Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Laguna round-about that ended in Pahiyas 2009

Last Friday, friends and I on a seminar/workshop in Lipa City had a free day. Seven of us took off for Laguna through secondary roads that would pass through Alaminos and San Pablo. A less than 50 km ride brought us to the Nagcarlan underground cemetery, built by Franciscan missionaries in 1845 and now a National Historical Institute heritage site since 1973, after restoration work was done. The cemetery is composed of two areas: a wall of niches that spanned both sides of a chapel, and the chapel with the underground cemetery. The niches above ground were for the common folk, while the niches below the chapel were for the generally wealthy ones of the area.

Next stop was the Nagcarlan Roman Catholic Church dedicated to St. Bartholomew (the Aglipayan Church is also dedicated to the same saint). The first structures of the church complex date back to 1752.

After lunch, we went for a dip at the pool at Bunga Falls, a few kilometers from Nagcarlan town hall. Bunga Falls is a twin falls attraction. Entrance fee is only P5. The falls is about 10 meters high, and the pool probably of the same depth.

After about an hour, we took off to the towns of Liliw, famous for its footwear, and Majayjay. As we were very close to Lucban, Quezon, which was celebrating its Pahiyas Festival, we decided to continue on. Never mind if we had only about an hour to go around town, if we wanted to be back in Lipa City by 7pm. I think it was well worth the side trip. This was the third time I witnessed Pahiyas. I thought there were less visitors this year.

Saw that tallest man from Pakistan.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Heroic Mothers

Heroic Mothers

How many mothers have you known who have been the heroines of some epic or extraordinary event? Few, very few. Yet you and I know many mothers who are indeed heroic, truly heroic, who have never figured in anything spectacular, who will never hit the headlines, as they say. They lead lives of constant self‑denial, happy to curtail their own likes and preferences, their time, their opportunities for self‑expression or success, so that they can carpet their children’s lives with happiness. (Friends of God, 134)

H/T: Heroic Mothers

Friday, May 08, 2009

How much oil and CO2

were used and emitted during this rescue at sea, of, what else, eco-sailors?

Eco-sailors rescued by oil tanker

An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker.

Raoul Surcouf, Richard Spink and skipper Ben Stoddart sent a mayday because they feared for their safety amid winds of 68mph (109km/h).

All three are reportedly exhausted but safe on board the Overseas Yellowstone.

A lawmaker's lesson on obedience

This is my spin, anyway, it's my blog.

PD Inquirer reports about a new congressman's brush with House security forces. The title and lede:

Poor solon ‘marginalized’ at Batasan gate

By Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Tough luck if you’re a common man, a member of the House of Representatives, and go to the office on foot. Chances are the House guards would think you don’t belong.

The lawmaker was not allowed immediate access to the House. Whether or not it was because he did not alight from any vehicle, what is certain is that he did not have his Congress pin, and so he had to wait longer. If only he wore his pin. He is not angry at the guards though.

... it was only after he introduced himself and showed his House of Representatives pin—which he had kept in his pocket—that the guard waved him through, with an apology.

“Ay, sorry,” the guard said.

... he was not angry at the guard and did not want to make a fuss over the incident, noting that all new lawmakers had been previously briefed that they should wear their pins at the Batasan for identification purposes.

I hope Mr. Lawmaker follows this simple protocol. I'd be afraid to think what would happen if he did not abide by more important and bigger laws of the land. If he cannot follow simple rules.

Now 9

Samuel Armas is 9 years old. He would not have reached even his brthday if he had not been given that spina bifida corrective procedure while he was still in the womb. One moment in the operation was captured by photographer Michael Clancy, which he calls "Fetal Hand Grasp".

Go to Michael's website.

For House fans, one episode was based on this procedure.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

To be socialist or not, take 3

Another take on UAW over first lien creditors at Chrysler.
The Chrysler negotiations will not be the last occasion for this administration to engage in bailout favoritism and crony capitalism. There’s a May 31 deadline to come up with a settlement for General Motors. And there will be others. In the meantime, who is going to buy bonds from unionized companies if the government is going to take their money away and give it to the union? We have just seen an episode of Gangster Government. It is likely to be part of a continuing series.
Could we see what some have already chimed: Government Motors?

Priorities, Same Old, Same Old

MIke Huckabee's on his Closing Thoughts (H/T: Danielle)
Almost a million unborn children will die in their mother's womb because of elective abortion this year. These are not sick or unhealthy babies, they're just inconvenient.

And by ending their lives because they represent an economic disruption or a social interference to the mother, we've created a culture in which a human life is expendable because it represents an inconvenience.

It happens a million times a year in the United States. Where's the press conference by the president, or the warnings of the vice president, or the outline of steps to be taken issued by Homeland Security or the secretary of Health and Human Services?

There isn't one, because they all support the notion that it's OK to end the lives of perfectly healthy unborn babies because they are in someone's way.

If you have a child, it's OK to be worried about the swine flu, but most healthy kids can survive most flu viruses. They might not survive the policies of our own government that makes it legal to view them as disposable.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

To be socialist or not, take 2

Big government "influence" working and getting bigger. Those on RP's sinister side of the fence should really now be supportive of the US. C'mon, c'mon, now is the chance.
Which brings us to the real question, which is, when did it become the government's job to intervene in the bankruptcy process to move junior creditors who belong to favored political constituencies to the front of the line? Leave aside the moral point that these people lent money under a given set of rules, and now the government wants to intervene in our extremely well-functioning (and generous) bankruptcy regime solely in order to save a favored Democratic interest group.

No, leave that aside for the nonce, and let's pretend that the most important thing in the world, far more interesting than stupid concepts like the rule of law, is saving unions. What do you think this is going to do to the supply of credit for industries with powerful unions? My liberal readers who ardently desire a return to the days of potent private unions should ask themselves what might happen to the labor movement in this country if any shop that unionizes suddenly has to pay through the nose for credit. Ask yourself, indeed, what this might do to Chrysler, since this is unlikely to be the last time in the life of the firm that they need credit. Though it may well be the last time they get it, on anything other than usurious terms.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

To be socialist or not

May 1 Labor Day "celebrations" usually see labor groups converging and/or marching en masse to known labor day monuments. In the Philippines, militant labor groups never give up the chance to say things that will help push their agenda.

The Inquirer, in "Socialism seen as best solution to crisis", reports that these groups say that "the best solution to the 'worsening crisis of the world capitalist system'" is socialism. The report also quotes KMU's Roy Velez as saying that “the best thing that the government of Mrs. Arroyo can do is to refuse dictates from her imperialist US master and start nationalizing our vital industries and implement a genuine agrarian reform program on the countryside.”

Does not Roy Velez understand that the One's administration with its "big government" policy direction is actually pushing for socialism? If GMA refuses the dictates of the US at this time, what the militant groups in RP are pushing for will not happen. I guess Mr. Velez should read more about what's happening in the US now. He could google "tea party" or follow Michelle here.