Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Forensic Files Is Entertaining And Important

The Author of this post is Freddy Savage

Have you ever seen Forensic Files? I love this show. Even the music at the beginning is creepy, but in a good way. It has this tone that's saying there is bad out there, but we're going to catch the bad guy. I get really pumped up when I hear that music. The first thing I do is grab a snack, then I shut the lights out and get comfortable. Since Forensic Files is on late, my wife is almost always asleep by then. I enjoy watching television with her, but I also like to be alone once in a while, so I really appreciate this time of day. Forensic Files is on at 11 p.m. where I live. If I hadn't been watching something else prior to it, I will switch on my cable just to make sure I catch it. This means I won't get to sleep until midnight on a weeknight, but it's worth being tired the next day. There's always coffee.

Forensic Files comforts me more than anything else. It's a clear indicator that with the rapid advancements in science, killers will not be able to get away with murder anymore. Forensic Files has also shown many instances where the wrong person would have been accused if today's science was not available. This is more than sad for the wrongly accused of the past, but at least we're about to put a stop to that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The TRUTH about the Quirino Bloodbath

I was shocked to hear about the recent tragic incident in the Philippines. I learned about it in FB by the way and not in news. Silly me. I was busy lately and have not watched the news attentively. Attentively means... the TV was on and I was either blogging or doing chores... so I wasn't paying attention to the news on TV.

Anyway, I just googled about it and found different versions of the incident. I read all the comments and exchange of opinions in FB and I was looking for something more. Well, I just wanted to know the truth and I don't trust the Media on that department. They always sensationalize everything.

Philippine Police storms the bus during hostage crisis - Photo from CNN/Getty Images

As I searched, I found A Letter of Apology from a Filipino Teenager about the Hostage Tragedy and read on. I was astounded by the 15-year old student who wrote the letter. His wisdom and understanding of the impact of the tragedy to our country is far beyond his age and status. That is why I posted that Letter of Apology in my other blog.

And as I was reading all the comments, I was trying to find something that makes sense. I was amazed how people react to the incident. Prejudice seemed to be a cheap commodity. People are too opinionated and can easily pass judgment. So I kept on reading and I can feel my Filipino blood boiling as some commenter wrote things that they have no knowledge of. At any rate, I decided to exit from the page and do blogging.

As I was about to do that, I scrolled down to know if there were still some comments that really make sense... and I found this!


Postcripts To A BloodBath
by Eric Po on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 1:14pm

Mr. Mendoza was already upset even before he saw on television what the policemen did to his brother. The other tourists who remained inside the bus were complaining. Wei Ji Jiang wanted to go to the bathroom. Dao Chi Yu was hungry and the rest were just groaning and whining like they have forgotten that our lives rest in Mr. Mendoza's hands. The hostage taker, as you know him was really nice. He treated us okay and even let the elders and the children leave the bus. He said your policemen treated him unfairly. He was a policeman too and was accused of doing something he had no knowledge of. But your government didn't listen so he used us to get everyone's attention. Things would have never turned for the worst if he didn't see how his family was dragged out of their house and taken into custody. He was watching the news all the time as we huddled around each other behind the bus. He shouted some words in your language then started shooting in the air. A girl about my age started screaming. Mr. Mendoza demanded her to stop but she didn't understand English. God, he had to slash her neck with a knife just to put her to rest. Her boyfriend who tried to hit him was shot in the head. Tension was rising. You can see in his face how scared and confused he was. The bus driver ran away leaving him alone with strangers from a distant land. I can see him walking across the aisle, sometimes pointing his machine gun to one of the tourists. But he tried his best not to hurt us, especially those who really cooperate. I guess its in your nature not to inflict pain on others unless it was necessary. I remember him saying that he will free us before sundown and implored us to forget everything when we return home. But his words don't matter now. The policemen were trying to force their way in, while we all lied down to shield ourselves from bullets. Mister Mendoza blindly shoots at his enemies which I think kept them from rescuing us. I hear sobs under the chairs. Some were even shouting the names of their loved ones even when the air merely eat their words. Kevin Tang tried to escape when the glass door was was shattered, but one shot and he slumped on the floor with blood gushing from his mouth. Heavy rain pitter-pattered on the rooftop. In old Chinese saying, it means an end to a struggle. Finally, somebody was able to open the escape hatch at the back of the bus. Freedom. But I knew Mister Mendoza was still alive. I knew he was just waiting for a chance to strike back at his enemies. So I told those around me not to escape. Let the authorities come for us instead. Then there was gunfire. He was firing at his enemies with a machine gun. Those who were at the escape hatch fled abandoning us once again. It's like a nightmare with no end and to wake up means a certain death. Then somebody from outside the bus threw a canister. It forced out a black smoke that is so painful to the eyes and putrid smelling to the nose. People started screaming. We cannot breathe. Some ran in front of the bus but Mister Mendoza warned them of stray bullets. It was too late. One was hit on the head, the other was hit on the shoulders. Bullets were now flying. Its like the authorities thought we were all dead. Mister Mendoza finally admits his mistake and said sorry to everyone, dead or alive. He then ran towards the front of the bus where he would meet his maker. As he passed by my chair with bullets whistling overhead, I clutched my hand on the velvet curtain and wrapped it around my face. All I could think of was to stay alive - for my child who is waiting for me back in Xinjang.
I know I will survive, I will come home.

