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Archive for January, 2010

TUBIIIIIG!!

With summer just around the corner, and the threat of El Nino looming over the horizon like some ancient monster preparing to devour its prey, the government is now urging the public to conserve, or at the very least, be prudent in its consumption of our most precious of natural resource, that is… WATER.

It’s going to be a tough sell though, what with the average Metro Manila resident taking not just one, but two trips to the shower each day. As anyone who’s had the unearthly experience that is the hot and sticky Pinoy summer knows, the trip to the shower increases as the temperature rises.

You can take away electricity from Juan de la Cruz and he will find a way to amuse himself. But deny him his daily dose of agua and you’ll likely to have a revolution on your hand…

Incredible as it may sound, a mere four months after typhoon “Ondoy” struck and inundated the better part of Metro Manila, we are now being warned of an expected water shortage.

Just think, thanks (or no thanks) to that six-hour downpour last September we were up to our neck, literally, with water that the authorities had to release a massive quantity to prevent damage to the dams, hence, the great flood of 2009.

And now they are telling us the water level in those dams are at a dangerously low level?

Where the f**king hell did all that excess water go?

Oh wait, silly me… I know what happened. It (excess water) evaporated into thin air… caused perhaps by the huge volume of hot air being blown around lately by those campaign ads.

Seriously though, there is in fact an answer to this simmering problem, which Inquirer columnist Neil H. Cruz have been harping on and on for more than a decade now: the Wawa Dam in nearby Rodriguez, Rizal.

Curiously, however, this nearby source of fresh water has been overlooked  for a long time by the government after Angat Dam — at present, one of the city’s main source of water supply — was commissioned in the late sixties.

Why this potential source of emergency water supply was never tapped is a mystery even to Mr. Cruz himself.

Was it neglect on the part of the government? or just plain old politics?

Methinks it’s both…

PS: So okay, I’m all for conservation. We all have to do our part after all, right? But before the authorities start implementing emergency measures, such as water rationing, shouldn’t they first clamp down on those freeloaders who tap on the city’s water main? You see them everywhere, particularly in and around the depressed areas of the city. You can easily spot this, because the street in front of those places are always wet, even on a hot sunny day.

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Lying Eyes…

He’s crude. He’s mean. He’s obnoxious. He can be so in-your-face and yet at the same time, be subtle as a cat on the prowl. And best of all… HE KNOWS IF YOU”RE LYING.

And I’m not talking about Dr. House either…

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Using psychology, body language interpretations and the little-known science of Facial Action Coding, Dr. Cal Lightman and his group (the Lightman Group) is the best of the best when it comes to detecting deception. Their expertise on human behavior is most sought-after by local and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as private corporations and individuals.

Fox Network’s “Lie To Me*” is just one of the handful of intelligent, and thought provoking shows that have landed on these shores in recent years.

Not since CSI made its debut nearly ten years ago, no other show has piqued my interest so much, that it had me staying away from my laptop, and instead had my eyes glued to the boob tube for two nights of the week.

I guess that (among other reasons) would explain the seeming lack of blog posts from yours truly lately.

And the best reason to watch? Why, it’s Tim Roth of course!

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A prodigal son named Jason…

To this day, even with the overwhelming evidence stacked up against her son, Marlene Aguilar, sister of folk singer Freddie “Anak” Aguilar, still insists on her son’s innocence. That’s how much she loves her son. She would rather break the law or see ten more people die than let her erring son spend a single day inside a Pinoy jailhouse.

Unfortunately, the more she talks about her loving son in glowing terms and making excuses for his behavior, such as his hatred towards the Philippine government, the more she’s showing her failure as a mother.

Raging against authority? heh, rarely will you find a person in these islands without animosity of any kind towards the government, but that does not make for an excuse to be an A-hole and shoot a defenseless man in cold blood.

