Wednesday, April 28

Meet Sandra Bullock's new guy


Sandra Bullock's new adopted son Louis Bardo Bullock looks so precious (and fierce!). She also finally filed for divorce from her lying, cheating jerk of a husband, Jesse "Sandy is the love of my life" James. Good for her, I hope she eventually find someone great who won't cheat on her...

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Monday, April 26

How to treat a sprained foot

This post should be titled "how not to treat a sprained foot"... I was cleaning my room when I stubbed my toe on the foot of the bed frame--actually it's the area between the 2nd and 3rd toe of my left foot to be specific--it hurt but the pain was bearable and I just went about my business walking around like nothing happened until 5 hours later when my foot was swollen to 3x its usual size and I couldn't take another step because the pain was so bad.

They say people in the medical profession make terrible patients and I'm no exception... I've treated several cases of sprains (ankle, toe, foot, hand) and I feel I can recite the P.R.I.C.E protocol in my sleep. But with all these knowledge at my disposal, and because I know no bone was broken, I didn't apply first aid on my sprained foot until I absolutely had to and suffered more for it.

So as a service to my readers, I'm posting the P.R.I.C.E. protocol from the Mayo Clinic here so you'd know how to take care of a sprained ankle or whatever and hopefully follow it if something like this happens to you.

1. Protect the injured limb from further injury by not using the joint. You can do this using anything from splints to crutches.

2. Rest the injured limb. But don't avoid all activity. Even with an ankle sprain, you can usually still exercise other muscles to minimize deconditioning. For example, you can use an exercise bicycle with arm exercise handles, working both your arms and the uninjured leg while resting the injured ankle on another part of the bike. That way you still get three-limb exercise to keep up your cardiovascular conditioning.

3. Ice the area. Use a cold pack, a slush bath or a compression sleeve filled with cold water to help limit swelling after an injury. Try to ice the area as soon as possible after the injury and continue to ice it for 10 to 15 minutes four times a day for 48 hours. If you use ice, be careful not to use it too long, as this could cause tissue damage.

4. Compress the area with an elastic wrap or bandage. Compressive wraps or sleeves made from elastic or neoprene are best.

5. Elevate the injured limb above your heart whenever possible to help prevent or limit swelling.

*** This really works... when I woke up today, the swelling has lessened and the pain is almost gone (I took 1 Ibuprofen tablet before going to bed). I'm now able to wiggle my toes and though it's still sore, my injured foot's range of motion is good. I just put on socks because I couldn't find compressive bandages. I'm still hopping around the house on one foot but I feel loads better.


***photo via Aurora Health Care
cross-posted at All Things Medical Blog

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Sunday, April 25

Good Samaritan and the "bystander effect"

What an end for a Good Samaritan
Poor Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax. He was just trying to help a woman from getting mugged, got stabbed for his trouble and 25 indifferent people passed him by while he lay dying on the sidewalk... one jerk even took a picture on his cellphone then went on his way.

It doesn't take a lot of effort to dial 911 but it took more than an hour before help arrived  for Mr.Tale-Yax, too late to save him. This is a classic case of the "bystander effect" when the presence of others makes one assume someone else would help, so nothing is done.

I'm not expecting anyone to play the hero, but come on, at least call the police/emergency services if you don't know what to do!


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Saturday, April 24

Sunday Scripture Verse:Psalm 73:25-26

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~ Psalm 73:25-26

*** photo by Hubble

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New Twilight Saga Eclipse trailer


A new trailer for Eclipse has been released. It looks really good (the werewolves still look fake, though). I've read all the Twilight books... and I'm currently listening to the audio books that my Twihard  friend Wacks lent me--it's making me appreciate the series more. I still think the Harry Potter  books are better but I can see now why there are Twihards like Wacks.

