Thursday, 29 January 2009

Zach is 20

Happy 20th birthday to one of my best Dark Throne buddies, Zach. :)

His various DT Beta achievements include Overlord of High Offense Clan, Co-Leader of Invictus Decretum, and a member of Wolf Pack. All posts, funnily enough, I held at the same time as him. In DT Gold (final version, which we are both still playing), he is in the leadership in the n00bish alliance The Black Rose (LOL, and I'm Council; Matty, you hear me?) and Level 5. One of the best and smartest players in my books. :)

Thanks for the friendship that spanned continents, timezones, and account levels (LOL), and it was an honor being one of the co-leaders with you in two of the most unbeatable and elite alliances in the game, and being a fellow WP brother. Here's to almost three years of friendship. :)

This photo will make you famous bro. ROFL.

Have a good one, and one day, we'll camp at the same level range and rape any account that gets in our way. Just like old times. :)


Banned From Band

One of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen.

Band Major John Coleman was suspended from his marching band after he returned President Obama's wave with a wink and a small wave of his own. He was accused of breaching 'military protocol' for returning the President's gesture.

I say, screw protocol. What John Coleman did was to give the President an approving wink and a wave that acknowledged he saw Obama's gesture. John Coleman was so hurt at his suspension that he quit the band after the incident. Poor guy. Mr. Coleman, if it's any consolation, I would have done exactly the same thing were I in your shoes, protocol be damned. The man you winked at is the President of the United States of America.

CNN's take:


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Mac Virus

You smug Mac users, here's something for you people to worry about: a virus has infiltrated the considerable anti-virus defense systems of Macintosh computers.

Originally by Christopher Null, Yahoo Tech
The iServices.A Trojan horse is an attack being distributed via BitTorrent, where it's disguised as a bootleg copy of the new iWork 09. Once installed, the malware takes administrator access and connects to remote servers over the Internet, where it can be given additional instructions as the author commands, from installing additional malware to stealing information off the Mac in question. The malware creator can also take complete remote control of any compromised machine.

Not so smug now, are you? LOL.
Just - as always - be safe when downloading from BitTorrent.


Clashes Despite Ceasefire

My reaction and commentary is based on this article by Associated Press writer Matti Friedman.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) accused Palestinians of planting and detonating a bomb targeting an IDF patrol near the borders. Before that, an IDF ship has apparently shelled Palestine along the borders, killing a few farmers. Opening fires on this latest ceasefire, proving that these two forces are somewhat the hardest headed states in the world now (rivaling perhaps India and Pakistan).

Reading this article, I see the futility of peace in the Middle Eastern region. Peace cannot exist, simply because (depending on one's point of view) Israel or Palestine exists, and both have legitimate - to an extent - claim through ancestral lands and culture. The latest ceasefire was heavily in favor of Israel; the military blockade of their troops of the Palestinian borders have not been lifted yet. This lop-sided policy was probably a smart move on their part, almost guaranteeing the retaliation of Palestinian freedom fighters. The ceasefire has lasted a grand total of nine days (sooner, if one would consider the almost immediate small-arms conflict between IDF troops and pockets of resistance of Hamas).

Formally, there is a ceasefire, but that term has been rendered a joke by the actions of both Hamas and the IDF. In my opinion, the 'lasting peace' so craved by the world for this tumultuous region will only happen once one or the other completely leaves the area, and I am betting it will not be the Palestinians, should push come to shove.

Conclusion: Ceasefires are just words to these two parties.


Danz Dish 4

Watch the La Salle Dance Company - Street as they celebrate a year of
blessings in their exciting major concert! With passion as this year's
theme, see them perform different dance styles touching issues on
mistaken passion, passion for life, and more!

Special Guests: Skittlez Crew, LSGH Airforce, Miriam Sayawatha, Claret
Hataw, and more!
Tickets: P180 each

Show Dates:
FEBRUARY 5, 2009
FEBRUARY 6, 2009*

*Skittlez' performance

7pm sharp (gates open at 6:30pm), Teresa Yuchengco Theater,
DLSU-Manila, Taft Avenue

Visit our booth at the Central Plaza from 9:00am-5:00pm from Jan.26 to
Feb.6 to see our special exhibit and to buy tickets!

