Monday, February 13, 2012

Grammy's 2012: Guess who rocked the night!

Grammy's 2012!!!! The much awaited night of the music/recording industry has come. Royalties of the industry, both old and new, are revealed. Who has soared higher? Who has got what it takes to be a Grammy baby? Who bagged the life-changing titles this year? 
The annual Grammy Awards brings together creative and technical professionals in the recording industry worldwide.

This year's Grammy Awards presentation was held on February 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

With Adele hailed as the biggest winner for this year's Grammy, here is the complete list of 54th Grammy Awards winners:

RECORD OF THE YEAR:Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: Glen Campbell, The Allman Brothers Band, Antonio Carlos Jobim, The Memphis Horns, George Jones, Diana Ross
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM: Lady Antebellum, Own The Night
SONG OF THE YEAR: “Rolling In The Deep” (Adele)
BEST R&B ALBUM: Chris Brown, F.A.M.E.
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE: Jay-Z & Kanye West, “Otis”
BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE: Adele, “Someone Like You”
BEST DANCE RECORDING: Skillrex, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”
BEST DANCE AND ELECTRONICA ALBUM: Skillrex, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites
BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE: Tony Bennet & Amy Winehouse, “Body And Soul”
BEST R&B PERFORMANCE: Corinne Bailey Rae, “Is This Love”
BEST TRADITIONAL R&B PERFORMANCE: Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona, “Fool For You”
BEST R&B SONG: Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona, “Fool For You”
BEST RAP SONG: Kanye West, feat. Rihanna, Fergie and Kid Cudi, “All Of The Lights”
BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION: Kanye West, feat. Rihanna, Fergie and Kid Cudi, “All Of The Lights”
BEST RAP ALBUM: Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
BEST FOLK ALBUM: The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow
BEST COUNTRY SONG: Taylor Swift, “Mean”
BEST NEW AGE ALBUM: Pat Metheny, What It’s All About
BEST SHORT FORM MUSIC VIDEO: Adele, “Rolling In The Deep”
BEST LONG FORM MUSIC VIDEO: Foo Fighers, “Back And Forth”
BEST ROCK SONG: Foo Fighters, “Walk”
BEST ROCK ALBUM: Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
BEST POP INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM: Booker T. Jones, “The Road From Memphis”
BEST IMPROVISED JAZZ SOLO: Chick Corea, “500 Miles High”
BEST JAZZ VOCAL ALBUM: Terri Lyne Carrington & Various Artists, The Mosaic Project
BEST JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM: Corea, Clarke & White, Forever
BEST LARGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE ALBUM: Christian McBride Big Band, The Good Feeling
BEST GOSPEL ALBUM: Kirk Franklin, “Hello Fear”
BEST COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK: “Boardwalk Empire: Volume 1″
BEST SONG FOR VISUAL MEDIA: “I See The Light” (from Tangled)
BEST ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE: Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic), “Brahms: Symphony No. 4″
BEST OPERA RECORDING: John Adams Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Metropolitan Opera Chorus, “Doctor Atomic”
BEST CHORAL PERFORMANCE: “Light and Gold,” Eric Whitacre, Conductor
BEST SMALL ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE: Rinde Eckert and Steven Mackey (Eighth Blackbird), “Lonely Motel, Music From Slide,”
BEST CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTAL SOLO: Giancarlo Guerrero, Christopher Lamb (Nashville Symphony), “Schwantner: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra”
BEST CLASSICAL VOCAL SOLO: Joyce Didonato, “Diva Divo”
BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION: Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein, “Elmer Gantry”
BEST SPOKEN WORD ALBUM: Betty White, If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t)
BEST ALBUM NOTES: Hear Me Howling!: Blues, Ballads & Beyond As Recorded by the San Francisco Bay
BEST INSTRUMENTAL COMPOSITION: Béla Fleck & Howard Levy, Life In Eleven
BEST INSTRUMENTAL ARRANGEMENT: Gordon Goodwin, Rhapsody in Blue
BEST INSTRUMENTAL ARRANGEMENT ACCOMPANYING VOCALIST(S): Jorge Calandrelli (Tony Bennett & Queen Latifah), Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
BEST GOSPEL SONG: Kirk Franklin, “Hello Fear”
BEST GOSPEL ALBUM: Kirk Franklin, Hello Fear
BEST BANDA OR NORTENO ALBUM: Los Tigres Del Norte, Los Tigres Del Norte and Friends
BEST AMERICANA ALBUM: Levon Helm, Ramble At The Ryman
BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUM: Alison Krauss & Union Station, Paper Airplane
BEST BLUES ALBUM: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Revelator
BEST REGIONAL ROOTS MUSIC ALBUM: Rebirth Brass Band, Rebirth of New Orleans
BEST REGGAE ALBUM: Stephen Marley, Revelation Pt 1: The Root Of Life
BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM: Tinariwen, Tassili
BEST CHILDREN'S ALBUM: Various Artists, All About Bullies… Big And Small
BEST COMEDY ALBUM: Louis C.K., Hilarious
BEST RECORDING PACKAGE: Caroline Robert (Arcade Fire), Scenes From The Suburbs
BEST BOXED OR SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE: Dave Bett & Michelle Holme (Bruce Springsteen), The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story
BEST HISTORICAL ALBUM: Paul McCartney, Band On The Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection – Deluxe Edition)
BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, NON-CLASSICAL: Neal Cappellino & Mike Shipley, Brad Blackwood (Alison Krauss & Union Station), Paper Airplane
BEST SURROUND SOUND ALBUM: Elliot Scheiner, Bob Ludwig, Bill Levenson & Elliot Scheiner (Derek & The Dominos), Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs (Super Deluxe Edition)
BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, CLASSICAL: Byeong-Joon Hwang & John Newton, Jesse Lewis (William Boggs, Keith Phares, Patricia Risley, Vale Rideout, Frank Kelley, Heather Buck, Florentine Opera Chorus & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra) Aldridge: Elmer Gantry

