20 September, 2011

We Are The World

No, this is not the official video of the song "We are the World - Haiti". I just asked my son to sing it. I lost the original copy in my hard drive. I embedded the video from my Facebook account instead.

12 September, 2011

Emergency Food Supply

Almost everyone knows they are supposed to keep an emergency food supply. Emergency situations can happen anytime. Having an emergency  supply of food and water is one important part of the preparation process. But what should you stockpile?

Select foods that are good to eat and reasonably good for you. Plan to rotate supplies every three months. By this, you won't have to worry if your food is stale when you need to eat it.

Date everything using a waterproof pen.
Keep at least 7-14 days worth of food per person. But of course, the more you can manage, the better.
Store these foods in an accessible, cool and dry place.

Here are some list that may help you decide what to stockpile.

Canned Foods:
  • Fruits in very light syrup. (peaches, pears, apricots)
  • Tuna, sardines, oysters (mix it up)
  • soup
  • Rice or soy milk
  • Beans or other vegetable
  • Broth (such as chicken or vegetable)
  • Jar of peanut butter
  • Jar of jelly or jam

Dried and Ready to Eat Food
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruits. Ginger candy is good for upset tummies.
  • Box of whole-grain cereal
  • Nuts and trail mixes
  • Whole-grain energy or granola bars

Food that Requires Water
  • Cup of noodles or ramen
  • Packets of Tea
  • Coffee
  • Instant rice
  • Pasta
  • Dried beans, lentils, peas

  • Canned 100% juice or juice boxes
  • Sport drinks (such as Gatorade)
  • Lots of water.

  • Manual can opener
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Vitamins
  • Water purification system
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper towels, plastic zipper-type bags for storing opened foods
  • Eating utensils and a bowl for each person, knives and a pair of scissors

Most food listed above will keep at least a few months to a year, but again, it's best to keep the rotation going.

Sometimes, on emergencies, it might be necessary to evacuate and gives you a little time to get out of your house. For this, it's important to take emergency essentials with you. A couple of large plastic containers should contain your supplies so you can pick them up and head out the door without running around wasting valuable time.

Discuss disaster scenarios with your family to arrange who is responsible for what. If you have a plan, you and the family members may be able to respond immediately. Read Emergency Checklist.

First-Aid Kit Checklist

A well-stocked first-aid kit is a necessity in very home. We should also keep one first-aid kit in each of our car. First-aid kits can be purchased at drugstores or you can decide to make your own. Choose containers that are durable, lightweight and with lots of space.

Here's an ideal list of what you will need for your own first-aid kit.

  • strerile gauze
  • adhesive tape
  • adhesive bandage
  • elastic bandage
  • a splint
  • antiseptic wipes
  • soap
  • antibiotic ointment
  • antiseptic solution
  • hydrocortisone cream (1%)
  • acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • tweezers
  • sharp scissors
  • safety pins
  • disposable instant cold packs
  • calamine lotion
  • alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
  • thermometer
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • a blanket (stored nearby)
  • a list of emergency phone numbers

Make sure you read the manual and understand how to use the contents of your kit. Store first-aid kits in places that are out of reach of children but are accessible for adults. Check the kits regularly. Replacing missing items or medicines that have been used or have expired. Check the flashlight batteries to make sure they work. Read more Emergency Checklist.

Emergency Checklist

What do you in case of fire, flood or any other disasters?

Preparedness is most important but most have not created a family plan to deal with many of the hazards that might happen, especially disasters that occur without warning. Being prepared is really the best thing than waiting for help to arrive. Conduct a serious family discussion about "what if" scenarios -- plans, alternatives and agreed meeting places and responsibilities.

Basic Requirements:
  • Water- In almost any scenario, having enough drinking water for at least 3 days is essential. Of course, the more you can manage, the better.
  • Food - Be as simple or extravagant as you have time and money to be. Read Emergency Food Supply list.
  • Flashlight and spare batteries - Candles and oil lamps are fine, but can pose a fire hazard.
  • Swiss Army Knife - even if you don't get any other tools, the Swiss Army Knife has enough basic tools to be useful.
  • Source of Information - Watch the news or listen to the radio. If the power is out, use a portable, battery-powered radio.
  • Vital Personal Needs - diapers and formulas for babies, medications for health conditions, gas in your cars.
You may also include the following items:
  • Extra clothing, shoes, jackets, hats
  • Blankets
  • Matches
  • First-Aid Kit. See First-Aid Kit Checklist
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents such as ID, insurance, etc.
  • Books

It's up to each of us to do what we can do to take control of emergency situations. This page contains only the most basic level of preparation.

