Thursday, December 15, 2005

Deal Or No Deal?

I was watching Jay Leno the other night and I came across one of Leno's guest which was this really animated bald guy (can somebody say, Crystal Meth?) named Howie Mandel who was talking about his new hosting job on a "new" gameshow Deal Or Not Deal. When he was talking to Jay about his new show, I couldn't help but notice that the concept of the gameshow was much like our very own gameshow Pera O Bayong wherein you are to choose between a Bayong (Philippine wet market bag) or instant cash. Sounds familiar huh? That was the concept too of Pera O Bayong where instead of a briefcase, a Bayong was used. As I was watching, I was thinking to myself that WOW! finally, a concept that was copied from the Filipinos and not the other way around (i.e. Orange and Lemons, Cueshe, Session Road, etc.)! But I had to make sure which gameshow came first, their concept or ours? So I went surfing for Deal or No Deal and I found out that it started in 2003 in Australia then it had versions in the Netherlands, UK, and now in the US (via Endemol, the makers of Big Brother)... Hmm... seems like Pera O Bayong was not that original after all. But wait! The concept of Pera O Bayong was really gotten from another gameshow from the 80's and early 90's called Kwarta O Kahon so that means Mr. Pepe Pimentel (the show's host) was the original creator of the concept! FINALLY, something really Filipino copied by another country! FINALLY, something we can be proud of! GO PINOY!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

WWE Raw

WWE fans in the Philippines...
(This is confirmed from WWE.com)

RAW presents the Road to WrestleMania

Date: February 24, 2006
Venue: Araneta Coliseum
City/State: Manila, Philippines

On-Sale Date: Thursday, December 15, 2005, at 9 a.m.

Ticket Information: Ticket prices: PHP 3,300; 2,000; 800; 400
Reserve now at 9115555 and www.ticketnet.com.ph
or go to your nearest SM ticketnet outlet for tickets.
Hurry as tickets are being sold fast.

Buy your tickets now people!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas Party 2005

We had our 2005 Christmas party at Matthew's house and everybody had a great time! Most of the time though, we were all in front of the TV and waiting for the BIG WINNER of the Pinoy Big Brother... Hehehe! But all in all, it was an awesome party with lotsa food, lotsa booze, and lotsa love from very good friends... Thank you everyone who came and for those who didn't come, there's still Christmas 2006! See you then...

Here are some pictures from Chinang's camera at Chinang's Multiply:
(click on the thumbnails to view)

More pictures to come when Jench and Warren emails the pictures they took to me!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

2005 Christmas Wishlist

Here's what I want for Christmas: (any Santas out there can give me the material things and it will be very much appreciated! The non-material things, I'll leave to the Lord to giveth... Hehehe!)

1. A new digital camera, preferably a Canon or a Casio
2. Peace on Earth
3. To finally have my OWN business, be financially stable, get married, and have 2-3 beautiful children with Dang
4. Donate to my 2005 Christmas Outreach Project

I'll add some more next time... :)

Oh yeah, speaking of Christmas, the season of giving: I'm currently collecting old clothes, toys, and other stuff to give to the needy as my 2005 Christmas Project so if anyone wants to donate, just contact me through (globe) 0917-8980106 or (sun) 0922-4834309. I'll be happy to pick them up just as long as your place is not too far from mine... Hehehe!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Burger King

There is a new "king" in the house... Burger!!! He's our new pet dog which is a Lhasa Apso. He's only 2 months old, still really shy and kinda still coping with his new environment... We're starting to train him and stuff to start early. We've always wanted a pet dog and we're so excited raising the newest addition to our family! Here are some pics of baby Burger...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Food Critique: Pepato

I got to know Pepato when I was scanning the TV one night. I saw Margarita Fores, owner of Cibo and Cafe Bola being interviewed in (I think) the Lifestyle Channel and she was talking about her newest restaurant. I got intrigued and so I suggested Pepato to be our next "food-trip" destination. Here's the verdict:

The Ambiance - The mood was a bit dark and fancy. Fine-dining qualities also with the lighting and the fixtures. The ambiance alone screams expensive! But it is a nice place to chill and to have a couple of drinks with a date.

