History: Where Did Halloween Come From? : Video : Discovery News

History: Where Did Halloween Come From? : Video : Discovery News:

An informative short film on the evolution of Halloween, from its pagan origins to its present day form of celebration. One little note, the film mentions that the current form of celebrating Halloween has become a secular activity, I think it forgot to mention that it also has become a highly commercialized event, hehe.

'via Blog this'

Why Zombies Never Die : Discovery News

Why Zombies Never Die : Discovery News:

An interesting piece on our fascination with zombies and how it has become a very common feature of current day pop culture. If our world were headed into a zombie apocalypse, I would hope we get the George Romero zombies. If we end up getting the ones from 28 Days Later or 28 Weeks Later, we're screwed.

'via Blog this'

The Sound of One


Africa my lady
   your red blood earth and endless skies
   pulsating beats through primordial
   base-rhythm a roll thats rounded

New Australia New Zealand
   walkabout orange dust and tepid air
   didgeridoo drones of ancient
shamanic feet
   Shuddering a longing god-sacred wish
"bring-together-the-new, bring-together-the-old"

Westerners and YELLOW  East                                                           
   where mystery and machinery
   tears of the cello, allegro laughter
   By molding pain and joy
     Face both shadow and light
"gratitude-in-sadness, jubilation-in-gladness"

The cold cold north of Viking Norse
   where ice and sap green runes
 the hang between bright lone stars
 of passion and string gentleness
"dream, strive, desire!!!      find LOVE"

Blue angel choirs of voice so strong
   where the Word becomes a song
   melodies and primal cries
   where eagles fly
   Lift your voice in praise
"glory oh Spirit, glory thy Name"

Indigo tabla, indigo see
   Other worlds within worlds it be
Stroke of fingers,
tap visions
   Of the not yet seen
 that urges me
"open-your-eyes, open-your-eye"

Purple flute softly whispers
   the road to travel
destiny yours to unravel
   Follow your Spirit, America!

The birth of a soft faint sound
Will rise, crescendo-explode into love
and make us…


2011 Moira G. Gallaga©


Apology to my Body

I take advantage of you everyday,
I know I abused you, but what can I say?
I didn't know better, and though it is true,
What can I say to make it up to you?

My dear body, with me through thick and thin,
Though I never meant it, I have committed sins,
Loving life so much, I did not see,
What it was I was doing to thee.

Finally you shared your pain,
You gave my son life, I shall do the same,
Finally I see what you mean to me,
My body, my friend, I finally see.

Take better care of you each day,
I will meet your needs in every way,
For I love you my tired friend,
To you this apology I now send.

2011 Moira G. Gallaga©


How Weather Affects the Life in the Ocean

Life found in the ocean is a vital part of the global ecosystem. Greenhouse gases and pollution have been negatively impacting this valuable ecosystem. It is time for the mankind to start realizing its responsibilities and take appropriate measures to protect and preserve our ocean ecosystems. 

Changing weather- A global concern

It is quite unfortunate that in the pursuit of advanced development in the field of technology and industrialization humankind has devastated nature to a great extent.  The consequences are simply right in front of us.  Adverse climatic changes and global warming are now a common and very serious issue.  Due to unpredictable climatic changes, the agricultural sector cannot anticipate rain or sunlight properly. Natural calamities are destroying lives and properties.

These climatic changes due to global warming and our continued spread of pollution in our environment have now become a matter of debate among different nations.  

The impact of changing weather is not confined to terrestrial environments or ecosystems only.  Our oceans are also adversely getting affected due to the consequences of our actions.  While industrialization, modernization and development have been considered to be a ‘necessary evil’ for the progress and benefit of the human race, its consequences on our eco-systems and environments are now taking root.  Aside from the toll, it has taken inland, humanity's disregard for nature has now also affected weather patterns in the ocean that have been found to be unfavorable to marine life in those oceans. Life which have for centuries fed the human race.

According to a renowned expert of the National Oceanography Center, Southampton (NOCS), the midsummer storms that occasionally come during the summer time generate complications for marine life.  Different human activities taking place in the European continent create unfavorable conditions for the marine species, especially to many different species of fishes.    

