Saturday, February 27

Sunday Scripture Verse: John 14:27


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27(NIV)

***photo courtesy of Aly

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Thursday, February 25

Documents To Go® for my iPod touch


I finally downloaded the Documents To Go office application from the App Store for my 64 gig iPod touch . I've used this on my old Palm Zire 71 device and I'm glad it has been made available for iPhone and iPod touch users. I was leaning on buying the Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite that my friend Wacks absolutely swears is amazing, but in the end I went with what's already familiar to me.


The $9.99 (P460) basic Documents To Go do not have PowerPoint editing and email exchange access, so I decided to get the Documents To Go Premium for $14.99 (P756.39) instead. I'm not much of a techie person but I've just got to be able to create or edit my Microsoft Office documents on the go, so this is a very useful addition to my mobile applications. Now if only I could do something about the iPod touch screen shifting from portrait to landscape view, when I tilt it sideways while reading, it would be perfect.

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Wednesday, February 24

About Hayden Kho's medical license

 

Dr. Hayden Kho, who caused a massive scandal last year when videotapes of his intimate encounters with actresses/models were uploaded on the internet, is again appealing the ruling by the Board of Medicine of The Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) to permanently strip him of his medical license due to "immorality, dishonorable and unethical conduct".

I can't even imagine what the women in the videos went through, they must have felt terrible humiliation knowing anyone with a computer had access to the tapes and bootleg dvds are also sold in the streets, available to every perv who wants it. I have not watched any of the notorious videos--I don't know, maybe subconsciously I don't want to add to these women's pain?

Hayden Kho was definitely wrong to videotape his bed partners without their consent, but reading the news reports about this debacle, it appears that he did not mean for the videos to be made public. It only got out when his jealous girlfriend with the help of his friends, hacked into his password-protected laptop. It's anybody's guess who actually uploaded the videos on the internet.

Maybe it's just the doctor in me, but it takes a lot of sacrifice and effort to get that medical license. Hayden Kho might be a colossal jerk for doing what he did, but I don't see how his private actions--very stupid though they were, should cost him this. What happened here is not at all connected to the practice of medicine. A suspension might be in order, but to lose his license forever? I don't think so.

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Sunday, February 21

Veronica Siwik-Daniels don't deserve an apology

 

Some women are such idiots. I can't believe the nerve of this Veronica Siwik-Daniels aka pornstar "Joslyn James" who was one of Tiger Woods' many mistresses. After Tiger Woods practically prostrated himself with his 13-minute apology to the world, this fame hungry skank, took to the microphones to demand a special "face to face", "look in his eyes" apology.

This woman does not deserve any apology from Tiger because she knew all the while she was carrying on an affair with him that he was married, so she could not honestly claim she'd been deceived or lied to. Her "sorry" to Elin Woods and her children don't amount to a hill of beans... she was an adult who made the decision to sleep with a rich and famous married man without thinking of the consequences.

"You cant help who you love", eh? What a pathetic excuse. Wishing she'd been told the "truth" so she would have made other choices? How about just respecting the truth that a married man is always off limits? If she had any decency at all, when Tiger Woods first came calling, she should have thought about Elin, Sam and Charlie then and told him no.

Update: Just to prove how truly "sorry" she was, this poor excuse for a human being just released Tiger's raunchy texts sent to her. Yeah, that would make Elin and her kids feel a lot better (sarc).

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Friday, February 19

Be classy, Scotty Lago


What the heck was this Scotty Lago guy thinking? Way to celebrate winning an Olympic medal, chump. I'm all for having fun and he certainly deserves to let loose a little after winning his snowboarding bronze medal, but to knowingly pose for these pictures (in his Team USA shirt, no less) is so incredibly stupid.

At least he had the sense to apologize to the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association after these cringe-worthy pictures were published by the celebrity news website TMZ. He also decided to go home early to avoid the unwanted attention that has resulted from this. So instead of having the time of his life at the Olympics he got into the middle of a controversy because he just had to do this to his bronze medal:
And how utterly dense is this girl? What's gotten into her that she'd willingly put herself in this degrading position in front of all and sundry? Her mother must be sooo very proud of her little girl now (sarc). These days, almost nothing you do is ever private anymore, when will people take that to heart and act accordingly? What seems like "innocent fun" could bite you in the posterior, kids. I hate to think what these silly kids might have done if he had won gold.

***removed the objectionable half of the picture and the s word--I forgot my friend Jane's kids lurk here, sorry.

***photos from Getty images and TMZ

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Thursday, February 18

911 dispatcher helps save own son

Hats off to this dad... I know I would be freaking out in the same situation, medical training be darned.

