Sunday, December 31, 2006

Classic Cebuano songs stir the Cebuano soul

I really love listening to Hawiran Ta Ang Kagabhiun. It's a program over at DZRH (1215 in your AM radio dial) that features classic Cebuano songs sung by local haranistas. (I don't know, what is the English word for "haranista"?)

Some day I'll record their programs and put them up in a blog. I'll have to ask the station's permission for that, but I think they won't object to it. It's a way of promoting classic Cebuano songs, making it available to a larger audience. I'm sure a lot of our countrymen overseas would like to listen to them.

Quote of the day: Acceptance of God's will

"Consider Jesus' act of acceptance in the garden and how much it cost Him, making Him sweat a sweat of blood! Make this act yourself when things are going well and also when they go against you. If your will flees from rebellion you may be certain that the will, in its own way, has uttered its act of acceptance."

-- Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Saddam's execution

Saw it last night on BBC. Not the actual hanging, of course. It just showed a footage of him in a room with masked men placing a noose around his neck.

Yes, he's committed crimes against humanity. But still, I find the video very disturbing.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Back to the textbooks

Our classes will resume this coming Wednesday, January 3. Only two days after the new year! But we have to start early because the ASEAN Summit will start the week after next and our schedule will again be interrupted. No classes, but not a cause for celebration because there would be plenty of stuff to read, I'm sure.

We will have a post-test next week on alteration on oxygenation. I have to read my book again for that.

The topics to follow are the cardiovascular system and hematology.

I love the cardiovascular system. I love the human heart. It's a very beautiful organ, structurally and functionally. It's easy to understand how it basically works.

So I have a mountain of reading material to face in the next couple of days. Whew. Wish me luck (or a miracle).

Ah oh, we have an oral reporting too for our Pharmacology class. Our topic is the autonomic nervous system and the drugs used in that system. Complicated but interesting stuff.

Rizal joins Dickens and Austen

Here's some really good news for Philippine literature: Penguin Classics publishes Rizal's 'Noli Me Tangere' (Touch Me Not).

PDI: Rizal joins ranks of Dickens, Austen

JOSE Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” has been published in a new English translation and released worldwide by Penguin Books, one of the major publishing houses of the English-speaking world, under the Penguin Classics imprint. The publication effectively canonizes the novel as one of the classics of world literature.

Augenbraum said he stumbled upon Rizal’s novel in 1992 while compiling a bibliography of North American Latino fiction writers. He said he came across the name of National Artist N.V.M. Gonzalez whom he thought to be Latino. He went on to read Gonzalez and “loved it” and thereby got “introduced to a whole world of Filipino and Filipino-American literature, which I began to seek out here in the US.”

“The name of Rizal came up several times, so I read the ‘Noli,’ which fascinated me,” he said. “Then I read the ‘Fili,’ which also fascinated me. Then I read the Austin Coates biography, and Rizal himself became one of my heroes.”

Augenbraum said the “Noli” should be required reading in Asian-American courses in US universities “because it is the foundational novel of the nation, with large implications for the diaspora and its influence on other writers.”

Very exciting indeed.

About a week ago I also got excited by the idea of reading Rizal's books into a podcast (after I found out Project Gutenberg actually has them as etexts, including his essays). No one's doing it, as far as I know. Librivox reads all sorts of books from the public domain, most of which, if not all, are great works of literature. But no one's doing classic Philippine literature. No one's doing Rizal's books.

I still have much, much, much to improve on my reading, particularly my fluency and pronounciation of the English words. But with practice, I believe I can eventually arrive at a reading that is at least understandable hehehe.

What I really want to see in the future is people 'converting' Filipino literature into audiobooks. Librivox is doing an awesome job with Western Literature, why not do the same with our own literature? We have a wealth of books, essays and poems, I believe, and they would add to the richness of the audiobooks available in the public domain.


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Go visit

Thursday, December 28, 2006

More quotes from saints

"Let us avoid evil companions, lest by their company we may be drawn to a
communion of vice."

-- St. Augustine

"Do you want our Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want
Him to give you few graces? Visit Him seldom. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament
are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil.
Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be
powerless against you."

-- St. John Bosco

"The accidents of life separate us from our dearest friends, but let us not
despair. God is like a looking glass in which souls see each other. The more we
are united to Him by love, the nearer we are to those who belong to

-- St. Elizebeth Ann Seton

"Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation, for there is no
conflict without an enemy, no victory without strife."

-- Pope St. Leo the Great

"The Christian life is a continuation and completion of the life of Christ
in us. We should be so many Christs here on earth, continuing His life and His
works, laboring and suffering in a holy and divine manner in the spirit of

-- St. John Eudes

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

If the rape happened in the US

One letter writer, um, writes in today's PDI:

If rape happened in the US

As an American, I can say unequivocally that had the incident--where an incoherent, drugged or drunk, sexually abused young woman was flung in a state of degrading undress on to a street filled with horrified citizen witnesses--occurred in the United States, the criminals (even if they were a group of foreign soldiers) would all be
facing long prison sentences. There would be no spiritual advisers like Fr. James Reuter, no "We Love The Rapist" female fan clubs in Makati and, certainly, no overt or covert pressure from any foreign government to "go easy on the lads."

