Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Currently listening to:

OST High Fidelity

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Mens sana in corpore sano
If you are to read just one book about maintaining your health, I suggest you read The Okinawa Program by Bradley Wilcox, Craig Wilcox and Makoto Suzuki. The book is a documentation of healthy lifestyle practices in Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture. People in Okinawa live longer than anyone in the planet. There are 600 centenarians out of a population of 1.3 million in the prefecture, the highest proportion of centenarians in the world: 39.5 for every 100,000 people. The centenarians studied by the authors in a span of 25 years have verifable birth certificates, and they continue to live active lives.

The longevity of the Okinawans also cannot be attributed to simply superior genes. Okinawans who migrated to the United States and Canada (and changed their lifestyles) do not live quite as long as their friends who remained in the island.It would also be erroneous to say that the centenarians in Okinawa live especially charmed lives. Okinawa is the poorest region in Japan, and during World War II, it lost one citizen in every four.

So what are the people in Okinawa doing right? They eat well, they eat little (again the importance of caloric restriction), they're surrounded by lots of loving family members and they're spiritual.

The Okinawa Program is not just your usual diet book (although it has plenty of recipes at the end). Wilcox is a doctor trained at the Mayo Clinic and a geriatrics fellow at Harvard. The second Wilcox , his brother, is a medical anthropologist. Suzuki is a professor in Okinawa and the principal investigator of the Okinawa Centenarian Study. What I find especially comforting about the book is its copious endnotes. Unlike most health books in the market (most of them espousing pseudo science), THe Okinawa Program is heavily referenced. If you are, for example, in doubt of the specific findings being related to you by the authors, you can go check out the original medical journal articles if you so desire and judge for yourself.

If you're too busy to read the book, or too hard up to get one, here are some of the health tips I learned from the book:

1) Eat lots and lots of tofu. It is extremely nutritious and because of its ridiculously low level of calories, it won't make you fat. It is also low in the Glycemic Index, making it a healthy source of carbohydrates.

2) Buy jasmine tea rather than green tea. Jasmine tea has just about the same flavonoids as green tea, but with the added benfit of lignans. If you're hooked on coffee because of its caffeine, switching to tea is not exactly detrimental to your working energy because tea also has caffeine, albeit only half of that of coffee. But what's wrong with drinking two cups of tea instead of one? You get same amount of caffeine with plenty of antioxidants on the side. A very good bargain.

3)Use canola oil as your cooking oil. It is better than the pricey olive oil because it is lower in saturated fats but higher in monounsaturates, which help reduce your bad cholesterol while at the same time boosting your good cholesterol.

4)Join a club or organization. Interaction with different people will give you more friends and is also good for your personal longevity.

5)Eat legumes, ampalaya, camote.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Currently reading:

The Okinawa Program by Wilcox, Wilcox and Suzuki

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Invitation: Madame Bovary on a Saturday
The InMediasRes reading group will meet to discuss

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
April 9, Saturday, 3 p.m
Dateline Bookshop
Marikina Shoe Expo complex (near Araneta Post Office)
Cubao, Quezon City

The full text of the novel is available online.

If you have a discussion question you want to be included, you can e-mail the e-group. Discussion questions, after collation, will be posted later in the e-group, after the Holy Week. To join the egroup, send blank e-mail to inmediasres-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

For those who are having second thoughts about reading Madame Bovary, read Washington Post's Michael Dirda gushing over it here.
Web prowl
Professor Nathan Tarcov on Freedom, Republics, and Peoples in Machiavelli’s Prince (pdf). Newsweek reports how,despite US sanctions, Burma is stumbling along. The Tinig e-zine is again online with a feature on the public humiliation so prevalent among student organizations at the University of the Philippines. From the Harvard Human Rights Journal, Professor Stephen Marks on The Human Right to Development: Between Rhetoric and Reality. Marit Stinus-Remonde says exposure to pesticides must be checked.
Job opening
TechFactors Inc., a multimedia company is in need of the following:

- proficient in Adobe In Design CS, Photoshop CS, and Illustrator CS;
- can do illustration;
- knowledge in Basic Flash is an advantage but not a requirement

- IT proficient;
- has experience in writing technical and creative materials;
- with proofreading and editing skills

Application letters should be addressed to:
Dr. Jaime D.L. Caro
TechFactors, Inc.
Rm. 403 Tempus Place,
Matalino St., Diliman,
Quezon City
Tel.: (02) 920-0294

Submit your application letter and detailed résumé by e-mail to:

Ms. Joyce R. Cayamanda

David Michael F. Shinyo

Monday, March 21, 2005

Currently reading:

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Free screening
From the mailbox:
It was announced during an independent filmmakers' symposium recently held at the up masscomm that pioneering independent filmmaker Jon Red's new film entitled BOSO will be screened for free on APRIL 5, TUESDAY at 5PM at the UP FILM CENTER. Famous for his fiercely independent spirit and comedic flair, BOSO promises to be an erotic black comedy- indie style. invite your friends since this is a rare screening of the UNCUT VERSION - :)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The fall of a fighter
Manny Pacquiao loses to Morales, the LA Times reports, but:

Pacquiao hadn't come halfway around the world to quit. His legions of flag-waving countrymen hadn't made the journey to go home early.

So even though he had fallen behind early on all three judges' scorecards, even though a punch, or perhaps the head butt that preceded it, had split his right eyebrow earlier in that fifth round, even though Morales, a notoriously slow starter, had set a furious pace and employed an aggressive style, Pacquiao fought on.
The unbearable burden of being Grace Padaca
The Economist reports on how Grace Padaca, the crippled governor of Isabela, is having a hard time ruling the province once under the sway of the Dys. “I sometimes cry myself to sleep at night,” Padaca admits to the newsmagazine.

Padaca is facing the problem reformers inevitably face whenever a new order is about to be instituted: resistance from conservative people who have digged in their heels. If the recall election Padaca's opponents are planning fails to materialize, they can always hedge their bet on the next election. A reinforced--and less complacent-- Dy campaign has a good fighting chance of toppling the wobbly Padaca. Because of the opposition from mayors and other officals/bureaucrats in the province, Padaca's administration, I understand, is in a state of, if not disarray, nonachievement. What is a reformer to do in the face of pervasive opposition?

A thing or two can be learned from the experience of that great subversive from Malaysia--Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. A reformer to be effective must appear conservative. It is natural for men to detest change. Lulled by the familiarity of present things, however insufficient they may be, a man would always tend to choose the intimate present rather than the distant and uncertain future.

No Muslim leader (well, except, perhaps Kemal Ataturk) has done more to secularize Muslim society than Dr. Mahathir. He, however, did his best to appear conservative. There is simply no use ruffling too many feathers. Mahathir's anti-semitic speech with the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) as his audience is instructive of this particular useful political tactic.

Malaysia has unequivocally condemned Al-Qaeda's 911 attack and has cooperated fully with the United States's overseas efforts to round up Muslim suspects. Because of this seeming proximity to the United States, murmurs of Mahathir's insufficient Muslim credentials again began to surface (as they habitually did from time to time throughout his career). What did Mahathir do? Host the OIC and, in a speech closely watched by global media, lambast the Jews for trying to rule the world. There was instantaneous thunderous applause from the Muslim gallery. In an instant, Mahathir renewed his ties with the Muslims by saying what many of them could only think about. But was the speech really about the excesses of the Jews? No. It was, close reading of the speech would show, more on highlighting the intellectual laziness of the Muslims versus the fecund imagination and productiveness of the Jews. Had Mahathir simply talked about the historical unproductiveness of the Muslims, he would have been pilloried. But because he lambasted the Jews at the same time that he did scold the Muslims, he got a round of applause. He appeared anti-Semitic in the eyes of the world, yes, but he endeared himself in the hearts of his Muslim constituents at the same time, it bears pointing out, that he was berating their intellectual lassitude.

