Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005: The Year That Was

In a few hours the year 2005 will come to an end and a New Year will begin. I have to admit this year was one of my best. Here are the reasons why:

met someone (February)
finished my medical internship (April)
returned to regular church going (May)
started blogging (May)
passed the medical board exams (August)
went on vacation in Boracay (September)
got my professional license (October)
found my first job (October)
received first salary (November)
gained 7 lbs!!! (December)

What a year! I'm looking forward to this coming 2006!


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Boracay: The Last Sunset

All good things must come to an end. It came too fast for me. I suddenly realized that it was the last afternoon of my vacation. It felt as if I had just arrived on the island. I decided to spend the remaining hours of the day strolling the North Beach.

Time passed by quickly and before I knew it the sun was setting. I thought it would be memorable that to spend this last sunset in the same place I first visited when I arrived - Willy's Rock.

I can't explain what I felt seeing that sun set on the horizon - sad? definitely. But there was something else - something that felt like peace of mind.

Next: Back to Civilization

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

My Empire Awaits

It's been a while since I've posted on my blogs (1 month on my health blog). Blame it on running my empire - Civilization 4 is out and there are many more sleepless nights ahead. I'd like to blog somemore but the Mongol diplomats are protesting my occupation of their farmlands, the Greecians are preparing an army of swordsmen and archers against me, and I just found out that my citizens want me to remove slavery and pay them to work - Imagine that!

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Love Molecule

Your pulse beats faster, there are butterflies in your stomach, euphoria - you're in love!

What is love?

A scientist will tell you that it's simply a series of chemical reactions. Many chemicals/substances in our body have been associated with the feeling of love. Researchers in Pavia University have pin pointed a certain molecule - nerve growth factor (NGF) - as the cause of the emotions that overwhelm new lovers. But there's a catch - it only lasts 1 year.

The Italian scientists found far higher levels of NGF in the blood of 58 people who had recently fallen madly in love than in that of a group of singles and people in long-term relationships.

But after a year with the same lover, the quantity of the 'love molecule' in their blood had fallen to the same level as that of the other groups.
[Yahoo News November 30, 2005]

If you think about it, that's approximately the time you stop being 'blindly' in love and start seeing the 'real' person. That's the time you start noticing the little things about him/her that bother you.

If love is triggered by certain substances, it certainly takes more than just a chemical to make it last.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Beauty in the Brain of the Beholder

Do you know anyone who actually likes his/her body? I myself find it easier to be appreciative of others physically than of myself. Science is coming closer to find the reason for this and hopefully provide a solution for those with poor self image.

Researchers in the UK have identified the part of our brain that processes perceptions about the size and shape of our body parts.

As they report in the journal PloS Biology, Ehrsson and his team identified the brain area by employing a technique that produces an effect known as the "Pinocchio illusion." It involves vibrating the skin over the tendons in a joint, which produces the illusion that the joint is bending or extending depending on where the stimulus is placed. For example, a person who placed his finger at the end of his nose could be made to feel that his finger was extending, giving him the perception that his nose growing.

In the current experiment, volunteers placed their hands at their waists. The skin over the tendon responsible for bending the wrists inward was then vibrated, producing the illusion that the waist was shrinking.

The findings, Ehrsson said, could one day be used to better understand conditions that involve misperception of body image -- for example anorexia, in which people see themselves as too fat even when they're skeletal. [Reuters December 6, 2005]

Maybe one day science can adjust this part of the brain to give us the illusion that we are all supermodels :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

The Magic of Christmas

A cool breeze is blowing right now. A sign that Christmas is just around the corner. I wasn't able to really celebrate Christmas these past 2 years - I was on duty in the hospital. It really is sad having to work on Christmas. But what I feel worse about is I can't seem to catch the Christmas Spirit anymore.

