Sunday, April 29, 2012

Expectations and Goals with Regards to My Stay in Cebu City

Cebu City

Here at last at the Queen City of The South after a tiresome and head-ache inducing travel. I am not here for vacation or pleasure trip, but to work my ass out. This is more or less my fifth time to Cebu City and I was a little shocked that the city has changed a lot. Many vacant areas before are now plagued by tall and monstrous buildings. Where were the trees and grasslands that I used to name and love?

Anyway, since I have mentioned here earlier that I am gonna be here for work and that means I have to stay for quite some time, I have set a list of some of my expectations, goals and future destinations. In order to keep me grounded and focused, I must remind my self of the things that I have to do here.

Here it goes:

Work and Work More

If I had been industrious and hard-working in my Iloilo days then I have to exceed those achievements. I don't want to repeat the mistakes I have done in relation to my work. The previous year was a nightmare to me and I hope this change of environment could somehow reboot my once very proactive nature. I need to work double and be the employee my company expects me to be.

In order to do this I have to shed away my laxity and complacent behavior. Yeah, I have to get the things done in a very efficient way, but now that I am here I have to think out of the box and be aggressive to do not only the things assigned to me but also other things that could help alleviate the company I am working with.

Save and Be Thrifty

Now that I am far from home I have almost no one to turn to when my budget fails me, or if I fail my budget rather. Extra lock on my wallet to ensure I could achieve this goal. Maybe refraining from these and those things that I might see as a luxury from time to time and giving value to whatever I have spent on. This means I have to take care of my things as well. So goodbye the-hell-I-care attitude.

Ayala is just a stride away from my office and this means I have to be extra stern to my self. I need to reinforce my self-control and throw away the impulsive side that almost always fails me in this aspect. Although I have to admit I still need to buy some books from time to time -- after a number of my books have not been returned, I have to replenish my library.

Fitness and Quest for Health

This may sound a negative approach to it, but I am a little envious of the Cebuanos. After having been catatonic for months since I stopped going to the gym, I lost some of my weight and bulk. This is a source of depression for me from time to time, which leads to my weighing lesser and lesser. I have to improve my diet plans and all.

After having discovered that soy milk does not cause me discomfort compared to regular milk I guess I might find my source of dairy requirements from here on. Protein bars and drinks, and fruit shakes must be back to my list of staple food or drinks. This is quite in contrast with my budget goal, but I guess I could work this out.

Travel More and Discover New Places

I have to do this in a way where I don't have to spend much money. There are a lot of locations here that needed visiting to experience that joy it could offer. Aside from Donsol, I heard that whale sharks are also accessible in Oslob, Cebu. This will be one of the things I have to experience in life so I am adding it to the list. This means of course that I have to visit beaches and resorts as well.

Aside from the natural environment, the man made bliss of buildings and venues should not be forgotten. Of course the nearest to my office, which is Ayala Mall, should be the first in line. Some bookstores, cafes, restaurants, bars and all others. How could I visit these without spending much? Sigh...

Strengthening My Bond to the Lord

Cebu is known to be the place where religion is a big part of your day. This will surely inspire me to strengthen my religious affiliation as well. Because at the end of it all, only the Almighty has given me strength when I am weak and down, direction when I am lost and support when I have nothing.

I might not be able to do it instantly, but adding a small portion of it day by day will eventually lead me there. So long as I know my beliefs and make a stand on it, it will not be useless. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. ~ Psalm 28:7

I really do hope I could abide by these goals and expectations. Only time could tell.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Complete Performances of the 2012 American Idol Top 6 Finalists

American Idol

While most of us are already celebrating the triumph of the top 5 of American Idol for season 11, some parts of the world are not even in the know yet that Elise Testone was already eliminated from the show. After their renditions of a Queen song and a song of personal choice, America has decided that Elise has to go, and the other two who belonged to the bottom three were Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh.

The world's maybe mourning for Elise Testone's elimination, but that does not stop other fans from celebrating because their favorites are safe. I for one was happy that Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips are safe and can proceed to the next round. But for those who haven't seen the performances of the contestants last April 26, 2012, I made a compilation just for you.

