World Bloggers’ Day 2012 in Tacloban

It’s more fun in Tacloban. It’s more fun blogging in Tacloban.

Once a blogger shall always be a blogger. I realize that wherever I am, whatever I become,   my  love for blogging remains. For five years, I have experienced, and I felt what other bloggers have experienced.

I posted something that only one reads and only one understands. I have written posts my friends and some of unknown readers love and appreciate. I have posted controversial and  get hate mails for it. I have posted something for the sake of blogging. I have revealed my emotions. I rant about politics. I hurt one for posting my thoughts on a public issue.

I could recall more on my fun with blogging! I enjoyed blogging next to music.

As blogger, I cannot let go a remarkable event for bloggers in this world – the World Bloggers’ Day!

World Bloggers Day 2012 has catchy theme: It is more Fun in Blogging and Social Media!

I’ll join thousands other bloggers in world who will celebrate World Bloggers’ day on May 2, 2012. I hope I can celebrate it with bloggers here in Tacloban.

Waray Art Revolution (W.A.R.) 2012

War, for me is fascinating, at least in movie houses. But not in real life.

Walls and electric posts along Sto. Nino street got several posters that say W.A.R. Who wouldn’t get curious?

Actually, it’s not a big battle (just like what happened in Leyte Gulf) several years ago. W.A.R. is Waray Art Revolution.

Revolutions are different nowadays. Few months ago, in Cebu, there was also an activity called, Road Revolution.

Well, we shouldn’t get surprised if one day we hear Bloggers Revolution or Sex Revolution. Perhaps we should try another catchy term, Uprising. Soon.

I googled “Waray Art Revolution” to get more information about it. Thanks God, I landed to a post in justjam blog which says that Waray Art Revolution (W.A.R.) is an event that:

is composed of different kinds of competition. Body painting, henna, breakdancing, rapping, longboarding, beatboxing, skimboarding, skating, wall climbing, photography and just about anything that can showcase your talent

Waray Art Revolution (W.A.R.) Facebook page says:

W.A.R. or Waray Art Revolution is a movement that will set the stage for the growing talents and skills of Waraynons. The Revolution will start on May 14, 2012.

I have shared to my acquaintances here in Tacloban what I know about Waray Art Revolution (W.A.R.), hoping that they, too can share about it. Curiosity indeed works!

Fortunately, I have finally landed to official W.A.R. site. It answers my questions; it provide details about the revolution that would soon start on May 14, 2012. Please go to official site of Waray Art Revolution (W.A.R.) for details about various events and schedule.

Please check the schedule below (image source: W.A.R official site).

Waray Art Revolution (W.A.R.) 2012 Event Schedule

Be there at W.A.R 2012 battlegrounds, the main field is at Senator Enage St. cor. Jones St., Tacloban City.

Waray Art Revolution (W.A.R.) 2012 Competitions

Long Board
Skim Board
Tattoo Competition
Down Hill Bike
Wall Climbing
Body Painting
Rap Battle

Now, prepare for the W.A.R. and be part of history!

Music is like sex

I am wondering if music is as good for you as it is for me. Music does me good things – makes me happy, makes me excited, makes me relax, makes me high!

Music does as good as sex. I am one of those who say that music is like sex.

If music is sex then I could have a very happy sex life. I have it everyday and it is within my reach each time I want it, and everytime I like it.

If music is sex, am I oversexed? Of course not – there’s no such thing. Not even when I have it early morning before getting up, after breakfast, mid-afternoon, before dinner, and before going to sleep.

A good friend of mine who loves sex more than anything would only consider music to drive sex urge. Accordingly, it stimulates the innermost mind like touching and kissing do in stimulating senses. Maybe true, I mean, perhaps you would agree. Sex videos are never good without music and sound effects and background music, isn’t it my friend?

I talked to some fellows who got secret videos in their phone. Six out of ten like “Careless Whisper” in sex scandal videos. There was a particular sex video that I could remember when I hear “Careless Whisper”, although I haven’t seen it. Ring a bell?

How far a romantic dinner goes if without romantic music? What a romantic night would become if without sex?

Different type of music draw different emotions. I listen to pop music along with coffee when I need to boost my energy level. I listen to Eraserheads when I need beats to inspire me and keep me going. I listen to country music to sustain the calmness of the moment. I listen to Yanni’s Rites of Passage when I celebrate success. And I would drown to Enya’s Only Time when I need to move on and when I need to party with my past.

I listen to music when I’m sick and when I’m sad. It’s my medicine. In an evening radio program about sex, I heard someone claiming sex as the best remedy when sickness is caused by stress and pressure. Would you believe? I have not tried it, so I cannot affirm.

Recently, I wrote Music Therapy to share about recent researches on the therapeutic effect of music to people. I am still finding out if there are studies about the therapeutic effect of sex. Perhaps personal experiences of those who tried would be a good material for a claim.

I don’t know if sex would give me the same thing music has endulged me. But I will tell honestly that music make me experience sex.

I am not alone in this world who talked about sex and music. In fact there are scientists who devoted their energy and time on it.

A year ago, published an interesting story. It reads,

Listening to a favorite pop song or classic rock hit can trigger the same chemical reactions in the body as having sex, eating good food or taking drugs, according to Canadian researchers cited Monday in The Montreal Gazette.

Read Music Produces a Natural High Similar to Sex, Canadian Researchers Say

Music is like sex because it makes us what we want to and what we want to feel.

It’s really nice when we always have music with us. It’s as great as having sex everyday! But please be aware that like sex, music is addictive. You may end in a rehabilitation center for music addicts where patients get Brain-Music Therapy (BMT).

Music Therapy

Some babies sleep better when mothers sing lullabies.

One beautiful girl I know seemed forgot the pain she endured when she heard her mother singing their favorite, Ordinary Song (Marc Velasco). She would stop crying and slowly closed her eyes until she fell asleep. How I wish I could visit her grave today and play for her the song the made her feel well for a moment.

Ordinary Song’s chorus goes:

But if you ever find yourself
Tired of all the games you play
When the world seems so unfair
You can count on me to stay
Just take some time
To lend an ear
To this ordinary song

Did the girl understood it?

I occasionally hear Ordinary Song but everytime I hear it today, I feel serenity as if all the loads I am carrying are taken away. I think it’s the psychological effect to what I had witnessed many years ago.

Few months ago, I was not as well as today. And I would credit music for its significant contribution in fast recovery. Until today, I have enough dose of music everyday.

Music therapy evolves and now inspires scientists and researchers to work and lay down its scientific bases.

A recent article in Reader’s Digest, Music Medicine (written by Alex Kirsta, Reader’s Digest, March 2012 issue), inspire me to explore further the benefits of music.

According to the article, some US hospitals are playing classical music in the “operating theatre to help patience relax”. Advanced technology like MRI help scientists to better understand how “different musical rhythms and tempi seem to mirror our individual brainwave frequencies”.

I learned that Brain-Music Therapy was pionered in Russia by Dr. Iakov Levine and now become popular among US psychologist. Advanced computer technology and advanced equipment are used to map the brain and determine the music tempo, pitch, rhythm and harmony that fit the need of individual patients.

In other words, Brain-Music Therapy is quite expensive because it a complex science. I wonder if there are Filipino doctors and psychologist who are inclined to pioneer BMT in the Philippines.

I would rather embrace still the traditionaland conventional music listening activity. There will be no need for expensive brain mapping just to determine that kind of music fits best.

How much music we need and what kind of music we need largely depends on our individual judgement – not until the music prescription is widely avaible and affordable to the poorest of the poor.

Just for today we don’t need to think much, instead, we continue to appreciate music which rooted deep in our past. Even without our music players we must remember that there are music among tress and birds, wind and waves. And there is music in silence. That’s more than BMT!

I suggest we just continue to listen to music and listen only those that we feel can give us some benefits.

Next to “an apple a day keeps doctors away” should be music everyday keeps doctors away.

Dine out or Take in?

Take out or dine in? This commonly heard line is often unnoticed. Except when the one who say it is extraordinarily attractive, I would not bother to answer verbally. Most often, my   non-verbal actions are enough.

