Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Credits to the nice bookstore
named Fully Booked
It's been almost 2 months since I haven't blogged here because of life's busyness and the school's demands. I even didn't feel it's Christmas during those times. I haven't felt the emerging season for the first time. 

Nevertheless, we are still celebrating Christmas—celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ(so please, don't "X" Christ in Christmas.), celebrating God's greatest love to us. That love is shown when Christ, whom we celebrate right now, was crucified on the cross, and when his blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. 

We now already have the big solution, the greatest gift we could have: the forgiveness of sins, reunion with God, and eternal life. And what we only have to do is to accept it in our lives. 

You can accept it right now. Just pray to God, say to Him that you're sorry for your sins, and that you receive His gift with all your heart, that you accept Him as your Lord and Savior...

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--" — John 1:12
 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." — John 3:16

So...It's been different right now. I haven't posted anything for a long time. But actually, I'll be going to work on a few posts, which you'll read as soon as possible.

But for now, I wish you a blessed Christmas..Never forget it's true meaning!

Here's a nice rendition of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by one of the country's acclaimed musicians—Ebe Dancel. Enjoy.

Merry Christmas!

The Little Fir Tree

Nice to see something from Jose Rizal. Yes. He drew this one. A Christmas tree for his translation of Hans Cristian Andersen's "Little Fir Tree" (Ang Puno ng Pino). I hope to know that story. It's just something nice to share. Credits to the great historian Ambeth Ocampo.

Maligayang Pasko!

Rocking Along The Christmas Tree

So wondering what's Up Dharma Down Community? They are the fans of a great band here in the Philippines: Up Dharma Down. Good thing I discovered and revisited them this year with their new single "Turn It Well". Nice artwork, I like to share it with you. Credits to those who did this simple yet great artwork similar to the band's newest album, "Capacities".

Merry Christmas!

Talk TV Transforms

A news boomed on the television last Wednesday morning while I tuned in.

Talk TV is going to change to inform and inspire this October 30.

What do I mean?

Talk TV, another cable channel of Solar Network, will go forward as a news channel.

Talk TV, launched after ETC moved to RPN 9, emphasizes on talk, with a line-up of talk shows and news programs, getting programs like Today, Inside Edition, and Dateline from its sister channels like 2nd Avenue. More programs were added as the channel evolved, being watched and patronized after its soft launch. There's The Talk, then Anderson(which became Anderson Live), then Undercover Boss(an inspiring program).

Then this: as planned and intended, Solar, being an entertainment and sports provider on TV, started on a new venture—news.

Sources told it before, and I finally saw it.

Solar's news service started on Talk TV with the coverage of the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, recruiting veteran journalists like Jing Magsaysay and Pia Hontiveros and reporters I knew from RPN 9(Hmm...Do they intend to have RPN?I suggest them to have it!). Right from those moments, I sense Solar News having a good future ahead as a credible news provider.

And after that impeachment trial, Solar News started broadcasting local newscasts on Talk TV. It all began with Solar Headlines, a brief but informative news break aired every hour...and every 15 minutes later on.

The channel evolved more as Solar News launched its primetime newscast, Solar Network News. Finally, Solar News as I expected it. Then suddenly came their own Nightly News, which I like the most among their news programs. And recently, a newscast in the morning (another favorite) which is different among other morning shows, and a fast-paced news on noontime. With this, Talk TV became a great mix of informative, noise-less news and lighthearted and interesting talk.

While viewing Talk TV before, I thought, what if this turned out to be a news channel? Talk TV is really intended to be a news channel. They started it first with talk shows and some current affairs. Then they cultivated it with Solar News. And now, they're getting closer to being completely the newest news channel on TV. Teasers were seen every now and then. Another one was released on Facebook. And as September 30 goes near, I'm excited with this something new.

I think, after watching this channel grow, Talk TV—which I feel is an experiment—is ready to become Solar's news channel. A news channel with a mix of news and talk, of current events and human interest, though we don't know yet if there'll be changes in programming.

I suppose it would be like Sky News in UK as it broadcast CBS Evening News and 20/20 from the US. The difference is Talk TV is a broadcaster of more foreign news programs, now that it aired new shows like the well-known 60 Minutes and the famous car show Top Gear.

What I could expect from this channel, as we'll see it beginning this Tuesday, is that it would bring more news "you can use", especially breaking news, as soon as people need it, still in the way they do it—comprehensive, accurate, and fitting to everyone who is concerned on our world. And with that, they'll combine it with good programs and talk shows.

I hope it would turn out to be a better alternative.

I wish the best for this channel that aims inform and inspire.

The change would start on September 30 on Talk TV or...Just stay tuned.


"Hey, Mayor Bloomberg. I heard you took a shot at us in the Post. What's with all the swearin' like a sailor? Fleet Week is over. It's just music." — Howard Cogan of then Jack FM in New York, picking up on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's criticizing about WCBS's sudden change in format.

I haven't thought of another flip in Philippine radio.

They're doing it again.

I turned the radio one day on 99.5 MHz while doing schoolwork, and I was surprised to hear stingers of a new station. The tagline: "This radio station is under construction..."

After undergoing two reformats and going back on the air, 99.5 RT will change. The so-called "Rhythm of The City" will be replaced. Some of the programs were dismissed, including the famous The RT30. Some of the DJs, as my sources said, bid their goodbyes, but you can still hear other DJs on the air.You can still hear the name 99.5 RT, but it's already clear that the station is working on a new identity as the "Station for The New Generation", as the stingers promote.

I don't suppose this would be another masa station(meaning for the mass audience), as said by fellow netizens. And I don't believe they would become a masa station with tedious jokes and corny, green fanfare. Good thing, it was already confirmed it won't be.

Once again, the management decided on a reformat, the station's 4th reformat. This station makes the many reformats in Philippine radio history. Again, I think it's a problem of attracting advertisers, getting revenues(if that's what they call it), and even getting more listeners. But, I think there are many who patronize this station, which started its existence in the 70s, playing the latest hits to its audience ahead from other music stations, and still bringing the "Best Music on The Planet".

"99.5 RT became famous for playing the hits three months ahead of most other music stations because its programming philosophy did not pander to the masses nor cater to the lowest common denominator. It was more concerned with bringing the latest hits to the audience as soon as they were released by the artists."— Article from Wikipedia

It's surprising for me to know this, knowing—as an avid radio listener—that this station went on several changes, from 99.5 Hit FM to Campus 99.5. I thought that after the original was brought back, 99.5 RT would remain as it is, but then, I'll miss it.

RT has been on my ears always, aside from the defunct Campus 97.1 WLS-FM(now a masa station) as a young elementary child.

One time I listened to RT last year, I discovered electronic music band M83 with their song "Midnight City", and I instantly liked them.

Also, RT is my second choice for 80's music, tuning in to it on Saturdays for its 24K Weekend, especially for its New Wave Xtra. I'll miss that show (FYI: I like New Wave, that's why I like 80's music).But we don't know if they'll retain the oldies flavor on the new station.

I don't have a clear view of the new station yet, but what we could expect for now is a new sound on 99.5. I think it would cater to a younger demographic, just as they did on Hit 99.5. I also suppose it would be more of a CHR/Top 40 format, with more music to play and to be heard. But some suggest it could be more of an reiteration of NU 107, since they also played more modern rock and was therefore called as "The Drive". They predict the new station would be named "Play FM".

I then remember upon knowing this reformat a radio station in US that I stumbled upon on Wiki—WCBS 101.1. It plays classic hits, like our own RJ 100. It stayed for a long time, when suddenly it changed in 2005 as Jack FM with a wider playlist, playing what they want, as their slogan went. But their format failed, so they decided to bring back the original WCBS. The rest is history, being a hit station in New York to "people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s."

But it's different for RT. I don't know. I'll just miss how they beat the airwaves as the rhythm of the city, and I'll miss their good, old jingles. RT has been a legendary in radio. After two changes of format they went back, and again they'll leave.What's next? Whatever it would be, I hope it would be a good station to listen to, now that I like today's music more.

I just hope 99.5's cycle of reformat will stop to an ideal identity. But in this industry where tastes of music change, as well as demographics, we can't avoid station changes for the sake of getting various audiences hooked, of getting us awakened to new sounds, and—in turn—getting more profits.