07 September, 2011

Mary, Mother of Jesus, Our Mother

When Jesus saw His mother,
and the disciple whom He loved standing near,
He said to His mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!"
And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.
(John 19:26-27)

Catholics meditate on Mary only in the light of Christ. Jesus Christ is the heart of the Church. It was St. Catherine of Siena, who lived during the fourteenth century, who said that "All the way to heaven is heaven, because Christ is the Way."

The one thing she did is the one thing that we all have to do, namely, to bear Christ into the world." Our joy is that Mary did this as a human, "as a lay person and through the ordinary daily life that we all live.

(photos: maryourmother.net)

Puerto Princesa Underground River: New 7 Wonders of Nature Finalist

photo from New7wonders.com

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. The underground river is reputed to be the world's longest. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water's edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the 28 finalists of the New7wonders of Nature. For the latest stories, click here.

The official website of the New7wonders of Nature is here.

And here's the link if you want to vote. Voting is only until November 11, 2011. (11.11.11).

28 August, 2011

Bedroom Design Ideas

Bedrooms are the primary place of relaxation, where we all retire to take a good sleep and refresh, away from the world and worries. Sometimes, it only takes a simple idea to make your bedroom a personal haven. Interior design can bring out the best in a bedroom space.

Don't fear to mix-match colors. Just make sure that the colors will create a cozy and restful appearance.

Have fun designing your bedroom using these great ideas.

Seafood Experience at Seaside Macapagal

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon when my family had a small dinner for my brother-in-law's despedida. He's going to a hospital in Kuwait to work as a Medical Technologist.

We had dinner at Seaside Macapagal inside Claire dela Fuente's Restaurant. Seaside Macapagal was a nice location where seafood restaurants are side by side. But what makes it special is that what they offer in their menus are freshly and directly bought at the market, just few steps away from the restaurants.

We had Buttered Shrimp, Adobong Pusit (squid), Grilled Tahong (mussels) with Cheese, Tempura, and the Talakitok for Sinigang sa Miso. The kids also requested Grilled Liempo.
Buttered Shrimp

Adobong Pusit (squid)
Grilled Tahong (mussels) with Cheese
Sinigang sa Miso
Grilled Liempo

What I loved the most is the Adobong Pusit. I also cook adobong pusit but the one at Claire dela Fuente's Restaurant tastes uniquely good. In fact, I tried to ask the waitress how did they cook it. Well, as expected, she wouldn't tell me.. =(

We paid a total bill of Php 5,100.00 for everything, includes iced tea for the kids and beer for the adults. Seaside Macapagal is really a nice place for seafood lovers.


26 August, 2011

Dengue Mosquito Trap

Cases of Dengue diseases continue to rise despite the diligent and tireless effort being done round the clock by the Department of Health and other government agencies in taking the fight against the killer disease.

Combating dengue requires everyone’s cooperation. We need to do our part in fighting this threat.

You may want to try the attached mosquito trap in your homes. And remember, prevention is still the best cure.

It's just a mix of water, brown sugar and yeast.
  1. Cut a plastic bottle in half, keep both parts.
  2. Take the lower portion of the bottle. Dissolve the brown sugar in hot water. Let it cool down to ~70 degF. 
  3. Add the yeast. Carbon dioxide will form. This will attract the mosquitoes.
  4. Cover the bottle with a dark wrap and place the top portion upside down like a funnel. Place it in a corner in your house.
  5. In 2 weeks you will be surprised by the number of mosquitoes killed.

Please Disseminate to others!

Take care everybody!

24 August, 2011

Cultural Differences in Body Language

Imagine this scene - you are inspecting a house with the possibility of purchasing it and you open a bathroom door to see a woman sitting naked in a bathtub.

How would you expect the surprised woman to react?

A British or American woman would cover her breasts with one hand and her genitals with the other, while a Swedish woman would cover only her genitals. A Muslim woman would cover her face, a Sumatran woman would cover her knees and a Samoan only her navel.

If a Saudi man holds another man's hand in public, it's a sign of mutual respect. But don't do it in Australia, Texas, Liverpool in England or even here in the Philippines. =)

Now, try this — hold up your main hand to display the number five. Now change it to the number two.

Europeans start counting with the number one on the thumb, two on the index finger, three on the middle finger, and so on. Anglo-Saxons count number one on the index finger, two on the middle finger and finish with five on the thumb.

Here are some hand signals and see how many different meanings you can assign to each one. The answers are listed at the bottom of the picture.

Europe and North America: OK
Mediterranean region, Russia, Brazil, Turkey: An orifice signal; sexual insult; gay man
Tunisia, France, Belgium: Zero; worthless
Japan: Money; coins

Western countries: One; Excuse me!; As God is my witness; No! (to children)

Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Malta: Up yours!
USA: Two
Germany: Victory
France: Peace
Ancient Rome: Julius Caesar ordering five beers

Europe: Three
Catholic countries: A blessing

Europe: Two
Britain, Australia, New Zealand: One
USA: Waiter!
Japan: An insult

Western countries: Four
Japan: An insult

Western countries: Number 5
Everywhere: Stop!
Greece and Turkey: Go to hell!

Mediterranean: Small penis
Bali: Bad
Japan: Woman
South America: Thin
France: You can't fool me!

Mediterranean: Your wife is being unfaithful
Malta and Italy: Protection against the Evil Eye (when pointed)
South America: Protection against bad luck (when rotated)
USA: Texas University Logo, Texas Longhorn Football Team

Greece: Go to Hell!
The West: Two

Ancient Rome: Up yours!
USA: Sit on this! Screw you!

Europe: One
Australia: Sit on this! (upward jerk)
Widespread: Hitchhike; Good; OK
Greece: Up yours! (thrust forward)
Japan: Man; five

Hawaii: 'Hang loose'
Holland: Do you want a drink?

USA: I love you

The West: Ten; I surrender
Greece: Up Yours -- twice!
Widespread: I'm telling the truth

23 August, 2011

The Bible or Cellphone?

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

 What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several time a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing.

Unlike our cellphone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think 'where are my priorities? And no dropped calls!

When Jesus died for us, he was thinking of YOU!

If you are one of the 7% who will stand up for Him, forward this. 93% of the people won't forward it .

So, the Bible or the Cellphone?

Maybe, the answer is to put the Bible app on yur cell phone and use it every day.

21 July, 2011

How Do Moms Deal With Letting Their Pre-Teens Go?

What I mean is, letting go of their little boy that now doesn't want to have anything to do with them.

Teenagers -- they are going through certain phases where parents are cut off. It's like they are trying out their wings now. I think it's a testosterone thing.

Here are some suggestions on how to handle your pre-teen..

- Try not to treat him as a child.
- Just be there for him.
- Respect his privacy.
- Don't come off as spying. It may just push him farther away.
- Give him his space, but make sure you know exactly where he is and who he's with -- check in with phone calls and make sure he does the same.
- Good communication is always the key.

In my case, my 11 year old boy.. he was my baby, but when he started talking, he became my little buddy.

(I do not own the photo)

10 July, 2011

Are You Still Complaining?

If you think you are unhappy, look at them.

If you think your salary is low, how about her?

If you think you don't have many friends...

When you feel like giving up, think of this man...

If you think you suffer in life, do you suffer as much as he does?

If you complain about your transport system, how about them?

If your society is unfair to you, how about her?

Enjoy life how it is and as it comes..

Things are worse for others and is a lot better for us..

There are many things in your life that will catch your eye but only a few will catch your heart.. pursue those..

Are you still complaining?

Observe around you and be thankful for all that you have in this transitory lifetime...

We are fortunate, we have much more than what we need to be content. Let's try not to feed this endless cycle of consumerism and immorality in which this modern and advanced society forgets and ignores the other two thirds of our brothers and sisters.

Share this without any obligation or expectation in receiving good luck. Let us complain less and give more.
(I don not own the photos)

05 July, 2011

1959-1961 Class of Hen. Pio del Pilar Elementary School

Hen. Pio del Pilar Elementary School started way back in 1911 with only two-rooms. The wooden building was named after the hero, General Pio del Pilar, who was a resident of the place.

Below photos were taken on 1959 and 1960 respectively. I borrowed them from my mother with the thought of sharing them via this blog. She recalls her hometown with lots of trees, wooden houses, no pollution, etc.. Their main transportation were calesas and karitelas pulled by horses.

Fee free to post your insights. Thanks!

12 June, 2011

The Competitor

A little bit of competition is healthy and to be expected. An appropriate amount of competition will motivate and stimulate. But too much competition between friends starts to destroy the friendship. One of the primary ingredients in a positive friendship is that one or both friends feel that they can be "themselves" and that they don't have to put on airs or impress one another. Competition implies a race in which one wins and the other loses; those conditions are quite the opposite of what someone typically expects in a positive friendship, especially a close or best one.

