Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday gifts and more!

Why do I receive more gifts during Christ’s birthday than my actual birthday?

Not that I’m complaining about this fact, but rather, I’m just asking a hypothetical question.

People say it is better to give than to receive. But guess what, I’m always excited every time I open a gift. So more or less, I enjoy opening gifts rather than wrapping them. Har har. I’m just being human.

But don’t worry, it’s not only me who benefits from the gifts given to me. Everyone else does! *wink*

So if ever you gave me something for this holiday season, check out the list below that I checked twice.


I’m sending my sincerest gratitude to everyone else who shared their blessings to me this holiday season:

Mom for the Wade shoes; Teni for the 500 Php SM gc that contributed very much to my new Diesel shoes; Gabbie and Mai for the Simpson and Adidas shirts, respectively; Caitlin, Diwa, and Elena for the bags; Marielle and Pauline for the hankies, Zion for the hand towels, and Alex for the bath towel; Jack for the ‘Rayban’ shades; Nathan for the cute watch, Abbey and T. Joy for the bracelets, and Inna for the wrist band that I really love; Sam and Aiah for the key chains and T. Marie for the bling bling; Mike for the purse; Adina for the wood carved pangkamot; and Myla for the pillow.

To those who are very concerned with my hygiene:

Reisa for the Soap Factory soap specials; and Diwa and Mia for the soaps and shampoos.

I really felt Mia’s concern because the shampoo she gave me has a label that says:

The way your hair look’s can tell a lot about you.

Come on Princess Mia!

Diwa for the toothpaste and Jotham for the night mint toothgel that I will really enjoy; Gina and Clarisse for the M&S hand wash; and Khaim for the hand sanitizer and bug spray.

Two days before our Christmas Party, my green mug which was a gift from the UPIS Student Council suddenly turned into mugs. Because of that incident, my broken mug was replaced by four new mugs courtesy of Miggy, Kiana, Kaye, and PSYSC who gave me a UP centennial mug.

Thank you also to Marielle for the travel mug and Mrs. Yu for the water bottle I won during the Faculty Party. And also to a donor I don’t know who sent green charcoal also for the Faculty Party.

Gobs for the lovely picture frame; Toni and Misha for some CDs; Abbey for the 2010 desk calendar; DOST-SEI for the planner; Pauline for the planner and notepad; T. Rose Ann for the notebook; Ara for the post it; T. Joji for the cute crocodile stapler; Frances for the laser pointer; Wawu for the faber-castell pencils; Pangilinan Family for the led book light; Kyla, Miko, Marco, Jornales Family, Mr. & Mrs. Gutierres, and Pastor Mike & T. Francie for the enthusing books you gave.

I was really amazed why I received only one toy this Christmas! Haha! Thank you Miguel!

They say that the best way to a man’s heart is thru his stomach. I’m now opposing this saying since last December 12, I was diagnosed by my ENT to be suffering from laryngospasm resulting to coughing and shortness of breathe. She said acid reflux is causing my laryngospasm and heart burn. For that, I was advised to stay away from acidic food including those which are sour and spicy; caffeinated drinks: soda, iced tea, coffee; food with tomato sauce; and chocolates!

So now, I’m thankful for those who made me suffer this holiday season for giving me food which I am abstaining from eating. Thank you very much for making me drool as my friends and family members savor the gifts you gave me:

Jigger and Ayie for the M&S dark chocolate all butter biscuits and Belgian milk chocolate biscuits, respectively; Shauna for the Droste Pastilles; Luigi for the Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark; Andrea and Marielle for the chocolates; Eloisa and Enzo for the chocolate bars; Andy for the cookies and Hans and Zeb for the brownies; and Nathan for the Chokolate de Bohol.

Let me introduce a new saying that goes:

The best way thru the Urban gurU’s heart is thru his larynx!

Thank you also for the scrumptious pastries you gave me:

Aiah for the lemon squares and T. Rafael for the lemon square cake; Manette for the macaroons; Ty and Josh for the pastries; Gaea and Kha-el for the tarts; Caparros Family for the Snowballs; and David for the M&S all butter Scottish shortbread fingers.

Thank you also to whoever gave the candy cane I found in my table; Marco for the queso de bola; and Christel for the sparkling red grape juice cocktail.

Finally, T. Fe for the Php 300 cash I won during the Faculty Party; and Mom for the Php 10,000 cash wherein half of it turned into a 29” flatron TV with the help of my other siblings.


From last year’s 75 gifts, there was a slight decrease into 72 I received this holiday 2009. But above all of these gifts, this is the most important one that all of us should be rejoicing…

'Til next year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Misono Surprise

During the first quarter of the year, we talked about the palatability of Yoshinoya’s gyudon. After almost nine months, here is another scrumptious discovery I had from Yoshinoya’s menu:


Yoshinoya’s beef misono had its system-wide launch just last November 16, 2009. With a beef cut thicker than gyudon’s, beef misono is a pan-grilled short plate beef which was marinated with a very special sauce. Yet, if you really want the opulent beef taste to surge, dip it in a teriyaki sauce rather than its usual tempura sauce cohort.

But if you are looking for a side dish, the Japanese fried chicken is the best finger food that would make your day.


Marinated for 12 extensive hours, the Japanese fried chicken is best dipped in its sauce which is a mixture of vinegar, sugar, carrots, and onion leeks that will definitely give you a sweet and sour taste complimenting the chili tang of the chicken.

Moreover, if you are really into beef bowls and seafood, the best plate for sharing is the gyudon + ebi tempura jumbo plate. Do not forget that seven spices and red ginger (beni shoga) compliments best the gyudon while teriyaki sauce is a must for the ebi tempura. Just make sure you have these condiments before you leave the counter!


To cap it all, all of these dishes are best served with green tea that boasts a novel taste of citrus extract.

The beef burger and beef yakiniku are other beef dishes that will surely bring your appetite to nirvana.

