18 December 2013

Google Celebrates Qatar National Day

Google always honored celebrities, dignitaries, high profile individuals and any well known events in their search engine. I have seen a lot of them in countless times before and today I was surprised on what I’ve seen in the featured illustrated image of the Google search engine. My eyes were glued to it upon seeing the big clamp with big pearl inside. It is just so familiar to me that it made me appreciate of what Google did as Qatar celebrates its National Day today.

It is truly indeed great to see and how Google illustrates their support. While the image is so popular to me, I am also fascinated of how they have portrayed Qatar’s National Day on the image. It may be simple but is enough already to get someone’s attention and it is elegantly illustrated on the image above. And my interpretation of it is the perfect combination in order to capture the olden corniche and the ultra modern Qatar with mushrooming sky scrapers at the background.

17 December 2013

Real Madrid to Play Friendly Match against PSG

When we went to the mall to watch a movie, I already planned of purchasing the ticket for the coming friendly match of Real Madrid and PSG next month on the second day of the New Year. It is a big matchday not only for the Los Blancos and PSG fans but to all football fans here considering that two of the most expensive football players are coming to town. The champions of Spain are up against the champions of France who are also fully talent laden lead by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani. I’m sure it will be an exciting and great game to watch.

After several minutes of roaming around the mall in search for the place where the tickets are sold, I finally got hold of the tickets that would let me watch (hopefully) for the first time my favorite football team, Real Madrid. Although it will be my second time to watch live football but it will be my first to see the Los Blancos playing against PSG in person and no longer on TV. I am already excited of the coming game upon getting the tickets and when it’s on my hand even it is still barely two weeks to go. The only thing is that, I wasn’t able to get a good seat because tickets were sold like pancakes when I arrived. So see you on 2 January for the friendly match of the Los Blancos and Les Parisiens.

Just Like Winning the Mega Millions

Finally the plan to watch a movie has materialized. We were supposed to be going to the movie house last weekend but due to work schedule it has to be moved to other date. And so yesterday, after I came from work we finally watched a movie that my wife wanted us to see. But don’t get too excited as it is not the kind of movie that you expect us to be watching because it isn’t a love story or has full of action moves instead it was an animated show.
We’re off to the movie house not for ourselves but for our son to watch Tarzan. It was his second time to watch a movie and the first one was Superman that was a few months ago. It was also my wife’s second since she arrived here in late 2009. Our son was so behaved and was sitting beside his mom when the movie starts but then things changed when he saw Tarzan leaps and jumps. He tried to imitate what Tarzan is doing in the movie and he would start by standing on his chair then acts like we will jump as if he won mega millions in the lottery.

I’m sure he was having some fun and was enjoying the movie then something came in my mind and I think this might not be his last and there will be more to come especially that he is now more exposed to cartoon characters and also in school.

10 December 2013

The World Gathers for Mandela Memorials

It’s raining and pouring heavily in South Africa right now, the same as the tens and thousands of people who flocked at the FNB Stadium including 91 world leaders to remember and honor one of the greatest (if not ever) head of state. It has been five days since Nelson Mandela died at his home in Johannesburg at the age of 95 after suffering from a long fight of recurring lung infection. And the current South African president released a statement "that the man known affectionately as Madiba and had been the father of the people" has succumbed from his illness.

I may not know how he overcame the depth and the breadth of a love that overwhelms hatred but I know for sure that it was his refusal to be consumed by bitterness and resentment that unites everyone, both whites and blacks alike, including his enemies. In fact, he even invited the state prosecutor who put him behind bars, to a dinner then he also appear in the 1995 Rugby World Cup finals by wearing a Springboks green and gold jersey. It was those gestures of bringing about social change that stunned both his loyal followers and detractors, that unified South Africa.

Perhaps, Nelson Mandela’s 1994 autobiography the “Long Walk to Freedom”, which covered his 27 years in prison and his well known quotes “I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days” has became his legacy as someone who changed humanity by fighting against oppression and apartheid. And many believed that Mandela became an emblem of peace by reconciling with individuals who had been the instruments of oppression and deep racial tensions while he was behind bars.

South Africa may have lost its greatest son or have lost a father, but he lived long enough to see the fruition of his dream in dismantling the apartheid system by persuading reconciliation and embracing forgiveness. Nelson Mandela, Madiba or Tata is gone but he has set example about healing pain of apartheid and today the world gathers for Mandela Memorials.

Image from wikipedia.

22 November 2013

Blue Bloods

When I like a certain TV series, I will finish more than four episodes at a single chance of my free time. I have mentioned “chance” in that sentence because we don’t have the luxury to fight with the three-year old toddler as he owns the TV when he is awake and in the house. Not that we tolerate him watching TV all the time but it is because that is his chance to be still at one place in the house. And if you don’t know his time when he is not watching TV then it is like you are watching a track and field tournament. He is like racing with Usain Bolt.

