Friday, July 31, 2009

Information: Farewell Pres. Aquino (1933-2009)

Early today, August 1, 2009, a saddening news broke out. At around 3:18 am, former President Corazon "Cory" Cojuangco-Aquino has finally passed away at 76.

Mrs. Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino is more popularly known as the first female president of the Republic of the Philippines. She was the better half of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr who led the opposition's stand against the Marcos administration. Her rise to presidency was pretty overwhelming as it was inducted by the people through the inspirationally uniting "EDSA People Power" that was commenced by the demise of her husband that was attributed to the order of the ruling administration at that time. It was so uplifting that it was also able to inspire some communist countries to adopt the idea that a country is indeed for the people, by the people and of the people.

At times of great peril, she was able to provide hope and liberation from the dictatorship that was issued by the then President Ferdinand Marcos through Martial Law that also provided the latter an indefinite term extension. She campaigned endlessly to gain the support of the people in her stand to dissolve the coutry's status quo of oppression and hate.

I don't really have much to say regarding Pres. Aquino during her days of rule. I was a newly gestated individual who was oblivious of the world's ongoings at the time but to have been granted the respect and admiration of her countrymen, one could tell she really is something else. Even after her rule, she was seen as someone borne of strength and grace all at once. She was a headstrong and strong-willed woman in an obnoxious man's world of politics.

In 2008, she was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer and has then been undergoing chemotherapy. Nevertheless, she remained hopeful and fixed on helping the people through different activities and campaigns. She even detested President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's rigging of the previous presidential election eventhough she once supported Arroyo during President Joseph Ejercito Estrada's impeachment. Unfortunately, perhaps due to old age, her body gave in and could no longer keep up with the medical process.

When former President Fidel Ramos said, "she is the best representation of what the Filipino people stand for." I thought I could not have agreed more. No other president will probably gain what respect and love she has had from her people. I guess that's because out of everyone once on that rank only she had faith above all.

Goodbye and thank you, President Cory Aquino.

image source

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Information: MicroHoo?!..Microsoft goes Yahoo!

Microsoft Inc., the Washington-based corporation founded by no less than Mr. Bill Gates, is itching to get it on the search marketing arena with Google who nonchalantly claims "search and query"as its own turf. While occupying a massive slice of the web pie (suck on 65%!), Google has clearly monopolized the web advertising market.

In its own effort to get a bite on that massive cash cow, Microsoft entered into an agreement with Yahoo! (which gave them the moniker MicroHoo), while riding on the hopes of gaining much more than it could ever imagine. Bing, Microsoft's own online search engine is centered on leveling it out with Google while also tethering Yahoo!-made web sites on its running heels.

This recent development is no surprise to anyone at all. Internet advertising is one of the thriving infrastructures in the advertising industry. It is said to still evolve at an impressive rate every year despite the global market crisis at hand. Besides, Google has also been slowly renouncing the latter's hold on its own space. With the production of Chrome OS, Microsoft could only parry it by resolving to take it against their rival's more ostentatious strength as well. In fact, this facet is deemed so significant by Microsoft that it has decided to place 10% of its operating income on Bing!

As much as the coalition is a huge thing for internet magnates that are MicroHoo, I don't think customer preference will change one bit for some time. While this may help out advertisers on staking at a competition against a monopoly, it is still yet too early to see as to how it will fair against the Goliath that is Google. After all, normal people, in desperate and obfuscated times, would not have coined the quote, "Google it!". Ayt!?!

image source

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Information: Do your own Online Window Shopping at ShopWiki

There are a thousand ways than one to look for stuff you want without any hassles on the net. Somehow most of these ways are no more than just simple search engines that are catered for the benefit of one service provider; not for the advantage of those who are would-be customers. Today I, as a customer, found a very cool site that has given me that certain advantage that I've been looking for. It has provided me endless variants of the things that I want across different online stores. Not only that, it also offered different considerations when it comes to choosing stuff I want and need. Talk about getting more than what you actually asked for. This online multi-store catalogue is none other than ShopWiki.

In ShopWiki, you get to see "every product from every store" and not just products that are available to a certain store. If you come to think of it, ShopWiki works much the same way as any search engine. You can simply type it in, click on search and voila!, options after options of your inquiry is zoomed up on your screen. It's pretty much better than just limiting your options to what a certain online store has to offer. For anyone who might resolve into purchasing online, it means getting everything for sale on the net plus a little bit more. May it be backpacks for camp-outs, outdoor essentials, funky and cool canvas sneakers, bike shoes, hiking boots, shoes in general or simply anything-under-the-sun. Just take your pick! It's that neat!
As for me, I have found a pretty cool pair of running shoes with Nike + iPod features. Now all I have to look up for is how to get my pops into getting me those cool trainers. You wanna see it for yourself? Click here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Goings-On 6: The Custom

The other day I was tasked by my mother to grill some barbecue. I followed suit and grabbed my iPod while doing so. I was in the process of charring up some coal while banging along to Sean Kingston's loud warbling-with-style when I noticed my next-door cousin walked right out of their house. I always thought that it was rather rude to just ignore someone you know who's right in front of you, more so, if they're family. So I asked him where he's up to and he replied back curtly. I didn't get what he said. Sean sounded better than him. I thought he could never be a sing-ger.

image source

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Entertainment: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Movie Review

I seldom do this kind of stuff but I guess I'll try churning out what critic I have in me. After all, this has been the only movie I have seen so far these past few days.

The much talked about and big time hype-machine that is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince have become such a huge hit. Has it never been? Well, at least, according to box-office tolls. But has it barely even scraped what magic the book has made?

It was disastrous but cute. Not the kind that belittles whatever sense the word "disaster" invokes but the most meaningful definition of what it transpires. It's not as if it was an epic fail since it had its good points that outweighs the bad but for those non-members of the built-in audience that the books have created, it was barely comprehensible. The scene switching was okay most of the time but it somehow got out of place at certain points that my brother kept on asking "unsa to kya?" (What just happened?). Not that I'm trying to stress the movie's bad point by the reactions of an eight year-old but isn't that the point of the whole movie? To make people fully understand how the story unravels and what it's all about in spite of the audience's age and understanding?

Anyway, one thing I was really cool about was how the special effects were made. It didn't come across as "cartoony" and over the top like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Mind you, I would have no second thoughts in choosing it have I not been such an HP buff). Somehow, the dark setting that enveloped the movie was able to contribute to the believability of it all. But don't take my word for it though for I am less than erudite and am a delusional fool. Hehe.

Another stuff that I admired about the movie was the casualness of how it depicted the romances of the leads. It wasn't corny or overly melodramatic (ironic?) for instead, they made it normal and digestible. Though I've heard people animating the famous Greenwhich Pizza ad tagline, "Wow, ang Cheesy!" every now and then, but it was understandable.

Some stuff I found interesting:

1. Harry using Felix Felicis scene.
It was the best sequence the movie had.

2. Lavender Brown.
She was annoying and funny most of the time which could only mean that she did good.

3. Quidditch Match.
I never knew Quidditch was so kick-ass til this movie. It was like watching a real rugby match. Definitely, it was cool and exciting.

4. The Weasly's house on fire.
A foreshadowing that Bill and Fleur's wedding would be ditched for the next two movies?

5. Aragog.
He seemed smaller than when I last saw him on Chamber of Secrets.

6. The Deatheaters at Hogwarts.
A major factor of the letdown. I expected it to be jam-packed with action sequences but it turned out boring and rushed. Or was I thinking about Deathly Hallows at that time?

7. Harry got his nose broken.
I've been wanting to do that to Radcliffe for the longest time.

8. Hermione.
She showed some boobs! Well, was just a glimpse of a shallow cleavage but she sure is fine.

9. Draco.
He did much better than Radcliffe.

10. Ginny.
Do girls tie untangled shoelaces of boys they like? Anyway, she was pretty as well but Hermione's better.

11. Dumbledore's death.
The book did better. But I guess it would be too much to have since it's just about someone who's dead plus the amount of screen time it would get. I must agree, too much.

Overall, the movie was the best so far out there that the franchise was able to get. It was indeed dark, intense, hilarious and mysterious. Sometimes, too mysterious at times that some people gave up on it before they could fully understand it. Lest it was just me, prolly it was forgivable.

I'd still give it 4 out of 5.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Journal Entry: A Place for Us

It was pretty much a good day yesterday for a family outing. The weather wasn't overly sunny and hot, the air was balmy and cool, and it was my father's birthday. Yep, another year to fill with really cool memories with your family was in store for him. So to begin the year with full of faith and blessings, my family went to the Divine Mercy Hills at El Salvador City. The place was solemn, neat and in all aspects, holy. Everything about the place was conducive to an individual's self-meditation, reflection and personal assessment.

Our first stop at the place was the parking lot. Hehe. Kidding aside, it was actually the little chapel where most of the visitors would directly move to when there was no mass at the place's church. It's a place where you can pray and ask for the Lord's blessings in your life while also reflecting on your own doings and mishaps. It is a good avenue to renew your faith, re-energize your outlook in life and restore your inner peace.

After visiting the chapel, my siblings and I went to the most scenic spot of the place. The humongous altar featuring a lavish floral garden with the larger-than-life effigy of Christ. As you can see in the image above, it is really beautiful especially when it's set against an eternal backdrop of the cool ocean and the provincial feel of the hills that you can't actually see in the photo. (Hehe) It was, as most people say, uplifting in a sense.

Lastly, having finished the much-needed pictorial, we went to go and get some water from the place. The water from the place was said to be cleansing and blessed. We drank some of it and also brought a gallon or two from the fountain.

The place was indeed really effective for any person who's been stressed or dragged down by the urban lifestyle, or the lack of it. It can help you believe that somehow there are places in this world untarnished and untouched by the influences of the malicious and the malefic yet unhidden and accessible to those who want to reach out to their Creator.

A word of caution; pants are accepted, shorts are discouraged and skirts are the preferred.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Goings-On 5: The Sleeper

I had a class regarding "ergonomics" in a very early morning. Our classmates were made to report regarding some kind of technologies in the IT field. They used a projector so it was only natural to dim the lights. Due to the huge resemblance of the atmosphere to Nox, I became drowsy. I tried to hide what I was about to do by bowing down my head and covering my visage by artificially rubbing my temple while leaning on my right arm. I went unnoticed. That was until I also didn't notice that the report was already done. What I also didn't know was that our professor noticed all those who became too comfortable for their own good. She humorously berated those people including me. At the moment she acknowledged my inclusion, I unknowingly struck her with a killer stare. She noticed. After class, she called me up and told me to help her bring some of her stuff. When we were out of earshot, she asked if she did irate me. I lied. She apologized. I felt better.

P.S. She was actually nice to me. I do feel somewhat bad about it.

image source

Information: Waiting to see..

How can any person live to tell that he has gone from the depths of desperation and pull himself into redemption?

Is there nothing left out there that will share and protect the rights of any individual to live and actually feel alive?

Can any of us really evade the grasp of poverty and frustration before we can say that we have succeeded in this life?

Alberto Mayor. That's the story.

He is an overseas Filipino worker who was once a proud seaman and enjoyed a customary life in Saudi Arabia. Since then, he decided to try out his luck in living the American dream. He became a caregiver and and lived within the suburbs of the Bay Area in the US.

When the economic recession slated its toll on the world, many individuals have lost their properties and have become penniless ending up as impoverished and homeless in the process. As reports have said, this phenomenon has indeed taken up all the sacrifices that any person can muster within the rural and suburban areas in the US. This phenomenon is most especially not a stranger to the likes of Mayor.

Consequently, Mayor lost his job and his working visa. He has then lived on as homeless Pinoy taking all his possessions in a backpack with him and sleeping in mini buses in the city.

“Ang sabi ko sa pamilya ko uuwi na ko. Nahihirapan na ako,” he said.

(I told my family that I'm going back to the Philippines. I can't take it anymore.)

Mayor is now in the hands of a non-profit organization. The organization has been helping him to get housing and employment, and a decent meal on his table.

“Sakripisyo talaga,” Mayor added.

(It's really a sacrifice being here.)

For now, Mayor is still fixed on gaining his American dream despite the hardships he has faced.

The story doesn't end there yet. It still remains to be seen as to where this humble story will go. Mayor is still holding onto dear faith and waiting where it will take him.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Entertainment: Prince "Potter"


What is it?

High-Blood Pressure? enggk!

Heaven in-Between Pants? wrong!

Help Benz Please?..Flattering but no..

To answer that though, it is but the acronym of the famous sixth installment of a widely known and acknowledged literary work of the decade. It sums up in three words the next epic of the age that draws the line between the grand battle of good and evil, of raging hormones and the wonderful effects of Felix Felicis, of the plight of two bespectacled individuals and the legion of a slit-eyed death-defying mutant. It is the next journey to the world of the boy who lived to tell the tale of his own demise. It is that succinct subtitle known to be as "Half-Blood Prince".

The Harry Potter franchise has been a winner when its first book came out. It brushed off as something childishly innocent but subtly mature and indulgent. It was perhaps one of the few books that managed to keep me on my seat and my eyes glued page after page after page. Since then, Joanne Kathleen Rowling has become a household name and a multi-millionaire, if my memory still serves me right, she was able to gain certain acquisitions rivaling that of Queen Elizabeth II of England. She was able to spawn seven articulate and well-motivated books about the boy with a lightning scar on his forehead and the unraveling of his life through the looming doom of his age and the impending strike of his greatest enemy, Lord Voldemort. The lush and witty storytelling of this narrative was able to strike at the hearts of those who encountered it on bookshelves and even at the hands of those people who were kind enough to lend some the episodes of the book to their acquaintances (my gratitude is forever extended to Chesca, Ar-eF, and Isis..hehe).

Due to its undeniable popularity, the material was adapted onto movie screens around the world. Since 2002, the books were translated into movies starting off from the first one down to the sixth which is "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". The movies were all distributed by Warner Brothers Distribution and produced by David Heyman. Since then, it has went on to earn 4 billion plus in sales.

The critics have passed on their judgments and as most of them have elected, "The newest movie is the freshest and the best so far." Some even stressed that the movie will go on to rank as one of the top three earning movies of this year. Definitely a feat and a sign that the best is yet to come as the final book will be broken into two movies for the grand conclusion and was said to be released in late 2010 and 2011, respectively. Check it out! See the listings of the release dates here.

The first(Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone) and second(Chamber of Secrets) were done by Chris Columbus, the third(Prisoner of Azkaban) by Alfonso Cuaron and the final five(Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows 1 and 2) by David Yates.