WORDS BY: Joan Lopez- Flores
Yes, another Pinay has overcome Hollywood TV series Glee in the person of Jessica Sanchez, American Idol Season 12 1st Runner Up winner.
In an interview with the Associated Press last April 23, the Filipino-Mexican singer talked about how she was invited to appear on Glee. “Oh I freaked out! Ryan Murphy called me into a meeting and I was, ‘For what? For Glee?’” Ryan Murphy is the executive producer of Glee. A few days after the meeting, Jessica’s manager called her and confirmed that Ryan Murphy wants her to appear on Glee.
“I’m like, ‘What?’ And right after the show, I’ve been taking acting lessons and I’ve been really working in it,” Jessica exclaimed.
Jessica’s two-episode arc on Glee will start airing on May 2, and end on the season finale episode on May 9. And with the two more seasons given to Glee, there’s a chance Jessica can appear on more future episodes.
aybe the saying about constants needs to be updated. There are now four constants in this world: death, taxes, changes and the seemingly unforgiving heat. And while there are life adversities that we try to enjoy, there are also situations that we have to learn to live by. There are things that we just have to survive.
And believe me, it’s not just happening here in the good ol’ Philippines, it’s everywhere. So whether you’re going to visit the motherland for a vacation or simply just want to go out to run an errand or go to work, we have to know the things we need to observe and avoid to survive this punishing climate. Besides, heat stroke isn’t a joke; people have died from it.
Unless completely necessary, it is best to stay indoors during this time of the year. Remember that the hottest time of the day is from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Enjoy the shade and the comfort of your electric fans or air conditioners and cut the hassle of having to endure the summer heat. However, be forewarned: overheating appliances most especially electric fans is one of the most prevalent causes of fire during summer.
No, feeling well-ventilated when wearing light-colored clothes is not just an illusion. There’s science behind it. Light-colored fabrics tend to deflect light better and as such, heat also tends to bounce off from it. On the other end of the spectrum, dark colored clothes absorb more light and consequently heat, which is why we feel like our bodies are broiling inside an oven whenever we’re sporting a black shirt or blouse on a hot summer day. Also, try wearing clothes made from cotton as it allows better air circulation.
Doctors say we need to drink eight glasses of water a day. At a time like this, eight doesn’t seem enough. In fact, it is best if we’ll always have a water bottle with us to keep us hydrated whenever we’re outside. Dehydration is a real problem and often times the cause of more dangerous medical issues such as heat stroke. And while it is summer and many among us are taking vacations, we must try to limit our intake of alcohol and caffeine-based liquids as these can lead to dehydration.
Go out and hit the beach or a pool. But if you don’t have the time to take a trip, take a shower more often. Cooling down our body helps in regulating our body temperature and avoiding the detrimental effects of the sun.
There are a number of items that we can use to give us some form of shade while we’re outside — umbrellas, hats and sunglasses. It is important that we always have these things, most especially if we will go on trips. Keep in mind though that hats are better than caps as the former provides protection to our ears, neck and nape as well unlike the cap that only gets to cover our head and face.
Sorry guys, sunscreens aren’t just for girls — especially since we’re as likely to get heat stroke or worse, skin cancer as the ladies. With that being said, it is not enough to just grab sunscreen and pour it all over our bodies as we go out. It is equally important to learn how to choose and use the sunscreen correctly. First off, choose sunscreens with SPF15 or higher. SPF refers to Sun Protection Factor, which is the rate or effectiveness the sunscreen can protect us from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Furthermore, it is also important to get water-resistant sunscreens so it won’t easily wear off when we go swimming in the beach or in the pool. It is also important to apply the sunscreen evenly on our exposed body parts at least two hours before you go out and regardless of how long the sunscreen says it sticks, it is best if we reapply it every two hours.
And with all the precautionary measures mentioned above, it is also important to know the first signs of dehydration and heat stroke to determine the initial course of action while waiting or on the way to seek medical attention. Early warning signs of dehydration include, but not limited to, dry mouth, thirst, fatigue, dizziness, headaches and dry skin. You can determine if someone is suffering from heat stroke if one experiences severe headache, light-headedness, hot dry skin, cramps, nausea and vomiting, shallow breathing, disorientation and confusion and worse, unconsciousness. While these are the tell-tale signs of medical issues, it is not enough to self-diagnose and cool them down with water or a bath. Most of the time, it is best to get medical attention to determine the proper course of action in each particular case.
