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Friday, April 29, 2011

Two Gleefully Ambiguous Rants Today. . .

First, William and Catherine finally got hitched! Great! Congratulations kids, er, your highnesses! May you have a long and prosperous life and blah, blah, blah and all of that. I sincerely wish for them the very same things I would any newlywed, regardless of being nobility or commoner. Wills is definitely a lucky guy. Not since Grace Kelly of Monaco decades ago do I recall someone as striking as Duchess Catherine above. 

So for the love of God, could we finally move on to more important and relevant matters dito sa atin!?!! Frankly, sawang sawa na ako sa halos dalawang linggong puro "Royal Wedding" ang laman ng mga balita! My supply of royal fantasies and British romance dried-up early!    

Secondly, si Madame Gutierrez nag-resign na! 

If there was ever a real-life superhero dispensing justice and fairness in the world, the closest it would be is someone holding the Office of the Ombudsman, where the LAW is upheld supremely above all, especially by those working in government and the public sector. It literally is where "wrongs" must be "righted".

Supposedly, and I mean that in the strongest terms, we have the value of delikadesa or sense of propriety or decency imparted as an intrinsic part of our culture and upbringing. Tragically, the concept seems to be waning these past generations. This is especially true with people in government ("public servants") who seem to have evolved thick armor-plated skin supplemented by a lack of morals. Nakarami na tayong mga tulad nila!

Madame Gutierrez above cites the usual "family" excuse mentioning how her mother and husband and children seem to be already affected with her predicament and that such an action was in pursuit of the "the greater good". Susmaryosep naman! Madame, kung noon pa lang ginawa mo na ito at hindi pinahaba-haba ng walang kwentang pagmamamatigas, that would have been infinitely preferred! If it were some other country in the context of another society (Japan readily comes into mind), if you sense that you have fallen out of favor with your leader, not to mention being perceived by both your colleagues and the wider public as being ineffective in your post, and  resigning ASAP would be a very diplomatic way to save face! It's called a courtesy resignation. Rightly or wrongly, it's just that way it is, more so if your boss is the president of a country!

Good luck madame! You'll surely need it.     

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

China As The Emerging Dragon

Napoleon Bonaparte was supposed to have uttered something very prophetic about China: "There lies a sleeping giant in east. Let her sleep, for when she wakes up, she will shake the world."

An interesting news bit below on what some think is the imminent shift in global affairs in the next few years, not even a decade from now. The points it raises and implications being touched are intriguing to say the least. 

Putting A Handle On A Malaysian Parang

South East Asian blades have that function of being all-arounders, especially the mid to large-sized ones. They somehow combine trail clearing, wood carving/shaping/processing and food preparation into a single platform design. Their simple construction, thinner blades and lighter weight all contribute to their being  multi-taskers.

Below is a nice video of a Malaysian parang, a blade very much like our own itak, the difference being they usually have blunt and broader tips than our own native tools. It was made by an English expat who is into jungle survival and indigenous living. The actual maker though and the methods he uses could just as easily be a familar manong blacksmith and knifemaker in his backyard forge here.    

Saturday, April 16, 2011

World's Oldest Man Dies. . .

(Photo from

. . . and imparts a lifetime of lessons, some of them earned during war and hard times.

Even though he's an Americano, the things he shares are universal and applies to whomever in the world. RIP lolo.

Click below -

Walter Breuning at 114

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The "Tactical" Pre-Departure Bag Self Check

The tragic story of the three Filipino "drug mules" who were executed in China is a sordid one. Namely, they were: Ramon Credo, Sally Ordinario-Villanueva and Elizabeth Batain. RIP mga kabayan.

That is the reality you will face if you choose to risk your life in this illegal venture especially in a foreign land. Whether you are dumb or desperate, it is what it is.

On the other hand, as it was being protested by some of the families of the executed Filipinos, Ordinario-Villanueva in particular, she was just an unwitting victim falling prey because of extending the kindness of doing a minor errand or being asked to deliver something (the Pinoy practice of "pakisuyo" or "padala" respectively) as she had no idea she was carrying contraband or an illegal substance. This unfortunate incident is something different altogether.

I linked an article below on a methodical checking of your bag's contents so as to prevent such an unwanted scenario. In spite of the language and the "tactical" (i.e. - intended for military or security personnel) tone, the method still holds even for the average traveler, whatever the occasion or the country.  

Click below -   

Some few things I need to add:

1. As it has been talked about already, we ought to be wary carrying packages and parcels as a favor for others, especially if we hardly know them. It always has been a social engineering tactic for criminal elements to zero-in on Filipinos' clannish, family-oriented, regional/provincially-identifying and "soft-hearted" ways. At the very least we ought to suspend or politely decline doing this practice for the mid-term.   

2. Regard the final 2 hours before boarding your flight or actual travel as the "red flag" hours for heightening your alertness. If you've made sure the contents of your bag and packages are secure and compliant with air or sea port security checks, don't let your guard down until you've actually checked-in your bags and you properly seated or stationed in your mode of travel.  

3. Proximity is danger! As with time, being in close contact with anyone who might not even seem "shady" might cause you problems. Be alert with anyone or even anything coming into close range with you or your bag or belongings. Seasoned criminals can easily steal, switch belongings or slip something in an unsecured pocket of your bags.

4. If something untoward does happen, remain calm when being questioned by security people and authorities. "Suspect" can be any word or action that might be misinterpreted against you. Ask for a representative from the consulate or embassy.   

Mag-ingat po tayo! 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Filipina Maids "Discriminated" in Singapore!?!!

This news bit REALLY got to me. 

I can replace the idea of DISCRIMINATION ("panlalait" in proper Tagalog context) with some other ideas we Filipinos ourselves MOST OF THE TIME forget. 

How about sense of PROPRIETY (nasa "ayos" ayon sa lugar at pagkakatoan), SENSITIVITY (murunong umintindi) and RESPECT (pag-galang) especially if it is NOT your country you are staying in?

It is at the heart of the ills of the Filipino, both as a species and as a culture, is his/her search for IDENTITY. Having been a colony and experienced oppression by Spain, Japan and America, he has not found himself yet. One sure sign that someone has found his identity is that he conducts him/herself that draws ADMIRATION and a sense of DIGNITY from outsiders. All of that has nothing to do with being "edukado" or being "may kaya sa buhay." No relation whatsoever!

Want proof of this? Look no further than your typical kapit-bahay blaring his stereo or radio for all the world to hear, not minding if people want to rest in silence or approve of his choice of music. Same is true with being in a jeepney with the manong drayber not having a care in the world.

Self-respect encourages outward respect from others! 

I know the difficulty, loneliness and suffering (physically, emotionally) suffered by OFW's abroad, even in Singapore where I've been and even stayed with some briefly when I tried my luck there in 2010. I've even been to the "Ion Orchard" mall location they were talking about. Honestly, that's not where I'd like to have some serious fun!  
Pero hindi ako isang hinayupak na politiko na nagpapa-sipsip sa tinatawag nilang mga "Bagong Bayani" (which is nothing more than a political slogan to gain publicity and votes) dahil ang mali, mali parin, maging sino ka man, maging saan ka man. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

That "Godforsaken" RH Bill

(Photo by Vincent Go taken from

The well-known story goes that once, one of the greatest Zen masters in history (who didn't have to be a Buddhist) was ambushed with a trick question by his enemies: "Teacher, is it lawful to pay taxes to  ceasar?" To which he plainly but profoundly responded: "Render unto ceasar the things that are ceasar's. . ." I think we know how the rest of it goes right? 

Somebody gave someone in my family some stickers that was against the hotly-debated "Reproductive Health Bill" (deep props to Carlos Celdran on his "Damaso" move!) Apparently, a central sticky point by the bishops of the CBCP representing the Catholic church here centers on the propagation of sex education to the youth.

Here's a visual representation of what seems to be interpreted from both sides - 

The "anti" group:

Sex Education

For the rest of us "pro" group:


EDUCATION which can directly contribute to the welfare, health, a myriad of opportunities and overall well-being of people, especially the younger set. 

Get the picture, mga fathers? A whole world of difference derived from the slightest tweak in one's perception. 

We CAN NOT allow national policy, especially if we are seriously considering the long-term impact for our country to be dictated by religious doctrine. Remember the "Separation of Church and State" under the "doctrine" of the Constitution?

It is a greater act of immorality and unconscionable sin to simply allow health risks and unwanted pregnancies leading to further overpopulation causing more burdens for our country and its allied ills of poverty, crime, food and national security and more strain on our resources. 

Of course the priests would never have known the price of milk and diapers these days or how much is it really to send a child to school, di ba?