Archive for December, 2013

I Had A Dream Once

December 31st, 2013 No comments
And it was this: At first there was the universe, or something like the universe — cluttered with stars and dust older than time, all trapped in stillness, silence unexplored, like a secret....

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Manchester Christmas Market 2013

December 20th, 2013 No comments

 It's Christmas and  I am on my annual pilgrimage  to the Manchester Christmas Market.
I have been told the ones in Germany is more festive with that proper Christmas spirit in the air. There's also the Winter wonderland themed Christmas Market in London but time and budget constraints make my stay more fun, relaxed and thorough on this side of England.
My friend's mum from Laguna will be going to London but I'm gonna take a raincheck (for now).
A lot of the stalls are about the same as last year in Manchester which is a bit of an advantage as I can pass for a local in the Christmas markets at least; I was basically the tour guide for our group. That being said the variety of food and the number holiday trinkets are still perfect for stuffing fillers.
We initially tried to go on a night walk; the Christmas lights and the warm mulled wine makes the chilly air less stingy.
And the air was proper nippy but thankfully there weren't any snow yet and the road was frost free so it wasn't that slippery and I was still able to stride around hurriedly with my trainers. 
...and day
They are still selling proper Christmas trees and wreathes , I swear they look a lot like the plastic ones so people who haven't seen proper ones aren't missing a lot. There are mistletoe for two pounds; gag gift for 150 peso?! Divisoria na lang..,

The feel of the day market is a lot different. There are still one or two groups getting drunk; I think they were there for the Christmas parties.
There were a lot more people shopping around rather than just eating and drinking.
There were a lot more baby strollers - we had ours as well, so we part of the bottle neck inducing crowds.
We started at Albert Square, the one with the lighted Santa Claus. Oh, behind that is their City Hall.
A big part of City Hall is usually closed during normal days but they have extended access during the Christmas Markets as they allow people to use their toilets. There aren't enough toilets or maybe it's not spread out. They don't used porta potties so they have to open up otherwise restricted toilets.
The City hall is still getting on with their offical business otherwise; paperwork won't stop with the market will it?

 The United Kingdom being part of the EU means people from the continent have free access to work and play in any part of the United Kingdom.
One my stops every year is the Little Spain booth. In Spain, they said if you want proper paella you have to order a day in advance and it has to be for a group as they cook paella in a big pan.
In the Christmas market though they sell it for tingi-tingi - very Pinoy.

Taga hawak ng paella

The highlight of the day was spending it with my friend's baby. Yup, we were on baby sitting duty and it was his first Christmas Market and although he fell asleep he was kind enough to carry our food and shopping in his pram. Ang bait.
We have to talk to him in English cause a pediatric nurse friend told us that's usually better early in their life so baby talk in English; northern accent optional. haha

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Bonus-sharing tradition in city hall gets praise

December 19th, 2013 No comments
By Juan Escandor Jr. Bicol Mail NAGA CITY—Amid controversy over a letter of the mayor of this city asking the city council to revert fund for the bonus which will be received less than the actual amount signed, an official of the city employees’ group lauded the continuing  practice of sharing bonuses with other lowly [...]
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New heritage society formed

December 19th, 2013 No comments
Bicol Mail The Nueva Caceres Heritage Society, a new cultural group, was organized last December 14 for the promotion of general heritage consciousness and to undertake initial steps in the protection, preservation, and restoration of heritage structures and sites as well as cultural heritage in the city and suburban communities. The organization was the outcome [...]
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MNCCI sets last meeting, biz forum for 2013

December 19th, 2013 No comments
Bicol Mail NAGA CITY — Outgoing President Clarine P. Tobias will finally hand over the rein of the multi-awarded Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry to incoming President Nicolas Beda A. Priela during the MNCCI’s last membership meeting, business forum, and induction of new members for this year on Saturday, Dec. 21, at the [...]
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City Hall nagtao na nin ultimatum sa CJ Global

December 19th, 2013 No comments
Bicol Mail Liwat pigtawan nin panahon kan City Hall an CJ Global Green Energy Philippines, Corporation sagcod sa Diciembre 31, 2013 nganing ponan na an construccion kan naabalang patrabajo kan Waste to Energy Project. Alagad an local na gobierno nag-abiso na sa CJ Global huli ta atrasado na an proyecto, bukas na City Hall mag-ako [...]
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Nick & Sheeva

December 16th, 2013 No comments


ASYA PREMIERE SUITES | Boracay Island, Philippines


We pried open my window
Let the summer rush in
And we laughed with the new air
Now I lay and watch the green leaves
Dance and whisper sweet breath





H E  H A D  S U M M E R  I N  H I S  L A U G H
and autumn behind his eyes, hair and lips that
were always moving, always kissing, always wanting.

H e  w a n t e d  t o  l o v e  &  I  w a n t e d  t o  b e  l o v e d  &  i n  a  w a y  h e  g a v e  m e  e v e r y t h i n g  t h a t  h e  c o u l d .
He built abrasions like bridges over my skin
and he was a dedicated architect,

l e a r n e d  t o  m a n œ u v r e  m y  b o d y  i n  a l l  i t s  w i n d i n g  i n t r i c a c i e s .




S H E  D A R E S  M E  T O  P O U R  M Y S E L F  O U T  L I K E  A  L I V I N G  W A T E R FA L L

She dares me to the soul that is more than my own;
She extinguishes fear in mere seconds.

S H E  L E T S  L I G H T  C O M E  T H R O U G H





‘ E X P L O R E   M E  ’ you said and I collected my ropes, flasks and maps, expecting to be back home soon.


I  d r o p p e d  i n t o  t h e  m a s s  o f  y o u  a n d  I  c a n n o t  f i n d  t h e  w a y  o u t .
Sometimes I think I’m free, coughed up like Jonah from the whale, but then I turn a corner and recognize myself again.


M Y S E L F  I N  Y O U R  S K I N ,  M Y S E L F  L O D G E D  I N  Y O U R  B O N E S ,
myself floating in the cavities that decorate every surgeon’s wall.

T H A T  I S  H O W  I  K N O W  Y O U . Y O U  A R E  W H A T  I  K N O W .




I  W A N T  I N  F A C T  M O R E  O F  Y O U .  I N  M Y  M I N D  I  A M  D R E S S I N G  Y O U  W I T H  L I G H T ;
I am wrapping you up in blankets of complete acceptance and then give myself to you.

I  long for you; I who usually long without longing, as though I am unconscious and absorbed in neutrality and apathy,
U T T E R L Y  L O N G  F O R  E V E R Y  B I T  O F  Y O U .






W A T C H I N G   H OW  W A T E R  C A R V E D  I T S E L F  I N T O  Y O U
when you stand up and wrap us both in the biggest towel that I own.


I think strange, impossible things that I do not say out loud,
like maybe my hands could have been born for you.
That my body is clay and your heat is the only thing
that makes it warp and soften.

D o  y o u  k n o w  t h e  m i r a c l e  i n  t h i s ?



This is for the boy with eyes
l i k e  w i l d f l o w e r s  b l o o m i n g  a g a i n s t  h i s  c h e e k


e v e r y  t i m e  h e  k i s s e d  m e , &  h e  w a s  b e a u t i f u l ,
I felt him spinning inside me
like a tornado bursting through the disaster-prone
areas of my body. His hands looked like
butterflies pinned against my waist, wings
fluttering, always moving.


a n d  y o u  r a i s e  y o u r  a r m s  u p  t o  t h e  s k y

Raised high, you make a ‘ Y ‘

A r m s  r a i s e d  t o  h e a v e n ,  n e e d i n g  n o  h e l p








And to this day
When everything breaks
Y o u  a r e  t h e  a n c h o r  t h a t  h o l d s  m e



B u t  t o  c o m e  h o m e  e a c h  n i g h t
Have a drink, go to bed,
& b e  s o  d e e p l y  u n d e r s t o o d  b y  y o u  w o u l d  b e  t h e  g r e a t e s t  g i f t  o f  m y  l i f e .






S H E  B U R I E D  H E R  E A R S  I N T O  T H E  C A L M  O F  H I S  H E A R T B E A T ,  A N D  I N  A  M A T T E R  O F  S E C O N D S -



F E L L  T E R R I B L Y  I N  L O V E  W I T H  T H E  W A Y  H E R  L O N E L I N E S S – F E L L  S O F T L Y  A N D  S U D D E N L Y ,  A S L E E P ,  I N  H I S  C H E S T .




I’d cut my soul
into a million different pieces
j u s t  t o  f o r m  a  c o n s t e l l a t i o n
to light your way home.



I ’ d  w r i t e  l o v e  p o e m s
to the parts of yourself
you can’t stand.



I’d stand in the shadows
of your heart
and tell you
I ’ m  n o t  a f r a i d  o f  y o u r  d a r k


Bridal Gown > R e e m  A c r a | Entourage Gowns > V e e j a y  F l o r e s c a |  Video > B o b  N i c o l a s | Hair + MakeUp > R a y m o n d  S a n t i a g o  +  R o b b i e  P i n e r a  | Flowers + Boutonnieres > V a t e l  M a n i l a  +  H a n d m a d e  G o o d n e s s | Invites > P r i n t s o n a l i t i e s   x   P o p J u n k L o v e | Coordination > A m a n d a  T i r o l  o f  B o r a c a y  W e d d i n g s

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Meet Feak

December 14th, 2013 No comments

My first-grader nephew, Clyde, created this character out of modelling clay. He named him Feak. One afternoon, he took my camera, ordered me to move away because of my shadow, and started taking a series of photographs so that Feak would walk. Little did he know that he was already doing stop-motion animation.
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SA CASURECO II: Maimponer aumento sa tarifa poon sa Dec. 25

December 12th, 2013 No comments
Bicol Mail Mapalangkaw naman nin singil sa tarifa sa corriente  an Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative (Casureco II) asin ini iyo an pamasko sa 94 mil na miembros-consumedores sa pag-imponer kan P13.50 cada kilowatt per hour huli kan ika-duwang veces na paglangkaw sa posibleng dagdag na P2.00 na ma-efecto sa Diciembre 25, 2013. Maabot na [...]
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IGWA NANG SEPTAGE TREATMENT FACILITY: MNWD masipsip na kan mga ati sa poso negro

December 12th, 2013 No comments
Bicol Mail An Metropolitan Naga Water District (MNWD) magkakaigwa  na nin sadiring Septage Treatment Facility (STF) na pigfondohan nin P122 milyones  asin   nagpapadagos  na an construccion  kan proyecto sa 6.2 hectariang lote sa Sitio Caromatig, Brgy. Carolina, Ciudad nin Naga na piglalaoman matatapos sa taon 2015, sabi ni Board President Fortunato ‘Tato’ Mendoza. Kun matapos [...]
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WINNERS BARED: Young campus journalists test mettle in writing confab

December 12th, 2013 No comments
Jason B. Neola Bicol Mail NAGA CITY — Campus writers from different public and private elementary and secondary schools under the Division of City Schools here vied for top honors in the 2013 Division Schools Press Conference held last December 7, this year. A yearly undertaking by the Department of Education through the Division Association [...]
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Reflections and insights on Bicol Autonomy Movement

December 9th, 2013 No comments
I had a very insightful interaction with the former Chief Justice Reynato Puno last Saturday during the 4th Anniversary of Bicol Autonomy Movement! Among others, he cited the historical facts how our democracy has evolved into a government of the few, for the benefit of the few. But most important, he recognizes relevance of direct peoples action such as the BAM in deepening our knowledge and stake in Philippine democracy.

I see several challenges for the Bicol Autonomy Movement. Socio-cultural, political-legal, and economic factors seem to conspire against BAM.

But if we continue to draw strength and lessons from the experiences of Bicolanos and  of the Bicol Region, I am very confident that we will overcome these challenges!
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Golden Rice

