Category: Others

Up in 3D!

11:20 pm PHT

I have to say that with the release of Up, Pixar shows that it still has the magic of turning good family stories into full-blown CGI masterpieces. Also, I think that Up is Pixar’s best film to date. It has a lot more heart in it than Monsters, Inc., action that can almost rival The Incredibles, and lovable characters like in WALL-E and Finding Nemo.

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“Exercise Your Right to Vote”

10:25 am PHT

Some time ago, I came across a banner posted on an MMDA footbridge on the way to work. Instead of taking a photo, I decided to recreate the layout of the banner with the names changed to protect the guilty:

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The Attempt at Taking a Photo of the Solar Eclipse Using a Cellphone Camera

11:35 pm PHT

Unless you were quite oblivious, a partial solar eclipse happened last July 22. If you didn’t realize that an eclipse happened, I can’t blame you since a partial solar eclipse is far, far less spectacular than a total solar eclipse. The sun is far too bright that the moon obscuring only part of the sun’s disc will have no visible effect on the daylight. So, it’s quite easy to miss the fact that there was an eclipse unless you were clued in before.

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PayPal Withdrawal: Success!

7:51 pm PHT

That was pretty painless, withdrawing from my PayPal account to my BPI savings account, that is. And quite fast too! I initiated the withdrawal in PayPal last June 5, Sunday, and the amount was already credited to my BPI account by June 7. This is a far cry from the 5–7 days that PayPal indicated in their website.

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Bits of Trivia About the Philippine Flag

4:33 pm PHT

We Filipinos (should) all know that the Philippine flag is unique in that it flies its flag upside down (with the red on top) when the country is in a state of war. Well, to celebrate the 111th declaration of Philippine Independence, listed below are a few other bits of trivia about our Three Stars and a Sun watawat that you probably don’t know.

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Photolog: Sunset by the Bay

5:39 pm PHT

I love sunsets, but it’s quite rare that I get to see one set in a beautiful location. I usually get off at work when it’s already nighttime and weekends are usually spent at home where the setting sun is blocked by residential homes. So it was quite a treat that I was at BoNa Coffee at San Miguel by the Bay (not at the branch in Westgate Alabang) last Monday and caught the sunset reflecting down Manila Bay.

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Silly MMDA

12:15 am PHT

Yes, a lot of people think MMDA and its chairman Bayani Fernando are already being silly (for example, read the misplaced pink fences that I blogged about in 2006). However, the photo to the right demonstrates what I personally think is MMDA taking its silliness to a whole new level—a silliness that is downright wrong and can be equated to producing educational textbooks riddled with errors.

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A Very Merry Christmas to All!

11:49 pm PHT

My Christmas is starting to be pretty happy for me (notwithstanding all of the troubles and worries like the worldwide economic downturn), and I hope that you all feel the same as well. May God bless you, your family, and your friends. (And general well-wishing for those who believe in a different or no god at all.)  :-P

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Hanging out at BoNa Coffee Westgate

12:56 am PHT

During the long weeks that our household had no DSL, I managed to survive by going to Internet cafes, using my—now useless—ümobile 3G connection, and staying at various free Wi-Fi hotspots. One of the places I frequented was the Westgate branch of BoNa Coffee located inside Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang. I first heard about BoNa Coffee when Rico and Sasha raved about BoNa’s original branch in BF Homes Parañaque. They then opened their second branch in Alabang and that’s the one I tried.

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What’s the Deal with Delicadeza?

11:37 am PHT

What is delicadeza? If you’re a Filipino holding a position of trust, power or responsibility, you should already know the answer. But otherwise, let me remind you. The term delicadeza is one of those Spanish loan words that has entered the Filipino vocabulary with a very specialized sense of meaning. In its original Spanish definition, it literally means gentleness, softness, delicacy (as in being delicate, not exotic food), and tactfulness. But in the Filipino culture, the term delicadeza means something else very specific and has no direct English translation; the closest would probably be “sense of propriety”. Essentially, it is the virtue of knowing and acting on what is proper when you are in a position of authority and trust, such as in public service.