The recording industry's most prestigious award, the Grammy, is handed out annually by The Recording Academy (TRA) to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences worldwide. Awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, it is considered as a peer honor awarding ceremony, not sales or chart positions.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston: superstar of records and films alike

Whitney Houston during her best years.
Whitney Houston.  That is one household name for music lovers and wannabes alike. The 48-year old considered as the superstar who ruled as pop music's queen,  has died last Saturday. It is said that her voice so majestic and regal was ruined by her controversial behavior, drug use that  resulted from the quite violent marriage to another singer, Bobby Brown. 

Found dead in her room on the fourth floor of Beverly Hilton,  the police pronounced that they have seen no sign of violence that may have caused Whitney Houston's death. Her publicist also commented similar on the matter. 

Houston's death will sadden the upcoming Grammy Awards as this is the showcase  of talents on the stage where she once reigned, gaining millions of fans worldwide. She was supposed appear at the gala, with her friends saying that, "It's her favorite night of the year. "
She was seen rehearsing for the show and even coaching  Brandy and Monica,with some claiming Houston looking messed up, smelling  liquor and cigarettes.
Houston was hailed as "one of the world's greatest pop singers of all time who leaves musical soundtrack over the past three decades."
Whitney after some years of speculated drug abuse.

Houston became popular as the golden girl of the music industry, being one of the world's best-selling artists up to the 90s.  Her effortless, powerful and peerless vocals awed audiences anywhere. Her success expanded to the silver screen with   hits like "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale."
Before her fame started to wear off, Houston made her album debut in 1985 with "Whitney Houston," selling millions of copies. "Saving All My Love for You" that paved way to her grab of the first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. "How Will I Know," ''You Give Good Love" and "The Greatest Love of All" also became hit singles love by people, young and old. 
Houston's downfall reached its peak with a world tour that confirmed suspicions she had lost her treasured gift. Here, she failed to hit notes and left many fans unimpressed and some walked out. With some canceled concert dates, speculations of her abusing drugs soared, but she denied those claims and said she was in great shape, blaming her illness.

Hilton Beverly: Where she had her last breath.

Started as a church singer and back up voice, she has reached the highest of her career, but has plummeted way down with her mistakes in adult life. Nevertheless, Whitney Houston is still a superstar and a great loss to the international music industry. God bless you, Whitney. Farewell!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Niel Tupas Jr: Just another Ilonggo lawmaker?

Image from
Niel Tupas Jr- For those who have been into the first impeachment case for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, this spells familiarity and may even become a household name. The Congressman from the fifth district of Iloilo has made his mark not only as a prosecutor in the trial but as someone whom Sen Enrile has addressed with: 

“What way do you want me and the court to be more flexible? Are you suggesting that we should allow misleading questions? Are you suggesting that we should allow hearsay evidence? Are you suggesting that we should allow argumentative questions?”

