Saturday, May 31, 2008


Despite our kids having to face a challenging future born by certain factors -- (the ill effects of global warming, dwindling food supply) our men of science continue to explore innovative ideas that may someday yield great benefits. Take the following, for example:

Andrew Schwarz, a neurological engineer at the University of Pittsburgh, has led the new research that enabled two monkeys to feed themselves successfully with a robotic arm wired directly into their brains. This may not bode well for people who are against animal testing, but this research paves the way for someday freeing paraplegics from their wheelchairs or giving amputees their limbs back.

Most people who become paralyzed or lose limbs retain the mental dexterity to perform physical actions. And by tapping into the motor cortex region of the brain which is responsible for movement, researchers can decode a person's intentions and translate them into action with a prosthetic.

This had been done mostly with monkeys and in virtual worlds or with simple movements, such as reaching out a hand. But two years ago, an American team hacked into the brain of a patient with no control over his arms to direct a computer cursor and a simple robotic arm.

Schwarz's team at the University of Pittsburgh, on the other hand, have successfully extracted even more complicated information from the brains of two monkeys by reading the electrical pulses of about 100 brain cells. Normally, millions of neurons fire when we lift an arm or grab a snack, but the signals from a handful of cells are enough to capture the basics, Schwarz says.

His monkeys were able to control a robotic arm that moved at the shoulder and elbow and could clench and open its hand.

To train the monkeys, the researchers first recorded their brain activity as they controlled the robotic arm with a joystick. Once the monkeys had learned to feed themselves in this way, Schwarz's team secured their arms and made them rely on controlling the robot with their brain.

To avoid frustrating the animals during their first attempts, the researchers partially guided the robot themselves. Gradually, these training aids were dispensed with, and after three weeks the monkeys had mastered the robotic arm.

Read complete article here and see the video report here.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 10:27 AM | 4 comments

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Here's one news story worth lauding: a rookie policeman in Manila single-handedly fought off a gang of five armed jeepney robbers.

While on foot patrol the other night, Officer 2 Dionisio Dimazana noticed a group of five men get off a Divisoria-bound passenger jeepney at the corner of C.M. Recto and Camba street as the passengers shouted for help. He chased the fleeing suspects. One of them fired a shot at him but missed. Dimazana returned fire, hitting the shooter. When he next aimed his gun at one of the other suspects, the man surrendered without a fight, while the three others managed to escape.

The wounded suspect was rushed by responding policemen to the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center but he died shiortly while undergoing treatment. He was identified as an alleged Batang City Jail gang member, Raymond Jarabo, aged 25. A pen gun was recovered from his possession by the police. A paper bag containing the suspects’ loot – a cellular phone, a jacket and P400 – was also recovered.

A fan knife was recovered from the arrested suspect, also alleged to be a member of the Batang City Jail gang. He was identified as Joel Catala, 25. He gave the names of their companions during interrogation which led to a manhunt for their capture.

While acknowledging complaints of rampant robberies along C.M. Recto Avenue in Binondo, Meisic police station chief Superintendent Nelson Yabut cited the Dimazana's actions as having neutralized the operations of a notorious robbery gang in the area, praising the rookie's prompt response to the crime.

Incidentally, a number of Manila commuters have reported that some jeepney robbery gangs operate during a heavy downpour, assured by the prospects of detection and capture by the police would be nil under such condition.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 12:54 PM | 34 comments

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


With the government's plan to broadcast satellite-based education to children in the rural and remote areas of the Philippines having been cancelled (see timeline of ZTE-NBN deal), newly-appointed Armed Forces chief Gen Alexander Yano has received a directive from President Arroyo to send soldiers to teach.

The president argues that many members of the military forces are college graduates; thus, qualified to bring education to children in the country's remote villages. In essence, our soldiers will now be tasked to protect our children's mind as well.

According to a nephew who was once with the Philippine Air Force, local employment opportunities have been so bleak for many recent college graduates that they have started opting for a career in the military. He was one of them.

And with such influx, recruitment officials have raised the bar; favoring those with college diplomas over mere high school graduates. I met some of my nephew's military colleagues; they all seemed to be fine young people who are capable of teaching our children.

Nonetheless, however wonderful this soldier-teacher program appears to be, I couldn't help but be concerned for their safety as they are sent to far-flung communities.

