Friday, July 31, 2009


According to the World Health Organization 65% of the deaths in the year 2005 were due to heart and lung diseases, cancer, and diabetes mellitus—health problems which are directly related to a person’s lifestyle. Physical inactivity, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, obesity, malnutrition and faulty diet have been enumerated as the major risk factors for these lifestyle diseases.

The National Nutrition Council’s theme for the 2009 Nutrition Month celebration—“Wastong Nutrisyon Kailangan, Lifestyle Diseases Iwasan,” clearly reminds me to evaluate my attitudes and habits towards the food I eat, the drink I take, and the activities I do. Today is the culmination of this month-long celebration, and I believe that it is the best time to check and CHANGE my lifestyle should I find it faulty or unhealthy.

No smoking and moderate alcohol intake... Less fat, less salt, less sugar, less stress... More fruits, more vegetables, more exercise! Easy!


The island of Mindanao in the Philippines has been experiencing heavy and continuous rains for three weeks now. As a result, flash floods and landslides have affected almost 200,000 people in the villages in Cotabato City, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, South Cotabato and Sarangani. (Read more...)

An extreme weather event such as storms and flooding is a strong indication of Climate CHANGE. But meteorologists say that I can counteract the effects and subsequently save my planet if I check and CHANGE my activities that are directly related to the production of greenhouse gasses.

Stop illegal logging; plant more trees! No burning... limited use of fossil fuels (coals, oil and gas) and judicious use of home appliances.

More walking and more bicycling... Simple!


July 30, 2009... At last, 'Pres. Arroyo meets President Obama' in the White House.

They have, actually, one thing in common. Obama said, "it’s about time for a CHANGE!"

Arroyo said, "we need Charter CHANGE!"

I would like to thank all my friends in the blogosphere who voted for my article ‘The Keynote...’- an official entry to the 2009 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards.

Mabuhay ang


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Compare and Contrast

The creative clothes hanger in the island city-state... the Republic of Singapore.

Laundry lines in Block 170, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, Singapore

"The Hills Hoist is an Australian version of the rotary clothes line, the distinguishing feature of which is a crown and pinion winding mechanism allowing the clothesline to be lowered and raised."

Laundry line in Lot #22 Pareora Rd., Port Wakefield, S.A., Australia


I would like to thank all my friends in the blogosphere who voted for my entry ‘The Keynote...’- an official entry to the 2009 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards.

Mabuhay ang


Thursday, July 23, 2009


Paano kung ang papaitan walang halong apdo?
O 'di kaya'y ang adobo kung walang suka't toyo?
Masarap ba ang kalderetang walang anghang ang sarsa?
O 'di kaya'y ang tapang salat sa asin at paminta?

Sa paggawa ng ice-cream ang pangunahing sangkap ay asin-
kahit choco-frosting kailangang painitin, haluin;
Nakakatakam na leche flan, matagal pinasingawan!
Gulaman sa buko-pandan, nabuo nang pinakuluan.

Kung ang nais sa buhay, tagumPIE ay malasap,
'Di dapat magulat kung may pasakit at hirap,
Sa kabila ng lahat, tuwa't sarap ang katapat,
'Pag may t'yaga at sipag, tiyak may hain sa hapag!

Sa lahat ng mga kaibigang sumuporta sa aking akdang The Keynote- na kalahok sa 2009 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards, maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


It was 6:58 a.m. and the sun hadn’t risen yet. The dark eastern horizon had been gradually turning into a streak of cherry-red band, while the wide, lush, green wheat field was still obscured by the remaining darkness of the dawn. He felt the cold winter breeze biting his cheeks and this nearly freezing temperature never spared to penetrate even his glove-encased palms!

He quickly entered the first of the six control rooms which had been individually annexed beside the six chicken sheds. He was there to check the digitally-recorded data and to adjust the computer settings to make it suitable for the current growth requirement of the flock.

He almost leapt, as his heart was pounding, to see an odd object partly covered with a white cotton cloth standing right in front of him! He was surprised because for the past fifteen months of working there, he hadn’t found this kind of thing in the middle of this narrow and dusty room, or anywhere inside the farm’s confinement.

Curious, he hastily pulled the cloth off; and a magnificent life-size mirror with an antique, wooden frame was instantly unveiled!

He moved slowly towards the classic furniture, stood in front and looked at it but he couldn’t see his own reflection! He was startled.

He took a deep breath, and his anatomical heart beat more heavily. He felt the wintery draught creeping from the horizontal gap between the door and the floor to his feet up to his legs... He was about to open the doorway so he could immediately leave the haunted room but suddenly, a diffused vibrant ray started to dazzle out from the mirror!

The light had faded slowly, and the mirror started to display some moving images... He saw himself in an oath-taking ceremony together with other men and women of different nationalities, with a ‘Blue Ensign defaced with a constellation and a Commonwealth star’ emblem as a backdrop! The representative of the immigration department handed him his new passport- with a black cover and an outline of a kangaroo and an emu on the front. There was a ‘fast forward’... he then saw himself standing in front of his students in a university classroom Down Under holding a bony pelvis of a White Leghorn on his left hand, and a bony pelvis of a Beagle on his right. Finally, the mirror reflected him inside a teaching veterinary surgery room sharing the tricks of ovariohysterectomy to five eager-to-learn surgical teams.

He had been extremely captivated by those enchanting scenes, and he completely forgot all about his task for the day! He was very excited to tell his mates about the magical mirror so he went out of the control room and rushed to the lunch room to see Farshid and Roger.

AT 7:59 A.M. THE BALL OF fire hadn’t shown itself; instead, it kept on hiding behind the low, dark and visibly moving clouds just above the township of Port Wakefield that day. Strangely, a myriad of seagulls was hovering and perching all over the place!

Meanwhile... out of nowhere, a very old man wearing long robes and purple cloak suddenly appeared inside the control room! He was tall and thin; and his long grey hair, moustache and beard were all tucked into his leather belt—which was obviously made of a rooster skin. He waved his wand and said, “wishum grantum!”

The old man and the enchanted mirror vanished right away.

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s ‘Mirror of Erised’- a chapter in her book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The Mirror of Erised is a magic mirror, which, according to Albus Dumbledore, shows the "deepest and most desperate DESIRE of our hearts".

"Men have spent so much time looking in the mirror; they became mad, that they have forgotten to live."

-Albus Dumbledore explaining the danger of the mirror to Harry Potter

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mona Lisa's Smile

I had risen early today and found multiple little swamps in the yard, contrary to what I wished and prayed for last night—to see a pile of fluffy crystalline water ice on the ground this morning. I am sure that God gave me a continuous drizzle overnight instead of a gush of flurries which, all these years in my life, I’ve been dreaming to see!

Actually, this is not the first time He did it to me; when I'm asking for something, He was providing me another thing. ...lately, my requests seemed to be always put on hold. I don’t know why.

In my day to day quest for just a sign or an answer I’ve met men and women in my neighbourhood who, somehow, have opened my eyes and reminded me that the troubles of others are always greater than my own. These friends had and have been facing various and even more complex challenges than what I have but they could still manage to face the world with a smile!

I am inspired by their bravery to deal with all the difficulties they have in life. Frankly, I am overpowered by shyness to ask them about their source of exemplary courage and strength but one thing is certain: they have helped me believe that, really, there’s always a reason to smile.

10 July 2009

(Midwinter Down Under)

From LEFT to RIGHT: Siony, Nati, RJ, Gem, and Juliet

is apparently a glittering gold at 50; an Australian citizen; 8 years in Australia; the 5th wife of an 82-year old Dutch-Australian named Charles who’s currently confined in (and has been in and out of) the hospital because of diabetes and heart problem.

Nati has just turned 59 last month; an Australian citizen; 23 years in Australia; was married to Abdul (a grandson of one of those Afghans who brought the first camels in Australia) but has been a widow for 2 years now; currently working as a caregiver in the nearby town-Balaklava, and is living alone in her house.

RJ will be exactly on his 3 decades of existence in August; 2.5 years in Australia; a working visa-holder, a poultry farmer and a blogger. (You can browse through the pages of The Chook-minder’s Quill to know more about him.)

Gem is, obviously, still small (but terrible) at 41, young at heart and in mind; a poultry farm manager working for more than 2 years in Australia; has been granted of his residency visa for 2 months now; married and blessed with 2 sons but he is still living alone in the farm house while continuing to convince his wife to come back here in Australia (after she decided to go back to the Philippines with their children when she felt she couldn’t meet the demands and face the challenges of the outback Australian life).

Juliet was, incidentally, once married to a Filipino (now deceased) named Romeo! ...has just turned 61; an Australian permanent resident; more than 2 years in Australia and is currently married to a 74-year old British-turned-Australian divorcé named Norm who's currently having chemotherapy because of a certain cancer. Juliet is financially supporting her 2 sons in the Philippines who were unfortunately denied of an Australian 'dependent visa' earlier this year.

Glenelg, South Australia

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Choice

What day is today?” my workmate asked me while we were having our smoko this morning. (His name is Roger. He will be turning 63 this August. Incidentally, we have the same birth date, and he’s exactly 4 months older than my mom!)

It’s Monday,” I answered.

Uh... o rite...” he nonchalantly murmured, peeped under his eyeglasses and immediately wrote down the mortality count on our daily record.

He asked me the same question last Friday when I reminded him that the next day (Saturday) was his day off. He was actually surprised to know that another week was over because he said he doesn’t really care to keep track of the date, day or time.

Uhmn... after work, I go home, feed my animals, visit my garden, have my tea in the evening, sleep, wake-up, have a toast and a cup of coffee... and come to work, that’s it!” he simply said.

While Roger is living in oblivion, I am obliged to live the exact opposite... I have to order the feed two days before I need it; so if I want a feed delivery on a Wednesday I must place my order on a Monday. I have to be aware of the current date to keep myself updated of the age of our flock so I can give them the correct ration, the ideal drinking-water pressure, the required temperature, ventilation and length of light. I have to know the time of chicken harvest so I can turn the feed lines off at least four and a half hours before the actual bird catching, otherwise the dressing plant will complain about their full crop.

Honestly, I don’t know if Roger is happy yet in some ways, I envy him.