My three favorite apps

Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 02:17 a.m.

THIS is the last in a series of what I term as “Bits and Pieces of Americana 2014,” a personal and highly subjective survey of what’s “hot” or in vogue, the “must-sees” and the “must-haves,” the highlights and the benchmarks of that vast landscape of detritus and delights which comprise American popular culture (and of which we Pinoys are such ardent consumers of, not without its merits— I must say).

So where were we in this so-called survey of the American cultural landscape?

Domus Dei: The face of God

Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 02:16 a.m.

EVERY August 15, the Assumption Alumnae of Bacolod come together in fellowship to honor Our Lady and our alma mater.

This year’s celebration was different. It was spent at the Domus Dei Complex in Silay. Within the complex are the St. John Marie Vianney Shrine and the Columbary, a project of the Diocese of Bacolod City. We offered Mass together and shared an afternoon of agape and some songs with the retired, old and sick priests of the Diocese.

Bringing government services closer to the people

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 02:07 a.m.

THE Ombudsman Regional Office is celebrating its 8th Anniversary in the service of the people of Western Visayas through a Caravan of Government Services.

The Ombudsman is bringing 60 national government government agencies to different cities and municipalities across the region to deliver various services.

Harland: More than meets the eye

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 02:07 a.m.

IF you're feeling a little paranoid and have a load of cash doing nothing, you might like to consider the ultimate in personal automobile safely - an armored car.

Of course, if you're a head of state, an ambassador, a major celebrity, billionaire or perhaps a religious leader, such a vehicle goes with the job.

Breaking the communication barriers

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 02:07 a.m.

HOW many times have we talked to someone and ended up asking ourselves, “How on earth did the conversation get here?!”

It’s easy to just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s ranting. What we want to do is to communicate. We want to be able to convey what we really mean and have it received by the other in the best way possible.

Family reunion

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 02:07 a.m.

MY MOM, Remy Vargas, and I hosted a lunch in our house in Ilog for my cousins, nieces and nephews from Manila.

They are from the Espinos clan whose mother, Virginia Vargas-Espinos, former Miss University Club in the 1930s and was schooled in St. Scholastica's College in Manila, is the sister of my dad, former Ilog Mayor Romeo Vargas.

Orchids to keep the stress away

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 01:31 a.m.

For many women, mothers, and housewives, growing orchids is an effective way to keep the stress away.

Take it from the women of the Negros Occidental Orchids Society, Inc. (NOOS).

A call for humanitarian heroes

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 01:30 a.m.

Every August 19, today, the United Nations (UN) celebrates the World Humanitarian Day.

World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. The day was designated by the UN General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq which killed 22 people.

A Negrense with a beautiful job

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 01:30 a.m.

NEGRENSE Stephen Diaz has one of the most beautiful jobs in the world. And I am not exaggerating.

Only in his early 30s, Stephen has turned into a “man of the world,” so to speak, covering international and highly publicized beauty competitions.

The versatile malunggay

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 01:29 a.m.

HORSE radish is seldom known by many people to be the English name of the lowly malunggay. Scientifically known as moringa oleifera, malunggay is one of the world’s most useful plants.

Horse radish is cultivated in all countries of the tropics. It is easy to plant, and is available year-round. Tested and proven in my backyard, I planted it several years ago and now it has grown into a big tree which I occasionally cut from the top.

Changing the medical landscape in Bacolod

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 02:45 p.m.

THE Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital, also known as the Riverside Medical Center, in Bacolod City turned 60 years old last week.

In 1954, Dr. Pablo Torre had embarked on a grand venture with nothing in mind but to deliver quality healthcare services to Negrenses.

Pomme Rösti

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 02:44 p.m.

LAST week, I said Rösti potatoes make a tasty accompaniment to Chicken Cordon Bleu.

This week I'm going a step further - to sing the praises of Rösti. If you're a potato lover, you'll find they are twice as delicious as the best hash-browns you've ever tasted.

Focus on your inner circle

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 02:43 p.m.

IT’S 4 p.m. on a gloomy afternoon. Vedran Smailovic is beside his window watching his neighbors sullenly lining up for bread on one of the few remaining bakeries open in Sarajevo. Without notice a mortal shell impacts the middle of the line instantly killing 22 of his neighbors, young and old!

He must have been livid with anger. Should he brandish a rifle? Yell profanities at the enemy? He chooses to do the unthinkable. The next day, Vedran puts on his full concert attire, carries his cello, places a plastic chair on top of the blast crater, and plays Adagio in G Minor at 4 p.m. in memory of his neighbors. He plays the piece everyday for the next 22 days amid burning homes and trucks; dropped bombs and whizzing bullets.

Chinese circus coming to Bacolod

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 02:42 p.m.

THE Great Chinese Circus is coming to Bacolod on September 21 featuring The Acrobats of Hebei, China.

The show will be held at the University of Saint La Salle coliseum at 6 p.m. It is produced by CP TYNE Management Consultancy based in Bacolod.

A spectacular collection of superheroes toys

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 11:49 p.m.

ROBINSONS Place Bacolod has opened the Hobbyists and Collectors Exposition 2 at the fountain area on Friday, featuring spectacular toy collections.

These toys include Superman and Batman collection, Gundam plastics collection, RC vehicles and planes, Terminator, Bat Mobile and Star Wars Light Sabers, Pirates of the Caribbean, and 4WD Cars.

