Sunday, August 31, 2008


If 80 percent of our liver were to be removed, the remaining part would continue to function, and within a few months the liver would have reconstituted itself to its original size. Although the liver is the largest internal organ of the body, it is only one to two cells thick.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


"Prosperity is not
without many fears and d
and adversity is not
ithout comforts and hopes."

Francis Bacon

Friday, August 29, 2008


"Pain reminds us always that all men are equal"

The young and the old suffer from it, the rich and the poor are visited by it, and the great and the humble are not spared by it. The great can rationalize over it, but the humble knows how to bear it. Indeed, there is no human being who is stranger to pain.

here are those who suffer pain in their bod
ies. There are those who suffer pain in their hearts. And there are those who suffer it in their minds. Pain is one experience that shouts to our ears how human, how vulnerable and mortal, and how much in need we are of others. Pain, strangely, is one of those things that make people ever so lovable.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


"...I saw raindrops on my window,
joy is like the rain; someti
mes silver, sometimes gray,
always sun not far away, joy is like the rain..."

Joy comes to everyone: but it can fill us only by the amount of space we give it in our hearts. It is one of the most elusive of all human experiences. You can't catch it when you want it and you lose it even when you are already touching it with your fingertips.

It is gift of life itself and can come from many sources. Most of where it comes from are ordinary and simple; from smile, a kind word, the sunrise after a nightlong rain, a flower that blooms from a plant you've cared for, a long-lost friend met in a busy thoroughfare, a good meal, a moment of recognition, from silence.

But joy comes, it does comes. It comes when we are most childlike. The only condition--and this is the most difficult to arrange--is that we must be ready to welcome joy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


"...For love is stronger than death,
stronger even than hell,

the flash of it is a flash of fire..."

he measure of love is not what our hearts dictate or what our desires lead us to. Love is very much greater than what we now can feel. It is much more than the urges we feel within. Love is above all, the goodness that is within us that we must share with goodness of other persons in communion that is stronger than death.

In this sense, love includes the goodness of a man seeking the goodness of a woman, the goodness of a parent toward his or her child, the goodness of a friend seeking the goodness of another. Love never dies because goodness never dies.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


"It takes some heroism to live such a life!"

It is sad that a good number of people end in marriage not really because they look at it as a real vocation wherein it is possible to live up to the measure of love our Dear Lord proposed, but more out of desire to possess the person loved or, worse, because of convenience or because they have no choice any longer.

Yes, marriage is a genuine vocation to which young couples have to give considerable thought and period of preparation. It is ever easy to say, "I love you," and "I do," but it takes more than just human capacities to be able to translate these words into a lifetime commitment.

There are those who choose to forego marriage and commit themselves perhaps to the noble profession they exercise, or even just to the task of helping parents, brothers and sisters and trying to lift them up from a life of privation. At times they go through extreme sacrifices only to feel as if shackled by the seemingly unending and growing demands from them. At times they even feel they are doing a thankless job. These persons are like the seeds in the Gospel, which have to die in order to give life to the plant. And there are those who, feeling they are called to the religious or priestly life, take seriously the thought that their vocation is to singularly live Jesus' ideal of love: to lay down their lives for their friends. It takes some heroism to live such a life.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Etude is a French word, meaning study.
A short composition for a solo instrument intended
as an exercise or to dem
onstrate technical virtuosity.

Only once, and in the right hand in mea
sure 66, is a white key played in Frederic Chopin's Etude for Piano in G-flat Major, Opus 10, No. 5, called appropriately--and what else!--the Black Key Etude. The left hand plays the melody, mostly chords and octaves,while the right hand accompanies with the fast triplets on black keys.

Excerpts from the Black Key Etude

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Life is really what we make it!

Life is indeed, so short. And, oddly enough, it is much shorter for those whose lives they find meaningful while it is too long for those whose lives they find meaningless.

Couldn't it be that life is what meaning we put into it? Now and then, we also ask what meaning has life really. Often, we feel like we know but at other times, our thinking look like a useless mental exercise. Life is just so vast, so full of mysteries that before we can put meaning to it, part of it is gone and the meaning we try putting on it is already partly exhausted.

Life, so it seems, is like dry sand slipping through our fingers. We we try to hold on to it very tightly, as if squeezing it, it slips away faster. But when we try to cast it away, it sticks on our hands. Sometimes, we think, to appreciate life best, one has neither to hold on to it tightly nor to let it go to carelessly. The sand in the hourglass is life. It is better to let it flow freely, although not carelessly.

