When it Rains, It Pours

I am experienced a downpour last week. No, it is not because of the Typhoon Mina that ruined my long weekend. What I am talking about is the downpour of recognition that I am receiving from my fellow bloggers.

Last time, I received the Commendable Comments Award from Steve. Now, another blogger friend cared to give me another another award. That blogger is Anney of the blog, Blog ni Ako. Anney gave me the:

I am glad that Anney gave me this recognition. Thank you very much for this Anney. This is the second time I received the Versatile Award. Foong gave me this award last year.

This award is not a simple award but the requires the receiver to say seven random things about himself. I already gave seven random things about me on the Versatile Award post that I received from Foong. However, to keep the ball rolling, I will give seven new random thing about me, and here they are:

1. I am a Pokemon addict and I became hooked with Pokemon the first time I saw it on TV when I am still a high school student. I am still playing Pokemon up until now even if I am already beyond my teenage years.

2. People who I met online think that I am an outspoken person because of my active stance on various issues like the RH Bill. The truth is I am a silent person in real life and some of my acquaintances consider me as a boring person.

3. I travel mostly south of Metro Manila and you can see the proof on the Lakbayan Map posted on the bottom left of my blog. My plan is to travel north of Metro Manila in my future travels.

4. I don't own a cat and I don't plan owning a cat as a pet although one of my dream pet is a tiger.

5. I love eating sweets, especially chocolates. I can gobble five Hershey bars plus some Toblerones on one sitting.

6. I don't cook, I just eat. However, I might learn to cook in the future because my beloved is asking me to cook special dishes for her ^_^.

7. I am not fond of giving presents because I have that this fear that people will not like my presents for them. That is why I tell my friends not to expect gifts from me.

So, those are the seven random things about me. To continue the fun, I am tagging Suitapui, Steve, Maarteh, Kuya Diamond, and Caroline May Ling for the Versatile Award.


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Christianity as Counter Culture

Christianity - bear your cross of follow Christ

Last Sunday, the Lord Jesus declared the blessedness of Simon and even called him Peter upon whom he builds his Church. Today, he does the opposite: the Lord rebuked Peter and called him Satan. You might immediately conclude that the Lord is fickle-minded: he says one thing today and then its exact opposite the next day. It is easy to accuse the Lord of such because we forget that the apparent contradiction of the names he used on Simon were his response to Simon’s declarations. Jesus called Simon blessed because he listened to the Father. His declaration that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, was something which can be revealed only “by my Father in heaven.” On the other hand, today, Jesus called Simon “Satan” because “you are thinking not as God does but as human beings do.” Simon found the idea of Jesus having to suffer and die as repulsive to his dignity as Son of the Living God. There seems to be nothing wrong about what Simon Peter said. After all, none of us would ever entertain the idea of a loved one having to suffer and die. We humanly find suffering and death as repulsive and as an evil to avoid. But, as Jesus said, this is how human beings think…not God. His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways. We prefer the path of self-indulgence. But His way is one of self-denial. We pursue a burden-free life. He tells us to carry our cross. We want to do things our own way. He tells us to follow him. We measure profits by gains and accumulations. He measures it by losses: “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?”

The contradiction is so very obvious and we, Christians, find ourselves constantly pressured to compromise with the world in order to make life easier for ourselves. The world has resorted to name-calling to discredit the Church’s fidelity to the teaching of Christ. It has called us “antiquated”, “medieval”, and “irrelevant.” And oftentimes, the world issues us the threat that unless we swim with the tide and move with the times, the Church will simply disappear in anonymity. But to do this is to abandon the uniqueness of the Christian Gospel. To think as human beings do and to oppose the mind of God is to put a hindrance to the spread of the Kingdom of God on earth. The Church must not adjust to the culture of modern times. Rather, she must present to men a counter-culture. St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, admonishes us: “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” The Christian way is the way of the Cross. The Cross is the sign of contradiction. Christ is the sign of contradiction. And to follow Jesus along this way of the Cross is to swim against the current. To walk along the path of self-denial is to walk against the flow. When we adjust our doctrines and way of life to the standards of the world, we do the world a disservice because we deprive humanity of that opportunity to know Jesus Christ and his Truth that sets us free. What the world needs now is not a Church that dances to its tune, but one who dares to raise the Cross as the only sign of hope and of salvation. GK Chesterton said: in this day and age we need “not a Church that is right when the world is right, but a Church that is right when the world is wrong.” “Whoever loses his life for my sake,” says the Lord, will find it.” Therefore, “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.”


