Friday, December 02, 2016

Pure Talent



I've been watching the eleventh season of The Voice, and I am rooting for two - Billy Gilman and We McDonald. Billy's rendition of Anyway was by far his best performance yet on The Voice.

I do hope both of them will make it to the finale.

PS: Miley Cyrus is actually a great coach. I was wrong about her during the start of the show.

Monday, October 31, 2016

10.31

I have read several ghost stories on my newsfeed, so I'll share mine as well.

Last March 2, 2014, I moved to Tacloban City. Months earlier, super typhoon Yolanda wreaked unimaginable havoc in this city, killing thousands of people in an instant. The city during that time still has an unstable electricity connection except for the airport. As day turns to night, the city is plunged into darkness, and it becomes eerily quiet.

I stayed at the third floor of the control tower since the staff house was totally damaged. On the third night, I woke up at exactly 3 in the morning. As I opened my eyes, I saw a tall, dark figure standing at the foot of my bed. At first, I thought it was our office assistant (we were three in the room that time). The figure wasn't moving, and I felt like it was staring at me. The room was dimly lit, all thanks to the moon's illumination, but it was clear as a day that the figure wasn't our office assistant. I just shrugged it off, thinking that my mind was just playing tricks. The next day, I told my experience to my other roommate (my colleague and happens to have a strong third eye). She said nonchalantly, "We're six inside our room. The other three are just lost souls, probably typhoon victims. Just pray."

Weeks later, we were only two inside the room. We were both on our laptops when suddenly, we smelled something. It was a sharp, distinct smell of an Orchid flower. I got anxious and asked my colleague if she smelled something. From her body language, I can sense she was really scared. She whispered, "She's in front of you. Don't forget to pray for her eternal repose." I thought she was joking, but I was feeling cold that time. I prayed hard that night.

The following day, I asked one of the airport employees if he knew someone who loves Orchids. "We have a former employee who used to plant Orchids and other flowers near the control tower. She died during Yolanda", he said.

I still have numerous paranormal stories to share with you, but after Pope Francis held a mass here, the activities dwindled. I guess it's safe to say that majority of them found the light.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Stay Strong, Davao!


When a young boy from Syria got pulled out from the rubble of his home, you sympathized and prayed for him and his family. When the blacks and the LGBT communities in America were attacked by sexists and racists, you sympathized and prayed for their welfare. But when your own fellowmen down south got attacked by terrorists, you mocked and insulted us just because we claimed we are one of the safest cities in the country or simply put, you loathed our current President. No city or country is safe from terrorism. Not even New York, Paris, or Istanbul.

It really broke my heart after seeing photos and videos minutes after the attack. Those innocent people did nothing but to obey the law and did their best to provide something for their families. Everyone was just having a great time with their loved ones. It only took a powerful blast to change everything. Things will never be the same. Irreversible.

We Davaoeños have been through a lot for the past decades. We survived the rebel insurgencies during the 80s. Those were the days when civilians are mercilessly killed by the rebels and bloodshed is as mundane as feeding your pets at home or fetching your child from school.The city had survived and peace reigned for a while. In 1993, a bomb exploded at San Pedro Cathedral, killing dozens of churchgoers. Again, innocent lives were lost in an instant and the lives of their loved ones veered off course. Forever traumatized and scarred for a lifetime. In 2003, dozens were again killed when a powerful C4 bomb went off near the arrival hall of the old terminal of Davao International Airport. But we Davaoeños stood up in those trying times and fought hard to condemn these atrocities.

When your city got engulfed by a large wall of water, or when the swelling river slowly devoured your community, we didn't think twice to lend a helping hand and did the best we could because we are one - we are Filipinos. I got deeply hurt after reading all your hate messages. Worse, all of these came from my fellow countrymen. Honestly, you are all on the same fence with the terrorist group who claimed these attacks. I don't know about you but you don't have a heart. None at all. Both of you have a common denominator - heartless and ruthless.

Let us set aside our political differences and apathy, and unite as one. Together, let us condemn this inhumanity and try to live a peaceful, progressive and better life. We all need to stay vigilant in this crucial time. If Davao City, one of the safest cities in the Philippines, wasn't spared from terrorism, then are we anywhere safer here?

