Tuesday, December 14, 2004

[Movie Review] Things in Common Q&A

What does Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) and Great Expectations (Gwyneth Paltrow, Ethan Hawke) have in common?

The main characters (the guys) have both been in love with one and only one girl from their childhood.

What does Matrix Reloaded and Star Wars Episode 2 have in common?

The main characters (Neo and Anakin) are very passionate - about their love (Trinity and Princess/Senator Amidala), and about the thing they're supposed to do.

What do the four movies above have in common?

I love them all.

Are you a sissy, hopeless romantic like...me? (???)

Then you'll love the movie Love Actually. It's bloody marvelous. (Pronounced "bludde mahr-v-ls")

[sub-labels: CPC movies]

Sunday, November 7, 2004

verse! finally!

before anything else... have you noticed that it's been like... almost three months since my last post! damn!

anyway, it has also been three months since... i first set-up "verse"... verse is... the life, music, and lyrics... of... me. haha. well since 1992 to 2002, that is. no real new songs since. none yet, at least.

actually i put up verse on my r@dyo <http://ronjie.tripod.com/radyo> website... but it hasn't really been updated since.... 1998? putting up verse on a blog actually helps me in uploading "verse" songs more easily.

anyway, click on the new link on the right for verse!

"who i want to meet"

i also had this on friendster but, anyway, i took it out to shorten my friendster profile...

I can only give you love that lasts forever / And a promise to be near each time you call / And the only heart I own / For you and you alone / That's all, that's all.//
I can only give you country walks in springtime / And a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall / And a love whose burning light / Will warm the winter night / That's all, that's all //
There are those, I am sure, that have told you / They would give you the world for a toy / All I have are these arms to enfold you / And a love time can never destroy /
If you're wondering what I'm asking in return, dear / You'll be glad to know that my demands are small / Say it's me that you'll adore / For now and ever more / That's all, that's all ///


I had this up on my friendster profile prior to this date and time that I have just taken it out:

"You see that glass of anisette (wine/cocktail) before you?" he went on. "Now, you just see the anisette. I, on the other hand, because I need to be inside everything I do, see the plant it came from, the storms the plant endured, the hand that picked the grain, the voyage by ship from another land, the smells and colors with which the plant allowed itself to be imbued before it was placed in the alcohol. If I were to paint this scene, I would paint all those things, even though, when you saw the painting, you would think you were looking at a simple glass of anisette."
--Paulo Coelho (from the novel "Eleven Minutes")

Monday, August 30, 2004

[Book Review] Angels & Demons [Dan Brown]

Not as fantabuluous (a term i hear from my mom) as TDVC (read the previous post), but great nonetheless. A must-read, if you ask me. You will learn a lot (as you would have with TDVC).

By the way, Angels & Demons is a prequel to TDVC, so if you read TDVC after A&D, you'll see some references to A&D. But, that is just a miniscule matter to the real deal.

If there was one thing with A&D (and perhaps TDVC also) that made me do, it was to post on my blog!

I read A&D within a span of probably... under 24 hours. I started reading it around Saturday midnight, slept at 5am, did my usual Sunday thangs, got back at it at around 10pm, slept at around 3am, and finished the thing for about an hour before work (I got to the office early) and within lunch time. I just can't put it down. (I heard myself say that for TDVC also, which I also finished just as fast.)

In a way, the implications of the point-of-conflict in A&D was as huge as that in Day After Tomorrow (2004 motion picture), I almost cried... Imagine that.

Anyhow, there were a few things worth mentioning from A&D.

First, the simpler of the two: "Sometimes our minds see what the heart wishes to be true." (or something like that) That struck me like lightning.

Second, there was this person asking me a question that goes something like "If God was a truly good, kind, and loving God, why does he let wars, sufferings, and the like happen to us and to the world?" Dan Brown had an answer to that. And it was similar to my answer to that person. Unfortunately, Dan Brown published A&D in 2000 , if I'm not mistaken, and I thought of that just last year. My answer, very similar to Dan Brown's, is this: "If you had a child (a son or daughter), would you make him stay at home so that he won't risk getting hurt or making mistakes? I will let him go out into the real world to make mistakes, and to learn, and to grow."

Hmmmm... That thought just made me think. (A thought that makes you think?) I would let my kid out into the real world for all of that, because I want him to experience the same things I have experienced in my life. And to me, those experiences are wonderful experiences! Could that mean, by analogy, that God himself have (or at least know very well) these experiences? I always say, experience is always better than book-based knowledge. Before getting into one commitment, I used to think that it would be all this and that, all easy-enough to handle. When I got into one, I learned a lot, and most of those I learned during that experience disproved many things I learned from books, stories, and words-of-mouth.

Now imagine this, I wrote all this (and I could write more) because of Angels & Demons, and The Da Vinci Code. Read them. I recommend TDVC first (because it's more interesting from the beginning pa lang). Meanwhile, I am still a Catholic. God bless, everyone!

-- ronjie ;-)

[sub-labels: CPC books]

Sunday, August 29, 2004

ideas and hypotheses

i wrote these at the back of my notebook in continuum mechanics. in layman's terms, that is greek 101: fundamentals of the greek language--the greek alphabet.

some hypotheses and philosophies

big bang, random vibrations, cyclical nature of things... (hmmm... why do i feel like i've written about this already?)

love is a decision.

the perfect human is imperfect, or he contradicts the very essence of being human.

love is a decision. supplement-complement.

everything we do creates ripples that swim through the vast sea of life, and felt on the other side of the universe.

some ideas

the prophets (?) - a novel?
the classroom - the world is a classroom
the book about life - a definitive "book" on how to live life, for our children to read, that we (earthlings?) will collectively write and will publish on the web...
it's all about attitude...
i-disown na natin si juan tamad
life in engineering terms

- - - - -

may i make one comment -- i am reading Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown at this moment. it has compelled me to pursue posting this blog. as i have said, i will tackle these ideas (and possibly many more) in the years to come. ;-)

prustrations and thoughts

there are new posts at the prustrations and thoughts blog. at my prustrations are ideas (hypotheses actually) i have kept since i don't know when. some are comparatively newer. i will develop and expound on them in the years to come. i have decided to publish them here on the RONJBLOG. God speed!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

a state of confusion yet again

a good friend is in a state of confusion yet again.

she is not exactly a woman you could consider "ideal".

yes, she has the looks... she has the brains... she's struggling with morality, and with the teachings in the religion that she grew up in...

and there in lies the conflict.

she says she was not brought up well by her mother... not well meaning, she has come to be... "academically ready for the world, socially not," as she would put it. and that's how her mother had raised her... "study well." at the age of ten, she wanted to be a "scientist." she dreamt of making a big discovery or proving a theory such as those by the great scientists that we learn about in elementary and high school. later on in her life, she read about philosophers; philosophy was the father of science, anyway.

often during her youth, because of her model-ish height, her mother's friends ask her, "aren't you going into modeling?" or, "do you play volleyball?" her mother proudly declares, "my daughter is into computers & music." when deciding on which course to take for college, she consults her mother. "mother, which should i take, a b.s. in computer science, or a.b. music?" her mother rejects her and says, "you can't make computers nor music as your career. they're financial dead-ends," as if implying financial abundance meant happiness and contentment. "your dad was an engineer. i really admire engineers. to tell you a secret, two of my ex-boyfriends were engineers. choose an engineering field."

and so engineering she took. and while studying engineering, she spent time with computers and music outside of school. a time that, now at 27 she thought, should have been spent investing in friends and relationships with humans, and not just machines like computers, guitars, and keyboards/synthesizers. not that she had not made any good friends....

now, she is 27, the age at which many rock stars and celebrities passed away, mostly usually self-inflicted, either because of drug abuse, or of suicide.

two years before, she joined a social group within her religion where she has rediscovered a lot about herself. a lot about God. she rediscovered a lot. and discovered quite a whole plethora of new-and-interesting-to-her things related to her religion, to God, to spirituality, to the universe, to science. she restarted reading books, fiction and non-fiction dwelling on various topics from business, to self-help/inspirational, to how-to books. at some point, she had thought of becoming a nun, or to be involved full-time with charity, or with religious teachings (either as a "preacher" herself, or as an assistant to one.) also, as she had dreamt of since her youth, she wanted to write a book that would change the world. alas, in recent years, she has discovered that no one book could change the world. if one thing her mom told her was true, it was that, "you can't change others, only yourself."

now, she is a licensed engineer, struggling with her spirituality. she has gone through one traumatic relationship, and three other failed ones. presently, she had met a man who, to her, would be an "ideal" husband. not that anyone was perfect. but, to her the perfect human is imperfect, or he is no human at all.

just weeks before, her sister told her, in a heated argument, "no one will ever like you!" she got hurt that time. the truth hurts. at that time, she didn't argue back. she told herself, "i will do something about it."

and now the state of confusion is at hand. "what am i here on earth for?" she had not fully accepted rick warren's suggestions in the book, "a purpose-driven life," she read only until chapter 11 of that book.

she has that desire to be a good wife, and a good mother, to a future family. and she has that desire to raise that good family, with a good husband, the man in her life at the present fitting that description quite well. she has that desire to see all that in her future family which she has not seen in her family where she is the eldest daughter of two.

she asks herself as if as another person, "is she good enough?" her quick answer is no. she has much to work on, she thinks. and though many have been attracted to her, for she possesses also some bit of wit and charm, unfortunately, these men did not quite "fit the bill." perhaps she should change herself, her attitude.

on the other hand, there is something that is still inside her, perhaps something that has been imbibed in her since her childhood, that is telling her, "go change the world. you will make a discovery. you will make a difference. write that book."

and she is confused. she is not one to be considered normal; and thus although she has these human desires which seem, at the moment, not practical, she does not know where the other road leads to. discover what?

poor friend of mine. right now, the only help i could give her is, to give her sugar when she runs out of it at home.

- - - - - - - - - - -

there are new posts at the prustrations blog. ideas i have kept since i don't know when. some are comparatively newer. i will develop and expound on them in the years to come. i have decided to publish them here on the RONJBLOG.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

[Book Reviews] The Da Vinci Code [Dan Brown]

Damn it! JUST READ IT!

Since I have my own rules and I follow them, I have set 5 as a maximum, so I rate this 5 out of 5. I could well rate it above 5. I had a midterm exam but after reading one chapter, I am lead to read the next. And here I am cramming. It's too good. I'll be reading another Dan Brown novel in the near future.

