July 16th, 2014
Ninetails. Coz, yeah, errrr… I had nine ponytails on my head.

Ninetails. Coz, yeah, errrr… I had nine ponytails on my head.

I wondered how many ponytails I can make on my head. NINE. The answer is nine.

I wondered how many ponytails I can make on my head. NINE. The answer is nine.

July 7th, 2014

Recipe: Beer-Batter Maple Syrup Bacon Spring Break Cupcakes

I have been a fan of 2 Broke Girls since I cam across the first episode. I love every character in the show, but what I love most are the cupcakes. Since the episode that Max made those beer-batter maple syrup bacon spring break cupcakes, I have been trying to recreate it, but there seems to be no standard recipe for it, and the show did not issue one. So what I was left was to experiment. Last Saturday, Joey and I decided to give it a try, and boy, we had great result. We had cupcakes with great texture and fluffiness topped with salty-sweet maple syrup and bacon frosting.

Here is the recipe that Joey and I experimented on.

Beer-Batter Maple Syrup Bacon Spring Break Cupcakes

Cupcake

1 ½ cup cake flour

2 Eggs

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup beer (we used San Mig Light Lemon because it already has a great flavor, and it isn’t too strong and heavy)

½ teaspoon baking soda

Maple Syrup Frosting

¾ cup butter

2 cups icing sugar

3 tbsp maple syrup

Bacon (as much as you want)

Procedure

Cupcakes

Before you start mixing the batter, preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Now, on a clean mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, the baking powder, and the baking soda, and add a little dash of salt; then, set it aside. On a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter until it becomes pale as possible and gradually add the light brown sugar until mixed. Add ¼ of the dry ingredients you previously mixed on a separate bowl and all ¼ of the beer as well and mix well. Continue to add the remaining dry ingredients and beer alternately until all have been added to the mixture. Pour the batter into the baking pan (you can either line or grease the pan, as you wish) and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The number of cupcakes you can create with this recipe will depend on the size of your cupcake pan. We used medium-sized cupcake baking pans, and we were able to create 15 delicious cupcakes.

After baking the cupcakes, remember to let them sit for a while to cool down. This will allow the inside of the cupcake to settle as well. If you frost them right after you remove them from the oven, the inside of the cupcake will be too wet due to the beer. Set them aside fist and work on your frosting.

Frosting

On a clean mixing bowl, cream the butter until it becomes pale as possible, then, add half of the icing sugar and 1 tbsp of the maple syrup. Mix well until blended, and add the remaining icing sugar and maple syrup. Mix until you reach your desired frosting texture.

Bacon

For the bacon, there are a lot of ways to prepare the bacon for this one. What we did was put the bacon inside the oven along with the cupcake for 30 minutes. After which, we seared the bacon on a non-stick pan until it turned golden brown and crispy.

Frosting the Cupcakes

Once the cupcakes have cooled down, you can now frost them. You can either use a spatula or a spoon and frost them freehand or you can use a piping bag. After which, top the frosting with bacon (as much as you desire). This will balance the flavor as the frosting will be a little bit too sweet; thus, you will get a salty-sweet flavor. You can also shred or cut the bacon into small pieces and mix them with the frosting (this is best if you decide to frost the cupcakes freehand as they might clog the piping bag).

Below are the photos of our result. These aren’t really great photos since these are from my Instagram account.

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June 19th, 2014

The Cheat

Reign slammed his fist on the table. He was crying; his sobbing was uncontrollable. He could feel his temples throbbing; the pain was totally unbearable. Tears were running down his cheeks. He fixed his eyes on Star. Rage was in his eyes. If looks could kill, Star would have been dead. Star was feeling uneasy, awkward. He shifted his weight from one side to the other from time to time. His eyes were fixed on Reign as well, but instead of rage, there was remorse in his eyes.

“How could you do that, Star? How?” Reign asked between sobs, wiping the tears off his cheeks. “How could you cheat?”

