Showing posts from February, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to Ning, who's celebrating her birthday today!
She insisted I post this picture. Who am I to turn down a birthday request? :-)

Camera woes....

I've been having problems lately with my two year-old Canon PowerShot A300 digital camera. I can use it to view stored images or change settings, but when set to capture images I get nothing on the LCD viewfinder. Literally. Nothing but a blank, black, screen. On occasion the camera would work flawlessly, but on certain days, without any warning, this particular gremlin would rear its ugly head, rendering the camera useless.

It was quite puzzling since I was always the careful type when it came to electronic devices. The camera was well taken care of, it was never dropped, never exposed to moisture, it was hardly ever subjected to rough handling. The carrying case bore some signs of frequent use, but the camera itself is in pristine condition. It doesn't even have a scratch. Hell, it even looks new. But why won't it work?

Being my first digital camera, I wondered to myself if digital cameras nowadays are considered disposable with life spans of only a few years. I also thou…

Tell it to the marines....

Another chapter in the Philippines' State of Emergency saga took place again yesterday afternoon and lasted late into the night with much confusion and frayed nerves over what was supposed to be a simple turnover of command.

This is what apparently happened: the commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps, Major General Renato Miranda, was supposed to be relieved of command and replaced by Brigadier General Nelson Allaga. Now, due to confusion over whether General Miranda actually gave up his command on his own volition or was forcibly relieved, a tense standoff took place with several marines led by Colonel Ariel Querubin refusing to recognize the authority of the new commandant.

Colonel Querubin even sought the assistance of civilian groups, asking for their "protection" from possible "aggression". A number of civilians, perhaps eager to capitalize on the situation either out of sincere concern for the welfare of our nation or for advancing their own political ag…

Through The Barricades

As timely as yesterday's (and today's) headlines...

Through The Barricades
Spandau Ballet

Mother doesn't know where love has gone
She says it must be youth that keeps us feeling strong
I see it in her face that's turned to ice
And when she smiles she shows the lines of sacrifice
And now I know what they're saying as our sun begins to fade
And we made our love on wasteland and through the barricades

Father made my history
He thought for what he thought would set us somehow free
They taught me what to say in school
I learned it off my heart but now that's torn in two
And now I know what they're saying in the music of the parade
And we made our love on wasteland and through the barricades

Born on different sides of life
We feel the same and feel all of this strife
So come to me when I'm asleep
We'll cross the lines and dance upon the streets
And now I know what they're saying as the drums begin to fade
And we made our love on wasteland and through the barricades

Oh tur…

Inside the Philippines Coup Plot

An article on detailing the plot to unseat President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as well as identifying some of the personalities involved. The original article can be found here.

Inside the Philippines Coup Plot
A TIME reporter witnesses a meeting of opponents of Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
by Bryan Walsh

Friday, Feb. 24, 2006

Twenty years ago tomorrow, Filipinos took to the streets and brought down a president. Could it happen again? Capping a week of tension and coup rumors, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo proclaimed a state of national emergency late Friday morning, announcing on television that she had crushed a coup attempt by several prominent military officers. Arroyo appealed for calm, even as security was tightened further at the presidential palace and at military bases around Manila. Earlier in the day, the army detained three high-level officers Brigadier General Danilo Lim, the commander of the elite Scout Rangers, Marine brigade comm…

Making the switch....

After all that has happened in the local political scene in the last couple of days, I guess it would be a good change of pace to blog about something different in the meantime, to get my mind (and yours too) off the frustrating turn of events which have been plaguing this country.

Let's talk tech. Oh, I can already hear the groans from here. Sorry people, I can't help it. I'm a techie, and there's probably nothing I can do to change that, so I might as well live it up, at least here in this blog. If you find this subject boring, stop right now! I'm sure there are other posts you may find interesting here. However, if you insist...

I made the switch. After more than two years in ATI's camp, I went back to NVIDIA. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, I'm referring to video cards, those sophisticated circuit boards you plug in your PC responsible for generating all the lovely 3D graphics of your favorite games.

