Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Things to be thankful for in 2010

As 2010 draws to a close, let me look back at what I had done this year, the successes and the setbacks, and share some of my thoughts with you. I've never formally done this before (if a blog entry can be considered formal), but the pastor in Church last Sunday mentioned that thanking God for His blessings is the right thing to do, so here I am. 

Turns out, there are quite a number of things to be thankful for. In terms of...
1. Work, this year had been smooth sailing. I've had some pretty tough projects that got exponentially more challenging as the year ended, but it seems that these difficulties can be surpassed before 2011. I wouldn't have imagined this to happen 3 weeks ago. I have also gotten a small recognition at work this year, something that only happens once every few years. This year was also the year where I traveled the most - to China/HK twice, Korea, Singapore, even Boracay.
2. Work, I'm happy to be active in the recruiting space. It is mildly gratifying to know that you are helping people by giving them jobs. The key to this though is to balance the students' futures versus your goals, which can be a tough decision to make sometimes.
3. Life, I'm really glad I started going to the gym at the start of 2010. I do not go to the gym regularly, and yet I have gained around 15 pounds. But of course, the task of keeping yourself fit does not end after a year of work.
4. Family, I'm glad that everyone in our family is still in relatively good health and the family still has a strong bond though we don't deliberately create memorable experiences.
5. Life, what seems like a golden business opportunity has opened up for me and my friends (actually, the opportunity opened to him - and my friend invited me and another friend). I'm hoping and praying that this really is one.
6. Spiritual life, this is the year where I have begun to be more active in Church. In fact, I had been virtually absent from my Church since I graduated from college! Finally I'm getting myself back on track...
7. Life, it's great to have good friends. I'm not the emotional type, but it's great to have friends you can talk to about anything. Another reason I'm thankful is that the resulting circumstances in #5 actually led me to find an awesome friend, someone who wowed me the moment our glances connected.

And one more thing - it's awesome to receive a birthday SMS from a friend as the clock hit twelve midnight 2 days ago :)

In terms of improvement areas:
1. I've got to learn to be more flexible with my personality, and realize when to be deliberately more emotional in my dealings with people. I think from an all too logical perspective (thanks to my years of studying chess, math, and playing RTS games), and radiate a very neutral outlook (eg: hiding/tempering down emotion, which is actually a double edged sword.). These two things combined is often mistaken by others as a very cold demeanor, even though I do not intend it to be.
2. And yet, I need to be more rigorous at work. Managing increasingly tougher projects makes this all too critical.
3. I need to get more experience. I'm 26, and I still have a lot of things to learn and experience. The professional situation I end up with in 2011 can help steer this I think...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Even the Einstein of humans is still... just a human

Found the insightful comic above from abstrusegoose. You can just as easily substitute the monkey for a human, and the human as a "higher entity" (multidimensional beings? Read Clifford Pickover's hyperspace book for an explanation. God?)

Classical movies I have seen (and why) - part 1

I've never been a fan of classical movies until very recently. Black and white just didn't appeal to me, and I thought that the stories were too shallow. Not to mention that the camera techniques and effects back then are very primitive compared to the present - hence boring. 

But then I chanced upon a list of the best movies ever created and I was shocked to see majority of them being dominated by very old movies. How could movies created with ancient technology come through as being best of all time? That piqued my interest, and I began watching a few of them...

...and now I can say I am more or less hooked. This from a guy who's seen probably only Ten Commandments among the classical movies before. It wasn't the technology - it was the story and the storytelling that carried movies back then - no amount of special effects can substitute that. Every now and then, the technological breakthrough would happen, which would go on to become the standard for all succeeding movies. 

Without further ado, here's the list of the movies I have seen, in no particular order:

1. Ikiru (buy the movie in Amazon)

What it is about: A man - who spent the last three decades of his life dedicated to work - suddenly realizes he has stomach cancer and has only a few months left to live. He realizes he's been dead for the last three decades, and begins looking for ways to truly live his life.
Why did I watch this movie: Roger Ebert said it is the greatest movie of Akira Kurosawa. And Akira Kurosawa's movies are always among the top of the list of greatest movies ever.
Why you should watch this movie: Every person who's been working for a few years now should watch this. Before it's too late. Let me rephrase Ebert: Watch this movie every 5 years and inevitably you'll see how you're slowly transforming into the man in the movie.

2. Rashomon (buy the movie in Amazon)

What it is about: A priest, a woodcutter, and a passerby sit under a gate discussing the most bizarre experience they've had - a hearing about the murder of a samurai and the rape of his wife.
Why did I watch this movie: Because it is another highly regarded Akira Kurosawa work - in fact, this was the movie that catapulted him to international fame, winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival
Why you should watch this movie: This movie will make you think very hard about truth, justice, and people's motives. Listen to the testimonies of the priest, woodcutter, thief, wife, and (how did this happen?) the samurai himself. As Ebert wrote, "The wonder of 'Rashomon' is that while the shadowplay of truth and memory is going on, we are absorbed by what we trust is an unfolding story. The film's engine is our faith that we'll get to the bottom of things"
- is it clear I am an Ebert fan? :)

3. The Passion of Joan of Arc (free movie!)

What it is about: The last few days of Joan of Arc's life, starting from her trial in front of the priests until her execution. 
Why did I watch this movie: I watched this movie because many have said that the performance of the lead actress Renee Falconetti is widely considered one of the best - if not the best - performance ever caught on film.
Why you should watch this movie: The performance is indeed mind blowing. Many shots are taken close up, showing only the faces, but even these alone carry the emotion and tension of the movie very well. I watched this movie with Richard Einhorn's musical composition "Voices of Light" which makes the silent movie all the more haunting.

The whole movie is available on youtube!

This is a long overdue post.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

If I delivered our graduation speech...

If I was the one who talked during our graduation ceremony 3 years ago,  I would have said something like this. I wrote the following note 3 years ago, a few hours after our graduation. The same idea was forming in my mind when I was asked to apply for the grad speech, but I decided not to write it down until after graduation. I will not edit this to reflect my current thinking :) I noticed the ending was abrupt - sorry for that.
The essay follows...

I am angry, but I am also quite happy. This would be the best way to explain how I feel right now, as a graduating student standing before you all, and soon, the Philippine society. I know this wasn't the type of opening you all were expecting from me at such a grand event as commencement exercises, so let me explain myself.


There are several reasons to be happy.

One. We are students schooled in ideas, concepts, and technology that will be obsolete in 2 to 3 years. We are schooled to find solutions to problems that don't even exist yet.

Now why be happy about this? Because there is one competitive advantage the Lasallian education gives us: the ability to adapt to change, and the discipline to attain success in the face of dizzying changes. And that means we can manage almost anything that the world may slap on us. We will soon find our way around these hurdles, thanks to the torture that our school training gave us. Do I need to elaborate on the "torture" part? On the "dizzying changes" part, I recommend you to watch "Did You Know" in youtube.