Spread the word! :D

Pictures courtesy of Gayle's Blog


Basketball Karma

Here's a lesson we all know: Do unto others what you would others do unto you. Otherwise, be prepared for the karma delivery truck, which runs on its own schedule.

This is a game between Houston and Arizona, in the Pac-10 league. Houston was leading 63-51, when Chase Budinger of Arizona fell on his back. Aubrey Coleman of Houston sees him on his back and unceremoniously steps on Chase's face. No excuse me, no apology; it looked intentional to me. Also, his high-fives from teammates lead me to believe they thought it was something funny.

It wasn't. It's unsportsmanlike.

Coleman was ejected.

Arizona went on to win, 96-90.


Monday, 26 January 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

To all my Chinese friends, family, and anyone else celebrating the Year of the Ox, Happy Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai, and Kung Hei Fa Choi!!

Have a happy Year of the Ox everyone, and may the ang pows rain! LOL.

(I miss the 'open houses' in Malaysia)


Sunday, 25 January 2009

Almost Useless?

I was thinking of what I was talking about with two friends and classmates of mine in class, Katrina and Bea, a little while ago, and I thought, heck why not.

We agreed that I will share "one useless fact" everyday (no set limit on how long this can go on, but probably until we all stop being classmates, LOL) so I might as well share it in my blog. :) This series will be labeled as "Almost Useless". Why 'almost'? Well, if it was entirely useless, you won't be able to enlighten another human being with it now, will you? :)

Here is a taste of the things to come. :)

Perfect 10 for 22
In the 1924 Olympic Games, 22 athletes received the much-coveted 'Perfect 10' in gymnastics, all at the same event! It will probably never happen again; the event was rope climbing.

Carnegie Mellon Scholarship
I was browsing around the Internet for scholarship offers (like FastWeb) when I came across the Carnegie Mellon University's Bagpipe Scholarship. I kid you not; they offer $7000 a year to a student who will major in bagpipes. ROFL. Andrew Carnegie was apparently a bagpipe enthusiast (he was Scottish).

Roman Mouthwash
Thank God for Listerine. Ancient Romans used urine to clean their mouths and maintain oral hygiene. Yeah. "Hygiene".

Will post more when I think of more stuff (or dig up more almost-useless facts).


Sirens at Dynasty Tower CNY Party

I have been joining Gayle's old crew, Sirens (which used to be an all-female group), in their dance practices for over a year now, and it's peculiar that I have not danced in any of their gigs yet. LOL. Since they had a Chinese New Year party gig at Dynasty Tower (where one of their members, Michelle, lives), I decided to be a busy-body and tag along.

Unfortunately for me, I sort of had to learn two dances in about four hours. =/ Haha.. I bit a little more than I could chew, but it turned out alright (though not one of my best performances).

For this performance, we were (for better or worse, you be the judge) named Firefox. ROFLMAO.

Will embed a video once someone uploads it on YouTube. :)


Saturday, 24 January 2009

No Phone

Hi friends.

Until further notice, please do not text or call me. My phone refused to switch on last night, and this morning, the phone repair shops at Taft cannot find a way to fix it. I don't think I will be able to get a replacement soon. :(


Sunday, 18 January 2009

Dying On Me

It's very frustrating when one waits eight hours to load a movie, is moving a lot of pictures from memory card to hard drive, and typing a paper when the once-reliable laptop sputters and dies. Unceremoniously sputters and dies.

Very frustrating indeed.

*points at you*
Get me a new laptop!


Unilateral Ceasefire in Gaza

Article can be found here.

Israel has declared a unilateral ceasefire. The terms are that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) will halt offensives against Hamas, but its troops will still remain in Gaza. If Hamas breaks the ceasefire, then Israel will "continue to defend itself" and relaunch its stinging offensive against Hamas.

I think that this is a very smart move on Israel. They have been condemned (myself included) for reacting unfairly to Hamas' rocket attacks. They have struck any and all targets suspected of harboring Hamas militants, even if the targets were UN-controlled facilities. I have a feeling that Hamas (for some reason unfathomable to a reasonable man) will continue to launch its rockets against Israel. None of Hamas' terms were met, which are that Israel halts all attacks and leaves Gaza immediately, and to lift the blockade on Gaza's borders. Israel will only pull out if all tunnels to and from Egypt (where Hamas gets their military hardware) are closed and closely monitored.

