Thursday, October 13, 2011

You'll find some peace tonight.

On Youtube are videos taken after the shooting incident at SM Pampanga. I just finished watching one, and frankly, I don't even know what to feel.

Last September 21, 2011, a 17 year old boy left his house, telling his parents that he was going to SM City Baliuag. Later that day, in the evening, news spread fast about a 13 year old boy shooting the 17 year old in SM Pampanga before shooting himself. A few days later, they were both pronounced dead.

Facebook evidences show that the two were involved in a relationship, and that the 17 year old was planning to go to Japan to be a hairdresser. From what I heard, there was jealousy and a third party involved, but that's not why I'm writing this.

You see, the incident has been all over the news. Tonight was the first time, though, that I've actually seen a civilian's video coverage of what happened after the shooting. There on the tiled floors of the mall were the two boys. One was laying still on his stomach, the other was twisting and turning in pain, using his foot to get someone's attention, possibly asking for help.

Around them were a bunch of policemen, security guards, and mall strollers, taking pictures and videos, walking around them, but no one dared to pay attention to the moving boy and get him to the hospital or perform a first aid rescue or get him to keep from moving so as not to aggravate his bleeding more. No one. Not one of them thought that there should be no broken bones, so there must be no harm in moving his body to a stretcher or what not to get him to a hospital as soon as possible. Instead, they stood there and chatted idly about what happened, while our dearly beloved security officers, who are supposed to give us just that - security - walked around the two boys very calmly.

Seeing the video made me want to vomit and cry. What if it happened to someone I know? Is that the kind of protection I should expect from everyone in this country? I know, if they moved him right at that moment, he could still have died. But you can't tell me that these people were doing their jobs, because they weren't. It wasn't a car accident. Someone shot someone else, and then himself. Removing either of them from the scene could have tampered the evidence, but it could have saved someone in return. HOW IS IT THAT SOP IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING'S LIFE, for God's sake?

I know that blaming people for this doesn't make the boys any less dead, but you know, something could have been done. It broke, and still breaks my heart seeing him suffer like he did. If someone's dying but struggling to live, you don't just stand there and not do anything just because it's what is written on some paper. You shouldn't care if the person is related to you or not, cause things like this could happen to anyone, to someone you know. When someone's life is on the line, you don't just wait for the higher ranked people to tell you what to do. You do whatever it takes to save that life, like you'd want others to do when what's at stake is the life of someone you love.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Customizing / Creating Themes for iPhone / iPod Touch.

Okay, so I just spent the last two days tinkering with my phone and doing some research on how I can customize and create my own themes, and tonight, I'm gonna share with you guys all I've learned so far.

First of all, I have an iPhone 3G, running on version 4.0.1, jailbroken. If you want to be able to do what I'll list below, you need to have your device jailbroken, or else it won't work. I'm not really sure if this will work on iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, but you can try!
You can take your device to a technician to have it jailbroken (recommended!) or jailbreak it yourself. You can search the internet for the software you need to do it.

So, once your device is jailbroken, you'll have this app called Cydia. It's like the app store, but most of the stuff there is free, I think. So you'll need wifi or internet connection on your phone. Once you're done, follow these steps.

1. Click on Cydia.

2. On the search bar, type WinterBoard.

3. Install WinterBoard. It will automatically reboot your device after the installation.

Once you have WinterBoard, you're now free to download free themes, or better yet, create your own!

Downloading free pre-made themes: (WiFi is still needed here)

1. Open Cydia.
2. Click Sections.

3. Select Themes (Springboard).
4. Browse and select the theme you want, then click Install on the upper right corner, and then confirm.
5. Wait for the theme to finish downloading, then you can leave Cydia. Or you can download more themes!

Setting your theme. Or, as I like to call it, the fun part!

1. Open WinterBoard. It should be found on your screen with all the other apps, or you can go to Settings. It's right below the list of settings you can change on your phone.

 2. Turn Summerboard mode on.

3.Click Select Themes.

4. On the list, select the theme you want to use. If you check two themes at once, the one on the higher tab gets used. or example, on the picture below, the theme Ashley Greene gets used because it is placed higher than Hello Kitty. To rearrange your themes, drag them up and down by holding the gray lines on their right.

5. After selecting your theme of choice, click Winterboard on the upper left corner.

6. Click Respring. It's also on the upper left corner.

7. Your phone will go back to the locked screen or a black screen with the "loading" icon on it. That's normal. Wait for it to end, then voila! You now have your theme installed.

