The UK Variant & Being Back to the Dark Ages

just a thought

I read somewhere in the world “wild” web that calling the now-named novel coronavirus as the Wuhan Virus or the China Virus is unfair, uncivilized and xenophobic.  Lots of articles and write-ups raised that this naming of the new virus from its place of origin is inhumane and no longer acceptable since year 2015 by the World Health Organization.  Articles explained that such should be named differently because the world is no longer in its Dark Ages and that the old practice has caused violent anger and physical danger towards the citizens or ethnicities where the disease originated.

But I got sets of disturbing questions now.  If WHO has new sets of best practices in naming viruses and diseases, how come the now-mutated and highly contagious variant of novel coronavirus is commonly called The UK Variant, the place on earth where it was first detected?  And why are the British people not reacting the way Chinese folks reacted when novel coronavirus was named after their country?

I don’t have a relative living in UK now but I know lots of people there, from Boris to Elizabeth to cute little George, Charlotte and Louis.  Why is my godmother who is British whom I last met when I was 3 years old is not hurt, not offended and not even reacting?

Answers to these troubling questions I guess is because British folks nowadays have gone too docile to react and have been too busy trying to improve their sad and alarming Covid19 status.  Or maybe, we are back in the Dark Ages.

Get well UK!

Winter Feels???

I have long learned from grade school that Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system.  And when I grew up, living in one of the hottest nations where the fiery hot sun is up every day, there are boiling moments that I would start believing that my muggy sweaty beach-weather country is not on Earth but in burning Venus!

winter cold: the tropical country version! hahaha!

But not today!  At a temperate 24 degrees Celsius, my country now must be in a winter season status! Haha!  And it actually takes a cold snap in Korea, Japan and India before my country experience such a clement kind of temperature.  

gone crazy!

We don’t have winter but now that it is a little cold, I should pull out my winter gears! I don’t wanna experience frostbite!  And yeah, I am happy and gone nuts because of this beautiful weather!

Cute Human Beings

It’s the last day of the crazy year.  Let me be very positive today.  I know I failed to post and greet everyone a very Merry Christmas last December 25 that is why I made sure to write something on the last day of the year.

I have been seeing and bumping unto highlights of what has been this tremendous year online.  The internet specifically YouTube has somewhat been my escapism during this scary pandemic year.  My incapacity to explore outside and my inability to socialize personally with my friends and family gave me the opportunity to instead switch to watching sweet and delightful videos on YouTube.  These are the videos that somewhat filled the void of my needing to smile and my wanting to feel pleasant despite the scary contagion lurking outside.

Let me give homage to the cute human beings whom I encountered this year via YouTube.  These are the cute babies, toddlers and kids whose parent’s vlogpost I frequently watch and look forward to during the months that passed. 

They are…

Nitro (the cute baby of Dwaine and Shanta Wooley)

Nitro: cuteness overload

Holland and Stone (of Dustin & Burton Buffalo)

you will definitely be charmed by the chic and trendy Holland and Stone

Zach, TJ and Holly (of ChonaAndMyKids)

these kids’ antics will never fail to put a smile on your face

Uma (of Matthew & Elliot)

Uma the adorable and stylish little sunshine

Leila and Stella (of Ingrid in Bosnia

the cute sister-power of leila and stella

May our new year be as beautiful, as happy, as promising and as full-of-life like these cute human beings!  Happy New Year everyone!

Cool Carlo

Reading about good news has been so hard to come by.  In the age of divisiveness, social mistreatment and neglect of the planet, human beings would seem to yearn for some good news nowadays. 

Let me provide one to you then. Carlo Acutis, an Italian Roman Catholic teenager is scheduled for beatification today, October 10, 2020.  This is after the Pope confirmed a miracle attributed to Carlo’s intercession – the healing of a young Brazilian boy who was afflicted with a rare congenital pancreatic disease.

cool carlo acutis

This young dude who died of leukemia in 2006 at a young age of 15 did things that no ordinary teenager of his generation would do.  He frequently prayed the holy rosary, attended mass and received the eucharist.   He also made an online catalog of the miracles pertaining to the Holy Eucharist.  As if like an old wise man, Carlo offered his pains, agonies and sufferings to the Lord and the Church.  How cool is that!

The body of Blessed Carlo on display in Assisi

Another cool thing about Carlo is that he seems to be the only Blessed in Nike shoes! Congratulations Blessed Carlo! You simply rock!

