Saturday, April 25, 2009

PiNoY EXPATS-OFW BLOG AWARDS' New Home: A Milestone!

Every time I drive in a desert freeway, I always pay attention to signboards and mile markers. These markers always give me information on where I am; how far I am from where I’ve been; how far I am to my destination; what is the required speed limit at a certain kind of road; and a lot more other helpful information.

The “milestones” help me head to the right direction and guide me when I’m straying from the right direction.

On Friday, 24-April-2009, at around 4:30 pm in Saudi Arabia and 9:30 pm in the Philippines, after almost a year of being a free-lance resident of the blogspot community, the Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards (PEBA) Philippine-flag-colored butterfly flew to a place she can truly call her home.

It’s a “milestone” in the journey of PEBA towards its aim of being recognized as a serious and determined platform for the blogging talents and brilliance of the Filipino expatriates and Overseas Filipino Workers. It’s a “milestone”, in PEBA’s desire to act as a conduit showcasing the notable and significant writings and expressions of the Filipino diasporic community in this phenomenal new media industry.

I found two definitions of “milestone” that I feel are both relevant to PEBA. It is either a stone or a monument that serves as a milepost and as direction information or as a significant point in development.

When I opened, this is what I saw! I had to capture what was displayed on the screen as this is a milestone for PEBA.

You're about to be redirected
The blog that used to be here is now at

As I look back at the success of the 1st Season of PEBA (I’m always enamored by seasons…though this simply means 2008), and the way things are shaping for PEBA’s 2nd Season, I am amazed at the progress of the journey of PEBA.

In my previous post, I made a bold statement that “given a few more seasons and PEBA will not just be a prestigious award-giving body for Pinoy Expats and OFW bloggers but will become a cause-oriented organization of Pinoy Expats/OFW Bloggers that will have its projects and beneficiaries.” My gut feel tells me that this may not take ‘a few more’ but just ‘some few’ seasons more to be realized.

Remember Lao Tzu’s “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Yes, the journey of PEBA begins beneath the expats and OFWs’ feet.

May we all continue this journey, staking more ‘milestones’ to serve as monuments and significant points in the growth and development of PEBA!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2009 PiNOY EXPATS-OFW BLOG AWARDS - Raising Awareness of the Filipino Diaspora Through Blogging

The Filipino Diaspora worldwide, either through voluntary or involuntary dispersion and immigration has created a “Filipino diasporic community”. Roughly around 12 million of the estimated 100+ million Filipinos are scattered all over 90% of the UN-registered countries in the world. There is a joke that every stone you see on the roads of any country you visit, you will surely see a ‘kabayan’ the moment you overturn that stone. A joke it may be, but it is true that Filipinos have inhabited almost every place on earth. If there is any country in the world that has no Filipino, the most likely reason is that the Filipino there may be an illegal alien, may not have been registered or has no valid travel document.

These over 12 million Pinoy expats have chosen to seek and search for better livelihood opportunities abroad so they may be able to support themselves and their families back home. They send back money to their loved ones and help the country sustain its economy. But the search for a greener pasture is not at all that easy. It is true that there are millions of Pinoys abroad who have created names for themselves and have excelled in their chosen fields of endeavor. However, statistics show that there are even more Filipino expatriates who suffer because of various reasons: some are deprived of employment rights and travel papers are unjustly withheld; some women are abused and sexually assaulted. and, some are isolated, discriminated and even harassed. Aside from the problems encountered by the expat in the foreign land, there are problems back at the home front that causes him to be hurt, sad or depressed. There are so many reported cases of broken families and conjugal infidelities resulting to misguided and rebellious children.

With all these things affecting the expatriate, the cyberspace has become his avenue to express his emotions and working conditions. It has become a means to communicate not only about his dreams, aspirations, hope, achievements, victories and triumphs but as well his failures, frustrations, disappointments and hurts in life.

