Most Filipinos observe the Holy Week to repent and reflect upon our sins and transgressions. Some people take it to the extreme by flirting with danger or perhaps some may have a masochistic love affair of self-inflicting physical pain to wipe away all our sins.

We call it "penitensya" and it may take different forms like not eating for the whole day to getting crucified literally like what Jesus did a thousand years ago! In fact, many people have been practicing this archaic medieval penitence as a way of resolving all sins. Unfortunately, some take it seriously only on Holy Week but maintaining a sinful life all year.

Many of these practices are relics of medieval Christianity where times were difficult and uncertain. It's just interesting to know that these penitential practices have remained unchanged after all these years. If you'll ask me, whipping yourself to bleed or getting nailed into a cross in a hot, humid summer day is very excruciating. People need not follow what Jesus endured to prove a point.

Flagellation is what most people do because one will only need to whip one's back to make sure it bleed well enough to inflict physical pain. In a searing summer head, a person will have bloodied back at the end of the day. Losing blood is not a big concern but heat stroke is.

There is a popular place in Pampanga called Cutud where many men have been crucified as their choice of penitence. There was even an instance where a woman was said to be crucified while a British national also flirted with the idea of having himself crucified but backed out to the last minute. Right now, this even has become a media spectacle, "freak show," and tourist destination rolled into one.

Some women have their penitence by praying outside the church kneeling all the way to the altar. It may sound easy but the pain is excruciating as the knees are exposed from the hard ground and the heat from it. If you have arthritis then it is a bad idea to do it. Better stick to the stations of the cross.

If you are on a diet then why not abstain from eating for the whole day in Good Friday. Just make sure you drink a lot of fluids because the hot day will take a toll on you.

From William the Conqueror to Henry VIII and Victoria to Elizabeth II, the kings and queens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland are crowned in the historic Westminster Abbey. The most anticipated royal wedding in modern times will be held here as Prince William will be married to Kate Middleton on April 29.

By following the footsteps of his famous mother, Princess Diana, William is expected to take the reign of the monarchy as the future king. Only time will tell as this glamor couple that has the same royal pedigree of the late people's princess and the star power of the Beckhams.

With all the glitz and glamor surrounding the upcoming event, this royal wedding is expected to be the benchmark of future royal weddings to come!

The 2011 NBA Playoff has started. The top 16 teams remaining are in for a long first round series as they hope to win it all and capture the prestigious Larry O'Brien trophy. The Lakers are gunning for a three-peat while the Celtics, Heat, Spurs, and Bulls are also hoping to dethrone the defending champs.

There will be dramatic finishes, superstar playoff performances, and huge upsets in the playoffs. The question remains: who will win the NBA Finals?

Keep yourself tuned in to this site's live streaming...

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We all love going to malls because we love to shop, dine, and unwind. Years before the malling phenomenon gained ground, I was already contented to go to Gaisano Main or Robinsons to buy what I want. I never realized that malls are being built every three to five years. In fact, Cebu has built new malls for the last five years and now the competition has gained ground as SM expanded its mall with its North Wing, Ayala Center Cebu has built up its former parking space into new mall real estate, and Robinsons Cebu has finished its Cybergate Mall. What's in the future for Cebu? New and bigger malls than we can ever imagine.

When it comes to the mall business, SM will always come into our mind especially with their iconic structures like the Megamall and the Mall of Asia in Metro Manila. Now they are bringing their ambitious plan to Cebu by constructing the biggest and the most futuristic mall in the Visayas, the SM Seaside City. Expected to rise in the South Reclamation area, the mall will soon kick-start development by boosting tourism and economic development. In this way, other mall operators will be forced to implement creative ideas of their own thereby creating a more vibrant malling culture in the city. With that in mind, I'm pretty sure Robinsons will have to work double time on their planned mall to compete with SM while Ayala Center is expected to develop an eco-friendly mall extension to compliment Terraces.

Groundbreaking for the SM Seaside City has already started and building the mall in the SRP would be a good idea as the developers plan to construct an iconic tower in the middle of the circular mall. In this way, shoppers will have the opportunity to see a 360-degree panoramic view of the city. Yachts and ocean-going vessels are expected to dock near the mall so that tourists can have a scenic tour of Cebu and drop by the mall for some shopping and fine dining. International brands and other mall boutiques that haven't made their businesses in Cebu will make their debut. I'm looking forward to see if Krispy Kreme or Carl's Jr. would have their business here soon!

