Friday, February 25, 2011

Erap tells Noynoy to crack down hard on corruption

There is something wrong about this news. I wonder if this is  a hoax.

Erap to Noynoy: Go all out against corruption

 On the 25th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution, former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada on Friday urged President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III to go all out against corruption.

"I hope that the incumbent President, who believed in the spirit of the 1986 EDSA 1 People Power revolt, would fulfill his campaign promise of going all out against corruption not only in the military," Estrada told reporters.

Estrada issued the message to Aquino after attending the unveiling of the historical site marker at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) where former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino, the late mother of the incumbent President, delivered a speech during the 1986 People Power uprising.

The late President Ferdinand Marcos was ousted after EDSA 1, which put in power the late President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, the mother of the incumbent President.

On the other Estrada was ousted after EDSA 2 or the January 2001 EDSA People Power uprising, which placed former President Gloria Arroyo in power.

Estrada appealed to the people to give the incumbent president time to prove himself.

“Let’s give him enough time dahil sa dami ng problemang iniwan nung nakaraang administrasyon, you cannot expect a miracle, he’s only barely 8 months [in office]," he said.

Icon of corruption?

Estrada also expressed hope that Aquino will correct "all the nine years of the Gloria [Arroyo] administration who corrupted all agencies of the government."

After six years in detention, Estrada was convicted of plunder in September 2007. A month later, then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo pardoned him.

Estrada even called Arroyo, now a Pampanga congresswoman, as an “icon of corruption" while hailing former President Cory as an “icon of democracy."

Responding to Estrada's statements, Arroyo's son, party-list Rep. Mikey Arroyo told GMA News in a text message, "The last time I checked, it's not GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) who is out of jail through a presidential pardon.

"In any case, I believe that unity must be the focal point of the commemoration of EDSA 1," Mikey said.

"I appeal to our elders to refrain from dishing out such derogatory statements. God Bless us all during the 25th anniversary of EDSA 1," Mikey added. — LBG/VVP, GMA News

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Naku Ha!

Too Arrogant, too cocky 
It seems that some senators are getting the impression that their positions are like kings and that when they say that you are guilty, you have no right to defend yourself anymore. Worse are those who have criminal records. They may have put on expensive clothes like you do on a  monkey but they still act like monkeys. 

Role Models?
Sharon Cuneta is mad that her daughter KC would be dragged into a sex video gossip with hayden Kho. She then said that she raised her up as a decent person and names ex-husband Gabby Concepcion as proof that KC was brought up respectable. Wasn’t Gabby charged with bigamy when he returned to the Philippines? Before that,  he was involved in an award scandal when he read a different name than what was written on the card at the order of her then-manager Lolit Solis. Then, he disappeared for the US and married another woman. This counts as a role model that Sharon brags for her daughter KC? 

Role Models II?
Then, we have drug mules Ramon Credo, 42, and Sally Villanueva, 32, and Elizabeth Batain, 38 who were scheduled for execution for China when they were given a reprieve by China.  Prior to the reprieve,
Villanueva’s family were all over the news painting her as the supportive sister sending them money and goods. But she was not sentenced to death because of that, but for being a drug mule. Yet, Philippine media keep telling stories of the hard work that these three do as ofw’s to support their families. What ofw does not? But you don’t see millons of others smuggling drugs to augment their income. You will read stories of their meagre income from abroad. Well, what about a non-existent income if they stayed in the Philippines? How stupid do these supporters of drug mules really think we are? They say they were paid to bring goods with them that they thought were office supplies. REALLY??? OFFICE SUPPLIES??? What! The receiver of the supposed package cannot buy paper clips at the destination? This is the best bullshit they can come up with? 

