Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cashless Congressmen???

I was enjoying my breakfast of leftover sandwiches, when this headline scrolled at ABS-CBN crawler: Congress is raising P1 million in donations for the family of the slain congressman.


So they’re so friggin’ greedy that they even want to raise P1 million from other people for their own kind? I mean, I do send out my condolences to the family, but come on! Congress can reallocate millions of pesos at a whim for their own ends easily! And yet they manage to piss off people by releasing this insane press release.

These are my representatives?

And the rightists wonder why more leftists are being elected to congress; the rightists don’t realize that they have a wide disconnect with the voters, unlike the leftists. Not that I like the leftists, they’re stuck with an old paradigm, but they relate to the pro-poor program very well.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

puzzling pldt promo phamplet

I received a flyer from PLDT a few weeks ago with the usual monthly bill. In it was the discounts for several establishments, plus the announcement for the winners of the Fathers’ Day watch promo (PLDT raffles your entry, you get a watch). Imagine my surprise when I saw the following names:

Hmm, where have I seen the name Loida Nicolas Lewis before? Here’s one
reference; here’s another; and here’s another

What the heck would a multimillionaire (in US dollars!) want with a cheapo watch??? She can afford dozens of those without batting an eyelash!

If it were just a simple randomly-generated raffle, one can still explain it away as a coincidence where she had no participation. But I think one has to actively join the raffle to win, so again the question: why would she want to join a raffle to win a measly watch???

Or maybe it’s a different Loida Nicolas Lewis?


i'm posting this on the new pc and i'm really starved for the net (the new office doesn't automatically grant unlimited net access, and i'm hesitant to ask since i know how addictive it can be...); to my 2-3 readers, i'll hopefully post more current entries soon! :P

Sunday, October 08, 2006

jostling jumping jeepneys

This is a long-overdue post; in addition, I should be posting on the Milenyo madness. At any rate, here goes my litany against the “folk art on wheels”, the jeepney.

Doesn’t it tick you off that whenever the petroleum companies raise the price of oil, the jeepney operators always raise their fares correspondingly? Yet, when the oil price goes down, no corresponding changes are felt? If oil companies are so heartless yet lower their prices, why don’t the jeepney operators with their “hearts in the right place” lower their prices in the same manner? So big firms are allowed to shoulder losses (like utilities), but the “little people” are allowed to make a killing on the end consumers? Oh come on!

It’s also a poorly-kept secret that the jeepney lobby is pushing against the legalization of routes for the Public Asian Utility Vehicles (colloquially known as FX). They argue that since FX operators should not be legalized since they don’t pay taxes; but they say that FX operators don’t pay taxes since they’re illegal. It’s a patently circular argument.

These jeepney operators don’t want the FX operators for fear of losing their market. They are so greedy that they don’t want to give the riding public a choice between riding a pollution-filled jeepney or riding an air-conditioned FX for a marginally-higher cost. If the riding public can’t afford the FX, they can ride the jeepney.

Are these jeepney operators that greedy that they want to monopolize the riding public? Or are they really scared that the riding public will choose the FX over them, given the choice; and that there is a critical mass of people who would prefer to ride the FX, such that this choice will greatly affect the jeepney operators’ bottom lines?

As it is, the FX operators serve in the gray market as “Metered Taxis”, something like jueteng, I guess. But unlike jueteng, there’s a tangible service being purchased (going from one place to another in relative comfort) from the FX; not the illusory benefits of jueteng (a chance in winning a sizeable amount). So I think legalizing FX routes makes for a better argument than legalizing some forms of gambling.

The jeepney was originally designed to be a stop-gap measure, with the destruction of the railway and bus systems during the war. It has evolved into one of our primary transport systems. It just bugs me to no end that the jeepneys want to impose their own will on the public, threatening with strikes if they don’t get their way, and barring any new alternatives looming in the horizon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

missing makati

Now that I’ve started with my new job, I’m beginning to miss the urban lifestyle in Makati. Don’t get me wrong, the place where I am now is great, but it’s so different from what I’m used to. I guess I should enumerate the things I miss:

  • Wearing business attire – although it’s quite relaxing to wear college clothes again, I miss the sense of professionalism a tie or a barong brings. Then again, I guess it’s the actual work that should bring in the sense of professionalism
  • High rise buildings – I miss the dizzying heights those magical chests take you from floor to floor then viewing the ground below, the people looking like ants. Now, I stare down from the second floor and I see real ants (though not often, this workplace is quite clean).
  • Access to malls – one just has to ride the FX or walk around to go to Glorietta or Greenbelt, or take a short cab ride to Rockwell or the Fort. Here, there’s only one mall in the vicinity, and when I mean vicinity, it’s a long jeepney or expensive cab ride to get there.
  • Proper sidewalks – in Makati, one always kept to the sidewalk or in an under/overpass; here at the new place, the compound commands a walking area as well, but once outside, it’s a jungle crossing the street; much like college in the old days… hehehe!
  • Nightlife options – not that I have much of a nightlife, but at least I had an option for wholesome activities in Makati

Here are the things I don’t miss:

  • Paid parking – since I’m not in Makati, the parking is for free! Gas is a killer though, since I’m nearer to Makati than my current workplace
  • Expensive food – there’s an efficient canteen here that serves delicious and filling meals for less than P50 a pop!