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Thursday, April 22

Tim Tebow taken on the first round of the NFL draft

Tim with Pinoy orphans
I'm so happy that Tim Tebow got drafted 25th overall by the Denver Broncos on the first round of the NFL draft. Considering that he'd been picked apart by scouts and  a lot of "experts" were betting against him... this is indeed great news. C'mon Tim, prove them wrong!

I've rooted for Tim Tebow ever since I've read this Filipinas magazine article about him: The Philippines Is In His Heart. I just think he has an inspiring story.
“My conception and birth were beautiful stories of life. They were not stories about choices. They were stories of my parents’ selfless love of life and their unwavering faith in God who knows and sets the bounds and ends of our lives” says Tim, in describing the agonizing circumstance and joyful outcome of his birth in the Philippines, where his parents, Bob and Pam Tebow, worked for five years as Baptist Church missionaries in South Cotabato, Mindanao some 24 years ago.
Because of the poor sanitation that was and still is a common situation in the rural areas of the Philippines, Tim’s mother contracted dysentery while pregnant with him. She fell into a coma. To combat her infection, her Filipino doctor administered a high dose of antibiotics that triggered the side effect of placental abruption.
The Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, outlaws abortion except in cases when the life of the mother is endangered. Thus, the attending physician of Pam Tebow recommended abortion. “But my Christian faith led me to decide otherwise,” says Pam. “I was flown to Makati, the country’s business capital, to seek the second advice of a medical specialist. With my strong trust in God and in the power of prayers, and encouraged by the care of my new doctor, I carried Tim to term and delivered him a normal infant.”
Wow. What a wonderful story of faith. Even if there are doubts about his mechanics and the way he plays football, there's no question that he has good character and is willing to work hard to succeed. I hope everything works out for Tim Tebow--and I hope his work with orphans here will continue to flourish.

Update: The Tim Tebow Foundation is building a children's hospital in Davao with CURE International.

...and The coolest place he's ever visited is? Boracay!


*** photo from Tim Tebow Foundation website

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Oh, to be the President's manicurist...

international headlines
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently appointed her personal manicurist and stylist Anita Carpon to the board of the Pag-IBIG Housing Fund. I have nothing against manicurists--I have many fond memories hanging around my auntie Poying's beauty salon--but this is just odd.

I'm all for having ordinary people represented in government agencies, but being "officer-in-charge of Madame President's ingrown toenails and cuticles" is not enough qualification for this job.

The president also tapped her gardener Armando Macapagal as deputy of the Luneta Park Administration, without any administrative experience. Goodness, nothing screams "banana republic" more than these examples of blatant political patronage.

from AFP:
MANILA — Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has named her manicurist to the board of a major government agency, her spokesman said Thursday. The appointment of Anita Carpon to the board of a body responsible for lending tens of millions of dollars for the housing needs of government employees has drawn sharp criticism.
Arroyo's spokesman Gary Olivar defended Carpon's new posting and confirmed her other job as the president's stylist... Local media reports say Carpon will receive a monthly salary of about 130,000 pesos (about 2,900 dollars), double that of the president herself. 
Update: Anita Carpon declines appointment. Good for her.

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Tuesday, April 20

Shalani Soledad's interview with Paolo Bediones on TV5

Bicolana First Lady?
This is for my friend Liza, a big Shalani Soledad fangirl, who's been pestering me to post this here for a couple of days. I don't know how she'd react if Noynoy Aquino doesn't make Shalani his First Lady. She's even taking bets from  all of her friends that they will marry after the election, LOL.

Update: Noynoy wants Binay, reporter as coin, ring bearers at wedding  :)
Update 2: Shalani elected as Valenzuela's no. 1 councilor.