December 9th, 2013 No comments
I read that a local environmentalist group has devastated a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) testing field in Pili last August, I was embarrassed and saddened.
A testing field for a GMO called the Golden Rice was destroyed. The rice apparently is enriched with beta carotene to combat Vitamin A deficiency; a common cause for blindness.  
I do, like most people, care for the environment recognizing that we are in every bit affected by what happens to it. A natural extension of this is a concern about the effects of the proliferation of GMOs.
Promise of a brighter world
To be honest, I used to be reluctant about GMOs. There were a lot of questions surroundings its safeness both for the environment and the people who plant and consume it.
Decades have passed and thousands of studies have been done and there still aren't any concrete proof saying it is harmful to humans.
It could be that it is too early to tell if there are long term health consequences in taking GMO's but in the meantime we cannot let millions of people go hungry due to lack of affordable food if the technology to make them cheaper is here. 
It's a question of probable risk against actual consequences. 
Environmental tolls on the other hand are real; although honestly speaking it is the lesser of two evils. 
The Green Revolution that multiplied the outputs of the rice fields uses pesticides and petroleum based fertilizers which can pollute streams and potentially devastate local animals and plants.
The flip side though is catastrophic.
In the very, very unlikely event that we don't have any storms, floods or drought to devastate our soon to be developed perfectly irrigated farm fields it still wouldn't be enough to meet the demands of a bigger and richer world.  The arable fields we have just wouldn't be enough.
Organic farming which is touted as the panacea means we would have to cut down millions of trees and thousand of hectares of virgin forest to meet the growing needs of the world; that would hasten species lost by destroying their natural habitats and increasing the frequency and intensity of flooding due to the trees lost as well as speeding up global warming.
Lastly, the contention that GMO's would impoverish farmers isn't always true. Though the cost of artificially modified seeds can be daunting at first the anecdotal instances where farmers are poorer tend to stem from greed and ineffiencies.
True a lot of high yielding crops are patented and adds cost to poor farmers but patents expire and the seeds potential won't. It would be ideal if an unbiased, altruistic organization spearhead the GMOs research or even the government but in the meantime companies who controls the majority of high yielding seeds must be regulated and a line must be drawn on what cannot be patented.
With regards to the Golden Rice seeds this last argument is moot, the seeds are managed by International Rice Research Institute meaning if it does pass the necessary tests; poor farmers would have access to it.
Considering that population growth is a very real factor for the world compounded by the malnutrition experienced by millions of people worldwide; GMO's offer a real solution.
It has worked before, the world has more than doubled its agriculture output in the past due in part to pioneers like Norman Borlaug.
Mr Borlaug work has saved billions of mostly poor people from death due to starvation. He has made food more affordable and abundant and has been widely recognized in preventing a much touted food famine in South Asia.
Meanwhile, organic farming and its market continues to be a past time of the rich countries. Mass produced, affordable staples is the fruit of the Green Revolution and it is a shame obscurantist in our country would deny our people of this technique which at the very least improves people's lives. 
It is an imperfect practical solution but until a more viable solution is found we must continue what we can in saving people from preventable hunger.

''some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitist. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites...If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things." - Norman Borlaug

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IloIlo: You had me at La Paz Batchoy and your idyllic charm Part 2

December 5th, 2013 No comments

Ted's La Paz Batchoy was great. Even....comparable to wait for it.... Kinalas.

 Iloilo being an old city has a lot of cultural prestige.
There are a lot of old universities, an interesting museum and very low set, cool-ish jeepneys.
I didn't have time to tour - not even sure if it was allowed  to enter- any of the universities here.
It would have been a great experience I reckon. I was in Glasgow this one time and I couldn't resist the charm of the University of Glasgow. I mean I had to do a quaint little walk to get to it but its image was just breathtaking.
I imagined the history of our old universities also have the same breathtaking character; minus the long walks.  

Drop it low. Really interesting as I am only used to the Sarao ones.

Iloilo apparently has an abundance of maritime schools.

Photo was taken in a mall. Apparently there's a pageant contest for them. Huh

 The only way to end Iloilo is with a massive food binge. There was this locally famous grill near our hotel (forgot the name - it has branches across the city) which apparently makes the best liempo in the Visayas. It was good but honestly speaking I liked the Lechon Kawali better.
 And lastly, some sweet coffee to wash everything down. Prepping up for Boracay and Cebu!

Cake with brownies at the botton. Just alright really.

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Naga’s Kamundagan fest kicks off

December 5th, 2013 No comments
Bicol Mail NAGA CITY — This city’s Kamundagan Festival, the story of the birth of the Great Savior and the rebirth of the city as a progressive and dynamic community in this part of the Bicol region, formally opened last Sunday, December 1, with the simultaneous lighting of the Christmas Village at Plaza Quezon and [...]
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