So before the European football season resumes tomorrow, I already had the luxury to finish several episodes of one of my favorite TV series Blue Bloods so I can catch up in the fourth season. Three weeks back, I did finally found a good link with clear online streaming reception and also did a marathon viewing of it during the first leg of the last World Cup qualifying matches.
Anyway, I was hooked up with Blue Bloods as it is not just concentrated being a police procedural drama but also it depicts the life and the decisions they must make in and outside the law enforcement. What’s more interesting is the way they portray how they able to separate their own emotional family feelings from their line of work. They must be fair in making their decision without jeopardizing their support from their family. In fact in so many instances, I found it very hard to decide on what needs to be done when caught in a dilemma. That it is not only being fair for everyone but it also must not violate the law that they are enforcing especially being a Police Commissioner at the same time a father to his two sons who are under him at NYPD.

Image from wikipedia.

19 November 2013

The TV Series Obsession

When the TV series Dexter was officially announced its last season, I kind of started to look for another show that I can watch without boring myself. Just like the obsession I got from the TV series Dexter. Although I’ve been watching already NCIS before but it wasn’t like it now that I’ve been following every episode there is. In fact, when I was hooked up in NCIS, I watched it all over from the very beginning of the first season until I finally catch up with the latest one. And it was in the latter part when I learned that NCIS was voted America’s favorite TV show and I believe it all started in season 7.
So the latest TV show that I have followed then was Blue Bloods, it is a police procedural drama series that revolves around the Reagan family of police officers. The setting is the NYPD. The same with NCIS, I have seen some of its episode before but since I am a diehard Dexter and CSI follower it was in the last picking of my choices. The only difference is that, I have seen only a few series of it. And it was before the very last season of Dexter when I just so happen to see one episode of Blue Bloods when I started to like it. It was also the start of another TV series obsession that I really searched for it so I can start from the beginning of the show.

And it was during the international break in football that I will be able to focus on watching them as I have to joggle the football season matches, which is every weekend and midweek for the Champions League and league tournaments a well, and in keeping an eye on a very active toddler. We are just so lucky this time that he already went to school that during the morning of weekdays, the house is free of a child who sprints all the time as if he don’t know how to walk. So if you have a free time, watch Blue Bloods and let me know if you won’t be hooked up with it.

Image from wikipedia.

06 November 2013

A Woman's Wardrobe Staple

Women love to glam up and have fun with their clothes. However, you can see most of them donning on a pants and shirt ensemble when walking on the street on a normal day. The evolution of fashion is indeed amazing. From Renaissance women wearing long ball gowns, women of this generation have become more relaxed when opting what to wear. Before, wearing shorts or trousers is a big no-no for women. Now, this is most definitely not the case.

Yet, women still come back to classic fashion when it comes to attending formal events. It is very rare that you would see a lady wearing trousers when attending a wedding or a prom or homecoming. Regardless of the changes the fashion industry has experienced, one thing will never change-- a dress will forever be a woman's best companion.

At one point or another, every woman will have the chance to wear a formal dress in her life. When you were in high school, you most have certainly stressed yourself out choosing the perfect dress from all the prom dress available in the market. When your best friend got married, you have surely experienced browsing through various choices of cheap bridesmaid dresses. When you become older, the evening dresses 2013 could be one of the choices for the formal, holiday and office parties that you would have to attend.

Let's face it, a woman's wardrobe will never be complete without any formal dress in it. These days, you will see formal dresses that come in different styles, figure, fabric or color. Trends come and go. However, you will realize that some classic styles of dresses still remain. These pieces will never go out of style and will forever be stylish. If you will have to buy a formal dress, then it is highly recommended that you opt for these timeless pieces.

Just recently, my wife has decided to start her own online store. She sells various clothes like shirts, shorts and various dresses. I think it might be appropriate to say something about adding the above mentioned dresses to her line of stocks in her online store. What do you think? If you wish to know more about her online store and products, just check her Facebook page and see what’s the latest in fashionable wear.

26 October 2013

The Much Anticipated El Clasico

Every time like this when the two biggest clubs in La Liga, if not in the world, will square off or is around the corner, the much anticipated “El Clasico” always made the headline in football world and often times the talk of the town, not only during the match but also the days before and after that. Especially this season wherein the big names in football will be playing against each other, more so and this time around it’s no longer the names of CRon and Messi that will be involved but also the likes of Bale and Neymar. And most notably, the predictions in the outcome of the match come with so many interesting facts.

More so, that some experts believe that there seems to have a relationship between the outcome of the El Clasico and the race for the La Liga title. So whoever wins in the Clasico will eventually gain a significant advantage in winning La Liga especially when the title race is so tight. And statistics have shown that in six out of nine seasons, the team that emerged better in the Clasico would go on to be crowned champions. So anyone who wants the La Liga title must better win the El Clasico. And there’s little doubt that it plays a big role in the title race comes May.

And here are some interesting facts of their head to head matchup. Barca last won against arch-rival Madrid in December 2011 and simply to say that Barcelona had not won in the last five outings against Real Madrid in all competitions. But on the other hand, Barcelona have won their last 20 home league games since that fateful October night last year. So the odds this time seems leaning towards Barcelona hitting the first blow in Clasico and Los Blancos second defeat of the season.

Image from El Clasico/Facebook

The Effects of Parental Absence

You’ll come at some point that you have to burn time at work reading news and current events especially during after hours. And two months ago, it wasn’t a different story but the one that I’ve read was extraordinary yet a common scenario. It is actually happening to so many families when they opted to work abroad hoping to find a greener future in order to send their kids to school or support their family and have at least lived a descent life.