I was not in a popular fast food chain so I expect less. But the lady who serves food at a small carenderia near Gomez Street (Tacloban City) had high regards to carenderia eater like me and treat us as if we’re in a customer-focused fast food chain.

Without saying a word, I “told” her my order. She looked at me as if asking why I was not saying a word then said, “take out”?

Still without saying a word, I “told” no. She paused a moment then loudly said, “ah, take in”

Wonderful! The lady makes me smile.

To sail through San Juanico Strait

San Juanico Strait must have been created with divine creativity.

I saw few images of the strait from books but I hadn’t thought that I would be mesmerized when I see it myself.

Until now, I haven’t touched it but it is enough for me that I have seen its beauty closely one time when I (with a Cebuano friend Roy) crossed San Juanico Bridge for the first time.

Just for today, it is enough that I could feel serenity while looking at the calmness of its water. It is so beautiful when viewed from Calvary Hill in Barangay 39 (Tacloban City).

I would reserve the day when, for the first time I would sail and touch its waters.

Almost everyone in the country must have heart San Juanico Strait as it made famous by late President Ferdinand and first lady Imelda Marcos when made the bridge of love into reality. It’s the San Juanico Bridge as it is known today.

San Juanico strait is a narrow strip of blue and calm water that separates the beautifully and divinely sculptured mountains of Samar and Leyte.

I never rest my curiosity. Deep within I have an ambitious desire to sail through San Juanico Strait. I am not a sailor but I could be one when I am given divine chance.

It’s a curious thing that I asked the world of magic to transform me into a small boat, so I can sail San Juanico. But not even my dawn dreams would give in.

It’s a curious thing that I become so obsessed with a body of water when I am afraid of the deep. Have I gone there before (in my past life)? And if I have life after this life, would I get obsessed with it still?

I know someone, someday would come and sail with me through San Juanico Strait.

Monday Beer Talk

Red Horse beer and the fire! This was taken during my adventure in Bantayan Island, Cebu.

When relationship is good, it’s nice to celebrate with beer; when relationship fails, it may be good to have beer to start over. But let us remember that beer is not the core of everything. It is not a gear but a lubricating agent to keep gears running.

I wish I had a can of Red Horse beer as I type this post but I don’t need to because my mind keep on juicing up ideas like free-flowing beer!

So let’s talk about beer. I have tried several local beers but I only feel in love with Red Horse beer. Most of my friends love it, too! Recently, I had cold bottles of Red Horse beer with a good friend.

It was unplanned but the beer talk with my new friend Tonton (here in Tacloban) turned to be one of the best.

Beer talk is always rewarding when we talk sensible things. And sensible things are not always the “heavy ones” but something that relate to significant human experiences of the person we talk with.

In Cebu, my bestfriend and I (along with other close friends) would love to talk small and big things with few bottles of beer. The place where the beer talk happen was less significant than the talk and beer. Whether we got beer at famous Mango Avenue (Gen. Maxilom Avenue in Cebu City) or in nearby sari-sari store, it was always the quality of the talk that matter most.

There was particular beer talk that I could never forget – not until I’m alive. And there was beer talk in an island that I always love to remember.

And believe me, beer saved me!

Would you believe also that beer saved the world?

I do . And I believe that we should thank beer for what we have today. Well, I read so many things about beer and I keep on enriching my beer knowledge base.

One striking fact I stumbled was revealed in Discovery Channel documentary, “How Beer Saved the World”. If you’re beer lover like me, you will surely get inspired.

I learned from the documentary that one of the great American, Benjamin Franklin once told that “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. ”

Beer help establish today’s mighty nation, the United Sates of America, the documentary claimed.

Let me share how beer took a role in American history. As claimed in the documentary by US author and historian Dr. Gregg Smith, “Beer is the secret history of America. It’s in our DNA.” It was because beer revolutionized America’s industry. Beer industry has domino effect in the economy.

Beer also helped modern medicine to advance as it is today through the germ theory.

Let’s go back to how beer helped build America. It was in December 16, 1773, in the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston, the struggle for independence from the British was born with beer. I believe it was one of the greatest beer talk in the world.

By the way, old America’s tavern are like blog and Facebook of today. Revolutionaries discussed, debated, and decided many things in the tavern with beer.

It is not surprising then that the US national anthem was borrowed from the 18th century drinking song (a song to test sobriety). The words were changed but the tune the same. Indeed, beer helped found America!

Personally, some major decisions in my life were also inspired by a bottle of beer or two. I drink beer to celebrate and to be happy. I drink beer to think, reflect and decide. I drink beer to survive and to revolutionize! Just for today, I cannot say that I drink beer to save the world! Of course, I drink beer to help the world. Just like you.

The beer talk with Tonton was not about revolution of course! We did not talk about the energy crisis in Mindanao (actually we both trace our roots from Mindanao). Nor we talk about noynoying President nor Binay’s political coalitions and Liberal’s insecurity. We talk about life, our life’s light experiences. Our Monday beer talk was very light and was to strengthen our friendship.

Friendship, in my case, is not always built over bottles of beer but mostly better strengthened by beer. Not all beer talks are good. Some are not worthy to remember. Some turned bad when the spirit of beer overpowered the spirit of good friendship and camaraderie.

I know I still have some other beer talks in the future. And I hope we never run out of beer. Cheers!

Have a happy beer day to all of us!

Water problem

The world has water problem. Soon, those who control water control the world. I hope it would not happen very soon.

But before the world’s water problem, I had my own water problem. Since piped water in the place I live here in Tacloban runs only for few hours (mostly night time to dawn), I would need a pail or two and go to nearby public artisan well to clean my body.

I don’t cook my food. I just eat at fast food nearby and drink whatever water they serve there. Not always safe, I would say but my only choice is to survive.

I have water problem and I know many of us have water problem. In documentaries I watched in television (GMA 7), I see how big the water problem is. For example, in a mountain barangay in Cebu, people had to walk several kilometers just to get few litters of water from a well or spring. In another province in southern Luzon, some people dug meters deep to get muddy water and they consider the water enough to survive.

According to Water Environment Partnership in Asia (WEPA),

Access to clean and adequate water remains an acute seasonal problem in urban and coastal areas in the Philippines. The National Capital Region (Metro Manila), Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and Central Visayas are the four urban critical regions in terms of water quality and quantity.

At least Eastern is not yet in the critical list. But Cebu is already in the red list.

Sometimes, our nations water problem is not only the scarcity of water but also “too much” water during occasional floods. And during that time, having too much would cause “too little” water for people to drink.

While in Tacloban, my water problem escalated one day when I realized that I have compromised my health because of unsafe drinking water.

I had traumatic water experience in Cebu. The water I drank come from Metro Cebu’s potable water supply and it didn’t came into my mind that the water was unsafe. But I got diarrhea, so it must not always be safe.

Since then, I depended on purified water – an additional expense for wage earner like me. But I had to stretch my budget just to have safe water to drink.

It’s a sad reality in a country with abundant water resources.

But water has its own politics, too. Or it would be accurate to say that water is not distribute equally because of politics. Cebu clearly has water politics problem. Tacloban also has water politics problem. A boarding house owner I talked told me that there is a force that control water here in Tacloban but he refuse to detail his story.

When I arrived in Tacloban, I only drank bottled water. I feel it safe than to drink tap water. However, I don’t always have the money to buy water. I still have to buy my food, and everything . I drank tap water  and nothing happened. For almost a month I forgot about water problem  – not until yesterday.

Tacloban, like most Philippine cities (if not all) has water problem. I don’t have statistics at hand but based on my observations, not every city folk has access to safe water.  In downtown areas, there are city-owned artisan well which supply water for laundry and washing. But this is not ideal. Ideally, each home should have 27/7 safe piped water supply. Water should not be served only to the affluent but also to the less privilege people. After all, everyone pays tax and everyone needs water  to survive.

People in Tacloban have no reasons yet to get alarmed. It seems there is no looming water crisis yet. But  Cebuanos (those living Metro Cebu) must work hard to find additional water sources as Cebu’s ground water is getting salty. Cebu’s water crises is fast approaching. Sun Star Cebu had published special reports about Cebu’s water problem. But actions seem very slow.

At home (in my hometown), we use purified water. There seems to have ample water supply there and deep well could be a good source of safe drinking water. However, since we are living in agricultural  area where there is heavy use of agricultural chemicals and fertilizers, it could be possible that such harmful chemicals reached deep down to our water source.

The Philippines is blessed with rich water resources but we shall continue to have water problem unless we all work together to take care of our water sources. With the rate of our population (we grow too fast), it would not be possible that we can solve this water problem very soon.

As WEPA puts it its State of water environmental issues for the Philippines:

With the rapid increase in population, urbanization, and industrialization reduce the quality of Philippine waters, especially in densely populated areas and regions of industrial and agricultural activities.

May the water problem be not with us always!

Want more about water problem? Go to Water and Development which says that:

If you live in a slum in Manila, you pay more for your water than people living in London.

A big problem indeed!

Graduation day

April 12, 2012 – Today is very important for my younger sister. It’s her college graduation day!

I wish I witness as she receives her diploma in Information Technology. I hope I am around to hug her and tell that I am so proud of her.

It seems it was just like yesterday that I saw her as our cute baby. I can still see in my mind how she played her toys, how she laugh, how she cried. I can still hear her lovely voice as I taught her my favorite country song. I can still imagine how she was fascinated with a story I “read” to her. (Unfortunately, the book is still at our shelves and recently, she told me that I was not actually reading the story. She knows now I just pretended reading but actually I was telling her a story I invented in my mind.)

I realize how fast she has grown as she is today. She is no longer a baby but a lady.

I have promised her to attend her college graduation. In fact I am waiting for this time to come. But everything has changed when I am assigned here in Eastern Visayas.

I have reasons why I can’t attend today. And she understands. I know that she always understand.

I always miss her graduation – elementary, high school. I was not around when she graduated in grade six. I was working in Cebu and failed to get approval for a leave of absence when she graduated from high school.

Today, I am happy, proud, and sad. I feel like it is also my graduation.

The other night, I have not slept until three in the morning. I wake up very early today. Who wouldn’t be proud for a sister who cried over her software project (thesis) and then now get her diploma. She did it like the best programmers I knew. I am so proud with her achievement.

But it saddened me that I am not with her today. I miss the opportunity to see her as she reaps her fruits of success.

Fruitcake for everyone

I could hear Eraserheads speaking to me the way artists do. My favorite Pinoy band would tell, “there’s a fruitcake for everybody” and then suggest to “take a bite”.

If everyone has a fruitcake or two, where is mine now?

Where’s my fruitcake? I ask many times especially at times when I realize that I only had took a bite of someone’s fruitcake. It sounds bitter but I would bask myself with the sweetness of the moment when I remember the night I risked something and went out of my way to take a small bite of tempting fruitcake. The best things are always remembered and I am wealthy enough to have a bit to remember.

I told my other self in consolation. A small bite of happiness was more than enough. One big slice would be too much!

I have regrets, I admit. I have regrets that I let “what-ifs” and “what’s next” to hold my steering wheel and drive me nowhere.

I have regrets that I listened to fools pretending to be wise philosophers that fruitcakes are too sweet for me. I had believed that I might be drowned with sweetness and would die bitter (that was their warning).

Yes, I admit that I have no way to change yesterday. That is something I can’t. But of course, I can always change my course. I can now drive up, down, and away. I can now cross the bridge without fear that the fruitcakes on the other side are not as sweet as I wish to be.

My confidante reminded me that it’s always never too late. I should have nothing to fear.

Since I heard such inspiring thoughts, I began to take my lessons to bake my own fruitcake. After all, it’s not too late to start over.

I would tell my confidante that it’s difficult. Very difficult. But I cannot die without at least see my fruitcake. The fruitcake that is mine, the fruitcake baked by gods for me.

Thank you Eraserheads for always reminding me that there’s fruitcake – sweet fruitcake -stored for me.