Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 a banner year for Philippine billiards

MANILA, Philippines – Just like in other sports, there was a lot of drama in Philippine billiards. The year 2009 was indeed a banner year and 2010 might even be more colorful for the sport.

It was a fruitful year when 2 of the 3 co-founders of the Billiards Managers and Professional Players Association (BMPAP) decided to participate in this year’s World Ten Ball Championship last November at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

“Politics has no place in sports. That’s what our champions are trying to say when they won different events this year,” said Bugsy Promotion owner Ceferino “Perry” Mariano, who manages the careers of double world champion Ronato Alcano, former world no.1 Dennis Orcollo, 2007 World pool finalist Roberto Gomez, Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Gandy Valle, among others.

“Maganda na ang billiards sa ating bansa, Peace na,” said Jonathan Sy, president of the rising Negros Billiard Stable, who manages the careers of reigning 2-time Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) National Champion Lee Van Corteza, Warren Kiamco, Rodolfo Luat and Ramil Gallego, among others.

Actually, according to Mariano, the BSCP headed by its president Sebastian Chua and chairman Yen Makabenta are planning to hold a champions league, inviting 2 of the famous collegiate leagues in the body, the UAAP and NCAA.

“Tutulong kami sa promosyon ng billiard sa bansa. Saka dapat isa sa priority ng BSCP ang grass roots, darating din ang time mawawala na ang ating mga top rated player at sa event na ito ang sisibol ang mga future world class player,” said Mariano.

To the hilt

To help remember the year that was, we have compiled a list of major international events ranging from the Corus in January to the World Cup in December.

Last December 22, Corteza, known as “The Slayer,” used his vast experience to the hilt in subduing Rodrigo “Edige Marialo” Geronimo. He won the P100,000 champion's purse at the 4th BSCP National Pool Championship. This was the Davao pool master's second crown in the event after first winning in 2007.

Corteza, the top player of Jonathan Sy's Negros Billiard Stable (NBS), reached the finals after beating Dennis Orcollo in the semifinals, 9-7, of the three-day event backed by Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and hosted by long-time billiards patron Sebastian Chua in close cooperation with Raya Sports.

“I would like to dedicate my victory to boss Jo (Jonathan Sy), coach Toper (Christoper Palses), to my family and to God," Corteza said.

Last November, Corteza settled runner-up to eventual champion Immonen in this year’s World Ten Ball Championships. He also won the Derby City Classic 10-Ball Challenge early this year.

His other accomplishments are a runner-up finish in the Derby City Classic 9-Ball Challenge, a third-place finish in the World Mixed Doubles and a fourth-place finish in the US Open 9-Ball Championship.

Corteza is scheduled to headline the country’s campaign in the 1st WPA World Team Championship slated on January 30 to February 7, 2010 in Germany.

Joining Corteza in the Nationals are WPA 8-ball and 9-ball champion Ronato Alcano, Antonio Lining, Warren Kiamco, Marlon Manalo and Dennis Orcullo.

Representing RP

After the World Ten Ball, pool legend Efren “Bata” Reyes Jr. teamed up with Rubilen “Bingkay” Amit to form Team Philippine A. They defeated Charlie Williams and Eun Ji Park of Korea, 9-7, to capture the 1st Mixed Doubles Classic championships trophy in Libis, Quezon City.

In September, Reyes ruled the Galveston Classic One Pocket by beating American Shannon Daulton. Alcano, for his part, whipped fellow former world champion Johnny Archer of the USA, 9-5, in the finals to capture the 8-ball division of the Galveston Classic Billiards Extravaganza held on September 21 in Texas.

Kiamco settled over-all second place after losing to Immonen in the 10-ball finals.

Also in September, Reyes teamed up with Bustamante to bag the 2009 World Cup of Pool held in September at the SM City North EDSA Annex in Quezon City. The dynamic duo beat Germans Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann , 11-9, in the finals.

In June, Amit clobbered Taiwanese Liu Shi-Mei, 10-4, to capture the Women’s World 10-ball plum.

“I just play and it’s really nice to represent your country and win,” said the 27-year-old Amit, who won 2 of the country’s 38 gold medals in the 2009 Southeast Asian Games in Laos. She bagged her two gold medals by ruling the 8-ball and 9-ball women’s singles events.

How to lose weight lying down at Institut Santre

MANILA, Philippines - After a period of unavoidable bingeing, I decided to try out the weight loss program offered at Institut Santre.

They advertised their patented Omnivital Therapy System which was described vaguely with phrases like "inch loss" or "lymphatic flow." This means I had no clue what to expect.

At the Institute, the marketing director and therapist were kind enough to say that I was thin--their usual clients were those that could use some serious help. But once I rolled up my sleeves and lifted my shirt, they said, "Ahh," and prescribed a toning program which was to begin immediately.

After taking my measurements and snapping a "before" picture of my tummy while wearing boxer shorts and a sports bra, I was sent to lay down in a treatment room.

A machine gurgled quietly in the corner and a therapist smeared cold gel on my stomach. With an ultrasound pad, she began to rub my belly for 30 minutes. It was not unpleasant, but it was not relaxing either, kind of like a futile and relentless search for a baby in the womb, and I half expected an image of a little heart beating to pop up on the screen.

But the machine just kept beeping while the ultrasound waves were melting away layers of that hardheaded belly fat.

Infrared sauna

In the second treatment room, a silver foil-covered cocoon rested on top of a bed. "This is an infrared sauna, and it's going to get hot," one of the therapists said. "Just ring the buzzer if you feel uncomfortable."

The heat was meant to drain my lymphatic system as well as the fat that had just been ultrasounded away.

The lymphatic system transports all the fat-soluble vitamins from food into our blood; protects us from invasion from foreign cells, microbes, bacteria and even cancer cells; and even drains tissues of excess water.

The idea was to declog the lymphatic system which would in turn jumpstart your metabolism, remove harmful toxins and strengthen the immune system.

This all sounded really wonderful. I hopped into the cocoon and watched a replay of a football match on the TV embedded in the ceiling.

After a tolerably warming 15 minutes, the cocoon started to get really hot, particularly around my thighs. I sweated and fidgeted, but I was trapped. My bones were simmering in my blood--or it felt like it.

I imagined the capillaries in my legs were bursting. I endured the 30 minutes and came out of the chamber drenched and slightly light-headed. I felt radioactive.

Not an easy way

It wasn't over yet. In the third treatment room, I was strapped down to the bed and electrodes were attached to my stomach, the fatty chunks on my lower back, and upper arms.

Another therapist tested the machine, which shot electric pulses that stimulated and contracted my muscles.

"You'll get used to it," the therapist said. She left the room for me to be shocked alone.

My arms and torso buzzed like a bee in pollen season. Halfway through, the therapist came in and asked if I could handle more, and turned up the dial. I almost spazzed out of the bed, but thankfully, I was strapped down amd asked to have it turned down a bit.

So for another 15 minutes, I watched cooking shows and tried to disassociate from my pulsating body. This was not the lazy person's way to lose weight. This was hard work.

After that 3-part treatment, I had lost half a pound, mostly water weight. To see real results, one would have to continue twice- or thrice-weekly sessions involving different types of treatments--including a full-body fat-melting massage-- for a few months depending on individual needs.

Chiz Escudero endorsed

Leia Regala-Teodoro, the managing director herself, successfully lost 20 pounds at Santre.

Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero is an endorser, and while he did not go in for weight loss, he praises the lymphatic therapy system for improving his circulation and immune system to get through a grueling campaign period.

"I like the system of Santre," he says. "It uses a combination of Chinese massages and European technology. I like their professionalism. They don't make empty promises or statements to get clients in."

"They really sat me down and talked to me about being serious about my health and how important it is for both Santre and me to cooperate and work together," Escudero said.

Not for everyone

Santre is not for everyone. But then again, neither is the treadmill.

Some people like the idea of lying down for an hour and a half and letting the machines emit their invisible forces. Others like working up a good endorphin rush.

Some would say 30 minutes in the infrared sauna is a more pleasant experience than 90 minutes in a Bikram yoga studio.

The advantage Santre has is their holistic approach to slimming, with no crazy diets, pills or workouts. Everything starts with a balanced lymphatic system.

And in any belief system, East or West, medicinal or technological, when the body is in balance, good health just flows.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Try your luck in 2010 with charms and colors

MANILA, Philippines – What are the lucky colors for the year 2010 or the year of the metal tiger?

According to a feng shui consultant, they are blue and light yellow. Blue symbolizes water while light yellow symbolizes peace.

“Ang 2010 chart natin kulang sa tubig, kelangan natin maglaay ng tubig para nourishment… lalakas productivity and money purposes,” said Johnson Chua, a feng shui adviser.

Moreover, there are lucky colors for the Chinese animal zodiac signs. Blue is the lucky color for those born on the year of the rat, rabbit, dragon, snake and rooster.

White or light yellow, meantime, is said to bring luck to those born on the year of the ox, tiger, sheep and monkey.

Violet is the lucky color for those born on the year of the dog and pig while red and violet are the colors for those born on the year of the horse.

As early as now, figurines of metal or golden tigers are displayed in Binondo, Manila, such as the tiger with gourd (for good health) and tiger with Chinese cabbage and golden coins (for more money to come in).

