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Monthly Archives: March 2010

The carabao: a Spanish friar “re-creation”

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The carabao, the wheel, and the plow: a legacy of the Spanish friars.

…The revolution here can be appreciated if we imagine that most typical of Philippine scenes: a carabao pulling a plow. We think this “immemorial,” but it isn’t. The pre-Hispanic carabao was a meat, now a work, animal. Tilling, planting, gathering then were all done by hand, which necessarily limited what a farmer could produce. The friar brought wheel and plow here and he turned the carabao into a draft animal, to pull the plow, to pull the cart. This lifted a mountain of labor off the farmer’s back and expanded his ability to produce…



Roxas Boulevard, punk’d!

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Something you don't see everyday... a vehicle-less Roxas Boulevard with my happy wife! (photo taken last Valentine's Day)

Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 7 (Malate, Manila)

The Philippines was the “darkest country in the world” last Saturday night

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Here’s another feel-good reason why you should be proud to be a Filipino…

RP breaks Earth Hour world record

For the second consecutive year, the Philippines broke the Earth Hour world record in terms of participation, with 1,076 towns and cities joining the 60-minute light off to save Mother Earth Saturday night.

The country was literally engulfed in darkness from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday to send a signal around the globe that the Philippines is in harmony to save Mother Earth from the effects of climate change. Last year, the Philippines also placed first in terms of town and city participation in the world, with over 10 million Filipinos participating in the activity in 647 towns and cities nationwide.

Event organizer Earth Hour Philippines, composed of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines, Department of Energy, Switch Movement, and Green Army Network, exceeded its goal of 1,000 towns and cities for the Earth Hour 2010.

Click here for the rest of the story!


Earth Hour, however, should not be conducted only once a year. Here’s hoping that we do this everyday. Each and every individual should be an environmentalist regardless of his/her creed, race, political bent, or social standing. As trite as this may sound, this stance towards nature is for the sake of our children and our children’s children and so on and so forth.

Remember: time is not always on our side. Just take note of that small islet which disappeared just a few days ago due to rising sea levels caused by global warming. Albeit its very small size (its area covers only 7 square kilometres to 14 square kilometres!) and inability to sustain permanent residency to humans, it has been comically disputed by both India and Bangladesh for almost three decades. And what their dispute could not achieve was resolved by global warming. If it happened to that islet, of course it could happen to any other island as well. Thus, our archipelagic nature is in grave danger because our country has several small islets that could sink anytime as long as sea levels continue to rise. And no politician, not even Noynoy, Erap, or Villar, can save us.

This is scary stuff. And may this islet which sank a few days ago finally resolve the debate regarding global warming / climate change. It is because some sectors believe this phenomenon is caused by mankind’s massive consumption of fossil fuels. Some sectors believe that human activities do not contribute to it, i.e., climate change is something “natural”, thus inevitable. Whatever the reasons and arguments, there is still need to protect the environment. And last Saturday’s successful Earth Hour confirmed the Filipinos’ deep concern about this global threat.

So to all Filipino participants in the worldwide Earth Hour which took place last Saturday night, take a huge environmental bow! Continue this love for Mother Nature! =)

Palm Sunday 2010

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Today marks the beginning of this year’s Holy Week…

My daughter Krystal, with a palaspás in hand, is about to enter the church.

Click here for more photos and my Palm Sunday article (in Spanish)…

Earth Hour tonight

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This is the only planet we have.

15M Pinoys expected to join Earth Hour switch-off

At least 15 million Filipinos are expected to be part of some one billion people worldwide who will switch off their lights for one hour for the environment Saturday evening.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said the switch-off at 8:30 p.m. of March 27 will be the highlight of Earth Hour, which has been observed in the last three years.

“The switch-off signifies the start of a very personal and lasting lifestyle change to minimize our ecological impacts and to do our bit for a more sustainable planet. Personal pledges can take many forms, from upgrading to energy-efficient appliances to planting and stewarding a small grove of native trees,” WWF said in its website.

As of 7:30 p.m. last Thursday, some 1,041 Philippine cities and towns have confirmed participation.

10 ways to make a difference

WWF gave the public 10 ways to make a difference during and after Earth Hour 2010:

* Document Earth Hour celebrations
* Host outdoor evening parties
* Encourage children to play outdoors
* Do a “Recyclables Hunt”
* Unplug or use less power, if working the graveyard shift
* Involve local leaders
* Clean up the street
* Unplug and chill out
* Give yourself an energy makeover
* Make a pledge for the planet

WWF said that in 2009, over 10 million Filipinos in 647 towns, cities and towns joined in – more than anywhere else on Earth.

This year, Earth Hour Philippines aims for the participation of over 15 million Filipinos in over 1,000 towns and cities nationwide. Globally, 807 cities, towns and cities in 82 countries across every continent have already signed up.

Click here for more!

Green-eyed partner

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O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
–Bill Shakespeare–

And this vile monster sometimes leads the characters in question to a crime of passion. I remember that this green-eyed monster led the painter Juan Luna to murder his wife in cold blood, the hapless Paz Pardo de Tavera, in 1892 inside their Paris home.

A victim of jealousy: Paz Pardo de Tavera (second from left) was said to have had an affair with a Frenchman (a certain Monsieur Dussaq). This led to her violent death in the hands of her husband-painter Juan Luna. The man beside Paz in this photo is none other than the national hero, Pepe Rizal.

As for me, I am not a good-looking man-about-town or a philanderer like Gregorio del Pilar. I am not a hunk. I do not have the countenance of a matinee idol. Nor do I have the corporal attributes worth swooning for. My fidelity may have faltered a few times in the past, thus perhaps an excuse for that green-eyed monster to seize control over mine heartmate’s feeble cerebral cortex. But my repeated apothegm for that: that was done with, a previous chapter of a past which, to my enervated mind, is not worth revisiting anymore.

But I am fed up with it. Many times she’s gone overboard with her nonsensical jealousy. Little did she know that I have no other desire but to stay put inside our humble abode, scribbling serious stuff like a crazed-old hermit, and even traversing new frontiers with her and our handsome offspring. Utopic yet humble nonetheless. And that is what my heart has been yearning for all these years.

Now because she has allowed that idiotic monster to lurk inside the crevices of her unknowing cranium, I would have to opt to shut my mouth most of the time like an anti-social which was my drab disposition during my college years. The state of affairs between us is seriously getting ill, adding up to other mental exigencies that I am invariably struggling to contain. I’m liking it less and less. So it has to be checked. Once and for all, if possible. Lest I end up like Luna’s wife in a pool of my own blood.

Anne Curtis explains last Sunday’s wardrobe malfunction

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Let us respect women’s dignity and human rights. It is not difficult to learn. That is all. Have a nice day, everyone! =)

The photographical evolution of Rizal

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Pepe Rizal at 11 years old.

Rizal at 16, taken inside the Casa Tomasina, Intramuros, Manila.

Rizal at 18 years of age, as a medical student of the Universidad de Santo Tomás, Intramuros, Manila.

Rizal at 25, taken in Madrid, Spain during his militant years as an anti-Catholic.

One of the last photographs taken of the national hero (35 years of age). He returned to the Catholic faith the night before his execution, thus paving the way for his true heroism.


Special thanks to José =)

The Maguindanao Massacre Case is now on its fourth month

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This most horrible crime done to humanity in recent years is now on its fourth month. And with each passing day, the issue is, bit by bit, being buried by carnival news regarding the current election campaign. I am afraid that this case still pending in court will soon be forgotten and be, like many major crimes in the country, relegated into the back burner. So I say again — JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED!

A Palace promise: Arroyo leaves after June 30

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The Philippine's will finally wake up from a nine-year nightmare.

Palace pledge: Arroyo gone after June 30

Amid fears of failed polls in May and a military takeover, spokespersons of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Palace officials Sunday insisted that she had no plans of extending her term beyond what was prescribed in the Constitution.

“Malacañang assured the public that (the President) will definitely step down on June 30,” said Charito Planas, Ms Arroyo’s deputy spokesperson.

Sadly, it ain’t over till it’s over. Sana 30 de junio na bucas.

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