You Are My Light

DAY 6 – I wasn’t able to think of a topic for my blog entry today because I have been so busy the whole day with my school works that are due this week so I’ll just post a poem that I wrote for ‘someone’ four years ago.

Back then I used to write poems that would rhyme and this is an example. It’s cheesy but I still hope you guys would enjoy reading it.

I

When darkness and sadness surround me

I can’t be who I wanted to be

My view is always shrouded

The path to my goal is always obstructed

II

When everything was lost and gone

When loneliness sucked out all the fun

You came and shone upon me your light

Light that inspired me and pushed me to fight

III

Being with you removes all the sadness

Looking at you gives me so much happiness

Your eyes calm the raging sea inside me

You’re the person who I always wanted to see

IV

Please don’t leave me in this darkness

I do not want to feel a little less

Hold my hand and look at me

I just want to say how important you are to me

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The People’s Champ

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Photo Credit: Nike

“I was just doing my job in the ring and doing my best to make people happy” – Manny Pacquiao

DAY 5 – I was reading some news in the internet when I saw this article saying that Manny Pacquiao was showing signs of Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the nervous system. Manny, of course, denied it and said, “I’m fit and OK.”

Manny Pacquiao started his boxing career as an amateur in Manila when he was just 14 years old. He entered this sport to support his mother and siblings back in General Santos City. At the age of 16, Pacquiao fought his first professional bout. He won via unanimous division against a Filipino opponent. He then would go on and win 10 more before going down on the third round of another fight against a Filipino. Manny’s second defeat and knockout would come after four years against a Thai boxer in 1999. He then would win 13 fights before losing again. Pacquiao was now world-renowned when he suffered his third loss in 44 bouts in the hands of Mexican boxer Erik Morales. Manny Pacquiao would then win another 15 fights before losing his last two. The latest against his ‘rival’, Juan Manuel Marquez via a 6th round KO that shook not only Pacquiao, but also the whole world.

Some fans say that Manny should retire now before something bad happen to him. Some say he should fight once more against Marquez. Some say he has nothing to prove anymore. Some say he needs to prove that he is still the Pound-for-Pound King.  Some say he should fight Marquez, defeat him, then fight Floyd Mayweather to end the speculations once and for all.

Manny just turned 34 last December. Here comes me again saying that he is not getting younger each day but it’s true. Unlike what I said about basketball players on my last entry, boxers who are past their prime would have this increasing risk for their lives because of getting hit in the head thousands of times. Aside from Parkinson’s disease, there is this disease that almost have the same symptoms and boxers are its usual victims. It is called Dementia Pugilistica or just dementia. It is a common disease among boxers because it is usually caused by repeated blows to the head that could cause multiple concussions. Same as Parkinson’s, boxers suffering from dementia may have speech and motor problems.

Manny Pacquiao, just like all the other boxers, is not safe from these diseases may it be Parkinson’s or dementia. No matter how healthy their bodies are or how intense their conditioning is as long as they are there on the ring, fighting and punching each other, they are not safe.

So I think this decision would rest on Manny’s conscience. Would he be willing to sacrifice his life to earn more money, more respect, more pride? Or would he remove those gloves, return to his family and enjoy the rest of his life with them.

For me, as a ‘kababayan’, I think Manny should stop now. Money is not important to him anymore. And in contrary to what his critics say, I think Manny does not have anything to prove to us anymore. He already showed us how great he is and I think those 54 wins could prove it.

ECONOMICS

  • In Philippines, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said that the increase in the prices of liquor and tobacco products because of the sin tax bill won’t affect inflation. BSP Governor Amando Tetangco added that it wouldn’t have an effect because liquor and tobacco is just a small part of the consumer price index. – Higher prices of…. on ABS-CBN News
  • In America, Federal Reserve officials said the the Fed is starting to think of ending the purchase of assets. One official said the a decrease in the unemployment rate could be a substantial reason for the Fed to think of stopping the purchase of Treasury bills and other securities. – Fed officials sugg…. on Yahoo

Sources used for the article: Wikipedia, ESPN, Yahoo

The Black Mamba

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Photo Credit: coolchaser

“I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant” 

DAY 4 – I was watching the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers on t.v. when I saw THIS. I suddenly asked myself, “How old is Kobe again?” Then I realized that he’s already 34. 34 years old guys! I know. Some of you would say that 34 is not that old but can you find another person today that could still do that at 34? I don’t think so.

