Archive for the ‘Lament’ category

The Maguindanao Massacre

November 26, 2009

If you haven’t heard of the election violence that happened in the southern part of the Philippines, either you are deaf, blind or disillusioned. If you are the latter, you are not to be blamed. A simple pick-pocketing case right in front of National Bureau of Investigation in broad daylight takes years to be solved if not totally forgotten.

The news is all over the country. From TV to the radio, blogs to newspapers. Every politician who has something to say about the horrific event has appeared on the TV. A state of emergency has been declared. Soldiers have been deployed.

The million-dollar question is…will justice be served?

The equally important answer is… NO FUKCING WAY JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED!

What has happened to the following issues?

1. Poor drainage system in Metro Manila which heavily contributed to the flooding.

2. Greenbelt Rolex Store robbery in a high-end shopping mall at noon.

3. Extra-judicial executions.

4. Numerous capsizing cases of ships in just two years most notably the Princess of Stars (more than 800 people aboard were killed).

After the government had uttered the word “Heads will roll.”, these issues have died down and are now gone with the wind.

     

The latest death toll is now 57. Imagine how many more bodies will be exhumed.

57 dead bodies who will be forgotten after a week or so.

     

Whenever a politician speaks on TV, I turn away from the screen. Why would I want to hear lies that I have been hearing for more then 20 years?

Do you honestly think that our good-for-talking lawmakers, military and PNP  officials, and so on will do something about this tragedy aside from talking? If you, wake up now and embrace the reality which is NIGHTMARE!

Now, I have started a countdown. I want to know how many days will pass until every body in the country fully forgets the incident. I am guessing it will be 2 weeks. Then Filipinos resume forwarding jokes through their cell phones.

PS: After months, the Chinese government have executed people responsible for the tainted-milk scandal and the ethnic violence in Urumqi, China. Now, that’s what I call “Heads rolling”

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Push that Bloody Chun-li Movie

February 27, 2009

I’ve seen 3 movies these past 2 weeks so I thought that giving them a short bird-s eye review (for the lack of a better term) would be fine and probably helpful for others who are contemplating in watching one of these movies.

Push

push_poster_3

The poster says “A New Evolution of Hero” yet it fails to bring any thing new to the mutant/superhuman department. Every element of a superhero film is present: some mutants, a secret government organization who wants to control these freaks of nature, and a mishap. Upon leaving the cinema, I was scratching my head and asking myself “Where is the evolution there?” It is probably the world’s most boring film and it is an ACTION MOVIE. It definitely dethroned Lurmahn’s “Eyes Wide Shut”. Simply put-Totally forgettable.

Verdict: Do not even buy a pirated copy of this movie.

My Bloody Valentine 3D

my_bloody_valentine_3d_movie_poster1

This is a remake of the 1981 movie of the same title which I happened to see as well. The original had some creepy scenes such as the dead body in a fridge, the human heart being cooked with sausage, and the bar owner’s death scene. In the 2009 remake, I entered the theater with an assumption that this remake will suck because in the mind of a self-respecting horror movie fan, there are only few remakes who manage to exceed their originals. Obviously, I was wrong because My Bloody Valentine 3D is actually scary and entertaining. The death scenes are gory and just fantastic!!! Kerr Smith and the veteran actors (oldies) did a good job in the acting department. As with every slasher-film, there are stupid scenes but not enough to annoy you. Finally, thanks to the gratious director who cleverly used the 3D technology which sealed the deal.

Verdict: Horror fans will surely like it.

 

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li

I followed the development of this film for almost a year. I entered forums, movie review sites and even Youtube and the consensus is: It will suck. The list of reasons was long which includes not casting a Chinese actress and the hilarious movie poster (see the first one below). Chun-li is one of the most popular female characters in the world of video game and she is from China and hence a Chinese. I know a lot about her and other Street Fighter characters as well. Mind you, I’ve been collecting stuff about this video game since I was 12 years old. My Street Fighter cards are all neatly placed in an album but that is not the topic of this blog. I couldn’t remember how many time I scratched my head every time an unfamiliar subplot surfaced. All done under the name of Hollywood and hence perfectly understandable. After accepting those annoying cock-and-bull versions, I found the fight scenes enjoyable. The moves are breath-taking and well-executed. Kudos to Kristine Kreuk for an impressive performance. This might be a bad Street Fighter movie but definitely qualifies as a good action movie.

