Archive for August, 2012

Things To Always Remember

Your presence is a present to the world.
You are unique and one of a kind.
Your life can be what you want it to be.
Take the days just one at a time.

Count your blessings, not your troubles.
You will make it through whatever comes along.
Within you are so many answers.
Understand, have courage, be strong.

Do not put limits on yourself.
So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Reach for your peak, your goal and you prize.

Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
The longer one carries a problem the heavier it gets.
Do not take things too seriously.
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.

Remember that a little love goes a long way.
Remember that a lot goes forever.
Remember that friendship is a wise investment.
Life’s treasure are people together.

Realize that it is never too late.
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Have hearth and hope and happiness.
Take the time to wish upon a start.


First man on moon Neil Armstrong dead at 82

U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, who took a giant leap for mankind when he became the first person to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 82, his family said on Saturday.

Armstrong died following complications from heart-bypass surgery he underwent earlier this month, the family said in a statement, just two days after his birthday on August 5.

As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. As he stepped on the dusty surface, Armstrong said: "“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

Those words endure as one of the best known quotes in the English language.

The Apollo 11 astronauts’ euphoric moonwalk provided Americans with a sense of achievement in the space race with Cold War foe the Soviet Union and while Washington was engaged in a bloody war with the communists in Vietnam.

Neil Alden Armstrong was 38 years old at the time and even though he had fulfilled one of mankind’s age-old quests that placed him at the pinnacle of human achievement, he did not revel in his accomplishment. He even seemed frustrated by the acclaim it brought.

"I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work," Armstrong said in an interview on CBS’s "60 Minutes" program in 2005.

He once was asked how he felt knowing his footprints would likely stay on the moon’s surface for thousands of years. "I kind of hope that somebody goes up there one of these days and cleans them up," he said.


James Hansen, author of "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong," told CBS: "All of the attention that … the public put on stepping down that ladder onto the surface itself, Neil never could really understand why there was so much focus on that."

The Apollo 11 moon mission turned out to be Armstrong’s last space flight. The next year he was appointed to a desk job, being named NASA’s deputy associate administrator for aeronautics in the office of advanced research and technology.

Armstrong’s post-NASA life was a very private one. He took no major role in ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of the moon landing. "He’s a recluse’s recluse," said Dave Garrett, a former NASA spokesman.

Hansen said stories of Armstrong dreaming of space exploration as a boy were apocryphal, although he was long dedicated to flight. "His life was about flying. His life was about piloting," Hansen said.

Born August 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Armstrong was the first of three children of Stephen and Viola Armstrong. He married his college sweetheart, Janet Shearon, in 1956. They were divorced in 1994, when he married Carol Knight.

Armstrong had his first joyride in a plane at age 6. Growing up in Ohio, he began making model planes and by his early teens had amassed an extensive aviation library. With money earned from odd jobs, he took flying lessons and obtained his pilot’s license even before he got a car license.

In high school he excelled in science and mathematics and won a U.S. Navy scholarship to Purdue University in Indiana, enrolling in 1947. He left after two years to become a Navy pilot, flying combat missions in the Korean War and winning three medals.


After the war he returned to Purdue and graduated in 1955 with an aeronautical engineering degree. He joined the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), which became NASA in 1958.

Armstrong spent seven years at NACA’s high-speed flight station at Edwards Air Force Base in California, becoming one of the world’s best test pilots. He flew the X-15 rocket plane to the edge of space – 200,000 feet up at 4,000 mph.

In September 1962, Armstrong was selected by NASA to be an astronaut. He was command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission and backup command pilot for the Gemini 11 mission, both in 1966.

On the Gemini 8 mission, Armstrong and fellow astronaut David Scott performed the first successful docking of a manned spacecraft with another space vehicle.

Armstrong put his piloting skills to good use on the moon landing, overriding the automatic pilot so he and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin would not have to land their module in a big rocky crater.

Yet the landing was not without danger. The lander had only about 30 seconds of fuel left when Armstrong put it down in an area known as the Sea of Tranquility and calmly radioed back to Mission Control on Earth, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

Aldrin, who along with Armstrong and Michael Collins formed the Apollo 11 crew, told BBC radio that he would remember Armstrong as "a very capable commander and leader of an achievement that will be recognized until man sets foot on the planet Mars."

