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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No Cabinets

Since the flood, my family had been staying here at my pad, all squeezed in and even occupying the receiving area. The pad is actually just good for two people, but here we are, eight and happy. I bought four new cushioned mats for this purpose and since there are not enough cabinets, here is where my brother keeps his clothes.

I am glad that they have applied for an RFO housing and I think in less than a month, they shall be able to move  out of the pad and move in to their new home.. with lots of cabinets...

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Cold Christmas

Christmas went by and soon, we await the coming of the new year. It is quite sad what happened to our beloved city. Everyone, even those who have not experienced flooding had a really cold holiday. Not even the use of electric blankets could ease such coldness..

I feel for those who have lost loved ones and have mourned the dead instead of celebrating Christmas. I feel for those who have missing family members and loved ones who, until family and relatives do not have any clue as to their whereabouts. It feels strange to celebrate when anywhere you look, devastation is evident. Added to the problem of no water and electricity, the gravity of the typhoon's wrath is severely felt. 

On the other hand, people in Cagayan de Oro have worked hand in hand to help the victims get back on their feet. Sooner or later, all Kagay-anon victims of the flash flood shall rise up again.. 


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Sunday, December 25, 2011

What To Do After Sendong: Celebrate Christmas

Sendong has left its mark in everyone of us, whether we lost a loved one or property. Many lives have changed in a split second. Many plans have not pushed through, and some didn't make it till Christmas. I guess people or companies selling flowers online will not notice this, but those who sell them at the shops here in our city, say their business is not good this year as there are not many people buying their gift items and flowers.

Sendong may have claimed lives and counting, yet after its devastation, there is only one thing to do, that is, to look at the bright side of the said tragedy. So today, Christmas day, I celebrate Christmas, though I am not in the spirit to do so. I did a little shopping, cooked spaghetti and wrapped my presents for the kids. I am doing it with a heavy heart, knowing that there are so many who could not celebrate the season even if they want to.  But then again, I am doing this for the two kids who went through the hellish ordeal during Sendong's visit.. 

Anyway, as the clock struck midnight and I had been relaxing after Noche Buena preparation, fireworks started to appear on the night sky, and the kids just enjoyed them like no Sendong ever came to ruin our beloved city.. Well, we shall rise up after this catastrophe and because Sendong has tested our faith and patience, we shall come out of this far stronger than before..


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Monday, December 19, 2011

Typhoon Sendong (Washi) Came, Conquered But We Shall Overcome!

I have not been online much since Friday night because there was a storm. I thought it was just heavy down pours that shall pass, but it was not just passing through. It passed and caused millions to lose their homes, lives and properties. It was definitely a tragedy, and one that has made Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City suffer and mourn after it left..

My family is one of its victims, and some of my relatives and friends. It was difficult to ask help from anyone because everywhere you looked, someone's direct family or close relatives are victims too. But what's so good about Filipinos is that, we share burdens as much as we share blessings. We smile even after the storm and go on with life..

Today, my baby brother and daughter joined their school's Christmas party, even without proper clothes. My brother wore a tee shirt that was given by a fellow mommy blogger and friend, girly underwear of my daughter's, pants of my daughter's with a not so recognizable Minnie Mouse drawing at the pockets and my daughter's purple rubber shoes. He was not trendy when he went there, but I was happy to see that he was happy about the gifts he received. Perhaps that short while he has forgotten the trauma that Sendong has caused upon us. The dead bodies that continue to rise in number, the many victims at the different relocation sites who lost homes and property, even loved ones, and the children who are going hungry and dehydrated.. My daughter and my brother have been in the same position as with the other kids, submerged in water, praying to be saved. While others have not made it, most are suffering and are in need of help.. 

Typhoon Sendong (Washi) Came, Conquered But We Shall Overcome! I just hope the kids will not live a life forever traumatized by Typhoon Sendong's 30 minute attack that have turned the city in sorrow.. Thinking positively, we shall overcome! This too shall pass..


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Friday, December 16, 2011

Commercialism


My daughter's Christmas program at school has just ended.. Actually, we left right after all the presentations were done because of the bad weather tonight. It is said that there is a storm, and we did braved the heavy showers on our way down.. As I wrote this, the electricity is dead. Thank God I have charged the batteries for all gadgets including this laptop,whew.. So I can work, as long as I have my battery running.. 

Anyway, the message of the school admin tonight was one that we all know about. It was quite nice how she focused on the message about Christmas being commercialized, and how children forget to say the simplest yet warmest greetings of love.. I would have liked her because of he really nice message, but when part of the program came upon the number presented by the Korean students, it hit me that the school itself is truly commercialized too. And giving Koreans a special part in the program is one marketing strategy for more Koreans to enroll there next school year. So sorry to say that, I am not happy about having Koreans flock our schools and universities. Why? Because it is cheaper to learn English here and that, we have better teachers on the subject? And all schools, especially those who think primarily of profit seem to center on the Koreans as prime customers, not realizing that Filipino clients, have enrolled with the same fees and the same tuition rates as they are paying. Duh! So why give Koreans a special part of the program and leave the talented Filipino students at bay? Commercialism is the answer. 