Two. The education that we have is not manifested in our diplomas alone. This is an education that is also deeply rooted in values. And that means we have a smaller probability of getting swayed by corrupt practices when we leave the University's four walls. We have a smaller probability of instigating the corruption in our areas. We have a bigger probability of putting an end to corruption and lead the country out of poverty, like Moses who lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But I will come back to this topic in a while.

Three. The third reason is us. There is unlimited potential in each of us, and we can tap these to affect our society. Whether or not we tap these potentials is outside the scope of the school. The school has equipped us with the two important things I have stated above, and  it is up to us to awaken our passions and awareness. That will be our foundation for our impactful contributions to society.


But why angry?

We are not special. We are not the only batch of graduating students of DLSU. To think in numbers, hundreds of thousands of Lasallian graduates have come before us. Scores of graduation speeches have been said. I bet all of them declare that we - the graduating students - are the future of this land. That we should help those in need, that we should not only look for bettering ourselves but always to think of the common good. The list of these grand ideas goes on.

People say this because these lines are proper, and at such a time when our egos are tremendously boosted by the attire, diplomas, and medals, why can't we? Having it any other way would seem completely stupid. But ask ourselves: If we hear these, do we take it to heart? Or are we already thinking of how we will spend the night in celebration of this "momentous" event? Or thinking of where you can find work? Or, as quite many scientific studies tell, thinking of sex?

Picking up from where I left off a few minutes ago, we should be angry because even after the hundreds of thousands of graduates that have come before us, many of whom carried a huge sense of idealism we currently (might) have, the Philippines has not progressed far. Some would even argue we have progressed in the opposite direction. Corruption is still the norm in most of our government. Worse is many of the people who occupy positions of power in our society are from the creme de la creme of Philippine Tertiary Graduates (like La Salle). What has happened? They have forgotten the speeches they've heard or written years back. They have switched off these ideals talked about so loftily.

But, being angry can sometimes be a good thing. Suppose someone tells you that you did a poor job, and you won't be able to bounce back. What do you do? Accept what you were told? Or will you get angry and tell the person, "I will shove your words up your rear." Then propelled by this anger, you deliver and make the person eat his words in the end.

There are other things we should be angry about, but as we are all graduating students, I believe we have the capacity to figure these out ourselves. This serves only as a spark plug.

Therefore we should be angry, and keep this anger in our hearts and minds.

These are the reasons why I am both happy and angry.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Please watch: Akira Kurosawa films screening at CCP/UP Film Institute

**Update: I just called CCP today. They confirmed this is free, but you have to be early as they don't accept any reservations and the maximum seating capacity of the theater is only 100. 
From Sept 14-19 and Sept 22-30, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and UP Film Institute respectively will be screening the movies of acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa for free. This is done in partnership with the Japan Foundation.

Akira Kurosawa is in my opinion one of the best directors who ever lived. Just look at what other directors have said about him:
  1. Steven Spielberg (E.T., Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Jaws, and a lot more)- "I have learned more from him than from almost any other filmmaker on the face of the earth."
  2. Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, enough said): "One thing that distinguishes Akira Kurosawa is that he didn't make one masterpiece or two masterpieces. He made, you know, eight masterpieces"
  3. Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Aviator, Shutter Island): "Let me say it simply. Akira Kurosawa was my master, and... the master of so many other filmmakers over the years"
For a list of his numerous awards, please refer to this resource.

He directed some of the best films I've ever watched - Rashomon, and Ikiru (I even wrote about Ikiru). So I wholeheartedly recommend to everyone to please go to CCP or UP Film Institute to catch some of his films!

Please see the schedules below:
See you there!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The deadliest, most terrifying diseases ever

Everyone of us hates disease. But there are some diseases that are utterly terrifying. Here's a quick list of the most terrifying diseases I've ever come across. 

1. Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva - Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is an extremely rare disease of the connective tissue. Essentially, this disease screws up the body's repair mechanism, causing fibrous tissue (including muscle, tendon, and ligament) to be ossified when damaged. Ossified - turn to bone! In many cases, injuries can cause joints to become permanently frozen in place. What's worse, surgical removal of the extra bone growths has been shown to cause the body to "repair" the affected area with more bone.

This is a terrifying disease because it restricts your life so much. You can't put yourself at risk of injury, otherwise you risk ossifying a part of your body, and losing movability of that body part. That effectively rules out almost all physical activity! Being careful/paranoid doesn't guarantee that you won't suffer some sort of injury, and the moment you do, you will probably be permanently disfigured. 

The best known FOP case is that of Harry Eastlack (1933–1973). His condition began to develop at the age of ten and, by the time of his death from pneumonia in November 1973, six days before his 40th birthday, his body had completely ossified, leaving him able to move only his lips.

Image thanks to this source.
Notice that the bone has "grown" irregularly, leaving a man stiff in areas where he should be able to move.

2. Naegleria fowleria - Ok, so this isn't really a disease. Naegleria fowleria is actually a free-living microorganism (think of something like an amoeba) typically found in warm bodies of fresh water, such as ponds, lakes, rivers, and hot springs.

Why is it terrifying? Imagine that you're taking a simple, relaxing swim in a pond or lake. Then unknowingly, N. fowleri can enter your body normally via the nose. You can not detect it or shoo it away. And here's where it gets scarier.

The more common name of this organism is "brain-eating amoeba," and it's meant in a literal sense. While it rarely attacks, it almost always means death. How does a very small organism like N. fowleria do that much damage to a human?

In humans, N. fowleri can invade the central nervous system via the nose. The penetration initially results in significant necrosis of and hemorrhaging in the nose. From there, they climb along nerve fibers into the brain. The amoebae begin to consume the cells of the brain piecemeal by means of a unique sucker apparatus extended from their cell surface. It then becomes pathogenic, causing primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM or PAME). PAM is a syndrome affecting the central nervous system, characterized by changes in olfactory perception (taste and smell), followed by vomiting, nausea, fever, headache, and the rapid onset of coma and death in two weeks.

3. Fatal familial insomnia - This is by far the most terrifying disease I've ever come across. As you can probably determine from the name of the disease, it is fatal insomnia. So, one night, you realize that you can no longer sleep even though you're very tired. Then the next. And the next. And the next. Until you die.

Here's one story of a person who suffered from such disease:

Shortly after his 40th birthday in 1991, Michael Corke, a music teacher from Chicago, began having trouble sleeping. In the following weeks, the insomnia grew worse and his health rapidly deteriorated. Eventually he couldn’t sleep at all.

The doctors were baffled but could do nothing for him. Michael was physically and mentally exhausted, and wanted nothing more than to be able to fall asleep. But his brain wouldn’t let him.
Video footage of him appearing at a school orchestra concert revealed a frail old man - a far cry from the fit and healthy individual he was just months earlier. Eventually he was admitted to hospital and doctors diagnosed him with an extremely rare genetic disorder discovered just seven years prior: Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI).

