Wednesday, March 31

It's April Fools' Day

not happy...
FMXZ4XRFJPFB I can't believe I forgot that it's April Fools' day today. I got a call from a co-worker Dr. Joson at 3:30am that I have to come to the hospital pronto to relieve Dr. Go--who was on duty--because he had to leave early to attend to a family emergency. So I hastily woke myself up, took a shower, got ready to leave then called Dr. Go that I'm on my way...

Good thing I called him first. He was like "huh?" and told me there isn't any family emergency that he knows of and he wasn't expecting me to relieve him until later this afternoon as scheduled. So I'm thinking of ways to get back at the mean Dr. Joson.

I think these pranks from ehow.com are altogether too nice, don't you think? I want to get her sooo bad... she knows too that it would be very hard for me to get back to sleep now, so she's gloating hard. My revenge has to be terrible enough for her to think twice before messing with me like this again... help!

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Monday, March 29

Ricky Martin is gay...

My friend H is in mourning today. She's had a crush on Ricky Martin since elementary school and no matter how often we tried to tell her our gaydar was totally telling us he's gay... she wouldn't hear of it (even after the Barbara Walters interview) and would threaten us with annihilation for daring to sully the reputation of her "future husband" and "one and only love".

So this overdue admission from Mr. "Livin' La Vida Loca" is such a blow to her. I'm trying very hard not to be the insufferable friend and tell her "I told you so". But you know what, he may be gay... but he sure is still hot!

from the Daily Mail:
Pop heartthrob Ricky Martin has announced he is gay to end years of speculation about his sexuality. The Livin' La Vida Loca singer posted on his official website: 'I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.' 
Martin, who had always dodged questions about his sexuality, told fans the birth of his twin sons in August 2008 and writing his memoirs made him decide to come out. The twins were born via a surrogate and at the time no details were given about the birth or the mother.
More here.

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Visiting Ninoy and Cory Aquino at Manila Memorial Park

free to pose... 
We visited the graves of Ninoy and Cory Aquino at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque after attending a cremation service at La Funeraria Paz. The security guard there said there's always a steady stream of people visiting the tomb everyday, which is heartening considering how this couple impacted Philippine history. I'd like to think it's a sign that Filipinos have not forgotten who their real heroes are.

... and pose
I noticed that people visiting for the first time marveled at how unpretentious it was, "sobrang simple"... I guess it's just refreshing to see the graves of heroic figures--who played such vital roles in the rebirth of our democracy--look not unlike the graves of our grandparents. No sir, there's no marble or granite in sight, but I guess when you're secure of your place in history, you wouldn't want or need a flashy mausoleum. Strangers would still leave flowers, pose for pictures and wonder how they got so lucky you once lived and died for them.

flowers for heroes   
***I don't know the family in the topmost picture, I just took this with my camera... and sort of warned them I'd put this on here. :)

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Saturday, March 27

Sunday Scripture Verse: Romans 8:11

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. ~Romans 8:11

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Friday, March 26

Remembering an old friend

Howard with wife Merly at their wedding 
It's been a month since my friend Howard Vollers passed away... he was my unlikely BFF, about the same age my father would have been if he had lived long enough. I met him and his then girlfriend Merly three years ago, it turned out she was a distant relative although we're not exactly sure how we're related (3rd or 4th cousins? whatever).

Somehow that tenuous family connection was good enough for us and we became friends, although living in the same building definitely helped. Howard was a news junkie like me so we had lively debates about whatever was in the news, he was a very good cook, loved to sing Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" on karaoke and had a silly sense of humor.

He was far from perfect... he was stubborn, had too much fun when he first got here and consorted with much younger women in the past, which prompted his Texas-based wife to divorce him. But when he met Merly he was a changed man, that's why it makes me so sad that a month after their wedding, his drinking finally caught up with him and landed him in the hospital...

He succumbed to complications of alcoholic liver cirrhosis... knowing him, he wouldn't have wanted to live longer if it means being sick all the time. Still, it's very sad, I feel that he could have lived way past 64 if only he didn't hide his drinking problem from those closest to him. I guess it's just like him not to admit to a weakness.

At his wake, a lot of people gathered to remember him... alternately crying and laughing, reminiscing about his kindness and goofiness. He might have been a stubborn old coot, but he had a good heart. He never hesitated to help people in need even if some of them took advantaged of him. Bye, oldie... I sure miss your sarcasm, wit and wisdom.

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Wednesday, March 24

Bro. Mike Velarde "requested" to move C5 road and earned ₱1.2 billion?!


