Angel's Herald: October 2007

Cine Europa: Kolya - Kolja

Posted by: Angelicum on Saturday, October 27, 2007
My goal is to watch all the movies from this EU Film Festival. Second movie for review, "Kolya," released in Czechoslovakia as "Kolja." Kolya is an award-winning 1996 Czech film drama about a man whose life is reshaped in an unexpected way. It has won Best Foreign Language Film in the 1996-Oscars and the 1997-Golden Globes and 1997-BAFTA.

The action takes place during the last years of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia, at a time when the Soviet bloc begins to disintegrate. František Louka, a middle-aged Czech man dedicated to bachelorhood and the pursuit of women, is a concert cellist struggling to eke out a living by playing funerals at the Prague crematorium. He has lost his previous job at the philharmonic orchestra due to having been half-accidentally blacklisted as "politically unreliable" by the authorities. A friend offers him a chance to earn a great deal of money through a sham marriage to a Russian woman to enable her to stay in Czechoslovakia. However, the woman uses her Czechoslovak citizenship to emigrate and join her boyfriend in West Germany. Due to a concurrence of circumstances that remain partly unclear, she has to leave behind her Russian-speaking five-year-old son, Kolya, for the disgruntled Czech musician to look after. Gradually, a bond forms between Louka and Kolya.-Wikipedia-

This puts a severe disabling element in his love life (the kid was sent to him, just as he was about to have his first real and serious relationship), he also knows nothing about kids, and Kolya only speaks Russian., a language Louka has on principle refused to learn.

The plot of the story is conventional but sentimental (is there any doubt he will come to love the child?). What makes 'Kolya'' special is the way it paints the details. Like the way the director hints the Russian-EU relationship at that political time of the Soviet (Consider Louka's mother, who rejected the idea of looking after Kolya, because she has a divine belief that Russians are devils, also watch the scene where the Russian army trucks stop outside her apartment and Kolya hears his native language and immidiately runs out happily to talk to the soldiers.), it has a cheerful, irreverent humor, and an eye for the absurdities of human behaviour, bringing in the feeling of realism.

Other considerations to make, the bureaucracy, faithful to Soviets. Louka is subjected to an interrogation by suspecting officials who believes that his marriage was a sham, the pressure and tone of the interview though was refined and quite more civilized than if Kolya didn't refuse to go outside and wait, instead he draws a picture during the interrogation; his evident love for his stepfather is a confusing factor.

Quirky details are chosen to show the gradual coming together of Louka and Kolya. The cellist drags the child along during his work as a funeral service musician, and the kid always watch very closely as the musicians play and the vocalist sings. It is perhaps not surprising that his first words of Czech are the 23rd Psalm, and the shocked reaction of Louka's when he realizes the kid is using a puppet theatre to stage a cremation play.

There are many women in Louka's life, but one becomes special: Klara, played by Libuse Safrankova. His new freedom is shown against a backdrop of the end of the Cold War, as the Berlin Wall drops, the Russians leave town, and joyous Czechs take to the streets, chanting ``It's finally over!'' Louka is placed in the center of the celebrants, where he sees, of course, his former bureaucratic interrogator now part of the joyous crowd. This event is one element that makes such foreign/independent films special, through the characters' personal life struggles, scenes are shown to capture the country's political and socio-economic situation (like Chocolat, Y Tu Mama Tambien, and King of the Hill, among others).

Kolya was written by its star, Zdenek Sverak (Louka), and directed by his son, Jan. highlighting even more the real depth of the story, as a work of love. For a foreign language felm to be able to capture once heart (even with supposed-to-be confusing subtitles), it has to be beautifully done with all the cinematic and production works in perfection, and it is.

Metro Manila peeps can watch the movie for free in Shangri-la Plaza, October 30-Wednesday, 6:50pm (get your free ticket at least 30 minutes ahead).

My Rating:
This post is a review post from my Angel's Hub Reviews via Multiply.

