Four years ago nobody paid attention to a smiling-long-haired-slender-bodied kid playing among the giants of world football, until he scored a goal for Brazil against England during the semi-finals of World Cup 2002. And because he’s still unpopular many critics easily dismissed Ronaldinho’s goal as a fluke. His detractors even ridiculed him as a look alike of Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks. But Ronaldinho had proven his critics wrong. Brazil got away with their fifth World Cup crown and Ronaldinho blazed in glory while leading FC Barcelona to major victories since then.
This year, the 25 year old Brazilian footballing genius has capped two major Football awards. Ronaldinho grabbed the Ballon d’Or, or European Footballer of the Year award and for a second succesive season has been named FIFA World Player of the year.
The FIFA World Player of the year is the highest award given to an individual footballer by the World’s football governing body. Ronaldinho is only the third player to have won the global title more than once since its inception in 1991. France playmaker Zinedine Zidane took the honours in 1998, 2000 and 2003, while Brazil striker Ronaldo scooped the trophy in 1996, 1997 and 2002.
Ronaldinho earned the sobriquet, the Magician, for his display of an almost magical football antics and brilliant playmaking to the delight of fans and detractors alike. After four years, Ronaldinho with his trademark beaming smile is now a world renowned football icon while his critics and detractors are now eating crow.
Yes, we now have our very own reef. Our saltwater aquarium has already been set-up complete with corals, fish and anemone. Much to our delight, our supplier did magic to short-cut a supposed long process of setting-up a saltwater aquarium. Bambit details in her blog the process in setting up our aquarium.
We have named our 75 galoon saltwater aquarium as the Himaya Reef, after the name of our little angel, Maia. Maia was so happy upon seeing the reef and the assortment of colorful fishes (which includes, Nemo and his dad Marlin (clown fish) and Gill (a Moorish Idol)) on it. She was even able to say the word “fish” the first time she saw the aquarium after its completion.
It’s now only seven days before Christmas. Everyone is off and ready for parties, reunions, exchange gifts, and assorted happy whatsoever. After all, Christmas is “the most wonderul time of the year” and everyone is supposed to be happy. Christmas time as a joyous and festive occasion comes to be accepted as a universal norm. And becuse of this state of mind, the joyful atmosphere of Christmas also serves as the most perfect backdrop for irony. In the midst of the season of plenty and celebration there are poor souls suffering from tragedies, despondent and languishing in silent misery. A lot of stories and songs have been made in this context, like the old classic movie, All Mine to Give, and the Band Aid song, Do They Know its Christmas.
There is one song that struck me deeply with this same thought. It is a Cebuano song I heard sung regularly by the istambays in our place in Iligan City during drinking sessions a long Christmastime ago. It is said that the song was composed by a prisoner whose name remain in legendary anonymity. Incarcerated away from his family and friends, he sadly wished them merry Christmas. The lyrics of the song depicts injustice, imparts a feeling of intense unhappiness and its melody is tuned almost like a melancholic lullaby. The song is aptly titled, Pasko sa Binilanggo (A Prisoner’s Christmas).
|Pasko sa Binilanggo
Sa gikauban ko pa
Meri Krismas na lang
Meri Krismas na lang
|A Prisoner’s Christmas
When I was still
I was jailed for a petty reason
Merry Christmas is all I can wish
Merry Christmas is all I can wish
This song strikes me not just because of its general emotional appeal. My heart hangs heavy with the thoughts of the thousands of Children languishing in our prisons today. According to the Coalition to Stop Child Detention Through Restorative Justice, in their petition to the United Nations, the number of small children as young as 8 years old in the Philippines who become victims of sodomy, rape and abuse for being imprisoned with hardened adult criminals has risen from 20,000 in 2003 to a soaring 52,000 in 2004.
On Christmas eve, imagine what happens to these Children in the midst of adult criminals and rapists celebrating Christmas inside their cramped, dark and cold prison cells.
Naniniwala akong may therapeutic benefits ang makukuha mula sa pag-aalaga ng hayop sa bahay. Narerelax at naiibsan ang stress at pagod mo kapag inaalagaan o kalaro mo sila.
Isang aquarium ang aming inalagaan ni Bambit sa maliit naming apartment sa Guadalupe noon. Maalala kong palapit na rin ang Pasko noon ng bumili siya ng aquarium at sabay naming sinet-up ito. Magpapasko na naman ulit at ito ang unang pasko namin sa Manila mula nang bumalik kami dito from Mindanao. Plano na naman naming mag-alaga muli ng hayop sa bahay.
Dalawa ang pinagpipilian namin, mag-alaga ng aso o mag-set up ulit ng Aquarium. Pareho kaming ayaw mag-alaga nang ibon. Hindi sa dahil takot kami sa Avian flu virus. Para sa amin hindi dapat ikinukulong ang mga ibon. Masaya na kami sa mga ibong dumadapo sa aming bakuran. Sa pag-aalaga ng hayop isang malaking konsiderasyon para sa amin ang kapakanan ng aming baby Maia. Sa kanyang edad ngayon ano ang puwede naming alagaang hayop na hindi makakasama o delikado para sa kanya.
Mas gusto ko sanang aso ang aalagaan pero matapos balansehin lahat ng dapat ikonsidera, napagpasyahan naming Aquarium na muna saka na ang aso kapag medyo malaki na si Maia. Ang balak ko kasi sanang maging alagang aso ay isang working dog breed, isang Bullmastiff. Dream pet dog ko talaga ang Bullmastiff. Maraming nag-offer sa akin nang Pit Bull o Rottweiler pero dog of choice ko pa rin ang tinaguriang “Gamekeeperâ€™s Night Dog”, ang Bullmastiff. Malaking aso ang Bullmastiff kaya medyo delikado sa kalagayang meron kang maliit na baby sa bahay. Hindi rin kami pabor sa mga mabalahibo at yung mga heavy barkers na aso.
Kaya bura muna ang alagang aso and on with our Aquarium project. Dati freshwater Aquarium ang inaalagaan namin, balak naman namin ngayong i-set up ay isang saltwater Aquarium. Ang plano namin ay isang reef and saltwater fish type na aquarium. Hopefully by middle of this month namin ito maseset-up para matapos ang ilang araw na cycle period ng tank, in time sa pagpasok ng bagong taon ay matitirhan na ito ng mga makukulay na isdang alat. Unlike a freshwater tank, it takes time for a saltwater tank to be ready for a new fish or other creatures.
Pareho kami ni Bambit na neophytes sa pag-aalaga ng saltwater aquarium pero pagkukusahan naming maging future Aquarists.
Got this touching Cancer Advert from the YouTube website.
This video clip is linked to the site so it may take a while to load. If it stops try playing it again and watch it in its entirety.
It breaks my heart everytime I see a child suffering. It breaks my heart more to see a child pained by another child’s suffering. Why do children have to suffer?
57 years ago today the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was signed as a covenant among nations to uphold, promote and protect human rights. The UDHR became the main international instrumentality where nations are measured in their standing towards human rights. The world commemorates the signing of the UDHR by observing the 10th day of December as the International Human rights Day.
Today, on Human Rights Day, let us recommit ourselves to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Let us re-echo the 30 articles of the UDHR.
Let us strive to advocate, promote and protect Human Rights.
As the late Sen. Jose “Pepe” Diokno said:
“Human Rights are more than legal concepts. They are the essence of man/woman. Deny them their rights and you deny them their humanity”.
“There is no cause greater than the cause of human rights.”
Poster taken from Project 1210