As the Pinoy Expat/OFW blogs from around the Americas, Europe, Africa and Middle East, and the Asia and Pacific regions, it invites thoughts on issues of writing , photojournalism, and other media of expressing one's self as a Filipino in a foreign land. The blogs relate posts on the expatriate life, experiences, travels, relocations, musings, and anecdotes which are primarily a result of the experiences that impacted his life, home, family and work as an expat-blogger.

For almost a year ago now, the positive reasons and outlook of the Pinoy Expat’s expressed in his blog inspired Jebee Kenji Solis of Thoughtskoto to initiate the 2008 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards. His simple objective was to create an award for bloggers who infuse enthusiasm and inspiration for others to do good and become a ray of hope to others who have lost hope and faith for a bright future. That awards debut had successfully brought the Pinoy Expats and OFW bloggers into a new dimension of blogging - that of a purpose-driven blogging!

Buoyed with the success of the first year’s 10 Top Bloggers ,who have continuously blogged up to these days that message of hope, inspiration and optimism, not only for themselves and their loved ones, but also to the other discouraged Pinoy expat-bloggers-readers and to their home front followers, the PiNOY EXPAT/OFW BLOG AWARD (PEBA) looks ahead to its 2009 Season with a timely theme of “Filipinos Abroad – Hope of the Nation, Gift to the World”.

It's a great honor, to be invited by Kenji to join as a member of the Organizing Committee for the PEBA 2009 Season. With the support of so many Pinoy expats/OFW bloggers toward this project plus the cyberspace exposure it is getting, a few more seasons and PEBA will not just be a prestigious award giving body for Pinoy Expat/OFW Bloggers but will become a cause-oriented organization that will have its vision, mission, and projects and beneficiaries.

We may all be geographically separated from each other but the blog world is a borderless world for the Filipino diasporic community of bloggers to show their solidarity, cooperation, support and strength in advancing the message of hope and faith to all those who sulk in desperation and downtrodden in hopelessness.

Push on PEBA! Mabuhay ang Pinoy expat/OFW bloggers!

Other Related Posts:
Global Launch of the 2009 Top 10 Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Award - Homepage
PEBA Banner & Badge Making Contest - Homepage
Filipino Heroism Highlighted in Two Ongoing Projects - Isla de Nebz
PEBA at Adik Award by Poging (ilo)CANO
Global Launch of the 2009 Top 10 Pinoy Expat/OFW Award - Wits Expression
Global Launch of the 2009 Top 10 Pinoy Expat/OFW Award - The Comfort Rooms
Kampay, Award, OT - Jen's Misadventures

Pinoy Expat/OFW 2009 Blog Awards - Pamatay Homesick
PEBA 2009 Global Launch - Life's A Twitch
2009 Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Award Launched - Live Life! Love Life!
Global Launch of the 2009 Top 10 Pinoy Expat/OFW Award - Pinkmother
Global Launch of the 2009 Top 10 Pinoy Expat/OFW Award - Thoughtskoto
Support d 2009 Pinoy OFW /Expats Blog Award - Lord CM of dungeOn
Ohhh ayan, PEBA...pwede na ba? - Kosa Pogi of Trip ni Kosa

Other Related Links:
PEBA Homepage

KaBlogs - Gateway to 2009 PEBA

Citation of PEBA in Wikipedia

PEBA at FaceBook

PEBA at BlogCatalog

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mgt 101 Tip: How to Survive This Global Crisis?

With the economic storm clouds overhead and the financial sandstorm passing by, it is no surprise that companies need to focus on survival. Companies are axing even trivial costs to boost their chances of survival.

With this global economic glitch, there is a danger that a company will implement hasty and bad decisions by slashing costs, and cutting on jobs. Some companies are trying to get rid and downsizing a lot of their staff because of redundancies.

Here’s one tip that will be most helpful to many of the companies whereby a lot of the workers will be retained so there will be business as usual.

Images by Nidokidos

Have F-U-N folks... May just be an idiotic example of a cost-cutting tip but the satire it brings is a universal truth.

