Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Death Calculator: Pinoy Version

NOTE: Don't let this post's title scare you. This is actually a very informative post so I invite you to read on.Ü

As most of you guys know by now, the official newspaper at our house is THE PHILIPPINE STAR.Ü And just like in some of my previous posts where I've shared to you some of the articles that I believe are worth reading and sharing to as many persons possible, this post would not be any different.

As I was doing my daily routine of browsing through the newspaper (but just basically reading the Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not corner), I came across this article by Willie T. Ong, MD entitled How long will you live? (see this link for actual article in the web). Intriguing right? So I read along and found out about a "Death Calculator" created by Dr. David J. Demko. Apparently, this one-of-a-kind calculator allows you to more or less estimate how long you will be breathing and taking up space in this Earth. Interesting, huh? But this isn't like your ordinary calculator where you punch-in some numbers then do some mathematical operation and get the answer. This "calculator" is actually a series of questions that will allow you to more or less gauge the number of years that you have in your life.

As mentioned in the article, the average life span of a Filipino is 70 years, as opposed to the global age life span of 79 (maybe the pollution and the corruption is the culprit why we have 9 years less than the global age life span). Given that basis, you will have to add or subtract from 70 (or 79) the corresponding points that goes with your given answer. Sounds complicated? Well, not really. I guess you'd understand better if you just answer the questions together with me.Ü But, before we begin, let me just mention that the questions was modified a bit by Dr. Willie (the author of the PhilStar article) to make it more applicable to the Filipino lifestyle and setting. That aside, then let's try and get a high score on this one!Ü And by the way, my answers are those in red

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WOW! Being a girl gets me 1 point! Hurray!Ü
Plus, my Ama (grandmother in Chinese) is more than 90 years old now so that earns me 2 more points.
I have no kids at the moment so I get zero for both of that, so my running total for round one is 73

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I eat fruits, fish, and vegetable...but I also love my meaty friends! So minus 3 points for me.
My 3-day diet thing, goes ON every summer, but OFF for the rest of the year...but still, that's considered a YES, so minus 5 points.
I don't do aerobics or any exercise whatsoever, and I neither walk or ride to work so zero points for that.
I drive the 7-kilometer trip to work so minus 3 more points for a running total of 62.

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I personally don't smoke, but my mom does so minus a point. Then I get zero for the rest, which is actually a good thing, so my running total after Part III is 61.

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I DON'T get an annual physical exam, DON'T have any way of managing stress, and DON'T do volunteer work so minus 7 points for all those.
Good thing I get 3 points for the remainder, hence a running total of 57. (Gosh! I am NOT doing well in this quiz!!!)

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I don't have a pet and am not in love so I get nothing for those.
I believe that the question Healthy long relationship of trust and respect refers to the relationship you have with your partner. Since I don't have a partner, I get minus 2 for that.
I get a point though for having friends in different age brackets, so that's a good thing.Ü

So...after answering Parts 1 to 5 of the Death Calculator, my grand total is...56! WOW! That's a very young age...I want to live longer than 56!!! My oh my...I have to get more points on those parts where I didn't score or reverse those minus points that I got!Ü

Well guys, you shouldn't take this "calculator" literally (Oh gosh! After that low score, I WON'T!Ü). It's actually some sort of lifestyle check where you can identify the aspects of your life that needs improvement and those that are currently a-OK.Ü From what I got, I guess there are a lot of areas that I need to improve on. Maybe in 10 years, when I try answering this quiz again, i'll get a higher score. Hopefully.Ü Til then, i'll be a "work in progress." Hahaha!Ü

Thursday, June 21, 2007

TaskArrange: An Accidental Discovery

I'm quite sure everyone reading this blog entry owns a computer, or at the very least is using one right now. Personally, I've been a PC-user for almost a decade now and am proud to say that I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I can reach into whenever something quite unusual is going on with my PC or if there's something that I want to change in the settings (or any what-have-yous) before I head for the phone and call whatever number I have to ask for help. Of course, whatever knowledge I have now is a result of what I've gathered from my PC-knowledgeable thesismates, friends, family, and technical persons who have come and gone to fix my previously-owned PCs.

