New Zealand never ceases to amaze me; it is such a marvellous place. New Zealand ranking as the Least Corrupt Nation won me over again. My curiosity sometimes gets me, how did New Zealand achieve that ranking? Are Kiwis generally honest? Is it because of the economic system? Is it because there is less population here?

In contrast, why is Philippines generally perceived as a corrupt nation? I did not bother to find out what ranking Philippines is but I surmise it will not be high. Again the inquisitive me is thinking, now why is that, when the Philippines was once known as a great nation right after World War II.

To start of, New Zealand has one of the most lenient and sometimes bizarre laws. Prostitution is a legal profession, some drugs are legal, and punishments for crimes are, broadly speaking, light. On top of that, Kiwis are not generally religious; and yet people mostly are not corrupt.

I suppose the way to understand it is to know the opposite of corruption. The inverse of corruption is honesty and everyone will agree that Kiwis are honest (again generally speaking). I reckon it is because the smallness of the community fosters honesty. Everyone knows everyone. You care for your neighbours, and the same sentiment is reciprocated. It is not the strict laws that make an honest nation; it is when a nation follows the basic rules of life: share everything, play fair, do not take things that are not yours, say sorry when you hurt somebody, etc. Everyone knows these rules because these are the rules that were taught in kindergarten. See Robert Fulghum’s website on “ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN”

Philippines on the other hand is a sad case of a lot of things going amiss: colonial mentality, crab mentality, poverty, and overpopulation among other things. Nothing more damning than the Spanish occupation influence over the culture. Greed, dishonesty, selfishness are only some of the attributes our ancestors picked up and consequently passed down to generations. These attributes fuel corruption; and they contradict the basics.

I sometimes imagine what if the British won over Spain when they were fighting for the Philippine occupation and colonization. Would the Philippines (it will not be called Philippines to start with) be like New Zealand or Australia of today, all under the British monarch? Will it make the Philippines an honest nation? I honestly think so.

It is fun to watch a Latin Dance performance. The steps and motion, though complicated, are very fluid, and they look like they are having fun. Salsa in particular, is splendour to watch.

Invigorated by a performance we saw, we decided to take a lesson in Latin Dancing. It can be a very daunting especially in the first weeks; but upon continuous practise, it will come naturally.
Latin Dancing is also an excellent workout. You will surely break into a sweat after only a few minutes in the lesson, even if you take into account that New Zealand is a very cold place.

It is very rewarding to learn a new step you once thought to be very complicated.

I think the key to learning Latin Dancing is to enjoy what you are doing. True it can be difficult at start but you gradually build your knowledge base with simple steps and then you try to string them all together. In all its complexity, Latin Dancing is merely stringing together simple steps to form one awesome routine that will surely amaze anyone watching.

I also think Filipinos are at an advantage because Filipinos are innate in arts particularly in singing and dancing. It would be nice if Filipinos in New Zealand will be known as natural Salsa dancers. I encourage everyone to try Latin Dancing; you can search the yellow pages for dance studios nearest you.

We take our dancing lessons with Latin Fire in Christchurch. Led by Donna, Warren and Jeff, there are different levels of classes to suit the skill of anyone who wants to learn Latin Dancing. The instructors are very helpful and patient in teaching a newbie or an intermediate, learn to dance. Check out their website: for schedules and events.

I am a sucker for feel-good movies. I love a movie where you are smiling when you come out of the theatre; you feel it is worth the somehow steep price of a movie ticket. This movie is one of those cases.

Any movie coming from Disney/Pixar is sure to be a quality film. Kudos to the creative team behind that studio for churning out another top-notch creation. Wall-E is the latest film from Disney/Pixar and arguably the best so far.

The film features the best animation ever: the colours are distinct, the textures of the robots distinguishable, and movement lifelike. Technological advancement in film making never ceases to astonish me.

It features a heart-warming story told without much dialogue. The writers have immense success in depicting the tale through facial expressions and gibberish intonation. It is amazing that the viewers can feel the emotions coming from a fictional robot that cannot talk. Comic scenes are also aplenty, and they are all genuinely amusing; it is good to know that the writers have not run out of good jokes.

If you want to see a film of high calibre, then definitely go watch the movie. You will not regret it.

I give this movie, 10 stars out of 10.

Verdict: Definitely watch it.

(Click on the photos to see the actual size)
Figure 1

To create additional controls for a CreateUserWizard, you can add a TemplatedWizardStep before the CreateUserWizardStep. See Figure 1.
Figure 2
Inside the TemplatedWizardStep, you can add forms for collection of other info like First Name, Address, etc.

Figure 3

To access the controls inside the TemplatedWizardStep, first use FindControl to access the TemplatedWizardStep. Then use FindControl to access the text box. See Figure 3.

Cable appears in the Marvel Legends Apocalypse Series 6. Marvel Legends is an action figure line based on the characters of Marvel comics.

The character first appeared in 1990, and was created by writer Louise Simonson and artist/co-writer Rob Liefeld.

A member of the X-Men, Cable was born Nathan Christopher Charles Summers, the child of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey).

Within the comics, Bishop is a mutant; presented with vast telepathic and telekinetic abilities, which were limited by his need to restrain his techno-organic infection. His techno-organic body parts possess enhanced strength and durability, and his techno-organic eye gives him enhanced eyesight, allowing him to see further than a normal human and in the infrared spectrum. He is also able to interface his techno-organic body parts with machinery, using them to hack into computers and open electronic locks.

A Harry Potter clone this is not. A Hollywood fantasy movie this is not. This is a grown-up fairy tale set in the 1944 Fascist Spain. Since this is a Spanish movie, expect subtitles; but it should not bother you much since dialogues are not too many.

I was a bit hesitant to watch this because of the film age rating of 16 due to violence and gore. However, after watching it, the violence in the film is required for the story: to convey the characters and the stage where the story unfolded.

One of the highlights of the film is the lullaby hum. It is sad and haunting but at the same time soothing. You can hear the song in certain parts of the film and it adds depth and mystery to the scene.

The movie is full of rich symbolisms and abstracts that an analytical viewer would enjoy dissecting. Yet at the very core, the movie is magnificent because of its simplicity.

This is not a stereotypical Hollywood fantasy movie. If you want to see creativity at its finest, then definitely watch this film. I give this movie, 9 stars out of 10.

Verdict: Definitely watch it.

A definite eye candy: stunning cut scenes, lengthy and engaging game play, and a new control scheme for a Final Fantasy series title.

I rate this game, 10 stars out of 10.

Verdict: A must-have on your game collection.

Garden City: now that is a word coinage that you would not see most of the time. For me a city is the opposite of a garden, and to find a city that IS a garden is uncommon. Yet the biggest city in the South Island of New Zealand has done it.In addition to the countless council parks scattered around the Christchurch suburbs, right smack in the middle of the CBD is a park with gargantuan proportions, Hagley Park.

Spring is an interesting season to check out the famous park because of the myriads of daffodils that will paint the park yellow. On a sunny day, it would be safe to assume that everyone will troop down to the park to have a picnic, relax and recharge, read a book, or get an exercise. Careful though if you are prone to hay fever: fresh bloom flowers might become disagreeable to you.
Here are some tips on how to get the most of the Garden City:

1. One inexpensive relaxation technique is to lie down in a part of the park of your choosing and just stare at the sky. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Side note: do not stare directly at the sun, no relaxation there.
2. A picnic in the park is an excellent idea. The picturesque surroundings of the park go hand-in hand with warm rice and adobo. Make sure you have those thermal picnic bags to keep the warmth. Please don’t litter.
3. Do not forget bring your own water, there are no manongs roaming around selling ‘mineral’.
4. Biking is an excellent way to get around. It’s a good exercise, and you don’t contribute to global warming. If you don’t know how to ride bike, then there’s no excellent time to learn than now. Garage sales are the best places to get cheap bikes. Biking is prohibited INSIDE the Botanical Gardens though.
5. Take your dog with you to play in the park, they will love it. The exercise is good for you too.
6. Bring you SLRs and digital cameras; every shooting angle is worthy of a front cover of National Geographic.
7. Bring an extra bread to feed the ducks, or if you’re the playful type, feed the always-hungry sea gulls. They’ll take the food right out of your hand if you’ll let them. (Word of caution, if you feed one sea gull, prepare to meet all of his friends).
8. Refrain from smoking, anywhere. Not cool.
9. Just a few minutes walk away from the Hagley Park is the Arts Centre. Plenty of food, street performances, bargains, concerts, etc.

If beautiful well-maintained parks, postcard quality sceneries and clean, crisp air are your thing, then you can’t go wrong with the Garden City, Christchurch.

There are heaps of Chinese restaurants and takeaways in NZ, but few will compare to FoodSing in terms of palate-satisfaction. I think you can judge the wellness of a restaurant based on the difficulty to acquire table seats during dinnertime. As the place becomes very full from 7PM onwards, it is in your best interest to make a reservation first before showing up at the door at 7PM (or you could arrive with no seat reservation at 6PM just as we did, hehe).

According to our Chinese friends, the menu is influenced by Southern China, which basically means that it will be a bit spicy. You can request a dish to be made more spicy or less, depending on your preference.

When we eat outside, we usually make it a point to order dishes that cannot be duplicated in the home kitchen. As such, we decided to order ‘Whole Fish with Sweet Chilli Sauce’ for $18.00. I usually have a mental reservation when it comes to fish, but the dish is surprisingly good. The fish meat is very crunchy and the sauce is spot-on. If you miss ‘Sweet and Sour Fish’ in the Philippines, then this is the closest replica you can get. We also ordered ‘Spring Rolls’ for $4.00 just because I love lumpia, simple as that :)

They have a varied menu, and I am sure everything will be exquisite. You may also try the ‘Sizzling Hot Plate Spice Beef’ for $18.00.
In regard to the pricing, I see it fair; not too dear, not too cheap. All worth the bucks because of the tastebud stimulation you will get, all in generous servings.

One thing I do not like about FoodSing is the staff. I guess they all had a long day, or it was a very buys night, but I find the service lacking. True the order came in fast, but I guess it makes no harm for them to smile occasionally or ask the customers how they are.
FoodSing is located at 376 Riccarton Road, Christchurch, New Zealand. Call (03) 3416992 for reservations or takeaways.

Verdict: Recommended.

Ah, definitely one of the finest titles to arrive in the PSP. It has also the qualities of an excellent game: the video quality is spotless, the in-between chapter animations are awesome, the game length is adequate, game difficulty is progressive; it has a creative story, a dash of violence, a little bit of adult content, and an excellent soundtrack.

It is unbelievable how the programmers of this game squeeze so much juice from the humble PSP to render the amazing colours and animations in the game. The characters from the game came straight from you college Greek Mythology. It is refreshing to interact with the characters we once read from college.

If you were to buy one game for the PSP, this would be it.

I rate this game, 10 stars out of 10.

Verdict: A must-have on your game collection

Ok, who else haven't seen this film? After all the hype and buzz around the film, is it really an exceptional film?
To start with, this is not a film for children, unlike the previous Batman films of the past. It deals with deep moral and political issues that may seem taboo in a superhero flick. They transformed Batman from everyone's favourite hero into a dark and mysterious crusader, who is imperfect, and torn between the definition of justice or vigilante. It may also have been patterned after Frank Miller’s take of Batman in the 90’s.
As much as the billions of dollars it has earned and will continue to earn with release of the DVD, I seem to think that the movie may have been overrated; a bit, I might add. True the acting is top-notched, special effects are aplenty, but I think what I missed is the touch of humour and a coherent and simple plot. The story dragged on and on, when it should have ended a few minutes earlier. However, I must give credit to the writers for the unpredictable plot and awesome dialogue.Batman: The Dark Knight is one of those movies where you can only watch it once. I think that is the reason it will not overtake Titanic in terms of ticket sales. In addition, much of Titanic's success came from international ticket sales, something the Dark Knight's complex plot cannot bank on.

Batman became a very profitable franchise for director Christopher Nolan and the next Batman is now getting the buzz. There are rumours that Johnny Depp will play the villain Riddler (previously played by funny man Jim Carrey) and Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman will play the villain Penguin (previously played by Danny DeVito). However, they might go the other way and pick a villain that has not appeared in the Batman movies of the past. Funny though that the villains are getting more buzz than Batman, the title character.

I give this movie, 7 stars out of 10.

Verdict: Will prefer Iron Man over the Dark Knight anytime of the day but you still need to watch it in a movie house, just for the heck of it.

This is definitely a chick flick. Saw the movie 2 nights ago. Film stars Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. I give this movie 5 stars out of 10.This is not really a laugh-out-loud type of comedy; it is more like a smile-once-in-a-while type. The love connection between Hugh and Drew leaves something to be desired, it does not really connect, and it feels blank. The movie soundtrack is awesome though, growing up in the 80's era, you can't help but have a nostalgic feeling listening to the new wave tunes. The way they combined the modern and the 80's style of music is genius.
In the DVD menu under Special Features, you can watch a gag-reel. I can only muster a faint smile while watching it because both stars are not good comedians. Still I would recommend people to watch it, especially if it is only $1 to rent in VideoEzy :)
Verdict: Rent it.
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