Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From Flood to Flight

We were driving on the way home after a few hours of rainfall flooded the streets of the metro once again. Fortunately, we weren't hit by the floods. Unfortunately, since most of the metro is interconnected, a flood in Buendia can trigger a gridlock in EDSA-Roxas.

As we were driving, I noticed that commuters have already walked past the normal waiting area for jeeps and buses and have met the public utility vehicles in advance. Usually, we would submit this as another case for the lack of discipline among Filipinos. But if you look at it closely, especially if you've been a commuter during the rainy season, a more complex mind game is at work.

During the rains, more vehicles are slowed down by floods, therefore, vehicles available for rides arrive later and less frequently.

The time you get off work does not change, so there is the same amount of people waiting for the bus/jeep.

There is no contingency plan to beef up more transport, so you would expect a lesser supply of buses/jeeps given a particular time frame.

The traffic enforcers are trying to unsnarl the traffic, but there is a limit to how much they can free up the chokepoints, namely the vehicle capability and the road conditions.

Since the traffic enforcers are busy unraveling traffic to increase the supply, but not fast enough, a few impatient commuters move forward to get home earlier. Since they are not penalized, the rest follow. Thus, another gridlock is born.

If there would be more traffic enforcers to try to maintain order to avoid jumping the lines, that would only solve part of the problem. Because traffic enforcers cannot maintain the road conditions that aggravated the flooding in the first place.

The people know that something's fishy going on in road repair, as seen by the numerous asphalt outlays that need to be replaced year in and year out. They know that contractors and crooks in congress, city hall, and other government offices take their share, but aren't convicted. The people don’t usually make the direct connection that the potholed, corrupted-laden roads are the cause of the floods during a drizzle, but it's at the back of their heads. And this may be one reason why some of us are unafraid to bend a few rules, since our dear leaders break it so brazenly can get away with it.

And then they foist on you someone who will be the metro disciplinarian but unwilling to go after the big fish. He can clean up the sidewalks of the informal vendors, fine. But I still see gas-guzzling convoys chugging along the metro and he's not stopping them. Sadly, I think our reigning elite would go for volume sales (funding the national coffers with compensation income tax or catching small fry) rather than high-margin sales (small percentage of corporate income tax funding our development or catching big fish). Since the middle and lower class are being squeezed, they get out by voting with their feet.

Erg, a social rant based on today's traffic. How dreadful.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

C-130 Crash

Let's pause for a while for the terrible tragedy that has befallen the crew & passengers of the ill-fated Davao-Iloilo PAF C-130 flight.

Don't be mislead by the manifest stated with the pilots and crew. The C-130 is a large plane, which has a normal capacity of 92 passengers, but that capacity is with seats. In a typical PAF flight, seats are removed, and the passengers sit on whatever cargo that is available or even the floor. So this may translate to around 150-200 actual passengers.

In addition, the C-130 has 4 engines, so if one conks out, the plane can still land. And there are no weapons held by non-friendly forces that are strong enough to shoot down any plane, much more a C-130.



Since there's no loud protestations so far from the families of the possible victims of the flight (excluding the pilots and crew), the C-130 could have just had only the nine of them on board to pick-up the contingent at Iloilo, so I could be wrong about the flight having around 150-200 passengers.

But still I have my doubts. Because of the capacity of the plane, it would be a waste to send it to pick-up troops without ferrying other passengers or cargo along the way. So I don't know if they're keeping the other victims' relatives very quiet, or they're not disclosing if they have additional cargo.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gas Gap

This is a succeeding post after my previous gas computation.

As of today, the US average price per gallon is $3.880. I did a bit of number crunching with the following assumptions, and this is what I came up with:

Philippine unleaded price per liter: P57.07 (from observation, lower than last post)

Peso-dollar exchange rate: P45.500 = USD1.00 (peso appreciation)

Gallon-liter conversion: 1 US gallon = 3.78541178 liter (well, this doesn't change)

So that’s (P57.57 / P45.500) x 3.78541178 = $4.748 per gallon in the Philippines versus $3.880 per gallon in the US! Wow, the gap's even bigger!

Put it another way, ($3.880 x P45.500) / 3.78541178 = P46.64 per liter in the US versus P57.07 per liter in the Philippines! Sheesh!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Republic's Root Regulation Ratification Relegated? Really?

Hmm, is this press release a trial balloon meant to lull us into complacency, only to find out that our beloved representatives will spring on us a cha-cha surprise? And suggested by no less than bicol's finest, Luis Villafuerte? Really?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Frickin' "Flip-Flop"

Posted on Flip-flopping senators over should explain to public--Palace

My knee-jerk reaction:

Do you actually think we're idiots??? You have the gall to say that the Senate's resolution meant to extend the empress's reign? WTF???

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sub-Sophomore Survey!

Freshmen Year Survey!

What section were you?

Block D1!

Who were your seatmates?

I can't remember anymore; has it really been 13 years ago??? I think I usually sat near Jan Chavez or Omer Dizon.

Still remember your English teacher?

Of course! Fr. Alfeo G. Nudas, S.J.

What was your first class?

Math 17, 8:30am, MTh

Who was your crush back then?

This long-haired chinita-tisay girl, pero siniraan ako ng isang kakilala ko who said na binayaran ko sya to find out more about the girl. And that I paid him P20 to do it. And I think her barkada believed it. C'mon… I'm not that underhanded (too torpe to do that) nor that cheap (a tightwad yes, but not cheap)… Hehehe!

Made friends to the higher years?

Not really, just knew some guys who went from the same high school from the upper batches.

Had a boyfriend/girlfriend?

Is bambi reading this? Then no. :-" Hehehe! ;)

How was your class schedule?

My MTh class was ok, it started at 8:30am so no problem taking the bus by then (I'd be riding by 7am). But my TF classes were another thing; I had a 7am CommI class so that meant I had to be hanging by the bus by 5:30am. Fr. Nudas didn't usually end by 8:15, so we'd have to hightail it to the Math Building where Prof. Abis would give us the evil eye… We'd get to her 8:30 class by running, sharing a cab, or hitching with a blockmate with a car; there was no direct Ikot/Toki route from AS to Math building… :(

Made any enemies?

Not really, I just got along with everyone. However, there was this incident where I was hitching a ride when my friend almost parked near the Upsilon peeing area, este parking area. They gave me the stink eye, which only reinforced my love for fraternities (or lack thereof).

Who was your favorite teacher(s)?

Fr. Nudas of course tops the list, but the runners-up are the following:

Gerry de Villa for being a moderate firebrand

Ato Manaloto for being a believer in a department of atheists, and for being lenient with me even while dozing off during his class (and I was seated right next to his desk! Hehehe!)

What sport did you play?

Fencing and aikido. Hmm, I wonder if I can practice my fencing again… Hehehe!

Back then, do you always buy your lunch?

All the time. We would usually go to the Beach House for the P12 barbecue; if I wasn't with my block, I'd eat a slice of pizza at Giacomino's at CASAA :P

Were you a party animal?

I don't think so… hehehe!

Were you well known in your school?

Nope; it's a big school… Hehehe!

Skip classes?

I think once, but if I don’t remember it, then I guess I didn’t skip it; what a dork… :-B

Did you get suspended/expelled?

Neither :P

Can you sing the alma mater song?

Nope; I always thought you can only sing that song twice in your whole college life: during the orientation and during graduation. I can hum it though… ;)

What was your favorite subject?

CommI! I do take a certain pride in Math 17 that I didn’t drop it when almost half of the class did and I still had a high grade; I can't say I loved it though.

What is your school's full name?

University of the Philippines - Diliman

Where did you go most often during breaks?

Beach House, outside the classroom of the next class, and the CS lib, where I had my first dose of this newfangled thing called the Internet (P20 per hour! Then waste the whole hour by waiting for the graphic-filled anime site to load! All on 15.5kbps dial-up! All on Windows 3.1!!!)

If you could go back in time and do it all over, would you?

Of course! I loved the looser structure versus high school and the part that you were exposed to different walks of life (although one can say BA people are typically homogenous, it's still more varied than the HS people you would've spent around a decade of your life with, assuming you all went to the same grade school and high school).

What do you remember most about first year?

1. Meeting friends outside of my previous circle

2. Riding the bus for almost 2 hours each way to get to and from school

3. Getting high grades for the first year (a feat not to be repeated in the succeeding years… hehehe!)

4. Letting go of my old hang-ups ;)

5. Being in awe of Diliman

Aberrant Absence

Where the heck's the homepage? Why has it expired? It was there yesterday and it expired last July 28?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Barong Beginnings

A few weeks ago, I came across this article in GMA-TV where there has been decline in tie fashions for the past few years in the US. Being out of the formal corporate getup world for a little over a year insulated me from seeing corporate wear; coming back made me see how suddenly true the non-tie movement has been spreading upwards.

The republic of basketball, bagoong, and balut as a workforce has never been a tie country. But now, this is spreading to the white-collar sector (man, that's a dated phrase). I used to pride myself in wearing a tie every working day (as hinted by my old post), but when I started at my new work, I noticed that my male colleagues were wearing polo barongs more often.

In my first & second jobs, I had two barongs: one short-sleeved linen barong that was a hand-me-down from dad (as most of my fashion sense were), and one was a long-sleeved barong that was tailored from a barong cloth. The cloth was a gift, and it wasn't linen or pina, but a coarser cloth. The short-sleeved barong was still a size too big and the long-sleeved barong was a bit too tight. Needless to say, I didn't wear these barongs often since I wasn’t fond of the fit or material, and especially since our floor was just above the mainframe floor where some of us had to wear bonnets to keep warm.

Going back to my current job, the air-conditioning in the office tries its best, but can't overcome the heat in recent months; even client's offices had their fair share of heat. So I decided to get myself a new linen short-sleeved barong that fit me just right. And then I noticed myself wearing that barong each week, so I bought another one. And another. And another.

Now when we're at clients and there's a meeting of some kind, I pull out the barong. Or when I want to feel snazzy on a Monday, I wear the barong. The barong is much more forgiving on the figure (since my old dress shirts are a wee bit tight and I can't close the top button when I wear my tie). And even if I wear a short-sleeved barong, it still gives an air of formality.

This was the trend that my old bosses were taking from my second job. They were young businessmen who wanted to project an air of professionalism yet wanted to keep fresh, so they used jusi and pina short-sleeved barongs. My classmate from high school also mentioned that one of her bosses in a bank that always wore suits to work for more than ten years has started to wear barongs because of the heat. I also noticed that more "suits" in the CBD have taken to wearing barongs (thus presenting an oxymoronic twist).

I just feel sad though, because I still have a ton of ties in my closet with dress shirts that still make an appearance, although only once or twice a week at most. But I'm glad that I have this set of clothes that make me feel comfortable and still look sharp.