Blog Archive

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Illuminated By Blindness

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, “If I could only see the world, I will marry you.”

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her, “Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?” The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn’t expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later had a note sent to her saying, “Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.”

This is often how our human nature works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life is a gift.
Today, before you say an unkind word, think of someone who can’t speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food, think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife, think of someone who’s crying out to God for a companion.
Today, before you complain about life, think of those who may have died before their time.
Before whining about the distance you drive, think of those who walk the same distance on foot.
When you are tired and complain about your job, think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.
And, when depressing thoughts seem to get you down, put a smile on your face and think: you’re alive and still around for a reason.

What Happens to I.T. Professionals After They Die

Death is one those subjects we tend not to like talking about, however it still comes to us all in the end. Most people believe in the importance of graves for mourning and remembrance. A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is always used as a marker, normally carved from stone, placed over or next to the site of a burial in a cemetery or elsewhere. Sometimes it is not only a marker but also carries the personality of the person buried under it.

It starts with a geek coffin

Then the tombstones, which haven’t changed much over the last few centuries and I think these geek ideas of tombstones are cool: 

The Networking Expert

The Programmer

The Web Designer

The Blogger

And of course, the DIGITAL TOMBSTONE
The digital tombstone has a built in weather proof LCD screen which is activated via an infra red sensor when a mourner stops in front of the grave. The screen could then play a history of the deceased life or a recording of the memorial service. It’s not often that gadgets help the grieving process but I do feel that this one could.

Thinking about it, I had an idea about an online virtual graveyard where relatives even when far apart could mourn together yet enjoy watching the life that once was. 
Of course we already have e-Burol, a pioneering program by St. Peter Memorial Chapels, which is an online viewing facility that is specifically designed and created to  allow families  and  relatives abroad to participate in the wake  of  a  deceased loved one minus the cost of traveling to where the remains lie.

I’m now waiting for the first wi-fi tombstone where you can watch in the car if it’s raining.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Unto Dust Returnest: How You Want Your Body Disposed

I know this is morbid but I’m just curious what others want done with their bodies after they die. Naturally, we don’t have any control on how our body will be disposed by our family or relatives. However, what if you are lucky to have your final wish – a specific instruction on how they will disposed your body without any legal, religious and cultural hindrance.

Let me give you some ideas:

1. Let the Tomb Raiders find you   

Have your remains be entombed or buried. This is very common and traditional – you will have your mausoleum, a cross and an angel and a nice R.I.P. sign with your name on it. If you are rich maybe the tomb raiders will try to desecrate your tomb – so don’t forget those nasty curse.
Useful curses you might consider:
  • A donkey shall violate him, a donkey shall violate his wife -- (Deir el-Bahri Graffito No. 11, Dyn. 20)
  • A child be within you forever unborn!--Irish curse
  • May the fleas of a thousand camels lodge in your armpit.--Arab curse
  • May your life be filled with lawyers!--Mexican curse
  • May every day of it be wet for ye.--Saint Patrick of Oreland
  • He should have a large store, and whatever people ask for he shouldn’t have, and what he does have shouldn’t be requested.--Yiddish curse
Of course you can always make your custom-made and era-appropriate curse like “May all your files be infected by all kinds of viruses and all your social networking sites, blogs and e-mails be deleted -- yodz curse.” 

2. Sail Away! Sail Away!

Burial At Sea. The tradition of burial at sea is an ancient one. As far as anyone knows this has been a practice as long as people have gone to sea. In earlier times, the body was sewn into a weighted shroud, usually sailcloth. The body was then sent over the side, usually with an appropriate religious ceremony. Many burials at sea took place as recently as World War II when naval forces operated at sea for weeks, and months at a time. Since World War II many service members, veterans, and family members have chosen to be buried at sea.

3. Become a Space Dust

Space Burial. A burial procedure in which a small sample of the cremated ashes of the deceased are placed in a capsule the size of a tube of lipstick and are launched into space using a rocket. Or you can have your ashes buried in the moon like Dr. Eugene Merle Shoemaker

4. Farewell by Fire

Cremation. Under the 1917 Code of Canon Law, there were penal provisions for people who asked to have their body cremated, or for anyone who ordered the cremation of a body, including being denied a Christian burial and blessing. But in 1963, shortly after the Vatican II or the period of intense study and renewal of its teachings and practices, the Catholic Church “determined that cremation was no longer absolutely forbidden.” What this meant was that the restrictions and penalties of the 1917 Code would only apply “when it was certain that cremation was chosen because of the denial of Christian dogmas, or because of a sectarian spirit, or through hatred of the Christian religion and the Church.