The Food - I started with the appetizers... breadsticks with a twist! At first I thought the breadsticks were are part of the table setting but it was edible so i tried it. Nothing special with the taste but the difference maker was the ingredients they used to make it like squid ink (i forget the other one) together with the bread dough formed into a breadstick. Weird huh? Yeah but innovative... Something new rather than your typical breadsticks. The dipping sauce for the breadstick was a choice between unsalted butter and herb-infused olive oil. Both dips were a good compliment to the unorthodox breadsticks. Dang and I came late so we ordered a new plate of Lamb Bone Marrow and a Grilled Austrailian Steak. Everybody had a try of everybody's order (contrary to fine-dining etiquette but who cares!?!) and the dishes were generally good. First, Venice's order, tht Lamb Osso Bucco... it was not quite what I expected since my concept of Osso Bucco was a creamy dish much like a thick beef stew but when it came it was the spanish style Osso Bucco and I didn't like it that much. Don't get me wrong it was good but I didn't like that much olives in a dish. The sidings were great though like the mashed potatoes which was broiled so there was a crust over it and the blanched spinach. The next dish I tried was Matthew's, which was the best! It was a Ribeye steak that was cooked to perfection! The meat was really tender and moist. When you slice the steak, you can see it's juices glisten. You can see the beautiful cross-section of the meat, the seared outer shell creating a barrier for the pink center. Since it was cooked medium-rare, the meat was juicy and the sweetness of the meat was trapped by the searing of the outside. You didn't need gravy or any sauce for this since the meat was flavorful enough. Oh yeah, did I mention the zuccini that was to die for? Well, I'm mentioning it now! The next dish I tried was Chinang's order, I forget what it was called but it was also good. It was sort of like tenderloin steak strips or something like that. Again, it was really cooked well and it was very tender. The sauce also complimented the meat. Maina's order was also great! She ordered a Walnut-Crusted Chicken Breast Stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese... Love it! The chicken breast was very juicy and cooked perfectly from the inside out. The mixture of flavors with the walnuts gave it a little roughness and the gorgonzola cheese was a perfect mix with the neutral flavor of the chicken. The Lamb Bone Marrow and the Grilled Austrailian Steak that Dang and I ordered was not that great since the bone marrow was not quite what i expected. It smelled kinda funny so you needed to put some lemon on it to cover the strong meat smell and some salt. The only thing out of place was the truffle paste since the meat has a strong smell so why would you put another strong smelling ingredient to compliment it? Maybe Dang and I expected more and didn't get it! The Grilled Austrailian Steak was good but we didn't enjoy it that much since it was really a small piece. I knew I should have order the regular piece and not the tasting piece! Come to think of it, shouldn't the tasting piece be by all means the same with the regular piece taste-wise? I can understand the difference though since the tasting piece was kinda small and cooking it with the same process as the regular serving would definitely change it's taste and tenderness. Smaller pieces cook faster so cooking it at a longer time would make the meat tough and dry. Maybe if I ordered the regular one, the doneness of the steak would be quite different. I should have ordered the Sea-Bass instead... Well, maybe next time...

The Price - The meals are quite expensive. Prices range from Php800-Php1200 or even more! I just hope authentic ingredients are used and not substitute ones because for their price range, I am gonna expect the best!


The Service - The service was exceptional. My water glass was never empty and our breadsticks were always replenished. Very good service! They even offered to keep our food warm while waiting for the dinner latecomers. They also give you palette cleansers after your meal. Perfect service for the right ambiance!

I enjoyed our dinner at Pepato, loved their steaks and chicken. I surely will come back for the Sea-bass...

Pepato
Greenbelt 2 1st Level
Estrella St.
Ayala Center
Makati City
Tel. 757-2636

Monday, November 14, 2005

Goodbye Latino Heat

It gives me great sadness to inform you all that Pro wrestler Eddie Guerrero of the World Wrestling Entertainment has passed away at the age of 38. Eddie was found dead this morning (November 13, 2005) in his hotel room in Minneapolis.


Rest In Peace

You will be missed, Papi...

Viva La Rasa!

