Ishmael Wants to Meet Enma Ai

Well, the title of this blogpost tells it all. I really want to meet the mysterious girl Enma Ai.

Enma Ai is the main protagonist of the anime that I am watching right now. In English, Enma Ai’s name means Hell Girl. The anime is Jigoku Shoujo and I am addicted to it. Jigoku Shoujo is an anime that centers on Enma Ai, whose main role is to exact revenge for those who call her. Enma Ai punishes the antagonists of those of called her and send them directly to hell. As restitution for the vengeance that Enma Ai made, the one who called her will also be sent to hell after he/she dies to “roam forever in pain and suffering, never knowing what paradise is.”

I first saw this anime when I went to Davao, about two years ago. I did not understand the anime. But now, I think that it is good. Enma Ai is a cute anime character.
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"Your bitterness, I will dispel" - Enma Ai

I guess, every one of us have some moments in life when we want to take revenge to our enemies very badly. Some go to great lengths just to exact revenge like killing other people or making them suffer very much. Enma Ai is the personification of that human nature. By exacting revenge, we are making our enemies suffer. In the end, we also must face the consequences of our action when the time comes when we have to face our God. Revenge is a double-bladed sword that hurts the avenger’s target and also the avenger.

Jigoku Shoujo is a mystery filled anime that tackles human nature, especially anger and revenge. That is the reason why I am drawn to Enma Ai.
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Enma Ai and her minions.


In the episode that I am watching, the mystery surrounding Enma Ai is unfolding. Who is she and why does she exacts revenge? Who is the old woman who acts like her grandma? These are the questions that I am excited to discover as I watch Jigoku Shoujo.

However, my greatest question is: How will I ever contact Enma Ai?

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Honoring the Overseas Filipino Bloggers

We, Filipinos, are known for our love of our family. This love pushed many of our kababayans (fellowmen) to become Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Our kababayans chose to work abroad to give their families a brighter future. Currently, many of our kababayans are also thinking of leaving the country because of the grim economic situation of the Philippines.


As of the moment, thousands of our kababayans are scattered around the world. The remittance that our country receives from them is so great that the government hailed the Overseas Filipinos as the bagong bayani (new heroes) of the country. The sad thing is that the “bagong bayani” tag is just an empty title and the authorities are doing nothing to truly honor or even protect the Overseas Filipino.


Aside from the success stories of working abroad, news from abroad shows the grim situations of many Overseas Filipinos. Many of the Overseas Filipinos were abused by their employers, others were tricked by their employment agencies, and the worst is that our embassies are useless in helping them.

Stories like these and more are the ones that the Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Awards (PEBA) wants to show to the world, especially to all Filipinos and the Philippine Government. PEBA aims to honor the Overseas Filipinos who chose blogging as their outlet to share their experiences while working abroad. PEBA wants the whole Philippines to be acquainted with the sorrows, joys, anger, and perceptions of our kababayans abroad.

In the end, PEBA aims to strengthen the connection between the Overseas Filipinos around the world and the Filipinos here in the Philippines.

I have already read the stories posted by Kiko, BatangGala, Kayni, and Bhing who are all nominees of PEBA.

I also salute and honor the Overseas Filipinos, who are working for their families and for the country. With this, I am in support of the endeavors of PEBA.



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I thank DungeonLord for sharing about PEBA in his blog and advocating for the Overseas Filipino.

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How to Go to UP Diliman

UPCAT 2010 is less than 2 weeks away and many high school students are studying diligently to pass the exam.

UPCAT will be held on August 7 and 8 in all the campus of the UP System. I remember when I took the UPCAT, I didn’t know where to go. I am lucky that my dad tagged along that why I did not get lost during my exam.

UPCAT examinees should be aware of the heavy traffic during the exams, especially in UP Diliman. Thus, to avoid the hassle of being late, examinees should know how to go to UP Diliman.

UP Diliman is located in the heart of Quezon City, near the Quezon City circle. The campus can be reached in many ways. For people coming from the south, the best way is to ride a jeepney or bus that go to Fairview. Tell the driver or the bus conductor that you will go down at Philcoa.

For those who are coming from the north, riding a jeepney or bus going to Cubao or Quiapo is the best way to reach UP Diliman. You also have to go down at Philcoa.

At Philcoa, you must ride a jeepney that shows “UP Campus” placard. The traveling time to and around the campus will be slow because of number of people crowding the campus for the UPCAT.

As for me, I usually go down Central entrance of UP Diliman. This entrance is near the central temple of the Iglesia ni Cristo. From there, I just walk to my desired destination inside the campus. During the exams, there will be people who hands out the map of the campus to help the examinees.

UP Diliman is not that big and walking is not a problem. If you decide to walk, just be sure to go to UP Diliman early so that you will not be late.

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Waiting at Alphaland Southgate Mall

When I was working in a bank, I always see an unfinished building in the corner of EDSA and SLEX beside Magallanes MRT Station. That building was now transformed into an office of Alphaland Corporation, with a small shopping mall attached to it.

I am always curious to see what’s inside of that mall.

Last month, I got the chance to visit this mall and to see what is inside of it. Well, first Alphaland Southgate Mall is small. I guess it is one of the smallest malls that I visited in Metro Manila. Though it is small, the mall is not that crowded. There are many stores inside the mall like Jollibee, Chowking, Mang Inasal, Teriyaki Boy, Tapa King, and Binalot. The grocery shop in this mall is the Super 8.
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Alphaland Southgate Mall is connected to MRT.

On the second floor of this malls are tiangges and other small shops that sell un-branded clothes, sunglasses and other items. Small food booths could also be found on the same floor.
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Clothes for sale. Though I think you can’t bargain.

The best thing about this place is that the CD-R King there is not crowded, unlike the ones found in other malls.
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The not so crowded CD-R King.

So that’s Alphaland Southgate Mall. There is nothing much to see inside that mall and my curiosity was quenched.

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Pinoy Food Trip: Kalamay from Bohol

Two weeks ago, my very nice boss gave me a Pinoy food that I have never tasted for a long time. This Pinoy food is called as kalamay. The kalamay that I received is quite different from the other kalamays that I already tasted. That kalamay came from the province of Bohol.

I eat kalamay since I was a kid but it is my first time that I ate one that came from Bohol. I am curious about this Pinoy food because that is the first time I encountered it. It is an interesting Pinoy food because it is packaged inside a coconut shell fastened by a red strip.

Kalamay is a Pinoy food that could be found in many places around the Philippines. There are many variations of this Pinoy food, according to the region where it came from. kalamay is made from grounded rice, grated coconut, brown sugar, peanut butter and margarine.
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Packaged to look like Easter Eggs.

The kalamay that was made in Luzon is sticky and sweet. On the other hand, the kalamay that my boss gave me is very sweet and very chewy. It is also very sticky, just like the rugby glue. I just ate few spoonfuls before I gave up because of its sweetness.
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 Kalamay from Bohol is very sticky.


I have never been to Bohol, but thanks to my boss, I already tasted one Pinoy food that is famous from that province.

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Information about kalamay came from Wikipedia.
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Picnicking at La Mesa Eco Park

Before the summer ended, my girlfriend and I decided to take a peek at the La Mesa Eco Park. I was curious about this place because the TV ads say that the La Mesa Eco Park is the best nature get-away within Metro Manila.

La Mesa Eco Park is located within the La Mesa Watershed, which is the source of Metro Manila’s drinking water. The ecopark is a good picnic place because of its tall trees and lush scenery. La Mesa Eco Park also boasts of various activities like horseback riding, boating, zipline, and paintball. We enjoyed visiting the La Mesa Eco Park. However, I believe that it is not as grand as advertised.

How to Go to La Mesa Eco Park


The park is located in Quezon City. For those who are commuting from the South, the best way to reach La Mesa Eco Park is to ride any bus going to Fairview. These buses could be found anywhere along EDSA. Tell the driver or the bus conductor that you are going down the La Mesa Eco Park. Go down Pearl Street and there you could ride a tricycle that enter the park. The fare would be 25 pesos if there were only two passengers in the tricycle. If there are three to four passengers, then the fare will be 10 pesos per person. There is a tricycle terminal within the ecopark.