Here are the performances of American Idol's top 6 finalists:

Jessica Sanchez

Jessica Sanchez ~ Bohemian Rhapsody Performance (Queen)

Jessica Sanchez ~ Dance with My Father Performance (Luther Vandross)

Skylar Laine

Skylar Laine ~ The Show Must Go On Performance (Queen)

Skylar Laine ~ Tattoos on This Town Performance (Jason Aldean)

Joshua Ledet

Joshua Ledet ~ Crazy Little Thing Called Love Performance (Queen)

Joshua Ledet ~ Ready for Love Performance (India.Arie)

Elise Testone

Elise Testone ~ I Want It All Performance (Queen)

Elise Testone ~ Bold as Love Performance (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

Phillip Phillips

Phillip Phillips ~ Fat Bottomed Girls Performance (Queen)

Phillip Phillips ~ The Stone Performance (Dave Matthews Band)

Hollie Cavanagh

Hollie Cavanagh ~ Save Me Performance (Queen)

Hollie Cavanagh ~ The Climb Performance (Miley Cyrus)

The contestants have surely made an impression on their rendition of a Queen song, but when time came for the performance on the song they themselves chose some of them faltered. Whatevers going to happen next, let's just hope that their performances really justified's America's vote for them.

American Idol Top 5 Revealed After Elise Testone Is Eliminated

Elise Testone Eliminated

The list of contestants that made it to the top five of the eleventh season of American Idol was finally revealed. After gaining the lowest votes this week, Elise Testone was sent home and ending her tenure on the show. This week, the contestants performed a song by the Queen and another song of their personal choice, but America has decided that Elise Testone's performances of I Want It All and Bold as Love are not enough to lock her a spot on the top five.

Only two gentlemen remain among the five contestants and the three ladies are surely on the move to gain a spot to the finals. My personal favorite, Jessica Sanchez, slammed the stage with Bohemian Rhapsody, followed by Skylar Laine's performance of The Show Must Go On. Joshua Ledet's Crazy Little Thing Called Love gained him favor from the audience and the judges, followed Elise Testone, who easily knocked out I Want It All. Amazing performances followed also from Phillip Phillips and Hollie Cavanagh as they performed Fat Bottomed Girls and Save Me, respectively. Check out their performances if you haven't seen them yet.

Here are the official top five contestants of this year's American Idol:

Jessica Sanchez

One of the younger contestants, Jessica is ready to continue her dream to fame. Lucky she didn't win on America's Got Talent because her fate would have been different. This is a perfect avenue for her should she win the contest. This Filipino-Mexican power vocalist is surely one of my favorite.

Skylar Laine

Skylar Laine is not really my personal favorite, but she really knows how to showcase her country style music. She has always been consistent on the show and was placed only on the bottom three once (make it twice this week). I believe she also deserves to take a spot on the top five finalists.

Joshua Ledet

This guy is another powerful performer who gained the love of the judges upon performing Runaway Baby on one of the previous episodes. Although that love was not enough to save him from belonging to the bottom three from the weeks performances. Fortunately for him he was saved and able to survive the show until now. He once again received a standing ovation from the Judges, which I might add always happen to him.

Phillip Phillips

I confessed earlier that Phillip Phillips is also one of my favorite, together with Jessica. This rock star as I also said before is the only remaining contestant who didn't belong to the bottom three even once. He has escaped the grilling through his powerful performances that earned him a lot of cheers from the ladies. Although I have to say, this week his performance was a little choppy, but still a lot better that Elise's.

Hollie Cavanagh

This lovely piece of specimen has definitely made her way through the contest with the support of the male fandom. Although I think Hollie is quite playing safe that is why there is really no remarkable performance that I could remember from her. I can't remember any instant that she would belong to the extremes, because if she did I would certainly know.

The contestants' personal choices of songs for their second performance were surely the meter for this week's show by showcasing their capabilities through the song that they think will bring them more votes from the public. Jessica Sanchez performed one of my all-time favorite song by Luther Vandross, Dance With My Father. Joshua Ledet's rendition of Ready For Love and Skylar Laine's Tattoos on This Town followed her performance. Once again Elise Testone set the crowd on a blaze with Bold as Love, followed by Phillip Phillips' The Stone and Hollie Cavanagh's The Climb.

