Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tayo ng mag-swimming!

Wow this picture was taken exactly a year ago. My good friend Tracey brought me along to one of the small islands in Wando for swimming with another friend Stew. I did enjoy the beach with its cold water and not so hot sun. Beach scenes are definitely interesting (hehehe) and this boy enjoying his watermelon-looking beach ball is refreshing sight.

Check out this couple:

and this mermaid too...

good friends Tracey and Stew

I definitely miss Tracey for all those exciting travels and trips. Comes weekend I hope to go and see the beach again this summer for the Mud Festival in Shinan. Below is a short excerpt from Wando County website:

Wando County consists of 200 large and small islands having ancient mystery, and it is the first-class clean sea area in Korea.

Wando County provides abundant marine products including ear shell, laver, bundle, kelp and flatfish, which is the most delicious and high-quality in nation. Jang Bo-go, the Great Commissioner, established Cheonghae Garrison during United Shilla Kingdom to build a marine kingdom. It is also a historic and cultural place where Admiral Yi Sun-shin (Chungmugong) and Yun Seon-do (pen name: Gosan) used to activate.

Kim Jong-sik
The County Chief of Wando-gun

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Interview with an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Series

Below is an excerpt of a new entry on my OFW Blog. I am helping Kenji promote his search for 2008 Top 10 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blogs.

Finally my plan to feature OFW here had materialize with this interview with Jebee Kenji Solis. He has been blogging since 2005. This is how he describe his blog: THOUGHTSKOTO is a jargon word for "these are my thoughts". Blog of a Young Filipino LDS Couple, living in Saudi Arabia. Thoughts and Musings about Life and Love, Trials and Challenges, Faith and Hope as we continue in our journey to FOREVER."

I was invited to nominate for the 2008 Top 10 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blogs. I find the search interesting so I asked him if I can feature him on this blog and promote his initiative. Below is the interview of Kenji.

Check out his blog here:

So please nominate by following this link:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cognac: Alak Mula sa Gawing Kanluran

Mula sa website ng Camus (

Sa Pilipinas sikat ang Fundador bilang brandy subalit may ibat-ibang klase at grado ito. At syempre kaakibat ng grado ay ang presyo. Malimit na iniinom ang brandy matapos ang kainan - panghimagas na inumin kumbaga. Samantalang ang iba pang alak tulad ng whisky ay karaniwang iniinom bago kumain. At syempre ang mga wines (red/white) ay partner ng main dish at depende sa klase ng karne (red/white). Sa mga pinoy na lasengero anumang inumin mapa-whisky man o brandy ay tinutumba kahit sa anumang pagkakataon at okasyon. Sosyal na inumin ang wine. At hindi papahuli ang mga katutubong inumin tulad ng lambanog, basi, etc. sa mga probinsiya. Beer lalo na ang inumin hinding-hindi mawawala sa anumang inumang pinoy.

Tagay na !

Mula sa e-how (

Brandy is simply a wine that has been distilled to the point at which its alcohol level has reached 40 to 60 percent of its total volume. Originally known as brandy wine, brandy has become one of the most beloved of all after-dinner spirits. By choosing the right brandy, you can easily make any social occasion more memorable.

Educate yourself about the finer grades of brandy, which designate the extent to which the liquor has been aged. Brandy grades include A.C. (aged in wooden casks for at least 2 years), VS (very special and aged for at least 3 years), VSOP (very special old pale, which has been aged for at least 5 years), XO (extra old, which has been aged for at least 6 years) and vintage, which has been aged for a longer period of time, as specified on the label.

Mula sa wikipedia:

Cognac (pronounced /ˈkɒnjæk/), named after the town of Cognac in France, is a brandy produced in the region surrounding the town. It must be made from at least 90% Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, or Colombard grapes. The remainder may consist of the grape varieties Folignan, Jurançon blanc, Meslier St-François, Montils, and Sémillon,[1] however, most cognac is made from Ugni Blanc only.[2] It must be distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels that are sealed airtight in order to be called cognac.

A similar drink, but distilled in a different way and produced in another region is armagnac from Armagnac. There is also calvados based on apples from the Basse-Normandie or Lower Normandy region, and plum brandy from Souillac.

The town of Cognac is one of only three officially demarcated brandy regions in Europe; the others are the French town of Armagnac and the Spanish town of Jerez.


Bureau National Interprofessionel du Cognac. "Appellation of Origin".
Bureau National Interprofessionel du Cognac. "Harvesting and vinification".

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ilokano: Forvo's Language of the Day

I am so glad to see that Forvo featured Ilokano as word for the day. Discovering it on the internet through downloadsquad, with my intention of learning Korean I found this new service. But instead of learning, I am contributing Ilocano words and pronouncing most of them. With my contributed word am now at the top 20 and top 30 with the pronounced words. Well I hope people could make use of it should they be interested to learn Ilocano, a mixture of different languages with influence of Spanish (but unlike Chavacano which is 80% (?) of Spanish), very closely related with Bahasa Indonesia or Malaysia, etc.

