A call for solidarity

For a few years now, the global media community has named the Philippines among the most dangerous places for journalists. In the past two years, our country has been second only to Iraq in the number of media killings. Philippine journalists have fought hard to roll back the tide of violence. Today, however, the Philippine press faces its strongest challenge.

In declaring a “state of national emergency,” President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made media among her main targets. She and senior aides warned of government takeover of media facilities considered friendly to the political opposition.

Read the entire statement at the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines website.

Free services Internet

Get a beta free personal website: Google Page Creator now live

Get a better personal website with Google Page Creator. Google Page Creator allows users to easily run and maintain a website and create web pages using a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) visual editor. I tested the service half an hour ago (screenshots below) and found it very easy to use and customize.

Google Page Creator offers a lot of great-looking templates. To design websites, users merely choose from a wide selection of pre-made templates, similar to what Blogger offers its users.

Users can also choose from a variety of webpage layouts-single column, two columns and three columns.


Pity the policemen

It seems having sex during anti-prostitution raids is a sacrifice for them. Chief Insp. Romeo Perigo of the Cebu Provincial Police Office says so. Provincial Prosecutor Jane Petralba, however, says police should stop having sex in anti-prostitution raids because they are “not only exposing their butts, but also (themselves) to criminal case for having sex with these prostitutes.”

cebu news Journalism

Manuel Oyson, Jr., 71

Sun.Star Cebu columnist Manuel Oyson Jr. died Monday, months after suffering a massive heart attack. Oyson, considered the dean of Cebu sportswriters, suffered a heart attack reportedly after an emotional outburst over his legal battle with an insurance company. Oyson had been claiming insurance payments for one of his properties that had been destroyed in a fire.

Attorney Oyson had been with Sun.Star Cebu since its inaugural issue on Nov. 25, 1982. Hereís part of the Sun.Star Cebu story on his death:

While some of his opinions were unpopular, he was not afraid to make them known through his columns. One of his daring forecasts was the victory of Mexicoís Erik Morales over Filipino sentimental favorite Manny Pacquiao in the two boxersí first encounter last year.


Back to K2

I changed themes last night, reverting to the latest version of K2. Phoenixrealm, the WordPress theme I used prior to the current one, is a great minimalist WordPress theme but I missed having a proper blog header.

Iím still customizing the theme and tidying up things here and there. The photo page, while functional is a bit broken, with the sidebar getting pushed to under the main content.

And, as you can see in this post, Iím posting asides again.

Open source

Do you want to try Ubuntu?

I just got my Ubuntu Breezy Badger CDs yesterday. I’ve started distributing it among newsroom colleagues, telling them to try it out and then pass it on to other people. The live CDs that come with Ubuntu are really great in introducing people to the operating system.

Do you want one? If you’re in Cebu and you want one, send me a note so that we can discuss where I can leave the CDs for you to pick up. Do pass it on after you finish installing it.

Blogs Personal

Upgrading to WordPress 2.0.1

I finished upgrading this blog Wednesday night to WordPress 2.0.1, which was released two weeks back to fix bugs in WordPress 2.0. I was a bit wary in upgrading the blog because of problems posted on the WordPress support forum by those who upgraded their installations.

I already lost a lot (close to 50) of blog entries when I botched an upgrade to Serendipity, the blog script I used before WordPress.

But I took the plunge, anyway. I backed up all my blog files. I did not bother getting a database backup because the recent database backup file sent to my GMail account by the WordPress database backup script was still current.


The one

Eighty-five percent of Filipinos believe they are destined to spend the rest of their lives with one special person. And of this number, 75% told the Social Weather Stations that they’ve already found the person they are destined to be with.

“Belief to be destined with one person in their lifetime is strong across location: highest in Mindanao (90%), and equally high in NCR (84%), Balance Luzon (84%), and Visayas (82%)Ö and across socioeconomic class: 90% among the upper classes ABCs, 89% among class E, and 83% among class D.

Married (87%) and those living-in with partner (83%) tend to have stronger belief in destiny to be with one person for the rest of their lives, compared to those who have no spouse or partner (79%).”

Read the news release at the SWS site.
Marlen and I at the Sun.Star canteen.
With Marlen, hamming it up for Sun.Star Cebu photographer Amper CampaŮa at the Sun.Star canteen.


Skies starting to clear

It never stopped raining for four days in Cebu. Finally, part of the skyline started to clear this afternoon. Here’s the view from the Sun.Star Cebu canteen.
Foul weather but end's in sight



I turned 30 yesterday. The weather was horrible-it still is as I write this- and it never stopped raining in our part in Lapu-Lapu City. Marlen and I took the day off from work and went out for a quick pasta meal. We stayed indoors with Dylan, who did not have a class yesterday, and Lennon, who never stopped running from one corner of the house to another until he fell asleep close to midnight.

I smoked only two cigarette sticks yesterday. I used to smoke at least a pack (20 sticks), often more, every day. I started drastically cutting down on smoking earlier this year, with the approach of my self-imposed deadline to quit, which was set arbitrarily several years back in one of those drinking sessions with friends. I know itís still too early to tell but I just might be able to pull this off.

Even until a few years back, I thought 30 was old. A former editor, who was in her early 40s at that time, called my attention when I used ďold womanĒ in the headline for a crime victim who was in her 40s.

I donít feel old. Iím not as fit as I want to be but Iím working on that with life hacks on smoking and diet. I want to return to playing football (or soccer as Americans stubbornly call it) regularly. In the meantime, Iím playing table tennis regularly and narrowly missed a slot to the finals in our office tournament.