“Maraming pera pasok kaso, pero kelangan ingat sa mga investment,” said feng shui practitioner Jean Chua. “Year of the tiger kasi pag once na marami ka na-invest, mahihirapan ibalik.”

Serving 5 round fruits on the dinner table during New Year’s Eve will also bring luck for the whole year.

Signs of the times

But besides the lucky charms and lucky colors, feng shui consultant and counseling astrologer Paloma believes that people should look at the signs of the times wherein there have already been precursors to election-related violence.

“Marami nagsusuot ng purple. Purple means deep spiritual energy… Saan ba galing ‘yon? Sa trying times o traumatic events,” noted Paloma.

“May precursor na sa Maguindanao ng matter of execution… nag-fa-file pa lang ng candidacy,” she added, pertaining to the November 23 Maguindanao massacre which claimed 57 lives.

Meanwhile, one of the predictions is that there will be disasters not only in the Philippines but in several other countries.

Despite the difference in the predictions of the geomancers, they are all relaying a message on change and preparation for any disaster.

Sex tips: Role-playing in the bedroom

MANILA, Philippines - Sexual role-playing is an activity that is certain to be on the minds of millions of couples that feel that their sex lives need a bit of a boost.

"Sexual role-playing can be a healthy way of putting the spark back into a couple's love life," psychologist Ephraim Gochangco said.

"There are a number of issues that couples have to understand before entering into it. Both women and men, especially in highly religious communities have great hang-ups about veering away from the 'strictly missionary' life," she added.

Gochangco enumerated a number of couples' usses that must be resolved before embarking on sexual role-playing.

1. Trust issues. First is a fear that your partner will laugh at you. Trust is an essential part of a relationship, and thus should also apply to a couple's sex life. Role-playing is a form of play and adventure and should be looked upon as such.

You should trust your partner enough to participate fully in this intimate moment.-- and will keep it private.

2. Infidelity? Second is that role-playing is a form of infidelity since your partner will be making love with a character-- someone you're not. Couples are simply playing roles here, so infidelity should not be an issue.

In fact, role-playing is an effective way for individuals to keep from straying. When people are happy (when their physical and emotional needs are fulfilled), there would be less reason to look for sexual partners outside the relationship.

3. Is it a sin? There is no winning this argument. If your partner is puritanical about sex, stick to the missionary position. What this issue underscores is that you must know your partner well.

Extreme fantasy?

A conservative partner may want more romantic scenarios while adventurous ones could pursue "wilder" fantasies.

For example, Gochangco said some women fantasize about the scenario of being raped (paradoxically by a partner they love and trust). It is hence, more about the feeling of being dominated than the actual act of rape.

"The desire to enact a rape fantasy should not be taken as a desire to be raped. Remember, most almost all sexual fantasies are just that--fantasis. A rape fantasy is usually the result of a woman's desire to relinquish responsibility from the day-to-day pressure of having to be in charge," he said.

"Likewise, a man who fantasizes dominating someone else may be his way of temporarily exercising a degree of control. Fantasies should have boundaries in order to be safe and effective," Gochangco said.

Some tips

Here are some tips for couples who want to explore role-playing in the bedroom:

1. Start slow. Not ready to play slave-and-master? You can always start with something less dramatic like a scenario between a teacher and student. Also, if you are not ready to dress up for the part, you can start by changing your usual dialogue to simulate the roles you have chosen to play.

2. Encourage your partner. Appeal to your partner's best features. If you think your partner has a great body, you could say, "I always thought your breasts were gorgeous! I can imagine you in a harem girl's outfit or a cheerleader's uniform! You would take my breath away!"

3. Be sensitive. Always be conscious of your partner's comfort level. If you feel that he or she can really get into the act, then go to the next level by being more bold with your words or consider dressing up for the part you're playing. If you feel that role-play makes your partner uncomfortable, step back until your partner is comfortable enough to pursue it further.

4. Team sport. Take time out to find what your partner's fantasy is. Chances are, it would be easier to convince your partner to role-play with you if you are following his or her choices instead of your own.

5. Visual aids. Watch a romantic or erotic movie to get you in the mood. Visual and aural (sound) stimulation heightens a person's ability to take on a role.

If anything, Gochangco said, role-play and fantasy exploration should allow a person to "unleash their alter ego" and "explore their sexuality in a trusting environment."

Charice delivers 'jaw-dropping' performance on 'Singapore Idol'

MANILA, Philippines – Charice has delivered a "jaw-dropping" performance on “Singapore Idol” that earned her another standing ovation from hundreds of people at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The 17-year-old international singing sensation, who was invited to perform at the talent show’s grand finale on Sunday, belted out Whitney Houston’s "I Have Nothing" and "I Will Always Love You."

“What was that! That’s amazing. How did you do that?" the show’s host, Gurmit Singh, said after the medley. " Singapore loves you. We heard so much about you, seen you on YouTube, and finally you are here.”

When Charice told the crowd that she came from the Philippines, some Filipinos in the audience applauded. She also shared how she was discovered by Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey on YouTube.

Charice also sang her first international single, "Note to God." To which, Singh commented: "I tell you my jaw dropped, bounced, and dropped again."

The pint-sized singer also took the opportunity to promote her upcoming international single called "Pyramid."

In an exclusive interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com, Charice described the audience as “the best crowd ever.”

"Natutuwa ako kasi hindi po lahat ay Pinoy. Halos puro Singaporeans po sila... kakatuwa 'yong host when he told me na, 'Singapore loves you.' The best crowd ever," Charice said.

After her Singapore guesting, Charice is set to return to Los Angeles, California to prepare for the release of her international album. Reports said she will be launching her first global CD on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in January 2010.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

DOH records at least 50 firecracker injuries

MANILA, Philippines - More than 50 people have been rushed to hospitals due to firecracker injuries, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.

Dr. Eric Tayag, chief of the DOH's epidemiology center, said a total of 55 cases of firecracker-related injuries have been recorded as of December 26.

"Wala pa namang napuputulan (Fortunately, nobody has been amputated)," Tayag told radio dzMM.

The DOH started its anti-firecracker campaign before December, showing gory pictures of blasted hands and amputated body parts caused by firecrackers.

Tayag said Filipinos should welcome the New Year "silently" to avoid being hurt by firecrackers.

A radio dzMM report, meanwhile, said 2 persons, including a 9-month-old baby have been rushed to the Amang Rodriguez Hospital in Rizal province due to firecracker injuries.

The radio report said Gorcella Bongoy, 23 of Sitio Silangan, Barangay Dela Paz, Antipolo City and 9-month-old baby Perez. of Molave Street, Barangay Parang in Marikina City were rushed to hospital on Friday.

The 2 sustained injuries in the legs and hands after being hit by a "Boga," a bazooka-like cannon, and a firecracker called Piccolo.

The victims have been discharged from the hospital.

Krista leaves for US minus Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Controversial actress Krista Ranillo left Manila for the US on Christmas Eve to spend time with her family.

Ranillo’s grandmother, Gloria Sevilla, and aunt, Suzette Ranillo, accompanied her on the trip last December 24.

The elusive actress declined to be interviewed and rushed to enter the airport terminal.

“Pagbalik na lang, boarding na kasi,” the actress replied to requests for interviews.

On Wednesday, the sexy actress was a no-show at the premiere night of the fantasy film, “Wapakman” with lead star Manny Pacquiao, whom she was rumored to be romantically linked.

Instead, Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, was with him during the movie’s premiere night amid reports that she might snub the event.

Krista also did not show up during the 35th Metro Manila Film Festival Philippines’ Parade of Stars, the following day.

“Sanay na kami sa intriga. Sa tanda kong ito, sanay na kami dyan,” Suzette said regarding the rumored affair between her niece and the Pambansang Kamao.

Travel diaries: Batanes as eco-tourism haven

MANILA, Philippines - In the town of Chavayan in Batanes, small stone houses with cogon-thatched roofs line the street in rows.

Some are crumbling, while some are still inhabited, creating a feeling that time stood still hundreds of years ago.

The noontime sun was intense, and old men and children sat lazily on the curbs, swatting flies or sucking on "ice candy."

Walking down the quiet street, searching for a breeze, I spotted an old woman frying up garlic inside one of the houses. She saw me and beckoned for me to enter. Inside, it was noticeably cooler.

She let me linger for a while as I poked around her kitchen. Then she returned to her work.

This could be the Ivatan nature in a nutshell. The locals are friendly and welcoming to tourists, but then they'll go on their way because they always have work to do. If they're not fishing, they're farming. If they're not farming, they're tending to cattle.

And these historic vernacular houses, so adaptive to the climate and practically typhoon-proof, are one of the cornerstones in the local government's plan to market the cultural landscape of Batanes.

Once refurbished and improved with basic amenities, these houses could be opened up to visitors, providing bed-and-breakfast type services. Visitors can also participate in the town's daily activities like planting camote (sweet potato) or bundling up cogon grass.

Not the next Boracay

A simple, revolutionary idea miles away from the usual luxury developments is what Batanes's local government wants for its local tourism plan.

"People always tell me, 'Batanas should be the next Boracay'," Batanes Governor Telesforo Castillejos said. "I have to explain to them plainly, we cannot be Boracay (in Aklan). Why put up a 5-star resort here? It's true that the place is very unique, but the moment we introduce changes, then it's no longer an exciting place to visit."

