Red, White and Blue

I thought every Filipino who finished high school knows how to display the Philippine flag correctly – I was wrong. All establishments were required to display the national colors in commemoration of the country’s Independence Day. Our department received a lot of calls asking the correct way of displaying the Philippine flag which was supposed to be hung in front of our affiliates’ facades. Actually, this was taught in school when I was in grade school. It was one of the lessons during my Boy Scouting days as well. What’s wrong with Filipinos? Are we preoccupied by corruption and poverty that we are not aware of proper display of national symbols? I am neither a Philippine history expert nor an over-patriotic freak but at least, I know one basic Filipino rule. Here is the correct way of displaying the flag according to Republic Act 8491:

SECTION 7. The flag shall also be displayed in private buildings and residences or raised in the open on flag-staffs in front of said buildings every April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan); May 1 (Labor Day); May 28 (National Flag Day) to June 12 (Independence Day); last Sunday of August (National Heroes Day); November 30 (Bonifacio Day); and December 30 (Rizal Day); and on such other days as may be declared by the President and/or local chief executives.

The flag may also be displayed throughout the year in private buildings or offices or raised in the open on flag-staffs in front of private buildings: Provided, That they observe flag-raising ceremonies in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by the Office of the President.

SECTION 8. All government agencies and instrumentalities, and local government offices, government-owned corporations and local government units are enjoined to observe flag day with appropriate ceremonies. Socio-civic groups, non-government organizations and the private sector are exhorted to cooperate in making the celebrations a success.

SECTION 9. The flag shall be flown on merchant ships of Philippine registry of more than one thousand (1000) gross tons and on all naval vessels.

On board naval vessels, the flag shall be displayed on the flag-staff at the stern when the ship is at anchor. The flag shall be hoisted to the gaff at the aftermast when the ship is at sea.

SECTION 10. The flag, if flown from a flagpole, shall have its blue field on top in time of peace and the red field on top in time of war; if in a hanging position, the blue field shall be to the right (left of the observer) in time of peace, and the red field to the right (left of the observer) in time of war.

The flagpole staff must be straight and slightly tapering at the top.

SECTION 11. If planted on the ground, the flagpole shall be at a prominent place and shall be of such height as would give the flag commanding position in relation to the buildings in the vicinity.

If attached to a building, the flagpole shall be on top of its roof or anchored on a sill projecting at an angle upward.

If on a stage or platform or government office, the flag shall be at the left (facing the stage) or the left of the office upon entering.

SECTION 12. When the Philippine flag is flown with another flag, the flags, if both are national flags, must be flown on separate staffs of the same height and shall be of equal size. The Philippine flag shall be hoisted first and lowered last.

If the other flag is not a national flag, it may be flown in the same lineyard as the Philippine flag but below the latter and it cannot be of greater size than the Philippine flag.

SECTION 13. When displayed with another flag, the Philippine flag shall be on the right of the other flag. If there is a line of other flags, the Philippine flag shall be in the middle of the line.

When carried in a parade with flags which are not national flags, the Philippine flag shall be in front of the center of the line.

SECTION 14. A flag worn out through wear and tear, shall not be thrown away. It shall be solemnly burned to avoid misuse or desecration. The flag shall be replaced immediately when it begins to show signs of wear and tear.

SECTION 15. The flag shall be raised at sunrise and lowered at sunset. It shall be on the mast at the start of official office hours, shall remain flying throughout the day.

SECTION 16. The flag may be displayed:
a) Inside or outside a building or on stationary flagpoles. If the flag is displayed indoors on a flagpole, it shall be placed at the left of the observer as one enters the room;

b) From the top of a flagpole, which shall be at a prominent place or a commanding position in relation to the surrounding buildings;

c) From a staff projecting upward from the window sill, canopy, balcony or facade of a building;

d) In a suspended position from a rope extending from a building to pole erected away from the building;

e) Flat against the wall vertically with the sun and stars on top; and

f) Hanging in a vertical position across a street, with the blue field pointing east, if the road is heading south or north, or pointing north if the road is heading east or west. The flag shall not be raised when the weather is inclement. If already raised, the flag shall not be lowered.

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What a Chronicle!

Two and a half hours of Narnia isn’t bad after all.

Compared to the first Narnia produced three years ago, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” is better. Director Andrew Adamson developed an action-packed film that can keep your heart pounding throughout battle scenes and thrilling moments. The setting is spectacular and viewers are kept in awe from start to end. Musical score is superb and the sound effects are intense.

