Saturday, September 30, 2006

Walkin' on a thin line

The power's back!!!!! "Alleluia!!" never seemed so appropriate to a situation till now!!!

Since Thursday morning, Luzon (the northernmost major island of my country) has had a blackout due to heavy rains and strong winds brought by typhoon "Milenyo." Though some areas had their electric power restored on the same day, or a little over 24 hours after it went off, our part of Quezon City only saw light again tonight shortly before 9:00. That's about 84 hours with no electricity! It really is easier to appreciate something when you suddenly lose it. On the other hand, it was a refreshing change to try to make do without television, the pc, cold drinking water, electric fans -- even drive around Metro Manila sans traffic lights!

So back to blogging...

While this isn't fresh news, I still delight over the news about excessively thin models being banned from Madrid Fashion Week. I never thought I'd see the day, seeing how fashion models have acquired quasi-icon status over the decades, as if a skeletal frame is something to aspire for.

A few days after the ban on size-zero women was reported by Yahoo news, a related news article came out, this time with designer Giorgio Armani pinpointing stylists and the media as the culprit in propagating "ultra-thin chic."

Today's The New York Times editorial page contained a brief commentary on the same issue, and only here did I learn of the South American model who, after months of consuming only lettuce and diet soda, died of heart failure in August:

Yes, You Can Be Too Thin

If fashion models were purebred dogs instead of underfed women, there would be an outcry over the abusive standards for appearing in shows and photo shoots. The prize for women who aspire to the catwalk is a ridiculous size 0, though overachieving undereaters seem to be reaching for size 00, which invites further starvation, serious illness and worse.

If the industry needed a wake-up call, it got one last month, when Luisel Ramos, an Uruguayan model who had been advised to lose weight, died of heart failure after taking her turn on the catwalk. She reportedly had gone days without eating, and for months consumed only lettuce and diet soda.

Neverthless, organized of Madrid's Fashion Week caught designer and fashionista scorn for banning the unreasonably thin from their show. The Madrid standard: a minimum body mass index of at least 18 -- a measure of body fat based on weight and height. A reading of 18 is still underweight (18.5 to just under 25 is considered normal), but it is outsized among supermodels, many of whom hover between 14 and 16.

While the recently completed New York Fashion Week carried on as usual, Milan Fashion Week officials were considering applying their own healthy standard for models.

Ending the parade of starved and sickly seems like a fashion trend worth following.

I couldn't agree more, though I hope it's a trend that won't go away.

Dressing the part

Here's another interesting take on the topic of modesty. The blog is called Don't Try This At Home. Don't you just love the header? =)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Taste and see...

It was this photo...

...that sent me blog-hopping once again, in search of more eye candy for the heavy-reading-material-weary reader. After exploring more than a dozen blogs, I found some neat ones -- and not at all limited to visual treats only. Don't take my word for it; check them out yourself.

Have you ever seen tomatoes like these? I haven't, but that's no wonder since the market is not one of my regular haunts. Maison Dorre Trifles is a food blog with plenty of recipes and brilliant photos. That the blogger from Holland seems to travel a lot makes this blog even more fascinating.

Then I stumbled onto The Paupered Chef and found yet another brilliant picture of a red juicy tomato. The blogger was talking about tomato season and farmers' markets and why prices at these markets were higher than at the groceries, considering middlemen were out of the equation and shipping was unnecessary. I found the perspective offered by Deborah Madison quite thoughtful:

There may be more efficient ways to shop than going to the farmers' market. But the experience rewards us in so many ways that we somehow not only make time for our farmers’ markets, but we become very devoted to them. Farmers' markets have everything to do with our quality of life, from the experience of community that we find there, to the satisfaction of buying directly from those who grow our food. They also strengthen our local economies by keeping money turning within them, and they allow us to make a vital connection to our landscape, the season where we live, our local history and food traditions. Becoming devoted to our farmers' markets can deeply change us.

Anyway, this picture made my mouth water and got me all crazy for some serious steak!

You won't believe this, but as I hopped on along to another food site, there it was again -- something about TOMATOES!! Do you know that there's a Secret Tomato Lovers Society? The group actually just had its 5th Annual Dinner which included a tasting of heirloom tomatoes. First time I've heard of that...then as I scrolled further down The Food Section (the name of the site), I saw an entry titled "Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad." Here's the photo:

While I'm composing this entry, I have about three food blogs on different windows, and still ready to click on endless links! But I'll never get around to posting this entry, so this food blog feature will have to end with Humble Pie, a charming site maintained by a Canadian blogger. These cinnamon pull-aparts sure look heavenly!