Before, the Atlantic Ocean used to have a very good number of exotic visitors making a visit during the summer time for breeding and in the search of food.  Due to the changes in the coastal temperatures, these migratory birds are no longer making any more visits to the area. Tourists who would flock to the Atlantic Coast for the summer are no longer starting to see these migratory birds.

Cold weather conditions

When the temperature of the ocean decreases, it results in several harmful physiological effects on different marine species.  The most severe problems are faced by the Manatees and the sea turtles because it is hard for them to easily adjust to the reduced temperature of the oceans.  In addition, excessive fishing by the humans also contributes to the decrease in the temperature of the ocean in addition to depleting sources of food and protein.  

The presence of a good fish population in the ocean ecosystems generally keeps the temperature high and the marine species do not get influenced by the adverse weather change.  Improper weather conditions and temperature variances can generate life-threatening situations for these species. 

Necessary steps:

  • It is necessary to understand that proper conservation of some marine species can play a very pivotal role in managing external weather conditions.  There are a number of species of fish and crab that can easily maintain the temperature of the surrounding waters. 
  • Pollution of the oceans done by humans is also one of the serious issues of concern.  It is time to take some decisive steps to reduce the interference of the humans in the balance of the ocean ecosystem. 
  • Greenhouse gases also result in bad weather patterns and affect the life in the oceans.  Necessary measures to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change in general are needed now, not later.  

Our oceans and the life within it provide the human race with a means of livelihood and a source of food. The oceans and the life within them are now in trouble, and we hold a large of the blame for this development. It is now our turn to help life in the ocean and conserve them for posterity. When you really think about it, when we go about saving and preserving our ocean ecosystems, we are in a way, also working towards securing our future. 

2011 Moira G Gallaga©

Manila Standard Today -- A culture of violence -- 2011/october/29

Manila Standard Today -- A culture of violence -- 2011/october/29:

An excellent article Ms. Angsioco. You make a very valid point there with regard to our prevailing culture and the socialization undergone by our children. As you have mentioned, the culture of violence stems from other facets of our culture such as our predominantly male oriented/dominated (macho and chauvinistic) society, and the glorification of guns and violence in media and in our daily lives. I share your view that we must start with the children, institute steps so that their socialization process is markedly different from the current one that only serves to feed the existence of our current culture of violence. Unfortunately, as we note the growing incidences of bullying in schools, I think there is a very, very large challenge we have ahead of us. It will probably take a few generations before we turn the situation. However, given the enormity of the task at hand, we need to start now. Small steps are better than not taking any step forward at all, otherwise, we will just continually find ourselves reading off the list of names of people who died under violent circumstances.

Small Changes Can Improve Your Life

Small Changes Can Improve Your Life:
by: Moira G Gallaga

Cleopatra's Bag of Tricks: The Love and Beauty Secrets of Antiquity's Women

Cleopatra's Bag of Tricks: The Love and Beauty Secrets of Antiquity's Women:
by: Moira G Gallaga

Renewable Energy: Options for Environmentally Conscious Homeowners

Renewable Energy: Options for Environmentally Conscious Homeowners:
by: Moira G Gallaga


Poetry in Contemporary Society

Poetry in Contemporary Society:
by: Moira G Gallaga

Ten Reasons to Vacation in Crete

Ten Reasons to Vacation in Crete:
by: Moira G Gallaga

Stop Nagging - A Way to Better Communication

Stop Nagging - A Way to Better Communication:
by: Moira G Gallaga

Ethical Issues in Organ Donation

Ethical Issues in Organ Donation:
by: Moira G Gallaga

Did Technology Hurt Your Relationship?

Did Technology Hurt Your Relationship?:
by: Moira G Gallaga

The Strength of a Woven Strand: Some Thoughts and Advice on Friendship

The Strength of a Woven Strand: Some Thoughts and Advice on Friendship:
by: Moira G Gallaga


Manila Standard Today -- A culture of violence (1) -- 2011/october/22

Manila Standard Today -- A culture of violence (1) -- 2011/october/22:

The incidents of violent crime are becoming alarming and this commentary is a timely reminder to our authorities to start doing something about this problem. We do indeed have a culture of violence and I don't think the situation is improving. I'm looking forward to part 2 of your column.

