Thursday, September 10, 2009

I've Got the Music in Me



When I was about 11, my Dad gave me a cassette tape of Chopin’s nocturnes and told me to just listen to it and let the beautiful melodies carry me to places that I have never been to. "Just go with the flow," he said. Although I did not quite get it then, I certainly understand it now.

I had it on my Walkman and cassette player for years until it died a natural death due to the inevitable wear and tear. I have since bought a similar recording on CD years ago where I would usually listen to the very familiar tunes in my quiet moments. It helps my mind relax and dream of the future in stressful times.

And today, I am returning the favor.

I say Dad, let the familiar melody of your favorite nocturne bring you joy wherever you are today. Requiescat in pace.

Happy Birthday Akihiko-san!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Lea Salonga...YOUR SONGS



Hi Everyone!

Thank you so very much for the support you have shown throughout my over 30-year performing- and- music- making career. As a way of showing of showing my gratitude. I'll be holding a special concert in December dedicated to you. However, I need your help...I'd like to ask you to help me shape this show by letting me know exactly what you'd like me to sing!

You can send in your request through this website until September 30, 2009. And if you have any photos with me, please send them to the Photos page. I'd love to have a copy for my scrapbook!

Plus, I'm giving out an extra treat! After the deadline for requests has passed, we'll tally the entries to get the top 3 most requested songs. Everyone who asked for any of those songs will be eligible for a raffle where I'm giving away tickets to this special concert. So send in your requests now!

I so look forward to hearing from you! See you in December!


Lea Salonga



Friday, July 31, 2009

Cuándo, Cuándo, Cuándo

I was up late the other night doing my usual stuff when I decided to drive into the nearby Taco Bell for the so-called fourth meal. I got there in less than 5 minutes and waited for another five in the drive thru before my orders were taken. I bought a steak burrito and some nachos and proceeded to pay my bill which made me laugh upon seeing the devil’s number printed on the receipt- $6.66!

The number of the beast, my a** and laughed my heart out. I drove back to my flat like the devil and got there in 3 minutes flat. I climbed the stairs in slow motion and made sure that I did not make a sound lest I might disturb the old man downstairs who was probably deep in slumber.

I opened the door and went straight to the kitchen. I popped a caffeine-free Diet Pepsi from the fridge, settled myself on the couch and watched a re-run of Cold Case on the TV while partaking of the meal in front of me.

The burrito was really good while the nachos were a bit soggy already but who cares, the best part of these regular late night forays was in the eating. No wonder my waistline’s bulging and my weight’s ballooning although I could easily lose them once I start my basketball and other fitness regimens again.

But the question really is- when?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Schumi is back!



Yes, 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher is back in Formula One. He will be driving the other Ferrari up until Felipe Massa is fit again to drive for the Italian carmaker.

This is good news to Ferrari and F1 fans alike, and I am equally delighted for I have not followed F1 as much as I did ever since his retirement in 2006.

This is another challenge for him and knowing how competitive he is, people will naturally expect him to win some races. But whatever the outcome, it will not diminish the fact that he is one of the best, if not the best, driver in Formula One history.

Now, it’s time to take those vintage red Deutsche Vermogensberatung caps out as the prancing horse will definitely be flying again.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Beautiful Detroit!?

"In 1950, Michigan was 1 of 8 states in America that collectively produced 36% of the world's GNP."

"Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city in the world."



Detroit native and controversial superstar - rapper Eminem paid homage to his hometown in this video of Beautiful, the fourth single from his latest chart-topping and million-selling album “Relapse.”

The said video was shot at Detroit’s famous and historic landmarks from its golden years. Now these historic buildings like the Packard Motor Car Company Plant, the Beaux- Arts train station, and the original Tiger Stadium, that were all built prior to 1914, are nothing but shadows of their former selves.

By watching the video, one can see the sad state of the City of Detroit nowadays; down on her knees and out of luck. Detroit may recover some of her pride someday but probably will never be able to equal much less, regain her glory days. It’s sad when a once beautiful city succumbs to urban decay.