After their performances and when the results came in, the bottom three are as follows: Skylar Laine, Elise Testone and Hollie Cavanagh. Ryan Seacrest later on revealed that Elise Testone is hereby eliminated. Do you think Elise's elimination from American Idol is acceptable? Who will make it to the top four, and who will eventually be named as this year's American Idol?

Ubi-Camera: A New Way of Taking Pictures With Your Fingers


At least once in our lives we have somehow created an imaginary camera through four of our fingers. We created a rectangular frame with our thumbs and index fingers and simulated the clicking sound of a real camera. This is mostly for fun of course, but we can't deny we almost believed that these gestures were for real.

Thanks to the efforts of the researchers at Japan’s Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, we maybe able to make this once-fun-gesture a new feat of technological reality. They have come to develop a new prototype of a finger-framing camera called Ubi-Camera. The project has still miles away to perfection, but at least we have a very clear path on what's going to happen in the world of photography.

Checkout the video of the said prototype and see if we are already near on seamlessly reaching this new way of taking pictures:

The camera works by inserting your index finger in a finger slot. It can determine the width of the frame through its camera and sensors, along with an IR range finder. “You simply move the focal point around by moving your fingers away or towards your face: nearer to your face for wide-angle shots or further away for close-ups. Press a button and the shot is snapped.”

Now that photography is now a craze for everyone - Instagram, DSLRs and more -- this new wave of technology will certainly excite every photo enthusiasts. Unfortunately, this device is not yet available in teh market until such times all the hurdles in the camera are resolved.

Now we only have to wish this device will be released officially so that we can have a taste of taking pictures by framing our fingers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Latest on Life of Pi Movie Adaptation: Picture and Details

Life of Pi

Updated: New official poster, movie clips and pictures from the movie's official website.

From time to time we discover books that are so wonderful we cannot rest until we see them adapted to movies. And then we will be disappointed that not all from the book were translated into the cinematic view of the wide screen. There are also times where we simply don't care how bad the movie was since the book was very good just the same. So when Fox decided to adapt Yann Martel's Life of Pi to a movie, I was a little hesitant.

This story is a favorite of many and I was saddened that I will be once again disappointed with the differences between the book and its adaptation. But when news of the progress of the movie take light I was a little relieved. From hiring a great director to the latest picture from the movie, my uncertainty was slowly melting down.

See for your self why I was now a little confident of the movie -- with its latest movie picture:

This is much like a reminiscent of the book's cover featuring Pi Patel and a Bengal tiger taking a chance for survival. Here is the almost-the-same-concept book cover, if you haven't seen it yet:

Actually Pi will not be sharing the lifeboat with a tiger only, but with a few other animals, including a hyena, a zebra and an orangutan. They will have to contend with each other after the freighter that they were boarding on sank. Pi was the only human survivor of the incident. But of course, what will you get if you put together carnivorous animals and prey in one place? Mayhem, or is it not?

Update: A new clip has been featured in the movie's official website, together with some colorful pictures:

Here are the pictures that serves as background images of the website:

Updated: Here is the official poster of Life of Pi:

To be directed by Ang Lee, helmer of the amazing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the movie was originally scheduled for release on December 14, 2012, but was pushed back a week later due to the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on the same date. The movie is starred by Tobey Maguire who will play the narrator of the movie, Yann Martel, together with and 17-year old Indian newcomer Suraj Sharma as the lead character. David Magee is to adapt the screenplay of the movie.

Watch for your self how this encounter turns out and wonder no more if Pi will survive and live along to tell the tale or not.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mathai and Cheesa Voted Off From Team Adam and Team Cee Lo on The Voice

The Voice

It seems that the male contestants are almost always lucky in The Voice. last week two gents from Team Blake and Team Christina were saved by the public. This time America has saved yet two other male contestants for Team Adam and Team Cee Lo. Both Jamar Rogers who performed It's My Life and Tony Lucca singing ...Baby One More Time got sure spots for the semi-finals for Team Cee lo and Team Adam, respectively.

Unfortunately, for the four remaining ladies they still have to perform in their last chance performances to convince each of their Judges to pick them for the save. Will it be Katrina Parker or Mathai for Team Adam? And who will Cee Lo choose between Cheesa and Juliet Simms? Two will only remain for each team and their coaches will have to decide who is deserving to move on to the semi-finals.