“Look, Reign, I’m really sorry. I really am. I did not mean to do it.” Star said softly, only this time, he was looking down. Looking at his feet.

But Reign knew better. “Really? You did not mean to do it? So what, it just happened? Out of the blue?”

Star tried to lift his head and see Reign eye to eye, but he couldn’t. “It was just one time, and I swear, I did not mean to hurt you.”

Reign snorted. “Typical responses, huh? I’ve heard those in movies and TV series before,” he said. “Is that all you have to say to me—that you did not mean to do it, that you did not mean to hurt me?” He scoffed.

“Yes, because that is the truth.”

“Really, Alastar? Really?”

Star straightened up. He knew that Reign calling him Alastar means trouble. He felt that something was stuck in his throat, and he had to swallow hard to breathe easy again. “Yes,” he responded. But he was lying.

Star, despite the remorse and guilt in his face and his voice, did cheat on purpose. He did it to actually hurt Reign. To damage his ego. To make him feel the pain of being cheated.

Reign sobbed once more. “I trusted you in this. I gave you full confidence, and you betrayed me. Have you any idea how painful it is?”

Star threw his stare away from Reign, as if something on the wall caught his undivided attention. “Maybe this isn’t the best time to talk about it, Reign,” He said. “Let’s talk again when you’re no longer mad.” He tried to stand up, but Reign bursted.

“When I am no longer mad?!” Reign’s voice boomed over the room. “Are you even kidding me right now?!”

“Look, Reign, you are being too immature about this.” Star countered, sitting back down. “Let’s try and act like adults so we can solve this, can we?”

“What, act immature? Like I’m the one who cheated.”

That pulled the trigger. Star snapped. “Tell me, Reign. Have you not cheated on me before? You have, haven’t you? And all those times, I kept quiet. I shut my mouth. I did not say a single word about it or against you. Not ever.” His voice was shaking. There was no longer guilt not remorse in his voice. His eyes were fixed on Reign as if they could pierce through his meat. “Now here you are … talking about cheating, betrayal of confidence, as if you haven’t done that to me.”

Reign was suddenly silent. He could only swallow what seemed to have been stuck in his throat. He took his eyes away from Star and looked down.

“Yes, I lied earlier—I did this on purpose. To hurt you. To make you feel the pain of being cheated on. To destroy your ego. To make you feel miserable. Horrible, isn’t it? It hurts so much, and it is frustrating.” Star mocked. “Now you know I feel every time I found out that you cheated.”

“Star, I’m—”

“No, Reign,” Star interrupted him. “I don’t need your apology. This is why I did this. Revenge.” Star smiled slyly. “So how does it feel that your mate cheated on you?”

Reign could not come up with an answer. Suddenly, guilt was all over him. “Can we just … act like adults—as you say we should—and start over?” He asked without even looking at Star.

Star smiled. For some reason, he was happy. He knew he won the fight. He reached for the board and the pieces and the bills scattered on the table. “Sure,” he said, “after all, it’s just monopoly.”

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Arguing with Myself: Of Language Differences and Translation

EOP or English-Only Policy is a very common thing in companies here in the Philippines. It strictly requires employees to communicate in English when they are on the work floor. This is actually good; however, I was recently told by a good friend who works in a BPO company that their EOP is somewhat unreasonable. Why is that? For one thing, their trainer mentioned that every word in Bisaya can be translated to English, that they have a direct English equivalent, much to the point that even the local dish tuslob buwa (you can read about it in my previous post by clicking here) has been translated to dip bubbles. Well, I disagree, and I find that notion ridiculous! Not every word can be translated into English because: (1) every language is unique, (2) English is an amalgam, (3) established words can be imported (4) untranslatable words do exist, and (5) translation is relative.

Every Language Is Unique

I do not think that I have to elaborate this, but for argument’s sake, I will. Each language varies in phonetics, phonemics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse, and other elements of linguistics. Granted that they may share some basic elements, but at the end of the day, one language is different from another.