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Wednesday, February 17

Manny Villar's stalking me!

see, he's stalking me... on YM...
I know I'm being a tad dramatic but I feel like Manny Villar is stalking me these days... his campaign ads are just everywhere, there's just no getting away from his orangey mug, it seems. When I open Yahoo! messenger, Facebook and even when I'm just reading my friends' blogs he's inevitably there. I don't begrudge Manny Villar's financial success (he worked hard for it) that makes it possible for him to have a campaign war chest in the billions (he's spent P543-M on ads so far), but this is getting ridiculous.
Facebook...
Villar's campaign spending looks like it's working for him--recent polls attest to this. I have anecdotal evidence too... when we visited a tribal settlement in Bicol, kids are singing the campaign jingle from his TV ad and several tribe members we talked to there would vote for Villar because "si Villar ang tunay na mahirap" directly quoting from it. The song might be cheesy but it's undeniably catchy, even my nephew and nieces love it.

on my friends' blogs?!!!
I don't watch much TV, so I have largely avoided the brunt of this campaign season's ad blitz from politicians running for something or other, but I log onto the internet everyday and I tell you Manny Villar's ads are creeping me out. I like the guy, but I couldn't help but think that if he's spending this much money to get elected president--if he wins, wouldn't he try to recoup his "investment" from us? He's a businessman after all...

Update: Villar's ads exceed combined airtime of 5 rivals .
Based on published rate cards, Villar’s ads cost a total of P1.2 billion in 3 months. It’s almost equal to the combined spending of P1.3 billion by 5 other leading presidential candidates. 

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Tuesday, February 16

The Morong 43 and the military

not NPA, eh? 
The military recently arrested 43 health workers suspected to be members and supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA)--the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines--at a resthouse  in Morong, Rizal. They were detained on suspicion that they were conducting bomb-making activities... explosives and firearms were also found during the raid. The detainees deny the allegations and swore they are just health workers attending a health seminar.

The military declares that their intelligence gathering is top-notch this time. If that's the case then this could have been a huge tactical victory against these Maoist rebels for the military, except that they took it upon themselves to overstep their authority in this situation. Keeping the detainees from contacting their families and lawyers for days, even refusing at first to present them to the courts and the media. These actions are just outrageous and frankly stupid.

One of my nephews is in the army and he'd been ambushed several times by these terrorist rebels. I have no sympathy for the NPA and whatever the heck they are fighting for (communism, really?) is nonsensical to me. But even if the so-called Morong 43 are in fact members of the NPA, they still have rights under our constitution and the military should respect those rights.

Update: 5 of the 43 have admitted they are members of the NPA:

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Monday, February 15

Marriage proposal gone wrong

Don't do this unless you're absolutely sure she's gonna say "yes", okay? This poor misguided guy must be humiliated. The woman coldly walked away not caring that thousands of eyes were watching... being put on the spot obviously isn't her cup of tea. Epic fail.



I don't understand how some men would think it wise to  propose so publicly. Sure, if she answers in the affirmative it would be considered a very smart move and he'll have a nice story to tell the kids, but what if this happens? Well, strangers all over the globe will gawk at your stupidity via YouTube.

*** If it was me though I'd probably say "yes" just to spare him the embarrassment then gently turn him down in private... he was just trying to be romantic after all.

Eh. Not surprising.

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Sunday, February 14

Valentine's day party poopers


I've always thought Valentine's day is the least likely holiday to attract any kind of protest... I mean who would want to be against celebrating love? It's just one day when one must go nuts trying to please one's significant other, where flowers are double or triple their usual price and chocolates and red hearts are everywhere.

It's not an overtly religious holiday--harmless enough when you think about it, but apparently some people are so threatened by this that they are marching in protests, utilizing the religious police and even banning the color red in stores and in the streets. Are you kidding me? These people should seriously get a life.

***photo from http://www.graphicshunt.com/

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Saturday, February 13

Sunday Scripture Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

***photo courtesy of Aly

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Thursday, February 11

The Blind Side movie is awesome!


I finally watched The Blind Side last weekend and it's better than I thought it would be. I still think literary works lose some of its substance when adapted for the screen--but bookworm that I am, it's not surprising I feel that way.  It's pretty much a faithful adaptation of the book with a few exceptions--Michael Oher and his adoptive sister Collins Tuohy were actually in the same class at Briarcrest Christian School and started college together at Ole Miss-- in the movie Michael went to college ahead of her. The fight with the neighborhood thug didn't happen... it was actually an Ole Miss football teammate named Antonio Turner who Michael smacked around after Turner said crude things about his adoptive mom and sister.


This movie is heart-warming without being too sappy. Sandra Bullock did a great job playing the no-nonsense Leigh Anne Tuohy and she didn't even have to shed one tear here to be effective. She deserves all the accolades she has received for her performance in this movie. Quinton Aaron also did well, I think he captured the hulking, quiet, gentle young man that was Michael Oher as he was described in the book. I was surprised at how good an actor Tim McGraw is as Sean Tuohy. Jae Head as the tough negotiator kid SJ is really cute and provided a lot of laughs too.