Check out the battle rounds for their last chance performance:

Team Adam: Katrina Parker vs. Mathai

Katrina Parker vs Mathai
Adam was really in for a hard call after choosing between the two ladies, who in the course of time gathered their own following. It looks to me that this round is a battle for age and experience. Katrina has this advantage over Mathai and that is maybe why Adam chose the former. Adam is really pressured here for sure, because he has to maintain his last year's winning or he'll have to suffer the revenge of defeat this year. That is why I really believe that he did the right thing choosing Katrina Parker to be part of his team.

Katrina Parker ~ Perfect

Aside from looking glamorous in black, Katrina Parker has finnaly hit the mark with her performance of Perfect. That is no wonder why Adam Levine picked her over Mathai, who performed her good but somehow sloppy version of Cowboy Casanova. I liked Mathai as well, but her recent performance is less than perfect as Katrina's song lyrics goes. I was very happy with Adam's decision and that's maybe the best move he could make for his team.

Mathai ~ Cowboy Casanova

No offense to Mathai, but her elimination is rather good for her in order to continue her parents' dream of her becoming a doctor. Now that she has a shot of fame it would be favorable for her to study first and finish her college. She shouldn't waste time until such time that she is ready she could come back again to being a singer. I only wish the best for her.

Adam's Choice, Katrina Parker
Mathai Eliminated

Winner: Kathrina Parker
Eliminated: Mathai

Team Cee Lo: Juliet Simms vs. Cheesa

Juliet Simms vs Cheesa
It's not because Juliet Simms looked gorgeous why Cee Lo chose her but for that fact that she is one of the best performers of the night. She has definitely improved from week to week and today is not an exemption. Although I was a little sad of Cheesa Laureta's (or Cheesa for short) elimination. She is after all a Filipino who was once raised in the lovely City of Cebu, where I will be going next week.

Juliet Simms ~ Torn

Cee Lo has chosen rightly, bias aside, cause Juliet Simms could be perfect. She has the talent and the looks: the perfect package of becoming a star. Her performance of the song Torn has definitely overshadowed Cheesa's Already Gone. I cannot help but think that Cheesa's song choice is maybe a premonition of her fate in the show, which is really sad by the way.

Cheesa ~ Already Gone

In the previous weeks we see Cee Lo as being laid back and didn't even care with Christina's and Adam's brawls. I used to think he has chosen his team members because sometimes he has no choice to do otherwise or sometimes because of his co-coaches pressure. But now that we have seen who comprise his team, I do believe that Cee Lo really has the ear and the eye for spotting real talent.

I am now smiling whenever Cee Lo proves me, or the other coaches for that matter, that his team still has what it takes to become part of The Voice. They have waded their way through and proved that they really have the talent and the appeal to survive in the competition.

Cee Lo's Choice, Juliet Simms
Cheesa Eliminated

Winner: Juliet Simms
Eliminated: Cheesa


Semi-Finals is almost on its way and we have now the complete list of vocalists who qualified for the round. Who among the team members of Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Cee Lo Green will make it to the finals and finally have the chance to be called The Voice.

You Now Know Who I Follow For My Skinny Get Up


For a skinny and tall person like me I always find it hard to look for shirts and pants that would perfectly fit me. If it's not too big it would be too short. That is why maybe there came a time where I don't bother any more if I look bad or not. It's a taxing thing to do, choosing your clothes.

I really dreamed of having European shops -- since they cater usually to skinny physiques and all -- around here for me to buy my clothes from, but unfortunately there are only a few. That is maybe the reason why, lately I opted for the not-so-rugged look of wearing white v-necks and not-so-fitting jeans. They are the ones that usually goes with my style and my yearning for breezy and weightless comfort.

So I surfed around the net to look for people, famous or not, that I could somewhat base my get-up from time to time. I was surprised that Winky's favorite amateur singer, Tanner Patrick, gets this kind of look as well, along with many others. Check it out here:

I have been following Tanner Patrick for a while and unintentionally get some tips on what to wear. He added to the looks a leather jacket, which luckily I have one at home. But I don't think I have to guts to wear the same. Anyway, here are some more v-neck get-ups I found:

Adam Levine
Robert Pattinson
Ryan Gosling
Joe Jonas
Dream on , John. Dream on. Try as you might copy their looks and all, but you are still light-years away compared with these veterans. I admit I don't really know how to make my self  look better that's why I look up to some famous people to get the simple, yet in look.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Voice: Pip and James Massone Instantly Eliminated by Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green

The Voice

Updated: Added Adam's and Cee Lo's instant elimination choice.

