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Monday, September 29, 2008

While Waiting

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Tinanong nya ang batang pamangkin kung ano ang gusto nitong maging paglaki.

"Gusto ko pong maging doktor".

"Bakit?", aniya.

"Gusto ko pong manggamot ng mga batang maysakit".

Makalipas ang isang taon, sa di malamang kadahilanan ay dinapuan ng kanser ang bata.

At sa loob ng apat na buwan ay tuluyan na itong sumakabilang-buhay kapiling ng Diyos sa kalangitan.

At hindi na naabot ng bata ang kanyang pangarap.

in memory of the beloved child whom the author loves so much. someday, somehow, when the Lord wills, a foundation in the name of that beloved child will be built to support sick children, esp. those who have cancer ailments.
then, and only then, will the dream of that child be fulfilled.
when the Lord wills.
in His time.
in His season.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let The Game Begin

This year 2008, the Filipinos, again, are starting to see yet another blockbuster show leading to the 2010 Presidential Elections.

Now, we are beginning to see the concrete picture of what's going to happen from present to 2010. And the media continues to be the avenue where the people gets to know of who's who in the battle for the highest seat of the land.

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting, The Wannabees....... And.... Let The Game.... Begin!!!

Sipag at Tiyaga: Senate President Manny Villar

"Oo, tuloy na tayo sa 2010 sa pagka-presidente.. Wala nang urungan", thus says Manny Villar on his 2010 plans.

During the June SWS Presidentiable Surveys, Manny Villar placed third behind Noli de Castro and Loren Legarda.

However, since Villar threw off his hat on the Presidential race, allegations on various corruptions has started to box him off, the latest of which, is the Road to Nowhere mess, a project involving an alleged "double insertion of funds" where Senator Ping Lacson pinpointed Villar as the person who benefited to at least P200 Million.

People, however, think that this Lacson expose is just a way to discredit Villar's bid for the Presidency.

(Lacson himself is said to consistently set his sight on the Presidential seat, but political analysts do not seem to see him as a winnable candidate since he failed his bid during the 2004 election where he placed far third behind GMA and FPJ)

Mr. Palengke: Mar Roxas

Hoping to feat Senator Obama's fame in the US, Mar Roxas has opted to use Internet Blogging as his tool to gain popularity.

Thus, the Mar Roxas Blog. Then there is also the Mar Roxas for President in 2010 blog.

On early August 2008, Mar met with famous Political bloggers on a very lively discussion on Philippine politics over dinner. Ding Gagelonia, one of those present shares in his blog,

"Through the more that two hours he spent yesterday with the bloggers, Mar showed himself to be a ‘listening’ politician, taking notes as he heard how Filipinos are harnessing blogging to share information and distill their aspirations as a people, regardless of where the politicians are taking Philippine society."

In another blog, Ding writes,

"by the way he talks and walks, he is running for president. Make no mistake about it.His pedigree, his record as a politician (no longer ‘reluctant’ after taking on the Araneta/Roxas mantle due to the sudden death years back of his brother Dinggoy), his academic and intellectual maturity, and his age, all brand Mr. Palengke as presidential.

Mar and his team are going boldly into the new media, blogging and the class-and-border erasing Internet to get their message out and lock in the votes of overseas Filipinos and the youth."

However, Mar has yet to show himself more, as I personally believe that in his last few years in the Senate, he has not been too visible in the news. So I hope that this show of popularity that he is making thru blogging is not only for his political ambition, but a genuine show of concern to the Filipino.

Metro Gwapo: BF

Ever seen any of those huge MMDA tarps featuring our MMDA Chief Bayani Fernando? Many people has criticised BF that he is allegedly using government funds in order to popularize himself through those MMDA billboards.

At any rate, BF is getting all the popularity stints, both positive and negative. People may criticize him for being the urban poors' BERDUGO, as he continues to spearhead the way for a Handsome Metro Manila. But an equal number of people also praise him for being tough and strong in implementing rules and regulations to beautify the Metro.

Then, there is this BAYANI stickers you can find on Buses, Jeepneys, and even tricycles. One man commented, "Ang lakas ni BF sa Nueva Ecija, ah. Nakakita ako ng sticker nya doon, eh." Then, his fellow responded, "Aba'y wag kang magtaka. Kung sa Davao nga, nakakita rin ako ng stickers nya eh." When many people again comments on this, MMDA went on the defense to say that the BAYANI stickers are from BF's personal funds.

