Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Are you experienced?

Here's to all music lovers out there.

Woodstock 1969’s best kept secret is finally out.

Hail to the Flower Power Generation!


Note: My apologies to the great Jimi Hendrix.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Flu Away

I just got back from sickbay where I missed a lot of workdays that only leads to a lot of bills to pay. It’s the flu season here my friends and this is the first time in years that I have been KO’d by the bug. Yeah, I had a flu of the very virulent kind that had my body reeling from its onslaught for more than a week now.

Times like these could make you stop and ponder for it only mean one thing----

that my days of invincibility are over.

And I am still human after all…

I am writing this stuff while in the comforts of my bedroom (where else?) while lying down on my bed with my head propped up by two giant pillows to guard against straining my neck while the beautiful arias of Andrea Bocelli soaring in the background that are lulling me to sleep- talk err in this case sleep- type every now and then, a sacrifice on my part so that I could update my often neglected blog. I promised myself though that I will try to keep this blog current. If I can help it, that is.

Today is January 26, 2006 and if I remember my medical history right it is also the birthday of Herr Hans Hugo Bruno Selye, the Austrian- born Canadian endocrinologist who pioneered the study of stress on the human body. Surely, I have been in a lot of stress during the past weeks that probably contributed to the fragility of my immune system that eventually led to my going down with the flu. Anyway, thank you Herr Selye for reminding me of my mortality as I will try my best to not develop the so- called “diseases of adaptation” so that I could live a little bit longer.

Speaking of birthdays, I have two very good friends whose birthday fall on this day:

One is very much alive and kicking while the other one is now in heaven.

I remember B, my best friend in college eons ago. She was of the shy and demure kind who would blush every time I tease her about anything but mostly about her secret “crush” who was named after that Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar whom we nicknamed as “Ghost” to conceal his identity from our peers. I am a real “Alaskador” and a very good one at that, I remember she would always give me a knowing but threatening look complete with a secret kick on the shin every time I would try to sing or hum the soundtrack of that Patrick Swayze- Demi Moore movie (entitled what else but Ghost?) every time Casper’s relative would pass by our “tambayan” and I would be in stitches as she blushed and blushed and blushed. But she could do nothing about it lest our secret will be out, so to speak.

This is just one of the many things and moments that I remember about B, who graduated Cum Laude in our pre-medicine class who could have had a very good future ahead of her but just a month and a half after graduation she died tragically in Sorsogon in Bicol. The circumstances of her death were sketchy but I don’t want to divulge them in here nor dwell in the past and open some old wounds. I just want to remember her as B, my down-to-earth happy-go-lucky best friend and as we used to say before-

We don’t remember days, we always remember moments…

So, I will offer a moment of silence for you my best friend.

Happy Birthday and May You Rest in Peace.

In the Land of Milk and Honey, you seldom find people that you can really relate to especially if you’re a transplant from another place with a very different culture half- a world away.

And if you find one then I can tell you that you’re quite lucky. Although I have been here long enough to know the ins and outs of the environment that I belong to; the intricacies and the idiosyncrasies of my co- workers and a million other peculiarities of the American people and its culture, I could only count on my fingers the people whom I could really consider not as just mere acquaintances but friends.

And J is one of them.

J, the lady in lavender or violet or whatever you may call it, is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. This is just an understatement for she is one person who could literally take your breath away; witty and intelligent with always a ready smile to greet you and lift your spirits up.

And today is her birthday too.

But I was not able to greet her for she flew to the Netherlands to have herself a Dutch Treat and be with Van Gogh and probably a bicycle ride in the Dutch countryside or who knows she could be just sitting there on a roadside café watching strangers smoke pot in liberal Holland. Or maybe plainly admiring the canal houses of Amsterdam.

She told me she’d like to go and see Anne Frank’s house and understand why the courage of a young girl in a not so ideal time could be an inspiration for everyone. She’d probably drop by the Rijksmuseum and see why it is Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn's home among other things or appreciate Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring up close in The Mauritshuis in The Hague.

She could be feeling and walking like a giant, like Gulliver in Madurodam in The Hague or just laughing the night away with her friend swimming in green Heineken and golden Amstel while having a ball in that country of windmills, klompen and of course the color, orange.

and you can’t fault her for that--for it’s her birthday and she’s entitled to that.

