Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'I Do' Finally

When Patty called me a few months back to announce that she was getting married, I was surprised despite of knowing that she and Mac have been together for more than 10 years now. Anyway, my reaction was not important. The more important thing was to be there for her so when she asked me if I wanted to be a bride's maid, I thought to myself 'Why not?'

So, a week after that, I booked a flight in advance back to Davao City. The moment I stepped off the plane, it was a whirlwind and I barely had time to catch my breath. And since I arrived the day before the wedding and never got the chance to check my dress, I went directly to Knots Forever for a fitting. After wasting almost an hour of checking the gowns as the seamstress was not sure which design was mine, Patty finally arrived to straighten things out. The seamstress was supposed to adjust the strap but I bet that old hag was too lazy to make the necessary adjustments as the strap was still to short. In fact, it snapped a few minutes before the ceremony started. Thank God for wedding coordinators! Vanessa and her team cam prepared.

After the fitting, I had a series of items to check off of my list (both wedding and non-wedding related) so you can just imagine how stressed I was and yes, I was all over the place. The end part was, I stayed with Patty on her last night of being 'Single' and assisted her in polishing last minute preparations.

The wedding (like all weddings) did not start on time and the church administrators were (for the lack of a better term) already pissed off. Oh, it was not the bride who was late nor the groom but the other 'divas' in the family. The groom's sister was still on her way to the hotel coming from God knows where, the groom's mother came in late as well and there was that bratty niece of the bride who I just wanted to strangle to death. I swear if it were not for Patty, I would have given that little monster a piece of my mind. Again, it was a good thing that the priest was a close friend of the family and he allowed himself to be swayed ( a privilege that he does not share with other couples). When it finally started, the groom was already teary-eyed. The moment that Patty walked in with her father and aunt, Mac was already crying. When they were professing their love and relaying their vows, he was crying. During the reception, you guessed it right, he was crying. Oh there were other instances but no need to mention them here. Let's just say, he was quite emotional and we perceived it as a good sign.


I was not really listening to the mass and was absentmindedly standing up and sitting down as instructed. My attention was elsewhere. To where? 1. To the cute little flower girls who untiringly carried on with their games and petty quarrels while the priest was desperately trying to stay focused and 2. To the Dragon Lady who was seated right in front of us who was having a blast making Ceara miserable and giving instructions here and there just for the sake of it. I am not impressed with her by the way, what a B!+cH! Even had the nerve to say that the maid of honor and brides maids were useless! Put a sock in it lady!

An hour after, the papers were signed and the priest (after being reminded first) reluctantly said 'You May Now Kiss The Bride!'

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Be Dazzled

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Bidazzled. All opinions are 100% mine.


Online auction market has certainly changed thrugh time, brand merchandise and various companies are redefining their objectives in such a way that they do not just simply focus on the money they can save but they now also partner with charitable organizations that needed funding amongst others.

One of them is Bidazzled which used to be called Penny Auctions or Pay-Per-Bid Auctions - a site where bids are purchased in advance and then used to bid on preferred merchandises. The price increases a few cents with each bid placed and a few seconds are added to the countdown clock to give others a chance to bid as well. The auction ends when no other bids are placed. So if a new laptop ends at just a dollar, then you win the laptop for a dollar! To date, during the first month, there have been 2 winners of Nintendo Wii's for the cost of 5 free bids only! Definitely, a cheaper way of getting the item that you have been eyeing. And the best part is, you are helping at the same time since Bidazzled, for those who still do not know, was designed and created to fund a lung cancer charity program under the The Ruch Foundation. You can find out more about the said foundation at www.ruchfoundation.com and learn about the organization's advocacies against smoking and its effects.

You might probably ask yourself why online auction or why not just go to the store or the mall directly to purchase the item? Let me give you a few reasons to think over:

1. Auction winners usually save 80% off the retail price.
2. As a winner, Bidazzled will typically make an offer to buy the item back for either: cash (paypal or check), cash and bids or just bids.
3. No one loses? If you do not win then you receive up to 50 Bonus Bids as a thank you for participating and you will be given the opportunity to purchase the auction item less the investment you had in the auction.
4. Lastly, all these can be done at the comfort and convenience at your own home. Very applicable to those who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

So what are you waiting for? Go to Bidazzled and register now! An exclussive offer is up for grabs: 15 Additional Bids to all readers if you use the codes (Blog: BBP1202A, Twitter: BTP1202A) until January 15th. All you have to do is enter it on the registration page and don't worry as there is no obligation or cost of any kind.

Further, bids cost only $1 at Bidazzled and are available for purchase in bid packs for as low as $25. You also receive bonus bids when you purchase a bid pack. The highest cost of a bid when you dilute the cost with the bonus bids you receive is only $.67 per bid and often much lower.

Lastly, a lucrative Referral Program puts the cherry on top of it all. Think of it this way, you will be person A:

If person A refers person B, person A receives 5 Bonus Bids
If person B refers person C, person A will receive 4 Bonus Bids
If person C refers person D, person A will again receive 3 Bonus Bids
If person D refers person E, person A will again receive 2 Bonus Bids
If person E refers person F, person A still receives 1 Bonus Bid.

Register now at Bidazzled.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Message To A Friend

I watched you fall into pieces days ago. Of course, you will not admit it and of course, you will say that I am exaggerating everything but then who are you (or anyone else) to say that my perspective of 'falling into pieces' is wrong? I say 'falling into pieces' is also exhibited by being as normal as how you make yourself appear to be. Watching you (and your recent antics) made me think about how I handled my supposed-love endeavors in the past. It was almost (not exactly) like looking at myself in the mirror. During such times, no matter how we put it or what we try to do, the situation we are in just gets uglier by the minute and there is nothing else that anyone can do. It really is up to us. No one can change our minds, nothing can convince us and sometimes we just have to let ourselves drown until sanity forces us to grasp for air. At our own pace, at our own time.

Just a little advice though, try not to lose your friends along the way (this often happens when our insistence for something that no longer exists becomes too suffocating). Lovers are like pebbles in your shoe, friends however, friends are like nifty, little socks that keep your feet from getting blisters.

Why am I saying this? Simple, I want you to learn from my example. If I was in-charge of the threads of fate, I would not want my friends to go through the same sad experience that I have been through. It is not something that you can honestly label as an event in your life that you can be proud of, when you look back one day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Official Mark

While at work today, I was informed that my boss was having a garage sale and usually I never paid much attention to these kinds of news but when Cindy, a co-worker, mentioned that my boss, who was retiring for good, was selling his eames chair and ottoman at a reasonable price. I just could not let the opportunity pass. So today, I sacrificed not seeing her so I can check out the said chair. I can hardly contain my excitement after work when a group of us from work rode all the way to the outskirts of town, all the way to our boss’ house. Well, we cannot really blame ourselves now since our boss, other than being known as a mean son of a bitch in the office was also known to be a man of good taste when it comes to all the fine things in life. When we got there, the place was already packed with other cheapskates and I hastily looked for our boss to haggle a price for the object that I have been eyeing without even checking it out first. He was shocked at first and was quite interested in knowing what my reasons were for buying his supposed-favorite chair without even bothering to check it first. I was quick to say that I always knew he was the type of man who took good care of his things and added that I presumed that the said chair was in mint condition knowing that he was the previous owner. He laughed heartily over the comment while I almost gagged. Anyway, now that I was able to convince him, he showed me the way to the his goods and settled on a price that was not exactly what I quoted but was good enough since his chair looked exactly like my her’s. I can barely remember my boss droning about the chair being made of Brazilian rosewood, original wood panels and etc. All I cared about was taking the chair back home so I can sit on it while I watched her from my window. This is it! I am officially signing the paper and admitting that I am a stalker by buying a similar chair that the object of my affection is using. And since we are on the topic, I might as well admit that I, too, (maybe) am a psycho.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What's Keepin' Me Busy

