Office Blogmates

Honestly, it took me this long to post something because for my idea, I couldn’t find two audio files that I was supposedly going to share. Well, seeing that I’m way past schedule, I thought I’d post something to do about OFFICE instead.

It was really my original theme, but I couldn’t decide what to write about it exactly. I now realize that since we’re all about blogging anyway, I think I should introduce to you past and present officemates who also actively blog and whom I follow. I also realize this is a way better idea. Why didn’t I think about that before?

So folks, here are my office blogmates, from my first “offices” to my current one. Let’s start with…

JONAS DIEGO

Technically, Jonas Diego and I were officemates, having worked together for a college radio station, which was technically not an office, but anyhoo. He maintains JonasDiego.com, naturally, and its spawns, TheBlurb, which is a webcomic, and I Want Work, which is an online classified ads blog over at Blogspot.

“Jonas, …also continues to participate in events and activities which push his advocacy of a thriving, vibrant, and sustainable Philippines Comic Book Industry.” He was one of those responsible for the birth of the Philippine comics convention dubbed Komikon. Good job, Raven! (He probably hates it now when he’s called this, but I’m just so used to it!)

jonas-diego

JonasDiego.com

the-blurb-webcomics

The Blurb Webcomics

i-want-work

I Want Work!

THE PROFESSIONAL HECKLER

As far as I can remember, Loi Landicho a.k.a. The Professional Heckler really had been quite the funnyman and a heckler even before the fame. He was a classmate and I got to work with him in the school paper (that’s technically an office, too, since it did have one). So you know, he’s no stranger to writing and politics. He’s a trivia-freak, too, and I guess that comes with the territory.

Witty Loi, or his more famous monicker, Professional Heckler, is now a multi-awarded political humorist-blogger. He quotes Henry Cate VII: “The problem with political jokes is they get elected.” True, that.

professional-heckler

The Professional Heckler

TONYO CRUZ

tonyo-cruz

TonyoCruz.com

Another one from the school paper. I also knew Tonyo Cruz as witty and a good writer-journalist. I remember Editorial meetings and he would be one of those very animatedly discussing topics and fervently debating. I’ve only recently discovered his blog because I’ve also only reconnected with him.

That aside, I have known and heard from the grapevine that Tonyo has stayed quite active as a political — uh — activist (it’s not redundant, is it?). Looks like he hasn’t shown any signs of stopping. Right now, he writes for a column in one of the big national dailies. His blog, TonyoCruz.com also has its share of awards.

FRANCES BELDIA

frances-beldia

Cure4Mondays

Technically, we were not officemates. In a sense, we had a non-working relationship. You see, I was already out of the magazine I worked for when she joined the publication. I got to know her because they still needed information from me and I got to visit them. To make the long story short, here we are, blogmates.

Frances Beldia calls her blog Cure4Mondays, “a mom blog on homeschooling, kids and family activities, events, reviews on books, movies, products, life in Manila and the rewards and stresses that come with it.” She hasn’t been that much active lately, but I find her blog to be nice read.

ANDOYMAN KOMIKERO

The office was really where I met this guy. We were not exactly talking much until the topic of comic books (his forte) and, later on, of forensic science (my interest) came up. That was when Andy Edoria really began his career in the comics industry as Andoyman Komikero. He has since also begun to carve his own niche in the industry and it seems things are going the positive route.

andoyman-komikero

Andoyman Komikero

Andy already has several comics to his name, the series titled Ang Sumpa, in particular. He has also drawn for others, most notably for the elusive Bob Ong, whom he has communicated with only online and hasn’t even met in person.

MEIKAH DELID

Until last month, she was an officemate, our Operations Manager, in fact. Our OM had been the most active blogger, if not the only one, save from myself. Every time she logged into YM to which we were all connected, she imparted words of wisdom by posting relevant quotes as her status messages.

Miss Meikah, more endearingly known as Miss Meiks, imparts more wisdom through her blog Mama is Working. “This blog chronicles my daily parenting challenges and triumphs. I will be talking mostly about the lessons I am learning about parenting, motherhood, womanhood, keeping a home and pursuing a career,” she says.

meikah-delid

Mama is Working

JANE C.

This is my youngest blogmate. Fresh out of college, Jane C. is not exactly a neophyte when it comes to blogging, having maintained several blogs before deciding to keep her WordPress one called Etcetera. Basically, she says it’s for random stuff, but if I am to summarize it, it’s a blog for travels with friends, retro music, fun runs and baking experiments (that me and our officemates often get to taste-test). She’s done some fiction in WattPad, too.

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Etcetera

 

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The Meeka and Lexy Project

Jane also isn’t that new in writing, having written for a magazine (not the one I worked for) during and post-internship. Plus, while not currently updated, she has maintained another blog with a friend that has “Three missions: grab every grub in town, sweat ‘em out, and type ‘em all down” — The Meeka and Lexy Project.

(Oh and she’s part of the A-to-Z Challenge so you might want to check her blog out as well)

MADMA

I only got to work with Marvin Salazar for a short period of time. I was new at work and he was about to go. He was really quiet, poised and contemplative. The most times we really spoke was whenever I shared Fita biscuits with him as his station was next to mine. So imagine my surprise and confusion to find that this person who soon somehow made a name in the blogworld as Madma and Marvin the Quiet were one and the same!

madma-blog

Yours Truly, Madma

He owns the blog Yours Truly, Madma where he dishes out socio-political commentaries, gives sensible if not somewhat naughty advice particularly on sexuality, and share other fun, funny and more naughty stuff. The language may not be to your liking but that’s how he is. Madma’s blog gained quite a following when, well I don’t know how it all started exactly, but he ended up holding an online fashion modeling contest where anyone could join and others could comment and vote for which photos they deem best and most appropriate for the week’s theme. That was a blast!

 

And that, my friends, are my office blogmates. I hope you give their blogs a visit to see for yourselves why I follow them. :)

 

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Did you like checking out their blogs? Then feel free to LIKE this page and theirs :D There is another person I was thinking of including in the list but I am not sure if it’s okay with her. Will update once I get her go signal.

This post is for the…

a-to-z-challenge

Not One Less

This is real life

This is real life

Yi ge dou bu neng shao or Not One Less (1999). This is also a well-received and well-applauded film in the international scene. Not surprising for it is a film directed by the same man who gave us Raise the Red Lantern, Hero, and actress Zhang Ziyi (via The Road Home) – Zhang Yimou.

Based on “There is a Sun in the Sky” by Shi Xiang Sheng, who also wrote the screenplay, the story tells about a young girl who actually represents China’s poor and practically illiterate sector. Oh, but that’s getting ahead of the story.