For more than two years, I had b…

EDSA: 20 years after....

A monument to the Filipino's struggle for freedom two decades ago. One can only wonder if the ideals it represents still exist today.

The most sought after piece of real estate in Philippine politics. He who has EDSA has Malacañang. That's why President Arroyo doesn't intend on yielding it, come hell or high water.

How ironic is it that the center of People Power twenty years ago is now off limits to those who wish to exercise their right to peaceable assembly? These police officers stand vigilant, ready to disperse any demonstrators who may insist on exercising this fundamental right.

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14

These shields still bear the scars of yesterday's violent dispersal of those who seek the ouster of President Arroyo. Note:

All photos were taken this aftern…

We never learn....

Its been twenty years to the day since the first EDSA Revolution, and a little more than five years from EDSA II.

Yet here we are again, back where we started from.

We Filipinos never learn.

For comparison: full text of Proclamation No. 1081....



PROCLAIMING A STATE OF MARTIAL LAW IN THE PHILIPPINES WHEREAS, on the basis of carefully evaluated and verified information, it is definitely established that lawless elements who are moved by a common or similar ideological conviction, design, strategy and goal and enjoying the active moral and material support of a foreign power and being guided and directed by intensely devoted, well trained, determined and ruthless groups of men and seeking refuge under the protection of our constitutional liberties to promote and attain their ends, have entered into a conspiracy and have in fact joined and banded their resources and forces together for the prime purpose of, and in fact they have been and are actually staging, undertaking and waging an armed insurrection and rebellion against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in order to forcibly seize political and state power in this country, overthrow the duly constituted government, an…

Full text of Proclamation No. 1017....



PROCLAMATION DECLARING A STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY WHEREAS, over these past months, elements in the political opposition have conspired with authoritarians of the extreme Left represented by the NDF-CPP-NPA and the extreme Right, represented by military adventurists–the historical enemies of the democratic Philippine State—who are now in tactical alliance and engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy, over a broad front, to bring down the duly constituted Government elected in May 2004.

WHEREAS, these conspirators have repeatedly tried to bring down the President;

WHEREAS, the claims of these elements have been recklessly magnified by certain segments of the national media;

WHEREAS, this series of actions is hurting the Philippine State–by obstructing governance including hindering the growth of the economy and sabotaging the people’s confidence in government and their faith in the future of this country;

WHEREAS, these actions are adver…

State of emergency....

This just in. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has signed Proclamation No. 1017 declaring a state of emergency.

I guess the threats made a few days ago weren't so idle after all.

The following is the full text of her televised statement making the declaration:

Mga kababayan:

Nagdeklara ako ng State of Emergency dahil sa maliwanag at kasalukuyang banta sa republika na ating napag-alaman at napigil.

May ilang sumubok lumihis sa Armed Forces chain of command, lumabag sa gobyernong sibil, at magtatag ng rehimen sa labas ng saligang batas.

Nabuwag natin ang pakanang ito. Kasama sa pagkilos natin ang pagdakip ng mga militar at sibilyang magkakasabwat. At hindi rin palalampasin ang mga nagbibigay ng salapi at suportang pulitika sa pag-aalsa.

Napigil na ng pamahalaan itong iligal na pagkilos. Maliban sa ilang tumiwalag, nasa puwesto at matapat sa linya ng pamunuan ang lahat ng opisyal na militar hanggang sa mga batalyon. Bilang commander-in-chief kontrolado ko ang sitwasyon.

Katatapos ko lamang …

One day to go....

Hmmm. I wonder what happens tomorrow?

Nuff said....

"And let me also make clear: I believe I am the best person to lead this nation through this transition."

- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo


Pardon the expletive. I just couldn't stomach her claim.

Maybe she should familiarize herself with the following verse from the good book:

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

- Matthew 23:12

End of days?

As I was getting ready for work at about ten minutes before seven, I listened with interest to an interview broadcast on RMN Radio DZXL with a person who claims to be Army 1st Lieutenant Lawrence San Juan. Lt. San Juan is one of the four fugitive Oakwood mutineers.

In no uncertain terms, Lt. San Juan gave President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo until February 24, the 20th anniversary of the first EDSA Revolution, to step down from office or else she will be removed by force. He also advised civilians residing around Malacañang Palace to leave the area on that day to avoid being caught in potential hostilities.

While I was never really in favor of the way President Macapagal-Arroyo has been running the country, and I also believe that the President still has a lot to answer for regarding last year's Gloriagate scandal, this development nonetheless still gives reason for concern. If this is not an idle threat, and if it in fact materializes three days from now, this proves that this countr…

HIV in ketchup?

Today I received two text messages from well meaning friends warning me from using ketchup in refillable dispensers often found in restaurants and fast food outlets. Supposedly, an HIV+ individual is going around putting contaminated blood in these dispensers in an attempt to spread the virus.

Well, I looked up the story on the internet, it turns out to be nothing more than a hoax.

Here's the official word from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States:

I got an e-mail warning that a man, who was believed to be HIV-positive, was recently caught placing blood in the ketchup dispenser at a fast food restaurant. Because of the risk of HIV transmission, the e–mail recommended that only individually wrapped packets of ketchup be used. Is there a risk of contracting HIV from ketchup?

No incidents of ketchup dispensers being contaminated with HIV-infected blood have been reported to CDC. Furthermore, CDC has no reports of HIV infection resulting from eating food, including co…

I Started A Joke

A gritty, alternative rock cover of a Bee Gees original. I think its just awesome. And I can relate to it as well.

I Started A Joke
The Wallflowers

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying
But I didn't see that the joke was on me, oh no

I started to cry, which started the whole world laughing
Oh, if I'd only seen that the joke was on me

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes
And I, I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I've

'Till I finally died, which started the whole world living
Oh, if I'd only seen that the joke was on me

And I, I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes
And I, I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I've

'Till I finally died, which started the whole world living
Oh, if I'd only seen that the joke was on me

That the joke was on me
That the joke was on me

How Smart a Filipino is....

A Filipino and an American are seated next to each other on a flight from Los Angeles to New York. The American asks if he would like to play a fun-game.

The Filipino, tired, just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.

The American persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun.

He says, "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5, and vice versa."

Again, the Filipino declines and tries to get some sleep.

The American, now worked up, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you $500."

This gets the Filipino's attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment, agrees to the game.

The American asks the first question, "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?"

The Filipino doesn't say a word, reaches into his wallet, pulls out a $5 bill and hands it to the American.


The week that was....

It's been a hectic week.

On Monday, in light of our office's anniversary, the employees held a week-long flea market right on our very floor, and the floor below it. There were a lot of things on sale, though I mostly gravitated toward the food stalls and there was even a stall offering for sale secondhand DVDs. There were a lot of choices, though I have already seen most of them. I came across three that I couldn't pass up though:
Enigma's Remember The Future.

The sidesplitting comedy Zoolander starring Ben Stiller.

The cult classic The Crow starring the late Brandon Lee. Tuesday was Valentine's Day. Let's not even go there.

Wednesday an officemate and I had to attend a seminar workshop along with our office's top brass. It begs the question: What were we doing there? My colleague and I came to an agreement: We would rather be stuck in the office reading Wikipedia articles than be caught in this snooty environment participating in discussions which go nowhere. O…

Web sightings....

In Kamuning? How about in Fairview? :-)

Battlefield 2 v1.2 patch now available....

If you play Battlefield 2 (see previous post here) I strongly recommend you download and install the latest v1.2 patch from EA Games. It contains a lot more bug fixes and tweaks to balance and improve gameplay, adds some new capabilities as well as some more unlockable weapons, and it gets rid of a lot of the exploits in the game which a lot of unsporting players resort to. Hopefully we'll be seeing the last of those "bunny-hoppers" and "dolphin-divers" that take so much fun and realism out of the game by jumping and diving around like a bunch of idiots.