'via Blog this'


Diplo-tips: Inspirational Thoughts for a Cloudy Day

I am not a religious person but this is one of the quotes I always love. Every time I hear this, I just have to nod and agree that it is just so true..

 “Man asks God to give him everything to enjoy Life... God said, I gave you LIFE to enjoy everything.”

It often happens that we get trapped within thoughts related to past events. Sometimes, we feel like there is nothing to look forward to and our train of thought only revolves around regrets. On the bright side of things, we can still do something to improve our condition. There are times when life seems not worth living, so looking for inspiration in such moments is definitely something desirable.

Imagine one of those prisoners you saw on TV. He or she was jailed for life and will most probably spend the rest of their days in prison. What would one say to inspire such a person? What do these people look ahead to every time they wake up? It often happens that people who are outside of prisons get trapped in their thoughts and actions of the past. Sometimes it seems there is truly nothing worth living for since judgement becomes clouded by regrets. On the other hand, people who are imprisoned by their thoughts can do something about it while those who are in jail cannot.

How does one define inspiration?

There are many definitions to this term, but all of them revolve around an idea of a state of mind which allows us to live happily, follow our goals and be at peace with our self.

How to escape from the prison?

Sometimes inspiration seems lacking from our lives and it becomes hard to set goals, let alone follow and achieve them. Firstly, one should look for stories of people who have been in similar conditions. For example, a great idea would be to read the story of Helen Keller, a person who had to endure a lot of difficulties, but somehow managed to overcome them. This is a great way to make our minds understand that things are not always as bad as they seem and that there is always a solution.

Furthermore, look at your past, but instead of focusing on the bad things, think about moments when you felt full of joy. It could be a very small thing or a huge achievement, it does not matter. You can break a prison door by just realizing that if you felt good at one time you can do it again.

Another great thing to do is to count your blessings. I cannot count how many times someone used to tell me, ‘how nice it is that I’ve been on-leave for so and so’ I would usually just smile at them or utter a non-committal reply. Those are the ones that can’t appreciate how lucky we all are and who are in perfect health. Stop for a moment - Are your lungs working? Is your eyesight perfect? Can you hear the sound of summer rain? Would you sell your arms for all the money in the world? Of course not! You are a rich person who just does not realize how much wealth lies in the most basic things. You can say these are all clich├ęs and for those who haven’t been at the grim reaper’s doorstep will probably disregard this as you probably have much higher standards of what are the requirements for a person to be considered lucky and happy.

The last prison door is broken by contemplating about future goals. Regardless of how far they might seem to be, think about them. Make plans. The hardest struggles are won by keeping your eyes on the road and being aware of where the final destination is.

If you follow all these steps, nothing can keep you from becoming a winner. Good luck!


Aquino wants military to explain losses in Basilan incident | BusinessWorld Online Edition

Aquino wants military to explain losses in Basilan incident | BusinessWorld Online Edition:

Prayers for the gallant soldiers of our Republic who lost their lives in service of the country and the Filipino people, rest in peace. Deepest sympathies and condolences to their families and loved ones, for it is them who always bear the greater pain and the burden of moving on with their lives whenever there are tragic moments such as this. Let us honor their sacrifices as well. It is my hope that the Government does right with what has happened. Peace is a laudable objective and must be the ultimate goal, but don't let the search for peace derail the need for justice.


She cried rape — and no one helped - TODAY People - TODAY.com

She cried rape — and no one helped - TODAY People - TODAY.com:

The running over of a 2-yr old child in China while people did nothing (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article … China.html )is the latest example of something going horribly wrong with humanity. No one seems to care anymore. It's not limited to one particular country either, in 2009 in a NY subway a woman was raped screaming for help but the person in the ticket booth didn't do anything to help other than inform police. While not expecting the person to physically interfere as he wasn't trained for that situation, the victim claimed he at least could have used the public address system to try scare off the attacker (http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30105703/ … p95cJuBrqH).

