Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Luck for New Year

Maybe most people are looking for anything that would give them luck for every New Year.  The kinds of luck they look for are different, like: luck for love, luck to have children, luck for health and, most of all, luck for money or wealth.

A popular source of what luck New Year brings is the horoscope.  There are many forecasts and predictions with both the regular zodiac and Chinese zodiac.  Some people also rely on fortune tellers who have a high success prediction rate and even pay for their services!

What I find funny every year, especially in the Philippines, are people believing in luck for New Year with round objects like coins, round fruits and red.  This belief, I believe, originated from the Chinese.  Television stations come up with features about these round things bringing luck for New Year.  Often it is a feature in their news programs.  It is funny because almost all families who can afford it will buy all the round fruits suggested to bring luck for the following year!

The question is, how come they can’t come up with people who bought these fruits and say they were really lucky for the year that passed?  They should at least explain to their audience that the luck they should expect is not more on winning in the lottery, get a high-paying job, landing a big contract or winning big or grand raffle prizes.  Have you ever heard anyone who really hit the jackpot attribute their luck on those round objects?

What kinds of luck should people be thankful for after every year:
  • That they are alive and kicking.
  • Did not have any real bad health concerns.
  • That everyone they love is still around and in good health.
  • Was not fired or laid off from work.
  • Luck enough to survive the year unlike others worse misfortune.

Those round things will not give the luck that you might be craving for.  Only very few or maybe only one will hit real good fortune out of luck.  The luck for New Year is really on the person and the people that matter most to them.  

Happy New Year and Good luck for 2011!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

New attraction at Camp John Hay

Beside the Amphitheater, a new attraction cum entertainment is going on.  It is called the “TreeTops”.  It is not exactly for all though, as there are some physical and fitness requirements for one to enjoy them.  Of course it will cost something as it is operated by an entity other than Camp John Hay management.
Thanks to Reich Francisco for sharing this foto.
The cheapest is ‘Trekking’ that will be 100 pesos per person.  This is recommended for the faint-hearted and scared of heights. What many might find thrilling is the “Superman Ride” where you would be on a harness in the prone position, holding on to a bar and the feet ‘hooked’ behind another bar.  This is like the “zip line” but moves quite fast, one forward and one backward trip.  A slower zip-like line is the “Silver Ride” where the rider is in an upright harness.  The feet stand on a bar while hands holding on to a higher bar.

Fotos compliments of Reich Francisco thru FaceBook
 There is also the canopy ride where you are seated on a harness – similar to ski lifts.  This would take you through the treetops that give an excellent view of the surroundings.  The ride will involve transfers from one tower to another.  Another that some would find thrilling will be the “Tree-Drop” from a height of 60 feet.  Those taking the tree-drop are warned not to grab the cable in the process as it could cause ‘hand burn’.

Packages are offered should there be those who would want to try at least three different thrilling experiences.  The physical and fitness requirements to enjoy these Camp John Hay attractions are:  Height: Not below 3’6” (or 3’9” I think); Age: Not for those below 10 years old; Must not be pregnant and does not have any heart condition.

Note:  This is not an advertisement – I just discovered this yesterday.  It is quite new because developments are still on-going.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Let's do something by leading not ranting

We are all well-meaning to see Baguio City again as it was or probably just preserve what we could of it.  We may be an organization shouting silently within ourselves that we want Baguio back on how or what it should be.  We can make protests and rallies but no one would just listen.  Why don't we start by setting an example that others might follow. 

Here's an example that I saw first in Batangas City during the wake of our grandfather in the mid 1980s:

Our Uncle Ted is a respected man in their barangay.  He initiated putting 'waste' in plastic bags and hang them high enough outside their wall so stray dogs can't reach them.  He just told the barangay how practical and clean it would be disposing of waste and plastic bags.  In short - every resident in the barangay followed the example.

In Baguio City, I am not sure if we started it first, but I am quite sure I was amazed seeing my wife do it.  I even bent a reinforcement bar from the top of our fence to help her hang our 'garbage' plastic bags then.  No - we still didn't have segregation of recyclables from non-recyclables then.  Not for long, many neighbors were doing the same - then almost anywhere you go around Baguio.  Maybe some others would claim they started it - but who cares - as long as it is being done.