Friends who are competitors probably compete in every area of their lives and find it difficult or impossible to ease up even when it comes to close or best friends. They may compete at work, at school, and even in community affairs. They may be in competition with their spouses or romantic partners, or even with their parents or their children. The Competitor may find this distinctive personality trait hard or impossible to change or eradicate.

You can help the situation, however, by trying to avoid setting up overly competitive situations. For instance, if you share about a success in your personal life or career, especially if you ease into bragging, you may be unwittingly setting off an "I'll show you" reaction.

Helping to heighten the Competitor's awareness about this tendency might help her to deal with this proclivity. If you do want to share something that you think will propel her into a "me too" reaction, you could preface your comments with, "Let me just share something with you without it having anything to do with you, okay?"

The onus for changing the Competitor's behavior, however, is on her; developing a better self-image will diminish her need to compete with everything you say or do.

If you wish to stay friends with the Competitor, you may have to be willing to listen to her brags and boasts far more often than you can share your own.

(source: Jan Yager / photo copied from another website)

The Fault-Finder

Nothing you do, say, or wear is good enough for this overly critical friend. The Fault-finder was probably raised by extremely judgmental parents who were also rearing equally hypercritical siblings. Being criticized during her formative years laid the groundwork for an overly critical adult. It's a hard trait to reverse, and your friend may even be unaware that she is so critical or that it annoys and upsets you so much. Before labeling this type of friendship as hopelessly destructive, you might want to see if your friend could recognize this excessively derogatory behavior and, with time and help, change that orientation. Otherwise, you may decide that you just have to accept this trait in your friend and realize that it reflects on her, not on you or your friendship.

If you value this friend and want to try to maintain the friendship despite the Fault-finder's criticisms, try sharing with him or her how his or her behavior makes you feel. "I know you like me, and I know you may not even mean to make me feel bad, but when you find fault in everything I say or do, it makes me feel bad about myself." He or she might get defensive, even saying it's "your problem," not his or hers. But if you emphasize how the Fault-finder's behavior impacts on you, it may help him or her to reassess what he or she is saying or doing without having to be "right." Furthermore, by sharing how it makes you feel, you may be less resentful if you decide you are willing to put up with the Fault-finder.

However, if you are at your wit's end and willing to try one more thing before calling it quits, try finding fault in the Fault-finder. Those who criticize and find fault are often unable to take it from others. If you do criticize the Fault-finder, it may break the spell of negativity that is now allowing this friend to say and do anything toward you. When the shoe is on the other foot, she may suddenly have an "ah-ha" awareness of what it feels like to others. But beware: The Fault-finder might cut off your friendship forever rather than deal with your criticisms or even try to understand the larger message you are trying to convey.

(source: Jan Yager
/photo copied from another website)

The Discloser

When you say to this friend, "This is just between us," she nods her head but unfortunately that promise will last only as long as it takes her to get to her phone or e-mail. Although there should be an assumption of confidentiality and trust between friends, this friend can't help herself. Telling this person a secret makes her feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Like the game "hot potato," she has to pass the hot secret along to someone else in order to relieve the anxiety knowing the secret made her feel. There are also some Disclosers who simply have a big mouth. If someone you know has this personality trait, avoid telling her your innermost secret -- unless you don't mind if it's shared with the world.

This friend quickly gets a reputation for being a gossip. Unfortunately, there may be some secondary gains to having that distinction. Maybe the primary friend is annoyed by the betrayal and the secret sharing, but everyone else, including other friends, may be delighted by the confidential information that is being shared.

You also have to be sure that your friend understands that you consider the information that you are sharing should always be confidential or secret. Spreading the news that you just got a raise or are expecting a child may seem like information that is fair game for retelling. If it is something you do not want retold, or if you want to be the one retelling it, let your friend know before you mislabel her the Discloser.

How do you know if someone will betray your confidence? If you suspect someone has this trait, share an unimportant secret that you could live with her spreading and see how fast or widespread the confidence is shared.

If you suspect that your friend is unaware that he or she discloses secrets, start by bringing this behavior out in the open. Pick a specific instance when your friend revealed a confidence, and see if he or she acknowledges his or her transgression. Does he or she apologize? Does he or she deny doing it? Does he or she ask your forgiveness, explaining that he or she was unaware the information was privileged?

If you suspect your friend is incapable of changing this pattern and you want to maintain the friendship, protect yourself by being more careful about exactly what information you share. You might also want to reconsider the level of intimacy for this friendship; if you want to maintain your relationship, perhaps it should be on a less frequent or less confidential basis.

(source: Jan Yager
/photo copied from another website)

The Double-Crosser

It could happen when someone does something to hurt you, such as spreading a malicious rumor about you. Or it could be an emotional double-cross. For example, when a close or best friend stops speaking to you and you never find out why.

The Double-crosser may have some real emotional issues that need to be addressed if you are to continue a friendship with her. If your friend was betrayed by a parent or sibling during her formative years, she may have a need to repeat that behavior with her friends. The betrayal could have been as subtle as being disappointed by her parents or as blatant as being the victim of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Your friend may need outside help to reverse the cycle she is in, of doing to others what was done to her.

If you have been double-crossed by a particular friend, you may want to consider ending the friendship. If you have not been directly harmed by this friend but have evidence that she has hurt others, you have to decide if you are risking too much by maintaining the friendship.

If you do decide to walk away from this friendship, do it in a low-key way that avoids incurring the wrath of the Double-crosser. You do not want to be her or his next victim.

(source: Jan Yager
/photo copied from another website)

The Self-Absorbed

The Self-absorbed is a tamer type of negative friend than the Risk-taker. Still, especially over the long haul, a friend who does not make the time to listen to you will eat away at your self-esteem. For you to feel good about yourself, and for your friendship to thrive, you have to be more than a sounding board. The Self-absorbed does not care; she listens to you only because she is waiting to speak.

Self-absorbed chatter is a way of covering up an inability to tolerate silence which some, especially those who have intimacy problems, may find excruciating. You may ask your friend to try to become more aware that she is talking non-stop, and about herself, when it's really a nervous habit designed to fill up the time and space. Could your friend learn to relax more? Enjoy silence? Learn how to ask questions so that you don't feel like a dumping ground?

Is this a trait your friend is aware of and choosing to ignore, or is she unaware of it but once aware of it, she will be capable of changing it? If change is not possible, is there enough that is positive about this friendship that you are willing to continue it even if it is decidedly lopsided?

Perhaps, in a gentle and non-offensive way, you could ask the Self-absorbed friend if she seems to notice that the give-and-take is unequal, that she shares more about her life than you get to share about yours.

With the Self-absorbed friend, you might want to plan an activity to share that minimizes this problem, such as playing tennis, going to the movies, or taking a class. You might want to carefully consider sitting next to the Self-Absorbed on a five-hour train ride or having lengthy meals together, just the two of you. As with the One-upper, whose profile revolves around excessive jealousy, involving more friends with the Self-absorbed might help to offset her nervousness as well as create some additional 'air times' that will even out the balance of power.

(source: Jan Yager
/photo copied from another website)

The Promise Breaker

She always disappoints you... or breaks her promises... your friend is unable to stop herself from repeating that pattern.

It is most likely because she herself was constantly disappointed during her formative years. It is annoying for you, but a comfortable pattern for your friend, and without psychological help, it may be hard for her to alter this pattern.

You could abandon her, or you could find a way to detach yourself by lowering your expectations for this friendship. If she promises to do something for you, even to meet you for a cup of coffee, you can say, "Sure," but protect yourself by knowing, in the back of your mind, that this friend "nine times out of 10" is going to cancel on you.

One way to try to change the Promise Breaker is to help her to understand the consequences of your ignored pledges. Try telling her how it makes you feel --
"Of course, I'll understand that you're not in the mood to drive over, but I was really looking forward to our visit."

Perhaps she is unaware that this is a pattern rather than an isolated incident --
"Yes, of course, I understand, but do you realize this is the fourth time in as many weeks that you've backed out on something you promised to do with me?"

If she has always been there for you, through thick and thin, has only recently become less reliable, you might want to cut her some slack. You have to decide if this is a lifelong trait that will be hard or impossible to change, a temporary condition that will be short-lived, or something, if it does continue indefinitely, that you are willing to accept and handle.

The next time she promises something, try saying, "Yeah, right." When she gets angry at your sarcasm, explain that you are simply pointing out her habit of breaking her promises. Then reframe it in a more positive vein by saying, "Prove me wrong. This time, keep your promise."

(source: Jan Yager)


18 May, 2011

Moments to Remember

I love taking photos. Well, I'm not a professional photographer. I don't even own a DSLR. There are lots of affordable high-quality digital photographic machines everywhere, but I'm contented (for now) with my existing good-quality digicam. Photography seminars or trainings are not (yet) on my list.  Photos I had taken before, even ones that I thought possessed artistic or nostalgic significance -- sunset pictures, a spot by the lake, I love looking at them. What matters is that, I could make those unique moments into snapshots.

Pictures are about remembering moments, not just places. They remind you of what you were doing, whether it's how hard it was to climb up a mountain or splashing in the pool or paddling a canoe. True as they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words."