The ceasefire required the help of Egypt, because it is through Egypt's porous borders that Hamas gets their equipment. The United States have agreed to provide surveillance and detection equipment for the monitoring of the borders. A snag in the ceasefire is that Egypt has refused to be bound by the USA-Israeli agreement on the ceasefire. Egypt's agreement is vital.

The next few days will be interesting. For the sake of the Palestinian civilians (and for the Middle East), I sincerely hope Hamas will respect this ceasefire, and use the lull to collect and pay proper respects to the Palestinian dead.


Saturday, 17 January 2009

War 101: Urban Combat

Article can be found here.

The article, written by Brian Murphy of the Associated Press, discusses the 'nasty' face of urban warfare (FIBUA - fighting in built-up areas), and I have to agree that this new face of war - with urban settings more and more becoming battlefields - will definitely increase the likelihood of increasing civilian casualties, as have been seen in the Gaza War. More than 1100 Palestinians have been killed (over half are civilians), compared to 13 Israeli casualties, 3 of them civilians.

Military strategists the world over are already analyzing how the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), which is superior to Hamas in almost every way, has handled the urban war that Hamas has sucked them into. One thing is clear: civilian casualties were horrific. Even neutral forces, like the United Nations and the Red Cross have suffered casualties (due to the IDF). It also did not help (or helped, depending on one's point of view) that the war was for the whole world to see, what with the media having live Internet feeds of the conflict.

I have also noticed something about the war that Murphy touched on: a vastly inferior group does not necessarily need to win a victory outright; if they can hold the superior group in an urban area and hit them where they are vulnerable (like alleys, streets, and tight squares), then chipping at the stronger opponent would likely wear out said opponent. While the IDF may want a total victory, they would need to combat the stealthy tactics that Hamas is employing (yes, hiding behind civilians, while cowardly, is a tactic).

It doesn't need hard imagination to see what a disaster urban fighting can be to a modern army. Just watch Blackhawk Down.


Friday, 16 January 2009

Israeli Army Shells UN HQ

Article can be found here.

What shocks me most about this article by Ibrahim Barzak and Christopher Torchia of the Associated Press is that there was apparently no explanation from the Israeli army as to why they shelled the United Nations compound. The compound housed food supplies, and I can only assume that the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) shelled it because it was giving aid to Palestinians. This is a direct and utter insult to the authority of the United Nations. In fact, as was stated in the article, John Ging, head of Gaza operations for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, said that the IDF's claim that "militants fired on IDF.. and IDF were only returning to the source of fire" as "total nonsense" and "typical misinformation". The IDF is "currently investigating" this incident. That, in my book, reeks of "guilty".

This is not the first time the IDF has struck directly on UN-controlled compounds. Not too long ago, a UN-ran school was hit by bombardment, killing over 40 civilians. IDF may face a war crimes tribunal for this incident.

Ging mentioned that his UN staff told the IDF leaders that there were no militants in the compound. Apparently, this was not good enough for Israel, as they shelled a supposedly neutral territory. No evidence was given as to whether or not there were Hamas militants in the headquarters.

The shelling of the UN headquarters killed an important Hamas leader, Said Siam, and Siam's brother and his brother's family were also killed in the attack. There was no evidence to suggest that they were inside the compound. I see this as Israel willing to kill as many Palestinians as possible for one Hamas militant member, never mind that they could be endangering civilians in the process.

What bothers me the most about this particular attack was that the UN, under no coercion, gave the coordinates of every UN-controlled compound to the IDF, in an effort to prevent the deadly shelling of a school which killed over 40 civilians. The IDF, therefore, had complete knowledge of the nature of their target, yet chose an aggressive - and as it turned out, very damaging to the UN relief efforts - mode of action. This, in my opinion, is unforgivable.

The United States and Egypt are forging a possible cease-fire, but neither Israel nor Hamas are making concessions at the moment.


The Gaza War

Over the past two weeks, I have closely followed the developments on the Israeli-Hamas war that has sparked international condemnation of the actions of the Israeli government. With that in effect, I will be posting updates here on my blog, as well as my reaction to various news reports from Time, The Guardian, Associated Press, Yahoo News, and various other agencies.

My stance on the issue (currently) is that Israel's response to Hamas' attacks are exaggerated and uncalled for. However, from a realist's perspective, Israel is indeed doing what any nation state would do. In this century though, I would have expected a nation state as technologically, strategically, tactically, and economically more superior power to practice restrain when dealing with a threat to its sovereignty.

