Friday, May 29, 2009

The "Lazy Strings" Story

Wednesday night when my long time friend Don texted me to play guitars for the band. After 4 years we will be reunited to play for a band, we will join a battle of the bands for the theme song of Manila Ocean Park. Ramon, our guitar player in highschool, will now play the drums and Don, the vocals, will play the acoustic guitar, and I will play the electric. 9 a.m. the following day we arrived at Janmiel's house, a talented guy who will play the keyboards and composed the song. He will be the new addition or perhaps we are the addition to their long time band-Ramon and Janmiel are long time friends. And, I almost forgot, the bassist-Nash a really talented bassist, he was quite at first and he was late but I felt the skill flowing all around him just waiting to come out. Unfortunately, we were practicing for a theme song not a heavy metals kickass song. After 4 years the 3 of us were united again to play for a band, and this could be the last.

As I said, the bassist was late so we have no time to practice any longer so Janmiel decided to focus on Nash. After eating our meal we practiced altogether it was amazing, two talented people playing with us, it was the best feeling. Around 2 p.m. we rushed because Janmiel's car was color coded and we might end up begging for the license. On the way, we joked a lot about things that could happen, it was one of the best experience I've been through. Inside the car I made up the band name-Lazy Strings, I came up with the name because we formed the band less than a day, I was lazy at first to come and again the bassist was late,that's why i came up with "Lazy" and "Strings" refers to the instruments. Along the Quiapo the expected happened-a police took a sight of the car's plate number, we were caught red handed. After some moments of explanation we were on the road again barely knowing the direction, I have gone to Manila Ocean Park but I'm not familiar of the place. Fortunately, after some discussions and risky turns we found the place where we will explode our musical extremities or in layman's term, the battle of the bands venue. We entered the place and found the area where the sound was coming from. At first, we were wondering why the bands were playing loud tones knowing that the battle was supposed to be a "Manila Ocean Park theme song contest", I was smiling secretly every time I think that the bands made a mistake or maybe. We signed the application form, we were number 29 the last in the list, we thought it was ok because when it's our turn it will be a lesser pressure so we decided to just relax and catch a view of the Manila Bay.

Nash, our talented bassist, has a problem with his nerves. He had panic attacks before because of the pressure the nursing board review had brought him. He was quietly watching every band that would come up the stage while I'm secretly eliminating them one by one according to the rules, it was making me think that our band might get to the finals. We were joking about the possibility that Nash might get panic attack at that very moment but I saw his medicines and convinced myself that nothing will go wrong.

After almost 4 hours of wait, it's our band's turn to rock the house. After some sincere prayers we hit the stage with excitement and with only few watching us. We were ready to explode when we found about that some of our instruments won't work. The cables were awful, the keyboards were not working and the technical assistants were barely doing something. Janmiel decided to play without the keyboard because of the absence of the adaptor but I didn't agree. 15 minutes that supposed to be 5 minutes of sound check, Janmiel got off the stage and found an adaptor hiding behind the idle technicians, at last we will be able to play. We have played the song despite the instruments not sounding properly, we gave our best despite the technical problems. After our act we have realized our mistakes and just laugh about it, it was one of the happiest moment of my life.

We went home and after a couple of losing the direction again we were able to find the right road. We didn't know if we will pass or not but we were happy. How I wish we will jam together again, I have to buy an electric guitar as soon as possible so that I could practice and jam with them. I will try the best I can do to be good at playing the guitar like how they play there instruments, and in that time I will be more than happy to join their band.

Monday, May 25, 2009

UFC 98: Welcome to the Machida Era

“Karate is back!” this was the sweet victory words of Lyoto “the Dragon” Machida after knocking down “Sugar” Rashad Evans making him the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. With his elusive karate style he managed to throw ferocious combinations that landed on Evans’ jaw, he was caught first by a right hook followed by series of deadly combinations making Evans throwing punches instinctively and eventually knocked him down at 1:37 of the second round. It was the first time I saw Machida being the aggressor at the 1st round and I thought that could be his downfall but he caught Evans by a quick right straight he was rocked but recovered until the end of the first round. Evans managed to throw punches but Machida was not an easy target. Machida might be an elusive fighter but every punch he throws is precise and accurate making him a really unique fighter. As for Evans, it’s back to the drawing board but I still hope I will see him inside the octagon. I didn’t like the disrespect he showed Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell at least for now, he heave learned his lessons.