Oh well, it wasn’t Makati I left, it was the work; the work now is cool (cool = ok, not cool = hip), good, and better than what I used to do. I guess it’s a risk-returns thing and this time the returns are greater than the negative things of not living in Makati. I still visit Makati, especially when picking up pink princess or my sister.

But one day Makati, I will be back. I will have that corner high-rise office someday.

Friday, August 25, 2006

evening eyesight

this should've been posted long ago, not when i'm about to leave my current company.

when i was starting out here, before the rest of the people came in, it was only me & categorically imperative manning the ramparts. (now, it seems that LIFO is in effect, since i'm leaving ahead of cat.)

at any rate, there was a time where we had to number crunch some figures for a bank presentation, so we stayed here till 11pm. (to those who know cat's infamous dates, sorry, this isn't one of them.) at any rate, we were standing at the lobby, waiting for a ride home, when rico yan's brother (the guy on the top page) went into the office building. this is weird, since we're at the heart of makati and offices had closed by then (not counting the graveyard shift).

we asked the guard what was going on, he said it was aga muhlach's 20th(?) anniversary in showbusiness. he was hosting his party at the top floor of the building, which enclosed a posh resto.

a few minutes later, two nannies (in their white pantsuits) came out carrying aga's twins, atasha & andres. they were going in their expedition to presumably go home after being in the party. imagine my surprise when andres suddenly looked in my direction, reached out, and said, "dada! dada!"

cat & i looked back.

nope, aga wasn't there. nobody was there.

so does that mean i look like his dada? hmm...........................


i've told this story a million times (as one can imagine) and these are the two theories why this happened:

  • andres has poor eyesight
  • cat looks like aga/like a man

nobody really wants to admit my, um, looks had any part in it.

ok, maybe andres is blind as a bat....

(inspired to be posted by swipe's post, specifically the last paragraph. yes, my experience did happen.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

boards and bars

The recent news on the nursing board as well as the old scandals regarding the bar and doctor's exams a few years back reminded me of my bean-counting exam-taking experience.

I chose this specific review center back in college since they assured the reviewers that they would be taken cared of, and in a truthful manner. Boy, it was really rigorous; we had three pre-board exams instead of the normal two. And this review center prided itself on an honest system, using its own review materials and shunning other review centers' materials. As such, I knew my strengths (auditing problems) and my weakness (business law & taxation and financial accounting theory).

The more popular review centers were less than vigilant in killing rumors on their access to the test scores, as well as giving special treatment for reviewers coming from prominent schools. I’m saying this euphemistically, of course.

I cannot claim to be a model Filipino citizen and I knew even beforehand that I’d be using my license merely as a formality, but in this instance I put a premium on how I passed this examination, not just the end-goal of passing.

As for the recommendations that the questionable board exams should be validated by making the examinees take the exams again, I’m all for it. If the board results for my batch were dubious, of course I’d be pissed if I had to take it again. But dropping subjects out of expediency’s consideration, just like what the Supreme Court did for the bar exam and what the Professional Regulation Commission is going to do for the nursing board, will make me question if I earned that plastic card. And yes, I’d be ticked off because studying for the board was the hardest I’ve ever studied, even more so than college. But the alternative of doubting your own credentials is unfathomable.

And even if they did truly pass the whole exam, and even if most people don’t ask you what batch you passed and if you’re really good at Mercantile Law or Sets III or V or Auditing Problems; you’d still ask yourself if you’re worth those suffixes at the end of your name (even if you don’t append these initials). It’s like sending a car out of the factory without the steering wheel.

This is when I fully appreciate Conrado de Quiros’s position on the snap election option. The empress may have truly won, even by a small margin of less than 500,000. But going through the garci-calling and the numerous occurrences of vote-padding nullifies whatever she’s done. What does one do, nullify the results for Mindanao for both her and da king, then see if who beats whom? The whole election has been tainted. And a credible election should be in order. An election with a credible COMELEC.

So is this why we’re not pursuing a reexamination of our professionals or a snap election for the leadership, due to expediency?

I just wish the COMELEC can be cleaned though, and start this ball rolling.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

return of the raver

pasigraver's back!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

bean and biker-doctor on the bard's play

rowan atkinson and hugh laurie spoofing shakespeare!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

maligning metaphors

(short but graphic post; not for the faint of heart)

you know the expression "get blood out of a stone"? it means to try to do an impossibility.

i've found a way around it.

by making sure you grip the stone hard enough so that blood comes out. from you.

