Friday, July 23, 2010

Lakers Will Defeat Miami Come Next Season


It is the Off-Season so it is not really the time to blog about the Lakeshow... Yeah right!

I'd rather talk about the Lakers than go silly with what is happening in the PBA (PBA what?).I just got so excited with the news that the Lakers are able to acquire Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff. Huwaw! Notwithstanding that Steve Blake signed up already earlier, these are three veterans coming to the fold. And so right here and right now I declare, WE WILL BEAT MIAMI!!!

Ok, so Miami has Wade, LeBoink and Bosh. So what? LA has Kobe and Kobe and Kobe! Add Pau and Fish and Ronron and Will, how's the Heat gonna dry up the Lake? No way Jose!!! Let us just say that even if there is a group of big time playa's plus one con from Akron playing in South Beach, that means nothin'. Hear me? It seems that everyone forgot that such group already exists and at the fore for the last two years in Hollywood. Everyone is saying that Miami is now the favorite. I am like, "HUH!?!"

We are the Champs!!! So give us a break! Will you?

The latest roster according to NBA.COM is as follows:

Lakers Roster

37 Ron Artest F 6-7 260 11/13/1979 St. John's 11
5 Steve Blake G 6-3 172 02/26/1980 Maryland 7
12 Shannon Brown(FA) G 6-4 210 11/29/1985 Michigan State 4
24 Kobe Bryant G 6-6 205 08/23/1978 Lower Merion HS (PA) 14
17 Andrew Bynum C 7-0 285 10/27/1987 St. Joseph HS (NJ) 5
Derrick Caracter ** F 6-9 265 05/04/1988 Texas-El Paso R
Devin Ebanks ** F 6-9 215 10/28/1989 West Virginia R
2 Derek Fisher G 6-1 210 08/09/1974 Arkansas-Little Rock 14
16 Pau Gasol F-C 7-0 250 07/06/1980 Barcelona, Spain 9
28 Didier Ilunga-Mbenga(FA) C 7-0 255 12/30/1980 Kinshasa, DRC 6
6 Adam Morrison(FA) F 6-8 205 07/19/1984 Gonzaga 3
7 Lamar Odom F 6-10 230 11/06/1979 Rhode Island 11
21 Josh Powell(FA) F 6-9 240 01/25/1983 North Carolina State 5
50 Theo Ratliff C 6-10 235 04/17/1973 Wyoming 15
18 Sasha Vujacic G 6-7 205 03/08/1984 Maribor, Slovenia 6
4 Luke Walton F 6-8 235 03/28/1980 Arizona 7

C - Captain
** - Unsigned Draft Pick
(FA) - Free Agent

Now do you see what I mean??? Lakers will 3Peat!!!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is PAGASA to Blame?


Everybody is again playing the blame game with the much maligned Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). No less than the President of the Republic of the Philippines repremanded our poor weather forecasters for "not doing what they are supposed to do", as he claimed. He also admonished them "That information it is sorely lacking and we have had this problem for quite a long time."

I can not help but feel for the employees of PAG-ASA. Each time something like this happens, they are sure to be blamed. In fact, even when there is no weather disaster , everyone is pointing their fingers already at them. PAGASA is guilty not by reasonable doubt but by mere default.

No one is looking for the exact reason for the failure of the system. The President can wash his fingers straight from Poncius Pilate's bowl of water by hurriedly issuing statements like the ones he stated. The media can mock hopelessness at the institution and show their arrogance as if they are well aware of everything. And everybody else can grumble and taunt the forecasting team. But what everyone lacks is the common sense to just sit back, think and think again.