The grudge match between the two Matts was ended by a hug at the end 3 rounds. Matt Hughes won the fight but I believe that Matt “The Terror” Serra should have won the match for a lot of reasons; one is Hughes wasn’t able to go ground and pound Serra, he was on top of him so many times doing nothing, he threw body punches but Serra could take all of them he even tried to choke Serra but it didn’t wok, Serra was small for Hughes and yet he wasn’t able to capitalize. Serra rocked Hughes at the first round, they thought it was a head butt but why Serra felt nothing?. My heart was pounding while I was watching the fight, it was an amazing fight I'm a fan of both guys but i believe that Serra should have won the fight and I'm also impressed by their sportsmanship. They have ended their bad blood but i'm still hoping for part 2.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

UFC 98: Machida vs. Evans, Serra vs. Hughes

On May 23 MGM Grand will be again filled with excited MMA fans as two undefeated UFC fighters; Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida will collide against the reigning UFC Light Heavyweight champion "Sugar" Rashad Evans inside the dreaded octagon for the UFC Light Heavyweight championship. Also, bitter rivals in the welterweight division; Matt "The Terror" Serra and Matt Hughes will show their furies after a long wait. This will be one of the greatest UFC events, all fighters have proven their skills inside the octagon. 2 undefeated fighters, 2 rivals, 1 night of action. UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida.

Let's take a look first at the rivals of two Matts. Matt Hughes has dominated the welterweight division when he slammed Carlos Newton unconscious to the canvas making him the UFC Welterweight Champion at UFC 34: High Voltage. He defended the title five times until his lost to B.J. Penn then snatched it again from George St. Pierre and defended again from Frank Trigg and he avenged his lost to B.J. Penn. Matt Hughes has the combination of both striking power and ground techniques, 18 of his 43MMA fights he won by submission while 13 are due to strike. He loves to slam his opponents hard to the ground. I have watched some of his fights and I could see that conditioning problems caused him to get tired early in his fights making him frustrated and later on lost, we will see if his conditioning have improved once he face Matt Serra. On the other hand Matt "The Terror" Serra, probably the shortest welterweight-stands 5'6", have shocked the world when he defeated George "Rush" St. Pierre at the very first round making him the underdog that became the UFC Welterweight Champion. Despite his 68" reach, he can throw powerful elbows that have contributed to St. Pierre's loss. Serra coming from a long recovery due to back injury, have unintentionally avoided a fight against Hughes and have proven that he has submission skills and powerful hands. With only 9 MMA fights, 4 by submission and 1 K.O., he has a lot to prove against the veteran Hughes. I think his weakness is overconfident, this is evident when he faced St. Pierre for the second time and lost via T.K.O. and regaining the Welterweight title. This time we will see if Serra will use his ferocious elbows or take his rival to the ground.

Their rivalry began at the UFC reality show; The Ultimate Fighter 6 where they became coaches of opposing teams, the fight would have eventually lead them to a match in UFC 79 along with The Ultimate Fighter 6 finale but due to back injury, Serra was not able to face Hughes. But the real issue was in The Ultimate Fighter 6 itself, Serra's team dominated the fights with 6-2 in the first weeks but Team Hughes came back form behind when all Team Serra fighters were all defeated leading both fighters of Team Hughes to the Finale. I have watched the show and Matt Serra really entertained me by his great coaching abilities and also his sharp words to Matt Hughes like "What a dick!" and "6 consecutive lost, ouch!”, making Matt Hughes hungry for a fight. This is a war between a veteran and an upcoming MMA superstar. This is a “make or break” fight for Serra and could be Hughes' last.