Cine Europa: La Môme (the Kid) - La Vie En Rose (Life As A Rose)

Posted by: Angelicum on Friday, October 26, 2007
I will jump to my conclussion before starting anything: You Have to watch this film. Lucky Metro Manila peeps can watch the movie for free in Shangri-la Plaza, October 30-Wednesday, 2:00pm (get your free ticket at least 30 minutes ahead).

I'll be reviewing one movie a day while the European Union Film Festival (10th Cine Europa) is ongoing. Yesterday's best movie is "La Môme," released in the US as "La Vie En Rose." A 2007 (released last June) French language movie directed by Olivier Dahan about singer Édith Piaf (perfectly played by Marion Cotillard). The movie premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Co-stars include film veteran Gérard Depardieu, Sylvie Testud, Emmanuelle Seigner, Clotilde Courau newcomer Jean-Pierre Martins and respected character actor Pascal Greggory.

Edith Piaf was born Édith Giovanna Gassion in Paris, France; her mother worked as a cafe singer and her father was a well-known travelling acrobat. Abandoned by her mother, she was raised by her paternal grandmother, who ran a brothel in Normandy. From age 3 to 7, she was blind. As part of Édith Piaf's legend, she allegedly recovered her sight after her grandmother's prostitutes went to a pilgrimage to Saint Thérèse de Lisieux. Later she lived for a while with her alcoholic father, whom she left by age 15 to become a street singer in

The movie has an intertwined timeline of Edith's life, from her childhood beginnings, peak of her career, latter life and back. The film presents a non-linear series of her life's key events. Scenes often jump back and forth across decades, but her childhood take up much of the first part. Her story as an extreme or yet hardcore alcohol addict stretches from teenage life until her death, portraying a well-seen if not typical nature of a European artist, who after all the depression and almost hell-like condition of personal life, still delivers their talent flawlessly.

The movie's cinematography and production aspects are flawless. Performance scenes of Edith singing her songs around the world are extremely moving if you're a classical ballad music lover. Her singing reflected her tragic life, with her specialty being the poignant ballad performed in a heartbreaking voice. "Hymne à l'amour" (Anthem with the love, 1949), was heard for less than 10-seconds but didn't fail to make me feel the impact since after realizing it as one of Josh Groban's rendition song I liked. The movie ends with her death, and the performance of what is perhaps her signature song, "Non, je ne regrette rien" (No, I do not regret anything), wrapping up her moving life's story.

For almost all the performances in the movie: Heaven Have Mercy, Milord, Rien de rien, La foule, Cri du cœur, La vie en rose (English version), Padam Padam, Mon Dieu, Hymne à l'amour, Mon manège à moi, Non, je ne regrette rien), the original recordings of Piaf were used as they thought it impossible to replicate her uniquely distinct voice and because Olivier Dahan said he wanted to keep it the most authentic sounding as possible except for 3 songs performed by Parigote singer Jil Aigrot : Mon Homme, Les Mômes de la Cloche, Les Hiboux.-wikipedia trivia-

It's not just Cotillard's performance that is astonishing. Those who can't see the brilliance in the rest of this film need to go back to film school. -Boo Allen

An astonishing performance by Marion Cotillard as the legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf whose life was a rollercoaster ride of exhilarating highs and incredibly depressing lows. -Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

You should regret missing it. -Gina Carbone

It maybe perhaps one of the best biographical films so far. It’s so touching and emotional that you really feel the agony and desperation the character is living. The cast is simply magnificent, everyone's acting is flawless especially from Marion Cotillard that with this role she is giving, maybe the performance of her life because she's not only performing a character, she's clearly living it to the fullest.

Wikipedia - Edith Piaf
Official Movie Website
Official US Movie Website

My Rating:
This post is a review post from my Angel's Hub Reviews via Multiply.

Is Gandalf Gay Too?

Posted by: Angelicum on Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Hahaha! Last weekend's coming-out has been one of the most controversial exposé in the fiction world, quite cool that people and fans were shocked as if he's a real-life personality.

Here's how the wizards from The Best Week Ever imagine things. It's quite funny, click the image for full view.

By now we all know that JK Rowling shocked the wizarding world last weekend by outing beloved grandfatherly wizard Albus Dumbledore as being gay. has leared exclusively, through our shadowy network of wizard tabloid operatives, that Rowling made the announcement only to pre-empt the shocking expose in this week’s People Magazine based on magical gossip mongering blogger Rita Skeeter’s sordid allegations about the wizard’s sexuality. Here’s an exclusive preview of the magazine.

And click here to read a fabulous article from about the significance of J.K. Rowling “outing” Dumbledore.

Restau-rant: Ebun

Posted by: Angelicum
My first "Restau-rant!"

I think "Ebun" is Pampangeño for "Itlog," which is Filipino for Egg. Co-incidentally, "Ibon" is filipino for Bird, in which the egg came from. Umm, I'm not making any sense right? Haha-!

I don't like the idea of eating out on a "lutong-bahay" restaurant or bistro, 'cause I think it's a stupid idea. You can only eat lutong bahay foods inside your bahay, duh? That's why I try as much as possible not to have a repeat visit to these eateries, who may not necessarily claim a lutong-bahay promise but serves food that is no different from ordinary. Such places I can name are: Island Seafood, Cabalen, Kamay-Kainan and Dampa. I can't however blame the fans, who are more likely impressed of the presentation (like the Banana-leaves no-plates in Island Seafood) or the preparation concepts (like the buy-your-stuff-on-our-market-and-have-it-cooked of Dampa).

So why try out Ebun, even after knowing that it serves home meals? Simple, I have tourists with me. lol

The best word to describe the ambiance is, Fresh. Upon entering, you'll feel the rush of the air, and it didn't feel like it came from the air-con, this feel is even more defined by the relaxing sound of Capiz-Shell Chandeliers. One whole side is an etched-mirror wall, the other one, yellow shelvings with ceramics of the same shades. It's very cool and again, fresh.

Immediately upon being sat on our silverback chair, a waiter descends upon us to take our order in English -- we order drinks and ask for another minute. We read through the menu which I in this case obviously am the only one who can understand because it's written in Filipino. The Menu book is not so appetizing, your typical laminated plate, and it has like 8-10 pages. But clearly those around us know what they want: for the semi-open kitchen hole and fine ceramics are making their way to diners around us.

You will find all known Filipino specialties on their menu. While our meals were being cooked, we were given a funny looking bunch of white strings. It is to my surprise a complimentary potato fries, it looked like tiny shoelaces and it tastes great.

Drinks were also served immediately and I have to say, I really liked them. And yes, we shared our drinks for free-tastes haha! (last Monday night, I sat in for a 10-minute rest before attending the CNN Premiere on Greenbelt-3, I tried Ripe Mango Shake and good lord, it's great!)

I ordered Seafood Kare-Kare since I never had the seafood variety before. Good or yet better compared to other Flip eateries, it didn't tastes like the typical restau Kare-Kare (approx P300), in which the meat and veggies were not really involved in the cooking process but rather cooked separately and have the ready-made sauce poured in over. The Sisig is a little different from the Sisig I like, Ebun's a little moist and I want mine crispy or almost Chicharon. To my surprise, my companion pour in Kare-Kare sauce to his Sisig. lol

We also enjoyed one of their specialties, Adobong Ebun, I suggest that you order one if ever you decided to visit. The Chicharon Bulaklak is amazing, although I think all Chicharon Bulaklaks are amazing no-matter-what, sigh, the taste of death! Barbecue Chicken has the traditional street red-marinade, but tastes unique, you can feel it's really marinated for you. Palabok, though, is average.

I can't completely say that Ebun is an enhanced Pinoy restaurant, cause it's not, it's a lot more than just changing the Pinoy meal names. The best thing about all these, the prices are extremely reasonable. Main courses from roughly P170-P450. Breakfast is even cheaper, actually, one morning with a meeting with Mig Zubiri's lovely wife Audrey, our bill is only P200.

