A Quick Word

Thank you for taking time to visit my blog! For more info about this blog, you may check out the Content tab. For all re-posts and other articles that caught my eye, you'll find them in Echoes. My own literary pieces are in Anthology; tips, trivia and info are in Blabs; anything about movies in Flicks; food-related stuff in Gastronomy; my journey to getting hitched in I Do;places, trips and activities are in Jaunts; anything about books in Lit; and short posts in Snips. Lastly, you'll find my contact details in Say Hi.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Here's How We Can Get In Touch

Image c/o Gmail

For any questions, concerns, suggestions, or violent reactions which thankfully, you'd like to do in private, you may send me an email at <talkingsenses@gmail.com> and let's take it from there. Thank you so much!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Maquech Brooch: A Living Jewelry

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15

Image owned by University of Colorado Museum
of Natural History

The Maquech brooch aka beetle brooch aka living brooch is an adornment made of a live beetle emblazoned with gems and gold trimmings. It's then worn over clothing as a form of jewelry by the Mayans who started this centuries-old tradition.

What compelled me to blog about this was when I heard that this is still being practiced by people (I think in Mexico), and is currently a "hot" accessory. In my opinion, this is such a cruel thing to do. Accessories are fun and exciting I suppose, but using living creatures as one is a completely different thing. Men are supposed to be stewards of God's creation, not sadistic barbarians who take pride in using these poor creatures as a means to enhance themselves.


"Nothing's as it seems, but who can be sure?"

As far as I can remember, this was the first book that had triggered me to look at how the story ended. I hate spoilers, but I couldn't resist the urge.

The story started oh-so-well and progressed prudently. However, I think Milan's razor-sharp wit suddenly disappeared in the middle of the narrative because when I was nearing the finale, it suddenly transformed from realism to fantasy sort of thing. The vagueness of the ending completely caught me off-guard. It was like being ripped off after you had invested your time since it had good potentials at the beginning.
But then again, maybe that was Kundera's purpose, to give us a first person glance on how circumstances affect a person's well-being. Just as for the main character herself, Chantal was also led on by her own perception, combined with vivid imagination, and then both of which turning out to be incongruent to what was really happening.. It was a perfect recipe for disaster, in this case, the final thread to the losing of Chantal's wits.

The Plot (From Publishers Weekly):

In his second novel written in French (after Slowness), Czech-born novelist Kundera employs spare prose in the service of a meditation on the precarious nature of the human sense of self. Recently divorced ad executive Chantal, on a vacation with her younger boyfriend, Jean-Marc, believes that she is too old to be considered attractive by other men. For Chantal, identity is defined by the perceptions of strangers. Her dreams, to the extent that they impose a "leveling contemporaneity of everything a person has ever experienced," disturb Chantal. They remind her that she has a past, when she feels that she exists only in the present, that she is who she is only at any given moment. When she returns from her vacation, she begins to receive letters from an anonymous admirer. She suspects each new man she encounters to be the mysterious scribe and fantasizes how each might perceive her. Gradually, these letters, along with a few dreams, affect how Chantal views herself and her relationship with Jean-Marc, until her feelings and identity become unrecognizable both to her lover and to herself. At the end of the book, the unnamed narrator asks: "At what exact moment did the real turn into the unreal, reality into reverie? Where was the border? Where is the border?"...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Economics of Cows

The Economics of owning bovines:
From trivialdevotion.blogspot.com
SOCIALISM: You have 2 cows, so you give one to your neighbour.
COMMUNISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.
FASCISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.
NAZISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.
BUREAUCRATISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then files the milk away…
TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.
SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank,
then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.
A FRENCH CORPORATION: You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.
A JAPANESE CORPORATION: You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called ‘Cowkimon’ and market it worldwide.
A GERMAN CORPORATION: You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
AN ITALIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You decide to have lunch.
A RUSSIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows because you’re sobering up and open another bottle of vodka.
A SWISS CORPORATION: You have 5,000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.
A CHINA CORPORATION: You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.
AN INDIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You worship them.
A BRITISH CORPORATION: You have two cows. Both are mad.
IRAQI CORPORATION: Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none. No-one believes you, so they bomb you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy….
Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers.
WELSH CORPORATION: You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.
IRISH CORPORATION: You have two cows…or is it three? What matters? Aren’t you well off to have even one

by Shaun Kester on Sept. 13, 2007


Note: This is purely a work of fiction. I've written this long before I actually tried riding some easy waves back there in La Union... I also remember that surfing was the last thing on my mind while working on this.

I fell in love with the ocean from the moment I've heard of it. But it was similar to getting to know a person. It was a learning process. Before, I used to be doing fine with just swimming along the coast for it was easy and safe, but later on, I decided to take it a notch higher. I'd learn to surf.

I knew then that it would be difficult for me just by the way it looked. But on the day I started, everything was perfect! It was as smooth as silk. The waves were calm, the breeze was blowing gently, the sun was shining brightly. In short - perfect. Little by little, I started gaining confidence. I even thought it would always be like that. I had no idea it was nothing but beginner's luck.

Sometimes, I could surf without any obstacles at all. In those times, I'd think I was born for the job. There were some occasions when a wave or two knocked me off, but it's okay, nothing's perfect.

Suddenly, on one of my sessions, a giant wave engulfed me. It was much beyond my expectations. I didn't know it was coming. I was kind of expecting it already but it hit me real hard and brought me ashore. I was stupefied beyond my wits.

I was scared for the longest time that I swore not to step on my board again. But my love for the sea overcame my fear. Yes, my fear was still weighing on me, but I wasn't the type to easily give up so I decided to give it another shot. Anyway, they said that what didn't kill you made you stronger, right?

I was hesitant when I put my feet on the board again. But the ocean welcomed me with such tempting delight. So slowly and carefully, I made my way through. I tried paying attention to everything so as not to make the same mistake again. My confidence started to trickle in. I thought that maybe this time, I finally got everything under control.

I was still recuperating from the previous incident when as if on cue, a big wave came up and pummeled me with such a force, it disoriented me for a while. My previous wound was still fresh but now I was left with more bruises than I could handle. I was despondent.

Would I ever learn to ride those waves? Should I accept them as part of what I wanted to become, or was it really not for me?

Bet you can tell.

September 3, 2008
1:47 pm
Fam Mam


All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
~Anatole France

I couldn't forget the day I found it.
Among the others, it shone the brightest.
I nurtured it, nourished it.
In return, it gave me happiness well beyond imagination.

But somehow, it had grown formidable.
It began consuming what was supposed to be mine alone.
The day came when I could no longer comprehend it,
I was scared, confused.

I still gave my everything, hence I grew weaker.
And all I could recognize was its side facing me.
In submission, I just let it be.
And prayed it would be its turn to take good care of me.

September 2, 2008
2:47 PM
Fam Mam

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Excerpts from Prelude to a Better Life

The book's front and back cover.
I always feel inspired to write whenever I'm at the height of my emotions. I'm not a professional writer whatsoever, but writing has always been my outlet whenever I want to express myself out.

Anyway, eons ago, I had written some sort of a novel. It's called "Prelude to a Better Life", which is *ehem* about how "we" ended up together. I've copied and pasted some excerpts which I think I can safely share. Here goes:


End of the First Term

 .......Today is the last day of the semester. I woke up with full conviction that I should at least say goodbye to him. I even rehearsed in front of the mirror.
         “Hey, hope to see you next sem?!” eww, kind of desperate...
         “Hi, happy vacation!” good, but can I really say that sounding happy?
         “GOODBYE! Enjoy the sembreak!” this one will do. Simple yet, double-meaning.
         Come to the classroom early though you know he’s always late. Go to the restroom, fix your face, practice your smile, smoothen out your clothes. Go back to the room. He’s still not there. Go downstairs. Buy a drink and then go back. No sign of him. Decide to go outside the building. Find a secluded spot where you can see him enter the edifice. 3 minutes. Nothing. 5 minutes... Rrinngggggggg! Uh-oh that’s the bell. Rush back to the room. The professor is already inside. “Ma’am sorry I’m late.” Everybody’s looking at you. Your friends are staring at you questionably. When seated, grab your mirror and take a look at yourself. My goodness! You look like you just came out of an oven. Hair flying everywhere, face slick with oil and your blouse has pit stains. Ugh! Somebody enters, look immediately. It’s not him. Get some powder and dust your face while the professor’s back is on you, and for chris sakes! Comb your hair! He enters. Now what?!.................


What a ‘Coincidence’!!

...........Another ‘coincidence’ plan: it’s V-day, and out of curiosity, I wonder if he’s got something for me. You know, like a bouquet, or a long-stemmed rose, or maybe, to make it subtle, a small, handpicked flower... I know it sounds a little far-fetched, but I’m hoping nonetheless. Who knows? Maybe a miracle is coming my way... Yah, yah, I’m desperate, but who the hell cares?!
         Dressed in perfection (again), I decided to seat strategically at a Mini-Stop just outside the campus where I could see him pass by on his way to class. My plan is something like this: Upon seeing him, I’ll follow him silently and walk as fast as I can until I’m a little ahead of him. Then, I’ll drop a book on purpose, look behind me in the midst of picking the book, and act kinda surprised to see him. Brilliant eh? Haha!
         At about 2:50 p.m., I saw him. I immediately left my position and started going after him. I was a little disappointed because his backpack seemed to be empty. Even so, I’m still sticking to my plan. Maybe he’ll greet me the sweetest “Happy Valentine’s Day!” with matching, “I love you!”. Oh, just thinking of him and his voice makes me so happy. Hehe.
         We were walking on a wide street and I was still behind him. Funny, I noticed that he’s looking at every car’s side-mirror to check on himself. I never thought that he could be vain. What’s more funny was that he’s walking in a zigzagging motion, going from one car to another on the opposite side of the street, and back again, and so on and so forth, and I found it really challenging to follow him.
         After a couple of seconds, our gap widened. He’s so fast! I couldn’t catch up! Hello! Are we on a race here? Hey, please slow down!! Gah, I wouldn’t be able to take it if my plan failed again... Run girl, run!!!
         We arrived in the room 30-seconds apart. Obviously, he was the first to arrive, and I was panting after him. I wasn’t able to catch up because of many obstacles: his a-la-marathon speed, my high-heeled shoes, my A-line skirt which made it hard for me to walk in strides, plenty of girls carrying giant bouquets that are blocking my way, plenty of evening students rushing to beat the 3:00 bell, plenty of mid-students rushing to go home, a bunch of people flirting on the stairs and along the corridors, et cetera.
         After catching my breath, I learned from a friend of mine that the boys had pitched in a few bucks to buy roses for their girl classmates. Wow, this smells good! Maybe he would be the one to hand me my rose. Gosh! I’m so excited!  Hey woman, don’t look at him, he might feel shy. Just pretend to be doing something, so when he gave you your flower, you’d look genuinely surprised. Bow your head, and act as if you’re reading a book!
         Then I grabbed the nearest book I could get my hands on. It was a Theology book! Wow, when did I ever learn reading a religious book?! On the afterthought, maybe that’s what I really need right now, God’s mighty intervention..........

The Good in the Bad

I’ve struggled with myself from time to time. I think it’s innate already; worrying about my future, wallowing in the present and consistently dwelling on the past… pessimistic as they say, or probably just excessively practical?

They say that misery comes as waves. Just when you think you’re recuperating, when everything seems to be going well, without further ado it hits you straight in the face again, like you don’t deserve a more agreeable life, like it was already casted in stone that you have to start from scratch over and over again and relieve that painful reality.

It won’t really stop, will it?

Good thing is, after every cold splash on your face, you become more unaffected by it. It hurts as hell at first, but that too eventually wears off in time, you just have to get used to it. Then after eternity, the feeling finally becomes non-existent. We all know that it will never stop bothering you, but anyway it has become harmless already, pleasantly reminding you that you are one hell of a survivor...