A reformer to be effective must appear conservative. Padaca should be rounding up the mayors of the province and telling them just how little things are about to change. A first term is for consolidation; real substantive reforms can wait the second term, when the status quo brokers have been lulled to thinking they are being served with just more of the same thing.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Call for papers on Filipino martial arts
Pacific Media Expo [ PMX ], in collaboration with All Things Filipino [ ATF ], is pleased to announce a Call for Papers on Filipino Martial Arts (Kali, Eskrima, Arnis and other disciplines) for our convention at the Long Beach Convention Center over Labor Day Weekend, September 3-5, 2005.

Produced by Paula Angeles and Arnold A. Noche, this is a wonderful opportunity for Filipino martial artists to raise awareness of the rich martial history of the Philippines and to show their skills to a broader audience of thousands. One hour per day will devoted to FMA panels over this three-day period. All topics regarding Filipino martial arts will be considered.

Please send your one-page panel proposals to:

Pacific Media Expo [ PMX ]
Attn: Paula Angeles
914 Westwood Boulevard, Suite 586
Los Angeles, California 90024-2905

All Things Filipino [ ATF ]
Attn: Arnold A. Noche
1245 W. Gardena Boulevard, Suite 201
Gardena, California 90247-4825

Deadline is Friday, April 29, 2005.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Feedback from the blogworld
Manuel Quezon III calls Ped Xing a "reliably intelligent" blog.
Brain Drain: Why Doctors Shift to Nursing
Public discussion to focus on patterns of migration of highly skilled and educated professionals in SE Asia
By the AIM Policy Center

The AIM Policy Center, in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the International Office on Migration, will sponsor a videoconference seminar titled Creative Solutions to Brain Drain: Doctors into Nursing and Other Developments at the AIM-World Bank Global Distance Learning Center on March 18, 2005 (Friday), 4:00-6:30 p.m.

The purpose of the seminar is to provide an informed public discussion around a concern on patterns of migration of highly skilled and educated professionals to the US and other western nations.

Specifically, it aims to identify and clarify the extent and scope of the problem of brain drain in Southeast Asia and its effect to the economic activities of the nations, and identify policy options or solutions to address the brain drain in SE Asia and thereby encourage or attract highly skilled and educated professionals to return to their countries of origin.


3:30-4:00 PM

Welcome Remarks
Mr. Klaus Preschle
Country Representative, Konrad Adenauer Foundation

The Doctors to Nurses Phenomenon: A Southeast Asian Perspective
Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan
Former Secretary of Health, Republic of the Philippines

From Brain Drain to Brain Gain: A Proposal for SE Asia
Irena Vojackova-Sollorano
Regional Representative, International Organizations for Migration


* Official from the Department of Labor and Employment – POEA/OWWA
* Chairman of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines
* Chairman of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
* Head of Senate/HOR Committees on Labor and Employment

Open Forum – Distance Learning Centers
Mr. Harvey Reed (Moderator)
International Organization for Migration-Philippines

Synthesis and Closing Remarks
Dr. Federico M. Macaranas
Executive Director, AIM Policy Center and AIM-World Bank Development Resource Center

The event is FREE of charge. For confirmation of attendance, please e-mail Kat your complete details (name, position, company, telephone number, fax, and e-mail address) at mledesma@mail.aim.edu.ph.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sen. Jamby Madrigal reloaded
Finally seen Sen. Jamby Madrigal in the flesh today during an oversight committee hearing for the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. Civil society members monitoring the implementation of the law vented out their disappointments with the law's lackluster implementation and oftentimes blatant skewing: Mixed waste, for example, is still being collected by garbage collectors and local government units are not interested in putting up sanitary landfills to replace currently existing dumpsites, which are due to be outlawed next year. Sen. Madrigal was seemingly eager to take this up in the future with her favorite cabinet member--Sec. Mike Defensor.
Wanted: LIRA poets
The Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA) is searching anew for this year's batch of fellows who will join its elite circle of poets.