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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Call for Discipline

I have never seen anyone smoking cigars or cigarettes in public when I was in Singapore. I mean, there are designated areas where it is allowed. But where they are not allowed to smoke, like public places, utility vehicles and even food shops, people never do so. When I was in Davao City, I felt the same discipline is imposed to all Davaoenos, and as such,all of them follow the rules by the letter. Here in our city however, and I guess, in most parts of the country, people are just so undisciplined that even when they are already standing in huge No Smoking signs, they do not abide and continue to smoke as if they do not cause much more harm to the people around them, other than themselves. 

Worse, even when their attention is called already, they do not listen and still continue to risk the lives of the people around them. I so hate it when it's the older people doing the misgiving, and not pay attention to the young who complain of the said act. I guess putting signs are useless, because even enforcers of the law smoke anywhere as they please. Quite sad really. And quite frustrating too. How else are we to move for a better life within the perimeters of the land when the people inside are actually causing the harm to our health, and giving bad example for the young to imitate?



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Define Necessity


The photo above has been circulating around social media, especially at Facebook and somehow it delivers quite the lessons according to the comparison of the two separate images. And it is so timely because of the recent happenings during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale, not to mention, holiday shopping that has been going on since Christmas chills came knocking..

I know many have different definitions of the word necessity..and quite frankly, not all people can relate to what hunger is, since some have grown up in a very bountiful environment to the point that necessity has become just a word which means gadgets, new clothes, parties, cars, etc. In extreme cases, vices, shopping, drugs and even addictive habits.

If you have read the book above, perhaps you will learn from the little girl named Sarah, who shared the wisdom of charity and giving as an act that can better be understood only by those who have also experienced how it was to be hungry and such..  No one will really know the value of something until it is taken away, or when one lives without that which is necessary. So we go back to basic needs.. Food, Shelter and Clothing.. All these are necessary, yet, in this age and time, even those who have nothing dream of the material things--- that is why we have a chaotic world, don't you think so? It's not really poverty that causes a person to steal, or go into prostitution. It's the desire to have more than what's necessary... That is my belief.. For if one lives a simple, frugal life, with faith and hard work plus determination, he or she is able to live through and endure, even surpass life's challenges..including hunger, ruggedness, and homelessness.



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Cravings..

This makes me curious. I know it's yummy because of the reviews, but I have not been able to get some when we were in Butuan City in November. So this Christmas, when we go back there, I will surely buy some.. I can't wait!
This is called Brownie Thins and it's available at Margie's Kitchen in Butuan City.. See you soon...Can't wait to eat you..



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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Getting a Physical Therapy Degree - a Step by Step Guide

Do you have what it takes to be a physical therapist? Are you willing to put in the effort to earn your degree? What is your motivation? Do you enjoy helping people? Are you comfortable around elderly or handicapped individuals. These are questions you should ask yourself before you go any further. If you can honestly answer yes to these questions, you may be fully qualified to begin the process of becoming a certified, licensed physical therapist. Potential earnings are quite good and job security is assured due to the predicted future demands for skilled therapists.
Find a Physical Therapy School
You owe it to yourself to research schools that offer Physical Therapy (PT) degrees. Go online and get a feeling about the curriculum and the kind of applicants the schools seem to favor. Are the physical therapy schools strictly academic in demeanor or do they gravitate towards students with more life experiences? Hopefully you have some idea of what specialties you may want to pursue. Competition for available spots is quite intense, so you should probably have more than one alternative. Research the schools intensely to see if their programs work well for you. You must be comfortable with your choice. Make sure that you have successfully completed all the pre requisite courses for admission into the program.
Prepare for Your Admittance Interview
Because there are a limited number of openings, the interview process culls the crowd so to speak. Prepare yourself by researching as much as you can about the field, and especially any specialized areas in which you may have an interest. Get your hands on a few books about the various aspects of Physical Therapy, and explore any areas that appeal to you. Learn the terminology, so you can carry on an informed conversation with the interviewer.
Activities Count
Any activities you engage in before you apply should have some bearing on your future courses. Try to key your activities focused on areas that your chosen school may prefer in its applicants. Any related experience is a plus. Consider volunteering at a local hospital or nursing facility. Above all, be yourself during the interview. Demonstrate to the interviewers that you have some people skills that will help you relate to and understand problems your future patients will depend on you for.
Testing Requirements
The school will undoubtedly expect you to take some standardized tests as a condition of your admittance. The best advice is not to take the tests too early. Take the tests when you feel confident that you can do well so long as you make the deadline the school has imposed.
Grades and Activities
Maintain a high grade level for all your classes before the admittance process kicks in. Your grades are a reflection of your character and intelligence. They are proof that you have a exemplary work ethic. You can also use the time before the interview to add to your base of extra curriculum activities that have relevance to your chosen field.
Once you have set your course, you will be on your way to a highly rewarding career. You will achieve a high level of personal satisfaction, and will earn the admiration of your friends and family. Work hard towards your goals and always do the best you can.


