Who's gonna die?

 

Was browsing the news today and saw this: Rowling to kill two in final Potter book

Yayks! Will she really kill Harry? Hope not! I'm a sucker for happy-ever-after endings!

Let's just wait and see :)





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Created: Tuesday, June 27, 2006

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Is the world getting bigger?

 Saw this alarming article over at Yahoo today --> Americans' circle of close friends shrinking

To quote:

Nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they had "zero" close friends with whom to discuss personal matters. More than 50 percent named two or fewer confidants, most often immediate family members, the researchers said.


This quote made me wonder:

People were not asked why they had fewer intimate ties, but Smith-Lovin said that part of the cause could be that Americans are working more, marrying later, having fewer children, and commuting longer distances.


I am seeing the same pattern here in the Philippines, Filipinos do work more now than before, extending more than the usual 8 hours. Most tend to work overtime mainly because of the additional pay it will bring. Most of the bachelors I know also tend to delay marrying, taking care of their finances first, and trying to get themselves stable before finally settling down. And even after marrying, most would plan on having just two to three kids, mostly because of fear of not having enough to support their children. I am speaking of the middle to upper class families here, choosing not to delve into the lower DE population, as it may be a totally different world altogether.


But are we seeing the same case where Filipinos' feel more alone? I am not feeling that right now. Atleast, I still feel that Filipinos' tend to feel at ease with their friends that they can easily open up to them. Communities spring in the office, from highschool and college friends, and even from the Internet. Even in the workplace, you will see the effort to build alliances and cammaraderie among the employees, through parties, sports events and team buildings. Most multinationals also advocate the balanced life principle, where people are encouraged to go home early and spend quality time with family and friends.

Lastly, I think because of our very close family ties, it is almost impossible for someone to have no one to turn to. We value family relationships, we care so much about our family members and make a very big effort to be always there for them. All we need is phone and for sure someone will answer at the other end.



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Created: Tuesday, June 20, 2006

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Road Rage Disease

 

Saw this latest news over at the site http://www.dailytelegraph.news.com.au , very interesting discovery. Reminds me so much of that movie Anger Management.



Road rage disease
By LINDSEY TANNER

June 07, 2006
TO you, that angry, horn-blasting tailgater is suffering road rage but doctors have another name for it – intermittent explosive disorder and a study suggests it is more common than realised.
"People think it's bad behaviour and you just need an attitude adjustment but what they don't know is that there's a biology and cognitive science to this," University of Chicago chairman of psychiatry Dr Emil Coccaro said.
Road rage, temper outbursts that involve throwing or breaking objects, and even spousal abuse can sometimes be attributed to the disorder, although not everyone who does those things is afflicted.
Intermittent explosive disorder involves multiple outbursts way out of proportion to the situation, often including threats or aggressive actions and property damage.
The disorder typically first appears in adolescence – the study identified the average age of onset as 14.
The study, funded by the US National Institute of Mental Health, was based on a national face-to-face survey of 9282 US adults who answered diagnostic questionnaires in 2001-03.
About 5 to 7 per cent of the sample had the disorder, which would equate to up to 16 million Americans – more than better-known mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The average number of lifetime attacks per person was 43, resulting in $A1812 in property damage per person. About 4 per cent had suffered recent attacks.
The findings show the little-studied disorder is much more common than thought, Harvard Medical School health care policy professor Professor Ronald Kessler said.
"It is news to a lot of people, even specialists in mental health services, that such a large proportion of the population has these clinically significant anger attacks," Professor Kessler said. Dr Coccaro said that the disorder involved inadequate production or functioning of serotonin, a mood-regulating and behaviour-inhibiting chemical in the brain.
Treatment with antidepressants, including those targeting serotonin receptors in the brain, is often helpful, along with anger management.
Most sufferers in the study had other emotional disorders or drug or alcohol problems but only 28 per cent had ever received treatment for anger.
"This is a well-designed, large-scale, face-to-face study with interesting and useful results," University of Vermont psychiatry professor Dr David Fassler said.
"The findings confirm that, for most people, the difficulties associated with the disorder begin during childhood or adolescence and often have a profound and ongoing impact."



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Created: Thursday, June 08, 2006

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Descending to the Top

 Three years ago, Mr. Butch Jimenez's commencement address to the graduating class of UP entitled "What's Better Than?" made the email rounds and inspired readers with the practical sense the speech offered. This year, Mr. Jimenez was invited to address the graduating class of Silliman University and likewise, his speech (though he does not have a written one since he spoke only from an outline) and its transcribed form is again making the rounds of email. This is a copy of that speech, with messages on leadership and success and an interesting hook -- Descending (yes, not Ascending) to the Top. Take the time to pause from work and read thru it for a lesson or two and some quick inspiration...


93rd SILLIMAN UNIVERSITY COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES
Luce Auditorium Lobby
March 26, 2006

Descending to the Top

Delivered by

Mr. Menardo "Butch" G. Jimenez Jr.
Senior Vice-President, Retail Business Group PLDT
OIC, Wireless Consumer Division, Smart Communications

It is a privilege of mine to be here. In 2003, I was requested to be the commencement speaker for the graduating class of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. And after I gave that address, I said to myself-and this is true-the only other invitation that I will accept after UP Diliman is Silliman University. I have actually been waiting for almost three years. And I would have waited 30 more years to address you. You may be asking, "Why is that?" It is simply because of the Christian roots and the Christian heritage that this university has; the same roots and the same heritage that my great grandmother, my grandmother, and even my mother have tried to instill in my life.

That is why I am here. So thank you very much for the privilege. I am actually quite excited to address all of you.

One of the questions running in your mind today as you graduate and move forward is, "How do I reach the top?" A fair question and one that needs to be answered. And since I now presently handle marketing for both PLDT and Smart, let me share with you some marketing principles that I have learned, that may guide you on your quest to the top.

A battle for the mind Success in marketing is a battle to be the first in the mind of the consumer. That is the principle proposed in the '80s by two authors, Al Ries and Jack Trout, in their classic book, "Positioning."

Ries and Trout said that success in marketing is a battle to be the first in the mind of the consumer. If you are first in the mind of the consumer, in most cases, you will rise to the top and become the leader or number one. So, the battle is to be the first in the mind.