This was posted by Father Jojo Zerrudo on his blog, Sense of the Sacred.

Affordable Talk from Straight Talk

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

A friend of mine just returned from the United States. He went to the USA for to take his master's degree in one of the reputable university in New Hampshire. Over beer and finger foods, he told us his experiences while studying abroad. He said that his mom knows best when it comes to traveling because she had traveled many times in the USA. My friend told us how hard it is for him to communicate with his family and his girlfriend in the Philippines using his mobile phone. He complained that international calls from the USA to the Philippines are expensive. He had a tight budget that is why he can't afford the expensive international calls. He is coming back to New Hampshire in the next month and he is asking for any ideas about affordable international call from USA.

I told him about Straight Talk International Long Distance Service that offers affordable international calls. I also told him that this service is flexible because it allows him to call a friend or anyone using mobile phone or the phone in his dormitory. Aside from that, I also told him about the super-affordable rates of Straight Talk's "All You Need Plan" that is suitable for him, especially that he will be calling different people in the USA for his thesis. The "All You Need Plan" offers unlimited monthly service for $45, which includes unlimited calls., text, picture messaging, and web. Another benefit for him is that Straight Talk doesn't require contracts, doesn't have surprise bills nor credit checks. Straight Talk only offers phones from the most trusted phone manufacturers. Because of of great service, Fantasy Fishing Team chose Straight Talk as their partner.

My friend was delighted to know about Straight Talk. He said that the services being offered by Straight Talk will ease his financial burden while he is taking his master's degree. He said that the money that ha can save through Straight Talk can be used to cover for his expenses while he do his thesis. He also said that the money that he will save can be used to buy souvenir items when he go back home in the next year.

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Petrol and Nitro RC Cars Rocks!

When I was a kid, I saw my neighbor playing a red remote-controlled (RC) car. My neighbor drove his remote-controlled car along our street, sidewalks and in around their backyard. My neighbor's RC car is so cool that I dreamed having of having one. I had asked my father everyday to buy me one RC car but I never got any.

I forgot about my dream of having a RC car until I saw pictures of Petrol RC Cars in a website. The RC cars that I saw is so cool that my neighbors RC car pales in comparison with them. The new RC cars that I saw were well engineered and have excellent features. One of the RC cars I saw has fully-assembled aluminum chassis and fully adjustable oil-filled shock absorbers.

Aside from the Petrol RC Cars, I also saw pictures of Nitro RC Cars. The difference between petrol remote-control cars and nitro petrol cars is the fuel that they used. Petrol RC cars uses petrol fuel that can be bought from local gasoline station. The nitro RC car uses nitro fuel that is available from shops dedicated for remote-controlled cars.

Petrol RC cars and Nitro RC cars that I saw have superb structure and high-performing engines. Remote-controlled car enthusisasts use these RC cars for racing and many of them are professional RC car racers.

I remember my dream of having RC car. That dream of mine came back and now I wish to own one petrol RC car or Nitro RC car.

One Night Stay at CBD Plaza Hotel

I reached Naga City at around 7 in the morning after traveling from Metro Manila to Naga City for 10 hours. I have a long day ahead so I decided to snatch few hours of sleep to reduce the exhaustion caused by the bus travel. Fortunately, my friend in Naga City already arranged everything. So, all I did was to walk a short distance from Naga City bus terminal to reach CBD Plaza Hotel.

