For whatever I can share to inform, inspire, enlighten, and bring joy and hope to others, then this blog has best served its purpose.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Turning your passion for writing into profits

Have you ever tried to consider a writing career? Or perhaps you're just one of those who make writing just a passion and not a profession or income-generating instead? To those who can write (I mean like one who has a great potential and deep love for writing), turning what is just your passion or hobby into profits would be not only exciting, but most promising as well. First you have to gauge which writing fields you would best fit up with and learn to make some adjustments whenever necessary. As long as you can adjust and becomes a versatile one in the process, writing for profits would be just as easy as a walk in the park. The most important thing to consider though is for you to express clearly of your thoughts and ideas through the written words. The following are just some of the tips, based on my own experience, on how you can generate income from what is just your passion or hobby:

1. Be an active contributor. You have to find or search for publications that accept submissions in the fields of poetry, fiction, or essay. It is also one way, for budding writers out there, to get the exposure that they need for their works. Some publications do have writing contests as well, so why not try your luck in there.

2. Be a ghost writer. It is to write like for example, a book, in behalf of someone who can't afford to write for some reasons. Ghost writers are always for hire and they get paid for their labor and talent. In ghost writing, you won't be able to own your works but the copyrights will be reserved for the person or institution that you are serving for.

3. Be a content writer. This is the same as ghost writing although it focused more on internet marketing as well as in providing contents of a certain product or service of a particular website and usually to include SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. A content writer usually receives $10 to $15 per 400 to 500-word high quality article or $250 to $300 per project or higher.

4. Become a blogger or online publisher. Whether you own a domain or not, the success of one's website depends on the expertise and ingenuity of the one running it. Of course, you have to populate your site with relevant and high quality contents. Once you get your site established as well as get the traffic needed to attract advertisers, then that's just the beginning. Imagine your own self earning big bucks on advertisements even while you're away on a vacation. It requires some great skills, a lot of patience, and tons of hard work before reaching that status though.

5. Write your own book. While this one requires a lot of your time and, to some degree, money, that’s one best way to earn something on what you’ve had worked hard for. Once you’re done writing your very first novel, or perhaps a collection of your poetry compiled for a book, you need to find publishers who will be interested in your works. Your success as an author depends on the promotional method being applied to make your book reach the necessary income gained from sales. You can also self-publish your book via online. Lulu and Amazon are just two of the many websites that cater online self-publishing service to authors.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas and the best of gifts we can give to others

Christmas is the best time to reflect on what Christ has done for us and to express such examples through action. Of course, we have to give out of what we can afford to give to others; to reach out to everyone, most especially those who need it most, as each one of us deserves to receive a heartily given gift. The best gifts we can give someone are our time and love. But, sometimes, still we can express it through material things as long as they are heartily given. The Almighty God has given us the priceless gift of love through Christ.

I’m sure not all of you would agree about the fact that Christmas is being celebrated on the 25th of December. Maybe I will agree with them on that but then, I won’t. It doesn’t matter if whatever specific date you would have to celebrate Christmas but what’s important is that you’ve got to celebrate it no matter what. After all, no one knows about the exact date of Christ’s birth. Some Bible scholars cited the month of September as the month by which Christ was probably born. But to celebrate it instead on December 25 is so much better than to not celebrate it at all.

So, in this very important occasion, allow me to express my best of gifts that I can afford to give by investing time to write this short article. I hope that, by sharing this, I can enlighten, inspire, and enrich some souls who are willing enough to as well invest some of their time reading. While I may not be able to reach out to everyone personally, hopefully this one may have to fill in for whatever the gaps. May the spirit of Christmas touches everyone’s hearts and reflect on the gift of giving—the gift that keeps on giving.

My wife Leah, son Nathaniel Harris, and myself wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year! May the Almighty God bless us all!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Who were the Bible was referring to as the Sons of God in Genesis 6?

The story about a giant race, mentioned in Genesis 6 that once roamed the Earth and co-existed with ordinary mortals will be a subject for as many interpretations and debates as there are Bible scholars willing to invest some thoughts on the said topic. The Bible has given us a clear picture of what kind of world it was like in Noah's time yet  leaving us some passages worth spending much of our time pondering in Genesis chapter 6:  "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply in the face of the Earth, and daughters were born to them, that the Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall always abide with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the Earth in those days; and also after that, when the Sons of God came unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

But who were the Bible was referring to as the Sons of God in Genesis 6? Were they the fallen angels or the godly line of Seth? Many Bible scholars, especially the conservative ones, were buying the theory that the Sons of God mentioned in Genesis 6 directly refer to Seth's descendants while the daughters of men are those of Cain's. There are instances, however, that the phrase "Sons of God" was also used to describe kings. It was believed that, at some point of time, Cain's line has ceased to be productive resulting to produce only female offspring while the line of Seth, on the other hand, continued to produce strong males. In the passing of time, Cain's line have successfully lured the robust males of the line of Seth and thus the intermarriage between the two bloodlines began.

I beg to disagree with that theory because, in the first place, talking about the "tribe of Seth" is nowhere mentioned in the book of Genesis. The word "nephilim", from the Hebrew word nefilim which refers to a race that once dominated the world before the Great Flood, do not only refer to mighty men but a giant race that actually existed in those days. For me, the Sons of God mentioned in Genesis 6 are the fallen angels; their intermarriage with ordinary mortals produced a hybrid race never before experienced in the history of the world. Although the angels, a perfect-spirited group of persons created by God, are not designed for marriage purposes, but they can freely choose to wear on a human flesh to hide their angelic beings. Freedom of choice is something God has allowed for all of His created beings to exercise. It was through that free will that Lucifer, the choicest of angels, fell short from the grace of the Lord (Isiah 14:12-15). The result has become the evidence itself: a giant race. Archaeological finds of giant skeletal remains in many different places of the world only made the claim  about the past existence of giants stronger. Psalm 8:5 would be supporting the fact that the angels are, compared to humans, a little superior: "For you have made him (the man) a little lower than the angels". The Sons of God mentioned in Genesis 6 is no doubt the fallen angels of God and their intermarriage with the daughters of men were true, literally.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The end of the world should start with a flash of lightning

The good thing about the end of the world, as what was being hyped to the full would end today, the 21st of December 2012, is that it's not going to happen yet. Some people may have just misinterpreted what the Mayan calendar was saying: December 21, 2012 is the date believed to be the beginning of a new cycle and not, as what many falsely announced, the end of the world. So what if the world ends today? What can you do about it? If you can do something to stop it then good, if not then just fine.

The end of the world I think, if you're going to ask me what's my idea about it, should start with a flash of lightning that will be seen throughout the four corners of the world. Then there will be a huge confusion from almost every direction, people will run to and from as if clueless about what's going to do of what's happened. But that's only my idea. I hope my imagination betrays me because I would really like to see the end of the world as something that we should not be afraid of. It's a transition by which the old is giving way to a new, much better form.

Scientists at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) have earlier announced that the said apocalypse to occur on December 21, 2012 has no scientific evidence to support such a claim and that the world would continue to keep on spinning even after that. So, for me, end of the world is no big deal. Or, is it? And how would you like it viewing your own self, though the end of the world you may have survived, only to live for 60, or maybe 70 something years of your entire life? But the apocalypse may have found a new form of humor in the words of Robert Graves when he compared it to a perfect poem which is, according to him, impossible. Once it had been written, the world would end.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Donaire will fill in for what Pacquiao has missed in his last fight

A few hours from now, and exactly one week after a devastating sixth round KO loss by Pacquiao to Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico, we will be witnessing another showdown between boxing's Mexican and Filipino rivalries this time with the "Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire against a Mexican veteran Jorge Arce at the Toyota Center of Houston, Texas. The two will be fighting at 122 pounds category and we can expect fireworks to explode come fight time. Donaire is a tremendous counter puncher whose left hand, packed with power, floored the likes of Darchinyan, Montiel, Nishioka, and many more. The "Travieso", on the other hand, is a Mexican warrior who will be there to put a pressure upon Donaire and his experience inside the ring will also be a great factor.