But I won't be surprised if one day they'll bring it back again.

Back with new posts!

After tiresome schoolwork and difficult turns of life, I'm finally back for this blog.

I'm back with new posts!

My reflection on my summer vacation continues with the second part of "So far..."

We'll go back in my second year life with a continuation of series of stories I've started with last year's "A Slap On My Face" with last 2 stories.

And finally, a special blog for a friend.

Thank you once again for dropping by, I hope you'll take time and read them all.

From My World To Yours

Author's Note: The following post was intended to be published by the day it was written. But because  I was busy and tired, it was just posted today. 

I haven't expected that I'll meet a person of grace and high spirits like you in this third-year life. I haven't thought that I'll have a close friend who is jolly and kind, and has lots of good vibes in her nerves.

I really don't know how will I begin this simple blog, but every now and then I'm planning to write my heart out for a friend like you.

You're one of a kind, truly. A lass who likes manga* a lot. An anime fan, or in their world, otaku. A clever student for years. A young girl who is pretty and nice, friendly and happy.

You're also a jack of all trades. You can dance with gladness. You can also sing well. You also speak English with eloquence. You act roles gracefully. And perhaps, I would see you someday with an electric guitar rocking with a band. You can be fit in almost anything.

What I admire in you is that you can be in good vibes with anyone. You have that ability to relate with anybody. Also, you never lose positive energy. It's evident in the way you shout your heart out and laugh out loud in every conversation you have with others and with me.

And now, for this special day for you, I just want to greet you a very happy birthday.

But first and foremost, to let you know, I'm sorry for those times when I had gone mad and bad at you. I'm sorry for imposing an unlikely attitude towards you. I'm sorry for making you lose your positive energy. For making you sad and crying. And thank you for forgiving me so.

Thank you for being a friend that you are to me. Thank you for considering me as your brother, your kuya in the class. Thank you for letting me know that even though I can't avoid being serious at times, I also have to be of good cheer and live the light way...to stay happy and be grateful.

For another year that God has given you in your life, I wish you more blessings in your personal life and in your family, as well as a better future ahead. I hope you'll continue to enjoy life as it is as you enjoy it today, no matter how challenging it is. Do continue to work hard on your studies and never forget to trust in Him. Go for your dreams, my friend. Stay happy. Stay young.

And before I forget, may you always remember that you have a classmate, a friend, a brother here to chat and laugh with. A person you can talk to for help.

A friend you call as kaichou.

Happy Birthday.

*Manga(man-ga) is a Japanese term for comics.

Such A Loss (Last part of the series)

After several hours of closing my eyes to sleep that afternoon, I reviewed on 3 remaining subjects for me to take on Friday. Those three were English, Geometry—another major subject this second year, and the very tough of them all—Social Studies.

I needed to review lots and lots of information on that subject. It's like carrying and storing on your mind 3 or more books as big as almanacs, dictionaries, or those books from Preston and McGraw-Hill.

Yet, it seemed that I reviewed those things fast, I think. I took them fast, assuming and looking forward to pass them all.

I geared myself up the next day for this final day of examinations. I really did pushed myself through reviewing SocStud(It shouldn't be SocSci) and keeping those lessons inserted and refrigerated on my mind for future use.

While I worked on it, I began to take the first test.

As a youth engaged to literature and writing, I appreciate English. For the second quarter, we recalled pronouns and the manner of using it. I answered the test fairly well. I filled each blanks, encircled words, and underlined pronouns as correctly as possible. After checking my answers, I passed the gray-colored test paper, with optimism that I would pass that test. Then, I went on studying for the "quarter-pound" Soc. Stud.

After those reviews all by myself, I decided to discuss such chunks of knowledge with my classmates. I helped myself to fill my mind with those facts that I needed to have a very nice mark on my next exam.

After that review outside the classroom, the teacher called us to get inside the room. We used the remaining time reviewing up until the time when the papers were facing us students.

At some moment, I thoughtlessly counted down the seconds on the clock before the long hand rose up to number 12. And because of that, my classmates who were near to where I sat spoke up to stop my counting down. So I stopped.

And upon that happening, my mind popped up! It seemed that the storage had to release some bits and pieces that I've taken while reviewing.

No, not all was popped away. It looked like those stacked knowledge went from its boundaries to scatter themselves all around my persistent and compressed mind.

We were about to face the hardcore test. The papers were ready, just like meals served on a dish covered with a semi-sphere cover. As each of us reached for the papers, we skimmed at its contents

As I skimmed it, I was overwhelmed! My mind was all stirred up!

To the ordinary man that would be "so tough!" To the girls, that would be "OMG!" For the sosy, it would be "omigosh!" But for me, simply, it's hard! I wonder why after many reviews, after many hours of study, I still can hardly answer the test.

I pushed myself and my mind through answering each blanks of the exam, avoiding erasures, for having erasures would make my answers unaccepted.

Minutes passed by, and pressure came along. I really had such a big mental block. I really lost a good game. I had an awful fate. But, what could I do? It's not easy at all!

Two students were only remaining, who were not passing their papers yet. That included myself.

Even though I can't easily answer the test, I didn't give up. I took the time that I had to recall what I could recall as long as I could give answers.

I asked my seatmate if she's finished. She said she's not.

And as I could perceive, she's more persistent than I. We were the last ones to pass our own papers.

Upon passing the two-page test paper, I wondered why things should go like that. I thought about them all, seemingly hopeless for what will happen next.

After another recess, we took the very last of our exams. We had Geometry as our last exam for the day. It may be easy, once again, to review and read. However, being careful and critical-minded is important. Also, you should always be accurate in answers and computations, and you should always have common sense, of course. I did make sure that I'm doing them all.

I endeavored through having a passing grade on that exam. After many minutes of thinking and computing, I passed my paper with enough hopes for a good grade.

After a long and though test, I and my classmates had a sigh of relief at last. We could now cool ourselves down after taking exams and encountering mental blocks. Therefore, many of us, including yours truly, preferred for another getaway at SM(Shoe Mart) Mall at our vicinity in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

You see, how weeks could be tough for a teenager like me. Sometimes you succeed. Sometimes the results are unsatisfactory. But as long as you prepare yourself, do your best, and work hard even though it means burning a midnight oil, you'll get what you deserve, as God wills. And of course with that, you'll be given a break.

And so it goes.

A Downfall and An Uplift (Part 3 of the series)

I had a post last year entitled "A Slap On My Face", where I shared my reflections on a Biology class. It was followed by "Chaoses On My Day", where I wrote about the first day of our second quarterly test the next day. Both of the posts turned out to be a series of stories of a struggling week I had then. Therefore, I wrote 2 posts to follow up these two, but unfortunately I neglected publishing them. But now, having the chance, since it's semestral break, I'm going to share to you those posts, but I'll advise you to read the mentioned posts first.

Without further ado, here's the first one.

"1 down...2 to go." One of my classmates said that on her post on our Facebook group page. We all had to face 2 more days of examinations.

I had a quiet, focused and faithful review for our Thursday's set of tests. I did what I could do to prepare myself for those tests..

I reached school earlier than Wednesday...It was quiet, since we are only few yet inside the classroom. The volume in our simple room would increase as more classmates went inside and bade their "hi", except for some, just like me.

Nevertheless, I had a smooth review of our own language—Filipino. It was a nice start. It was a good review of notes at last!

Then, there it was. The examinations. The teacher with a cap went to our room. He had the papers, and he passed it on by row. We held on our papers, and we held on our pens. We started answering.

We went on. We answered our own papers well. That was a good start again. But of course, we thought of our answers making it sure that they're correct. Besides, it's our mother tongue that we're all answering about.

We all waited for the "pass-your-papers" signal. 

After we passed our papers, we went on reviewing for one major test—Bio. I had noticed lately that I could review before we begin.

As the proctor told us, we closed all our notes and books. We all gripped on the hope we had for a good score.

When I take tests, I always have this rule: take your time. I always do it. But I'm also trying to make the most out of my time..For me, doing it on this major subject test is important.

We all started answering on our Biology test.

I found some questions hard to answer. It seemed that I missed some things. I left them blank first.