Verdict: This is a good Street Fighte…err  ACTION movie.

Which is the best poster?

street-fighter-the-legend-of-chun-li-poster  chunposter2

street_fighter_the_legend_of_chun-li_movie_poster1 streetfighter-chun-international_poster2

Raymond Manalo

November 24, 2008

I stumbled on this article at 8:30 a.m. today. This story is scary enough to be a horror novel. And why the heck is this posted under OPINION?

 

Read on and be horrified. If these unscrupulous people can do this to a Bulakeno, I can’t grasp the more unimaginable events happening in far-flung areas of the Philippines.

 

Rebel without a clue
Rage

By Patricia Evangelista
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:06:00 11/23/2008

THIS is the story of one Raymond Manalo, farmer, who disappeared on Feb. 14, 2006 with his older brother from their farm in San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Manalo was neither activist nor rebel when he disappeared. He escaped more than two years later. He says there are many, many more like him.

* * *

They put you in a cage four feet by one foot small, the height of an average man. There are hollow blocks to the side and iron grills in front. You sit with three other men, crouched in a line. There is no other way to fit.

Your brother is in the same cell. The door opens, more of them come in. More of them like you—beaten, bruised, helpless. They are put inside the next cell. This time there are two men and a married couple. The woman has burns all over her body. She was raped, they tell you. She was raped and beaten until she soiled herself. They say she has gone mad. They take her away.

This is where you shit, where you piss, where you wash if you still care. You do not feel the wind; you do not see the sun. Your food comes rarely, and what comes is rotten, leftover pig feed. Three men arrive, from Nueva Ecija. They are tortured. One of them has both arms broken. Bleeding.

Sometimes, when the soldiers are drinking, they take you out of your cage and play with you. The game varies, but it is usually the same. Two by fours, chains, an open gardening hose shoved down your nose. You crawl back to your cage, on your hands and knees. You wake up to screaming, to the sound of grown men begging, and you wonder which one it is this time. Sometimes, one of your cellmates will disappear. Sometimes, they don’t come back.

Then they take you away, and there is a doctor, pills, antibiotics, a bed. They tell you they are taking you home to see your parents. You meet the man they call The Butcher, and he tells you to tell your parents not to join the rallies, to stay away from human rights groups, that they would ruin your life and your brother’s. He tells you, this small man in shorts, that if you can only prove you’re on his side now, he would let you and your brother live. He gives you a box of vitamins, and tells you that they are expensive: P35 per pill.

They put a chain around your waist. The military surround your farm. Your mother opens the front door crying, and hugs you. You tell them what you were told to say. You hand them the money Palparan told you to give. Then you are told you must go.

Always, you keep thinking of escape. You make yourself useful, to make them trust you. You cook. You wash cars. You clean. You shop. No task is too menial. And one day, while you sweep the floor, you see a young woman, chained to the foot of a bed. Her name is Sherlyn Cadapan, she tells you, Sports Science, University of the Philippines Diliman, the same Sherlyn who disappeared from Hagonoy, Bulacan on June 26, 2006. She says she has been raped.

Later, you meet Karen Empeño, also from UP, and Manuel Merino, the farmer who rushed to save the two girls when they were abducted. Karen and Sherlyn are in charge of washing the soldiers’ clothes, you and Manuel and your brother Reynaldo wash the car and carry water and cook.

The five of you are taken from camp to camp. You see the soldiers stealing from villagers. You see them bringing in blindfolded captives. You see them digging graves. You see them burning bodies, pouring gasoline as the fire rose. You see them shoot old men sitting on carabaos and see them push bodies into ravines. And in April 2007, you hear a woman begging, and when you are ordered to fix dinner, you see Sherlyn, lying naked on a chair that had fallen on the floor, both wrists and one tied leg propped up.

