Thursday, July 31, 2008


Debt is possibly the nearest pecuniary word synonymous to death. If you are deeply entrenched with a huge amount of borrowed money, unpaid bills, and other financial shackles, becoming productive is the most difficult thing to do. Not only will you be getting nightmares but also you won’t be able to move forward and do more liability-decreasing activities. Investing is not easy. Profiting is next to difficult. Indeed, debts are the heaviest drag downs to anyone, to any institution. If you are having some problems with debt and you are resolved to sever yourself from this fiscal bondage, try to visit debt consolidation sites. One of the best debt consolidation sites I’ve visited is No Debt As the name implies, it can breathe in to you a new fiscal life. This website offers strategies and lending services that can incrementally reduce the amount of your debt. You can select from the type of service of debt reduction: credit debt, tax relief, credit repair, and consolidation of multiple debt types. This site also offers valuable insights on how to never incur debt again. Its professional service takes all of your current debts and rolls them into one easy-to-manage, affordable monthly payment. Paying your debts without breaking the bank has never been better.

Borrow is not a Harrow

If you are short on cash, having a huge, wallet-flattening debt problem, if you are on the verge of borrowing from gangs and “5.6%” lenders, then just give a click. It could just be the site you need for your fast and reliable cash loans. You can apply for cash advance loan and payday loans effortlessly and with more confidence. With its loaning skill expertise and long experience in the field of online loaning, your satisfaction and success are guaranteed (that is assuming that after you borrowed, you’ll be able to handle the money well; channel it where it should really go) Borrowing money from Perfect Cash Advance is as easy as one, two, three. You can even have the money by the very next day, pay your debts off, or better yet, start up your own business—an asset that can yield more assets if you steer the business wheel carefully. Moreover, Perfect Cash Advance can qualify you for a payday loan of up to $1500. So just kick back, relax, and let Perfect Cash Advance do the thing for you. Advantages of availing this terrific payday loan service is that it is 100% online, cash is deposited directly into your account on the very next business day, it is quick and easy and requires no faxing in many cases, and most importantly, it is safe and secure. Borrowing is never as risky as it seems to be.

Ironing out the Financial Crease

Availing for payday and cash advance loans are becoming more convenient ways of starting up one’s business, buying some luxury assets, and paying for more urgent and hauntingly pressing needs. Especially if you are caught sandwiched in multiple debts and you see yourself in need of divine intervention, this website can help you out iron your financial creases. Personal Cash Advance provides a very straight forward explanation of what payday loans and cash advances are. I guess this website does not just front a debtor-congenial face but actually is a friendly lending service. If you are short on cash, and if you are caught between paychecks, this website can really help you out. It provides a very good payday loaning service coupled with experience in the business and credible lenders. Browsing the website is very easy. The most necessary information you want are featured as the centerpiece, no unnecessary blabber and bluff, just pure expert lending business to fish you out in undesirable financial states. You can easily sign up for payday loans. You just have to fill in the customer information page that is already in the homepage. Enter you name, email and some information about your employment status. Advantages of this service are cash are deposited directly to your account overnight, fast and easy service, confidential and secure, 100% online and flexible payment options.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Money in a Jiffy

I avert incurring debt as much as possible. But life nowadays has been quite difficult for me. Prices of commodities have skyrocketed without any foreseeable end. Transportation fare has increased tremendously that I find it excruciating to draw money from my already malnourished purse. As a working student, sometimes it becomes inevitable that I have to pay for urgent expenses—my wi-fi bill, electricity bill (I shoulder our house’s electricity bill), transportation expenses (which takes 15% of my monthly salary), clothes, vitamins, vygeine (vanity + hygiene items), etc. Well, that’s not all. I am also paying for things I bought on an installment basis. Yeah, I am really pressed for money this month. I’m so pressed that I think I am going to resort to short-term loaning companies. While I was looking for a local lending firm, I came across this payday cash advance website, which is Easy Online Payday Loan. I was particularly enticed with its cognizance of lending laws assuring debtors that they will not spiral down into long term inextricable pit of death…I mean debt (no wonder they sound almost the same). I think Easy Online Payday Loan is quite a credible funding source for those who need cash in a jiffy. If you’re looking for a lender, then just sign up in this site and it will find a suitable lender for you that can professionally, and hopefully humanistically, handle your needs.

Life is What You Make It

There is no boring life. Each and every one of us has unique stories to tell and we are all award-winning directors in our own right. I recently stumbled upon a very personal blog of Ms. Jane who is a Filipina, now residing in the United States. I wonder about how she made a transition from living in Nueva Ecija (a not so developed province in the Philippines) to the Seattle, USA. She has been living there for 12 years already. I wanted to hear her mini stories for I wanted to emigrate once…Leaving a culture and a way of living must have not been a piece of cake for her, or for anyone who has immigrated. Ms. Jane says: Life Is What You Make It">Life Is What You Make It"> . She must have played her cards well. Or fate must have been just smiled at her. Or it could be both. In her blog you can find all sorts of stories ranging from personal to informative to critical content. I think you’d enjoy hanging around her blog. Do give it a visit.

It's More of a Win-Win Situation

I have not realized the value of having an insurance company covering my skin when something unwanted happens. Of course, it is but common sense that insurance companies win 99% of the time because: 1) they have at their disposal the right-hemisphered people doing all the risk computations for them, 2) you would not want to be sick, your car damaged in a crash, or a loved one suffering from a chronic disease, 3) assuming that you are careful with your valuables, that includes your life, would mean reducing the probability of the insurance company paying for your lack of good luck. But then no one could predict the future. And paying a relatively small amount of premium to an insurance company would at least give you psychological comfort if nada nada happens. Recently, I have heard from my Korean friend that he accidently crashed onto another car and the fault was his. It was good that he has an auto insurance. Though that insurance just covered for the other person’s car and not his own, the expenses the accident incurred was made a little bit less hefty. If you don’t want to play chances, visit EZ Insurance Portal. It is a comprehensive site where you can avail of home, auto, health, and life insurance. Visit their insurance blog as well for more info.