PAGASA, contrary to the accusations of the President and everybody else, is doing its job. It has been doing its job for a very long time. It did its job when Milenyo came, during Ondoy and when Basyang arrived. These forecasters are scientists and mathematicians. Their jobs specification is to do the Math. They calculate the incoming weather and estimate its approach. It is an exact science. All information are provided by their current system and all they needed to do is do the necessary calculations using the prescribed formula. It is not as if PAGASA is blurting out weather alerts by simply going online and looking at the satellite shots shown on the monitor like what most of us internet addicts are doing. It is not as if they derive conclusions based on what is safe and covenient to say in public. No that is not how they work.

They conclude based on the data not because the President and the public would have liked to hear something else from them.

If we are to blame anyone, blame it to the inutileness of the politicians. (Oooops! Duck Noynoy as this might hit you!) PAGASA from time immemorial has been complaining about the lack of support it is getting from the government to make sure that they are going to be able to provide accurate forecasts especially during the typhoon season. This is older than before Ernie Baron started forecasting for TV Patrol. It has been there already even when Noynoys mom was still the President. I remember hearing about this issue already back in the days when lahar was just starting to devastate Central Luzon.

It is only during the time of the previous administration of Gloria that PAGASA was handed out two new doppler systems to better track down weather systems. But given the vast area and the topology of the country considering its mountain ranges, two doppler radar systems will not be enough. Five more doppler radars are to be installed this year as part of that upgrade commissioned by Arroyo.

If only this was done at a much earlier time, maybe we could have made better preparations for Milenyo, Ondoy and Basyang.

The President is correct though in saying that "we have had this problem for quite a long time". The question is what did he do about it? What did his mother do about it? What did all his politician friends, relatives and co-horts do about it? They have been in power for so long, why didn't he do anything about it?

My guess, he can not do anything about it! Heck, he can't even pass any law as a Congressman which is his job before. Wait? Who again is not doing what he was supposed to do?

The Philippine forecasters are doing their job Mr President! In fact they are very good at what they are doing. This is the reason why most of them are are now giving their services outside of the country as succesful weather forecasters in the Middle East, Australia and other countries who have better equipments. If you notice, Ka Tani is not the one being interviewed on TV any more. At present, the ones that you would see are unfamiliar faces, some of whom seem to be new graduates.

The best forecasters are already gone, Mr President. Who can blame them? They are not being properly treated at home...

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Monday, July 19, 2010

MuzikPoint in Ibaan


As a kid in Batangas, me and my cousins were encouraged by our elders to learn instruments and be more active musically. Unfortunately, music never liked me as much as I craved to be a musician. I used to study piano through my aunt in Ibaan but basically bailed out one night due to boredom. So when a grade 6 student asked me if I can help her with her music project, I was left wondering why I did not pursue music the same way that my cousins in Ibaan did. Now, I am contemplating on going back to the basics even if I am a little bit older to begin lessons. I know exactly whom to approach.

Good thing MusikPoint is established. MuzikPoint is a band rehearsal studio complete with all band instruments needed by enthusiasts to use. The place is managed by one of the foremost musical phenom in Ibaan, Batangas. His name... John Paul Pateña. This musical genius is the man to look for when it comes to learning, experiencing, (and if you are old) reliving music into your heart. He is practically trained in all kinds of musical instruments like Guitars, Piano, Drums, and a lot more. He is also very much adept at using indigeneous musical instruments. John Paul is so gifted as a musician, I am starting to envy him. Good thing I look better than him or else, I would have killed myself already. :P

Mr Pateña offers tutorial services. He does piano / keyboard, guitar, and drum lessons. Voice lessons are also being offered by members of his family. So if ever you are interested in making it big as a musician and you are in the vicinity of Ibaan Batangas, there is only one man to look for and one place to go to, MuzikPoint!

MuzikPoint is located at I. Guerra Street, Poblacion in Ibaan, Batangas. You can reach the Maestro himself at 09216268048.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nikon 55-200mm VR Lens


Had the chance to test a Nikon 55-200mm Lens with my Nikon D60. An officemate of wifey was nice enough to lend it to us overnight. He is actually trying to sell it.