People at Forvo are very accommodating. I suggested to include Ilokano and the next day they sent me an email informing that it was already included. Tagalog another language of the Philippines was there only with one word contributed, so I contributed more words.

I found out also that my joining Forvo was also in line with UNESCO's celebration for the International Year of Languages. Just came across it on the net as well. It is UNESCO's theme for this year (2008). I have some ties with UNESCO here in Korea since I am a volunteer of their Cross Cultural Awareness Program where I give presentation about my country to grade/middle schoolers. Once we also participated APCEU's workshop that I blog about in 2005.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sitting president plunges

Below is an image from Inquirer.

This was the clip of the news:
'Most unpopular leader'

Arroyo approval ratings dive to -38 in June

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, Reuters, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:24:00 07/18/2008

MANILA, Philippines--(UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's oublic support ratings plunged last month to a record low, making her the most unpopular leader in the country since democracy was restored in 1986, the Social Weather Stations said in a survey released Friday.

The SWS found that only 22 percent of Filipinos were satisfied with the President's performance while 60 percent were dissatisfied, in a poll conducted in the last week of June.

Read more:

Indeed I can't wait until 2010. I hope she will soon opt to resign since it is not only popularity that matters but the irregularity/ties for which she run the government.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Luntiang (green) Salad

Luntiang Salad

In Korea vegetarian reastaurants or Chaesik Buffets are gaining prominence because of the Mad Cow issue. Korean government insisted to import beef from the US in exchange of exporting freely its cars and other electronic products under the FTA (Free Trade Agreement).

Some see the issue not necessarily of mad cow perse but a culmination of different issues against the government neglect to hear to the voice of the people. Unlike the previous administration branded as leftist, the current government of Lee Myung Bak is very conservative. People are beginning to see him as a CEO of Korea's businesses more than a leader. So he revamped members of his first cabinet and had shelved the controversial Grand Canal Plan (a river network connecting Seoul to Busan that will cut across the country), a success claimed by green or environmental groups.

So green... people are now discovering green vegetables more than ever. Korean diet has plenty of fresh vegetables, like when they eat grilled meat, they would have it wrapped with fresh green leafy veggies. In a way whatever fatty acids those meat have got neutralized by fresh enzymes of veggies and spices as well (onion, garlic, chili, etc.).

Below is one of my favorite Korean rice. They call it green tea rice, cooked with green tea so it turns into green. The other dish beside(noodle) is chapchae - my favorite "Korean pansit" - although the noodle is said to be made from flour of sweet potato (?) that's why it is clear and gelatinous.

Berdeng Kanin/Green Tea Rice

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What's driving Entrecards members crazy?

What's new with entrecard that's driving its members crazy?

For the last two weeks various improvements are happening at entrecard and members are I believe getting a bit crazy about this fast-fast improvements.

But one thing for sure the members are getting involved and engaged. I am wondering how this entrecard bandwagon could be utilized to some overwhelming changes online. I believe if the power is harness properly then this online community could very well be a potent force
to contend with on the internet.

The last time was a call to have a digg so I added several people now on my digg but I think of the 600 people only 10 or so would digg the news I shouted to them. So am not sure what entrcarders could make out with the so many people on digg now.

Then comes the comment bomb, well it was good to see entrecarders commenting in someone else's blog imagine a hundred for a single post, that is something. For my blog I think the biggest number of commenters I have is 30 over a long period of time.

Then still not satisfied with comment bomb, now a more systematic way of commenting is put in place through the new and official partnership between Entrecard's and SezWho. As of writing I believe thousand of members of entrecard have installed the widget already on their site so that's another accessory or widget aside from the bloggers entrecard banner. Well for me blog I have streamlined a bit and put banners s-me I could not see anymore inside a page so I just created a link to those widgets.

So whats going to happen now with SezWho - entrecard members will be encourage not only to drop their card on somebody else's blog but to readand comment sincerely. This way members gets to interact with other members and in the process earning points.

Below is the letter I received from the Entrecard team explaining more about the benefit of the partnerhsip with SezWho.

July 15, 2008
San Francisco, CA

Greetings Entrecard members,
It is my absolute pleasure to announce Entrecard's official partnership with SezWho. SezWho is the web's best comment application for your blog. For Entrecard members, SezWho is going to increase the quality of your Entrecard traffic 100 times as all your droppers start to leave comments, and it will give you an exciting new way to earn credits by leaving valuable comments on each others' blogs.
The full announcement, complete with the "How it works" guide, is on our blog here:
The basics go like this:
1.) By installing SezWho on your blog, others will earn credits when they leave you comments, and you will earn credits when you comment on others.
2.) Go to this URL to register for SezWho and notify Entrecard:
3.) There is a check-box on the Entrecard Browser, to search for only SezWho enabled blogs.

The benefits of participating are:
1.) You'll get A LOT more comments as members are more motivated to comment on you.
2.) You'll earn credits for comments you're already leaving!
3.) As you become motivated to comment more, you will start receiving more and more traffic, comments and subscribers.