Armstrong left the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) a year after Apollo 11 to become a professor of engineering at the University of Cincinnati.


After his aeronautical career, Armstrong was approached by political groups, but unlike former astronauts John Glenn and Harrison Schmitt who became U.S. senators, he declined all offers.

In 1986, he served on a presidential commission that investigated the explosion that destroyed the space shuttle Challenger, killing its crew of seven shortly after launch from Cape Canaveral in January of that year.

Armstrong made a rare public appearance several years ago when he testified to a congressional hearing against President Barack Obama administration’s plans to buy rides from other countries and corporations to ferry U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Armstrong also said that returning humans to the moon was not only desirable, but necessary for future exploration — even though NASA says it is no longer a priority.

He lived in the Cincinnati area with his wife, Carol.

"We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away," the family said in their statement. "Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend."

His family expressed hope that young people around the world would be inspired by Armstrong’s feat to push boundaries and serve a cause greater than themselves.

"The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink," the family said.

Obama said that Armstrong "was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time. …

"Today, Neil’s spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown – including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure – sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step."

Glenn, an original NASA astronaut with Armstrong, spoke of his colleague’s humble nature. "He was willing to dare greatly for his country and he was proud to do that and yet remained the same humble person he’d always been," he told CNN on Saturday.

The space agency sent out a brief statement in the wake of the news, saying it "offers its condolences on today’s passing of Neil Armstrong, former test pilot, astronaut and the first man on the moon."

Armstrong is survived by his two sons, a stepson and stepdaughter, 10 grandchildren, a brother and a sister, NASA said.

Some controversy still surrounds his famous quote. The live broadcast did not have the "a" in "one small step for a man …" He and NASA insisted static had obscured the "a," but after repeated playbacks, he admitted he may have dropped the letter and expressed a preference that quotations include the "a" in parentheses.

Asked to describe what it was like to stand on the moon, he told CBS:

"It’s an interesting place to be. I recommend it."

(Writing by Philip Barbara, editing by Bill Trott and Christopher Wilson)

New Zealand is 100% Middle Earth



FULL TEXT of public apology given by Robert Blair Carabuena this morning at MMDA Office.

Why MMDA traffic aide took it on the chin

PAPA’S ANGELS. When MMDA traffic aide Saturnino Fabros got slapped around by a motorist, his 6 daughters gave him as many hugs. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

All Saturnino Fabros could think of when the Volvo-driving manager of a tobacco firm came down from his car and attacked him were his young, motherless daughters.

“What if he had a gun and had shot me? No one would have been left to take care of my daughters,” the 47-year-old traffic aide for the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said in an interview.

Fabros lost his wife to pneumonia in 2010 and is the sole support of his six daughters, the youngest of whom is 7 years old and a first-grade pupil. The eldest college-age daughter had to forgo schooling because of lack of money.

Fabros was in tears as he recalled the August 11 incident—captured on video by a TV5 researcher—while he was directing traffic at the intersection of Capitol Drive and Tandang Sora Ave. in Quezon City.

The traffic aide tried to apprehend Robert Blair Carabuena, a recruitment executive of Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp., when the latter beat the red light.

After Carabuena’s green Volvo crossed the busy intersection, Fabros gave the car a tap that infuriated the motorist. He saw Carabuena and his brother get out of the car, both of them cursing and swearing at him.

Thinking of daughters

Carabuena removed Fabros’ cap and used it to strike him repeatedly. He then hit the traffic aide in the face.

Fabros said he was stunned at first, which turned to fear when Carabuena went to his vehicle. He thought the motorist was going to get a gun.

“I was just so afraid of what might happen,” he said.

Fabros said it was the first time he experienced violence from a motorist. “Usually, I would just hear curses,” he said.

Fighting back never crossed his mind, however, as he kept thinking of his children—Jusan, 18; Jennifer, 16; Jorraimay, 13; Janica, 12; Jullianne, 10; and Joanna, 7.

Public outrage

Public outrage was instantaneous after the video of the assault on Fabros went viral on the Internet.

But more than that, it focused attention on the wretched situation of the traffic aide who takes home a measly P2,300 every two weeks.

