Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada- the Gambling Capital of US and the City that never sleeps! So, what has this city have to do with this site. The answer is none. I just love the photo, I took during our vacation to this city a couple of years ago. In this site, you will find articles from my autobiography, global warming, senior citizens issues, tourism, politics in PI, music appreciation and articles about our current experiences as retirees enjoying the "snow bird" lifestyle between US and the Philippines. Your comments will be highly appreciated. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are You a Filipino-American or an American with Filipino Heritage?

Last week news on the bus killings of Hongkong tourists in Manila put the Philippines international image to zero. However, today, I will concentrate on positive news that will make you proud as a Filipino-American or an American with Filipino Heritage.

There is a big difference on the two terms above. A Filipino-American is just like me. I was born and grew up in the Philippines until I was 26 years old. I then immigrated to US in 1960 and became a US citizen in 1972. On the other hand three of my children were all born and raised here in US. They call themselves American with Filipino heritage, although outside they are brown just like most Filipinos. When my kids were in high school, their friends teased them and called them "coconuts". Do you know why? Their friends told them because they are white inside but brown outside. My oldest son came to US when he was only 18 months old. Then he become a citizen also at the time of my wife and my naturalization. He does not know much about the Philippines, since he has been raised in American soil since he was a baby. So is he Filipino-American or an American with Filipino heritage. I think he could be both. What do you think?

Back to the main topic of this article that will make you proud whether you are Filipino-American or An American with Filipino heritage. The following is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announcement of the appointment of Tani Cantil-Sakauye to be the chief justice of the California Supreme Court. The appointment is a historic event. Here's an excerpt from the Governor speech for your reading pleasure.

" Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has a long and distinguished history of public service. She began her career in the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office prosecuting and putting away violent criminals. In the 1990s, because she did such a great job there, Governor Deukmejian appointed her to the Sacramento Municipal Court. There again she did such a great job that seven years later Governor Wilson elevated her to the Superior Court and there she created and presided over the first court in Sacramento dedicated solely to domestic violence. And as I mentioned earlier, since 2005 she has served honorably on the Court of Appeals Third Appellate District.

"Every time that I meet Justice Cantil-Sakauye, I'm impressed by her incredible passion, her incredible passion for the law. She reveres the law and she knows that the role of the judiciary is not to create law but to independently and to fairly interpret and administer the law.

But Justice Cantil-Sakauye is much more than just a fine and widely admired jurist. She is also the living, breathing example of the American Dream. She came from humble beginnings, the daughter of parents who instilled in her the values of hard work and perseverance and the belief that in America, with that hard work and perseverance, you can achieve about anything. She even waited on tables to help put herself through college and then later on through law school. What an inspiring example to all our young people in America and especially to young Filipino boys and girls. Let's give her a big hand for the great, great work. "

Associate Justice Cantil-Sakauye, 50, is the daughter of a Filipina farm worker and a Filipino-Portuguese plantation worker. A graduate of C.K. McClatchy High School, Cantil-Sakauye worked as a blackjack dealer in a casino during summers while at law school. She also worked as a waitress, according to the Sacramento Bee.

She earned a law degree from UC Davis School of Law. Since 2005, Cantil-Sakauye has served as an associate justice for the Third District Court of Appeals in Sacramento. Cantil-Sakauye was the first woman of Asian descent to serve as judge in Sacramento County. She was then one of the youngest judges in the state at 31.

My congratulations to Tani Cantil Sakauye for her achievements and appointment. An inspiration to all Filipino-Americans especially our American women with Filipino roots or heritage!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Funny Wedding Pictures-Not Worthy for your Album

The subject of wedding was brought to my attention recently, when Macrine's niece informed us that we will be the primary sponsor for her wedding this coming November (civil wedding ceremony) in Los Gatos, California to be followed next year (January 29) with a Roman Catholic ceremony in the Boac Cathedral in Marinduque. She will be inviting 14 guests from US, so we are currently planning their accommodations at Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort in Marinduque. Macrine's sister from Alameda, California and her family are also planning to attend, so it appears that Chateau Du Mer will be filled to capacity the last week of January. So, if you are planning to reserve the beach house on the dates between January 23 to 30, 2011 you are out of luck. Get your reservations from other hotels or beach resorts in Marinduque.
Here are the photos from golmao.com for your enjoyment. Comments will be appreciated.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Santorini Island, Greece and Bellarocca Resort, Philippines

Santorini Island, Greece
The architectural design of the buildings in Bellaracco Resort, Marinduque has often been compared to Santorini, Greece. This did aroused my curiosity and so I am posting this six minute video about Santorini. View it and judge for yourself. Is the comparison valid or just plain baloney or humbug from the promoters of Bellarocca?.

The first three photos are from Santorini and the last three photos are from Bellarocca

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Confession of a Porn Sex Addict- Part 3-The Relapse

This is Part 3 of the series about Porn Addiction written by an anonymous excellent writer for Deadspin.com. If you want to see readers comments, visit Deadspin. I am hoping for the best for this Addict's cure to Sanity and a Balanced Life. I also hope that TW will be cured of his Demon's as well.

"Well, let's get it out the way — it didn't take me very long to relapse after leaving sex rehab.

The staff warned me my first 48 hours of freedom would be a huge danger zone, and I laughed it off, thinking there was no way I'd screw things up after everything they'd just taught me. Bigshot that I am, I lasted much longer than that — 11 days of increasingly less-solid sobriety before I finally caved. This addiction is a bitch.

If you're expecting some gross tale of animal porn or strip-club depravity, you should know it took far less than that to send me over the edge — don't forget I had very little to look at in the fenced-off world of Gentle Path. Do you get HDNet? You ever watch those super-tease shows Get Out! and Bikini Destinations and wonder who would be pathetic enough to stay up late on a Thursday night and jack off to second-tier models doing handbras? Yeah, well, 11 days out of rehab, I was that guy. Thirty-two grand down the drain because of some nipples covered in sand. Fuck me.

Let's back up a little. I didn't come home from work one night and just decide to act out. At GP they taught us that relapse would come like a snowball down a hill — the small stressors would gather momentum over a few days and eventually throw me off my game. That's pretty much exactly what happened in my second week out of treatment, and looking back, I'd say it's was a miracle I held out as long as I did.

That whole week was filled with work, life, and sexual stress that should have set off alarm bells in my head, but of course I was too stubborn. I thought staying sober in a city full of hot women in those skimpy high-waist dress things they're wearing this year would be as easy as staying sober in a room full of 26 men. My 60-day chip was coming up, and I was pretty much on autopilot. Yeah, I was going to meetings, but I hadn't gotten a sponsor and wasn't yet "working the 12 steps." I was more sober than I'd been in my life, yet completely defenseless — and I had no clue. One morning I bumped into the woman to whom I'd lost my virginity way back in the day, which was kinda weird but I thought little of it. The next day, I cleaned my apartment and found a promo CD for the swingers' club my girlfriend and I had partied in over the winter. That was a little more intense. I stared at the label for like 30 seconds, trying hard to avoid "euphoric recall," but I think that's when the snowball started rolling for real. The lure of that place was hugely powerful — we didn't even swap; I just loved having sex in a bar full of naked people — and therapists and peers spent a lot of time persuading me it wasn't the best environment for a sex addict. I'm still not entirely convinced.

Anyway, I tossed the CD in the garbage but after that, I was fucked. I go through news footage for a living, and nearly lost my mind when I happened on an interview with a girl I'd once made out with in a bar. "This would be a great excuse to call her," I thought, before remembering I'd deleted her from my phone on my last day at GP (same with the shit-eating porn star). A big part of my disease is wanting to "collect" women to keep around just in case, and those deletions had been hugely therapeutic. Still, seeing her on my computer screen filled me with longing. My chest got tight, but I hung in there alone, not calling anyone to vent, which is what my therapists spent 45 days reminding me I should do when things got stressful. I maintained ... only to get KO'd the next day. I was going through footage and noticed one of our camera people had accidentally shot right up a girl's short shorts. I caught a glimpse of underwear and rewound the shot and looked again, and then twice more. And that was it: objectification of women. One of my bottom-line prohibitions, violated. For what? A slight panty flash. A slow wave of dread washed over me, and I felt the old shame and remorse I'd worked so hard to get rid of. I knew what I'd done wasn't the end of the world — resetting my sobriety date, admitting things to a peer, and moving on might have arrested the slide, but my addiction loves coming up with plausible denials. So, pissed off as I was, I kept things to myself and decided it "didn't count." And that's how I ended up home alone on a Thursday night, flipping the channels and ending up on Chez Mark Cuban.

