Monday, May 31, 2010

Game On

The Internet age revolutionized they way people live. Business, broadcasting, shopping, recreation, and even gambling can be done online. The biggest convenience is never having to leave the comfort of home- going online is the equivalent to joining the rest of the world in a virtual palace of opportunities.

Online gambling is an industry steadily gaining popularity and patronage. There are a myriad of online casinos, and a guide is most necessary to help select your best choice. Online Casino Spotlight dot com provides complete information on how to get started with online gambling- the site also rates and ranks the best online casinos.

Real money can be won online; the secret is to find an authentic gambling website, with a reliable track record. Forums and reviews can provide you with feedback and more information to avoid scams. Should problems arise, customer support is provided by online sites. It is wise to check each site’s policies and make sure the site is a member of Interactive Gaming Council (IGC).

Online Roulette is one of the most popular casino games. Playing is as simple as picking a winning number or color. First one purchases chips, then chooses on either inside or outside bets. Inside bets may either be straight up, split bet, line bet, four corner bet, basket bet, or double street bet. Outside bets are either red/black and odd/even, dozens bet, or column bets.

Blackjack Online is also another interesting choice of game. Popularly called “21”, the objective of the player (or players) is to get as close to 21. Online Casino Spotlight lists the top ten sites for you to choose from.

These exciting prospects are available to everyone, anywhere in the world. You no longer need to go to a land-based casino to feel the rush of winning- whether you are at a café, at the beach, or at home, you can play online on your computer at your convenience!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some Like it Hot

Spices have been an essential ingredient to cooking since time immemorial. It is said that the earliest evidence of the use of spice by humans dates back thousands of years before Christ. A spice may be a seed, root, or bark which have been dried and added to food to enhance flavor, add color, or even to function as a preservative.

Luckily, people need not travel great distances, or follow the spice trade to get a pinch of cinnamon or perhaps visit India to get a bit of curry powder. Spices are now available at local convenience stores, grocery stores, or even could be ordered online with just a few clicks of a button.

Among the most popular of these spices is sweet paprika. Paprika is a spice made by grinding Capsicum annuum (or in plain English, bell peppers or chili peppers). This particular seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor. Paprika can range from sweet, which is very mild, to spicy.

Colors may range from deep bright red color (the mildest), pale red color (with aroma and a bit of pungency), and light brown (which is the spiciest). Paprika is a quintessential ingredient in preparation of sausages, like in the Spanish chorizo. Enjoy the flavors of the world through the different spices!

What's up?

I haven't really blogged in a long time- at least the creative posts. That's because I've been a little busy lately. Here's what occupied my time the past few weeks:

Med School Hunting

After the NMAT, and in-between finishing my Operating Room, NICU, and DR cases, I squeezed in some time to finally visit prospective med schools in Manila. Two of the other choice schools would be in Iloilo and Cebu, but I guess I'll have to do that another time.

I forgot how hellish it is in Manila with all the clouds of dust and soaring temperatures, and given that mere mortals such as myself commute, I was subjected to being sunbaked in a creaky old bus. No matter how clean and fresh I looked at 7am, by the time I arrived at my destination I was a mess. So much for great first impressions during the interview.

The thing is, I need to be full scholar (or in the pinoy MD at least) to study this year. Turns out all slots were filled by the time of my April NMAT and May application. Okay so here's a tip: most schools begin accepting pinoy MD applications as early as October of the preceding year, as for admissions they begin January.

I guess this is a blessing in disguise because this gives me time to finish all my cases and focus on the review for the Nursing board exam.

Ambitious Quest

I wanted to start writing again, since I have free time now and then, but I don't want to stick with the blog format anymore. It has to be a short story or a novel (naks) this time, I only hope I get struck by inspiration which will be enough to propel the story even without "technical know-how" in creative writing.

I'll begin by reading either my favorite books by Marquez or maybe Stephen King to switch to a new genre. But seriously, for my in-between time I blog for a little bit of cash. Shhhh!

Design Possibilities

I'll be doing another layout design for 2011 Orchid calendar, and quite possibly render some sketches for a Balinese house. I hope I get to manage my time just right, and of course since its May its fiesta season and that's always big deal in the province.

I'm looking forward to this June's Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival and the Sangyaw Festival here in Tacloban. I haven't missed a single year and some of the presenters have actually competed and won in the Sinulog and Aliwan Festival. Can't wait!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ripe Years

Past the most productive years of their life, senior citizens may have a lot to deal with. Aside from battling health issues like constant upper respiratory track infections or perhaps pesky arthritis, their lessened capacity to earn income becomes a huge disadvantage. Unlike their counterparts in the working populace, they no longer enjoy the benefits of medical and dental from the companies they work for.

Sometimes for those without generous pensions or big bank accounts, social security may not be enough for senior citizens to live on. Fortunately, there are options such as Reverse Mortgage which may assist them to attain better financial security. Unexpected expenses in home improvement, medical bills, may be some of the reasons for the loan... The most important thing is for them to be aware of possible options and get Information on reverse mortgage.

A number of companies provide this service, but certain requirements should be met to be eligible. First, the homeowner must be sixty two years or older, second, must own the property, and lastly, live in the home. How does a reverse mortgage work exactly? Follow the link for reverse mortgage FAQS.