UPDATE (November 15, 2005): The cause of death from his wife Vickie, as posted at WWE.com:

“It was heart failure. It was from his past – the drinking and the drug abuse. They found signs of heart disease. She (the examiner) said that the blood vessels were very worn and narrow, and that just showed all the abuse from the scheduling of work and his past. And Eddie just worked out like crazy all the time. It made his heart grow bigger and work harder and the vessels were getting smaller, and that’s what caused the heart failure. He went into a deep sleep.

As soon as they saw his heart, they saw the lining of his heart already had the heart disease. There was no trauma, and Eddie hadn’t hurt himself in any way. It answered a lot of questions. I knew Eddie wasn’t feeling very good for the last week. He was home and kept saying he wasn’t feeling good and we thought it was just “road tired.” So we thought he just had to rest. It answered a lot of my questions, too, because he was just so exhausted. She said it was normal because the heart was working so hard.
"

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Food Critique: Cascada

We had a great dinner at Cascada in Greenbelt 3! Here is my critique of the whole dining experience:

The Ambiance - It was a fine-dining type feel when you enter the place with yellow lights instead of bright white lights. It was very cozy and the seats/sofas were comfortable enough that fit the place just right. The lighting and the mood would set up some major foodgasms to come (pardon the pun)!

The Food - I ordered the Grilled Porkchops with Beer Gravy... The Porkchop was perfectly cooked on the inside and it was really juicy. The only problem that I tasted was that they didn't clean or brush the grill first before grilling my porkchops. Grilling on a dirty, or to put it in a better term, recently-used grill would cause the burnt flavors of the continuous cooking and thus the burning of the previous item cooked to go into the current item being placed on the grill. This naturally affects the taste of the meat making it much more burnt than grilled. Thankfully, the beer based sauce was heavenly! It was a medley of different flavors which i really like. It's not your typical gravy since it really had much more flavor than the conventional gravy mix. The gravy was sweet and salty at the same time which is one combination of flavors I really adore! Didn't taste the beer though but I have no problem with that since the gravy without the beer taste was enough for me! (Hmm... I wonder what the gravy would taste like if I tasted the beer part of the gravy... I'll try to make one next time to find out!) I think the dish was pretty good in general since the juiciness of the porkchop and the variety of flavors incorporated in the sauce covered-up the burnt taste. My friends ordered their own food and what struck me the most was Venice's Lamb Chops with Risotto. I think just the sound of ordering the dish would make your mouth water. He says it was good so I will try the lambchops next time I go back... Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that their iced-tea was pretty good! Kinda sweet for my taste but very good!

The Price - The meals were very pricey but it was worth it! Prices range from Php500-Php800 per person and is a perfect date place for those who want to impress but not regret the money they spend if the date doesn't go well! :)

The Service - Service was excellent, except for the fact that we weren't greeted by the maitre d' when we were coming in which should be a standard in any (I repeat) any restaurant. May it be a five-star restaurant or a fastfood restaurant, I believe that it is just proper to greet the guests or customers when they come in the door. This is not a question of protocol but of respect... Moving on, the time we got a table was quick since the restaurant was not that filled. The staff gave us time to settle down and look at the menu before asking us what we would like to have. The staff was also courteous in asking us what we would like to order. The service came quick and they didn't make any mistakes with our orders. Not only that, they gave us a free membership to their "Birthday Club" where you can enjoy giftcheques and discounts on your birthday if you dine at Cascada. They also gave us a loyalty card that you have to complete in order to get some freebies. This is a marketing strategy for most restaurants and believe me it work because as soon as they gave us the loyalty cards, we were talking about our next visit and which menu item to order!

I personally enjoyed our dinner at Cascada and will surely be back there sometime soon. Hopefully with Dang this time!?!

