Lick It Like You Own It  

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If you don't want to know anything about anyone's dream, this post is not for your reading. Because in this post, imma talk about my dreams. Go read FHM, or watch porn, or consult your chicken bones. You're not going to find something interesting here, only my dreams filled with ice creams and imaginary objects. (If that made you go, "What is he talking about?" let that be your final warning.) But if you're still willing to read this, here, you can lick my ice cream like you own it.

You've been warned, you may stop licking anytime.

I don't know about you, but I'm sure back in you kindergarten graduation, you had to recite, "My name is (the name your parents gave you). When I grow up, I want to be a/an (the job your parents told you to say regardless of your knowledge about it)." I didn't say I wanted to be a writer, a journalist, or a blogger. Mine was a want-to-be which was impossible, laughable, when I think about it nowadays. I wanted to be an astronaut. I love astronomy back then.

Not now. Not anymore. Still licking?

My brother's? He said, "My name is Rey Francis Ostria... blah... blah... When I grow up, I want to be... What was that again, Pa?" In short, it was not his want-to-be. It was you-know-who's.

To date, I have a thousand want-to-be's. I'm just starting. Keep licking.

One. I want to be a television travel show host/researcher. I want to travel around the world, talking about and eating food, experiencing culture, meeting people, learning religion and other beliefs, going places, reliving history and trailing roads that are never trekked by any other travel journalist, or any known navigator in history. Seems impossible, isn't it? I wanna do the impossible. My only reason is simple: It's unforgivable to just die and never learn about the beautiful the world is. Of course you may see its beauty from magazine pictures or clips on television, but experiencing it first hand is a must. I want to work for the National Geographic Channel or join The Amazing Race. Just to travel the world. I always tell my friend that NatGeo's waiting.

Two. I wannna start a business that includes books, ebooks, or periodicals. One word: bookstore. My shelves are going to include books that are hard to find in your ordinary bookstore, i.e., biographies of navigators, books mentioned in Rizal books (I don't mean his books), Japanese books translated into English (because they are awesome). My bookstore is going to have a canteen in the middle where you can eat while you read (guards will be there to make sure you weren't shoplifting, too).

Three. I am definitely going to publish a weekly magazine. Pop culture will be the main subject and the target audience will be, uhmmm, let's see, any age! The subscribers will have a weekly dose of music trivia, films, travels, food, name them.

Before you stop licking, I'm going to stop typing. Maybe you should start eyeing on your goals, too. Let me lick on it.

If the Statistics Haven't Reached You Yet  

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Photo from
If the statistics haven’t reached you yet, you know nothing about how many in earth’s population hunger kills at this very same hour.

                If the statistics haven’t reached you yet, you don’t know the scarcity in food that applies to all living creatures, you and me, humans and pets, unemployed or employed.

                If the statistics haven’t reached you yet, you didn’t hear that in 2006, almost five-hundred million people died of hunger. And every year, the number is adding up.

                Hunger is a killer; the statistics will tell you that.

                Now that you know, only one thing’s left to be branded – cause. You might wanna stop scratching your head ‘cause we both know the number one reason. Yes, the foe of the first of eight Millenium Development Goals (MDG), poverty. Unicef said that “more than 30 per cent of children in developing countries – about 600 million – live on less than US $1 a day” and that every 3.6 seconds, one person dies of starvation. Usually, the fund organization said, it is a child under the age of 5.

                And the word poverty branches out towards other words. What am I saying? We all know that families need – in addition to food – shelter, clothing, education and medicine. So the families’ budget is divided among these. Then it all goes down to this: the budget for food becomes not as much if the others are gone, therefore, less food is bought.  Less food is served over family tables. Enter hunger. Enter sickness. Add unemployment in the formula and you’ll get the real picture, or something near. Enter death.

                Another thing, though it may seem too far a topic, climate change may also affect everyone’s tummy. Other than the fact that some farm food are produced in little amounts due to lack of farming skills, changing climate greatly affects production of food. Climate change affects the cycle of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. CO2 is decreasing, and as one of the requirements in the process of food production in plants, this decrease affects us all. Enough with science. The bottom line is that hunger will never be eradicated for as long as climate change is felt.