Let's give a couple of examples. When I say cola, what comes first in your mind? It's Coke. And today, Coke has risen to the top and is number one. When you say beer, the first thing that comes into your mind is San Miguel. They are first in the mind, they are at the top, and they are the leader. When you say toothpaste, in most cases, what comes to mind is Colgate. The same rule holds true. Colgate is at the top of your mind, and they are number one. When you say photocopier, it's Xerox. They are first in the mind, they are the leader, and they have risen to the top. Let's try something more hip for the new generation kids. When you say mp3 player, what's first in your mind. I can actually read your mind. The iPod. They are first in the mind, they are at the top, and today, they are number one.

So, in many instances, the rule actually works. If you want to rise to the top, you have to be the first in the mind.

The second thing that Al Ries and Jack Trout talked about, aside from being the first in the mind of the consumer, is burning an attribute or a characteristic in the minds of the consumers.

For example, Volvo did that. They burned into the mind of the consumer the attribute of safety. If you want a safe car, Volvo is it. iPod, for example, is burning in all our minds the attribute of being cool. They want to drive into our minds that the Ipod is the coolest gadget in the universe today.

So, two concepts we learn from Marketing to reach the top: Be the first in the mind and burn an attribute in the mind. Then, you start rising to the top.

So what does this all mean to you, as you go out into the workplace?

If you guys want to start rising to the top, you have to do the same thing. You have to be the first or the top of mind amongst the people that you work for specially your boss. When the boss needs something done, you have to be the first in his mind. If you're just the third, or the fourth, or the fifth, or the tenth in his mind, you're just like a company that is in third, fourth or fifth position -- far, far away from rising to the top.

But like I said earlier, being top of mind is not enough. You also have to burn an attribute in his mind. Now, a slight word of caution. Burning an attribute in your boss's or co-worker's mind is a double-edged sword. You have to make sure that you burn a positive attribute and not a negative one. Ries and Trout explain that it is very difficult or next to impossible to dislodge an attribute in ones mind once it has been established. If you go into the workplace and the attribute you burn in your boss's mind is tatamad tamad ka (you're lazy), mahirap kang pakisamahan(you're not a team player), or di ka mapagkakatiwalaan (you're not trustworthy) then chances are, that attribute will stick in his mind for years to come and you'll have a hard time rising to the top.

How many classmates do you know have been branded "lazy", "a flirt", "playboy", "cheater" etc. Think about it, no matter how hard they try to change their image, it just sticks and is so hard to dislodge from your mind isn't it? That's how powerful burning an attribute in the mind is, positive or negative.

So, key lessons if you want to rise to the top is, you have to be the first in their mind and you must burn positive attributes in their mind.


Discipline

This leads me to the question, "What attribute should you burn in the minds of the people in today's world?" There are many attributes that I would have wanted to share with you, but in the interest of time, I will focus on two.

The first one is the attribute of discipline. If we want to be able to compete not only with our peers, but with the best in the world, we have no choice. As a person, as a people, and as a country, we have to be disciplined.

Discipline is a very fascinating thing. In the world of competition, you're always competing with somebody else. There is Smart competing with Globe, There is GMA competing with ABS-CBN, there is Sony competing with Samsung, and the list goes on. But when it comes to discipline, you are not competing with anybody else. You are only competing with yourself. And if you lose, guess who actually loses, only you.

A year and a half ago, I went to a leadership conference in Singapore that put together and assembled some of the best speakers in the world. I actually had to pay a huge amount-probably my whole month's salary-just to be able to enter that conference. Al Ries was speaking. Film legend, Francis Ford Coppola was speaking, Rudy Giuliani, who led New York to rise from the 911 crisis, was speaking and Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore was one of the speakers.

I wanted to listen to Lee Kuan Yew and what he had to say. Lee Kuan Yew shared how he built Singapore from nothing to where it is today. He shared that Singapore, barely a generation ago, was far worse than many of its peers. But today, it is an economic superpower. He narrated that when he first started to lead Singapore, he asked his think tank to visit neighboring countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and figure out what they don't have. He said they all came back with one conclusion: These countries lacked discipline. So to differentiate Singapore from its neighbors, he decided to build his country on discipline. This meant that if Singapore promised something to its people, to its foreign investors, and to other countries, it will be fulfilled. A disciplined country and a disciplined people-that's what he built Singapore on.

Discipline is a very important attribute all of us must have to be able to bring this country up from where it is today. If you want to reach your goals and dreams, you cannot do it without discipline.

One of my good friends is the president of Alaska Milk, Fred Uytengsu. I used to see him on the baseball field when he used to coach his son's team and I was an assistant for my son's team. One day, I saw him wearing a shirt that said, "If you don't have discipline, you don't deserve to dream." No matter how harsh it may seem, the point is true. If you're 350 lbs. overweight and you're dreaming to become the next big hunk, but you don't have the discipline to watch what you eat, to exercise, and to make it happen, it isn't going to happen. Don't even bother dreaming, if you don't have the discipline to make it a reality. You'll just get frustrated. That's how important discipline is in achieving success.

In the world of business, discipline is defined as work ethic. I'd like to share with you an anecdote from a great man who epitomized what work ethic is all about. Thomas Alva Edison. At the age of 82, the President of the United States said it was about time he was honored with an award for his lifetime work. So they put together a huge event in honor of Thomas Alva Edison. Being 82, he felt a bit sick that night and fainted. Good thing they were able to revive him and he was still able to go up on stage. Edison upon accepting the award simply said, "I am tired of all this glory. I want to get back to work." 82 years old, and all he can think of is going back to work.

That is work ethic. That is discipline. And that is one of the attributes we need to burn in people's minds if we are to rise to the top.

Execution

The second attribute we should burn is execution. We need to be able to drive in the minds of the people that we work with that we are the "go-to" guy. That if they want to make something happen, you are the guy to go to, because you are the person who can execute. Execution is one of the attribute that will help you rise to the top.

I'd like to quote one of the greatest mentors of all time who said to his pupil: "Luke, there is no try. There is either do or not do." You know who that is? That is Yoda teaching Luke Skywalker of Star Wars one of the most important lessons in life: execution or making it happen.