Sports club at $6 a month?
I usually receive flyers for Extreme Fitness advertising cheap monthly rates. One time, I received a flyer announcing $6 a month for two months as long as those two months are prepaid. 
I went to Extreme Fitness and inquired. The rates are not posted on the front desk. They make you sign a few details about you and then they will call someone to “help” you.  
The rep asked me why I went there. I showed her the flyer. Then, she proceeded to ask me what my goals are, how determined I am to achieve them, my weight, what I want to weigh afterwards, my work, how far do I work from their location, my work hours, etc...Then, she offered to show me the gym. I declined. That’s when she got surprised. I said I don’t need to see the machines. She acted surprised that I would not want to see what I was “buying.” I told her I do not need to see 50 treadmills, 50 stationary bikes, etc...! In short, she was trying to prolong talking to me before getting to the price. She showed me a binder with three pages. The first two pages were just photocopies of their ads. The third page was the price and stated that I need to commit to 10 months at $76 per month with the first two months at the promotional price of $6.  I told her I’d think about it. That’s when the hard sell started. “What do you need to think about? You want to lose weight right?” That’s when it occurred to me why she was asking me my goals before getting to the price. They want to be able to use what you told them against you. “Is it the price,” she asked. I said no. If I said yes, then, she will make me a deal which will still not be satisfactory to me. I only wanted two months. There was that option also. But I remembered what somebody told me before. You cannot exercise in peace because they will be pestering you while you exercise to sign long term. I walked out of there. Kung hindi makapal ang mukha mo to walk out, do not even walk in a gym club and inquire. Mapapa-sign ka.
The rate sheet was only one page anyway. Why don’t they just post that on the front desk? 

We are being left behind
There seems to be a certain group of men where having more than one woman is part of the job. In the Philippines, it’s military men. Here in Toronto, it’s men in the newspaper profession. My friend Nena Gumapac relayed this story to me. She knows of some publishers who have had two or more wives - either at the same time or one at a time. I told this story to my friend and he concluded that we are being left behind. I agree with him. I believe me and my friend have a lot of catching up to do.  Women of Toronto, here we come, the guwapos. Ehe, Santa Maria Santisima.

What the internet is good for
Communicatiing with people. I lost my free high speed internet courtesy of one of my neighbours since last December. I did not know what to do. I usually surf facebook. I was at a lost. How will I send messages to people? Finally, I hit on a unique idea. I called them by phone and talked to them. Whew. I am so brilliant.  I am sure I am the only one who thought of this. :D :)      

Froy Baking on Facebook
Dear Lord, asawa ko po ang ka-date ko ngayon. Sana po ganon din ang mga kaibigan ko para patas kami.

Lovelife of PNOY 
The preoccupation with President Aquino’s  lovelife or lack of it has become a very big issue that even the Wall Street Journal made it a story in the front page last February 17.  He seems to have fashioned himself like the character of Michael Douglas in the movie The American President co-starring Annette Bening.  PNOY has made it a point of complaining about the media’s preoccupation with this lovelife while bemoaning the the lack of attention paid to progress made in running the country. He better be careful what he wish for. If the press pay too much attention to the state of the nation’s affairs instead of his personal affairs, they might find out that the Philippines did not accomplish anything at all since he took office.



Saving Face
China is still one of those countries that has death penalty for drug crimes. They can reprieve it once or twice. But three times? Philippines is pushing it if they think they can ask China to forgive crimes committed by Filipinos for life. I am not sure if China still puts importance in saving face. I know the Philippines does not care anymore. In fact, an Australian diplomat has already called the Philippines a basket case, meaning hopeless. Philippines may not care about saving face anymore but if China still does, they will not do it every time  a Filipino commits crime. China seems to be acting as the big brother to the Philippines by letting it’s transgressions slide. The hostage crisis is not on the front page anymore. Was the deportation of Taiwanese citizens to China a payment for the reprieve of the OFW’s? If so, was it worth it to anger Taiwan, which is home to 80,000 OFW’s? Did China even ask for it? How many times can China reprieve Filipino criminals before their own citizens start targetting innocent OFW’s for getting preferential treatment? How many times can VP Binay go back and forth to China before Chinese officials get tired of seeing his face asking for one reprive after another? And let’s face it, he’s not that good-looking anyway for them to want to see it on a regular basis.  

Model guest?
There is nothing more infuriating, annoying, maddening and just plain rude than an un-invited guest who eats more than the invited ones, usually finishing the more delicious deserts and leaves nothing for others. Ususally, these are the people who tags along with the invited guest, who happens to be their relative or friend.  That is why I hope walang nakakita sa akin sa desert table sa 50th birthday ni Mr. Roland Ornales sa Quiapo, Quiapo. Ehe, susmaryosep, ano ba itong nasabi ko? I assure you, the vertically-full plate you saw me holding were for everyone on my table.