In the movie, Wei Min Zhi, young and barely out of her teens, is given the task to substitute for the very dedicated Teacher Gao at the Shiuxian Village’s school in Beijing. Having big and understandable doubts, Teacher Gao still hands over the reins to her for a while as he is left with no choice.

It being a job, Wei asks for payment. They haggle until they both agree to a decision, that he will make sure she gets paid provided that in his absence, no student leaves schooling to work, “not one less. Wei intends to keep this promise, a promise that eventually becomes threatened when one of the students runs away.

It is obvious that Not One Less is a movie intended to serve as an eye-opener and does not pretend to be anything else. It touches on issues such as poverty, child labor and illiteracy. It is realistic enough as who are we to say that a situation such as Wei’s does not exist? And yet it also touches on the importance of education, sense of responsibility, patience, even hope.

While you maybe amused by the story from time to time, you can’t help but feel pity for the characters. Imagine a 13-year-old kid forced by the need to earn and teach other kids almost her own age. I winced between chuckles as Wei struggled to find the right words to teach the only song she claimed she knew, the right answers to simple mathematics, and the right way to find the missing boy in the jungle called The City.

The story is told in quite a simple manner. No music, no flairs and, save for one – Li Fan Fan – no real celebrities. Read the credits and you’ll soon realize that none of the cast, whether main or not, were real actors (reading credits is one informative but often neglected activity when we watch movies). In fact, everyone used his or her own name! Wei Min Zhi was actually a student from Zhenlingbao Village Middle School. Trouble-maker Zhang Huike was actually also another student from another school. Teacher Gao (Gao Enman) was a real primary school teacher.

Though the story was not based on a particular and actual person’s life, the cast played their own roles, from the young runner-athlete to the village mayor to the TV anchor.

There is no great acting. I must say the better. Raw acting can sometimes make everything more believable. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean. Heck, it’s like seeing a familiar situation in my country’s own backyard! A plus for Zhang Huike’s infectious smile. But even that, I missed the first time I saw him cry and in this particular scene:

Li Fan Fan: Do you like the city?

Zhang Huike: Yes.

Li Fan Fan: What is good about it?

Zhang Huike: The city is beautiful and progressive. Much better than the countryside.

Li Fan Fan: What?s the most lasting impression?

Zhang Huike (pauses and the smile fades): That I had to beg for food. I will always remember that.

So if you feel you can break away from all the hi-tech, gory and adrenaline-rushing flicks, opt for a simple and realistic story. Here it is and don’t expect any butt-kicking Wei Min Zhi anytime soon. Just isn’t going to happen.

wei-min-zhi

“Teacher” and her students

I give this movie FOUR-AND-A-HALF STARS!!!

4.5 stars

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It is my wish that you guys get to watch this movie. It’s so simple, it’s beautiful. But if I’m not mistaken, the movie is now uploaded in YouTube, complete with the English subtitles. I used to have a copy but someone borrowed it, who let others borrow it, and now it is supposedly lost. Nope, no attempt to replace it, sadly.

This review is posted already in IMDb, but I was going to share anyway, so why not share as my “N” post for the April challenge:

a-to-z-challenge

Lea and Her BABY Ten Years Ago

NOTE: I can’t believe it’s been ten years! I had several ideas for my “L” post for the A-to-Z Challenge until I decided that I wanted to feature my favorite artist, Lea SalongaI wanted to post either what I wrote before about her anniversary concert that I attended or my story on how I met her face to face and my little anecdote about it. Truth is I couldn’t find them. But I found THIS and I don’t mind sharing it at all :) I’m just surprised that I read that the production was back in 2004. Time sure does fly! 

By the way, I know “L” comes before “M,” but I’m just making up for what I missed. Cut me some slack :)

Sorry for there doesn’t seem to be paragraph breaks. Will fix soon…

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lea-salonga-babyReality is, what drew most of Atlantis Productions’ BABY The Musical‘s audience to march to Meralco Theater – literally from the gate to the building for this writer – consists of two words and five syllables: Lea Salonga. She was, of course, a big crowd-drawer. The posters said it all. “Lea Salonga in BABY The Musical.”

But what made people smile afterwards, long before the show was over, was a combination of four things: Lea, the story, the music, and the whole production itself. More than any one of the audience asked for or expected. I, for one, while excited about watching a musical, only psyched myself to enjoy watching the actress should the show proved the opposite of engaging. Oh, but it was engaging! And I had nothing to worry about.

Richard Maltby Jr.‘s BABY The Musical tells the story of three couples – Lizzie Fields (Salonga) and Danny Hooper (David Shannon), Pam (Agot Isidro) and Nick Sakarian (Jett Pangan) , and Arlene (Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo) and Alan McNalley (Miguel Faustmann).

Couple Number One. Lizzie and Danny, both in college, are living in together. They get the shock of their lives when the stork suddenly decides to drop them a visit and leave a gift. The practical and organized world of Lizzie is suddenly invaded by a third party, by the discovery that she is pregnant. It would make for a typical story. Guy finds out, guy runs away. But no. Instead, Lizzie is the one afraid of making the commitment and doing what Danny deems necessary, which is to get married. For Lizzie, “I don’t wanna get married because I don’t wanna get a divorce!” While she is prepared to be with Danny and raise the baby, marriage is not something she wants to say yes to.

(See and hear Lea perform with Liz Callaway Lizzie’s song “The Story Goes On” below)

Couple Number Two. Pam and Nick is a couple in their 30′s, married for two years, and still childless. Suddenly, it seems their prayers are answered. Pam, after a visit from the hospital, informs her husband that she is finally pregnant! The already-happy couple is now much happier. Finally, a baby!…The celebration is short-lived, however. They soon find out that, yes, Mrs. Sakarian is with child, only it is Nick’s sister-in-law. Having failed, they decide to consult a doctor and soon find out the cause. Then follows the hilarious attempts to conceive and the conflict that goes with the problem.

Couple Number Three. Arlene and Alan McNalley, in their 40′s, are prepared for a lifetime of being “TWO”, that is a family minus all their three kids. Arlene looks forward to finally having time alone with her husband at last, having sent their youngest child off to college. She is in, however, for a rude awakening. As said, “…a night of unexpected passion lands them back where they started” …Pregnant! Alan is overwhelmed with joy. Arlene, unfortunately, obviously isn’t. A new baby in the family just isn’t what she needs now, not anymore.