You see them hit her with wooden planks, see her electrocuted, beaten, half-drowned. You see them amuse themselves with her body, poke sticks into her vagina, shove a water hose into her nose and mouth. And you see the soldiers wives’ watch. You hear the soldiers forcing Sherlyn to admit who it was with plans to “write a letter.” You hear her admit, after intense torture, that it was Karen’s idea. And you see Karen, dragged out of her cell, tied at the wrists and ankles, stripped of her clothing, then beaten, water-tortured, and burned with cigarettes and raped with pieces of wood. And it is you who are ordered to wash their clothes the next day, and who finds blood in their panties.

And you are there, on the night they take away Manuel Merino, when you hear an old man moaning, a gunshot and the red light of a sudden fire.

* * *

The day Raymond Manalo and his brother Reynaldo escaped was the day he promised himself they would pay, all of them who tortured Karen and Sherlyn, who killed so many, who tortured him and his brother until they begged and pleaded. They were pigs, he says, those men were pigs. If he escaped, they told him, and if they couldn’t find him, they would massacre his family. And if they do not answer to the courts here, they will answer to God.

They can still kill him, he says. But even if they do, it is too late. He’s told his story.

 

Motorola ROKR E8 Review

October 28, 2008

             While contemplating what phone model to buy, my dead phone suddenly resurrected itself as if telling me “Hey, I am not dead yet. Don’t buy a new phone. Please don’t discard me.”I gave my Motorola A768 another chance. After a week, faith meddled. I lost my phone. I left it in a cab on my way to work. It gave me a solid three years of satisfying performance. Thankfully, I was able to get my old number back. What pisses me are the comprehensive contacts that went away with my phone. The birthdates, home and email addressess, and IDs. Sure, my scandalous videos and pictures worry me, but I can always make them in just a matter of time, can’t I?

 

        I have always been a Motorola user so it isn’t surprising that I bought a Motorola ROKR E8.  

 

The 3 faces of E8 - camera,phone,music player

The 3 faces of E8 - camera,phone,music player

 

          This general specifications table is from www.gsmarena.com. There is also a good bunch of comments there. 

Size

Dimensions

115 x 53 x 10.6 mm, 60 cc

Weight

100 g

Display

Type

TFT, 256K colors

Size

320 x 240 pixels, 2.0 inches

 

– Touch-sensitive keypad
– Navigation scroll wheel

 Ringtones

Type

Polyphonic (64 channels), MP3, AAC

Customization

Download, order now

Vibration

Yes

 

– 3.5 mm headset jack

 Memory

Phonebook

Yes, Photo call

Call records

50 dialed, 50 received, 50 missed calls

Card slot

microSD (TransFlash), buy memory

 

– 4 GB internal user memory

 Data

GPRS

Class 12 (4+1/3+2/2+3/1+4 slots), 32 – 48 kbps

HSCSD

No

EDGE

Class 12

3G

No

WLAN

No

Bluetooth

Yes, v2.0 with A2DP

Infrared port

No

USB

Yes, v2.0

 Features

Messaging

SMS, EMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging

Browser

WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML

Games

Yes+ downloadable, order now

Colors

Dark Navy, Platinum

Camera

2 MP, 1600×1200 pixels, video

 

– Java MIDP 2.0
– Stereo FM radio
– MP3/AAC player
– Calculator
– Organizer
– Built-in handsfree

 Battery

 

Standard battery, Li-Ion 970 mAh (BK60)

Stand-by

Up to 300 h

Talk time

Up to 5 h

                           

 

 

 

            I won’t give a detailed review of ROKR E8. Those features above are all working well. Allow me to defend this music phone from unjust negative reviews by some bashers and websites. Points I will tackle would be helpful to those people considering this phone.

 

              1. Touch-sensitive keypad

              Its morphing keypad is undoubtedly the best cell phone innovation this year. When E8 is in call or text mode, the keypad, at least with my fingers, works perfectly.  Naturally, there was an adjusting period for the first few days (hours in my case).  The virtual keypad is accurate and very responsive. The word – predicting mode is helpful and so does the landscape screen. The haptic feedback gives you the feeling that you are actually pressing conventional keypad. I prefer this over a full touch screen, too. When a friend of mine borrowed my E8 to text, she wondered where the feedback was coming from. Aside from ROKR’s music capability, it is texting that I love the most.

