on this given sunday

The moment the news flashed on the television set was the moment I was and still am grateful for the place where I live. I heard myself whispering praise to the Almighty, thanking Him for putting my family and I in the island of Cebu, but subconsciously, my eyes showed disappointment towards whoever was responsible for this havoc.

Rather than naming names based on speculations, simple decency demands that we pay sincere sympathy and condolence to the families and friends of the victims, and say a solemn prayer for the innocent lives that were shattered.

Deeply saddened by the tragedy, on this given sunday --- we offer our prayers.

final dose:
therefore will we not fear.
though the earth be moved.
He is our hope and strength


old drawings, new aches

Despite his body shivering from cough and colds, he continues to draw inspiration with every flip of the page of the book he has been diligently reading of late. The story of Howard Roark keeps him set on his ultimate goal.

A principled and determined man, such is his description about the star of the novel.
Roark's character is egocentric yet calm, something he has always wanted to achieve.
Boastful but brilliant, Arrogant yet a genius, he remarks even more about Howard.

In between the morning coffee and the time to get ready for work, he and his life partner share different but interrelated comments and views about the story. He concedes when it comes to a tone of argument, she has read the book three times compared to him, who is still about to go halfway through. Quite interesting though how he speaks bluntly on topics which he is knowledgeable about. He relates the plot, the characters and the scenarios to the same industry he wishes to belong to someday soon.

She is glad that he has finally found time to be interested in the book she has long been talking about and been pushing him to read. He feels the same joy, although regretting not being able to read the book earlier. He can't wait to finish the whole read, she can't wait to watch the motion picture version of the story with him.

until he finishes -- he continues to be more inspired with every turn of the page, not minding the annoying cough and colds.

final dose:
architecture is not a business, not a career, but a crusade and a consecration to a joy that justifies the existence of the earth. - Henry Cameron.


less than a hundred

There is a growing number of environmental advocacies and a growing population of environmentalists. Everyday, we are reminded about environmental awareness, to be eco-friendly and are even encouraged to do our share in helping resolve or minimize these environmental issues.

I don't intend to join any environmental groups, although I do support the same cause as Jack Johnson through his music. I believe one can always find different ways to help.

In architecture for example, there is what we call adaptive re-use which is described as the conversion of a facility or part of a facility to a use significantly different from that for which it was originally designed while still keeping some of the historic value; like for example -converting a railroad station into a shopping mall or a post office into a rail station. Adaptive re-use in architecture is more or less like recycling.

Topics like these sometimes tend to sound uninteresting so let's go straight to the point so it won't bore you.

Let me share my own way of helping...

I created a downlight luminaire which costs less than a hundred pesos and is made from recycled materials. A Luminaire is a complete lighting unit, consisting of one or more electric lamps with all of the necessary parts and wiring. (Pronunciation: -m&-'ner)

the materials:

handle cap = P 8.98
socket outlet = P 8.00
#18 flat wire = P39.75
5w round bulb = P14.50

TOTAL = P71.23

other materials:

empty plastic bottle
2ply tissue paper
adhesive (elmer's glue)
latex paint

here's the procedure:

  • Connect the wires needed for the light holder as well as for the power plug, make sure you know how to connect electrical wires properly.
  • Cut the plastic bottle into half or into the desired size you want, this will act as the lamp shade.
  • Make a hole as big as the light holder on the bottom of the plastic bottle.
  • Cut holes in the plastic bottle in any order you want it to be.
  • Paint the plastic bottle with latex paint (enamel paint doesn't work with plastic).
  • Make paper mache out of tissue paper using a ratio of 1 scoop of glue to 3 scoops of water.
  • Cover holes with the paper mache, make sure paper mache is applied in the interior side of the bottle. Leave to dry.
  • Connect light holder and plastic bottle lamp shade together.
my sketches:

my down light luminaire:

It may not be totally environment-friendly because of the use of latex paint and the plastic bottle. But consider this as recycling materials for adaptive re-use instead of dumping it in the trash bin.

final dose:
little boy likes the effect so much, he now uses it as his night light.


posted by A.Cortes on 3:43 am under

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i think therefore i am

This is Rene Descartes' famous line, which I have encountered over and over, in many different languages and in many different words. This is also reiterated in "The Law of Attraction" which is THE (greatest) SECRET the world has ever known.

As long as you think (of whatever the hell you want to think), you are. You are what you think, and what you think is you. So if you think about abundance and prosperity... YOU ARE ABUNDANT AND PROSPEROUS. Sounds too simple to be logical, huh?

Well, The Secret says that the Universe works by one law, and that is the Law of Attraction. Like attracts like, and having positive thoughts will pull positive things towards you. This law is working, whether you know about it or not. Now that you do, realize how powerful you actually are.



posted by A.Cortes on 11:39 pm under

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F.R.I.E.N.D.S. the blow-by-blow

The six of us, Monica-Justin, Maica-Stephen, Alli-Toni, all went to Tabuelan over the weekend for a much-needed time-out from the city... and we had such a blast! It was the next best thing to the perfect getaway. The perfect getaway would have been the exact same thing, minus the expenses.

8:00am - met up at Chowabungga, I.T. Park, breakfast
9:30am - boarded a van in the North Bus Terminal, for Tabuelan
11:30am - van dropped us off right at our front gate, in Tabuelan
12:00nn - the drinking started, while rice was cooking
12:30pm - lunchtime!!!
1:30pm - 4:00pm - swimming, sun-bathing, drinking, pictu
4:00pm - 6:30pm - grilling, frying, cooking rice
6:30pm - dinnertime!!!

*** after dinner, i slept. i couldn't help it, i was totally dead to the world. i did wake up at 1:00am though... toni was gnashing his teeth beside me, in his sleep of course. i didn't quite sleep as well afterwards. i couldn't make him stop that awful noise inside his mouth.

7:00am - cooking breakfast
7:30am - eating breakfast!!!
8:00am - swimming, sun-bathing, drinking, picture-taking
11:00am - cooking lunch
11:30am - eating lunch!!!

12:30pm - packing up, preparing to go, shelling out money for the expenses

2:30pm - the van finally picked us up... methinks the driver was watching the Pacquiao-Barrera fight, that's why he picked us up two hours late!

4:30pm - van dropped us off right at our front gate, in Cebu this time

*** we stopped by Liloan to buy kinilaw and fish, and we ate this at home, Toni's and my home. they all wanted to see Angelo, especially Stephen, this being his first time to see the little boy.

final dose:
It was such a fun weekend.
If only we could do this more often... like... once a month?

I love you guys...



Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your jobs a joke, you're broke, your love life's D.O.A.
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
And it hasn't been your day, your week, your month,
or even your year but..

I'll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you
'Cuz you're there for me too...

You're still in bed at ten and work began at eight
You've burned your breakfast so far... things are goin' great
Your mother warned you there'd be days like these
Oh but she didn't tell you when the world has brought
You down to your knees that...

I'll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you
'Cuz you're there for me too...

No one could ever know me
No one could ever see me
Seems you're the only one who knows
What it's like to be me
Someone to face the day with
Make it through all the rest with
Someone I'll always laugh with
Even at my worst I'm best with you, yeah

It's like you're always stuck in second gear
And it hasn't been your day, your week, your month,
or even your year...

I'll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you
'Cuz you're there for me too...

Monica is







building a foundation

Building a structure requires a rock solid foundation. It is this foundation that makes the edifice stand and hold its ground, for without it --the structure's downfall. One would always admire the Colosseum of Rome, still mighty and proud after all these years. Makes me wonder about the Romans' method of construction, but then again I would believe that the Colosseum was built on a firm foundation, and with the use of the best materials available during that time.

Like the need to go to preparatory school, the need to study for a final exam, to rehearse before a presentation, to warm-up before a game, to pray and get ready for the unknown, a relationship needs to establish its own foundation as well. Friendship is always the best foundation in any given relationship (you may contradict that, but this is based on my experiences).

One typical night when wifey was reading a novel and I was watching the late night news on television, wifey opened up and just said. "Good thing we were really good friends before we got married." and added, "At least if ever our marriage gets rocky, we can always hold on to our friendship.

Oh these words... the words from a wife that made the husband stare blankly in silence at the ZTE scandal headlining the news.

Wifey, followed up with a question. "Love, did you settle?"

Whew! and so let's not watch these oh so boring news reports of killings, scandals, racial slurs and showbiz non-sense.

Television OFF. Heart-to-heart-talk ON.

Okay, first things first.
Yes! I am very happy that indeed wifey and I had this awesome friendship before we went into any relationship. It was a collaboration, a combination, of the same love for beer, a lot of admiration for Jack Johnson, the clashing of unique ideas, the food trips, the coffee talks, the adventures, on being a beach bum and of all the other things there is to mention. It was that friendship that transformed the chemistry which transpired into marriage.

I'll always be grateful for what we had before and what we have until now. To sustain and maintain the relationship would be the only constant thing a couple needs to work real hard on. Like in the previous post, I've always prayed for Strength to endure and Grace to face adversity.

I don't want to sell myself short! and most likely anyone who's idealistic doesn't want to either.
So "just to settle" would not come easy for me, much less settling when it comes to marriage. So where did that question come from? I know as years go by, there will be unending questions and realizations about one's love. It's just a matter of reassuring each other and showing one's true feelings, even if it may seem as mushy as this is leading to be.

Alright, If indeed I may have settled (which I vehemently deny), I made sure I settled for the very best. (now that's way too corny, i know... but so be it!)

A great concept of architecture can only be achieved when the structure sits on the best foundation. As one legal bill would point out, the designer is liable for any defects of his building design for the succeeding fifteen years. So if the structure goes down within fifteen years upon construction, the designer will be stripped of his license and be put in prison unless it is caused by a natural disaster. But that's with construction and buildings, what about marriages?!? A divorce, an annulment? You wouldn't want to relate it to a mere piece of paper...

Well, really now...About two years of marriage doesn't give me any credible license to write like one who knows a lot about this stuff. People might not even agree with all this yada-yada writing. So let me just include some quotable quotes to wrap things up....

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.
like love It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things that give value
to survival.
- C.S. Lewis

we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must
love our friends for their sakes rather than for our own.

Charlotte Bronte

Friendship is love with understanding - proverb

The architect is not free, but the artist is... The architect works with his head, but the artist with his heart. In architecture as in all other operative arts, the end must direct the operation. The end is to build well.

final dose:
you can add any mushy, corny quotes, you might even share your own thoughts...
the cornier the better, the mushiest the best.


posted by A.Cortes on 6:02 am under ,

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when september ends

such sweet spectacular september...

what better way to end the ninth month of the year than an overnight stay at the beach.

When I thought I'll be singing this line...
"and it's been so long since i've since the ocean"
I really didn't feel that it was a long September after all.

adios septiembre, alegrarse octubre!

all beer lovers out there,
join us in welcoming the month we oh so love.
October! --- when it all started!

cheers to a whole month of merriment,
a month we will always commemorate.

final dose:
the Corteses now accepts any donation to help fulfill our ultimate dream of going to Germany for the Oktoberfest!