To be honest, a part of me was really interested in seeing the show because of the premise. Why wouldn’t BABY be interesting? It is, after all, about relationships between men and women, and particularly about the responsibility that often follows – raising children. As Maltby said, BABY is about that something that is not really rare and, yet, is often taken for granted…Or something like that.

Based on the book by Sybille Pearson, the musical does not only tell of interwoven stories, oftentimes “told” with humor. Behind the laughs, however, lie the serious problems that come with having a baby and that need to be addressed. It tackles concerns such as pre-marital sex, living in, women’s lib, sterility, age, and yes, even abortion. Etcetera. Not all of these are directly mentioned throughout the course of the play, nor does it tend to be preachy. You’d have to be dumb, though, not to notice the subtle hints at times. Either that, or you were sleeping.

Baby-musical-cast

THE CAST (from left to right): Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Miguel Faustmann, David Shannon, Lea Salonga, Agot Isidro, and Jett Pangan

Lea as Lizzie was perfect. Playing a 20-year-old didn’t seem to be a “STREEETCH,” unlike what she herself said. Not at all. The voice was as crystal clear as ever, both in singing and speaking. That is a trait that sets her apart from most actors today and makes her Number One in many people’s books. And man, did I laugh when she danced and bounced, big belly and all! No wonder Julie Andrews loves her voice…Lea. You just gotta love her.

David was convincing, as well, as Danny. Listening to him sing reminded me of the character Chris in Miss Saigon. Oh, but wait. He did play Chris in the U.K Tour of M.S.! Four things I like about the guy: he sings well, he sang “I Chose Right,” he played Rum Tum Tugger and Marius in a CATS and a Les Miserables production respectively, and he is married to an equally talented Filipina artist, Ima Castro! And – oh! – he signed the cover of my Collector’s Edition CD, so that makes it five! Well, his presence in the theater scene is surely welcome and appreciated.

menchu-lauchengco-yulo

Got pic from HERE

From the role of Schrintze in Fiddler on the Roof  in 1978 to this year’s Arlene, Miss Menchu has indeed proved her mettle in the business. It seems I liked that mettle and it has made a fan out of this writer. Listening her do the solo piece “Patterns” gave me the goosebumps, the very good kind of goosebumps. Despite that she is a great actress, though, she still did not come across as forty-ish, which Arlene should have been, and which she actually is. Miss Menchu, with all that faux curly locks that were intended to make her appear 43, is really a very beautiful woman who looks much younger than she actually is. So I guess this comment is more of a good kind of negative response, if you know what I mean.

Mister Faustmann was actually my problem. Of course, he was a good actor. His recent awards say it all. The show, however, did not showcase much of his singing talent. He did have his own solo, ”Easier To Love,” which I liked, but it was not much to give me the same kind of goosebumps as aforementioned. Not his fault, I know. It just was not meant to be goosebump-y, but rather a humorous take on and comparison between love for a spouse and love for a child. Guess which is easier.

The show bared two revelations, namely Jett and Agot.

jett-panganPre-theater, the only songs that I could remember The Dawn frontman singing were not really that impressive, for me, at least. But ever since I found out his stints in shows such as The Rocky Horror Show and Tick, Tick, Boom!, I had been interested in seeing him perform. Whoah, baby! The show gave me the opportunity to hear the man, and boy, was I surprised! All I can say is he has got one of the best voices that I ever heard, ever! Jett could act as well, bringing the house down with his portrayal of funnyman Nick. On both occasions that I watched (yes, I watched it twice), he got the audience clapping wildly at curtain call.

Agot, like I said, was quite a revelation as well. Onstage, the prim and proper lady we had come to know suddenly transformed into a funny, kikay, and yes, daring woman. Well, at least, more daring than the usual Agot. The novice among them (she recently starred in her first musical, TrumpetsHonk!), she held her own against the more seasoned actors. She has become a better actress and a better singer as well. The sporty persona of her character Pam, though, just was not Agot. For a basketball coach, she sure played ball like – should I say it? – a girl. But it was not a major concern, anyway, so who actually cared?

The whole story would not be complete without the Ensemble. Very special mention to the great people who provided all sorts of characters that helped mold the whole story and piece it together. The show was not found wanting, what with such great talents such as Chari Arespacochaga, Cathy Azanza, Topper Fabregas, Christine Sambeli-Marquez, Jun Ofrasio and Robie Zialcita (whose doctor was quite a riot with Nick and Pam). Most of them are theater veterans. Kumbaga, ‘di matatawaran ang galing. (In other words, their great talents are all worth it.)

My only complaint was during ”The Ladies Singing Their Song,” most of the ladies didn’t look their part. The tennis women and the woman with ten kids did sound older but looked much younger. I mean, I would kill to have those figures and legs! Sure, older women do have the right to look gorgeous (Miss Menchu comes to mind again), but let’s face it. In reality, how many older women you know actually look like that?

Now comes the part where we criticize the music…Frankly, I find it a daunting task as I have come to love the songs, a collaboration of two wonderful musicians. Maltby’s lyrics, set into music by David Shire. Deadly combination. Add in an orchestra led by Gerard Salonga and his baton. Maltby, himself, said it. BABY’s music is not like the usual stuff we musical-lovers have come to expect. Heck, the story is not the usual stuff. That all the more makes it dear. The story, the music, the setting, the production, the whole of it, however contemporary, is a classic. Classic in the sense that whatever period it is, it will always sound fresh. The musical was written and first done in the early ‘80s. If I haven’t told you that, would you have realized it? No. That’s how un-antiquated it is.

All in all, BABY The Musical, under the direction of Bobby Garcia, was quite a success indeed. True, Lea’s name dragged people’s butts away from other activities and into the Meralco Theater seats. The smiles on people’s faces after the show, however, were the result of the whole new musical experience. Ladies and gentlemen, it was a bouncing BABY!!!

Meanwhile, here’s one of my favorite BABY songs:

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I hope you enjoyed what you read almost as much as I enjoyed the show ten years ago.

This post is a part of…

a-to-z-challenge

“CANCER MYTHS AND REALITY CHECKS”

Cell phones cause cancer. Quick, turn off your cell phone! Throw it at your nearest enemy! Blow it up to smithereens! Just do anything and keep cancer out of coverage area.

