10 October 2012

Fun facts about beard

When you say beard, jolly old Santa Claus's full beard immediately pops into my head. But aside from his white cloud of beard, popular culture icons sport memorable beard styles such as Hugh Jackman's character as Wolverine in X-Men appeared with a rugged sideburns or the savvy character of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.

As per Merriam-Webster dictionary, the beard is a hair that grows on a man's face often excluding the mustache. In Wikipedia, it is a collection of hair that grows on the chin, upper lip, cheeks and neck of human beings.

We are used to men sporting this bristly appendage, but in some rare cases, women with hirsutism may also develop a beard. Hirsutism is an excessive growth of hair on women in those parts of the body where terminal hair doesn't appear like a beard or chest hair.

So it is not strange that the longest beard on a woman recorded in the Guinness World Records belongs to Vivian Wheeler of United States of America. It was measured at 25.5 cm (10.04 in) from the follicle to the tip of hair on the set of Lo Show Dei Record, Milan, Italy, on 8 April 2011.

For the Guinness World  Records' longest beard on living male belong to Sarwan Singh of Surrey, Canada. It measures 2.37 m (7 ft 9 in). The beard was measured on the set of Lo Show dei Record in Rome, Italy, on 4 March 2010.

Sarwan Singh holds the longest beard on living male
One of the fun facts about beard that I stumbled upon is that the longest beard ever recorded was grown by Hans Langseth. The beard is now preserved at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, according to this site.

For more interesting facts about beard, visit this website.

Wake up call

When a fierce monsoon struck the the provinces of the CALABARZON Region, namely Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon and provinces of Region 3, Bulacan, Bataan and Pampanga, it led to eight days of intense rain and thunderstorms that caused rise of the water levels. It was dubbed as "Ang Hagupit ng Habagat" (The Wrath of the Monsoon).

According to the National Risk Reduction and Management Council, the intense flooding and never-ending rain submerged 80 percent of Metro Manila caused flood deaths rising up to 95 people, left families homeless and damaged houses.
Photo from www.gmanetwork.com
It was reported that heaps of garbage washed ashore from Manila Bay on the Baywalk area along Roxas Boulevard in Manila last August during the intense rainfall and thunderstorms brought by habagat.

According to one of the change quotes in FinestQuotes.com from Victor Frankl, he said, "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." Majority of the trash were plastics which triggered the government agencies and officials launched "no plastic bag day" campaign two years ago and encourage the people to use re-usable bags.

It was reported in Abs-cbnnews.com last September 30, 2010. Starting November, plastic bags in supermarkets will no longer be free on certain days. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the campaign is part of efforts to limit the use of plastics as these cause clogged drainage systems.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje told PhilStar.com last September 29, 2010 that incentives would be given to shoppers who will use reusable bags in supermarkets.

“The incentives, which will be provided to encourage this change in the behavior of consumers, shall be left to the discretion of the management of participating supermarkets. These could be in the form of rebates, points, actual cash incentives for every plastic bag saved or any other scheme pursuant to their own promotion scheme,” he explained.

Paje said malls and supermarkets would charge customers a fee for plastic bags during the Reusable Bag Day every Wednesday.

Though the "no plastic bag day" was imposed last 2010, it seems that it still wasn't enough. The situation must be taken seriously to avoid another mountains of garbage to be washed in our shores. Start the change in ourselves. When we go to the supermarkets, we should make sure that we bring canvass bags for our groceries and other stuff. It may appear a small effort but if we put it together with thousands of environment-conscious people, this is a big thing.

Give Up Tomorrow: Paco Larrañaga's POV

If the other countries has a list of famous murders in history, in the Philippines, we have a controversial case that awakens the nation's memories of the cruel murder of the of two women filed against an innocent man who, until now, remains behind bars. A documentary film shows the other side of the story, the innocent man's POV.

Give Up Tomorrow
Here's the gist: like any suspense story, it started on a rainy night in Cebu. Two sisters leave work and never make it home. Paco Larrañaga, a 19-year-old culinary student, 300 miles away in Manila on the same night, is sentenced to death for their rape and murder, despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence.

