17 December 2011

My Upcoming Blog in Tagalog (Filipino or Taglish Whatsoever)

My failed ambition to be a journalist has somewhat found satisfaction and exhilarating sense of fulfillment when I joined the wonderful world of Bloggers. Furthermore, Blogging has likewise filled up the void left by the unexpected disappearance of INBOX WORLD from the pages of the Philippine STAR of which I am a loyal participant since its inception.

I must admit I derive immense pleasure from Blogging as my command of the English language is further sharpened and developed with new literary horizons to delve in. However, since I have learned to be bi-lingual in speaking and writing in English and Tagalog, from my school years, I believe it will be a waste of resources if I won't try blogging in Tagalog.

15 December 2011

The Philippines on Antediluvian Crossroads - Final Episode

Notwithstanding the widespread devastation of various weather disturbances attributed to the effects of climate change and inevitable repetition in years to come, the government and the public sector seem indifferent to the gravity of the situation. Although there are some movements coming out intent to do their share in fighting climate change within their immediate vicinity/community, such commendable acts seem isolated. 

What is urgently needed will be a concerted, comprehensive action plan of the government which will marshal the national agencies in cooperation with all LGUs to start the immediate implementation of necessary corrective measures and/or possible engineering interventions particularly those areas hard-hit by the recent typhoons. However, the LGUs are in the best position to determine the areas under their responsibility which need such measures thereby limiting possible damage of any weather disturbance or natural calamities.

10 December 2011

The Philippines on Antediluvian Crossroads?! - Episode Four

Looking back to government's usual fading enthusiasm and short attention span during the past decades, corrective or preventive measures to avoid the repeat of disasters due to man-made or natural causes have not been rigorously pursued. A concrete example is the MV Dona Paz ferry sinking on December 20, 1987, which according to Maritime Disasters Blog can be considered the deadliest ferry disaster and the worst peace-time maritime disaster in history. As narrated by said Blog: "The Dona Paz, a passenger ferry, was en route from Catbalogan City, on Samar Island, Philippines, to Manila when, while it was in the Tablas Strait, between the islands of Mindoro and Tablas, it collided with a small oil tanker, the Vector, which was carrying 8,800 barrels of petroleum products.

5 December 2011

The Philippines on Antediluvian Crossroads!? - Episode Three

Inasmuch as the much vaunted Climate Change Academy of Albay is yet to impose its presence to the consciousness of the public outside the province of Albay, then the national government, thru the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), must enjoin other provincial governments to follow the lead of Albay. As this project is still in the infancy stage, whatever benefits it may accrue the communities under its sphere will take sometime to materialize. 

Thus, most of these LGUs will be on a wait and see mode until such time the Climate Change Academy of Albay will accomplish something beneficial and commendable worthy of emulation. However, considering the widespread destruction wrought by the series of typhoons that ravaged the Philippines in recent years, there should be preventive measures implemented immediately in disaster-prone areas to minimize the loss of lives and property thereat.

2 December 2011

The Philippines on Antediluvian Crossroads?! - Episode Two

President Aquino recently signed Resolution No. 2 approving the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) which is reportedly the first ever government action plan to respond to the challenge of climate change in the next 18 years. Corollary thereto, the office of the President issued a press release stating that President Aquino inaugurated on November 25, 2011 the Climate Change Academy of Albay as part of the government thrust to combat climate change and its ill effects particularly on the economy. 

The Academy, built inside the campus of the Bicol University, aimed to contribute in the national effort to fast track development of climate adaptation capabilities of the country particularly local government units (LGUs). The academy will empower and train LGUs for disaster management, evaluation of climate risk hazards and adaptive capabilities, planning and programming.

30 November 2011

Addendum - An Eye-View on the Arroyo Controversy

The recent developments on the court proceedings in the sala of Judge Jesus Mupas of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court which was trying the electoral sabotage charges filed by the Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) against former President Gloria Arroyo, now congresswoman, revealed interesting contradictions in relation to previous events. Indeed, the Arroyos, reportedly receiving advance info of the SC TRO to be issued on November 15, 2011 against the implementation of the watchlist order (WLO), booked themselves in four different flights to Singapore on the same date. 

The successful blocking of the Arroyos' departure by the immigration under strict order of the DOJ opened intense criticism from legal circles on alleged disrespect of the Supreme Court by the Aquino administration's refusal to follow the TRO. Furthermore, the Arroyos' defenders virulently charged that the executive department was laying the groundwork for a constitutional crisis with its failure to honor the SC TRO as well as endangering the life of the former president, whose alleged life threatening illness could only be treated abroad.

25 November 2011

An Eye-View on the Arroyo Controversy

For so many days now and up to this writing, the air waves and the pages of the tri-media all over the Philippines have continuously been bombarded ad nauseam with news, narratives and dissertations pros and cons about the Arroyos' travails emanating from their desire to leave the country purportedly for medical treatment abroad.  

