Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's so easy to expect the worst to happen. #thoughts

Isn't it the end of the world yet? Despite all earlier predictions of such kind of an event being disproven by time, here we were again, faced with another similar prediction and there we were again, or at least some of us, thinking or expecting it to be true.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A reaction to a reaction on the recent shooting at an elementary school in the US

Last post, I talked about those shootings as well, stressing on the importance of parenting, and how people don't seem to see or how they seem to ignore how parenting played a role in that very, very unfortunate incident. It is a very difficult topic to discuss in one blog article. But I failed to mention one more thing that people don't seem to see or that they seem to deny as to what might also have caused that very sad incident: mental illness.

For that, I link to this article written by a mother who has had to deal with a son who has one, and has demonstrated violent tendencies of his own:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pacquiao will be fine and he should consider fighting again.

Hey, boxing and Pacquiao fans. He'll be fine. It is better to be KO'ed (and for Manny, doctors have said he is okay after performing CT scans on him), or to have some swells, cuts and bruises, than receiving consecutive blows to the head and not being KO'ed at all.

Now, check this out first, will you. This is a good read: Oh, and this:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Can people who don't know anything about boxing (the sport of, and/or the business of), please stop saying anything about boxing?

[On the Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 boxing fight]

Can people who don't know anything about boxing (the sport of, and/or the business of), please stop saying anything about boxing? It's annoying.

It was a good fight, they were both game, one guy made one mistake, one guy capitalized on it, it could have gone either way.

Congratulations to Marquez, he was obviously the better man, but they both still end up with huge amounts of money that even I would train for and fight anyone for the same amount or even less.

Because tens of millions of dollars is called an opportunity. And winners don't let opportunities walk away. Meanwhile, losers, unable to see opportunities, would have all the reasons and all the excuses and all the names to hurl at winners.

I've asked this before, but I ask it again.

Are you a winner or a loser?

Go on. Call me names and tell me your excuses.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Reach for the moon or reach for the stars? [quote them]

Image copyright: NASA
There's this quote I've heard many times over now, and it goes something like this:
"Reach for the stars. If you fail, at least you'll land on the moon."
Then on one of the videos documenting Felix Baumgartner's record-breaking jump "from the edge of space" at supersonic speeds, I saw this:
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Is religion insufficient? [quote them] [thoughts]

A friend shared one of The Dalai Lama's status updates on Facebook just this past week:
"All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether."
I wanted to ask my friend who shared this if she will be "singing an REM"1 anytime soon?

Monday, September 10, 2012

[thoughts] Dear God...


God received a letter that went: "Dear God. Please help me quit smoking. Love, Anonymous."

He then replied, "Dear Anonymous. Just quit smoking already. Love, God."

God received another letter: "Dear God. Please help me lose weight. Love, Anonymous."

He then replied, "Dear Anonymous. I already gave you help. I call it choice. Love, God."

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dear Alfonso: Many Filipinos have two given names. [did you know?]

Dear Alfonso,

We thought of naming you "Juan Antonio" and maybe a future sister "Maria Monica," and call you by your nicknames, "Wanton" and "Mamon," but we think Alfonso is just perfect.

We chose a Spanish version of your name, although it could have been of many other forms: Alphonsus, Alphonso, Alphonse, Alfonse, Alonzo, Alonso, and so on. Your mom and I think that Alfonso just sounds better with our Spanish/Italian-sounding family name. If you wish to take on a different form of your name, feel free to do so, but we think you'll love Alfonso just fine. Most of your future friends (i.e. children of our friends, who are your contemporary) also have Spanish-sounding names, like Anton, Sofia, Franco, Javier, Teresa, Julia, and so on. Some have English-based names, but you know at this time and age, the language origin doesn't matter anymore. It's the meaning behind the name that is most important. Yours means "noble and ready."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

[quote them] Kurt Cobain

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”
— Kurt Cobain
I can't believe it has been more than 18 years already

Sunday, August 19, 2012

[quote me] (or quote them?) The pro and con of school.

Image from Wikipedia
I was going over my Palm (device) Memopad (app) notes backup from yesteryears, and I saw this quotation I jotted down there:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

[did you know?] Sprite is a...