For those who have vehicle, La Mesa Eco Park could be reached via Commonwealth Avenue. Turn right to Pearl Street and follow the signboards along the way. There are ample parking spaces within the park.

La Mesa Eco Park Entrance Fees


Entrance fee for non-Quezon City residents is 50 pesos per person. Quezon City residents pay 40 pesos entrance fee. Students from Quezon City pay 20 pesos entrance fee. Senior citizens from Quezon City do not pay any entrance fee while non-Quezon City senior citizens pay 40 pesos entrance fee.
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The road to the Picnic Grounds

Once you enter the park proper, you can ride the electronic jeepney to take to the picnic spot. However, the jeepney is just few so, more often than not, you will walk to the picnic grounds. The picnic grounds is not very far and walking under the trees is refreshing.

What to See Inside La Mesa Eco Park


There are many interesting spots within the ecopark and you will be surrounded by trees.wherever you go. The ecopark is a nice place to relax for the weekends. During our visit, the place is packed with people, and many of them are having their family gatherings. Almost all spot inside the ecopark can be used as picnic grounds. There are some people who brought their tent.

It is also good to stroll around the place, but there is nothing much to see, aside from the trees. The place is not that large, so you could stroll around the whole place within an hour.

During weekends, the place is jam-packed with people and looking for an ideal picnic spot may be hard. If you are having a family gathering, I suggest that you go early to get the best picnic ground. Visitors can bring their own food and drinks, but for those who forgot to bring something to eat, there are food shops inside the La Mesa Eco Park that have barbecue, rice, and other food. The ecopark has grilling facilities, so visitors can cook their food.
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Making some barbecues for the kids.
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 My girlfriend is looking for some souvenirs.

There are also some souvenir shops where they sell keychains, shells, souvenir shirts, and other items. You could also have a henna tattoo there and also leave your kids to do some artworks, if they got bored.
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Henna tattoo please.
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Made by kids...

Of course, our visit to the La Mesa Eco Park will never be complete if we did not take a look to the La Mesa watershed. However, before seeing the watershed, you have to climb these stairs…
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Just to see this…
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Yeah it sucks, you can never get near the watershed because it was fenced and taking pictures is prohibited. The top of the stairs is also a good place to look to view the whole La Mesa Eco Park.
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There is a statue of Neptune with a girl seated on a big turtle. The place is called Neptune Pond. Sadly, Neptune will be sad because the pond is not clean. Aside from Neptune Pond, there is the Fishing Wharf but I don’t see anyone fishing on that pond because it is dirty.
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Of all the places in La Mesa Eco Park, the best is this:
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The trees and greeneries surrounding you is enough to take off your stress gathered for the whole week.

Other Activities Inside the Park


There are other activities inside the park like paintball shooting, boating, horseback riding, swimming, and the zip-line. I never tried any of those because we chose to relax inside the park.

According to La Mesa Eco Park website, the swimming pool inside the park is not treated with chlorine. Salt granules were used instead to kill bacteria. To enter the swimming pool area, visitors must pay additional 80 pesos.
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Horseback riding is another activity inside the La Mesa Eco Park. There many horses that are for hire and the horse owner will guide the horse for your tour around the park. Horses in La Mesa Eco Park are smaller compared to the horses found in Picnic Grove at Tagaytay City. You have to pay 50 pesos to ride a horse around the La Mesa Eco Park.
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So, that’s our La Mesa Eco Park experience. The park is not that bad. However, the park administrator must ensure cleanliness and find ways to stop trash from being littered. They should also clean the ponds within the park to make the place better.

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Twelve Silent Comics by Manix Abrera

If there is a thing that I look forward too when I had a chance to lay my hands on The Philippine Daily Inquirer, that thing would be Manix Abrera’s Kiko Machine comic strips. His comic strips are unique compared to the other comic strips in that broadsheet. It is funny, gory, and has many unique characters. In his comic strips, Manix sometimes use silent frames or comic strips that do not have speech bubbles. He just let the drawing in the comic strip tell the story.
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 12 Silent Stories by Manix Abrera.