In the twilight of their years, seniors should be able to enjoy their lives free of worries. They have earned the right to finally enjoy some quiet time tending a garden or perhaps taking a leisurely walk around their home.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


People with myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism may now live a life free of annoying eye glasses or irritating contact lenses. Lasik is a type of refractive surgery performed by Ophthalmologists which has the advantage of faster patient recovery. USAEyes , a nonprofit Lasik patient advocacy organization, helps patients learn about important issues on Lasik and other vision correction surgery.

The USAEyes website complies with the Health On The Net code standard for trustworthy health information.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Second Look at an Imperfect Marriage

Months back I had written a feature article about relationships in the school magazine, and I mentioned how the words "true love" and "happily ever after" belong in fairy tales and not real life. My point was that the stark reality was the opposite of these tales of perfect romance and that even time itself gave no guarantee- calling to mind my parent's 27 years of togetherness, which one day crumbled and ended up in separation.

Their old wedding album had been in storage for decades, and the dampness had caused the edges of some photos to fade and blot, others were completely ruined. I bought a large new album where I can transfer these rare mementos which included a virtual diorama of our childhood and the evolution of our family.

I tried to imagine what their life must have been like as a young couple. Their wedding was simple- a small ceremony at the local church in Abuyog, with just family and friends. My mom wore her hair upswept in braids, with flowers that decorated her veil. She looked radiant in her 70's style wedding dress,and layers upon layers of chiffon concealed her pregnancy (I was a six month old fetus she carried in her belly when she walked down the aisle). My father wore long sleeved Barong Tagalog with what suspiciously looks like bell-bottom pants to me, this was September 1980 so I guess that explains it. If I were to describe how they looked together in scenes during the ceremony,in the bridal car side by side, and at the reception- they were happy. Wait, I don't think that would give justice to the look I saw on their faces. Giddy, ecstatic, madly in love- yes, that's much closer.

Through the years they went swiftly from merely husband and wife to Papa and Mama, with me and my chubby baby brothers ever beside them in photos. Like typical Pinoy families, my father one day left to work abroad to support us. And now there were two sets of photos- the ones at our humble rented house with a very thin-looking Mama, and Papa's photos against the backdrop of the Arabian deserts.

I was of course aware of those relationship ups and downs they had, after all that's typical of every married couple. It's just that as me and my brothers grew up to become young adults and gain independence, their parenting roles which help bound them together seemed slowly dissipating along with their affection for each other. Looking back, even though our parents began to have problems and live in separate houses in the States, I am glad they never actually made the move to get an annulment or a divorce. They made a promise before God, after all, for better or for worse. And even though it still saddens me how the ending of my favorite love story turned out, my father was there during my mom's last hours.

As I put the last photograph in place, I had this lump on my throat that I could not swallow. I guess I take it back then, looking at my parent's wedding photo, it was a shining example of nothing less than TRUE LOVE.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blog Halo-halo (2010)

---------for those interested in getting a copy you may e-mail me. thanks!------------

Life Lessons in Jogging

With so much time on my hands this summer I decided to take up running- nothing competitive really, it's more of a mix of jogging, brisk walking, and perhaps a sprint now and then when a dog is chasing me. So every 5:30 am at dawn, without as much as a splash of water on the face, I'd pick up my running shoes and head outside while the house is still in utter silence.

Sometimes I go with a pop song blaring on my headset, but it is equally alright when I enjoy the gentle sounds as the city stirs to life. I have grown fond of the routine: decide my running course, do stretching as I warm up, then off I go! I liken that feel of freedom, as I stomp my way through the concrete streets, to life's journey. When we are young we begin to decide our paths- from high school to college to finding our way through the maze of work opportunities- or the lack of it. We are prepared for the long road by years of training in school, and still oftentimes we run into unexpected places and detours.

We run with other people. Some, like those retirees huffing and puffing as they go, tend to adapt a slower pace and I zoom past them. Sometimes though, a troupe of cadets rush by, and I am left trailing behind. That's okay, I know my limits- I just learn to focus on my goal and move at my own pace.

Yesterday I planned to run from our home in Marasbaras to Burayan in San Jose, then to Cogon, then turn left to Manlurip. This was farther than I've ever gone before and the road is different because it was secluded, with fewer houses along the road- and fewer joggers. I somewhat regretted not following the usual trail- Old Sagkahan road to Magsaysay Boulevard and to Leyte Park, where I can pass through the usual landmarks.

At some point in Manlurip I stopped. Past a certain zone, there were no longer jeepneys I can catch to get a ride back home in case I get tired, and I only had a small bottle of water with me. I had no idea where this trail led, or how far till the next town, but I thought I'll follow it anyway. After running nearly six and a half kilometers, I finally reached a lovely seaside avenue which led to Mc Arthur Park in Baras Palo, Leyte. I collapsed on the grass exhausted, but very happy.

Later than day I had the fortuitous chance of seeing online my old UP comrades at the College of Architecture- those days felt like another lifetime to me. There was a distinct feel of familiarity or even nostalgia as I saw my old professors, I mean these people I met way before my working days at Infonxx or my Nursing studies in Tacloban. I didn't know why it left such a strong impression on me, perhaps because that was the environment that nurtured me during my adolescence and therefore the milieu and culture formed part of my personality. I also got to see my former classmates turn into husbands and wives, and doting parents- a little different from the path I'm following.

But like that crossroad I had encountered yesterday, I knew I had to leave the past to memory, and keep moving forward even though what's ahead is unknown. Life's like that- sometimes you never know what you're going to get- but whatever it is, is definitely better than resisting growth or change and remaining within one's comfort zone.

It doesn't mean I've turned my back to what once was- after all, I've always kept my lessons in tow as I explore new horizons.


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