Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Top 10 Movies of 2009

I come to a point of searching what are the top ten movies in 2009. When I see the results, I don’t totally agree with the list I get. There are those movies ranked according to the gross income, the most pirated, most downloaded, most watched (blockbuster), worst or best reviewed, etc. Mine is according to subjective judgment, so some might get disappointed to see if there favorites are not on list. Twilight may be the number one on some rankings, but I don’t see it that way. Here, I choose not to explain the reasons behind the ranking… let’s just say… subjective reasons…

10. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
9. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
8. Knowing

7. Twilight:New Moon
6. Ninja Assassin
5. Night At The Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian

4. 2012

3. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
2. Avatar
1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The Condom Ruined the Night

Having been together for quite sometime, we’ve been into making love without fear of getting pregnant. Everytime we have sex, we’re free of all worries. We’re not married yet, however my partner is ready to have a baby and so am I. But one day, just for fun, we dared to do something different during sex. We used a condom. Instead of more enjoyment as to what planning articles told, it was never enjoyable. She said it felt awkward and she can’t feel my thing into hers. I did not like it also, so I removed it. And both of us laughed and went to sleep. And it ruined the night…

Porn Reading

I have a co-worker who’s into reading porn stories. He’s quite old. I do not know actual his age though. He’s been in the company for more than 20 years. Quite old right? I always see him reading something from the Internet as if he was doing some critical research. He rarely blinked. That very serious! At first I really thought it was a project he needed to finish so badly. So, I neglected him and never disturbed him. When I found out that he’s been doing that everyday and perhaps more than 50% of the working time, I started to doubt if what he was doing was a really a research.

Then I saw on the address bar “literotica”. I sounded like literature. Yes it is pure literature. There were no pictures on it, purely text. When I browsed the content the content of the article, it’s explicitly describing sexual positions and bedroom voices and seduction, etc. And I said to him “Now I know!”. He was surprised to see me standing at his back staring at what he was reading. Then he smiled guiltily and joked “Reading is better than watching”…

A Picture to be Pictured

“When you pray for a picture, don’t expect that you receive a picture. For sure you will receive an opportunity to be pictured or to make a picture.” This is my favourite line from the movie Bruce Almighty. It is a very simple and funny insight which if given ample time to reflect could be considered as a call to us all.

Let me share a simple anecdote about Bill, a man who has big dreams for his family and for himself. Every time Bill wants something, he tends to pray for it as if he were really sincere about his attempt to talk with God. He is a religious man as he claims it. He goes to church every time he feels like going to church, especially when he wishes something. At times he misses to go to church, he has got loads of reasons he thinks could justify him to miss going to church. He was busy. He had to work overtime that makes him so tired to go to church. “Anyways, God will understand me…” he thinks. “…and that I’m doing this for my family and for His Glory.”

There were even times when he even made trades with God of some promises in exchange to have his wish granted. He once prayed: “God, the most kind Father, whose power is beyond our mind can conceive… This would be my only remaining request, please… thy will be done… Lord, if I only pass this bar exam, I promise to go to church every Sunday and … I promise to give some to the price to the charity and I’ll do go to church every Sunday…” And then he closed his eyes and felt something like holiness.

After the result of the bar exam, it came out that Bill didn’t make it. He asked specifically for something but he didn’t have it. Well, what do we expect Bill should feel?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pillars Toastmasters Club Ceremony

Finally, Toastmasters International Unveils Pillars Toastmasters Club

EI goes to Paradise

Canigao Island - A Paradise... We've been their....

Birthday Gift

Have you had longed for birthday gift and when you have it then, you realized how you wish to have not long for that gift?

Enjoy Pain

To live a full life is to enjoy pain?

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, personal review

Are you a fan of Dan Brown? See his new book...

The Evolution of books

As humans evolve from the Apes, books must evolved from something else...

A Desperate Love Story

A Desperate Love Story

Renaissance Equestrian Portraits and Humanism

Renaissance Equestrian Portraits and Humanism

The Book of Job

See the story that leaves a lesson of patience!