Have fun... be crazy... be weird... If you obey all the rules, you'll miss the fun!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Badges on My Scrapbook!

With a lot of blogs (this blog included being a newbie) springing up like mushrooms after a fine drizzle with electrifying lightning, and with the soon to be talk-of-the-ofw.blogworld 2009 Pinoy OFW/Expats Blog Award (Year 2), the cyberspace is budding and blooming with writers and ‘expressionists’.

What’s more, with the increase in number of the bloggers to the already existing minefield, I have come across so many blogs that I can truly say would be a publisher’s pick anytime. I only tried blogging around 4 months ago although I registered for a blogger account since January 2008. With my short stint in the blog-world, I am amazed at the brilliant talents of so many Pinoy expats and Pinoys back home. I enjoy reading many of the posts and I tell you, I will not be surprised to see that some of these talented writers, through their wonderful blogs ,will gain some book deals very soon.

A couple of years back, I didn’t know how to blog... Well, I still don't know until now. .. Proof is, I still use the basic templates and my hands are handcuffed... still afraid to take the risk of making a mess out of this simple page. I just contend myself with the basic templates for now... until maybe the time when I will become more familiar with the all those html's. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who don't know blogging... people who don’t even read blogs. In fact, just like me, they might not really know what one is. Truth is, I still find it hard to explain what a blog is when I’m asked.

I could best define blog with semantics describing the blogs I appreciate and follow… personal flow of ideas and talents from gifted writer with a book to be nearly published… a superbly real-time update of information complete with analysis for the followers of the community… an honest, funny, romantic fly and the wall account of the blogger with a little candy-coating and cake-icing… a meticulous musing and anecdote of some eccentric issues… great taste in fashion, character sketch of people, reviews of places and travelogues… photo galleries...

Finding a blog is like finding a friend. As most of the bloggers would say, blogging is addicting. It is something that you will dip back and forth regularly. It is a totally new kind of reading… You will be inspired reading the blogs because a lot of bloggers have great taste and are really talented observational writers.

Desert Aquaforce is my scrapbook in the desert. I’m a trying hard writer and I’m not a gifted one but I enjoy sharing with other people and allow them to see a glimpse of who I am. It has become the creative outlet of my expression. Just the sheer thought of writing is good for my brain and for my health. Living alone in a coastal desert, blogging is one of the best things to do!

For the past four months, I have gained friends whom I have never personally met but the closeness and camaraderie in the cyberspace is thoroughly a modern phenomenon. I have received from them a lot of support and encouragement. I would like to specially mention KaBlogs, Blogs ng Mga Kababayan Abroad, a blog aggregator that hopes to gather all blogs managed by Pinoy Expats and OFW's around the world for an easy one-stop or one site visit. It is on this site that I started to be linked with a lot of other Pinoy Expat bloggers. Shukran jazeelan to Kablogs.

Here are some of the badges that were recently pasted to this scrapbook . It is said that a thing given is not a gift unless someone accepts it... the giver and the receiver, both of whom have to be there somehow for the gift to be a gift...

This is my acceptance post and I take this opportunity give out these simple yet genuine and cordial “gifts” to the blogs that will never cease to inspire me. I know most of you have received these badges and have even posted something about it, nevertheless, I still pass these on to you to let you know that you truly deserve to have these awards... (This is what I get for procrastination...) As Justin Timberlake would say it: What goes around, goes around, goes around, comes all the way back around.

From YaNah of Life's A Twitch
The first badge I got was from Yanah of Life's a Twitch… The Uber Amazing Award (Pink Version) for Amazing info (Kuno)… Thanks YaNah!
The rules of this award are:
1. Copy the badge and put the logo on your blog sidebar or post.
2. Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
3. Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
4. Share the love and link to this this post and to the person you received your award from.
5. Come back and comment here so that your link could be added to the master list of awardees.