The article that I’ve read, entitled “Tough on the child, tougher on the mother” was all about a family who by circumstances was forced to live separately with their kids because of government rules and or they are not earning that much to reach the stipulated ceiling of that government rule. And according to that article, “many expatriate women are forced to be absentee mothers out of necessity” and many are living away from their children for a long time not merely by choice but dictated by life’s circumstances that is way beyond their control, at least most of the situation.
It was indeed a hard truth that there’s nothing else that they can do and are forced to make sacrifices for their future. But another hard truth, if not more, is the fact that some kids find it hard to understand what their parents are doing considering that it typically does not only involve physical separation alone but also emotional comfort and social presence. So most of the time many parents are left praying and hoping that their children one day will understand that what they are doing is for them so they can go to school and have a better life.

Yet the process of parental separation remains a very hard truth to accept and understand especially when you are pressed by force of circumstances knowing that infants develop attachment to adults at a young age who became consistent caregivers to them. And the effects of parental absence at a young age can be devastating and cruel not only to the child but to parents as well.

Image from thebump.com

25 October 2013

Champions League’s Latest Round of Games

The latest round of games in the Champions League group stage has just finished and as early as now, there’s one thing that I noticed between the first four groups and the last four. And that is their total goals scored among them. In fact, groups A to D have already broken the record of goals scored by teams in a single match day at the very first day of the Champions League’s 2013 season. They have scored 30 goals in the curtain raiser, then two weeks later, the total goals scored was 28 and just two days ago they scored 27 goals over all.

While the other groups, E to H, have so far came short of surpassing them or even just come
image source
closer to groups A to D’s total goals scored. And the recent match was no ordinary from the opening day as another hat trick was produced although in the end, it was not just three goals but four, in fact. In the first day, CRon scored his 21st hat trick in Real Madrid’s shirt then recently, it was Ibra’s turn to showcase his enthralling talent by thrashing their hapless opponent with four goals. And Anderlecht end up losing the game 0-5 to the improving and remarkable PSG side.

So in two weeks, I am looking forward of how many goals they’re going to produce again knowing for the fact that in the first three-round of games they have totaled a whooping 85 goals already. I cannot imagine how many goals they’re going to have again as they already average 28 goals a game.

24 October 2013

Fantastic Counting

It is a dream of every parent to have their kids goes to school even if it is not so prestigious as long as they are going to be well educated. So when our son reached 3 years old, we sent him to a nursery school for two reasons. First and very obvious, is in order for him to learn more and secondly, which made up our mind even if he is still 3 years old, so he will be exposed to kids of his age level. That is because he spent most of his time inside the house either playing with us or watching his favorite TV and play with his toys.

He is also confined in the house because of the extreme weather here in our place that he should not be exposed in too much heat of the sun because his eczema will flare up. Last month, we enrolled him for the Nursery School and so far the feedback of his teacher is that he is enjoying in the class. Even though I am apprehensive of him going to school because most of the time he is not listening to us and he keeps on running, we still believe that it is the best for him. And despite all those apprehensions there’s only one thing that would make every parent out there to be proud of their kids. That is when they got awards from school.

So when he came home today, we are so happy for his first special award from school. He got a special award for “Fantastic Counting”.  I’m not sure what he has done in school but I believe they are being evaluated for what they have learned this week as they have a Math week this week. We are indeed grateful in his achievement and his first special award and we are hoping that he will continue to improve especially in his attitude.

20 October 2013

Barca, Atletico Miss Out on Record

The club football match resumed last Friday after the international break, although most of the big clubs in Europe starts playing their games yesterday. And since it was my day off, I have the luxury of watching almost all of the games especially Real Madrid, Barca and Atletico Madrid. While the rest of then can only be monitored through live commentary since it has an overlapping times and if not, it is played simultaneously especially the EPL and Serie A. And it only left me no other choice but concentrate in my favorite clubs.
Image from FC Barcelona

Barca and Atletico Madrid were aiming for their ninth straight league win and subsequently will match Real Madrid’s four-decade long record of nine straight wins. At first, it looks like both Barca and the Los Colchoneros are going to make history as their opponents are sitting at bottom and mid-table, respectively. But in the end Osasuna and Espanyol are making it hard and frustrate their opponents with great defending and eventually missed out on record. The sad part is that, Atletico not only miss a record nine straight wins, they also dropped their first points of the season with a 0-1 loss to the spirited Espanyol.
Image from wikipedia

While Barca wasn’t able to break the deadlock despite the return of Messi from thigh injury and they also dropped their first points of the season but was lucky enough to earn a point with the draw. And stats show that it was the first time that Barca have failed to score in 65 La Liga games. Yet I am worried for they might come back stronger for the first El Clasico match of the season this coming Saturday, 26 October.

