April 2007

Rubik’s Twist and Rubik’s Cube

Memories of speed-twisting against my neighbor, Pierre back in grade school flashed through my mind as soon as I saw this Rubik’s Twist (Limited Edition) at Hobbes & Landes. So I bought it. No sooner had I unboxed it that I was able to instinctively recall the algorithms to form the sphere.

Solving my sister’s 3×3 Rubik’s Cube, on the other hand, was a challenge I had taken on just this past week. I wouldn’t have been able to conquer the cube without the cube solving secrets shared by Tyson Mao in 8 easy steps.


Okay, so not exactly the type of truck that the real Transformers Autobot Optimus Prime is, but you get the picture. The rig above was spotted in passing on the North Luzon Expressway (NLE or NLEx) on the way to Subic Bay, Zambales.

We didn’t bother to stop and do a bodycount (JK!) since we saw that the MNTC Patrol already had the situation under control. No other vehicles were involved in the mishap. It seems that the truck went out of control before it decided to take a nap on the asphalt – sideways. We saw the woozy driver and crew scratching their heads in front of a couple of MNTC officers.

Photos below were taken last night at Healthy Shabu-Shabu (where you pay to eat out, but have to cook your food yourself) and at The Podium, Mandaluyong where there are shiny columns that are great for Mirror Project shots.

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Spotted in the SM City North EDSA Carpark building, his jeep is cooler than yours:

Owner-type jeep with neon underglow!

After attending mid-morning Easter Mass and while the father was visiting his parental units in Cagayan de Oro, we headed South and up to Tagaytay and then to Nasugbu, both in Batangas.


It took around an hour and a half to get to Tagaytay through moderate weekend traffic. Though I once did clock in at just 45 minutes – picture Maritess the Revo doing Initial-D impressions around mountains at past midnight. It seemed every Juan dela Cruz and his mother were up in Tagaytay! The eventual drive back down to Manila took, guess what! Four freakin’ hours! I had my foot just holding and releasing the brakes all the way down to level ground in Cavite.


Commemorated Araw ng Kagitingan (April 9) a week early by driving up Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan and checking out the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) World War II Memorial. The mountain itself rises almost 2,000 feet (610 meters) above sea level at its peak. Here, the Memorial Cross makes this strategic vantage point even more commanding – or acrophobic:


The Memorial Cross is a towering structure of steel and reinforced concrete with an elevator and viewing gallery (arm of the cross). The height of the Cross is 92 meters (302 feet) from the base. The height of the arms is 74 meters (243 feet) from the base. The length of the arm is 30 meters (15 meters on each side). The viewing gallery is 18 by 90 foot with a 7-foot clearance.

The fact that my grandfather, who was a Captain in the engineering core of the “Fighting” 41st Division during the war, was among those who valiantly defended Bataan until it fell, then suffered the infamous Bataan Death March and the POW Camp O’Donnel in Capas, Tarlac (and survived!) will always be a personal source of pride and inspiration for bravery*, honor, duty, and the will to survive.

He defined their main activities in the engineering core as basically either, “building things or blowing them up.”

Photos of the Memorial Cross and War Museum after the jump.


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