And in the main event, the battle of two undefeated fighters for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Beacuse of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's jaw injury, the 14-0 Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida will face "Sugar" Rashad Evans. Machida have gone through a lot of MMA events and came out undefeated, and when he debuted in the UFC his first 4 fights he won by unanimous decision making the UFC fans doubtful about what he can do inside the octagon, until he choked Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and knocked down Thiago Silva. His elusive fighting style made Tito Ortiz frustrated and later on won via decision, making him noted as the future of UFC Light Heavyweight. After a lot of wins via decision we will see what Machida's elusive Shotokan Karate influenced style will do against the heavy hand of Evans.

Evans debuted as a heavyweight in The Ultimate Fighter, have knocked out the legendary Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell and snatched the UFC Light heavyweight title from Forrest Griffin. I have watched his fights and he takes his fights standing most of the time. Despite his striking power, he is also a submission specialist making him an unpredictable fighter. He will put both his 14-0 record and his title against Machida. Although somehow their fighting styles are opposites, I still think that the two are a perfect match not only because of their perfect records but also because of their talents both striking and ground and pound. It will be a great fight MMA fans should not miss. A fight of two undefeated and skillful fighters, somebody's 0 must go.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How to Write a Business News Article

First thing to do on writing a business article is to find a certain topic for example is the team up between UAE and European companies on exporting gas from Iraq and then gather the facts that are necessary to create an informative article. That is the general idea - to inform about the team up between the companies and the key idea is what is the impact of this team up to the business world.

Once we are ready with all the necessary facts we have to think of a title, you can either do this before or after writing the article, just always remember that the title should be in present tense. Example: UAE companies team up with European companies to export Iraq gas.

Now let's go to the first paragraph. The first paragraph is called the lead. The lead should answer the 5 w's and 1 h-who,what,when,where,why and how, it is not necessary to answer all of these in the lead but who and what should be always included in the lead. This is very important because you want the news article to be straight to the point. This is where the facts come into place. Remember that the lead should be a one sentence paragraph; you might be thinking that it's a long one sentence-yes it is. Example: Two energy companies based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates announced there partnership with Austria's OMV and Hungary's MOL to export natural gas from Iraq to Europe. Keep in mind that we are writing formal business news not a business feature, feature is different.

And after the lead comes the body, this is where the facts supporting the lead are written. The body can be consist of many sentences unlike the like. It is also consist of uncertain amount of paragraphs but it is better to write not more than 4 paragraphs in the body. We are writing news not a novel. I have written a one paragraph body before and it was not a bad idea.

Example of a body: The team up of the companies aim to supply the planned Nabucco pipeline that will stretch out between Turkey and both Central and Eastern Europe. With this route, the Europe's dependence to Russian gas would decrease enormously.

The deal was announced Sunday by Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum that will give a 10 percent stake in the holding company to both OMV and MOL that controls the UAE based firm's natural gas operation in Iraqi territories such as northern and Kurdish region.

And the last part would be the closing paragraph which includes the conclusion and the supporting details about the topic. This is only one paragraph but no certain amount of sentences is necessary. Although this is the last part, it should also hold facts regarding the topic. This is also an important part because it can leave "sensation" to the reader's mind.

Example of closing paragraph: with this deal OMV will pay an amount of $350 million for its share, and will be reinvested into the project. Crescent and Dana Gas will each take a 3 percent stake in Budapest-based MOL. This team up will benefit both continents and build a strong relationship.

And that's it; we have created a business news article. We have provided the general idea-The team up with UAE and European companies for the exportation of Iraq gas. And the key idea-This team up will provide both continents not only in the business aspect but also in good relationship aspect. I really hope I taught you well. I know that it's quite long. Thank you for your time

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Goodbye, Iceman

After a decade of fighting inside the octagon and creating a foundation that made UFC into the mainstream of American sports. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell is finally saying goodbye to the octagon. With a dissapointing TKO lost in the very first round from Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 97: Redemption, it made easy for UFC President Dana White to declare that The Iceman has had enough. Mixed martial arts fans all over the world, including me, will really miss the Iceman making his signature victory pose inside the octagon.