On November 15, 2011, all hell broke loose when news came out that the Supreme Court (SC) issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining the executive department to remove the Arroyos from the Watch List Order and allowing them to travel abroad. The entourage of the Arroyos, led by their high priced lawyers brandishing a copy of the TRO, tried to pass the immigration and board the plane which would fly them to Singapore.

19 November 2011

The Philippines On Antediluvian Crossroads?! - Episode One

Is the Philippines slowly inching to an antediluvian crossroads?  So it seems as the events of recent years will eloquently delineate and the predictions borne by "The Inconvenient Truth" emanating from the inevitable climate change caused by global warming. The series of typhoons, particularly "ONDOY", "PEPENG", "PEDRING" and "QUIEL" have brought widespread and enormous flooding to low lying areas as well as tremendous destruction to public and private properties.  

As of this writing, with the devastation and the sufferings of affected residents wrought by said typhoons gone from the news headlines, the harsh eventuality of climate change is conveniently subsumed to national predilection for politics, scandals and what have you. Even those who profess their advocacy and national campaign to inculcate public awareness about climate change have now maintained deafening silence, perhaps waiting for another typhoon or disaster to occur thus capturing a slice of the headlines.

13 November 2011

An Ordeal in October - An Unexpected Painful Interlude

After my Blog published on October 5, 2011, my blogging affairs encountered an unwanted period of incapacity when my excretory functions had gone completely haywired.  Though I've already accepted that with advancing years, my physical constitution would be susceptible to various ailments, this particular excretory malfunction was unprecedented and so unlike the mild stroke that befell me in 1997. Then I managed to recover from said mild stroke within a short period of time causing negligible adverse effects.  On the other hand, this particular episode, highly excruciating as it was, revealed a shocking reminder of my imminent mortality which demands immediate medical attention to obviate possible debilitating effects.

5 October 2011

Another Sojourn to Typhoon ONDOY 2nd Anniversary Recollection

The recollection of Typhoon ONDOY 2nd Anniversary Recollection took several unintended twists that another sojourn is a must to this Blogger. My personal experience during that typhoon has scarred my psyche so immensely that only God knows when said episode will cease to haunt me. Indeed, it's a miracle that my wife and I survived since as non-swimmers, we could not possibly cross safely the raging 20 feet depth flood waters. Of course, God works in so many mysterious ways to cause my kind neighbors play the Good Samaritans and guide us to safety. 

While ONDOY'S 1st Anniversary was largely uneventful, the 2nd anniversary would be worrisome as manifested initially by Typhoon FALCON. The improved state of preparedness

1 October 2011

Typhoon "ONDOY" Second Anniversary - Conclusion

(NOTA BENE: This Blog's Conclusion starts to be written on September 26, 2011 itself. A Thanksgiving Mass is being offered this 10:00 AM at the Immaculate Concepcion Chapel of Provident Villages in commemoration of that tragic event two years ago.)

Without any food in our unit, I decided to go to the city public market to buy some provisions. Astonished at seeing so many people going to and fro St. Mary Avenue, the street fronting our apartment compound, I walked through the sidewalk covered with foot deep clinging mud towards the village gate. I could sense that many were either plain curious persons or scavengers whom I noticed picking up anything of value scattered along the way.

26 September 2011

Typhoon "ONDOY" Second Anniversary, A Recollection - Third Part

Most of us, adult refugees (?), found sleep very elusive, thus, we gathered around at the veranda to view the flooded streets of Provident Villages. As power supply was already cut off, total darkness reigned as far as our eyes could see. Of course, catnapping was resorted to when we could not drive away strong urge to fall asleep. Once, during the wee hours, we saw a helicopter hovering at the direction of Cubao which flew away after a few minutes. Another instance, we saw a motorboat approaching our area but which eventually veered away. The night passed away and there was no sign of any rescuers who would extricate us from our plight or give us any relief goods that might augment what our kind benefactors who opened their house and shared their food and clothes with us.

23 September 2011

Typhoon "ONDOY" Second Anniversary, A Recollection - Second Part

Like birds, we found ourselves perched on the topmost portion of the apartment roof, wondering what would happen next as we congregated closer to each other, trying to find comfort and warmth from each other. Sizing up our plight, I found out that we managed to take a blanket and an umbrella for protection from the imminent rains as dark clouds started to hover from the sky. Looking around, there was water everywhere swirling around the roofs of single-storey houses, some of which could be seen some people grouping like us waiting for the flood waters to subside. As occasional mild rains commenced, we huddled together as time passed away with all of the group shivering from cold due to lack of sufficient protective, warm clothing,

20 September 2011

Typhoon "ONDOY" Second Anniversary, A Recollection - First Part

September 26, 2011 will be the second anniversary of Typhoon "ONDOY" (international name KETSANA). "ONDOY" reportedly dumped 455 millimeters of rain in 24 hours on Quezon City, Philippines, as compared to 250 millimeters that Hurricane KATRINA brought to New Orleans in the United States in 2005. As said date is fast approaching, the painful and traumatic memories keep rushing back no matter how I've tried to erase them from the niches of my mind. I can only deduce that such harrowing experience is forever etched in my psyche.

The day before which was a Friday, heavy rains had intermittently been pouring in Marikina City, the place we've been residing since 1996. Our family was smugly confident that the situation would not get worse with our neighbors, the owners of the apartment compound

16 September 2011

After IRENE in the US. MINA in the PH, What? - Conclusion

What is happening to Marikina River has been replicated in many places in the Philippines where greedy developers and building owners likewise encroached on waterways such as rivers and its tributaries or esteros as commonly termed in Manila and its adjoining cities and municipalities. Thus, Sen. Manuel  Villar, Jr.'s Senate Bill 2956, also known as Housing Ban Along Riverbanks Act of 2011, is indeed very timely for as the good Senator stated in the news item carried by the Philippine STAR of September 13, 2011: "This bill aims to ban the construction of houses along riverbanks, waterways and banks of inland waters in order to prevent the loss of lives and property during heavy storms and floods."

13 September 2011

After IRENE in the US. MINA in the PH, What? - Fourth Part

President Aquino's administration has been pushing for the improvement of the government's capability and resources in coping with  natural calamities such as typhoons or earthquake despite being hobbled by limited funds and bureaucratic malaise as well as acts of omission or commission left by previous rulers. One recent news item which grabbed my attention was about Marikina River stretching from Rodriguez, Rizal and connecting with Pasig River in Pasig City. As my family has been residing in Marikina City since 1996 until this year 2011, such news will surely grip my undivided interest.

8 September 2011

After IRENE in the US, MINA in the PH, What? - Third Part

The government, past and present, woefully lacks the political will to stop the illegal logging and rampant activities of "kaingineros". Powerful patrons are the principal beneficiaries of such illegal activities thus tolerated for decades and resulting to disasters everywhere. With the findings that the remaining ten percent of the country's dwindling forest reserves are under constant encroachment from greedy loggers and "kaingineros", widespread floodings and landslides will certainly worsen. As climate change has introduced unprecedented and unimaginable intensity of weather changes and earthquakes, it is of utmost necessity and immense urgency for the government, both national and local, to think and institute all possible measures to at least mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

5 September 2011

After IRENE in the US, MINA in the PH, What? - Second Part

Despite the devastation wrought by Irene, rehabilitation of the affected areas will be effected in due time by the US government considering its eminent status as the sole world superpower and leading economy notwithstanding its de facto recession. Having done that in the aftermath of KATRINA, the effects of Irene will be fully and properly attended to by the American authorities.  With regards to the havoc of Mina inflicted to the Philippines, the Philippine government is finding extreme difficulties in the necessary rehabilitation efforts due to its usual financial limitations. The only saving grace is that the Aquino administration was able to improve the state of preparedness of the national and local government in coping with natural disasters especially typhoons which was woefully nonexistent during the time of Typhoon Ondoy.

2 September 2011

After IRENE in the US, MINA in the PH, What? - First Part

Headlines in newspapers and radio/television newscast here in the Philippines and cable news channels abroad like CNN, FOX, AL JAZEERA and BBC were all about varied news about the route taken by the Hurricane IRENE in the United States and the Typhoon "MINA" (international name Nanmadol). With the unprecedented destruction wrought by Hurricane KATRINA in 2005 on New Orleans, the approaching IRENE was met with widespread trepidation by residents of New York and its environs projected as lying along the hurricane's path. It was understandable considering that the last time said areas experienced such horrifying weather disturbance was reportedly in 1938, which was a considerable length of time past. Nevertheless, the affected areas will recover in due time knowing the resiliency and tremendous capability of the American government and people as proven in past calamities.

30 August 2011

Divine Justice or Karma to World Malefactors - Denouement

The maxim 'History repeats itself." is a truism which people seem forgetting through centuries with disastrous consequences. The harsh Russian winter decimated Napoleon's army of half a million men, a formidable force then. leaving some ten thousand men straggling home. The same fate befell Hitler though with a great difference. While Napoleon left some remarkable deeds like the Napoleonic Code that overwhelmed whatever ill effects caused by his invasion, Hitler earned mostly contempt and condemnation on account of his immense crimes against humanity.

Idi Amin Dada, the Butcher of Uganda, could be possibly the most notorious of all Africa's post-independence dictators. The number of his victims, either killed, tortured or imprisoned reportedly could be estimated from 100,000 to half a million. After his ouster in 1979, he was forced to flee in exile.