Dubbed as the nation's "Trial of the Century", the film exposes shocking corruption within the judicial system and long-simmering class and racial antipathies among the population. Two grieving mothers--one mother becomes a media darling, the other waits for justice--entangled in a case that ends the country's use of capital punishment. To add more drama, a judge commits suicide and the young man remains behind bars but fails to free an innocent man, dedicate more than a decade to executing or saving him.

This documentary is directed by Michael Collins and produced by Marty Syjuco (who is a distant relative by marriage to the Larrañagas) spent more than seven years working on the first film. "Give Up Tomorrow" premiered last October 4, 2012 and has bagged the Audience Award winner, 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. It is also an Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. A co-production of ITVS, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), and POV's Diverse Voices Project with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in association with the BBC.

Sources: http://www.pbs.org and http://laapff.festpro.com

08 October 2012

Travel Korea through their dishes

Koreans cooking toppoki (rice cake) and odeng (fish)
The first week of October held a promise to Korean fans. Last October 3 to 7, SM City Cebu together with Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, Cebu City Tourism Commission, Province of Cebu and Cebu Korean Association, Inc. [세부한인희] celebrated Korean Festival 2012 in Cebu.

This piece of interesting news captured K-pop fans--young and young-at-hearts. The five-day celebration was packed with different activities such as Korean Film Festival, K-POP Grand Finals, Korean Food Festival and Korean Cultural Show.

As a fan of the world culture, I spent my weekend tasting different Korean delicacies from the different Korean restaurants at the mall. Since the Philippines is never short of Korean tourists, Filipinos and K-POP fans indulged in the novelty of having Korean Festival in the country.

Spicy toppoki (rice cake)
My cup of toppoki with a few slabs of odeng (fish)
Skewered odeng (fish)
Pa Dak (crispy chicken)
Tteokbokki or topokki, is one of the popular Korean snacks--a braised dish made of sliced rice cake, eggs, meat and seasoning. Mine was swimming in a spicy orange sauce with slabs of odeng. Of course, they also have chicken cutlets in different versions of their spiciness. They have gang-jung (sweet with soy sauce and teriyaki sauce), pa dak (crispy chicken) and ganjang (sweet and spicy). I had gang-jung, though with the promise of sweet chicken, it has a subtle hint of spicy.

I also tasted their almost sold-out cold delights: Encho and Melona ice cream.

Melona ice waffle with chocolate syrup in fish shape (photo by Mayebillones.tumblr.com)
Encho ice cream which is similar to Pinoy's pinipig ice cream (photo by Thepurpledoll.net)
Aside from our limited experience of Korean culture through their culinary dishes and basic greetings, reading books and traveling will strengthen one's knowledge about their country. Apart from meeting Koreans and dining at your local Korean restos, read more about their culture and be informed. Let me end this post with a phrase from Exami.net: "the more you read, the more you know".

Iligan's Tent City

I stumbled an inspirational picture quote from a site about bouncing back after a fall. It goes like this: "The harder you fall, the higher you bounce." The quote reminds me of the affected cities in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City when tropical storm Typhoon Sendong hits the country last December 2011.

Since Sendong destroyed homes and affected more than 17,000 families in Iligan City, several NGOs sent their help. The Rotary Club International provided Shelter Box--a tent for a family of six people which serves as a temporary home for the affected families. More photos here on Iligan.org.

Photo by www.omdminternational.com
What struck me is how the country managed to help the two cities in more ways than one. With the cooperation of the government and various organizations and private institutions, help was sent to the affected families in form of relief goods, clothing and boxes of clean drinking water. Campaigns like "One for Iligan" and "Help CDO" run among social media such as Facebook and Twitter. TV Networks pooled in by encouraging the viewers and companies to make a donation to their respective bank accounts to be sent out to the cities.

