Monday, May 29, 2006

Enjoy Your Coffee

I used to never read forwarded emails. I just discovered recently how inspiring and enriching some of them could get. Here's one from Ms. Lil.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university lecturer. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the lecturer went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, some plain-looking and some expensive and exquisite, telling them to help themselves to hot coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the lecturer said: "If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the better cups and are eyeing each other's cups."

Now, if life is coffee, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, but the quality of life doesn't change.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it."

Don't let the cups drive you...enjoy the coffee. :-)

How To Make Your Own Air Conditioner for $25!

For those of us without A/C (or in my case, for those of use with broken A/C units), this could be a solution! Using materials you find around the house and cheap items you can buy at any hardware store, you can make this unit which cools an average sized room in about 20 mins. Works pretty well!

read more | digg story

Friday, May 26, 2006

Worker Dead at Desk for Five Days

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We get so caught up in our own little worlds that we forget that we're living beings who need love and care to survive. Pathetic. This is such a sad way to die. If the image above is hard to read, here's a transcript:

From the New York Times: Bosses of a publishing firm are trying to work out why no one noticed that one of their employees had been sitting dead at his desk for five days before anyone asked if he was feeling okay. George Turklebaurn, 51, who had been employed as a proof-reader [sic] at a New York film for 30 years, had a heart attack in the open-plan office he shared with 23 other workers.

He quietly passed away on Monday, but nobody noticed until Saturday morning when an office cleaner asked why he was working during the weekend.

His boss, Elliot Wachiaski, said: George was always the first guy in each morning and the last to leave at night, so no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything. He was always absorbed in his work and kept much to himself.

A post mortem examination revealed that he had been dead for five days after suffering a coronary. George was proofreading manuscripts of medical textbooks when he died.

You may want to give your co-workers a nudge occasionally. The moral of the story: Don't work too hard. Nobody notices anyway.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Itunes Lets People Re-Download all Your Music Once!

iTunes Music Store Says \"In the event that a customers entire music library is lost, the iTunes Music Store does re-grant the purchases history. Please keep in mind that Apple does not offer protection against the loss of purchases, so this is a one-time exception.\"

read more | digg story

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

iPod Killers for Summer of 2006 has compiled a comprehensive list of potential iPod killers for the summer and explain the strengths and weaknesses of each player. If nothing else, this is a good list of alternatives to the iPod if one in inclined.

read more | digg story

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Big Test - MacBook As A Windows Machine

Harry McCracken, of PC World, takes a look at the MacBook as a Windows machine and he likes it. True, he is a Mac person at heart but the MacBook plus Boot Camp equals nirvana.

read more | digg story

Thursday, May 18, 2006

How The Da Vinci Code Doesn't Work - from HowStuffWorks

In this article, you'll learn what happened when HowStuffWorks took a close, hard look at "The Da Vinci Code" and how it uses science, technology, art and history.

read more | digg story

Bausch & Lomb has been blinding contact users with a flesh eating fungus!

For the last two years several people in Singapore have gotten a flesh eating fungus in their contact moisturizer drops.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Teacher Help! First Aid to Help You Deal with Some Minor Injuries in School

Do you remember when a student of yours burned himself during Science laboratory class? Or how about the time when a preschool pupil of yours ran to you crying during play time because he scraped his knee? How about when two of your students figured in fisticuffs that left both of them bruised and bleeding? Weren’t those moments when you wished you were a nurse instead of a panicking teacher? Those times need not call for desperate measures.

First aid is your best friend during these emergencies. Your preschool, elementary, or high school students are at their most physically active and emotionally volatile stages in their lives—a lethal combination which may result to not-so-serious physical injuries to life-threatening ones. And since they spend most of their waking hours at school, it does help that their second parents, you, know what to do when they call for help.

But before giving you some specific basic knowledge of first aid for some minor injuries, it would be wise to keep in mind the following general tips first:

1. All injuries should be treated regardless of how small they appear. Even the smallest of wounds attract the growth of bacterial infection which may eventually become worse.
2. First aid is not the treatment itself. Make sure that you get medical assistance as soon as possible.
3. Make sure that your school has a complete first aid kit set. If it already does, know where to find it in case of emergency.
4. Know by heart the numbers to call during emergencies.
5. Keep calm. Your knowledge of first aid and the emergency numbers in your head will only be useful if you are thinking straight.

Bruises and Black Eyes
Have you ever used the phrase “black and blue” to describe students who’ve figured in nasty brawls? It is in fact a very graphic and literal description. Bruises are usually swollen, discolored (starts pink, turns bluish, then greenish-yellow, to normal), and painful to the touch. Black eyes are dark bruises around the eyes.

To treat a bruise, apply cloth-covered ice or a cold compact on it to ease the pain and reduce the swelling. Do this for 15 minutes every hour for two to three days. Exerting a gentle pressure, do the same for black eyes. Do not press the cold pack on the eyes themselves. Check the eyes for blood. Seek medical treatment immediately.

Nose Bleeds
Nose bleeds may be caused by a blow to the nose during fights or minor irritations that cause incessant nose-picking.

To abate nose bleed, let the student sit still. Using your thumb and finger, press the soft portion of the nose just above the nostrils for 5 to 10 minutes. Lean the student forward and instruct him to breathe through his mouth. The bleeding may be stopped or controlled this way until you get medical assistance. In the case of a broken nose, the least you can do is control the bleeding until the doctor attends to it.

Cuts, Scrapes, and Puncture Wounds

These injuries may happen during monitored class activities like laboratory experiments or during play time when the students are most often left to themselves. For minor cuts and scrapes, wash the wound with mild soap and water. To stop the bleeding, apply pressure using a sterile bandage or a clean cloth. When the bleeding stops, apply antibacterial ointment and cover the wound with bandage if it is likely to get dirty. If the bleeding does not stop in 20 minutes, elevate the injured body part and wait for medical assistance.

For a minor puncture wound, flush it with running water and then wash with soap. Check for objects that are lodged in the wound but do not attempt to remove them. If you don’t see any, check the object that caused the wound for any missing part. Removing foreign objects from the wound should be left to the medical personnel.

Burns may be caused by accidents in the handling of equipment or chemicals in the laboratory or hot food and surfaces in the cafeteria. First aid for burns differs depending on the gravity of the injury. For first degree burns, you can flush it with cold running water for 15 minutes and cover it loosely with moist dressing and bandage. For second and third degree burns, cover the wound with dry dressing and loose bandage and call for immediate medical assistance. Do not wash second and third degree burns with water because this adds to the risk of shock.

Choking is likely to happen to preschool students who tend to put objects in their mouths or to older kids during meals. A person may choke when a foreign object becomes lodged in his throat, preventing him to swallow and breathe. He grabs his throat, panics, gasps for breath, turns blue, or becomes unconscious. He cannot cough or speak. The first aid for choking is called the Heimlich maneuver. This technique creates an artificial cough that removes the object that blocks the victim’s throat.

The Heimlich maneuver varies depending on the age of the victim. If the victim is a young child, you should stand behind him, your arms around his waist. Place one of your hands, forming a fist with your thumb in, between the ribs and the waistline. Grab your fist with your other hand. Make sure your arms are placed just below the child’s rib cage, not on it. Do four quick inward and upward thrusts, repeating until the victim coughs the object out. For an older student, you can do the same technique if he is seated or standing. If the victim is lying down or unconscious, straddle him, place the heel of your hand just above his waistline, and then your other hand on top. Do four quick upward thrusts, repeating until the victim coughs the object out. Make sure to keep your elbows straight while doing this.

This is an injury to a joint which occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn because of twisting. A sprain is painful and swollen. Immediately apply ice on the sprain to relieve the pain, doing this regularly for the next 48 hours. Elevate the swelling as well. The injury should be examined by a medical practitioner.