 

            2. Camera

                     I wasn’t really interested in E8’s camera since I have my own digicam already. The camera is poor and has no flash, but good enough to take pictures for your contacts and well-lighted subjects. This is a music phone for music-lovers. Users with interest in pictures will surely be disappointed. The pictures are usable if printed in wallet size. One thing is for sure, I have never and will never try to develop pictures captured by a cell phone.

 

            3. Scroll Wheel

                       It isn’t really a full circle, but a horseshoe shape. A lot of people find this difficult to control.  The trick is YOU DON’T USE IT IN NAVIGATING MENUS AND SUB-MENUS. Use the 4-way navigation key instead. Click the center button to access the main menu. It has 10 features and each of them corresponds to numbers 1 to 10. For instance, if you want to use the calculator, just press number 6 and Office Tools will open up. Press number 9 and Calculator will show itself. So what is the Fast Scroll’s point? I think E8 was equipped with this strictly for navigating your music. Imagine if want to find “Yellow” by Coldplay without the aid of the Wheel, it would take me hundred times of pressing the down button. I have stored more than 180 songs already and going through them with the wheel is such a breeze. All it takes is a little practice.  When I learned how to speed up and slow down, I actually find it addictive.

 

            4. Call

                   Hands-down to Motorola. While other manufacturers are busy in improving camera features of their models, Motorola is doing the same, but in handling calls hence the genesis of Crystal Talk. It automatically and effectively reduces the noise background and adjusts the volume during calls. I never experienced dead signal on the subway. Genius! My personal experience can attest that.

 

            5. Music

                     E8 is a music phone hence the sound quality is superb! There are review websites that tested its music functions against Nokia Music Express and Sony Ericsson Walkman Phones and the results are in favour of the E8! E8’s music player has an equalizer with 11 options, a bass boost, a 3D stereo and a first class built-in speaker. If you turn up the volume to its highest level, there is no tinnying effect. The speaker can be heard in a small room. And if you have a head set better than the supplied one, just plug it into the 3.5 mm universal headset jack situated on top of the phone. ROKR E8 truly rocks!

            6. Built

                   With its elegant look, one can’t help but say “Every new phone looks good.” E8’s construction materials include rubberized aluminum and chrome- plated metal hence cracks and squeaks found in plastic phones are nowhere to  be found in E8.

 

            6. Battery Life

                    E8’s stand-by time lasts up to 3 days. With my day going  by with 3 to 4 hours of listening to music, receiving and replying to calls and text messages, and fiddling of notepad, calendar and task list, E8’s power lasts for 1 and 3/4 days easy. To prolong battery life, brightness and screensaver are customizable.

 

              Conclusion

            Other manufacturers create phones with good music player but terrible call function or vis-à-vis. E8 is a perfect example of a phone capable of playing decent music and making crystal clear calls. That alone make up for its sluggish interface. Another negative thing, there is only 1 skin, and downloadable application and games are rare to find. However, if you are brave enough to try modding it, here is the best site for it http://motohell.com/index.php?board=51.0 . Another wow factor is E8’s morphing into three forms: an MP3 player, a camera, and a cell phone. With E8’s outstanding phone function, handsome design, and tiptop music, I am glad that I purchased it. 

For a comprehensive review, try this site http://smape.com/en/reviews/motorola/Motorola_E8-rev.html

Earth Hour

March 27, 2008

Global Warming is happening. When these preachers are saying that the end of the world is near,I say YES, it is coming. The world is going to melt in time. Let’s say 30 years from now.  You know why? It is not because some Messiah is going to show up and actualize what is said in the Bible. Apocalypse is happening. Abnormal climate and weather, rising oceans, melting of Arctic ice caps, increasing global temperature and the list goes on and on.

In the Philippines, it is not just Global Warming, it is also about pollution. We have every type of pollution, from noise to water to land. Destruction of tropical rainforest and marine ecosystem is a fact in our country. I can name every environmental problem we have, but it would just ruin my day.

If Global Warming is too big for you to stop, think of your own easy way to help reduce the garbage we produce every year. Be not one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These are my simple acts that reduce the trash I produce in a year.

1.  I bring old plastic bags when buying grocery items. I often ask the bagger not to use too many plastic for my items. And if it just a small thing like a toothbrush of lip balm, I just put it in my pocket.

2.  I avoid eating at restaurants that use Styrofoam plates and plastic spoons and forks. When I do, I bring them home and re-use them again.  When I put these Styrofoam products in my bag, I just ignore the humiliating looks I get from other customers.

3.  I use scrap paper from the office as memo and note reminder. Yes, those stationeries look cute and smell damn good as well, but it is the content of the memo that matters.  

4.  I use old notebooks.

5.  I give away my old bags, shoes and clothes.

6.  I buy products in big size. A 200 ml shampoo is more economical than 25 pieces of 8 ml shampoo. You are wasting more time, energy and effort every time you go out and buy a sachet.  And it will take the Earth 10 to 15 years to break those 25 sachets down. And don’t forget that you are only one of those hundreds of people buying 25 sachets every month. Do the multiplication and be horrified with the amount of trash we produce by using shampoo alone.

7.  Reduce, re-use, recycle, refuse, and RE-THINK. Before buying something, think if you really need it. I do these simple things to help.  

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The Earth Hour 

Why not start on the 29th of March? A global event is happening. It is called “Earth Hour”.  It started as a local campaign to increase the awareness of global warming in Sydney, Australia last year.  This social activism reduced Australia’s energy consumption by more than 10 %.Now, it is a global event. Countries are joining.

On the 29th of March, 2008, turn off your lights for an hour at 8.00. P.M.

Tell your family, friends, and everyone you know about it.

Blog about it just what The Meliorist did.

Be a part of history! 

So when the “apocalypse” reach us 25 years from now, and the Philippine islands are starting to sink one by one and we are all drowning, I can tell myself that I did my part. Did you? 

For more information visit 

http://www.earthhour.org/about

http://savetheearth-now.blogspot.com/2008/03/lets-join-earth-hour.html 

I am Busted!

March 26, 2008

I wonder why my electrical appliances and gadgets are breaking down.  This is the Busted list in order.

1. Electric Cooker

 2. Automatic Rice Cooker

3. Hot Iron

4. TV Channel Switching Buttons

5. Electric Fan

6. Subwoofer and speaker which I had fixed.

And the latest,  my camera.  I love my camera, I had it with me for more than 2 years now. It is a brilliant camera. I did an assload of research before I settled on it. It got positive and recommended reviews from different camera websites and forums.  It is Casio Z750. It is considered as one of the best digicams that offer clear picture and a decent video quality.

We went to a cemetery. Before I could take pictures, the caretaker told us that it wasn’t allowed. He said that it was disrespectful. We waited for him to leave so when he did, I took my camera out and set up the tripod.

Click…click…click

cimg3070.jpg

The pictures taken were all over-exposed. There was too much light on every picture. We barely see ourselves.

Click…click…click.

cimg3071.jpg

My camera kept on making overexposed pictures. It gotten worse.

Could it be some sort of ghostly chuva?

Supernatural phenomena?

What about my other gadgets that broke down?

So what is next? Please, whoever put a *tech curse* on my things, don’t destroy my computer notebook. I can give you my cell phone and coffeemaker if you want.

I just informed my brother that I would give him a camera for his birthday.  I can’t do it anymore!    

Diet Time

March 23, 2008

cimg3007.jpgcimg3003.jpg

Aren’t those pictures looking delicious? I love to cook on weekends. Those two are some of my favourites. I cooked them.

My weight usually ranges from 71 to 73 kilos. After December and January, it soared to 78. I was shopping for food items when I passed by the sport section. I saw some weighing scales and grabbed one. Upon stepping and seeing 78 kilos, I immediately took another scale thinking the first one was just busted. The second one registered the same 78 kilos. I tried another one and to my chagrin, it showed 78 kilos again!

Now, my fridge is full of lettuce, cucumber, fruit juice, and tomatoes. I am drinking my third cup of green tea right now as I type this post. This is what I cooked for my dinner tonight. Vegetables!

cimg3031.jpg

Wish me luck!