Thursday, May 26, 2005

The interview game

A five question interview. Interesting exercise. I wonder would this be considered a meme? I have just finished all of the questions. Again an interesting task. You are free to try it out, the rules can be found at the end of this post. 1. The world is sharply divided in terms of cola loyalty. Are you a Cokehead or a Pepsi-fiend or something different altogether? I guess 90% of the time my brand loyalty would be to Coke. Its the softdrinks I grew up it. I still remember the old coke song "I'd like to Teach the World to Sing In Perfect Harmony", such a nice catchy tune. Then of course Coke for me seems to be more stronger than Pepsi. I guess its the sugar. Or as my old friends told me its synthetic cocaine they put in Coke. As you well know the first time Coke came out it was marketed as a tonic and one of its main ingredient at that time was cocaine. I wonder what the original coke-laced coke tasted like... Today, for health reasons, people who are aware of their health conditions and predispositions favor Diet Coke or Coke lite or whatever new sugar-free variant is set loose in the market. However, over consumption of the sugar-free beverage still pose a health risk, it may do damage to your liver and other internal organs I think. Then again there are times when you cannot help it but taste the regular coke, iba pa rin ang lasa. Coke has 90% of my loyalty. Ten percent of the time to add variety in the consumption of sodas I do shift or drink Sarsi and Diet Sarsi. One thing I mentally picked up at while viewing the Lifestye channel when drinking soda sip do not gulp. 2. If a film were to be made of the more interesting highlights of your life up until this point, what type of film would it be? What would be the breakout song from the film’s OST (original sound track)? Something like a Forest Gump movie - hopefully without me being the Gump character, possibly a Lt Dan. My life if ever there was anything exciting happening would be always against the backdrop of the changing times. I was born during the last years of the Philippine republic; I grew up in the Martial Law Years; Learned my craft during the decline of Marcos and the rise of Aquino; Enjoyed the good times and endured hardship under the mantle of global cold war politics; Became a cannon fooder for different politicians -stormed Malacanang when Marcos left and enjoyed the vacations from school provided by the different putsch instigated by the military elements of society. I guess you could say I... we live in interesting times and we lived. Break-out song hmmm the Coke song? Or Carl Orff's "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi" from "Carmina Burana" or a new rendition of Eric Idle's "Always Look At The Bright Side of Life". Or Yoyoy Villame's "Butchikik" would be fine. 3. What’s your birth order? Did it play a part in the formation of your personality, of who you are today? Gemini under Western Astrology and Fire Goat under Chinese Astrology. It did not really play a crucial part of my ego and id. You know it is kind of interesting to learn that you have this and that trait because you were born at this time and day but most of the time it is just incidental. An interesting side trip or meandering in the road of life. I believe its the people one meets along the way that play an important part in the shaping of this journey we call life. 4. If you make love to your clone, is that incest, homosexuality or masturbation? All of the above? Most of the time I would think its just masturbation. You are having sex with an exact replica nothing new to explore or see. Plain physical stimulation. If the clone is of the same sex. But if it is of the opposite sex. Well technically its inbreeding and so I guess incest and I would not want to be the one to be the cause of a Dunwich Horror. Even if proper measures would be taken the thrill would be gone, imagine yourself looking like the opposite sex, in my cause it would be revolting site. 5. What is the oldest phone number you recall? If we dial it right now, who will answer? 997796. No one would answer it. Its our old phone number. A few years agothe number was changed because PLDT went digital or upgraded to some new technology at the time, may touchtone. And even though the phone line changed its number its dead now, a victim of those party calls. Interesting things about those phones before were the party lines and prank calls. Also that game on 2 TV pow. Here is the instructions on how to play this game I pasted here verbatim from Dean Alfar's post. I would be happy to interview you as lomg you follow the rules. Here are The Official Interview Game Rules: 1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying “interview me.” 2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person’s will be different. 3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions. 4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post. 5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. If you don’t have a blog, I will still ask you 5 unique questions and you can post your answers here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Two days in a Science Fiction convention

Beware there be vampire slayers, Nazguls, Siths, a host of Elves and other creatures from the realm of science fiction and fantasy (SF&F) here. The only place a Nazgul can meet a Sith Lord is a SF&F convention. Last May 23 they did during the "NEW WORLDS EPISODE III: THE 3RD PHILIPPINE SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY CONVENTION". The conclave of SF & F fans was held at the Glorietta Activity center. People who have a healthy interest in SF& F, like me, converged at Glorietta to see the exhibits, maybe hear a panel discussion, see the different organizations, see some cosplay in action - generally to enjoy an hour or two with people inclined to one or two of one's pastime or interest. The convention itself was not grand but what it lacked in sheer size it made up for in panache and camaraderie. There were several interesting booths in that convention - again a gathering or summoning it seem would be more appropriate. Here are some notes I mentally wrote down and I am now trying to recover. Cosplay sighted: Darth Vader The Witch King of Angmar Emperor P from Star Wars Storm Troopers Imperial Guard Jawa Nazgul Seven of Nine Hogwarts Students Elves from Rivendell People in armor and swords (Please forgive my ignorance) Starfleet Officers The groups that I saw and noted: Via Astris Scifiphil Arkham Fans of CS Lewis Again, please I beg your patience and forgiveness if I left one out or murdered your group name, it was unintentional. Important announcements: Neil Gaiman coming to the Philippines Random things observed: Romulan ale for sale Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan being shown Preview of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe being shown Barbarella Some of the participants from Iblog were there "Rewards" gained from the convention: Met old friends, really old friends and probably gained new friends.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

An open bag

Hi! This post appears on one of my other blogs. Click the title name to go to the blog where the article is posted or if you are unsure you can click on read more and read the first part of the post. Afterwards, if you want to see the post in its entirety click on the link provided. Have a nice day!. Last Saturday, I had an empty bag in front of me. This empty bag stared at me with its zipper open and a gapping mouth seemed to beckon me to put something in it. Nature does not like a vacuum and my mind race for things to put inside. Then lightning struck. I mean of course cerebral lightning. And from experience cerebral lightning for me is as common as true lightning in a sunny day. An idea began to form in my head and take life. The idea said why not...
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  • My Movie Meme

    Hi! This post appears on one of my other blogs. Click the title name to go to the blog where the article is posted or if you are unsure you can click on read more and read the first part of the post. Afterwards, if you want to see the post in its entirety click on the link provided. Have a nice day!. What is a meme? A quick check on Wikipedia brought about several definitions the most simplest description of a meme is that it is any piece of information passed from mind to mind. I think I like that definition the best. So here I am infected and inspired by the posts of Dean and Oscar to write down my film meme. This should be fun.
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    Friday, May 20, 2005

    Book: Mga Kinamihasnang Salitang Tagalog

    Hi! This post appears on one of my other blogs. Click the title name to go to the blog where the article is posted or if you are unsure you can click on read more and read the first part of the post. Afterwards, if you want to see the post in its entirety click on the link provided. Have a nice day!. Ignacio, Rosendo. MGA KINAMIHASNANG SALITANG TAGALOG (Tagalog Idioms - Modismos Tagalos. 2nd Pagkalimbag. Philippines. 1963. I bought this book a year ago at the this shop in Mega Mall that sells old books. Not quite sure but the name of place seems to be Old Manila. But you will not miss the shop it is located on the topmost floor beside an antique shop that sells swords and other antiques, I cannot remember its name too, but said bookshop is near the escalator.
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    Postscript: Revenge of the Sith: I still want my Darth Vader coffee mug!

    Hi! This post appears on one of my other blogs. Click the title name to go to the blog where the article is posted or if you are unsure you can click on read more and read the first part of the post. Afterwards, if you want to see the post in its entirety click on the link provided. Have a nice day!. Revenge of the Sith, the last of the prequel movies of Star Wars, finally started its commercial run of the local theatres yesterday. Originally I had plan to spend the day getting my check, as payment for being a member of the panel reviewing a Masteral thesis, and writing. Unfortunately, when I got to the cashier's office of the University I was informed that the check was not yet ready. So no money. I then decided to trek to our local mall and find if I can watch Revenge of the Sith. Initially, I was planning to watch in the premiere theatre, the ones with Lazy-boy seats and with bottomless sodas and popcorn, but as fate and fortune would have it all seats were taken. So I opted for the Cinema Five, the biggest cinema in the complex. The number of people lined up to watch the movies was legion. I was finally able to enter the cinema around 12.30, while waiting had lunch and dropped by the local bookstore, and the movie finished at around 3.30 or so. As I came out there were still a sea people engulfing the ticker box. My thoughts on Revenge of Sith nice special effects and to a degree watchable because you want to see the events that led to the transformation of Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader. However, Empire Strikes Back it is not. Flash and pomp will only carry a story so far. The rest of the way it is the storytelling that matters. Reader beware/Caveat lector: some comments will contain spoilers and will probably affect your viewing pleasure. So consider yourself forewarned, there be spoilers in the next set of texts. Avoid if you must if not then please proceed. Furthermore, for die-hard Star Wars fans please remember these are mere opinions and not pronouncements. I do not claim them to be the truth, even if it is my point of view, just only opinions and feelings.
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    Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    Revenge of the Sith: I want my Darth Vader coffee mug!

    Hi! This post appears on one of my other blogs. Click the title name to go to the blog where the article is posted or if you are unsure you can click on read more and read the first part of the post. Afterwards, if you want to see the post in its entirety click on the link provided. Have a nice day!. Metro Manila - Star Wars fans are preparing for the premiere of the last installment of George Lucas' space fairy tale. Expectations are high that this version, which tells the tale of the downfall of Anakin Skywalker and the ascendancy of the Sith and Darth Vader, will be as good as the Empire Strikes Back, Episode V.
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    Book reviews on the web and other links

    Hi! This post appears on one of my other blogs. Click the title name to go to the blog where the article is posted or if you are unsure you can click on read more and read the first part of the post. Afterwards, if you want to see the post in its entirety click on the link provided. Have a nice day!. Here are some sites I visit often and you might find useful. When it comes to the written word there are two types of websites I visit. The first type contains or features book reviews and the second type contains electronic or digital format classic literature in the public domain, ie free literature, you just have to download them...
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    Tuesday, May 17, 2005

    Grande Illusion, La

    Hi! This post appears on one of my other blogs. Click the title name to go to the blog where the article is posted or if you are unsure you can click on read more and read the first part of the post. Afterwards, if you want to see the post in its entirety click on the link provided. Have a nice day!. I just received I will be receiving a original DVD version of this movie. The first time I saw this movie was several years ago during one of the movie festivals at the old cinema house at Shangrila. Now of course they have that cineplex and the premiere theatre. This is probably one of the best movies ever. The movie is set during the WWI and tells the story of how war affected the life and fate of French and German officers. It is said to be one of the greatest anti-war movies of all time. One of the strength of the movie, for me at least, is that it shows rather than tells or preach
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    Hi! This post appears on one of my other blogs. Click the title name to go to the blog where the article is posted or if you are unsure you can click on read more and read the first part of the post. Afterwards, if you want to see the post in its entirety click on the link provided. Have a nice day!. Ramblings about the animation show Futurama. The writer and his nephews are experiencing mania for this show only equal to the fanaticism of Tulip lovers or Star Wars and Trekkies. A fan is actually a shorterned version of the word fanatic and means an enthusiastic admirer.This has to be one of my favourite comedy shows of late. The story is a spoof on nearly all science fiction stories and films. It starts off with one of its characters a pizza delivery boy Philip Fry who wakes up in the future, courtesy of an accident in a cryo-facility during New Year's Eve celebration. Threads of Buck Rogers...hmm. Anyway Fry wakes several centuries later and finds himself in a new job going to different planets and facing aliens of all kind as a intergalactic delivery boy. By luck he now works for his great-grand nephew an uber-geriatric mad scientist named Prof Farnsworth. Working with him is the space ship captain Leela a female cyclop and a robot capable of bending metal whose name is Bender. Together with the other characters - an alien crustacean Dr Zooidberg, Hermes the Jaimacan bureaucrat, and Amy wong a rich martian-chinese heiress, they make Galactic express.
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    Why do I keep fish?