On second thought, scrap that. Don’t let myths fool you. Do a reality check and find out just how much you know—or don’t know—about cancer.

cell-phone-cancer-link

True or False

1. Cancer-death risk rates continue to worsen.
2. Regular consumption of charcoal-grilled meat is a fun, cancer-free diet.
3. A sunscreen application a day keeps skin cancer away.
4. Bug sprays can bug you with cancer.
5. Surgery causes cancer to spread throughout the body.
6. Pollution causes lung cancer more than chain-smoking
7. Injuries send you on the road to cancer.
8. Use of electronic devices like cell phones can cause cancer.
9. Your lifestyle in your 20s doesn’t affect your risk later in life.
10. A positive attitude saves you from cancer.
11. Thanks to advancements in diagnosis and treatment, there’s now a cure for cancer.
12. A cure for cancer already exists, but the medical industry profits by withholding the information.
13. Regular checkups and modern technology are a surefire way to detect the Big C.
14. Cancer makes you useless and inactive.
15. Cancer equals pain.
16. Sugar makes cancer cells grow faster.
17. A needle biopsy causes cancer cells to metastasize or spread.
18. The same kind of cancer always gets the same treatment.
19. “I’m a good person. Cancer will never get me.”
20. Cancer is contagious.
21. The bigger the breast size, the more prone to breast cancer.
22. Underwire bras contribute to the development of breast cancer.
23. If you don’t have a family history of cancer, you’re safe.
24. You can get cancer from a sexual partner.
25. The treatment side effects are worse than the disease.

myths-debunked

Myth-understood

ANSWER: These are all myths. If you answered “False” to all then you must be an oncologist. If you answered “True” to some (or most!) , then welcome to humanity! Here are the myth-busting facts:

1. Cancer-death risk rate is actually going down due to a more informed medical world and to early detection. However, aging people are more susceptible to cancer and they are a growing demographic. Ergo, it may seem that the risk of dying of cancer is dramatically increasing, but that’s not necessarily true.

2. Charcoal-grilled meat is not a surefire way to get cancer, but it does make one much more susceptible. Research shows that meat that is well-done or burnt releases substances that contribute to the growth of cancer. Solution: Eat charcoal-grilled meat less often and in moderate amounts.

3. Sunscreen? Good idea. But the more time you spend under the sun, the more protection you need. So follow the instructions on the package to make sure you apply sufficient SPF.

4. Inhaling and direct contact with pesticides may be hazardous to your health. Nonetheless, there’s no finding that directly links pesticides to cancer.

5. Surgery is part of the cancer treatment, not of the spread of cancer. If it were, it wouldn’t ever be suggested as an option in cancer treatment. This is a clear fallacy.

cigarette-crush6. Chain-smoking or secondhand smoke causes lung cancer more than pollution. Yet, there is no lesser evil between the two.

7. Injuries per se don’t lead to cancer. Chances are, a tumor might only be discovered by accident because the person injures the part where the mass is located.

8. Cell phones and other electronic devices don’t emit enough radiation to cause anything really harmful to the body.

UPDATE: There are currently not enough evidence to prove for certain a direct connection between cell phone use and cancer. For more info: NCIMayo Clinic

9. Exposing yourself to risk factors early in life puts you at greater risk of acquiring cancer later. So think cause-and-effect, action-reaction. Reap what you sow.

10. A positive attitude doesn’t exactly cut it when it comes to cancer treatment and cure. Nevertheless, it does help the survivor feel stronger, and improve his/her quality of life, relationships, and sense of well-being.

11. There’s still no known cure for cancer despite advancements made in the scientific/medical world—especially because the different types and stages require various approaches to treatment. Experts have yet to learn more about what triggers the disease.

UPDATE: While there is still no known cure for cervical cancer (as well as anal, vulvar and vaginal cancer), it can now be prevented through vaccines that have been in the market for several years now. For more info: NCI

12. The medical industry profiting from the nondisclosure of cure? No actual profit can be gained from such a deception. Besides, a cancer cure is one medical breakthrough that’s impossible to hide in the Internet Age. This conspiracy theory is definitely busted!

13. Regular checkups and modern technology may help detect cancer early, but not always. Some cancers aren’t even easy to detect depending on type or location.

cancer-survivors14. Having cancer doesn’t translate to becoming an invalid. Many options are open for survivors to stay active and productive, so they can go through their usual routines and even enjoy new experiences.

15. While some cancers seem painless, pain may be inevitable for most cancer patients. Fortunately, modern medicine has found ways to control pain, so patients can still go about managing their everyday lives.

16. It’s true that sugar helps energize cells, cancer cells included. But it’s still a misconception that sugar speeds up cancer-cell growth.

UPDATE: Check out this Mayo Clinic.

17. A needle biopsy or fine-needle aspiration is used to diagnose cancer. The procedure doesn’t cause metastasis.

18. Cancer comes in different forms. Therefore, treatment should be tailor-made to the individual’s particular needs and condition.

19. Cancer has no bias. Even good people fall victim to it, so preventive measures against cancer should be observed.

20. Cancer itself isn’t contagious, so there’s no reason to be leery of survivors. However, certain viruses—particularly those transmitted sexually like the human papillomavirus—can lead to cancer.

21. As said, cancer has no bias. Breast size isn’t a factor. Even men get breast cancer. UPDATES: Studies have mixed results and are currently not valid enough to conclude a direct link between cancer and breast size. See: Komen.org, NHS

22. There is no evidence to link underwire bras to breast cancer.

UPDATE: Still none. For more info: Komen.org

23. When there’s a history of cancer in the family, the risk of acquiring cancer through the genetic pool is high. Yet absence of such history is no guarantee against developing cancer.

24. Sexual activity alone doesn’t cause cancer. However, the presence of a virus just might increase the chances of contracting it. The best strategy is to practice safe sex.

25. Some patients may forego treatment for cancer, especially if the disease is slow-growing. Doctors, of course, will still recommend treatment to prevent metastasis later on. Dealing with the disease sans treatment will prove to be much harder than it seems at first. Pain relief can only do so much.

myth-busted

So how did you fare in this test? It doesn’t really matter. At least now you can separate truth from fiction.

 

References:

American Cancer Society
Mayo Clinic
National Cancer Institute
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
National Health Service
CNN.com
About.com

 

Copyright © The Core Group Publishing

 

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How did you find this article? This was actually an article I wrote for The Big C magazine, Light Moments section (July-September 2006 issue). I added “UPDATES” from reputable sites to make sure that I am not misleading readers because a lot of changes can happen even in just a year. The magazine is no more, as well as its website.

Thanks for reading and I hope I’ve helped add info or clarify misconceptions. By the way, this is a part of the…

a-to-z-challenge

The Legend of the Fifth Turtle

Did you know that aside from Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and Donatello, there was a fifth Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles member?