Wheeling on Your Own

Wanting to have your dream car? Or are you modest enough just to own a used car for family purposes like whenever you want to go some place and have some fun you’ll have the luxury of not having to commute? Whichever your choice is, owning a car is not as difficult as you think. Car loan provides a quick, easy and secure way of having your very own four wheels. It might not be the elegant Ferrari of your dreams, but at least you’ll be able to increase your mobility with confidence and comfort. Despite the skyrocketing oil price, I am still encouraged to buy even a second-hand car. Eventually, if things go well for hybrid ones, then I’ll just This website is very easy to navigate. The links are organized to places where you would expect them to be. At the bottom of the page there is About Us (provides you with a sense of credibility for the website; of course shelling a few thousand dollars is not a game most people can play), Contact Us (for some inquiries about auto loan services) and site map. Links for Loan for new cars, loan for used cars and refinancing are also present at the homepage so you will not get flooded with all unnecessary things. Just focus on what you need, click and auto loan will do the rest for you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

When Push Comes to a Shove

The general prices of commodities in the Philippines have increased by leaps and bounds. Before our family does not really feel incremental price hikes because they are monetary trivial relative to my father’s income. But that’s history. These days my mom really needs to re-budget, reallocate, re-prioritize her allotment. My father now needs to send us extra money from abroad as my mom’s salary alone would not suffice to sustain our liability-filled house. What is happening in our family is not a trouble (if you adhere to the sociological definition of the word), but is a problem. Scarcity of resource is typical of families in the Philippines. Sometimes we just don’t have any other choice but to borrow money from creditors. However abhorring borrowing is for us, we just cannot afford not to pay my two sisters’ tuition fees. I found this payday cash loan when I was looking for a credible firm to borrow cash from. Though we fail to satisfy one of the requirements, which is being a US citizen, I think for those who are, giving a shot could give you a good perspective of loaning. This site especially caters to people who are in immediate need of cash. And one can borrow up to 1,500U$D in a snap. Payment terms are also very congenial. ^^;

Achilles' Plastic Heels

Handling money needs utmost discipline. It is like a dried bacon stick on a dog’s snout that at anytime—and in the wrong time—could be gobbled up. Some people are better at handling cash; they are more tamed seeing that their stash is slowly getting thinner hence they stop their uber compulsion to splurge. There are also some people who prefer using credit cards. And believe me, 5 out of 10 fail in good credit management. It is a just good thing that there are various internet sources that offer valuable advices on how to handle the plastic money. Plastic as it is, it should not be haphazardly swiped through just any visible slot. Online Credit Cards by Your Credit Network is one of the best sites I have visited that provides credit card information: credit card issues (American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, etc.), credit card features (low interest cards, reward credit cards, cash back cards, student credit cards, business credit cards, etc.) Online Credit Cards, with its wealth of professional and up-to-date credit card information, could just only help you become one of the five people who successfully escapes the credit card trap. OCC’s three easy steps: Research, Compare, and Apply will help you choose what credit card you need. You can visit OCC’s blog as well for more information.

Home and Mortgage Loans

We lived for 10 years transferring from one apartment to another. I was still young then so I really cannot remember the tribulations of all the comings and goings from one abode to another. But if there is one thing I remember, it’s that I and my mother go to a certain bank’s main office to deposit money for our future lot. Yes, my parents have been allotting money for buying a lot. However, thinking back, I think we could have saved more and life could have been easier if my parents only know something concrete about home mortgage. 10 years could have been lived in a house we own, cutting off monthly rental fees, and instead channeling the rent money to further household investments. If you are planning to buy a property, I think you should act fast. Mortage Network Finders is here to help you out in choosing what kind of mortgage to avail of that suits your needs and capacity as a debtor. Mortgage Network Finders has been around since 1995 so its competence as one-stop best stop site for mortgage loans could not be dented with questions on credibility. You can easily browse their mortgage offers by visiting their site and interactively finding the best mortgage for you: from the drop down menu, you can select the type of service (home purchase, home refinance, equity line), property type (condo, townhome, etc.), and credit rating.

The Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea

You know a lot of Wars, the mock and the great. But there is one War that could have been relegated to the oblivious hemisphere of your brain. It was that War where 7,000 Filipinos fought in to reclaim Freedom that could not be their own. It was a battle that showered a foreign land with blood of rare valiance; the blood of those who fell in the Korean War.

If you want to hear firsthand accounts from a Korea War veteran, give this a click. I think your time will be better spent reading that than poring over the hottest male and female Korean stars.

By the way, have you ever wondered why a Filipino would wear this kind of clothing?

(image taken from a 500-peso bill)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Unsung Filipino Heroes of Korean War

MANILA, Philippines--On June 25, 1950, war broke out between the northern and southern parts of the Korean peninsula.

While the battle did not affect any part of the Philippines, the country sent 7,000 Filipino soldiers to fight on the side of the South Koreans.

They were the first foreign troops from Asia to come to Seoul's aid, next to the United States and United Kingdom.

The Filipino soldiers--though not individually named in local history books--were considered among the best fighters who stood by the South Koreans during the war.

One of them, Maximo Young, an 86-year-old retired major, was a member of the 10th Battalion Combat Team (BCT) and among the first batch of 1,400 Filipino troopers sent to Korea. They were also the first to see overseas combat since World War I.

Young said that while the North Koreans were known as "hard fighters," the Filipinos were just as well-trained, disciplined and experienced, having been exposed to guerrilla fighting from facing the Japanese and the Hukbalahap.

Between October to November 1950, the members of the 10th BCT crossed the 38th parallel which separated the North from South Korea. They were there to secure the town of Syngue.

Along the way, the Filipinos were ambushed by a North Korean battalion at the town of Miudong. "We were attacked from higher ground. Our infantry was pinned to the ground," said Young.

During the critical situation, Young, who was commanding one of the tanks, immediately launched a counterattack.

He said he remembered opening the turret hatch, swinging the .50 caliber turret machine gun toward the enemies and firing away, sending many North Koreans scampering out of their foxholes to seek more secure positions.

His action inspired the other members of the battalion to mount a rally. The victory at Miudong was the first battle won by Filipino troops in a foreign land.

Koreans, in gratitude to the soldiers who fought alongside them, encourage them to visit the country, shouldering most of their expenses.

"The Koreans have never forgotten us," said Young.

He added, however, that the most touching gesture of gratitude he experienced was made by a young Korean who sat beside him during an event.

Young said that when he introduced himself as a Korean war veteran, the youngster respectfully took his hand and placed it on his forehead--much like the Filipino tradition of "mano po."

"Had it not been for these soldiers, we would have been enslaved," the youngster said his father had told him.

