Friday, June 29, 2007

What's New Today - June 29, 2007

Finally, the sleeping beauties woke up, (but the beasts haven't yet! joke, joke, joke)

All of a sudden, the egroup is once again active. But still, we still wonder what the reason is for the deep slumber of marybeth and captain rudy. We also await with anticipation the next posting of fely jacobs. So with bert, tess, rori (after his dagohoy posting), and ning-ning. We hope ed stays safe in jerusalem (wag mong gayahin iyong pres. ng israel who pleaded guilty to sex crimes and resigned).

As Nannette (Rose Cabusas-Yatco) promised, she sent me copies of the scanned pictures from our Yearbook. Now we were able to complete the graduation solo pictures of our batch, thanks to Nannette. She also sent me a copy of her beautiful sketch of the old DPS facade (electronic copy lang, not the real one). She's an artist masquerading as a dentist! (She's a dentist by profession.)

for the rest of the solo pictures, go to:

I also saw the collection of pictures of Camarines Norte by Job Elizes, one of the administrators of the If you want to see them, you can visit this site:

As to the recent events here, I think Vinzons celebrated its town fiesta, isn't it Alot? Today is also the installation of Msgr. Garcera as Bishop of Daet. On the political scene, tomorrow marks the end of the term of incumbent elected officials, that's why many of the newly elected ones are having their oath taking. But until now, one and a half months after the election, we still do not know who will be the 12th winning senator. Ang sarap pata_ in ng Commission on Election officials, lalo na iyong provincial election officer of the province of Maguindanao (na sobrang garapal ang pandaraya). Hay, while the citizens became more vigilant, mas naging garapal naman ang pandaraya!

Good morning! Welcome to the blog Ate Marynat. Finally, nakita mo na rin iyong blog! I hope you’ll visit this site regularly now and post your comments, too. You just have to register. You will be guided once you try posting your comments. Madali lang, mas mahirap iyong pag-piano, di ba piano virtuoso ka?

Today’s features come from an e-group which I recently joined – Our guest article today was written by Ms. Nanette Rose Cabusas-Yatco who also studied in Daet Parochial School, but graduated from the Camarines Norte High School. Her email to me will further bring back collective memories of our DPS’ past.

I am also posting an email from a member of the e-group who observed the disrespect for our flag and country by the Philippine Embassy itself in Washington, DC. I hope that you’ll also bring to the attention of authorities concerned similar such incidents in your places.

On a lighter mood, I’m also posting some quotations for the husbands (although, these may also apply to the wives, just change the gender of some of the words) taken from the same e-group.

On advocacy issues, after breast-feeding which is also being strongly supported by Danny, I would also like to promote two Filipino products/companies. This is not a paid advertisement, but for the Philippine-based members, I am strongly endorsing Hapee toothpaste. I’ve been using this for around two years now. This was mainly because I wanted to patronize quality pinoy products (cheaper pa in price, not quality). Hapeely, its Filipino producer (Lamoiyan Co) has survived and seems to be able to compete with the leading brands, like Colgate and CloseUp which closed their plants in the Phils and transferred to other Asian countries. Now, I found out that there’s another reason for patronizing it – it’s vision, mission and values. The company maintains a school for the hearing impaired and has a program for hiring the deaf as employees. It also provides housing facilities for its employees. Another company, I’m endorsing is Hen Lin, a food chain serving Chinese noodles and dimsum. This is also a Filipino firm which helps street children. Instead of ChowKing, try Hen Lin! Meron sa SM Mega Mall.

The Bienvenida and Despedida get together for Beth Perez pushed through yesterday, but without Beth. We waited for her call, just as she told me last Saturday evening that she'll contact us as soon as she gets to Manila (from Daet). Anyway, since we've already planned it (nabuyo nabaga), Ate Marynat was insistent (just like in our past get-togethers) that the Manila group see each other. It was a "big" group (almost)composed of Ate Marynat, Alot, and me. See the picture, and find out why it was a "big" group. It was Ate Marynat's treat. Nag-aagawan pa sila ni Alot, because Alot revealted that she just turned 48 (younger than danny) last June 10, so it was also a belated birthday celebration. So maski na in-IDNANI kami ni Beth, nag-enjoy pa din kami.

Danny, both Alot and Ate Marynat 'claim' that they have been religiously reading all the emails and are very disappointed whenever there is no new posting at all! Ha? Alot has a reason - this June, she's been back to Vinzons twice, first was when her aunt got seriously ill, and the following week, when her aunt died. Si Ate Marynat, e .... nagbabasa naman daw siya, tinatamad lang magsulat. Kukunin na lang daw niya akong PRO. Wow, hebi-gat!

So, the mysteries that have to be solved by Danny are why Marybeth has totally stopped communicating after their honeymoon in Hawaii, and why Captain Rudy has remained silent for more than a month now. What about Men, she's been silent these past few days, paki-kumusta na lang sa skype Danny, baka may sakit siya or a member of her family (hopefully, not!).

For more pictures of the get-together of alot, marynat and toti, visit:

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History 101

Next time you wash your hands and complain that the water temperature isn't just the way you like it, think about the way things used to be...real, honest to goodness facts about the 1500s:

1. Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

2. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it-hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

3. Houses had thatched roofs -- thick straw -- piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats annd other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof-hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

4. There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

5. The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying, "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway -- hence, a "thresh hold."

6. In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.

Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while-hence the rhyme, "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old,"

7. Sometimes, they could obtain pork. This would make them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

8. Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes. So, for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

9. Most people did not have pewter plates, but did have trenchers. They are a piece of wood, with the middle scooped out, to form a bowl.

However, trenchers were often made from stale bread, which was so old and so hard, they could be used for quite some time. These trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. And after eating off these wormy, moldy, trenchers, people would get "trench mouth."

10. Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, which was called the "upper crust."

11. Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up--hence the custom of holding a "wake!"

12. England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground, and tie it to a bell.

Then someone would sit in the graveyard, all night long (on the graveyard shift") and listen for the bell; thus, the expression, he or she was "saved by the bell" or considered a "dead ringer."

And that's the truth...whoever said, "History was boring?!"

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Guest BlogPost from Nanette Rose Cabusas-Yatco

Hi Joe,

I also studied at DPS from 1964-1972 (kinder to 2nd year high school) but transferred to CNHS so that's where I graduated from High school. I never lost contact though with my classmates from DPS-LACO. My sister Edna Cabusas is two years younger than you I guess and my brother Cocong is 2 years older than I am. I read your blog and I enjoyed reading it. It brought back memories of school days at DPS and I'm amazed at how vividly I still could remember how the classrooms looked like, the library, the laboratory room and I also remember how good your batchmate Ed Canela was back then.. it's easy to recognize him, the science whiz of your time. Also I think you were one of those who were very active in the student council (am I right?) I remember the Venida sisters as we have a Venida in our batch too.. Mendy is the sister of another classmate of mine. Marybeth Regalario is so pretty it's hard to miss her. Anabel is visible in Daet as she was active at the church choir (I'm not sure if she till is). Fechie is also the sister of our classmate Alex.

I don't know why I could clearly remember up to now some familiar names and faces and school activities when actually we were still in grade school at the time your batch graduated.

I remember the convocations, the spelling , oratorical and singing contests. I remember the campaigns for the student council . Also the science fair. We had all sorts of memorable school activities like plays, rosary parade... I think there was also this animal parade.Halloween was well- celebrated too. Our creativities were challenged in the costumes and the classroom decorations during that affair.We also had programs during th UN celebration and we see those chosen to represent the countries of their choice in their very colorful costumes.

I even recall seeing the COCC initiations for the qualifying of WAS and ROTC officers. I saw there one student who was asked to eat sili and her face was all red from the anghang. Also there were school bands which we call "Combo" back then.Basketball was also very "in" that time and were there cheering squads?

Our biggest celebration was "Foundation Day" and Msgr. Reganit was the main character being given recognition. We would always as kids anticipate the "alamusa" of money and candies on that day.

I also remember the houses which were in the school campus where we used to pass by . They were the Alarcon and Bordado homes. We used to have merienda at the Alarcon's and we would rent "komiks" like Liwayway and Hiwaga.

