“2009 World Car of the Year”

•10/04/2009 • Leave a Comment

 

Volkswagen Golf VI announced as “2009 World Car of the Year”

 By Dennis Simanaitis • Photos by Chris Cantle

 

Volkswagen Golf VI

Volkswagen Golf VI

The 2010 Volkswagen Golf on display at the New York International Auto Show has been named World Car of the Year. Introduced at last year’s Paris Auto Show and known as the Rabbit in earlier U.S. versions, this sixth- generation sporty hatchback from VW beat out top finalists Ford Fiesta and Toyota iQ for the highly coveted honor.

Now itself in a sixth iteration, the World Car of the Year award is the decision of an independent jury of 59 automotive journalists from 25 countries. This year’s initial list began with 51 entries from the world’s automakers, whittled down on the basis of merit, value, safety, environment, significance and emotional appeal. In addition to the top three, other finalists for World Car of the Year honors included the Audi A4/Avant, BMW 7 Series, Citroën C5 Sedan/Tourer, Fiat 500, Honda Fit/Jazz, Jaguar XF, Mazda Atenza/Mazda6 and Nissan GT-R. (It has been quite a year for significant new cars.)

The automotive specialists identified the new Golf’s more aggressive styling as part of its appeal. Its front end displays sporty mesh ductwork integrated into a new grille design. Trendy headlight clusters are part of its distinct character. Overall, the Golf VI appears more taut, more sculpted than the car it replaces. The car’s interior is upgraded from that of the previous generation, decidedly more posh, with hardly anything recalling traditional Teutonic asceticism. A cloaked instrument panel integrates neatly with controls and display screen in its center console. Altogether, the car offers an upscale ambience compared with that of its predecessor. 

Volkswagen Golf VI
Volkswagen Golf VI

Worldwide, the Golf has a bewildering total of six different powerplant choices, including a 1.4-liter TSI 4-cylinder featuring compound forced induction, both super- and turbocharging. Two engine choices see initial U.S. availability. The standard Golf VI has a 2.5-liter inline-5 gasoline engine rated at 157 bhp and 177 lb.- ft. of torque. A 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injected 4-cylinder TDI diesel produces 137 bhp and an impressive 236 lb.-ft. of torque. VW expects this TDI to add to the success of its Jetta TDI in an evolving U.S. diesel market. Based on European assessments of fuel consumption, the Golf TDI is expected to post ratings approaching 50 mpg.

The Golf has a MacPherson strut front suspension and a four-link system at the rear. Sport-tuned variants lower the ride height by as much as 2.0 inches. The gasoline-fueled Golf gets 195/65R-15 all-season tires. The TDI’s are sportier, wider and of lower profile, 225/45R-17s, also all-season but of higher performance intent.

And then there’s the GTI, the enthusiast’s variant of the new Golf, a separate model really. The GTI is powered by VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 producing 210 bhp and 206 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or VW’s DSG (as in Direkt Schalt Getriebe, i.e., Direct Shift Gearbox).

The Golf has been an extremely successful model for the Wolfsburg, Germany, based automaker. Since 1974 VW has sold more than 26 million Golfs in 120 countries around the world. In fact, at one time or another, the model has been manufactured in more than a few countries. First-generation Rabbits were produced in the late 1970s in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. VW was the first European automaker to establish production facilities in the U.S. in the modern era.

 

 
~ From Yahoo! Autos • Provided by Road & Track ~

 

Lenten Special: The Days of Holy Week

•07/04/2009 • Leave a Comment

 

Holy Week is the last week of Lent, the week immediately preceding Easter or Resurrection Sunday.  It is observed in many Christian churches as a time to commemorate and enact the suffering (Passion) and death of Jesus through various observances and services of worship. While some church traditions focus specifically on the events of the last week of Jesus’ life, many of the liturgies symbolize larger themes that marked Jesus’ entire ministry. Observances during this week range from daily liturgical services in churches to informal meetings in homes to participate in a Christian version of the Passover Seder.

In Catholic tradition, the conclusion to the week is called the Easter Triduum (a triduum is a space of three days usually accompanying a church festival or holy days that are devoted to special prayer and observance). Some liturgical traditions, such as Lutherans, simply refer to “The Three Days.”  The Easter Triduum begins Thursday evening of Holy Week with Eucharist and concludes with evening prayers Easter Sunday.

Increasingly, evangelical churches that have tended to look with suspicion on traditional “High-Church” observances of Holy Week are now realizing the value of Holy Week services, especially on Good Friday (see Low Church and High Church). This has a solid theological basis both in Scripture and in the traditions of the Faith. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was executed by the Nazis, wrote of the Cost of Discipleship and warned of “cheap grace” that did not take seriously either the gravity of sin or the radical call to servanthood: “When Jesus bids a man come, he bids him come and die.”

It is this dimension that is well served by Holy Week observances, as they call us to move behind the joyful celebrations of Palm Sunday and Easter, and focus on the suffering, humiliation, and death that is part of Holy Week. It is important to place the hope of the Resurrection, the promise of newness and life, against the background of death and endings. It is only in walking through the shadows and darkness of Holy Week and Good Friday, only in realizing the horror and magnitude of sin and  its consequences in the world incarnated in the dying Jesus on the cross, only in contemplating the ending and despair that the disciples felt on Holy Saturday, that we can truly understand the light and hope of Sunday morning!

In observing this truth, that new beginnings come from endings, many people are able to draw a parable of their own lives and faith journey from the observances of Holy Week. In providing people with the opportunity to experience this truth in liturgy and symbol, the services become a powerful proclamation of the transformative power of the Gospel, and God at work in the lives of people.

The entire week between Palm Sunday and Holy Saturday is included in Holy Week, and some church traditions have daily services during the week. However, usually only Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday are times of special observance in most churches.

Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday)

Holy Week begins with the sixth Sunday in Lent.  This Sunday observes the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem that was marked by the crowds who were in Jerusalem for Passover waving palm branches and proclaiming him as the messianic king. The Gospels tell us that Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, enacting the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, and in so doing emphasized the humility that was to characterize the Kingdom he proclaimed. The irony of his acceptance as the new Davidic King (Mark 11:10) by the crowds who would only five days later cry for his execution should be a sobering reminder of the human tendency to want God on our own terms.

Traditionally, worshippers enact the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem by the waving of palm branches and singing songs of celebration. Sometimes this is accompanied by a processional into the church.  In many churches, children are an integral part of this service since they enjoy processions and activity as a part of worship. This provides a good opportunity to involve them in the worship life of the community of Faith. In many more liturgical churches, children are encouraged to craft palm leaves that were used for the Sunday processional into crosses to help make the connection between the celebration of Palm Sunday and the impending events of Holy Week.

This Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday to commemorate the beginning of Holy Week and Jesus’ final agonizing journey to the cross.  The English word passion comes from a Latin word that means “to suffer,” the same word from which we derive the English word patient.

In most Protestant traditions, the liturgical color for The Season of Lent is purple, and that color is used until Easter Sunday. In Catholic tradition (and some others), the colors are changed to Red for Palm Sunday. Red is the color of the church, used for Pentecost as well as remembering the martyrs of the church. Since it symbolizes shed blood, it is also used on Palm Sunday to symbolize the death of Jesus. While most Protestants celebrate the Sunday before Easter as Palm Sunday, in Catholic and other church traditions it is also celebrated as Passion Sunday anticipating the impending death of Jesus. In some Church traditions (Anglican), the church colors are changed to red for the fifth Sunday in Lent, with the last two Sundays in Lent observed as Passiontide.

Increasingly, many churches are incorporating an emphasis on the Passion of Jesus into services on Palm Sunday as a way to balance the celebration of Easter Sunday.  Rather than having the two Sundays both focus on triumph, Passion Sunday is presented as a time to reflect on the suffering and death of Jesus in a Sunday service of worship. This provides an opportunity for people who do not or cannot attend a Good Friday Service to experience the contrast of Jesus’ death and the Resurrection, rather than celebrating the Resurrection in isolation from Jesus’ suffering. However, since Sunday services are always celebrations of the Resurrection of Jesus during the entire year, even an emphasis on the Passion of Jesus on this Sunday should not be mournful or end on a negative note, as do most Good Friday Services (which is the reason Eucharist or Communion is not normally celebrated on Good Friday).

Thursday, or Holy Thursday

There are a variety of events that are clustered on this last day before Jesus was arrested that are commemorated in various ways in services of worship. These include the last meal together, which was probably a Passover meal, the institution of Eucharist or Communion, the betrayal by Judas (because of the exchange with Jesus at the meal), and Jesus praying in Gethsemane while the disciples fell asleep. Most liturgies, however, focus on the meal and communion as a way to commemorate this day.

During the last few days, Jesus and His disciples had steadily journeyed from Galilee toward Jerusalem. On the sunlight hillsides of Galilee, Jesus was popular, the crowds were friendly and the future was bright. Even his entry into Jerusalem had been marked by a joyous welcome. But in Jerusalem there was a growing darkness as the crowds began to draw back from the man who spoke of commitment and servanthood. There was an ominous tone in the murmuring of the Sadducees and Pharisees who were threatened by the new future Jesus proclaimed.

Even as Jesus and his disciples came together to share this meal, they already stood in the shadow of the cross. It was later that night, after the meal, as Jesus and His disciples were praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, that Jesus was arrested and taken to the house of Caiaphas the High Priest. On Friday He would die.

There is some difference in the chronology of these events between the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and John’s account (see Synoptic Problem). In the Synoptics, this last meal was a Passover meal, observing the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt when death “passed over” the Hebrew homes as the tenth plague fell upon the Egyptians. Yet, in John’s account the Passover would not be celebrated until the next day. And while the Synoptics recount the institution of Communion during this final meal, John instead tells us about Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet as a sign of servanthood.

In any case, this Thursday of Holy Week is remembered as the time Jesus ate a final meal together with the men who had followed him for so long. We do not have to solve these historical questions to remember and celebrate in worship what Jesus did and taught and modeled for us here, what God was doing in Jesus the Christ. And the questions should not shift our attention from the real focus of the story: the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Traditionally in the Christian Church, this day is known as Maundy Thursday. The term Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum (from which we get our English word mandate), from a verb that means “to give,” “to entrust,” or “to order.” The term is usually translated “commandment,” from John’s account of this Thursday night.  According to the Fourth Gospel, as Jesus and the Disciples were eating their final meal together before Jesus’ arrest, he washed the disciples’ feet to illustrate humility and the spirit of servanthood. After they had finished the meal, as they walked into the night toward Gethsemane, Jesus taught his disciples a “new” commandment that was not really new (John 13:34-35):

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, you also ought to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The colors for Maundy Thursday are usually the colors of Lent, royal purple or red violet. Some traditions, however, use red for Maundy Thursday, the color of the church, in order to identify with the community of disciples that followed Jesus. Along the same line, some use this day to honor the apostles who were commissioned by Jesus to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world.

The sharing of the Eucharist, or sacrament of thanksgiving, on Maundy Thursday is the means by which most Christians observe this day. There is a great variety in exactly how the service is conducted, however. In some churches, it is traditional for the pastor or priest to wash the feet of members of the congregation as part of the service. Increasingly, churches are observing some form of the Passover Seder as a setting for the Eucharist of Maundy Thursday (see Introduction to a Christian Seder and Haggadah for a Christian Seder). Some churches simply have a “pot-luck” dinner together concluded with a short time of singing and communion.

In some church traditions all of the altar coverings and decorations are removed after the Eucharist is served on Maundy Thursday. Since the altar in these traditions symbolize the Christ, the “stripping of the altar” symbolizes the abandonment of Jesus by his disciples and the stripping of Jesus by the soldiers prior to his crucifixion.  This, like the darkness often incorporated into a Good Friday service, represents the humiliation of Jesus and the consequences of sin as a preparation for the celebration of new life and hope that is to come on Resurrection Day.  Some churches only leave the altar bare until the Good Friday Service, when the normal coverings are replaced with black.

However it is celebrated, the Eucharist of Maundy Thursday is especially tied to the theme of remembering. As Jesus and his disciples followed the instructions in the Torah to remember God’s acts of deliverance in their history as they shared the Passover meal together, so Jesus calls us to remember the new act of deliverance in our history that unfolds on these last days of Holy week

Good Friday, or Holy Friday 

Friday of Holy Week has been traditionally been called Good Friday or Holy Friday. On this day, the church commemorates Jesus’ arrest (since by Jewish customs of counting days from sundown to sundown it was already Friday), his trial, crucifixion and suffering, death, and burial. Since services on this day are to observe Jesus’ death, and since Eucharist is a celebration, there is traditionally no Communion observed on Good Friday. Also, depending on how the services are conducted on this day, all pictures, statutes, and the cross are covered in mourning black, the chancel and altar coverings are replaced with black, and altar candles are extinguished.  They are left this way through Saturday, but are always replaced with white before sunrise on Sunday.

There are a variety of services of worship for Good Friday, all aimed at allowing worshippers to experience some sense of the pain, humiliation, and ending in the journey to the cross. The traditional Catholic service for Good Friday was held in mid-afternoon to correspond to the final words of Jesus from the cross (around 3 PM, Matt 27:46-50). However, modern schedules have led many churches to move the service to the evening to allow more people to participate. Usually, a Good Friday service is a series of Scripture readings, a short homily, and a time of meditation and prayer.  One traditional use of Scripture is to base the homily or devotional on the Seven Last Words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel traditions.

Father, forgive them . . . (Luke 23:34)
This day you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43)
Woman, behold your son . . . (John 19:26-27)
My God, my God . . . (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)
I thirst.  (John 19:28)
It is finished! (John 19:30)
Father into your hands . . . (Luke 23:46)

Some churches use the Stations of the Cross as part of the Good Friday Service. This service uses paintings or banners to represent various scenes from Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trial, and death, and the worshippers move to the various stations to sing hymns or pray as the story is told . There is a great variety in how this service is conducted, and various traditions use different numbers of stations to tell the story (see The Fourteen Stations of the Cross).

Another common service for Good Friday is Tenebrae (Latin for “shadows” or “darkness”). Sometimes this term is applied generally to all church services on the last three days of Holy week. More specifically, however, it is used of the Service of Darkness or Service of Shadows, usually held in the evening of Good Friday. Again, there are varieties of this service, but it is usually characterized by a series of Scripture readings and meditation done in stages while lights and/or candles are gradually extinguished to symbolize the growing darkness not only of Jesus’ death but of hopelessness in the world without God. The service ends in darkness, sometimes with a final candle, the Christ candle, carried out of the sanctuary, symbolizing the death of Jesus. Often the service concludes with a loud noise symbolizing the closing of Jesus’ tomb (see The Empty Tomb). The worshippers then leave in silence to wait.

Some churches observe communion on Good Friday. However, traditionally Eucharist is not served on Good Friday since it is a celebration of thanksgiving.  Good Friday is not a day of celebration but of mourning, both for the death of Jesus and for the sins of the world that his death represents. Yet, although Friday is a solemn time, it is not without its own joy. For while it is important to place the Resurrection against the darkness of Good Friday, likewise the somberness of Good Friday should always be seen with the hope of Resurrection Sunday. As the well- known sermon title vividly illustrates: “It’s Friday.  But Sunday’s a’comin’!”

Holy Saturday

This is the seventh day of the week, the day Jesus rested in the tomb. In the first three Gospel accounts this was the Jewish Sabbath, which provided appropriate symbolism of the seventh day rest. While some church traditions continue daily services on Saturday, there is no communion served on this day.

Some traditions suspend services and Scripture readings during the day on Saturday, to be resumed at the Easter Vigil after sundown Saturday. It is traditionally a day of quiet meditation as Christians contemplate the darkness of a world without a future and without hope apart from God and his grace.

It is also a time to remember family and the faithful who have died as we await the resurrection, or to honor the martyrs who have given their lives for the cause of Christ in the world.  While Good Friday is a traditional day of fasting, some also fast on Saturday as the climax of the season of Lent.  An ancient tradition dating to the first centuries of the church calls for no food of any kind to be eaten on Holy Saturday, or for 40 hours before sunrise on Sunday.  However it is observed, Holy Saturday has traditionally been a time of reflection and waiting, the time of weeping that lasts for the night while awaiting the joy that comes in the morning (Psa 30:5).

 

Dennis Bratcher, Copyright © 2009, Dennis Bratcher – All Rights Reserved
See Copyright and User Information Notice

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Napapagod Din Pala Ang Puso…”

•21/03/2009 • Leave a Comment

 

(Ang kwentong matutunghayan ninyo  ay hango sa mga totoong pangyayari.

Ang mga pangalan ng tao o lugar ay sadyang pinalitan upang

protektahan ang sariling kapakanan ng kani-kanilang personal na buhay.)

 

CHAPTER 1

“Ding, dong, ding dong, ding dong!” Nakakabingi ang kalembang ng kampana sa simbahan. Magsisimula na ang unang araw ng “Misa de Gallo”. Halos lahat ng kabahayan sa Brgy. San Isidro ay abalang-abalang naghahanda upang hindi mahuli sa misa at may madadatnan pang upuan pagdating sa simbahan. Nagmamali din sa Marco, ang ating bida sa kwentong ito. Ngunit hind siya nagmamadali para sa misa, kundi para sa kanyang paglipad patungong ibang bansa – sa Dubai.

Tubong Davao si Marco, na mas kilala sa palayaw na Marc. Katamtaman lang ang tindig at pangangatawan. Sa edad na bente-kwatro ay di na bago sa kanya ang mapalayo sa mga magulang at mga kapatid. “Kailangan kung kumayod ng doble, ngayon pa na mag-aaral ng Nursing ang bunso kung kapatid na babae nitong darating na pasukan” ito ang mga tugon nya sa kanyang Ate Angie, ang kanyang landlady na parang pangalawang ina na din niya. “Swerte mo nga Marc, at matutupad na din mga pangarap mo sa buhay. Simula na ‘yan ng bagong pag-asa, magsikap ka lang at ‘wag mawalan ng tiwala sa Diyos. Maabot mo din ang lahat ng iyong minimithi at hangarin sa buhay.” Iyon na ang mga huling payo sa kanya ni Ate Angie na nagmamadali na ring nagbihis para sa misa. “Di ka na naming maihahatid. Malapit lang naman ang airport. Magtaxi ka na lang at balitaan mo agad kami pagdating na pagdating mo doon sa Dubai!” pasigaw na bilin ng kanyang landlady habang palabas ng boarding house patungong simbahan ng San Isidro Labrador.

Nakakalungkot mang isipin ngunit, tanggap na ni Marc ang laging naiiwanan at nag-iisa. Nasanay na din siyang mamuhay ng di umaasa sa mga magulang simula pa nung college nang siya’y nagging working student. Halos siya na din ang inaasahan sa pamilya sa mga gastusing-bahay tulad ng pambili ng bigas at ulam. Sa konting naiipon niya, masaya na si Marc na makita ang tuwa sa mga mukha ng kanyang ina at mga kapatid sa hapag-kainan kahit di de-lata lang ang ulam.

Panganay si Marc sa limang magkakapatid. Siya lang ang nakatapos ng kolehiyo sa tulong na din ng scholarship sa simbahan. Nagtapos ng Mass Communication sa pag-asang makahanap ng trabaho bilang sikat na reporter sa radio o sa telebisyon. Ngunit, lahat ng iyon ay napalitan ng pagiging praktikal sa buhay nung namatay ang kaniyang ama. Di lihim kay Marc ang maliit na kinikita ng mga nagisimula sa larangan ng kanyang napiling propesyon. Kaya sunubukan nya ang pagko-call center kung saan siya nakapag-ipon ng malaki-laking halaga para sa kanyang pangingibang bansa.

Dumating din ang araw sa matagal na niyang hinintay na pagkakataon. Marami na rin siyang sinakripisyong hirap at pagod alang-alang sa magandang kinabukasang gusting makamit. Ilang sandali na lang at lilipad na siya patungo sa lugar kung saan may pag-asang naghihintay. Ito na ang inaasam-asam niyang pangyayari patungong Dubai.

 

…Itutuloy

 

 

What’s with “Friday the 13th?”

•14/03/2009 • Leave a Comment

 I didn’t notice that yesterday was a “Friday the 13th?” So, what’s the big deal? Well, a lot of us believe that when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday, a lot of bad things happen. Some believe that when you get injured on that day, it will take time before it heals completely. It may just be a myth but that is actually one of the beliefs I’ve known during my childhood.

But what is really with “Friday the 13th? Get to know some facts I’ve read from the worldwideweb…gW 

Bad luck?

 Bad luck?

5 Facts About Friday the 13th

LiveScience Staff

LiveScience.com – Thu Mar 12, 12:30pm ET

“If Friday the 13th is unlucky, then 2009 is an unusually unlucky year. This week’s Friday the 13th is one of three to endure this year. 

The first came last month. The next is in November. Such a rare triple-threat occurs only once every 11 years.

 The origin of the link between bad luck and Friday the 13th is murky. The whole thing might date to Biblical times (the 13th guest at the Last Supper betrayed Jesus). By the Middle Ages, both Friday and 13 were considered bearers of bad fortune. In modern times, the superstition permeates society.

 Here are five of our favorite Friday-the-13th facts:

1. Fear of Friday the 13th – one of the most popular myths in science – is called paraskavedekatriaphobia as well as friggatriskaidekaphobia. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.

 2. Many hospitals have no room 13, while some tall buildings skip the 13th floor and some airline terminals omit Gate 13.

 3. President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not travel on the 13th day of any month and would never host 13 guests at a meal. Napoleon and President Herbert Hoover were also triskaidekaphobic, with an abnormal fear of the number 13. 

4. Mark Twain once was the 13th guest at a dinner party. A friend warned him not to go. “It was bad luck,” Twain later told the friend. “They only had food for 12.” Superstitious diners in Paris can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest. 

5. The number 13 suffers from its position after 12, according to numerologists who consider the latter to be a complete number – 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas and 12 eggs in a dozen.

Pythagorean legacy

Meanwhile the belief that numbers are connected to life and physical things – called numerology – has a long history.

“You can trace it all the way from the followers of Pythagoras, whose maxim to describe the universe was ‘all is number,'” says Mario Livio, an astrophysicist and author of “The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved” (Simon & Schuster, 2005). Thinkers who studied under the famous Greek mathematician combined numbers in different ways to explain everything around them, Livio said.

In modern times, numerology has become a type of para-science, much like the meaningless predictions of astrology, scientists say.

“People are subconsciously drawn towards specific numbers because they know that they need the experiences, attributes or lessons associated with them, that are contained within their potential,” says professional numerologist Sonia Ducie. “Numerology can ‘make sense’ of an individual’s life (health, career, relationships, situations and issues) by recognizing which number cycle they are in, and by giving them clarity.”

However, mathematicians dismiss numerology, saying it lacks any scientific merit.

“I don’t endorse this at all,” Livio said, when asked to comment on the popularity of commercial numerology. Seemingly coincidental connections between numbers will always appear if you look hard enough, he said. 

 

__________

Sources:

LiveScience.com, Yahoo!

 

 

 

March 8: International Women’s Day!

•09/03/2009 • Leave a Comment

Ladies and gentlemen.. Oops, sorry! Ladies and ladies only…

I haven’t been blogging lately. Really not that much due to the internet connection that I’m not getting for “FREE” at all! Yeah, not anymore. I sometimes feel that, I don’t have to stay awake at the wee hours of the night to get connected on the worldwideweb until the early hours of the day, say like, 5am! Would you believe that?

Fortunately, I was able to get the “FREE SIGNAL” today, because I obeyed my horoscope:

Capricorn

Go outside today! The fresh air and natural beauty will keep you grounded and happy.
 
Wow, perfect! But I didn’t go outside anymore.  I just opened the window in my room and voila, the fresh air came in and the natural beauty kept me grounded and happy! Hahaha.. Coincidence or fate, what do you think?
 
So, I hurriedly checked my Friendster account. Nothing new. I was just reading some of my friends’ bulletins, replied to my sister’s testimonial (She’s a Registered Nurse now!), checked my emails and browse some news on the net. After closing Yahoo Mail,  I’ve noticed it’s big logo. A very familiar sign confused me. Is it the man or woman sign?
 
Boy or Girl?

Boy or Girl?

 

When I clicked the Yahoo! icon, it redirected me to another webpage telling about a very important event… March 8: International Women’s Day!

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.

Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.

So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

For more information on the event, click HERE. Also see the video related to the big event.. I just love the song in this video.

  

 Happy Women’s Day! gW

 

                           

(With special thanks to Google, YouTube and Yahoo!)

 

A Walk To Remember (Not The Movie!)

•23/02/2009 • Leave a Comment

Monday is always a special day for me. It’s the day when I am away from the real world. Away from work, bossy supervisors and irate customers, to name a few. Yeah, life is always like that. We always need a break, and thank God, He made Monday! Haha.

It was already 8pm when I left the accommodation. I don’t know where to go. I was plannng to visit The Global Village since, the last time I went there with my friends wasn’t just the right time for us, or maybe for me. The weather was not kind enough for us to take some quality and nice photos. Though, I managed to get few nice clicks but still they’re not worth it and didn’t complete my second visit to The Global Village, at all!

With a digital camera I borrowed from my good friend, Gracing, I was walking along Al Khan Street in Sharjah. But I still don’t know where to go. I stopped for a moment in front of the Khaleej Newspaper building, took the cam out from it’s case and tried to play with it. Exploring it like a pro. Hmmm.. It’s not what you’re thinking right now! I was busy changing the camera settings, how it would be like if I opted for the “Night Scene” or the “Automatic Setting” without the flash.

I felt new to this camera, although it’s Sony, but it wasn’t like mine. Mine was more of a simpler model but can still capture nice photos (might as well, check my Friendster account album “Viewfinder“). But unfortunately, my DSC-500 Sony Cybershot fell on the floor with it’s lens wide-opened, while I was trying to take a picture of myself using the self-timer. Now, I have to borrow from someone else’s cam. Huhuhu. Poor me! Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

With so much gusto on the camera’s photo settings, I didn’t notice that I was already taking a lot of clicks. It took me 15 shots for just a single subject and that’s none other than, “The Eye of the Emirates” in Al Qasba. I’m just really fascinated with this ferris wheel as well as the perfect ambience of the place. Your family would surely love it there when you have time visiting the place in Sharjah.

Click here to visit Al Qasba’s website.

I was trying to take some photos of the ferris wheel and compare them with the shots I’ve already taken from my “unfortunate camera” and I can say that my DSC-500 was better. And, I’m not kidding! Or maybe, I was just really used to it that my basic instincts for that camera all went well. Now, I’m bragging! Hehe.

Below are some of the photos I’ve taken using the DSC-W120. I’ve already done some editing on these photos using MS Office Picture Manager to remove some of the noise or adjust the color to a more natural one. Hope you’ll like the photos and let me know if you have something to say, just leave some comments here. Enjoy! 

The Eye Of The Emirates from a different point of view

"The Eye Of The Emirates" from a different point of view

 

Small circle. Big circle.

Small circle. Big circle.

 

They just love hanging around in Al Qasba with the Eye of the Emirates!

They just love hanging around in Al Qasba with the Eye of the Emirates!

 

Golden walls of the Al Qasba

Golden walls of the Al Qasba

 

The genie, but not in the bottle!

The genie, but not in the bottle!

 

The Al Qasba with its Eye!

The Al Qasba with it's Eye!

 After awhile, I thought of more sights to click on. Hmmm.. I know a place. I’ve been there once but missed to take some photos of it. I guess this is the good time, the perfect timing!

Walking straight from the Al Qasba brought me to the corniche in Buhairah. I just found out today that “corniche” (pronunciation: kor-nish) is not an Arabic word but originally French and Italian, which means “a road built along a coast and especially along the face of a cliff”. – Meriam Webster’s Online Dictionary

Below are some of the photo’s I’ve taken from the Buhairah Corniche. Enjoy! 

Al Qasba from afar

Al Qasba from afar

 

A mosque in Buhairah-Corniche

A mosque in Buhairah-Corniche

 

Mosque. Dhow. Perfect!

Mosque. Dhow. Perfect!

 

A Monumental Ottoman-style mosque in Buhairah Corniche

A Monumental Ottoman-style mosque in Buhairah Corniche

 

Sharjah Dhow Restaurant

Sharjah Dhow Restaurant

 

Boat ride anyone?

Boat ride anyone?

 Did you enjoy it? Or maybe you want to have more? Haha. Indeed, it was a walk to remember (but not the movie!)

Ciao for now! gW

 

 

 

…But wait there’s more! 

 

Posing with the Dancing Waters in Al Qasba

Posing with the "Dancing Waters" in Al Qasba

 

Just taking a pose in front of the grand mosque

Just taking a pose in front of the grand mosque

 

 aWalk2RememberBlogpost ~ All photos and texts by guesswho81

Love Thoughts. Love Lines.

•06/02/2009 • Leave a Comment

As we all know, February has always been the month of love. And like we care? Of course, we do. During the month of love, a lot of us, double the efforts to express the feelings to our “dear someone”.  But how does someone do it, especially to their dearly beloved? 

I have some love thoughts and love lines gathered from the people I’ve known. We’re already familiar to some of these lines, but most likely, we tend to forget its real message and how it affects our relationship with the one we loved the most. 

Human as I am, I always believe that it hurts to love someone and not be loved in return, but what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel. Yeah, been there, done that. How about you?

Thinking of what to say?

Thinking of what to say?

In this love month, can we still recall what LOVE really means to us or to our loved ones? I’ve asked some of my friends around the UAE, and here’s what they can say: 

Love is when you take away the feeling, the passion, and the romance in a relationship and find out you still care for that person”Mary Grace Entienza from Sharjah 

“Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they’ll love you back. Don’t expect love in return, just wait for it to grow in their heart, but if it doesn’t, be sure it grew in yours”Lee Bengwic from Dubai 

“Love comes to those who still hope although they’ve been disappointed, to those who still believe although they’ve been betrayed, need to love those who still love although they’ve been hurt before”Christine Dugayo from Ras Al Khaimah 

“Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear” – Rey Solon from Al Ain 

“If I could reinvent the alphabet, I would put U and I together” – Marlon Macatangay from Abu Dhabi 

These are just some of the familiar love quotes we’ve known, heard or maybe served as inspirations in our daily life. Truly, these affect our perspective on what LOVE really means. 

There is no such thing as right or wrong when expressing our feelings to our “special someone”. What we have in common is a four-letter word that would mean everything for them, and that is L-O-V-E or simply LOVE. 

Happy Valentines everyone and may yours be as lovely as mine! gW

guessWHO’s Note: This blogpost was created for “The Filipino Expats” Magazine, February 2009 Issue