Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Dream House

My ideal dream house will be on the top of a tree (not exactly) or a Tree House. Yes, you read it right. My dream house is a tree house. It has nothing to do with environmental stuffs that are going on around. I just feel like it.

Of course, it not just a mere tree house that any kids could use as a fort. I am talking about a house, a home with its own lounge (sala), bedrooms, kitchen, toilet/bathroom, and whatever.

In addition, I want that tree house to be surrounded by gardens of fruits and veges.

Anyway, it is kinda hard to find a suitable tree large enough to build a comfortable house and most tree houses built for the comfort of their owners built in two or more trees to support the weight of the house and its occupants.

Here are some of the coolest tree houses I found in the internet:

[P.S. I don't own the photos above]

Monday, October 25, 2010

Life in the Quake Zone

It has been more than one and half month since the big earthquake (September 4) and the ground here in Christchurch is still shaking. The very stressing “aftershocks” (and possibly, “foreshocks” of a much bigger one), keep disrupting everyone and personally, it is kind of annoying and exciting at the same time.

Christchurch Quake Map
As of 24 October 2010, there were about over 2200 aftershocks (and still counting) that hit the Canterbury region and not all of them can be considered “aftershocks” since some of them were not even from the same fault line. Some of the small quakes were new earthquakes or, as I pointed out, earlier, “foreshocks” for an upcoming bigger earthquake. The numbers of quakes suggested that what happened in Canterbury is an example of (or closest thing to) an “Earthquakes Swarm”, where a local area experiences sequences of many earthquakes striking in a relatively short period of time. The length of time used to define the swarm itself varies, but the United States Geological Survey points out that an event may be on the order of days, weeks, or months.

As I mentioned in my earlier blog entry, ever since my high school geography teacher told everyone in my class that the South Island of New Zealand is moving one inch closer to the North Island every year, I always have this strange feeling that a big quake will happen and it did happened six years later.

Ever since the big earthquake, I am even more paranoid and stress out. Every time I go to bed and about to go to sleep, I can feel the ground shaking as if its like sleeping on the top of washing machine. Though, I got used to it, still disrupting and pisses me off.

Anyway, these quakes and aftershocks may have been a blessing in disguise. If we look at other recent earthquakes like the one Haiti where it has almost similar magnitude of earthquake (Haiti: 7.0 and Canterbury: 7.1). Haiti's quakes had an estimated 230,000 deaths and it looks like its going to get worse because of a recent epidemic over there. Christchurch, on the other hand, had one casualty and it was not even a human (it was a poor lemur).

The aftershocks also weakened some historical buildings that survived the big quake and as a result, they were (or bound to be) demolished for safety reason. Though, I believe some of those buildings are fixable and I always thought that if you cannot fix it, tore it down but if it is fixable then why not fix it. It sad to see those historical buildings that served as the link and reminder for Christchurch residents to the past but now have to bring it down. Demolishing historical buildings for the sake of modern commercialism is like taking away the Englishness out of the most English* city of New Zealand.
P.S. Happy Labour Day New Zealand!

[*] Not referring to the “English language” but rather of the “English” (Anglo) origin of the city.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quote of the Day

Dr. José Rizal
"As to honor, fame, or benefit that I might have been able to reap, I agree that all that is especially tempting to a young man like me of flesh and blood with so many weaknesses like anybody else. But as no one chooses the nationality or race in which he is born and as at birth, privileges or advantages inherent in both things are already in existence, I accept the cause of my country in the firm belief that He who has made me a Filipino would know how to forgive me for the mistakes that I commit, considering our difficult situation and the defective education that from birth we receive. Moreover, I do not aspire either for eternal fame or eternal renown; I do not aspire to equal others whose conditions, faculties, and circumstances could be and are in effect different from mine. My sole wish is to do what is possible, what is in my hands, the most necessary. I have glimpsed a little light and I believe that it is my duty to teach it to my countrymen."

Dr. José Rizal (Letter to Father Pablo Pastells, 11 November 1892)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Filipino Pride: "Heartbeat" by Enrique Iglesias ft. Nicole Scherzinger

Well I'm sure I'm not the only one who notices it but both Enrique Iglesias and Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls are of Filipino descent. We've seen the likes of Lea Salonga in Miss Saigon, Lou Diamond Phillips and Rob Schneider in Hollywood, Vanessa Hudgens in Disney's High School Musicals, Charice Pempengco in Glee, and many other Filipino international celebrities. Seeing the two international singers of Filipino descent in one video is something we don't see everyday. Unless, of course, if you keep watching their music video over and over again.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Philippines in the 2010 Asian Games (basketball)

Smart Gilas Pilipinas
[UPDATED as of 26 of November 2010]

This month, November 2010, the Philippine national basketball team (commercially known as Smart Gilas Pilipinas) will compete for the first time in the Asian Games since the infamous semi-final heartbreak against South Korea and the uninspiring bronze medal game against Kazakhstan in 2002. The year 2010 is the 20th anniversary of the 1990 Beijing Asian Games (the last time China host the multi-sports event) and its the 20th anniversary of the last time the Philippine national team played in the finals of the Asiad basketball event.

