30 June 2008
29 June 2008
First Posted 11:37:00 06/29/2008
I wondered in my mind why. Another heist perhaps since downtown is known for weird and even heinous crimes. But a very foul smell engulfed us long before we could even take to the direction of the rerouted street. We all asked what the hell was that. The driver told us it was the smell of the Sulpicio (now being called SOULpicio Lines) victims.
My God! Of all places.
I had to disembark and walk through the stench because that was the only way to the printing press. I felt nausea and vomit reaching up to my head. Brand me as inconsiderate, unfeeling, whatever, but the stench of death at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes was truly unbearable! People in the side streets were even covering their noses like it was a scene from some old cowboy movies.
Suddenly my attention was redirected to a commotion somewhere. Feeling uzi, I heard a father yelling to another man. "How come you became the husband of my daughter when she was never married?" A father was claiming the remains of her daughter when a husband suddenly showed up and wanted to claim it too. That completed the scene.
And so theories suddenly propped up in my mind. His daughter got married without his father's knowledge. Maybe they wanted to surprise father about it when tragedy struck. Maybe the husband is a poser and trying to get money out of tragedy. Father would not share the money they will be getting from Sulpicio.
Whatever the truth is, I walked out as fast as I could because the stench of death and people have clung even to my skin.
The pilot episode of Harapan, ABS-CBN’s new late-night show hosted by Korina Sanchez and Ted Failon asked the question: “Sino ang dapat sisihin sa paglubog ng M/V Princess of the Stars?” Sulpicio Lines claimed the Coast Guard allowed it to sail. The Coast Guard said PAGASA’s forecast wasn’t accurate. Ted and Korina believe Winston Garcia and the GSIS were to blame.
Top 5 “If Sulpicio Lines were Meralco” Statements
5: It would defy any Coast Guard order to postpone its trip.
4: It wouldn’t compensate surviving relatives of the victims unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise.
3: It would release a series of prints ads explaining that sea tragedies also happen in Cebu, Davao and other areas where commercial sea vessels operate.
2: It would use its radio and TV stations to criticize the typhoon.
And the No. 1 “If Sulpicio Lines were Meralco” statement…
1: Judy Ann Santos would be on television right now comparing a ship sailing in stormy seas to a melting block of ice.
28 June 2008
I don't know if this is intended to jest women or the building architect has all the reasons to torture women, or the building administrator simply hates women, but the comfort room for women is not comfortable at all.
Upon entering there, on your way to that place, you experience a claustrophobic wall just about a few more inches of 1 foot. You wonder if they are making the way to their CR a dumpsite aside from poor lighting.
If you are a man, you are lucky. The flushing bowls are functioning well even if it looks like some shitty people never push the handle.
If you are a woman, you might not feel like a princess not even for a second. The toilet bowl is smacked right below the airconditioning unit of an FCB office. And the unit is peeing water itself right at the bowl. Very innovative idea of course, but for women who have to use the toilet, they have to do acrobatics first so they could use it. If not they would come out like some guys were pissing on them, not minding the hot blow of exhaust air of the airconditioner.
Are women really that brave so they have to be tortured just to pee? What happened FCB?
24 June 2008
He wanted to know why one of them, the one he had bought in the shop, was labeled "made in China," while the other, the cheaper T-shirt, said "made in Italy."
The second T-shirt was, of course, a fake. So was the "made in Italy" claim; Armani T-shirts are no longer produced there.
These days, many fashionistas are still confused over what is real, what is fake, and whether a product's country of origin says anything about its quality.
Even a "made in Italy" label no longer guarantees that a bag or a pair of shoes was hand crafted by artisans in a Tuscan workshop. Instead, the bag could have been stitched together by illegal workers in clandestine Italian factories, and the shoes assembled from plastic soles and leather shipped in from China.
And yet, Asian manufacturing remains a taboo in the luxury sector where image is everything.
Faced with shoppers' concerns about product quality, environmental standards and working conditions in Asia, many European luxury goods makers swear that their factories will always stay close to home.
But some are going on the offensive, arguing that new manufacturing sites can actually boost quality and creativity.
"At the end of the day, we are talking about perception. There is no reason why you can't make good things anywhere in the world, as long as you have the artisans and attention to quality," said John Hooks, deputy managing director at Giorgio Armani.
Hooks is passionate about the opportunities that a global manufacturing base offers.
Lower labor costs in Asia allow designers to spend more on expensive fabrics and elaborate techniques than in Europe, he says, and therefore the final product could actually be more sophisticated than one that was manufactured in a high-wage country.
"If we are obsessed with made in Italy, made in France, the negative side is that everything gets pared down to essentials," he told Reuters. "There comes a point where this slavish respect for 'made in Italy' cannot hold unless the product becomes extremely expensive."
He also points out that in the right context, African or Asian manufacturing can be seen as a bonus: Armani, for example, is studying the production of Emporio Armani RED goods in some African countries as part of a campaign across a range of consumer goods to fund treatment for AIDS patients.
With their rich cultural heritage and a history of producing silks and embroidered textiles, China, India and other Asian countries should in theory be well placed as manufacturers of luxurious clothes and accessories.
Japan, for one, already outshines Europe as a specialist for certain accessories and fabrics, especially expensive denim. Eyewear maker Luxottica, which makes Prada and Chanel sunglasses, has a factory in Japan that produces exclusive gold-rimmed glasses for the highly selective Japanese market.
Many consumers, however, would prefer not to discover a "made in China" tag on a $1,000 dress.
Asian shoppers are particularly origin-conscious as French and Italian luxury goods are important status symbols in the newly affluent region. And the opinions of Asian shoppers are beginning to matter more and more as growth in more mature markets slows down.
"In Asia, in a certain segment, you can't offer a product made in China or made in Asia," said Patrizio di Marco, president and chief executive of Bottega Veneta, on the sidelines of a luxury goods conference in Tokyo.
"They are very aware of where the product was made, and whether it was made in Italy, made in France."
Industry experts say this concern with origin varies greatly between countries. U.S. shoppers, for example, are more tolerant about where their clothes are made.
"The fundamental question is whether it's worth risking your brand equity to win a few points in the manufacturing of the goods. And I think the answer is no, so we don't do it," di Marco said.
The pricier the product, the choosier the customer. Bottega Veneta's trademark woven leather bags sell for about 200,000 yen in Tokyo for a basic model, and they are hand-made in northern Italy. Armani's super-luxury range, sold under the Giorgio Armani label, is also exclusively manufactured in Italy.
When it comes to more accessible designer brands, consumers may be less prejudiced than some producers think.
In a shop just behind the elegant Bottega Veneta boutique in central Tokyo, several Japanese women are trying on brightly patterned silk dresses by Diane von Furstenberg, which cost about 60,000 yen each. None of the women seem to mind that each dress has a little "made in China" tag.
Customers are also increasingly aware that the manufacturing process behind a garment is much more complex than the little white tag suggests.
The medieval Italian town of Prato in Tuscany sits at the very heart of Europe's fashion industry. Amid the Tuscan hills, well-paid craftsmen, low-paid immigrant workers and peddlers of fake designer handbags jostle for space.
In 2007, Prato's tax police confiscated more than 8 million forged products, including fake designer goods and kilometers of Gucci-monogrammed fabric, made in Asia or in clandestine factories in Italy.
And it's not just the fakes that are making headlines.
Last December, a documentary by Italian broadcaster RAI Tre probed subcontractors for some major fashion houses and broadcast images of Tuscan factories where Chinese workers had been sleeping, eating and sewing clothes and bags for low wages.
Luxury goods makers say they regularly inspects suppliers and sever ties when a supplier is found to violate labor laws. However, it is not always easy to keep tabs on outsourcers.
"The supply chain is long and often the headquarters doesn't even know who really makes one small part of the product because it doesn't have any relations with the last manufacturer on the list," Captain Edoardo Marzocchi at the tax police in Prato told Reuters.