As a kid, Christmas was really special and somehow magical and it wasn't just because of the gifts. It seems growing up makes us loose that belief in magic. We become more sceptical, more difficult to impress, less appreciative of small things. There are many things I want to receive as gifts this Christmas but somehow I think it'll only make me wish for more. My wish this Christmas is to have that magic back.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 3, 2005


I'm the kind of person that prefers a routine daily life than that of spontaneity. I have difficulty going back to 'normal' life after going on a long vacation. After the end of my medical internship my routine went out the window - preparing for the board exams, taking it, looking for a job. But now i realized that somehow my creative side comes out when things become unpredictable. I discovered blogging, writing, and photography.

Routine is again setting in and i'm slipping back to my boring self. No ups or downs just a monotonous "I'm OK!" I never was the kind of person who could motivate himself. My motivation usually comes from what's going on around me. I'll be the first to admit - although unpredictability exhausts me, it's better than living like a robot with only a limited set of actions.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Boracay: The Rocky South

After enjoying the small patch of greenery at the southern portion of Boracay, I proceeded to the very southern tip of the White Beach. A small cave/arch of stone marks the transition from the sandy beach to that of rocks

Again, I was caught under the noontime sun and it was HOT! I think I was really pushing myself to finish exploring the beach before I headed home *sic!*

Although there really wasn't much to see, I was glad I explored this area.

Next: The Last Sunset

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Monday, November 21, 2005


Sometimes we pride ourselves by thinking that we are the only beings in the whole universe. Let's look at the facts:

The Earth is 1 PLANET of the 9 planets surrounding the sun.
The sun is the 1 STAR in our solar system.
The sun is 1 out of the 200 BILLION stars in our galaxy
There are 100 MILLION identified (lots more are out there) galaxies
That makes about 20000 000 000 000 000 000 (20,000 TRILLION) stars
Lets say EACH STAR has at least 3 PLANETS (ours has 9)
So that's 60,000 TRILLION planets

Do you think that we're the only planet with INTELLIGENT!?! Life?

Do you honestly think we are ALONE in the UNIVERSE?

Free polls from

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Boracay: The (Green) South Beach

I have a bit of obsessive-compulsiveness in me. Since I had reached the northern end of Boracay, I was determined to reach the southern part too. At 10am the following day, I started walking towards the southern portion of the White Beach. It proved to me more than a 2 kilometer walk and I got a bit tired of seeing the white sand, blue ocean, and blue sky and wisps of white clouds.

It was a pleasant surprise, on the southern half, to find something new - grass, green grass :) It seemed this was the only place along the 4km stretch of white beach where grass could be found.


It was already noon when I reached the southern end. Here I found another resort that I think I would like to stay in (if ever I could afford it (",) - Lorenzo South.

I think I was the only one on the island who dared to walk under the noontime sun. It was scorching hot! What I needed was an ice-cold fruit shake. Luckily I can across this bar. Unfortunately, all they had was soda, but hey, at least it was a photogenic place hehehe

Next: The Rocky South

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

$1M or 1YR

i'm still suffering from a lack of ideas to blog. Seems like the harder I try to think of a topic, the harder it is to find one. Layla and DayByDay4-2Day gave me some good suggestions to get my mind started again :)

1.) Where would I like to go on my next vacation?

2.) Would I rather have a million dollars or an extra year of life?
$$$$ :)

3.) Did I have any pets growing up?
Unfortunately, No.

I'm still coming up with an ABC list of gratitude. Thanks guys

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bloggers' Block

I think i'm suffering from this. Life has become routine... again.

I need a vacation... again! :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Boracay: The North Beach

It was already nearing lunch time when I left the Butterfly Farm. The sun was high in the sky and there was only one thing that could fight the heat - a very cold shake. I heard that Jonah's restaurant at the northern portion of Boracay was famous for their shakes especially the banana peanut butter shake (rightmost).

Well, I'm not really a good food critic but it was too creamy for me. I prefer the fresh mango shake a Sheena's Seafood Restaurant near D'Mall.

I had lunch at Jonah's and despite that heat of the day decided to explore the northern end of Boracay. This portion is where most of the high-end resorts are located: Pearl of the Pacific, Fridays, etc. The expanse of the beach is at its widest here and the sand felt even finer here.

