Thursday, March 26, 2009

The beginning of an end...

For over a year now, I was given the opportunity to lead a time. At first, it was a real challenge and I honestly did not know how I would go about interacting with different personalities from different backgrounds. It was indeed a daunting task that required a heart of mettle. Unbelievably, I did it. This is because you guys made the task easier. There were times of real challenge and like any other human being who can at any time suffer the frailty of the human spirit, I would think of giving up. But there was no excuse. This is my task and I have to embark on an everyday task of surmounting challenges. We did it and we weathered it all.

This is one of the toughest letters I have ever tried to write because I am saying goodbye to a bunch of men and women from a team that has become so close to my heart. Time flies so fast and in just a few days, IMUK Team will be gone. The sadness is unspeakable but the inevitable calls of time had to bring us here. There is nothing permanent in this world and probably if there is one, that is change. We cannot do anything but face it and move on with the next chapters in our lives.

For this then I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the wonderful experience of having been your Team Leader for the last year or so. This seemingly insurmountable task became something like I was just having fun because you made easier for me. Thank you so much for all the wonderful memories we have shared as a team and they will forever be kept in my heart. For the bad times, let us learn from them and from the good times, let us keep them all ad bring them with us on to the next lap of our lives here at EPLDT. This goodbye is certainly not the last because you have made your lives parallel to mine. Sure we can still have weekend fun sprees such as food and liquor binging or just hours of nonstop laugh and talks just to cap the day with a nice mood.

We will still be friends and good fellows and of course we will still see each though no longer as a team. I wish you all the best as we open another part of our journey. Thank you and may the blessings of the Invisible bend towards us all and be never thwarted…


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Let's all be concern.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Top 50 Things To Do To Stop Global Warming!

Be aware, and be active to prevent Gloval warming... this is for your future generations future!

1. Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.We recommend you purchase your CFL bulbs at, they have great deals on both screw-in and plug-in light bulbs.

2. Install a programmable thermostatProgrammable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.

3. Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summerAlmost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment.

4. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditionerCleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

5. Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchasesLook for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most energy efficient products available.

6. Do not leave appliances on standbyUse the "on/off" function on the machine itself. A TV set that's switched on for 3 hours a day (the average time Europeans spend watching TV) and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.

7. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanketYou’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 50°C.

8. Move your fridge and freezerPlacing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot cellar room where the room temperature is 30-35ºC, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges per year and 320kg for freezers.

9. Defrost old fridges and freezers regularlyEven better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors.

10. Don't let heat escape from your house over a long periodWhen airing your house, open the windows for only a few minutes. If you leave a small opening all day long, the energy needed to keep it warm inside during six cold months (10ºC or less outside temperature) would result in almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.

11. Replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazingThis requires a bit of upfront investment, but will halve the energy lost through windows and pay off in the long term. If you go for the best the market has to offer (wooden-framed double-glazed units with low-emission glass and filled with argon gas), you can even save more than 70% of the energy lost.

12. Get a home energy auditMany utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy Star can help you find an energy specialist.

13. Cover your pots while cookingDoing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%!

14. Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are fullIf you need to use it when it is half full, then use the half-load or economy setting. There is also no need to set the temperatures high. Nowadays detergents are so efficient that they get your clothes and dishes clean at low temperatures.

15. Take a shower instead of a bathA shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximize the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow showerheads, which are cheap and provide the same comfort.

16. Use less hot waterIt takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.

17. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possibleYou can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

18. Insulate and weatherize your homeProperly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year. Energy Efficient has more information on how to better insulate your home.

19. Be sure you’re recycling at homeYou can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates.

20. Recycle your organic wasteAround 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions through the methane is released by decomposing bio-degradable waste. By recycling organic waste or composting it if you have a garden, you can help eliminate this problem! Just make sure that you compost it properly, so it decomposes with sufficient oxygen, otherwise your compost will cause methane emissions and smell foul.

21. Buy intelligentlyOne bottle of 1.5l requires less energy and produces less waste than three bottles of 0.5l. As well, buy recycled paper products: it takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.

22. Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you canYou will also cut down on waste production and energy use... another help against global warming.

23. Reuse your shopping bagWhen shopping, it saves energy and waste to use a reusable bag instead of accepting a disposable one in each shop. Waste not only discharges CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, it can also pollute the air, groundwater and soil.

24. Reduce wasteMost products we buy cause greenhouse gas emissions in one or another way, e.g. during production and distribution. By taking your lunch in a reusable lunch box instead of a disposable one, you save the energy needed to produce new lunch boxes.

25. Plant a treeA single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. The Arbor Day Foundation has information on planting and provides trees you can plant with membership.

26. Switch to green powerIn many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. In some of these, you can even get refunds by government if you choose to switch to a clean energy producer, and you can also earn money by selling the energy you produce and don't use for yourself.

27. Buy locally grown and produced foodsThe average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.

28. Buy fresh foods instead of frozenFrozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.

29. Seek out and support local farmers marketsThey reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. Seek farmer’s markets in your area, and go for them.

30. Buy organic foods as much as possibleOrganic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!

31. Eat less meatMethane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.

32. Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possibleAvoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Look for transit options in your area.

33. Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmatesSharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. runs a free service connecting north american commuters and travelers.

34. Don't leave an empty roof rack on your carThis can increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10% due to wind resistance and the extra weight - removing it is a better idea.

35. Keep your car tuned upRegular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

36. Drive carefully and do not waste fuelYou can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. Choose proper gears, do not abuse the gas pedal, use the engine brake instead of the pedal brake when possible and turn off your engine when your vehicle is motionless for more than one minute. By readjusting your driving style you can save money on both fuel and car mantainance.

37. Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflatedProper tire inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

38. When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicleYou can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! You can find information on fuel efficiency on FuelEconomy and on GreenCars websites.

39. Try car sharingNeed a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance. Many companies – such as Flexcar - offer low emission or hybrid cars too! Also, see ZipCar.

40. Try telecommuting from homeTelecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. For more information, check out the Telework Coalition.

41. Fly lessAir travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel carbon emissions by investingin renewable energy projects.

42. Encourage your school or business to reduce emissionsYou can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging other to take action.

43. Join the virtual marchThe Stop Global Warming Virtual March is a non-political effort to bring people concerned about global warming together in one place. Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands of other people urging action on this issue.

44. Encourage the switch to renewable energySuccessfully combating global warming requires a national transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. These technologies are ready to be deployed more widely but there are regulatory barriers impeding them. U.S. citizens, take action to break down those barriers with Vote Solar.

45. Protect and conserve forest worldwideForests play a critical role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere - deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Conservation International has more information on saving forests from global warming.

46. Consider the impact of your investmentsIf you invest your money, you should consider the impact that your investments and savings will have on global warming. Check out SocialInvest and Ceres to can learn more about how to ensure your money is being invested in companies, products and projects that address issues related to climate change.

47. Make your city coolCities and states around the country have taken action to stop global warming by passing innovative transportation and energy saving legislation. If you're in the U.S., join the cool cities list.

48. Tell Congress to actThe McCain Lieberman Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act would set a firm limit on carbon dioxide emissions and then use free market incentives to lower costs, promote efficiency and spur innovation. Tell your representative to support it.

49. Make sure your voice is heard!Americans must have a stronger commitment from their government in order to stop global warming and implement solutions and such a commitment won’t come without a dramatic increase in citizen lobbying for new laws with teeth. Get the facts about U.S. politicians and candidates at Project Vote Smart and The League of Conservation Voters. Make sure your voice is heard by voting!

50. Share this list!Send this page via e-mail to your friends! Spread this list worldwide and help people doing their part: the more people you will manage to enlighten, the greater YOUR help to save the planet will be (but please take action on first person too)!

Thanks to

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Late Evening Tête-à-tête With an Aspiring Beauty Queen – Gizelle Rivamonte!

With the beauty pageant season for Filipino pageant fans kicking in, the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant offers us again another bevy of the most beautiful Filipinas in the country. At this point in time, we may already have our bets for the major titles at stake with much anticipation on who will bag the Binibining Pilipinas Universe title, still considered the plum title although for the last few years, the Binibining Pilipinas World title has been noticeably given the greatest importance since we have not won the Miss World title after its 57 years of existence. We have noticed how in the past years, the most obvious frontrunner in the finals is sent to Miss World and this has been largely blamed why for almost 10 years now, we have not entered the semifinals because we are sending our best bets to Miss World.