Anybody of you remember Pipo the dog that the nuns took care of ?

You mentioned Ms Ayubo, I also remember her teaching piano (and ballet too?). And Mr. Idnani.... I remember hearing some of my sister's classmates singing... " A song of loyalty....bagsak sa history.... binagsak ni Idnani.

We had our 30th grand reunion last December 2004 and we had the chance to visit our Alma Mater too. MS. Nora was still there and Ms.Segui now Mrs Lunario didn't seem to age that much.If you know Ms. Carmelita Pena, she is my aunt.Ms. Penalosa came home from the US too to attend our class reunion. The school doesn't look the same although there was still a part that they haven't renovated yet. The memories though still echoes in our minds.

Reunions always bring back good old flashes of yesterday and it still gives us that unexplainable feeling that brings smile on our faces. And when classmates meet again....... no one really feels old . It's as if you''re always taken back in time and you feel like you're in that era again don't you agree? You forget that you've aged and in your mind you're still the same boy or girl back in school where most of the foundations for the future came from.

By the way, I happen to have a copy of the year book of your batch. I even made a sketch of the old DPS building because my classmate Ana Cootauco-Olaivar ( Class1974) requested me to do it for her, and Agnes Aquino -Tan used that sketch in their class website.One of my cousins gave it to me and have kept it. I saw your batch pictures.... . such beautiful and handsome faces. I've wanted to scan them so I can send it to your batch in case you don't have a copy but right now I couldn't find it. I'm quite sure though that one among your batch of saved it and have shown them to you during your reunion.

Nannette Rose Cabusas-Yatco

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The Philippine Flag is Pink and Lame in Washington, DC.

Washington , DC, the nerve center of the world and where all countries are officially represented in the USA should be where we should fly the right colors of the Philippines at all times. However, for the past three months, the Philippine flag has PINK instead of red in its tricolor. It also has been flying lamely from a short pole attached to a wall in one of our official buildings on Sheridan Circle along Embassy Row. I wonder if there is even one country in the world that would have the color pink in its flag.

I am talking about the Philippine Flag on the Ambassador's Residence. I pass this way everyday going to work and I feel frustrated each time I see the pink flag, however, wishfully-hoping that one of our foreign department staff would take notice and replace it with the right one, or maybe a new one. It is pink because it is old, faded and uncared for. It has become pink because of the apathy of your department staff in Washington, DC to even care about it.

Not being able to vent my frustration to my Swedish workmate, I decided to call the Embassy. It took me almost forever after dialing their number for the umpteenth time to be able talk to a quite-sensible- yet-quite- hostile person who introduced himself as Rico. My request, by way of a demand being a Filipino, was to fly the correct colors of the Flag --- and to fly the flag proudly. Four weeks later since that call and several days after our Independence Day and Rizal's birthday, we still have the same pink lame flag flying insignificantly on the flagstaff. What a total disrespect of the foreign affairs staff to the country and its people to whom they owe their service! How inadequate and inept can some people in the foreign service be!

It's embarassing! Vietnam's embassy is right beside our Ambassador's building and they're flying their bright red flag proudly. Across the road, Turkey has red in its flag, so does Romania, so does Korea. And the Philippines? ! Incredibly pink!

And by the way, I have photographs, too.Dr. Glenn Edwin SolisWashington, DC


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To the Happily Married GUYS (and Gals) .... and Happily Single

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.
Sacha Guitry

After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin; they just can't face each other, but still they stay together.
Hemant Joshi

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.

Woman inspires us to great things, and prevents us from achieving them.

The great question... which I have not been able to answer... is, "What does a woman want? Sigmund Freud

I had some words with my wife, and she had some paragraphs with me.

"Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays." Henny Youngman

"I don't worry about terrorism. I was married for two years."
Sam Kinison

"There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It's called marriage."
James Holt McGavran

"I've had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me, and the second one didn't."
Patrick Murray

Two secrets to keep your marriage brimming
1. Whenever you're wrong, admit it,
2. Whenever you're right, shut up.

The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once...

You know what I did before I married? Anything I wanted to.
Henny Youngman

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
Rodney Dangerfield

A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.
Milton Berle

Marriage is the only war where one sleeps with the enemy.

A man inserted an 'ad' in the classifieds: "Wife wanted". Next day he received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: "You can have mine."

First Guy (proudly): "My wife's an angel!"
Second Guy: "You're lucky, mine's still alive."


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Sunday, June 24, 2007

What's New Today - June 24, 2007

HAPPY FIESTA fellow Daetenos!

Last night I had the chance to talk with Boboy Ong and Beth Perez. The Daet group is in Beth's house for another get together/reunion cum bienvenida for elizabeth. At the time I called up, those who were already there aside from Boboy were Dorset, Maning, Jibong Zano, Efren Mago, Mendy and Yoly. Mendy will send us the photos (I hope she can just upload them in our e-group, instead of sending hard copies. By the way, I still have the pictures intended for Bert, Rori, Felino, Rudy and Ed.)

I still didn't get the info on Beth's work in Japan. Her vacation is very short. She's going back to Japan on Tuesday. If Manila group wants to meet her, the only opportunity is on Monday. Tess already informed that she would not be available, she's leaving for Naga. Bert will also be out of town. Marynat and Alot, are however, available. I'll follow up Rori and request Alot to call up Baby/Nemia (may atraso ako dun, I did not attend her party for May).

I'm posting the History of Daet, Camarines Norte for those who are interested, like Danny who's fond of museums..... and churches!!

Aside from Daet, other places also celebrating their fiesta today are the City of Manila, City of San Juan (yes, San Juan, Rizal is now a city), Calamba City, Camalig, Albay and Sipocot, Camarines Sur.

Good Morning.

I received a text message from Boboy Ong, informing me that Beth Perez is in town. She's inviting them/us (class 67) to their house today, the eve of Daet's town fiesta. How he wished that those of us in Manila could come for the get-together with Elizabeth, and for the town fiesta. I hope, they will not forget to have photo 'ops'/kodakan so we'll see how Beth is now. Ano kaya ang ginawa niya sa Japan? (My communication with Boboy and even Mendy was cut-off last night because I lost my cellphone - for the nth time - on my way home. To think that while on board the tricycle, I suddenly remembered that I was wearing casual pants (pang-opisina) and not maong pants, where it would be easy for the cellphone to slide out of the pocket. This already happened to me several times. Yet, when I got off, I forgot about it, because I was carrying four grocery bags. I realized that I lost my cellphone again after I have put the groceries in the cabinet and ref. I couldn't recall the face of the tricycle driver, nor the tricycle. Welcome alzh...!)

We also received an email from Ed Canela together with his photos in Montenegro. I am posting some of the pictures here, but the complete set is posted in our photo gallery.

I'm also reposting the inspirational article sent by Ed yesterday.

Tomorrow, in honor of the feast day of St. John the Baptist, and Daet's town fiesta, I'll be posting the history of Daet.

June 21, 2007

I find this headline of a tabloid very amusing, catchy, and descriptive of the event being reported. This refers to the rally in front of the Supreme Court by breast-feeding advocates, where ten of them bared their breasts to catch the attention of the public. Yesterday was the oral argument of a case filed by the Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines asking the court to declare the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the MILK CODE unconstitutional. You see, the Department of Health came out with an IRR which bans all advertisements of infant formula. The Dept of Health's argument is that these advertisements are misleading, and that the government's budget to promote breastfeeding is no match to the milk companie's advertising and promotions budget which goes up to billions of pesos. Infant formula is not banned under the MILK CODE. What the government is banning is its advertisement. Milk companies' argument is that the IRR violates the public's right to free flow of information. I take the DOH's position on this issue. Ituloy ang dibdibang laban. The Unicef and the World Health Organization are supporting the DOH position. What about in the US, is advertising of infant formula allowed? Breast milk is best for babies. I'm sure that Danny would support the cause of breast-feeding, with or without milk!

I searched the web for Montenegro and its capital, Podgorica, where Ed is right now. I got something, and I am posting it here so we can have an appreciation of Ed's location.