* * *

Related links:

"Titser" by Conrado de Quiros

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 8:51 AM | 16 comments

Monday, May 26, 2008


The photo above was originally published in the Omaha World-Herald in May, 1900 with a letter by a U.S. soldier, A.F. Miller, of the 32nd Volunteer Infantry Regiment. It told of how Miller's unit would subject captured Filipino insurgents to what the U.S. forces called the "water cure" in order to uncover information from their prisoners.

“Now, this is the way we give them the water cure,” Miller explained. “Lay them on their backs, a man standing on each hand and each foot, then put a round stick in the mouth and pour a pail of water in the mouth and nose, and if they don’t give up pour in another pail. They swell up like toads. I’ll tell you it is a terrible torture.”

During the first year of the Filipino-American war, eyewitness accounts of atrocities committed by U.S. forces — the senseless torching of villages, unmerciful killing of prisoners — began to appear in American newspapers. Although the U.S. military tried to censor outgoing cables quite successfully, stories crossed the Pacific through the mail, which wasn’t censored.

American soldiers, in their letters home, wrote about "extreme violence against Filipinos, alongside complaints about the weather, the food, and their officers." Some of these letters were published in home-town newspapers.

Many Americans were indeed puzzled by the news that U.S. soldiers were viciously torturing Filipinos with water, considering that the United States -- since emerging as a global superpower -- has always been a staunch proponent of liberation, rescue, and freedom.

More than a hundred years later, many Americans were just as puzzled by the news that U.S. soldiers were subjecting Iraqi insurgents and terror suspects to "borderline torture" tactics at Abu Ghraib prisons.

The "water cure," however, is no longer the preferred method. It has been replaced with snarling dogs, short shackles, and mocking of the Quran. Some were subjected to extreme humiliation by being forced to "perform dog tricks," "be nude in front of a female," wear "women's underwear on their heads," and kept awake for continuous 20-hour daily interrogations.

Interestingly, in both the Philippines and Iraq, the U.S. soldiers themselves -- with photos taken by their own cameras and letters sent home -- created the clearest evidence of atrocity against their captives.

* * * *

It should be noted that American and allied forces were also subjected to brutal tortures and extreme heinous conditions such as by their Japanese captors during the Second World War and by the Vietcong during the Vietnam conflict.

Related links:

Debating torture and counterinsurgency—a century ago by Paul Kramer - The New Yorker

Report: CIA Pushed Torture Envelope - CBS News

Featured Book: "Sitting In Darkness"

When Tears Fall

Photo courtesy of The New Yorker

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 1:51 AM | 18 comments

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Everyone has a story, they say. And these short stories I had written were mostly inspired by those shared with me by the many people I met since moving back to Manila.

It was an ideal match, for the most part. I was an avid listener and our local folks -- both young and old alike -- were wonderful storytellers. Some were quite animated at it which made learning about our local culture an even more engrossing feat.

It was virtually impossible, however, to determine the veracity of their stories; hence, the best way to pass them on, I thought, was to recreate them into works of pure fiction. Be that as it may, should there be similarities between any of my characters and actual persons that you may know -- living or dead -- rest assured, they are nothing more than coincidental.

All told, I had posted 29 short stories of fiction during a six-month period -- from September 30, 2005 to March 22, 2006. It was the first six months of my blogging efforts as Señor Enrique.

There should have been a 30th to this list. It was to be much longer than any I had written. However, while in the midst of it, I yielded to a growing interest to delve more into current affairs, as well as in certain historical facets of Manila. And soon thereafter, my interest in photography was rekindled. In the interim, the 30th piece was neglected; remaining on the back burner to this day.

I may get back to it one of these days but for now, thought I'd first organize and make a list of everything I had posted so far.

So, here they are:

posted: 9/30/05

It has been a daily ritual inside the family compound in Sampaloc -- Conchita asking the rambunctious children to stop playing out in the yard, and for the household help to refrain from any more sweeping of it until the next morning. This would be followed by a reminder for everyone to restrict all other activities inside the house.

It was once again twilight time -- the period when the "other friends," as Conchita fondly referred to them, would claim the ground for their own use and enjoyment.

posted: 10/04/05

Even at a young age, Maximo had mastered a lesson that both friends and rivals in school seemed unable to absorb: that the three most important features in a young man’s appearance are style, style and style.

And so with an allowance far more substantial than most kids his age, he frequented SM Manila and Robinson’s Malate to hunt for the latest pair of K-Swiss or Lee Pipe jeans. As for the other trendy outfits, electronic gadgets, or PC games, all he had to do was log on to or, place his orders, enter the number of his supplemental credit card, and have the items shipped to his father’s address in Seattle, Washington. His father would then bring those items home with him when he comes back for a brief visit every six months.

posted: 10/10/05

Funny thing, friendship. You spend a lifetime nourishing it but with only a single misunderstanding or misdeed, it can suddenly cease to exist. And only in very rare occasions could an altruistic act of forgiveness resurrect it.

Jepoy and Jekwah are best of friends; more like symbiotic twins, for one couldn’t seem to exist or be seen without the other. Those are not their real names received at birth, but nicknames, or more appropriately, terms of endearment given by one to another.

posted: 10/13/05

Although Layla has all the accoutrements of a grand dame, she is tired of the senseless shopping sprees, lavish dinner parties, and exhausting travels to outlandish places. She is tired of getting all dressed up but without any important place to go. Worst of all, she is tired of being alone.

As she has learned to accept her husband’s infidelity, she has also learned to wallow in similar wicked behavior. It doesn’t really matter whether her husband, Charlie, knows about it or not. At first she did it to spite him but now it’s to recapture pieces of her lost youth.

posted: 10/15/05

Walter could only grunt his consent when out of the blue, Ate Osang hastily flew home to the Philippines after receiving a letter from a cousin. She was rather vague about her reasons but Walter knew better than to press her for details. The more definite he wanted her to be, the more convoluted she would get. She assured him it would only be for two or three weeks the most. That was almost two months ago.

Married for almost 25 years, this was the only time they were away from one another. Had it not been for the Yankee playoff tickets he received as birthday gift, he would have gone with her. But then again it was Ate Osang who gave him the tickets. "Were these tickets part of some shady scheme," he asked himself paranoid.

posted: 10/18/05

The idea was not to tell a single soul. Neither Papa nor Mama should ever suspect that something was terribly wrong. They were both thousands of miles away from home, living in a foreign country; working hard to provide a comfortable life and a brighter future for everyone. And so as not to upset them, everyone at home must pretend everything was all right as always in Manila.

Right after promising she wouldn’t tell anyone, little Bechay decided to take a nap to sleep off her headache.

posted: 10/20/05

The middle-age doctor was telling his young patient how different it was in Manila when he was his age. With the influence of the church at its height and the pervasive sexual mores averse to change, people were imbued with feelings of guilt, inhibition and restricted beliefs about what normal sexual thoughts and behaviors were.

Many were not allowed to express themselves in sexually healthy ways; a rare sight it was for unmarried couples to hold hands in public, let alone display a more intimate act such as kissing or hugging. It was an era of repressed sexuality that even single girls who went beyond kissing with their boyfriends were instantly regarded a puta, the doctor claimed.

posted: 10/21/05

It has been an arduous morning for Teresa -- fielding David’s redundant questionings, as well as vehemently denying false accusations of her seeing another man behind his back.

She realized the only way she could ignore his belligerence was to get up and leave his house. She came over to give them some chicken salad she made the night before; instead of gratitude, she got another one of his outbursts incited by deep-seated insecurity.

posted: 10/22/05

Divisoria, at 3 o’clock in the morning, would be abuzz with its usual hustle and bustle; wholesale dealers negotiating the day’s selling prices with regular customers, some of whom are public market stall merchants and pushcart vendors.

There would be loads of fresh vegetables and fruits off the trucks from Batangas and Tagaytay farms, as well as produce from the merchant ships docked at the nearby piers, which sailed from China, Taiwan and other Philippine islands.

posted: 10/24/05

An old proverb claims poverty is a mental disease; a state of mind. And that a man must first experience prosperity in his consciousness before it can manifest into his world. If correct, then Isabel of Pasay City would be the ideal walking testament to this truth.

Shunned by neighbors for being enthralled by other people’s good fortune, Isabel would incessantly talk about this or that who suddenly got these and those; people who experience good fortune unexpectedly.

posted: 10/26/05

According to empirical wisdom, adolescence, like measles, ought to be experienced once and for all while young, for a recurrence in middle-age may produce serious consequences.

Such was the case with Manong Odi. At age 50, he found himself with too much time on – but nothing to do with – his hands.

Daunted by the grim prospect of having to assimilate into a new corporate culture, as well as having to answer to younger superiors, he opted for early retirement when the bank where he was working at for many years as a senior commercial mortgage executive was bought by another but much larger bank.

posted: 10/28/05

Anita was exasperated. Nothing was good enough for Helen, her sister-in-law who was vacationing from New York and staying at their house. This balikbayan was definitely getting on her nerves with her wry comments about everything Filipino. Helen would deliver them succinctly, with a menacing smile, and in English, too. Anita thought, only five years of living in the States and this woman has already forgotten her Tagalog.

From the sweet-tasting spaghetti sauce to the vivid palette of her home interior, Helen was unstoppable when it came to dispensing unsolicited critiques of Anita’s housekeeping skills. With a slightly toned down sarcasm, Anita would then apologize for not having yet attained Martha Stewart’s level of mind-boggling ingenuity.

posted: 10/31/05

Judy works at a law firm on Eighth Avenue and 52nd Street as a filing clerk while her husband, Benjie, is a car mechanic at 10th Avenue and 57th Street; both are in Manhattan. After work, they will meet at their son’s office at 23rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. From there, the three will head home to Brooklyn Heights, a quaint neighborhood on the edge of Brooklyn that overlooks downtown Manhattan.

They have been living as permanent residents in America during the past six years but it was only a year or so ago when they began enjoying life.

posted: 11/2/05

Fourth of nine children, Nenita was forced to leave home and venture to Manila to find a job and help her poverty-entrenched family. She was miserably homesick, longing to go back home, but had no choice in the matter.

Her father, only in his forties, was a strong man but too afflicted with a passion for brandy and cockfights. He would waste his money earned from the harvest on foolish vices instead of providing for his family.

Her mother, a 'modern-day Sisa,' would often plow the fields herself whenever her husband was too hung over from the previous night’s carousing, which was almost always the case.

posted: 11/05/05

It was a means to escape an impoverished life. To provide a better future for her son, Tomas, whose father turned out to be a married man with four children. She was young and gullible then; desperately believing Mario’s drunken words of a blissful eternal love. But as soon as she uttered the word pregnant, Mario flew out of their love nest like a bat out of hell.

Nine years later came Mr. Stanley, a retired dockworker from Baltimore, Maryland. The two benefit checks he receives regularly, one from social security and the other from his Teamster pension fund, amount to almost a quarter of a million pesos a month. When he proposed marriage, Feliza, with just a hint of pretentious reluctance, said yes.

posted: 11/07/05

It was always a much anticipated event; far more exciting than Christmas, in fact — Uncle Jerry’s annual homecoming from his job abroad. There'd be lots of presents and chocolates, as well as trips to the mall for lunch and then shopping for toys for all the kids.

This time was no different. Almost every night there were unexpected friends dropping by to say hello, and as always, Auntie Myrna would quickly prepare something for the guys to nibble on to go along with their San Miguel beer, Emperador brandy and never-ending conversations.

posted: 11/10/05

Depending upon one’s perception, it’s either exhilarating or frightening how swiftly time seems to move. Conrado remembers as if only yesterday when he and his wife bought Boyet school supplies for his kindergarten class. And now, as if suddenly, his only son is entering his third year of high school at the end of the summer.

Nowadays, he worries that Boyet, who is autistic, might get lost in transition into adulthood without the capacity for adequately understanding the rigors involved in relationships. Will Boyet who is now getting more curious about girls eventually find someone to love who will love him back?

posted: 11/11/05

It was a brutal beating. Dennis suffered a broken jaw, a broken arm, a hideous black eye, and bruises on his arms and back. It was a beating fueled by pure hatred; mercilessly executed by someone bigger and stronger. It was his older brother, Junior.

Their mother was hysterical. She was shocked to see his older son letting loose on his little brother as if he were a rabid animal that had to be killed. The sound of the older boy’s fist pounding on the young boy’s chest and back reverberated into her heart; stifling her breath until she passed out.

posted: 11/17/05

If Pilosopong Tasyo was of this day and age, he would point out with utmost cynicism what gambling chips and credit cards have in common – plastic. And that plastic actually obscures the true value of money. Therefore, one tends to gamble or spend more with a piece of plastic than with actual cash as in Suzette’s story.

On the day she received her credit card, she took her boyfriend out to dinner after work at Friday’s in Robinson’s Malate. It was to celebrate her entry to the world of privileged adulthood: a major bank has entrusted her with a credit line twice the amount of her monthly gross salary.

posted: 11/26/05

Manang Seta is able to do remarkable feats in her dreams—she can be the prima ballerina of the national ballet, overcome her fear of snakes, sail solo to distant seas on her high-tech yatch, or become a sultry jazz singer in New York’s Carlyle Hotel with Bobby Short on the piano. And through it all she never once doubted her abilities to become any of those things.

However, in her waking state, Manang Seta is a fearful, doubtful woman. Even the simplest of choices would make her eternally indecisive. Her basic arithmetic skills would escape her; she’d leave the market always feeling short-changed. Her sense of direction would get hazy; driving to and from nearby destinations has become a daunting task.

BY ALING MEDING (Part 2 of 2)
posted: 11/26/05

I left my husband, mind you; she, on the other hand, was abandoned by her husband. The fool ran off with his secretary. Not only that, her daughters decided to live with their father, not with her. That should tell you enough about Manang Seta!

So, what is so wrong about my expecting her to help me out? She has money; I don’t. Yes, I admit if it wasn’t for her and our brother, Edward, none of my children would have gone on to college. I thank them very much, but hey, I have six grandchildren now and you know how fast time flies. Before you know it, they’ll be getting ready for college as well.

posted: 12/5/05

Aling Rosalinda was down in the basement folding the clothes from this morning’s wash. From where she was, she could hear her son, Willy, and his wife, Ishang, upstairs—still at each other’s throat. Arguments between husband and wife have been happening more frequently since Willy’s unemployment benefits had run out and the cash from his severance package began to dwindle.

With their older son attending college in Ohio and the youngest a senior in high school and a member of the hockey team (the most expensive sport in terms of equipment) the boys’ school expenditures are eating up the family’s cash reserve at an alarming rate. They have staggering loan payments that must be duly attended to, plus the monthly utility bills. The couple is at their wit’s end; constantly scrambling which obligation to prioritize.

posted: 12/12/05

As they say, one’s anger can breathe life to a not so innocuous murmuring, and with the help of others with similar sentiments, turn it into a full-blown gossip. Regrettably, whosoever is the target of such rumor is doomed with a double whammy: correcting the wrong said and in so doing accuse the culprits of outright lying.

For a man well-known as reserved, though affable, the last thing Tito Romy would want to do is to publicly engage in a verbal battle against these women — the self-proclaimed social historians of the neighborhood. Besides, there is some truth in what they’re talking about -- that he has been enjoying a sort of afternoon trysts with the local beautician, while his wife, Tita Nely, was abroad.

posted: 1/21/06

Everyone was at a loss for words when told what happened to William. He’s a friendly and soft-spoken guy not prone to macho posturing or senseless violence. Most see him as too timid and docile to provoke or engage in any caustic arguments

He remains in critical condition; one bullet remained lodged inside his chest. The other two — one on his left shoulder and the other on his left bicep — were already removed earlier. The remaining bullet requires a more invasive surgical procedure, and at his present condition, William may not survive such operation. They have to wait.

posted: 1/26/05

Meet Paraluman Peralta of Dasmarinas Village, Makati City; age 24.

Well, not exactly her real name and locale. Neither is it her true age. She’s more commonly known as Puring who lives in Moriones in Tondo, Manila. She celebrated her 48th birthday last month.

She’s a grifter, and quite good at it. She preys upon unsuspecting men and swindles them not of money, but of their time and attention. Her base of operation: the Internet shop at the corner of J. Abad Santos Avenue and Batangas Street. Her mode of ensnaring: her blogsite at

posted: 2/16/06

Omar has been sitting for quite some time now on the bench by the videoke machine at SM Manila’s third floor. There's a young man singing a number of original Pilipino music or OPM tunes as they’re commonly referred to. Omar wasn’t so much captivated by his renditions, but simply lost in thought. He is thinking how life can be as deceiving as some of these popular pop tunes. The beat is infectiously bouncy but the lyrics of the song itself, if one only cares to pay a bit more attention, usually speak of depressing heartbreaks.

His thoughts then turned to his upcoming high school reunion. He always enjoyed these festive opportunities -- to mingle with old friends and trade personal updates. One of which was Roger who used to talk endlessly about his handgun collection; the other was Willy, although a resident of Los Angeles, would make it a point to come home every year to attend this get-together. Unfortunately, Roger and Willy won't be attending this year.

posted: 3/02/06

As the plane taxied onto the runway, Carol gazed at the horizon whose orange hue indicated the sun about to rise. Not too many passengers were on this early morning Narita-bound flight, but the connecting flight from Narita to Kennedy would be a full one as is usually the case, she thought.

As the high-pitched sound of the whirling engines intensified, the plane began to gain the necessary speed for a lift off. So as to assuage her pre-flight jitters, Carol thumbed through her copy of Umberto Eco’s The Rule of Four; desperately trying to find the last page she was reading. She had absent-mindedly used her boarding pass as a bookmark; however, when she pulled it out to present to the gate attendants, she lost her place in the book. What she found instead, stuck in the middle pages, was what she has been using originally as a bookmark — a 3 X 5 photograph of her 92-year-old mother and herself taken underneath the mango tree in their backyard a week ago. And then suddenly, that recurring despicable thought once again flashed into her mind — when will she die?

posted: 3/13/06

The relationship between Leo and his son has been increasingly turbulent, especially since Junior recently dropped out of high school with only less than three months left on the school calendar.

This incident convinced Leo that his son was indeed a congenital idiot for having done it. He wasn't about to blame hormonal imbalance as the root cause of Junior's troubles because he had already passed puberty. Leo reached for a cigarette as if he could smoke away his troubles with his only son and namesake.

posted: 3/22/06

They had a good plan then: Linda would be the first to go and get settled in New York, while her husband David would stay behind to mind the children as they continued their schooling in Manila.

However, misfortune struck when only six months after Cindy had gone, the oldest of their three children, Tina, became pregnant; she and her boyfriend were only 17 at that time. Tina was supposed to earn a degree in Physical Therapy and then go to New York immediately afterwards, but her emotions precluded her better judgment; succumbing to the boyfriend’s carnal desires and now she’s pregnant. She had also moved out to live with her boyfriend at his parents’ house. Both David and Linda were heartbroken.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first. Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 9:03 AM | 24 comments

Friday, May 23, 2008


Let's talk about sex for a change.

According to a recent Reuters report, a survey conducted by New York's Guttmacher Institute, indicates a widespread belief among U.S. teens that non-vaginal forms of sex, especially oral sex, is a way to be sexually active while remaining to be "technically" virgins.

The study, participated by about 2,271 females and males age 15 to 19, also reveals that about one in 10 of the teens said they had engaged in anal sex.

"Teens of white ethnicity and higher socioeconomic status were more likely than their peers to have ever had oral or anal sex," the researchers wrote.

The Guttmacher Institute studies sexual and reproductive health issues.

Meanwhile, a Washington Post article claims that slightly more than half of American teenagers ages 15 to 19 have engaged in oral sex, with females and males reporting similar levels of experience. Moreover, the report shows that the proportion increases with age to about 70 percent of all 18- and 19-year-olds. That figure is considerably higher for those who also have engaged in intercourse.

The article was based on the most comprehensive national survey of sexual behaviors ever released by the federal government. It was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had also conducted a groundbreaking study on teenage sex practices as reported by USAToday. It reveals that among teens, oral sex is often viewed so casually that it needn't even occur within the confines of a relationship. Some teens say it can take place at parties, possibly with multiple partners. But they say the more likely scenario is oral sex within an existing relationship.

The sexual practices by these U.S. teens may be just as prevalent amongst Filipino youths. Hence, I agree with Laura Lindberg of the Guttmacher Institute in New York -- that while oral and anal sex carry no risk of pregnancy, engaging in these behaviors can nevertheless put teens at risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Local health officials, much like their American counterparts, ought to implement continued counseling and education programs that address the full range of behaviors that teens engage in, including oral and anal sex.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!


Labels: ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 7:40 AM | 14 comments

Thursday, May 22, 2008


One of the things I enjoy while walking around Quiapo is looking at old houses especially those maintained in good condition. This one on Progreso Street near San Sebastian Church (above photo) is a prime example.

Other than in Binondo, a neighborhood in Quiapo as this one is where I'd like to live. That would allow me to just walk to any of my usual haunts -- from the photography shops on Hidalgo Street to favorite eateries in Chinatown. As it is, the hustle and bustle of this tri-district downtown area of Binondo, Quiapo and Santa Cruz make me feel right at home, for they remind me of Manhattan's.

As an aside, a resident in the area approached me while I was taking a photograph of this house. When she asked what it was for, I said for personal admiration for its upkeep. I added that many grand houses in the area are simply left to decay.

She encouraged me to knock on the door and talk to the owner. She said that they're very friendly and I might even be invited to see its interiors. A couple of TV soap operas, she added, were shot in that house.

I was tempted, but told her that I was just too embarrassed to just knock on the door unexpected. I thought it'd be rude.

* * *

Related links:

Remembrance of Things Awry

Quiapo and the Filipino: Not exotic enough?

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first. Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 7:59 AM | 20 comments

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I've been living in Manila for quite some time now and yet, not once did I hear of any news report on local UFO sightings; neither have I come across local folks engaged in passionate discussions about the existence of intelligent life beyond our planet.

Perhaps, It was because there was never any spectacular UFO sighting reported anywhere in the entire Philippine Archipelago. Also, since the country is predominantly Catholic, many people may be turned off by scientific or pseudo-scientific discussions?

Not sure about the former but for the latter, one can only imagine how Intrigued I was while reading a recent article on the
Vatican's admission that aliens or extraterrestrial life could exist.

Father Gabriel Funes, astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory near Rome, wrote in the Vatican newspaper that extraterrestrial beings could exist in outer space. Furthermore, he said that the search of extraterrestrial life does not contradict belief in God, and life on Mars cannot be ruled out.

Many scientists believe in God he argued; hence, he emphasized a need for science and religion to work even closer together.

When asked about the condemnation of the Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo, by the Catholic Church some four centuries ago, Father Funes claimed mistakes were made, but stressed that it is time to turn the page and look towards the future.

In his Vatican article entitled "Aliens Are My Brother," Father Funes also announced that the Vatican is organizing a conference next year to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the author of the Origin of the Species.

Incidentally, United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence has recently made their UFO files public. You may check out its UFO archives here.

* * *

Related links:

Close Encounter of the First Kind

CNN Covers Stephenville Texas U.F.O. Sighting

List of UFO Sightings From the Time of Columbus

Vatican Observatory's new director discusses faith, science, planets - Catholic News Service

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 7:04 AM | 23 comments

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This is one of my favorite pictures of New York's Central Park. I had posted it once before to accompany my entry on master storyteller, Joseph Campbell.

I took this picture many years ago one early spring day while
my dog Niko and I enjoyed an early Saturday morning walk. Always, before leaving the apartment, I would make sure I brought along my camera.

Truth be told, Central Park is what I miss the most about New York. I guess, it's because nothing like it exists in Manila.

By the way, I started a group in flickr and named it Manhattan Project. It's where fellow shutterbugs can post their pictures of Manhattan. It now has 17 members. If you live in New York or had visited it and have some photos you'd like to share with us, please sign up and join the gang.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 2:00 AM | 18 comments

Monday, May 19, 2008


CNN has picked-up some of my photographs taken during the recent Aliwan Fiesta 2008. They're to be featured on CNN International’s new half-hour program called, “iReport for CNN.”

This program was broadast on Saturday May 17th
at 9:30 a.m. ET, but may have beeen repeated on the following Sunday at 3:30 a.m. ET, as well as this coming Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Although this may sound to be another shameless promotion, I'm glad to have helped a major international media organization present a positive image of the Philippines.

* * *

Related links:

The Smiles of Aliwan Fiesta 2008

Scenes from the Aliwan Fiesta 2008

Aliwan 2008: The Festival Street Dancers

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:11 AM | 44 comments

Sunday, May 18, 2008


The intention is to take in 100 students for two years of training. They will be trained in plumbing, carpentry, sewing and other vocational skills

P300-million social program, called Escuela Taller (pronounced talyer in Tagalog) is conducted in cooperation with TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), IA (Intramuros Administration), the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts), the Department of Education, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

It is funded by Spain as part of its grand plan to reestablish a presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

This was announced to the Manila Times by Spain's envoy to the Philippines, Ambassador Luis Arias. He added that Spain, which colonized the Philippines for more than 350 years, cannot look at the region without considering its “special relationship” with this country.

The skills development program starts this month.

Read the entire article,
Spanish project to benefit Intramuros by Jayson Cruz Luna of Manila Times.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!


posted by Señor Enrique at 11:30 AM | 8 comments

Saturday, May 17, 2008


A rosy life definitely awaits the new American Idol. I was able to catch some of this season's shows, though sporadically, but have seen enough to be impressed by the talents of both finalists -- David Archuleta and David Cook.

However, as endearing as the young Archuleta has been throughout the entire season, many people reportedly appear to be putting their money on rocker David Cook. Oddmakers had given him a 74% chance to bag the title on the season finale on Thursday, May 22.

Be that as it may, regardless of who the final winner is, I'm sure both guys are already assured of an exciting life of fame and fortune.

Incidentally, the stories going around about David Archuleta's stage father as being boorish, remind me of child actor Macaulay Culkin's father and manager, Kit Culkin.

Interestingly, although fathers have been known to promote/manage their kids' career in show business or sports, the percentage of stage mothers overshadows that of the number of fathers. Some folks believe that stage parents are vicariously living out their own dreams through their children.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:36 AM | 19 comments

Friday, May 16, 2008


Over a cup of coffee one afternoon, I asked my kumpadre why he gets along so well with his grandson considering that his relationship with his son is nothing short of turbulent.

His face revealed a silly grin as he said, "Simple lang pare. At the end of the day, I get to return the child back to his parents."

Today is the Fertility Dance Festival at Obando, Bulacan. I should talk my kumpadre into taking the day off from work so we could check out this fiesta and take some pictures.

By the way, remember this?

Santa Clarang pinong-pino / Ako po ay bigyan mo / Ng asawang labintatlo / Sa gastos ay walang reklamo!

And I thought the prayer and dance was for a child.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 6:38 AM | 26 comments

Thursday, May 15, 2008


"Know how to triumph over the envious, and the malevolent. Not enough just to ignore them, even though courtesy is a great virtue; better to meet them with brave face, for there is not enough praise for him who speaks well of him who speak ill; no vengeance more noble, than that which through worth, and ability, becomes the tormentor and the executioner of the envious; every success tightens the rope about the neck of the malevolent; and the glory of the envied becomes the hell of the envious; this is the greatest of all punishements, to be made unhappy by another's happiness: the envious dies not once, but as often as the envied is reborn by applause, the enduring fame of the one vying with the enduring torture of the other; for the envied is as immoral in his glory, as the envious is in pain. The trumpet of fame, which sounds the one to life eternal, brings execution to the other, sentenced to be choked to death by the choke of his envy." - Baltasar Gracian

* * *

Related links:

Crab Mentality - GMA7 - 100% Pinoy

A Lesson on Filipino Crab Mentality - Ang Kuwago

The Filipino Crab Mentality: The institutionalization of Mediocracy

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 7:04 AM | 12 comments

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Never mind the hilarious clowns, skewered mini hotdogs with marshmallows, plateful of spaghetti, and a piece of the luscious chocolate cake. What the guests at this children's birthday were eagerly waiting for was the dirty ice cream.

And when it was announced that the line has been started for it, all the kids screamed with great joy. There were three flavors served: mango, cheese and ube. And most delightful of all, the kids were encouraged by the host for a second and third helping!

Surely, a wonderful time was had by all, especially by the one-year-old birthday celebrant.

Related links:

Still at a cool ten pesos a cone

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 5:15 AM | 14 comments

Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


About Me

Name: Señor Enrique
Location: Manila, Philippines

View my complete profile

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Flickr Badge. Make your own badge here.
Señor Enrique Home
Designed by The Dubai Chronicles.
All rights and lefts reserved.