Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nat Geo Shocking Videos

Videos that shocked me:

1. Locked up Abroad on the kidnaping and captivity of the Abu Sayyaf of
Martin and Gracia Burnham was aired in  the National Geographic Channel.

2. Werner Herzog's movie Rescue Dawn starring Christian Bale on the
survival of a US Naval pilot in the jungles of Laos during the Vietnam
war was shown in HBO.

Both videos shown hours apart reenacted the struggles of the Burnham’s in the jungles of Mindanao and Dieter Dengler in Laos. Imagining how to cope with hunger, long and steep treks, rain and harsh heat, dangers in the wilderness and escaping gun fires, I could only admire them for their courage. It can only be grit that made them overcome the ordeal.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Can a travel book do all that?

Articles in Mind:

Banaue Car Repair and Peddling where expert mechanics are all over the place (middle men and hustlers too!), parts in every corner, peddlers selling in a variety of goods from cell phone chargers, auto tools, rags, tint, hub cabs, nuts etc. There is never a dull moment while waiting for the completion of a car repair mounted in the street corridor. Vendors catch your eye span and offer a product or service to sell.  In between procedures, kids from nowhere cut in to scavenge.

Ramon Lee's Fried Chicken tried at 538-540 Ronquillo st. Sta. Cruz Manila in a restaurant named after the owner that started in 1929.

SV Epistola's foreword on Amadis Ma. Guerrero's book posing this question "Can a travel book do all that?"

Sent via email

I will not be able to write like him

Not yet or not even in the near future.

Edward Rothstein describes the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming as “A Cathedral to the Shrine of Nations” in the New York Times. He has a command of the English that even without images, I can picture the geyser at the Yellowstone Park and its movement.

To open the article, “A mist of hissing steam drifts from the mound, but every 90 minutes or so, water starts to spurt fitfully, then more aggressively, until it erupts into a tower as high as 180 feet, whose spray may be spread by the breeze toward the hundreds of viewers gathered to watch the spectacle.”

As an art reviewer, he poses a point of view which only a writer who is at home with the language can craft, “He said it was as if nature had gathered from all over the world “specimens of her rarest fountains, to show in one place what she can do” -an exhibition to which any human curatorial effort must defer.”

It will take a major intervention before I can write like Edward R. To write well, one must have the facility to express, a wealth of vocabulary uses correct syntax and a point of view. At least in my case, I already have the point of view.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Two Travel Books

I recently purchased travel related books on the Philippines at the National Bookstore in Cubao. Some were on bargain and two recently launched: Street-Bound Manila on Foot by Josefina Manahan and Connecting Flights edited by Ruel S. De Vera.

First article I immediately read was my English teachers' "New York First Encounter." This is part of the compilation of travel stories in "Connecting Flights Filipinos Write from Elsewhere." Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo writes about how she was enamored by the place which put "its best foot forward" for her and her husband in 1987.

The pleasure of reading the article is the writer’s vivid description of the dynamics in her mind reconciling the attractions embedded in her memory through movies and pictures and the actual sight of the icon. This is how she describes it in her style “The thing about visiting a place one knows only too well – from books and films and TV shows, not to mention other people’s spirited descriptions – is that it seems to offer no surprises. Even the people one meet’s walking down the streets look familiar. But of course that’s all an illusion, just street magic. New York surprised us. Again and again.”

Upon completing the story, I immediately wanted to email the story to friends and relatives who can relate to the magic of the place, the 1st time around.

Manila by Foot is a practical reference on how to go about and appreciate historical and symbolic icons and attractions in Metro Manila. Tips are given by writer and walker Josefina Manahan who has personally visited the places like University of the Philippines in Diliman, Ayala Museum, Binondo, R. Hidalgo streets among others. Maps, classifications and time frame of the walk accompany each article. Book was written 2001 and may need updating particularly on directions going to the locations. LRT 1 and 2 and MRT can be cited as alternative efficient means of transpo in the cities.

Travel articles that I fancy inform, describe and provide insights. They validate if I share the same experience, open possibilities if I missed some attractions. If I drop the book and hop in to a bus, the article moved me.

Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, “New York: First Encounter,” in Connecting Flights, Filipinos Write from Elsewhere ed. Ruel S. De Vera, 131-142. Manila: Anvil, 2010

Josefina P. Manahan, Street-Bound: Manila by Foot. Manila: Anvil, 2001. Reprint, 2009

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Each time I reboot, a pop up message prompts me after I log in “Preparing to install Realplayer.”
This shows up despite the un-installation done via the software’s program or through the control panel of the same software.

Searching at google, there were only a handful of entries for the query “real player reinstalls every reboot." Not even Real Player technical support has an entry on the incidence.

With this recurring entry (and irritating one),
• I learned to clean my registry using “regedit under run” both on normal and safe mode
• Resolved registry conflicts using ccleaner program
• Totally eliminate remnants of Real Player files using Revo Uninstaller
• Cleaned reboot using selective start up of “msconfig”
• Updated my Anti Virus software (Symantec)
• Scanned the entire system.

All these were unsuccessful in stopping the activity until I came across an entry suggesting it could be a Trojan worm. I tried a recently launched Microsoft Security Essentials program. True enough, it detected a Virtool: win32/VBInject.gen!GB. Microsoft Security Essentials contained and removed it to my relief.

Finally, there is no more recurring install of RealPlayer every start up. I lost my trackers and predictive entries which I can reconstruct. On the bright side, I did not lose my files and need not reinstall an OS and learned all other options. Thanks to Ronald and Arvil, technicials of open pinoy who helped diagnose and acted on solving.

How does success feel like? Triumphant especially for a difficult case as this one.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Writing in any piece of paper

An article a day keeps Dementia away

An article whether long or short is a result of insight generation.

Insights are drawn from observations, pre-conceived assumptions and relationship of facts and premises. It is a thinking process.

While seated, I cast my sight to a far away distance or to a macro object within range to seed an idea in my mind. When a concrete one is formed, I convert it to a written piece which is scribbled in any piece of paper. It could be in a prescription pad while waiting for a doctor or at the back of a place mat of a fast food chain. In the airport pre departure area or in a plane, I jot the notes in a pocket sized notebook.

Why do I actively document an idea to a piece of article? It is an application of liberal thinking to keep the mind lucid. As they say, what you don’t use, you lose.