They do something different with the ordinary dishes, perhaps a Pampangeño style, and that's enough for me to visit again. And I sure did, I ate Lugaw and Tokwa (quite average though). So for a wrap, I'd most likely eat here where service is okay and the ambiance is excellent than other Pinoy-style eateries that use a lot of glorified banana-leaves and bamboo plates.

  • Give privacy to customers using the washroom mirror
  • Little faster serving for the drinks
  • Improve the laminated Menu (and provide English translation maybe?)
  • Don't ask me if the one I'm having a meeting with is Lara Fabregas, 'cause she's not. lol

Greenbelt-3 G/f
Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. 757-4791, 757-4792

Cuisine: Filipino
This restaurant offers catering service
For delivery service, call 821-8032, 893-1092 (for all branches)
Credit cards accepted: All major credit cards

My Rating:
This post is a review post from my Angel's Hub Reviews via Multiply.

CNN's Planet In Peril

Posted by: Angelicum on Tuesday, October 23, 2007
It's quite funny how I kind of avoided to go to the malls as much as possible for the past months (or perhaps not really avoid them, but more likely since it's virtually impossible to treat myself with luxury because of my extremely inappropriate and unhealthy workload), then see myself involved in mall events right after the Glorietta bombing. A common statement from the hosts? "Thanks for being brave enough to be present, 80% of our invited guests backed-out after Friday."

Monday night, I had the chance to watch a summarized screening of the anticipated series "CNN's Planet In Peril" (which I've seen being promoted on CNN for the past month) at Greenbelt-3 in Makati. Though a bit sensationalist, overworked (Jeff Corwin is OA-Over Acting as usual) and slightly drawn out, the documentary provides a stunning illustration and first-hand account of environmental strife in 13 countries across four continents.

The event is a preview to the 2-hour 2-episode series that will air on CNN October 24 and 25 at 9PM (Manila). For international airing schedules, please visit: CNN's Planet In Peril.

CNN's Planet In Peril

Nearly a year in the making, PLANET IN PERIL takes viewers to four continents and 13 countries where environmental change is not a theory, or possibility, but a crisis happening in real time. Filmed in high-definition, this four-hour documentary tackles the threats to the world's environment and airs on CNN International on October 24th and 25th.

Bringing viewers the stories behind the statistics, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Animal Planet host and wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin will focus on four main issues that threaten the planet and its inhabitants: climate change, deforestation, species loss and overpopulation.

Broadcast to a combined audience of more than 300 hundred million households on CNN International and CNN/US with an in-depth companion site on, the documentary brings first-hand accounts of environmental strife as Cooper, Corwin and Gupta travel across the globe to explore these changes and reveal what they mean for each region and the world at large.

Cooper and Corwin travelled to Brazil to examine connections between the rapid deforestation of the Amazon River Basin and changes in the world's climate, embedding with "poacher police" amid raids of illegal logging camps. In Thailand and Cambodia, they walk the markets where endangered animals are bought and sold to find out how their removal can affect entire ecosystems. Additionally, they travelled to Greenland to report on its melting ice sheet, where Cooper witnessed one of the world's newest islands, discovered when the ice receded.

Taking viewers beyond the broad headlines, Corwin visits Alaska to help viewers understand how North America's largest carnivore, the polar bear, is quickly losing its habitat and exists at the edge of extinction. Cooper and Corwin report from Yellowstone Park to show how park officials reintroduce species to their native environment.

With his extensive medical expertise, Gupta brings a deep understanding of the environmental pressures on the human population. In China, Gupta examines how the world's most populous nation consumes its natural resources and the toll it takes on its people and the entire world. He also reports from Central Africa to show how climate change is drying up one of the world's largest lakes and the impact that is having on a region already in crisis.

The discussion conducted after the 1-1/2hr. preview was moderated by Ms Che Che Lazaro. The floor's discussion was pretty insightful, but may be shallow at some point if you're working on the environmental awareness and sustainable development field for a long time.

I can't judge the CNN Documentary at this point since what we were able to watch is just a preview, but thus far, it does have a little bias and the perspective is a little bit 'American.'

One of the focus areas of Anderson Cooper's investigation was the Yellowstone Park's success on bringing back its old wolves, the story highlights the importance of each and every specie on an ecosystem and how one extinction of which can affect the whole chain and eventually damage the whole environment. It's quite a moving story of how bringing back Yellowstone Park's old wolves rekindle the natural instincts of its preys, how their adrenaline triggers diarrhea when nervous, how those droppings served as a superb fertilizers and expedite the growth of ferns and other plants, and how those plants became a new home for the birds.

Anderson also undergo a body-chemical level testing. It's quite alarming to know that his 1970's inhalation of some chemicals can still be found, and very well defined, within his bloodstream. And how his everyday work for CNN causes him to have an extremely high-level of some particular chemicals that came from his use of cosmetics. The chemical-level testing is quite alarming for me and will be for other people especially the ones who live in the city.

In China, Dr. Gupta examined how the world's fastest growing country uses natural resources and the toll it takes on its people and the entire world. CNN sent Gupta to investigate cancer rates in the Guandong province, an area notorious for corporate-sponsored industrialism that causes rivers and streams to turn yellow and red. Dr. Gupta's take on the medicinal tradition of Chinese, as well as their addiction to exotic foods and inhumane animal market is a very painful scenario, so depressing that it will lead you to hopelessness. At one point, their is this one bear who continues to live for months or years, with an extraction device on it's stomach, design to collect medicinal essences from his body, the bear is lying down almost dead and was like that for weeks.

It is almost hopeless since these traditions are ancient and has been around for thousands of years and it's extremely difficult to even draft an idea how such practices can be changed.

Animal Planet host and wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, lead the tour, as undercover investigators probing environmental catastrophe from Madagascar to Greenland, Yellowstone to China, Brazil to the Carteret Islands off Australia. Corwin and Cooper went to Bangkok too, to investigate the JJ Market, the Cartimar-counterpart in Manila.

The documentary shows a tad lot of extremely pressurizing scenarios of our earth's current condition, and can possibly make you think of a step you can do right now. Cinematography and production is exceptional, since it's an American documentary. My comment on bias would best be articulated by citing these examples, the Thai investigations were more than overworked, investigations held in China and Thailand were both extremely negative highlighting even more the consumption China is making, while their report about Yellow Stone Park, since it's in the US is nothing but positive. It would be more insightful if they could have featured the way Americans in US are consuming plastic and non-biodegradable materials because of their busy lifestyle among others.

My Rating:
This post is a review post from my Angel's Hub Reviews via Multiply.

I Knew It, Dumbledore Is Gay, Liked His Wand

Posted by: Angelicum on Monday, October 22, 2007
JK Rowling outed the greatest wizard of all time, Albus Dumbledore, according to Rowling, is gay. Apparently having a little more than friendly affection to, but was let down by his rival, Gellert Grindelwald.

It's just amazing that even after the series, there still are new surprising news and facts about the Harry Potter books. I always kind of knew that Dumbledore is gay, especially if you are to judge him through the film adaptations. 1) His taste for fashion is legendary, more than 20 costume-changes per movie, the sequence-work, the Vera Wang-drapes (lol). 2) His out-of-the-blue wisdom that seem so full of verbal gymnastics that I can't help but compare to the famous Pinoy gay-lingo's. 3) His suspicious way of tapping guys' shoulders and stuff, haha! 4) ..and so much more! This picture for example:

Dumbledore is gay, 'Harry Potter' author reveals
Associated Press

) -- Harry Potter fans, the rumors are true: Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and Headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay.

J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-selling fantasy series that ended last summer, outed the beloved character Friday night while appearing before a full house at Carnegie Hall. After reading briefly from the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she took questions from audience members.

She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds "true love."

"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause.

She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards. "Falling in love can blind us to an extent," Rowling said of Dumbledore's feelings, adding that Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down."

Dumbledore's love, she observed, was his "great tragedy." "Oh, my god," Rowling concluded with a laugh, "the fan fiction." Potter readers on fan sites and elsewhere on the Internet have speculated on the sexuality of Dumbledore, noting that he has no close relationship with women and a mysterious, troubled past. And explicit scenes with Dumbledore already have appeared in fan fiction.

