Thanks 2010 and Welcome 2011

It is about 6 hours before the dawn of year 2011 as I write this post of mine. Explosions are ringing everywhere as my neighbors and other people in my hometown are blasting one firecracker after another. I am also beginning to smell the good aroma of dishes that my Mom and Dad are preparing for our Media Noche (New Year's Eve Feast). I also prepared my own arsenal of firecrackers that I will use to welcome the year 2011.

Time sure fly very fast. It is as if just a few days ago that we had our Media Noche to welcome the year 2010. Now, we are here, saying goodbye to 2010 and welcoming 2011.

2010 had been a blessed year for me and my blog. I had met new friends through my blogs and through my Facebook and Twitter accounts. 2010 had also been a great year for me in learning new things about blogging.
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Happy New Year!

2010 also had been an upheaval of sorts because I got enganged in fighting for the Faith that I believe for. I stood my ground in my belief that the Reproductive Health Bill will give more problems to the Philippines than its purported benefits. I became involved deeply in the fight against the RH Bill that I always argued and argued online, specifically on Twitter and Facebook (specifically on the I Oppose the RH Bill page).

This upheaval became an eye-opener for me. An incident fomented by a Rizal-impersonator pushed me to scrutinize my conscience to delve deeply into the Faith.

I am saying goodbye to 2010 and as I say goodbye, I want to say thank you to all of my good friends that spent their time on my blog reading and commenting. Thank you very much Mariel, Ren, Ate Liza, Ate Claire, parekoy Fiel-kun, Steve, LordCM, Poorprince, Sikoletlover, Nicxter, Faye, Leah, Aenid, Ate Bev, Rommel, Unknown Psalmist, Bluedreamer, Suitapui, Pen, Mommy Tots, Xprosiac, and the super-kulit Maartehin.

I want to especially thank these people:

Kashina - my newly found friend and a good sister. Thank you very much for the trust and the friendship. I am so glad to met you and even if haven't met personally, I feel your honesty and that you really mean well to me.

I want to especially thank my friends in I Oppose the RH Bill and 100% Katolikong Pinoy page. You help me to stand up, especially during the bleak times when all of the faithful were being mocked and assaulted left, right and within.

I also want to thank my beloved for making my 2010 full of love and happiness.

Finally, I also want to thank GOD for blessing me in the year 2010.

Lord God, thank you very much for all the blessings, love, and graces that You rained upon me. I am nothing yet You love me and continue to sustain me, my family, my beloved and all of my love ones.

Thank You very much Lord for 2010 and I am sure that You will continue blessing me in 2011.

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So there my friends! Have a blessed 2011.

Be safe during the celebrations!

Hope that you keep visiting my blog in 2011.
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Ang Tanging Ina Mo: Sana Last na Nga!

Yesterday, me and my beloved watched the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) movie “Ang Tanging Ina Mo.”

Ang Tanging Ina is led by the comedian Aiai de las Alas. Other artistas in this movie are Eugene Domingo (of the super funny Kimmy Dora), Marvin Agustin, Shaina Magdayao, Nikki Valdez and many more popular and not so popular artistas in the Philippine Showbiz. The movie is directed by Wenn de Ramas.

Ang Tanging Ina is sort of a continuation of “Ang Tanging Ina Ninyong Lahat,” which was shown in 2008.

In Ang Tanging Ina, Ina Montecilio (Aiai de las Alas) thought that she had a head tumor after she was x-rayed after an accident in the first scene of the movie. Ina was afraid to tell her sons and daughters of her illness and did comical and dramatic scenes just to hide her illness to them. In the end, it was discovered that Ina doesn’t have tumor at all and she will not die (which means that there is a possibility of another Tanging Ina movie in the future).
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Tanging Ina Mo, as far as I could see, has no problem in its comedy aspect. Being MMFF 2010’s top grossing movie, I guess that Aiai de las Alas caught the tickle-bones of Filipino moviegoers. I heard people inside the theater laugh out loud with Aiai de las Alas and Eugene Domingo’s antics. But my question is, since Ang Tanging Ina Mo was packaged in its TV ads as a funny movie, then why didn’t just make Ang Tanging Ina a funny movie all the way?

The truth is I am confused. Is Ang Tanging Ina a comedy or a drama film? If it is comedy, then why is the large portion of the movie full of dramatics? I am anticipating a funny movie but all I see are characters crying, which destroys my mood to have some fun in the movie.

Another thing is that this movie depends heavily upon Aiai  de las Alas and Eugene to deliver the funny scenes. They don’t have enough comedians to give more variety to the comedy that is in this movie. Having Marvin Agustin, Shaina Magdayao and all other drama actors and actresses do not help in making the movie as funny as it could be.

That’s my complaint with Ang Tanging Ina Mo. If Star Cinema will produce another sequel of this movie in the future, I hope that they focus more in the comedy and not on the dramatics. Moviegoers go to watch the Ang Tanging Ina movies to laugh and not to cry.

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Finally, A Visit to Bicolandia

I am a half-Tagalog and a half-Bicolano. My mother lives and grew in the city of Marikina. My father grew in Bicol before he and his family migrated to Manila.

Even though part of my genes came my Bicolano side of my family, I never had any chance of visiting the homeland of my father. I grew up as a Tagalog and I never learned the Bicolano language. I always crave to visit Bicol and see the great sights in my father’s hometown. That is why I became excited when I discovered that our ship would have a stopover at the town of Bulan, Sorsogon.

For those who do not know about Bicolandia, please visit Wikpedia's article about it. Bicol is famous for its beautiful Mayon Volcano, which has the perfect cone as compared to other volcanoes around the world. Bicolandia is also hailed because of the Bicol Express, which is a very spicy dish filled with siling labuyo.
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Welcome to Bulan.