I saw this movie with my friends Rose, Aida and Sharon (pictured above) and we all gave it two thumbs up. It's also wonderful that fellow moviegoers stayed until the credits have rolled to look at the video and pictures of the real Michael Oher being drafted in the NFL with his family and tutor by his side. I'm gratified that the adaptation of one of my favorite books turned out this well and people have flocked to the cinemas to see this inspiring story of a young man whose life was changed by the kindness of strangers who became the family he's never had.

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Wednesday, February 10

Definitely not love at first sight


This is so not in line with Valentine's day prep but this story is just too weird...a groom in the United Arab Emirates was so weirded out by his unexpectedly bearded and cross-eyed bride, he had his marriage annulled pronto.

from the UK Telegraph:
An Arab ambassador has called off his wedding after discovering his wife-to-be who wears a face-covering veil is bearded and cross-eyed. The envoy had only met the woman a few times, during which she had hidden her face behind a niqab, the Gulf News reported. 
After the marriage contract was signed, the ambassador attempted to kiss his bride-to-be. It was only then that he discovered her facial hair and eyes. The ambassador told an Islamic Sharia court in the United Arab Emirates he was tricked into the marriage as the woman's mother had shown his own mother pictures of her sister instead of his bride-to-be. 
My heart goes out to the poor unfortunate bride... but hasn't she heard of a razor, though? Maybe she couldn't do anything about her eyes but she should have shaved the beard at least.

*** blogger is acting up so the "quote" thing is not working--will fix it later.

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Tuesday, February 9

"My Way" killings go global

And now, the end is near,
and so I face the final curtain...

The international media have finally caught up with this very Filipino phenomenon that has been around for as long as I can remember.

from The New York Times:
The authorities do not know exactly how many people have been killed warbling “My Way” in karaoke bars over the years in the Philippines, or how many fatal fights it has fueled. But the news media have recorded at least half a dozen victims in the past decade and includes them in a subcategory of crime dubbed the “My Way Killings.”

The killings have produced urban legends about the song and left Filipinos groping for answers. Are the killings the natural byproduct of the country’s culture of violence, drinking and machismo? Or is there something inherently sinister in the song?

Whatever the reason, many karaoke bars have removed the song from their playbooks. And the country’s many Sinatra lovers, like Mr. Gregorio here in this city in the southernmost Philippines, are practicing self-censorship out of perceived self-preservation.
I could attest to the veracity of this story--I remember my college friend Carlo nearly got into fisticuffs with some guy badly singing "My Way" over and over and over (he pronounced it "My Weeeee" too, LOL). Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and violence was averted but this song is just too hot to handle for some people here.

Its especially annoying when I could hardly find a family gathering without groups of tipsy older relatives shrieking it, one after the other. So it's a good thing that karaoke bars are effectively banning the song... but I think my relatives would still sing it at our parties anyway, so no luck for me.

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Monday, February 8

Ping Lacson's in a pickle


Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson was recently implicated by state witness Cezar Mancao II in the November 2000 abduction and murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito... the judge handling the case issued an arrest warrant for Lacson only to find he has flown the coop to parts unknown. He insists he is innocent and felt persecuted by the Department of Justice and Malacañang and therefore would not get a fair trial.

I understand Sen. Lacson's skepticism about our justice system under this administration but you know what, he is a senator... he has way more connections than the average Juan de la Cruz. Is this going to be the MO of politicos who get in trouble with the law? Flight is an indication of guilt, right?

What rankles me the most about this case is--if one of us normal Pinoys ever get in trouble like this--we would not have a choice but to suck it up and face the music. Ping Lacson should surrender voluntarily and submit himself to our legal processes just like the rest of us. He could certainly afford to hire a lawyer.

Surely special arrangements could be made for him. He was the former police chief so he would not be too popular if he's thrown in jail together with common criminals. This debacle reflects very poorly on the Senate and the PNP--I hope the good senator would come to his senses before Interpol gets its hands on him.

***photo courtesy of Ping Lacson's official website

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Sunday, February 7

No honor in "Honor Killings"

The hole where Medine Memi was buried alive

This article from the Inquirer is really sickening...
ANKARA—A 16-year-old girl was buried alive by relatives in southeast Turkey in a gruesome honor killing just because she reportedly befriended boys, the Anatolia news agency reported Thursday.

Acting on a tip-off, police discovered Medine Memi's body in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a two-meter-deep hole in a chicken pen outside her house in Kahta town, Adiyaman province, 40 days after she went missing, the agency said.

A subsequent post mortem revealed that she had a significant amount of soil in her lungs and stomach, meaning that she was buried alive, forensic experts told the agency.
What would possess a father to do something like this? Killing his own daughter just because he felt dishonored by her talking to boys? Isn't this the 21st century? It's unbelievable...