CBD Plaza Hotel is one of the new hotels in Naga City. I believe that it is one of the most decent lodging places in the city. CBD Plaza Hotel is a four-storied building located along Ninoy and Cory Avenue, which just on the opposite side of the Naga City Bus Terminal. The hotel is just a walking distance away from SM City Naga.
CBD Plaza Hotel, Naga City
CBD Plaza Hotel, Naga City
My friend placed me in CBD Plaza Hotel’s “Single Room” that costs 1,000 pesos per night. The room is decent enough and is much better than the room that I stayed in when I am in Cebu. I forgot to take a photo of my room so I grabbed one from CBD Plaza Hotel website.
Single room - CBD Plaza Hotel
(Source: CBD Plaza Hotel website)
CBD Plaza Hotel offers six kinds of accommodation. The cheapest is the Economy, which cost 600 pesos for one person. The most expensive accommodation is the Executive Suite that has one queen-sized bed and two single beds. Executive Suites costs 2,800 pesos per night.

I am glad to discover that the hotel offers free breakfast for its patrons. I almost missed the free breakfast because the concierge didn’t inform me of the free breakfast. I am lucky enough to read about the free breakfast on the back of their key holder. The free breakfast is availed at Kakanon Bikol, which is the restaurant beside the hotel entrance. Usual morning meals available at Kakanon Bikol are coffee, sunny-side up egg, tocino, hotdog with fried rice. One person is entitled to one meal only. Kakanon Bikol doesn’t live up to its name because the restaurant lacks authentic ultra-hot Bicolano food. I ate dinner during my last night stay in Naga City and I failed to see any Bicolano dish in their menu.
View outside of CBD Plaza Hotel
The view from my room.
I experienced no problem during my whole stay in CBD Plaza Hotel. It is conveniently located near public transport terminals. The hotel has courteous personnel that are prompt to answer my calls. The only complaint that I have is the coupon for free breakfast. It is inconvenient for patrons to go to the front desk to ask for the free breakfast coupons. I think that it will be better if the coupons were given together with the room keys during check-in.

If you want more information about CBD Plaza Hotel, I suggest that you visit their website.

On the Road to Bicolandia from Gumaca

This is the second part of my long trip from Manila to Naga City in Bicol. For the first part please read, On the Road to Bicolandia by Philtranco Bus.

Traveling by bus is hard because you can't stretch your body that much. That's why I am glad that the Philtranco buses have stop-over at an eatery somewhere in Gumaca, Quezon. I went down the bus so I could stretch my legs and to warm myself a little. We reached the stop-over during wee hours of the morning but many people are awake.
The eatery at Gumaca stop-over. Sorry for the dark photo.
Be warned that the eatery sell food and drinks that are priced way above the suggested retail prices of those products. We left the eatery after a few minutes stop-over.
Other Philtranco buses also had stop-over at Gumaca.
I noticed that we had a different driver when we resumed our travel. The reason is that it is the original driver's turn to sleep while it is the assistant’s turn to drive. The assistant already slept while we are traveling from Philtranco Pasay to Gumaca. A friend of mine commented that this scheme of driving and sleeping is hazardous because the driver is alone and no other person that he can talk to and assure that he will stay awake while driving.

I was able to sleep while we travel from Gumaca to Naga but I woke-up whenever the bus stop because I am always checking my belongings located on the baggage counter above the seats. There are instances where passengers accidentally get other passengers belongings during a long trip and I am making sure that no one will do that mistake on my belongings. I also have this nagging thought about those communist brigands that are common in Bicolandia and the province of Quezon. There is news that those criminals torch buses owned by companies that don't pay “revolutionary taxes.” Fortunately, there is no unsavory incident occurred during the Gumaca to Naga part of the trip and I reached Naga City before 7 in the morning.

I had no bad experience when I traveled via the Philtranco bus. I also rode a Philtranco bus when I went home from Naga City to Manila and I also have no bad experience. I traveled from Philtranco Pasay to Naga City for about 10 hours and traveling through the night ensured fast voyage because the bus will not stop along the way just to pick passengers up. Travel time will increase during the day because of the traffic and the usual picking-up of passengers by Philtranco buses.

My travel by Philtranco bus had been good. I may choose Philtranco again if I have another travel to Bicol in the future.