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Belated 2008 Philippine Blog Awards Post

10:48 pm PHT

The awards night of the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards rocked! The event, held last September 21 at the One Esplanade, was a much bigger, better, and brighter affair than last year’s award. For one thing, there were more categories and awards, and there are a lot of winners that I have never heard about. This goes to show that there’s been a lot of effort to be more inclusive.

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My Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs for 2008

1:18 am PHT

This is the first time that I will participate in Janette Toral’s Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs Writing Project. I found it actually quite hard to select the full slate of 10 entries. I’m quite discriminating with the blogs I read so selecting 10 new good blogs is kinda hard. Well, below is the list in no particular order.

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Avenue Q

9:39 am PHT

I’ve heard good things about Avenue Q so I was determined to watch the Farewell Run of Atlantis’ production of this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical before the cast and crew perform in Singapore. Good thing that our former neighbor was able to snag some tickets and so me and my sister, our neighbor, and a couple of other friends got to watch Avenue Q last June 21. And what a blast it was!

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The Maxthon 2 Experiment

5:30 am PHT

My friend Imman got irritated with many of his friends praising the arrival of Firefox 3 so he decided to try the darned thing to see for himself what the hype is all about. He is already using Maxthon, a powerful tabbed-browsing shell to the Internet Explorer rendering engine. Read his assessment where he disses Firefox 3 out-of-the-box. He understands that Firefox can be extended in functionality but he prefers a powerful default browser (e.g., Maxthon has mouse gestures by default). And just like Firefox, Maxthon has a mature add-on community to further make Maxthon more powerful.

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Reminiscing Peyups

10:14 pm PHT

Here are a couple of pictures with me in it back in my U.P. Diliman days. Hope you won’t get shocked. Hehehe.

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April Fools?

11:37 am PHT

When I opened a Linux terminal this morning at work, the following fortune quotation came up:

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Top Pinoy Blogs According to Alexa

1:10 pm PHT

I got curious as to which Pinoy blogs have the highest traffic according to Alexa. While traffic is not the only important measurement of a blog’s worth (there is also number of feed subscribers, number of incoming links, Google PageRank, etc.) it is the metric most indicative of a blog’s potential profitability in terms of ad revenue (see my earlier post about online ads). Practically every advertising scheme on the Web relies on getting high traffic. An ad program that uses CPM (cost per mil [thousand]) is directly affected by traffic—every page view translates to a constant income. Even if the ad program uses the CTR metric (click-trough rate), the site’s ad revenue grows as traffic grows even if the CTR remains constant.

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Ad Revenue and AGB Nielsen vs. Google Analytics

4:58 pm PHT

Let’s ignore the current ZTE-Lozada affair for awhile and go back to the previous national issue: the spat between ABS-CBN and GMA over the alleged tampering of AGB Nielsen’s TV ratings. While people are now drawing up lines and labeling themselves as “proudly Kapuso” or “team Kapamilya,” at the heart of the issue is the integrity of the TV ratings and how it drastically affects the earnings of TV networks which are mostly dependent on ad revenue.

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100+ Feed Subscribers

9:46 pm PHT

I’d like to take this moment to give a big thank you to all of my subscribers for pushing my feed subscription count to more than 100! While 100 holds no candle to Anton’s 2,900+ or Abe’s 2,000+, I’m still chuffed to have reached this milestone in my blog, despite not actively encouraging casual readers to subscribe, and having no e-mail subscription (yet).  :D

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UP Centennial

12:48 am PHT

Yes, the University of the Philippines still has a long way to go before it can join the ranks of esteemed Asian universities like the University of Tokyo, the National University of Singapore, or the Chulalongkorn University, but it’s no reason to celebrate the centennial of the Philippines’ premier university.

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Fireworks to Greet the New Year

1:09 am PHT

Ever since I got my camera, I have never used it to take pictures of fireworks. (And I haven’t gone to either of the two World Pyro Olympics as well.) So I took the opportunity to try the fireworks mode of my camera to take photos of the blossoming fiery flowers this New Year’s Eve. The result is quite pretty despite my trembling hands, and I think it would vastly improve with the aid of a tripod.