To read the unabridged article, please visit:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Farewell to My Fave: Sung Si Kyung's Here in My Heart Album

Sung Si Kyung joins the list of stars releasing a new album before enlisting for mandatory military service. Hailed as the "King of Ballad" since his debut in 2000, Sung has maintained solid popularity with a string of hits like Miso chonsa ("Smiling Angel"), Neon Kamdongi eosseo ("You Touched My Heart"), GeoriESeo ("On The Street"), and Han bun deo yi byeol ("Another Goodbye"). While touring across the country over the past year, Sung immersed himself in deep introspection, searching for the identity of a true musician. Now, carrying a new sense of maturity and appreciation for his music and his fans, the singer releases his much-awaited sixth album Here In My Heart.

Written in collaboration with Yoo Hee Yeol (a.k.a. Toy), the principal track An nyeong na euh sarang ("Goodbye, My Love" - Track 4) bears sadness beneath the upbeat melody. As if making his personal farewell, the song rolls out heartfelt lyrics like "this could be my last gift to you" and "it'll be okay, goodbye my love". In addition, the titular song Here In My Heart (Track 1) is a modern folk ballad written by Yoo. Besides Sung's own creative contribution, many noteworthy talents also participated in the making, namely, Kim Hyun Cheol, Kim Kwang Jin, Noh Young Shim, Hwang Sae Joon, and Lee Seong Hwan. Other highlights include pop ballad Noon bu shin go baek ("Luminous Confession" - Track 8) and pop oldie Geu dae wah choom eul ("Dance With You" - Track 6).

Track List:
01 여기 내 맘속에 (Yogi Ne Mamsoge)
02 어디에도 (Odi-ye do)
03 더 아름다워져 (Doh Areumdawochyo)
04 안녕 나의 사랑 (Annyeong Na-e Sarang)
05 잃어버린 것들 (Iroborin)
06 그대와 춤을 (Gu-dewa Chumeul)
07 Baby You Are Beautiful
08 눈부신 고백 (Nunbushin Gobek)
09 사랑하는 일 (Saranghaneun Il)
10 소풍 (Sopung)
11 당신은 참.. (Dangshineun Cham)

Thanks to ambershinbi.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Spring Roadtrip

Kevin was our wheels in Korea. But more than that, he was our friend, and a very caring and thoughtful one. Though the gas price in Korea is 4x the price here, he never hesitated to bring us around nice places in Daejeon.

Today, Kevin brought us to Daecheong Dam Park. It is a dam, surprise.
But damn! The cherry blossoms--in full bloom, lining the pedestrian, gracing the lifeless gray roads, falling like pink snow on our heads--were such creations to behold!

Here is our party: The guy with a pink inner wear is Jinhyeong, my 1st semester Korean buddy;

Tanya, my most beautiful co-scholar from the Philippines;

and Freda (Singapore) and Kenneth (Malaysia), my barkada in those times.

What I like about parks in Korea is that they are never boring, even if you go there without a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Daecheong Dam is just one of the few educational parks where visitors can get to know how hydroelectric power is generated by strong water currents and a turbine. This park also has a museum that showcases miniature setup of a hydroelectric plant, live aquatic organisms that thrive well within the operating perimeters of the dam, and information boards on how there should be very minimal footprints of development on ecology.

This day was really a walk to remember for the six of us. Driving back, I bid farewell to the cherry blossoms whose life is transitory, as it was beautiful, as my 10-month stay in Korea.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ewwphony of the Night

"If you have nothing to do tonight, I invite you to go sing to singing room with us together." This message was sent to me by my 1st semester Korean buddy Kim JinHyeong. It was April; I am very fresh in Korea, Korea is fresh to me. I didn't know what a singing room is but I gladly obliged. I went with the other ASEAN students to meet JinHyeong downtown. He was with two other Korean buddies, Chaehun the Taekwondo champ and YeongHun the Shy Guy.

This room was unlike what I've seen before. We don't have a singing room with an interior like this in the Philippines. I thought it was uniquely Korean.

Alas, inside the sound-proof walls of the Noraebang I sang like I have never sung before. It was a wild night! And I am not showing the photos!

1 hour later, the ajjoshi (mister) entered the room to announce a "free service". Koreans broadly use the word "service" to mean freebies, extras, and discounts. The mister was kind enough to give us 20 more cacophonous minutes for free. But we were kinda worried about the curfew actually; the dorm closes at 11pm and we started walking back at 10:30. The dorm is 20 minutes away from the Noraebang by foot if we walk leisurely.

"Horeb, gwenchana", says YeongHun. I asked him what "gwenchana" means. He said that Koreans say gwenchana to mean "It's okay. Don't worry." YeongHun told me that the dorm administrator would let us in because they're friends. haha.

Ooh. I learned three Korean words today, aside from discovering my hidden talent worth hiding: noraebang, so-bi-su (service), and gwenchana. ^^; The boon of informal learning begins here.

We made it to the dorm on time, yearning to go back again to the Noraebang.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

And the Atomic Bomber Award Goes to...

Ms. Betchay of Life in Korea ^^;

Hydrogen Bomber - Crissy's Heaven

TNT Bomber - Big Boys Have Toys Too

Thank you very much for much EC drops!

As promised, the winners will receive the top 3 most picturesque shot I have of Mt. Geumgang in North Korea. ^^;

Luftwaffe Droppers be ready. Winners will be announced on August 22. He or she will receive the best photo of Mt. Sorak in South Korea.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Chronicles of the Northern Kimchi 3 of ~

After dinner and a short dabble in the East Sea, we prepared for our 3-kilometer walk towards a high-school near the 38th parallel. The place where we are now is the most proximate town to North Korea. (Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name; I hope I would dream of it since I always dream lucidly). We were chanting "dongil-euro", which means "towards unification" while walking under the pouring rain, side by side with fired-up Daejeon University students. It was good that we were provided with raincoats that we used for this march and for hiking Mt. Geumgang. This raincoat is one of my valuable possessions since it has been rained upon both in the South and North. I am keeping it safe in my drawer.

Anyhow, upon reaching the high school, we watched an on-stage performance of Daejeon University students. There were things of sorts and wacky stunts that I've never really seen anywhere: head-smashing a huge watermelon, a drama that I really didn't understand, thanks to my diligence studying Korean, and a tribute of happy (and some lugubrious) parents who are really proud of their children who are participating in this reunification march.
But what struck me most was the rubberband stunt performed by two male Daejeon University students where they both wore five huge rubberbands encircling their bodies, walked apart from each other till the rubberbands snap off, flinching their backs and tummies. Ouch, ouch! I'm so sorry for them. And I'm also sorry for the two famous rappers who took the stage and brought the house down though it was raining like hiking the next day would be impossible.

The Chronicles of the Northern Kimchi 1 of ~
The Chronicles of the Northern Kimchi 2 of ~

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just another "F" Word

Our lives are bound to a lot of farewells. But this fact is just so unforgiving that most of us have never really learned to come to terms with it. Tomorrow you might be hearing the "F" word. And you could very well respond with yet another "F" word.

Today was Sir Philip Kim's last day in Duzon. His resignation was unwelcome, as it was unexpected, for those who love him. But for those who don't, well, I won't give a damn writing about what they could have felt. When I was a terrorized newbie in Duzon, Sir Philip became my reassurance that there is Good--as there is Bad--in any 'race'. To Team Rio, he was more than just a competent class manager; he was a friend, a good adviser, he was loved than feared. To others, Sir Philip could just be a source of abundant laman-tiyan. He won't mind. For so long as you'll be eating pichi-pichi, so long as you'll be passing by Amber, his name would just become more indelibly written on your memory. Philip. Pichi. Philip. Pichi.


The Girl and His Cat

It was the warmest, most feline hug I have ever seen in my life. I almost felt it myself when the Cat hugged the Girl. They were always together, not wavering in their love for each other. Wherever the Girl goes, she brings with her the Cat. I saw them blithely playing on top of a small green hill where an old catholic chapel and a playground stand. They were enjoying under the summer sky and the light, crisp wind from the East when the dogs arrived. The dogs ran after the Cat. But the Girl lifted the Cat up to her bosom and the Cat clung to her like a vulnerable human soul. The girl scared the dogs away and warned them not to harm her Cat ever again.

The Cat thought: "Why do I feel such connection with this Girl? I cannot remember...Why? ..."But try as she may, she cannot put to rest the mysterious feeling. The Girl, too, thought about the affection she holds towards the cat. She couldn't figure the whyness of it all either.

But Fate knows.

The Girl had a friend who died not so long ago...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mine the Free Stuff

The freebee mentality exists everywhere. I think we are just hardwired to want for things that we don’t really worked that hard for. It could be coming from a primordial impulse when Nature has been providing all of our needs. But then, it could just be because of plain laziness. Anyway, you can talk about freebee mentality in relation to Marx’s Das Capital or Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism. Point is, everyone loves freebies. I was looking for a good Wordpress template when I stumbled upon this All4FreeHere. This doesn’t just offer free templates but also free fonts, scripts and many other valuable resources that you don’t need to pay for. It’s a free catalog website that provides a list of things that are free and cheap. For those who are saving even a buck for oil, I think this site is for you. This also has an entrecard so you could be very well become EC buddies.

My Life Verse

Dear Lord, teach me to understand the timing of Your great will...

A Time for Everything

Book of Ecclesiastes

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ride Money Carpet

I never believed before that blogs could be literal gold mines. My aunt was actually prodding me to start a blog when I was having my vacation-study in Korea. I had lots of free time there to maintain my blog and update its contents everyday. But I was stubborn. Earning from blogging is just too good to be true. It is also too easy to be real. Now I am regretting. I should have started my blog since the blogosphere was just in its inception. I was late in entering this rat race. But this blog is definitely reaching the stars with its ability to generate profit for its owner. It is a Paid to click blog, full of advertisements and links to services that could lend an opportunity to bloggers to earn big bucks. If you want to augment your income from accepting opps from payu2blog or from whatever site, visit Reaching the Stars blog and you might find additional ways to earn money.

Can You Catch a Fly with a Pair of Chopsticks?

Filipino children are generally fascinated by chopsticks. When I was young, I used banana-Q sticks as chopsticks to eat ramen and canton. 15 years had passed and I lived in a country where chopsticks are used in picking up foods...
There is a Chinese saying that if you can catch a fly using a chopstick, you could do anything. And I cannot pick even a chunk of radish using those two metal rodlets. T__T So I browsed the net on how to properly hold a pair of chopsticks when I stumbled upon PuNiaoPuNiao blog. She is Chinese, obviously, and her blogs are about things Chinese and Japanese. I think her blog is also a money-making one. Though there never really is a reference on using chopsticks properly, I think this site was helpful to practice some Hanja characters I know. The layout of this site is quite good, not cluttered, simple—just like the Chinese. I also adore the banner message:
Chopsticks: A delicate hand and a patient mind will ultimately nourish your soul.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Haiku Mum

I really enjoy the thought and the reality that moms nowadays are able to make the most out of the internet. I have stay-at-home mommy friends who are full time bloggers; they do not need to depend on their husbands to buy them kikay stuff. Some SAHMs could even support their husbands with their income from blogging! Yeah, just like my aunt. I again stumbled upon a great mommy blog, but I think it’s not a money-making blo--just one that’s intended to exercise the vocabularies and write the stories of mommyhood. You can find in Harmony in Motion chronicles of a mom’s journey with her husband and her daughter Maggie. There are lots of pictures there that you’ll surely find cute. But what’s quite unique here is her Haiku posts. If you don’t know what a Haiku is, it’s a traditional Japanese poem that’s made up of 3 lines with 7-5-7 syllable-rhythm count. I think this mom could really make good haikus!

The Ultimate Blog Bloom Tag

I got tagged by Ms. Betchay and this time it is not one, but two tags:

The Ultimate blog bloom Tag!

This tag will give you 2 techie points per successful tag. The rules are:

1. Copy and paste the URLs (ALL OF THEM!) on the list and add them to your blogroll (this gives your buddy one techie point)
2. Add your name according to the alphabetical sequence of the list
3. link your webbie to your name in the list (the second techie point opportunity)
4. add your URL next to the linked name…
5. Voila! just do this, tag as many as you can and wait until your techiepoints grow exponentially! Don’t forget to linkback… in your case link back to JoanJoyce.


Apt 1014
Life in Korea
Everything Kimchi

The Double Tag
RULE: What you are supposed to do… and please don’t spoil the fun… Click copy/paste, delete my answers, type in your answers and tag 4 people in your lists!

(A) Four places I go over and over:
Chonggyecheon Stream, Milgiore, Namsan Tower, Daejeon University Library

(B) Four people who e-mail me regularly:
Multiply, ASEAN scholars, Hannah, UPLB CCC

(C) Four of my favorite places to eat:
TGIFridays, Sbarro, Pizza Hut, mah own house

(D) Four places I’d rather be:
Daejeon, South Korea. Coron, Palawan. Saturn. Neptune.

(E) Four people we think will respond:
Elliot, Cher, Eden, Chris

(F) Four TV shows we could watch over and over:
Grey’s Anatomy, Friends, Lee Sun Shin, All About Eve (Jang Dong Gun and Chae Rim)

I’m tagging:
Cher, Eden, Chris
Girl for All Status
The Super Goddess Crissy's Heaven Ms. Liz a Simple Life Ms. SolLee
Silent Sage

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Psychotic Heart

It is very difficult to harbor Mutual Love, especially if you're not sure that the other person shares the same feeling. ML is a psychotic hallucination of the heart, a mirage that you'd like to capture only to find out at the end that it indeed is a mirage--nothing more, nothing less.
전 진짜 미친다! T__T

The Green & Leafy Blog

I am really amazed at how the Internet is being used for desirable ends. Information is power, and easy and free access to it can guarantee a net benefit for society. I happen to stumble upon Nisha’s blog, which is about Pregnancy and parenting, childbirth, parenting and women and child issues. One can find here healthy recipes that anyone might just enjoy, especially the kids. Topics range from not-so-commonplace to ethically contestable: Parenting issues like MJ’s bad parenting was blogged about, why sex determination in India is banned by law, and children’s rhymes and songs are some of the niceties that you can find in this blog. Layout-wise, Nisha’s “motherhood” blog also offers a refreshing place to lounge at, especially with the fresh green theme color that signifies new life.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Catching Up is Hard to Do

I really think that I should brush up on my Korean studies. All my Korean friends are dying from studying English day in and day out and I'm terribly lagging behind the war on new language acquisition. T___T

지금부터 전 한국어 문법을 배우려고 해요. 저에게 도음을 줄까여? ^^;
엘리엇 씨, 빨리 따라가세요.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Aliens in the Outfield and Tesla's Death Ray

There were aliens invading the planet and they almost got away with it. These aliens donned very attractive human skin and they paraded to be kind and all. Add to that, these aliens also participated in humanitarian activities that they were able to gain the trust of the community. Eventually, this coterie of extra terrestrial phonies were able to capture the reins of government. They were benign at first.

But in the parliament is where terror began. These aliens tried to eliminate mankind by planting on the ground pulsating embryonic-red alienific spheres that when activated would fire to the sky concentric red circles that vaporate everything under them. I saw men and women writhing in pain--think of worms sprinkled with salt--and turning gaseous in 5 seconds. There were only a few remaining humans. Living among them were oust-the-aliens independence fighters. The leader was a woman. I cannot remember the details fully but I am sure that she seduced the leader of these aliens while the freedom fighters deactivate the alienific spheres.

Love eventually conquered all and the aliens were defeated using the same nefarious technology that literally befell the human race.

Yet another lucid dream.

Meaning in Minutes

Reading is my favorite pastime. I regard it as a virtual journey that could take me to places that I can only dream of going. I am not really particular about the source of the text—may it be a lap-shattering microbiology book that takes me deep to the cellular level, a newspaper that I fold into a pamaypay eventually, or a friend's blog—they all help to make the most out of my time. Liane Schmidt’s blog, Make the Most of Your Time, is a collection of inspirational advices, motivational posts, reflective entries, and basically things about the rationality of emotions. She also posts song lyrics coupled with videos from youtube—songs that can touch your sensibility to appreciate small but wonderful things in life. She also writes about her personal travels but she never misses to introspect a bit about how her comings and goings make her a better person at the end of the day. Perhaps not only the readers could make the most of their time in this blog, but also the blogger herself.


There is something warm about the layout of this blog. Perhaps it’s the peach-colored theme that makes it very homey. Or it could just be the blog’s title: My Resting Place. I was intrigued by the philosophy behind the name of this blog. Unlike perhaps 8 out of 10 blogs that appear not to be resting places for the blog’s owners or the blog’s readers, this blog is different, though the content's theme is shared with other bloggers. The owner recognizes that this web space is a place for her to vaporize whatever is in her head; this could be relaxing for her, if not at all cathartic. This blog is about family, health, fitness, and random thoughts. You can also read her intimate stories in this blog, a perfect lounge for those who’d like to take a scoop of other people’s eventful lives. There are also pictures peppered all over, which make this site more interesting. Visit Now princessa and king’s blog’spot. ^^;

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Chronicles of the Northern Kimchi 2 of ~

Just a few minutes away from this landmark is North Korea. A field of ecstatic tension filled the bus and my insides were churning from the thought of communism. It never occurred to me that this abstraction could actually produce a psychosomatic discomfort. "What could the experience of crossing the 38th parallel be like", I asked myself. I'm sure that there's much more to this than just landing both my shoes on North Korean soil (and I have to keep those shoes after they've been worn out). I felt an unwelcome surge of guilt when, for a brief moment, I had escaped from my self-induced hypnosis--how come that I've really never felt strongly about walking on historical places in my country? I thought I should be more grateful when I get to visit the Aguinaldo Shrine than when I visited King Sejong's Memorial Museum.

Anyhow, we didn't cross the border directly. We had to spend the night in an apartment that's very near the border. It also faces the sea. The girl in red, Jelyn from Thailand, is seen contemplating by the window. Who wouldn't be mesmerized by this view? Foods were also prepared for us: there was spicy beef soup and Kimchi. Surprise! Since the tent was wasn't big enough to accommodate everyone for dinner, I and Freda (Singapore), Ken (Malaysia), and Joe (Laos) had to find a place where we could refill comfortably.

It rained heavily that day but we had to continue marching to a certain High School where a presentation was prepared. Two famous rappers brought the house down despite the falling rain. Participating students also gave their best to their comedic stunts. I remember the poor guy bashing his head through a watermelon. ... Toughie.

Sleepy's 2:31am. I'll just edit this tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Chronicles of the Northern Kimchi 1 of ~

It really didn't feel like going to another country. I never considered North Korea as symbolically severed form the South, though geopolitically speaking, they are. The two Koreas were divided by a truce line called the 38th parellel after a ceasefire was declared by all the involved parties. After this line was drawn, the peninsula has never been the same again: lives were erased, families were separated, in the North, tyranny and poverty set in. Today is a very momentous day because I am crossing that line, a product of the human mind that does not imagine better. In my heart, there was a mixture of fear and joy, hope and despair for all that this line has cut through.

We rode the bus at around 9am and went northwards. It was a very long drive. But the seats in the tour bus were so comfortable that I really didn't mind siting for hours. The view was unspeakably magnificent for it was Summer. The hills and mountain ranges were green with life, farming areas teeming with ginseng and other growths, condominiums sparsely dotting the landscape. We're divorcing form the city, I thought. After about 2 hours of wheeling continuously, I thought I should get some sleep. But my brain's sentimental hemisphere nags at me to look outside the bus' window because it knows that I won't see the landscape again the same way as it is now. I guess the reason was well-founded so I resisted the urge to close my eyes. However, these days, try as I may to recall what were seen, all that appears is a whipped-up imagery of greens and browns and the monotonous grayness of the road; the beauty wasn't preserved at all in my head. I should have just gone to sleep. As I always say, my mind is so fragile as to keep the subtleties of nature, friendship, and virtually all other things, intact for a reminiscence anytime.

to be continued~~

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two Faces of My Girlfriend

Watching movies, may they be atrociously mediocre or superb, is something that I should not deprive myself of every weekend. I always regard this as a way of empathizing to humanity as films are incarnates to the power of imagination and expression, not only of the director but also of individual actors. Okay, okay. I won't go any further with this pedant train of thought. Cut!

Today I watched Two Faces of My Girlfriend (Du Olgeuri Yeochin/두 얼굴의 여친), which is about a college male student who has never had a girlfriend before. Gu-cheong is a "rare species deserving to be under the protection of UNESCO". He eventually meets a girl named Anni who also attends his university. Anni's split-personality disorder (I think SPD is a misdiagnosis, a misnomer actually; find out for yourself why) made Gu-cheong's life sassy, eventful, and half of the time painful.
This movie would really take you to comedic peaks to dramatic troughs. It might seem to be just your another humdrum humor flick in the first hour but it is NOT! Definitely not!!! The twist near the end is just so fantastic that I thought the movie was carefully planned; it won't insult your logic even if it's a comedy film.

Two Faces of My Girlfriend is funny but not dumb and sappy. I really recommend this to everyone! ^^;

Saturday, July 12, 2008

North Korea Rejects On-Site Inspection Into Shooting Death

OOohhh! I really can't stomach N. Korea! How could they demand from the South an apology when it was the South who has lost a compatriot?
North Korea Saturday rejected the South's demand for an on-site inspection by Seoul officials into the death of a South Korean tourist at the North's Mount Geumgang.

In a statement, the North's operator of the joint tourism program expressed regret about the death, but claimed that the South should take responsibility for the incident.

It urged Seoul to apologize for it and take steps to prevent recurrence of similar incidents.

As to the South's decision to suspend the tourism program, the North said, ``Until the South apologizes for the incident properly and take measures to prevent recurrence of similar incidents, we will not accept tourists from the South."

The government attempted to send North Korea a telegram demanding an on-site inspection by Seoul officials into the death of Park Wang-ja, 53, a resident in Nowon-gu, Seoul. But it was unable to get a clear response, the Ministry of Unification said.

Park, a housewife, was shot to death by a North Korean soldier early Friday, while taking a pre-dawn stroll on a beach near the Mount Geumgang resort.

Pyongyang claimed the woman crossed about 1.2 kilometers into a fenced-off military area, but fled back toward the hotel where she was staying when the soldier ordered her to halt for investigation, Hyundai Asan, the South's operator of the tour program, was quoted as saying by Yonhap News.

article reference

Friday, July 11, 2008

South Korean Tourist Shot Dead at Mt. Geumgang

A 53-year-old South Korean tourist to Mount Geumgang in North Korea was shot dead by a North Korean soldier, the Unification Ministry said Friday. Park Wang-ja, residing in Nowon-gu, Seoul, was shot twice in her chest and leg when running away from a military restricted zone, according to reports.
Thing is, she was unarmed but she was shot thrice. That couldn't be any more terrible for an old lady like Ms. Park. It was reported that she fled after hearing a warning shot. But who wouldn't be scared to his wits after hearing a gun fire? That N. Korean soldier clearly doesn't know the distinction between a human being and a wild boar. I bet he grew up without a mother.

As for the South Koreans, this reader's comment from Korea Times, in my opinion, is very incisive:
"Two months of violent protests over safe beef, nothing for an old lady who as executed." Is this incident not enough a reason for S. Koreans to collectively express vehemence (on this particular issue only) towards the North?

But then again, this is an outsider's perspective. The South could still be regarding the North as fellow Koreans so this incident doesn't appear to them as hostility from 'another' country.

The Call

I so love this song from the Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian OST. The Call reminds me of my dearest friends to whom goodbye is a word unspeakable.

"The Call"

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into hope

Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
Till it was a battle cry
I'll come back when you call me
No need to say goodbye

Just because everything's changing
Doesn't mean it's never been this way before

All you can do is try to know who your friends are
As you head off to war
Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye

Now we're back to the beginning
It's just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can't feel it, too
Doesn't means that you have to forget

Let your memories grow stronger and stronger
Till they're before your eyes
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Are We Beyond Redemption?

In places where there is war, upheaval, insurgence, human rights violation, bloodshed, calamities...

Let's pray for peace and recovery.

1) Tibet (Everything Kimchi - Philippines)
2) The Cake Chronicles
3) You

I'm tagging:
Ms. Liz
Pinay Mommy
Sol Lee
Life in Korea
Lady Java

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination

Harvard University Commencement Address

Copyright June 2008

President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates,

The first thing I would like to say is 'thank you.' Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I've experienced at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and fool myself into believing I am at the world's best-educated Harry Potter convention.

Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can't remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard.

You see? If all you remember in years to come is the 'gay wizard' joke, I've still come out ahead of Baroness Mary Warnock. Achievable goals: the first step towards personal improvement.

Actually, I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have learned in the 21 years that has expired between that day and this.

I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called 'real life', I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.

These might seem quixotic or paradoxical choices, but please bear with me.

Looking back at the 21-year-old that I was at graduation, is a slightly uncomfortable experience for the 42-year-old that she has become. Half my lifetime ago, I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for myself, and what those closest to me expected of me.

I was convinced that the only thing I wanted to do, ever, was to write novels. However, my parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing personal quirk that could never pay a mortgage, or secure a pension.

They had hoped that I would take a vocational degree; I wanted to study English Literature. A compromise was reached that in retrospect satisfied nobody, and I went up to study Modern Languages. Hardly had my parents' car rounded the corner at the end of the road than I ditched German and scuttled off down the Classics corridor.

I cannot remember telling my parents that I was studying Classics; they might well have found out for the first time on graduation day. Of all subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom.

I would like to make it clear, in parenthesis, that I do not blame my parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. What is more, I cannot criticise my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor, and I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools.

What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.

At your age, in spite of a distinct lack of motivation at university, where I had spent far too long in the coffee bar writing stories, and far too little time at lectures, I had a knack for passing examinations, and that, for years, had been the measure of success in my life and that of my peers.

I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment.

However, the fact that you are graduating from Harvard suggests that you are not very well-acquainted with failure. You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success. Indeed, your conception of failure might not be too far from the average person's idea of success, so high have you already flown academically.

Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.

Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.

Given a time machine or a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone's total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.

You might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.

One of the greatest formative experiences of my life preceded Harry Potter, though it informed much of what I subsequently wrote in those books. This revelation came in the form of one of my earliest day jobs. Though I was sloping off to write stories during my lunch hours, I paid the rent in my early 20s by working in the research department at Amnesty International's headquarters in London.

There in my little office I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them. I saw photographs of those who had disappeared without trace, sent to Amnesty by their desperate families and friends. I read the testimony of torture victims and saw pictures of their injuries. I opened handwritten, eye-witness accounts of summary trials and executions, of kidnappings and rapes.

Many of my co-workers were ex-political prisoners, people who had been displaced from their homes, or fled into exile, because they had the temerity to think independently of their government. Visitors to our office included those who had come to give information, or to try and find out what had happened to those they had been forced to leave behind.

I shall never forget the African torture victim, a young man no older than I was at the time, who had become mentally ill after all he had endured in his homeland. He trembled uncontrollably as he spoke into a video camera about the brutality inflicted upon him. He was a foot taller than I was, and seemed as fragile as a child. I was given the job of escorting him to the Underground Station afterwards, and this man whose life had been shattered by cruelty took my hand with exquisite courtesy, and wished me future happiness.

And as long as I live I shall remember walking along an empty corridor and suddenly hearing, from behind a closed door, a scream of pain and horror such as I have never heard since. The door opened, and the researcher poked out her head and told me to run and make a hot drink for the young man sitting with her. She had just given him the news that in retaliation for his own outspokenness against his country's regime, his mother had been seized and executed.

Every day of my working week in my early 20s I was reminded how incredibly fortunate I was, to live in a country with a democratically elected government, where legal representation and a public trial were the rights of everyone.

Every day, I saw more evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power. I began to have nightmares, literal nightmares, about some of the things I saw, heard and read.

And yet I also learned more about human goodness at Amnesty International than I had ever known before.

Amnesty mobilises thousands of people who have never been tortured or imprisoned for their beliefs to act on behalf of those who have. The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet. My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.

Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people's minds, imagine themselves into other people's places.

Of course, this is a power, like my brand of fictional magic, that is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate, or control, just as much as to understand or sympathise.

And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.

I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces can lead to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the wilfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.

What is more, those who choose not to empathise may enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.

One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people's lives simply by existing.

But how much more are you, Harvard graduates of 2008, likely to touch other people's lives? Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world's only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

I am nearly finished. I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life. They are my children's godparents, the people to whom I've been able to turn in times of trouble, friends who have been kind enough not to sue me when I've used their names for Death Eaters. At our graduation we were bound by enormous affection, by our shared experience of a time that could never come again, and, of course, by the knowledge that we held certain photographic evidence that would be exceptionally valuable if any of us ran for Prime Minister.

So today, I can wish you nothing better than similar friendships. And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met when I fled down the Classics corridor, in retreat from career ladders, in search of ancient wisdom:

As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.

I wish you all very good lives.

Thank you very much.

The Clutter Junkster

Korea-related posts:
Dedication Post
1) Creature of Habit
2) Hope for Joy
3) Frozen in Time
4) Precious Wound
5) Ironed Fashion
6) My Name is Rain
7) Winning Moment
8) Life on Film
9) I Can't Touch the Things that are True
10) Kaleidoscopic Bibimbapish Post
11) Two Faces of My Girlfriend
11) Chronicles of Northern Kimchi 1 of ~
12) Chronicles of Northern Kimchi 2 of ~

Post-Korea Stress Syndrome
1) Time in a Bottle
2) For a While
3) Still Single
4) Thesis Acknowledgments
5) A Tribute to the Triad
6) Prince Caspian: A Must See
7) Halo-halo for the Rainy Days
8) Family Reunion
9) Lying is A By-product
10) Gladiators in My Dream
11) Turning a New Leaf
12) Is There a Bane to Being Brown?
13) Serve the People?
14) Lament of a Call Center Agent
15) A Mechalife
16) Aliens in the Outfield and Tesla's Death Ray

Weapons of Mass ECtraction

Hola blogangs! I'm currently holding a competition called Drop that EC Bomb Contest!

The rule is simple: My top 3 EC droppers will each receive a special photo I took from North Korea's Geumgangsan in Summer of 2007.

Many people (including South Koreans) reckon Geumgangsan to be the most majestic mountain in the Korean peninsula. I was lucky to have walked North Korean soil as it was a privilege to ASEAN scholars 2007. Many thanks to DJU and to the professors that sponsored us in this 3-day excursion to the North.

Bombing starts today till July 30.

Atomic Bomber Prize Geumgangsan Waterfall

Hydrogen Bomber Prize Geumgang Landsape

TNT Bomber Prize Geumgangsan Stream

Photo properties: 1280x800, without the watermarks, color-enhanced.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

U.P. Closed to Brightest of Poor

On the third day of classes in the hundredth year of the University of the Philippines (UP), a freshman from Cotabato province, a Chemistry major at UP in Diliman, Quezon City, had to drop out. Together with his father, the brokenhearted young man went to see each of his instructors to have his subjects invalidated.

While his Math 17 instructor was deleting his name from the class list, I could see the poverty, desperation, anger and sense of resignation in their faces. It was not the disappointment of winning the lottery and being denied the prize later. The young man is a member of a minority group in Mindanao. Without any connections and in the absence of any socialized admission policy, he qualified as a freshman in the College of Science of UP Diliman, a distinction he earned through intelligence, pure hard work and perseverance amid poverty. But in a few days, father and son are going back to Mindanao for good.

The father explained they could not afford the “socialized” tuition at P600 per unit for students in Bracket C, families whose annual incomes range from P135,001 to P500,000 per annum. The father and son expected to be in Bracket D, families with annual incomes ranging from P80,001 to P135,000. Students in bracket D pay P300 per unit.

UP president Emerlinda Roman seems to be disconnected from reality, or she must be fooling herself by insisting that the new Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) is fair and proper for an “iskolar ng bayan” [scholar of the nation]. Her family should try living on P6,666.75 a month (which when multiplied by 12—the number of months in a year—equals P80,001, the lower bound of Bracket D incomes).

UP, no longer conscious of its role in society, chooses to ignore the long-term impact of offering greater genuine educational opportunities to the brightest among the poor, who are getting poorer amid the reported economic gains of the country. Socialized admission and tuition fee schemes do not lower academic standards. I’ve had countless students from public schools and far-flung provinces. They come to UP not as well prepared as their counterparts from the best schools in Metro Manila. But many later outshine the sometimes overconfident Manila-raised kids.

After the new STFAP took effect last year, UP is no longer an option for the brightest among the poor. I agree with the cab driver whose daughter qualified for UP Diliman, as narrated in Youngblood (Inquirer, 3/24/08) by Mariel Kierulf Asiddao, a UP Mass Communication student. The cab driver insisted it was ESTIFAK and not STFAP.

article reference

Vote for the Philippines Naitonal Costume Meme

I found this “tag/meme” at Life in Korea calling all Filipino netizens to vote for the Philippines’ national costume at the Miss Universe 2008 in Vietnam.

***start here***

A tag for ALL Filipinos!

The 2008 Miss Universe comes to Vietnam for a night of stars and glamour in search of the most beautiful woman in the world! The winner for Best National Costume will be decided by online votes. So now, the main objective of this tag is to increase awareness for all Filipinos regarding the online voting. Let’s VOTE for our very unique Philippine National Costume worn by our representative, Jennifer Barrientos.

General Instructions:

1. Go to THIS LINK!
2. In the Menu Bar just above the thumbnail pictures of the delegates, click ASIA/AUSTRALIA.
3. Look for the Philippines’ Costume (like the picture above & it’s actually in the page 2).
4. Click its thumbnail.
5. After clicking, a preview will then appear on the right side of the page. Click “SELECT THIS DELEGATE” located just below that preview.
6. The bad things is, we are to choose 3 delegates! So be sure NOT to vote for those countries that will surely be a strong competitor for the AWARD! :)
7. After choosing the Philippines and the “other” two countries, click on “SUBMIT VOTE” located just below the thumbnail pictures.
8. Follow the SIMPLE instructions after that!
9. You’re done! Go Philippines!
* As much as possible, TAG all your FILIPINO friends.
* Copy this post from ***start here*** until ***end here***.
* Also invite your foreigner friends to vote for our national costume! LOL.
* Add your blog link below as a proof that you are one of the TEAM PHILIPPINES!


The Team Philippines

Miss Universe 2008

Aeirin’s Collections
Everything Kimchi

I'm tagging

A Simple Life

UMAK Chorale
A FilAmJourney
Can of Thoughts
Mommy's LIttle Corner
Pinay Mommy Online
Filipinos Rock
Sol Lee
Sweet Lyka
Tentay Patis
The Lucky Wan

***end here***
I like the simplicity of Korea's national costume! (uuy biased! hehehehe)

In the Eyes of Koreans

When I was in Korea, I often see people wearing eyeglasses. My vision is relatively fair but I had this crazy thought of putting one on. It’s not that I wanted to become a half-baked Korean or whatever, but wearing one would complement my style. I hope I had come across these
Incredible Stylish New Frames From Zenni
. Good eyeglasses in Korea usually sell for a pricey 50U$D and higher, while Zenni Optical $ 8 Rx Eyeglasses
only sells for merely 8 bucks. Moreover, I can choose from a wide selection of Variable Dimension Frames From Zenni. I’m going to consider buying a Zenni eyewear one of these days.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Top 10 Entre Card Droppers

I'd like to express my gratitude to the following Entre Card droppers:

Crissy's Heaven
Work at Home Mom Revolution
Life in Korea
The Spirit of Blogging
Girl for All Status
The Super Goddess
Bored Room
Real Man Toys
A Simple Life
Work at Home Mom Revolution
This Side of Eternity

Thank you all! Maraming Salamat!
Let's continue the EC revo!

Art Speaks

I admire people who walk their talk. In the blogsphere, people who are faithful to their self-anointed descriptions and live up to their titles are quite difficult to find. You can be a mommy with a lot of (your sister’s) children photos in your blog; you could be an I.T. expert with a lot of copy-pasted materials from Netgear; but you could never be a web designer if your own blog is in need of a major overhaul. Good thing I’m not a self-proclaimed web artist. My blogs easily gives me away. T___T I found this walking-the-talking blog of a freelance web designer and I found her banner to be a real eye-candy. The object of the art composition (yes, I think what she made deserves this title) are flowers, which are drawn using pastel, vectors, and color pencils. In all the elements of her blog you can see art. It’s very refreshing to read entries with a nice green background; enticing to click on elegantly lettered links; nice to visit her blog in general. ^^;

Prease Googer! Arigatoo.

My current PR (please don’t ask) prompts me to constantly look for ways on how to improve my Google rank. As much as I don’t want to reckon Google as the god of the blogsphere (my homepage is Yahoo! since net immemorial), I just can’t be harping on lost opportunities from advertisers. I am resolved. I have to do whatever html-ly possible to boost my blog’s rank. 도움을 줄까요? ^^; Using Yahoo! to look for some answers, I came across this blog , which can answer my long-standing question: How to create and promote a blog? Youlkisblog is very purist. Thankfully it posts only tips on blog promotion and improvement. I think you won’t find anything tangential to its theme; a total contrast to my blog. Well, sometimes variety breaks boredom. I am not saying that this blog is boring though. In fact, I think it’s well-defined and specialized that you might not want to look for another blog-resource. Try giving this blog a shot if you’re looking for easy-to-understand reference on starting and improving your blog.

Learning the Curve

My aunt has been into blogging for more than 3 years. She encouraged me way back then to start a blog since it can rake in some cash. I didn’t believe her. Things that are too good to be true are usually bogi (KWIM? ^^;). Anyway, here I am now trying to catch up with the lost time. I think I’m making some progress though. But the learning curve of blogging is one heck of a curve! I have to become a member of various blog networking sites, make acquaintances, and adhere to the value of reciprocity. I was also able to learn from skilled bloggers such as those in my blog roll. I was able to get useful tips and tricks on how to increase my page rank (which for whatever reason still flaunts a goodness gracious PR 0), what plugins to install, what networking groups to join. Not to mention walk-throughs on working online. This blog features an assortment of posts from movies, music, graphics, and site reviews. For new bloggers, this site can teach you how to make your site not just a humdrum blog.