Monday, June 30, 2008

And Pacquiao Rewrites History

This is Pacquiao at his best yet! Pacquiao took his fourth world title in four different weight divisions. Now, that's history! We also have to give it to Diaz who has such big heart for an opponent. This is the one fight that I did not get to see. We were in church the whole day so it was only today that I got to read the papers. I know I should have seen it all, I cannot imagine how it would be like if I got to watch the fight for myself. You see I only got to read today's spreadsheets and I got goosebumps already.

It was interesting to learn how the fight has brought peace to the country. Imagine, in this crime-crazed country we are in, practically zero crime rate from eight in the morning until three in the afternoon. That alone says how passionate Filipinos are. I can only pray that we all would be as passionate for the Lord and maybe then we will all do our share for God to finally redeem us from the miry place we are in.

I'm sure that even as I have not watched the fight, that must be Pacquiao at his best. He said that this is the weight division he is most comfortable in and he sure made that manifest. It's just great that YouTube is around, now we get to see the full versions of each round of yesterdays fight.

It is such a great break for all the Filipinos the world over after the tragedies that befell our country the past week. I really pray that Manny receives Christ as his personal Lord and Savior if he still hasn't yet. May he find in his heart to give glory to the Lord despite the fame and fortune he is currently experiencing. Here's to you, Manny! God bless you more!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Traveling the Hensley Arrow Way

Almost a month ago, the hubby and I took the core members of our church to a day of planning, recreation and retreat to The Highlands in Boso-Boso. It was a real treat for all of us. The place we went to was a cool, breeze place in the Eastern part of Metro Manila.
We pray that the Lord would allow us to make this a yearly event. Our church is already five years old and this is really something that is necessary for the core group to share one vision and have one heart towards the ministry. It would be fun if we could all do a long drive to Laguna, Subic or even far North to Banawe on a neat RV or even a Hensley Arrow trailer and have every one enjoy the ride to our destination. It’s pretty much a given that with this kind of trailer, its Hensley Arrow Advanced Towing System totally eliminates what they call trailer sway. We will easily travel around with another smaller vehicle in tow.

Feel free to visit their web page to watch their video and maybe subscribe to their newsletter that promote economizing fuel and safety measures to keep in mind during long distance travels.
Sponsored by Hensley Mfg.


How I love oysters! This has been one of my favorites. A fresh, spanking plate can really make my day or even week, if I'd be given two plates. :-) It has been a while since I had my share. I believe it was some two wedding anniversaries ago. It's really been a while now. I can so relate with Ernest Hemingway when he said:

“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.” — Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

And how about a top notch oyster recipe from a top notch chef, Ernest Reynoso Gala:

Oysters Rockefeller

1. 24 large oysters; wash, scrub, remove upper shells.

2. One oven-proof serving tray; sprinkle 2 cups rock salt on a tray. Put oysters on top (the rock salt will keep the oysters in place).

3. For the topping: 1/2 cup finely chopped bacon

4. Sauce: 1/2 cup Magnolia Gold butter, 2 tbsps. each of finely chopped white onion and chopped parsley, 1 cup blanched and drained spinach or kangkong leaves, 1/2 tsp. each of rock salt and pepper, 1/2 cup fresh milk and 1/2 cup grated Quickmelt Cheese.

5. Procedure: Put butter, onions, parsley in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat for two minutes. Turn off fire and mix in spinach/kangkong, salt, pepper, milk, cheese.

6. Spoon spinach mixture on oysters. Top each with a teaspoon of bacon. Bake at 400°F or 200°C for 12 minutes. Serve one with cocktail forks. Serve 6 to 8.

7. Note: To blanch spinach or kangkong leaves, boil one cup water in a pan. Add two cups spinach leaves. Cook for two minutes until wilted. Drain.

And if you just can't afford to run the risk of failing as you you try the above recipe yourself, then you might just want to go to any of the restaurants below and gobble up those spanking great oysters without fussing over ingredients and worrying about failing.

Here are the aforementioned chef's best oyster restos:

1) Via Mare Oyster Bar, Rockwell: Top-quality oysters, some of the best in the country!

2) Heat, Edsa Shagri-La Hotel, Mandaluyong: I always line up at the buffet line to taste some of the sweetest, mouthwatering, fresh oysters you can find.

3) Mr. Rockefeller, 2nd level, Greenbelt 3, Makati City: The cheese oozes and definite value for money!

4) Restaurant Red, Makati, Shangri-La: The lemongrass-steamed New Zealand oysters with cauliflower, panna cotta, and Osetra caviar are a masterpiece!

5) Harbor View Restaurant: Oysters are topnotch and great quality. Great View of Manila Bay! Located at South Gate A, Rizal Park (between Manila Hotel and the US Embassy).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good News for Minimum Wage Earners!

This is the first good news I have read in many years! I practically just read the entertainment section whenever I grab the morning spreadsheets. The news today has it also that Ces Drilon was finally released by her captives. Whether ransom was paid, it is not yet confirmed. Oh well, I hope she and her team learns from this ordeal. What I am afraid of is that if ransom was paid, then this will further encourage terrorists to do their thing.

Anyway, here is todays top news:

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 11:23:00 06/17/2008

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has signed into law a bill that would exempt minimum wage earners from paying income tax and increasing personal exemptions for other employees.

Arroyo signed in MalacaƱang Tuesday Republic Act 9504 or an act amending Sections 22, 24, 34, 35, 51, and 79 of RA 8424 or the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

Senators Manuel Roxas, Francis Escudero, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Speaker Prospero Nograles were present during the signing.