Donaire, known as a techhnical fighter, can easily shift to and from of his style to send to school the brawler Mexican with textbook-style precission punching. In comparison, style-wise, the Filipino Flash is the better, and the more skilled boxer than Pacquiao. But what makesPacquiao a great fighter is that he possesed such a kind of ferocity akin of a storm. His speed is packed with power and that is a winning combination which the Filipino Flash also have.

My bold prediction for this fight is that this won't go past six rounds with Donaire winning by knockout. This will even becomes a Fight of the Year candidate if Arce can put up a good fight against in an extraordinary way. The Filipino Flash will simply fill in for what the Pacman has missed against a Mexican a week ago.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Marquez got the better of Pacquiao via a stunning sixth round knock out

Pacquiao's humiliating loss to Marquez in their fourth encounter of what was considered as one of boxing's great rivalries reminds me of Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton some three years back when the Filipino fighter sent him to dreamland, lying flat on the canvas for a couple of minutes unconscious. That was the kind of Pacquiao we are accustomed to of seeing and was hoping to see on Saturday night (Sunday noon of December 9th, Manila time) but ended just tragic in the blink of an eye for the man we thought could expire "El Dinamita" and shut his mouth up. In spite of how it turned out to be, the fight did not only live up to expectations but was only adding more ingredients to the recipe. The fight, with three knockdowns and brutal, was in the level of a classic like the previous three  fights between them were, only this time we saw the "Pacman" taking a dose of his own medicine.

Pacquiao, as what he has promised, was the more agressive as he chased Marquez from the opening bell and tried to plant shots only to be countered well by the master technician from Mexico. Pacquiao won the round, though. The second round was a conservative display of search-and-destroy as the two warriors engaged in a mixed slugfest and boxing. The third stanza, however, is an indicator how stronger Marquez has become for this fight as he dropped Pacquiao with an overhand right straight to the head. But Pacquiao recovered and continued to pounce on at Marquez with his flurry of punches until his face became a mess of blood and even floored the Mexican in the fifth canto. Round six was a total war as the two exchanged heavy shots. Pacquiao appeared to clearly dominate the fight as he pinned the bloodied Marquez to the ropes in the corner and, while trying to finish the Mexican warrior off, only seconds away from the end of the round, caught off guard, he took a wild right straight or semi-right hook counter from Marquez as he fell with his face towards the canvas. Referee Kenny Bayless, upon seeing the nature of such a devastating knockout, did not bother to count anymore and immediately waved the fight off.

Many people, and the whole boxing world, were shocked. How did Marquez get such a power infused onto his system, his arsenal (the right hand in particular)? Is he on something? As we can see, Marquez got bigger and he has built up excellent muscles in only such a short period of time he looks like he's more of a body builder than a boxer. But wether he's on to something or not, we must also try to see the fact that, in this fourth encounter with his arch-rival Pacquiao, he has so much worked hard for it and prepared in a way that can motivate him to only think of winning.

Marquez is the better boxer but he's not as strong as the Pacman. That's why he changed things in the training camp. He hired an expert strength and conditioning coach to do the job for him. I think the proper application of plyometric exercises and lifting weights, aside from the overall nutritional factor, to a boxer's training regimen have worked wonders for Marquez. His fighting style he just left it at that, knowing he's always good at what he's already better at, but focus more on trying to add up some power in his punches. And as the saying goes "you can't teach new tricks to an old dog", but you can always try to improve things out though. Marquez has just proven it to us in his fourth outing with the Filipino boxing icon.

I'm not going to say that Pacquiao did not train as hard as Marquez, or was not that sharp as he can be during the fight. But Pacquiao, as what was his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza have been telling before the fight, has abandoned the plyometric exercises he was supposed to necessarily undergo with and concentrate more on boxing techniques with trainer Freddie Roach instead. Pacquiao has fought a good fight and has nearly busted the lights off from Marquez if not for that single punch the Mexican was able to throw in the remaining few seconds of the sixth round that changed it all. We need to praise Marquez for the victory he so deserved and for Pacquiao, we owe him respect for putting up a good fight and may this one served him a lesson, there's always a next time. So he must better luck for the Pacquiao-Marquez 5, if that fight will ever happen, to seek redemption.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pacquiao-Marquez 4: Both fighters must knock each other out, or nothing

Scene from the Pacquiao-Marquez first encounter.
Although the "Pacman" may be looking as ripped as he can be in every fight, one can not discount the fact that Marquez, while preparing for the fourth encounter with ring nemesis Manny Pacquiao, is in great shape and building up superb muscles he looks like the smaller version of Lou Ferrigno. The "Dinamita" from Mexico, surprisingly, will be the bigger guy now when they enter the ring on Saturday night (Sunday morning, Manila time) at the MGM Grand Garden in the Sin city of Las Vegas. But as they say, "muscles don't make a fighter" but for one to have possessed a killer instinct is, let alone collide in the squared circle and fight with styles as "styles", the sweet science may sometimes prove, "make fight".

The December 8, 2012 showdown of Manny Pacquiao, the eight-division world champion from the Philippines, and Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico (mark it on your calendar), should be one that is explosive and breath-taking non-stop action from the get-go. Both fighters must knock each other out or else this fight should not happen at all in the first place. We've seen enough from both of them as they engaged in a 36 rounds of war that is classic. It doesn't matter if who won the previous three fights between them but this fourth one should be the last and the winner should take it all by winning convincingly.

These two warriors will have things settled out and the only way to do that is for both of them to knock each other out. It should not go to the scorecards or else the fight will be just a de javu of some sort from the previous three. The "Pacman" must be his old self, with guns blazing, firing rat-tat-tat and a boom-boom-boom where the "Dinamita" will have no time to think about counter-punching. Marquez, on the other hand, is a very technical fighter. He knows, from a technical fighter's point of view, where the punches should come from and he masterfully counter it with a shot of his own. The original Pacquiao, before trainer Freddie Roach has transformed him to become a refined fighter, is a raw, do-or-die fighting machine smashing at anyone that's put in front of him. Pacquiao's left hand, as lethal as it is, is the main weapon in his arsenal.

The technical fighter in Marquez will be most effective only, to his advantage, if he fights another technical fighter as well, or a boxer instead of a puncher. This is why Pacquiao should bring this to the level of a street fight. If Pacquiao, for this fight, would only do pure boxing he will surely be defeated on points. But, who knows, Marquez, at this time, can as well mix it up with whatever Pacquiao's bringing on the table. No doubt these two fighters are in their best of forms and in perfect condition for this fight but each must need a knockout victory to win.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Poem for the rainy days--and a super typhoon named 'Pablo'

"Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;"
   --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Upon knowing that the super typhoon “Pablo” had already entered the Philippine area of responsibility and landed somewhere in the eastern part of Mindanao, in Davao Oriental to be exact, I started to become more vigilant by checking up on the news every now and then. "Pablo" was only named as it is when the said typhoon with an international name of “Bopha” entered the Philippine area of responsibility. Typhoons, which are a regular visitor to the country every year, are nothing new in the Philippines. This is because the country's location in the globe, being just above the equator and getting sandwiched in-between by two great oceans (the Pacific Ocean in the east and the South China Sea in the west), has become the passageway for any tropical depression that develop somewhere in the Pacific ocean to become a full-blown typhoon en route to the western direction reaching as far as the mainland Asia.