Remember those days?
Image seen on
You all probably know of Sprite, that lemon-lime soda drink from the makers of Coke, and that we usually don't drink if there's Coke anyways. But did you know that "Sprite" is a few other things, too?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Don't hate, don't suffer [quote them] [quote me]

The Tarsier, the smallest primate,
found only in the Philippines,
image from Caters News Agency Ltd,
as seen on The Daily Mail Online.
This is a quote from a fictional character, but I personally believe it is so true. You all know this already, right?
"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."
So yeah. Do you hate or are you angry at certain kinds of people? Oh what suffering you might be experiencing right now. But at the back of it all is some form of fear.

I would also like to think ignorance lack of proper knowledge/experience/understanding likewise leads to fear, anger, and/or hate. That's something that is probably difficult to deal with, but not impossible to. To me, I just simply look at it this way: I don't want to be suffering, so I don't hate.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Benjamin Franklin on Marriage [quote them] [quote me]

"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards."
It is said to be an antecedent to the Stanley Kubrick 1999 film, "Eyes Wide Shut," starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, which explores the hardships of keeping an ongoing relationship alive. [Source: Wikipedia]  On a side note, it's funny that it stars now-divorced couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Also, I've always associated Kubrick only with the sci-fi genre, and specifically, the "2001: A Space Odyssey" movie.

Anyway, this Benjamin Franklin quote probably best captures my own beliefs about marriage, and I would think, that of my real close friends', too.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The languages with the most number of native speakers are... [did you know?] [prustrations]

Image from
1. Chinese Mandarin - 1 billion people
2. Spanish - around 390 million people
3. English - around 375 million people
58. Tagalog - 20 million people

Sunday, July 8, 2012

How convenient [prustrations]

Image from miggyzaballero
I've seen a lot of something like this lately:

Filipino Blogger says "Filipinos are so stupid, they hate it when people criticize them."

Sunday, July 1, 2012

[did you know?] Zapote, the fruit.

From Top10Philippines
I've known people (Filipinos) with Zapote as their family name. I wondered what that means. I just know it's a Spanish word.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pasig River Ferry Service [prustrations]

Pasig River Ferry,
image from
This is news from almost a year ago already:
Pasig River ferry service P94M in the red, COA finds
Sad news! I really want the PRFS to be a success. It's a great idea. The stations and the ferries are quite nice. The ride, from Manila to Guadalupe is just under 30 minutes. It's a great project. I want to use it as often as I can. But it's lacking.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

[did you know?] June 20 is Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, i.e. the longest day of the year. It's also called June Solstice.

The earth is currently at the leftmost position in the image above, when the upper part of its axis is tilted towards the sun. Image from Wikipedia.
June 20 is Summer Solstice (or "Midsummer") in the Northern Hemisphere, i.e. it is the longest day of the year. For example, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, sunrise is at around 5:18am and sunset is at around 10:06pm - nearly 7 hours of sunshine!

It's also called June Solstice or Northern Solstice, because in the Southern Hemisphere it is technically Winter Solstice on June 20th.

To me, June 20 marks the start of the hot/warmer summer months in temperate climates (e.g. Tokyo, New York) in the Northern Hemisphere, just as 12:00pm (noon) marks the start of the hot/warmer afternoon of everyday. To me, June 20 also marks the start of rainy/typhoon season in the Philippines, although of course the rains already started pouring in May.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dropbox vs AirDrop

"Oh, Apple's 'new' AirDrop feature is similar to Dropbox!"

Yeah. Right. What, just cause they share a root word, they're similar already? Let's use our God-given brains, people. Shall we? Let's read about Dropbox. Then AirDrop.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

[did you know?] Cost-wise, gasoline < vodka < blood < printer ink

Oh what priorities does humanity today have.

I saw this graphic on the left on

Of course, one driver behind this fact is demand. For example, people consume more gasoline and usually buy them in liters (L), while vodka is generally bought in milliliters (mL), 1000 mL at most, blood usually in 450 mL packs, and ink in 20 mL cartridges.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pinoys love Basketball

It's not an unknown fact anymore.