Friday, July 21, 2006

validating voting

both one voice and amando doronila have posited that the 2007 elections will reflect the people's view on whether the empress still has the mandate to rule. i really, really, really like to wish that were really true, really. however, a few things bother me in assuming the 2007 election-mandate viewpoint:

  1. would the general electorate remember or even know if their representatives and local government executives supported quashing the impeachment?
  2. are the possible contenders to the legislative and executive seats anti-gma or just anti-incumbent?
  3. if they are anti-gma, do they have the capacity to inform the voters what the incumbent has done, and more importantly, what the challengers can do better?
  4. if the voters do know that their representatives and leaders are for the status quo, would it matter to them since they are also benefiting from the lagresse these local executives receive from the pasig palace?

i feel that each answer has a possibly strong "no" answer, that's why i'm worried.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

rockwell rambunctiousness

pink princess picked me up at the office the other day wearing something chic: a white 3/4 blouse, black slacks, and her dad's dior tie. (mental note, i must be turning gay when i use the word "chic".) we haven't seen each other in a couple couple (2x2) of days, so we were happy just traipsing in the rain on the way to the car. since we were both relatively (drenched) dressed up, it was either greenbelt or rockwell. due to the rains, rockwell was the choice.

we haven't been to rockwell in quite a while, so we were surprised by the new layout, like the missing fully booked (it went upstairs), being replaced by zara. we also saw pedring with a girl i thought was olivia daytia, but princess said it was someone else. her highness also saw the sale on mango and began hunting for bargains; i just lounged around in the bored SO area trying to keep my brain from pouring out due to boredom (joke!).

after going around the former plant, we then went to burgoo and made full use of the crayons. all of our kindergarten and grade school drawing skills came back, almost neglecting to eat our seafood linguini & cheeseburger (guess who had what). after getting drunk on bottomless regular iced tea and drawing everything from flying cars to nipa huts to small-circle-small-circle-big-circle piggies, we decided to call it a night and headed for home.

a truly smiley-happy fun date :P

Friday, June 16, 2006

simulated shouting posted this item that the sigaw ng bayan website has been the target of hackers lately.

i remember mlq3 writing about the supposed 9 million hits and paeng's disbelief in such figures.

then i remember that disturbingly political selling of sigaw @ AGFO.

i have this overly antagonistic bitter aftertaste for every government-churned press release. i don't know if it's pavlovian or it's because my dad was a public information officer for the air force so i know that government "praise releases" should always be taken with a huge teaspoonful of salt.

at any rate, i'm wondering if raul lambino made these accusations so that the online community would be lured to his website to check it out?

like the statement of the 9 million hits; netizens would be curious how interesting the site would be, only to be met with an "overflow/overcapacity" message.

or in this instance, netizens would be curious what kind of vandalism was posted; more like seeing the sigaw folks' comeuppance rather than sympathizing with them, then finding nothing.

at any rate, these visits (my visit included) has contributed to the additional hit and the additional unique viewers, which sigaw would undoubtedly use for their own advantage (number cruncher visited sigaw; ergo he must support us)! argh!

they must be really desperate for inflating support; imagine, being wild zealots at an AGFO meeting. it's bad enough they're zealots towards normal people or even hakot crowds. but you're talking to AGFO, to generals and flag officers who currently or previously have the unfortunate but necessary responsibility to send their men inevitably to danger and even death, and the sigaw folks treat these officers as a bunch of wide-eyed ignoramuses?

at any rate, i just wonder how these guys will get around any possible supreme court ruling against them.

helpless? housekeep!

everything seems so blah these days... so i've been "housekeeping" to keep myself busy... i edited some of my links and i'm in the process of backing up my files so i can finally reformat my PC.

speaking of which, i've been trying to test this spare Intel P4 1.7Ghz processor at the office; i connected it to one of the spare PCs here that also uses almost the same processor (almost; although both processors have the same specs, test processor is made in malaysia, while control processor is made in costa rica). the test processor doesn't work and i don't have any more motherboards or units to test on. i asked our all-around messenger to have it tested on our suking hardware shop, but he reported that the technicians didn't want to pull out their tester (i.e. spare CPU) out of the top shelf. (they keep the spare CPUs on the top shelf because the said processor model is already 3 years old, i.e. ancient technology.)

it's almost two years since i acquired my nokia 6230 and i'm itching to get a new phone, not necessarily a 3G model. i have my eyes on the nokia N91, not because of the mp3 capability, but because of the 4GB hard drive available.