This fifth member was a shy little girl in gradeschool. Then high school happened. The fact that she had to make new friends with kids who knew each other since gradeschool, were mostly more outspoken and liberated, were mostly more well-off, seemed like a smart lot, and mostly lived in the same freakin’ town…Well, that was a lot to bear. Hey! She was thirteen! Just starting her teens. Psychologists are right when they say that the teen-age years are times for a lot of confusion and insecurities.

lonely-turtle

She soon again proved psychologists right. A change in her became noticeable. Short kid that she already was, she became shorter and developed a kind of humped back. She didn’t even know. So her parents would say, “Stand straight! You’re slumping again.” She would not believe it, stood as straight as she thought she could, and said, “Here! See? I am standing straight!” But it was only when she checked herself out in the mirror one day did she realize they were right. Only then did she realize why the bullies sang the theme song for the Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles whenever she passed by. It was for fun, at her expense.

She had resented that they called her “mutant” and felt so ugly when all the while, they were pertaining more to the “turtle” part! In a sense, she was relieved and gradually corrected her Quasimodo posture. It was hard and it indeed hurt a bit, but the results were worth it. The teasing stopped and while it wasn’t a quick “recovery” for her ego, she did gradually gain some form of respect later on. It was later in her senior year, during Home Economics class, that she found out why she became that way. The tendency to slump, according to a book, was a manifestation of great insecurity…Boy, was she quite the manifestation!

So now, that girl is no longer that turtle. Once in a while, she feels the insecurities adult life has so abundantly offers, but somehow, she manages even when she sometimes fails. Yet, she keeps the story alive by sharing it. She knows there is a lesson to be learned in there somewhere…

Do I even have to say who she is? ;p

 

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How about you? How was your young life? Don’t be shy and share! :)

This post is my “J” entry for…

a-to-z-challenge

I hope you’ve already figured out what the “J” is for ;)

These Islands’ Legacy

How many ISLANDS does The Philippines have? Well, in the 1994 Miss Universe pageant Q&A portion, Miss Philippines Charlene Gonzales asked back, “High tide or low tide?” The Filipinos laughed, finding humor in it, but what she said was true — there were 7, 107 at high tide, and one more at low tide. Made sense. I suppose that in recent years, the numbers have changed although I doubt that there have been drastic changes in the numbers.

Our tiny country is surrounded by water. We still have rich flora and fauna that we have been able to preserve. Or maybe they were just able to survive us so far. History-wise, we were under Spanish rule for around 400 years, traded and co-existed with the Chinese for much longer, and followed the influence of the Americans these last decades of the century. Good or bad, all these have shaped what the Filipino is today.

Years ago, when I worked for a tertiary school, my bestfriend Jenny who worked for one of the colleges was sent to represent the school in a National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) event. She brought back a VCD given by NCCA to its guests. I forgot what the event was about but guests were given copies of the video done in-house titled Legacy: Philippine World Heritage Sites.

Of course, I got to watch her copy. I liked it and made my own copy — I wanted to preserve these “memories” that may one day be gone. However much I wanted to share it online, though, I couldn’t, due to copyrights. From what I remember, she said they were told never to distribute it. My copy has never been used for any purpose other than for my own viewing. I just felt it a waste that my fellowmen and the world could not see it.

That was years ago and I realized that perhaps the video is available already for everyone to see. Lo and behold! It is! There’s no better time than now to see these before more quakes and disasters, both natural (like earthquakes that destroyed several of Bohol’s heritage churches and that of neighboring places)  and man-made (like the US ship that accidentally destroyed miles of the much-revered Tubbataha Reef), totally rob us of our heritage. 2013 should be lessons for all of us.

Written and narrated by Filipino architect Augusto F. Villalon, the documentary follows him as he goes on trips to different places in the country. All these are considered Philippine world heritage sites, as declared by UNESCO. The film features “the 8 World Heritage sites in the Philippines: rice terraces of the Cordilleras; the city of Vigan; the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park; the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park; and four churches built in the Spanish colonial era: San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila; San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte; Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur; and Sto. Tomas de Villanueva in Miag-ao, Iloilo” (UW-Madison Libraries).

So to my online friends, Filipinos or otherwise, to you I share this video (you can find the next parts on YouTube). I am proud of my heritage, no matter what. I hope you are, too. Let us enjoy and protect our forefathers’ legacies and these 7,100 islands we call out home :)

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I hope you all found time to at least view this first part of the video. Please hit LIKE anytime now ;) For comments, including negative ones, feel free to give your two-cents’ worth…or twenty-five centavos’ worth if you’re in the Philippines, he he…

This post, the first of two for today because I was unable to post last Friday, is a part of…

a-to-z-challenge

You Mix-Mix It!

It’s summer time and tropical Philippines is where I’m at! It is so hot that you could have just finished bathing and be sitting down without moving a muscle and still, the sweat would keep rolling down your whole body…Time to refresh!!!

halo-halo-specialWhat better way to do that than by enjoying your very own…HALO-HALO!!!

The root word is “halo,” meaning both “mix” and “stir.” So to be quite literal about it, you can say that it means “mix-mix” or “stir-stir.” No one really says that, though, and you’ll do better not to so they won’t laugh at you even when you’re not making a joke. More appropriately, you can say “hodge podge” since, indeed, halo-halo is a hodge podge of sweet delights.

Halo-halo is one of our most popular desserts in the country. It is mainly a mixture of shaved ice (the most important ingredient) and evaporated milk. Added in are various ingredients consisting mostly of boiled sweet beans (kidney beans, mung beans, garbanzos), jello/gulaman/tapioca, plantains and fruits like banana and langka (jackfruit) most times caramelized in sugar and, often, pinipig (rice crispies or pounded dried rice). Actual sugar is generally added as well.

Those are what the garden-variety halo-halo usually consists of. It may be considered as a street food because during summer, you can find it being sold along streets to help consumers quench their thirst. Price differs, based on the size of cup you choose, but generally, it is affordable. Sometimes, a little scoop — and I do mean a little — of either leche flan (crème caramel or caramel custard) or ube / ubeng pula (purple yam) is added at the top.

Some legitimate food businesses, big or small, also offer this in bigger amounts placed in larger cups and containers. Opt for a special order and you might get an actual spoonful of yam, a bigger slice of flan, or a scoop of ice cream (usually ube-flavored already), sometimes all of them. There are businesses that add more non-traditional stuff to make the dessert more attractive and enjoyable to the taste.

simple-halo-halo

The garden-variety halo-halo, which is also your neighbor’s halo-halo

 

halo-halo-special

A very special presentation and recipe

 

full-halo-halo

Holy smokes!!! Gimme that!!!