Aguilar, in fact, is too blinded by her motherly instinct to protect her favorite hijo that she’ll think of any excuses — even outlandish ones — to get her son a get-out-of-jail pass. Perfect example: just last month while the young Aguilar was on the lam, she accused both the US and Philippine government for orchestrating the whole thing. Jason (her trigger-happy son) was framed by Uncle Sam she claims, because of a politically explosive article (or book, or whatever…) that she wrote a while back, about America’s involvement in Philippine politics.

Nothing like a family crisis (or in this case, failed parenting) to bring out the conspiracy theorist in you, eh?

Now here’s the funny thing: after implicating big bad US of A in her son’s current predicament (among other things), Aguilar is now asking its embassy (yes, the US embassy!) to do a “Daniel Smith”, meaning, take custody of her beloved brat.

I would like the US embassy to take him in their custody because it’s their job to protect their citizens, more so my son who fought for his country,

I guess she, of all people, know what Philippine justice is like, hah!

Oh and, with regards to that claim of hers that her son is a former US military personnel, hence the need for a Daniel Smith-like treatment, which branch of the American armed forces is it really? One day she claims he was with the US Marines, and then it was with the US Army Rangers (and special ops at that, according to her) the next.

Confused? me too…

And what does the conflicting statements (about Jason’s military background) has to do with his case? Well, plenty if you ask me. Methinks that Marlene Aguilar (or her highly-paid lawyer) will use it to claim temporary insanity to escape prosecution for harboring a fugitive, or that her little “angel” was a shell-shocked veteran, which would explain his violent tendencies.

Whichever excuse she and her lawyer comes up with, I bet my hard-earned peso it’ll stink worse than a bull’s guano.

Luckily, or Unfortunately (depending on which side of the track you come from) the shooting victim was the son of a high-ranking government official, thus the case was quickly solved. No sitting on their fat asses on this one. But, had he been a regular Joe like the rest of us ordinary mortals, I doubt if the authorities will be as zealous in their manhunt for Ivler, and the younger Ebarle would have been just another statistic.

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Message board blues

Pissed, and running out of options (except to move away) on what to do about those inconsiderate dvd vendors that have given my mother and I countless nights of agony, as we try to sleep our way through the cacophony of sound emanating from those damn loudspeakers, I decided to post a message on the website of the Optical media Board (OMB), specifically, to their Enforcement and Intelligence Division.

“Dear sirs, i would like to bring to your attention those illegal dvd vendors operating in front of our building along xxxx street, corner xxxx avenue in Manila. Not only are they openly selling pirated copies of music and current filipino and hollywood movies, they are also selling x-rated videos, oftentimes, in front of minors.

Aside from illegally selling their wares on a public place, their non-stop playing of loud music 24/7 has made sleeping a near impossibility for many of the residents of this building.

Many times in the past, “raids” have been conducted but to no avail… they come back as soon as the authorities leave the area. What’s more, either these people have been forewarned of the raid, or have paid off some people.

Gentlemen, this game of cat and mouse has been going on for so long in our place and it is my impression that the OMB is not really serious in their effort to fight video piracy.

The police have been useless so far because according to them, “it’s not part of their job”.

Anyway, I am ending this message with the hope that the new OMB head will take action the soonest possible time.”

Note: I deliberately deleted my address for this post to retain my privacy.

It’s been more than a week since I wrote that message on their website, but have yet to receive a reply nor see any concrete action on the part of the new chief, leading me to wonder whether there is actually a sign of intelligent life in that frigging office.

Man, this guy is just as worse as his predecessor. Oh well, I guess this proves one thing: our new anti-video piracy chief is indeed effective… as effective as a used napkin that is.

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Disiplina…

Ask the average Pinoy on the street what ails his country and its people — or at least, the majority of them — and they’ll all likely give the same answer: Lack or absence of discipline.

But here’s the funny part: while everyone seems to be well aware of this national flaw, and would wish to see the word become part of Pinoy culture and vocabulary, very few would even bother or consider doing anything to change things. In fact, a mere hint or suggestion of disciplinary measure of some sort would bring about violent reactions from all sectors.

This is what I would call a Pinoy Dilemma: Wanting change but is unwilling to swallow the bitter pill.

We attack the Philippines first by changing the attitude, by creating the common good, so that people will all come and [practice] values, such as work ethics. Bawal ang tamad, bawal na lalo ang tanga, mag-aaral tayo. Aim high, mag-ambisyon tayo,

There will be no favors. You want it? You gotta work for it. You don’t work, you don’t eat. I would tell people you want to get into drugs, go ahead and kill yourself. You fool around, I’m gonna lock you up in jail,

I am a can-do leader. I am not afraid of popularity. We are not captives of our constituency. We are leaders not to be popular but to [teach] what is right,

Yeah, that’s telling them, Dick…

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One of the things I like about presidential hopeful Richard Gordon is that he’s brutally frank. And, very much like that wailing banshee, Miriam Santiago, he says what has to be said and never minces his words.

True, he can at times be aloof and some people may not like what comes out of his hundred-words-a-minute mouth but then, the truth often hurts, right?

Unlike his fellow presidential hopefuls, who seem as detached as Juan Tamad from the awful reality that is the Pinoy dilemma, he would rather be an in-your-face-candidate than be a people-pleaser.

Sadly though, we tend to kill the harbinger of bad news and listen to the sugar-coated promises of the likes of Erap, Villar and company.

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Untitled

Someone gave us a 2010 calendar a few days before the new year. It was one of those nicely printed calendars from China with the ‘year of the tiger’ theme that was filled with ornate paintings of, what else but… tigers!

Anyway, pretty as it is, what really caught my eye — as well as alerted the trying-hard grammar police in me — were the funny, and somewhat confusing English translations of the Chinese phrases — presumably placed there to “educate” the non-Chinese — printed on the calendar cover.

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Eh?

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Become rich? Ah well, a little optimism won’t hurt…

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It’s been more than a year since that fatal shootout in Paranaque that left several innocent people — including a father and his seven-year old daughter — dead, due to excessive and unwarranted use of force by the police. And yet, even after the investigations that followed, none of the cops involved in that incident were ever charged or suspended.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in the meantime, recommended the filing of criminal charges on several trigger-happy police personnel, and administrative charges on their superiors for sitting on their fat asses.

They (the CHR) might as well be barking up the wrong tree if you ask me. The lack of response by the proper authorities isn’t at all surprising, given the turtle-like pace of justice in these islands, and more so if it involves the police. They do after all take care of their own.

Who cares about civilians getting caught in the crossfire as long as they do their job, right? They’re just statistics, as far as the men in uniform are concerned. They’d more likely blame the poor (and dead) civilians for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Home again

Your recent blood test showed significant progress, so the doctor said you can go home today

It was 7am, and my back hurts like hell from sleeping on a fold-up couch, but that piece of news was enough to jump start my half-awake brain and open my crusty, half-closed eyelids.

More than I, however, it was Mom who was the most relieved to hear the news. Tired as she was from having to go through several hours hooked up on one of those menacing-looking machines, depression was slowly creeping in as well, and is making her miserable as the days pass.

We still have to go back for some tests in the coming days though. And if, God willing, everything improves by then, she’ll skip her date with those machines.

Unfortunately, the possibility of her going through the process all over again is still there, and that is what worries me to no end these days.

Anyway, for now at least, I can go back to sleeping on my own comfortable bed. 5 straight nights of sleeping on a rock-hard couch/chair, with barely a room for anyone — save perhaps a five-year-old — to move around (think coffin, and you’ll know what I mean) can really take a toll on your back, not to mention, on one’s sanity.

And they call that a suite…

If there is one good thing about being away from home and having to put up with uncomfortable bedding and sterile hospital air is this: there was no ^&%%#& music blasting through the window, and for 5 nights… I slept in total silence.

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