Pahabol. Part of our feature on Filipino achievers is the speech of Franklin Barcelona Tan, the Filipino who was chosen to deliver the student's address at the Harvard's Law School's commencement exercises last June 7, 2007.

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History of Daet

Daet is an ancient settlement. Its history dates back from the time the Tabon cave men, from either Kalanay Caves of Masbate or Kagraray cave in Albay, escaped from the cruel government of their Rajah. The myth about the Malayan traders as the first people in the Bikol region is fast being debunked by the recent excavations made in the Kalanay and Kagraray caves. As these findings from archeologists indicate, Malayan settlers came later.

In 1571, when Juan de Salcedo and his party came to the Bikol region in quest of gold, they discovered that Daet was already a thriving settlement. The Spaniards noted that the houses were clustered together for safety and protection. Thus, the word Daet was derived from the Bicol word “dait-daitan” which means “close to each other”.

A popular legend among the people of Camarines Norte and Daet, is the legend of the first abaca plant. According to the legend, the Spanish king exiled a certain Spanish nobleman, Marquis de Camarines. He was believed to have carried the first abaca plant during his travel via the Acapulco - Manila galleon. He was also believed to be one of those selected to plant abaca in the Bicol region. Nevertheless, the experiment was successful because the Bicol region became the source of the abaca fiber exported and loaded in the galleons (Manila-Acapulco galleon trade) which went on for almost 250 years.

Also, according to the legend, the Marquis de Camarines fell in love with a Filipina beauty. Their union resulted in a long line of blood relations which linked some families in Daet until today. One of these is the Dela Estrada family who helped implement the development plan of Daet. The Dela Estrada family reportedly shared in the infrastructure development of Daet which included the Catholic Church, the old Spanish bridges, the culverts, and the palatial mansions. Some of them still exist.

From 1565 to 1818, Daet was raided by Moros from time to time. The present municipalities of Basud and Mercedes suffered the greatest. Many either died or became captives. Because of the raids, the Spaniards fortified Basud and Mercedes. The fort ruins and Spanish cannons are now buried under mounds of sand. It was believed that the bells used in announcing the coming of the Moros were also buried under the fortifications.

Until the end of the Spanish regime, the barrio and surrounding territory of Barangay Calasgasan was an independent municipality. It was later merged with Daet after the American liberation. The oldest hacienda, covering almost 400 hectares planted to abaca, is found in this barrio where the municipal site once stood. However, this remains to be proven by researchers.

During the revolutionary government, the last and most bloody clash with the Spaniards was the encirclement of the Spanish forces and civilians of the Casino de los Espa񯬥s. With great expectation, the Bikolanos were waiting for the coming of General Lukban who finally arrived in September 1898. Before his arrival, the Spaniards from Daet fled to Mercedes and boarded the ship Serantes. At the time, the local insurrectos were restless and itched for action. Ildefonso Moreno, unmindful of the risks to his life, gave the signal to strike but died when Arana fired his pistol in retaliation. In the ensuing moments, many of the Spaniards left for Mercedes. It was reported that they bayoneted the Filipino soldier they brought along with them before sailing for Iloilo.

Later, General Lukban turned over the reins of the provisional Philippine government to Don Valeriano Cua, municipal captain. He also assigned Capt. Antonio Sanz and a garrison force to defend Daet in case of Spanish reprisal.

Don Antonio Sanz, sector commander and officer of the revolutionary forces, inspired the erection of the first monuments built in the Philippines in memory of Dr. Jose Rizal. This monument is found at the corner of Plaza Rizal Libertad of Daet. Unfortunately, the people of Daet forgot their own Bikolano hero, Jose Maria Panganiban, who died much earlier in Barcelona, Spain on August 19,1880 (???). Other revolutionary heroes who were accorded honors were: Tomas Zaldua (last of the capitanes) and Jose Aba񯮠They were tortured for their refusal to reveal the plot to overthrow the Spanish government. A certain Don Aniceto was also burned alive in the public plaza of Daet together with six martyrs on Easter Sunday in April 1898.

On March 4, 1900, the American forces came aboard the Steamer Venus without any resistance. Two companies under the over-all command of Gen. Bates made their garrison at the town. Antonio Sanz, the commander of the revolutionary force, surrendered as has previously been arranged in Camarines Sur (Daet was still under Ambos Camarines).

Under the American regime, the town was developed under the new order. A civil government was established with Juan Pimentel Y. Campos as the first Municipal President. Later, he became the first Provincial Governor of Ambos Camarines.

While Daet regained the old Calasgasan during the Spanish period, it however, lost the big barrios. These were Basud in 1911 and Mercedes in 1918. They were later created as new municipalities.

Daet today is no longer the sleepy town of yesteryears. Daet is not only the center of commerce and industry but likewise the center of government, education and health services in the province.
From the Camarines Norte Website

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Music Trivia

For the singing afficionados, just like us, try guessing the titles of these songs.
Go to
According to Violeta/Ning-ning, magaling kumanta si Irma. Tingnan nga natin Imay kung anong score mo!

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ed Canela in Podgorica, Montenegro

Hello Toti,

Here's a set of the Monte Photos that you requested. I have to go to Budva, some 45 minutes from Podgorica to see this place where some (only some) shots were taken for the Casino. I just learned that most of shots, including the palaces were from Czech Republic...I will try and target thisfor my next destination (I wonder how?). Ok lang ang Budva. Beach place in the Med. Plenty of nice ladies from Europe and Russia. As they are just beginning the summer, gee everyone is rushing to the beach to be "seen".

Ganda ditto P're. Today, at 9:00 I will meet the government officials (one deputy Minister) to discuss the job of the Ombudsperson for the Private Sector and how much they will cost....I hope that I can make some convincing statements...Hugsssss muna to you and everyone else who cares...he, he, he. Bakasyon kayo rito...

Ed Canela

Balik ako sa Vienna, Austria bukas ng hapon and then fly to Tel Aviv (Jerusaleem, correct spelling to!) on Monday am for ten days. Here I would need everyone's prayers....shalom!

for more pictures of Ed in Montenegro, visit:

From the web:

Exotic landscapes are not always distant and hidden. In the heart of the Mediterranean, separated from Italy by the Adriatic sea , this small country is waiting for you. This little known country is only an hour flight from Rome or Budapest , one hour and a half from Zurich , and then your Montenegrin adventure can begin.


Come to escape the tempo of the country contemporary lifestyle and enjoy the natural beauty.

Make the most of your time and come to enjoy an abundance of experiences. Feel the adrenaline surge while rafting down the Canyon of the Tara river, the deepest canyon in Europe . Enjoy in the virgin beauty of Biogradska gora, the last virgin forest in Europe. Feel the beat of arcadian life in Kotor Bay, the southernmost fjord in the world, and something wonderful happen to you.

You can choose to explore one of the 117 sandy beaches on the Adriatic sea, renaissance coastal towns or peaceful mountain scenes beside glacial lakes.

Discover a part of the undiscovered, on which the unique seductiveness of Montenegro rests, when conquering the irresistible peaks of Durmitor mountain.

Cruise along the largest lake and the biggest bird reservation in Europe - Skadar Lake. Experience the special dimension found in the particular combination of ethnics and aesthetics which are the soul of Montenegro.

Podgorica, situated on the banks of six rivers, is developing the characteristics of a modern European city. It is the metropolitan and administrative center of Montenegro. After looking at its new buildings, a visitor may think the city has just appeared on the banks of the Moraca, Ribnica, Zeta, Sitnica, Mareza and Cijevna rivers. Behind the modern city you can easily notice the signs of a long tradition. Just walk down any street in the city center, like Hercegovacka Street.

Two thousand years ago, at the mouth of the rivers Ribnica and Moraca, there was the Illyrian and Roman town of Birziminium. Where the Zeta river merges with the Moraca river lies the remains of beautiful Duklja, an attractive archeological excavation site. In 1326 Podgorica was named after the hill Gorica, which was settled in the north part of the city. From 1946 until 1990 it was officially called Titograd. One sees the best picture of old Podgorica while visiting the settlement of Varos. It is dominated by the high stone Sat-kula (Clock-tower), which is like a lighthouse and is another symbol of the city.