I am collecting memories again. Copying (without permission) photos from friends' profiles and saving them in my lappy. And I will soon be able to update my profile in Facebook as planned. I know, I know...so much for vowing not to migrate to Facebook. I can't help it. No one is using Friendster anymore these days and everyone else is using Facebook. Plus I find myself logging on to Facebook more frequently than in Friendster so I figured, I might as well save myself the hassle. So goodbye Friendster...it was good while it lasted.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Finally

I am FINALLY reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'Love in the Time of Cholera'. I FINALLY bought my own copy. I FINALLY ended my silly hope of finding its first edition in book sales (I did not want the Color Purple incident to happen again and this was why I prolonged my agony in buying my own copy. For those who did not know the Color Purple incident, here is a little light to your dark tunnel. I bought my own copy of Alice Walker's 'The Color Purple' years back but while browsing through the treasures at a book store that sold second-hand books, I discovered a FIRST EDITION copy of the same book, original cover in paper back. Imagine my frustration. I decided to keep the copy that I originaly had, which cost me more, and sincerely hoped that the one I found at the bookstore will fall into good hands. Sigh.) Anyway, I put an end to my misery by walking into Powerbooks and grabbing my own copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's book and paid Php245.00 with closed eyes. I know, I can be quite a cheapskate sometimes. Well, I will go back to reading the book now. Mwah!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Once Upon A Hateful Time

A friend of mine posted this poem on his old blog after our biggest fight. When I first read this entry, I wanted to strangle him but now I can barely keep my seams from bursting. Funny, how time can change our reactions toward something (we're back to being friends by the way). Amongst all the poems created for/about me, this one has a special place in my cruel but fat heart as it was the most honest (it struck an unlikely chord)and it was the only one which was the most loathsome. Hahaha. However, I would not want to have another poem written by another friend with the same theme addressed to me (as this would then only simply mean that I have not matured at all which I strongly oppose to).

A word of advice to the readers: Try not to take every word literally, okay?



Thursday, September 16, 2004
R.I.P.: Rot in Piss by Bjorn Eding


Tell me, deity, who you are
coz today I can't with all that scar,
that nose flaring at stinking guts
and eyes that have murdered flat-footed mutts.
I'm sorry if I can't invite you in
I have my own life now, I must begin.

You speak for hours on end of your ideologies
I hope you open your ears to my apologies.
But you grip my scruff instead and beg I sympathize
FUCK YOU! I'll just spit it at your beady eyes;
You arrogant, self-reassuring WHORE!
I'll be damned if I can't get you on your four.

Weak, you slowly crawl to reach for my dick
oh, and I thought it was me whose head's gone thick?
This may not sound as good as your wicked rhymes
I better write down fuck you three(3) more times.
By the way, thank you for those nights spent in your arms bitch
I'll send the flowers you ask of me down this ceramic ditch.
Rot in piss...Witch!


Thanks 'bai! A toast to fancy words written to cause temporary minor discomforts (which we do not mean to last forever). See you when I see you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy 28th

I am waiting for the day to end. Unlike other people who like to celebrate their birthdays with cakes and balloons, I opted for a quiet day instead. A quiet day so I can scrub off items on my to-do list. Besides, I have already celebrated my birthday in advance.

To-Do List:

1. Go to the hospital and get my left hand checked (the doctor told me that I have carpal tunnel syndrome and that she will be requiring me to get 10 therapy sessions as well as an EMG---good thing I am covered by my insurance company)

2. Go to the grocery store (bought the much needed toiletries)

3. Buy the Christmas Tree I promised (I was so amazed how cheap my Christmas tree was!)

4. Get laundry from Goniva's (Finally! they were almost 3 weeks overdue)

5. Get nails done (French tipped --- I don't know why it's called that way...I'll check on the net for the reasons later on)

6. Download more songs for my itunes account, specifically Yano, Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Introvoys, Green Day, Cynthia Alexander, Queen, John Lennon! (sadly I only got the songs from the first 3 bands, I will download the songs of the others on another day)

The day is coming to an end now. I am officially 28 years old. Thank you to all my friends (who remembered and bombarded my Facebook profile with comments/greetings) as well as to my family (even though my big brother had to be reminded first).

Lastly, for your amusement, I loaded the video of my honeyboo singing happy birthday, taken at Tokyo Joe's this afternoon. Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Umang

I am proud to say that I have great friends (as many as the adversaries that I have collected through the years) and my 'Umang' friends are one of them. I am contented in saying that they will always be there when I cry for help (which is more often than never) and vice versa.

We have been friends since we were freshmen in high school and although that may not be long enough for some people (since others may probably brag about still remaining friends with their sand-box playmates up until now), in my standards however, what I have with my Umang friends is long and strong enough to withstand the blows of time. Trust me, we have been through everything --- change of jobs, losing jobs, migrating to new places, adopting new boyfriends or discarding the old ones, weddings, sexcapades (not applicable to everyone...I had to add this comment because some of the members are claiming to be virgins), frustrations...endless frustrations, hate mails, secrets, etc. Yes, we have been there. Even though we hate each other in some instances, we love each other just as much.

Why Umang? Well, it was originally 'Unicorns' (I know, I know --- sounds yucky...please point your fingers to the culprit who goes by the name of Ghedi) but we changed it to Umang after hearing a classmate mentioned the word jokingly. Umang is a Visayan term referring to tiny crabs (No, I am not referring to the vaginal disease)...literally crabs or at least tiny 'whatchamacallits' belonging to a family of crustacean which were rumored to eat shit. I don't know if this is true but it didn't really matter because it sounded better than the 'Unicorns'. (Dear friends, please do not deny that you were former members of the Unicorns club as I have proof ---- the Christmas card created by RJ before, the same one with our signatures on it).

With no further adieu, let me introduce you to the Umangs! I am quite sure you will like them. Note: I wanted to upload the funniest photos but unfortunately, the ones below are the funniest I can find that are stored in my lappy. I will try rummaging through some old pictures on December and update the photos then. I am positive that I am bound to find some interesting, candid shots hidden away in that good-old-trunk of memoires.

April. Location: Cebu City, Philippines. This girl is my best friend and she never really thought of making me hers. I just decided one day when we were Sophomores in highschool that she will officially be my bestfriend and there's nothing she can do about it. A lot of people thought that it was odd. Why? Pring (as we fondly call her) was more like an introvert in high school. She preferred quiet, little nooks where she can read books and contemplate (don't ask me, what about but I am quite certain they were important). And like her nooks, she was also well-behaved, quiet (too quiet in most times) and was someone who played by the rules. We were complete opposites. But that was then, I think our roles have shifted now. While I have mellowed to the point of becoming an old maid, she is now learning to test waters and play with fire. I need not to say more for fear of having to deal with the fury of the chinese cat lady or worst, get my throat slashed.

Ceangy. Location: Davao City, Philippines. Tall. Dark. Hands...errr...beautiful. If there was anyone in the 'kada who you can always count on for a good-old-fashioned night(day) out, it will be Ceangy. Trust me, she will be there 24/7 like a customer-service hotline, only much better. You can drag her just about anywhere in the archipelago (and hopefully abroad this June) without a single complaint as she is the type of person who goes anywhere...just as long as it's fun, fun, fun!!! She has the sunniest disposition in our group and we just hate it when she is depressed. So snap out of it already.