Anyway, the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games basketball championship does not affect the FIBA-ranking nor does it guaranty qualification to world tournaments. However, the Smart Gilas Pilipinas will still have something to fight for in the tournament. Aside from the goal of finishing inside the Top 3, the team will have to make sure that they will finish the tournament inside the Top 6 because the Philippines has never finished below 6th place in the Asian Games basketball history.

The 2010 national squad will have the opportunity to win a basketball medal for the country since the 1998 Asian Games, to play in the finals (since the 1990 Asiad), and the chance to win the elusive gold medal for the first time since 1962.

Here's the national team squad for 2010 Asian Games:
(surnames in alphabetical order)
  • Japeth Aguilar*
  • Jason Ballesteros
  • Marc Baracael
  • Andy Mark Barroca
  • JV Casio
  • Marcio Lassiter
  • Chris Lutz
  • Solomon Mercado*
  • Greg Slaughter
  • Paulasi Taulava*
  • Chris Tiu
  • Kelly Williams*
Head Coach: Rajko Toroman (2008-present)
Assistant Coach: Chot Reyes 

Cut from the Asian Games line-up: Dylan Ababou, Aldrech Ramos**
Missed Out: Marcus Douthit (not naturalized in time)

[*] Released by their respective PBA teams to reinforced the national squad in the Asian Games. Taulava, Williams and Mercado will only play for the national team in the preparatory games and the Asian Games. Japeth Aguilar, on the other hand, will play for the national squad until the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship.
[**] Cut from national squad for the Asian Games since only 12 players allowed to participate per national team in FIBA-sanctioned tournaments

Warm-up Games:
  • vs. Guangdong Tigers, 75-87 (November 10)
  • vs. Dongguan Century Leopards, 79-65 (November 11)

Team Results in the 2010 Asian Games:

Preliminary Round 1 - Group B*
  • vs. Kuwait, 76-69 (November 13)
[Saudi Arabia was originally drawn to play the Philippines in the first round but decided to withdrew from the tournament.]

Preliminary Round 2 - Group F**
  • vs. Iran, 50-65 (November 16)
  • vs. Qatar, 90-68 (November 17)
  • vs. Japan, 58-60 (November 19)
  • vs. India, 78-57 (November 21)
  • vs. Chinese Taipei, 82-73 (November 22)

Quarter-Finals (1st-8th place)
  • vs. South Korea, 66-74 (November 24)

Classification Finals (5th-8th place)
  • vs. North Korea, 96-69 (November 25)
  • vs. Qatar, 71-81 (November 26)

Win-Loss Record: 5 wins, 4 losses
Final Placing: 6th place [the 2010 national squad equalled the country's worst finished ever in the Asian Games basketball history]
    [*] Since the Philippines was suspended by FIBA in 2005-2007, the national team was not able to compete in the 2006 event and was required to play and win in the first preliminary round to qualify for the second preliminary round of the 2010 event.
    [**] The Top 8 finishers of the 2006 Asian Games automatically qualified to the second preliminary round of the 2010 event

    Philippines Basketball Record in the Asian Games:
    • 1951: 1st place (gold)
    • 1954: 1st place (gold)
    • 1958: 1st place (gold)
    • 1962: 1st place (gold)
    • 1966: 6th place
    • 1970: 5th place
    • 1974: 4th place
    • 1978: 5th place
    • 1982: 4th place
    • 1986: 3rd place (bronze)
    • 1990: 2nd place (silver)
    • 1994: 4th place
    • 1998: 3rd place (bronze)
    • 2002: 4th place
    • 2006: Did Not Participate (Suspended by FIBA)
    • 2010: 6th place

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    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Quote of the Day

    Thrilla in Manila!: Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali
    "Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the WILL must be stronger than the skill." ~Boxing legend Muhammad Ali

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Peter Griffin vs. The Chicken (The Family Guy)

    One of my favourite side stories of the Family Guy is the random punch-up battles between Peter Griffin and the Chicken. People talks about the impending but may not happen Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout as the Mega Fight of the Century. However, what kind of a fight is that if both boxers prefer to play cat-and-mouse and playing hard to get. One boxer, slowly, destroying his career with show business and politics while the other one is obsessed with fetish testings from blood, urine, or even sperm testing.

    Anyway, those two boxers (especially woman-basher Mayweather) need to “man” up and learn something from the Peter Griffin-Chicken fight. By the way, you guys ever notice, Peter Griffin fighting a Chicken while Manny Pacquiao waiting to fight Floyd Chickenweather.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Rizal: "Why liberty? Why independence?"

    "Our ills we owe to ourselves alone, so let us blame no one. If Spain
    should see that we were less complaisant with tyranny and more disposed
    to struggle and suffer for our rights, Spain would be the first to
    grant us liberty, because when the fruit of the womb reaches maturity
    woe unto the mother who would stifle it! So, while the Filipino people
    has not sufficient energy to proclaim, with head erect and bosom bared,
    its rights to social life, and to guarantee it with its sacrifices,
    with its own blood; while we see our countrymen in private life ashamed
    within themselves, hear the voice of conscience roar in rebellion and
    protest, yet in public life keep silence or even echo the words of
    him who abuses them in order to mock the abused; while we see them
    wrap themselves up in their egotism and with a forced smile praise
    the most iniquitous actions, begging with their eyes a portion of
    the booty--why grant them liberty? With Spain or without Spain they
    would always be the same, and perhaps worse! Why independence, if the
    slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow? And that they will
    be such is not to be doubted, for he who submits to tyranny loves it.
    ~Dr. José Rizal, (El Filibusterismo, 1891)

    José Rizal
    He was right all right.

    More than a hundred years later, Filipinos became tyrants of themselves. Every elections, the ignorant and careless voters outnumbering the thinking voters, it was the dark side of democracy. The rich elites oppressing and manipulating the poor,  and a Constitution that seem to be a compromise between the oligarchs themselves, that political and economic power as well as justice and the right to use our natural resources are limited only to them, the rich elites.

    It comes to no surprise that modern Filipinos felt that the heroes of our elitist democracy such as Ninoy and Cory Aquino are greater heroes than Dr. José Rizal were. Just like a friend of mine pointed out:

    "Our revolutionary heroes sacrifice themselves in the past only to die in vain because modern-day Filipinos believed that fighting and dying for our elite-dominated democracy are more important than fighting and dying for our national independence."

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    The "Philippine Dream Team" in the 1990 Asian Games

    1990 RP Team during team practice
    Today (October 6) is the 20th anniversary of the silver medal finished of the “Philippine Dream Team” in the 1990 Asian Games basketball tournament. The 1990 RP Team was the first ever Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)-backed national team and it may have been the first national team in the world composed of professional players.

    The team was also the least-prepared and most successful PBA-backed national team in history. The team was loaded with future Hall-of-Famers and some members eventually selected to the PBA Top 25 Greatest Players Ever in 2000 (ten years later).

    What makes this team different to the rest of the PBA-backed national teams was their two-week preparation and their silver medal finished. One of the reasons for the team reaching the finals was the inclusion of former NCC players (Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, and Yves Dignadice) and their subsequent national team successors (Alvin Patrimonio and Ronnie Magsanoc). Their recent experiences and familiarity to FIBA rules and international basketball helped the team’s performances in the Asian Games basketball tournament.

    Filipino hotshot Allan Caidic, Asia's most feared shooter
    The 1990 national squad was basically the PBA All-Stars with the likes of Ricky Brown (injury), Jerry Condiñera (due to personal health), Jojo Lastimosa, and Paul Alvarez missing out from the line up. In addition, the NCC trio (Caidic, Lim and Calma) were carrying injuries themselves when the tournament started.

    The team’s performances in Beijing created some great and sad stories. The worst was the 65-points demolition of the Philippines by the host, China, 60-125. Anyway, in positive note, there was Chito Loyzaga playing the game of his lifetime (not really) in guarding North Korea’s 7’7 center Michael Ri. Then there was the injured (broken hand) Allan Caidic held scoreless in the first half of their second group game against Japan. The first half finished 29-43 to Japan but the injured Triggerman lead the Nationals in a come from behind win (86-78) by scoring 34 points in the second half.

    The team's achievement will never be emulate nor surpass by any PBA-backed national teams. As long as commercial greediness and protectionist policies exist in the PBA bureaucracy, no future PBA-backed national team will ever surpass the Philippine Dream Team. Twenty years later since that silver medal finished, after three failed attempts in the Asian Games and two attempts in the Asian Championship, the league that claimed to be the oldest professional league in Asian basketball gave up for the sake of ticket sales.

    Philippines’ Record in the Asian Games prior to 1990:
    • 1951: 1st place (gold)
    • 1954: 1st place (gold)
    • 1958: 1st place (gold)
    • 1962: 1st place (gold)
    • 1966: 6th place
    • 1970: 5th place
    • 1974: 4th place
    • 1978: 5th place
    • 1982: 4th place
    • 1986: 3rd place (bronze)
    Members of the 1990 RP Team: Rey Cuenco, Zaldy Realubit, Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras, Samboy Lim, Alvin Patrimonio, and Allan Caidic

    Here’s the 1990 RP Dream Team’s line-up:
    • Allan Caidic of (Presto)
    • Hector Calma of (San Miguel Beer)
    • Rey Cuenco of (Anejo Rhum)
    • Yves Dignadice of (San Miguel Beer)
    • Ramon Fernandez of (San Miguel Beer)
    • Dante Gonzalgo of (Anejo Rhum)
    • Samboy Lim of (San Miguel Beer)
    • Chito Loyzaga of (Anejo Rhum)
    • Ronnie Magsanoc of (Formula Shell)
    • Benjie Paras of (Formula Shell)
    • Alvin Patrimonio of (Purefoods)
    • Zaldy Realubit of (Presto)
    Head Coach: Robert Jaworski
    Assistant Coaches: Norman Black and Rino Salazar

    Team’s Results in the 1990 Asian Games:

    Samboy Lim, Philippines vs. Japan
    Preliminary Round
    • vs. Pakistan 129-81 (September 26)
    • vs. Japan 86-78 (September 27)

    Second Round
    • vs. North Korea 98-82 (September 30)
    • vs. China 60-125 (October 1)
    • vs. United Arab Emirates 80-75 (October 2)

    • vs. Japan 94-90 (October 4)

    • vs. China, 74-90 (October 6)
    Allan Caidic and RP Team Head Coach Robert Jaworski in one of their after-game Press Conferences in Beijing, China
    • 1990 Asian Games silver medal
    • Allan Caidic - Asian Games All-Tournament Mythical Team
    • Samboy Lim - Asian Games All-Tournament Mythical Team

    Philippines’ Record in the Asian Games from 1990:
    • 1990: 2nd place (silver)
    • 1994: 4th place
    • 1998: 3rd place (bronze)
    • 2002: 4th place
    • 2006: Did Not Participate (Suspended by FIBA)
    • 2010: 6th place


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      Sunday, October 3, 2010

      Chicken Adobo with Pineapple Recipe

      This recipe is my other favourite adobo.

      Here's the recipe (Courtesy to Ex-Designz):

      1 k. chicken, cut up
      1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
      1/2 cup vinegar
      1/2 cup soy sauce
      1/4 tsp. pepper
      1 small bay leaf
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1 tomato, quartered
      3 tbsps. cooking oil

      • Combine all ingredients except pineapple tidbits and tomato. 
      • Marinate for 30 minutes. 
      • Place in a skillet, cover and simmer until chicken is tender. 
      • Drain, and set sauce aside. 
      • Fry the chicken pieces in a heated skillet until brown.
        Add sauce again and simmer until liquid is reduced; then add tomatoes and pineapple tidbits. 
      • Serve hot. Makes 6 servings. 

      P.S. Recipe above is not mine 

      Friday, October 1, 2010

      The Art of Photo-Bombing

      Photo bombing (or photo-bomb) is the art of ruining a picture taking. The Urban Dictionary has different definitions submitted by different people.

      One definition said that photo bombing is “to drop in a photo unexpectedly… To hop in a picture right before it was taken.”

      Another definition: “An otherwise normal photo that has been ruined or spoiled by someone who was not supposed to be in the photograph.”

      Anyway, I have my own share of photo-bombing experiences. There are times when I am one of the victims. Some other times, I am the photo-bomber. Sometimes people did it intentionally or for no apparent reason. Others did it accidentally or unintentionally. Some do it for fun while others, simply just to ruin the moment.

      Here are examples of photo-bombings:
      One of the most popular photo-bombed pic in the web
      Dog (to his owner): "You can grab the horns all you want... I don't care!"
      Say Cheez!
      Darth Vader attending a convention

      Here are selected celebrity photo-bombings:
      "Honey is that your hand in my back?"
      Paul M.: "Oi!"
      Daniel Craig photo-bombed Taylor Swift [doing like what 007 suppose to do, sneaky but the mustache disguise was a let down]
      Kermit the Frog photo-bombing or should I say, Lady Gaga photo-bombed herself

      Here are some of my own shares of photo-bombings:
      After a basketball tournament about two and half years ago
      A friend of mine (Carmelo M.)... perfectly executed the photo-bomb
      During a friend's (Yuki K.) farewell party.. there were about two photo-bombers in this photo.. you know who you are..
      My overly executed attempt to photo-bomb.. at least part of me managed to ruin the photo

      [P.S. I don't own some of the photos above.]

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