Archive for  September 2009

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It exposes. It reveals. It bares without prejudice. That is what crisis does. It unearths what one tries to hide and peels away the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. This is what happened to us as a nation this weekend because of Typhoon Ondoy.

It revealed the quality of our national leaders and the character of the Filipino as a nation. It exposed to us sincere and generous hearts;  heroes in sandos and slippers; millionaires in barong-barongs. It also revealed those who were decisive and those who were not. Those who did it for the applause and those who did it just because.

As far as choosing the nation’s next leaders is concerned in whatever sector, that Wet Saturday was the political campaign that revealed their true colors. It revealed a lot of things that are better caught than taught. What was done speaks louder than whatever was said or will be said in the future. It separated the chaff from the wheat. It is now up to us as voters to decide whether we will HIRE these leaders again and pay their salaries with our taxpayer’s money or choose someone new who is fit for the job. It is crucial for us to choose wisely because in calamities like this, our children are on the line.

On another note, although we are used to floods and tropical storms, nothing prepared us for what happened last Saturday. It was totally out of the norm. I had plans of going downtown to buy my supplies had it not been for the fact that my kids were sick and that I chose to stay home with them. If not for that, I would have been one of the thousands stranded and unable to go home. My brother and niece were among those stranded. Thank God for twitter and other social networking sites that acted like a mass notification system for those who needed to get in touch with loved ones. For sure, technology and communications have made our world smaller and reachable for each other.

For those who wish to help Typhoon Ondoy families check out :

Philippine National Red Cross on twitter: http://twitter.com/philredcross
GMA Kapuso Foundation: http://www.kapusofoundation.com/
ABS CBN Sagip Kapamilya : http://www.sagipkapamilya.com/

I just received my Pixel Canvas newsletter and it’s exciting! They are turning 1 this Sunday and a lot of stuff is happening – sale, freebies and all. They have 25% to 40% off on specific items and full kits on sale at 70% off, would you believe? Also, there will be a chat and a guest designer challenge as well.  If you’ve been waiting for a chance to try out Vinnie Pearce’s designs, now is the best time to do it. It’s totally addicting, I think they should come up with a drug rehab for digiscrap addicts. Just in case you don’t know, I’m a Vinnie Pearce Designs drooler like y’all and this for me is exciting. hahaha  Mark your calendars this Sunday and check out her store. See you there!

I did it! I’m done updating two of my other blogs – The Bottomline and Little Kite Studios – both on blogger. I updated the look and posted new updates. Yey! I got a little carried away with all this html/coding stuff mayhem on this blog so I decided to re-do my other blogs. Do pop in there for a visit, won’t you?

In other news, I recently joined a Krispy Kreme Fave Fan contest. Here’s what’s in store for the winner:

A. We will be choosing one (1) winner for each country (Australia, Bahrain, Dubai, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom). This country winner will get 12 dozen doughnuts for a year and will be flown to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA – the home of Krispy Kreme, where he/she will meet the other country winners. These country winners will compete against each other where they will have to design their own Krispy Kreme doughnut. These doughnuts will be uploaded unto the official Krispy Kreme Fave Fan website (WWW.KRSIPYKREMEFAVEFAN.COM), where it will be subject to public voting. The winner will be announced through the website after the voting period. The world?s Krispy Kreme Fave Fan?s doughnut will then be sold at retail on April 2010 as a special edition doughnut.

Isn’t that absolutely yummy? I’m not sure when the voting actually starts but I’ll keep you posted when it does. Check out my entry here . I’m going to check out North Carolina as well to see what’s there as I haven’t been there yet. While I’m at it I’ll probably check out a few Anaheim hotels too, just in case. Hello Mickey! 😛

Don’t forget to take a peek at my blogs, folks!

Later!

I’m so happy I got this site working properly again. Well, at least it doesn’t take 5 minutes or more to load anymore. LOL And since I’m on a revamp roll, for starters, I updated a couple of widgets here (take a look at my bookmarks 😉 hint hint) and exorcised a lot of old stuff away. Hopefully, I can make it even more fast and furious. . . work more like a thoroughbred. ha ha ha

I’m also working on a couple of my other sites on blogger that have been poorly neglected. I’m done with one and I’m currently working on the other one. I’m not a web developer nor do I have a clue at coding from scratch so it’s a real challenge trying to decipher all these scripts and codes. It’s like looking for horse supplies in a siopao factory. Anyway, I know it’s worth the change. I realize it’s really more inspiring to write if your site looks and works the way you envision it to be. That being said, I need to get back to my deciphering again. I’ll post it here as soon as I’m done.