28 August 2011

Divine Justice or Karma to World Malefactors - Second Part

Many despots, dictators, rulers or prominent personalities in the world deigned to ignore the absolute truth that history repeats itself. Of course, they did it on their own peril which oftentimes resulted to widespread catastrophe with far reaching repercussion. For instance, Germany started World War I, yet the German people disregarded history and allowed Adolf Hitler, an Austrian born German politician, to manipulate them in launching World War II. Wilhelm II, the last German emperor, started World War I in support of Austria, whose Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian national. Emperor Wilhelm II was an ineffective war leader and lost the support of the army. He abdicated the throne and fled to exile in the Netherlands. 

Adolf Hitler, as the leader of the Nazi party, became the Chancellor of Germany and head of state or Fuhrer. He was instrumental in the rise of fascism in Europe and started World War

23 August 2011

Divine Justice or Karma to World Malefactors - First Part

Divine justice is said to demand punishment to correct what is wrong, to expel the evil, as medicine is said to expel the disease. On the other hand, the law of Karma says that "every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful." Likewise, it's also said that for every action, there will be a corresponding reaction. Yet, as the saying goes:  "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Thus, there're many world figures whose evil deeds had overshadowed whatever good they left the kingdoms or countries they once ruled. But, there are those whose very names invite revulsion, dread or immeasurable hatred, like Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Idi Amin.

Even lesser personalities could not escape Divine Justice or Karma when errant path was taken either unknowingly or deliberately. Remember Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., the patriarch of

17 August 2011

Social Transformation, Its Paramount Importance - Conclusion

President Aquino (P-Noy) deplored our culture of negativism and crab mentality where many of Filipinos have the proclivity of denigrating our country, culture and fellow Filipinos. I remember reading  not too long ago of many instances whereby many Filipinos abroad were denying their nationality and insisting they were either Japanese or Chinese. The worldwide admiration we reaped after the peaceful 1986 EDSA People Power dissipated and plunged to the abyss when our country was tagged Asia's most corrupt during the corrupt Arroyo regime.  

P-Noy exudes the necessary credibility so unlike his predecessor that he can and must lead the nation to embark on a perilous journey towards a vital and radical social transformation in the government starting from the top down to and the society particularly the elite, political

13 August 2011

Social Transformation, Its Paramount Importance - Third Part

President Aquino has the unenviable task of cleaning the Philippine Augean stables of culture of corruption seeping from the top down to the lower echelons of our government. His integrity is above reproach but many of his trusted advisers and appointees reportedly will not pass Caesar's wife criteria having succumbed to the systemic corruption in the government. But, with the full support of the citizenry, P-Noy can excise the malefactors from the government's rank and file in due time.

President Aquino must exorcise the politics of patronage practiced by most elected and appointed officials who exploit the government offices and agencies to enrich themselves and their patrons as well as building their political bases for future plans. Yet, it's a virtual

10 August 2011

Social Transformation, Its Paramount Importance - Second Part

When they're still campaigning, our elected officials eloquently profess that they will be the servants of the people. After being sworn to office, most of them become our lord and master doing what they please. It's said that our economy then was next to Japan during the time of President Diosdado Macapagal. The election of President Ferdinand E. Marcos started the downhill trend of our economy which culminated to its worst after the assassination of Ninoy Aquino. The interregnum of President Cory Aquino and President Fidel Ramos paved a meaningful recovery of the economy which was unfortunately devastated by the succeeding Erap and Arroyo administrations.

President Cory could have instituted radical change in the political system and mindset of elected officials as well as the upper and lower classes of the citizenry. However, she failed to do so as she allowed the return of the status quo existing prior to the Marcos dictatorship

7 August 2011

Social Transformation, Its Paramount Importance - First Part

Philippine President Noynoy Aquino, in his Second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25, 2011 before a Joint Session of Congress, called for social transformation in the Philippines.The following passages are lifted from the English translation of his SONA:

"Let us not acquire through patronage what we can acquire through hard work. No more cheating, no more taking advantage of others, no more one-upmanship - because in the end we will all realize our shared aspirations."

"Let us end the culture of negativism; let us uplift our fellow Filipinos at every opportunity. Why are there people who enjoy finding fault in our country, who find it so hard - as though it were a sin - to say something nice? Can we even remember the last time we praised a fellow Filipino?"

4 August 2011

The World is Living Dangerously to Armageddon?!!! - Conclusion

Corollary to the worldwide suspicion and hostility accorded to the United States by many Islamic people who have regarded the US as protector of oppressive rulers, the description of the Norwegian killer-bomber Anders Behring Breivik as a Christian terrorist reportedly made by TV host of HBO show "Real Time" on Friday, July 29, 2011, may add fuel to such enmity. I remember reading somewhere that Breivik professed some anti-Islam sentiments which tarnished the reputation of Norway as a neutral mediator in some conflicts between countries. This connotation will certainly encourage Islamic militants to aggressively advance their violent hate campaign against non-Islamic peoples.