Anyway (before I get carried away from the topic at hand), in the ten years that I have been a PC-user, I've always wondered WHY I am never able to arrange the sequence of applications shown in my taskbar. I've even gone to the extent of purposely opening the applications I have to use in a certain order just so these applications are arranged (in the taskbar) in the sequence that I want them to be. I've always wondered why Windows did not include any settings or option for this, even when XP arrived, where they added the option to 'group similar takbar buttons' (which I never really liked) but not a 'rearrange the taskbar buttons as you wish' setting or option was in sight.

I've actually gotten used to opening the applications in my PC in a certain order, especially at work. First I open my Lotus Notes email application. Then, I click on Windows Explorer to be able to access in a single click the folders in my PC. Then I open an Internet Explorer window just so I can easily search for names in our intranet's directory when the need arises. I don't really mind the order of applications that comes after that third one, except when I'm multi-tasking and working on two or three things at the same time, in which case, it would be really helpful if all applications that are related to a certain task are next to each other in the taskbar rather than jumbled together with the applications for the other tasks. On some occasions, I just wish that those applications with the same icons are next to each other. Like all Word documents are next to each other...then the Excel workbooks...then whatever I feel like should come next after that...just because it looks nicer, aesthetically-speaking.

Anyway, opening the applications in sequence is something that I can deal with daily. But that's only good until your next application crash. In which case, you'll just have to deal with your applications 'misarranged' in the taskbar. Or if you just can't work with that, then you can always close everything then open them in sequence. AGAIN. Now, that can get annoying at times, especially if you have a gazillion applications open. Plus, its a waste of time especially if you're working with a jurrasic PC (like what I have at work Ü).

To all those who can relate with what I've written above, look no further! Our prayers have been answered! On a blah day when I couldn't think of anything to do, I tried keying-in "how to arrange taskbar applications" in Google and came about this website: MBoffin.com. He (or she, I don't really know) has the same dillemma as I have (it's great to know that I am not alone in this greater scheme of things Ü) and has actually found a nifty freeware application called TaskArrange (by Elias Fotinis) that allows you to rearrange the taskbar applications as you wish! How cool is that, huh?!?!!!Ü Gone are the days when I have to open my applications in sequence! With TaskArrange, I can open anything and everything any way I like and still achieve my desired desktop application arrangement! Now, that's what I call PC empowerment (HAHAHA!).

And did I mention that it's free?Ü All you have to do is download it from this site (it's just a mere 83KB), unzip the file, install the appropriate version (depending on your OS) in your PC, and VOILA! TaskArrange is up and running, ready for use as needed! It doesn't even take that much resource in your PC since it doesn't run in the background and you just launch it when needed, then shut it down once you've achieved your desired desktop application arrangement. It's also easy to use. You can just drag the applications and drop it to where you want it to be placed or you can use the UP, DOWN, TOP, and BOTTOM buttons then click OK. The program closes as well when you hit the OK button so you won't even have to do that extra step of clicking the X on the upper, right-hand of the window or the CLOSE button.

So thank you, Mr. Elias Fotinis for this mini wonder of a program.Ü To everyone out there, join me in enjoying this new discovery, and check out as well the other programs available for download is Mr. Fotinis' website. That's all for now...ta-ta

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dinner Date with Dad

It's FATHER's DAY once again! My family and I decided to celebrate Papa's special day one day ahead, with a special buffet dinner on Saturday evening at Spiral Restaurant in Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza (formerly Westin Philippine Plaza).

But first I'd like to thank Dean and Jac for lending me their Sofitel membership cards because if it weren't for them, I would be broke now. HAHAHA!Ü Seriously! If it weren't for them, I would be spending half my salary for this dinner treat for Dad (with Mom and Kyle, of course)...and I think i'm just not ready to be spending that much amount for a buffet dinner for four...I'd rather buy something that Papa can use...or in Papa's terms: "Bibili na lang ako ng appliances or gamit na may makina sa ganyang presyo!" (I'd rather buy an appliance with that amount of money!) HAHAHA!Ü Truly, I am my father's daughter. But Papa's NOT kuripot ha. Ako lang yun. (Papa's not stingy. Just me.) Hehehe...Ü

So, why treat Papa at Spiral? Well, mom and I got to eat there last December when mom's friend invited us for a birthday dinner and we both agreed that Papa and Kyle will looove that place coz they're such happy eaters!Ü Then, without us realizing, father's day was just around the corner and what better time to treat Papa there but on this special day celebrating the highs and lows of being a father.