Cascada
Greenbelt 3 2nd Level
Ayala Center
Makati City
Tel. 757-4368, 757-4369

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cooking Show Host Wannabe

It's so boring today and there was nothing to do so I decided to whip up something... I went to Santis Delicatessen, our local grocery store for gourmet stuff to get my dad some lambchops cause he said he was craving for some lambchops. I was supposed to buy a meat thermometer also for me and my sister but it was out of stock. (Don't you just hate that?!? When you plan to go buy something and when you get there, it's out of stock?!? I just hate that!) Anyway, I went back home seasoned the lambchops with salt, pepper, and some herbs from our cupboard and set it aside to marinate. I found some available veggies around the house like potatoes, carrots, white onions, red bell peppers, and some button mushrooms and decided to use it as a side dish. I placed all the cut veggies in a hotel pan, seasoned it with salt, pepper, and some rosemary. I preheated the oven and when it was hot enough, I placed the veggies inside and left it to cook for a couple of minutes. I then proceeded to sear the lambchops on a pan, making sure in searing all sides for a minute or so... After searing the lambchops, I placed it inside the oven together with the veggies and continued cooking it. The lambchops left some major fond on the pan and I went on to make a simple gravy for the lambchops. I deglazed the pan with some leftover wine and allowed the alcohol to evaporate. I poured in some chicken stock and allowed the liquid to reduce a little. I then added cream to thicken it. I also put some dark soy sauce since I felt that the gravy wasn't dark enough. Lastly, I added salt and pepper to taste. I transferred it to a gravy bowl and set it aside. I went to see what was happening inside the oven and decided to add some butter to the veggies. After about 30-40 minutes, everything was finally done... the lambchops was perfectly cooked and the veggies were now tender. On the side, my sister Steph also created her own pasta dish which was a great accompaniment to the lambchops! We both plated it our creations. And then we all devoured it! Funny how long you cook and prepare for a dish and how with a blink of an eye, it's all gone. Much like LIFE, huh? All in all, it was a great day for cooking and lambchops are a perfect dish for this (almost) boring day!

Friday, October 21, 2005

E-VAT Crap!

The Supreme Court of the Philippines recently lifted the TRO on the E-VAT bill. E-VAT will be effective starting November 1, 2005 as long as the bill is passed before that date. The E-VAT or Extended Value Added Tax is additional taxes imposed on fuel, electricity, and transportation among other previously VAT-exempt goods and services. The immediate effect of the E-VAT law's implementation will be to remove VAT exemptions on petroleum, electricity and professional fees of doctors and lawyers, among other vital sectors. This will automatically mean higher pump prices and electricity bills, not to mention charges for legal and medical services.

As a consumer, I am not in favor of the E-VAT since it will raise all the prices of gas and electricity which are considered basic needs nowadays. Not only that, professional fees will increase and surely the consumer will feel the blow of this especially those less-fortunate who couldn't afford normal tax-exempt fees, let alone legal and doctor's fees with E-VAT. I am speaking in terms of the consumer side, but when you look at the E-VAT on a long-term basis... I think it would be beneficial for the country and somewhat cure the fiscal crisis the Philippines is experiencing (IF!).

Thinking about the fiscal crisis... This crisis was caused by corruption in the first place. Truthfully, the Philippines is a very rich country in general but because of corruption, the rich get richer and the poor gets even poorer. The money of the Philippines as we all know is all underground (well sometimes, it can be seen and be so obvious but nobody can or wants to do anything about it)... think about the money moved during the elections, campaigning is big business and money movement is very very big. They can give millions of dollars to certain people to make them win but they can't give money to the poor instead. I don't get it?!? The government can pile-up cellphone bills upto 13 billion pesos but they need the consumers to shoulder the fiscal crisis. Government officials can buy lots of Ford Expeditions, BMWs, Mercedez Benzs, and cars for their bodyguards and convoys but can't spend for the education of the Filipino children? Well, I'm not generalizing and I know there are still good officials out there but sometimes even good officials get swallowed by the system because they have no choice.

Corruption and UNNECESSARY expenses accumulated by the government started all this, so why does the consumer have to pay for it? Why would the consumer pay for the mistakes of the government? Why would the consumer give back to the government when they don't get anything but pain and headaches in return? Why would the consumer pay for E-VAT when they know that one of the most corrupt nations of the world would most likely put the E-VAT in their deep pockets? The fiscal crisis is a result of corruption and I believe it will end with corruption. With that, I can truly say that the Philippines will be left in the dust with regards to economic growth if the government doesn't change.

There's a saying that The only thing certain in life is death and taxes, in the Philippines' case it's death, taxes, and corruption. Hey, President Arroyo! The Philippines will never grow into a f**king STRONG REPUBLIC if you guys don't mend your ways.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Birthdays Celebration Of Sherlyne

Happy Birthday Sherlyne!!! The food at Centro was yummy, karaoke at Red Box was fun! We had a blast! Thanks!