On the Road to Bicolandia by Philtranco Bus

I made my first visit to Bicol last December when I got the chance to visit the town of Bulan, which is part of the province of Sorsogon. I thought that it will take years before I got another chance to visit Bicolandia. I was wrong because I was able to visit Camarines in the previous month.

Unlike my first visit, I reached Bicolandia via land transportation, specifically by riding a Philtranco bus. Philtranco traces its beginning in the year 1914 when a two Americans, Albert Ammen and Max Blouse, established a bus company in Iriga, Camarines Sur. Now, Philtranco is one of the biggest bus company in the Philippines and its buses ply the between Metro Manila and the areas to the south like the Bicol Region and the Visayas. Philtranco buses also travel between Metro Manila and Pampanga.
Philtranco Bus
(Source: Philtranco Radio Portal)

I am fortunate to travel to Camarines in the middle of the year because I avoided the peak travel periods that usually occurs during the Holy Week and Christmas Season. Weeks ago, I read a blogger's complaints regarding Philtranco when traveling during peak travel season. The blogger complained about the crowded and noisy Philtranco Pasay terminal. I am glad that I did not experience such an ordeal. On the contrary, I found the Philtranco Pasay terminal half-filled with people when I went there.

If you are planning to ride the Philtranco bus, It is recommended that you buy your ticket an hour or more before your chosen departure time. If you are traveling during the peak travel season, then it is recommended that you book your trip weeks in advance.
Philtranco Pasay Terminal
No queue in front of the ticketing counter of Philtranco Pasay terminal.
Philtranco buses have wide windows that allow its passengers to see the sights while traveling. And because of the long travel time, Philtranco buses have an on-board comfort room so passengers can pee while traveling. I did not use the comfort room because my urine might pour on places other than the toilet bowl because of the shaking inside the bus. The bus also has reclining seats that allow passengers to sleep more comfortable during the whole trip.

I chose to travel during the night that's why the bus' wide windows are useless because it is too dark for me to see the sights outside. I also traveled in Philtranco's air-conditioned bus that made me shiver and wish that I should have brought a jacket. I also tried not to fall asleep because I have some fear that I am not able to wake up. I have that fear because buses here in the Philippines are known to be accident prone. Many provincial buses fell over cliffs or collided with other vehicles because the driver fell asleep or the breaks malfunctioned.

My voyage is fast because of the absence of heavy traffic. I am glad that no unfortunate thing occurred while we traveled the road to the Philtranco’s first stop in Gumaca.

Second part of this post is the stop-over in Gumaca and the second-half of the trip to Naga City.


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An Award for a Simple Comment

I never expected that a simple comment of mine will have a positive impact to anyone, especially on my blogger-friends. However, a pleasant surprise showed that at least one of my comments affected another person positively.

I was glad to discover, one day while I was browsing through my Facebook account, that a blogger-friend of mine left a message and a badge showing his appreciation of sincerity on the comments that I left on his blog. That friend is Steve, who is the owner of the blog Artistic World.

Steve created a post about the RH Bill, which is the most controversial issue in the Philippines these days. I was glad to discover that we are on the same side and as a token of gratitude, I left a comment to bolster his position against the RH Bill.

I never knew that Steve will appreciate that comment to the point that he will give me this:
Commendable Comments Award 2011 - Steve

Steve said that he is sorry that he can't give me any cash price for the award. Well, the heck with cash prizes. The fact that I am appreciated by a fellow blogger is more valuable than cash prizes. Positive reaction to my comments, especially my comments on my Pro-life and anti-RH Bill, is enough prize for me.

Once again Steve, I want to say “Thank you” for the appreciation and recognition that you gave me. May you continue standing up for the dignity of the human person. May you continue fighting for the sanctity of life. Down with the RH Bill!