I have heard so much about this lens in the forums. They say that it is good enough paparazzi lens for poor photography hobbyists like me. I find it good though not as powerful as I thought it was. I could not understand also why there seems to be some specs of noise no matter how bright the surrounding light is. Tried it also early this morning to get a taste of how it is going to be with natural light around but I was still not able to find it really acceptable for me. Maybe I had overestimated what it can do given the praises I have read about it in the forums. Or maybe I am just really not a good photographer, which is perfectly acceptable also hehe. But it is with a just yet. I promise, I will get better at this GRRRRRR!

For one, I find it very limiting since most of the time I want to be able to take wide angle shots. I normally take portrait shots and then add wide shots of the subject. With the 55-200mm it will not allow you to take as much wide area shots as possible. The only way to do so is to try to step back and recompose through the viewfinder. And I found it difficult to always switch glasses from the 55-200mm to my kit lens eveerytime I need to shoot wide angle. Maybe I wanted the 18-200mm instead.

It could have been a good buy since the lense was being sold at 8500 pesos only with hood. And my wife was told that it could be payed in delayed terms. However, I am not an instinct buyer. I buy when I think it is time to buy and when it is ok to buy (trans: I do not have the money heheheh). Also, I noticed some scratches on the glass itself also. I think I also heard some subtle whirring sound that is far different from the sound it usually makes when the lens is trying to focus. That added some additional sirens to my gut feel. The owner said it was just about 2 -3 months old but I think I'll go for broke instead and buy it a much higher price from one of the Hidalgo shops if ever.

Thank you however for letting us try it boss.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Taste of the Batangueño Dialect


Most non-Batangueños think that the Batangueño slang is a separate dialect in itself. I do not agree to that notion. Although I am not a linguistic scholar, I tend to normally explain that the words we tend to use is still Tagalog, albeit much (for lack of better word that I can think of) "deeper" hehe (trans: malalim, tunge!) as most of them are words from the olden days that the people in Manila is not using anymore. Almost all of the other words we Ala-eh citizens use are still Tagalog and should be understood easily by other Filipinos. If not for the way we Ala-ehs speak and the way our intonation is blurted out, every one should not find it hard to communicate with us. Aside from that, there is no difference at all.

A fine example is my wife's experience. When I first brought her to batanggas she was quite inconvenienced by the fact that she can not seem to understand what were talking about. Everything was new to her and she can not comprehend even the simplest of terms. This is because we in Batanggas tend to talk at a much faster phase and weith that distinct diction and intonation. However, when she got used to it, she realized that there was really not much of a difference like I said earlier.

Here is a piece that I wrote. Most of the words you wouldn't understand are either pronounced by Batangueños differently or merely from the olden days of the Katagalugan.

"Ala! Ay ngali-ngali ko nang hinagad ang akala mo'y lungkuying kawatan kung hindi ko laang naisip na sanaw ang parteng pulta ng kalihon at mababasa ang aking bagong ribok. Di ang aking ginawa na laang e pumalahaw para ang manghagad e yung mga ahit sa kadais na tanghuran. Matagal tagal ding nagpagatan, ay di kaya pat na-korner din. ALa ay nung masumbi at matangkab ng ninakawan e nagwasang na parang pagirpir ang luko. Palakat na eh! Piro nakuha pang kumana! Kainaman na! Nung magdikit e nagpasirok sirok sa hagdan pariho. Dagasa na sa may banling. Magaling na laang at naawat ng mamay na galing pa sa balinghuyan paano'y tatamaan ang kanilang banggerahan. Mababasag ang mga tapayan. Kung hindi ay baka lalung naliyo iyon. Ay sa kaulaga naman noong pulis na dumating din. Sa halip na pusasan eh, ang ginaway nakipaghuntahan pa. Ay di ayun, napagdali pa uli ung suspek. Magaling nga at hindi nataga ng gulok. Nung matapos e hapong hapo ang partido ng ninakawan eh. Pandagisdis ga naman sa sulok nung mapitserahan sabay na-kumpu pa ni Piyet. Nayapaw pa nga iyong bilot ni Ka Maring. May nawal-an pa ng gura. Kagagaling din, pagkayayama naman e nung makaraos. Ika eh, ipapalamon raw sana nila sa guyam, wala laang nakitang hantikan. A-ah ay kauntik na!"