The former Packard Motor Car Company plant, once the home of the elegant and beautiful Packard- Studebaker automobiles, which were designed by the Architect of Detroit, Albert Kahn, and was the first reinforced concrete plant in the United States, is now condemned to damnation.

The Beaux-Arts train station, also known as the Michigan Central Station is now a junkyard; a refuge for the homeless and a haven for criminals and dope addicts. The sounds of trains coming and going are long gone in this part of the city and so this magnificent building, designed by the same architects who made the New York Grand Central Station, is to be demolished soon according to some knucklehead politicians using President Obama’s stimulus money.

The Tiger Stadium was the pantheon of the Tigers’ halcyon days when they went all the way to the top of the baseball world by winning the World Series in 1968 and 1984 respectively. Roger Maris jumpstarted his quest for the historic 61 in 1961 in the same field as Babe Ruth in 1921 recorded of what is now believed to be the longest verifiable home run in major league baseball history. It was also the hallowed ground where Lou Gehrig had his final game before he succumbed to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that eventually was named after him.

The original Tiger Stadium is gone, demolished completely just this month, a sorry fate that was sealed long ago by some corrupt politicians who run the city. The pleas and efforts to save “The Corner” from the wrecking ball by the fans and conservationists alike went for naught. And it’s funny that with a single stroke of the pen, all the records and memories were swept into the dust bin of history.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Born on the 4th of July?

The Filipino people used to celebrate their Independence Day on the 4th of July, the same day the people of the United States celebrated theirs.

It was not until 1964 when Philippine President Diosdado Macapagal changed it back to the date when Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed our independence from colonial rulers in Kawit, Cavite in 1898.

Hence, we Filipinos now observe June 12th as our Independence Day while July 4th was subsequently renamed as the Philippine-American Friendship Day.

Our “friendship” with Uncle Sam goes back a long way and it’s a good thing, as many would attest to that by saying that it’s really good to have a big brother looking out for you. Many believe that the Philippines benefited a lot from its friendship with the United States more than the United States benefited from us.

What if I tell you that it's the other way around? Indulge me.

History will tell us that Uncle Sam (even if he will not admit to it or give us proper credit for it) has a lot to thank his Little Brown Brother for, without whom the United States would not have been what it is now today -- the only Superpower in the world both economically (even with the on-going recession) and militarily (can afford to fight war in two fronts e.g. Iraq & Afghanistan).

But somewhere back in time, the United States was not a dominant world power per se. It only became one when they emerged victorious during the Spanish-American War wherein “mighty” Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States for $20 million at the Treaty of Paris in 1898.

The euphoria of winning the war against Spain rubbed on the American politicians and leaders with imperialistic mentality at that time, among them Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, that led to the annexing of the Philippines by the United States, under the guise of "Benevolent Assimilation" to justify the move.

Thus, we can trace the emergence of the US as a world power and the birth of its propaganda machine vis-a-vis its foreign policies with the appointment by President McKinley of Cornell University President, Dr. Jacob Schurman, to the so-called First Philippine Commission, which doomed the aspirations of the Filipinos, headed by Emilio Aguinaldo, of becoming an independent country after 333 years of Spanish rule.

The Schurman commission’s report about the Philippine situation became the blueprint of the United States’ foray into the international stage to quench its imperialistic goals. Many of its succeeding policies that were implanted then and up to the present were lifted or can be traced to that piece of paper. Funny, but the content of which is very familiar to us, people who follow the news everyday-

"Should our power by any fatality be withdrawn, the commission believe that the government of the Philippines would speedily lapse into anarchy, which would excuse, if it did not necessitate, the intervention of other powers and the eventual division of the islands among them. Only through American occupation, therefore, is the idea of a free, self-governing, and united Philippine commonwealth at all conceivable. And the indispensable need from the Filipino point of view of maintaining American sovereignty over the archipelago is recognized by all intelligent Filipinos and even by those insurgents who desire an American protectorate. The latter, it is true, would take the revenues and leave us the responsibilities. Nevertheless, they recognize the indubitable fact that the Filipinos cannot stand alone. Thus the welfare of the Filipinos coincides with the dictates of national honour in forbidding our abandonment of the archipelago. We cannot from any point of view escape the responsibilities of government which our sovereignty entails; and the commission is strongly persuaded that the performance of our national duty will prove the greatest blessing to the peoples of the Philippine Islands."

Despite the objection and opposition of conscientious Americans and the Anti-Imperialist League in the US, the US government proceeded with the annexation of the Philippine Islands, where it ended up embroiled in a bitter and shameful war that it tried to bury in oblivion.

The playwright Mark Twain, one of the leaders of the anti-imperialist movement wrote, “I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti- imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”


He also noted that, “There is the case of the Philippines. I have tried hard, and yet I cannot for the life of me comprehend how we got into that mess. Perhaps we could not have avoided it — perhaps it was inevitable that we should come to be fighting the natives of those islands — but I cannot understand it, and have never been able to get at the bottom of the origin of our antagonism to the natives. I thought we should act as their protector — not try to get them under our heel. We were to relieve them from Spanish tyranny to enable them to set up a government of their own, and we were to stand by and see that it got a fair trial. It was not to be a government according to our ideas, but a government that represented the feeling of the majority of the Filipinos, a government according to Filipino ideas. That would have been a worthy mission for the United States. But now — why, we have got into a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater. I'm sure I wish I could see what we were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation.”

The Philippine-American War (or the Philippine War for Independence) was downgraded by US government spin doctors into the so-called Philippine Insurrection Campaign and was omitted in many history books in the United States. You will be lucky to find a book on the subject in most libraries in the continental United States. Instead, in its place, you will find an abundance of thick and glossy volumes that glorified the “Liberation” of the Philippines in World War II.

In these books, they inculcated into the American consciousness the US role in the “just” war: liberating the Philippines from the hands of the evil Japanese Empire. And at the same time, they also etched into the Filipinos' psyche the gratitude to the American liberators that as if by doing so, they would be absolved of their past wrongdoings and that the sins of the past would just go away.

In essence, the Philippine-American War was a war that the United States wants and hopes to forget. It was a war that is bound to be forgotten. But it was a war that they had no right to be in, in the first place. It was a horrific war that the United States refuses to acknowledge its culpability nor issue an apology even more than a hundred years after it happened.

The United States still maintain that the doctrine of benevolent assimilation was the best thing that ever happened to the Philippines. They say that Uncle Sam gave the Filipino people an education. But did Uncle Sam really educate us?


As a result of the 50+ years of benevolent assimilation, the Philippine population was reduced by more than one and a half million out of its 7 million inhabitants, with the island of Samar becoming the poster for genocide when it became a “howling wilderness” on orders of Gen. Jacob H. Smith to annihilate all male natives from 10 years old and above, that was termed as the “pacification” campaign.


Gen Smith’s order was clear to his subordinates, “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn, the better you will please me” in retaliation for the deaths of 40 US soldiers when they were attacked by the natives in the town of Balangiga. The reprisal was indeed a thousand times harsher wherein non-combatants like women and children were not spared by the orgy of death and looting. The American soldiers also carted away everything in sight, including the town’s church bells as war booty.



More than a century later, the church bells have still not been returned to the Philippines, despite repeated demands and petitions from both Filipinos and well-meaning Americans alike, including a failed promise to look into the matter by then President Bill Clinton. The church bells are currently in the possessions of the 9th Infantry Regiment in its base at Camp Red Cloud in South Korea and the 11th Infantry Regiment at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Yes, through the 50+ years of benevolent assimilation, the Philippines has a lot of things to thank the United States for.

The list might be endless, so for the sake of brevity, I'll just focus on some obvious facts--

Long before the Nazis hauled the Jews into concentration camps in Dachau and Treblinka, the United States did it first to the Filipinos in Batangas, Marinduque, etc. by way of the so-called “protected zones.”

Long before the term “hamletting” was coined during the Vietnam War, the Filipinos experienced it first hand from the American occupying forces. Hamletting is the practice of displacing residents and holding them literally under the gun for days on end.

Long before the Nazis practiced the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question", the United States did it to the "Filipino Question."

Long before the advent of “Free Trade”, the US government gave us the Bell Trade Act and other “freebies” towards the “fair use” of our natural resources.

Long before the schemes concocted by the likes of Bernie Madoff and the Banking Sector screwed the American people, the United States Government's Rescission Act of 1946 did them first to the Filipino World War II veterans.

Long before the practice of water-boarding by the US Military in Iraq and Guantanamo came to light, the US Military did it first to the Filipinos a century earlier.

In the words of Lt. Grover Flint during the Philippine-American War, quoted in Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, Stuart Creighton Miller (1982)-

"A man is thrown down on his back and three or four men sit or stand on his arms and legs and hold him down; and either a gun barrel or a rifle barrel or a carbine barrel or a stick as big as a belaying pin, -- that is, with an inch circumference, -- is simply thrust into his jaws and his jaws are thrust back, and, if possible, a wooden log or stone is put under his head or neck, so he can be held more firmly. In the case of very old men I have seen their teeth fall out, -- I mean when it was done a little roughly. He is simply held down and then water is poured onto his face down his throat and nose from a jar; and that is kept up until the man gives some sign or becomes unconscious. And, when he becomes unconscious, he is simply rolled aside and he is allowed to come to. In almost every case the men have been a little roughly handled. They were rolled aside rudely, so that water was expelled. A man suffers tremendously, there is no doubt about it. His sufferings must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown. ..."




And let us not forget that the iconic .45 caliber pistol was invented when Gen. Pershing and his men requested for more firepower when they found out that their firearms were proven ineffective in stopping the pesky “Moro Juramentados" in their tracks.

In retrospect, we can aver that Uncle Sam owes his stature (in terms of economic and military power) in the world today to his Little Brown Brother who stood by his side through thick and thin.

And as they usually say, with a big brother like him on our side, who needs an enemy?

Long Live the Filipino-American Friendship Day!




Note: A good friend gave me a book today. I will read it once I'm done with Lustbader's The Bourne Deception, Clavell's Shogun, Cornwell's Scarpetta and Patterson's Cross Country.














photo credits: Life Magazine, New York Journal

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Goodnight Girl


*
cold night * warm embrace
soft music * slow dancing
sweet wine * mind games
brown eyes * blue eyes
masked emotions * repressed passion


Monday, June 29, 2009

Michigan State of Mind...

“In the depths of every heart, there is a tomb and a dungeon, though the lights, the music, and revelry above may cause us to forget their existence, and the buried ones, or prisoners whom they hide. But sometimes, and oftenest at midnight, those dark receptacles are flung wide open. In an hour like this, when the mind has a passive sensibility, but no active strength; when the imagination is a mirror, imparting vividness to all ideas, without the power of selecting or controlling them; then pray that your grieves may slumber, and the brotherhood of remorse not break their chain.”

- Nathaniel Hawthorne




Northern Michigan, Seasons, Sunrises, Beaches, Waterfalls, Mountains

photo credits: coloneljohnbritt

Friday, June 26, 2009

Angels or Demons?




Farrah Fawcett was my favorite angel in Charlie’s Angels

She was every young boy’s darling while growing up in the 70s & 80s

She defied the norms when she posed for Playboy at the ripe age of 50

Her futile battle with the Big C was well- documented and became the staple of America’s penchant for reality shows

No matter how we view the life that she led, it cannot be denied that she was a woman who was not afraid to speak her mind and follow her heart no matter what

She was a woman in her own right.

+

I liked Michael Jackson

I followed his meteoric rise to the top of the world and his free-fall thereafter

But I did not buy the sexual molestation allegations that were hurled against him by people with hidden agenda that was further fueled by the media into a conflagration that consumed his fragile soul

He was part of my growing up years; I’ve danced to his music, listened to his songs and bought his records

I understood his eccentricities and frailties as a person

I was able to separate the genius from the man.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Simply Beth-iful"



I came across a home video by Sara Hickman while lurking YouTube today. Although I am not that familiar with her career as a singer, her song, Simply, touches me in a very special way.

I have not heard this song in more than a decade and hearing it again is like a breath of fresh air for me. Actually, it was really bittersweet. You see, the song is a favorite of somebody dear to me and the melody is simply beautiful…

Beth, my college buddy used to sing the song in our ’tambayan.’ On some occasions, I would end up accompanying her on my old acoustic guitar while she would fill the air with her hauntingly soft beautiful voice. I even remember now of composing a short instrumental piece based on the song in her honor while under the influence of the spirit of the great San Miguel.

We became friends during the second year of our Pre- Med-- dissected cats together, goofed around in chemistry lab, fooled our geriatric professor not once but twice, good-naturedly embarrassed one another countless of times, and drank our hearts out in the evenings.

We did a lot of stuff that could make some people laugh, cry and cringe at the same time. Yes, we did smile in happy times and understood each other in silence during sad times.

So, tonight I will drink a bottle or two, dust off my old guitar and play the song once again for you, my dear friend.

I say, thank you old buddy for the beautiful memories and thank you Ms. Hickman for the lovely melody.


*Beth died in a tragic accident a month after our graduation, 17 years ago today.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Manny Mayhem



Manny Pacquiao proved once again why he is boxing's reigning Pound-4-Pound King and one of the best fighters of all time with a brutal demolition of Ricky Hatton in the second round of the scheduled 12-round fight.

The Mancunian Brawler, the reigning International Boxing Organization & Ring Magazine's Light Welterweight Champion, who has not lost a battle at 140 lbs was never in the fight as Pacquiao peppered him with wicked left and right hooks punctuated with vicious lead lefts right from the onset of the fight en route to a stoppage in what was deemed by many as a complete annihilation of Hatton, who was knocked out senseless even before he hit the canvas.

I caught the fight on the "free" Internet Live Stream feed and I gained some extra points in the "one-upmanship" department over some of my friends here when I correctly predicted that Manny Pacquiao will send Ricky Hatton into his "Wonderland" in the second Round days before the big fight.

Most boxing experts were divided on the outcome although they favored the Pacman to win whether by points or inside the distance while proud British pundits said otherwise.

Trainer Freddie Roach boldly predicted a third round stoppage to which Hatton's trainer, the hilarious Floyd Mayweather, Sr. countered that it was his fighter who will come out on top at the end of the fight.

Now, although I'm a student of the pugilistic world as well as an avid practitioner of the great Martial Arts known by many tough Pinoys as "Bitbitse" in my younger days, my record in predicting the outcome of a particular fight, whether it's in boxing or the MMAs, is just average.

But this time I got it right on the money. The problem is that I don't gamble anymore, so I missed the chance of earning some extra bucks that Money err Manny could have given me straight from his punches.



The sight of Ricky Hatton out cold and sprawled on the canvas for what seemed like an eternity after being tagged by Manny's powerful signature left hook was dreadful and frightening. I think he was down longer more than he was up on his feet in this fight. Such is the nature of the brutal fight world.

You can only pray that he will survive the worst knockout of his career unscathed.


Here's the proof of the strange nature of ESP where I was able to predict the outcome from out of the blue; proof that I still have the Gift that I had since forever. Naks.

Move over Jaime Licauco, I might also give you a run for your money one of these days. He-he.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tindahan ni Aling Nena




Got a phone call today from Aling Nena, a middle-aged Cebuana married to a retired US Navy serviceman and the proprietor of the lone Filipino Store in the area.

She’s a hilarious but kindhearted lady who can expertly chop the Lechon with the Bolo which always makes her husband amazed and in awe.


Aling Nena: Hello, Bill punta ka dito ibigay ko sa’yo ulo ng Litson. Samahan ko rin ng dalawang paa. Yung dalawang paa bigay ko rin sa aso ko.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Papa Don't Preach


"The act of suicide is condemned by the Church but for Capiz Archbishop Onesimo Gordoncillo, victims should still be given Mass especially if certified by the doctor to be not in their right mind."
-GMANews.TV


Funny, but nobody in his/ her right mind will knowingly take his/ her own life, if you ask me. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mind Twister



4+1+1+1+9+7+0
4+3+16
7+16
23
2+3
5

Base-2 Number System= 101

Base-3 Number System= 12

Fire



39

Apollo 13

4500

13° 7' 60 N, 123° 43' 60 E



Can you solve the puzzle?



Grab 'em by the horns, ram 'em into the wall and it will lead you to the...




Monday, March 30, 2009

The Wizened Old Man

Another "raw" excerpt from the The Adventures of the Dragonfly Eaters...





TATA BALAS, the resident Wiseman of Basag always had a ready answer for everything and anything- from the inherent wisdom of the kabad-kabad (electric fan) to the winning potential of every fighting cock.

Thus, cockfighting aficionados, which are plenty in that community by the sea, sought his advice for free; by merely looking at and counting the scales on the chicken’s legs, he could distinguish a winning breed from a lousy one. His winning percentage, though, is another story for he was always partial to the Manok ni San Pedro. But call it divine intervention or what, the white chosen ones always end up as “burugsukan” - losers, in the hack fight.

Still many cock-suckers (no pun intended) came to him for advice. And he did his role of fortune telling with relish and gusto. His expertise, though, is not only confined to the cock at hand. In fact, you can ask him anything and everything under the sun provided you pay him with a shot of his favorite drink, the stainless alcoholic Ginebra or his alternative Ursus (a Chinese, anise- flavored dark drink) or on worst occasions, a stick of cheap Rosalina filter-less cigarette will suffice.

Most often than not, his nutshell will be cracked with just one shot and he will literally go nuts! The devil in the drink will take over his system and in a few seconds, you can be sure that all hell will break loose. He will be transformed from a quiet man into a hilarious, wise-cracking, curse-spitting son of a gun to the amusement of everyone except of course Lola Elang, his second wife who will now be left with the thankless task of trying to contain a mad man.

He was a typical Basagan and a practical man; he was once a guerrilla who fought the Japanese hand-to-hand but chose to serve in the Philippine Constabulary after the war. Despite the prodding of his contemporaries, he refused to file for claims with the US Army. He always reasoned out that he fought the invaders not for anybody but for the love of his country, a principle that at first made him taken for a fool by his peers and family, but in the end they respected his hard to understand stand on the matter.

He served the Constabulary with distinction for another ten years or so until he retired from the service with just his small bungalow and a meager pension to show. But he was never bitter of his fortune for he was always a proud and honest man.

Money is not an issue to him for he would always blurt out “wacha money anyway?“ to anybody who would care to hear every time he was intoxicated to which Lola Elang would retort in her customary high- pitched voice, “Yeah right, you only got that damn old khakis of yours in your sorry dark skinny brown ass! You even have forgotten the feel of the handsome face of your beloved Quezon in your dirty hands, you old fool!” in obvious contempt for his flawed principle on money. In return, he would admonish her in his usual baritone, “ssshh, you better shut your filthy mouth up or else I will not sleep with you tonight! Bear in mind, it’s your loss not mine!” followed by his trademark scowl on his leathery weather-beaten face and the sweetest toothless smile one can ever see in one’s lifetime.

One summer day, in one of his drunken stupor, he interrupted our game of marbles as he gathered us under the shade of the old Tamarind tree near the riverbank where he regaled us about his daring exploits during the war.

He even told us his best kept secret, the secret of his surviving unscathed the horrors of battle in the dangerous grounds of Bataan. He confessed that he would catch and eat dragonflies during the lull. He believed that the unknown nutrients in them have given him an edge during those hard times, nourished his body and improved his immune system. He claimed that he survived the war with not a single bout of dysentery, malaria or beri-beri that wrecked havoc to the health of friends and foes alike.

We listened to his tales in obvious deference to his age and condition but took his story with a grain of salt nevertheless. He was not oblivious to this as he expressed that it is up to us to believe him or not as he took a final swig of his favorite ginebra straight from the bottle and simply walked away.

A few days later, he quietly passed away in his sleep.

He was 82.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Out of the night...


been lazy for eons now. too rotten to write. blame it on the winter blues. but spring is on the horizon. the fields will be green and full of blooms soon...





The late Sir Alan Arthur Bates, CBE reciting one of my favorite poems-- William Ernest Henley's Invictus in this old UBS commercial reignited my appreciation of the beauty of the spoken word.




Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Read 'em and Weep




"What do they want to exit? That we don't need no education?
Anyway, because of this, where will be our grade school pupils picked?" Oh, it's raining outside aren't we?
He-he

Confused? Read on...

‘Drowned in mystery’ and other boo-boos

By Antonio Calipjo Go
Philippine Daily Inquirer


MANILA, Philippines—The following are among the more than 500 items of a similar nature that may be found in the just-released public school textbook (copyright 2008) in Reading for Grade 6 titled “English For You and Me,” written by Elodie A. Cada, published by Book Wise Publishing House Inc., and printed in Bangkok, Thailand:

• The airport is open to passengers only.

• Humans may turn blue when they cry.

• The engine of the tractor is sleeping now.

• Ms. Vera, please entertain this computer.

• Vietnam Nurse Contacts Bird Flu.

• To Heal Earth Yourself, Start with Your Cat.

• She lives in a place that is drowned in mystery.

• I got a butterfly with flower-designed wings.

• The Doña Aurora tree had yellowish-white flowers which were as wide as an open hand, and smelled fragrant as her mother’s perfume.

• Can we take care of the bird at home? Just like in a rehabilitation center!

• These pants didn’t cost much because they are uneven.

• Comfortable means having the comfort.

• The cat’s whiskers make it different from other animals.

• I trust you so much. I even told you not to enter my room.

• Propped: it stuck and supported very well.

• Delicately: done with fragility.

• Propped: sticked.

• They were discussing what will happen if the moon bounced back to the earth.

• Heroes helped in the forming of our nation.


Tausugs, Badjaos


• The Tausugs, who live in Jolo, are described as warlike people but most are friendly, peaceful and hospitable. They are completely attired only when they sport weapons around their waists. They believe in black magic, sorcery, voodoo and love potions. The Koran, their Bible, forbids the eating of dead meat.

• The Badjaos are mostly found along the Coast of Jolo, Subuti, Sitangkal, Tawi-Tawi islands in Mindanao. They are regarded as cultured because they are hardworking and peace-loving.

• People are active individuals. Sometimes, even while sleeping, they make actions through dreams. Cartoon characters are taken from dreams of the cartoonists. Dreaming is a mysterious act. Dreams may be a source of income. Some dreams make the world go round, open the realities of life or transmit the problems of people.

• The show’s plot and the characters’ acting prowess are spontaneous in giving us a distinct TV program.

• Next week, he’ll be out in the hospital. Bobby felt happy with magical feeling.

• The grass seems to wink at me. The leaves bow down their heads.

• The baby’s existence added to the full essence of their lives’ happiness.

• Do you feel like you’re a newborn today? The earth has come of age giving us time to be born.

• He’s or she’s worried about his/her future. He’s or she’s not sure about the meaning of his/her life.

Life as a game

• Hold and behold the essence of bright days. Everybody must be ready to live every day. Everybody sees life as a game.

• Still, life is going on. You continue to breathe and sigh. You keep on walking and living. You think and sleep for days.

• Yet life will continue to pour the best. There are people who stare.

• Compose your own prayer, patterned after the flow of your life.

• Oh God, guide me to take risks in order to live by your example.

• The students busied themselves drinking thirstily.

• Copy the sentences that denote the events happened in the story.

• Their neighbors muttered out loud how lucky their parents were.

Chief of the rafts

• A ferryman worked hard as the transport chief of the rafts.

• My grandfather is tall for a Korean and my mother got her almost perfect stature from him.