Lightness of being on the Camino de Santiago

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 11:49 p.m.

WHEN I first saw Rick and his cane shuffling along the thousand-year-old pilgrimage route to the tomb of Saint James in Spain's northwest, he looked like a poor, elderly laborer who didn't know how long and hard the Camino de Santiago could be.

To my surprise, his English was flawless and he knew much about the past and present of the Iberian Peninsula. Most amazing of all, he was doing his 15th Camino to Santiago and had walked routes that were longer and more challenging than the 790 kilometer Camino Frances that we were on.

A precious gift

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 11:48 p.m.

FIRST birthdays are always are always hallmark memories. When our baby turns one, we look back to the time when they were helpless little beings, absolutely fragile that needed to be always warm and cuddled. They transform to little tykes - wanting to be independent as they venture to stand alone and even take solo steps.

Independence comes with learning to eat with their hands, they are curious with cellphones, can now appreciate toys when before, it was the gift's wrapping paper that they were more enamored with.

Advocating mental health in youth

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 11:47 p.m.

WHITNEY Houston, in her song The Greatest Love of All, said that "the children are our future." She couldn't be more right.

The Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) recognizes the importance of the youth in promoting sound mental health, and making them as mental health partners.

Celebrating love and generosity

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 01:34 a.m.

OVER 300 parishioners, family members and friends gathered at the Redemptorist Church last Monday, August 11, to celebrate the 69th birthday of Monsignor Victorino Rivas, JCD, beloved rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Ang: Lessons from living away from home

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 01:33 a.m.

MORE than five years ago, when I received my acceptance letters to the two universities I had applied for, I quickly had to face the reality that I was going to be living away from home.

While most of my classmates were excited at the thought of living together in dorms and being away from the watchful eye of our parents, I was upset at the thought that I will once again be away from home. After all, just a few years before that time, my brothers and I studied in the United States. I would once again be far from my parents, and worse, I will be alone this time around.

Vargas: Roy’s birthday celebration

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 01:32 a.m.

ROY Cajilig and I have been good friends since we were in college at the University of St. La Salle. Although we didn’t belong to the same batch, we still managed to greet each other in campus and talk once in a while.

Roy studied Nursing while I took up Agricultural Business Management.

Empowering the women in the 3rd District

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 12:51 a.m.

IN THE Third District of Negros Occidental, women and mothers are empowered with livelihood skills to become self-reliant.

They learn how to make bath soap, detergent powder, dishwashing liquid and fabric conditioner, and candles which they can use in their homes or sell for an extra income.

Championing respect

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 12:51 a.m.

I WAS seated in my desk, working on my laptop while our school principal and academic coordinator were also working on their desks, when little Kiana (not her real name) lugged behind her teacher who came in to our office to talk to me.

We all greeted her a cheery "Good morning!" but she shook her head and refused to greet us back. Her teacher urged her to say a simple "Good morning" but she continued to playfully decline our requests.  

THE hottest American cable shows

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 12:50 a.m.

IN LAST week’s column I talked about how America used culture to “conquer” the world and that despite its global decline, it continues to rule the world, or at least the cultural and entertainment aspects of it, through the amazing movies, music, TV shows, games and apps that it churns out in massive doses.

So midway through 2014, here’s what’s hot, what rocks, what are the “must-haves” and “must-sees.” Last week I covered films and music. This week I’ll talk about three television shows that exemplify the best of this year’s “Americana.”

Daily inward journey

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 12:49 a.m.

I WAS invited to one of those talks on spirituality and I was not shortchanged because the speaker was Will Hernandez and he showed us a way to achieve our spiritual journey through soul care.

Before anything else, who is Will Hernandez?

Falling in love with London and Paris

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 02:31 p.m.

LONDON is such a beautiful city with a rich history, which made me enjoyed it very much. As a history buff I have dreamt of visiting this city.

I have been a fan of the English Royal Family ever since I read a story about Henry VIII. Touring this city is a dream come true. My first stop with my aunts is the Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Hertz dream cars

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 02:26 p.m.

VERY few of us will ever have the spondoolicks to own a Bentley, Maserati or an Aston Martin. But thanks to a novel venture launched recently by Hertz in the US, UK and Europe, anyone with a thirst for a motoring thoroughbred can now rent their dream car.

Given the high value of the cars on offer, it was a bold move by the world's leading general use car rental company when it launched its Prestige, Adrenaline and Dream Collections. But already they're proving great hits around the world making the motoring dreams for thousands of enthusiasts come true.

Celebrating in style

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 02:25 p.m.

ONE of my happiest moments was when I got to know Edouard Garcia because he is my idol, whom I fondly called “Nong Edouard.”

I remember it was a party on board Negros Navigation where we first met.

Making use of our idle time

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 02:24 p.m.

HAVE you spent so much time waiting at the doctor’s office? Do you often have to endure the long queue with nothing to do but wait for your turn?

Many of us experience how it’s like to wait for what seems like eternity that we feel we have been robbed of our precious time.

Tampering school receipts

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 03:13 p.m.

IF YOU are a parent waiting for your turn to pay your child’s tuition in school, or maybe, you are seated in a bank reading this paper while waiting for your transaction, I dedicate this column to you.

FOREX: US$ 1.00 = PhP 43.687

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