Congressman Niel Tupas Jr said of his intention as calling for “flexibility” without sacrificing “due process” that made the Senate President continue by saying:

“If you want me to relax the rules, then tell me how I must do it and to what extent. [I am willing to] bend, accommodate [your suggestion to] show you that this court is not for or against anybody… but I must conduct this proceeding in an orderly manner.”

A young lawmaker from Iloilo, Niel Tupas Jr, had his sudden rise to the circle of congressional elites may have been influenced by this famous lines he has said on the opening day of the Impeachment trial against Chief Justice Renato Corona. Here is an excerpt:

"In closing, the message of the House, as the representatives of the people, is the same as that given by Oliver Cromwell when he dismissed England’s Long Parliament on April 20 of 1653. Before God and country, we say: “It is high time for us to put an end to your sitting in that place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice, you are an enemy to good government, as you have sold your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas Escariot betrayed your God for a few pieces of gold. Depart I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

Ilonggos' face off? (From Google)
But, who is Congressman Niel Tupas Jr? 

The eldest of seven siblings, and belonging to one of the province’s prominent political clans  based in Barotac Viejo,  Tupas first served as provincial board member from 2004 to 2007 representing the 5th distric tof Iloilo Province.

Other than being the son of the former Iloilo governor, he is a lawyer for 12 years, with more than half of it spent serving an elective position in Iloilo. He earned his degree in law from the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman in 1998 where he also obtained his political science degree, magna cum laude, in 1993.

He is connected with Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila Law Offices in Makati City where he became a junior partner specializing in litigation. His wife, Yvonne Angeli Lee-Tupas, who he has a daughter and a son, is junior partner of the same law firm and is now serving as his chief of staff at the House of Representatives.

The dominance of the Tupas political clan became more prominent under the Aquino administration. His father, former Gov. Niel Tupas Sr., was hailed as a director of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. Former Barotac Viejo town Mayor Raul Tupas is a director of the Department of Agriculture as regional technical assistant for Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao. While their sister, Niellete Tupas-Balleza, is a national consultant of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Tupas’ younger brother Niel Tupas III, is mayor of their hometown, Barotac Viejo.   Nielex Tupas, the youngest sibling, is on his second term as Iloilo City councilor and another brother, Nielo Tupas, is a member of the Iloilo provincial board. 

Image from Google

Bad tastes for Arroyo? 

Tupas denied criticisms that he is now pursuing the removal from office of allies of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Arroyo because of the string of what happened to his father in the past administration.

In January 2007, the Office of the Ombudsman under Gutierrez ordered the dismissal and removal from office of then Governor Tupas and then provincial board members Cecilia Capadosa and Domingo Oso for grave misconduct for alleged illegal disbursement of P85,000 to the regional chapter of the provincial board members league in 2004.

But Tupas Sr. fought and refused to leave the Capitol despite the 200 heavily armed policemen who stormed the provincial Capitol in an attempt to drag the governor out of his office. Tupas Jr. stood by his father and faced the policemen who aimed their M-16 rifles at him.

This later was settled and the dismissal order junked.

Valley Fault System in the Philippines

Image from

As we wait to get the geo hazard map, I will try to present the Valley Fault System in the Philippines as part of shedding light to countless scare messages we all are receiving about great quakes to happen.

When the Valley Fault system in the Philippines move, we will experience shakes. With the Negros quake that devastated areas in the epicenter, many are now scared of the text messages telling predictions of another giant earthquake. Don't be mislead! Earthquake remains to be one of the calamities we are never capable of foretelling, and not even the aftershocks of this Negros quake can be foretold.

So, to my students who would grab their bags and get ready to run out of the room when aftershocks are felt, here is what you need to know about the Valley Fault System in the Philippines.

With our country forming its part in the Asia-Pacific Ring of Fire, earthquake is given. But that isn't the only thing that might cause shakes here. The Philippine Valley Fault System which is an inter-related system of faults throughout the whole of the Philippine Archipelago is the  primarily cause of tectonic forces compressing the Philippines into what tectonic geophysicists call the Mobile Belt of the Philippines. 

The Philippine Mobile Belt is composed of multiple blocks and strips. Most strips like the Zambales ophiolites which is at least 400 km long and 50 km wide  are long and narrow. The strips generally points north-south and the area of convergence are marked by fault lines. 

