Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Happy birthday to me!

As much as I want to hold back the years, I have to give in to nature and be thankful for my 35 years of existence. Here are 35 things that I am thankful for.

1. God
2. Ariel
3. Papa and Mama (although Papa only lived up to my 33rd birthday)
4. Kuya Dicky and Grace
5. My 3 nieces - Jev, Bria and Ella
6. My Flores family
7. My Navarra family
8. My Divinagracia family
9. My Mamimoys barkada
10. My 91k peer group
11. My U91 circle
12. FOAK gang
13. My former BFs, MUs, or flings who are still my friends up to now
14. My Japan experience
15. My current work
16. Ariel's work
17. food to eat everyday
18. house in Ampayon
19. apartment in Japan
20. Kinamlutan
21. My new business opportunity
22. My health
23. My intellect
24. My PC and internet connection
25. My former pets
26. My memories
27. My travels
28. My senses
29. Butuan
30. My beautiful country
31. My UP experience
32. My Urian education
33. My past and present employers
34. My very kind landlord
35. My GCA friends

Some of these things may be shallow for some but I am still thankful for them anyway.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Fruits Of Blogging

I never imagined where blogging would take me. I love to write but I am not as passionate about it compared to my friends, Jasper, Mark and Edsel. I was even mistaken as "nakikiuso" for starting this blog and a few other one-entry blogs.

Apparently, the universe has a plan for me where blogging is concerned. It all started when I stumbled upon a blog about work-from-home online jobs. I have done my share of online jobs in the past but none of them stuck because they were just wasting my time. The expectations were ridiculous and the pay was disappointing. My curiosity led me to read the said blog and it turned out to be very informative. I did a little more research until I landed on a website called oDesk. I studied the website and registered that same day. This happened a month ago. I got hired two days later.

oDesk is a FREE job outsourcing website which provides a "marketplace" where workers (called providers) and employers (called buyers) meet and conduct their business. Tools are provided which help track work hours and guarantee payment. A wide range of jobs is advertised on oDesk daily. This includes various positions in web and software development, networking and information systems, writing, administrative support, design and multimedia, customer support, sales and marketing, and business services. To date, a total of $68,500,000+ has been earned by providers from all over the world through oDesk.

I spent these past 30 days working at oDesk, building up my profile, taking online tests, applying for more jobs, and landing my 2nd client. I now do online website content writing for 2 clients with a combined maximum work hour limit of 50 hours a week. My first client is from the UK and the other is from the US. A 3rd client, also from the US, is set to hire me anytime. Both of my current clients are very kind and considerate. In fact, two weeks after working for them, I received a bonus from one and a pay rate increase from the other!

The pay may not be much compared to Japanese standards, but it works for me since this is not our main source of income. I am already content to know that I am earning from my internet time. This is an improvement from my past internet activities which involved FB, GT, YM, YT, e-mails and this blog.

The best part of my job is flexibility. My clients are lenient enough to give me free reign over my specific work hours and work output. I am only required put in at least an hour of work everyday and I am paid accordingly.

I do not know what will become of this new venture. For now, I am enjoying my writing job and saving my earnings for future endeavors.

The On Demand Global Workforce - oDesk

Friday, April 17, 2009

Trina Etong And The Barbarians In Uniform

I spent almost the whole day yesterday tuned to the internet for developments on the Trina Arteche Etong shooting case. Trina Etong is the wife of ABS-CBN news anchor Ted Failon (Teodoro Etong in real life). She allegedly attempted to commit suicide on the morning of April 15. She eventually died of a gunshot wound in the head at 8:50PM last night, April 16, inside her ICU room at the New Era Hospital in Quezon City.

I first heard the news through a live radio stream in the afternoon of April 15. A police officer from the Quezon City Police District - Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (QCPD-CIDU) has issued an erroneous report that Trina Etong was accidentally shot by her husband, Ted Failon, after an argument inside their car. This report swept Ted Failon and his family into the center of national public attention and led to probably the most horrifying 24 hours of their lives. Ted Failon would later attest that he rushed home from his morning news program at DZMM and found his bloodied wife inside the bathroom of their daughter's bedroom around 10:30AM of April 15. It is important to note that all members of the Arteche-Etong family, including the brothers and sisters of Trina Etong, believe this story and none of them is interested in pursuing a "homicide" investigation. However, the investigating officers are still looking at possible foul play in the incident and have labeled all adult members of the Etong household, including Ted Failon, as suspects.

At first, I was also one of the very many who expressed doubts on the innocence of Ted Failon. This is mainly due to the many erroneous reports issued by the police along the course of their investigation. But as more details of the incident came out, especially the statements of the Etong and Arteche families, I became more convinced that Trina Etong really committed suicide. And, I also became more convinced that our local police cannot be trusted to do their jobs right.

Last night, the attention shifted to the officers of the QCPD-CIDU after they "arrested" Pamela and Maximo Arteche for "obstruction of justice" and forcibly took them away, in handcuffs, from their sister Trina's ICU room at New Era Hospital. The siblings pleaded with the police to let them stay with their sister who was still in critical condition. The "arresting officers" did not listen and succeeded in taking Pamela and Maximo, plus two other siblings, to the QCPD Headquarters. The whole event caused a commotion at the hospital. Right after that incident, Trina Etong's blood pressure dropped and she was not successfully revived by her doctors. She died without her 4 siblings by her side. Hospital authorities would later claim that the chaos caused by the police also affected the condition of the other ICU patients confined at the hospital.

The Commission on Human Rights has already declared that they will review the "warrantless arrests" made by the QCPD police for possible human rights violations against the Arteche siblings.