I watched the prime-time censored versions of Get Out! and Bikini Destinations first, objectifying with great gusto and enthusiasm. It felt great to be bad again — the addictive hit washing through my body and blocking out all stress. The ol' brain chemicals that soothed me for years were back, and there was no stopping anything now. After 57 days spent learning and understanding how destructive my porn, sex, and stripper habits were, I was right back at it. What's more, this still "didn't count" because there was no nudity, and I managed not to jack it until the late-night reruns came on. I had no idea they replayed those shows with bras off after midnight, but I promise you I was overjoyed at the prospect. I spent half my life masturbating to the most grim, depraved, barely-sexual-in-their-grossness kinds of porn, but all it took to seduce me now were a few topless chicks posing while shy jet-ski rental guys fidgeted in the background. Oh, and then that Art Mann show came on, which is basically the high-def version of scrambled porn — you sit there for an hour waiting for a glimpse of boob or something, praying it's not too quick and the chick flashing isn't too drunk or fat or surrounded by assholes with disposable cameras.

The rest of that weekend was an exercise in bargaining, lowering my standards and abandoning any pretense of sobriety. I found the pay-per-view channel and ordered away, starting with the softcore shit and moving my way up the ladder. They didn't have the exact fetishes I like but I made do with "squirting," foot worship, and amateur MILFs. Trying to emulate my Internet experience, I quickly fast-forwarded through movies and chain-ordered one after another at 10 bucks a pop. By Sunday, my bill was in the hundreds of dollars and my sobriety was mostly in tatters.

I say mostly because once I'd had enough and came clean to my family and 12-step groups, I understood the true value of that 32 grand. You're not paying for Gentle Path to teach you to be sober and maintain "healthy sexuality" without fail forever and ever; you're paying to learn techniques that pull you out of that horrible pit should you relapse. Honesty — painful, rigorous honesty — is the first one. Instead of taking a two-month chip that weekend I took a one-day "desire" one and made a little speech about how there's no way I could live the lie again. I called peers, finally got a sponsor, and, don't make fun of me, bought Andre Agassi's autobiography. It was like Infinite Jest if it were half as long, non-fiction, and readable in three sittings. It was also inspirational as fuck. After reading the part where Agassi starts his comeback getting mocked and heckled at some dilapidated public court, I realized I hadn't been willing to start from the ground up, to go through the sacrifice I needed to avoid temptation and stay clean. And that meant getting rid of any potential porn delivery system in my life. The relapse made it perfectly clear how even after all that sober time, just one pornographic image — like one drink for an alcoholic — is too much for me. I put on the Southern Miss t-shirt I bought in Hattiesburg for strength and walked my HD box back to the cable store, telling them to cancel everything. I'd smash my beloved iPhone with a hammer a few days later. Rehab is full of slogans, and "going to any lengths" is perhaps the most poignant for me. Most mistakes I've made in recovery I can trace back to not being willing to completely take myself out of harm's way while I'm still so new to this process. I'm not going to lie and tell you I've been clean since then; it's been a hard, bumpy road. But I'm working my ass off, finding out how amazingly good sobriety can feel if I work at it every day. And believe me, if I ever get cable again, Mark Cuban's channel is the first one getting blocked".

Artwork by Jim Cooke

Friday, August 27, 2010

Confession of a Porn Sex Addict- Part 1

Reprinted from deadspin.com
Anonymous, a porn addict, is a longtime Deadspin reader and commenter who will soon enter the same sex-rehabilitation facility where Tiger Woods is reportedly receiving treatment. Here, Anonymous explains his own addiction and why Tiger's treatment is no PR ploy.

In a few weeks, I'll fly down to Mississippi and check into Gentle Path, the rehab clinic where the bearded, hoodie-wearing ghost of Tiger Woods was recently spotted. My loved ones say this trip is going to change me for the best, but let's face it: I'm going to miss the hell out of porn.

I've been a porn addict for 10 years. Though I was suffering, I could never really define "addiction" until I took a two-question intake quiz at my therapist's office.

1. Does this behavior interfere with your everyday life in a negative way?

2. Have you tried to stop on your own, but can't?

If you answer yes to both those questions, you're essentially an addict. So what's my main problem, anyway? Unlike Tiger, I have limited access to VIP hostesses. Instead, my thing is porn, and "behavior that affects my everyday life" can loosely be described as all-night jerk-off binges that wreck me physically and emotionally.

Binges all start the same way — with a trigger. It could be stress at work, it could be the simple sight of a hot woman walking down the street and not returning my glance. Actually, the stress of writing this very story makes me want to look right now. The upshot is that in short order my chest feels tight, I'm short of breath, and I think of nothing else but how long until I can start looking at porn. I'll make excuses to friends, move the phone out of earshot, lower my blinds, and sit at the computer. From there, my ritual demands that I start daring myself not to look. I'll check a celebrity blog for nip-slips, telling myself it doesn't count as porn. But by then, it's too late. I'm already in the binge.

I'll usually open a few different browser tabs and hit the sites I like best. By now, I'm so far gone in my addiction that your average penis-in-vagina scenes, even by the grimy gonzo standards of internet porn, may as well be Victorian courting rituals. My favorite message board features only the most hardcore, exploitative, gang-bangiest, piss-drinkingest, public-floggingest scenes you could imagine, and then some. A few months back I horrifyingly noticed myself jerking off to video of a Japanese girl being penetrated with cockroaches. A real girl, not animated. Chuck Klosterman once wrote that some of the more extreme online stuff is about as sexy as watching someone get hit in the face with a frying pan, and he's right, though I don't usually get to the invertebrate smut until the fourth or fifth hour of my sessions.

I've confessed my addiction to friends who wonder if their rubbing one out for 20 minutes a day counts, and let me tell you, you have no fucking idea how lucky you are you can do that. I sit frozen in space during a binge, watching the hours tick away in fast-forward on my monitor clock. My average all-nighter goes from 10 p.m. until dawn if I'm lucky enough to break away, cum in the sink, shower, and nap for an hour before work. But often I'll go until the last possible second without being late for my job, then spend the day consuming energy drinks and jamming Visine into my bloodshot eyes. I sometimes used to not jizz after a long session, which would leave me pissing and leaking little bits of cum for days. In my mind, if I wasn't ejaculating, it didn't really count as a binge. That's how fucked up this thing is.

The physical consequences of this are the worst. Anyone who doubts there is such a thing as sex or porn addiction should ask me why I keep bingeing even though my arm feels like it's going to fall off, my scalp tingles for days afterward, and my knee is sore from being locked in place all night. Have you ever met someone who jerked off so much it fucked up his knee? That's me, motherfuckers. The longest I ever went was 26 hours. Fittingly, it was on Yom Kippur, and I did indeed spend the day in serious devotion to my highest power, except that power featured a great deal of double-penetration. Ever jack off for 26 hours? You're talking at least three-quarters of a bottle of lube — that shit just seems to evaporate after an hour or two. I have no idea where it goes, but I always need more.

And holy shit, believe me, I've tried to stop it. I've installed filtering software, thrown away modems, canceled my pay-per-view service more times than I can count. But it never works. My current software sends a report of every site I visit to my girlfriend, but I found a way to partition my hard drive and install a new operating system, just to look at porn. I could have cured cancer by now with the same level of craftiness. I can't even tell you how many days I've wasted on this. Last year, the physical exhaustion and crippling remorse from my constant debauchery made me consider suicide more than once, and eventually my therapist suggested Gentle Path. If that's where Tiger is now, believe me, they wouldn't have accepted him if his intake interview didn't reveal serious problems and a real desire to change. This isn't any kind of PR ploy on his part. At least I hope not.