Last week, we watched as Team Christina and Team Blake were put under the grilling machine. Now it's Team Adam's and Team Cee Lo's turn to face the heat as the two respectable Judges will eliminate one member from each of their teams. But before the contestants faced their doom, Cee Lo himself performed live his latest single Fight to Win. We also got the ethereal performance of Florence + the Machines for No Light No Light together with Cee Lo's team members.

After seeing the performances of the last remaining members of Team Adam -- Katrina Parker performed Jar of Hearts, Mathai crooned us with I'm Like A Bird, Tony Lucca performed Baby One More Time, Pip performed one of my favorite songs, Somewhere Only We Know -- Adam has finally come to a decision to eliminate Pip. Same is true with Team Cee Lo, when James Massone is eliminated after performing Just The Way You Are, saving Cheesa, Juliet Simms and Jamar Rogers, who performed I Have Nothing, Cryin' and It's My Life, respectively.


Pip ~ Somewhere Only We Know (Team Adam)

If I have to mention a name of contestant that is trapped in a period of time other than now, it would be Pip. His signature bow tie and jumpers have certainly caught the attention of many (which he unfortunately ditched during his performance), but Adam doesn't think it's enough in order for him to be included in his team. His Somewhere Only We Know is good, but not that really remarkable and perfect compared with the performances of his fellow contestants. Pip's elimination is not really a surprise for me, but it's just sad since he is among the highest public vote getters last week.

Adam Instantly Eliminated Pip

After winning in the last season of The Voice, Adam is surely under pressure to maintain this position. He is definitely forced to eliminate one of his best performers. This is a sad news for Pip's fans, but I am sure he can find his own way in the music industry. Pip is still young and has a bright future still ahead of him. How I wish this disappointment of being eliminated from the show will not cause him to stop in reaching his dreams.

James Massone

James Massone ~ Just The Way You Are (Team Cee Lo)

James Massone is another chick magnet because of his suave moves and unique voice. But this time his crooning voice is not enough to save him from the show since Cee Lo himself eliminated him instantly. I don't this has something to do with James being the least performer in Green's team, but I am thinking that he maybe eliminated James since he can easily gain stardom at this stage of the competition. He is most definitely a favorite among female viewers as evidenced of tonight's and last weeks studio audience reactions.

Cee Lo Instantly Eliminated James Massone

This is definitely a good step for Cee Lo to take since he retained all powerhouse performers that surely make a bang on the stage. Cee Lo is going for a rock label with his remaining team members and their is no wonder his saved Cheesa, Juliet Simms and Jamar Rogers. But if I were to choose among these remaining three, I would certainly choose Juliet Simms. Let's just hope she will be saved from tomorrow's elimination through public votes.

Check out the follow-up for this episode's elimination process tomorrow, as two more contestants from Team Adam and Team Cee Lo will be once again eliminated, but this time it will be based upon the result of tonight's public poll and votes. Who do you think will remain and who will be fated to go home?

Upcoming Books from Favorite Author James Patterson

James Patterson

The moment I saw Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment propped on the shelves of one of the leading bookstores in the area I immediately got the feeling that this must belong to my collection. And after reading it only on one sitting -- reclining on the bed, actually -- I had the utmost desire to complete not only the Maximum Ride series but all serial books written by James Patterson.

After I bought and read all available books from this series, I dug-in his other books since I really can't get enough of his writings: Women Murder Club, Alex Cross, Michael Bennett and many more. His works are really flying off the pages and what's good about his books are the short but filling chapters. This fanaticism has not ended up on me alone. The moment I brought his books into my workplace many avid readers have also been hooked by his tensely enjoyable novels.