If only genuine Baguio people can initiate something like that it is more worthwhile than ranting for everything we want for the City of Baguio.  Usually petitions or printouts get attention only if it is 'endorsed' or signed by a million people.  How could we have that when Baguio has than half a million in true and permanent residents?

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Save Baguio City Causes, Groups and Organizations

Looking around the place where you were born, raised and has raised your own family, memories of your childhood and youthful days come back. Sometimes tears would even well up in your eyes reminiscing the good old happy and carefree days. That’s how it is with us, the ‘old-timers’ of Baguio City. Many others also who used to come to Baguio regularly during Christmas and summer breaks ‘look’ for that ‘old feeling of Baguio', the City of Pines – the Coolest Place in the Philippines.

Photo courtesy of Willie Magtibay at FaceBook

As of now, the year 2010, there have been many groups, organizations and causes doing their best efforts to save what has remained of Baguio City. If there was a way to return the city to its former glory, they would! But that is already impossible. The best that could be done is to advocate cleanliness, discipline and respect for the city.

Efforts and intention of the groups like 'Kafagwayan' and 'Save Baguio' at Facebook are grand but it could hardly be done the way they want it. The best way to do it is to start from a well defined place or area and the specified work that needs to be done. All of the organizations can pick their own then subsequently work towards a common project.

The biggest problem though is getting the support of the city officials. Their main concern is to address the issues at hand which may not be parallel to the issues of the organizations. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is the main problem especially in the central business district. The city tried overpasses and flyovers but they hardly eased the traffic. Now some organizations denounce those structures and say it is un-Baguio like!

If only these organizations can join forces and have each define a specific work they would want to work on to save Baguio. It will be better instead of all of them practically wanting to do everything, in the end nothing happens or is achieved.

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Angono Petroglyphs - History Channel

History channel on TV always features the Angono Petroglyphs, the oldest known work of art in the Philippines. The127 human and animal figures engraved on the rockwall was carbon-dated to 3000 BC. The inscriptions obviously show human figures, frogs and lizards. Other designs that may have depicted other interesting figures has been damaged by erosion making it difficult to distinguish.

The Angono Petroglyphs is within the boundaries of Angono, Binangonan and Antipolo of Rizal province. The site was discovered by the late National Artist of the Philippines awardee Carlos V. "Botong" Francisco in 1965 when they were boy scouts. Some of  the rock carvings have been damaged due vandalism and neglect. Presidential Decree No. 260 declared in 1973 it as a national cultural treasure by the Philippine government. A team then started archaeological site conservation led by the National Museum of the Philippines.  Site developments of the petroglyphs included a mini-museum, viewdeck and stone path were constructed. The effects of a quarrying operations a few kilometers from the site were conducted.

The Angono Petroglyphs preservation and development is a collective effort of the National Museum of the Philippines, the Dept. of Tourism, World Monuments Fund, American Express and a Philippine real estate company.  It is amazing that a TV channel like History Channel Asia provides this kind of information on a regular basis compared the Philippines' local TV Stations.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

With 7,100 islands in the Philippines it will take 19 and half years to visit each island for at least one day.  Maybe more because of time travel.  To save on time, there are travel agencies online that offer great discounts for travel and accommodation. is an online travel agency that provide the convenience in assisting travelers, tourists and vacationing people on their travel needs.  Initially you will need to register at their website online. Of course this is a precaution to avoid online pranksters.  From thereon, it will be quite easy to make arrangements on how you plan to travel and where to go.

As always make sure you have the time and budget for your intended travels.  Don't be taken immediately without any plans.  You would not want to spoil the fun for the coming holidays.  Traveldotcom should be able to fully assist you on your planned holiday or vacation travel plans.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Enjoy your vacation in Baguio

Baguio City is undeniably still a place to go for vacations, holidays and relaxation.  It has been and will always be because of the cool climate.  

Here are some tips to enjoy your stay in the City of Pines:
  • Plan your trip at least a month before your trip especially if you are coming from more than 250 kilometers away.
  • Try to contact someone you know in Baguio City to help you find a place to stay if it will not be in one of the hotels or inns.
  • Inform the person if you want to cook meals in the place.  Many places do not provide the cooking range because of risks.
  • Make sure there is good supply of water or reliable water delivery.  Many vacationists get frustrated because of lack of water.
  • Set your budget especially for food, drinks and night-outs.
  • Make sure you have bonnets or hats and thick jackets especially for the months of November to February.

What to expect in Baguio City:
  • Heavy traffic in the main thoroughfares and difficulty to find parking space within the central business district.  SM Baguio has pay parking.
  • Burnham Park is often crowded during weekends and holidays.  
  • Other places you can go to are the Mines View Park, Mansion House and Wright Park - all are close to each other.
  • From mid-morning to mid-afternoon it is not really very cold compare to early evenings and mornings.
  • Baguio City is very strict with people crossing streets.  Use pedestrian lanes or overpasses in the central business district.
  • Follow traffic rules and regulations.  Cars parked in a "No Parking" area will lose their license plates.
  • Plate Number Coding is applicable from Mondays through Fridays except when declared as non-coding due to special occasions or holidays.
Taking note of the above will help you enjoy your stay in Baguio City.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Is no" (snow) show in Baguio City

The people of Baguio were very excited when the news came out that there is going to be a "Shower of Snow".  Of course it is only artificial snow but everybody living in the Coldest City in the Philippines would want to experience even just quasi-snow. The event was often a news on television over the past week or so and interviews were made with those handling the snow show in Baguio City.

Some friends at Facebook even posted that they were going to see and experience the artificial snow flakes (more appropriate to be "fakes").  My wife and special son went early, around 5 pm., to Session Road where the snow fakes were to shower down.

They were home at around 8 in the evening and what they first mentioned was there were more people than those attending "Panagbenga"!  Immediately, I refreshed my Facebook page and friends were quick to post photos taken on the event.  The crowd was packed like sardines!  My wife said they could hardly move around to get anywhere!  The crowd was so thick that anything that could spark a stampede will result to hundreds, if not thousands, of casualties!  The "is no" (snow) show in Baguio City was not really worth it.

My wife and son had a few of the artificial snow fakes (flakes) land on their hands.  When it melted (really quite fast) it had a strong smell of chlorine (like Clorox or Zonrox)!  If the fake snow was really that, pity the crowd that got most of the shower as their colored clothing could have white spots after.  Even the shower of the artificial snow was not impressive - in the photos, I could not find anyone that would have even been partly covered by it.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Coca Cola or Coke softdrink

Ever since I came to know about sodas or soft drinks, I could not exactly remember if had any favorite.  Maybe the taste was nothing really for me and they were just to sate my thirst.  Or, the Coca-Cola (Coke) was just another fluid to push down what I was eating.  There were other sodas like Canada Dry, Pepsi, Lem-O-Lime, Tru-Orange, Root Beer (am not sure if they were Dr. Peppers), etc. and all them came in glass bottles in different shapes and colors.  There were no twist-off caps yet at that time.  All had tin crowns that needs a bottle opener to uncap them if they were given with the lid still closed.

Coke or Coca-Cola was not a name for me to remember since I was in elementary or grade school.  The convenience of the shape of its bottle, I think, was more important to me.  It was easy to grip, especially it was small then at 8 ounces!  So, even while playing, you could hold on to it!  Maybe, spill some but most really gulped down. 

Anyway, after all those years and the cola wars, I am still a loyal Coke drinker.  Not that I don't drink other brands, but I prefer it.  Without coca-cola available, my next preference would be Root Beer - if none - Pepsi - if none - Seven-Up and if there's still none - whatever they've got! All are carbonated drinks and whatever has been said against them in the past - they're still here to stay.  Yes, I agree they could cause farting - but who doesn't fart?  The main thing that could have been said against Coke et al is the caffeine content.  After learning caffeine is a good anti-oxidant naysayers kept quiet.  Coffee, tea and chocolate drinks made a comeback! (Did they really fade away? - I don't think so!)

Going back to Coca-cola (Coke), the shape of their bottle became interesting in my teenage life.  It is the shape men look for in women!  LOL!  Funny because its shape was in direct contrast to the famed beer of the Philippines, San Miguel Beer (SMB) Pale Pilsen!  Filipino drinking males have canny thoughts of comparing shapes with women!  The SMB bottle is stout from neck to bottom and referred to as stout (fat for women) but "masabaw" (soupy - if I got it right).  Some men prefer "masabaw" for the 'cushion' effect!  Personally, I think there are more men who still prefer the Coca-cola or Coke bottle shape. 

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