Batanes has things to offer beyond the usual casinos, malls, or videoke joints--and the government intends to keep it that way.

When Gov. Castillejos came to office in 2007 for his 4th term, he cancelled a plan to lease some o fthe islands and immediately came up with ordinances that prioritized local investors.

"It's an unwritten policy," he explained. "We do not encourage big investors. What the national government is promoting is not something we can cope with."

"We can afford to be slow with growth--our way of living, which has been carried on from past generations, is sustainable. If the big investors succeed, we wake up one day and become second class citizens in our own town," Castillejos said.

Sustainable community

The Ivatan identity is one based on a certain independence and self-sustainability.

As an isolated island, they have never been integrated into the larger market economy. Each landowner traditionally produces his own food for consumption.

Once listed as one of the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines, Batanes is now in the top 10, with one of the highest Human Development Indez Ratings in the country.

This was reportedly after the national government poured in more funds and called on Prof. Roberto Bastillo as a consultant to the area's development back in 1993.

Bastillo asserts: "Modernization was not the answer. Not industrialization or golf courses or annexation to Taiwan. It's keeping what they have because it's sustainable."

Bastillo, who is the acting tourism officer for Batanes, said it was hard to explain his plan to the officials at first but once they got it, there was a groundswell of support from the community.

Though the concept of conservation has not yet been ingrained in the minds of all the people in Batanes, it is getting there.

The Batanes Eco-Cultural Tourism Industry is launching programs like the Community Stay where Batanes homes will provide rooms for guests, who can live among the Ivatans. It also launched the "Amazing Tour", a competitive race with team challenges that revolve around Ivatan culture and practices.

"Tourists also have a role to play," Bastillo said. "They can hopefully help the people rather than pull them apart, by educating others on the cultural landscape of Batanes--which is often hard to explain--and in turn the Ivatans will be proud of their uniqueness."

World heritage site

Currently, Batanes is on the "tentative list" of world heritage sites documented by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

According to officials in the area, Batanes satisfies the "Outstanding Universal Value" sought by UNESCO's World Heritage Centre.

Batanes has beautiful rolling hills and virgin beaches strewn with heavy boulders that make the province a must-see.

But beyond the cinematic visuals, there are also sustainable farming and fishing systems (they've been organic from the beginning) and deeply rooted cooperative traditions like community building of stone houses and even an "Honesty Cafe" that has no storekeeper.

Batanes, a worthy travel destination, is certainly deserving of preservation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Beware cheaters: Your lover's spouse can sue you

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- The next time a married man or woman glances your way, you might think twice before acting on impulse and frolicking between satin sheets. The scorned spouse could sue you.

Yes, you read that right. You, the paramour, can get hit with a lawsuit that could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They're known as "alienation of affection" suits, when an "outsider" interferes in a marriage. The suits are allowed in 7 American states: Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

The law allowing such legal action dates back to antiquated times when a wife was considered the property of a husband.

A broken-hearted hubby could go after his wife's lover -- not with a gun, but with the law. In modern times, the suits are filed for 2 reasons: money and revenge.

Juries in North Carolina have handed out awards in excess of $1 million on multiple occasions.

Likely to cheat with rich people

"If your spouse is going to cheat, you really would like them to cheat with somebody who has a lot of money," says Lee Rosen, a North Carolina divorce attorney who deals with alienation of affection cases on a daily basis.

And that's why many legal experts are paying close attention to the Tiger woods saga. Will his wife go after an alleged mistress?

Were any of his "transgressions" with someone who is married? If so, the jilted hubby might be able to go after the world's richest golfer.

It doesn't matter that Woods lives in Florida, a state where the suits aren't allowed, legal experts say. If any of Woods' professed "sins" took place in an alienation of affection state, look out.

"If he had been dating a married woman, there could be the potential for a lucrative recovery," Rosen says. "You've got to have a really affluent paramour that makes for a good target."

Settled out of court

The suits rarely make it to trial. Usually, just the threat of such a lawsuit is enough for an out-of-court settlement.

"When folks are getting divorced, the threat of having the person's new boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife dragged into court and the dirty laundry aired ... causes enormous pressure," says Matt Steffey, a law professor at Mississippi College School of Law.

The state of Mississippi has been rocked by a high-profile suit, filed this summer, involving everything from allegations of ski resort trysts to a secret journal ordered kept under seal by a judge.

Better yet, it involves a congressman who once co-sponsored legislation for President George W. Bush to declare 2008 the "National Year of the Bible."

The son of a prominent federal judge in Mississippi, Chip Pickering was the rising GOP star of the state -- hand-picked to succeed Trent Lott in the U.S. Senate. Then, everything unraveled.

Pickering decided not to run for re-election in 2008 after 12 years in the House. At the time, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family. He's married with 5 children.

Like a tale from William Faulkner, who penned many a book on Mississippi elite with personal flaws, Pickering's tumble has been staggering.

"Chip Pickering has fallen far faster than the surrender of Vicksburg," Steffey says, referring to a key turning point in the Civil War, when Confederates gave up the Mississippi River town.

The real doozy came July 14, when Leisha Pickering filed the alienation of affection suit against her husband's alleged lover, a socialite named Elizabeth Creekmore-Byrd.

"As a direct and proximate result of the negligent, wrongful and reckless misconduct and behavior of Creekmore-Byrd with Pickering," the suit says, "plaintiff has suffered damage to the affection and consortium with her husband."

Confidential

So hush-hush is the case, lawyers on both sides have reached a confidential agreement to not discuss the case publicly. The suit, in effect, has branded the once-proud congressman with a Scarlet "A."

"He had certainly fallen from the pinnacle of his professional life and his public life, but it had not yet become a public disgrace," Steffey says. "And what this lawsuit did is it turned a fall into a disgrace."

"There's a particular cast of tragedy when people are undone, not by accidental misfortune, but by their own character defects," Steffey added.

Most states have abolished alienation of affection lawsuits. Proponents in the holdout states say the threat of such legal action helps protect the sanctity of marriage.

But, Steffey and Rosen say, alienation of affection suits do just the opposite: They result in already contentious divorces getting even more heated, and they leave behind a public trail of personal shortcomings and wild tales of infidelity.

Lessons learned

"To allow these suits to go forward," Steffey says, "is destructive to family life."

"It's much like dropping a nuclear bomb on a family," Rosen says. "It really does damage the relationship between spouses. If there are children involved, it's devastating for them."

It would require legislative action for states to change the law. And anyone who tries that in a conservative state could get painted as a pro-divorce lawmaker who holds cheaters less accountable.

"It's a very delicate matter legislatively," Steffey says. And as long as the law remains on the books, Rosen says, he'll keep busy: "We have an obligation to pursue our clients' rights."

There is one way to avoid such suits: Respect marital vows.

Pacquiao opens novelty shop in Manila


MANILA, Philippines - Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao opened a souvenier shop offering branded "Team Pacquiao" items in Manila on Tuesday.

Pacquiao, along with his wife Jinkee and his entourage, were greeted by swarms of fans at the Robinson's Mall in Ermita, where the "Team Pacquiao" shop was opened.

The shop sells Manny Pacquiao t-shirts (including Nike branded tees), jackets, boxing gloves, shorts, shoes and trinkets that were reportedly handpicked by Jinkee Pacquiao.

The store's opening came barely 2 months after the Pacquiaos opened a "Team Pacquiao" souvenier shop at the Robinson's Place Mall in General Santos City (GenSan), which is Manny's hometown.

The store also offers a selection of signature Manny Pacquiao clothes and accessories.

Each store carries a distinct "Team Pacquiao" logo on the storefront with a scrawled signature bearing the words "By: Manny Pacquiao" below.

Business acumen

This is not the Pacquiao couple's only foray into business, as the pair have opened a boutique and a chain of coffee shops in GenSan. (Read about Manny Pacquiao's many investments here)

Jinkee opened her boutique in August this year called "Jinkee's Fashion World" at the JMP Building along Osmeña Street in GenSan.

The high-class boutique, which has a large framed picture of Jinkee near the store counter, sells earrings, blouses, designer printed bags, watches, hair accessories and wallets.

The glass-paneled, green-walled boutique also carries Manny Pacquiao merchandise like jackets, round-necked t-shirts, and ceramic mugs or plastic tumblers with the trademark "Nike Pacquiao Identity Crest" bearing the boxer's initials.

The Pacquiao couple also opened franchises of BluGre Coffee, Davao's leading specialty coffee shop chain, in GenSan.

One of the coffee shops was opened at the JMP Building and another at the Robinson's Place Mall.

Aside from tending to their blossoming businesses, the Pacquiao couple are also busy preparing for Manny Pacquiao's birthday celebration on December 17

Monday, December 7, 2009

Skin filler treatment arrives in RP--and it's not botox

MANILA - All women dream of having a beautiful face and smoother skin, but are afraid to undergo cosmetic surgery.

Thankfully, a non-invasive, non-surgical and non-permanent alternative beauty treatment was developed-- and is tagged as the safe and natural way to beauty.

Restylane, a dermal filler originally from Sweden, was developed as a treatment to smoothen skin for around half a year.

The treament's active component is called NASHA or non-animal stabilized hyaluronic acid. The material is commonly used for augmentation procedures.

NASHA are the same polysaccharides present in the human body that give volume to skin; shape to the eyes; reduces lines, folds and wrinkles; and creates fuller lips and elasticity to the joints.

This is injected into the body and through the process of isovolemic degradation, NASHA is broken down in the body. The compound progressively binds with water to maintain its effect.

When injected into the skin, it temporarily gives it a smooth appearance. Through NASHA injections, women could reportedly have the lips they'd been longing for or have their eyebags disappear.

It is reported to be long-lasting and safe. According to the company's official website, the injection pain is tolerable.

Procedure know-how

Jean Capistrano, Division Head of Q-Med, the official Philippine Distributor of Restylane, all the procedures for the enhancement are done in less than 2 hours.

Aside from the fact that the processes are all non-surgical, Capistrano said that offers an "immediate effect and a visible results that can last from 6 to 12 months." Restylane must be injected by a trained medical professional.

“Unlike surgery, Restylane, being non invasive and temporary, offers users the power to take control of their looks... [Restylane] is absorbed by the body over time with no risk of disfiguration," said Dr. Gary Bunagan, an Oculoplastic surgeon (a surgeon who deals with the eye area).

"This makes Restylane 100% safe and natural,” Bunagan said at the product's recent launch at Green Hills in San Juan.

“(The) products are ‘tissue tailored’ to ensure the appropriate dose and consistency for each specific treatment. This means versatility in treatments and cost since there is less injection volume needed per tissue layer,” he said.

Treatments reportedly cost from $425 to $525 (P19,554 to P24,155), according to various internet sources.

Though low-risk, some side effects of the treatment include bruising, redness of the skin, swelling, pain, tenderness and itching. Those who have severe allergies are discouraged from using the product.

Can sex cause amnesia?

It was either mind-blowing or completely forgettable. Either way, Alice doesn't remember.

One August morning, Alice and her husband, Scott, had sex. That's when things became confusing. Rather than appearing pleased, Alice, 59, seemed disoriented.

As they lay in bed, Scott (the couple asked that their last name not be used) flicked on the television, which was showing the Olympics. This perplexed Alice.

"Is there an Olympics?" she asked. This was during the Michael Phelps mania, when the swimmer seemed to be everywhere.

"Are you sure there is an Olympics?" Alice asked again.

Scott recalled, "I saw that something was wrong, so I asked her, 'OK what day is it?'"

Alice appeared even more perplexed. "Who's our president?" he quizzed. "Bill Clinton," she answered.

This was 2008.

Major trigger

Scott darted out of bed and called 911. The paramedics suspected a stroke and rushed the befuddled Alice to the emergency room.

For decades, doctors described cases of a rare neurological condition that usually occurred in patients over age 50.

Neurologists noted that patients knew their identities, but couldn't retain recent memory, where they were and how they got there. They showed no other symptoms.

Sex is one of the major triggers for the baffling medical condition called transient global amnesia in which patients lose their ability to retain immediate memory.

TGA usually occurs after the person engages in strenuous activity -- such as having sex, vigorously exercising, suddenly immersing into icy or hot water, straining to dig a stuck car or even bumping the head.

"The unifying thing about each of them is they produce a sudden and significant change in blood flow," said Dr. Louis Caplan, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Alice arrived at the hospital around 8 a.m. in seemingly perfect health. As medical staff poked and prodded, Alice cheerfully peppered them and her husband with questions.

Confusion

"Where am I?" she asked. "You're in the ER," Scott answered.

"How did I get here?"

"The ambulance brought you here," he replied.

"Wow." Alice paused for about 10 minutes, observing the hubbub at the hospital before she repeated her initial questions.

At some point, she started asking different ones.

"What was I doing before this? How did I wind up here?" she inquired. Scott told her.

"So we were..."

"Yeah," Scott answered.

"Then this happened?"

"Yeah."

"Let me get this straight. We had sex. I wind up in the hospital and I can't remember anything?" Alice said.

There was a slight pause. "You owe me a 30-carat diamond!" Alice quipped, laughing.

Within minutes, she repeated the same questions in order, delivering the punch line in the exact tone and inflection. It was always a 30-carat diamond.

'Scary as hell'

"It was like a script or a tape," Scott said. "On the one hand, it was very funny. We were hysterical. It was scary as all hell."

While doctors tried to determine what ailed Alice, Scott and other grim-faced relatives and friends gathered at the hospital.

Surrounded by anxious loved ones, Alice blithely cracked jokes (the same ones) for hours.

"Let me get this straight," Alice said to her husband. "We had sex. I wind up in the hospital and I can't remember anything? Was it good for you? 'Cuz it wasn't good for me because I couldn't remember anything."

"That's the closest I came in my life to being hysterical," Scott said. "You're literally laughing and crying at the same time."

Hours later, the doctors made the diagnosis. And figured out the cause.

"This is actually a well-known precipitator. One of the things people have done to look at transient global amnesia is to look at frequency of various precipitants and sex always comes out as one of the most common," said Caplan, a leading stroke expert at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, who was not associated with Alice's care.

Likelihood for syndrome

"It usually is after climax that it develops," he said about its onset. Patients who have a history of migraines and headaches are more likely to get TGA as some people report getting terrible head pains related to orgasms, called coital headaches.

"I remember the previous night going to sleep with a subtle headache and not taking anything for it," Alice recalled. "And apparently, the next morning, my husband and I had intercourse. From what I found out, there was an orgasm."

In 1999, Johns Hopkins University doctors described two patients in their 70s who suffered TGA after having sex.

In these cases, the act of "bearing down" -- which occurs when people move their bowels, give birth or have sex -- created pressure in the brain's blood vessels, resulting in temporary lack of blood flow that caused amnesia, according to the study published in The Lancet.

Levitra, which is a pill for erectile dysfunction, lists TGA as a possible adverse reaction.

Caplan likened the hippocampus, which is responsible for short-term memory in the brain, to a tape recorder. If blood flow to the brain gets restricted, the hippocampus cannot record new memory.

"The hippocampus is responsible for initially recording the information so you can play it back," he said. "So if it's not working, you won't get the information."

Can be recurrent

TGA usually occurs once, but in some cases, it could become recurrent.

Studies that took advanced brain imaging of patients experiencing TGA showed abnormalities in the cerebral arteries in the left hippocampus of some, Caplan said.

"It's not enough of a stimulus or deprivation that it permanently injures the brain. The brain recovers," he said. "There should be no deficit other than memory and it should be brief."

As the day progressed, Alice's repetitive questions came every 10 minutes, every 15, then 30, until she regained her immediate memory.

Around 2:30 p.m. that day, Alice remembers sitting on a hospital bed and seeing her husband looking upset.

Although Alice recovered fully, she still cannot remember what happened that morning. The last thing she remembered was going to bed the night before with a slight pain in the right, rear area of her head.

"I was lucky because nothing bad came of it," said Alice, now 60. "I wasn't frightened. My husband and family were frightened. I was totally out to lunch."

One consequence from the amnesia was that it provided her two grown children with too much information about their parents' sex life.

A year after her episode, Alice said the amnesia had not deterred her sex life, but she avoids having intercourse when she has a headache. She tells her husband, "So sorry, you can wait."

And Alice has yet to receive a 30-carat diamond for all her troubles.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Krista goes half-naked for sexy calendar


MANILA - Actress Krista Ranillo has bared nearly all in a liquor brand's sexy calendar.

Ranillo, who recently figured in the headlines over her alleged affair with boxer Manny Pacquiao, was chosen by Ginebra San Miguel Inc. as their 2010 calendar girl.

Posing in a variety of skimpy bikinis, Ranillo's pictures will appear in the calendar's 12 full-page spreads marking January to December.

Ranillo poses in a strapless red bikini as she sits open-legged against a backdrop of grassy hills in one picture, then appears moist and wet in a cottony white top in another.

She is also seen wearing a navy blue swimsuit, a metallic bronze string bikini, and a lime green halter bikini set, among others.

The actress said in a public statement that she believes her sexy shoot with the liquor brand will "boost her career further."

It is her first time to pose for Ginebra, though she has graced the covers of men's magazines like FHM and Maxim (where she is a resident sex columnist).

Other celebrities featured by Ginebra in their previous sexy calendars are Marian Rivera, Angelica Panganiban, Rufa Mae Quinto, Rica Peralejo and Iwa Moto.

Many liquor brands, who cater to a predominantly male market, have placed scantily-clad models or actresses on their promotional calendars or posters as a marketing gimmick.

Claudine leaves Kapamilya network


MANILA - Actress Claudine Barretto has left her mother network, ABS-CBN, to move to GMA 7.

On Wednesday, Barretto inked a 2-year contract with the Kapuso network at GMA Network Center. Reports said her parents accompanied her when she signed the deal.

Present during the contract signing were the network’s top executives, reports added.

This development came more than a month after she signed a two-film contract with Viva Films.

Barretto, a contract star of ABS-CBN for almost 17 years, was considered to be one of the biggest stars of the Kapamilya network.

In October, Barretto denied that she was leaving ABS-CBN in spite of signing a contract with Viva Films. Originally, she was scheduled to do a television series with her older sister, Gretchen Barretto, on ABS-CBN, but the project was cancelled.

Her last television series with ABS-CBN was "Iisa Pa Lamang" in 2008. This year, she appeared on "May Bukas Pa" as a guest star.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RP world's 'most dangerous' for media: monitor

MANILA - The Philippines has become the most dangerous place in the world for journalists, according to an international press watchdog, after an election-linked massacre of at least 57 people this week.

The Belgium-based International Federation of Journalists said that by its count at least 12 journalists and "around eight media staff" were among the victims of the mass killing, blamed on a local politician and his bodyguards.

"Under the current government the Philippines has become the most dangerous place in the world for media workers," the group said in a statement, urging President Gloria Arroyo's government to give the press more protection.

"At least 74 journalists have been killed during its eight-year tenure, yet the government has not acted to end the culture of impunity. At last count, only four convictions had been secured," it said.

The group said it would send an investigative mission to the southern Philippines region of Mindanao, where the killings happened on Monday.

"The Arroyo administration must make a clear and unequivocal commitment to an immediate, independent and effective inquiry into this atrocity," said the group's general secretary Aidan White.

"With elections due in six months' time the authorities must act now to guarantee the safety of journalists throughout the country."

Arroyo on Wednesday vowed to hunt down the perpetrators of the massacre.

Police have identified the top suspect as Andal Ampatuan Jnr, a member of Arroyo's ruling coalition and the son of a powerful regional politician who has helped secure votes for the president in previous elections.

The victims were abducted as they were travelling in a six-vehicle convoy to nominate a rival of the Ampatuan clan as the opposition candidate for provincial governor in elections next year.

ABS-CBN to govt: 'Hold guilty parties accountable'

MANILA – ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. on Wednesday issued a statement urging authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the massacre of more than 50 people in Maguindanao.

“We at ABS-CBN urge the authorities to hold the guilty parties accountable and show that justice is blind to politics,” ABS-CBN said in a statement.

The network said the government has yet to make a decisive action on the gruesome incident that occurred last Monday.

At least 100 armed men abducted and brutally murdered more than 50 people, including journalists. There were reports the death toll could reach more than 60.

“This unprecedented scale of violence erodes our faith in the rule of law. It sends a chill through journalists who continue to shine the spotlight on these killing fields,” the statement added.

As of Wednesday, six bodies have been unearthed from the "killing fields" in Ampatuan, Maguindanao province, bringing the death toll of the bloodiest election-related incident to 52.

Police has also named as possible prime suspect in the killing a political ally of President Arroyo.

"According to the initial reports, those who were abducted and murdered at Saniag were initially stopped by a group led by the mayor of Datu Unsay," national police spokesman Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina said.

The mayor of Datu Unsay is Andal Ampatuan Jr., a member of Arroyo's ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition and son of an extremely powerful regional politician who has ensured local support for the president in previous elections.

abs-cbnNEWS.com is the online news department of ABS-CBN Interactive Inc., a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Obama names envoys to Singapore, Philippines

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Thursday named two ambassadors to Southeast Asia, tapping a close political ally as envoy to Singapore and nominating a career diplomat to the Philippines.

Obama named David Adelman, a state senator in Georgia and a force behind the president's record-breaking fund-raising in last year's election, to be ambassador to Singapore.

Adelman chaired the Democratic candidate's campaign in Georgia, a Republican-leaning southern state which Obama turned competitive but fell short by five points.

A lawyer, Adelman represented presidential contender Al Gore in his legal battles against eventual winner George W. Bush in the 2000 race.

Adelman has also been active in initiatives to prevent domestic violence and spearheaded a Georgia law prohibiting state contracts to companies seen as benefiting from the bloodshed in Sudan's parched Darfur region.

For the Philippines, Obama named Harry K. Thomas, Jr., a career foreign service officer who served as ambassador to Bangladesh from 2003 to 2005. He has also been posted in India, Nigeria, Peru and Zimbabwe.

The nominations, which require confirmation by the US Senate, come after high-level US visits to the two US-friendly nations.

Obama visited Singapore last week as part of a four-nation Asia tour, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped in the Philippines.

US ambassadors generally step down when a president leaves office. Obama is still filling positions more than a year after his election, with nominees subject to increasingly tough scrutiny.

Despite his vows for a cleaner government, Obama has tapped major fund-raisers as his ambassadors to close US allies including Australia, Britain, France and Japan.

Who is Krista Ranillo?

MANILA – Actress Krista Ranillo (born Cristalle Lauren Tupaz Ranillo) is the talk of the town these days because she is being linked to Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.

But very little is known of the 24-year-old sexy starlet, who has graced the covers of numerous men's magazines and starred in racy independent films.

Intrigues may be nothing new to Ranillo as she comes from a showbiz family. However, it is safe to say that her rumored affair with Pacquiao is the biggest intrigue she has faced yet.

Ranillo is the daughter of actor Matt Ranillo III and Linda Tupaz. She is the granddaughter of Matt Ranillo, Jr. and Gloria Sevilla, considered the "King and Queen of Visayan Movies."

Her father’s siblings, Suzette, Lilibeth, Dandin and Juni, also joined show business. Her step-grandfather is actor Amado Cortez, who comes from the Padilla showbiz clan which includes Rudy Fernandez, Robin Padilla, Carlos Padilla and Zsa Zsa Padilla.

According to The Internet Movie Database (IMDB.com), Krista’s name came from the movie “Kristo,” wherein her father played the title role of Jesus Christ.

It also reportedly comes from her birthday's (December 10) proximity to Christmas Day.

She started out in television soap operas in GMA-7 where she was under contract for almost 12 years. She took a break from showbiz from 2002 to 2007 to focus on her studies at the Ateneo de Manila University.

'Angelic but wicked'


She earned a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with tracks in Communication Arts and Psychology in 2007, and was reported to be a consistent Dean’s Lister.

In her school yearbook, Aegis '07, a write-up describes her thus: "Everyone beware of Krista Ranillo! With her angelic face, sweet smile, gorgeous body, and brains to die for, she seems heaven-sent."

"This religious, charming, talented artista/model/everything-else princess seems too good to be true," the write-up states, with glowing reviews of her loyalty and warmth as a friend.

However, the writer notes that Ranillo also has a naughty side.

"But behind that innocent facade lies a mischievous little devil who can make you believe that you can only buy blue books in the States and and that you missed a very important quiz when you were absent," it states.

Of her "wild side" the write-up goes: "When you're with Krista, you're sure to be laughing your head off with all her hilarious tricks and quick quips. It doesn't matter what you do together, for she's always ready to go along with anything spontaneously crazy."

She is described as a responsible student who "finishes her papers early so she can spend the weekend with her friends" and was often described by peers as being aloof.

"Often one of the first to rally loudly for a free cut in class, Krista is actually quite a nerd!" the text states. "Though some may think she's 'mataray' because she hardly hangs out in school, she's actually sleeping at home!"

"Truly, Krista Artista is a walking contradiction. Angelic but wicked, funny but serious, silly but nerdy, social but anti-social, sweet but naughty, caring but mischevious," the write-up says.

Already having the makings of a celebrity, Ranillo's batchmate ends the write-up with: "Can I have your autograph?!"

Wholesome to sexy

Krista Ranillo on the cover of MAXIM Philippines. She writes as a sex columnist for the magazine.

Ranillo shunned her wholesome image and became a sexy actress for her showbiz comeback. She even serves as the resident sex columnist for MAXIM Philippines.

Her father was opposed to her sexy image, and the two were reported to have fought over this issue for a time.

Her film credits include the action-drama flick Two-Timer (2002), followed by Chopsuey (2007), where Ranillo played the sister of actor Piolo Pascual, a Filipino-Chinese man on the throes of depression.

In 2008, Ranillo starred in the comedy film "Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After" as part of an ensemble cast.

She also starred in Paupahan (2008) as a bit-player actress who provides sexual favors for even the lowest-tier production staff while shooting a movie. She has scenes in the indie film where she goes topless.

This year, she starred in Marino, a film about seamen. Ranillo, who played the role of a prostitute, was cast along with Ara Mina and Allen Dizon (who produced the film Paupahan).

Krista signed up with ABS-CBN in 2008 and starred in Carlo J. Caparas’ “Pieta” alongside Ryan Agoncillo. She played the role of Martha, the love interest of Agoncillo’s character.

She also appeared in episodes of "Your Song" and "Maalaala Mo Kaya" and was also a temporary Star Patrol host for TV Patrol World.

Krista is part of the 2009 Metro Manila Film Festival entry "Wapakman" topbilled by Pacquiao. She is also set to star alongside Coco Martin in "Agimat: Ang Mga Alamat ni Ramon Revilla presents Tonyong Bayawak."

Love life

A mystery girl (left), said to be Krista Ranillo, rides shotgun with boxer Manny Pacquiao (right) after he guested on an American talk show.

According to numerous reports, Ranillo had been in a long-term relationship with television director Dominic Zapata. The pair were reportedly together for 7 years, though there are also reports that the pair have split up.

Most recently, she was romantically linked with her co-star in the film "Whapakman", boxer Manny Pacquiao.

Rumors swirled that the pair were having an off-screen affair after they were seen together at a party in Hong Kong.

During Pacquiao's latest bout with Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas, Ranillo was brought along with the "Pacquiao team." Entertainment reports alleged that Pacquiao paid for Ranillo's stay at a Las Vegas hotel.

A video on the internet also purportedly shows Pacquiao getting into a black sedan with a mystery girl (said to be Ranillo) in the passenger seat, after he guested on the US talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

These rumors were further fueled when Pacquiao's wife Jinkee was seen crying during a thanksgiving mass after Pacquiao's "Firepower" match last Sunday, and refused efforts by Pacquiao to comfort her.

Mrs. Pacquiao also skipped out on her husband's after-party and mini-concert at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Later on, actress Gina Alajar said on her Facebook account that Mrs. Pacquiao should not let Manny go since "Krista Ranillo is not worth it."

Answering comments posted on her Facebook page, Alajar went on to allege that Ranillo likes married men and that the young actress is short on values.

Ranillo was reported to be the cause of Alajar's split with her former husband, director and actor Michael de Mesa.

These rumors, however, were denied by her manager Arnold Vegafria. He insisted that Ranillo and Pacquiao are "just good friends."

Pacquiao refused to comment when abs-cbnNEWS.com pressed him on the issue, while Ranillo has yet to give a formal statement.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gina Alajar clams up on Pacquiao-Krista 'affair'



MANILA - Veteran actress and director Gina Alajar was evasive Tuesday when sought for comment on the alleged affair between People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao and young sexy star Krista Ranillo.

In a phone interview, Alajar refused to further comment on the issue, saying she already issued a statement to a popular newspaper.

"Hindi na ako magco-comment doon," Alajar said.

Alajar was dragged into the issue after she posted a controversial shout out in her Facebook account in connection with the alleged Pacquiao-Ranillo affair. She wrote: “If I were Jinkee Pacquiao, I would not give up Manny. Krista Ranillo is not at all worth it!”

In 2001, reports said Alajar and former husband Michael de Mesa ended their marriage supposedly because of the actor’s alleged love affair with Ranillo, who is a current columnist for men’s magazine Maxim.

In a previous interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com, Pacquiao also sealed his lips on the issue.

"No comment ako diyan," said the pound-for-pound king in an interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com before he flew to Las Vegas.

The popular boxer also clammed up when asked to comment on reports that he and his “Wapakman” leading lady were spotted dating in Hong Kong.

Prior to Pacquiao’s fight on November 15 (Manila time), reports said the boxer and his wife, Jinkee, allegedly had an argument over a rumor that he was caught going inside Ranillo's hotel room in Las Vegas.

Ranillo was reportedly in the United States with her father, veteran actor Mat Ranillo III, to watch Pacquiao’s fight with Miguel Cotto.

Ranillo’s camp has already denied these rumors. Ranillo’s manager, Arnold Vegafria, maintained that the sexy star and Pacquiao are just “good friends.”

"She said that they are good friends and they are going out together as a group. That's all I know," Vegafria said.

Vegafria added: "They are doing a movie together. Krista and two of my artists are his leading ladies - Krista and Bianca King... I think this is also part of the promo. We will see. I will talk to Krista when she comes back."

Vegafria also maintained that Ranillo is happy being single.

"She's very aware of what's happening but she just laughed it off. And I spoke to her, she denied it. Sabi niya sa akin Manny is a married man and hindi siya pwedeng makisali. So ganoon, hanggang friends lang," Vegafria said.

Edu: Pinky supports my decision to run

MANILA - Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno's announcement that actor and TV host Edu Manzano will be the running mate of Lakas-Kampi standard bearer Gilbert 'Gibo" Teodoro caught many by surprise--including his girlfriend.

During a one-on-one interview on ANC's Talkback with Tina Monzon-Palma on Monday, Manzano was asked how his girlfriend, news anchor Pinky Webb reacted to his candidacy.

"I think it came as a shock to her, too," Manzano said.

But he says she supports his decision.

Before Manzano teamed up with Teodoro, several names had been floated as Teodoro's running mate, including Batangas Governor Vilma Santos and Senator Loren Legarda.

But Manzano clarified he was not the last choice of Teodoro and the administration party.

He added that Teodoro only offered the vice presidency to him and Vice-President Noli de Castro.

The former chairman of the Optical Media Board said he had been meeting with various political parties and personalities before he accepted Teodoro's offer.

These include the Liberal Party, the Nacionalista Party, former President Joseph Estrada, and representatives of Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero.

Manzano believes his stints as vice-mayor of Makati City and OMB chairman have given him experience in politics and law enforcement.

Catching up

He concedes though that he and Teodoro have a lot of work to do to reach more people and catch up with their rivals who are leading in recent surveys.

He also believes Teodoro is on the right path in making reforms inside the Lakas-Kampi-CMD since people have grown tired of traditional politics.

The actor added that he and Teodoro see eye-to-eye when it comes to addressing the problem of child pornography in the country as well as raising the global competitiveness of Filipinos.

Manzano also recalled his bitter experience in 2001 when he ran for mayor of Makati but lost to Mayor Jejomar Binay.

The actor said those who promised to provide him campaign funds suddenly disappeared, and he ended up pawning his house to raise funds.

This time though, Manzano said Puno gave him assurances that the ruling coalition will provide him with funds and training for his people in launching an effective campaign.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rihanna describes night of attack by Chris Brown

LOS ANGELES – R&B singer Rihanna broke her silence on Friday about the night her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown attacked her, saying he had bitten her, put her in a headlock and left her bleeding and swollen.

"It wasn't the same person that says 'I love you.' It was not those...eyes," Rihanna, 21, told Diane Sawyer in an interview on ABC television's "Good Morning America" show.

"He had...no soul in his eyes. Just blank...He was clearly blacked out. There was no person when I looked at him," she said.

Brown, 20, singer of hits like "Kiss, Kiss," was sentenced to five years probation and 180 hours of community service for the assault in February on the eve of the Grammy Awards.

He has apologized publicly and although the pair briefly reunited, Rihanna said she now has "no desire at all to be with him."

Rihanna said the attacks started with an argument over a text message Brown received while they were driving home from an industry party.

"I couldn't take it that he kept lying to me. And he couldn't take it that I wouldn't drop it. And...it was ugly," she told Sawyer.

She acknowledged police reports that Brown bit her, put her in a head lock until she had trouble breathing, and punched her several times in the eye.

"I fended him off with my feet...but it was not like, it was not like a fight with each other. I just...I really just wanted it to stop," she said.

Her screams prompted a bypasser to call the police.

"I was bleeding, I was swollen in the face," she said. "So there was no way of me getting home, except for, my next option was to get out of the car and walk. Start walking in a gown, in a bloody face. So I really don't know what my plan was."

Rihanna said although her wounds had long healed, she had flashbacks and scars inside.

"The thing that men don't realize when they hit a woman, it's...the face, the broken arm, the black eye, it's going to heal. That's not the problem. It's the scar inside.

"You flashback...you...you remember all the time. It comes back to you whether you like it or not. And it's painful. So I don't think he understood that," she said.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Select media to cover Mar-Korina grand wedding

MANILA, Philippines -- The grand wedding reception for 10,000 at the Araneta Coliseum may have been cancelled but, based on the guidelines released to the media, the much-awaited wedding on Tuesday of Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas III and TV journalist Korina Sanchez promises to equal that of a state occasion.
In a letter sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, lawyer Blas James Viterbo, the senator’s chief-of-staff, said only select media organizations were invited to the event at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. And they will have to follow the strict coverage guidelines.
“Due to limited space, only photographers and news crew from selected publications and news services have been sent this invitation,” Viterbo said.
“Furthermore, there would be designated positions for photographers. Lots would be drawn as to their assigned position at the time they get their passes,” he added.
A media advisory attached to Vierbo’s letter said that the coverage would be a “pool operation” so “photographers are encouraged to share materials with each other.”
“Pool” coverages are usually reserved for big time events when reporters or photographers share their material because not everyone can be accommodated due to space constraints or the formal setting of these coverages.
This usually happens during presidential trips abroad, like a visit to the White House. Photographers are assigned areas from where they can take pictures -- and are not allowed to loiter -- while on some occasions, only one reporter is allowed to ask questions.
“Lots will be drawn in the registration area to determine the assigned position of the photographers,” the advisory said.
“Reporters and photographers will be ushered to their respective positions inside the church, from the registration booths,” it added.
The advisory also mentions a strict dress code for the wedding, which is expected to draw the crème dela crème of Philippine high society.
“Covering media are strictly advised to wear Filipiniana attire,” the advisory said.
“All media covering are advised to be present not later than 2 p.m. Church doors will be closed at exactly 3 p.m.,” it added.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How do you solve a problem like Estrada?

JOSEPH “ERAP” ESTRADA ANNOUNCED HIS presidential bid at a huge rally in teeming Tondo, Manila last Oct. 21. Carrying the banner of “Tapat sa Mahirap, Samahang Tunay,” the former president also proclaimed his teammate, Makati’s unsinkable Mayor Jojo Binay, and his senatorial slate led by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
No legal significance. Despite the genuine “Erap! Erap! Erap!” chants and the vintage political swagger, the muscle flexing evoked no legal effects. But once he formally files his certificate of candidacy (COC) in the Commission on Elections, his political adversaries will feast on him. He will probably file his COC on Nov. 30, the Comelec-decreed deadline. A filing on an earlier date would subject him to the ban on premature campaigning, per Penera vs Comelec (Sept. 11, 2009).
The expected petitions against his eligibility will likely allege that (1) President Macapagal-Arroyo’s pardon for his conviction for plunder did not include his disqualification to hold any public office, and (2) the Constitution bans all former presidents from occupying again the presidency.
On the first point, I opined in my Nov. 18, 2007 column that the presidential clemency extended to Erap was absolute and unconditional; it erased both the principal penalty of imprisonment and the accessory penalty of electoral disqualification. A condition retaining an accessory imposes a burden; hence, it should have been couched in clear language. However, the pardon did not contain any clear burdens. Quite the contrary, it expressly “restored his civil and political rights.”
Reelection ban. The second point is more contentious. The Constitution says, “The President shall not be eligible for any reelection. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.”
Many legal scholars say that the plain words “any reelection” should be understood plainly: elected presidents can never ever run again for the eligibility suits, which would initially be heard by a division of the Comelec. The division’s decision (whichever way it goes) could be elevated to the Comelec En Banc. Finally, the Banc’s judgment could be raised to the Supreme Court.
Meantime, Estrada’s COC would spawn administrative problems. The first of these is whether the Comelec should print Estrada’s name on the automated ballots while his eligibility case is pending. The printing deadline is Jan. 9. The eligibility suit will probably last beyond that deadline. Note that under the automated system, voters do not write the names of the candidates on the ballots; they merely shade the ovals opposite the candidates’ printed names. If his name is not printed, he could not be voted regardless of the verdict on his case.
If Erap were finally declared ineligible, would the machines still count his votes? What would happen if he gets the highest number of votes among the presidential bets? Can he still be substituted after he is judicially declared ineligible?
On the other hand, if Erap withdraws his candidacy before his eligibility is decided, can Binay—his teammate—substitute for him? Due to lack of time, Binay’s name could no longer be printed on the space for presidential candidates. Will the votes cast for Binay for vice president be counted for his presidential bid? Will the ovals shaded for Erap be counted in favor of Binay? Suppose his substitute bears his surname, like Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, will Erap’s votes be counted in favor of Jinggoy?
To the Comelec: How do you solve a problem like Estrada? To continue the enigma of the “Sound of Music,” how do you hold a moonbeam in your hands? I trust that the Comelec will post its answers to these questions (raised by readers) on the ehope2010.ph website, which Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento said, will open on Oct. 28.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ousted Filipino leader announces election bid


MANILA, Philippines – Ousted leader Joseph Estrada, convicted of plunder and later pardoned, said Wednesday he wants to run in next year's elections despite legal challenges and immediate objections to the idea of his political comeback.

"This will be the final, final performance of my life," Estrada told The Associated Press. "I should not fail the Filipino people in this next chapter."

Estrada said he would formally announce his plans later Wednesday in Manila's slums _ the base of legions of his supporters who propelled him to movie stardom, then to political power.

A return to politics would mark a new episode in Estrada's checkered life, which many say has been as colorful as his B-movies.

The 72-old-year stepped down amid massive anti-corruption protests in 2001 after serving only half of his six-year term. He was convicted of economic plunder in September 2007 but was immediately granted a pardon by his successor and political nemesis, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Rivals are expected to challenge his candidacy before the Supreme Court and invoke a constitutional ban on a second term for any president.

A study by his legal team, Estrada said, indicated he was not covered by the ban because he was illegally forced from power. Arroyo, who was elected vice president separately, helped lead the military-backed protests, then succeeded him.

"I was demonized then unconstitutionally removed," Estrada said.

Albert Lim, spokesman of the Makati Business Club, a prestigious group of the country's top business executives, said Estrada's poor record as president and his criminal conviction should be enough reasons for him not to run again.

"Going by his track record, why should anyone think that he'll be a good president?" Lim asked. "He won't be good for business."

Despite his ouster, conviction and detention, Estrada steadfastly denied the charges of plundering Philippine coffers through kickbacks and illegal gambling payoffs. He never parted with a visible symbol of his power _ his trademark wristband with the presidential seal, which he intended to wear in a major public rally in his power base _ Manila's Tondo slum district.

"During the lowest point in my life, the poor did not abandon me," he said. "I'll announce my candidacy in their midst and I won't fail them this time."

Estrada rose to movie stardom in his early 20s, playing tough guys with a soft spot for the needy _ roles that earned him the hearts of the masses that make up almost half of the population. In the 1970s, he won five best actor awards in the Philippines' version of the Oscars.

Estrada entered politics in 1969 with his election as mayor of Manila's San Juan suburb, a post he kept for 17 years. He was elected senator in 1987, then vice president in 1992 despite a life of boozing, gambling and womanizing _ foibles that humanized and endeared him to ordinary Filipinos but disturbed the influential Roman Catholic Church and the business community.

He has acknowledged fathering children with several women other than his wife.

He banked on his macho, Filipino everyman charisma and a pro-poor platform in the impoverished Asian nation of 90 million people to win the presidency in 1998 with one of the largest margins in recent memory.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Drinking Your Way to Health?


SUNDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Just about every month -- if not every week -- a new study emerges touting the health benefits to be gained from a daily glass of wine or a pint of dark beer.

The benefits related to cardiovascular health have become well-known. A study released in mid-July, for instance, found that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in women by increasing the amount of "good" cholesterol in the bloodstream and reducing blood sugar levels.

But other studies have linked a daily drink, most often wine, to reduced risk of dementia, bone loss and physical disabilities related to old age. Wine also has been found to increase life expectancy and provide potential protection against some forms of cancer, including esophageal cancer and lymphoma.

But don't invest in that case of Pinot noir just yet.

Experts with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association say that though these studies do show some benefits to moderate drinking, the health risks from alcohol consumption far outweigh the potential rewards.

Drinking any alcohol at all is known to increase your risk for contracting a number of types of cancer, said Susan Gapstur, vice president of epidemiology for the American Cancer Society. These include cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon/rectum and breast.

"At the end of the day, if you are at very high risk for cancer, you might want to limit your alcohol consumption even further," Gapstur said. "It's a lifestyle modification you can make, and we don't have as many lifestyle modifications for preventing cancer as we do for coronary heart disease."

There also are other health risks from moderate drinking, including liver damage and accidents caused by impaired reflexes, said Dr. Jennifer Mieres, director of nuclear cardiology at the New York University School of Medicine and an American Heart Association spokeswoman.

The health benefits from drinking generally are related to the antioxidants and anti-inflammatories found in red wines and dark beers, Mieres said, but those substances can be found in a number of different fruits and vegetables.

"When it comes to disease prevention, you're better off changing your diet to include fruits and vegetables and get your antioxidants and anti-inflammatories from natural sources," she said.

For example, people can get resveratrol -- the antioxidant found in red wine that's believed to provide most of the drink's health benefits -- from drinking grape juice just as well as from drinking wine, Mieres said.

"For people that don't drink, not drinking is important," Mieres said. "You can get the same benefits of drinking from leading a heart-healthy lifestyle. To me, it's not worth the risk to start drinking. But for people who enjoy a glass of red wine or enjoy drinking, the key is to stick to the definition of moderation," she said.

Moderate drinking is defined as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. What counts as one drink are:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer or wine cooler
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor

Drinking anything more than that on a daily basis is known to lead to a host of health problems that can reduce your life expectancy, Mieres and Gapstur said.

"I think the take-home message is, if you don't drink, don't start to help protect yourself from coronary heart disease because there are so many other things you can do," Gapstur said. "If you already drink, you might want to limit your consumption."

Though the studies touting the positive health effects of alcohol are scientifically accurate, they also appear to play into people's desires for quick fixes to complex problems, Mieres said.

"To prevent heart disease, 50 percent of the work has to come from you," she said. "Prevention is a big piece, and you have to be accountable. You have to make lifestyle changes, and that's very tough to do. People look for easy ways to get heart-healthy benefits, and drinking is an easy way to do that. It's a known human tendency: Let's find an easy way out that doesn't involve a lot of thought or work."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Valerie Concepcion sizzles anew on FHM this October


Valerie Concepcion sizzles anew on FHM this October
Slideshow: Showbiz Photos

No one could have guessed that former teeny-bopper Valerie Concepcion could actually get an entire nation dancing via the hit noontime show Wowowee. In fact, many had predicted that her career would fizzle out after her unexpected pregnancy at age sixteen. But Valerie, who appears on the cover of FHM for the second time this October, has proven everyone wrong. She was able to bounce back and what critics thought would destroy her career ended up being the fuel she needed to accelerate her life to full speed.

It wasn't easy to bounce back into showbiz after her pregnancy. Valerie is thankful that Wowowee came along. But, although hosting may have paved the way for a new career, she admits that acting, her first love, has undeniably taken a backseat.

"For the longest time nagho-host ako kaya ang feeling ko, nakalimutan ko nang umarte," she tells FHM.

Val got the opportunity of a lifetime when she bagged a starring role in an afternoon soap, but the project was shelved, "I'm sad about it but I'm not dwelling on it, maybe it was not meant for me."

The soap may not have been meant for her, but perhaps Mr. Right is just waiting in the wings. Valerie who charms millions of viewers daily also seems to attract athletes and musicians in the dating scene.

"Parang feeling ko, sa showbiz, ang malapit sa world mo, bands," Valerie says, revealing that she has a crush on singer Richard Poon. "Dahil ba single mom ako I can't have crushes anymore?" she points out, "I don't care what other people say as long as I know I'm not doing anything wrong."

Valerie reveals more skin and exudes way more confidence in her second appearance on FHM compared to her first back in 2006. She is such a hot momma that FHM staff jokes she could still grace their cover once her daughter Fiona turns 18. Would she be open to a mother-daughter cover? She laughs and says, "Naku, malayo pa yun, hindi ko pa iniisip na tatanda na siya... Now I'm just enjoying her as a child."

The October issue of FHM featuring Valerie Concepcion on the cover is now available in newsstands, bookstores, and supermarkets nationwide at only P125 per copy. For more of FHM online, visit www.FHM.com.ph.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gov't to procure 40 more rubberboats

MANILA, Philippines--In preparation for similar massive flooding, the government will be purchasing 40 additional rubberboats to expedite its rescue operations, a spokesman said today (Oct. 7).

Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres Jr., newly designated spokesman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, said they are set to procure the additional vessels to augment their rescue equipment by authorities during high floods.

Torres said rescue efforts to many trapped on top of their houses in Metro Manila and nearby provinces due to high flood water had been slowed down by the lack of rubberboats to go around during the operations.

He admitted that the NDCC, being only an ad hoc body, has still some operational limitations. "The NDCC only convenes during disaters or calamities. It does not continuously coordinate with member agencies," Torres said.

Among the NDCC members are the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Education, Department of Health, and the Philippine National Police.

Torres said they are hoping that the recent flooding brought by tropical storm Ondoy would facilitate the passage of the Disaster Risk Management Act now pending Congress. The proposed measure seeks the creation of a body with more "teeth" to address disaster preparedness and mitigation.

Aside from the operational limitations, NDCC has only P90 million annual budget, P70 million of which goes to personnel services or salaries of its employees.

Torres also appealed to those families still not reached by the government's relief operations to be more patient as the teams, both the government and private sectors, are doing their best to bring aid to them.

"There is enough (relief goods) for everyone but please don't mob our people," he said.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

After Charice, Arnel Pineda invades 'Oprah'


MANILA – After Charice, it was Arnel Pineda’s turn to impress Oprah Winfrey, one of the world’s most powerful women today.

Pineda and the rest of the members of the American rock band “Journey” recently guested on Oprah to promote the group’s latest album, “Revelation.”

During the show, Journey's Filipino front man could not believe that he was being interviewed by no less than Winfrey herself.

"I'm facing you (Winfrey) right now. You are [one of the] biggest [names] in show business and I'm facing you. It's like… I'm not allowed to be here but I'm here. And I thank God for that," he said.

The show featured Pineda’s journey “from total obscurity to recapturing the voice of one of the greatest bands of our time."

Pineda’s rags-to-riches story has inspired many people around the world. His life story will be made into a film titled "Don't Stop Believing: Every Man's Journey." The biopic will hit the big screen next year.

The Filipino singer was discovered on YouTube by Journey’s guitarist Neal Schon. Jonathan Cain (keyboard), Deen Castronovo (drums) and Ross Valory (bass) were equally impressed when they first watched him on YouTube performing Journey’s “Faithfully.”

Cain said: "Neal contacted us. I checked the YouTube video just like he said. And there he was singing. And I said, 'The guy got great pipes, does he speak English?’ And, ‘How are we going to get him to the stage to check him out?'" Cain said.

Valory said he had “goosebumps surplus” when he first heard Pineda sing.

Castronovo was also blown away by Pineda’s voice. “It was frightening just to hear that voice come out from that little guy. We couldn't believe it. It’s just so strong. And the best part about it was just how humble the man was, how humble human being, beautiful heart."

For Pineda, being part of Journey still feels like a dream.

"I've seen enough pain and poverty in the Philippines. I've never been that big. All I wanted was to be able to get out of it -- the pain and the poverty - and live decently everyday," he said.

He said touring around the world with his band mates is “amazing, unbelievable and fantastic.” “All the superlative words that you can utter.”

He admitted that he felt the pressure when the band played in the Philippines early this year. “There was a big responsibility and thank God I pulled it off.”

And now that he is making lots of money, Pineda said he bought a home for his family and set up his own foundation to help poor Filipinos.

Journey's Manila concert is now available on DVD in the United States.

McCain: Beware of “Half Measures” in Afghanistan

Late this afternoon, Senator John McCain expressed confidence in President Obama’s impending decision on whether to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. McCain also took a swipe at the way the war in Iraq was conducted under the Bush Administration.

After attending President Obama’s White House briefing on the Afghanistan situation, McCain told reporters outside the Oval Office, “I believe the President will make the right decision.”

But McCain didn’t stop there.

“Half measures is what I worry about, not getting completely out of Afghanistan,” McCain told reporters.

Making reference to Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Iraq commander Gen. George Casey, McCain went on: “Half measures that were the same kind that took place under Rumsfeld and Casey that lead to failure over time and lead to an erosion of American public support.”

Saturday, October 3, 2009

(UPDATE) Smart, Globe lower call rates to P3/min as 'Pepeng' hits RP


MANILA - The country's top 2 telecommunications firms will reduce rates rates for domestic mobile voice calls in preparation for the onslaught of typhoon "Pepeng" (international code name Parma).

In separate statements, Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. said they will lower per-minute voice call charges to P3 on Saturday, October 3.

Standard voice calls are usually priced at P6 per minute.

Smart's rate cut will start at 2 a.m. on Saturday, and will end at around the same time on Monday, October 5.

On the other hand, Globe subscribers can avail of the P3 per-minute call rate from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 4.

The price adjustment will cover subscribers of Smart's and Globe's mass-market brands, which are Talk 'N Text and Touch Mobile, respectively.

However, the lower rate will only be applicable to users belonging to the same network (Smart to Smart, Smart to Talk 'N Text, Globe to Globe, and Globe to Touch Mobile).

Smart added that the temporary voice call rates are effective for both pre-paid and post paid subscribers.

"No special dialling procedure will be required to avail of the P3 per minute rate. Just dial directly as you would when making a regular voice call," Globe said. Subscribers of the Ayala-led phone firm typically have to add prefix numbers to avail of lower call rates.

Restoration

As of 3 p.m., Globe said 99% of its affected facilities are already back online. The company said it is expecting a full restoration of its cellular sites "very soon."

For its part, Smart ensured its subscribers that its network "will continue operating and provide vital communication services to the public and to emergency authorities."

The government has already placed the entire Philippines under a state of calamity as "Pepeng" is expected to make landfall on Saturday.

Just last week, tropical storm "Ondoy" dumped the heaviest rains in more than 40 years in Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces, leaving 293 people dead and 42 people missing.

Phone companies have business continuity and preparedness plans to allow them to bring back operations to normal after typhoons the soonest possible time.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Top 4 Reasons People Divorce


The Top 4 reasons people divorce. Approximately out of every marriage in the U.S., 4 or more will end in divorce. Divorce happens because, for some reason, the married couple decide that they no longer desire to be married. But how do things get to this point? What are the factors that drive people, who were presumably so much in love, to decide to leave each other for good?

Well, there are many reasons and here are some of the top ones:

Serial affairs - It's somewhat of a surprise, but typically when one partner has an affair, it does not lead to a divorce or separation It is only when a single affair escalates into a series of affairs that divorce becomes the solution. History has proven that marriage partners are extremely forgiving of dalliances outside of the marriage. In fact, in some countries, it might even be considered the norm. Continual cheating is a problem because once is a mistake, but multiple times is a pattern. No one, no matter what they say, likes to be cheated on. More than anything else, it's a violation of trust. And if marriage is about anything, it's about being able to trust your partner faithfully to do the right thing by you. Once the trust is broken, the marriage, in essence, is over - even if the couple choose not to pursue a divorce.

Lack of emotional communication - If two people are emotionally in sync with each other, it's hard to keep them apart. In fact, they don't even want to be apart. Couples like this are like two sides of the same coin, each supporting the other. Where there is a lack of communication, however, the joy fades away. The person you used to love communicating with and telling your secrets, desires, and fears to is gone. The specific cause of the emotional distance is not important, as it can have many origins. But what is important is that the sense of emotional connection somehow be restored. If not, the marriage will consist of two people living in the same space and sharing meals together, but with no real connection to each other. When one or both partners tire of living this empty existence, the separation or divorce papers can't be far behind.

Physical abuse - It's often thought that a couple who argues a lot can't possibly be happy together. But that's not true. In fact, one of the things that attracted them together may have been the spirited and passionate arguments in which they found themselves involved. No, it's not the arguments, it's the surly reaction to arguments that sometimes boil over to physical violence. We all get angry occasionally, it's part of what makes us human. But persistent and out of control anger is a recipe for disaster. It is a danger not only to the relationship, but to the health of the partner as well. And if the couple has children, it's a danger to them as well. Anyone in a marriage that involves physical abuse, if they're not thinking of divorce, probably should be.

People change - It may be unusual to hear, but some people actually do change after marriage. Maybe, before they were married they were playing a role and pretending to be someone who they really weren't. Once they're in a marriage, they can relax and become their true self. Unfortunately for the other half of the relationship, this person is not the person that they thought they married. The result, in many cases, is divorce.