The silent frames that he uses in his comic strips was also used in his new comic book “Twelve Silent Stories.” Just like his comic strips, his drawing style is great and simplistic but the drama and the emotions are clear. By using silent frames, he made the readers think deeply on the story and meditate on what he is trying to convey to the readers.
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One morbid comic strip from the book.

Twelve Silent Stories is composed of twelve stories that have funny are funny and insightful at the same time. If you are looking for a nice comic book, I suggest that you try reading Manix Abrera’s “Twelve Silent Stories.”

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Random Things About Ishmael Ahab

The last time, I answered Fielkun's tag. Now, it is time for Foong's tag. My good friend gave me the Versatile Award. I was surprised and glad that he gave me this award. Thank you very much there Foong.

I thought that this was just a simple award. However, there is a catch. I have to say seven random things and after that, I have to tag anyone who I think as a versatile blogger.

This will be fun! So, now, let me share the seven random things about me.

1. My favorite number is 1. I like this number because it symbolizes being first and I always like to be the number one. My second favorite would be number 8 because it looks like an infinity symbol. Number 8 also looks like my signature.

2. Of all the activities, I like dancing the least. During my high school years, I always choose not to participate in any school activities that required us to dance. I even skipped school projects just to avoid dancing.

3. I am a fiery person. My Chinese zodiac is Fire Tiger and my European zodiac is Leo, which resides in the house of the sun. I have a fiery temper that burns me up whenever I am angry.

4. I hate Mondays, not only because it is the day that ends the restful weekend, but also because it is also flag ceremony day.

5. My dream vehicle is the army tank. I want to have a heavily armored tank that has high-powered artillery. Having a tank inside my garage is a good way to intimidate nosy neighbors. Well, it is not bad to dream, right?

6. I never formed a habit of taking a nap during afternoons. When I was a kid, afternoons is the time when me and my brother go to our friends to play. Now, I would prefer to do some work than sleep in the afternoon, even on weekends. Well, I guess, I am such a workaholic.

7.  My workplace is about two hours (or more) travelling time away from my home. Though, I get tired of travelling, I still prefer going home rather than renting a room/house that is near my workplace. I am a home buddy thru and thru.

So that’s the seven random things about me. Well, I do hope that you found something interesting about Ishmael Ahab.

Oh, by the way, I have new blog named Digital Think Tank. This blog talks about my experiences in the Internet, blogging, and the social media. I also give tips and tricks on this site. I hope you all check it out.

Lastly, I also thank Fielkun for giving me the Fidelis Award. Thanks friend!

To keep the ball rolling, I am giving this award
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I is for Ishmael

Phew! It is raining tags and award for my blogs and I am glad for my friends who remembers me.

Okie dokie, before I got buried by tags, it is time to reduce my assignment. As I could recall, I already have three tag assignment from my friends. For starters, I will answer Fiel-kun's tag first.

Here are the instructions for this tag:

1.) Copy tag to your own notes and start modifying it.
2.) Omit existing answers.
3.) Write your answers and tag as many as you want.

Rules:

Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real. Nothing made up. If the person before you had the same initial, you MUST have different answers, strictly NO carbon copy in that case. You cannot use any words twice. You cannot use your name for the boy and girl's name questions.

Questions and Answers:

1.) What is your name: Ishmael
2.) A four letter word: Itch
3.) A boy's name: Ildefonso
4.) A girl's name: Izzy
5.) An occupation: Industrial Engineer
6.) A color: Indigo
7.) Something you wear: Indoor slippers
8.) A food: Ice cream
9.) Something found in the bathroom: Inidoro (bathroom bowl)
10.) A country: Iceland
11.) A reason for being late: I was attacked by a baboon.
12.) Something you shout: Isa pa! (One more!)
13.) A movie title: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
14.) Something you drink: Iced Coffee
15.) A musical group: Inxs
16.) An animal: Iberian Lynx
17.) A street name: Idaho Street
18.) A type of car: Innova
19.) An internet site/blogsite: In Black and White
20.) A song: I'll Be
21.) A President's name: Isagani (Our class president during elementary.)
22.) A cartoon character: Ichigo (of the anime Bleach)
23.) Name of School: Isabela National High School
24.) A sport: Ice skating
25.) A Latin word: Immortalis (immortal)

