Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Banish the sedentary lifestyle!

You know how some jokes are framed this way: "You're so fat..." or "You're so skinny..." and finished off with something so impossible that it becomes funny? These are known as "insult jokes" because they are, well, insults that are meant to be jokes. Here are a few:

You're so skinny, you can hoolahoop with a cheerio.
You're so skinny, when you turn sideways you disappear.

(I will only post the skinny ones because I'm skinny, and no one will take it as an insult.)

I'm not encouraging you to insult someone in the New Year. Something just occurred to me as I was going to bed the other night: while being skinny or fat can be the object of insults, it's unfair to criticize someone for being so, after all, a lot of us can't help being our size--that's just in the genes. But to be sedentary, to sit all day writing, working, calling people on the phone, watching TV--that's something that can be helped. If you're stuck in a sedentary lifestyle, that's because of your own doing (i.e. YOUR FAULT).

Now why am I saying this? It's New Year's Day tomorrow! A lot of people will promise to go on a diet or lose so and so pounds. My resolution is to get moving. I'm a writer and part-time assistant; I'm paid to sit in front of the computer all day, as are so many other people. I think I can get moving by taking more MRT, bus and jeepney rides instead of the taxi (plus it will be good to my wallet and immunity), doing some stretching for 15 mins a day, lessening the sitting-in-coffee-shops when I'm out with my friends, and keeping to my sleep and wake up time (believe me, starting the day without having to bargain for "ten more minutes of sleep" can really get one going).

I'm not feeling very well today--I caught another virus maybe from my sister, who had a sore throat, or from the viral/bacterial ecology from the vicinity of the new commuting route I've been taking this week. But I'm still gonna do my best to start the year with a lot of energy. Here, a few sedentary insult jokes that I made, not to insult, but to help us get going! (And perhaps laughing, too!)

You're so sedentary, you pull a muscle when you yawn.
You're so sedentary, the couch has a dent in the shape of your whole body.
You're so sedentary, your office chair has done more rolling than you walking.
You're so sedentary, your cat thinks you've topped him in the nap department.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Heroic Minutes

It's almost Christmas, hurray! I've caught up on sleep, which I've been missing in the past week due to a mixture of get-togethers, deadlines and Simbang Gabi. Super-tiring days like these give us more opportunities to be heroes, but we have to be open to the little details to be able to seize them! The title of this post is nothing I invented but something I learned and am trying to keep doing, especially this Christmas.

What's a heroic minute? You know how days are made up of hours, and hours of minutes? Each minute counts to complete a day; so, in living everyday to the fullest, every minute counts. A heroic minute is the moment one seizes, no matter how difficult, and offers up for others in prayer. Just as a minute is a detail of an hour, heroic minutes are found the little details of the daily routine: waking up on time (versus pressing the snooze button for 5 more minutes), doing tasks on the dot when it seems that 2 minutes of Facebook will do no harm, smiling when you feel like grumbling, or eating the fish on the table when all you really want is chicken.

(In this photo of the Holy Family's flight to Egypt, I think Our Blessed Mother seized all of the heroic minutes thrown her way... perhaps it was only a few weeks after She became a Mother that they had to hastily pack their bags and take that long journey to Egypt. Imagine riding that donkey through the desert with a Baby who needs to be fed and changed every two hours... and St. Joseph, too, lived by his heroic minutes, leading that donkey carefully, perhaps budgeting the money he had, and eating less so Mary could have more sustenance....)

You cannot take these tiny opportunities for granted when you know how many people you can help by simply going about your day with a supernatural outlook, good work, and lot and lots of love! These minutes are little flowers that, when put together in one bundle, can become a beautiful bouquet; a wonderful present for the Holy Family on Christmas Day.

So, what are you waiting for? I hope this Christmas becomes a most meaningful one for everyone! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'Ignorance is boring'

Girl Reading by Charles Edward Perugini

The title of this post is a T-shirt design slogan for one of the National Geographic Tees that local clothing brand Regatta is selling. Recently, the slogan has come to mean a new thing thanks to my friend Sunnyday, who says that we must really study and understand issues so that we can make sound conclusions. With these, we can help other people by explaining the issue well to help them understand too.

Regarding the big issue surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's comments on condoms in Peter Seewald's now (in)famous book Light of the World, it pays to know the whole story. What local media--slamming us with headlines like "Pope: Condom Use OK in AIDS Fight" or "Condom Use Acceptable in Certain Cases-Pope"--did was make noise over a portion of a quote taken out context and package it as The Greatest and Latest Church Teaching Ever.

For a clear analysis of what the Pope really said, go to Jimmy Akin's site. But here I'll aslo try to explain with my limited theological knowledge. Wehehe!

Yesterday, I was at a media forum listening to Fr. Joel Jason, a moral theologian in the San Carlos Seminary, explain that bit on condoms being the "first step to moralization." According to Fr. Jason, what the Holy Father meant by that was a consciousness and a concern on the part of the male prostitute (in his example) to wish that no harm comes to other people by his doing his "job." A male prostitute who is concerned about not infecting others with AIDS (and uses a condom to achieve it) is possibly taking the first step of assuming responsibility.

Fr. Jason continues: "With this first step, [Pope Benedict means that] hopefully, [this grain of responsibility] matures and grows into the other direction--that of the humanization of sexuality." The last means that sexuality is regarded as a positive, wholesome, and procreative gift to be shared in marriage--and not a drug that you can get high with just because "you have the right."

To this, Archbishop-Emeritus Oscar Cruz (who was also speaking at the forum) adds: "Ang karapatan at obligasyon, magkasama yan. Kapag condom ang pinag-uusapan, palagi na lang 'karapatan, karapatan!' Kinalimutan ang obligasyon." ("Rights and obligation go together. When it comes to condoms, all they shout for is 'rights, rights!' They've forgotten the obligation.")

Besides, why work harder on the aspect of showering the whole country with condoms when it's so obvious that condom use does not eliminate AIDS? Because if it's really, truly, infallibly potent at getting rid of AIDS, why is it that condom promotion comes hand in hand with rising HIV/AIDS cases?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Barya barya

(Image for illustration purposes only. Peace!)

Have you ever been asked for change in a huge commercial establishment, the type that you generally should not expect to ask you for "barya" because of their apparent money magnanimity? This is one thing I find very amusing and frustrating at the same time--frustrating because you're checking out your purchases already and are forced suddenly to dig in your purse for an errant 25 centavos, and amusing because it happens so often you can guess that the lady at the cashier would ask it... it's just the matter of her phrasing that you have to get right in your head.

Speaking of phrasing, there's a different tact that some cashier personnel have come to use: instead of asking for exact payments, they ask if it's okay with you if you receive insufficient change! Why, imagine how much money that would sum up to if everyone who bought something received 25 centavos less or a peso less in their due change!

I'm really in need of a little more spunk in this aspect, so I'm quite thankful this particular tactic hasn't been tried on me yet. But should it happen to you, here are two comebacks you may want to use, courtesy of my sister Isis, who has encountered such impudence more than once already:

Cashier: "Ma'am kulang lang po ng 25 centavos." (While handing over the insufficient change.)
You: "Tatanggapin mo ba ang bayad ko kung kulang?"


Cashier: "Ma'am okay lang po ba kung kulang?"
You: "Ok kung sobra."

Say it lightly and don't pick a fight! Most of the time, cashier personnel do this because they're too lazy to look for change not very well-prepared and feel that looking around will hold up the line. This is a chance for you to help them do better in their job, so they can be more prudent and helpful next time. Don't forget to say thank you when you get the right change!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Do the math, listen to the heart

Sorry, guys, I have been a delinquent blogger. Has it been a month already!? No fear, I'm getting back on track... lots of interesting stuff at work ;-)

Last Tuesday I attended the CBCP-CMN Tuesday Breakfast Forum in Ilustrado Restaurant, Intramuros, and Paranaque Rep. Roilo Golez was there to talk about the issue on the value of human life, which the RH bill is bent on putting down. This congressman really talks sense into the whole matter--and from an economic point of view too.

What he explained was: let's say a Pill costs 10 pesos, and that at present there are 10 million women of reproductive age.

10 x 10,000,000 = 100,000,000

And there are 365 days a year.

100,000,000 x 365 = 36,500,000,000

That's right, folks! 36.5B a year on the Pill alone! How many schools will that put up? How many workers can that train to be competent in their jobs? How many... well you can figure it out.

The comment I appreciated the most from Rep. Golez had nothing to do with math, budget or economics, though... it's the comment he said as a father. In the forum, he pointed out that it has become "normal" (or worse, "safe") nowadays to bring a condom to a gimik, just "for goodtime." But he adds:

"Paano kung yung daughter mo ang mag-goodtime?"

Bam! Paano nga ba?

I don't have a daughter, but as a daughter myself, I can imagine the adamant NO coming out of my parents' lips. It's not just about getting pregnant (which the condom "fixes") that I think bothers parents when their kids, specifically daughters, um, run rampant, but rather it's the respect she loses, the values she throws out, and the reputation she builds, and ultimately the person she becomes, that make Mom and Dad--especially Dad--become protective.

Call me conservative or old-fashioned, but I think I'm not alone in the belief that there's nothing unjust in the fact that women give birth and men don't. Give it up already. Women can't be men and men can't be women.

What is it that "feminists" are so envious of men about? The fact that they can sleep around? Who says they can do that anyway? (And why would you want to do that?!) Sure, men technically can sleep around without suffering evident consequences, but how does it corrupt them inside? It shifts their priorities, befuddles them about whether they really love or just lust after someone. Where is true happiness in that?

It can't be stressed enough that the family is the basic unit of society. If we allow ourselves to be corrupted--our mindset, our values--in the heart of our home, paano tayo pupunta sa matuwid na daan?

Monday, October 11, 2010

CS Lewis's letters

Guess what I'm reading? I borrowed The Collected Letters of CS Lewis from my friend sopraninigabi and it's the book I read before sleeping.

It's the type of book that fits right into the bedtime routine because his thoughts and insights still ring true today, and yet you're given a glimpse of the early 20th century (that is, a time long gone) because you're taken in on even the most ordinary of everyday life: Jack (CS Lewis's nickname) asking for a new jacket or pair of socks, talking about the books he's reading (I really MUST pick up a Bronte sister now), and making travel plans... aren't these the stuff of everyday? Only now, we text and email--so I find myself constantly marveling at the fact that back then you needed to set aside at least an hour everyday just to attend to (meaningful) correspondence. Seems like such a nice way to spend an hour.

Here's a snippet from a letter sent from Gastons on 5 Oct 1914 (date not exact because Lewis had the bad habit of not dating his letters) to his father in Bookham:

My dear Papy,

Thanks so much for the photographs, which I have duly received and studied. They are artistically got up and touched in: in fact everything that could be desired--only, do I really tie my tie like that? Do I really brush my hair like that? Am I really as fat as that? Do I really look so sleepy? However, I suppose that thing in the photo is the one thing I am saddled with forever and ever, so I had better learn to like it. Isn't it curious that we know anyone else better than we do ourselves? Possibly a merciful delusion.

I am very amused by such self-scrutiny coming from a man like Lewis (he would be about 16 years old here)--don't we all do that? (I can especially relate to "Do I really look so sleepy?" LOL!)

Must stop blogging now because I am catching up on my writing. I leave you with a quote about letter-writing:

"It is the immemorial privilege of letter-writers to commit to paper things they would not say: to write in a more grandiose manner than that in which they speak: and to enlarge upon feelings which would be passed by unnoticed in conversation."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not heroic at all

I stand by my conviction that there is nothing admirable about Carlos Celdran's rudeness, and that it's highly discouraging to find out that people are saying it's heroism or martyrdom of a sort to do such an uncharitable thing.

Let's put it this way: think of your most favorite hero (one of mine is Sara Crewe!) and tell me if you'd still respect that person if he walked up to you (as you prayed) and screamed in your face, all because he wanted to let you know you were super-duper absolutely positively incredibly and crazily wrong about something. What's so heroic about that?

Sometimes, I turn to books for comfort. Here's a tidbit from A Little Princess:

"When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn't said afterward. There's nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in--that's stronger."

I ain't saying we should never speak up and air our views, I'm saying we should air them calmly and in a civilized and respectful manner. Write a Letter to the Editor, organize a march, get the word out through various media.... If you love the Filipino people, you'll do us a good turn by not giving the impression that the only way we Filipinos think we can be heard is by making a complete fool of ourselves and getting jailed for it.

Here's a Letter to the Editor of Philippine Star that basically sums up what Celdran did, and what the media shouldn't have done.

Dear Editor:

Today's editorial calling for the repeal of the law penalizing offending religious feelings ("The Philippine Star", October 2, 2010, p. 14) is highly misinformed.

First of all, it is inaccurate to portray Carlos Celdran as a martyr for his free speech rights. He is not being charged for simply expressing his views; hence your fear that "80 percent of the population who through surveys have expressed support for birth control" could be imprisoned for offending religious feelings is unfounded. He is being charged for having scoffed at church authority during the mass and inside a church. Please take the trouble of researching what Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code actually penalizes. The constitution protects Carlos Celdran's right to express his views, no matter how unconventional they may be, but the constitution likewise protects the rights of everyone to worship according to their religious beliefs in peace. While he has the right to express dissenting opinions, he has no right to infringe on other people's right to worship in peace.

Second, the provision penalizing offending religious feelings applies to all religions alike. To repeal the law against offending religious feelings would be to expose all religions -- and not just the Catholic religion -- to contempt. The repeal would mean anyone can burn the Koran inside a mosque during an Islamic service, or make a heated attack on Manalo inside an Iglesia ni Cristo building during their Thursday pagsamba. These scenarios hardly promote mutual understanding among religions. The above mentioned examples are offensive to modern sensibilities; a similar affront on the Catholic religion is no less offensive.

For quite some time, I have been disappointed with your newspaper which, while printing inspirational quotes about God on its footer and daily biblical commentaries, prints a lot of articles and editorials supporting the RH bill. I have tolerated your publication of these articles even if I don't agree with them. But your approval of Carlos Celdran's offensive behavior is no longer a healthy exercise of free speech; it is an affront to what the majority of the population holds sacred. Please consider my subscription to your newspaper cancelled.


Atty. Cristina A. Montes

Have a fruitful week everyone!

Monday, September 20, 2010

September is special

It's a very special issue this month for Baby Magazine. For our cover, we have super-adorable 19-month-old Juan Aristeo Paz--Tio for short--smiling between his mother's legs. To read more about the shoot (and some behind-the-scenes photos!), visit Sunnyday's blog. We all have a lot to learn from these special little ones and their families!

Lots of meaty reads in this issue to help not only parents of children with special needs, but every parent or parent-to-be as well. From pick-me-uppers during some gloomy pregnancy days to knowing what to expect on the 9th month of pregnancy, and from info on Down Syndrome, Autism, & ADHD to making your home a haven for reading, there are so many things to learn!

I especially loved reading the stories of Dr. Beatriz Paz (the mommy of Tio) and Dr. Bambi Ronquillo, whose daughter Brianna, at 6 years old, got a Cochlear implant, enabling her to finally hear! Now Brianna is a sporty 12-year-old (badminton and swimming) and is eager to teach little kids to sign and talk when she grows up. How's that for empowerment? :-)

When I hear the words "quality of life" being tossed around in debates concerning "pro-choice" propositions, I always wonder why some big intellectual folks forget that human beings are resilient; they fail to take into account that, in the face of difficulties, we humans are designed to make new ways to reach our goals, which is why Team Hoyt still runs and Christopher Reeve was deemed a real-life superman. And you don't even have to look that far to come to that conclusion. Just read the stories in the magazine :-)

Baby magazine is published by Marathon Publishing Co. and is sold at all National Bookstores, SM baby department stores, Babyland (Robinsons Galleria, Shaw Blvd. near Cherry Foodarama, Eastwood Mall), Baby & Co. (The Podium and Power Plant Mall), Bufini, Procreation Shangri-la mall, Big & Small Co. Shangri-la Mall.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quick reaction

I'm finding less time to blog nowadays because there is so much to be done. But two mottoes have been keeping me going and so I keep going.

Here's a quick reaction to something about the abandoned baby story I read on the paper today, written by Rina Jimenez-David ("The boy in the plane," At Large, Opinion, Inquirer, Sept 14, 2010). She writes:

"Although to tell the truth, I'm dying to find out who the mother is and know not only how she managed to pull off the feat, but also her reasons for doing so. She must be one gutsy--or terribly desperate--woman. Giving up one's baby, through abandonment, adoption or even abortion, is never an easy or casual decision, and one can only imagine the lengths to which the mother wrestled with her conscience before taking this step."

Oh, so now it's gutsy to choose the easy way out? And it's a victory of sorts to overcome your conscience and take the I-don't-want-this-burden route? Let me get this straight: The conscience is there to wrest with you? I'm sorry, I thought it was there to guide you.

Ok, end of quick reaction. I said it was gonna be quick.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A woman to come home to

Just finished watching Anchors Aweigh (Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Kathryn Grayson) and I can't help admiring the outfits of the leading lady Aunt Susie (Grayson), but this won't be a fashion post. (Note to self: scarf/ribbon headbands look great with curly hair!)

At the beginning of the movie, you see Joe (Kelly) and Clarence (Sinatra)--navy men--getting off the ship so they can enjoy a few day's leave in Hollywood. Joe is the type to easily charm the ladies, while Clarence is the shy guy who always doesn't know what to say. Anyway, because they're together on leave, Clarence sticks to Joe like a barnacle, asking for help to, er, charm the ladies.

You can see it's all about flirting and charming to them... and from here you get the picture of what a navy man is like: there are pin-up pictures of women in their locker, they gather around telling stories of how well they scored (not in today's sense of the word, though), and they rejoice over meeting a lady who "lives alone." To top it off, this funny song (link below) shows exactly what kind of woman a lady is believed to be if she hangs out with too many navy men:

[I can't embed it so you'll have to go to YouTube.]

(Of course, Joe and Clarence were only lying to the poor man here. Clarence had a crush on Susie and, wanting to get rid of her date, he and Joe smudged her reputation, haha!)

During their leave (and in the process of getting to know Susie more), the two navy men learn that women are not prizes you catch for being "charming"; they aren't marks on a tally board to boast of. By some amusing turn of events involving a lost kid who wants to join the navy, the men making up one lie after another, dinner-and-dance dates at a Mexican restaurant, and having to run after a famous musician to make up for the lies, both men learn that, more than having a lady to be with during a leave, what's more important was to have "somebody to come home to"--a lady for keeps!

I think their meeting a woman of substance (Susie) helped Joe and Clarence "grow up"--not only in their regard for women, but also in their realizing the consequences of their actions (they kept seeing Susie with the excuse that they knew somebody in Hollywood who would give her an audition--a lie that progressively got worse as the plot unfolded). The guys had a lucky break that Jose Iturbi (as himself) was kind enough to give Susie her audition even if the whole thing was all made up!

What I like about this film (besides the music and the dancing!) is the way it portrays women as people men must take the time to get to know--women have dreams, too, and they need to be respected... and they're definitely not people to be lied to or simply taken in by some guy's "charms." Today, this still rings true, but it's harder to see that it's wanting because popular media has clouded the view by insisting women are more liberated if they be more naughty like Megan Fox, eccentric/wild like Lady Gaga or super tough like Salt. I'm not sure how "liberation" can ever happen when women are objectified (which all three are).

What do you think?

Monday, August 23, 2010


This movie made me cry. But then, I'm a crybaby haha!

Great story, awesome soundtrack, perfect comedic timing and not really as morbid as it looks! :->

Departures--or Okuribito--is about Daigo, a cellist who lost his job at the orchestra in Tokyo. Because of that, he decides to resign as a professional musician and instead look for a job in his old hometown in Yamagata. In his search, he finds an ad for an agency (NK Agents) that "assists in journeys," and he takes this job not knowing the job was about encoffinment!

This movie is about family: you find yourself learning from the families who've lost their loved ones (most especially the family of the lady who owned the bath house), Daigo's own family (his wife Mika and his relationship with his parents), and even from the little non-family family that is the NK Agents (Daigo, Shoei, and Yuriko); and about acceptance, not only of one's "unusual job" but also of all faults... I suppose a better word is reconciliation.

In a review, Walter Pless writes:

"This is a perspective on death that could help materialistic Western audiences to focus on the things that are really important in life. Departures is about love, family, loyalty, respect, responsibility, and even the place of humans in the natural world. But its central theme is reconciliation....

"Daigo’s reconciliation with his pregnant wife and his interactions with the local owner of the sento, or bath house, and its clientele, encompass a wide range of human emotions, including basic human prejudices. But his new-found profession turns out to be a unifying and positive factor in his own life and in the lives of bereaved families within the community.

"Daigo earns respect, and bickering families are reconciled through his ministrations over the body of their relative. The climax comes in a moving scene when Daigo has to prepare the body of his own long-estranged father. Reconciliation is at the heart of Departures....

"Departures transcends its morbid subject and one’s initial apprehension at its unconventional subject is soon swept away by its positive message about the dignity of being human, both in life and in death.


You know how you can't ever keep something good to yourself? This is one of those times for me! Go see it!

Just two tips:
1) Don't eat while watching, and
2) have lots of tissue on hand.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Mean women"

My younger sister once told me about a woman who had eight babies and killed them each time she had them, and then buried them in their garden. Apparently her husband never knew because she had a hefty build and a pregnancy wasn't obvious. But the crime was discovered anyway.

After telling the story, my sister asked me, "What do you think?" and because I didn't know how better to say it, I said that the woman must've gotten crazy/deranged somewhere down the road.

Today I read an article on MercatorNet that basically worded out the jumble that was on my mind when I first heard that story. Carolyn Moynihan writes ("Women fatally forgetting themselves"):

Now, there is one ideology today that brings out this streak in women to a truly frightening extent and it has nothing to do with war-mongering, although it has everything to do with dehumanising a certain part of humanity. It is the systematically promoted and officially sanctioned idea that women not only have the right to kill their unborn children, but that it is often the best, most responsible thing they can do. Like shooting Jewish children in the war, it is really for the good of all concerned -- even the victims.

If Keli Lane killed her newborn daughter, it was only the next logical step on from what she learned as a teenager in family planning counselling rooms and abortion clinics from the women who staff them. When Dominique Cottrez smothered eight of her babies after she delivered them, was she really doing something morally different from what any abortionist would have done for her before they were born?

[Emphasis is mine.]

Why is a woman who kills her babies when they are born (and buries them without anyone knowing) more 'horrible,' 'barbarous,' or 'deranged' than a woman who gets an abortion? Didn't they just do the same thing? The latter even brought other people in to kill the baby with her. Is it because abortion is legal or "safe" that makes the act of baby-killing-while-still-in-the-womb seem less inhumane than baby-killing-after-birth?

I'm not saying that people who have done abortions or are pro-abortion are crazy. I'm just trying to understand what made abortion seem acceptable in the first place (when obviously we do get shocked by news of people killing little ones). Is it because not everyone knows that life starts at conception, and that there are those who truly believe the fetus is just "a piece of tissue"? Or does it stem from a power struggle--that of a woman asserting her freedom to do just what she wants with her body? About the latter, I do wonder how that sort of thinking, no matter how prevalent, has not yet translated to people just doing whatever they want with their life, never mind justice, never mind peace and never mind respecting the existence of others.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

July and August

Apologies for delinquent posting. Here's a quick summary of past events. So first, I had some concerns about environmentalists who put saving the earth above saving people. And then suddenly the issue was overpopulation. And then the RH bill issue suddenly exploded into an abortion legalization issue (thanks to a women's rights group). And THEN another women's rights group forced divorce down our throats. Makes me think, what next?

But before I get all gloomy, here are the covers of the JULY and AUGUST issues of Baby Magazine! Nothing like a dose of cuteness to bring out a smile on an otherwise troubled face. Seriously, can you look at these happy faces and still be pigheaded about your conviction that abortion-on-demand does not violate anybody's rights?

Baby magazine is published by Marathon Publishing Co. and is sold at all National Bookstores, SM baby department stores, Babyland (Robinsons Galleria, Shaw Blvd. near Cherry Foodarama, Eastwood Mall), Baby & Co. (The Podium and Power Plant Mall), Bufini, Procreation Shangri-la mall, Big & Small Co. Shangri-la Mall.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When Status updates become rants

Have you seen this web ad by Yahoo! Mail? I think it reflects how the status messages on FB have come to be used as a ranting portal by a lot of people. True, you get comforting responses from your network of friends, but that habit is not at all a very good one--I mean, talk about being unprofessional!

Ok, some of you may disagree with me about the need to rant--sometimes people just have to let out steam! But I think people can let out steam in private: confiding in trusted friends, asking for advice from a mentor.... What's the use of letting the whole world know that you feel indignant doing the work you're paid to do?

See the last frame in that web ad: "Just make sure your boss isn't on your friends list." Doesn't that mean ranting in public poses the risk of giving you more problems? Ranting doesn't solve anything, and ranting in public, more often than not, makes things worse.

...besides, how can you accomplish your work well if instead of concentrating on it, you keep focusing on why doing it is such a hassle? It's the difficulties, after all, that help a professional become more like a professional. Unless you're a professional online ranter, clouding everyone's FB wall with your gloom only says one thing: "this person has nothing more interesting to say."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Check out our Fashion blog!

(GUTSY is a group of women who advocate person-centered fashion for the youth. )

For the past months, I've been wondering how to be more active in the advocacy of dignified dressing, and I figured putting up a blog would be interesting. Then I met GUTSY and everything just fell into place! Last weekend we had a Fashion Camp, and now we have a team of bloggers for the site. Certainly there will be a lot of gutsiness to go around haha!

Check out our fashion blog:

I would appreciate ideas, topic requests, photos of well-dressed women for the blog. Just email me! ;-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On radio talk (aka brainless chatter)

Last night I was riding the FX going to the MRT and the radio was tuned to DZMM 630. The reporters were discussing the water shortage due to no rain falling in Angat Dam. And the woman reporter blamed it on the overpopulation. And went on a rampage about how overpopulation is causing climate change etc.

First of all, what is a reporter, who is supposed to unbiasedly read the news, doing inserting her misinformed opinions in a news item about lack of rain? Is it the perpetual fear of radio announcers not to leave dead air doing the talking? Or is it because World Population Day just came and went without fanfare, that reporters are somehow forced to connect at least one piece of news to it? Is that lack of fanfare due to nobody going hysterical about overpop and global warming in this country? And why do they want us to go hysterical over nothing?

I have a theory about AM radio announcers. It seems that being on air everyday has permanently switched on their brain's auto-talk. They say practically anything just to keep talking. I understand the need to fill dead air, but it becomes ridiculous when the fillers are 30 seconds of Diyoskopongmahabagin!pambihirabanaman!mantakinmo! empty banter that dead air would have been better for listener's ears (and hearts).

...and 30 seconds of misinformation? Can you say: waste of time?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Why there are lots of jobs in Singapore

My Ate said she wanted to try out finding a job in Singapore, because she has some friends there already. Why go to Singapore? Is it because there are better offers? And why are there better offers?

Oh look at this article I found from Inquirer:

In the 1960s, Singapore started a “Stop at Two” program. It was so successful that the population of Singapore dropped to dangerous levels.

The working class (labor force) had a difficult time supporting the elderly. The Singaporean government saw this and changed their population policy to “Three or more.” We have to learn from the mistakes of our Asian neighbor.

But the "Three or more" policy doesn't seem to work on a generation raised to think birth control is secret to happy (satisfying? materialistic?) life etc etc. The other solution? Get people from other countries to come over and work there, despite increasing number of citizens complaining about the tighter competition for jobs. (Got this link from WillyJ's blog.)

And what if the countries where these foreign workers are coming from start adapting their own "Stop at Two" program because their legislators think overpopulation is the cause of poverty? (Guess what? It's not.) Give or take, in 30 years there won't be enough people--citizen or no--to compete for jobs at all.

Reading List:
Obsolete Thinking--Again!
Population Sense and Nonsense
They're at Malthus Again

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lovin' the earth

Recently, I canceled a monthly pledge to a pro-environment cause organization, and I think it's about time somebody explained that there's such a thing as "going too green" and why this can go wrong.

Okay, so there's global warming. And we're wasting so many resources. And because of our carbon emissions and pollution, we're killing the earth. I'm all for saving the environment. I'm all for conservation of natural resources. I care about segregating my trash and recycling and choosing more earth-friendly materials.

Loving the earth is what people should really do. We're only given one earth to use and keep, so let's save it, right? Of course.

What made me stop my pledge was the fact that the organization I was funding does a little something on the side: it promotes family planning.

Whoa, whoa, waitaminute--am I overreacting? It's just family planning...

It's not "just" family planning. It's a whole way of thinking that undermines a new person's right to live. It runs on the premise that "there is not much earth to go around; so, let's cut down on people so that we can have more for ourselves." Promoting the use of contraceptives is a part of it... not to mention the use of abortifacients... and (here goes) abortion.

I can't continue funding an organization that insists that whales and baby seals are more important than human life. Because whales, no matter how majestic, are not more precious than a human being. And baby seals, no matter how cute, are no match to our own babies. If you find this confusing and biased, then perhaps you haven't tried understanding why the Jews were insulted when PETA compared the Holocaust to chickens in a factory.

I believe in saving the environment, but I don't want to mix up the priorities. The earth is here to be of use to people; it is up to us if we're going to use it wisely or waste it. What's marvelous is we have intellect; we can use it to make our resources last longer and conserve the earth. So there's no need to prevent births.

Why should we go against ourselves? It's like eating your own hand just so more rabbits can run free in your backyard.We need to live, so we care for the earth. The earth doesn't need us to deplete ourselves so it can live. It isn't alive the way we are; it doesn't have reason, and it doesn't have a soul. When the human race dies out, the earth will go on revolving without a care.

Finally, here's a question to help you see the irony:
Are you really saving the planet for the next generation if you're preventing the birth of this very same next generation?

Monday, July 5, 2010

It takes a flower

Okay, the inauguration is over and done with and I haven't posted anything. I want to share this photo from EDSA 1 because it's a nice reminder to our newly inaugurated president "P-Noy" that the legacy of peace and no-corruption that his mom represented must live on.

President Aquino didn't get my vote on May 10, but I wish him the best and I'll do what I can as citizen to help make this country better.

That said, congrats P-Noy and this is the end of my quick post!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stop it!

Thank God for vigilant people! :-) Look at the photo above (from and tell me: how would reading about condoms and Pills affect this child?

UN-Backed Sex-Ed Program in Philippines Put on Hold

By James Tillman

MANILA, Philippines, June 21, 2010 ( -- The Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) has decided to put a hold on the implementation of a new UN-backed sex-education program in elementary and high schools. The program had caused an uproar in the country, and was heavily opposed by parents and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

"We decided to hold in abeyance the teaching of the sex education module until a final decision is made on the consultation process," DepEd Secretary Mona Valisno said.

The new program, “Institutionalizing Adolescent Reproductive Health through Lifeskills-Based Education," would have given sex education to children as young as 12. It was set to be introduced in 80 elementary and 79 high schools around the nation.

It would have incorporated sex education into the entire curriculum, not only in classes such as Health, Science, and PE, but also Music, Arts, Mathematics, English, and others. Valisno said that despite the momentary halt, some sex-ed subjects, such as the scientific treatment of the reproductive system, would still be handled.

Read the rest of it here.


First of all, what is the UN doing meddling with the affairs of Filipino family? If they're so bent on population control, they should just get rid of themselves and be done with it. (Iron man would send them orbiting around the solar system in a Stark spacecraft with toothpaste-like food to last them 50 years.) After all, if someone adamantly believes there's a surplus on people, then that person must also logically (and readily) admit that he is the surplus.

Here's the big problem with sex-ed, as quoted from the article:

Human Life International-Asia executive director Dr. Ligaya Acosta criticized the government's insistence that children need sex education, stating that sex education “is actually a course in systematic behavior modification, designed to change the child’s entire belief system.”

“The glaring truth is that researches around the world substantiate the fact that the more contraceptive programs are aimed at the young, the more pregnancies, abortions, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer of the cervix results,” Acosta said.

(Emphasis is mine.)

Let's keep working towards the implementation of more character-based programs, and helping more parents understand their role as parents to instill in their children good virtues and a good understanding of what love is really all about.

...unless, of course, we want to end up thinking it's best to teach first graders this way.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Planning the day well

Have you ever considered waking up in the morning the biggest battle of the day? Here's some food for thought:

"You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction." George Horace Lorimer


I've been thinking about time lately, and how to spend it well (and why spend it well). And today I bumped into our chaplain at Holy Family Chapel in Eastwood. He asked me if I worked nearby and told me how happy he was to see me attending mass regularly, and then he said something that made me think--he said, in reference to the effort of attending daily mass, "How hardworking!"

I really like how that comment resounded--hardworking. When you say "I try to attend mass daily," people usually assume you have nothing else to do--and then here comes someone who says you're "hardworking" for doing the very same thing.

How does this fit into "spending time well"?

Working hard doesn't only mean you plow on without a moment's rest (you're not an ox). What if that leaves you so tired that you can't churn up good work anymore? A day well-spent requires planning. It needs enough hours for serious work, rest (which is another word for "less demanding work"), family time, friend time and quiet time. Mass is the time in which to hinge all those times--on weekdays, it takes just 30 mins, but I think this 30mins gives a person the right motivation to get all the things done properly that day.


Oh hey, it's St. Josemaria Escriva's feast day on June 26! His teachings on serving God in the midst of the world will always be helpful to every worker. Here's basically his answer to the question: why should time be spent well?

"How short indeed is the time of our passing through this world! For the true Christian these words ring deep down in his heart as a reproach to his lack of generosity, and as a constant invitation to be loyal. Brief indeed is our time for loving, for giving, for making atonement. It would be very wrong, therefore, for us to waste it, or to cast this treasure irresponsibly overboard. We mustn’t squander this period of the world’s history that God has entrusted to each one of us." (Friends of God)


Lastly, just like Corporate Cat in the photo above, let's also not waste time on shenanigans--particularly, our own.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Singin' (and almost dancin') in the rain

After some very hot and dry months, I find myself commuting again in the rain. My shoes are soaked. My pants are soaked. All my things are soaked. I come home with a cold--so my insides are soaked too.

My commuting route includes a lot of walking in the "wild" outdoors, so getting soaked can't be helped. And just last Friday, in an effort to stay dry, I took a tricycle going to the MRT, and guess what--the seat was wet. Rain-1, Me-0.

Dreary days and commuting always make me a little sad, especially when I'm hauling all my junk from one end of the city to another. It gets robotic; left foot, right foot, turn here, go in there.... So it's a good thing I recently got infected by the Gene-Kelly-Singing-in-the-Rain bug. (Ask Sunnyday.) Just the thought of Gene Kelly singing and dancing in the rain--having a wonderful time getting soaked--makes me smile at my own soaked situation. Humming the tune while taking the long walk seems to shorten the distance a whole lot... and before I know it, I'm where I ought to be.

Watch the video here.

Singing in the Rain

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin',
Singin' in the rain

Dancin' in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I'm happy again!
I'm singin' and dancin' in the rain!

I'm dancin' and singin' in the rain...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Raising kids in a high-tech world

Owen Carandang is a natural! Ready smiles all the way--what a pleasant shoot this was! And what a pleasant cover too! I always break into a smile when I look at this sunny cover (our JUNE 2010 issue) taken by Krissy Rodriguez of Little People Lifestyle Photography.

This issue is all about Raising Kids in a High-Tech World. Because this new generation is growing up not knowing a life without computers, cellphones and iPods, it's a wonder how today's kids can be taught the value of imagination--don't all these high-tech media do the imagining for their consumers?

Another curious thing is the popularity of Facebook. I got to interview Educhild Facilitator Joy Barreiro for some insights on how Facebook can be maximized by parents to improve family relationships (instead of erasing them in favor of a "virtual life").

This month's Working Mother is Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete, the Company Manager of Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas. If you've been reading some of my older posts, you'll know that Teatrong Mulat is dedicated to the art of puppetry--a form of entertainment that may not be under your list of "high-tech media." Her take on kids and entertainment provides a refreshing contrast to today's video-games-Internet-TV-and-movie circus that spells typical entertainment. It's wonderful to note that kids still do enjoy theater, music and books!

Finally, I can't help posting this photo of little Owen that I took during the cover shoot. I love his expression here! If there's a word balloon, what would you write?

Baby magazine is published by Marathon Publishing Co. and is sold at all National Bookstores, SM baby department stores, Babyland (Robinsons Galleria, Shaw Blvd. near Cherry Foodarama, Eastwood Mall), Baby & Co. (The Podium and Power Plant Mall), Bufini, Procreation Shangri-la mall, Big & Small Co. Shangri-la Mall.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Repost: Meet the Scholars!

Congratulations to the Ex Libris Philippines scholars, batch 2010: Frederick G. Precillas, Claudine V. Enduma, Mark Bryan F. Manantan, and Dancille Villarey!

Congratulations, Scholars. Mabuhay kayo!

Thank you to all who helped us out in our cause! Thanks to you, four UP students will be able to continue their education in UP.

For photos of the turn-over ceremony, click here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Still on the hunt

...for the suitable word to use when pertaining to modesty in dress.

I found an article in Tiger Print about "The dreaded M-word" and true enough, as Katie Hinderer writes:
Say the word to most teens and young professionals today and they will immediately tune you out. There is something about the word that is cringe worthy. It brings forth images of shapeless skirts that brush the floor and unfeminine tops that cover from wrist to chin to hips. They see the swimsuits of yesteryear that were anything but functional for an actual swim or they envision baggy muumuus.

So, what are good words to use in its place? I heard some elegant ladies use positive dressing. Another idea is dignified dressing. How about person-centered fashion? Appropriate attire? Comfortable elegance? Or am I pushing it?

Looking for a more stylish word to use meantime is important because you don't want to make the people who can benefit from what you have to say tune you out! Modesty, on its own, is a positive word--but it may take a while for the fashion-forward to adopt such a backward-sounding word in their vocabulary.

The solution for now? Take a fashionable term and use it to gain an audience. But, sparingly, let the M-word come up... how else are we going to bring about a change in the word's image if we let it remain in its negative slump? Use it sparingly, but positively--at least start with what it truly means: decency and reserve, not only in dress, but also in words and conduct.

Photo from FALL 2010 collection of Roberto Cavalli

Monday, May 31, 2010

Milk tea

Image from Completely Smitten.

Because it's been so hot, I've been dreaming of drinks with ICE. So yesterday, upon the suggestion of my friend Sheree, I made some milk tea.

Nikko's Milk Tea

1 mug hot water
1 tea bag
Ice ice ice!

1. Steep tea in hot water and leave till it cools down to room temp. (This makes strong tea but it will be diluted with milk and ice.)
2. Add milk, sugar and ice. Enjoy!

  • If you don't like milk tea, replace milk with calamansi or lemon juice to make iced tea.
  • Sago is a good idea, but only if you have sago straw. :-P~
  • Iced coffee is good too. Just make sure to dissolve coffee creamer (if you use it) in hot water first.
  • Vanilla milk tea? Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence.
  • Avatar tea? Add 1-2 drops blue food color. (But whyyy? LOL)
  • Drink while reading Moby Dick. (It's written in a roundabout style that'll make you feel the afternoon is longer than it actually is. Plus... white whale is most awesome.)
  • Drink while watching Singing in the Rain. Try tap dancing after, and then make more tea to cool off. Pray for more men on TV and movies to keep cool by singing and tap dancing in rain instead of taking shirt off.
Have a chilly June day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Movie review: Here comes the bride

Sunnyday told me to be more wary about movies my Ate invites me to see with her because, as the trend has it, I often end up wasting my time sitting through her choice of films. But I miss my Ate; so last Sunday I found myself at the mercy of Here Comes the Bride. I'm gonna make something useful come out of the experience by writing what I think.

First of all, I think this movie should not have been rated GP. Besides the type of humor in it, the attitudes of the different characters towards love, sex and marriage are a bit off. Take Stephanie, the bride-to-be (played by Angelica Panganiban and Eugene Domingo) for instance. She was styled as the "good girl"--she designed her wedding dress conservatively, she seems to have already talked to her boyfriend/fiance about saving sex for marriage, etc. but as you watch the film, you feel that the character is flat--it's as if they created Stephanie by throwing in all the typical goody-goody attributes but filled her head with notions that didn't agree with any of them.

Because somehow it seems that the whole film regards marriage as a license to have sex, and that the whole point of the wedding is the honeymoon that happens after (hence, the supposedly VERY funny scene where the just-married-husband tries to do it with his wife, who happened to be--after some twists and turns involving magnets, car accidents and a solar eclipse--trapped in Eugene Domingo's body). GP GP GP!

I mean, if you're going to write about a good girl, please give her a brain (because she needs one to be able to make good decisions) and spunk (because she needs it to stick to these decisions). None of this "I can't wait for tonight because we can finally do it!"

Marriage is a vocation, a calling to a life dedicated to one's spouse and to God; and a promise to raise a family in a home full of love. I'm not an expert at this to be able to give examples and all, but that's the gist. And this movie doesn't get it.

Images from

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fearless modesty

It sounds like an oxymoron, but these days the words "fearless modesty" seem quite apt as a call to action: we're so used to seeing people dressed improperly that modest fashion comes off as going against the grain.

Just look at the swimsuit racks and you'll see what I mean. Have you ever tried asking the saleslady if the store had more one-piece suits? I have, and salesladies, with apologetic smiles, always say no. I concede to the fact that people like to have options and that there are those who prefer triangle tops and bikini bottoms to more functional one-piece suits, but whatever happened to options for people who appreciate real and fashionable suits for swimming? (I'm talking about the regular fashion boutiques that offer summer fashion; sports stores will always have modest options because they know what swimming entails.)

And another thing: when did the word "modest" get equated to "unfashionable"? When you strive to be modest in attire, you're thinking about what will make you look good and presentable--what's so unfashionable about that?

Frankly, there's so much more fashion creativity fostered when you choose your clothing pieces with care. Covering up appropriately takes more brain power! Recently, I bought a very nice crayola-blue short-sleeved cardigan to wear over some tops and dresses I bought way back in 2007, when I didn't think much about appropriate clothing. I'm happy to say I can wear these unwearable pieces more often now that I have a cardigan to put over them. See--creativity and modest fashion just go together.