                If the statistics haven’t reached you yet, maybe your stomach can tell. Or mine.
UNICEF (Global Organizations)  Children Just Like Me  UNICEF and Other Human Rights Efforts: Protecting Individuals (The United Nations: Global Leadership)  UNICEF's Children First

Rayterista 3 (Updated 1)  

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I wasn't really wishing I was in the first and second Rayterista (portmanteau of writer and artist) because I was sure the third would be better compared to both of them combined. I mean, Puerto Vista in Sto. Domingo, Albay is just awesome! The resort's a perfect place for outing or family events. I was with my Budyong (the official student publication of the College of Arts and Letters) buddies. Here're my journal entries during the three-day regional press convention.

01:58 p.m. The participants should have left 58 minutes ago, but we're all still here at Bicol University. The bus' engine just started. We're about to leave.

12:32 a.m. The first day of Rayterista 3 just ended. I'm assigned at room 204, the Education Deprived Beings Room. Names are named according to topics you may come across when you hear about the 8 Millennium Development Goals or the MDG. Kuya Franco's in Multiple Partners Room, Kuya Andrew in the Malnourished Room, Ira in the Purple Room, Edda in the Nursery Room, Kuya Eric in the Maternal Room and Ate Caryl and Ate Henor in the HIV-positive Room. For the groupings, I'm with Kuya Eric and five others from different colleges in the MDG #1 which is Eradicate Extreme Poverty. Tomorrow will be cultural night so we'll present something about MDG #1.

03:06 a.m. Sleeping time. Budyong buddies jamming outside the rooms. I had a lot of photos I'd be waiting others to upload next week. I'm sleepy. My roommates are all asleep.

06:05 a.m. All the others may still be asleep. The knocking on the door was our alarm. Though it should have happened 50 minutes ago according to the schedule of programs, the organizers are doing a good job. The view of the beach outside is just superb. The sun made me jump for joy, really. I'm telling this no matter how corny it is because it's true. Breakfast isn't served yet though. It seems it's me and Kuya Andrew who're up already.

08:38 a.m. I hope my roommate would be so kind and NOT step on my bed.

02:15 p.m. The morning talks were okay. My former professor, Sir Ephraim Aguilar talked about Feature Writing, Prof. Cet Dematera talked about News Writing, Prof. Raffi Banzuela talked about Column Writing. But this afternoon's talk is boring that I'd rather write here on my journal that listen to the speaker. Topic: Shaping Public Opinion Through Media Literacy. This must be the most boring talk in this 3-day convention. If something surpasses this, expect that I would commit harakiri from boredom.

04:05 p.m. I left the session hall. I'm sleepy. But the rooms are locked. So I'll just go back. Shit happens, that's what they say.

10:29 p.m. We just finished presenting for the MDG Night. We were group one so we had to present first. I had to pay a journalist who writes to let people know what the powerful do to the weak and the poor. I had to be the musical technician, too/ We had to act while Por Una Cabeza was playing. No scripts, just little narrations before and in the middle.

10:30 p.m. I know I will not have a good relationship with my future Media Ethics professor when I'm in my third year. I know I will have to rebut with him everyday.

11:17 a.m. There's a film-showing at the hall downstairs. I'm not in the mood for a movie with bad acting. Who taught bad acting to those guys? Whoever did, he did a good job. Publication Awards later. I'm crossing my fingers for Budyong and the whole staff.

10:13 a.m After the awarding ceremonies yesterday, I was just too tired to write something in here. We were nominated in eight out of twelve categories. And it was a happy ending. We won: Best Feature Story (BaranGAY BUPC: Out and Proud by Andrew Gahol and Carlo Jay Copada), Best Editorial (Myopia), Best Editorial Cartoon (by Franco Lasay), and of course, Best Campus Paper. I hope the admin was there to see us win and so that we can slap the certificates to their onion-skinned faces. They hated the editorial. The opinion of the judges (those whose opinions really matter) says it all. The judges are from all over the Philippines. There's nothing wrong with our paper after all.

The Budyong staff right after the arrival at the Puerto Vista Resort. There's me with the eyeglasses.

Edda and me at the second floor. The rooms behind us were the rooms where we slept.