How we take life is often dictated by what priorities we have. And life, being so vast, offers everything which can be a priority to us.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


"Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will we should always have sufficient means. It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible."

Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Friday, August 22, 2008

WHEN I AM DEAD, MY DEAREST by Christina G. Rossetti


When I am dead, my dearest,

Sing no sad songs for me;

Plant thou no roses at my head,

Nor shady cypress tree:

Be the green gr
ass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;

And if thou wilt, remember,

And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,

I shall not
feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale

Sing on, as if in pain:

And dreaming through the twilight

That doth not
rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,

And haply may forget.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Thursday, August 21, 2008


How do we know if
our children are into drugs

and going with a wrong group?

How do we cope up with it?

This is a family tragedy that could have been avoided had a mother left her professionalism at work.

A loving mother, a rebellious daughter, a problem many single mothers worldwide now have to content with. The mother was acknowledged as one of the world’s leading psychiatrists dealing with mentally ill, young teen-agers with emotional problems, and especially incarcerated women serving long prison sentences. An emotionally draining job anyone, not least a single mother bringing up a teen-ager.

The mother was at a complete loss when it came to taming her rebellious daughter, and even more so when the question of who the daughter was dating was something they vehemently disagreed about.

A cool Sunday evening, they had one heated argument. It started off as yet another row, as many times before, it was over the daughter’s choice of boyfriend and drugs. It culminated with the daughter flying into a violent rage and throwing his mother down the stairs. While her mother lay helpless on the floor, the daughter fetched a sledgehammer to hit her with. Leaving her mother bleeding profusely with skull split open, the daughter cruised around with her boyfriend for an hour before telling him what had happened. It was her boyfriend who called the police. They were arrested, the boyfriend was charged for possession of drugs, the daughter, for attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and drug possession.

The mother did not make it. She died two days after the incident. After her mother died, the daughter was charged with murder.

What has become of the quiet, free spirited daughter, who enjoyed poetry writing?

To be continued

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


There is an infinite number of numbers that have the same value whether added or multiplied. However, there is only one integer that can be added to itself and multiplied with itself with the same result:

2 + 2 = 4 and 2 x 2 = 4

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Groups, communities, clubs, associations are not simply collections of people. They exist for a purpose. To achieve this purpose, each member contributes something to the functioning of the group. This is true whether the group is a family, a class, a team, or a club. You know how this works from your own experience in organizations. The various members usually offer ideas, suggestions, discuss alternatives, and divide up the tasks. Members are expected to participate in carrying out the group's objective. This process has been called group dynamics because a new collective behavior comes from a series of individual interactions.

The purpose for which a group is organized, its type of leadership, the composition of its membership, the social situation, and the methods used to exchange information all affect the dynamics of a particular group.

Monday, August 18, 2008


What is your respond to over crowding?
Do you feel comfortable in a crowded little space?

Picture this, you're on a jammed commuter train, elbow to elbow with a lot of people; you're much closer than you care to be. The train stops and even more people get on. Now you're really jammed together. How do you feel? Now try putting yourself in this situation. You're in a packed disco. Again, people are elbow to elbow. Everyone is moving to the music, even those who aren't dancing. People and music seem to merge together. How do you feel?

Your feelings and reactions in these two
settings are probably quite different. You probably can't wait to get out of the train, while being in the disco might be considered a pleasure.

Our reaction to a crowd depends upon our perception of the event. A noted social psychologist describes three variables that influence our perception: (1) Who is crowding you? You may not mind being crowded if the people are friendly. (2) What activity is going on? You probably do mind
being crowded if others interfere with your comfort. (3) What is your previous experience with crowding? Up to a point, people get used to crowds, as they get used to many other stresses. Although you may not enjoy commuting in a packed train, you learn to endure it.

Let me out of here!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Innocence is abused and stolen!

I just read a very disturbing news about a seven-year-old boy being chained to the kitchen sink to prevent him from misbehaving while the parents are at work. What an abusive way to discipline a child. The mere thought of hitting or spanking a small child makes me boiling mad.

The social services had to intervene after being notified by neighbors, who heard the boy's father boast about how he was managing to control his son. The boy was bound by a four-meter chain to the sink when his mother, a cleaning lady, and his father, who worked in metallurgy, left the house. The chain was long enough to allow him to open the fridge and reach their terrace, but not to go the toilet. His only company was the family's dog--ironically, the dog was able to roam freely.