Taking these things in mind and actually observing them will definitely help us survive this heat wave. And maybe we can even enjoy more if we follow the tips above and avoid spending the summer break at the hospital.
Words by: Shiena Iane Bernardino
Summer is officially in full blast. Everyone is flocking to the hippest beaches to cool off during the sizzling hot weather. And what is the best accessory this summer? The perfect beach body, of course!
But how can you flaunt your hottest swim wear if there are excess flabs all over your physique?
Don’t fret! There is still hope. You can easily engage in different body sculpting workouts to help you tone your body. One of them is CrossFit, a high intensity fitness program which is starting to get famous nowadays because its fun and challenging workout plan.
So what exactly is CrossFit?
This fitness regime was founded in 2000 by Greg Glassman. It is first and foremost a strength and conditioning workout that targets military special operations units, police trainees, professional athletes, and other individuals who want to be on the top of their game. But nowadays, CrossFit caters to everyone who wants to improve their overall wellbeing and look good by being fit.
What’s fun in this type of program is its fast-paced and constantly changing workouts. In around 20 minutes or less, various movements like rowing, rope climbing, sprinting, jumping rope, lifting weights, tire flipping, and other body weight exercises are combined to make up a workout session, or what they call the “Workout of the Day” or “WODs”. These workouts are scalable; meaning a beginner and a professional athlete can have the same set of workouts but can vary in their intensity and difficulty levels.
Who are eligible to enroll in a CrossFit program?
Though the movements sound like they are designed for Olympians or military personnel, anyone can still join the program, especially if they are:
• Easily bored with the usual routines in conventional gyms;
• Targeting to tone down their abs or lose a few pounds;
• Have very limited time to do any physical activities everyday;
• Training for their chosen sport;
• Reached a plateau in the training program that they are currently into.
Are there any tools needed in a WOD?
Normally, the usual workout equipment is used in one CrossFit session. It includes kettle bells, barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, medicine balls, pull-up bars, as well as boxes with varying heights for box jumping. Some may also use weights or other improvised material to help enhance their workouts.
Are there any disadvantages of joining a CrossFit program?
Since every individual’s preferences vary, it is also important to note that there are some aspects of this program that may make other people run out of the gym’s nearest exit.
The most common reasons why others are not keen on continuing with a CrossFit regime are:
• Uncomfortable with group exercises – There are individuals who would rather do their exercises alone. Since WODs are normally done in groups, those who want the comforts of exercising in their own would back out of CrossFit right away.
• Intensity of the movements – Though a CrossFit trainer could say that the intensity of the workouts could be adjusted according to a person’s capabilities, some of the workouts can actually be too difficult for others. For example, a beginner would find it hard to perform pull-ups compared to those who are already physically fit.
• The sessions can be a bit steep in the pockets – Some might say that joining a CrossFit affiliated gym can make a dent in the bank. After all, WODs does not have to be high tech to begin with. But CrossFit coaches swear that the kind of training they offer are based on a well-researched regiment, which makes the fees all worth it.
CrossFit is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon for fitness enthusiasts. In the Philippines, those who want to experience this fast paced and effective workout program can turn to the Libis and Fort Bonifacio branches of CrossFit Manila to have the body that is fit for summer, or any other seasons for that matter.
Words by: Nadz Ruiz
But for busy bees like you and me, we often skip breakfast because we have to rush to work or school. Ever felt having hunger pangs during mid-morning and binging during lunch or munching heavily on snacks all day long? These compensating activities are what experts say make you put on weight and mess up your metabolism patterns.
Then again, there’s the problem of having to prepare a big breakfast during work days. You have to wake up early and force yourself out of your precious sleep.