Bulan, Sorsogon is a small coastal town located about three hours travel from Sorsogon City. The town is one of the busy ports in Bicolandia and is a place where ferry and cargo vessels take goods and passengers to be delivered to Masbate and other parts of Bicol.
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San Miguel Beer being loaded for delivery.

Well, the town is not that big or famous for it’s scenery. Major establishments in the town are located on the sides of the major highway. In fairness, the town has Jollibee, which is the only fast food in the area.

Like my other travels, I made it sure that I visit the town’s church.
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The Church of Bulan.
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People waiting for the Mass to start.

It was just a short visit. We just ate our lunch (at Jollibee because my good friend missed eating at Jollibee and he is tired of the food from the galley) and bought some supplies for the ship.

Bulan Lighthouse.

No matter how short our visit was I could still say that I finally set my foot on Bicolandia.

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December 25 is not Christmas

During the Christmas Season of the past years, I have always lamented the same things about Christmas. It seems that I will repeat the same lamentations for this year’s Christmas Season.

I feel infuriated every time that the Christmas Season draws near. I feel infuriated not because I hate Christmas, which is actually is one of my favorite holidays, like the Grinch. I feel infuriated simply because the current celebration of Christmas is devoid of its true meaning. What people are actually celebrating is the un-Christmas Season.

Un-Christmas Season is the season when people claims to celebrate Christmas but are actually more focused on superficial things and not on the true Celebrant of Christmas.

The symbol of the un-Christmas Season is everywhere. Leading of all the un-Christmas Season is the old jolly big-bellied man named Santa Claus. Actually, the true Santa Claus is not that red garbed guy with a white beard. Big businesses degraded the image of Santa Claus and transformed him as an idol of everything that is materialistic in Christmas.

Yes, Santa Claus is the giver of gifts, but the gifts he gives are material things like toys, gadgets, and other things that could be bought at the department stores. Instead of promoting the true essence of gift-giving, this image of Santa Claus promotes the atmosphere to buy buy buy material things so that they could be like the generous Santa Claus for their “inaanaks” (godchildren), friends, and loved ones.

The people now tend to focus more on the gifts than the essence of giving and receiving gifts. Yes, because of materialism, people have the tendency to value gifts based on their monetary value. Thus, we hear some inaanaks who hates the gift of their ninong (godfather) and ninang (godmother) because it is not expensive and we hear of ninongs and ninang who hides from their inaanaks because they have no material gifts to offer. 

The True Christmas

Behind the veil of the materialistic brouhaha lies the true Christmas. Materialistic eyes will never see this true Christmas. The proud heart will never appreciate the humble meaning of Christmas.

Yes there is a true essence of Christmas. The true essence of Christmas lies on the manger and pours out from that tiny babe. It resides in every heart of the humble and meek. It shows itself to those who shun the materialistic demands of the world.



The three wise men recognized the Eternal King and went to Him to give him material gifts. But their gifts were outshone by the wisdom they receive from the holy infant. This is the wisdom that made them glorify the King and believe in Him.

The shepherds, amazed by the joyous celebration of the heavenly hosts, visited the baby and received the gift of happiness to their hearts for they knew that King and Savior had come to redeem His loved ones.

Oh, how great our gifts will be if we also come to Him and celebrate His coming to this world. His gift is way beyond the material things. His gift is His great outpouring of Love, of Mercy, and Eternal Life to those who humbly receive Him into their hearts.

Jesus is the true center of Christmas. He is the reason why we are celebrating Christmas.

Material things can make us happy for the briefest moment but in the end, those things will leave us empty and wanting. But accepting Christ as a gift into our hearts will fill us up with joy and peace that will last eternally.

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Visit Ahab Reviews and Tips and read my review of the fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.
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Blessed Christmas on FB

Playing Sailor for 20 Days

Maybe some of you are wondering were did I go the last four weeks. Did I abandoned my blogs? Did I go to some pit and failed to go out alive? Nah!

Like what I said in my farewell post, I was sent by our office to a ship for a project. So there, I live in a ship for almost a month and walked on land just for few hours.

I did miss land, but I did not kiss it like the shaken sailors during the Age of Discoveries.

Finally, I got a glimpse of this island
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That island is Corregidor Island. The island that used to be the formidable fortress against enemies who desire to attack Manila until it was destroyed by the Japanese during the World War.
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I did not go to Corrigedor Island but I just looked at it from afar. :-)

I also got the chance to see Manila from the sea. Yeah, Manila is too smoky and the air is polluted. It is no wonder why some Metro Manilans are suffering from respiratory illnesses.
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Hazy Manila in the early morn.

I am also lucky to reach the town of Bulan. Finally, I could say that I set my foot on my father's home province, which is Sorsogon in Bicolandia.
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Bulusan Volcano is shown in the photo above. Unfortunately, there are clouds blocking Bulusan's peak.

Almost a month away from home. Almost a month away from the Internet. Almost a month feeling the rocking of the sea whenever you wake up. Well, at least I experienced part of a seaman's life.

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Great Logo Makes Your Business Stand Out

During my few weeks stay aboard a vessel, my shipmates and me always crave of going to the port and visit various establishments of good food and other establishments that offer entertainments. Therefore, we always stand at the deck to look at the shore and drool with thoughts of good foods that are tastier than the ones offered in the galley.

Every time we look longingly at the towns at the shore, our attention was always caught by the great Business Logo Designs that are noticeable from the sea. Those business logos always catch our attention, especially the restaurants. The logos makes as think of the products and services offered by the establishments represented by the business logo. The business logos are so effective to the point that my shipmates and me think of the things that we will buy inside those establishment once we go back to land.

