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.

Visit Ahab Reviews and Tips and read about my new Marikina-made steel-toed shoes.

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 old. 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 this cake very much.

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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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