The Iceman had his baptism of blood in 1998 with a decision victory over Noe Hernandez at UFC 17: Redemption, noticed the coincidence? His first fight was in UFC 17: Redemption and his last was in UFC 97: Redemption (again). His first lost
was with Jeremy Horn at UFC 19: Ultimate Young Guns due to Arm Triangle Choke and had his revenge at UFC 54: Boiling Point due to a barrage of punches. Liddell has been known with his ferocious strikes and excellent takedown offense, although he has a collegiate wrestling background, almost all his fight he can be seen standing because of his kickboxing discipline. Personally, I've watched his takedowns only twice-his fight with Wanderlei Silva and Shogun Rua. With this style, he had proven that UFC is not all about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu just like what Royce Gracie had done and made him the first UFC Champion, a pure striker has also a place inside the octagon and can also do submissions. In fact, in his 21 fights one of them is a submission, a rear naked choke over Kenneth Williams.

The Iceman has created two of the greatest rivals in UFC; the first was with his former sparring partner Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad boy" Ortiz who had no victory over him and with Randy "The Natural" Couture that won only once in their trilogy making him the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. He really deserves a spot on the hall of fame because of his greatest fights. Everytime he steps inside the ring, expect that it will not be a boring fight, everytime he fights he give his all and although he lost 7 times, he is very much respected and of course he deserves it.

Chuck Liddell might has retired but the memories of the fights he fought with his ferocious strikes, deadly kicks and brutal ground and fight, will never be forgotten. The Iceman will never melt in our hearts. Thank you for all those years inside the octagon, Chuck.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The 2010 Election: That Is The Question

The countdown to 2010 Philippine Election has begun. Last night I was watching a forum on TV where some of the presidential candidates answered some questions and interacted with the audience, mostly the youth. A concert was also held for the anticipated election where the performers urge the people to vote. The election is just around the corner, people are talking about it. But wait, are we sure that there will be an election in 2010?

The House of the Representatives is a picture of a silent war. Some of the congressmen, most of them allies of the current government, are trying to change the constitution and implement the undying Charter Change. This is a serious threat to our democracy, although these congressmen are saying that there will be an election regardless of Charter Change, some say that it’s for economic purposes, some say that it will progress the country, etc., etc. As I understand the essence pf Charter Change, the constitution will be changed; the government system might as well change. Meaning, if the law under the new political system says that the current president will automatically still be the president, or prime minister then we have no choice but to obey because that is the law. Logically, if Charter Change prevails then what the congressmen supporting Charter Change say today regarding the essence of the election the will be just plain nonsense ness.

I believe that this time is the perfect time to observe all the candidates of the coming election, if we have to investigate about the issues the candidates faced or are now facing, and then we should. But first let’s be observant regarding what is happening inside the House of the Representatives, the senate and even inside the Malacañan Palace because one morning we might wake up in a country where the government system has been changed and the right to vote was already taken from us suddenly. This is not the time for anticipation but the time for awareness.

Personally, I’m excited about the election because it will be my first time to vote. I really don’t understand why some congressmen are trying to relive Charter Change; I don’t know what they’re up to. Is there something wrong about the constitution? Is there something wrong about the current political system? Did the previous leaders make mistakes? I think these questions are some of the issues they have to answer so that the Filipino people are aware of why they are doing such actions. I believe that whatever political system we are into as long as the leaders are not doing their part, it will be useless.

The debate between whether the election will be manual or computerized is still on going. The bidding is not yet finish, there’s still plenty of time but just like what happened before there’s a possibility that manual election will stay. I really don’t mind if we would implement a computerized election or we will vote the old fashioned way as long as we will be responsible of our votes. This is where integrity comes into place. Let’s not make the same mistakes anymore; if we want change then we have to practice our rights morally. If we have to guard our votes just for the sake our beloved country, then, why not?