Large condominiums and hotels will enclose the mall and developers also planned to build a church, school, and hospital near the mall complex too. Talk about real urban development! Just imagine how the aerial view would look like if you ride in a helicopter just above the area in two years time. There will be a park in the mall's outdoor area in the middle where the viewing tower stands. Aside from that, there is also a rooftop garden where shoppers can enjoy fresh air and the cool sea breeze.

The four-level, circular-shaped mall with have multiple anchors with a two-storey SM Department Store and SM Hypermart, 6 movie theaters (including an IMAX Theatre), an 18-lane SM Bowling and Amusement Center, and a large food court. The ice skating rink will have its comeback after it was scrapped out from SM City Cebu. I wonder if we can play a game of ice hockey. Unlike, the large globe that dominates the Mall of Asia entrance, the mall will have a large LED cube installation that looks like a giant Rubik's cube.

When I listen to SM's jingle "We've got it all for you," I can say that they are doing these developments for real. SM Seaside City is an eye candy attraction for foreign and local tourists as well as the people of Cebu. Can't wait for the second quarter of 2013.

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Gossips can be considered as part of our many Filipino pastimes because some of us are updated to the latest rumors and happenings in the showbiz circles. We follow what's happening to the life and intrigues in the life of artista couples and love triangles. No wonder, local television is saturated with numerous TV shows dedicated to this genre. Even our showbiz rumors are lumped in credible news programs. When I watch 24 Oras, there is always the "Chikka Minute" segment. I don't know why news producers in GMA would always include showbiz rumors and intrigues as news.

Artistas and wannabe showbiz personalities will do whatever it takes to generate publicity for all the right and wrong reasons. When confronted with certain negative publicity and gossips, they tend to answer questions in a way we know it's plain acting. Some answers are like templates for particular situation and we know they would answer that way.

Foreign (Brazilian imports tend to come into my mind and Sandara Park too) and half-Filipino personalities are trying hard to become artistas when they don't how to speak Tagalog well. Duh? No wonder they sound awkwardly stupid on television. They are always updated to showbiz happenings, just chismoso in my opinion...

We're just friends...
When confronted with the issue of having a relationship with someone, artistas say the dumbest thing by trying to convince us that they are just friends.

Focus muna ako sa career ko...
The issue of relationship is always the center of celebrity gossips but many of them will say that their priority is their showbiz "career."

Sobrang happy/saya ko...
Artistas tend to be "superlative" when it comes to expressing their feelings. Sobrang happy ko... Sobrang thankful ako... Sobrang supportive niya sa career ko... Get it?

Gusto ko yung daring at challenging na roles...
I don't know if an artista's career is going nowhere or he/she doesn't have any talent in the first place. Many of them tend to say that they are looking for "daring" and "challenging" roles. Does it mean that they want to strip infront of the camera?

I don't know how artista define it it. Does it mean that they are willing to go all the way and strip all their clothes off?

Sana tuloy2x na yung career ko...
Even a failed actor or a washed-up actress would say this.

Sila na daw?
Without confirming the facts, showbiz personalities tend mix truth and half-truths when presenting their "news" of the mundane lives of artistas.

I would like to thank [Vicky Belo]...
There is a reason why television programs put end credits to mention their upcoming events, movies, or concerts in the show. I don't understand why they tend to thank their hairstylists and fashion sponsors. Ever heard: Sana po suportahan nyo yung movie ko..., Bumili kayo ng bagong album ko..., and Pinaghirapan namin ito...

Excited ako sa love/kissing scene namin...
Excited daw? Really? When they say love scene, does it mean a euphemism for sex scene?

We Filipinos love fun and games that is why see many game shows on television. However, do we have to join these shows if we end up selling our dignity and personal honor for thousands of pesos while the game show host is mocking us while the rest of the audience is drowning you with jeers as if you are a helpless prey devoured by hungry beasts?

"Comedians" and "clowns" like Willie Revillame, "Bossing" Vic Sotto, and Joey De Leon have their share of controversies with their sexually-charged jokes and humiliating stunts on live television. Even their co-hosts even share the humiliation. They tend to portray themselves as purveyors of good fortune because they give these "poor" and "unfortunate" contestants a chance of winning big bucks at the expense of their own personal honor. Our game show culture is archaic since we still have these slapstick comedy routines and degrading attitude towards the poor, the children, the gays, and the women.

I share my sentiments with theater actress Monique Wilson where many game shows tend to dumb down the audiences because they are desperate for quick money. In this way, Revillame and company is creating a society of mendicants because they give them money instead of empowering them.

It was the poor Jan-Jan Estrada who has to perform a provocative dance infront of a jeering public. His crying in national television fell on deaf ears as Revillame kept his devilish laugh. Now that the show is finally off air, is it time to reformat Philippine television game shows? I guess so...

Unfortunately, game shows and TV contests are very popular that some people have already made it their means to earn a living. These professional contestants have to join so many contests just to keep their lives afloat. GMA's I-Witness even made a documentary that showed the life of these professional contestants.

We may never know when we finally get it. Game shows create a society of lazy people who are contented of getting price money on television rather that working hard on it.

We Filipinos have a proud race and there are times we do get affected by negative comments hurled at us. Sometimes we get berserk when the comments are racially-charged. Indeed, we do have right to demand apologies and explanation because racism is a serious issue that any nationality and ethnic group face.

Type the word "Filipino" on the search engine and we do find a list of online dating sites that cater to foreigners who are looking for sexual lifetime partners. We do get overboard at times when the popular media, both television and movies, portray Filipinos in a bad light. We have to understand that primetime comedies and late night shows in the U.S. tend to poke fun at people with different nationalities. Even the President of the U.S. doesn't escape the wrath of jokes coming from a David Letterman or a Jay Leno.

Do we have to bar these people from entering the Philippines because they said something bad to us? They have different opinion than us and never have lived in our country. Sure we can give them the benefit of the doubt but are we just "balat sibuyas?"

There were many instances that these shows have talked about issues that is wrong about our country like the sex tourism and human trafficking. Sometimes the truth hurts when other people tell us whats wrong with out country in a form of a joke. Remember, we do tend to racially abuse some people in a way we think its normal. Ever heard people shouting "bombay," "dibidi," "chekwa," and other racially-degrading terms to people different from us? We are racists in a certain way too!

Now ask the question in front of the mirror, "Is racism on Filipinos, a practical joke or just hypocrisy?" Think about it...

When you visit another country, you really have to try their cuisine and compare it to what you are used to back home. In fact some countries cook fried chicken in a different way. That deep fried delight is simply irresistible especially when your stomach is grumbling from the long and tiring travel.

When you visit Malaysia, you really have to try their famous chicken satay because you won't be able to eat pork in this Muslim country. It may look like an ordinary fried chicken but it is the sauce and other garnishing that make the difference. Unlike what you eat at Kopitiam, the hawkers, and other food centres back in Singapore, the Malaysian version tastes a little bit difference because it is much spicier. If you have issues with that, make sure you have cucumber on the side so that you can neutralize the chili. Consider having a cold glass of iced lemon tea.

Our local barbecue chicken may taste good but trying this local food will fulfill your desire to eat an exotic dish.You can also try eating eat while enjoying the scenery of the Malaysian countryside as your bus or train passes by Melaka.

Bon apetit!

When it comes to cooking delicious and interesting desserts, my girlfriend takes charge because she is one amazing cook. What more can you ask for if you are treated with a pancake paired with chocolate fudge-rocky road ice cream and drizzled with a mouth-watering chocolate syrup.

My mind goes wild as I wait for it to be serve in a way Gordon Ramsay does in my favorite reality show "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares." Unlike hearing a verbal tirade from a hot-headed Scotsman, I feel like in cloud nine because I don't have to endure re-runs of Kevin Sorbo B-movies and steroid-induced and unadulterated versions of South Park for 8 straight hours.

I would love to enjoy it with her rather than letting the ice cream melt away for good!

It has been quite a while that I have eaten the renowned skewered treats at Larsians sa Fuente. With different types of barbecue and kebabs lined up for you, I’m sure you can never go wrong. Vegetarians may have a hard time since this place is a carnivore heaven. The picture above may look like a bloody mess as chicken entrails, pork meat, and even beheaded fowl are served with a soy sauce, calamansi, and chili vinegar mix.

Larsians is now different as it is slowly accommodating Korean grilled foods into the mix. Koreans are the fastest growing clientele in the area aside from the thrill-seeking American and European tourists. It is especially a good treat if you are enjoying it with your loved one. Indeed, I had a good time with my girlfriend as she enjoyed every moment of our culinary escapade.

What more can you ask for?

Well you can try the oozing and delectable sauce when you munch in the the chicken intestines but you have to avoid the greasy pork chorizos and yummy chicken skin. Cholesterol levels may be an all-time high for some people, try to avoid such treats.