13 October 2013

During the International Break of Football

During the international break of football has given me the chance to keep up in watching my favorite TV series. And it is for that reason also that I came to know that the new NCIS season has started already. So I did not waste any time to start watching the first three episodes of NCIS Season 11 during my off days last week. That is also because I was so intrigue that Ziva will no longer continue as one of their agents and I am curious as to how they’re going to end her character and what will be the reaction of DiNozzo about it. I’m sure he will be devastated again as he already lost Kate before in a tragic way.
I was also able to watch and concentrate in at least two Formula 1 Grand Prix but sadly, it is still Vettel who won both races in Korea and Japan just this October. Not to mention that he has also won three consecutive Grand Prix before that and he definitely will win his fourth consecutive World Championship title in the upcoming race in India in two weeks. Vettel’s 90-point advantage at the top from his closest rival seems to be insurmountable with only four more races to go. Statistically, it is still possible that Alonso can overtake him as long as Alonso is going to emerge as winner and Vettel only manage to accumulate nine points in the remaining four Grand Prix. Which from many experts opinion is more unlikely and seems very impossible to happen because of the fact that Vettel has won five consecutive races already.

Image from screencapped.net

11 October 2013

Learning to Say “Please” and “Thank You”

I already made a post regarding our son that he started going to school already for the first time and so far things are moving forward and doing great. But of course not all good things will just come handy without any downside. And so during his third week in school, he has done his first offense when we read the report of his teacher, that he was throwing sand at his classmate during one of their playtime outside the classroom. And that’s really a very unwelcome situation and not so good development as he already started learning how to incorporate the word “please” and say “thank you”.

We can only hope that when the class resumes next week there’s nothing like it will ever happen again. So for the meantime, they will have a week long vacation to enjoy and that is entirely because of the Eid holiday. And on Monday, we will bring him for a night out camping by the beach. It is actually a pre-winter family get together with my colleagues at work.

And speaking of winter, did you guys got your flu vaccine already? If not then it is time to pay your doctor a visit considering that it would at least take two weeks for the vaccine to have its full potential of protection to kick-off. As for me, I already had my flu shot late last month.

Anyway, I want our son to experience camping out because last year, we went home before midnight because he was not feeling well at that time. He had flu like symptoms a few days before the planned camping and I am hoping that this time around it will be materialized. So tomorrow I will be preparing for the things we need and will check out the store for new camping tents, mattress.

07 October 2013

Exceptional and Invaluable Customer Service

I can’t help but to remember the unexpected call that I received from SAFA pure drinking water every time Thursday is approaching and it was indeed an exceptional and invaluable customer service. And this is the kind of customer service that will make customers be loyal to the company. It is the kind of service that I am also looking into from companies because it only means one thing; they valued their customers so much.

As I have said in my previous post that I grabbed the opportunity, so I have it delivered the following day because I am not sure whether our last bottle which is half full already would last until the usual delivery day. And true to their words, the delivery van came the next day in the afternoon to refill two empty bottles of 5 liters each and they did not ask for additional fee for the unscheduled service. Although the agent who called me emphasized that it is free and will cost us nothing more than the cost of every bottle itself.
On the other hand, it is not the only exceptional service that they have had because several times in the past we forgot to place outside the house our empty bottles and there’s no single occasion that they left without letting us know. They will knock on the door or use the doorbell when the saw that there’s no bottles outside the house. They will ask us if we still have water or we just simply forgot and most of the time it is the latter that keeps happening. And because of this chain of events, I will no longer pursue the plan of adding a competitor brand even if they had a better initial package.

Improving Credibility to the International Community

Apart from the credit rating upgrade given by Fitch and Standard & Poor’s earlier this year, the recent and third investment rating upgrade has cemented the Philippines’ascent to investment grade status and perhaps improves the image and credibility of the Philippine economy to the international community.

With the Baa3 investment grade rating from Moody’s Investors Service, it brings so many things to the Philippine economy most especially that it also has a positive credit outlook. So, the higher the grade, the more credible the borrower and the lower the cost of debt. Although many have anticipated this development to come yet it is crucial in attracting more investments pouring in to the country. And with a robust economic performance since last year that grew 6.8 percent and 7.6 in the first half this year, the Philippines could become the latest investment hub of the world.

And according to experts, the latest investment rating upgrade means a good image for the Philippines in attracting more investments, that it is safe to do business; it lowers the interest in the borrowing cost as it signifies a strong capability to pay its debt; it reduces the cost of government development including the companies in the country, making it a lot easier to expand and lastly, more budget for infrastructure and social services spending. Although it may not translate into jobs or lower the rate of poverty unless reforms are made in improving the business environment and loosen up restrictions on foreign direct investments.

Moody’s has stated that the Philippine economy’s fast growth despite a slowing global economy was supported by steady overseas Filipino remittance inflows and healthy credit growth. And hopefully that should sustain the Philippines’ strong economic growth hence improving its credibility to the international community.

Image from Rappler.com

05 October 2013

Philippines’ Ascent to Investment Grade

The most anticipated credit rating upgrade for the Philippines has been finalized. Although it is expected because the Philippines has already received an investment grade rating from Fitch last March and it was followed with another from Standard & Poor’s later in May. And so last Thursday (3 October 2013) the last major debt-watcher, Moody’s, granted and raised the Philippines’ investment grade status to a Baa3 rating with a positive credit outlook.