Yay! Finally done with the letter "I." It is such an amazing letter, don't you think? ^_^

So, to keep the ball rolling, I am tagging: Bluedreamer, Ren, and Foong.
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Furious for a Cool Car

Last week, I watched the movie “Fast and Furious” in TV5. I couldn’t help but be amazed by the cool cars that were showcased there. There are cars that have great design and paint jobs. There is a car that was transformed by the owner into a big stereo and have loudspeakers under the hood. Of course, there are cool cars that have amazing lights. There blinking lights, multi-colored lights, truck tail lights, and other kind of lights.

The best bit, of course, is when they started running their cool cars for the races. Racing is such a serious business and all of the racers modified their engines to make it run faster. They even have nitro to boost the speed of their cars.

The movie had me thinking if there was really a place in USA where young people are serious in having races on the streets. We also have such street racing here in the Philippines, but not as cool as shown in the movie.

I also happened to watch the second installment of “Fast and the Furious” wherein the story is focused on drifting, instead of the normal racing. Drifting is quite different from the normal racing because it requires talent in cornering and turning left or right without hitting the wall or the gutter of the street.

If I will ever fancy to have those kinds of car, then I will put many lights on my car. I will put bright headlights and truck tail lights. I will make car to be as fast as the ones I see in Formula 1 racing. However, before I ever dream of those things, maybe I should learn how to drive. But then again, as I had said to my friends, I would only buy a car if I can already afford to have my own driver.

Those are my ideas for cars. How ‘bout you guys? What is your dream car?

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Tips on Taking UPCAT, ACET, DLSUCET and Other College Entrance Exams

It is just the start of the school year and I observed my youngest brother busy preparing some documents. When I asked him what’s he is so busy about, he said that he is preparing his application for the UPCAT or the University of the Philippines College Admissions Test.

Though, still early, now is the time for senior year high school students to prepare for college. Like what some people say, “it is never early to prepare.” Here are some of my tips for those who are planning to take the UPCAT and other college entrance exams.

1. Study in Group.


About seven years ago, in my senior year in high school, all of my classmates decided to take the UPCAT. Because of that, we decided to prepare for the exam as a whole class. After our shift in school, we had a session to study for the exams. We did this to help each other, especially those who are being left behind. We also asked our teachers to help us in our study. Studying in a group is quite helpful because you will get ideas from your classmates. You also get the chance to share what you know. Sharing your knowledge is a great way of refreshing your mind on the topics that you already learned. I find teaching my fellow classmates, even during my college years, as a good way to review for the exams.

2. Review Daily.


There is saying that says “practice makes things perfect.” This saying is also applicable to reviewing for the exams. Studying everyday and solving math problems is the best way to hone your self so that answering them is easy during the exams. I study everyday after finishing all my assignments to prepare me for the UPCAT. It is helpful because the interference from my classmates is gone. I can concentrate on answering questions for the exam.

Practicing answering the sample questions daily is also a great way to develop a habit of studying daily. This habit is very important once you entered college.

3. Use Review Materials


Review books and pamphlets that are available in the bookstore were helpful for me in reviewing for the UPCAT. The authors of these books already have an insight on what types of exams and questions are being asked for college entrance exams like UPCAT. These insights are valuable so that you will not be surprised during the exams. Answering questions using the review books are the best way to gauge yourself how prepared you are for the exam.

4. Develop a Good Studying Habit.


All of the previous tips I mentioned are really helpful for you to pass college entrance exams. However, those tips rest on the attitude of the student. If you prefer to watch TV or play game rather than studying, then you have a big problem there. You should balance your time for study and your time for recreation. I, for one, devoted more time for review for UPCAT when I discovered that I have more grounds to cover. Having a good studying habit while reviewing for college entrance exams is a good way of developing good studying habit that you will need during your college years.

The tips I gave here are quite helpful for me when I am studying for UPCAT seven years ago. I hope that my tips help you too. If you have more idea or studying tips, then please it with us by leaving a comment.

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