To anyone who, like me, is getting tired of people insisting short shorts are cool (I concede again that they literally are), and plunging necklines more "womanly," here are some humorous comebacks to use at one's own risk:

"Why don't you want to show your cleavage?"
"Hindi KSP ang cleavage ko."
(Got this from Sunnyday. LOL. I can't think of an English translation with similar punch.)

"Why do you keep wearing a cardigan? I'm feeling so hot here just looking at you!"
"Go wear a swimsuit and stand beside the fan."

"Why are you wearing leggings under that mini dress?"
"I want to keep my sitting rights."

"If you've got it, flaunt it!"
"I think there are enough free shows out there."

If you're a woman and want to be respected, you have to stand up for modesty. Because in the end, it's your dignity--and the way people see you and (in turn) deal with you--at stake! There's a thin line that separates clothing that make you a subject and clothing that make you an object. To help you discern that line, here's a beauty contest question to ponder on: "Would you rather be sexy or beautiful?" which is just another way of saying: "Would you rather people see you as a set of body parts or as a whole person?"

Methinks the answer to that is the same for all women.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Call for scholarship applicants!

Hooray! Our concert was a success! Here's a repost from the Ex Libris Philippines blog. It's about our Scholarship Project!


Sometimes, all it takes is a helping hand given at the right moment. One semester can make the difference between a student continuing and eventually finishing his studies at UP, or stopping his schooling in order to work. The trouble with the latter is that they rarely get the chance to complete them.

It is because of this that our NGO, Ex Libris Philippines, organized our "Concert For A Cause" fundraising activity last May 21, 2010. We're now looking for beneficiaries for our scholarship project. We seek undergraduate students who need financial assistance to continue their studies at the University of the Philippines for the first semester of A.Y. '10-'11. (Partial and complete scholarship grants for one semester will be granted based on the applicant's need)

Do you know of any deserving U.P. student of good moral and intellectual standing (preferably no INC's or 5's, with a GWA of 2.00 or higher), who REALLY NEEDS this one semester tuition fee grant? If you do, please send their contact information and any other pertinent info (e.g. references, mini bios) to Gabriela Francisco (09209470835) or Tata Francisco (09209470861) (or any other Ex Libris Philippines member you know).

Thank you so much! Please reply if you know someone---anyone---an orgmate, collegemate, friend, or classmate. A UP student who you think is deserving, and who really needs the financial aid. Just a name (or several names!) and contact number/s will do---and of course, a few sentences (personal recommendation) will be a great help. Please forward this to your teachers/students, family and friends; perhaps they may know of people who need this scholarship. Thank you so much!

For more information about Ex Libris Philippines, please go to

For interested applicants, please submit the following:

4 pcs. 1x1 ID picture
Copy of parents' most recent ITR
Copy of TCG (a CRS printout of grades will do)
3-4 names (with complete contact info) for references

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bad news!

My phone got snatched last week. I'm so sorry to everyone in my phonebook. So far, I heard from some friends that the snatchers have nothing better to do than call and text them. Good-bye load.

Globe says they can give me back my number within the week. Why it takes a week, I don't know. >:-(

Here's what happened, in case this experience can help other people avoid getting their stuff snatched in the future. I was in the Cubao-Crossing bus going home.
  1. Snatcher Guy sat beside me in the bus. My bag was on my lap and the zipper opening was on the side near him. My phone was right by the zipper opening. (Careless, I know.)
  2. Snatcher Guy pretended to twiddle with the aircon. He reached up and was twiddling with the aircon for so long I got irritated and looked up.
  3. Turns out he was using his other hand to pick from my bag. Bye-bye phone.
  4. He changed seats and made someone with him (let's call him Cahoots Guy) sit beside me. So I wouldn't be able to stand up and stop him. (Not sure if Cahoots Guy had knife.) I told Cahoots Guy that Snatcher Guy stole my phone. Cahoots Guy was bad actor. I hope my split second of sincere trust in stranger pricked his conscience. But maybe not.
  5. The snatchers got off at Guadalupe before the bridge. There were three of them. I wonder how many victims there were.
Heard from a friend that there are other techniques they use. Some pretend to be barfing and then a Cahoots Guy will say, "Natalsikan ka! (You got some on you!)" and when you inspect your shirt... good-bye iPod Touch.

Some open letters:

Dear Big-Discount-Phone-Buying Public,

Please don't patronize those places where they sell phones/gadgets of dubious origin. It encourages more snatching.

Dear Soon-To-Be-President,

I hope what you stand for really seeps down to the people so that we'll have a more commuter-friendly nation. "Hindi ako magnanakaw" was your, um, campaign slogan, and it seems most people voted you for that. I find it very ironic that my phone got snatched just when all the news headlines are blaring how you're leading in the partial results. Please do something to really eradicate corruption, not just in politics.

Dear friends,

Please pray that Snatcher Guy and Co. find better things to do with their time. And that they get pricked by their conscience. I think they won't get much from selling my phone because it's a relatively cheap model (that happens to be on sale now in Samsung) and is network-locked (i.e. someone has to pay to make it open-line). I got it for free when I signed up for a prepaid plan. I am really annoyed that they've been using my number to bother you guys. And of course, I hate the inconvenience, but on the bright side, I'm lucky to be ok.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Merry month of May

It's our May issue! And who's that little girl in pink? Cutie-pie Kara Judielle Sacrez, of course! She's having a grand time here ordering cupcakes and (very refreshing) iced tea at Cupcakes by Sonja, Serendra. Photo taken by Krissy Alfafara Rodriguez of Little People Lifestyle Photography.

Our theme this month is Be the Best Mom You Can Be! so there are certainly lots of articles that are helpful... including informative pregnancy articles for moms-in-waiting, baby articles for the moms-in-training, and parenting & family articles for all moms-for-life.

I know it's quite late for this but I'll say it anyway: Happy Mother's Day to all wonderful mommies out there! Yehey!

Baby magazine is published by Marathon Publishing Co. and is sold at all National Bookstores, SM baby department stores, Babyland (Robinsons Galleria, Shaw Blvd. near Cherry Foodarama), Baby & Co. (The Podium and Power Plant Mall), Bufini, Procreation Shangri-la mall, Big & Small Co. Shangri-la Mall.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wanted: Leaders who will uphold life

I'm so frazzled. I don't want all our future leaders to be OK with the RH Bill. That would be a nightmare. And you thought this issue was dead.

I got asked by a friend once what I wanted in our leaders and I said, "I want someone who is pro-life." And she replied, "Is that all the matters to you?"

(Why, yes, because life comes above all causes. What's education if there are no kids to study? What's environmentalism without people to breathe the newly freshened air? What's commerce without workers? or agriculture without farmers? Think about it: people are the benefactors and the assets. Stop insisting on cutting down on people!)

I want pro-life leaders because I want a Philippines that values life, and with it, family, marriage and a prevailing culture that preserves these institutions. We can't have that if we vote a president who, in his first 100 days in office, will sign into law a bill that forces schools to teach sex education to kids as young as 10. They say "age appropriate" as if all kids mature in mind and heart at the same rate.

In defense of sex education, another friend of mine says, "It's better to learn from school than to learn through the Net...because kids are really gonna find it online." Interesting. Did you know that you can learn how to slice off your fingers and sew them back on through the Net? Maybe we should teach that in school too.