So, are you ready now to experience the beef misono surprise?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Colloquium on Understanding the Tropical Storm Ondoy

Everyone is invited to listen and participate in the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) Colloquium entitled:


Understanding Tropical Storm Ondoy:
A Forum on the Meteorology and Hydrology of a Massive Flood Event


On September 26, 2009, Tropical Storm Ondoy hit the country, primarily affecting Regions III, IV and the NCR. A relatively small tropical cyclone with maximum winds of only 85 kph when it made landfall in Aurora, no one expected that it will bring in an unprecedented amount of rain - 367mm in 6 hours. It caused massive flooding in the Marikina River Basin as well as in areas surrounding Laguna de Bay. To date, more than 300 people have died due to the floods. Understanding such event from a meteorological and hydrological standpoint will hopefully shed some light on why such tragedy occurred; and hopefully aid us in anticipating and preparing for similar events in the future.


A Panel of Experts will come from the following organizations:

  • Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Department of Science and Technology
  • National Hydraulics Research Center, UP College of Engineering
  • National Institute of Geological Sciences,UP College of Science

October 6, 2009, 3-5 PM
NIGS Audio Visual Room
College of Science, UP Diliman




*The Urban gurU received this email from an alumnus of the National Institute of Geological Sciences. As part of the academe, let me invite everyone who are interested in knowing the scientific milieu of the said natural phenomenon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Seeing Corazon C. Aquino the First and the Last Time

I woke up on a gloomy morning on the first day of August with an SMS in my phone saying:

“Former President Cory Aquino died of cardio-respiratory arrest at 3:18 am today. She was 76.”

It was a message from a friend who has been watching the news since early that morning.

Despite saddened, my day went on just like any Saturday morning. I went to my review class in school and ended up in Trinoma having dinner with my students and watching The Half Blood Prince. What was not normal there was the fact that I’ve watched already that movie in silver screen, hence, the waiters and waitresses at TGIF sang me a birthday song despite I already had my birthday three months ago. Nice one Abbey…


And thank you for the dessert!

(That reminds me, I still have to add your Dad on Mafia Wars).

From Trinoma, to Gateway, and soon I was at UP Ayala Technohub to catch a group of plurkers who had been to a death-defying-sumptuous-meal at Kanin Club. To wrap things up, some of us ended in California Berry in Tomas Morato to partially detox ourselves employing the powers of nonfat frozen yogurt. Well of course, the night won’t be complete without synthesizing what’s happening and what happened lately in our beloved Plurklandia.

Past 1 am we decided to go to La Salle Greenhills to visit the wake of the late President Aquino.

On the way, I was anxious.

Not that am still outside my room that late at night, but because, in my 25 years of existence, I’ve never seen anyone inside a coffin. Yes, it’s a big issue for me. Almost all of my relatives are in the province, since I’m staying in the Metro, I’m always absent in that kind of family affairs. And so, I took a deep breathe and pretended that everything will be okay.

After a few minutes of driving, our carpool reached Ortigas Ave. Around 1:30 am, it was still full of parked private cars stretching to a kilometer long. We crossed the street and found ourselves in a line that started at the school’s inner gate. Flowers filled the corridors leading to the gym. Approximately 300 meters of falling in line, we’ve reached the place.


Fifteen feet. Ten feet. We were three feet away from her coffin…

To my amaze, all of my qualms were released the moment I saw her face. It seems she was telling me: don’t worry; I am very much happy where I am right now.

She was at peace, very much at peace.

I remember Karen telling me while we were still on our way to La Salle when I told her I’ve never seen anyone inside a coffin, “Don’t worry, she still looks like Corazon Aquino.”

“The point is,” I blurted out, “I’ve never seen her before. In fact, I haven’t seen any Philippine president in my entire life.”


To President Corazon C. Aquino,

Seeing you for the first and the last time was a great honor for me. Your love for the country, our country, will always be remembered as untiringly genuine and persistently authentic. As you finally unite with our Father, the Filipino people will eternally remember your greatness of restoring to us our rights —most importantly our freedom.


“He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”
– Psalm 37:6


Thank you very, very much!





By the way, I’m grateful to Manolo for giving me his commemorative pin of the late president, and oh, not to mention the chocolate bar he gave us when we ambushed him inside the La Salle gym.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Internet Withdrawal Syndrome Explained.


All of a sudden I opened my MS Word, and started writing. Again.

I’ve been away for quite some time.

For a span of one month, I’ve let go to a lot of bloggable thoughts, side dish stories, and one-liner-quotes that would make a thousand-word-post.



Plurk Angst.

Alas! I can finally claim that I’m internet withdrawal syndrome free! Although there are still moments that I would sneak up thru our office wifi, I’ve managed to live a life without internet connection for the past 20 days. Just imagine how much karma points I’ve lost before I froze it last June 20. Grrrr. I will never reach 100. And so I admit, I envy my blogger friends who were there since early this year. Boo me!

Oh well, I’d just brag about my record of being the 5th plurker in the Philippines with the most responses, hence 42nd in the world. Now, please don’t ask me for proofs! Plurkerati is not loading the past weeks. But heck, that was a long time ago, and since I don’t have internet connection when this post was written, I, obviously, can’t verify my own claims. So again, boo me!


To my plurk friends, lovers, and haters, I miss you too! I know, life at plurk is not complete without a daily dose of negativity. So here it goes… avada kedavra!

Disconnection explained.

A tornado hit our community last June 4. I didn’t even know that it occur until a plurker posted a link to the Philippine Daily Inquirer article relating what happened. My dad was so concerned upon hearing it on the news. Okay, I was exaggerating, “he was concerned,” rather.

What’s interesting is that my broadband antenna went down the next day. Cool, huh? And so I waited the entire day to be connected until I went outside the house around 2 o’clock in the afternoon only to find out that my antenna is gone! The screeching sound of the GI sheets that woke us up early in the morning that day should have been my clue that my broadband was disconnected already… FOREVEEEEEEEEEER!

If you’re wondering how it fell down, I have no idea either. My gut feeling is telling me that we should blame global warming.


The same day, I reported the incident to the Smart Wireless Center since I was already at the mall. They assured me that they will connect it the following weekend, June 13. And so I promised myself that if ever they will not call me for the final scheduling of my reconnection, I will permanently disconnect my broadband. I gave them until June 11, Thursday.

