Archive for March, 2008

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Fitna (A Review)

March 30, 2008

While watching Fitna, my first thought was, “I could make such a film.” It was so simple. I would use Movie Maker, Ulead Video Editor, Photoshop, a sound editor, and some Youtube clips; and I could even make a better one.
Nevertheless, after watching it, I thought, “I could never make such a film.” I do not want to lose all freedom in the name of protection and be under the same maximum security as Geert Wilders, author of this controversial film, is under! I also would have to watch clips of actual beheadings, suicide bombings, honor killings, and executions. I don’t have the stomach for such violence. In fact, I think it is easier for the world to forget 9/11, the London train bombings, and the violence that was sparked by the Norwegian cartoons of Mohammad, than to do something about it. Geert Wilders, author of this controversial movie, is one brave man in airing what he believes to be a solution to the crisis brought about by radical Islam.
Although I do not agree with Geert’s proposition to ban the Koran as a prescription to end terrorism, I still support his decision in airing his beliefs. I believe that one’s freedom of speech is a basic human right, and its practice should not capitulate to opinions opposed to it. Those who support the Koran and those who do not support it have the same rights, and none should kill the other for not agreeing with another.
And so I appeal to everyone who has watched, will watch, is watching, and who is never watching the movie, to take the movie with a grain of salt.
To those who agree with it: please do not further incite violence. Innocent lives are at stake.
To those are offended by it: please do not commit violence. Prove that you follow the way of peace as you claim. By doing exactly what Geert is accusing you of, proves to the world that he is right in his opinion of you.

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The Letter Z

March 30, 2008

The British call it “zed”. Americans call it “zee”. Filipinos, on the other hand, despite American indoctrination do not seem to agree how to call it. Some of us call it “zee” like the Americans. Some, however, call it “zay” (rhymes with ray).
I first noticed this fact back on my Freshman year in UP. I was staying at Kalayaan, a dormitory exclusive for freshmen. Residents of that dorm hailed from various regions of the country. So I decided to do a little data gathering to find out how others called it. This is the result of that sampling session:

Region I “zee” = 1 “zay” = 6
Region II “zee” = 0 “zay” = 2
Region III “zee” = 1 “zay” = 4
Region IV “zee” = 4 “zay” = 2
Region V “zee” = 3 “zay” = 2
Region VI NO DATA
Region VII NO DATA
Region VIII NO DATA
Region IX “zee” = 1 “zay” = 0
Region X “zee” = 2 “zay” = 0
Region XI “zee” = 2 “zay” = 0
Region XII “zee” = 4 “zay” = 0
CAR “zee” = 0 “zay” = 1
NCR “zee” = 6 “zay” = 0
ARMM NO DATA

So it seems that nobody from the southern regions called it “zay” hence, my surprise then at hearing the letter pronounced that way. Truth be told, I felt as if fingernails were scratching at a blackboard whenever I heard “zay” being mentioned. I adapted after a long while. I no longer felt grossed out by it, only a little bit distracted, but I still had a slightly controllable urge to correct its pronounciation.
About 7 years later, I was reminded of this fact again after hearing Lozada testify about the ZTE deal. He always said “zay-tee-eee” instead of “zee-tee-eee”. It came as no surprise when I found out that he hails from Region V. This prompted me to dig out the mini survey I did 7 years ago.

PS NCR people should not feel cocky about their “proper” pronunciation of the letter Z. I have a friend who is a true blue Manila boy who pronounces it as “zay”.

PPS **y, if you’re still reading my blog, I’m referring to you. =P. I never told you that it felt a little distracting to hear you calling that letter as “zay”. So consider this as my succumbing to the “slightly controllable urge to correct its pronunciation”. Of course, you don’t have to follow it… ;p.

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Theme Hospital (A Review)

March 29, 2008

You think you have what it takes to become a hospital administrator?
Then try your skills with Theme Hospital, Bullfrog’s best game ever. Deal with cocky doctors, docile nurses, and the not-so-handy-handymen. They could get tired, and this obviously would hassle you and your patients. Build diagnostic rooms, treatment rooms, and rooms for more personal use. Finally, don’t forget to manage your finances. Bankruptcy is the sure way to losing!
Patients with all kinds of complaints are your main source of income so take good care of them. They could die from lousy treatment, or leave your hospital in disgust at your method of running. So make sure you get a Slicer to hack away the extra tongue growth from speaking too much about soap operas. Employ at least two surgeons to repair Broken Hearts, and remove Kidney Beans and Spare Ribs. Hire a nurse and she’ll give them medicines to cure the Uncommon Cold, Gastric Ejections, and other ailments.
Do you think you’re still up to it? Then strap yourself to the computer chair and play. You won’t notice time pass by, but it will help if you have a dose of non-pharmaceutic grade caffeine from coffee to get you through your all nighters. Just make sure you don’t do this very often or you’ll get admitted to a real hospital.

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Happy Easter

March 23, 2008

The Lord is risen!
He did not just escape from death as some heroes of other persuasions hold. He has conquered Death, and he offers the benefits of this victory to all who would hear him. He tells us to leave our lives to him. He tells us to die in our old selves, so we can truly live our lives to the full.
So believe in his words. Turn away from your futile efforts to please yourself or others. Die to your sin, as you follow him…

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Holy Week Meditations

March 16, 2008

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

If you move among Evangelical/Fundamentalist circles, then the odds are that you probably couldn’t count the many times this verse is quoted. You might even have heard this interspersed inside sermons that told people about the “easy” way of salvation. In fact, this verse might have also been cited as a reason for you to say the Sinner’s Prayer, which for many has become the passport to Evangelical heaven.
Yet that verse, if taken in the proper context, teaches nothing about how easy it is to be saved. Anyone can say that Jesus is Lord using his mouth but for him to say it in truth and conviction, that is to agree about it fully, is anything but easy. This is because the confession that “Jesus is Lord” doesn’t start and end with the confession. For you to truly say it, you must believe in it, and with that belief naturally comes action, which is to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Jesus must become your Lord, Master, or Controller, of all that you have and all the other areas of his life. By extension, this would mean that Jesus must be Lord of your wife, your children, your possessions, your house, your time, your thoughts, your words, your actions, your money, your goals, your ambitions, your plans, and even the time of your death; such that you can claim that …You are not your own; you were bought at a price… 1 Cor. 19,20.
There is nothing is easy about this teaching. In fact, the cost that was paid so that it would be possible for anyone to confess that Jesus is Lord and be saved is far from cheap. Christ himself had to leave the comforts, prestige, possessions, power, honor, and glory that he enjoyed in heaven to associate with sinful, rebellious, and hell deserving man by becoming man. Association with man and becoming a man, however, were not enough. He further carried man’s sin, which is that which causes man to offend God.
Sin is something that he hates. Yet he carried it in place of man. For Christ to carry it in the cross is analogous, yet still desperately lacking in degree, to someone who hates cockroaches but has to carry them so that others may no longer carry them. Furthermore, because Jesus carried sin, he had to die as is what is required as the penalty for sin. We know that he eventually rises again, but the fact still remains that God, the Source of Life, at one point in history, suffered and died. That is the price of our salvation.
To call Christ Lord is to give up everything to him, to be prepared to go where he sends, and to even die and suffer for him. To call Christ Lord is to treat him as king, such that we must follow every command he gives. We cannot say “No” to a king. Neither, can we say “Yes, but…”. In fact in Christ’s kingdom, we don’t even have rights as we know it in democratic settings. The only right we have in the kingdom is the right to obey. To the king’s every command, we can only say “Yes”.
This is a hard teaching, and for all practical purpose is impossible. The rich, young ruler could not accept this. Jesus knew what this teaching entailed and said, “small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
It is impossible for natural man to confess that Jesus is Lord. It is God Himself who causes us to say it. Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him… (John 6:44)” Jesus recognized that only a few will follow him yet he still calls for those who would listen:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12
I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:29,30

And so as you are reminded of the events of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection as we commemorate them in the Holy Week, remember also the reasons why he came to Earth. He came to obey the will of the Father. He came to find lost man, and to reclaim him for himself. He came to suffer. He came to die. He came that he might lead you to life.
Jesus endured the cross. He scorned its shame. He refused to dwell on his wounds. He refused to dwell on the taunts against him. He refused to dwell on his fatigue. He refused to dwell on his pain. Furthermore, he refused to dwell on the sin of the whole world that he carried on the way.
Instead, he focused on the joy that was set before him. With every step he took, and as every step drew him nearer to death, he knew that he would be reunited with his Father and the Holy Spirit once again. He knew that he had done a good job, that he had done the Father’s will. He knew that through this act, it would finally be possible for holy God and sinful man to be reconciled once again.
If Jesus is not yet your Lord, come to him and make him your Lord. Give him your everything as he gave everything he had for you. Salvation is free. You only have to receive what Christ is offering, but to do that you have to give up everything you are holding so that there would be room for it. Leave your hurts, your pains, your secrets, your sins to him. Offer him all of your strength, your mind, your heart, your spirit, your possessions, and all your responsibilities. Be reconciled to God,turn from your sins, and share in the joy of Christ’s triumph over sin.
And as you make your decision, I would like to close with the words of two brave men, who obeyed God’s call, and sold themselves to slavery so that Christ would be preached to slaves:
May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering!

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Janina San Miguel vs. Ms. South Carolina

March 13, 2008

I know you guys are pretty tired right now from hearing about Janina’s excursion in the travesty that is the Bb. Pilipinas pageant show. I promise I won’t post anything about her as soon as I give my 2 cents worth on the issue.
But before that I’d like to say something to some people who are clamoring in support of her. They tell us that we should not judge her because she doesn’t know English, and speaking in English is a sign of colonialism yadda yadda:
“Please don’t take the “English is a colonial language” argument in justifying this travesty. Some of us actually don’t care whether she answered in English or in Filipino. The point is that she didn’t answer the question, but she still won. ’nuff said.”

For those of you who haven’t seen the clip yet, here’s a Youtube clip.

Yet it seems that even users of English as a first language can have a hard time in answering the “question and answer portion”. So much for the argument that English should be given more priority here… Btw, here’s a clip with the infamous Ms. South Carolina 2007.

So here’s my 2 cents that you’ve been waiting for. Stop yammering that Filipino should be given more importance in the country. Stop yammering that English is declining and we should do something about it. Stop yammering that beauty and brains should go together.
Just stop, and enjoy these blunders, hoping that they’d stop doing them in the future.

PS I do wonder if it’s possible to raise one’s ability to answer intelligently. If it’s not possible, then I do hope that Janina doesn’t get to be in the tof 10 during the Ms. World contest proper. She already shamed herself during the local contest. May she not shame her country during the international contest.

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NMAT Part 6 or “nmat review center in iligan city”

March 12, 2008

According to the records in my blog, someone was apparently looking for an NMAT review center in my city. I don’t think the review centers here offer such services. They seem to concentrate too much on the Nursing Boards. Besides, the market is not that big for a review center to cater to NMAT takers.
There were more or less 300 takers of the NMAT in Cagayan de Oro last December 2007. In all probability, most of them were from Cagayan de Oro considering that it is more prosperous than Iligan City. There were also takers from Bukidnon. They may not account for a high population, but I’m not sure about this since I only met a few of them. Takers from Iligan City and Marawi City would probably account for about half the number of takers; though Iligan is more prosperous, Marawi has quite a number of rich Muslim families. Conventional medicine tuition, btw, is hardly cheap hence, the attempted relationship finding between level of affluence and takers.
So ’nuff said about those details. What I’m trying to tell you my random blog visitor is that you won’t find review centers in Iligan City. They are just not feasible.

PS I can, btw, offer my services, which is why I made this post. THANK YOU.
Please feel free to contact me for details.