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April Food Day

Hunger began at the beginning of time. It is inescapable. Most of us view hunger as a condition that has changed over the centuries. We perceive our society as better prepared today.

After all, the history books we read growing up told us that America was the land of the plenty.

When colonists landed in this country, they were fighting off hunger. Population rapidly declined. That was 400 years ago. Settlers were subject to disease, raids and poor crop outcome. Conditions are much improved today.

In the eighteenth century, having overcome disease, hunger and wars, the colonists were gaining strength. They possessed the space, better resources and organization. But there was still hunger. Conditions are much improved today.

In the nineteenth century, hunger was perceived by some theorists as the result of a flawed individual. In reality, hunger was an unavoidable situation. There was mass starvation, illness, crowded living conditions, horrendous working environments and lots of child labor. Conditions are much improved today.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, hunger began to gain a new understanding. Humanitarian groups, social reformers, political activists and scientists all saw that hunger was a political and economic force out of their control.

During the Depression, there was tremendous hardship, hemorrhaging unemployment and millions of Americans starved. Many of us heard stories told by our grandparents as we watched them keep their pantries full of canned foods. Just incase, my grandmother always told me. That was then, I would tell my grandmother, conditions are much improved today. We learned from the Depression, didn’t we?

Hunger is invisible to most of us, but today people young and old are lining up at food banks in this land of plenty. It is a reality and it isn’t going away. Supplies are dwindling and pantries worry they might not be able to help provide what so many of us take for granted: food. Please consider contributing: here.

Thank you Meg for making many of us more aware.

Louis XV and the Flying Table

Louis XV was a very shy and private man. He had ten children with his wife, Marie Leczinska. Attentive at first, but later he only acknowledged her in the accompaniment of others. He would, however, visit her privately for a few minutes each day. This was a time when pandering to a king was an honorable calling, finding girls from the gutter, scrubbing them up with soap and giving them to the king was not unusual. Louis XV was busy for quite some time. Louis chose very wisely with his first official mistress Mme. de Pompadour. Although a plebeian by birth, her taste helped to set the style of the court. She surrounded herself with a superabundance of the finest paintings, furnishings and porcelains and accompanied the king when he commissioned items for the court.

Although their physical affair did not last long, she met the king’s needs in every other way discussing politics, business and hunting. She studied the lives of the previous king’s mistresses learning lessons of their successes and their failures. Mme. de Pompadour was not supplanted by an equal rival for some time and was considered the king’s “special friend”. She purchased items from an allowance from the king and borrowed from the royal court. She established good credit with them borrowing and borrowing again. Primarily, she invested wisely. Mme. de Pompadour was only 42 when she died leaving an enormous collection behind. It took two notaries and several experts nearly a good year to list an inventory of her possessions. And it took more than eight months to sell everything at auction.

Even just special friends, both Louis XV and Mme. De Pompadour enjoyed privacy and dining in quiet, small spaces together. Louis hired architect Agne-Jacques Gabriel to construct the Petite Trianon -- a masterpiece characterized by soberness, order, and perfection. The structure was a complete break with rococo style. Gabriel planned for the inside to have a very convenient service -- a dining room with a very unique floor.

Allegedly, the first modern elevator was built in 1743 as a way for Louis XV to skitter around undetected and allow for clandestine meetings with various mistresses. This same elevator idea was to be employed in the Petit Trainon. An area of the floor of the dining room was to be decorated with a rosette pattern. At any given signal, Louis could have his servants slide the floorboards back revealing an opening through the floor. A table rose from the room below dressed with elaborate porcelain dinnerware and scrumptious food. When a course was finished, Louis could give another signal and the table would slowly descend. Each new course was set upon the table and rose again. This ingenious idea was devised to exclude the need of any servants disturbing him during intimate dinners. This “flying Table" (table volant) was equipped with two shelves, a drawer filled with utensils and, of course, a cooler for wine.

Mme de Pompadour wasn’t able to enjoy dining with the new contraption, she died in 1764. Only the exterior walls of the structure were completed by her death.

Crisis Management Video

Niloko ka niya. Iniwan. Ilang gabi mo siyang iniyakan. At kahit sinasabi mo sa friends mong naka-move on ka na, sa puso mo alam mong may puwang pa rin siya. Hanggang isang araw, hindi inaasahan, nagkita uli kayo. Sa mall. O kaya sa church. O kung talagang minamalas ka, sa jeep. Guwapo pa rin siya. Nakakatunaw pa rin ang ngiti. Kung pwede lang, gusto mo siyang yakapin uli. In fact, kung magso-sorry lang siya, baka matukso kang makipagbalikan. Kaso... may kasama siyang bagong jowa! At sweet sila sa isa't isa, nagbubulungan, naghahagikgikang parang mga probinsiyanang birhen. Samantalang ikaw, nag-iisa.