I can't even begin to imagine the sheer terror this poor girl must have felt before she died at the hands of men she loved. Apparently this barbaric practice is still alive and well in many parts of the world.

Human Rights Watch defines "honor killings" as follows:
Honor crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that "dishonors" her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.
Wow, even the mere perception of impropriety is enough to get a woman killed? Also some countries still think this is culturally/religiously acceptable? Absolutely outrageous and very very sad.





*** photo courtesy of Reuters

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Saturday, February 6

Sunday Scripture Verse: Isaiah 40:31



but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
~ Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

*** photo courtesy of Emman

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Thursday, February 4

Drooling over the Apple iPad


I've been drooling over the Amazon Kindle 2 for months and was planning on getting one last Christmas... my blog friend Marty told me that the Barnes & Noble "Nook" seems better due to its colored screen. It got me thinking that I might just as well wait for Amazon to release a Kindle with the same features because the Nook is not available for shipping in the Philippines.

I bought the 64 gig iPod touch to tide me over 'til then and it's been amazing so far... it's sleekly designed and very user-friendly. It's such a great gadget I think I'm well on my way to becoming an Apple geek because of this. If I could find an MS Office application so I could type my reports on it--I'd be in hog heaven...


But wait, Apple just released their iPad tablet computer and it looks really good. Now I'm thinking I should have bought the 32 gig iPod touch instead since I won't be needing so much memory once I get the iPad. There's still a few months to go before it gets here and I might change my mind yet but I'd love to have one.

It's like the Kindle on steroids! The iPad has this iBooks application and I could buy books at the Apple store and read them on the go. It doesn't make sense to me now to buy the Kindle--which just functions as an ebook reader, when I could have the iPad which does just about everything netbooks can do. At least that's what the early iPad reviews say.

Update: Demand For iPads Exploding: Apple Could Sell 8-10 Million This Year, Suppliers Predict .
             Apple IPad a ‘Winner,’ ‘Game Changer,’ Reviewers Say

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Wednesday, February 3

The NBI throws out evidence in the trash?!?!

NBI meet CSI

This is unbelievable. The medico legal officer who performed the autopsies on the bodies of the Maguindanao Massacre victims, apparently admitted in court that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who's tasked by the President to investigate the killings, allowed the victims' clothes to be tossed out in the trash because they don't have a refrigerator to store them in. Excuse me?

As I said to my blogger friend Bluetooth who brought this to my attention--even idiots know you shouldn't destroy evidence. Don't these people watch TV (CSI, Law & Order etc.)? Hmmph! I know these crime shows are idealized versions of reality and there's no way in h*ll it could be duplicated in the Philippines but keeping the clothes worn by murder victims ought to be standard procedure, right?

from PhilStar:
During the cross examination by Ampatuan’s lawyer Sigfrid Fortun, Rodaje admitted that the clothes of Jenalyn were disposed of during the examination and were never preserved as evidence.

Rodaje said it is not a practice at the NBI to keep such items since the office has no refrigeration unit.

"The clothes were already stained with blood and they were already sticking to the corpse," Rodaje argued.
Huh? The NBI does not keep blood-stained clothes because they are sticky and smelly? I bet any of the victims' relatives would gladly lend the NBI their refrigerators if it would help catch/punish their kins' killers. This is so outrageously boneheaded... just imagine the implication of this--a killer could get away with murder because the government is too cheap to provide cooling units for our main crime lab. Ugh!

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Tuesday, February 2

The Blind Side is nominated for a Best Picture Oscar!


I'm so happy to hear that The Blind Side has been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Sandra Bullock also scored a Best Actress nod... A well deserved recognition for a movie with a positive message.

I'm trying out this Blog Writer application I downloaded from the Apple store using my iPod touch. I'm curious how this would turn out--will edit this once I get home from work (yes I'm still at work, shhh!).

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Monday, February 1

There's something about Taylor Swift


This is so predictable. It seems every time Taylor Swift wins some important music award, there are people who immediately question if she deserves it... even Kanye West very rudely interrupted her acceptance speech when she won "Best Female Video" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Her latest win over the likes of Beyonce and Lady Gaga for Album of the Year at the 2010 Grammys is provoking the same reactions.

I think people should stop whining and lay off Taylor--she's undeniably talented. I've enjoyed listening to both of her albums ( "Taylor Swift" and "Fearless"). She may not be the best singer, but she writes and produces all of her catchy, relatable songs.

Her success and ubiquitous presence in the entertainment industry shows that you could actually get by with talent, charm and hard work--without succumbing to the pitfalls of Hollywood celebrity. I have yet to see her do something stupid like being photographed sans underwear, falling down drunk at parties or getting arrested. And that's a good thing.

***Dateline NBC Taylor Swift clip:


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