Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Ten good things to do for the long weekend break

ANILA, Philippines - Flowers? Check. Candles? Check. Now that you're all set for the annual ritual of honoring your dearly departed, but are still opting to stay in the city over the long holiday, you could still have that relaxing, fun weekend break anyway. Here are some ideas to keep you going.

1. Get shokot to the max. Can’t get enough of the hit film Zombadings? Now, enter the Zombadings Shokot House at Eastwood City Walk. This house of horror will either scare you so much that you would race for the exit or make you laugh like the movie did. Open until October 31, from 5PM to 11PM. Entrance fee is P100. Midnight screenings are also scheduled at the Eastwood Mall Cinema on October 28 to 30, go if you haven’t seen it yet or go and watch it again and again! For more information, call 709-0888.

2. Much ado about Resorts World. What? You haven’t been to Resorts World Manila? Well, this weekend is the time to satisfy your curiosity to find out what’s all the fuss about Resorts World Manila. Check out its high-end bars, casinos and luxury malls, and while you’re at it, visit the Newport Mall for its Halloween Cocktail, held daily until November 15, and Grand Masquerade on October 30.

Talk about responsible drinking, in Halloween Cocktails,11 participating restaurants have concocted drinks---and a portion of each sale will go to Alay sa mga may Kapansanan Association Inc. Feeling thirsty now? Get the gang together for drinks tonight and go resto-hopping for drink like Johnny Chow's Bloodfire, Crisostomo's Sisa's Ghost, New Orleans Diablo Mojito, and UCC Cafe Terrace's Vampire's Kiss, to name a few. Resorts World is located at Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Cybertourism Zone, Pasay City.

3. Hide in style. Stop worrying about household stuff (yes, washing dishes or making up your bed for a change!) and pamper your family with a stay at a luxury hotel like Acacia Hotel. The newest five-star hotel in Alabang comes with all the deluxe amenities you’ll ever need; reviews have raved about its efficient and warm service. The swimming pool, gym, and spa areas, however, are still non-operational. Till end of October, the hotel’s deluxe rooms are at P4,888 nett or 55 percent off the published rates. On October 30, the hotel has planned its Creep-tacular Forest Halloween Party at its new Samanae activity center. Acacia Hotel is at 5400 Asia Drive corner Commerce Avenue, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinglupa. For inquiries and reservations, call (632) 720-2000 and (632) 588-5888.

4. Get lost in space. Explore outer space at the Hotel InterContinental Manila’s Grand Ballroom and party with extra-terrestrials and space heroes. The hotel provides a lot of games, activities---trick or treats to arts and crafts--and of course, good food. The hotel is located at 1 Ayala Avenue, Edsa. For information call (632) 793-7000.

5. Sit back, relax, watch a movie. Scare each other’s wits out, and go see the horror and suspense flick that topped the US Box office weekend (and toppled Hugh Jackman’s latest starrer, Real Steel) Paranormal Activity 3. Although it is the third movie from the franchise, it is actually a prequel as it is set 18 years before the first two films. Paranormal Activity 3 is sure to be a spine-tingling treat for the Halloween. If a scary movie is too much, then the Three Musketeers would fill your weekend. The movie stars Orlando Bloom, Mila Jovovich, Luke Evans, and Logan Lerman.

6. Watch The Sound of Music. The Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) at Resorts World Manila is alive with the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, as it stages the well-loved and award wining Broadway musical. Joana Ampil and Cris Villonco star as Maria, while Audie Gemora alternates with Ed Feist as Captain Georg von Trapp. The show will run until December 11, 2011. Show times are 8 PM on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; 3 PM and 8 PM on Saturdays and 3 PM on Sundays. For ticket reservations and inquiries, visit any Ticketworld outlet or the Resorts World Manila Box Office.

7. See Peter Pan fly. Catch some fairy dust at the Meralco Theater, Ortigas as Repertory Philippines and Stages presents Peter Pan. In the lead role is Sam Concepcion, who plays the boy who never grows up. He shares the stage with Menchu Lauchengco, Jaime Del Mundo, Tippy Dos Santos and Cara Barredo, among others. Show time is on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM, with a matinee show on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30PM. The play runs till October 30. For more information call Repertory Philippines at (632) 571-6926 or (632) 571-4941.

8. See a concert. Spend the night of October30 listening to the relaxing music of international superstar, Jason Mraz. The singer-songwriter will have a one-night show at the Araneta Colisuem where he will perform hits like “I’m Yours” and “Lucky”. Tickets are priced at P800 to P3,500. For more information call Ticketnet at 911-5555.

9. Listen to orchestra music. The Cultural Center of the Philippines presents Greenilda versus the Litterbugs: A Halloween Family Concert on October 30, 2:30 PM at the CCP Little Theater. The concert features the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra led by Josefino Chino Toledo. Let your kids learn about orchestra music and environmental conservation. For more information and ticket reservations, call the CCP Marketing Office at 8321125. Students can enjoy a 50-percent discount while seniors get 20 percent off. Ticket prices range from P500 to P800.

10. Can’t beat ‘em, then party! But, of course, if you enjoy the thrill of seeing people in their scariest costumes and just having a good time, then join the parties scattered all over the metro. One big gig to go to is Black Party Manila 2011 at Orosa corner Nakpil Streets in Malate, Manila. Fun starts at 10 PM.

Families advised to keep Saints, Souls’ day solemn

MANILA, Oct. 30, 2011—A priest reminded people going to cemeteries to light candles and pray for their beloved dead on All Saints and All Souls Day to express their Christian faith meaningfully.

La Loma Cemetery chaplain Fr. Leo Gilbero said he is proud of this unique Filipino tradition of gathering the whole family during this time of the year to pray for their loved ones, but he also stressed the importance of keeping the faith within character.

“We should also set boundaries to keep with our faith, like for example the bringing of food [and partaking of meals] in the cemeteries. What is that for?” he asked.

Filipino families traditionally gather in cemeteries every All Saints and All Souls Day to light candles and pray for their deceased family and friends.

But the gathering involves not just about lighting a candle, it also serves as a kind of small family reunion among family members and friends, where they not only pray but also eat together.

“All Saints’ Day is a family tradition. In a sense, it helps the family,” Gilbero said. “Even though it is because of a death of [a] loved one, [but] it helps bring the family together.”

“According to Church teachings, every time we visit the tomb or grave, and every time we pray for the dead, we gain a partial indulgence,” Fr. Gilbero pointed out.

“For us, there is a meaning to each visit that gives us indulgence. Maybe there is significance for the family — the reunion that happens around the tomb — but the Church teaches us that when we visit the dead we can gain partial indulgence with the conditions that we visit the grave or pray for the dead,” he explained.

The priest said efforts had been done to address the practice of bringing food in the cemetery but to no avail so far.

“Maybe it is due to the culture and the influence of other cultures,” he pondered. (Ana Valenzuela)

Tears of the Sun

by Ana Valenzuela

Caroline Mae Jenairo was like any other college senior. She had grades to maintain, papers to pass, professors to please, but unlike girls her age who were learning about the newest makeup products and how to curl her hair, she had to learn about power tools and how to use them. And not just your ordinary screwdrivers, mind you, but welding tools, as this girl was already building a car. Not just any other car but a solar-powered car.

Jenairo, a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student of De La Salle, is part of the team that built the Sikat II set to compete in the World Solar Challenge in the Australian Outback from Oct.16 to 23. The team consists of 22 students and three professors from De La Salle University Manila’s Mechanical Engineering and Electronics and Communications Departments. The product of the team's hard work was recently unveiled to a chosen number of the media at the campus grounds.

Harnessing the sun

Solar energy in terms of economies of scale is a relatively new technology. “People will come out with better manufacturing processes, higher yield. In the future it will become part of the power generation, not exactly solar powered cars but part of energy and powering portable equipment like cell phones and batteries,” predicts Jack Catalan, team leader and faculty adviser.

“The motivation for building a solar car is for the Philippines to field an entry to the world’s solar challenge. The idea is to have a Filipino car join the race,” says Jack.

The team started working on the Sikat II early February of this year. The Philippine team has a good chance of winning, as the organizers have cut down on the allowed space grade cells. “The organizers are cutting down on the performance versus the resources. They cut down the allowed size of the space grade cells; these are the type which is better performing more endowed teams are able to afford. Chances of getting to compete with richer teams are better compared to previous competitions,” says Jack.

As for technological improvements, it seems to be starting now as the team proudly introduced a few upgrading in to the design of the new solar car as compared to the predecessors Sinag, which also competed in the World Solar challenge in 2007 finishing 12th overall, and the Sikat 1, which travelled from Mindanao to Luzon.

“The flaws that we saw in our previous designs, we corrected in Sikat II. We used better composite materials. Unlike before, we used PVC comb so now we used lightweight carbon fiber-honeycomb composite for it to be lighter,” said student Caroline Mae. Indeed, the new material makes Sikat II is ten kilograms lighter than Sikat 1.

Aside from the weight, they were additional adjustments made to the car.“Sikat II’s solar panels are better. They are better in terms of encapsulation, if you can remember Sikat1’s solar arrays are bright. If we used the old materials it is very difficult to maintain, a little scratch, a little dust would affect the performance. But this one we respect that it would fare better in performance and maintenance,” says Jack.

“All the other components are inherited from Sikat1, but given all the improvements plus the method we used to construct it, we trust that Sikat II is a far better car. It is lighter, has better aerodynamics, its shape is better than Sikat1 that its air resistance would be lower. New materials and new techniques make it sturdier and lighter,” says Jack. With all the developments, the team hopes that Sikat II will have a great finish in the coming 3,000 kilometer run. Sikat II is faster than its predecessor able to run at a top speed of 110lph with its two kilowatt motor. When running on its 4,000 watt hour Lithium-ion battery and solar array power at a speed of 85 kilometer per hour, Sikat II can travel more than 800 kilometers.

The team has learnt much to set up the best car possible for the upcoming cross-continent World Solar Challenge. Apart from that Jenairo shares what they learnt, “Time management also. We worked day and night, so we had to do a lot of catching up in our academics, we have to sacrifice a little of our sleep, and a little of our social activities. But this is a once in a lifetime experience so for me this is really worth it.” She says with a smile.