From left to right: Franco Lasay, Caryl Gamis, Henor Gotis, Edda Mae Morata, Andrew Gahol, me, Ira Jacob, Jonalyn Fortuno, Sarah Moran, Raul (i forgot the surname), Pauline Dycoco, Earl Recamunda.
Budyong won Best Editorial. The presentors and I.
They said the three of us look like we're siblings. Deprived of food daw sabi ni ate Jev.

My roommates.
The rooms.
Photos from Earl Lim Recamunda and Renz Alvin Gabay.
-to be continued-


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I've posted this story in my previous blog already. But since then, I haven't re-read the story so I haven't had a chance to do editing.

Email me at

I was not aiming to write something realistic when I was writing this story. I wanted to write about how twisted man's mind can be when they get into a situation like the one that that story teller was in.


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Earth, The Princess  

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This is what our world has become, stuck in man's consistent tearing ways. No matter what she does, she will never escape man's misdeeds and evil. Not when it continues. Not when man is blinded. Not when they fail to see their faults.
...Whenever I think about this, it’s as if I was the Prince and she is my Princess. But the Prince failed to save his Princess...
Man is fully aware that he does things to hurt my Princess. Yet, he maintains, in unaltered conditions, to do these things. The cruelty is never ending. And when my Princess takes over and does things to remind man that he’s doing things to hurt her, the blame finger is pointed to my Princess. Again. The cruelty is never ending…
It all started with man’s inventions. No one saw the evil that these inventions would bring. No one saw the scythe that would soon wound my Princess. No one cared enough to stop these inventions.

The ozone layer gradually becomes thinner, ice caps on the polar regions melt, lightning strikes cause wildfires in the USA in a dry month, droughts continue to make it hard for the farmers, floods wreak diseases to the youngsters, typhoon destroys man's living, weather abnormalities keep on causing distress to everyone, and the heat gets worse than ever.
This may be my Princess' way of avenging for the injuries she suffered. And no one will ever surpass the wrath of my Princess.
But I guess the villains are gaining grounds. The burning of the fossil fuels like coal and crude oil continues to hurt not only my Princess, but also me. Even man. Factories and buildings expel domestic and toxic wastes. Vehicles and burning plastics, too, damage the air that man once enjoyed breathing. Technology has contributed to the scratch in my Princess' face and has since made man lazy doing work and lazy looking at the loopholes of his deeds and the damages it brings forth.
Is it too hard to notice? Are her cries not loud enough to be heard?
This is what our world, my Princess, has become─dirty rivers, blackened water, denuded forest, stripped mountains, and poisoned air. And so, man ─ the ones who should really be blamed─suffer her ache, the source of her fury.
Everything should be in full accordance to the plan to lessen, if not to stop, the use of anything that hurts my Princess.
   For  how long will my Princess wait for cleanups? For her air to be clean again? Her water? Her land? How many years will it take for my Princess to be saved?
Environmental Health: From Global to Local (Public Health/Environmental Health) Environmental Health: Third Edition Environmental Health: Ecological Perspectives Essentials of Environmental Health Environmental Health 

SNS and the Philippines  

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Twitter logo.
The social networking trend here in the Philippines is totally making internet shops one of the highest gaining businesses in the country. (So why am I studying Journalism?) Go start your internet business and earn as many as, uh, wait, I have no idea how many. But I’m guessing thousands. I better ask shops.

Blogger logo.
Right now, Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular. I don’t wanna admit I still open Friendster account from time to time. Oops. Spilled it.

You know the sites, but do you really know the first social networking site or SNS? Facebook? No. Friendster? No. LiveJournal? Definitely no.

Ever heard of the Bulletin Board System or the BBS? It’s the first SNS and it’s just like Facebook. Only in BBS, you may download files and games. Oh, you can do that in Facebook now.

Facebook logo.
I won’t be typing more about BBS. We all know imma blab about Facebook when you started reading this blog post. Yes, Facebook is the most popular SNS in the world, at least for now. It’s open to all, uh, 13 year olds and above. So if you’re 12, go waste your time in, boy. Some of the games in Y8 are better than the ones in Facebook, anyway.