-Bang Lu Min Survivor, Quirino Bloodbath

To Mr. Eric Po,

Whoever you are, you definitely shed light to the tragic incident. You are the bearer of truth in my own opinion. As a witness and as a hostage, I could imagine your fear. But I couldn't imagine the trauma that the incident had inflicted on you. The healing process my take years or forever. I know that when you planned your vacation in the Philippines... you planned it in good faith. You chose the Philippines as your destination because you have a certain knowledge of our country. And it was not stated in your itinerary that you will encounter this tragedy. No one plans it. We are all victims directly and indirectly.

It is just sad that lives were sacrificed for a cause that is unimaginable or pointless. But who am I to judge. I just hope that you will find in your heart the faith to see my country as you have seen it before you packed your luggage. I also hope that someday, you will be able to encourage your child to visit the Philippines  without a hint of doubt and fear.

Thank God that you are one of the lucky tourists who survived. This is your second lease on life and I pray that you will be able to live life to the fullest. Let us pray for your countrymen who were not able to see the beauty of my country. Let us pray for their families too that they may be able to accept their fate and learn how to forgive. And help us to pray for our country too. We need it more than anything else. Take care and God Bless you more.


Planning A Birthday Party Online Is As Easy As Pie

Posted by Arden Wallace

Planning a birthday party online is as easy as pie, all you have to do is type in a phrase like birthday party plans, and you'll find several sites to begin your search. You may be looking for a theme birthday party for your child or even an exciting or glamorous party for an adult.

I like to use my Internet service I found from hughesnet internet packages to get online, because it's easy and fast to. I can find everything that I need right at my fingertips. When I need to find plans for birthday parties, or get together with friends natural beauty could go online. Choose the team that I need to get all the supplies napkins, plates, cups and decorations whatever he is the need to make the party is best it can be.

I remember when I planned a party for my daughter. It was her fifth birthday and I got her favorite television character as the theme for her party. She loved it. She got plates and cups and napkins and little characters to go on top of her cake. She was thrilled. I had looked all over our town and could not find what I was looking for. I wish I had started on hughes internet to begin with, it sure would've saved me a lot of time.

My Way of Relaxing

After a long day, isn’t it nice to just relax and watch TV? I know it is not a big deal but lots of people are fine with that.

Watching TV is the easiest way to relax. I can vicariously go to a lot of exciting places and get transported to paradise when I am watching feel-good movies.

It is a good thing that I have LocalTV-Satellite I can enjoy watching Discovery Travel Channel and be amazed at the wonderful world that I don’t even know exist. I enjoy watching culinary shows where I learn lots of new exciting recipes that I can cook and serve to my family. And when I have time, I also watch Fit Channel from Direct TV where I can follow and do my exercises to keep me fit. Oh I so love the Belly Dancing routine. I don’t feel like I was exercising because it’s like I am just dancing. It is indeed relaxing.

And of course, it is just perfect when Hubby and I cuddle in front of the TV watching our CSI and NCIS marathon on weekends. That is why aside from, I need to have my stock of microwaveable popcorn.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Promising Career

Have you heard about CCNA? CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. It is a new kind of career certification that deals with modern technology. And since we all know the importance of the internet, I bet this is indeed the most sought-after job position in the next couple of years. Why not? Modern technology is inevitable. There is no way that we are going back to ice age. We need to move forward.

Let me quote here what I learned about CCNA from their website:

CCNA certification is a second-level Cisco Career certification. CCNA certification validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN[1].

In other words, CCNA is indeed a legitimate career that one can invest in to have a better future. CCNA career is not just a small time course. It is a course offers by an intense training school that prepares their students for the certification. CCNA training and CCNA boot camp provide the most comprehensive skill development and hands-on approach to CCNA and CCENT certification in the field. This will ensure that each student is well-equipped, well-prepared and ready to take the examination for the certification and will guarantee high percentage of passing.