What's the secret to their success?

I'm not Gordon Ramsay when it comes to my taste nor Kevin Sorbo when it comes to superhuman guesswork but I do think that making things simple is the secret to their success. In fact, the establishment is located near Robinsons Cybergate Mall and Chong Hua hospital, imagine the hoards of hungry people going in and out to this popular Fuente Osmena fixture.

I never been a fan of Rick Astley because I never hang around during the eighties because I wasn't old enough to enjoy mullets and the muppets of that generation. As much as I hate Michael Bolton's never-ending ballads, the Internet trolls of today have made an artwork of Astley's hit "Never Gonna Give You Up" in epic proportions.

Rick-rolling has become an Internet phenomenon that it has spawned a multitude of viral videos that has infected the worldwide web that is more virulent than the Black Death itself. What happens if you put Rick Astley into the political equation? Check it out this hilarious video wherein montage of political speeches were made to fill up Astley's popular tune. In case, you still don't know the lyrics or just trying to forget that the song exist, here are lines of Astley's song.

When politicians lie, cheat, steal, and even kill to get what they want, you have to remember that Rick Astley would never, ever give you up, let you down, run around and desert you. Furthermore, he would never make you cry, say goodbye, tell a lie and hurt you. Now let that be a lesson to all crooked and corrupt politicians out there. Rick Astley will always save the day, I tell you!

Even this graph tells it all in greater detail that no other statistics can:

Remember, you never have to give up in life because as always, there is a Rick Astley that will make our life complete. Keep on Rick-rolling!

Editor's Note: This article does not promote racial biases or stereotypes. It is merely discussing about general opinion and personal assessment on Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese people.

We Filipinos have our love affair for Koreanovelas, Chinese food, and Japanese pop culture because our exposure to the cultural influence and heritage of our Asian neighbors. However, we still have difficulties identifying subtle differences between these cultural spheres, not to mention their people that we may encounter in our lives. The fact that there is a growing number of Koreans and Japanese visiting our country, there is a growing trend of meeting them fact to face. On the other hand, we also tend to overlook the occasional Mainland Chinese visits because of the existence of our own local Filipino-Chinese population here.

Filipinos do have difficulties identifying what a Korean, a Chinese, or a Japanese is without listening to what they say. We have to understand that because they have "chinky eyes" doesn't mean that they are the same. As much as we try to lump every Caucasian that visit our country as "Amerkano," our Asian neighbors need to be identified correctly.

Because of the racial mixture between the three distinctive groups, people would get confuse a Japanese as Korean, a Chinese as Japanese, or a Korean as Chinese. In fact, there is also a significant population of Hwagyo (Korean Chinese), Chaoxianzu (Chinese Koreans), Zainichi (Japanese Koreans), and other people of mixed ancestry.

Although, determining someone as Korean, Chinese, or Japanese can be subjective and oftentimes stereotypical, there are many basis of comparison that people make to determine a person is either of the three. As we scratch our heads, we often wonder if these people came from the same hereditary gene pool because of the proximity of these great countries. For thousands of years, the Chinese kept a close contact with their neighbor across the Yalu River and the islanders east of the Yellow Sea. It would be safe to assume that they would probably end up having similar and possibly identifiable physical characteristics that anyone can determine. Right? Whether you agree with me or not, here are their differences:

The Koreans have a much flatter face than their East Asian counterparts with squarer cheek bones and smaller eyes with single eyelids. Aside from that, some Koreans have undergone cosmetic surgeries to gain a much more "Caucasian" features.

When you talk about Chinese, you may be referring to the Han Chinese. They are the major Chinese ethnic group with a population of more than one billion. When compared to the Koreans and Japanese, the Chinese generally have rounder faces. Being a large country, China is multi-ethnic as it is also composed by other groups of people that includes the Tibetans and Mongolians.

Unlike the Koreans and Chinese, the Japanese tend to have a much more ovoid and longer facial features and characterized with larger and wider eyes and more pronounced noses. Aside from that, the Japanese women have their distinctive fashion styles that are emulated by other people.

At the end of the day, facial features and other morphological characteristics are not the basis of what beauty is. Besides, there is no point of comparing Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese on who is the best. They have their own concepts of beauty and their sense of uniqueness make them who they are.

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{picture#} JP Canonigo is a historian, professional blogger and copywriter, online content specialist, copywriter, video game junkie, sports fanatic and jack-of-all trades. {facebook#} {twitter#} {google#}
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