Monday, December 28, 2009

Blue Moon in Cancer

A Blue Moon is a second full moon in any given month. However, no Blue Moon can occur in February because of its limited number of days. No, it doesn’t mean that the moon will turn blue. Although sometimes, because of atmospheric conditions, the full moon does give out a shade of very light pale blue. A Blue Moon usually occurs every 2.7154 years. So when you hear the phrase, “Once in a Blue Moon,” it literally means not very often or highly unlikely. If you want to be technical about it, almost a little over every two and a half years. The last regular full moon occurred on December 2, 2009. I happen to take a photo of the event. I only wish I had better equipment to fully capture its splendid beauty.

On December 31, 2009, New Years Eve, the world will bear witness to a Blue Moon. This one is special since the next Blue Moon that will happen to fall on a New Years Eve is expected to occur on December 31, 2028. As an added trivia, it is also possible to have two Blue Moons in one year. This celestial event can occur once every 19 years. The last time that happened was in 1999 so we can expect to have two Blue Moons to occur in 2018.

As stated, December 31, 2009 is a Blue Moon passing through Cancer (The Crab). The moon is Cancer’s ruling planet. Well not really a planet in astronomical terms, but it serves its purpose in the astrological sense. What makes this event special, aside from it occurring on a New Years Eve is that there will also be a partial Lunar Eclipse. December 31, 2009 is going to be a Blue Full Moon the same night it turns a new decade. Now that is a sight for all to look forward to not because of its astrological nor mystical significance but mainly because, I for one expect to see a spectacular early evening scene. It’s about time for those of you who have telescopes to bring them out. Add to that, prepare to take pictures.

We know the moon for a fact affects the tides of any body of water. No matter what any textbook says, I believe we humans, being mostly walking bags of water, can be affected by the phases of the moon or the emotional tides within each of us. Not that people will turn lunatic or even into werewolves, but studies show that crime rates are higher during a full moon. In my personal observations, people are usually more energetic, easy going, or even become more emotional or irritable during the three-day full moon cycle.

For centuries, the full moon has always been associated with many myths from every culture. For Wicca practitioners, the moon is an important entity. It is during a full moon that many practitioners of elemental magic perform their rituals. They believe that it is during a full moon that this celestial body is at the height of its strength. Usually the energy and essence of the full moon is drawn unto oneself. If done right, one can feel a heightened state of consciousness, and feel power radiate throughout ones body. For some, this is also an opportune time for them to strengthen their psychic shield and/or invigorating the chakras.

Astrologically speaking, this is a time for souls and hearts to seek harmony. This is also a time that emotions are at full force that can have so much impact and change things. Sensitivity will also be heightened at this period. Some of you who are attuned to these forces may already be feeling its effects, most especially to those belonging to the water signs. It will grow in strength as the full moon arrives. On the plus side, emotional intelligence will also be heightened which might give clarity regarding decisions about any situation they are in.

In matters of the heart, there can be acts in which a desire to nurture and protect will play a vital role in decisions. One might even come out with new ideas how to effect security whether they are physical, mental, or emotional. A warning though, be mindful never to be swept away by waves of feeling. Emotions play a major role under this Blue Moon.

That being said, astrological or astronomical beliefs aside, December 31, 2009, 7:22 PM, would be a time to step out of your houses and marvel at the glory of a Full Blue Moon. By itself, a regular spectacular full moon is a sight to behold. I say do not miss this coming Full Blue Moon on a New Years Eve, else you will have to wait 19 years for it ever occurring again. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we get clear skies on that date.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Musings of an Empath

“An empath is a person with an ability to read and understand people and be in-tune with or resonate with others, voluntarily or involuntarily of one's empath capacity.” - Christel Broederlow (2002).

To expound, an empath is a person with a high sensitivity to sense feelings or emotions of people, or to some extent, even animals, plants, or can even have empathic attachments to inanimate or non-living things. Some can even experience higher forms of extra ability but not necessarily leading to or limited to Extra Sensory Perceptions (ESP).