Surprisingly, Smart was very cooperative. THEY DIDN’T CALL!

By June 14, Sunday, I went to the mall again to pay my final fees so I can have it permanently disconnected. Guess what, I still have to pay a thousand pesos, Php 999.00 to be exact, for the June dues! To think, I was only able to use my internet from June 1-4. Four days people! Four effing days!

The lady explained that my money would still be reimbursed for the days I was not able to use my connection, I just have to wait for my next billing statement. Blah! Blah! Blah! Okay fine, whatever! I will pay whatever amount just be sure that you will permanently disconnect my effing broadband!

They promised to withdraw the antenna and wires and other stuff on the 27th. How I wish they will be here before lunchtime. I have work this coming Saturday, smart people! If I’m not here, better luck next time.

Am I bitter? Obviously, I am not.

I’ve been a loyal customer for the past two years. All I ask is immediate action to the needs of your customers. So again, and again, boo me!

Sun. Globe. Smart?

I’m still undecided what wireless internet connection should I purchase. I still need internet connection, especially when I’m at home. I can’t stay overnight at my office just to leach wifi. I just have one question bothering me this time, should I still consider a smart choice?

Disconnection Explained Further.

For the past two weeks, I utterly fought my internet withdrawal syndrome. The tornado, falling antenna, bills, global warming, and everything else paved the way for my broadband to be finally disconnected. I actually have a better purpose, rather than those mentioned earlier.


After three long years, I’m going back to school. Okay, that would be redundant. I’ve been working in a school for the past three years!

I mean, I’m going to school not as the teacher but rather a FRESHMAN student! (Please notice the emphasis on the word freshman).

Since mid-2007, I’ve been very visible online. Social networking sites, forums and YM chatting were my first addictions until I gave birth to the Urban gurU in March 2008. In one day, I spend more time online than sleeping. That’s why way back then when people ask me of my job, I often ask them, “At what time of the day?” And then I will continue, “10am-6pm: I’m a Science geek; 6pm-3am: I’m anywhere online; 3am-9am: I’m kinda sleeping then; 9am-10am: I’m taking a bath.”

Now, if ever anyone would ever ask me what I’m currently doing in my life, I plan to answer back, “I just made it more complicated,” then continue, “just check out this blog entry.”





Written June 23, 2009, 11pm-1am while suffering from colds and crossing my toes that classes will be suspended the next day. And oh! It’s already raining outside! Hurray!


PPS: It had been two consecutive days of suspension of classes. Double hurray!

Monday, May 25, 2009

post-blog-anniversay-post-birthday post

More than two months after celebrating the Urban gurU's blog anniversary...


I finally decided to change into a new skin...


Welcome to the new Urban gurU!



That reminds me, happy new year to me!




*it's just am too effed up to write a 'sensible' post. thus, i pity my eyebags... o.O

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

FinalS

Dear Lord,

Please let Adam and Kris compete in the finals next week. I will be very sad on my birthday if that wont happen.

Ktnxbai!


Love lots,
Me.





Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go

Saturday, May 9, 2009

From the Lab to iBlog

After four days of intensive laboratory exercises at the Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines Diliman for the 2009 National Science, Math and Engineering (SME) Camp, I had a chance to take a break from dissecting ICR mice, pipetting, extracting DNA from E. coli, and a lot more geekiness.

SME Subcamp Biology participants handling ICR mice


For now, I am live blogging at the iBlog 5: The 5th Philippine Blogging Summit being held at the Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law, Diliman, Quezon City.

Dir. James Jimenez, COMELEC-EID Director, giving his talk about Preparing Bloggers for the 2010 Elections


By tomorrow, I am headed to Bataan for the field activities of the SME.

Whoa! What a jam-packed week. See you all soon!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pacquiao vs. Swine Flu

May 2 is getting closer. And as expected, crime rates will be lowered by this coming Sunday as Manny Pacquiao tries to snatch Ricky Hatton's Ring Belt and IBO Light Welterweight Belt during the biggest fight and the most anticipated boxing event of the year.

As the two prepare for the momentous boxing brawl, the entire world is threatened by the soon to be pandemic swine flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.

How the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is spreading is the same way as how seasonal flu spreads. More or less, anyone might be susceptible to it. As of press time, several countries had released already confirmed swine flu cases and travel guidelines that will serve as precautionary measures for the public to abide by. It just so happened that I was fascinated by the link posted on facebook by jenijenjen about USA Today's swine flu cases and precautions around the world post.


Well of course the Philippines wont be left behind! On the map, text read as:

The Philippines health chief appealed to dozens of Filipino legislators to abandon plans to visit Las Vegas to cheer for boxing idol Manny Pacquiao even though Las Vegas is more than 300 miles from the Mexican border.

Now, I feel sorry for Manny. His avid supporters are restrained by the Department of Health not to watch his fight. Tsk. Tsk.


~ paradigm shift ~


But don't fret Manny, the battle is on!




We're still here to cheer for you in your biggest battle!


The Real Low Pressure Area

Despite the supposed-to-be-shinning-shimmering-splendid summer all of us enjoying right now, the country is currently exposed to its third tropical cyclone for this year. As of 10 pm today, PAG-ASA reported that Tropical Depression "Crising" has remained almost stationary. It is located 290 km West of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro giving a public storm signal number 1 warning over Palawan, Cuyo Island, Calamian Group of Islands, Occidental Mindoro, and Lubang Island.

On the other hand, a soon-to-be-tropical-depression was estimated in the vicinity of Albay. This Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated at 40 kms East of Virac, Catanduanes, and therefore will cause panic and depression, again, to my Mom who is in our house in Albay.


Image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An image of the Philippine loop is also alavailable here. Please visit the PAG-ASA weather bulletin for updates about Tropical Depression Crising. Next bulletin will be out at 5am of May 1.