Back in 2002, we started paying for this multi-tower condo development in Quezon City by Empire East (the lower-income-bracket subsidiary of Megaworld). 2006 came and we were able to move in. The place also had this small pool that was available for use by over 200 households at the development. But you know, it was fine.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Journalism," being OA over OA, and life [prustrations]

Or not. Image from
A news article comes out with the title:
"Country sad about popularity contest loss."
When I read the article, 509 comments were posted on the news article, mostly with one of two types of messages:
"How OA (over acting) are those people in that country!"
"How OA is this article!"
But, really? 500+ comments over this "news" article? Isn't that OA as well? Isn't this a case of "ang magnanakaw takot sa kapwa magnanakaw ("a thief is wary of other thieves")"? Or pointing one finger at others, without knowing that they're pointing three at themselves?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The joy is in the journey [quote them]

Tim Cook, current Apple Inc. CEO, when asked what things he learned from the late former CEO Steve Jobs, said:
"He (Steve Jobs) also taught me that the joy is in the journey..."

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The cure for everything [quote them]

"The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea."
Quote attributed to Karen Blixen, says WikiQuote, which also mentions that the quote has appeared in a Reader's Digest magazine in 1964 where she might have said,
"I know a cure for everything. Salt water ... in one form or another, sweat, tears or the salt sea."
Oh how I miss the sea. There's a couple of other salt water things I can think of, though. One is a hot water bath with bath salts. Another one is not something you'd think of as a cure for anything, but then who knows. You know what I'm talking about? :D

Thanks to my friend DM for sharing this quote!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

To tell or not to tell the painful truth [quote them] [quote me]

A quote from Paulo Coelho:
Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile.
Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts, through this link.

To me, a lie is a sin, while hurting the feelings of someone who is in the wrong but won't admit to it is not necessarily a sin. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. And it's when you say it. If you tell the truth, in a loving way, and he/she still cries, well the only thing you can do is to leave things up to God. The ball is in his/her hands. But making someone smile? With a lie? Sin. It's akin to "Robin Hooding," or feeding your children with stolen money. The end does not justify the means. That's what I think. But you could think otherwise. Let me hear your thoughts at this link.

Thanks to JS for sharing this quote.

Monday, May 14, 2012

[who is] Gosh, I hate trolls.

Gosh, I hate trolls. I just can't stand them. Maybe that's just me, but hear my story out first, will you.

I wish to comment on stuff on the internet, and maybe get in on healthy intellectual discussions/debates particularly if it's on serious stuff. But some people just don't get it, and then they just hit you with insults from out of nowhere, instead of a well-formulated and well-informed counter-argument.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

[who is] I'm a "Mandarin."

This explains it. Or not. Try the "Talent? Lifer? or Mandarin?" test as well for yourself.

I'm a Mandarin!

You're an intellectual, and you've worked hard to get where you are now. You're a strong believer in education, and you think many of the world's problems could be solved if people were more informed and more rational. You have no tolerance for sloppy or lazy thinking. It frustrates you when people who are ignorant or dishonest rise to positions of power. You believe that people can make a difference in the world, and you're determined to try.

Talent: 38%
Lifer: 46%
Mandarin: 54%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

[did you know?] red skies

From Wikipedia:
"Weather systems typically move from west to east, and red clouds result when the sun shines on their undersides at either sunrise or sunset. At these two times of day, the sun's light is passing at a very low angle through a great thickness of atmosphere, the result of which is the scattering out of most of the shorter wavelengths — the greens, blues, and violets — of the visible spectrum, and so sunlight is heavy at the red end of the spectrum. If the morning skies are red, it is because clear skies to the east permit the sun to light the undersides of moisture-bearing clouds coming in from the west. Conversely, in order to see red clouds in the evening, sunlight must have a clear path from the west in order to illuminate moisture-bearing clouds moving off to the east."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

[did you know?] You can spam in many ways thru Facebook.

Image taken from
Spam and e-mail are not mutually inclusive.

I'm writing this as a reaction to all the spam I've been receiving on Facebook, and after I found this Gizmodo article about one way to "filter" spam on Facebook that might be really useful to us all. This is quite long at well over 3,000 words, but I have a 10-point summary version near the end of this article if you just want the gist of it.

First of all, what is spam? [Source: Duh, what else. Wikipedia]

In case you haven't yet heard of the term, "Spam," electronically speaking, is the act of using electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. The word "spam" itself is related to the popular canned processed meat of the same name. As to the term we are talking about today, it started out in e-mail, where marketers would send out an e-mail in bulk to a large number of people.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2nd anniversary

ABSTRACT: Yes, this article is so long, I needed to write an abstract. Essentially, I looked at the stats for the RONJIE.COM blogs and I found that my Civil Engineering and Japan blogs are my top blogs.  RAW, my "quantity" blog, is at #4.  Tagalog Daily and Android Fuel are new blogs that I haven't regularly updated enough, and yet are already proving to be having the most potential. My Coach Potato blogs should probably come back from the dead. And of course, although not exactly a blog, RONJIE.COM is in my top blogs lists because it's the one that links to all other blogs and websites.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Grace Lee's "20-year love affair" [quote them]

Just as "Do unto others as others do unto you" is the positive version of "Don't do unto others what you would not like others do unto you," here is a long-time Philippine resident foreigner's sort of positive take on "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." Sort of. And her hope for the land that feeds her in more ways than one. Read what Grace says about having gratitude to the country that feeds you, here:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Porsche on design [quote them]

As quoted on
"Design must be functional, and functionality must be translated into visual aesthetics, without any reliance on gimmicks that have to be explained." 
-- Ferdinand A. Porsche, grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche and designer of the 911, who just very recently died at the age of 76. Read the news article on the New York Times:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Digital vs. Non-digital: The unnecessary debate

Digital vs. analog watches.  Digital vs. film photography.  Digital vs. oil/charcoal/watercolor/pencil-on-canvas/paper art.  Digital vs. non-digital music.

So? What's the score? What are the pros of digital, and what are the pros of analog? Who's winning?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wave, Goodbye! (The end of a good idea.)

This is sad, but it's nothing new. Google Wave is actually something I thought of back in 2005/2006 while I was out of work and was thinking of a new business to start up, though I called the idea as "Communication Accounting," and of course Google invented the name, and actually implemented and launched Google Wave. But today...
Dear Wavers, 
More than a year ago we announced that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product. Back in November 2011, we shared the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down Wave. Google Wave is now in read-only mode. This is a reminder that the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. You will be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off. We encourage you to export any important data before April 30, 2012. 
If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including Apache Wave. There is also an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature that lets you import all your Waves from Google. This feature will also work until the Wave service is turned off on April 30, 2012. 
For more details, please see our help center. 
Yours sincerely, 
The Wave Team 
© 2012 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Wave account.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Einstein says we are all geniuses. [quote them] [did you know?] [thoughts]

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein
I found this quote from Einstein from this blog article I linked to on RAW. My thoughts exactly.

But here's my question. What do you call a fish that actually tries to climb a tree?

Anyway, I've seen this a number of times; talented fish being asked to climb trees. Of course they will fail. Of course they will look stupid. Or fish that are kept in small fish bowls. Of course they can't swim so fast. Kudos to the fish though that leave those trees and go back to swimming.

And kudos to those who actually know talent. I don't know who said this first, but yeah, IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE. If you don't have the talent, you probably can't recognize one with it. And well, you probably feel more comfortable being around not-so-talented people like yourself. You say that the not-so-talented are talented - to make it look like you yourself are, in the same way, talented. Here's another question then; what do you call fish who claim they've climbed trees?

Can't understand all this? Yeah, just go back to your fish pond. Please.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

[opinion] "Knol" and Google

When Google launched their service called Knol, I was at that time, excited as I am for most new Google products. Today I received this e-mail from Google about Knol:
"As part of Google’s prioritization of product efforts, we will be retiring Knol.  From now through April 30th, 2012, Knol will work as usual, but we’ve made it easy for you to download your knols to file and/or export them to  From May 1, 2012 through October 1, 2012, knols will no longer be viewable, but can be downloaded and exported.  After that time, knol content will no longer be accessible.  We hope that this timeline provides you ample time to transition your content.  For more information, please visit our FAQ:
Thank you,The Knol team
© 2012 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Knol product or account."
To me, "We will be retiring Service X" is a subtle way of saying "Service X wasn't doing very well." So it is for Knol, their attempt at hijacking Wikipedia pageviews (i.e. advertisement $$$). Just like Google Wave. Google Health. And many others. In one way, it's good for Google. But is it good for the rest of us who are sort of coerced into using Google+, their attempt at hijacking Facebook? It was just a few years ago when Google had this "Don't be evil" mantra. Nowadays, when you do a Google search, you get Google+ results even when more relevant results are on Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn. Okay, maybe it's not evil to prioritize your own products in search results. Just unethical.