This is an interesting development in world events, as Israel has shown again and again its contempt to the United Nations and the International Law of Human Rights, in its reactions against the general Palestinian populace. As it stands, over a thousand Palestinians lay dead; more than half are civilians, as compared to the thirteen Israeli dead, with ten of those being soldiers.

I fear that this is a prelude to the next great world war. I will not be a doomsayer, but the Great War of the early 20th Century and the Second World War concerned mostly tangible points of contention, i.e. the sovereignty of states; territory. This war is pitting two great religions against each other, and wars of religion are probably the most vicious of them all, and in today's world, the situation in the Middle East region of Palestine dictate that the first shots have been fired. If peace is attained, I doubt it will last until either the Palestinians or the Israelis leave the area, something highly implausible in my opinion.

Expect regular updates. I will blog from University if need be.


Wednesday, 14 January 2009


Thanks to my Dark Throne friend, Stephen Homer, otherwise known in the game as Blueie, for giving me a wonderful present. :)

A historical fiction book. Specifically, a book about Memnon of Rhodes.
(You all should know about my fascination with ancient military history :P)

It arrived ahead of schedule! :)Thanks again, Blueie!


Sunday, 11 January 2009

Thank You, GMA7

GMA7, producers of the morning show Unang Hirit ("First Strike"), invited Skittlez Crew to dance at their televised show. Unfortunately, due to our academic schedules and the very early nature of the show, we had to regretfully deny their gracious request.

On behalf of Skittlez Crew, thank you GMA7 for honoring us with an invite to dance in one of your premier shows.

On a good note, Krumpinoy, Philippine's pioneer krump crew, will dance for Unang Hirit on January 14, 2009 (as far as I know). Do tune in if you have access to the channel. The shows air at 5.30am I believe. Support the dance community!

More about Unang Hirit here

Saturday, 10 January 2009

UHS Dance

The video I took of Uno High School's collaborative dance, comprising of UHS Pep Squad members, and various UHS Pep Squad Alumni (of which Gayle is one of). Choreography by my friend and 'boss', Red Soriano of XFX.


Friday, 9 January 2009

Third Term, 08/09 First Impressions

This is my last term as a sophomore, and the crunch time terms are coming up. I have had the opportunity to meet all my professors and lecturers for this term in the past two days, and boy, some are downright fearsome.

American Government class is looking to be tougher than American History class last term. Same professor (Bro. G.W., FSC), but our reading materials have changed. Last term, we used a small, novel-sized textbook; this term, it's a tome entitled American Government: The Essentials. You know you're in trouble when a thick, thick tome is only labeled as "the essentials". Still, I have a good feeling about this one.

Critical Securities Studies sound more like a Red Alert: 3 mission briefing, but I have a feeling that it's going to be challenging as hell. Professor is the stellar Ms. C.M. (going to be a PhD soon, and she IS a very intelligent lady) who gave me a challenging time last year with Foreign Relations class.

American Foreign Policy (Domestic) is also looking up to be challenging, with a lawyer as a professor, Mr. S.M. (also getting a PhD soon, I believe). He's a history major, and I have a feeling I might enjoy this class better than most.

Without Dr. Dr. R (double PhD!) teaching this class, we got a 22-year old UP-Diliman scholar who also has a degree in Defense Intelligence from the Australian Military as our professor, Mr. S.R. He will be teaching us International Organizations, and I can tell from the get-go that not only is he going to be a tough one to please, he will definitely have very high standards (not to mention book reviews, and weekly news reviews).

I am at Spanish 4! Joder! LOL. We have a very cheerful professor this term, Ms. A from Vigo, Espana. Good feeling about this one.

Introduction to Art should be a very interesting subject this term, as it is my only non-major subject. That doesn't mean I should slack off though; I aim to target nothing less than a 3.0 for this one. Classmates are going to be fun too, as I discovered I have plenty of friends in this floating subject.

I hope I can manage all these this term. It's going to be challenging, but that just means I have to rise to it. :)


Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Anniversary Lunch

It has been a wonderful year, and to celebrate our first anniversary, we went to the seaside (going to Mall of Asia) and had a huge (accidental) feast. We ordered food for "2-3 people" and the servings we received were nothing short of insane. LOL.

