Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

The Blushing Bride: Countess Stephanie

After drought of real royal wedding in Europe among the existing royal houses, finally, Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg made a good choice of a wife. The 30-year-old Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg chose a Belgian aristocrat, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy, as his future consort. The two reportedly dated for two years before announcing their engagement early this year.

Last October 20, 2012, the world witnessed another pomp and pageantry of a royal wedding extravaganza in Luxembourg, a tiny country in Western Europe with a second highest gross domestic product per capita in the world making it the second richest country just below Qatar.
 The blushing bride, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy

Countess Stephanie came from a distinguish noble family in Belgium and reported to be a direct descendant of King Albert I making her a distant relative of her husband.

The two had a civil wedding ceremony on October 19, a normal process usually undergone by most Catholic royals in Europe including Prince Albert of Monaco. The glittery church ceremony followed on October 20, 2012 attended by government officials and foreign royals around the world.
She was accompanied by her brother, Count Jehan de Lannoy, on her long walk to the altar
The couple during the church service
Prince Guillaume wore his military uniform while his bride wore a magnificent ivory dress  made from delicate Chantilly and Calais lace fabrics

Countess Stephanie was a picture of loveliness wearing a stunning ivory gown creation of a Lebanese designer, Elie Saab. The dress featured a delicate lace fabric, silver thread, thousands beads and crystals and had a 13 feet long train detailing at the back of her gown. She wore a family tiara and a 15 meter silk tulle veil. 

I like the way the bride looked on her wedding day. She did not appear too heavily pancaked with make up, but just the right amount of blushing shade, enough to reveal her natural gorgeous look. She looked so fresh and relax too as she was led by her brother to the altar.

The Countess is prim and proper with no attached controversies to her name, an evident to her well-born background. She looked so fascinating and stunningly beautiful with a brush of simplicity, yet elegance. She studied Languages in college and reportedly went to Russia to study Russian Romanticism Literature.

Among the modern brides who married into the existing European royal court, it's Countess Stephanie who exuded a real charm of a fairytale--mysterious, lovely and enchanting.

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

Domestic Violence

Just this morning, I read a very sad and frustrating news about this heartless mother from Texas, USA, who had been sentenced to 99 years imprisonment due to the physical abuse she inflicted to her 2 year-old daughter. This news really made me choke in disbelief and horror. How can a mother  got a nerve to abuse her own toddler?Who, at the age of two, is still very innocent and clueless with what's happening around?

The story goes that the young mother glued her daughter's hands on the wall and previously hit her in the head sending her to a coma, good that the toddler survived, there must be a good reason why God allowed her to survive.

I just can't understand why it happened, what went wrong with the head of that mother, who is suppose to be the protector of her own children and suppose to nurture and nourish them with so much care and love, can really do such repulsive and disgusting thing in life?

Didn't she know that it would leave a scar to the child's self-esteem in the future?The event would also leave a very traumatic experience in the child's life. If left untreated and unattended this very painful experience would be forever stuck in the child's mind and would later affect her behavior and personality including her interpersonal relationship with others.

I am just sad and very affected upon reading the news because I, myself is wishing to have children  of my own and praying fervently to God that I would be blessed with the gift of marriage. But this woman who is lucky enough to be blessed with children (she has 5 kids) was so ungrateful with this gift.

Why there are people like her?Why of all people who are longing to be blessed with children, it was her who had given an opportunity to become a mother when she could not embrace and fulfill the role lovingly?

Such a terrible thing to hear.

Well, for women who are not prepared to become a mother and who did not know the responsibility of being a mother, then don't get married or don't bear a child!You are just creating a mess in the society.

Few years back, when I had this very intense desire to get married and become a mother, I made an extensive research about parenting and how to raise children in a loving and very comfortable environment. That the best decision is (one of them) should be there for their children during their formative years. Motherhood is a priceless career and there's no amount of money can ever compensate that role.

Children are gift from God, parents never owned them, they are only used by God to be the instrument of their lives in this world, to guide them, to raise them well and nurture them, therefore they did not deserve to be abused.

The trouble with people is that they are only prepared and excited for the wedding but not for the real meaning of marriage itself or should I say, parenthood.

Friday, October 5, 2012

October 05, 2012

Cybercrime Law and its controversies


Now, we have this latest law to talk about, worry perhaps?Hmmmm...Republic Act No.10175, famously known as Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, is signed into law last September 12, 2012. And since it is already a law, anybody caught committing a cybercrime could be criminally charged in court!Arggghhh.

So what's this law all about?Why there's a fuss? Who would be affected?Are bloggers and columnists are in danger?

As a blogger who maintained blogs and post several articles online, I am anxious and deeply bothered with this law and how this would affect the style of my writing hehe!

Since libel is one of the criminal offenses included in the bill, I should be careful now in attacking famous personalities, my question is : Am I not allowed to criticize..uhmmm...Kate Middleton?^___^  Thank God she is not a resident of the Philippines.

I am also afraid that I cannot download images anymore for my blogs due to the provision of "illegal access"  in the Cybercrime Law.

Looking back on how this law should be abided and treated, I researched several articles online what are the contents of this law so that I know where to put my best foot forward without stumbling on the land mine of troubles.

Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 covers lurid internet offenses such as:
  • Cybersquatting - also known as domain squatting. Well, I agree on this, it is very beneficial to bloggers and site owners. Now, I can sue anybody who will squat my domain in bad faith. This is nothing new to the world, the United States already has Anticybersquatting. This means that anybody could be charged criminally if they would use somebody's (abandoned or inactive) website in bad faith---example posting pornography contents or doing illegal activities -- or selling it to others at high price.
  • Cybersex - graphically refers to virtual sex encounter where two or more persons are connected remotely via computer network. This includes sending sexually explicit messages online. Doing something racy online is also categorized as cybersex. So exhibitionists take note.
  • Child Pornography - refers to images, film, shows and writing of sexual explicit activities involving children.
  • Identity Theft - Obviously this refers to someone who steal or assume other's identity. So to people who love to pretend they are Princess Diana or Prince Charles or Tom Cruise or Barack Obama your days are numbered!Well, according to the definition of "identity theft" you will be held liable if you are using a different name, assuming that identity as yours, using personal information, government-issued identification cards in order to access information or obtain credits without permission from the owners. 
  • Illegal Access - Oh well, almost everybody commits this offense. (Yeeeey! I am not included because I am not into downloading anything in the net, I find it tiring and waste if time). You commit this crime if you download someone's photo and post it to other's site in bad taste without his or her permission (Facebook users who are rude, irresponsible and impolite poking fun with other photos by posting it, be careful). It includes  illegal downloading copyrighted materials such as music, movies, shows. This is good because someone's work can be extremely protected.
  • Libel - also known as defamation. If someone slanders or maligns the government, religious belief, groups or individuals online which could badly damage the reputation and bring negative image then that someone could now be sued in court....and this is where all the protests and public reaction started.

Other people say that this provision should be amended and must be defined carefully,because it is very unclear and somewhat confusing. Under this provision, anyone who will be caught criticizing the government and public officials will now be charged with cybercrime.

This is largely beside the point because it could hamper one's freedom of expression. This provision should need to be modified (and not repealed as what other suggested) by emphasizing clearly what are libelous act and to what extent an offender should be penalized in court.

Almost everyone said their piece regarding the inclusion of libel.

Senator Teofisto Guingona III, who was one of the senators who opposed the passage of this law, argued that the provision is so broad and vague that it's not even clear who should be liable for a given statement online. He said that under the provision, Facebook users and even Mark Zuckerberg (the FB founder) could now be charged with Cyber-libel due to the feature "sharing" and "liking" comments and posts.

Senatorial candidate, who happens to be the first cousin and namesake of the President, Bam Aquino, already talked to the latter to take a look on the libel provision as he understood the social networking culture of the new generation, the younger Aquino however did not disclose what was the answer of the President. 

But Senator Angara had answered on this. He said "merely stating one's opinion is not covered". Cybercrime Law states that "Any person who willfully abets or aids in the commission or any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable". If a person is just merely commenting based on personal opinion and views he is not liable but if he is posting malicious and vicious comments or articles that could badly damage and ruin the dignity and reputation of individuals, groups, government and country then that's the time he would face criminal charges.

Angara continued that internet users who are merely "liking", "re-twitting" and "sharing" malicious posts, videos or comments, could not also be charged with Cybercrime, unless there's a proven conspiracy to ruin the image of a certain individual or group.

Nevertheless, the provision still creates a public fuss because it might be used by others to punish someone even though he is just presenting his personal views, so there's still a need with this provision to be amended.

Well, in my own opinion libel as part of the cybercrime is okay as long as it is defined clearly as to what extent the person could be held liable. For me, a person can commit this crime if he or she posts slanderous message/blogs/articles online that can badly hurt and damage the reputation and dignity of another person, organizations, nations or other groups. 

Vicious attack, malicious messages and comments are very rampant on the internet, as if they just came out from a bad fight, a gruesome experience that all they do is bully people online. There are really irresponsible internet users who are downright cruel, rude and impolite when posting comments, who are out of their senses criticizing and vilifying other sects, groups and individuals and these kind of people need to learn a hard lesson and deserve to be jailed. 

Slandering is different from merely stating your opinion. There's a world difference between expressing your freedom of expression by presenting your views against the act of attacking the person below the belt with unfounded accusations, ruining his reputation and tarnishing his dignity, these irresponsible and dull-witted individuals who committed that act must be charged in court with cyber-libel to teach them a lesson that refinement of character cannot be learned elsewhere, that what they are doing is actually abusing the good intention of "Freedom of Speech.

Here are the things to remember to avoid being landed in a hot water:

  • Act as a decent person when you interact online. 
  • Watch your actions. 
  • Don't abuse the fact that internet is for everybody and anything could be done online as you please, you are really an idiot from hell! 
  • Be careful with the words you utter and the things you share online.
  • Before posting a message, comment or articles, ask your conscience first if it is worthy to be posted or shared.
  • Be responsible not to share or like malicious and vicious messages.
  • Don't make excuses that you just want to air your grievances online or just want to exercise your freedom of expression. Ignorance of the Law excuses no one.
  • Don't hang online and join forums or comment on articles and posts if you are frustrated, depressed and in deep trouble and distress, there's a great chance that your comment will reflect the negative forces deep within you at the expense of other people.

Moral Lesson: If you don't want to be charged, then be responsible with your conduct online, be polite and observed social etiquette and good manners all the time, trust me, Cybercrime Law is nothing to worry about, it's just a matter of behaving and observing a proper social etiquette or you may choose to act irresponsibly, rudely and discourteously then suffer the consequences.

It's okay to criticize the government, the nation, politicians, other groups and individuals as long as you maintain refinement of character, respect and courtesy, a smart person does not talk garbage words..

Okay, now, after doing my research about Cybercrime Law and finding that I am safe as a blogger. I can now sleep well ^_____^

Update: News have it that the supreme court issued a temporary restraining order against the Cybercrime Law due to massive protests. Well, the law only needs to be amended and should not be junked totally, only the provision of libel needed certain forms of modification. The other provisions are fine, it is timely and it is for our protection -- Cybersex, Cybersquatting and Illegal Access to our photos by others and then post it elsewhere with ridiculous captions are serious internet crimes that should be given enough attention.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 04, 2012

Campaigning for Bam Aquino

Entry to Politics

Campaigning for Bam Aquino, not because of his illustrious family name, but because I believe he can contribute something remarkable in the senate. His passion in the social service would be his best advantage.

Bam is a multi-awarded social entrepreneur. He was named Asian Social Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Global Leader in 2010 by the World Economics Forum, and also named one of the  Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in the Philippines. He is no stranger to policy-making being the youngest chairperson of the National Youth Commission in the Philippines in 2003.

Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV. He will be a breath of fresh air in the Philippine senate. An active youth leader and multi-awarded social entrepreneur, Bam Aquino champions financial advocacy and had been in the social service since he graduated Summa Cumlaude at Ateneo de Manila University in 1999 (BS Management Engineering). He co-founded MultiVentures Incorporated in 2006 which aims to provide microfinancing services to poor families in the Philippines who may want to put up their own sari-sari stores.

I don't know him personally, but through the lens of public opinion, I am confident he could do better than other neophyte senatorial hopefuls. Bam is familiar in dealing with people. His orientation is more on social leadership and public service and had spent most of his life serving the society through social entrepreneurship, a unique approach in helping the country alleviating poverty. (click the link)

Last October 1, Aquino was inducted into the Liberal Party, the political party of his first cousin, President Noynoy Aquino, whom he shared with the same name "Benigno" (they were named after their grandfather, Benigno "Igno" Aquino, who was the former congressman of Tarlac and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture during the term of President Magsaysay), but according to him, it was not the President's will to include him in the line-up, it was him who personally expressed great interest in joining politics. The President advised him to "ponder on his decision carefully as embracing politics is not easy"

The younger Aquino is pushing for an economic advocacy and he hopes to champion in the senate his espoused principle that "economic freedom is just as important as political freedom" and he wants to make this part of his family's legacy to the Filipino people. Source: The Manila Standard

He could offer fresh, timely and vigorous ideas for Philippine's socio-economic development  in the senate having been in the social service for quite sometime now.

Apart from his famous name, Bam Aquino projects himself independently in the society and found a career in the social entrepreneurship and services without banking on his very famous roots. Thus, he couldn't be accused of just riding the popularity of his family name.

Even before Noynoy Aquino won the Presidential election in 2010, Bam had already carved a name in public service and social leadership.

Bam Aquino with cousin Viel and a friend at the campaign trail of Noynoy in 2010

Personally, I admired this young man. In 2003, I would wake up early to watch him in Breakfast, a morning show aired via Studio 23, he co-hosted the show with Ryan Agoncillo, Pia Guanio among others. He was also part of the team of Y-Speak, a youth-oriented show also in Studio 23 then later moved to "Start-Up", an entrepreneurship show in ANC.

I am one of those people out there who admired smart and tough-minded men. During those years I'd watched Bam in television, I could sense his deep interest in public service and every time the show faced a challenging topic to discuss, Bam presented his sharp views with a well-balanced conviction indicating that he is a no-nonsense man. The way he talk reflects the kind of person he is---smart, committed, dedicated, passionate in serving others and always on the correct path.

The only trouble in his sunny facade is his very elite personality. As he was born into a privileged family, everyone see him as "unreachable" which might be viewed by the masses as a sign of indifference. But Bam had been serving people from all walks of life through the social service career he had embraced so the elitesta concept might be just a first impression. 

Personal Profile and Achievement

Bam Aquino was born Paolo Benigno Aquino IV on May 7, 1977, the son of Paul Aquino, the youngest brother of late Senator, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr.whom Bam had a close resemblance. He graduated class valediction in Ateneo high school and Summa Cumlaude in BS Management Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University in 1999. He had worked in the special projects of ABS-CBN Foundation.

He was first appointed as commissioner-at-large in the National Youth Commission (NYC) of the Philippines in 2001 and became Chairperson in 2003 at the age of 26 making him the youngest person in the Philippines to head a government agency. NYC is the policy-making body and coordinating body on youth affairs.
Among the younger Aquinos, it is Bam who got a striking resemblance to his late uncle, Ninoy. I remember watching him in Breakfast (2003) and amused with his physical similarity to the late Philippine hero. Bam is also a very soft spoken person. But apart from this reference, Bam is his own man, he has his own career and advocacy and not just banking on his illustrious family name. When you listen to him closely, you will noticed how sensible he is. He can talk under the sun and as a TV host, he conducted the conversation with propriety and politeness, of course he laughed at times.

In 2006, he co-founded the MicroVentures, a micro financing organization aims to provide financial assistance to economically challenged families in the Philippines who want to put up their own sari-sari stores. This microfinancing program is carried out through Hapinoy (Click here to read more about this program). Bam is now the current president of the organization.

He also joined Rags2Riches Incorporated in 2007, another social enterprise venture that helps underprivileged women with their livelihood. Bam is also the current President of TAYO awards foundation  (Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations), an award-giving body for youth organizations in the Philippines.

Awards and Citations

Due to his unique passion, distinct effort and dedication to serve the public through social entrepreneurship, Bam Aquino was awarded Young Global Leader by the World Economics Forum in 2010, he is also one of the finalists in the 2010 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. 

In 2011, he was named, together with his business partner, Mark Ruiz, as the Asian Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the World Economics Forum. The Happy Program also won the United Nations Project Inspire Award. 

He was chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Philippines (TOYM), one of the most prestigious awards given to Filipinos who performed a remarkable service in their chosen field.
Bam Aquino. His orientation is more on social leadership and helping poor families augment their income through his social enterprise, MicroVentures, Incorporated.

Breath of Fresh Air in the Senate

As an active youth leader and multi-awarded entrepreneur in the social service, Bam Aquino represents the new breed of politician in the a country that had been torn by corruption, poverty and traditional politics. He will be the breath of fresh air in the senate - young, smart, dynamic and passionate about social service. He can establish and develop beneficial programs to small and medium enterprises.

Bam just married recently (September 22, 2012) to Timi Gomez, his girlfriend of six years whom he met during his tenure as Chairperson of the National Youth Commission. His older cousin, Pinky Aquino-Abellada, stood as one of the Ninangs.

Let's get rid of traditional politicians whose vested personal interest is just want they are up to, let's move forward and take extra mile towards development by including a fresh candidate in our list, someone with a vision of empowering the youth of today and advocating financial freedom, someone whose passion is in the social service.


The Manila Standard
Times website

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 01, 2012

Fine Weekend

On September 28, 2012, the UIC community gathered together at the Bajada campus to celebrate one important occasion, another milestone in the history of the university, the installation and investiture of the fifth president, S.Ma. Marissa Viri, RVM. 

With pretty colleagues ^____^ (from right) Precy, Cherrie and Juvy at the UIC Bajada auditorium. 
At the registration area before the start of the mass. With Neil John, Rachelle and Rochelle.

There was a thanksgiving mass at 9:00 in the morning celebrated by Most Reverend Romulo Valles, D.D, the Archbishop of Davao, followed by the installation rites. We then proceeded to the gym for the fraternal banquet and entertainment. 

The foods were great catered by Chippins but the area was terribly hot, so bad that I did not join colleagues anymore at the picture taking just outside the gym courtesy of the Immaculatus. The discomfort I felt towards the irritating blemishes on my face made the whole thing unbearable that I decided immediately to look for a facial center ^___^

After lunch, I went to G.Mall to have a facial treatment at Wally to relax my face from stress and dullness. I chose the collagen mask facial treatment because it is soothing and composed of antioxidant elements that tightened pores and scraped out dead skin cells, it has an anti-ageing remedy too.

Collagen Mask Facial Treatment at Wally Facial Center 
Read my review about this Facial Treatment process at Consumer Review site click here

A free facial and shoulder massage accompanied this treatment package. The massage was fabulous and very relaxing. The treatment costs me P1,000.00, considering that collagen mask is really good for the skin because of its anti-aging benefits, the cost is really enough and no regrets.

I went home with a peaceful mind and very comfortable feelings. 

Last September 29, Saturday, I attended a public lecture of a DPA candidate at Ateneo. Our class was invited by Dr. Marvin Cruz, the assistant dean of the graduate programs of SBG-Ateneo, last week to attend this lecture. I went there scrambling where to sit since most of the members of the audience are doctoral students. I saw my former professors and recalled how much I suffered in their classes the past semesters hahaha!Now I am about to finish my masteral and looking back at the difficult road I travelled in the graduate school provided me with a different sense of achievement.

As I listened to the presentation, my mind flung somewhere because the topic was very "heavy" hehe!It was a public seminar on the dissertation proposal of Dr. Anthony Penaso  entitled Quantum Leadership and Organizational Dimensions of Local Government: A Causal Model.

Dr. Penaso is currently the VP for Academics of Musuan State University in Bukidnon and had already four doctoral degrees tucked under his belt whiche obtained respectively from the University of Louisiana in the USA, Mindanao State University and USEP, Davao.

He opened the seminar with a presentation of the two approaches of leadership: the Newton and Quantum approaches then discussed the theories on both. Nosebleed! After an hour, well because all the attendees are doctoral students and professors and I've no close friends, I went home hehe!

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authorI am a blogger from the Philippines. My interest centers on travel and food, global affairs, European royals and self-help. I've a great passion in traveling and photography. I am also a book author with five published books in Amazon.
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