Business logos are effective tools in making you business stand out. Great business logo designs make your business more noticeable and help the establishment be distinguished from other businesses. It also helps make an imprint on the minds of the public and prospective customers.

My experience with business logos during the time when I am aboard a ship is enough for me to realize the effectiveness of great business logo design.
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Cheap Cabins this Holiday Season

Christmas Season is here once again and it only means that many people will have their most anticipated Holiday Vacations. Many people are waiting eagerly for the Christmas break and plans their travel months before Christmas.

Many people will return to their hometowns to spend Christmas with their relatives and join in the family reunions. Some will use the Christmas break to take a well deserved rest so that they can recharge for the coming year. Some people will use the Christmas break to visit places or travel abroad.

For those who are planning to use the Christmas break for nature tripping or just to have some time alone and away from the noise of the city, it is good to get some cheap cabins to assure serenity and a place to relax and recharge.

There are many cheap cabins that could be found in various places, wherever you want to go. Looking for an affordable and convenient cabin is easy. All you have to do is do some Internet search to find the cabin that fits your budget. There are many cheap cabins that could be found in the Internet. However, not all cabin rental offerings in the Net are trustworthy. You have to make sure that the owner of the cabin is trustworthy and delivers what they promised in their advertisements in the Internet.
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Let us Welcome a New Blogger

Isn't it delightful to have one of you good friends to visit your house to have some little chit-chat?

Indeed it is delightful and this is what I felt when one of my good friends agreed to drop by my house in the blogosphere to share good stories for all of you, my blogger friends, to see.

Let us all welcome Kashina Marie as my co-blogger here in Before the Eastern Sunset.

Kashina is lovely mom to a two super-cute angels. I have met her in Facebook and without much ado, we instantly became good pals.

She also just started her new blog, The Frumpy Mom.

Welcome to my online house Kashina. I hope you will enjoy your stay here.

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P.S. My office sent me to a project in the middle of the sea. That is a month whole project and I will return few days before Christmas. Sorry if I am not able to drop by your blogs. Promise, I will make "bawi" and visit your blogs when I return.

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Perfume Gift for Christmas

Christmas is almost a month away and I am sure that money people are now thinking of what kind of gifts they should give to their loved ones. I am sure that many are now planning where to buy their gifts.

Malls and department shops are now prepared to the Christmas rush that will come this December. Christmas bazaars and booths are now springing up like mushrooms in many places. Divisoria, that one busy market in Manila City, will be busier this time of the year.

What are the gifts that you could give to your loved ones? Of course there are the usual toys, dress, pants, shoes, cash gifts, and the like. You could also give them something more expensive like a car, jewelry, a yacht…but those gift ideas are for billionaires.

My suggestion is why you don’t give your love ones a unique kind of gift. A gift that they will remember you once they smell it. Yes, I am talking about perfumes. Perfumes are a nice gift idea for Christmas Season.

Perfumes have different kind of brands. There are different varieties. There are different scent like rose and strawberry. There is a stocking stuffer perfumes. And there is so much more and you could easily purchase those in the malls or in the Internet.

Consider giving perfume as gift and I am sure they will like it.
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Buying Your Shoes? Go to Marikina!

My almost-three-year old hiking shoes finally retired. A true-to-the-bone cheapskate that I am, I kept on using (almost daily) my hiking shoes since my boss in a-small-private-firm bought it for me for our project in the landslide area in the town of Saint Bernard in Southern Leyte.

My old hiking shoes climbed the mountains of Leyte, visited the rolling hills of Bataan, walked the streets of Cebu, and endured the hundreds of kilometers walk around Metro Manila. It is not surprising that it will end up in a miserable condition. But I liked it, so when I looked for new shoes, I went back to River Bank Mall in Marikina City to buy the same brand and model of hiking shoes.

Too bad, the UCLA brand of hiking shoes are gone. So I had to find another brand of shoes and this caught my eyes.
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This is a steel-toed high-cut shoes made by Vagono. Vagono is a local Marikina shoes company. This shoe caught me by its being steel-toed. I am excited to use it to hold-uppers and my “enemies.” Imagine hitting their groins with steel. ^_^

Marikina is a good place to buy your shoes. Especially if you are looking for shoes made of leather. If you are looking for a rubber shoes, then it is better that you go to the malls and buy some Nike or Adidas.

There are many shoe-stores in Marikina Palengke (Market), which is located across the Marikina Sports Center. One section of Marikina Palengke is dedicated to shops of local shoemakers of Marikina. That is where I bought my charol leather shoes that costs around 500 pesos.
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So, if you are looking for good leather shoes, I suggest that you do your shoe-buying at Marikina, the shoe capital of the country.

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Where is that Grandfather Clock?

I could not recall clearly, but I have a hazy memory of a big clock inside the living room of my grandfather’s house. That is when I am just a little kid and it is the first time I saw a clock that big. I remember then that I am amazed by that golden colored thing that swings back and forth like our “duyan” (swing) that was hanged from a guava tree in our backyard.

Growing up, I came to know that that big clock was called as a grandfather clock. Is that clock meant for grandfathers that’s why it was called as grandfather clock? I don’t know but what I do know that that grandfather clock is not there anymore.

When I start building my own family, maybe I will consider buying my own grandfather clock. Maybe the howard miller grandfather clock will fit what I want for a grandfather clock.

Maybe, when I already have my own grandsons and granddaughters, their mind will be impressed by a big clock that I will place in my own living room. Then their mind will wonder about that non-stopping swing of the bright and golden pendulum.

I remembered my grandfather’s grandfather clock and I want my grandchildren to also have a memory of their grandfather’s grandfather clock.
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Metro Manila Bus Operators Must Pay!

This morning, I was amazed with what's happening along Commonwealth Avenue. It is a Monday, the first day of work, so it will be normal if there are hordes of people waiting/fighting for a ride on buses, jeepneys, taxis, and other mode of public transport. However, I noticed that the number of people along the avenue is way to many than the normal number of commuters on a Monday. They are too many (and impatient) that they already occupied half of the west-bound lane of Commonwealth Avenue.
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Waiting for the bus that never comes.

My amazement grew when I saw Army trucks plying along Commonwealth Avenue. Is there a coup d'etat? I guess not since the Army trucks are carrying civilians, not soldiers. I had a hard time riding a bus because there are very few bus that are passing by. Those few bus are already full to the brim and many commuters are holding precariously on anything that they could hold on at the edge of the door of the bus.

Luckily, I got the chance to run after an empty bus and managed to ride on it, even if I will stand from Quezon City to my destination in Manila. My fellow commuters ranted about the "tigil pasada" (transport holiday) of bus operators in protest of Metro Manila Development Authority's (MMDA) number coding scheme for public utility buses.

Actually, I am not mad with what they did this morning. I am just amazed and appalled at the effect of their tigil pasada. What ticked me off is the bus operators' palusot (excuses) as voiced out by Claire de la Fuente. See the video at gmanews.tv to see her palusot. Her message is at the end of the video.

These bus operators are saying that they did not do a tigil pasada. Their drivers was just confused and thought that there is indeed a strike. Claire de la Fuente said that most bus drivers do not have cellphones. Those who have cellphones have weak batteries so the cellphones are off. In other words, Claire is saying that they can't contact their drivers to tell them there is no transport strike.

Claire de la Fuente is treating the public like idiots! Hello, Claire...we have the same, or better IQ , than you do. Just tell us the truth. Just tell us that you are just using the commuters as hostages to make the MMDA bow down to bus operators.

Claire de la Fuente and gang should be punished for this. For a long time, they have been giving the public a disservice. First, they are not giving fair benefits to their drivers and this make them work overtime or force them to take shabu just to keep awake and drive - thus resulting to many accidents. Second, they do not give just compensation for those who suffered because of accidents involving their bus. And third, they are not serious about safety because they are not serious in maintaining their bus. All they think about is profit because they let old and dilapidated buses roam Metro Manila.

It is time to break the stranglehold of these bus operators to Metro Manila commuters. LTFRB and MMDA must punish Claire de la Fuente and Gang.

Bluedreamer’s Surprise: Capiz Shell Box

Finally, I received Bluedreamer’s gift for his Blog Idol Contest.

Though, I was a poor contestant, I still managed to get this gift:
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Yeah…it is in a box with a bubble wrap.

When I opened it…voila!
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Yeah! This is a jewelry box made from capiz shells. I don’t know if this box is made in the province of Capiz.

I opened the capiz jewelry box…
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And I found that it is well-made. The quality of the capiz shell box shines.

Thank you Bluedreamer for this gift of yours. My little sister is truly pleased. ^_^

I also enjoyed popping the bubble wrap. :-P

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Should I Play on the Stock Exchange?

My boss has a sideline and that sideline is trading and playing in the Philippine Stock Exchange. According to my boss, buying and selling stocks is both risky and fulfilling. He said that it is fulfilling in the sense that stock exchange makes his mind off in the stress in the work. Studying the trends in the stock exchange also makes his the analytical part of his mind working.

My boss encourages me to play in the Philippine Stock Exchange. However, I am hesitant because I still have much to learn about how to play in the stock exchange. Some of officemates are already playing the stock exchange. Others are so cynical about the stock exchange that they refuse to grab the opportunity in buying and selling stocks?

Now, I am thinking of which side I must join. Looking at my boss winnings in the stock exchange, I believe that it playing the stock exchange is profitable. However, stick exchange is not for the lazy people and for those who are afraid to take risks. Playing the stock exchange requires continuous study and observation of daily events, not only the news in the business sector but also the news around the country.

Playing the stock exchange also requires having the person some kind of foresight. The stock player should know when to buy and when to sell at the right moment. The stock player should know if he should use option trading or not. The person should know if the trend would go up or go down.

Should I play the stock exchange? Maybe I should. But first, I must study and observe to assure that I win.
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It is Good to be Insured to be Sure

“It is good to be insured to be sure.”

Those are what my colleague said while we are waiting ii line at the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). He says that having insurance gives the person lesser worries. Be it insurance for your car, property, and even for your funeral – those insurance programs will be helpful to you.

However, many people have qualms in getting insurance. One of the reason is that many of them had to undergo strenuous application. Insurance companies will have stringent policies for accepting members. Many of the insurance companies demand ITR and other financial documents. Some insurance companies have strict policies when it come to medical or health issues of the person applying for insurance programs.

Because of these strict policies, many people do not get insurance that might help them in the times of dire needs or when an emergency occurred.

To address these issues about insurance, there are companies that offer policies that are less stringent than the regular insurance companies. There is an insurance company that offers No Exam Life Insurance. Also, there are other insurance companies that are not strict when it comes to financial documents.

So, if you are looking for an insurance company, you can consider checking insurance companies that are not strict but are reliable in assuring your insurance.
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Blogging Tips: Email Hosting, Paid Hosting and Free Hosting

Last week, my friend in Facebook sent me a private message asking me about how to start a website. My friend is quite clueless in starting a website or starting a blog. She said that it she is not the one who is planning to start a website. Her friend wants to start a website or blog for their Facebook group.

So how could you start a website, or a blog? There are many ways that you could do it. But first, you must consider the things that you want to see on your planned website. For my friend’s website, since it was a site for their Facebook group, then she must consider a website that fosters interactivity among the member of the group. Chatbox, chatroom, and other widgets that promote real-time interactivity are needed.

Also, you must consider the webhosting of the site. You could opt for a free webhosting from Blogger or Wordpress or get a paid webhosting so that you could get a .com domain for your planned site. You could also consider email hosting, which are available to some hosting providers in the Internet.

Like what I said to my friend, if you are starting a website, you must plan very well so as not to waste you money, effort, and time.
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The Christmas Villains and the Reproductive Health Bill

The debate on the most controversial Reproductive Health Bill has been raging for a long time now and it seems that the "battles" had become more intense in the second half of this year. As a Pinoy who is concerned about our country's plight, I can never turn a blind eye to this issue. I have to take side and I took the side of the people opposing this RH Bill.

As person opposing the RH Bill, let me share you this this piece I read in the FB page of 100% Katolikong Pinoy. I hope that this post will help you understand why we are opposing the RH Bill.

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The Christmas Villains and the RH Bill

It is within the 100-day countdown before Christmas that the issue of the Reproductive Health Bill began to heat up again this year. It occurred on the time that people are anticipating this most-liked season. Everyone's hearts are put into the crucible and tried. Hearts begin to examine their perspectives in life, about life and for life. No wonder, for the bill itself deals with life. For the Pro-RH Billers (i.e those who approve or agree with the bill), it will serve as the means to upheave the poor from their dire condition, believing that it will give them the chance and the "choice" to make their life better. On the other hand, for the Anti-RH Billers (i.e. those who oppose or disagree with the bill), it will be a threat not only to life, but also to morality, on which they believe that no true upheaval for the poor will happen if people will tolerate what is immoral.

I believe there is purpose why the issue is dealt in the time when Christmas is approaching. Christmas, for many, is the year's pinnacle of everything lived and loved. December gives off the "ergo" of our yearlong routines, goals and schedules. It is the time for the ahhs, of singing rehearsals, of free breathing and regeneration as well. It is in this time that we are agog to receive bonuses, 13th-month pays, aguinaldos and gifts to please ourselves. It is in this time that we plan to spend worthwhile time with family and friends, pleasing them with this and that. In short, it is this time that we define and realize the kind of life we are living.

With regards to the RH Bill, the individual is questioned once again. This has a become a challenge to Filipinos, especially to Catholics. Many rose and fell through this issue. Thoughts have been revealed. Oppositions arose. Catholics against Catholics, household members against fellow household members. The scene created heroes and villains. Life is unfolding, it will always give the good things and the bad things. For the meantime it is not yet determined who were the heroes and the villains. Thankfully God seemed to have planned it all by letting the issue drive into Christmas, for Christmas is the celebration of God and his goodness, and if God is in the midst, his enemies are easily known and exposed.

We can identify them  through the Christmas villains.


1. Ebenezer Scrooge.

Ebenezer Scrooge



Marley is dead and cannot do well anymore, so is Mr. Scrooge his friend. Charles Dicken's character is not only selfish  but also views the poor in the negative way. He views the poor as inconvenient. He ignores the fact that the poor are humans too who has to be respected. Here is an excerpt of the book A Christmas Carol where Scrooge is talking with two gentlemen who were asking donations to be given to charity.

"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink and means of warmth.  We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.  What shall I put you down for?"

"Nothing!" Scrooge replied.

"You wish to be anonymous?"

"I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge.  "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer.  I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry.  I help to support the establishments I have mentioned -- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there."

"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."

"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.  Besides -- excuse me -- I don't know that."

(Stave 1: Marley's Ghost)

In this case, Scrooge refused to give money to the gentlemen. Scrooge clarifies that he has no heart to perform charity. The gentlemen explained that there are still many people who needs help and that they could die. Scrooge views it as an opportunity, to decrease the numbers of the poor, by saying that it has to "decrease the surplus population." This is resonant with what the RH Bill views on population and the poor.

2. The Grinch

The Grinch

This creature shows great disdain for Christmas, wanting to destroy it with all his little brain could think of. Unable to conceive excellent ideas to do so, he opted to "steal" Christmas, which is a stupid yet clever way but did not help eradicate Christmas totally from the citizens of Whoville. Christmas is too "natural" for the townsfolk.

Christmas is primarily a celebration for a natural event: birth. Since birth denotes life, Christmas is also a celebration of life. Like the Grinch, RH Bill wants to steal something important from the natural. Artificial methods of family planning are to be introduced and taught. Artificial Family Planning tries to have the same effect like that of Natural Family Planning, but in the easier and more convenient way. But the artificial way will not compare to the fruits of the natural way,  in  the moral, interpersonal and spiritual dimensions of a person. Something that is wholesome is always greater than those of the lesser degree. The Grinch will fail if we will recognize the benefits of the natural way in morals and conscience.

3. Herod.

Herod


A king of Judah, he was notorious in history for killing those who can be potential threat to his throne. He killed even his sons and everyone whom he sees as dangerous to his rule. When the wise men from the East entered Jerusalem and inquired about the "King of the Jews", he planned to do something against this new born King. Eventually the wise men were warned of the King's evil scheme and did not return to him. Furious, the King has slain the children of Bethlehem and of Judah to prevent this Child-King from living so that it cannot endanger him of his power anymore.

Condoms and pills do the same thing: prevention. Satan has learned his lesson. Though he do makes his  job in destroying multitudes of souls, he knew that God will be ever mightier and more powerful than him. This God can call holy men directly from the womb, examples are St. John the Baptists and the Blessed Virgin Mary. These holy men and women called from birth to be holy, God can use to fight against the devil. On the other hand, God can help turn the worst sinner to be a saint, examples are Saint Augustine and St. Paul. And the effects of God's power through these people is far greater and richer than the effects of evil in this world. Thus, Satan has learned his lesson. He willingly wants to obstruct life and attack life even in the womb, in order to block and kill human beings whom God would possibly call for his purpose to help others, to do good and to counter Satan.  Satan is more concerned and afraid with these future people than those whom he can pull down and lead astray.

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These villains may enter the churches soon in the nine-day novena masses or even at Christmas eve, but I bet they can't stand the sight of the Babe in that humble manger, whom God has sent that night to "men of good will" and not to Herod or to any other Christmas villains, especially now that they even hate and malign the very institution that Baby has been here for - the Church. That is why, here in 100% KATOLIKONG PINOY, we strive to lead the madlang faithful to the truth, so we can approach our Lord of natural beauty and humility, WITHOUT FEAR, WITHOUT SHAME, AND WITHOUT GUILT. We wish that our brethren who turns out to be villains will reform like Scrooge before it is too late, will be touched into the core like The Grinch in his actual realizations, and will be be humbled like Herod realizing that his deathbed is his final throne and nothing more to come.  

In the meantime, the 100% KATOLIKONG PINOY! will fight side by side with the Church against this bill. Whatever are the circumstances, we are ready to face it, even to the point of bloodshed.

We do not want to waste the purpose Jesus has come here for, for us this Christmas.

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Do you also believe that the RH Bill will bring moral and economic damage to the Philippines? Do you also oppose the RH Bill? Then please join us in the FB Page: I Oppose the RH Bill.

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Images of Scrooge and Herod came from WikiCommons. Image of the Grinch came from Ontario and Quebec site.

New Finds, Good Finds

Last last week, I read Ate Claire's message on my chatbox.

In the message Ate Claire said, “hi, ish! i've got a Lovely blog Award for you ..”

And true enough, I found her post wherein she tagged me for this award:
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One Lovey Blog Award

Thank you very much Ate Claire. ^_^

According to the rules of this award, I have to pay it forward to 15 bloggers who have blogs that I have discovered just recently. So, to keep the ball rolling, I am giving this award to the following bloggers:

Tine - Maarteh.net
Poorprince - Poor Prince
Jag - Kaleidos
Mommy Tots - Mommy Tots
Sikoletlover - Moshi Moshi Anone
Unnamed Psalmist - Mga Kathang Isip ni Kiko
Jen - Ako si Jen
Rommel Diamante - One Acre of Diamond
Axl - Axl Powerhouse Production

I am giving this award to these bloggers as a way of saying that they have great blogs that are worth visiting. This is also my way of saying “thank you” to most of these bloggers who spent their time dropping by my site.

By the way, CoolnWeird’s blog is not new to me. I just re-discovered it last Sunday. I found out that I failed to include her blog on my Google Reader, so I am not notified if she has updates for her blog.

To everyone on this list, I want to say: “Thank you for the good blogs posts. Keep it up!”

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Also, visit Ahab Reviews and Tips and read about my review of Chef Tony’s yummy popcorn.
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Of Red Ribbon Bakeshop Cake and Year 51

Last last week, my dad celebrated his 51st birthday. Though, he may not admit it, he is getting older and older. And that’s not all, after few more months; he can be legally called as lolo (grandfather). But before you think of anything, I will clarify that I will not be the one who will be giving my father his first grandchild. It is my older sister, who will give him either a bouncy baby boy or baby girl.

It was a much simpler celebration, as compared to my sister’s 18th birthday. We have no visitors and my mom just cooked spaghetti for the whole family. To add more birthday-ness to the event, we decided to buy him a cake from Red Ribbon Bakeshop (I am a “suki” of Red Ribbon Bakeshop). I did not bother checking the cakes from Goldilocks since I think that their cakes are not as good as the cakes from Red Ribbon Bakeshop at almost similar price.

My Beloved and I chose Red Ribbon Bakeshop’s bestseller, which is the Black Forest.
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Yummy Red Ribbon cake.

I like Red Ribbon Bakeshop’s Black Forest for its dark chocolatey goodness. It has chocolate toppings and chocolate flavored chiffon bread. The chocolate is good, but what makes me “dislike” this cake is the cherry filling inside it. The cherry reminds me of the cherry flavored-medicines. Aside from the cherry filling, the cake is also topped with sliced cherry fruits.

For me, eating Red Ribbon Bakeshop’s Black Forest is not like eating a cake but drinking some cherry-flavored cough syrup. All in all, the cake is great and it is very well to be Red Ribbon Bakeshop’s best seller. The cherry works well with the chocolate flavor and makes the cake smell good. I guess I am just “maarte” (picky) that’s why I did not enjoy eating this cake.

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Visit Ahab Reviews and Tips and read about my review of Chef Tony’s Popcorn.
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Prayer for the Departed

Dear God,

I believe that You are a loving and merciful God. I also believe that you do not consider death as the end but rather as the gateway to eternity. Therefore, oh Lord, I pray for my beloved relatives and friends who already fell asleep. I pray that You cleanse them from their transgressions and free them from the chain that prevents them from flying towards You.

My God, You love all human beings and truly desire that all of us will join You in Your kingdom for eternity. I pray for my grandfather and grandmother, whom my mother loves and misses the most. I pray for my aunt, who is the first one to take her rest among her siblings. I pray for three uncles, who have been a good father to their children. I pray for my niece, who left her parents in her infancy. I pray for my grandmother, whom I just met just for a few times but is a sweet and loving grandparent to her grandchildren.

Finally, I pray for all our departed love ones. May their souls bask under the sun of Your undying mercy.

I also pray for those of us, who are still alive, that we may continue following the righteous path that You had laid before us.

I pray this in the name of Jesus the Lord, together with the Holy Spirit.

Amen!

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Almost Eaten by a Tiktik

Do you know of the monster called as “tiktik?” Well, I encountered one such monster in the past.

Twenty-four years ago, when I am still inside my mother’s womb, my father heard a noise coming from the roof of our house in Quezon City. It is already past midnight and it is few more hours before dawn. My father wonders what is that noise coming the rooftop. It sounds like something or someone is scratching the roof.

My dad is wondering if an “akyat-bahay” (thief) is on the top and is prying the roof open. Then, he suddenly remembered the rumors about a tiktik that roams the neighborhood. Tiktik is known to eat babies from their mother’s womb by using its very long tongue. It is also known that Tiktiks are fond of firstborns because they say that firstborns taste the best.
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He took his bolo and rushed outside and climbed up to the rooftop. Alas, there is nothing at the rooftop. He ran to the street outside of the outside only to see an old woman sweeping the streets at 3 in the morning.

My mother, on the other hand, never ceased praying and clutched the Holy Rosary.

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That’s my Halloween story. My parents said that I was almost snatched and eaten by the “tiktik.” I am not sure if it’s the truth but I am sure that there is a grain of truth in it.

There are such monsters, evil spirits, and demons around us that lurk in the dark to prey on human beings and to trap their souls in darkness. My country and the people is suffering from such horrific deception, in many forms, being laid by the Devil.
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Archangel Michael vanquishing the Devil.

This Halloween Season let us not focus on the devil and the monsters of this world. Let us focus more to our God whom the Devil fear the most.

Why fear the Devil and his monsters if there is a more powerful being that these agents of evil are afraid of?

Happy Halloween! Don’t forget to pray for all our relatives, friends, family members, and all the people who already fell asleep.

Visit Me in Digital Think Tank

I have been blogging for more than three years now. I had experienced and learned many things through my blogs and interacting with many people in the blogosphere, the social media websites, and meeting other bloggers through a blog forum. This experiences and learning drove me to create another blog, which I called as Digital Think Tank.

The goal of my Digital Think Tank blog is to serve as a venue where I could share to the readers, especially to you my blogger friends, the things that I learned for the three years or so of being a blogger and Internet addict.
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Digital Think Tank

Digital Think Tank focuses on giving tips on blogging that includes some ideas that I learned about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Sociak Media Optimization (SMO), blog monetizing, and many more. I also talk about social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. My Digital Think Tank blog will also talk about general topics about the Internet.

At the moment, I already have the blog posts about Facebook (Protect Your Facebook Account), internal linking (The Importance of Internal Linking), and outside links to your blog (How to Get Inbound Links to Your Blog).

There are more topics that I already tackled in Digital Think Tank and I have more things that I will tackle in the future. For the coming weeks, my posts will focus about Facebook.

Please feel free to visit Digital Think Tank and I do hope that you will get something from what I posted.
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Worse than a Can of Sardines

“Mas maswerte pa ang mga sardinas…” (Sardines had it better). This is what my mind exclaims every time I had to ride the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) train to go to the main office. When you ride the MRT, especially if you decide to stand near the doors (to make it easy for me to go out when I reach my destination), you will be crushed and you will feel uneasy throughout the whole trip.

In the past four work days, my boss sent me to a training in the main office in Taguig. To reach the main office from my home, I had to ride the MRT from the North EDSA station then go down the Guadalupe Station.

Riding on North EDSA is just fine. You only need to wait for 15 minutes lining up and edging other commuters up to the platform entrance.

The problem comes when you reach Kamuning, Cubao, and Santolan Stations where the agitated and now impatient commuters will push those already are inside the train so that they too could ride and reach their office on time.
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Inside the MRT (Recycled photo).

That experience made me think that I will never ever want to be assigned in the main office. I would rather outwit and outrun other commuters to the buses going to Quiapo.

It is Nice to Have Visitors

In my previous post, I said that my sister had her 18th birthday. Well, it was just a simple birthday celebration and not the traditional birthday debut that have 18 candles, 18 candles, etc. We opted for a simple celebration since my little sister insisted that her birthday party be a simple gathering for the family.

I am glad that we just had a simple celebration for my little sisters 18th birthday. It is because it is the first time that my family had visitors for a family occasion. In the past, we only have me, my brothers, my sister, my father and my mother are only present for birthdays, Christmas celebrations, New Year celebrations and other important occasion.

Last Sunday, we entertained about eight guests and it was fun. We had my aunts and one of my "mother" during my college years. It was not easy to be a host of a "party" but we managed it and we enjoyed it. Maybe next time, I will be calling more than eight guests to join another celebration.

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Another Taste of Sapin Sapin

Last year, I talked about Dolor’s sapin sapin in Ahab Reviews and Tips. You know what? My mom requested that I buy another sapin sapin for my sister’s 18th birthday. I guess my mom actually liked Dolor’s sapin sapin that’s why she made a special request.

Sapin sapin is a Pinoy sweets delicacy that is composed of different kakanin (sweet desserts made of rice). In English, sapin sapin is called as “steamed layered sweet rice pie.” Once again, I visited Mommy’s Malabon Pride located along Congressional Avenue in Quezon City. Before going there, I called them thru telephone (927-4453) and asked them to reserve one of their 17-inch diameter sapin sapin. Reservation is necessary, especially during the holidays because Dolor’s sapin sapin get sold fast.