Michael Corke died in hospital after six months from a complete lack of sleep.

Fatal Familial Insomnia strikes between the ages of 30 and 60 years, with no apparent trigger that the sufferer can relate to. Patients have been known to survive for up to three years, gradually passing through four stages of illness:
   1. The onset of insomnia, creating panic attacks and unfounded phobias, lasting for four months.
   2. Severe insomnia, worsening panic attacks and hallucinations, lasting for five months.
   3. Complete insomnia and rapid weight loss, lasting for three months.
   4. Dementia and unresponsiveness, lasting for six months. FFI is eventually fatal.

Why is this so terrifying? Have you ever gone for a week without sleep? Just imagine how much this pain/exhaustion/depression will be magnified, if this is to last for as long as you live (not long, actually).

Thanks to wikipedia and suite101.com for the references.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WTF bus hostage by policeman game - why crimes end up in games

Barely a day after the deadly bus hostage killings by estranged policeman Rolando Mendoza, an online game about the event had been released.

The game was definitely done in bad taste, reminding me of the dreadful Atari ET game that destroyed Atari itself. No need to explain why, right?

On the other hand, this game reminds me of the Super Columbine Massacre RPG, wherein two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, embarked on a massacre, killing 12 students and one teacher. They also injured 21 other students directly, and three people were injured while attempting to escape.

I guess there are a few people who like to take advantage of bad times to make a few bucks.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Watching Starcraft live in Korea - MBC HERO Game Center, Seoul

Being a Starcraft: Brood War fan (and eventually a Starcraft 2 fan), no trip to South Korea would be complete without watching a Starcraft pro-game live. It was the chance to experience physically what I had watched only via Youtube uploads.

August 8, Sunday. I planned to watch this game:

Now getting around Korea without knowing a bit of Korean can be a challenge. Good thing Teamliquid had a write-up (complete with photos!) of how to get there. The game above was broadcasted from the MBC HERO Game Center, which was fortunately just 3 train stations away from the guest house at Hapjeong.

So after walking a few minutes of walking under a hot Korean sun and asking a few Koreans who knew English along my way, I finally got to the MBC Hero Game Center. Free entrance! :)

The view inside. When I got there the event wasn't starting yet.
Players enter the booth. That is to avoid distractions from the spectators, who tend to shout loudly.
The entire thing was televised! So I made my television debut in Korea...
Turns out that the game that day was Woongjin Stars versus Hwaseung Oz - the latter being the team of my favorite SC player, Jaedong. It's a race to 4 wins.
The Woongjin stars bow before the crowd. Hwaseung does too, later.
It's Jaedong vs Free for the first game. Jaedong opens with a 12 pool into gas into hatchery. Free opens with a forge FE.
I'm not going to talk about the plays that happened. But instead, I'm going to talk about what struck me watching the games live.
1. Set is amazing - For a pretty small set (probably 2-3 classrooms big), it had a whopping 12 screens! The big screen, 4 screens each to show the first person view of each player, and 3 screens near the back of the set. It's easy to see what's happening, but it's a bit hard to follow the overall game, since you can look at 3 views.
2. Atmosphere is intense - In a Youtube game, the excitement isn't there. You can see how long a game lasts, and more often that not, you find out who wins beforehand. That's not true when you watch live. The audience screams "player name hwaiting" before every game. The TV camera focuses on people who are doing something weird - like this Korean guy who took a photo of a player and uploaded it into a photosite - the camera zoomed in on the guy's computer!
3. Fangirls - What I found weird was the fact that there are way more girls than guys who watched this game. And they seem to be the highschool-early college type. I was able to talk to one student who told me she's a biomechanical engineering student, and despite busy schedule, she would find time to watch these games. And indeed, after the game, she patiently waited for her favorite player to come out.

Please take a look at the video I took of the place:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why you shouldn't try robbing Chuck Norris

Have you ever imagined what would happen if one - or two - incredibly stupid men would actually try and rob Chuck Norris? Well, this happened in real life! Thanks to listverse for this funny story. These criminals are so stupid, it's funny.

It happened in 1994. Norris mentions this whole thing in his autobiography, “Against All Odds.” And, by his testimony, this is what happened. Honest to God, it really happened.

In 1994, right at the beginning of his run as Walker, Texas Ranger, Norris was, and still is, living in Dallas, Texas, where the show was filmed. One day he was walking down the street by himself, no entourage, no fans following him, no bodyguards, not even his wife. He turned a commercial block in the downtown skyscraper area and saw two men a little bigger than he coming straight for him from the other end of the block.

They were staring right at him, and he figured they wanted autographs, which he enjoys signing. So he walked up to them and stopped with a smile, whereupon they stood in front of him, whipped out a couple of large pocketknives, and one of them demanded, “Give me your wallet, Chuck! Give it here!”

Norris actually opened his mouth wide and then asked, “Are you insane!?”

“No! We know who you are! And we know you got a lot of money! Now give it up, or you’re dead!”

Now before we go further, let us just go over a few of the particulars. All jokes aside, Chuck Norris truly does have the following black belts: 1st degree in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 8th Degree Grandmaster in Tae Kwon Do, 9th degree in Jeet Kune Do under Bruce Lee and Lee’s best student, Dan Inosanto, 10th degree in Shito Ryu Karate, 10th degree in Tang Soo Do, 11th degree in Chun Kuk Do.

Granted, the last art is his own concoction, a hybrid of all the best moves he has learned over the years, all blended for both self-defense and competition, and you are only allowed a 10th degree or better in anything when you found your own dojo. But suffice to say, the muggers didn’t even use guns. From a hundred feet away. They used knives within arm’s reach. What happened next was rather anti-climactic.

The police arrived about 4 minutes later, 3 officers in two cars, and were greeted by the scene of two men with SEVERELY broken arms (the bones had gone through the skin) sitting on the curb, two bloody knives in the gutter, and Chuck Norris, the Almighty Himself, leaning against the wall, wearing his beard, jeans, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat….he shrugged at them. The police started laughing so hard that they bent over, holding their sides, unable to put the handcuffs on the muggers. One of them managed to ask, “Did you not know who he was?!”
One of them said, “Yeah, we knew who he was! We figured all that crap on TV was fake!”

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hilarious Old Spice ad parody - Study like a Scholar, Scholar

The amazing success of the Old Spice ads have spawned a number of parodies. Here is arguably the best parody - Study like a scholar, scholar.

When ads spawn parodies, that means something!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning - Haruki Murakami

This amazing short story by Haruki Murakami was shared to me by a Korean friend. The charming part of this story is that it can happen to you - have you ever anticipated getting close to the person you desire, and you begin thinking about the myriads of possibilities that may happen once you're there, and how you'd rehearse reacting to each of the situations? The stuff daydreams and other dreams are made of.

The whole story follows, below. There's only one thing this story is about: how would you react if you met the 100% perfect girl one morning, while walking on the street? This story is a part of Murakami's The Elephant Vanishes, a collection of short stories.

On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning

One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo's fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

Tell you the truth, she's not that good-looking. She doesn't stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn't young, either - must be near thirty, not even close to a "girl," properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She's the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there's a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert.

Maybe you have your own particular favorite type of girl - one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you're drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I'll catch myself staring at the girl at the next table to mine because I like the shape of her nose.

But no one can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can't recall the shape of hers - or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It's weird.

"Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% girl," I tell someone.

"Yeah?" he says. "Good-looking?"

"Not really."

"Your favorite type, then?"

"I don't know. I can't seem to remember anything about her - the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts."


"Yeah. Strange."

"So anyhow," he says, already bored, "what did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?"

"Nah. Just passed her on the street."

She's walking east to west, and I west to east. It's a really nice April morning.

Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and - what I'd really like to do - explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock build when peace filled the world.

After talking, we'd have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woody Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed.

Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart.

Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards.

How can I approach her? What should I say?

"Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?"

Ridiculous. I'd sound like an insurance salesman.

"Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all-night cleaners in the neighborhood?"

No, this is just as ridiculous. I'm not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who's going to buy a line like that?

Maybe the simple truth would do. "Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me."

No, she wouldn't believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you're not the 100% boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I'd probably go to pieces. I'd never recover from the shock. I'm thirty-two, and that's what growing older is all about.

We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches my skin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can't bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She's written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she's ever had.

I take a few more strides and turn: She's lost in the crowd.

Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.

Oh, well. It would have started "Once upon a time" and ended "A sad story, don't you think?"

Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

"This is amazing," he said. "I've been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you're the 100% perfect girl for me."

"And you," she said to him, "are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I'd pictured you in every detail. It's like a dream."

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It's a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one's dreams to come true so easily?

And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, "Let's test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other's 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we'll marry then and there. What do you think?"

"Yes," she said, "that is exactly what we should do."

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.

The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other's 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season's terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence's piggy bank.

They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.

One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.

A sad story, don't you think?

Yes, that's it, that is what I should have said to her.

Monday, July 26, 2010

To the people who don't know, this is Cheryl Cole

Why many people in my social circle don't know of Cheryl Cole is a mystery to me. This woman is easily one of the hottest women singers/reality show judges on the planet. She isn't famous here in Asia, but if you're that hot, shouldn't the news travel? Anyway, according to Wikipedia:

Cheryl Ann Cole (née Tweedy, born 30 June 1983) is an English singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, model, and television personality. 

Following her appearance on The X Factor, the media have referred to Cole as "the nation's new sweetheart". Simon Cowell stated, "she must now be the most popular person on TV." 

In a 2009 poll by the Style Network, Cole was voted best dressed woman of the year and style icon of the decade. Cole was also named the "Sexiest Woman in the World" in the 2009 edition of FHM's 100 Sexiest Women poll, having reached number seven the year before.

Unfortunately, she was married - Cole married Chelsea and England football player Ashley Cole in July 2006. In February 2010 the couple separated. In May 2010, the singer filed for divorce from her husband.

Anyway, here are some of Cheryl's pictures: (images thanks to kineda.com askmen.com current.com) 

This is probably one of her most famous pictures

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This blog article is now... DIAMONDS!

You can't read this blog because Old Spice Guy converted this article to diamonds.
More here. Even more at Old Spice's Youtube channel.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The long term joys of teaching

Let me start with this - at the beginning, teaching is a thankless job. These are the two biggest barriers in my opinion:

1. It's tiring - before the lecture, as you have to plan what to say; during the lecture, for obvious reasons; and after the lecture, for I chose to walk back home :)
I taught Math during Saturdays at my high school - the school wanted its students to know more Math beyond what's taught in the curriculum, so they invited me to teach a few of their current students. I also taught summer Math classes in my nursery school. At that time, I was still a University student. Because I was a student for five days of the week and a campus journalist for seven days of the week, teaching during the weekends becomes exceptionally more tiring.

2. Is it really worth it? - In many university classes, some students would always quip, "am I really going to use <> when I graduate?" Some students do not appreciate the things that are being taught to them. Now imagine when you teach in what others would say optional classes. How less appreciated would you be? 
I told my students that in the academic arena, the primary object of learning is to learn how to learn, because school can't teach you all that you need to know in life. But it can equip you with the right framework and discipline for learning, for adapting, for succeeding. Even with that, I've had some (young) students give a blank stare from the beginning till the end of class, and these would hurt me. Some though would believe me, and that consoles me.

At least to me, the joy of teaching becomes imminent once you realize that you've changed someone's life, or you've imparted something that they still remember after a long time. Those have happened to me!

1. Changing someone's life - In my summer Math class, I had a young high school student. He said because he was struggling in Math, it being his worst subject in school, his mom enrolled him for summer. So we went through the summer, and he was one of the energetic students in class. He even came to my house a few times to say hi, play games, or ask questions.
The good part: One year later, he told me that Math is now his best subject! He even asked if I was teaching the next summer. Unfortunately, I couldn't make the next summer...
This memorable experience could not have happened without the help of Paul Garilao and my brother. They helped make this summer class possible by substituting for me in quite a number of classes. (I was doing my thesis, and working as the editor in chief of the university paper at this time.)

2. Imparting something - Continuing what I said to my students about school, since school is primarily about learning to learn, what is more important to achieve then is excellence and well-roundedness.
The good part: 5 years later, someone told me that she remembered this point I said. :)

img thanks to http://philspector.wordpress.com

This is honesty

Now, this is honesty!

For more 419-related fun (this is the serious type), go to 419eaters.com - scambaiting at its best.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Just who is this woman, the face of Estee Lauder?

Estee Lauder ads seem to dominate airports both in and out of the Philippines. So in my recent forays abroad, I have frequently seen their ads and wondered just who the model in those ads is.

Thanks to a stroke of luck, I now know who this woman is. Her name is Hilary Rhoda, a 23 year old American model.

Seems that Hilary is a well accomplished supermodel. According to wikipedia:

She has appeared in advertisements for Balenciaga, Valentino, Belstaff, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Donna Karan, Gucci, Gap, Dsquared, Shiatzy Chen, Blumarine, and Ralph Lauren, and in Victoria's Secret catalogs. She has also appeared on the covers of American Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris, British Harper's Bazaar, Time, Numéro, and W.