And as the member of the youth, with the help of my blog I will say my opinions-this is a free country. I will be observant of what is happening-that is my responsibility. And I will vote what my mind and my heart say no matter what-that is my right.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Than You Think You Are

Back in June 2008, I was one of the most frustrated people in the world. With only a 2-year diploma from a computer school, I started my quest for a career in the business capital of Metro Manila. After a long pursue of a career, companies only questioned my accomplishments in college. Until one morning I received a phone call for an interview, with the thought of rejection floating in my head as I started my journey to the company. When I got in the building, the interviewer Ms. Arlene Tirad entertained me and told me to be back the next day. The next day I took the exams and went home, I’m used to rejection so I ignored the thoughts in my mind until one Monday morning; a phone call changed my life.

I was accepted as a Java programmer trainee in DataBridge Asia. At last, the quest is over. At first, I was a little uneasy because my co-trainees were all graduates of 4-year courses and I’m the only one from vocational course and also the youngest. There were ten of us and I was thinking that the training might be the fruit of their long stay in school and a long strive for a career but I’m only there because of luck-I felt guilty.

Our home was about to be demolished that time and we were trying to find a way to raise money to find a new home. In the morning I would try to find ways to get money and at night I train with many thoughts in my mind that sometimes I just want to burst into tears as I walk from Ayala MRT Station to Ayala Avenue.

Ms. Tirad called me for an interview for evaluation and as she asked me questions I finally burst into tears as I try to tell my story with a shaky voice. I would not forget the way she tried to comfort me. She told me somehow that it was not luck that enabled me to train with them-I think she saw something in me. And she said, “If it was not written on your resume that you’re a graduate of a 2-year course, I would think that you are a graduate of a 4-year course because of your capacity”, those words really moved me, I could not believe that someone from a corporate world have said those words to me. It made me understand the saying “more than you think you are”.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Coconut Products Help Fight Influenza A (H1N1)

According to recent reports at this time there's no certain medicine for influenza A (H1N1) formerly known as swine flu, the name has been changed so that the meat market will not be affected. But there's no reason to panic, influenza A (H1N1) can be prevented and the answer is the tree of life-virgin coconut oil.

Studies has it that consumption of coconut products have natural vitamins that boost the immune system and prevent the virus from entering your body. The medicine for influenza A (H1N1) is still in the process of discovery but there's a possibility that the medicine might be expensive especially for the 3rd world countries like the Philippines.

The good news is Philippines has more than enough supply of coconut products. Fortunately, influenza A (H1N1) has not yet entered the Philippines but just in case, consumption of coconut products should be mandatory to prevent illness because of the virus. Let us always remember prevention is better than cure.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pacman has Assassinated the Hitman

After, almost 5 months of wait finally east and west clashed with their furies inside the boxing ring. Much has been said about the fight, Floyd Mayweather Sr. said that he could not see the skills in Manny “PacmanPacquiao, well this day is his answer and as the saying goes “the truth hurts”-and the truth is after Mayweather’s colorful boasting it turned out that his protégé Ricky “The HitmanHatton has only lasted 2 rounds inside the ring with Pacman. So, what you gonna say Mayweather Sr.?

Even before the fight, two fighters have their own distinctive aura. Hatton went out with a strong aura just like his every fight, ready to smash anyone on his way. On the other hand, Pacquiao went out smiling with a joyful aura just like his fight with Oscar De La Hoya, he doesn’t look nervous at all and also another Filipino was beside him-the WWE Superstar David “Batista” Bautista who waited 2 years just to assist Pacman to the ring. Inside the ring, Pacman showed first his respect to God as he bowed down on the corner just like he always does in his fights.

The first round, I thought the two fighter will first try to measure each other but I was surprised when Hatton came in swinging just like what he does in all his fight. I thought he changed his style a little bit because sometimes he is too reckless but there he goes again. He tried to get there first, he had sent couples of combinations to Pacman’s face but almost none had connected. Hatton played dirty tactics Floyd Mayweather Jr. style as he grabbed Pacman’s arms to prevent his counter attacks but those dirty tactics have done nothing against Pacman, so Mayweather Jr. you might be the next to face the greatest fighter in the world, be careful you’re dirty tactics will be useless against the champ. And then Pacman sent a right hook to Hatton’s face sending him to the ground for the first time, you could see Pacman making the sign of the cross in the corner as Referee Bayless counts if Hatton would get up and he did. Before the first round expires, Hatton was caught by Pacman’s combination sending him again to the ground for the second time, Pacman was looking for the kill when the bell rang, the Hitman was saved by the bell.

