Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Pope Online

The age of the internet is undeniable. Recently there was the "Burol" online where relatives of the dead can view a live streaming video of their beloved thanks to St. Peter memorial. Recently there was also the "Bisita Iglesia" online where you can visit some Catholic Churches at the comfort of your home. Now even the Roman Pontiff has his own website. I'm talking about the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. yes folks, Benedictus XVI, Episcopus Romae now has his own website. It consist mostly of links to most of the social network wherein the Pope can be seen, like Facebook or Youtube. Heck there's even an iPhone App for him! The website is preparation for the 44th World Day of Communication this coming May. His message is to let the current internet media be a tool in spreading the Word of God.

The name of the site is Pope2You

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pinoy_Blogfest 1.0

I'll be attending a bloggers conference this Saturday that will be sponsored by Gadgets Magazine

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cosplayers Need Respect

Cosplayer - The term used for anime lover or otaku who wears a costume similar to an anime character and role playing it in front of other people.

The recently concluded Ozine Fest 2010 opened the door to new cosplayers who wanted to show their talent, creativity and charisma. I was once a cosplayer before and I know the hardship each cosplayer experienced during those hours off stage and on stage. The torturing heat and the grueling long hours of standing and walking can really deplete their energy. Sadly, some folks are insensitive to cosplayers and they'll do anything to get a picture with them. I know, cosplayers should entertain anyone who appreciates their costume, but hey they are human too. A little consideration is much appreciated and never ever forget to respect them. I witnessed "attractive" cosplayers being mobbed by photographers. Some were taking a shot from a very uncomfortable distance and some even managed a panty shot. I experienced talking to one of my cosplayer friends when somebody grabbed her and took a picture. A simple "Excuse me" or "Sorry, can I interrupt you" would be nice. Some cosplayers were left out when their "attractive" companion were being mobbed. Some were even placed in a very uncomfortable situation because of some pervert.I know some may think I am sucking up to cosplayers or I am just looking for some attention, but let me tell you this, if you were on those cosplayers' shoes what would you feel? Kudos to all the cosplayers out there who have an incredibly long patience and understanding. Continue what you are doing and enjoy cosplaying

Siopao Heaven awards NBA's best

The NBA's regular season is now coming to a close, and while fans, players, coaches and league officials get all pumped up in anticipation of the playoffs, Siopao Heaven takes a closer look at the NBA players who displayed their prowess all throughout 82 games and pays tribute for their exemplary performances.
Ladies and gents, I present to you, the awardees for the 1st Siopao Heaven Awards, NBA category.

Disclaimer: The Siopao Heaven Awards is not an official award giving body and is not sanctioned by the Siopao Master at all. In the lack of his interest towards the sport however, I took the liberty and initiative to name this unofficial award giving body to him since this post will appear in his blog. Feel free to blast me if you feel necessary Siops. Also feel free to delete this disclaimer if you're OK with this.

Most Valuable Player: Dwayne Wade (Miami Heat)
It's easy to overlook D-Wade's value when the Miami Heat is just a 5th seed in the Eastern Conference and Lebron James' Cleveland Cavaliers and Kobe Bryant's LA Lakers lead their respective conferences. In addition, Flash's 26.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 6.6 apg are pale in comparison to King James' 29.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg and 8.6 apg and Black Mamba's 27 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 5 apg.

However, Wade's importance cannot be measured by their playoff spot or by the numbers he's producing. Instead, we must delve into the context of his contribution to understand his value to his team.

If you ask me, below are the qualifications an MVP must possess:
1. His team must be winning (above .500 record and should make the playoffs);
2. He must be producing otherworldly numbers;
3. He's recognized as the leader and star of the team;
4. Must be considered as one of the Top 5 players in the league; and
5. His team will horribly suck without him.

Items 1, 2 and 3 should be out of the question, and with Charles Barkley being one of several people acknowledging Wade as a top 5 player, 4 is also a done deal. Now I'd like to put emphasis on item number 5.

Before you start enumerating Kobe's game winners and Lebron's highlights this season, take a good look at their supporting cast and compare them to the Miami Heat roster. You look at the Cavs, the Lakers, and other playoff teams, and you try taking away their star players and you see teams that could still make the post-season, theoretically, because they have players that could still produce big numbers on a regular basis outside of the star player. This, to some effect, lessens the value of the star on a team. In the Heat's case, you take Wade out of the rotation and I see a team only slightly better than the Golden State Warriors and the New York Knicks.

Outside Bryant, the Lakers have Bynum, Ka-Pau, Ron-ron, the husband of Khloe Kardashian and Fish. James on the other hand has Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams and an array of good role players that include Shaquille O' Neal. With Wade, it's Jermaine O' Neal, Michael Beasley and…and…well that's pretty much it.

I also give points to D-Wade for playing with grace under pressure. He's got a lot to deal with off the court - divorce, child custody issues, free agency - and yet you don't hear him talking about in the open. Instead, he keeps his mouth shut, gets his head in the game and helps the Heat finish the regular season strong. That beats Lebron's Slamgate Scandal and Kobe's sexual assault charges anytime.

Hands down, when talking about the best player in the world, the conversation only revolves around James and Bryant. But the best player isn't always the most valuable. And with an Atlas-like weight on his shoulders, D-Wade is not only Miami's, but should also be the NBA's MVP.

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic)
As much as I'd like to give this award to James Posey (photo shown above) for clogging Stephen Jackson's air passage, Howard has once again shown us why he is the league's Defensive Minister. For two years in a row, the former slam dunk champ has led league in rebounds and shot blocks and currently averages 13.3 rpg and 2.8 bpg. In a roster where Matt Barnes seems be the next best rebounder, Superman alone managed to wield his team into becoming the league's 5th best rebounding team. And if you want to talk about intangibles, when Howard clogs the paint, the sheer thought of his height, strength and athleticism can force most players to alter their shots.

Rookie of the Year: Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings)
After 2004, fans and even the media had very few reasons to watch the Sacramento Kings. Fast forward to year 2009 and Evans has the Kings creeping back into the limelight once more.

Evans leads all rookies in scoring with an average of 20.3 ppg. The 6'6" point guard has also done a decent job of sharing the ball with an average of 5.8 apg, only behind Stephen Curry who leads all rookies in terms of assists. Earlier in the season, Evans led the Kings to a winning record thanks to some late-game heroics. Unfortunately, injuries and inconsistencies will be keeping them out of the playoffs this year. But with two upcoming stars in Evans and Omri Casspi, the future looks bright for the Kings.

Both Curry and Evans are faring well, so I can't blame the NBA if the ROY award goes either way. But since I find Evans' ability to manhandle other point guards with his physique more appealing than Curry's perimeter game, the Kings' rookie gets my nod for ROY.

Sixth Man of the Year: Jamal Crawford (Atlanta Hawks)
Crawford has definitely spelled 'The Difference' for the Atlanta Hawks this year.

During the last two seasons, the Hawks didn't have anyone on their bench that can help them compete with the top dogs of the East. Enter Crawford and the Hawks now have a guy that can provide instant offense coming off the bench. Thanks to his scoring, Coach Mike Woodson has amother option on offense in case the starting backcourt can't get it going. Also, since Crawford's addition, the Hawks swept the Celtics in the their regular season series, and were also able to steal wins against the Cavs and Magic. With that said, it's safe to say that Crawford's addition has transformed the Hawks from playoff team to dark horse.

And seriously, can you think of any other reserve performing as well as Crawford?

Most Improved Player of the Year: Gerald Wallace (Charlotte Bobcats)
Dubbed 'Crash' by his teammates for his devil-may-care attitude, Wallace is finally making a name for himself and is doing a good job in pleasing his new boss.

From a benchwarmer on a powerhouse Kings team to a starter for an expansion team, it took Crash some time to adjust to his new role and environment. This season, Crash has learned to deliver the goods on a consistent basis. He has gradually increased his rebounding (10.2 rpg) and scoring (18.3 ppg) output which led to an All-Star selection and his team's first playoff appearance in 6 years.

And while Larry Brown expects Stephen Jackson to take and make shots, it's good to note that Wallace is in charge of the defensive end where he averages 1.1 bpg and 1.5 spg.

Coach of the Year: Scott Brooks (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Under his tutelage,
Kevin Durant turned into the league's leading scorer, the Thunder has more than doubled the number of Ws they got this year compared to last year, and they are currently in a three-way tie for the 6th spot of the Western Conference. And he has only served as head coach for two full seasons. Need I say more?

Some may argue that the Thunder's success should be attributed to Durantula, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green, but you can't deny that these guys thrived in Brooks' system. Moreover, his principles have molded this young team to play well beyond its years.
So there you have it. What do you guys think? -Marlone Viardo

Friday, April 09, 2010

'Other' candidates - a second look

Follow the leader.

Based on various surveys and polls, Manny Villar and Noynoy Aquino are ahead of the pack. Unfortunately, people, especially the undecided, are being swayed by the numbers and are jumping on the bandwagon, trimming down their choices for the next President of the country to the two aforementioned aspirants.

One of the reasons that explains this phenomenon is that people believe that the other seven candidates running for President will lose anyway (due to lack of supporters), so instead, they vote for someone who can actually win this thing. A recent conversation with several taxi drivers, security guards and a communications officer for a prominent foundation shows that a lot of people have this kind of thing going through their mind.

After watching numerous forums on TV, listening to several interviews on radio and reading various articles on newspapers and websites, I'm not one to simply go with the flow without even looking at possible alternatives. I do have a knack for deviating.

Outside of Villar and Noynoy, there are seven candidates, and with a closer look, three of them might actually be more of a fit for the Presidency than the guys in yellow and orange.

We already know who they are but here's quick rundown and recap of the Presidential aspirants. Hope I wrote down something that could be useful for all the voters out there.

NUISANCE CANDIDATES. I think COMELEC shouldn't have allowed them to run because 1.) Their names don't ring a bell 2.) They don't have the resources to launch a nationwide political campaign.

JC de los Reyes - Seeing him stutter for countless times during the Presidential Forum in UST last 2 Dec 2009 are signs of hesitation and jitters. The youngest Presidential candidate may not be your traditional politician, but I'm under the impression the he's not ready for the big stage yet. I give him points for being idealistic and gutsy though, and that just shows he is a politician well beyond his years. I strongly believe JC de los Reyes will make a good leader in the future and is truly an asset of this country. I'd recommend this guy to run for office again, stay away from National posts for the meantime and get more experience first.

Nicanor Perlas - Man, had this guy ran for a different position, I guess there's good chance he'll win provided he gets himself a political party. A quick look at this guy's resumé and you'll see his got the skills, knowledge and credentials to serve the public. Heck, if he ran for councilor in a town or city, he's a shoe-in. One thing going against this guy is that he could be too articulate for his own good. If the masses can't appreciate you, you're hopes of becoming president is gone. After all, it's the masses you will be serving. And like de los Reyes, he still lacks the experience required in the field of public service.

WILD CARDS. Though not as unknown as the Nuisance Candidates, they still lack the resources and appeal to topple Villar and Aquino. But with a stroke of luck and some sort of gimmick, this people could give the top two candidates a run for their money.

Jamby Madrigal - Ja-ja-ja-Jamby. That jingle still brings back memories of a time when Judy Ann Santos was endorsing this candidate. And heck, that celebrity helped her win a seat in the House of Senate. Just shows how huge Juday's fan base is. Jamby is best remembered for voting against the E-Vat law (take that Recto) and for being part of Hayden Kho's proceedings (uhm, care to whisper?). For the most part of her political career, I think Jamby was decent lawmaker. And by decent, I mean average. You don't hear a lot of bad stuff about her and she got some work done from time to time. However, she doesn't command the attention that could help her win as President. Heck, she could stay in the Senate for a few more years to turn into a household name and still lose. Just look at Miriam Defensor-Santiago. She made a lot of heads turn during the height of her career and still came up short during the 1992 Presidential Elections.

Bro. Eddie Villanueva - Bro. Eddie previously ran for President back in 2004 and lost. Despite of this, he's back and is running for President again because he strongly believes that a leader with a strong religious foundation is best suited to run the country. His persistence somewhat wins over me in the sense that he still wants to serve the country even though he was turned down the first time around, like a jilted lover insisting to woo the love of his life. It's like he's making me believe that he really wants to be given the chance to transform this country no matter how many tries it takes. One thing going against him though is people are not really into electing religious leaders (with the exemption of Gov. Ed Panlilio) to political seats. That stuff about the separation of the Church and the State has a lot to do with it.

UNDERRATED. Well, I've saved the best for last. Presenting, the guys that could actually get the job done, or so I think:

Gilberto 'Gibo' Teodoro - Now if you're looking for a candidate more qualifed than Noynoy and Villar, this could be your guy. He's like Nick Perlas on steroids.

Pros: He's a bar topnotcher, so you know he won't need any legal adviser (saves us taxpayers from putting another guy on the payroll). Being a licensed commercial pilot, a reserve for the Phil. Air Force and a former DND Secretary also gives him an understanding of military matters and issues involving National Security. And you know he worked his butt off during Ondoy. He also knows his way around the political arena, serving as a Congressman for 1st district of Tarlac from 1998-2007.

Cons: People assuming that since he is supported by PGMA, he will eventually become her puppet. Also, the guns of the Ampatuans had the name of the DND written all over it.
Dick Gordon - This guy is actually a no brainer. I mean were talking about Dick Gordon. Is he knowledgeable? Is he credible? Is he skilled? Is he experienced? Yes, yes, yes and yes.

Pros: He has a decent educational background that rivals that of Gibo and Perlas, although he had the audacity to admit he had his fair share of flunkings during high school. He also brings with him vast experience in public service, tracing back from being the Mayor of Olongapo, to being SBMA Chairman, up to being a Senator. He is best remembered for going against EO 464 despite being an Administration Senator. Just shows he can to stand up to his comrades without having the need to switch sides/parties. He also holds a key position in the Philippine National Red Cross, so you're assured that he's a humanist. And I don't think this guy would raise our taxes if he was elected. He's a money-making machine, and by that, I mean he knows how to get funds for the government outside of taking taxes.

Cons: A lot people I know say that this guy is a big fan of Uncle Sam, so there's a good chance decisions he will be making will often favor Americans. But aside from that, the media hasn't really picked up any bad stuff about this guy.

Joseph 'Erap' Ejercito-Estrada - The surprise candidate. Some of you might call me crazy for selecting someone who was impeached from Presidency, found guilty of plunder and sentenced to reclusion perpetua, but before you start bad mouthing please consider the following:
  1. Because of his political feud with PGMA, I can't help but think that the verdict on Erap was somehow influenced by Pres. Arroyo, after all, the Chairperson of Sandiganbayan was Hon. Teresita Jose Leonardo-de Castro, a PGMA appointee; and

  2. The media's reports of his gambling and drinking problems, jokes regarding his inability to speak fluent English and the so-called People Power II made the public prejudge Erap as a bad leader, and again, this somehow affected his image badly.

I think it's also worth mentioning that the people who forced Erap to step down from power weren't the masses. It's the people from the middle-class up to the elites. And like what my good friend, Jaymee Carlo Ebreo, once told me, it's inappropriate to call the upheaval against Erap EDSA II since all the elements present in the original EDSA Revolution weren't present during the ouster of Erap. And with that out of the way, the pros and cons of Erap:

Pros: Don’t get me started with his educational background – it's not that good. However, for someone who did not do well in school, he did a good job in his attempt to improve education and schools in the Philippines. During his tenure as mayor of San Juan, he renovated and built lots of schools. As President of the Philippines, he raised the wages of teachers. Aside from infrastructure development, Erap seems to be the only President who had succeeded in neutralizing the MILF. And since Erap was ousted, there's this sense of urgency to redeem himself from the eye of his critics and of course the Filipinos, so you get the feeling he's out there to prove something. I also like the idea to legalize Jueteng. It's a good source of funds for the government and takes the money away from the part-time Jueteng Lords (who are either full-time War Lords, Drug Lords, Gang Leaders or Syndicate Chiefs) who will just use the money from the game for some other dastardly activity.

Cons: Not the most educated man in the archipelago. Also an alleged drunkard and gambler.

So there you have it. I think these three guys should be the ones jostling for Presidency instead of Villar and Noynoy. The good thing about our democracy is that it allows us to select our leaders. So it's not a wise idea to simply use this opportunity to support someone who is liked by a lot of people, can afford a lot of TV ads and has the ability to win. We have to study our options carefully, and who knows, if you do your share to persuade people to vote for the candidate who we think is rightful for the title of President of the Philippines, he or she just might win. After all, come Election Day, the stats, surveys or polls don't matter no more because it's our vote that decides who gets to lead the country. -Just one man's opinion, Marlone Viardo

Yellow ribbons, orange checkmarks and everything in between

With the 10th of May 2010 looming upon us, expect political candidates to intensify their respective campaigns so they could leave a strong mark and a good impression to the Filipino people.

Of all the positions up for grabs in the upcoming National Elections, none is as important and as controversial as the Presidential race, headlined by the Liberal Party's Sen. Noynoy Aquino, and Nacionalista Party's Sen. Manny Villar.

Now this blog entry wasn't meant to talk about those two guys. NO! And why should it? I mean, they got their ads to speak for themselves. Not to mention an array of speakers/endorsers that includes Dolphy, Michael V., and Kris Aquino to name a few. I'm here to root for the 'other' candidates. And why is that? I think that there are those among the 'others' that are more worthy of our votes. But before we could talk about the 'others', it is inevitable that Villar and Aquino will be in the conversation because they are considered as the standard that the 'other' candidates have to reach if they want to get a shot at the coveted seat in Malacañang.

Let's discuss Noynoy first. I did some research online and learned that his accomplishments are pale in comparison to that of his opponents. Even reports from programs of local broadcasting stations say that during his tenure as a public servant, he has little to show for. Seriously, very few people know or care about this guy prior to the death of former Pres. Corazon Aquino. And he probably wouldn't even run for president if it didn't happen. That's why it took him long before he announced his desire to become the guy to run the country at the Club Filipino.

Even so, this guy is still winning the hearts of Filipinos. How? By banking on his parents' and sister's rep. Nothing wrong with that, but c'mon, Ninoy and Cory are different people. Don't expect Noynoy to die for us or free us from a dictator. Times have changed. In addition, aren't we being blinded by the adage 'the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree'?

Oh, and before I forget, Noynoy's senatorial line-up includes former NEDA chief Ralph Recto, the guy who passed the E-Vat law. Nuff said.

Now, let's talk about Villar. Of all the candidates running for president, this guy seems to be the one hounded by controversies the most. And the funny thing is he always goes up against old geezers. In 1998, Rep. Joker Arroyo accused Villar of various conflicts of interest and breaches of ethical standards with regards to his status as both lawmaker and real estate developer. Come 2009, it's Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile raining on his parade with the C5 extension project.

Furthermore, my most vivid memory of Villar is that he is the best political butterfly there is. This guy slipped into national consciousness by making a habit of switching sides. He was originally part of Erap's Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino (LAMMP) party when he won a seat in the House of Representatives. He then turned his back on the former president due to allegations of corruption. Afterwards, he supported PGMA in ousting Erap and wins himself the seat of the Senate President in the process. Then he aligned himself with the likes of Chiz Escudero, Allan Peter Cayetano and co., and then opposes PGMA. Presently, he claims that his team is the 'true' opposition but rumors spreading around the Metro say he is PGMA's secret candidate (ARGH!). Hey! It's 2010. Every one of these so-called public servants is allowed to switch sides once in a while. But why do I get this feeling that this guy would do anything to save his own hide and stay in power?

And just so you would know, he also plans to increase taxes if he becomes president. Yikes! So Noynoy and Villar want to ask more money from the poor people of the Philippines? Geez! Also worth taking note is the fact that Joc Joc Bolante, the primary suspect in the Fertilizer Scam, is running for Governor in Capiz under the Nacionalista party. Hmm…

Now, don't think of me as a hater. I ain't blasting these two guys for kicks. That would be the last thing I want to do. With so many people blasting and criticizing them, I don't want to be one who would force the masses to take pity on them and turn them into underdogs overnight (WTF?). As far fetched as it sounds, it could happen. Take Allen Iverson for example. A lot of people in the media industry blasted him for leaving the Pistons and the Grizzlies. How did he respond? He didn't. The people did it for him. People took pity on him and they voted him as an All-star starter for the Eastern Conference in the 2010 All Star Games. So a shout out to all the other candidates: Stop ganging up on Villar! What're you trying to do? Serve the Presidency to him on a silver platter?

Now if these two guys shouldn't be slugging it out for the Presidency, then who should? Click here to find out. -Just one man's opinion, Marlone Viardo

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Christ's Resurrection: A Geek's POV

The faithful celebrates Easter Sunday today or better known as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Catholic faith regard this as the triumph of Christ over death. But what is this to a geek? With science and technology constantly contradicting the teachings of the Church, how will a geek believe? Geeks with scientific reasoning will become skeptic. Maybe a phoenix down was used? Maybe it was a fake death? Maybe there was no resurrection? All these questions can shake the foundation of an individual's faith. If you watch either Discovery or National Geographic today, you'll see lots of scientists performing scientific experiments just to determine if the miracle of Christ was true. Will the Catholic faith still believe if the resurrection was proven false?

But then again, Why do millions of people still believe? Why for almost two thousand years, the faith is still there? Why do we still celebrate the tradition? Why do we still pray if we are in dire need of help? Why do countless number of martyrs fought for this belief? In the end, the faith is determined each and everyone of us. It is up to you, who ever you are, what ever you do, to believe it.

[Review]Clash of the Titans

A remake of the 1981 film, Clash of the Titans reminded us what it's really like fighting the gods.

Thanks to Percy Jackson, Greek mythology became a children's fantasy. Clash of the Titans showed that mythology is not synonymous to fantasy but to pain. From start to finish there was no dull moment. The action scenes are well made thanks to new CG techniques. Although the story was altered from the original, the concept was still there. The musical score fits the mood of every scene and the dialogs are well delivered. Although some lines will make you wonder if that was already known during that time or not. But hey, this is Hollywood. They can get away with anything. If you like mythology and was not contented with Percy's. Then this movie will satisfy your craving.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Studies show girls prefer bad boys over good guys

"Women... they choose the good-looking bad boys over the not-so-good-looking good guys, and when they get hurt, they say that all men are the same - bad."

I can't remember the exact date but I recall posting the above passage (something I just made up as influenced by women I know) as my status in Facebook in the not-so-distant past. I got some feeback from friends because of it, most from women and often contesting the validity of my claim.

Girls dig bad boys. That's the truth and it sucks. But on second thought...

I'm not actually a goody-two-shoe. I'm far from being the Boy Scout who helped the old lady cross the street and I have a knack for pulling pranks and hanging out with the boys.

However, I'm not what you can categorize as a certified bad boy. At least not as bad as the ladies would like. I don't ride a Harley Davidson, I don't have a kick ass attitude, I don't have a wicked tattoo or body piercing, I'm not athletic, I don't strut a highly noticeable hairdo or facial hair, and I keep my flabs instead of working on six packs and bluging biceps.

So that puts me somewhere in the gray area. Not good enough.

Since time immemorial, women preferred genuine 'bad boys' over 'average Joes' and 'good guys'. And no, this ain't purely opinionated no more. There are now scientific studies done to support this claim and I hope it diffuses any hot-tempered woman gearing up for a debate.

Time and time again, I hear a female co-worker or friend wailing in sorrow or muttering in annoyance from a disappointing partner - one she loves so much and can't live without though he is obviously not doing her any good. Women are such masochists.

Now I ain't gonna explain to all of you why and how this phenomenon occurs. I'm simply trying to help women snap out of that spell. Ladies! Head over heart. If you think hubby, honey, babes or whatever you call him is just hurting or disappointing you, feel free let go. Start using your brain and don't let your emotions get the best of you. If this trend keeps up, the good guys will be convinced to turn into bad bananas and the next thing you know, the only options you have left for a lifetime partner are gangsters, hoodlums or players.

Bad is the new cool, and unfortunately, ladies look for a good man somewhere else when the one in front of her was overlooked because she was looking for someone bad. And if the trend continuous, guys out there might as well start working on the Harley Davidson and the kick ass attitude. After all, nice guys finish last. -Marlone Viardo