We were caught in heavy rain and traffic tonight on our way to the mall. We should not have gone out considering that clouds were gathering when we left. After eating our dinner by the Swan Lake, where we had somtam, fried pla tap tim, namtok mhu, and sticky rice, we drove to Future Park. It was nearly 7 pm. We wanted to frame some photos for the wall. We have just made the U-turn from AIT and passed Bangkhan when the drops started to fall. By the time we reached Pinehurst area on Pahonyothin Rd. the rain fell harder, and traffic seemed to stop. We turned on to FM100 to listen to the road news. This is a public service radio station wherein people can call in to ask for help. They also have volunteers to report on the traffic conditions in specific areas around Bangkok and suburbs. So we heard that on the Pahonyothin Highway a few km ahead of us, there was some accident. So that was why the traffic, though moving, was at a snail’s pace. And together with the heavy downpour, it made matters worst. We were in the outside road then we decided to go in. But things were the same. It was taking us a very long time that we decided not to go to FP anymore. We passed the U-turn already to go back to AIT. So we went farther to go up the tollway and get off the next exit to get to the next U-turn. But it turned out that that area was also crowded so we went up again to the tollway. We ended up paying the 55 Baht for tollfee on that route. The rain was still heavy but at least the way was clear. There was no traffic here. But the opposite side was so crowded that traffic seemed to be at a standstill. And we had to go that way once we eventually made our U-turn. So we went on until we took the exit at Central Ladprao, and made a U-turn to get on the tollway back to Don Muang. Another fee to pay at 35 Baht. So we were up again on the tollway to go back to AIT. After a few minutes, we got stuck again in the traffic. We had to be patient. At least the vehicles were moving. It was just made slower by the fact that there were so many cars exiting towards Lamlukka and Rangsit, and below those making the U-turn as well. That was why we had to go farther earlier because of the gridlock in that area. We did not have to go down here so we went ahead. We had to pay another fee, this time for 20 Baht. And it was good that after this bottleneck, the road was clear again. So we were on our way back without traffic now. But the rain was still heavy. When we came down from the tollway we looked at the opposite lane where we passed earlier. Traffic there was now at a standstill. Imagine if we did not make the decision and still insisted to keep going there, we would not yet be home at this time. We spent quite a lot just to use the tollway, and also used fuel for nothing. We should never have gone out in the first place. There’s no use feeling regret about it although it was quite a waste of time, energy, fuel and money. We just had to spend and move less this week to compensate for that. For me I kept praying for His protection every time a vehicle cut in front or overtook us. We thank God for protecting us while on the road.
June 30, 2008
June 29, 2008
I am currently watching the Final Match of Euro 2008 with Germany and Spain sweating it out for the Championship. It is now 23 minutes into the game and there is no goal yet. Watching the game is so exciting. It is being shown in a couple of local channels here in Thailand with commentaries in Thai. We do not have the sports cable channel so we could not listen to the commentary in English. It’s ok as I can understand Thai. Sometimes I mute the sound and just watch the action. But my dear hubby (who is a Thai) asked me why I muted it. He was doing something else in his computer so he was just listening to the commentaries. Sometimes I call his attention when there is excitement in the action. But the game is so fast paced you really have to watch it so as not to miss anything. It is now 29 minutes and a few attempts have already been made to make the goal, especially on the Spanish side. My fingers are typing here but my eyes are on the TV screen. It is now 2:16 am and I have to go work in 6 hours’ time. I want to stay on to watch but I do not know whether my eyes will stay open until the game ends. I don’t want to miss this final match. Some friends are surprised that I watch football matches. Football (soccer) is not as popular as basketball and baseball in the Philippines. But I happened to be assigned for four years in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, a town where football is the main sport. No basketball courts could be found in that town and nearly everybody plays football! I was also there during a national football tournament in the late 80s. I am preparing another blog entry about this.
I just screamed because Spain got one goal in 32:37 minutes by Torres!!!! Now maybe I can sleep! But maybe not yet.
June 27, 2008
Relief efforts in the province of Antique, Western Visayas, Philippines are on-going to help those affected by the super mega typhoon Frank. And yet, there seems to be not enough of the basic supplies such as food, medicines and clothing, among others. Mr. Fridy Panaguiton, head of Kinaray-a.com, Inc., one of the NGOs spearheading relief efforts in Antique, mentioned that both the haves and the have-nots stand side by side in receiving the dole outs. People have lost all their belongings and livelihoods. They have to start from scratch. The immediate need now is what to eat from day to day.