[sub-labels: CPC books]

Saturday, August 7, 2004

two months, one new post

i guess i'm getting the hang of it... a post every two months... bi-monthly, is that what it's called? check out coach potato's corner for a short review of "Once Minutos" by Paulo Coelho.

about ronjie

i took out my Friendster "About Me" write-up and placed it here. why? wala lang. ;-)

- - -

ronjie is a licensed engineer, budding artist, aspiring entrepreneur, sports enthusiast, working student, novice philosopher, frustrated singer-songwriter, hopeless romantic, above-average computer whiz, and eldest of two sons of moje.

ronjie believes in the importance of continuous learning and loving, and the temporal nature of our life on earth.

ronjie dreams of spending loads of quality time with his loved ones, doing noble deeds like charity work, writing inspiring books, and having that one day to just look back at life and be able to say "i have loved completely."

ronjie enjoys conversations about love and life, cracks jokes almost every now and then, is a sure friend who could listen, and is someone you can consult about the typhoon and earthquake safety of buildings and structures!

Friday, August 6, 2004

[Book Review] Once Minutos [Paulo Coelho]

Here's one chocolate chip in the latest cookie by Paulo Coelho:

"You see that glass of anisette (wine/cocktail) before you?" he went on. "Now, you just see the anisette. I, on the other hand, because I need to be inside everything I do, see the plant it came from, the storms the plant endured, the hand that picked the grain, the voyage by ship from another land, the smells and colors with which the plant allowed itself to be imbued before it was placed in the alcohol. I I were to paint this scene, I would paint all those things, even though, when you saw the painting, you would think you were looking at a simple glass of anisette."

The person speaking was an artist. The person who created the artist is Coelho. And God created Coelho.

Overall, everyone's said it... It's a "daring" new book. To me, it's a Coelho classic. If you've read about Santiago, Veronika, Fatima, and Elijah, you don't want to miss Maria. Grab a copy now. Mine is for sale for $24.95. Hehe, I was absolutely kidding.

[sub-labels: CPC books]

Sunday, May 30, 2004

by the way: blog descriptions

my latest posts are dated 17 may 2004 on thoughts and on coach potato's corner, if i'm not mistaken. read them!

and by the way, here are descriptions of the blogs, links to which you should see on the right, unless you are using a UNIX or DOS based browser...

ronjie.com - links to the original ronjie website; not updated since january 2000.
prustrations - purpose, prophecy, and philosophy
thoughts - "deep into the inner brain cells of the man called ronjie"
what is da matrix - a really long "reaction paper", published in chunks, on the matrix - the movie trilogy and other stuff...
coach potato's corner - ronjie's rave reviews (on books, movies, etc.)

coming soon:

verse - life, music, and lyrics of ronjie

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Paulo Coelho

I admire Paulo Coelho. He has done things that some of us can only dream of. Nonetheless, I still am dreaming about writing a novel or two. Or three.

Anyhow, if there is one thing common between Paulo Coelho and me is, if I'm not mistaken, that our parents wanted us to become engineers. I am now an engineer, and Paulo Coelho is now an international bestselling author. Ah, but I'm still in my mid-20s. ;-)

Mr. Coelho went through some really unimaginable times in his youth, became a rock superstar back in Brazil and... I have read four of his novels. I think I'll be reading all the rest.

[Book Review] Veronika Decides to Die [Paulo Coelho]

RATING: 5 out of 5

Can you imagine that? It has been just over a month since my last post, and I have already finished a book that I haven't even planned yet on reading a month ago. Well it took me a while to read this book. Usually, for Coelho novels, I can finish them in one afternoon.

Veronika Decides to Die.....

You know how some people intentionally put you to misery, leave you in agony, increase your anxiety, and all that... And then in the end, you find out, it was all a twist; a modus operandi, maybe a prank. You are actually richer than you are, and you have 15 billion pesos in the bank, left by your great grandmother who intentionally wrote in her will that her first great grandson (or granddaughter) shall inherit all her riches, no one else.

And so, can you imagine how you feel this very moment?

I loved Veronika Decides to Die because I met some people with very interesting character and very interesting lives, although I never had that interest because it is easy to judge a book by its cover... And secondly, because Paulo Coelho is just simply smart. He got me again in this novel.

Coelho is one author who writes novels which I want to finish. You cannot predict at all (or maybe you could but... you could get so much into the story!) the ending or what will happen next, you'll meet fascinating people... It helps that Coelho novels are short. Haha.

While By the River Piedra was a little more predictable... And The Five People You Meet In Heaven was very predictable (not even halfway through the book) except for a few details and well, yeah, it's got a message, but its characters were less interesting... Hey, it's hard to write a novel after all!

Veronika Decides to Die is a story you should read. It's one hell of a ride. It's a great story. Not your usual bacon & eggs, but it is cooked to perfection. The scenes and the characters are very vivid, as By the River Piedra and most other Coelho novels offer. Or, I might not have read that much yet. Did I tell you that I have something to say about Paulo Coelho in thoughts?

Next in Line (for reading): Eleven Minutes (latest novel by Paulo Coelho)

[sub-labels: CPC books]

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Future Books (and other stuff) to be Reviewed!

Well I have to make this announcement because I have made RONJBLOGs public... No, I did not make any IPO. Ok, not all people probably understood that joke.

Okay, back to business. I should tell you guys that as much as possible, I only like to read books that I know are bestsellers or potential bestsellers. And I do only read usually inspirational books, or... engineering books. Yeah, yeah, I am an engineer by day and a blogger by night. And I play basketball and badminton also during some nights, and watch the boob-tube and the big screen also on some other nights. Har har. There goes another... never mind.

Seriously now, I have to list these books so that you may know what to expect in the near future. You know, so that you might wanna come back to this site?

Actually, the business of reviewing books and stuff (like maybe CDs or movies or whatever else...) is not as easy as you think. I mean you have to construct your sentences very well to convey your real message. And to really give a good, complete review of the book, it will take quite a long write-up... Alas, I am not giving complete reviews of these books. I will be actually writing more like "reaction papers", you know, like those one page pambobola that is required by your freshman college instructor to write for that really boring play you watched, only so that your instructor can be sure that you really did watch that really boring play. And well, maybe get some entertainment out of your one-page literary piece.

So well, Coach Potato is about entertainment. Entertainment is what you will get here. Check out these really nice books. I will review them (please note that when I say review, I mean I will write "one-page reaction papers") soon on this BLOG. Keep posted.

One more thing, most of these books are books I highly recommend for reading. Some books though might not be of interest to others. We all know that one cannot please everyone.

So FINALLY, here's the (partial) list. ;-)

The Alchemist [Paulo Coehlo]
The Fifth Mountain [Paulo Coehlo]
By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept [Paulo Coehlo]
Thank God He's Boss [Bo Sanchez]
You Can Make Your Life Beautiful [Bo Sanchez]
You Have The Power to Create Love [Bo Sanchez]
The Prophet [Kahlil Gibran]
The Purpose-Driven Life [Rick Warren]
If I Really Wanted to Simplify My Life I Would... [Lighthouse Books]
Boy Meets Girl [Joshua Harris]
The Matrix trilogy of movies [The Wachowski Brothers]
Star Wars Episode 2 [George Lucas?]
Castaway [starring Tom Hanks]
Forrest Gump [starring Tom Hanks]

P.S. I have a separate blog for The Matrix trilogy. I loved those movies. However, as of today, I haven't posted much on that site. School got in the way of blogging. Till next post! Ciao! ;-)

[sub-labels: CPC general]

[Book Review] Simplify and Create Abundance [Bo Sanchez]

Alright! I now have two reviews and counting! For my review (more like a "reaction paper") of Bo Sanchez' latest book, I actually wrote him a letter. It follows. By the way, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, it's a must-read I think as it is a good reminder for us all. Oh and it's cheap. Bo Sanchez is a simple and great guy. I wrote a little short something about him in the RONJBLOG, thoughts.

------------------ Book Review: Simplify and Create Abundance [Bo Sanchez] ------------------

Dear Bo,

I would just like to say that I am a big fan of yours, specifically your books. I have bought all five of your books (the P150 ones; I haven't bought "Embraced" yet. I do have "The Way of the Cross" also. I hope I got the titles right...): Thank God He's Boss, You Have The Power to Create Love, You Can Make Your Life Beautiful, Simplify and Live the Good Life, and, I am in the middle of reading "Simplify and Create Abundance."

I can't help but react to your book. It is the message that many Filipinos need to hear, I think. I just recently read the chapter/section about poor Leny and Manager (and former house helper) "Helen." I think those two are two stories many Filipinos need to hear. If I would write a reaction paper on that chapter/section, I would say this...

Christianity and the Bible tell us that we should learn to accept, and to be thankful to God for whatever we have, for wherever we are, for whatever situation or condition we are in, and for who we are. "Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of God." Et cetera. We know that envy and self-pity are our enemies... On the other hand, the Bible does not tell us that we should stop there. There was this one parable about... the talents? Or basically the one wherein the master gave his slaves some money and left for a while; he came back to find out that some of his slaves made more than the others out of those he left for them. In fact, the Bible is telling us that for whatever we have, we should make something out of it, make it grow. If it's money, we should make it earn. If we are indeed, say, financially deficient, we should accept that fact, be thankful for the littlest thing we have, but the thing is, we still have something. If we have hands and feet, we could use them in many ways to earn---to get to work, to use at work, etc. We have brains that we should not waste at all; by just internally brainstorming, we could come up with lots of ideas to be able to provide for our personal needs, and for the needs of others, including our families and loved ones. If we are not deaf, we could ask others to help us in our quest, and humbly give back in gratitude for their help. Even if we are blind, we know that even blind people could be productive. If we are still alive, let us not waste a minute of it doing nothing to make things better for ourselves and for others. If we have time, we could take a rest from all the work. The thing is, there are a lot of these "little" things that we forget we have that we could use so that we may not end up poor. Like Helen, she had free time in the evening, and she used them to take classes and finish school. She had feet to walk to her job interviews, a voice to communicate with her interviewers, a mind to help guide her to give her best answers, hands to fill up the application form, etc. Haha, and this is just one very simple example. There's this one person I know who thinks more like Leny; he thinks that "Mahirap maging mayaman..." And there's this other person I know who thinks that simplicity means being poor. On the other hand, I think we can be simple and have an abundant supply of whatever we need! Bo's message is truly something that all Filipinos should hear, and apply in their lives.