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Maligayang Pasko!

11:33 pm PHT

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Whoa! My Blog was Mentioned on TV!

1:34 pm PHT

I really don’t watch local TV much anymore so I didn’t know that my blog entry on Erap the other day was mentioned in some news show last night. I had to learn about it from my officemate who, due to her surprise at hearing my name on TV (she was actually just listening, not watching), couldn’t remember what show or what channel it was. Hehehe.

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McDonald’s Mad Dash Race

12:15 am PHT

Right about now, the Mad Dash contest is starting. This contest is a race between 24 two-person teams to visit 24 24-hour McDonald’s stores in Metro Manila in 24 hours on July 24 (7/24). The first team to do so wins a cool 240,000 pesos tax-free! The non-winning teams all get 1,000-peso gift certificates. And all you needed to qualify to join is a 150-peso single-receipt purchase.

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Ratified at #23

6:19 pm PHT

Cool. I’m already at the front page of Andrew’s and currently at #23. I’ve also managed to overtake Yuga who’s now at #24. My terrific rise in the rankings (I’m now among the top 10,000 blogs at Technorati) is almost single-handedly due to my Lakbayan website. Marc was correct in saying that Lakbayan is one of the best Pinoy linkbaits this year. Other links came because I attended the Taste Asia Food Fest two weeks ago.

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Only in the Philippines!

5:17 pm PHT

I was tagged both by Juned and by Joni for this Philippine Independence Day meme and I only got around to doing this now because I’ve been busy with my other (more popular) Independence Day meme.  ;)

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Some Viral Messages Just Won’t Die

1:11 pm PHT

I’m stating the obvious when some rumors, urban legends, and hoaxes keep getting passed on through e-mail, text messages, and blog posts despite the presence of sites like the Urban Legends Reference Pages that serve as a sort-of clearinghouse for things like this. (Even to this day, I occasionally get the Microsoft-AOL beta e-mail tracking system hoax that’s been going on since 1997.)

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B.S. Engineering!?

9:55 pm PHT

Apparently, Melanie, Claudine Barretto’s character in the ABS-CBN soap opera Walang Kapalit, is taking B.S. Engineering in college. Not B.S. Civil Engineering, not B.S. Chemical Engineering, not B.S. Electrical Engineering, not B.S. Mechanical Engineering, but the plain yet non-existent B.S. Engineering. How can I tell? She’s studying books on structural engineering, electromagnetics, and software engineering. And all these books are thick, meaning they’re not introductory-level material.

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A Real Babel Story

12:41 am PHT

I read today a story of a mother who got separated from her family for 25 years. The mother lives in the Thai province of Narathiwat, just adjacent to Malaysia. In 1982, she got on a wrong bus going home from an excursion in Malaysia and ended up in Bangkok. Not being able to speak or read Thai, she boarded another bus and reached Chiang Mai, near Myanmar. She spent the next 5 years begging, and then two decades in a homeless shelter where no one is able to talk to her.

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Isoangular Dials

3:23 am PHT

Obviously, I took the picture above while I was going almost 80 KPH on the road. Kids, don’t try this at home! (Or rather on the road, for that matter.) I took it because it shows all three dials pointing in roughly the same direction. I learned way before that in fourth gear, the speedometer and the tachometer move almost in synch. So it’s just a matter of having the gasoline tank full and driving at 80 to get this coincidence.

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Lucky Player Wins 2 Million Pesos in Deal or No Deal

10:33 pm PHT

A while ago, I just saw the most exciting game of Kapamilya, Deal or No Deal, ever! If you enjoy watching this game show, then this is the episode that shouldn’t have missed.  :)

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Photolog: Fountain

2:02 pm PHT

 A fountain in La Cittadella, Kawasaki City

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Lumang Parol

7:22 am PHT

I miss the old parols I used to see in my childhood. Those handmade stars with paper tails in a fluffy circle. And lit with a bulb that gives off a warm incandescent glow. You don’t see them nowadays, since they’re replaced with electronic flashy ones that I’ll admit do serve to make the holidays bright and happy.

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Of Homilies and Pacmania

3:48 pm PHT

Some parishes have started to use LCD projectors instead of overhead projectors in their masses. They’re used to typically display lyrics to hymns, the responsorial Psalm, and almost the entire misalette in some cases.

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’Di Kaliwete

8:35 pm PHT

Here’s something that’s been bugging me for two weeks now. What’s the opposite of “kaliwete,” or the Tagalog for “right-handed”? Is right-handedness so prevalent that we have no native word for it?

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What’s the Missing Place?

2:40 am PHT

As a follow-up to my earlier game, let’s have another one!  :) Follow the thumbnail link below to see a special map of Metro Manila and Rizal. The map shows several roads and points of interest. While the selection may seem random, your job is to find out what place is missing from the map.

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10:38 pm PHT

I forgot to blog about this two weeks ago, but I finally got to step into SM Mall of Asia three Saturdays ago. This is funny because I always pass by SMMoA whenever I go to and from work but I only got to visit it a few months after it opened. (The same thing happened with Ayala’s Market! Market!—I pass by it every working day but I only got in several months after it opened.)

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What’s the Common Thing?

12:19 pm PHT

Hmmm, let’s try something new on this blog. Shown below are five stanzas and your job is to try to discern what is the common thing among them. There are many true answers like, “these stanzas all have the letter e” or “these stanzas are all in English”, but the correct answer I am looking for is far less mundane.

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A Perfect Relationship Needs…

7:59 am PHT

I came across this gem of a statement in a personals profile…

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Don’t You Just Hate Plagiarizers? (And Non-Attributers)

1:48 am PHT

Okay, it’s probably to be expected when you’re publishing things on the web, but I didn’t really think it will happen to me. I have found these two blog posts: plagiarism #1 and plagiarism #2. Both posts infringe on my copyright to this article.

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Double the Stupidity

10:09 pm PHT

I often hear this advertising line on the radio: “Kill double the monsters [like in Ragnarok] with double the speed… from 256 kbps to 512 kbps….” Yeah… and upgrading your 1 GHz PC to 2 GHz will let you type twice as fast. (Funny, the ad line stuck so much in my head that I can’t remember the DSL company behind the ad. So much for brand recognition.)

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9:10 pm PHT

I’ve noticed that a few of the Metro Manila mayors have been on a binge of Atienzaism for the past year. Among them are Mr. Eusebio of Pasig, Mr. Trinidad of Pasay, and Mr. Bernabe of Parañaque. They, and a few others, have embarked on beautification projects in the same vein as Mr. Atienza’s Buhayin ang MayniLA flagship project. Granted that it’s not unusual to do a bit of beautification here and there, but they have seemed to embrace Atienza’s flair for extravagant projects.

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Misplaced Pink Fences

11:51 am PHT

I realized something when I was going home last night. On the end of the southbound side of Coastal Road there stands a line of MMDA pink fences separating the traffic between those vehicles headed towards Cavite and those pushing towards Las Piñas.

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7:30 am PHT

Ears were deafened due to the noise. Land transportation was halted due to dangerous fireworks. Air transportation was suspended, again because of fireworks and because visibility was down to 500 meters. Several fingers will be lost. A few people may get blinded. Despite the hard times, people seemed to want to compete in the World Pyro Olympics. It was a warzone out there.

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Those Little Link Icons

7:51 pm PHT

If you’re observant, you might have noticed two distinct icons appearing before links in my posts. These serve as a visual indication on where the links go to. Links without icons are normal external links, that is, they link outside the blog. Links with a Roman ’W’ inside a square icon are external links to Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia is special since I frequently link to it. Finally, links with the v9 icon link to other pages within this blog, typically to other posts.

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Pinoy Nightmare Before Christmas

6:11 pm PHT

I think it is only in the Philippines that you can find Christmas carols playing alongside Halloween decorations in place.

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Metro Manila Trivia

10:03 pm PHT

Did you know…

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Hurricanes and Typhoons

11:09 pm PHT

Call me insensitive but I can’t symphatize with the victims of both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita especially with all the public hullabaloo over these two hurricanes and the local and federal response of the United States government. Granted, these two hurricanes were unprecedented in their impact on the United States, but hurricanes/typhoons are a fact of life for me and millions of other people.

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That Big Bright Guadalupe Screen

7:34 pm PHT

It’s been there for weeks now, but woe to the driver who crosses the Pasig River southwards along EDSA at night. Notice the blindingly bright screen in front of Café Lupé? It’s far too bright. Besides, the white color is a little greenish-blue. This is not flattering at all to the advertisers that paid good money for their ads.

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Semicolonial Mentality

2:34 pm PHT

Via Tim Bray I read this enlightening piece about how the semicolon is treated like a foreign invader in the territories of American English prose.

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The Wayfarer Guide

8:40 pm PHT

I really, really dislike posting online quiz results but I really find this very interesting.

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7th Race Ended Amazingly

11:12 pm PHT

I’m posting this only now since everyone should already know who won and I don’t want to spoil anyone inadvertently.

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I Hate the Weather

10:33 pm PHT

Nuff said.

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The President Goes to Mass

12:36 pm PHT

Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, just attended the mass I attended this morning. Some notes, observations, and musings:

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Is it Really Pointless?

9:32 am PHT

Taken from Stuart Langridge:

If there is at least one person in your life whom you consider a close friend, and whom you would not have met without the internet, post this sentence in your weblog, or journal, or whatever.

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Text Capital of the World Nga Ba?

12:40 pm PHT

The Philippines has been widely touted as the “text capital of the world” for a few years now. You will hardly find any source on the web that will not mention the Philippines and its phenomenal volume of SMS. But I have been questioning this title recently.

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On Traffic Violations

11:25 am PHT

I guess a lot of motorists in Metro Manila now know about the new ticketing system implemented by the MMDA centered on their Metropolitan Traffic Ticket (MTT). Now MMDA officers will no longer confiscate drivers’ licenses and drivers will no longer waste hours going to specific MMDA redemption centers to pay the fines and retrieve their licenses. Instead, drivers can pay their fines at any Metrobank branch within seven days of the ticket’s issuance.

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Amazing Race in Manila

11:06 pm PHT

Today was one day I wanted to go home early from the office. There was no friggin’ way I’m going to miss this week’s episode of The Amazing Race 5 where four teams are left racing in and around Manila.

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UP Fight!

7:15 am PHT

If the UP Fighting Maroons get into the Final Four, I promise to watch their game live—something I have never done before. (That is, of course, if the game is on a Saturday and there are tickets left to buy!)

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Torrential Rains Batter Metro Manila and Luzon

11:47 pm PHT

SEAVnews. At least 8 people died as heavy monsoon rains poured over Metro Manila and central and northern Luzon on Wednesday, August 25. PAGASA, the Philippines’ weather bureau, declared that Metro Manila has seen a record rainfall of 39 milliliters per hour when the average is 7.5 milliliters. Schools and government offices were closed as hundreds of families were evacuated from flooded areas. A landslide in San Mateo, Rizal buried a home leaving a four-year-old child missing and presumed dead.

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The Future Begins Here… Daw

10:58 pm PHT

I read with amusement the pamphlet entitled “Reasons why DLSU-Manila is the best choice for higher education.” I found this pamphlet in the DLSU application package that my fourth-year-high-school sister brought home. Naturally, I wondered what reasons could La Salle have to claim that they are the “best choice” as opposed to UP Diliman and Ateneo de Manila.

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Petals Around the Roses

7:13 pm PHT

So I stumbled onto this weird game after reading a thread at our UP EEE ’98 YahooGroup. The initial e-mail pointed to a Flash version of the game. People replying to the e-mail thread were frustrated until, one by one, they figured it out.

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