Well, there are foods you can prepare that take a small amount of time but packs a big punch enough to make you busog and give you energy until your next meal. Here are some suggestions:
Bread up and down, bacon or ham, egg, and cheese in between. Throw in some tomatoes and lettuce, and you’ve basically gone through the food pyramid. Done in 10 minutes. Pair it with an 8-ounce cup of coffee with skim milk, and you get 420 calories. Studies suggest that a person needs 600 calories for breakfast. For someone who doesn’t have the time to sit down and have a big breakfast, a sandwich is a close enough option for an energizing meal in the morning. (Ref: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/quick-recipes/breakfast/no-more-excuses-breakfast-recipes-for-every-morning/?page=4)
Keep a stock of tortilla wraps at home. Roll bacon or ham and cheese into the tortilla. Mix or pour a glass of fruit juice while you let the tortilla heat in the microwave. Now you have 460 calories to spend for the next few hours. (Ref: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/quick-recipes/breakfast/no-more-excuses-breakfast-recipes-for-every-morning/?page=2)
Cereals are for kids only? Nuh uh. If you’re looking to get some “adult” cereals, look for those products that offer “100% whole grain” and 3g-6g of fiber. Around 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cereal plus a cup of skim milk should give you enough energy until your next meal. The fiber content of these cereals will also help clean your digestive system. (Ref: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/06/health/time-healthy-breakfast-cereal)
Taking its cue from cereals, you can also take 5 to 10 minutes of your morning to cook a bowl of oatmeal. Aside from getting a nice full tummy, a 1 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal can lower your cholesterol levels. For added flavor and fiber, add fruits like bananas, raisins, or apples. (Ref: http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/19/big-breakfasts-are-out-5-better-for-you-morning-meals/photo/oatmealcropped/)
GOOD OL’ RICE
Pinoys are Pinoys, and absolutely nothing can keep us away from rice. Taking a page out of my mother’s book, leave around a cup of rice from last night’s dinner and fix a quick serving of sinangag the following morning. Add a sunny-side up or scrambled egg and a piece of bacon, ham, or hotdog for protein and you’re good to go.
The general rule to having a heavy breakfast is to have food rich in carbohydrates and protein. There is a reason why they are called “go” and “grow” foods. The suggestions above are guaranteed to give you a non-hassle morning meal that will leave you with a big smile and a much needed busog feeling. Then again, there’s no excuse to stay healthy.
It’s the Season of Love, and for this issue, we are talking about what else, but our undying Love for sports and everything related to it.
This time, though, we will be talking about our favorite movies that wax poetic about sports. Face it, we cannot resist a good sports movie. I for one, cannot help but cry every time a sports-related movie reaches its emotional crescendo. We are all suckers for a good sports-related movie.
Here is Talk Talk Tilaok’s top 10 Sports Related Movies.
Let’s start with this boxing classic. Who can forget Sly Stallone in his role as a small-time boxer who gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fight for the Heavyweight title. If it’s what gave Sylvester Stallone his career, then it must be good.
Tom Cruise gives one of his best performances as a sports agent trying to find his way back to a successful career, by doing the right thing. He, of course, falls in love in the process. This is where WE in turn fall in love, when he dishes out that now famous line, “You complete me.” It’s a sports movie AND a romantic movie in one – now that’s a date movie both boys and girls can enjoy.
The Blind Side
Sandra Bullock stars in, and gives an Academy-winning performance in this story of Michael Oher, a homeless boy who went ahead and became first-round NFL draft pick, after being cared for by a woman and her family.
Michael Jordan. Bugs Bunny. Space Aliens. Enough said. Really, there’s nothing more to say, Space Jam is an enjoyable animated film, and one that we cannot get tired of watching, no matter how many times we’ve seen it.
Who can ever forget Coach Bombay and his rag-tag team of hockey players? This is another classic story of underdogs doing their utmost best and gaining glory. Now let’s say it all together: QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!
Field of Dreams
“If you build it, he will come.” Kevin Costner plays an Iowa farmer who hears voices and proceeds to build a baseball diamond on his cornfield, amidst doubts from his neighbors. When the Chicago Black Sox come to play in his baseball field, goosebumps will definitely form. This movie about faith and blinding love for baseball perfectly captures one’s feelings for sports.
Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale star in this movie about Irish boxer Mickey Ward. Wahlberg reportedly observed our very own Manny Pacquiao’ training remigen, in order to get a feel of how boxers train.
Who can resist seeing Keanu Reeves dancing the LA Walk? Though this is not a movie about ballroom dancing, you will witness him dancing in a scene from this movie about a team of replacement football players who substitute for pro players during a strike.
This movie gave Mickey Rourke a much-needed jolt for his acting career. He plays an aging wrestler, who has no idea how to make it in the real-world as a non-wrestler. This raw, gritty masterpiece gives you a glimpse of how wrestlers live their lives when the bright lights cease to shine.
The Karate Kid
Whether it’s the Ralph Macchio / Pat Morita or Jaden Smith / Jacky Chan version, you will love this movie about an American kid who turns to his Asian mentor to teach him karate / kung fu. His journey to excellence begins, and we all strived to earn our very own black belts after this movie.
Whatever sport you’re interested in, there is definitely a movie out there for you. There are countless more, countless classics that will make you cheer your guts out, or bawl your eyes out. One truth remains; we will always be suckers for a good sports movie, so Hollywood better keep churning them out.
It seems like humanity’s capability to accept is directly proportional to what the society holds to be the norm. There was a point in history when men wore nothing but skirts and if we see one today, some would probably squirm on this sight. We see people now on the streets and feel bad for them while nomadic existence was the way of the world during ancient times. Clearly, our concept of norm evolves as human civilization evolves. It is important to note; however, that our idea of norm seems outdated and misdirected. While we have fashionable clothes, live and work in high rise buildings and use all these cool gadgets, the development of the way we see, value and judge human experience seems limited. Bullying is still so rampant, rapes and murders happen every day, the Reproductive Health Bill took over a decade before becoming a law — and marriage is still mostly restricted to heterosexual relationships.
Marriage Equality in History
Historically speaking, homosexual unions were not antagonized by society in early civilizations. Same sex marriages were practiced in China’s Ming Dynasty as well as early Europe and even in the early Roman empire. During that point in history, love and people’s right to socially affirmed form of relationships were completely accepted. It is only during the rise of Christianity that the perverted notion on homosexuals came to our mainstream consciousness. In fact, when Christian emperors ruled over the Roman empire, a set of laws that must be adhered to by the entire society was released in 342Ad — the Codex Theodosianus. The code included a provision on restricting marriages to heterosexual couples, thus banishing the validity of same-sex marriages at the time.
For thousands of years the said rule has been observed. It was eventually canonized into the mores of the society and has been injected into the people’s consciousness as a tradition. Nobody dared to challenge it. This is until 1971 when Jack Baker and Michael McConnell challenged the courts and became the first homosexual couple to get a marriage license (the validity of the license was later on questioned, but never invalidated). This landmark case eventually triggered an elaborate campaign for equal marriage rights worldwide. While civil unions and couple registry were legally affirmed in various countries worldwide, it is the Netherlands that passed the first same-sex marriage bill into law in 2000. 12 years after this pivotal development, there are now 12 countries that legally recognize same sex marriages. In the United States, 10 states have legalized the same. While the progress is a positive remark on marriage equality in general, statistics says that we are a long way from achieving this. In fact, if we were to look at the big picture, only around six percent of all the countries worldwide have legalized same sex marriage worldwide.
Religion and Politics
Sociologist Antonio Gramsci introduced the term hegemony in social discourse. Hegemony refers to the widespread proliferation of a specific ideology that ultimately results to its massive acceptance by the society. Among all social institutions, perhaps one can argue that the church (from whatever religious denomination one may come from) is the most influential. Besides, from the time we were born we have all been governed by the church and its doctrines. Needless to say, the church’s doctrines are very powerful in determining that way we live and the way we see social dynamics.
With this in mind, the church has imposed on us the gauge on what is right and wrong. And generally speaking, it has helped define the moral compass of our society. The problem lies though in the universalistic nature of most, if not all, religious doctrines that it is not able to adapt to the changing tides of humanity and history., which eventually led to debates, conflicts and even death. Ironically, the institution that was supposed to foster moral behavior has helped divide humanity. As the novelist Jonathan Swift once said, “We have enough religion to hate each other, but not enough to love each other.”
This brings us to a vital point: Religious institutions are free to trumpet their notions of righteousness and values to its members; but it should not interfere with the operations and administrative duties of the state. Besides, marriage is not just about the religious underpinnings of a relationship, but more importantly it is about the statutory rights that every couple may and should enjoy.
Call for the State Support
In certain countries around the world and in selected states in the US, civil union is being exercised for same-sex couples in the absence of marriages. While many may deem that the difference is on a purely semantic level, there are more rights that the states confer to married couples compared to those who are under civil union. For one, marriage is universally recognized while civil unions are only valid in the state or country where it was issued. Moreover, according to the United States General Accounting Office, there are 1,100 rights and protections conferred to a couple once married (this includes social security, visitation rights, etc). Needless to say, the rights and protections conferred to those in civil unions are limited.
As mentioned above, we are far away from fully achieving marriage equality. More than the equality of rights conferred to all couples upon marriage, same-sex couples are denied the right to be socially and legally recognized. In France, the bill for marriage equality is being pushed; of course not without the usual protests. But the reality is, love and relationships are an intimate experience everyone goes through. Who are we to say that someone shouldn’t be together? As Anne Hathaway during the Human Rights Commission luncheon, Love is a human experience, not a political statement.
It is about time that we move away from all the dogmas and obsolete doctrines. There is a difference between being human and being humane; it’s time for us to push for the progress of the latter.
Words by : Nicole Raymundo
Who are the lucky people under this sign? Those people who were born in 1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989 and 2001.
The Snake is the sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac and is known to be the deepest thinker of the 12-year cycle. The energy surrounding the Snake is much lighter, amenable and less demanding than the domineering Dragon of 2012 who had a hard task to accomplish throughout the year with many dramatic changes of circumstance to push through on our behalf.
People born under this sign are perceived to be keen and cunning, quite intelligent and wise. A Snake in the house is known for a good omen since it means that your family will not starve. Metaphorically speaking, a Snake would never encounter starvation as a family problem because he is a great mediator, making him good at business.
Food is not the way to a Snake’s heart. You’ll be much more successful if you can create a calm environment in the home. Snake natives are easily stressed; so quiet is the order of the day. Unwanted excitement makes their head hurt. After a long day at work, the Snake wants to relax and get a full night’s sleep.
Because calm is what the Snake craves, it is best to decorate the home in subdued colors: beige, creams and brown are good choices. And don’t forget to give the Snake a comfy chair that she can call her own. Also, a sleep machine that plays restful sounds of nature (a babbling brook, raindrops, songbirds, waves rolling onto the beach) will be welcomed by a Snake.
The Snake loves keeping up with the Joneses, or perhaps it is closer to the truth to say the Joneses will have a hard time keeping up with the Snake. Either way, do not expect a Snake to love shopping. Yes, they are materialistic and they love to posses the best of everything, but they have no patience for shopping. Most likely the drill is: See it, Buy it, Enjoy it.
Snakes are the deepest thinkers among all the twelve zodiacs. They are not at all communicative. Snakes understand the concepts and ideas very fast but are unwilling to let the world know about that. Snakes enjoy his private world more than anything else and they are always very unruffled and isolated.
Snakes are socialites. Outgoing snakes always enjoy good food in a soothing environment, quality clothes, happening parties and edifying events. They always are comfortable to stay out of the glare of publicity but look forward to gather the relevant information for future dates. Snakes never loose their control but stay gracious. The excellent behaviors of the snakes attract others.
Snakes never like to spend money freely like Dragons. They are prudent and economical but at the same time they never stay back when they get a chance to spend their money sumptuously on a fine dinner or a nice voyage. They always think about the cash that they had spent earlier but still Snakes have sufficient amount in their bank accounts always.
Snakes always find out some excuses on what they did earlier. They like to take care of their body and spend a lot of amount for that but on the other hand they keep on thinking about that expenditure. Hesitation before spending money is a common thing for every snake but they can also justify themselves.
Some say that snakes are the liars but it is not always true. If a person is unable to express his heart out, that doesn’t mean that he or she will not tell the truth if any question is thrown to him/her. Snakes always conceal things.
It can’t be denied that they have a pleasing attitude. But snakes are egoist and because of that they want to show their supremacy. At times snakes fail to cope up with their own high expectations and become rude. They want someone to stay alongside and pat on their back. Snakes always want someone to love and admire his/her skills. That boosts up their energy.
It is very tough for them to accept rejection. When things are tough for them they find it difficult to come out of that situation. Alcohol and drug addictions are quite common for them in this kind of situation.
Resisting change is the hallmark of snakes’ characters. They are very loyal in a relationship. They try to give their best in a relationship even if they feel that the relationship is not working. Snakes like to be in a known situation. They feel comfortable with the unchanged atmosphere, same coworkers, similar associations and identical activities.
2013 is specifically the year of the water snake. Along with the people to be born this year along with those who were born in 1953 are seen as influential and insightful. They manage people well and good for organizations to utilize as staff. Being motivated and intellectual, they strive to do their best to succeed and to get what they want.
Black is the color of the year. It represents the space, arctic night, darkness on the abyss and the color of deep waters.