Icholle. Location: Davao City, Philippines. When we were in high school, she was our baby. She was not the youngest in the group (because the youngest in truth was actually Ceangy) but we thought of her as the most delicate and the most naive especially when she started flashing those dimples coupled with unguarded, supposedly innocent eyes. We thought that we needed to protect her. Now, I suppose, she is the most mature. Happily married with her own mini-me at hand, she is the perfect picture of marriage bliss. Count on her to give you the most logical advices in terms of love, life and money. Our sweet Icholle, the baby is now the mommy. Hehe.

RJ. Location: Cayman Islands. Pastels. Flowers. Candies. Skirts and dresses. Headbands. Giggles. Tote bags. Fairytales. Everything girly and cute is equivalent to RJ. If God played a prank by showering most girls with male hormones, this girl knew about it and decided to ward them off by brandishing a pink (with a shade of purple) umbrella whilst softly broadcasting "Ghedi!Ghedi!Ghedi!" She outsmarted God that day. She is also the neutral zone of the kada, likened to sugar when the coffee was too bitter or the wall between the two Germanys in the past. By not taking sides, she can provide two perspectives without even knowing it.

Rhodo. Location: St. Kitts. She is probably the only person in the group who still belong to the category: Normal. Everything about her spells sanity and while the rest of us, crawled our way into our shells to bawl over childish defeats, Rhodo is our grace under pressure. She is as stable as Mt. Everest and will not budge when she has set her mind on something. Her principle is as simple as black and white, there are no gray areas. A no is a no and if she agrees with you, you could never ask for a better ally. Watch out or she'll give you the 'pinkie'.

Patty. Location: Metro Manila, Philippines. Patty was the big sister, the 'ate' in the group. Do you hear that tiny voice in your head that gets louder when you are about to do something naughty or stupid? In simpler terms, we refer to it as our conscience. That is Pat-Pat. She ensures that we are in line and if we go beyond the boundaries, she'll be right there to set us straight. She doesn't nag or bombard you with ideologies, she just has this subtle technique of making you realize your mistakes without making you look like a fool. She, like Icholle and JenJen (who I will introduce next) will also be catching the next flight to "mmirage-land" before the year ends and there is no one else in our group who was more than ready. It's about time.

Jen-Jen. Location: Idaho, USA. This girl is the most well-traveled in the group. She has toured the continents of Europe, South/North/Central America and a bit of Africa before settling to become a full-time wife to her beloved hubby. Jen-Jen was known for her laugh. When she laughs, everyone else in the room just laughs with her. It was the kind of laugh that can be considered as a temporary respite from everything else. I like to compare her to chocolate, she can be sweet if she wants to but she can also be bitter if she needs to be. Either way, she will never fail you when you ask her for support.

Tutet. Location: Dubai, UAE. She is the perfect epithamy of a 'to-do' list. She is like a long list of things to accomplish but mind you, that list has a lot of check marks now which meant that she has fulfilled some of the items she has listed down (not everyone can do that). She has been able to accomplish most of those things without asking for our help and with nothing on her back but sheer hard work and determination. The only downside is, we have not heard from her for a long time.

Kakay. Location: Cebu City, Philippines. Do not let her skinny body mislead you into thinking that she is the weakest link in the group. She is tougher than you think and the obstacles she has gone through can attest to that. She was and will always be the wild child in the group. Further, she is not just one tough cookie but also one cool momma.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Biyahilo - Bohol

I decided to add an entry to my 'Lakwatsa' chapter. Why? Because I though that my Baguio-Intramuros entry felt lonely. However, I have to set your expectations first before I proceed. The last time I was in Bohol, the year was 2006 and obviously a lot of things have changed such as fares, day tour/hotel rates, new spots to discover and alike. If you are wondering why it took me this long to add my Bohol trip as an entry? Simple, I was not maintaining a blog then (if I had, I have already deleted it) and I was too lazy to write about my trips locally and abroad. I discovered that writing such entries take time and energy. And since we are already in the topic of setting expectations, some of the facts that I will mention may not be that specific as my Baguio City-Intramuros entry and this is not due to my lack of care but because I just can't remember the exact details anymore.

Here it goes.

Bohol is located in the middle of the Philippine archipelago, specifically the Visayas Region, that can conveniently be reached by boat or plane. In my case, it was by boat. My friends and I took the morning trip and two hours after, the ferry docked at its pier. As soon as we were off the boat, we were greeted by eager drivers-cum-tour guides who offered their services for PhP2000.00. This offer included the van that will take us to/from our hotel and gas money for the various tourist spots we visited). Not that bad since there were 9 of us who chipped in on that rate. Please take note though that this rate was back in 2006 and it has changed. I heard from a friend who recently went there that the offer now is ranging from PhP3000-4000.00. If you will be traveling with friends then this rate is just fare.

From the pier, it was just a 20-minute ride to our hotel. We checked in at the Dumaluan Beach Resort in Panglao. The rate then was PhP1,200 per night but if you want to know their recent rates then you can check their website http://dumaluanbeachresort.tripod.com/home.html for more details. The booking already covered our free breakfast however try not to expect too much from that breakfast. But our rooms were clean and the sheets/towels were fresh which were all we needed. The best thing about staying there, the hotel was just right beside the ocean and Bohol is well known for having the best beaches in the country. You can enjoy long walks on its white sand shoreline that stretches as far as the eyes can see.

Anyway, here are the places that you should not miss if you take a trip to Bohol.

Loboc River Cruise. I think we paid PhP300 per head for our eat-all-you-can lunch while cruising along the river. You have the option to choose which boat you liked. There were some boats that cater specifically to vegetarians but it was a good thing that I was not in one of those as I was with friends who preferred to sink their teeth on meat. These local floating restaurants also arranged singers to serenade the guests while enjoying the food.

Tarsier. This is the only place in the country where you can see out in the open one of the smallest primates in the world - the Philippine Tarsier. We all know that because of its size, spotting them in the wild is quite a chore but the Philippine Tarsier Foundation has made it possible for tourists to see and touch the tarsiers. A little advice though, please avoid the tarsiers in the Loboc River area. (Those people have no shame at all! All they cared about was the money they were getting from showing off the captured tarsiers in cages or when they made decorations out of them in miserable make-shift habitats.)

Baclayon Church. This church is the oldest church in Bohol, dating as far back as 1596. However its current structure as how it is today was started in 1727. When we went there, there was a funeral so, out of respect for the mourners, we did not really go inside the church to take pictures. Let's just say, we took a quick peek inside and went directly to the museum where the curator(I forgot her name) sternly advised us not to take photos. What we saw: hymnals in latin supposedly using paper made of animal skin, vests with threads made of gold, old ivory statues and of course, the infamous 'tribuna' where the tight-ass important people in the Spanish period prayed without being seen by the commoners.


Blood Compact Site. This is the spot where the First Treaty of Friendship was sealed by Legazpi and Sikatuna. The event is referred to by the Tagalogs as 'Sandugo'. Once there, we saw 5 sculptures created by the Boholano Artist Napoloeon Abueva and as soon as we stepped up on the dais, we were treated with the generous view of the Bohol Sea. In front of the site, we found shops selling all kinds of gift items which and knick-knacks that the city was known for and you can haggle your way into purchasing the items at the most practical price.

Sadly, these were all the places that I was able to visit while I was in Bohol. I never got the chance to see the most celebrated attraction - The Chocolate Hills because my friends were in a hurry to go home (They were not too excited to see it since they have actually seen it before) and I was also scared to roam the outskirts of the city on my own. I plan to go back to Bohol next year and the Chocolate Hills will definitely be the first in my itinerary. Also, I have heard of the newest attraction they have been promoting which is part of EAT Danao (Eco-Tourism Adventure Tour) program that highlights a unique zip line amongst others.