Knosses Plance and Mycenaen Citadel

How to think like Da Vinci

Friday, October 2, 2009

Birthday Gift

At 25, I had almost forgotten the essence of birthdays. What are they about? One day I found an old picture tucked in a book, dust-covered by time. The picture is old, its tone in sepia and there were white marks on the surface. But, the story the picture tells feels like it holds true today.

At the picture’s center was a baby boy with psychedelic boxes heaped from behind. I suppose there were toys inside those gifts, which the boy would love to take. He grabbed the lighted candle in the middle of the cake while showing off his most innocent toothless smile. There’s a glow in his eyes. The sight of it was contagious and makes you feel all your wishes were granted that day. I felt relieved thinking of the story for that was my first birthday.

For more than twenty years, I have not celebrated my birthday the way I celebrated my first. Of course it’s inappropriate for a 20-something to celebrate birthdays just like his first. I would not look good in a conical hat worn by tots on their first birthday. As I grew older I do not make it a point to remember my birthday altogether. There were years I wished July 25 never existed at all.

I don’t know. Maybe because of that one gift I wished I have. Every 25th of July, I used to go to church to pray and remind God of that one wish. I never desired parties, cakes, or similar worldly gifts, I don’t need them. I have always wanted to see my mother.

In 1997, I was freshman in high school then. A week before my birthday, my father told me to go home from school on the weekend. His friends and relatives were coming over. Though I have celebrations, I was happy to know he cared for my birthday. As far as I recall, that was the first time he offered that—in 13 yrs!

I don’t know if a jinx hit me by Friday afternoon. I was not able to catch the last trip. So, I spent my 13th birthday in the boarding house, alone. Though I used to be in that kind of scenario wherein nobody would notice my birthday, it was different that year. I thought something would happen—but, it did not.

On my way home the next morning, our neighbor told me they had fun in my “one of a kind” birthday for the celebrant was absent. He also said that my father who was carrying luggage and traveling bags had just arrived . I saw malice in his smile. I ran as fast as I could towards our house. I thought it was my mother with my father. I would say to her “Where were you during the last 4 years? I know you are busy, but why haven’t you sent us letters? Why weren’t you in my commencement programs or my graduation to pin my medal? Imagining that my mother had gone home the day after my birthday, I said softly to myself, “thought I spent my birthday alone in my boarding house, at least the day after, God granted me my wish.”

When I passed through the door, I saw the luggage on the floor. “These must be the bags of my mother from Malaysia.” I thought “These must be the luggage my neighbor referred to. But the dining room was empty. I went to the kitchen where I thought I heard whispered conversations. I saw my father talking to a woman holding a baby boy on her lap. Cold shivers gripped me as she turned around to look. I felt the ground opened to suck me in. She was not my mother! She was my father’s mistress and they have a baby!

Years passed and slowly but surely I learned to accept her as part of the family. Though I have considered the possibility that my mother could have been dead for years, my father’s mistress can never take the place of my only, and true birthday gift.

Lately, a shocking event came to me. I received a text “Sorry not to inform you I’m here in Surigao. I love you.” I did want to expect but I already knew where the message was from and who sent it. It was the very first message I received from my mother. Shaking, it took me hours to touch the keypad of my cell phone. I was literally trembling. I just can’t believe my eyes reading a message from my mother whom I thought was dead for 16 years.

When I regained my composure, I managed to reply, “I wish I knew that before!” I felt rage, and remorse, and grudge engulfed me all at once that day. She owed me the 16 long years living with my false hopes and all she could say was plain “sorry” and “I love you”!?

I cried the whole night and the next morning I wanted to pour out to her all the bitterness I had, so I told her “I have no idea what you are talking about! You have no right to say that!”

As wound needs time to heal, I also needed time to heal the pain she had caused me.

My mother’s birthday was on September 22. That was the day I told her “I can never accept your ‘sorry’!”

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Drama in Beer

It was an awfully dry sunny Sunday. Almost everybody got no work and had no choice but to get wedged in the box-shaped rooms. But when the sun got higher and higher, everyone got out like ants poured with hot water by a human intruder. Being allergic to boredom, each one had his own antidote.