We're also holding a secret contest to win 5,000 credits, here:
Write a post, get a secret title for it, post a tweet on twitter, give sezwho a whirl, comment on another blog talking about Entrecard - SezWho and win 5,000 credits. One entry per person. Credits also paid for partial completion.

Entrecard Team

What is SezWho?

SezWho is a universal profile service that engages your community and enables content discovery. SezWho is all about making the Social Web truly social. SezWho enables content rating, universal user profiles, and reputation-based content discovery to be added to any social media site. The SezWho service works with blogs, forums, wikis, video/picture sharing sites, discussion boards and anywhere else where people contribute content and engage in conversations. SezWho is focused on delivering benefits to all participants in social media interactions: . Readers can easily distinguish credible content and commentary, and they can follow contributors as they participate on social media sites across the web . Contributors gain web-wide recognition for their insights and expertise, with a universal profile that accumulates a record of all their contributions, across all communities . Site-Owners and Publishers can spotlight and leverage informative, high-quality content to engage their communities and drive traffic

Here's a link to their demo:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blog Hazard: Dealing with Nasty Blog Comments

15 July 2007
12:02 PM

(Note: image above is from the button of linked in yahoo group)

I signed up lately to LinkedIn Bloggers at yahoogroups and posted this topic, blog hazard to the group. I received very construcitve and informative feedback.

Since I don't have persmission to quote the exchanges there. Those who are interested to join - provided you have linkedin account I encourage you to join
the group and learn from professional bloggers. Here's the group description:

Group Description: LinkedIn Bloggers is a forum for discussing how blogging and related technologies,
such as podcasting, video blogging (vlogging)and wikis can support members' professional networking using LinkedIn.

I recently received what I call blog hazard:nasty comments more than a blog criticism. After all they neglected to see and read the intent of the blog entry for which they commented on. But learning from John Chow, I thought of blog diplomacy for the title of this blog entry. But checking the internet, the word is now co-opted by US politicians especially with what they describe as “a three-person, "digital outreach team" posting entries in Arabic on "influential" Arabic blogs to challenge misrepresentations of the United States and promote moderate views among Islamic youths in the hopes of steering them from terrorism” (State Dept. Tries Blog Diplomacy by Walter Pincus, 2007). So I used another title. Blog diplomacy is what I would summarize the particular section on “How to handle negative comments in a blog” an ebook given out by famous blogger Mr. John Chow to his blog subscribers.

Serendipity Entrecard! It was through entrecard that I came across a posting of a contest by John Chow. For those who are not into entrecard, it is one of the most active and engaged community of bloggers by having your entrecard or internet/blog business card displayed or dropped on other blogs or sites. The community is growing aside from the regular buying and selling advertisements. There’s forum to exchange and also barter goods and services, it can be purchased too in real dollars aside from entrecard points. There’s so much going-on at entrecard that is really making it as a close knit community of bloggers. I believed most bloggers who are into monetizing their blog are familiar with John Chow. Entrecard is also gaining popularity among bloggers since it is the latest and most powerful means of getting to know and read fellow bloggers and gets promoted as blogger.

Although Mr. John Chow’s contest referred to is good only for the US based bloggers I managed to browse through his blog. Admittedly I don’t read his blog since I am not much into monetizing my blog, definitely a blog romantic more than a blog pragmatic. But still I made it a point to sign up to his newsletter and boy, I was given a thank you note and a link to his ebook Make Money Online with John Chow dot Com. I browsed the ebook and read with interest the “blog diplomacy” section that of handling negative comments.

Indeed I’ve been pampered lately by Litratong Pinoy receiving praises and pleasant comments, thus encouraging me to join the weekly photo submission. So I was not prepared for this blog hazard: dealing with a nasty comment. I did not erase those comments and have them available online for people to see. So what is the maxim of Mr. John Chow, he says that as your blog gets bigger the number of negative comments increases. And this is his punchline “ I actually look forward to negative comments in my blog because it’s an indication of growth”, that was his very first line and definitely very powerful. I could only smile and remember reading those witty sarcasm of Oscar Wilde, as if he is blogging! I highly suggest for bloggers not to miss out that e-book. So subscribe to his blog and get that e-book.

Well, I also like to point out here that with that nasty comment experience I came across a good site which web companies are employing in their site it is called Get Satisfaction. They describe themselves as “ a place where people can get the most from the products they use, and where companies are encouraged to get real with their customers.” Apparently Plurk employ such service and so I made a complaint about Plurk Buddy who made the comment in my blog with their website linked and I was told it was not their Plurk Buddy but some imposter. So this made me think that should anyone who would like to malign you could easily do it by dropping nasty comments, vitriolic remarks, falsities and what not in the comment section of blogs claiming your name and linking your blog, wow your done! But I don’t think they can get rid away with it. There will always be ways by which they can be traced and be found out with their wrong doings. But for this, bloggers should really watch out.