Podgorica is located at 44 meters above sea level, and only a hundred kilometers away from the famous coast resorts and the very attractive winter tourist center on Bjelasica. In only a two-hour drive, water skiing can be replaced by skiing on snow! Not far away from the city is Scadar lake, which together with the sunny Zetska valley is a real garden of heaven. The climate provides excellent wines, like Vranac and Procorden, as well as the excellent rakija or grape brandy, called “water of life”.

Comfortable guest accommodations include the hotels "Crna Gora”, “Podgorica”, “Ljubovic” and “Premier Montenegro”, as well as numerous small, private hotels in and near the town. As an open trade center, Podgorica offers a large variety of first-class imported clothes, primarily from Italy. While shopping you can visit some of the restaurants in Podgorica where you can try some of the traditional meals. You can also visit one of the galleries, theaters, museums, and archives. In a city of 169 100 people, a visitor can quickly feel the hospitality of this pro-European metropolis.

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Today I Will Make a Difference!

by Max Lucado

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It's OK to stumble. I will get up. It's OK to fail. I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with
my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

From Shaped by God

Copyright (Tyndale House, 2002)

Max Lucado

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Franklin Barcelona Tan's Commencement Speech, Harvard Law School

Young Filipino lawyer addresses Harvard law grads
06/06/2007 10:33 PM

A young Filipino lawyer taking up his masteral studies in law at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been given the honor to deliver the student address at the school’s commencement ceremonies on Thursday, June 7.

It is a rare chance that easily came for Oscar Franklin Barcelona Tan, 27 years old, and one of the 700 graduates of the prestigious law school's Batch 2007.

To be hand picked to give the commencement address may be rare opportunity, but Tan’s admission at Harvard law school has been considered uncommon in the first place.

Harvard’s law school has a record of not accepting fresh law graduates for its master’s program. But Tan was immediately admitted after he graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP) Law in 2005.

Harvard’s LLM program is a much-coveted prospect among UP law professors. Some sources even said that it is possible that Oscar Tan could have “knocked out" some professors who also vied for this school years’ LLM program.

Academic records show that Tan is an uncommon stock. His thirst for knowledge seems unquenchable. His interest in various academic fields is apparently limitless, and his drive for excellence eludes any description.

Before taking up law, he had been through various academic disciplines, reaping medals and honors. He excelled in Management Engineering, Economics, the natural sciences such as Botany and Zoology Physics.

He had been cited for excellence in mathematics.

He had bagged awards in writing contests. He used to be editor-in-chief of various student publications.

He had been cited for various social and community involvements. He is founding editor-in-chief of Ateneo Celadon Chinoy (student Chinese culture magazine). He is the first Filipino delegate to the China Synergy Program for Outstanding Youth.

In his draft commencement address, Oscar Tan encourages his classmates at Harvard to break the narrow sense of nationalisms of individual nationalities and to affirm that everyone is a citizen of the world.

In the concluding lines of the draft speech he says, “My friends – and this includes our American classmates who will soon lead the world’s lone superpower – let us transcend our individual nationalities and affirm that we are citizens of the world."

Family background

Tan’s family comes from Bacolod City and Escalante City, Negros Occidental. He grew up in Quezon City. The Franklin in his name was taken from outgoing Senator Franklin B. Drilon. Escalante City Mayor Santiago “Maymay" Barcelona, Jr is his uncle.

He is an associate at the Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (Accra) Law Offices, but he is on study leave.

His father, lawyer Edmundo L. Tan of the Tan Acut & Lopez Law firm, had no comment on his son’s selection to give the address, but said, “I will be there in Harvard on June 7 to congratulate my son personally and to share the moment with him."

His mother, Dr. Jesusa Barcelona Tan, is a dermatology consultant at the Hospital of the Infant Jesus in Sampaloc, head of the photo-dermatology unit, and former chair of the Department of Dermatology at the Jose T. Reyes Medical Center of the Department of Health.

Education highlights

Selected to speak at Harvard Law School 2007 commencement ceremonies

Accepted by Harvard Law School immediately after UP Law for studies in Constitutional and Securities Law,

Set record for legal writing awards in UP Law as Philippine Law Journal Chair and first Drilon legal writing scholar,

Assisted Dean Raul C. Pangalangan in landmark Supreme Court appearances as student researcher from 2002-2006,

Graduated from Ateneo de Manila’s two most difficult programs, Management Engineering and Economics Honors,

Contributed to Chinese-Filipino community as founder of Ateneo Celadon Chinoy and editor of Xavier Alumni Times, and

Proposed amendments to Party-List Act formula to fill up party-list seats, awarded UP Law’s Justice Mendoza prize

Harvard Law School (International Finance Concentration), Master of Laws (2007)

Studied Constitutional Law under prominent scholars Laurence Tribe (Constitutional Law) (most famous professor in Harvard Law School), Frank Michelman (Comparative Constitutional Law) and Justice Richard Goldstone (Comparative Constitutional Law)

Studied international finance-related subjects under prominent scholars Hal Scott (International Finance), Lucian Arye Bebchuk (Corporate Governance), Robert Glauber (Capital Markets Regulation), John Coates (Mergers & Acquisitions) and Allen Ferrell (Securities Regulation)

Joined Harvard Asia Law Society, Asia-Pacific Law Students’ Association and La Alianza (Latino Ass’n)

University of the Philippines, College of Law, Bachelor of Laws (Top Ten of Class) 2005

Set law school record of eight legal writing prizes (other graduating awardees received one)

Ateneo de Manila University, cum laude, double-major in Management Engineering / Economics Honors (2001)

Ateneo Merit Scholar (1997); exempted from 24 credits of natural sciences and pre-calculus subjects

Only student in 1997 to pass Botany and Zoology exemption exams; one of only three to pass Physics exam

Received permission to double-major beginning freshman year to avoid graduating early


First freshman awardee and first two-time awardee, Justice Irene C. Cortes Prize for Best Paper in Constitutional Law (2002, 2005)

First awardee (also Runner-Up), Justice Vicente V. Mendoza Prize for Best Critical Analysis of a Supreme Court Decision (2005)

Awardee, Professor Myres S. McDougal Prize for Best Paper in International Law and Jurisprudence (2005)

First awardee, Professor Gonzalo T. Santos Prize for Best Paper in Securities Law (2005)

Awardee, Professor Esteban B. Bautista Prize for Best Paper in Intellectual Property Law (2005)

First awardee, Professor Bienvenido C. Ambion Prize for Best Paper in Private International Law (2004)

First sophomore awardee, Professor Araceli T. Baviera Prize for Best Paper in Civil Law (2003)

First Violeta Calvo-Drilon-ACCRALAW Scholar for Legal Writing (awarded by Senate President Franklin Drilon)

Other academic and leadership citations

Chair, Philippine Law Journal (Philippines’ most prestigious academic legal journal);

Special citation from Dean Raul C. Pangalangan for record-breaking work;

Finished four double-length issues in record time of four months; released first in induction ceremony;

Featured authors included Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Senior Associate Justices Reynato Puno and Artemio Panganiban, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and United Nations Security Council President Lauro Baja;

Organized unprecedented week-long symposium reviewing SC decisions, featuring every living UP Law dean;

Wrote Journal’s citation manual and various guides for editorial work;

Initiated journal digitization in coordination with Justice Antonio T. Carpio and Supreme Court Library;

President, Law Electoral and Judicial Tribunal (administered elections for 500 students, penned all tribunal decisions);

Administered college elections for 500 law students and penned all tribunal decisions;

Presided over only en banc 17-judge hearing in college’s recent history regarding electoral controversy;

College of Law nominee for Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines;

Ateneo Merit Scholar (1997); exempted from 24 credits of natural sciences and pre-calculus subjects; and

Only student in 1997 to pass Botany and Zoology exemption exams; one of only three to pass Physics exam - GMANews.TV

Here's his speech:

The Law of the Good Man as Our Generation’s Law
Harvard Law School 2007 Student Commencement Address
Oscar Franklin Barcelona Tan (Philippines)

Delivered June 7, 2007, Langdell Hall

Dean Kagan, Vice-Dean Alford, professors, classmates, families, and friends. Let me first thank my family, who crossed twelve time zones to be with us. Let me thank my father, who was once a poor boy from our province of Negros Occidental in the Philippines. He lost his parents during his childhood, then moved to the capital and slept on my aunt’s couch to study law at the University of the Philippines. I do not know if he dreamt then that he would one day watch his eldest son graduate from Harvard Law School, but I want him to know that I love him and hope he is proud of me. Let me thank my law dean, Raul Pangalangan, who was like a second father to me in the University of the Philippines, and is fortunately present here as a visiting professor. I learned all I know about integrity and principle from these two men.