Bug Bites/Stings
Bites from mosquitoes, fleas, mites, and most spiders are likely to just cause itching. The more serious bites from fire ants and stings of bees, wasps, and hornets cause allergic reactions that may be fatal. If the stinger is visible, remove it by scraping across the stinger using a straight-edged object. Do not use tweezers which may squeeze the stinger and release more venom. Wash the injury with soap and water and apply ice wrapped in cloth on it. Applying antihistamine cream may help reduce itching. Make sure to seek medical attention.

Basic First Aid Tips. (accessed 28 February 2006)
MayoClinic.Com. (accessed 28 February 2006)
Medline Plus. (accessed 28 February 2006)
Medline Plus. (accessed 28 February 2006)
Survival Center. (accessed 28 February 2006)
The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. (accessed 28 February 2006)

NCCA: Vanguard of National Treasures

Strips of abaca fiber woven by nimble hands on a traditional loom for three to four months—that is what it takes to craft a fabric big enough to make a regular-sized traditional tube skirt. Salinta Monton, a Tagabawa-Bagobo from Bansalan, Davao del Sur, is practically the only remaining person who knows the intricacies of the art of abaca-ikat weaving. And on her shoulders lie the task of passing on the skills to the youth of her community.

Uwang Ahadas finds himself on the same boat with Salinta. A native Yakan from Basilan, Ahadas is a master of his tribe’s music. Despite being almost blind, he is able to play several native instruments like the gabbang (bamboo xylophone), kulintang (five gongs in a row), agung (three large suspended gongs), tuntungan (wooden platform), and kwintangan kayu (five log beams suspended horizontally). Ahadas goes around the country showcasing and teaching traditional Yakan music.

Being harbingers of indigenous arts, Monton and Ahadas have both been conferred the National Living Treasures Award (Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan). The award recognizes contributions to Philippine arts and culture by indigenous individuals or groups. Such honor is bestowed through the efforts of the country’s governing body on issues concerning arts and culture—the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

The NCCA is assigned to be the caretaker of the country’s cultural identity, creating and managing programs for arts and culture education, promotion, and propagation throughout the nation. The award is just one of the agency’s efforts to realize its mandate.

Origin and Mandate

In recognition of the importance of a solid cultural identity in a nation’s development, then President Corazon C. Aquino formed the Presidential Commission on Culture and the Arts in 1987, the forerunner of the NCCA. In 1992, Republic Act 7356 breathe life into the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, making it the “over-all coordinating and policy-making body that systematizes and streamlines national efforts in promoting culture and art.”1

The NCCA is mandated to “formulate policies for the development of culture and the arts, administer the National Endowment Fund for Culture and the Arts, encourage artistic creation within a climate of artistic freedom, develop and promote the Filipino national culture and arts, and preserve Filipino cultural heritage.”2 The Commission is also tasked to oversee the formulation and implementation of the policies and programs of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Commission on Filipino Language (CFL), National Museum, National Historical Institute (NHI), National Library (NL), and the Records Management and Archives Office (RMAO).

National Programs
The NCCA has established national programs in the form of projects, grants, and awards that are focused on developing human resources, enhancing the quality and variety of cultural activities, and protecting cultural artifacts.


Conservation of National and World Heritage Sites Program. This project involves the physical restoration and preservation of historical sites; the development of indigenous villages; the improvement of human resources in heritage sites, museums, and historical libraries and information services; and the improvement of the network of anthropology museums in the country.

Program for Artistic Excellence. This project promotes excellence in the different fields of artistic expression by organizing workshops, mounting festivals where artists can showcase their talents, giving financial support to performing groups and the local government units for their arts and culture activities, and recognizing excellence in the arts.

Promotion of Culture and Arts. This includes activities that augment public awareness and interest in arts and culture using mainstream media and the Internet.

Culture and Education. This involves the enhancement of the arts and culture education curriculum and the provision of materials for use in teaching culture and the arts. Through this project, the NCCA provides assistance to the improvement of museums, libraries, and other cultural agencies and strengthen heritage education for public schools through visits to shrines, monuments, and heritage sites.

Culture/Arts Diplomacy. The NCCA provides assistance to individuals or groups to represent the country in international competitions and implements cultural agreements with other countries by supporting cultural scholars, artists, and workers exchange.

Culture and Development. This includes the promotion of culture and arts for the disadvantaged and marginalized, the development of cultural industries where there is local initiative, the documentation of traditional arts and rituals, strengthening of local arts and culture organizations, and the building of cultural networks to strengthen cultural communities.

Cultural Agency Cooperation Program. This project assists cultural agencies with projects that are consistent with the goals of the NCCA.


The Culture and Development Grant recognizes the important role arts and culture play in the country’s development. It aims to promote cultural understanding which it believes is a key to attaining peace and order and economic stability.

The Culture and Education Grant supports efforts in arts and culture education through the improvement of its status in the curriculum. This serves as the fulfillment of the NCCA mandate to propagate cultural literacy and appreciation throughout the country. Aside from the integration of cultural subjects in the curriculum, the grant aims to disseminate arts and culture through exhibits, guidebooks, and an improved arts and culture collection in school libraries. In this effort, the NCCA is assisted by the Philippine Cultural Educational Plan, which serves as a nationwide access for cultural education, and by the Institute for Cultural and Arts Management which trains culture and arts managers in the enhancement of their technical and management skills.

To fulfill the responsibility of providing for the country’s art talents, the NCCA’s Program for Artistic Excellence Grant creates various programs that allow established and traditional artists to develop their indigenous skills and pass them on to the younger generation. At the same time, it provides opportunities for young artists to explore other ways of expressing their artistry.

The Promotion of Culture and the Arts Grant supports efforts in utilizing the broadcast, print, and electronic media in disseminating cultural information. Through this grant, new researches that are known only to scholars can be easily brought down to the population and cultural activities are immediately publicized. Included in the grant’s priority concerns are publications and audio-visual materials; media, culture, and values enhancement projects; arts and culture Websites and exhibits; and cultural festivals.

The Conservation of Cultural Heritage Grant prioritizes the safeguarding of cultural artifacts, both tangible and intangible, that are endangered by society’s increasing preference for technology over tradition. This grant includes research and documentation projects; projects for the preservation, protection, and promotion of traditional music, arts, and craft; the conservation of historical, archeological, and heritage sites; and the protection of cultural treasures. This grant is also concerned with local and international scholarships, fellowships, workshops, and other forms of training for cultural managers and the like to develop new experts in the preservation of culture.

Through the Culture and Diplomacy Grant, the NCCA supports the promotion of Philippine culture around the world by way of cultural exchange agreements, international competitions and festivals, and programs for Filipinos overseas.

Schools of Living Tradition

The Schools of Living Tradition (SLT) serves as the stage for National Living Treasures such as Monton and Ahadas to share their knowledge in indigenous art with the others in their community. It is one of the priority programs under the Conservation of Cultural Heritage grant. SLT allows National Living Treasures, considered living culture bearers or culture specialists, to pass on their knowledge on traditional and cultural skill or craft to the next generation, in effect, preserving cultural heritage in living form. SLT sessions may be held at the National Living Treasure’s residence, a community social hall, or at a center built for that specific purpose. Teaching instruction is preferably informal, given orally, and demonstrative in nature. The students are limited to people from the same ethno-linguistic community. The project is parallel to UNESCO’s worldwide cultural preservation agenda.

Based on NCCA’s mandate to preserve and promote Philippine cultural heritage, SLT recognizes the importance of human cultural sources such as weavers, chanters, dancers, and other craftsmen who are bearers and consequently the transmitters of endangered traditional artistic, linguistic, and occupational skills.