And now that I, along with my colleagues, have read his available books I was once again on the look out for his latest novels. And I have found a few:

11th Hour ~ May 7, 2012

Since the books of teh Women Murder Club are titled according to its number in the series, 11th Hour is obviously the eleventh book in the series. This is another collaborative work together with author Maxine Paetro and will once again come back to the story of four ladies, each a veteran and expert in their own fields. To spoil everything up, Lindsay Boxer will be pregnant! After their marriage in 10th Anniversary, Lindsay and Joe Molinari, is going to have a baby. How is this going to affect with her invovlement to the Women Murder Club or her job in the police department? Will she be able to handle all these juggling or not?

Middle School: Get Me out of Here! ~ May 7, 2012

A follow-up to James patetrson's attempt on cartoon and literature Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life, Middle School: Get Me out of Here tells of Rafe Khatchadorian troubles in the seventh grade. He's been accepted to art school in the big city and imagines a math-and-history-free fun zone. Wrong! It's more competitive than Rafe ever expected, and to score big in class, he needs to find a way to turn his boring life into the inspiration for a work of art. His method? Operation: Get a Life! Anything he's never done before, he's going to do it, from learning to play poker to going to a modern art museum. But when his newest mission uncovers secrets about the family Rafe's never known, he has to decide if he's ready to have his world turned upside down.

I, Michael Bennett ~ June 9, 2012

Michael Bennett and his ten adopted children are back in thif fith installment of the series. He is yet again to find balance between murder investigations and taking care of his huge family. And in order to ease the stress, he and his family, together with the lovely nanny Mary Catherine, embark on a vacation to the upstate New York. But instead of escaping the violence, it follows them and they find themselves in the middle of another nightmare that threatens the entire family. The danger isn't only coming from the crime lord's killers—FBI Agent Emily Parker is back, and Bennett's attraction to her endangers his relationship with Mary Catherine. A no-holds-barred, pedal-to-the-floor, action-packed novel, I, MICHAEL BENNETT is James Patterson at his most thrilling best.

Maximum Ride: Nevermore ~ August 6, 2012

This is the eighth and last book of the sci-fi series that started my James Patterson ride. Hopefully this is not the last James Patterson book that I will buy. Read on for it's synopsis: One last chance... for Max, Fang, and Dylan... before it all ends. Are you ready for the final chapter? Are you ready for the ultimate flight? Because THIS IS IT. One last incredible, explosive adventure with an astonishing ending that no one could have seen coming.

I really do hope that all these books will be released as soon as possible. My hands are itching to buy them and my eyes are already watering because of the long wait. Can the coming months come any closer and faster? I guess not. Maybe I will resort to depressing my self again before the books finally grace my book shelf at home.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Of Letting Go and Acceptance Through Daily Normal Means

Letting Go

I was once taught that man's hardships are brought about by his attachments, may it be material, physical, personal or emotional. These attachments lead on to amplify ones burden, added up by personal bias and perspective. That is why many consider attachments as a disease, an abnormality if it's way beyond what is expected. Too much of something is really bad enough, and attachments are not an exception.

Curing this may take a lot of effort and time that is why many people prefer preventing these attachments to occur rather than curing it for later. Many spiritual personalities has come to a unified understanding that in order to live happily one has to let go of his or her attachments. Christ has incorporated this in most of his teachings, Buddha most certainly focused on letting go of his earthly needs to achieve the Nirvana, and do not forget Mohammed, together with Gandhi and other countless saints, gurus, prophets and mystics.

All of them agree that in order to achieve this feat you must at least be facilitated by feasible yet extraordinary means, such as the following:

A. Prayer

Prayer is the most common means that everyone has an access to. Through extensive prayer, not the one that you do repeatedly and verbally, one could in any way counter ones attachments. Pray for the things you really need and not for the things that you could consider as luxury. It is always inexplicable that once this is rooted in your mind, The Supreme Being has a way of making your prayers come trough. You are given the strength to go through ways in order reach that goal.

Many unbelievers to the power of prayer would say that it is after all your effort why you accomplish these things and not through the power of The One. But have you ever experienced that guiding force that makes things easier compared when you do it on your own. Sometimes our wishes happen as if it is an oiled machine, like a streamlined contraption of events all leading to your goal. Now, that is not merely coincidence or random event, it is guided by The One through your prayers.