Some fashion companies say the solution is to drastically shorten the supply chain and use manufacturing in developing countries as a selling point for "ethical consumers" in the West.
"Our clothes are hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-embellished," said Safia Minney, founder of People Tree, a UK-based fair trade fashion firm that works directly with knitters and weavers in Nepal, Peru, India and Bangladesh.
"We're working in close partnership with our suppliers -- and it builds enormous brand loyalty among our customers."
By Sophie Hardach
23 June 2008
But a missed call and subsequent text messages made me wonder why the urgency of the messenger.
09177112045: Hi. Are you in Bohol?
Me: Who you?
09177112045: Hector. Someone gave me your number.
Damn! Someone might be plotting against me since I don't give out my numbers to aliens. And to think being in Bohol at that moment was pure coincidence because I was one of those stranded by Frank's unwanted visit.
Me: Who's that someone? I don't give out my number.
09177112045: From the internet. Do you charge for services?
All of a sudden my green genetic anger became for real. Why this person think of me as a whore? And I composed a very angry reply but suddenly became sane enough not to send it out. Hijo de puta why me a prostitute?
I have to entrap this guy.
Me: Where are you in Bohol?
09177112045: May I know your name?
Me: Where are you in Bohol?
09177112045: Tagbilaran. What's your name?
Me: I'm Lawrence.
Now I have to make things up and see if this guy is for real.
09177112045: How old are you Lawrence. Can you send your pic?
Me: I'm sorry I don't have MMS. How much can you afford?
09177112045: How old are you Lawrence.
Hmm. Should I tell? Should I bluff? I bluffed.
Me: I'm able at 50.
09177112045: Will text you.
My phone was silent until the end of Incredible Hulk. There goes my gigolo moment. Wrong answer.
I told my friends about the incident and we were amused. Why of all ages did I told the texter that I was 50? Why not 18? They made fun of me. Who would take a 50 year old prostitute? Why not, I asked them. C'mon. Would you? They told me to keep on texting him and they even ask for his number. Just for fun. Some guys are really weird so they deserve some weirdness. Hector did not text back anymore.
Conclusion: Old men (or women) have no place in the flesh business. Imagine being 50 and still on the service? Damn. My gigolo moment never started at all!
By the way, I am not yet 50 and could qualify for a gigolo service. Hahahahaha.
22 June 2008
Also with nothing to do because she suffered the same fate I had, the Provincial Director (PD) called me up so we could have fun despite the storm. This director is some kind of a free-spirited lady having fun with here is nothing new. And so we end up eating, malling, drinking and eating again. While Frank poured his anger outside, we drank our beers in the comforts of the bar.
So happened that The Happening was also shown in a theater nearby so we went in. The theme was great and very far from the disastrous A Lady in the Water of Shyamalan. Instead of being afraid or surprised by the bloody scenes, I was actually laughing because the PD would cower in here seat when a happening occurs. Anyways it was pure fun.
As Frank left in this island, I also gather my things and prepare for my trip back home.
No more Franks please.
Storm picture is not of Frank.
18 June 2008
What it takes on this planet,
to make love to each other in peace.
Everyone pries under your sheets,
everyone interferes with your loving.
They say terrible things about a man and a woman,
who after much milling about,
all sorts of compunctions,
do something unique,
they both lie with each other in one bed.
I ask myself whether frogs are so furtive,
or sneeze as they please.
Whether they whisper to each other in swamps about illegitimate frogs,
or the joys of amphibious living.
I ask myself if birds single out enemy birds,
or bulls gossip with bullocks before they go out in public with cows.
Even the roads have eyes and the parks their police.
Hotels spy on their guests,
windows name names,
canons and squadrons debark on missions to liquidate love.
All those ears and those jaws working incessantly,
till a man and his girl
have to raise their climax,
on a bicycle.
Quoted from www.inquirer.net
17 June 2008
BUCHAREST - The residents of a Romanian village knowingly voted in a dead man as their mayor in Sunday's municipal election, preferring him to his living opponent.
