Thursday, December 16, 2010

“Time” Names Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year

Time magazine has named Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg Time’s 2010 Person of the Year.

My hats off to Mark Zuckerberg who even dismissed the David Fincher film "The Social Network" as a work of fiction. For creating Facebook, he is one of the world’s youngest billionaires to date. The film "The Social Network," Zuckerberg voices out, boxes him in as someone who built Facebook just to get girls, or to get into clubs. Zuckerberg agrees only to the clothes that his character wore in the film, claiming those as being very much his own.

"They [the film's creators] just can't wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things," Zuckerberg tells The Guardian's Ben Child.

And why was Mark Elliot Zuckerberg chosen?

“For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is Time’s 2010 Person of the Year,” explains Time.

All Facebook users, all together now! "Amen!" Congratulations Mark! (yes, I am on Facebook:!/reinerioalba)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ophelia Dimalanta, The Varsitarian Amihans, Thomasian Writers Guild, The Flame

Poetess Ophelia Dimalanta succumbed to stroke last November 4, and UST made a fitting tribute for her last Nov. 8 at the UST chapel. Ma'am Ophie's "literary children" and all UST students who became her students came in droves. As I said in my FB account, Ma'am Ophie Dimalanta did bring all her "children" together that night at the UST Chapel. Ma'am Ophie, there was, of course, my Sans Rival moment with you in Dumaguete, and, looking back, you made me realize, by paving the way to my Silliman workshop experience, how much, also, my father supported me at that time. Thank you Ma'am! Rest in Glorious Peace!

Read about some of the tributes for her:
By Lito Zulueta
By Jun Lana
By J. Neil Garcia
By Susan Lara
By Ramil Gulle

And for those of you who are in the dark about her, here is some info on Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta from The Varsitarian.

With J. Neil Garcia (middle). Photo by Benjamin Pulta
And here, in this photo below, are my co-V Amihans, The Flame staff, Thomasian Writers Guild (TWG) members gathering anew for dear Ma'am Ophie. 
From left: Benjamin Pulta (V Special Reports Editor, TWG), Jun Lana (The Flame, TWG), Nerisa Guevara (TWG), Georgina Nava (The Flame, TWG), Ramil Gulle (V Associate Editor, TWG)), Ralph Galan (TWG), Marj de Castro (The Flame, TWG), Reinerio Alba (V Literary Editor, The Flame, TWG), Jo LOntoc (V News, The Flame, TWG), Alma Anonas (The Flame, TWG), Alex Capiz (The Flame, TWG), Ivy Nicholas (V Literary, The Flame, TWG), Chris Cahilig (V Filipino, TWG)), Noel Rodriguez (V Sports Editor). Photo courtesy of Jilson Tiu (The Varsitarian)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hey October!

Blessings came my way and I thank the Universe for letting me be clear about my wishes, and henceforth allowing for the fulfillment of them:)

Ok, let's start with the latest that's happened to me this October. First off, there's the exhibit of TUP Alumni, (most of whom have become my friends, and even co-kumpares, and am glad to have reconnected with them) titled IMPLODE, which opened last Oct. 14 (runs until Nov. 28) at the Main Gallery of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Am here with a Mac Valdezco work

...and then, there was my bonding day with my mother at the Thunderbird Resorts in Poro Point, San Fernando La Union (Oct. 12-13)

 ...and then, before that (Oct. 8-11), there was Viaje del Galeon, a trip aboard Super Ferry 20 bound for Cebu with at least 200 plus student leaders from all over the country, and with the image of the Nuestra SeƱora de la Paz y Buenviaje at that.
...and then, on Oct. 7, I came to see first-hand the Galeon Andalucia, a replica of a 16th century galeon ship at Pier 15 (details here  )

...and then there was the my birthday celebration last Sept. 24!
So, I am truly grateful!

And by the way, tomorrow, Oct. 16, I mark the first year anniversary of my travel to Spain (Santiago de Compostela), and I am wonderfully grateful for this. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Inception, Finally!

I was able to finally watch "Inception!" Christopher Nolan has definitely turned "The Matrix" on its head. This film definitely made me re-read, revisit Jorge Luis Borges' "The Circular Ruins."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pied Fantail 2

This entry is about my second encounter with a Pied Fantail!

This time though, unlike my first Pied Fantail encounter where I was 16 feet away, I was able to grab a hold of one. It flitted through the Fire Exit into our office's hallway in the 6th floor.

Excuse the glee in my face here: (don't worry D.E.N.R. people, I released it as soon as my officemate Leon Pangilinan photographed us. Hehe.).

Is it dead or alive? :)

 (Read about my first encounter with a Pied Fantail)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

San Mig Light Party All Night & DJ Matt Darey

Last June 25, I was able to hear firsthand top UK-based DJ Matt Darey's brand of club music at SMX beside Mall of Asia.