Are society's or humanity's sense of values deteriorating? Is it everyone for himself/herself now? I'd really love and hope to be proven wrong and I am really interested to hear your views and comments. Thank you.


2011 Moira G Gallaga©

One Small Step in the Right Direction

One Small Step in the Right Direction:
2011 Moira G Gallaga©


Book Review of Diplomatic Baggage by Brigid Keenan

Diplomatic Baggage by Brigid Keenan is a popular travel memoir.  It will help you to understand the human psychology and condition of living in a foreign land and the process of adaptation to the unique cultural aspects and socio-economic conditions of various countries which the author has found herself during postings of her diplomat spouse. 

The story is written in the style of a narrative, like sitting down with a friend who tells you all these fascinating stories and adventures in relation to her travels and life in various countries around the world.  Diplomatic Baggage is the story of a newly married wife, who never found stability in her life due to constant relocation whenever her diplomat husband is posted to different countries in a cycle that occurs every four years. 

Through this book, Brigid Keenan shares the remarkable experience of her life, and at times, makes a parody of it.  An immense number of funny incidents take place as the story moves on that keep the reader captivated with her story.  She explains how uncomfortable she actually felt while flying and how she managed to deal with different kinds of dinners; formal, informal, official, unofficial, personal, etc. Her experiences with bad roads, relentless fear regarding mudslides and earthquakes definitely help the reader to get a little taste of how we react and adapt to different kinds of external stimuli and new, unfamiliar environments.  

The traveling experience explained through this book is quite a rollercoaster ride.  She details her experience of life from a diverse range of countries and cultures such as Brussels, Syria, India and the Republic of Kazakhstan.  It is one of the popular travel books available these days because it gives a good overview of the cultural aspects of different nations from a firsthand account of someone who lived in those countries for some time. 

It is a good read for those who wish to know how life is like in exotic surroundings and the challenges involved in bridging the cultural gap. The book also has valuable insights that can help you in adapting to life in a foreign land should you find yourself in a similar situation.  For instance, her husband has been supportive and has been helpful to her in numerous ways during the whole experience.  It clearly shows that if there is definite support from the side of your loved ones, it will not be hard for you to endure and cope with the disruptions caused by having to uproot and relocate every 4 years. 

While going through this travel memoir, we can easily observe that in many cases things never went the way the author anticipated and she comes out with a completely different picture in her memory. 

If you are fond of reading popular books that are dedicated to the travel memoir genre then Diplomatic Baggage by Brigid Keenan will be a very good choice for you.  It provides us a spellbinding picture of the temples, souks, mosques, and different types of trade markets in various parts of the world.  It is truly worth reading for those who are away from their home and like to adapt to their new home and make the most of the experience of living in a foreign land and its unique culture. 

2011 Moira G Gallaga©

Philippine Azkals at the Long Teng Cup

This is a bit late but with several matches in succession it takes a while before I could get settled down to write about the Philippine Azkals. 

Anyway, congratulations to the Azkals for placing second at the recently concluded Long Teng Cup in Taiwan. It was an improvement from last year's standing and once again the Philippines capture the Golden Boot award c/o Chieffy Caligdong (last year it was Ian Araneta). 

What was significant about this year's tournament was that our Azkals almost could have gotten the top prize itself. However, such are the breaks of the game that wasn't meant to be this time around. Still, it was quite an achievement considering we sent a hybrid team of seasoned regulars mixed in with some promising U23 players who will be competing in the SEA Games in Indonesia in November.

The first match was against Hong Kong, the defending champions of the tournament. It was expected to be a tough match and it definitely was. It was a nervy start for the Azkals  who found themselves 2 goals down in the first 22 minutes. You could see Disaster lurking by our side of the pitch, but in typical Azkal fashion, our boys fought their way back to a draw by halftime courtesy of a penalty by Phil Younghusband and an excellent goal by Chieffy Caligdong just before the halftime whistle. Another piece of magic by Chieffy in the second half and the Philippines was ahead 2-3. Three points seemed destined in the bag and a good position in the tournament standings. However, Hong Kong equalizes and grabs a vital point 5 minutes from time from a set piece. Azkals dropped 2 points in a pretty exciting match.