I don’t expect all people or bloggers for that matter to be nice but at least be more rational, sensible and diplomatic with their comments. Let’s argue about my points or opinions. Rebut and debate, oppose and disagree, for me these are fine and acceptable. But anyway, with John Chow’s blog maxim I hope to be more sensible and rational at dealing with blog hazards.

Lastly, there was one commentor which does not have any link so I can’t guess what kind of life he is living, since I was told to have a life, hey man my blog is about love and life, hahhahaa! So I was ridiculed for believing in fairy tales. Well at least if ever I believe in them I have something to believe in. I am not sure if he ever read the classics and how he explains Santa Claus to his children or nephew and nieces. Since I do read and appreciate great literary works I would admire more those great authors and their body of works which I would presume he just watches in movies. And I wonder if he have heard of the news of JK Rowling delivering her Commencement Address at Harvard. Well these great authors had fantasy, imagination and creativity for which they became famous and great.

Nasty comments, naaahhh!

And by the way prediction or not, it seems the Philippines continue to experience some earthquakes. So dear countrymand and family and relatives be prepared if the big one would come. Hope it will just be small tremors. So please read my blog post to acquaint yourself with LA Fire Department to prepare for any eventuallities.

Okay fellow bloggers here are other links I found interesting to read:

Dealing with the Nasty
November 24, 2007 by teeni

(Check the comment section for other bloggers experiences)

Criticism: A Rite of Passage on the Web?
by Skellie
(Very erudite and scholarly and so well written)
(Definitely a must read even if you are not into monetizing your blog, for bloggers John Chow’s site is a must for bloggers!)
(Got complaints with a web/online service try this out and hope you get satisfied)

State Dept. Tries Blog Diplomacy
By Walter Pincus
Monday, November 19, 2007; Page A15

Monday, July 07, 2008

I WON Manila Bay! Philippine Issues Writing Project

This is a project of initiated by Nick. His pix in the blog is that of Ninoy (hmmmm...), below is his description of himself:

Nick is as passionate a Filipino as you will ever encounter. He lives on political and social news, and often writes about these topics as well. His personal blog is at which he started in 2006.

He is an engineer by trade. He is a Filipino-American, but 100% pure blooded Filipino.

He is a Cebuano, from Cebu of course. He loves Filipino food. And he loves Filipino women. He hates politicians who take advantage of the marginalized for political gains (which is almost all politicians).

He plays guitar, pool, golf, chess, basketball, and badminton. He hates small talk.

Although the name that appeared is Peter Ahon, that should be Pete Rahon, I definitely claim authorship to the article and that blog is this blog. Indeed it is an "ahon" rising up or pulling out of the waters of blogging to a more sensible writing. It is a recognition to my blogging effort (more than alexa rank, page rank, real rank and what ever rank they have, the esteem of a blogger will always be the from the regard of his/her peer bloggers) although I know for sure that there's so much to be improved in the blog entry I submitted - but it is my blog entry a very personal issue more than anything else. That's my blog romanticism. I don't claim at all that it is an erudite explanation, politically correct, or logically sound for that matter, yet it is my issue and definitely a Philippine issue.

Anyway, this is not acceptance speech for my award, hehehe... hey, it is a blog entry...

Thanks Nick for initiating the writing project and to your numerous benevolent sponsors, especially to Gibbs Cadiz for that nice coffee book coveted by another winnner, hehhe...

Below are the list of writers and their entries and also the prizes won, I ended up at 5th prize so as not to copy the whole blog of Nick here ( hi nick re-blogging your announcement, just three prizes short haha...).

The Philippine Issues Writing Project Summary, Prize Winners Announced

Written on Sunday, June 29th, 2008 at 6:20 pm | by Nick

The Philippine Issues Writing Project has wrapped up, with 32 entries in all, and many issues bared, I think we had a successful few weeks. Filipino Voices has much to be appreciative about, our growing readership, our excellent team of bloggers, and our passionate and lively discussions on the issues. To the many individuals who participated in the writing project, thank you for your insightful articles. The issues that were brought to light gave us food for thought.

This writing project was to kick off our official launch of this collaborative blog, which means that this is just a start, and we hope more participate in future writing projects.

And now to the writing project itself. Along with previous week’s entries, including the last two weeks, here are the entries in order of submission,

Peter Ahon - Nursing is Apolitical?

Coy - A Jun Lozada campus speech

Jon Magat - banning condom ads and educating the youth

Benign0 - video on Deforestation

Heck - Ang Pamumundok at Ang ZTE

Nick - Poverty in The Philippines, Our Biggest Issue

RJ Marmol - The Philippines’ Biggest Problem

Rina - The Tears of Sierra Madre

Christy Sanico - An Unheard Wail

Nightdreamer - Empty Barrels

Michael P. De Guzman - My Name is Not Susan

Hilda Kapauan Abola - What Is 40 Philippine Pesos

Ed Maquiling - Try Walking on a Host of Pathogens!