Low Pressure Area

Here are signs that the Urban gurU is in a Low Pressure Area:
  1. he can't finish any job. in the first place, he don't have any idea how to start any task.
  2. he has thoughts of deleting an/some online account/s. or maybe not.
  3. he enjoys fighting in the arena with his brute. and of course robbing at mafia wars.
  4. he can't start any AI post. and thinks that the judges are way too biased lately.
  5. he tries to kill time by micro-blogging thru plurk. despite several blog posts he had started already but never finished anything.
  6. he doesn't mind eating his dinner. not unless his tummy demands it.
  7. he is just waiting for the subpoena from Smartbro since he haven't paid his internet bill for the past 3 months. same is true for his other bills.
  8. he still can't decide whether to pursue his postgrad this coming semester. the college secretary would surely kill him.
  9. he keeps on thinking which memorial plan he should take. cremation is topping his list.
  10. he tries to write a post that would make sense, at 2 in the morning. but thinks he's an epic phail!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Summer gurU

It's official, cyberhybernation is over!

After almost a month long of blogging hiatus, 25 days to be exact, the Urban gurU is back!

However, since am melting because of this scourging heat, am back as the Summer gurU! Yey! o.O


So what happened to the Urban, I mean, Summer gurU for the past 25 days?

*flashback*
  • March 23-24 - finals! I have to finish the last 4 exams I'm supposed to give for this school year.
  • March 26 - honors deliberation. Have to finish the graduating class' grades and finalize the honors lists.
  • March 27 - Candlelight Ceremonies of the graduating class at Loyola Grand Villas. I have to shop my attire an hour before the event. Bwahaha!
  • March 31 - Graduation Rites. Have to finalize the audio-visual presentation needed that day and that took me an entire day to finish! Praise God it went well!
  • April 3 - Graduating Class' Retreat at Camp Explore, Antipolo, Rizal. Went home exhausted. And just like any other retreat, no one wanted to go home... *sigh*
  • April 4 - Departure for Balanga City, Bataan for PSYSC's National Science Camp
  • April 5-9 - Camp Bataan. For the record, this is my 7th Camp! Whew!
  • April 10-12 - rested at home for the Holy Week.

Am not that busy, right?

But no, here's the deal, got more things happening this summer:

  • April 13-24 - Log_on. It's a refresher course am giving at school for those who are taking high school entrance exams next school year.
  • April 27-30 - Curriculum Refresher Course. I'll be giving a workshop for teachers about integrating Science in the elementary level. (details will follow soon)
  • May 9 - iBlog5. I'll be riding an Ikot jeep and head to Malcolm Hall for the 5th Philippine Blogging Summit.
  • May 11-29 - School Workshops. We will be preparing this time for the next school year!

Whew! What a jam-packed summer! Is this what they call vacation?

I don't think so...

Let's just enjoy the heat of the sun!!!





Credits go to 12 years old Just for the new Urban gurU graphics!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Googling Gyudon

One time, I thought of googling the word gyudon. Flabbergasted by the results, my inquisitiveness brought me to these sites:


Yoshinoya’s history dates back to 1899 when a Japanese named Eikichi Matsuda crafted a scrumptious recipe of beef and rice known as gyudon. Gyudon is from the Japanese terms gyū which means "cow" or "beef", and don is short for donburi, the Japanese word for "bowl".



For the past 110 years, Yoshinoya has grown to be an imperative brand name in Japan as asserted by more than 1,000 outlets. In Metro Manila, they can be found in the following strategic locations: SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, SM Mall of Asia, Robinsons Galleria, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, Binondo, Park Square 1, and Greenhills. Hence, making it one of the biggest fast-food chains in Japan and Asia.

The first time I visited Yoshinoya, I was not that stunned with their cuisine. If I recall it right, that could be almost two years ago. Late last year, when I visited again one of their stores, I was finally convinced of the palatability of their gyudon. Quoting my best friend whom I am with that time, “this is the best gyudon I had ever tasted.” Since then, we often drop by the nearest Yoshinoya to our place.


Gyudon is best served with seven spices and red ginger (beni shoga). Seven spices add a little bit of an exquisite chili flavor to the beef; at the same time, the red ginger makes it savory juicier. By the way, the first serving of red ginger is free.

Aside from the gyudon, the chicken teriyaki and fish katsudon are both must try dishes in any Yoshinoya store. Their chicken teriyaki is favorable to those who are health conscious since it is cooked with minimum amount of oil. To boot, the fish katsudon boasts a sumptuous cream dory cooked in tempura sauce, topped with an egg. Mouth watery, isn’t it?

So the next time you think of googling the word ‘gyudon,’ try heading to Greenhills Yoshinoya instead. I guarantee you, they serve Japan’s No. 1 Beef Bowl!





Yoshinoya Greenhills accepts:
  • orders for delivery at a minimum order of Php 300.00
  • bulk orders of at least 20 orders of rice bowls/noodles/jumbo plates will be free of delivery charge plus FREE BEEF GYUDON for every P1000 purchase
  • KDO coffee sticks of box of 12 are available, Buy 1 Take 1, for only Php 45.48
For any queries, you may contact them at (02) 725 7789 or (02) 725 1736.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good vs. Evil Drama

The battle for the final two commenced last night!

It was a sweet tussle between idols Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey.

Adam, singing Johnny Cash’ “Ring of Fire” represented the evil, hot flaming, falsettoing, Nine Inch Nail inspired contestant. On the other hand Danny, belting Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel,” was the good-boy, heaven sent contingent. My jaw literally dropped after their performances.



Even it didn’t really sound like country for Adam’s rendition, it doesn’t really matter. Changing the song into something that fits him well, worked out very, very fine. If Kara thinks it was strange and she kinda likes it, I think it was indeed strange, and I kinda love it. ‘Twas hot, intense, sweet.



Danny took the good side last night. Accompanied by the bright white lights while he was performing, it seems like angels were all over the stage raising him up!

Piercing. It was just like piercing your soul.