***thanks to pinaswatcher5 for uploading these vids

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Sunday, April 18

Strip clubs and babies don't mix, okay?

not the sharpest knife in the drawer
Wayne Ricardo Schwamm, a clueless dad from New Zealand, left his sick baby alone in his car outside a strip club. He was just supposed to pick up a friend working at the club but the friend had to work overtime so he "stayed longer and longer". Hmm, maybe he enjoyed the view too much? Whatever the reason, this is incredibly stupid.

from stuff.co.nz:
A father has admitted leaving a baby with a heart condition outside a Wellington strip club in the middle of the night. Wayne Ricardo Schwamm, 42, of Feilding, left the 18-month-old boy in the back of a car while he was in Splash Club - which is attached to The Mermaid strip club - on Courtenay Pl on April 13. 
In Wellington District Court this morning he pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving a child under 14 without reasonable supervision. ...He left the boy on the back seat in a basket with the windows up for 40 minutes before a passerby noticed and called police about 3am.
More here.

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Saturday, April 17

Sunday Scripture Verse: Ephesians 4:32

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”   ~ Ephesians 4:32

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Friday, April 16

Noynoy Aquino on Time Magazine cover

his time?
 Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III graces the cover of the April 25 issue of Time Magazine. I read through the accompanying article “The Next Aquino: Can Noynoy save the Philippines?” and did a double take when I read this quote from Newsbreak magazine editor Marites Vitug:
"Our trust in politics has been so eroded that people just want a new leader who will do the very basic — who will not be corrupt, who will be good,"
That is exactly  how I feel. I'm not looking for a "savior" in this election only someone who will lead this country with honesty and sincerity. I'm not expecting that all our problems will go away by electing a new President--I just want someone who will not steal from our coffers, who will put the people first.

I believe a leader does not need highfalutin degrees to be effective, he just got to have common sense and integrity. The greatest problem we have in this country is government corruption, so we need to elect leaders who will not compromise their honor... that may be a tall order but I'm optimistic there are still people like that running for office this election.

Update: Landslide victory.

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Thursday, April 15

What happened to Whitney Houston?

come back, Whitney
Is "The Voice" gone forever? I feel so sad watching videos of Whitney Houston's recent concert performances. She sounded so hoarse and out of breath--just miles away from the singer I've loved since childhood--what did she do to her voice? Was it the drugs and the years of hard living? So terrible to see one of the greatest voices ever heard in pop music reduced to this.

Update: Whitney Houston Addresses Voice Problems At London Show 

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Wednesday, April 14

Manny Villar's C5 vs. Noynoy Aquino's SCTEX

compare and contrast
The election is just a month away and predictably, accusations and counter-accusations from various politicians running against each other are flying right and left. Philippine politics is crazy and gets even more so come election time, I mean they are even taunting each other to get psychological tests now (maybe to prove who's crazier?)

Politics here is not for the faint of heart. So what's happening now as the election approaches is just the usual. Anyway, my FB friend Caloy shared this video of Winnie Monsod's analysis of Manny Villar's C5 road extension project and Noynoy Aquino's SCTEX.  Watch this and decide for yourself.

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Tuesday, April 13

Abu Sayyaf strikes again

poor Basilan
It makes me sick to my stomach that I have to share my country with these murderous Abu Sayyaf bastards. Bombing churches, schools and other public places for their stupid ideology (a separate Islamic province, really?). These thugs are pure evil. I'm normally not a bloodthirsty person but I'm glad one of the bombs exploded prematurely taking out 3 terrorists bombers--a perfect example of being hoisted on your own petard.

from the Inquirer:
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Abu Sayyaf bandits took their campaign of terror to the heart of Basilan on Tuesday, setting off bombs at a Roman Catholic cathedral, school grandstand and three other places, and clashing with government forces in Isabela City.
At least 15 people, including the brother of Abu Sayyaf leader Purudji Indama, were killed in the attacks staged by armed men wearing police and military uniforms, reports said Monday night. “This is definitely the handiwork of terrorists out to sow fear among the people of the province,” Senior Supt. Antonio Mendoza, Basilan police chief, told reporters in Manila.
More here.