Calvin - Si Nanay

Totomai - Plight

Rina - Renewables Now

Mica - SPED Schools in The Philippines

Splice and Dice - Debris and Hubris

Patricio Mangubat - Remembering Father

Splice and Dice - Sons and Fathers

Rummel Pinera - Why Obama has To Win The Presidency

Rummel Pinera - Political Abrogationism for Real, Global and Moral Democracy

Oliver Geronilla - Tongue In Cheek?

Fitz - The State of Financial Literacy in The Philippines

JM Tuazon - Blogging Issues

Coy - Video on Checkpoints During Rallies

Legally Inclined - The Most Harmful Provisions of All

Cynch - CHANGE

Jon Magat - Bihasa Sa Pagtitiis Ang Mga Pilipino

Danny Sabino - Culture Building Peace Initiatives For the Tri-People

Shari - Lack of Involvement

Eugene - Lakbayan and the Enigma of Filipino Nationalism

A reminder to all, that all participants receive a free sticker, however, please contact us and leave your mailing address so that we can send it to you.

And now, to the prizes that were raffled off,

1. The winner of the Flickr Pro Account goes to Fitz Villafuerte

2. The winner of the 1 year blog hosting courtesy of Ederic are: Totomai, Ed Maquiling, and Heck

3. The winner of The CD set “20 speeches that moved a nation” courtesy of Manolo Quezon III goes to Mica

4. The winner of “Welcome To The Philippines” Coffee Table Book courtesy of Gibbs Cadiz goes to Coy

(Photo source

5. The winner of “Manila Bay: Crossroads of Asia” Coffee Table Book courtesy of Gibbs Cadiz goes to Peter Ahon

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Earthquake shakes Aurora Province, Manila


07 July 2008

2:42 PM (Korean Time)

Here's an email from a friend about the non-existence of the prediction on the website:

Hi pete!

here's the website of jucelino with his predictions

Under july 2008 there is no prediction of an earthquake in the Philippines!!!

What's amazing was that he predicted the storm and floods in the Philippines last June 2008.

Here's the entry -

- Major floods in China caused by a hurricane and are already thousands of deaths and starts reaching Bangladesh and the Philippines;

That was storm Frank which caused many horrible disasters last month and one of the papers said it caused damage worth P555M!

Am still wondering where they got the date July 18, 2008.

Whatever, whenever, these are the times to be prepared for major disasters, which we always have naman. Kaya siguro tayo deadma na sa bagyo, lindol, baha, etc. The only difference is that this time it will be stronger. Time for us to rethink, este overhaul, plan and maybe find quantum ways of facing these natural disasters.

Haaay, bayan ko! Nagmamahal pa rin.


I was chatting with a friend from the Philippines when he received a text about the news of earthquake.

I asked at plurk and saw an answer and link I am posting here below the news from

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake shook Aurora Province Sunday night.

Dr. Renato Solidum, Director ng Philippine institute for Volcanoloy and Seismology (Phivocs), said the quake’s epicenter is located 103 kilometers east of Baler. It took place at 8:01 p.m.

The earthquake, which was described as tectonic in origin, was felt all the way to Manila.

Intensity 4 was felt in Baler, Aurora; Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija; Plaridel, Bulacan; and Manila.

Intensity 2 was felt Clark Air Base, Pampanga; San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan; Guiñangan, Quezon; Baguio City; and Cainta, Rizal.

No damage to property was reported as of posting time.


I just hope that the prediction of Mr. Juseleeno Nobulega DaRoose won't happen. A friend of mine pointed out that the prediction of the earthquake in the Philippines is not found on the website of the psychic. She however stressed that in LA they really prepare a great deal - fire/earthquake drill, first aid kit, First-aid-CPR. etc. She also mentioned that if tectocnic plate shifts in the Philippines LA/Calif. USA will get affected. The Baler quake may in a way will be precursor to future geologic activities in the Pacific.

We hope this is not the sign of a bigger quake to come or any future aftershock. But still, it is best to be prepared.

So please check some guide posted here:

Gender Genie: Check your blog's gender

I think I have come across this a year ago and checking on their blog I found that the gender genie was up in 2006. I checked the net because I came up with some writing plans - well these days whenever I have thought of some ideas or words in mind I would check the net to figure out if my ideas are original only to find out it is so commonplace! I mean I could always find similar if not related things with that of what of mine.

So for the gender genie I used a longer blog entry since I found out that most of my blog entries are suited for internet reading - less than 500 and so many hyperlinks (ughhh, where's originality). So the text was from a blog entry about my sister graduating from nursing. The blog entry was quite long. The figure shows the text and the tracking of the genie for words.

This is the figure of the analysis - there are words particularly used by men and that of women. Check this article from NY Times about language difference of men and women.

So finally here is the verdict:

But check out this link since some women argue that they are being identified as men, maybe strong women.

Go and check and let me know your blog's gender!

The Book Blog - Gender Genie

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Barako, indie film by Manolito Sulit

I got a comment for my blog entry on Balikbayan box:

Manolito Sulit said...

You'll realize more about life in the Philippines in over a hundred years since the Philippine-American war when you watch the historical independent movie, "Barako", showing in Galleria's IndieSine (Cinema 8), from July 9-15. Here's the trailer link:

God bless!

