Who is Gertrude of Arabia?

Who is Gertrude of Arabia?

HAVE YOU heard of Gertrude of Arabia? We’ve probably all heard of Lawrence, but Gertrude? I’m not surprised if you haven’t heard of her because I also did not know anything about her until recently.

She’s supposed to be  the woman who literally invented Iraq. How’s that? Read more

My big “Little Mermaid” (video)

My big “Little Mermaid” (video)

MARIELLE WAS apprehensive when she learned (at the last minute) that her mom enrolled her in a TRIAL mermaid swimming lesson at Crimson Hotel in Alabang. But as soon as her blue mermaid flippers hit the water she started loving every moment of it, however.

Watch her slideshow-video:

Marielle became more relaxed and confident both on and underneath the surface of the water. She even learned the proper breathing technique for long and deep swims.

Now here’s the problem: she wants me to find and buy her own mermaid flippers.

Pink Panther on Piano by Johan Saculles (video)

Pink Panther on Piano by Johan Saculles (video)

JOHAN PLAYED the cool “Pink Panther” theme music during his most recent piano recital. Please check it out.

For his second piece Johan played “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”

#guiltlessplug #justaprouddad #pinkpanther #johansaculles #pianorecital

Counting Stars by OneRepublic, cover by Johan Saculles (video)

A NO-GUILT plug for my kiddo’s great performance during the Summer Voice & Piano Recitals at Merville Sacred Heart School.

Please watch and share. Thanks.

And please bear with the bad lighting. That’s the lousy videographer’s (me) fault. :)

Manang-mana sa pinagmanahan!

Now Reading: Don’t Look Back: The David Bussau Story

I just finished reading THE BILLIONAIRE WHO WASN’T, the biographical account about Chuck Feeney, a few days ago.

I was so impressed and inspired by it that I decided to immerse myself with more stories about selfless giving and the people who made it their life’s goal to share their blessings.

I remember I have another book about another philanthropist by the name of Davis Bussau. I rummaged my huge pile of still unread books, and is pleased to report that I found it!

This one is actually quite special because it was personally signed by no other than David Bussau himself. My ex-girlfriend met Mr. Bussau in person less than 2 years ago when he visited the Philippines for some of his advocacy projects in partnership with Pepsico.

It promises to be another interesting read. I am hoping it will be as engaging as THE BILLIONAIRE WHO WASN’T.

I enjoy reading most biographical narratives so this should be no different. Having already sampled a few pages, I am quite happy to note that Ms. Tyndale’s storytelling style is light and easy, which should be good.

I’m quite optimistic with my prospect of completing this book, which is a good thing because my list of yet unfinished books is already getting quite long.

When I was small

THIS IS probably my oldest still surviving photo. I was six years old.

I have a very vivid recollection of when this photo was taken because it was on the sad occasion of Inang Maring‘s death.

Inang Maring was my grandmother on my father’s side of the family. She succumbed to ulcer. It may be difficult to comprehend now but way back then people, especially in the provinces, actually die of ulcer.


This photo was all but ready to disintegrate when I digitized it by scanning some time last year (2011).

TRIVIA: What does Apl.de.Ap mean? Anyone?

MY BOSS, Ed Delgado, posted a photo of himself with apl.de.ap of the famous The Black Eyed Peas in his FaceBook timeline yesterday with this caption:

I met with Apl de Ap when he did a fund raising with the YPO WPO group last Nov 17. He is a true pinoy and a patriot. Mabuhay! Allan Pineda Lineo (Apl) de (of) Angeles Pampanga (Ap)

I was like… “WOW! I didn’t know that APL.DE.AP actually means something!”

I know (assumed, actually) that apl.de.ap is somehow a derivative of his real name, Allan Pineda, in the same way that will.i.am is just WILLIAM (William Adams) corrupted with a couple of dots. Nothing but a naming gimmick to make their names “in tune” with the Internet age.

Apparently, there’s more to apl.de.ap than a simple corruption with dots. Read more

Missing Sagada

I FIRST visited Sagada with my xGF and our good friends, Eden and Justin Salimbot, way back in 2001.

I immediately fell in love with Sagada and vowed to visit it again in the not so distant future.

Well, it’s been 11 years. There had been attempts – or at least plans – to revisit Sagada in the past few years, but one way or the other it wouldn’t come to fruition.

Maybe what it takes is to get Eden and Justin to go with us again.


I wonder how much – or how little – the place has changed in the past decade. I do hope it hasn’t changed much. After all, the allure of Sagada is its ancient and timeless beauty. Read more

Some quarter of a century and 50 pounds ago

HERE’S another recent find I made from my pile of old documents and photographs. This one is already in a very bad state. A couple more years and I may not be able to salvage it anymore.

Hey that’s my ever cool Nanay Paz, looking like she was going to the “disco” with that skinny, drug-addict-looking guy beside her.

But wait… that skinny guy is… was… ME!



Our “Timeless” Friendship

This colorful calendar and the rest of this blog post (after the “~~~~~” mark) were actually the works of my good friend, Aileen Caalim. She sent these via e-mail to me and the rest of the Housemates* just this afternoon. She’s been tirelessly – and futilely – trying to schedule a simple and short dinner for the Housemates for the past 12 months. Or is it 24?

I am posting Aileen’s email here (without her permission, as usual) for three specific reasons:

  1. I was amazed that she actually took the effort to put together something as complex (to me at least) as this, although I am keenly aware that this is hardly complex at all in Aileen’s standard.
  2. It very graphically and poignantly illustrates how good friends find it more and more difficult to find the time to spend with each other as they become more and more busy with the business of living their own separate lives. But still they try, never mind how pointless it gets some time.
  3. I find it extremely amusing.

The following vividly illustrates the Housemates’ “timeless” friendship. We simply do not have time!

~~~~~ Read more