About 10 years ago when this friend of mine approached me at school and asked me if I knew who Kobe Bryant was. I said, “Kobe who?” After that he left me and never talked to me again. Actually no, he returned because he asked for his ballpen. Then he never talked to me again. Anyway. There. So when I went home I searched for “kobe” in the internet. The results were all beef, can you believe that? I was puzzled so I tried searching for “Kobe Bryant” instead and there, this Los Angeles Laker wearing number 8 came out on the screen. I started watching some of his games including the games that brought Kobe his second straight championship. Of course, the Lakers would go on to win the championship on the next season completing a rare 3-peat. And then would win again on seasons 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

Kobe Bryant achieved mind-boggling feats as his career went on. In 2003, in a game against the Seattle Supersonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder), Kobe made 12 3-point field goals to tie Donyell Marshall as the only players in NBA history with the most 3-point field goals made in a game. In 2006, Kobe scored 81 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors. It is the second highest output in a game in NBA history. The highest is 100 points by Wilt Chamberlain. As of now, Kobe holds the record for the youngest player to reach the 20,000-point and 25,000-point barrier. And just recently, Kobe became the youngest to eclipse the 30,000-point mark. In a game against the New Orleans Hornets December last year, needing 13 points to reach 30,000, Bryant scored 17 in the first half and finish with 29 in the game to achieve the feat.

Some would say that Kobe is the best player. I think no, he is not, but he is on his way to being one. For me, Michael Jordan is still the best player ever to step on the hardwood. I think that for Kobe to beat MJ as the best, he needs to overtake, if not, at least match everything Jordan did including those six rings and those six MVPs but he needs to hurry up because he is already 34 and he is not getting any younger each day.

For you guys, who do you think is the best player to ever grace the court?

ECONOMICS

  • In UK, the CIPS/Markit PMI for services went down from 50.2 to 48.9, surpassing the 50-point mark which separates economic expansion from contraction. Services sector accounts for three-quarters of Britain’s economy. The 48.9 mark is the lowest in two years. Economists say that if this continue, UK’s economy might go on a triple dip recession and they may lose their triple-A credit rating. – UK service sect…. on The Guardian
  • In America, after a series of ups and downs this past week, one of the three major stock indices closed at a new bull market high. S&P 500 index closed at 1,466.47 points, 4.6% higher than the previous close last December 28. Dow Jones closed at 13,435.21 while NASDAQ closed at 3,101.66 up 3.8% and 4.8%, respectively. – Stocks: S%P 500…. on USA Today
  • In Philippines, investors are preparing for a much greater year for real estate. In the latter part of 2012, revenue from real estate increased by almost 19% making it the fastest growing industry in our country. Real estate companies are pointing out two reasons for this real estate boom. The first one is the continuous increase of BPOs in our country that boosts the construction of commercial buildings. The second one is the increase in the number of OFWs buying condominiums for investment. – Banner year for…. on Yahoo

Sources used in the article: NBA, ESPN, Wikipedia

Think Before You Shoot

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Photo Credit: SodaHead

Guns are bad, I tell you” – Eminem

DAY 3 – Oakland, Colorado, Wisconsin, Connecticut in America and Cavite in Philippines. Their similarities? A problematic, erratic, capricious (and some other words synonymous to problematic) gun-wielding man shooting anyone at will.

  • In Oakland, a man killed seven people and left three people injured in a Christian college.
  • In Denver, Colorado, a masked man entered a cinema showing the film “The Dark Knight Rises”, killed 12 people and injured 58 others.
  • In Wisconsin, a man entered a Sikh temple and killed six people.
  • In Connecticut, a 20 year old man broke into an elementary school and went on a shooting rampage. He killed 20 children and six adults.
  • In Cavite, Philippines, a suspected drunk drug addict went on a shooting spree killing at least 10 people and injuring 10 others. Using a .45 caliber handgun, he went outside his house, passed through a series of streets and ended up dead in the public market shooting at everyone he encountered. Among the victims were a 7 year old girl, a taho vendor, a tricycle driver, a pregnant woman and some other ordinary people doing their everyday chores.