True enough, my Dad (and brother Ü) liked the place and all the cuisines available such that Papa was considering being a member of the Sofitel group of hotels. But after much prodding from Dad on how much the buffet dinner was, and after giving in (coz Papa is sooooo kulit!) and realizing how pricey the place is, he said: "Wag na lang. Ang mahal. Damihan natin kain, para sulit. Pwede ba'ng lumakad-lakad muna sa labas tapos bumalik dito para kumain ulit?" (On second thought, I'm no longer interested in being a member here. The buffet's too expensive. Let's eat a lot to get our money's worth. Can we walk outside then get back here to eat again?) HAHAHA!Ü Funny, Papa.Ü Another line was: "Lalagnatin ata ako dito, ang mahal ng babayaran mo. Anak, baka lagnatin ka." (I think i'm going to get sick. It's too expensive here.) HAHAHA! No, Papa...pinaghandaan ko ito. (I'm ready for this) Don't worry...just be happy!Ü

Of course, in typical Papa-fashion, he kept on insisting to pay the bill, but I wouldn't let him. This was our (mom and I) idea, and the first time that we'll be treating him out in a semi-grand way so, NO will do, Papa. This is a thank you for being such a great dad to us so allow us, for just one time, to treat you out rather than the other way around (he's always the one treating us out for lunch or dinner or coffee).Ü

Now, let me share to you why we chose Spiral, among all restos available here in Manila, to treat dear Daddy-o! Well, basically because Spiral has all cuisines that you can think of: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Italian, American...Filipino lang wala (although they have Lechon Kawali), and none of those fastfood food like french fries and hamburgers. The first time mom and I saw the place, we were in such awe because we haven't seen that much food in one place! It's just NOT possible for one to taste ALL the food they're offering in ONE sitting. And did I mention that they have this buffet table full of desserts one can think of!!! Really yummy! (Click here for pictures of Spiral resto)

Of course, all those food come with a price. That dinner, they were charging P1,950 per person for non-members. For lunch I think it's priced less, P1,459 per person. Of course members get a discount, depending on the number of guests they bring. Since I was able to borrow 2 cards and there's 4 of us, I got a 50% discount (taxes are not included in the discount though).

I made reservations Friday night to make sure that we are accommodated when we get there the next night. I've heard that the place gets packed despite being pricey so, being the sigurista that I am, I made reservations.Ü So to you guys out there planning on going to Spiral: reserve, reserve, reserve! Just to make sure you get to sit and eat there when you plan to.Ü

Well I guess that's all for now. HAPPY FATHER's DAY to all Daddys, Papas, and Tatays out there. Enjoy this special day meant especially for you.Ü And please do remember that, despite our being hard-headed at times, and although we may not show it to you that often, your daughters and sons love you very much and are thankful for all those times spent with you.Ü

To my Papa, Happy Father's Day! See you later at the dinner table! HAHAHA!Ü
Special thanks to Michelle Morelos (http://www.michellemorelos.com) for allowing me to link to her site for the Spiral photos.Ü

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"I Never Got There."

Regine: "Mahal mo ba ako?"

Piolo: "I never got there."

NAKS! "I never got there." Eh nag-try ka ba naman maglakabay papunta "there" para ka maka-get "there?" HeHeHe. I'm talking rubbish here.Ü Anyway, I just want to share to you my thoughts on Piolo and Regine's latest movie, Paano Kita Iibigin.Ü Oh, and by the way, the first line is NOT verbatim and this blog is not really a movie review so don't expect that.Ü

But first, the FACTS:
1. Piolo is so yummy.
2. Piolo is really yummy.
3. Piolo is superbly yummy.

OK. Now that we got over that part, we can proceed with the non-factual part of this blog.Ü

I never really intended to watch the film in a movie theater. I always thought i'd just buy a pirated DVD of this once a DVD copy is available in Divisoria (hehe!). But after a few of my officemates watched it and had rave reviews about it, I got intrigued. And just a few hours ago, my mom and I watched this movie at Glorietta 4...just one of the few times that we did coz we don't really watch movies in movie theaters that often (to the point that a year can pass by without my family and I watching a single movie in a movie theater).

Anyhow, the first half of the film was soooper funny! Really! You've got to believe me. My P130 was truly worthit because I haven't laughed this good for quite some time now. Eugene Domingo was truly an effective comedian here. No one could've delivered all those funny lines and comedic moments better than her. I salute you, Ms. Domingo! Keep up the good work.Ü Also worth mentioning is Liam, Regine's son in the movie, who also shared in providing comic relief to the film. His character was witty, makulit, and sobrang matanong such that I can't help but compare him to our kid neighbor, Reed, who's makulit and matanong as well.Ü

If the first half of the film was great, the latter parts were just a-OK for me. Hindi na kasi funny so I wasn't paying much attention anymore. Especially the last dramatic scene between Piolo and Regine where they saw each other again after Piolo uttered that now famous "I never got there" line. I found the entire scene a bit lengthy. My mom and I were actually talking (quietly, of course) and thinking of what to give my dad as father's day gift (which, by the way, is on the 17th of June) while they were crying and reconciling on screen. PLUS, we were also criticizing Regine's nose. HAHAHA!Ü

Speaking of Regine, I just want to share this opinion of mine: she's looking a bit old in the film and the years are definitely showing on her face. Parang hindi sila masyadong bagay ni Piolo. I would've liked the film better if Piolo had a different leading lady, for example, AKO. HAHAHA!Ü Wishful thinking!

Well, I guess that's all i've got to share to you guys. I liked the film and I recommend that you guys watch it especially if you want to laugh and drool over hunkable-hunk Papa Piolo. For now, i'm leaving you with a full trailer (c/o YouTube) and some quotable quotes from the film. Happy weekend everyone!

"I'm getting there."

"God is good."

"Welcome to Heaven Resort. Where you / can rest / in peace / forever! Welcome to Heaven Resort. Such a lovely [f]place, such a lovely place. Plenty of room here at Heaven Resort..." -Hotel California, is that you? HAHA! Anyone know the next lines to this monologue please do share it here.Ü

Plus, a Quotable Quote from my Mom (while watching the movie):
Mom: "May mahahanap ka pa ba'ng ka-pintas-pintas dyan kay Piolo?"
Candy: "Yung pagiging bading nya?Ü"
HEHEHE! But I don't really care! Bading or not, I still LOVE him!Ü

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

World's Best Beaches

Look what I found in the net! Something the Philippines can be proud about. Check out number 7 in Yahoo's list of The World's Top Ten Beaches

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It's such a pity that I haven't been to Boracay...EVER! And to think that I've been living my whole life here in the Philippines, and Boracay is just an hour's worth of plane ride away. However, I can feel it in my veins (aba, Grey's Anatomy?!??!!!) that I'll be able to sink my feet in the white sand beaches of Boracay really soon.Ü (I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Pati toes! Pati eyes, crossed na rin!!! Hehe!)

Friday, June 01, 2007

I Found Nemo!

Would you believe I found Nemo?!?!!! And I haven't even seen the film yet! HAHAHA!Ü Seriously!

My friend Assunta has been prodding me for the longest time to try scuba diving, and finally, one Sunday last April, her prodding emerged victorious! Armed with nothing but a brave heart and a clear mindset, my friends and I hied to Anilao, Batangas hoping to Find Nemo...meet the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...and see Sebastian and Flounder dance to the tune of Under The Sea

Rex, Eunice, and I were to have our intro dive at Pier Uno Resort in Anilao, Batangas, while the rest (those who already had their certification) took a boat and went scuba diving at a different location than us. Since we were just going for an intro dive, the three of us had to wait for our turn to dive with the dive master. But before heading out to the beach, we had to have a some sort of lecture with Albert, a Malaysian national, who was to be our dive master for the day.

He first taught us the basics, such as:

  • He'll be staying at our left side the whole time and that he'll be doing all the work which basically boils down to one thing: pulling us around so we don't even have to swim. All we really had to do was to remember to breath through the regulator and enjoy the sights under the sea.

  • The hand gestures to remember when under water because obviously, we can't speak underwater, and all conversations should be done via hand gestures. The most important ones are:
    (1) OK - touch the tip of the thumb to that of the forefinger, with the rest of the fingers spread wide
    (2) STOP - do the thing that Diana Ross does when she sings "Stop In The Name of Love" Ü
    (3) GOING UP - like the thumbs up sign with the knuckles of your hand facing outward
    (4) GOING DOWN - opposite of 'going up,' with your knuckles facing you
    (5) GOING LEFT - similar to (3), only point to the left
    (6) GOING RIGHT - similar to (3), only point to the right
    (7) SLOW DOWN - similar to the FIRST hand movement one does when dancing "Pearly Shells"...but with only one hand (the one with palms facing down)
    (8) NOT OK - like a 'so-so' sign; palm open, facing down with fingers spread wide, then rotate your wrist a little less than halfway to the left then to the right repeatedly

  • What SCUBA actually means (it's Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus)

  • A lecture on the compressed air inside the tank (and how it got in there)

  • And a lot more that I can no longer remember.Ü

We were given a choice to go one-by-one or a maximum of two in one dive (which means the other will go solo). The pros of the former is that he can take our pictures and videos underwater, while with the latter, he won't be able to do as such. Guess what we chose? Of course we opted to go solo and have pictures and videos to remember this experience by!Ü

The intro dive is supposed to last for only half an hour. But my-oh-my, mine lasted for almost an hour! Why, you may ask? Because I had a hard time relaxing and breathing underwater. I actually find it weird seeing as I've snorkled a lot of times before so you'd think I've mastered breathing in and out of an apparatus. But golly wow, NO! The dive master had to take me back to the shore 3 TIMES just so I can regroup and try to relax a little! Alas, when I suggested that the mask I was wearing be tightened, only then was I able to relax a bit and complete my intro dive (finally!). I guess the reason why I wasn't able to relax the first few times was because of the feeling that water might enter my nose because (I felt like) the mask wasn't tight enough (FYI: the mask protects & covers not just the eyes but the nose as well). After adjusting the mask, I was finally able to start and finish my intro dive (Thank you, my lucky stars!Ü).

One thing I'll remember about this experience though is this: SUPER BIGAT NG TANK! Such that I had a hard time walking the distance from where I was seated (at the resort) to the beach. I was afraid I'd fall backwards and bump my head into something hard...then blood will start squirting out of my head...then in no time, a pool of blood would've poured out on the floor...teka, mejo morbid na 'to. Basta, I was just scared that I might fall and bump my head, then I won't be the same Candy you once knew who sings and dances even when there's no music in the background. HAHA!Ü

Kidding aside, I'm not sure if I will be scuba diving anytime soon. I enjoyed the experience but I've seen more and nicer fishes when I snorkled at a different place in Anilao before. And I didn't have to pay P3,300 for that! I just had to pay for the boat ride back and forth to where we were staying, and I assure you, the fee won't reach P3,300 per person. However, I am not at all considering the experience not worthit. At least now I can say that I've tried scuba diving and it was a fun experience. I'll think twice though if I would go ahead with the certification like my friends did. But with the video that our dive master showed us when he went diving at Palau, you'll definitely be awed and would want to get a certification...just so you'll experience diving with the reef sharks, the manta rays, giant turtles (or are those tortoises?), and different schools of fishes. And THAT, you won't see by just snorkeling...although in the video, one girl there was skin diving (she was just wearing her swimsuit and a mask-snorkel set), which sounds fun just as long as there are no jellyfishes around. WINK!Ü

Bye for now! 'Til next month's blog!

For pictures and videos, check these links:

Thanks to the following sites for helping me out in this month's blog: