Mga Pahina

Friday, February 24, 2012

The "I Love To Read Project"

Montecristo is one of the famous and finest premium cigars in the world. It is said that if you smoke Cuban cigars, it is impossible that you haven't smoked a Montecristo. I haven't smoke one but what pique my interest in these cigars is the story behind the brandname.

Back when YouTube and AM radio were not yet invented. Cigar factory owners would hire lectors (readers) to entertain the torcedores (cigar rollers) while at work. These lectors would sat beside with torcedores and read aloud poems, interesting stories, and news or articles from newspapers. Thru this way it would keep the torcedores from getting bored and lighten them up from their tedious task.

Among the stories heard, the torcedores loved Alexander Dumas novel - The Count of Monte Cristo the most. Perhaps they were enchanted with the protagonist Edmund Dantes' love and revenge tale, bringing out their passion for work and hope for their day-to-day lives. And yes, thus the brandname Montecristo surface.

Last week, I stumbled upon an article from a local newspaper about these dynamic young Cebuano professionals - The Basadours. A group of ambassadors for reading and storytelling. Their advocacy; literacy development. Their aim; to promote the love of reading through alternative and non-formal strategies like storytelling, role playing, puppet shows, read along and read aloud.

Unlike the lectors that were paid, The Basadours are commited volunteers and seeks to collaborate with government, private organizations and other community partners and stakeholders in pursuit of literacy development. Eventhough both lectors and The Basadours may differ on that point but both share a common experience, I suppose.  That is devoting time and talent so that others may realize their full potentials - "Montecristo" and also to address the fundamental challenges of literacy development in the city.

Through The Basadours volunteerism and the cooperation of Cebu City Public Library is a movement dubbed " I LOVE TO READ PROJECT" and will be launch this Saturday, February 25, 2012. A project (I believe) the city needs. It will be graced by Cebu City officials to be led by Mayor Michael L. Rama.

I haven't meet the group yet but I plan to join them in their advocay. For those who wanted to join as well you may contact Mrs. Rosario Chua at 412-4460 or you email her at

Once again, this Saturday, I LOVE TO READ PROJECT at Cebu City Public Library. See you there!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Late Afternoon Delight

I never thought I would get the chance to meet someone with so much passion and enthusiasm when it comes to wine. Indeed last Monday afternoon, I've had such a late afternoon delight.

Mr. Gordon Alan "Dondi" Joseph - wine connoisseur and owner of D+B Wines located at the Crossroads Mall, Banilad, Cebu City, warmly welcomed me with a bottle of Castello D'Alba Douro '09, a Portuguese medium-bodied red, in his cozy bar last Monday afternoon.

Me with Mr. Gordon "Dondi" Joseph holding a Fat Bastard - Merlot (which he gave to me afterwards).

Without exaggeration, I was overwhelmed at first. Simply because in front of me was a real oenophile, of which there are only 4 or 5 in the city by the way. So I rattled and my agenda of questions faded somewhere between the beginning and right before the middle of the conversation. But his very pleasant attitude removed all feelings of intimidation and thus made the conversation went as casual as I hoped it would be.

Straightforward yet not snobbish. A charming and sophisticated man who likes to eat toasted bread dipped in red wine. If I were to put his appreciation for wines in two words, based on our two-hour conversation. Starting from Boones and Cold Duck wines during family gatherings in Clark Air Base to wine tastings in South Africa and France. Including the 300-plus labels of wine distributed by Darras + Bowler. Also to specially mention his wife, Ms. Corrine Darras Joseph, whom he said is more expert in wines than him. It will be Time and Passion.

I do feel oblige to share his "chronicle" about wines and clearly our conversation wouldn't just fit in one blog. Thus I will be writing a sort of episodes then. I will write one for his most favorite wine, that according to him he will choose if he were to be stuck in an island. Then there will be also one for his food and wine pairing preference.

Being grateful for that opportunity, I plan to share my time and passion to others as well and hopefully bring it to his level. So folks, expect postings of schedules for wine tasting, food and wine pairing in my blog soon. With wine connoisseurs present like Mr. Gordon Joseph himself, it would be a pleasurable and learning experience then.

So see you guys soon.


P.S. You can check out Darras + Bowler on Facebook, just go to

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Bead On Philippine's Necklace

I was supposed to keep my blog from political views, I have my Facebook and Twitter for these issues. But this one I think will be an exemption simply because it is an Impeachment Trial, of the Supreme Court Justice, IN MY OWN COUNTRY. If I were to use Paul Rusesabagina's word, then I'll say outright that the Impeachment Trial of CJ Corona will be a "bead on our national necklace".

Our Constitution though patterned from the US Constitution is still somehow politically immature. If you had witnessed the first 2-3 days of the Impeachment Trial, I guess you'll agree with my thoughts. Also if you had notice along the impeachment process some Senator-Judge would refer to "Impeachment, A Handbook" by Charles Black Jr., a Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale Law School. Not someone from Ateneo de Manila University, San Beda College or from University of the Philippines. My apologies if I may sound a downer, but I do believe I have a point. On a brighter side, good thing though with this affair is it resembles a milestone of our nation's maturity. So, we're growing up or old?

Clearly, with this chain of events, most of us wanted to have a role in this impeachment process. Opinions from the public and those in media are sprouting up. Some act or even to the point would look like Former Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas being vocal about their support or citing disappointments from court proceedings. Yet some citizens though are fed up with the Impeachment Trial and just wanted to watch Ms. Kris Aquino's latest showbiz update. And this is what saddens me. Because for me as a citizen, with the impeachment trial at hand, we should support the process set out by our constitution. Be vigilant from personal or political leanings and guard the process against possible abuses.

Lastly, I really don't care if who's going to win, will it be the Prosecutors or the Defense team. All I care is for the Senator-Judges to exhaust all resources, just for the process to be done fairly, free from personal relations' and political affiliations. Why? Cause few years from now this Impeachment Trial will be part of our history. It will be a bead on our country's necklace of history.