Manolito C. Sulit
writer, director & producer
Mei Magsino

The title of the film is replete with meanings and searching the net I believe the article of Mei Magsino will best expound on its meaning:

The Barako Bared

SAY the word barako and immediately three meanings come to mind: the strong-flavored and robust brew of the liberica coffee; the sex-driven adult male boar ready for breeding; and that certain brand of Batangueño, the rough and tough Filipino male from the province of Batangas. All three possess virility, strength, fearlessness — yes, even the coffee, whose flavor practically leaps up from the cup and straight onto one's tongue. All three carry within the pride of the Batangueños, who claim these qualities exclusively as their own.

So it seems it is the season again for indie films in the Philippines. I do admire and adore the the creative spirit of these filmmakers. Their films mostly made with measly budget, pro-bono actors and thanks to digital technology, these filmmakers are the ones making Philippine cinema to thrive and restore its former glory. It should be noted that most of the Philippine films that gets awarded, nominated and noticed at international film festivals are independently produced.

Today, except for Hollywood films and few commercial Philippine movies, the movie industry is dying. Good thing that digital technology is available for new generations of film makers to express themselves. Sign of the times, with films available for download and rental online, movie moguls have to rethink their film business strategies. They ought to support and give more assistance to independent filmmakers. Why not they co-venture producing the films of independent film makers? Sooner or later they will realize the power that is wielded by the people and ICT advancements against their business.

Barako is also coffee and one of the cafe shops my friend Jane introduced me, she calls an alternative to those multinational cafe shops we patronize is Figaro ( Well a bit on a high end their shops are cozy, I also like their piped-in bossa nova music, I think it is their own produced album/collection.

Checking on Barako I came across these various links:

Okey not to forget I am plugging it here, please patronize indie films and check out the movie BARAKO by Manolito Sulit. Below are links of review and the official movie website.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Balikbayan box:Tatak Pinoy, markado!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 
A Balikbayan Box

A balikbayan box (literally returnee's box) is a cardboard box containing novelty items brought by or sent by a Filipino who is returning to the Philippines from a foreign country.[1] These boxes contain non-perishable food items, canned goods, other food items, toiletries, household and kitchen stuffs, time saving devices, computer parts, electronics, toys, designer clothing, personal items, and hard-to-find items in the Philippines.[2]

In 2006, I wrote a blog entry about balikbayan box with this link:

Okey, my apologies for the non-Filipino readers but jokes are best delivered by the language and medium of the speaker and  audience could very well relate with. I believe most Filipinos have read this email that circulated few years back. I tried looking for this email in my mailbox but unsuccesful so I found it on the web instead, from this link:

Well, absurd, bizarre or true only the Filipinos could tell, the story goes like this:

Si Inay

Sending "pasalubong" is typical among Filipinos in the U.S. They'll do anything to support their families in the Philippines. That's why Filipinos think that their U.S. counterparts are rich, especially when they send pictures of them posing in front of their big houses and nice cars. They are obligated to support everybody, using their credit cards for loans to send more money home and even taking on multiple jobs to pay it off....

  Nakaka-lungkot talaga ito!!!! This story which has been circulating the 'Net is rumored to be true.... Dalawa lang silang mag-ina dito sa America (Los Angeles) at hihintay nila ang pag dating ng pamilya nila. Pero unfortunately, while they were waiting, the mother died. The family in the Philippines wants their mom to be buried back home pero it was so expensive. Pero dahil majority of the family wanted it that way, walang choice ang anak dito sa States hung hindi sundin ang mga nakakatanda sa kanya. Dahil nga very expensive, she decided to remain in the States and ship the coffin unaccompanied.

  Ng dumating na sa Pilipinas ang kanilang ina, may napansin ang pamilya na hindi maganda. Ang mukha at katawan ng inay nila ay dikit na dikit na sa salamin nang kabaong. Sabi tuloy ng isa, "Ay tingnan mo yan, hindi sila marunong mag asikaso ng patay sa Amerika." To make a long story short, they prepared the coffin for viewing. Pag bukas ng takip (salamin) ng coffin, may napansin silang sulat sa baba ng dibdib ng kanilang inay. Dahan-dahan kinuha at nangi-nginig na bukasan ni Kuya (panganay na anak) ang sulat at binasa sa lahat ng buong familia. Ang nilalaman ng sulat ay ito:

  "Mahal Kong mga Kapatid, hayan na si Inay!!

  Pasencia na kayo at hindi ko nasamahan ang Inay sa pag-uwi diyan sa Pilipinas sa dahilan na napaka-mahal ng pamasahe. Ang gastos ko na nga lang sa kanya ay kulang-kulang sa sampung libo (kabaong at shipment). Ayoko ng isipin pa ang eksaktong halaga. Anyway, pinadala ko kasama ni Inay ang:

  --Dalawampu't apat na karne norte na nasa likod ni Inay. Maghati-hati na kayo.

  --Anim na bagong labas na Reebok sneakers...isa suot-suot ni Inay...ang lima nasa ulunan ni Inay...isa-isa na kayo riyan.