    I have been taking care of tropical fish now several years. You might say I am obsessed with fish or a more polite term would be that I fancy keeping fish. And I am not alone in pursuing this interest through the years I have met people like me. Believe me we are legion. Aquarium keeping is one of the top hobbies in the world.). Aquarium keeping or Aquaristics or Aquariology and Tropical Fish keeping are terms that are use often to describe this hobby. Basically it means taking care, raising and breeding of fish and other aquatic organisms in self-contained containers. These containers may be made of glass, wood, cement and earthen materials but they are all man-made. We put the fishes and other aquatic fauna and flora (academese for animals and plants) in a man-made environment. Why do we do this? Well... perhaps we enjoy the dynamic interaction from the inhabitants of the aquarium. Comedy, drama and tragedy can be observed in the aquarium. In a aquarium you will see social dynamics, conflicts, maternal affection and even child rearing or bearing by the male species (another academese term for organism We also see the aquarium as a dynamic form of painting. A blend of colors and shapes that move from one point to the other. And studies have shown certain aquascapes do reduce stress level in humans. Maybe we keep aquariums because we learn new things from it everyday. And this probably because unlike other pets, the inhabitants and the aquarium inhabitants depends on us for its survival. A negligent aqaurium owner will soon find out the repercussions of forgetting to feed, overfeeding, adding more fishes, adding the wrong fish and not keeping the water "clean". There maybe more. But to me this seems to be the main three reasons: keeping aquariums in order to observe life, keeping aquarium for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes, and keeping aqaurium for research and learning purposes. Again there may be more reasons. But this seems - at least to me the more important or significant ones.

    Monday, May 16, 2005

    Cool spot in Manila

    Another hot weekend. Has the realm of Hades ascended to the surface? A day in the old walled city and a look-see at the old Film Center. Discovering a cool place. Another humid weekend in Metro Manila, luckily found a cool spot to hang out. We went to Intramuros this weekend. Along with my nephews and father we made a pilgrimage to the walled city. Stopped by San Agustin Church and decided to check out the museum. I almost recited all the mysteries of the rosary upon entering the museum. The museum was a sanctuary against the heat. High ceiling and the adobe provided a buffer against the heat. Of course the air-condition in one of the rooms also helped a lot. They reorganised the museum since my last visit. All the important items were now in the first two rooms on the first floor. Described and annotated with the writings of Nick Joaquin. The room was packed with treasures and assorted stuff accumulated by the Augustinian Order over the years: the monstrances, several crosses, vertically challenged saints, vestments, very old books and among other things a wooden carabao! You could just stay there forever the amount of history before you and the pleasing environment provided by the air-conditioner. I do miss one item, the figure of the pilloried Christ that would make even Mel Gibson wince. One of the interesting things about visiting churches or religious museums is to look at the statue or paintings of marytrs and saints. Most of them are depicted not as they ascend heaven, but during the moment of martyrdom, ie the way they died. One martyrs was beheaded by the Chinese, another was speared by a Japanese warrior who was depicted as a Mayan. Needless to say my nephews were much interested in these depictions. My own favourite is the saint who has a bolo on top of his head. I guess some pagan decided to bury the proverbial hatchet, resulting in the martyrdom of this saint. There are more exhibits on the second floor and is accessed by climbing up a stair case made of stone ballasts of an old galleon ship. Entering the room facing the sea you realise one of the reasons the Spaniards choose this site. The cool air of the sea breeze came in. Despite the humidity a cool gush of wind came in from time to time to refresh the inhabitants of the walled city of Intramuros. We ended the museum tour with a trip to room full of jars, a room full of vestments, another array of paintings depicting the martyrdom of severel members of the orders, and pictures/paintings of the churches founded and operated by the Augustinian order. I must say my favourite church built by the Augustinians was the Miag-ao in Miag-ao, Ioilo. I spent some time there during the 80s and 90s, 1980s not 1880s, and truly it is a magnificent church, said to be built on egg yolk and rocks. While waiting for my mother, who was attending a food fair nearby we went to the ECP Film Center. Where once Imelda stood to welcome the likes Jeremy Irons there was now what seemed to be a Egyptian themed paper mache facade for our version of a lei girls show. Its nice to see the old theatre being used anyway. And at least its a little bit cleaner now, less unscrupulous individuals cavorting about. The place even has a Korean-themed restaurant. Anyway walking to the back one will pleasantly find a wide open space and fresh sea breeze coming in. We would have stayed longer except that we seem to be bothering the two slumbering Korean gentlemen, perhaps they are the owners of the Korean restaurant. Also my father was also noting that the place was falling apart, my father said "the area was improperly reclaimed", since the floor of the center seemed to be bursting from beneath causing fissures to appear. If its hot again next weekend and you want to cool off try visiting the film center, you might see interesting things and be nice to the sleeping people.

    Saturday, May 14, 2005


    It rained again last night. Does this precipitation signal the coming of the rainy season? In a few weeks time will people be cursing the monsoon rains the same way they are now cursing the humidity?A few months ago my nephew was telling me there were four different types of season - winter,spring, summer and autumn. He then asked how me if there were four seasons why do we only get rain and heat in the Philippines. So I answered him that since our archipelago was in the tropics the weather conditions were different. We pnly had wet and dry season. He seemed to have accepted the explanation. Children are an inquisitive lot. My nephew also likes to read books. One of the books I bought him was a book about birds. And he likes to recite things and still other things like what animal live here or there. Now it just so happened he took it upon himself to memorise the name of birds and he found out that by saying the name of a particular bird he could and has irritated my mother, his grandmother. Suffice to say after regaling my mother with that word and teaching it to his younger brother. The name of the said bird has been banned, no banned is too harsh a description suffice to say they were discouraged, from using the word. The bird a species of Finchbill. Its common name was Pycnonotus jocosus, a Red-whiskered bulbul.

    Blogs reorganised again

    Reorganised the blogs again. Got rid of two blogs they seemed to be just another versions of my other blogs. Perhaps I should have just opted for just one blog. But so far because of my unfamiliarity with the system and eagerness to organise everything experimentation will and has been inevitable.So now I have HarvardStreetCubao as the motherblog(should I call it that?). Where personal stuff and snippets abound. It should also function as a place where I can post new subjects that have been posted in the child-blogs: Cine67 - my film, television and others blog;Library 7 the book, reading and etc blog;Pinoy snapshots the photoblog; Expositions - the essays blog; and the Aquarium Keeper - online aquarium book. I just got a new blog from trying to develop it into the Taglish Blog. So I added it now to the list. Content organisation and ease of navigation within the blogs is my main concern in doing these changes. Better to do the changes early.

    Thursday, May 12, 2005

    News: Gaiman coming this way

    News item about Neil Gaiman and his visit to Manila. Neil Gaiman, the writer of the critically acclaimed comic series the Sandman and author of American Gods, Neverwhere and other titles, will be visiting the Philippines this July.Gaiman will be here from July 9 to 11. For more information check Neil Gaiman's journal at, the information can be found in the May 4 entry.

    Surviving the heat

    This must be the hottest time of the year. The temperature readings are between 37 to 39 degrees Celsius. A lot of people are buying bottled water and ice tea. Air-conditioners sales must be up, unless of course (like me) you are in no position to do. So what to do? Go to the nearest beach or go up to Baguio City or any mountain retreat. Unfortunately if you work in Metro Manila you are doomed to stay here from Monday to Friday. By the way according to the show I watched on the Discovery Channel, it seems that cities, with its tall buildings and concrete surface are heat sinks, the city takes up heat. Anyway here are some tips on how to survive the humidity for the city-locked Filipinos. First, wear clothes and headgear made for the tropics. It always amazes me when I come across people in the Philippines wearing winter clothes and headgear. Also I am in awe whenever I see people wearing suits in this weather, granted what they are wearing might be tropical suits, sans lining, still they must feel the heat. If you go to the museum at the San Agustin Church one of the rooms on the second floor houses the old vestments and clothes worn by Spanish priests when they celebrated mass. Just looking at those clothes makes me perspire. I wonder did the some members of religious orders wear hair shirts, ugh! The irritation must have been unbearable given the nature of our tropical climes. Second, start the day early. There is some wisdom in the phrase, "Only mad dogs and Englishman go out in the mid-day sun". Or go out late in afternoon, the Insulares and Peninsulares on Intramuros used to do that. One of their favourite pastime was to promenade on beach front. But more on that later. Third, Drink water not soda. I hear that drinks like Gatorade might be effective, but just to be sure stick to water. Fourth, Eat light. Fifth, If you have to walk after nine in the morning wear a hat, personally I prefer a lighweight tropic hat, or an umbrella. Sixth, Get a haircut. I myself now sport what is commonly called semi-kalbo haircut. No hassle and you get a well-ventilated head. Seventh, Go to the shade. Get under the protection of the shade of a tree. Go work in office with a good airconditioning system, where you will be immune from present humidity. Most of my co-workers spend more time inside the office these days waiting out the Sun. One can also go to temporary sanctuaries from the heat. Beat the heat go to a mall. Or watch a movie, whatever movie might be airing. Or got the nearest Internet cafe at 30 pesos or so an hour its worth it. Eight, if you are trapped in the house with no available aircon dress lightly and activate your electric fans, yes fans more than one at least. I close this post with a passage from "Cuentos Filipinos" by Jose Montero. This was taken from one of the short stories. This particular short story was about two Spaniards - one newly arrived and the other an old hand in the colony, who seemed to have gone native. "Thats because you are not adjusted to the life in the country. In the Philippines, one does not go out during the hot hours unless he rides a coach. It costs very little to maintain one. Stay at home clad in Chinese attire, which is most comfortable to wear; take a bath every day; always have a paipai handy, and recline comfartably in the butaca. Since fresh breezes blow continually and the houses are big and well ventilated one does not feel the heat much." (Montero,2004) References: Montero, Jose V. Cuentos Filipinos. Jose Montero y Vidal; translated from the original Spanish by Renan S Prado et al; Edited by Renan S Prado, Lourdes C Brilliantes. Quezon City; ADMU School of Humanities- Department of Modern Languages 2004

    Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    DVD Review: Sergio Leone’s Il Buono, Il brutto, il cattivo

    A review of a movie I just watched in the cinema or in the comfort of my house. This article is found in my blog Cine67. I you click on read more you will get the first two paragraphs of the article and a link to the article's page. .You press play and then you hear that familiar tune. Its the theme to The Good, the Bad and the UglyIt is always nice to see movies one has not seen for a long time. I first saw this movie when it was aired on television. It was part of Western movies shown late at night. Go to Article


    A review of a book I have just finished reading. This article is found in my blog Library7. I you click on read more you will get the first two paragraphs of the article and a link to the article's page.Last Christmas, I went to National Book Store Super branch in Cubao and they had on sale ,I think they still have, several books and CDs from the UK. These were brand new books selling for around half its price. A cursory glance at a few of the books would seem to indicate that they were from the stock of financially troubled airport and train station-based book store WH Smith. Maybe NBS got these from Hong Kong. Read more

    Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    Ill-mannered movie goers

    A commentary. This article is found in my blog Cine67. I you click on read more you will get the first two paragraphs of the article and a link to the article's page.Last Thursday, I was with a friend watching the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" and the couple next to us was loudly talking and answering their phone. which they did not put on mute. They would have probably continued till Kingdom come. Luckily, the occassional angry glance at them eventually made them stop. Read more

    Monday, May 09, 2005

    I Blog Summit

    Attended the I Blog summit last saturday. The event was held at the ISMED ... sorry NISMED building at UP Diliman. I used to go a lot to that building before, then it was called ISMED, helping the guys there take care of their aquariums. The actually had the only turf algae-scrubber aquarium filtration system in the country. I am quite sure the organisers and the speakers have been crowned with the proverbial laurel leaves in the other blogs and...they deserved it. The summit was interesting, provocative and catalytical. Aside from usual tips and war-stories from the speakers and the participants a catalyst of sort was planted in everyone to improve and experiment more with their blogs. Mike Abundo though posed a question that got my interest. The question was about the viability of blogs and forums will one prevail over the other. My take on it. Blogs are usually stand-alone entities whose exsistence depends upon the mood of its writers, it will stay alive as long as the blogger continues to write. Whereas Forums are communities and depend upon the interaction of its members, in a way I see forums as jazzed-up e-groups. But I do not see one outstripping the other for the main reason they are built differently - the blog comes from the individual while the forum is set-up by a community. You can leave a forum but you never leave a blog, you can close it. Rather blogs and forums will continue to develop and will eventually find itself attached to each other. A blogs is the individual's pulpit where ideas and notions are voiced and the Forum is the venue where a level discussion takes place. That is my take on it anyway.

    Friday, May 06, 2005

    Cine67:Movie Review - Kingdom of Heaven

    A review of a movie I just watched in the cinema or in the comfort of my house. This article is found in my blog Cine67. I you click on read more you will get the first two paragraphs to the article and a link to the article's page.The movie is about the fictionalised story of Balian of Ibelin. Ibelin is the name of a castle in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It was located in an area near Jaffa and Escalon and now the area is called Yavne, a city in Israel. Ibelin is also the name of an import family of noblemen in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Go to article

    Bicycle and taxes

    Two of the issues that seems to plague Philippine society these days are the proposed Value Added Tax (VAT) schemes and the spiralling cost of gasoline/petrol prices.The price pf gasoline today is a far cry from when I started driving. At that time the price of gas per liter was around 9-12 pesos, I think. At present its around 30 pesos or so depending on the gasoline station. And it seems that it will go higher. Transport fares are also on the rise, followed closely by the cost of goods. And with the imposition of the new VAT...well... this will go higher. Fortunately, I take the train from work. I am just wondering why no one has yet suggested that people take to biking. Well, it might not be surprising given that the streets of Metro Manila lack proper bicycle lanes and are inhabited by a number of motorists who instinctively think pedastrians and bicyclists are targets they can do away with impunity. Such is life. Speaking of taxes, I understand why the government is so hell-bent on imposing the VAT. It boils down to effective tax collection, the present system is so full of loopholes that the salaried individuals and honest businesses end up carrying the burden of taxation . Being a salaried employee and seeing the deduction taken every pay day makes you a little bit frustrated that several individuals and businesses who are earning above the average do not pay taxes. But what is even more frustrating is seeing no action on proposals to increase the exemption or lower income taxes. The tax system is so antiquated the level of exemption is so unrealistic. The cost of living has gone up through the years that the Philippine peso for what its worth does not have the purchasing power it once had. Thus the salary level that was considered comfortable living before is actually covering just the basic necessities. Such is life.

    Wednesday, May 04, 2005

    Blog reorganisation

    I just finished reorganising the blog. My purpose in doing this is to categorise/organise my posts based on topic. My other objective is to set-up a system of showcasing all posts or at least briefs of all posts in the main blog and provide ease of transfer between the blogs. So far I have the following blogs set-up. Harvard Street Cubao, my main blog. It contains everyday comments and observations. Expositions, my blog for essays and other discussions. The Aquarium Keeper, my blog for aquarium keeping I have now converted into a aquarium manual blog. A work in progress. And transferred my essay on why I keep fish to expositions blog. PinoySnaphots, my photoblog in blogspot. Library7, my blog for books and other reading materials. Thoughts on fiction and non-fiction reading material. Cine67, my blog for movies and television discussions. Reviews and discussions about movies, television shows and other similar things. tebi7, my miscellany blog. I suspect that I will be making further adjustments in the future, but for now the changes I made seems to be fine.

    Tuesday, May 03, 2005

    Snapshots: The Kite Festival

    ktfstvl05 Last Sunday, I took my nephews to see the Kite Festival at the Fort. It was a wonderful event. My nephews and my father were able to see an assorted array of kites competing. There were the gorion kites, box kites, kites of monstrous proportions, and other kites that I was not familiar; my personal knowledge of kites is limited to the diamond-shape variety. Amazing how strong the winds were at the Fort. It must be all that open space. The participants did not need to run the jump-start their kites. Kites were group according to type and it would seem judge based on design and performance. We saw the Gorion, box kite, the long kites and the other type of kites, no really a kite expert so I apologize that I cannot really about sure what the specific types are called. All in all it was a fun afternoon brought down only by the heat, which was exhausting despite the strong winds. One of my nephews got a little bit dizzy and irritated and we were in the shade provided by the soft drinks retail stand. Due to the heat we were unable to finish the kite show. We missed the flying of the kites of monstrous proportions – the theme for that day was insect I guess since most of designs of these kites were insect inspired, except for one that seemed to be the pokemon – lapras. I wonder if the show had a kite fight, a dogfight between kites, or what is known in the vernacular as “Kolyahan ng Sarangola”. The object of the game is t o damage the enemy kite while avoiding damage to your own kite. The strings of the combatant kites are prepared by coating it with powdered glass. No I never engaged in a Kite kolyahan. :) Note: Kite playing is traditional Filipino games played during summer in most parts of the Philippines . More pictures from the kite festival...

    Library7: Reading Habits

    A commentary. This article is found in my blog Library7. I you click on read more you will get the first two paragraphs of the article and a link to the article's page.In Japan there is tale about a monk and a gifted swordsman. The monk seeking to educate the swordsman tricked and imprisoned him in a library for several years. During his imprisonment the swordsman, due to boredom, was forced to read all the books. And when the time came for the swordsman’s release he hugged and thanked the monk saying that he had learn a lot during his incarceration. The swordsman’s name was Miyomoto Mushashi the legendary swordsman of Japan. So how do you read? More