So, J even if the tulips are not in bloom and the irises have yet to be in full splendor, Amsterdam will be in a way different simply because you’re there.

Happy Birthday and have a good one.

Madurodam - (the Netherlands on a scale of 1:25)

Saturday, January 20, 2007


It’s my usual practice every time I log in to the internet to first go to the Philippine Daily Inquirer for the latest news from home and this morning was no different and what caught my eye is the breaking news about a former broadcaster slain in Albay by suspected NPA members, his former comrades in the movement.

Another killing in the never- ending cycle of violence in the Philippines where both protagonists (read: AFP and NPA) have added another dimension in their war of attrition by shifting to another front and away from their traditional battlefield by killing or liquidating people perceived to be unsympathetic to their cause or unarmed supporters of each side reminiscent of the Philippines in the waning years of the Marcos dictatorship in the 1980s.

The spate of killings of perceived Leftist supporters and Military assets done treacherously by elements of both sides is not only sad and lamentable for it only shows that the decades- old war which has claimed thousands of lives is far from over- a war that has destroyed the lives and extinguished the dreams of so many young and brilliant Filipinos.

The list is endless and their potentials could have been immense and at what cost to a nation that has been dubbed as the sick man of Asia?

You can only imagine of what a difference those young people could have made to our nation’s present situation and the future.

No matter what their spin- masters will concoct to justify their actions, it still leave a bad taste in the mouth and an uneasy feeling in the gut.

The war has gone on for too long now for an ideology that has been proven to be a bust by the rest of the world with just a few holdouts like North Korea and Cuba. Some people with ties to the left have even shifted their approach by participating in the elections and having them in Congress have shown that the people have spoken that they welcome their cause to be fought in a peaceful manner.

But some of them have other designs on their minds for you can't talk about justice and peace on one hand and have a gun on the other. This smacks of a Jekyll and Hyde strategy which has no place in our society.

If they want the people to believe in their cause I think it is about time to abandon the armed struggle and participate in the democratic process no matter how we perceive the system to be imperfect but it has to start somewhere if we want change to happen and in the process rendering the Philippine military and their well-publicized abuses against civilians unjustified. Their relevance will become moot for most of the military abuses stemmed from the fact that it is usually committed in the guise of their search and destroy operations against the communist rebels especially in the countryside.

Too much blood has been spilled and too many lives have been taken in years of fighting between blood- brothers that in the end the only loser is the Filipino nation and its people from whatever angle you look at it.

I have been to the mountains of the Cordilleras and far- flung barrios in the Visayas as well as to the remote parts of Mindanao on a Medical Mission with some NGOs and other well- meaning Organizations during the time of my youthful idealism years ago and I admit that the fire is still there burning and the dreams of serving the people and the common good will always be with me.

I have experienced being asked and questioned by armed men in those places regarding the purpose of our presence there; one group asked us if we were leftist sympathizers while the other group asked us whether we were government spies.

I have met and talked to people in those places and have understand their situations and predicaments of being in the crossfire of two opposing forces that they have to contend with in their every day lives. It is a choice between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea if you ask me. It is really an irony for it is always the people who suffer whenever these two contending forces clash in spite of the fact that both sides have sworn and uphold to protect them.

I have once upon a time believed in the cause that our brothers in the mountains espoused and I still believe in them. I have once upon a time sympathized with the plight of our brothers in uniform and I still support them. I have lost some really good friends on both sides through the years which to this very day I still rue the loss of their young lives to an unjust war being fought between brothers.

Let us stop the killings. Let us stop the senseless war.

Let’s us give Peace a chance.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Suicide is painless?

Think again...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jack of all Trades, Master of None

If a picture can paint a thousand words…..

--then you can have a picture of how I celebrated the coming of the New Year…

But the hangover of the party has nothing to do with how late I am writing for my very first post for 2007.

By the way, a friend once asked me why I have a lot of blogs on the internet.

I told her that it’s just one of my hobbies in order to pass the time or the boredom one encounters while living in a foreign country where after the novelty of the perks and comforts of the place, you grow tired of everything and the next thing you know, you're in front of the monitor typing some insignificant stuff on the computer keyboard and dishing out some sane and crooked views on everything and in the process, bill blahs was born and is now the home site of all my blogs & sites in the vast expanse of the World Wide Web.