Dark Horses of the Apocalypse

If there would be dark horses, these three guys would be it:
  • Anoop Dawg was “from zero to hero,” as Simon said it. After nailing “You’re Always on My Mind,” Anoop is back again in the competition. Welcome back dawg!
  • Tender Dawg Kris Allen sang “To Make You Feel My Love.” For Paula it was a “vulnerable performance.” And yes it was. It was soothing and flawless.
  • Matt Giraud. The jazzy JT did it again after singing “So Small.” And well, even he’s not a front runner in the competition, he’s definitely adding spice to it.
Better watch out for them in the forthcoming weeks!

Since girls are already outnumbered on the second week of performance night, I am picking Megan Joy and Allison Iraheta as the best female performers. Megan was awesomely lovely to the nth degree! Singing “Walking’ After Midnight,” she proved that she deserves to be in the Summer Tour after making it to the top ten. Caw! Caw!


Allison, who was part of the bottom three, still managed to be the sweet-young-rockstar as she was, during the performance night. Unluckily, she did not impress the judges, who persuasively convinced America not to vote for her. As a result, she’s down there. Sigh.

I predicted that Michael, Alexis, and Scott to be in the bottom three today. And yes, even Lil. Their performances were kinda weak and there's nothing impressive about them. I even predicted Michael to be out today, just like most people think, but nah… dirty Alexis heads home rather.

In the end, there will only be three girls in the summer tour, accompanied by the seven guys.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The search is on!

Everyone was enthralled upon hearing that they will have 13 finalists in this year's season of American Idol. Proportionally, the more choices, the more votes; the more votes... ka-ching!


Because of my excitement to go home today to watch AI, I even fought for my human rights over the tv just to watch the first performance night of the finalists. So finally, here are my top picks:


Adam reminded me of my 3rd grade mass demonstration at Tinuigiban, Puerto Princesa City. LOL. That was so 15 years ago! Despite the overwhelming foundation he has today, he's still my idol. Allison and Alexis are rockstars of their own. Well done for both of these girls! Yey!


I was amazed also of Matt and Kris' performance tonight. Hence, am placing them on my top half list together with Lil and Danny who are both consistent since day one.

Despite the variety Megan is giving to the competition, am really worried that she might belong to the bottom three together with Jorge and Anoop. Jasmine should also be worried for rendering an unripe version of "I'll be there."

Scott's voice is improving while Michael was also impressive tonight. Nevertheless, I don't see them singing in the final performance night. It's an Adam-Danny head-on-competition!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Urban gurU is one-year-old!



Happy First Year Anniversary


Urban gurU !!!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Paula makes sense tonight

Here's a short note for the third round:


Am picking Lil Rounds for her consistency. She's very solid from auditions up to tonight's performance.

Felicia Barton was a "WOAH!" She really proved her worth in the top 36. Hence, she deserves to be in the final round.

Von Smith picked the right song. Thus, gave him the rights to be in the competition. Got a random question, "Is Marvin Gay?"

How about Clay? o.O

Although Ju'Not was also a choice, 'Delilah' is definitely not a song that will bring him to the finals. But am telling you, he has the talent.

My second choice of best performers would be:
  • Ju'Not Joyner
  • Kendall Beard
  • Jorge Nunez

And Scott...

He has a chance. We'll see tomorrow if America will let him be in the finals.


Generally:
  • this is the worst group, ever.
  • they always reserve the best singer for the last performance. it's a hint already.
  • Paula makes sense tonight.


Now, where am I in my dream...


If you're gone.

I think I've already lost you. I think you're already gone. I think I'm finally scared now.

I think you're already leaving, feels like your hand is on the door. I thought this place was an empire but now I'm relaxed, I can't be sure .

I think you're so mean, I think we should try. I think I could need, this in my life. I think I'm just scared, I think too much.

I know this is wrong it's a problem I'm dealing...

If you're gone, maybe it's time to go home. There's an awful lot of breathing room, but I can hardly move.

If you're gone, God, I need to come home. Cuz there's a little bit of something me, in everything in you.


*sigh*

Thursday, February 26, 2009

AI8 Group 2 Shaking the Ground

I should be doing my lecture for tomorrow. But heck, I prefer scrutinizing Ryan Seacrest’s shirt first.

This, so far is the best group of semi-finalist I’ve ever seen in American Idol. I really had a hard time picking my top three for this week. As compared to last week, the top three for the first batch was very easy to predict. Talking about last week, let me share to you first my Group 1 top three:


First on my list is Danny Gokey. Charms + Voice = AI8 winner. But nah, it’s too early to predict. And no, am not in the fad of idolizing Mr. Gokey. It’s just I feel that he’s an Archie-to-be. Thou this time, he has a dramatic story to start with. I don’t know either if this will affect how people will vote for him. As what I know, people are starting to campaign for him thru blogs; paying bloggers who will write a post about him. Honestly, I have no issues with this kind of deed; it’s just am still not with the Gokey-hype.

Here’s a part of an email I received from a blogger’s yahoogroup I am part of:


Second on my list is Ricky Braddy. If you ask for voice quality, he’s the man. Unfortunately, he picked a non-conventional song that didn’t mark in America’s keypad. He’s not here to win the game.

Third, Jackie Tohn. Oh! I love watching her on the stage. She’s like a professional performer. The song also fitted her well.

To boot, Alexis Grace is also a fave. She’s fourth in my list. And yes, am happy that I'll be seeing more of her in the finals!

With 20,000 votes ahead of Anoop Dog, Michael Sarver was VERY lucky. But still, am not a fan. By the way, Tatiana, don't worry baby, I still heart you. Mwahugslurp!



So much to say about last week, let me talk about what happened today.

I am very disappointed for those who picked the wrong songs:
  • Jasmine Murray. I love her ever since Hollywood week. Her range is awesome. But singing Sara Bareille’s "Love Song" will not bring you to the finals. Why didn’t you choose a BIG song?!! Huhu.
  • Matt Giraud. Oh Matt… Please don’t try hard to be Justin Timberlake when you sing Coldplay’s "Viva La Vida." It didn’t work. You have a great voice and play the piano well. Stick to Ray Charles, please!
  • Matt Breitzke. I can’t even remember his performance… What did he sing?
  • Kai Kalama. A 60’s hit is not for you Kai. You have a big heart and an excellent voice. You sounded good, but not good enough to bring you to the finals. Tsk. Tsk.
  • Mishavonna Henson. Although I love “Drops of Jupiter,” it’s not meant for a singing competition. It didn’t show well your vocal skills.
If only they picked the right songs, everyone will surely have a shot for the top twelve!

Jeanie Vailes, Kris Allen, and Jesse Langset. All of them picked the right songs. And I rank them 6th, 5th, and 4th, respectively. They’re my second group of top three basing it on performance and voice quality. Impressive vocals they have. However, it’s still not a valid ticket for the finals. How I wish all of them would qualify to the final twelve!

Finally, here’s my top three:


Megan Joy Corkrey. She was very cute singing Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On.” Add to it the white dress and the dancing. But, do you still remember how was Antonella Barba eliminated? She said in her last AI performance, “girl, put your records on…” Oh no Megan!

Adam Lambert. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay. I still heart you. You rock, dude! You’re someone to beat in the top twelve. Hurray!

Allison Iraheta. Sweet sixteen as she is, but extraordinary vocal prowess! Her performance is what I call a show off. A show off that will bring her to the magic twelve. Yehey for Allison!



Did I forget anyone? Hmmm...



Wait! Nick Mitchell. Nick Gentle. Whatever!

Oh Nick! You’re an apparition for American Idol! People might have issues with you, but I believe you’re a talented performer. How I wish I can see more of you in the next episodes. But who knows? Maybe you genuinely entertained America and they might *crossing fingers* bring you to the finals! I’ll be ecstatic to see you at the finals too. LOL.


About Seacrest’s shirt, am just not used to see him wearing polo shirts in AI. That’s all.




Wait, so what is plutonism again? o.O


Now back to my PowerPoint. Or maybe I'd rather hit the sack. Zzzzz...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And the Oscar goes to...


I had Slumdog Millionaire for my breakfast-brunch-lunch last Saturday morning. Upon waking up, I grabbed Ace, returned to my bed, and watch the film until 12:30pm.


A. He cheated.


After watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button early last month, I was totally decided that it should win 'Best Picture.' Surprisingly, I was more amazed when Ayush Makesh Khedekar swam in the pool of feces just to have Amitabh Bachchan's autograph than Brad Pitt's transfiguration from an old man suffering from arthritis to being the sexiest man on earth.

Therefore, I'm changing my bet for 'Best Picture' from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to Slumdog Millionaire.


B. He's lucky.


Slumdog is an additional movie to the list I've posted last month on The guru's oscar pickS:

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  • Iron Man
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army
  • Wall-E
  • Wanted
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Notice how diverse the genre of films I'm watching? It's even better than Tubbataha Reef's biodiversity!


C. He's a genius.


So again, here are my biased predictions on who I WANT to win later on in life:

  • Actor in a Leading Role - Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
  • Actress in a Leading Role - Meryl Streep (Doubt)
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - Taraji Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
  • Animated Feature Film - Wall-E
  • Cinematography - Slumdog Millionaire
  • Directing - Slumdog Millionaire
  • Film Editing - Slumdog Millionaire
  • Makeup - Hellboy II: The Golden Army
  • Music (Score) - Wall-E
  • Visual Effects - Iron Man
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - Slumdog Millionaire
  • Best Picture - should I say my pick here, again?

For sure you've seen this picture already:


Got this one from Neil Brian's plurk. (Just click the image to enlarge it).

Well if this was the first time for you to see that pix, you've missed a quarter of an Astronimical Unit. We'll see if this leakage is worth of our precious time.



As for me, I knew it already even from the very start that the best answer is:


D. It is written.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Emancipation From Poverty Through Legal Empowerment

UP Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights - Asia (ESCR-Asia), and Alternative Law Groups

invites you to a forum on

Emancipation From Poverty Through Legal Empowerment



The activity is geared towards promoting public consciousness on how the legal system can be a tool in alleviating the deplorable conditions of the poor and in ultimately eliminating the blight of poverty in the country.

The keynote speaker is Justice Renato S. Puno of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

It will be held on February 27, 2009, 1-5pm at the Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law, Diliman, Quezon City.


If you are interested, please feel free to email e_benzene@yahoo.com




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sugus

While checking my private plurks this evening, I noticed a thread about a "boy that got bullied & beat at the open party recently and the mom sent out a widely circulated email."

Being used to forwarded scams sent thru email, I really didn't mind it.

Surprisingly, while scanning my inbox, 6:57 pm of February 16, I received an email about a party host named Sugus. For records sake, here is the complete unedited email FORWARDED by Fhabi:


FYI in case you guys are hiring a PARTY HOST OR CLOWN ENTERTAINER for your childrens parties

Dear friends and family,

I have pondered for almost 6 months whether I should do this. At first, I was prepared to let this awful experience just slide. However, as new information about misbehaviors of this host unfolds, I can no longer endure the thought of another kid being abused.

So here it is: his name is RONALD LEGASPI but known as SUGUS in the kiddie party planning and entertainment as well as the theater industry. He is about 42-years old and has claimed to an actor and commercial model. He is a great womanizer claiming to have had sex with over 100 women to date from whores, artists, GROs, students, etc. He had a couple of mistresses who were used abused and hurt. My private investigator has also reported that he was reprimanded by a police officer having oral sex at a Makati parking lot and he had paid 7,000 for the offense. Friends of his says that he is in a very miserable and bad marriage and insecured of his rich wife.

Anyways, my bad experience happened in March this year 2008 when I threw a party for my son at a clubhouse in Greenhills in San Juan City. Guests observed that this host Sugus was always staring at my other kid, my daughter who is 10 years old. During parlor games, she was touching the hair of my little girl, the yayas present that time reported. What came as a shock of my life was when after the party, behind the backdrop, this host unzipped his pants and showed his "birdie" to my daughter and was signaling for her to touch it. My daughter ran screaming but when I called his attention, he appeared to be innocent of the crime. I sent him away at once. I reported the matter to the police at once and had file a case against this immoral person. Case is now with the trial court.