This year’s batch of official candidates teems with excellent and superior beauties. There are indeed a lot of candidates who are hugely favored to win the major titles and make huge waves for the Philippine flag when they compete in their respective international pageants. Almost all of us have common favorites who we think will do well and who will make history happen again in Philippine pageantry.
One of the most watched activities of the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant is the parade of beauties, which is held at the Araneta Center. The parade is one of the traditions of BPCI to bring the pageant closer to the public since this is the best time to have a clear and perfect glimpse of the ladies, in broad daylight and absolutely free. As an amateur pageant aficionado (I have been just an ordinary watcher of pageants until I became a huge fan with the prodding and influence of my significant other who, I must say has been following pageants for many years now.), I was excited to see the candidates upfront and prove to myself what I relish in pictures and on television. It was a delightful experience seeing the candidates in their full glorious female pulchritude parading around the Araneta Center and being swarmed by throngs of spectators all eager to take a closer look and capture images of the country’s most beautiful women. I must say, this is the culmination of my adulation of pageants and how they have become an inevitable part of our culture. I was also able to see them again during the talent show held at the Gateway Mall and I must say it was an unforgettable moment.

After the frenzy but still in anticipation of the big night, we were headed home when we stopped by a nearby ice cream station just within the premises of Gateway when we saw one of the candidates, Gizelle Rivamonte. She was that candidate who sang her own version of Joey Albert’s classic song “Iisa Pa Lamang” during the talent show. She was with her boyfriend and her brother in the same ice cream station. Though she is not one of the heavy favorites, I was still stunned and sort of possessed by the spirit of a star-struck fan. I was dying to take a picture of her since she is one of the most talked about in this forum, and for history, her thread remains unbeatably the longest. Sadly though, there have been more negative than positive reviews about her, probably because of some pictures that show her not so good angles. In fairness to her, she radiates with a different kind of aura in person, something that you would not appreciate in some of her photos. As someone who saw the candidates in person, she had more beauty than the other candidates who were very disappointing when I saw them upfront.

I was with my partner and her little niece that time and this kid’s bubbly and gregarious personality almost made me vanish into thin air. The little girl approached Gizelle and positioned a camera phone aiming to take a shot of her. The most accommodating Gizelle stood and offered to take pictures with little girl Thea and then with me. That was nerve-wracking since I was even hesitant to say hi to her. Little Thea’s unassuming ways beat the little timid self out of me.

I thought that that was it. I was not expecting that Gizelle would initiate a conversation and she even invited us to their table. She related how she is totally nervous and losing her self-esteem at many times when she reads pageant forums where a candidate is scrutinized from her toe up to the end of her hair strands. We already know of bashings in beauty pageant forums, those kinds of comments that are harsh, unkind, and will not build up the confidence of a contestant. She exclaimed though that she is a big fan and an avid visitor if OPMB, one of the most respected beauty pageant magazines and forums.

As we went along our short conversation, I came to admire the many distinct and sterling qualities of Gizelle. She was a very down-to-earth person. She said that a beauty queen or even a candidate should be someone within the people’s reach since they embody the ideals of a good person worthy of emulation. I admitted to her that I had so much hesitation calling her attention but she said it was perfectly ok since she needs direct feedbacks on where she needs to improve especially on her overall looks and stage presentation. I guaranteed her that a lot of people in beauty pageant forums in fact like her so much because of the determination she has consistently shown. If I may also add, she has a natural sense of humor and she is very unassuming and frank. She has this very engaging personality that will make you drawn to her. I must say, with her degree in Nursing, she will be a well-loved nurse and her patients will surely find recuperation easy having her around. I did not feel any attitude of so much self-praise in her. She was very straightforward about her flaws and that the positive comments and support she has been getting from this forum will help her a lot. She even admitted to these bashings that she is not really expecting a lot and that making it as one of the official candidates is one big accomplishment she will forever treasure. Making it to the top ten come finals night, she said, will be one hell of a trophy she will always be proud of.

We capped the night saying our farewells and as we parted ways, she extends her gratitude to the OPMB people who have been throwing some nice words of encouragements to her. She may not be on the list of favorites of most pageant experts but mind you, she has this fierce attitude and very confident eloquence that will knock you off your feet. Nobody knows. It is all in the hands of the judges. She may surprise us come pageant finals night. And again who knows. Gloria Diaz was never a favorite nor was Sushmita Sen! This might be a surprise, a very delightful surprise!