Let me also thank our tireless graduate program staff. Assistant Dean Jeanne Tai, Nancy Pinn, Heather Wallick, April Stockfleet, Curtis Morrow, Jane Fair Bestor, Chris Nepple, Valentina Perez, Ashley Smith, and Sarine Der Kaloustian: This year would not have been possible without you. But let me thank all of you in the Harvard Law community for truly making us feel part of it. I know I am part of it; I was featured in the Parody.

Not so long ago, I went to John Harvard’s for the first time with the British, who began chittering in an alien language. I later discovered it was actually English – the real English. I complained I was not used to cold, but a Saudi Arabian reminded me that you can fry eggs on a sidewalk in Riyadh. An Italian gave me tips on women because Italian men are the world’s greatest lovers, with the disclaimer that their style does not work on American women. A Malaysian was asked to explain the religious significance of the color of her hijab, or headscarf. She would answer: It had to match her blouse. And I learned more than I ever cared to about American culture: I spent a week in Jamaica with Andy Knopp and Mike Pykosz.

Soon, we found that great substance that unites any law school: alcohol. On New Year’s Eve, a Belarusian handed me a glass of vodka, but scolded me when I began to sip it. Sipping, he emphasized, is not the Slavic way. I shared a Frenchman’s champagne, a Peruvian’s pisco sour, a Brazilian’s caipirinha, a Mexican’s tequila, and a Japanese’s sake. And I learned how even weak American beer enlivens an evening when you drink it with the Irish.

As for me, I come from the Philippines, a former American colony best known for Imelda Marcos’s shoe collection. I remember being a six-year old watching my parents walk out of our house to join the crowds gathering to depose the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and form human walls against tanks. I remember being a twenty-year old in a different crowd deposing a different but equally corrupt president.

It was liberating to hear how a Chilean danced with crowds in the streets when Pinochet was arrested. How a South Korean prosecutor proudly stated that his country has sent two former presidents to prison. How a Brazilian, when he was six years old, was taken by his father to see a million men clamor for direct elections in Rio de Janeiro. How a Bhutanese wants to help shape her constitution after her king voluntarily gave up absolute power.

Friends, my most uplifting thought this year has been that the more we learn about each other, the more we realize that we are all alike, and the more we inspire each other to realize our most heartfelt yearnings. My single most memorable moment here came when I met South African Justice Albie Sachs, left with only one arm after an assassination attempt during apartheid. My classmate stood up and said: “South Africa is the world’s second most unequal country. I come from Brazil, the world’s most unequal country, and I admire how the South African Constitutional Court has inspired the progress of human rights throughout the world."

A hundred and ten years ago, it was said here that law is defined by the bad man, who cares solely about how to avoid being thrown in jail. Apologies to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes,* but our generation defines law by the good man. The German Constitution emphasizes human dignity, in a continuing repudiation of Nazism. The South African Constitution promises equality, in a continuing repudiation of apartheid. The Philippine Constitution, a continuing repudiation of the Marcos dictatorship, promises social justice and the Philippine ideal that “he who has less in life should have more in law." Even in the United States, the younger Fourteenth Amendment set the stage for the end of segregation.

Countless other developing countries in Asia and Africa have constitutionalized a broad array of socioeconomic and environmental rights. We have thus outgrown the concept of law as passive restraint. Rather, law is now aspiration, law is now the catalyst that seeks to realize the full human potential of billions of good men brought low only by poverty, bigotry, oppression, and conflict.

The good man’s primacy is felt just as strongly in international law. Modern instruments, even those lacking binding force, have bolstered our concepts of rights, from economic rights to indigenous people’s rights to the rights of the child. The vigor seen in today’s expansive constitutions must find its way into these international challenges. How can rights to biodiversity be asserted given an intellectual property regime that allows Indian basmati rice to be patented in a key export market? How can rights to environment become reality given developing countries with large populations and meager resources? How must the right to labor of migrant workers be protected given their vulnerability to countless abuses?

At the least, law must enable nations to dialogue on equal terms. At present, for example, the Filipino people are indignant that a United States Marine appealing his conviction for rape is detained not in a Philippine jail, but in the United States embassy. My people cannot reconcile this affront with the fact that even after our big white brother Douglas MacArthur retreated from the Philippines,** my country exhibited the fiercest resistance in the Pacific War.

I cannot deny that our generation’s issues will be complex, but I can guarantee that they will never be abstract, not after having a classmate who was an Israeli army drill sergeant, nor after watching my Chinese and Taiwanese classmates celebrate the Chinese New Year together, nor after having a classmate chased by gunmen out of Afghanistan. In fact, when George W. Bush’s speechwriter visited, my Iranian classmate introduced himself, “Hi, I’m from an Axis of Evil country." And when he was told that the speech made a distinction between the Iranian government and the Iranian people, he said thank you and replied, “When we call you the Great Satan, we also make a distinction between the American government and the American people."

This is how Harvard has changed us. We thank our beloved faculty for raising our thinking to a higher, broader level. But even the most powerful ideas demand passion to set them aflame. The passion we ignite today is fueled by a collage of vignettes that will remind us in this crucible of life that our peers in faraway lands face the same frustrations, the same nation building ordeals, the same sorrows, and ultimately, the same shared joys and triumphs.

How do a mere 700 change the world, even with overpriced Harvard diplomas? Before a battle in China’s Spring and Autumn Period, the legendary King Gou Jian of Yue was presented with fine wine. He ordered his troops to stand beside a river, and poured the wine into it. He ordered them to drink from the river and share his gift. A bottle of wine cannot flavor a river, but the gesture so emboldened his army that they won a great victory. We of the Class of 2007 shall flavor this earth, whether we be vodka, champagne, pisco sour, caipirinha, tequila, sake, Irish stout, or Philippine lambanog.

Thus, my friends – and this includes our American classmates who will soon lead the world’s lone superpower – let us transcend our individual nationalities and advance law as the law of the good man in the international order. In this, let us affirm that we are citizens of the world. Maraming salamat po, at mabuhay kayong lahat.*** Thank you and long live you all.


* “The Path of the Law", Harvard Law Review, Volume 10, page 457, speech delivered in Boston in 1897. “You can see very plainly that a bad man has as much reason as a good one for wishing to avoid an encounter with the public force, and therefore you can see the practical importance of the distinction between morality and law. A man who cares nothing for an ethical rule which is believed and practised by his neighbors is likely nevertheless to care a good deal to avoid being made to pay money, and will want to keep out of jail if he can."

** President William Howard Taft referred to Filipinos as Americans’ “little brown brothers" when the Philippines was an American colony.

*** Traditional Filipino closing, literally, “Thank you, sirs, and long live you all."

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Jose!

Jose Rizal
June 19, 1861
December 30, 1896
(pictures were taken from the Jose Rizal Official website

It's been a long time since I remember June 19 as Jose Rizal's birthday. Thank you Toti for reminding us. And this is not really the main reason why I am writing this message. I wanted to extrend my birthday wishes tho' a day late to all the Jose's in our batch. i.e. to Jose Zano and Joe Mari Chavez. Is it your birthday too Toti? I wonder if it is Joe Sales too? He called me yesterday about real estate issues but nothing to cue me that it is his birthday. Hope I did not miss out on this. At any rate, to all the celebrants, a happy, happy birthday.

Toti, you continue to amaze me with your dedication and commitment to our blogsite. I read your update everyday and through this, I feel like I'm in the Phil too knowing whats happening there each day. There is really no need for me to subscribe to TFC (The Filipino Channel). Your daily news is plentyPhil up-keep. Maraming salamat po!

Hope to see more posting from our classmates too.