With a handful of tests and writings about determining if one is an empath explaining what makes one an empath or not, I believe everyone can at one form or another exhibit an empathic experience or ability. It just so happens not all is attuned or adept as to what they have just experienced. An empathic flash or spark perhaps? Most commonly, they dismiss it as just a gut feel. Some individuals even force to “feel” something from someone falsely believing he/she is one when in fact, they are not. Most often than not, this leads to frustration or catastrophic results based on false readings or interpretations of whatever impression real or imagined he/she gets. However, there are natural born empaths. I happen to be one.

A born empath can easily recognize and sense everything around him/her. The folly is, not all natural born empaths knows they have this ability at the onset of the ability manifesting itself. Some even deny having this ability; consider it a curse, and try to shield themselves from the world. Those however, who fully accept and become adepts can experience a whole gamut of experiences which may or may not necessarily be their own. Still, some natural born empaths doesn’t exhibit the ability unless subjected to a very heavy dose of emotional, physical, or mental strain.

Empaths can get impressions differently, and in varying degrees or levels. Some can “feel” colors and get the impression of each color based on each type of emotion. Some see pictures; others can get them from scent, touch or feel, or even taste. However, to clarify, this has nothing to do with clairvoyance, although some empaths are also clairvoyants. Some are attuned to get a combination of the above, and even some can get them all at one blow. Pity to those empaths who can’t handle all impressions at once.

Empathy has no sense of time. Sometimes if a specific event is too strong and focused on constantly by a person most especially if the event is most special, dangerous, or most recent, an empath can easily pick that up too. Some empaths are also healers. Healers of minds and emotional pain. Others can even exhibit alleviating physical pain to a certain degree, but not totally.

Being a person with empathic ability, it is a matter of perspective if one can consider being one a curse or a blessing. I for one consider having this ability as a blessing although admittedly sometimes, I also consider it a curse especially when someone close to me lies. There have been times when I blankly point this out. Sometimes, even when one is not talking, I can sense when someone is hiding something. It now comes down to ones experience in dealing with human nature and social interaction how to address such occurrences when they manifest themselves.

Friends and family members often ask me, can this ability be learned. My truthful answer is both a yes and a no. I don’t even know why I have this nor can explain clearly how, but it’s there, and it’s very difficult for me not to use it. A learned empath can deal with human emotions based on what is given in real life and interactive situations. A true empath however can see beyond what is said, seen, or acknowledged. Simply put, one can see beyond what is. To cite an example, a learned empath can distinguish an apple from behind an opaque plate of glass based on what is perceived by the apple’s shape against the glass. A true empath will see the apple making the opaque glass clear or even dissolving the glass entirely thereby seeing the texture and color of the apple. Some gifted empaths can even go beyond and smell its fragrance depending on his/her adeptness. Further, some will even perceive that the apple is not an apple at all but something entirely different.

Empaths can sense negative emotions most easily. Pain and anger being at the top of the list. At par with positive emotions such as love and happiness. Further, carnal impressions are also quite strong and distinguishable immediately even for non-empaths. The difference however is that to an empath, one can sense the sincerity of such carnal impressions or just a mere trap in seduction.

Not all empaths can control or taper their abilities at will. This is a process that an empath must learn by either self-training, direct instruction from someone adept, or meditation. In my case, since I’ve identified my abilities early, the transition for me was easy but not without pitfalls along the way. We cannot just turn off our ability at will. The truth is, we can’t. Nevertheless, we can develop barriers to filter out the unwanted continued “noises” we receive. As said, the strongest we can perceive are love, happiness, pain, and anger.

For this reason, I hate going to hospitals and funerals, even just staying in the halls. The negative emotions are just too draining. Unless, I prepare myself well, I might get all unwanted impressions especially from one or many in pain or worse, the grieving. Weddings and celebrations are however welcomed since the sheer numbers of revelers outnumber those who are party-poopers. However, I must also add. That if my focus centers on one person in a negative manner, I can be affected strongly as well. The worse of this is I can channel all that negativity to others. So as much as possible, I avoid being in situations like these or else be the party-pooper.

Nothing is more emotionally painful, frustrating, and highly disappointing to an empath than that of a direct lie. This is most evident if the lie comes from people we care and trust. To an empath, our emotions are tied most strongly if that person is a loved one such as, a family member, a romantic partner, a lifetime friend, or even from someone we have developed a strong sense of affinity. Most often, a true empath will shield himself/herself from getting impressions from these people since we trust them implicitly. Empaths usually reserve their emotions and make others feel at ease and tending to their needs first, forgetting or putting their own in the back burner.

But there are situations when the impression is too strong that they cannot disregard it, and with reservation, ”pry” into that person. This of course will depend on the adeptness of the empath. Some even show physical manifestations if a lie is felt or said. Some have their body hairs stand, others feel warmth or heat, and others flush, blush, get a tingling or buzzing in the ears, a throbbing in the head, or a sudden change in disposition. I get one or a combination of these physical manifestations.

For an empath, the easiest people to "read" are those who are “transparent” in their dealings. People who show they are happy when they are truly happy, those who are transparently angry, the obviously sad and emotionally in pain, and of course those who are in physical pain. These people have already lifted a veil or mask for the empath to see clearly. A diversion from which however is easily distinguishable and although can be faked outwardly, the truth of which is very visible to an adept.

There have been many times when I also lost control. By being too naturally focused on the emotional needs of others, and putting my own aside. The repercussions are quite debilitating. This however can easily be remedied by focus and meditation. However, several months back, I was subjected to so much unexpressed anger and anxiety that I lost all control. Meditation and relaxation were useless. Even an attempt at catharsis seemed futile. I can feel everything around me. Even the tiniest ones.

In addition, it all came in at the same time, indistinguishable like a jumbled up collage of positive and negative emotions from all angles. I had no choice but to check myself off from anyone for a while. It took me more than a month to regain control with occasional slip-ups. But eventually I gained it back by first blocking everything out. At this point, I considered myself blind. During this process of blocking, I can’t “feel” or get impressions from anyone with effort in maintaining the block. But the underlying factor is that the ability is there and I will have to let it go again or suffer in another form. So slowly, I let it loose, layer by layer, with extreme caution. Now I am back to “my normal.” The plus factor in the ordeal, I am now more sensitive, but in control.

Just to put non-adepts at ease, empaths are not mind readers. We are very far from that. Actually, we can’t even be considered close or aligned to that of mind readers. We cannot read your thoughts but can feel or read the emotions arising from those thoughts. The closest example I can give based on my own is much like of a bat or a whale using sonar. They can send out the signal and not physically see what’s ahead, but get the echoes or impressions of the terrain depending on how strong or how far they send their sonar signal. The difference however, is we do not send most of the time, but constantly receive. And our range is dependent on how advanced our ability is. We are also not super creatures as what is depicted of us in science fiction and comics. Not all empaths can interpret what they "read" accurately most especially when the empath himself is in a vulnerable state of mind. Accuracy comes with time and practice as with any ability.

Can a non-adept person block out an empath from feeling or getting an impression from him/her? The answer is yes but with extreme difficulty. Any living creature has energy fields with varying degrees of strength, and all these are interconnected and highly perceptible to an adept empath. An adept will naturally be curious why he can’t feel or read a person. And it won’t take long before that person’s defense is breached, but only if the empath really would want to. As much as possible, an empath would like to not get any impression at all, for it means one less person contributing to silence.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Losing Relationships

I empathize with anyone who is in pain and I truly understand what you are going through as of the moment. The best of us have undergone this situation one time or another in our lives. Just recently, I have been subjected to such an event. Not by my choice, mind you. Moreover, like all the others before it, it was not a pleasurable episode.

It is painful to put a strain on or even lose any kind of relationship especially when you have already invested considerable time, energy, and emotion into it. However, reality bites that sometimes, things just do not work the way we envisioned them to be. Nevertheless, should we wallow in sorrow and retreat ourselves into the darker recesses of our inner being when everything crumbles? My answer is an unequivocal, yes. In that particular time frame, one has all the right to be. For in our lonesome and in our darkness, we learn to look at ourselves from within and from another angle amidst the emptiness surrounding us.

At this stage, each of us has our own threshold of how long we stay on this level. The sooner we realize that we deserve something better than what we have in our temporary predicament, the sooner we emerge from the darkness like the mythical phoenix, reborn from the ashes of the past, and with the flames burning bright towards a better future.

"Move on", two words we commonly say, and hear people say when one chapter ends and another is on the wings. However, allow me to augment that, personally, "moving on" in itself is an inaccurate description of what we should do. For when we say move on, it simply illustrates the physical and mental state from one point to another. I say inaccurate, since saying "moving on" is an incomplete phrase. It simply says we move, but it does not say "where to." For we can say move on up, move on down, move on sideways, move on forward, or, even move on backwards.

I say my friend, make your move a more positive one, and state with conviction, "There is no other way for me to go but to move on forward. I am done being down, so along with that I will also move on up. Hello world, I am back!"

So keep on believing that there is someone out there we truly deserve to be with, and someone who deserves us. Also learn to say a silent prayer of thanks, that we live another day as the Creator intended for us. Thanking Him for the opportunity that we exist not because we need it, but we exist for the simple reason that someone out there needs us. We exist not just as an object of their affection, but also as their guiding light, and their angel on our short stay here on earth.

Note: Picture taken from the web.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife

When I get bored to my guts and really wanted to have some peace and quiet or just want a change of scene, I just step out of the house and trek anywhere within the OLD FORT BONIFACIO. I just grab a book and read away under almost century old acacia trees. Just me, my book, under a tree, sometimes atop its branches, while a cool and gentle zephyr blows. But ever since "development" of THE FORT and the coming of modern structures, the natural ambiance and serenity of the place vanished along with the trees and endemic wildlife. Gone is the peace and quiet, leaving only bits and patches of "untouched" land as you see in the picture below.

An almost century old acacia tree still left untouched in Fort Bonifacio today

But, now that tall edifices replaced the once tree laden FORT, I go back to Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife in Quezon City. It has been a while since I last visited this park. For those on a budget, both time and money, the park is a quick getaway for those who want to commune with nature or for those who just wants to sit back and relax, without ever leaving the city. I just hope cities in around the metro with patches of land to spare, can make parks like these for all to enjoy.

Details of Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife

Location: Quezon City
Entrance Price: PhP15/car; PhP8 per person

For first timers. Make sure you fully charge your Digital Cameras and Video Cameras. Bring extra batteries if you have to for there are lots of great vistas wherein you can have photo ops with friends in nature scenes, and with various flora and fauna as backdrops. Coming to the park is far more rewarding in my opinion, to relax by your lonesome, a special someone, or be with friends and/or family while communing with nature other than gallivanting in concrete jungles (READ: Malls).

For those who haven't been to Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife, check out the pictures below. These were all taken inside the park.

Other Write ups:

A refreshing experience of the woods and its wildlife in a safe environment. Quezon City harbors such a place. Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife was started in the mid Martial Law years (late 70s to early 80s). It’s an 80-hectare city forest reserve for woodland and animal life. It is along the Elliptical Road in Diliman, Quezon City, across the Quezon Memorial Circle.

From downtown Manila travel takes, via the España-Quezon Avenue route, some 45 minutes to an hour. Public transportation plying Quiapo to Philcoa or Fairview will never fail to drive past this Philippine tourist spot in Quezon City. It’s right at the very tip of Quezon Avenue right across Kidney Center and Lung Center of the Philippines.

Named “Philippine Parks and Wildlife” in the Marcos administration, it was changed to “Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife” in the reign of President Corazon Aquino. This Philippine tourist spot in Quezon City boasts of a number of caged wild animals and tree and plant species, plus a vast playground, deeply shaded promenades, a man-made lagoon, eatery, huts and cottages, among others.

Lots of school excursions, tourist trips, movie and commercial shooting, and casual visits are scheduled in this Philippine tourist spot in Quezon City. Even health buffs like joggers and volleyball and badminton aficionados frequent it, especially in early mornings. Picnic grooves and huts are best for outdoor meals and helpings are available at the eatery beside the lagoon.

The lagoon is littered with benches at its edges under big tree shades. A sunken amphitheater is at its bank. It is a favorite hang out of lovers, book readers, bonding families, idle visitors, and students rehearsing a drama or concert. Others celebrate religious fellowships there and display public communion with their Creator. The lagoon has an extended covered port where curious visitors can venture farther and nose around for what may be hiding in the lake.

Life activities of men, the wilds, and nature burst with vibrancy at Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wild Life. This wooded haven standing right in the midst of business affords travelers with an accessible Philippine tourist spot in Quezon City.


NOTE: All photos except THE ACACIA were taken from the Web.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SONA 2009

Note: I submitted this reaction to Victorina I think just a few minutes late. It never got out so I decided to publish it here. Make no mistake, I am angry. I am so tired that our country's problems have been going on and on. It saddens me that some of those who were our student leaders back then are now the ones part of the machine that adds burden to what we were fighting against way back. So here goes...

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo gestures during her State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines on Monday, July 27, 2009. Arroyo said she has no desire to extend her term beyond next year.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo gestures during her State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines on Monday, July 27, 2009. Arroyo said she has no desire to extend her term beyond next year. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

I was really looking forward to another series of geography lesson that was evident from last years SONA. I was anticipating a good laugh. A friend from Bicol, came to Manila just to be part of the SONA. No, he was not invited to congress as part of those who were there dressed up for the occasion. He was dressed to kill, nonetheless, but he was on the streets, in white leather boots. For that, I dare call him a SNAP - Susyal Na Anak Pawis. Yes, he was one of those who weathered the rain that miraculously fell heavily only in Quezon City.

As I listen to the nonsense being delivered on the screen, I was no longer amused by the customary applause at precise moments of the mostly lies being said of yet another year in power. The introduction of individuals who were used as props to highlight some of her programs. This year, the biggest prop was Manny Pacquiao.

I said lies. Yes! Lies! As in that disclaimer about her leaking silicone implants. We have all been boobs all along, and now even our president leaks. She presented to the people a new set of numbers and claims indicating the supposed growth of the country in spite of the financial crisis the world is experiencing now, even bragging to the nation of an upgrade in that Moody credit rating. But those numbers mean squat when a lowly mother of four cannot even make ends meet. Those numbers have been presented long ago. How long before it can trickle down and be enjoyed by the masses? So sad when we know that the supposed economic growth she has been announcing is only enjoyed by a handful of oligarchs. Good news for them, bad news for us. These same people are now contemplating on who to put in that hallowed seat in that palace by the polluted river, so as to keep the status quo, thereby assuring the games continue. The sadder part is, we, the pawns are always the first to be sacrificed.

No Madame President, the state of the nation is not strong. Only the dissent of the people is getting stronger due to your and your minions mismanagement of the county's affairs. I do not care what your numbers say when we the people are getting hungrier day by day. I do not know what part of the Philippines she is looking at, but what was given in her reports were just that, numbers, lies and more cover-ups of what the true state of the nation really is. No Madame President, the state of the nation is not strong, for what you have said in your past SONA's have not come into full fruition. Many in fact remained as illusions. Some even became the source of expensive embarrassments. ZTE.... NBN... what more acronyms will pop up in your last months as president? She was caught with her hands in the cookie jar once, sort of speak, and she said she was sorry. No more sorry than we were for letting it slide and allowing her to remain in power. But to her credit, it was better than letting someone with a bigger hunger than her and her family, take the reins and make the havoc her power brokers caused, and turn everything into total carnage. Her supporters fastidiousness is to be credited for her extended stay. But still, I am not laughing, most especially when I realized that I spent an hour of my life watching and listening to her deliver nothing but something closely resembling and smelled of fecal matter. I am sorry Madame President, but unlike your minions, I don't eat shit.

Good luck to all of us in your final days of stay in power and may you bring all your minions with you when you leave. Oh and please close the door on your way out.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: A few hours after GMA delivered her 9th and hopefully final State of the Nation Address, gasoline prices rose P2.00/liter.

*Photo of GMA used w/o permission however photographer duly credited. Pacquiao picture was taken from the web.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Spark, a Shuffle, a Dog, and Boom Booms!

I'm back. Yup! I haven't been blogging for a while.......... by choice. I have had my hands full as of late, and based on my last entry, you probably know why. We now have 22 house companions. Yes you read right 22, and more are coming. Wendy and Tiny are both pregnant. Heehee. Wee! More puppies. Well, that is not exactly what I will blog about today.

Last June 6, 2009. Victorina held a meeting and we were to meet at Bonifacio High Street, which was great for me since it was only a hop, skip and a jump from where I live. It turned out that Philips had an event to introduce their new line of MP3 players in the market that same day. And mind you, these babies are quite affordable. I have been a fan of Philips from way back. And it was a treat to know that they have these new line of MP3 gadgets in store which are far more affordable and user friendly than the iPods.

I am a gadget addict. I literally spend more on gadgets than I do on clothes. Needless to say, I feel naked walking around without any form of gadgetry on me. But none, of all the gadgets that were on display that night, got my fancy. They were all too aesthetically common for my taste. At that point, I was ready for another gadget. My last acquisition being the MSI Wind Netbook which I almost never turn off even if I leave the house. It never gets hot, despite working almost 24/7, a real good buy for me. To clear things up, I don't just up and buy any gadget on impulse. I see first what it is capable of and what the manufacturers promise it can and cannot do. How sturdy it is and if it is easily upgradable, and of course, pleasing to look at (Read: It doesn't look weird or outlandish).

The surprise of the evening came not from the Philips event itself but from Atty. Trixie Angeles. We were merrily chatting as we proceeded to register for the Philips event (there was a draw wherein prizes were Philips products), Atty. Trixie takes this little square device out from her bag. I was curious but didn't say a thing for I did not know what it was. Then she says it was a Philips GoGear device she got from a raffle. It was 4 gigs and can record this and that. It has a built in FM radio. It was a cute little thing. And I wanted one right on the spot. Unfortunately, there was none displayed that night despite it being flashed on the screens during the event, as I found out later on. The next day, I researched on the product and then two days after, I set out to look for that Philips Gadget which was called the Spark.

I am not really keen on buying anything without trying it out. No matter how cheap they may be. More so if they cost an arm and a leg. But I was in a hurry and besides, if I don't like it, I can always return it. The seller better not give me their litany of no return no exchange policy. As far as I am concerned, that is against the consumer act. But luckily, there was no need. After charging it via USB, I found it was so simple to transfer music and pictures into the device. Just click, drag, and drop. So much simpler than the iPod. Then I found out that if the song has an embedded album cover to it, it will display it in the screen as the song plays, or if you embed it to the MP3 yourself. Cool. The interface is so simple. The navigation buttons are the screen edges. Even with the headset it came with, the little thing sounded great most especially when using the full-sound technology that greatly improves sound quality. Alas, it can only play MP3, WAV, and WMA files. But I didn't care. It still sounded great. What's more, it can play up to 27 hours non-stop before recharging. Neat! That blows the new iPod Shuffle out of the water with only 10 hours continuous running time, and the new shuffle, as in the previous model, doesn't even have a screen. It just got smaller, and it now supposedly "talks."
And to think I almost bought this latest iPod Shuffle. It's cute and all, but I don't like the idea of having to listen to an electronic voice telling me what I am listening to. And the lack of tweaking the sound via equalizers to get maximum output that will suit my ears is a big no no. Add to that, the controls are now on the headphone cable. Oh, oh. That limits the owner to use none other than proprietary headphones Apple sells, or from Apple friendly manufacturers. That is not good considering no pair of ears are made alike. Not all manufacturers make good sounding headphones. Thank you Atty. Trixie for subconsciously showing me a better alternative in the Philips GoGear Spark. In electronics, expensive isn't everything. And when a gadget is expensive, it doesn't literally translate as having a superior product.

Just recently, I've updated the firmware on the Philips GoGear Spark and it can now play APE (Monkey Audio) and FLAC formats. Perfect! Now I can listen to Lossless audio. I have also bought replacement earbuds for my Spark. I got me a Philips SHE-7850.
The Spark sounded even better with it than with the earbuds that came with the unit. Then I got curious how an in-ear earbud will sound with the Spark. So I brought mine along to electronic showrooms and tried out JVC, Bose, Sennheiser and Shure. They all sounded good but they don't fit my ears quite right, some are uncomfortable to put and have on, plus they do not stay on like they are supposed to. So one has to shove them back in from time to time. Another drawback, they are expensive. Some almost costs triple than the player itself. Not for me. Even if I had the money, I wouldn't subject my ears to such expensive aural and physical torture, so I scrapped the idea.

Just yesterday, I took Noah (one of my Chihuahuas) for a stroll around Fort Bonifacio. Our last stop was Bonifacio High Street. I've trained Noah well enough that he doesn't need a collar to obey me. He doesn't get distracted by people, or other dogs we meet. That is why he is so easy to bring along.

We passed by this store which sells among other things earphones, headphones, in-ear earbuds, etc. Noah and I went in the store and I was elated the staff was not against Noah walking freely by my side. Some stores and shops don't like it when you bring non-human companions in. Then I saw among the displays this inexpensive metallic earphone from A4Tech (MK-650) for only P350 (about US$7.20 at the current exchange rate). I have used a lot of A4Tech products in the past and I find them durable and reliable, so curiosity got the best of me. It says on the package that it is an iSecureFit, noise cancelling, sound isolating, in ear design metallic earphone. It also claims that it works like an earplug to block out noise and enables one to listen comfortably at lower volumes even in loud environments. So I bought it, tried it out on the spot, but not expecting anything spectacular from a, well, cheap product. BOOM! I WAS WRONG!

Not only did the Spark sounded great with the MK-650, I had to lower the volume a little past below half, turn off full sound, and customize equalization. WOW! I do appreciate a product that does what it says right there on the package. It was easy and comfortable in the ears, made of metal, it does cancel noise, and you also need to lower the volume and still hear comfortably. The Bass, Treble, Highs and Lows are well pronounced. Thank goodness the Spark can be customizable. I was shockingly impressed that I bought another pair right then and there, just in case the other pair got into some form of accident. And they do come in different colors too. I've read later on that A4Tech's MK-650 is a clone of Maximo iM-490, see picture below.
Be that as it may, I find A4Tech's MK-650 worth more than the P350 I paid for it. And if Trixie gets to read this, I would highly suggest she gets a pair, it is truly worth it. I wonder... where can I find and try out Maximo iM-490?

Because of the sound quality I got from A4Tech's MK-650, I decided to get me a pair of in-ear earbuds from Philips to match my Spark. After checking out several models, most notably SHE9800 and the SHE9850, which I believe are way overpriced locally. I contemplated instead on getting the:

Philips SHE9550
or the
Philips SHE9700
I was able to try out both models in a store at Parksquare Makati, they had trial units which is quite rare for sealed mid-range products. Both sounded great, but I ended up getting the SHE9700 because my ears find it sounds better, and they fit my ears quite nicely.
Auditory gadget adventure sated... for now. I wonder how long before my finger itches for a new gadget? Hey, I heard that the pocket sized Optoma Pico PK-101 Projector is now out in the market.... Or that new Vuzix Wrap 920AV Video Eyewear... Guess I better check those out soon.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

House Companions

For my first entry entry this 2009, instead of the usual, I've decided to share with you some pictures of our house companions. When I say some, I mean just some. Our house is a virtual zoo at this point. But who's complaining?

And this one is set to music.