Until my next visit then.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

An "L" On My Forehead

Oh okay, I will admit it. I sometimes (take note, sometimes) love being the center of attraction or a topic of a particular gossip but I will also admit, that I hate it just as much.

Yes, I know. There I go again --- strengthening my advocacy for contradictions. I just can't help it. Today, was 'Loser' day. I typed my name in Google and guess how many results I got? 3! First was a link that will automatically direct readers to the blog I am maintaining (which is this one), second was with Flickr and the last was with Facebook. That was it. Nothing more. No articles. No videos. And you can probably call this moment, a moment of wallowing in self-pity. I am technically insignificant. And the realization made me feel small and worthless.

I asked myself these questions:

Have I really wasted years by doing nothing with my life or with the gifts that I have been given? Answer - YES. Proof: undermined capabilities by simply working as an Outsourcing Evaluator who can do better and stopped performing for practicality sake.

Am I really that unimportant? Answer - YES. Proof: typed name in a search engine and found nothing or reflected on events and current activities and discovered nothing significant.

Did I ever make a positive contribution in somebody's life? Answer - UNDECIDED. I will have to ask people and maybe, just maybe, I'll be lucky and get an honest answer.

So how do I fix this? Simple - start making a difference. And start now!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kseniya Simonova

Another great find. On my last 'My Cup of Tea' entry, I featured a Pantene ad from Thailand and now, I am featuring an excellent sand artist from Ukraine - Kseniya Simonova. I wish producers would feature more people like her. I am so tired of seeing aspiring singers, dancers and actors on live television whose talents are just borderline mediocrity.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another Promo Fare

Yes. I took advantage of another promo fare of Cebu Pacific. The last time I was lucky enough to book one (or two) was March of this year when I decided to go to Baguio (Note: No direct flight to Baguio City, we took the bus from Manila). Back then it cost me 400 plus and of course, we braced ourselves for the usual delays. Wait, let me change that, DELAYS! I needed to type it in bold as this is what Cebu Pacific is also known for. However, I am not complaining. In fact, I am quite thankful that this budget airline is making the regular 'Juans' happy.

Just recently, I was able to purchase a roundtrip flight from Cebu-Hongkong for only Php1034.00! Yes, the piso fare is not entirely a piso fare but it sure beats paying for a plane ticket (same route) for Php10,000 at other airline companies. And yes, I might need to brace myself for the unavoidable, specifically, delays or lost luggage but that is alright. I have 7 months to prepare myself since I chose a flight on June, 2010.

I just have this one observation to note though. When I purchased my tickets last Saturday, there were still open slots for the piso fare but minutes after, all slots were gone. The Cebu Pacific ad said 100,000. Question: are all the other 'Juans' of this country really as anxious to get a vacation as I am or is there really some truth to the 100,000 seats marketing ploy? I'm just wondering, I never thought that the slots will run out that fast, as I am talking about minutes here and not hours after.

I am happy to have been able to purchase the ticket. Now, I can take my vacation next year. Hahahahaha. Talk about prolonging agony - do I sense a masochistic urge by doing this? I like to say no but I am not entirely convinced.

Oh well, that is all for today. Ciao for now.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It Never Occurred To Me

While out with friends last night, I, again, recently discovered (look's like this is a week of discoveries) that I have not memorized a single song. I can sing along now and then with the others, I can hum the tune, I can belt out in karaoke bars but I cannot sing alone in front of an audience as I have not a memorized a single song (not even the songs in musical shows which I claimed I love so much!) In short, I cannot survive without the lyrics right in front of me. Trust me, try as I may, I can't think of a song last night and it only made me frown. I even confused/interchanged some of the words of our beloved Lupang Hinirang (yes, I know, shame on me...)

So, today, I added an entry to my 'to do' list...memorize a song that I like by the end of the week. Hahahaha.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Recent Discoveries

I discovered that no matter how enticing the thought of being with that person again is(the one you used to adore), in the end, it will always remain just a 'thought'. A thought that merely exists because you need to challenge your loyalty once in a while. It is there simply to give you the bitter taste as opposed to the sweets that you are currently enjoying. The note that plays out of tune to the music that you have been listening to, with a simple objective of making you frown now and then so that you'll appreciate the music better.

I discovered that when it came to a point where I will be made to choose between being with the man I used to love and the man I have learned to love, I will choose the latter. Thus, I will choose Lon instead of Noah (if I may borrow the characters of the movie/book 'The Notebook').

I discovered that the concept of second chances in love exist only in movies and books since faith gives you one chance to make it right and if you were not able to do so on the first instance then that opportunity has passed.

I discovered that I really do not make sense in most times and I knew this when I reflected on how I handle difficult situations like rainy days, misplaced and unreturned laundry items and troubleshooting computer issues (not so difficult for most people but if you look closer, you can tell a lot about people just by observing their reactions to supposed-simple issues).

I discovered that no matter what the status of my relationship with my parents or siblings is or how bad it will get sometimes, I will love them always.

I discovered that I can write as many hate-mails to God (and continue with my silly attempts of ignoring Him) but I will always come back running to Him in the end.

I discovered that I have been contradicting myself for the longest time when I criticized people who like putting things off (rescheduling items that are supposed to be completed within the day for tomorrow's agenda), as I have been unwittingly doing the same thing for years. Putting off graduate studies until 7 years have passed, putting off visiting Egypt while I was in Dubai/Bahrain (now it's even more expensive to go there since I am back home), Putting off buying a car (now I would have to save money again since I have wasted the money I initially saved) etc.

I discovered that my love for 'rock, wild and crazy' was a phase that I have outgrown without even knowing or trying. And I hope that, if my children in the future will go through the same phase, I will have enough patience and compassion to handle them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Over...Not!

The semester is finally over. Although I can't say that there really is a difference since next semester's class starts this Saturday (and enrollment is this Thursday). Anyway, I am just glad that I finished the semester with flying colors. Of course, my work is still there. Again, I cannot really say that I was as contented as before (when I first started), I guess the frustration finally caught up with me. So again, the usual scenario, juggling work-school-and everything else.

Shoo away now. Nothing new to read here. haha.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wanted: Vacation

I feel like my body is about to break. I need rest and the only reason I have an entry today was solely because of the sad truth that I am waiting for all the files to finish downloading. For the past few days, I have been busy with so much paperwork which piled up over the weekend, evaluations that never seem to have any impact at all and of course, presentations---endless presentations. It is now 1:41 AM and I am still awake. My back is aching and my eyes can barely stay open. My brain, I believed, has flipped the sign and it now says 'CLOSE'.

Do I love my job? Do I love my job? Do I love my job?

Sigh. I badly need a vacation.

Monday, October 5, 2009

...



(Still) After performing at the La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art in Bahrain; In celebration of the 'Spanish Nights: La Cultura Espanola'. June, 2005.

...



After performing at the La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art in Bahrain; In celebration of the 'Spanish Nights: La Cultura Espanola'. June, 2005.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

After 'Surrogates'

When I was first introduced to the trailer of the movie Surrogates, I immediately marked my calendar and anxiously waited. When it was finally shown, I had but a few apprehensions. Second-hand apprehensions (specifically) as the movie was not appreciated by the supposed critics as per a co-worker and a friend. They even added that I should just watch it at home rather than waste money in the theater. Anyway, I decided to take my chances and watch it in the big screen since that was originally my plan. Then, I will decide.

The final say...it was interesting and entertaining. And I will recommend people to watch it. I don't know where since it really does not matter, just as long as you watch it. Okay, it was a little boring in the beginning and the narrative lacked something that I cannot seem to point my fingers to, but surely, we found the possibility of ideally living our lives while jacked up at home enticing enough to say that the movie was not that bad. Further, it was quite smart, in fact, the smartest sci-fi movie for quite some time now. Lastly, the effects and the robot-stuff were quite acceptable.

Overall, I will give it 4 out of 5 stars!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tearjerker

I came across this commercial in Facebook which was posted by a friend and just fell in love with it. I just had the urge to share it with anyone who would actually trust my word for it and/or everyone else I can convince.

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Farewell Salome

Maybe it's time to say goodbye. To old things that you have outgrown, the same ones that would eventually turn up better if they were in someone else's care. To all those junk you have kept in the fridge, to devour later, only to realize that you did not want them after all. To irritating habits that only slow you down later on. To books that only gather dust in shelves due to neglect. To childish dreams that were never meant to be.

Maybe it's time to grow up. To straighten priorities and label boxes with categories like how you label envelopes to manage finances. To stop narrowing your eyes towards something that you can't touch and focus on what is right in front of you. To accept defeats with a graceful exit rather than succumb to a grief of a two-year old child. To walk or run but not fly or else you will hurt yourself. To swim towards the boat and take risks only when they are practical.

Maybe I was not Salome after all. That my gifts were nothing compared to what the others can offer. Maybe I was born with small feet but with dependable legs, not to claim the stage while dancing, but to carry my family's burden and walk the miles towards safety. Maybe my hands were meant not to paint or sketch as what I supposed them to be doing, but to be crumpled into fists for wars worth a centavo per punch. Maybe I was not gifted with a square jaw and determined chin for beauty, but for the lifetime of blows that God will give me.

Maybe.Maybe.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Letter To A Friend

Dearest Ate Lan,

I am sorry. I know that this letter is 2 years late but I will write it anyway. The mere fact that I am writing this in my blog only proves how much a coward I am and I will not deny it. I am afraid that if I send this letter directly to you, you will just delete it automatically in your inbox after knowing that it came from me which explains why it is here now.

I am sorry for bailing out on you when you needed me the most. I am not sure if I was really (that) needed at that time, but I knew that you needed me to some extent to stand by your side for assistance. I failed you that afternoon when I walked away from the school to stop teaching your class just for the silly reason of believing that I cannot manage the students on my own. I am sorry that before you left for Japan, I never attempted to contact you and I did not try harder to patch things up between us. I am sorry that I never made the first move. And I am sorry that I waited this long to write this letter. I hope that I will not wait 2 years more before I actually send this letter to you.

Robin has been urging me to be the bigger person by swallowing my pride and taking the first step. Sadly, I failed in that too. For months, I have been concocting all types of ways on how I should write my letter but I never got to actually write them down. And when I received your invitation in Facebook today, it gave me a little courage to finally put these thoughts down in print. You see, Robin thought that I will come out as the bigger person but I was not (really). I never was, when it was between you and me. You were always the bigger person and you always took a step back so I can shine. You always accommodated my tantrums and mood and never ending shifts. You never judged my decisions and stood by my side, whether I was wrong or right, to reprimand me later when no one else was looking. You encouraged me to share my talents and believed in my capabilities.

I am truly sorry.

On the lighter side, how are you? Haha. What a way to end a letter. I miss you, Ate Lan.

Your Friend and Little Sister Always,
Den

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Off The Bandwagon



When I was informed by a good friend that there was a new Vampire book that teenagers were going 'gaga' about, I thought to myself that I'll pass this off since I obviously believed that I have graduated from those types of books (Note to self: YOU never graduate from anything, you just lose interest in it for the time being --- like clothes). But when they created a movie which I watched with hundreds of high school students (a very bad decision since having to endure almost two hours of torture with high school kids can hardly be categorized as a pleasant experience) I decided to give the book a whack. I wanted to git rid of the disappointment I felt after watching the movie. (Bella Swan should have not been played by Kristen Stewart, the actors who played Rosalie and Victoria should have swapped, the faces were too white and if the director really wanted them to appear that white, shouln't the make-up be evenly distributed??? etc) I thought to myself then --- "I am quite sure that it was not written that way" and of course, there is that constant critique that movies don't often give the book justice. So the next weekend after that, I decided to buy the book. I decided not to buy all 4 Vampire books of the authour to avoid future disappointments since there was still that huge possibility that I may not like the book.

True that I bought the next book after reading the first but not because I loved the way Stephanie Meyer wrote it but because of the concept she introduced (which was rumored that she stole from someone else...I wonder how true this rumor was). And how can you possibly not read the next books when she applied the marketing plot that is being used by commercialized authors --- giving a 'hanging' excerpt of what will happen on the next books. Reading the Vampire series of Stephanie Meyer was like watching an awful 'telenovela', you watch it not because the script was beautifully written nor was the acting good but simply because you want to know what will happen next. Period.

Did I get my money's worth after buying all 4 books? Probably a portion of it. I think that her work was over-rated and hardly deserved the price that bookstores are unfairly tagging them with. A little lower would have been more appropriate.

No offense to the fans but this is my blog and I am entitled to my own opinion.

Sticks and Stones: A Debate Between Ex-Lovers (Volume 2)

Continuing Volume 2: What It Was Like

Cynthia:
all i see is a balloon
a red, bloated balloon
ripe for pricking
staring back at me
look what you have done to me!

Danny:
is he really mine?
...
...
forgive me
but this is not the first time a gun was pointed at my face.

Mid Term Exam Question #2

Discuss the following. Perfection in English language pronunciation VS intelligibility. Compare the theories. What are their implications to you as teacher/user of English language? Cite concrete examples. And what are some common errors you have noticed in your students/trainees/ clients/family while using English in speaking or writing? Why do you think these errors happen? What are your recommendations to them?

Admit it, like everyone else who were supposed to know better, we laughed and snickered while browsing through the photos. This is the sad truth in our country these days. Sad because those photos are clear proofs of the fear that our English language skills have degenerated after taking so much pride of saying that we have some of the best English speakers in the world for a long time. Also sad, as our efforts to assist in resolving the concern largely revolved on making jokes about the English errors being committed. These errors were not just observed in one, two or three individuals but also in commercial establishments as well as various businesses. In Call Centers, for example, several errors have been observed. As a Quality Evaluator, other than ensuring that the agents follow the correct business process as required by the clients, I am also tasked with monitoring their communication skills. I wince every time I hear the agents pluralized the wrong words like ‘Stuffs,’ ‘Anyways’ and ‘Informations’. Or when they coupled an adjective + ‘er’ with ‘more’ such as ‘more harder’ and ‘more brighter’. Or when they exhaust the superlative rule by saying ‘most latest’. Or when ‘their’, ‘they’re’ and ‘there’ are used in the same manner and thought as the same banana. Or the most common error of saying “fill up” the form instead of saying “fill out”. Or other words that evolved thanks to the Filipinism trend such as “irregardless,” “bottomless,” “It’s me,“ “Pin number” or “red color”.

And at a time when English is widely considered as an advantage in global competitiveness for any country, ours is slipping down the ladder. In fact, in the investment statement made by the US State Department, it specifically mentioned that “English language proficiency, while still better than in other Southeast Asian nations, is declining in the Philippines” whilst the others are catching up fast with the help of their government’s aggressive training programs and modules.

The question now, why is this happening? In order to answer the question, we have to consider several factors but to cite all of them will take too much of our time. We can, however, focus on the most obvious and most impacting factor - our schools.