The clinic's intake people were understanding and full of Southern politeness, asking what my main problem was and how often I "acted out." That's a weird rehab term, and this process is full of them. "Acting out" is anything that brings sexual pleasure — jerking off, sex, looking at porn, going to strip clubs, etc., and they're all part of the "abstinence" or "celibacy" contracts you sign as part of your recovery (I've broken about five in the past year — my therapist no longer bothers with them). The point of a 45- or 90-day abstinence period (my personal record is 21) is to dry out sexually, for lack of a better term. To break the addictive cravings inside.

Once the check clears, I'll be set. We just did the financials, and this will cost my family many thousands of dollars. But they've been amazingly supportive ever since I told them about this last fall — 10 years of hiding and concealing my problem having become simply too much to bear. There's a reason Gentle Path offers "shame reduction" treatment: The overwhelming embarrassment this causes leads us to isolate and lead double lives — intensifying our addictions. If anything, I hope the Tiger paparazzi sideshow will at least bring sex addiction more into the open, if it doesn't make it as cool and glamorous as cocaine abuse.

So in March, I'll be down there. My boss has a vague idea of what's wrong with me, and I'll tell him more soon. My biggest fear is relapsing the moment I'm done, or messing up my "aftercare" and winding right back where I started. In treatment, they teach you to see your addiction as a faithful yet toxic friend you've gotta break up with. I'll probably have to write a Dear John letter to it in rehab (fuck you for laughing). Porn has been that friend for as long as I can remember, and nothing I've tried so far has ever broken us up for good. It will be painful, but if I never see another vomiting Brazilian porn star again, I'll be a happy man.

There it is in a nutshell, a dispatch from the front lines of sex addiction. Cheating with 12 mistresses or hours-long porn binges aren't just "guys being guys," and rehab isn't a place to go 'cause you're sorry you got caught. It's a place to go when you're desperate to salvage a decent life for yourself, away from your enslavement to the next high.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Confession of a Sex Addict-Part 2- Reminds me of Tiger Woods

The following article reminded me of Tiger Woods and his recent divorce. This was published recently at http://deadspin.com I found this article interesting and informative.

A Return From Gentle Path: The Humiliation Of A Sex Addict In Rehab

Summary: An anonymous Deadspin reader checked himself into the infamous Gentle Path sex addiction program for 45 days — the same place Tiger tamed his wayward pecker. This is what our writer experienced in his time there.

I am a sex addict. Since age 19, I've been completely unable to control my use of pornography on the internet, my compulsive masturbation, my driving need to seduce women, and in recent years my nasty habit of spending hundreds of dollars a night in strip clubs, not so much making it rain as shamefully shoveling a wad of 20s at a stripper before scuttling away. It took a decade to hit bottom and shake my denial, but on the eve of my 30th birthday I flew to Hattiesburg, Miss., and finally decided to give myself a new chance at life.

The easiest way to break the ice at Gentle Path is to mention how little resemblance the place bears to the lush, leafy green compound shown on the website of its mother hospital. I'd been stoked to get away from life and go to a place whose publicity shots just screamed "stereotypical rehab." Tons of trees, a walking path, maybe a water feature or two? I could do 45 days there, no sweat. Problem is, the sprawling campus featured online (which I proudly showed my freaking grandparents to put them at ease) is where the drug and alcohol addicts get to go. Gentle Path is a few minutes down the road, adjacent to an Enterprise Rent-a-Car and sandwiched between two auto-glass shops.

There's no individual therapy at Gentle Path. The staff believes "shame reduction" is the only way out of sex addiction, and so every unbelievably perverted, scandalous, depressing thing I had to confess or tell a therapist was done in a group setting, sometimes in front of all 25 of my peers. Things I'd never said out loud — not even to myself — I shared with relative strangers, some of whom had just checked in that day. I went in there confident I would never talk about paying for sex with strippers, never talk about looking at animal porn, and sure as hell never describe how many times I'd been unfaithful to women. I planned on boasting about going to swinger's clubs with my girlfriend, but I quickly found out that activity was not considered "healthy sexuality" at all. Anyway, I shared everything — and it worked. Hearing other men say they've struggled with exactly the same websites was incredibly cathartic, and hearing them bare other struggles — voyeurism, kids out of wedlock, childhood sexual abuse — made me understand I wasn't alone.

We didn't pay $32,000 just to talk amongst ourselves, of course, and lectures, seminars and workshops took up most of my time there. I learned about why traumatic childhood events are essentially the building block of any addiction. I learned to see my problem as one of shame and isolation, and I enthusiastically warmed to the 12-step concept that I was completely powerless over my sexual behavior.

I learned about my "arousal template," and how massively fucked it was after years in the Internet's underbelly. I saw a psychologist who drove in special from New Orleans to meet patients with extreme tastes in porn. I told him every miserable detail, which he repeated to the staff in a Southern drawl/monotone sounding exactly like Mr. Mackey from South Park: "Uhhh, the patient has made plans to visit a British porn star who eats feces," he said. The staff nodded sagely. "But it was just to watch and it fell through anyway!" I wanted to plead, but had to stay silent. One of the more attractive nurses was in that meeting, and I wanted to die. It was the most mortifying day of my life by far. Except maybe for when I confessed the same things to my mom on Family Week. But she was a trouper.

My therapist said the fact I was aroused by shit and animal porn meant I had brain damage, simple as that. His conclusion took a couple of days to sink in. Essentially, the part of my mind responsible for rational decision-making has been overridden by a huge desire for more pleasure chemicals, and I do stupid, dangerous things to get those chemicals no matter the consequences. That's addiction. That's why I'd return to a strip club only days after being thrown out for getting a girl to piss on me, or why I'd drag my exhausted body back to the computer for another porn binge, having just finished an all-nighter. That's why I once dropped a girlfriend off at home, only to meet some friends for a drunken foursome, praying no one would notice how crooked and out-of-shape my porn-abused dick had become.

Every peer at GP has stories like that to tell, and that's the magic of rehab — to meet other humans you can relate to while thinking: "Wow, this guy's pretty fucked. Guess I'm not the worst person in the world after all!" Fellowship like that is key to recovery, and so our walking track and dining hall became decompression chambers, places to chat with other guys and hear their stories. Our aging basketball hoop hosted endless games of HORSE and I'd often try the "bottom lines" shot: shooting while reciting my list of sobriety-violating behaviors. It was fun to see others try it, and there was something freeing about being able to laugh a little about the worst things I'd done.

So it wasn't all homework and weepy confessions at Gentle Path, but we all knew that socializing as much as possible had inherent therapeutic value. We had an ancient football table, a closet full of board games, and an endless pantry of junk food to console ourselves with after dark. Once a week we'd be allowed to watch a therapist-approved movie on our giant flat screen, and we got permission to watch the Final Four and the Masters, too. We heard that a South Park episode about GP came out while we were there, but there was no way in hell the staff would let us watch that.

Once a week came the much-welcomed trip to a Hattiesburg Wal-Mart to stock up on approved supplies (no caffeine, no alcohol-based toiletries, staff member inspects our bags) and chill out at the attached McDonald's. A peer with a fat-woman fetish confessed it was all he could do to keep his eyes on the ground when we visited. I couldn't laugh; it took my every strength not to objectify the super-hot college girls who worked out at the gym we went to three times a week. In Gentle Path terms, staring at women for longer than three seconds constitutes "objectification," and thus requires a reset of your sobriety date. And nothing is more discouraging than that.

The rhythm of life at GP got grating after about a month. In those first 30 days, my mother came, listened to the worst of me, and left even more proud and supportive than she'd ever been. On staff advice, I broke up with my girlfriend via speakerphone so my therapist could listen, and I spent a few days absolutely shattered. I reached a month's sobriety and knew I could make the 45 without worry. The constant workouts and yoga improved my body and settled my mind, and I felt a serene calm I'd never felt in my adult life. My shame, anger, fear, and suicidal thoughts melted away as the Mississippi winter turned to a scorching spring. I felt great but my therapists warned me I could use a few months in a halfway house, or at least a couple of more weeks at GP, to calm down my brain. But I'd had enough. I was ready to go home and re-start my life.

My last night there was the most powerful and amazing experience I've ever had — I told my life story to the full group, and in turn they offered me their best wishes and a book full of their warm thoughts and contact information. A camp-like "we'll be in touch forever" vibe prevailed. I was officially sent off with a primal scream-type ritual I thought was idiotic on Day 1 but couldn't wait to do by Day 45. I've since realized that night was the ultimate act of "shame reduction." For the first time, I believed from the heart that I was a good person and not a monster. I signed my full name and phone number into peers' books, now completely vulnerable and trusting them implicitly with my darkest secrets. Being able to do that made me feel more human than anything else.