Okay, well that's that. But Bo, if I may make a suggestion. One thing I have observed is that, while many Filipinos understand English, like say when the LRT makes an announcement like "Next station is Araneta Center, Cubao", Filipinos can easily understand that; it's just one sentence. Most Filipinos know what "Stop" means, or "One Way", "Yes", "No", or "No Left Turn"... But I think not a lot of Filipinos really understand "Turn right anytime with care"... Haha, I might be being too judgmental of my fellow Pinoys now. Anyway, to explain my point better... I was an instructor for one semester at one of these universities and I made all of my students submit an index card with their full name, identification numbers, contact numbers, and I asked them to answer the question "What do you expect to learn in this class?" When I got the index cards, all their answers had all-English words, but I got frustrated because it's not even close to 50% who gave grammatically correct English sentences. My point is, though Filipinos are proud because we're probably the third largest English speaking nation in the world, it is still not our first language. It is not our natural language. Maybe only a few of us really may have had very good grades in our English classes back in Elementary or High School...

My point, Bo, is I think your books, your message should reach more Filipinos. Your books are not just for us who understand English. I appreciate it that your books are affordable (to me at least) at P150 each. I think it would be great if you would have your books translated into the natural language for most of us. Maybe you could have at least a Tagalog or Filipino version, or a Bisaya version... What do you think?

Nway, keep up the Good work, Bo. By the way, I did listen to one of your tapes already, "Loving difficult people." Hehehe.

That's it for now. God bless!

Ronjie Aquino

[sub-labels: CPC books]

Friday, April 16, 2004

Who is iSIDrow?

iSIDrow is a character I conceived back in 1997. iSIDrow is this simple, old man, who, lately, has become a fisherman, and is well read and has enough scars, physical and otherwise, to make him the man full of wisdom that he is. People come up to visit iSIDrow at his home near the beautiful beach of one of the small islands of the Philippines, to ask him for advice, and often they leave him with the answers they needed. iSIDrow’s real name is actually Isidro, but even the younger generations recognize and admire him, and that is how they refer to him. One young man at the age of 22 wrote about him in a popular newspaper, and it was he who started to add the “w” to “Isidro.” He spelled his name “iSIDrow”, for a few reasons: it looked cooler, sounded like “Skid Row,” a rock band, and well, some folks who went up to him simply called him “SID”.

iSIDrow is actually a character that I see as my ideal self when I have reached that old age. I wish to be able to help people, answer their questions about love and life, and yet have that very simple life, probably fishing when I’m not doing anything. Probably dark skinned already because of regular exposure to the sun. In a sense, while iSIDrow is living what he teaches, he teaches how one should live based on how he has lived.

Back in 1997, I started to create iSIDrow, to write his life, to introduce him to the world. I made a web site that was supposed to be the iSIDrow website, the content of which, I envision putting in novel. I stopped somewhere after the “first chapter”, and have lost the contents of the site since. I should start again with “iSIDrow,” the man, the story, the website, the novel, and continue with what I have started.

iSIDrow might just become… the next RONJBLOG. Stay tuned. ;-)

Bo Sanchez

Bo is a living example of a man who has a lot of time to serve God first, and still have time to earn a lot of money. He earns more than enough money to feed his family, and more than enough love for other people to give some of that extra money to the needy. That is how his latest book, “Simplify and Create Abundance,” impressed upon me. It is a must-have book. Go get a copy for yourself and your loved ones!

ronjnote: i'll be most likely reviewing Bo's "Simplify..." book and a few others (recently read and not so recently) at the coach potato's corner.

How are you, Ronjie?

I feel like a bird that found itself lost in the middle of the ocean and had to travel for miles on end to reach shore. I am feeling drained, very tired, and not thinking of anything else but getting a lot of rest; feeling shocked, saying to myself, “I went through that?”; and to some extent, feeling relieved that it’s all over, hoping that there would be no important, lengthy trips I have to make soon.

The damage has been done. Recuperation is necessarily next.

For more than 12 months in a row now, I had nothing but work, school, and (some) social life (not to mention a little “romantic” life with a sad ending). Right now, I feel so tired, physically, mentally, and emotionally, my spiritual side has also suffered, and yet it is now I need it most. More than 12 months ago, I did a lot of “fun” things. A lot of sports and workouts, night-outs (“gimmicks”), and all that. I was able to watch movies at theaters more often than, well, now. For the past 12 months, I could still count with my two hands how many movies I saw at a theater. And now, after that 12 months or so, I’ve come to play more “mindless” games: Snake and Opposite (Reversi) on my 3-year old Nokia phone, and Minesweeper on my computer. Now, I sleep early and wake up early. Now, I do not know what is the latest in music and in fashion. I’m now an oldie!

Ah, how the mind, heart, body, & soul are so interconnected. One falls, the others follow. No wonder. That is probably why God created women, to provide that redundancy that men need. Unfortunately, one reason I am in this situation is precisely that, that I thought there was this one person who would provide the heart when I lost heart, the mind when I lose my mind, the strength when my body is weak, and the spirit to help lift my spirit when it is down. I was wrong.

blogging vacation

whew, imagine that. it has been more than two months since i last posted anything on this blog. school+work got the best out of me. i don't recommend you have your kids do the same. part time work might be okay...... alas, i got a few new posts at the "thoughts" blog. check it. peace out.