The hosts were up next. Buoyed by their 3-0 win against Macau they started out aggressively hoping to further consolidate their lead in the standings. The Azkals needed to win and get the three points here if we wanted to take a commanding seat in this tournament. In the interest of being diplomatic, I'll just say the hosts put all the stops to frustrate the Azkals and disrupt their playing rhythm. I would say it worked as they held the Azkals to a draw that kept them tied at top spot with Hong Kong in the standings. Azkals found themselves in 3rd place, needing a 0-5 win minimum and hope that Taiwan and Hong Kong draw for any hope to win the tournament.

Macau is considered the weakest of the bunch and the Azkals beat them 0-5 last time. However, if the Azkals have improved a lot since then, it appeared that Macau has done the same. The Azkals dominated the match but somehow could not just get that ball in the net. The first half ends in 0-0. The second half begins the same way as the first, with the Azkals controlling the game. However, it took the introduction of Chieffy Caligdong to turn the game around. Rested by Coach Micheal Weiss due to injury sustained in the Taiwan match, Coach Weiss needed to turn to the veteran to make things happen. The result, 2 goals by Chieffy and unfortunate miss in front of an open goal to cap an excellent individual performance with a match winning hat trick. Chieffy had to settle for the 2 goals, the Golden Boot and the for the Azkals, second place with that 0-2 win against Macau.

All in all, it wasn't a bad tournament for the Azkals. They did pretty well considering almost half the team were U23 players and a number of them making their international debuts. It was definitely Chieffy's tournament, showing one and all how he continues to play a vital role for the team and how much his game has improved in the last few months under Coach Weiss. Among the U23 players, a number of local based youth players stood out and proven themselves quite able and ready for these type of exposures. The Azkals goalie in this tournament Roland Mueller was a revelation and like Chieffy, shone in this tournament. his excellent saves kept us in contention during the tournament. If the senior team has Neil Etheridge, the U23 has Roland Mueller. Another standout was Belgium based youth player Jeffrey Christaens. He was being christened by some as the next Chieffy given their somewhat similar style of play, high praise indeed for Christaens to be compared to the Azkals' player of the tournament.

Well, another round of international matches under their belt and the Azkals marches on carrying the banner of Philippine football proudly. Go Azkals, we believe!    
2011 Moira G Gallaga©


My 2nd Poem in honor of Steve Jobs

To every star there comes a time when light will shine no more.
To every road there comes an end when journeys go no further.
Every torch will one day pass from one hand to the next,
And every soul shall one day gaze upon the farther shore.

Photo via http://www.top-funny.com/archives/three-apples-change-the-world-153.html

In every time new genius grows, unequalled and beset
With cares and fears of those around who cannot see the way.
That visionary in a jealous age of mediocrity,
Who knows no fear and conquers doubt, a blaze of modest light.

With jaded eye and saddened face, the cosmos wonders long.
It knows what he’s doing as he passes on, but not what comes beyond,
The life that shared the fruits of thought across the planet’s sphere.
No more shall bring a new dawn age, or gladden new dawn hearts.

He leaves alone, yet leaves behind these gifts of wondrous tools.
A graceful night that follows on the sparkling of the day,
The triumph of the life well lived rewarded with cool rest,
And praise no more shall rain upon the ear that cannot hear.

But still it seems that he must know his glory and his name,
Endures beyond his transient pose in gaunt and fading frame,
Endures beyond the toys and tools, the wonder and the work.
A rise, a step, a reaching hand that grasps at time and space.

Another day, another man, another Steve Jobs comes.
Not to finish, not to end the task so far begun,
But still to add another sum and scrawl another line,
Contribute yet another thought that builds upon the first.
Forever thus the circle goes, new heroes shall arise.
New praises sing for new crowned kings in fleeting seats of fame.
But soon their time is called away, new princes will ascend,
The vacant throne of fallen lords, those who’ve gone before.

