off more than I could chew! So I have to be serious for the next two months and try to burn as much fat as I can without it being an unhealthy weight loss! LOL

I did it before and I can do it again!!

But before I think that I'd look fabulous, something's always bound to happen to send me plumetting back to earth. In this particular case, a fellow on the elevator asked me:

"Ikaw ba yung driver ni Butch?"

Wow, I always thought I looked good, but if people think I look like a driver, then dang, I've really let myself go! [Not that there's anything wrong with looking like or being a driver.]


The one with the shameless request for votes

I'm a sucker for attention. If you like what you see here, would you please vote for us on the Pinoy Top Blogs interface? Consider it a way to tell the world that middle-aged Christian bloggers can be cool too. Hyuk hyuk hyuk.

To vote for us, you can click this button right here --> Pinoy Top Blogs.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The one with the creepiest meeting thus far

Faux Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is dwarfed in every way by Ms International Precious Lara Quigaman.

So Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman met with Faux Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a courtesy call at MalacaƱan today. With GMA smiling like the Cheshire Cat and poor Precious Lara feigning a smile, it was like a spider pouncing on a butterfly caught in its web. Ugh.

Meanwhile, visit the official Ms Earth website for the dibs on the next beauty pageant set to sweep the globe. I'm sorry, but the Filipina candidate doesn't stand a chance. Misses China, Egypt, India, Poland, Vietnam, and my personal favorite, Colombia, seem to have good odds. Colombia always sends the best candidates to Miss Earth; it puzzles me why they haven't romped away with the top prize. Ah well, maybe this year.

The one with Fat, Cranky and Full of It

If you're looking for some intelligent, sardonic, sarcastic writing of topnotch caliber that can either excite or annoy, I've got a two-thumbs-up recommendation for you. Fat, Cranky and Full of It: Essays with Delusions of Grandeur by Sonni Viudez, a writer whose work I've known to be both witty and thought-provoking, is now in bookstores for P320.

Sonni's work has always been smart, and his sense of humor razor-sharp, so I'm sure this particular collection of essays will not fail to disappoint. Help raise the standards of Philippine lit and pick up this book.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Top 20 Singles and Tracks | September 18-24, 2005

This Week. (Position Last Week). Title. Artist.
1. (3) YOUR HOUSE. Alanis Morissette.
2. (4) CHARIOT. Gavin DeGraw.
3. (9) JUST KEEP WALKING. Michael Passons.
4. (17) CRAZY CHICK. Charlotte Church.
6. (7) ALL THE WAY. Craig David.
7. (6) SHAKE IT OFF. Mariah Carey.
8. (2) FORTY KINDS OF SADNESS. Ryan Cabrera.
9. (11) GROWN AND SEXY. Babyface.
10. (5) WORDPLAY. Jason Mraz.
11. (18) THIS IS HOW A HEART BREAKS. Rob Thomas.
12. (8) LETTERS FROM WAR. Mark Schultz.
13. (14) TRIPPIN’. Toni Braxton.
14. (10) DON’T’CHA. Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes.
15. (20) MOVE IN MY DIRECTION Bananarama.
16. (12) HEALING RAIN. Michael W. Smith.
17. (16) EXCUSES. Jasmine Trias.
18. (19) BECAUSE OF YOU. Kelly Clarkson.
19. (15) KARMA (Superstition Remix). Alicia Keys.
20. (13) WITH YOU I’M BORN AGAIN Vonzell Solomon & Billy Preston.

The one with how it pays off to buy original parts

If you recall, a few weeks ago, the side mirrors of our Revo were stolen while on a visit to Banawe, the land of stolen merchandise. Cathy and I had since visited the area once (to purchase a tire), and while there, we were offered two new side mirrors for P800. That's two mirrors. Cathy was adamant in her refusal to buy the mirrors, and while I wavered for a minute, I eventually respected my wife's feelings and opted out.

Another friend of mine did some snooping around, and discovered it would cost P3,000 to buy "original" parts from Banawe. That seemed cheaper than the P5,000 we were told it would cost at the real Toyota store.

Today, I swung by Toyota Bel-Air to see how much it would really cost. The service was quite good (as always from Toyota!), and guess how much it would cost me?

P2,100, all in (labor and parts)! It's more expensive to go to Banawe!

And that, my friends, is why it pays off to buy original parts. It may turn out to be cheaper, and the burden on your conscience is alleviated, knowing you're treating your car well and not encouraging the rampant criminality of streetfolk in Banawe.

I love Toyota.

Top 20 Singles and Tracks | September 25 - Oct 1, 2005

As of September 25 - Oct 1, 2005.

This Week. (Position Last Week). Title. Artist.
1. (2) CHARIOT. Gavin DeGraw.
2. (3) JUST KEEP WALKING. Michael Passons.
3. (4) CRAZY CHICK. Charlotte Church.
4. (6) ALL THE WAY. Craig David.
5. (1) YOUR HOUSE. Alanis Morissette.
7. (11) THIS IS HOW A HEART BREAKS. Rob Thomas.
8. (9) GROWN AND SEXY. Babyface.
9. (13) TRIPPIN’. Toni Braxton.
10. (15) MOVE IN MY DIRECTION. Bananarama.
11. (8) FORTY KINDS OF SADNESS. Ryan Cabrera.
12. (7) SHAKE IT OFF. Mariah Carey.
13. (18) BECAUSE OF YOU. Kelly Clarkson.
14. (10) WORDPLAY. Jason Mraz.
15. (new) GOLD DIGGER. Kanye West feat. Jayme Foxx.
16. (14) DON’T’CHA. Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes.
17. (new) HE WILL CARRY ME. Mark Schultz.
18. (12) LETTERS FROM WAR. Mark Schultz.
19. (new) FOLLOW THROUGH. Gavin DeGraw.
20. (new) UNBREAKABLE. Alicia Keys.