Rowling told the audience that while working on the planned sixth Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," she spotted a reference in the script to a girl who once was of interest to Dumbledore. A note was duly passed to director David Yates, revealing the truth about her character.

Rowling, finishing a brief "Open Book Tour" of the United States, her first tour here since 2000, also said that she regarded her Potter books as a "prolonged argument for tolerance" and urged her fans to "question authority."

Not everyone likes her work, Rowling said, likely referring to Christian groups that have alleged the books promote witchcraft. Her news about Dumbledore, she said, will give them one more reason.

Girl really liked his wand no? Haha!

I happen to own this Dumbledore Wand, from the Warner Brothers' Leavesden Studios, it was used a a prop for the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone.

Coke, Di Lang Kabarkada, Bestfriend Pa

Posted by: Angelicum on Saturday, October 20, 2007
Coke Barkada's Coke Planet Project was held in Mall of Asia this afternoon, the mall event served as the home-base for the 7-or so celebrity and media teams that scour around the city and the mall for an Environmental Awareness Challenge.

As usual, I'm not one of the adventurers, hehe (just like on our Biketour last December, I'm on the advance team, not biking:). We had a beautifully finished graffiti artwork, it's cute.

I think I have more than just shared before how much of a Coke-addict I am, even if I'm fully aware of it's unhealthy benefits when overly taken. lol. Aside from it's invaluable job of clenching my thirst and crunching my throat with those tiny powerful bubbles, Coke has been a relaxing agent for me. When I'm nervous, pressured and stress, I don't sip a hot coffee or tea to calm my body. I drink Coke. Then I'll achieve the Zen level. Haha

This event focused on environmental awareness and highlights the previous and current undertakings of Coca Cola in reducing its footprints on the planet. This, our wonderful graffiti wall, the YAFE worm.

As a previous awardee of Coke Barkada Awards, YAFE was given the opportunity to set-up a booth and join some of their challenges and competitions.

I didn't expect anything at all, I'm actually eating Pretzels outside the activity area while the other winners were announced. Haha! Until I heard the next announcement... (awarding pic soon, or maybe on your newspapers tomorrow, lol. I wasn't able to hand my camera for someone to take a shot of us on-stage)

Yay YAFE! However, I didn't really care much about the cash price, hahaha. But this excites me: my best friend. lol.

On a totally different note, I thought I'm all done with Harry Potter after the seventh book was released! Nooot! JK Rowling, on a reading tour, revealed that Albus Dumbledore is Homosexual. Wow! Wow! Of all the characters! lol!

October 19

Posted by: Angelicum
A bomb exploded in Glorietta yesterday, I'm quite sure it's not an LPG, unless the LPG is as big as a trailer truck, it won't shoot up through three floors. I hope that the fatality count of 8 is final, although it is very hard to be optimistic that such range of bomb was only occupied by eight people, in Glorietta on a Friday afternoon.

By the time I arrive tomorrow, I will go directly to Mall of Asia to attend our exhibit, I am hoping that everything will be fine.

Manila shopping mall blast kills eight

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A powerful explosion ripped through three floors of a shopping mall in the heart of Manila's financial district Friday, killing eight people, injuring scores and sending police and troops on the highest state of alert.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said "circumstances indicate it is highly probable that it was caused by an explosive device." The same mall was targeted by a bombing in 2000. She said police and the military went on the highest alert and deployed an additional 2,000 personnel to secure public areas "to prevent a similar occurrence."

The afternoon explosion at the glitzy Glorietta 2 mall toppled roofs, destroyed walls, and sent debris crashing onto cars outside.

At least eight people were killed and more than 70 were injured, said metropolitan Manila police chief Geary Barias.

Police sealed off the shopping complex and searched debris for clues of explosives.

National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said authorities were looking into a possible terrorist attack, but "there is no conclusive evidence yet."