In the New Code of Canon Law (1983) these prohibitions was lifted, as well as the penalties, as it states “The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burial be retained; but it does not forbid cremation, unless it is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Church teachings.”

So, for the devout Catholics out there, no more guilt if you choose this one.

5. Beetlejuice Beetlejuice be Beetleized

Part of “natural burial” movement or green burial common for ecology-minded scientists. It is a shallow burial in a forest where the body could be recycled by nature’s most commonplace undertakers mainly burial beetles. 

6. Freeze me before going to hell!

Promession is another ecologically-conscious method for disposing of human remains by freeze drying. It was invented and patented in 1999 by the Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak. It is achieved by submerging the body in liquid nitrogen, making the remains so brittle that they shatter into a powder as the result of slight vibrations.

7. Chop Chop your Body

Organ Donation.  If you want to live in somebody else’s body, or save a life then you might consider organ donation. You will not need your body anyway, not unless if you believe you will not be resurrected if your body parts are scattered.       

8. In the name of Science

Body Donation. Your body can still be useful even after your death. You can donate it to a university and science laboratory for medical research and education. Your body will be useful for understanding the human body and for advancing science.
9. Become a tourist attraction

Preserve your body in a refrigerated crypt for viewing like the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. However, this requires you to be famous or have done something of historical value before you die – it doesn’t matter if it is heroic or evil, as long as it captures world’s attention.

If your name only appears on Facebook then just consider being beetleized.   

10. Your body as a scandalous work of art

Have your body preserve in a process called plastination and be part of the “Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies.” Plastination is a technique used in anatomy to preserve bodies or body parts invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens. The water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most properties of the original sample

I am considering cremation for myself, my ashes to be scattered in the sea during sunset (I personally think that’s poetic.)

Researched & compiled by yodz insigne

Thursday, October 22, 2009

With Great Blog Comes Great Responsibility

This December, world leaders are meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark to draft a new global climate treaty - one that has the potential to turn the tide on global warming and get our planet back on a brighter path.

The problem:
Most world leaders, their negotiators and businessmen aren't getting it. They’re not planning to do enough to avert the climate crisis.

My little contribution

Aside from participating in the Blog Action Day, I am also supporting the International Day of Climate Action organized by and the Copenhagen Seal the Deal Campaign.   

I know as a blogger, I can help in raising awareness about this important issue. I am not able to attend direct action activities of Greenpeace due to hectic schedule (sorry guys!), so I’m just writing related posts to draw new people into this global grassroots movement and somehow help change the course of climate history.   

A personal experience
This is also my personal response to what happened to our house due to typhoon “Ondoy.” Climate change affects us all. 

I strongly believe that that disaster is climate related. 

More frequent floods, storms, landslides and earthquake affect thousands of Filipino’s lives. They are blaming the dams, the clogged waterways, corruption and lack of political will. Yes, they maybe right and even if we are lucky to solve this problems we are still facing Climate Change, the greatest threat which can instantly undo what we achieved.

Blogger’s Power

I believe awareness is power! I encourage all bloggers, especially those with great and famous blogs, that it is of high importance that we inform the world, Seal the Deal in Copenhagen this year. 

Let’s show them our power to wire a truly global awareness campaign – because Mother Earth is our responsibility.


Post Addendum : as of 23 October 2009

Quick Facts: UN Climate Change Conference-Copenhagen

As per request of my reader Rishi and DMJapan, I am adding these quick facts to this post for an overview of what the Copenhagen Deal is. Thanks also to PeenkFrik for the first comment.

The Convention and the Protocol

Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty -- the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. More recently, a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures.

World leaders have called for a comprehensive, ambitious and fair international climate change deal to be clinched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 15) in Copenhagen, 7-18 December 2009.

The process leading to Copenhagen was launched in Bali, December 2007, when all Parties agreed on the Bali Action Plan - a two-year process leading to an agreed outcome on climate change action in Copenhagen.

Agreement Essentials

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in an interview with Environment & Energy Publishing (E&E), clarifies that the four essentials calling for an international agreement in Copenhagen are:

1. How much are the industrialized countries willing to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases?
2. How much are major developing countries such as China and India willing to do to limit the growth of their emissions?
3. How is the help needed by developing countries to engage in reducing their emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change going to be financed?
4. How is that money going to be managed?

This new climate treaty will be replacing the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005.