Although the “Baa3” rating is the lowest in the investment grade ratings, yet it is well enough to place the Philippines’ economic performance on par with Turkey and Spain. And it is also considered a critical milestone in lifting the country’s economic status from one of Asia’s weaker economies which was once even considered “the sick man of Asia”. And the economic growth of 6.8 percent last year and 7.6 percent in the first half of 2013 are among the highest in Asia-Pacific and remained one of Asia’s best performers.
According to Moody’s, “The Philippines’ economic performance has entered a structural shift to higher growth, accompanied by low inflation.”

With three investment rating upgrades in succession, it only means one thing to the Philippines, a good image with a brighter outlook to the eyes of the investors. And with the badge of credit worthiness, it also reflects the confidence of the international community with regards to the strength of the Philippine economy. Many believe that there might be another upgrade in the coming years before 2016, the time when the current President steps down. And so what’s this latest credit rating upgrade means to the Philippines?

An improving credibility to the international community.

This post has been posted at "It's All About Seth" which is my wife's blog and I am reposting it here to have more exposure. Image from Rappler.com

03 October 2013

An Unexpected Call

Out of nowhere, I received a call this afternoon (which happens to be four months ago) from the water company where we get our drinking water supply. I was clueless at first why they call since we just came from vacation. And perhaps, at the back of my mind, it could be another telemarketer who would want to gain more and advertise their products.

However, I was surprised when the person on the other line asked me if we still have water to drink at the house considering that we just came from vacation and we forgot to bring out the consumed bottles outside during the delivery date. I think we are still feeling the discomfort that we have had during our travel back here especially the long hours of waiting at the airport. Plus the feeling of being annoyed when your gate number is changed without letting you know of the changes.
Anyway, going back to that call, I was delighted and surprised when she asked me if we still have water to drink in the house because if not then they can arrange a special delivery to us and at no extra cost as well. Although at the moment we still have one bottle left but I’m not sure if it will last for three more days until which the regular delivery will come since it is already half full. So I immediately grabbed the opportunity and set the delivery tomorrow morning. It was a surprising and an unexpected call but in the end, I am grateful and delighted for SAFA pure drinking water for their initiative of calling which is indeed a great customer service.

01 October 2013

Our Son Goes to School for the First Time

My wife has been recounting our son’s activities in his blog as he goes to school for the first time. I was there with him in the first two weeks dropping and picking him up outside his classroom. It was fun and lots of apprehensions as to how he will behave in the class especially that he always run and seldom stay at one area, not that he has some sort of problem, he is just very active. Then my apprehensions grows bigger and bigger as the days unfold and weeks has passed, more so that he is now catching up with the school bus.

Just like what my wife has said in her blog, it is not about safety that we are worried it is because he is running all the time. But those worries eventually turns nothing as he in fact likes riding in the school bus and he even told me about it with so much enthusiasm. Then he would run towards the window every time he hears the horn of the bus outside the house even after his school hours already. And his excitement shows and reflects on his face.

And one thing that I noticed during his first week at school is that, at first he was just hiding at the back of his mom and once he saw the toys around the classroom, it changes everything and he starts playing around. But then again, the worries came back as he starts running around the room and is no longer listening at his teachers. The only thing that turns out good is he did not cry when we left him and when we dropped him outside his classroom unlike some of his classmates who are still crying after the first week of class.

18 September 2013

The Elusive La Decima

Last night’s curtain opener for the 2013 Champions League season has produced a remarkable number of goals and I believe it broke the record of goals scored by teams with 30 goals in one night of matches. And it was the Merengues and CRon who leads the pack as they hammered Galatasaray right in their own turf at the Turk Telekom Arena despite the hostility and dominance of the home side. And for the fact that history is not on Real Madrid’s side as they have lost in two occasions when they have played away against Galatasaray.
For the first 32 minutes, Galatasaray and the home crowd put the Los Blancos on the back foot with relentless pressure and testing Real’s defenders with so many opportunities on goal. It was even aggravated with Iker Casillas leaving the match with an injury on his rib that he sustained after colliding with Sergio Ramos. But if you cannot convert those opportunities at the back of the net especially against a team like Real Madrid then you’re going to suffer at the end. And that exactly what happened after 33 minutes when Isco delivered the first of Real Madrid’s 6 goals of the night.

From then on, Galatasaray seems struggling to impose their game plan after falling behind and it became worse when Drogba was pulled off after sustaining a shoulder injury. As if the Turkish Champions fighting spirit were drained when Benzema double Real’s lead and Ronaldo do the rest as he grabbed his 21st hat trick for Real and set up one more easy strike for Benzema. So with the score of 6-1 at the very first game of the competition, Real Madrid made a statement of intent to the rest of the team. But will that be enough to finally capture the elusive La Decima?

Image from corazonblanco.com

16 September 2013

Disheartening Situation in Zamboanga Standoff

I seldom make a post, say something or touch the very sensitive political issues that a certain country has endured. Not that I don’t want to write something or voice out my disagreement or vocal opinion but sometimes restraint is just better than to engage in a face off and save it in later time when the time is right especially when it involves significant risk in you personally. But with the recent difficult and complicated problems that arise simultaneously or perhaps was planned to look like it, seems to be too much already that I can no longer refrain from speaking up.