• The people observed keenly the pulsating chest of the animal hiding in the bushes.

• There are animals that sacrifice their lives for people, bring peace to the world or create color and harmony to humankind. You can hear animals talk like, “Don’t get our furs, please!” People cried out loud to stop hurting the animals.

• Execute a debate regarding “Should people use animal skins?”

• Cathy is the richest among the whole sixth grade—she’s been saving since she’s three.

• My folks are believed to be the genius of the century. Their peculiarity made them the most popular people on earth.

• They voted our Math teacher as the most desirable.

• The authorities were intimately bonded with the constituents because of the humanitarian project.

• Conscience (sense of right and wrong, sense of belongingness, being troubled).


Warning to security


• The coming plague of locusts was a warning to people’s security.

• He lifted his soul because of loneliness.

• Choose a partner as well as the kind of music you feel comfortable with to move in rhythm with, and presto! you are now dancing. Dancing in groups is a kind of bonding among the dancers.

• If you were to assess your family’s assets, how much do you think would your worth be?

• Did you explain the conflict in a very understandable way? Did you write in the first person using point of view using the pronouns I and We?

• At my age, swooning to Martin Nievera is far from my age level.

• A stain-smooth piece of driftwood.

• The janitress tried to clean the spume of the water underneath the tree.

• There are times that there are invisible elements in the air.


Atmosphere in poem


• Put a check before the sentence with details that tell the atmosphere in the poem is truly very silent.

• Invisible like butterflies.

• What does “The gentle drop of rain on the ground” mean? Explain.

• Give importance of a person’s right to choose one’s profession.

• Create an atmosphere of family solidarity to the readers.

• “He’s not here!” Miss Racelis told at them. She told them to go out the room.

• He should be given total attention from everybody to make him feel important.

• What use is medicine when it’s but for the rich … sell, sell, sell. What is the use of discoveries if one engorges in its success … full of greed and the kind?

• The agreement to cease the war was followed.

• Media people are afraid that information may be churned by the leftists.

• How does light come at dawn? Do we appreciate the coming of the dawn? Why?

• The world crumbles when poverty and hunger are felt by the people.


Child for once


• “Join other children. You’ll only be a child for once.” At the end, he realized the joy of playing with his classmates.

• They submitted the partial results of the survey in the community. They sent the partial result and the rest will follow.

• Using the Venn diagram, compare the character traits of Rolly with other children.

• “Abracadabra, sssh! Boom! Make some magic for me! Abracadabra, sssh! Boom!” Bobby shouted. He ran to his uncle. “Looked here, Uncle,” he said. His uncle looked like an invisible man.

• Some patients wiggle their heads to signal that they feel something.

• “Will you work abroad, Kuya?” asked Henry with tears suddenly swelling in his eyes. “Where are you going? Why did I feel lonely at once, Kuya?” Henry sat with his hands on his jaws.

• Mr. Reyes carried his suitcase together with his son who was holding onto his neck tightly.

• The turtles squirm independently.

• “Okay, you want always to be alone; that’s bad. Learn to talk to us. You’re like a mute person!”

• Even the birds laughed at him!


NOTE: The said textbook was evaluated and approved by academicians from the Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, University of Asia and the Pacific, Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Philippine Normal University.

Read the article here.


Quo vadis DepEd????

Monday, January 19, 2009

Barack Obama's secret visit to Manila


Yes, Barack Obama secretly visited the Philippines in mid- December '08 and met Philippine President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo for a sumptuous dinner at Malacanang Palace.

Obviously, Mr. Obama fell in love with the Filipino cuisine. But what followed next is every Secret Service agent’s nightmare…

Good thing, We, Filipinos are known for our “Laging Handa” attitude and prevented the charismatic President- elect from releasing an unauthorized edition of his masterpiece, “The Audacity of Poo” in the hallowed grounds of Malacanang’s banquet hall.

Thus, Mr. Obama survived his ordeal, left the country of Jeepneys in a jiffy and is now healthy enough for his inauguration tomorrow as the 44th President of the United States of America.

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