Deciding To Argue Effectively

Succeeding is just a bonus. The key to a successful argument lies in our ability to understand that an argument is not a competition, as opposed to what almost all people might believe.

Why Hobbies Are Good for Us?

Hobbies reduce stress, says Alice Domar, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Harvard Medical School. They distract you from everyday worries...

Get Fit and Healthy With Fruit Vinegars

If traditionally, fruit vinegars were only considered as food ingredient or as delicate flavor enhancer, these new findings and information suggest that they can also be regarded as potential functional foods.

Can Money Buy You Happiness? | Learn From What Experts Say

The secret to using money to buy happiness is to spend money in ways that support your happiness goals. There are ways to spend money that are likely to help give you enduring happiness.

What Piggy Banking Taught Me?

Teach your kids the importance of money, start with piggy banks then get them a savings account later when they are ready. Let them understand the basics of savings before infusing a more complicated concept.

27 October 2007

Famous Sunset at Manila Bay

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One of Manila's most enduring charms is the beautiful and marvelous sunset across Manila Bay. The bay is the best natural harbor in Eastern Asia and one of the finest in the world. The city of Manila is on the eastern shore of the bay, and on the southeast is the city of Cavite. The entrance to Manila Bay is divided by the island of Corregidor into two channels. The sunset, which the bay is famous for, is best viewed along the city’s main Promenade in Roxas Boulevard, across the Rajah Sulayman Park and the historic Malate Church. One could also go to Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex or SM Mall of Asia to enjoy this captivating sundown in a different perspective.

Along with the splendid “old world” ambiance of Malate District, lovers, families, tourists and passers by will surely have a great time appreciating this iconic attraction of Manila. It is for this reason that I normally would recommend to my foreign visitors to spare a piece of their hectic schedules and give the sunset at the bay a moment, for them to experience the invigorating reward it brings. In order for me to convince them, though, that the sunset at the bay is worth a visit, I would try to stir their curiosity by telling them that the sight serves as a very appropriate backdrop to enjoy tranquility at times they need it most. And true enough, none of my guests, so far, has left the place, after having seen the magnificent sunset, with disappointment in their hearts and thoughts.

I had the pleasure of capturing the sunset at the bay in one of my photographic endeavors and I am posting it here for your viewing delight.

I don’t know if you will agree with me, but I do not know anyone who doesn't adore sunsets! ... enjoy this absolutely picturesque sunset only seen here in Manila Bay! ...

21 October 2007

The 4th English Translation of Noli Me Tangere

To date the novel Noli Me Tangere, which was originally written by our beloved national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal (1861-1896), has four translations in the English language.

Rizal finished the Noli in 1887, and published 2,000 copies in Berlin. Many thousands more have since circulated, in the original Spanish, and in translations into German, French, Chinese, English, Filipino, and other Philippine languages. The best known translations in English are those by Charles Derbyshire (1912) and Leon Ma. Guerrero (1961). From the inside front flap of Noli Me Tangere, translated by Ma. Soledad Lacson-Locsin, edited by Raul L. Locsin, Bookmark, 1996. Cover art by Felix Mago Miguel.

The book summary for the 1927 edition of Derbyshire’s (Noli Me Tangere/The Social Cancer: Charles Derbyshire English Translation) translation published by Philippine Education Company is found at Filipiniana.Net.

Ma. Soledad Lacson-Locsin of Talisay, Negros Occidental was 86 years old when she accepted the invitation to translate Noli Me Tangere into English. She passed away in 1995 after completing the translation. Raul L. Locsin, her son, editor and publisher of Business World, edited the translation, attempting to preserve in English the cadence and color of Spanish. This third English version of the novel is noted as the most authoritative and faithful translation to date. From the back cover of Noli Me Tangere, translated by Ma. Soledad Lacson-Locsin, edited by Raul L. Locsin, University of Hawaii Press, 1997. Cover design by Santos Barbasa.

The fourth and current translation is by Harold Augenbraum - Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) - published by Penguin Classics in 2006. This new translation includes an extensive introduction and notes that draw on a wealth of Rizal scholarship. This is the first work of Filipino literature to be published in Penguin Classics. It is also the first instance that the said publishing company released a Southeast Asian book under its well-known banner.

Below are the book description and the first review that I managed to find from the Penguin Group Site while googling around.

“In more than a century since its appearance, José Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere has become widely known as the great novel of the Philippines. A passionate love story set against the ugly political backdrop of repression, torture, and murder, “The Noli,” as it is called in the Philippines, was the first major artistic manifestation of Asian resistance to European colonialism, and Rizal became a guiding conscience—and martyr—for the revolution that would subsequently rise up in the Spanish province.”

"A beautiful new translation... Rizal's rich, moving novel...[is] perhaps the most important novel in Philippine literature." —Jessica Hagedorn

15 October 2007

Cinematherapy:Is Watching Movies Beneficial to Your Mental Health?

Have you ever had a moment, at least once, asking yourself why you need to view movies from time to time? Well, maybe the major common denominator is people watch movies because they want to break free from their daily taxing routines, either alone or in group with friends, workmates, loved ones, or family members. Yes, watching movies is very rewarding because it is absolutely entertaining. In fact, it is not only entertaining but mentally therapeutic as well since it helps individuals maintain a psychological balance.

Just how does movie watching keep the human brain maintain mental equilibrium?

It becomes mentally therapeutic because it combats emotional imbalance by awakening both sides of the emotion. Remember? Laughter is the Best Medicine… We always associate a feeling of relief from negative emotions when we expose ourselves to films with comic plots. And for this reason we get to unconsciously and unknowingly trigger our positive emotion and overcome temporarily or completely the negative emotion prior to watching the film. What about movies with sad themes? Yes, they are also therapeutic for they provide avenues for people to cry which definitely permit them along the process to release excessive or transient negative mental detour, even if the scene or scenes which caused them to cry has nothing to do with their current negative feelings.

This momentary indulgence will, likewise, temporarily help people to forget their existing emotional conditions, may it be good or bad. In most cases the movies they watch will aid them depart from the real world by immersing themselves in the story line, circumstances or even with the characters. By further consenting themselves they can also at one point personally relate to the situation. Sometimes even locations where the film was shot allow viewers to travel in places they have never been, and that is unquestionably gratifying.

In all these processes we find ourselves eventually getting completely involved and we count every movie we watch as part of our learning routines. And as time goes by, these learning progressions become permanently part of our life experiences.

In today’s information age, psychotherapists are using films as therapeutic and counseling tools and technically call this emerging discipline cinematherapy. In the article The Process of Cinematherapy as a Therapeutic Intervention, Tyson, Foster, and Jones explained the process of executing cinematherapy and is cited at the cinematheraphy website which I came across with while developing this post. The site also pointed out that cinematherapy has many applications.

It can be used with individuals or with a group, and the movies used may address one issue or several. Therapists or counselors may assign a client or clients to watch an entire movie or a vignette from a movie. But, what may be the most effective way of using Cinematherapy is to watch a vignette with the client or group and then discuss afterwards.

History also suggests that cinematherapy, though relatively new, traced its roots from ancient Greek. This was eloquently elaborated in the article written by Cindy Jones at the History & Theory page of the same site.

Another article supporting the benefits of cinematheraphy was written by R. M. Dubuc. It discusses about how watching movies can improve mental health.

Finally, Dr. Gary Solomon, a Portland mental health therapist, author of “The Motion Picture Prescription: Watch This Movie and Call Me in the Morning.”... writes, "If you watch just one movie a week for the next two years, imagine the personal growth and recovery you could enjoy."

: The next time you watch a movie don’t think that you are just giving yourself a break. Consider it as a therapeutic indulgence and an inexpensive investment to keep you sane.

13 October 2007

What Makes Filipinos Happy?

Family, health and religion - and not sex - make Filipinos most happy, according to a new Philippine Happiness Index (PHI). The index was crafted by Dr. Romulo A. Virola, Secretary General of the National Statistical Coordination Board, and co-written with Jessamyn O. Encarnacion. The data supporting these findings were generated from a nonrandom poll of 167 respondents conducted during the National Convention on Statistics held on 1-2 October 2007. According to Virola, the PHI is likewise based on the premise that economic progress and happiness are not synonymous. But along with standard statistical queries, the index factored in friends, love life and sex life.

Below is a summary of what the nonrandom respondents tell us…

Interestingly, politics was found to be the least important source of happiness. Other unimportant domains are cultural activities, community and volunteer work and government. Leisure and sports - also surprisingly - is the 6th least important domain.

Other findings: many consider the enjoyment of sex not bad. Six out of 10 respondents think that progress is synonymous with happiness. Women are happier than men. And happiness rises with income.

A similar study - What Makes People Happy? - was conducted on the Nature of Happiness Among America's Young People from 16-23 April 2007 through the collaborative efforts of the Associated Press and MTV.

Guess what?

The survey which included 1,280 people aged 13 to 24 reveled that spending time with family was the top answer.

When asked what one thing makes them most happy, 20 percent mentioned spending time with family - more than anything else. About three-quarters - 73 percent - said their relationship with their parents makes them happy. After family, it was relationships with friends that people mentioned most.

These two studies clearly show that people, even from different cultures, find family, more than anything else on earth, as the ultimate source of happiness.

07 October 2007

Cool Rating Widget

Widgets are undeniably great tools for website & blogsite designers. They are found everywhere on the net and are almost always free. But one special feature of these gadgets is that they are completely easy to implement and are mostly or absolutely customizable to meet the designers’ demanding requirements of matching their sites look and feel.

Well, for today’s post I decided to share what I have recently came across with while looking for an additional aggregating device for my blog. The cool & exciting widget is called Spotback.

In Amit Kaufman widget review he explained that this control tool provides the power of content rating and recommendation that once was only available to billion-dollar services such as Amazon. From the widget site, this is what they have to say…

Spotback is a personalized rating system that recommends relevant content based on personal rating history using collaborative filtering and aggregated knowledge technologies. When embedding the Spotback technology onto your website you are providing your users a unique personal online experience. When they rate your content, they will immediately be exposed to more relevant content from your website. This results in longer visit lengths, increase in page views and guaranteed user satisfaction.

When you add the Spotback widget to your website or blogsite and allow users to rate everything you publish, your visitors will enjoy personalized recommendations and referrals to additional content on your site. The widget is free, easy to install and guaranteed to improve your online experience and increase page loads.

Spotback provides three widget types - slider (for ratings), stars (for ratings, but different style) and sidebar (for serving related content). The latter of these three also automatically generates tag clouds. All widgets are very customizable so you can match them to your blog or website very easily.

So, what is my verdict? If you are a blogger or one who maintains a site I suggest that you go and get it.