Aside from molesting my daughter who has suffered trauma from this horrible experience, I found out that he also maltreated a little boy after a party after the boy called him an old, ugly monkey. He bullied the boy and made `pitik' the ear. Even if there were feedbacks in the past that he is a good host, people should be careful because such behavior may be only manifesting now. For what reasons, we do not know. But this host Sugus is definitely sick and needs psychological help. I am not out to destroy a person reputation, because it is a waste of my time and energy to write this if my intention is not pure. It is a moral obligation to make people
aware of other people wrongdoing.

Don't ignore this important warning from me. Better be safe than sorry. There are many other good hosts to choose from. Please, please beware of this person because he could sweet talk you and act very charming to deceive people. Please pass this message so that we can help in our own little way to prevent the abuse of innocent kids.

(sgd.) Mommy Elen Dy


Sad, isn't it?

However, 9:41 pm of the same day, an email came again, but this time from Bernard, bearing this complete text:


Hi,

I guess forwards like this are the flipside of the internet age. You can actually destroy a person's life in a flash through these unverified stories.

I happen to know SUGUS when I worked in UCPB. He used to be a Manager of one of the departments of the bank, so you can imagine how shocked I was when I read this story. Personally, I am not close to him but I have known this guy to be really decent and he was respected at work.

I called my former officemates at work today to verify if any of these are true. The ones closest to Sugus in the office are seething with rage for their friend who's a real good guy. I was informed that this supposed e-mail purporting to come from a mother was written by his erstwhile friend whom he had a falling out with. This friend even went to the extent of creating a fake friendster account and embarassed SUGUS to his catholic religious community called SOLV. It IS that bad. SUGUS sued this friend and the suit is now pending.

For the record, the case mentioned herein is non-existent and this supposed event is completely fabricated. Sugus resigned from his stable and lucrative job in the bank to do what he loves best - to entertain. I saw him last year playing a character on the TV show Super Inggo in ABS CBN. He IS a great party organizer and host and so great with kids. It is sad that because of this email thread, he is losing clientele because people would naturally be wary of him even if the story is completely untrue.

I don't want to preach against our right to forward stuff. We are all guilty of it one way or another. I just realized how we can also be part of destroying someone's life and reputation simply by the forward and send buttons.

I hope you can also forward this in defense of SUGUS. Better yet, i hope you can tell your friends to check the source of the rumor and if such allegations have suffiencient basis because these are serious and defamatory allegations. It's so easy to destroy and break a reputation but I doubt if you can completely restore it.

Thanks and God bless.

Bernard


Both emails came from my college organization's yahoogroup.

I do not know Fhabi nor Bernard, personally. But since both of them are members of the Christian organization I am part of, I wont compromise their credibility.

I have no idea whether the case being talked about in the plurk thread is the same one mentioned in the first email I received.

If that's the case, I have no idea on the veracity of such claims.



Please, enlighten me.




Well, in case we are at the same page of the same book, I hope all of us can read between the lines.




UPDATE:

Feb 17 (11:56pm) - I verified it. Not the same emails. Many thanks Jane!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love: It's Killing Me

Questions about love would always hark back the memories of my elementary days—autographs here and everywhere.

‘Love is blind’ or ‘God is love,’ are the most overt answers to the question ‘define love’ in any autograph book I would read. Though it may sound cliché, people who had resolved to those answers were, indeed,right.

Agape is the most important love of all. It is different from all the others. It is eternal; it is universal; though, sometimes, it is taken for granted. For no one can teach you what agape involves, thus, it is also something that all of us need to develop; it is, irrefutably, God’s love.

Eros is a different kind of love. It speaks of physical love. It is physical love and physical affection between two individuals. When people fall in love, eros love gets involve. That’s the time when love, becomes blind…


But still, it's a mystery
How you ever came to me
Which only proves
Love moves in mysterious ways
— Julia Fordham, Love Moves In (Mysterious Ways)


Love comes to us arbitrarily. Hence, just like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’ll get. You can’t teach yourself how to love, what more to dictate to yourself whom to love. Thus, just like in the art of teaching, it is the process that really matters in what they call, ‘the art of loving.’ How you substantiated that love of yours or how determined were you to show your love to the person you really care for.


Cause I feel myself surrender
Each time I see your face
I am staggered by your beauty
Your unassuming grace
And I feel my heart is turning
Falling into place
I can't hide it
Now hear my confession
— Josh Groban, My Confession


Falling in love is the most obscure offense a person could do to himself/herself. Falling in love is taking the risk of gambling your emotions, your affection. Simply, you actually love even without the assurance of being loved back. It’s just like sowing a seed without even knowing what kind of plant it is. Will it bear a flower? Will the flower develop into a fruit? What kind of fruit it might be? Yet before you should have asked those questions, are you sure that the seed you’d sown would actually grow?


If I can reach the stars,
Pull one down for you,
Shine it on my heart
So you could see the truth:
That this love I have inside
Is everything it seems.
— Eric Clapton, Change the World


Now that you’re certain with your feelings, make sure as well that you invest also in the motivational and cognitive facets of your love. Knowing whom to love is not enough; knowing why and how long you’ll love somebody is imperative as well. There should be the sense of passion, hence commitment, aside from the overwhelming intimacy.

For sure, any shortfall in any of these requirements might lead to a love quandary.


I know I misbehaved
And you made your mistakes
And we both got room left to grow
And though love sometimes hurts
I still put you first
And we’ll make this thing work
But I think we should take it slow
— John Legend, Ordinary People



Love needs to mature, just as every seed do. It should be nurtured, supplied by its rudimentary provisions.

Love is a give-and-take relationship. It is always a two-way process. It shall never be a one-way function.

The reason why some cases of ‘love’ don’t last long enough is because it is simply not participated by both parties. May it be just a liking, an infatuation, empty love, romantic love, companionate love, or fatuous love, these patterns of love actually happen because only one party is experiencing any of the three elements of love.

You can’t say that an infatuated person would be forever in love with another infatuated person; nor you can’t find a couple in a harmonious relationship who are just committed to each other, experiencing empty love forever; nor people who just like each other and stay together for the rest of their lives.

Anyone who is in a romantic, companionate, or fatuous relationship won’t stay together for a long period of time either. Spontaneously, time would judge their love until the instance that suddenly the love they had treasured for quite some time is gone already. As a consequence, love, eventually, dies.

Accordingly, it may be construed that this might by the reason why certain love doesn’t last long, hence, why break ups occur.


So I've learned that love's not possession
And I've learned that love won't wait
Now I've learned that love needs expression
But I learned too late
— Michael Jackson, She’s Out of My Life


Now that you’re not attached to each other anymore, you’ll soon realize the absurdity of life. And just as what a friend of mine asked in an email a couple of weeks ago, “Why is it that the people we love, are often, the ones who hurt us?” “We trust and we’re betrayed; we care or love, but we’re abused or taken for granted,” he added. He even pointed out that love should be returned by love, perse, but at least, “if not love itself, love should be rewarded with kindness.”

Yes, maybe he’s right. After all, and just as how Levine said it: “love is the only rational act.”

Nobody said it was easy
Oh it's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard
I'm going back to the start
— Coldplay, The Scientist


But the end of a relationship is not the same as the end of the world. Am I getting a point here, or am I just exaggerating?

The gist is that sometimes, we seem to be over reacting on the things that had happened to us, to our lives. We are pressuring ourselves to give in into a relationship that actually doesn’t give us any assurance. How long will it last? Will your love be paid back also by love, or even just by kindness, as mentioned earlier? You’re certainly risking a part of your life —and that’s just a part of your life. Hence, if you’ll look into the bigger picture, there are still other facets of your life that needs your attention. There are more relevant things that you need to spend your time with, rather than contemplating and scrutinizing and blaming yourself of what went wrong.

I may sound hypocritical on this part, though, this, I think, should be how we should perceive love. The end of a relationship is not, and will never be, equitable to the end of our lives. After all, love is the only rational act.

In my eyes you do no wrong
And I believe in you
Although you never asked me to
I will remember you
And what life put you through
And in this cruel and lonely world
I found one love
You’re still you
After all, you’re still you
— Josh Groban, You’re Still You


Nevertheless, the most profound love for me is simply the love that is liberating. It’s merely letting go of someone else that you truly love. It’s the ultimate sacrifice a person could do to the one he loves. Let’s admit it, it’s easier to fall in love with somebody than breaking out of that love and letting that person go. Indeed, the art of letting go is remarkably harder to realize than the art of loving. After all, love is the only rational act.


Jamás sentí en el alma tanto amor (I never felt so much love in my soul)
Y nadie mas que tú, me amó (And no one but you loved me)
Por ti reí y lloré, renací también (Because of you I laughed and cried, I was reborn also)
— Josh Groban, Aléjate (Go Away)


Why did it take me a long time to reflect on this matter?

Honestly, I don’t know the answer. It’s just that, love, in reality, kills me —even at this very moment of time.


Pano mapipigil ang isang damdamin
Kung ang sinisigaw
Ikaw ang lahat sa akin
At kung hindi ngayon
Ang panahon, upang ikaw ay mahalin
Bukas na walang hanggan
Ako’y maghihintay parin
— Martin Nievera, Ikaw Ang Lahat Sa Akin






__________
This essay was written in September 20, 2005 as a reflection paper for the course EDFD 100 (Developmental Psychology).


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Online Petition to Increase the Salary of Public School Teachers

Three weeks ago, I posted about the online petition to increase the salary of public school teachers.

Unfortunately, it turns out that for online petitions from Filipino citizens to be valid and legally binding, they must comply with the provisions of the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 (RA 8792), specifically the provisions of Chapter II of the said Act. The petition at PetitionOnline.com cannot conform to RA 8792.

A new petition was opened containing substantially the same text, with additional text regarding the concurrence bill HB 4734 which is now pending with the House of Representatives. Please do sign that petition. The online signing process seeks to conform to the requirements of RA 8792.



Thank you very much for supporting our fellow public school teachers!



*from the original email of Mr. Isles of Education in the Philippines Forum

Monday, February 9, 2009

UP Fair 2009

February 9 - EUFAIRIA by Delta Pi Omicron Sorority and Indios Bravos Multimedia

*Rico Blanco, Slapshock, Queso, Intolerant, Razorback, Typecast, Markus Highway, Hilera, Reklamo, Franco, Stonefree, Chubibo, Brigada, Badburn, Dissent, Sin, Manila Bus, Peligro, Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man, Meat Balls, Falling at Zero Degrees, and many more.


February 10 - ROCKULTURA by the UP Engineers and Men for College and Country Fraternity (EMC2)

*Pupil, Urbandub, Sandwich, Chicosci, Queso, 6cyclemind, Itchyworms, The Wudz, Imago, Callalily, Mayonnaise, Soapdish, Silent Sanctuary, Greyhoundz, Cambio, Pedicab, Markus Highway, Datu’s Tribe, Zelle, Join the Club, Peryodiko, Kelevra, The Ambassadors, Archipelago, Nicty Nasty, Paraluman, South Superhighway, and so much more!


February 11 - AMPLIFIED by Alpha Sigma Fraternity

*Queso, Parokya Ni Edgar, Kamikazee, Urbandub, Chicosci, Typecast, Moonstar 88, Out Of Body Special, Blue Boy Bites Back, The Ambassadors, The Youth, Nyctinasty, Franco, Salamin, Hansom, and many more!


February 12 - RAMBOL by UP Brotherhood of the Filipinos 1955 (or aka Pinoy ‘55)

*Sponge Cola, Pupil, Green Department, and many more.


February 13 - LOVERAGE by UP Pan Xenia Fraternity and UP Adelfe Enu Crea Sorority

*bamboo, sugarfree, urbandub, kjwan, itchyworms, greyhoundz, razorback, typecast, moonstar88, silent sanctuary, kitchi nadal, hilera, and many more!



WHERE? o.O

UP Sunken Garden


see you there!

Tuzki Bunny Emoticon