In this present economy we need to think what kind of skill one needs to secure a better future. We need job that will not only help us pay bills but will help us get a career that we can be proud of and help others. And with this in mind, a bright future is indeed not far behind.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Surviving Cancer

It has been a year now since my dearest friend was diagnosed with cancer. After 4 months of her diagnosis she passed away. She died a few months after my favorite cousin died of cancer too. It was devastating to me. It was such a tough year for me. I was inconsolable. I was scared of my life too because I know cancer knows no boundaries. It can affect anyone. And I was in search for an answer.

The answer came a year too late for my friend and my dear cousin. I found the answer from another friend’s blog. She talked about Paul Kraus’ book – Surviving Mesothelioma and other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide. Though the book does not claim that it can cure cancer patients… it is indeed an eye opener for both the cancer patient and the caregiver. It gives a light of hope for people with cancer and their loved ones. I just wished that I’ve known about it earlier so that I could have at least given a little hope to my friend and cousin.

Living with mesothelioma or with a mesothelioma victim is heartbreaking. The pain and the challenges can weaken both the patient and the caregiver. But we all know that there is hope for people with mesothelioma. And since Mesothelioma Disease is contacted through exposure to asbestos, people who were exposed to it have the right for a Mesothelioma Lawyer. So if you know that you or your loved ones have been exposed to asbestos a Mesothelioma Attorney can help you face legal challenges. These lawyers specialize in mesothelioma cases and are endorsed by former clients for their extraordinary performance because they have achieved impressive settlements for them.

Life is short and life is too precious to give up. If you think that you are not fairly treated, you have the right to fight for your life.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sweet Tooth Mode

I have not cooked for a little while. That is because I am plain lazy. Lately I depended so much from Hubby's breakfast in bed or my friend Medy's Pinoy fixings or any of the menu from the different Chinese Restaurants around my place. And when none of the above was really available for me... I just fixed myself any left-over and popped it in the microwave.

But yesterday, I had this uncontrollable urge to cook up something I have been craving for such a long time... Ginataang Mais na may Langka. [Corn and Jackfruit in coconut milk]

Well, I have no time to take the step-by-step photos of the entire cooking procedure because I was really lazy hungry... so I just have one photo - the finished product.

Here is the recipe if you want to have a different desert of the weekend.

2 cups of grated sweet corn
1 cup chopped jackfruit [langka]
1 cup milk
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup sugar

Mix all ingredient in a pan and bring to boil. Simmer until liquid is reduced to half or until it thickens. Serve hot or cold.

There you go, happy weekend everyone and don't forget to laugh.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Confessions of a real-life shopaholic

Guest post written by Courtney Felton

I’m a self-proclaimed shopaholic, so when the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic” came out I knew I had to watch it. I did and it was adorable and really funny. Isla Fisher was also a bit of an extreme example of ashopaholic and even though I knew I wasn’t that bad it made me realize my spending ways too.

Then I kind of forgot about the movie until I came across the paperbacks the movie was based upon in a used bookstore. I, of course, snatched them up and read them cover to cover.

After I read them, I became a little more aware of my spending again and looked up wildblue internet pricing to see if I could get a better deal on my internet provider to help cut costs a little, even if I wasn’t going to cut back in my handbag part of my budget. I found the wildblue satellite internet service and switched over to it immediately.

I doubt I’ll forgo shopping anytime soon, but at least I can know I’m saving a little bit on utilities.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tickets for Fun

I finally booked my flight to California online. It wasn’t that hard and I was able to get the best seat in the plane too. Yes, I will finally have my dream vacation with my cousin in LA and have fun watching the Black Label Society at the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood and Tom Jones at the Hollywood Theater in MGM Grand in Vegas. Well, how much fun can we have when I already bought those tickets online too? It means that we are all set in our musical episode.

Well, my cousin had our itinerary all planned out so the only thing I need to worry about is to have fun. My only concern is that I hope I will have lots of time and loads of fun things to do with my cousin in LA because we have not seen each other for decade.

And speaking of fun, yes, I also got tickets for the Clippers, my cousin’s BF’s favorite team and of course, for the Lakers so she can watch her huge crush – Kobe. Well, we are not going to watch all of their games all at the same time I just bought the tickets online and will bring them as my gift.

I also got 2 tickets for my favorite Celtics so Hubby and I can watch the game when I get back from the trip. 