The child told social services that he was being punished for misbehaving. His mother said, her husband was afraid his son would turn into a criminal. What??? The boy was since been brought to an orphanage. The social services were due to rule within days whether he could be returned to his mother, who has promised to leave her husband.

How are we going to teach our children that it is not alright to hurt others when we continue to hurt them as well? What sense does that make? There are countless parents going through this very similar situation almost every day. One thing leads to another with children, who are misbehaving badly and then the end result is hurting them.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


How to relax after a hard
day's work in the office!


"A man can counterfeit love, he can counterfeit faith,
he can counterfeit hope and all the other graces,
but it is very
difficult to counterfeit humility."

L. Moody

Friday, August 15, 2008


Did you know that human beings can neither smell nor taste a substance that is not soluble. On a dry tongue, sugar has no taste. In a dry nose, the smell of a flower would not be noticed. Anything to be smelled must float in the air.

is the inability to smell.

Ageusia is the inability to taste.


Camels in the Sahara Desert

The largest desert in the world--the Sahara, the very word, in Arabic, for "desert"--is as large in area as the U.S. The Sahara wasn't always a sahara. Twenty thousand years ago, glaciers covered much of Europe, and cool winds brought moisture to northern Africa. What is now desert was then a pleasant land with rivers and lakes, forests and grasslands.

Sahara shimmers


Love doesn't just happen!
It is a skill upon which other
relationships build!

Whatever the definition, psychologists agree that the ability to love, to care for others, and to engage in mature sexual behavior is a product of learning that begins in infancy. We need to be loved and are born with the capacity to love, but love has to be learned.

Research has shown that abusive and unloving parents are more than likely the products of loveless and abused childhoods themselves. Studies also reveal that a high percentage of criminals were physically abused or neglected as children. Being deprived of loving experiences at critical points in childhood can produce unhealthy behavior in later life. People learn to love. Love doesn't just happen. It does not appear to be an innate or inborn characteristics. The ability to love must be taught and is acquired within a social context. It is a skill upon which other relationships build.

TREES by Alfred Joyce Kilmer


I think that I shall never see
A poem lov
ely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet eart
h’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leaf
y arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robin
s in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately l
ives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

This is one of my favorite poems
written by American journalist, poet,
literary critic, lecturer, and editor,
Alfred Joyce Kilmer.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


"See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!

O that I were a glove upon that hand,
that I might touch that cheek!"

Romeo and Juliet (Act II, Sc. II)

An 11 year old boy who wanted to get his girlfriend's attention without waking her parents got a lesson in the strength of a window pane. A pebble fired from a slingshot has more velocity than a pebble tossed by hand. He said, he was just trying to get her attention. He is now doing odd jobs around his neighborhood to raise the money he needs to replace the window.

He was trying to see the girl early one morning a few weeks ago. At first, he threw wood chips at the window, but that wasn't enough, so he went home for heavier artillery. The slingshot worked in getting the girl's attention, but it also cracked the window. He immediately owned up to the broken window and promised the girl's parents that he would replace it. He went to his mother, who covered the replacement cost, but said, the boy was going to have to do extra chores.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Man's joke falls flat on wife!

A jealous wife left her home and children after her husband teased her by making her listen to an audio clip of a girl talking sensuously on his cellphone.

The husband had returned from and work and was waiting for launch when he played the recording and pretended he was having a conversation. Hearing the clip, the wife became infuriated and, thinking the conversation was real, accused the man of having an affair. The man tried to calm his wife down. However, she immediately left for her father's home. One of the woman's brothers then went to the husband to find out what had caused the dispute. The brother listened to the clip and then took the phone to show his parents and sister. Everyone laughed at the wife, who then returned home.

A friend did the same thing to his wife. However, the relationship ended up on a sour note. My friend's wife didn't take the joke lightly. They ended up quarreling for the custody of their only child.

Men, women, whatever the gender is, we get jealous about different things. The behavior is often similar—evil glares, badmouthing, serious arguments, threatening comments, and sometimes even violent and dangerous actions against potential rivals. A prominent psychologist views jealousy as healthy and necessary to the fitness of faithful relationship. Obviously, any situations involving infidelity are painful to think about. Women are more troubled about a partner’s infidelity, while men were most upset about sexual transgressions.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Two days ago I saw my building mate hammering something on his door a small plate, octagonal in shape, and made of brass. I asked what was it all about. He said, it’s a feng shui, and even emphasized the correct pronunciation, “fung shway.”

I received an email sometime ago explaining the symbolic meaning of the ancient Chinese practice believed to help improve life status. Literally translated, it means wind-water in English. Many claim that this tradition is the practice of arranging things to help one achieve goals. They also believe it is very important in choosing a place to live, it has positive effects on health, it seeks to promote prosperity, and personal relationships.

Curious enough, I did some readings and found out that it has five elements: water, fire, wood, metal, and earth and external environment. Feng shui considers yin as the feminine and passive energy side, while yang is masculine and hot side. It also gives importance to eight separate directions: north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, and northwest. An expert on this practice is known as geomancer. who consults individual’s Chinese horoscope to find out what is best for the person. Using some complicated mathematical calculations the geomancer determines, which arrangements of objects are the best to achieve harmony.

Its applications is not limited to internal features, but encompasses outside elements, too. It can be used in choosing the right location, architectural and construction aspects of houses and buildings, furniture styles and colors.

On a side note:

In Singapore, officials have changed the direction of the world biggest observation wheel because feng hui masters said it was taking good fortune away from the city. The Singapore Flyer, which opened earlier this year, had originally revolved so that it rose to face the business district and went down overlooking the sea. However, masters of the ancient Chinese art of geomancy convinced the wheel’s management to reverse it so that it was not taking fortune away from the city. A number of feng shui masters approached them and said that the Flyer is on the perfect site to pick up the good “qi” (energy) flowing into Singapore, but it was going in the wrong direction. It was going against the sun and taking fortune away from Singapore.

Monday, August 11, 2008


A friend requested me to post this picture in my blog.
You can pass it around, if you wish!

New hair style for men!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Strange News from Abroad

There are ways to prevent your daughter from rejecting a suitor you suggested, but calling in a minibus bomb threat is probably not the best way.

A 65-year old man had been insisting his daughter marry one of his friends. The rest of the family took the daughter's side in rejecting this absurd notion that a father can force his daughter to marry someone against her will. So with the help of the eldest son, the family planned a trip without the family patriarch. The trip just heppened to coincide with the father had set for his daughter's marriage. By the time the father realized what was going on, the family had packed the minibus and were on their way out of town. So the father decided the best thing to do then was to be incredibly stupid. He called police saying a minibus filled with family members was a cover up for smuggling arms and explosives. The police responded appropriately by halting the bus and searching the vehicle. When they didn't find any weapons, they arrested the old man. He is now facing charges and, much to the girls' relief, it seems the wedding plans have been interrupted by the ordeal.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Red-belly Piranha

The Myth

Piranhas are ferocious and deadly!!!

The Fact

Piranhas do have sharp little teeth and can give you a nasty nip. They do sometimes swim in large schools, but only to defend themselves against natural predators, such as river dolphins. Piranhas are predators of smaller fish and shrimp. They do have to be kept in even-numbered groups in aquariums to stop them ganging up on an odd one out.

There are no records of piranha attacking and killing live humans. Only few examples of bites from careless handling of piranha out of the water demonstrate the potential for injury. They see color. Brazilian fishermen use a red piece of cloth or piece of red meat to fish with and piranhas do react to this color. They do not habitually attack humans. In fact, humans eat more piranhas than the other way around!

It is a shame that we have made the piranha a larger-than-life monster.


"He who labors diligently need never despair;
for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor."

Menander of Athens

Friday, August 8, 2008


There is a way of writing 1
by using all ten digits at once:

148/296 + 35/70 = 1

And there are at least 2
ways of writing “1,000” with 8s only:

8 + 8 / 8 (8 x 8 x 8 – 8) – 8 = 1,000

8888 – 888 / 8 = 1,000

Thursday, August 7, 2008


There is one phobia that is mainly physical disease and not merely a state of mind.

A person who has suffered a certain virus infection that attacks the nervous system cannot swallow. The sight or the sound of water or the attempt to swallow water throws this unfortunate person into a convulsion. The ancient Greeks considered this kind of convulsion to have resulted from a morbid fear of water, and they called the disease hydrophobia--from hydor, "water."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Their safe little world becomes a battleground!

No one would argue that a child would be frightened by witnessing outright violence between the parents. To observe them constantly bickering can have a damaging effect. A husband and wife who are always sniping at one another are not the only ones who suffer from the perpetual friction. Studies have shown that children who experienced frequent episodes of parental conflict in early childhood are at greater risk of being violent themselves in adolescence and adulthood. Their safe little world becomes a battleground. They begin to feel insecurity, worried that their parents are heading for separation. They often act as mediators in their parents’ quarrels.

Witnessing of abuse is usually combined with other childhood experiences that negatively affect children's emotional and social functioning, such as harsh discipline, lack of emotional support and affection and poor parental supervision, all of which have shown to be associated with subsequent violent behavior. Young boys' witnessing of abuse of their mothers has been identified as the most consistent risk factor for engaging in intimate partner violence later in life. It is impossible and not even a good idea to hide traces of marital conflict from children. By watching how their parents interact, they learn that conflict is a part of marriage. What is important is how that conflict is expressed. It is better for kids to see their parents have a fight in which each of them is expressing his or her personality. That way they know that fighting is sometimes a natural part of relationship, which can be resolved.

Prevention of domestic violence is essential both in its own right and as part of efforts to reduce broader violence and crime in society.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Both Domenico Scarlatti and Frederic Francois Chopin were inspired by cats. When Scarlatti’s cat struck certain notes on the keys of his harpsichord, one by one, with its paws, Scarlatti proceeded to write “The Cat’s Fugue,” a fugue for harpsichord in D minor. While Chopin was composing Waltz No. 3 in F major, his cat ran across the keys of the piano, amusing Chopin so much that he tried for the same sounds in what is called “The Cat’s Waltz”.

Make sure you don’t miss the exciting composition of Giacchino Antonio Rossini, Duettto Buffo Di Due Gatti (“humorous duet for two cats”), a popular performance piece for sopranos. It is often performed as a concert encore.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Emperor Nero in singing mood!

If America has American Idol,
Rome had Roman Idol!

After becoming Emperor of Rome, Nero's dearest ambition was to sing in public, according to the Roman chronicler Suetonius. After taking lessons, he made his debut in Naples. An earth tremor shook the theater, causing some of the audience to depart while Nero continued singing. At a later performance elsewhere, he had the gates locked so no one could leave while he was on stage. Some women gave birth in the stands. Some men, tired out with listening and applauding, furtively leaped over the walls. Three clever citizens tricked the guards into letting them through an exit: one pretended to be dead and the other two carried him out.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Strange report from abroad!!!

A man filed a lawsuit in a court, but the judge in the case refused to continue unless the man removed his long moustache. The judge ordered the plaintiff out of his courtroom until he trimmed his moustache. The man left but returned later with the offensive facial hair still intact. Angered by the insubordination, the judge refused to hear the case. The hearing has been indefinitely postponed. The plaintiff has filed a complaint with the higher court because he is very proud of his moustache.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


It all happened many years ago,
but once again, the grim reminders have returned!

Forty years ago today, an earthquake with a 7.3 Richter scale magnitude killed and injured many people. This was the most destructive earthquake in the Philippines before the 1990 Luzon big seism. It generated a tsunami that reached as far as Japan.

Although, not the epicenter, the hardest hit was the densely populated City of Manila where majority of old structures and historical landmarks suffered severe damages, some beyond repair. A 6-storey building, the Ruby Tower, collapsed in Binondo, killing more than 300 tenants, and a number of undisclosed victims never been found.

Those who survived the tragedy wanted to be left only with the memories of their lost dear ones.


"To put the world right in order,
we must first put the nation in order;
to put the
nation in order,
we must first put the family in order;
to put the family in order,
we must first cultivate our personal life;

we must first set our hearts right


Friday, August 1, 2008


Just finished giving piano lessons to my Friday group, and before the last student left, he asked me about "acid rain." It gave me an idea to post an entry on the subject. And here's my recollection about this serious threat to our environment.
As a direct result of human activities to produce more nutrients than nutrient cycles can efficiently process, unexpected and possibly catastrophic consequences usually occur. This is best exemplified by the occurrence of what is known as acid rain or acid deposition.
Oxides of nitrogen and sulfur combine with water vapor in the atmosphere to form droplets of nitric and sulfuric acid. These acids when deposited at or near the earth's surface in the form of rain is called acid rain.
Is acid rain harmful? Yes it is! It has adverse effects on animals and plants directly. Increased acid levels place the entire living community under stress. One of the more noticeable effects that concern man is the damage it brings to structures. If it remains unabated, the damage it can cause to both ecosystems and property would be incalculable.