Oh, so even Bro. Mike Velarde made money off the controversial C5 road extension project, eh? I was surprised for a bit when I read this at first, but when I took the time to really think about it, it's not that surprising.

from Philstar:
MANILA, Philippines - Bro. Mariano “Mike” Velarde has admitted requesting the government to move the position of the C-5 Road so that it would only cause minimal damage to his property. Velarde was said to have earned P1.2 billion for road right-of-way on his 14-hectare Amvel property. 
He reportedly said that it was his right to receive the money because he is the owner of the 14-hectare property. The El Shaddai leader said that this information was only being released now “because it is only now that I am being asked.”
It's quite sad that even religious leaders are now dabbling in politics(Velarde is currently running as a party-list representative)... using their considerable influence to sway their members to vote for whoever they endorse. Naturally, the politicians would try to be on these religious leaders' good side, pandering shamelessly to them.

Personally, I find this disgusting... what does influence peddling have to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ? I hope Bro. Mike Velarde and his ilk remember the bible's admonishment in 1 Timothy 6:10 that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil".

More here.
 

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Tuesday, March 23

Wife wins $9 million from "other woman"

wife vs. mistress
 Wow. This is a wake-up call to skanky home-wreckers everywhere. Jilted wife Cynthia Shackleford, sued her husband's mistress Anne Lundquist for "alienation of affections" and won a $9 million judgment. Shackleford said she did this in hopes that other women will stop and think first before they shack up with married men.

Some people think this alienation of affections law is archaic, but I think it's great that there's a way for wives to go after their husbands' mistresses. I know marriage is most often complicated, but if a spouse is unhappy and the marriage is not working out... why not be honest and leave first before finding another? Good for Cynthia Shackleford for standing up for herself.

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Monday, March 22

Tiger Woods finally answers questions

sad and sorry...
Tiger Woods finally granted interviews to ESPN and The Golf Channel after his spectacular cheating scandal. He's returning to golf at the Masters and trying to work things out with his wife Elin. Though I don't like his crappy "sex addiction" treatment excuse, and still can't believe he was stupid enough to put himself and his family in this situation... I remain a fan of his golf game and I'm glad he's trying to make things right.

Of course, there are those who feel they are owed more by Tiger, and want him to spill his guts out, give more details and cry... but I think he's done enough groveling in public. The most important person he should grovel to is his wife Elin who he claims to love.

None of us were harmed by Tiger's affairs and he's been humiliated publicly, lost sponsorships and things would never be the same for him because of his indiscriminate womanizing... so we should just let him be, and once again focus on his golf swing like we used to.



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Sunday, March 21

Baby boys, nannies and serial womanizing


This is a troubling story from the UK Telegraph: Baby boys who have a nanny 'turn into womanisers'.
In the book The Unsolicited Gift, Dr Dennis Friedman said delegating child-rearing responsibilities too soon risks equipping your son with life-long double standards when it comes to women. This means that even though he could go on to be married he will always have the feeling that another women could cater for all his basic needs. "It introduces him to the concept of The Other Woman," said Dr Friedman who is 85.
"It creates a division in his mind between the woman he knows to be his natural mother and the woman with whom he has real hands-on relationship: the woman who bathes him and takes him to the park, and with whom he feels completely at one.
More here.

Just another thing to make working moms feel guilty, huh? I think this is bogus. I came from generations(grandpa, uncles, cousins) of proud--and stupid--womanizers and believe me, there weren't any nannies in my late grandpa's day and he still cheated on his wife and managed to father dozens of children from different women outside his marriage. Some in the family believed his serial infidelity drove my poor grandma to an early grave.

But anyway, I believe cheating on your spouse is the lowest of the low no matter who does it... having a nanny while young doesn't cut it because each of us have the power to choose between right and wrong. I saw firsthand the effects of womanizing (abandoned wives and kids, poverty etc.) and anecdotal though this is, I know nannies/caregivers weren't the cause.

My much loved but exasperatingly good-time loving grandpa, uncles, brother,cousins etc. just did not say "no"... and their families suffered for it. And for those Lotharios I'm related to who read this, I love you guys but saying "it runs in the family or "lahi kasi" doesn't cut it either.

*** photo by Getty

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Saturday, March 20

Sunday Scripture Verse: Philippians 4:8


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8

*** photo by Aly

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Friday, March 19

Emilia Boncodin: 1954-2010

...well done good and faithful servant...Matthew 25
Emilia Boncodin the former Budget Secretary, died earlier this week due to complications of kidney disease. One of a rare breed of public servants who served her country honorably--who did not enrich herself (e.g. steal) while in public office--which is very rare in this country indeed.

I knew she was from Iriga City, the same city where I was born... so every time she was on TV while she was still in office, I could not help but feel proud (I'm kinda tribal like that). When she resigned amidst the "Hello Garci" scandal that embroiled President Macapagal-Arroyo, my admiration for her grew even more.

It's really sad to lose a principled public servant, even sadder to know that if she had lived to see Noynoy Aquino win the presidency, she would have been brought back in to do what she did best. But alas, such is life. I'm pleasantly surprised and glad at the media coverage of Emilia Boncodin's death. I guess honest, scandal-free public servants like her are so hard to come by these days, people can't help but take notice.

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Thursday, March 18

Jesse James = Idiot

compare and contrast 
Another cheater bites the dust. Sandra Bullock's husband apologized for his "poor judgment" after a tattooed chick sold her story to inTouch magazine claiming she had an affair with him while Sandra was busy shooting "The Blind Side". This is insane. What kind of man in his right mind would cheat on Sandra Bullock?

I don't know why men like Jesse James, Tiger Woods etc. risk everything to get freaky with these kind of women--the kind who would try to absolve themselves of any wrongdoing ("I thought he was separated"? give me a break). A woman who sleeps with another woman's husband is pure scum, but a woman who sells her story to the highest bidder is even worse.

My heart goes out to Sandra--just 2 weeks after winning an Oscar--her jerk husband's mistress pulls something like this. What a way to come down to earth... people are saying she's the latest to be struck down by the "Oscar curse" of being unlucky in love after taking home the Oscar.

But what happened here is pretty simple really... Jesse James is just another unfaithful creep who was idiot enough to believe he'd get away with cheating on his gorgeous wife, and ungrateful enough to do this while she's helping him raise his children.

Update: More women come forward. Alleged 4th mistress won't be spilling the beans. Posing as Hitler too?
Update 2: Sandra Bullock files for divorce. Jesse James reacts.



Sandra Bullock with her stepkids
Photograph by: Scan/Getty Images, Canwest News Services

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Wednesday, March 17

Gisele Bundchen in Vogue

The new pictures of Gisele Bundchen in Vogue magazine are just unreal... I absolutely love (and hate) this woman! She just gave birth 3 months ago and lookie here, she's got her pre-baby body back. I guess some gals just have all the luck, eh?

7 months pregnant?!
 from her Vogue interview:
"I did kung fu up until two weeks before Benjamin was born, and yoga three days a week. I think a lot of people get pregnant and decide they can turn into garbage disposals. I was mindful about what I ate, and I gained only 30 pounds."
Yeah okay, I'm glad even Gisele Bundchen apparently has to work for a body like that. I feel a lot better. Wait, I think I still have ice cream in the fridge, that should do it. :)

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Monday, March 15

Weirdest wake-up call

happy to see me? Not.
I woke up with these three guys gawking at me through my window. You know there's something about living in a high-rise building that makes one believe one is safe from peeping toms but as you can see, window washers are another matter. All part of their jobs I know, but this was just freaky...

work it!
I should have closed the curtains, but I was too tired when I arrived home from work this morning (I've been keeping weird hours at the hospital these past few days because someone on my team got sick)--I went to sleep still wearing my scrub suit--it was just as well, it would have been creepier if they caught me in my underwear, eeek!

working on a scaffolding must be fun...
So as "punishment" for these guys for startling me out of my slumber, I took their pictures (they were posing!)... and since I could not get back to sleep--I thought what the heck, might as well post this here.

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Saturday, March 13

Sunday Scripture Verse: 1 Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. ~ 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

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Friday, March 12

Teachers and "losers"



Rex Roland, a teacher at Enka Middle School in North Carolina thought it was cute to scribble insulting notes like "-20% for being a loser" on his young student's paper. Apparently this has happened before... the mother of the 6th grade student complained about this to the principal a few months ago, and was rightly outraged when it happened again.

I can't believe a grown man could be so petty... no one, young or old, likes being called a "loser", okay? To do this again and again to an impressionable 11-year-old is really low. No matter if he thinks it's just a joke, the girl evidently was bothered enough by it to tell her mother. A teacher is paid to teach, not snipe at helpless little girls or play the big bully... sheesh.

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Monday, March 8

About condoms and bishops...


"Condom debate brought to bishops’ doorstep", this headline from the Inquirer cracked me up for some reason. I don't understand why the Catholic Church and its bishops are so dead set on denying people access to condoms. Don't get me wrong, I'm strongly pro-life, but I believe couples should have a choice on what contraceptions to use. It's better to use something than to have children you can't feed or worse, have an abortion.

I don't want anyone to compromise their faith, but we have to consider what's been happening in this country for years. When I was at med school--though abortion was not legal here (it still isn't)), I saw lots of patients who had induced abortions for very selfish reasons (too young, too drunk, too busy, too many kids already etc.). For me, these women could have avoided killing their unborn children if only they cared enough to use protection or exercised some self-control.

Teaching about faith and morality starts at home. I'm sure most of us have been warned about sex and its rewards/risks... but people are people. I've seen women who have been raised in the church--from good families, pick  men who were just total losers. None of them ever had abortions, but the consequences from their decisions to have unprotected sex with jerks are still with them. I heard someone say that "there's no condom for heartbreak", and it's so true. The Catholic Church and others should not be derided for holding on to their faith, but I think seeking to ban condom advertisements is not the way to go. We have to be realistic and practical and let people decide.

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Sandra Bullock Wins Best (and Worst) Actress

 

"Did I really earn this, or did I just wear you all down?" Sandra Bullock joked when she won the Academy Awards for Best Actress for her role in the "The Blind Side". I loved both the book and the movie, so I'm happy that Sandra won... I've always liked her--I think she has great comedic timing. But most people never really thought of her as Oscar material before this, and it looks like she's honest enough to admit that, which is cool.



She made some kind of record too, because she also won the "Worst Actress" award for "All About Steve" at the Razzies. In typical Sandra Bullock fashion, she gamely accepted the award with good humor. She also starred in the romantic comedy hit "The Proposal" last year, so Razzie or not, she has reason to be magnanimous.

 

Going back to the Oscars, is it just me or was it the most boring Academy Awards telecast ever? I didn't like the overwrought presentation this year... too many boring speeches and I didn't get the dance numbers either. Admittedly, I didn't catch all of it, just the major awards during my lunch break... so it might not be as boring as I thought it was.

Update: Leigh Anne Tuohy on the Oscar win:

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Saturday, March 6

Sunday Scripture Verse: Romans 8:1-2


Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. ~ Romans 8:1-2

***photo courtesy of Aly

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Thursday, March 4

Manny Pacquiao: karaoke king?

 

I find Manny Pacquiao's singing strangely riveting. The pound-for-pound boxing king turning into a karaoke king? Quite endearing and funny, but he probably should stick to his day job. Goodluck on his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title bout with Ghana’s Joshua Clottey on March 13, which according to boxing coach Freddie Roach, might just be Pacquiao's last fight.

So if Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues hemming and hawing about fighting Manny Pacquiao, he might just miss his chance. I think a fight between these two would settle who's really the ultimate pound-for-pound king. So I hope Mayweather Jr. would stop his unreasonable demands and just fight Pacquiao--unless he's just chickening out?

Referee Rafael Ramos raises Manny Pacquiao’s arms after defeating Joshua Clottey, from Ghana, in a unanimous decision during their WBO boxing welterweight title fight in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, March 13, 2010. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Update: Pacquiao wins over Clottey. That fight was so boring though, Clottey hardly fought back. It was like watching a sparring session, but not a bad exercise for Manny Pacquiao--he reportedly earned $12 million--not bad at all. LOL.

 Great read: Revealing Pacquiao article from GQ magazine 

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Wednesday, March 3

Kid directing air traffic: cute, but...

 

A dad who took his kid to work is in trouble for letting him give directions to pilots taking off at New York's JFK International Airport. It must have been exciting for this boy to pretend to be like his air traffic controller dad. It's darned cute too, but let's face it, it's not a good idea--even if the dad was dictating instructions and the kid appeared to be following them dutifully .

After all that's happened with terrorism threats and such, everybody's understandably jumpy about security breaches at airports. Security regulations must be adhered to. The last thing people need is to have kids running around at control towers, directing air traffic. I hope the controller does not lose his job because of this, though. No one was harmed here so he should just be let off with a stern warning.

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Monday, March 1

Psst... brownouts are back

umm, okay... whatever you say. 
I hope this rotating brownouts would not last more than the "few days" projected by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco). It's getting warmer here now and it would be miserable for us consumers to have to do without electricity this summer.

I know it's just for a few hours each day, but doing without aircon or electric fan in 35 degrees C (95 degrees F) heat, is no laughing matter. I would be ridiculously relieved if this problem with the power grids could be resolved quickly.

from the Manila Bulletin:
Simultaneous technical trouble and forced outages at three of the country's major coal plants have plunged anew the Luzon grid into debilitating two to three hours of rotating brownouts for the next five days. The brownouts, happening for the second time since the start of the year, have been causing not only extreme inconvenience to the public but also resulting in opportunity losses for businesses.
System operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced that one unit of the Sual plant of 600-megawatt capacity and another one unit of 300-MW capacity of the Masinloc plant have been on forced outages due to technical failure since Sunday night.
More here.

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