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New on Chowking Menu: Chinese-style Chicken

I just tasted the new item on Chowking menu, which is the Chinese-style chicken. Now, I can say that the TV commercial about it is exaggerated. A TV ad said that many people are lining up just to taste the Chinese-style fried chicken. Another ad had the people praising Chowking's chicken to high heavens, as if it is the best tasting chicken ever created. The Chowking TV ads, like the usual advertisements, are exaggerated. One reason is that I am yet to see a Chowking branch that has hordes of people are lining up just to taste the Chinese-style chicken.

Due to curiosity, I ordered the rice meal with one piece Chinese-style chicken during my last visit to Chowking. The rice and chicken is accompanied with some pieces of fish crackers. This Chowking menu meal set costs 69 pesos.

I don't agree that Chowking’s Chinese-style chicken is the best but I can say that it is better than the fried chicken available from other fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Jollibee. My favorite part of fried chicken is the skin, which I usually gobble up first. I like the fried chicken skin’s salty flavor and its crunchiness. Another thing that I like is that the breading, if there’s any, is thin. This is a far cry from the fried chicken of other fast food restaurants that makes feel that I am eating fried breading instead of the fried chicken skin.

I can’t praise this new item in the Chowking menu like the way it is being praised in TV commercials. What I can only say is if I am ask to choose between the fried chicken of McDonalds, Jollibee and Chowking then I will choose the Chinese-style chicken of Chowking.


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An Invitation to Reparation for the CCP Sacrilege

All are invited to join the PROCESSION OF REPARATION at the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex on Sunday, August 14, 2011, the Vigil of the Assumption. We shall all assemble at the CITEM parking lot of the PNB (along Roxas Boulevard). We shall pass through Roxas Blvd., turn left to Vicente Sotto Avenue, turn right to Magdalena Jalandoni Avenue, turn right to Pedro Bukakeng Avenue, turn right to the CCP facade where we shall end with prayers of reparation and disperse afterwards.

This is not a political rally but purely a religious event. There will be no speeches, just prayers of reparation for the sacrilege of the art exhibit put up in the CCP premises which dishonored the images of our Lord. We request the faithful to bring with you your sacred images or icons. Santeros who have processional images in their care are enjoined to come. You may mount processional images on their carozzas or on pick up trucks. It will be like the triumph of Orthodoxy at the end of the 7th ecumenical council!

Let us all make reparation because our Lord is very much offended! Please spread the news! 

I agree. It is high time for all Christians to act as one to ask for forgiveness to the insult that was made by Mideo Cruz and allies against our God. If we really love God, then we will not allow anyone to make fun of Him.

We must also realize that Jesus Christ is already the King of the heaven and earth. He is already reigning in this world because He redeemed the people by His death on the Cross. What Mideo Cruz and allies is an obvious sign of rebellion against our King.

May the Lord listen to our plea. May Mideo Cruz and allies open their hearts to the Grace of God. May they see the errors of their ways.

This post was copied from Father Jojo Zerrudo's blog.

Inglourious Basterds

Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France, the Allied Forces sent Jewish soldiers to spread terror among the German soldiers. The group of soldiers were called as the Inglourious Basterds.

Inglourious Basterds is the fourth Quentin Tarantino movie that I watched. The first three movie are all the movies in the Kill Bill series. Fast-paced, action-packed, and unique editing style – these are the elements that I saw in the Kill Bill movies which I also saw in this movie.

The Inglorious Basterds are commando group that is being headed by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt). The group is successful in spreading fear among the Nazis and even Hitler was annoyed by their existence. The Basterds are, like what Aldo Raine had said, “not into Nazi  imprisoning business.” They are into Nazi killing business. German soldiers that they killed are scalped while those whom they left alive were marked with the Swastika on their foreheads.