Anong gagawin mo? Maghe-hello at magpe-pretend na ok? O magdarasal na sana kainin ka na lang bigla ng lupa?

Walang dapat ipangamba. Narito ang instructional video sakaling dumating nga ang araw na kinatatakutan mo. Panoorin at pag-aralang mabuti ang step-by-step demo ng mga bagay na dapat mong gawin oras na magkita uli kayo ng ex mo. Pramis, siguradong wagi ka dito.

Source: KUWAN

One Tama - Actions Speak Loudest When Shared!

Ideals Creative, an advertising agency focused on social-responsibility projects, recently launched a realistic campaign called "One Tama" which was brought to them by the youth empowerment organization Duyan ng Giting (Cradle of Valor).

One Tama, according to their website, started with the question, “If we want a better country, what can we do about it for one day?” The organizers then decided to focus the campaign not on a whole day, but on one action for the day to help our country make progress and to encourage everyone to privately commit to make good things happen. This is because the campaign, as they describe it, is not about waiting for changes to come from above — such as the government or a big dramatic event — but from below as well, meaning you and me.

To engage people in this very personal advocacy, One Tama launched its campaign with a website listing little activities that everyone can do amid the flurry of deadlines that come our way. At same time, they also promote people to share their own One Tama moments in various ways. To encourage more people to be more Juan Tama than Juan Tamad, they even tallied the number of the online actions shared with friends and the actions completed by readers. So far, only 199 One Tama Tasks have been done

Below are some of One Tama tasks that you might agree with and hopefully can try, too.

1. Stop crab mentality. Support one another!

2. If you’re a Filipino, travel around the Philippines first.

3. Say "I love you" more often to your parents.

4. Magpakabait kahit walang premyo or nakatingin.

5. Follow traffic rules and regulations.

You too can also be part of this campaign! To find out how you can join or make a contribution, click here.

Margot: Queen of Hearts

Marguerite de Valois (1553 - 1615)

Known as Margot by her family, she was a daughter of a king, a sister of three kings, sister-in-law of another king and a wife of a king. She was among the most vilified women in French history. Accused of having an insatiable sexual appetite, also added to the list of accusations was incest, corruption, murders, treason, and the cause of the political disintegration of France.

Many lies were said about her. Protestant propaganda deemed her as a whore living a decadent life. Catholic propaganda cast her as a woman of dubious faith who committed unspeakable with her brothers in order to gain power. One of her brothers accused her of inappropriate behavior with a lady-in-waiting and later conspired against her. Her mother, Catherine de’ Medici, said she was born on an evil day.

It is difficult to know the real truth. Women were mere pawns in the royal game of power.

Chronicles document that she was one of the most beautiful women of her time; and most noted for her intelligence and learning. Unique, dynamic and daring, she enjoyed wearing various colored wigs -- pink, lilac, purple and red -- to dances and parties. When she was older and her natural color turned gray, she wore powdered wigs sprinkled real gold, the flecks catching in the sunlight.

She wrote a memoir and poetry. And even in an age where licentiousness ran mad, her morals were lax -- she was known for her string of lovers.

In an attempt to bring a peace between Catholics and Protestants, the 19 year old Catholic Margot married the French Hugenot, Henri de Bourbon, King of Navarre, on August 18, 1572. A Catholic-Huguenot marriage was controversial and irregular. It was said the couple looked straight ahead during the ceremony, never looking at one another. Margot married him with a forced nod by an older brother's hand upon her head shaking it up and down. Henri spent most of his time outside the church during the mass. Just six days after the wedding, Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre occurred. The wedding offered an opportunity for the most wealthy and prominent Huguenots to attend and linger in Paris. Wedding celebrations would go on for days back then. The massacres spread throughout Paris, to other urban centres and then to the countryside. It lasted several weeks. Tens of thousands of Protestants were killed.

Margot hid several Hugenots in her rooms, including her new husband, not answering to her Catholic mother or any of the assassins. Henri's mother, Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre, had opposed the marriage, but traveled to attend the wedding. She never got to see her son married dying under mysterious circumstances. Some say Margot's mother killed her with a gift of poisoned gloves.

Shortly after their marriage Henri took a mistress. He was known to neglect Margot. By 1575, the couple's relations were no longer physical: "I could not endure the pain that I felt," Margot wrote, "and I stopped sleeping with the King my husband". Then she took a lover too. Henri didn’t mind her love affairs as it allowed him ample opportunity to pursue his numerous mistresses.