For example, both Korean and Japanese follow the same basic syntactic arrangement: subject-object-verb. However, when the sentence gets longer and more complex, the difference stands out. As opposed to this syntactic arrangement, English follows subject-verb-object pattern. In addition, unlike English, Korean does not have sounds for /v/, /f/, and initial /ŋ/. On the other hand, when forming words, Japanese uses syllables instead of phonemes, thus, they use “ru” instead of /r/ and “su” instead of /s/. Another prominent difference between languages is the difference of phonemes a letter represents. For example, in English, the letter J generally represents the sound /dʒ/, but in Spanish, it represents /h/.

I could go on with the difference of other languages with compared with English, but I guess it is clear enough: that no two languages are identical in any forms—even Bisaya in Cebu differs from the Bisaya in Davao, as well as the Hiligaynon (commonly “misconcepted” as Ilonggo) In Iloilo differs from that in Capiz and Negros.

English Is an Amalgam

Not the amalgam that dentists use in tooth filling though, but in some sense it is like that. English is an amalgamation of several languages; that is the very reason we have words in English with foreign roots (if not all, actually). We have sympathy from Greek, we have quintessence from Middle French, we have digit from Latin, we have canyon from Spanish, and the list can go on, actually. This shows how dynamic a language can be—it changes, especially to cater the needs of the speaker. Every now and then, there are new words that are added to the English dictionary, whether it is by coinage or by “adoption.” And this leads us to our next point: that it is okay to import certain words from one language to another.

Established Words Can Be Imported

Kimchi, burrito, taco, mustang, sequin, prima donna, cappuccino, senate, tequila, blitz, aspirin, feng shui, tsunami, cameo, magenta, medal, doodle—these are just some of the words that were directly lifted from one language and placed in the English vocabulary. Why? Because they are either established words in their respective mother tongues or they do not have direct or exact English translation. We do not call kimchi “Korean fermented vegetable” although that’s what it is. So why do we have to “roughly” translate tuslob buwa? Although it roughly means “to dip in bubbles,” calling it dip bubbles is ridiculous. Other than that, tuslob buwa is a “trademark” of the Cebuano culture. If we can import kimchi and burrito into the English language, why not tuslob buwa? Why not other words that are established trademarks of our culture?

Untranslatable Words Do Exist

Yes, this is true. If otherwise, then, there will be no need to borrow words from other languages. For example, the Indonesian word jayus, which means “the awkward humor behind a joke delivered so badly that you can’t help but laugh,” has no English equivalent. Another example is the German word schadenfreude, “a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.” So no, as opposed to the idea that you can express everything in English, it is impossible to translate every word. There are hundreds of words our there that cannot be directly translated into English.

Translation Is Relative

Now, let’s talk about translation. One of the most translated books into the English language is the Bible. There are at least 450 versions of the English translation of the Bible. Why is that? Because translation is relative. It all depends on the translator’s discretion whether to render the translation with fidelity or transparency.

 Fidelity and transparency are the two main elements considered when translating one language to another. There is what we call formal equivalence (metaphrase) and dynamic equivalence (paraphrase). Dynamic equivalence (or functional equivalence) conveys the essential thoughts expressed in a source text—if necessary, at the expense of literality, original sememe and word order, the source text’s active vs. passive voice, etc.  By contrast, formal equivalence (sought via literal translation) attempts to render the text literally, or word for word, if necessary, at the expense of features natural to the target language.

The concept of metaphrase is imperfect because a given word in a given language often carries more than one meaning and because a similar given meaning may often be represented in a given language by more than one word. Nevertheless, metaphrase and paraphrase may be useful as ideal concepts that mark the extremes in the spectrum of possible approaches to translation.