The year of the Snake will bring unexpected changes, instability and changeability. It is important for people to plan everything beforehand and evaluate adequately before taking any actions.
Babies born in the year of the snake are said to be gifted with artistic talent. Don Yilin, I-Chiing Master, said, “People who are born in the year of snake are very good at putting aside worries and moving on with life.”
Dr. Anthony Fugoso, a Feng Shui practitioner says that there will be major advances in science and technology. Moreover, other lucky industries include media, travel and arts, most especially dance. Since the water element is closely associated with education and research, the Year of the Water Snake will also be good for scientists and scholars.
In terms of fashion, it will become more elegant, fluid and sophisticated.
The luckiest animal signs next year are the Rat and Dog, while the Tiger, Ox and Horse will be more fortunate in terms of wealth. The Dragon on the other hand will be “lucky” when it comes to romance and education.
In terms of relationships, 2013 is a good year for the Snake people to enter into one as long as they overcome their aloofness and reserved nature when interacting with other people.
All in all, 2013 is going to be a challenging for the person born in the Year of the Snake.
Words by: Nicole Raymundo
Clean and competent government
Filipinos love blaming the government for whatever problem that they encounter. They should remember that they are given the freedom to choose their leaders through elections. Thus, the least that every Filipino can do is to vote wisely and avoid being lured by empty promises of politicians. The wish of having credible and effective government leaders may be hard to obtain, but it is highly possible if all citizens do their part in choosing the right leaders for our country.
Lower cost of electricity, water, gasoline, and basic commodities
Filipinos from all walks of life, whether from the upper or middle class, wish that all major household expenses decrease. Lower cost of living equates to more savings for emergency use and leisure activities. Economists have various explanations about inflation and the prices of commodities, but ordinary Juans cannot fully understand these technical interpretations. For them, the money in their wallet speaks a lot about the quality of their life. More Filipinos will be happy this Christmas if utilities companies and businesses cut down costs.
Lower crime rate
Having a safe and peaceful environment is important in every person’s well-being. Filipinos should wish for communities that are safe to walk in even at odd hours. The police force should be more visible and they must enforce the law strictly in order to aid in lowering the crime rate. Everyone also wants their own families to be free from danger, so having less criminals and criminal activities would give people peace of mind even if they are away from their loved ones.
Resolution of conflict with other countries
Now that there are issues arising from the territory dispute over Spratly Islands, the Philippines and China are getting things heated up. Filipinos should wish for a resolution of this conflict in order to avoid its long-term negative effects especially in our economy. As we all know, China is one of the major trading partners of the Philippines. Because of its economic power and influence in the global market, China’s withdrawal of support in Philippine businesses can have a huge impact. Likewise, Filipinos would not want to wage war against China because obviously, we are less equipped than them in warfare equipment and manpower. The Filipino nation should wish to end this territory dispute and take what is truly ours without having to go on war. Diplomacy is the key, the same goes with other countries. Nobody wants to have World War III.
More jobs for the Filipinos
Every year, millions of Filipinos graduate from college but the unemployment and underemployment rate are still the same or worse, are getting even higher. Some go overseas to search for greener pastures even if it means doing a job that is not related to their field of expertise. Filipinos should desire to have a nation of employed citizens because this contributes to the over-all economic development of the country. This is important in alleviating poverty and at the same time reducing social problems.
Climate change has overtaken us that we are not sure what kind of environment the future generations will see. There are a lot of environmental problems in the country that must be mitigated if not eliminated completely. Filipinos should include in their wish list a cleaner and greener country. The environment has a significant impact in the sustainability not only of our nation but of the whole world as well.
Less informal settlers
The problem on informal settlers or squatters has been hounding our society for the past decades. This greatly affects the infrastructure projects of the government, the preservation of the waterways especially in the urban areas, and the social well-being of the Filipino families who dwell in these areas. Having squatter-free communities should also be in the wish list of Filipinos this Christmas. It’s a great challenge that the past governments have failed to resolve, but Filipinos must not lose hope in this.
Better standard of living for Filipinos
Poverty has been a perennial problem of our countrymen. There are more poor families than the middle and upper classes especially in the provinces and remote areas. There are a lot of causes of poverty which is why it’s not easy for our leaders to put an end to it. Every Christmas, having more food on the table of Filipino families should be everybody’s wish. Social problems arise from extreme poverty. Thus, if this problem gets solved, majority of the crisis we are experiencing can also be dealt with effectively.