The situation started after I finished watching the live broadcast of the 10 billion pesos pork barrel scam at the Senate Blue Ribbon hearing and I saw in my Facebook news feed a photo of a government soldier fighting in the recent Zamboanga conflict begging from civilians for any food or even leftover that they can eat because they haven’t eaten yet since early that morning. That’s what the caption says when a resident of the area was asked by the soldiers. The photo was posted by Eyrhil on his timeline and immediately went viral in just several hours of posting.
Whether the situation is true or not but I cannot speculate that it is not because I had once a first hand experience with a relative before who had the same fate though different scenario. I am furious of what’s happening right now knowing that those who are protecting us during the time of war have nothing to eat while there are people out there living with lavish life with the money from taxpayers. It is disheartening to think that we have deprived them of what’s worth and necessary for them in times like this while most politicians are having extravagant lifestyle with the money that they even don’t owned.

And as the standoff continue, the government troops and policemen are not just fighting against the Moro rebels but they are also facing the challenge of running out of ammunition and most especially running out of food. Some soldiers have resorted to buying foods using their own money as they have only been given porridge in the past few days; Eyrhil said when he was interviewed.

Image from Eyrhil Bulahan

15 September 2013

The Anticipated Debut of Bale and Ozil

After the international break, most big clubs in Europe restarted their goal to win every match there is and I’m sure everyone are keeping an eye on Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil if they are going to be named in the starting XI. The former was already confirmed by coach Ancelotti that he’s going to play although not sure if he will start while Ozil, I believe, is guaranteed to start. And when their respective games started both players were on the pitch to start but it was Ozil who made a big impact to his new club, at least for now.

It didn’t take that long for Ozil to get involved and assisted the opening goal in just 11 minutes from kick-off. And his creativity could have led to more goals for the Gunners which I am sure will be deeply missed by Real Madrid. Many have said that it was a big mistake to sell him as the Los Blancos were held to a 2-2 draw at El Madrigal. The highly spirited and organized Yellow Submarine has denied Bale to a winning start despite him scoring his first goal for the Spanish giants.

Yet, I think, it was Real Madrid’s goalkeeper that made things difficult for the impressive Villareal, who made a string of brilliant saves and denied the Yellow Submarine to a perfect winning record of four games although both teams still extended their unbeaten La Liga start this season. And with the draw, it means both teams are already two points behind champions Barca and Atletico Madrid who won their respective games earlier.

Although Real Madrid did not get the three points they wanted but every good start must come to an end and it is unfortunate for Real. So far, Bale has made a good start and it is only a matter of time on how things will go for him.

Image from wikimedia commons.

What You Give, Comes Back Multiple Times

This video teaches us a lot of things in life and what you innocently give today may come back to you multiple times when you least expected it. 

13 September 2013

Bale to Make His Debut against Villareal

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that the world record signing Welshman winger will make his debut in the away match against Villareal although it is not certain whether he will be part of the starting XI yet he definitely will play. For sure many eyes are set on him as he takes his first competitive match in a Los Blancos shirt and expectations are running so high. Until then no one knows what he can give back to Real Madrid being the most expensive football player in the world.

What’s more interesting in the coming match is what position he will be playing in order not to cause disruptions and problems in linking up with CRon, one of the best players in the world. Some experts and analysts believe that Bale will be playing more in central position to be most productive and probably the reason why Ozil was sold to Arsenal, so to free up some space for him. With Ronaldo and Di Maria on the flanks, it could be the best solution to maximize the effect of Bale’s arrival and get more goals in return.

But then again, that too remains to be seen if Bale and CRon will play along side and if they will jibe together on the pitch. And Bale needs to score a goal as soon as possible to fend off the overwhelming pressure and criticism that surrounds his world breaking transfer. So from tomorrow we will find out who lives to the expectation of many.

Image from theguardian.com

Happy 27th Anniversary ERUF

Its another fruitful year behind and another more years to face ahead for the next generations of dedicated personnel who serves so that others may live. Happy 27th anniversary ERUF, I am sure you are no longer an unsung heroes.

“Saving Lives is not an accomplishment but a way of life”.

Video from ERUF161

To Make or Shake Things Up

Another week of football is coming up tomorrow after the international break was finished that would either make or shake things up when the transfer window closed last week. And speaking of which, there are only a few who beat the summer transfer window before it finally close. But the only notable movement for me is Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil who was sold to Arsenal for a reported 42.5M pounds even before the 2013 season heated up.

Why I said so because Ozil was part of Real Madrid’s starting XI in the first two matches of the 2013 season then several days later, rumors started heating up regarding his imminent transfer to Arsenal. Even for the fact that a couple of days after their win in Granada, Ozil told the media that he has no intention of leaving Madrid and that he is happy to be in the club. But by the weekend, according to reports, the deal to move to the Emirates Stadium is 90% completed. Although it was not shocking to me especially in the football business yet I am sad and stunned of his departure because of Ozil’s importance to the team and his incomparable contribution to the Los Blancos’ winning days last season.

But it was completed and done and there’s nothing everyone can do about it except to face what lies ahead and hoping for the best of Ozil in the Gunners shirt. And hopefully the signing of Gareth Bale would bring another fruitful season for Real Madrid as he reportedly broke the world record deal in football and became the most expensive transfer in history. So tomorrow at 2100 GMT, Bale maybe featured in his first match on the famous white shirt as a Galactico against Villareal.

Will the signing of Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil will make or shake things up their new club?

Image from wikimedia commons.

09 September 2013

‘Dropped’, Heineken’s Social Experiment

This post brought to you by Heineken. All opinions are 100% mine.

What would you do if by chance you are brought to a place unknown to you? Will you be able to go back to where you came from? Will you be left scared and crying because you don’t know what to do? Imagine a situation like that, you are brought to a remote location where you haven’t been before, and your goal is simple: to arrive at the designated destination.

That is exactly what Heineken is doing right now. Your premium beer brand that is available in almost every country across the globe is launching a new global campaign called Heineken “Voyage”. It is the fifth installment of Heineken Legends platform that would take different men from across the world and drop them in a remote location that is unknown to them. 

The participant's objective is simply to arrive at a designated destination. But what made it more interesting and adds a whole lot of thrill? You are left with nothing except for the most basic supplies and directions to use during your legendary travel experience to the unknown.

So if you are chosen to be the next person to be ‘Dropped’, will you be able to reach and make it to your final destination? And if you are curious whether those men who already experienced a new kind of life adventure succeeded or not then it’s up to you to know. 

I encourage you to watch the Heineken Dropped promotional videos to see what the outcome of each Dropped episodes will be, and how they face the multitude of challenges thrown to them. And as every ‘Dropped’ voyage unfolds, you’ll see how they are forced to discover their own limits and conquer their own fears. That is when the social experiment will come to life that is fully unscripted.

Another interesting and remarkable fact is that when you buy special packs of Heineken, you will be able to redeem a code that will let you play an online game that tests your navigational skills as you embark on a digital voyage.

So are you ready to get out of your comfort zone and experience a legendary travel adventure? Will you be able to make it if you are ‘Dropped’ in a remote location?

Visit Sponsor's Site

03 September 2013

Bale, the Real Deal

The long awaited transfer of Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu has been confirmed after so many rumors and apprehensions. The only thing that is not quite understood is whether Real Madrid broke the record again for the most expensive transfer in history in acquiring Bale from Totttenham. Depending on what newspaper you are reading, you will definitely see different figures and you cannot get a right answer until Tottenham will declare it during the annual stakeholders meeting. That definitely will happen this coming December and we’ll see who is telling the truth.

The fans of Real Madrid finally saw their new Galactico as Bale was presented at the Bernabeu earlier yesterday to the delight of more than twenty thousand spectators of Los Blancos. And perhaps his unveiling could be just a formality since reports came out that Adidas had already started selling Real Madrid shirts with Bale’s name. Adding to it was another news report that Bale had already had a pair of football shoes waiting for him at the Bernabeu.

But even before his arrival there are already a lot of speculations whether Bale could be the Real deal or not? And that if he can live up to his huge price tag as the most expensive football player in history, remains to be seen. For now, everyone is back to their respective country for the qualifying matches for the World Cup next year in Brazil.

Image from thesun.co.uk.

01 September 2013

It’s Time to Abolish the OEC for Good

This post is simultaneously posted in my other blogs.

A few days ago while browsing the net, I stumble upon an article about the top reasons why OEC must be scrapped. And for those who don’t know, OEC or Overseas Employment Certificate is a piece of document that OFW’s should procure and present to the Immigration Department upon living the Philippines to go back to your work abroad. One must have an OEC with them if you are a returning worker and you don’t need to have one if it is your first time to work abroad but you instead must secure a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS). But that’s a different story.

It is elaborated in the article that the sole purpose of OEC is to provide proof that the person is a returning OFW and that every OFWs are exempted from paying travel tax and terminal fee in all international airports across the Philippines. And you can obtain OEC from any consulate and embassies of the Philippines abroad and in any POEA offices in the Philippines.

Upon reading the whole article, what catches my attention about the OEC is its impracticality in one sense. So hear me out on this one, “It is so true that you are paying a fee for this certain document in order for you to be exempted from paying other fees at the airport of departure”. That seems to be redundant to me and if you are going to think about it you are still paying roughly half of the amount of the travel tax and terminal fee. It really doesn’t make any sense that you have to pay a certain amount to be exempted from paying other fees. Much to it that there are alternative ways to prove that you are an OFW if the main concern is only to find proof that you certainly works abroad.

This just reminded me, at one time, when I was about to get an OEC at the Philippine Overseas Labor and Office wherein they ran out of forms and I was advised to get one in POEA in the Philippines before I return abroad. I guess it’s now time to abolish the OEC for good.

