Friday, 26 June 2009

Farrah Fawcett Dies


Farrah Fawcett, an actress, television star and pop-culture phenomenon whose good looks and signature leonine hairstyle influenced a generation of women and, beginning with a celebrated pinup poster, bewitched a generation of men, died on Thursday in Santa Monica, California, according to Paul Bloch, her spokesman. She was 62 and had been battling cancer since late 2006.

To an extraordinary degree, that fight was played out in public, generating enormous interest worldwide. Her face, often showing the ravages of her illness, became a tabloid fixture, and updates on her health became staples of television entertainment news.

In May, her cancer battle was chronicled in an NBC primetime documentary, “Farrah’s Story,” some of it shot on home video. An estimated 9 million people viewed it. Ms. Fawcett had initiated the project with a friend and producer, Alana Stewart, after she first learned of her cancer.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

San Juan de Bautista Fiesta

It is a tradition in the Philippines to celebrate the feast of San Juan (St. John the baptist) associated with water. It means that water will be poured, splashed and thrown to the crowd as the pass by.

San Juan City in Metro Manila is the capital festival of the country. West meets east in the Philippines when June 24 is celebrated by dousing and sprinkling of water or by family outings to the beach or riverside.

This Filipino custom is the most appropriate way of commemorating the only saint, other than Mary, whose birth is celebrated in the Christian liturgy. (Feasts of other saints fall on the day of their death.) After all, Saint John is the precursor who prepared people for the coming of Christ by baptizing them with water.

Matthew 2:11 quotes Saint John as saying: "I indeed baptize wou with water unto repentence but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he sahll baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire."

Anyone who goes to the town of San Juan, Metro Manila on the morning of June 24 cannot stay dry. neither will anyone who visits small towns near a stream, a river, or the sea before noon. The experience is supposed to remind one of one's baptism.

Small childre nuse a tabo, usually an empty can used as a water dipper, to douse strangers with water. Older perspns my fill theor ancient coconut shells with perfumed water to sprinkle on passersby. Others get their bamboo cylinders fitted with pistons to squirt water on whoever passes by. Still others use water pistols.

Unfortunately, the tradition is being threatened by killjoys or local bullies who douse car owners or jeepney riders wuth water from open ditches. Their actions have made others question the very idea of the festivity.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

EU Elections

I casted my vote last June 4 for the UK representation to the European Union. It was a beautiful day. Before I went for my duty in Handsworth's Mayhfield School, I casted my vote of which the polling station is just across the road next to the church. It was only myself at that time. Elections here is very quiete. I mean not the same as in my home country, Philippines that is very tricky and lives will be spent just to grab the power. I voted for the Labour Party because I still believe in Prime Minister Gordon Brown's policies and handling of the government.

But the tragic loss had came to them. Labour has suffered its worst post-war election result after it was beaten into third place by UKIP and saw the BNP gain its first seats at Brussels. Labour's share of the vote at the European elections was just 15.3% - worse than party bosses had feared.

The Tories won with 28.6%, beating Labour in Wales but failing to increase their total share significantly. The results have sent shockwaves through UK politics and led to renewed calls for Gordon Brown to quit as PM.

The BNP gained a seat in Yorkshire and Humberside and in the north west of England, where party leader Nick Griffin was elected - the first time the anti-immigration party has won seats at national elections.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Birmingham Gay Pride 2009

This is the annual event that I missed because I was really confident that the dates that I was looking for was right. As far as I know, it would take place before the spring bank holiday, definitely Sunday. But this time, they moved it to Saturday. That's why when Mayette and daughter, Akring and me went there on a Sunday, nothing was going on except in the gay village that there was a program going on.

Anyway, I will make it sure that I can attend this year's mardi gras in London, this coming July. And also, I will mark it on my diary for next year.
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