If you're unable to grab a bite for now, hope the mere sight of these pictures quenches your hunger and tides you over till you're able to sit down and eat!

If you can't feed 100 people, then just feed one.

- Mother Teresa

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Get a (love) life

Our magazine's latest issue is out!

"Made-to-order" babies, enhancing family life and dealing with infidelity fill the pages of the latest issue of Love Life, a publication of Pro-Life Philippines. The magazine, now on its second outing as a full-color glossy, is packed with news, features and facts on various life issues, tackling family life, marriage, life before birth, population issues, love and sexuality. Other sections include "What in the world is going on?" which gives a lowdown on international news, and "Photofinish!" which showcases the pro-life world in pictures.

Giving the topic of family life some local spunk is "Buhay-pamilya," a regular section which delves on in Filipino the ups and downs that families face, with cartoons done by artist Lito Yonzon.

For now, Love Life is available at Totus Bookstore (2nd flr. of the Red Ribbon Bldg., Connecticut St., Greenhills) and at the Pro-Life office in Quezon City. But we're negotiating with other bookstores to carry our magazine so readers can get hold of copies more easily.
Please feel free to call 911-2911 or email for subscriptions, advertising or other information!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Remembering the womb residents

I just realized I've been posting about pro-life initiatives of the youth more often recently. What can I say? They're exciting -- not your run-of-the-mill events, so they give the pro-life movement a nice "kick"!

October is the time for such events. First, there's the Pro-Life Memorial Day, which is only on its second year. It happens every first Monday of October since this marks the US Supreme Court's first day in session. Roe vs. Wade, after all, was a landmark decision arrived at there, which changed not just the fate of women but also of countless preborn babies in that country since 1973.

Here's something about Pro-Life Memorial Day from --

Remembering the 47 million babies lost to abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C. — "Pro-lifers across the country are preparing to pay their respects to the estimated 47 million babies lost through surgical abortion by participating in American Life League's Pro-life Memorial Day on October 2," said Erik Whittington, director of youth outreach for American Life League. "The innocent children who have fallen victim to this American tragedy have no voice of their own. It is our job to speak up for the babies."

Read the rest at ProLifeBlogs

Photos from the 2005 Pro-Life Memorial Day at Rock for Life

* * * * * * * * *

On Oct. 24 will be the Students Day of Silent Solidarity, now on its third year. Last year had students in some 1,200 campuses across the US taking part in the event. Check out a previous post about it.

Banner power

This is just a sample. More banners and buddy icons at Rock for Life

(Hey, this one looks good with my header...)

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Two friends, Susan and Florence, went on a trip to Peru and discovered entire villages of expert knitters who have kept the tradition alive all these years. They decided to create their own line of knitted products for kids, starting with sweaters and hats, "often with a finger puppet peeping out of a pocket." Thus began something they named Blabla...

** Do check out the "about blabla" page -- cute photos (including those of the Peruvian knitters at work) and interesting bios are in there.

A bitter pill to swallow in Latin America

Early this month, Chile's health minister announced the government's plan to distribute the morning-after pill to women for free, even to those as young as 14 years. Well, there have been developments since then.

After the announcement, the country's Youth for Life Association organized a march to demonstrate their protest against the move.

Even parents expressed their rejection of the Chilean government's decision, with the National Catholic School Parents' Union stating that it is "unacceptable that, while parents strive to provide a sexual education that forms men and women who maturely live responsible fatherhood and motherhood in the context of marriage open to new life, the government takes the abusive and unilateral decision to distribute the pill to girls in order to avoid pregnancy by taking the easy way out."

Now, lawsuits have been filed, and the result is the government's putting a hold on the distribution of the morning-after pill to women from 14 to 18 years of age.

Let's see what happens next...

In the meantime, a court ruling in Peru has recognized the anti-implantation effect of the morning-after pill.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Washing dirt and grime for a cause

It's today! Go and get your dirty cars cleaned up!

Wash for Life

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Taking a closer look at a Pandora's box

“At the risk of being repetitious, I would remind the group that we have found the highest frequency of induced abortion in the group which, in general, most frequently uses contraceptives.”

-- Dr. A. Kinsey, 1995 Planned Parenthood Federation of
America (PPFA) Conference

What: Contraception Is Not The Answer National Conference

When: Sept. 22-23, 2006

Where: Rosemont, Illinois, USA

Who: Eight speakers/Organized by the Pro-Life Action League

Details are here

They've become like m&m's

The way abortifacient pills have been marketed and made easily available in other countries (and even to minors at that), you'd think they were the same as candy.

