Happy Holidays!

2012 was pretty smooth-sailing. Nearly monotonous. Nearly. But that's just because I'm ennui-phobic. And most fearful of contentment.

That's why I've set 2013 as the year to get a move on - again. Of course, there's the ultimate OPLAN MASTERS. And then some. If Plan A crashes, I'm not gonna get burned. I mustn't.

It'll be a busy year for sure. Well, at least, in the first quarter. What with this "full-time" sheez I've gotten myself into. I volunteered. So yeah. Also, something to expect: the Bali trip in May!

Ugh, speaking of May. The local elections. That's something I'm not looking forward to.

Oh well, bring it 2013.


The Fit Survives

Oh, this is precious. A Multiply ad in Facebook.

They're still trying to resuscitate this dying site. I'm a Multiply user myself, the photo album, then the blog. Then the online shopping (even after Facebook). Because my online sellers are still there. And it's been tweaked to serve the trading really well. But definitely not bogus-free. I've been duped once. But very little amount. But still.

Anyway, I'm surprised because the Admin has already been preparing us for the closure of Multiply. And then this ad.

No, I don't think this'll help. Ciao, ciao Multiply!


RH Cheers for the #RHBill

And so, finally, after too many years, the "ayes" have it!!!

For supporters of the Reproductive Health Bill (me, personally, for 3 Congresses now), hearing the gavel banged for the passage of the RH Bill was such a sweet victory.

"House Bill 4244 (An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development) won with a slim margin of 113-104 vote, the first time it advanced to the second reading since it was first filed more than 15 years ago." - source

2nd Reading approval is as good as passed. And we have the numbers in the Senate already.

Of course, we had to celebrate!



#SinTax today. #RHBill tomorrow.

The historic Sin Tax Bill that seeks to impose higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol products is finally on its way to becoming a law, after it a got full approval from both the Upper and Lower Houses today. This is great news.

For the longest time (well, I mean, after I first traveled abroad that is, in Bangkok, way back in 2004), I've been griping about how cheap our tobacco and alcohol products are compared to our neighboring countries. And when I started to ask, that's when I learned about sin taxes.  And we should totally do that in the Philippines. I told myself. And anyone who was interested. That and stricter labeling in cigarette packages.

I drink and smoke occasionally (very occasionally, socially is the term) myself, but I don't mind the jacked up prices. It keeps kids away. And I personally think that people waste too much money drinking and smoking. Especially those who are not particularly well off. Not judging, just saying.

So anyway, done with that. After that Sin Tax amendment scare. Phew! There's some consternation on some of its provisions, especially that it deals with money, and I mean, loads of money, but we just gotta keep an eye more.

So, tomorrow is the more pressing day. 12/12/12. Big deal. Yes, it's a big deal. Finally, the RH Bill will come to a vote. Oh yes, it will. Never mind the delayers. You're all goin down. 

The Reproductive Health Bill will be approved by both Houses tomorrow. 



I'm not really a fan of Alberto's Pizza. I think they're okay. I've eaten only about once. It was at their branch in Tagbilaran, near the airport. (or that's their only branch in Tagbi, is it? I know there's one in Alona, too.) So anyway, as I said, it's okay. For the price. And I've not really felt the need to crave for Alberto's since that first visit, which was prolly more than a year already? I can't tell. But that should say something.

But then earlier tonight, after missed appointments and basically accomplishing nothing today, I just wanted to stuff my face with junk and the first thing that came to my mind - pizza delivery! I actually thought about this other pizza place near HNU Dampas but I forgot the name and so I couldn't Google it. So, it was Alberto's then. The online search led me to their Facebook page and what do you know, they have a new e-delivery system. Woot, woot!

I was directed to the Alberto's Pizza website, whose ordering system was pretty straightforward and quite easy. And quite efficient actually. After confirming my order. I got a phone call like immediately to confirm my order. And then very shortly, I got another call again to confirm my order. I'm guessing the first one was from their call center in Cebu, with the distinct Cebuano accent of the lady on the other line, and the second was from the local branch here, with the Bol-anon accent this time. After another call for the specific instructions on how to reach our place, a few long minutes later - voila! -- one Hawaiian and pepperoni pizza apiece and a 1.5L Pepsi arrived at our doorstep, or err gate. Awesome.

I'm chowing on these while they're hot. Yum! Uhm, yeah, they're okay. ;)


J'adore! French Toast

I was cravin' for French Toast, so...