Neculai Ivascu, 57, who ran the village for almost two decades, died from liver disease just after voting began -- but still won the election by a margin of 23 votes.
A local official said the authorities decided to keep the poll open in case Ivascu's opponent, Gheorghe Dobrescu, won, avoiding the need for a re-run.
"I know he died, but I don't want change," a pro-Ivascu villager told Romanian television.
In the end, election authorities gave the post to the runner-up, but some villagers and Ivascu's party, the powerful opposition Social Democrat Party , have called for a new vote.
Lito Lapid has first bill approved in Senate
By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:16:00 06/17/2008
MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Lito Lapid has finally had a bill—the proposed Legal Assistance Act of 2008—pass in the Senate on third reading shortly before the chamber adjourned on June 11 for its regular break.
This was the first bill filed by Lapid as principal author to be approved by the Senate since the former movie actor won a seat in the chamber in 2004.
Lapid, who has been criticized for making quick exits from the session hall immediately after answering the daily 3 p.m. roll call, received rare praise from a colleague who described the bill as “smart.”
Lapid’s bill would give tax perks to private law firms that render free legal service to poor clients.
If you have some of her collections, or you know some sites where I can download them for free, please be kind enough to share it with me.
Thanks very much.
16 June 2008
Voter turnout for tiny North Dakota town: Zero
BISMARCK, N.D. - Pillsbury Mayor Darrel Brudevold said voter turnout in the city's primary election usually is fairly high.
"I dare say a half-dozen people usually make it to the polls," he said. That represents about a quarter of the residents in the Barnes County farming community, in southeastern North Dakota.
But on June 10, no one showed up. Not even those on the ballot.
Brudevold ran unopposed for re-election. His wife, Ruth, and Dan Lindseth faced no challengers for their alderman seats.
"Everybody has got a job and they're busy," Brudevold said. "It just worked out that nobody seemed to go down there to the polls."
Only about 11 people live in Pillsbury proper, and the remainder of the residents live on farms outside the city. There is no precinct in town, so residents must drive about 12 miles to neighboring Sibley to cast their votes.
Brudevold's wife, Ruth, runs the beauty shop and is the town's postmaster. She said she was too busy with work to make it to the polls.
Brudevold said he intended to vote, but that he had crops to tend.
He said he assumed at least one person would show up to vote. But since no one did, Brudevold said he'll askwhat to do next.
Brudevold, who has been mayor for a dozen years and was an alderman before that, said he doesn't think the current five-member body will change.
Barnes County Auditor Ed McGough said those in office can stay there and appoint people, including themselves, to the jobs until the next election.
"I presume things will stay the same," Brudevold said. "We're just a little village, and when you're elected to one of those jobs, well, once you get it, you got it."
The council meets about five times a year, Brudevold said. Members are each paid $48 annually, and a good portion of that goes for doughnuts at the meetings or gas to get there, he said.
Brudevold said he has no need for a gavel because attendance at the meetings is lackluster at best.
"Not everybody usually makes it to the meetings, so it really doesn't get out of hand," he said. "The only time we really get people to show up is when we want to raise taxes — then everybody shows up."
Photo of an aurora near Bismarck from NASA.
For how come a small group of bandits, without proper training, some of them not even wearing tsinelas, could outsmart the military who have gone to formal military training and has the manpower to pursue those bandits?
I understood very well why the Americans were defeated during the Vietnam war because they did not know the terrain of the country. But Filipino military on Philippine soil saying they are not familiar with the terrain is plain bullshit.
And the civilian populace suffered because of these incompetence, ineptitude, wastefulness, etc. Name it, the military is pure kapalpakan.
(The picture is not provided by the military but by www.pcij.org)
15 June 2008
14 June 2008
The Arts Council of Cebu Foundation Inc and the Les Amis de la France are once again doing crazy things that make people want for more. La Vie en Rose was their first opening salvo for the 13th French Film Festival and more.
La Vie en Rose. That's how I met Piaf. Whose Piaf? Wait I have to copy a plot summary here to give you and idea. (Copied without permission from www.rottentomatoes.com)
According to Marlene Dietrich, chanteuse Edith Piaf's voice was "the soul of Paris." This French drama explores the often troubled life of the singer as her fame took her from the City of Lights to America to the South of France. Abandoned by her mother, Piaf grew up in her grandmother's brothel and her father's circus, which is hardly the fun one might imagine. While singing on the streets of Paris as a teen, Piaf (played as an adult by Marion Cotillard, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT) is discovered by club owner Louis Leplée (Gérard Depardieu), and this chance encounter changes the woman's life. Her powerful voice takes her all over the globe, but it can't guard her from the pain and suffering she can't avoid. As Piaf, Cotillard is mesmerizing. She fully inhabits the singer's ivory skin, crafting a character that never descends into caricature or camp. She lip syncs to Piaf's legendary voice, but the performance is seamless. Like WALK THE LINE and RAY, this biopic creates a fascinating picture of an artist whose songs only begin to reflect the singer's painful life. But director-writer Olivier Dahan (LA VIE PROMISE) doesn't take the traditional biopic route with LA VIE EN ROSE. Instead, the film jumps between various moments in the singer's life, with little concern for linear narrative. Cotillard is just as adept at playing the teenage Piaf as she is the songbird on her deathbed at the age of 47, and it's her amazing performance that makes LA VIE EN ROSE worth seeing.Consensus: The set design and cinematography are impressive, but the real achievement of La Vie en Rose is Marion Cotillard's mesmerizing, wholly convincing performance as Edith Pilaf.
More activities are coming!
On Saturday, June 21 at Paseo in Mabolo, Fete de la Musique will be happening at the same time in more than 120 countries. This is the first time that this will be held in Cebu. And you should go there because this is a free concert.
The French Film Festival will officially start on June 27 at Onstage, Ayala Center Cebu. This is the schedule provided by the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation.
1:30 pm - JE CROIS QUE JE L'AIME
3:30 pm - MA VIE EN L'AIR
6:00 pm - CHANGEMENT D'ADRESSE
8:00 pm - CHANSONS D'AMOUR
1:30 pm - UN BAISER S'IL VOUS PLAIT
3:30 pm - CHANSONS D'AMOUR
6:00 pm - CHANGEMENT D'ADRESSE
8:00 pm - MA VIE EN L'AIR
3:30 pm - UN BAISER S'IL VOUS PLAIT
6:00 pm - JE CROIS QUE JE L'AIME
Again this is free to the public and on a first-come first-seated basis.
Enjoy and say that in French.
13 June 2008
I'm not really into iMacs how much more iPhones. Aside from the fact that I could not afford iMacs, I find the machine not for me. Maybe not at this life time.
This is a bit of sourgraping.
However, I am more than glad when I saw a blog that Sony Ericsson will introduce a camera with a phone, something of that sort, because the camera has an amazing "8.1 megapixel spec with auto focus, face recognition, a new feature called Smart Contrast, image stabilization, BestPic, red-eye reduction, xenon flash as well as photoflash for both photos and videos. It’s got a video stabilizer feature as well. You can geo-tag your photos with the built-in GPS with further support for A-GPS, and the large camera resolution makes it possible to do prints in up to A3 sizes! Your photos will automatically flip to landscape mode, when you tilt your phone, as it’s got a built-in accelerometer."
Isn't that cool? I won't trade a Sony Ericsson for an iPhone.
More details can be read here.
The highway to the earthquake struck city Dujianyang (20 mile from Chengdu) was almost jammed one hour after the earthquake, not by people fleeing the aftershocks, but by volunteers, led by over 1,000 taxi drivers, came from Chengdu to rescue.
An owner of a big construction company 1,500 miles from the disaster area, just 2 hour 30 minutes after the earthquake, started transporting 60 construction machineries and led 120 volunteers to rescue. They arrived at the disaster area 24 hours later, almost the same time as the Army Engineering Corps.