The truth on the worsening caliber of English education is, a portion, rooted on bad English textbooks that are still being utilized. The users of the said textbooks, both teachers and students alike, are being fed with mostly erroneous information. Please take note that, as per the Department of Education, the approved textbooks are going to be recognized as the main source of information or knowledge. Because of this, the errors might possibly be acknowledged as acceptable or worst, considered correct since our supposedly reliable textbooks said so. The students who do not know any better or may have become uncertain of what they knew will then rely on the teachers for confirmation of understanding who are also going through the same dilemma.

Our teachers are, whether we admit the truth or not, the second sub-factor to the degradation of English of our students. But please take into account, that although teachers are vital contributors to the problem, they do not function as solitary contributors. We cannot simply note that they should be solely held accountable for process or system failures that affect their work. Some of these process or system failures are out of their control or have been handed down by their mentors such as low expectations for student performance, un-enforced standards of teachers, inadequate induction for beginning teachers, major flaws in teacher preparation, lack of professional development and rewards for knowledge and skills amongst others.

Let us look closer at ‘Low Expectations For Student Performance’ failure for instance which is deeply rooted on the concept of discrimination. Although discrimination is not as obvious as it was before, it still exists. It exists in our educational system that puts private schools in pedestals while public schools are left to fend for themselves or to put it lightly, to simply resort to resourcefulness. It exists between sections that are grouped as Special or Node sections versus general sections. It exists amongst students who are labeled based on their grades in schools or talents that they showcase. And the common inclination is since ‘not much’ is expected from average or low performers then a ‘not much’ type of education will also be provided to the same individuals. Let us take my high school as an example. I graduated from a public school in Davao City, although the section I belonged in was nurtured and well cared for by the school’s partnership with DOST, the other students in that same school were not so lucky. I was witness to the type of education that my schoolmates were getting. Other than not having actual classrooms, they (often than always) did not have teachers. Since most of the time they did not have classes, the students tend to go elsewhere and by elsewhere, I meant anywhere but within the vicinity of the school. However, if the teachers bothered showing up to conduct a class on rare occasions, the quality of education was only a quarter of what the students from the special or node classes were getting. Up to this day, I can still remember one particular conversation that I had with one of the teachers (no need to mention his name) when I interrupted his class because he specifically instructed me to call him once the beauty pageant started as he wanted to be there when his bet initially introduced herself. (Caution: Dabawenos neither speak straight Bisaya nor straight Tagalog. It is what the Chinese people refer to as the ‘chopseuy’ of dialects.)

Den at 14: Sir, excuse me, magsa-start na ang pageant.
Teacher: Ay, ay! Sige sabay ako sayo pagbalik dun.
Den at 14: Nyeh…eh pano yung class.
Teacher: Ako na bahala. Dalhin mo ang tape para sa talent portion ni (____).
Den at 14: Si Sir talaga…magsugo pa jud.
Teacher: Huwag ka ng magreklamo. (Turned around to talk to his class) Okay class, read chapter 8. We will have a test tomorrow.
Den at 14: (said nothing)
Teacher: O, bakit? Sus, hayaan mo na yung klase gud. Ganun din, either di makagradweyt ang mga yan o maging tambay o adik. At yung mga babae, mabuntis ng sayo kaya sayang lang din ang effort diba.

My teacher was just one out of 8 teachers in the school who I remembered making similar comments out in the open. And I am quite certain that there were other teachers who may have thought or felt the same way, only they were discrete enough to keep their opinions to themselves.

Or let us take ‘Un-enforced Standards of Teachers’ as another instance. The problem with the supposed standards (or lack thereof) today is, its vulnerability to politics and shift of priorities of the Board. And although our Board has developed certain standards for teacher education, licensing and professional development, it has not maintained the standards and/or maybe the same standards did not appropriately adapt to the changes in our society. It is necessary to acknowledge this realization and place the burden on the Board as it is presumed that the Board is the ‘conscience’ of the teaching profession because it is the governing body that develops and enforces ethical codes as well as technical standards for practice. Fixing the process failure attached to un-enforced standards is then the Board’s responsibility and in order to resolve it, they should develop common standards, high quality assessments and reciprocity agreements that will allow and help our teachers command comparable yet highly accomplished skills that will reflect on the positive type of education given to our students.

How will the recommendation be beneficial? First, the standards that will be set by the Board will bring the teachers’ expertise to a higher level since the improvement process will then be more focused and will be applied in a steadier fashion, which meant that it will be coupled with continuous updates and re-evaluations in light of the growing professional need. Second, the maintenance and improvement of such standards will allow the creation of a more coherent system that will be followed by all. Lastly, it will then encourage the teachers to work towards excellence.

What we need to understand about standards is its primary purpose. Standards exist in order to keep everything in line; hence, the status quo will be maintained or developed and never degraded. But because such standards are often not enforced in our educational institutions, the movement will always be towards mediocrity that is susceptible to exploration and constant changes which will only be an advantage to a few and not to everyone concerned.

The last factor, but as significant as the first two sub-factors discussed, is the growing trend on Intelligibility. Although there is no argument with considering Intelligibility as the most practical approach, it still does not justify the fact that in settling for Intelligibility, we are somehow, again, settling for mediocrity. The idea, “it is enough that you are understood” is a difficult concept for me to digest. Is it really enough to be understood? Is our expertise limited to a certain bracket only? Or better yet, is “Intelligibility” strong enough to defend our teachers when they are criticized by their students despite of successfully getting the lessons accross? The answer to all is NO. It is never enough that we stop once we are understood as it is human nature to aim for something higher. Our levels of expertise are boundless if we give ourselves the chance. And “Intelligibility” is not strong enough to be utilized as arms to linguistic wars with other nations or in simpler scenarios, it is not strong enough to fully prepare our children for globalization-in-full-throttle. Let us consider some examples. A call center agent is inclined towards pre-judicial impressions from both the business client and the customers as soon as his ‘Philippine English’ is detected. Even though his grammar was spotless and there was a probability that he will be able to resolve the customer’s concern in a clear and concise manner, the Filipino accent will often be the bane to his scope of work. A Filipina Guest Relations Officer who has been working in the same hotel 5 years will be bypassed despite of her experience, skill and knowledge since the chosen applicant spoke better English. An English Teacher who was mocked by her students because she mispronounced the simple word “refer” will possibly still get an opportunity to redeem herself on her next classes, however, she will be required to double her efforts in order to earn her students’ trust and respect again.

My strong dissatisfaction with the trend on Intelligibility in most schools is derived from dense excuses that I have heard people use in order to justify their level of English skills.

Excuse #1: “This is our way of imprinting our distinct Filipino personality on the English language.”

Why is there a need to show our distinct Filipino personality on the English language when it is something that we do not own in the first place? Just as Cebuanos are sick and tired of hearing us, Dabawenos, say “adto diri” when we specifically meant “anhi diri”, I am quite certain that Native English speakers are also sick and tired of hearing the English language being mutilated. And if we really wanted to promote our culture and supposed distinctness, we can always do so in other countless ways unless of course if we ran out ideas which I believe is quite impossible for the Filipino people.

Excuse #2: “The goal is to be understood and that is all there is.”

Why does the goal stop in being understood? Isn’t our ultimate goal to cultivate communication? If we chose the latter then how can we expect the person we are conversing with to interact when he is burdened with disinterest and disrespect, that sometimes border on doubt, after we have spoken? In my experience at a BPO Company, I have high expectations for those who hold managerial positions. Can you just imagine my dismay when I was introduced to a Senior Team Leader whose English grammar was all over the place and most of the words that came out of her mouth were pronounced incorrectly? My thoughts then were, “You got to that position with that kind of English?” and “What will the clients think?” since I was worried that the Clients might get the impression that all employees in our company talked the same way as she did. There was no doubt that I understood what she was trying to relay but the manner as to how she was relaying her thoughts was the barrier in the interaction. Up to this day, I still doubt her capabilities and the process of how she was hired.