I will say that in preparation for an alumni weekend, our director asked for help taking down the hideous black anti-paparazzi tarps that made the place even uglier than usual. I looked at her and said, "So are we not getting any more A-listers?" She glared for a second and shot back, "Dave, you're an A-lister." The funny thing is, she was right. We all were. Stars in our own minds, grandiose addicts who spent years thinking the rules didn't apply, absolutely unmatched at pleasuring ourselves and smashing lives in the process.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PHILIPPINE SCHINDLER'S LIST and being proud to be a Filipino

A friend from the Philippines forwarded this article via e-mail today. I was 5 years old when this was the news. I barely remember it from my parents conversation about World War II. Anyway, if you are a Filipino or Filipino-American, you should read this and be proud of the Philippines.

Monument in Israel honors Filipinos, For saving 1,200 Jews from Holocaustt, By Volt Contreras, Philippine Inquirer dated August 24, 2010.

"MANILA, Philippines—Before Schindler’s List, there was another document—the Philippine visa—that saved hundreds of Jews from the gas chambers and mass graves of the Holocaust.

In 1939, two years before World War II reached the Pacific, the Commonwealth government under President Manuel L. Quezon allotted 10,000 visas and safe haven to Jews fleeing Nazi Europe. Some 1,200 Jews made it to Manila before the city itself fell to Japanese invaders.

Before sunset on June 21, 70 years later, the first ever monument honoring Quezon and the Filipino nation for this "open door policy" was inaugurated on Israeli soil.

The monument—a geometric, seven-meter-high sculpture titled "Open Doors"—was designed by Filipino artist Junyee (Luis Lee Jr.).

At the program held at the 65-hectare Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon LeZion, Israel’s fourth largest city south of Tel Aviv, the mere mention of "Taft Avenue" by one of the speakers brought Ralph Preiss to the verge of tears.

Preiss, a father of four now in his 70s, later explained that Taft Avenue was where a synagogue-run soup kitchen provided the first hot meals he had as a refugee. He was eight when he arrived from Rosenberg, Germany, with his parents at the port of Manila on March 23, 1939.

"If I stayed in Germany I would have been killed," Preiss, a retired engineer living in Connecticut in the United States, told the Inquirer in an interview.
"My cousin who lived in Berlin and whose father was a lawyer went to Paris [instead]. The Paris police handed them over to the Nazis, and they were sent to Auschwitz and got killed," he recalled, adding:

"I’m very grateful to the Philippines for opening the doors and letting us in."

‘Salamat sa inyo!’

THANK YOU, RP In gratitude for the Philippines’ ‘open door’ policy for Jews escaping persecution in Nazi Europe, a steel monument of three doors was unveiled last week in Israel. VOLT CONTRERAS

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Miss Philippines,Venus Raj- 4th Runner-Up of Miss Universe, 2010

Venus in her Bathing Suit-Made a BOBO on the last question, but made it as the 4th runner-Up! Congratulations Anyway! If you were in her place, How would you have answered the question-What is one big mistake you have made, and what did you do to make it right?
National Costume
Miss Philippines Maria Venus Raj was among the most cheered candidates (thanks to her devoted supporters) during the Miss Universe 2010 National Costume Presentation Show which was held Monday night, August 16, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Venus Raj‘s national costume was designed by Stella Araneta‘s friend Alfredo Barraza. The Colombian designer is also the creator of Raj’s evening gown that she will wear in the preliminary competition. Barraza was also the culprit designer of the evening gowns worn by some of our previous delegates in Miss Universe.

The Silver Evening Gown

Have you Heard of the Filipina Women Network, FWN?

Sample of Image You will see if you search for "Filipina" on Google or Yahoo

FWN is making news today. An article by Lito Gutierrez posted today on the Philippine Daily Inquirer attracted my attention. The title of the article is "Filipina Women's Network in US marks Glass-Ceiling Breakthroughs". I heard of FWN from from my daughter, Ditas,several years ago. Ditas is currently the Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Corporation, State of California and I believe still an active member of FWN(or FAWN ?)

The other reason why this article excited me is the fact that I am also an advocate for improving the on-line image of the word "Filipina". I have written blogs on how to improve the Filipina image on line, because as a Filipino-American, I very proud of the accomplishments of all Filipinas in the US in all field of endeavors and including my daughter's own accomplishment in the State of California.

Here's is the news article for your information and reading pleasure:

"SAN FRANCISCO, California, United States—Organization-image specialist Marily Mondejar was doing a pretty good job consulting for a mayoral candidate here several years ago.

Her team had been tasked to dig up dirt on the incumbent administration. One of the sitting mayor’s appointees had allegedly signed a construction contract for a crony. The media had a feeding frenzy that threatened to topple the Hizzoner.

“The name of the official sounded foreign,” she says, recalling the episode. “After further research, I found out she was a Filipina and I began to wonder why she was being hung out to dry.”

The mayor would be re-elected, but at the cost of the job of this Filipina official. Mondejar was appalled, not because her candidate lost, but because she felt the official had been thrown under the bus to redeem the re-electionist’s image. She named the official but requested anonymity for her.

“Very few came to her defense,” Mondejar says.

A support group

Thus, it became the mission of the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), a volunteer, non-profit organization to “level the professional and business playing field for Filipinas across America.”

FWN was conceived in 2001 over lunch organized by Cora Tellez, then chief executive officer of one of America’s biggest health-care providers, Healthnet. Many in her circle of friends were in management positions themselves—Mondejar, who had taken on image consultancy work for a giant Mexican cement maker, and Virna Tintiangco, then a college student.

Tintiangco was FWN’s first president but when she moved to Oregon in 2003, Mondejar took over.

“We want to open doors,” says Mondejar, 59. “We want to let America know that Filipinas have the skills to compete at all levels in all areas.” She enlisted Filipinas who had proven their mettle in the upper reaches of the different branches of government as well as the private sector.

Successful women

Today FWN has some 800 active members. Its success can also be gleaned in the names of more than 400 people who have signified their intention to attend the 7th Filipina Leadership Summit in Las Vegas in October. Among them: former White House physician, retired Rear Admiral Connie Mariano; California Appeals Court Judge Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, who has been nominated by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be chief justice of the state Supreme Court; California Lieutenant Governor Mona Pasquil; Nevada Judge Cheryl Moss; Davis, California Mayor Dr. Ruth Asmundson; and information technology tycoon Zeny Cunanan.

Over the years, FWN has been associated with such social issues as domestic violence.

Mondejar said major impediments for women seeking to move their careers forward are issues at home, particularly violence inflicted by spouses or partners.

It is an issue close to Mondejar’s heart, having herself been a victim of domestic violence. In fact, the reason she came to America in 1981 was to seek a divorce from her abusive husband. Her tale of woe is typical. When she told her friends about what her husband was doing to her, she would be told: “It is your fate,” and “Try not to make him angry.”

Marily’s own struggle

She initially brought her two sons to the US, but since she could not afford to support them yet, she brought them back home to live with her mother for a few years or until she became financially stable. She recalls the pain the divorce inflicted on her children, one of whom blamed her for not sticking it out. She says it took some doing to make them understand. Now she says she has “a great relationship” with them.

In California, Mondejar found her feet. She got bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Humanities, and is finishing her thesis for a doctorate in Organizational Psychology. After 13 years as an image builder for the cement company, she eventually resigned to run FWN as a full-time career.

It is important for women, Mondejar says, to understand the cycle of domestic violence. “It took me years to understand that,” she adds. “I kept getting into abusive situations and did not know how to break the cycle and seek help.”

FWN has also become known for its women’s rights activities as part of its business networking agenda. Its most popular program is its adoption of “The Vagina Monologues,” the off-Broadway stage phenomenon going into its 15th year, whose theme—the vagina as a tool for female empowerment—has become a rallying point of women the world over. It has been translated into 45 languages and when its Tagalog version, “Usapang Puki,” was staged in Manila in 2002, church groups raised a howl, which helped ensure its success, she said.

FWN will present it again during its Vegas summit in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

FWN itself does not provide logistical support for abuse victims. What it offers is education and moral support.

For instance, FWN members were at the murder trial of William Corpuz, who was convicted by a jury of murder for slitting his wife’s throat.

Mondejar says she is also mobilizing her members to support the confirmation of Cantil Sakauye, who would, if elected in November, be the first Asian-American Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. Sakauye is an FWN member.

Not mail-order brides

Despite the number of high-caliber women in FWN’s roster, Mondejar acknowledges that Filipinas have a long way to go in breaking the glass ceiling.

Google “Filipina” and most of the 3.77 million results are links to matchmaking, dating, and adult-entertainment sites.

“Initially, American men thought we were some kind of mail-order-bride organization and we would get requests to meet Filipina women,” Mondejar says. In fact, she adds, “many mail-order-bride and matchmaking groups still link to our website and we would have to back-trace them and remove their links.”

This was why FWN launched its “Shaping the Filipina image” campaign, which, she says, is just another step to create a positive image and open up leadership opportunities for Filipinas in the US.

100 Most Influential Pinays

During the Vegas gathering, Mondejar says she will push FWN’s “womentoring” and leadership program, and the selection of the “100 Most Influential Filipinas in the US.”

She hopes each of the 200 “most influential” Filipino women selected in 2007 and 2009 would take at least one Filipina under her wing and teach her what it takes to make it in the American workplace.

“Can you imagine?” she says rhetorically. “By 2012 (in time for a planned Pinay Power reunion) we’d have 600 more successful Filipinas after the final FWN 100 are selected next year.”

To be sure, FWN faces many challenges. For one, “funding and keeping the FWN mission alive,” she says.

But she draws her energy from FWN’s members and what they have so far achieved. She still remembers the first summit in 2001 when she was selling the idea to a group of women in San Francisco. After her spiel, one of them stood up, saying: “I’m in. I want to be part of this group. I have never been in the same room with so many accomplished women. Here’s my check!”

Then just about everybody else took out their check books and signed up.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Statins-the right cholesterol-lowering drugs for You?

The following article written by the Mayo Clinic Staff attracted my attention today. Currently, I am on statin therapy (Lovastatin). However, lately. I have been experiencing muscle and joint pains- the most common side effects of Statins. I am thinking of quitting taking statins, but instead take fish oil capsules as suggested by a physician friend in the Philippines. If you are under statins therapy, are you also experiencing minor muscle and joint pains? I will be glad to hear from you!

"Statins are drugs that can lower your cholesterol. They work by blocking a substance your body needs to make cholesterol. Statins may also help your body reabsorb cholesterol that has built up in plaques on your artery walls, preventing further blockage in your blood vessels and heart attacks.

Statins include well-known medications such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and others. Lower cost generic versions of many statin medications are available.

Already shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol, statins may have other potential benefits. But doctors are far from knowing everything about statins. Are they right for everybody with high cholesterol? What happens when you take a statin for decades? Can statins help prevent other diseases?
Should you be on a statin?

Whether you need to be on a statin depends on your cholesterol level along with your other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

High cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, meaning your total cholesterol level is 240 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL, (6.22 millimoles per liter, or mmol/L) or higher, or your "bad" cholesterol (LDL) level is 130 mg/dL (3.68 mmol/L) or higher, your doctor may recommend you begin to take a statin. But the numbers alone won't tell you or your doctor the whole story.

If the only risk factor you have is high cholesterol, you may not need medication because your risk of heart attack and stroke could otherwise be low. High cholesterol is only one of a number of risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

Other risk factors
Before you're prescribed a statin, your cholesterol level is considered along with other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including:

* Family history of high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease
* Inactive (sedentary) lifestyle
* High blood pressure
* Age older than 55 if you're a man, or older than 65 if you're a woman
* Poor general health
* Having diabetes
* Overweight or obesity
* Smoking
* Narrowing of the arteries in your neck, arms or legs (peripheral artery disease)

If your doctor decides you should take a statin, you and your doctor will have to decide what dose to take. Statins come in varied doses — from as low as 5 milligrams to as much as 80 milligrams, depending on the medication. If you need to decrease your LDL cholesterol significantly — by 50 percent or more — it's likely you'll be prescribed a higher dose of statins. If your LDL cholesterol isn't as high, you'll likely need a lower dose. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about the amount of statins you're taking.
Lifestyle is still key for lowering cholesterol

Lifestyle changes are essential for reducing your risk of heart disease, whether you take a statin or not. Lifestyle changes you should consider making include:

* Quitting smoking
* Eating a healthy diet that's low in fat, cholesterol and salt
* Exercising 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
* Managing stress

If you're following the recommended lifestyle behaviors but your cholesterol — particularly your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol — remains high, statins might be an option for you. Risk factors for heart disease and stroke are:

* High cholesterol
* High blood pressure
* Diabetes
* Being overweight or obese
* Family history of heart disease
* Not exercising
* Heavy alcohol use
* Poor stress and anger management
* Older age
* Smoking
* Narrowing of the arteries in your neck, arms or legs (peripheral artery disease)

Consider statins a lifelong commitment

You may think that once your cholesterol goes down, you can stop taking medication. But, if your cholesterol levels have decreased after you take a statin, you'll likely need to stay on it indefinitely. If you stop taking it, your cholesterol levels will probably go back up.

The exception may be if you make significant changes to your diet or lose a lot of weight. Substantial lifestyle changes may help you lower your cholesterol without continuing to take the medication, but don't make any changes to your lifestyle or medications without talking to your doctor first.
The side effects of statins

Although statins are well tolerated by most people, they do have side effects, some of which may go away as your body adjusts to the medication.

Common, less serious side effects

* Muscle and joint aches (most common)
* Nausea
* Diarrhea
* Constipation

Potentially serious side effects

* Liver damage. Occasionally, statin use causes an increase in liver enzymes. If the increase is only mild, you can continue to take the drug. If the increase is severe, you may need to stop taking it, which usually reverses the problem. If left unchecked, increased liver enzymes can lead to permanent liver damage. Certain other cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as gemfibrozil (Lopid) and niacin, increase the risk of liver problems even more in people who take statins. Because liver problems may develop without symptoms, people who take statins have a blood test six weeks after starting a statin medication to check their liver function. After that, your doctor may recommend yearly blood tests.
* Muscle problems. Statins may cause muscle pain and tenderness (statin myopathy). The higher the dose of statin you take, the more likely you are to have muscle pains. In severe cases, muscle cells can break down (rhabdomyolysis) and release a protein called myoglobin into the bloodstream. Myoglobin can damage your kidneys. Certain drugs when taken with statins can increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis. These include gemfibrozil, erythromycin (Erythrocin), antifungal medications, nefazodone, cyclosporine and niacin. If you take statins and have new muscle aching or tenderness, check with your doctor.

It's important to consider the effects of statins on other organs in your body, especially if you have health problems such as liver or kidney disease. Also, check whether statins interact with any other prescription or over-the-counter drugs or supplements you take.

Keep in mind that when you begin to take a statin, you'll most likely be on it for the rest of your life. Side effects are often minor, but if you experience them, you may want to talk to your doctor about decreasing your dose or trying a different statin. Don't stop taking a statin without talking to your doctor first".

Personal Note: A friend in Face BOOK who is a physician in the Philippines commented that a good alternative for statins are fish oil capsules. There are less bad side effects when taking fish oils.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

List of Type 2 Diabetes Drugs-Old and New

My wife and I are type 2 Diabetic. Having work for new drugs development at FDA for a number of years, my interest in drugs has not diminished even though I have been retired from FDA since 2002. The following article is a reference for new, and old diabetic drugs for Type 2. This is a must read of you are a type 2 diabetic.

It was compiled by Debra Manzella, R.N., former About.com Guide and updated May 2, 2010.
"It's been an exciting time for diabetes treatment - in the past year or so, several brand new medications have been approved to treat type 2 diabetes. These are not just new meds, they're completely new categories of drugs. What does that mean? These new medications work in completely different ways than the standard medications.

But does that mean that science is giving up on the old stand-by drugs? No, it doesn't. The oldies-but-goodies still do a good job, and coupled with the new kids on the block, blood glucose levels can stay even closer to normal and tighter control may be easier to maintain.

New Classifications and Medicines

DPP-4 Inhibitors: These drugs block an enzyme (DPP-4) that normally deactivates a protein (GLP-1) that keeps insulin circulating in the blood. Slowing the deactivation process helps reduce sugar production, lowering blood glucose levels.

* Januvia (sitagliptin phosphate): The first of the DPP-4 inhibitors to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Januvia is an oral medication which is taken once a day, either alone with diet and exercise, or in combination with other oral diabetes medications.

Incretin Mimetics: These mimic the action of incretin hormones which help the body make more insulin. They also slow the rate of digestion so that glucose enters the blood more slowly. People on incretin mimetics feel full longer, which reduces food intake, which helps some people lose weight while on the medication.

* Byetta (exenatide): Byetta is an injectable medication that is used in combination with other oral diabetes medications. It is not an insulin and it does not take the place of insulin. It is used for type 2 diabetes only and cannot be given with insulin. Byetta comes in a pre-filled injector pen. The dose is 5 mcg. to start, twice a day within 60 minutes prior to your morning and evening meals. Your doctor may increase the dose to 10 mcg. based on your results.

Antihyperglycemic Synthetic Analogs: These are medications that are created as synthetic versions of human substances, in this case a human hormone called amylin, which is used by the pancreas to lower blood glucose levels.

* Symlin (pramlintide acetate): Symlin is an injectable medication which is used with insulin for tighter blood glucose control. Symlin can increase the risk of severe hypoglycemia, therefore patients who are put on Symlin are selected carefully and monitored closely by their healthcare providers.

Older Classifications and Medicines

Sulfonylureas: These medications are the oldest of the oral diabetes drugs, and until 1995 they were the only drugs available for managing type 2 diabetes. Sulfonylureas stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin into the blood stream. Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of these drugs. Sulfonylureas can also sometimes stop working after a few years.

There are several "generations" of this classification of medicines. Second and third generations are more widely prescribed today.

* First generation: Orinase, Tolinase and Diabinese
* Second generation: Glucotrol (glipizide), Glucotrol XL (extended-release glipizide), Micronase or Diabeta (glyburide)
* Third generation: Amaryl (glimepiride)

Biguanides: These lower the production of glucose that is made in the liver. It also makes the body more sensitive to insulin. Cholesterol levels may be lowered as well.

* Glucophage, Glucophage XR (metformin): There is very little risk of hypoglycemia when metformin is used alone. Lactic acidosis can be a rare but serious side effect.

Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors: These delay the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose during digestion. This prevents blood glucose levels from peaking too high.

* Precose (acarbose)
* Glyset (miglitol)

Thiazolidinediones: Sensitizes muscle and fat cells to accept insulin more easily.

* Avandia (rosiglitazone)
* Actos (pioglitazone)

As of May 21, 2007, the FDA has issued a safety alert regarding the possibility of heart attacks or other fatal cardiovascular events when taking Avandia. Please call your physician to discuss alternative medications for managing your diabetes.

* Avandia May Cause Risk of Heart Attack and Death
* Avandia Linked to Increased Heart Attacks

Meglitinides: These stimulate insulin production when there is glucose present in the blood. If blood sugar is low, the drug does not work as well.

* Prandin (repaglinide)
* Starlix (nateglitinide)

If you are not a chemist( I am a chemist), the above names of drugs are hard to pronounce and spell, but I hope after reading this article, you did learn a little knowledge how these drugs regulate blood sugar in your body.

Also remember drugs is not everything! Watch out for your diet, exercise a little bit and avoid stress if you want to live longer in spite of your diabetes.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

List of Hypertension Drugs-Old and New

I have high blood pressure since I was 40 years old. Thanks God with medication and a healthy life style, I am still around to write this blog. As a retired Chemist involved in the development of new drugs from FDA, I still have an undiminished interest on new drug development specially in the field of hypertension drugs. The following article is written by Richard N. Fogoros, M.D., of About.com Guide and updated updated March 01, 2010.

"The following is a list of the most common drugs and drug combinations used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). With so many approved drugs to choose from, settling on the "best" drug(s) for you will take careful collaboration between you and your doctor.

* Here are the things you and your doctor should consider when choosing the "best" drug(s) to treat your hypertension.

In this list, the (G) indicates that a generic form of the drug is available.


Diuretics ("water pills") increase the amount of sodium and water excreted into the urine by the kidneys. It is thought that they lower blood pressure mainly by reducing the volume of fluid in the blood vessels.

Diuretics commonly used for hypertension:

* Acetazolamide (G) - Diamox
* Chlorthalidone (G) - Thalitone
* Hydrochlorothiazide (G) - HydroDiuril, also sold as Microzide and Esidrix
* Indapamide (G) - Lozol
* Metolazone (G) - Zaroxolyn, also sold as Mykrox

Diuretics less commonly used for hypertension:

* Amiloride hydrochloride (G) - Midamor
* Bumetanide (G) - Bumex
* Ethacrynic acid - Edecrin
* Furosemide (G) - Lasix
* Spironolactone (G) - Aldactone
* Torsemide (G) - Demadex
* Triamterene (G) - Dyrenium


Beta blockers block the effect of adrenaline on the cardiovascular system, slow the heart rate, and reduce stress on the heart and the arteries.

* Acebutolol (G) - Sectral
* Atenolol (G) - Tenormin
* Betaxolol (G) - Kerlone
* Bisoprolol (G) - Zebeta, also sold as Ziac
* Carteolol (G) - Cartrol
* Carvedilol (G) - Coreg
* Labetalol (G)- Normodyne, also sold as Trandate
* Metoprolol (G)- Lopressor, also sold as Toprol
* Nadolol (G) - Corgard
* Penbutolol - Levatol
* Propranolol (G) - Inderal, Inderal LA
* Timolol (G) - Blocadren

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers can reduce blood pressure by dilating the arteries and, in some cases, reducing the force of the heart's contractions.

* Amlodipine (G) - Norvasc, also sold as Caduet and Lotrel
* Diltiazem (G) - Cardizem, also sold as Dilacor and Tiazac
* Felodipine (G) - Plendil
* Isradipine (G) - DynaCirc
* Nicardipine (G) - Cardene
* Nifedipine (G) - Procardia XL, also sold as Adalat
* Nisoldipine - Sular
* Verapamil hydrochloride - Isoptin, also sold as Calan, Verelan, and Covera

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors

The angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (the "ACE inhibitors") can lower blood pressure by dilating the arteries.

* Benazepril (G) - Lotensin
* Captopril (G) - Capoten
* Enalapril (G) - Vasotec, also sold as Vaseretic
* Fosinopril (G) - Monopril
* Lisinopril (G) - Prinivil, also sold as Zestril
* Moexipril (G) - Univasc
* Quinapril (G) - Accupril
* Ramipril (G) - Altace
* Trandolapril (G) - Mavik

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers

The angiotensin II receptor blockers (the "ARBs") also reduce blood pressure by dilating the arteries.

* Candesartan - Atacand
* Irbesartan - Avapro
* Losartan - Cozaar
* Telmisartan - Micardis
* Valsartan - Diovan

Other, Less Commonly Used Hypertension Drugs

* Clonidine (G) - Catapres
* Doxazosin (G) - Cardura
* Guanabenz (G) - Wytensin
* Guanfacine (G) - Tenex
* Hydralazine hydrochloride (G) - Apresoline
* Methyldopa (G) - Aldomet
* Prazosin (G) - Minipress
* Reserpine (G) - Serpasil
* Terazosin (G) - Hytrin

Combination Drugs For Hypertension

* Amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide - Moduretic
* Amlodipine and benazepril - Lotrel
* Atenolol and chlorthalidone - Tenoretic
* Benazepril and hydrochlorothiazide - Lotensin HCT
* Bisoprolol and hydrochlorothiazide - Ziac
* Captopril and hydrochlorothiazide - Capozide
* Enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide - Vaseretic
* Felodipine and enalapril - Lexxel
* Hydralazine and hydrochlorothiazide - Apresazide
* Lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide - Prinzide, also sold as Zestoretic
* Losartan and hydrochlorothiazide - Hyzaar
* Methyldopa and hydrochlorothiazide - Aldoril
* Metoprolol and hydrochlorothiazide - Lopressor HCT
* Nadolol and bendroflumethiazide - Corzide
* Propranolol and hydrochlorothiazide - Inderide
* Spironolactone and hydrochlorothiazide - Aldactazide
* Triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide - Dyazide, also sold as Maxide
* Verapamil extended release) and trandolapril - Tarka

I have tried diuretics,calcium channel blockers and beta blockers but my personal preference are the combination drugs. Again, consult your doctor for the right drug single or combination for your needs. Watch out for your diet, everything in moderation, exercise a little bit, avoid stress and hopefully you will live longer in spite of your high blood pressure.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time for Lady Gaga's- Alejandro Music Video

Lady Gaga before and after her nose job plastic surgery
Have you heard of Lady Gaga? If you have not heard of her, you must be living in another planet. This song, Alejandro, is the most viewed video in one of my blogs. Enjoy!