Stay strong, Davao. I know you will get through this crisis. WE WILL get through this. #StayStrongDavao #StayStrongPH

Addendum: Kudos to the Davao 911 Team, Task Force Davao, and all other personnel who were VERY efficient in these trying times.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Train of the Undead: A Movie Review of Train to Busan

Credit


Train To Busan (Busanhaeng)

118 minutes
Directed by: Sang-ho Yeon
Starring: Yoo Gong, Dong-seok Ma, Soo-an Kim

I grew up in the generation of zombies. My contemporaries are so obsessed with the undead that they kept on producing movies, TV shows, and novels about it. The plot stays virtually the same yet people are still entertained by it. I enjoyed a few and noticed the evolution of the zombies. They used to be dumb and slow but now they run faster than Usain Bolt. I guess they should qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and maybe... just maybe, they might win medals made of human flesh.

A few months ago, I came across with this movie's trailer on Facebook. I never thought that the Korean movie industry is willing to invest in this kind of genre. But what made this movie stand out from the rest of the zombie flicks?

Sunday, August 07, 2016

26th at Bali, Indonesia



I know I'm 6 days late but... this is the best birthday gift I gave to myself! There's no stopping me from exploring the world! My only wish is that I'd live long enough to explore every corner of the world. Cheers!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Worst Air Disaster in Aviation History



I had just finished watching the 3rd episode of the 16th season of Mayday/Air Crash Investigation. I can’t believe that the show has been running for sixteen seasons already! Time flies so fast. I can still remember back in my early days in college when I would stay up late just to binge watch this on YouTube. Did I mention that our DSL connection that time wasn’t really that fast? So it was really a struggle to catch up with the latest episodes and seasons of this show. For some, watching ACI is scary especially when you’re a frequent flyer but for me, it really is an informative show and I learned a LOT of things which eventually helped me in building my career in air traffic control.

The third episode of the latest season of Mayday/Air Crash Investigation is all about the infamous Tenerife accident, the deadliest accident in aviation history. Shortly after 5PM, two Boeing 747s -- Pan Am and KLM Royal Dutch Airline -- collided on the runway. 583 lives were lost in an instant. This is a summary of what really transpired on that fateful day.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Supercell in Tacloban


Two weeks ago, a supercell developed 3 miles northeast of the airport. It went viral on social media because the netizens thought it was a huge funnel cloud/tornado. LOL if it really was a tornado, judging from what I saw, it could easily pass as an EF5 tornado. I'd be one of the few survivors (because... masamang damo lol) if it went straight to the airport.

Anyway, this is just a supercell, a rotating thunderstorm. This is relatively small compared to what we always see on TV in America's midwest aka the notorious tornado alley. Minutes after this photo was taken, it rained so hard but it only lasted for forty-five minutes. The wind was packing up to 35 knots, blowing to the north.

The supercell quickly dissipated.

Seeing this in real life rekindled my obsession in extreme weather. HAHAHAHA

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

West Philippine Sea VS South China Sea



Yesterday, in a unanimous decision at The Hague, the Philippines won the arbitration case vs. China over South China Sea. Many rejoiced, thinking that we now finally own the whole Spratly Group of Islands. Or so they thought.

I have been following the conflict between China and the Philippines since 2012. This was after a Chinese vessel bullied the Filipino fishermen who were just doing their routine job within the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).  Same thing happened to Vietnamese and Indonesian fishermen.

Some key points before we proceed:

The EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) is defined as an area 200nm from the baseline. According to the international law, we can only claim sovereignty 12nm of the territorial waters from the baseline. Beyond 12nm, we only have sovereign rights and limited jurisdiction. Hence, our local laws are only limited to building artificial islands, maritime exploration and research, resource exploitation, and preservation of the marine ecosystem. No more, no less.

I just want to emphasize that the decision made by international court wasn't about awarding the whole South China Sea (or West Philippine Sea, as what the previous Aquino administration calls it) to the Philippines, but rather it is about condemning the atrocious behavior of the Chinese not just to the Philippines but also to neighboring countries who share the same EEZ (Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Indonesia).