San Mig Light, the country’s number-one low-calorie beer brand, ushered that night a new level of partying as it held its first-ever, 12-hour (6pm to 6am) marathon club music event.

Highlighting the occasion was the arrival of top UK-based Matt Darey, one of the pioneers in today’s dance scene, who shared for the first time with Filipino clubbers his own brand of house, trance, breaks and progressive music among his other hits. Darey, who has sold over two million copies of his singles and albums worldwide, spinned with Malaysian-based DJ John Boy and our very own Karl Ty.
Apart from setting the mood for the dusk-till-dawn party with the finest club music, San Mig Light has adorned the 3,000-person capacity venue of SMX with elements that make the ultimate clubbing experience.
Imagine laser light shows, mirror dancers, pole dancers, fashion shows featuring celebrities Iwa Moto, Fabio Ide and foreign male and female models, plus a bevy of eye candies including Isabelle Oli and San Mig Light endorsers Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera toasting to the good life with like-minded partyphiles.
Cash prizes plus LCD televisions and cell phones were raffled off to party-goers.
Also launched that night was an inter-university DJ competition, which allowed Filipino DJs to perform under the same roof with DJs Darey, Lee and Ty.

Competing schools were Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines Diliman, De La Salle’s College of St. Benilde and Mapua Institute of Technology. The main winner in the competition received P35,000 cash, a gig in White Avenue in Tomas Morato, Quezon City and a free party package from San Mig Light. The next best DJ won a cash prize of P15,000.
San Mig Light also introduced the Dance Off Competition, which threw in P25,000 cash to the contestant with the best moves.
San Mig Light also gave away P25,000 for the “Last Man Clubbing” in the Party All Night revelry.

Interactive booths including the DJ Hero Booth and the San Mig Light Bucket Cards completed the fun. Guests had their photos taken and posted their souvenir shots in the San Mig Light Bucket Room at the web access area situated in the party vicinity.

The San Mig Light Party All Night fever also spreads in Cagayan de Oro on July 24 to 25 and Cebu on August 28 to 29.
Know more of the club music party authority, San Mig Light. Log on to

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Horse Red Horse 2

I just had to put it here. :) This was only my second "happy horse" encounter after my first encounter with it in Oct. 2008 (see my previous entry on it). This was during the birthday blowout of Nelson at the videoke bar Synderz in Malate.

So, without further ado, here. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Philippine Elections 2010; Noynoy Aquino-President

The Philippines held its very first automated election last May 10, 2010 and boy, Filipinos from all walks of life did troop to the school/precincts to stake their claim as to who should lead this country after GMA, unfazed by the "unknown" PCOS machine.

I did vote and was glad that I did. The resulting vote for Noynoy Aquino was so overwhelming that Inquirer columnist Amando Doronila even wrote the column "Wave of yellow votes so massive, sinks rivals" 

I even documented my own journey that day. View it here:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Busy April 2010! Dance Xchange 2010; Boracay

I had a wonderfully interesting and busy April!

One, I took on the job of being a liaison officer (in plain words, first-rate "yaya") to the delegation from Japan (the Senju Kabuki Dance Company) as part of the 2nd International Dance Workshop and Festival,” and two, I participated in the teambuilding of the office I work for.

The first was held in Capiz, Roxas City from April 15-20, 2010. It was the first time I took on such a job, which included meeting them at the airport upon arrival and sending them off as well. The “Dance Xchange 2010 was organized by the National Committee on Dance of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in celebration of the International Dance Day and in accordance with Presidential Proclamation No. 154, declaring every last week of April as the “National Dance Week.”

This huge event was participated in by 10 foreign dance groups including the Big Dance Company of England, Senju Dance Company of Japan, Dancemode Studio of Hong Kong, Mira Dance Company of Korea, Badan Budaya Univarsiti of Malaysia, Aswara Dancers of Malaysia, SIFAS of Singapore, Sri-Lankan Dancers, Lan Yang Dancers of Taiwan, the American Dance Center of Chicago and the Philippine dance companies from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and NCR, namely Lahing Batangan Dance Troupe, University of Cordillera Dance Troupe, Next to Innocence, Sinukwan Kapampangan, Poseidon Dance Theatre, Samleyaw Dance Theatre, Double J Fullforce, USA Kawilihan Dance Company, Madayaw Cultural Ensemble, Capitol University Dance Troupe, Quezon City Ballet of the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet, PNU Kislap Sining Dance Troupe, TUP Kalinangan Dance Troupe, Professional Dance Teachers Association, Powerdance, Hwa Yi Ethnic Dance Center, and by more than a thousand workshop participants from the different parts of the Philippines.

What was amazing about this event was the outreach programs each dance group did aside from the dance workshops they conducted for the local participants. I had to match the energy of my group, whose kabuki dance session was warmly received by local dance teachers, as we transferred from one venue to another. It was quite a high to see locals eagerly attending to see all these different dances from different countries. The high point of the event was the closing ceremonies where each dance group performed another dance group's dance. Imagine my Japanese group performing the Singapore dance and so on for the rest of the groups!

A video clip of this event can be viewed at the facebook account of The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (I suggest you click "LIKE" to get faster updates from the NCCA).
Here is the video:

And here are just two of my hundred photos :) from the said event:

The Senju Kabuki Dance Company

Big Dance Company (England)

Dagway Sigmahanon
Here is a sample of the Dagway Sigmahanon performance:

The VMA Poseidon Dance Theater

The second major event I participated in was the NCCA Teambuilding in Boracay. Wow! It was a blast and we all worked together towards clarifying our thrust for the next five years or so.

Here is just one of my hundred :) other photos from Boracay:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Arts Sphere Chamber Ensemble in the 4th ASEAN Festival of the Arts

From March 22-27, the Philippines hosted artists from the ASEAN members to participate in the 4th ASEAN Festival of the Arts. I was privileged to have been chosen to be the Liaison Officer assigned to Singapore (Singapore will be hosting the festival in 2012).

Singapore sent over the Arts Sphere Chamber Ensemble, which was a fairly young organization. Arts Sphere was established in mid 2007, with an aim to strongly establish the genre of Chinese chamber ensemble. Within a short period of time, in 2008, the ensemble drew national attention by clinching first prize in the National Chinese Music Competition organized by the Singapore National Arts Council. In the Following year, the ensemble clinched the first prize in the 2009 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, Instrumental Folk Solo/Group Competition.

The rest of the ASEAN artists who participated made the festival the colourful tapestry that it is and made participants and audiences alike prouder that we share that one ASEAN culture and dream.

Here goes the ASEAN Song:

"Raise our flag high, sky high Embrace the pride in our heart ASEAN we are bonded as one Look-in out-ward to the world. For peace, our goal from the very start And prosperity to last. We dare to dream we care to share. Together for ASEAN we dare to dream, we care to share for it's the way of ASEAN

Go ASEAN brothers and sisters!  

Here's my prized photo with my babies from the Arts Sphere Chamber Ensemble :) 

See the rest of the photos here:!/album.php?aid=159300&id=525367919

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rodrigo Alba, My Father

Being at the wake of your own father, or perhaps of anyone dear to you, is a surreal thing. Amidst the flurry of people coming in and out and talking to you, of food and stories being passed around, there, in the center of it all, is the casket. My father died on December 23, 2009, succumbing to septic shock and heart failure after months of hospitalization.

I remember that early on as a child, my every night's prayers would have, on the top of my wish list, a prayer that my parents would have the longest life ("mahabang mahabang buhay"), which I would utter with all my heart. Looking back, I only regret now that I did not include "healthy" in that nightly prayer. Hence, with my mother as my only living parent now, I have resurrected that prayer of mine and have included and underlined the words "HEALTHY," "HAPPY,", and "LOVE-FILLED" to longest life.

Talking with one of those who came to the wake and one who lost her father at an early age, we've agreed that Death, as far as all humans are concerned, will always be the last unknown frontier for us, and that no one will ever be too prepared for it.

Not one of us was present when Tatay breathed his last. Although my brother Renan was only a few floors away from my father's hospital room. Although we were all on our way. In the end, we all either missed his death by several minutes or even an hour. Perhaps, (and more to console ourselves), we thought that was how he wanted to go. It gave us comfort that we were able to sing as a family around his bed the previous night (his favorite videoke songs, including Christmas songs), and that later during the wake, I learned that my brother Renan was able to sing to my father one last song ("Ang Panginoon ang aking Pastol, 'di ako magkukulang...), an hour prior to his death.

I watched as the hospital staff prepared him for the morgue. Binding his arms with styropore tape across his chest, then his legs, then closing up his mouth.

In one of those nights during the wake when I took a rest, I had a low point. Forgive this cliche bu I suddenly questioned the point in living one's life when everyone else, in the end, will succumb to death. It was a text message that pulled me out from that abysmal despair (Sunny, thank you for this): "Love is your God connection and it is your gift to the world. Through love, you express your divinity and share your light. Be gentle with yourselves, and hold yourself and all others in the light of Love and Compassion always."

It was then that I recalled all my memories of my father. I remembered the love, which my father showed each of us while growing up, expressing it however, imperfectly. Wala naman talaga kase manual on parenting, di ba? And how he loved our mother as well. The text message pinned it down. Life only makes sense when there is love as it is also Love that makes Life possible.

And as I said in the eulogy I managed to deliver for Tatay, he taught us how to love, and that is more than enough. And I am much consoled by it.