I heard this song when Lady Gaga was featured in the TV show, American Idol. Since then this song had more than 12 million hits all over the world. Hope you enjoy it as well as I do! Here is a short write-up about her in Wikipedia.

Lady Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta; March 28, 1986) is an American recording artist. She began performing in the rock music scene of New York City's Lower East Side in 2003 and enrolled at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She soon signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. During her early time at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists and captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, and got her signed to his own label, Kon Live Distribution.

Released on August 19, 2008, her debut album, The Fame, reached number one in the UK, Canada, Austria, Germany and Ireland, and reached the top-ten in numerous countries worldwide; in the United States, it peaked at two on the Billboard 200 chart and topped Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", co-written and co-produced with RedOne, became international number-one hits, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States as well as the charts of other countries. The album later earned a total of six Grammy Award nominations and won awards for Best Electronic/Dance Album and Best Dance Recording. In early 2009 she embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour. By the fourth quarter of the year, she had released her second studio album The Fame Monster, with the global chart-topping lead single "Bad Romance", as well as having embarked on her second headlining tour of the year, The Monster Ball Tour.

Lady Gaga is inspired by glam rock artists such as David Bowie and Queen, as well as pop musicians such as Madonna and Michael Jackson. She has also stated fashion is a source of inspiration for her songwriting and performances. Gaga was ranked the 73rd Artist of the 2000-10 decade by Billboard.[1] As of May 2010, Gaga has sold over 15 million albums and over 40 million singles worldwide.[2] In May 2010, Time magazine included Gaga in its annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Do you know a Place called "Dildo" in US or Canada?

Is this the sign to Dildo, Florida, USA or to Dildo, Newfoundland, Canada?

In my last week posting, I was asking if anyone knows a place named "Dildo" either in US or other parts of the world. After a few minutes of web search, I found two places named "Dildo" spelled in the same way as the sex toy. One is in the US in Monroe County, Florida and the other is in Newfoundland, Canada. There is more information on the Dildo of Canada than the one in US. The following is information on the Canadian town.

"Located in Upper Trinity South, Dildo is a very historic place for Newfoundland tourism. Dildo was settled in the early 1800's by Reids, Prettys, and Smiths. During the 1990's, these names were still predominant names in the community. Every summer Dildo sponsors Dildo Days which is a community celebration and a Newfoundland tourism destination.

In 1889 a permanent fisheries commission was set up for the Colony and a fishery was established on Dildo Island under the direction of A. Neilson, Superintendent of the Fisheries. This hatchery was one of the most modern and largest of its type in the world, and was designed to hatch between two million and three million cod in a season. A spawning pond was added in 1891 and a 5.5 m high wind mill to provided the power to pump sea water into the pond.

In the Twentieth Century Dildo was a flourishing whaling centre until the ban on whaling in the early 1970's brought this industry to a close. Now conservation of whales is a major concern. The closing of the whaling industry also had an effect on the mink ranches because it depended on whale meat as a cheap source of food. In 1955 an entire mink farm was transported from Lester Island, near Vancouver, to Dildo but in the late 1960' rising feed prices forced the ranches to close. Dildo has changed a lot since the 1800's mainly because of its economic growth. There are a lot more businesses and resources that have been created and up-dated since this time. There are 2 stores in Dildo and there is another little store that should be open in the next month or two. There are about four or five people in Dildo who have started their own businesses which continue to grow.

Even though Dildo doesn't have a town council it still has many resources and regarded for its activities. Dildo has it's own swimming pool, an S.U.F. lodge, and Lions Center. Every year Dildo celebrates Canada Day and our own Traditional Dildo Days. These events are held on the swimming pool grounds where there are many activities, such as games, swimming, hot dogs, cold plates, and much more. As you can see Dildo is a very historic and traditional community".

Note: I still do not want to live in a place with the same name as a sex toy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Seven Things Not To Do After Meals

Do not smoke after each Meal
I am posting this very important video as recommended by the video maker. It is important for your health and well being and perhaps will make you live longer.
One item that I always do is eat a fruit ( banana) as dessert. Evidently this is not a healthy thing to do. View this video and you will be surprise that most of us are doing the things that are bad for our digestion. Comments anyone?

Friday, August 13, 2010

A timely Joke of the Week-Re Proposition 8

Results of Proposition 8 being declared unconstitutional this Week in California.
From Sandee's Comedy Plus: Here's the joke of the week. The subject matter is very timely here in California Proposition 8 Fiasco that has dominated the news this week.

"A father watched his young daughter playing in the garden. He smiled as he reflected on how sweet and pure his little girl was. Tears formed in his eyes as he thought about her seeing the wonders of nature through such innocent eyes.

Suddenly she just stopped and stared at the ground. He went over to her to see what work of God had captured her attention. He noticed she was looking at two spiders mating.

"Daddy, what are those two spiders doing?," she asked.

"They're mating," her father replied.

"What do you call the spider on top," she asked.

"A Daddy Longlegs," her father answered.

"So, the other one is a Mommy Longlegs," the little girl asked.

As his heart soared with the joy of such a cute and innocent question he replied, "No dear. Both of them are Daddy Longlegs."

The little girl, looking a little puzzled, thought for a moment then lifted her foot and stomped them flat.

"Well she said, that may be okay in California, but we're not having any of that crap in Alberta."

Stolen from: Phil of Phils Phun

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The New 7 Wonders of the World( also 7 Natural Wonders)

Here's the new 7 wonders of the world. Of the seven, I have been only to two. The Coliseum in Rome, Italy and Chichen Itza in Mexico. I have plans of visiting Great Wall of China and Machu Picchu in Peru in my younger years, but in my aging years, I am just happy to view the following video. In the related video, the old 7 wonders of the world are also listed.

Do not forget to view the related videos specifically the new 7 natural wonders of the world. Of the seven new natural wonders, the only place I have visited is the Grand Canyon in US. The Philippines Longest navigable Subterranean River in the world made it to the top 28. For detail information visit, http://www.7wonders.info.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bizarre, Unusual and Sexy Names of Towns in US -Part 2

Any one Knows where Accident is? I think it is in western Maryland!

Here's Part 2 on my posting on bizarre, unusual and sexy names of places in US and other parts of the World

Miscellaneous crazy town names

Hopeulikit, Georgia
Knockemstiff, Ohio
Cut and Shoot, Texas
Slaughterville, Oklahoma
Jot 'Em Down, Texas
Rough And Ready, California
Faggarts Crossroads, NC.
Coward, South Carolina
Spunky Puddle, Ohio
Bridal Veil, Oregon
Howey In The Hills, Florida
Bug Tussle, Oklahoma
Firetown, Connecticut
Burns Down, South Carolina
Pyro, Ohio
Frankenstein, Missouri
Goblintown, Virginia
Monks Hammock, Louisiana
Monks Misery, Maryland
No Mirage, California
Gun Barrel City, Texas
Humptulips, Washington
Looneyville, Minnesota
Looneyville, New York
Looneyville, Texas
Looneyville, West Virginia
Mormon Bar, California
Nimrod, Minnesota
Scrabble, West Virginia
Snapfinger, Georgia
Cyclone, Texas
Storms, Ohio
Hurricane, Utah
Wind Blow, North Carolina
Tarzan, Texas
Tightwad, Missouri
What Cheer, Iowa
Yazoo City, Mississippi
Zigzag, Oregon
Seven Corners, Virginia
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

And a partridge in a pear tree

Christmas, Florida
Christmas Cove, Maine
Christmas City, Utah
Christmas Valley, Oregon
Christmasville, Tennessee
Santa Claus, Georgia
Santa, Idaho
Eggnog, Utah
Tannenbaum, Arkansas
North Pole, Alaska
North Pole, New York

Mmmmmmm -- I'm hungry!

Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cookietown, Oklahoma
Candy Town, Ohio
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Bacon, Delaware
Cheddar, South Carolina
Cheesetown, Pennsylvania
Cheeseville, Wisconsin
Cheeseville, California
Cranberry Marsh, Wisconsin
Ding Dong, Texas
Rabbit Hash, Kentucky
Bread Loaf, Vermont
Whitebead, Oklahoma
Beans, New Hampshire
Oatmeal, Texas
Two Egg, Florida
Goose Egg, Wyoming
Toast, North Carolina
Chocolate Bayou, Texas
Lick Skillet, Virginia
Milk Springs, Alabama
Milkwater, Arizona
Buttermilk, Arkansas
Buttermilk, Kansas
Coke, Virginia
Tea, South Dakota
Coffee City, Texas
Coffee Creek, Montana
Hot Coffee, Mississippi
Pie, West Virginia
Twin Peaks, California
Yum Yum, Tennessee

Where's the remote?

Becker, Minnesota
Bonanza, Oregon
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Dallas, Texas
Daniel Boone, Kentucky
Falcon Crest, North Carolina
Ironside, Oregon
Jericho, Vermont
Lancer, Kentucky
Lost, Minnesota
Mannix, Montana
Matlock, Washington
McCloud, Tennessee
Monk, Oklahoma
Rawhide, Nevada
Truth or Consequences, NM
Twin Peaks, California

Beam us up, Scotty

Enterprise, West Virginia
Tribble, West Virginia
Roddenberry, Georgia
Captain, Virginia
Kirk, Texas
Kirk, New York
Star, Oklahoma
McCoy, Colorado
McCoy, Ohio
Romulus, New York
Excelsior, West Virginia
Riker, Pennsylvania
La Forge, Missouri
Lore, Iowa
Wesley, Iowa
Crusher, Oklahoma
Wesley, Arkansas
Crusher, Texas
Minuet, North Carolina
Gamma, Georgia
Gamma, Missouri
Captain, Virginia
Archer, Montana
Archer, Florida
Archer, Nebraska
Phlox, Indiana
Phlox, Wisconsin
Vulcan, West Virginia

Quiet down out there!

Yelling Settlement, Alabama
Yellville, Arkansas
Yell, Tennessee
Screamer, Alabama
Screamer, Tennessee
Screamersville, Virginia
Loudville, Massachusetts
Hoop and Holler, Texas
Hoot and Holler Crossing, Texas
Holler, Maryland

Never? Never ever? Are you sure?

Neversink, New York
Neversink, Pennsylvania
Neverfail, Tennessee

Uh, I think I'll pass

Boring, Oregon
Crapo, Maryland
Dull, Ohio
Hobo Station, Mississippi
Ordinary, Virginia
Poor Town, North Carolina
Poorman Side, Pennsylvania
Shacktown, North Carolina

This town's really alive with activity!

Deadmans, Ohio
Deadman Landing, Florida
Deadman Crossing, Ohio
Deadmans Corner, Wyoming
Deadmans Corner, Maine
Dead Mans Crossing, Indiana
Dead Women Crossing, Oklahoma

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to Protect your website from Hackers

The following is an article by R.T. Cunningham posted on www.untwistedvortex.com
Thank you Mr. Cunningham for a very informative article. I hope you do not mind my reprinting it in my blog. I could always delete it any time if you mind.

"Regardless of what kind of website you have, you need to know how to protect your website from hackers. Depending on your website requirements and the type of web hosting you have, there are a few different options.

Shared Hosting and Static Websites

The least amount of control you can possibly have with a static website is on shared hosting. With shared hosting, you're limited to using .htaccess file protection if your server even has that kind of support. Linux servers do, but I'm not familiar with Windows or other hosting platforms.

Even so, .htaccess file protection can only protect web servers after connections are already made. The methods are either the allow/deny options and/or rewrite rules. Both of these methods are the lowest form of effective protection. The connections will appear in your access log for either one and will appear in your error log for denials.

If you have the ability to use PHP, even though you're serving static files, you have more options at your disposal which I'll get to in a moment.

A recent news item I came across tells me that BlueHost is ahead of other shared hosting providers in at least one regard. Take a minute and read "BlueHost Advantage – VPS Protection At Shared Hosting Prices" to find out more about it.

Shared Hosting and Dynamic Websites

Dynamic websites are those that use ASP, ColdFusion, PHP and other server-side scripting languages I haven't heard of. With shared hosting, you only have access to your root directory and subdirectories off the root directory. While I'm not familiar with the other scripting languages, with PHP you at least can take your website security a step further than a static website.

I recently read "How To Protect Your Blog From Hackers" and this is exactly the kind of information that mixes apples and oranges. Two of the tips have nothing to do with protection – one talks about the computer you're using, which obviously has nothing to do with a web server (unless you're running a personal web server at home, which is rare) and the other talks about restoring files after a hack has already been successful.

Making sure your scripts (i.e., CMS or blog) are up-to-date and server software is up-to-date (as much as you may have actual control over it) is a no-brainer. Making sure you use hard-to-guess unique passwords is another no-brainer. Despite being no-brainers, they're often overlooked by a lot of people who can't seem to find the time to concentrate on website security.

I also recently came across ZB Block, which looks like an effective solution to things you can control within dynamic websites that rely on PHP. I have yet to try it – I use my own custom PHP script to drop Apache connections and I'm constantly improving it. Perhaps I'll find that ZB Block already does what I want to do and when I find time, I intend to try it on for size.

Non-Shared Hosting

I'm talking about VPS or dedicated hosting. VPS hosting is affordable and unless you're a complete newbie to website management in any form, I highly recommend it. I probably pay much more than I need to with Media Temple's (ve) server (VPS without a control panel – maximum control), but I like being able to do the things I need to do without having to wait for someone else to do something I can do for myself.

The .htaccess and "ZB Block" options, as well as any other forms of protection you can use from within your "host", can be augmented by a firewall. I think IPtables is a pretty good firewall for the Linux OS, but I can see some faults with it – faults I wish I knew how to do something about. Nevertheless, the firewall prevents denied IP addresses (standard or CIDR notation) from even connecting to anything beyond it. It's the most effective protection for any website or group of websites. I use it continuously – I would be overrun by botnets without it".

In Summary

I've briefly gone over the basics of how to protect your website from hackers. I'll get into more details with future articles, but please don't hold your breath. I'm known to forget things – just another piece of proof that I'm getting old.

Note: Bob, you sounds like me, also getting old with bouts of senior moments every now and then! So, I wouldn't hold my breath, but will keep checking your site every now and then!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Time for Some 1950 Oldies-from the Platters

If you grew up in the 1950's to 1960's, you should remember these two songs by the Platters. Enjoy! Comment?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Charice P and Lea Mitchell of Glee-Season 2

Lea and Charice of Glee
Glee is one of my favorite TV show. So I am indeed excited about Charice‘s( as filipino foreign student) role in the upcoming Season 2 of this popular and award winning FOX TV show. According to the latest news, The ‘rivalry’ between Charice and Lea M. is very much awaited. But according to Lea M., during an interview at Santa Monica Pier recently – the term ‘rival’ is not accurate as both Charice and her may even “become best friends”. Here's a video of what Lea M said about Charice P.

Season 2 will feature music of Britney Spears and Paul McCartney. Susan Boyle ( as lunch lady) and Carol Burnett (as mother of Sue) have been recruited and signed to appear in some episodes.

For those of you who have not heard of Charice P. She is a "Filipina International Singing Star" discovered through the powers of Youtube. She is currently featured on the cover of Reader’s Digest Asia for August 2010 Edition.

Here's a video comparing their voices by singing the same song "Taking Chances" popularized by Celine Dion. Who has the better voice? Listen and Judge for yourself.
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