People who haven’t seen ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ can still appreciate the film. Although flashbacks are a little bit lengthy, these give audiences the gist of Narnia 1 (which is not entirely connected to Prince Caspian). Unlike the Harry Potter series wherein the characters seem to have grown old for every sequel, the Narnia cast led by the Pevensie kids did not look too mature for their current roles. It is evident that this installment’s setting is similar to that of ‘The Lord of the Rings.’

I have a complete set of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ and I only opened one book since my family bought it last year. The impact of the movie heightened my interest and now, I am ready to open the remaining books I haven’t read. For the soundtrack, “The Call” by Regina Spektor is now one of my favorite songs.

Four out of five stars for this movie that stirred the ‘child’ in me.

That Green Ball and Formula One

My parents were the ones who first introduced me to the world of international tennis opens when I was about 11 years old. I can still recall that afternoon when my mom and dad were both cheering in front of the TV set for Steffi Graf during the French Open when she fought against Monica Seles. Well, that was not actually the first time I knew about tennis. In fact, my grandfather would bring home some tennis balls whenever he comes home from the US. I didn’t play tennis; the only thing I did with those little green balls my grandpa gave me was throw them off the wall and catch them as they bounce back. But during that fateful day of Graf vs. Seles, my parents would explain the history of tennis, mention surnames I can barely pronounce, and start conversations on Wimbledon, French, US and Australian opens. Since then, I became interested in tennis, although I may not be a die-hard fan, but I feel amazed whenever tennis players would exert a lot of effort swinging their rackets and blurting out a loud grunt whenever they hit that green ball.

Earlier this year I encountered the name of Rafael Nadal in one of his good fights against Novak Djokovic. Last June 8, I enjoyed watching the French Open where Nadal was able to defeat Roger Federer in a historic 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 win which makes him equally-placed with legendary Bjorn Borg. Nadal is truly Spain’s pride. His strong hits challenged Federer that he himself was amazed by his opponent’s performance. For now, one of my ultimate wishes is to watch a Wimbledon game live. Maybe someday, I can also play the game if I am given the time because the tennis court is just about 3 blocks away from our house.

***

At last, a national broadsheet (Manila Bulletin – June 11, 2008 ) featured Marlon Stockinger the only Filipino formula 1 trainee of BMW. The amazing fact about him is that he’s only seventeen. I first read about him in C! Magazine which I usually read in the office as part of my routine. My job is generally inclined to the automotive industry and BMW is one of our company’s affiliates that is why I became interested in Stockinger’s life. At an early age, his talent has grown from go-kart racing to professional racing which earned him titles in the Philippines and abroad.

“If it doesn’t come from you or your heart, it’s going to be hard to follow,” he said. This quote struck me most. It’s true that most of us should follow Stockinger’s ideals. His website: http://www.marlonstockinger.com

Waiting for Love

After watching a few episodes of the American drama What About Brian, I can officially say that I am hooked. It took me sometime before I discovered this TV series aired every Tuesday at Star World. The show’s main character is Brian portrayed by Barry Watson whom I looked up to as Matt Camden in another series I love to watch – 7th Heaven.

The story revolves around 32-year-old Brian Davis who remains the only single guy in his group of friends. Although the setting is Los Angeles, any single guy from any part the world in mid-20’s or 30’s could easily put himself in the shoes of Brian. Typical love angle twists occur sporadically throughout an episode but what makes these twists unique is the sense of humor involved.

In terms of acting, Barry Watson improved a lot since his appearance in 7th Heaven. His realistic impression of his character adds to the convincing approach of the story. “Couple” problems are also tackled in most of the episodes. Among the two couples who are both friends of Brian, my favorite would be Dave (Rick Gomez) and Deena (Amanda Detmer).

One of the best episodes would be the time when Dave and Deena, after 13 years of marriage, encounters couple dilemma that lead to cheating. On the other hand, after marriage counseling and a dramatic scene during a wedding banquet, everything went well. At this point, I am excited about the future of newlyweds Adam Hillman (Matthew Davis) and Marjorie Seaver (Sarah Lancaster). Brian, on the other hand, survives the life of a bachelor despite the fact that everyone around him is happily engaged (much like myself).

In the US, What About Brian ended last March, 2007 yet I am patient to watch the coming episodes in local cable for the sake of brightening up my Tuesday television viewing. Like Brian, I think I’ll enjoy my friends’ love stories and in time, I’ll tell my own.