Chile Distributes Morning After Pill for Free, Catholic Church Opposed
by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 6
, 2006

Santiago, Chile ( -- The Catholic Church in Chile is criticizing a new governmental move to give away morning after pills at no cost to any women over the age of 14. The government of the South American nation announced the program over the weekend and it follows a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell Plan B over the counter.

Full story at

* * * * * * * * * *

‘Morning After' Hangover? 9/8/2006

The law of unintended consequences?

We don't suppose it occurred to the FDA, which has no enforcement powers, that an 18-year-old might buy the pills, also known as Plan B, and pass them on to younger girls? Any adult male over 18 could walk into a pharmacy, buy the drug, coax a girl into having sex and then taking the pill, telling her that everything will be OK.

Full story at Concerned Women for America

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rebels with causes

Modesty Zone has a section that features a Rebel of the Month. Stereotypical rebels these are not, but they are counter-cultural in one way or another. "Our rebels make James Dean look like a chipmunk," says the site. Frankly, it's a delight to read about these rebels and what they're doing. Debbie Tenzer is one of them, whose story is excerpted below. Her background is in advertising and marketing, and among her most popular clients were Columbia Pictures and the Walt Disney Company. Monday mornings also find her on a radio show. How she got to start is in her story. Excerpt:

Debbie didn't know how to end world hunger, but she realized that she could donate some canned food. She couldn't do much about poor schools, but she could send them her kids' old books. LA traffic is always pretty bad, but Debbie saw that she could try to drive more considerately and give a little 'thank you' wave when someone let her into their lane. "I saw opportunities to help all around me."

That's when Debbie committed to doing one nice thing each week. She chose Monday as her "Nice Thing" day because "that's the day that we need help the most."

Each week shines the spotlight on one exceptionally kind individual, and invites visitors to submit their own "nice thing" ideas. These are then posted, along with the names and photos of kind people who are nominated.

So far DoOneNiceThing members have:

  • Donated hundreds of free mammograms for women who can't afford them.

  • Cheered nursing home residents with hand-made drawings.

  • Given backpacks to foster children who now have something to carry their
    clothes in as they move from home to home.

  • Sent numerous supportive emails to American soldiers.

  • Donated hundreds of books to libraries, children's hospitals and schools,
    including to schools affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Read about Debbie here. Check out other rebels like Sarah Pevey and a band called Barlowgirl.

To go against the grain

In a time of universal deceit,
telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

- George Orwell

Monday, September 11, 2006

Taking things in stride Down there

The blogroll at Generations for Life has a new addition to it from time to time. Though I've spotted the Life Training Institute blog on it before, I checked it out only recently. Here's something interesting that I read --

Yesterday, my wife and I saw a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine for a 4D ultrasound on the little one we expect to meet in January. Everything has been progressing as expected, but my wife's ob-gyn wanted a better look at the child and the placenta after 3 previous C-sections.

The doc is a very pro-life individual with an amazing story. His family is raising (or have raised) 12 children. Most of his children are perfectly healthy (he has a son in med school and spoke with me about his desire to do future cleft surgery), and he has adopted a few children with significant developmental challenges. He also has a a biological daughter that I believe doesn't fall into either category. She has Down Syndrome.

Having a physician who has raised a daughter with Down Syndrome talk about possible chromosomal syndromes was very interesting. He gave neither an overly bleak or overly rosy picture of raising a child with Down's. I'm already quite aware of the physical issues with Down's kids, he spoke a lot about the incredible loving attitude that his daughter has. He believes that despite the challenges she has faced, she experiences joy in a way that he can not approach.

Read the rest at the LTI blog

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Strike a pose, there's nothing to it

Finally, some news from the Netherlands that's not about euthanasia, teen suicide, the pedophilia political party or any of that stuff!

Hey, that statue moved!

Do you think you could stand without moving for more than 20 minutes? This living statue can, but it's not as easy as it looks.

Did that statue over there just scratch its nose? No, it couldn't have. It's a statue. Wait. It just waved. Yes, it definitely waved. Have I been out in the sun too long?

No, I'm not seeing a mirage or other heat-induced illusion. I'm witnessing the art form known as a living statue.

Artists who perform as living statues dress in flowing clothes, paint their faces and upper bodies with light face paint, and strike a pose in public gardens, parks, and on street corners.

Living statues aim to impersonate stoic, chiseled statues. But it takes just a moment for them to spring to life and engage those around them with silent gestures.

Full story at The Christian Science Monitor

The merits of speaking up

Just in case you still doubt what vigilance and active lobbying can do to effect positive change, check this out (I must admit, though, that I didn't expect this turn of events at all...) --

Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoes pro-homosexual curriculum bill;
two others pending

City: Sacramento, CA
Following public outcry over legislative attempts to push pro-homosexual
curricula in the public schools, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
announced today that he has vetoed SB 1437.

As passed by the California legislature, SB 1437, authored by lesbian
State Sen. Sheila Kuehl, required that no instruction in schools “reflect
adversely” on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons,
likely prohibiting support for traditional marriage and families, or even
the concept of a mom and dad, in the classroom. Today, the Governor
vetoed SB 1437, stating, “I am vetoing Senate Bill 1437 because this bill
attempts to offer vague protection when current law already provides
clear protection against discrimination in our schools based on sexual
orientation.” The Governor’s office encountered an avalanche of
opposition from parents and citizens concerned about the heavy-handed
effort to mandate acceptance of homosexual behavior, to the point that
they are reportedly adding fourteen new phone lines to handle such calls.

Full story at Pacific Justice Institute

Left for dead?

Here are two separate stories concerning end-of-life issues. The first is dated Aug. 8 and I haven't come across any updates, so I'm not sure how Mr. Burke is doing.

Patient loses "right-to-food" case

LONDON (Reuters) - A terminally-ill patient has lost the last stage of a legal challenge for the right to receive nutrition and drink when he is close to death, his lawyers said on Tuesday.

Leslie Burke, 46, who has a degenerative brain condition, fears artificial nutrition could be stopped against his wishes when he cannot talk anymore.

Burke was seeking to overturn a ruling made by the Court of Appeal in London last year, which said it would be lawful for doctors to refuse him artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH).

Full story at

“Vegetative” patient shows conscious awareness
Confirmed beyond any doubt she was consciously aware of herself and her surroundings

by Hilary White

CAMBRIDGE, September 8, 2006 ( – More and more, ethicists and doctors are questioning the diagnosis of “persistent vegetative state,” and new research is opening the discussion. Researchers working at Cambridge University in England reported in a study published in the journal Science that a woman who was described as being in a “vegetative state” is showing signs of conscious awareness while remaining in the comatose condition.

The study, led by Dr. Adrian Owen at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge, compared neurological responses to verbal stimuli in the comatose patient with those of conscious volunteers. It showed that the patient’s brain responded to commands in the same brain centres and in the same way normally associated with consciousness such as language and planning regions.

Full story at LifeSite

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Moms (and Dads) to the rescue

Thank God for parents like these, hope is more apparent!

One of last week's posts featured some material about the sexualizing of children which a lot of marketing people are unabashedly carrying out. It's like it has become their mission in life based on the way 8- and 10-year-old girls (not just teenagers now) are appearing in ads, made up and dressed to look like streetwalkers. And some real-life girls are actually aping this sort of stuff. Where are their parents??

But we do what we can. Moms and Dads for Modesty (I read somewhere about Dads, too, voicing out their concern about the situation involving their little girls) is one great initiative by Everyday Mommy.

Moms for Modesty Mission Statement

As a Mom for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.

I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.

I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter(s) to dress in an immodest manner.

I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter(s) this truth.

I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls' and young women’s clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.

Drop by Everyday Mommy and sign up. Or read up. But don't pass up.

Then check out this related post at Mommy Life -- talk about food for thought!

* Thanks to Mommy Life for bringing this to our attention.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dad saves newborn after unexpected home birth

There are a few lessons to learn here, including tips on what to do with the baby in case you're ever caught in a similar situation. Excerpts from the news report:

PORTLAND, Ore. - Acting on the instructions of a 911 operator, Boe Ellis breathed life into his newborn daughter as paramedics raced to the house where the baby arrived sooner than her parents or doctors expected.

"I would give Dad all the credit in the world," said Bob Pulford, one of the paramedics.

In a matter of minutes, the baby was born. But instead of warming to a healthy pink, she was pale and struggling for air.

As paramedics raced to the Ellis home, Boe, 29, followed instructions from 911 operator Tammy Shaver. He cleared his daughter's breathing passage, blew two puffs of air into her mouth and gently pressed on her chest to stimulate her heart.

Finally, Boe tapped on his daughter's feet, and Bridget took her first light breaths as Pulford and fellow paramedics Val Codino and Tighe Vroman arrived.

Full story at MSNBC

'Bag of lettuce'

Frankly, I'm at a loss for words. Due to my constant exposure to doctors who carry out the demands of their vocation as compassionate and competent caregivers, the image of physicians that I have is much more positive than what somebody like this Dr. Linda conjures.

"Terri Schiavo had the cognition of a bag of lettuce. We've had many cases like hers since, but we're smarter now. We'll never let the religious fright know. The psychochristians, like you, have no place in the medical field. Neither do ignoramuses like the Schindlers."

It's hard to imagine that a physician would speak this way about others. Here's a response:

I read the letter from Dr. Linda regarding Terri Schiavo with horrified fascination. I should not be surprised by her statements. I should be used to such arrogant expressions from members of the medical community.

All who read Dr. Linda's letter are hereby placed on notice that there is definite moral rot in the medical community. A physician who compares a disabled individual's brain to a "bag of lettuce" is capable of all manner of transgressions against human life and dignity. There are many profoundly retarded individuals that, I hazard to guess, Dr. Linda would compare to "a bag of lettuce" or a "turnip" or various other kinds of vegetables. She may attempt to draw distinctions between Terri and other cognitively disabled individuals – but she has no moral foundation for doing so.

Once individuals are "sorted out" by cognitive abilities, there is no stopping it.

Read the whole thing at WorldNetDaily

Friday, September 01, 2006

Snuffing out childhood even before it begins

These pictures look mighty strange; the articles they accompany are even more so (though quite informative).
Really, what are people doing to our children? Is this some perverse form of revenge on the next generation by some world-dominating network, to get back at today's kids for their (the adults) miserable childhood days?

About sexually provocative baby dolls dressed in leather and lingerie being marketed to girls as young as three:

From the Herald-Sun (Australia):
Outrage over sexy baby dolls
Jane Metlikovec
August 31, 2006 12:00am 

Childhood experts have slammed the latest range of Bratz Babyz, claiming they are tantamount to child pornography.
But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it was powerless to strip the dolls from shelves.
"We have mandatory product safety standards . . . but there is no arbiter for bad taste," a spokeswoman said.
The Australian Childhood Foundation and the Australian Family Association have warned parents not to buy the "Sugar and Spice" twins Phoebe and Roxxi, which sell for $40 in department stores.
Phoebe "Sugar" is dressed in a fluffy pink jacket with pink and black underwear, while Roxxi "Spice" has an open fake leather jacket and skimpy red and black lingerie. Both dolls have baby milk bottles hanging off chains strapped to their legs.

The packaging carries a choking hazard warning, and says the dolls are unsuitable for children under three because of their small parts.
The AFA calls the dolls immoral.
"The portrayal of children in sexual poses is prohibited, and these dolls border on that," AFA state vice president Angela Conway said.
"We are appalled by the lack of corporate responsibility displayed here. These sexualised images of children are disgusting."
Distributor Funtastic said they had received no customer complaints about the dolls, and Bratz Australian sales are likely to reach one million this year

"The styling of Bratz is very edgy, but nothing is meant to be real," a spokeswoman said. "These dolls are clearly cartoon depictions."

* * * * * * * * * *

Buying into Sexy: The sexing up of tweens
Broadcast: January 9, 2005

When you were nine, what did you want? A Barbie doll? A train set?

These days, young boys and girls are hungry for something else: padded bras and flirting tips, video games with bikini-clad babes and music videos that feature plenty of sexual innuendo.

Sex has always sold, but now it’s children that are buying. Tweens, kids aged eight to 14, are a hot target for companies. And now more than ever, sex is being used to get their dollars.

Tweens are being bombarded with sexy images by the makers of clothes, toys, video games, music videos -- all aimed at getting this freshly- coveted demographic to buy, buy and buy some more.

To get a sense of their world, we spend a day with 12-year-old Amanda.
Amanda Amanda, 12, says 'You get more attention' when you wear sexy clothes.

“Tweens, we don’t want to be kids anymore,” she says. “But I guess we also don’t want to have all this responsibility, we just want to have fun.”

We decide to tally up how many sexed-up images Amanda sees in an average day. We wake her up at her mom’s house at 7:00 to start our count. Her bedroom is bright pink, from the walls to the bedspread. Plastic stars dangle from the ceiling.

“I think that whole glittery thing is still a little bit of the child in her,” says Amanda’s mom, Alma. “She’s still got a bit of that, but now … it’s more of a sexy look.

"I think it’s just the influence of pop stars. I don’t think it’s that she wants to look sexy. Not for boys. I don't think she's even noticed boys yet.

* * * * * * * * * *

May I just say that my toys (dolls especially) looked nothing like the hideous playthings of today and did not in any way "force" me to grow up and be an adult before I was prepared to cross over to adulthood.


This is how I've been the past couple of weeks --

-- which is why blogging has taken a backseat for now.

All I want to do by the end of each day is this --

When I feel this way again --

-- I'll be back in full swing.
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