  --Iba't bang klaseng tsokolate, nasa puwit ni Inay...maghati-hati na kayong lahat...

  --Anim na Ralph Lauren na t-shirts suot-suot ni Inay...para sa iyo, Kuya, at isa-isa ang mga pamangkin ko.

  --Isang dosenang Wonderbra na gustong-gusto ninyo, mga kapatid ko, suot-suot din ni Inay. Maghati-hati na kayo riyan.

  --Dalawang dosenang Victoria's Secret na panties na inaasam-asam ninyo, suot-suot din ni Inay. Maghati-hati na rin kayo, Ate....

  --Walong Dockers na pantalon suot-suot din ni Nanay... Kuya, Diko, isa-isa na kayo, at mga pamangkin ko.

  --Ang Rolex na hinahabilin mo, Kuya, eh suot-suot din ni Inay. Kunin mo na.

  --Ang hikaw, singsing, at kuwintas na gustong-gusto mo, Ate, eh suot-suot din ni Inay. Kunin mo na.

  --Mga Chanel na medyas, suot-suot din ni Inay. Tig-i-tig-isa na kayo at mga pamangkin ko.

  Bahala na kayo kay Inay. Pamimisahan ko na lang siya dito. Balitaan niyo na lang ako pagkatapos ng libing.

  Nagmamahal na kapatid,

P.S. Pakibihisan na lang si Inay...."

Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation in the Philippines: Are we ready for an earthquake?

I have been wanting to write about this things and now I have more reason to warn about a prediction that I have received in my mailbox.

Of particular interest to me is the prediction of earthquake that will strike the Philippines by Mr. Juseleeno Nobulega DaRoose is Brazilian, born in 1960 (whether quack/fake or what not Pinoy should be ready and be prepared just the same) :

> July 18, 2008 - Philippines will get 8.1 earthquake,
> thousands of people
> will die.

{Other bloggers have picked up this news, I know this blogger since we both belong to the entrecard community.

There's a photo and link of this site regarding  earthquake clouds:

Here's a link that counter the predictions and authority of the psychic

Addtional link/discussion:

That is very soon, this month. Another friend of mine (a low profile seer) have been telling me that he feels there's a looming big earthquake to strike the Philippines but does not know when. Well there are clairvoyant and others gifted with psychic abilities around us so it good take heed to them but with all sensibilities and calmness. Whatever they say should be thought and considered rationally and it should not cause panic and unnecessary anxiety and trouble.

So I write this blog entry not to cause panic but to warn and make people prepared, especially my family members. The Philippines is known to belong to the ring of fire or earthquake and volcano belt that when triggered in one country the rest will get to experience it on a later time. There has been frequent earthquakes in China and Japan and the Philippines very close to these countries would definitely sometime have to experience the same.

The reputation of the Philippine government to address disasters and calamities is very poor. That is why among NGOs, "Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation" is one big issue that is is now being addressed. Training and capacity building are being done to help communities to address these kind of situations. Which most of the time it is the poor that suffered a great deal and gets affected so badly. They don't have skills, money, access and facilities to address these calamities. It is them who are very prone and directly exposed to these disasters like informal settlers who live by the riverbanks or their houses on stilts and under bridges. When there's typhoon and flooding they are the usual victims.

I heard though that the City Government of Marikina have been serving information to its people about disaster preparedness. I hope those flyers they have been giving out are read and understood by the people.

So what to do, for the faithful - prayer and meditation will be helpful. For the non-faithful well this should have a strong resolve to deal with such a calamity should it occur.

KONTRA, KONTRAHIN ANG LINDOL! - I hope blogging it and discussing it - it will be dispelled, also let us think positively and invoke for it no eatrthquake to happen.

What other measures to do: stay away from tall buildings. Be ready with first aid kit and other survival skills. This site below is a wealth of information: Source: Los Angeles Fire Department Emergency Preparedness (

(Although the information is very American still most of them are very relevant for Filipinos to make use of.)


When you feel an earthquake, duck under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from windows, bookcases, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, hanging plants, and other heavy objects that could fall. Watch out for falling plaster and ceiling tiles. Stay under cover until the shaking stops. Hold onto your cover. If it moves, move with it. Here are some additional tips for specific locations.

+ If you’re in a HIGH-RISE BUILDING, and you are not near a desk or table, move against an interior wall, and protect your head with your arms. Do not use the elevators. Do not be surprised if the alarm or sprinkler systems come on. Stay indoors, glass windows can dislodge during the quake and sail for hundreds of feet.

+ If you’re OUTDOORS, move to a clear area, away from trees, signs, buildings, or electrical wires and poles.

+ If you’re on a SIDEWALK NEAR BUILDINGS, duck into a doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster, and other debris.

+ If you’re DRIVING, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.

+ If you’re in a CROWDED STORE OR OTHER PUBLIC PLACE, do not rush for exits. Move away from display shelves containing objects that could fall.