Second round, Hatton looked recovered and continued to catch the elusive Pacman with his combinations, I was waiting for the technique they will use to knock out Pacman just like Mayweather Sr. said boastfully, he even made a poem about it but second round was about to expire when a quick left hook landed on Hatton’s jaw sending him to the ground cold. Referee Bayless stopped the fight about 7 second left in the round and Hatton was left unconscious . It was really quick I was amazed by Pacman's speed he truly is the best fighter today.

What's next for Pacman? I thought this was the last fight but I think he will face the trash talker Floyd Mayweather Jr. And for Hatton, this fight should be a lesson for him, he showed nothing in the fight he was reckless and aggressive, but I hope this will not be his last fight. I believe Hatton should study what happened and start from the scratch again, by doing this I think he could put his self on top again.

I really wish that Pacman-the greatest fighter in the world will face the king of dirty boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr. How I wish I could watch the two collide inside the ring, live.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pacman vs. Hitman

After long years of wait, finally Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will face one of the graetset fighters of the west-Ricky “Hitman” Hatton. I’m tired of watching Pacquiao crashing the careers of every Mexican boxers including Oscar “The Golden Boy” De La Hoya (he’s also a Mexican, right?). Pacquiao doesn’t like the moniker “Mexicutioner” but yes, he is. And now, in a few days (or hours) the east will finally meet the west inside the boxing ring. There’s a lot of speculations about the fight- Pacman has the speed but Hitman has the power, after the fight we will find out which of the two factors is more essential to be the better fighter.

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has a record of 53 fights; 48 he won by knockout, 2 losses-his first loss was with a co-Filipino Rustico Torrecampo , second was with Medgoen Singsurat who technically, lost the belt at the scales as he surpassed the weight limit of 112 lbs (51 kg) and the third was with Erik Morales who later on lost to Pacman via KO in “Morales vs. Pacquiao 3”. He has alos 2 draws with Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez-who later on was also lost to Pacman in “Unfinished Business” . He has known for his distinctive style (personally, I think Pacman has no style at all) . He is the former WBC lightweight world champion, WBC super featherweight world champion, IBF super bantamweight world champion, and WBC flyweight world champion. He has also held the Ring Magazine titles for featherweight and super featherweight divisions, and now, he is Ring Magazine’ #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world

On the other hand, Ricky “Hitman” Hatton has a record of 46 fights; 45 he won by knockout, with only 1 loss to large-mouth Floyd Mayweather, Jr. He was the WBA Welterweight Champion, but relinquished this title on 31 August 2006. He is also the former WBU, WBA Light Welterweight Champion and WBC, WBA, WBO Inter-Continental Light Welterweight Champion, and current Ring Magazine Junior Welterweight Champion, wow that’s a lot of achievements.

Both fighters are thirty years old. Hitman might be heavier and has longer reach but it doesn’t matter for Pacman has defeated the Golden Boy before. This will be a really good fight, Pacman has his countrys pride on his shoulders and also for Hitman. Let's just expect the unexpected I would say. I'm a Filipino and naturally I'm cheering for Pacquaio but at the back of my mind it doesn't really matter if he will lose to Hitman. His fight with Hitman could be, if not the last, the second to the last fight before his retirement. If he will lose to Hitman, I think it's okay, he have proven a lot inside the ring. But if Pacman wins then he could retire or he could face the not so great boxer but a great trash talker (in my opinion) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. for his ultimate fight before his retirement. And if Hitman wins then he has a good reason for a rematch for you know who.

And in the end, the better fighter (or the luckier fighter) would be the one who will leave the ring victorious.