29 January 2011

To My Favorite Professor

His students and colleagues can attest to his greatness. His genius is unparalleled. His passion for Taxation Law is astounding. His unique style of teaching is unmatched.  He is legendary -and that's not an exaggeration.

I consider myself very lucky to have Professor Sababan as my professor. I truly admire his brilliance. He's the reason I fell in love with Taxation Law for the first time. From a scaredy cat student, he showed me the unappreciated beauty of  "the of the most feared subject in the field of law."  He mixes his lessons with twists of funny jokes, Philippine geography, history of music, and the sport of cockfighting. His lectures and recitations were always serious and insanely hilarious at the same time.

He has a unique way of pushing his students to study, which I can describe as a mix of a joke and reverse psychology:

Professor Francis Sababan.
"Hoy Boy George! (refering to me) Isusumbong kita sa tatay mo. Hindi mo pa naiintindihan ang batas na 'to! Kung anak lang kita, ginugulpi kita para magaral ka! Palibhasa, ang bait ng tatay mo kaya hindi ka niya sinasapok. (The whole class erupted in laughter). Ayusin mo! (More laughs.)

He motivated me in ways he doesn't even realize. I was 100% present in his class.  I would study his book day and night until I understood the topic.  He brought out the best in me, that is why when I passed his tax 1, it was really fulfilling.

Prof. Sababan spent the last weeks of his life for  his students. After being released from intensive care unit two months ago, instead of taking a leave, he immediately went  back to teach in our advance review classes.

In his last class lecture in our tax 2, he taught the value of appreciating one's parents for their sacrifices for  supporting us in our study of law. He explained that success in law school is not brought about by  social status but by perseverance and determination. If I had known that day  was the last day I'd see Professor Francis Sababan, I would have hugged him, and thanked him.

Today is a day of mourning  for the field of legal education.  Professor Francis Sababan passed away at one o'clock  this morning (1:00a.m) from complications caused by diabetes.

Taxation Law will never be the same without you sir. We will miss you.  I promise to read and understand your book, the  codal, your notes, and your recorded lectures if this is the only way I can thank you.

Farewell to you sir and may you rest in peace.

23 January 2011

How to Become a Money Magnet Seminar Reviewed

"One main reason why most people today remain broke is because they never really found a way how to manage their money..."

-John Calub, Success Coach

Saturday, January 22, 2011, SMX Convention Center. Sweet Pea and I attended a seminar on how to become a money magnet. The talk was delivered by the success coach John Calub and was attended by an estimate of 3,000 people. The talk was from 8:00am to 7:00 pm.

I learned about the seminar when John Calub was featured in a local  talk show last Friday.  The original price of attending the seminar was 8,000 pesos, but he proposed waiving his fee except for 250 Pesos cost of seminar materials. Intrigued by the huge discount deal and by topic of the seminar itself, I decided to attend.

1. The seminar was a gathering of people who want to become wealthy.
2. John Calub shared success principles he learned from his mentors and the books he read.
3. He urged the participants to abandon the "poor man's mentality" and instead shift to the way wealthy people think.
4. He featured a very rare book worth 5Million Pesos. Part of his collection of self help books on wealth.
5. He invited attendees to buy  limited edition memorabilia like CDs and shirts.
6. He invited attendees to enroll in his other self- help seminars.
7. He introduced a system of principles to help you save and manage money.
8. He introduced action steps on how to acquire the habit of attracting money.

According to the speaker, to attract money, follow these principles:

Never limit your potential. YOU AND I HAVE INFINITE POTENTIAL.
What are the Limiting Beliefs?
1. Money is the root of all evil.
2. Rich people are bad and greedy.
3. Hindi importante ang pera, importante masaya  tayo.
4. You have to work hard for money. No pain, no gain.
5. You cannot be rich if you stay in the Philippines.
6. Pag maikli ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot.
7. Wealth is "either or"
8. Knowledge is power.