An icon of execution, of course, is Michael Jordan. He is arguably one of the greatest basketball players that ever lived, but not without getting the ball, taking that shot, and executing the play. Can you imagine what would have happened to Michael if all he ever did was to plan on shooting the ball but never did? One of the things you have to remember about execution though is that it doesn't mean you have to be successful every single time. Part of execution is learning how to fail yet rising up again.

Michael Jordan says this, "I missed more than 9,000 shots in my career and lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions, I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life, and that's precisely why I succeed."

When you go out to the real world, you will realize that there are many people out there who have great ideas and great plans. And that is good. But like I always tell my team in PLDT, what separates the good from the great is execution. We can spend endless hours and tons of money strategizing, planning, team building, and analyzing to come out with a great plan. But until we execute that plan, that's all it will ever be, a plan.

When something goes wrong in a company, the question the leader or the CEO almost always asks is not, "Who has the best grades?" "Who has a diploma?" "Who has all the awards?" "Who is the summa cum laude?" "Who graduated from an Ivy league school?" The CEO just asks one question: "Who can get the job done?" That, dear graduates is the importance of execution.

Let's learn a lesson from Mickey Mouse. Well, maybe not from Mickey, but from his originator, Walt Disney. Walt had four mantras: dreaming, believing, daring, and then doing. Of the four, "doing" is what turns everything into a reality. Walt said, "Dreaming, believing and daring without doing is just like Dumbo, the elephant, without ears. It just won't fly. ABRAKADABRA will never work." Only execution does.

Descending to the Top

In my UP speech, I talked to them about "what's better than," and I juxtaposed what's better than this versus what's better than that. Now, all of us want to ascend to the top. No doubt about it. And we should. We should plan on ascending all the way to the top. But I will pose the same question I did three years ago: "What's better than ascending to the top?" The answer is DESCENDING to the top.

That may actually baffle a lot of your minds. "What is he talking about?" "How can descending to the top be better than ascending to the top?" It is a biblical principle. The Bible tells us that he who wishes to be the greatest must be the servant of all. That is the concept of descending to the top. What I want to share with you is that as you rise to the top, the more you have to be a servant. The keyword is humility. The more you start rising to the top, the more humility needs to become an important place in who you are and in your life.

I want to share with you what happened to Steve Jobs the founder of Apple computers and now the Ipod. We all know what a great visionary Steve Jobs is. But if we chronicle his career, Steve Jobs, as he was ascending to the top, as he was rising towards greatness, forgot all about humility. While he was hitting his peak, all he thought about was how great he was, how fantastic he was, and how the world and his company revolved around him. That is ascending to the top. The higher you go, the bigger your head.

What happened to Steve Jobs as he hit the peak? He was driven out of his company both in failure and in disgrace. Then after having failed in many other endeavors, he started again and went on to make an indelible mark in the entertainment industry, and with the extraordinary success of the iPod, regained his reputation as the "greatest innovator of the digital age". And so Steve Jobs, after having ascended to the top and then unceremoniously booted out, now gets the chance to lead Apple again. But something was different about the man this time. People started to feel Steve had changed. And so in a big conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, there he was, listening to the chants of his people, demanding him to come back and run Apple again. Let me share with you how the new Steve answered the call. No longer ascending to the top, but understanding what descending to the top is all about. And I will quote from the book, "Icon: The greatest second act in business".

For the first time in his public life, there on stage, Steve appeared genuinely touched when the people were starting to ask him to come back and take the CEO position. He wasn't brash or cocky anymore. Maybe his four kids and the complete failure of a company and the near failure of another taught him something. There on stage, he fought back the tears as he mumbled something to make it clear that yes, even Steve Jobs can change.

He had made the transition into a world where feelings and passion could partner with business and technology. Steve Jobs said, "You guys are making me feel funny right now. I get to come to work with the most talented people on the planet at Apple and Pixar. The best job in the world! But these jobs are team sports. I cannot do it alone; I can only do it with a team."

A team sport. Fifteen years ago, it would have been a lie. It would have been all about him and how great he was. But now, everything was different. He now understood that it was really the many others who helped him succeed. He did realize it wasn't all about him. That Apple is a team sport.

That is descending to the top - the higher you fly, the lower the ego.

If you're able to get a copy of Time Magazine's issue where they declared who their Man of the Year was for 20005 you'll see their choice was Bill Gates. But not because of what Bill Gates has done for Microsoft. Not because he revolutionized the computer industry. But because of what Bill Gates has started to do for humanity. If you read that article, Bill realizes that this is probably the generation where if health care were given enough resources, he can actually make a big difference in millions of people's lives. And that has become the man's passion and advocacy, donating billions to uplift the health of poverty stricken nations. This today is what truly defines him; no longer his technological achievements. It is now about serving and helping other people. In other words, descending to the top.

A heart for our Country

Finally, as you rise to the top you should never lose your heart for our country.

I always tell my team in PLDT, that yes, we have a business to run, but let us never forget we also have a country to serve. And that is the same thing I will tell you as you guys rise to the top. You will have businesses to run, you will have your own careers to take care of, and you will have your own dreams to pursue, but never forget you have a country to serve.

You may ask, "How? How do I serve the country?" One way is actually quite simple. I'll give it to you in one word. If you are great, if you are smart, if you are the best, if you have a Silliman education, then, please STAY. Just stay in the country. You would have actually done a great service to our country just by staying.

But if you can't stay, or you don't want to stay, that's fine. If you think you want to make it out there in the world, that's a-ok with me. But I want to ask two things of you.

First, go out there and show the whole world how great the Filipino is. In whatever field you're in, prove to the world how special we Filipinos truly are.

Second, don't just plan to COME back. Plan to GIVE back to the country. If you do that, if every Filipino who goes out there into the world -- and there are millions of us already -- proves to everybody how great the Filipino is, and not only plans to come back, but actually plans to give back to this country, in less than one generation, we will be an even greater nation.

I will end with what I told the UP students in 2003. You must be asking yourselves, "How do I reach my dreams?" or "How far can I go?" I told them this: In the last 42 years of my life, I have realized one thing, "There is no destination beyond the reach of those who walk with God."

So when you go out there in the world, take God's hand and walk with him. Because when you do, whatever destination it is you are hoping to reach, if God walks with you and takes you through, there will be no destination beyond your reach.

To the graduating class of 2006, I will meet you at the top and nowhere else!




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Created: Monday, June 05, 2006

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10 Hot cities for job growth in the US

 CNN Money has recently released it's list of top 10 U.S. cities for job growth through 2015.

The ten cities are:
1. Las Vegas
2. Orlando
3. Riverside
4. Austin
5. Phoenix
6. Jacksonville
7. Tampa
8. Dallas/Fort Worth
9. Charlotte
10.Atlanta


Here are the cities in order of projected job growth:

Las Vegas
Projected job growth: 35.5%
Median household income: $59,050
Median housing cost: $319,000
Employers to watch:
Citibank
Harrah's
MGM Mirage
US Airways
Wynn Resorts

Orlando
Projected job growth: 28.3%
Median household income: $55,100
Median housing cost: $257,000
Employers to watch:
Darden Restaurants
Hughes Supply
Walt Disney
NBC Universal
Lockheed Martin

Riverside
Projected job growth: 26.7%
Median household income: $55,650
Median housing cost: $400,000
Employers to watch:
AT&T
Kaiser Permanente
Southern California Gas
Harte-Hanks
The Press Enterprise

Austin
Projected job growth: 24.7%
Median household income: $68,600
Median housing cost: $167,000
Employers to watch:
AMD
Dell
Samsung
Toyota
Whole Foods Market

Phoenix
Projected job growth: 24.3%
Median household income: $58,300
Median housing cost: $259,000
Employers to watch:
Apollo Group
Honeywell
Intel
Phelps Dodge
Wells Fargo

Jacksonville
Projected job growth: 20.8%
Median household income: $57,700
Median housing cost: $200,000
Employers to watch:
Bank of America
CSX
Fidelity Financial
Winn-Dixie Stores
Wachovia

Tampa
Projected job growth: 19.7%
Median household income: $52,150
Median housing cost: $214,000
Employers to watch:
Bank of America
U.S. Central Command
Outback Steakhouse
Raymond James Financial
Verizon Communications

Dallas/Fort Worth
Projected job growth: 19.4%
Median household income: $65,000
Median housing cost: $137,300
Employers to watch:
Affiliated Computer Services
Electronic Data Systems
JC Penney
Southwest Airlines
Texas Instruments

Charlotte
Projected job growth: 19.0%
Median household income: $62,500
Median housing cost: $184,000
Employers to watch:
Bank of America
Wachovia
Duke Energy
Nucor
Goodrich

Atlanta
Projected job growth: 18.8%
Median household income: $69,300
Median housing cost: $184,000
Employers to watch:
BellSouth
Cox Communications
Home Depot
SunTrust Banks
UPS

It's funny how the article mentioned that the key factor for job growth in these 10 cities are the new subdivisions, and infastructures to support it's new residents. And that these kinds of work need to be delivered locally so the possibility of it going offshore is minimal.

Comparing that to the Philippines, it's noticeable to see the big difference. For us the life support of job growth are foreign investments (vs. for them being based on housing growth) and that jobs we hold are those that are provided offshore (vs. them who rely on local delivery).

I don't know but that made me think...are we really on our way to economic growth...or is the growth we claim actually the opposite of what successful nations think is growth?




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Created: Saturday, June 03, 2006

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Dowry?

 
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Have you ever wondered how the dowry originated? If you do read on...



A dowry—the money or property a bride brings to her husband at marriage—was common throughout much of the ancient world, and also flourished in medieval Europe.

In many places around the world, weddings were formal occasions, accompanied by much gift giving and ritual. The practice of dowries apparently originated when a bride's parents gave her presents. As time went on, the dowry developed various functions. A dowry of household goods often helped the newly weds set up their own home. A dowry of property or jewelry would help the wife support herself if her husband died. Generally, the husband returned the dowry to his in-laws if he and his wife divorced or if his wife died childless.

Sometimes, the groom's family paid for the bride, often to compensate her family for the money spent raising her. If the bride had been a valuable worker, her family was sometimes compensated for the loss of her economic support.

Romans, who had complicated traditions governing marriages, had specific dowry laws. Traditional Chinese and Hindu engagements and weddings were also governed by specific rules and considerable ritual.

Today, traditional wedding observances are losing ground all over the world. However, some traditional cultures, including gypsies, many Hindus, and certain African societies, continue to see dowries as a usual part of marriage.

Dinka Perform the Dowry Dance

In the African nation of Sudan, Dinka tribesmen celebrate an engagement with a party. During the dowry dance, men try to impress the family of the bride by jumping as high as possible.

Traditionally, the family of the groom has offered cattle, often as many as 100 animals, to the family of the bride. Families of men competing for the affection of one young woman would try to outdo each other by offering more cattle than their rivals. However, the brutal civil war that has been raging in the Sudan for the past 40 years has so disrupted agriculture that cattle are rarely given. Instead, families pledge to give cattle once the war is over and they are again able to do so.

Gypsies Announce the Engagement with a Necklace

A groom of the Roma people, or gypsies, pays the bride's family for the loss of their daughter. The bride price also ensures that the bride will be well treated by her new family. Negotiations between the families of the bride and groom can become quite extensive, with the bride's father calculating how much his daughter has cost him since her birth, and how much she could be expected to earn during her lifetime.

When agreement is reached, a ceremony, called a pliashka, is held. The groom's father brings a bottle of wine or brandy wrapped in a colorful silk handkerchief and attached to a necklace of coins. He puts the necklace around the bride's neck and embraces her. This indicates that she is now engaged and unavailable to any other man. The wine is drunk, but the bottle is refilled for use at the wedding ceremony.

Hindus Honor Their Ancestors

According to Hindu tradition, a young man repaid his debt to his ancestors by marrying. Therefore, everything surrounding a wedding, including the dowry, was imbued with ritual meaning.

Brides lived with their husband's family and poor families often saw the bride as another pair of hands. Therefore, the groom's family compensated the bride's family for their economic loss. On the other hand, in Brahman, or upper caste, households, the bride was seen as a burden, requiring the support of her husband's family. The bride's family had to pay the groom's family with a dowry for taking her off their hands. Traditional wedding rituals are often followed today in India, especially in rural areas.

Chinese Observed "Three Letters and Six Etiquette"

Traditionally, Chinese courtships and weddings followed complicated traditions, known as "Three Letters and Six Etiquette." The engagement became official when the groom's family presented betrothal presents, also known as "tea gifts," to the bride's family. These might have included a fruit basket, dried seafood, tea, a roast suckling pig, tobacco, and wine. The bride's family sent a dowry—clothes, jewelry, household decorations, linen, or kitchen utensils—to the groom's family shortly before, or at, the wedding ceremony.

Jewish Brides Wore Their Dowries

Historically, Sephardic Jewish brides in the Middle East received gifts of jewelry both from their own and their husband's families. The sole property of the bride, this jewelry was an insurance policy in the event of a divorce or hard times. Well-off women were sometimes literally bedecked from head to toe with hair ornaments, bracelets, rings, toe rings, and pendants of gold and precious stones.

Some jewelry served a dual purpose. Certain designs and stones were also amulets, to ward off disease or evil. Women generally wore their wealth constantly, since it was safer than storing it at home. In public, the jewelry was hidden behind voluminous scarves. In fact, some anthropologists believe the custom of the veil originated because women wanted to hide their finery from preying eyes. These customs generally died out in the 20th century.

Eastern Europeans Painted the Bridal Furniture

During and after the Middle Ages, young Eastern European girls in rural areas typically received a dowry bed when she turned 12, followed by a wardrobe the next year. Furniture was often painted with designs representing family history and specific regions. Brides often entered marriage with enough goods to set up a household. Grooms received livestock and tools, so they could begin farming.

Clear Laws Governed the Roman Matrimonium

The ancient Romans recognized different types of marriage. An in manum marriage meant the bride and all her property came under the control of her husband. If the marriage was not in manum the bride's father controlled her and her property. Dowries were generally agreed upon at the time of betrothal, and paid after the wedding. The bride's family paid a dowry to the groom. The groom gave his bride a gift, often money, and an iron engagement ring, anulus pronubis.




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Created: Friday, June 02, 2006

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Marry month of June

 It's the Marry month of June...and brides line up churches to get married! Was browsing and found these great trivias about the many wedding rituals we are all familiar with!




Most wedding traditions, like throwing rice and eating cake, started long ago. Here are some of the stories behind the rituals.

Bridal dress
Wearing a new white dress to be used only for a wedding ceremony is a tradition that is only about 150 years old. Before that, few women could afford a dress they would wear only once.
White traditionally symbolizes youth and innocence.
Red and orange are popular in Asia and the Middle East, where they are considered joyful and festive colors.

Cake
Using wheats and grains in the making of wedding cakes is an ancient symbol of fertility.
In ancient Rome a thin loaf of bread was broken over the marrying couple's heads. The crumbs were saved and taken home by the guests as tokens of good luck.
Tiered wedding cakes originated in old England, where the bride and groom kissed over a stack of little cakes.

Canopy
The canopy used in Jewish weddings is called a huppah. The couple and the rabbi stand under the cloth canopy during the wedding ceremony; it is a symbol of the couple's future home.

Flowers
Ancient Roman brides wore bunches of herbs under their veils as symbols of fidelity.
Orange blossoms are symbols of happiness and fertility because the orange tree blooms and bears fruit at the same time.
Roses are the flowers of love, making June, the month of roses, the most popular wedding month.
The early Greeks believed ivy to be the sign of everlasting love. It is still used to trim wedding bouquets.

Flower girls
Flower girls first appeared in wedding ceremonies in the Middle Ages. Two young girls—usually sisters—dressed alike, carried wheat before the bride in the procession. Later on, flowers replaced the wheat and it became customary for the flower girls to strew petals at the bride's feet.

Glass breaking
At the end of a Jewish wedding ceremony a wine glass is covered with a white cloth and laid on the ground. The groom breaks it by stomping on it. This symbolizes the destruction of the ancient Jewish temple. It is a reminder of the seriousness of marriage and that it cannot be reversed.

Honeymoon
This first vacation taken by a newly married couple dates back to very early times when a groom wanted to hide the wife he had captured.
The Teutons, an ancient German tribe, gave the honeymoon its name. After the wedding ceremony, honey was drunk until the moon waned.

Rice throwing
Rice is a symbol of fertility and long life. Guests throw it at the bride and groom as a wish for children and a good life. Other good luck charms are confetti, orange blossoms, corn, barley, chickpeas, and dates and figs to sweeten the marriage.

Rings
Engagement rings originated from the custom of exchanging rings to seal an important agreement.
Rings are circular and without end to symbolize eternal love.
A wedding ring is worn on the third finger of the left hand because it was believed that a vein or nerve ran directly from this finger to the heart.

Veils
Roman brides wore veils 2,000 years ago. Veils were worn as a sign of modesty and secrecy and were removed only by the husband after the wedding ceremony.
The first American woman to wear a wedding veil was Nelly Custis, Martha Washington's daughter. She wore the veil to please her husband-to-be, who had complimented her on how pretty she looked when seen through a lace-curtained window.
In some Eastern countries a veil is placed between the man and woman throughout the wedding ceremony. This ensures that they cannot see or touch one another until after the marriage.



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Created: Thursday, June 01, 2006

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Indonesia Quake

 
My heart is aching for the victims of the recent tragedy that hit Indonesia. The latest headline from CNN.com reads: "Indonesian disaster death toll tops 5,100, with 6,500 badly hurt"



Quoting CNN again:
The 6.3-magnitude quake, which struck close to the former Javanese royal capital of Yogyakarta, has so far killed 5,136 people, seriously wounded 6,504 and left 100,000 homeless, according to the country's Social Affairs Ministry. Another 2,081 suffered minor injuries.


This is just around a year and a half after the tsunami that hit the country together with other countries in Southeast Asia, India and even part of Africa.

Was browsing around the net trying to get more info on earthquakes when I found this wikipedia page about the Pacific Ring of Fire, map shown below



I quote:
The Ring of Fire is a zone of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that encircles the basin of the Pacific Ocean. It is shaped like a horseshoe and it is 40,000 km long. It is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, island arcs, and volcanic mountain ranges and/or plate movements. It is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt or the circum-Pacific seismic belt.

90% of the world's earthquakes and 81% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. The next most seismic region (5–6% of earthquakes and 17% of the world's largest earthquakes) is the Alpide belt which extends from Java to Sumatra through the Himalayas, the Mediterranean, and out into the Atlantic. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is the third most prominent earthquake belt.


The Philippines, including the most of Southeast Asia and Japan is inside this ring of fire. But knowing the Philippines, we do not really take preparation very seriously. I agree with what Alejandro R. Roces said in his article in Philippine Star today, to quote:

So far we have been lucky. Metro Manila has been spared of both typhoons and earthquakes. But it is only a matter of time before one or both disasters happen again. This time we should be ready. We can take the necessary measures to minimize the accompanying damage.


I hope as we send our own delegates to Indonesia to help them battle out this disaster, we do not forget the looming threat we have back home. We need to educate our people again to be prepared, to always make sure we are ready with what mother nature will throw our way. And lastly, I believe on the power of prayer, so that he will always protect us from natural calamities and disasters




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Created: Tuesday, May 30, 2006

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State of today's retail, according to consumers worldwide

 Just want to share a reading from Inquirer regarding the current trends on the retail industry...a very good read I must say

Published on page B2 of the May 7, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

AUTHOR and science of shopping guru Paco Underhill recently talked about interesting developments in the retail industry based on his clients worldwide:


1. Cutting edge of retail is generally where money is young.

Underhill stated money is not young in London, Paris, Frankfurt and New York. But it is young in Moscow, Dublin, Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Shanghai, Mumbai.

2. One of the primary motivations of construction is how to control labor costs.

Labor cost is not an issue in places like the Philippines, Mexico and Brazil. "Emerging markets are less likely to look to Europe and North America for ideas. Emerging markets need to start leading."

3. How do I fit into a multi-tasking life?

Underhill stated "value is not just a price issue. Price is not the only factor that determines whether a person will buy a product, consumers are looking at values and merits."


4. The Ma and Pa stores are booming.

Consumer firms acknowledge that these stores will be a major contributor to sales growth.

5. Social stratification of retail is over.

Underhill stated that in the past, the rich do not cross over to shopping in mass-based shops, but today, "Forbes Park residents are comfortable buying a Coke from a sari-sari store."

6. Used is cool.

The popularity of used clothes or ukay-ukay is not just a trend in the Philippines. Underhill said there are stores in Japan that span several floors, selling used clothes, ebay and Craig's List carry second hand items for sale.

7. Finding new ways to sell the same stuff.

8. Lingerie and mobile are the hottest products.

9. Most staff in emerging market are highly motivated, well-educated, and trainable and loyal.

10. The use of shopping carts is declining as shopping missions change. Consumers go to stores more often in the 21st century than 20 years ago. Design for private labels is one of the opportunities in Philippine packaging.

11. Family eating rituals are changing.

12. Shoppers of clothes are two kinds—those who buy for special occasions; and those who buy for everyday wear.

"Many labels fall in love with the Saturday night market but the market is the Monday to Friday."

13. The emerging market innovation is finding ways to get beyond the price. Underhill cited the Roppongi Hills mall which is a shopping complex, library, art museum, commercial office, hotel, residential place in one.

14. Selling to women. Shops have to adjust to the women market in terms of design, amenities and better understanding of why women shop.

15. Design alone is not the answer—the fastest growing retail channel are anti-design.

16. Mall owners need to evolve from landlords to place-makers —owning malls is not just about real estate and collecting rent.

17. It's important for businesses and their staff to be having fun because chances are consumers are having fun too.

18. It is all about solutions—understanding and innovating at the point of sale; learning how to compete with everyone; balancing global needs with local identities.

M.Q. Espino



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Created: Sunday, May 14, 2006

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An invitation

 I have finally decided to buy the domain Maniladailyphoto.com...so come on visit my new home at Manila Daily Photo

Now that I have a new "home" I'm thinking of migrating this old blog over there too...I think it will relatively be easy...let's see :)





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Created: Saturday, May 13, 2006

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The Gospel of Judas

 

This is one of my longest weekend so far this year! I was on leave starting Tuesday of this week and through the four days without work (can you believe I am not at the beach!!), the National Geographic has been my constant companion.

I was able to catch The Gospel of Judas from National Geographic last night. I was skeptical to watch it at first, but decided to see it just to satisfy my curiosity. It was a two hour special that discusses...well...the gospel of Judas. The first hour of the program run giving a background on how the 66-page codex was most likely found (they do not know for sure how it was found) and a discussion on it's authentication. At the end of the first hour, it is pretty convincing that the codex is authentic. The second hour then discusses on the contents of the gospel.













I would have to direct you to this site to get more information about the gospel, as I don't think I can explain it in detail as objective as I want to be. What I can only say is that up to some extent, I agree that Judas should not be condemned as he is now because he was just an instrument, so that Christ can fulfil his mission of saving the world. I'm having doubts now that thinking like that may fall conflict to my faith, but watching the show made me realize there may be some things out there worth exploring and worth keeping an open mind on.

Do you believe it?



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Created: Friday, April 14, 2006

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Skydreamers Events Management

 At last! Last week, we officially launched Skydreamers Events Management. I'm very excited about this! I've teamed up my highschool friend who is also very passionate about events management to put up this new biz! Both of us has put so much time and effort, and brainworks on this so we can help bride and grooms preparing for their big day to have a smooth and hassle free wedding!

And as a special treat, we are treating early bookers to the following promo:

50% Off OTD coordination
Regular Price: P16,000
Promo Price: P8,000

25% Off Semi coordination
Regular Price: P30,000
Promo Price: P22,500

25% Off Full coordination
Regular Price: P40,000
Promo Price: P30,000

I do hope many will avail of this promo as this is really a great deal and will last only until July-2006.

More info for on this below:



ONE-MONTH or ON THE DAY COORDINATION:

This service is done when the Bride and Groom have already signed contracts with various vendors, but would like someone else to oversee the implementation of the arrangements and make sure everything will run smoothly and stress-free

Scope of services:
1. Pre-event meetings with the Bride and Groom 1 to 2 months before the wedding
2. Unlimited bridal consultation starts upon booking
3. Refer reliable wedding vendors
4. Require the client to turn over all final contracts signed by them to GM for review and follow-ups
5. Confer with the client and the vendors on the details of the arrangement, layout, set-up, etc.
6. Instruct entourage of their duties and responsibilites. Wedding rehearsals are optional and must be scheduled in advance
7. Provide advice to the client in dialoguing with vendors
8. Ocular inspection to the ceremony-reception site and coordination with client identified suppliers.
9. Provide inputs, script, direct, arrange flow of reception program
10. Provide client a complete bridal kit.
11. On-the-Day Coordination is applied on three locations (Bridal Suite, Church & Reception)
12. Includes the following persons:

1 church coordinator
1. Coordinates with the church's in-house coordinator/s
2. Coordinates with the musician/singer for the ceremony details
3. Coordinates with the photographers/videographers
4. Receives and lines up the entourage members
5. In-charge of the distribution of the flowers/missalet/other paraphernalia to the members of the entourage
6. Cues the ceremonial participants
7. Transforms to a reception coordinator after the ceremony

2 reception coordinators (including the church coordinator)
1. Makes sure that the layout and amenities are delivered well
2. Coordinates with all the suppliers for the reception (e.g. venue, caterer, sounds, etc.)
3. Accepts and prepares a record of gifts received during the reception
4. Act as usherettes during the reception
5. Makes sure that the program goes exactly as planned
6. Cues the participants
7. Assists the emcee as to the program flow
8. Assists in the distribution of souvenirs
9. Monitors the number of guests

1 event and technical director (Basic Reception Program)
1. Cues the musicians according to the program
2. Directs the entire reception program
3. Prepares and manages all the technical requirements of the reception such as the choices of songs, lcd and avp requirements.

1 bridal manager
1. Makes sure that the bride follows the schedule given
2. Cues the wedding suppliers present regarding their respective schedules
3. Serves as confidante when needed
4. Communicates with the event manager at the church to make sure that she leaves on time
5. Can handle supplier’s payments for the couple


Rate: P16,000

SEMI-COORDINATION:

Reservations and at least 50 % of the details have already been arranged with suppliers. This package includes follow-up calls, additional canvassing, and personal visits to suppliers, on the day management, emceeing and event directing. Starts at least 4 months prior to the event.

Scope of services:
1. Physical presence during the negotiations and contract signing
2. Canvassing and recommendations of the best suppliers
3. Assists in the setting up of bridal registry
4. On the day wedding coordination applies

Rate: P30,000

FULL COORDINATION:
The couple only has a date in mind; we will provide complete assistance from venue, to the minutest details of the wedding. We will assume the position of being a full-time consultant giving you advices or suggestions on etiquette, latest wedding trend while blending with culture, custom and tradition. Includes conceptualization to the program flow, on the day management and directing. Full preparation and planning starts at least 6 months prior to the event.

Scope of services:
1. Assist in budget management.
2. Assist in finding the perfect location: Church or Ceremony Venue, Reception Venue and/or Caterer
3. Refer and set-up appointment with various pre-screened Vendors, Wedding Gowns, Caterer, Printer, Florist, Cakes, Photographer, Videographers, Bridal Car, Sound System and others
4. Assist in negotiations and reviewing contracts with vendors
5. Assist in reviewing wordings, and addressing of invitations and sourcing of calligrapher
6. Assist in composing and selecting readings for the ceremony, misallete or wedding program.
7. Assist in dialoguing with venue manager and caterer for room layout plans, seating and place cards arrangements, floral arrangements, table set-up, musiciians, stage, microphone, audio-visual, dancefloor
8. Assist in selection of music for the ceremony, reception & dinner
9. Recommend and source out gifts for the principal sponsors and bridal entourage
10. Coordinate and confirm with all the vendors chosen in reviewing details of arrangements
11. Instruct all attendants of their duties during the ceremony and reception
12. Assist in conceptualizing Wedding reception program and preparing the wedding day Calendar
13. With Wedding Rehearsal
14. ON-THE-DAY COORDINATION & SEMI COORDINATION is applied


Rate: P40,000

Payment scheme:

50% upon contract signing (this is non-refundable). 50% one week before the wedding day.

Package Conditions:

1. Applicable only for 200 guests and below. There is an additional fee of One Thousand Pesos (Php1,000) for every 100 persons in excess.
2. Applicable for weddings within Metro Manila only. There would be an additional charge for out-of-town weddings. Final package fee is to be determined after considering all factors.
3. Food and beverage is excluded from the package fee. Client shall provide the meals for our team on the wedding itself (4-6 people).

Other related Services:
1. RSVP
2. Emceeing/hosting
3. Photo AVP
4. Bridal shower
5. Despedida de Soltera/Entourage dinner
6. Debut
7. Anniversaries
8. Special parties




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Created: Saturday, April 08, 2006

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You can make your life beautiful

 

I am reading this beautiful book by Bo Sanchez. The books is a light read, only about 125 pages, but I find it full of heartwarming articles that really touches me deep down. I especially like that it is written very casually, so that as if the writer is just talking to you personally!


Many of the things written on this book, we already know...like saying "Thank you" often, and doing what your heart desires. But sometimes, due to the past paced world we live in, we totally forgot about these things and take things for granted. We need books like this to remind us that there are so much more in life than our careers, or deadlines, or projects. It reminds us that people around us may not be around tomorrow, so we have to express our love for them TODAY! The book reminds us to stop and have fun, because being happy is a choice.

I like this book because it lets me pause and enjoy the simple things around me...sometimes I forget, I take for granted, but hopefully I will change because I want to make not only my life but the life of the people around me beautiful :)



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Created: Sunday, March 26, 2006

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Gel's website is up!

 Gel's website is finally up! Well technically it's still under construction but atleast it's now running. Come on visit his site

GelMotilla Photography





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Created: Saturday, March 25, 2006

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Best wishes to my dear friend Mona

 

And to her husband John Paul! I wish you both all the happiness and success in the world! I am so happy for you!!





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Created: Saturday, March 18, 2006

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The seventeenth

 Wow, can you imagine it's already been six months? They say time flies when you are with the person you love.