B. Meditation

If you thought that meditation and prayer are two similar things, then think again. Meditation is somewhat a higher form of prayer. Unlike prayer, where you focus your words and mind to certain goal or ideal, meditation is the pursuit of achieving peace by clearing ones mind. You try to abolish any thoughts that come to your mind, so that when real concerns would come you will see it from an objective point of view. This is not an easy thing to do since only when we are unconscious are we able to do this. This requires a lot of training and concentration on our part. In prayer you are the source of the thoughts, in mediation you try to see the thought as a third person rather the first person perspective. This is what many experts call as being part of your inner being without imposing your preferences, desires and opinions.

There are many stages of meditation and it is sometimes a dangerous act if you reached the highest level without self control. At this stage you will get to be lose your consciousness and cannot easily get out from this episode of nothingness if you are not guided and only a beginner.

C. Contemplation

Many believe that contemplation is the hardest thing to do since it is almost impossible or essentially one cannot really achieve it. If meditation is the act only to empty your self, in contemplation you empty your self and let the Supreme Being possess or fill you with its presence and love. Now you become not only your self but with God. For Christians, this is mainly incorporated by the scriptural lines that God is within each of us, we being the temple of the Holy Spirit or Christ. But this is not only applicable to Christians, but to all. This is mainly a huge task for the mind to do, but if achieved it is incomparable.

This means is a way to re-center our life and find focus in every thing we do, along with the peace that could also be achieved from meditation. Many contemplatives claim that this means to find one's self also exhibit the feeling of being loved. This is surely enough to live by and attachments may not be needed. If one is in the fulfilled mode would you still let your attachmetns hamper you? I guess not.

D. Selfless Service

Selfless concern and service for others is the manifestation of your prayers, meditation and contemplation. You are not anymore the old man in Aesop's fable that just watches the child drown and simply comments about it.You already become a pro-generator of generous acts. If you are not attached you easily let go of things and share it with others. There is nothing wrong with sharing , though it would certainly lose its credit and value if you advertise and let the world know about it. Only a few are able to do anonymous generous acts because mankind tends to let the world know that each one of us is indeed selfless, but only when we are seen.

If you receive praises and recognition for your acts in this living world you have already received your reward. A reward which could have been eternal if only you have kept it within you. Is it not enough that you are able to help other people through your selfless motives without having the world see you do it? If not, then maybe you already need to examine your motives and goals.

E. Mortification

Mortification is the hardest thing to do for most of us. It is mainly the act of denying our selves some pleasures, desires and may even be causing our selves some discomfort and pain. But the act of mortification does not necessarily mean doing it in huge packages. It could only even mean not drinking a bottle of cola on this certain day, skipping a dessert or two, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, kneeling when you are told to kneel at the church and many other simple acts. As time goes by, increase the intensity and be creative to think of new ways to mortify. These acts strengthen our will, the very thing we need to counter reliance on our attachments and such.

Time and time again, you will realize that by doing these mortification your decision-making becomes stronger, and your laxity is not evident anymore, and many other beneficial changes. You seem not to rely on anything transient anymore since your mind is not clouded by comfort and temporary joys. To sum it all up, we just really need to strengthen our Will and exercise it. It's also like a muscle: exercise and tone it and it will become stronger; take it for granted and it will be weak and thinner.


Human as we are, we are always drawn to do what our instincts tell us to do. And the instinct of survival always leads us to comfort, joys, and satisfaction. This is all true to human nature, but what is the use of the power of Will if we are to let our instincts dictate are behavior, actions, and motives? Maybe, it is time for us to reinforce our Will and let go of attachments, so as not to fall for laxity and eventually our bane.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Iron Man 3: Who's Who and What are the Latest News

Iron Man

Now that all Marvel merchandise are taken under the care of Disney, many were a little worried of how this Superhero universe will move on. But after seeing the box office hits and the fan's hyperactive reactions on Thor and the upcoming Avengers movie, fans could certainly take a rest on fretting that Disney might ruin our favorite heroes after all.

Delighted movie goers were in for a treat after seeing the first few trailers and clips of The Avengers, where each and every of the previously featured Heroes have their own solo movie. This just added to my urge to dig in on what's going to happen to the individual movie arc of each characters. And this time let's see what's up with the third installment of Iron Man.