These series of shooting incidents both here in the Philippines and abroad really bothered me and made me asked the question, “What could be done to prevent all these shootings?” Well aside from tightening up the security in the mentioned places, I think the obvious solution is to issue a total gun ban nationwide. Remove all the licenses issued and confiscate all kinds of guns, in markets, in houses and in offices. We could even remove the guns from the policemen’s hands. This is done in some other countries. For example, according to an article I read a few years ago, policemen in United Kingdom, except in Northern Ireland, were not issued firearms. Instead, they are given batons and tear gas to fend off demonstrators. In US, police officials in some states use tasers to bring down an alleged robber, for example.

Removing guns from the hands of the people might also reduce this specific problem in the Philippines, maybe even in other countries, every New Year, indiscriminate firing.  Many died because of these mindless people pointing their guns in the air, waving it to their desire before pulling the trigger, without even thinking of where that bullet would go. Just 2 days ago, a 7 year old girl, who was just watching the fireworks in front of their house in Caloocan in Philippines, died after suffering 8 cardiac arrests. What made her suffer then killed her in the end? A stray bullet that went into her head, through her brain before stopping just beneath her cheeks.

I hate it.

I hate what they are doing.

I hate them.

I mean, who wouldn’t hate that kind of people? It does not mean that when you have a gun you could just point and shoot it anywhere you like, does it? We must think of the consequences of every actions that we would do.

So I am calling to all those people who owns a gun, please be mindful of  what you’re gonna do with your gun. Having a gun does not mean that you have the power to threaten everyone, or to just shoot anywhere. Please think of what could happen before doing such actions.

ECONOMICS

  • In China, automobile manufacturers are preparing for another year of small growth in the demand of cars. Just like last year, single-digit growth of about 5-10% in automobile market is predicted by both local and foreign automakers in China. They are blaming this to the decrease in the demand of Japanese cars that started when boycotts of Japanese products erupted last year. These boycotts were sparked by the territorial dispute between China and Japan. – Automakers in…. on Yahoo
  • In America, after a year high at the first day of trading in 2013, stocks suddenly slowed down and ended up lower than the previous. The three major stock indices all went down. Both S&P 500 and Dow Jones went down by 0.2% while NASDAQ decreased by 0.4%. This happened right after the minutes of the Fed meeting were released. It was stated in the minutes that the Fed would start decreasing the purchase of bonds for 2013. – Stocks end lower…. on USA Today
  • In Philippines, the peso closed at 40.77 per dollar, another record high. It was almost 4 years when the peso reached this level. The Philippines’ stock index also continued to rise eclipsing the 5,900 level. It closed at 5,934.05, 1.25% higher than the previous. All of these were sparked by the signing of the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal in US. – PSE index cont…. on Yahoo

Sources used in the article: Yahoo, Wikipedia, Inquirer News

Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman

Photo credits: PhotoForum

“With great power comes great responsibility”

DAY 2 – Not feeling good since morning because of my severe cough. I hate it when the weather just keep on shifting. Rain, sun, rain, sun. Anyway, since I woke up, I was already thinking of a topic to blog. So many things kept on popping into my head I can not even decide what to put. But since I spent almost the whole day researching this specific topic, I’ll just share it to you guys.

Just before the Christmas vacation started, my Chemistry professor instructed us to report on a specific topic that has something to do with Chemistry, of course. He e-mailed us tons of topic to choose from. Special topics ranging from metallic glasses to biofouling, to ion-containing polymers and morphology of solar cells. There were even some topics about biomaterials for tissue engineering, medical applications of diamonds, lung regeneration and lots of other topics that would boggle your minds. I had a difficult time choosing among them, not because I know all of them, but because I just know a handful of them. And I knew those handful either because I saw them on t.v. or because I read them somewhere. I really had a hard time choosing a topic that would interest me, a topic that would encourage me to put some time into it. In the end, because of my fascination to Marvel characters, I chose the topic entitled, “Decoding the secrets of spider silk.” I guess you now know who my favorite Marvel character is. No? It’s Spider-Man, of course. He is my favorite since I was a kid because I was bedazzled by his powers, especially his ‘spider sense’. And the color and the design of his costume also  fascinates me. There. So I search for studies showing and explaining how spider silk could be utilized in a lot of things. I found about a dozen. Some discussing the strength, toughness and extensibility of a spider silk compared to other materials used these days. Some enumerating the possible uses of the spider silk in our daily lives. The website cited uses ranging from bulletproof vests to aircraft materials and even bridge cables. The site even mentioned that spider silk would, sooner or later, replace Kevlar and carbon fiber. But there is this certain website that captured my attention. Scientists that they interviewed said that some scenes in Spider-Man were based on reality and that fact and fiction could even be the same.  They somehow claimed that in the future, they might even replicate what happened to Peter Parker. Those webs and all, I think, that we saw in the movies.