Later!

OC that I am, of course I can’t let it go until I find out why. LOL I’m trying a few things right now… I deactivated all my plug-ins and I am starting from scratch. It’s like being on The Biggest Loser! I unplugged and eliminated all the unwanted “fat” sources from my blog first and I’m going to start all over again. Lean. Talk about how to lose belly fat from your blog in one click! Ha ha ha Of course, a shout-out to Amor C. for the quick support on my dilemma. Thanks, dear!  Ok, back to work, folks. Pardon me if some of my script is showing!

Later!

I’m in search of a wordpress theme that’s fast and furious because of the jurassic rate my site has been taking to load. I’ve been deluged by a ton of free themes out there. I’ve read up on Thesis, Flexsqueeze and I even joined the Hybrid Theme club. The latter one I tried to install but it hung up on me on line 34, aaaagh. I felt my brain freeze when I got locked out of my site! So far, zero results. I’m thinking if I should cough up the $XX to get Thesis but I’m still on the edge.  Any suggestions, peeps?

Continuing from my last entry, the place we went bird watching was an estuary.  It is an ecosystem where the river and the sea meet.  Characteristic of this biome are the mangrove forests and mudflats.  As we were walking through this place, I was once again marvelling at the mangroves. The mud banks of the river dont have much air in them so these wonderful creatures have roots dropping from up their trunks all the way down.  They have this “tree on stilts” look if you see them.  This may be the inspiration for typical human dwellings in this ecosystem.  Another peculiar creature we saw were fiddler crabs.  Without any disability insurance, these crabs with one oversized claw function perfectly in this environment.  They use their big appendage to attract females.  My students were so amazed with these creatures such that they went to catch a couple for pictures (short of wading into the mud).  Nature is very much well designed.   Bravo to the Great Designer!

Btw, speaking of disability insurance, did you know that : Allsup is a leading nationwide provider of financial and healthcare related services to people with disabilities. Since 1984, Allsup has helped more than 110,000 people receive their entitled Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits. And you don’t have to have an oversized claw if you need help.

In my previous entry, I mentioned about the field trip of my College of Saint Benilde Students in San Juan, Batangas.  At the latter part of that same trip, we took the students to a fishpond where we went bird watching.  At first, I wasn’t really keen on doing this activity but I went along for the sake of my students.  While walking to the site, we spotted a couple of crows.  This brought memories of my stay in Penang, Malaysia where these big black birds, with feathers more elegant than tuxedos, would block the road.   A little later we spotted egrets and some little birds I was unfamiliar with.  By this time, I was getting excited.  It was quite a thrill to see all these species of birds, so I decided to move further.  We went to another spot.  Along the way we found more egrets and a couple of kingfishers posing for us.  The best of it was our sighting of a flock of Philippine Mallard.  Not only did we see them in flight but also as they were swimming in a pond.  Wow!  These magnificent ducks, endemic to the Philippines, looked more like brown swans.   This experience makes me want to go to more bird watching trips.

I recently took my Saint Benilde  students for a field trip in San Juan Batangas. There we had the chance of looking at the marvels of nature at the marine sanctuary at Laiya.  While the corals we saw were not as beautiful as in other places, they remain remarkable specimens of the species. This prompted me to read more about corals in the interest of teaching it to my 1st grade daughter who studies biology.

Corals  are made by coral polyps. These are coelentrates or species with a hollow middle.  They are related to sea anemonies, jellyfishes  and hydras. These animals have little tentacles and have a little hole in the middle for ingesting food.  Coral polyps are special because they are colonial. These little creatures group together and secrete limestone to create reef structures.  Their workmanship rivals the craftsmanship of Ferrari parts! Not bad for creature with no brains.  They painstakingly build a 1cm growth of coral for about a year.  (Just imagine if you break a 10cm segment…10 years work!!!)

I would consider them keystone species’ because of the fact that the reef ecosystem is built on them. The presence of the polyps attract dinoflagellate algae known as zooxanthellae with whom they share a symbiotic relationship. These algae, fondly called zooks, give corals their peculiar color.  Zooks also attract primary consumers such as small fish, starting of an entire food web that sustains the ecosystem.   That sad thing is that when our garbage, especially plastic bags, covers the coral.  These kill or drive away the zooks which in turn kill the coral polyps. This is evident with coral bleaching.  With the mortality of these species comes a collapse of the food web eventually leading to the reduction of our fish supply.

Considering that food for humans is at stake, we really need to reduce our usage of plastic bags to ensure our kids will have a steady supply of fish in the future