Click here to view the pictures

Friday, October 14, 2005

Leaving You

ANOTHER ONE?!? This is getting sicker by the day... WTF is happening to our music industry?!? Check the song Leaving You by Session Road and then check out the song Garmonbozia by Superdrag. I think this is really getting out of hand. If indeed these bands are plagiarizing these songs, I hope their asses get sued! This is so so sad. Someone should put a stop to this crap!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Stay

Just when I thought that Filipinos were creative beings, here comes another rip-off... Cueshe has been one of the hottest bands in the scene these days. Together with Hale, they topped the charts here in the Philippines. Little did we know, that they ALSO ripped-off music from other bands. Listen to Silverchair's The Greatest View and you'll see...

It's so sad that this is happening. I always thought that Filipinos were great composers and creativity is their edge but what is happening with our music today? Is it because we're running out of ideas? Is it because composers aren't inspired anymore to compose their own chords, riffs, and lyrics? Is it coincidence? I've heard of sampling but you need to pay for those? Did Cueshe or Orange and Lemons really pay for the rights to use the same chords? I guess Orange and Lemons didn't because they rejected the allegations and believed for themselves that Pinoy Ako is indeed different from The Care's Chandeliers. Good thing this hasn't reached The Care and Silverchair or these bands will be f*cked!

I guess you can't call our music ORIGINAL Pilipino Music (OPM) no more... what a waste!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pinoy Ako

An article from Manila Bulletin Online

‘Pinoy Ako’ copied from a foreign song?

By KAYE VILLAGOMEZ

Orange and Lemons cleared issues on alleged similarity in melody of its current hit "Pinoy Ako" to "Chandelier," an original song of the ‘80s band The Care.

"As a musician who can transcribe music note for note and having an idea about technicalities, I can confidently say they are two different songs," Orange and Lemons’ vocalist and guitarist Clem Castro told Manila Bulletin via text message when asked for clarification.

Star Records’ Jamie Hipe admitted that the band may have been influenced by The Care but after studying both songs they resolved that each has its own identity. "We studied the two songs and concluded that they are two different songs. Orange and Lemons may have been influenced by The Care but no, they did not copy The Care’s song. Yes, they wrote the melody and used ‘Chandelier’ as their peg," stated Jamie of Star Records.

This negative observation began circulating last month inside the band music circle but it’s only now that the band has made a comment on it.

"Pinoy Ako" was a collaboration between the band Orange and Lemons and songwriter-record producer Jonathan Manalo who told the Bulletin that he only penned the lyrics of the song and entrusted the rest to the band.

"I can’t comment as of the moment because the melody and arrangements are all from Orange and Lemons. Though I produced the record, there hasn’t been any discussion between me and Orange and Lemons about a certain song called ‘Chandelier.’ I’ve given them 100 percent creative freedom to interpret and arrange my song," Jonathan disclosed.

The songwriter added, "After they (members of Orange and Lemons) finished the song, I had the assurance that it was from an original material."

Orange and Lemon’s Clem may have been irked by Bulletin’s inquiry prompting him to give the following message: "Do you actually think/believe that the melody lines are similar? You know Star Records will not declare it as they did without consultation and deliberation, which believe me, they already did."

Orange & Lemons is composed of Clem Castro (guitars and vocals), Mcoy Fundales (guitars and vocals), Ace Del Mundo (drums), and JM Del Mundo (bass).

Here's a copy of the song Chandeliers by The Care

Something To Inspire

Guys this is a long read but it's worth it. It's a speech by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 to the class of 2005 at Stanford Stadium. I always read this whenever I need a little push in my life, to inspire me to do better, and to do what I truly love.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Movie Critique: The 40 Year Old Virgin

It's been more than a month now since I watched my last movie. I'm not used to this since I love movies and I make it a point to watch one once a new week starts and a new movie screening begins. Last night, I wanted to watch The 40 Year Old Virgin with Dang but she wasn't available (as usual) so I went with my sisters Steph and Nikki. The movie stars Steve Carell and it's about this nerdy guy who haven't had sex his entire life. The film is hilarious and Steve Carell is a really funny guy. I was laughing my heart out when he underwent his very first body hair waxing. This is great movie to watch if you want a good laugh. Given these past few days, I believe I needed this laughtrip.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Lucky Hero

Someone emailed this to me and made me smile... This is Bayani "BF" Fernando, the Philippines' MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) Chairman with a sexy star named Anna Leah Javier. BF is a funny guy (AND lucky)! Hahaha! BF FOR PRESIDENT!!!

Song Lyrics = Life Experiences

It's amazing how some songs and lyrics are so appropriate with what you are feeling in a certain situation. Lyrics portray life and I think there is a "life soundtrack" for each and everyone of us. Last night while I was driving home, I was listening to my iPod and I came across this song that hit me hard. The song painted a vivid picture of what I am currently going through right now and what I was feeling deep inside. Here are some excerpts from the song, The Closest Thing To Heaven by Carl Anderson:

...all you had to do was call
And I came running
Why did you have to throw it all away
Leaving me wondering what to do or say

Your the closest I've ever been to heaven
I'm the furthest thing from your mind
And though we make believe that we're still together
I know it's just a matter of time
I keep hoping we won't have to let it slip away...

...was I dreaming?
Maybe I should have realized from the start
That it was leading to a broken heart...

... if you only knew how much I cried
i want you to stay...

... don't let it slip away...

Sniff! Sniff! Right on the button folks. Dang and I haven't broken up but I feel that we're drifting apart. I just really hope that we won't let it slip away. I love her too much to let go.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Missing my Ipod

I miss messing with my iPod. Currently uploading the following songs on my iPod:

1. Love Generation (Club Version) - Bob Sinclair
2. Life In A Northern Town - The Dream Academy
3. Cool - Gwen Stefani
4. Stars - Switchfoot
5. Pinoy Ako - Orange and Lemons
6. Sweet Serendipity (Eric Kupper's Extended Mix) - Bonnie Bailey
7. Safe (Claude Bareau Mix) - Bonnie Bailey
8. Firefly - Bonnie Bailey
9. Rise (Beach House Mix) - Bonnie Bailey
10. Maybe - Kaskade
11. Sweet Love - Kaskade
12. Right Now Baby - Kaskade

What do you guys think?
Comment/Suggestions are accepted below...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Leaving on a Jetplane

Dang just told me that she is gonna get her interview for Dubai this week. I miss her already just thinking about her leaving. I know long distance relationships are really hard work and I would really miss her but this is what she wants. It would be hard for me but I will support her in anything she wants because I love her so much. I hope I could really get to spend more time with her now that she's leaving. We're having some communication problems lately and being far apart wouldn't make it that much easy. Honestly, I don't want her to leave but if this is what she wants then I'm with her 100%! This is gonna be one hard year for me without her...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Heaven on Earth: A Myth?

I miss writing on my blog. No time right now since I'm busy manning a bazaar somewhere in Binondo, Manila. Kinda having fun though, seeing other people. Really getting fed-up with seeing the same people each and everyday in the office, so this is a good escape for me.

Do you sometimes think your life is going around in circles? Well, that's how I feel right now with work... I need some new job, damn it! Some job I can get to meet different people and where everyday would be a surprise to me... I hate monotonous jobs like the one I currently have! Another job that would interest me would be something that would do good to the world. A job that would make a difference. Something like what Angelina Jolie does as a goodwill ambassador and how Bob Marley united his countrymen through music. Making a difference. I think that would be a beautiful way to give back to the world.

When you think about it, anybody can do something small or big but why do government officials think about wars, oil, money, and power? Why do they fight against each other and not fight against poverty? Those who have power doesn't use it. Maybe it's human nature but isn't love and compassion a part of human nature too? If only love and compassion would be much stronger than greed and hunger for power, this world would be a wonderful place. Heaven though, is not on earth so i guess peace, unity, and love is impossible in this crazy world.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Perfect Combo

Drinking the perfect combo at Chinang's house.

1 part Absinthe
2-3 parts Cherry Coke
ice cubes

Pour all ingredients in a glass cup and enjoy.