I dunno, I don’t think that could happen in the near future. It might take a long time before they could discover the secrets of these spiders. Well, if they can then that would be awesome. You know, having a ‘super hero’ in our midst.

What d’ya think?

ECONOMICS

  • In Russia, 2012’s oil output reached it’s highest since the Soviet Union was dissolved. Last year’s output bested Russia’s post-Soviet high during 2011. 2012’s oil output stands at 518 million tonnes or 10.40 million barrels a day, 1.3% higher than their 2011 record which was just 10.28 million barrels a day. – Russia’s 2012 oil…. on Rappler
  • In America, stock investors welcomed 2013 with a big smile. The three major stock indices – NASDAQ Composite index, Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average – all gained at least 2%. The ‘fiscal cliff’ deal signed yesterday was said to be the spark to this increase in stocks. – Wall Street starts…. on Yahoo
  • In Philippines, SM Investments became its most expensive stock overtaking PLDT or Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. SM Investments market value increased by 0.2% to a total value of 549.5 billion pesos. Almost 3 billion pesos more expensive than PLDT’s value. – SM Investments surp…. on Bloomberg.

Starting The Year Right

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“Trying then failing is better than failing to try”

DAY 1 – I think It was almost two years ago when I told myself that I would start writing a blog as my New Year’s Resolution. This resolution, along with some of my past New Year’s Resolutions, has long been forgotten. I could not think of any valid reason for my failure in fulfilling these New Year’s Resolutions especially my commitment in starting a blog. All I could think of are excuses – lack of time, fear of failure, scarcity of inspiration, shortage of ideas and many more minor ones. But during those two years I managed to overcome three of those – lack of time, scarcity of inspiration and shortage of ideas. Lack of time was easy, all I need was discipline in managing my time. The second and the third one weren’t that hard also. Now that I am in my second year in college, I think it wouldn’t be too hard to think of a fresh idea (i hope so). For my inspiration, my family has been here beside me for the longest time. The “other” inspiration is what I am looking for. I think, I repeat, I think I found her. Although I’m not that sure because I knew her for about six to seven years now and yet this feeling kept on doing this cycle of appearing and disappearing. It’s so mind-boggling, if you know what I mean.

Moving on, one thing that I couldn’t overcome is my fear of failing. I admit it, for the past few years I have been afraid of failing, the feeling of not satisfying what others expect me to do or to achieve. Connected to that, I was also not accustomed of writing a blog or posting my written works in public because I was afraid of receiving negative criticisms from people I do not know. I am more comfortable when someone I know is the one who would give these criticisms. It’s just not right for me whenever someone I do not know comment on something I did. So I asked myself last night, “Would I let this habit continue for more years or would I change it and be a better person?” and “Why am I afraid of failing? What is wrong with it?” Then I realized, if I wouldn’t be open to criticisms from people I do not know, how would I improve? How would I correct my mistakes?  So I told myself that night that starting today I would write my own blog.

Tadaaa! Here it is. The first fruit of the brainstorming I did last night.

Even though I haven’t decided on what specific topic I would anchor my posts, I promised myself, before starting this blog, that I would make this a “weekly” kind of blog, or maybe a “daily” one if I’m not too busy. I would also try to post a major or pivotal economic event, if I find one, at the end of every post. I dunno, maybe just to put a reason for my site’s title. LOL.

Happy New Year! (better late than never) May you guys have a prosperous year ahead!

ECONOMICS 

  • In America, the U.S. Congress finally came up with a deal that could avert the “fiscal cliff” that the Americans are facing. The proposed budget cut would reach $109 billion dollars and the richest two percent of America’s population would face higher taxes starting this year. – US Congress agrees…. on Yahoo
  • In Philippines, the increased prices of tobacco and liquor, indicated in the “Sin Tax” bill approved last year, were implemented by most stores nationwide yesterday. This increase in prices aims for an increase of about 33 billion pesos in the country’s budget for the first year. – Philippines ‘sin tax’…. on Yahoo