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.