Mario Em, a taxi driver, said he had just dropped two women off at the mall when the blast hurled the passengers against his vehicle, killing them instantly. He said he pulled one of the victims, who was pregnant, from underneath his car.

Officials said the shock waves from the blast, which appeared to have originated from a basement entry for delivery vehicles, shot through three floors of the mall as well as sideways.

Mae Ann Sison said her sister, Angelica Cortez, was on an escalator going down from the second floor when the blast tossed her in the air.

"She landed on the escalator and her right foot got caught in the escalator chain and she was hit by glass shards from shops around her," Sison said, adding a chunk of concrete hit her sister's head.

Al-Qaida-linked militants, who have waged a yearslong bloody bombing campaign in the southern Philippines, have targeted Manila before.

Makati city Councilor Jejomar Binay Jr. said a bombing at the same mall in May 2000 that wounded 13 people was the work of Muslim extremists. Five months later, five nearly simultaneous bombs around Manila blamed on the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiyah network killed 20 people and wounded about 100 others.

In 2004, Abu Sayyaf militants blew up a passenger ferry in Manila Bay, killing 116 people in the country's worst terrorist attack. The following year, four people were killed and dozens wounded when a bomb exploded on a Makati bus and two southern cities.

Several months ago, authorities were alerted to an alleged terror plot to plant bombs in Manila's business districts of Makati and Ortigas, said a government counterterrorism official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

People inside the mall scampered toward the exits when the blast shook the mall.

"One man who was in front of me was already dead. There was a child, but we don't know where the child is now," said Dennis Inigo, who was shopping at the time.

"The man's wife was with me a while ago, and her leg was shattered. Many people were falling on top of each other," he said. "It was loud, and then it became dusty."

UNV Opening And Lost Pictures Found!

Posted by: Angelicum on Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Want to work for The United Nations Volunteers? Show your willingness to change the world and make a difference!

Dear All,

We are in the process of a Volunteer-Based Program for Disaster Risk Reduction at the Community Level in the Bicol Region. We would be needing National UNVs for this project. National UNV Specialist receives a Volunteer Living Allowance of P20,500 per month while NUNV FWs receives P10,500/month; equivalent one-month VLA for a 12-month satisfactory performance; vacation leaves and sick leaves; medical and life insurance coverage; DSA for project-related travels.

You may wish to help me build our roster of applicants for recruitment once the project is approved. Recruitment is planned on the first quarter of 2008. Kindly share this information to your network and request them to submit a completed UN PHS form via email to me if they have the necessary qualifications and experience.

Generally, the following are the minimum requirements:

  • University degree or higher technical diploma
  • At least 25 years old (no upper age limit)
  • Several years of relevant working experience, preferably at least five
  • Strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteerism
  • Ability to adjust to difficult living conditions
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills

Some of the activities that national UNVs may involved in are related to health, water and sanitation, infrastructure building, information management, developing local-level contingency and family preparedness plan, education and awareness on Disaster Risk Reduction, improving community-based early warning system, environmental and community vulnerability assessment of 40 barangays, training of women volunteers in community preparedness & forming self-help groups of women

The program would cover 40 barangays in the Bicol region which are most hazard-prone.

Download the Application form here: Right-click and "save target as."

Lilia (lily) A. Montesines-Capalad
Country Operations Assistant
30/F Yuchengco Tower 1
RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue
Makati City, Philippines 1226
Tel: (632) 901-0452/8897550
Fax: (632) 901-0454
Mobile: 09178738552

And here are some fun UNV pictures I found last night! I thought I've lost them until I realized it's on our website's hidden gallery page!

Here we are in Pampanga doing community immersion and attending some workshop of Biodynamic farming in Prado Farm. It is after our stay in Prado Farm when I realized that it was featured on Korina Sanchez's Rated K, because of it's famous gate made of discarded LPG Tanks! Sooo cool!

And here, our visit to the Aeta community in Rizal with Voice of the Youth Network. This is where we did the Christmas Kindness children's party (Christmas nga ba? I remember we gave out tons of gift baskets in cute cartoon bags!). Cute!

Here, our own Christmas party: