The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a very complicated story with hundreds of characters and many smaller stories inside the main one. People usually read it or told it in bits, not all at once. So this is just a summary of the main story.
At the very end of the Han Dynasty, the emperors were losing power. Soon the Empire fell apart into three independent kingdoms, which were always at war with each other. Each kingdom had its own king. Liu Bei was the king of one kingdom, Shu Han, in the south-west of China. He was related to the old Han emperors, so he thought he should rule all of China. Liu Bei had two friends who helped him: Guan Yu, who always tried to do the right thing, and Zhang Fei, a fierce warrior. They were known as the Three Brothers (even though they weren't really brothers). Liu Bei also had Zhuge Liang, a Taoist scholar who gave Liu Bei good advice and sometimes magical help (kindof like King Arthur's Merlin).
T'sao T'sao ruled Wei, the kingdom in the north. He was Liu Bei's worst enemy. T'sao T'sao was a general who was also very smart, and loved to write poetry.
In the south-east, Sun Quan was the king of the Wu kingdom. He was not as strong as Liu Bei and T'sao T'sao. Still, Liu Bei tried to get Sun Quan to help him fight T'sao T'sao. At first Sun Quan did help Liu Bei, and together they defeated T'sao T'sao at the Battle of the Red Cliffs.
But then Sun Quan was afraid that Liu Bei would take over Wu himself. So Sun Quan tried to kill Liu Bei through trickery. He promised to let Liu Bei marry his younger sister, to get him to come to Wu so Sun Quan could kill him. But when Liu Bei arrived, Sun Quan's mother, Lady Wu, decided that Liu Bei was a good guy and should not be killed, and she wouldn't let Sun Quan kill him. So Liu Bei got away home to Shu Han, and he got to marry Sun Quan's sister, too.
After a while T'sao T'sao died, and everybody began fighting again over T'sao T'sao's kingdom. Sun Quan switched sides and made an alliance with T'sao T'sao's son, T'sao Pi. Then Sun Quan attacked Liu Bei and killed his friend Guan Yu. But Sun Quan wasn't able to keep on fighting Liu Bei, because the treacherous Cao Pi took advantage of Sun Quan's being busy to attack him back in Wu.
Soon after this, Liu Bei died. His son Liu Shan became king of Shu Han, but Liu Shan was too young and weak to be a good ruler. Zhuge Liang, the Taoist, promised to help Liu Shan faithfully, and he was the real power of Shu Han. T'sao Pi tried to attack Liu Shan, seeing that he was weak, but four times he lost his battles. Sun Quan, seeing this, decided to get back on the side of Liu Shan. But Liu Shan and T'sao Pi, and their successors, kept fighting for many years, until finally a descendant of T'sao Pi, Sima Yan, from Wei, brought all of China together again under the Sui Dynasty.
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Sex is like mathematics:
Add the bed, minus the lights, subtract the clothes, bring down the panty, divide the legs, then find the decimal point and be ready to multiply....
At their honeymoon:
60-yr old Pastor to his young bride:
'Honey, before we do it, let's first pray for guidance.' Young bride:
'Darling, just pray for endurance, I'll take care of the guidance!'
Anak: Mommy, ang ganda ng bracelet mo. Bigay ba ni Daddy yan?
Mommy: Ay naku anak, kung sa Daddy mo lang ako aasa, baka pati ikaw wala sa mundong ito.
Ano sa Tagalog ang asawa? ('May bahay')
Ano naman ang kabit? ('May condo')
Madre: 'Father, pagsabihan mo naman yung mga seminarista. Umiihi sila sa pader!'
Father: 'Sister naman. Maliit na bagay, huwag mo nang pansinin!'
Madre: 'Naku, Father, malalaki po, Malaki!'
BARTENDER: Sir, napansin ko bawat inom ninyo tumitingin kayo sa bulsa ninyo.
MAN: Ahh, ito? Picture ng Misis ko ito.... pagmaganda na siya sa tingin ko, uuwi na ako.
Can one be a Catholic and still support the Reproductive Health bill?
Growing numbers of professional and educated lay Filipino Catholics believe they can. Increasingly uneasy that the unshakeable position of the Church contradicts directly their own understandings of Philippine realities, many are actually reading the bill to see for themselves – and emerging as its supporters.
Catholic NGO workers, social workers, and social science researchers working in poor rural and urban communities overflowing with malnourished, out-of-school children and youth have particular problems with the Church position. They find it difficult to accept that poor mothers and fathers who want to avoid a fourth or fifth pregnancy or wait a few years before the next one, should be condemned for choosing reliable, contraceptive family planning methods.
One urban poor woman was asked what the Church might say about her practice of saving part of her meager earnings to buy birth control pills every month. Her reply: "Ang simbahan ba ang magpapakain sa mga anak namin?(Will the Church feed my children?)"
Then there is the deafening silence of the Church on how to respond to the thousands of poor women who undergo clandestine, unsafe abortions for lack of access to modern family planning. In 2000, 473,000 women had induced abortions, 79,000 of them winding up in hospitals from complications, and 800 leaving as corpses.
The World Health Organization estimates that this already alarming 2000 statistic may by 2008 be as high as 800,000! Yet the Church remains in denial. Its spokespersons claim that their calculations yield "only 200,000" induced abortions.
Meanwhile, desperate women eking out a meager living for four to eight children and possibly supporting an unemployed or chronically drunk husband as well, consider the prospect of another child to be unthinkable - and go for an abortion.
Safe and effective choices
The bill recognizes this reality by offering poor women safer and more effective choices for preventing unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. Because it enables women to reject the unsafe abortion route, the bill can legitimately be called anti-abortion. The Church's position, on the other hand, poses the ultimate irony. By opposing contraceptive options for women but offering no other viable alternatives, it is in effect contributing to those 473,000 abortions.
The low priority given to women's needs results in their appalling health status. Ten die each day, or 3,650 per year, from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. One Filipina out of 140 faces the risk of maternal death in her lifetime. Contrast this with one in 500 for Thai women, and one in 560 for Malaysian women.
Maternal mortality rates in the Philippines are unacceptably high at 162 per 100,000 live births . The corresponding ratio for Thailand is 110 and for Malaysia 62. Skilled attendants are present at birth for 60% of Filipinas, while the comparable figures for Thai women reach 97% and Malaysian women 98 %. Buddhists and Muslims seem to do better by their women than Catholics.
Moreover, when a mother dies in labor because she has not gone for prenatal check-ups, her baby is also likely to die in the first year if not the first month of life. Surviving toddlers are similarly at risk. An estimated 10 million Filipino women incur post-partum disabilities every year owing to poor obstetric care. Class disparities come starkly to the fore as fully 96% of women with higher education receive post-natal care from a health professional, compared with only 33% of women with no education.
Comprehensive family planning services
Catholics who support the bill appreciate the accountability it demands of government in mandating as national poli cy specific benefits to women and families, "more particularly to the poor and needy." Examples include mobile health care services in every Congressional district, and one emergency obstetric hospital per 500,000 population.
Midwives and skilled birth attendants must be available in every city and municipality to attend to women during childbirth in a ratio of one per 150 deliveries per year. Maternal death reviews will be conducted locally in coordination with the Department of Health and Popcom. Hospitals will handle more complex family planning procedures.
Given these and other benefits, educated Catholics feel vindicated in supporting a bill that offers women and families comprehensive health and family planning services as a matter of right and choice. Church proclamations alleging that House Bill 5043 is "anti-poor," "anti-women, " "pro-abortion, " and "immoral" ring hollow in the fa ce of empirical evidence to the contrary. The bill reads exactly the opposite as pro-poor, pro-women, anti-abortion, and respectful of human life.
Moreover, its provisions satisfy Catholic consciences as being compatible with the Church's social teachings, including the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the human person, the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, integral human development, and the primacy of conscience. In this light they urge that the Church listen to them as responsible Catholic laity who offer their Church the advantage of evidenced-based approaches to the evolving needs of 21st century Philippine society.
By ceasing its attacks on the bill, allowing it to pass, and concentrating instead on monitoring implementation, the Church will convey an important point to its uneasy, increasingly critical lay members – that despite its hierarchical structure and celibate, all-male leadership, it can still respond meaningfully to the needs and aspirations of poor women and their families. At the very least, let us hope the Church resists the temptation to "shoot the messengers" who dare to articulate alternative but realistic Catholic views. (Mary Racelis is a sociologist with INCITEGov, Pasig City)
Think twice about taking 'souvenirs' from airplanes, especially on international flights.
A judge here Wednesday fined two Filipinos HK$2,000 (P10,700) each for taking with them life jackets from their Cathay Pacific flight from Dubai .
Tsuen Wan Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma imposed the fines on Edwin S. Antolin, 52, and Crisanto R. Ramos, 29, after they pleaded guilty to the charge of theft. The life jackets cost only HK$400 each.
'Do you know each other?' asked the judge, who got curious why the two
would take life jackets from their flight. He apparently did not know
that many Filipinos had a proclivity of taking with them 'souvenirs'
from hotels, airplanes and other places they visited.
Both Filipinos denied knowing each other. They were seated on different
rows when they arrived here a t around 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday for a
connecting flight to Manila .
Ramos occupied Seat No.. 35B while Antolin was in No. 47B, but they
apparently had the same urge to take the life jackets under their seats.
Antolin put the jacket in his blue traveling bag, while Ramos hid his in
a red shopping bag. They did not foresee that they would be arrested and
charged in court for taking 'souvenirs.'
When they got to the passenger terminal building of the Chek Lap Kok
International Airport , their belongings had to go through an X-ray
machine before they take their connecting flight.
Airport security officers later told investigators that they noticed
'suspicious objects' in the Filipinos' bags. The passengers were
searched and the life jackets were found. Ramos supposedly even wrapped
his jacket with a blanket.
The security officers reported the incident to the police and Cathay
Pacific staff members, who co nfirmed that the life jackets were missing.
During police interrogation, the Filipinos denied any wrongdoing but
they later pleaded guilty upon the advice of lawyers after they were
brought to court.
KABAYAN... PLEASE... BUMABABA NA ANG DOLLAR...
WAG NA NATIN SADYAING BUMABA DIN PATI ANG ATING DANGAL...
ISAULI NYO PO ANG KUMOT, UNAN, KUTSARA, TINIDOR, KITCHEN KNIFE, PLATITO,
CUP AT PERFUME OR LOTION SA CR.... DI PO KASAMA YAN SA BINAYAD SA
PATI ANG EARPHONE... HINDI NYO PO MAGAGAMIT YAN KASI PANG-EROPLANO LANG
YAN, MAY EROPLANO BA KAYO SA BAHAY NYO???