They need pressure

We can now see that it will be a political thriller on an international scale, and it is not sure whether a future agreement can be reached.

That is why we can now see a lot of actions and campaigns around the world, including bloggers, launching an awareness campaign to tell their own leaders, businessmen and politicians to support and participate in the Copenhagen Conference.

What we can do is to put pressure to our leaders for them to participate, act and sign a new fair treaty. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes: Notes on the Spears of God

In the early decades of the twenty-first century, the most commonly held truth is that knowledge is power. Yet a select few men and women begin to suspect what few will admit: we know nothing at all.

The world’s oil resources have dwindled. The rich are turning richer and the power-mongers are becoming more powerful. China and the United States dominate the globe in a geopolitical chess match. The human mind has merged with the cybergrid, yet the human race seems not to have evolved much at all.

Then, on a remote South American mountain, two scientists stumble on a grisly scene. Here, while trying to protect an ancient sacred rock, a primitive tribe has been slaughtered. No witnesses remain to reveal what could have inspired such carnage. Or so it would seem.

In the international arena, meanwhile, a new global race is on: a weapon capable of tipping the balance of power is discovered. Among the competitors are a National Security Agency director who is playing at an elaborate doublecross within his own agency and a vengeance-seeking Israeli meteor hunter. Shamans and zealots, geniuses and madmen–all seek to unlock mysteries that fell to earth millennia ago. But the key lies with four mute children who may unwittingly hold the secret to the planet’s survival–or its destruction.


Latin America features ecological "islands" called "tepuis," jungle realms so isolated from their neighbors that evolution proceeds in unique ways. In one such pocket biosphere lives a tribe called the Mawari. They are possessed of a strange meteorite that fell to Earth generations ago. This worshipped object carried biological agents that infected the Mawari and gave them strange mental powers. Now, their existence made known to outsiders, the tribe will become the focus of the First World's greed. But what the Westerners don't realize is that by breaking the isolation of the Mawari they are infecting the whole world with the germs of a potential apocalypse (or salvation, if the two can even be distinguished).

Central to the fate of the Mawari are two scientists, Michael Miskulin and Susan Yamada. They are on an expedition to the region, backed by the finances of Miskulin's rich uncle, Paul Larkin. When they arrive, they find all the adult Mawaris slaughtered and only four children left in hiding. The scientists bring the orphan children back to America and the refuge of Larkin's home.

It eventuates that the slaughter was engineered by one Gen. Retticker, who is in charge of a military project to create the perfect soldier. He wants to reverse-engineer the mental powers of the Mawari for his own uses, and has his own pet scientist, Darla Pittman, in his employ. Darla doesn't know about the genocide necessary to secure her a certain meteorite sample, and she goes to work eagerly.

But Retticker's strings are being pulled in turn by a weird cabal: Doctor Vang, leader of a conspiracy to boost mankind onto a new evolutionary plateau, and his associates, evangelist George Otis and adventurer Victor Fremdkunst. This cabal plans to trigger the End Times by stoking war in the Middle East. And the last major player is Jim Brescoll, head of the NSA, who has his own designs on the Mawari survivors.

But the wild card is that the four Mawari children—Alii, Aubrey, Ebu and Ka-dalun—have plugged into the global infosphere and are about to start pulling cosmic strings of their own.


The truth behind the fiction

Technology has always been an important factor in war. The latest breakthroughs within bio and nanotechnology is being converted and transferred for defense purposes. The shift from dependence on military hardware to dependence on scientists show the diffusion of military power.

Today’s military strategy is heavily based on reconnaissance, surveillance and earth observation systems fed into pattern recognition systems that scan for military movements or troop enforcement.

Moreover, human body is now being used for weaponization. Bionic implants enhancing physical strengths shows great potential in biodesign soldier systems. Robotic retinas and “listening boosters” could give extrasensory powers. Bioengineering human tissue for extra strength, nanomedicine or genetheraphy that increase key vital soldier parameters.

The future of biotechnology and the use of human body for weaponization blurs the line between hard science and science fiction.

War and the future generation

War is a regrettable attribute of the international system. While it is not always inevitable, its frequency has caused states to remain armed and ready to defend national interests. Technology has played a leading role in extending the scope of the battlefield as well as its scale.

While we may not be able to totally banish war as an instrument of state policy, new influences may move us in directions which will allow us to limit and control – perhaps even to avert unnecessary violence and death as a result of state actions.

In all these research to enhance human capabilities, and the never-ending search for defense advancement, new opportunities arise for every nation to capture, to incorporate significant new military capabilities

How we respond to these new technologies will have profound effect on how we will see the future and how far we will evolve, and what its legacy will be for future generations.