At the very northern end of the White Beach is a paved narrow path that works it's way below the low cliff marking the northern edge. If you recall, I opted to go barefoot because of blisters on my toes and this was one of the rare occasions I regretted doing that - the pavement was HOT! I saw this parent and child along this path:

On the way back, I met a local celebrity - Dyango. The only thing this Labrador loves for than the sea is playing fetch - whether on the beach or in the water. I watched him swimming for 15 minutes straight! between 2 groups of kids throwing a ball.

Next: The Color Green

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Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Lying & that 'Gut' Feeling

At one point or another all of us has told a lie. Have you noticed feeling a 'sick' sensation in your stomach during those times? Some observant scientists have, and they decided to make a study to determine if they could use this 'normal' reaction to stress as a lie detector.

A new study shows that measuring changes in the stomach may be better at spotting a lie than standard polygraph methods.

Polygraphs use electrocardiograms (ECGs) to measure changes in heart rate and sweating to detect lies. But researchers say the stomach and gastrointestinal tract are also extremely sensitive to stress, and this mind-stomach connection may betray even the best liars.

Their results suggest that adding gastrointestinal monitoring to standard polygraph techniques may increase the accuracy of lie-detection methods, which are about 90% accurate.

The study showed that both lying and telling the truth were associated with changes in heart rate and stomach activity. The act of lying was associated with a decrease in the amount of normal gastric "slow waves."[CBS News, Oct. 31, 2005]

Of couse telling the truth when your stomach is empty might confuse the measuring instruments :o)

Monday, November 7, 2005

Boracay: Butterfly Farm

After the slightly disappointing trip to Puka Beach, I asked the tricycle driver to head towards the Butterfly Farm which is located along the main road of Boracay inside the Fairways & Bluewater resort. Although not exactly a beachfront resort, it is one of the upscale resorts in Boracay. It is one of the few (maybe the only one) that offers a golf course and the only one that has a butterfly sanctuary.

The Butterfly Farm looks more like a small garden/greenhouse than a farm (hehehe). There is an entrance fee of P75/head ($1.40). It's a simple place but it provides a welcome change from the sand-sea-sky scenery. There were at least 10 butterfly species but it appeared that the more exotic species didn't like to have their photos taken :)

Next: The North Beach Resorts

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Friday, November 4, 2005

Count the Black Dots!

Boracay: Puka Beach

At around lunch time, we headed back to the White Beach. Since it was the monsoon season in the Philippines, we got caught in a sudden downpour on the way back. Everyone on the boat was soaked and shivering - part of the fun! Its a good think I brough some plastic containers since I had the following with me: mobile phone, digital camera, binoculars, sunglasses, and some cash. If you ever get to visit Boracay, don't fail to take a boating trip.

I headed back to the Sunshine Place and fell asleep exhausted but happy.

The next day, I decided to visit the other parts of the island that I wasn't able to visit during the . This time I decided to travel by land. A tricycle was rented for P300 ($5.50) for 3 hours. I left the Sunshine Place at 9am. I was hoping to gather some shells, and since the main beach of Boracay was almost pure sand, the tricycle driver suggested we go to Puka Beach first since it was a well-known area to gather shells.

After 20 minutes along a bumpy road, I finally arrived at Puka Beach. It was on the opposite side of the 'White Beach' and unlike the calm seas there, the waves at Puka Beach were big and I wouldn't dare go for a swim. It maybe about a kilometer long and had very little shade - oh, I was here to get some shells but where were they?

Just then the tricycle driver volunteers that it was high tide and we should have come during the afternoon when it was low tide (now he tells me!) - he's supposed to be the local resident - *sigh* Aside from some shells and large waves, there was nothing else to do here so off to the next destination.

Next: The Butterfly Farm

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter... Fat?

In my post, 'Eat Your Vegetables', many studies have shown evidence that eating vegetables may offer protection from various kinds of cancer. But why is it so difficult to get most kids (and adults) to eat vegetables? Why is it so difficult to train our tongue to crave for veggies but so easy to like the taste of french fries, cookies, and other fat-filled delicious food?

