Paskong Pinoy sa Dublin poster - Designed by Jeremy Ramos

I issued an invitation the Filipino communities in Ireland the other night regarding the Paskong Pinoy sa Dublin concert organised by the Philippine Embassy in Ireland in cooperation with my group, the Filipino Community Network (FCN). I cannot but be proud that I can still be articulate in pure Filipino language despite the mixture of dialect spoken in the communities I move around in.

The main Filipino dialect called ‘Tagalog’ is not anymore, if not rarely, in use as a pure language of its own. Speaking Filipino is like being granted the gift of tongues. Filipino language in these modern time is a mixture of Tagalog, Spanish, English, Visayan, Chinese, etc. The list goes on.

Anyway, here is my pure Tagalog invitation which I am very proud of after receiving a few generous replies of appreciation from people.


Mahal naming mga kababayan, 

Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat!
Maayong gabii sa inyong tanan!

Lubos po namin kayong inaaanyayahan na dumalo sa isang Paskong pampamilya – ang Paskong Pinoy sa Dublin concert. Sama-sama nating alalahanin at gunitain ang tradisyon ng isang Paskong Pilipino – sa pamamagitan ng mga awit, himig, musika, at higit sa lahat, ang pagkaing salo-salo. Mula sa kampana ng simbahan sa umagang malamig at kay ganda, hanggang sa kumukutikutitap na mga palamuti sa gabing madilim at mapayapa, ating balikan ang mga awiting pampasko handog ng sari-saring mga grupo ng mga kababayan nating manganganta o koro, hatid sa inyo ng Embahada ng Pilipinas sa Ireland at sa tulong ng Filipino Community Network (FCN).

 Tayo ay magkita-kita kasama ang ating mga pamilya sa ika-labing dalawa ng Disyembre, taong ikadalawang libo at siyam sa ganap na ika-apat ng hapon sa Trinity Church Network, The Exchange, 50 Gardiner St. Lower, Dublin 1 (sa likod ng Customs House).

 Ikagagalak po namin ang inyong pagpapaunlak sa imbitasyon naming ito. Maraming salamat po at Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat mula sa FCN.

Sumasainyo po,
Tanggapan ng Impormasyon at Komunikasyon
Filipino Community Network (FCN)
+353 87 663 0167
+353 86 863 1985

By Nick Britten
Published: 3:18PM GMT 29 Nov 2009

Researchers in the Netherlands have created what was described as soggy pork and are now investigating ways to improve the muscle tissue in the hope that people will one day want to eat it.

No one has yet tasted the product, but it is believed the artificial meat could be on sale within five years.

 Vegetarian groups welcomed the news, saying there was “no ethical objection” if meat was not a piece of a dead animal.

Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University, said: “What we have at the moment is rather like wasted muscle tissue. We need to find ways of improving it by training it and stretching it, but we will get there.

“This product will be good for the environment and will reduce animal suffering. If it feels and tastes like meat, people will buy it.

“You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals.”

The scientists extracted cells from the muscle of a live pig and then put them in a broth of other animal products. The cells then multiplied and created muscle tissue. They believe that it can be turned into something like steak if they can find a way to artificially “exercise” the muscle.

The project is backed by the Dutch government and a sausage maker and comes following the creation of artificial fish fillets from goldfish muscle cells.

Meat produced in a laboratory could reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with real animals.

Meat and dairy consumption is predicted to double by 2050 and methane from livestock is said to currently produce about 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases.

It was supported by animal rights campaigners. A spokesman for Peta said: “As far as we’re concerned, if meat is no longer a piece of a dead animal there’s no ethical objection.”

However the Vegetarian Society said: “The big question is how could you guarantee you were eating artificial flesh rather than flesh from an animal that had been slaughtered.

“It would be very difficult to label and identify in a way that people would trust.”

The advent of meat grown for consumers could reduce the billions of tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year by farm animals and help meet the United Nation’s predictions that meat and dairy consumption will double by 2050.

However, the latest breakthrough is certain to cause concern amongst the anti-GM lobby.

Last week Prince Charles, a fierce opponent of GM food, warned that people were creating problems by “treating food as an easy commodity rather than a precious gift from nature”.

His comments came as the results of a survey commissioned by the Food Standards Agency revealed concerns about long-term health and environmental impacts of genetically modified products.

It showed shoppers want to be told when meat and milk from cows is genetically modified through clear labelling.

GM supporters say they are aware of risks associated with “engineered” food but believe it benefits the Third World.

Worries about personal music players go beyond volume, though—far beyond. “Moral panics” related to music are nothing new (think Elvis, rock’n’roll, the Beatles, death metal, raunchy rap, etc.), but it’s still astonishing just how much anxiety is poured into these tiny devices. Consider the various worries that surround them:

  • They’re destroying music: “All recorded music is a compromise,” said the chief music critic for the UK Times earlier this year. “But recorded music that has been turned into a computer file, squeezed down the internet and then scrunched into a tiny part of your zillion-track iPod is more compromised than most.” It was only one more volley in the war between the audiophiles and the “good enough” set.
  • They’re making narcissists of us all: Who needs to interact with other people on the street or the subway? Or listen to a song they dislike? Portable media players mean that we can listen to our own libraries all the time, and some people argue that there’s a dark side to this much control. In the 2009 book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in an Age of Entitlement, Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell argue that “it can’t be a coincidence that i in iPod and iMac can stand for the first-person singular.”
  • They’re killing the music business: Music players now have so much storage that (according to Microsoft), some models can cost $30,000 to fill with tunes. Of course, no one spends that kind of money on music, and rightsholders believe that the devices are largely filled with illegal content instead—Universal even talked Microsoft into giving it a buck from every Zune sale to compensate for this.
  • They’re going to be confiscated at the border: When news broke about the negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), inflammatory headlines about “iPod-scanning border guards” popped up. The idea was that rightsholders were pushing governments to look for infringing content at customs crossings, and agents would therefore start scanning iPods for such content. This never made much sense—agents don’t have the time, nor do they have any reliable way of knowing if particular tracks are legal copies—but it quickly made the rounds and succeeded at illustrating just how seriously people took their music collections and personal playback devices.