Instead of thinking for what negativity the super typhoon Pablo may have to cause on, I wrote a poem that brings in the bright side of every situation by trying to go beyond superficial seeing; something which we can draw a lot of hope from by changing the way we look at things, and to learn to deal with what is going to happen good or bad and move on. So this was it, fresh from conception, and impromptu the "Poem for the Rainy Days--and a Typhoon named Pablo" would like to have you puzzled, or, perhaps, convinced:

something was taking place everywhere and my face didn't ring a bell but
in the process this still face wakes up--this other person calling to invite me
only now i can actually experience--and how long?
moving in at a thrilling speed
and this evanescent joy
being over and above:
an easy pattern blowing
with greater force upon
a crowd of tiny
liquid crystals.

because i would love to see it, and feel, fully comprehend.
not as the highest possible conception of a landscape but, in full view, something
i would rather see with the morning glow than discover.

the winds may shift
as i heared them pacing across a space that was dark, but to get out of this mental fog of fury,
seized me with a kind of fear.

not anymore.
poetry has it translated between the senses and, all at once,

it flies at me as if it was the most natural thing--
somehow finding it attractive.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Journey of Life finds two fighters squaring off again inside the ring for the fourth time already

The whole boxing world will once again witness a rivalry and a war that has something to do about proving who is the real winner between two of the sport's fearless warriors come December 8, 2012 (December 9th Manila time). All three previous encounter is a battle, and although Marquez kissed the canvas four times, he managed to make it as close to winning. Or at least in his own mind, he won. But that is to be proven once more for the fourth time and once and for all to put an exclamation point to such an epic. Boxing is a vintage sport that is brutal, yet if we dig deeper into knowing each of the fighter's life story we would be attracted about the journey of life that these fighters are trekking. Manny Pacquiao's rags-to-riches story is a source of inspiration, and one that has given boxing a good name.

Pacquiao's childhood, entangled with poverty and the hard life, may have been his best training ground and the springboard for anything to fit into the mold of what he must become as he emerged, from out of that sphere of influence and activity, the fearless pugilist pounding ruthlessly at anyone he will be facing off inside the squared circle. A fighter's past he may have carried it with him inside the ring to furiously unleash the kind of torture he may have once gone through. But despite such savagery he may have been a part of, his human side would still make him truly good at heart. That's what makes boxing the kind of sport we would rather hate, but end up loving it still.

The Mexican in Juan Manuel Marquez is a relentless warrior who will be there to put up a good fight. He is one of the sport's best counter-punchers and he has a heart as big as you can imagine. He fights like a lion and knows where to throw those punches where they mattered most. He will always be there to give Pacquiao a problem and his never-say-die mentality has been proven many times over to be a big factor thanks to his Aztec side a warrior he, truly, is.

These two fighters will be giving their all come fight time. It will be the fight each of them wanted most to prove that the one is superior to the other. It will be classic, as all three wars they have fought with each other already have been. These two fighters are on a pilgrimage, searching for the answers, and when the bell rings, they will once again find themselves trapped in the journey of life they've been trekking.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Islands of Paradise: Supporting the Philippine government's program to preserve, maintain, and protect the environment, natural resources and wildlife habitat

While the Philippine archipelago is sometimes called as the "Islands of Paradise", there's a great responsibility that must be handled by the Philippine government and the constituents thereof in maintaining, preserving, and taking good care of what could be considered as nature's best of gifts. These paradisiacal places, however, though we may think these are but for us to see and enjoy in our time, are something we actually owe a lot to the future generations. Nature is, in fact, life and anyone who destroys it commits a crime.

The Philippine government has long ago addressed the fact about the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology being set in the 1987 Constitution, Section 16 of Article II of which declared as follows: "The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature." The issue concerning climate change has also been addressed in the year 1991 by which the Philippines came up with a sustainable development program called Philippine Strategy for Sustainable Development. The Philippine Network on Climate Change collaborates with other government agencies in a convention that creates the Inter-Agency Committee on Climate Change (IACCC). It was  led by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The said Committee aims to harness and synergize what many measures undertaken by the national government and civil society to address climate change and the negative impact it has be dealt with to. These are but just some of the many things the Philippine government has been doing to address environmental issues as well as environmental protection and preservation.

To protect and preserve the environment is everybody's concern as we all live in the same planet. The future generations need to see and experience the Islands of Paradise, among many other beautiful things of nature. The Philippine government is doing everything for the right moves, and for the right reasons, to as much as possible protect, preserve, and maintain the beauty of nature. Let us, therefore, support and do our share by being just simply responsible and self-disciplined.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Experience Philippines: 6 reasons why you must visit the country at least once in your lifetime

You may have heard a lot about the Philippines (both the negative and positive things being said about it) but you will certainly never know what it's really like until you come and experience it all yourself. Of course, there are other places or countries which are as beautiful and as worth visiting to as the Philippines but one can not discount the fact that in the Philippines it's totally a whole lot more different and unique at the same time experience you will find. The people, places, culture, weather, and food all combined to form a package for anyone desiring to have a slice of it. I'm not saying it's all going to be perfect but perfection here should be conceived as something that the negative combines well with the positive so as to make it just a part of the whole picture. For my fellow Filipinos, take time to explore the countryside with all its wonders and beauty to behold and don't become a stranger in your own land. The following are 6 reasons why you must experience Philippines at least once in your lifetime:

  • The Philippines is home to the world's happiest of people. No matter what life may have to offer the Filipino people, in general, they will always be contented and happy for what they have. And while poverty may have been a part of the majority of the Filipino people's lives, they are most hopeful and can only afford to look and see at the bright side of life though. For most of them, all of these negative things are what making life a very wonderful experience.
  • The Philippines is an island paradise. Actually, the Philippines is composed of as many as 7,100 islands. So once you're here, you will have the freedom to island-hop from one paradise to another.
  • The Philippines as the melting pot between the East and West. The Filipino culture is the world's most unique. Being the mixture between Asian, American, European, and Latin, a typical Filipino today is one who looks Asian, speaks English in an American accent, has a Spanish-sounding name, and a Latin temperament.
  • Filipino hospitality is unmatched anywhere in the world. While some cultures may have also been known for their hospitality, Filipino hospitality is a cut above the rest. It has become a part of Filipino culture to see to it that, aside from treating well and the warmest welcome, being the host, the visitors should feel at home.
  • The Philippines is home to some of the world's most exotic foods. Filipino foods are among the world's bests. But have you tried their exotic foods as well? Many Filipinos thought that eating a "balut" (duck's embryo) could boost performance and give them extra energy in bed. This aphrodisiac has been eaten by Filipinos for many generations now. There are many other exotic foods that the Filipino people love to eat.
  • The Philippines is home to as many fiestas there are to celebrate about. In the Philippines, a party could mean fiesta. But what makes a Philippine fiesta much more alive and unique is because of its religious and cultural connections.

I have only given you six reasons why you must experience Philippines at least once in your lifetime. There are still lots of reasons why you must find time being here than anywhere else, but that is for you to find out for. Welcome to paradise!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 1-4, 2012: Hometown vacation

During a three-day vacation to a hometown I haven’t paid a visit for the last two years, I was driven to a feeling of mixed emotions seeing the place I grew up in and where I was also born.

The place hasn’t changed much except for the few infrastructure projects (some of them were still unfinished) somehow serving as a stark contrast to the rustic scenery a typical Philippine province usually portray. I felt like I was a kid again as I made the effort to try to tread on the grasses barefoot (the same thing I was doing when I was a kid), sensing that tingling feeling that usually made my soul becomes elated.

It was a reunion with my past that is always present and where my future will also be. I met my parents in the same old house where I was once staying and, together with my wife and two-month-old son I have brought home with me, relatives, friends, my brother, and my sister, we savor every moment to make some bonding as intact as ever.

I had this feeling of clinging to everything to make everything stay. But the grind must go on and time waits for nobody. But as the poet as I can be, I wish to capture every tick of a second with a poem I wrote that should best explain it all:

Late 80s

Time moves in one direction, memory in another.
--William Gibson

 Traversing the expanses that divide us
I have waited long enough on the length
Of what is to be seen across
Like it was wrong to avoid, and
Reason, and worry, grinned.
What lingers on and winds away I don’t care again
To bother with a knowing look:
Things will never change, changes,
Leaning into what keeps them
Completely lost to time
Forgetting what you can still remember
And remembering what you deeply forgot.
But rather than guessing, I’m begging you not to try
And it has just began, you can always stay
And wonder if you knew.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The price of rebellion: What’s with the peace deal served anew, by the way?

The Philippine government’s latest signing of a peace agreement with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) rebels should be considered as one of the major achievements of this administration to hopefully put an end to the decades-old rift between our Muslim brothers and the Christian majority from which the past administrations have desperately had  tried and failed. The government should act as a parent treating her rebellious constituents as children and trying to do her best to bring them back to the fold. But, in some instances, she will be forced to impose disciplinary actions because it is necessary. The Muslim rebellion in the Philippines, sparked by the Jabidah massacre during the late president Ferdinand Marcos’ regime, costs more than a hundred thousand lives in the span of a little over four decades of war with the government.

During the late 60s, Nur Misuari, a Filipino Muslim and University of the Philippines professor, became the leader of the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) aimed at establishing an independent Moro state.  The Jabidah massacre, by the way, is the execution of more or less 68 Filipino young Muslim military trainees in the island of Corregidor. The late dictator’s plot to infiltrate or retake Sabah from Malaysia has been leaked out to the public and so he ordered about the abortion of the said operation and murdered all of the trainees.

Malaysia, upon knowing about the said plot by the Philippine government, retaliates by offering these Moro rebels a safe haven in the Malaysian soil for them to conduct proper military training and also by aiding them with arms and supply. Sabah is in the northernmost part of Borneo bordered by Sarawak in the southwest and by Kalimantan in the south. As history would tell us, Sabah is owned by the Sultanate of Sulu in the Philippines. But Malaysia, ignoring the Philippines as the true owner, firmly claimed Sabah as part of its territory.

The Muslim rebellion should have been long ago crashed and peacefully given solutions with, but it continued to thrive on because it was nurtured for the wrong reasons. Peace agreements between the government and rebels are nothing new in the Philippines. In fact, there have been so many peace deals and agreements that have been made over and again but then peace is not achieved as yet.

The willingness and commitment of these rebels to establish their own independent state and the sincerity and dedication of their chosen leaders in fostering peace and development in their respective areas should be the key. Otherwise, this peace agreement between the government and the rebels is nothing but just a front show. The Moro rebels have been given the chance, in the person of MNLF leader Nur Misuari, to lead and govern the ARMM (Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao) towards peace and prosperity but failed. His leadership is brimming to the full with corruption and lawlessness. We hope that the Philippine government’s new peace agreement with the other Muslim rebel group in MILF will finally be the answer and bring peace to Mindanao—the Land of Promise as it is sometimes called—for always.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The "Flash" meets "Speed King": Nishioka-Donaire encounter will be classic

October 13, Saturday (October 14 Manila time), the "Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 knockouts) will be facing a veteran Japanese fighter known as the "Speed King" Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 knockouts) in the super bantamweight division. Donaire's third outing at 122 pounds after moving up in weight from 118 pounds will be at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. It will be a tough test for the Filipino champion as Nishioka, unbeaten for the last eight years and along with his branded killer left cross and straight, is a fearless ring assasssin who has the speed and explosiveness combined. Mexicans Johny Gonzales, and Rafael Marquez, among others, fell victims to the Japanese warrior's deceptively fast straight left. The "Filipino Flash", on the other hand, posessess one of the sport's most lethal left hooks highlighted in the fights against Vic "Raging Bull" Darchinyan and that one of the Mexican heavy puncher Fernando "Chochulito" Montiel.

Donaire would like to collect all the belts and unify the super bantamweight division before climbing up a notch higher: the featherweight division. At featherweight and super featherweight divisions, he will have a lot of worthy opponents to choose from. But Nishioka is no spring chicken and one who is too dangerous to be just taken lightly. The hard-hitting Japanese could be relentless but as well a thinking fighter, slowly breaking down opponents and making sure to finish them off. His only weakness is inside-fighting but he makes up for what he lacks by throwing that well-timed straight left sending most of his opponents to dreamland.

Expect fireworks to explode come Saturday night (Sunday morning in the Philippines) as two of the sports' best 122-pounder collides. From the opening bell (it sure will be action-packed and full of drama) till there's but only one man left standing raising his hands in victory, this fight will certainly have the making of a classic.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The unconstitutionality of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

Bill of Rights' section 5 of the Philippine Constitution clearly states: "No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances." While I must agree with the fact that in every freedom comes a responsibility, Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 failed to clearly define some of its provisions which, in one way or another and directly or indirectly, violate our constitutional rights. These provisions, being too broad or too vague, are the following:

Section 4 paragraph 4. It makes libel a cybercrime, if committed online;

Section 5. It punishes any person who aids or abets the commission of any cybercrime, even if it is only through Facebook or Twitter;

Section 6. It adopts the entire Penal Code, if the crime is committed by the use of information technology, but the penalty shall be one degree higher;

Section 7. It makes the same crime punishable, both under the Penal Code and the Cybercrime Act;

Section 19. It authorizes the Department of Justice to issue an order to restrict access to computer data which is found to be prima facie in violation of the new law.

Signed by no other than the president himself, Benigno Aquino III on September 12 of this year, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, tasked to fight identity theft, online ph0rnography, hacking, and spamming, is, in today's world, in fact, a necessity. But our lawmakers must be extra careful, deliberate, clear, and specific in defining what it is they all want to pass into a law about. Otherwise, it will only show how much ignorant they have become for their own laws and "ignorantia juris neminem excusat". Cybercrime law needs to be done again. I would like to think, though, that this law is not acceptable in a modern democracy in its present form.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Patriotism, a walk in the park, and Chinese arrogance

With the communist China's flexing of her military muscle to intimidate neighboring countries by which she had territorial disputes with (most particularly in the East and South China Seas area), we would be witnessing a new form of Hitlerism to flourish in this part of the globe. Red China has become more assertive than ever citing history to be her legal grounds in claiming the entire South China Sea and some parts of the East China Sea as well, which is absurd! It would be like, for example, Italy to cite history to claim back all the nations belonging to the Roman empire of old or for India to own the whole of the Indian Ocean because it bears her name. This new form of Hitlerism in the East is what I would love calling by its other title: "Chinese arrogance".

But unlike Hitler's Nazi Germany known for her blitzkrieg, China uses the Art of War techniques she has acquired and learned from Sun Tzu. Deception is the name of the game for the Chinese. It wouldn't come as a surprise, for anyone who reads Sun Tzu, for a Chinese leader to say "peace" while the action contradicts. Still, territorial disputes from among all nations could be best resolved through diplomatic means. But with China now trying to adapt what was her own version of the United States' "big stick" diplomacy, smaller nations such as the Philippines would be bullied to submission.

Never shall the Philippines give up her sovereignty that easy without a fight. China must be repulsed. Filipinos are known warriors and that warrior spirit lurks in the blood running through their veins waiting to be disturbed. While military might is a big factor in war, courage is everything. Patriotism, to quote from Charles de Gaulle, is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for other people than your own comes first. If China is not amnesiac, she must remember it only took a small force of Mongolians to put her down on her knees in the 13th century. The message is clear: China would be grabbing what she thinks she can benefit from you to support her growing needs. In other words, she’s doing what she likes to do because of greed.

China’s arrogance will one day bring her down to her knees (again). And when that happens, a walk in the park to greet everyone she meets along the way is a much better option than trying to play the troublemaker. We’re all but citizens of this world, after all. We need to respect each other.

Monday, September 24, 2012

How effective your writing is: The importance of a flawless grammar in prose writing

If you think that grammatical errors are just a minor thing in writing, you’re absolutely wrong. Except for poetry writing where what's needed is not a grammarian but an interpreter to a poet's discourse, prose writing requires a consistently flawless grammar to make your writing becomes effective. A flawless grammar, however, is just one of the elements to writing effectively but to fail to comply with would ruin what you're writing about for a particular topic. A good writer should always be aware of his grammar, correct usage of words, and writing style (whether it's formal or conversational, etcetera) in order for the readers to easily absorb what you would like to convey about.

I'm not saying I can only be writing a perfect prose but to try to avoid grammatical errors as much as possible each time I write. I always felt sorry for writers who never seem to care about correct grammars and even typographical errors in their writings but also felt relieved, though, because I wouldn't care to continue reading anymore upon discovering a flaw or two.  Writing is a way to communicate our thoughts to others; we should, therefore, write responsibly and effectively. I would like to share to you some tips on how to write effectively and the importance of a flawless grammar that prose writing should require:

1. Mastery of language. The best way to write effectively for a particular topic is through mastery of language. If you’re not comfortable with the language you are using to express your thoughts, ideas, and emotions through the written words, then you would find it hard to write with ease and grace to make your points.

2. As you write, you need to ask yourself these questions:  “What this is all about and for?”  “What I would like my readers to expect and do?” “Am I making sense at all to them?”

3. A flawless grammar. Imagine reading an article filled with grammatical errors, it will kill the excitement that every reader should have felt reading an interesting topic.

4. Avoid saying too much about yourself except when needed. While it is good to include your personal experiences to make your writings have that personal touch to it, saying too much about your own self is a big no-no. Some people will find it boring to read someone else’s life stories when all they need  to know is for you say something about their problems and how can you find solutions for them, an entertaining read, or something which they can relate a lot with at. When you try to say something about you, make sure you’re talking about them or a particular topic more than you’re talking about yourself except when you’re writing an autobiography.

5. Be simplistic and clear. This is where most writers failed to effectively connect to the readers about what it is they’re trying to say. Unless you’re 100% sure it is the most appropriate word to use in a sentence and know your audience, using hard-to-understand words are a turn off to readers. Some audiences, though, are well tolerable with hard-to-understand words but the majority of people prefer to read easy-to-understand writings.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Betrayal of a Public Trust: The case with Trillanes

Yesterday's verbal confrontation between senate president Juan Ponce Enrile and senator Trillanes, which ended up the senate president calling Trillanes a "fraud and a coward" while the young senator walked his way out from the senate session hall, showed how divided this country has become. The said word war has revealed some delicate informations/issues concerning the Philippine's trying to solve the sovereignty issue with China over the disputed Spratly islands and the Scarborough shoal. Trillanes, as what the news said, volunteered himself before the president to become a backdoor negotiator. But what was really intriguing came out when Enrile himself read the notes acquired from the former Philippine envoy to China Sonia Brady documenting the Trillanes mission which, according to experts in diplomatic processes, could only do more harm than good.

The veteran senator Enrile accused Trillanes of selling Philippine sovereignty to the Chinese during his mission by which he was the backdoor negotiator and even went on to describe further about his exposition of the man as something that will unmask the Phantom of the Opera in Philippine politics. Enrile, referring to the notes he was reading, said: "He (Trillanes) told the Chinese that we cannot enforce our own coastal protection.  That our fishermen are living on subsistence living. That they cannot go too far so they can give the (disputed) part of the waters to us."

Trillanes, on the other hand, accused the senate president as an Arroyo ally and even went on to say that he was just using this issue to divert everyone's attention. For Trillanes, Enrile was no other than someone who would accomodate for the benefit of the former president Arroyo's allies especially in the dividing of the Camarines Sur into two. But no matter where this issue shall end, which I hope to see two of the country's high-ranking officials getting reconciled with each other, the point is when can this country of ours experience unity and learn from its mistakes? If the notes (considered confidential) that Enrile has brought to the open is proven valid and true, then what can we say of Trillanes? Should we just ignore or tolerate what he has said, according to the notes Enrile was reading, to the Chinese diplomats that "In the Philippines, no one cares about Scarborough shoal."

"My God, this guy is a fraud," to echo what was Enrile was thinking about the young senator who has claimed himself a patriot, was just a normal reaction upon discovering someone's act of betrayal. How can a Philippine Military Academy graduate navy captain and now the senator of the Republic of the Philippines easily just slipped into the dragon's lair and fed him what might be used against us? Has he had this rebelious instinct in him keeping the fire alive in his heart  for the cause of what he believed in or for the cause of whatever interest it can do him favor? The man who led a failed mutiny at Oakwood in 2003 against the Arroyo administration should have long ago died fighting for what he believed in or now a dictator of this country with his military junta. But politics, Philippine politics I was saying, perhaps becoming just too infectious and that he gets his share of the disease. How stupid these people who have elected him while he was in prison serving his sentence for treason.

Enrile was right in saying about Trillanes: "He is supposed to be a trained military man but he does not know anything about military strategy." China may be far more superior in terms of military might compared to us, but we can't allow them or anyone to just easily  take from us what is truly ours. If they're going to exploit such an advantage and invade us, then let them. We will fight them with what we've got: courage. And that's what matters most. Diplomatic means to solve this territoral dispute is vital and necessary, but with China seemed like not cooperating at all by refusing to bring this case to UNCLOS, then we must prepare for the worst.

Instead of betraying our country and conniving with the enemies, why not die fighting for the only country we've got and for our rights? I remember a novel I read a few years back titled Lord of Darkness which I forgot who the author was, in the middle of a conversation between the middle-aged Knight serving during the time of the Crusades in the Holy Land, and his beautiful, and young captive lady from the Moors who have asked him this question: "Are you afraid of death?" The Knight, which is also called the Lord of Darkness, just smiled and said: "If my time has come it will find me wherever I am, whatever I am doing. I shall not be able to avoid her sting. But only in the manner of death which I may die, I prefer to die holding in my arm a sword facing the enemies or in bed making love to a beautiful woman."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Here's why I still am the poet I used to know and be: Defining poetry

I've got a story to tell you. I still has to write it. It's not a story actually but a poem.Written last year, this poem is my way of defining poetry and one that tells a story by which, as the hardest part of writing is how to start and could be made easy by not writing anything at all, writers have still to write what has already been long ago written and for what is to come. Because everything in life, as what Sylvia Plath once said, is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it and the imagination to improvise. She even warns about the worst enemy to creativity, and that is self-doubt. I hope you will enjoy reading this poem of mine and the story it might compel you to create.

If the list contains more than one
of whose names signed.

If you refer to more than one piece from
the same
but also  exactly what you wish

from each and
exactly where without  any
intervening punctuation.

If you are citing only a part
if the part is the same
the list of works

detailed and precise
if more than one piece from
the same is not the only way.

The abstract would replace
the spelled in the text
must match if your list contains

more than one piece
with the same—
like other way—

since each piece
is unique
if the figuring out

can only be effective.
If logic requires
as you continue

even if the list contains
much of the same.
Clarify. Ensure. Add.

Sometimes you should omit
the possible components
that are

not available on your own processor.
The meaning contrasts with its words.
Emotion transforms.

The quest for a good leader: Can the Philippines find someone who can finally lead its people to victory?

Amid the economic crisis the Philippines has gone through, corruption of those who have significant positions in the government, political war waged by those traditional politicians or also known as the "TRAPOs" throwing shits on and persecuting each other, the decades-old insurgency which has now become the world's longest, poverty, calamities, and other things that can only add more clouds to the scene than what is but a promising vista everyone would be desiring to look at, the question that would immediately register in your mind you would like to ask yourself or anyone else is: "Can the Philippines find someone who can finally lead its people to victory, prosperity, and freedom?" With the national election only a year to go, the Filipino people would once again cast their votes hoping that the people they have helped put into positions would be competent enough to lead and run a nation for good. Running a nation is never an easy task. It requires that a leader should be wise and intelligent, courageous, patient, compassionate, and knows what's best for the country he is serving, among other traits. A good leader is a good follower and one that leads a life of service.