We all have our own wish list this Christmas — good health, more success, more money, long life; name it and there’s an endless list of needs and wants. But as Filipinos, we should also wish for a better nation and a brighter future for the next generations. It’s free to dream and to imagine, so why not include more sensible wishes for the benefit of our fellow Filipinos. Besides, it’s Christmas time, the time of love, generosity, and peace.
By: Michael Emil Luchico
It’s hard to believe four years have passed since we bade farewell to the magnificent bird’s nest that served as the center stage for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.This year at the 2012 Summer Games in London, our contingent has been the smallest we’ve fielded since 1932. Only 11 Filipino athletes are taking part in eight disciplines: Mark Javier in Men’s Individual Archery, Rachel Cabral in Women’s Individual Archery, Rene Herrera in the 3000m Steeplechase in Men’s Athletics, Marestella Torres in the Long Jump in Women’s Athletics, Mark Barriga in Light Flyweight Boxing, Daniel Caluag in Men’s BMX Cycling, Tomohiko Hoshina in Men’s + 100kg Judo, Brian Rosario in Skeet Shooting, Jessie Khing Lacuna in the 200m Freestyle in Men’s Swimming, Jasmine Alkhaldi in the 100m Freestyle in Women’s Swimming and Hidilyn Diaz in Women’s 58kg Weightlifting. To date, our medal haul since joining the Olympics stands at nine, including seven bronzes and two silvers. Our last podium finish took place at the 1996 Atlanta games, when Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco brought home the silver in the 48kg light flyweight category in boxing. Speaking of boxing, Filipino pugilist Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire gave the country something to cheer about early last month, by adding the IBF super bantamweight title to his WBO belt in a lopsided decision over little known Jeffrey Mathebula. His victory comes a month after boxing fans around the world were sent reeling by Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s stunning loss to American Timothy Bradley in a controversial split decision.
In other news, though our hardcourt heroes won’t be seeing action at the XXX Olympiad, there is enough excitement and drama back home in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). First-time finalists Rain or Shine showed no fear as they took game one of the Governor’s Cup finals, upending recent Commisioner’s Cup champions B-Meg, 91-80.
The game saw Llamados mentor, Tim Cone, lose his cool early in the final period, hurling a monobloc chair onto the court, and finding himself similarly thrown out of the game as a result. Cone, who is attempting to tie legendary coach Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan as the PBA’s winningest coach with 15 titles, was reacting to what a non-call on what he deemed was an infraction against a driving James Yap.
For his part, Rain or Shine coach, Yeng Guiao, who is no stranger to being ejected from a game himself, had more pointed words for his B-Meg counterpart. Guiao was responding to Tim Cone’s post-game verbal tirade while talking to the media. Cone insinuated that the Elasto Painters were deliberately trying to hurt and sideline his players out of the game.
In other hardcourt news, Filipino basketball fans were treated to a once-in-a lifetime spectacle when NBA and PBA legends went head-to-head last July 18, for the 2012 PLDT All Star Basketball Challenge at the new SM Mall of Asia Arena. NBA greats like former Chicago Bulls teammates Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman matched up against PBA icons like Kenneth Duremdes, Marlou Aquino, Jerry Codiñera, and Jojo Lastimosa. The visiting NBA alums whipped our former PBA stars, 112-93, behind Jason Williams’ 26 points and Pippen’s 20 markers.
Duremdes led all scorers with 29 points. A touching moment occurred in the dying seconds of the game, when bad boy Rodman grabbed the microphone during a timeout, and acknowledged the presence of his long-estranged father, Philander Rodman Jr.
“I haven’t seen my father in 42 years, but that’s him sitting right there,” the younger Rodman said, turning his gaze towards a man in the patron section, who had a cap with the words, “Yes, Dennis Rodman is my son” on it.
Finally, the Philippines hosted one of the biggest events in mixed martial arts (MMA), when Singapore-based ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) stages “Pride of a Nation” at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on August 31. The event featured MMA superstars like former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight titlist Andrei Arlovski, Jens Pulver, Shinya Aoki, and the Philippines’ own Eduard Folayang.