Let’s take the following example: ikapila, a local word that is used to inquire the order of an object in a given series. Now, we can translate it in different ways, depending on the question: ikapila ka? (What number are you?). But let’s try different questions: Ikapila ka nga anak sa imong mama? Ikapila nga presidente sa Pilipinas si Noynoy? Kind of tough isn’t it? In these instances, you do not have to translate the question word by word, but just carry its essential thought over to the target language: What is your birth order among your siblings? In the series of Philippine presidency, which order does Noynoy fall?

In conclusion, it is ridiculous to assume and assert that every word in your language has a direct English equivalent, let alone roughly translate words that have been established in your mother tongue. But yes, EOP is good.

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June 18th, 2014

Arguing with Myself: Of Mendicancy and Mercy

Last night, I was on my way home after delivering food for the office night-shifters when I decided to drop by Jollibee, a local fast food chain, to get something to eat. Just outside the store was an old lady (probably in her early sixties), sitting. She wasn’t begging nor asking anything from the people passing by; she was just sting there. Wishfully looking at the people dining inside.

I went inside the store to get the food I was planning to eat, and along with that, I got a burger for the old lady sitting outside. After my transaction, I proceeded to give the burger to the old lady, much to her surprise. I was really happy to see her smile as I handed her the burger. I left her smiling, holding the burger on her chest. I smiled as I left.

Just as I turned my back, I heard some of the customers half-shouting at the guard. I turned around to see what happened, and I saw the guard “confiscated” the burger that I gave to the old lady. I was indignant, infuriated even. I hurried to the old lady and almost-yelled at the guard. I asked him why he “confiscated” the burger, to which he answered, “Bawal man gud mamalimos diri, Sir.” (Begging is strictly prohibited here, Sir.) I was even more infuriated. The old lady wasn’t begging; she was just there sitting. And I bought the burger specifically for her; I gave it to her wholeheartedly even without her asking for it because I saw how she looks at the people dining inside!

At that point, I was entirely mad. I pointed out to the guard that the old lady did not ask me for it, that I gave it to her because I wanted to; that even when begging isn’t allowed, he has no right to take the burger away because I already paid for that—it was mine, and I gave it to her; thus, it was hers already. My voice raised, and it called the attention of one of the food servers. He came to us and asked what was happening. I told him about what I did and what the guard did. He explained to me that begging is not allowed in their store, but I responded that the old wasn’t begging; the burger was a gift from me. I felt like we were talking in circles. I ranted against the guard’s taking of the burger when he has no right to do so, that he could have just politely told the old lady to move away from the store premises. I did not stop until they apologized to me and to the old lady. The manager refused to get involved.

If I had not been too tired and too sleepy, I would have taken the old lady inside the store to let her dine to her heart’s desire. But I wanted to sleep and relax; I was shaking from the incident. Instead, I ushered the old lady away from the store and told her not go near the store again, lest they will give her more troubles. She was on the brink of crying. Instead of feeling satisfied that I was able to help, I felt really mad at the guard and the entire Jollibee staff.

I do understand that mendicancy is against the law, but there are times when mercy is above the law. What they did was inhumane. Treating the old lady with disrespect and confiscating the food given to her by someone else. I do understand that the company forbids them to give away the marked out and overrun food, but they have no right to confiscate the food I purchased. Yes, it was just 29.00 PHP, but it was a big help for a hungry old lady.

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June 17th, 2014

#hashtag101: The Misuse and Abuse of Hashtags in Social Media

If you regularly update your Facebook page, you might have noticed #posts #like #these. These are called hashtags. Yes, they do serve a great purpose to certain websites, but they have been overused—let alone abused—by social media enthusiast. What I see every day is the use of unnecessary and irrelevant hashtags, like #hahaha, #this #is #amazing, #huhu, and the likes. It was annoying enough when Facebook did not support hashtag use before, but it is even more annoying now more than ever. Most people use them, but they seem to have no idea what they are and how to use them. But what is a hashtag? How does it work? And how does one use it properly?

What Is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is a form of metadata tag that could be word or an unspaced phrase preceded with the pound or number sign (#). Words in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram may be tagged by putting # before them, either as they appear in a sentence, (e.g., “A lot of people lined up for the premiere screening of #TheFaultInOurStars, a movie based on a novel of the same title by #JohnGreen.”) or appended to it as a postscript (“I cried a lot during the movie. #TFIOS”)

How Does It Work?

The use of a hashtag makes it possible to group messages in a certain social media platform, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of post that contain it. It is not there to simply tell people what you are posting about. By clicking or tapping the hashtag in a post, you can see all the other posts that contain the same hashtag and see what other people post about the same topic. However, a hashtag is only connected to a specific medium and can, therefore, not be linked and connected to pictures or messages from different platforms.

How Does One Use It Properly?

Some people on social media networks use totally unnecessary hashtags when tagging their posts. What are these so-called unnessecary hashtags? Here are some examples:

@tweeter My mom is visiting and I’m wondering when she’s leaving. #momrant #getsonmynerves #gohomealready #iluvmommy #ineedadrink #helpme #huhu

I kind of #hate when #people use #hashtags for #genericwords all over their #tweets.

How to use your 3 iron In the winter? Hang #homemade #salami from it.

Again, hashtags are used to sort posts of certain relevant topics within a social media platform. However, most people think—as to what I have observed—that hashtags are mere visual representation of the topic of their posts to let people know how they feel and what they think. It does not work like that.

Although the use of generic words as hashtags could be sometimes applicable, hashtags need to be specific and direct to the point—the main idea of your post. For example, start-out companies and business invent hashtags to promote their products and/or services for people to easily see the posts about them. Bigger companies, however, use specific hashtags for their campaigns to go viral. So use direct-to-the point hashtags. Also remember that because you can does not mean you should: you can post something without using a hashtag, especially when it has no relevance to the greater good.

Also, there is a certain “limit” to the use of hashtags in a post as the quantity of hashtags used in a post or tweet is just as important as the type of hashtags used. Currently, it is considered acceptable to tag a only post once when contributing to a specific conversation (thus, tag the topic of the conversation). The us of two hashtags are considered acceptable when adding a location to the conversation (like the venue of an event). Three hashtags are seen by some as the absolute maximum, and any contribution exceeding this risks “raising the ire of the community.” (It is also wise to remember that when using multiple hashtags, a single space should be inserted between the tags [thus, #hashtag1 #hashtag2, not #hashtag1#hashtag2]).

Aside from frustrating other users, the misuse and abuse of hashtags can lead to account suspensions on some social media platform. Twitter warns that adding hashtags to unrelated tweets or repeated use of the same hashtag without adding to a conversation could cause an account exclusion from search filter, or even suspension.

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June 16th, 2014

Fandom Shirt Giveaway Contest

Lately, I have gotten a lot of traffic toward my blog for responding to a hate speech made by a Singaporean against Filipinos, and I am grateful to everyone who not only read my blog but also shared my post to their social media network. To show my gratitude to those who support my blog, I am giving away one (1) fandom shirt to a reader/follower of my blog.

The shirt’s design will be that of the winner’s choice—be it a fandom shirt of a TV series, a movie, a book, an anime, a manga, or the likes. I will handle the acquisition of the fandom shirt desired by the winner, as well as the shipping to the winner’s preferred address.

Who can join? Anyone who follows or reads my blog.

How can you join? Click here.

Thank you for supporting my blog! Best of luck!

The winner will be announced automatically after the end of the contest period, and I will contact the winner via Facebook or e-mail, depending on what platform he or she used to enter the contest.

Contest runs from June 16, 2014, to July 06, 2014.

