Earth Day, Starbucks and Climate Change

starbucks-earth-dayI opened my planner last April 22 and the date says Earth Day. It was a very typical office day and I never cared much about what the world was celebrating. Of course, I noticed the Google and Yahoo themes which were related to Earth Day (I’m  not stoic!). At around five o’clock, my officemate Joven announced that Starbucks will slash off Php 40 from the price of your drink if you bring with you your Starbucks tumbler.  It was then that I started to love Earth Day. I went straight to the nearest Starbucks branch together with my friends Japhet and Hizza. Armed with our own tumblers, my friends and I ordered our favorite fraps and happily savoured our discounts.

On my way home, it was raining cats and dogs. It felt like it was already the rainy season during the time when the country should be experiencing the peak of summer. From time to time, I check out PAGASA’s website (yes, I do!) just to see if there is a storm (other than that oh-so-popular inter tropical convergence zone… I love saying that!). There’s none. I am alarmed by the recent weather changes.

Now is the time to take Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ very seriously. I remember my professor in Ecology noting Gore’s data and saying that the current weather changes are sort of ‘defense mechanism’ of Mother Earth. And yes, it is. Mother Earth is defending herself from destruction, and her reaction is ‘climate change.’

Thanks to Earth Day, I got Php 40 off my Java Chip Frap. Aside from that, this made me realize that I should support brands that are going ‘green’ and help in long-term efforts to save our planet.

Seven Dragon Balls

dragonball-evolution-02I can’t help but laugh when my friend sings ‘Cha-la head cha-la’ – the lines from the theme song of Dragon Ball. The animated Japanese series “Dragon Ball” was one of my favourites when I was a kid. After so many years, 20th Century Fox finally got the rights to produce a live movie out of the interesting and action-packed story of Goku.

I laughed when Piccolo showed up during the first part of the film. Flashbacks came and I kept on smiling while reminiscing my childhood days throughout the movie’s duration. The actors, led by Justin Chatwin (Goku), fit their roles.  It is Yun-Fat Chow (Master Roshi) who is able to successfully support his fellow characters in the acting side (since some of them act like amateurs).

Good thing the special effects were great to cover up the not-so-good storyline. The plot generally follows that of Dragon Ball’s animated version but the twists and love angle aren’t presented that well. Movie-goers aged below 15 would love this movie. Adults may find the story shallow. Well, I think the movie is really for the kids and if I were one, I would’ve enjoyed the whole one hour or so.
Number Seven
What’s with the number seven? And I consider seven as my lucky number. There are seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, seven Deadly Sins, and other ‘seven’ stuff. Since I was born on the 7th day of December, the number is close to my heart. My student number in college had 7 on it. I requested that the last number of my car plate should have the number 7. I came in at 7th place to qualify for a national competition in high school. My email address ends in seven. Here’s some interesting info about the number 7: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_(number).

Why am I saying these things about the number seven? Because there are SEVEN DRAGON BALLS.

Ah, Macau!

The four days and three nights we spent in Macau were quite challenging for me and my mom. We had no idea what was in store for us (well, aside from the unbelievable ‘ruins’ which was the highlight of every Macau trip).

On the first day, we roamed around the streets of Senado. Me and my mom dropped by every store which had a “Sale” sign on and we were lucky to have found some good items (Crocs, Izod and Giordano) at very low prices. We bumped onto several Filipina sales ladies who were kind enough to help us out since I found no one who understands English – no one! Our whole trip became a series of communication gaps and plastered smiles. I wonder why nobody told us to study Cantonese.

By the 21st of March, we had a whole day tour of the city. It was a race against time since we had to visit a lot of places although each destination were just a stone’s throw away from each other (Macau is small, very small!). After visiting the usual tourist sites – the Ecumenical Center, old churches, souvenir shops A-ma Temple, Grand Prix area, and revisiting Senado Square (way too popular!), we came back to our hotel (The Grand Emperor) battling our way out of a crowd of tourists taking pictures of the gold bars found at the hotel lobby (yes, we’re just stepping on them!).

The third day was a marathon! Me and my mom decided to take a taxi and go to Taipa Island. We visited The Venetian. It was a very splendid sight! Builders of The Venetian copied the iconic landmarks in Venice. Too bad we weren’t able to ride a gondola, but I enjoyed the scenery (breathtaking!) along with the classical background music. After that, we went to the Fisherman’s Wharf were we met more Filipinos. At night, we watched a Taiwanese performance across our hotel and took pictures of the bright and colorful Casino facades.


Personal Macau Notes:

·Streets are one-way. Good, disciplined drivers everywhere!

·Riding a taxi is similar to a race car driving experience (blame the Macau Grand Prix!)

·Car brands seen: BMW, Toyota, Honda… and more BMWs (plus a few MB’s)

·Funny Q&A:

Mom: Is this delicious?

Saleslady: 25 dollars!

·Historical sites in the Philippines are far more realistic

·You’ll get that “Portuguese” feel wherever you are

·McDonald’s = palatable food

By the way, according to our cool tour guide, the name “Macau” was derived from early settlers who introduced the area as A-Ma-Gao (Bay of A-Ma).I prefer, Ah, Macau!

Ngiti

It pays to help.

img_14871As a culminating activity for our Managerial Accounting class, our batch decided to go to the Gawad Kalinga site in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija and treat the kids (especially the birthday celebrants) with a party they’ll never forget. It was at the crack of dawn on March 8 when my classmates and I met at the Ateneo Campus in Clark to prepare for our (as Oprah says it) “Big Give.” We packed everything – spaghetti, burgers, a huge cake, hotdogs and drinks.

After several stopovers, we reached the GK site. The donors were successful in building a cozy community situated between lush mountains. We all took deep breaths of fresh air and appreciated the beauty of the surroundings before we got down to business.

img_1556We quickly arranged the ‘party’ area under a big tree (which served as the shade.) Our very energetic classmate, Mon, hosted the program. Everyone had fun during the games. We also gave away some school supplies and handed over several shovels (for a sustainable livelihood development).

The most touching part for me is when I rendered a song number. As I sang the lines of Ronnie Liang’s “Ngiti” (Smile), I felt so happy because I really saw genuine smiles beaming from the faces of the children whom we helped. They even sang several lines with me. I am pleased to have touched the lives of people in such a simple way and I know my classmates felt the same.

We at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business believe in our motto that “Our Country is Our Business.” Bawat Atenista, Bayani! I condemn the words of Tracy Isabel Borres  who blogged negatively about her immersion experience with Aetas. Anyway, she admitted she was just some spoiled sheltered girl. The issue about the lady Atenean already vanished yet I am personally aggravated by her words. Hers are not that of a genuine Atenista who fully understand what the Ignatian teachings are all about.