According to PhilStar, the United Nations last December launched an urgent appeal for $28 million to help an estimated 600,000 affected people, more than half the population of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. PLAN International, a global children’s charity that operates in 50 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas, leased a cargo plane to bring assistance to the victims.

It was reported in Manila Bulletin that DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman said the identified temporary shelters in Iligan City are Tent City, a vacant lot in Tambo Bus Terminal with 123 shelter boxes where 102 families are staying; City Central Elementary School with eight tents housing eight families; Tambacan Elementary School with 32 duplex tents housing 84 families; and Barangay San Roque and Bonbonon with 18 tents for 41 families.

For an up close feature of Tent City in Iligan, PHL360.com's episode 12 featured a family who stayed in the Tent City in Tambo Bus Terminal and the site of Sendong aftermath--leaving thousands of homeless families. For a day, the two travelers who were sent in Tent City shared their blessings and treated the children to a giant pizza. It was a wake-up call to the viewers to be thankful for what we have and as well as giving hope to the typhoon victims.

There is nothing more inspiring than to see people rising from their fall. It shows how tough Filipinos are as people and as a nation. No matter how strong the storm is, we still find ourselves helping and giving hope to our fellowmen in times of need.

03 October 2012

Subang: the rise of a Cebuano artist

Back in college in my Humanities class, we were introduced to the works of the great masters from the Renaissance period: Michalangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci. They contributed a great deal in the world of art and made history with their famous works.

Aside from admiring and learning the various works of the masters, I had the honor of meeting the Filipino National Artist for Visual Arts, Benedicto "BenCab" Cabrera, in an art show during his first solo exhibit (after being declared a National Artist) in Bluewater Maribago in Cebu last May 2011. It was an exhibit of his Life Drawings collection of portraits and nudes. Almost all of his works were sold during the opening night.

Though I admire famous artists and their works, I also believe that there is an artist in every one of us, waiting to be break out of our shells. I was lucky to be invited to a debut exhibit this November by a friend and a promising Cebuano artist. Because of his passion for art, he was convinced and supported by his friends from the Portrait Artists Society of the Philippines to share his talent through an art exhibit. He is Roderick "Rico" Maranga, a multi-talented person who does graphic designing and photography. We used to work together last year. He is into martial arts but I didn't know that he was a protege to the late Boy Sagario and created the first oil on canvas "Bata" and "Prutas". 

Roderick "Rico" Maranga
I am inviting you to support one of our local artists and witness his first one-man exhibit this coming November 3-15, 2012 at the General Echavez Street (beside Wafer Modeling Agency, right across Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion school). His show is entitled "Subang", which means "rise" in Cebuano dialect. Rico will showcase his artworks using different mediums such as oil, charcoal, watercolor and acrylic. Art aficionados will have the pleasure of meeting him in person during the opening night on November 3, at 4pm.

For inquiries, you may contact Jun Impas at 09176235744 and Boy Briones at 09165312175.

02 October 2012

Trust issues

Trust Walk, one of the popular team building exercises.
The word trust can a man's strength and his weakness at the same time. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary online, trust is an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. Trust is as fragile as walking on thin ice, one wrong move and you will find yourself falling into an icy water. Just like the team building activity we did (see photo below), we tried to put one of our members through a "live wire". As the person being placed through the "live wire", s/he has to trust the people helping her/him to pass through it. The hardest part is to trust someone with our life.

The "Live Wire" activity using a thin rope.
One of my Business Management professors once mentioned to our class that when it comes to business, we have to "think maliciously". Few years later, I find myself taking his words of wisdom seriously and use it in my personal life. It took me a long time to figure out that his unsolicited advice can be applied to our careers, relationships and personal issues.

According to a quote by Robert C. Solomon in FinestQuotes.com: "we also confuse trust with familiarity". That is one of the mistakes I made in my career. But I know better now. You see, trust needs to be earned. As the cliche goes, it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it. And it took me a few tries and (sometimes) a background personality check to trust one person.

Yes, reality bites. So give your trust to someone you can really depend on.

More trust quotes in FinestQuotes.com.