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Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Choice that Puzzled Me

If a kid with no shoes or slippers does not choose a pair of shoes, when given a chance to own one, then there must be something wrong with the shoes. Or maybe she prefers the bag for some important reason which we do not really know.. 
I found some bags at home that are no longer used, so I brought them to the outreach of our group. Since there are just a few of them, we gave them out as prizes for games.
One winner after another, they all looked excited and happy with the bags.. The kid below had been wearing the bag like she does not want to take it off...
But this kid below, puzzled me.. The last bag seemed to be an uninteresting bag for kids. A grown up may be interested with it more. So since we have a pair of shoes, Lili's no longer fitting shoes, I asked her to choose between the shoes and the bag.
We were surprised when she chose the bag instead of the shoes. Of course, the one who got the shoes was so happy with them..




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CDO Bloggers Inc Outreach and Feeding Program: Cadayunan Primary School

How far would you go to help? Previously I posted about the Cadayunan Primary School: CDO Bloggers Outreach and Feeding Program and well, we finally went to Besigan yesterday. It was quite a rough journey just to get there, and to leave the place as well. It was a bumpy ride, then it rained when we arrived..





But despite the difficult travel, we arrived safely at the place. But that is not all there is to the already long journey. Below is a photo taken as soon as we came down the truck, inside the waiting shed, as we were getting organized for the long walk..


It would have been okay if it didn't rain, but it did, and somehow, the rain happened for a reason. It showed us the worst scenario for the school we are helping. It showed us that the blackboard literally becomes wet, thus classes will have to be suspended for a time or so, and that, kids with no shoes or slippers have to walk the muddy path just to get there. Quite sad, and frustrating.

There are actually two ways to go up the peak.. One is to go around the path, passing through a small pond where the people in the area have Tilapia and other fishes for their own consumption, or the path directly going up the peak-- a long steep muddy staircase.
But that's just the getting there part... When we finally met the kids, and interacted with them, and played games with them in between gift giving and feeding them, that's when we knew that our journey was worth it. Paint a smile on a child's face, that's priceless.. 


Inspire them to grow and learn, that's worth every bumpy road and getting dirty on our way there..

I sure would like to go back there and bring them more help.. 

 With a ceiling that has too many holes that literally leaks into the room, a wet blackboard, and so much more to improve..
We shall continue to accept help for Cadayunan Primary School as we are going back there. We hope to help improve their school environment, as well as provide the kids slippers and many others. Please email us at cdobloggersinc@gmail.com if you wish to help or take part of this outreach. And to our fellow bloggers and netizens we also accept donations through paypal (francis.siason@gmail.com). Your $3 to $5 will surely go a long way.



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Gift Ideas for the Inspiring Chef in Your Life

When you've got someone in your life who loves to cook, give them some wonderfully inspiring gifts to make sure that they love to cook for you! With the holiday season rolling around, there are some wonderful choices available for the chef in your life.

Spice Sample Packs
Head to your local spice shop or online specialty shop to purchase some spices for your chef. Bring some variety to your chef’s repertoire by throwing fun spices like sumac, real Hungarian paprika or pink peppercorns at him. For example, if your chef loves Asian food, you can’t go wrong with powdered lemongrass, anise and five spice.

Apron
Every chef knows that no matter how neat you are, kitchens are messy places. Give your chef an apron that keeps her covered from the sauce splatters and the flour spills. While you can get plenty of cheap aprons at department stores, check out culinary shops for aprons that have maximum coverage and which are extremely sturdy as well.

Knife-Sharpening Certificate
Whether meat or veggies, your chef does plenty of cutting, and a dull knife just won’t do. Good knives are expensive, and many chefs are particular about the knives that they use anyway. Hand him a knife-sharpening gift certificate to make sure that his knives are up to any culinary challenge. Knife-sharpeners may operate out of sewing supply stores or they may have stands at farmer’s markets or upper-end grocery stores.

Marble Rolling Pin
When your chef wants to try his hand at pastry, make sure that he has a marble rolling pin at her disposal. A marble rolling pin produces a smooth texture to pastry and the coolness of the stone prevents the dough from becoming overworked. The marble rolling pin also has more weight to it than a wooden rolling pin, allowing the chef to flatten the dough with less work. Marble rolling pins are available at any culinary supply store.

Butter Bell
Plenty of chefs like to keep their butter at room temperature and on the counter, but a cheap butter dish distracts from the look of an attractive counter top. A butter bell holds the butter packed in a bell-shaped container which is then lowered into a container of cold water. This keeps the butter chilled but at room temperature. This item is not common at stores, but it can be ordered online.

Think about how your chef cooks and what his needs are. The best gift for your chef is one that is suited to his needs and to his ambitions for his kitchen.


Erica Simone currently writes for Viamedic’s site, an online facilitator for Viagra, Cialis and Levitra online. Erica has an extensive background in health and wellness and enjoys offering her tips on the Viamedic Health Blog



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