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A Rose, by Any Other Name or Inggit lang sila sa pangalan ng mga Pinoy!

By: Matthew Sutherland
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches" -(Proverbs 22:1)

WHEN I arrived in the Philippines from the UK six years ago, one of the first cultural differences to strike me was names. The subject has provided a continuing source of amazement and amusement ever since. The first unusual thing, from an English perspective, is that everyone here has a nickname. In the staid and boring United Kingdom, we have nicknames in kindergarten, but when we move into adulthood wet end, I am glad to say, to lose them.

The second thing that struck me is that Philippine names for both girls and boys tend to be what we in the UK would regard as overbearingly cutesy for anyone over about five. A fifty-five-year old colleague put it: Where I come from, a boy with a nickname like Boy Blue or Honey Boy would be beaten to death at school by pre-adolescent bullies, and never make it to adulthood. So, probably, would girls with names like Babes, Lovely, Precious, Peachy, Apples, Yuk, Ech Ech. Here, however, no one bats an eyelid.

Then I noticed how many people have what I have come to call "door-bell names". These are nicknames that sound like well, door-bells. There are millions of them. Bing, Bong, Ding, and Dong are some of the more common. They can be, and frequently are, used in even more doorbell-like combinations such as Bing-Bong, Ding-Dong, Ting-Ting, and so on. Even our previously-appointed chief of police now senator has a doorbell name Ping. None of these door-bell names exist where I come from, and hence sound unusually amusing to my untutored foreign ear. Someone once told me that one of the Bings, when asked why he was called Bing, replied "because my brother is called Bong". Faultless logic.

Dong, of course, is a particularly funny one for me, as where I come from "dong" is a slang word for... well, perhaps "talong" is the best Tagalog equivalent.

Repeating names was another novelty to me, having never before encountered people with names like Len-Len, Let-Let, Mai-Mai, or Ning-Ning. The secretary I inherited on my arrival had an unusual one: Leck-Leck. Such names are then frequently further refined by using the "squared" symbol, as in Len2 or Mai2. This had me very confused for a while. Then there is the trend for parents to stick to a theme when naming their children. This can be as simple as making them all begin with the same letter, as in Jun, Jimmy, Janice, and Joy. More imaginative parents shoot for more sophisticated forms of assonance or rhyme, as in Biboy, Boboy, Buboy, Baboy (notice the names get worse the more kids there are-best to be born early or you could end up being a Baboy). Even better, parents can create whole families of, say, desserts (Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, Honey Pie) or flowers (Rose, Daffodil, Tulip). The main advantage of such combinations is that they look great painted across your trunk if you're a cab driver.

That's another thing I'd never seen before coming to Manila - taxis with the driver's kids' names on the trunk. Another whole eye-opening field for the foreign visitor is the phenomenon of the "composite" name. This includes names like Jejomar (for Jesus, Joseph and Mary), and the remarkable Luzviminda (for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, believe it or not). That's a bit like me being called something like "Engscowani" (for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Between you and me, I'm glad I'm not.

And how could I forget to mention the fabulous concept of the randomly inserted letter 'h'. Quite what this device is supposed to achieve, I have not yet figured out, but I think it is designed to give a touch of class to an otherwise only averagely weird name. It results in creations like Jhun, Lhenn, Ghemma, and Jhimmy. Or how about JhunJhun (Jhun2)? There is also a whole separate field of name games -those where the parents have exhibited a creative sense of humor on purpose. I once had my house in London painted by a Czechoslovakian decorator by the name of Peter Peter. I could never figure out if his parents had a fantastic sense of humor or no imagination at all-it had to be one or the other. But here in the Philippines, wonderful imagination and humor is often applied to the naming process, particularly, it seems, in the Chinese community. My favourites include Bach Johann Sebastian; Edgar Allan Pe; Jonathan Livingston Sy; Magic Chiongson, Chica Go, and my girlfriend's very own sister, Van Go. I am assured these are real people, although I've only met two of them. I hope they don't mind being mentioned here.

How boring to come from a country like the UK full of people with names like John Smith. How wonderful to come from a country where imagination and exoticism rule the world of names. Even the towns here have weird names; my favorite is the unbelieveably named town of Sexmoan (ironically close to Olongapo and Angeles). Where else in the world could that really be true? Where else in the world could the head of the Church really be called Cardinal Sin? Where else but the Philippines! Note: Philippines has a senator named Joker, and it is his legal name. (Pahabol, We also have Nene for a senator, a serious matured guy with a perpetually hoarse voice.)

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Answers to the Puzzles:
Queena N. Lee-Chua's Puzzle

12 = S of the Z 12 Signs of the Zodiac
1001 = A N 1,001 Arabian Nights
90 = D in a R A 90 Degrees in a Right Angle
24 = H in a D 24 Hours in a Day
88 = P K 88 Piano Keys (90 kung kasama iyong 2 butas ng ilong)

Solution to the Puzzle on the Man Who Lost His Way

Ask one of the men, "if I would ask the man standing next to you: which is the road to the village?, what would he answer?"

If you ask this to the liar, he will point you in the wrong way.If you ask this to the one who speaks the truth, he will also point you in the wrong way.So after asking the question, take the other way. This will bring you in the village

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A Young Korean's letter to the Filipinos

Dearest Friends,

I got the following write-up from my friends at UNESCO.
Our young Korean friend who wrote about his feelings about the Phil made me think about us as a people. Insightful and pure. Just something to ponder upon.


My Short Essay about the Philippines

Filipinos always complain about the corruption in the Philippines. Do you really think the corruption is the problem of the Philippines? I do not think so. I strongly believe that the problem is the lack of love for the Philippines.

Let me first talk about my country, Korea. It might help you understand my point. After the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Koreans had to start from scratch because entire country was destroyed completely after the Korean War, and we had no natural resources.

Koreans used to talk about the Philippines, for Filipinos were very rich in Asia. We envy Filipinos. Koreans really wanted to be well off like Filipinos. Many Koreans died of famine. My father¡¯s brother
also died because of famine.

Korean government was awfully corrupt and is still very corrupt beyond your imagination, but Korea was able to develop dramatically because Koreans really did their best for the common good with their heart burning with patriotism. Koreans did not work just for themselves but also for their neighborhood and country. Education inspired young men with the spirit of patriotism.

40 years ago, President Park took over the government to reform Korea. He tried to borrow money from other countries, but it was not possible to get a loan and attract a foreign investment because the economy situation of South Korea was so bad. Korea had only three factories. So, President Park sent many mine workers and nurses to Germany so that they could send money to Korea to build a factory. They had to go through a horrible experience. In 1964, President Park visited Germany to borrow money. Hundred of Koreans in Germany came to the airport to welcome him and cried there as they saw the President Park. They asked to him, "President, when can we be well off?" That was the only question everyone asked to him. President Park cried with them and promised them that Korea would be well off if everyone works hard for Korea, and the President of Germany got the strong impression on them and lent money to Korea. So, President Park was able to build many factories in Korea.

He always asked Koreans to love their country from their heart. Many Korean scientists and engineers in the USA came back to Korea to help developing country because they wanted their country to be well off.

Though they received very small salary, they did their best for Korea. They always hoped that their children would live in well off country.

My parents always brought me to the places where poor and physically handicapped people live. They wanted me to understand their life and help them. I also worked for Catholic Church when I was in the army. The only thing I learned from Catholic Church was that we have to love our neighborhood. And I have loved my neighborhood.

Have you cried for the Philippines? I have cried for my country several times. I also cried for the Philippines because of so many poor people. I have been to the New Bilibid prison. What made me sad in the prison were the prisoners who do not have any love for their country. They go to mass and work for Church. They pray everyday. However, they do not love the Philippines. I talked to two prisoners at the maximum security compound, and both of them said that they would leave the Philippines right after they are released from the prison. They said that they would start a new life in other countries and never come back to the Philippines.

Many Koreans have a great love for Korea so that we were able to share our wealth with our neighborhood. The owners of factory and company were distributed their profit to their employees fairly so that employees could buy what they needed and saved money for the future and their children.

When I was in Korea, I had a very strong faith and wanted to be a priest. However, when I came to the Philippines, I completely lost my faith. I was very confused when I saw many unbelievable situations in the Philippines. Street kids always make me sad, and I see them everyday. The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia, but there are too many poor people here. People go to church every Sunday to pray, but nothing has been changed. My parents came to the Philippines last week and saw this situation. They told me that Korea was much poorer than the present Philippines when they were young. They are so sorry that there so many beggars and street kids. When we went to Pagsangjan, I forced my parents to take a boat because it would fun. However, they were not happy after taking a boat. They said that they would not take the boat again because they were sympathized the boat men, for the boat men were very poor and had a small frame. Most of people just took a boat and enjoyed it. But my parents did not enjoy it because of love for them.

My mother who has been working for Catholic Church since I was very young told me that if we just go to mass without changing ourselves, we are not Catholic indeed. Faith should come with action. She added that I have to love Filipinos and do good things for them because all of us are same and have received a great love from God.

I want Filipinos love their neighborhood and country as much as they love God so that the Philippines will be well off. I am sure that love is the keyword which Filipinos should remember. We cannot change the sinful structure at once. It should start from person. Love must start in everybody in a small scale and have to grow. A lot of things happen if we open up to love. Let's put away our prejudices and look at our worries with our new eyes. I discover that every person is worthy to be loved. Trust in love, because it makes changes possible. Love changes you and me. It changes people, contexts and relationships. It changes the world.

Please love your neighborhood and country. Jesus Christ said that whatever we do to others we do to Him. In the Philippines, there is God who are abused and abandoned. There is God who is crying for love.

If you have a child, teach them how to love the Philippines. Teach them why they have to love their neighborhood and country.

You already know that God also will be very happy if you love others. That's all I really want to ask you Filipinos.

Jaeyoun Kim
September, 2003

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Sunday, June 17, 2007


Here's something to touch our hearts . . .


Sa aking pagtanda, unawain mo sana ako at pagpasensiyahan. Kapag dala ng kalabuan ng mata ay nakabasag ng pinggan o nakatapon ng sabaw sa hapag kainan, huwag mo sana akong kagagalitan. Maramdamin ang isang matanda, nagse-self-pity ako tuwing sisigawan mo ako.

Kapag mahina na ang tenga ko at hindi ko maintidihan ang sinasabi mo, huwag mo naman akong sabihan ng "bingi", paki-ulit na lang ang sinabi mo o pakisulat na lang. Pasensiya ka na anak, matanda na talaga ako.

Kapag mahina na tuhod ko, pagtiyagaan mo sana ako at tulungan tumayo, katulad ng pag-alalay ko sa iyo noong nag-aaral ka pa lamang lumakad.

Pagpasensiyahan mo sana ako kung ako man ay nagiging makulit at paulit-ulit na parang sirang plaka. Basta pakinggan mo na lang ako. Huwag mo sana akong pagtawanan o pagsasawaang pakinggan. Natatandaan mo anak noong bata ka pa? Kapag gusto mo ng laruan, paulit-ulit mo yong sasabihin, maghapon kang mangungulit hanggat hindi mo nakukuha ang gusto mo. Pinagtiyagaan ko ang kakulitan mo.

Pagpasensiyahan mo na rin sana ang aking amoy - amoy matanda, amoy-lupa. Huwag mo sana akong piliting maligo. Mahina na ang katawan ko, madaling magkasakit kapag nalamigan, huwag mo sana akong pandirihan. Natatandaan mo noong bata ka pa? Pinagtiyagaan ko din ikaw kahit amoy putik ka, at pinagtiyaggan kitang habulin sa ilalim ng kama kapag ayaw mong maligo.

Pagpasensiyahan mo sana kung madalas ako ay masungit, dala na marahil ito ng katandaan. Pagtanda mo, maintindihan mo rin.

Kapag may kunti kang panahon, magkuwentuhan naman tayo, kahit sandali lang. Inip na ako sa bahay, maghapong nag-iisa, walang kausap. Alam kong busy ka, subalit nais kong malaman mo na sabik na sabik na akong makakuwentuhan ka, kahit alam kong hindi ka interesado sa mga kuwento ko. Natatandaan mo anak noong bata ka pa? Pinagtiyagaan kong pakinggan at intindihin ang pautal-utal mong kuwento tungkol sa iyong teddy bear.

At kapag dumating ang sandali na ako ay magkasakit at maratay sa banig ng karamdaman, huwag mo sana akong pagsawaan alagaan. Pagpasensiyahan mo na sana kung ako man ay maihi o madumi sa higaan. pagtiyagaan mo sana akong alagaan sa mga huling sandali ng aking buhay, tutal hindi na naman ako magtatagal.

Kapag dumating ang sandali ng aking pagpanaw, hawakan mo sana ang aking kamay at bigyan mo ako ng lakas ng loob na harapin ang kamatayan.

At huwag kang mag-alala, kapag kaharap ko na ang Diyos na lumikha, ibubulong ko sa kanya na pagpalain ka sana . . . dahil naging mapagmahal ka sa iyong ama't ina . . . .

Written by Rev. Fr. Ariel Robles
CWL Spiritual Director
St. Augustine Parish
Baliuag, Bulacan

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

More Jokes and Puzzles

A driver pulled up beside a rundown farmhouse. He got out and knocked at the door. A very old woman answered the door, and he asked her for directions to Des Moines.

"Don't know," the woman said.

He got back in his car and pulled away. Then he heard voices. He looked in his rearview mirror and saw the woman and an equally old man waving for him to come back. So he made a U- turn and drove up to them.

"This is my husband," the old woman said. "He doesn't know how to get to Des Moines either." (o matanda yan ha, wag batukan).

Bert stood over his tee short on the 18th hole for what seemed like forever. He'd waggle, look down, look up, but never start his backswing. Finally Danny, his playing partner, asked, "Why on Earth are you taking so long to make this shot?" "My wife is up there watching me from the clubhouse, and I want to make this shot a good one," said Bert. "Good Lord," said Danny, "you haven't got a chance of hitting her from here."

(Similarity in names is purely coincidental.)


Two blondes were facing each other with a lake between them. The first blonde wants to get to the other side so she yells to the other blonde, "Hey! I want to get to the other side of the lake but I can't swim. Please tell me how you did this!"The second blonde then says, " But you ARE on the other side!"


A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting. The trooper cranked down his window and yelled to the driver--"PULL OVER!"

"NO!" the blonde yelled back, "SCARF!"

(Ganun ba talaga ang mga blonde Danny?)


During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized. "Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub." "Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

Do you agree?

"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug.
Do you want a bed near the window?"

Lost your way

You're travelling to some village. At some point there is a fork in the road. You could go two ways but only one of them leads to the village. Lucky for you there are two men standing next to the fork. But unfortunately one of them always lies and one always speaks the truth and you do not know who is who. Since the men do not really like to help you, you are allowed to ask one of them only one question. What question should you ask?

Puzzle by Queena N. Lee-Chua, PDI June 2, 2007

26 = Letters of the Alphabet

What about the following?

12 = S of the Z 12 Signs of the Z.....

1001 = A N

90 = D in a R A

24 = H in a D

88 = P K

Watch out for the Answers next Posting

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People Principles

from the book, Winning with People by John C. Maxwell

Lens Principle
Who we are determines how we see others. Our perception of others depends more on our attitude than it does their characteristics. If we are positive, we see them as positive.

Pain Principle
Hurting people hurt people and are easily hurt by them. Our negative experiences and emotional baggage color our perception of others’ actions. Normal interactions can cause us pain even when another person did nothing to inflict pain.

Elevator Principle
We can lift people up or take them down in our relationships. People possess a mind set of either lifting of limiting others.

Learning Principle
Each person we meet has the potential to teach us something. People in possession of a teachable attitude can learn from everyone they meet. On the contrary, someone who assumes others have nothing to offer will walk away from relationships empty-handed.

What do Ed Canela and Manny Pangilinan have in common? (Who is Manny Pangilinan? He is a very successful manager. He is now the PLDT and SMART Chairman and CEO.)

I read an article in The Philippine Star about his speech during the graduation ceremonies (where he was also conferred an honorary degree) at the Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City. Among the simple steps to right living that he mentioned was:

"Hug and kiss whoever helped get you – financially, emotionally, intellectually, morally – to this day. Don’t let the sun go down today without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far, alone." (O di ba, pareho silang may hug and kiss!)

There's also another advice probably intented for our foreign-based classmates:

"Stay in the Philippines. I was born here and I will die here. It’s true that I spent some years of my life abroad, but I have returned to give a part of my life back to this country, and the place to start giving back is the place where you are right now. – But if you decide to depart our sunny shores for greener pastures abroad, may there always be a part of you that will remain enduringly Filipino. And may you perennially possess that durable sense of longing to come home one day."

May tama ba?

Itong susunod, hindi na galing kay Manny Pangilinan.

“It’s not how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” (aray!) - Rocky Balboa to his dispirited yuppie son, Rocky Jr.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Joke, Joke, Joke

Making Good on Her Promises
A woman recently lost her husband. She had him cremated and brought his ashes home. One day she picked up the urn he was in and poured him out on the counter.Then she started talking to him, and tracing her fingers in the ashes, she said, "You know that fur coat you promised me, Irving?" She answered by saying, "I bought it with the insurance money!"
She then said, “Irving, remember that new car you promised me?" She answered again saying, "Well, I bought it with the insurance money!"
Still tracing her finger in the ashes, she said, “Irving, remember that blowjob I promised you? Here it comes …

The Cabbie and the Blowjob
A successful businessman flew to Vegas for the weekend to gamble. He lost the shirt off his back, and had nothing left but a quarter and the second half of his round trip ticket -- If he could just get to the airport he could get himself home. So he went out to the front of the casino where there was a cab waiting.

He got in and explained his situation to the cabbie. He promised to send the driver money from home, he offered him his credit card numbers, his drivers license number, his address, etc. but to no avail. The cabbie said (adopt appropriate dialect), "If you don't have fifteen dollars, get the hell out of my cab!" So the businessman was forced to hitch-hike to the airport and was barely in time to catch his flight.One year later the businessman, having worked long and hard to regain his financial success, returned to Vegas and this time he won big. Feeling pretty good about himself, he went out to the front of the casino to get a cab ride back to the airport.
Well who should he see out there, at the end of a long line of cabs, but his old buddy who had refused to give him a ride when he was down on his luck. The businessman thought for a moment about how he could make the guy pay for his lack of charity, and he hit on a plan.The businessman got in the first cab in the line, "How much for a ride to the airport," he asked? "Fifteen bucks," came the reply. "And how much for you to give me a blowjob on the way?" "What?! Get the hell out of my cab." The businessman got into the back of each cab in the long line and asked the same questions, with the same result.

When he got to his old friend at the back of the line, he got in and asked "How much for a ride to the airport?" The cabbie replied "fifteen bucks." The businessman said "ok" and off they went. Then, as the drove slowly past the long line of cabs the businessman gave a big smile and thumbs up sign to each driver.

Blowjob That'll Make Her Scream

There were these three guys outside of a bar. There was a black guy, a white guy, and a Filipino guy. They all had been in the bar before and saw this gorgeous woman. Well they made a bet to see who could make the woman scream.

The black guy goes in a comes out and the woman is laughing, and then the white guy goes in, well after he comes out she is laughing even harder.

The Filipino guy goes in and a after a few minutes she is screaming bloody murder. Then he comes out, and the other two guys said how did you do that, and the Filipino guy goes "Me filipino, me play trick, me put hot sauce on my dick!"

Horrible Road Head Accident
In an appalling blowjob accident, a man had his penis severed when he hit a tree while his wife was giving him a blowjob while he was driving their car.

His doctor assured him that modern medicine could give him back his manhood, but that his insurance wouldn't cover the surgery, since it was considered cosmetic. He said the cost would be $4,500 for "small", $9,500 for "medium" or $16,000 for "large".The guy thought he'd get a medium or large, but the doctor urged him to talk it over with his wife before he made any decision.

The man called his wife on the phone and explained their options. The doctor came back into the room, and found the man looking dejected."Well, what have the two of you decided?" asked the doctor.

The man answered, "She'd rather remodel the kitchen".

Samu’t Sari:

Q: Anong similarity ng sperm at mayonnaise?
A: Pareho silang galing itlog at parehong Ladies' Choice.
----- oOo -----

At a strip joint, a girl wearing a g-string dances on stage.Japanese hooks Y10,000 to her panty, the American hooks $100,Filipino takes out his credit card and swipes it thru the girl's butt!
----- oOo -----

Chinese: I have 4 wives, one more I have a basketball team.
American: I have 9 wives, one more I have a football team.
Pinoy: I have 17 wives, one more I have a golf course, 18 holes.
----- oOo -----

Dalawang mag-syota are necking while parked sa madilim na lugar sa Ortigas.(First time for him and the nth time for her.) As he kissed her passionately, he slowly placed his hand on her thigh. "I love you," he whispered,( nanginginig pa ang boses)."Higher," she whispered,in anticipation (with buntong-hininga)."I love you," he repeated, in a higher pitch!.

----- oOo -----

Pagkatapos nang date nila, inihatid ni Tony si Tess anticipating a goodnight kiss.
TONY: Salamat sa date, ha? Sana maulit.
TESS: Okey lang, pero since Dutch treat tayo buong gabi, you kiss yourself and I'll kiss myself goodnight.

Bagong kasal si Tina at kinakausap ng Papa niya ang kanyang napangasawang si Tonyo.
PAPA: Bilang manugang ko, bibigyan ko kayo ng malaking halaga upang magamit ninyong puhunan subalit ano naman ang kapalit nito?
TONYO: Bibigyan ho namin agad kayo ng resibo.

----- oOo -----

Q: Bakit mas malakas umutot ang lalaki sa babae ?
A: Dahil may mike sila sa harap !Q: Eh bakit may echo kung umutot ang babae?
A: kasi malapit sa kuweba !

----- oOo -----

Dedicated to Danny
Q: Bakit matamis ang ulo ng kalbo?
A. Eh Kasi panot siya (pronounced panutsa)

----- oOo -----

An alcoholic son's letter to his Dad:

Beer dad,
gin na ko iinom, whisky kelan.Tanduayan mo yan.

Your san,

----- oOo -----

Dedicated to Men
The pinoy interpreter was trying his best to translate what the Filipino witness is saying in a court case:Witness: "Pagkatapos ng kung ano-ano ay nagdatingan ang kung sino-sino!"
Pinoy Interpreter: "After the what-what came the who-who!"

Kahit hirap mag-englis, panay pa rin ang ligaw ni Alfredo sa isang Amerikana:
KANA: I like men who are frank.
ALFREDO: My name is Alfredo, not Frank.

Dedicated to Fr. Efren
Katatapos lang basbasan ng pari ang isang presong nakaupo sa silya-elektrika.
PARI: "Mayroon ka bang nais na hilingin bago ka bawian ng buhay?"
PRESO: "Opo."
PARI: "Ano yon, anak?"
PRESO: "Pwede po bang hawakan n'yo ang kamay ko hanggang bawian ako ng buhay?"
----- oOo -----

KILLER: “Father mangungumpisal po ako.”
PARI: “Ano ba kasalanan mo?”
KILLER: “Pumatay po ako ng 20 tao”
PARI: “Bakit?
KILLER: “Kasi po naniniwala sila sa Diyos, kayo po ba naniniwala?
PARI: “Dati, pero ngayon trip-trip na lang.”

At para sa inyong lahat:

Anak: “Inay, meron na pala kayong puting buhok?”
Inay: “Oo anak. At ito’y kagagawan mo. Sa bawa’t mga kalokohan na ginagawa mo ay nagkakaroon ako ng puting buhok.”
Anak” “Ah, kaya pala puti na lahat ng buhok ni lola!”

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007



A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awai ted signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible? and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse: Matt 7:11, "And if ye, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly father which is in heaven, give to those who ask Him?" As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words... PAID IN FULL.

How many times do we miss God's blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? I trust you enjoyed this. "


Pass it on to others. Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for...

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Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

HS Solo Graduation Pictures

DPS Class67 HS Graduates, 40 Years After

This Day in History

Today's Birthday