Happy Birthday: Jojo Bacolod

It’s my brother Jojo’s 31st birthday today (May 17th). Interestingly, he’s now as old as I am, since we were born about 10 months apart (I was born on July of ’76 and he was born on May of ’77).

Happy Birthday bro! We love you! God bless!

Who else wants clear eyesight?

I’ve been suffering from myopia, or nearsightedness, and have been wearing glasses since I started college. And back then, I’d always prefer wearing rimless glasses instead of the rimmed ones since most of my glass-wearing friends and I thought they looked cooler (even though they were actually thicker than the rimmed ones). And I now believe that they actually looked dorkier. Ha!

And at that time, wearing contact lenses also became a fad. And, being an athletic person (I used to actively play basketball, table tennis and soccer when I was a college freshman), I thought that I needed contact lenses too. And so I begged my mom to buy me one.

And I can’t recall how many times I’ve had contact lens-related problems. I remember a couple of times when I needed desperate medical attention because my eyes got infected because I was too lazy to clean my lenses or wear them for weeks without ever removing them. Ew!

I also recall a time when I thought that I dropped one of my lenses in the middle of a soccer game, only to find out that it got lodged somewhere inside my upper eyelid for several hours! That was one scary episode!

I’ve learned a lot of things along the way to maturity(?), and one of the most important and hard lessons that I had to learn is to care for ones eyes. The sense of sight truly is one of the most important senses that we need to take care of. I’ve gone from a nearsighted grade of 125 to 400 throughout the 15 or so years. But I’m glad that it’s been stable for quite some time now. And so I’m thinking of having laser eye surgery one of these days to finally get rid of these contact lenses for good.

I guess it’ll give me a second chance of caring for a precious gift that I ignored.

How to “childproof” your computer desk

My co-workers and I have been checking out different laptop models over the net recently and the consensus is that the Lenovo Thinkpad T61 laptop seems like an excellent choice. But I already have a Dell laptop, and so it wouldn’t make sense for me to buy a new one.

So I guess it would be better for me to invest in a desktop PC for home use instead, especially since my son, CJ, is showing signs of being techno-savvy. He’s getting the hang of browsing his favorite websites (or at least he’s getting the hang of forcing me to go to the Disney site – “Daddy! Mouse! Mouse!”) and I can see how fast he’s learning. Now, the only challenge is how to make such a computer system childproof.

What I do know is that I need a keyboard and mouse that’s extremely durable. And what’s also important is that the base that supports these peripherals should be strong and sturdy enough to handle CJ’s weight – he does love to lean on the desk. And judging from my old computer desk, I need one with a high quality, ergonomic keyboard drawer like those sold by Ergoware.

Holy Week 2008 – Fort Ilocandia and Pagudpud – Day 2

The itinerary for Day 2 of our Ilocos holy week vacation was a half day swimming excursion at Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

Here are some early morning shots of Fort Ilocandia taken from my mobile phone:

Building B - Early Morning Hot Air Balloon - Fort Ilocandia

Here are some pictures taken while on the way to Pagudpud, which was roughly a one and a half hour’s drive from Fort Ilocandia in Laoag.

We came across the scenic coastline of Cape Bojeador in the municipality of Burgos, Ilocos Norte:

Cape Bojeador Beach - Burgos, Ilocos Norte Cape Bojeador Beach - Burgos, Ilocos Norte

Here are some pictures of us featuring the awesome windmills of Bangui, Ilocos Norte (the first power generating windmill farm in the country) in the background:

Bangui Windmills Bangui Windmills - Conne and CJ Bangui Windmills - PJ and CJ

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Related Blog Entries:
Holy Week 2008 – Fort Ilocandia and Pagudpud – Day 1

Holy Week 2008 – Fort Ilocandia and Pagudpud – Day 1

After two years, Conne, CJ and I finally decided to revisit Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte for the holy week. We decided to stay at the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel and Casino, in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. We were accompanied by our close friends, Cocoy and Li-ann.

We left Manila yesterday at around 11:30AM but had to make an initial stopover at Clark, in Pampanga, for lunch and some provisions. We also had to meet up with Li-Ann, who had to come from Subic.

We left Clark at around 7:30PM yesterday evening and arrived in Fort Ilocandia at around 5:30AM this morning, which makes it roughly about a 10-hour drive (9 hours on the road, 1 hour for stopovers) . Cocoy and I took turns at the wheel, where I drove the first half of the journey, and Cocoy the final half. Our first stopover was at 8:30PM at the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac. We stayed there for about 30 minutes to have dinner. Our next stopover was at 12 midnight at a gasoline station somewhere near the border of Pangasinan and La Union.