I'm sorry, Google. My friends are all on Facebook, which is a great service (for now). Google+? Like Knol, it's a NO.

P.S. Just to point out, I still use Google search, Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, and Adsense. But not Google+. And Android - no, not really, if I can afford it, or unless it becomes as innovative as Windows Phone 7 Mango is looking like.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

[who is] My smartphone home screen [UPDATED]

Click the figure for the full-resolution image file.
UPDATE 1: My home screen is now on Swipe the Linen.

UPDATE 2: I've narrowed down my number of apps from 950 to just 150 now, and my number of home screen pages to just 2.  Having a 3rd home screen page alerts me to new apps I've downloaded and that I need to evaluate if I should keep them or not, and if I should delete other apps to make room for these new ones. I've also updated my home screen a little bit - changed the wallpaper and swapped two icon positions. Check out the image at the bottom of this post.

UPDATE 3 (JULY 2012): My home screen is now NOT on Swipe the Linen. I don't know since when. Screw that. Check out instead.

I discovered this website, Swipe the Linen, which showcases a curated selection of people's iPhone or iPod Touch home screens, through "Inspired" by Apple - whose author's home screen was also featured there earlier.

I've always liked organizing my home screens to follow certain patterns and to include my most wanted apps. I must say I found even more inspiration from the earlier featured home screens on Swipe the Linen, not to mention discovering a few new apps. So actually I did a little tidying up and re-arranging before I posted this home screen photo here. But I think this will stick, except I'm still reducing the number of apps I have on my phone (from around 950 apps down to around 550 now). Do you notice the types of patterns I try to follow for my home screen?

If this were just a plain phone, the apps on my dock are the main apps I would use. Perhaps my next mostly used and you can say one of my favorite apps is feedly, my Google Reader client. I've tried many other things, but this just suits my needs best.

Early March 2012 update.
The Fitocracy and "Atsugi" icons are actually bookmarks to a daily webapp I use, and to hourly weather in my current city (using Accuweather), respectively. I also use the "Atsugi" icon if I need to launch Safari; otherwise, Safari is hidden. Kotoba, a Japanese-English dictionary, and Torch, a flashlight app, are apps that I often need quick access to. Obviously I use the Dragon apps for voice-to-text stuff. I don't really need the voice commands that Vlingo provides; the iPhone 4's built-in Voice Control fills that need. I have a "Call (block)" icon which, in one tap, dials my wife's number. I generated this using QuickContact, which has been featured on some news websites/blogs.

How cool is my wallpaper? :-D  Most of the apps I use are freebies.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

[quote them] Learning about Leadership - The case of the crazy, lone dancer

[Thanks to A.B. for sharing this!]

Original text is on If I ever create a life lessons blog or website or whatever, I would feature this video and its message. There are a few key elements to leadership: having the guts to be the crazy firestarter, actually having a follower, and then treating the follower as an equal. No follower, no leader.

But the follower is actually a leader himself. We often hear something like, "Only crazier people follow crazy ones." Because it also takes guts (and a little skill in acknowledgment of genius in something that society has branded crazy) to be that 1st follower. So when the 2nd follower shows up, that's when things have come full circle. As the video narrates, having that 2nd follower validates the 1st follower's decision to acknowledge that the originator's crazy idea as actually something worth following.

Well. Here's to the crazy ones.

Friday, January 20, 2012

[quote them] [thoughts] Hard work vs. Talent

This is so true.
"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."
I'm not sure who was first to say this; the internet "said" it was some guy named Tim or maybe it was Kevin Durant.

But, guess what. This is a trick quotable quote.

Its message is not that hard work (alone) is better than talent (alone). The message is, if you have talent, you should couple it with hard work and you can expect to enjoy much success. If you have talent but you don't work hard enough, you're better off not competing because those who don't have talent but work hard enough (and assuming they know where the finish line is) will eventually run past you.

The good news is, everyone's got talent. You just have to know where you have talent in and then use it there and persevere.

Of course, you can do things that you're really not that gifted in and just work hard at 'em, but you're probably not maximizing life's greatest rewards.

Just my thoughts.