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WELCOME, 2010!

Happy New Year everyone! First, some good news…

Wesley So
Pinoy chess whiz Wesley So is now ranked 76th in the world. He is the highest-rated Filipino chesser today with a rating of 2656 based on the ELO system used by the World Chess Federation. Of course, if the system used was that of Pulse Asia or SWS, Noynoy Aquino would be No. 1.

Wesley So II
Chess whiz Wesley So is the No. 1 ranked chesser in the country today. But Sen. Manny Villar is confident he could narrow the gap and eventually catch him up.

Facebook Friends
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sen. Noynoy Aquino has the most number of Facebook friends and supporters. Sen. Manny Villar is in second while Atty. Gilbert Teodoro is in third. Trailing them is deposed president Joseph Estrada who is nonetheless unfazed mainly because, as of press time, he has the most number of friends in SexyPinay.Com.

New Year Casualties
Contrary to the initial claim of the Health Department, 2009 was not a safer year than 2008 in terms of firecracker-related injuries. A total of 807 people were injured in 2009 – 18 percent more than last year’s tally of 683. According to the DOH, the five most popular firecrackers used from December 21, 2009 to January 2, 2010 were piccolo,1st; kwitis, 2nd; five-star, 3rd; pla-pla, 4th; and whistle bomb, 5th. Now here’s the weird part of that report: in 6th place was Noynoy Aquino. [Na naman!?]

The Galeras volcano in southeastern Colombia erupted Saturday night, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries. Now here’s the surprising part, Colombians who survived the disaster are thanking Albay Gov. Joey Salceda for the rescue efforts.

The Pope’s Message
In his traditional New Year’s Day Mass, Pope Benedict XVI called for peace and tolerance, and the protection of children from violence. He also advised parishioners to be vigilant, and avoid women in red, hooded sweat shirts.

Happy New Year!
A Postscript

It’s already the third day of a new year and a new decade, but fascinating trivia about our politicians’ New Year’s Eve celebration just keep on coming! Indulge!

Unknown to many, President Arroyo has remained superstitious. On New Year’s Eve, she jumped 12 times.

Deposed president Joseph Estrada believes in numerology. At 8 o’clock on New Year’s Eve, he displayed eight of his favorite fruits on the table. The next day at exactly 8 am, he gave them away to his eight mistresses.

Before midnight last December 31, Erap also tried to settle his differences with Sen. Panfilo Lacson by sending him a New Year’s Day gift. But Lacson was reportedly miffed when he opened the box and found a roll of sinturon ni Hudas.

Sen. Loren Legarda never fails to welcome the New Year with a bang. Her favorite firecracker is the super lolo!

Sen. Noynoy Aquino welcomed the New Year solemnly and peacefully: no fireworks, no firecrackers. He only lit a pack of Marlboro Lights.

Sen. Lito Lapid suffered from poisoning on New Year’s Eve. He reportedly tried to play the piccolo, which he thought was a musical instrument.

Sen. Richard Gordon didn’t have to rely on firecrackers to drive away evil spirits on New Year’s Eve. At the stroke of midnight, he just kept talking.

“When the clock strikes 12,” a feng shui expert tells Cong. Mikey Arroyo, “open all doors and windows so that good luck will flow into your house” to which Mikey replied, “Which house?”

To sustain his good fortune, Sen. Manny Villar didn’t just open doors and windows. He opened the gates of his subdivisions.

Finally, Sen. Mar Roxas reportedly earned the ire of Korina Sanchez on New Year’s Eve. The lady broadcaster was quoted to have complained that, “Hirap na hirap magpaputok si Mar.”
“I’m superstitious… but not like wear the same underwear for two weeks superstitious.”
~Kate Hudson

From Rushes: the gossip column of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
“A local power couple joins Hollywood stars Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins in the list of those who separated after years of partnership. The man is an industry leader, while his wife is the sister of a Top Singer. Friends of the Power Couple expressed sadness over the separation, which they hope is only temporary.”

Can you guess who they are?

Have a safe and productive week ahead!