Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Vespa Blogger Friendship Award

Writing and maintaining your own blog online is a way to express yourself and share your ideas to the cyber world. Aside from this, you got to make new friends. This friendship award I just got is more fitting because this was given to me by a new friend I found in the blogging world. I met RhonB of Pin(k)oy through my original blogger friend Goddy. I would definitely cherish this Vespa Blogger Friendship Award as this was the first that I got from RhonB just like the way I cherished the awards I got from my blogger award-giving buddy, Mr. Goddy Ramirez. Thank you so much RhonB, being considered as one of your friends through this award mean so much to me.

Now, going on to the rules of this award:

The rules of this award:

1. Place the logo / banner on your blog.

2. Add a link to the blog who gave the award.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs. (It says at least! If you've got more friends, go ahead)

4. Add links to the blogs that you have nominated.

5. Let them know by leaving a message (shout) on their blogs.

I'm giving out this award to the following blogger friends: Kablogie, Mokong, The Absurb Mind, Living The Expectations, Simply The Best Lucky Loser, Jhosel, & The Lighter Side Of Life.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Blogger Award

I received another award for The Daily Grind. Once again this was generously given by my consistent Blog Award-Giving Buddy, Mr. Goddy Ramirez of A Friend Named Goddy. Even with the absence of the general rules for The Blogger Award, it is still my honor to receive this for my blog. This is yet another form of recognition by my blogging peers for the humble work that I have done in cyberspace. This boosted my confidence to continue to write whatever it is to write about. As what my friend Goddy stated in one of his many comments on my blog posts, "When it rains, it pours!" That's true I would say, as this is the fourth (4th) award I got for my blog. Thank you again, Goddy for sharing this award.

Being humbled by this recent award, I would also like to share The Blogger Award to the following deserving bloggers:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Susan Boyle: Judging A Book By Its Cover

Probably one of the most widely reported and talked about stories this week is about a 47 year old lady singer from Scotland who participated on the television talent show "Britain's got Talent". By her plain appearance, the live audience, the judges( one of them is Simon Cowell of American Idol) and probably the whole world were in for a big surprise of their lives. Most if not all of those watching the show last April 11th were cynical about Susan, if she really has the talent to prove to the audience that her dream of becoming a professional singer in the likes of Elaine Page could be possible. Elaine Page by the way was the original star who played the character of Grizabella from the musical Cats, who sang the song "Memory" somewhere back in 1981. When Susan started singing "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables, everybody could not believe that she indeed had a good singing voice and those against her were now rallying behind her. They were cynical of her at first and now they were proven wrong. A star is born!

When Susan's video hit YouTube, it went down into history to be one of the most popular. The video that I just watched alone had actually 5,764,024 views and there are 20 more people watching the same video file with me at the same time. Now, the YouTube video of the performance is approaching levels of some of the biggest viral hits of all-time. Visible Measures, which tracks online video usage, estimates that so far Boyle's performance has already been seen more than 47 million times in all, taking into account all of the reproductions of the original. It even overshadowed President Obama's video of his election night victory speech which only garnered less than 20 million views. YouTube's most popular video of all-time, is Evolution of Dance, with more than 117 million views. At the pace the Boyle video is spreading, it certainly has a chance to eclipse that number.

Embedded is the video that I saw on YouTube. Judge for yourself. Watch the reactions of the audience and the judges before, during and after the performance.

Welcome Brother

Something special will be happening starting next week and for the next seven (7) weeks. My brother and his family (his wife & son) will have a grand vacation here in Las Vegas. They came directly from the Philippines. They just got approved on their tourist visa application, just in time for his kid's summer vacation from school. We are all excited, specially my parents because this is a dream come true for them. They've been dreaming for our family to be complete here in the United States of America. Although we've been going home almost regularly to the Philippines to be with my brother and other relatives, we wanted him to visit the USA to let him see for himself what America is all about. This would be a chance for him to actually see and visit the beautiful places in this country which he may have only seen in pictures and movies.

My parents came to the USA in the early 90s and they immediately worked on both mine and my brother's petition to immigrate and join them. Ever since I was small, I've been dreaming of coming to America to possibly live in this country. We've been waiting for the approval of our petition for exactly eight (8) years and during the last part of this waiting period, my brother's interest to immigrate faded away. He already finished and graduated from medical school, passed the board examinations and worked in our provincial hospital. As the approval of our petition papers drew near, he married his girlfriend so that he could not be forced to go to America and leave his girlfriend in the process. My parents were devastated about his decision because their main goal why they moved to America was to give us a brighter future which they believed can easily be achieved in this country. My brother is also diabetic and if only he decided to live here in the USA, his disease could be easily controlled and managed with proper medical care. Listening to my brother's reasons as to why he suddenly changed his mind to immigrate was both practical and enlightening. Practical because according to him, he can no longer handle going back to school after eight (8) to ten (10) years in medical studies. He was no longer getting any younger and it was time for him to start his own family. Enlightening because he preferred to serve his own people rather than practice his profession in a foreign land just for the money. I remembered that I was the one who convinced my brother to take up medical course and become a doctor when he was about to graduate from high school. It was actually my dream of becoming a doctor but considering our family's financial situation, there would be a time where both of us would be attending college at the same time, and this could have brought a big financial strain for our family. While my brother's original dream was to enter the priesthood in order to serve God and the people, I was able to convince him that by becoming a doctor, he fulfilled my own dream as well as his since he still can serve God and the people besides being a priest. I was able to convince my parents not to feel bad about my brother's decision to marry and remain in the Philippines. I told them that he already fulfilled our dream of having a doctor in the family and it was his turn to fulfill his own.

Today, my brother is quite successful in his profession. He finished his graduate studies in Master of Science in Public Health (MPH) aside from being a Doctor of Medicine (MD). There are only two (2) of them in our province, as of this writing, holding the degree of Master in Public Health. He is currently the Assistant Chief of Hospital in our provincial hospital and he is also the provincial chapter President of the Philippine Medical Association. Overall, he has been doing well in his career.

My brother actually hasn't forgotten America after all. He told us in our last visit to the Philippines last year that he is interested to travel and tour the USA. Fortunately they were granted a 10-year multiple entry by the United States Immigration. Now, we are all excited to meet them at the airport this coming Sunday, April 19th. My father was so excited that he even mapped out a weekly plan as to where to bring my brother and his family around.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The NENO's Award

Two of my Blogger friends granted me the latest award for this blog: my friend Goddy Ramirez of "A Friend Named Goddy" and pareng Dennis Dumaup of "The Absurb Mind". I had a long and busy workweek (yes! that's how I spent my Holy Week...) and when I opened my emails today, I was surprised that I got this award like an Easter gift from these two good friends. Goddy and Dennis, thank you so much guys.

As a requirement for accepting the award, I am stating below the reasons why I love blogging:

To discover the "writer" in me.

Ever since my high school days, I always envy a close friend because he was contributing regularly some articles for our school organ. He has been encouraging me to write but I guess I was not confident and courageous enough to try it. By the time I was already working, I tried submitting some articles to my province's weekly newspaper and luckily enough some of them were published. So right now, here I am writing my own blog/journal.

To meet new friends.

I met one of my best friends in cyberspace through blogging. Mr. Goddy Ramirez was asking me some tips and pointers on how to start his own blog. Today, this blogger friend of mine is a consistent award giving body for my blog.

To learn.

Most of the articles and topics in a blog are basically based on the writer's opinion. Reading these postings would make one learn what are the author's views on some issues. Blogs would also allow us to interact with the author and the exchange of ideas is a healthy learning process.

To express myself.

I always find it hard to express myself in person and conveying my feelings and ideas through my blog is like an outlet for me.

To share with others.

Though this blog, I could share my ideas, my experiences and anything worthy to share with my friends both in cyber world and the real one.

Proceeding to this meaningful award, here are the rules:

The aims of this award:
1. As a dedication for those who love blogging activity and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
2. To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.
3. Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
4. Don't forget to mention the person who gave you the award.
5. Answer the award's question by writing the reasons why you love blogging.
6. Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like
7. Don't forget to notify the award recipients and put their links in your post.

I want to pass this blog tag awards to the following bloggers whose friendship and support – their visits, reading my posts and leaving comments continue to inspire me.

With gratitude, I am sharing this tag award with you guys:

1. Sherwin Calalang of Mokong (Anu'ng Nasa Isip Ko?) - even if you already received this award from someone else

2. Dennis Dumaup of Ako Si Dencio - you already have this award pare but to return the favor I'm granting this to your significant other blog

3. Goddy Ramirez of Paranormal Phenomena - as a form of gratitude, I'm granting this award to your other equally interesting blog

4. Ande of Simply.The.Best.Lucky.Loser - as usual I'm a fan

5. Mac Callister of Living The Expectations - your blog is fun and uplifting, straight to the point without pretensions

6. Tobby Manalo of Geographically Sketched - to encourage you more in building up your blog since I love the way you write poetry

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Alternative To Fasting This Lenten Season

The 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, is called the Lenten Season. Christians, specifically the Roman Catholics, as a show of penance, would relish the opportunity to “give something up”. Lent seems to serve more as an agreed-upon time to crop out bad behavior — but only temporarily. Unlike New Year’s resolutions where we are demanded to change some bad habits in our lives and try to make it as permanent as possible.

Fasting, according to means the reduction of one's intake of food to one full meal a day. This may or may not be accompanied by abstinence from meat when eating. These days, fasting and or abstinence comes in many forms. Although choosing what to sacrifice is a matter of personal choice which is tailored on what the individual will miss the most. You may temporarily eliminate eating chocolates, alcohol, going out to movies or anything, but come to think of it, why not eliminate the use of technology? In today’s fast evolution of high tech gadgets like cell phones, laptops, iPods, PSPs, digital cameras and the like, it’s hard for most people to live their lives without them. Try banning text messaging. Try not to use your laptops or computers to update your profiles on Friendster, Flixter, My Space and other social networks. Can you live without it? Can you live without Yahoo Messenger?

There's no provision in the Bible that condemns the usage of electronic devices. The idea isn't so much that technology is bad. It's just with all the Facebook, Twitter feeds, and iPhones, we're apt to forget that the three-dimensional world is pretty cool, too. According to website, Pope Benedict himself sent a mass text message to thousands of youths in Australia last year. And in January, the Vatican unveiled its very own YouTube channel. The church has accepted, and is even encouraging, utilizing Lent as a time to disconnect from the digital world is an opportunity we should seize, and with vigor. Think about it: Is the idea of going a day without food less unsettling than the idea of going a day without e-mail? Would you sooner swap your significant other than quit using your phone? If the answer to either of these questions is "yes," you may be spending a little too much time in the virtual world, and not enough in the real one. Whatever you choose to sacrifice this Lent, the point is to reconnect our relationship with God and if we are at par with His teachings.

Have a blessed observance of the Holy Week.