But her brother Henri III did.

Margot's lovers all died violent deaths. Beheaded, hanged, dismembered or wounded. It was said that Margot saved the heart of each lover and had them embalmed carefully storing them away in gold boxes which she would tuck in little pockets sewn on the inside of her hoop skirt. She spent much of her life apart from Henri in the castle of Cazeneuve, near Bordeaux. She would sneak off at night through a secret passage to a cave on the River Ciron where she would meet her young lovers. Henri IV, king for over a decade, divorced her in 1599 because she was unable to provide him a succession to the throne.

However, after 20 years of an estranged marriage followed by divorce, Margot and Henri became good friends. He let her keep her title after he remarried and gave her a large allowance. The Queen in her fifties never slowed down with her boyfriends.

Her famous words: Is it a crime to love? Is it right to punish me for it? There are no ugly loves, no more than there are beautiful prisons!

Dating Tips and Advice

Nothing would be better if you end your date with your special someone fun, one of a kind and memorable. So in order to have a successful and unforgettable dating experience, listed below are some of the most powerful and sure-fire tips in dating.

Forget about your past relationships. Past is past so there is no need to discuss the bitterness and heartaches of your past relationships. Talking about past relationships may likely bring an awkward atmosphere to your date because you are there to kick off another journey of your love life and yet you talk exes. Not a good sign to start a brand new relationship.

Be yourself. Acting like a second version of someone else will not impress your date. It is one of the major turn offs to most girls or boys. This may likely ending your date with a total mess or complete embarrassment to yourself. Pretending to be on someone else shoes is starting things on a wrong foot. So better, behave and act yourself.

Give each other some respect. Do not act as if you are the king or queen of the world. This may probably create a disgusting moment for your date. Being respectful is one of the greatest assets that every people admire. In addition, this can gain trust in favor of you, thus expecting another round of date is a whole lot easier.

Observe proper hygiene, outfit and accessories. This may be a basic thing but often mistook. Learn to mix and match things without looking yourself like a Christmas tree. Moreover, who would dare to date someone if he or she stinks, no one, right? However, do not overdo things like showering the whole bottle of perfume in your mother’s closet.

Be a good conversationalist. But not to the point that you do all the talking and your date is just listening. How boring! A good conversationalist is a person who knows how to give others a chance to talk and at the same time pay attention to her or him. You will never realize that time flies too fast. This is also good to avoid dead air.

Avoid awkward topics. Not all topics are good to talk about. There are some things in life that should not be open up especially if you are having your first dates. Better keep it for yourself unless you know that person way back elementary years.

It's Friday...Yehey!!!

Waiting for Friday....

Here it comes.....

Here it comes.....

Here it comes.....

Here it comes.....

Yehey, It's Friday!!!

Happy Weekend c",)

Heart Attack - Know The Signs That Could Save Your Life

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines. Every year, thousand of people and about a third of these are fatal. It usually occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood through a coronary artery.

Signs and Symptoms:

1. Pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
2. Pain extending beyond your chest to your shoulder, arm, back, or even your teeth and jaw
3. Increasing episodes of chest pain
4. Prolonged pain in the upper abdomen
5. Shortness of breath
6. Sweating
7. Fainting
8. Nausea and vomiting

Who are at risk?

1. Smoking and long-term exposure to second hand smoke
2. High blood pressure
3. High blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels
4. Lack of physical activity
5. Obesity
6. Diabetes
7. Stress
8. Too much alcohol
9. Family history of heart attack


1. Don't smoke
2. Have your blood cholesterol levels checked regularly
3. Get regular medical check ups
4. Control your blood pressure
5. Exercise regularly
6. Maintain a healthy weight
7. Manage stress
8. Eat a heart-healthy diet

Don't Wait 'Til It Hurts - Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Bacteria are usually the cause of urinary tract infections (UTI). Infections can involve any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Urinary tract infections are much more common in women than in men.

Signs and Symptoms:

1. Pain or burning sensation when urinating
2. A strong, persistent urge to urinate
3. Belly feels tender or heavy
4. Urine is cloudy or smells bad
5. Blood in the urine
6. Pain on one side of your back under your ribs. This is where your kidneys are.
7. Fever and chills
8. Nausea and vomiting

Who are at risk?

1. Not drinking enough fluids
2. Pregnancy
3. Kidney stones or any other urinary obstruction
4. Diabetes and other chronic illnesses that may impair the immune system
5. Using certain types of birth control


1. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
2. Empty bladder as soon as possible after intercourse
3. Avoid potentially irritating feminine products
4. Wipe from front to back

Mad for the Merrie Monarch Style

Charles II was popularly known as the Merrie Monarch. He brought with him liveliness and hedonism to his court. There was a sense of relief when he was crowned in 1660. There was a return to normality after over a decade of harsh Puritanism rule by Oliver Cromwell. The Merrie Monarch did not have children with his wife Catherine of Braganza whom he often neglected with his licentious ways, but he acknowledged at least 12 illegitimate children by various mistresses.

It was sometime during the reign of Merrie Monarch that the English really began to appreciate Chinese art. The Portuguese were the first to bring back items from China and Japan a century earlier. They even set up trading spots to supply all of Europe. However, it wasn’t until the 1600s when some pieces trickled into England. By the second half of the century, lacquered objects were imported into Britain on a large scale. Astonished by the refined quality and exotic beauty, the English could not get enough of this lacquer work. Artists who had a chance to take home some of these imported objects such as blue and white porcelain, lacquer screens and cabinets immediately copied the patterns with the utmost and precise detail. They didn’t know how it was done. That didn’t matter. They were crazy for it so they imitated the look.

Cabinet and chair makers began to use Chinese elements for decoration on their own pieces of furniture. Imported Chinese furnishings didn’t fit with their uses, with other pieces of furniture and they weren’t in scale with their houses. But the Chinese style was painted onto their furniture forms. This exotic look must have seemed especially fitting to the rich, decorative style of the Baroque times.

As the standard of life began to rise, people wanted this Chinese lacquer look in their homes. Lacquer cabinets were the most highly prized pieces of furniture during the Restoration time. The decoration was alluring and flawless. It was bazaar at the same time fascinating. But it also came with a very hefty price tag which remained out of reach for all but the very wealthy.

Methods of production were written down in recipe books and provided guidance for the professional as well as for the amateur. John Stalker and George Parker published A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing; it was a very popular buy for the amateur decorator as well as the professional cabinet-maker. Japanning, as it was called, was considered a very elegant occupation for a lady. Women japanned anything and everything from chairs to candlestands to little boxes.

What else to do with this stylish look? Oak wainscoting had gone out of fashion. Tapestry was rather expensive and it wasn’t readily available in custom-made sizes. European wallpapers already existed but were not widespread in use –- the pattern a bit clunky made from woodblock prints. A Chinese paper hanging was an idea but they were scarce, delicate and hard to come by. Textiles from Holland such silks, calico and chintz were used frequently but people were looking for something new.

For the ultra wealthy who could afford Chinese screens, sometimes they would disassemble them and line the walls of a small dressing room or closet. Hampton Court, Chatsworth and Burghley all had lacquered rooms before the century closed. In 1682, one unidentified house in England used screens as wainscoting in a hallway. And the likes of which I would love to have seen.

This idea spread throughout Europe to Germany and even as far north as Copenhagen.

In the 1660's the highly fashion-conscious Frederik III and Sophie Amalie had the wall panels and doors painted in the "Chinese" style of their shared bedroom. The green lacquered panels have gold drawings.

But (for me) the most intriguing look of all is japanned leather wall coverings. Leather was durable and very practical and, unlike today, it was priced reasonably. Before leather wall hangings were ornamented by embossing patterns into it with a wooden block. It was decided that japanning leather made a suitable background for rooms. The skins, plentiful and cheap, were first covered with silver leaf, and then glued together. Once dry the silver was burnished then a yellow varnish was brushed over to give it a more gilded and glowing look. An all over design was applied by oil paint. Patterns frequently found on blue and white porcelain pieces were adapted. Very popular in England, these leather wall hangings must have looked spectacular glistening from the reflected candlelight.

Though located in Germany in the hall of Schloss Finckenstein (the name doesn’t roll off the tongue easily does it?), this wall hanging was allegedly copied from English ones. And though I will admit, I love the look and feel of leather but hate to think where it comes from, I am dying to see this in color.

We don’t have time anymore to develop the skill to adorn our walls or furniture or even small objects. It is a shame. It is interesting to note that many of us -- if forced to choose even in this dismal economy -- would pass over a large, practical piece of furniture for a sentimental little object our grandmothers made years ago -- a little decoupage handbag with a bakelite handle, a small mirror with a seashell frame or a small needle pointed rug. Only the biggest and grandest pieces of japanned furniture seem to have survived. I wonder what happened to the smaller, more sentimental bits someone’s mother or grandmother made four centuries ago.