What good will knowledge of contraceptive use do for the youth anyway? Oh, let's add to that the free condom stalls they'll put up in every barangay or district (goodbye, taxpayer's money which could've paid for someone's heart transplant). Imagine growing up hearing your teachers say "This is how to use this...'essential medicine'" and then walking home to calls of "Who wants a condom?"

You know what that makes us? Numb.

Let this happen now and, in the future, you won't get shocked if kiddie fastfood meals come with kiddie condoms. Or schools start holding workshops on "self pleasure." Gross? That's what's happening in other parts of the world.

Consider this: before a famous men's magazine made it big, pornography was something only a sleazebag would possess. Now, they're calling it "art." Now, women are vying for a spot on some top 100 list of Women Who Need Men To Drool Over Them So They Can Have Higher Self-Esteem. The very people who should be offended by this kind of material are outdoing each other to be one of the top 100 most objectified women in the country. Ironic? We're just numb.

I don't want our country to become numb. I don't want casual sex to become a norm, marriage merely a contract, and family just a collection of individuals living in the same house.

I sure hope the majority is with me on this.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Random reminders

Maybe because some of us are allowed to wear jeans to work (I know I am), or because malls allow us to bring pets to public indoor places, or because the social networking culture makes displaying your whole life for the public not seem as corny as showbiz talk shows, that some basic rules of etiquette are easy to forget now. A few friendly reminders:
  • Just because you can bring that dog to the mall doesn't mean you can bring it in the chapel, too. No matter how smart (or small or quiet) your dog is, it will never appreciate the mass.
  • Be sensitive about the pictures you post on social-networking sites. Weed out the unflattering shots for your friends' sake!
  • Remember the rule about never putting on lipstick at the table? Let me add a similar one: never use oil-blotting paper outside the ladies room. It's really not nice to see. :-/
  • Jeans are one thing--they can be dressed up with the right pieces--but slippers to work? Unprofessional.
  • Pedestrian, you can't stop a car by flashing your palm. Especially in a highway. Find the overpass and give our drivers a break!

Monday, April 26, 2010

One more month til Concert!

Only a month away! How time flies. I'm inviting everyone to see our Concert for a Cause, which is going to be very good for the ears! Trust me! :D

What's more, by watching our concert, you not only get to listen to good music (Broadway, Filipino love songs, and Classical music!) but you also help send students to school. Think about that person (or people!!) whose life you can change. :)

It's going to be a rare treat--rare because when you say "entertainment" nowadays you get movies, video games and the like--for families and friends. So, come and invite yours!


Our NGO, Ex Libris Philippines, a SEC-certified, nonstock, nonprofit organization of book enthusiasts, is raising funds in order to help send deserving but financially challenged UP students to school. Our last two fundraising projects held March 2007 and April 2008 have funded the education of seven deserving students at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

We are now holding our third fundraising project for our NGO's Scholarship Project. This year's fundraising project is a Concert for a Cause, with performances by professors, students and alumni of the UP College of Music. All funds to be raised will go to the Scholarship Project. The concert will be on May 21, 2010, Friday, 6 p.m. at the UP College of Music, Nicanor Abelardo Hall.

Treat yourself to a night of music and magic, and help out in a good cause, too! You'll be helping send students to school. Please also help spread the word to your friends and family, and invite them to come as well!

Tickets are at Php 300.00 each. For tickets, please contact Tata Francisco at 0920-947-08-61, Gabi Francisco at 0920-947-08-35, or Nicole Bautista at 0916-341-33-66. You can also email us at,,

Or leave a comment here and coordinate with me; I'm the Nicole in that list. :D

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Corruption in the small things

A few weeks ago, I rode a taxi with my mom and my sister to East Avenue to fix my SSS ID application. We were planning to drop off Isis in UP first and then proceed to the SSS office, but Isis forgot her enrollment documents. So, they decided that it was best to drop me off first and then make a round trip to pick up the errant forms.

The taxi was a nice one--clean and new. The driver was pleasant... a little chatty for my taste, but he was courteous enough--he wasn't cursing the traffic or the heat or whatever else taxi drivers curse about.

On the windshield was a campaign sticker for one popular candidate running for president--the one people are lauding for having the guts to put an end to corruption because his mom and dad were not corrupt. And half the time the driver was telling us how much he wanted that candidate to win and that only one passenger expressed an opposing view about his choice for president.

"Dapat hindi corrupt (he should not be corrupt)," he was saying, adding that he's been campaigning for the man for free because he believes the man can end corruption. He also said that if someone is gonna get voted into the presidency, it should be because people really believe in him enough to campaign for him without incentives.

Very well.

My problem with this is what happened after I got off the cab. My mom told me that after I got off at East Avenue, the driver switched off his meter and drove them all the way back to Eastwood without the meter counting. He charged them a fat 200 pesos when they got home, and refused to take them back to UP because "Ayoko na pumunta doon (I don't want to drive back there)."

It makes me wonder how we as a people expect to eradicate corruption when even the smallest things are not treated with the proper justice. That whole round trip would probably have amounted to 150-160 pesos only (and not 200) if the man didn't switch off his meter.

That cab driver can root for his non-corrupt candidate all he wants, but corruption will not be eradicated if he keeps on treating his passengers unfairly. After all, honest living is not demanded of politicians alone; it is demanded of all of us.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Jeggings. What a funny word. And funnier still is that it's picking up. First, a popular jeans brand comes up with ultra-skinny pants and calls it "Jeans Leggings" (or something to that effect) and then before you know it, stores have racks filled with all sorts of "jeggings"--leggings made to look like jeans (maybe because they're cheaper).

I read an interesting article on leggings from Tiger Print, and I'd like to share an excerpt from it--it's called "Please, no legging behinds" by Katie Hinderer:

Leggings, pants and tights are all different fashion pieces. As such, they each have a specific use and while the lines can tend to blur occasionally on these items it’s important to keep these clothing items separate.

Leggings are not pants because they do not offer any structure or support. They are always skin-tight and form-fitting. And to be honest, in leggings it is possible for everyone to see every little bodily nuance we have. They do nothing to flatter our figure, re-proportion our silhouette or compliment our natural beauty. When worn alone we might as well announce to the world that our bottom half is the most important part and invite others to take a look. (Um… no thanks.)

What am I getting at? No matter how like jeans some leggings are, they're still leggings! What if everything meant as an accessory, accent or underthing is treated like a main article of clothing? Would you wear half slip as a skirt? How about a scarf as a shirt? Socks as shoes? (I'm thinking of "trendy" names for them now: skips, sharves and shocks. Maybe if some fashion guru said them, these words would catch on, too.)

Real fashion-forward people remember what each bit of clothing is for and how to wear them properly. If a fashion designer insists a camisole should be exposed and worn as a shirt, then that designer probably has no more bright ideas up her sleeve. It's one thing for them to try to pull that off (using photoshopped models in ad campaigns), it's another for consumers to snap it up without thinking.

So, let's be more discerning and give only the trends that really mean to make us look better and feel more confident the leg-up. for jeans that look like leggings, if regular skinny jeans don't suit the trendsetter anymore, it might be a good time to remember what happens when people think micro minis aren't micro enough and short shorts aren't short enough: peek-a-boo, I see you!