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Showing posts from August, 2012

a dream weird enough to wake me up

This has got to be one of the weirdest dreams I've had... it's so weird (and vivid) that I woke up and wrote about it! My sister was riding my bike in circles in a grassy area (probably our house's backyard). I was in the garage when something so noisy grabbed my attention. When I looked towards the backyard, I noticed what looked like a mini Space Shuttle flying unsteadily and dropping lower and lower; low enough that it went below the roofs of my neighbors' houses. I thought that it was going to crash somewhere but the roaring noise similar to that of an airplane's could still be heard, as if the mini Space Shuttle was flying very low above the roofs. As the noise was getting louder (and closer), I just had to run across the garage towards the front yard and the street to see what it looked like. Strangely, none of the neighbors milling around got excited as the aircraft's nose cone scraped the road! I was so near that I could see the details of the fuselage&#…

long weekends, Pippi Longstocking, and vacations

Two back-to-back long weekends in August. Yes, they came and went so fast that it may have felt like having the carpet pulled off from under one's feet. At times like these, I wish for more long weekends: lots more chances to lounge at home, to go on road trips, or to catch up on watching and folding my laundry. Just like my mom and my dad taught us siblings:  Habang nagpapahinga, naglalaba, nagluluto, naglilinis. (In English: While resting, wash clothes, cook food, clean the house). When Tuesday, the first day of the week following this last long weekend, rolled in, I somehow remembered Pippilotta Longstocking, the heroine in a series of children's books written by Astrid Lindgren. I first encountered Pippilotta -- Pippi, for short -- in a short story in grade school (through the Young America Basic Reading Program).
In the short story, Pippi wasn't attending school. She had decided to go to class one day after learning that her two friends, Tommy and Annika, took vacatio…

Professor Langdon, are you there?

In the movie adaptation of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, Professor Robert Langdon got introduced to cryptologist Sophie Neveu and police officer Bezu Fache in one of the darkened and cordoned off hallways of the Louvre. Beyond the police cordon was the body of the late curator, Jacques Sauniere. 
Anyway, I got to think about the Da Vinci Code movie while I was at the National Museum. I had been attracted by the stained glass artwork in the museum so I thought of getting a closer look at them. That's when I stumbled into this vacant hall somewhere inside the Museum of the Filipino People. 

Perfect location for a movie set, huh? Yeah. The hallway reminded me of the Louvre as shown in Da Vinci Code film adaptation. Now all this hallway needs is parquet flooring and it could double as a really old museum. Or maybe not; after all, the floor in this hallway also speaks of the past.

afternoon at the national museum (part 3)

Middens are locations were ancient humans threw away their domestic wastes (and may have acted as toilets, as dumps for food scraps and broken cooking and eating gear). These middens are treasure troves for archeologists because they give clues about ancient man's diet and eating habits (1).
At the Museum of the Filipino People, a shell midden indicates that the pre-historic Filipino (if he/she can be already called a Filipino) ate a lot of shellfish. This is far from surprising because the country has a very long coastline. That is thanks to the thousands of islands surrounded by water. According to the caption of the exhibit, shells last longer than bones and may provide more information for archeologists.

Somehow, I imagine that archeologists have to get their hands really dirty to understand what the ancient Filipino was up to. Imagine being excited about their domestic waste! I only shake my head at disbelief.
In the aftermath of the recent flooding in different parts of Met…

afternoon at the national museum (part 2)

It must be difficult to be a tourist at the Sistine Chapel. One, the masterpieces are so intricate that I'm sure I'd look at the ceiling paintings for a long time. Two, there are so many things to see that I might be overwhelmed by all the artwork. Three, there are huge crowds all the time, surely, since it's a famous destination.
I've never been there; it's still in my bucket list.
The closest that I've been to the gawking-at-the-Sistine-Chapel-ceiling-experience, as of yet, was my visit to one of the National Museum's exhibits: various photographs or paintings of features of ceilings of old churches of Bohol. The way the artwork are displayed reminded me of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Yes, there are pieces hanging on the walls like normal paintings but there also are pieces that are suspended horizontally near the exhibit area's ceiling.

Alas, I couldn't lie down on the floor; that would just be too weird to the other visitors. I wish that I had …

afternoon at the national museum (part 1)

On my most recent Manila trip, I had nothing planned for after lunch. I thought that it would be cool to say hello to Juan Luna's opus at the National Museum so I went there after lunch. Unfortunately, the art gallery (the supposed highlight of my impromptu field trip) is closed until the end of September. So I contented myself with the more anthropological, historical, and biological exhibits at the Museum of the Filipino People. There were several exhibits there during my visit but none of them, thank goodness, became alive in broad daylight! 
In hindsight, I wish I had a guided tour. That would have been fun and informative. However, roaming the galleries on my own did allow me to take more time looking at the exhibits that interested me more and then scan the others that didn't interest me as much. This was fun too. One thing's for sure: going around the Museum of the Filipino People as an adult made me appreciate the richness and the roots of my culture a bit more.


how much of the Philippines have I seen?

Judging by the image below, not much. Out of the 7, 107 islands, I've only visited six (Luzon, Marinduque, Boracay, Panay Island, Cebu, and Mindoro). I haven't even been to Talim Island, and that's close to where I live!
This just means that I still have 7, 101 islands to see and to explore just here in the Philippines. 

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.

stop. look. listen.

This is one of the lessons I've learned when crossing railroad tracks. Along my morning route, I have to go past at least three crossings, with only one having a barricade that drops whenever a train goes by. The two others are along the national highway and are mainly manned by barangay tanods: if there's a train passing, someone stops traffic on both sides of the road. During my evening route, I have to cross at least two more. The unblocked crossings I pass everyday are quite dangerous; they have been the sites of several collisions between cars and trains already. I even had an almost close call a few years back near  what is now SM Calamba. The train just missed me by about five seconds!
So anyway, given the dangers of crossing train tracks when there are trains, I was appalled at seeing two vehicles in the Makati City area rush across the barricade just as it was dropping (with the second car being hit by the barricade on the roof). The train was just a few meters away …

Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco"

Last year, I watched Cirque du Soleil's Totem and KA with Mommy, Daddy, and Biboy. This year, I was determined to share the jaw-dropping experience with Anna, who wasn't able to join us watch the two shows. I made true a promise I had made myself last year: "Next time that the this circus is in town, I'm going to make sure I'll watch it."
Hoopla Inc. brought over an arena-type Cirque du Soleil production this year: Saltimbanco.
It is a vibrant show celebrating life (according to the website). If there was any form of plot in the whole production, I didn't catch it and I do not mind at all. The pop of colors, the amazing stunts, and the lively music were enough to keep audiences like me mesmerized throughout the two-hour program.
If I were to choose which of those incredible acts I liked the most, I would pick two: first, when Eddie  (the schoolboy prankster) went to the audience and picked an assistant to mime with him (while he and the band provided the …

old content, newly migrated: September 2008

In an earlier post, I've written about migrating old content from Multiply to Blogger. Here are the blog posts from September 2008. Happy reading!

September 21, 2008
Welcome wagon in HonoluluChatting above the cloudsFlying Northwest
September 18, 2008 Preparing the talk (Part 2)
September 15, 2008 Preparing the talk
September 6, 2008 My Fair Lady in Brisbane
September 4, 2008 The Word processorAn extended acknowledgment pageSense&Style August 2008

Migrating blog content from Multiply to Blogger in full swing

I've started blogging in Friendster. When I felt that it was beginning to look like an online gaming site, I began blogging in Multiply (this was in the same week that I've submitted my thesis manuscript for review). Then, a year (or two) back, I decided to give Blogger a try because Multiply increasingly looked like a shopping site. Since then, I've been constantly posting here. My posts here are also cross-posted to my Multiply site to keep the latter updated.
Multiply management has decided to transform the site into a purely online marketing platform. According to the announcement, the social network feature will cease to exist on December 1st this year. This is why I am currently moving old content from Multiply to Blogger. Today, I'm concentrating on the 2008 content so you may notice an increase if you look at the number of posts:

I'll be posting updates once in a while with links to newly migrated material. In the meantime, please enjoy!

I ought to get a massage...

I ought to get a massage.
That’s my mantra again Friday night and well into the graveyard hours of Saturday. Well, normally, that’s what I tell myself repeatedly when I drive myself to the point of exhaustion. It’s like an encouragement to something I would do in the future, a commitment if you will, when I am in between Points A and B and I couldn’t see how far off I am from B.
Curiously, I never find myself encouraging me this way when I am running or hiking, or participating in outdoor recreation. I deserve a massage normally sneaks into my internal dialogue when I’m stuck with paperwork, experiments, or anything that keeps me away from home way off hours because of an approaching deadline. There are telltale signs: my shoulders start cramping, my hands start getting tingly, and my back hurts for trying to maintain the right posture while sitting for long stretches of time.
The last time I heard myself justify a massage was back in 2008. I had been writing my PhD manuscript since D…

rainy day reminiscing

While driving home Monday night, I saw the beginnings of floods along the Los Banos rest area in Brgy Lalakay and the Bucal Elementary School in Calamba. Going through ankle-deep water (driving a vehicle at that), brought back memories:

Once upon a time, I was excited -- no, thrilled -- to go through flood water. There was a Saturday, back in college, when my family had to pick up my sister from the dorm. We braved through deep water in Makati; I actually enjoyed watching waves of floodwater wash over our old van. Then there were several times when the school service jeep, back in grade school, had to be driven through floods in Brgy Bagong Kalsada, Calamba, making big waves in the process. And I couldn't forget playing in the nursery school playground as muddy water churned into what my classmates and I then called the "Goya Fun Factory" (the Pinoy version of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory).
Ah, the memories of childhood (well, and of early adulthood). But now, I k…

keeps on going and going...

Yup, it's been raining for several hours now. The downpour is so loud, I initially thought that there's a stampede going on (hence, I couldn't sleep). Outside, the road is submerged gutter-deep in water. While it sounds really bad, the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH) of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) classifies the rain as "intense", not torrential. The doppler overlay shows the parts of the country that is pummeled by rain.

See all the red spots? These are the heavier downpours, according to the legend on the right. The red spots in the middle are situated on top of the Laguna area sometime between 12mn and 1am. I am sure that under one of those red dots is my family's house.

Everyone, please stay safe and dry.

back in physiotherapy!!

So, I'm back in rehab for foot pain. A year since my previous set of physiotherapy sessions, I started complaining about the tendonitis again. I also remembered to tell the doctor about my recurrent stabbing knee pain. It's so random, I normally don't think too much about it (unlike the foot pain which is with me all day everyday). But when it does happen, I need some support while walking; hence the presence of the big, sturdy umbrella when I'm on long walks. Otherwise, I risk toppling over.
As was last year, I opted to take the physio sessions at the Los Banos Doctors' Hospital because (1) facilities are convenient to get to; (2) my current rehab doctor holds a clinic there once a week; (3) the therapists are very friendly chaps.
The sessions I'm doing now are aimed to strengthen my leg muscles and to alleviate the pain in the soft tissues. But aside from these, I'm going to train my legs and feet to adjust to uneven surfaces. This week, I got introduced…

I won a lanzones tree!!

A raffle draw was done near the end of the PA3i-LB general assembly. I was really surprised to win a tree!
Well, it's not a tree YET. It's more of a seedling, or a sapling, I don't know which term is correct. The forestry experts who gave this as a prize told me that it will grow to be a lanzones tree someday. Then I just had to ask how to take care of it. They laughed as they said that I have to plant the tree in the ground first before I even think about taking care of it. Good point!
As I carried this plant back to the car, I remembered reading of Aragorn and Gandalf in the snow-covered slopes of Mindolluin. They found a sapling of the Gondor's White Tree and brought it back to Minas Tirith to be planted.
If Nimloth the Fair were a lanzones tree, the Elves and Men in Numenor would surely have enjoyed the delicious fruits. The King and the Stewards of Gondor would have too.