Launched in the second month of 2004, Facebook has since dominated the cyber world and lorded over sites like Friendster (which is now only ranking 146 in the most popular sites in the world). A movie was even produced based on the true events that occurred before and after the founding of the site – The Social Network. The movie follows the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the law suits that followed after he made the site. Facebook made him the youngest billionaire in the world.

I know that light bulb above you. Better start that social network now, and fast. Facebook is adding thousands of members by the minute.
Past Friendster logo.

After being labeled as the Texting Capital of the World (maybe because of the unlimited text offers of all networks), some sites are now calling the Philippines the Social Networking Capital of the World. Now, should the Pinoys look at this negatively or positively?

In one hand, this means Pinoys are sociable, computer literate (haha, eat that!), and, well, current-events updated. I don’t need to explain further on this. On the other hand, this means we waste a lot of time in front of the computer instead of doing work, and, and, forget it, I can’t see any other negative issue about it. Haha.

Here’s the good thing about SNS: they are used in legal and crime investigations. Just like how cellphones were used in crimes scenes before the SNS got popular, these sites prove to be catalysts in the process of investigations. Someone’s posts, comments and other web activities in the net may be used in favor or against them.

We may also communicate with friends overseas without going through the trouble of writing on paper and waiting weeks before it gets to their addresses. On the tail end, it takes away the post man’s job. And your stamp collection never adds up. And it’s never too personalized as your own handwriting (but if your penmanship is hieroglyphic, be happy and go crazy about it).

For first time applicants, just be careful about what you post on your Wall. The manager of the company you’re applying to may look into your accounts. Whatever they read there may affect your application. It’s your resume in the social networking media.

Another thing: Looking at it generally, we can never deny the fact that there are other big issues in the social networking media that may destroy identities and lives. There’s cyber bullying, which has few laws against it. (States like California, Florida, Texas, and Missouri in the United States of America, have addressed the problem of cyber bullying). The pictures you have been hiding all these years may quickly spread throughout the sites when it lands into some crazy guy’s hands, or your brother who always wants to see you humiliated around your friends. It’s the scandal in the social networking media. There are also few limitations as to the posting of offensive remarks in these sites. There goes the trauma. (Enter, trauma). (Laugh out loud, trauma). (Cry, girl). (Cry, boy).

Children below the age limit are also – not surprisingly – members of the sites mentioned above. Why, you ask? Because one, Children See, Children Do. Remember I mentioned about Pinoys being computer literate? That doesn’t exempt the ones under the teenage bracket. And two, the age verifications are ineffective most of the time. So when kids get frustrated on the games they’re playing at Y8 (or when they think Facebook games are cooler than playing race or dress-ups in NewGrounds) they log into those account, and poof!, see vain picture with slightly nude boys and girls. It’s the cocaine of the social networking media, those pictures. Not for me though. *wink*

It’s also sometimes making a big wall between someone’s social life and interpersonal communication. Not to mention how some teenagers seem to “not want” their parents to gain access in their accounts. It’s the diary or journal of the social networking media. The one that you just want your friends to read, only your friends. Only in SNS, some of them are not familiar to you. Just your stalkers, or your friend’s friend, or the fake accounts of your brother or mother or father or your evil sister.

Is SNS all that bad? Or good? You be the judge. I vote for good. Who doesn’t love faster access to the cool television series’ fan pages? The rock bands you’ve been stalking and praying for to visit the Philippines? Your crush/es? Your ex who’s been running in your brain? Or enjoying a chat with your professor when all you need to say is, “Please make me top in your class,” or “I liked your status, give me high grades in my class card.”? It’s the bribing in the social networking media, made faster within just a click of the mouse, or the tap in the keyboard.

International Women's Day (IWD)  

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The IWD logo.
The world will again celebrate women's achievements on Mar. 8, 2011, as it is celebrated each year on the same date.

Yes, we know. It's exactly two months away.

This year's celebration will be the 100th. IWD started in March 19, 1911. The first National Women's Day in the United States was recognized on the 28th of February, 1908.

Coutries like Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany honored the IWD after the International Conference of Working Women was held in the city of Copenhagen where the proponent Clara Zetkin said that there should be an international event dedicated to all women.

2011 Theme: Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.

My advanced greeting to all women out there! HAPPY WOMEN's DAY!!! You all are doing great!