The occupants of room #16 busied themselves to do the laundry though their intention was obviously not much of the laundry itself. There were a couple of ladies wearing something that showed off their delicately semi-porcelain legs. There was even a suspicion that they just took their clean clothes from their closet so that they could have coy chitchats with those girls.

The next room was buzzed with a Sunday-music from their “hissing” speaker. But it was all right. Everybody was agape and hypnotically mimic the old stupid country songs. In room #14, there were only Noy Ben and I. My other two roommates were out. Stephen King's Needful Things put me under its spell. It was my kind of enjoying amid the day. If Noy Ben was effective in finding relief of this jaded day was a big question. He kept on walking from every direction of the fa├žade of the boarding house. To whatever was his reason, I did not care. He finally climbed to our room and invited to have a drink. I said my dense “No” so he tempted the guys from the next room, where he agreed to have a drinking session.

They bought some bottles of SMB and some stuff of which they called “ingredients for Mestiza”. Noy Ben said to me in vernacular “You're such a good boy… you don't smoke and you don't also drink… keep it up…” He received only a sarcastic nod and a dull smile. I was on the climactic chapter of the book I was reading. My eyes felt a little twinge due to a long period of not blinking. But it was endurable. The session, which Noy Ben started, were getting noisier as the pitcher level got lower. But the noise was feeble over my concentration to journey in the Castle Rock1. It was almost 3 PM when I reached the end of the story and it was when the sting of the roof and every bit of their laugher engulfed me to my worst nuisance.

The towel, which rested on my deck, flew to my shoulder toward the shoulder. I splurged singing in the shower room longer than my usual period of bathing. The cold water splashing over me stirred up my mind.

From church, I was excited to retire from the fierce of the day. It was dark when I arrived but the session was still on its fire. The pitcher was still half-filled with urine-colored liquid with fresh soap-like bubbles buoyed on top of it. Noy Ben and his chums looked like roasted men. They looked like their faces were about to explode with so much redness. I passed by them without even having a snap glance to their direction. I changed to my tattered clothes. I finished brushing my teeth and splashing some water. But I could not sleep yet. They're really too disgusting to my senses. The topics they talked about were too scanty to my level. I could not stand to listen to their nonsense so I escaped from their presence.

After I spent a breathing moments with some people whom I felt worthy to have conversations with, I found Noy Ben sitting at the entrance of the door. He was so alone. He looked as if time and being deserted in the galleon galloped him. He said sorry to me. I had no idea of what's the drama behind it. I replied a numb “Ok.” But he explained “I would want to apologize to you in advance because I am too noisy when I get drunk.” “Ah… Ok…” was what he got from me because I hate to talk to a drunk. It was a technique of shutting a person from talking, which I learned somewhere I read. But it was not effective to Noy Ben. He kept on talking, which later on I felt like a counselor, listening from someone's tribulations in life. Or worse I felt like a kindergarten schoolteacher listening to a pupil who held himself from crying even after being snatched with a lollipop.

As the tall tale got any longer, I realized that I have dove into his sentiments. I sympathized the murk of his personal stories. He had so many regrets. He even recalled his aunt asking him to be serious in his studies. But like many teenagers he revolted from his aunt's advices and went on his own preferred way of living. He spitted series of laughs while detailing his experiences. But there was nothing in it but a clue of mourns. He was smiling though. Also, he expressed his jealousy over his former classmates. He said with pride that his classmates and used to be his playmates were now in a luxurious house with a couple of cars parked in their garage. He was proud of the memories he had with those friends of him.

I kept hushed more than intended. I felt obliged to say “That's Ok Noy Ben”, but my mouth was rather zipped close. I felt guilty of thinking this man is stupid the first day he stepped on our room and that very same day he had a drinking session with the neighbors. I really have thought he was a tough guy. I even suspected him responsible of snatching my phone and stealing my two hanged pants. These were the reasons, as much as possible I avoided him. He was affable and talkative even if he's not drunk actually. However, I just didn't like him. That's all. After a period of silence, he broke “I am even jealous on you. I am also intimidated to talk with you.” I was numb-struck. I didn't know what made him feel that way. He said he really wanted to make friends with me and the other roommates. He could not do it because I was according to him invulnerable and probably aloof. I did not know what to answer. I was not sure if the complement was flattering or insulting. I didn't even think of it as a complement at all. All I know is that I began to drop my shoulder and chew over Noy Ben's words. Somehow, it made me reflect on how I see things in life.

I could feel how sad it was to be in his shoes. At his age of 45, single and having an unstable job is something I prayed not to happen to me. But for this man, racking on my right side made it through. He was able to survive with his head up. He may not know it but I salute him. Now I understand why people like him, despite how small their income, would resort to drinking liquor. The spirit of beer is so strong to make a tough guy to confess his weaknesses.

I ascended to my deck-bed and closed my eyes and almost pretended to be asleep. It was roughly midnight when he jumped into the room and into his deck. “Oh God…” I could hear him whisper through his lungs. After a moment of silence, the roof tickled with the falling rain. It was so mild enough for me to hear a series of sobs. Noy Ben cried like a child. “Lord, help me… lord help me…” is all he sighed.

A Desperate Love Story

This is a collection of love stories, which could be associated as a mark of desperation. Each story has not defined a certain ending and thus kept hanging. I don't intentionally arrange them in chronological order. I just dig in the stories that have a vivid sketch in my memory. As I read a love story of a couple how they met, I began comparing my personal experience. As supposed in the story, it ended well, mine on the contrary.

It happened a few years ago when I was still in college. I came from home on a summer vacation. No matter how dreadful this twelve-hour travel was I was so resourceful to find a bit of subject for my enjoyment. Whenever I'm on a trip, I always make sure I'm packed with books, "music gadgets", etc.

My final trip was on a bus. I was halfway to my destination when I recognized there were more and more college students like me rushing into the bus. However not one of them was familiar to me. I guess it wasn't the last trip but the sun's almost setting down. That's probably the reason of their hurry.

I was seated on the front-most seat right next to the door. There were two doors actually. One near the driver and other was at the middle. I was with the latter. I was alone. Again the bus made another stop. The door next to me opened as if it was in a slow motion. There was a sudden rising of blood in my face. I could just feel it. Perhaps it was due to the change in pressure that caused me feel dizzy. Right through such door, a lady with a soft aura came in. I could barely notice myself breathing. I just found myself standing voluntarily at the edge of the seat. I realized myself eyeing blink-less at her. She only mouthed “Thank you.”

Now I began to enjoy this once a boring travel. I used to hate it when somebody's hair touches my skin. But it's different this time. I even wondered how I enjoyed every strand of her hair brushing on my face. I smelled its fragrance, which gave me some relief. I also noticed her skin was so soft and sensitive and it made me to giggle while rubbing through my shoulder. I did not talk to her though I desperately wanted to. I was slacked-jawed. Words never came out through my mouth.

“Are you from MSU, too?” she started. Oh my God, she's interested on me to. She could be the one I have been praying for. Her voice is so melodic and sweet. It felt so soothing to hear such a chime. In her tone she must be kind. And she stressed those words very smartly but pleasantly. She must be smart. And she was smiling. She must have a pure heart.

“Yes…”, was my timid reply. My answer must have some back up details. I was from MSU but I was sure she meant the other campus. I was from MSU-IIT. When I opened my mouth to explain, an old lady walked in front of us with her head stretched high looking for vacant seats. But there was no vacant seat. I was so sure of that. With no shilly-shallying I offered to her the most precious spot I was seating on. In return, I received a kind “Thank you” and a generous “God Bless”.

I was then squatting in front of my previous seat. But I did regret it. I had much more clearer view of the lady I was seating beside with. I was contented to smile at her. And I was even filled with so much joy when she unselfishly widened her smile on me. The more then that my mouth froze until I arrived at my bus stop. I went out of the bus first among the passengers. I turned around her seat but it was empty. I looked for her at the terminal and I saw her standing at a short distance from me. She gave her farewell smile, which I thought would trigger me to at least ask her number but lightning stoke me numb.

Hurray Nostradamus the Poet, Boo the Prophet

No one would have thought a once simple boy born from St. Remy, France, Michael de Notredame, most commonly known as Nostradamus became famous. Lots of scholars, experts and critics from different places (ranging from his own hometown to anywhere else in the world) have cited his famous book “Centuries” as perfect predictions of events. Nostradamus was brilliant because his works have continued to win curiosity even centuries after his death. However, he was far from being a prophet.

