Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Why I am ashamed (read: disgusted) of the Philippine government

Ipinsagmamalaki ko na ako’y isang Pilipino, ngunit ikinahihiya (kinasusuklaman) ko ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas. (I’m proud to be a Filipino, but I’m ashamed (read: disgusted) of the Philippine government)

The administration of President BS Aquino is following a straight path (daang matuwid) in making the country prosper. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Right. A group of individuals called whistleblowers bravely exposed massive corruption under Pres. BS Aquino’s administration that involves a number of legislators, both from the upper (senate) and lower (house of representatives) house of congress. But wait, there’s more. Some people said that Pres. BS Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program is unconstitutional. But the guy behind the straight path proved them wrong. October 30 of last year, he gave out speech that belied accusations that DAP is unconstitutional. So, it’s not illegal after all, since it was the president himself who signed it and the budget was approved by Budget sec. Butch Abad who even defended the legality his approval of the disbursement of the Filipino people’s money.

One of the fund’s beneficiary, instead of the Filipino people, is Janet Lim Napoles (no need to link to an external site because only a caveman is unfamiliar of her). She is the one they call ‘the’ Pork barrel queen. But she wouldn’t have been the pork barrel queen without Butch A bad teaching her the in’s-and-out’s of setting up a foundation to earn money.

Lo and behold, the Supreme Court ruled DAP as unconstitutional. This will then pave the way for impeachment cases against the president. Hopefully this will not be maneuvered by the administration as they hold numbers in terms of ally headcount in the congress.

The promise of a good governance by the Aquino administration now looms as another false hope. More of an illusion. They have launched an active campaign to prosecute legislators who apparently misalocated their PDAF when the president himself appears to be guilty as well. And as far as I’m aware of, if a government official failed to defend the constitution or acts contrary to it, taxpayers have the right to unseat them. Hopefully, the court proceedings will not be manipulated by the allies of the ruling party.

In other news, Filipina actress Nora Aunor (known as the Superstar of Philippine cinema) was removed from the list of individuals being considered to be awarded as National Artists. This was due to previous reports that she allegedly used illegal drugs. If this is the case, then Pres. BS Aquino and Butch A bad should also be removed from the government by way of impeachment as their ‘brainchild’ (DAP) is unconstitutional.

Nora Aunor wearing a statement shirt

 

People of the Philippines vs Pork Barrel

August 26, a national Holiday celebrating the National Heroes Day witnessed the gathering or more than 400,000 hungry (and hungry) Filipinos crying for justice. They all want to put and end to a culture that tolerates the “development assistance funds” of the members or the bilateral Philippine Congress, both the lower house (House of Representatives) and upper house (Senate) (READ: PDAF or infamously known as Pork Barrel.

Recently, the people of the Philippines became more aware of the irregularities of the pork barrel, involving a number of individuals (including some known senators. One even claimed that some people are doing this to destroy his name as he is considersing to run in the next elections in 2016. The position would be, ehem, President.

Although an estimate of the crowd is just about 400,000-strong, a number of similar protests happened around the world with a number of OFWs joined the cause and voiced out their feelings as they are the people we call modern heroes as their remittances contribute a lot to the country’s financial growth.

This is only the beginning. We will constantly remind the government that we are the boss of the Philippine president and that he cannot disobey our commands.

Image source GMA NEWS Online

We pay our taxes dutifully every month and we want an explanation how it is being spent, as much as how we demand a receipt when we purchase something.

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Filipinas, anyone?

In a resolution dated April 12, 2013, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) suddebly decided to refer to our country as “Filipinas”, instead of Pilipinas .

They said it was a “modernized” version of Filipinas, the name given by Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, in honor of then Prince Philip of Spain. It was originally called Archipelago of St. Lazaro by Fernando Magallanes (Ferdinand Magellan). Should he had not been killed by Lapu-lapu, the country would’ve been still named after St. Lazarus.

The name Philippines is supposedly an influence by the Americans who occupied the county after more than 300 years of Spanish regime. So when the country adopted the modern Filipino alphabet, the commission decided to revive the use of Filipinas instead of the Philippines we are used to using.

Although I’m not a Catholic, I prefer the name Magellan named our country, instead of Philippines named after Prince Philip of Spain.

Plus the fact if you try to google the word Filipina, whom KWF wants our country to be called, you’ll come upon porn sites or even mail order brides (except now that recently Filipna “dug mule” was executed in china.

Would you prefer to be called Pinoy or Finoy? Come on, change is inevitable, but sometimes, changing a thing you’re used to is not really a good idea.

(PS, I personally find the idea for the our country to be called Filipinas ridiculous.)

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How to survive a bomb scare

Last June 25, while I’m at my work routine, the PA system announced we should be ready for an emergency evacuation if needed. We were instructed to remain calm and wait for further announcement if we need to evacuate the work premises. The second announcement came, we needed to evacuate the work premises, remain calm and proceed to the nearest evacuation site, away from the building and its work premises.

We did. But because of the nature of my job, I cannot bring anything inside the work premises, aside from my work and my tumbler filled with water, I calmly took some time to pass by the locker room to secure my bag. My bag is where I put my food, money, phone and other stuff.

I calmly evacuated the building along with hundreds of colleagues.

It turned out to be a
false alarm.

While at the evacuation site, I called my wife and told her I’m perfectly safe and just watch the local news for some updates. I am doing fine sitting on a curb, well away from our building.

How we all survived the scare? Being calm and composed. Part of it were the building security assuring us this is just a drill. Although I felt something wrong and even tweeted what’s happening, I still maintained my composure and stayed calm.

Being in emergencies like this, it pays that you KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. (there is a “local version” of this British quote I saw on a shirt, Keep Calm and Carry Lang)

Thank you Lord, it was just a bomb scare.

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I Support Rep. Teddy A. Casiño for Senator

The May 13, 2013 midterm elections in the Philippines is just around the corner. I’m a registered voter in my home province, but unfrotunately, the leave I requested was not approved. Alas, I cannot exercise my right to vote.

Had my leave been approved, I would’ve voted for Rep. Teddy A. Casiño. He is running for a seat at the Upper House of the Congress, also known as the Senate.

Who is he and why I would’ve voted for him? He is the sole bet of the coalition of 12 Philippine progessive Partylists called Makabayan. He authored/sponsored numerous House Measures. Some of them are: HB01483 (an act defining discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and providing penalties…), HB01961 (act regulationg tuition and other fees of private educational institutions), HB02308 (act providing for a mandatory nationwide child nutrition program in all public elementary and barangay day care centers). Here’s the complete list from the Congress website.

Since I cannot personally cast my vote for him, this is the least thing I can do, inform people of how deserving he is to be voted for Senate. Kay Teddy Casiño, panalo ang karaniwang tao!

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Rizal Day

Today is Rizal Day, in honor of the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. A lot of people think today is his birthday. They’re wrong, today is actually his 116th death anniversary.

One of the reason why he was executed because of the novels “Noli me Tangere” (Touch Me Not) and “El Filibusterismo” (The Filibuster).

These novels tell the story of how Spanish friars abuse their power to take advantage of the people. His infamous character is “Padre Damaso“. He is known as a notorious priest.

They literally “corrupt” the minds of the Filipino masses. It has been 116 years since he died, but a lot of brave men still fights, not the Catholic Church, but the people who run it, just like the old days.

Even if you died more than a hundred years ago, your memory still lives on.

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RH Bill = catastrophic disasters

Recently, a tragedy (typhoon Pablo) struck the Philippines that left a lot of people dead and destroyed billions worth of properties and livelihood. A leader of the influential Catholic Church linked the catastrophic event to the RH (Reproductive Health) Bill as the tragedy happened at the same time when Congress was deliberating the bill’s fate.

The bill, according to some “experts” will just legalize abortion and contraception. Huh? “Porke ba RH Bill e contraception agad? Hindi ba pwedeng women’s health/advancement of reproductive health facilities muna?” [If it's RH Bill, it's always about contraception? Why not think of it as women's health/advancement of reproductive health facilities?] (in a Vice Ganda-ish tone)

Why do they always link the Bill to contraception? Have they read the bill’s content before making a comment? Have they been keen on understanding what the bill says before jumping into conclusions?

We are now in a modern society with a high cost of living. You can’t support a family if you’re just relying on the crops you grow in your backyard or the farm. Before, a Filipino family can afford to eat three times a day and even send their children to school, even if they are large in terms of number of offsprings. But gone were the days…

Today, a liter if petrol is about 5times more than the price when I was in high school, and that was just 20years ago. When I was a kid, a tricycle ride was just 2Php, now it is 10Php. My daily allowance before was just about 2Php/day. If that is still the case today, you can just buy 2pieces of candy.

Going back, we need long-term solutions to long-term problems. Aside from providing facilities that specifically cater to women’s health, this bill can also provide options and educate couples by providing them access to family planning facilities. Nowadays, it is quite impossible to manage a large family. Educating poor families the value of family planning is not really about limiting the number of children but providing them quality life.

The church official’s comment was highly uncalled for. It is very unbecoming of a man who is called to lead the people to salvation by setting an example, not only through the sermons they deliver from the pulpit but also how they behave in front of the public’s scrutinizing eyes.

Pinoy Sounding Board said that his God is not a cruel God. I do agree. I highly agree. Who can forget when God made a wonderful covenant with Noah: Genesis 9:11 “I
establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Has he forgotten to read the bible? Will God break this covenant he had not only with Noah but also with all generations to come? Well, let’s leave it to them, we are entitled to our opinions.

That disaster is an sign, a sign for us to slow down and not a sign to kill the bill. This is just another consequence of climate change and rampant mining and illegal logging (which is not in the case of some towns affected by the flash flood brought by the typhoon, because according to some experts, the forest there are now denuded). And also, the place is a hazardous zone for habitation according to the Mines and Geoscience Bureau.

As for my personal opinion, it is our fault. It is not made by God for us to kill RH Bill, but for us to learn that we must learn to slow down and start caring for the environment. The typhoon is NOT in any way related to the RH Bill.

I support RH Bill because I love my family. I love my wife and my daughter. I support RH Bill because I support life. Period.

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Maguindanao/Ampatuan Massacre

November 23 was the third anniversary of one of the most heinous crime committed on the face of the Earth, the event infamously known as the Maguindanao/Ampatuan Massacre.

The massacre of around 58 individuals, 34 of them were journalists, happened in broad daylight. It was when the group were covering the filing of then vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu to run for governor in the upcoming 2010 National elections. It was done by his wife accompanied by a number of supporters. They were all murdered and up to now, many of the suspects have not been arraigned.

A lot of innocent people died here under the most powerful clan, the clan that practically runs everything in the poor province of Maguindanao (as most evidence point to them).

Another year has passed and still, justice looms far from the horizon. Impunity sees to be part of our culture nowadays. Justice delayed is justice denied. Here are some suggestions by prosecution lawyer Atty. Harry Roque on how to hasten the “Trial of the Century”.

 

(P)IDOL

When I was still a kid, I grew up watching Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr.’s (fondly called Dolphy). His TV sitcom called “Home Along Da Riles” was also a part of my childhood. I wouldn’t let a week pass without watching the sitcom.

His movies’ theme are mostly about a typical Filipino family and his role is almost always a loving father. What I remember about him is when he sings, along with the casts, the theme song of the movie. His movies teach a lot about values, valuing your family and friends.

He recently passed away after leaving a mark, not just in the movie and TV industry, but also in the hearts of millions of Filipino people. Unfortunately, he was not given the distinction he deserve when he was still alive. He should have been given the National Artist award, the award a director named Carlo J. Caparas was given a few years back. That event triggered protests from different sectors of society. I personally believe that Mang Dolphy deserve to be awarded the National Artist award more that anyone else. He was a big part of my childhood, not just me, but also millions of other Filipino people. He was denied the award when he was still alive. Hopefully, the award will finally be given to him this year. His family will not be the only ones who will celebrate it, but also Filipinos around the globe will.

Mang Dolphy, you will greatly be missed. You are not just a National Artist for me, but also a National Treasure.

‘I want people to remember me as a simple person, a good person whom people will talk about nicely — walang masasabing masama. That’s the best legacy I can leave for my children and grandchildren… a good name. And also, I want people to remember me with a smile.’ (Aug. 10, 2008)

 

San Sebastian Church

The San Sebastian Church is located in one of the older districts of Manila, Quiapo. The church was originally made of wood but was burned by the Chinese in 1651. It was later rebuilt with brick but was destroyed by earthquake in 1859, 1863 and 1880. It was Spanish friar Esteban Martinez who commissioned Genaro Palacios, a Spanish architect to design it.

A lot of people say the church’s steel structure was designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the person responsible for the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris and Statue of Liberty in Liberty Island, New York. Some say it’s just a legend but looking on the church’s structure, one can say that it is really Eiffel’s work. The church is the only all-steel church in Asia that was made from pre-fabricated steel imported from Belgium. It was enormous that it had to shipped here in 8 instalments.
It was constructed like making a structure from Lego.

Unknown to many, the church today is suffering from decay, considering its steel structure and old age. Some people are raising awareness on the current situation of the church to save it. I hope the government can do something to save one of the historical structures in the country that is currently in dire need of help.

 
  
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