Excuse #3: “We are too old for ‘perfection’, thus, the bamboo has grown into a narra tree” or “Perfection is impossible!”

This notion is clearly a sign of laziness. Unless you have a speech defect that is attributed to physical deformities such as a cleft palate or worst, laryngeal cancer, then there is no reason for you not to be able to use the language the same way as Native Speakers can. Aren’t words created because we have learned to utilize sounds based on the formation, movement and placement of our mouth, tongue, teeth, etc? Do we not have the same vocal, audio and nasal organs as them? If yes, then why should we limit our capabilities to a certain bracket only? Learning or speaking the language is not a talent that only a few privileged individuals are gifted with. In fact, it is a skill that is taught and one that requires constant practice and determination; thus, something that can be improved through time. Anyone can achieve the native speaker’s accent if they would only try harder. I will cite an acquaintance as an example to make my point more convincing. Michelle, who I met overseas, used to work as a waitress at a restaurant in Bahrain. Her ultimate goal was to be a Flight Attendant so she always asked to be tutored on her English usage and accent. I was able to observe and monitor her improvement. Her English then was what we commonly refer to as ‘Philippine English’ (or what foreigners referred to as Carabao English) but with practice and sheer dedication, her English improved. On her third attempt of application at Gulf Air, she finally got the job. When I went to Dubai last year, I set up a meeting with her and guess what, her English was even better. If not for her Filipino features, she will probably be mistaken as an American. In addition to that, when I arrived at Costa Cafe, she was talking to a fellow Flight Attendant and they were talking in French! I can’t claim that I know the French language that well to say that her French was also excellent but judging from how fast and how confident she was in using the language to a Native French Speaker, I will assume that she has mastered that language too.

Excuse #4: “This is what we learned while growing up.”

The best thing about growing old is you are not caged within one environment only. As you grow older, you move from one environment to another and your network of connections expand. You don’t just rely on your family for information and knowledge anymore, you also have the schools that you attend to, friends and teachers to learn from and subsequently co-workers as well as acquaintances to compare, learn and re-learn facts and data with. The area for improvement is without bounds and we have the option to save and discard whatever knowledge we prefer. Likened to my friend Michelle who was mentioned in Excuse #3, we too can move out of our old shell so we can move to a better one which will provide us a bigger room to grow. It just boils down to one word - choice. Do you choose Intelligibility or do you choose Perfection?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mid Term Exam Question #1

How important is it for the teacher of English as a Second Language or Foreign language to have knowledge of English language (morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics, speech acts)? Cite theories on language learning and teaching and concrete examples. You may base the theories from your report or other sources.

If we were to hold the notion “What teachers know and can do are the most important influence on what students learn” as the main premise, then the obvious answer to the above question is --- It is indeed very important.

As what I always urge, it is important to continue working on strengthening the ‘Basics’ of English as these will serve as our framework and reference for teaching. Our knowledge on these ‘Basics’ such as Morphology, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Speech Acts, etc. will guide us in redefining the English language in such a way that it can be incorporated in the growing demands of today’s society which will result to a more challenging coursework and a higher standard for graduation. It is necessary that we understand what these concepts are, how they came to be and their significance to learning as well as teaching the English language. For instance, a teacher who has a limited understanding of the concept of Phonology will fail to comprehend the different aspects of meaning created by the variety of speech sounds. Because of this, he will not be able to differentiate and clearly explain the rising intonation of “Maybe tomorrow” versus the rising-falling intonation of ‘Maybe tomorrow”. Or maybe a teacher who cared less about Phonetics will not be able to share the correct pronunciation of the uncommon word “panacea” because he did not know how to read the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) affixed to the dictionary he consulted. Or even a teacher who was simply contented with the literal meaning of a word and probably viewed Semantics as another gabble created by lonely Linguists who did not have anything better to do with their time, will neglect to understand the different dimensions of meaning attached to the word which will result to miscommunication or confusion later on.

The focal point is, our students are who they are because of what we teach them. If we have some ideas about the supposed ‘Basics’, we might probably be able to teach them some English. If we have a limited insight about the same ‘Basics’, then we have a limited capability to teach them English that borders on mediocrity. However, if we have a broad understanding and knowledge of the ‘Basics’ and we continue expanding this knowledge then we will be able to extensively educate our students and benchmark their performance from acceptable to highly accomplished.

By thoroughly making them aware of the concepts, our students will take great care in communicating with others, hence, they will speak and write more effectively and eloquently. Let us take the Language Model for discerning the importance of studying meaning as an example. In analyzing the process and specifying the steps on how meaning was derived (Thought – Word – Set of Words – Message – Meaning), we were able to understand why Semantics existed and why there was a need to study meaning. Because of this, different concepts were created to better explain the various facets of meaning which allowed us to appropriately identify and interpret words, statement and events accordingly; thereby became better communicators.

In conclusion, the ‘Basics’ being referred to are the linchpins for transforming current systems of preparation and ongoing development so that they can better support learning. They can bring clarity and focus to a set of ideas that are poorly connected and/or often badly organized. And a teacher of English as a Second/Foreign Language who has a rich understanding of them will be able to know how to reveal the subject matter to his students and will also know how to combine this knowledge with the preconceptions that his students typically bring to the classroom.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting Started

"All an eagle would really like, is a teapot."

What exactly does this mean?!? I know that it is randomly generated but I refuse to believe that the system just picked out words and mashed them up together in order to create a sentence. What is in a teapot? Why would an eagle be needing it? Am I missing something here or maybe I am as dense as dense can be (and just don't want to acknowledge it)?

One, I know what an eagle is. Two, I know what a teapot is. Three, I don't remember any object, event or persons/s that they are corresponded to which would have stood as possible representation/s. Four, I hate that I do not understand what the sentence meant.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shuffling Through Useless Loafing

I have been in front of my lappy for almost 3 hours now and I still have not started what I originally planned on doing which was to research about Education and all types of 'isms' connected to it. Also, my EDL 201 paper due on Saturday was still where it was the last time I left it. What is wrong with me these days? I can't seem to focus. Maybe it's just stress from work. Stress for being un-acknowldged. Stress for being frustrated with so many failed attempts. Stress for friends who go through the same dilemma. Stress for a looming doom that I dare not mention here. Stress. Stress. Stress.

Snap out of it, Den or else, you'll grow a bald spot again. I badly need a vacation. Anyone who wants to go to Batanes with me??? Anyone??? Hello??? Loser.

Sumilon Island, Philippines







Bohol, Philippines



Samboan, Philippines



Baguio City, Philippines





Sunday, September 13, 2009

SM Cebu WiFi: Now Available

I am currently trying out SM's WiFi and for something that is free...it's not so bad...the best is right in front of PC Quick Buys and Ruiz Derma Clinic...expect a few flactuations now and then...i better cut this short since there is someone beside me, nagging his ass off...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sticks and Stones: A Debate Between Ex-Lovers (Volume 2)

Continuing Volume 2: What It Was Like

Cynthia:
he is not the first
but he is our son
he is the reason why we are waging war now
he is as good as any son,
as any child who will carry your name
and they will love him
by God, they will

or else, i'll hear my heart break.

Danny:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...

Friday, August 28, 2009

To Facebook Or Not To Facebook

Friends have been urging me to fully migrate to Facebook and I say NO still. It's not because I am not a fan of Facebook (because I am...most especially of the convenience of the one-click access to the Vampire Wars game). The fact is, I am just too lazy to maintain another account. Taking Facebook seriously would mean, updating my profile, uploading pictures, responding to comments, etc. which I think are(you guessed it!)additional workload. I just don't have the time. Scrap that. I do have the time, I just chose not to have the time as taking the second step (I have done the first step by registering) will eventually lead to getting down and dirty with it!

Friendster, they say, is way back down the road. Too 'old school'. But that is fine with me. I am comfortable utilizing it and I can quite deal with the limitations of the service. I am fine with it just as it is. As for Facebook, I will keep my account active just so I will be kept within the loop with friends' whereabouts.

So dear friends, don't worry about me. I am still updated. I have not evolved (back) into a cavewoman.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

EDFD 201

During the course of discussing the different aspects of Philosophy and their celebrated Philosophers, as well as, the topics about the Nature of Man, I thought to myself, “Okay, all of them are quite interesting (if not boring) but how are they going to prepare me to become the educator that I hoped to be? Wouldn’t my time be better spent if we were studying successful methods in today’s classroom instead?

After much (needless) deliberation, I have learned and arrived to a conclusion. The truth of the matter is, while study and/or practice of teaching methods is a central part of teacher preparation, such methods make sense only in particular environment and in the achievement of specific objectives that may only cater to one or several groups of learners, but certainly not all of them. Further, the said objectives are not always agreed upon which then leaves the burden of making decisions to the educators.

Because of the concern mentioned above, I have come to believe that the incorporation of the Psychological and Philosophical foundations of education as applied in our EDFD 201 class with the supposed successful teaching methods will be very beneficial. Hence, the better we understood the larger society, in which schools are embedded, the better teachers we become. In considering and studying Education’s historical and philosophical insights alongside our own sociological knowledge, we will then be better equipped in handling classroom situations by understanding the larger context that surrounds and shapes the events that happen in our classrooms. Let us take this scenario as an example: How can we categorize a child with a learning disability from a child whose home culture differs from that of the school that he goes to? Unless we understand the effects, that school culture has on a child from a minority group or (to give a more obvious example) a child who came from the less privileged class of society, we will not be able to comprehend the root of the child’s academic or social adjustment problems. As a result, not knowing the problem will equal to not knowing how to address it. This cited example, however, is just one of the several scenarios that we encounter.

To cut to the chase, all that I am sharing is, it is necessary to acknowledge that the classroom or the learning setting is inevitably ingrained in the broader psychological and philosophical contexts that surround our educational system. The differing perceptions on the structure of Philosophy, theories of education, sociological contexts and prevailing ideologies are a few of the variables that we need to study in order to understand our workplace. Disregarding them will impair our ability to interpret classroom events and to construct meaningful solutions to perennial concerns.

Why Black And White Are The Alpha Colors

In general, I am in agreement with A. Bloom’s perspective as I also believe that going back to the most basic questions or the foundation of knowledge is one way of creating your own thoughts or ideals, a way that will lead you to a path of your own choosing.

I also believe that the trend on relativism amongst most universities today, although has great potential, will prove to be of less worth in the long run as these same universities failed to fully equip their students with enough knowledge or foundation that would have encouraged the students to develop their own ideas from what was taught. This ultimately revolved around a supposed “analytic philosophy” that dictates to the students to accept concepts at first glance with the opinions of the so-called experts in the field of their textbooks, which to my understanding then can be labeled as ironic. For instance, a Professor who wants his students to create a book review would instruct the student to read the synopsis of a particular book rather than encourage him/her to read the whole book. We have to take note that by reading the synopsis, we are already reading the interpretation of the one who created the synopsis and our understanding then is influenced by the said interpretation, hence, we unknowingly become part of a movement. Therefore, the idea that we thought was original was in truth, at a closer look, not original after all since someone else already owned it. Another good example that I can note was a statistical study that was conducted when I was taking my BA at UP Baguio, which comprised of respondents who were all members of the group ANAKBAYAN. When they were asked what their reasons were for joining the group, some had similar reasons (explanations were narrated exactly like the explanation of the leader of the group) while the others differed simply because they cannot pinpoint exactly what their reasons were and they perceived that what they were doing was what UPians should be doing. The bottom line is, the students these days are influenced by a thought that has been tainted with a little bit of influence form one person or another, which then makes it difficult for them to determine which thoughts were theirs and which ones were not. Further, this trend leads to the students’ inability to fashion a life for themselves that will go beyond the monotonous offerings of success via instant gratification and moral relativism.

These were the reasons why I agreed with A. Bloom’s urging that it is best to go back, study the historical/cultural materials in their original form, and create new thoughts based on our understanding of the said text.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Waiting For Yoga

hello dear knight
it has been too long
i scooped my tears
and carefully placed every drop in a pot
each night i cut and piece your words together
hoping to create a collage of endearment
but to my dismay
i sculpted an image of longing and even sadder grieving
at dawn i send kisses of passion
and letters aching of desire
passed from one star to another
only to be abruptly halted by a careless moon
did you hear my stars howling in despair?
as that crescent moon ripped my gifts apart
shoved them back into the cold desert dune
such a sad affair
rippled on thetwenty-third, ended on a new year

such a sad, bitter affair

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strike 2

Why do I bother asking for favors when I can just simply finish the task on my own without anyone else's assistance? Why do I feel the urge to ask for support when I can complete what I needed to complete faster if I did it alone? Why do I ask when I know that I might get an outcome which might only irritate me? Why do I resort to begging in order to avoid the unavoidable "No" which, then, only makes me kick myself thereafter?

The answer --- I don't (specifically) know. Maybe sometimes I want to be reassured that I have friends. Maybe sometimes I want to lessen a not-so-heavy load out of laziness. Maybe sometimes I want to waste my time alongside someone who I wrongly thought would want her time wasted as well. Maybe sometimes I expect some minor 'returns' to minor favors I have given. Maybe. Just maybe.

Well, at least now I know better. If it's just me, I have only but myself to blame. And when it's just ourselves, we are usually more forgiving.

Remember this day --- this is the second time in your entire life that you asked for unnecessary favors, do you really want to lose another friend just because she, unexpectedly, said no??? Think about it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Morning After

It is the day after another wreck. I watch her stand there like an idiot; her hands on her hips, wondering what the hell happened. Moments like these, I grab my camera and take photos of her with that frown on her face. I know then, that my eames chair girl is back. She was sober again or shall I say logical, and was in her right mind. I have about forty-three snapshots of her looking exactly like how I am describing her now. I guess that goes to show how many times she got drunk when she was pressured by her agents or how many times she was reported to the authorities by our neighbors or how many times I lie awake at night worrying and hating myself for falling helplessly in love with a woman who was as unpredictable as the weather and as unreliable as the news anchor in Channel 8. Worst, falling in love with a woman who does not know I exist. She does not even know my name. Sure, she knows she has a neighbor. In fact, she is quite aware she has neighbors since she has been reported countless times to the authorities by the same neighbors who complained of too much racket at her house. She does not know a thing about me. She does not even know I watch her. I do not know what she will do if she will learn about my stalking rituals.

She is sitting on her chair now, her small hands are clasped on her lap as she sadly stared at the stab marks on her favorite chair. She looked closer to check the damage and to hopefully find a clue to the culprit’s weapon only to discover the charcoal smudges on the sides. She shook her head and slapped her face several times before stopping. I almost heard her sigh. She traced the stab marks with the tips of her fingers and lovingly enclosed the ripped black leather together before wiping the skin clean with a daisy-scented sanitizer. She is careful not to cause further damage to her already damaged chair. In times like these, I wish I was that chair. I care not for the torture the day or night before, what mattered was the love I will be getting the next day when she was my Salome again. I am certain, that the lows of her momentary insanity will be compensated by the highs of being taken cared of her clear-headed disposition.