Organized in 1985 by National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario, known in the literary circle as Rio Alma, LIRA takes pride in its stringent and rigorous poetry clinic that has produced award-winning poets and writers.

Among those who are part of LIRA's 20-year tradition of literary excellence are: Oragon poets and prolific authors and editors Roberto T. Añonuevo and Romulo P. Baquiran,Jr.; award-winning poet and Miriam College professor Rebecca T. Añonuevo; performance artist and UP Institute of Creative Writing director Vim Nadera;
Centennial Literary Prize winner and lawyer Nicolas Pichay; journalist and back-to-back Makata ng Taon awardee Ariel Dim. Borlongan; Ateneo professor and publisher Michael Coroza; and LIRA's current president Ateneo professor and children's story writer Edgar Samar.

This year's poetry clinic, as has been done in LIRA's 20-year history, will consist of lectures on Filipino literary tradition as well as those in other countries by
respected poets and and writers, critiquing of the fellows' literary outputs, and poetry readings. This year's clinic will be held from June to July 2005, every Saturdays and Sundays.

Budding poets, young and old, who are willing to hone their craft in Filipino poetry may submit five samples of their works and a resumé with 2x2 picture to LIRA c/o UP Institute of Creative Writing, 2/F College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman,
Quezon City. Deadline for submission of applications is on April 29, 2005. For inquiries, text Bebang at 0919-3175708.
Ending world poverty
The Time cover story on ending poverty, which includes an excerpt from the economist Jeffrey Sachs's new book on the subject, is available here(pdf).

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Short story competition
Literary Ezine for Filipinos in the Diaspora



Ivy Terasaka was an emerging writer. For a short while, she was a familiar face and voice at various Singapore literary events. Ivy set up a website where some of her short stories appear along with a few of her ruminations she shared with family and friends. Her immense satisfaction in being part of her children's growing years is evident in the photographs she included in the site. In late 2003, Ivy discovered Our Own Voice and submitted a short story. We published The Last Time I Saw Nanay posthumously. To honor her dream of being a writer, we name this annual competition in her memory.

Short Stories must be relevant to the Filipino experience in the diaspora.



Format: Word document FILE attachment
TWO TITLE PAGES - One with the author's name, the other WITHOUT the author's name
Total word count: 3,000 - 5,000 words
Only UNPUBLISHED works will be considered
Email to: our.own.voice@gmail.com
Subject heading: "Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition."

LIMIT one story per author. Multiple submissions are not allowed.

All submissions will be acknowledged.



First Prize U.S. $100.00 and A COPY of Our Own Voice Literary / Arts Journal (2003)

Second Prize U.S. $50 and A COPY of Our Own Voice Literary / Arts Journal(2003)

Third Prizes (two) U.S. $25 and A COPY of Our Own Voice Literary / Arts Journal (2003)

ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS will be in the November 2005 issue of Our Own Voice online http://oovrag.com/~oov. The First and Second Prize short stories will be featured in the November 2005 issue; Our Own Voice reserves the option to feature the Third Prize short stories in future online issues.


Members of THE EDITORIAL STAFF of Our Own Voice are ineligible to enter the competition.
Somerset Maugham in The Summing Up (via Pico Iyer):
Though I have been in love a good many times, I have never experienced the bliss of requited love.... I have most loved people who cared little or nothing for me, and when people have loved me, I have been embarrassed.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The ugly business of beauty
The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has a nasty story on L'Oreal, on how the biggest cosmetics company in the world is also its most secretive. Among other interesting facts, Der Spiegel points out that while L'Oreal owns many perfume brands (Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren), it doesn't employ a single perfume maker; its perfumes are all contracted out by the likes of Swiss specialist Givaudan, whose shelves are shared by both synthetic perfume essences and toilet cleaners. The article raises the fact that cosmetic products, like those being peddled by L'Oreal at exorbitant prices, are toxic chemical cocktails notwithstanding their claim of making people more beautiful.

