Showing posts from February, 2005

Health Economics....

To my colleagues, check out this blog on Health Economics authored by Dr. Romulo Tan. Pretty spot on.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is Mitch Albom's follow up novel to the the bestselling Tuesdays with Morrie, an account of the last months of his college mentor Morrie Schwartz, as he was dying from Lou Gehrig's Disease (read my post on this book here).While the first book tackles death, The Five People You Meet in Heaven endeavors to give us an idea on what may happen afterward.

The book is about Eddie, an 83 year old maintenance man who works at Ruby Pier Amusement Park. He somehow feels that life gave him a bum deal and that he never really accomplished anything in all of his 83 years. One day, an accident occurs at one of the rides, threatening the life of one of the patrons...a little girl. He tries to save her, and Eddie is killed in the process. He regains consciousness in heaven...and meets five people who show him that his existence of earth was not as inconsequential as he believed, that he has in fact changed the lives of a lot of people.

The book shares a lot of …

In the Beginning....

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said,"You want chocolate with that? "And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said,"And while you're at it,add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad." And Satan presented Thousand-Island dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you…

Happy Birthday!

Birthday greetings to Riane, who's celebrating her birthday on February 28, Eric, who's celebrating his on March 1, and Dick, on March 3. Happy birthday guys!

What's Your Serial Killer Name?

Hello, Ronald! The whole world would
know you by your birth name. You would not have
a special name, or you would not be unknown.
Everything you do would be recognized. You
would leave things in the open. You hate
getting caught in things you do, since it may
tend to happen a lot. That is why, I must say,
that you would probably get caught faster and
easier than usual. You may just be famous for
your slaughters, and then forgotten after
you're off the streets.

What Would Your Serial Killer Name Be? What Would the Public Know You As?
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An Interesting Blog....

While browsing the net I chanced upon the blog of Mark Jen, an ex-Google and ex-Microsoft employee. Apparently he was fired from Google because of certain posts he made on his blog. I guess we should be careful to some extent about what we write on our blogs, especially those relating to work. Well, whatever the reason, his blog still makes for quite an interesting read. Check out his blog at

Which Alcoholic Drink Are You?


What's Your Personality?

You're a very mellow, care-free person. Your
exactly what calm, cool, and collected mean.
You never overreact or panic in a bad situation
and you always know what to do. Everyone goes
to you for advice because you never lose your
head so your very reliable. You tend to take
everything in stride, like in school your moto
is just sit back and relax not to say you dont
pay attention and work, but you dont overexert
yourself. Even though people come to you for
counciling(sp?) you can still be very quite,
your not good with making new friends, but your
extremely close to the ones you have. Remember
its ok to put your emotions out there even
though there is a chance they might get hurt.
Also in school sometimes its good to stress out
a little, just because you think you dont need
to study doesnt mean you should'nt, and also
try to push yourself more even though you might
be good where you are doesnt mean you can,t be
better. Check out my new YYH Series ~A
Bleeding Heart~

Whats Your Personality(with PIC…

Are you a Vampire/Goth/Punk/Poser/Emo...?

Your Gothic... Maybe even a bit Vampyric... Your
very sensitive, sometimes you can be outgoing
in your own population. Your sometimes Lonely,
but when your alone your much happier. If your
suicidal, it's okay, because your the kewlest
person I know!....well don't actually know you
but yeah! Write me and Tell Me if you picked
Napoleon or Ron!

Are you a Vampire/Goth/Punk/Poser/Emo/ or just a plain PREP!?
brought to you by Quizilla

What Color is Your Heart?

Your Heart is Red

What Color is Your Heart?
brought to you by Quizilla


Tagged by xtnag...

Random Ten (10) Songs
Not in any particular preference/order

Stone Temple Pilots. First song I ever performed in a band. I was a rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist at the start of my band run. I can still remember the chords of the song. The intro is: G-A#-A-G (repeat 4x, distortion on). A great alternative rock song.

Creed. Alternative rock band with a religious flavor. Just listen to the lyrics. Another staple song from my band days. The intro chords are D-A-G (done twice, the first run using clean tones, the second run with distortion on).

3~My Sacrifice
Same as above. The chord pattern is D-B-G and D-A-B-G.

Parokya ni Edgar. I performed an acoustic version of this song at our 2001 corporate Christmas party, as requested by a colleague. Don’t ask me the chords, I just sang. :-)

5~I’ll Be
Edwin McCain. A soulful acoustic song that I like a lot, and also liked by a number of close friends.

6~The Reason
Hoobastank. I like everything about this song. Th…

EDSA Revolution Anniversary....

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution, the bloodless revolt resulting in the ouster of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who ruled with an iron fist for almost two decades. The EDSA Revolution, brought forth to our consciousness the concept of "People Power" as a peaceful means of effecting change in our government. Though one of the most significant events in our nation's history, the People Power Revolution was only the climax in a series of events which started 32 years ago, when President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1081 on September 21, 1972, placing the entire country under Martial Law.

The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, along with other fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression and the right to assembly, led to widespread abuses throughout the country, resulting in innumerable instances of wrongful imprisonment, denial of due process, conviction without trial, or worse, summary execution. The movement of all citizens was a…


I sit in silence in front of a computer not of my own, but that of a colleague who has taken the day off. I have been browsing the net for the better part of the day, and, at this point in time, I have about an hour or so before I finally depart for a three day weekend. I decided to log in, and type a few paragraphs about...well, about anything that comes to mind in order to while away the time. Let me see now....

The office is quiet. With one former colleague pursuing a new career in Cambodia, and two of my colleagues absent, "lively" is not a word I would use to describe the current state of being of our workplace. Amidst hushed whispers, the sound of typing, mousewheels being scrolled, and the persistent whine of the air conditioning unit, I sit here in silence...thinking to myself, and immediately transforming those random thoughts to words which I type right here...right now.

Had lunch at Shangrila earlier today with a friend. A rather "unusual" friend, if I may…

Articles on HIV/AIDS in the Philippines....

In an effort to increase awareness on HIV/AIDS, here are two more articles you may find of interest:


The Philippines: Unprotected: Sex, Condoms and the Human Right to Health

Remember, if we're not part of the solution, then we're part of the problem.

Like Water for Chocolate

Going home from my office, I was dropped off by a friend at the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue. Realizing that I didn’t have any smaller bills for a cab, I decided to while away some time at the nearby McCafe’, and finish the book I was reading. Over bites of honey crunch cake (which was too dry and too sweet) and tea (which was…well, ok), I finished the last three chapters of Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate, translated in English from the original Como Agua para Chocolate.

Set in Mexico at the turn of the century and spanning twenty two years, the story is centered on Tita De la Garza, the youngest daughter of the unyielding and overbearing Mama Elena De la Garza. The De la Garza household, as headed by Mama Elena, is an epitome of a highly rigid, inflexible family structure deeply rooted in discipline, strict rules of conduct and traditions.

In between various Mexican recipes, home remedies and what not is a surreal and bizarre tale of family relationships, customs, true l…

RP sitting on HIV/AIDS iceberg

Don't you think it's about time we stop ignoring the issue and pretending that we are isolated or even immune from the global HIV/AIDS epidemic? While other countries have started or are already taking vigorous measures to slow down its advance, the vast majority of Filipinos still believe the old paradigms that only homosexuals, intravenous drug users, prostitutes, promiscuous people or foreigners are at risk. We are ALL at risk. And there still NO cure. And its about time the government does something before its too late.

Health chief: RP sitting on HIV/AIDS iceberg

THE PHILIPPINES is sitting on the tip of an HIV/AIDS iceberg and worried health authorities have no idea how big the problem facing the country is, a top official told an international conference here Tuesday.

Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit said that the Philippines has 2,200 confirmed cases of HIV and 676 cases of AIDS according to latest figures, but officials feared that the true level of infection could be far …

Elizabeth Barret Browning's Sonnets


Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed
And worthy of acceptation. Fire is bright,
Let temple burn, or flax; an equal light
Leaps in the flame from cedar-plank or weed:
And love is fire. And when I say at need
I love thee...mark!...I love thee--in thy sight
I stand transfigured, glorified aright,
With conscience of the new rays that proceed
Out of my face toward thine. There's nothing low
In love, when love the lowest: meanest creatures
Who love God, God accepts while loving so.
And what I feel, across the inferior features
Of what I am, doth flash itself, and show
How that great work of Love enhances Nature's.


If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
I love her for her smile--her look--her way
Of speaking gently,--for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of ease on such a day--
For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
Be changed, or change for thee,--and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Nei…


Yesterday afternoon my son and I dropped by SM Megamall to attend AnimeXplosion, a trade show on the popular Japanese cartoon form. There were booths displaying and selling all sorts of stuff, from 3D modeling software, to robot action figures, to online multiplayer games, to PCs, to drawing lessons. There were some people dressed as anime’ cartoon characters, and a huge projection TV showed episodes of various anime’ shows. My son tended to gravitate towards the Gundam action figures exhibit (we have a small collection of Gundam action figures at home ourselves) as well the Sega booth which was promoting some oddball arcade game machine which uses different trading cards representing different beetles (yeah, you read it right the first time…beetles) which do battle. Some kind of entomological Pokemon match. Hmmm. What would the Japanese think of next? Here's a picture of my son by the Gundam exhibit:


I've decided to lay off posts regarding any moral paradoxes or anything of the sort, and to focus my attention to the lighter...perhaps more important things in least for the time being. No matter how interesting and fascinating the topic is to me, to understand the myriad issues surrounding the human experience, and how lively discussions on it can be, it is unavoidable that such a controversial topic would tend to, unintentionally, inflame passions, maybe bruise egos, or offend sensibilities. You can never please everyone...and I have no intention nor desire to.

On another aspect, it was an exploration my limits as a writer. I was taught that good writers are capable of eliciting an emotional response from the reader, and that I got, in spades. Some praised my post, some hated it...some could relate, and some dismissed it altogether. The comments visible on the blog do not tell the whole story, as I got a whole slew of email that I didn't expect from people who didn…

House Democrats claim prayer is 'disrespectful'

An old...perhaps already forgotten bit of news, but at the very...very least illustrative of all the doubts, confusion, hatred, hurtfulness, insensitivity, and lack of compassion man has shown to each other.

The Arizona Republic
Jan. 28, 2004 12:00 AM

Rep. Doug Quelland, R-Phoenix, caused a stir on Tuesday when he delivered a prayer on the House floor that took aim at multiculturalism, welfare, abortion and "alternative lifestyles."

It was a prayer that has made the rounds on the Internet since 1996 when it was delivered before the Kansas House of Representatives.

Offended Democrats, led by Rep. Wally Straughn of Phoenix, filed an official protest, saying the prayer was partisan, disrespectful and divisive.

Here is the prayer:

Quelland: "Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know your word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equ…

Tuesdays with Morrie

I’ve always found it ironic that the most profound, most poignant books that I ever read tend to be small…slim tomes, only around two hundred pages or so, fit in your pocket, and not one of those massive, hard bound, thick volumes with five hundred or more pages of tightly spaced text, using a lot of big words. I must have been reading the wrong books.

Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie is one of those books that fall in the former category. Plain and simple in its language, yet highly moving, weighty and insightful, it teaches us a lot about the human experience. About the world we live in… self pity… regrets… death… family… emotions… aging… money… love… marriage… culture… forgiveness… the perfect day… and saying goodbye.

It doesn’t happen that often, but I have to rank this book high among my personal all time favorites, alongside Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War,Scott Adams’ The Dilbert Principle, and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

The book is pretty simplistic and straigh…

Having faith in people....

More often than not I find myself losing faith in people. It’s a bad thing to say, I know, but it happens. It’s not that I’ve totally lost faith in people, but I find myself being disappointed more and more often by the people around me. I guess I must have lost touch somehow.

It’s probably me. I mean, the hundreds of people around me can’t be all wrong, now can they? So it’s me. Because of some simple mathematical assumption that it is virtually impossible for almost everyone around me to be wrong, I have to take the blame myself. It's often easier to assign blame to an individual rather to blame the multitude. Just look at post-war Germany. Oh well. Perhaps I deserve it.

If you've read this far, I can only assume that you must be curious on what the hell I’m talking about, since I don’t seem to be making much sense. Well I’ll tell you. In a nutshell, my belief in things that I have been brought up to know as good…or bad…has been seriously compromised by the things that I have …


Hmmm…not really much to write about it seems. I’m drawing a blank of sorts. I guess my unkymood indicator is correct after all, since I am feeling a bit “so-so”…neither here nor there, in the dark uncharted void between happiness and sadness…between living and existing. Not that it bothers me. Actually, it seems rather peaceful and serene.

Things have been kinda slow lately in the office…so I while away the time tinkering with my blog’s template, writing posts…as well as make adjustments and improvements in other people’s blogs, which I agreed to do for them in exchange for permission to post a small “ad”, in a matter of speaking, to my own blog. Want to try making a dynamic ad of your blog? Go to Ah, what boredom can do…:-)

The week as a whole has been rather uneventful as well. Valentine ’s Day was well, also “so-so”…neither bad nor good. One of the memorable things about this year’s Valentine ’s Day was that the girl I like got the bouquet I sent her. Whi…

An Interesting Conversation....

An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new Christian students to stand and.....

Professor: You are a Christian, aren't you, son?

Student: Yes, sir.

Prof: So you believe in God?

Student: Absolutely, sir.

Prof: Is God good?

Student: Sure.

Prof: Is God all-powerful?

Student: Yes.

Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm?

(Student is silent.)

Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?

Student: Yes.

Prof: Is Satan good?

Student: No.

Prof: Where does Satan come from?

Student: From...God...

Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student: Yes.

Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?

Student: Yes.

Prof: So who created evil?

(Student does not answer.)

Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality?…

The Choice

The Choice by Og Mandino is the fourth book I’ve finished this week. I guess even with a bum stomach, I had to write something about this book...

Mark Christopher, also known as "Mr. Success," is a high earning, top level executive for a well known insurance company, as well as an assistant professor in a university teaching classes once a week on Salesmanship. With his sales savvy, promotion to the top of the ladder seemed inevitable. Yet, after realizing that being with his family meant more to him, he gives it all up to pursue a lifelong dream instilled during his youth by his long gone mother…that of being a writer.

He moves into a new home…with an inland lighthouse as his studio…and, after twenty months of toil, he finishes his book. Unfortunately, having his book published was another problem altogether. After a number of rejections, and close to destitution…his book gets published…and unexpectedly becomes a bestseller. The bestseller of it’s time. In the throngs of succ…

The Simple Life....

"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone."

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things."

- Henry David Thoreau

The Greatest Pieces of Advice

Don't date because you are desperate.
Don't marry because you are miserable.
Don't have kids because you think your genes are superior.
Don't philander because you think you are irresistible.

Don't associate with people you can't trust.
Don't cheat. Don't lie. Don't pretend.
Don't dictate because you are smarter.
Don't demand because you are stronger.

Don't sleep around because you think you are old enough and know better.

Don't hurt your kids because loving them is harder.
Don't sell yourself, your family, or your ideals.
Don't stagnate.

Don't regress.
Don't live in the past. Time can't bring anything or anyone back.
Don't put your life on hold for possibly Mr/Mrs Right.
Don't throw your life away on absolutely Mr. Wrong because your biological clock is ticking.

Learn a new skill.
Find a new friend.
Start a new career.
Sometimes, there is no race to be won. Only a price to be paid for some of life's more hasty decisio…

Face Transformer....

While blog-hopping, I chanced upon a link to The Perception Laboratory's Face Transformer from finding my way home... Tried it on a picture of mine, and this is apparently what I would look like if I were drawn as a manga cartoon character: Cute, don't you think? :-) Here's another, this time of my son: Try it yourself. :-) If it doesn't work on your PC, you may need to download Java first.

Veronika Decides to Die

I must be on a roll of sorts…this is the third book I’ve finished in less than a week. Veronika Decides to Die is the second book of Paulo Coelho that I read, the first one being The Alchemist. The story itself (which is based on a true story for that matter) has a very intriguing plot going for it. A twenty four year old girl, possessing everything that a young woman could want…beauty, boyfriends, a loving family, a secure job, decides to take her own life. At twenty four, she believes she has already seen everything that life has to offer. Unfortunately…or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the suicide attempt fails, and she finds herself committed inside a mental institution…with supposedly less than a week to live.

The book tackles several issues…among them suicide, death, insanity, conformity, life, love, career, family, sex, among others. During her brief period of confinement, she gets to know other patients and their stories as well…a middle-aged lady suffering from …

The Manila Cathedral....

The facade of the Manila Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila.

Took this picture while sitting on one of the park benches laid out in front of it...on a hot afternoon...waiting for my date with destiny. ;-)

Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons is the first book by Dan Brown depicting the fictional adventures of Robert Langdon, a world-renowned Harvard symbologist who first came to be recognized in the bestselling second book, The Da Vinci Code (see earlier blog post here). As a prequel of sorts, it does not disappoint, and utilizes basically the same formula as The Da Vinci Code in providing thrills to the reader.

As they portray the adventures of a single individual, one cannot help but draw parallelism between the first and second books. In fact, I would surmise that being written and published earlier, Angels & Demons provided the template which was later refined in Dan Brown’s subsequent and more well known religious conspiracy thriller, The Da Vinci Code. The stories, though both highly unique, contained a lot of similarities.

It was in The Da Vinci Code where we were exposed to word puzzles called “anagrams.” In Angels & Demons,“ambigrams” were the brainteasers of choice. In The Da Vinci Code…

Pablo Neruda's Sonnet XVII

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

The Prophet

When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions
May wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
As the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you
so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth
So is he for your pruning.

- Gibran Khalil Gibran

Love and Time

A short story for Valentine's Day...:-)
Love and Time

Once upon a time, there was an island where all feelings lived Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others including Love.

One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left. Love was the only one who stayed.

Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment. When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel, "Vanity, please help me!" "I can't help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, "Sadness,let me Go with you." "Oh...Love, I am so sad…