Now those aren’t the only usual ingredients. It is always nice to get these additional or alternative ones as well: kaong (sugar palm fruit), macapuno (coconut sport or shredded coconut), nata de coco (coconut gelatin), camote (sweet potato), corn, sometimes cheese.

How to make halo-halo is easy, by principle. Generally, you first put just enough sugar into the bowl, for instance. Add in the ingredients except those meant as toppings, your call how much, then add the shaved ice, and lastly, pour in enough milk before adding the topping(s). Now here is why it is called halo-halo: to be able to enjoy it, you must mix everything up with a spoon, then Voila!!! You’re ready to dig in and eat your heart out. The mixing part takes a bit of concentration and skill so nothing falls out and gets wasted, but over time, you’ll get the hang of it.

It does seem easy. But the thing is it’s not as easy as it seems on the part of those who sell it. It seems easy because we as customers only witness how things are simply poured in, but preparation of the ingredients themselves already takes time. For instance, you don’t think fruits just caramelize by themselves, do you? Not everything comes preserved in bottles either. It takes time and commitment to do grocery, cut then cook some of the ingredients. Also, a lot of the street halo-halo vendors still use the hand ice shaver shown below. If you have never tried using this, then you wouldn’t know how hard it can actually get just to shave ice.

ice-shaver

shaver-with-ice

 

 

 

 

THAT is our summer pride — the halo-halo. So if ever you find yourself all hot and bothered for real, you know what to do. Go out and “you mix-mix it!”

 

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Hope this post finds you refreshed.  Click LIKE, I know you want to ;)

This post (though a day late) is a part of the…

a-to-z-challenge

 

“THE GREAT PHILIPPINE EXPERIENCE”

NOTE: Ugh. I thought I scheduled this properly for the A-to-Z Challenge. Sorry…

 

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miss-world-2013

Megan Young, Miss World 2013

Lately, the Philippines has been getting positive attention, what with Filipinas currently dominating international beauty pageants. Several artists of Filipino blood, especially YouTube sensations that Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey got to have as guests in their shows, have somehow let the world know (well, those who got to watch, at least) that we are a race of generally good singers. Our white-sand beach, Boracay, has been consistently considered as one of the top beaches in the world. (See vids. First is singer Charice‘s as introduced to the world in “The Ellen Degeneres Show.” Second is a show featuring Boracay called “Ang Pinaka” ["The Most]“. You’ll understand most of it due to the visuals and alternating Filipino-English dialogues/narration)

And then just last year, the world witnessed how a tragedy that hit the country brought out the best in my fellowmen/women, with the spirit of what we call bayanihan (read as “buy-uh-nee-hun”) or communal unity alive and our propensity to still be able to smile despite the circumstances. I’d like to think that aside from or instead of the word coming from bayan, which means town or community, the root word is actually bayani, meaning hero.

yolanda-relief-goods

People from all walks of life gave donations and helped pack, sometimes even deliver, relief goods to the many Filipinos affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda last year

Still, these are not enough to erase the various stigmas that have been associated with our race. However, I would rather not think of the negatives, but of the positives. Much of the negatives have been borne out of racism, stereotyping and, in the recent case of people who claimed to be well-informed food  bloggers (yet they seemed too uninformed, misinformed and unprofessional-slash-unethical writers), utter clueless-ness.

I believe that I live in a GREAT nation that has the capacity to become GREATER, to rise from the ashes when Life has beaten us down time and again.

I want you to know more about my country. No, it is not to sugar-coat the negatives, rather to emphasize the positives. So let me share to you my article The Great Philippine Experience (to get there, please click on the title). I will hope that after reading, you’ll at least have a better impression of my country and my people. :)

 

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Did you like what you read and/or saw? If yes, then I’m happy. Thank you for reading! Feel free to comment below.

This post is a part of the …

a-to-z-challenge

 

“DANA AND ADAM”

NOTE: Just a little warning. This FICTION has a bit of adult content, but nothing R-rated. Just FYI.

 

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DANA AND ADAM

It started out as one of those friendly dates they always had. A date between friends, with friendly conversations, in a restaurant with a friendly atmosphere. Dana had called Adam herself and asked him out to dinner. To celebrate, she said, because she finally kicked Sid out of her life. So of course, Adam obliged.

Everything went well. They talked and joked and laughed and simply enjoyed the night like old friends. And then he asked her to dance. So of course, Dana obliged.

It was a slow dance and somehow, neither of them felt like talking. Adam couldn’t speak even if he wanted to. He was very much aware of Dana, of her dancing close to him, her hand on his shoulder, her other hand in his, his other hand holding the small of her back. Involuntarily, he drew her even closer.

Dana looked up to him, questioning. Adam never held her this close before. “Adam?”

God, she fitted him perfectly, Adam realized, looking down at her in awe. And then he kissed her. Bent down his head and just kissed her. It was all so sudden that Dana froze. Still, he held her and kissed her tenderly, until Adam felt her move and return his kiss.

dancing-couple-kissing

It was deep, slow and sensual. Adam could hardly believe he was kissing her. It was all he could think off – holding her so close, her soft lips touching his. No one, nothing mattered but the moment.

In an instant, Dana pulled away from him. “No, Adam, I…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…Look, I’m sorry if you think I seduced you,…or something.”

Seduced him? Suddenly, Adam came to his senses. What was he doing? “No, Dana, I know, I know that. I’m sorry, too. I…I shouldn’t have done that. We didn’t talk for almost a year, and I guess,…I guess, I just missed you a lot…” Dana stood still, watching him. Oh, why the heck did she have to look at him like that? He wished she would stop or he just might kiss her again.

But we’re still friends, aren’t we?…Despite this?” she asked.

Sure. I mean, yeah. It’s just a kiss, which won’t happen again, I promise.” Adam would have liked to kick himself for promising. However, it would have been impossible, not to mention ridiculous.

It was all tension after that. Adam could feel it during the small talk that followed. Even he could not speak much anymore. Heck, that was embarrassing.

Had he successfully kicked himself, he would have liked to do it some more when he went back with Dana to her apartment. Granted that it was already very late and he did live quite far, couldn’t he simply find a hotel to spend the night in? It was courting danger. However, Dana would not hear any of it when he suggested sleeping somewhere else. It was raining in Seattle, as always, as she would not let her best friend get all wet looking for a hotel when she had a nice, warm place to share.

