Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

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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December 21, 2012

Today is the day, the Mayans “predicted”, the last day of the world. It is now 1 in the morning as I write this piece and still nothing happens. Partly because the timezone for the end of the world is based on the Mayan civilization coordinates.

However, I think they haven’t actually predicted the world will end ob this day, it is very much like calculating a figure with a scientific calculator and getting the “E” message, or an error message because the data you’re processing is “out of range”.

The Mayan Calendar may be limited in data, or probably, today is the last day of its last cycle the Mayans were able to calculate. So when people got hold of it, they must’ve interpreted that the world will end today.

I don’t believe the world will end today. First, I am not in my hometown with my family and parents. Secend, we have a grand alumni homecoming/reunion this coming 29th. And lastly, it is not how the bible says the world will end.

So, for me, the world WILL NOT END TODAY. And for parting words, “Faith is about taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Happy Dec. 21, 2012! God bless us all, God bless the Mayans.

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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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Andres Bonifacio

Today is the birthday of one of the greatest heroes of the 1896 Philippine Revolution, Andres Bonifacio. He is truly and world-class hero. He was one of the original members of the “underground” organization formed in Azcarraga St. aimed to overthrow the abusive Spanish conquistadores.

His death is still one of the longest unsloved cases in the Philippine annals. Records have it that he was killed by a fellow Filipino under the order of no other than Emilio Aguinaldo.

Love live the spirit of your courage Gat Andres Bonifacio! Happy birthday!

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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)


Un-Restroom (Uncomfort Room)

Earlier this morning, I rode the MRT to avoid the EDSA traffic. Normally, it takes a couple of hours to go to go to EDSA-Taft Ave. from EDSA-North Ave. But with the MRT, it will take you less than an hour.

Good to hear? Definitely! But the problem is, when you reach the end of the line and need to pee, you’ll find this in the men’s room:

Wow, this is supposed to be a restroom/comfort room. But wait, what this on the right side of the door? Oh, I see a hand sanitizer dispenser. Yay!

But the point is, what if you really need to go? The restroom cubicle has a sign saying that it is NOT IN ORDER. What happened to the money we commuters pay as fare? Is that what you call public service?

Anyway, last year (October 2011), I saw this sign on the same spot:

Wala Po Tubig (No Water).


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.



They say Friday the 13th is an unlucky day. Well, not for me. Last Friday the 13th (April 13, 2012), I was hired for a new job I applied for. I ventured in an industry that is different from the previous job I had for almost the past decade of my life, but almost quite the same. From a college instructor to being a customer care specialist in a call center. I entered the industry not just because it is a high paying job but also because the company I was hired in has been in existence for more than a century.

Anyway, enough of that. After all, this is about Friday the 13th. Some believe that the number 13 is an unlucky number because it is irregular. There is also this urban myth that if 13 people dine at the same table at once, one of them will die. Friday, on the other hand, became “unlucky” because it was the day Jesus Christ was crucified.

Some people even believe in the urban myth that cutting hair and nails on a Friday will bring misfortune. I wish I have written this article earlier so I learned of that and I wouldn’t have cut my nails. lol

Here’s an article by The Telegraph about the history of Friday the 13th superstition.

By the way, the title of this post means “fear of Friday the thirteenth.”


Run for Your Rights

March is Women’s Month in the Philippines. In tune with this, a 5 kilometer fun run that was organized by the General Trias Municipal Government together with the JCI General Trias Katipunan and Nagkakaisang Kababaihan ng Heneral Trias was held last Sunday (March 18). The fun run that was aptly named “Run For Your Rights” was for the promotion of women’s rights.

It started at Pasong Kawayan II and finished at General Trias Cultural & Convention Center. It took us about 2 hours to finish the run (other runners “careered” kinarir, a Filipino slang> it and finished the run in less than an hour).

Students and staff of Lyceum of the Philippines University – Cavite joined the run through the NSTP 2 class. It was fun. It was my first time to join a fun run and I enjoyed it. Too bad I wasn’t able to have someone take a photo of me while running. I had a couple of snapshots though.

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