The tectonic plates compress and lift parts of the Philippines resulting to faulting. The main fault that runs the longest is called the Philippine Fault. In Luzon, as time goes by, it has been noticed that the fault has become stemmed. All faults in the Philippines are interrelated by the tectonic forces influenced by the Philippine Mobile Belt. 

The following are the Active Fault Lines in the Philippines: 

1. Marikina Valley Fault (Montalban-San Mateo-Marikina-Pasig-Taguig-Muntinlupa-S… Pedro-Binan-Carmona-Santa Rosa-Calamba-Tagaytay-Oriental Mindoro)
2. Western Philippine Fault (Luzon Sea-Mindoro Strait-Panay Gulf-Sulu Sea)
3. Eastern Philippine Fault (Philippine Sea)
4. Southern of Mindanao Fault (Moro Gulf-Celebes Sea)
5. Central Philippine Fault (Entire Ilocos Norte-Aurora-Quezon-Masbate-Eastern Leyte-Southern Leyte-Agusan Del Norte-Agusan Del Sur-Davao del Norte)

First on the list, the Marikina Valley Fault System is a group of slip fault which extends from San Mateo, Rizal to Taguig City; running through Makati, Marikina,Parañaque, Pasig and Taguig in the Metropolitan Manila Area. 

The fault movement can cause large scale earthquakes with a magnitude of 7 or higher within the Manila Metropolitan Area capable of causing death toll as high as 35,000 and more than three million needed to be evacuated if that ever happens. 

WE better get ourselves armed with information, so we won't panic everytime we receive messages of the "upcoming earthquake" chain messages.  

Here is the map of the Philippine faults from Philvolcs: 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gladys Lumantes Delos Santos aka Ahcee Flores: who is she?

Gladys Lumantes Delos Santos aka Ahcee Flores. The name made synonymous with "trending for bad behavior?" It has been a little over 24 hours that the name Gladys Lumantes Delos Santos aka Ahcee Flores has been bombarded with so much controversies! Who is she? What did she do? Does she really deserve this "online bullying" she claims to be suffering now? Did she just do it to get her name trending?? Is it even worth the try?
February 6, 2012.... When everyone else in the Visayas was in the state of panic, running for their lives, gathering courage to keep the presence of mind for what has been the strongest earthquake (6.9 in magnitude) in the region so far,  she, Gladys Lumantes Delos Santos aka Ahcee Flores, has posted something like this:

translated, it says: Let us pray.. that tsunami will push through so many Visayans will die to lessen the "outdated/uneducated/primitive people" in the Philippines.

This, undoubtedly spurred countless reactions, both in support and against her.. with mostly for the latter. Many found  Gladys Lumantes Delos Santos aka Ahcee Flores' post as adding insult to injury. In a sane man's point of view, you will never curse and pray that people will die from tragedies! Worst, they are your fellow countrymen!

Now the thing has just gotten personal with death threats, hate pages and criticisms for what they said to be "her perfectly crooked grammar not even matching those of a B elementary pupil in the Visayas whom she wished to die".

Lesson?? Freedom of speech is your right, but it ends when you start stepping unto others' human rights and dignity. For publicity or not, Gladys Lumantes Delos Santos aka Ahcee Flores must learn her lessons.

Negros Earthquake: Watta Scare!

Negros was shaken! We were caught off guard with a scare that has hit Negros Oriental as the epicenter, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Panay Island yesterday. Who would have thought this has happened? A hammock ride-like experience for many, with the paranoia and tall buildings' phobia, we had been rocked! Yes! And I am talking about the quake with a whooping 6.8 in magnitude.

Adjacent to Negros Island where the center of the quake was, it was nothing but an ordinary Monday morning. The streets are crowded, as people rush to and fro at the start of the week which is a typical scene. When I left home, it was gloomy. I didn't want to get up and go to work that day, but I needed to catch my sweetie online early so I was left with no choice! I woke up and forced myself to stand in a cold dark Monday morn.

I have had plans to visit Negros again. In fact, I was looking forward to another adventure there. When left home on the rush after realizing that I need to get myself to school early. I wanted to avoid traffic, and start the week right! With all the rush, I never had the chance to have my mom packed my lunch and off I go to a college where I am teaching! Call it premonition, but I was not really feeling good that day. There is something wrong with something I don't even know what!

Giving my lectures and composition activities that morning.. I got preoccupied but quite uneasy. Whatever you might consider it, one of my students wrote about Negros, not about quakes anyway. Then comes lunch time. I dismissed my last morning class earlier than usual. When I went to the faculty room, I felt the need to go and get food immediately. This is something I don't usually do, but there I was, feeling something like i needed to be on the rush.

Halfway out of the floor, I heard the guard asked me if I felt something shaking and I answered none. It was only when I was in the middle of the stairway that I  felt like I was a ball inside a box, shaken. I grabbed the handle and forced myself to run downstairs. I met three students who were screaming, and wanted to go back upstairs. With the tension, I shouted to them to go back and go straight out of the building to the street. It was like the most difficult descend I have ever had! 11:45 am, Monday, February 6, 2012, Iloilo City was shaken.. and I meant... badly. It was nothing like those in the epicenter, though. Grief surrounds Negros. 

College students in the streets as earthquake strikes Negros.

As we found our way to the main road, many were screaming.. looking at the buildings that surrounded them, moving like pieces of lego a child is trying to dismantle. Electric lamp posts shaking like a stirring rod, and the wires, moving like a skipping rope! That was one of the worst things I have experienced. We were in the middle of the street for more than five minutes of non stop shaking. We can feel the ground rumbling. It  is like a giant's stomach churning a whole cow! It was scary, but it was nothing like those from Negros and at least we are still lucky. 

It was only after the major shakes that everything sunk in. Students started crying, and with some trembling, I suddenly realized that perhaps, things happen. From a great blaze that turned 400 houses into ashes some weeks ago, is it in this moment that buildings are bound to collapse and cover all of us? Fear started to cover many! Is Iloilo City doomed? I hope not. We should not wish bad things for those from Negros either. 

I can still remember  how downtown has turned into a movie-like scene. Remember the movie, "The Day After Tomorrow"?   That's of course minus the snow! Everyone is rushing home. Gridlock lasted for some time, nearby malls closed as the upper floors started to crack and with people about to go on a stampede. Blackout has added to the scare. Many were trapped in elevators, jump from escalators, and communication networks becoming too busy to call loved ones. Watching the news later, it is still nothing compared to its epicenter in Negros. 

We were hit, but not as equally devastated as those in the epicenter. Classes were suspended, malls and offices closed, and by 4pm, the city looked abandoned. Several aftershocks followed, and I mean more than 50 by 8pm. The scare has spread.

With all that has happened, however, there seems to be people who made fun of it. Many suffered physically and emotionally out of this, and I don't think that any sane and human person could ever be capable of using this to be on the limelight. May they be forgiven, anyway.

First, some hours after the earthquake that has hit the Visayan region, a woman, named Ahcee Flores posted her wishes of having tsunami to wipe away all the old-fashioned or low class people in the Visayas. This has ended up with her claiming to have been harassed for practicing her freedom of speech. This has resulted to countless hate posts and even threats. But who is she??? Many believe that Gladys Lumantes Delos Santos was the real name of Ahcee Flores, the lady who posted comments on Yahoo saying she wants the Visayan people killed by the tsunami.

Second, communication networks taking advantage of the events to earn more by probably starting chain text messages saying that a stronger shake will come said by PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Service Administration) when it is clear to those that a legit one could have come from the Philvolcs. Another big thing is, unlike typhoons or tsunamis, earthquake is never predicted. With all that panicked and concerned, networks may have gained much from chain messages they started as people disregarded the validity of the messages. Who would likely check the reliability of the messages? A few did. And they are those who understand which agency can say something, and what calamities can be predicted.

We would often say that in times like this, we need presence of mind. But as an Ilonggo, we might think differently in some ways. We believe that beyond the modernization, we are still practicing our religion. Many are still seen on churches and practice their belief. I am not perfectly religious, but I do pray and it has help a lot. With this event where there is nowhere to run, there is only one source of strength-GOD. You can never hide form the quakes, but you can always feel the strength from inside you. Are we Ilonggos starting to get astray from our strong connection with the church??? Yesterday, I heard people crying, and not so many... obviously praying.

May this be a lesson to us never to abandon our faith. We can never run from the natural calamities, but divine intervention spells out the difference. Readiness of the government and the social institutions are also called upon. Safety. At least that is what we wanted. God bless, Negros! This is just another challenge.