From Sherwin of Mokong (Anong Nasa Isip Ko), Pope of Palipasan, Ruphael of Perfect Square
Thanks Sherwin, Pope, and Ruph. Your blogs are amazing!

This is the same Uber Amazing Award (Blue Version from the Hunks)
as the original pink badge. I first saw this blue version (cool) in the post of Ron's In My Own Words. I guess, it was him who initially re-hued this award to have a hunk's effect. After Ron's post, I saw it pasted to my scrapbook as a 2nd generation badge...

From Ron of In My Own Words, Ruphael of Perfect Square, Sherwin of Mokong (Anong Nasa Isip Ko), Sardonyx of Hula Scoop
Thanks Ron, Ruph, Sherwin, and Sardonyx. Thanks for your support, encouragement and friendship.

The aims of this award:~
1. as a dedication for those who love blogging activity and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
2. To seek the reasons why we all love blogging!
3. Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
4.Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
5. Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.
6. Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.
7. Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

From Jigzs of Carnation
This Friendship Award is from Jigzs of Carnation. Jigzs recently became one of my blogger friends. She's one of the two blogger-friends that I have met in person (Lockhrine Versace of Desert Saparklers Home is the other one). Our friendship traces back 29 years ago when we were classmates at UP Diliman. She is now based in Thailand. She is a Senior Project Researcher at the Asian Institute of Technology. She has won 1st prize and two highly commended awards from the worldwide International Participatory Action Learning (PAL) Competition. She's also the Associate Editor of the Asian Fisheries Society.

The rules are so easy:
1. Place the logo / banner on your blog.
2. Add a link to the blog who gave the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs. (It says at least! If you've got more friends, go ahead)
4. Add links to the blogs that you have nominated.
5. Let them know by leaving a message (shout) on their blogs.

I pass on this Friendship badge to the following blogger-friends
whose friendship in the cyberspace is sooo encouraging:

From Lord CM of DungeOn
Isa sa mga hinahangaan kong blog ay ang dungeOn ni Lord CM. Ito'y malaman, malalim, makulay at mabilis kahit na 286 pa na pc ang gamit mo. Simple, di maarte pero may dating. Sa una'y kakabahan ka dahil nagliliyab ang kanyang pahina... puno ng traffic pero maayos naman ang biyahe ng mga bloggero...

This is how Lord CM imparted his badge.

Ang NAGBABAGANG BLOG AWARD na ipamimigay ko sa mga blogerong kahit anong i-post na entry ay nagiging interesado ako sa kadahilanang ako ay natutuwa, natatawa, humahalakhak, nalulungkot, sumsinghot, umaatungal kapag nababasa ko ang kanilang entry, at sa bawat kwentong kanilang ginagawa ay siguradong puputaktehin ng sangkaterbang kumento dahil sa galing ng pagkakagawa at kainte-interes na istorya at ideyolohiya (ano raw?)...

Salamat naman Lord CM kung ang aking munting scrapbook ay nagbigay aliw sa iyo... basta't sabi ko sa yo, nahihirapan talaga akong mag-post sa Tagalog. Hope na di magkaron ng Nose-Bleed...

Anniversary Special
of Blogusvox, The Sandbox
Anniversary Special by Blogusvox of the Sandbox

19 years ago, Blogusvox went to the desert because he wanted to save enough money to buy a 286 computer. Indeed, he was able to buy his 286 computer. It has long been outmodeled and several latest model computers just keep coming and going (for his blog-use), but he remained in the desert… happy and fulfilled for he got more than he bargained for...he found a wife and they now lived together with their daughter in the desert.

His blog, The Sandbox is the 3rd grand prize winner during the 2008 Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Awards and was No. 1 in the Middle East.

His Anniversary Special is his milestone for blogging 100 posts on his blog’s first birthday. The caricature is his tribute to the many bloggers (drawn and anonymous) who have become his blog-friends. He dedicates and thanks them for their frequent visits, comments and for sharing their personal experiences.

He is in Vacation Mode right now but this is to thank him for his support and encouragement to Desert Aquaforce. Thank you very much Blogusvox.

Additional Award

While I was still updating and editing this post, EdSie of iT's mY tUrn excitedly rushed to the desert to give this very beautiful award. When I checked it out... Wow! A Blogger Awards Trophy! I really dunno what I blogged to deserve this award but I just have to grab it and include in this post else I will run out of awardees.

As there were no rules given on how the award will be passed on, I have decided to give it to the blogs where I got my definition of what a blog is:
personal flow of ideas and talents from gifted writer with a book to be nearly published… a superbly real-time update of information complete with analysis for the followers of the community… an honest, funny, romantic fly and the wall account of the blogger with a little candy-coating and cake-icing… a meticulous musing and anecdote of some eccentric issues… great taste in fashion, character sketch of people, reviews of places and travelogues… photo galleries...

Lucas of on the coffin rock
Nebz of Isla de Nebz
Doc RJ of The Chook-Minder's Quill
Blogusvox of The Sandbox
The Pink Tarha

Kenj Of Thoughtskoto
Lord CM of dungeOn
Ka Kosa of Trip ni Kosa
A Friend Named Goddy
Pope of Palipasan

Mighty Dacz of My Kaleidoscope World
JV of X-Spot, Camera ni Cabrera, SupereXtraordinarisimo!
Madjik of MagicSaucer
The Chronicles of the Desert Prince
The Desert Dude
Jigzs of Carnation
YaNah of Life's A Twitch...
Sardonyx of Hula Scoop atbp
Josha of Mundong Parisukat
Azel of Panumbalik ng Ulirat
Lockhrine Versace of Desert Sparklers Home
Pogi of poging (ilo)CANO
The Gasoline Dude's Life

Note: As the trophy looks very expensive and with the global economic crisis, I decided not to give twice to those who already got it - Ron of In My Own words - Ron Centeno, Sherwin of Mokong (Anu'ng Nasa Isip Ko), Prof Pajay of Klasrum ni PaJay, Ruphael of Perfect Square, AJ of Arabian Josh, and of course Edsie of iT's mY tUrn who awarded this to us.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Grave Is Empty - Come and See!

He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay!

Campbell Morgan said that the resurrection is the most stupendous, supernatural miracle that the world has ever known. It supersedes everything else - because if He is not risen from the dead then everything else collapses!

The meaning of Easter is that God loves us and cares for us, desiring only the best and highest good for us. He's the God of peace, love and joy. He's the source of every good and perfect gift. The greatest gift God can give us is His Son, Jesus Christ. In Him, God's grace and love are extended to us to meet all our needs.

Easter begins in our hearts when we receive God's Son, Jesus Christ by faith. May His Life in us be the reason for our Easter celebration!

The Lord has risen indeed and because He lives, we can face tomorrow!

Happy Easter to All!

Some Easter Symbols

Easter Eggs, which represent new life, have been a symbol of spring since ancient times. Christians adopted the egg as an Easter symbol because of the relationship between Easter and the renewal of life. But the Pagan connection here should not be dismissed. Ishtar was the goddess of fertility and reproduction. Exchanging and eating Easter eggs is a popular custom in many countries. In most cases, chicken eggs are used. The eggs are hard-boiled and dyed in various colors and patterns. Many countries have their own traditional patterns.

Easter Bunny -The Easter bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. The Hare and the Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the Spring season. The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. And were made of pastry and sugar. The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s.

Easter Lilies are used to decorate churches and homes. The large, pure white blossoms remind Christians of the pure new life that comes to them through the Resurrection of Jesus. The lily is also the sign of the Resurrection.