A new study may have the answer - Our tongue naturally craves fatty foods!
Scientists have speculated that the tongue may have a receptor designed to detect fat, but this study is the first to pinpoint one, according to Besnard and his colleagues. The receptor, a protein called CD36, is already known to exist in many tissues and is involved in fat storage, among other jobs; it is also goes by the name of fatty acid transporter, or FAT.

Rats and mice, not to mention many humans, have a natural preference for fatty food, and rats have already been shown to have CD36 proteins in their taste buds.

To see whether CD36 might be the tongue's fat detector, Besnard and his colleagues studied rats and mice that were either normal or had the gene for CD36 "knocked out," inactivating the protein.

They found that while the genetically normal animals naturally opted for fattier fare when given the choice, the CD36-deficient mice had no such preference. And when the researchers put fatty acids on the tongues of the normal animals, this alone triggered a release of fat-processing substances from the digestive organs. Again, the same was not true of mice lacking CD36 activity.

It's possible, he speculated, that the receptor's effects -- encouraging a preference for fat and launching a quick release of digestive substances -- conferred an evolutionary advantage when food was scarce. In modern times of plenty, however, this may be a disadvantage for the waistline. [Reuters Nov. 1, 2005]
If proven to be true, a successful diet may be as simple as inactivating these receptors on the tongue and maybe implanting vegetable-loving receptors.

A One-Click Answer

I've been on 24-hour duty every other day for the past 6 days. Sometimes I get to sleep, sometimes I don't. I leave the clinic around 8 in the morning and arrive at home at around 9. What's the first thing I do when I get home - change clothes? Eat breakfast? Bathe? Sleep? - not even close. I go straight to the computer and wait for the dial-up modems to establish a link, then I blog. Once in a while, my ISP is down, sometimes I can't get my mail, Blogger is down (panic!), Haloscan is inaccessible - my mood changes and I'm pissed off!

I agree that interacting on the Net is very important but exactly how important should it be? Minor hiccups by Net services, software, instant messengers, and email services are to be expected but why do I feel that I will miss out on something big if I can't log in with just 'one click'? Or even worse - Why do I sometimes feel that the world will miss out on something big if I can't log in?

I came across this post by chance and was brought back to reality

One of the most irritating things to me is the expectation of six-nines service (e.g. 99.9999% uptime) from things which are free (or $1/mo). Haloscan, Blogger, LibraryThing, you name it. This is the internet--things happen. Also, people _sleep_ for chrissakes, or at least they sometimes try to. You can't have it both ways (free and always available) and you know what? Even if you pay for something, you're not going to get six-nines service. You'll be lucky if you get two nines. Hell, you'll likely get a nine and an eight, or no guarantee at all. Or maybe a nine and a seven. Maybe a six.

My point is simply this: it is naive to think that everything is always on, even if you are. Blogger sucks because it went down for twenty minutes and I couldn't post about what I did today, or the world is going to end because for several hours no one could leave comments to my post, for the love of god who cares. Who cares? So we're inconvenienced because our blogging service burped. TypePad burps too. So does Yahoo. So does Amazon, and eBay, and every other entity online. Every single one. While we're inconvenienced, there are engineers running around trying to fix whatever the f*ck got broken because every nine that drops off the counter means less income for their company and probably they'll be out of a job. The Blogger folks--and there aren't that many of them relative to the size of the company, as Google headcount != Blogger headcount--don't think they don't personally feel the weight of the entire internet on them when Blogger goes down unexpectedly for even a few minutes. It's one of the most f*ck*ng stressful feelings ever to watch your app crash to a halt and the collective hate of ten people, let alone 10 million people, focuses itself squarely between your eyes.

...Go take a walk or something and come back later and the whole matrix will all be back in place and we can resume our whatever-insignificant-thing-we-all-blog-about blogging and commenting.[Irritating @ No Fancy Name]

I just got home from a 24-hour duty and I'm here still in duty clothes, with an empty stomach, eyelids drooping, and haggard looking, blogging - because you guys might miss out on something big if I don't! Hahaha!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Boracay: Crystal Cove

One of the destinations during the boating trip was Crystal Cove, located on the eastern side of Boracay. When I asked the boatmen about this location, they mentioned that it was well-known because of the Crystal Cave. oooohhh! a cave... a crystal cave!