Orange Race

One way to identify a human race is in terms of skin color.  There is white, black, brown, red and yellow.  I for one is classified under the Brown Race.  But yesterday during sunset here in Manila, I turned so orange.  Actually, everything became and looked so orange for a few minutes I started to wondered if I have turned into an Orange Race.

Reason for my turning to a different skin color and be of a rare human race was because of this stunning phenomenon!

no filter! my sunset balcony view of manila bay…

Sunset here in Manila is truly captivating!

Catching Up with Super Friend Karen B.

William Shakespeare is so correct when he said that “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow”.

The beauty about friendships is that we cannot tell the exact circumstance and that it ensued and best formed before we needed it.  I am super glad to have been privileged to develop super friendships in these manner.

with super friend, Karen B.

One long-time, unpretentious and authentic friendship I obtained is that with Karen B. And after eons of seasons, I have been favored by luck and providence to catch up with this genuine and indisputable human being. 

My friendship with Karen B is actually older than a lot of readers and followers of this blog.  And for the last more than 3 decades that we know each other catching up has been very intermittent.  Catch up can sometimes be between seasons, sometimes annually and sometimes even lengthier than the sports Olympic meets of the planet.

comfy talk! frank, unpretentious and sometimes brutal, you can actually leave behind your pocketful of formalities when you are to catch up with this lady. hahaha!

But despite the irregular meet-ups the level of frankness, candidness and sincerity remains the same.  May it be silly, serious, brutal, momentous or wicked, I can essentially say anything I want to this lady.  And point in fact, she can actually do the same to me!  That is how deep the friendship I have with Karen B.  And I am just so glad to have met up again with this lady.

Rebooting My Notion About Russia

I have been watching so much American movies and reading so much American novels that my preconceived idea about Russians is that they were the antagonist.  These has always been the grand old tradition by American movies and novels  that resulted to my brain’s default that Russians are the nemesis, the traitor, the spy and the infuriated.

jet-lagged, tired and hungry (didn’t felt all that after having a glimpse of the St Petersrburg Square)

All these notions and impressions were completely wiped out from my awareness when I got to step and venture into the Russian soil, Saint Petersburg, that is.  Russians from my new appreciation are just quiet, unobtrusive, calm and subdued.  They are not the smiling kind like my people or the gregarious like the Americans, there seem to be calmness in their core that makes you be so intrigued on what they are thinking and what they really feel.

I know I just spent more than a week in St. Petersburg for me to totally dissect and explore the Russian psyche.  I had a limited exposure but at least my initial unfair idea about the Russians has been totally purged and eradicated.  Russia and their people are beautiful.  And because of this new understanding of the Russians, I will definitely be back in this fine-looking country.

Here’s a slideshow video of my first day in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Perfect Strangers at 72nd Street Subway Station

Every subway station in New York City seem to depict and tell their distinct story.  Each station appears to have their own unique and notable personality.  One striking subway station that I stumbled upon which I was truly impressed with was the Second Avenue subway station at 72nd Street.

And out of curiosity, I tried reading articles about the remarkable design and artwork of the station.  I then found out that the numerous glass mosaic images on the walls of the station were done my artist and photographer Vic Muniz and he appropriately named these works of art as Perfect Strangers.

Perfect Strangers being a public art display can easily be perceived as a celebration of diversity of the people who live and work in any NYC neighborhood.  It is also a powerful message to all commuters about the normalcy of life in New York.  These mosaics can simply be distinguished as the microcosm of the city which reminds everyone of us that life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

working hard

young at heart

super friends

father figure

love wins

And it looks like this station has been earning some popularity and a amiaable reputation from people who loves taking photos.  It is because I noticed that it was not only me who was there taking photos of those Perfect Strangers on the walls! I’m pretty sure the live breathing strangers would post their photos in their respective Instagram account.  My photos however don’t seem to do justice!

Enough with the rumination! Let me just announce that I am so loving this station!  The price of the subway fare would be so worth it even if your purpose is to see and check-out the Perfect Strangers!

perfect strangers

the world has so much to offer

Galing!

Impressions of Mexico City

I planned of going to Mexico City more than 6 months ago.  I purchased my airfare and booked my hotels about the same time.  Problems arose along the way especially regarding the online travel agent I got who cancelled and refunded my 6-month old plane ticket 10 days prior to the actual flight and have yet to inform me the reasons for such cancellation.  Two days after such cancellation, I still decided to still push through with the adventure by courageously buying a Turkish Airline ticket bound for Mexico City.