Where on earth can such things happen except, it seems, in the Philippines, where a significant sector of the population still indulges in a self-hating colonial mentality, which gives a disgusting, foreign rapist higher importance than the rights and honor of an abused local citizen?

Precisely! If a similar incident happened in the US, how do you think the citizens in that country would react? Don't you think they would be outraged? And don't you think the US would be gravely insulted all the more if the foreign government would still push for custody even after a conviction while at the same time, it appears, blackmailing them?

I think our government is to blame for this because, in the first place, they entered into an agreement which may have unfair terms, that is the VFA.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Bernard Leach: pottery and dish

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Bernard Leach (1887-1979), British studio potter and writer.

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So beautiful aren't they? :) I love art that I can actually touch and feel with my hands. For this reason I love sculpture, too. I can appreciate sculpture more than painting.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Malipayong pasko

Malipayong pasko kaninyong tanan!!! :)

Saturday, December 23, 2006


A PDI news article reads: US cancels military exercises with RP over rape case

“The custody issue is at the heart of this,” embassy spokesman Matt Lussenhop told "Due to the current custody issue (over the US Marine), the usual protection provided to US servicemembers is in doubt."

But Mr. Lussenhop, doesn't it now appear that our people, especially our women, need more protection from your troops than your troops from us? Our people have never harmed your servicemen. History will show, rather, that it is they who have committed various crimes to us since you established your military bases here. I guess what you mean when you say "protection" is that you want to shield your troops from wrongful accusation. But in Smith's case, the matter has been decided in our court, his guilt has been proven. He has already been convicted, so why are you still pushing for his custody? Are you really seeking justice, or do you just want your troops to be exempt from our laws?

I wonder, what does the VFA really contain? Is it putting our country and our people at a great disadvantage? In short, is it fair? And what's the Balikatan exercises for, anyway? If it's doing more harm to us than good, then thank goodness they're cancelling it. And hopefully they'll pull out totally and permanently.

Friday, December 22, 2006

W.H. Auden: In Memory of W.B. Yeates

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

-- From In Memory of W.B. Yeates by W.H. Auden

Thursday, December 21, 2006


"If you intend to serve God, prepare your soul for temptation, for it is an infallible truth that no one is exempt from temptation when he has truly resolved to serve God."

-- St. Francis de Sales

Why we study

"When you begin to study, look up to Him and think: 'O Lord, how worthless this knowledge would be, if it were not for the enlightening of my mind for Your service, or for making me more useful to my fellow men.'"

-- St Elizabeth Ann Seton

The Screwtape Letters*

"My Dear Wormwood,

"So you "have great hopes that the patient's religious phase is dying away," have you? I always thought the Training College had gone to pieces since they put old Slubgob at the head of it, and now I am sure! Has no one ever told you about the law of undulation?

"Humans are amphibians -- half spirit and half animal. (The Enemy's determination to produce such a revolting hybrid was one of the things that determined Our Father to withraw his support from Him.) As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but
as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation -- the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks. If you had watched your patient carefully you would have seen this undulation in every department of his life -- his interest in his work, his affection for his friends, his physical appetites, all go up and down. As long as he lives on earth periods of emotional and bodily richness and liveliness will alternate with periods of numbness and poverty. The dryness and dullness through which your patient is now going are not, as you fondly suppose, your workmanship; they are merely a natural phenomenon which will do us no good unless you make a good use of it."

"Talk to your patient about "moderation in all things." If you can once get him to the point of thinking that "religion is all very well up to a point," you can feel quite happy about his soul. A moderated religion is as good as no religion at all -- and more amusing."

"You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one -- the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts."

* A book by C. S. Lewis. It contains a series of letters written by an elderly retired devil, Screwtape, to a young devil, Wormwood, his nephew, which talk about how best the latter can undermine the faith of his first "patient", who is a recent convert to Christianity.

The way we live our lives

"Our life helps paint our neighbor's picture of Christ."

-- Monsignor Esteban Binghay

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A breather

Went to the beach yesterday with some of my duty mates. The tide was somewhere between high and low. Cool water, soft sands, quiet place.

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Me, Conan, Chielo, Michael, Lalaine, Ate Janice and her son Ladie, and Richard

The Red Studio

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"The Red Studio" by Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Davao plaza

Here's a beautiful photo of Davao plaza that appears in today's PDI front page.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Misa de Gallo

Went to the first Misa de Gallo this morning in our parish church. Overwhelming number of people. The church grounds were crowded and even the streets beside it.

My first in so many years. The last was in Sto. Nino. I was still a little kid.

The early morning sunlight after the mass revealed a beautiful day.

Friday, December 15, 2006

"Ate" and "Kuya"

What's interesting about our school is that we have a lot of second-coursers. A huge number. They, or should I say we, make up 30-40% of the student population, I think. That's much bigger than with the other schools.

That's one of the reasons why I chose to study here. I was conscious of my age, you see hehe. I don't want to stand out among my classmates.

So it was a pleasant surprise for me when I found out that there were people older than me, much older than me, folks who are old enough to be my parents!

So I found myself in the middle of the age group. Some classmates of mine call me "kuya", and I in turn call my other classmates "kuya" and "ate".

"Kuya" and "ate" are very curious labels because we still use them even with those who we would normally call "uncle" and "auntie" or "tito" and "tita" outside the school. Perhaps it's just a sign of respect? Because they would probably be embarassed if we call them "tito" and "tita" in school. It emphasizes their age. Whereas if you call them "ate" and "kuya", you limit any adverse psychological impact it may have on them as much as possible hehehe.

Last day at MCH

It seems our CIs are in vacation mode already. We waited for him/her in the hospital this morning and he/she didn't come. He/ she was to relieve our CI yesterday, who told us that she couldn't work today. She didn't like her assignment (MCH) because she's not very comfortable with the staff and she's more used to the OR in Sotto. I thought that's a very silly reason.

So we went to Chowking in JY to have breakfast. We hitched a ride with Ate A.

What's interesting with Ate A is that she's an entrepreneur. She and her husband owns a well-known restaurant and a snack bar in SM. She's well off, and I've wondered about this because she and her family is already doing well in life yet she still wants to become a nurse. She told me she wants to give her children a wider option later on. If things get worse in our country, her kids can choose to live abroad.

I really want to ask Ate A for some advice about entrepreneurship. I see her as a really successful person, and I want to know how she did it. I wish she could share with us her knowledge and wisdom and motivate us to succeed also in our lives.

I don't know if I'll be able to go to Davao this Christmas. I really want to, but there are financial considerations. There's a reunion of our relatives this month in Leyte but I don't feel like going.

Isaiah 48: 17 - 18

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD
your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should
go. O that you had hearkened to my commandments! Then your peace would have
been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

MCH this week

We've been having our clinical duty this week at the Mandaue City Hospital Special Area (OR and DR). No OR cases so far, only DR ones. I assited a delivery two days ago. An episiotomy was performed. Poor woman. Is it always necessary? Because at the birthing homes where we were assigned it was not. The babies were delivered spontaneously.

"Bitchy" doctor hehe... Didn't do anything much than merely stand at the doctor's side and handing her the instruments. Our C.I. commented afterwards that she herself don't like the doc. The latter always seemed to have bad days, never having "happy moments"... Well put, I thought.

We spent the day today standing around and walking aimlessly about the S.A. room because there was not much to do. The SWU and CDU students did the same hehe.

Vacation starts next week.

New look

I'm trying out a new look for this blog. I've been wearing old clothes for quite some time now. This gives me a fresh feeling.

The links will follow, plus more new ones that are quite interesting.


I'm listening to Sitti right now. The music fills the entire house. I can do that because I'm alone hehe.

But I kind of like Sofia's voice more than Sitti's. I have both CDs, pirated though they are hehe. They were a gift from pangga's father to mine. Both men love bossa.

I remember my days in Davao at pangga's house. We would be alone together and listen to the music. Breakfast would be laid in the table and we would enjoy each other's company.

The day before I was to leave for Cebu I saw in Matina Town Square that Sofia was going to play there on the same day of my departure. Sayang. And I remember about a week ago Sitti had a concert here, in Ayala. I saw the posters advertising her gig and was shocked to find out the tickets were sold for 800 and over a thousand pesos! Didn't watch it, though I would've wanted to.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

BBC 7 Radio

I think The Horse And His Boy is a more majestic and more beautiful book than The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I just finished listening to the former (published by Harper Audio). It's the fifth of the seven Narnia series (in the order in which they were written).

The timing is just right, for I just discovered BBC 7. They actually have dramatisations of classic works of literature! This week, they have just started The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Magician's Nephew! To follow in the couple days or so is The Horse and His Boy. It's simply amazing. When I discovered it I was so excited and thrilled. I felt like devouring all the great stuff they have (A Thomas Hardy classic is ending this week; an adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel just began its first few episodes; there's a short story by Mary Shelley about to disappear from the 7-day radar [I'll explain this later]; and another classic book by G.K. Chesterton -- these, to mention only a few).

I wish I could share this with more people, especially with my pangga, and all those who don't have regular access to the internet. Because the catch, you see, is that these programs only stay in the website for 7 days. Such a waste, isn't it?

Not really. Thank goodness there are such softwares as Audacity (it's a freeware, btw, so just Google it). It can save stream audio as MP3 files! So I'm gonna be collecting these great productions from now on and share them with my love ones.
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