I went on my paper. I skipped questions, then I went back to answer them. Sadly, I haven't answered them all. You know, that feeling when I can't put any answer on that blank or encircle a letter of the correct answer. It's not easy..

As the signal was lifted up to pass our papers, I ended up leaving items and a part of the test unanswered. I left most of the blanks unfilled. I then concluded that a different person on the desk means a different kind of exams. Definitely. Those shortcomings, those blocks, weighed me down. It was a sudden downfall.

The class of Linnaeus took a 30-minute break. Some of us went, as usual, to the canteen. Some, including myself, just stayed at our room to eat and review. We prepared ourselves for another seemingly tough test...Drafting. We reviewed on our notes and on our handouts. We looked forward to remember all that we needed to remember and to answer the test very well. Here, we need to be exact, and we have to keep the paper as clean as a breeze.

It was 9:30 A.M. And we're back on our seats. The papers were ahead of us. They're now ready to be written and encircled. We began answering. But here, we did it carefully and gently

We did our best to answer the exam as neat as possible, following the directions and warnings of the test: ALL CAPS, erasure enclosed in parentheses as the only accepted erasure.

After at least 1 hour, it's time. We're all finished. And as the proctor desired, we exchanged our papers with our seatmates and checked each other's papers. We said the questions, he'll give the answers. Still, we asked if such answers were acceptable, and he handled them all.

After the checking, each of us knew our scores. The good news came to this kid. Thank God! I've got a very nice score at last! And it would be added when we were blessed to check the papers of our fellow sophomores.

We checked, and checked, and checked. Some of us asked the proctor on the desk regarding the answers of those we were checking.

I went on, making sure that the papers were checked correctly.

The points to be added were 5 points. Then, we're so lucky that the proctor added another 1 point for it. Therefore, it was an equivalent of 10 points(4 for naming the persons around my seat, and 6 points for the privilege of checking) to be added on our actual score. However, I've just thought it was all entirely 10 points. I was slow at that moment.

All in all, there was a shortcoming, but there was also an improvement. There was a lost, but a gain came back. I was left with something to rejoice about, but also with something to doubt about. I thanked, and hoped.

(To be continued)

So far... (Part 2)

Author's Note: The post was written before classes started. Due to lack of time, it was posted lately.


The Buggles, featuring Trevor Horn(right)
and Geoff Downes(left). Famous for 

"Video Killed The Radio Star"
A part of this summer leave were simple days in the four corners of the house, in the pages of books, and in front of the TV and computer, No, not playing online games of fantasy or war that many adolescents get absorbed to. But I spent those times discovering new music, reading opinion articles, stumbling upon different things, and of course, blogging.

I went back to my bookmarked tracks from The Buggles, and I searched for their other songs.

Yellow Magic Orchestra, a pioneer 
electronic band in Japan. "Firecracker"
is their first single.
I also uncovered the electronic band from Japan, Yellow Magic
Orchestra, and I liked them and their compositions very much.

I also listened to OPM bands like Daydream Cycle and Techy Romantics, both also specializing in synths, beats, riffs and loops.

All of them are great in their music. They serve as inspirations for me to create music someday...electronic music.

In addition, I read opinion articles on Inquirer.net and I came to realize
that it wasn't bad ( I really like to read newspapers in print in the first place and I still prefer reading them that way, in fresh press paper), just make the brightness of the monitor suitable and not too bright. I started reading "Pinoy Kasi" by Michael Tan more often, as well as the column "Looking Back" from Ambeth Ocampo. Nevertheless, I still continued patronizing and waiting for every column of "Young Blood".

I also played Boggle and Scrabble online in preparation for some game with other fellow churches ( I only played Scrabble for the game). I got back to playing these games that I've forgotten and neglected for a long time. Now, I want to play them more, especially Scrabble, but I want to play it one time with real tiles and with friends.

Nevertheless, I admit that sometimes cyberspace strikes boredom on me.

Stacks of books

One of my goals this passed summer was to read many books. And throughout my summer, I finished some books that were in my stack of books.

Here's the reading list:
  • The Myrmidon Project by Chuck Scarborough and William Murray
  • A biography of Eric Lidell, the runner turned missionary
  • Time Machine:World War II Code Breaker, an adventure/game-like book taking you back to World War II
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4 by Sue Townsend
  • 2 books from The Cat Who... series namely The Cat Who Played Brahms and The Cat Who Went Underground written by Lillian Jackson Brown
  • Idoru by William Gibson
  • Then Again Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
  • A collection of comic strip from B.C. by Johnny Hart, and 
  • Short stories from anthologies Emperor of the Air by Etahn Canin and Tangents by Greg Bear.
I also started The Day I Became An Autodidact by Kendall Hailey, Insomnia by Stephen King, and Fools by Pat Cadigan. However, I still didn't finish the earlier two yet, while I discontinued reading Fools to lessen my reading list and focus on other books.

And now, I continue reading Crimson Joy by Robert B. Parker

Did I enjoy this summer leave?

After all these getaways and strolling, after those episodes of Adventure Time and Everybody Loves Raymond, after those stories I read in books, after those adventures of Jim Qwilleran, after the virtual realities of Idoru, after a marathon of Word of The Lourd, after many books bought at affordable prices, after all of these summer leave, did I enjoy it?

Before that, there are such "should haves". I should have read more. I should have learned more. I should have got along more...But all in all, I could say that even at the least I enjoyed this rest and refreshment the long vacation gave me.

I have envied others, thinking they have better ways of spending vacation, knowing they have more savings...

But then I think as I wrote these happenings that I should be happy and thankful that I had this long enough time after the tiring and challenging second year to relax and revive.

I enjoyed it in my own way.

Sooner, I would welcome myself to third year. I think and feel it would be a more challenging, more busying journey since there's Physics, Chemistry, Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, World History, etc...I think that as it is an upgraded experience, it would be a long and struggling school year, but with God's help, I could do it.

In fact, I'm even excited.

I'm ready.

Fifteen Lessons and Thoughts From A Teenager Turning Fifteen

Why fifteen? Fifteen would be my age beginning Sunday, June 10. I'm blessed to have another year in life, and I thank it to God. And while I continue on my adolescence with the age of fifteen, here are fifteen lessons and thoughts I have learned and thought in my whole life. They are many, but I have gathered some and I want them to share them to you. So here they are.

1. Do not leave a room unattended, especially the kitchen after you eat.

2. I do believe adolescents should understand and be open to discussions on human sexuality(or let's say it, sex)in a way that their minds won't be corrupted and under such limitations.

3. Anyone can be a writer and a reader.

4. Bad words are really irritating to my ears. People should use words in the right manner.

5. Discipline is important for every student...and writer.

6. Make sure the toilet's clean.

7. I'm too mature for such matters.

8. While "teenage love" works for others, I don't like to go nuts over any person. I might be in love, but I wouldn't let myself react on it while I continue studying and enjoying high school life.

9. To be over serious is a serious problem. Chill.

10. It doesn't mean that if there's no reply on a message, someone doesn't care or is ignorant. How about if you meet face-to-face?

11. Pride kills.

12. The word hot is only for the weather, the news, the music, or the degree of demand or popularity of celebrities. It is not for any person who is just beautiful and have the curves.

13.Time is a precious material. Use it very well.
     Get ahead of time in surfing the Net, because Sister might and will use it soon..

14. Respect people. Respect girls.

15. Reading books is a well-spent, pleasurable leisure. It leads you to different worlds and different views, twists, and turns of life. I'm blessed to have a big inclination on reading. I just hope to be more active and even more voracious to take spare time reading a book.

So far...(Part 1)

 Author's Note: The post was written before classes started. Due to lack of time, it was  just posted today.

After 73 days of summer vacation, I'll be "back to work". By the 4th of June, I'll go back to school to continue my journey with education. I'll be 3rd year this coming school year, and I expect to acquire more knowledge, cherish new experiences(let's include that Prom), and enjoy the whole school year at my new section.

As I write this blog, days are counting and June 4 is coming soon. Summer has just passed. Rains occurred during the day, telling us here that it's starting to rain a lot. Then I thought of reexamining what happened on this vacation. The big question is this: did I enjoy this summer vacation?