The Glory of Easter

My wife Christine, who's on vacation to the US since April 6 had the opportunity to watch the largest and most spectacular passion play, brought to life through exciting drama, song and pageantry, at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Orange County, California. A cast of over 100 volunteer actors, supported by professionals playing the lead roles of Jesus, Pilate, Mary Magdalene, Herod, Mary and more, were together as they recreate the story of passion week including the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus cleansing the temple, the Last Supper, the trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. Utilizing the latest in special effects, the Easter pageant is famous for its lifelike recreation of earthquakes, thunder storms and lightening inside the all-glass building. Flying angels soar overhead while live animals parade down the aisles. The passion play is an exciting interpretation of the week that changed the course of history forever. The Glory of Easter is being shown from April 2 through April 12, 2009.

Friday, April 10, 2009

It is Finished!

It is Finished!
The Greatest Words Ever Uttered By the Greatest Man That Ever Lived...

We see in these three words the consummation
of all the Old Testament truth and the germination of all New Testament truth.

The work had been done, redemption had been won,
the war was over without a fight. It is finished!

The provision has been made, the foundation has been laid,
He paid the ransom due, to make way for me and you. It is finished!

Photo Credit - Barry Dean

The cross was just two pieces of dead wood... a helpless Man was nailed to it... Yet, it is mightier than than all the powers of the world!

Thank you for the cross, Lord. Thank you for the price you paid to demonstrate God's eternal love for us, to atone for our sins, and free us from the powers of evil and the fear of death.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Lent... Time for a Slow Dance

Do you still remember the FavefolksYahooGroup Forum I posted about in My Close Encounter with the Vampire!? Yes, that was the post where the clandestine club of Edward-and-Bella fans had been exposed. But there should be more to that and there should be a sequel to that post. But my busy schedule and appointments with the shrimps and the camels here wouldn't give me the chance to sit in front of my laptop and think about the storyline.

Poi (our linguist-educator based in HK) encouraged me to write the Twi-book-out of the bag anecdote of Datzie (she's a UN attache in NY) when she was in DC attending the World Bank/UN Conference. Another one that will take some paragraphs in the post would be the snail-pace reading of Geng (a hotelier in Northern Philippines)... Imagine, she wants to have a perfect ambiance when reading the Twi-books... she wants perfect peace and quiet with cool breeze ruffling the curtains every now and then...Whew!

After the Twi discussions, the traffic in the cyber forum has even increased when it shifted gear to Books, Recommended Readings, Gizmos, Gadget, Rearing Up the Kids, Travels, etc. All those non "fangatics" started cruising the space once again.

However, the sound of silence is deafening in the cyber-forum lately. I guess everyone started to have their early holidays. Some could have traveled abroad... some could have boarded their yacht and hopped into a nearby island... some could have gone to the provinces.. some could have trooped to their summer houses and getaways. Yeeesssss! Everyone deserve the break!

But there was one soul who broke the silence. Geng, I know, wouldn't leave her hotel because business is at its peak during the holidays and she has the time to sit in front of her laptop.

Here's what she said which I really feel I truly deserve to have. "It's Holy Week and try to give yourselves a break! Take time to rest your tired bodies and cluttered minds, refresh your weary souls and nourish your flagging spirits. I read this poem in Ricky Lo's column at the Philippine Star and thought of sharing with all of you. Read... Reflect... and Learn!"

Slow Dance
"A poem by a cancer-stricken kid. In the spirit of the season, I am reprinting the poem Slow Dance supposedly written by a child while dying of cancer at a New York Hospital a few years ago. The poem was sent to me by a Funfare reader who who didn't give his/her name." - Ricky Lo

Photo Credit - UK Ballet Company

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down,
Don't dance too fast.
Time is short,
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
Or do you fly?
When you ask "How are you?"
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down,
Don't dance too fast.
Time is short,
The music won't last.

Ever told a child,
"We'll do it tomorrow?"
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die?
Cause you never had time
To call and say, "Hi!"

You'd better slow down,
Don't dance too fast.
Time is short,
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift...
Thrown away.
Life is not a race,
Do take it slower.
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Thanks Geng. I now have a Lenten post.