Here are some pictures taken today.

CJ in the shade:

CJ in the Shade at FIR - 01 CJ - FIH 01 CJ in the Shade at FIR - 02 CJ in the Shade at FIR - 03 CJ in the Shade at FIR - 04

CJ - FIH 01

Conne CJ - FIH 01

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Related Blog Entries:
Holy Week 2008 – Fort Ilocandia and Pagudpud – Day 2

Directions to Laiya, San Juan, Batangas

Now that summer’s near and a lot of people are looking for some fun at the beach, my blog has been getting a lot of search hits on how to get to San Juan, Batangas, particularly on how to get to Barangay Laiya, one of the country’s top beach resort destinations.

If you plan to take a car, here are self-drive instructions on how to get to Laiya, San Juan, Batangas if you’re coming from Manila.

From Manila:

– Take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) all the way to the second to the last exit (Exit 50 going to Batangas, Lucena and Legaspi).

– Drive approximately 6.5 km along this National Highway and turn right towards the Star Toll Way entrance.

– From Star Tollway, drive all the way to Lipa City (approximately 20 kilometers) and take the Tambo/Lipa Exit at the end.

From Lipa City:

– After exiting the Star Tollway, turn right and drive towards Lipa City where La Salle Lipa will be on your left while a Petron gas station will be on the right.

– You’ll come across a Y-intersection just before the McDonald’s restaurant, where you must veer right. This is C.M. Recto Avenue.

– Traverse C.M. Recto Ave. then turn right at the corner of the Mercury Drug store. This is P. Torres St. Drive 8.5 km towards Padre Garcia town.

– Make a left turn at the road sign pointing to Padre Garcia.

– Turn right after passing the Padre Garcia town market.

– Drive approximately 4.5 km and merge with the road coming from Rosario. This road leads all the way to San Juan which is approximately 19 kms.

– When you see the main signage leading to the Batangas Racing Circuit veer left. This will lead you to the San Juan town proper.

Upon reaching the San Juan town proper:

– Drive past the Dunkin Donut and Park n’Go store (on your right) until you reach San Juan Municipal Hall.

– Immediately turn right after the San Juan Municipal Hall. This is the main road of Laiya. Just follow the main road where you will find a lot of beach resorts along the way approximately 25 km (20 minutes) onwards.

I hope this helps.

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Update: October 19, 2013

This has been one of my most popular blog entries but it is no longer updated. I haven’t been to Laiya for a couple of years already and it appears that there are newer, easier routes going to Laiya.
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Related Blog Entries:
Kabayan Beach Resort – San Juan, Batangas
Pictures – San Juan, Batangas Outing – Kabayan Beach Resort

If you don’t vote wisely now, you’ll hate yourself later

phil_flag01.jpgOur country is now in a state of moral and political crisis. But it is appalling that some people have chosen to remain neutral, silent or indifferent with what’s currently going on.

Here are some quotes on neutrality that I hope might spur some people to action.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – (Elie Wiesel – Romanian born American Writer. Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986. b.1928)

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality” – (Dante Alighieri – Italian Author and Poet. Considered one of the greatest poets in all literature, 1265-1321)

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” – (Bishop Desmond Tutu – African Spiritual leader and Novelist, b.1931)

“People who demand neutrality in any situation are usually not neutral but in favor of the status quo” – (Max Eastman – American Author, Journalist and Writer, 1883-1969)

And so, come on man, take sides!

Credibility is not an issue

I don’t understand why a lot of people have been hitting on the credibility of Mr. Jun Lozada, the ZTE-NBN deal star witness. Some sectors keep on presenting arguments about his checkered past that they simply forget or ignore what the real issue is – our quest for the truth. Come on, the truth is still the truth regardless of the source.

So what if he has a lot of skeletons in his closet? If we go by this argument, then why did we, as a nation, insist on hearing out and believing other star witnesses in the past, like the Chavit Singsons, the Jessica Alfaros, etc., who also had their share of hidden skeletons or were accomplices to a particular crime? Why should credibility be an issue now with Mr. Lozada?

If I recall, Erap’s downfall and GMA’s ascendancy into the presidency was because such a star witness with a questionable past was initially vilified, then listened to, and eventually glorified by most Filipinos.

Let’s burn our brain cells to figure out how to sift through the truth and not how to bring a good (or bad) man down.