(i still remember when we bought my old PC, the first one in our set to have windows. it had a 2GB hard drive and my uncle who accompanied us said, "two gigs? mamamatay ka na bago mo yan mapuno!!!" much like the wrongly attributed
quote of one William Henry Gates III.)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

multiple musings

hmm, i need to move on from my rancid post, so i'll just post bits and pieces of trivia for you to enjoy! :P


the martial law plan that was exposed by ninoy aquino, oplan sagittarius, was actually a marcos code. thing is, each implementor was given a different code name, say general A was given oplan alpha, secretary B was given oplan rolex, and so on. through this method, marcos was able to determine who leaked the code to ninoy. of course, the poor guy's name escapes me now, so sorry for that... hehehe :P


i got that "acidic coke" email again, so i looked for any references on wikipedia debunking that myth: here's what i found.


political front? it's a regular snoozefest...


i'm off to palawan tomorrow, while java junkie's off to baguio; she's getting the cold while i'm getting the heat...


happy birthday mlq3!!! still can't figure out how to leave a comment on his blog, with his new format and all... i guess this is the price i have to pay for being plugged to the matrix (i.e. still using IE)! hehehe! :D


till the next post! :P

Monday, May 29, 2006

rancid rants

(really downer and self-indulgent post, click here to avoid the melodrama. just refresh after a few days/weeks to see a new post.)

for the past few weeks, i've been noticing that i've been letting a whole lot of things pass through the cracks. i forget errands, appointments, deadlines, etc. i feel that there is a general dissatisfaction throughout what i'm doing, thus only enabling me to muddle on by. there is no one cause; it's more of a confluence of factors, mostly minor, but gradually chipping away at my soul.

thing is, i shouldn't be feeling this way. i shouldn't be confused or adrift, especially at my late 20s. not that that figure should mean anything, but at this age, my father already had me. or say at this age, a host of my batchmates had their own businesses or running their mini-empires in their organizations. when my contemporaries get down and get presented with other options, it's at the very least a lateral movement; i get offered for paycuts.

is it because what i do is so undefinable, that i get to be undervalued? is it because i follow a timetable, that i have to pass up the better deals? is it because i'm too patient, i become to complacent, and thus let the opportunities pass me by? do i need to be angry and raring to go to spot the tiniest window, and maybe that'll be my chance of bettering myself?

and what i do, what's it worth? in all aspects of my life, why does it seem that the actions i make with the greatest effort bring me the littlest (if any) rewards (if not outright losses). and cosmically ironic, why do the things i do with the minimal of effort bring me the biggest rewards? and most frustrating of all, why can't i pinpoint and sustain those moments of minimalist efforts? and does focusing on trying to do less make me a lazy bum?

as an example, what's the point on pouring your sweat on something when you only lose half an inch on your gut? i have to struggle in order to minimize the weight, like eating less? and to what goal? my personal vanity? and why do others seem to have an easier time at this?

it's not only the gym struggle, it's a host of other things too. it has become a series of "what's the point" questions. i plod on, hoping that in plodding, i find that point. that's what's keeping me on, the hope that there is a point, that there will be improvement, that there will be a reward.

but what if that hope is illusory? what if i've wasted my time hoping when i could've switched my options for something else that can bring me better rewards? but how do i know if it's a better option as well?

and is this my only window? to rant about it to the world in general? because everyone else around me is sick and tired of hearing nothing but my rants? that it has become so repetitive that it's pointless?

times like these, i wish i had vices to drown it out. but i don't, so i blog.

and i am so damned sick and tired of trying to rationalize it by saying i've got it better, i'm lucky i have so-and-so, i'm luckier than the majority in this land of bagoong, binalot, and basketball. it only reminds me that i have been complacent, that i could do better but i don't.

i wish i was like javajunkie who could let loose a host of diatribes and tirades; i simply am not that rebellious. i wish i was like viva_glam and hide her feelings through song; i simply am not that creative. so i just blog it as it is.

Friday, May 12, 2006

da vinci and da voltes

of late, several officials of the republic of one-of-two-countries-in-the-world-without-divorces (no, not malta) have been making noise wishing for the ban on showing The Da Vinci Code movie, as it may sway the beliefs of those who will watch it. one congressman even said that the censors board should listen to the "public clamor" against showing the movie. (there's more public clamor in increase in oil prices than in the banning of the movie...)

news reports keep on citing the banning of The Last Temptation of Christ and Schindler's List as examples of futility in trying to prevent the showing of these flicks.

these officials should better heed the warning of the Voltes V
cancellation by marcos. only this time, adults would also be against in silencing other views.

then again, there's always the friendly neighborhood dvd pirate, but watching The Da Vinci Code on the big screen is always different.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

breasts and barbeque

are we that deprived and that destitute that we have to compete in, among other things, the most mothers breast-feeding and the longest grill?

has it come to this?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

go go gym!!!

the past few weeks, i've been going to the "minus" gym to attend the spin class. being a self-appointed pigafetta, i tend to observe and pick on the quirky characters in the gym. i got the inspiration to post this from cat's gym post. don't blame me for being a pintasero, it's an augustinian trait... there are several characters that call my attention (i'm sorry to the people mentioned; i'm sure you're ok when i meet you, i just can't help myself...):