Organizational Awards

To support efforts in artistic and cultural expression, the NCCA supports several award-giving bodies.

The National Artist Award is the highest recognition given to a Filipino artist who has exhibited extraordinary talent in the arts, and whose work has contributed to evoking nationalism in the Filipinos.

The National Living Treasure Award or Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan recognizes indigenous individuals or groups who hold and preserve their native culture at an exemplary degree, and are recognized as such by their community. Through this award, the existence and significance of the accomplishments of these cultural masters are proclaimed and made known to society to aid in cultural education and propagation.

The Alab ng Haraya Award recognizes exemplary contributions to the preservation and propagation of Filipino culture and tradition and the masters in specific fields of performing arts, cultural conservation, arts management, library and information services program, theater production, cultural journalism and documentation, and other fields. Among the awardees are Filipino artists, cultural workers and historians, artistic or cultural groups, historical societies, institutions, foundations, and councils. The conferment of this award is NCCA’s way of upholding excellence in artistic and cultural endeavors, encouraging participation among artists, and patronizing highly commendable cultural programs.

For Monton, Ahadas, and the hundreds or thousands of National Living Treasures, both institutionally recognized and those waiting to be discovered, the NCCA serves as the vanguard of their existence, to which all that is considered essentially Pinoy bloomed and flourished to what it is now.

1 (accessed 30 September 2005)
2 (accessed 27 September 2005)

References: 26 September 2005) 26 September 2005)

Playing Safe: Coaching Sports Safety

Amanpulo Cruz is a famed varsity basketball coach in a university in the province. He has trained many up-and-coming basketball players who have become big stars in professional basketball. Mr. Cruz has long retired from coaching but remains a die-hard basketball fan until now. When asked what the most important lesson he thinks he has taught the players who went under his tutelage, he says, “More than how to play the game, the best lesson that I instilled in my players is to play safe. I tell them, ‘Unless you have ambitions to play in the Special Olympics, nobody will cheer for a limping basketball player.’”

Coach Cruz’s lesson on safety may well be the nugget of wisdom every Physical Education teacher or varsity team coach shares with his or her class or team. Or is it?

Safety in sports is important to prevent students from causing injuries to each other, to make the sports more enjoyable for the students by keeping their minds off worrying about getting hurt, and to maximize the time the students can play sports by keeping them healthy and in good condition.

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth More than a Pound of Cure
The cliché is never truer in the case of sports injuries. Here are some tips to ensure that your students are safe in the sports that they are playing:

1. Wear proper protective gear. Different sports require students to wear different protective gears. The more common protective gears are

a. helmets that protect the head in sports such as biking, football, in-line skating, skateboarding, baseball, etc.;
b. eye protection which is either attached to the helmet or in the form of a pair of goggles. It protects the eyes from getting hit in sports such as baseball, softball, ice hockey, racquet sports, basketball, etc.;
c. mouth guards that protect the teeth, tongue, and the whole mouth in sports such as boxing, wrestling, martial arts, football, basketball, hockey, etc.;
d. wrist, knee, and elbow guards that protect specific body parts from fractures and scrapes in sports such as biking, in-line skating, etc.;
e. protective cups for male students who play contact sports such as wrestling, martial arts, boxing, and even basketball, baseball, or soccer;
f. pads that protect the joints and bones from fractures and bruises in football or hockey where players hit each other with not-so-gentle body bumps as part of the game;
g. footwear that will protect the feet and prevent the students from tripping or falling or slipping off the bicycle pedal. It should also be the right type for the specific kind of sports and be in good condition.

2. Use sports gear and equipment properly. Check if the students’ gear fit them perfectly. A loosely fitting helmet or pair of goggles will not serve its purpose and may instead contribute to the injury. Remind them as well not use sports equipment and gear to hit an opponent during a game or somebody else outside of the game. A badminton racquet should be used to hit the shuttlecock, not their opponent’s head.

3. Do warm-ups and cool-downs and practice often. At least 15 to 30 minutes of warm-up exercises prepare the students’ muscles for the strenuous activity during a game while cool-downs of the same length give their muscles time to relax and adjust to rest after the strenuous activity.
Constant practice does not only make the students good at sports. Familiarity to the rules and techniques of how a sport is played decreases the students’ chances of getting injured while playing it.

4. Stay protected from the sun. Remind the students to apply sunscreen. Exposure to the sun during outdoor sports such as track and field or beach volleyball may get them sunburned, which is an injury to the skin. Constant unprotected exposure to the sun may also increase their chances of developing skin cancer later in life. The heat also dehydrates the students. Make sure that they have plenty of drinking water while playing.

5. Know the rules. The rules of sports are meant to keep players safe. Tell your students that sticking to these rules would mean having more fun while playing the sport.

6. Rest when injured. Injuries cannot be totally eradicated in sports. When injured, students should not be made to play to avoid more damage.

7. Get proper training. The training your students get from you as physical education teacher or coach is very important in ensuring their safety in sports. Contrary to perception, training does not only include tactics and techniques to win a game. It also includes ensuring that the safety guidelines above are observed at all times.

Dealing with Sports Injuries
In the event that injuries do happen, Coach Cruz says, “How you react to it will play a big role in salvaging the already bad situation.” In general, it is best to treat injuries right after they happen. If the injury is characterized by swelling, limping, or affects the students’ range of motion, it is best to seek medical assistance right away.

Here are some common sports injuries and tips on what to do when they happen:

1. Injuries to ligaments, muscles, or tendons are very common to sports such as football, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, or track and field. Sprains or injuries to ligaments and strains or injuries to either muscles or tendons may be treated using the RICE technique.

Rest. Pull out the injured student from the game and assess the injury. The injured area should not be used for 48 hours.
Ice. Most strains, sprains, or bone injuries manifest through swelling, discoloration, or pain. Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the injury for 20 minutes every hour until the pain or the swelling subsides, and 4 to 8 times per day afterwards.
Compression. Swelling may occur in injured ankles, knees, or wrists. Protect the injured areas and limit their swelling by wrapping them with a stretchy bandage.
Elevate. Raising the injured area above the level of the heart will limit blood flow towards the injury and keep it from swelling.

2. Injuries to the neck are very common to almost all types of sports, and probably one of the more dangerous and delicate to deal with. These injuries may range from strains, fractures, contusions, and sprains. Students with neck injuries should be kept still until medical assistance arrives. A mishandled neck injury may lead to paralysis or death.

3. Injuries may be sustained from the overuse of muscles and tendons. Overuse injuries happen as a result of extended, habitual motion or impact; they are not immediately recognizable as they occur over a period of time. They do not manifest in x-rays, but do cause the student an alarming amount of pain and discomfort. These injuries may be treated using RICE and the appropriate medical attention. Most overuse injuries improve with rest. However, there are cases when the student may have to undergo physical therapy afterwards to recover the optimal use of the injured area.

4. In adolescents and growing children, a type of overuse injury in the areas of developing tissues called growth plates is common. Growth plate areas include the bones in the fingers, the collarbone, the outer bone of the forearm, the hip, the upper leg bone, the lower leg bones, the ankle, and the foot. Injuries to these areas should be immediately brought to the doctor.

5. Heat-related injuries such as sunburn, heat stroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion may be had from playing rigorous sports outside in hot weather. In the case of the common sunburn, move the student to a covered area and loosen his/her clothing. The sunburned area should be moisturized and dipped in cold water or applied with cold compress. Cases of heat strokes, the most serious of all heat-related injuries, should be given immediate medical attention. The student’s body should be cooled with ice or cold water. If the student is conscious, he/she should be made to drink cold water.

Whatever kind of injury your students or even yourself get during sports, it is very important that you seek medical help immediately after applying the necessary first-aid treatment.