Despite all that has happened, I still have hope for the Philippine justice system. I am hoping that the abusive police authorities from the QCPD-CIDU will be heavily sanctioned for committing procedural lapses in the arrests of Pamela and Maximo Arteche and the Failon family househelpers. Otherwise, I'll just hang my head in shame for having these barbarians as my countrymen, supposedly serving as "officers of the law".

Monday, April 13, 2009

Update: Arlan and Sarah Calderon

Arlan and Sarah Calderon has left Japan and landed on Philippine soil today. They now live in Tondo, Manila as residents. Meanwhile, their daughter, Noriko, stayed behind and is now staying with her aunt in Saitama prefecture. For a quick background on their story, click HERE.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Fever

I love Spring! It's the time of year when flowers are abloom and the climate is just right. Not too hot, not too cold. Just perfect! Imagine an air-conditioned world. That's what spring is like. I can go out in a light sweater at noontime and do not sweat. I wish it's spring all year round.

Ariel and I welcomed the new season by going to a hanami last Sunday. Hanami is the Japanese term for "picnic". It literally means "view the flowers". And view the flowers we did! We went to one of Japan's "park cities", Kakamigahara-shi, which is a mere 15 minutes away by local train. Kakamigahara has a huge city park located right beside Shin-Sakai River. The river is lined with sakura trees and is listed among the top 100 spots to view cherry blossoms in Japan.

When we got there, we were greeted by this beautiful sight:

We met up with Ariel's sister, Nancy, and her husband, Aljio, who got there earlier. A picnic mat was already spread out in the grass. Ariel and I then proceeded to the food booths to buy lunch. I settled for barbecue and french fries while Ariel opted for ramen. After eating, it was pictorial time!

We first took turns in taking pictures of each other with the sakura.

Er, it was more of Ariel taking pictures of watashi.

On our way back to the picnic grounds, we spotted this hand-drawn "karitela".

I also bumped into old acquaintances from work whom I have not seen for more than two years.

(L-R: Maritess, Janet, me, Flor, Nancy and Ariel)

This diva of a dog passed by us with her owner.

We also went to the very colorful floral garden area and took some more pictures.

Of course, I just had to pose beside the fountain.

I also tried out my hand in point and shoot photography.

Going to a hanami has become a spring ritual for me and Ariel. Whenever we are in Japan, we always make sure to go and see the cherry blosssoms because they only come out once a year and stay in bloom for only a week. The cherry blossoms in Kakamigahara have now started falling off and it will take another year for us to see them again.

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thank You For The Cross...

I am temporarily signing off to observe the Easter Triduum. I hope to be back with a new post next week. Before I go, I leave you with this timely video which I made in 2007, featuring the song "Worthy Is The Lamb" by Hillsong and video clips from "The Passion Of The Christ" (2004). As of today, April 9, 2009, this video has already received 70,238 views and 86 comments since I uploaded this on Youtube on July 20, 2007. To God be the glory!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The DPRK Problem

At approximately 11:30am today, all of Japan virtually froze as it was announced that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has just launched a long-range ballistic missile. For a moment, the people of Japan, particularly those in the North, stood in fear of a missile test failure. A battery of surface-to-air missile defense units have been in place since Saturday to intercept the missile or any falling debris which may land on Japanese soil.

Thankfully, the missile safely cruised over Japan. The first stage booster dropped in the Sea of Japan off Akita prefecture in the west while the rest of the missile landed in the Pacific Ocean off the Japanese east coast.

Defying protests from the international community and violating a U.N.-imposed missile ban, the North Korean government claims that the launched missile was carrying a communications satellite into space. But the whole world knows that the missile, a Taepodong-2, can carry more than just a satellite. It can also be used to launch nuclear weapons. Many believe that this morning's launch is just a cover to test North Korea's long-range missile technology.

What then could the world do about North Korea's defiant act?

Clearly, the existing sanctions against North Korea is not effective and the U.N. Security Council should review its previous resolutions. One example is Resolution 1718, which was adopted in 2006 after North Korea conducted nuclear tests. That resolution states that all member nations should prevent the transfer of goods and devices that could help advance the DPRK's nuclear and missile development programs. To date, there have been no reports of cargo inspections ever being conducted under the terms of the resolution. Which means, for the past 3 years, North Korea has been successfully importing missile components through clandestine channels.

Ironically, it appears that North Korea has been using Japanese instruments and technology to develop its missiles, including the one launched this morning. In 2003, an engineer who defected from North Korea testified that about 90 percent of the parts used for one type of North Korean missile originated from Japan.

This only proves that the North Korean threat is far from being stopped. It would take absolute cooperation from all countries around the world to totally eliminate the problem. Until then, the people in Japan, including foreign residents like me, can only only hope that the authorities will do their jobs while we fervently pray to high heavens that the next missile launch will never happen.

A missile interceptor is poised to defend Japanese soil from threat
(courtesy of

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Today, April 4, 2009, I hit the 2,000 mark on page visits on this blog. I know this is a humble figure compared to other blogs but it means a lot for someone who simply writes for personal entertainment. Thank you my dear visitors and loyal readers!

Special shout out to my 91k co-bloggers Jasper, Edsel, Yeyen and Mark V. for the continued support. You guys have become my inspiration of sorts in keeping this blog. Keep writing! Gambatte! Or as Yeyen would say, "Aja! Aja!"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chip Tsao Update

Just a quick update on Chip Tsao: He issued a public apology on Tuesday night, which was aired over ATV, a private television network. You can listen to his apology HERE.

Finally, our government officials can go back to their jobs and focus on finding ways to keep the Filipinos in the Philippines. Back to work people! Free publicity is over!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I just felt the need to put a face behind this blog. So, here is a recent pic of me:

Happy April Fool's Day everyone!!!