What do you think. Can you translate this?

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Mood Swings, Night Scenes and PapaJack Prank Call


Was in a bad mood when I got home earlier tonight when I realized that I forgot my keys along with my wallet inside the house earlier this morning. I got no dough no more except for about 5 pieces of 25 cents in my coin purse. What made it worse was that nobody's home to open up the house. My sisters and my wife went to the movies. Grrr....

I temporarily waited at McDonalds but opted not to stay there for long as the smell of burger and fries made me hungrier. I decided I have to get away from that stupid clowns resto as I felt that he was teasing me. Creepy, but I imagine him laughing at me coz I couldn't buy me a spaghetti. Crazy.

Good thing I have my DSLR with me. I gather that I can just put my mind into something that will let me forget my pitiful state (lol). So acting like I am full, I took out my D60 and shoot my way towards EDSA, went up the MRT station and tried some long exposure shots of Highway 54 with the MRT as a hightlight. But alas, I couldn't capture the train. My timing was a bit off though I think I still made progress as I was able to get acquainted with the different settings that I need shooting night scenes. More practice needed however.

After some time, I walked my way back to Boni again starting to get pissed. I am so ravenous, I will eat whoever tries to ask me for a fight. I noticed a bunch of RTU students converging in a phone booth in front of the PLDT building. Still out of my element, I rested at the stairs right next to where they are standing. I could see one of the guys using the phone while the rest of the group was huddled beside him. It did not take long for me to realize what they are doing, they are listening to the radio, and I know the familiarity of the voice. Hehe it is Papa Jack , deym! The man on the phone is actually talking to Papajack while his buddies are listening. Obviously it was a prank call and the bunch are having to much fun. I was tempted to take their picture and post them here but I feel that them guys would not appreciate it so I just kept my voodoo inside my bag. Deep inside I really am having a blast at hearing some guys doing a prank call live on air. Hehehhe. It basically wore off my hunger. The freaking call lasted for almost an hour, I thought I noticed the dude talking to PapaJack made a hand gesture that he is out of five peso coins already. Still smiling inside, I took off.

Good thing that wifey is already home. I ate. I blogged. Kissed wifey goodnight. Now, I am going to sleep. Ngooorrrkkkk....

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

ASUS EeePC 1201T-SIV005W


The great war is over. War over who is going to use our current ASUS laptop that is.

Me and wifey went laptop hunting earlier. We were looking for a netbook which is powerful enough to handle JAVA IDE development, well at least that is the primary concern. Of course, we were looking for another ASUS since this brand has already been proven by us as very reliable. We kind of looked into some MSI's and Dell's as well just for curiousity's sake though.

We went first to VMall in Greenhills. In the first shop that we checked into, we were offered an ASUS Eee PC also. The attendant was quite nice however we feel that we are being lied into as they were telling us that they have no other stock of the model we selected. We were being offered to get the displayed item instead. We do not want it as we know that normally displayed items most likely are demo types, meaning that it is either overused already. The front panel of the laptop in fact is somehow oily already with matching finger prints on the surface yet they are telling us that no one has ever touched it yet before. I told the salesman that we will have to decide about the purchase first and that we'll get back to them. But no, I was decided already. We will look somewhere else.

The second shop where we found the model that we want sure has lots of stocks of it. There is one problem though. They have a very slow process. Wifey decided already to purchase it from them but had to change her mind as they kept us waiting for them to finalize the order while still trying to assist other customers. When we noticed that the salesman was not prioritizing us, wifey stood and we hurriedly left. Benta na, nawala pa! Sorry for them.

We got tired of Vmall at that point and the whole Greenhills area. So where else do we have to go? Off to the ever reliable Megamall. We had to scour all the shops at the Cyberzone area. Since we know already which model we are aiming for, we only had to ask for the price of each and of course what freebies can we get. That is important especially since we realized that all shops were offering that model for the same price (must be an ASUS requirement).

We finally were able to get our hands on the laptop through a salesman/girl. He/she is really very accomodating. Customer service tops in our list so since we know that all other shops are almost offering the same items only, we stayed put with him/her. The product is this:

AMD Athlon
2 Gig of RAM
320 Gig HDD
12.1 inches
With protective sleeve
Free mouse and flash drive

This has no OS yet though except for the ASUS supplied Express Gate which is not a problem. We will be installing Linux CENTOS into it anyway.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Andrew Lloyd Webbers's "Cats" In Manila


I met my wife as a fellow student and member of a student organization called the Thespians Guild. We basically have the same love for theater althought she has all the talents and me just all the wacky ideas. And since we are celebrating our original anniversary every July, I thought of buying tickets to watch Andrew Lloyd Webbers Cats which will have a limited run at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) beginning July 24, 2010.

And since it is said that the main cast will be led by no less than our very own Ms Lea Salonga as Grizabella, it serves a double whammy for us. My wife loves and adores everything Lea. She was even thinking of using one of her songs before as our wedding March because she really likes her. I am proud to say also that my wife was at some point in time been mistaken for Ms Lea Salonga also. I could not count anymore how many times total strangers will talk to her just to tell her that she looks like Lea.

I want my wife to love me more this July hehe so I gotta have those Cats tickets. If you guys are also interested, you can watch it on any of the following dates:

SHOW DATES (as of April 2010)
SAT July 24 Matinee
SAT July 24 Evening
SUN July 25 Matinee
SUN July 25 Evening
TUE July 27 Evening
WED July 28 Evening
THU July 29 Evening
FRI July 30 Evening
SAT July 31 Matinee
SAT July 31 Evening
SUN August 1 Matinee
SUN August 1 Evening
TUE August 3 Evening
WED August 4 Evening
THU August 5 Evening
FRI August 6 Evening
SAT August 7 Matinee
SAT August 7 Evening
SUN August 8 Matinee
SUN August 8 Evening
TUE August 10 Evening
WED August 11 Evening
THU August 12 Evening
FRI August 13 Evening
SAT August 14 Matinee
SAT August 14 Evening
SUN August 15 Matinee
SUN August 15 Evening

The following are the ticket pricess though:

Ticket Prices:

SAT (3:00pm)
SUN (2:30pm)
PhP7000 PhP5000 PhP3500 PhP2000 PhP1000

TUE, WED, THU (8:00pm)
SUN (7:30pm)
PhP6000 PhP4500 PhP3000 PhP1500 PhP750

FRI, SAT (8:00pm)
PhP7000 PhP5000 PhP3500 PhP2000 Php1000

Ticket Prices are exclusive of Ticketworld fees.

Again this is to be done at the Cultural Center of the Philippines inside the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. See you there.

For more information about the event, you can visit their Facebook or Tumblr pages. or

Now if I can just get a ticket for free. hehehe LOL.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Black Pencil Project


Who does not want to be an advocate of something good for a change? Even the most dreaded criminal must be thinking of doing something good for others once in a while. I guess that is a fact. People has, even in the most unlikeliest one, a few inch of goodness in him to care for others.

I basically admire most those people who are not really powerful individuals but instead normal regular guys like us who are able to start sharing and helping in their own way. Such is the humble beggining of the advocacy group known as the Black Pencil Project.

It started when three photography hobbyist climbed Banaue primarily to get photographs of the landscape and its people. However since it is the start of the school season they brought along a bunch of black pencils to be given to the small kids that they know they will meet in the area. This small step became their initiation to better understanding their roles in the community. It was on that day, "humbled by the warm hospitality of people of Banaue, that they realized the shared value of social responsibility and vowed to continue the effort in their own little way."

Through the help of friends and different online social media, their advocacy grew from a movement of three people to a collection of different people in the society. From photgraphy clubs, to mountaineering organizations, private individuals and tourists alike.

There are a lot of ways to help. One could just literally send in a pencil and that will be counted as a great assistance already. Others tend to adopt-a-box for companies and other institutions abd be returned filled with school supplies. providing cash donations will also help. The more adventurous individuals can be sherpas that will help carry the items to be distributed to the target community. Normally the objective communities are in far flung regions so one is expected to shell out his or her own transportation fees and at least be able to walk long distances and climb steep terrain. Corporate partnerships are very much welcome.

As for me, I am reblogging this. I hope I am able to help by doing this. And I hope a lot of people will be able to read this also. Maybe this will help in making them realize that they too can do something on their own by helping the Black Pencil Project or by doing something else on their own. I am also trying to make contact with a local group in my hometown right now. Who knows, maybe we can adopt one box.

To learn more about the Black Pencil Project, you can visit their website or click here.

Calamias Childhood Memories


I happen to see from FB some relatives whom I have not seen in a while. It so happened that these guys used to live two houses away from our own house in our hometown. Now they are far off living Down Under. After browsing some of their pictures, nostalgia started to creep.

The place where we grew up in is a little barrio in a small town of Ibaan, Batangas. Everybody knows everyone as almost all are of blood relatives. It is almost as if the whole barrio was owned by our "mamay sa tuhod" who I think the name is Guillermo Rabino. I used to hear stories of him like when he is at odds with someone, he would tell him not to set foot on his land or else something might happen. The threathened will then have to go around the whole barangay just to go to what is beyond our great grandfathers domain.

As young kids, we had nothing to do as there used to be no internet, phone lines were only connected during the latter part of the '90s. The main source of income for most people are farming and the usual "paglalako". And so as kids we got used to playing in the fields, swimming in a very very small river and playing backyard games. The closest guys I grew up with are my cousins. These guys are mostly my second cousins. The bunch of us used to call ourselves the Paltik Gang. The oldest among us I think was about 11 years old only when we started to call ourselves such. Paltik is how we in our area of Batangas calls a slingshot. I had fond memories of those days when we would go from fields to fields playing like soldiers armed with slingshots. We will always target our grandfathers fruitbearing trees most especially the mangoes during summer. It is also during summer when we always get to setup a mini-beach in our area locally called "layon". Since the only flowing river that we have in our place is narrow and not deep at all, what we used to do was to create some sort of a dam that will allow the water to overflow into the banks. We would then pile more and more rocks along the waters path to make it deeper. I remember how these mini-dams were given names like Julian Beach, Arong Beach, Haba-Kipot etc. But there was always danger in putting such dams everytime. This is from our palu-palo wielding kakang's, tita's, tiya's, ate's and lola's. This is because the same narrow river is also the place where our older women relatives are washing clothes. And by us doing the dams this creates tension as the water normally gets muddy whenever we youngsters are doing our little picnics. We are not allowed to dive into the water as long as they are not finished. Oh I cannot count anymore how many times Kakang Soledad and Ate Nita (not my mother) would come after us wielding their "pambugbog" because we used to constantly disregard this unwritten rule. Now that I am thinking about it, "hehhehe sorry po".

Ohhh there are lots of stories, beautiful and exciting, and all these I miss so much. Not that I again will run after jeepneys at night naked like what we used to do when we were young. It is just that these memories should be kept and should be told to our grandkids also. I miss being young and living the life that our lolo's taught us. One day though, I promise, I will write a book about all those experiences. And that will be complete with all the characters involve especially the the members of the Paltik Gang.
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