All the websites that I have created or have a hand in its creation is in the Perfect Circle Group which you can find on the right side of this blog--

The Legacy of Sr. Don Higino Templado is about the story of the man who once served as the Gobernadorcillo of Tiwi, Albay and also the history of the Templados of Tiwi written by his grandchild Jose Templado who also served as the Mayor of the same town and who happens to be my grandfather and if the trend will continue, I am destined to be the Mayor of my hometown in the future. Only in my wildest dreams and yours, though.

Being a sports fan I created the blog Ball Sheets which deals with all the “ball” sports such as Basketball, Baseball, Football, Tennis, Golf, etc, etc. so if you got the “balls” in you, you can visit this site and have fun.

Mach & Me is all about the adrenaline-pumping of the motor speed racing (F1, NASCAR, and IndyCar Series) as well as the brawn and power of the boxing and mixed martial arts world. You will also find in this site the grace and beauty of the elegant world of figure skating and to tell you frankly I made this one with just Sasha Cohen in mind.

Unchanged Melodies is my music hall. In here I write about the Rock and Roll world, the Broadway Musicals, Operas and other stuff regarding the music business.

- is about books and movies and other stuff.

Lagalag is my travel blog. The most neglected site but a fine one if only I could have the energy to write more. I have never even started about my trip to the Big Apple in 2005 and I am due again to go to the City That Never Sleeps this coming March or April to watch Lea Salonga in Les Miserables.

Blue Moon Station is where you can find some of my published works and unfortunately I haven’t updated this blog for ages. But I will….

Mandirigma- is all about the Filipino Soldier. I am a major contributor on this site and I also help the webmaster whom I never met personally but who is an active soldier in the field with the elite Scout Rangers.

Of Heads & Tails- is my foray in the world of short stories and fiction. Due to time constraints though, all the stuffs here are written in just one sitting and have not been edited just like all of my other entries in my other blogs. So if ever you find some typos or some errant grammar or other stuff, bear with me or better still you can be my editor for free. Ha-ha

Inks and Verses- is my very first home on-line. You can find all my poetry stuff on this one as way back as in 2002. I used to write poetry among other things in High School. I also joined some Press Conferences and contests for High School students both in the Regional and National levels where I won some and lost some. But the highlight I think is when I won first place and 5th place in News Writing and Editorial writing respectively in the Regional Secondary School's Press Conference (RSSPC) as well as landing in the Top 10 in News Writing in the National Secondary School's Press Conference (NSSPC) in the mid 80's but when I went to College for whatever reasons I stopped. I wonder if there are still press conferences for high school students nowadays. I only regained my touch for writing in 2002 when I submitted some poems to the website Poetic Voices that earned me the very first Reader's Feature of the said website where the succeeding poets that where featured were all accomplished and published poets. Its Poetry Editor, Ursula T. Gibson is quite respected in the field too, unfortunately due to some concerns the website ceased to exist. So I guess you can call the years from 1987- 2002 as my lost years, writing wise.

Even though I am a busy person, I always try my best to update one of my blogs at least monthly or weekly or even daily which usually depends on my moods and free time for I am always on the run or at times a lazy one who happens to spend my free time just sleeping on the couch the whole day on my days off.

I write for myself and nothing else. I write for what I believe in and I am not afraid to express my views or opinions on anything whether it is sane or crooked and whether you like it or not you just have to swallow it hook, line and sinker. How’s that for being dictatorial? After all they are my blogs. Ha-ha I’m just kidding of course.

And I write fast for my mind oftentimes runs faster than what my fingers can handle and so I would always end up uploading my works without the benefit of editing them. I got a lot of stuff on my mind waiting to see the light of day and a lot of things that were written that are just languishing on my computer folder waiting to be uploaded to my sites. These are travel logs, poems, short stories, reviews, etc.

Anyway, since learning is a never-ending process and life is a constant change, I am always open to some new things in our everyday life. I always love a new challenge although I get bored easily and move on to some new stuff once the thrill and excitement of the challenge have been conquered or overcome. So you can call me the Jack of all Trades, Master of None.

And my New Year’s Resolution is to---

Stop Procrastinating!

If I can help it, that is.

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