+ If you’re in a WHEELCHAIR, stay in it. Move to cover, if possible, lock your wheels, and protect your head with your arms.

+ If you’re in the KITCHEN, move away from the refrigerator, stove, and overhead cupboards.
(Take time NOW to anchor appliances and install security latches on cupboard doors to reduce hazards.)

+ If you’re in a STADIUM OR THEATER, stay in your seat and protect your head with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking is over. Then leave in a calm, orderly manner. Avoid rushing toward exits.



Be prepared for aftershocks, and plan where you will take cover when they occur.
o Check for injuries. Give first aid as necessary.
o Remain calm and reassure others.
o Avoid broken glass.
o Check for fire. Take appropriate actions and precautions.
o Check gas, water and electric lines. If damaged, shut off service. If gas is leaking, don’t use matches, flashlights, appliances or electric switches. Open windows, leave building and report to gas company.
o Replace all telephone receivers and use for emergency calls only.
o Tune to the emergency broadcast station on radio or television. Listen for emergency bulletins.
o Stay out of damaged buildings.


o Create a Family Earthquake Plan.
o Know the safe spot in each room. Under sturdy tables, desks, or against inside walls. o Know the danger spots. Windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces, and tall furniture.
o Conduct practice drills.
o Physically place yourself and your children in safe locations.
o Learn first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) from your local Red Cross or other community organization.
o Decide where your family will reunite if separated.
o Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
o Choose a friend or relative whom family members can call after the quake to report your condition. (edited and revised)


o Learn how to shut off gas, water, and electricity in case the lines are damaged.
o Check chimneys, roofs and wall foundations for stability.
o Secure water heater and appliances that could move enough to rupture utility lines. o Keep breakable and heavy objects on lower shelves.
o Put latches on cabinet doors to keep them closed during shaking.
o Keep flammable or hazardous liquids such as paints, pest sprays or cleaning products in cabinets or secured on lower shelves.
o Maintain emergency food, water, medicine, first aid kit, tools and clothing.


o Suggest that local organizations of which you are a member undertake a specific preparedness program or acquire special training to be of assistance in the event of a damaging earthquake.
o Participate in neighborhood earthquake preparedness programs.
o Attend training for neighborhood residents in preparedness, first aid, fire suppression, damage assessment and search & rescue.
o Develop self-help networks between families and your neighborhood through a skills and resources bank which includes a listing of tools, equipment, materials and neighborhood members who have special skills and resources to share.
o Identify neighbors who have special needs or will require special assistance.
o Have your neighborhood develop a secret signal to notify friends if everyone and everything is OK. Don't use obvious signals. This could identify vacant houses to criminals.


(Buy only currently dated stock, and rotate your supply. {revised})
o Antibiotic ointment
o Necessary medications (prescriptions, etc.) Don’t forget pediatric medications for the children.
o Aspirin and/or pain relief medication
o Diarrhea medication
o Eye drops
o Cold/cough medicine
o Antihistamines (Benadryl)
o Insect spray
o Ear and nose drops
o Hydrogen peroxide
o Skin disinfectant spray
o NOTE: Prescription medications are expensive and you don't want them to go bad in storage. Simply acquire one additional bottle of medication and store it in a cool dark place. Then use this bottle next when you run out. A newly purchased bottle will then go back into your emergency storage


o Band-Aids, large and small
o Medical latex gloves
o Surgical mask
o Instant cold and heat packs
o Ace bandages
o Butterfly bandages
o Gauze pads, 4" x 4"
o Cotton swabs
o Adhesive tape 2"
o 2" & 4" wide sterile bandage rolls
o Triangular bandage for sling, etc. Use 48" unbleached muslin. Cut a 48" square then cut it diagonally to make two triangular bandages.
o Tongue depressors (popsicle sticks)
o Splint material
o Spray bottle with 10% bleach solution for disinfecting objects.


o Work gloves
o Ax / maul (min. 6 lb.)
o Shovel (flathead and pointed)
o Broom
o Hammer and nails
o Screwdrivers
o Crowbar or claw tool (36"or longer)
o Plastic sheeting rolls (4 mil. 10' x 25')
o Plastic garbage bags (heavy-duty, 30-gal. or larger)
o Small and large plastic bags
o Coils of rope 1/4", 1/2", 3/4" x 25' or 50'
o Coil of wire
o Tent (family or tube-type)
o Tarp (P.V.C. or canvas, min. 2 ea., 8' x 10')
o Sleeping bags, blanket, or space blanket
o Cheesecloth (to strain particles from water
o CASH MONEY (small denominations & coins)
o Dry food
o Water
o Clothing
o Walking shoes and socks
o Local road map
o Fire extinguisher (We recommend a dry chemical type with a minimum size rating of A-10BC, with an earthquake restraining strap, a hose-type nozzle, and a metal head.)
o Compass
o Flashlight w/extra batteries, or chemical light sticks
o Matches, in waterproof container
o Small radio w/extra batteries (battery-powered portable)

o Entertainment Pack - Family photos, notebooks, literature, and games before you treat it)