2011 Moira G Gallaga©

In Memoriam: Steve Jobs

In Memoriam: Steve Jobs.
by: Moira G Gallaga

My Published Article in Football Philippines Magazine - Magical Moments

Well, the World Cup qualifying campaign of the Philippines ended that evening, but the growth of the beautiful game in the Philippines is just beginning. As my husband would later say to me, the Azkals lost that night to Kuwait, but they won the hearts of Filipinos and that is the much bigger victory. The second leg game against Kuwait wasn’t about the Azkals, it was about us supporters. It was about us supporters showing to the Azkals that we deserved them.

You see, if one were to look objectively at the second leg it was almost impossible to overturn a 3-0 aggregate deficit from the first leg against a highly experienced and skilled team such as Kuwait. A miracle was needed, and though that happens in football from time to time, this was pretty much unlikely, not yet. But the Azkals have already done their part; they have made great strides in a short span of time and brought football into the consciousness of Filipinos in a big way. Their heroic run to the semis of the Suzuki Cup, reaching the second round of World Cup qualifying, going head to head against Kuwait, they have proven themselves capable and now just need to continue with the hard work they have been doing. They need time, and based on the support of the crowd that evening, they will get it.

We the supporters on the other hand, we needed to be tested and to prove ourselves too, just like the Azkals. That second leg against Kuwait was our test, and we passed it with flying colors. The end of that match that was the most magical moment of all. In the rain, in defeat and in the face of adversity, the Azkals and we its supporters sealed our pact with one another. Come what may, they will play their hearts out on the pitch for us and we will be there in the stands supporting, rain or shine, in victory and in defeat because WE BELIEVE! Moira G. Gallaga ©


Diplo-tips: Yes. WORDS Do Matter

Words can make a big difference in the lives of others and in our lives as well.  How we use them is very important. I am one of those people who just starts speaking without even stopping to think about what they are saying and I’m always ‘in trouble’ because of that. Though there are also a lot of times when I say the right things and it warms my heart due to the positive response I get in return, he-he. 

What we say not only affects how others see us, but it also affects how we see ourselves. For instance, many children grow up being told that they are worthless and that their life is useless. These are words that could drive an emotionally distressed person to harm his or herself or perhaps someone else.

Words do matter.

United Airlines, 7663 Dulles International Airport bound to Madrid, Spain, 26 November 2007

I was boarding a flight bound for Madrid at Dulles International Airport... Ole! As I handed my boarding pass to the United Airlines gate agent, I asked her if she was having a good day. Her response clearly sticks in my mind up to this day. She looked at me, smiled, and said, “All the better for you asking me, thank you.”

As I proceeded down the jet way, I smiled. I have asked hundreds of people if they are having a good day. Never have I received that response. I’ve heard, ‘It’s okay,’ ‘Good,’ ‘No, not really’ and ‘Fine, thanks.’ But never, until that time, have I heard ‘All the better for you asking me, thanks.’

Dulles International Airport
Her response was gracious and warm. It wowed me as a customer – giving me another positive experience with the airline. More importantly, it made me feel special as a human being. Perhaps she was taught to say this by a parent at a young age and it was an automatic response. What would have been a normal flight was changed by eight words – eight words I am sure I will never forget.

The Internet Essay

I've read a post of Scott Ringwelski who writes an essay each week called Positive Pause. The specific essay starts …

“No Problem…actually is.

‘No problem.’ It seems natural, easy going, off the cuff, casual.

It’s a throwaway line for a disposable world.

However, how does your throwaway line and casual attitude translate to those you say it to?”

Many unpleasant events have taken place because someone chose to say something mean or disrespectful to one of their peers. The phrase that says "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt" is not true for the majority of people. While sticks and stones hurt the external body, words can potentially harm a person's internal soul. The majority of individuals who trash on people's feelings also trash on the environment. They think we live in a disposable world that can be replaced once this one is destroyed. They use throwaway lines and hope that will somehow change others' perspective about them. 

The Common Thread

In all of these cases, the words chosen by people have made a positive difference to those around them. 

Situations can change only when people choose to change. Be careful how you choose your words because words do matter. They can build up a person's self esteem or they can tear it down. So, the next time someone makes you upset and you feel like you want to respond in a negative way, think again. Would you want what you say to someone else to be the words that someone says to you? Words can be negative or positive and how you choose to use them can have a devastating effect on the person who hears them and in our lives as well.