Some Islamic radicals are vigorously asserting the existence of a Judeo-Christian conspiracy rather an alliance to subjugate the Islamic world, virtually a reenactment of the Crusaders' campaign to liberate the Holy Land from the rule of the Saracens. Due to the

1 August 2011

The World is Living Dangerously to Armageddon?!!! Second Part

Many upheavals and acts of terrorism that sprouted recently in various countries in the world possessed religious connotations or affiliations. The fact that most of such violence had links to Islam makes me shiver with great apprehension of the possibility that future conflicts could be along religious lines. Furthermore, though Al-Qaeda is disowned by most Islamic countries, the startling discovery that Osama bin Laden had lived safely for many years at the heart of Pakistan, a US ally, the certainty exists that the United States can never depend completely on the loyalty and cooperation of its perceived Islamic allies. Thus, despite the killing of Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda quickly recovered from that setback and appointed Ayman al-Zawahiri as Osama's successor.

Considering that Al-Qaeda and its affiliates belong to the Sunnis branch of Islam, to which most Islamic nations profess allegiance, the war against international terrorism led by the United States and its Western allies may draw ambivalent support from its Islamic allies such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, etc. Pakistan was an unreliable ally despite massive financial assistance given by the US for many years since the era of the Cold War between the West and then Soviet Union. This cold mistrust forced the US to insure utmost secrecy cutting off Pakistan from the loop in implementing the ultra-dangerous mission of eliminating Osama Bin Laden who's apparently enjoying the protection of the Pakistani powerful military. 

29 July 2011

The World is Living Dangerously to Armageddon?!! - First Part

The world has been astounded no end by the unexpected terroristic mayhem on Norway, a country renown for its pacifist orientation as exemplified by its involvement in peace-making activities. For Filipinos, Norway is known to be the mediator in the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine Government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army. My first impression upon hearing the news about Norway's bloody incident was that a foreign terrorist did it. When it was reported that a home-grown terrorist was the perpetrator, horror filled my mind. Is the world going mad?  Or is the world living dangerously or self-destructing towards Armageddon?

Armageddon is simply described as "a final conclusive battle between the forces of good and evil." Yet, it is virtually impossible to determine and conclude which can be categorized as the forces of good and evil. For instance, the 911 (September 11, 2001) incident which devastated several cities of the United States of America was perpetrated by nationals from countries with strong ties with the Americans such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. After investigation

25 July 2011

My Take on MY RANDOM THOUGHTS' "Col. Mariano's Statements Valid"

As I perused the three (3) major points raised in the above subject blog as lifted from Col. Mariano's statements as well as said blogger's views thereof, I felt compelled to elucidate my own take thereto. The major points are enumerated as follows:
1) He called on the people not to be fooled by sweet-talking liars and by statistics that runs counter to reality.
2) He said that the government is incapable of helping the people to escape poverty and death.
3) He further said, "If this government has no intention or is not doing any thing to save the life of the majority it is the right of every Filipino including soldiers to replace the government."
Col. Mariano seems to have a very demeaning low appraisal of the people's intellectual capability to determine what is truth from the self-serving praise releases churned out and proclaimed as unblemished gospel truth during the unlamented Arroyo regime. Perhaps, he was so bedazzled and enamored with the more than 9 years of Arroyo's Goebbels like propaganda and cover ups that he wishes P-Noy's abdication in favor of the return of the Arroyo mafia.

23 July 2011

Writing, the Second Love of My Life, the Denouement

Certainly, the series of setbacks which befell my former Group in our promotion of Modern Abattoir among many local government units compelled me to take a respite from my writing activities. Although, my advocacy concerning the plight of World War 2 veterans and their surviving did require me to write many letters addressed to the Office of the President at Malacanang Palace and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

In 2004, my interest was aroused by the Inbox section of the Philippine STAR, of which I have been a regular reader since the very first date of its publication. With a hand-me-down Nokia 3310 cellphone, I commenced texting my entries on the Inbox question of the day. Whenever I got hold of my daily copy of the STAR, after perusing the front page, invariably the Inbox section would be the cynosure of my attention. Seeing my entry published would please me immensely. Of course, a tinge of disappointment would befall on me should my entry failed to be published, hoping it would not be so in the next issue of the STAR.

21 July 2011

A Catholic's Pained View on PCSO's Anomalies

For a "Catolico Cerrado", the unfortunate involvement of some Catholic prelates in the stinking PCSO anomalies has caused tremendous anguish to many of us, Catholic laity. It's regrettable that some irresponsible entities with ulterior motives had engaged in half-truths to paint unflattering image of these few ecclesiastics which invariably besmirched the reputation of the Catholic Church in our country. The norm in tri-media is to double-check, if not triple-check, any news item prior to publication or dissemination. The fact that some media publications persisted in using the term "Pajero" vehicles while said bishops never bought such type with the PCSO donations certainly revealed some hidden agenda on their part. It was a good move on the part of the Catholic hierarchy to encourage the same bishops confront the issues head on during the Senate hearings on the PCSO case as the Church's side was fully and satisfactorily clarified before the presence of the sympathetic Senators.