Creating your own iPhone theme:

For this, you'll need an iPhone browser. I downloaded mine for free here.

Once you have it installed on your computer, follow these steps:

1. Connect your device to your computer.
2. Open the iPhone browser.

3. Once opened, the iPhone browser should indicate that your device is connected and jailbroken.

4. Click Go to location and WinterBoard themes. It should load the location of the themes on your device.

5. Minimize the browser and go to desktop. Create a new folder, then name it whatever you want to name your theme.

6. Inside that folder, create two new folders. Name them Bundles and Icons. Then, pick 3 images of your choice. They should be 320 x 480 in size. Put them inside the theme folder, with Bundles and Icons.

IMPORTANT: All images should be in PNG format and everything should be named accordingly, or the theme won't work.

If the steps above were followed correctly, your folder should now look like this.

LockBackground is the image in the lock screen when your device is locked. You can decide not to have one, it's your choice.

SMSBackground is the image you see in the background when you read text messages. You can decide not to have one, it's your choice.

Wallpaper is the image you see on your home screen. You can decide not to have one, it's your choice.

7.The Bundles folder is optional. If you decide not to change the items included here, you can just skip off this step and not create a Bundles folder.

Inside the bundles folder, create two folders. 8Name them and

8. Open and paste two images of text balloons of your choice, any size. Again, this is optional, so you can skip it off. They must be in PNG format. Name them Balloon_1 and Balloon_2.

 9. Leave and open Here, you can customize the image on your slide bar when unlocking your phone. This, too, is optional. So you can just skip it off if you want to leave the slide bar image as it is. Put in this folder the image you want to replace the arrow on your slide bar. It must be on PNG format, 60x60 in size, and name it bottombarknobgray.

10. Now that you're done with the items i the Bundles folder, you can leave it and open the Icons folder.

11. For the Icons, you'll need 22pieces of 60x60 images or icons in PNG format. You can also just choose the icons you want to change if you don't feel like setting up that many. Icons are available here for free or you can use your own images. Anything you want, really, as long as they're PNG and 60x60.

Here is the list of all the icons you can change, and what the images should be named.

Apple App Store - App Store
Calculator - Calculator
Calendar - Calendar
Camera - Camera
Clock - Clock
Contacts - Contacts
Cydia - Cydia
Installous - Installous
Mail - Mail
Maps - Maps
Messages - Messages
Notes - Notes
Phone - Phone
Photos - Photos
Safari - Safari
Settings - Settings
Stocks - Stocks
Weather - Weather
WinterBoard - WinterBoard
YouTube - YouTube
iPod - iPod
iTunes - iTunes

 So basically, you don't have to change the names except for the App Store. Take not of the capitalization, I'm not sure if it will work with incorrect caps.  Anyway, here's what the Icons folder should look like once you're done pasting your images.

As you can see, I didn't put in all the icons I've mentioned above cause I'm just giving an example, haha. But you can just choose what you want to change too, that's the good thing about it. You can have your theme any way you want to.

12. We're done with all the stuff that need customizing, so now you ca minimize all folders and go to desktop, open the iphone browser, and drag your theme folder to the "Themes" section of your iPhone.

Note that the "Theme" on the left is clicked blue, so I could be sure that I'm dragging the theme into the correct folder. After your theme's name appears under the "Themes" in the browser, click on it. This is what it should look like.

All the files should have a ".png" extension. When you've got this all right, you can disconnect your device from the computer and go to WinterBoard to change your theme. You can reboot first if you want, to make sure that all changes have been made.

Yay! You just made your own theme, isn't that incredible?! i know it's a lot of work, but once you get the hang, it gets easier! Patience is the key. After all, the reward that's waiting for you is something not everyone can do or have! So good luck, and feel free to ask me questions if there are any. Or comments and suggestions, right there on the comments section! Happy theme making!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.

Hiya, fellow dreamers.

I'm currently reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and I'm almost done. I'm on the part where the alchemist tells the boy to listen to what his heart says. It's a very profound book and reminded me how much I love Paulo Coelho's writing style.

Today has been pretty good. I made macaroni spaghetti from scrap and some gulaman and milk snack. One of the things I like about myself is my ability to make something edible out of the available ingredients at home. This time, I only used some left over tomato sauce, a pinch of pepper, salt, mono sodium glutamate and sugar for the spaghetti sauce, and then topped it all with hard boiled eggs. I don't know why eggs make everything taste better.

Yeyey has the colds and coughs. My sister put some Vicks vapor rubs on a glass of hot water and made her sniff it with rolled paper but she didn't want to. The menthol hurt her eyes. My grandfather is also incredibly sick. The doctor said it was over fatigue, but they did a lot of tests and prohibited him from smoking and drinking, cause he now has a weak kidney. It scared me. Still scares me, cause it is very unusual for my grandfather to be sick. I'm used to seeing him as the headstrong, stubborn man who annoys me to death, but now I feel sorry for all the times I pretended he wasn't around when he was. Some kind of granddaughter I was.

I'm also listening to Bloc Party. It makes me feel a bit sad. Most of their songs are happy, though, but I'm currently listening to the album A Weekend In The City and the songs in it have some melancholic beats and melodies.

I'm longing to just be lying on a grass field, watching the stars. It doesn't even matter to me if I'd have someone to do that with or not. I just want to do that. Maybe it's just this new perfume I've got that smells like New York city. No, I don't know what New York smells like, but this scent reminds me of a fast paced life, with buses and cars honking at each other and people bustling, rubbing elbows, exchanging snide remarks. You might think, what does New York city have to do with grass fields and stargazing? And I understand, because if I wanted it to be more romantic, I'd choose a suburb in France, or maybe some place in New Zealand, but if I listen to my heart right now, it says New York city. Maybe my heart is thinking I could walk to Central Park and go stargazing there. I don't really know how I'd do it. I just want to do it.

So I'm gonna end this post now and dream some more of NYC. Of the things that might have been different if only one thing didn't lead to the other. Of office secretaries, scrambling to buy their bosses' Starbucks coffee. Of snow. Of red trees.

Of Serendipity.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It should be illegal to think afterhours.

I wonder why people hurt each other all the time.

There's been nothing on my mind all day but their voices - those people who once or twice or more, tried to bring me down. Like ringing bells, their words echo through my head. You've gained weight. Eat less. Someone must have left you in the kitchen. What did the fat girl say? She's not pretty at all.

These things were said about me back in sophomore high school. I can't believe how cruel everyone are willing to be just to elevate themselves higher than everyone else. Still, I'm feeling really down tonight.

What I want to do right now is to write a poem about coming home after a day like this. I want to be able to put in words how happy, and at the same time, sad, it made me when I picked my robe up and hung it up the back of my door. I want to tell someone how nothing makes me feel better than my warm blanket, a sure source of comfort when everything else fails. Why, in spite of the fact that nothing good comes off it, do we insist on pulling each other down, instead of helping one another up, until we're all leveled enough to look up and see the skies?

This real world, it makes me sad. At times like this, this is where I go: to a world of my creation where families are perfect and guys aren't jerks. Its walls are made up of road trips with friends, and I lie in a bed of laughter with my sister. My world is roofed by motherly hugs and fatherly advice. This world, unlike others, only crumbles when I strike over a phrase or give in to writer's block.

When I write, suddenly, I'm who everyone wants me to be, all at the same time. Praises are easier to give than judgment and criticism. Hugs are as natural as breathing. It's ironic how I write when I am feeling empty, when the truth is that I am filled with emotions my human body cannot translate into actions, just words. It's amazing how I pour everything out and feel fuller than I've been before I started.

It's my only escape from all of this. It's something I hold on to, something certain, when I don't know who or what my enemies are.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Team chill the fuck out and let the girl have the jacket.

It has only been a few weeks since I finished reading Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist after seeing it featured on my favorite teen magazine's website. Needless to say, I fell in love with the book, so I decided to see the movie.

It would be nice to go out and enjoy your teenage years not worrying about whether your parents are staying up waiting for you on the doorstep, and the only problem you'd have to deal with is the fact that your bitch of a best friend, whom you love dearly and always look for, is drunk again, and you are both in dire need of a ride home.

Now, enter the cute band member you've been checking out the whole night, and a crazy classmate who just won't get off your back and keeps rubbing it in your face that you don't have a boyfriend, and it should be even more fun.

This movie has something in it that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's my love for New York city, or that I'm undeniably a sucker for young love, and even those aren't enough to stop me from noticing the empty pauses; those moments when the actor seem to have nothing to say to each other despite the memorized scripts and given lines. Then again, it is a little clear in the book that our main characters are suffering from low self esteems, deliberately caused by their heartless exes who both showed up at the same place in one night. Still, I loved it.

Apart from the fact (it's given) that Norah is beautiful and Nick has a cute smile, I also can't help but love the other characters. There's Caroline, who's drunk for like 4/5 of the movie. Nick's friends are awesome. Tris is a bitch and Tal is an ass, but like I always say, exes are generally annoying. Some scenes made me laugh because of the bad jokes, and some scenes (specifically, the phone booth / restaurant one) made me wish I had someone to watch this movie with.

It also has a great soundtrack. I'm not even kidding when I say that. The opening credits rolled, and immediately, I'm hooked. I would have watched it solely for the music, it is that musically inclined, but the movie is interesting too. They gave it a different spin from the book, so that you don't really know what to expect even if you've read it.

All in all, I'll give it a 4 out of 5.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's hard to type with freshly applied nail polish on my fingers.

Blog post titles are awkward.

Hello! It's been a while. Two storms have passed my town and left my province under a state of calamity due to flooding, but thankfully my family and I are ok, except for that one time when flood water from our neighbor's yard actually got in our bathroom because of the sink hole (or whatever you call that hole where water is supposed to drain out).

So, apart from that and the numerous circumstances of power interruptions, things have been great around here. Can't believe the power of prayers. I used to think it was cheesy when people said that, but last Sunday, our Pastor told us a story of him asking God for even just a little radio so he could listen to music. This was way back when he was just starting to preach and they hardly had money. So he asked God for a little radio, and that very same day at dusk, his brother who worked for Coca Cola (don't know why it was mentioned that he worked for Coca Cola. Irrelevant.) came home with some friends carrying a box. So our Pastor asked what was inside the box, and his brother said it was a karaoke set. For those who just have no idea what a karaoke set is, Google it. Or better yet, let me tell you. It's a huge radio with a cassette player/recorder. In short, he was given more than he asked for.

I kinda thought that would be col if that would happen to me. So Sunday night, before I went to sleep, I said my usual prayer and then asked God to please, please, please help me be able to go watch Breaking Dawn with my friends on November 18th. I'm so petty, I know, but I didn't know where I'd get the money cause I'm jobless. Yesterday, my aunt came home and said that my mom sent us money. I thought it was Php 3,000 each, cause there was Php 6,000, so I was hysterical. I'd be able to go out for lunch with a friend this week and save the remaining for November. But my mom texted me in the evening and said I could only have Php 1,500 and Php 4,500 was for my sister t buy some new shoes. I was disappointed, but at least I could still go to lunch with my friend. After all, so much could happen in one month. So last night I prayed again to be ale to go to Breaking Dawn with my friends, and no one knew about this. This afternoon, my aunt told me that since my sister still has lots of money, she'd talk to her and ask her to give me Php 3,000! Yay! But my sister isn't home yet, so fingers crossed.

This morning, I was home alone and starving. i found some raw chicken in the pantry and started cutting it and frying it, then realized that I was so thirsty. I rummaged around my sister's room for some coins, like 3 pesos to buy ice, but I found none. then in my mind, I was like, God, please let there be stray money in my room. Then I went to my room, pulled out a Hello Kitty pouch, which, i expected to be empty, but to my surprise there was a 10 peso coin inside it. I was able tobuy myself a small bottle of 7Up.

Don't get me wrong. Jeez, I know I sound like such a Christian girl right now, but I make mistakes and stuff like that. everyone does. I'm just amazed, that's all. It's like magic. Maybe it was all just a coincidence, I don't know, but I do know that i prayed, accepted that the answer might be yes or no, and got yes, mostly. It's not like I'm saying everything I pray for will be given to me. Nope, I'm too human to think that way and I still have some wishes saved up inside me that haven't come true yet, and probably never will. I'm just saying  it feels so good to have something to believe in. To sleep in my own house while two nasty storms rattled our roof and the trees, without any power supply, and have that faith that in the morning, this house would still be intact, and bless us, it was. It feels so good to face the world and know that people may hurt you physically, emotionally, but not spiritually. I like the certainty that I might die any minute now, that it might be brutal, and my body might not even be suitable for identification, but my soul would remain unharmed. I'm fearless.