Voila! My super fluffy and super soggy French Toast -- just the way I like it! 


Post is alive!

And so my postcard from Ubud arrived! Woohoo!

After nearly 3 weeks, the postcard that I emailed myself back in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia arrived safe and in one piece. This is my travelling tradition, mailing a postcard to myself. It started in my first international trip (Thailand) back in 2004.

And I'm gonna keep doing this. Just because. ;)


Envi Planning: Let's do this!

I'm thinking, I should take the Environmental Planner Board Exam, so I could become legit on that profession. As I'm currently scouring the web for scholarship programs for degrees on urban planning, sustainable architecture and the like (one of the reasons I came back really, to build my portfolio for a proper application for scholarship grants...) – and most of all, I'm passionate about environmental planning and all things sustainable, which is definitely way important, more than the "title" – I might as well take the leap. Made me think, why didn't I do this, this June? (exams are slated June each year) And I remember, I was out all of May for the research field work. So, there. Anyway, there's always next year. And I'm writing this and letting the universe in on my plans. 

Some information on the subject from PD 1308 (Environmental Planning Law):
Environmental Planning refers to activities concerned with the management and development of land, as well as the preservation, conservation, and rehabilitation of the human environment.

Scope of PracticeThe practice of environmental planning, within the meaning and intent of this Decree shall embrace, inter alia, professional services in the form of technical consultation, plan preparation, and/or implementation involving the following:
  •  Development of a community, town, city, or region;
  • Development of a site for a particular need such as housing, centers for activities concerned with research, education, culture, recreation, or government, industrial estates, agriculture, and water resources, including creating a spatial arrangement of buildings, utilities and communication routes;
  • Land use and zoning plans for the management and development, preservation, conservation, rehabilitation, and control of the environment; and
  • Pre-investment, pre-feasibility, and feasibility studies.
Yep, I definitely, got to do this!

BUT THEN...  I may not be able to meet these requirements, just yet:
Applicants for environmental planner board examination shall, prior to the date of the examination, establish to the satisfaction of the Board:
  1. He/she is a citizen of the Philippines.
  2. He/she is at least twenty-one (21) years of age.
  3. He/she is a holder of any of the following:
  • Masteral degree in environmental planning, city and regional planning, or town and country planning, or its equivalent acceptable to the Board; 
  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental planning, city and regional planning, or town and country planning, or its equivalent, and with two (2) years of environmental planning experience certified by a registered environmental planner;
  • Masteral degree in either architecture, civil engineering, economics, public administration or sociology, and with one (1) year of environmental planning experience certified by a registered environmental planner; or
  • Bachelor’s degree in either architecture, civil engineering, economics, public administration, or sociology, and with two (2) years of environmental planning experience certified by a registered environmental planner.
So, I guess, I need to have that Master's degree first. ALRIGHT, then.

Alright, one more time, let's do this!


DIY Guitar Capo

I discovered and (re)discovered some amazing music this past week, and I wanted to like play some of them with my guitar, well, you know, I wish, but I try anyway...

So, yah, I was watching Dear John the other week. I've watched it way before but it was on HBO several times a day practically so you are bound to watch it   <<< scratch this story. It's gonna be long and boring.

I googled for the guitar chords of this song and was in a fix because it required a capo. I knew there was one beat-up one somewhere in the house, but after a minute (!) of searching for it - I was on my desk googling DIY capo, instead. And voila! - a DIY capo that took me just 5 minutes to assemble (materials collating, included). It turned out good. Just as the song required. 


Korny Post Warning: Kettle Korn iz in town!

I love Kettle Korn. But only the Sweet 'n Salty variety. At BQ Mall today, after the media event at Bohol Divers in Alona, I was delighted to see a new food kiosk at the activity center - Kettle Korn. I'm mostly kinda broke these days, but I had to buy one! Yum.


a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes

REALITY BITES, the seminal 90s film, however, is one of my favorite films. I don't ever get tired of watching it. I still get goosies in the critical Troy and Lelaina scenes.  And I still pine for my Troy Dyer.

"You and me, and five bucks."
"You want to be a band, then be a goddamn band!"
"Honey, all you have to be by the time you're 23 is yourself."
"I don't know who that is anymore."
"Laney, sex is the quickest way to ruin a friendship."
"I'm Nuthin'..."
Oh, Troy Dyer...  *swoon*


Sec. Robredo: Hope Floats

Still waiting for updates on the whereabouts of DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo and companions after hearing news of his plane crash near Masbate.