Have a stress-free Friday everyone!

Freedom of Information Act in the Philippines

Freedom of Information Act in the Philippines:
by: Moira G Gallaga


Ready for a Big Win? 8 Reasons Azkals Will Win the Long Teng Cup

Ready for the 2011 Long Teng Cup? It’s a big moment in Philippine Football. The Azkals are coming off a big first in World Cup qualifying, where they advanced to the second qualifying round for the first time in the history of Philippine football with Pinoys everywhere cheered them on. They’ve been training intensively for this one. The last time out they finished third, and a better finish is expected this time around. The implications of a Long Teng Cup win are tantalizing. Here’s why we believe they’ll get it:

1. The Azkals are pitted against teams of near equal ranking, unlike the World Cup qualifying games. Since this summer, when the team made its big first in World Cup qualifying play, the team has moved up the international rankings, and they’re looking to move forward. From a ranking’s standpoint, the cup is a pretty even affair, with three contenders ranked within 16 places of one another. Hong Kong will be the Azkals' toughest challenge followed by Chinese Taipei.

2. The top veteran players are available for the tournament, including Borromeo, Caligdong, and Araneta. Araneta was the top scorer at the tournament last year, and is a significant weapon in the Azkal’s arsenal. They will be beefed up with new addition Angel Guirado, a regular during the AFC Challenge Cup and World Cup qualifying campaigns. He brings an added dimension to the Azkals' quality of play and offense.

3. The team is doing an increasingly better job on defense. James Younghusband has been tested on central defense by Coach Weiss and has brought added pace and passing ability to the defense. His versatility will be an asset for the team and will provide cover for the Europe based defensive players who can't make it to this tournament.

4. Their growing experience will start to pay off. Their tough defeat by Kuwait was by a highly ranked team but they gained a great deal of experience and gelled as a team.

5. Dan Palami and Michael Weiss provide solid leadership and sound strategy for advancing the team in the world cup rankings. They understand the importance of the Long Teng Cup and will be fielding the best possible team.

6. The team undeniably has great heart. Their recent run in the World Cup qualifiers showed Filipinos that they’re going to go out and play hard, no matter what. While it may not be enough at times against clearly superior opponents, but it will pay big dividends against more evenly matched opponents.

7. The team knows it can win this cup. The Azkals are a team with heart – that much is clear. They are also on a bit of a run. And last but not least, they know they have a real opportunity to win this cup. This should drive and motivate their play and energy enough to drive them to victory.

8. In addition to all of the above factors going in their favour, their recent wins in the I Can Serve Foundation Football Invitational should set a great tone, particularly the solid defeat of Kaya Cignal FC. Coming off a win is a great way to go into an important tournament.

The Azkal’s still face a lot of challenges in their development. Still ranked at 166, their hardly an odds on favourite in most international matches and tournaments. But the Long Teng Cup is a bit different. The challengers are serious, but not out of the Azkal’s league. They have a great chance to win. Go Pilipinas!

2011 Moira G Gallaga©

October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To all the special girls in my life

October  is Breast Cancer Awareness Month……..

Give this heart to everyone you don't want to
lose in '2011. 

'Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat. 

If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep.
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important. 

The best vitamin for making friends...... B1.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge.. 

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished. 

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won't work unless ' You' do.

Your mind is like a parachute...it functions only when open.

The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime! 

It is never too late to become what you might have been.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.. So love
the people who treat you right.. Forget about the
ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If
it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life
would be easy, they just promised it would be
worth it. 

Friends are like balloons;
once you let them go, you might not get them
back. Sometimes we get so busy with our own
lives and problems that we may not even notice
that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are so
caught up in who's right and who's wrong that we
forget what's right and wrong.. Sometimes we just
don't realize what real friendship means until it
is too late. I don't want to let that happen so
I'm going to tie you to my heart so I never lose you. 

Send this to all your friends. Even send it to your
balloons that you think have flown away forever. 

Thank you for being in my life!!!

               Thank you for this one Mom. Moira