Fabros, known to his neighbors as Sonny, lives in a community called Lupang Pangako (Promised Land) in Quezon City. His 25-square-meter house is one of hundreds of shanties made of rusty corrugated sheets and crude hollow blocks surrounding the towering garbage mountain at the Payatas dumpsite.

Once in a while, the foul smell from the dump wafts into his home on a hilly part of Payatas. “We apologize for the smell,” said one of Fabros’ neighbors.

The house is almost bare of furniture, the only appliance being a broken karaoke. Fabros had pawned his television set and had not been able to raise the money to redeem it. The family’s clothes were piled on a table.

The only decor in the Fabros house are the framed photos of the children in their white togas hanging on one wall.

P200 for food per day

Fabros has to really stretch his tiny salary to partly pay off his debts and the P500 monthly amortization of the house. He can only allot P200 a day for food and other necessities.

“Sometimes it’s still not enough so I have had to borrow money from other people just to get by,” Fabros said. His debts from the MMDA and colleagues have already grown to P45,000.

But the traffic aide, who took on the role of both mother and father to his six children when his wife, Juliet, died in June 2010, is still thankful that he has a regular job.

Before his wife got sick, the couple would scavenge the Payatas dumpsite for empty bottles and tin cans which they would sell to junk shops. For a year, the money they got from scavenging served to augment the income from Fabros’ job.

“We did it on my rest days. But we stopped after my wife died,” he said. Fabros and his children blame the dumpsite for his wife’s fatal lung disease. Juliet was only 37 when she died, he said.

Fabros wakes up at 6 a.m. every day to get his children ready for school, laying out their clothes and preparing their breakfast. He cooks their lunch before he heads off to work.

Jusan, the eldest daughter, cooks Fabros’ dinner before he comes home from his 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. work shift.

‘It’s all right, Papa’

His children were “Papa’s girls” even when their mother was alive. “We would always go to him for baon (allowance) and whenever we need something for school,” said Jennifer.

The four younger children each receive a P10 daily allowance and walk the few blocks to Lupang Pangako Elementary School. The second eldest, a fourth-year high school student, takes a tricycle to Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma High School on the other side of Barangay Payatas.

The children said they come home every day to find their lunch all ready. They said they watch out for each other and always go home together so their father would not have to worry about their safety.

Jennifer said Fabros is a good father who would always find a way to give them what they need, even to the extent of borrowing money from his neighbors or colleagues.

During the children’s birthdays and on other special occasions, the father cooks pinakbet or pancit.

Asked if he has gotten over his wife’s death, Fabros said: “Not yet, because raising the kids is so hard without her.”

According to Fabros, the children saw the video of his ordeal at the hands of Carabuena in a neighbor’s TV set and their reactions warmed his heart. “They came to me crying and hugging me,” he said.

“It’s all right, Papa. The people who’ve seen it will help you,” he quoted his children as saying.

Support and promotion

True enough, support from organizations, online communities and even from celebrities like comedian Arnel Ignacio kept pouring.

Ignacio has started a fund-raising campaign to give the exemplary MMDA officer a grand treat. TV host Willie Revillame has invited him to guest in his game show on TV5.

When asked what he would want to happen to Carabuena, the mild-mannered traffic aide said: “I am now leaving it to the authorities.”

The incident also earned him a commendation from his boss. But after 27 years of working for the MMDA, Fabros, a high school graduate of Fort Andres Bonifacio College Annex in Taguig City, has never been promoted.

The only thing that could be considered a promotion was when he was made a traffic enforcer after working for 7 years as a Metro aide whose task was to clean and repaint roads and structures in Metro Manila when the MMDA was called the Metro Manila Commission under the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Metro Manila Authority under former President Corazon Aquino.

Sending girls to college

According to Yves Gonzalez of the MMDA’s traffic discipline office, Fabros, who has a clean record at the MMDA, has been recommended for promotion to traffic aide 2.

“Maybe this time, it will be for real,” said Fabros. He figures that with the prospect of an increase in his monthly salary and the help coming from a lot of people, he might be able to send all of his six children to college.

Fabros’ neighbors said of him that he had always tried to avoid violence and incurring enemies for his daughters’ sake.

“Had that Carabuena known about his situation and what a good father he is, he would not have done that to him. He should come to him and apologize,” said Dominga Resinada who lives just next door.

Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer