Friday, August 31, 2012

Tito Sotto and Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

You might have heard or read that Senator Tito Sotto is warning its critics that the The Philippine Cybercrime Bill, HB 5808, has been approved both houses and it is just currently waiting for the President's signature for it to become a law.

Tito Sotto
Upholding Honor
What's in it for me and you?

This is actually good because cybercrime that includes illegal use of network and computer resources, unsoliciated e-communications, hacking and cybersex. But comes with this is that people can sue you of libel from an online defamation, regardless of which media: blogging, social networking sites or anything transmitted electronically.

This is what the senator is pertaining when he claims that he is cyberbullied by my fellow netizens in relation with the alleged plagiarism during one of his privilege speeches in regards to the RH Bill.

Below is the full transcript of the 3rd reading from the House of Congress.

Disclaimer: I am not legally capable to discuss the bill is about and this is plainly based on my mere understanding using my English comprehension. If you find my opinions contradicting, please consult a legal adviser.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Project: 'Bitch' Body

When was the last time I posted a picture of me in front of the mirror? April maybe, when I was in Thailand? I mean, I didn't have the habit of doing months before especially before February because I was so fat.

Ok fine, not really fat when you compare it on how the dictionaries defined the word. But it is unacceptable for someone who has been going to the gym for years and been doing yoyo routines because I lack in self-discipline especially when it comes to healthy food intake.

After I realized I was at 24% of body fat way back January this year, it was that waking moment that I have to do something very serious so I can achieve my goals. Currently, I am targeting a 15% BF and I am really hoping I could do this before my deadline.

I will not blame my genes because no matter how I blame my parents or my race, I will never have a chance to change it. I shall blame my sedentary lifestyle when I was younger. If I had been more active, I wouldn't have hard time burning the visceral fat.

February was when I started to take things seriously, not just fad diet and workout, but the real thing! There will be times that I would slip from the strict 60-20-20 protein-carbs-fats ratio and less than 8-hour training per week, but I have been coping well. I will not deny that thermogenics have been keeping me awake all these months to sustain the energy that I need since I have been depriving myself with readily available energy from sugar and simple carbohydrates.

Pardon for the nudity. This is the most decent I could find. Haha. I rarely post pictures whenever I am super fat. SERIOUSLY! It is embarrassing!

To date, I am having issues maintaining or increasing my fat free mass. This is the impair side effects of doing too much cardio workout to lose the unwanted fats. So balance, really, is the key! But how? OMG! This is very frustrating. Along with the fat, on the other hand, I have to raise the FFM stats.

This is my 6-month mileston. Hopefully after 6 months, I can proudly show that I have reached my goal. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cultural Overload At Penang

As my leaves pile up every month of service and to replace the legal holidays whenever I come to work, it was the time to burn some of these last month. The first time I was in Penang was when I was in transit from Thailand way back May. I didn't have the time to enjoy its scenery because I just slept the whole night after I arrived at the main city and prepped myself to the airport the following morning. Choosing wasn't that hard because I have heard a lot about this lively island from food, cultural events and landscapes.

I have a number of pictures I would like to share but this would be a very lengthy post if I compile it in a blog post, maybe I can add them later when I get home; i'd rather choose the relevant shots. If you want to see more, they are available on my Picasa or Facebook profile.

Let us start from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a good timing because they were celebrating their month celebration of World Heritage from June 15 to July 15. The moment we arrived there, with newly found friends, the people were astounding - there were a lot of tourists and also the locals themselves are preserving the pristine culture of Penang.

[caption id="attachment_6252" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Penang World Heritage Temple[/caption]

The music players, draw, pastel and charcoal artists, singers and dancers were scattered throughout the narrow streets.

[caption id="attachment_6250" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Penang Arts By The Road[/caption]


Now, let us go to the Kek Lok Si Temple. You would never miss this spot because it is one of those mostly visited places especially during Chinese New Year. Practically hiking up through an indoor staircase would give you a feel that has been developed for tourists. It was this time that I was feeling that I was being presented with too much oriental culture. I have never seen such beautiful carvings in Mandarin and Buddhist statues.

[caption id="attachment_6244" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Penang Kek Lok Si Temple[/caption]

Heading up to the highest peak of Penang, the Penang Hill: For tourists, you have to pay 30 Ringgits especially for foreigners. Such good differential pricing that they can maintain an eight-Ringgits fare for the locals.

At the peak of the hill, you will see one side of Penang facing the island that goes back to Butterworth. We were not able to stay long because there's really nothing there except for the exquisite Penang skyline.

[caption id="attachment_6236" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Penang Penang Skyline[/caption]

Would you imagined that I performed all of these trips within a day? And yes, there is one more! We went up to the northern part of the island where the beach is located. Batu Ferringhi is not really that good when you talk about clear turquoise water compared to Redang or Perhentian. The beaches accommodate mostly the foreigners and the hotel fares are pretty hefty if you would consider it for a normal local tourist. Nevertheless, I am always astounded by the beauty of the of beach sunset setting, so I stayed for quite some time to experience its golden setting.

[caption id="attachment_6234" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Penang Golden Sunset[/caption]

All of these pictures I posted were taken in high dynamic range. Sorting, combining three photos, mixing to the most vibrant tonal range without oversaturating everything and converting them to a computer and human readable pictures are very time-consuming, but seeing these pictures especially in print brought a big smile to my face.

I am set to return this November to attend the annual running marathon hoping for another chance to take more photos and focus on what the island has to offer in terms of its food specialty.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Thaha and Azwa's Wedding Photos

Farah (Azwa) has been bugging me to post-process her wedding pictures. She knew that I could not deny the favor not just that we are close friends but she definitely knows I love taking photos.

This was held sometime September last year. I rarely take portraits photos because I have been so busy wandering Mother Nature's beautiful landscapes, especially beaches. I never knew that I could find some joy after capturing these lovely moments. Maybe soon, when I have a better lens with a decent aperture opening, I will do more of these.

[gallery link="file" order="DESC" columns="2" orderby="rand"]

Disclaimer: some of the photos included here were not taken by your worthy :P. Since there were two events held, the solemnization and the wedding reception, I could only attend once.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ecoteer at Perhentian Islands

Last weekend, JJ and I went for a short over-the-weekend vacation to Perhentian Islands. We have planned this months ago although, I could have overlooked the chalets and hotel bookings not knowing that it would be full because we were set after Singapore Day.

Until I found Ecoteer. The price is a bit higher with the amenities included but it was worth it. Why? There would be a point in your life that self-fulfillment will not be based on material things but rather, when you see the essence of helping people without asking anything in return.

[caption id="attachment_6183" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Ecoteer Club[/caption]

We arrived on Friday morning and they were already conducting the Ecoteer Club. Teaching the Malay children on how to conserve the environment and learn the English language is one of the itineraries.

[caption id="attachment_6184" align="aligncenter" width="560"] The Children of Fisherman's Village[/caption]

Training and adult learning have always been my passion and as a matter of fact, for the rest of my career in Customer Service and Information Technology, these have never been out of my league.

[caption id="attachment_6185" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Playing While Learning[/caption]

Who would know that teaching the younger ones would actually bring a greater feeling and sense of fulfillment when you see them smile and converse you with the knowledge you have passed on to them?

[caption id="attachment_6186" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Painting Houses[/caption]

I could have brought my camera while we are working but I was worried that it may be dropped or spilled with paint. Yes, we were painting houses! The program also helps the villagers not just with environment conservation, but also to have a more comfortable basic lifestyle.

Ivy, I grabbed your photo on Facebook. It looks fun you guys doing the painting compared to us. Haha

[caption id="attachment_6187" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Perhentian Besar on HDR[/caption]

Also, a few days before the trip, I was thinking of buying a waterproof casing for my SLR. Perhentian Islands are known for its rich aquatic marine ecosystem in which, again, I have failed to record because I thought that the casing was too expensive for me to consider. Not to worry because I am pretty much sure that I will return and do more volunteer work.

[caption id="attachment_6188" align="aligncenter" width="531"] Perhentian Kecil Contre Jour Sunset[/caption]

We could have stayed longer but time does not permit since both of us needed to return to  work. If I would be given a chance to stay longer so I can help further with all the ample sources I have, I'd do it!

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A list of activities have been set because usually the program runs for a week - from teaching the children, having a typical Malay dinner with the locals wearing sarong, composting, research, environmental specifically coral reef and turtle conservation and a lot of stuff that you would rarely experience on your typical vacation. So why not make your vacation worthwhile?

Know more about their program on Ecoteer Malaysia.

Robert Blair Carabuena Mauls MMDA

One of the things you would like about Google is that is makes a cache of its indexed pages especially if it has high page rank - for example LinkedIn. So if Robert Blair Carabuena has deleted most of his web presence on social media, Googling his name will make its way for your stardom!

[caption id="attachment_6177" align="aligncenter" width="509"] Robert Blaire Carabuena[/caption]

Not to mention that you people are against your rage for a simple inquisition by an MMDA enforcer, but you shall learn your lesson. Based on MMDA's tweet, they are filing a criminal charge against you.


May this set an example that public servants were placed there to promote peace and civil awareness.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bukit Tabur West

Hello all! It has been a while - like ages! I apologize for not updating because I have been very going out almost every weekend and work is as stressful as ever, it is even worse! I have like a backlog of posts since I came back from Phuket, Thailand last April up to my few recent trips - beaches, hikes, theme parks and all that jazz!

Anyway, I would like to start off with something I never thought I would do in my life.

When, I was younger, I was a home kid because I did not want sticky-sweat-under-the-sun feeling and I blame this attitude for having a slower metabolism. Up to now, I am trying to have a faster metabolism for better physique. Until Bryan invited me to hike to Bukit Tabur, in which, I think, I would be able to do because I have been doing outdoors recently.

We started around 5:20 AM. It was so dark and we were the first hikers to arrive at the foot of the hill. As a good practice, all hikers must register themselves at the nearby police station, so in case something bad happens, they are notified and yet, we did not. Although there was an ample mobile data signal even at the top of the hill, so it should not be a problem.

[caption id="attachment_6163" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur Celfone Light[/caption]

I did not have any torch so I used my handy mobile phone which I use for my roaming number. I was astounded with the amount of light it can project despite its size.

[caption id="attachment_6168" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur Runkeeper at Bukit Tabur[/caption]

By the time we reached one of the peaks, I turned off my tracker because I thought it was already the end of the trail. I was so wrong! We just stopped by because it was the perfect spot to take picture of the skyline and we were a bit early for the sunrise. At least, it was my first time to take sunrise/twilight landscape shot.

[caption id="attachment_6169" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur Bukit Tabur Panorama[/caption]

To my surprise, half of the view is the Kuala Lumpur city and at the left of the picture is the other side of KL - the dam or the lake. It was plain superb! This is one of the reason I have been going outdoors to take landscape photos as Mother Nature never fails to amaze me of its beauty.

[caption id="attachment_6167" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur Bukit Tabur Lake[/caption]

By the time the sun rose up, it was the perfect time to take HDR shots and I was not disappointed.

[caption id="attachment_6157" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur 10th Peak at Bukit Tabur[/caption]

And yes! I have conquered Bukit Tabur West! Next time, I will find time to hike up to Bukit Tabur East.

[caption id="attachment_6160" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur Descending[/caption]

Descending and ascending the rocks was not that hard except for one of those where I almost fell because I was holding on to the metal bar affixed to the wall. I was having a hard time finding another slot to put hold my hand onto and my lens was hitting the wall rock.

[caption id="attachment_6158" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur Climbing Up[/caption]

It actually made a small scratch on the UV lens. Glad that it did not make any terrible marks on the photos - hopefully! It was then, I realized after a minute holding onto the rail that I needed to hold towards my left.

[caption id="attachment_6165" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur Which way?[/caption]

Next time, I will bring a bigger backpack. And guess what? After that experience, we chose the harder path. Haha! Where the bees reside!

[caption id="attachment_6162" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur We Conquered Bukit Tabur[/caption]

We made some good friends at the top of the hill. Another good place to socialize not just in bars or malls :D

[caption id="attachment_6159" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur Peak Overview[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6161" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Bukit Tabur Rock Climbing[/caption]

While looking for a good spot, you can clearly see how picturesque the view is!

On our way down the hill, we chose the orchard path. We could have gone back to the rocks but I was so tired because I did not have not enough sleep due to my work schedule.