Upon arriving at the Crystal Cove, you have to pay P75 ($1.3)/head. Just inside are a few monkeys you can pet or feed. I didn't really pay attention to them because i was excited to see... The Crystal Cave! OOooooohhh!!!

So I finally got to the much talked about cave. It would be an understatement if I say, "I was disappointed" - "I was VERY disappointed!" It was a small cave that opened into the sea but there was nothing special about it - Oh, wait, I forgot the crystal - well, it didn't look like a crystal and, after asking around, it was just placed in the cave... (would the BATcave be called a BATcave without BATman or BATs?)

After visiting the talked about Cystal Cave, I took a few more pictures of the area. Although it offered some good views of the sea...

... the place itself appeared to have been developed without planning. There were stone structures scattered here and there which didn't appear to serve any purpose. The place was not authentic and evidently 'engineered' to be a tourist spot but was just full of hype.

Link: An added bonus of fresh air

Next: Puka Beach

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Replacement Surgeons

A friend in her post - Is Technology Gonna Take My Place? - talked about her difficulties in finding a job as an administrative assistant (AA). It appears that today's technology can do most of the tasks of an AA faster and more efficiently.
"Now the 'boss' walks around with his or her cell phone connected at all times, a PDA that contains more info than you can possibly use, a laptop with THE INTERNET to find just about any info you need in a moment's notice.

So what do they need live human being for if they can do all this with technology that fits in a black bag then can sling over their shoulder?" [Ramble On]

I commented that technology will also change the roles of health care workers. That 'change' may come soon for surgeon. The University of Nebraska have developed tiny machines, they say, may replace open surgery.
Meet Dr. Robot: About the size of a lipstick case, it's able to drive around inside your body and serve as the eyes or hands of a surgeon who could be thousands of miles away.

University of Nebraska researchers have developed the tiny machines, which they say could allow doctors to remotely conduct surgeries in the battlefield or even space.

The tiny, wheeled robots, which are about 3 inches tall, can be slipped into small incisions and computer-controlled by surgeons in different locations. Some are equipped with cameras and lights and can send back images to surgeons. Others have surgical tools allowing them to make incisions, deliver medicine and perform other tasks.

Eventually, Oleynikov said, the tiny robots may enable surgeons to work without ever placing their hands in patients' bodies.

"That's the goal," Oleynikov said. "It's getting easier and easier. We can do even more with these devices." [CBS News, Oct. 27, 2005]

In the future, becoming a surgeon could mean just a 1-2 year course in operating this robots. What does this mean for patients? I can't wait to find out!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Get Well or Feel Better?

"...Sympathy and tact will often prove a greater benefit to the sick
than will the most skillful treatment given in a cold, indifferent way"
[Ellen White in Ministries on Health 244 (1905)]

This phrase made me think... when you go to a doctor, would you rather get well or feel better?

I've decided to start a poll to see which of the 2 doctors you would choose:

Dr. Gregory House - no bedside manners, humiliates his patients but always makes the right diagnosis and giver the proper treatment;

Dr. Patch Adams - treats his patient with compassion and makes them laugh. His methods are 'unconventional' because he adjusts to the 'level' of his patients.

Vote which doctor you prefer to consult with.

Link: Sympathy & Compassion in Medicine

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Boracay: The Boating Trip

A must-do activity in Boracay is to go on a boating trip. You will get so many offers on the beach from owners of the small boats that it would be impossible to resist. A typical boating trip costs about P1,000 - P1,500 ($20-$25) for about 4-5 persons and lasts about 3 hours. It includes the rent of a small 'banca' or boat and snorkling gear. The usual venue includes going to a snorkling spot (don't expect colorful corals, though), Crystal Cove, Club Panoly, Puka Beach, and someother parts of the island.

If you want to spend the whole day (10am-5pm) at sea, a stall near Station 3 offers lunch and snacks. However, you get on a bigger 'banca' and usually join other vacationeers.