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes : Who will guard the guards?

We are now standing at the threshold of an era, which will see the introduction of a new class of weapons and technologies – those designed primarily for destruction and greater lethality. The adoption of these new capabilities will mark not just the beginning of a new technological revolution in warfare, but also a new era in the elaboration and clarification of war.

National defense is a must for every nation – to protect its territories, and to implement law and order in their respective nation.

The use of human body for weaponization - bionic implants enhancing physical strengths (biodesign soldier systems), robotic retinas and “listening boosters” for extrasensory powers, bioengineering human tissue for extra strength, nanomedicine or genetheraphy – means that technology is making us less human.

We must wake up. To restore the glory and purpose of creation. To make all humanity see the need to plan for the long-term survival of our species. To rouse us from our drive to self-destruction.
The question before us then is : Do we have the power to adopt not only to these new systems but to control and regulate their use for the purpose of long-term human survival and not for human extinction.

I leave you this question, Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

My book notes and personal opinion about technology and war. Submitted as part of the requirements in MIT – 502, Technological Change, Master in Information Technology under Prof. Enrico R. Hilario.

Book Citation:
Hendrix, Howard V. Spears of God. Del Rey Books:New York, 2006

Monday, October 19, 2009

Why wake up early on Sunday?

“Time is short. We must seize this historic moment to
act responsibly and decisively for the common good.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
-End Poverty 2015, UN-Millenium Development Goals-

Giving Up Lazy Sunday Morning

After five days of work, I usually dedicate my Sundays to the luxury of being lazy: relaxing and staying in bed until lunchtime. However, last Sunday is my “take-action” day, so I forced myself to wake up at 4:30 am to join a fun run dubbed as “Stand United, Fight Poverty: Maritime Fun Run 2009”

It is an annual fun run activity of the Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment, Inc. (FAME) jointly with other Maritime Associations and Organizations. It was held yesterday, 18 October 2009, at the IMAX Open Parking Area of SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, in cooperation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Woman in Maritime Philippines, Association (WIMAPHIL).  

Me and my office-mates giving up lazy Sunday (more camwhoring here

This activity is to support the United Nation's awareness program on poverty alleviation thru UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which the Philippines and all other countries annually observe.  Aside from poverty eradication its goals is also focused on improvement in maternal care, promotion of gender equality, increased awareness HIV/AIDS thru education.


Public blamestorming is the favorite pass time of bogus political activists and politicians nowadays. I always see them in news and in rallies, complaining about almost anything – but offering no solutions, just pure rants for media exposure. I always admire leaders and politicians and activists who attack problems with solutions – but in the Philippines, politicians usually love exposé, scandals and other media camwhoring style of legislation. They even spend time and money investigating the “Katrina Halili – Hayden Kho Sex Scandal”

They consider that more important than these facts:
  • 33% of Filipinos live on less than USD 1 a day. 
  • About 5.2 million children are not in school. 
  • 11 mothers die every day due to pregnancy-related causes (2006 UN estimates) 
  • HIV cases among the youth nearly tripled from 41 in 2007 to 110 in 2008. 
  • In 2008, there were 3.4 million pregnancies, about half (1.8 million) were unplanned and about one-third (560,000) of the unplanned ended in abortion (Guttmacher, 2009).
We cannot afford to let things get worst. It is a time of great challenge for all Filipinos. This issues should be included in all political and public agenda. 
“At a time of multiple global crises, the poorest and most vulnerable have a special claim on our attention.  We know that, in any recession, those hurt first—and worst—are the poor.  According to recent estimates, the global economic crisis has claimed at least 50 million jobs this year.  As many as 100 million more people are expected to fall below the poverty line in 2009.”


It is a three-day global mobilization that aims to send a loud and clear message from citizens to leaders of rich and poor countries to take urgent action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). And once again break the Guinness World Record for having the largest number of people participating in a single event.

2006: 2.1 million
2007: 7.2 million
2008: 35.2 million Filipinos stood up against poverty.

I’m still waiting for the 2009 final count and I’m glad I became part of that human sea demanding change.

Thoughts? or any personal "TAKE ACTION DAY" you want to share?

Filipino Association for Mariners’ Employment, Inc. (FAME) official website

BlogPost Update : 26 October 2009 -  Fun Run Results

The 18 October 2009 “Stand United, Fight Poverty: Maritime Fun Run 2009” held at the IMAX Open Parking Area of SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City turned out to be another great success.