A Touch of Glamour
A featured singer is a necessity in a party. I accompanied Maria Panaligan, a 12-year old singer in the community. They were invited by Sunshine Asuncion of Quiapo Quiapo for Roland Ornales’ 50th birthday. Her mom said that a party in hall is not complete without at least a featured accomplished singer. I am not talking of just any karaoke singers. If all what was needed was a karaoke singer, then, a couple of drinks and anyone will be singing like an out-of-tune canary.    

Sunday, February 13, 2011

An General implicated in corruption commits Suicide - BUT WHY?

Is it because he is ashamed of what he did? Or was it really an act of an innocent man unjustly implicated? Will the investigations lead nowhere as it has any investigation before it? In NCIS, the character of Mark Harmon, Jethro Gibbs, favorite line is "Just doing my job." Are there still any public servant in the Philippines who are just doing their job. If the politicians and public servants in the Philippines just do their job, we will not be uncovering one corruption, launching one investigation, with regularity and then forgotten.


A general's suicide: Hara kiri or hala bira?

A colleague of mine asked me whether the recent suicide of a Filipino general was in some sense a "hara kiri." I wished it was. But I told her that while it is a lovely parallelism, it is a non-sequitur. 

For how could it be that, when we do not have the Japanese culture of ritual suicide? And how could it be that, when we do not have the Japanese feudal history that gave rise to this practice as an integral part of the code of bushido and the discipline of the samurai warrior class?

I proposed to her that what we have in the Philippines is not the social practice of "hara kiri" but the social paean to “hala bira." She was puzzled.

Deeply, catholic in origin, "hala bira" is an adaptation of "Mardi Gras" which is French for "Fat Tuesday" referring to the practice of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten Season, which starts on Ash Wednesday. In many areas of the world, the term Mardi Gras has come to mean a period of activity related to celebratory events and merrymaking.

In Western Visayas, Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan Mardi Gras and Iloilo’s Dinagyang Mardi Gras where the yell is popularized, it is rendered as a tribute in devotion to Santo Niño.

In Kalibo, the tagline "Hala Bira (Hit Them)" comes from the (latently racist) folktale that Santo Niño once saved Kalibo from Moro raiders in the 17th century. It is believed that artillerymen repulsed the raid with the battle cry as gunpowder smoke blackened their faces. The shooters emerged from the fighting looking like the dark-skinned Atis (Negritos), thus, the term Ati-Atihan.

In Iloilo, it is a tagline expressing merrymaking (dinagyang) in honor of Santo Niño whom the Ilonggos believe can be miraculous in times of famine and drought.

Despite its religious import, what strikes me the most about “hala bira" is its bacchanalian symbolism--- its ritual of fattening ones’ self with rich food before fasting, its riotous and wild revelry intensified by the consumption of alcohol from street booths installed along the parade route. If just for a moment, one can be uninhibitedly greedy. If just for one moment, one can be unaccountably intoxicated.

Like a herd of drunk politicians, civil servants, and military leaders running wildly and grabbing anything they can get hold of while in the corridors of power --- Sige, hala bira!What are we in power for? Everyone’s on the take. Sige bigyan mo si Sir, si Ma’am, si Misses, si Anak, si Apo, etcetera.

Unfortunately, after the intoxication wears off, there is one problem---the hangover. Whether it is a physical, psychological, moral, or spiritual hangover---what matters now is how one responds to it. Some get depressed, some become calloused, some commit suicide, and some live a semblance of a religious life. How others live their lives is still a mystery to me, especially the dishonest and shameless ones. But that is another story.

If hara kiri symbolizes a selfless act borne out of one's duty to fellow soldiers or citizens, hala bira symbolizes a selfish act borne out of one’s self-indulgence or personal aggrandizement.