Absinthe is a strong herbal liqueur distilled with a great number of flavorful herbs like anise, licorice, hyssop, veronica, fennel, lemon balm, angelica and wormwood (the flavor of anise and/or licorice, at least in contemporary forms of the liquor, tends to predominate). Wormwood, the one that's gained the most notoriety, is Artemisia absinthum, an herb that grows wild in Europe and has been cultivated in the United States as well. Much of the liquor's legendary effect is due to its extremely high alcohol content, ranging from 50% to 75% (usually around 60%), plus the contribution of the various herbs. It has been assumed by many that the so-called "active ingredient" in absinthe is wormwood, although that is apparently not really the case.

It was traditionally served with ice water and a cube of sugar; the sugar cube was placed on a slotted "absinthe spoon", and the water was drizzled over the sugar into the glass of absinthe (typically in a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio). The sugar helped take the bitter edge from the absinthe, and when the water is drizzled into the the liquor it all turns milky greenish-white (the effect is called "louche").

The drink was referred to in France as "La FĂ©e Verte", or The Green Fairy, which is a reference to its often dazzling green color (depending on the brand). The color usually came from the chlorophyll content of the herbs used in the distillation process; however, some disreputable manufacturers added toxic chemicals to produce both the green color and the louche (or clouding) effect that in reputable brands was caused by the precipitation of the essential oils of the herbs. It is quite probable that the bad reputation absinthe developed was due to these low-grade and perhaps quite poisonous version of the real thing.

Around the turn of the century, after observing a subset of alcoholism referred to as "absinthism", and noting that heavy absinthe users had a propensity toward madness and suicide, by the second decade of this century it became banned in the Western world, unfairly lumped in with opiates, cocaine, and marijuana when it is, in fact, just another alcoholic beverage (although one with unique properties). Although the effects of thujone can be toxic when consumed in very large quantities, this substance is found in properly made and distilled absinthe in only the smallest trace amounts. The most popular misconception about absinthe is that it is a drug.

Source: http://www.gumbopages.com/food/beverages/absinthe.html

Friday, September 23, 2005

Pinoy Big Brother Suspended?!?

WTF?!? MTRCB (the Philippines' lousy censorship board) just issued a 1 day suspension notice to our local version of Big Brother (Pinoy Big Brother). The suspension notice states that Pinoy Big Brother is suspended from 1 episode because of the kissing scene between Chx and Sam. Furthermore, they said that Chx wore a very skimpy swimsuit. WTF?!? Suspended a show for a lousy kiss and a skimpy swimsuit?!? What the hell is that?!? Nothing even happened?!? It was only a friggin kiss!?! And what's up with the swimsuit?!? Hell, people see models and noontime beauty contestants in skimpy bikinis?!? I think the Philippines has this TOO "holier than thou" attitude that is simply getting really really annoying! These censorship people really suck at their jobs! The censorship board here have no idea what the hell they are doing!

Then again, looking at this issue as a conspiracy theorist, maybe the MTRCB got paid by a rival network (I won't say which --- GMA Channel 7! Hehehe!) to hassle ABS-CBN Channel 2 since the reality show is sucking all their ratings! Pinoy Big Brother has been grabbing all the ratings lately with all the hype and instead of fighting back with their own kind of shows, you go below the belt in "hiring" the MTRCB to suspend or cancel a show. What kind of fair network battle is that?!? On the other hand though, suspending Pinoy Big Brother will definitely increase the hype and fuel the rebellious spirit of the Filipinos which in turn will make them watch it even more. I hope that if indeed GMA-7 is responsible for this move by the MTRCB, it backfires on them and even more people watch it!

I think all this is about network battles (as usual) and I can't wait to see who wins... (The economy's in ruins, so there's nothing else better to do! Hehehe!) Until next time, tune-in once again to the greatest TV drama of all, The Philippines...

Missing UP...

I was browsing through other people's blogs and I found out that mostly students from the University of the Philippines in Diliman or Ateneo have tons and tons of journals on blogspot. Yeah yeah! I know blogging has been a fad in the states for more than a year now but why haven't I started it before during my UP days??? I could have filled this blog to the brim only if I had started blogging during college! I could have filled it with crazy stories about hardass teachers, deadly exams, friends gained, friends lost, love gained, and of course, love lost. I miss the smell of UP, the look of UP, the life in UP!