After Treatment
After administering the necessary medical treatments, the doctor may advise your student to not play while he or she is recuperating, to still continue playing but use appropriate protective gear, or to get physical therapy. In the case of a very serious injury, the doctor may tell your student to stop playing the sport. Your role as a teacher or coach is to make the injured students understand the options that are available to them. The severity of the sports injury may be life-changing for the students. That is why your and their parents’ counsel is much needed to give the students the assurance and comfort that they need.

Sources: (accessed 12 July 2005) (accessed 12 July 2005) (accessed 12 July 2005) (accessed 12 July 2005) (accessed 12 July 2005)

Stretching Your Way to Fitness

Stretching has always been believed to be beneficial for the body. As far back as 2 BC in China, philosophical treatises were written exalting the virtues of stretching: it loosens the joints and facilitates the flow of blood and qi (according to Chinese Philosophy, qi is the circulating life energy present in everybody); strengthens ligaments and tendons and indirectly the bones; and promotes mental and physical relaxation. Modern studies on stretching verify these claims and more. Stretching improves physical well-being, enhances ones range of motion, reduces muscle soreness and tension after athletic activities, reduces menstrual pain in females, and makes the muscles more flexible.

Stretching must be a component of your warm-up and cool-down exercises. Stretching lengthens the muscles and improves flexibility and range of motion, facilitating the easy execution of different movements required in athletic activities.

There are different kinds of stretching (active stretching, isometric stretching, ballistic stretching, dynamic stretching, passive stretching, PNF stretching, and static stretching). Static stretching is the most ideal type of stretching to achieve the intended results of warm-up and cool-down exercises. This type of stretching promotes short-term and long-term flexibility. Short-term flexibility is what the muscles need for the workout that they are going to get from the anticipated athletic activity. Long-term flexibility refers to the general ability of the muscles to execute a wider range of motion.

Here are some static stretching exercises you can teach your students. These exercises should be done in the order that they appear here:

Upper Back Stretch
1. Stand tall, feet apart, slightly wider than shoulder-width, knees slightly bent.
2. Interlock the fingers and push the hands as far away from the chest as possible, allowing the upper back to relax.
3. The stretch should be felt between the shoulder blades.

Abdominal and Lower Back Muscles
1. Lie face down on the ground.
2. Lift the body off the ground so that it is supported only by the forearms and toes. The elbows should be on the ground almost directly below the shoulders. The forearms and hands should rest on the ground, pointed straight ahead, toes and feet should be shoulder-width apart and the head in line with the spine.
3. Gently contract the muscles on the buttocks. Hold for 10 seconds.
4. Lift the right arm off the ground, straighten and point it straight ahead, holding it in the air for 10 seconds.
5. Return to the starting position.
6. Repeat with the left arm.
7. Return to starting position.
8. Lift the right leg off the ground and hold it for 10 seconds (keep back straight).
9. Return to starting position.
10. Repeat with left leg.
11. Return to starting position.
12. Lift the right arm and left leg simultaneously and hold them in position for 10 seconds.
13. Return to starting position.
14. Lift the left arm and right leg simultaneously and hold them in position for 10 seconds.
15. Return to the starting position.

Side Bends
1. Stand tall, feet apart, slightly wider than shoulder-width, knees slightly bent, hands resting on the hips.
2. Bend slowly to one side, come back to the vertical position and then bend to the other side. Do not lean forward or backward.

Neck Stretch
1. Sit or stand with arms hanging loosely at the sides.
2. For the sides of the neck, turn or tilt the head to one side, then the other.
3. Hold each side for five seconds.
4. Repeat up to three times.
5. For the back of the neck, gently tilt head forward.
6. Hold for five seconds.
7. Repeat up to three times.

Chest Stretch
1. Stand tall, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
2. Hold the arms out to the side parallel with the ground and the palms of the hand facing forward.
3. Stretch the arms back as far as possible. The stretch should be felt across the chest.

Groin Stretch
1. Sit with tall posture.
2. Ease both feet up towards the body and place the soles of the feet together, allowing the knees to come up and out to the side.
3. Rest the hands on the lower legs or ankles and ease both knees towards the ground. The stretch should be felt in the inside of the thighs and groin.

Hip and Thigh Stretch
1. Stand tall with the feet approximately two shoulder widths apart.
2. Turn the feet and face to the right.
3. Bend the right leg so that the right thigh is parallel with the ground and the right lower leg is vertical.
4. Gradually lower the body.
5. Keep the back straight and use the arms to balance.
6. The stretch should be felt along the front of the left thigh and along the hamstrings of the right leg.
7. Repeat by turning and facing to the left.

Quadriceps Stretch
1. Lie face down on the floor, resting the forehead on the right hand.
2. Press the hips firmly into the floor and bring the left foot up towards the buttocks.
3. Take hold of the left foot with the left hand and ease the foot closer to the buttocks.
4. Repeat with the right leg.
The stretch should be felt along the front of the thigh

Calf Stretch
1. Stand tall with one leg in front of the other, hands flat and at shoulder height against a wall.
2. Ease the back leg further away from the wall, keeping it straight and press the heel firmly onto the floor.
3. Keep the hips facing the wall and the rear leg and spine in a straight line.
4. The stretch should be felt in the calf of the rear leg.
5. Repeat with the other leg.

Hamstring Stretch
1. Sit on the ground with both legs straight out in front of the body.
2. Bend the left leg and place the sole of the left foot alongside the knee of the right leg.
3. Allow the left leg to lie relaxed on the ground.
4. Bend forward keeping the back straight.
5. The stretch should be felt in the hamstring of the right leg.
6. Repeat with the other leg.

But before teaching these exercises to your students or doing them yourself, here are some things to remember when doing stretching exercises.

1. Time to stretch. Do stretching exercises only after a warm-up or a cool-down. This will ensure that you will not injure yourself. The best time to do stretching is when the muscles are all warmed-up. This minimizes the possibility of injury. It is during this time when the muscles are more elastic and warmer. It is also important to remember that stretching alone cannot be considered a warm-up exercise.

2. Type of stretches. Doing the inappropriate type of stretching may be counterproductive. What you want to achieve with stretching during warm-up is “an increased awareness, improved coordination, improved elasticity and contractibility of muscles, and a greater efficiency of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.” The other kinds of stretches will not contribute to these goals. Instead they may tire the muscles even before the actual athletic activity.

3. Risky stretches. There are certain stretches such as the yoga plough (this is where you lie down and try to touch your ears with your knees), the traditional hurdler’s stretch (more popularly known as a split), or any kind of stretching where you hang upside down that are considered to be risky. You may end up injuring yourself or your students doing these stretches.

4. Hold the stretch. Crucial to stretching is the length of time you hold the stretch. For younger people, 7 to 10 seconds is recommended. For adults, 20 seconds is enough. Static stretches should be done in 2 to 5 repetitions.

5. Breathe while stretching. Observe proper breathing to maximize the benefits of stretching. Take slow, relaxed breaths and exhale when the muscles are stretched. Inhale slowly through the nose, expand the abdomen, hold the breath for a second, and then exhale slowly through the mouth.

6. Stretch in order. Stretch the different muscle groups in proper order. Stretching exercises stretch particular target muscles and the supporting muscles as well. The supporting muscles which are not the target for a particular exercise are warmed up, preparing them for the exercise for which they are the target. A warmed-up muscle is always ensured of a good stretch.

7. Pain and stretching. Do not continue stretching exercises, or any kind of athletic activity for that matter, if you experience any pain or discomfort. The pain may be brought about by a serious injury which should be diagnosed and treated first before engaging in any athletic activity again.