  • kung-fu hustle guy - no, this guy doesn't look like stephen chow; he looks like that barber guy with his butt sticking out. in addition, this lookalike has that partly blond top with the black roots coming out. i hate his guts and he hasn't done anything to me yet. weird...
  • 70s dude - i saw this guy this morning. after pumping iron, i noticed him fixing his longish bangs to stay in place, kinda like superman fixing his forehead curl (kissme, some people call that curl). the thing is, why bother fixing it, when you're going to take a shower afterwards? or is that the point, you're fixing it now since you're not going to take a shower?
  • sports bra girl - she goes to spin class with a sports bra and pants. she's fit enough; she draws attention and she knows it.
  • rosary manangs - these are the ones who refuse to follow the program in the spin class, spinning on their own beat or on their own sequence, which distracts the rest of the class. usually one in each class. they're like the old ladies who pray the rosary in the middle of the mass.

as for me, i'm sweaty guy; five minutes into the exercise and i perspire a bucketload.

Monday, April 17, 2006

evil entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship will bring about the destruction of the middle class.

Got your attention there, didn’t I?

The current trend emerging since the 1980s is that to succeed in life, one has to be an entrepreneur. Then stories of the taipans (Tan, Gokongwei, Sy) and recently the pinoy trailblazers (Villar, Hortaleza) would be narrated. However, articles don’t usually cover the mid-sized entrepreneur or the effect entrepreneurship has on the professional class.

When businesses and ventures fail, banks would usually be involved in the cleaning up process (whether to collect a direct loan from a failed expansion or to collect from a dead credit line). When asked why companies fail, they have two major reasons: succession problems and poor hedging.

Succession problems occur when the 2nd or 3rd generations of the owners don’t do as well as their trailblazing parents. Some squander the fortune, some don’t have the same acumen as their parents, and some have the exact acumen as their parents but the talent is inapplicable to the changing current business environment.

Hedging happens when one offsets one risk with another risk. For example, a businessman would need cash for the future, so he borrows in dollars in order to pay a lesser amount, with a reasonable expectation that the exchange rate will not fluctuate too much.

What happened was before 1997, where the exchange rate was P27 to a dollar, capital was free-flowing, and it was easier for businessmen to avail of loans for expansion. After all, this was the Ramos boom years, everyone was optimistic. But the crisis struck, and interest rates shot through the roof. Thus, the businesses couldn’t pay off the loans anymore and they shut down.

While thinking about these things, I thought about the life cycle and profile of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs usually belong to upper middle class to high class families. Lower middle class and low class families usually have little access to capital to start a sustainable and realistic enterprise (there is a limit on how much sari-sari stores and fishball stands one can put up in a community). Standard entrepreneurs on the other hand have access to their families’ capital, or have enough clout to borrow from a friendly bank.

Due to the intense competitive business environment, only a few entrepreneurs succeed; even then, these successful entrepreneurs have been through numerous failures before hitting the big time. Thus, with their instincts hardened by experience, most entrepreneurs believe that they alone can dictate how the business should be run, if not by someone they trust. Thus, they appoint family members to hold positions of authority.

The pattern isn’t breaking anytime soon, as can be seen by the failure of several businesses due to succession issues. Entrepreneurs would cling on rather than change, until the friendly bank becomes less than friendly and/or funds run out because of the sheer magnitude of losses.

When members of the middle class (upper and middle) opt to work as professional employees, they become disheartened since their way up the ladder is necessarily blocked by family members of the owners. Add this to the fact that because of the low level of trust owners have for outsiders, professional employees are only exposed to supervisory and administrative duties; no real responsibility is given.

To achieve a sense of accomplishment, professional employees currently have two options: become entrepreneurs or become OFWs. As more professionals leave the country, the country’s supply of professionals lessen, and the quality of work degrades. If they become entrepreneurs, the cycle begins anew, distrusting yet another generation of middle class professional hopefuls.

The original goal of entrepreneurship encouragement is to stem the preference for title-specific white-collar jobs, but lacking in substance. However, through selling entrepreneurship, emphasizing the “own-boss” notion only solidifies the señorito mentality, too many chiefs, not enough Indians.

I wish I could give a solution to this observation. I could always say, encourage a sense of professionalism within companies and the public sector, in order for professionals to have a better sense of self-worth, but that’s pointing the finger to the powers-that-be; and in this republic, the powers-that-be are still relatively ensconced that they do not feel the pressure to change. Any attitudinal change for the professionals themselves can only create incremental effects, due to the leverage of resources between the haves and the have-nots.

And the drain continues…

tax targets

i hate these tax press releases, most of them being churned out by the BIR.

study after study has shown that the national budget is being funded more than half by debt (surprisingly more than half of that debt is local debt). the remainder survives on taxes. and for those individuals who pay taxes, more than 70% of the tax is being paid by compensation workers (ordinary employees) who have their tax withheld at the source.

it really pisses me off that there are always reminders on all media to pay the tax, when in fact most of us normal folk who are capable of paying taxes have the taxes already withheld. the few professionals quibble about the details and the corporations fudge taxes all together. if the BIR wants to waste money on an information drive, focus on the corporations and not on the individuals who just get irritated of being reminded of an obligation they have already unwillingly performed.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

chocolate croissant comedy

scene: deli france IL

bambi: tihort, daan muna tayong deli france, i need to buy something
lee: okidoki
bambi: alammogutompangaakoalmusal
lee: (kung alam ko lang, yung pasta na yon, isang bilao e...)
bambi: (picks out chocolate croissant) eto po miss, painit lang po
miss: yes ma'am (then hands over croissant)
lee: (plucks croissant from bambi's hands) tenchu mermaid!
bambi: hoyanongakalamogutompangaakoetaposkukunin
(in full view of the shocked deli france crew)
lee: sorry po... (hands croissant back)

after walking out into the street

bambi: here you go tihort (hands croissant over)
lee: ano? pagkatapos mo akong pahiyain sa loob, ibibigay mo rin?
bambi: (bats eyelashes) ay lab yu!
lee: nyeh-nyeh-nyeh (rolls eyes)

anlabo... (munching on the chocolate croissant)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

pirating pilots

a lot of news has been going around regarding the pirating of pilots from here to other airlines abroad. of course, less has been mentioned about the initial pirating commercial airlines do to the air force. though one can argue that there aren't that many military planes to fly around with anyway, the point is the commercial airlines is benefitting from the government training given to these pilots. now boohoohoo, they're crying foul and want to restrict their own pilots' movement.

it's the same case with all other professions in the country, especially the nurse phenomenon. this exodus has been going on for ages, with teachers going to houston because of the shortage of english-speaking teachers, to accountants (also) going to the states because of the sudden increase in demand for them due to the post-enron sabarnes-oxley environment.

but if you listen to the pilots (and the nurses, the teachers, and the accountants), when asked what would make them stay, they only want a decent wage and a decent career growth path. they know companies here can't meet eye-to-eye the wages abroad (even if we have an improving exchange rate). but at the very least, give the professionals a decent chance to earn and grow that relies more on competence and less on patronage.

catholic service and cycling-spinning

in an effort to bring down my BMI to more respectable levels, i go to the spin class at the gym 2-3 times per week.

remember a few years back, during mass, there would be ladies praying the rosary, and not participating at the mass? this really ticked me off. i mean, if you want to pray the rosary, pray somewhere else, or at least not during the mass. they send the message that they disregard the general purpose of the mass and it's distracting to those (like me) trying very hard to focus on the mass as it is.

now a few years later, during spin class, there would be members doing their own routine, and not participating in the class. this really ticks me off. i mean, if you want to do your own routine, do it somewhere else, or at least not during the class. they send the message that they disregard the general purpose of the class and it's distracting to those (like me) trying very hard to focus on the class as it is.

Monday, March 20, 2006

blackness and brusqueness

dinky was arrested last friday for protesting, albeit in a very creative way.

two things tick me off though:

1) i know that the b&w guys, among them
mlq3, made sarcastic remarks about being arrested for walking with the black shirts. i mean, c'mon guys. please don't try to wash your hands on this issue. you were protesting and you knew it. and you had to resort to a clintonian/gloriaesque definition of a "rally." i do symphatize with your actions and admire your creativity; but please don't try to be cute on this one.

2) the cops who did the arresting, and presumably this administration, what's the matter with you? don't you know that you only fan the dissent? you're creating heroes out of these guys. if you want thinking people to defend you, you better stop with the strong-arm tactics. if you feel confident with your argument, you can let the dissenters shout till kingdom come; fight a bad idea with a good one. i hate the fact that you're marginalizing your critical collaborators, wanting only blind loyalty to you. you can buy blind loyalty with your cash, but you can't buy moralistic defense. and apparently, your line is morally indefensible, that's why you have to resort to force and legalistic machinations.

and just like the yesyesyo song, i don't know how to end this post conclusively (had to borrow your line,vivaglam).