The Philippines can't have such a kind of leader if the majority of its people allow the incompetent ones, recycled, and the crooked and sanamagans to rule over them. In a democratic country such as the Philippines, it is the people who will decide for what's best for them. But unless the majority of the Filipinos learn to choose for the right leaders and support them, the Philippines, as a country, remains where it has been for a long time. Great nations are products of great leaders and great leaders are made by the people, not born.

In these trying times of our nation's history, a good and effective leader is a necessity. He must build up a strong military to back up the growing economy. He must abolish partisan politics and create a centralized common party instead by which the people freely choose for who will govern them. He must acknowledge and tolerates religious beliefs or affiliations his citizens might be exercising. He must bring justice to whom it is due. He must be humble, knows how to bow down when needed, and above all, one who is a dealer of hope.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Balanghai boats: A proof of a pre-Hispanic Kingdom of Butuan

You probably may have heard about the phrase that said: "In the beginning there was no Philippines, but there was already Butuan." But that was simply true, noting about the place that has already been existing and as an established independent form of government long before the first European colonizers and explorers have set foot on what is now called the Philippine Islands.  Butuan became the center of trade and commerce in the Philippines by the 11th century and has established a strong trading relations in as early as 10th century with neighboring countries such as Vietnam (then called as the Kingdom of Champa), among the areas covered by the Shrivijayan empire, and many others.

Butuan, located in northern Mindanao and now the regional center of Caraga region, is what many historians would refer to as the once pre-Hispanic Indianized Kingdom of this part of the Philippine archipelago. Archaeological finds dating back to that era would reveal us the Balanghai boats (also known as the Butuan boats) excavated in many places near the old El Rio de Butuan and Masao river. These Balanghai boats are not ordinary boats, they are products of extraordinary craftsmanship and seamanship skills combined. There was one time when a Norwegian ambassador to the Philippines, upon visiting Butuan to see what the Balanghai boat should look like, had these words to say: "Your Balanghai boats are older and much more skillfully made than the Vikings of Europe."

The first Spaniards who arrived in the Philippines in the 16th century found out that the locals of Butuan and neighboring areas were living in a well-organized independent villages called "barangays." It was later on learned by the Spaniards that the word "barangay" is derived from "balangay" which is the Austronesian word for "sailboat". Today, a Balanghai festival is celebrated in the city of Butuan every month of May each year. It was beleived that the first migrants who settled the Philippines came on board the Balanghai boats from the areas covered by the Shrivijayan and Majapahit empires in the far south.

The Balanghai boat, considering its size, was used for raiding purposes and for cargo. Carbon dating the wood of one of the excavated Balanghai boats would bring us back to as far as 320 A.D. From among these Balanghai boats, which were more than a mere boat bearing a social unit, of long ago emerged the "barangay" which has become the smallest political unit in Philippine society today.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The needs for a lasting relationship

Human beings are meant for two, a partnership by which love and compassion spring out and let each other become the best version of his or her own self. Everyone has his or her own personal needs but the need to fight for a lasting relationship seems like, sometimes, somewhat hard to attain. Could a lasting relationship really that hard to find? What does it take to make a relationship lasts?

In spite of what others say about relationships, the good news is not all of them fail. There are relationships that last and that is what we have to find out for. It has been said that love is not just about feelings, but of ability as well. A healthy relationship does not just grow as it is without someone nurturing it. It has to be handled with caring hands and one that truly knows what to do with all of it.

If you’re wondering why your own, or someone else’s relationship doesn’t work, then I think it’s about time to try to look closely at it and figure out what it is that you think should work from what’s not. Relationships are always worth restoring, so don’t wait till someone or something else snatch it from you to break it up. The following are just some of the few things to consider on finding someone to become a partner for life and to maintain and keep that relationship healthy:

*It all starts in the choosing of a partner. While it’s true that you can’t teach what or who your heart would love to and that people might change, choosing a good partner from the very start is one factor to indicate what kind of relationship you might be having in the future. If you choose an irresponsible person who is also a womanizer, then you can expect him to do just the same even when the two of you are in a relationship already. If you would like your relationship to be more promising, choose someone whom you think can make you happy and would do exactly the things that you want and like.

*Know your differences. Just because some people have different beliefs and attributes doesn’t mean they can’t live together in harmony. It’s all about honoring each other’s differences and showing each other respect should be the things that unites, not divide.

*Sex should not be confused with love. Sex and love are two different things although they may closely relate well with each other. Sex can be good in a relationship but it’s not all there is. Love is much, much more important than just the plain pleasure one can get from what someone can do better in bed. Remember, a relationship that is based plainly on the physical aspect couldn’t last long. Love relates to the whole person, sex is only a brief, temporary expression of that love.

*Iron things out with an understanding heart. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. Problems could arise and the troubles along the way are heading towards your direction and all you wanted to do is an easy way out. Don’t give up too easily. Troubles are there to make your relationship stronger. If you give up too easily, chances are you might still encounter the same troubles for whatever relationships you might be entering again in the future. So stay cool, iron things out with an understanding heart.

*Learn to communicate all the time. Communication is very important in any a relationship. It is one way to open out to your partner everything worth sharing for and to maintain that sense of closeness each one of you deserve to have.

*And last but not the least, try to look good always. It is one way to attract your partner all the more. Offer yourself good grooming for your partner to see and he or she will love you more for it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Combat hair loss: Know your Alopecia

While a thinning hair or baldness may have had something in common for most people, it nonetheless differs to some degree from one person to another.

There are many types of hair loss and each type will have its specific treatment. 

It is very important to be able to recognize the type of hair loss a person has as this will lead to the figuring out for the right treatment plan.

Once you started to notice hair thinning in the eyebrow area, it's quite alarming and you've got to do something about it at the soonest time possible. The following are just some of the most common types of hair loss for you to know about:

Alopecia Universalis. This type is the complete and rapid loss of all scalp and body hair which can occur at any age.

Androgenic Alopecia. This type is common for both men and women. It is called male pattern baldness among men which is the thinning or loss of hair starting from the crown of the head.

Alopecia Totalis. This type is believed to be caused by an autoimmune disorder. People who are suffering from this type of hair loss will have lost all of their head hairs.

Alopecia Areata.  Known as the “spot baldness”, this type of hair loss occurs when the body’s own immune system turns against itself targeting the hair follicles. It has been suggested that genes may have played a significant role for people suffering from this type of baldness.

Marginal Alopecia. This is another name for and closely associated with Alopecia Areata.  Alopecia is a Latin word which in English means “hair loss”.

Ophiasis. This is a form of Alopecia Areata by which the hair loss shapes like a wave encircling the head. Ophiasis is derived from the Greek’s word for snake which is “ophis” because of the hair loss’s striking resemblance to the shape of the snake.

Traction Alopecia. This type is the gradual losing of hair by which a pulling force is being applied to the hair constantly. Most prone to this are people who wear tight braids, ponytails, and pigtails leading to the pulling and breakage of hair.

Chignon Alopecia. This is a form of Traction Alopecia by which the onset of hair loss starts at the crown. This may result from prolonged styling of the hair in a tight bun.

Hypotrichosis. This type is a condition of abnormal hair patterns or, in most cases, there’s no hair growth at all.

Telogen Effluvium. This type refers to a temporary hair loss by which the follicles are being rushed toward the resting stage prematurely due to a disease or, even stress.

What causes hair loss? 

Tracing for the causes of hair loss may lead us to many a theory. Genetic is one thing, and stress, poor nutrition, and a serious disease are another. According to a popular belief (and even medically acclaimed), hair loss could be inherited by men from the maternal side of the family and by women from the father’s side. A genetic study on how baldness is being transmitted from one generation to the next may give us a clue but it may not always be the case as these hair loss genes could, as well, strike randomly for every generation.

It has become an accepted fact that a thinning hair may have been the result of the aging process. Many people will most likely notice this physiologic change of their hair lines in their thirties and early forties although some will have been losing hair much earlier even into their twenties.  To sum it all up, hair loss could have been the result for a lot of causes. It could be acquired through the genes, poor nutrition, stress, hormonal changes, chemical exposure, and more.

Hair loss in men

Male pattern baldness or also called as the Androgenetic  Alopecia, is the most common hair loss in men; it is when a man’s hair follicles are most sensitive to Dihydrotestosterone hormone (DHT). The DHT will have a negative impact on the hair (especially the one on the top and front of the head) until it stops growing.  This type of hair loss is usually genetically-based or inherited.  Men who have showed signs of losing hair at an early age are the ones who will most likely to become extensively bald as they aged. Hair loss starts at the scalp and may differ in men and women. Based on a study, the number of hair strands to fall per day is normal when it is not over 150.

Hair loss in women 

Hormonal changes are most likely to be the main cause for hair loss in women.  A woman will undergo at least three stages of hormonal changes in her lifetime that may cause a reversible hair loss: puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Any woman may develop a female-pattern baldness which is the thinning of hair in the entire scalp. Prior to a woman’s reaching the menopausal stage, a hormone called estrogen helps to counteract the bad effects of DHT, but as the estrogen levels decline, women’s hair follicles fall prey to the damaging effects of DHT.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tinnitus and its conservative treatment

Tinnitus is, in fact, not a disease but a condition that springs from a lot of causes. Sufferers of this mostly experience a ringing inside the ear but with the absence of any source of external noise. Some of the causes leading to tinnitus are neurological damage, nasal allergies preventing fluid drain, foreign objects in the air, wax build-up, and ear infections. Tinnitus, if left untreated, might result to a serious hearing loss.

Perhaps one of the things a tinnitus sufferer needs not to worry about is that it can be treated. This article will focus on the conservative treatment of the said ear problem. We can choose from among these lists of alternative remedies: acupuncture and acupressure, bach flower remedy, meditation, chiropractic, autosuggestion, ayurveda, color therapy, deep breathing, aromatherapy, Alexander technique, biofeedback, herbal medicines, homeopathic remedies, guided imagery and visualization, and reflexology and relaxation.

Changing one's lifestyle may also help a tinnitus sufferer. For example, to quit smoking as nicotine plays a very important role to create respiratory and circulatory problems which, in one way or another, may affect the ears. High caffeine products should also be avoided.

A good blood circulation is very important for someone suffering tinnitus. A regular exercise is highly recommended. Eating a well--balanced diet is also a must. Adequate sleep and rest may help boost the immune system which can improve overall health. To use a therapeutic noise generator which looks very similar to a hearing aid to be worn by a tinnitus sufferer for not less than eight hours a day will be of great help.

Treating tinnitus, however, may vary from one patient to another. It will be more like a trial and error process. It is to figure out what will work from what's not. Sometimes, it will take time for a certain remedy to take effect for healing. Be patient.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What"s your idea of a dance date?

Dancers are everywhere but how many of the single persons there are to find who also want to dance?  Dance dating could be fun, exciting, passionate, and adventurous. Imagine that out of such a great dancing you always love can lead to knowing someone (as in a complete stranger) better. Dance dating is all about great dancing, socializing, and a fun easy way to date someone else.

Dancing has become a medium for people to connect with each other so be the first one to dance on the floor. That will serve as a signal to others for them to join in. It has been said that relationships are like a dance; it will put your kindness, sense of rhythm, patience, and confidence to the test. It’s all about choosing your own partner but believing that every person who chooses his or her own dance is beautiful in his or her own right.

To dance is to communicate to the other person, to feel the music, your partner, and allowing him or her to also feel what you have felt in such a way that there is a state of union or togetherness between the two of you. Date dancing is to attract your partner to be intimately one with you allowing each other to explore, without trying too hard, every form of dance you can imagine of what is beautiful.

Contrary to what some people have referred to date dancing as a “game”, it is not as there are guidelines to follow in choosing someone to dance with. The point of dating is to unite with another person and, in this case, dancing is just the medium. Although partner dancing does not come naturally to most people, practice and more practice is the key to become good at it. Dating, just like dancing, also requires practice and more practice.

Finding a partner for life is something that can’t be done overnight. You can’t just dance it all away one night and bang!--you found the love of your life. But dancing will serve as the springboard for a more serious relationship that will most probably develop later on.

So be the first on the dance floor. Make sure to wear something categorized as not too hot in or not too cold in outfit. Wear a deodorant. Make sure to have a breath mint. Wear a moderate make up. Set a goal, be it in finding a partner that could probably lead to a serious relationship. If it never turned out good, make it an enjoyable, learning experience.  Look your partner in the eyes while dancing. Be creative. Think positive.

Enjoy the dance. Dancing is something we can relate more at and it helps us learn more about relationships in general. Be confident. Exit gracefully. Relationships may fail, or your dream guy or gal turned out to be the wrong guy or gal it’s okay though. Take a deep breath, and find yourself a new partner to dance with.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Concerning the Choice and Chance affecting the human affairs and destiny

Niccolo Machiavelli, elaborating on the matter, in his "The Prince", was one of the best explanations I could find, saying:

"I am not ignorant that many have been and are of the opinion that human affairs are so governed by Fortune and by God, that men cannot alter them by any prudence of theirs, and indeed have no remedy against them; and for this reason have come to think that it is not worth while to labor much about anything, but that they must leave everything to be determined by chance.

"Often when I turn the matter over, I am in part inclined to agree with this opinion, which has had the readier acceptance in our times from the great changes in things which we have seen, and every day see happen contrary to all human expectation. Nevertheless, that our free will be not wholly set aside, I think it may be the case that Fortune is the mistress of one half our actions, and yet leaves the control of the other half, or a little less, to ourselves. And I would liken her to one of those wild torrents which, when angry, overflow the plains, sweep away trees and houses, and carry off soil from one bank to throw it down upon the other. Every one flees before them, and yields to their fury without the least power to resist. And yet, though this be their nature, it does not follow that in seasons of fair weather, men cannot, by constructing weirs and moles, take such precautions as will cause them when again in flood to pass off by some artificial channel, or at least prevent their course from being so uncontrolled and destructive. And so it is worth with Fortune, who displays her might where there is no organized strength to resist her, and directs her onset where she knows that there is neither barrier nor embankment to confine her."

By which Milton and Rose Friedman, a few centuries later, in their book "Free to Choose" further explained:

"The amount of each kind of resource each of us owns is partly the result of chance, partly of choice of ourselves or others. Chance determines our genes and through them affects our physical and mental capacities. Chance determines the kind of family and cultural environment into which we are born and as a result our opportunities to develop our physical and mental capacity. Chance determines also other resources we may inherit from our parents or other benefactors. Chance may destroy or enhance the resources we start with. But choice also plays an important role. Our decisions about how to use our resources, whether to work hard or to take it easy, to enter one occupation or another, to engage in one venture or another, to save or spend--these may determine whether we dissipate our resources or improve and add to them. Similar decisions, by our parents, by other benefactors, by millions of people who may have no direct connection with us will affect our inheritance."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pacquiao bows to Bradley in a very controversial split decision

In a fight where Pacquiao was clearly dominating most of the rounds came out the most unfair decission made by the judges. Judge Jerry Roth scored it (115-113) in favor of Pacquiao while CJ Ross (115-113) and Duane Ford (115-113) gave it to Bradley to win via a split decission. Still, we have to respect the decission no matter how biased it has become. After all, this is boxing and boxing means business. Pacquiao accepted his defeat in a polite manner saying, "I accept what the result is," when asked in an interview about what he can say about the decission. "I respect the judges, I cannot blame them. It is a part of the game. I give thanks to the Lord. I do my best but my best wasn't good enough," he continued.

But this is boxing and boxing means business. I should have known better that prior to the actual fight, for the business to keep alive and earn more, the Pacman should lose because if he has gotten the decission over Bradley then who will be these worthy (I mean like those that can generate millions of dollars) opponents he should be facing next? Mayweather is not yet available and a fourth encounter with Marquez will not be as exciting as it used to. A Pacquiao-Bradley 2 could mean millions of dollars and a trilogy will be a millions more.

Or perhaps some people may see it differently. That boxing, with all the bad judging and controversies, has become a dying sport? Will the fans then realized and get into the light of truth that they have to stop patronizing the sport that made the fools out of them?

Pacquiao to win via the short route against Bradley

With only less than 24 hours to the big night where Pacquiao and Bradley will lock horns inside the squared circle, the question to ask must not be if Bradley could win but rather if how much longer he can handle a Pacquiao pressure. And, not to underestimate Bradley's capability, the answer could be found in how far his endurance and durability might take him. If he can calm the Pacquiao storm blistering across, around, and through him and replicate it with the storm of his own, then maybe the tide would turn and he can pull an upset. But it seems like the Pacquiao fury is far from over and even rejuvinates itself anew leaving Bradley a standing target all night long if he can't find a way to pedal himself away to safety. Or perhaps he would have a better version of Clottey's "turtle" defense contented enough of just surviving the onslaught instead of winning the fight. It would be a very convincing and quick victory for the Pacman where speed is once again, and for always, the thing that kills. How much more if that speed is accompanied with a pack of power. Pacquiao will be too much for Bradley to handle.

But Bradley is really in a very good shape and as hungry as a lion for this fight. He will do everything to win so it would be a very action-packed boxing match to witness. It would even become a candidate for the Fight of the Year if ever the "desert storm" in Bradley could negate the Pacman storm raging across the Pacific. If things goes well and Pacquiao finds an opening, Bradley will kiss the canvass much sooner than we thought. The fight will not go past 6 rounds. Well, let's see!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Redefining quality education: Should the K12 program of the DepEd be the best solution?

With the DepEd (Department of Education) aiming to promote the quality of education in the Philippines has introduced the K12 program taking effect today which is also the opening of the class for this school year. The K12 model involves Kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11 to 12). In my humble opinion, it is a wise move by the DepEd ONLY IF they were able to look into and addressed well first the very core of the problems leading to poor quality of education in the Philippines. How could one expect quality education to result from overcrowded classrooms (add to it the burden involving poor school facilities) and the shortage of competent teachers? It could mean additional expenses, too, for the parents who are sending kids to school that the extended schooling may have cost and brought.

At this point of time, quality education can not be measured in the number of years one has to spend in school but in the effectiveness of such a teacher-student transformation taking place. Quality education must be free and available to everyone. With excellent school facilities, competent teachers, and all other problems given solutions, I think ten years are enough. Why prolong when the basic needs for school are still to be addressed? Redefining quality of education in the Philippines only takes a common sense. The solution, very simple (much more like of a common sense thing than coming up with a seeming bright idea that will only complicate the situation): equip the school with better facilities, free tuition, eradicate corruption from among the department's high-ranking officials to the lowest, and train teachers to become most competent and increase their salaries. It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education, to quote from Robert Green Ingersoll, than to have education without common sense.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Moringa Oleifera: World's most nutritious plant

What was once called as the "poor man's vegetable" is now considered as the world's most nutritious plant. Moringa oleifera
 or what is locally known as the "malunggay" is a complete source of nutrients needed to nourish the body and boost health. It has also a healing effect for certain kinds of diseases. With its more than 90 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants, it is, without doubt, the most nutritious plant on earth. Each gram of moringa leaves has a nutritional value equivalent to four times the calcium in milk, seven times the vitamin C in oranges, three times the iron in spinach, four times the vitamin A in carrots, two times the protein in milk, and three times the potassium in bananas.

It has been said that a simple Filipino dish of what is a chicken (most preferably a native chicken) stew cannot be without the malunggay  leaves included in its ingredients. Moringa is best to combat malnutrition and it is also good for lactating/breastfeeding mothers to boost of their milk production. Back home when I was a lot younger, I could still remember how my grandmother has introduced pounded malunggay leaves to treat wounds or cuts. The wound or cut must be cleansed first with soap and water then wipe it with a clean, dry towel. The extracted nectar of the pounded malunggay leaves must be then applied directly to the wound or cut. You will notice that the bleeding (if there's any) will stop and the wound or cut heals faster than the normal. Malunggay being a multipurpose plant has, indeed, lived up to its other name which is called the "miracle tree".

God has truly blessed us with everything to sustain a life, heal, and to live healthy through nature. The choice is ours. Nature is our life; we must, therefore, save and protect it from all of the destruction that this world and existence may have caused with. Moringa oleifera is nature's gift to us; to take care of that gift is our gift to nature.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Philippine chief justice Renato Corona impeached

The Philippine senate convicts the highest magistrate of the highest court of the Republic of the Philippines chief justice Renato Corona after 44 days of trial.  So what? This impeachment trial convicting a chief justice MUST be the beginning of the best that we could do for the betterment of our country IF and ONLY IF it is not intended, in one way or another, or as a product of a political process aimed to persecute or put down political enemies. I respect the decision of the impeachment court headed by the presiding officer and veteran lawyer himself senate president Juan Ponce Enrile. But whether or not chief justice Corona, from day one of the trial to the final judgement, should be convicted deserves the right to a due process of law by which, in my humble opinion after closely monitoring and following the whole impeachment trial proceedings, he must enjoy and exercise, was, in some occasions in one way or another, deprived of. It was in that impeachment trial that all the answers could be found from questioning why this country of ours still can't make it forward and progressively; it mirrors the intellectual bankruptcy that a Philippine society has. It's, after all, a political process to divide a nation in the guise of a campaign for good governance with or without ourselves knowing it. And these are some of the answers:

  • We're putting people in the significant positions in the government who, if not corrupt, are incompetent or may be competent enough, but most corrupt.

  • Hypocrites. We have a lot of these type of people holding important positions in the government. They are best at deceiving and poisoning the minds of the general public in their favor.

  • TRAPO (Traditional Politician) is perhaps the most appropriate term for a Philippine-style politics that some of our elected or appointed officials are practicing. They are the ones who are likely to break promises, manipulate, and cut corners.

  • The good ones are a minority. But I admire those who stand by principle to protect and fight for the individual rights of every person, freedom, and justice. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, to quote from Edmund Burke, is for good men to do nothing.

    I hope this impeachment trial has served us a lot of lessons and as an eye-opener. Enough for the fragmentation we ourselves are making. Our nation needs to heal and move on for the better. Let us unite as one people with one goal in mind, and one voice. The impeachment trial should not only be for chief justice Corona (if these administration is truly sincere in its campaign for good governance and to eradicate graft and corruption), but for every elected or appointed official in the government including those in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and so on and so forth with dark intentions. I am sure we have a lot of them to be impeached or convicted of any crime in their respective fields while in service. Still, as I kneel down to pray, I believe that God will give us men. Men who will rule over this poor nation of ours. Men who are exactly what was described in Josiah Gilbert Holland's beautiful poem, which said: 

    • God, give us men! A time like this demands
      Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
      Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
      Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
      Men who possess opinions and a will;
      Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
      Men who can stand before a demagogue
      And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
      Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
      In public duty, and in private thinking;
      For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
      Their large professions and their little deeds,
      Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
      Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps

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