In January 2007, Rhoda signed an exclusive contract with Estée Lauder as their newest face. In July of that same year, earning at an estimated total of $2 million in the past 12 months, Forbes named her twelfth in their list of The World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels.[5] She is the current face of St. John Knits (replacing Angelina Jolie), ERES Beachwear, and the Neiman Marcus spring/summer 2009 campaigns. 2009 also marks Rhoda's debut in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition

Images thanks to proscoutblog.com and atouchofblusher.blogspot.com 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When you know the answer, but not how to solve it, improvise! Force fit.

Many people are like this, especially in business. Given a problem, and our own personal biases and experience, we will always tend to favor a certain answer. Then what would normally happen is that we force fit the scenario to make our preferred answer the right one. 

Did the folks at BP experience this, during that fateful project? 

Not sure how many ideas have been killed because of this thinking.

Take a look at the alt tag of that image: 

Handy exam trick: when you know the answer but not the correct derivation, derive blindly forward from the givens and backward from the answer, and join the chains once the equations start looking similar. Sometimes the graders don't notice the seam

Thanks XKCD! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Seriously, this woman is 43 years old.

Meet Araceli Gonzalez. A few facts about her:
1. She's Argentinian.
2. She's a model, actress, and TV host.
3. She's 43 years old!
4. She has a daughter, who was born in 1988!!

Imagine that - not only is she 40+ but she also has a daughter! How can a 40+ year old mother look like this? Wow. Some pictures of Araceli Gonzalez:

And here's her daughter. I actually like Araceli more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The color strata

For those who are obsessed with color names:

Here are some weirdly-named colors that aren't necessarily in this infographic. (Thanks toptenz!)
1. Malachite 
2. Gamboge
3. Fallow 
4. Razzmatazz
5. Falu red
6. Arsenic 
7. Feldgrau
8. United Nations Blue
9. Xanadu
10. Caput Mortuum 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Talking to a prisoner serving 500+ years

This is sad. A man convicted of several home invasion robberies, serving time totaling to 521 years and 11 life sentences! Listen to Louis Theroux interviewing him.

Or watch Louis Theroux interview two brutal, wanted criminals in South Africa. They talk easily about how they'd force people to give up their money. Some excerpts from what the criminals said:
"I don't feel ashamed (to kill a cop)... I will die for my job... to do crime... I like crime"
"only money that I want... I will show you with your last born if you don't want to give me money... to the oven, microwave oven. I put him like this to the oven. Then you see I want money... I make oven on... What will you say?"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Well, George, we knocked the bastard off.

This is probably the shortest "speech" ever made, spoken by Edmund Hillary (first person to reach the summit of Mt Everest) to his friend George Lowe on returning from Everest's summit.

Once more.

Well, George, we knocked the bastard off.

The secret powers of time - Phillip Zimbardo

Please watch this.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beer, men, girlfriends, and a transporter

I think every bar in the Philippines needs this. But I won't be using it. :)
In any case, take a look at the video, it's amazing marketing!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Davalos twins: Who could be hotter than these twins?

Meet Mariana and Camila Davalos. They are US-born Colombian models who host a show in Colombia.

I'm pretty sure they are the hottest twins on the planet. And if you google them, you'll get a ton of photos but in case you're lazy, here are some of them:

Camila's on the left. I think she's more popular between the two.

Since I like Camilla more, I'll post more of her pics: 

Thanks to portal-colombia.com, photobucket, and blogspot for these photos! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wired.com quoted my article! :)

Please take a look at this Wired.com article.

They quoted a Multiply blog entry I wrote ~2 years ago on the Internet Tidal Wave, a famous 1995 memo that Bill Gates wrote. Well, to be completely transparent, they only quoted my transcription of Gates' memo.

That's all! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The tragedy of the commons

thanks to cashewman

A few people have asked me why I don't have a car, although it's quite easy to obtain one given our company policies. I have a number of reasons for doing so, and most of them are pretty mundane. There is one reason though which I would like to share to you, and I hope that you'd also learn something from it.

The tragedy of the commons
The tragedy of the commons is an idea created by ecologist Garrett Hardin. It describes a situation in which "multiple individuals, acting independently, and solely and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource (the commons) even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen." In other words, this happens when what's best for a group of people conflicts with what's best for individuals. 

Cows in a piece of land
Let's try to understand what this means. (thanks Wikipedia!) Imagine a group of herders sharing a big common parcel of land, on which they are each entitled to let their cows graze. It is in each herder's interest to put the next (and succeeding) cows he acquires onto the land, even if the carrying capacity of the common is exceeded and it is temporarily or permanently damaged for all as a result. The rationale is: The herder receives all of the benefits from an additional cow, while the damage to the common is shared by the entire group. Additionally, the damage to the common is too small to be spotted at first. If all herders make this individually rational economic decision, the common will be depleted or even destroyed to the detriment of all.

Note that you don't even need to be greedy and put in many cows. Even just one cow will degrade the common, but at a slower rate. This is the real tragedy.

Translating to modern times
This translates very well in modern times because we still have commons, and many more people than in medieval times. Our capacity for raping the environment has also increased. 

So in the example above, if you would take air as your commons, and cars as the cows, the situation is the same. We know cars will degrade the air around us, but the damage is too small to be felt, and the damage is shared by everyone. The benefits to the individual would outweigh the damages, given the individual is comfortable financially. So it's in everyone's best interest to drive cars everyday and/or get more cars. But, there will come a time when this environment can no longer bear the damages and shut down. 

This is true not just for cars. Take littering for example. When you litter, each individual instance brings too little damage to the overall environment, so everyone does it. But at the end of the day, we see that the floods are caused in part by blocked drainage due to the combined effect of everyone littering. 

I just hope this concept was taught in university. I think one of the impacts if this was widely propagated is a decrease in consumerism, and our economy in its current framework would suffer.

What does it mean to me?
What this means to me is that I won't be having a car for quite some time. There will come a time though  when I can no longer make the sacrifices. And it's sad.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I didn't know someone in Asia can potentially stand up to Chuck Norris.
I wanna watch this entire movie!

The entire movie is available on youtube. Part 1 is here, it's part of a playlist.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The secret of attracting women - by the Book of Secrets

I'm starting to read Thomas Eaton's Book of Secrets, a book compiling several unrelated secrets, trivia and how-to's. Articles inside include: How to survive a shark attack, the inspiration behind Harry Potter,
why a black box is called black although it's orange, the history of Kotex, and the molemen of New York.

One of its opening articles is "The secret of attracting beautiful women" where Eaton highlights 10 points:
1. Be appealing - After first impressions have faded, women are more attracted to a man's manner than his look. So a man should work on honing charm and being more appealing.
2. Lead an interesting life - A recent survey revealed that women look for men who have led interesting lives. So don't refer to your failed business venture, spin the truth to make the episode sound like an example of your brave, impetuous, go-getting nature.
3. Aim higher - Beautiful women frequently complain that men never approach them.
4. Dress well - Be well-groomed and tidy, but don't spend too much on appearance - a woman will rarely date a man who is prettier than she is.
5. Make her laugh - A woman will find humor entertaining, which subconsciously means she can relax.
6. Be sincere - Women are receptive to men who are kind, thoughtful, sincere and good listeners
7. But don't be too sincere - Another study revealed that women instinctively divide men into those who can be friends and those who can be lovers. If you play #6 too much, you're the friend.
8. Play cat and mouse - If she's playing hard to get, then do the same. But you must make the next move.
9. Make her feel special - Treat her as if she's unique, appreciate her and never take her for granted.
10. Do your homework - Find out what her father is like, for most women, the father is the most powerful image of manhood. Then determine what you want: women want a fling with a cad, but a relationship with a dad.

What do you think?

Overall, this book is really fascinating.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I hope I was at the receiving end of this CPR

Unfortunately, not all CPR is like this.

Super Sexy CPR from Super Sexy CPR on Vimeo.

There will be a new video coming Jun 1. They will be showing super sexy abdominal thrusts then.

The tale of the Painted Bird, and social norms

One book that I have been looking for recently is "The Painted Bird" by Jerzy Kosinski. It is set in WW2 times about a six year old boy who was sent by his parents to a distant village to avoid the horrors of war. Little did the parents know what would happen to their child...

I haven't gotten around reading the book, but an excerpt from it sparks my interest. Find it here:

Sometimes days passed and Stupid Ludmila did not appear in the forest. Lekh would become possessed by a silent rage. He would stare solemnly at the birds in the cages, mumbling something to himself. Finally, after prolonged scrutiny, he would choose the strongest bird, tie it to his wrist and prepare stinking paints of different colors which he mixed together from the most varied components. When the colors satisfied him, Lekh would turn the bird over and paint its wings, head, and breast in rainbow hues until it became more dappled and vivid than a bouquet of wildflowers.
     Then he would go into the thick of the forest. There Lekh took out the painted bird and ordered me to hold it in my hand and squeeze it lightly. The bird would begin to twitter and attract a flock of the same species which would fly nervously over our heads. Our prisoner, hearing them, strained toward them, warbling more loudly, its little heart, locked in its freshly painted breast, beating violently.

     When a sufficient number of birds gathered above our heads, Lekh would give me a sign to release the prisoner. It would soar, happy and free, a spot of rainbow against the backdrop of clouds, and then plunge into the waiting grown flock. For an instant the birds were confounded. The painted bird circled from one end of the flock to the other, vainly trying to convince its kin that it was one of them. But, dazzled by its brilliant colors, they flew around it unconvinced. The painted bird would be forced farther and farther away as it zealously tried to enter the ranks of the flock. We saw soon afterwards how one bird after another would peel off in a fierce attack. Shortly the many-hued shape lost its place in the sky and dropped to the ground. These incidents happened often. When we finally found the painted birds they were usually dead. Lekh keenly examined the number of blows which the birds had received. Blood seeped through their colored wings, diluting the paint and soiling Lekh's hands.

One day he trapped a large raven, whose wings he painted red, the breast green, and the tail blue. When a flock of ravens appeared over our hut, Lekh freed the painted bird. As soon as it joined the flock a desperate battle began. The changeling was attacked from all sides. Black, red, green, blue feathers began to drop at our feet. The ravens ran amuck in the skies, and suddenly the painted raven plummeted to the freshly-plowed soil. It was still alive, opening its beak and vainly trying to move its wings. Its eyes had been pecked out, and fresh blood streamed over its painted feathers. It made yet another attempt to flutter up from the sticky earth, but its strength was gone.

What this excerpt nicely illustrates is the concept of social norms and how it - in a way - forces people to act and behave in a certain way. If you do not conform, you are isolated and pressured and harassed. This is even more pronounced in the corporate setting, but we have the concept of diversity masking it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why chasing beautiful women isn't worth it

Because it can literally put your life in danger! Let me explain.

This happened 6 years ago, I was still a college sophomore. It was around 5pm, and I was on the way home, waiting for either a jeep or an FX on the northbound side of Taft right across DLSU. It took quite a while on that particular day for a suitable ride to come by, I remember getting agitated.

A jeepney finally passed by and stopped. I caught a glimpse of an FX right behind it. While normally, I would opt straight for the FX, I decided against doing so. It was because I noticed there was a beautiful girl (a Lasallian, probably Chinese judging by face) who also took the jeepney. Two thoughts entered my mind: maybe I can get to know the girl; a beautiful girl would take the jeep why shouldn't I.

So I entered the jeep. I sat in the middle of the jeepney, diagonally from the girl - yeah, not the best positioning.

Right as we entered, 3 men also entered the jeepney. I remember that it was exactly 3. Two men sat beside me - one to my left, one to my right. The other man sat further out, near the exit. I remember feeling that these two men couldn't settle in their seats well, they were always jittery and shifting their weight around. I thought they just felt uncomfortable.

Then somewhere near Malvar, as the jeep slowed to a stop as it approached the stoplight, the man near the exit suddenly got up and covered the exit with his body. Feeling some sort of panic, I glanced around to see the two men to my left and right suddenly announce a holdup. Throw in a bunch of expletives to heighten the suspense. I can't remember if it was the man to my left or right who lifted a gun from his bag - probably the left. I think the gun was a revolver, details are hazy.

The man pointed the gun straight to my belly and told everyone to give their stuff. The man seemed to know how to carry the gun, and I don't think he was shaking - it seems he has done this before. At that moment, my life flashed before my eyes for a split second, but amazingly I remained calm. It's good I carry around an old phone (even by the standards of 6 yrs ago!) and only little cash in my wallet. So I calmly gave my stuff to the men. I think a few of the passengers were shouting and cursing the thieves. It's good that didn't irritate the thieves or else they could've opened fire (at me!).

They took phones and wallets from the passengers, and quickly got off the jeepney. I didn't lose much that day, but I noticed one young girl crying hard. She said that the phone the thieves stole was only a few days old and was expensive. When I got down at Binondo, the girl was still crying.

Two things I learned from this experience:
1. Always be alert. Watch out for people who can't sit still, eyes are darting around, and won't pay the driver.
2. When riding the jeepney, it's better to sit near the exit so you can get off when you sense something bad. Or the front seat.

OK, maybe "chasing" isn't the right term :)

Oh yeah, the thieves also stole from the beautiful girl.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ketchup gang - new modus operandi?

I was going home one evening and I was in the Buendia cor Taft-Divisoria jeep when I witnessed this crime a few seats away.

I got in the jeep around 8PM near the Buendia-Taft intersection, there were only roughly 4-5 people then. Everyone inside looked safe (I always take a look at the people inside and if I can get a good position before I get in - I've experienced bad stuff there more than 2 times already. This was still early so, although it's not the best setup, I figured it's ok) so I hopped in and stayed at the end near the exit. A minute or so after, a 40-ish guy got in and stayed in the middle on my side of the jeep, and shortly afterwards 3 or 4 more people. The jeep was still in Buendia at this point.

This 3-4 people consisted of a mother carrying a small child, and 2-3 decent looking men. They don't seem to know each other. All except one sat on one side of the jeepney. The mom and child sat on one side of the 40-ish guy, 1-2 men sat on the other side. The last of this group sat on the other side of the jeepney sat right in front of the guy.

A few minutes after the jeep turned to Taft, the child spilled what seemed to be some ketchup on the guy (Or it could be someone on the outside, I'm not really sure. My mind was a bit preoccupied at that point). Then this group sprung into action, helping the guy wipe the ketchup from his shirt. I'm not sure if other passengers offered to help - I guess not. They even had tissue paper ready. In all honesty, there was very little ketchup on the man. But their actions seemed like there was a lot.

At this point, we thought the man and the man in front of him knew each other. The man in front seemed to be the most enthusiastic in helping. They tried to wipe ketchup from him for a full minute or so, maybe a bit more.

The guy was finally "clean." A few seconds after, the people seated beside him all got off the jeep at the same time. A few minutes later, the man sitting on the other side got off as well.

When we got to the DLSU area, the man checked his pocket and realized that his mobile phone and wallet were gone.

A crime perfectly executed. This happened because of the distraction offered to the passengers, and no one knew of this beforehand.

On the other side, I'm happy this whole fiasco happened without guns.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How great leaders inspire action

I love this short talk. In essence, tell people (in this order) why you're doing something, then tell how you're going to do it, then what needs to be done. That is how you inspire action.

Friday, April 30, 2010

This is the most hilarious set of commercials ever!!

Terry Crews stars in Old Spice Odor Blocker commercials. Warning: what follows next is sheer awesomeness!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

School 360 - the story of our (yet unpublished) book - anyone willing to publish it?

In the year 2007, my friend Paul Garilao and I were faced with a question: What have successful people done during their youth that set the stage for their future success? Did they do something special during their schooling years and the few years after their graduation?

We hoped to uncover a few principles that can help current students maximize their life, and invest in their future.

So throughout 2007, we interviewed several people who many people would consider successful in their fields:
  • Rico Hizon - multi-awarded Filipino BBC broadcaster
  • Cecilio Pedro - CEO, Lamoiyan Corporation 
  • Paeng Nepomuceno - one of bowling's all-time greats
  • Jim Lafferty - former President, P&G Philippines 
  • Lea Salonga - internationally renowned performer 
  • Bobby de Ocampo - former Finance secretary and president of AIM
  • Donald Lim - CEO, Yehey! and the youngest president of PMAP
  • Bebet Gozun - former DENR secretary and one of the UN's 7 Champions of the Earth 
  • Boni Comandante - inventor/entrepreneur, pioneered "sleeping fish" technology
  • Francis Kong - author, sought-after speaker, and businessman 
  • Jim Libiran - News and Public Affairs head and director of Cinemalaya 2007 prize winner "Tribu" 

There are a few other people we interviewed. Overall, we interviewed a good mix of people.

Nearly 3 years have passed. We have had our own personal endeavors and can't devote all our time to this, and we've struggled to put our book together. Youth became an impediment for us, I think. But not before making a few drafts and a framework together. :)

In brief, let me share this framework with you, my dear readers:

We have found that our "school360 champions" have knowingly or unknowingly adopted a 4-step framework in their student lives. Note that it proceeds from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4, although you can always take steps back.
1. Openness to new experiences - This is a combination of getting out of one's comfort zone, trying new experiences, and taking risks in life. It always starts from this.
2. Passion and purpose - Step #1 enables people to Step #2. This is about finding a consuming passion or a purpose. It doesn't matter how early or late it's discovered, but having it early is definitely a help.
3. Hard work - Having clarity on Step #2 makes Step #3 worthwhile. This is all about hard work, perseverance, grit and pushing yourself for years.
4. Improve yourself - At the end of the day, one should improve from his/her experiences. You come out of your experience a better, stronger person! This improvement can be either personal or professional (esp. in business.)

Would you be interested to read this book once we publish it? Please let me know - I'm looking forward to your comments. Thanks!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why Dick Gordon is arrogant - and why he should be President

Sharing this amazing writeup from Facebook.

To my friends here in the US: It is very much agreed even by supporters of top leading contenders Villar and Noynoy Aquino that Dick Gordon is the most qualified of the Presidential Candidates for the forthcoming election in May. Not only is he intelligent,not only is he organized and honest but also because he has the guts to deliver on his promise. However many feel he is too arrogant to win. Read on and see why some people do not want him to win. Please read on. And if you are convinced he should be the next president of the Philippines, please pass on the forwarded reasons why Dick should be on the ballot of every single relative or firend you have in the Philippines.

After all these years, it took a Dick Gordon to tell GMA to her face that Pardoning Estrada after conviction of corruption and plunder if a gross miscarriage of justice. It made a mockery of all the small fries out there who had the guts to expose the bad things happening in the government. Our Mother country deserves to come out of the the hole all the corrupt officials have buried our country in. It is not too late to get Dick to the top of the race and win this election. IF you cannot vote, I am sure you care enough to tell your family and friends who are in thePHilippines to vote for the right man. Forward this mail. This is a Battle to regain our Country.

Dick Gordon was arrogant as class president in the Ateneo when he started an anti-complacency campaign that students were apathetic and indifferent to society's ills and were basking on the shadow of the greatness of Rizal and dela Costa during the 60's.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he joined Raul Manglapus' presidential campaign under the Party for Philippine Progress and went against the traditional politics of then major parties of NP and LP.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when after his father's assassination he left a cushy corporate job at Procter and Gamble to study law at UP and seek justice.

Dick Gordon was arrogant while still 24 years old and a law student at UP and against the advice of his professors ran for a seat in the 1971 Constitutional Convention representing Zambales..and won.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when as the youngest delegate he called for a vote on the ban Marcos re-election measure in the 1971 Constitution Convention and even debated with Marcos who was his brod during a student demonstration against the CCP and PICC construction amidst the social unrest of the First Quarter Storm.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he left his career as a lawyer at ACCRA to ran and become the youngest Mayor of Olongapo City in 1980.

Dick Gordon was arrogant before the nation when he transformed the community of Olongapo that was portrayed as Sin City by instituting reforms such as the Color-Code, efficient Garbage Collection and enforced Peace and Order and went against the very criminal syndicates that had previously cost him his father's own life.

Dick Gordon was arrogant to call for a joint use of the US bases by Filipinos and Americans coming up with a plan even while Marcos and Reagan were re-negotiating the bases treaty in the 80's long before the closure in 1992.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he jailed some 20 policemen including a chief of police for disturbing the peace and abusing their authority in his city even during the period of Martial Law.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he interfered and went against the wishes of the Aquino administration and the NDCC and brought down 8,000 Aetas from the mountains of Zambales as well as led a rescue team with Americans to the ruins of Central Colleges in Cabanatuan and airlifted relief goods using US marine choppers from Clark to Baguio in the earthquake of 1990.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he let the then Admiral of the US Navy walk and apologize to the community for not letting Filipino citizens of Olongapo safe passage through the base when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991.

Dick Gordon was arrogant before Congress and the Senate when he lobbied for the creation of a Freeport and at the same time take the reigns as Chairman of the SBMA in 1992.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he competed against leading freeports like Hong Kong, Singapore and Labuan to make Subic an international trade and tourism destination.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he refused to go before Congress to receive a budget from the national government to run SBMA and instead raised his own revenues to spare Filipino taxpayers additional burden and add more to the government coffers.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he competed against Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong to host Federal Express' Asia One hub in Subic that resulted in Orchids from Davao and fresh tuna from General Santos to be brought overnight to Japan and the US markets.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he reprimanded, suspended and fined foreign investors like Hong Kong Chinese of Reebok, Koreans of Hanjin Construction, Taiwanese of UIG, Germans of Alcatel and Americans of Enron and Coastal who were abusive and or have violated labor and environmental laws, respectively in Subic.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he forced the longer stay of 21 world leaders of APEC in the Leaders' Summit to prove that the country was a safe and a sincerely changed nation.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he fought for the best bid for the Filipino taxpayer of Hutchinson to privatize the Subic container port against vested interests in the industry and co-opted high ranking officials of the Ramos administration who wanted to maintain and preserve a monopoly.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he was the first to stand up against the most popularly elected president, Joseph Estrada, who issued his first act of not recognizing government security of tenure and the rule of law in 1998. He still remained arrogant going against and even after GMA granted the latter pardon.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when despite initial demonstrations and walk-outs he made the Department of Tourism shape up as a frontline service agency to be voted top government department in a survey by the Makati Business Club when he ended his stint in 2004.

Dick Gordon was arrogant to lead the tourism industry at the height of kidnappings, war in Mindanao and even more arrogant to sustain the effort to promote the Philippines amidst Abu Sayyaf, SARS, and the Oakwood mutiny.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he stood up against first world countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia who issued unfair Travel Advisories indirectly rewarding terrorists against third world countries like the Philippines who's economies depend on tourism.

Dick Gordon was arrogant to run for the Senate even while surveys placed him at number 29 and that he had no money and machinery yet landed number 5 even without sectoral religious support.

Dick Gordon was arrogant in the Senate in consulting and unifying the fragmented tourism industry to have a common policy body and push for the Tourism Act in Congress until it was finally signed into law in 2009.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he commandeered an entire US marine battalion to relocate their joint training exercises in Luzon to assist in rescue and relief operations in the St. Bernard, Southern, Leyte landslide in 2005.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he took charge and ordered various government rescue personnel and even media during the chaotic Wowowee ULTRA stampede.

Dick Gordon was arrogant in the 13th Congress when he defended the integrity of the Constitution, despite voting against it in 1987, before unlawful moves for CHACHA, PIRMA and PI by GMA and Speaker de Venecia.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he summoned PCGG officials and jailed Chairman Sabio who refused to be investigated for corruption and mismanaging ill-gotten wealth that they were supposed to retrieve and protect.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he grilled Abalos at the Senate hearings where his litigation style of questioning unmasked the earlier grinning and sheepish former COMELEC Chair to admit that at the height of election period for the May 2007 mid-term elections he traveled on many occasions to China to play golf with ZTE executives.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he debated for four years with his colleagues to pass the Automated Election System law to ensure the sanctity of our votes and for our electoral system to modernize and become at par with democracies like the United States and India where results are decided immediately the next day. He still remained arrogant in pushing the COMELEC to implement the law ASAP and have the budget that now in May 2010 we will finally have automated elections.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when even while on vacation in the US in 2007 he went to the Senate and House of Representatives in Capitol Hill to lobby for the Americans to settle and pay their Debt of Honor to World War II Filipino Veterans that fought and died side by side with American soldiers. He remained arrogant when he authored, pushed and had the Veterans Benefits Act signed into law by GMA that the US Senate voted their counterpart measure 94-1 and the new Obama administration included US$198 Mil Fil-Am Veterans Benefits in the impetus bill.

Dick Gordon was arrogant not to join GMA in an official trip to the US in 2008 and instead flew to Iloilo to lead rescue and relief efforts for typhoon Frank victims in Panay island and Negros island in the Visayas and Cotabato in Mindanao.

Dick Gordon was arrogant as Blue Ribbon Committee Chair that in the Fertilizer Scam he jailed JocJoc Bolante in the Senate on Christmas and Paule in the Pasay City jail and in less than 18 months when he continued pending investigations that took years, came up with a report, recommendations for laws needed and the filling of charges to perpetrators of the Fertilizer Scam and the NBN-ZTE deal including concerned members of the Cabinet, the President and the First Gentlemen in 2009. He remains arrogant and wants the Ombudsman elected as it has been corrupted many times over and JocJoc Bolante is still free and now running for Governor in Capiz while GMA is running for Congress in her hometown and maybe immune from suit in the future.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he had more equipment and rubber boats than the government and NDCC to lead rescue and relief at the height of Ondoy and once again commandeered a US Marine force to refocus from joint training exercises to humanitarian missions with Red Cross and Coast Guard in rescue and relief effort for typhoon Pepeng flood victims in Pangasinan, La Union and Benguet.

Dick Gordon was arrogant when he stood up in the joint session of Congress to question the validity of GMA's declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao and the issuance of firearms and ammunition by the DND to para-military forces under the Ampatuans in said area.

Dick Gordon was arrogant even on Christmas when Mt. Mayon erupted and the MV/Baleno sunk of the port of Batangas that he investigated the concerned shipping and maritime agencies who's mismanagement yet caused another disaster in 2009.

Dick Gordon was arrogant during the last days of the 14th Congress this year when he asked colleague Manny Villar to be interpolated to defend himself on the C-5 controversy. He remains arrogant in challenging Villar to a debate after the latter left the Senate Session Hall refusing to answer questions from colleagues.

SO now you know why Dick G. is arrogant.

We must now therefore find fault and castigate Dick Gordon for being arrogant. It is about time that we elect him as president for with such passion throughout the years and with such measure of arrogance he will cope with the myriad challenges of a thankless job of leading our country and putting fire in our bellies to be able to compete with the rest of the world - proving that only he has what it takes to stomach and overcome the relentless social, political and economic corrupt system we are in.

All in all, Dick Gordon is a passionate leader who does not let anything or lets anyone get in the way in doing what is best for the country and people. It's up to you to believe in such arrogance and make the arrogant choice on May 2010.

Be arrogant yourself and pass this on to your friends and loved ones!