June 24, 2008
We woke up with shock to hear what happened a few days ago in the Philippines, particularly in my province, Antique, and nearby provinces in Panay Island. Frank the super-super typhoon caused havoc and destruction, flash floods – from water rushing from the mountains, burst dams, high tide coinciding with lots of water, strong waves and winds causing ships and barges to overturn and sink, loss of many lives … Most of the places destroyed are rice growing areas. The rice has just been planted, so come October, there will not be enough rice to harvest. Even before the storm the country, as in other places, was already facing many crises, from economic to political, and now this … If we do not have hope, we will think that it is the end of the world. But thank God, there is always hope. As long as the sun rises in the morning and sets in the afternoon, there is hope. And during these troubled times, with people grieving for their lost loved ones, with people rendered homeless, penniless, facing starvation and thirst, and many more … we have hope because those who have something to share are giving hope to all those affected. The outpouring of love and care and devotion to help in so many ways, from both near and far, goes beyond duty. We could not just turn away from this situation. Let us do our part in helping, wherever we are, so those affected will not lose hope. That they can keep looking up to heaven to thank Him who compels all to love and to help and to give. Thanks to everybody who has helped in one way or another … let us continue with the good works which God has prepared for us in advance to do.
June 21, 2008
Somebody sent me this by email and I think it is worth reading. These are just some practical ideas which will make married life exciting day by day. Just 50, as there are still many more that makes a marriage …
1.Start each day with a kiss. 2.Wear your wedding ring at all times. 3.Date once a week. 4.Accept diffrences. 5.Be polite. 6.Be gentle. 7.Give gifts. 8.Smile Often. 9.Touch. 10.Talk about dreams. 11.Select a song that can be “our song”. 12.Give back rubs. 13.Laugh together. 14.Send a card for no reason. 15.Do what the other person wants before he or she asks. 16. Listen. 17.Encourage. 18.Do it his or her way. 19.Know his or her needs. 20.Fix the other person’s breakfast. 21.Compliment twice a day. 22.Call during the day. 23.Slow down. 24.Hold hands. 25. Cuddle. 26. Ask for each other’s opinion. 27.Show respect. 28.Welcome each other home. 29.Look your best. 30.Wink at each other. 31.Celebrate birthdays in a big way. 32.Apologize. 33.Forgive. 34.Set up a romantic getaway. 35.Ask, “What can i do to make you happier?” 36.Be positive. 37.Be kind. 38.Be vulnerable. 39.Respond quickly to the other person’s request. 40.Talk about our love. 41.Reminisce about our favorite times together. 42.Treat other’s friends and relatives with courtesy. 43.Send flowers on Valentine’s Day and anniversary. 44.Admit when wrong. 45.Be sensitive to each other’s sexual desires. 46.Pray for each other daily. 47.Watch sunsets together. 48.Say “I love you” frenquently. 49.End the day with a hug. 50.Seek outside help when needed.
June 20, 2008
Unlike what a certain book has said about the world being flat giving us endless and countless opportunities, when your bike is flat, you can go nowhere! Such is the case now when the concessionaire for bike services on campus moved out and a new one is yet to come, leaving a period (of more than a week) of no bike service. Many, including yours truly, are not able to add air into their bike tyres. In a community where more than 90% of the population uses bicycles, the absence of a bike service center is as noticeable as the absence of a Thai restaurant in a faraway land. If this situation goes on, we have to start thinking of a strategy to get to office still feeling fresh and nice, i.e. walking. Not bad in the early mornings or late afternoons, but other times, forget it. Either you sweat too much from the heat, or you get soaked by the heavy downpour. Thus, it’s welcome news when just now we received the announcement that the new bike shop concessionaire will open tomorrow, with a special mention that an air pump will be installed immediately. There, we do not have to walk to office anymore and arrive there all sweating and out of breath. But walking is good, but not when the sun is up there smiling in all its shining glory, or the skies frowning down and drenching us with the rain! Maybe we really need to walk more, then, to be fit.
June 18, 2008
My beloved alma mater is turning 100 years old today! I studied there when she was between 80 and 84 years old. Too bad I could not participate in the celebration there now. How I wish I could be there and feel the excitement and fun and the nostalgia and many more … I just rely on the internet to witness the events during the whole year of celebration. Sharing one article I received by email today. It somehow captures the 100 years of UP existence, but of course we know that 100 years magnified by her impacts on many lives could not be confined in just a few paragraphs. Yet this short article somehow still stirs up what UP was, is and will be.
UP turns 100 today
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
UP officials have prepared elaborate celebrations for the milestone event, culminating in a grand alumni homecoming this weekend at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, site of many a sporting spectacle but on Saturday will be transformed into a melting pot of memories and nostalgia of all things UP.
Barely two months ago the new UP Charter was signed into law in UP Cebu , granting it fiscal autonomy as a national university.
Created by an act of the Philippine legislature in 1908 during the American period, the State University has come a long way from its early halcyon days along Padre Faura, the original campus, where the first seven colleges were constructed of sawali and galvanized iron.
There are now seven constituent universities located in 12 campuses throughout the country.
Act 1870, otherwise known as the UP Charter, created the university to “provide advanced education in literature, philosophy, the sciences and the arts; and to give professional and technical training to every qualified student irrespective of age, sex, nationality, religious belief or political affiliation, ” a statement from the Diliman Information Office said.
In those days that section of Ermita was like a mini university belt, with nearby schools Ateneo and Assumption also located there. Many of the streets were named after the states in the US : Florida , Colorado , Indiana , spilling all the way to Malate area, the exception being Isaac Peral, now United Nations Avenue , names only the oldtimers would likely remember.
When the Centennial Year was launched last January, celebrations began early in the morning in UP Manila , the template campus that houses the College of Medicine , precursor of the 1908 university charter, and wound up in the evening with a bonfire on the main campus of Diliman across town. Today at the Philippine General Hospital the UP Manila ‘s Indayog will be dancing the tinikling.
The Faura campus survived the war years, with the Conservatory of Music (Villamor Hall) being turned into a headquarters by Japanese occupying forces where the indios were supposed to surrender whatever firearms they had, as documented by author Benito Legarda in his book “Occupation ’42.” On the upper floors of the Conservatory, the intellectuals of the day were detained and interrogated, including the American editor of the Free Press magazine.
In 1948 UP held its last commencement exercises on Padre Faura, before transferring to Diliman the following year. Emerenciana Yuvienco, the lone summa cum laude of that batch, recalls that President Manuel Roxas was the commencement speaker. An April downpour gave them all a good drenching and Roxas himself refused an umbrella being provided by an aide. Two days later he was dead, after suffering from a heart attack in Clark Field.
Of things UP there are many, consisting of a random enough timeline that varies with each person who walked – maybe even sleepwalked – through the groves of that academe.
The General Education Program was introduced in 1959, which the university president of the new millennium, Francisco Nemenzo, sought to strengthen alongside the system’s fiber optic backbone, and so better equip the UP graduate in the 21st century.
The Creative Writing Center was set up in the late 1970s with a seed fund of a million pesos from the late President Ferdinand Marcos, but even before that there were already regular writers’ workshops being held both in Diliman and the campus in Baguio City .
Any history of UP would not be complete without mention of student activism, as it has been commonly known as a hotbed of radicalism and free thinkers, the well-off families who weren’t necessarily stingy would think twice about sending their children to State U.
Unforgettable was the Diliman commune in 1971, the smoke coming from the barricades could be seen kilometers away, and dzUP was taken over by ideologues mouthing the isms over the static. Of course, the likes of Joma Sison and Ninotchka Rosca hung out at the basement cafeteria, among the other bohemians (both political and apolitical) of the day.
During martial law the university seemed to be under temporary sedation, but only on the surface: dissent in its most extreme form hovered just around the corner. Rallies were nipped in the proverbial bud, but this didn’t stop the Iskolar ng Bayan from putting in his or her five centavos worth against the dictatorship.
The student publication The Collegian soldiered on, with its slogan printed in bold type near the masthead: Kung hindi tayo kikilos, sino ang kikilos? Kung hindi ngayon, kalian pa?
Billy Lacaba, a staff member of the Collegian editor Ditto Sarmiento during the late ’70s, spoke of the time the paper’s adviser Francisco Arcellana, whose job it was to read through the contents to check for anything incendiary, merely signed his name to approve the galleys without bothering to look at the copy, all in the name of press freedom. Both editor and adviser, may they rest in peace, were soon invited to Camp Crame for debriefing and an intensive refresher course on the New Society.
There was Lean Alejandro walking around campus in slippers. Francis Pangilinan, who would one day be senator, already looked kind of slick even then.
Members of the Eraserheads lived in the Diliman dorms, while Yano’s song State U remains a wake-up call for the Iskolar ng Bayan.
The Ikot jeep too has now a special place in UP annals, the ride round campus that started with a 5-centavo fare. There was subsequently a jeep that plied the opposite route, known as the Toki, because history too can run counter-clockwise.
And whereas tuition in the old days added up to little more than spare change, lately there have been grumblings – not unjustified – about the 300-percent increase in enrollment fees starting with those with student numbers beginning with the numbers 2007.
Long time employees are also wondering when their centennial bonus will come, before the money from katas ng tuition and assorted fund-raising gets lost in the mammoth celebrations.
Yet the bitterness and heartaches can be set aside for a day or two, for the sake of UP Naming Mahal, not coincidentally host of this year’s University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) games.
Though UP won NCAA basketball titles in the pre-war years, its first and only UAAP basketball crown was notched in 1986, when Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc and Eric Altamirano led the charge at the Ultra in Pasig . This centennial year the Fighting Maroons hope to win a game or two, after going 0-14 last year.
Not at the Ultra, but at the Araneta this Saturday will there be a lookout for the great beauties of Dekada 70 – Ascencia, Rosanna, Jacqueline – if they are in more ways than one still aboveground, and if time has been kind to them as UP most likely has.
Grand community sing-alongs during flag-raising at Quezon Hall in Diliman, and a multi-media tribute and concert at the Cultural Center from today till Friday conspire to usher in State U to its next one hundred years.
June 15, 2008
Chaiyapruk Foundation, in partnership with the AIT Christian Fellowship (AITCF), will hold a kids musicale to raise funds for the growing needs of the children cared for by the Chaiyapruk Foundation. Majority of the proceeds will go towards their Education. Selected children at the Chaiyapruk orphanage will stage an inspiring musical production together with the children of the AITCF. In addition to raising funds, the activity is also aimed at helping the children develop and share their talents. The event will be held on the 23rd and 24th of August 2008 at the Auditorium of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Conference Center, Khlong Luang, Pathumtani, Thailand.
Anyone interested to witness this event or to help in any way, please contact me. Thanks.
More at http://www.aitcf.net/kidspraise.
June 6, 2008
Human noise is inevitable in the workplace. Indoor noise pollution is the end result of activities created by humans in disturbing the peace and quiet of a certain space. It has been well-known among users in a certain room here on campus that the level of pollution is high, affecting physical health of almost all users. Yet nothing has been done about it. It is also well-known in the past that despite the large number of users in this particular room, there is still quietness as everyone concentrates on his/her own work. When there needs to be some discussion, everyone can talk and participate. However, recently, a certain occurrence of indoor noise pollution has been observed. And the level is rising. This has led to others who are disturbed to do any of the following:
1. jam their ears with earplugs and listen to music, sometimes at a high volume to drown out the noise pollution;
2. leave the room and abandon whatever work that needs to be done;
3. transfer to another room such as the meeting room (if available) to do some work there – this is only possible if the person has his/her own notebook computer;
4. go for a coffee break (but you can only do this at most twice a day)!
There might be other ways to handle this issue. The best way is to let the noise polluters know that they are polluting the environment and to reduce the level of their noise. The dilemma is how to inform them in a way that will not create misunderstandings and other ballyhoo, leading to misinterpretations. To let them know that if they want to talk about things in their own language, or if they want to argue noisily, they can go out of the room and discuss it there. It is assumed that as professionals, people have to be considerate of the others especially in a tight space as this particular room, as all are here to work (hope so), and as a team people are working to achieve the same goals (hope hope so).
Can indoor noise pollution be a solid ground for leaving the job? If so, it’s now time to find a better job where people’s health is not endangered, and where there’s peace and quiet to be able to work efficiently.