"Look at your partner and say ' friend, we have a multi-
millionaire mind. Apir!"
The Limiting Beliefs should instead be reprogrammed to Empowering Beliefs:
1. The greed of money is the root of all evil. It is a sin to be poor.
2. I can be rich and spiritual at the same time.
3. Money is important in all areas of life.
4. Money comes to me easily and frequently.
5. I can be rich wherever I am.
6. Pag maikli ang kumot, bumili ng mas malaki.
7. I can have it all.
8. Wisdom is power. Wisdom is knowledge in action.


meaning, if you want to be wealthy the first step is "feeling wealthy inside."
"Have fun, feel good, it's all been done!"

Understanding the laws of the universe and applying it in one's life.

1. The law of attraction. Think only of what you want and not of what you do not want.

2. The law of tithing. All humans are required to surrender to God a portion of what he receives. God gives, god also takes.

3. The law of giving. When you give, you receive. Good vibes.

4. The law of cause and effect. What you sow is what you reap. What goes around, comes around. Karma.

5. The law of forgiveness. Detach your self from that hurt.

6. The law of gestation. There is a season for everything. You can't put a date on every dream. Only God knows when what you want will come.

7. The law of polarity. Negative and positive. Yin and yang. Oneness of opposites.  There is a good side to every bad situation, and vice versa.

8. The law of abundance. God surely did not intend everyone to be poor.
Jesus himself was wealthy. Sin - means "missing the mark" in its original language root word.

9. The law of rhythm. No matter how  good you are, there will be seasons of high and seasons of low.

10. Law of circulation - Everything is created by energy. Energy flows. It cannot be created nor destroyed. Good energy. Negative energy. If you want to get rich spend your money with "no guilt". Guilt produces negative energy. Wealth is intended to be circulated. When your money circulates, more money will come.

Remind yourself with these empowering beliefs:

1. I always have money that I will never need.

2. My money works hard for me and makes me more and more money.

3. Whenever I spend money, more money comes to me. (guided by the laws of the universe on wealth)

4. I always make decisions that are for the highest good of all concerned including my self.

Bottom line:

The seminar is interactive, fun, and a new approach in motivating you to manage and create money. Some of the points of the speaker may be controversial for some.

I realized in attending this seminar that achieving wealth is possible, I just have to understand the laws of the universe and apply it to my life. Most importantly I realized that wealth (just like success) is a state of mind. To be able to be wealthy outside, wealth must be felt in the inside. It pays  to "feel good first." When you feel good first -- the ways and means to attract money (money magnet) will suggest themselves.

Should you probably attend the seminar?

Short answer - Yes.

Favorite Quotes:

"Everyone who works hard will become poor! Don't work hard, work smart."

"Make a dream board and paste all your dreams in it. Imagine that you are already successful."

"Before sleeping and after waking up, get a glass of water and tell that water your dreams. Drink that water."

"If you're happy, you will attract money."                                -John Calub

21 January 2011

Book Review 3: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

" . . .suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape."

- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

I first encountered Great Expectations when its movie version was released in 1998. I liked how Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow played the role and the film's melodramatic and theatrical rendition. After watching the movie,  I told my self that  I will read the original book someday. That day has come.  I bought a used copy on book sale for 150 Pesos.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is story of a poor orphaned boy named Pip who lived with his sister and her blacksmith husband named Joe. His uncle would sometimes bring him to the house of a wealthy but psychologically disturbed Miss Havisham to play with her beautiful adopted daughter named Estella. One day, a lawyer went to young Pip's house to bring a news that would change his life forever. A secret benefactor left Pip a large sum of money to go to  Britain and pursue his dream of becoming a wealthy learned man. Who was this secret benefactor?  This becomes part of his great expectations. As the story unfolds, he discovers the true value kindness, loyalty, friendship, love, and dreams.

What I like about Great Expectations is the well developed characters. Pip's personality is consistent throughout the story. The back stories of the characters are deep and interesting. The personality of Pip is someone who most of us can relate to.  The things he wanted out of life are not uncommon. He is hopeful that his status in  life will change for the better; and that one day, the girl of his dreams Estella, will love him back. The story builds up and surprises you with unexpected twists.

Great Expectations shows the value of being human. Loyalty, kindness, and love are priceless. The story also teaches humility. Man is measured not in terms of money, power or acclaim, but how he treats those who have less in life, specially family and friends.

After reading the book, I realized that I have my own economic expectations in life. But at the end of the day,  the finest things in life are not those that money can buy -- love, trust, and kindness (the intangibles) are what truly counts. As Forrest Gump once said, "...Momma said there's only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off..."

Bottom line:

Should you probably read this book?

Short answer: Yes.

Favorite Quote:

"In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong." 

- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

This forms part of a list of books I aim to read this year.

UP NEXT!: Probably Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Dodgson...

1. Maya by Jostein Gaarder - REVIEWED
2. Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman - REVIEWED
3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens- REVIEWED
4. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
5. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
7. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
8. The Brothers Karamazov by  Feodor Dostoevsky
9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
10.One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
11. Noli Me Tangere in English by Jose Rizal (can you believe it?) :)
12. Ulysses by James Joyce

20 January 2011

Book Review 2: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

"There was reality and there was reality; and some things were more real than others." 
Neil Gaiman Anansi Boys Ch. 9

Must... not.. sleep. Must... not... sleep. @_@
Book Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys was the first Neil Gaiman novel that I've ever read.  My sister bought it from National Book Store on sale for (50) fifty Pesos. It is about 400 pages.

Anansi Boys is a story of a boy named Fat Charlie. After his estranged father died, he learns through a family friend that his father was a god  and that he actually has a brother. Fat Charlie eventually meets his lost brother named Spider who later on becomes a source of inconvenience. A sort of magic detective adventure tale follows.

I like the the language used in the novel. The dialogues are simple and direct to the point. I like Neil Gaiman's wit. The author deserves his critical acclaim for his  colorful description and detailed expressions.

That said, there are some parts of the story that are hard for me to like. The main character  Fat Charlie, for example, was not believable. It's hard for to relate with his inconsistent personality.  His ill-feelings toward his dead father was also unconvincing. The middle part of the book was a bit boring.

The fact that his father was a god was very hard to believe. The descriptions that  support the "my father as a god" storyline was lacking. Aside from a back story that relates his father to a minor African god from the past, there are no other descriptions that support this claim. This part of the story was very crucial and, for me, was the supposed to be the strongest "hook" of the story. The unifying factor and the greatest strength of the novel was supposed to be its humor, which was unfortunately shallow for my taste.

Should you probably read the book?

Short answer:  -- No.

Exception: You are a fan of Neil Gaiman and you will read anything he writes.

Favorite Quote:
"Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn't a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their song instead."
(Anansi Boys) — Neil Gaiman

UP NEXT!: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

List of books to read this year:

1. Maya by Jostein Gaarder - REVIEWED
2. Ulysses by James Joyce
3. The Brothers Karamazov by  Feodor Dostoevsky
4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - NEXT
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
7. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
8. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
10.A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
11. Noli Me Tangere in English by Jose Rizal (can you believe it?) :)
12.  Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

16 January 2011

Harbour Square Date

Friday, January 14. Sweet Pea and I went to Harbour Square to celebrate our 23rd month. Night Kebab is one of our favorite places to hang out to. We just keep on going back there.


Night Kebab is located at 2/Lvl. Blk. 2, Unit 2202 Harbour Square, Bukaneg St. CCP Complex Pasay City, Metro Manila.


Sweet Pea and I ordered our favorite Gilbey's Premium. It is actually made out of gin, green tea extract, ginger ale, and tonic water. We like its fruity caramelly taste with just the right alcohol. We got it by a bucket of four at 199 Php.

Then we ordered shawarma sandwich, their specialty. At 120 Php it's reasonably priced. It's one of the best shawarmas we've tasted. There's nothing quite like it.

After finishing our shawarma, we ordered buffalo wings. It comes with a generous amount of french fries. It was so good, I almost forgot to take a picture of it. At 150Php, you get your money's worth.


One more thing good about this place is their super comfy couches. The place wants you to stay there as long as you like. Sweet Pea and I finished a good game of football between Republic of Korea and Australia. 

Harbour Square is really a harbor. You get to see the lights of Roxas Boulevard, the yachts of the Manila Yacht Club, and other interesting vessels big and small.

Just one of the many boats parked at this harbor.

Hoop games around the harbor. Throw a bracelet and shoot it at any of the bottlenecks and win for your self one of these creepy creatures :)

If you and your sweetheart are looking for a unique date place that offers Persian, Italian, and Filipino dishes, you may want to try this place out.

12 January 2011

Book Review 1: Maya by Jostein Gaarder

"It takes  billions of  years to create a human being .
And only a few second to die." - Maya, Jostein Gaarder

DSC_1184I came to know Gaarder when my friend in high school let me borrow his Sophie's world. Sophie's World is an introduction to western philosophy cleverly concealed in a mystery novel. Because I like Sophie's World and The Solitaire Mystery so much, I bought a third Gaarder novel, Maya. I got my copy from Powerbooks for 429.00 Pesos.

The novel presents itself as a series of letters written by a Frank to his estranged wife, Vera. Frank, lonely as he is, goes to the virginal island of Taveuni. In the island, he meets the couples Jose and Ana, Laura, and a talking philosophical gecko named Gordon. It is not until the final chapters that the narrator (John Spooks) will reveal himself.

As the story unfolds, it will ask you to ponder on some of very classic philosophical questions: Why are we here? Are we alone? Where did it all begin? What happens when we die? Does the Earth have a soul? But if you expect that the book will answer all these questions for you, you're up for a disappointment.

In the chapter on Postscript, it seemed to me as if it was an apology of the narrator. It seemed as if it was  a last minute attempt to save the whole story. It summarizes and "gives away" the unresolved aspects of the story. Not to mention, the narration sounded preachy.

It is unfortunate that while I really enjoyed Gaarder's Sophie's World and The Solitaire Mystery, I didn't get the same satisfaction in reading Maya. The main character was not well developed.  There was no real climax to speak of  and the back stories aren't interesting. The story does not build up, too. The genre is also confusing. It is hardly a love story. It does not qualify as Magic Realism either, it's not a mystery novel either, a textbook on philosophy perhaps? (like Sophie's World) I doubt it.

Nevertheless, I kept on turning the pages hoping that the philosophical questions he poses (evolution, concept of time and space, physics, etc. ) will be solved in one way or another - which unfortunately, didn't happen. Instead, the last chapter "Manifesto" is a collection of quotable quotes of the whole book. Some concepts, as pointed out, are either  very broad or very debatable, specially for the students of philosophy.


So, should you read the book?

Short answer - No.

You're a fan of the author after reading Sophie's World and The Solitaire Mystery, and you still have a lot of time to in your hands.

Favorite quote:
"If there is a god, he is not only a wizard at leaving clues behind. More than anything, he's a master of concealment. And the world is not something that gives itself away. The heavens still keep their secrets. There is  little gossip amongst the stars. But no one has forgotten the Big Bang yet. Since then, silence has reigned supreme, and every thing there is moving away. One can still come across a moon. Or a comet. Just don't expect friendly greetings. No visiting cards are printed in space."

Random: The Hormone of Darkness, Books to Read, Photo of the Day

Random Thought: Is it possible to cure insomnia by taking The Hormone of Darkness? I will find out soon.


I'm going back reading books. While reading Jostein Gaarder's Maya, I remembered everything I love about reading classical literature. There are a lot of books I've always wanted to read, but just couldn't find time to do so. So this year, I'll make sure to find time reading at least 1 book per month. Here's a partial list of the books I want to review:

1. Maya by Jostein Gaarder
2. Ulysses by James Joyce
3. The Brothers Karamazov by  Feodor Dostoevsky
4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
7. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
8. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
10.A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
11. Noli Me Tangere in English by Jose Rizal (can you believe it?) :)

I am almost through with Maya. I'll give a brief review of the book later.


Suggestion of the day:
"Stop following and delete from your blog roll irritating bloggers who are not even worthy of your comments."


Photo of the day.

It wasn't me!


Bimby needs a hand.

10 January 2011


Yes it's out. The UP College Admission Test was released last Monday night. The exam is one of the largest entrance examination in the country. In 2009, more than 67,000 students took the exam in testing centers nationwide.

This news makes me nostalgic when I took the UPCAT a long time ago. Although I prepared well for the exam, whatever skill and/or grade I had then just wouldn't cut the mustard.

But all the reasons in my head were telling me I should take my college in UP. It simply was just the right thing to do.  I wasn't ready to give up just yet. I still had my last card. The plan was to take my first year in another school, get the highest grade I can acquire, and pray that  UP will accept me as a transferee for the  next school year. This was the back door to UP.

The next year, armed with a decent General Weighted Average, I was fortunate enough to get the last slot for a transferee. It was not easy. Looking back - it was a miracle I got in.

Dean J.A.P. toured me around and explained how the transferring process works. I am forever indebted for his kindness. He believed in me when no one would. Thank you so much sir. 

Being a scholar, of course,  has its consequence. You have to give back to our country. After all, it was the people's money that paid for your education.

Congratulations to the UPCAT passers and to the successful transferees.

Mabuhay ang pagasa ng bayan.

07 January 2011

Taylor Swift Tickets, Where are You?

How can I resist Taylor Swift? She is such a darling. She's my ultimate crush. She doesn't have a prodigious talent. I mean, come on! Let's admit it. She's not the best female singer out there. Listen to her songs and you will notice that she's frequently out of tune, and a lot of times, she runs out of breath while singing.

But I like the fact that she writes her own music. She's sweet and wholesome. I love her hair and the way she dresses; and a model like  5'11'' frame to back it up. She brought country music into the lime light once again.

Now tell me, where have all the Taylor Swift tickets gone? Even my suki scalper in front of Araneta Coliseum won't sell me tickets. I underestimated Taylor Swift fans. I honestly thought her tickets won't be sold out.

I missed Paramore last year, now it seems like I will miss Taylor Swift, too. I guess I'll just gonna have to settle watching live youtube videos of her performances again --  like this:

03 January 2011

Family Times, Priceless

January 2. We started the day by meeting our ninong and ninang  for lunch at Va Pensiero, Gateway. After lunch, we headed to the Coliseum to watch The Grand China National Acrobatic Circus. You have to admire their talents. It is difficult what they are doing, applause to them. Then, we headed to dine in  North Park ordering our favorite Chinese dishes.

Lunch with our ninong and ninong at Va Penciero.

Parang Pep Squad lang sa NCAA, Kulang nalang yung sound effects pag nagfflip.

Plates. They are not just for dining, but for performing, too.

Balancing act. May harness para hindi maulit yung accident nung first day.

Ultra Electro Magnetic Top ang style.
Ticket for the show 350 Pesos/head, the family together moment itself - priceless.

Our favorite Chinese Dishes at the newly opened North Park, Cubao.

01 January 2011

The First Post of the Year (1/1/11)

New Year gives us the chance to think about the past and the future, and the chance to improve ourselves. For 2011, I want to do the following.

kinder, more gentle, less grumpy 2011

1. Reduce internet time consumption to just 1 hour per day.
2. Early to bed, early to rise. Be at school by 8:00 a.m.
3. Financial liability free.
4. Organize my finances, be more cost effective.
5. Reduce my energy drink consumption.
6. Be kinder, more gentle, less grumpy.
7. Add more capital to our loading business.
8. Plan. Use my planner everyday. Develop a rubric for daily tasks.
9. Finish one classic book per month.
10. A new flash gun for Dina.

Some fireworks photos from our street :)

Happy New Year Everyone!







Starting the New Year with a blast!