Two words: HOPE FLOATS.

Image sources: sea , sec. robredo


Here comes the sun...

So, there.

It's again come to this. I am at a precipice. I know, because I led myself here. It's time to get a move on.

It is time.

I'm bored.


Coffee, please!

Cappuccino and choco carrot cake by Bo's Coffee Club.

I could use a really strong coffee just about now. As in - now. 


Pizza Treat by Pizza Hut

Mozarella. Ever since having overdosed on them
with Persian labneh's, the rubbery cheese on
pizzas don't dazzle me anymore. 

A few media men and women were treated today by Pizza Hut with some of their newest pizza pasta offerings. Not really a Pizza Hut fan (more of a Sbarro, definitely Sbarro, and probably, I'd like to imagine, Yellow Cab and Giuseppe's Pizzeria because I've only tasted their pizzas once or twice, but I think I liked it.) But Pizza Hut pizzas are delicious, not just my kind of delicious. But that's not gonna stop me from writing about them and  promote them, even, if duty calls. 


New Bohol Bee Farm Fave: Fresh Veggie Lumpia

This Vietnamese spring roll inspired veggie lumpia is too yummy. 

We got fortunate, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Bohol gave us the opportunity to peek into their successful program SETUP or Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program which "aims boost small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) productivity and competitiveness by assisting them in adopting technological innovations to improve their operations."

We got a chance to visit and interview some of their grantees. Bohol Bee Farm, being one of DOST's pioneering grantees, albeit not necessarily with SETUP (probably with Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX) Program), we had our lunch there and was given the pass to observe their tea-making operations, as well as some of their self-made innovations that help Bohol Bee Farm become the Bohol Bee Farm we all love.

This new ice cream (sorbet) flavor - TOMATO - however,
gets a D for not tasting like tomato, at all.
It's delicious, no doubt, but where's the tomato?
Of course, the squash muffins never fail and so are
the signature 'palaman' of the Bohol Bee Farm!


I like them slightly burned.

Dinner. Pan-grilled pork with spicy rub. Corn kernels and crispy
burnt caramelized onions on the side.
Tryin' out our new electric stove and non-stick pan. Besides, I haven't eaten the whole day and was cravin' for a real good meal, with meat, preferably, pork. This was yum. Even the onions.


Newest bar in town, I mean, across town!

Decent dig. Not really. The food's not yet there, yet.
The ambiance could get a little more punch to it,
like a triple scotch, maybe. But, hey, it's new! Tara!
McGen Coffee Lounge & Bar is located in Totolan, Dauis. So you could make sense of the 'kitsh' name, it's supposedly named after the owner, so be kind. ;) It doesn't help that the logo makes you think fastfood. So, oops.


Let the magic rain with a blanket made of stars

This song. Daaaaamn.

Worlds Collide 
The Mostar Diving Club
(Waiting for Forever soundtrack)

Back when we were young
We ran into the sun
It's like we fell apart
Yes you stole my heart
I searched these wasted years
To wipe away the tears
As my heart began to crack
We can't go back
I can hardly speak
When you're in front of me
I can't breathe
Two paths that would not cross
You left me feeling lost
But I love you just the same
Let the magic rain
With a blanket made of stars
To wrap the both of us
As we fell into the light
Our worlds collide
Yes that's the way that our worlds collide
Here I am and here I stand
Our worlds collide
And I would wait for you
And I'd wait forever too
You're in, you're in my heart
It's true.


Just arrived - new online book order!

Arkitekturang Filipino: A History of Architecture and
Urbanism in the Philippines by Gerard Lico,
published by the UP Press.
There was a little delay, but, yey!, my new book - purchased online via the UP Press website and payments made through bank transfer - just arrived! Can't wait to, re--, err display it on my book shelf. Not. I actually have to read this one, and soon, because it's for my class. Yep.


Skurfin' Pandanon -- Bohol Wakefest 2012!

Bigger smile if I was able to try it out, skurfin! Pandanon!
We were invited as media people to the Bohol Wakefest 2012 Kick-off at Pandanon Island in Getafe, Bohol -- with the promise of a chance to try it out -- you know, experiential writing. Not a chance, after our day started out all wrong, almost no ride and all. Good thing, Pandanon Island never fails to amaze.