Bunso's Seafood Restaurant

The couple. <3

The delicious seafood. :D
Yang Chow Fried Rice

Garlic Buttered Prawns

Seafood Chop Suey

Us, with the food. :P

Sweet and Sour Lapu-Lapu

Pictures. LOL.

We had only two conclusions. First, that the food was great and the servings, huge, and second, that we will definitely eat there again. The food was almost obscenely cheap (the whole fish was only P110!), and for very fresh food (the fish was still kicking when they brought it from the seafood stalls) the serving time was surprisingly quick. Very good place to take a lot of people for a meal to, as we ended up consuming only a quarter of the food; we brought home the rest. LOL.

Happy anniversary, Gayle, and I am looking forward to yet another year with you. :)


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Wake Up

When I am down and out, and I force a smile on myself, feeling sorry for myself inside, I think of the wonderful people who surround me, and the things I have accomplished in my 20 years, and I feel better already.

But not that much better.

It's just one of those days when I question myself, what's the use of having brains? What's the use of being so talented? What's the use of being able to do literally almost everything?

I see the most undeserving people get everything they want, when they should get exactly what they need.

Bitter Mode: On?

Utopia Mode: On
Everyone in my imaginary world is rewarded based on their knowledge, skills and talents, and character. Like that would ever happen. LOL.

Yeah, I feel better already.
But not that much better.

Suck it up, I tell myself. I'm tougher than this. Wipe your face, and tell yourself how far you've come, I say to the man in the mirror. He looks defeated tonight; I laugh. Wake up.

Wake up.

Wake up. Reality. Ouch; it just hit.


P.S. Looking forward to our one year tomorrow, babe. That should cheer me up lots.

Monday, 5 January 2009

New Year Fireworks

Some pictures and a video of New Year's Day celebration at my street. :)

Hazy skies and bright sparks.

Seeking out the best views. :) (I love these shots!)

Some of the live action. :P


Sunday, 4 January 2009


Watched this a couple of weeks ago with Gayle. She has actually read all four books in the saga (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn), though personally, I hate the series. I just think that the books are not intellectually provocative enough, like a typical teen book (which it is).

Anyway, I did not like the movie.

It was very average, and plot progression was a little messy and unreal in some areas (when the girl lead saw the male lead, she looked like she was about to have an orgasm), and a lot of the acting was over the top. Ridiculous, really.

What I hated most from the movie was that the character of Bella Swan looks like she's at the point of sexual ecstasy every freaking time she thinks of Edward Cullen (or when she's with him). It's very annoying. However, if that was how she was in the book, then good acting I guess.

Bad special effects; Edward looks like Speedy Gonzalez when he does his "speed" thing. And vampires playing baseball in the rain? Seriously!

For the above reasons and many more unmentioned, this yet-another-teen-flick gets a low rating from me.



Saturday, 3 January 2009

Coffee Bean Notebook

Seeing as we've been going to CB for quite a bit during December, enjoying drinks and reads, Gayle and I finally managed to earn the limited edition Coffee Bean artwork notebook. :) As a bonus, we were allowed to choose a charity to give part of the money we spent to. We chose The Cartwheel Foundation, which sought to help unfortunate children with reading and writing materials, and also to help fund their basic education in the Philippines.

Of course, a little cam-whoring session was in order. :P

We <3 Coffee Bean. :D


Friday, 2 January 2009

Meet the Family

Actually, just half of her family. :P It was really cool to visit Gayle's family (her mum's side, at least) and spend New Year's day eating and eating and eating. I have a feeling this is all a conspiracy to get me to lose my hard-worked mid-section! :P

Pictures taken at her maternal grandmother's home. :)

Gayle's grandma makes killer spaghetti and really wicked ube. :D

Thanks for the wonderful time, family! :)


Thursday, 1 January 2009

Hello 2009!

Hello, new year. :)

I expect you to give me so much more blessings in my academics, my relationship, my crew, my athletics, and of course, in my family.

As I will also be 21 this year, I'm really looking forward to hitting the big two-one (legal age around the world!). LOL. Nah, not really.

I also expect this blog to continue providing you, my readers, good material to relieve your boredom, inform you of the things that go bump in my life, and of course, to share my thoughts with you.

For 2009, if you can't be good, be safe. :) Cheers!