On some lighter (but somehow with still a great political color) news, BF is also contending to be the next Celebrity Duets 2nd winner. Sana naman, kahit dito, manalo si BF.

As one judge jokingly comments on him (paraphrased already), nag i improve ang singing ni BF, baka mamaya, magulo na ulit ang kalsada.

Well, those are only three of the many possible candidates who might run in 2010. It is actually too early to tell who will and who will not. There is Loren, Dick Gordon, Mayor Binay, Chiz Escudero, Kabayan Noli, and of course, the comicals Ely Pamatong and Eddie Gil.

It is too early to tell. But one thing's for sure, we are bound to see yet another colorful display of drama and comedy in search for the next Philippine President.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sari-sari: Our Friendly Neighborhood Store

Name it, you'll have it.

This seems to be the motto we can give to the so many sari-sari stores that we can find in almost every block near our homes.

From tinapay, to kakanin, yosi, chichirya, canned goods, candies, common medicines, softdrinks, diapers, to shampoos and eggs. And the list goes on and on- name it, you'll have it.

During my childhood days in the province, we have at least 3 to 5 sari-sari stores near our home. So now, I often wonder if ever the competition was so stiff; and why do they all continue to exist even if there is a big store owned by a filipino-chinese who caters the same set of commodities.

I remember my mother would send me to one of those sari-sari stores to buy 1/4 karne, or isang banig na paminta or any of those veggies that she'll use to cook pinakbet. Indeed, it fascinates me looking at how such a small area could hold up to almost anything and everything we need in our day-to-day lives.

The typical sari-sari store showcases the chichiryas in front. then on the stalls beneath will be the canned goods, such as sardines, tuna, liver spreads, squids, then the bottled ketchups, toyo, patis, and even sandwich spreads.

Why the sari-sari stores continue to exist sans the existence of large supermarkets, groceries and 24/7 stores were being studied by some well-know research groups.

Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism thus says in one of its special reports,

Food items are the most popular candidates for micro-repacking, and it is common to see oil, vinegar, pepper, sugar, or achuete sold in tiny, plastic bags. They used to go for as low as five centavos each, but today the price is at P1 to P5.

People were buying in tingi because that's what they could afford. Cooking oil, soy sauce were measured in cups and then transferred to the bottle or glass brought by the customer. Even hard drinks were also sold in tingi, "paisa-isang shot."

TNS's Asiapanel division notes that in 2003 the traditional trade continued to gain share in the market, particularly in poorer rural areas.

According to AC Nielsen, these small neighborhood stores have grown to nearly 560,000, making them the top retail outlets in the Philippines.

So strong has been the performance of sari-sari stores, Mercy Abad of TNS says, that when a manufacturer comes in and first looks at the retail trade structure, he wonders, "How am I going to sell the 400-ml in a small store?"

Though sari-sari stores may impose uneven markups, consumers find these stores more convenient, especially for emergency purchases. Teresa Deocaresa of TNS says sari-sari stores have evolved into some sort of the Pinoy's extended pantry. The fact that they provide credit gives them another plus in the harried consumer's budget book.

AC Nielsen notes that while the "AB class prefers wide product assortment, the DE would buy on need basis, mostly small-size packs and on credit." And while these consumers buy in smaller volumes, it says, their huge number make up for the slack. Sachets and products in smaller packages enjoy wider reach in rural areas than in urban areas, says AC Nielsen.

Overall, shampoo, detergent, soap, and toothpaste remain the top (and growing) items in the nonfood category, according to TNS. These products, apart from being the most basic necessities of a consumer, all happen to come in sachets or smaller packs. Even fabric softeners are now fast becoming sachet-driven, says TNS account executive Omar Carlos.

Indeed, the sari-sari store depicts much of the Filipino-his cultures and his ways of making it to survive.

In these hard times, where the Philippine Economy is at an unstable condition, the Sari-sari store will always emerge as the friendly neighborhood store that we can go to for our basic necessities in life.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pinoy sa Likod ng Kurtina


Over a thousand Filipinos arrive in Dubai every month. And why not?

Literally, the sun shines here all year round; prosperity is in the air; and it's a place where people have reasons to dream of waking up in the morning as millionaires or with kilos of gold on their lap!

Yun nga lang, habang hindi pa nangyayari yun, iba ang nakikita ng maraming Pinoy pagdilat nila sa umaga --- KURTINA!

Betcha by golly wow!

Paano ko ie-explain to fascinated Pinoys back home our living condition here!

Noong una akala ko isolated cases. But with the skyrocketing apartment rents in this City of Gold , such conditions are becoming the norm.


Hindi yan dance step. That's the latest move ngayon sa mga sharing flats. Sa sobrang liit ng space, patagilid ang galaw. Kaya minsan, mga ka-flatmates, hindi na magkakitaan.

"Hoy, where have you been, ba? Hindi ka na umuuwi sa flat!"

Kasi nga lagi silang naka-sideview!

Warning: Smoking is dangerous to your room.

Hindi health reasons ang dahilan bakit bawal magyosi, no! Ang styrofoam kuya!

Yes, naunahan ng Pinoy ang IKEA sa innovation na yan --- Yes, styrofoam walls, styrofoam doors, styrofoam room. Di ba nga naman, styrofoam keeps you fresh! Para kang gulay, o kaya ice candy. Pero siguro mas feel mo minsan na 'tuna' ka, o di kaya 'sirena' kung feel mong si Claudine ka.

"Ate, di ba fire hazard yan?"

"Anong fire ka dyan? Rent ang mas nakakamatay dito!"

"Illegal ang partions sa Dubai . At least ang styrofoam, pag nagkahulihan, mabilis sa baklasan. Gets mo?!!!"

"Yes, Ate."

Therefore, 'no smoking': ang sirena baka maging daing!

Burj Al 'Cupboards'

Hindi lang Emaar Properties ang may 'K' na magtayo ng skyscrapers? Haven't we heard, the Philippines is a major supplier of architects in Dubai ? In other words, nasa dugo natin yan! Kaya ba ng Arabong gumawa ng rooms out of cupboards, luggages and shoe boxes? Dati sa airport lang bida ang mga luggages, ngayon multi-purpose na: dividers na rin sila ---
para ang isang kwarto maging lima !

Pampataas sila sa mga cupboards kasama ng mga shoe boxes na pinaka-antenna. Siyempre, the taller the better --- you keep your neighbor's eyes away.

Now Showing

Pagpasok ko ng flat, akala ko sinehan, ang daming kurtina. Mga kuarto pala. Pero ang cute, cinematic!!! Parang barangay, complete with eskinitas. Kada bukas ng telon, parang movie ---sari-saring life. May natutulog, may nag-eemote, may nka-curlers, may nakasimangot. Sa panlimang kurtina, may nag-totong-its, sa pang-anim, may naggugupit. Ang gandang movie, di ba?

"Ang Pinoy sa Likod ng Kurtina!" Paraisong Kurtina

Ayyy! Our Paraisong Kurtina. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry. Be proud of our Paraisong Kurtina. It exists because we'd rather send our money home than spend more for our comfort. Within its walls, lies our desire for a little privacy, our groans, our tears, our dreams, our struggle for some little savings.

My curtain says a lot. It says, "I have saved again, inay; I'll be able to send money next month."

Dream mo pa bang pumunta ng Dubai ????

Mag isip-isip....
This came as a surprise for me for the reason that a lot of my colleagues have time and again asked me to go with them and try out seeking employment in Dubai.

I know at least 10 people who have left the Philippines and are currently working in Dubai. So I hope that my friends are not experiencing this very same sentiment that the author of this article have tasted.

Kudos para sa mga Pinoy na nagpapatuloy sa kanilang mga trabaho sa ibang bansa despite of all these pressures and problems that they are facing from being away in their native land.

Mabuhay kayo!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Be Careful in Making Promises

Grace Padaca has been the governor of Isabela since 2004 when she won over a long-entrenched dynasty under the battle cry "Free Isabela."

She received the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service on Aug. 31 for empowering voters to reclaim their democratic right toelect leaders of their own choosing.

Be careful in making promises
By Grace Padaca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: August 28, 2008
Upon becoming a governor after years of being a broadcaster—switchingfrom being an observer to being the one observed—one of the first things I learned was why people in government were often accused ofmaking a lot of promises and not keeping them.

One possible reason is the sheer number of people who come to you, needing various things, often seeing you as their last and only hope. In my case, I was the answer that finally came to Isabela, afterhearing almost nothing from those who came before me.We have so many needy people in our country, and when they get thechance to talk to a mayor or governor any place, they will not let theopportunity pass.

One time, a lady who had just received Holy Communion saw me as shewas returning to her seat. With the holy host still in her mouth, shestopped to tell me of a need in their barangay. I told her, "Manang,bumalik ka muna sa upuan mo at tapusin ang iyong dasal. (Older sister,return to your seat first and finish your prayer.)"

Our poor people hang on to every little hope for their big needs. Ihave learned to be sparing of my gestures and expressions because eventhe slightest of smiles or a nod or two, as you listen to them, may betaken as approval of their requests, raising their hopes.

With the very limited resources of government, not every clamor can begranted. And even if one is able to grant a hundred requests, thereare still a thousand waiting for a "promise" to be fulfilled.

Urgent needs

When the request is not delivered when it is needed (and it is alwaysneeded right away!) a promise is once again broken by a politician.

One reason I ran for government office (even if I can hardly walk) wasthe way many of our people had become constituents of "BarangayVeinte": Give them P20 and they are fine. Give them free medicines andthey are okay even if you do not address the problem of why so many ofthem are getting sick in the first place. Build them schools and bighospitals, as is SOP. Allow them to sleep, dream and wake up to bet onjueteng three times a day for a little chance to have a better life.

This was the recipe for perpetual poverty.

Having been physically handicapped since I was three, I have learnedthat life is not worth living if you are dependent on others. I havelearned that despite tremendous limitations, physical or otherwise, noone is ever too inadequate to cope, to adjust and even to shine.

The lessons I have learned, I am now teaching to my apo Isabelinos. Itell them, "Use me as your visual aid." Perhaps the Lord gave Isabelaa governor who is physically weaker than most of her constituents sothat, when they see her, they will realize that one can rise aboveone's difficulties as long as one chooses to do something about thesituation.

I have to tell our people constantly that the battle is not yet over.We may have defeated the dynasty but there are other things we have tofight. We also have to free ourselves from our own wrong attitudes,our misplaced values, our bad habits.

After four years as governor, thankfully I have learned not to say yesmindlessly to the droves of people who come to me for the things they need.

We have devised systems like my weekly People's Day or Ugnayang Bayanthat gives me the chance to listen to them patiently and assess theirsituation objectively. I explain to them the need to prioritizebecause of the limited resources of government, especially if theycontinue to have big families by failing to practice responsibleparenthood.

More importantly, I always remind them, challenge them: Mas masaraptulungan ang mga taong marunong tumulong sa kanilang mga sarili. (It'sa greater pleasure to help people who know how to help themselves.)

I know that our poor people, including the jueteng kobrador(collector) and illegal logging bogador (laborers), know how to helpthemselves. But what they are doing to support their families is not easy.

It is the duty of leaders to direct their energies, their devotion totheir families and all their sacrifices towards what is right,sustainable and dignified.

Those of us in government should learn to be careful in makingpromises and deciding what to keep. We should also remember that thereis, in every Filipino, the promise of becoming an honorable,self-reliant citizen if given the chance, as well as the respect,he/she deserves.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Itakwil ang Pilipinas

I have a rather unexpected (but nevertheless, very much welcome) visitor on my blog site today.

It is not uncommon that somebody might visit you blog. However, the reason why he was able to get directed to my blog verily disturbed me.

(Forgive the blurred picture, anyway, the actual site is here , you can browse the list).

Thanks to feedjit.com, we can now trace our blogs' live traffic which actually indicates the location of our visitors, including some data how they were able to come through our blog.

Anyway, feedjit discloses that:

"Los Angeles, California arrived from google.com on "Mountain Top Experience" by searching for "itakwil ang pilipinas".

-meaning, my visitor came from LA, California. While searching for the word "itakwil ang pilipinas", google directed him to my site, because one of my blogs, Dekada, is a story of a man who tells his younger sibling:

"Alam kong bata ka pa at maaaring hindi mo pa maiintindihan ang sasabihin ko. Pero ang mga nakikita mong kamalian ay huwag mong gawing dahilan para itakwil ang Pilipinas.

Magbabago pa ang Pilipinas. Kung hindi man ngayon, sa hinaharap; kung saan kayong mga kabataan ay kailangang gabayan at turuan ng tamang pagmamahal sa bansa. Dahil ang pagmamahal mo sa bansa ang magbibigay-daan para sikapin mong baguhin ang mga kamaliang nakikita mo sa paligid."

I am reminded about a post made by one member of the bobongpinoy mailing list and so I have asked his permission if I can repost his article here in my blog. So here goes (article, unedited):


I just came back here to the U.S. from a visit tomy Aunt's house in Canberra, Australia where we had a family reunion. We have no more immediaterelatives in The Phillipines and a lot of our family members from all over the world congregated in my Aunt's house. The reunion was brought about because my aunt Maritess just got her Australian Passport and was ecstatic about it.

In the middle of the party, a ceremony was made wherein a paper shredder was positioned in the middle of the living room and Filipino newspaper article clippings were arranged on a table along with a Philippine Passport. It was quite solemn and fun at the same time. People were made to sing their national anthems. First was the US people who sang "Star Spangled Banner" (though some kids did it mockingly, they haven't been to The Philippines yet and can't understand). Not to be outdone, the Canadian Citizens/Residents sang "Oh Canada" at the top of their lungs! Then came some from the UK and New Zealand who sang the irrespective anthems.

When it came time to sing "Advance Australia Fair", people first read the articles on the Filipino newspapers and put them in the paper shredder after finishing each. People just shook her heads and breathed sighs of relief after hearing the articles' details, thankful that they left behind that country and the dogs that run it. It was very symbolic of the fact that we are people who deserve to be treated as people and to live dignified lives in countries that value human dignity. As the articles were shredded, "WaltzingMatilda" was playing in the background as lyrics of "Advance Australia Fair" were passed around to everyone. Then, when the last article was shredded, the Philippine Passport was handed to my Aunt and there was a prayer and a short speech, then the passport went into the shredder for it's complete obliteration as "Advance Australia Fair" was sung.

The melody and lyrics of "Advance Australia Fair" was as musical as the gears and blades that ground the passport to crosscut pieces. My aunt was in tears, thankful that she was now a citizen of a country composed of and governed by real human beings.


While I myself could not understand why and how people are able to disown my beloved nation Philippines, I could not help but respect their thoughts and ideas.

We differ in our beliefs. We differ in our ways. We differ in our principles and actions and subsequent reactions.

But one thing we can all share and agree on-the truth stands there-seen entirely by the naked eye-the country is in a state where there are lots of socio-economic problems, not to mention the moral issues faced by the leaders of the nation.

Then, again, we choose, our path as a citizen of the nation.

Disown the nation and be a citizen to a foregin land.

Or stay as a Filipino and help rebuild a better Philippines.

We choose. Today.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Countdown to Unite


Sigawan na ang mga tao. Hanggang sa nagsimula na nga ang intro ng bass at lead guitar. At yung pamilyar na boses na hinihintay ng lahat ay muling narinig.

May isang umaga
Na tayo'y magsasama
Haya at halina
Sa alapaap
O anong sarap

Isa.. hanggang sa ikalabinlimang kanta na sinasabayan ng mga taong sabik na sabik sa reunion concert ng Eraserheads noong gabi ng August 30, 2008 sa Fort Bonifacio Global City sa Taguig.

Bago pa man ang concert ng Eraserheads at nang pumutok ang tsismis na naging balita na nakompirmang hindi pala tsismis na isang Tobacco Company ang sponsor ng reunion, nilinaw ko na ang stand ko sa usaping ito:

(at ikinalat sa blog; maging sa Tinig.com)

Simple ang punto ko: tutol ako sa advertisement breach na ginawa ng sponsor.

Medyo luminaw lang nang magpasyang magback-out ang original sponsor at inilipat ito sa ibang organizer. Ang implication nga lang-hindi na libre. May (malaking) bayad na ang concert.

Nevertheless, dinumog pa rin ng maraming tao. Hanggang sa nangyari nga yung "20 minutes" break na hindi na nasundan ng finale.

Dalawang bagay na pwede kong i-emphasize:

Una: Huli man daw at magaling, naihahabol din. Yung sudden change of organizer; huli na iyon eh. Kasi na-serve na yung purpose-nakapag advertise na yung Tobacco Company. Pabor pa sa kanila kasi, hindi na sila yung nagtuloy ng concert (up ang advertisement, less
ang costs na na-incur nila). Pero thumbs up pa rin ako sa government na at least (at least) kahit huli, eh, naitigil ang sponsorship ng Tobacco Company at naipatupad ang batas. Nawa ay magsilbing aral sa gobyerno ang insidenteng ito at sana ay maiwasan ang mga susunod na problemang katulad nito.

Pangalawa: Hindi na kailangan na magsimula sa anomalya ang isang magandang bagay. Naipakita kasi ng eheads na kahit na hindi libre ang palabas, papatusin pa rin ng mga fans ang mahal na ticket just to see them again together.

At sana'y yung simpleng grupo na MINSAN sa May Kalayaan, ay nagkatagpuan ay muling mabuo at magbigay ng LIGAYA sa pamamagitan ng pagkatha at pag-awit ng mga kanta PARA SA MASA.

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