Monday, May 22, 2017


   It can be hard, shopping for the zombie survivalist: by definition, they're prepared to just about anything, and they're used to training themselves to put.
   That said, there are still some great Christmas gifts you can get for your favorite zombie survivalist- and when zombies attack, they could even help save your life!

Firearms Training

   A well-placed bullet is the surest defense against zombies, but learning how to shoot and how to do it well takes time and money. For this Christmas, give the gift of a firearms safety and training course to the zombie survivalist in your life: you'll help them improve their shooting skills and they'll learn valuable skills regarding safety and firearms. The NRA offers training courses around the country from certified firearms safety instructors, and many local shooting ranges and hunting clubs offer training as well.

Martial Arts Training

   The problem with firearms is that they need reloading. As an alternative, consider giving the gift of a month or two of martial arts training. It's fantastic exercise and a lot of fun, too. Try to pick a discipline that offers a fair amount of training with weaponry, such as kendo or eskrima.

The Max Brooks Trifecta

   Any good zombie survivalist should have read Max Brook's The Zombie Survival Guide, but less well known are his two other works, World War Z and the just-released The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks. The first book is a comprehensive zombie survival handbook, chock full of tips and tricks to help stay alive during the zombie apocalypse. The second book is a collection of anecdotes from survivors of a theoretical zombie apocalypse, valuable for its discussions of the mental, emotional, and physical rigors of life among the walking dead. The third book is a discussion of several historical zombie outbreaks. A gift of any or all of these books is sure to be welcomed by your zombie survival buff.

The Zen of Zombies

   It may seem like fraternizing with the enemy, but there's a lot we can learn from zombies. Scott Kenemore's The Zen of Zombies is a philosophical look at the walking dead and how we still among the living can benefit from acting more like them.  Let's not forget that one of the best ways to fight one's enemies is to understand them; the Zen of Zombies is sure to help the zombie survivalist in your life do just that. The book retails for about $12 and can be found at most major bookstores.

Magnesium Fire Starter

   A good tool for any survivalist, zombies or no, a magnesium fire starter is a wonderful little tool that allows for the building of a fire even in damp, difficult conditions - a must if you have to get the hell out of dodge quickly. With a spark upwards of 3000 degrees, there are few things that won't burn when you put magnesium to use, and a single fire starter is enough for building hundreds of fires. Even better, they're fairly cheap; Amazon sells one for around $10.

Other Zombie Survival Gear

   Anything with a survivalist slant will make a great gift for the zombie survival enthusiast. Consider items like a solar-powered GPS receiver, hand-crank flashlights, military surplus MREs, or even a good pair of sturdy hiking boots.


some of the moors costumes

   Araquio festival is a celebration traditionally held every May in Nueva Ecija. The festival dates back to the Spanish colonial period and is celebrated with a theatrical/religious presentation similar to Spanish zarzuelas, dramatizing the spread of Christianity in the country and the war between Christians and Muslims.

Some of the Costumes


History and Customs

   The name Araquio is said to have come from "Heraclio", the name of a bishop during the time of Constantine the Great. The first Araquio presentation took place in the town of PeƱaranda, Nueva Ecija over 120 years ago. Before modern musical instruments were available, the bands used instruments made from indigenous materials like bamboo. According to Francisco Vergara Padilla, director of the Araquio group in the barangay of St. Tomas in PeƱaranda, during his grandfather's time they used basins and utensils as substitutes.

   Araquio is usually presented in May, during the feast of the Cross. The date of the feast varies from one town to another. This festival starts with a mass and ends with the elaborate Flores de Mayo celebration. Each performing group is given a day or two to perform in the town plaza, making it a weeklong presentation. Local wealthy families usually make it their spiritual duty to sponsor the festival, sometimes giving no less than fifty thousand pesos.


   Festival performers sing, act and dance while a brass band plays. The choice of songs and choreography varies, but the script has remained the same since the tradition started. It tells of the feud between Muslims and Christians that started over territory. In the play, Christians use the power of the cross, symbolizing their faith, to defeat the Muslims, who later retaliate by stealing the cross. After many battles, the cross is recovered, and the Muslims are Christened.

   Normally, there are 16 performers in each Araquio group. Nine of these play Christians led by Reyna (Queen) Elena and Haring (King) Constantine. The Reyna Elena has two servants, Laida and Blanca. The rest are soldiers named Alberto, Arsenio, Rosauro, Fernando and Leonato. The Muslim group, on the other hand, is composed of seven people, led by Ordalisa or Erlisa and the Emperor. Their soldiers are Emir, Dublar, Marmolin, Engras and Sagmar. The male Muslims wear red costumes with feathered headdresses, while the male Christians wear either blue pants and white top or black pants and blue top. The female costumes are similar for both Muslims and Christians, except that the Christian women wear a sash or "banda" while the Muslim women wear feathered headdresses similar to their male counterparts.
   The players stand on an elevated stage, either wood or concrete, during their performance. The presentation also allows for crowd participation. The band plays on and the performers continue their choreography but pause their dialogue to give way to the dancing audience.



   Straining to relieve constipation, George II fell off the toilet and smashed his head on a cabinet. He died from his injuries.

   Ken Barger, 47, of Newton, North Carolina, accidentally shot himself dead in 1992 while answering the phone in the middle of the night. He went to pick up the phone beside his bed, but half asleep, grabbed his .38 Smith and Wesson special instead. The gun went off when he pulled it to his ear.

   King Charles VIII of France died as a result of his gallantry. On entering a tennis court in 1498, hw bowed to his wife and allowed her to proceed first. As he brought his head up, it crashed against a low wooden beam, fracturing his skull and killing him.

   Canadian lawyer Garry Hoy fell 24 storeys to his death while attempting to demonstrate the safety of a building’s windows. Hoy was showing visiting law students around Toronto’s Dominion Bank Tower. To illustrate how strong the windows were, he barged into a pane with his shoulder. The window gave way and Hoy ended up in the courtyard below. He was described by the head of his legal firm as “one of the nest and brightest” members.

   Isabelle, daughter of Charles VI of France, was a widow at the age of ten. She was only seven when she married England’s 29-year-old King Richard II in 1396, and he died just over three years later.

   Alexandros I of Greece died in 1920 from blood poisoning after being bitten by his pet monkey.

   Nicholas Breakspear who, as Adrian IV became the only English Pope, choked to death on a fly he’d accidentally swallowed.

   King Alexander III of Scotland died when his horse jumped over a cliff while they were out riding at night.

   The son of George II, Prince Frederick, should have succeeded him as king. But Frederick was hit by a cricket ball and died in 1715.

   The first person to die of radiation poisoning was Madame Curie, discoverer of radium. She took not precautions against radioactivity and, even now, nearly 70 years on, her notebooks are still too contaminated to handle.

   Escapologist Harry Houdini boasted that his stomach could withstand any blow. But one day a fan punched him without warning. Houdini collapsed in agony, having suffered an internal rupture. He died shortly afterwards.

   Six people drowned in Southern Egypt in 1997 while trying to rescue a chicken that had fallen into a 60ft. well. An 18-year-old farmer was the first to go in after the chicken, but drowned in the strong undercurrents. His sister and two brothers, none of whom could swim well, went in one by one to help him, but also drowned. Finally two elderly farmers went to help, but met a similar fate. After the six bodies were pulled from the well, the chicken was also brought out … alive.

   In 1985, New Orleans lifeguards threw a party to celebrate a season without any drownings. As the party came to an end, one of the guests was found dead at the bottom of the pool.

   American Jim Fixx, the man who started the trend of jogging, died of a heart attack while out jogging.

   Viscount Palmerston died from a heart attack while having se with a parlour maid on his private billiard table.

   A guard in a US armoured van was killed in 1986 when $50,000 worth of quarters fell on him.

   James II of Scotland was attacking Roxburgh when one of his own cannon exploded and killed.

   The Earl of Morton was beheaded by the very guillotine which he had introduced into Scotland.

   Attila the Hun had a dozen wives but the last proved one too many. For he burst an artery and died while enjoying rampant sex with her on their wedding night.

   In 1957, King Haakon VII of Norway slipped on the soap in his marble bath and struck his head fatally on one of the taps.

   Napoleon’s stomach finished up in a silver pepper pot. His shriveled penis went on sale at a London auction room, but failed to reach its reserve price.

   Michael Anderson Godwin spent years awaiting the electric chair In South Carolina before finally his sentence for murder commuted to life imprisonment. Then in March 1989, while sitting on the metal toilet in his cell, he tried to fix his portable TV set. He bit into a wire and was electrocuted.


The History

   5000 years ago, people don’t have surnames, they are only identified through their occupation. Labrador (meaning laborer) identifies those who perform hard work in the fields. San Isidro is one of them, a tenant of a certain land. Despite his tardiness he always finishes his tasks for that day. His landlord wondered how the laborer finished his work despite being late, so one time he went to the field to see for himself how San Isidro does his job. Upon arriving at the field he saw an angel plowing the field. In shock and awe the landlord knelt, a scene immortalized in various images of San Isidro Labrador.

The Festival

   Pulilan Carabao Festival was created in honor of the carabao, the farmer’s companion in the fields and his helping hand during plantation and harvest, but the main reason on why it was created is to honor their patron saint, San Isidro de Labrador.
   Before the festival, the populace will have Novena for 9 days and for 24 days they will have a procession of the patron saint around different towns of Bulacan. After the said activities the festivities then commence.

The Scoop

   The day before the festival four drum and lyre bands with majorette dancers line up in front of the parish and perform their own set of moves and musical tunes as the crowd watches.
   At the day of the festival (May 14) the streets are flocked with carabaos, dancers, musicians, and floats resembling the farmer’s beast of burden. Dancers are adorned with colorful costumes and dance in fluid motion.

   What makes the festival memorable is the carabaos that kneel whenever they pass by the church, some of them walk while on their knees, a sign of homage to San Isidro de Labrador, the laborer who always finishes his job even when he arrives late.