This activity which was held in support to the 16 to 18 October 2009 global celebration of the United Nation’s awareness program on poverty alleviation through UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) involved three events such as 3, 5 and 10 kilometers. The event opened exclusively for participants who are connected and associated with the maritime and manning industry.

Runners reached a total of 2,108. 80% of which are member-companies of FAME. This figure was counted in as part of the entire no. of Filipinos who celebrated for the same cause by the UN and put in the Guinness Book of Records for the most number of participants.

And we are proud to inform you as reported by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that the official Guinness World results are already in, and the Philippines REMAINS IN THE No. 1 SPOT, with 36.1 Million Filipinos standing up against poverty. Bangladesh came 2nd with 35.7 million. The world total is 173 million.

Winners per event:

3K- MALE                   
TITLE                 NAME                       COMPANY
Champion        Glaen Quijano               Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific
2nd Place         Duan Desnacido            Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific
3rd Place          Niel Torres                   Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific
4th Place          John Michael Conde       Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific
5th Place          Vincent Garcia              Multinational Maritime, Inc.
6th Place          Janry Mintu                  Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific
7th Place          Mark Jaum                   Bright Maritime Corporation
8th Place          Tyrone Quinto              Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific
9th Place          Erybron Russel Mojica   Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific
10th Place         John Ford Bantang       Multinational Maritime, Inc.   


TITLE                 NAME                                      COMPANY
Champion        Diana Mae Basa Elad       Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific
2nd Place          Portia Rose Peregrino    Transorient Maritime Agencies, Inc.
3rd Place          Mary Ann Celis              Reinier Pacific International Shipping, Inc.    
4th Place          Edna Austria                 Dolphin Ship Management, Inc.       
5th Place          Desiree Gioca                Wallem Maritime Training Centre Philippines.
6th Place          Jessica Checa                Leonis Navigation Company Inc.      
7th Place          Darlyn  Suobiron           Stolt-Nielsen Philippines, Inc.
8th Place          Lovella Calvelo               Reinier Pacific International Shipping, Inc.
9th Place          Juanita Biyo                   Magsaysay Maritime Corp.
10th Place         Maribel Lorenzo             Magsaysay Maritime Corp.

TITLE                 NAME                                      COMPANY
Champion        Eric Joseph Gonzales      Cargo Safeway, Inc.
2nd Place          Jowie Bandoy                Cargo Safeway, Inc.
3rd Place          Ronnie Macandog           Multinational Maritime, Inc.   
4th Place          Daniel Ayyopan              MMSPHIL Maritime Services, Inc.        
5th Place          Nelson Quiñones            Magsaysay Maritime Corp.
6th Place          Ricky Poras                   Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc.
7th Place          Don-Don Marie Ubaldo    Barko International, Inc.
8th Place         Rene Gilpa                    Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc.              
9th Place         Ryan    Ruego                Magsaysay Maritime Corp.
10th Place       Jim Welkin Monares        Wallem Maritime Training Centre Philippines
                      Jay Galosmo                   Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc.

TITLE                 NAME                                      COMPANY
Champion       Angelica Gajulen                  Philippine Ports Authority                   
2nd Place        Pamela Castro                     Reinier Pacific International Shipping, Inc.
3rd Place        Jacquelyn Labatorio              Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc.
4th Place        Marilou Estrella                    Stolt-Nielsen Philippines, Inc.
5th Place      Joanne Oliva                         Leonis Navigation Company Inc.
6th Place      Kristine Reyes                      OSG Ship Management Manila Inc.
7th Place     Norma Rojas                         Cargo Safeway, Inc.
8th Place      Czarina De Jesus                  Leonis Navigation Company Inc.      
9th Place      Geline Lontoc                       Leonis Navigation Company Inc.                  
10th Place    Ma. Elena De Joya                 Philippine Ports Authority

TITLE                 NAME                                      COMPANY
Champion       Roberto Estrella                     Philippine Ports Authority       
2nd Place          Ramon Navarro                    Cargo Safeway, Inc.
3rd Place          Dario Tangonan                    Cargo Safeway, Inc.
4th Place          Michael John Castillon            Cargo Safeway, Inc.
                       Hari Om Choudhary              Magsaysay Mitsui O.S.K. Marine, Inc.
5th Place          Jeff Carlos                            NYK-Fil Shipmanagement Inc.           
6th Place          Marco  Payadon                     Multinational Maritime, Inc.
7th Place          Ernesto Villar                        Cargo Safeway, Inc.                         
8th Place          Ricardo Labadan                   Cargo Safeway,Inc.
9th Place          Rodrigo Carreon, Jr.              Cargo Safeway, Inc.                         
10th Place         Ricky    Alqueros                   Cargo Safeway, Inc.

TITLE                 NAME                                      COMPANY

Champion       Ellen Salusod                           SMART Communications, Inc.
2nd Place         Marichu  Rojas                      Cargo Safeway, Inc
3rd Place          Norrie Anne  Casareo              Cargo Safeway, Inc.
4th Place          Ayesa  Polias                          NYK-Fil Shipmanagement Inc.
5th Place          Rose Marie Casareo                Cargo Safeway, Inc.
6th Place          Lerma  Aquino                        NYK-Fil Shipmanagement Inc.
7th Place          Maritess  Gerona                     Cargo Safeway, Inc              

Biggest Delegation (with 285 participants)      =     Magsaysay Maritime Corporation

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Gear Shift Inside Me: Blog Action Day

“You look at the river gently flowing by. You notice the leaves rustling with the wind. You hear the birds; you hear the tree frogs. In the distance, you hear the cow. You feel the grass. The mud gives a little bit on the riverbank. It is quiet; it is peaceful. And all of the sudden, it’s a gear shift inside you. And it’s like taking a deep breath and going, “Oh yeah, I forgot about this.”

-Al Gore in the opening monologue of An Inconvenient Truth-

The gear shift

When I finished watching the documentary, I really felt that “gear shift” inside me. There is an undeniable truth in it that forced me to consider the future generation. Of course I will not be there when the worst predictions in this documentary happens – I hope so. However, something inside me is telling me that I have to do my share, not for myself but for the future generation and for our beloved planet. It is a gift and it is very heartwarming to know that I’ve done my share to protect it.

Don’t look for the written facts – the signs are everywhere.

We cannot deny the fact that we are now experiencing some of the effects of global warming in the Philippines. We experienced the terrible effects of El Niño during summer and the unusual floods during rainy season and yet we simply do nothing. After I watched the documentary, I realized that something is wrong. It clearly opened my eyes on the issue of global warming and climate change, which I have not thought of before. I heard this issues being mentioned in the news many times, and do not care about it. I thought it is just another prediction or some sort of theory but after carefully considering the facts presented in the documentary, and opening my heart to the message it wants to convey, I realized that it is an issue that must be solve by everyone.

Doing My Share

We have different priorities, different values, and different way of thinking. Nevertheless, we all live in this planet. Al Gore points out that all of human history has happened on this planet, which is our only home. We must act now for the future generation.

It’s really a gearshift inside me, and in my own little way, I must do my share.

This is a quick note I submitted after we watched the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” during our MIT-502 Tech. Change (Grad. School class) last year under Prof. Enrico R. Hilario. I am doing a disk clean up of my laptop and came across this file. 
Today is the last day for submission of blog post “Blog Action Day 09: Climate Change” and thought of quickly posting this as my share. You may also want to sign up as volunteer for GreenPeace. 

Image Source: UNICEF

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You cannot be loveless in the City of Love

I usually love looking at the clouds while on the plane, but on our flight going to Iloilo City, despite the cloud's pure whiteness against the blue-green sky, I lost interest in them because I’m thinking about all my unfinished tasks for the Seafarer’s Family Event scheduled the following day. Hoping to rid those worries, I ordered black coffee, lazily ate a pack of peanuts while imagining about crashing in an unknown island, like the Oceanic Flight 815, and play the part of con man James “Sawyer” Ford in the serial drama series “Lost.” It’s not a nice thought so I forced myself into a catnap.

Ciudad sang Iloilo, City Of Love
This is my second time to visit this part of the Philippines. Ciudad sang Iloilo (City of Iloilo) is the capital of, but independent from, the province of Iloilo. It is the economic hub of the Western Visayas region, as well as the center of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area. While driving around the city, I caught a glimpse of an old Gothic church, old universities and Spanish buildings around modern establishments. I love the sound of their Hiligaynon dialect, because of its “caring” tone. Maybe that’s why they call it the City of Love.

Iloilo Seafarer’s Family Day 2009

To organize an event is what we came here  for, not a vacation – {deep sigh}. As part of our company’s goal to extend its services to the families of seafarers while they are onboard, myself together with seven other company personnel was here to organize the annual Seafarer’s Family Day. Being assigned as the head of the Program and Physical Committee was exhausting. After a lot of meetings, planning and event preparations, there are always last minute changes – and this was the energy-draining part.

The event was held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center where we are also billeted. Located at the heart of General Luna Street, Iloilo City proper, and only 40 minutes away from the Iloilo Airport and 15 minutes away from the seaports, this venue is very convenient for our allottees, seafarers and guests.

However, if you are planning to book on this hotel in the future, don’t take the Traveler’s Room in the basement – the room smells like stale bread and its like an underground dungeon. Don’t mind the extra buck for the suites on upper levels. If you are really on a tight budget, book in nearby lodging houses.

We deserve a sumptuous dinner and a big boy’s night-out

Our dinner at Breakthrough Restaurant in Sto. Niño Norte-Arevalo was truly memorable. Well, I truly appreciate their best seafood because they cooked it without fancy ingredients, no thick sauce and stuff, just pure seafood meat. I truly enjoyed succulent oysters, crabs and diwal (elongated shellfish), kilawin tanuigue and the sweetest mangoes from nearby Guimaras. Its location and ambiance also helps to make the food taste better. It is located along the beach in the outskirts of Iloilo City on the way to Miagao. Food is all good!!!!

After our dinner we visited Small Ville Complex, a place for night-out, cold beer, bands, disco bars and restaurants. After a few rounds of beer, we got bored with the crowd – with its giggling teenagers and a boring soft-rock band and decided to explore the city and look for a hang-out for big boys. We asked a taxi driver to guide as in our midnight hunt for, well, [you-know-what], and end up in “Camp Jefferson”

I discovered, you can’t be loveless in the City of Love ***details deleted [!wink!]***

Exhausted, I slept during my whole early-morning-flight back to Manila.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The 2009 world’s best country to live in and the worst.

I came across a report based on a UN data released last Monday concluding that the world’s most desirable place to live in is Norway and ranks sub-Saharan African states afflicted by war and HIV/AIDS as the least attractive places.

Some notable facts:
  • Norway, Australia and Iceland had the best living standards, while Niger, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone scored the worst in terms of Human development.
  • Life expectancy in Niger was 50, about 30 years shorter than Norway, according to the index.
  • For every dollar earned per person in Niger, $85 was earned in Norway.
  • Half the people in the poorest 24 countries were illiterate, compared to 20 percent in nations classed as having medium levels of human development.
  • Japanese people lived longer than others, to 82.7 years on average, with life expectancy in war-ravaged Afghanistan just 53.6 years.
  • Liechtenstein has the highest GDP per capita at $85,383 in a tiny principality home to 35, 000 people, 15 banks and more than 100 wealth management companies.
  • People were poorest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, were average income per person was $298 per year.
  • Five countries – China, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, and France – climbed three or more places from the previous year, driven by greater earnings and longer life expectancy.
Here's what I can say,
Click to enlarge

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Bird Dog and the Pessimist

There was a hunter who bought a bird dog, the only one of its kind in the world. That could walk on water . He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw this miracle. At the same time, he was very pleased that he could show off his new acquisition to his friends. He invited a friend to go duck hunting.

After some time, they shot a few ducks and the man ordered his dog to run and fetch the birds. All day-long, the dog ran on water and kept fetching the birds. The owner was expecting a comment or a compliment about his amazing dog, but never got one. As they were returning home, he asked his friend if he had noticed anything unusual about his dog.

The friend replied, "Yes, in fact, I did notice something unusual. Your dog can't swim."

Some people always look at the negative side. Who is pessimist?

  • are unhappy when they have no troubles to speak
  • feel bad when they feel good, for fear they will feel worse when they feel better
  • spend most of their life at complaint counters
  • always turn out the lights to see how dark it is
  • are always looking for cracks in the mirror of life
  • stop sleeping in bed when they hear that more people die in bed than anywhere else
  • cannot enjoy their health because they think they may be sick tomorrow
  • not only expect the worst but make the worst of whatever happens
  • don't see the doughnut, only the hole
  • believe that the sun shines only to cast shadows
  • forget their blessings and count their troubles
  • know that hard work never hurts anyone but believe "why take a chance?"

Monday, October 05, 2009

Admitting we need others: the importance of e-Allies and Comrades of Heart

Lord of the Rings movie The Two Towers inspired me when Frodo Baggins takes up his quest to take the ring to Mordor and his allies respond:

Frodo: I will take the ring to Mordor, though I do not know the way.

Gandalf: I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, for as long as it is yours to bear.

Aragorn: By my life or death, if I can protect you, I will. You have my sword. 

Legolas: And you have my bow.

Gimli: And my ax.

Samwise: Ha! Mr. Frodo’s not going anywhere without me!

Legendary characters in stories about heroes, mythology and history tell us that friends, teachers, guides, allies, mentors and comrades of heart always assist them on their adventures. Batman has Robin, King Arthur has the Knights of the Round Table guided by the wisdom of Merlin, Han Solo didn’t go solo and the Lone Rangers wasn’t alone. Like these heroes in a quest, we are not meant to be alone.

The road we are taking maybe the road less traveled, yet all those we meet and know who are also traveling it are bonded in spirit. I believe we are all meant to be supported, yet we must seek it, accept it, and give support in return. It is our duty to give hope to one another, tell one another the painful truths, provide encouragement and be one with celebration, inspiration and acknowledgement. 

We need others

After the typhoon “Ondoy,” I volunteered to join the relief operations of our company to distribute food, water and candle to co-workers who were affected by the flood. We passed by Marikina City, the most affected area and I saw the enormity of the calamity. How would it be possible to do this without other people? I realized that it is their right to be surrounded by other people in times like this.

In our daily lives, we meet people who refuse to accept support or help, for crazy reasons like pride, fear, shyness, fault, self-pity or for whatever personal reasons. These people do not want to admit that they are in need, desperate or alone - and yes, these people do exist. These people are hungry for connection, to care and be cared about and be inspired. 

Those who are seeking support are rightfully claiming it, in fact I believe it’s their job to claim it. If they don’t, then the battle is already over.  

You didn’t know how your simple comments helped us.

I did not expect the enormity of support and words of encouragement I will receive from friends, relatives, co-workers and most especially from the visitors of this blog, which I will call e-Allies, when they learned that our house was destroyed by typhoon “Ondoy.” 

I felt a particular thrill in the discovery of other people – total strangers in the internet, who took time in writing words of encouragement. 

This is me imitating the poster of a happy child in Gateway Mall, Cubao

In times like that, I felt the almost-instant affinity, like meeting a long-lost friend. I sincerely thank you all for that. You all make a valuable contribution in our recovery.

We are all ok now; things are slowly going back to normal.

Thank you very much my e-Allies and comrades of heart.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I killed my guardian angel – is that OK?

“From being Lucifer, son of the morning, the lightbearer, the brilliant one, the shining one, he now became Satan, the adversary, the slanderer, the accuser, the archrebel, the archenemy, the devil, the destroyer…”
- Angels, we never walk alone, Walton John Brown-

I was born on a date when the feast of the holy guardian angel is being celebrated. My mother always believe that I was saved by an angel when I was six years old when I fall from the balcony of my grandmother’s old Spanish house. I am perfectly fine after the fall, because I landed on my father’s chicken pen, covered by fishing nets. Nevertheless, my mother insisted that I am totally unhurt because my guardian angel took hold of me – that is what they all insist.

Today, I am confronted by two forms of religious and maybe mythical consciousness. On the other hand, there is the form of consciousness that understands all human beliefs through freethinking and logic. And on the other hand, there is the form of consciousness that is inverted, which irresponsibly enslaves the minds through mysticism. Certainly, the intellect has both the authority and the power to follow or resist whichever it wishes to – and I chose to follow freethinking.

This is the point where I felt the need to reorient myself towards the self. I strongly believe that an individual should arrive at his or her own religious beliefs independent of any church.

This is the point where I killed my guardian angel.

I couldn’t care less what happened billions of years ago and whether time began or not. I only care about this lifetime. Time alone is fair and just.

What difference does it make whether you believe in angels or not?

Maybe believing in it is just an opinion, like believing that Noynoy Aquino is the best next Philippine president; or a personal trust or reliance, like trusting a quack doctor; or it can mean part of faith, giving your whole heart, thus restricting the self to that belief because it requires adoration and submission.

As I observe among the faithful, possible reasons why they believe in angels are;

  • They need to – it’s like believing in angels will save them when they walk through a dark Metro Manila alley.
  • Believing makes them feel good and it’s fun.
  • They believe in Angelology or the scientific study of angels, their hierarchy, etc.
  • They believe those who tell stories about actually meeting an angel
  • They believe they met one themselves.
  • They believe it because it’s part of religion.

But I thanked my parents for teaching me to believe in angels when I was a child - like believing in Santa Claus, it gives me the feeling of wonder, fascination, curiosity and excitement. Like those stories about fairies and elves, angels still entertains me.

Do you believe in angels, or you killed it too?

About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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