8. Sore muscles after stretching. The muscles of any person who is inactive or not used to exercise or even an athlete who worked-out in a level of difficulty higher than usual will become sore after stretching. Normally, stretching should not leave the muscles sore if done properly. If it does, you might have overstretched yourself. Muscles get sore if they are exposed to an extraordinary level of activity or if they are stretched without warm-up. To avoid overstretching, start with low intensity stretches first and work your way up when your muscles get used to the activity and make sure you do it after warm-up.

Sources: (14 July 2005) (14 July 2005) (14 July 2005)

Costumes to Doll Up Your Social Studies and Literature Lessons

Keeping students interested in social studies and literature can be a real challenge to teachers. How do you then spice up your lessons to hold the attention of your MTV generation students?

According to research, students retain most of what they perceive with their senses. In other words, they learn more of what they see, hear, feel, taste, and touch. The use of the senses for teaching is easy to do when you’re teaching any of the sciences. But how do you do the same with social studies and literature? Using drama, skit, or role-playing can do the trick. Aside from having high entertainment value, these are effective ways of involving most, if not all, the senses of the students, thereby increasing learning and actively involving them in the learning process.

Dramas, skits, or role-playing will be more interesting if the students use costumes that they have made themselves. Costumes are important elements in creating the ambience, the feel, and the look of the play. If used appropriately, they can be effective visual aids for lessons about historical events or people, geography, citizenship, sociology, anthropology, and literature. Costume-making can also enrich your students’ creativity, encourage resourcefulness, and foster cooperation in group works. Here are general tips you can give your students in making their own costumes.

Improvise. Use existing materials to substitute for materials that need to be bought. For example, to make a king’s cape, use a red or royal blue blanket or one that has an ornate design.
Share materials. The class can pool in their resources to buy materials that everyone may use. You may ask students to either contribute money or assign each student to bring a particular material. Materials such as glue, scissors, adhesives, staplers, punchers, colored pens, thread, tape measure, and markers may be shared.
Create patterns. You may ask the class to make patterns to facilitate the reproduction of costumes. Patterns allow several people to make the exact same costume at the same time.
Recycle old costumes. If the workmanship is good, the costumes may be used several times for other projects. For instance, Filipiniana costumes may also be exhibited during the celebration of Linggo ng Wika.
Here is a sample costume you may teach your students to make. You may modify the process according to the kind of costume you want your students to do.

Female Igorot Costume
red, long-sleeved, tight-fitting shirt
red skirt (not pleated, preferably pencil-cut)
needle and thread
bottle caps (tansan) or big buttons of different colors
poster paint
crepe paper (red, blue, black, yellow, green)


For the shirt sash
1. Cut one 2-inch-wide strip of each color of crepe paper in varying length (red, 12 inches long; blue, 10 inches long; black, 9 inches long; yellow and green, 8 inches long).
2. Connect each strip from end to end to form several pieces of sash.
3. Loosely stitch the sash around the shoulder area of the shirt.
For the skirt
1. Cut inch-wide segments of red, blue, black, yellow, and green crepe paper.
2. Spread out the cut-out segments and weave all the colors.
3. Attach the woven mat around the skirt.
For the accessories
1. If you do not have buttons, use bottle caps instead. Color them with poster paint.
2. Thread bottle caps or buttons together to create the Ifugao necklace.
3. Use the same procedure to create bracelets, hair bun accessories, anklets, and waistbands.
Waist sash
1. Cut a 5-inch-wide and 48-inch-long (or shorter depending on the length of the skirt) strip of crepe paper.
2. Fold it crosswise.
3. Paste colored bottle caps or buttons on one side of the folded sash.
4. Insert the undecorated end into the waistband.
You may vary the pattern of the sash and how it is worn to form costumes of other ethnic tribes. Your students may wear these costumes in stage performances of Biag ni Lam-Ang, Hudhud ni Aliguyon, or other ethnic stories. The costumes may also be part of an exhibit of ethnic costumes for Araling Panlipunan.

Male Greek Costume (Chiton)
a huge blanket (length will depend on the height of the person who will wear it)
safety pins or brooches
a long piece of ribbon (length will depend on waistline)


1. Fold the blanket in half. The width should cover the wearer from fingertip to fingertip .
2. Sew along the side seam. Join the top edge at intervals with safetypins or brooches, or by sewing. Don’t forget to leave holes for the head and arms to go through. Slip it on over the head.
3. Tie a belt round the waist and pull up the extra material so that it hangs over the belt.

This costume may be used in discussing Greek or Roman mythology through dramatization.
Filipina Ethnic Barbie. (accessed 05 May 2005)
Greek Dress. (accessed 06 May 2005)

Note: This article was co-written with Rita Mirano.

TIMSS 2003 Update: When Juan dela Cruz Went into Battle with a Tattered Textbook

Once again, poor Juan dela Cruz was anything but combat-ready when he went to battle for the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS). The result—another disaster. Hopes of uplifting the quality of the country’s science and math education once again flickered upon the release of the TIMSS 2003 results last December 2004.

For the grade 4 or 9-year-old level in mathematics, the Philippines ranked 23rd among the 25 participating countries, garnering an average of 358 against the international average of 495. In the grade 8 or 13-year-old level, the country ranked 41st among the 45 participants, with an average of 378 compared to the international average of 466. In science for the 9-year-old level, the country’s 332 points average gave it the 23rd place among 25 participants. In the 13-year-old level, the 377 points average placed the Philippines 42nd among 45 participants.

TIMSS is the first worldwide research on math and science competencies. It is conducted every four years by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The results of the studies give participating countries a reliable assessment of the state of their math and science education. Data gathered from the TIMSS are useful in helping governments formulate policies regarding the science and math education in their countries, determining accountability among key stakeholders in education, and pinpointing areas of excellence and aspects for improvement and monitoring.

In the 1995 TIMSS, then called the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, the Philippines ranked 39th in math and 41st in science out of the 42 participating countries. In the TIMSS R in 1999, the Philippines ranked third to the last for both math and science out of 42 countries.

The Philippine sample in the latest TIMSS (2003) was composed of 9 and 13 year-olds (grade 4 and second year high school) from 150 schools nationwide. Like in the past TIMSS evaluation, the exam was composed of both intellective and non-intellective tests, the former measuring the students’ math and science skills and the latter identifying the factors that affect academic performance (i.e. school resources, instructional materials/equipment, computer use, class size, teacher qualification, and language of test). The teachers and administrators of participating schools also took a set of non-intellective tests to determine their effect on student achievement.

The results did not come as a surprise to officials of the Department of Education (DepED). According to DepED’s National Educational Testing and Research Center Director Dr. Nelia Benito, the results validated the findings of the recent national achievement tests they have administered to elementary and high school students. Their own tests revealed that elementary and high school students found it difficult to understand basic scientific concepts, do inferences, classify biological and physical matter, and solve scientific problems. Dr. Benito also said that even if the students were capable of understanding basic mathematical principles, it was difficult for them to apply these in proving, analyzing, and comprehending data on algebra, geometry, and statistics.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), however, choose to be optimistic about the results. In an article posted on their Web site, they analyzed the latest TIMSS results by comparing it with the TIMSS results of 1999. The analysis revealed interesting information which may have otherwise been overlooked. They report that “the overall performance of Philippine schools in science and mathematics in TIMSS 2003 improved significantly compared to that of the 1999 study.” They attribute the said improvement in the adjustment done in 1995 in the entry level of Filipino students in grade 1—from 7 years old to 6 years old. In effect, the 13 year-old students who participated in the latest TIMSS evaluation were in second year high school compared to the 13 year-olds in 1999 who were only in their first year. Here are other interesting findings of DOST’s TIMSS results analysis:

• In the 9-year-old level, participants scored better in mathematics than in science. In the 13-year-old level, participants faired equally in both subjects.
• Among the regions who participated in the TIMSS, participants from Region IVA scored the highest in both math and science in the 9-year-old level while participants from the CAR in the 13-year-old level scored the highest in both subject areas. Regions which showed improvement in their performance in both subjects as compared to their 1999 achievement levels were CAR, Regions I, III, V, VII and XII.
• The performance of CAR, Regions I, II, V, VII, and XII showed an improvement compared to the results of the 1999 TIMSS.
• Participants from private schools scored higher in both math and science in both levels, except in the case of participants from science and technology high schools who scored higher in math.
• Participants who came from schools who have sufficient instructional materials and resources (textbooks, the Internet, the computer, and other learning tools) scored better in both math and science. Computer use may have improved the participants’ performance in the subject areas.
• Class size has an effect on the participants’ performance. In the 9-year-old level, participants who belonged to classes with not more than 32 students performed better in mathematics than those from a class with 33 or more students. In the 13-year-old level, participants with class size of up to 40 students did better in both subject areas than those with a larger class size.
• Participants in the 9-year-old level whose teachers have graduate degrees performed better. The opposite is true for the 13-year-old level. In addition, students of teachers who have a degree in mathematics in both levels had higher scores in science and math.
• Participants who speak English at home performed significantly better in both subjects.

Perhaps not all hope is lost. Taking the country’s consistent failing performance as a challenge, the government had taken the necessary steps to prepare for the next TIMSS. Recognizing the importance of teachers’ skills in molding excellent students, the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) plans to release this year an Internet-based program that aims to improve the curriculum development skills of public school teachers. This is a sequel to the institute’s Rescue Initiatives in Science Education (RISE) program. RISE, a cooperation between DOST-SEI and Marcos State University Regional Science Teaching Center (MMSU-RSTC), is the curriculum source and financial provider for the 28-day training program for elementary science teachers in performance enhancement. Several Regional Science Teaching Centers all over the country are operating under this program which has trained 701 teachers to date. This and other continuing efforts to improve the curriculum, provide good and sufficient instructional materials, and get the schools wired to the Internet are just some of the ways the government is responding to the alarming results of TIMSS. We will know if these seeds will bear fruit in four years during the next round of testing.

Science high schools lead Philippine schools in Mathematics Test of TIMSS 2003.

DOST, DepEd to lead Philippine Participation in TIMSS 2003.

Asian Countries Dominate Again, Nearly 50 countries participate in new TIMSS assessment.

Abad alarmed over Filipino students ranking in math and science assessments.

DOST to launch online curriculum development project. Http://

Filipino students rank third to last in international math and science quiz.

NOTE: This article was co-written with Rita Mirano.

Shrines, Monuments, and Historical Landmarks: Front-Seat Tickets to the Past

When I visited the Quezon City Memorial Shrine back in high school, in my young mind, it was just another museum. What with the imposing white structure housing memorabilia, relics, and artifacts, anyone would not think otherwise. I didn’t realize that what set shrines, monuments, and landmarks apart from museums is that they have souls that have been bequeathed to them by the ideals, visions, and spirits of the great men for which they have been built.

Historical shrines, monuments, and landmarks give us front-seat tickets to lessons of the past. Although museums are better-known repositories of historical and cultural artifacts, shrines, monuments, and landmarks offer a more intimate encounter with our heritage. The physical structures are historical artifacts themselves.

According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, there are distinctions among shrines, monuments, and landmarks. Shrines are sites that are held in high deference because of their association with an important event or person in history. Monuments are man-made or natural objects that have been set aside as public property or have been purposely built in honor of a person. Landmarks are places or structures that have figured prominently in a historical event or person’s life, or had a pivotal role in the country’s history.

Shrines, monuments, and landmarks could be a great alternative to museums if you want to expose your students to a no-tears (or perhaps no-yawn) history lesson. Here are shrines, monuments, and landmarks you may want to consider visiting with your class. These are under the administration of the National Historical Institute.

Mabini Shrine Pandacan
This is the actual place where Apolinario Mabini spent the last day of his life. It is located at the Malacanang Park in Pandacan, Manila. Aside from the replica of the nipa hut where the Brains of the Philippine Revolution was born, the period fixtures of the house are the shrine’s main attraction.

Jacinto Zamora Monument
Also located in Pandacan, Manila, this monument marks the spot where Father Jacinto Zamora, one of the three priests collectively known as GOMBURZA (the other two being Father Jose Burgos and Father Mariano Gomez), was born. The GOMBURZA was executed after being falsely accused of subversion.

Rizal Shrine Fort Santiago
This shrine in Intramuros amid the ruins of Fort Santiago is where Jose Rizal spent his remaining days before his execution. This is also where he wrote the poem “Mi Ultimo Adios,” his farewell to his beloved country.

Quezon Memorial Shrine
Right at the heart of Quezon City, the Quezon Memorial Shrine is a towering monument to the legacy of Manuel L. Quezon. It is a museum of memorabilia of the Commonwealth president and also a mausoleum where his remains lay.

Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine
This shrine stands in commemoration of the first battle of the Philippine Revolution, the Battle of San Juan Del Monte. It has a photo exhibit of the battle, and paraphernalia and busts of Katipuneros who fought in the revolution. It is located in San Juan, Metro Manila.

Barasoain Church Historical Landmark

Located in the city of Malolos in Bulacan, this landmark is a tribute to the historic Malolos Congress and the first Philippine Republic. . Bulacan prides itself to being the hometown of such great names as Francisco Balagtas, Marcelo H. Del Pilar, and Gregorio Del Pilar.

Casa Real Shrine
Not too far from the Barasoain Church is the Casa Real Shrine. The place used to be the building that housed the National Treasury. During the time of General Emilio Aguinaldo, it was where the National Printing Office, which published the government’s official organ, was housed. The revolutionary publications Kalayaan and La Independencia were also printed within the walls of this shrine. Originally made of bamboo and cogon, the shrine was renovated using hardwood and nipa, and eventually reconstructed using mortar, bricks, and hardwood.

Marcelo H. Del Pilar Historical Landmark
This landmark in Bulacan, Bulacan, is a monument to Marcelo H. Del Pilar, whose remains lay here. The structure also houses a library which has a collection of materials about the various towns of Bulacan.

Vicente Manansala Historical Landmark

This historical landmark is where National Artist Vicente Manansala spent his last days. Located in Binangonan, Rizal, it also showcases his works, memorabilia, and personal artifacts. Manansala is what others would call a modernist, expressing reality using abstraction.

President Ramon Magsaysay House

This is where Ramon Magsaysay, the seventh president of the Philippines, spent most of his fruitful years. This landmark exhibits several period fixtures, Magsaysay’s presidential car, and a collection entitled “President of the People.” It is located in Castillejos, Zambales.

Baldomero Aguinaldo Shrine

This shrine in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite is the house of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s first cousin, General Baldomero Aguinaldo, a member of the cabinet of the Revolutionary Government. It contains period fixtures and Baldomero’s memorabilia.

Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine

This is the historic house of General Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite, where the Philippine National Anthem was first played and the Philippine flag was first unfurled, signaling the declaration of the country’s independence.

Bonifacio Trial House
This house in Maragondon, Cavite, is where Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were tried, found guilty of hostility towards the newly instituted government headed by General Emilio Aguinaldo, and were sentenced to death. They were executed in the mountains of Maragondon.

Marcela Agoncillo Historical Landmark
This is the house where Marcela Agoncillo, the woman who made the first Philippine flag, was born. This landmark, located in Taal, Batangas, showcases an exhibit of the evolution of the Philippine flag. .

Leon Apacible Historical Landmark

This is the house of one of the members of the Malolos Congress, Leon Apacible. He was a representative of the Mountain Province, then known as Lepanto. The house is located in the same street as the Marcela Agoncillo Historical Landmark in Taal, Batangas. It is furnished with turn-of-the-century fixtures.

Mabini Shrine Tanauan
This is the birthplace of the “Sublime Paralytic” and the “Brains of the Revolution,” Apolinario Mabini. Mabini was an accomplished writer, a lawyer, and a patriot. The shrine is in Tanauan City, Batangas.

Miguel Malvar Historical Landmark
Located in Sto. Tomas Batangas, this historical landmark commemorates the last Filipino general to surrender to the Americans. The place has a collection of photographs on the Filipino-American War and paintings submitted as entries to the celebration of Malvar’s centennial birth anniversary.

Rizal Shrine Calamba
This shrine in Calamba, Laguna, is a reconstruction of the original house where Jose Rizal was born. It has a collection of both replicated and original memorabilia and fixtures.

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery Historical Landmark
This cemetery was built by the Franciscan order in 1845 in Nagcarlan, Laguna. It boasts of a unique underground crypt, an arched entrance, and a Baroque-style cemetery chapel. It served as a secret meeting place for Katipuneros during the revolution.

Casa de Comunidad Historical Landmark

Commissioned by Gobernadorcillo Francisco Lopes to be built in 1776 in Tayabas, Quezon, Casa de Comunidad was used as a public hall and lodge for travelers. It was originally built from improvised material but was refurbished in 1837.

Gregorio Aglipay National Shrine
This shrine in Batac, Ilocos Norte is the place where Bishop Gregorio Aglipay was born. Bishop Aglipay is the founder of the Protestant sect Philippine Independent Church.

Juan Luna Shrine
The shrine is a repository of the Luna family memorabilia, including the reproduction of the works of painter and patriot Juan Luna. It also exhibits the well-renowned artist’s bed and other artifacts of the history of Badoc, Ilocos Norte where it is located.

Teodoro Brillantes Ancestral House

A repository of personal memorabilia and artifacts of the history and culture of Abra, the house belonged to a descendant of Gabriela Silang, the prominent educator and public servant Teodoro Brillantes. The house is located in Tayum, Abra.

Battle Site of Pulang Lupa Memorial
This memorial in Torrijos, Marinduque, marks the site where the Filipinos led by Lieutenant-Colonel Maximo Abad won the battle against the American forces.

Rosendo Mejica Historical Landmark
This house in Molo, Iloilo City, is the birthplace of Ilonggo journalist, educator, publisher, labor leader, and philanthropist Rosendo Mejica. It showcases books that were published and printed by Mejica, memorabilia, and antique printing machines.

Wenceslao Q. Vinzons Historical Landmark
This historical landmark in Vinsons, Camarines Norte, is the house of World War II hero Wenceslao Vinzons. It displays his photographs and other World War II paraphernalia.

Jorge Barlin Monument
This monument in Baao, Camarines Sur, is a tribute to the first Filipino Catholic bishop, Bishop Jorge Barlin. He was tasked to give the invocation during the opening of the first Philippine Assembly in 1907.

Rizal Shrine Dapitan (Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte)
This is the place where Jose Rizal was exiled. The improvements Rizal effected on the place during his stay from 1892 to 1896 can be observed in the ten-hectare area.

To find out how to arrange your field trips to these shrines, monuments, and landmarks, you may get in touch with the Monuments and Sites Section of the National Historical Institute, NHI Building, T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila. Here are their numbers: (632) 524-8302, (632) 523-0905, (632) 525-8661, (632) 524-9952, (632) 523-1037, (632) 523-1039, and (632) 525-0055. You may also e-mail them at

Eat Your Breakfast or Die!

Death is such a hefty price tag for not eating your breakfast. I was sent this email about a study that says that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day because it could be a matter of life and death. I don’t know how true the claims this article makes but I guess they’re some of the things that won’t hurt if we heed them. Read on.

Breakfast can help prevent strokes, heart attack, and sudden death. This is an advice not to skip breakfast!

For those who always skip breakfast, you should start kicking that habit now! You’ve heard many times that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Now, recent research confirms that one of the worst practices you can develop may be avoiding breakfast. Why? Because the frequency of heart attacks, sudden deaths, and strokes peaks between 6:00 a.m. and noon, with the highest incidence happening between 8: 00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. What mechanism within the body could account for this significant jump in sudden death in the early morning hours? We may have an answer. Platelet, tiny elements in the blood that keep us from bleeding to death if we get a cut, can clump together inside our arteries due to cholesterol buildup in the artery lining. It is in the morning hours that platelets become most activated and tend to form these internal blood clots at the greatest frequency.

However, eating even a very light breakfast prevents the morning platelet activation that is associated with heart attacks and strokes.

Studies performed at Memorial University in St. Johns, Newfoundland found that eating a light, very low-fat breakfast was critical in modifying the morning platelet activation. Subjects in the study consumed either low-fat or fat-free yogurt, orange juice, fruit, and a source of protein coming from yogurt or fat-free milk.

So if you skip breakfast, it’s important that you change this practice immediately in light of this research. Develop a simple plan to eat cereal, such as oatmeal or Bran Flakes, along with six ounces of grape juice or orange juice. This will keep your platelets from sticking together, keep blood clots from forming, and perhaps head off a potential heart attack or stroke.

So never ever skip breakfast.

Love to Loop

My friend asked me to try out the create-your-own-love-story website It asks you to give out particular information which it will use to make a story. Here’s mine.

One fabulous summer day at Mandaluyong you see the most fantastic creature you have ever seen. His name is Frankie, and every move he makes just turns you on more and more. You nudge your best friend Ricky and say, “Wow! That has to be the most robust body I have ever seen.” Suddenly, he looks in your direction and starts walking right towards you!!! He says, “I noticed you staring at me from over there. I just had to tell you, that I think you are so hard, and was wondering if you’d like to go to Makati with me and fuck?” With a stupid smile on your face you say, “Oh mother fucker!” and go with them. When you finally get to Makati, he moves closer to you, and gives you the biggest kiss ever. The two of you are passionately kissing, when you feel a cock hit you on the back of the head. You open your eyes to find out it’s all a dream, but there is a note left next to your bed.

It reads: “Frankie is the love you’ve been waiting your whole life for. He will ask you out in 69 days or less, but only if you send this e-mail to at least 10 people within the next few minutes. The more people you send it to, the sooner they will ask you out, and you both fall in love. Do not take this lightly, because if you simply ignore this, you will have bad luck in love for the next 69 years!”

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hoy, Boss! Yung Kape Ko?

I rarely get interested in forwarded emails but this one got me. Check this out:

Just for fun: Sana pwede kong sabihin kay boss na........

"ano? yan lang di mo pa kayang gawin at iuutos mo pa sa akin? "

"hello! gawin mo na iyan noh para naman huwag mong makalimutan
kung paano mag-isip. Nakakatakot baka kinakalawang na pala utak
mo dahil hindi nagagamit."

"boss, makinig ka kaya sa akin!"


"puwede ba, busy ako? "

"make your own f--ing letters and presentations."

"if challenges are more important than financial rewards,
then why won't you just trade in your salary for my challenges? "

"Of the 10 assignments you gave me the past three days,
can you please decide which one is really "the most important
and crucial and is to be submitted ASAP?"

"absent ako today. wala lang, ayokong makita ka eh..."

"...pwede bang mag-all expense paid na vacation? sige na naman,
pagod na pagod na ako. ?

"Boss, ibili mo nga akong yosi. ...cge na! sa yo na lang yung sukli!"

"uwi na ako ha. bahala ka na dito sa opis.. "


"boss, puede bang taasan mo sueldo ko? ang hirap ksi ng trabaho ko eh,
pakisamahan ang isang kagaya mo! "

"...mag-reduce ka naman! "

"...your assumption of your position was entirely hinged on the
absence of a viable choice. "

"haayy.. nagwowork out ka ba lately? "

"sagutin mo naman yung telepono. a little exercise won't hurt. "

"shut up when i'm talking to you!!! "

"ano?!! di mo alam mag-print? sayang ang laptop mo ma'am. "

"...please refrain from flirting with every white blonde male you meet.
ang cheap ng dating. "

"ang ganda ng resulta ng pagkakaplastic surgery mo. banat na banat!
lalo ka tuloy pinagtatawanan ng employees mo.. "

if you really think it's THAT important, di ikaw gumawa

" sir! palit tayong sweldo!!!! "

" uh, di ka ba nahihilo sa kaka-solitaire mo?
gusto mo magtrabaho naman for a change? "

" do my work over the weekend?!?! bahket? may overtime pay ba'to? "

"deadline!!??...gusto mo ngayon na? di ikaw gumawa! "

" hey, can't you see i'm goddamn busy? "

(at 6pm) "if you need me...BUKAS NA LANG!!! BABU! "

"sus!! mag-eedit lang hindi mo pa kaya!!!
kaw na lang ang mag-edit para hindi sayang sa oras "

"Sir, tinatamad akong pumasok ngayon e.. sa bahay na lang ako
magiinternet at mag gagames.."

"Huli kayo! nanonood din pala kayo ng VCD ha! "

"Sir, lahat ng kelangan niyo nandyan na.. kelangan niyo lang
tingnan mabuti!"

"tsk tsk tsk.. sinabi ko na yan e.. hindi ka lang nakinig "

"pede bang saken na lang position mo "

"nagtataka talaga ako kung bakit napunta ka sa puwestong yan. "

"Basahin mo muna ang LAHAT ng e-mail messages mo bago mo sabihin
na hindi ko pa nagagawa yung pinagawa mo."

"tara bakasyon tayo (pareho na kaming pagod eh) "

"...di po ako bingi at di po INDAY ang pangalan ko!"

"Hindi po bottomless pit ang MS Outlook Inbox mo.
talagang titirik ang PC mo kung hindi ka nagde-delete ng e-mail mo!
And yes, 700 messages is already a lot! Bobo! Marketing Manager
ka pa naman sa isang IT company!"

"kabit mo ba yung prinomote mo?"

"ummmm...boss, crush mo ba ko? seryoso? "
sabay sagot ng boss: "oo, kaya ka nga may trabaho ngayon eh.
ano tayo na? "

"do you feel threatened by my genius? "

(Greenhills Virramall style)
"Boss, VCD o, bold!"
"Boss, toro! "

"er yung paycheck ko? mommy naman eh "

"pssstt...hoy! Bukas ko na lang gagawin yung pinagagawa mo ha?
Occupied na kasi sa PC game na lalaruin ko ngayon ang oras ko for today e?
tsaka...depende yon kung matatapos ko agad yung lalaruin ko ngayon,
ah basta...tanungin mo na lang ako tomorrow kung feel ko pang gawin
yon or just to keep you updated about sa games na nilalaro ko ok?"

"I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to

"I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant. "

"No, my powers can only be used for good. "

" I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter. "

" It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying. "

"I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you. "

"Thank you, sir. We're all always refreshed and challenged by your
unique point of view. "

sa pinoy na boss: pwede ba tigilan mo ko?
sa kano na boss : cut me some slack!

"di yan kasama sa job description ko, 'no "

"if i do what you tell me to, will this change the world? "

"is it your good looks, your family connection or your charming
disposition kaya ka andyan sa puwesto mo? it definitely has nothing
to do with your intellect "

"okay lang umabsent ka. it does not really make a dent here
in the office. mas maaga pa kaming makaka lunch "

" Ang OA mo. Kinocomplicate mo ang mga simpleng problems para lang
feeling mo matalino ka!"

"You're insecure. Palibhasa, deep down you know you dont deserve
to be the boss of someone whose brilliance you can only dream of!"

"don't expect people to be like you!"

"karapatan ko na umuwi na pagpatak ng 5pm. 8 hours lang ibinabayad sa akin!
karapatan ko ring mag-absent!
karapatan kong masulit ang 1 hour lunch break ko!"

ikaw: puwede ba ako mag leave bukas
boss: bakit?
ikaw: wala lang


"Boss, leave ako ngayon ha, wala ka nang magagawa kasi nasa
province na ako, pasalamat ka at pinaalam ko pa sa yo,
atleast concern pa rin ako at baka magmukha kang tanga sa
pag iintay na darating ako ngayon sa office. O...may time ka
pa para maibigay mo sa iba trabaho ko dahil deadline ng
pinagagawa mo sa akin ngayon di bwaaaaahhhhhhh????"

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Tell Me What Your Friends Eat

"Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are." Do you get how that crap works? To some extent, yeah I guess the friends that you keep reflect your personality. Of course you'd wanna hang out with people who are more or less like you. But sometimes don't you find yourself being cozy with somebody you'd never imagined you'd ever like? I've been there several times! So really, you can't judge somebody that easily based on the friends that person keeps. How about sizing them up based on what and how they eat? I've taken some shots of my friends and their lunch a few days ago. Lemme see how my friends' lunch reveal their personalities.

These are the subjects of this study. At the far end of the table is Peter, the only girl is April, and nearest the camera is Gil.

This is Peter's lunch can. He brings baon everyday without fail. His lunch can's usually half-filled with rice and an assortment of ulam, mostly fried fish and chicken or pork adobo. He also buys an additional ulam in a jollijeep downstairs and mainit na sabaw.

Analysis: You can tell that Peter's family (at least the katulong who is technically part of the family) cares for him a lot judging from the time they spend every morning preparing his lunch. However, considering that Peter has hypertension, you'd wonder if the katulong has good intensions feeding him fried fish and adobo everyday! Lunch is always a hearty meal for Peter, which is pretty appropriate for a hearty person like him.

This is April's lunch. She buys lunch at Juday's or at Manang Sungit's or at Mother and Daughter's everyday. She especially loves Mother and Daughter's huge fried chicken, which is puzzling since she's not a huge eater at all. She revels looking at the big chicken but almost always never finishes it. It's a marvel that in this picture you see no leftover in her plate. If you look at the picture really close, the leftover's inside that white plastic bag.

Analysis: April is what you'd call "takaw tikim." She has a big appetite that gets easily sated just by looking at and/or smelling food. On the one hand, it says that April's easy to please. One doesn't have to exert extra effort to get on her good side. On the other hand, if you are not aware of this, be prepared to not regret putting your extra efforts to waste.

This is Gil's lunch. Like Peter, he always has baon prepared by his mom. The difference is that Gil's baon is placed in clear plastic bags like he bought it from a carinderia on his way to work.

Analysis: In Gil’s case, I’d like to focus on the way he eats rather than what he eats. Notice how he holds his spoon and fork. Pay closer attention to how he holds his fork in his left hand. There is a certain grace in the way his pinky finger is flicked. It is not hard to tell that Gil is gay. Enough said.

Of course these analyses are not objective at all. But seriously, isn’t it fun to discover that no matter how different friends are from each other, their mutual respect and love make them want to stick together for a long time, if not forever, to share more of themselves with each other?

Now going back to Gil’s lunch, here are some pictures of his food. We caught these fried fish kissing.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


It's strange how much clearer we see beauty
When it's pitch black all around us
Or after the mighty sun has set
And the darkness has set in

Why do you feel so naked
When you're all covered up?
And you feel so warm and secure
When you've stripped down to your skin?

And when you stop breathing
Why do you feel so free?
And when you gag
Why do you not gasp for air?

It's strange why it is so hard to live
When all you've done all your life is to survive
But it's stranger why you keep on surviving
When it's much easier to die.