Right after the release of Iron Man 2 last April 2010, Jon Favreau revealed that he won't be coming back to direct the movie. So, after some time-cracking negotiations and deals, Iron Man 3 will now be under the supervision of director Shane Black, best known for the amazing and highly admired Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The movie will be based on the screenplay by Drew Pearce, who will also adapt another Robert Downey, Jr. project: Sherlock Holmes 3.

Iron Man actor, Robert Downey, Jr.,
together with director Shane Black (left)
Of course, Robert Downey, Jr. will return to play the role of the multi-billion dollar playboy engineer and industrialist, Tony Stark, Iron Man minus his suit. Known to be the last movie in the Iron Man trilogy, Iron Man 3 will feature a very non-conventional villain. Since Favreau established the movie world in a most realistic way, producers and movie-makers are having quite an issue placing Mandarin as the villain of the movie.

Ben Kingsley

Aside from being a super-genius and an expert on martial arts, Mandarin also possesses ten rings with magical powers and this just doesn't fit in the world the previous director has created. Favreau also added that "the problem with the Mandarin is that the way it's depicted in the comic books, you don't want to see that. He has 10 magical rings... So it's either tech-based, or the rings are not really rings." But I am sure they will find a way to make this story line realistic.

Guy Pearce
Ben Kingsley has just been revealed to play the villain should negotiations come through. Together with another new addition to the franchise Guy Pearce, who will play the geneticist Aldrich Killian, the inventor of the Extremis serum, a substance that makes anyone who takes it much stronger and powerful. I was glad to have read this arc thanks to a local Marvel publishing company that featured all six issues of the story line. Now I guess I will have to read it again.

Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, also revealed the shooting of the movie will start in less than five weeks from now. He also said that this movie will be Tony Stark-centric, a reminiscent of the first half part of the first Iron Man movie. It will feel like the Avengers movie has never happened because he can't ask for help with his fellow super heroes. He will have to face every threat alone.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle will reprise their roles as well.

Complete Phillip Phillips' Performances on American Idol 2012 (Season 11)

Phillip Phillips

Check this out: Phillip Phillips wins American Idol Season 11.

If you have watched every performances and elimination rounds, then you might have noticed that only one of the remaining Top 6 finalists of The American Idol Season 11 has the opportunity not to belong in the bottom three. All of the other contestants have gone through the shameful experience of belonging to the bottom three. All except Phillip Phillips.

At 21 years old, Phillip has been swooning the ladies around the world, which is most definitely every guy's dream. He started out as a simple worker at his father's pawnshop and eventually, through the course of the competition, evolved to a big hit rock star. Together with Jessica Sanchez, he is a favorite of Lee DeWyze, the winner of the ninth season of American Idol.

So far here are the performances by the chick-magnet rock star, Phillip Phillips:

Auditions - Superstition

First Solo - Papa's Got A Brand New Bag

Songs from the 1950s Group Performance - I Only Have Eyes for You

Final Solo - Nice & Slow

Personal Choice - In the Air Tonight

Stevie Wonder - Superstition

Year They Were Born - Hard to Handle

Billy Joel - Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)

Their Personal Idols (Solo) - Still Rainin'

Their Personal Idols (Trio) - Landslide / Edge of Seventeen / Don't Stop

Songs from the 1980s (Solo) - That's All

Songs from the 1980s (Duet) - Stop Draggin' My Heart Around

Songs from the 2010s (Solo) - Give a Little More

Songs from the 2010s (Duet) - Somebody That I Used to Know

Songs from Now & Then (Now) - U Got It Bad

Songs from Now & Then (Then) - In the Midnight Hour

Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls

Contestant's Choice - The Stone

Songs from the 1960s (solo) - The Letter

Songs from the 1960s (duet) - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

British Pop - Time of the Season

California Dreamin' (solo) - Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

California Dreamin' (duet) - This Love

They Wish They'd Written - Volcano

Chosen by Coach Steven Tyler - Beggin'

Personal Choice - Disease

Chosen by Jimmy Iovine - We've Got Tonight

Simon Fuller's Choice - Stand by Me

Favorite Performance - Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)

Winner's Single - Home

I am not really fond of rock songs, but If I were to choose a rock song performer among the American Idol contestants I would certainly pick him. Phillip Phillips' American Idol performances have proven that he is versatile. Although I am not sure if he has just been playing safe that is why he haven't been to the bottom three yet, but that feat is already commendable at this stage of the competition.