The movie opened with a scene showing the visit of the Jew Hunter (Col. Hans Landa) to a house of a Frenchman. Col. Landa is searching for a Jewish family (Dreyfus family) that is not yet netted by the Nazis and he suspected that the Frenchman is hiding them. That first scene already raised up the tempo of the movie because the emotional tension is quite high. Landa made the Frenchman admit that he is hiding the Dreyfuses under the floorboards. Landa promptly ordered his soldiers to kill the Jews by shooting them through the floorboards. Shosanna Dreyfus escaped death and was not seen by Landa since then.
Hans Landa and the Frenchman

Landa and Shosanna's path crossed years later in Paris. Landa is still the feared Jew Hunter while Shosanna has a new identity as movie theater owner. Shosanna got the opportunity to have her revenge when her movie theater was chosen as the venue of the premiere of a Nazi propaganda film, which will be attended by Adolf Hitler and high-ranking officials. Shossana used the opportunity to kill the Germans and end the war by burning down the whole movie theater.
Shossana Dreyfuss

That is summary of the movie of Quentin Tarantino. But where are the Inglourious Basterds? Why aren't they included in the summary. My answer is that most of the reviews of this movie is focused on the Inglourious Basterds when the movie is really about the revenge of Shossana Dreyfus. The high-ranking German officials will still die even if the Basterds are not included in the story.

However, this does not mean that the notorious Basterds are not important in the movie. Their half of the the movie is enjoyable and they are the ones that gave the pace and action that is expected on Tarantino's film.
Inglourious Basterds

I really enjoyed watching the Inglourious Basterds and I can say that this movie of Quentin Tarantino is much better than his Kill Bill movies.


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Freedom: A Christian's Reaction on the Medeo Cruz' "Art"

This article came from AJ Perez. I did not place the photos of the original article because I don't want to spread the blasphemy of Medeo Cruz. This is a reaction on that piece of junk masquerading as art. Read the copy of this article on Filipinos for Life.


A lot of people have been up in arms because of the "shock art" compilation by Mideo Cruz which is showcased by no less than the Cultural Center of the Philippines itself, and people from both sides of the argument have expressed their disgust; on one side are conservative Catholics who decry Cruz's art as blasphemy, and on the other are Cruz and his cohorts of Church haters who are clamoring for 'freedom of expression.' Many journalists and media men who have given their two cents on the issue have also thrown their support for this ideal called freedom of expression, which has now become the national pastime of this nation, following a less-than-brilliant move on the part of a certain Christopher Lao to drive his car on a flooded street which caused his car to float like a raft and will cost him thousands of bucks for repairs. No amount of money, however, can ever buy back his besmirched reputation, as he now has the whole nation's hecklers targeting their crosshairs on him. He now has a fan page on Facebook that has more than 60,000 likes and a Hitler parody to boot. Two very different people, both dramatis personae in this play we shall call "freedom of expression."

Before we even try to understand what 'freedom of expression' means, let us try to understand what true freedom means. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just" (1733). Now before we think that it wouldn't be any fun just to do what is good, and therefore defeat the purpose of defining 'freedom', let us remember that doing what is NOT good and doing evil also brings forth the exact opposite of freedom; you will have murder, rape, theft, and wide-spread violence and chaos, things that do not bring forth true freedom. In light of this knowledge that freedom is doing what is good and just, we also know, as we were taught in school long ago, that one man's freedom ends when another man's freedom is compromised because of what the first one did. Our teachers have tried to teach this to us from the very beginning: at kindergarten, we are told that we are free to eat our snacks, but only during recess. We are free to eat snacks during recess, but not to take someone else's snack away from him. We are free to make merry and have fun, but making fun of others and bullying are not good. Later on, as we grow older, freedom is taught together with its twin virtue: responsibility. You are free to play all you like, but give time for your studies too. You can use the money your parents gave you for buying toys, or spending it on your lunch. Even later in our life, we feel the pinch of responsibility even more. You are free to go out with your friends, but be home by ten - and don't do anything stupid that will get you grounded. Finally, in our last years in college, you realize that you are free to do anything in college - just as long as those things help you pass and eventually graduate. The ever-growing reality of having to find a job hits you one day, and suddenly you feel that you have to be more responsible in your studies and in your life. For many, this feeling is a burden, and they turn to vices like alcohol, drugs, and sex. But there are those who recognize that every day counts - they are those who take responsibility and finally graduate from school and land a good job perhaps. They are the people who are most free.

 In light of this knowledge, is it right to ridicule Christopher Lao and make judgments about his character, a man whom most of us do not even know from Adam? 

It is surprising and disappointing to learn that a lot of us go through 14 or 15 or 16 years of school and still grapple with the basic tenets of freedom. Those who support Mideo Cruz's art and say that our religious bias should give way to 'freedom of expression' are badly mistaken. First of all, there is no freedom here, because people were scandalized and offended; Cruz's freedom of expression fizzled out the moment the first person cried 'heresy!' Second, they are wrong to glorify an artist's freedom of expression and consider it higher than people's sensibilities. If one person can do something in the name of 'freedom of expression' and trample other people's right in the process, and get away with it, what else is to stop the rest of the world from doing something equally appalling, and justifying it in the name of 'freedom of expression?' You see, if we follow their logic:

1. What's to stop me from portraying your mother or your wife in a despicable fashion, if I can do it in the name of freedom of expression?

2. What's to stop me from bashing your head and spraying your blood and brains in a canvas and call it art?

3. What's to stop me from writing a novel about someone's dirty little secrets? It's still freedom of expression, right? 

This is what many journalists and people who support Cruz over this issue fail to understand. But I am hardly surprised. These are also the very people who are pushing for the passage of the RH bill, the same ones who dressed up as bishops and mocked the 'SUV bishops' on their way to the senate, and now I am hardly surprised that I saw their faces on the pres con regarding this issue. Of course they're free to show up where ever they like, but in the case of the SUV bishops, where these guys taunted the poor old men and spread lies about them, only to have the senate exonerate the bishops from the unjust accusations, were they responsible enough to go on air, or go online to issue an apology?

Some sectors of the society have begun sowing the seeds of impunity against the Church, and they are always at the forefront of any movement that will undermine the Church's authority and influence over her flock. Of course, they are free to do so where ever and when ever they like, but if I may give unsolicited advise to these friends of ours, this is what I have to say: as much as you are free to think, it is also your responsibility to think CORRECTLY.

Yummy Hopia from Salazar Bakery

Last week, I had a craving for hopia so I visited Binondo Chinatown to buy me some packs of these delicious mongo paste filled goodness. Since I already tasted the hopia from Eng Bee Tin and Polland, I decided to drop by Salazar Bakery, which is another popular bakery in Binondo Chinatown.
Salazar Bakery signage

Salazar Bakery is located along Ongpin Street, Binondo Chinatown. It is just few minutes walk from Binondo Church. The bakery can easily be seen once you crossed two small bridges as you walk along Ongpin Street.

Salazar Bakery was established in 1947 and it offers authentic Chinese delicacies. Salazar Bakery now has branches in different malls around Metro Manila. However, only the Binondo Chinatown branch of Salazar Bakery can only give customer that Chinese ambiance.
Salazar Bakery
Salazar Bakery, Ongpin Street, Binondo Chinatown.

I bought Hopia Mongo, which costs 38 Pesos, and Hopia Dice, which costs 39 Pesos. The plastic wrapping of Hopia Mongo is simpler than those of Eng Bee Tin and Polland.
Salazar Bakery hopia mongo
Hopia Mongo of Salazar Bakery.

The Hopia Mongo tastes good but it is different from the hopia of Eng Bee Tin and Polland. The Hopia Mongo of Salazar Bakery has thicker breading and tougher than the hopia of the other two bakeries. The mongo paste, on the other hand, is less sweeter. I am a fan of very sweet delicacies but I am not complaining with Salazar Bakery's hopia.
Salazar Bakery hopia mongo

Salazar Bakery hopia dice
Yummy hopia dice.

The Hopia Dice also tastes good. I can't compare it with similar hopia from Eng Bee Tin and Polland because I am yet to buy Hopia Dice from those two bakeries.

All in all, I give both Hopia Mongo and Hopia Dice a thumb up. I am placing Salazar Bakery in my list of good food shops around Binondo Chinatown.

Now that I had tasted hopia from Eng Bee Tin, Polland and Salazar Bakery, my next target is Ho-Land Bakery that is also located in Binondo Chinatown.


Read my post about the wedding cake from Salzar Bakery.