Image hosting by Photobucket






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Created: Friday, March 17, 2006

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Thanks G and Ade

 

Gel is really enjoying his photography. I see it in his eyes, everytime he comes home after a full day of shoot, his body looks tired, but his eyes are always shining.


He never gets tired of telling me how satisfying photography is, how happy he is hearing from his clients how happy they are of his work. He takes great pride and pleasure from sharing this one unforgettable event in a couple's life. He would tell me how he remembers our wedding and how he re-live it with our clients own wedding.

And I get a bonus too! These tags came from G and Ade, one of our clients. He took their prenup photos in EK, the same place where our own prenup was shot. Beautiful couple and beautiful tags!

Thanks G and Ade!

P.s. G and Ade make tags as a business, so if anyone of you find these cute tags interesting, just leave your contacts on the comments here and i'd be glad to give you their contact numbers.



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Created: Friday, March 10, 2006

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I have a type A personality!

 



You Have A Type A Personality



A





You are hyper, energetic, and always on the mood
You tend to succeed at everything you attempt
And if you don't succeed at first, you quickly climb your way to the top!

You could be called a workaholic, but you also make time for fun
As long as it's high energy and competitive, you're interested
You have the perfect personality for business and atheltic success



Do You Have a Type A Personality?


I have a type A personality! Yikes...this is definitely not good...not good at all!


We always hear about type A personalities but I have not really understood what it meant, so I researched a bit and found this site. An example of a type A personality follows:




One employee, an astute observer of human behavior, gives the following description of his boss Arthur:

"Arthur talks real fast at the rate of 140 words per minute or more. His voice is grating, harsh, irritating, excessively loud, and just generally unpleasant. His posture is tense with abrupt jerky movement. Every few minutes, he raises his eyebrows in a tic-like fashion. Likewise, every few minutes, he raises or pulls back one or both shoulders in a tic-like fashion.



His tongue is indented due to chronic pressure against the back of his upper incisor teeth. When he speaks, you can hear a click because he has to separate his tongue from his upper teeth in order to open his mouth. You can hear his breath as he continuously sucks in air to speak rapidly. He sighs as he exhales which is not a sigh of relief but a sigh of frustration and emotional exhaustion. He blinks every couple seconds. He frequently exhibits beads of perspiration on his forehead and upper lip even at normal room temperature.



The skin of his lower eyelid has become brown because of a diffuse and permanent deposit of melanin. His facial expression with glaring eyes and lowered eyebrows make him look hostile. His lower eyelid is raised permanently which makes him look like he's staring at you. He looks aggressive and determined because the muscles surrounding his mouth are always tight. His thin lips are slightly pulled on both sides, and a visible bulge is created by tense jaws which make him look angry with an artificial smile. He has a habit of rapidly retracting the sides of his mouth that sometimes bare his teeth."



Arthur exhibits all of the noted physical signs of type A behavior (TAB). In fact, consider Arthur as the personification of TAB. If Arthur does not change himself, he will have a cardiac disaster before the age 65. Note that the prediction of heart disease before age 65 for him is not a mere possibility, it is a certainty.




I have always had the impression that type A personalities are generally workaholic people, but I didn't know how extreme it can be! Yikes! I know i'm nowhere near the description above but thinking about it, I think I really have to make sure I do not develop into something like that!!


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Created: Sunday, February 26, 2006

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Arroyo declares State of Emergency

 I've resisted since yesterday to write about it, mainly because I don't know the ins and outs of it. I tried not to speak out my opinion on the matter, but, it seems i cannot.

Today, February 25, we commemorate the 20th anniversary of EDSA revolution, the peaceful revolution that ousted a 20 year dictatorship. It's just sad that 20 years after, I feel that Filipinos are still suffering from the after effects of those times.

Yesterday too, Pres. Gloria Arroyo put the entire Philippines in a state of emergency, because of threats of insurgency. Below is the full text of PROCLAMATION NO. 1017 DECLARING A STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday, February 24, 2006 from the OPS website:

WHEREAS, over these past months, elements in the political opposition have conspired with authoritarians of the extreme Left represented by the NDF-CPP-NPA and the extreme Right, represented by military adventurists – the historical enemies of the democratic Philippine State — who are now in a tactical alliance and engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy, over a broad front, to bring down the duly-constituted Government elected in May 2004;

WHEREAS, these conspirators have repeatedly tried to bring down the President;

WHEREAS, the claims of these elements have been recklessly magnified by certain segments of the national media;

WHEREAS, this series of actions is hurting the Philippine State – by obstructing governance including hindering the growth of the economy and sabotaging the people’s confidence in government and their faith in the future of this country;

WHEREAS, these actions are adversely affecting the economy;

WHEREAS, these activities give totalitarian forces of both the extreme Left and extreme Right the opening to intensify their avowed aims to bring down the democratic Philippine State;

WHEREAS, Article 2, Section 4 of our Constitution makes the defense and preservation of the democratic institutions and the State the primary duty of Government;

WHEREAS, the activities above-described, their consequences, ramifications and collateral effects constitute a clear and present danger to the safety and the integrity of the Philippine State and of the Filipino people;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which states that: “The President…whenever it becomes necessary,… may call out (the) armed forces to prevent or suppress … rebellion…,” and in my capacity as their Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction; and as provided in Section 17, Article 12 of the Constitution do hereby declare a State of National Emergency.

IN WITNESS HEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.

Done in the City of Manila, this 24th day of February, in the year of Our Lord, two thousand and six.

SIGNED:

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President
Republic of the Philippines



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Created: Saturday, February 25, 2006

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Changing headers

 Did you notice the graphic on the left side of the screen? Try clicking on refresh, did you see it? No? Try clicking refresh again, i'm sure now you've noticed it already!

Wee!! It changes! Nice eh?! Got it from here. Isn't this neat or what! If you want to do it go ahead! The instructions are pretty easy to follow so I'm sure you won't have any problem...heck I did! And did you also notice the photobucket strip on the top part of the screen? Nice huh? Got it from Photobucket, neat huh! These are all the graphics I used for the header. So if you just want to play around, try hitting refresh a couple of times...I'm sure you'd have fun!


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Created: Friday, February 24, 2006

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