But before that, what have I done during the past 3 months of leave?

There are many, and I'll list them. It's hard to list them in some good order, but I want to list as many and as orderly and clear as I can.

Getaways and adventures

The beginning of my leave began after the last day of classes. Amidst those days spent in front of the TV and the computer, I had spent summer with getaways and strollings.

Saturday after classes ended, most of us in section Linnaeus had a farewell party at Enchanted Kingdom. We spent the whole day enjoying every rides(though I nauseated after the dizzying ride at that anchor-like ride—Anchors Away) even though it rained a lot that day. A joyful adventure!

Another Saturday (Black Saturday—April 7) the whole family, together with Dad's long-time friend and his wife, had a very great feast of chili shrimps, kaldereta, and steamed fish, plus ice cream care of Kuya. It was a very delicious culinary experience for my taste buds and stomach.

In celebration of my brother's birthday, the family had a nice lunch at a Chinese restaurant at the large and wide SM Mall of Asia(MOA). Then, at about near evening, we all watched The Avengers in 3-D. An amazing experience!

At the 23rd wedding anniversary of my parents, the whole family gathered for dinner at Alabang Town Center(ATC). Before the dinner, I saw and strolled on a bigger and more wonderful National Bookstore, where I saw new books and a science fiction section. After that I had a taste of Starbucks—thanks to my sister. Then, all of us there had a dinner of tasty chicken and fries at the Korean restaurant Chicken Bon-Chon, and a cozy coffee talk thereafter at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

For one week, I volunteered for Brigada Eskwela or the National School Maintenance Week at our school. There, I knew where my section is and I got my books earlier, but I also helped cleaning and decorating the room(even the CR) in simple ways. There I realized that at least I have done something productive rather than staying in boredom, or let's put it, doing things repeatedly, more than enough(unless it's reading or writing).

And recently, I, the family, and our friends in the church went for a relaxing and once-in-a-while outing at Batangas. I got the chance of swimming in the nice beach and the pool. I even learned the basics of swimming—floating, hoping that someday I'll get swimming as a skill.

Walter Mart, SM.....Booksale

One of the things I've done mostly throughout this summer was strolling on malls. I mostly visited Walter Mart, where I always went by myself through walking and where I always hunt books(at Booksale). But also, when I got the chance, I strolled at SM. I got those chances 4 times. Once—again—all by myself. Every time I had those saunterings on both malls, I cherished each time feeling the cool air, walking through stores, eating with the family or friends, and what else but taking time hunting for books—especially new deliveries—whether I have money or not. I even thought twice on the books to pick and buy.

These getaways during summer, both with others and by myself, were good things, simple and good things in life that I appreciated.


My summer was also spent with the Tube.

After seeing it for many times and searching it on the Net, I liked and became a fan of the animated series Adventure Time. Especially during the early days of summer, I viewed each episodes until I came to see in the following days that they are just replayed.Though, I still expect to watch new episodes and view the show anytime.

It was also during those summer days that I discovered the comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond. I encountered it one morning and I liked it. Days passed by and I found it nice to watch. Almost everyday I tuned in to watch new episodes. Every plot and humor of the so-called "TV's favorite dysfunctional family" made me laugh, especially the dialogues of Ray Barone(starred by Ray Romano). Good thing beTV reruns this great sitcom from the 90's. For now, it replays episodes I've already watched, but I hope they'll air new episodes soon.

Furthermore, I came back to my interest in watching movies. I saw many movies this summer, but I didn't load any DVD, except when I watched The Iron Lady. I scheduled movies to watch and watched them on HBO, Cinemax, and Star Movies. I viewed mostly past movies from the 80s to those black-and-white fifties. I like to watch sci-fi movies, so I watched the nostalgia films The Incredible Shrinking Man and The Invasion of The Body Snatchers, and also 3 Babylon 5 movies, which were from the 90s. I also viewed other movies that I liked, from thrillers to drama. There's Nightmares, where I liked the story "Bishop of The Battle" the most; Christine, which got me to appreciate Stephen King more; and Dead Poets Society, with the dialogues "O Captain! O Captain!" and "Carpe Diem!"

Furthermore, I regained interest in watching NBA, especially the continuing Playoffs/Semi-Finals.

Most of the time, almost each day when I woke up, I just saw a game running through the screen. As I watched. I saw those basketball players doing their game, shooting, dunking, even alley-oop-ing. There are shouts in the background, whether it's "OKC! OKC!" or "Let's go Heat! Let's go Heat!"

I admit to you, dear reader, that I'm less inclined to basketball and hardly play any hoops. But one morning of watching some of the day's game, I just got inclined to watch and get updated. Thanks to my close friend for this, and I'm with that friend in rooting for Boston Celtics this semi-finals as well on the Finals.

And who could forget American Idol? I myself and the family followed it, though not from the very start. Knowing that there's a great singer who is half-Filipino competing there, I joined with many who tuned in to AI every week. I'm amazed by every performances of Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledette(haha), and the rest. I even rooted for Jessica, hoping she would make it all the way to the final 2. She was blessed to be "saved" by the judges and to be with Phillip Phillips in the top 2. However, Phillip was the one who won in the end. Yet, in my opinion, both of them are great singers in their own tempos.

Lastly, I went through summer with the afternoon "teledrama"—the Impeachment Trial of the Chief Justice, now former CJ, Renato Corona. Honestly, I seldom watched this trial, finding the accounts and properties discussed boring and confusing. But then, when the final witness, Corona himself, stood before the impeachment court to testify, I became interested again. I followed it to the end, where 3 voted to acquit the Chief Justice and 20 voted to convict. Therefore, Corona was impeached, and I witnessed it in the television that heats up when Senator Santiago speaks fiercely—yet with truthfulness.

(To be continued...)

"You know wha—"

Artwork by Adrian Conoza, Title: Idle Art

Recently, I had a seemingly once-in-summer getaway at SM mall at our place here on Sta. Rosa, Laguna. I got that opportunity to get some strolling after staying in the house and sauntering Walter Mart—which is nearer than SM—for days. That day was our enrollment day, and after I was finally enrolled, I and most of my classmates went to SM.

I haven't gone to SM for a long time. Thanks that it was enrollment day, I finally spent my carefree time there. There's the bonding, and the talking, and—at last—a larger and more different Booksale.

Once again, I've talked a lot. After a long time not seeing or meeting my classmates, we were there again as classmates and friends. Then again, I unexpectedly dried my throat out as I have observed it before.

I discussed a lot of things with these people, including the recent brawl between journalist Mon Tulfo and actor Raymart Santiago in NAIA; the competition and performances on American Idol; Adventure Time and other cartoons. But then, I had reflected on a thought thanks to these conversations that I had that remarkable day.

I remember having that impression when I and some classmates ate at McDonalds. At that assembly of perhaps 3 small tables we talked about the happenings on American Idol, including that shocking moment when the judges, with no hesitation, used their lone "save" on the almost-eliminated Jessica Sanchez. So, I had these ideas and opinions of mine in mind. I'm ready to speak them out and let them be heard. When a classmate of mine was already finished talking, I decided to speak. I started to talk....but then, another voice interfered. I stopped and let the voice of that person be broadcasted through the ears of my classmates. I tried again. I spoke...but again, another voice meddled before I could complete what I wanted to say. But at the end, I had my opinion heard.

I just hate it when I am interfered when I had that chance to speak. I can compare it to some session in the Senate, or perhaps the nearly concluding impeachment trial of the Chief Justice, where voices confront on each other. A person is interrupted by the other. The one speaking in those small microphones will suddenly be toppled by another standing in some box with a number in it.

Or perhaps, I'm the one who interfered.

I realized that as I want to share what I have to say, I should also have to listen. I have to lend an ear in every person in every discussion. I think that's what I have forgotten. While it's good to talk, it's also important to listen. Listening is an important part in a conversation, as well as in a interview or a talk show.

In listening, you get to understand things and hear the viewpoints of others, whether they are as same or as different as yours. If you lend an ear and give chances to every person to speak, you'll learn things and you'll have your curiosities and doubts clarified. Keeping one's ears open to people gives them a sense of respect, and most of the time, it would be a comfort to a friend, a family member, or churchmate who might have problems or burdens that he/she wants to share.

Isn't it nice to listen and not just dry your throat?

Don't just speak and speak to get attention. Listen.

You know what? I should wait for my turn. I'll remain listening.

* * *

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Do you have anything to say or ask? Are there any grammatical errors? I'm open to your comments. Just comment or email me at adrianconoza@gmail.com.
God Bless!


Author's Note: The article was started last Saturday, but I got busy the next day when I should have finished this. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the article. Mama, I hope what I've made is correct in grammar and understandable. I hope you like it.

I'm grateful that I continue to grow and learn. It's somewhat amazing that I'm now a boy of 14 in the chapter of adolescence. It's good to see that amidst mistakes and failures I stay as a person with morale and a man having faith in God. What I've become today I thank, first of all, to God, and for my parents. And for this article, in honor of the occasion on May 13, it would be my mother.

She gave birth to me at the 10th of June, year 1997. I'm sure it was hard labor. I'm sure it took my parent's—and my mother's—effort, love, and time for me to grow healthy and strong from the day she delivered me. She gave the name Paul, from the apostle Paul, to complement with Adrian, which my father brainstormed, coming from the former NBA player Adrian Dantley. My first nourishment came from her. The first attention and care I got was from her and Dad. I now think of her holding me in her arms, caressing me, cradling me to sleep. That's the care my mother garbed in me. The tender loving care I need as an infant. The TLC resembling the little picture of mother and child in a soap of the same name.

As a little tot, mama is there. As mama said, as our church pastor told, and as I saw it, I was a child that was described as makulit. Pesky, stubborn, most of the time irritating and bothering. Really childish. Going here, going there. Running around, chattering endlessly....childish. Just childish. But all the way, she became patient with me. She disciplined me little by little. Her discipline has a great impact on me. If it weren't for it, I'll hardly become a kind and obedient boy(even a shy boy). From going bananas to staying quiet.

She also taught me as a child what is right and wrong. She has great influence on me when it comes to values and faith. It was generally from her that I learned things like prayer, the Bible, and other things when it comes to Him. I remember consulting her when I had questions about what I've read on the Bible and on Our Daily Bread.

Recollections with Mama

I also recall those times when I'm with her at the office at any day of summer or Christmas season. At the office what I'll only do is to roam around the office, play Super Mario on her computer(I learned that game there) or go on the Net either through that computer or her office-mate's(or my tita's) computer, eat with her during lunch, and see her at work or outside the office for such work to do.

At outings, mama is my fellow traveler. It's nice to recollect those outings where I'm with my mother and her office-mates. The cozy vacations on Batangas near the Shell plant. That remarkable trip on Bataan where I saw Mt. Samat and the big monument—a big cross, Dambana ng Kagitingan—in honor of the people who suffered on the Death March. The beach at the province of Quezon. Those journeys I was with my mother.

But even at Walter Mart or Festival Mall, it's nice to be with mother, as well as with my father or the whole family. At those times we'll saunter along stores and sections of the supermarket, and the best part, eat at either Tropical Hut, McDonalds, Ho Chai Lai or anywhere we or I want to eat.

"For your own good"

Tough there were those great times, there were also those circumstances where I have misunderstandings or disappointments with her. It's a part of life. I couldn't avoid it when I fail that I make Mama angry and frustrated. I even hate those times when I see her furious in such an unconventional way. It is hurtful sometimes when she turns irascible or thwarted due to a misstep.

I'll also admit that I'm nagged at times when I am scolded or reprimanded by mama that I also became embarrassed. But all of it were, and always be, for my siblings' and my good. She said it one definite time, and I understood it in a snap.

I'm now a grown-up, so I should now have grown to be responsible, reverent, and compliant, yet I know I still have to learn more things as an adolescent. I'll learn them by everyday experience and of course, by the guidance of my parents—by her guidance and advice.

Mama in person

What more could I say about Mama?

Mama is a great cook. Every noche buena, media noche, or any other occasion or gathering or simple day, Mom cooks a great meal. Coming from the land where people love to cook and eat—Tarlac—Mama makes delicious meals and courses, from the main dish to the dessert.She knows many recipes.There's the cordon blue, chicken croquetes, nilagang baka(boiled beef with vegetables), beef steak, beef and broccoli, caldereta, shrimp in chili, etc. There are many of them, including one of her specialties, the meal abro(boiled green beans and jute).

In every meal she cooks, there's the yummy taste that makes the family or the visitor eat for more. I'm a big eater of her delightful food. She is a great cook that I also want to learn from her how to cook and make recipes.

Mama is an intelligent woman. She graduated at Far Eastern University with a course of Zoology. Yet, she also graduated at University of the Philippines Los Bańos with the course of Developmental Communication, or Dev Com. I consult her at such information, and I get knowledge from her during some conversations. Now she pursues a doctorate degree on [the same course (edited 5/9/15)]. Wish her all the best!

Mama is good to talk with. I have nice discussions with her on anything either I or Mama or Ate or Dad care to talk about. We mostly talk about issues, politics, and news and give our own opinions regarding the topic discussed. But I also come to her when I have such problems, some of them she considers and I realized as only small problems. Yet knowing that there is someone who'll lend an ear to what you have to say is a big relief for me. There I'll always say that after a long day's work(schoolwork), it's relieving to have a family, a home to come back to.

There's one more thing I'm pleased to say regarding Mama. One night I had a long talk with her while I massaged her. At that discussion, we talked about books, literature, and writing. She's really a reader. That's why no wonder she subscribed to Reader's Digest when I was still young. Unfortunately, the subscription stopped, maybe because I sabotaged them and cut the pages(I was not an avid reader yet then). She also reads the papers whenever she wants to. She said to me that she read before a column written by Teddy Benigno, and she likes the Lifestyle section. In addition, Mama has some books retrieved and now shelved with my other books at the house.

But above all what we've talked about, I've learned one great thing: she has a flair for writing. She told me she wrote poems during her good old days. Unfortunately, they aren't with her anymore. If they were just sitting at some table in our house, I'll read it. I saw her name at articles on the weekly supplement of the Manila Bulletin, the Philippine Panorama, which were about Industrial Technology and Development Institute(ITDI), a branch of the Department of Science and Technology(DOST)—where she works as a communications specialist—growing old yet improving and continuing to serve the people. I also saw her page in the magazine of ITDI when it was still National Institute of Science and Technology(NIST). She wrote book reviews on the magazine NIST Monitor. I also noticed her again on an article from Malaya Business Insight online.

Knowing that Mama is a reader and a writer, I got another inspiration for my writing. I think I got those writing genes from her. I even consulted her before when I have such questions regarding grammar. She'll let me know if I'm using Filipino words incorrectly. Yes. I get inspiration and influence from such people and literature as a writer in the making(as Mama had said), but Mama would be another spur for my growing interest and skill.

*  *  *

Mama. I'm grateful to have her. Isn't it that every mother who loves and cares is a blessing to her family? Mothers. They are a great blessing from God to every children, to every family.

To my Mama, thank you for everything. Thank you for this life. Thanks for every love and care. I hope that as you continue to go on through the cycle of life, though there will be problems and storms to come along,  may the Lord bless and guide you all the way. As always, trust in Him. I know your family will be here for you. Reach for your dreams. Stay happy. Keep well.

With love and gratitude, and on behalf of Ate, Kuya, and Dad...Happy Mothers Day!

...And happy anniversary to you, my parents!


A blessed Mother's Day to all. Love your mother always.

Here's an Original Pilipino Music from The Dawn. For every mothers out there.


At one unexpected time I clicked on my profile on Facebook, and a different kind of profile appeared. What I saw was the timeline that was known to many of the site's users several months earlier. Good thing my original profile was still seen while I saw the all-new timeline, but all would change on May 9. I preferred to wait until that day the timeline goes live, yet on that day—Wednesday—my profile was already changed. After I disregarded timeline for many months when people went on timelines and regretted later on, I came to realize that timeline is not bad. In fact, it is really a good upgrade for my profile. It is even a more organized view of my profile as well as a good appearance of it.

But let's go back when timeline was something new on the World Wide Web. I first saw how timeline looks through an article on Yahoo. Upon reading it and peeking in at some photos I thought it wouldn't appear nice to me, and I'm content with my plain profile with the profile picture on the left side, a row of recently tagged photos adjacent to the profile pic, and a simple flow of activities and posts on the body. Once the social networking site released and promoted of it, some of my friends changed their profiles into timelines while others accidentally published their timelines. I saw then that most of my friends who upgraded their profiles regretted it thereafter. Some said it was okay, while others demanded the original one.

Then came that one day. When I clicked my name which was written on the top of my Facebook, a new look of my profile boomed on me. So they are really renewing every profiles on Facebook by May 9. But I think timeline is not bad. Anyway, I sneaked at the timeline that was shown to me, took a review on it, and realized after such days that timeline appears to be better than the original.

Last Tuesday, a day before timeline goes live, I had a thorough glance at the timeline. I hunted the timeline to the day I joined Facebook and understood more of how the timeline works and organizes every information in chronological order. There I saw the statuses I wrote from grade 6 to second year. There I saw the pictures that remembered me of such events. There I saw the posts every 10th of June, being grateful for those greetings. There I saw my activities on Facebook, which were mostly games and answering machines and yearly logs of statuses in photo albums.

Finally, I appreciated timeline that I was even excited to sign on and put a cover photo on the topmost part of my timeline the next day.

A better profile

First of all, what is nice in timeline is that you have the cover photo—which is now the fad among Facebook users. I have a photo that would be seen first whenever someone goes into my profile. It's just like when Philippine Daily Inquirer inserts a big photo in the masthead altogether with the newspaper's logo. It would be a nice highlight of your life. For me, I'll make anything that interests me my cover photo. Now, I'll stay on a photo of myself answering some Algebra homework. Next time I plan it to be some photo of a band(I think of Level 42 or Daft Punk) or a nice cover of a book or a better photo of myself.

Aside from the cover photo, I'm finally able to get back in time and look back at my past posts in a very convenient way. Every activities, posts, and events are simply organized. That's another great thing about timeline. I remember a friend telling to me that it is confusing, but as long as I learn how to use it, it won't be confusing.

I could now track my teenage life as seen on Facebook and see how good and how worse my posts and encounters were throughout the years I logged in on Facebook. I'm now 2 years at Facebook as the timeline says, but it's been so long for me. For those two years and counting I met and added friends, posted things of my interest, played games,commented on such posts....and changed from the way I speak to the content of what I share or write. I now realized I have already a large record of my life, being connected with people and sharing thoughts, on Facebook.

At the night of May 9, I finally logged on to a new dress for my profile. It now looks like a front page. It's now a line of posts, from "Now" to the day I started having Facebook as major means of social networking.

My profile was upgraded. It now appears a lot better. 

A Fictional Summer Vacation From The Imagination

   What if you're summer is like life on Adventure Time—the animated series on Cartoon Network?

   Watching Adventure Time is one of the things I do this summer. For your information, Adventure Time is one of the standard cartoons on Cartoon Network today. It is one of my favorite cartoons as a teenager who still appreciates the wonder of cartoons. It follows the adventures of Finn the human and his best friend Jake the dog in a place called Land of Ooo. The cartoons are definitely wonderful. Yes. The cartoons and the stories are weird and funky, but I like it that way. Every story is well-written and cool.  The music is cool, often featuring electronic and synthesizer-made sounds similar to video games from Atari 1600 and Family Computer of the 80's. Adventure Time is certainly distinct and unique.

   What if your summer is like Adventure Time?

   I think it would be new, different yet enjoyable.

   When you spend that vacation as real as Adventure Time, what you'll mostly do is to trek on adventures, fight enemies and villains with skills and a sword that makes you a hero, help people in trouble and save the day.  But you'll enjoy it. It would be fun.

   You'll live in a big and wonderful tree house located in a serene field of grass. You'll have fun with a cute dog with magical powers to stretch and shrink his body, legs, and arms. You can play games or play VHS on Beemo (BMO)—an Atari+Game Boy+PlayStation+Vectrex game console who can talk and transport you into the virtual reality of video games. The tree house has simple, but nice things inside that I appreciated them. I saw a turntable in one episode, and noticed the telephone with a screen and a headphone in another. 

   You'll also have the privilege of having adventures and seeing the various places and kingdoms of the Land of Ooo. There's the Ice Kingdom, held by the old Ice King who steal princesses unless you and Jake(or vice versa) would stop him every time he works on his schemes. Mountains of crystal ice, lots and lots of penguins which Ice King also takes care of. Grounds of snow, atmosphere shaded with nothing but blue...icy blue. There's also Candy Kingdom. All citizens made of sugar...candies. The kingdom is lead by the tall, long-haired, pink-haired, science geek named Princess Bubblegum, a hybrid of bubble gum and human. She's Finn's crush. You can even have that chance to be kissed for your bravery. Beautopia, a torn yet renovated underground city thanks to a large, muscular but gentle woman named Susan Strong.  There are just many places you could see that I couldn't remember them so much.

   You'll also enjoy partying with different and even odd people—mostly with the candy people of the Candy Kingdom— playing games, dancing to the beat of upbeat music, waving your arms and legs like this and that. That's the culture there. Partying is an enjoyment for most of the people there, especially in Candy Kingdom—again.
   As you live your vacation the Adventure Time way, you could also solve mysteries; meet many people, including other princesses, the Korean Lady Rainicorn and her parents,crafty people and creatures, big and small; visit Tree Trunks and eat her specialty—apple pie; have jam sessions with Marceline the Vampire Queen; read the book Enchiridion; observe and help Princess Bubblegum on her scientific researches and experiments; find memories; create your own melodies and make music using your voice that turns to be electronic, and by playing with balloons, guitars, and even BMO's motherboard, perhaps.

   There are many things you could learn and do there. It's just random!

   That vacation would be fun. Though it may lead to challenging and sometimes dangerous situations, you'll certainly have fun.

   It would be a nice vacation...Care-free...Just like the younger days.

   And you'll know what time it is.

   ...Adventure Time!

For my fellow Filipinos, catch Adventure Time weekdays at 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 6 and 7 pm. For others, just check your TVs if you have cable or satellite. And correct me if I'm wrong with any of what I wrote. You're free to comment. 

A Veteran Broadcast Journalist I've Just Known Recently

   Last April 5, Maundy Thursday, I found out a breaking news on the Internet. It was shocking enough, unexpected.Angelo Castro Jr., one of the Philippines' well-known news anchors, died of lung cancer. He was 67. Wow, I thought. It was sad news for the people in broadcast journalism,especially his fellow broadcasters in ABS-CBN.
   Angelo Castro Jr., known to many as ACJ, was known as a great newscaster. As spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said, he was "a calm and reassuring presence in the late evening news". He anchored The World Tonight long before I was born. He is very known in the late night newscast, which was transferred to ABS-CBN News Channel(ANC) in 1999.
   Yes. I haven't watched him since he anchored the show in the 80's. But just this year, he returned hosting the newscast after he left the news desk since 2009. And so I finally saw the man. It was nice to see the ACJ who first worked as a film actor, then as ABS-CBN's news manager when it reopened after Marcos' regime. He created the longest-running Filipino newscast in the country, TV Patrol(Ti-veeeey....Patrooool), now on it's 25th year. It's good to see the broadcaster who pioneered on "gentlemanly broadcasting", delivering the news to the viewers in a smooth and cool way; the broadcaster that was watched by lots of viewers on The World Tonight when I wasn't yet conceived. I think I saw him in just one newscast. Then, when I watched the program after many days, it seemed that ACJ is not present.
   So that was he, I thought, one of the greatest anchors of The World Tonight. Old, yet resilient.
   Then at that calm Thursday, where there were ample newscasts(only short-time news updates) on ANC and even on other channels,I came to know that he succumbed to his long-time complication--lung cancer. I came to know it through reading a news report I've found on Facebook. It was a Filipino news report from the website of ABS-CBN's AM radio station, DZMM, which was off-air during the next 3 days of Holy Week. Then, I also sought articles from abs-cbnnews.com and interaksyon.com. And I watched the video clip from ANC. A man on the desk, telling the sad news in a soft and serious tone. Clips of him appearing as the news anchor continued speaking what looks to be a eulogy. It was sad news.
   Nevertheless, it was good to know an anchorman like ACJ. I have neither known him for a lot, nor seen him as a young newscaster. But at that time I saw a video on FB of his comeback on The World Tonight, and when I saw him in the newscast on ANC, I was informed. It was good to know that he came back. I thought before that he was really gone in the wind.

   As a man who likes journalism and broadcast journalism, I admire ACJ. I read articles on newspapers giving their thoughts, praises, and thanks to him; and they told me of how great he was.

   And all I could say is that I appreciate a man like him.A man with "class". A man with expertise on his field.I hope the "era of gentlemanly broadcasting" doesn't end here.May it be a reminder for other anchormen to remain credible in their newscasts, to deliver the news to the people in a well-mannered and gentlemanly way.

   He'll be truly missed.
"Move on.It is just a chapter in the past.But don't close the book.Just turn the page."--ACJ's "final word" in his last appearance on The World Tonight

Learn more in the life of ACJ in this video narrated by his friend and co-anchor in The World Tonight,Tina Monzon-Palma:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbbVjtpDSQg&feature=share

The Weekend (Good)News

    It has been Holy Week.People took a break from their jobs.They either leave their homes and had leisurely or spiritual vacations-whether it's Baguio or Boracay or any other place;or they'll just stay at their homes,entertaining themselves on Internet,cable TV,or DVD.The radio stayed silent for a while,beginning on Maunday Thursday,though other stations turned somber or calm as they continued playing soft music.Some local television stations on free TV temporarily left the airwaves beginning on the same day-including the People's Television(the station of the government).Most of the stations remained on air,although they began signing on at a later time and broadcasting special programming,showing cartoons,movies,and religious specials,and documentaries.Thanks to cable,I can have more entertainment and information to watch,not waiting for the stations to sign-on.When I was a very young child before,I thought radio and television stations acted this way because it's Holy Week,stopping from the regular schedule and become "calm".We can say it that way-out of respect(Got it from Wikipedia).But I also thought of one reason when I grew up.Maundy Thursday to Good Friday are public holidays-then add Black Saturday.People would take a break and either rest or relax for a long time.It is the chance of television and radio people to stop from their daily jobs and rest or relax for a while.Stations also have a chance of doing their "maintenance" since only few would listen or watch them.Nonetheless,other media people,especially reporters and TV and radio operators,remain at work to cover Holy Week whereabouts and to serve the people.
    Too much for that.Holy Week is also a time for most Filipinos,mostly Catholics,to go to churches,abstain themselves from particular meals,perform or watch plays portraying Jesus Christ-mostly known as senakulo,and reflect on the core of this Holy Week-Jesus Christ,crucified on the cross.Of course,other Christians won't forget the reason why there's Holy Week.That's why I wrote this blog so that I may share my own perspectives regarding this.
    As people do their own things on Holy Week,whether it's reflection or relaxation,sadly,other people take their "sacrifices" to the extreme,exaggerated level.Look at some places here in the Philippines,especially at the provinces here.Some men do their own acts of penitence.Some beat their backs,whipping it in alternate directions,left and right.They'll continue it as they walk in a procession,with much blood flowing in their backs.In short.that's what you call self-flagellation.Not only that.Other people,the strong ones,crucify themselves on crosses.Big nails,sterilized on canisters,are fastened on these men on those crosses,imitating Jesus' act of sacrifice.
    Isn't that dreadful?It's not right.Jesus sacrificed his body "once for all" for our sins.There is no longer any sacrifice for sin.It is just what Jesus did that could only forgive and cleanse us from our sins.His crucifixion on the cross can only save us-no other.Jesus did it for us.No one needs any crucifixion or self-flagellation for the forgiveness of sins.

    "For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith-and not from yourselves,it is the gift of God-not by works,so that no one can boast."--Ephesians 2:8-9

    Jesus is the only way to God.He and only He can take away our sins.By God's grace,we can have salvation.
    Do you see?How God really loves us!He sacrificed His Son for us.He gave Jesus Christ for us to be saved from our sins.The Lamb of God was sacrificed for our salvation.

      "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."--John 3:16

    You can receive God's grace.You can receive salvation.All you have to do is to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.Open your heart to God.Believe in Him....and trust Him all the way.That's faith.
      "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved."--Acts 16:31

      "To all who received Him,to those who believed in his name,he gave the right to become children of God"--John 1:12  
    Yes.That's it.No good works,no other sacrifice would save you."It is finished,"Jesus,the Lamb of God,said as He faced His death on the cross.Isn't it one of the seven last words?The sacrifice was offered.The debt was paid by Jesus Christ.He took our place.He saved us.That's how God loves us.Unconditionally and in great measure.
    Just accept God's grace...receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
    Are you really receiving Him in your life?If it is so,you may receive Him now,putting your trust in Him and calling upon Him to save you.You may pray the following prayer or any prayer like this:

    Father.I am a sinner,separated from you through sin.I know that Jesus,whom you sent,died on the cross to save me.Now,I trust Him and accept Him by faith as my Lord and Savior.Forgive me from all of my sins,and cleanse my heart from all unrighteousness.Thank You for your grace and sacrificial  love.Help me live a life that pleases You and lead me all the way.In Jesus' name.Amen.

GOOD NEWS:Jesus died on the cross for You...and He rose at the third day after the crucifixion.He is risen!Jesus is alive!Jesus lives!Be saved today!

A blessed Easter to you....and God bless you.

Review:"The Myrmidon Project"

The cover of The Myrmidon Project,showing a simple newsdesk.

    I just recently finished a thriller novel entitled The Myrmidon Project written by Chuck Scarborough,an Emmy-award-winning newscaster of a local station in New York(WNBC-TV);and William Murray,an author.The book was published in 1981.The novel focuses on Harvey Grunwald--a famous anchorman of the television station ACN(American Communications Network),and "the best anchorman television ever produced" who beats other newscasters of other stations in America.He demanded an annual salary of ten million dollars,and he felt it was fair enough since his contract would only last for five years.

    However,the network's chairman didn't agree;but he can't and won't also loose Grunwald,for he hosts the station's evening news that topped the ratings,making his show number 1 in the country.Hence,the network formed a solution to the problem-The Myrmidon Project,a concept of advanced technology that is "close to reality".It might satisfy the viewing audience,but it would also haunt them.

The authors:At the left is the newscaster Chuck Scarborough,
while at the right is William Murray.
    The novel presents many characters,including Jeff Campbell,a cameraman who knows Grunwald well;Sarah Anderson,the president of the news dept.of the network;Tracy Phillips,a new news person in ACN who turned out to be Jeff's mate;and Wade Nolan,an adventure-seeking,maniac Vietnam vet and mountainman.

    As Harvey Grunwald waited for his demand to be attended,things started to be tragic and depressing for his life.Disasters came upon his wife and children.Yet,after the disaster and the mournings,Sarah Anderson promoted Grunwald's comeback on TV.As the anchorman returned on air,the ratings increased,and the money the network generates from the newscast grew.

    However,Grunwald seems to be unseen,as if he doesn't exist,nowhere to be found;and Jeff Campbell was concerned about his friend that he became curious of what's happening around the station.Together with Tracy and Wade,they'll come to know a shocking truth about Grunwald, and they'll find out what is in The Myrmidon Project.

    Though the plot seems to be intriguing and well-written,I wouldn't recommend this novel for young readers like me.Why?The book contains gross and obscene scenes.The book is some sort of disgusting because of the dirty things written there.I just suffered reading them,and throughout the days reading them,I wonder if I'm reading a thriller or an erotic story.And since I am a television enthusiast,I just wanted to know that Myrmidon Project,how the writers describe the newsroom,and the conclusion,of course.I definitely disgusted those provocative scenes.That is the one main thing I hate in this novel.

    Nonetheless and perhaps,those obscenities in the story just reveals the personalities of the characters there,especially Wade Nolan and Crawford/Mr.Reynolds,who are both maniacs and perverts.Again,for young readers and even young women,don't read it until you're either 16-18,understanding things,or married(I think).

    But all in all,The Myrmidon Project is "well-paced"(especially at the final chapters),as said by Washington Post;and well-written.It exhibits themes of the television industry,corporate business,tragedies,and--in my own opinion--greed.It could make a good movie,I guess.Just fix and clean things up,deleting every indecent paragraphs and focusing on Harvey Grunwald and Myrmidon.

    Aside from Myrmidon,Scarborough also has two other novels: Stryker and After Shock,which I hope I could find and buy at my "sanctuary"--Booksale--someday;and which I also hope would be clean and decent,no smuts and no obscenities.

To Linnaeus

    How time flies fast!

    It has been 10 months since I met you guys.And now, we're heading on for third year.We'll be on different sections, and we'll have new teachers.We'll have new classmates(I'll be happy to have anyone of you as my classmate this third year),and sadly,others will leave for new schools.

    Nonetheless, I was glad to be in section Linnaeus.I'm thankful to have friends who are friendly and cheerful.I'm blessed that I enjoyed my sophomore times with you.

    Thank you for everything.Thanks for your company.Thanks for your kind friendships.Thanks for caring and helping in times of need.Thanks for the good times, and all those times.Thanks for the nice time at the acquaintance party.Thanks for the enjoyment that we had at the field trip.Thanks for every getaway that we had at SM after classes and every activities our school had.Thanks for the happy Christmas party.And thanks a lot for the rainy,yet joyful farewell party we had at Enchanted Kingdom(that was,again,my first experience at EK).Thanks for the joys, for the laughter.

    For those people whom I might have hurt in words or deeds,I extend my utmost apologies.I really have tended to do the wrong things or utter the wrong words without thinking.Again, I apologize.

    Here in Linnaeus, I have learned to be friendly.I was turned to be a better adolescent.I have trained myself to be a person of integrity, and a person of cheerfulness.Okay.My seriousness still remained, but as I went on through my sophomore days here,I had turned to a person who laughs out loud and joins in conversations a lot better.In short,I grew to become sociable at the least.That was an improvement.

    In addition,I have also learned various things in life in these sophomore days at the four corners of the Linnaeus classroom.One is that,maybe the biggest lesson of them all,as I have said in the poem "Me",I'll not always get the attention of people,though it might give you the term "forever alone".Anyway,I still remember those times when I realize that you are still there,still caring and serving as my close companions.I'm not forever alone, and I shouldn't be.

    I also found another thing at Linnaeus.That was my vulnerability to be envious.To be honest with you,I had been envious,not really jealous,with some of you when you got higher grades on our quizzes or exams,or higher ranks at the end of quarters--but not this final quarter..Sorry if that might have dispirited you.You know,I still have to accept things and learn from them..Therefore,I have learned to never mind those feelings of envy,or just don't respond to your envy for it would lead to a bad effect on you and the people around you.Yet, it would be better for you to ignore envy.

    I also saw the value of friendship in Linnaeus.There,we helped in times of need,especially when we were chasing on deadlines.(Never mind the nuisances.)Now,we survived those challenges at last!Thank you,Lord!I also saw in each of you how close you have been to each of your closest friends in the school.How nice it is to relish what we are now--from individuals from different freshmen sections to friends with close ties and even pairs(do you know what I mean?Wala akong kinalaman dyan).

    It was great to be with you guys.It was fun.

    And now, let me extend my words of gratitude and advice to each of you.

    Jeo:Take care and keep well.
    Joebert:You're a kind friend.Congratulations.Wish you all the best.
    Paulo:Thanks for being kind and nice..Mag-iingat ka lagi.
    Francis:Hello.Hope you'll work on your studies well.May you stay still to be a sincere friend of everybody,including....
    Arbby:Pogi rin ako.Study better,and stay happy.
    Christian:Hope you'll remain to be earnest in your faith in God.Stay good and work well on what's ahead.Do you have any sci-fi book there?
    Elias:One of my wacky classmates,yet a gregarious one.Keep well on your studies.You're a cool friend.
    Jordan:Classmates since 1st year.I was happy to be your classmate again.You're really a friendly friend.Thanks,Kuya Jords.
    Jerel:One of my closest friends this second year.Thanks for your company.May you still appreciate your utmost talent.Stay humble and kind and patient.Sorry for those misunderstandings.Wish you the best.
    Migs:Stay nice and amicable.Nakakatuwa ka rin eh.
    Gabby:Let me give you this word:r-e-s-p-e-c-t.Keep well and I hope you'll remain to be a nice friend.Do you have any sci-fi book there?
    Boris:Not Yeltsin....You're one of a kind--jolly,always laughing,wacky,yet obedient.I'll miss your kakulitan.Thanks.May you keep your studies well.
    Roi.....or Vills:I'll also miss this guy:kind,jolly,happy,sociable and nice...Thanks for being an amiable and understanding friend.May you still enjoy reading books.God bless your studies...have faith in Him :)
    Lyka:I just found it out that you delight in reading books.Anyway,thanks for being nice.You're a jolly companion who will make us laugh[:-)].Keep well.
    Ruziel:Thanks for being a good friend.I'm not masungit..Haha..Study well.
    Lovella:My first seatmate in the class.Fellow avid reader and writer.Thanks for being a nice friend.Keep writing!It has great potential.I'm accepting collaborations someday(share lang).May you continue to study well.See you on FictionPress(Maybe.)
    Justine:Hmm...Also a fellow avid reader...Thanks for being a gentle friend.I apologize for those times when I had joked you too much.I hope I have understood you enough.Keep well at school(:bd).
    Queenie:A keen reader.Thanks for being a kind and enjoyable friend.I'll miss that laugh(Hehe).And congratulations.Keep reading and reach for the sky.
    Dominique:Diligent and intelligent and a kind friend.Keep up your good work.
    Hmm......I hope you've learned your lessons.
    Valerie:The president of the class.You're really a kind friend.Thank you for your nice friendship and for liking our posts(Hehe).May you continue to study well and prioritize it as well.Stay happy.Good luck and God Bless.
    Miccaela:Yes.I'll also miss your kakulitan.Keep well and do your best.Stay happy.Thanks.
    Shaira:Intelligent.Continue to do your best.

    Lourdes:Thanks and keep well...I won't get obsessed.
    Elaine:From the planet of Venus....Just joking...It was good to find out you're a good writer.Keep on writing!It also has great potential..How about if you make a blog as same as mine?[:-)]Thanks for being a good-hearted and gentle friend.Continue to do your best and stay happy and laughing..Good luck to you and God Bless.

    Annalyn:A kind friend, and thanks for that.I remember that time during the first project in Bio when I just picked strands of hairs......(Let the story speak for itself)Good luck and your friends will really miss you.

    Chea:Congratulations.May you continue to do your best.Stay happy and kind.

    Angelica....Okay,Gel:One of the friends I had been close to.Thanks for being a nice friend--a gregarious and merry one.Keep it up at school.Advice:keep your tongue well.

    Jireh:Kind...nice...intelligent and athletic.Keep it up.Thanks.

    Samantha:Thanks also for being a good friend.Ingat.

    Sophia:Simply nice...May you keep it up and take care.

    Nikka Chelle:Hmm...Thanks for being a very understanding and amiable friend.It's nice to hear ideas and thoughts from you..Study well and prioritize it.Stay happy.

    Krizel:Keep on writing...Good luck and keep your faith in the Lord.

    Pauline:I'll miss this friend.Thanks for being a gentle and friendly friend...For listening and for the conversations..Good luck and aim high on your athletic career...Keep it up on your studies.God Bless.

    Finally......Patricia:I'll also miss her friendly countenance..A fellow reader and writer too(Good in English)..Keep on writing,and I encourage you to create a blog.Thanks for being amiable and good-hearted..Thanks for the nice conversations,and I'll miss those funny times.Good luck on your studies and on your family..I'm also open for collaborations on any writing piece[;-)].God Bless and keep well..

    Full of "keep well" phrases(I got it from Teddy Boy Locsin; just watch "The World Tonight" on ANC before they close each program) and synonyms of the word kind....What else could I say?

    Hope you'll enjoy this simple vacation,and may continue to trust and have faith in Jesus Christ.He loves us all.

    I'll miss you all.....and see you either on Facebook and on June,for many.

    Thanks and God Bless.

    And so it goes.        


    And now,here's an OPM song from The Dawn for you.