My straightforward account of the 2012 Bohol Wakefest/WakeJam I posted at Bohol Republic.


Happy Independence Day, Lupang Hinirang!

This is just too awesome. Makes me want to sing/play the national anthem at the start of each meeting/ gathering I'm in.

And created by my favorite local illustrator, too, Arnold Arre. Just wow!

Credits and note from the makers:

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines and Rock Ed Radio present this fully animated music video of the Philippine National Anthem.

ARNOLD ARRE directed and animated.

This fully animated video of the Philippine National Anthem is NHCP and ROCK ED RADIO's gift to all Filipinos to mark the nation's 114th Independence Day.

Note from Rock Ed Radio: We allow use and downloading of this video especially for purposes of ceremony. Anyone can screen this video as accompaniment to a flag ceremony, a closing rite, etc. If your school, corporation, event, company, family, would like to use this video, we only request that you do so with the proper nod to the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines and that you acknowledge the artists involved in the production of this video. If user of this video is found not abiding by the Heraldic Law, kindly report to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for proper action.

Maraming Salamat po at maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan sa lahat. (2012)


Friday Salad Trio

Thinking about making, especially eating, salads galore the whole week (and actually the week before pa), I finally got to the produce section of Island City Mall to get my needed ingredients. Naturally, some of the ingredients weren't available, and of course, it had to be the most important -- natural yoghurt. So I had to do with the pint of mango-flavored yoghurt. 

So here they are - voila! Looks good, but tastes better!

Mango salsa ala-Marla. Made it less spicy

Mango salsa ala-Marla. And scrimped a little on the onions. ;)

Crunchy cucumber and yoghurt salad (raita).
I thought I put in too much cumin, but it may have been just
2/3 of the amount from the recipe.

Crunchy cucumber yogurt raita.
Yellow bits c/o the mango-flavored yoghurt.

Thai Crunchy Apple Yogurt Salad Fusion.
Apple substituted for green mango.

Thai Crunchy Apple Yoghurt Salad Fusion.


Life forever! Sir Ray Bradbury, Sir!

Wow. I was just thinkin about Mr. Ray Bradbury earlier, during the Transit of Venus newscast, thinkin: Transit of Venus - sounds like a Ray Bradbury short lang ah. And now, in my social media feeds, I read of his passing. Wow, what a way/day to go. Listen, to Mr. Electrico Sir. "Live forever!"

"Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made up or paid for in factories." Ray Bradbury, (Fahrenheit 451)


I love books, no question.

Powerbooks(?), I think. But, Trinoma, definitely.
And reading. I come to a good mall and the bookstore's gotta be one of my stops. I just can't help it. And if I got money, no way I'm walking out without a book purchase. What I'm on the lookout, really, are good fiction books, preferably by India and/or Arabic/Mid-Eastern  writers. But of the late, with me teaching university  Architecture classes and all -- it's about design books this time. Not your ordinary, design/architecture coffee table books -- which don't come cheap -- but the academic ones, really -- which don't come any cheaper! Of course, I can't really look away from any good literature books. Seemingly little-known books/writers don't go unnoticed, too. I usually browse through the first paragraphs and even the last -- and if I like what I read, I'm pretty much sold to it. A good cover art is a good come-on, too.

So, in my visit yesterday, I took pictures of some design books that goes into my wishlist.

The Bohol Spanish-era bridges should figure in this one. 

I flipped through the pages, so niiiice.

You had me at AUTHENTIC. Hah! These probably are not. Woops.

Who wouldn't want to read the WHOLE story of ART. Duh.

Good source book for design class.

This, too. 

But, of course. This book is all text, but the price  --  damn.


Best Vegetarian Burger Yet

I'm no vegetarian. I don't think I can be one - ever. But I've had my share of pure vegetarian food via my experimenting friends (veggie phase, whoops!) or Adventist pals - and their kind of chow is not for me. I had my share of (red) meatless days (shortest was 2 months; max was 2 years) - it was not easy - but with chicken and seafoods still on the list, I survived. Anyway this aversion to vegetarian food is mainly, too, because I'm not a vegetable person. Never was.

But this, Maria's vegetarian burger (patty from pre-made gluten, marinated ala Maria, stuffed with other goodness) - best 'gluten' food I've eaten. Really. And just looking back at this photograph right now, makes me want to knock on Maria's door again - for more.