It is sobering to be reminded of the side of the general’s death and the mourning of his family and friends. And yet, it is more sobering to recall the other side---the side of lowly soldiers who died because the resources intended to protect them in battle had been skimmed by their superiors---the side of poor military families who practically have to scrounge or beg for financial assistance to bury their dead while family members of their superiors are celebrating their “hala bira" real estate binging in the U.S.

This is a social issue and not a personal issue. I wish our leaders would treat it as such and not allow it to blow over just like the other investigations of corruption. The resolution of this investigation is a benchmark for the kind of country that we want to become. Our confidence to effect dramatic changes for our country must not be shaken.

Let’s move forward with the investigation!

The author is an urban and regional planning consultant and a professor of urban sociology and urban planning at California State University, East Bay. He has written books on the American Urban Regional Experience and Perspectives on Urban Society.Email: efren.padilla@csueastbay.edu

Friday, February 11, 2011

Naku Ha!

PIDC beauties at PCCF
PCCF, a new organization to rival PIDC, is holding a festival with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Toronto called Pinoy Fiesta complete with trade show booths. PCCF, which is run by Rosemer Enverga, formerly of PIDC will also have Santacruzan complete with formerly PIDC beauties. Enverga used to run the pageants of PIDC. Is it possible for PIDC beauties to appear at PCCF? Of course. Their terms have ended by then. Even still-current PIDC titlist Naomi Macapagal can appear at Pinoy Fiesta, if she is asked and she says yes. As far as I now, pageant contracts are only one year - unless Rosemer made it in perpetuity on behalf of PIDC when she was still running it. Obviously, their sash will not say Ms PIDC so and so anymore. 
Sports club at $6 a month?
I usually receive flyers for Extreme Fitness advertising cheap monthly rates. One time, I received a flyer announcing $6 a month for two months as long as those two months are prepaid. 
I went to Extreme Fitness and inquired. The rates are not posted on the front desk. They make you sign a few details about you and then they will call someone to “help” you.  
The rep asked me why I went there. I showed her the flyer. Then, she proceeded to ask me what my goals are, how determined I am to achieve them, my weight, what I want to weigh afterwards, my work, how far do I work from their location, my work hours, etc...Then, she offered to show me the gym. I declined. That’s when she got surprised. I said I don’t need to see the machines. She acted surprised that I would not want to see what I was “buying.” I told her I do not need to see 50 treadmills, 50 stationary bikes, etc...! In short, she was trying to prolong talking to me before getting to the price. She showed me a binder with three pages. The first two pages were just photocopies of their ads. The third page was the price and stated that I need to commit to 10 months at $76 per month with the first two months at the promotional price of $6.  I told her I’d think about it. That’s when the hard sell started. “What do you need to think about? You want to lose weight right?” That’s when it occurred to me why she was asking me my goals before getting to the price. They want to be able to use what you told them against you. “Is it the price,” she asked. I said no. If I said yes, then, she will make me a deal which will still not be satisfactory to me. I only wanted two months. There was that option also. But I remembered what somebody told me before. You cannot exercise in peace because they will be pestering you while you exercise to sign long term. I walked out of there. Kung hindi makapal ang mukha mo to walk out, do not even walk in a gym club and inquire. Mapapa-sign ka.
The rate sheet was only one page anyway. Why don’t they just post that on the front desk? 

We are being left behind
There seems to be a certain group of men where having more than one woman is part of the job. In the Philippines, it’s military men. Here in Toronto, it’s men in the newspaper profession. My friend Nena Gumapac relayed this story to me. She knows of some publishers who have had two or more wives - either at the same time or one at a time. I told this story to my friend and he concluded that we are being left behind. I agree with him. I believe me and my friend have a lot of catching up to do.  Women of Toronto, here we come, the guwapos. Ehe, Santa Maria Santisima.

What the internet is good for
Communicatiing with people. I lost my free high speed internet courtesy of one of my neighbours since last December. I did not know what to do. I usually surf facebook. I was at a lost. How will I send messages to people? Finally, I hit on a unique idea. I called them by phone and talked to them. Whew. I am so brilliant.  I am sure I am the only one who thought of this. :D :)      

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Is Noynoy the president or the wannabe playboy?

I agree with all your points except one. But believe me, had the results of the election been different, I would still agree with you that BA3 should not have run anymore if all he wants to do is be seen as a playboy senator. Kasi, the ironic part is that if he did not run, Joseph Estrada would have won again. Ito lang ba ang choices ng mga kababayan natin – An overaged, balding, Porsche-driving, non-achieving former senator, wannabe playboy and an impeached, hard-drinking, hard-partying, gambler of a former President?

 

Stop being Noynoy, be the President

But Aquino tends to forget that he is no longer Noynoy, the bachelor, or Noynoy, the gun enthusiast. Since he took his oath as the President of the Republic of the Philippines, he should have ceased to be Noynoy and become His Excellency, Benigno S. Aquino III, the President of the Republic of the Philippines. If he had said from the start that he could not separate himself from Noynoy, the bachelor, then maybe we shouldn’t have supported him at all.
Aquino and his barkadas still think stopping by a hotdog stand on a New York street for a bite of that famous hotdog sandwich was cute, explaining that it showed that Aquino remains the same simple Noynoy, but ignoring the fact that it exposed him to security risks. He used to do that when he lived in Boston with his exiled father as a teenager, why couldn’t he do it now?
Just recently, he was photographed in a pizza parlor in Baguio City with some of his buddies in the Cabinet and an unidentified lady. Until now, he would divert his convoy to a favorite restaurant to grab a bite to eat. Whether these are being done as a publicity stunt to show Aquino has remained the simple Noynoy is beyond the point. What we are worried about is the security risk he is exposed to every time he does that.
Reports say Noynoy drove all the way to the speedway at SLEX to test his new toy and his barkadas were proud to say that he was a good speed driver. Obviously, the speed trainer that went with the Porsche was a good mentor.
Okay, so we get it. Noynoy remains unaffected by the trappings of power and remains the same Noynoy who loved target shooting, eating at his favorite joints in the middle of the night, eating hot dogs from food carts, and now driving fast cars. Hallelujah!
But we don’t need Noynoy, the man on the fast lane. We want Aquino, the leader.
If he wasn’t ready to transcend Noynoy, the bachelor, he shouldn’t have strived to be the leader of a nation beset with gigantic problems. He should have stayed on as Sen. Noynoy Aquino, where he could stay up all night, date disinterested women, and sleep off Senate sessions, and perhaps nobody would even notice.
But he run to become the President of the impoverished people of the problem-plagued Philippines who expected so much of him, who continue to hope that he would deliver them from poverty and political abyss. As the leader of a hopeful nation, he should not just be simple and honest, but decisive and sensitive to the people’s needs and feelings.
He cannot go around driving a P4.5-million Porsche while almost half of the population cannot even find enough money to pay for transportation fares and toll fees that he had allowed to be raised just a few days earlier.
He cannot go around driving a Porsche while 30 percent of the people cannot even find a decent meal for days on end, according to a survey by the Social Weather Station released just a few days earlier.
He cannot go around driving a flashy Porsche while the judiciary is making a mockery of his anti-corruption drive, and while the allies of his predecessor are obviously pushing aggressively to make him a lame duck president by trying to amend the Constitution and sending his Liberal Party in disarray.
He cannot go around driving an expensive Porsche and think his poor people would continue believing that he is the God-sent savior to liberate them from hunger and injustice.
He cannot go around driving a Porsche and think that nobody would question who was the generous seller who would sell a low-mileage, nearly brand-new luxury sports car for almost half the price it should have pegged in the open market? Or think people would not wonder why a known luxury sports car dealer, as reported by former Sen. Ernie Maceda in his column, had been appointed vice president for marketing of cash-rich Pagcor?
If Aquino can make a decision to buy a Porsche and not worry about or not know its consequences to his image, leadership and to the people’s feelings, can you imagine what kind of decisions he is liable to make in matters that would affect the country and the people? He cannot even decide on matters of the heart, how can he make firm decisions on matters of the state?
These actions of the unaffected Noynoy may not matter much to his buddies in the Cabinet, but knowing his nonchalance and his obvious lack of sensitivity, how can we not worry that Aquino, the President, is not leading us to the “tuwid na daan” but to the scary lanes of race tracks?