Saturday, March 04, 2006

rip roaring rex

in between the friday almost-coup and the sunday almost-mutiny, i decided to go ahead with my previously-set schedule and watch the preeminent fil-am stand-up, rex navarette.

this is my 2nd time to watch rex, java junkie's first. although you can always listen to his albums, nothing beats seeing the interaction and movements of the guy onstage. java junkie and i were in stitches laughing our hearts out while munching on the styrofoam-flavored popcorn (i was too lazy to get the flavoring, or was it too cheap?).

the front act guy was also good, mimicking the voices of iconic 80s-90s commercials like 680 home appliances, and the centrophil commercial on TV, plus he did the comparison between HK's MTR announcements and our MRT voice-overs ("Please mind the gap" as opposed to "Guadalupe Station").

of course when rex came on, he really brought the house down. with topics ranging from dwende-phobia to the star wars halloween to the mmda pink urinals, he brought along the tito bhoy gag, replacing "birds and the bees" ("if a bird packed a bee, dat will be agly!"), with the arm-thrusting-in-the-air motion, "like-dis-like-dat".

rex of course had to comment on the almost-coup, saying "you don't know, but when we come out, we might already be Malaysia". Well, sunday's events showed it wasn't over yet. Even with the lifting of 1017, i doubt it'll still be over.

anyhoo, it was a great night.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

emerging & existing emergency

the coup has been prevented, the rallies have been controlled, people ask me "is it over?"

  • there are still sizeable amount of troops milling around critical military installations and at the palace (although they are not as tense as before)
  • people known to be critical of the empress' reign are being arrested right and left

i don't think it's over, not by a long shot. i shudder to think of the day when she will take over media outlets (channel 2 and 7), newspapers (inquirer, she already cracked down on the daily tribune - a newspaper i don't particularly read because of its pro-erap stance; but i do believe the niche should be maintained, not shut down), and utilities (meralco).

although i'm confident i won't be caught, arrested, or threatened (i'm just an insignificant number cruncher who's pissed at the reign; there are a whole lot of others more significant than me), it sends a psychological signal down the line that no one should go against her. i mean, the government only needs to catch the leaders to send the shudders down everyone's spine; but it discourages everyone to say anything. pretty soon, i'll be too scared to say anything. that is just plain wrong.

i really should do something about it; but certain conflicts of interests prevent me from doing so. for now, i blog.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

seriously scared of shadow

what happens when an organization that has the might but is so uncertain about it's own existence that it uses all of its resources just to survive, even at the risk of looking silly?


just now, they arrested ely pamatong's guys again. you might remember him as the failed presidentiable who claimed he threw spikes on the road to create chaos. he was just a nuisance, and they still arrested him.

last december, they arrested 80-something year old fortunato abat through a "citizen's arrest" with the charge of inciting to sedition. who among those who could fight would even rally to his cause?

they hosed down the 70-something year old former veep during a rally on nationwide tv. they could've just dispersed it the normal way.

they're now blaming abs-cbn for the wowowee incident, because it's a leader in dissing the administration.

every little protest, complaint, and opposition to the fact that the president is not doing a good job (forget legitimacy) would risk you a night in your friendly neighborhood jail. if the press and the internet wasn't spread throughout so many owners, that would've been clamped down too.

i believe the government has a right to defend itself from threats, like the NPA, the MILF, the ASG, and what not. but if it overreacts to every little silly attack, it loses it's focus to do important stuff, say governing. and you end up running the government through press releases and photo ops, looking sillier by the day.

while that happens, everyone jumps ship. and everyone else just goes on with their lives, trying not to notice her as much as they can. it is due to the resilience of the filipino that the economy is still managing to grow and not due to a comprehensive vision and program from the government (is there?).

it just ticks me off that the government would stoop so low and be so paranoid as to jump at its own shadow.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

tv tragedy

the wowowee stampede comes as a natural shocker for those waking up on a lazy saturday weekend. as of the latest count, 79 fatalities have been counted and 145 have been injured. the impact of this news has been so great that not only gma-7, abs-cbn's rival station has given this airtime; even cnn has posted news on this tragedy.

as a testament to abs-cbn's professionalism, sensitivity to the local psyche, and speed and mobility of its resources, it was able to marshal it's news staff to report the incidence non-stop. the show was understandably cancelled, with willie revillame, the show's usually rambunctious host, apologizing profusely to the general public and the audience present.

(the show was supposed to have it's 1st anniv, with big prizes being given up to a total of P1M. for an average earning of P100, getting a prize or even just escaping the daily doldrum that is the philippine experience is a treat in itself.)

abs-cbn also offered to pay up for the medical and funeral expenses of the victims. the tickets of the current show would also be valid for the rescheduled show; the prizes are not to be touched, for use of the follow-up show.

it was expected that abs-cbn management and hosts would apologize on tv and to the directly involved audience. what struck me most was when willie apologized, the crowd was saying, "di nyo 'yan kasalanan" (it's not the station's fault).

applauses and boos can be staged, but interspersed shouts of forgiveness is rare, considering that the crowd went through a harrowing experience. the mere fact that you are deeply apologetic and are willing to do anything to rectify the situation beyond the perceived call of duty, i guess for pinoys this makes you more credible, more trustworthy.

this crisis management so far ranks with the cebu pacific crash a few years back, but with a greater media impact. on the political front, with abs-cbn at the loggerheads with the pgma administration, this event was an unexpected silver lining. even more, abs-cbn is now perceived as more credible than the present administration. (pgma can only order a 48 hour deadline on how this happened and issue statements on sympathy, but she has not done anything this fast to help the victims.) any moves on her part would seem routinary at the very least (you are supposed to conduct investigations, which usually don't lead anywhere); at most it would seem opportunistic (why would you get in on the action, when your legitimacy is questioned?).

let's offer our sympathies and prayers to those who suffered in this incident, and let's see how this incident changes the dynamic between a maligned government and an increasingly-powerful and omnipresent media empire.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

call me commander, not captain

Click here to take's Star Trek Quiz.

i guess i can command a strategic space station near a wormhole, or be in-charge of a galaxy or intrepid-class vessel when the captain's in a conference or turning into a salamander... :P

i'm more of a TNG, VOY, and DS9 guy, the TOS questions really threw me off...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

insane iridology

our kasambahay (helper) mentioned to me while watching the morning shows that she went to an iridology clinic recently (they usually advertise during the morning shows). she then recounted that the consultation fee is relatively affordable and that the findings were similar to what she had with a regular clinic. unfortunately, they prescribed her to take food supplements to help her diabetes, which comes to a monthly total of ka-ching P14,000!!! 3 tablets, 3 times a day, so that's roughly P51 per tablet! (of course, claritin retails at around P44, but i don't take claritin 9x a day!)

it's like one of the printer strategies: sell a printer for a low price, then make the kill with the cartridges. that's why a lot of them hate these ink-refilling stations; they lose their incomes there.

these iridology clinics engage in a doubtful practice at best. sure, they were consistent with the findings of a regular clinic, but doesn't that just emphasize the redundancy of the whole thing?

the worst part is that these iridology clinics prey on the lower end of the society spectrum. our kasambahay told us that a fellow patient, upon hearing the price of her prescription, said she was even lucky because this other patient had to get some supplements to the tune of P24,000!!! gosh!!!

mistaken michael

i wanted to write about our kasambahay's (helper's) trip to an iridology clinic, but this item caught my ear during the morning rush with chico & delamar:

michael jackson was apparently caught malling in bahrain wearing, among other things, an abaya. online, the following was mentioned:

Jackson, who has been living in Bahrain since June last year as a guest of the royal family, was spotted at a popular downtown mall wearing a black abaya robe, black gloves, sunglasses and a veil that covered his face.

according to the morning rush report, he was also caught going into the ladies' bathroom and applying make-up, before rushing out, allegedly because he mistook the arabic sign.

now i love a good michael jackson joke like anyone else, but here's a wild thought: what if it wasn't michael jackson? what if it was just an unfortunate woman, a real woman? hmm...


Monday, January 23, 2006

exit ka ernie

ernie baron passed away this morning.

he was our generation's and abs-cbn's weatherman answer to gma's amado pineda. he became famous for his trademark twang (not the best way to describe it, but it's close) and his bottomless amount of trivia.

over the radio, he would be asked questions regarding everything under the sun. sometimes he would delay answering the questions, presumably for his researchers to hunt for info; but he usually comes up with the answers on the dot. for health queries, he would direct his listeners to take the "cleansing diet", drinking pito-pito tea (made up of seven herbs), and attending the seminars at kamuning road at QC.

he would of course be parodied, most notably by vic sotto in the defunct TVJ, where he would be "ernie barong", with his wacky inventions and barong with the cut at the back (may hati sa likod). i only found out morbidity of the joke on the split back years later; if you were a kid, you'd just think it's weird.

he later made use of his popularity by lending his name to a super-antennae and to a food supplement.

he's such an institution, it's hard to believe he's only 65.

pacquiao's punches

i usually don't watch boxing matches, not even manny pacquiao's. but since manny has been making waves the past few years, and i've only seen glimpses of his victorious fights, i said to myself, sige, i'll watch him this time.

i was expecting more firepower in his punches, but as numerous boxing armchair analysts have said, he's now more restrained and more scientific in his approach. since he still won, it's still good.

i just got pissed off when i saw the first gentleman and his cohort of politicians watching live at las vegas, not mindful of the crassness of watching there using our tax money. my dad, a conservative, mouthing them said "masasaya na naman pilipino, makakalimutan na naman tayo! (the filipinos are happy again, they'll forget us [the politicians]!)" then they take the credit for manny's winning. the nerve.

Friday, January 20, 2006

obvious overstatement

i was reading michael tan's column on chile's new female president, when this item caught my eye:

Until 2004, Chile was one of only three countries in the world without divorce. (If you're wondering, today there are only two: Malta and the Philippines.)

i said last weekend over our office outing that it was five countries, everyone thought i was exaggerating. turns out i even overstated the figure...