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Monday, April 12

Maria Venus Raj and birth certificates

Bicolana beauty
Maria Venus Raj the 2010 Binibining Pilipinas-Universe, dethroned due to "misrepresentations" on her birth records, can reclaim her title if she could get a valid Philippine passport. I hope she can get one because regardless of circumstances (born in Doha, Qatar/Indian father etc.) or inconsistencies on her birth certificate, the fact that she has a Filipina mother makes her a Filipino citizen by birth. I believe there wasn't any intention to deceive on Venus' part, after all she could hardly be blamed for what her aunt put on her birth certificate when she was 3 years old.

This is a common occurrence when it wasn't the mother who fills out the birth certificate forms. In my family--out of six siblings--four of us have minor inconsistencies in our birth records owing to the fact that my late father insisted on registering our births in his hometown (even if we were born in another city) for sentimental reasons. My Papa apparently did not bother to write down our birth infos and got some details wrong.

So I ended up having September as my birth month on my birth certificate instead of August. My older sister Mayet have the wrong birthplace, my sister Anne have the right month but the wrong date on hers and worst of all, my brother Alex found out when he was out of college and looking for a job that he wasn't registered anywhere at all and had to fill out his own birth certificate application, which is just weird.

The discrepancies in our birth records were annoying but we decided to just accept it to avoid the expenses and legal proceedings needed to correct these. Still, we all managed to get our passports and my sisters and brother now live abroad with new citizenships, so no harm done I guess. That's why I understand Maria Venus' situation because she was just a victim of circumstances and it takes a lot of money to hire lawyers to correct itty bitty details on legal documents that no one but you cares about anyway.

I hope everything works out for Maria Venus Raj. She grew up in the same barrio in Bato, Camarines Sur where my sister Maris and her children currently live. In fact, she is a graduate of San Vicente High School which is just a few steps away from my sister's house where I stay every holiday. It's very hard not to root for a girl who grew up in a hut without plumbing and electricity, practiced modeling in rice fields, persevered, graduated cum laude in college and became a beauty queen. I think whoever stands in the way of her "poor girl making good" story will look like an ogre.

Update: Maria Venus Raj now has a passport. Oh wait, she will be issued one "in the next few days". 
Update 2: Venus finally got her passport last Friday, May 21. Now waiting for the official reinstatement from BPCI.









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Sunday, April 11

Condolences to the People of Poland

unimaginable  loss
 Poland's President  Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and 95 others were killed in a plane crash  in Russia last Saturday. This is a terrible loss and my heart goes out to the Polish people.

from the UK Times:
 Lech Kaczynski, the late President of Poland, returned home yesterday to a country struck dumb with grief and confusion. The air crash that wiped out the head of state, the chief of the general staff, the chairman of the security services, the central bank governor and Solidarity heroes has left Poland reeling, unsteady and uncertain.
...The crash occurred on Saturday morning at Smolensk in western Russia. The President had taken with him the cream of Polish society to pay tribute at the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacres: 22,000 officers and intellectuals, slaughtered in 1940, by Soviet NKVD troops.

As much as I relish sniping about how corrupt and useless most of our politicians are--I can't imagine this thing happening here. Losing a President in such a tragic way is unthinkable for me. It doesn't matter if I disagree with what she's doing... I do pray for President Macapagal-Arroyo's safety and hope for the best for her family.

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Saturday, April 10

Sunday Scripture Verse: Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.       ~Romans 8:28 (NIV)

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PageRank 4 and what it means


"OMG, your PageRank is 4 now!" my friend P shrieked at me excitedly and she was not amused when I told her I didn't know what she was talking about. Page rank? What's that got to do with me? Apparently I've been totally remiss in my duties because PageRank is a huge deal for bloggers as it is one of the factors that determines a website's ranking in Google search results.

from webworkshop.net:
PageRank is a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web. Google figures that when one page links to another page, it is effectively casting a vote for the other page. The more votes that are cast for a page, the more important the page must be. Also, the importance of the page that is casting the vote determines how important the vote itself is. Google calculates a page's importance from the votes cast for it. How important each vote is is taken into account when a page's PageRank is calculated. 
Okay, whatever. So being bumped from a PageRank 3 to a 4 (according to this site it means this blog has many good inbound links)  is good news? I don't know exactly how that happened but I'm grateful to whoever linked me and for P's assistance because she was the one who badgered me into blogging, found this layout and got this blog listed on directories and such.

I admit it dear readers, I don't know anything about the technical side of blogging--I just write and click "publish post"--that's about it. P found the widgets and everything. I'm still surprised actually that a lot of people are finding this blog via the search engines. I'm especially grateful that I've found great friends who have linked this blog and regularly leave comments on my posts, even the silliest ones. Thanks so much guys! :)

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Thursday, April 8

HP Slate better than the iPad?

Slate or iPad?
I've been wanting to buy an ebook reader forever. I had set my heart on the Amazon Kindle and just when it finally became available here, a friend persuaded me to wait for the Barnes and Noble "Nook" because it looks better, with a color display. So I bought an iPod Touch in the meantime and I'm happy with it so far, though I get eyestrain if I read a book on it too long--the screen is just too small for my astigmatic eyes.

Now that the iPad has been released to mostly rapturous reviews, I was thinking of getting one when it gets here--but after reading about the soon to be released HP Slate's specs--I've decided to wait. The Slate reportedly will have a camera, webcam, SD card reader, Adobe Flash support and USB port--all the stuff the iPad lacks. I hope this prompts Apple to add more features to the iPad... I like its design better but it would be so great to have a tablet computer/ebook reader with all the extra bells and whistles.

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Wednesday, April 7

A 15% E-VAT is crazy

pay 3% more?
Finance Secretary Margarito Teves is proposing to increase to 15% the 12% expanded value added tax (E-VAT) we currently have today. It's absolutely maddening that bureaucrats like Teves, don't seem to care that a 12% consumption tax is enough of a burden on consumers already.

The government has been spending (and stealing) our money like drunken sailors without a thought to our budget deficit and now that it's in a "fragile fiscal position" it wants us to bail it out again through this confiscatory tax increase on everything we buy (like that chocolate sundae I've been enjoying in this heat).

Sen. Noynoy Aquino opposes this plan and instead wants to improve revenue collection. I may just have found the reason to vote for him this May election, somehow voting for him because of his parents' heroics is kind of lame to me. Now I could say I like his stand on taxes and Manny Villar honestly is sounding more and more desperate these days which is a big turn-off for me.

Update:  from WSJ - Europe's VAT Lessons: Rates start low and increase, while income tax rates stay high.

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Monday, April 5

Summer Weather Really Sucks!

sooo hot...
This hot weather is making me miserable, it was 95˚F (35˚C) yesterday and according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecasters, it's going to get even warmer in the days ahead.

I have a bet going on with my friend Jane about getting through the summer without turning on the aircon and now I'm afraid I'll lose if this weather persists (there's a Lacoste bag on the line). I'm hanging on by a thread here. I hope it would rain soon.

Update: getting hotter still...

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Saturday, April 3

Sunday Scripture Verse: Romans 10:9

He is risen!
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. ~Romans 10:9

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Friday, April 2

Good Friday Crucifixions etc.

so messed up
I think this yearly whippings and crucifixions in Pampanga is totally pointless. Salvation is free. Jesus died once for all. The bible says that you only have to ask for forgiveness of your sins and believe the truth of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection and you're saved. It's that simple. You don't have to nail yourself to a cross or flog yourself until you bleed to be forgiven.

I guess it's natural for people to make things complicated, so some do these reenactments to assuage their guilt over things they did in the past or to provide "protection" for their families against evil or even ill health. People who do this have to know that Jesus already died for our sins and conquered death. We've been made worthy through his blood shed on the cross... making this sort of "penance" completely unnecessary.
 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1John 1:9 (NIV)
***(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

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