Reaching their store at around 7:30 PM, I finally got this:
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They opened the box to show me this:
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It is quite heavy and I got a hard time bringing the sapin sapin from Quezon City to my hometown (Montalban), not to mention the price of this kakanin. Last year, a 17-inch sapin sapin costs 370 pesos. Now, its price tag is 410 pesos. Bah! Even kakanins are affected by inflation.

Dolor’s sapin sapin is composed of six layers and looks like a big dart board. The purple colored layer is the ube halaya. The red layer is the kutsinta. And the center layer is the biko (kakanin made from malagkit na bigas). I don’t know about the white and yellow layers but they taste good though.
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Dolor’s sapin sapin is one of the foods on our table during my sister’s birthday and we have the most number of guests that ever visited our house in the history of our family. My efforts of bringing the sapin sapin paid off because our visitors liked it.

This is the second time that we ate Dolor’s sapin sapin and I could still say that my money is well worth it.

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Visit Ahab Reviews and Tips and read about my review of the book: In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson.

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Pictures used in this post are recycled photos.
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A Taste of Kwek Kwek, Isaw and Other Pinoy Street Foods

It’s been ages ago when I ate any street food. I can’t recall when but I remember that I am usually a “suki” of street foods when I was still studying in UP Diliman. That university has many street vendors and many students buy from them because they are cheap while many students have no money. I usually buy monay with cheese for my lunch – fishballs and kikiam for afternoon merienda – and I eat my favorite corn in a cup.

Now, I rarely eat those things because I doubt the cleanliness of street foods in the city of Manila. Last week, after the usual date with My Beloved, she decided that we eat this:
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Fried Isaw

Taking a closer look:
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Fried Isaw
Fried isaw for sale.

That is a fried isaw and that costs about 5.00 pesos per stick. For the uninitiated, isaw is chicken’s intestines and it is usually barbecued. However, the isaw that we ate was fried instead. Just like ordinary isaw, it is also dipped into a vinegar. The lady that sells this fried isaw makes good vinegar dip and this is the reason why many people buy at her stall.

After eating fried isaw, she dragged me to the nearby stall that sells these:
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Kwek Kwek
 These are not balls. These are kwek kwek!

Kwek kwek (a.k.a. tokneneng) is a popular street food. It is just a boiled egg that is wrapped in a flour breading that was colored orange and then fried. You could choose either the chicken’s egg or the smaller itlog pugo (quail’s egg). Just like the fried isaw, kwek kwek is tastes better when dipped in vinegar. For 8.00 pesos, the lady will give you a bowl wherein you can put some cucumber and pour the vinegar. Since I'm a vinegar addict, I drank the whole concoction after finishing the kwek kwek.
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Kwek kwek with vinegar
 This is how you eat kwek kwek.

Other version of the kwek kwek is the balot kwek kwek. Instead of egg, what is wrapped by the orange flour is the balot (balut). Balot is a fertilized duck or chicken egg with a nearly formed embryo. My Beloved is fond of balot and she also likes the balot kwek kwek. I tasted balot kwek kwek in Plaza Miranda, which is beside the Quiapo Church.

The next morning, I discovered that my breakfast is kikiam, which is another popular street food and is usually sold with fishballs.
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Kikiam
 Kikiam for breakfast.

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Morning Rush and Evening Madness

Going to workplace is a challenge for me every single day. First, I must make sure that I wake up at the right time so that I will not be late for work. Next is to pray that the jeepney (a.k.a Philippine bus) that I will be riding from my home to Quezon City will not malfunction or will not experience any delays. Lastly, I have to deal with this scenario:
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People rushing to their workplace and school.

There are so many people that I have to outwit and outrun in reaching the bus that still have seats available. If I am unlucky, then I have to settle in standing from Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to Lawton in Manila.
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The story is the same during the evening when people are rushing back to their homes after long day of work. People are outwitting and outrunning one another just to reach the bus that will take them home. Unfortunately, the Pinoy and Pinay workers have to endure the heavy traffic that is tens of kilometers long and usually takes more than an hour.
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Heavy traffic in Cubao area.

Of course, to avoid the heavy traffic, the people could choose to ride the trains. However, riding the train is also a sort of a hellish experience.
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Crowded MRT.

These are my daily challenge during the whole work week. These are one of the reasons why I am very tired whenever Friday comes.

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Ready, Set, Advance War!

Every weekend, I command a large army and I wage war with those who try to destroy the peace in our land.

Yep, you read it right, I wage war using soldiers, tanks, ships, and warplanes; and of course I am not mad. I am talking about my newest favorite game in Nintendo DS, which is Advance Wars: Days of Ruin.
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Advance Wars

Advance Wars is one of the best Nintendo games on Nintendo DS and Gameboy Advance. It is a turn-based strategy game that lets you use various kinds of weapons on different maps. It is like a modern version of chess, wherein strategy and technique will make you win the battle.
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Advance Wars commanders
Army commanders for the war.

Plot of the Game

A massive meteor shower caused much devastation on the whole Earth. Many cities where destroyed and many people were killed. Dust from the explosions kicked-up clouds into the sky, blocking the sun and destroying plant life. In the midst of ruins, Captain Brenner and what remains of the Rubinelle Army works together to rescue the survivotrs and return the semblance of order in their country. However, old hatred from the enemy nation (Lazuria) and the madness of the leaders of Rubinelle prevent the peace from gaining ground.
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Advance Wars screenshot
Game screenshots.

My Take on the Game

Advance Wars: Days of Ruins is an excellent game with well-balanced maps and characters. This is the best turn-based strategy game that I ever set my hands on. The challenge for each of the chapter in the story will surely make your mind work as you grope to defeat your opponents. So, if you have a Nintendo DS, I highly recommend Advance Wars: Days of Ruins.

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