The law aims "to provide financial relief to taxpayers in cognizance by the government of the hard times brought by multiple factors, including the current rice crisis, oil price hikes and the heightening inflationary pressure on commodities of all kinds and to help reduce the wide tax gap in the taxation of self-employed and professionals," according to the five-page document released to media.

Senator Manuel Roxas, principal author of the measure, said the new law would "provide relief to our workers by increasing their take home pay."

He added that the law would allow minimum wage earners to take home as much as P750 a month or from P33 to P35 a day.

"A worker in Metro Manila earning P7,900 a month will now have an additional P750 of take-home pay per month, or P34 per day. He can now spend this additional money for his needs or for his family's needs, such as food, medicine, and the tuition fee of his children, among other uses," Roxas said.

But apart from tax exemption for minimum wage earners, the law will also provide for an increase in the personal exemption of all taxpayers.

From the current P20,000 personal exemption for single taxpayers, P25,000 for head of family, and P32,000 for married individual, the tax exemption will be fixed at P50,000, Roxas said.

The additional exemption for dependents will increase from P8,000 to P25,000, he said.

The senator added that all holiday, night differential, hazard, and overtime pay would also be tax-exempt.

He added that the aim of both the House of Representatives and Senate was not only to increase tax exemption for workers but also to provide relief for minimum wage earners.

"The House focuses on increasing the exemption while I focus on minimum wage," he said.

"We have fought for this for a long time. Many Labor Days have come and gone wherein we fought for this for our workers, and at last, income tax exemption of minimum wage earners is now a law," said Roxas in an interview Monday.

For other salaried workers, the measure would allow an employee earning P455 per day or P10,010 per month to have an additional take-home pay of P472.59 per month or P5,671.02 per year if unmarried; P678.50 per month or P8,142.04 per year as head of the family; and P580.92 per month or P6,971.02 per year for those married with four children.

An employee earning P683 per day or P15,026 per month would have an additional take-home pay of P545.26 per month or P6,543.10 per year if unmarried; P1,307.18 per month or P15,686.20 per year as head of the family; and P1,190.52 per month or P14,286.20 per year for those married with four children.

Although the government is expected to lose around P14 billion a year with the new law, the government hopes to recover this through the optional standard deductions (OSD), which will "simplify the filing of income tax returns and benefits, in particular, professionals and medium, small, and micro entrepreneurs," according to the law.

The OSD will rake in P15.03 billion tax revenues annually.

The law is said to take effect 15 days after its publication in a national newspaper.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Toronto Condos and Lofts

My parents recently just got their Canadian Visas and their off to fly in the next few months. Mama still has an active American Visa and they are still waiting for Papa to be able to get a hold of his very soon. We have an aunt residing in Canada and she has been inviting relatives over to go visit the place. Ever since I got my professional license, I have been toying with the idea of applying for a job there.

This country particularly attracts me for its low crime rate and for the effortlessly beautiful place it is. If ever I will be given the privilege to stay there one site that could be useful to look into is Their site is extremely useful and has a wide scope of info about real estate and condominiums to live in. If toronto condos are what you are looking into, then you need to go check this site out and even read through their toronto condo reviews so you are sure you land on the piece of property that you want to stay in.

I have not found a more comprehensive website for Condo and Loft that covers the vicinity of Toronto area. Their site is ultra user friendly, navigation is a breeze and you actually read testimonials from real clients. Honest to goodness testimonials that backs up their very reputation of being number one in their field. Their thousands of listings guarantees a loft or condominium that will suit your need.
Sponsored by Toronto Condo Guy

Really Inconsiderate

Remember this post? As I cannot think of a better title for this entry, I will just have it sound as a reinforcing post to the above link.

The hubby and one of the mothers around the block went to talk to the person who was doing the painting of the car, he promised to finish by that weekend. Which was not good enough to start with and I believe was a total insult when he handed the hubby and our neighbor one of those cheap gas masks. As if there was anything that a gas mask can do. A week after, he was still at it and we figured this shouldn't be tolerated anymore at all. First, it was a violation of the clean and green act of the city. Second, it is just not human for this Concepcion household. Yes I have got no fear in naming them. They are one bunch of idiots, if you ask me. Whoever in their right mind would do such a thing. Selfishly doing their own thing, despite the fact that some of their neighbors have practically begged them to put a stop to it.

Inconsiderate monsters! Yes that's what they are. And three weeks after the day that their neighbors pleaded with them to stop spray painting their car, they are at it again! Tuesday this week, I felt my chest tighten from the ever familiar smell of the pain fumes. And this time around it was a different car that he was painting. It goes without saying that they are doing this deliberately and selfishly and he never meant a thing he said about not doing it again after two Saturdays ago. We have emphasized already that three of the neighbor's kids have asthma and have been having a hard time breathing because of what they are doing.

The president of our village's association said that this brood of irresponsible neighbors that we have are notorious for their attitude problems. I can only wonder from what planet they are from and if they ever practically applied what they learned from school, at all. The clean and green team came by and warned the bastards. And the staff of the city office gave us their contact numbers just in case they are at it again.

I just cannot fathom how people like these can live with themselves!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Religious Philosphy Quiz by Blogthings

Another one of those online quizzes. It can be relaxing sometimes do all these quizzes, silly or not. Here's one of the results of the quizzes that I took today:

You are a Believer

You believe in God and your chosen religion.

Whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu..

Your convictions are strong and unwavering.

You think your religion is the one true way, for everyone.