Prior to me leaving for Mexico City, lots of friends and colleagues are questioning me why I chose to do a solo travel in such a dingy and dangerous place.  They relayed that they have read and heard a lot about Mexico City being precarious, unsafe and pick-pocket infested.  But since it is one country that welcomes me without having to apply for a tourist visa (since I am a US and Japan multiple entry visa holder), I did not listen to friends and relatives and still push through with my journey.   

Now, I am here in remarkable Mexico City, spending almost two weeks already – not that I am asking – yet I have yet to feel and experience the worry and uneasiness that my friends and colleagues has informed me.  I must admit that I was a bit worried at first, but all these anxiety and fear were totally erased once I walked the busy streets of the city.  This was fully reinforced when I survived a train ride during a rush hour!  Besides, I grew up in a similarly perilous and dodgy City of Pasay in Manila, thus, I can actually use my innate and fully developed skill in dealing with the crooks, the felonious and the delinquents.

Similar to Metro Manila, Mexico City is vast and humongous!  But I personally prefer the weather of this city as compared to the Manila weather.  Mexico got 4 seasons, Manila got 2.  You can never let me wear a jacket outdoors in Manila, because it is either hot or very hot!

I hate to compare but the architecture in Mexico is a bit better as compared to the structures found in Manila.  Metro train system in Mexico City is of course more intricate and more reliable as compared to the rundown, often-busted and politically-exploited metro train in Manila.  And though Philippines and Mexico similarly experienced more than 300 years of Spanish rule, Mexico seem to have maintained its Spanish roots because they seem to possess more European looking buildings.     

The similarity between Manila and Mexico City I guess would be regarding cleanliness and the people.  There are lots of people everywhere and both cities needs to improve a lot concerning cleanliness! Another similarity would be the traffic.  Though Mexico has intricate and more developed metro train, its traffic is as bad as that of Manila.  Both cities are traffic-infested!

Mexico City love art!  One noticeable person printed on their money (500 Mexican peso denomination) is an art goddess, Frida Khalo.  Also, I was actually surprised to find out that this city got the most number of museums.  And even on the street, people tend to express themselves through art.  Humongous mural arts, lots of colorful graffiti and numerous art performances can be seen on the streets of the city.      But I guess the one thing that Manila is better as compared to Mexico would be the smile.  Though Mexicans tend to be more passionate and expressive – there’s lots of sensual kissing inside the train, amatory hugging on the streets and even lgbt members freely holding hands while walking – we in Manila smile more, we seem kindlier and seem gentler as compared to the fierce and audacious people of Mexico City.

If you would ask me if I will go back and revisit Mexico City.  I would definitely will!

Di naman nakaka-shokot… Biba Meksiko!

Tessa & Scott Makes Me Wanna Be Canadian

There seem to be no good news in the Philippines for the past 2 years.  Everything on the news concerning the situations in my country were either so bad or gone worse.  Like any other ordinary citizen living in the Philippines, I long for some good news!

Because of the present economic, political and social circumstances of my country, I’m jealous and envious towards the citizens of progressive Canada. These feelings of envy was further reinforced when I saw a YouTube video of the winning dance skating performances of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in the recently concluded Winter Olympics. 

Though the Philippines now send delegates, I don’t normally watch the Winter Olympics held every after four years.  Maybe it is because my country does not have a winter season that is why winter sports are so foreign and unfamiliar.

But when I clicked on a recommendation by YouTube about a couple of weeks ago while I was searching for good news about the Philippines in the net, I suddenly wanted to become Canadian while watching Tessa and Scott’s performances. 

My foolish admiration towards Tessa and Scott further intensified when I learned (also from Youtube) that they have been partners in the sports of ice dancing since their cute childhood days.  This made me further admire and fell in love with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. 

They seem so pleasant and amiable that is so typical of a Canadian. I totally admired them to the point that after the day this tandem won their Olympic gold medals, I Facebook-messaged a friend and former colleague (Chef Onille Pitogo) who is now based in Canada, I told her to say hi to both Tessa and Scott if she happens to bump unto this lovely couple. 

I thought that my wanting to become a Canadian would eventually wear off.  But this was again revived and revitalized when I saw a homecoming video of this ice dancing legends when they arrived back in their home country.

Can some nice Canadian adopt me until the next Philippine presidential election? Hahaha!  I badly need some damn awesome news about my country.  And while I await for such moment, my heart continues to melt towards this lovely Canadian couple.

Inggit much grabe! Ay wana be Kaneydiyan!