Also, they could destroy your hearing.

Would you buy a used car from this man? The answer depends on whether he looks like you, researchers believe.

We are more likely to trust people who look like us, psychologists told the British Science Festival yesterday — even though we find them less attractive.

Researchers tested how willing players of a game were to entrust money to strangers whose faces they could see on a computer screen. They found that players were more trusting when those faces had been digitally manipulated to resemble their own.

“Normally they trusted people about 50 per cent of the time. But when the faces were changed to look like them, they trusted 73 per cent of the time,” said Lisa DeBruine of the University of Aberdeen, who conducted the research.

She said she believed that the response had an evolutionary basis, as we subconsciously assume those who look like us must be relatives. But because we are programmed to avoid finding close relatives sexually attractive, this means those we trust are not necessarily the ones we find attractive. Dr DeBruine’s team found that even when looking at members of the opposite sex, subjects found those who looked like them trustworthy — but they did not want to sleep with them.

“When the players were judging the faces for physical attractiveness they thought similar faces less attractive,” she said. “So we believe resemblance is trustworthy — but not lustworthy.”

These two conflicting evolutionary drives highlight a tension in choosing reproductive partners, Dr DeBruine said. For although we avoid pairing up with siblings, we must not choose partners too genetically distant.

Dr DeBruine said this was a real problem for other animals, some of whom risked accidentally mating with the wrong species. Even in humans, she said, there is evidence that we breed better with people who have some genetic similarity.

“A study in Iceland showed that partners who are third or fourth cousins have more surviving grandchildren than people who are either more closely related or less closely related,” she said. “People choose partners that are kind of intermediate.”

Anthony Little, a research fellow at the University of Stirling, said this may help to explain why we are prone to pick partners who look a bit like our parents.“People select partners similar to their opposite sex parent,” he said. “The best predictor of someone’s partner’s hair and eye colour is the hair and eye colour of their opposite sex parent.”

Extract from:

The Farmville Craze

September 8, 2009


This is my farm

I woke up early morning the other day – my mom reminding me to harvest my crops before it gets withered while she tends hers. Or at times, she even gets mad at me for being so stubborn in minding my virtual farm.

It has been 4-5 weeks since I was born in the land of Farmville.

I tried to grow strawberries initially; my first plants withered away before I even realized the berries were ripe. But with some effort, I’ve since successfully cultivated soybeans, squash, eggplant, artichokes, and even a variety of fruit trees. Did I attack the square foot gardening craze with a vengeance? Nope. The entirety of my gardening experience has been within the pretend land of FarmVille.

In this “simulation game,” you plow land, plant seeds, wait for stuff to grow, then harvest and sell your produce to earn money to buy more seeds, livestock, and—if you can afford it—a barn. You don’t learn anything about what it takes to actually grow food or run a farm, except that your crops will die if you don’t tend to them regularly, like a Tamagotchi. I wonder what happens to your chickens if you don’t collect their eggs soon enough? Sounds like an interesting experiment! (Also, it’s really strange collecting eggs or milking a cow with a scythe, which seems to be the only method available.)

Due to its over popularity (friends’ farm notifications flooding our Facebook homepages), even Mom and Dad didn’t ignore the chance of joining the online craze. I see it as a simple way to making your free time (Internet browsing) productive, somehow. Plus you get the chance to show your friends off how better your farm is compared to theirs Hahaha.

Last night, my brother and I compared farms and told him his farm is scattered and so he is in real life I reckon. Lol! Getting back on me, he said my farm was so organised and seem wealthy but my money is down to almost zero – ha ha (Yes because I love elegance!)

A friend of mine has his entire farm almost fully occupied with the plantable square lots, all barn animals and trees organised in an orderly way for full efficiency. He doesn’t invest on anything and his money is now millions. That is him in real life too.

It would be nice for my avatar to be able to shoot the shit with my farming buddies over a drink someday. But at the moment, I’m finding the whole experience rather Zen. I don’t claim to get the point of playing. It isn’t clear what the endgame is or whether there is one. Just like life.

My Sentiments Exactly

September 8, 2009

There will be time in a human’s existence that no matter what your life status and how your life style is, you’ll eventually get fed up or lose something as precious as your dream. Like economy, we do have recession too – best known as depression. This is when we spend too much (money and time) but long for simpler things. We could overlook our goals simply by striving to do more of it. Then, we make our lives complicated.

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways ,but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. 

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. 

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. 

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.. 

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. 

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…. 

Remember; Spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. 

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. 

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. 

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. 

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. 

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. 

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

– George Carlin (after his wife died)

Google’s Why do’s

September 7, 2009

On this morning’s tea break, I remembered that when people are wondering about things, the question always starts with “why do…”. Thanks to Google’s search suggestions, just typing “why do” showed me what millions of people wonder about and googled (Yes, google is now a word in the Oxford English Dictionary) for answers. Try searching the answers for below. It did make my day and gave me my daily dose of new knowledge.

Search results

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