Bloggers Peace of Mind

I have about 5 active blogs to date. So you can imagine how hard it is to maintain and monitor their progress and activities. It’s hard to keep up with them especially in the aspect of plagiarism. I was once a victim and so I signed up with Blog Copy for my peace of mind.

Bloggers agree… written words are priceless. So get yourselves protected from word-stealers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Liliw's Lanzones Season

We don’t have apple trees in the Philippines and the apples that we buy locally are all imported from other countries like China [which is the most common], Japan [for Fuji apples but I was just guessing I just made the conclusion because Mt. Fuji is in Japan, hahahaha] and USA [for the delicious apples variety. But again I was just guessing… I am not an expert in fruits and have no friends who are into importing apples so I have no clue]. And you can find apples in the markets, groceries and fruit stalls all over the country… all year-round.

Since it is a tropical country, most fruits that are grown locally are tropical fruits, of course. We have lots of fruits that can be found in other countries too, most especially from our neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. And most fruit trees we have in the country originated from some of these countries or vice versa.

During this time of the year… the most common fruit that you can find in the Philippines and most specifically in our little town in Liliw – is lanzones. It is a kind of fruit which is yellowish in color when it is ripe. They grow from lanzones trees, of course. They are round and grow in bunches like grapes. When you open it… the fruit’s white flesh is in section. It has seeds in it which is bitter when you bite, so don’t under any circumstances bite on it. It is odorless. It is sweet. And it is an anti-oxidant [that I found out only now when I googled it].

Lazones season in the Philippines is from August to October. But usually there are still some trees that bear the fruits as late as November. And they are only available in the market during those months. But unlike here in the US where you can pick your own fruits from the orchard, in the Philippines… you pick your fruits from the fruit stands or fruit section in the grocery. Or maybe you can in other places but in my town, it is very uncommon.

Lazones is one of the most popular fruits in the Philippines and they can be costly. There are some places in the country where they celebrate Lazones Festival as a way of celebrating its abundance and as a tourist attraction.

We have lanzones trees in our yard. They were planted by my grandparents so many years ago. When we were younger, my brothers and I would lanzones in one sitting and threw the fruit skin in a "bilao" which Mom would put it out in the sun to dry. My mom would dry the fruit skin in the sun until it dried up and we used it as insecticide. My mom would burn the dried lanzones skins and the smoke will fill our house to choke the mosquitoes away. And during that session we would be out of the house too because we didn’t want to have the same fate as the mosquitoes. Hahahaha.

NOTE and Photo Credits: Special Thanks to Benzer Brul for all photos and to Kabayan KaLiliw where the images are copied.


 This is regular weekly post for MY PHILIPPINES. For more interesting story about the beautiful "Pearl of the Orient"... click HERE.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tuk-Tuk in Natomas is the Epitome Fantastic Thai Cuisine in a Wonderful Atmosphere

Written by my friend Roosevelt Spence

In Sacramento, California, it's always great to spend a night eating out at one of my favorite local restaurants. One spot I never fail to visit with family or friends when I travel home is Tuk-Tuk in Natomas. It's fantastic Thai foodfor fair prices in an intriguing setting.

You can sit at traditional tables with chairs, or choose benches with comfortable pillows at Tuk-Tuk. There is a bar, heavy Thai-style decor, dim lighting that creates a relaxing mood, and television screens around the restaurant that scroll through various images and symbols of Thailand.

They have every kind of Thai dish you can think of, as well as some you may not know. I like to keep it simple with red curry--theirs is just perfect. Sometimes their pineapple fried rice (also delicious) comes served in a half-pineapple, which is always a tremendous treat.

Anybody who loves Thai food probably loves Thai Iced Tea, and you shouldn't leave Tuk-Tuk without trying a glass of theirs! It's a great refreshment after a long day. If you want a real treat, ask for it without milk sometime!

After eating out, it's nice to come home and relax. If anything were to go wrong while we were away, it would likely ruin the entire evening, which is why we're always sure to set our home alarm services before delighting our palette with the delicious Thai cuisine at Tuk-Tuk.

Reminders of Summer

Lens-Craft Day No.#9

Hayyy! It's too humid and muggy today. I wanted to go to my friend's place and feast on some Pinoy food but I don't want to drive.

Come to think of it, we only have few more weeks and summer is over and I have not taken a real rest yet. School will start again and I will be busy as a bee. So for now, I just did some editing on a manuscript that I was working on for almost 7 years now and went outside to take some photos in the backyard.

Here are the snapshots of one of the most interesting things in my backyard. What do you think? These are just a few reminders of what a wonderful summer we had this year.

Ahhhh.... summer!