Well, it doesn’t end there. Sooner or later, bigger sets of waves will come to seek you. But at least we know that we can freely hope for something better. There has to be a way. There always will be.

Of course, I have had my own dose of good and bad days. I’m thankful for the latter for it gives more meaning to the former.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Hush little one, it’s time to rest,
I know you had such a long day.
The things that had hurt us both,
Let’s put them aside, pray they’d be gone soon.

I’m here for you, stop crying,
We’re both scared but at least we’ve got each other.
I would protect you in my embrace,
In time, everything will be alright.

Don’t worry if you had somehow caused me pain,
Those trials had all but made me stronger.
I’m awed by the fact that you’re still here with me,
Facing the world with bravery.

I too am deeply sorry,
For giving you a dose of misery.
I was blinded by my fears,
I didn’t see that you were just fighting for me.

Let’s now close our eyes and dream of a brighter tomorrow,
For I long to see that smile on your lips.
Here, take my hand and have a little faith,
Because when you wake up tomorrow, I’d still be here.

April 24, 2008
Fam Mam

An Essay by a Korean About the Philippines

Jaeyoun Kim

Filipinos always complain about the corruption in the Philippines. Do you really think the corruption is the problem of the Philippines? I do not think so. I strongly believe that the problem is the lack of love for the Philippines.

Let me first talk about my country, Korea. It might help you understand my point. After the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Koreans had to start from scratch because entire country was destroyed after the Korean War, and we had no natural resources.

Koreans used to talk about the Philippines, for Filipinos were very rich in Asia. We envy Filipinos. Koreans really wanted to be well off like Filipinos. Many Koreans died of famine. My father & brother also died because of famine. Korean government was very corrupt and is still very corrupt beyond your imagination, but Korea was able to develop dramatically because Koreans really did their best for the common good with their heart burning with patriotism.

Koreans did not work just for themselves but also for their neighborhood and country. Education inspired young men with the spirit of patriotism. 40 years ago, President Park took over the government to reform Korea.

He tried to borrow money from other countries, but it was not possible to get a loan
and attract a foreign investment because the economic situation of South Korea was so bad. Korea had only three factories. So, President Park sent many mine workers and nurses to Germany so that they could send money to Korea to build a factory. They had to go through horrible experience.

In 1964, President Park visited Germany to borrow money. Hundred of Koreans in Germany came to the airport to welcome him and cried there as they saw the President Park. They asked to him, "President, when can we be well off?"

That was the only question everyone asked to him. President Park cried with them and promised them that Korea would be well off if everyone works hard for Korea, and the President of Germany got the strong impression on them and lent money to Korea. So, President Park was able to build many factories in Korea. He always asked Koreans to love their country from their heart.

Many Korean scientists and engineers in the USA came back to Korea to help developing country because they wanted their country to be well off. Though they received very small salary, they did their best for Korea. They always hoped that their children would live in well off country. My parents always brought me to the places where poor and physically handicapped people live.

They wanted me to understand their life and help them. I also worked for Catholic Church when I was in the army. The only thing I learned from Catholic Church was that we have to love our neighborhood. And, I have loved my neighborhood. Have you cried for the Philippines? I have cried for my country several times. I also cried for the Philippines because of so many poor people. I have been to the New Bilibid prison. What made me sad in the prison were the prisoners who do not have any love for their country. They go to mass and work for Church. They pray everyday.

However, they do not love the Philippines. I talked to two prisoners at the maximum-security compound, and both of them said that they would leave the Philippines right after they are released from the prison. They said that they would start a new life in other countries and never come back to
the Philippines.

Many Koreans have a great love for Korea so that we were able to share our wealth with our neighborhood. The owners of factory and company were distributed their profit to their employees fairly so that employees could buy what they needed and saved money for the future and their children.

When I was in Korea, I had a very strong faith and wanted to be a priest. However, when I came to the Philippines, I completely lost my faith. I was very confused when I saw ! many unbelievable situations in the Philippines.

Street kids always make me sad, and I see them everyday. The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia, but there are too many poor people here.

People go to church every Sunday to pray, but nothing has been changed.

My parents came to the Philippines last week and saw this situation. They told me that Korea was much poorer than the present Philippines when they were young. They are so sorry that there are so many beggars and street kids. When we went to Pasanjan, I forced my parents to take a boat because it would fun. However, they were not happy after taking a boat. They said that they would not take the boat again because they were sympathized the boatmen, for the boatmen were very poor and had a small frame. Most of people just took a boat and enjoyed it.

But, my parents did not enjoy it because of love for them. My mother who has been working for the Catholic Church since I was very young told me that if we just go to mass without changing ourselves, we are not Catholic indeed. Faith should come with action. She added that I have to love Filipinos and do good things for them because all of us are same and have received a great love from God.

I want Filipinos to love their neighborhood and country as much as they love God so that the Philippines will be well off.

I am sure that love is the keyword, which Filipinos should remember. We cannot change the sinful structure at once. It should start from person. Love must start in everybody, in a small scale and have to grow. A lot of things happen if we open up to love. Let's put away our prejudices and look at our worries with our new eyes.

I discover that every person is worthy to be loved. Trust in love, because it makes changes possible. Love changes you and me. It changes people, contexts and relationships. It changes the world. Please love your neighborhood and country.

Jesus Christ said that whatever we do to others we do to Him. In the Philippines, there is God for people who are abused and abandoned. There is God who is crying for love. If you have a child, teach them how to love the Philippines. Teach them why they have to love their neighborhood and country. You already know that God also will be very happy if you love others. That's all I really want to ask you Filipinos.

Not a Windfall

A speck in the eye is all that's left,
How gullible am I to adore the blowing wind.
Just like a child, innocent and eager,
Short of noticing the danger inherent.
It hurts but yes, the fault is mine,
For I overlooked the treasure that is time.
Something momentary won't always justify forever,
Though in just a flicker, I almost believed it.

Cry and cry, let it all out.
For that's the only way to banish the pain.
Anyway, it just did its own purpose,
Which is to fly in different directions.

November 14, 2007
Fam Mam


Cling to me and I shant go away,
Seduce me by the charm that is of daylight.
Clear the path before me so I can see,
Behold me as if this is the last.

Talk to me like Im elsewhere,
Look at me with your eyes speaking.
Hold me forever in your care,
Love me as if I'm the only one existing

November 13, 2007
6:43 pm
Fam Mam

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Be Searchable- Submit Your Site to Google and Bing!

I hope I'm not mistaken, but as far as I know, major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing automatically update their own site indices. Thing is, we can't really tell how long it takes for them to do that, so to check if they've already included your site every time they crawl the web, go to the different search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing etc.), type this in the search box, and hit search :


For example:

If it generates result/s then congratulations, your site has already been enlisted! If not, you can wait a few more days and do a search once again, or you could manually submit your site to some of the search engines like Google and Bing (as Yahoo has already merged with Bing webmaster tools).

To Submit Your Site to Google

2. Enter your homepage.
3. Enter the captcha.
4. Click Submit Request.

To Submit Your Site to Bing

2. Scroll to the bottom of the page, unless you want to register.
3. Enter the code that is shown.
4. Enter your homepage.
5. Click Submit URL.

And that's it! Good luck!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Clock Ticks for a Reason

Image from Jamberwave 
As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back. 

I Love You by Choc


I love you
more than the sea loves its shore,
even stronger than the falls 
when in great depth it pours.

I wanna hold you close 
and let you feel that I care,
I won't let tears leave your eyes 
with the love I'd gratefully share...

I could imagine the sound of your kiss,
it can silence everything,
it could sweeten a sweet moment
and fill it with great bliss..

Your soft eyes of honesty,
their innocence have smitten me,
it has made life worth living,
and all truth worth telling.

You smile with great sincerity
and I can't help but to fall.
I'd never thought there'll be someone
who will conquer my heart, who will conquer my all.

April 2002