Sunday, February 8, 2004

[Book Review] the compulsary first review: T5PYMIH

well, i am compelled to write one review... AFTER THAT LENGTHY SPEECH IN THAT PREVIOUS POST!

hmmmm... now, let's see...

the last two movies i saw (on the big screen) were Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions.

who's michael buble?

and who won the super bowl?

i guess you get the idea by now. what am i going to review? ahhh, yes, the books. i've been reading!

well, the last book i read was... The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

i have one word for T5PYMIH: CREEPY!

imagine dead people talking to each other! recounting some incidents while they were alive!

my advice: DON'T READ THE BOOK AT NIGHT!!!! or you'll end up like me, still wide awake at 2:24 in the morning!

i had to skip "part three" and "part four" of the book. i learned that, it was just a story as simple as a sandwich!

all you need to make a sandwich are two buns and something in between. in the case of T5PYMIH, the buns were as plain and simple as white bread, but in between, there's something like tuna with a whole lotta pickles and tomatoes. in other words, a lot of vitamins, and a lot of healthy stuff!

and yeah, as with all specially made sandwiches, you know, the type your mom prepares in front of you, there's always a story to tell that goes beyond the sandwich. while your momma's making your hamburger, she's probably telling you stories about how she used to cannot afford to eat burgers!

so that's about it. i could try to make a sandwich of my own, because the formula's pretty obvious, but wether it will be as good a sandwich as mitch albom's... bah, i'll just buy sandwich. why punish myself with making one?

so... all reviewers have some sort of rating system. others have five stars for really good stuff, others just either give a thumbs up or down sign, others---well they just want to always say the really bad thing about the book. pessimists. i'd rather be calling them pestimists!

anyhowsers, i give this book, a rating of five. because it has the number five in its title! harhar. that wasn't funny. but i'm serious. for the five bucks or so you pay for this mother, it's worth it.

GO BUY THIS SANDWICH! it's good for the bones!

yahoo! i'm done with my first review!

p.s. and have i mentioned that part of the story takes place in the philippines? but soldier is not "sundalong", mr. albom. unless that kid is under three years old.

who is coach potato?

coach potato is the typical couch potato,
who has nothing better to do but eat potato chips,
and shout at the coaches on t.v., as if being the better coach.

prior to this post, this is my definition of CPC (coach potato's corner):

Thoughts of Coach Potato about basketball, and other sports--professional, developmental, amateur, or otherwise.

i figured, between now and the last post (September 2003), it has been almost five whole months. and there hasn't been any action on the corner. well, thank goodness for a really busy work (and school) schedule, and to the fact that the BIG CABLE COMPANY has exclusive rights to premium sports channels showing NBA and NFL games and that, well, my humble little cable company is the david in the cable tv arena... and of course, the PBA had its off-season starting in mid-december until mid-february... thus, here is coach potato, left with nothing to critique.

today, i have redefined CPC. it's more about reviews of different types of media: books, movies, CDs, magazines, articles, gadgets, people, t.v., radio, videos, sounds, etc. whatever could be reviewed.

let met get one thing straight though. i am not coach potato! coach potato.... is a creation. he's a fictional character. he can take on many faces. he could have many moods... he's a real critic. closer perhaps to being hypocritical? that shall be for you to judge. ;-)


[sub-labels: CPC general]

Tuesday, February 3, 2004

On being "mabait": A quote from Benjamin Franklin

I read this from "If I really wanted to SIMPLIFY MY LIFE I would..." from Lighthouse Books. It's a great simple little book! =)

"When you do for a man what he can and should do for himself, you do him a disservice." - Benjamin Franklin

Though I am going to expound on this topic (being "mabait") in a later post, can I say this: Teachers, you're not doing service to your students if you give them a passing grade that they do not deserve!


i've posted this link to "a blogger's disclaimer." basically it applies to you, me, and all of eternity. if you haven't read one before, check this link out! =)


Saturday, January 24, 2004

On Depression: A Letter To A Friend

Working so hard, giving 100% of your time and effort, sacrificing personal life but not getting appreciated to the point of feeling inexistent? Been there, done that! Getting a lot of backstabbing from the people you least expect to do that? Oh I've been there, and I've done that! From, even during my fragile, less-mature days while in high school and during college... to just last year, when things went one way when I was almost absolutely sure it would go another way.

Hey! Being depressed, or feeling "down na down", and very disappointed is not good for your health!

I've been there before... I myself have even considered suicide. Thank God, but somehow, I was brought up to have just a little more faith in my system that was enough to bring me here to where I am right now. But I am not yet complete when it comes to faith. There are still these things about me, things I do or think, that show that I myself have a lot to improve on. But, over the course of time, I have learned one important lesson.

To have more trust and faith in the LORD. After all, after a time of trials comes a time for joy.

To do that, we'll have to be ready for change! We've heard of the answer before: we can't change others, only ourselves.

We could change our attitude towards things and others, and that goes first. It doesn't seem easy, and it takes a lot of mental strength. [(Filipino) women are somehow better than most (Filipino) men!] So, while for you, it might be hard, for me and a lot of other people, men and even women alike, it will be much harder! It's not impossible... :-)

Also, it's always healthy to think and act positively! And it's always a good medicine for depression. It requires quite a lot of change in our systems. It's not easy! So we'll also need friends or our immediate community, who know and share the same goals, ideals, and principles as us, to support us and/or guide us!

And prayers---they are always good! You might be one of millions who offered your prayers and your big and simple sacrifices to Him through the feast of the Black Nazarene, held at Quiapo early this year. That's great! It's one step in the right direction! We can also talk to Him in the comfort of our own home, and in the comfort of our own time, like during lunch break, perhaps, or during our trip to the restroom...

So what if you are, like someone I know, "trapped" inside a job or place or environment from which you just can't grow, because there's no more space to grow (like you don't have time for other "healthier" things, and people around you most of the time are your greatest critics)? Get out of that trap! The universe is huge, there are many more places to go!

Yes, by now, you could probably predict what I'm about to say: I've been there, done that. How did I do it? Well, in simple terms, I thought that... If I'm in a situation that's really bad and yet somehow I needed to be there, could it become worse if I did something else? If I choose Option B instead of sticking to Option A, may be I wouldn't get the same things that I used to get out of Option A, but may be I would feel better and more productive if I choose Option B! I would have to change my attitude though, towards those things I needed that Option A provided. Maybe I didn't really need them at all. I mean, if my apartment rental costs me half my whole months' salary, maybe I didn't need to stay in that apartment!

What if Option B proves to be worse? There's still Option C! What if I've come to Option Z, and it still isn't what I wanted? Uh-oh, wait a minute, I know where things could have gone wrong... It's with my attitude. Why would I want to buy a fancy car, if I would have to be extremely patient with my extremely impatient boss everyday of my life, and cause myself unneeded stress which eventually makes me go on weekly drinking sprees with my "barkada" and smoke half-a-pack a day, and which would eventually kill me at a young age, and probably leave my future wife and kids behind with... well, not much; or probably, people will just say about me, "kawawa naman" ("Such a pity.")?

I could also... change my attitude towards my boss! Well, I could choose to accept the fact that my boss is like that. Maybe instead of being affected by his impatience, I could just be an example to him. I'll smile all the time while working! And maybe if he asks me to do overtime this weekend, I do have the option to tell him that I can't! Because it's not mandatory to do overtime! If he kicks me out because I refused to do weekend overtime, let it be!

Well, the things is, we have a lot of options! We always have a choice! Well, we can't control the consequences of that choice, but again, we can choose our attitude towards those consequences!

One time, when I was really feeling "challenged" in life, I went to the Blessed Sacrament at the UP Chapel to pray and to ask for comfort from God. And then this picture came into my mind: imagine Jesus having to accept that he was going to suffer and be killed, understanding that it was God's will. Though he suffered much, having to accept his purpose (the story of The Agony in the Garden), what did he turn out to be? Oh, he just rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father! But he's just quite the perfect example, isn't he? :-)

So... Basically, we could either choose to accept where we are, make the most out of it, and act enthusiastic and think positive all the time, or take the alternate highway with less humps and potholes. If things will go wrong, they will. But after all has been said and done, let us trust and have faith that God has a purpose for all this, and it is universally a good one.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

On being "mabait": Bo Sanchez' reply to an enduring wife

Do you think we should call the letter-writer (the wife) in this story, just being "mabait" to his husband? My answer is NO. Thus, I see being "mabait" more closely associated with being loving, or "mapagmahal", rather than with just simply being tolerant.

This is the January 6, 2004 issue of Kerygma Soulfood Bulletin, provided by Sheperd's Voice Communications, headed by Bo Sanchez (one of my favorite writers), and based in Metro Manila, Philippines. To subscribe to the bulletin, send an e-mail to soulfood@shepherdsvoice.com.ph.

--------- forwarded message starts here ---------

by Bo Sanchez
January 6, 2004


Hi Bo,

I just read your last bulletin where you answered a wife's question. I have one of my own. I guess I would like to say that I really need guidance. I have two spiritual advisers, very close friends of mine, who belong to two different communities. When I told them about my marital problems, they both suggested that I stick it out with my husband. But I cannot hold on to this marriage forever.

My husband is a drug user. He and I have gotten into arguments about his habit, and it would sometimes turn into violent fights. He has violent tendencies, because he also gets into spats with his siblings. He also spanks or pinches our son very hard when the latter misbehaves. He has lost his job because he always seems to think that he is above the law (he was caught accepting bribes). Now, what he does all day is play with his PS2 games and expects me to wait on him hand and foot.

He earlier confessed to me that he was put into jail because of drug possession, and that he has since mended his ways, but I keep catching marijuana in his car.

I love him. I have prayed for him over and over again, but he is very easily swayed by his friends. I do not want to give up on him, but he seems unwilling to help himself.

Please pray for me and for my family.


Dear Frustrated,

Leave your husband. And don’t reunite with him until he goes into some counseling or rehab for his drug abuse and violent behavior. That’s the firm condition you’ll set.

Will leaving him make him change? There are no guarantees.

But the probability that he changes is much more if you leave him than if you stay with him. Why? Because when you stay with him, the message you’re giving him is this: "It’s okay for you to take drugs—anyway, you’ll still have a wife here beside you and life goes on normally." I don’t care how intense you nag him about his destructive habit, he won’t change. Because your actions are louder than your words.

But when you leave him, the message you give him is totally different. By leaving him, you’re telling him, "You’re destroying your life. Unless you change, you’ll lose everything. Even your family."

In other words, you need to allow a crisis to happen to his life.

By taking drugs, he’s causing the crisis—but until now, you’ve prevented it from happening.

Don’t prevent it.

Sometimes, the most loving thing to do for a loved one is to allow the bad consequences of their bad decisions to happen. So that they taste the bitter experience and learn—and mend their ways.

Let him feel what it means to lose everything, including family.

Again, I cannot give you guarantees for his change. It may be possible that for awhile, he may even become worse.

In the meantime, you live your life. Focus on the Lord, and let God build you up.

Explain to the kids that you’re doing this so that the family will be saved.

Call up our counseling center at Tel. 9950303 and our counselors will pray with you.

I remain your friend,

Bo Sanchez

--------- forwarded message ends here ---------

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

End of Blog {Thread}?

I should just end this blog {thread}. If you go to MatrixTheories.com, they have a lot great stuff for reading there, posted by Matrix fans like you and me. But, there must be a purpose why I thought of putting this blog up. Thus, this shall not be the end.... Yet.

destiny? (draft)

Quote me on this... Though other previous sources are expected.

Where we are now is where we ought to be. Where we will be tomorrow is our choice to make.

The fact is, there is a tomorrow, whether we like it (that fact) or not. Whether we believe in that fact, or not. What will happen tomorrow, we will either like or not like. What will happen tomorrow, will happen tomorrow.

Thanks to "The Matrix philosophy"* by the Wachowski brothers, and to others who have contributed to the "world" of that "philosophy" like fans posting comments, and their own two cents worth on different fora (such as at www.imdb.com, and at www.matrixtheories.com), and philosophers' (such as those at www.thematrix.com, and traditional paper books) and scientists' views, and also to the book, "A Purpose-Driven Life" by Rick Warren and other fine books (I should note Paulo Coelho), I have come to realize that there is only one reality--it is that where you are in right now.

Analogies... (Outline)
Person playing/participating in a virtual game/environment.
Person logged-on on one website, which has links to webpages outside of such website.
Person working as an engineer, pondering "what if i was an artist or book writer?" (Sounds familiar!)

* I just term it a "philosophy" and not just a movie or a trilogy of movies, because it is more than a movie--it is also a computer game, a comic book, anime, an online game, a website... it is now a sub-culture; it is a phenomenon**.
** It is not a phenomenon if you do not see it that way. And vice versa.

Sunday, January 4, 2004

[Movie Review] The Matrix Movies in General: Ratings + Blog {Thread} Intro

I'd rate them...

TWO THUMBS UP! ...I do have two thumbs. And well, if you believe in Zodiac signs, I'm a Gemini, and thus I'm a "Twin", I have split personalities, both of which give the movie a thumb up. Thus, my pathetic justification for two thumbs up. Two thumbs, same direction... That's providence. (Hey, can you try to determine for yourself which statements are serious, and which are sarcastic? Alright, thanks!)

FIVE OUT OF FIVE! ...Did I mention that it's just a movie? You know, some novels are great, and then they become great movies (or not). This was a movie, and was a movie. Get it? No? I did not think so. But it is always good to ask.

Others rate them...


I say, are you trying to compare this movie with other movies? Didn't your mother tell you that comparing is not good for anyone!!!!??? Why compare The Matrix with The Godfather or Lord of the Rings? Come on! That's not fair!

Anywho, others say that the visuals are great, but the audibles? Hmmm, you know what, now I'm thinking, what college degree did the Wachowskis finish?

Well, I respect everybody's opinions. But I must say, The Matrix got all the praises, Reloaded got mixed emotions, Revolutions weeded out the real fans from the movie-hoppers! And people tend to talk a lot about the dialogues, the "MWAM" (Matrix Within A Matrix) Theory, the MWAMWAM theory, the visual effects, and so on and so forth. But there's more to that. So read the next paragraph because this is the last sentence of this paragraph.I'd like to react more about the symbols and the messages we can get from the movie.

There was this Filipino movie, which was rated "X", or basically, it was for adults only, and it had really explicit sex scenes, I guess. {I think I was referring to the movie "Warat."} Thus getting banned from public showing, getting all the hype, getting attention from "freedom-of-speech users", getting cut, getting a new rating (something like rated "R"), and finally, getting showed to a very curious public. People watched it and said, "There's no story, it's all about sex, sex, sex." Well, of course, we could say, yes, fornication is a bad thing. But there was a message in that movie; i.e., there was a story! And the story was that, there were these two people who fornicated, found out they were step siblings, and in the end, their lives were ruined. Pretty simple, but, I don't know, people didn't see that. Was it too obvious? Instead, people saw SEX SEX SEX. Well I guess if you put a BIG RED DOT beside a tiny green one on a big white canvas, it's easier to notice the color RED.

My point is, beyond the nice computer graphics, "wire-fu" coreography, and juicy dialogues... There was more to The Matrix movies. There were symbols, and hidden or shall I say, "watermark" messages.

Oh well, let me spoil for you one of these "watermark" messages. When I finished watching Revolutions with a friend, she could only say, though in another language, and hereby paraphrased in a way because I forgot her exact line: "The movie screamed nothing but FAITH. I saw nothing but FAITH FAITH FAITH. All I saw in the movie was FAITH." Haha...

Well perhaps, what you easily see first in a movie would be something that reflects of you. I did say PERHAPS, okay? I could paraphrase that statement, still. Anyhow, so I guess this series of short "reactions" to parts and parcels of the movie would be more about things that I, the author, relate to, or something like that. Thus, you may view these posts as viewed from another point of view, some of which might be similar from where you're at.

Get it? I hope so! Enjoy this BLOG!

p.s.Did I tell you guys that it's 4:30AM? Thus, pardon my weirdness, please. Thank you. :-)

[sub-labels: CPC movies]

new ronjblogs: thoughts + matrix

It's 3:55 am (Manila time) and i'm having a hard time sleeping, yet again. When this usually happens and I really need to sleep, I write songs or poetry, or paint something, or other "creative" stuff. Thus, tonight I thought of putting up the "thoughts" and "matrix" ronjblogs. Nothing much yet, but... well, thoughts. Enjoy!