Here's a list of the improvements:Helicopter now carry 8 missiles rather than 14TV-Guided missile now have a shorter rangeHit points on all air vehicles has been reducedAA missile lock has been improvedSupport kits have had their primary weapons adjusted for accuracySniper kits have had their primary weapons adjusted for accuracyAnti-Tank kits have had their primary weapons adjusted for accuracy"Dolphi…

Video card for sale....

Any gamers out there interested in buying a second-hand midrange video card? I recently upgraded my video card, and I now I have a spare one that I'm willing to sell for only a fraction of the cost of an equivalent brand new unit.

The video card is a HIS Excalibur Radeon 9600 Pro powered by an ATI Radeon 9600 Pro VPU. The core is fully DirectX 9 compliant and runs at 400 MHz. Its memory runs at a frequency of 300 MHz (600 MHz effective), which gives it a bandwidth of about 9.6 GB/s. The card itself is AGP 4x/8x compatible with 128 MB of high speed DDR SDRAM accessed through a 128-bit memory interface. It's cool-running, power efficient (does not require an external power connector) and highly overclockable, able to reach 9600XT speeds with absolutely no artifacting or stability problems whatsoever.

The Radeon 9600 Pro VPU is based on ATI's R350 core which contains 75 million transistors, more than an Athlon XP/Socket A Sempron (Thoroughbred and Barton cores) or Pentium 4 (Wi…

First out of the gate....

After everything that has been said and done, Smart Communications is the first one out of the gate in the local 3G race. Effective yesterday, Smart is offering its subscribers free 3G services in select cities on a trial basis.

Globe Telecom, for all its chest-thumping, full page color ads, and high profile demos, is still on the starting line, licking its balls.

Maybe I should switch to Smart. :-)

Does Brad Pitt have a personality disorder?

Found this in my inbox a few days ago, courtesy of Rain. I found it intriguing, thought I'd share it with everyone.

In the the early 90's, after Pitt hooked up with the wild actress Juliette Lewis, his physical appearance became decidedly bohemian, mirroring hers.
Brad and Juliette Fast forward to the mid-90's, when Brad and Gwyneth Paltrow became an item. Not only did Pitt radically change his look, he practically became Gwyneth's mirror image. He even assumed Gwyneth's less-than-perfect posture, slouching at events.
Brad and Gwyneth As we entered the millennium, Brad married Jennifer Aniston. Not only did he cast himself in her image, they even shared the same highlights for their wedding ceremony.
Brad and Jennifer And now with his pregnant girlfriend Angelina Jolie, the pin-up guy has dyed his hair black. But hair is just the beginning. He wears her colors, shares her styles. She flies a plane. Now he does. She's a world peace ambassador. Ditto Brad.

Brad and Angel…

Love's Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river,
...And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
...With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
...All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle:--
...Why not I with thine?

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
...And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven
...If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
...And the moonbeams kiss the sea:--
What are all these kissings worth,
...If thou kiss not me?

- Percy Bysshe Shelley Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

Happy Anniversary!

Happy 11th Year Anniversary!

'Til They Take My Heart Away

One of my most favorite love songs...

For everyone who has truly been in love, and also for those who still believe that love conquers all...

'Til They Take My Heart Away
Clair Marlo

I look into your eyes, so far away
There's trouble on your mind, you're losing faith

Hey now, let me hold you, it'll be OK
Cause I will love you till they take my heart away

Remember when you called and said goodbye
You thought we'd lost it all and so did I

But even if I'd lost you, I would feel the same
I will love you till they take my heart away

Believe I'm here to stay
I will love you till they take my heart away

Now we're stronger than before, we've made it through
I've never felt more sure because of you

Hey now, are you listening, can you hear me say?
I will love you till they take my heart away

Believe in me, I'm here to stay
I will love you till they take my heart away...away...away
I will love you till they take my heart away

Believe in me, I'm here to stay
I will love …