June 13th, 2014

Feeding the Blood-Stained Singaporean Troll

I am not racist, but I am indignant toward whatever is wrong. Like this article about showing displeasure to Filipinos in Singapore. Early today, a friend posted this link to my Facebook wall and told me to read it for earth’s sake. I saw other friends sharing the same link with infuriated comments about both the article and the author; however, I did not get mad at all—it made me laugh instead. I was sure that this is another troll post, something to gather traffic toward his or her site by promoting hate against Filipinos who are known to be social media enthusiasts. But yeah, it was not offensive for me; it was silly, funny, and invalid. Here are my reasons as to why I find this hate post a big joke.

1. The author claims that Filipinos suck at English. Well, I highly doubt that. For one thing, the author must remember that their telemarketing and contact centers will not survive without the help of Filipinos who “suck” at English (I need to raise my sarcasm sign here, lest some people do no get it). Also, I would bet my head that a single Filipino can speak better English that a hundred Singaporeans combined. Regarding this, a friend commented: “He [the author] probably has, like, [two] friends? A Filipino who happens to have a poor command in English and a teddy bear he molests at night.”

2. Nudging people and making it look accidental is a universal gesture of insecurity and rudeness. May apply to you whether or not your “victim” is a Filipino.

3. Another thing that author suggests is to create an artistic mess on your plate when dining at Jollibee or any Filipino-themed restaurants in Singapore. To quote: “Toss food into your mouth, chew thoroughly, then spit it out. Bite another morsel and repeat. Do this till your plate is a masterpiece of regurgitated nastiness. Ask for the bill (pay in cash), scribble ‘Pinoy food fucking tastes like shit’ on the receipt and remember to leave that piece of paper behind.” Yes, you may be showing your displeasure, but you are also embarrassing yourself—an uncivilized human being who does not know how to dine. Let’s leave it at that. You also implied that you have, in some instances in your life, have eaten shit.

4. The author urges Singaporeans to not render any help to Filipinos who are involved in serious traffic accidents, take photos of the scene, and tweet it with the caption: “Hopefully another Pinoy has breathed his last on the little red dot. RIP. NOT.” Sure, this is anyone’s prerogative really, but be prepared to receive thousands of hate responses.

5. I find it funny that after promoting hate, the author still believes that God will hear their prayer for a biblical-type flood to wash Filipinos out their country.

6. Comparing Filipinos to cockroaches is kind of a compliment: that Filipinos are feared by both men and women and are difficult to exterminate. Keep that in mind.

But no, I will not promote any hate against Singaporeans here, and hopefully, I haven’t. I leave it with the words of a friend addressed to the author of the post:  “If you believe in something so bad, why not put your name on it? In an SEO perspective though, smooth! Your page views must be crazy right now. Just do what you do and get enough money from your blog to buy yourself a decent domain name like, iamsad.com or imanuglytroll.com.”

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June 2nd, 2014
We pencil-sketch our previous life so we can contrast it to the technicolor of the moment.
boys meets boy , david levithan (via onwingsmadeofwax)

liamdryden:

#Johning: an important saga

(via darlingyoufellapart)

May 30th, 2014
Will be reading this over the weekend. :) Thanks to a fellow bookworm, Whovian, otaku, and universal fangirl who lent me this. #boymeetsboy #davidlevithan

Will be reading this over the weekend. :) Thanks to a fellow bookworm, Whovian, otaku, and universal fangirl who lent me this. #boymeetsboy #davidlevithan

May 23rd, 2014
I find it funny that James McAvoy (young Charles Xavier) kept saying “but the bullet curved” as if it was impossible when, in his other movie, “Wanted,” he can curve bullets.
May 18th, 2014

jappyblogs:

Yea, today we had this tumblr mini meetup at Ayala. We talked about ourselves and our fandoms and shared diff trivias. Even though few attended due to their vacation and busy scheds we still had fun and met new awesome tumblr bloggers/friends. Yaay!

p.s. Thanks to Kirby for the gelato. 😉

May 17th, 2014
#CebuTumblrMeetUp with these folks about our fandoms. :)

#CebuTumblrMeetUp with these folks about our fandoms. :)