Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In the name of the Father...

Watching the saga of Philippine politics, one cannot help but wonder how much religion is being invoked in the name of God.

Where those in government curse the church as the latter asks for the head of Ate Glue in a moral revolution, it is ironic that when these congressmen and senators and FG defend themselves, they do so in the name of God.

God must be reeling in His hideaway in heaven at the anthology that is evolving in the Philippines. This country is the Catholic capital of Asia. Unlike other countries in Asia, however, this country is also the most corrupt. There is a joke running around that the reason why there has been less rain in the country this year is not because of climate change, but because God has no more tears for the Philippines.

Is there any relation of being Catholic to the high rate of graft and corruption in the Philippines? If one looks back at the history of the Catholic faith, it too, is ridden with graft and corruption. There was a time when the dark ages of the Church ruled grimly.

On bended knees, the people of the Philippines are begging for a little more slack from those in power, but like a faith that slowly slips away, many Filipinos are sick and tired of the same scenario. Our prayers seem to be falling on deaf ears. Those in power simply seek more power and have made governance a career in building one's riches.

Sadly though, it is the poor that pay the biggest price from all this corruption and ineptness of government. Moral ascendancy begins with self. As a people, we need to look into the mirror and find out how much concern we have towards the only country we have.

We cannot remain migrants into the land of plenty and hope to God that the economy of this land will be buoyed by the dollars our OFWs send home to the tune of over $1Billion a month. We cannot remain a country where BPOs are the primary sources of income for the people because the country cannot generate any job. The Philippines has two main careers - call center and government. Third in the career goals is becoming a singer or actor/ress so that one can dream of becoming a government official in the future. What a career path! Oh my God!

Invoking the full strength of the Lord, just for the sake of washing one's hands and demonstrating that one is "telling the truth" is a pathetic old practice that has eroded the faithful. Perhaps it is time that the Church bring back the punishment of ex-communication for those who use the name of thy God in vain.

Have we become so callused to the material things in life that there seems no end to the tunnel that Ate Glue has dug the Filipinos into? Honestly, may God help us!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yuletide yet?

It's the last week of November and I still can't feel the spirit of the yuletide season kicking in.

Every year for the past decade, our house staff would be eager in putting up the Christmas decors right after All Soul's day. The furnitures would be rearranged, the tree would be dusted and ornaments would be cleaned. The traditional parol would be taken out of the box. I would try to find out what the holiday colors would be for this year so that new adornments to the holiday motiff would match.

For some odd reason, however, that feeling has not sunk in.

While the holiday "spirit" in all the malls in Manila officially started October 1 (with the Filipino penchant for the longest yuletide celebration in the world...as long as the month started with the suffix "-ber" the Christmas holidays have begun) and the official countdown on Philippine media begins on October 1, 2008, there just seems to be something missing this year.

I don't know if it has anything to do with all the corruption scandals the Philippine government is warped in or the fact that Mikey Arroyo, Ate Glue's son is initiating a charter change while his mother is still hot in her seat, or that the world economy seems to be deteriorating and that business in the Philippines has not been that upbeat (but it seems that we're doing much better than the US and European countries), or that the Philippine peso has deteriorated by almost 20% from a closing high last year where USD$1 = P41.50, it has dipped to P50 today, or that I just recently retired from the academe and am trying to find myself back on track with my life as a retired academician.

While there are several bazaars and tiangges left and right and jingling and jangling of carols and bells are ringin, they have not brought enough emoting to my tired spirit and has made me wonder - what ever happened to the Christmas spirit?

I instinctively went to Designer Blooms yesterday to have a floral arrangement for the house. First time I'm having the interior of the house decorated by a flower shop. It was my way of jump-starting the holiday spirit in me.

As to whether it will change the mood in the next week...well, I hope so...

Monday, November 17, 2008

PLDT and BPI - crashing!!!!

Over the weekend, up to the this blogging, I had no DSL (my internet service provider).

myDSL which is run by PLDT claims to be one of the most efficient ISPs. So when I got them as my ISP even though the P999 a month for 1mbps is the most expensive among the ISPs, the conglomerate PLDT must be worth it, so I thought. WRONG!!!!

Someone should slap Manny Pangilinan the silly so that he can probably awaken to the fact that his company is not performing well with the subscribers.

It has become a horrible nightmare for me to have to wait for my modem on my desk to have the light on the DSL side disappear. And this happens EVERY MONTH. There is not a day in a month that this does not happen. Every month...every month...I'm actually sick and tired of having to call 171 (PLDT's hotline) to report that my ISP is down or slow or retarded or whatever! Just so frustrating. And you can't even get a rebate from the days that you're inconvenienced and whent he whole system is out of order.

PLDT always informs me that there is no problem with the connection in the area. So that leaves me in the quandry that I may be the unluckiest subscriber they have - they come to fix the line, change the cables, change the modem...name it, they've done it!

I pay my bills through phone banking. I bank with BPI. Over the weekend, AGAIN, I was going to pay my SkyCable (Cable TV) through phone banking. Guess what? When I attempted to dial my telephone PIN, an automatic recording informs me that I have had several attempts and they are canceling the transaction.

My goodness! I thought the sky fell on earth that weekend. I scrambled to call the customer service but the customer service of BPI is forever!!! They make you wait gazillion years before you can talk to a human being.

Then when I got to talk to a humanoid, she tells me that I have had 10 attempts in the past (accumulated) and that it automatically blocks my ephone service. My goodness! I have never had a wrong attempt in the past and when I told her to give me the dates, she tells me that there are no dates, just an accumulated number which automatically shuts the system when I have had 10 attempts! Now isn't that the worst type of IT Department in the world? And it's a bank! Supposedly, one of the bigger banks in this country. But run by no-brainers....

So I have an overdue account and no thanks to BPI.

What ever happened to regular banking and what happens when the whole computer system in this country crashes? That will leave our bright boys who run the techie world in wonderland. Talk to the laptop or the iPod...it might answer you back.

Monday, November 10, 2008


On November 16, my partner and I are celebrating our fifth year of being together.

Five years.

I never knew what monthsary meant until I met my partner. Unlike many stories, we didn't hit it off well at our first "date". Our discrepancy in age seemed to be the biggest barrier of all. After a few months, we eventually settled into a relationship.

Like many relationships, each of them are different. They are similar though when it comes to commitment - seeing how we can sustain to make it work in spite and despite all odds. There is, however, no perfect relationship. Those committing to seeing it to fruition must understand the failures and successes that go together with it. And every day is a work in progress.

My partner has been a source of inspiration to me. Although much younger than me, his patience is a feat that I admire. Grace under pressure is something that I believe I lack. He's the person that I talk to when I have insurmountable problems. I only wish that he'd share more of his frustrations with me. But over the years, I've learned the fact that he is not the kind of person that would want me worrying over frivolities in life.

Five years.

Yup! We're still learning to explore a little more of life from each other. My world, his world...my life, his life...there's so much to talk about but the silence between our worlds is also the depth of our discovery of our relationship...

There will always be a part of me that will always have my heart tugging everytime I hear him, see him...and that part of me will always say - Thank You...for being part of me. This time, not in months, but in years.

And wherever the road takes me in life, I thank you for having been part of me. I look forward to more years together, not counting the times we've laughed and cried anymore, but being happy just the way we want to be.

Happy Anniversary Bubba!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tidbits of farce, fart and Ate Glue in Wonderland!

After the US Presidential elections came to a quick and decisive close yesterday, the Filipinos in the Philippines who were glued to CNN awaiting the momentous decision can all go back and do what they do best...bash Ate Glue.

The other day, Ate Glue had commented that people should stop riding on the JocJoc Bolante caravan. She chided everyone for doing a political grand stand on the corruption issues that are hounding her. My answer - WHY NOT? Her fat ass is just sitting on these issues and she's not lifting a finger. Her never care attitude is nauseating and these people who're licking her p**sy are willing to stand the pungent odor as long as they rake in the millions.

1. The Euro Generals Saga - So the story goes that the Russian officials, through a letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs, are now inviting the wife of the head of the Philippine National Police General Versoza back to Russia, together with retired General Eliseo de la Paz. What's the Mrs got to do with the story? The PNP is mum on this, but wait, now de la Paz is also being asked by the Russian authorities to explain why there was still over 56,000 euros the asshole was carrying (which they likewise confiscated). De la Paz had a bright explanation - two Chinese friends had requested him to buy 2 very expensive watches which would cost arount 28,000 euros each. Bull! F**k the idiot! This guy should have just been assigned to Mindanao and tortured till death by the Abu Sayyaf and extremists.
From the way the story is evolving, the stories from the grapevine is that General Versoza's wife had actually carried more than the money found in the de la Paz from Manila to St. Petersberg. Of course, no one would inspect the wife of the PNP Chief on her exit from Manila. She had brought more moolah than you could count. The money was to wine, dine, dance and buy gifts for the other wives of the other generals that had gone with her. On their way back to Manila from the junket, the Mrs was caught with the cash that was left from their shopping spree (eat your heart out Paris Hilton as Mrs V had more moolah than what your dad left you!). Someone had to take the fall and de la Paz, thinking that since he was a general, could get himself untangled in the scenario at the airport. Too bad the Russians are more intelligent than the dumb pinoy bobo-cops! But the plot has thickenend...

2. JocJoc JocJoc I am sick - Best Actor in a Comedy is JocJoc Bolante. I hate saying it, but it looks like the doctors at St. Lukes are in this together. Tadahhh!!! Love them, hate them. No wonder the doctors end up getting stoned to death in this comedy-drama that you'd love to hate. They invoke the patient-doctor confidentiality, a.k.a. - secret! So while no one is talking, JocJoc's lawyers are busy buying time requesting for the Supreme Court for temporary injunction and so on and so forth. I guess it would have been better if JocJoc just proclaimed insanity and then went ballistic and shot himself in the hospital. Doesn't have to be fatal. Just do it! That way he can be sent to the looney bin where he can join his kin. Come on guys, this guy has a house in Ayala Alabang that is worth over 80Million pesos. His family says that they are rich even before he got the position as Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture. They claim that he accepted the position because Mike A and he are friends and they go a long way back. Nice story. But no one would give a sh*t about his forum shopping to keep him out of jail. Ironically, the buying time drama is evolving like a true blooded Pinoy Telenovela there is never a timeline to end the story as long as other issues are present. With these two dramas that have evolved, it has become a tug-of-war for the Filipino people on which channel we are following. And the joke's on us!

3. Ate Vi to run for VP? OMG! - Ate Vi celebrated her nth birthday in style in her hometown in Batangas. The governor is just as charming and pretty as she was decades ago when she was part of the teeny bop group with Esperanza Fabon, Edgar Mortiz, Jay Ilagan, et al. In the birthday bash, she was asked if she was ready to become Vice-President of the Philippines in the 2010 elections and she said that she was concentrating on the here and now. Making a film was on her next agenda. Well, Gov. Sarah Palin, eat your eye glasses out because the Philippines has also its own version of you, except that Ate Vi is less ditzy than the governor of Alaska in the US of A. But wait, Ate Vi retorted that she has not thought about it well enough and well things can change...OMG...she can do an Obama! Maybe she can be president? God, just throw thunder and lightning and make the ocean eat up this country, if that happens.

4. Drug prices to drop? - So now the impelementing rules and regulations on the Universally Accessible and Quality Medicines Act (Cheaper Medicines) has been signed and the implementation will take effect soon. This includes the controversial tag line that all generic drugs will carry the label "this generic drug is therapeutically equivalent to other generic products with the same generic name. Signed - BFAD". So who's going to do the testing for these generic products? How sure are we that the requirements for therapeutic equivalence are actually met by the manufacturer or distributor? Knowing how many fly-by-night and backyard distributors there are in this country, there will be a massive increase in deaths due to lack of efficacy or safety of a drug product if the patients and doctors are not vigilant with the current scenario of drug production practice in this country. The only way this can be resolved is to bring back the death penalty. In China, the Food and Drug head was executed a year ago because of the poor quality of drugs in the country. We should subject of regulatory authorities with the same punishment if found guilty to approving drugs into the Philippine market without a bioequivalence/bioavailability test, when needed.

Remember guys - the most expensive drug is the one that doesn't work!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Anybody can

“If there is anyone out there who doubts that America is a place where anything is possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer,” Obama declared when he became the first black African-American to make history as the 44th elected president of the United States of American.

This shows the world that anybody can fulfill the dream of becoming King of the World, the most powerful man in the universe, or whatever name you want to call it.

I will not blog about how President Barack Obama did in his campaign nor how Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin literally were signed off in this one-sided battle for the Road to the White House...that is history.

It's about celebrating! It is electrifying that Barack Obama, who symbolized every common man's dream, stood above all adversities, to become president of the United States!

Clearly, change is in the air...the future is ours to hold...and only we can become victorious in the midst of change when we do something positive to make things happen the way we want.

Wishful thinking ... will the Philippines ever be like this? Dream on....