ID Number: 95-09177

I miss hanging out at the AS steps and the parking lot with my barkada smoking until our lungs bled while looking at college girls. I miss eating at the Greenhouse or the CASAA where you need to have a strong enough stomach (and some strong tissue paper ready) for the Salisbury Steak. I miss buying bluebooks for exams and photocopying notes, reviewers, and sample exams. I miss the fishballs and quail eggs at the College of Home Economics where I personally think have the best fishballs and quail eggs in UP. I miss eating Tapsilog or Hotdogsilog at Rodicks. I miss eating street-foods like isaw, balunbalunan, and barbecue at the Post Office. I miss book-binding at the shopping center. I miss cutting classes. I miss the long lines during registration. I miss everything about UP! Have plenty more things that I miss but if you're reading this and you're not from UP, I think you'll get pretty bored with this. But trust me, when you have experienced the things that I have experienced during my college life, you'll enjoy it like I did and will never forget it.

Looking back, I've learned so many things and met so many people during my college days. Until now, the experiences and the friends are still in my heart. I don't think they'll ever be out of my heart though because my heart is UP! When I die and God asks me what is it that I love about life, one of the answers I will give him can be summed-up in 2 letters: U and P.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Top Three

three names you go by:

  • oliver
  • oliboy
  • oli

three screen names you have had:

  • oliboy
  • lord incubus
  • pedro hilaga (hahaha!)

three physical things you like about yourself:

  • eyes
  • mind
  • heart

three physical things you don't like about yourself:

  • fat
  • butt (or lack thereof)
  • skinny legs

three parts of your heritage:

  • chinese (by blood)
  • filipino (by heart)
  • vampire

three things that scare you:

  • woman's scorn
  • losing loveones
  • not being happy

three of your everyday essentials:

  • cellphone
  • ipod
  • money

three of your favorite musical artists:

  • Bob Marley
  • Incubus
  • John Williams

three of your favorite songs:

  • "I Think God Can Explain" by Splendor
  • "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley
  • "What Might Have Been" by Lou Pardini

three things you want in a relationship:

  • honesty/openness
  • loyalty
  • love

three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you:

  • eyes
  • smile
  • feet

three of your favorite hobbies:

  • watching TV/Movies/DVD
  • surfing the net
  • window shopping

three things you want to do really badly now:

  • go to the beach
  • travel
  • sleep

three careers you're considering/you've considered:

  • commercial model
  • chef
  • filmmaker

three places you want to go on vacation:

  • Hong Kong
  • Hawaii
  • Europe

three kid's names you like:

  • Seth
  • Nikki
  • Joey

three things you want to do before you die:

  • Play professional Hockey
  • Travel
  • Make a difference in the world

three celeb crushes:

  • Heart Evangelista
  • Eva Longoria
  • Brooke Burke

Gmail Invites

Anybody who wants to get gmail, I have lots of FREE invites! Just comment below and leave your email addys so I can send you the invites there! Thanks!

Rockstar: INXS Finale

It's official! JD Fortune is now the lead singer of INXS! I think INXS made the right choice with JD... All the contestants were actually really good... You know these reality shows are all scripted but I believe INXS truthfully had a hard time choosing who to vote out or who should be their new lead singer! The 3 left were Mig, JD, and Marty! I like Mig but I'm kinda biased just because he's a Filipino and all... honestly, I think INXS made the right move in voting him out since he's really not right for the band... Mig's roots are of theater and acting, he knows how to carry a tune and speak to the audience but I think JD draws the audience more with his bad boy attitude! This bad boy attitude is something that INXS would want to lead their bad in order to appeal with the younger generations. They need somebody who has the charisma and I think that amongst the 3 left (or everybody for that matter), JD had the most! Not to take anything away from Mig and Marty, they're great! They have fantastic voices and can draw big fan-bases but I don't think they can get much people listening to INXS. Easy choice: If you are an old band on a comeback, who'd you guys get as a lead singer; a) theater actor, b) grunge rocker, c) bad boy with charisma? Maybe next time Queen can get a new lead singer and surely Mig will win this one... hands down!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Updated Blog

I recently updated the layout of my blog... it now includes an "Items for Sale" and "Contact me" on the sidebar... you guys are welcome to browse through the items that I have and leave a comment anytime... Thanks for your time in visiting my blog!
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