But, the harm was done as such misrepresentation made by some unscrupulous news agencies tarnished the Church's image among the faithful. Many of us, Catholics, whose faith

15 July 2011

Writing, the Second Love of My Life - Second Part

After my successful stint in college on-the-spot essay contest, there was no other venue in the university where I could utilize since I did not bother to join the school organ. As a working student and family man, my time was occupied more in writing office memoranda and reports. However, in one of my regular trips going home to my family then in the province, I felt distressed at the sorry state of the diversion road used by public transport bypassing an ongoing major infrastructure under construction. Upon return to my city residence, I wrote a letter to the Editor of the Philippine Daily Express, then the major newspaper of national circulation during the Marcos dictatorship, deploring said dusty and rutty diversion road. A sense of pride and extreme satisfaction filled my being when my letter saw print in said newspaper as it was my letter to such publication and was published accordingly. Until now, I keep my newspaper clipping which has luckily survived "Ondoy's" wrath.

From thereon, in my employment with several engineering, my writing ability was further developed as my job advancement from simple clerical employee to handle supervisory

12 July 2011

Writing, the Second Love of My Life - First Part

Next to Reading, I started to develop my ability for Writing when I took my secondary education, first in the seminary and in high school at various parishes of assignment of the Catholic priest whom I joined as his factotum. There I got good grades in English composition and even passable in Pilipino. Of course, when I took a fancy on a pretty girl at school, I wrote her several letters in English with the help of my trusty Thesaurus. Unfortunately, my classmates then told me that said girl would not entertain me as she did not like the idea of consulting a dictionary to answer my love letters. Thereafter, I practiced my writing ability by having pen pals along with my class mates whom I convinced to do so.

After a year of working in then Greater Manila area, I got married. Still, I wanted to pursue my college studies knowing very well the value of education in future advancement in my line of work. Prior to enrollment, I was toying the idea of taking up journalism as I wanted to follow the footsteps of my favorite newspaper columnists then like Max Soliven and Teodoro Valencia. However, I was discouraged to do so having read of the low pay of newcomers in the newspaper business. Thus, I decided to take up commerce which would help me cope with the requirements of my work.

8 July 2011

The Filipinos' Changing Mores & Customs Lost

Maria Clara is very dead long, long ago! Long live, Lady Gaga! Many of young people nowadays have imbibed so much Western culture and customs which seems to bring the worst rather than the best of the Filipino whose "bayanihan" spirit has been recognized and emulated world wide. It's said that we lived in a convent for three hundred years and fifty years in Hollywood. But, we are influenced more by the Americans' way of life thus, a large percentage of Filipinos nurture the American dream which many try to achieve by hook or by crook.

Unfortunately, the consuming infatuation of many Filipinos with the American way of life has elicited the worst and undesirable traits among us rendering such copycats symbolic of the term "more popish than the Pope". Way back in the '70s, there was a news report about a survey claiming that 10% of female teenagers had lost their virginity In the 21st century, it's safe to assume that said survey rating has either doubled or trebled as our ballooning population is the probable result.

5 July 2011

My Random Thoughts: PNoy’s Ratings Plunged Once More

According to SWS survey results, the net satisfaction rating of PNoy plunged from 51% in March to 46% in June 2011. How the Aquino government view it now? ..." The Aquino government must perform well on its 2nd year to arrest its plunging ratings. Carping versus critics is not needed. Otherwise, P-Noy may meet Erap's fate in due time. Erap, during his time, was like a puppet swaying wherever his drinking buddies had directed to do so. Today, rightly or wrongly, P-Noy is perceived is influenced greatly in his appointment of government officials and making decisions by allies derogatively termed as KKK: "Kaibigan (friends), "Kaklase" (classmates) and "Kabarilan" (shooting buddies).

For instance, P-Noy is deemed highly protective of Undersecretary Rico Puno and LTO head Virginia Torres whose controversial performance is somewhat abetted to the detriment of

1 July 2011

When Falcon Almost "Ondoyed" My Weekend

June 19, 2011 was the 150th birth anniversary of the Filipino National Hero, DR. JOSE RIZAL.  However, the various celebrations programmed was marred by the rains brought by the southwest moon termed locally as "habagat" being pulled by the oncoming tropical depression Falcon (international name Meari). On June 22nd, Falcon intensified into a tropical storm, which, though not expected to make a landfall, was predicted by PAGASA (Philippines' Weather Bureau) to bring heavy rains to Metro Manila. 

The weather was fine in the morning of June 23, 2011 but cloudy sky all over. Thus, I left the house for an appointment in Quezon City fully prepared in case rains fell during my trip but did not. I returned home and took my lunch with the expected rains yet to come. Late afternoon, rains started to fall reportedly flooding several areas in Metro Manila thereby stranding many people catching their way home.

27 June 2011

Filipino Superstitions or Sayings and Various Connotations - Part One

We Filipinos, especially the Tagalogs, have so many superstitious beliefs that writing them into a compilation including their meanings or explanations can fill a book. Certainly, there could be writers who already made such a compilation. Thus, in this piece, the comments or repartee on some sayings I shall include herein are hoped to clarify for the benefit of non-Tagalogs.

"Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, di makakarating sa paroruunan."  It's roughly translated as one who forgets the past will not have a better future. A naughty repartee to it will be: "Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay may stiff neck." One who looks not to the past has a stiff neck. This usually applies to someone from below middle class who's lucky enough to get a very rich person as a partner and now puts on the air of arrogance of one who's born to the old rich.

22 June 2011

A Citizen's Perspective on the China-US Syndrome

The Philippines is now facing a very difficult geopolitical situation where its territorial integrity is threatened by the highly expansionist ambition of China, an emerging world superpower which may eclipse soon the present lone superpower, the United States of America. The Spratlys has now become a dangerous bone of contention among several countries of which China is the most powerful and overly aggressive while the Philippines is the weakest militarily.  

Furthermore, our country is in an unenviable situation as even its incontestable territory is encroached by the overreaching China which is invoking its historical rights that is now deemed obsolete by the international community. Who knows that in the near future, China becomes so inebriated with its new found might that it dares declare its historical rights over the whole Philippine archipelago. Since some delegations from pre-Spanish Filipino sultanates would regularly bring tributes to the court of the Chinese emperor, then the country could be considered a vassal state then of China.

16 June 2011

Rizal, the Hero of my Yesteryears

The Philippines will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, our National Hero on June 19, 2011. The national government has fittingly lined up several activities in recognition of this important date in our history. More so with my home province, Laguna, particularly Calamba City, where Rizal was born, grandiose celebrations are reportedly being feverishly prepared to commemorate this day. Indeed, this news certainly brings back some memories of my younger years when I loved to read history books, magazines and newspapers, devouring every item which caught my fancy. Then, I was more interested in Rizal's life and achievements though Bonifacio, Aguinaldo, Mabini and other heroes were likewise objects of my reading habits.

10 June 2011

Today's Youth vis-a-vis the Youth of Yesteryears

The youth today is more fortunate and immensely techno-savvy than the youth of yesteryears. The latest gadgets or equipment in technology are available for entertainment, education or what have you, be they smartphones, laptop, tablet, etc. so forth and so on, everything money can buy. Such modern tools have made life so easy and comfortable as well as practically no sweat as they say. 

Music or movies can be available without leaving the confines of homes or braving the overbearing heat of the vehicular traffic. For students, they have the Internet to access

3 June 2011

A Catholic's Take on the RH Bill

The Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, its pros and cons, has been bitterly debated extensively in the halls of Congress with the people's attention zeroing intensely on every proceedings therein. For this blogger who has been a Catholic since birth, through more than sixty-six (66) calendar years and definitely until the end of my life, it pains me so much that the larger problem of a ballooning population is glossed over by harping endlessly on the claimed objectionable provisions of the bill. 

The antis are insisting that the bill is pro-abortion in toto thus necessitating its eventual rejection, nothing else will matter. Yet, the antis have conveniently excluded from the equation the tolls exacted on the country's economy in the present and the near future by the run-away population abetted by the hopelessly corrupt and woeful Arroyo regime and with the virtual imprimatur of our Catholic Church.

It's given that in more than nine (9) years of the Arroyo regime, the government accorded lip service to the need of arresting the population explosion since ex-President Arroyo was deathly fearful of losing the support of the powerful Catholic Church. Sadly, I have to admit that the Catholic Church should share the blame along with the government in the existing population problem. Considering that more than 80% of the population belongs to the Catholic faith, the Catholic Church has failed to exert its moral authority to influence the low income families limit the number of their offspring.

31 May 2011

Moral Decay of Filipinos - Ultimate Dissertation

A convergence of infatuation with Hollywood's movies and creeping culture of corruption, which seeds were sown by the Marcos dictatorship, have personified the moral degradation of Filipinos. Star-struck mentality swept the rich and famous, the political elite and all levels of society. It began when the government itself allowed the construction of the eventually ghost-haunted Manila Film Center where explicit and sex-oriented foreign films uncensored by then Board of Censors were exhibited to record-breaking crowds. 

In due time, local film producers followed suit by producing movies where bare skins were the primary attraction rather than exceptional story lines. Thus, the shy and demure Maria Clara-type film stars were replaced by daring and baring sexy bombshells whose allure and exploits later on extended beyond the silver screen into real life.

27 May 2011

Moral Decay of Filipinos - Penultimate Dissertation

What was previously regarded as taboo in a morally upright society had earned grudging tolerance and virtual acceptance when a performance-challenged solon proudly flaunted publicly his marital indiscretions. Notwithstanding religious disapproval, an immature electorate was hoodwinked to award him the highest political post of the land on the basis of his national fame as a multi-awarded movie actor. Just as the Marcos dictatorship was toppled by EDSA People Power Revolution, also known as EDSA 1, the Erap Estrada rule was cut short by EDSA 2 which installed the constitutional succession of the Arroyo regime. 

Of course, the corruption and excesses of the Arroyo regime that could approximate the Marcos era would be another long story. Still, the immaturity of the voters awashed with star-struck mentality persists until who knows when as famous non-performing assets manage to remain in public office.

24 May 2011

Moral Decay of the Filipinos

Many columnists have decried for so long a time that the Filipinos' moral values have deteriorated for so many decades. The tremendous deprivation suffered by most Filipinos during the Japanese occupation had certainly scarred the psyche of many who subscribed to the idea that the end did justify the means to achieve the objective of winning the survival of the fittest. As money is said to be the root of all evils so political power provided the door to amass oodles of money.   

In the 1948 presidential elections between Elpidio Quirino and Jose P. Laurel, dirty politics reared its ugly head as the birds and the bees as well as the dead were said to cast their votes. President Quirino's administration gained notoriety for its rumored "golden arinola" or chamber pot in English. But, it was overshadowed by its highly controversial Senate President who uttered the haughty statement "What are we in power for!".  Nevertheless, the graft and corruption of this era could be considered peanuts when compared to the gargantuan rapacity of the succeeding Marcos-Erap-Arroyo triumvirate.

21 May 2011

What's in a Name?

What is in a name?  I remember reading somewhere that some foreigners have found it amusing and peculiar Filipinos' penchant of giving their children names which connote various and different meanings. Come to think of it, I grew up very fond and proud of my name, William, since many world famous persons bear said name. Among them, I like William Shakespeare most as I happened to read some of his writings such as "Julius Caesar", "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Hamlet". When I was still in my hometown and staying at the parish convent as a factotum, I looked over my baptismal record and I found out that my listed name is Guillermo and not William. However, as my school records had William as my name, I did not bother to change it. Of course, even at my senior years, I enjoy the hilarious feeling of having various nicknames such as Boy, Willy, Bill and Willyboy.

Going back to Filipinos' distinct, queer and sometimes confusing name-giving, many parents name their kids after flowers and what have you. Thus, Rose seems to be the overwhelming favorite female appellation derived from the name of a flower with Mary as the run-away choice name from saints. For males, John and Joseph or the Filipino version seem to predominate. On the other hand, few parents name their kids Jesus out of deep reverence for the Son of God. Why? As parents tend to harshly reprimand their erring sons, it would be a sign of great disrespect for the Creator to utter harsh words against a son named Jesus.

19 May 2011

The Damaged Culture of Filipinos - Ultimate Episode

Under the Americans, the Filipinos in general pursued their quest for independence under the leadership of Aguinaldo. However, the Ilustrados abandoned Aguinaldo and offered their services to the Americans which offer was readily accepted. Thus, political opportunism commenced and highlighted the division among the Filipinos running through several generations until the present.

Fast forward to the Philippines post World War 2. The devastation wrought on the economy by the brutal Japanese occupation intensified the political division damaging further the national psyche. The Filipinos who collaborated with the Japanese during the war for whatever reasons were either indicted in court or ostracized in society.

4 May 2011

The Damaged Culture of Filipinos - Penultimate Episode

Our ancestors during the Spanish period had education provided in schools established by the religious orders. This enabled the people to learn how to read and write which in the long term provided the basis to yearn for freedom denied by the Spanish conquerors. Despite the benefits derived from the conquerors, the conquered would pine and work for the liberty to chart the destiny without the dictates of said conquerors. 

Many have wondered why the Filipinos endured more than 300 years under Spanish rule. One plausible reason could be the divide and conquer stratagem of the Spanish rulers. It was helped immensely by the intense proselytizing efforts of the Spanish missionaries who converted many Filipinos to Catholicism. Remember Rajah Humabon of Cebu who was baptized by a Catholic priest accompanying the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan.

28 April 2011

The Damaged Culture of the Filipinos

Two of my favorite columnists in the Philippine STAR, F. SIONIL JOSE and my tocayo, WILLIAM M. ESPOSO, have been writing for a long time now that we, Filipinos, have a damaged culture. I remember to read somewhere a naughty quip that former President Arroyo is more of an agriculturist rather than an economist. Why? Because under her administration, the Culture of Corruption, the Culture of Violence and Culture of Impunity thrived and were tolerated virtually with official sanction from the highest echelon of government.  

Who can forget that incident during the time of the unlamented Arroyo regime where invited congressmen trooped to Malacanang and reportedly received paper bags each of which contained P500,000.00 in cold cash! Even then Pampanga Governor, a Catholic priest, Fr. Ed Panlilio, was given a bag of cash which he naturally turned down after revealing to the press such