Don't expect too much of the places you visit during the short tour. It’s the trip itself that proves to be memorable.

Next: The Crystal Cove

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Baby OUT!

During my first day on duty at Dr D’s clinic, I found out that they allowed their pregnant patients to choose who would deliver their babies – either the obstetrician or residents (that was our official title). I never liked obstetrics (maybe I’ll make a post about that in the future) and I always prayed that I wouldn’t be called on to deliver a baby by myself.

The Sunday started smoothly, patients arrived one at a time and there were no difficult cases. Around 6:30pm a car suddenly pulled up at the front of the clinic and out came a very pregnant lady. “I’m going to give birth!” she announced. The clinic had a delivery room on the 2nd floor. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem the baby could wait that long – and I was the only doctor in the clinic!

The patient was brought to the examining table… I sent a text message to Dr D… one of the staff ran up to the delivery room to get instruments… another one ran to get IV fluids… I stepped up beside the patient… she said her last menstrual period was March (that made it just 7 months) – I started to worry… put on a pair of gloves and intended to check if her cervix was fully open… and saw a black mass pushing through the vaginal opening – the head of her baby!… I was still in khakis and a polo shirt… the instruments weren’t available; the IV fluid wasn’t attached yet; there was no time to sedate; there was no time to clean the perineum… in less than 5 minutes, out came all 3.7kg of a baby boy! (average birth weight of a Filipino baby is 3kg)… and then he cried! *sigh of relief*

Did I deliver the baby? Technically I did… well, more likely I just caught him because he was coming out doctor or no doctor. I had conducted the first delivery as a licensed doctor.

Then came the difficult part – oh, the baby was ok – but it became apparent that the mother wasn’t “all there”. She was very talkative, refused IV fluids, refused suture of the lacerations in her vagina – big head+small vagina=big laceration! Fortunately there appeared to be no bleeding. She wanted to get her baby and head home ‘now!’ An interview with her relatives revealed that she had a mental breakdown years ago and never recovered.

The whole night she kept us up. She had a sharp mind – she remembered everyone and called us by our names (I don’t even know all the staff yet)… She wanted to breastfeed her baby – which was not allowed by the pediatrician. She wanted to go home; still refused suturing of the lacerations (we managed to convince her that she needed the IV fluids). She fought off the effects of the sedatives we gave her because she was afraid someone would run off with her baby *sigh*… *sigh*

So much for hoping no one would give birth during my shift.

In other patient news:
"1 year-old bites penis of his 5 year-old brother!"
*no comment*

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mr. Pure Energy

Last Friday I chanced upon a album promotion by well-known local singer Gary Valenciano, called Mr. Pure Energy by his fans, because he is known not only for his singing but also for his non-stop dance moves during his concerts. He is one of the few singers here in the Philippines who has managed to remain popular despite changes in the trends and tastes when it comes to music.

Just for P250 ($5) I got his newest CD, was treated to a mini-concert where he sang (& danced) 5 songs and best of all where he made sure he autographed everyone's CD copy. Other singers/artists would have just autographed the 1st 50 copies but he happily signed about 200 - imagine signing your name 200 times and coming up with a short message for each!

What is more admirable about him is that he is an active Christian and he publicly acknowleges the blessings he has received from God in both his songs and his personal life. He is also a known diabetic for many years now and there was at least 1 occasion when he came close to death because of this disease. But his has not slowed him down. He continues to bless many lives both on and off the stage.

Here's a part of his song "Shout for Joy"

How do I begin to tell you 'bout this friend
Who's like no other
Ever since the day He walked into my life
He's been more than a brother
And everyday and every minute
There's a shower of love I feel
Something I used to just imagine
I tell you know it's all for real.
That's why I


Shout for joy
Sing His praises
Lift my voice unto the Lord
Shout for joy
Sing His praises
Lift my voice unto the Lord

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Blogspot Attacked

The search giant's Blogger blog-creation tool and BlogSpot hosting service, together the most popular free blogging service on the Web, fell victim this past weekend to the biggest splog attack yet--an assault that led to clogged RSS readers and overflowing in-boxes, and that may have manipulated search engine rankings.

As a result, PubSub may stop including entries from Blogger-BlogSpot feeds in the normal results it delivers to users. PubSub is also considering requiring that users explicitly opt in if they want to see results from Blogger-BlogSpot feeds, Wyman said. "We may be forced to filter out everything from BlogSpot," he said. "That would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. That's really unfortunate.", co-owned by well-known Net entrepreneur Mark Cuban, also said it would stop indexing Blogger-BlogSpot posts until it could get a splog filter in place. [Full Text]

What's wrong with the people responsible for this?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What About MY Happiness???

A SMS (text) message from a loved one made me rush out of the house this noon. We met a nearby mall where I learned that there was a big possibility that we would be apart (in distance). Apparently tempers had finally flared up against cousin-in-law who had been rude and and a verbal abuser for quite some time. Unfortunately that relative owned the house. No final decisions had been made. Everyone involved in the verbal fight had retreated for the time being to lick their wounds.

The idea of being apart from someone I loved (despite it just a big probability) left me stunned. YES, I wanted the best for both of us… but I couldn't bring myself to admit that maybe some time in the province (with immediate family… but far away from me) was for the best. All I could think of was:
"What about me?"
"Couldn't you just have let the comments pass through your ears as you always have done?"
It was selfish of me - I don't know what its like to live with someone like that, and maybe I would flare up too - but I couldn't help it… "What about US?" "What about ME?" was all I could think of. Deep inside I knew that I supported whatever decision would result but it was a conflict of MY interest.

A few weeks ago, a friend whom I got to know here at blogger was in a somewhat similar situation. She had been, for almost 2 decades, dealing with the dependence of her loved one on substances. She finally came to the decision that if that loved one could not confront the addiction, she would leave him. That fateful day came. But when she told her kids about her decision…
"...They think that I am not thinking about their happiness. That I want to up root them from their home, family and life. They think I should just let him get high if he wants and not care..."
I can emphasize WITH HER KIDS! It’s easy to say, "Turn a blind eye", "Let is pass through your ears", "Let it be (as long as no physical harm is done to you)" when you're not the one in that situation. All we think about is, "What about MY happiness."

I managed to blurt out without coming to tears that I would be supportive of whatever would be (which was true). I'm still waiting for what happens next.

(PS: More power to you DayByDay4-2Day and may God bless you always.)


When I got home, I saw this offline YM message from someone:
mamamatay daw ung mother mo kpg d pnasa (Your mom is going to die if you don’t pass this message) ..except the sender of this message ra69966996 : Pas ds word "God ur so nice!" to 20 of ur frends. f 5 comes back, ur fmly will be safe, f u ignore it 1 of your love may die in 2006...-sowee dudes,, but i luv my 2 mums..
After what I had just been through, I wasn't in any mood at all for this b*llsh*t. I replied:
I hope they die

Boracay: Agimat, Inc.

It was my first night in Boracay and I explored the establishments along the beach. September is an off-peak month so as expected, the beach front wasn't that crowded. Lining the White Beach is a long line of restaurants, resorts, and various stalls. Haggling for prices is the routine here and NEVER agree immediately on a set price of an item.

As I was strolling, I came across a simple stall set up near the Red Coconut Beach Resort. The owners didn't have even a roof over their stall which was simply leaning against a palm trees. On display were various necklaces, bracelets, and anklets - Agimat, Inc.

"Agimat" is the Filipino word for 'charm' or 'lucky charm'. Now Boracay has dozens of stalls that sell these items but what set this stall apart was the fact that their owners 'knew' what they were selling. The could tell you what each stone represented - whether friendship, love, business, travel, etc.; and how each item was made. They also claimed that their items were unique - and in fairness, i didn't find similar items in the other stalls.

If you happen to visit Boracay, try to look for them. They're there from 5pm to 10pm. In the meantime, you could checkup a fellow bloggers site for some beaded stuff.

Next: the Boating Trip

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