Visit Ahab Reviews and Tips and read about PHIVOLCS Earthquake-induced susceptibility maps.

Personalized T-shirts as Special Gifts

Yesterday, I saw a website that sells personalized items like t-shirts, mugs and drinking glasses. That website is Cafe Press. The personalized items that I saw on the website reminded me of the personalized items that are being sold at a shop in a local market in Quezon City. Whenever I pass by that shop, I always see rows upon rows of mugs, cups and glasses that are waiting to be painted on by the shop owner. I also see many people buying personalized items from that shop. Most of the customers are buying personalized items as gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

Giving personalized items as gifts is a unique way of making the person receiving the gift feel special. Personalized t-shirt is one of the best personalized items that you can give during special occasions. Personalized t-shirt is special because the shirt that you design will never have any duplicate. Aside from that, personalized t-shirt is also a useful gift because it can be worn by the person who received it.

There are limitless design that anyone can think for personalized t-shirts. There are many designs that can be bought through the Internet. An example of an interesting personalized t-shirt design is the big sister shirts that are available from Cafe Press. Of course, you can create your own design and have it printed on the personalized t-shirt.

If you are looking for the best gift that you can give to your friends, I suggest that you try personalized t-shirts.

Eating Char at Mang Inasal

Mang Inasal is the restaurant that me and my beloved frequent whenever we go to the malls to watch movie. We like Mang Inasal because of its affordable unlimited rice promo. It seems that we are not the only ones attracted by Mang Inasal's unlimited rice promo because many flock the restaurant every lunch time. The usual result are very long lines of people waiting for their turn to eat at Mang Inasal.

Inasal is the Ilonggo term for chicken barbecue, so this means that Mang Inasal's specialty is barbecued chicken. What I like with Mang Inasal is its distinctively Filipino ambiance. Anyone can eat chicken barbecue the traditional way inside Mang Inasal stores. The traditional way that I am saying is that of using bare hands to eat chicken barbecue. We always eat this way in Mang Inasal. It is quite different when we are in other restaurants like KFC or Kenny Roger's Roasters where it is not “cool” to use bare hands while eating their chicken. Mang Inasal also uses native herbs and spices and wraps their food on banana leaves, giving the restaurant that distinct Pinoy mark.
vinegar, chicken oil and soy sauce - sawsawan in Mang Inasal
The usual Pinoy sawsawan: vinegar, chicken oil and soy sauce.
Me and my beloved keep on coming back to Mang Inasal to eat their Paborito Meals (Favorite Meals). Paborito Meals are Mang Inasal meals that have unlimited rice promo. For less than 100 Pesos, we can eat chicken barbecue plus all the rice that we can eat, which is usually three to five cups of rice. Mang Inasal's Paborito Meal is truly affordable especially if we are suoer-hungry. Aside from unlimited rice, customers are also entitled to unlimited sabaw. Just add a certain amount and customers can also enjoy unlimited refill of iced tea.
Mang Inasal barbecued chicken with rice
Mang Inasal Paborito Meal - paa ng manok or is this pecho?
We usually order the barbecued chicken leg and barbecued pecho. Mang Inasal's chicken barbecue is quite good and the chicken is not dry. This is better than the inasal that I ate in another restaurant, located somewhere along Katipunan Avenue, that is very dry that it almost made me choke. Mang Inasal chicken barbecue is not like that.

My complaint with chicken barbecue from Mang Inasal is that they are usually charred.
Mang Inasal chicken is charred
Charred inasal.

I am not sure if that is way inasal is cooked but I believe that Mang Inasal's chicken barbecue will be better if it is not charred. The possible reason for the char is that the cooking of the chicken barbecue is rushed. They rush is needed to quickly give the orders of customers that are already lining outside the restaurant.

There is a study that charred meat is carcinogenic, that's why I avoid eating the burnt part of the chicken barbecue. I hope that Mang Inasal improve their chicken inasal so that their customer will enjoy their specialty. They should find a way where they can still barbecue the chicken quickly but the quality is not compromised.


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