A few months left before 2013 elections in the Philippines, and we already know more or less what to expect- old and new faces, but definitely same ways. For the past decades, we have seen the transition of administrations,but is there really change happening in our society? Filipinos have always looked forward to elections because they expect significant transformation in their lives. We expect that with a new government, poverty will be reduced and our standards of living will improve. But up to now we have yet to see true leaders who will go beyond politics and really serve their constituents.
Slowly, the Filipinos are becoming more inclined to avoid trapos, or politicians who have been well entrenched in the country’s political system. A nation battered by all types of crises, the Philippines have had enough. Filipinos despise the old timers – those who have been there all along but have not really eased the sufferings of their countrymen. So now, there is an emerging new breed of political aspirants – some are old timers in another field but are relatively new in politics, while some are sort of semi-trapos because they are part of a political family or clan. Here are some of the political wannabes that will depict the current trend in Philippine election campaigns:
Showbiz celebrities in showbiz now going into politics
Called the “Sex Goddess of Philippine Movies” in the 70s and 80s, who would not know Alma Moreno? Former wife of former Paranaque mayor and actor Joey Marquez, Alma rings a bell in almost all households used to watching tele-seryes and movies back then. Despite her annulment from Joey Marquez, she still pursued her career in politics and was elected councilor of Paranaque in 2007. And now, there is no stopping Alma from climbing higher – she has announced that she is running for the senatorial race in the 2013 mid-term election under Lakas-CMD party. Filipinos are certainly up for a new surprise in the senate halls if Alma wins. Some sectors have criticized celebrities joining politics, but some say that they should be given a chance. After all, Alma seems to have relinquished her sexy goddess image to younger starlets. Her experience as councilor may be an edge already, but she definitely has a lot to catch up to when it comes to law making.
The feisty mother of celebrity Ruffa Guttierez, Annabelle is now set to enter politics via her planned bid for congress in Cebu, her hometown. Annabelle has always been in the limelight for being involved in word wars with several celebrities and reporters. She has had spats also with her very own daughter that their relationship has been a spectacle for avid showbiz fans. A lot were surprised with Annabelle’s decision to run for office, especially her family. According to earlier reports, her husband Eddie Guttierez and children were hesitant of her political plans as they were concerned with her health. While they have no choice but to support their matriarch’s candidacy, they are quite afraid that the demands of politics would take a toll on Annabelle’s over-all well-being. Filipinos are surely on the watch for Annabelle’s dive in politics; her political rivals would certainly bank on her enemies’ testimonials against her in order to defeat her.
Members of political families and clans
The spouse of the one of the richest senators in the country, Cynthia definitely has the resources for her election campaigns. This is not to mention that she co-manages a real estate empire, which increases her asset size year after year. Educated in the University of the Philippines with a degree in Business Administration, Cynthia practiced as a financial analyst and college professor until she married former House Speaker and Senator Manny Villar in 1975. In 2001, Cynthia won by landslide victory as Representative of Las Piñas where she completed three terms of service until 2010. And now, with her husband’s last term as senator, Cynthia is set to vie for a seat as the next Villar in the senate. With Cynthia’s educational background and early career, it is no wonder she was able to make their business flourish, alongside her political stint. Having served as a congresswoman for nine years, many say that she already has the experience to be able to work well as a senator. Some critics are just saying that it may be Cynthia’s name in the ballot, but it’s still Manny calling the shots. Also, there’s the question of conflict of interest as the Villar couple have a lot of enterprises to protect.
He is the representative of the 1st District of Cagayan in the 15th Congress and a son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. Set to follow the footsteps of his father in the Senate, Jack believes that next year’s campaign is also a chance to finally dispel his negative image as the prototype bad boy of the 80’s when his father was lording it over as the late President Marcos’s martial law enforcer. Jack will run under the United National Alliance (UNA), and he said that his advocacy would be on food security and agriculture. News reports cite that Jack is mulling over a shift in agricultural framework that adapts to the changing environment. This seems to be a challenging issue to solve, but the greater challenge would be how to erase the notion that he is just another trapo because of his sterling surname.
There’s still a lot on the list of the so-called political wannabees – celebrities, spouse, son, daughter, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle of old-timer politicians. The questions now is, are there any real new players to watch out for? For Filipinos, they are not sure if this means a changing in the guard- this is yet to be seen as the campaign period starts. Filipinos are apparently amazed, surprised, shocked, and sometimes humored by these new faces. But deep in their hearts, what they want to see is the showdown of real public servants with a passion to help our country regain its glory and achieve prosperity.