At the early age, he had already dealt with mathematics, astronomy, Greek, Hebrew and Latin subjects. When he got his license in medicine while he was in his mid 20's, he traveled to many places and helped patients especially the bubonic plague victims. “Also at this time he developed an interest in the occult, alchemy, and magic, topics he pursued in the library of Avignon. Although his fame had gone before him, his ability could not be denied, he obtained his doctoral degree in Montpelier.”

Nostradamus was not afraid to try new things, even which seemed fictional during his time. As a physician, he refused the methods other medical professional practiced to treat patients. Like for instance, he strongly protested the use of Bleeding as a method of treating variety of illnesses such as migraine, pneumonia, etc. He also suggested the use of sunlit bed for the sick. This idea caused many frowned reactions since it did not exist in his place during his time. Still, nothing could have seemed to stop him. In fact most of his medical practices were unorthodox.

“Centuries” was the greatest achievement of Nostradamus. It is composed of a thousand four-lined verses called quatrains. When it was published in his place, people including those from Royalties and people with great influence had been quoting his ideas during speeches and campaign. The reason could probably be that his quatrains are written with deep sense of meaning. Some accounts though telling that “Nostradamus wasn't a great poet” simply because of some rules of poetry by which he disobeyed. This unconventional style of poetry writing nevertheless drove much attention from the public. Mixing different languages and fascinating rhymes in each quatrain made it seemed peculiar but appeared scholarly and more interesting.

“Not all of his predictions came true.” In fact, none of his writings on the “Centuries” did come precisely true. Everything, which many believed to have come true, was absolutely based from assumptions made by several acclaimed scholars who interpreted the quatrains. They were absolutely made by making logical analogies. The interpretations could not really be what Nostradamus had originally meant.

He was a poet. A brilliant poet could magnificently put anything "under the sun" into writing, which could appear to be real. Nostradamus mentioned submarines and other medical gadgets, which did not exist during his time, and this was not really a prediction. It was rather a wish of having a more advancement that later coincidentally came true. "Landing on the moon" was also mentioned in one of his quatrains. This was his dream-like but metamorphic idea that he expressed through his words but he could have really not literally meant landing on the moon. However, years after that someone had actually landed on the moon. It was a pure coincident. Nostradamus was really brilliant in playing with words. Thus, he was an excellent poet rather than a prophet. If he were a real prophet, then all of his "predictions" would have come true. Some could be referred to as if it had come true; but they were actually only halfway close to the truth.

Same-sex Couples

If two people are in love with each other, they should have the full pledge of their love through marriage. Legalization of same-sex marriage will give same-sex couples enjoy the full benefit of a "true couple".

Canadian Court finally legalized same-sex marriage in 2005. Before this approval, still a lot of same-sex couples had already married in the country. With this civil marriage act, the couples could fully enjoy being married like those of man-woman couples. It also allows them to take advantage of the legal benefits a real married couple.

Same-sex marriage is a term for a legally recognized marriage in which two people of the same sex live together as a family. Historical and anthropological evidence around the globe shows that same-sex couples have formed intimate long-term relationships. Some same-sex couples have enjoyed social and formal recognition of their relationships. They were even granted the rights to have their own children through adoption.

Marriages or relationships involving two people of the same sex had been condemned in the society. Its moral issues have remained controversial. Morally, marriage is intended only for a man and woman. Thus churches would continue to oppose this even if courts would issue the couple their license of marriage.

Everyone has the right to enjoy of being in-love. If two people are in-love with each other, regardless of gender they should have the full acclaim of it. If marriage is the only thing that could fully nourish the couple's love, they should have it then. There would be many lengthy arguments about the morals of same-sex marriage. For as long as the relationship does not cause any harm or danger to the society, same-sex couples deserve the respect "normal couples" have. Lots of families built upon same-sex partnerships have become stable and they have contributed to humane societies. A stable and committed relationship is what the society needs most. Therefore, same-sex marriage should not be considered as immoral.