31 August 2013

Bayern Munich Snatch UEFA Super Cup

It was a very painful and cruel defeat by Chelsea right at the very last second of extra time and in the shoot out of the UEFA Super Cup last night. It was cruel because they twice lead in the match only for Bayern Munich to snatch a goal at the last second of injury time in the extra time, sending the game into penalty shoot out. Both teams started so well in the shoot out with Bayern perfectly slotted all five opportunities at the back of the net and the same goes to Chelsea until Lukaku missed the last and decisive spot kick or should I say, was perfectly saved by Bayern’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

I was still at work when the match started and it was already past 30 minutes in the first half when I saw the match and Chelsea has scored a goal too. And after the first half ended, I said to myself that I have seen a different Bayern side. This is not the kind of Bayern who won the Champions League last May at Wembley against arch rival Dortmund, who demolished the great Barca in the semifinals of the Champions League. In fact, there opening three matches in the current Bundesliga season was that impressive as well in terms of goal scoring comparing to what they have shown last season.

When the match restarted for the second half, it took only a couple of minutes before Ribery equalized and sent the match into extra time. It was the same story in the extra time as Hazard restored Chelsea’s lead immediately after the restart and it looks like the match will end up like that with Chelsea contented to defend deep. But then the patience of Bayern was rewarded with only several minutes left in the second half in extra time when Javi Martinez poked home from close range and set-up yet another dramatic penalty shout out.

Perhaps, Bayern Munich’s struggle in the season is probably due to their new coach that comes with new methods and ideas that will take time to get used to.

Image from wikimedia commons.

30 August 2013

The Champions League Group Stage Draw

The Champions League group stage draw in Monaco yesterday put several clubs facing difficult task, some resume their rivalries again and others were rewarded with weaker opponents until the knock-out rounds. Perhaps Manchester United, Chelsea and PSG were lucky to have weaker clubs in their groups or no bigger club names in Europe. And here’s the full grouping of the 32 clubs divided into eight groups of four.
GROUP A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad
GROUP B: Real MadridJuventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen
GROUP C: Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain, Olympiacos, Anderlecht
GROUP D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Viktoria Plzen
GROUP E: Chelsea, Schalke, FC Basel, Steaua Bucharest
GROUP F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli
GROUP G: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Austria Vienna
GROUP H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic

Manchester City has avoided and escaped another “group of death” year and probably this time under Pellegrini they will finally reach beyond the knockout stage. While the nine-time European champion Real Madrid has been paired with Serie A current champions Juventus. Then Barca, Milan and Celtic have resumed their rivalries in an intriguing group and ManU, Chelsea and perhaps PSG too are lucky enough to have a weaker side clubs in their respective groups. And the worst group who faces a difficult task ahead is Arsenal who joined with last season’s finalist Dortmund and the strengthened Italian side Napoli.

29 August 2013

Gareth Bale’s Summer Transfer Saga

The summer transfer window is all about the mega transfer deal of Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu which will break world record deal in history. But Tuesday has passed and still there was no official announcement of Bale at the Santiago Bernabeu. It is now Thursday and the closing of the transfer window is fast approaching. Real Madrid also admitted that they have encountered unspecified problems that delayed the signings of Gareth Bale. But then, as I said in my previous post that Bale’s Real Madrid shirt was on sale already and perhaps this small snag in his transfer is simply to add spice before the transfer window closes on 2 September.
On the other hand, Tottenham’s manager, Andre Villas-Boas, said that Spurs is considering fining Bale as he did not show up at the White hart Lane for two consecutive days already. Although Bale has failed to report for training, many still believe that despite the lengthy transfer negotiations it will still be pushed through, perhaps at the very end. One very obvious evidence was the Spurs busy spending in acquiring players from other clubs and perhaps they are just waiting for the desired successor to the Welsh superstar. In fact, Tottenham has already acquired the service of Paulinho, Chadli, Capoue and striker Roberto Soldado. They are also finalizing to close the deal of Roma forward Erik Lamela and Bucharest defender Chiriches.

And once the deal of Lamela and Chiriches are done, Spurs will break their own transfer record again for the third time this summer. Then probably when those deals are finalized, Tottenham will formally accept Real Madrid’s offer and to finally put an end on Gareth Bale’s summer transfer saga so Real can now unveil their latest “Galactico” signing.

Champions League Group Stage Draw

Watch the 2013 UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw happening right now at Monaco. Visit the link below to see the live online streaming at a very clear reception.

28 August 2013

FIFA to Reschedule 2022 World Cup

When FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to the bidding nation, many could not believe of its decision to award it to a very tiny sovereign state and thereon after, there were speculations coming out that there’s a conspiracy involved in the award process. Yet that remains to be a speculation until proven otherwise.

The World Cup organizing committee has chosen Qatar in December 2010 as host nation for the 2022 World Cup competition on top against four other bidding nations like the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia. And now another issue is coming out because of the scorching summer heat in Qatar during June and July that it is not suitable to play football in temperatures that could reach as high as 40 degrees. So the suggested plan is to reschedule it to a much cooler month of either November or May but that too will cause problems to the wealthy European leagues as it occur during their regular football season.

Despite Qatar’s World Cup committee’s strong standing of providing a stadium with state of the art air-cooling technology many are still skeptical in the searing summer heat outside the stadium. And if FIFA is going to reschedule the 2022 World Cup it still needs to be approved and start the consultation process to find new dates to set the schedules and that it should cause less disruption in the European league fixtures. So the 27-member FIFA executive committee will decide on October 3-4 to approve the change of the schedule then find a suitable time to host the tournament and move it to a much cooler month.

Image from wikimedia commmons.