Monday, February 28, 2011

Why I like Linux

This cartoon appeared in the 2003 cover of Business Magazine—or so I was told. I just couldn't resist sharing it, even if more than half of the people who read this blog are Windows users.
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

New barber

Found a new barber

If we've known each other for quite a while, you should have noticed that I never grow my hair too long. When friends ask me if I have ever entertained the possibility of changing my haircut, I always answer in the negative.

Short hair works for me. It's easier to handle. I can jump straight out of bed without anyone ever noticing I just came from a nap. I can cut my shower time in half—what's there to apply conditioner on, right? And I can save myself from the hassle of applying enormous handfuls of gel or wax or pomade or whatever substance it is that teenagers use these days to keep their hair in place.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011


In our little backyard, there's a patch of moist soil where the ferns thrive. They've always been there, as far as I can remember, and I learned about spores by looking at their leaves closely. The ferns are part of my mother's armament when she volunteers—as she always does—to do the flower arrangements for Sunday service. She likes to see flowers on the pulpit and would often comment on how bare the podium looks without them.

My mother tends her garden each morning. She wasn't exactly born with a green thumb, but she's trying real hard. She has a habit of stuffing our yard with her newest acquisitions of ornamental plants—from plant expos at the nearby Protech Center, from her friends in the hospital, or from our neighbors. Plants give her a different kind of joy.
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Studying in the UK

I know of a few people who have studied or are pursuing higher studies in the UK. From what I've seen in their photos, it's a beautiful place. A friend told me you could flash the camera anywhere—in London, for instance—and the shots would look terrific every time. And then, of course, there's the irresistible English accent.

A couple of days ago, Kuya Myk Cabigon, the best Kalayaan dormitory resident assistant who has ever lived, asked me to invite friends to this event: the Education UK Exhibition on 4-5 March 2011. This is one of his major projects in the British Council.

Here's the official invitation:

Study in the UK! Discover New Ways! Come to the biggest ever Education UK Exhibition on 4-5 March 2011, 1-5pm at the Ruby Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel beside Robinsons Galleria. Representatives from 18 UK institutions will be there to answer queries. These are:

A&S Training College
Anglia Ruskin University
London Metropolitan University
London School of Business and Finance
London School of Commerce
and School of Business and Law
Middlesex University
Northumbria University
Queen Mary, University of London
Teesside University
Thames Valley University
University College Birmingham
University of Hertfordshire
University of Hull
University of Plymouth
University of Portsmouth
University of St. Andrews
University of Sunderland
University of Warwick

Admission is FREE! Scholarship information will be available at the British Council booth. Get a chance to win an iPad! Just pre-register at and attend the event.

That ends the bloody ad, mate.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Remembering my undergrad thesis days

When Checa Robles emailed to ask me something about my undergraduate thesis, I was reminded of the fun days I had spent in Albert Hall, home of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) where I took up my BS.

I did my thesis under the tutelage of Dr. Cynthia Palmes-Saloma, principal investigator of the Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology (LMCB). It was a colorful, memorable, and tiring experience.

I loved how accessible Ma'am Saloma was—as soon as she'd hear the news that my mouse was due for dissection, she would leave her office, don her lab gown, and join me in the cell culture room. She taught me many things about the lab, especially in the art of experimentation.
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Night out

The guys in class—among my closest friends in med school—invited me to a boys' night out of sorts on a Thursday night. Because of their insistence, I gladly obliged. Sadly a few didn't make it because of some school reports they had to work on.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

UP Medicine pick up lines: a must-watch!

We, the men of Class 2014, surprised our lady classmates during lunch break by showing them this video: the corniest pick up lines—and they get even cornier if you're in med.

My favorites:
  • ARAS ka ba? Ikaw kasi ang dahilan ng consciousness ko.
  • Posterior view . . . lateral view . . . anterior view . . . Kahit anong view, I love you.
  • Kaw talaga, dinala mo pa ako sa Trauma Ward. Nagkabanggaan tuloy mga puso natin.
  • Kung subject ka, Renal ka siguro. Parati kasi akong bumabagsak sa iyo, eh.
  • Ano nga ba ang gamot sa diabetes? Ang sweet mo kasi.
  • Sana ako na lang right hand mo, para tuwing flag cem, hawak-hawak ko ang puso mo.
  • Primary working impression ka ba? 'Di kasi kita ma-rule out sa buhay ko, eh.
  • Can I be your lock? Para keys kita.
And many, many others.

Thanks to the guys who directed and edited this. Priceless. This one will go down as a classic.

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My idea of Valentine's

People speak about Valentine's either with extreme excitement or profound cynicism. Throughout the years February 14 has ballooned into this big, stress-inducing holiday where couples stick it out in heavy Manila traffic to dine in special restaurants. This is also the time when the unattached, in protest against the prevailing status quo, flood social networking sites with their desperate albeit funny battle cry, "Today is Singles' Awareness Day."
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

I hope it's not a case of obstructive sleep apnea

At the breakfast table, my brother tells me, "You were talking in your sleep last night."

"Was I snoring?" I ask.

"Yes, you were."

"And what was I saying?" People can spill their deepest, darkest secrets while they're unconscious. I'm curious.
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Appointment with the embassy

God works in mysterious, sometimes funny ways to teach us to rely on Him.

I was scheduled for an interview for my visa application at the Netherlands Embassy at 8 am today. I woke up at 5 am to finish stuff for school, took a quick shower at 6 am, and put on my favorite blue striped long sleeves and black slacks. I wanted to beat the early morning rush in Makati.
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Monday, February 7, 2011

A healthy discontent

Yesterday Kuya Oscar Villa preached on Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2. Here Paul was speaking about how Christians ought to conduct themselves in the Church. These actions are the result of—and can only be brought about by—a changed life in Jesus Christ. I love how the apostle Paul zeroes in on the heart and not on the external actions. This is, of course, diametrically opposed to the hypocritical religious leaders of his day who focused too much on the external strict observance of the Law, doing them without love for God and others.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but Kuya Oscar enumerated five characteristics of the changed life in a Church member (and practically anyone who has put faith in the Lord Jesus Christ):
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Rock star

Hazel Baconga was absent for almost a week because of second degree burns she sustained after a pitcher of boiling water spontaneously exploded, scalding her inner thighs. So when she dragged me and my lunch buddies to Chimom Doval Santos' beautiful unit for a session of Rockband, I immediately said yes because I wanted to catch up with her. What a great way to celebrate the end of that Pulmonology exam, I thought—and besides, it had been a while since I last played anything.

Rockband, if it's new to you, is a game that tests your eye-hand coordination. You press colored buttons as they appear on screen, and it gets harder with more complicated color combinations and faster rhythms. What makes it all exciting is the fake experience of playing in a band. (I've never played in a band—well, technically, I have: in a rondalla group. But that doesn't sound so cool.)
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