This reminded me of an earlier exhaustive survey of cosmetic products done by the Environmental Working Group in which the potential health risks contained by cosmetic products were outlined one by one. If you are remotely concerned about what you apply on your body, you'll be shocked to learn that just about every brand in the market, from Neutrogena to Nivea, has suspicious chemicals in them, including suspected carcinogens. And if you think you are safe with Body Shop, think again. Even that shop which prides itself with promoting community trade use those same chemical ingredients of concern, interspersed, of course, with aloe vera from Africa or shea butter from Ireland!

How does the cosmetic industry get away with the chemicals they put in their products? Because in the United States, where most cosmetic products available locally come from, no health study or pre-market testing is required. According to the government agency that regulates cosmetics in the United States, the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors, "...a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA."

Did you ever wonder why some old women who have used makeup almost everyday of their lives look awful without makeup, that when compared to other women in their age group they look older? That's probably because the daily application of chemicals in the makeup has wreaked havoc on their faces, a disfigurement that can be ameliorated only by more and more makeup. Perhaps this is all for the better from the perspective of cosmetic industry. The founder of L'Oreal's advice to cosmetic dealers was, after all: "Make people feel ugly." Nothing more useful than making people actually uglier.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Photo contest
The discourse on women, society, and the law is an inexhaustible source of ideas. Women have been regarded with different lenses over the many, many years. The Women's Legal Education, Advocacy, and Defense Foundation (WomenLEAD), Inc. will soon give
birth to quadruplet monographs. One will be on prostitution; the second, on pornography; third, abortion and; psychological incapacity and annulment,the last. All will focus on women and the various societal perspectives by which they are viewed.

Each monograph will feature on its cover an award-winning photograph waiting to be discovered through this photo contest.

The Theme:

Women In Focus

The Categories:

1. Women, prostitution, and the legal system
2. Feminism and pornography
3. Abortion, religion, and free expression
4. Psychological incapacity, divorce and annulment

Contest Mechanics:

1. The contest is open to women photo enthusiasts of all ages and all nationalities, amateur and professional.
2. Entries may come in any size. Colored entries and black and white entries are both allowed.
3. Entries must be submitted as JPEG files. Printed copies are also welcome. Each entry must be titled.
4. Computer illustrations are not allowed. Entries must, at present, be properties of the entrants.
5. There is no maximum number of entry per contestant in each category.
6. Entries may be submitted from March 1, 2005 - March 28, 2005. Entrants may send their entries to womenlead@gmail.com. Entries in print may be sent to #45 Mapagkumbaba St., Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, Philippines. Entrants will be notified of the receipt of entries.
7. Entrants are requested to submit their full name, residential address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers along with each entry.
8. Winning entrants will be informed by e-mail and will receive a telephone call from WomenLEAD between March 31, 2005 to April 8, 2005. Reasonable efforts will be made to contact the winner. In the event that the winning entrant cannot be contacted by e-mail or by telephone by April 8, 2005, WomenLEAD, through its contest judges, reserves the right to choose another winner for the category.
9. There will be four (4) prizes to be awarded. One winner for each of the four categories.
10. The winning entry for each of the four categories will be used as the cover for four (4) WomenLEAD publications on the said categories. Winning entries, hence, become property of WomenLEAD, and may no longer be used by the entrant for other purposes. Non-winning entries remain as the entrants' property. Additional permission will be sought from non-winning entrants, should WomenLEAD wish to use their photographs for purposes other than this contest provides.
11. Entries from WomenLEAD employees and their immediate family are not allowed.

At Stake:

Php 5,000.00 and an opportunity to have your photo on a publication cover

Contact Us

For details, e-mail your queries to wlead@pldtdsl.net or womenlead@gmail.com or call (632) 4356823 / 4366738 / 9267893 and look for Ms. Bai Cruz or Ruchell Remolacio.

Womenlead Foundation, Inc. is a feminist legal resource institution committed to advance and protect human rights of women and girl-children. Womenlead is an organization created and led by women. It engages in legal advocacy for women's human rights through legal assistance, strategic case handling, legislative advocacy, research, publications and training and legal education.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Currently reading:

Rubbish: Archaeology of Garbage by William Rathje and Cullen Murphy
Invitation: EMB Briefing for NGOs/POs on POPs* Management

We write to invite you to join a briefing by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) – POPs Project Management Office on the implementation in the Philippines of the Stockholm Convention on POPs, next Monday, 14 March 2005, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, at the training room, Air Quality Management Training Center,DENR compound.

The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), as co-hub with Pesticide Action Network (PAN-Philippines) for the International POPs Elimination Project (IPEP) in Southeast Asia, has requested for the briefing to update concerned NGOs and POs about the progress of the country's efforts to reduce and eliminate POPs in line with the Stockholm Convention, and to discuss opportunities and procedures for enhancing NGO/PO engagement in the process, consistent with the principles of public involvement. We have proposed the following as agenda for the two-hour briefing:

Status of the Philippine Enabling Activity Project
Status of the draft National Implementation Plan on POPs Management and coordinating mechanism
Enhancing NGO/PO participation in the country strategy and program to reduce and eliminate POPs
Status of the non-combustion demonstration project for the destruction of PCBs
Preparation for the First Conference of Parties (COP1) to the Stockholm Convention

Hope to hear from you by Wednesday if you can make it to the POPs briefing.


Manny C. Calonzo
Secretariat, GAIA/EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 320, Eagle Court, 26 Matalino St., Quezon City
Phone: 9290376
Fax: 4364733

Friday, March 04, 2005

Currently listening to:

The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Entrepreneurs don't like to pay taxes
Yesterday I was at the briefing on the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises(BMBE)Act of 2002 (RA No. 9178) conducted by the DTI's Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. Briefly, the BMBE law encourages the formation and growth of barangay micro business enterprises by granting them incentives and other benefits. Registered BMBEs with three million or less assets are exempted from income taxes and are not required to abide by minimum wage requirements for its workers.

The discussion became animated when the lecturer started discussing the process of availing the tax exemptions. At one point, the DTI lecturer, exasperated by the sheer insistence of one man in his forties, all but advised the audience to find an accountant that would bring down the business's assets to three million in order to qualify for the exemption. But then again, she was quick to remind, the BIR may find out.

Another was asking what about if his employee asked for a raise. How can he fend off the request? The lecturer said that the BMBE law only provides that the wage should be a consensual agreement between the employer and the employee. The employee should have agreed with the wage rate beforehand. But, said the lecturer: "Sir, you also have to be human."

One lady who sat beside me was there looking for a low-interest loan. A friend, who was operating a animal feed supply enterprise, recommended that she attend the briefing. According to this lady, her friend got a two million loan with very minimal inerest rate.

If you are interested to attend this series of DTI briefings for would-be entrepreneurs, call BSMED-DTI at 897-1693 or e-mail bsmed AT dti DOT gov DOT ph.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Roger Yu, father of the boy allegedly kidnapped for ransom by former Congressman Dennis Roldan, tells his family's harrowing story in today's Philippine Star. The boy was saved only because on the fourth day of the abduction, a concerned citizen reported the presence of strange men who were fully armed at a newly-rented apartment. Once again, the importance of vigilant neighbors in fighting crime.

What is truly sad about this kidnapping story is not that Roldan or his sidekick, the barangay captain of Kamias, had public service backgrounds--we are, after all, a republic ruled by crooks--but that, Suzette Huang, the one who tipped off Roldan about the boy, was a close friend of the mother, a friend from way back grade school days. In fact, the boy's mother and Huang were so close the former knew of the latter's illicit affair with Roldan. She even dissuaded Huang from continuing the affair, but Huang reportedly only laughed and said, "Saan ka naman makakita ng lalaking guwapo na, mayaman pa at mapagmahal?" Huang was an old-fashioned romantic, and certainly not the first to fall for being one.