So the matter was settled. Adam silently vowed to keep himself in check. No more touching, no more holding, no more kissing Dana. It was not easy to keep his hands off her, though. Not when he was in love. Not when he wanted her more than he wanted anyone in his life. Keeping away from Dana all those months was depressing. Keeping away from her now was complete torture. Dana was so near, yet so far. Whoever invented love anyway?

Are you sure you’ll be comfortable in that sofa?” she had asked, handling him a pillow and a blanket.

Not when you’re just a room away, Dear. “Yup. Don’t mind me. You know me, I’m a real trooper.” She had also lent him a shirt and a pair of shorts that were a bit small for him. He wondered if she found him sexy wearing her clothes the way guys found girls sexy in theirs. He wondered how she would look in his. Oh, stop it. With much difficulty, Adam pushed the thought away.

Okay.” Dana cast a nervous glance. “You sleep now and rest…Let’s just do some more catching up tomorrow, alright?”

“Sure. G’night.” Adam expected her to leave but Dana stood staring now. Man, if she wouldn’t stop looking at him like that…

All of a sudden, Dana closed the distance between them and kissed him. It was a sweet kiss, but it was over even before he could close his eyes. Seemingly surprised herself, Dana awkwardly moved away and shyly said goodnight, half-running to her room.

unrequited-loveNow, he was confused. What was he doing there? What was she doing to him? His mind was all the more messed up, thanks to her. Why did she have to look at him like that? He did not want to read more than what was there, but man, he knew what that look meant. Could it be that Dana was in love with him, too?

In love with him. That was an idea. In fact, it would be a really great idea if indeed, he knew she was. He had to know. Right away. But how? Should he follow her or not? If he did and asked her, would she tell him the truth? Would she accept him? Would she hate him? Would he be willing to risk the wonderful friendship they had? Perhaps he should forget everything? Forget that he held and kissed her? Forget that for some reason, she let him? Forget that she kissed him tonight?

Dana was not drunk, they both knew that it was not a valid excuse. So, was there something there? Did her kiss mean anything? Dana was not the type to play around with men. Save from Sid, she had only been in another relationship once. Adam was sure Dana would never ever play that kind of game with him. Tease, because she could be such a tease sometimes without her realizing it, but not play with his emotions, not intentionally.

AAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!! So many questions! Adam wanted to scream. What was he to do? He was all full with his love for her and he wanted to let her know that. Should he deprive himself of the feeling he nurtured for her all those years? All those years, he secretly wanted her to love him while she pined for another who would not love her in return.

Adam straightened up. He would tell her, let her know, show her how much she meant to him. If Dana would reject him, then that would be that. But as long as he was not making any move, he would probably never know the answers to all his questions. With full determination, Adam knocked on the door. No answer. Maybe she was already sleeping. But he would wake her. He was not going to wait till morning.

Adam found the door ajar. He somehow wondered if Dana intentionally left it open. Of course not, stupid, he reprimanded himself. She must have forgotten to lock it in her haste. Adam decided to enter the room, calling out her name. She did hear him, it seemed, as he saw Dana going out of the bathroom. Both of them froze for a moment. Dana stood there, naked, and Adam,  forgetting his manners, was transfixed, staring at her.

Dana abruptly grabbed a towel and covered herself, panicking. A sudden attack of panic also hit Adam. What was he doing there risking everything? He wanted to back out and hide in shame, crawl into a shell if there was one big enough to accommodate him. But Adam did not make a move. No use running away now. Dana had seen him already and without saying a word, he knew she knew how much he wanted her. Damn those tight shorts!

Dana walked out of the bathroom and walked awkwardly towards him. “I, uh, was just going to take a quick shower when I heard you knock. I was coming out…c-clothed, of course, and…Y-you wanted something?” Dana asked, nervously holding the towel around herself, explaining like she felt she had to.

Adam cleared his throat. “Uh, yeah. I wanted to, uh,…”

Yes?”

Adam cleared his throat again. Sorry for barging in, but…I wanted to tell you that…”

That…?”

This is it. “…that…Dana…” he cleared his throat the third time, “I think I’m in love with you…I know I’m in love with you.” There, it’s out in the open.

Adam waited for her to say something, perhaps to order him out. He would probably deserve it. But no words came. Only the pitter-patter of the rain on her windowsill could be heard.

Dana, did you hear what I said?”

Yes, Adam,” she replied, saying his name in a husky voice, making him more excited than he already was. Her voice had magic of its own and Adam found it affected him tremendously. It seemed Dana understood this because she avoided his eyes and turned around.

She did not speak anymore, not even when Adam went closer to her, close enough that he was sure she could hear, feel him breathing into her ear. Who was it that said, “Silence speaks a thousand words”? He wondered if it was true because if it were, then Dana’s silence would mean that she was not going to stop him at all. Or was he reading it wrong? Maybe he was dyslexic.

Adam’s heart was pounding. He was almost beside himself. He delighted in the thought that if she was not going to stop him now, surely it would mean something, wouldn’t it? He turned Dana around to face him.

Adam lifted her chin and met her eyes. One look, and he felt his knees weaken again. There was the pleasant tug at his heart. Such lovely eyes. It was the same feeling he had the first time he looked at her eyes many years ago. Amazing that after all the time that passed, he still found it difficult not to experience the same kind of wonder.

Dana, you can say no. That’s all you have to do. Just say it and I will leave right away…Besides, I know you can very well throw me out of here literally,” Adam kidded if only to ease the tension between them.

I…Adam…Would it be alright if I told you that…I-I don’t think I want to say…no…?”

That was it. It was more than alright. It was what he wanted to hear. His heart felt like bursting. Adam bent his head and kissed her tenderly yet a bit more passionately. Dana didn’t need any coaxing as she matched the intensity of his kiss, finally exposing herself as her arms circled her neck, letting the towel fall off her. Adam’s head reeled, intoxicated by her taste. God. The mere smell of her, the mere taste, were enough to make him feel like the luckiest man alive.

Adam eventually stopped kissing her. “I do remember you saying you needed a shower…Allow me?”

Dana gave a nervous giggle. “I’m all yours.” How could she giggle and look so provocative at the same time?

She only made him want her more, he realized, as he took her hand and guided her to the shower. Dana turned the shower on and Adam watched the water running over her body that he wished he were water himself, flowing down on her.

He loved the way her curls fell just below her shoulders. He loved her neck which he so often wanted to kiss but couldn’t. He loved her color, light-chocolate brown, what people called mocha. He especially loved, he must admit to himself, the other physical things that made women, women. Maybe she really was far from being the most beautiful woman in the world, but flaws and all, Dana was the most beautiful to him.

The running water was now getting him wet, too. He was lucky that the water was set to warm, though, for he had no need for a cold shower. Not at that particular moment when he got the soap and Dana mutely allowed him to rub it on her shoulders, down on her back, even down her thighs that he caressed oh, so gently, as she began to lean back on him. After a while, Adam stood naked as well as Dana bathed him with her gentle touch.

Soon enough, things got more intense as their hands and lips delighted in their new discoveries. Adam found places that he never thought he would find even in his dreams. Having her there, holding here, feeling her was more than he could ever ask for.

That night, Adam finally claimed Dana. And as the last of his energy slowly ebbed away, Dana told him what he wanted to hear. “I love you, Adam…”

in-love

Adam woke up with nagging thoughts as he held her sleeping in his arms.

Was it true that Dana loved him? What if she was only carried away by the heat of the moment? A more pressing thought: What if she was only feeling the loss of Sid and Adam was just conveniently there to fill the void? Questions playing with his mind again.

Adam turned his head to find her awake, studying him, her lips curled up in a smile. “Hi there, angel, “ he said.

“Hi there yourself…What were you thinking about?”

Should he ask her? “Nothing.”

“That didn’t seem like nothing to me.”

“Okay, okay, just something.”

“What about?”

“If I told you, you might get mad at me.”

“Try me.”

“For the third time? Sure!” he said with a naughty grin.

Dana gave him a small poke on the ribs. “You know what I mean.”

Adam laughed, and then he sighed. “Okay. I was thinking about…The thing is, Dana, I was wondering if you meant what you said last night.”

Dana crinkled her nose. “About…? Which part?”

“That ‘I love you’ part.” She raised a brow at him. “I mean, you know, maybe you were just carried away,…or, well, you know, Sid has been gone for days, and you were feeling, hmm, kinda lonely…”

“What?!!”

“Hey, hey! You promised you wouldn’t get mad.”

“I said ‘try me’…” she retorted then sighed. “Hmnn…Wanna know a secret?”

Adam smirked. “Try me.” It earned him another poke on the ribs.

Dana was serious this time, getting his complete attention. “Last year, you got mad at me because of Sid, because you could see what a jerk the guy was, and you thought I was being a jerk for being stubborn. Then you left. And I thought that was that, the end of the friendship. I didn’t need you to destroy my happiness. And you know what? You did destroy my happiness…Adam. When you left,…it was then that I realized it was you who always made me happy, not Sid, not anybody else…So a week later, I kicked Sid out of my life.”

“But I thought you kicked him out only recently?” he asked, genuinely surprised by all the information she was giving him.

“You didn’t ask when.”

Adam couldn’t believe his ears. She loved him! Dana loved Adam! Him! “And you waited all this time to tell me you love me?”

“Well, you waited all this time to tell me you love me!” She crinkled her nose once more. She always did look so cute whenever she did that. “Besides, until last night, you never gave me any inkling about what you felt. Thanks a lot.”

“Then I guess we both should be punished, don’t you think so?”

Dana narrowed her eyes at him. “Heeey…you’re up to something kinky, aren’t ya?”

“Nope, but that would be a good idea.” Adam shifted on his side to meet Dana eye to eye. Time to get serious. “Since we waited for so long already, I think it is high time to end this waiting game, Dana.”

“Adam…”

“This maybe cheesy but I don’t care. Dana,..will you marry me?”

Dana got misty-eyed and finally smiled at him. “What do you think, Adam?”

A tear fell down from Adam’s eye. It was the answer he had wanted for all his life. “I was fishing for a ‘yes,’ but that will do.” Just as he thought he could not possibly get tired of holding her, Dana wiped his tear away and kissed his smile. “So, do you think I’m a chauvinist pig for seducing you into sleeping with me?”

“You didn’t seduce me. For the record, I seduced you.”

“Excuse me. I do the seducing around here since I’m so darn irresistible.” Dana kissed his ear and slid her hand on his thigh. “Okay, now, that’s not fair.”

“Still think you can resist me?”

“You’ve proven me wrong for a long time, angel…You had me heart and soul, Dana, heart and soul…”

And as he took her in his arms again, Adam showed her exactly what he meant. Indeed, he was the luckiest man alive.

wedding-dance

Story Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

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Hope you liked the story and that I didn’t offend anyone’s sensibilities. Written years ago, this was a break away from my usual style of writing. I was in a writing group and there was a challenge, which was to write something in a way that we didn’t usually do. I was already writing poems and essays that I thought, no, I couldn’t do those. Then I actually had an idea. That was to write in a genre that I wouldn’t be caught writing — romantic erotica. A few days prior, I learned about erotica and how it’s not really about writing porn, as many often assume, rather, writing something sensual. There’s a big difference.

It was a big gamble for me but the challenge excited me, so I came up with this one. I think that considering my lack of ability, I pulled it off somehow (but you’re welcome to tell me no). Now somebody commented that the ending seemed to be too abrupt, meaning why propose that early? The answer is, well, why should they wait when they were obviously been waiting for each other for the longest time all along?

Positive or negative comments are welcome. Just be nice :)

This post is the “F” post for the…

a-to-z-challenge

This Dancing Little Buddha

Before I say anything, how about we smile today? I urge you to watch this bundle of cuteness first! Maybe you’ve seen it but watch again anyway ;)

Did Zhang Junhao make you smile? He sure made me smile. Did he make you laugh? I definitely did laugh. Then he said, “My dream is to make people happy because I’m happy. Are you happy?” Guess what. He made me happy, then rendered me temporarily speechless and teary-eyed.

This little boy is such a joy to behold!  So calm and peaceful, so pure, innocent and loving. Rarely does someone as young make such an impact on the people around him. And the maturity is beyond his years. Watching him, listening to him, I could not help but regard him as a true Buddha, one who is awakened, ENLIGHTENED.  This Dancing Little Buddha.

We were all born enlightened. Don’t we often say how kids have such pure, innocent souls? That’s because they are enlightened spirits. We all were. But we grew up in a messed up world and lost our perfection. And so we long to be kids again, because deep inside, we want to go back to our original, perfect selves.

Little Junhao will grow up, we know. Let’s hope he doesn’t become like the materialistic, self-centered and insecure beings that we have become. I hope he keeps that purity of spirit with him.

As for you, if you skipped the video, I urge that you hit click and spend a few moments smiling. Smiling is therapeutic. It makes the world a better place :)

zhang-junhao

Zhang Junhao, the dancing little Buddha :)

 

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Did you LIKE this post yet? I hope so. I want a baby just like him!

This is my “E” post for…

a-to-z-challenge